Bursting from an array of musical brilliance, singer / songwriter / pianist AVERY*Sunshine emerges onto the scene with her soon to be released self-titled debut album. Rooted in gospel, she reaches deep into that cornucopia of style and sound and sings a song which articulates the complexities of life with luminous insight. Fluent in many languages from soul and house to classical and hip hop, AVERY*Sunshine expresses with a voice that speaks boldly and tells a uniquely familiar story…a story about love and loss…healing…and finding the newness of oneself in the midst of it all.
Who is AVERY*Sunshine? I am is a self-proclaimed therapist! I want to start the conversation that will lead to individual healing and in turn will affect our collective healing. Let’s get people talking about their experiences so that we can learn from them, grow from them and more importantly, move on from them. ”
AVERY*Sunshine is a native of Chester, PA where she nurtured a natural talent by singing in church and leading and directing choirs. A former member of the renowned Wilmington/Chester Mass Choir, she honed her vocal instrument and sharpened her ability to play piano in her hometown, then headed south to Atlanta, GA where she attended Spelman College. Though far from home, she was never far from her one true love – music. She embodies it. She lives to express through it. But AVERY’s talent couldn’t be contained within the walls and stained glass of the church for very long. Making her mark on the Atlanta-soul music scene, she and her Spelman sister, Broadway talent Maia Wilson, teamed up to form the singing duo DaisyRew; and later AVERY lent her voice to the soundtrack for Paramount Pictures’ THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS. In 2005, she was hired as lead keyboardist for Tyler Perry’s stage play MEET THE BROWNS, and last year she was sought out by vocal great Jennifer Holiday to be choral director for the theatrical production of DREAMGIRLS during the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. AVERY*Sunshine recently made history with daily performances at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO and four private events during the 2009 Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
With vocals and lyrics that are thick and strong yet jazzy-smooth, coined ‘jazzgosoul’ by a personal friend, it’s easily recognized that AVERY*Sunshine has been singing all her life. However her sound and her music is perfected in collaboration with her musical partner Dana Johnson, a classically trained guitarist, gifted lyricist, producer and the man behind the tracks. What started in church at a young age has been refined by experience as she stands ready to proclaim her own story with her first CD project. “In the album I sing about my life – being a divorced mother of two, aging, being mean to the person I love. I sing about the possibility of being a single woman – indefinitely; as well as the feeling of being in love with my man before I even meet him. I also sing about the promise of God; the promise that He will never leave me or forsake me. The idea of never being left alone somehow makes things easier to deal with. Burdens seem lighter.”
Intent on shining by sharing her song with the world, AVERY wants you too to give yourself permission to “Get Your Shine On!” Whatever it may be. Are you getting your shine on? Are you using the gifts that God has given you? Are you walking in your calling? Let’s get started.
Vocalist Rhonda Thomas continues sharing her unique styling, her definitive sultry voice and her dynamic songwriting with the summer 2010 release of “Listen”. For those music lovers who are already familiar with Rhonda’s “Guess Who I Saw Today”, “Breathe New Life” and her dvd, “Rhonda Thomas: Live at Centennial Park” this new offering is highly anticipated.
Rhonda Thomas was a featured soloist and background vocalist for Isaac Hayes for 11 years before his untimely passing. Rhonda served in that capacity while remaining extremely focused on elevating her solo musical career. Issac Hayes wholeheartedly supported Rhonda’s desire to spread her wings musically. He commented, “Her voice has a wide range. She has the quality, vocal timbre and vibrato of Denise Williams when she goes high. There are a lot of vocal sounds in this young woman. Jazz-wise she can scat too!” Additionally, in Isaac Hayes’ review of “Breathe New Life” he further expressed, “WOW, a human voice singing songs of substance… Hats off to production, musicianship, arrangement, vocals and don’t miss the lyrics, it’s a breath of fresh air.”
A resident of Atlanta, GA who performs nationally and internationally, Rhonda’s natural talent, professional drive, and amazing charisma have landed her in the presence of greatness many times and has opened numerous doors for her. She has performed or shared the stage with Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Roy Ayers, and Sam Moore (of the legendary duo Sam and Dave) just to name a few. With her enchanting voice, Rhonda has stamped her name on the hearts of all that have witnessed her singing live.
From bringing the roof down in Atlanta’s Tabernacle when she sang with Incognito’s powerhouse lead-singer Maysa Leak, to winning multiple awards in Harlem’s Apollo Theater, to the 1996 Olympic Games crowds have fallen under the powerful spell of Rhonda’s bold vocal styling. Rhonda’s talents were also experienced by listeners on the other side of the globe. Her 2007 UK “Breathe New Life” Tour was met with glowing reviews. Rhonda was also asked to compose a song for Antigua-Barbuda’s Travel and Tourism “365 Beaches”. Her boundless energy on stage enchants crowds as her voice exudes power and passion executed with precision. She hails from the Atlanta underground soul scene having performed with renowned artist India.Arie, Donnie (Motown), and is a member of the soul bossa group, Jiva. She wears her influences like an elegant gown draped with the improvisational skill and vocal acrobatics of Sarah Vaughn and Al Jarreau, and the depth and emotional effectiveness of Phyllis Hyman and Chaka Khan.
Rhonda will be on a three city tour : Greensboro, Charlotte & Durham North Carolina. Beginning February 19, 2011.
If you live in the area, stop by and check her out. Thank you Rhonda for allowing me to put the spotlight on you.
Have you ever been in a war? An emotional war? Caught between wrong and right? Tugged at from both directions? Well, Jayla, Ashlyn and Envy have.
Jazz Singleton, a young mother of two boys residing in suburban Texas has penned a novel, W vs. R: Emotional Tug of War, a fictional book about three professional women and their struggle to find and keep love at any cost.
Jazz has been putting pen to paper since high school. However, in 2002, Jazz was faced with the uncertainties of a brain tumor. Could this be the conclusion of her passion for writing? As you can very well see it did not stop her. Her writing transitioned from a hobby into something more serious. Her seriousness is what you can find in her writing.
Jazz Singleton a name you want to remember when you are looking for your next book to read. I have read a synopsis and I am ready to dig deeper into these ladies lives in her book. I cannot wait to get my autographed copy.
I had an opportunity to have an interview with Jazz. Read and see what she has to say about her joy of writing and her new novel.
BPW: Your characters Envy, Jayla, & Ashlyn, are these ladies a representation of someone that has shared in your life?
Jazz: To a degree these ladies represent me and many other women. I think a lot of times women tend to lose themselves once they get involved in a relationship.
BPW: Writing is therapeutic for you, how does it keep you focused in dealing with life’s issues or problems?
Jazz: Writing is my escape from reality, in writing dreams come true and there is a happily ever after, there is no stress and drama in writing. In writing it’s just me, my pen and my spiral. Yes, I carry a spiral with me at all times. (LOL) I know it’s old-fashioned.
BPW: How would you label your style of writing?
Jazz: I would label my writing contemporary fiction with sex appeal.
BPW: Is there anyone in particular that is an author that you would compare yourself to and why?
Jazz: I would have to say that my books have a Zane-ish quality based on the sexiness and content.
BPW: Who is your favorite author? And why?
Jazz: My favorite author is J. California Cooper….she tells such amazing stories, her stories are like folklores, simple and straightforward stories that make you think and laugh. All of her stories evoke an emotion of some sort.
BPW: Your novel W vs. R: Emotional Tug of War, how did you come to write it?
Jazz: This book is my 3rd child. It was emotional for me, because of the issues involved in the book. I have either seen, heard or experienced what every one of these women went through.
BPW: How did you choose the title?
Jazz: I struggled for months with this title, at the end of the day my publisher TL James and I came up with the title. Each of the women is struggling emotionally with wrong and right decisions.
BPW: Is the novel a mirror image of a time in your life?
Jazz: I would say yes, there is a lot of Jazz in this novel, it’s my life embellished. From the way that the characters talk and act it’s me, I put a lot of myself into my writing, which makes it emotional for me.
BPW: When will the book be published and available for purchase?
Jazz: Presales began December 15th, 2010 and my release date is 1-21-11.
BPW: Where can it be purchased?
Jazz, well Author Jazz Singleton will be having her official book release party on January 29, 2011 at The Spa Bar in Dallas, Texas. This event is the introduction of her and the novel to the world. I am excited long with her on this event. I cannot wait to enjoy this day with her. It will be the beginning of many more events. Look out world, here comes Jazz Singleton!!!
A female with a chic appearance, a large portion of intelligence, humor, a considerable amount of creativity, a captivating aura with a splash of sex appeal, merged with a large dose of talent, firmly illustrates “Whandah”~ The Dainty Queen~”.
Born Carleen Newsome in Manchester, Jamaica, otherwise known as “Whandah” migrated to the U.S. at age 11. After residing in the U.S. for a short stint, she decided to return to her native land to resume her education. As an adolescent growing up in Jamaica, she was exposed to a multiplicity of music.
As a young woman, “Whandah” was impressively ambitious. In the mid 80’s, she began to sing-jay, in a male dominated arena, on sound systems such as: Minnie Mart High Power, King Mello, and Agony. She performed with various reggae artists such as Screechy Dan, Patra, Mikey Jarrett, James Bond, Miss Linda and Lady English, just to identify a few. Focused on establishing herself as a reputable artist, she voiced her first recording songs for Barry of Agony Sound System called “Aids a Badda Wi” and “Heart Breaka.” She later voiced “Grandpa Daddy” for the Jah Life recording label. Throughout the 90’s, she focused on honing her song writing ability, as well as cultivating her skills as an entertainer.
Life’s experience has surely shaped her career perception. Her commitment to her craft , can be summed up in her adage, “I am a dreamer that believes the race is not for the swift but for those that can endure it,” Her distinguished unique sound and finesse for supreme originality separates “Whandah” from her counterparts in today’s competitive market with no second guessing if her music is gravitating or not. She brings to the reggae industry a new sultry formula that defines her in Reggae and Dance genres which most likely will brand her as a new inspiration for this era.
With her unique flair, “The Dainty Queen” refuses to restrict her influences to one artist. Instead, she has been influenced by numerous artists and genres of music from across the world, including, Bob Marley, Screechy Dan, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Tracy Chapman and Whitney Houston amongst many others. For nearly a decade, she harnessed her skills and enthusiasm as a singer/songwriter and developed a new genre of music she calls Dainty Reggae.
In 2003, she landed a position as one of the hosts on the radio show “Everything Caribbean.” In 2004 she moved on to host her own radio show “Mix Vibes” until 2005. She also had another radio show where she collaborated with Joanne “Blackpoet” Stephen on Noyzradio back in 2009. “Whandah” is also the CEO of her own label Tyrac Group as well as Beewan Magazine, which focuses on embracing the beauty, strength and determination of Caribbean people.
“Whandah” always strives to keep active and innovative. She has released the following singles from her upcoming debut album, “Detox Dem” and “I’m in Love”. The video to “I’m In Love” was released in February of 2010 and has been getting great reviews on several network channels.
“Whandah” continues to demonstrate her strength as an artiste while she collaborates with others. Be sure to keep a look out for “Whandah~The Dainty Queen~”. She is tearing up the airwaves from New York to Europe and this is just the beginning.
For more info contact: email@example.com
A native of Monroe, Louisiana, Chandrika Raby is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans and Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge. She now reside in Frisco, Texas with her husband, Kevin and their two children.
Poetry is her passion, her spiritual nourishment under the creative writing umbrella. She began her writing career in college where her first writing assignment was turned into an article and published in her hometown newspaper, The Baton Rouge Advocate. She also served as a columnist for her college newspaper where she was able to display her love for creative writing. Chandrika went on to intern at Black Enterprise Magazine and wrote ten (10) published articles.
Chandrika got back to her creative writing roots in her first book of poetry, “Better Than Love,” which she self-published in late 2009. This book started as a way for her to release her emotions, as well as to see her writing in front of her, in print. “Better Than Love” began as a single poem, but its concept transformed into an entire collection of poetry. This book is the beginning of her journey as she continues to explore the endless possibilities within creative writing. She is currently working on her next collection of poetry, “Sweeter Than This.”
Better than Love
“On an almost cool autumn night
somewhere between caramel-flavored kisses
and chocolate-dipped mornings
we made something better than love.”
Excerpts from other poems in book:
“I twisted my ankle in one of love’s potholes,
didn’t even see it there, I was minding my own business”
The New York Times
“as he is studying my physique wishing he could get even a taste
of what is beneath the smooth fitting black dress”
“I feel like I’m living in a damn asylum, I’m staring
at table shadows and converging lines distorted by a single light
fighting to shine in the darkness“
There have been a lot of people who have impacted my life over the years and I cannot begin to name them all. I must begin by giving thanks to God for His angels Grace and Mercy. They are the reason I am still breathing – the reason I get an opportunity to try again tomorrow to be a better person. Where would I be without the love and encouragement of my family? Thank you to my husband for being so understanding when my passion consumes me. You know firsthand what happens when I begin to write…thank you for your support and for giving me the space I need. My children, my angels, my personal cheerleaders…you give me strength to get out of bed. Thank you for your patience when mommy is writing. To my parents, my solid foundation, I must warn you that this is not the writing of your little girl. Please understand that once I start writing, I become a different person…so don’t look at me cross-eyed. To my brother, the coolest kat I know…it would take a novel to describe you. But don’t worry. I’m working on it! To the people who inspire me, push me and challenge me to reach my full potential, I am humbly grateful. Thank you to all of my family and friends for your support. And finally, I have to say thank you to my personal Muse for encouraging and inspiring me to do what I love. I feed off your passion and energy…you make me stronger, better. The two of us together…how powerful!!
Now on to the book…
I have been keeping journals of my writing since 1993. Documenting my feelings allows me to grow and gain strength from them. From some of these thoughts and emotions, poems emerge…bringing energy and life to my most personal secrets and desires. I consider a blank piece of paper my best friend. I am able to purge and freely write my thoughts without being judged. Writing is how I vent anger and pain and both have had equal presence in my life. Becoming a better, more confident writer is a work in progress and this project is a step in that direction. By releasing my poetry, I am sharing some of my experiences with you…allowing you to see pieces of me.
“Better Than Love” began as a single poem, but its concept transformed into an entire collection of poetry. When I think of the idea of love, I personally feel there is nothing better than its power. But what if there is something better. What if something greater exists? This book is my story –the beginning of my journey as I attempt to discover what is better than love. Writing is the strength that heals my spirit. I hope you enjoy my first book as I attempt to breathe life into this thing called language.
For more information about upcoming books and events and to find out what is “Better than Love”…..
Thank you Chandrika for allowing me to position the spotlight on you. May God continue to use you to set an ambiance for others to embrace and explore their thoughts, desires and emotions.
Michelle E. Arthurton is a woman on the move. Whether acting as President and CEO of E2 Recordings or any of its many subsidiaries, Ms. Arthurton is always fully engaged in the betterment of the music industry at large and the Reggae community in particular. Having been involved in the entertainment and legal fields for over 15 years she has worked with best of the best.
A native of St. Kitts, Ms. Arthurton completed her studies at St. Kitts Business College. She began her legal career in St. Thomas while working for the Honorable Judge Brenda Hollar when her duties began to turn from administrative to legal research. Once her interest was piqued, Michelle furthered her studies with a Paralegal specialization and BA in English and Literature at the University of the Virgin Islands. She also completed her studies in Music Business (Music Business Specialist) at Berklee College of Music. Almost simultaneously she began to cultivate her passion for the entertainment industry by opening MEA Productions, a concert promotions company that also dealt with artist bookings, music publishing and copyrights. Since Ms. Arthurton had been freelancing as a fashion model on the runways of St. Thomas as well as in television and print advertising in her spare time, she had developed a keen awareness of the specialized needs of performance artists. This experience would prove to be invaluable as she began to develop her expertise and clientele.
In 1994 Michelle’s background led her to a position as an on-air personality for the radio station WSTA, USVI. While there she interviewed international recording artists and further deepened her knowledge and access to industry insiders. The new millennium brought new frontiers for Ms. Arthurton with her relocation to the United States in 2000. She continued to work in the legal arena while maintaining a strong presence in the Caribbean music industry. As a member of B.E.S.L.A, the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, she made even bigger inroads. She met the late Johnny Cochran through this affiliation and subsequently became his personal liaison when he was in St. Thomas, USVI. Ms. Arthurton’s other memberships include the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science/ The Grammys, Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide, The Coalition to Preserve Reggae (CPR) and Reggae A.M.P.P.S (Artists, Musicians, Producers, Promoters & Songwriters), Universal Music Benefit for Orphans around the world and Caribbean American Cultural Caucus.
Today, as President and CEO of E2 Recordings Inc., Ms Arthurton oversees the daily operations of the Indie recording label and its subsidiaries: Le 2 Music Publishing, E2 Music Management, E2 Bookings and E2 On Air Radio. This dynamic woman is creating excellence and integrity in her corner of an industry that so often challenges both. By using her solid foundation in legal concepts and her obvious passion for Caribbean music Michelle E. Arthurton is paving the way for independent music entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Fruits of her labor:
Thank you Michelle for sharing your gifts to the world. May God continue to shower you with blessings.
Joanne, age 37 of Guyanese background was born in Brooklyn New York; resides in the East Flatbush section. Joanne is currently employed by the NYC Board of Education for six years. She is the mother of two lovely daughters ages 13 and 7. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her girls, playing pool, watching a great movie and enhancing her gift of writing.
Joanne has been exploring her gift of writing for more than 15 years, which started out as a hobby, but as you can see has evolved into the artistic work of book entitled “Through My Eyes”. Her style of writing is from everyday life, things that people can relate to. She touches on subjects of love, relationships, inspiration, sex and among other subjects that many are scared to touch. Her writings can be humorous, inspirational and straight raw at times. But with no intentions of hurting feelings. But, I will tell you she will make you raise your eyebrows. Joanne’s book as well as her CD can be purchased at www.joannestephen.com
Some of the proceeds will help Breast Cancer and the Haiti Relief.
Joanne is also a radio personality and her show is called “What’s Your Vibes” with Blackpoet which can be heard from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. eastern time on www.e2onair.com each and every Saturday.
She is currently working on two other books. One is a children’s book which will be donated to schools all over the world.
Joanne has worked with Reggae artist Lambert Coateston a.k.a. Phantom on his track called Gurlz Be Careful which will be hitting the airwaves soon.
I have posted a link to one of her spoken word pieces.
Please listen to “I Am That Woman”: http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_2762470
There are more of her spoken word listed, please listen to them.
I tell you this young lady is making her mark in this world.
This is something she said to me, “Everyday in life is a challenge to do something better. I am here to make sure it gets done or at least spread the word to do good”. Joanne, thank you for that statement.
That should remind us all to do good in some shape, form or fashion. I am doing mine, are you doing yours?
I will be tuning in as usual to “What’s Your Vibes”. Talk to you soon, Joanne.
God Bless you Joanne as you continue on your artistic journey.
Other links to find Joanne Stephen:
Please leave Joanne your comments, I am sure she would love to read them