Gerard Bertrand Hosts Craig David & Lisa Simone at "Jazz a l'Hospitalet"

The Jazz a l’Hospitalet Wine and Music Festival is a perfect combination of open-air live music performances, culinary excellence and the finest French award winner wines in the world created by charming French winemaker Gerard Bertrand at his picturesque vineyard estate Chateau l’Hospitalet in the South of France town of Narbonne. “This is something special I look forward to the entire year”, he told me over dinner, that night we all wore red, while we tasted the best and most expensive rose wine in the world “Clos du Temple” a new wine, not in the market yet that he has perfected.

Gerard Bertrand Showing me his finest and most expensive Rose wine “Clos du Temple”. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Gerard Bertrand Showing me his finest and most expensive Rose wine “Clos du Temple”. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Gerard Bertrand, Selma Fonseca and Thierry de Bailleul. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Gerard Bertrand, Selma Fonseca and Thierry de Bailleul. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Musicians such as Nora Jones, Earth Wind and Fire and Dee Dee Bridgewater have played at this major musical event in the heart of the vineyards where each night 1500 guests enjoy sit-down dinner in the chateau’s courtyard and a reserved seating concert.

This year’s performers were Craig David, Lisa Simone (Nina Simone’s daughter), Ben L’oncle Soul and Melody Gardot which took place on July 24 to 28.

I exclusively interviewed British musician Craig David, he told me why he had chosen to be part of this Festival and working on his new album: “The rose wine is great.  I spoke to Gerard about the actual vineyard and what they’re trying to do.  I didn’t know that they’re not just organic. They’re trying to go to bio organic which is one stage further and then looking at the astrology and the lining up of the planets and how the solar and lunar effects on natural plants which is amazing because I love astrology and I’m very much to my metaphysical side of things.”

“The astrology of the place…I love that, so the fact that I got the opportunity to take them both back and to perform. The one thing I’ve realized the more time I’ve been doing this is that when I first started it was about how many records can I sell.  Not even that, it was that can I have a number one record.  As a young kind, you want to prove to the world…now I realize it’s actually about giving people a form of healing without having to preach, It’s a vibrational thing. You could be going through a bad time in your life, or depression, or a bad day.  You hear a song, it can completely shift you out of that vibration. My thing is I’ve realized that actually when I perform, I like to think I’m giving people positive healing that all of a sudden, they forget all their problems.  Every day you’re bombarded with politics and this situation’s happening and this is where the world’s coming to an end, and then there’s me who’s like let me sing you “Fill Me In” or “Nothing Like This” or “I Know You.”  For me in a certain career of longevity to realize that that’s your actual calling.  Your calling isn’t about how many records you sell.  Not for me anymore.  I’m actually living the dream because it’s not about a statistic.”

Craig has a great presence on stage and connects with his Audience, everyone was singing along. At the one-hour plus show he sang his hits “What if”, “Heartline”, “What’s your Flava”, “Fill Me In” closing the set with “I know You” and “7 Days”.  

He also told me he is very close to finishing an album:  “For me, writing an album is still really important.  I think there’s a lot of artists that don’t see the album as being that important anymore.  I think they realize that albums are very much becoming a thing of the past.  The streaming world and the way in which people want music, it’s playlists.  It’s instant songs.  It’s not bodies of work, but I’ve come from that body of work mirror and it’s important to me, so finishing an album, which I love.  Actually, I’m very excited about it. I’m still in the process.  The best part of it is like 80 percent of it.  The last 20 percent is usually the most fun because I always end up…the last 20 percent becomes the whole 80 percent.  Everything happens in the last 20 percent because the level is here, and I know I have to push it, and then some scenario will happen with an artist that I didn’t expect, and the next thing you’re talking and then you’re in studio and all of a sudden, you’ve got a whole new album and also, I like to take it not only just around like the UK and Europe, but also to go to America with the album and to…and its reinvention.  With the US, it’s different.”

He talked about his friendship with Justin Bieber and how he would love to make songs with him when the opportunity came around and if it’s organic because “I’m always one to never try and push, push, push, push.”

He also said, “I think Ariana Grande as a vocalist, she’s unbelievable.  I like her. Seven.  Anderson Pack.  I’d go Rick Mill.  I’d go the hip hop guys. I always feel like Mary J Blige when she was doing R & B and hip hop.  She’d be fantastic.  I’m just open.  Ella Mae, for example.  Like I was in the studio with her maybe 6-8 months before she had the huge record with Boot Up and then tripping.  I just love it being with people who are on the come up and then they have the hit and you’re part of that.  It’s exciting to me because then you’re part of the journey as opposed to being reactive and saying, oh, I want to work with this person because they’re doing well.  Bruno Mars would be great, as well.  He’s unbelievable.”

He explained to me how sometimes his songs comes to him while he is sleeping, “When I sang “I Know You” with Bastille… that song, the melody came to me with that [singing the song]… I promise you, in a dream that I had, and I woke up and I was like, “I’ve just got to put this down,” and the next thing, I was in the studio and then I was starting the melody and I called Bastille to ask if he would like to work on it.  He said he was like 15 minutes down the road. It was so organic.  He said he was finishing a session and he would come on after.  The next thing you know, bam, we had a song together.  So, the universe has a plan, and it aligns you, and I just know that if you’re in the right place at the right time and you’re passionate, it’s everything.”

On Saturday Jon Bon Jovi’s son, Jessie Bongiovi, who in 2017 collaborated with Gerard Bertrand on making “Hampton Water” Rose wine was at the Festival for just one day, I meet him at a lovely lunch at one of Gerard’s estates “Domaine de Cigalus”, Jessie told me how after dinner he was going to drive back to Barcelona, he has been traveling around the world promoting the wine.

On Sunday Lisa Simone and Big Band de Garonne gave a stellar performance with a collective of 20 musicians directed by Philippe Léogé, Narbonne Mayor and local politicians were cheering from the front row.

“Are you ready for the party? We are gonna be here for 88 minutes” Simone said making the crowd very excited.

She sang mostly her mother’s Nina Simone songs “Do I move you?” and “Wild in the Wind” saying, “Tonight’s concert was built on my first album Simone on Simone, and it is a tribute to my mother”

Before the concert, I sat with Simone backstage for an exclusive interview, she revealed to me: “My new album is called In Need of Love, it is coming out on the 18th of October on Elektra France. And my big break-out concert is on the 28th of February, 2020 in Paris,” she continues, “then you will see me with my trio. I’m a World Music Artist now which I am really happy about because that means I can just flow in and out many genres because that’s what I’ve always done. That’s what my mom has done. It’s natural. I don’t even know what the big deal is. I think it’s the music executives.”

She continues, “Because when I was a kid and you listened to the radio, you might hear Frank Sinatra and then after that you would hear Tina Turner, right afterwards…  After that you might hear, Mama Cass and The Mammas and the Pappas. So, there was no real format that was a specific type of music. I was raised on all kinds of music. Then of course you have Nina Simone, Mary Mccabe, Abbey Lincoln, and Otis Redding, Freddie Pain and Doris Day was playing in my house. So, you know there was no limit…”

“That’s how I come to the stage when I perform. I have something for everybody. If you’re an artist, you’re an artist. And uh putting us in a box is very limiting and it can be downright insulting,” she strongly said. “You see me here doing the big band. Then in February you’ll see me doing Reggae and Rock and Folk.”

She also talked about doing more Broadway shows: “Before I die, I think I will close the circle by going back to Broadway.”

She closed the concert set by singing “Return Home”. 

Simone just released a new single called “Right Now”. The music video you are officially introduced to her daughter ReAnna who’s in the video with her and if you subscribe to her YouTube page #LisaSimoneRightNow you also get to see the making of, which gets you the ‘behind the scenes’.

Visit the official Jazz a 'l’Hospitalet website

Ben L’oncle Soul and Gerard Bertrand. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Ben L’oncle Soul and Gerard Bertrand. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Chateau l’Hospitalet Vineyards. Photo by Marine Duplan

Chateau l’Hospitalet Vineyards. Photo by Marine Duplan

Anitta talks about Mariah Carey at Ipanema Footwear Launch Party in LA

Brazilian singer-songwriter Anitta released her fourth multi-lingual Album “Kisses” - she sings in Portuguese, Spanish and English - on Friday, April 5 and she is gaining even more International recognition.

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The record features Brazilian superstars Caetano Veloso, Ludmilla, and Papatinho, as well as American artists Snoop Dogg, Becky G, Alesso and Prince Royce.

On Saturday, April 6, the popstar celebrated her sandal collaboration with Ipanema, the Brazilian footwear brand, alongside the launch of the album at Skybar in Los Angeles. 

The event featured a panel of style mavens Alyssa CoscarelliAyydé VargasHanna Montazami, and Delaney Glazer who discussed the latest trends of fashion and music, followed by an exclusive performance by Anitta and a guitar player with some of her newest music “Get to know Me”, “Voce Mentiu”. She wore a short tight leopard print dress and her hair pulled back.

Together, Anitta and Ipanema are heading out on a global tour to introduce the album and collection to the world, making stops in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and Madrid.

After the live concert Anitta and I talked backstage, she told me how she found the confidence to sing in three different languages, “Yeah, it’s really hard.  Pretty much because you listen to so many people say that it’s not gonna work, it’s not gonna work, it’s not gonna work that you say like I need to make it work so I worked really hard to be really good in English and I’m a believer and had good faith in English that people could miss on like the literal song. “

“I’m just confident for anything. I just have this need inside me when I was four.  I don’t know,” she continues.

She also told us the “real” meaning of her album title “Kisses”, “I’ve always wanted to show this person, because I’m a really complex person, you know?  My personality is really complex. I have a lot of person that is inside me myself, so I wanted to show this in the sad songs which kind of person can I be sometimes, and we were thinking about…but it was too obvious to put the name of the album “Anittas”.  So, we were thinking about things that could be like me, a lot of different ways, but being also the same thing always, so the kiss is something like this—you can find a different kind of kisses like family kiss or sexy kiss, whatever, friend, family, whatever—but it’s also still being a kiss.  That’s why we chose this name “Kisses”—the different types of being kissed.”

She explained to me why she picked Caetano Veloso to collaborate on the song “Voce Mentiu,” “He helped me a lot in my life, so I really love him and appreciate everything he does, and he’s a friend of me, I am friends of his family and because when I wrote that song with my partners, when I listened to it the first time, it was like, this is so Caetano.  I need to have him with me, and then he said yes right away.”

And when she has the opportunity to collaborate with one of her idols singer Mariah Carey, the song will be about dreams, she said, “About going for your dreams because since I was zero years old, I was listening to her, and I mean, if I met her, I could not imagine it would be happening, so if I sing with her, it would definitely need to talk about dreams, about realizing…about getting something done in your life that you could never imagine that could happen,” she said.

We also talked about where she finds inspiration for her songs, “My inspirations is things that I live, an experience that I had in my life.  I always talk about real things.  Or somebody or some story of another third person—another person.  I like to talk about real stuff and also things that I believe that happened with me.”

Anitta, Selma Fonseca

Anitta, Selma Fonseca

The album 10-track Album took almost one year to complete, she said,  “Just the part that depends on me.  The parts that depend on other people, it was like two months, and that’s it, and we were like, come on!  Come on!  It was crazy.”

Maejor Releases new video "Nirvana"

“Everything I am doing is just about how can we be positive and put some positivity into the world,” says Maejor in an exclusive interview about his new single “Nirvana” and his upcoming debut solo album, Frequency.

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 “The song is all about being yourself not worrying about what other people say being original, being unapologetic, not afraid to be who you are, with all my music I just wanna put out positive messages I just wanna put uplifting inspirational messages and that also extends into the video which is basically a bean of paying forward.”

Maejor describes the music video which was released today (4/4):

“At the beginning, there is a guy that needs help, I won’t go into too many details, I help him it follows him down the road he helps the next person, who then helps the next person like a chain of events it shows how each action we take creates a ripple effect, you know.”

 He continues “We want to put out good into the world and we never know where will lead and at the end there is a girl who has cancer she has a bald head and no one is playing with her and she is across the street watching some kids playing and I sit down next to her and I can see that she is sad and so I cut my hair bold to match her, she starts laughing and then brighten her day and we go over and play with the kids.”

 “I don’t think I write the lyrics of my songs, I hear them in my head it’s like a gift comes from another dimension you know, from heaven, from God, whatever you wanna say, but it’s not from me, I just hear them and I just write down and I just recorded, I don’t even write it down actually, I just recorded, that’s how the music came for that one.”

“And the beats we used from all over the world, we used some music from the Middle East, from Israel, I believe music is a universal language that combines everything together.”

 He is also releasing his 11-track Album around the end of May 2019, which will be all about uplifting inspirational music, “but it’s about frequency so it’s not always in the lyrics but the vibration of the music is meant to lift you up.”

Brandon Green, aka Maejor, is a 3x Grammy nominated artist, record producer, singer-songwriter and rapper from Detroit, Michigan. Maejor has written and produced songs for several prominent artists in the music industry, including Justin Bieber, Trey Songz, Keri Hilson, Ciara, T-Pain, Ne-Yo, Wiz Khalifa, Three 6 Mafia and is also part of the EDM duo AREA21 alongside Dutch DJ Martin Garrix.

 In 2010, Maejor was nominated for a Grammy Award, for his work on Trey Songz’s album Passion, Pain & Pleasure, and again in 2011, for Monica’s album, “Still Standing.” In 2012, Maejor produced two songs on Justin Bieber’s album, Believe, as well as the single ‘Say Something” by Austin Mahone.

 Maejor teamed up with Justin Bieber again in early 2013, co-producing his single “Heartbreaker,” and most recently producing 3 songs on Justin Bieber’s worldwide #1 album Purpose. In late 2013, Maejor also released a single titled “Lolly,” featuring Justin Bieber & Juicy J which became Maejor’s most successful single to date, peaking at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In Dec 2017 Maejor released a single with Latin superstar Anitta called “Vai Malandra” which reached the #1 spot on the Brazilian charts as well as #18 at the Global Spotify chart. The video has been viewed nearly 300 million times and the song streamed over 200m times worldwide.

SPOTIFY 2.3M MONTHLY LISTENERS / INSTAGRAM 1.3M FOLLOWERS / YOUTUBE 816K SUBSCRIBERS

Rilan Exclusive Interview and Release of new single "Love or Drugs"

Rilan – songwriter, Pop singer, and Glee Alumni dancer - is releasing his new single “Love or Drugs” today (March 22) and on April 2nd he will release its music video, where I make a Cameo.

“Making fun of Hollywood and all the things that we basically experience here (in Hollywood)”, Rilan said about his new song in my exclusive interview.

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“Think about it why do we go to the club? We go out to either get fucked or get fucked up, we go out because we don’t really have real connections with people, not everyone is going to dinners having a good time and actually having a conversation, they are just trying to get involved in something where they will feel something because they are numb inside so basically I am making fun of that because when I came to Hollywood I was like, “This is great, I am the misfit artsy kid I am gonna fit in here”, I didn’t fit in here at all, because it’s very scene related, there is entertainment but there is also the nightlife scene and who is cool on Instagram, and how that influences everything, so just making fun of all those cool kids and parties that I have never been to and thought they would look like.”

He continues: “I always grow up in a theater kid, super theatrical, everything that had to do with performance all the artist that I admired were David Bowie, Prince and Madonna, all that glam pop, and when I came here in 2014 that was not cool here it was very much about a vibe, Lorde had just broken out, so was very minimum, music was very cool, wasn’t about going out there with dancers and performing and showing people what you got, it was more settle,  on the background and that’s kind of what’s everyone else dress and acted and I am not like that at all, I mean look at me I look like George Michael went to space. Basically I didn’t fit at all and I am not that type of a person that’s gonna go out and make a scene, I kind of make a scene on stage and that’s where I belong as oppose to getting on the dance floor and getting in debauchery or not, so when I came out here trying to make friends and basically get discovered in the music industry I was very shy and very put off by the scene the only way I knew how to talk about it was to make fun of it.”

He explained to us the lyrics: “The chorus is “I want your love, love, love, drugs, drugs, drugs, give me what you wanna give me I just want your love or drugs, whatever is better for me”, so it’s basically that time of the night when the lights goes on in the club and everyone is looking around, they are either who I am leaving with what I am getting to make this night make sense and have a good time because I don’t feel anything inside, when people are down they tend to try to find someone or something that’s going to make them feel better but they should look inside and deal with other things instead of coping with a problem. It’s a pop song but at the same time dies into some real problems that people have we are addicted to love and we are addicted to drugs and they are very similar.”

Rilan is always working in his cool studio in Hollywood, he said: “The music I have been writing around this time has been about not fitting in Hollywood and that kind of relationship I have with myself and other people and what I am seeing.  So, this was just me saying, when people were telling me to write relatable music that people were like I was like, I think the most relatable thing I can do is be myself.  People will see through a fake so this me making fun of what pop music is nowadays because it seems like it is very girls and fast cars and money and drugs and that’s what’s cool.  So, I am not really in that world, at least not yet.  Like I can’t really afford that lifestyle so I figured I would just make fun of it. And have this give a metaphor as to what it’s like to be alone here and kind of poke fun at all the cool kids cause I think that’s what’s pop music is supposed to be.”

“I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana so the most haunted city in the continental US.  Just so you know which probably explains why I am so creepy and weird.  Self-deprecating too.  I have been here five years. I mean like my parents are super cool.  I am sure they had a heart attack when I pulled out of college in Nashville after three months and then just moved here.  They have been supportive, but it was definitely a thing where my parents were like, “Oh great so you’ll go there (LA) and you’ll succeed within a year and everything will be fine, right?”  And I was like Oh yeah totally, it will happen super-fast.  No, it is so slow and it is hard.  And it is you know that kind of mentality certainly doesn’t help when you are involved in debauchery.  You know like night life and what not.  So, that’s kind of what I have seen, is seeing people who have been my friends who are artists that come on here with a dream and then kind of get lost in the scene. Making fun of it is my way of kind of staying out of it, you know.”

We also talked about the upcoming music video where he tells us about a scene with gas masks and smoke: “There are some parts that represent the different activity that kind of happens at parties and what I imagine happening when I’m not there.  The gas masks are pretty much the weed smoking scene where everyone is kind of connected to each other instead of a bong or whatnot.  So, it’s basically saying how we are trying to connect to people but we actually can’t cause you can’t see their faces but everything is connected with black tubing so it is kind of like a metaphor for sin and trying to fit in when actually you are not showing your real self. We got a little weird and artsy.”

And about the scenes under the water, he said: “When I hear the song and when I wrote the lyrics, I was thinking of this fantasy version of drugs and like being high and all that kind of stuff and I think LSD and I think mind-altering substances, freeing you are outside of your body so the best way for me to represent I think was being in the water where everything is flowing around you and you feel like you are not one with gravity.  So that really became the focus of the video when I met with Nick Alexander and Collier Landry helped me direct the video.  They were like I think we need even more water scenes.  I was like, “Oh that’s awesome” and then we know that was possible to get your camera under the water, but it was great.  It was 40 degrees outside and it was cold.  I think it really is something interesting because I haven’t really seen so much of that in a video.”

Besides his father, Michael Roppolo, who manages his day to day, Rilan is working with new producers ad co-managers: “This year I’m working with Randy Jackson, “yo dog”.  He’s a fellow Louisianan.  He’s from Baton Rouge, the capital which is like an hour away from New Orleans.  But we have talked about some of the same people that we know from there.  It’s so crazy. It’s a smaller big city you know.  He’s super cool.  He’s helping me and he is such a great guy.  He is super connected but also understands music so it’s great to work with somebody like that and I’ve been working with a plethora of producers and my co-writers.  I still work with Naz Tokio, who I did my single with three years ago, “Blindfolds”.  And then my other co-writer, Krysta Youngs.  She is awesome.  She is basically the other me.  There is another girl running around that looks basically the same as me just she, but she dresses like a unicorn.”

“Warner label signed “Love or Drugs” my new single, so they are going to be pushing that out in Scandinavia - Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark.  So, look for my face over there if you are over there.”

“I can only really write about what I have experienced or what I witness, so a lot of the songs are from my perspective of basically I always feel like a misfit in the city of cool kids.  Which I feel like everyone can kind of relate to.  I mean anyone who says that high school is the best time of their life peaked in high school.  Like definitely.  They are not living a life anymore.  You know what I mean?  They are probably like…”

And we both agreed that High School wasn’t fun: “Oh awful, horrible, terrible.  I guarantee you there are people I know who even I went to high school with they are like “That was the best time of my life.”  And I was like this is sad.  But I still kind of carry that with me of being that like freak.  So, it is about not fitting in and they are tongue in cheek because I think that satire is a lost art form now and I super sarcastic and I think that is something that is missing in pop music, along with mystery.  So, they are definitely pop but they are definitely theatrical.  There is a lot of influence from Queen and Prince and I guess there is a little Gaga in there too.  Kind of the people that I grew up loving.  But I have a song about wishing that I had a billionaire lover so that I could afford doing all the things that people do here.  I have a song about basically just wanting to stay home when everybody else is out and having a good time doing that.  I have a song called, “I feel Nothing” which is just about people that wear you down to the bone and you are just done with them, but at the same time while it is dark-themed it is all pop music so you can dance to it and you can have a good time and then when you go home later you can just cry about the lyrics.”    

My Cameo in the Video

My Cameo in the Video

 

Michael Jackson Family makes statement

Michael Jackson performing with Britney Spears

Michael Jackson performing with Britney Spears

Michael Jackson is our brother and son. We are furious that the media, who without a shred of proof or single piece of physical evidence, chose to believe the word of two admitted liars over the word of hundreds of families and friends around the world who spent time with Michael, many at Neverland, and experienced his legendary kindness and global generosity.  We are proud of what Michael Jackson stands for.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

People have always loved to go after Michael. He was an easy target because he was unique.  But Michael was subjected to a thorough investigation which included a surprise raid of Neverland and other properties as well as a jury trial where Michael was found to be COMPLETELY INNOCENT.  There has never been one piece of proof of anything.  Yet the media is eager to believe these lies.

Michael always turned the other cheek, and we have always turned the other cheek when people have gone after members of our family - that is the Jackson way. But we can’t just stand by while this public lynching goes on, and the vulture tweeters and others who never met Michael go after him. Michael is not here to defend himself, otherwise these allegations would not have been made.

The creators of this film were not interested in the truth. They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families.  That is not journalism, and it’s not fair, yet the media are perpetuating these stories.  

But the truth is on our side.   Go do your research about these opportunists.  The facts don’t lie, people do. Michael Jackson was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations.

The Jackson Family­­­­­

On a personal note, I meet Michael Jackson in numerous occasions, he invited me to Neverland Ranch, I witness kindness and generosity from Michael. Selma Fonseca

Selma Fonseca at Neverland

Selma Fonseca at Neverland

Michael Jackson and Selma Fonseca

Michael Jackson and Selma Fonseca

TAO Park City - Sundance Film Festival

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Let’s Get ready for Sundance Film Festival.

TAO Group is returning for its 11th year with TAO Park City presented by Stella Artois during film’s most coveted week, Sundance Film Festival. Located at The Yard, TAO Park City will be better than ever with its three-night pop-up from Friday, January 25th – Sunday, January 27th

For the first time, Casamigos will be serving up cocktails to guests, warming them from the inside/out against Park City’s bitter winter weather. TAO Park City’s pop-up is complete with DJ sets by DJ Ruckus, Vice and Mel DeBarge; along with a surprise performance on Friday night.

Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Matt Bomer get Sporty with Olympic Royalty at “Gold Meets Golden” event in L.A.

Hollywood has long been inspired by the sports industry and vice versa, but rarely do these two worlds have the chance to mix and mingle. 2019 Awards Season got in full swing on Saturday January 5 with some of the greatest athletes from across the world to the House on Sunset, in West Hollywood to celebrate the Golden weekend.  As the longest continuous corporate partner of the Olympic Games, “Gold Meets Golden 6” was refreshed by The Coca-Cola Company, and produced and founded by CW3PR’s Charley Cullen Walters and Cinema Magazine’s Scott Orlin. The concept for the daytime brunch began when athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games were surprised by shout-outs from their favorite Hollywood celebrities, and several of those athletes were invited to Hollywood Awards season.  The outcome was “Gold Meets Golden” – a chance for Gold Medalists and other athletes to engage with some of the Entertainment Industry’s best award nominees, and realize how much they inspire one another.   With the recent announcement of the Olympics’ triumphant return to Los Angeles in 2028, Hollywood has been handed a fresh dose of Olympic Fever. 

Host Nicole Kidman, casually chic dressed wore blue jeans and a Valentino short black coat with pointed-toe Jimmy Choo heels. Charley made sure to introduce her to athletes Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, Tatyana McFadden, Michelle Kwan, Adam Rippon and Amy Purdy. After posing for photos she walked to Octavia Spencer who was chatting with Olympic Athletes Missy Franklin, Cassie Sharpe, and Mac Bohonnon. Nicole and Octavia hugged and talked for a while.

Nicole Kidman, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, Adam Rippon and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala

Nicole Kidman, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, Adam Rippon and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala

One of my favorite actresses Amy Adams also attended this event, she was wearing a white dress with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, she looked so beautiful. She posed for selfies with fans and was overwhelmed by the attention, but was super nice taking photos with everyone that asked. Outside in the backyard garden Amy met with Daniel Bruhl, Jessica Chastain, and Edgar Ramirez - Golden Globe nominees for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries Made for TV - in a corner next to a table filled with Schaffer truffle gold chocolates.

Daniel Bruhl, Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams  and  Edgar Ramirez

Daniel Bruhl, Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams and Edgar Ramirez

Figure Skater Adam Rippon proudly and happily introduced his real estate broker boyfriend Jussi-Pekka Kajaala to everyone. Adam told me they met on the dating app Tinder in Finland while he was visiting last year. Later they pose for photos getting on each other’s back while pulling on the cord making believe they were hiking a mountain in the Discovery Destinations and Farbound photo booth where they spotlighted the new 2020 Olympic sport of Sports Climbing, with a state-of-the-art projection-mapped, interactive Augmented Reality photo experience.  Jussi was flying to Finland the next day, so Adam and Jussi told me they were spending their last night together relaxing at his home in Santa Monica.

Selma Fonseca with Adam Rippon and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala

Selma Fonseca with Adam Rippon and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala

Lady Gaga’s co-writer and producer Mark Ronson introduce singer, actor and Golden Globe nominee Billy Porter, he sang Golden Globe nominated song “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” Film. While Billy performed everyone was quietly listening to the melancholic song including Matt Bomer, Nicole Kidman and MJ Rodriguez. A specialty new Gold grand piano, was featured in the performance which will be auctioned off online following the event to benefit the Angel City Games.

Billy Porter and Topher Grace

Billy Porter and Topher Grace

Topher Grace and Billy Porter congratulated each other on their Golden Globe nominations and posed for photos.

A $50,000 donation was also presented by The Points Guy, Brian Kelly, on behalf of the sponsors including United Airlines, Coca-Cola and others. At the event, attendees received a first look at the new LAX Private Suite program from United Airlines, the official travel partner for Gold Meets Golden and also a proud sponsor of TeamUSA.  J Vineyards & Winery Michelin-star Chef Carl Shelton provided a gold-medal menu of Brunch libations, including gold-dusted marmalade pop-tarts, golden croquembouches, and a gold signature sparkling wine coupe tower.   

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A personal highlight of the day was meeting Kim Glass not only she is beautiful, fun and a boss lady but she is also an American indoor volleyball player and model. She is 6 ft 2.5 in and plays as an outside hitter. She currently plays for Rabita Baku. She joined the U.S. national team on May 23, 2007. Glass made her first Olympic appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, helping Team USA to a silver medal.

Selma Fonseca with Kim Glass and Kinya Claiborne

Selma Fonseca with Kim Glass and Kinya Claiborne

Selma Fonseca with Asher Loera, Kim Glass and Kinya Claiborne

Selma Fonseca with Asher Loera, Kim Glass and Kinya Claiborne

Other notables in attendance: Chrissy Metz, Danielle Macdonald, Ryan Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Joe Alwyn, Hailie Sahar, Jenna Dewan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Bryan Fogel, Welcomed Athletes, Olympians and Paralympians Michelle Kwan, Nadia Comaneci, Candace Cable,  Carl Lewis, Connor Fields, Edwin Moses, Akuoma Omeoga, Amy Purdy, Cassie Sharpe, Danell Leyva, David Boudia, Jessica Mendoza, John Moffet, John Naber, Jodan Burroughs, Jordyn Wieber, Katie Uhlaender, Madison Kocian, Maia Shibutani, Meryl Davis, Mirai Nagasu, Nasita Liukin, Ngozi Onwumere, Nicole Giorano, Rashad Jennings, Tatyana McFadden.

This was indeed a great warm up for Golden Globe weekend and 2019 Awards Season! 

I am very happy I meet Amy Adams, I am a huge fan!

I am very happy I meet Amy Adams, I am a huge fan!

All photos are copyrighted Selma Fonseca.

H.E.R. talks Grammy Nominations & her Vision Board

Gabrielle “Gabi” Wilson, who likes to the called by her artist name “H.E.R.” gave me an exclusive interview right after learning she had been nominated for five 2019 Grammy awards, “It was early in the morning when they announced everything, but I was woken up out of my sleep.  I had a show the night before.  My manager woke everybody up.  We didn’t know what was going on.  He was like, “We’re going to have to cancel the tour.”  He called everybody to my room and said, “Oh, my gosh, you’re nominated for five Grammys,” and I just remember crying and everybody just going crazy.  We were…and then I started seeing the reaction on social media and yeah, it was a crazy moment.  I immediately called my parents and all my friends and family and it was crazy.  It was a moment,” she described how she learned about the nominations for her self-titled album HER, including album of the year, best new artist and best R&B album.

 Also her song “Focus” is nominated for best R&B song and her song “Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar is nominated for best R&B performance.

H.E.R

She explained to us how she came up with the acronym H.E.R. which stands for “Having Everything Revealed”, “Well, it kind of was a process.  I was making these songs that were very honest and very specific to this time in my life while I was transitioning from being a young girl to becoming a young woman.  You know, in high school, being 16, 17, 18 years old, and going through emotions and all the stuff that a girl goes through in high school—first heart break, and emotions that you haven’t felt and being jaded, like it’s the end of the world, you know.  I’ll never be loved again.  All these things that we feel.  The music that I was making was a collection of stories based on that time period, kind of a very dark time, you know. Teenage hormonal era.  But what I always said was like, “Oh, I’ll never be that girl,” when I was 15, 14, looking at other women like, “I’ll never be that girl that falls for the wrong guy,” and “I’m never going to make this mistake and that mistake,” and then I ended up being that girl.  I ended up being HER.  And the easiest way for me to be honest was to really be anonymous and just, you know, I wanted to release the music and see what happened and I wanted people to love the music for what it was, so I just decided to release an EP with just my silhouette in the front—no name, no face, nothing attached but music and my stories.”

I asked her what does it mean to her “having everything revealed”?

“Really that means that you really know who I am.  You really see how vulnerable I am and how personal my music is.  In my music, you hear it in my music.  It’s not about what I look like or how I dress or the people I’m associated with or if I belong to a clique.  It’s just about the raw message and the emotions in my songs, my real stories, and that’s having everything revealed to me more than anything,” She said.

 

We also talked about her writing process, “It really depends.  I’m bouncing off the walls all the time.  Sometimes I’ll come up with a melody and then I’ll write words to it or sometimes I’ll be laying in bed and just write down my thoughts and the song kind of writes itself, but it depends on who I’m working with.  I love to talk in the studio when I collaborate with people.  When I write by myself, I’m usually at an instrument, a guitar or piano or bass, and coming up with words that way, but it just depends.  For me, it starts with thoughts and where it takes me.  I don’t like to force anything.”

H.E.R.

On December 10, 2018, she launched a new series “Road to GRAMMYs” on her YouTube music channel, in the introduction she says, “I have goals, I have ambitions, and I have dreams,” so I asked her about that, “Yeah.  I mean, honestly, I was just talking to my team, my manager and people, and two years ago, I wrote…I made a vision board.  I made a vision board, like a physical white board.  I went to whatever store and I bought a white board and I wrote down a bunch of little goals and some of it was like, “I want to headline my own tour,” and now I’m doing that.  So two and an half years ago, I want to get at least 100 million streams, you know, and now we’re like at a billion streams.  And on there was a Grammy nomination.  That was one of the biggest goals that I had on the vision board.  It was just part of like my career goals that I had on that board, and for that to manifest and now become reality is so crazy.  So those were some of the goals I was talking about, and now I’m working on a new vision board, and now I’m thinking of how to take my goals to the next level. My goals are changing.  My dreams are getting even bigger.  Because I had one nomination on that board, and now it’s five.  You know, this is my second headlining tour. And I headlined in Europe and now I’m doing a second headline tour in Europe, and it’s like all these levels that I’m passing through, that I’m achieving.  And it doesn’t stop, you know.  I’m excited because this is not even my potential.  This isn’t even my prime. It’s literally just the beginning and all these great things are happening, so yeah, that’s really what I was talking about.  I have personal goals.  One goal I had on my vision board was to buy my mom a house, and I was able to do that this year.”

 Another thing that’s on the board that hasn’t happened yet, “One thing is an arena tour.  I got to do that next. I think Oracle arena because that’s right by my hometown.  I used to go to concerts there all the time. I saw Prince there, and Barclay Center.  I live in Brooklyn now,” she told us.

“I’m working on my debut album so there will probably be some really dope surprises on there. Chris Brown is so talented.  I’d love to work with him.  There’s people like J. Cole and Drake who I really want to work with.  There are so many artists out.  I don’t know,” she said.

Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys are her fans. In fact, Janet Jackson attended one of her shows in London, “That was crazy.  It was unbelievable.  Like Janet Jackson is one of my favorites, all time, and the fact that she’s a fan of me and knew all the words to my songs is like confirmation. It’s like, wow, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.  I’m doing something right if Janet Jackson is coming to my show,” she told us about it.

On Friday December 14, the multi-talented artist played the piano, the guitar and sang all her hits “Focus”, “Best Part”, at The Novo Theater by Microsoft, as part of MWP Entertainment Group Presents “WANTED,” a Live Experiential Musical Event Series, attended by her celebrity fans Queen Latifah, Janet Jackson, Ella Mai, Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Phil Ivey.

She told me before the show, “Friday is going to be a really special show on the tour because there’s going to be this crazy technology and you can just experience my music in a different way, like it’s going to be holograms and it’s going to be…it’s going to be something super different from all the other dates.”

At the end of the show she said to the audience on the microphone, “So many amazing things are happening in my life and I really have to thank you for supporting me and loving me and keeping it about the music, thank you so much, and I have been dealing with a lot, it’s just as much as there is good, there is bad, the devil always gonna try you and to take you away from your blessings, you have the opportunity to abuse the blessing and that’s what I am trying not to do, I am on the stage, I am so grateful I am so happy, and that’s all I can be,  I am only 21 year old, so thank you so much for making my dreams come true, thank you.”

H.E.R. performing at MWP Entertainment Group Presents “WANTED,” a Live Experiential Musical Event Series

H.E.R. performing at MWP Entertainment Group Presents “WANTED,” a Live Experiential Musical Event Series

She also told me how she feels in front of an audience, “I definitely get that energy from the audience, like I always feed off the audience’s energy, but I’ve always been a performer.  I’ve always loved performing since I was a little girl, and I’ve prepared my whole life to be on tours.  It’s just what I love to do.  We have a great time on stage, me and my band, every single night, so it’s just fun for me. I never really get nerves unless it’s like a really big stage sometimes I get a little bit nervous, but I just tap into why I love it so much and how much fun I have.  People love coming to my shows.  They experience my music in a different way.  I try to create like a dynamic show.”

Heather LaRose Exclusive Interview & "Kerosene" Video Release

Heather LaRose is an American electro-pop singer, songwriter and guitar player from New York City with more than 54K followers. Best known for her song "New Moon," from her EP "Beachside", which was featured on MTV's Teen Wolf. Growing up, listening to classics like Abba, The Beach Boys and The Beatles along with early 2000s pop inspired her to begin singing and writing. Her upbeat blend of electronics and real instruments garnered her sponsorship by Gibson Guitars.

Heather LaRose

Heather LaRose

I sat down with Heather for an exclusive interview ahead of the release of her new video “Kerosene” on Friday December 14, 2019.

“The video was shot with some of my closest friends and bandmates James Byrne, David Vogel, Bianca Muniz, Jackie Muniz, Stefano DB, Michael Hojnacki, Takahiro Izumikawa at an awesome studio in Norwalk, Connecticut called Underground Studios. I think the live aspect of a song is important, it's a calumniation of all the words and emotions being brought to life. When you go through a traumatic experience, it's really important to be open with how you're feeling, especially to your friends. This live performance is so important to me because my friends have been such a great support system and you can hear that come through the way they help me bring "Kerosene" to life,” she told me.

 She reflected on her writing specially her new single “Kerosene”, “For each song, my process is different. Most of the time I start with the chorus and build the story around my emotions or whatever triggered me to start singing. But for “Kerosene”, I started with the first line as the first thing I wrote and built the song from the ground up. I wrote Kerosene after my ex-boyfriend passed away from Cancer. I got off the phone with the friend that introduced him and I. I just remember going into a state of complete shock. I wanted to cry but I felt paralyzed.”

 She continues, “It was a complicated relationship from the moment we met. It was the summer of 2014, I was going to school in New York and he was leaving to go to Tulane. But it was one of those instant attractions. We ended up spending almost every day together until the day him and his dad drove off. Even then we both face-timed each other for over an hour crying while he was in the passenger seat and his dad was driving. That was my first love. We both tried to make the long-distance work, but it was "summer dreams ripped at the seams" (Grease). Distance and priorities pulled us apart. But we seemed to get back together for a couple of weeks for the two following summers. It was never the same as that first summer, though. When he was diagnosed with cancer, it was almost a year since him and I spoke. That moment, I drove to his house and we just hugged each other crying. He and I forgot and forgave each other of all of the things we put each other through. In that moment, it was like the summer we first met. We kept in touch and it seemed like he was really on the mend. But then out of the blue I got the call he passed away.”

“Kerosene” is the day he passed away, but it's also the day I drove to his house, it's the day we first got back together, it's the day we first met.”

And this is what she said about the song, “Kerosene” is a dark electric blue. It's a pop ballad of hope and love burning through doubts and fears. I recorded Kerosene with the DJ duo CRWN, Crane and Charlie Brown (Millie Bobby Brown's brother). A few of the other singles are with some of my really close friends from Berklee: Jack Hoffman, greisun, Joel Ferber, Elliot Sorgen, Alex Venegas and my songs "Rumors" was with Greg Sgar (John Lennon Songwriting Contest) and Matt Pelosi. I love being able to work with friends as much as possible because you can hear the chemistry come through the track.”

In 2018, LaRose hit over a million streams. LaRose also gained recognition as opening act for Rachel Platten summer 2017, Drake Bell fall 2017, and for her performances at several of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign speeches, where Clinton also chose the Beachside EP’s “Run With Me” as her walk up song.  Her fresh sound has taken her to the stages of NYFW, LA Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week, NYC’s Bronx Zoo Festival, LA’s legendary Whisky A-GoGo, and a headlining performance at Montauk Music Festival.

 “I'm just wrapping up my recordings for an upcoming EP. I've spent the past year writing and reflecting, not just on my growth as a person, but also what it means to be a young woman in this era. My songs are about being bold, embracing who you are and what you've overcame. Since my ex-boyfriend passed away, I've had some extreme emotional highs and lows. I write a new song nearly every day. The EP is scheduled to be released in March 2019 just in time for SXSW. Right now, I have six unreleased songs but I might switch a couple out once I get back to LA in January. I already have some studio time booked. Music has been the best therapy.”

Heather is always perfecting her craft, she told me, “I was always a songwriter but singing was something I had to really train for. I could always connect with the story of a song and know the emotion to sing them with but I worked on a lot my technique by studying with teachers like Darryl Tookes (NYU), Amy Roslyn (Broadway cast Jesus Christ Super Star), while at Lagond Music School in Elmsford, NY, a nonprofit music school where I also worked. Then while I was in LA, I studied with Kira a celebrity vocal coach for the cast of Glee, Disney stars, etc. It wasn't until my second year of college where I really felt comfortable stepping away from my guitar and really calling myself a vocalist.”

Watch “Kerosene” video here:




Exclusive Interview with Levan Tsikurishvili - “AVICII: TRUE STORIES” Film Director

Long time Avicii’s collaborator, friend and filmmaker Levan Tsikurishvili is releasing a new powerful documentary AVICII: TRUE STORIES”, The Untold Story Behind The Artist.

The theatrical release will be December 14th in Los Angeles and December 21st in New York, with hopes for an Academy Awards nomination.

I sat with the Swedish director for an exclusive interview after a private screening in Los Angeles.

“We worked together for four years.  I think we were like longer than that, but he was just on and off, like one show here and there.  I remember the first tour I did with him was in Australia 2012, I believe.  We meet for the first time actually I was making music so the first time I saw him in person was at a festival that I was playing, and he was playing on as well.  And that was kind of like the first time I met him in person and then we met again at a dinner … I was a filmmaker at that time already.  In part, I was doing the music as well and I wanted to, you know can I get into this DJ world as well, but then I decided to quit with the music and only focus on filmmaking.  That was the year we started to work with each other,” Levan told me about his relationship with AVICII.

“I mean we were living together in the same house.  Very close,” He said.

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The film reveals the unvarnished truth behind the success of producer, songwriter and artist Avicii (A.K.A. Tim Bergling) winner of 2014 Billboard Award “Wake Me Up” in the Top Dance/Electronic Song category.

One of the world’s highest grossing live music artists getting paid $250,00 per show, whose seemingly sudden decision in 2016 to quit doing live shows came as a complete chock to his fans and the industry.

The film traces the artist/DJ’s life from his beginnings in Sweden, all the way to the joy of his success, from his chart-topping global radio hits and subsequent struggles with his physical and mental health. He was hospitalized for 11 days in 2012 with acute pancreatitis, a condition associated with excessive drinking. In 2014, he was hospitalized in Miami due to a blocked gall bladder which had to be removed along with his appendix.

Tsikurishvili followed Bergling for over four years, and captured fly-on-the-wall footage of his experiences and thinking.

Featuring appearances by Madonna, Chris Martin who said, “You are so talented man”, Nile RodgersDavid Guetta, Wyclef Jean who compared Avicii to Bach, Avicii’s former manager, Ash Pournouri and one of Avicii’s best friend’s Tiesto. 

The Film is a cautionary tale that explores the taxing nature and intensity of fame from the artist's point of view as much as it is a film for Avicii’s die-hard fans.

Levan said: “I mean as documentary film director you have the redline and you are trying to follow that redline in the editing process as much as possible, and it is always hard to “killing your dolly” as we call it in a documentary language which basically means that you have to sometimes cut out your like fabric pieces from the story because it does not fit.  You have to cut it out,” Levan told me about the story he wants to convey.

He continues: “The story I wanted to tell is in the doc I believe and the message that the documentary has is another side of the industry which maybe people doesn’t like to talk about and you know because you as a talent you are expected to be strong and a role model and you are expected to be the happy person for your fans and for the industry, and I think it is very important to at the same time keep yourself like in your mind to who you are and I think my documentary will show both sides of what it takes to be the talent.”

 “Yeah, we had been talking, you know, I used to talk with the characters rather than to ask them questions, because I believe that it is easier to get like the side of story that is really happening at the time,” He said about the footage in the film.

Avicii died on April 20, 2018 of an apparent suicide in Muscat, Oman, but Levan chose to not show his death in the film, he told: “We did the documentary before he passed away. There is a sign at the end of the documentary that says the year (2016).”

Levan’s last words and hope for this documentary are:

“What I want to say with the documentary is that hopefully, I want people to see the doc is that they can learn something. Especially young people that are very interested to get into the music industry or to become anything else when you are a talent it takes lots of energy to be the talent.  It could be very exciting but it could also be very difficult and I think that society today is telling you and me that to become somewhat successful it is very good which is the fact but at the same time it can also be very difficult.  Yeah, that’s hopefully where I want to understand and learn and feel that life can be difficult even though you are very successful as a professional.”

The documentary is now on Netflix.

Watch the trailer:

Selma Fonseca and Levan Tsikurishvili

Selma Fonseca and Levan Tsikurishvili

FABRIQ "SEROTONIN" VIDEO RELEASE - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DAVID DAVILA & COOPER BELL

With the success of Fabriq’s Band song “Get Behind the Felling” released in Billboard in May 2018, Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell released their second single “Serotonin” on November 7, 2018 and they will release an EP on February 2019.

I was invited to their Studio in Los Angeles for an exclusive interview:

“The song was inspired by a girl who had everything, but struggled with depression.  She felt reliant on anti-depressants to be emotionally stable, but always stopped taking them because they made her feel incapable of feeling emotion.  In other words, the meds kept her from feeling depressed, but she also couldn't be truly happy while she was taking them, I think the song is like stepping back and trying to find your true happiness,” said Daniel.

Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell at their studio

Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell at their studio

“I would probably say (the video) is like 60 percent pink, 40 percent blue, and that’s important.  This piece of the puzzle, but that also there’s entire scenes in the video that are completely blue, like when she’s walking down the hallway into the other room. It’s very blue and that, of course, like you said, the other parts of it are very bright pink, right?  And that distinction is important because basically the crux of the whole story we told visually was that things can be kind of scary in the pink world if you look closely, so in that first shot, you see her sitting in the living room with the dolls around her and it’s kind of creepy if you really look closely, right?  But it’s pink.  It’s supposed to be happiness, but it’s really not, right?  And then in the blue side sort of shows the undercurrent behind that, that in reality, pink is not really pink consistently.  Sometimes it’s blue right behind it, so I think that was a really important thing we wanted to tell visually in that story,” Cooper explained about the video.

Seating in their studio filled with guitars hanging on the walls they continued explaining the video to me:

“A lot of the lyrics in the song are specific to this story.  But we think this story applies to a lot of anxiety in our society right now.  So many people feel reliant on things like social media, unhealthy relationships, or even prescription drugs in order to feel emotionally stable. This is why we thought it was an important song to release as the single off our upcoming EP.” The eight-track EP will be released in February 2019 they are in between two titles “We tentatively want to call it Serotonin.  We think that’s a great word to encompass the feeling of the entire piece of work…” Cooper said.

“But we’re also really interested in potentially doing it as a self-titled debut EP so just an EP called “Fabriq” because it is our…it’s interesting because now that we’re on the next point of where we want to be stylistically, creatively, and what we’re working on to the point where that really…this album that we’re about to come out with is the inception of why.  You know, it’s the first songs we wrote together, some of the first things that we created together.  One of the first songs that we ever produced by ourselves without any co-production credits, so…” Daniel complemented.

Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell at their studio

Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell at their studio

And why did they choose the title Serotonin?

“Well, serotonin’s actually a chemical that gets released in your brain when you feel happiness or so say the scientists, right?  I didn’t discover that myself, but it’s associated with the idea of being chemically happy, so just the sense of like when you go to a therapist or something or they’ll prescribe you a drug to increase the serotonin in your brain, right?  And we thought that was such an interesting word because we actually not only feel like the idea of being happy can be synthesized right into a single chemical, we think it’s way more spiritual than that.  So, the song is sort of about that—that there really is a separation between feeling good and being happy.  Right?  And serotonin, the chemical, makes you feel really great, but that won’t necessarily mean that you’re happy.  So, I think that’s where sort of the driving force behind the song came from,” Said Cooper.

“When we were drafting ideas for the video, we wanted to have a universal prop to represent addiction of all sorts.  We chose pills because of the amount of addictions associated with them.  The pills act as a doorway between the two worlds in the video our main character in the video is caught between these two worlds.  

The first world is addictive because she feels emotionally safe and dull.  But she knows, somewhere deep down, that she’s missing her true emotions.  She feels stuck in a grey zone, and fights to break free from it… but fears the emotional extremes that come with leaving.

The second world is exciting but also overwhelming and hard for her to maintain.  When she's in this world, she feels like she’s lost control because she can suddenly feel these emotional extremes again.  This world requires her to take a real look at herself.  Sometimes she's in absolute bliss, and sometimes she's horrified with what she finds,” Cooper explained.

“This song is about finding a balance between those two worlds, something that we (and a lot of people) have a hard time negotiating.” Cooper added. 

Right now, Daniel and Cooper are busy preparing and practicing for their show at Peppermint Club in West Hollywood on November 14.

Daniel Davila, Selma Fonseca and Cooper Bell at their studio

Daniel Davila, Selma Fonseca and Cooper Bell at their studio

Daniel ended the interview with this quote: “I always think you hear this, where you hear that phrase it’s like “two halves equal a whole.”  You know, when it comes down to a relationship.  Relationships with anything, but specifically if you’re a person.  It’s like you are my other half, and how it should be working is like we are…you complete me…I’m not going to say that because that would just come off wrong, but we’re both whole in ourselves and happy with who we are and we just happen to go together very well.”

Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell at their studio

Daniel Davila and Cooper Bell at their studio

Jussie Smollett Interview and Concert for Espolon Tequila

On November 01, 2018 Espolòn Tequila kicked off Day of the Dead with a special celebration at Academy in Hollywood. In the spirit of remembering and honoring those we have lost, Empire’s (FOX) Jussie Smollett paid homage to musical legends who have inspired him throughout his career with an electrifying performance.

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To honor those that have left us, Jussie covered iconic hits from Michael Jackson, BB King, Prince, Whitney Houston (with the help of Ashly Williams and Shyann Roberts), and ended the set with Tupac’s ‘California Love,’ ripping off his jacket to rap the lyrics.  

In an interview backstage, right before the show, the very talented star - he sings, dance, and act - said: “I have celebrated Day of the Dead.  It’s interesting, because I definitely know about the Day of the Dead and I definitely have been celebrating it.  And it is always not every year, but I definitely acknowledge it every single year.  I think it is actually something really beautiful to acknowledge the people who have passed, the people who have come before us.  That’s why this when Espolon came and asked me to be a part of this to be able to honor.  Is this super cool?  Like to be able to honor the people that I loved growing up, the people that we may have lost way too soon.  It’s kind of dull so tonight should be a super chills.”

Always poignant, Jussie encouraged the crowd to exercise their vote during the Midterm Elections on November 6th and performed ‘Need Freedom’ from Season 3 of Empire, a tribute to those we have been lost due to police shootings and inspired the Black Lives Matter movement.

“You will see tonight like there’s a moment in the show where I was just.., we were trying so hard to come up with different things and we would have had like a five hour show because there were so many people.  I was like, WE GOTTA DO ELVIS, WE GOTTA DO JOHN LENNON, WE GOTTA DO THIS, WE GOTTA DO THAT, and it was just like bro, like it’s a 55-minute show, just chill on that.  So, it was really difficult, but you will see tonight, we do little bits of a lot of different songs, so that we could get a lot of different songs done.  We even do California Love by Tupak,” Jussie said about the set that he was about to perform.

During his rendition of Ray Charles’ ‘I Got a Woman,’ the DJ broke into Kanye West’s sample ‘Gold Digger’ to which Jussie exclaimed, “I’m still pissed off at Kanye so f*&k that. But shout out to Ray Charles for giving him the song cuz that sh*t was poppin!”

The crowd broke into the electric slide as Jussie performed Luther Vandross’ ‘Never Too Much.’

Jussie also performed a mixture of songs from his new Album Sum of My Music including ‘Hurt People,’ ‘Ha Ha (I Love You)’ which he wrote for his new beau, and ‘Freedom’.

He also told me about the tour he just wrapped up: “We went on tour, a 40-city tour and we went to four different continents, seven different countries and 40 different cities.  Every single city was sold out.  Every single city.  And I was able to donate every single cent from the proceeds of the tour to charity.  So, we were able to able to donate over $100,000 to eight different charities.  The Black Institute, ACLU, For Your Rights Care, Trayvon Martin Foundation, Flint Kids, the Anthony Burrell Dance Theater.”

Swae Lee explains SR3MM cover, Jxmmi tells me his son's name - Exclusive

Monday, May 7th, Spotify and Rae Sremmurd threw a post-apocalyptic party and invited 300 of the duo’s biggest streaming fans to Spotify party in Downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the release of the duo’s new album, SR3MM.

Rae     Sremmurd

Rae Sremmurd

Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmis had a vision and Spotify brought worlds to life with vintage video games, pinball machines, toxic waste barrels with pineapples, nuclear drinks, construction lighting, green popcorn and a custom poster wall to create the post-apocalyptic vibes.

Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi both performed tracks from their individual solo chapters featured on SR3MM, Swae's SwaeCation and Jxmmi's Jxmtroduction. Swae entered the industrial compound on a throne carried by tropically dressed dancers and performed a few of his tracks including “Guatemala” on top of a shipping container. Following Swae’s performance, Jxmmi made his entrance on the back of a truck documented by drones with a stack of dollar bills in his hand. Motorcyclists circled Jxmmi’s performance of “Chanel” as he “made it rain” in the crowd.

Swae Lee

Swae Lee

I sat down with both artists’ backstage for an exclusive interview, I asked Swae why decorated his side of the stage with pineapples:

Swae Lee said: “The pineapples are rich in Vitamin C and the pineapples grow in tropical places, so it’s like a vacation—you like get away somewhere you want to go, somewhere fun, somewhere where you can relax and just take in life, so pineapples grow in like tropical places with beautiful scenery that I really like, so I just decided to grab a pineapple.”

After their solo acts, Rae Sremmurd came together to perform on the main stage where they popped bottles of champagne and showered the crowd with Thousands of dollar bills to celebrate the launch of their new album.

Together, they performed their hit “Powerglide” and several new songs off of their album including “CLOSE,” “Touchscreen Navigation,” “42” and ended the night on “Bedtime Stories (feat. The Weeknd).”

SR  3  MM Cover

SR3MM Cover

Then I asked Swae what is the meaning behind the three teddy bears and a rose in his mount on the cover of their new Album SR3MM:

Swae said: “I had a teddy bear for each time my heart was broken in my life. Yeah, so I just started learning from it when I was younger.  The rose is to let y’all know I’m still out here.”

Swae explained to us how the song “Bedtime Stories” came about with The Weeknd:

“The Weekend is our brother, cool dude, like a rock star.  Easily one of the most talented artists in the game, period.  You understand?  So, we were on tour, and our tour was coming to an end, and we was like, “We don’t got no heat in here, know what I’m saying. It’s mandatory that we get some heat in.”  You got Slim Jimmy, Mike and the Weeknd, so we went to Atlanta and he had played a whole bunch of beats.  One of the drummers paid a hella beats and we cookin’ up organically. Actually, that beat was cooked up organically.  Mars cooked that up organically from scratch, know what I’m saying, and loaded it up.  We went in the booth and started singing, everything he was saying and like all the melodies were just hitting the ear in the best way possible.  Hitting the ear canal and rolling around in there, leaving money all on the ear canal.  I went in there and kicked it and we had Bedtime Stories.”

During the interview, Swae and Jxmmi were holding “Garfield dolls” cuddling like a baby, so I asked, about Jxmmi having a baby:

Swae said jokingly: “I got a couple of sons in the game. It’s my youngest son.”

Then Jxmmi told me: “Fatherhood is great. Especially when you’re like wild like me because then it makes you think about stuff, different dimensions like “Man, if I jump off this house, I might die.” But you know what I’m saying, I really like fatherhood because I can’t even really describe what it make me feel like. I can’t describe what it make me like, what it is, you know what I’m saying?  It just is what it is.”

Then he tells me the name of his son is: “Jedi. Like light saber.  May the Force be with you.”

Jxmmi also talked about the Album: “SremmLife 3, go get that man, SremmLife 3, do the album. Not one, not two, but three. The only rule is you got to smoke weed when you listen to it.  You got to take at least 3 shots. And you got to hit the Patron, I mean, like you got to hit some champagne too, because you got to be double faded.  You got to goddamn do that shit.  You going to need a group of friends because it’s long as fuck.  There’s 27 songs. 

He continues: “We made that for all the beautiful ladies in the world. You need somebody to come to your house and read you a bedtime story, a lullaby to help you sleep better, enter now for a chance to win 666-342-9021. We want to take a female who’s going to college, we want to take her to the Chanel store, we want to spend at least $20,000 in Chanel. Know what I’m saying?  We want her to have the bags and the shoes and whatever else, know what I’m saying, extra, because she going to college, we want to invest in her future.”

Rae Sremmurd

Rae Sremmurd

Mike Will Made ItYG and Gashi were in attendance to support the artists in honor of the new album celebrating summer and their tropical lifestyle.

Brent Bolthouse's Neon Carnival Party was the place to be during Coachella

Brent Bolthouse's Neon Carnival Party was the place to be on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at a new location HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, CA.  

LeonardoDiCaprioDiddyJhene AikoHailey BaldwinPost MaloneFrench MontanaChainsmokersChristina Milian arrived after midnight to the sounds of DJ Polik, after Beyonces electrifying performance at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

DJ Jesse Marco, DJ Ruckus

DJ Jesse Marco, DJ Ruckus

Paris Hilton danced on top of the sofa at her table with her fiancée Chris Zylka in front of the stage.

Paris Hilton  looked beautiful dancing with her fiancee  Chris Zylka  to  DJ Politik's  music behind her on stage.

Paris Hilton looked beautiful dancing with her fiancee Chris Zylka to DJ Politik's music behind her on stage.

Leonardo DiCaprio was backstage packing the PDA with rumored girlfriend Camila Morrone and later at his VIP table in front of the Ferris wheel.

Then DJ Ruckus took over the turn tables and had everyone dancing.

Amber Rose wore a brightly colored bodysuit and sneakers, large black sunglasses and a new gold grill while hanging at Diddy’s table.

Chance The Rapper was celebrating his 25th birthday the entire weekend, his actual birthday is April 16.

Dj Jesse Marco finished up the night playing till after 4 am.

Selma Fonseca

Selma Fonseca

Also there Kourtney Kardashian with boyfriend Younes Bendjima, Tyga, Alexander Wang, Taylor Hill, Candice Swanepoel, TeyanaTaylor, Martin Garrix, Kaluuya, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg, Nina Dobrev, Romee Strijd, Sasha Grey, ShayMitchell, Shanin Shaik, Christine Evangelista, Matt Pokoro, Nyjah Huston, Kellan Lutz, Jamie Foxx, Blake Griffin, Iggy Azalea, LoganPaul, Jasmine Tookes, Belly, Scott Eastwood, Dorothy Wang, Corrine Olympios, Brody Jenner, Sean Farris, Casper Beau Smart, CharlotteMcKinney, Caroline D’Amore, Chandler Parsons, Joakim Noah, Mario, EJ Johnson, Kris Humphries and Nicole Scherzinger.

Neon Carnival

Iconic denim inventor, the Levi’s® Brand, was back to headline the event. Tequila Don Julio returned for their fourth consecutive year, providing guests with specialty Palomas served from the Airstream Speakeasy and providing Don Julio 1942 bottle service for VIP tables. Batiste TM Dry Shampoo hosted hairstyling stations that offered attendees bold, festival-inspired styles and provided product samples for the ultimate hair refresh.  Los Angeles beer staple, Golden Road Brewery, provided a unique bar experience with their customized freight container serving up their most popular brands.  

Selma Fonseca, Casper Smart

Selma Fonseca, Casper Smart

Snoop, A$AP Rocky, Saweetie, Rich the Kid at #REVOLVEFestival

#REVOLVEfestival, a two-day daytime desert party on April 14 and 15, 2018 with multiple brand activations, introduced the PALMS Stage. Live performances by A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage, YG, Snoop and DJ sets by Taco and Siobhan Bell, while VIPs beat the dessert heat in the poolside cabanas. The Alice in Wonderland themed party boasted a carousel swing ride and a maze which led to a secret bar, pouring swilling white goblets, brimming with Moët Ice Imperial Rosé.

Rap legend Snoop, showed up for a special performance of his hits and old school songs including a set with long-time friend, and fellow rapper Warren G. Snoop also played Lauren Hills’s “Killing me softly with his songand the entire crowd was singing along.

Snoop 

Snoop 

Bringing some girl power to the party, Saweetie, sang new songs and hits High Maintenace”, “Good Good”, “B.A.N.”, “IcyandAnit Freestyle”. Later we sat down for an exclusive interview:

She told me: “I’m working on my album right now.  I’ve been working with Stargate, Beethoven, the Producers, and so the songs are like more mature and I’m just really excited to see how this project unfolds. I’m kicking off my So Icy tour today so there’s a lot of dates coming up.  So just seeing how I can extend my brand to something bigger and better.”

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And fans can get excited since she said she is releasing her album and a couple of songs soon:

“More towards the end of the year. I’m always recording.  So we have four songs so far, well six, but four complete songs. I have a song called “Day and Night”.  It’s fun.  It’s a really fun song.”

“We’re going to release a couple of songs before the album.  I definitely would want to give like a summer vibe.  I’m a summer baby, so you know, my birthday’s coming up on July 2, so I definitely want to release something around my birthday, so you might be partying to it, you know?”

And we can expect some collaborations:

“I definitely want to collaborate with some females.  I really…like I think an adult female rap record would be really cool. I love Kamiyah, Cardi B, you know. Dreezy’s really good.  I would like to do like a new record for women in hip hop.  I think we need that.  Something like woman-empowering.  I think that would be really cool.”

We also talked about her career journey:

“I became comfortable with my voice just last year, and I’ve been wanting to do this since I was 14.  So when I finally became comfortable with myself, it was a really big thing for me, and I was super excited, because then I could record just any time now.  I don’t have to worry about like how I want to approach a song—I just go and record it now.”

She also explained her inspiration for her songs:

“If it’s something I go through, I want to put it out in a song.  Like that’s how I like to vent.  I’m not the type of person that likes to call people about my problems.  I’m the type of person who will put it in a song.  You know—good, happy, sad, energetic—whatever emotion I’m feeling, that’s what I like to put in my music.”

She continued: “I drew a lot of inspiration while driving.  I used to drive a lot, so I feel like if I’m immediately inspired, I have to write it down like right away, but I am a nocturnal type artist, so like I’ll be in the studio until like 5:00, 6:00 a.m.”

She explained to us about her new song “Respect”:

“Respect” is about a guy that I adore, and one time I was in the club and he was getting a lot of respect, and by that I mean like a lot of people were saying “hi”, going out of their way to say “what’s up” to him, and I’m just like, “A lot of people respect you”, but like in that moment, I was like I want to write a song about this. So I actually wrote the chorus while I was in the club so I didn’t forget it, and sometimes I’ll even like, you know, your voice memo—I’ll say it really quick so I don’t forget the melody.”

Couple Ty Dolla $ign and Lauren Jauregui arrived together and snapped photos at their cabanas and talked to 21 Savage. 

Rich the Kid took the stage and rap Plug Walk”, then Rick Ross looking healthy after his helath scare also took the stage. 

Rich the Kid, Selma Fonseca

Rich the Kid, Selma Fonseca

Chance the Rapper closed out the show with a surprise performance, singing “No Problem”, and the crow sang him happy birthday as models Winnie Harlow and Jasmine Sanders were seen dancing and snapping selfies.

Even music mogul LA Reid stopped by with his lovely wife Erica, they were hanging with 21 Savage.

Snoop had his own after party at the PALMS Casino Resort gold VIP secret room inside the House where he listened to music on his phone.

Chance the Rapper

Newly married Emily Ratajkowski and husband Sebastian Bear lounged in cabana’s eating Skinny Bitch Pizza and Amaze Bowls while telling friends “I can’t believe I’m a wifey now”. Kendall Jenner joined her friend’s and sipped on a CÎROC coconut drinks poolside, before heading on stage to greet Taco for his DJ set.

Other celebrity VIPs included Nipsey Hussle, Nicole Richie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dj OHSODJ Mustard, Shay Mitchell, Chanel Iman, Jordyn Woods, Jasmine Sanders, Terrance Jenkins, Olivia Culpo, Jasmine Tookes, Ryan Destiny, Alisha Boe, Amelia Gray Hamlin, Lottie Moss, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Hart Denton, Camilla Mendes, Elsa Hosk, Shanina Shaik, Rocky BarnesNicole Scherzinger, Taylor Hill, Romee Strijd, Mike Will Made ItKitty Cash, Winnie Harlow, Joan Smalls, Luka Sabbat, Ryan Destiny, Keith Powers, Peyton List, Cameron Monaghan, Alisha BoeVictoria Justice, Amanda Steele, Jasmine Sanders, Terrence Jenkins, Shaun Ross, Nipsey Hussle, Gunna, Lauren Jauregui, Chase B, Brittany Sky and Jenn Im.

 

 

 

 

Arin Ray Exclusive Interview & Release debut Album "Platinum Fire"

On Thursday, March 8, 2018, Interscope Records’ R&B singer-songwriter and X Factor contestant Arin Ray hosted a Play Back for the release of his debut album Platinum Fire at Record Plant Studios in Hollywood. We talked about the Album title, his newborn son and how he is “trying” to be like Lionel Richie.

The 14-track project takes listeners on a winding journey as Ray reminisces over everything from love and temptation, old school memories and failed friendships.

Arin Ray, Selma Fonseca

With a dream team of producers in tow Nez & Rio, F Keys, Terrace Martin, and Childish Major, the album is as musical as it is personal. Ray showcases his powerful vocal range over a medley of hip-hop, jazz and neo-soul influenced instrumentals. The end result is a nuanced blend of new and old school sound which is sure to catch the ear of music lovers across the board. The album is now available on all digital retailers and features Childish Major, Terrace Martin, Ty Dolla $ign, DRAM, SiR, and YG.

I sat down with Arin for an exclusive interview: “Yeah, it’s called Platinum Fire and that’s what I was like smoking and I thought, man, that’s a dope ass name and I was like you should make that your album, and I was like, yeah. I really don’t tell the origin because it’s really not that interesting to me.  I just liked the name.  I just thought it was a cool name, and it gave me kind of a vibe to, you know, within all the songs that I made, like, I don’t know, I just kind of fed off of that title and tried to make songs that really, you know, incorporated that vibe, you know. I don’t know what Platinum Fire is.” He said.

Talking about the Album process and the producers, he said:

“It’s cool, man, and it didn’t take me too long to do it, either, man.  It was a really cool process making this album.  I kind of already had a foundation of who I was working with as far as the producers—shout out to Nez, shout out to F Keys, shout out to Terrence Martin, shout out to Childish Major, shout out to myself.  Man, it’s been a dope quest.  Yeah, Platinum Fire—I’ve been working on it for about like kind of two years now. That’s where I took the vibe from.”

Arin Ray

Arin Ray

And he told me about his inspiration for the Album’s songs:

“A lot of inspiration came from real life shit like real life events within my relationship, whether it was something I was going through within the industry of my business or my personal life, but a lot of it came from that.  But as far as musical inspiration, I like a lot of the old-school music.  A lot of Marvin Gaye, a lot of Michael Jackson, a lot of Lionel Richie.  A lot of jazz, you know what I mean?” since Lionel is a personal friend and I also love his music, I asked him: “You like Lionel Richie?  Oh, my God. He’s amazing.”

“Yeah, I’m trying to be like him.” He continues: “He’s still lit right now.  A lot of people at that age ain’t really lit.  He’s still lit.”

I wanted to know what he meant about his relationships: “With friends, family, my lady, my baby’s mother, you know what I mean? Myself, my son.  Everybody, you know.  All types of relationships.  I’m learning a lot right now.  Just have to talk to people, you know what I mean, and learn how to…I’m 22.  I’m just now kind of learning how to grow the fuck up, you know what I mean?  Like really learn how to handle my business, handle my shit, so you know, it’s just been that.  It’s really that.  And a lot of this shit came from my son.  My son was born on November 29, 2016.  But obviously, it was made before, so this whole time I’m making the album, he’s in my baby mother stomach, so a lot of the affirmation and the inspiration came from just knowing that he was coming, and then when he got here, knowing that he was there and I had to make sure everything was straight. Shout out to Pharo.”

Platinum Fire includes the 2017 single, “We Ain’t Homies (featuring YG),” which was written and co-produced by Ray. The single served as a strong addition to Ray’s long list of writing credits which includes songs for Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Rick Ross.

Selma Fonseca, Arin Ray

Selma Fonseca, Arin Ray

The Cincinnati native released his debut EP, Phases, in 2016; four years after first gaining popularity on the hit show X Factor. The album marks the beginning of a busy year for Ray as he is currently working on a jazz album with Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper, due late 2018.

“Turn it up, man.  Yeah, I just want to tell everybody I’m real for this shit. I’m not here for the looks. I’m not here for nothing else but the music and to win these Grammies, to show that there can be somebody who’s trying to really like do something different within the R & B gang, within the…you know what I’m saying?

And he is already working on his next album: “I don’t know, man. It’s just my personality, so if this one works out the way we want it to, hopefully, shit, that second album…I’m already working on it.”

Producer Nez, Selma Fonseca

Producer Nez, Selma Fonseca

And since March 8 was National Women’s Day he said: “Shout out to National Women’s Day.  That should be every day, you know what I mean?” he continues “We should celebrate women every day, you know what I mean?”

His last words: “Listen to the album, man.”

Faulkner band Album Release “Pariahs” - Exclusive Interview

Faulkner, an alternative band based in Venice, California released their new Album “Pariahs” on Friday, February 9, 2018. They celebrated by performing at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, CA on Thursday, February 8.

Before getting on stage and singing their hits “Molly”, "These Kids Nowadays”, "Black", "Revolutionary” and “Hot Streak”, I sat with the band for an exclusive fun interview. Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Lucas Asher explained the meaning of their debut album: “It’s called “Pariahs”. It means outsiders—all the rebels, all the misfits, all the unfits.  Everyone who’s searching for that meaning.  That’s who I identify with. We came from the streets, and so it’s largely inspired by our journey from the streets to where we are now. I came from the New York streets. I was homeless in Dumbo for months when we just started." Then joking a little he said: “Yeah, and now look at us. We’re wearing red jackets, pimping, and…”

Lucas Asher, Dimitri Farougias,   Eric Scullin,  and  Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Lucas Asher, Dimitri Farougias, Eric Scullin, and Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

He continued: “Well, I don’t have any parents, I’m an orphan, so I just ran away to New York like a lot of…I mean, Madonna did that when she was young.  There’s a lot of stories… And that was a little after the towers (Twin Towers) fell. I’ve always been playing music, ever since I was really young, so I was doing Singer/Songwriter stuff back then, and just making your way, you know, and that’s when you, I guess you find your voice.  I think artists need to go through that refining phase, and then I came out to L.A., met up with these guys.  These guys are all like my brothers, and…”

Lucas also told me how members of the band meet (Dimitri Farougias, Eric Scullin, and Christian Hogan): “We were all in line at the DMV trying to pay tickets—you know how it is.”

Lucas Asher
Faulkner

Talking about the album, Lucas said: "We collaborated with the Strokes producer, JP Bowersock, who did one of my favorite albums, “This is It". We brought in Mark Needham, whose mixed like half of the alternative radio right now.  He did “The Killers”, and then we’ve always been big fans of Witches Glen, partially of because of my New York upbringing, and so RZA got involved, and he brought us to Rick Ruben’s studio in Shangri-la where Bob Dylan’s tour bus is in the back and Eminem has a lemon tree and we could go on and on about that.  It took like two years to put it all together.  And it’s got urban influences, alternative influences.  We saw a lot of great legends pass away while we were making the album so that was inspiring because you have to carry the torch.  Like what are we all going to do? Just stop?"

And he said the legend that passed away that inspired them was: “Bowie, because sonically, in our sound, we were so inspired by him.  And this guy, too, Eric (Scullin) helped co-produce it, the album, too, so he’s like our Bryan Jones and the tannest person in the band.”

Lucas told me how he writes his songs: “That’s actually a good question, because I start on acoustic guitar and then I usually collaborate with this guy (Eric), and he’s just a great, great… I think he’s going to be a superstar producer someday. He’s just really gifted and he helps with the arrangement, and we really collaborate on it, and then we bring it to these guys, and by the time everyone gets involved, I don’t recognize my own song anymore, because it moves. It’s a real band, so everyone adds their piece to it, and it takes on a life of its own and starts to live and breathe, and a lot of the music is a little bit aggressive because I wrote some of it when I was living on the streets and when I was coming up.”

He continues: “Now I’m writing music that’s completely different because I’m in a different place. I’m drinking expensive wine and I always wear red, yeah.”

Lucas also told me what he likes to listen to: “For me, I listen to mostly hip hop which people find odd because I’m in an alternative band. We love Dr. Dre.  We love Kanye.  That’s kind of what we’re listening to, and the first two Fifty Cent albums, Nas. That’s kind of what I listen to mostly because it’s aspirational and they came from nothing, too, and we kind of came from nothing.  So, it’s aspirational; it’s inspiring.”
We talked about their future project: “In March, we’re shooting a music video. We shot in Italy, Morocco, and the Imperial Dunes, and that’s going to be dropping in late March for the “Hot Streak” song. After the music video drops, we’re going to be on the road.”

Resuming this is the plan for 2018: “We have a music video coming. The album is called “Pariahs”, it’s 10 songs.  Tour is going to be announced later in March.  It’s 2018, so you never stop recording. We’ll be putting out new music even after the album comes out.  We just worked on a song a couple of weeks ago with a choir who sang with Drake and we had a big gospel choir, so we’re always exploring new sonic territories.”

Their performance was energetic, fun, a must see.

Eric Scullin, Lucas Asher, Selma Fonseca, Dimitri Farougias,   Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Eric Scullin, Lucas Asher, Selma Fonseca, Dimitri Farougias, Christian Hogan. Photo by Selma Fonseca

Check out their latest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drFSi7S-Pqg

Cardi B, Post Malone, DJ Marshmello at MAXIM Super Bowl Party

The 2018 MAXIM Party produced by Karma International was once again the number one most-anticipated party, raising the bar during this milestone weekend of sports and over-the-top events in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 3rd.  Powered by E11EVEN MIAMI, the world-class ultra-club, art, fashion, music and sports collided for the ultimate party experience with multiple interactive areas, live artistic vignettes, celebrity music performances by American musician Post Malone, DJ Marshmello, female rapper Cardi B, and production elements that included theatrical lighting, concert level sound, and several unique activations.

Cardi B

Post Malone, an American musician, is best known for his US Billboard Hot 100 single “Rockstar” and chart-topper “White Iverson”. Additionally, we had world-renowned EDM producer and deejay, Marshmello, perform many of his collaboration hits by Jack Ü, Zedd, Selena Gomez and more. A special performance by Cardi B also took place. The Bronx native is the first solo female rapper to top the charts in 19 years, having released several medleys including the infamous single “Bodak Yellow”, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. 

Post Malone

Post Malone

DJ Marshmello

DJ Marshmello

Brand partners included Rockstar Energy Drink who provided energizing sips, keeping guests hyped throughout the course of the entertaining affair. Captain Morgan, America’s number one selling spiced rum, was the official spirits sponsor of the event and supplied delicious specialty cocktails that were available for guests 21 years or older at each bar. America’s favorite beer and the official beer of the NFL, Bud Light, also offered refreshing world-renowned beer brands for all guests to enjoy. Finally, iconic French wine brand Luc Belaire provided drinks and guests also sipped on Belaire Champagne.

Minneapolis-based Polaris Slingshot, a bold three-wheeled roadster that delivers a ride like nothing else you’ve ever experienced, showcased its latest model. Known for its premier styling and exotic design, Slingshot took over and showcased its latest model while also allowing guests to hop in a Slingshot for a cover-worthy photo in the event’s experiential lounge. 

Guests were also treated to a blu™ Tasting Room brought to you by blu, the pioneer in electronic cigarettes, showcasing an interactive blu-themed bar, where specialty cocktails inspired by the brand’s new ‘my blu™’ e-cig flavor lineup were offered. As a special bonus for all adult attendees (21+), the purchase of a ticket to The 2018 MAXIM Party included a 'my blu™ starter kit' and 5 packs of liquid pods. Adult attendees were encouraged to visit the blu™ Tasting Room in order to receive their starter kit and liquid pods.

Cardi B, Offset

Cardi B, Offset

Migos

Migos

First time participant, Altec Lansing was hosting a high fidelity deejay-driven VIP lounge featuring Altec Lansing’s latest headphones and portable speakers. The innovative audio brand demonstrated the Everything Proof line of speakers and waterproof headphones – perfect for unpredictable Super Bowl festivities and Gatorade showers alike.

And also, Phantom, the everything music entertainment company based out of Southern California was responsible for curating our amazing music line up.

BAFTA LA Tea Party with Nick Jonas, David Harbour, Joseph Fiennes & more..

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles celebrated the 2018 Awards Season and Golden Globes with their annual Tea Party on Saturday, January 6, 2018. The BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party is one of the most prestigious events in the annual awards calendar, celebrating excellence in the craft, and wishing the best of luck to all nominees for the awards season ahead.

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Armie Hammer very in great spirits with his wife Elizabeth Chambers. 

As soon as I walked into the room I ran into David Harbour, so I just had to say hello to him, not only because his incredible performance on Netflix's "Strangers Things" TV Show but also because my girlfriends and I are always talking about how handsome and charming he is, and he did not disappoint when we meet. If you haven't seeing the show, you are missing out, I don't like scary, sci-fi, alien movies, but this one is nothing like you have ever seeing - the writing, the storyline, the acting, it's all just perfect.

David Harbour, Selma Fonseca

David Harbour, Selma Fonseca

I also spoke to super talented, sweet, handsome and charming singer Nick Jonas he told me he was still in shock and very excited about his Golden Globe nomination for his song from the animated film "Ferdinand." We also talked about his performance on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, NYC and how challenging it was to sing outdoors with such cold temperatures. He said: “It was very, very cold.”

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I saw Joseph Fiennes standing next Dianne Kruger so I introduced myself and I told him how I have been in the Entertainment business for 20 years and I attend 300 parties a year but have never meet him before so I was super excited to be finally meeting one of my favorite actors, he was overjoyed and said "I am a family man", while hugging his lovely wife Maria Dolores Dieguez, explaining that's why he doesn't attend too many parties... Check out my big smile in the photo with Joseph, his wife was so happy to take the photo for us.

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Also it was lovely to meet Willem Dafoe, I introduced myself and I told him on his ear how I loved his work, he said he was overwhelmed by all the attention.

Film Composer Alexandre Desplat was very excited, and quite humble when we spoke about his Ninth Golden Globe Nomination, this year 2018 for “Shape of Water” movie. We have meet in numerous occasions and the BAFTA LA Tea Party has now been our Annual meeting.

He told me: "No one is making romantic movies any longer, but this one is not only about two people, but also about all the people in the movie" he continues "And when there is a good story it’s easy to make music." He ultimately won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score Motion Picture on Sunday, the next day at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Mary J. Blige reunited with good friend Naomi Campbell inside the party hugging each other and posing for photos.

Also there Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Diane Kruger, Sebastian Stan, Sam Rockwell, Ed Weeks, Greta GerwigJames FrancoJessica ChastainRachel BrosnahanGraham Broadbent and Carter Burwell.

My Interview with Kat Graham

Singer-songwriter and “Vampire Diaries” actress Kat Graham hosted a Holiday cocktail party at The Grove’s Swarovski store in West Hollywood, on December 07, 2017. We sat down for an interview inside the store, she told me:

“The photo that Swarovski used is actually a photo from the music video from “Magic” which is the newest single, and I wanted to do something that felt like Studio 54, disco, that kind of Giorgio Moroder, Donna Summer’s sound, which was a departure from my 90s R & B that I did, so that photo where I’m actually wearing a headpiece was made out of Swarovski crystal, pure coincidence.  You know, we brought in a lot of different elements of Studio 54, the 70s, the Bianca Jagger, and the different energies of different icons from the 70s.”

Selma Fonseca, Kat Graham

Selma Fonseca, Kat Graham

Talking about working with Mega Producer Babyface and future music projects she said:

“So, the next step I’m doing this coming week is focusing on records for his album, I’m working on producing some music and putting some records together and I think he’s just going to have an incredible next album, so getting ahead of it a bit.”

She continues: “Pretty soon I’ll be announcing in about February the music that I’m really thinking about.  It’s going to really surprise a lot of people, and it’s something that nobody will see coming. I will say that I’ve been doing a group. I’m doing a…it will be me and one other artist for this specific project, and he’s somebody that I’ve been a fan of for a really, really long time, and a total departure even stylistically down to fashion.  Anything that I’ve ever done, so it will be interesting.  Definitely much more honest.”

In an old interview with Fuse she said she listens to “Third Eye Blind”, “Marcy Playground” and “Eve 6” which are all rock bands so could she be going on that direction?

When talking About the news of Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein and others allegedly sexual misconduct, she said:

“You know, what’s interesting is that I felt that this was the year of the woman, and there was a lot of female empowerment, and a lot of voices that needed to be heard, and it was an incredibly empowering year, and while it was a hard and difficult year, and it was hard for me to personally process that these women were experiencing all these different…what’s the word…they were experiencing these…there’s a word for it—it’s atrocities, it’s almost a betrayal, you know.  This industry and a lot of these men have made, produced, and directed these films that were actually really empowering women, and it’s hard to process that these men had done so much to almost in a way sabotage these women.  So as hard as it is to hear that, and as heartbreaking as it is to process it, in a way, it almost had to happen for Hollywood to evolve to where it is now, for there to be a standard set that women will not be disrespected.  They will not be victims to these men anymore, and as hard as it is, in a way, this had to happen and it’s for the better because now Hollywood is different, and men have to have accountability for their behavior and how they treat women, and it’s also so incredibly inspiring to see all these women supporting other women.  Swarovski specifically why I like to be in line with companies like Swarovski is because they promote diversity, they promote female empowerment.  I mean, even in their ads, they have my friend Brian Boy, who’s like a really great influencer, they have Naomi Campbell, down to Ruby Rose who’s obviously in the LGBTQ community.  This is a very inclusive company, so there has to be, as a woman, an agenda to what you’re doing and what companies that you support and how you navigate through this industry, because there are a lot of companies that are still taking advantage of women and are still in a growing process, but it’s so nice to be here at a time like this and support such an inclusive company.  So just to bring it back to why I’m here and it’s important.”