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.”

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

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

Land Of Distraction Launch Party

Danita Short, founder of Fashion Brand Land of Distraction hosted an incredible launch party at the Iconic Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood on Thursday, November 30. Kate Bosworth, Tatiana Maslany, Connie Britton, Angela Bassett, Jaime King, Kristin Chenoweth, Zelda Williams, AnnaLynne McCord, Danielle Campbell, Carter Jenkins, Jonathan Sadowski, Ellen Von Unwerth, Blanda, Teala Dunn, Melissa Bolona, Azie Tesfai, and the brand’s design director Christian Juul Nielsen were sipping on drinks, celebrating and dancing to Country singer Nikki Lane who had everyone inside the lobby watching her performance and dancing to her hits "700 K", "Highway Queen", Jackpot", and "American Girl".

Selma Fonseca, Danita Short

Selma Fonseca, Danita Short

DJ Mia Moretti kept the crowd shaking, 

Outside on the patio, two motorcycles served as decoration and a reminder of the brand's inspiration rock n’ roll, motorcycle culture, and the raw energy of the 1970’s.

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Best photo booth I have ever seen at a party was set up inside a bedroom decorated with an antique bathtub filled with red rose petals with perfect lighting.  You lay down inside the tub the photographer takes photos while his assistant trows pedals on top of you, which made for perfect photos.

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Officially available in early February, the women’s wear label collection will feature forty items,  Kate Bosworth was wearing one of the items.

HSH Princess Charlene, Jessica Simpson at 2017 Princess Grace Awards Kick Off Event

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA and H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco celebrated the return of the annual Princess Grace Awards Gala to Los Angeles on October 24, 2017 with an exclusive kick-off event at Paramount Pictures - where Princess Grace (Kelly) made so many of her iconic films.

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It was a special girl’s night out for entertainment, music and style icon, Jessica Simpson, as she attended the event with her mom Tina Simpson and daughter Maxwell Johnson who presented flowers to H.S.H. Princess Charlene upon arrival. Jessica beamed with joy on the carpet watching her daughter fulfill her fairytale dream of meeting a real Princess.

In partnership with Nickelodeon Group and Paramount Pictures, the evening also featured a special tribute to Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePantsand introduced the Stephen Hillenburg Animation Scholarship, a gift awarded annually in support of emerging animators in the film category. Karen and Stephen Hillenburgwho were in attendance, endowed the Foundation with a gift that will encourage and assist future animators to develop and hone their crafts. Hillenburg received his Princess Grace Award in 1991 and a Statue Award in 2002.  He is the first Princess Grace Award winner to honor the Foundation with the gift of such a scholarship. 

Also there Billy Zane (Legends of Tomorrow), Sofia Milos (Sangre Negra), Hon. John F. Lehman (PGF-USA Chairman), Jon B. Turk, M.D. (PGF-USA Board of Trustees), Lynn Wyatt (PGF-USA Board of Trustees), and more. Plus, the cast of SpongeBob SquarePants including Tom Kenny (Voice of SpongeBob SquarePants), Bill Fagerbakke (Voice of Patrick Star), Rodger Bumpass (Voice of Squidward Tentacles), Dee Bradley Baker (Voice of Perch Perkins), Clancy Brown (Voice of Mr. Krabs), Sirena Irwin (Voice of Lady Fish), Carolyn Lawrence (Voice of Sandy Cheeks), and Jill Talley (Voice of Karen) were all in attendance to support Stephen Hillenburg.

DNCE performed at Westfield Century City Opening

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Westfield celebrated the renovation of its Century City location in Los Angeles with an evening of cocktails, dancing, and performances by Fitz and the Tantrums, who warmed up the party and had everyone dancing to "HandClap".

Joe Jonas' band DNCE played their hit "Cake by the Ocean", and iconic 70’s band Village People, was the last band to perform with their hit songs "Y.M.C.A." and "Macho Man" after distributing hats to the audience.

Westfield Century City Co-CEO’s Peter and Steven Lowy were celebrating the $1 billion modernization and beautification of the Mall that will create an open-air Southern California escape like no other. 

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They party with guests will.i.am, Debbie Allen, Metta World Peace, Carolyn Hennessy, Dolvett Quince, Wallis Annenberg, Gillian Wynn, Lawrence Zarian and J.R. Martinez.

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The day before I was given a tour of the property and I must tell you looks incredible. 

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Jhene Aiko "Trip" exhibition

Jhene Aiko hosted An interactive artistic exhibition unveiling Jhené’s M.A.P. at E.B. Gallery in West Hollywood, CA on Friday, September 22, 2017, in support of her new Album "Trip". Guests included Jermaine Dupri, Rae Sremmurd, Ugo Mozie and Adonis Bosso.

Selma Fonseca and Jhene Aiko

Selma Fonseca and Jhene Aiko

Beautiful photos of Jhene walking on the beach between colorful trees were displayed onto LED screens TV hanging on the walls and Samsung phones were displaying one of Jhene's poems "I took a trip to find you....I got lost and found myself..." Also on display were pages of her poetry notebook.

Jhene Aiko told me in an exclusive interview: "Yeah, the pictures I took on a tripod, on a timer, and I would just run and take a picture, and it was just during the process of trying to figure everything out that was going on in my head.  Then I edited them myself, as well, playing around with saturation really. They’re just supersaturated, and I wanted the colors to pop because I was experimenting with magic mushrooms, and that really like opened my mind to like the colors of nature, and when I got with Samsung, they really helped me bring this art gallery to life with the amazing LED screens and the frame screens. They look like they are pictures, but they’re actually TV screens, so they’re really good."

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She continues... " And the poetry is all from the little notebook clippings that are there, are all from my real notebook that I have been keeping for years that I turned into the movie, the album.  So this is just like…I always dreamed of having an art gallery of my own with my own work, so now it’s like we’re screening the short film which I wrote and directed and starred in, and my music is playing, and it’s a dream come true."

Atmosphere

Atmosphere

Selma Fonseca and Adonis Bosso

Selma Fonseca and Adonis Bosso

Ricky Martin, John Legend, Paris Hilton at MOCA Gala

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), hosted its annual gala on Saturday, April 29, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, in honor of Jeff Koons and I was there to catch all the action.

Selma Fonseca and Ricky Martin

Selma Fonseca and Ricky Martin

Co-chaired by MOCA Trustees Lilly Tartikoff Karatz and Maurice Marciano, the museum transformed The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA into an immersive setting inspired by Koons’s vibrant, highly polished, and meticulously crafted aesthetic.

The cocktails and champagne were served outdoors where a bar was set up in the middle of the room right after the red carpet entrance, while DJ M.O.S. played smooth songs, but at the after party, he heated up with some Hip-Hop and Pop music everyone was dancing till they closed the party at 1 a.m.

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Paris Hilton told me she is working on her second Album and she is booked the entire summer to DJ in Ibiza again. She had that "I am in love" glowing look on her face. She had her new perfume inside her bag and she sprayed all over me, and smelled delicious. 

I ran into Ricky Martin, I love Ricky, we meet years ago at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, was so nice to catch up with him, he told me how excited and happy he is about his residency show at the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas. He attended with his very handsome fiancee Jwan Yosef. He also told me how great his kids are.

Inside the fabulous huge tent, John Legend sang "All of Me", then brought Miguel as a surprise guest to sing together "Overload", while Ryan Seacrest with girlfriend Shayna Taylor, Sean Penn, Sharon Stone, Patricia Arquette, Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith, Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka, dance and sang along.

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