I really started making music as just an outlet or a hobby type of thing. I played sports 90% of my childhood so all I ever really knew was a football and cleats. When it came time to hang things up I didn’t really know which direction I wanted to go with life. My boy Seldom I’m really close with, like family to be honest, got me to take music serious when he helped me see the potential in the art I was creating. I’d carry a big ass desktop with FL Studio on it, monitor, mouse, and midi keyboard to his crib and cook up all day and all night just producing different vibes. He’s an artist also so it always worked out on us building songs together and keeping motion. Before I really got into production though, I engineered at Capstone studios in Atlanta where Lil Nas X recorded his “Old Town Road” hit. As I went through a roller coaster of emotions, growth, and development, I gained more and more ground on the understanding and the ins and outs of the industry. Once I caught a couple placements around the city, from Lil Keed to Ayzha Nyree and Pooh Shiesty, I came onto the Radar Live label and management team owned by Mel-man here in Atlanta. Currently we are putting the puzzle pieces together and pushing the button on the marketing plan for my debut project “Diamonds in the Rough” featuring Pooh Shiesty, Alley Boy, Lil Keed and more, being released on every platform July 16th. Continue Reading Meet Chef Leek
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I grew up in a small agricultural town and it had the highest unemployment rate in California. My hometown is exceptionally rural and this placed a limit on my exposure to the outside world. As luck and fate would have it, an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself and I had an opportunity to go away to a preparatory/boarding school for high school. At 13, I moved away to school and my entire perspective on the world dramatically shifted. My goals for my future took a big shift and I saw for the first time what others had which I really wanted to be a part of. The Webb Schools focused on instilling leadership and work ethic unmatched in any school. I embraced the opportunities and finally had a place to utilize them. I developed keen direction, polished by all these little intangibles the school instilled and was off to the races. My high school education has played a part in every success I’ve had since.
Upon graduating high school, I aspired to be in the Naval Academy and despite my best efforts, I did not get in. I didn’t necessarily have a plan B. But as life goes, the unplanned course landed me right where I needed to be. I ended up attending the University of Arizona for college. It also provided amazing opportunities and enabled me to grow in a way I did not see coming. I entered very prepared academically but I credit my college experience to developing my emotional awareness and communication capabilities. As a college graduate, I took a sales job at a financial company and became #1 in the company within two years. I worked there for four years polishing my sales and finance skills. With experience under my belt and a fueled desire to reach further, I intended to go to grad school for business.
While studying for the GMAT, I was approached by a young financial company who wanted me to come work for them in Los Angeles. I was hesitant to say the least, having just left my previous job two months prior so that I could put all my focus toward business school. I was not interested in joining another financial company at this time, especially one that was not near or on the same level of success as the one I had just chosen to leave. At the end, I was able to negotiate 50% equity in the company and I made the decision to join as a partner. The company took off like a rocket shortly after and we were flourishing. In retrospect, I didn’t exactly know how to run a company at the time. We went from booming to a near bust in a short number of years due to the financial crisis in 2008. I learned invaluable and hard lessons through this period and thankfully, I came out the other end of it wiser and really understanding what it takes to run a business well. With more experience, I started a few other companies that thrived. Through starting them from scratch and later selling them, and all the ups and downs that followed, I discovered how to build and run a company and the joy the process brought to me – and I have been doing it since.
Continue Reading Meet Blake Johnson of Byte
Growing up I always loved theatre, movies and TV shows, however, as I lived in Switzerland it never occurred to me that working in entertainment could be an actual job. Switzerland is a country that while valuing the arts, doesn’t necessarily encourage creativity or creative jobs and so becoming a professional actress never even crossed my mind.
After high school I moved to the UK to pursue a BSc degree in Management and Marketing in one of the country’s top schools. I loved my studies as marketing revolves around storytelling and analysing people (both psychologically and sociologically), which in many ways is exactly what I do now. It also made me realise that telling stories is what I want to do for a living.
In my third year of university I moved to London for twelve months where I worked as a product manager in a large, well-known beauty company. For the first time in my life I was living in a diverse, cosmopolitan city that had everything to offer and so I jumped at the opportunity to take acting classes. Within a couple of weeks I was hooked. I would commute every weekend and sometimes after work to take as many classes as possible as they gave me such creative fulfilment that I couldn’t get from other things in my life. During this year I also started doing lots of research and stumbled across New York Film Academy. I ended up attending their information session and decided to apply to one of their summer acting workshop programs. I figured it would be a great test to see if I liked the school and if I could see myself acting professionally.
The workshop ended up being one of the best experiences of my life and so I auditioned for NYFA’s One-Year Acting for Film program. I got in on a scholarship and in late 2019, after completing my BSc, I flew to L.A. to start my dream.
Since graduating NYFA I’ve been constantly auditioning, acting in numerous short films and web series, and building relationships. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some wonderful, incredibly talented people who have taught me so much. I also enjoy working behind the camera, especially writing and producing. I recently completed my first feature film script “Against The Current” that I hope to produce in the near future and also co-founded my own production company called “Spirited Lights Studios”. We are currently writing and producing several short films and also working on a music video for a well-known actor and musician.
It’s been an incredible journey and I feel like I learn something new every day. That’s probably what inspires me most: the constant movement forward, being proactive, creating your own opportunities and having the privilege to collaborate with such talented people. I cannot wait to see what the future holds!
Continue Reading Meet Chantal Casutt of Spirited Lights Studios
We come from families where both of our fathers were blind; we understand first-hand the frustration, lack of empowerment and the lack of acceptance from society due to a disability. Due to the blindness, both fathers were diligently trying to find the balance between the world of limitation and the world of once having the ability. This left them feeling isolated, frustrated and completely dependent on others after having been very independent people. Among the effects was weight gain from the lack of movement, socialization, and inclusion.
My husband and I have been fencers for many years. I managed a fencing club at one point, when several individuals with special needs come through the club. Our fathers and these students are the inspiration for the foundation. Once they were given a private lesson, they were hooked. It gave these students the empowerment to believe they could do anything. Since then we have been teaching at Mychal’s Learning Place, until the COVID shutdown, and want to bring this to the public for everyone with special need to have the opportunity to try something new and getting in shape in the process Continue Reading Meet Nylda of Gladius Athletic Foundation
We are international performers combining music and the feats, strength and mystery of magic, illusion and sword swallowing as seen on America’s Got Talent.
Cecile is the singer and who is also a Dentist by education. Mighty is a 3rd generation of magicians, acrobats and sword swallowers. We have performed in so many stages in and out of United States, South East Asia, some parts of the Middle East and Europe. We also have television shows filmed and produced in Las Vegas and here in Los Angeles.
At this time, we continue to do what we love best which is performing on live stage. We have a Magic and Variety show held at the Lomita Harbor City Kiwanis Hall every quarter. In collaboration with Executive Producer RAUL, we also started a beginners and intermediate magic class for ages 7 and up in the City of Lomita that is held every Wednesdays. This is a project of Demilo Foundation Inc, a non-profit organization of Entertainers for Entertainers in our effort to start teaching and scouting for the next generation of performers. On the other hand, Cecile opened up a wedding and event planning services division of the business to add to our list of services. Continue Reading Meet Cecile and Mighty of Cecile and Mighty International
I started as a very opinionated and vocal young lady. I was told that I had the gift of gab. I decided to use this thing that I saw as a gift to help someone. I have had the opportunity to teach thousands of students while instilling confidence simultaneously. I’ve used my voice to speak up for youth, wives, and preacher’s kids. I believe that there is still so much to be said and done. I am where I am today because of the special people in my life that push me to do something greater. My family means the world to me and I want them to look up to me and call me blessed. Experiencing my own transitions of life has brought me to a place of helping others. I want to continue to be the voice and GPS to help others navigate through life with confidence. I am now a Transitional Life and Confidence Coach and I am extremely passionate about what I do. Continue Reading Meet Stacie Young of To Be Continued Transitional Life Coaching, LLC
The Jokers are all about their past. Their classic rock skews toward oldies, all favorites from the late 1950s and ‘60s when band members were kids and teenagers growing up. We all loved music. We all wanted to be in a band. We just all wound up in different bands at the time.
Lifelong friends who all went to Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, The Jokers went their separate ways after high school, but were always tied together by their love of fun rock n roll. So after being in various different bands over the years, the time was right in 2019 to finally come together and form The Jokers.
The Jokers include founding member and drummer Joey Bensoua, who chose the name because he is also a stand-up comic. Lead guitarist Eddie Mariscal knows over 500 songs and is the heart and soul of the band. Guitarist Daniel Herrera is blessed with one of the best rock n roll voices in the South Bay and is a true showman.
The Jokers also utilize alternating bass players. Dave Hallgrimson and Phil Gilbreth are both remarkable bassists and well-known in local music circles. Phil was a member of The Twisters, arguably the best South Bay band of the 1970s and ‘80s.
A fun-loving, joke-telling band that can play killer classic rock is a party favorite. In fact, the band bills itself as “Playing the Party Hits You Grew Up With.”
The band leans toward pure fun dance songs, but also specializes in “theme nights.” For example, one of The Jokers’ most successful gigs in 2020 was “A Night of Motown with The Jokers” at the Hey 19 club in Torrance. Other theme nights include “One-Hit Wonders Night with The Jokers” and “British Invasion of the ‘60s with The Jokers.”
Being versatile is just one hallmark of the band’s success. The group prides itself on always performing a successful gig for the host, be it a company or individual. Leaving guests happy and wanting more is a good measure of success.
Continue Reading Meet Joey Bensoua of The Jokers Classic Rock Band
My name is Rina. I am a former Massage therapist and a reiki practitioner. After 18 years in business, over 20,000 massages and one too many injuries, it was time to retire. After having made the decision to retire my practice and start a new venture, Covid hit and my new plan no longer felt genuine to me. I found myself feeling lost, disempowered and uncertain about where I was heading. I decided to reach out to a coach friend of mine and share how I was feeling. I shared my desire to be of service and wanting to help others be their best selves and live their best lives. It was after that conversation and a lot of reflecting on my own personal journey of growth and self-discovery, I realized that I wanted to help others on their journey through coaching.
I had never given much thought about how much I was already “coaching” people until I really began to look at my life. Along with running my own business, I also have an extensive background in management. I have been a trainer, supervisor, leader, manager and mentor. Now I get to take all those past experiences and lots of my own training, work and skills and share my knowledge with others to help them grow personally and professionally.
I feel like my whole life’s journey has been a beautiful set up to live out my true passion of coaching others to a more fulfilling journey of their own. It feels pretty amazing!
Continue Reading Meet Rina Mora of Tiny But Mighty Coaching
This is a great question. There is so much to share, but I will keep it short. My journey began when I was left in Texas at 16 years old on my own to raise my daughter. I stayed in an empty apartment with no food, electricity, furniture, or anything. The only lights that I had were the lights that lit up my apartment complex hallway, and I would open up the blinds at night, so I wasn’t completely sleeping in the dark. I would get up and go to school because It was therapeutic. I was an honor student and a star athlete. I was recruited to play football by a D1 university, Texas Christian University. I had to turn it down because they told me that they could not take my girlfriend and daughter, but they could take me. I did not want to leave my family because they were all that I had. I was devastated because football was my ticket out. I felt suicidal because life was already hard, and this news pushed me to the ledge. I said to myself, “I feel like I’m in “hell,” so I might as well go there physically.” I felt that I didn’t have a purpose or a reason to live anymore, although I had my daughter. I felt as if I let them down and losing at all cost. However, tables begin to turn when I was asked to speak about being a teenage father in front of Greg Abbot, the Attorney General of Texas, at a huge conference in Austin, TX. After I spoke, I received a standing ovation and sat and had lunch with Greg Abbot. At that moment, I found my purpose, and my life changed forever. Years later, I’m now a Certified Motivational Speaker, 3x Author, and a Successful business owner. There was Purpose in my Pain. Continue Reading Meet Corey Jones
My daughter Akyra was scouted while attending a beauty pageant in Atlanta, GA. Next thing I knew, we were traveling to LA and she was signed with an agency. We were traveling back and forward to LA which was difficult, so I requested a transfer to a military base here in California. That is how actually my journey started… after hiring a manager and publicist, I realized that we were here to stay therefore, started to self teach myself on areas of Public Relations and Talent Management by reading several books, doing research and networking/collaborating with established personnel in the industry.
Current I have been blessed with some amazing mentors that have take me to a different level. From PR to Producing, Casting and Management of talent.
And that is how everything started. Continue Reading Meet Diana Carter of Arykas and Ybots PR