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Monday, January 31, 2011

WBM Features: William Bentley

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to
remain an artist once we grow up.
-Pablo Picasso

There's this saying. Definitely sure many of you may have heard and or seen it somewhere some place at some point in time. "Art imitates life." And as for many artists, they capture time in a moment or series of them for that matter in a number of different mediums that strike the senses as awe inspiring.

There's the dancer who responds to how music moves their spirits as is there the photographer who is able to manipulate time. And there's the painter, and the sculptor and writer, the musician-- the list goes on as there are those who perceive life through the scope of their particular area of interest and translate its intricacies as well simplicities in an re-creation/creationist fashion which is beyond amazing to say the least.

Our next WBM Feature is someone who is amazing in his own right. William Bentley, a phenomenal artist from New York continues his passion from youth, expressing himself through the works of the world he sees. So with some time to introduce us to his world, William Bentley shares his thoughts with us.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who is William Bentley?

WB: I am an artist....but a rare one. Not to sound like a dating ad post but I am loving, soulful, and sensitive. It is hard for me to identify myself completely because once I do, I end up contradicting myself. So I will say again that I am a rarity, and I would most compare myself to a Dragonfly which is always seen fluttering and flickering about in the sunlight. I am a bit Narcissistic and Obsessive, Contradicting, and I am a big Dreamer...I'm often misunderstood perhaps because I don't explain who I am in superficial details too well and I would if I could but then I would ramble all day. It is my goal that my Art will let everyone in on who I am. When it does then I don't have to talk in circles.

Where are you from?

WB: I was born and raised in the Bronx NY. I am American of a mixed heritage...particularly African American and Polish/Russian Jewish descent or something. Ultimately I am from God though. Thank God I am from God.


WB: I was always one of those kids who couldn't wait until the subway train left the tunnel so I could turn around in my seat and stare out of the window and search for beauty in the world around me. With that being said I am interested in Beauty which to me is anything or anyone that has an inspiring, attractive, and substantial purpose.

What does art mean to you?

WB: Art to me is Gods gift to people of the 6th sense or whatever number it is, but sense definitely doesn't stop at 5. Its an amazing sense to acquire and I am fortunate enough as an Artist to have the ability to achieve it and influence Art easier than most. I believe everyone is capable of finding their way to the 6th sense naturally, but it requires discipline and a constant joy from putting out the effort. I am constantly pursuing art, not only for my own enlightenment but to enlighten everyone else as well. It would be amazing if we all could just be sensual all the time...using all 6 senses.

How long have you been involved?

WB: Ever since I knew my hands could create images out of my mind, and I realized that early on as a toddler. I remember being 3 and watching Charlie Brown on TV with crayons and paper in my hand. I would draw..or scribble...Charlie Brown in different settings. For some reason rainbows and Smiling Suns always seemed to be in most of these settings! Then when I turned 5 years old I was obsessed with the number 5 and would constantly draw 5 as various characters....5's with hair and 5's...The number 5 was definitely my 1st date.

When did you know that art was something that you wanted to pursue?

WB: I knew Art was something I wanted to persue when I realized it was something I was good at creating more than anything, and that again was when I was just a kid. As you may have noticed already I refer back to childhood quite often as this was a crucially relevant period for me. I noticed also that Art was something that inspired people and gave them joy just as much as it did for me, like adding color to black and white.

What inspires and motivates you?

WB: Usually my inspiration comes from my, pain, wonder, confusion, and deepest desire. I love to be surrounded by beautiful things though, like certain scenery, or even just enough sunlight gets me going. Sometimes all it takes is a beautiful face...or a beautiful soul. We should all hope that a beautiful face has a beautiful mind and soul right? I love to read about culture and life as well as fantasy...mythology, poems, songs, journals, news articles, fashion, and other works of Art. I read the Bible to guide me and I talk to God all the time. He sends me dreams and realities and things. All these things give me the urge to illustrate them as I perceive them, with my artwork.

Who are some of your influences?

WB: I still look forward to the day where I can sit and have a drink and play cards with Mariah Carey and Dario Argento, and of course create some Art together. These two individuals have influenced me and inspired me tremendously. I Love them both and I appreciate them revealing who they are with their art. Also I wont fail to mention my other influences like Caravaggio, Francisco De Zurburan, Jisepe Ribera...all those European master painters. Also Japanese Manga artist and Character Designers like Tetsuya Nomura, Yoshitaka Amano; Bengus, Shoei, Akiman, and all the other CAPCOM artist. Jim Lee and Paul Smith, my favorite Illustrators of the X-Men back in the day. William Shakespeare..particularly his Sonnets. Joshua David Mckenney's work is really dope, And last but not least, DISNEY!!! I still have other influences but the list goes on and on...Hey you are one of my influences now too. Congratulations!

What goes into the creation of your works?

WB: Alot of smiling and confidence...Alot of frustration and insecurity....see the contradictions? contradiction..and illusion....skill, talent, chaos, pleasure, pain and magic-- I am no magician but magic does find its way in there and that's due to the supernatural presence of God and all of his forces which I think I mentioned but if I didn't then I really meant to.

Working on any new projects?

WB: I am always working on Art whether its personal or commissioned or just charity and I am open to new projects as well! I teach Art too so that definitely keeps my technical juices flowing. Currently I am working on a business involving fashion dolls. I am also doing a series of paintings based on the story of Narcissus from Greek mythology with some autobiographical details mixed in. The first in that series was a painting I did called Dusk. I acquired a muse in the form of a young man named Danilio Montague who is a singer with a beautiful face, perfect for this concept. Expect the completed works to be sublime and provocative.

Where do you see yourself a few years from now?

WB: I see myself living comfortable in NYC for once! I should have a few web based businesses developed from my artwork...I want to do some more portraits, and some more fashion design related work. I also see myself with some established Gallery exhibits under my belt.

Biggest Accomplishment?

WB: The biggest accomplishment for me so far was being given the opportunity to teach at The Boys and Girls Harbor in Harlem, teaching art classes to children. It is a tremendous joy that I receive to be a part of a young artists artistic development. They teach and inspire me too!

What type of impact would you like to make with your efforts?

WB: I hope to influence minds to the 6 sense. Everyone will know when they get there from seeing my artwork, and I will know when you tell me. And of course I want to put a positive impact in my pockets by making money from my artwork just like everyone else!

Anyone you like to work with in the future?

WB: Anyone who i previously mentioned in my artistic influences that is still alive...and anyone I have yet to know that can flow with my artistic visions.

What's next for William Bentley?

WB: We shall see! Good things. For now check out my current work at

Any advice for those looking to pursue their aspirations in the arts?

WB: Keep Faith. Believe in whats Good and hold on tight to what you are good at. Stay Confident, and Determined. Get rid of Fear and just do it. Dont worry too much and maintain joy and peace. Talk to God for comfort, and try to shutup and smile sometime. Oh yeah and support fellow artist!

Friday, January 28, 2011

WBM First Listen: C-No || Moment For Life (Remix)

I would strongly recommend keeping an eye on C-No. Barely a day and this joint is already over 3,000 listens. Let's keep the movement moving.

Why Blue Matters.

WBM Features: D-Bless

Hip hop has a new voice and its spoken by New York's own D-Bless. With some time to introduce himself to world, D-Bless is definitely someone whom you should keep an eye and ear out for as he's not only an exceptional songwriter but is working with some of the industry's best.

Get a chance to know D-Bless.

For More On D-Bless:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WBM Inspirational Organizations:Social Media for Kids

Social Media for kids was founded by Garnett Alcindor and targets middle school kids in schools across NYC ;essentially educating parents and students on social networking and it's benefits. Garnett and her team has since gained recognition from politicians,community leaders,and local newspapers. WBM had a chance to sit down with Garnett to learn more about the organization,future plans,and everything in between!

What exactly is Social Media for Kids?

GA: Social Media For Kids is a program designed to educate children on the use of the web. How to actually use the tools with etiquette! We have landed in a few NYC Department of Education schools and start a day curriculum program on Feb 3rd at P.S. 237's Dr. Rose B. English school. We also have a parents work shop which teaches the parents about the internet, the sites their children frequently "surf" and how to block them from going to certain sites, etc.

WBM:Who came up with the concept and why?

GA: I came up with the concept after meeting with Principal Nadia Lopez of Mott Hall Bridges Academy. She explained the incident she went through with a group of middle school girls. A fight started over an aim conversation and Principal Lopez was injured while attempting to break the girls up. Originally, Principal Lopez wanted me to help PR the school but after the incident she decided teaching the children about branding themselves properly on the web was more important. Social Media For Kids was born!

WBM: Who has given you guys recognition?

GA: All of the merchants on Franklin Avenue, The Daily News, CNN has reached out to us, Council Member Leticia James, CBS just finished filming a story, Assembly Man Karim Camara, NYC Department of Education, Senator Sandra Cunningham of NJ and many others.

WBM: What is it that you want the participants to gain out of the experience?

GA: The wide audience one is able to reach or be found, the importance of this amazing tool, the dangers one can bring to his/herself, safety measures one should take, predators that surf the web, the "stain" on can leave on their brand/self, the realness of cyber bullying and having etiquette on the web.

WBM: How do you get the kids excited to work with the program?

GA: Kids are always excited when they see gadgets, computers, iPads, etc.! They are very much engaged with gadgets so teaching them on these tools make's it fun.

WBM: What is it that enjoy most about working with the organization?
GA: The fact that we (Casey Miller and Michael Fink- co founders) can make a change and have been doing so thus far.

Check out the!

WBM First Look || C-No (Live Performance)

Shuttin' it down with live performance in Brampton, Ontario we have WBM First Look at C-NO doin his thang.

Here's another reason Why Blue Matters.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

WBM Features: Kane Mayfield

Follow your passion, and success will follow you.
-Terri Guillemets

Are you really happy with where are right now? How 'bout with the direction you're currently heading in? And if you're unsure with the answer to either of the two posited questions, I recommend really taking the time to get a grasp on what's taking place in and around your life.

Often time, we get caught up in what's seemingly right simply because in the rightness of what norms suggests therein lies comfort. However, over time, if not cognizant what may be too comfortable we get confined to such comforts and complacent, causes us to lead exceptionally normal lives.

On the other hand, to really go out and make moves toward true happiness we have to proactively pursue the things that we are most passionate about. In most cases, it's far from the normalcy of society, outside of conventional comfort and in the end very reward.

Take our next WBM Feature for example, Kane Mayfield, with whom you will soon get acquainted with travels to where his passions lead him. Interestingly enough, nothing but success has come his way. So with some time get up close and personal with the talent that is Kane Mayfield, here's a look at some of the passion that fuels his fire as we have a meeting of the minds.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who is Kane Mayfield?

KM: I'm a Rapper slash Poet, but really just an all around entertainer. Nothing makes me happier than keeping people singing along, or laughing, or just provoking some stimulating thought. The way I see it, there is enough going on in the world to where if your art can give folks an escape from theirs for 3 1/2 min, or just smile in a recession, then you’re doing your job.

Is this also your real name?

KM: Naaw lol. And that’s the one of the funnier things. My real name is Christopher Reid.... yeah I know... I heard every Superman and Kid N Play joke EVER. Kane was my nickname since I was a kid, and the Mayfield part came from when I had the only car so all my friends rode with me. This one summer in particular I played the Curtis Mayfield Superfly soundtrack EVERY day, so they would be in the car on the phone like "yeah I'm in the car with Kane effing Mayfield over here" and it just stuck. So when they said "what’s your rap name" my honest answer was "I don’t have one... but my friends call me Kane Mayfield". I just thought renaming myself Lil Young Murder Guap Piff was kind out of line lol.

Where are you from?

KM: Well I am about as Long Island as you can get. I was born in Elmont, raised in Amityville, and I grew up in Mastic (further and further east). My cousins all think I’m going to retire and move into the damn lighthouse. But I live in Baltimore and have for the last 5yrs. Have been coming here for summers since a kid so it’s like my second home. But I also lived just outside of DC and in Florida for a bit. Additionally where I grew up was ALL West Indian, and I am a first generation American, so if you pour a couple drinks in me a really authentic accent comes out.


KM: Really...... anything that is interesting. I know that’s kind of a 1+1=2 answer but yeah. I’m a weirdo so I love Sci-Fi, have seen every episode of Stargate, and am a strait up cartoon addict. But I worked for 10yrs as a financier so I still love economics, boring political CSPAN (can do that for hours) and just the stock market in general. But since I was selling it, if you get me talking about it I sound like a 52yr old white man.

What does music mean to you?

KM: Music is supposed to make you feel..... SOMETHING. Personally I think it is and always has been like the grease on the wheels of a well adjusted society. How some folks live without it are beyond me. When I am down, I run to Sade, and Gregory Isaacs. When I'm happy my old school Nice N Smooth, or Big Daddy Kane songs come out. When I'm angry, I have (well let’s face it) TONS of street niggery jingles to make myself mentally shoot my problems with a MAC-11 so I don’t do it in real life. With a girl getting intimate you got some romantic shit like some Ralph Tresvant or some Nate Dogg lol....... you get the picture. Hell the day I passed my Series 7 I was speeding down the Long Island Expressway blasting “Warm It Up Kane”. I just hope to be able to make something someone can run to, one of these days.

How long have you been involved?

KM: I have only really been a rapper for the last 3yrs. Before that I worked in Finance as a stockbroker, and was selling any financial instrument I could get my greedy lightskinnedid hands on. Yeah so like... I was a part of the problem lol. But I had been writing rhymes with my cousins since I was in High School. I thought they were way nicer than me, but their focus was... well just to be honest... crack. So my train of thought was "If those guys aint chasing it and they are that good, I had better get a job" so I did.

When did you know that music was something that you wanted to pursue?

KM: Well writing rhymes was my therapy. I had to watch pretty much all of my friends either die or go to jail. Meanwhile I'm living this whole other world of grown up stuff and business deals with expensive suits and good scotch. I felt like I betrayed my friends by not dying and going to jail with them, which when you think about it is kind of silly. But writing was like my last connection to that world, so it was really passionate. A producer (Dwayne "Headphones" Lawson got a hold of my music, and said we should do an EP and he would help me. I still did not think I was good enough, but with his help I started getting better...... FAST. At that point he and Brandon Lackey formed Mania Music Group and they signed me as a solo artist. As I began making noise and really pushing myself, I started to see my name in the paper and on different blogs. So I just said to myself "man... I can really do it", quit my job and been doing music full time for about a year.

Describe your style of music?

KM: Wow... that’s tough. I make a lot of everything. Running the risk of being a big geek schmoe, it’s the rap version of Quantum Leap. Either way you slice it, you’re going to get me Dr Sam Beckett (and my production Al lol). But nothing is more fun than giving people something they never saw, or expected. As a 90's kid the Wu-Tang, Boot Camp, big book bag, bubble coat, boxcutter music comes natural. But I can also make a song like Reganomics where I am telling stories and taking you through the lives of different people. So I would say my style is entertainment. I wasn't one of those kids (and frankly I used to envy them) that just KNEW they were going to be musicians since they were a fetus. So I don’t have a box or boundaries like "naaaw dog, Kane Mayfield don’t do that" musically I will try anything. And this approach has led to the creation of my better records.

Why should people listen to you?

KM: Because I'm nuts. Think about it, if you were on a bus with Barack Obama, and he's all "let me tell you about America" but there was a guy dressed like disco duck and he is just pumping it, like clack clack clack all in peoples face right? As much as you want to talk to the president you’re going to just HAVE to look at the crazy guy. That’s what we are here for. The world of urban entertainment is boring if you haven’t noticed. At this point it’s like "yeah I get it... your a rich cocaine lord who has many nice items that you bought retail due to massive wealth. Yes my girlfriend finds you attractive and would engage in lewd sex acts in a luxury sedan with you.... yeah yeah.. WHAT ELSE." How many ghetto stories are enough? We are 16yrs deep in crack music, so it’s probably time for something a bit less depressing.

What's your motivation?

KM: Well, I have been pretty much hiding my emotions in rhymes for so long that it’s really just life. My label helped me to channel a range of emotions through my pen (not just sadness and regret) so at this point whatever I am feeling can materialize into a song. Good relationship, bad relationship. Happy day, sad day. So my muse is life. But the burning torch in the back of my mind is that I can’t let the blood go thin on my watch. I am from the same place as De La Soul, EPMD, Rakim, Keith Murray, Chuck D, Prodigy, and a slew of others. Those are the jerseys on the wall in my gym. So every time I take a jumper, it has to be just as clean... if not cleaner than the guys that came before me.

What goes into the creation of your songs?

KM: Well my mom was a writer so landscape and image are really important to me. So the first thing I do is say “what is this record saying to me” or if there isn’t one "what is this song going to say" and then I build the skeleton. There is a constant need to not be on anyone else’s wave (word to Max B) so the key for me is to "put some stank where it aint" (word to Headphones). Oh and lyrics are pretty much my obsession. No matter how catchy the melody or the cadence, I will pour over the lyrics for as long as it takes for me to get comfortable with them. My biggest fear is the whole "yeah he aight but he don’t be saying shit".

Who are some of your influences?

KM: As far as rap goes, my wheelhouse is late 80's and early to mid 90's. You’re not going to see me yelling out Furious 5 and Bambata and them because that’s like stereotype rapper answer for 500 Alex lol. Much respect to those guys because they inspired the guys who inspired me, but that’s not the hip hop I fell in love with. My heroes start around Kane and G Rap. I rode my bike to summer school bumping Group Home in my oversized headphones so it’s like that’s rap to me. I grew up listening to Mighty Sparrow and Bob so there is a certain level of social commentary that I feel ALWAYS has to be maintained. Between that and the old school stuff like Blood Sweat & Tears, The Drifters, Patsy Kline, Marvin, Marty Robbins, and (what my gf calls my) barbeque reggae.

Working on any new projects?

KM: Well to date I have been involved in the release of a Sampler, an EP (Prelude to the Blade Runner, two mix tapes, a label EP (Welcome to the Soundcheck), and a full length label LP (Welcome to the Audience). So at this point I am almost finished with my first solo LP called "Follow My Flow" which should be available second quarter 2011. I have been doing a bi weekly breakdown called "Follow My Flow Fridays" since last summer. Where I take a verse from one of the songs I released and break down the lyrics. So between that, the occasional poetry slam, and my "in-and-abouts" around the area I am having fun spreading my message of "truth peace and everybody gets laid". Oh and I am recording an unplugged Live album in the next few weeks so that should be pretty damn interesting.

Tell the world a little about your upcoming reality show (mystery

KM: Well... I don’t have one, but now that you mention it I probably should. I am an endless cavalcade of fun and enjoyment for the whole family. Probably be better suited for FX or HBO though lol.

What are your thoughts on success?

KM: It’s all relative. I don’t have to be big huge baller shot caller with a McDuck like money bin. Honestly I am happy to just be making my music, and getting to be me for a living. All and all it is going to take a lot of work either way but with my support team, a lot of practice, some faith, and a little bit of luck I'm not too worried about it. As long as your doing what you love and you can take care of your family, your living the dream.

Biggest Accomplishment?

KM: Well the first time we won Best of Baltimore and my name and picture was in the newspaper I brought it to my mom. She is like my number one supporter and although at first when I quit my job she thought her "son gone mad" she has been really happy for me. So it’s kind of tied between that and the time I was pulled up on stage by my homeboys Flex Mathews and Kosha Dillz at the Duck Down Tour. My big brother and I were there and he had never seen me rock a crowd before. It was like every punch line had the crowd go "AAAH" and when I got down he told me he was proud of me. Those two things are still tied for the best, even though there has been a lot to smile about.

Any anyone you like to work with in the future?

KM: Well the rap jerseys that adorn the walls in my gym are like one of those bucket list type of deals. But I'm a big fan of a lot of people from like Homeboy Sandman, to groups like Tribe that I grew up listening to. I want to make the best music possible so there really isn't a long list of folks I don’t want to work with.

What's next for Kane Mayfield?

KM: Every day is an adventure so who knows. In a short 2 1/2 years we made a lot of progress. The biggest thing is keeping an open mind and being as flexible as possible as to not block my blessings. Like I said, I have an unshakable confidence in my team and our sound... long as we are making honest music the sky's the limit.

Any advice for those looking to pursue their aspirations in music?

KM: Don’t ever ever ever ever quit. There are a thousand reasons to stay in bed every morning but you got to drag your butt out of it. I have always been a "if I can make it to the shower person" so the first trick is to know your weakness'. If you procrastinate, be proactive. If you’re an introvert, try to be more open and forthcoming. And understand that you get out what you put in. Headphones has this saying that if you go to a soda machine and put a quarter in, you get your quarter back. If you put 75 cents in you get your money back. But you have to put that $1 in if you want to get a soda. Recently I have been putting my dollar in, and the feeling is great. But the most important lesson I have learned was spread love and positivity. Sounds kind of corny, but if you do anything with malicious intention it’s not going to work...... TRUST ME.

What are some of the ways people can keep up with what you're doing?

KM: The Mania Music Group Website as well as the Bandcamp has all of our projects on it. As far as my day to day the best way I can say is FB & Twitter. I use both of those things as tools to keep my friends, family, and fans entertained in between shows and releases. It’s also where I do the Follow My Flow series.

For More On Kane Mayfield:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Indigo Charlie Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

"Martin Luther King Jr. holds great weight in my heart even though I never met him. He represents class, courage, strength, and wisdom as a speaker along with being a great leader. I hold on tightly to his words “That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.” I celebrate his life everyday by standing tall as a strong human being. Also, treating people with the respect, decency, and kindness that we as human beings deserve. Equality; his dream, my dream, our dream." Singer/Songwriter: Indigo Charlie (@indigoc)

Photo Credit: Ashley Nguyen

WBM Features: Stephanie George

If eyes were made for seeing, then Beauty is it's own excuse for being.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

If it is in fact your passions that make you happy, by all means follow your passions to the point of happiness and beyond. Follow them until the depth of a new passion is reached and/or happiness requires a step in another direction. However, as for Stephanie George, where her steps lead her is toward what she is most passionate about-- art, fashion and the beautification of others as she progresses toward accomplishing what she sets her mind out to do.

One step closer to success, this recent graduate of AVEDA NYC plans to impact the world, with her every move toward her goals. So with some time to introduce herself, discuss a little about her interests, and what the future holds, Stephanie George is the next reason Why Blue Matters.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who is Stephanie George?

SG: Stephanie George is a Black and Salvadorian blossoming young woman who is in love with life, art and people.

Where are you from?

SG: I'm from Elizabeth, New Jersey! Born and raised! but my mother is from El Salvador and my father is African American.


SG: New York City, hot summer nights, dancing, going out to eat, traveling, going to special events, doing hair and make up, listening to music, catching up on sleep, meeting new people and going to museums.

What's your perspective on beauty?

SG: I think beauty is all in the mind, a positive attitude and confidence is all you need. Even though i'm in the beauty industry and looking like a barbie doll is what everyone likes, I think its all in the maturity and mindset of the person.

What do you like most about being involved in fashion and beauty?

SG: I like seeing everyone's interpretation of beauty. I also love helping people find there own unique style and polishing it up.

How long have you been involved?

SG: I used to be a child model and started doing make up in high school. So I would say I really got into it about 3 years ago.

When did you that this was something you wanted to pursue?

SG: When I started accepting myself for who I really was, I moved to Louisiana last year and just started discovering that this is what I seriously wanted so I moved back in March of 2010 and enrolled myself at the AVEDA institute NYC and started in May 2010.

How important are relationships and credibility in what you do?

SG: Relationships are VERY important. I feel that in this industry you build relationships with everyone you run into. Romantic relationships should be private and you should always find a way to balance family, romance and a career. And as for credibility, just always keep it 100% with everyone and always be honest. Don't be afraid to be honest and yourself!

What inspires and motivates you?

SG: Moving into my own apartment in a nice part of Manhattan, traveling the globe, having money to never really worry about anything and meeting amazing people.

Biggest accomplishment?

SG: My biggest accomplishment was enrolling myself in school and paying for it myself.

What would you do if you weren't involved with what you're doing currently?

SG: I would probably still be very dependent on others. And wishing and hoping I had a clue on how I would start my career.

Where do you see yourself 5 yrs from now?

SG: I see myself living in Manhattan working on photoshoots, fashion shows and movie sets. I wants to find a top end salon that lets me express myself, and seeing things I always dreamed of. Also taking month long vacations to Greece and Italy.

Any future projects?

SG: I have a couple of things headed my way but nothing to confirm on. until then I will stay focused and keep doing what I need to do in order to get to the top!

What type of impact would you like to leave with your efforts?

SG: I would love to help women feel beautiful in their own natural skin and hair. i want people to feel confident about being them. i also want to help people to try things out of their element and experience more.

Any advice for those looking to pursue their business and styling endeavors?

SG: Take chances that will help you achieve your goals, be honest, and always go with your gut feeling.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

WBM Features: H.Wood City

The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.
-Author Unknown

What does the effort put into a particular area of interest? Truthfully speaking a lot. In fact, the energies put forth into anything correlate significantly to the outcome of what one sets to accomplish. Want little results? Put forth little to no effort into it. However, should one wish to attain major results, more focus and energy is required of that individual to succeed in whatever it is he or she wishes to make a reality. By doing such, or at least taking strides to move in that direction the perspective of what we expect verses what actually can take place changes as we maximizing the potential of our efforts.

On the other hand, very much aware of what it will take to make impact in the world of arts and entertainment, work isn't something that our next WBM Feature plans to take a lax approach to. Interestingly enough, it is the efforts of H.Wood City that have enabled him to work with some of the more successful artists in music, establish a place for himself and also land him a leading role in an upcoming reality television show.

So here to present to you another outstanding reason Why Blue Matters while get up close and personal with a fresh talent who every day works toward his personal goal of success here is H.Wood City.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who Is H. Wood City?

HWC: The New Guy. Aside from being completely awesome (sarcasm), I’m a recording artist. Although I’ve been actively paying my dues for the last 5 years, generally speaking I’m a newcomer on the scene. What separates me from a lot of artist is that 1. I’m not afraid to take risks, whether it be in music, fashion or business ventures and 2. I’m blue collar. What does blue collar mean? It means I have realistic expectations and understand that it’s going to take a lot of work to be where I want to be and I don’t mind putting that work in. I’ll stand outside the gas station and pass out Cds, I’ll invest my money to print up business cards and promo material, etc. I’m not waiting for the light bulb in anyone’s head to go off and say “Wow! We may have something here!”, I’ll invest in myself, work on my own behalf and do it with or without the support of others.

What does music mean to you?

HWC: Freedom. Freedom to be who you are and a tool to unify people instead of dividing them. Creative expression.

Describe your style of music?

HWC: My music is a colorful blend of Hip Hop & Pop fused together. Tastemakers have described my sound as “Chris Brown meets Lil Wayne” and although I wouldn’t argue those comparisons, eventually I want people to hear one of my songs and say “that’s H. Wood City!”.

What goes into the creation of your songs?

HWC: At this point in my career, every song I’ve done has been written 100% by me and come from real life experiences and thoughts. Whether I’m being silly or I’m sad or upset, each song is a piece of me.

Who are some of your influences?

HWC: My musical influences are wide and eclectic. Everybody from Lauryn Hill, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Tupac and Prince have influenced me in one way or another. However, when it comes to a direct influence I would have to say Lil Wayne & Kanye West. I’m influenced by Wayne’s work ethic and Kanye’s courage, he’s never asked permission and never needed acceptance and that’s how I live my life.

Working on any new projects?

HWC: Right now I’m finishing up my debut mixtape titled “The New Guy”. I was very apprehensive about releasing a mixtape because everyone has a mixtape out. I went back and forth debating on making the project an EP or an album, but ultimately decided that I had too much material to qualify as an EP and I've always wanted my debut album to be released through a major label so I could share that feeling and triumph one a larger scale.

Tell the world a little about your upcoming reality show

HWC: I star as apart of an ensemble cast on the new reality show “The Real Teens of Hollywood”. The show consists of me and 5 other upcoming teenagers who all are on different roads to success ranging from modeling, music, acting, etc. It’s a real depiction of what it takes to make it in the entertainment industry and the pressures and prejudices we all face. Many people are quick to call me a “socialite” and are unaware of any of the work I’ve put in. Yes, I know celebrities. Yes, I’m known in various circles, but none of that defines me and with this season of “The Real Teens of Hollywood” people will be introduced to me as an artist and really get to see what I‘m about. The show is produced by Dick Clark Productions (So You Think You Can Dance / Shaq Vs.) and will be coming soon to a television near you!

What are your thoughts on success?

HWC: Having no regrets.

Who have you worked with so far?

HWC: A Tribe Called Quest, Special Ed, Lil Mama, The New Boyz, Master P, Romeo, Lil Kim, Charlie Wilson, Tila Tequila, Ghostface, Rah Digga, Slum Village, Too Short and more.

Any anyone you like to work with in the future?

HWC: I’d love to work with tons of people ranging from Gwen Stefani to Simple Plan, but my top three collaborations on my bucket list are; Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z & Drake.

Any advice for those looking to pursue their aspirations in music?

HWC: Be yourself. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. What’s the point of being able to sound like Chris Brown or Drake if both of those artist are clearly still around and dominating their markets? Bring something new to the table, create your own niche and dominate it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WBM Inspiration: How To Learn? From Mistakes.

WBM First Listen: H.Wood City || Like An 808

Check out the latest from upcoming reality tv star of "The Real Teens of Hollywood" and soon to be WBM Feature, H.Wood City, Like An 808. Definitely a real catchy tune right here that will immediately get your attention. Definitely stay tuned.

WBM Certified.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WBM First Look: Signif || Lovely Imperfection

Complements of great folks over at Dunndeal PR, WBM is proud to present to you a First Look at the music video of Milwaukee-bred, NYC-based rapper Signif. A wordsmith to say the least, Signif paints an incredible picture while exhibiting some skillful storytelling in this joint. Well worth a look and listen.

WBM Certified.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WBM Features: Jesus Juice Coature

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot.
The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius.
-Sid Caesar

Something of the likes can be said about those have come across opportunity versus those who have/had opportunity and proactively pursue it to the point of attainment. Take Shawn White, for example. He's the founder and designer of one the hottest menswear companies to date, JJC.

When cognizant of his desire to start his own business, Shawn took those ideas which inspired him and literally ran with it, making immediate impact and carving out a niche for himself in the fashion world. So with some time to introduce himself to WBM, here's a closer look at the visionary behind the vision that is JJC.

Here's your chance to get to know a little more about the brand and what to expect in the future.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who is the designer behind Jesus Juice Coature?

I am the main visionary with regards to the designs but I do get invaluable ideas and input from design students and interns.

Now you may get this all time, but is your brand, Jesus as in the foundation of the belief system or Jesus as in Hay-Soos?

JJC: When I named my company Jesus Juice Coature it was definitely to acknowledge the "King of Kings" Jesus. We will simply be known as JJC moving forward.

Where are you from?

JJC: Uptown Manhattan. I live in New Jersey.

What can you most attribute your sense of fashion to?

JJC: I was just born with an interest in it. I love putting outfits and articles of clothing together.

What does fashion mean to you?

JJC: Interpreting your vision with regards to clothing. I think someone with a sharp sense of style can walk into any store and put an outfit together and have others wanting to look like that.

How long have you been involved?

JJC: My company JJC was established in 2009.

When did you know you wanted to pursue your own business?

JJC: As far as I can remember, I have always envisioned being an entrepreneur and CEO. Recently, my mother told me when I was seven I said I was going to have my own business and buy her a house.

Explain the significance behind Jesus Juice Coature?

JJC: The name simply means the "King of Kings", Respect, and premium, custom outerwear. We design from the perspective of consumers for consumers. Initially, I wanted to create a perfect outerwear collection. I think we are getting close to that with every single piece.

What inspires and motivates you?

JJC: GOD inspires and motivates me first and foremost. Business wise- Tyler Perry and Oprah inspires and motivates me. Not to sound corny but life inspires me. I can be walking down the street and see a fly new building and have an ephiphany for a design.

What goes into the design of one of your pieces?

JJC: I start with the color choice, then I stare at the leather, suede or fabric, totally zone out and create a vision. I will have a sketcher draw what I describe. It starts simply from there.

Biggest Accomplishment?

JJC: Probably creating opportunities for other dreamers that want to work in fashion. As we continue to grow and move forward, I want to be a big avenue for talented, young designers and dreamers.

Do you feel you are successful?

JJC: Yes and no. I see my dreams manifesting daily and I have tangible things like an office and merchandise that's selling internationally. No, because we haven't hit that $100M in sales YET.

What type of impact would you like to make with your works?

JJC: I want to represent the light from a fly, unique, street perspective. Again, I look forward to creating opportunities for young, talented dreamers and businesspeople.

Who have you worked with thus far?

JJC: Recently, Khaliah Clark placed one of my pieces on the male model in Jazmine Sullivan's "Ten Seconds" video.

With fashion week approaching, what are you doing to prepare?

JJC: We're having an intimate showing during fashion week in New York City. We will also have a web commercial to lead up to the events.

What do you do outside of fashion design?

JJC: This is what I do. I own and run JJC. If you mean for leisure- I spend time with GOD, travel, shop, enjoy life.

What's next for Jesus Juice Coature?

JJC: JJC will continue to grow exponentially via "store in stores", free standing boutiques and eCommerce. We have new accessories that we will be introducing very soon.

Any advice for those looking to pursue their fashion and business aspirations?

JJC: Follow your heart! Hold your cards close to your chest, have smart people around you who aren't afraid of failure but see the potential. Pray a lot and lean not on your own understanding.

Monday, January 10, 2011

WBM First Listen - C-No || Throw It In The Bag (Freestyle)

C-no Throw It In the Bag

Producer/Emcee from Canada is at it again!!! And with this WBM First Listen, we're proud to present to you C-No's Throw It In The Bag '11 (Freestyle). Definitely check this out.

WBM Certified.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

WBM Features: RayDawn The 86th

Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into
physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.
-Napoleon Hill

When many of us were younger, we had the opportunity to use our imaginations and to no end. Much of time wherever our imaginations went there we would follow, inspired by the places our mind would take us. And I'm sure there were aspirations somewhere along the way of being this and doing that because at the time that's what moved us. However, as we get older and responsibilities quickly amass, we kind of get away from that. Life changes as well as our thoughts do about many things. Priorities become different just as expectations of who we are and what we should be doing often get determined by those around us (ie; parents, friends, up to and including ourselves).

But aside from all of that, what moves you? What are you most passionate about? And most importantly are you still moved as inspired by your dreams?

For our next WBM Feature, RayDawn The 86th, true movement as inspired by what he is passionate about comes from his ability to follow his dreams of music. And in doing such, success as he see fit is obtained. Most times, success requires a clear vision of what one wants to do.

RayDawn shows the world and shares with us how clear his vision is. The passion is all there as well as the inspiration to get where his journey takes him.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who is RayDawn?

RD86: I’m a college graduate who dropped out law school to peruse my passion, music. Life is too short to be locked up in an office performing duties you hate just so you can afford high priced material possessions. Simply put, music is my gift and it’d be a crime for me to waste it!

How you come up with the stage name?

RD86: ‘RayDawn’ came to be when I was back in college. I was in my dorm room brainstorming ideas – I wanted something original that also had my name in it. I stumbled upon the 86th element on the periodic table, radon. It just sounded like a dope concept to me! Only a handful of people throughout my career have been able to pinpoint the name’s origin – one being a young lady who worked this year’s artist registration table at A3C!

Where are you from?

RD86: Pittsburgh, PA


RD86: Anything and everything that can make me a better artist, person, and help to further my career. When I’m not working on music, I’m usually listening to artists that inspire me, reading, chillin’ watching Columbo, texting my first string girl haha.

What does music mean to you?

RD86: I cannot imagine life without music. Music is the crutch of my freedom. I grew up in a college educated family where traditional white-collar professions were heavily stressed. Never in a million years did I entertain the idea of perusing music professionally until I got to college myself and realized that I could do what I wanted. The freedom to chase my dreams, I wouldn’t trade that for anything!

How long have you been involved?

RD86: Writing music has always been a hobby of mine, but I’ve only been involved with it professionally for three years.

When did you know that music was something that you wanted to pursue?

RD86: It was the second semester of law school…I was in my Contracts class. My professor decided to start her lecture with an inspirational message. To put it simply, she convinced me to peruse what I really love to do rather than just a high paying job with a braggadocios title.

Describe your style of hip hop?

RD86: In my opinion, Hip-Hop tends to stress lyrics over hooks and Rap tends to stress hooks and bridges over lyrics. I’m a hybrid of the two schools, Hip-Rap if you will. To be commercially successful AND sustain longevity, an artist needs to have powerful lyrics as well as catchy hooks, i.e Kanye West. I’m Hip-Rap.

Why should people listen to you?

RD86: A lot of work goes into every bar I write. In my rhymes, I never speak on anything that I haven’t personally researched. Most importantly, I’m honest. I also understand the power that I have as an artist, and I harness that power to convey positive messages.

What's your motivation?

RD86: To make timeless music, afford opportunities for my future family that weren’t available for me, and finally prove to my parents that leaving law school for a career in music was not a gamble!

What goes into the creation of your songs?

RD86: A piece of my soul is attached to every song I write. I take pride in the fact that I’m honest in my bars, and it shows…a lot of people find themselves able to connect to what I have to say. And in all honesty, getting the chance to express myself freely is an addictive ass feeling!

Who are some of your influences?

RD86: To name a few…Russel Simmons, Pharrell Williams, Sean Carter, Kanye West – all of whom currently reside where I’m trying to go. God willing, one day I’ll be their neighbor!

Working on any new projects?

RD86: As a matter of fact, yes! In the spirit of anticipation, I’ve been keeping its details under lock-and-key. All that I can say is that it will be released in the spring of 2011 with the help of DJ Ill Will et al.

What are your thoughts on success?

RD86: Having the courage to chase one’s dream is my idea of success. So many people are afraid to fail and end up settling for occupations they hate, which seems so much harder to me than going out on a limb, trying and failing…at least you’ll you gave it your all!

Biggest Accomplishment?

RD86: To date, my biggest accomplishment was getting booked for this year’s A3C Hip-Hop Festival in Atlanta, GA (arguably the country’s most important Hip-Hop festival). As an unsigned artist, being selected really helped to substantiate all the hours of work I’ve put in thus far – no longer am I looking in as an outsider, I now feel like a peer among those that I admire.

What type of impact would you like to make with your music?

RD86: The one message that I echo the most in my music is that life is too short for you to not chase your dreams. I want the people to know that leaving law school was the best decision of my life and that they should not be afraid to do what their heart says they should do.

Who have you worked with so far?

RD86: Except for DJ MoonDawg’s assistance on Controlled Chaos, all of my work has been on the solo tip. In grade school, I was always the kid who’d rather work alone than in a group. It’s not that I don’t like working with others…I just like having complete creative control and the ability to show and prove on my own two feet…as an unsigned artist, I feel that autonomy is very important.

Anyone you like to work with in the future?

RD86: GOOD Music, Lupe, Pharrell…it’d be a dream come true to rock a Neptunes production. Thievery Corporation…Benny Benassi even.

What's next for RayDawn?

RD86: Musically, I feel like I’m where I need to be in order to run with the big dogs commercially. Now with the help of a publicist, a videographer, and an assistant, I truly believe that 2011 will be breakout year. Though the future is uncertain, there is one thing that I know for sure – there will be a lot of continued hard work in order to bring my dreams to fruition!

Any advice for those looking to pursue their aspirations in music?

RD86: 1. Make sure that you’re pursuing a career in music because it is what you love to do! There are many pitfalls and obstacles that you will encounter and have to endure and overcome in this industry in order to succeed. Without a genuine love for making music, it will be a lot easier for you to give up.

2. Always ALWAYS get agreements in writing. When money is involved, people’s memories tend to get real foggy on which specifics were agreed upon mutually - contracts hold people accountable for their promises.

3. Never sacrifice quality. How you package your product determines how you’re perceived. You could have the greatest mixtape in the world, but if it’s labeled with a Sharpie coated in grammatical errors, no one is going to take your craft seriously.

4. Invest in yourself. In order to gain the serious attention of people who work in the industry, you have to have that industry sound. As obvious as it sounds, you have to record in professional studios with beats made by professional producers. Shitty beats and shitty engineers equal shitty songs, no matter how many times you label them “smash hit singles”.

5. Try to keep your emotions even – don’t get to high and don’t get to low. People make promises that they don’t intend to keep. Keep your head down and focused on your work. The rest will take care of itself!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

WBM Inspiration: Sounding Off With Ted Williams

Even when the frequency of disappointment and adversity seem to overpower his life, Ted Williams still managed to resound much greater and triumph. Check out this CBS feature that covered, Ted Williams. It will definitely move you.

Providing the inspiration that fuels your imagination.

Why Blue Matters.

WBM Features: Anna Governali

The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.
-Thomas Mann

For the individual that is able to express him or herself through their efforts, much of them is given. And as for our next WBM Feature, gives she does-- and give her all as Anna Governali does best, putting energy and breathing life into every word that she writes.

So with some time to discuss her interest with words and how she's making significant impact with her theatrical works, Anna allows us to get up close and personal. Take a moment to get to know her a little better.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

Who is Anna G.?

AG: I hate to start with a quote. However, Charles Bukowski once said, “These words I write keep me from total madness.” G*d, it’s so true! I struggle with that every day… I write every day! Writing is a very large part of who I am… So, it’s safe to say, I’m a crazy compulsive writer with a secret obsession for shoes!!

Where are you from?

AG: I went to public schools and ate lunch out of brown paper bags… I grew up in Queens, NY.


AG: I love to write when I'm in another country, that is when I feel I produce my best work. When I'm removed from my environment, is when I can truly embrace it… I’m not afraid to step out of my element.

What does performing arts mean to you?

AG: It’s watching the transition of the written word to real life.

How long have you been involved?

AG: I’ve been writing plays for a few years now. But, I’m relatively new to the theater scene.

When did you know that this was something that you wanted to pursue?

AG: I use to watch the Wonder Years growing up. There was an episode when Winnie got the lead role as Emily in the school play, “Our Town” and Kevin was stuck doing the stage lighting. I just remember Winnie being like a mess and just nervous. Kevin didn’t know anything about lighting which made the ending of this episode all the more moving and just brilliant. At one point of the play, Winnie stumbles on her lines. Kevin held the light so still and he whispered these encouraging words to her even though she couldn’t hear him, it was like she could… Even now, I still believe Emily’s final monologue is by-far one of the best written. It really depicted the rawness of human emotion as Kevin held Winnie with the light. He carried her and when he cries, it’s because he’s that proud of her and you see how innocent his love is for her and how proud of her he is and how courageous she is….

Why not screenplays or novels?

AG: My focus just happens to be theatre right now. I’m just so in love with it— everything about it— it’s so raw and honest. We’ll have to see what’s up next. Anything is an option.

Is this something you went to school for?

AG: No, I studied English… But, it was college, so my mind was always else where.

Are you self-taught?

AG: My great-grandfather was a playwright. That could have something to do with it… Though, honestly what I’ve learned is— to tame and develop an idea, rather than abandon it and move on. I feel like schools, institutions or writing workshops, can teach you structure. No one can implant an idea into your head. No one taught me how to write or what to write. I just sit down and write.

So what's The Tupperware Convention all about?

AG: The play is set in the 1950’s, which is a critical period for woman because they did not have the same rights as men. At that time, woman still didn’t even have the right to vote. Mainly, it taps into the life of Lucille Riley, who is an unappreciated woman, who happens to be a housewife. It’s about lost identity and self-discovery. It’s about suppressing those feelings inside and introspection about finding self-worth and self-value. This play is about the coming of age of a 1950’s housewife.

Who/What inspires you?

AG: People like my father inspire me. When he came here from Sicily, he didn’t have anything. He made a life for himself. I feel I do the same for myself every time I have the opportunity to do what I do…

What keeps you motivated?

AG: I’m not just a playwright— I’m a writer. And everyday I aspire to be just that… Writing takes a lot of discipline. There will always be those around you telling you what you can and cannot do. Art is meant to be controversial. It’s a risk— if you’re willing to take that risk, that’s great. If not, then that’s unfortunate. Regardless, there will always be talk— good or bad. If I have learned anything through all the doubt and uncertainty that I have experienced, is that I honestly have really nothing to prove. I love having the ability to tell stories, providing a glimpse into the life of a character that I’ve created.

Working on any new projects?

AG: I’m working on my first full length play. It is definitely a controversial piece— dealing with religion and law. It has been a challenge thus far.

Biggest Accomplishment?

AG: I’m a work in progress. I don’t allow my accomplishments to define me. I never want to get too comfortable where I’m at. I never want to stop myself from learning and growing, especially when it’s involving my craft.

What type of impact would you like to make with your efforts?

AG: Well, as much as I’d love to create timeless characters, like Shakespeare. What I’d really like to do is bring the human struggle to stage— there is something comforting about reading or seeing something you can relate to— kind of like you’re not alone at this, you’re not the only person going through this or who has gone through it.

Any anyone you like to work with in the future?

AG: Al Pacino. Anyone who can take on Shakespeare to Mario Puzzo clearly has no limitations on what he can do… I’d definitely love to work with him.

What's next for Anna G.?

AG: I’m going to write more plays. I want to set higher goals with the up coming year. I definitely want to work towards having a larger production.

Any advice for those looking to pursue their goals and dreams?

AG: The best advice I ever received was to quit. To stop torturing myself… I never thought of it like that. Everyone always acts like they have to write or they have to dance or they have to paint, produce music, what ever it is… But, there is no imaginary pistol being held to your head forcing you to chase a dream. You need to know all of your options before you are able to move forward. And quitting is an option. If you can give it up on your goals and dreams, then it was not your passion to begin with. If you can’t quit, well, it evidently has a hold on you. You have to accept not everyone is going to understand what you do. Not everyone is going to love it. Not everyone is going to hate it. People have a tendency of criticizing what they don’t understand so they will try to break you down. What ever your dreams are— keep plugging away at them.

WBM Inspiration: Improvisation and the Brain

In this recent TED talks speech, musican and scientist Charles Limb discusses creativity and how it affects the brain. Definitely worth a look.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WBM Presents Up & Coming Artist: Ashley Alexander

WBM Presents a refreshing up and coming artist by the name of Ashley Alexander. By the end of this interview you would have thought Ashley absolutely remarkable as we have. Guaranteed. We kid you not. Take a minute and get to know her.

[As Told To Why Blue Matters]

WBM: So lets start off Introduce yourself to the people who may not who you are? and explain exactly what do you do?

Ashley: Hey Hey! Ashley Alexander here, talking to you from Laurel/Columbia MD. I am a singer/songwriter who is currently working on my second album currently titled "Point of Departure". I came out with my first album in 2006 titled, "The World Needs What I Need". In my opinion, i'm a mash up of R&B, Hip-hop, Rock, and House. I've been involved with my wonderful production company, The Bang Department and my executive producers, Sonny Brix & Isikar for 6 years. I've done work with other MD artists such as production company, The Reason, Artists : Adversary, Jay Flame & Late July Music Group.

WBM: What has been your favorite accomplishment in your career so far?

Ashley: Favorite? that's hard! probably opening for KRS-ONE. Me and various Bang Department members were individually performing in this contest for him, and he chose us all ironically. It was a great experience. Otherwise, it'd be me finishing my first album and my first big show. It was such wild time then. I was so headstrong lol.

WBM: Is there something you want to do, that you haven't yet?

Ashley: I haven't performed outside of the country yet. I'm into a lot of world artists, I wanna explore everything I can. Within my music and with others. Oh! and skydive.

WBM: What's the difference between the real you, and you the performer?

Ashley: As the years have gone by... alot. I'm very friendly and personable in general, so I like to feel approachable off stage. On stage, I'm more about being assertive, commanding, wanting to acquire some respect from my audience that they'll listen to what i have to say. I dig the idea that on stage I'm an image you try to decipher. Cus I'm a goofball most times lol.

WBM: So what project are you working on now? What are your goals for 2011?

Ashley: Currently I'm working on my new album, "Point of Departure". Also involved in other artists projects such as, Kel Spencer's "" ( @Kelspencer) , Sonny Brix's "The Delivery Room", and many others. Also I'm in the process of opening my own publishing company, because I want to be a self- sufficient as possible.

WBM: What were you doing before you got into music?

Ashley: I was a band and dance geek growing up, so I just played french horn, danced, and served at restaurants. Songwriting is something I always did. I was always involved in the arts in some way, just was a point of waiting for the right time for things to align and for me to do solo work.

WBM: What made you want to do music?

Ashley: From a young age, I always liked rhythm and prose. I "got" songs very young. Fortunately, my family surrounded me with a variety of music genres. I paid a lot of attention to lyrics and how they made me feel. Music made me aware of everything.

WBM: Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Ashley: I was born and raised in Laurel, Md. I'm a birthday is September 25th. As of 2008, I started practicing Buddhism and it's been a great journey thus far.

WBM: Interest(s)?

Ashley: I love cooking and traveling. British TV and horror movies make me smile. I spend alot of time listening to other artists. Old and new. Plus I'm addicted to music magazines.

WBM: What do you do for fun when you're not doing music?

Ashley: Lol.... spend alot of time with my friends and family. I'm surrounded by some truly unique people. I try to eat sushi as much as possible (it's my addiction).

WBM: What is something that a lot of people don't know about you?

Ashley: I love "Inside the actors studio" and I'm a board game junkie. I'm a big kid at heart so cartoons, fruit snacks and toys are great.

WBM: What do you like most about being in the business?

Ashley: I enjoy being able to express myself for a living. Most people don't really do what they enjoy in life. I think I'm pretty fortunate. I like networking so collaborating with people and helping people with their craft is amazing.

WBM: Any regrets? Lessons learned?

Ashley: No regrets yet. I have learned that you should always speak up about anything that involves you. Never just let others dictate your path. Always be on time for shows, Always be professional. Have business cards on hand (lol that's still a struggle) and always always speak to your fans.

WBM: What's the thought process behind your works?

Ashley: Most of my ideas come from the things I'm around and what my opinion is about it. I like the little details about things since so many people write about the big topics. For example, when people write about being liking someone in general, I'd opt to talk about the way they look at me or what they say. The little things are important.

WBM: ...from personal experience?

Ashley: I've been in some crappy relationships, and so have some of my friends. After being a listening board to them and trying to console myself, a lot of great songs came out of it. Those are the songs more people come up to me and say "I just ended it with this guy, and you just made me feel so much better....f%^k him! lol". i get a kick out of that.

WBM: ...mere creativity?

Ashley: I'm all about environment, so if the mood is right, I'm open to write anything. Strangely enough, i write alot in the bathroom and the car. It's the few places where no one will bother you for a while and you can sing as loud as you want.

WBM: What inspires and motivates you?

Ashley: My motivation comes from the responses I get from my music. It helps indicate that I'm on the right track. Everything inspires me, I'm a sponge for anything stimulating.

WBM: What are you listening to in your iPod these days?

Ashley: I make mix cds for my friends once a month, so this question is fun!
here ya go:

Tame Impala "Alter Ego"
Esthero "Superheroes"
Little Dragon "Turn Left"
N.E.R.D. "Life as a fish"
Cee-lo "Bodies"
Gorillaz "Rhinestone eyes"
Ski Beatz "Cream of the planet"
Jeff Buckley "Despite the tears"
Deftones "Hole in the Earth"
The Foreign Exchange "House of cards"
...I could go on for a

WBM: Why?

Ashley: I've always been that weirdo that asks people what the song is playing the store or restaurant. Thank heaven for Shazam. I like being affected by music, opening myself up to someone else's perspective. It makes me feel alive when i learn about a new artist or song. I feel more diverse than the day before.

WBM: Does any negativity from the media ever affect you in anyway?

Ashley: Some years ago, I had a family member harm another person. In the media, they were portrayed as this monster, which they weren't. From that moment on, I told myself I'd never believe everything i see in the media. You can't be that trusting.

WBM: Any advice for those looking to pursue their dreams?

Ashley: You have to be spontaneous and open for whatever comes your way. You have to accept that your dreams are not far fetched, because their is always some order of operation to get there. Big or small. Constructive criticism never hurt anyone, if you don't have people around to drop your ego and get real with you, your jaded.

WBM: What do you want to be remembered by?

Ashley: I'd like to be remembered for my character. I'd love to have my music touch people globally. I want people all around the world to one day say, "That song meant the most to me".

WBM: Anything else you would like the world to know about you?

Ashley: Be sure to check out my music at and hit me up on Twitter @aabangdept

Thanks again !!