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DJ EDDIE F. – Legendary Status (video)

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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On March 27, 2014 Apache Café and Kevin Shine (The Firm) hosted their monthly ‘Writing Sessions America’ event. This month’s event was the Singer/Songwriters Mixer with a special series dedicated to celebrating the Birthday of Legendary DJ/Producer/Songwriter/Entrepreneur, DJ Eddie F. with special guest Donell Jones. The Mount Vernon native gave a Q&A session, a special performance by Donell and an Exclusive interview with EntertainmentReporters.com.

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DJ Eddie F. is known for being the co-founder/DJ of the famed hip-hop group, Heavy D & the Boyz. He is also the founder/owner of Untouchables Entertainment Group. Ferrell is a multifaceted talent in the music, television & film industries whom has worn many hats in his career. He is a DJ, Producer, Songwriter, Arranger, Executive and an Entrepreneur.

Eddie made his debut in 1987 as a founding member of Heavy D & the Boyz; his production career began with the release of their debut album, ‘Living Large’. He produced the smash hit “Mr. Big Stuff”, then followed it up with the platinum certified, ‘Big Tyme’ and ‘Peaceful Journey’; garnering hits such as: “Somebody For Me” and “You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet”. Eddie created a massive force with the production company: Untouchables Entertainment Group, in which his team (including Donell Jones) wrote, produced, and remixed songs for the likes of: TLC, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, Will Smith, Jodeci, Destiny’s Child, and Run DMC, to name a few. He was also instrumental in developing the career of Sean “P.Diddy” Combs.

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In the 90’s, DJ Eddie F. put on his Executive hat as he added Vice President of A&R for LaFace Records to his Vita; assisting in the management of such acts as: Outkast, Usher, TLC and Toni Braxton. He was also responsible for creating the theme song for the series, “In Living Color”. This is where the DJ etched himself in history once again by signing Donell Jones, a young; hungry singer/songwriter from Chicago to his Untouchables moniker, and got his first hit record on the label.

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Currently, DJ Eddie F. is keeping his feet in the fire by staying busy and chasing new dreams & goals. He is producing music for Film and Television, which includes TV Networks, Scoring, and Commercials. He is still an active part of the music industry; producing tracks for the likes of: Anthony Hamilton, Chris Brown and Jaheim to name a few.

Continued success to DJ Eddie F. and Happy Birthday #TeamARIES

***Check out video of DJ Eddie F. interview with special performances by Donell Jones***

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(Video) DondriaNicole premieres new Single – “Coat Tail”

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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Check out DondriaNicole at the ASCAP Offices… Ready, set, go!!!

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DondriaNicole – Unleash the Beast! #CoatTail

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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Tuesday night, February 25, 2014 was a special day in Music Industry history. On this night, ASCAP played host to the exclusive unveiling of the ‘Artist Formerly Known as Dondria’. The refined; reinvented; restyled, ‘DondriaNicole’ gave the fans what they came to see as she took part in an Exclusive Q&A to talk about her new look and her new project. She also performed her new single, “Coat Tail” to an acoustic set. DN displayed her talent with pure vocal ability & control. She is a Grown Woman now!

It was only a short time ago when the singer burst onto the music scene as a YouTube phenomenon. Actively sought out by industry mogul Jermaine Dupri, Dondria later signed to
SoSo Def Recordings in Atlanta, GA under her moniker Dondria aka Phatfffat. In 2010, her debut album was released, ‘Dondria vs. Phatfffat’. She garnered notable success from many singles on the album, such as: “You’re The One”, “Shawty Wus Up”, “Makin Love”, and favorite; “Where Did We Go Wrong”, co-written by Dondria. This rising star has toured with Monica and Trey Songz on the “Passion Pain & Pleasure” tour.

That was then; this is now!

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Not only is she a little older now, she is more seasoned in the Industry and is ready to unleash the beast! She is prepared to show the world who DondriaNicole is! And… “Coat Tail” is where she is beginning. “This single is about self-worth and loving yourself,” said DondriaNicole. “Many of us women are scared to be confident, independent and own who we are. For the longest, I was afraid, but now is the time! This single is savvy, sexy and just what we women need to say in order to gain respect we deserve.”

You gotta respect that!

DondriaNicole has a new EP to be released early summer 2014 under the SoSo Def Label. She’s working hard, writing, collaborating and working smart. And now, I humbly introduce you to the new and improved; our Lady of the Hour: DondriaNicole.

Listen to: Coat Tail:

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Marlon Wayans talks “A Haunted House 2″

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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Marlan Wayans made his way to Atlanta to do a Q&A session with selected media to talk about the second installment of his movie – A Haunted House. Wayans discussed the difference between the two movies and why ‘A Haunted House 2’ was necessary to be filmed. “It’s a franchise that’s all my own; my own baby. AHH2 is not a continuation of the first movie, and it is not a parody of scary movies.” Wayans commented.

Coming from an extremely creative; talented family, Wayans is the writer and producer of the Haunted House franchise. His Q&A was like a mini-standup session. He had the room in stitches just being himself, talking about his ideas, creative process, and communicating with his audience. It was a good experience.

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A Haunted House 2 premieres in Theaters on April 18, 2014. Go out and support creativity.

“When you have strong creative minds that can make people laugh, the best thing you can do is to continue to create new stuff.” MARLON WAYANS

photo credit: Briana Crudup

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The TLC Story: Drew Sidora channels Tionne Watkins (T-Boz)

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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“T-Boz said when she saw my tape, she said: That’s Her!!!”

Some say that Acting means “to be over the top.” Others say that the talent is just to be someone else. In my opinion, true Acting is to be unselfish; to leave yourself behind in spirit; to completely be the person that you are portraying. Drew Sidora did just that! She forgot about herself in the moment and truly became Tionne Watkins (T-Boz) of the legendary group TLC. “Thankfully, it was a lot of emotion to give. In life, you go through a lot of things. For me; the things I went through both good & bad helped, but obviously the bad emotional things: the hurts & pains, the losses, and the struggles is what stuck out. I had to rely on those true emotions to emote that.” Drew Sidora explained. “Then I had to bring to life what I felt was Tionne Watkins, because we know who T-Boz is; her swag & persona. But… We don’t see T-Boz crying. So that was a peek inside her personal life, and for us to relate to her as a human being. That was my challenge in doing the film, to bring Tionne Watkins to this film; her vulnerabilities and her not so strong, glamorous, and not so cool moments.”

Since the early 90’s we have witnessed TLC begin as a thriving girl group to blossoming into full-fledged legends of the game. The world has seen their lives played out as if they weren’t real people. What we didn’t allow them to do is be human beings! Yes – T-Boz, Left-Eye & Chilli are super talented. But, they are the same as you and me: with hurts, pains, troubles, losses, families, fears, etc. Yes – we love them, as well as the music they gave/give to the universe. But, let the ladies breathe; be human, without adding the extra burden of treating them as if they can’t have problems. The biopic was great at showing that great talent doesn’t come without hurdles. Most of their music was born from their inner thoughts; their personal stories. I personally loved it, and love them more for sharing their personal; true story. “It broke a lot of records that day. Overall, it was very inspirational and a great message to raise a lot of great conversation that we need to be having right now. Like, financial struggles; in which we all face. And, being knowledgeable in business and various careers. That was definitely to get across to the viewers.” Sidora said.

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“I got to play the coolest person ever! It was an out of body experience for me.
It was a TLC Boot Camp: the singing, dancing; getting their swag;
her emotional state. Basically, picking her brain and getting to know her.
And, I understood her.”

In having a conversation with Drew and watching her portrayal of T-Boz, you get a first-hand look & feel at how much the ladies of TLC truly loved and supported one another. A lot of times, the cameras and media can be very one-sided. The TLC Story showed multiple sides of the story. All three ladies did a great job at stepping into the shoes of the best-selling girl group of all time for a brief moment. “OMG! They were very excited about how we portrayed them. They felt that we really nailed them! That was the biggest compliment.” Drew shared. “You do want to please the fans, but most importantly please the people that you are playing. I mean, this is their life; their true story. And what big shoes to fill (TLC). You just want to see them happy & pleased with the performance.” I sincerely commend: Drew Sidora, Lil Mama & KeKe Palmer on a job well done.

Drew Sidora is a seasoned Actress with roles on: The Game, Step Up, That’s So Raven and White Chicks, just to name a few. In addition, she is a singer/songwriter formerly signed to J Records. She has been signed to Slip n Slide Records since 2008. After coming off the success of her first single on the label (Juke It), she is preparing to drop her new single and promises it will be a banger. “It’s a great record that I’m really excited about. I’m just letting people know who I am: a girl from Chicago; to where I am mentally, and what I’m all about. I can’t wait.”

Not only does she have a multitude of talents to entertain, she truly cares and lives to empower & inspire the youth. In early November 2013, Drew Sidora launched her Dream Makers Foundation in hometown – Chicago, Illinois. “Dream Makers is basically advocating for young girls and young women that have been affected by the gun violence and [other issues] and giving them performing arts and entertainment workshops.”

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“Her mannerisms were my biggest challenge.
I had to go to a trainer to get her physical frame.
It was a lot of challenges, but I was totally ready for it!”

To conclude, Drew gave the utmost compliment to the girls of TLC, as well as the cast and crew that made this biopic come to life. “Great job to our Director, Charles Stone III – He’s a visionary! I believed everybody in the TLC Cast. It definitely takes a team. Everybody bought their A-Game from our set designer, to our hairstylists, and our make-up artists. If it wasn’t for them, the physical look wouldn’t have been accomplished. It was just a blessing and a great project to be a part of.”

Follow Drew Sidora on twitter – @DrewSidora and dial 7-2-7-2-7 on your cell phone for updates on everything Drew Sidora….

Congrats baby girl on a fantastic job, continued success and ChiTown Love!!!! Save me some Harold’s…

TIl the next time….
Cutty Out!!!
@CuttyShark2010

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MC Lyte: Still Crams to Understand

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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“Always! That’s how I learn.”
MC Lyte said when asked, Do you still Cram to Understand?

MC Lyte is a true Icon & Legend in Hip-Hop. She has managed to successfully parlay her rap career into being and Activist, a DJ, Voice-Over Queen, and now; On-Air Radio Personality. Along with Loni Love & Angelique Perrin, MC Lyte will be the new face & voice of Sheila Eldridge’s, Cafe Mocha Radio on Majic 107.5. Now that’s staying relevant. Another dream realized; another vision actualized.

“Because hip-hop wasn’t 24 hrs available then, DJ’s were very selective on what they wanted to play. They played from their heart.”

Lyte born Lana Moorer has been one of the pioneering forces in hip-hop since the late 80’s. Her debut album, ‘Lyte as a Rock’ was released in September 1988. She has been noted as the first solo female artist to release a full album. And, it hit hard; gaining worldwide acclaim. The Grammy nominated artist has exercised her acting chops on Television, Film & Theater. She has also embarked on a very successful voice-over career, which started in 1996. Wow, that voice!

***Check out my talk with MC Lyte***

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Georgia Aquarium presents… Sea Monsters Revealed: Aquatic Bodies

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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Yesterday; September 26, 2013, the Georgia Aquarium gave a first-look at its new exhibition – Sea Monsters Revealed: Aquatic Bodies to invited Media guests. It’s the first new exhibit in nearly two years at the aquarium. “More than 18 full-body sea creatures will be on display, along with more than 150 individual organs and smaller specimens that define the life of the sea. All of which were carefully recovered in accordance with the highest animal protection standards.” It was created by John Zaller, KRE8 360 and Base Entertainment. The display reveals some of the largest sea creatures in the world. It made its debut at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, FL.

Entertainment Reporters, Timothy “Cutty” Sanders got a chance to talk to Carey Rountree, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Georgia Aquarium about the exhibit. This is what he had to say:

*What was the inspiration behind the exhibit?

Carey: “The inspiration behind the exhibit is really looking at the history and going from the early early days of the sea bearing folks or the reason they might have been there. It is a reflection of what they might have seen, as they describe these sea monsters that have never been seen by man before. Our inspiration for bringing it here is to offer the public a great history lesson, and also a science lesson about the animals that were a part of our permanent collection here at the Georgia Aquarium.”

*How do you feel about the outcome of the exhibit?

Carey: “Outstanding! It delivered the educational messages; the history lesson we wanted to give the public about our oceans. And, also shows you the gorgeous creatures that are there day in and day out. It also shows the valuable asset that the oceans are to us as human beings.”

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Sea Monsters Revealed: Aquatic Bodies at the Georgia Aquarium opens to the public on Friday, September 27, 2013. Please go see it.

On another note, we also got a chance to see the Dolphin Tales show at the Aquarium. It was a great show. And, such a wonder to see how smart these animals are. It was a great day at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Haunted Atlanta: Netherworld Haunted House

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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With Halloween approaching, it’s time for all things scary to hit the scene. Costumed children & Adults alike will be out looking for a haunted; frightening good time. Netherworld Haunted House is the place to go for all of your fear-loving, frightening fantasies. It is the premiere haunted house experience in all of Georgia.

On Friday, September 13, 2013 (Friday the 13th), Netherworld held a sneak peek into the petrifying haunted house. Creatures jumped out before you could get inside the front door of Netherworld. How Scary was that?! And, the haunted house itself, was one of the scariest to walk through.

“There are more than 250 special effects and animatronic creatures at Netherworld including a 40 Foot Long Spinning Tunnel, more than a Dozen Giant Monsters, a 20 Foot Rocking Room, and more than two dozen ghostly projections.”

Netherworld opening weekend to the public is September 27 – 28, 2013. It has been visited by many celebrities, such as: Janet Jackson, Andre 3000, Big Boi, Bow Wow, Jermaine Dupri, Evander Holyfield, Billy Corgan of the Smasing Pumpkins and many more.

If you love a great frightful experience, visit Netherworld Haunted House. For more information and tickets, go to www.fearworld.com.

Here’s to a scary good time…

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8th Annual Decatur Book Festival = Success!!!

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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The Decatur Book Festival celebrated another successful year in 2013; bringing both new, as well as seasoned Authors to Atlanta from all around the world. The festival itself is the largest independent book festival in the country. DBF took place on Labor Day Weekend: August 30 – September 1, 2013.

This was a record-breaking year for the AJC DBF. First year program director, Philip Rafshoon gave his all to make sure the 8th Annual DBF was like no other. The festival kicked off on Friday evening with a keynote address by Civil Rights Activist/Congressman John Lewis. The entire weekend catered to all things Literature.

According to DBF statistics, over 500 authors packed 18 stages and over 85,000 patrons flooded downtown Decatur for this extremely rewarding occasion. Authors & Journalists held private sessions to talk candidly to their fans, readers and interested listeners about their plight and why they love what they do – WRITE! The entire weekend was filled with book signings, author readings, panels, live music, parades, children driven initiatives, etc.

Lenz Marketing took great care of the Authors, Media and special VIP guests. They were very hospitable and kept everything in perfect order. An extra special “Thank You” goes out to: Ryan Klee and Rachel Cushing.

“The weekend has been fantastic! From the Writer’s Conference, to the Keynote Address by Congressman John Lewis; through all the events on Saturday. The Art DBF; the hundreds of events we had on Saturday & Sunday all went well.” Program Director, Philip Rafshoon shared. “It was a great festival. It is the largest independent book festival in the country, and we continued that tradition this year. We hope to keep doing it for a long time.”

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DRIVE: Hope for Steve

Posted by: Cutty Shark  /  Category: EntertainmentReporters

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To Drive is usually a hope for young adolescents to get their driver’s license. It’s a right of passage to adulthood on the road for most. In this case, it’s a bit different. Steve Dezember II never had hopes of driving like this. But now, it’s a livelihood for him, and he embraces it.

At the tender age of 28, Steve was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. But not even that could stop him! Bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, he took action and continues to live life to the fullest. “Two things this disease could never take from me; my ability to love & my ability to make art,” he said.

Dezember continues to make art: he Drives. He displays his artisanship by driving his wheelchair on a blank canvas with paint-covered wheels. He is an artist; he is an innovator; he incessantly drives. And it’s his love of art that drives him.

Kai Lin Art Gallery hosted a one-time art show titled DRIVE to benefit ALS research. It was all for Hope for Steve. On this night, the gallery displayed original pieces painted by Steve Dezember II. These beautiful pieces brought out an enormous crowd, and all proceeds went to aid in further research of Lou Gehrig’s disease. There was also a live acoustic performance by Zara Sky.

According to the ALS Association, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.” The disease was identified in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but was not brought to national and international attention until baseball player Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease in 1939. Thus, being coined as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Kai Lin Art Gallery is located in the heart of West Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia. Yu-Kai Lin is the owner and director of the gallery. Kai Lin Art focuses on both new and established artists, and has new openings every 8 weeks. They are located on the Westside of Atlanta near 10th Street and Howell Mill Road. For more information, go to www.Kailinart.com.

We all have Hope for Steve. That he keeps living; continues to love, and keeps making art. God bless you and continuously DRIVE.

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