Mila J Premieres New Web Series

Today, singer Mila J has premiered her new web series on Rap-Up.com, in conjunction with her
own #MilaMondays!

In the debut episode of Mila J: Made in LA, the singer shows viewers around her hometown of Los Angeles including Leimert Plaza Park The "Smoke, Drink, Break-Up" singer takes fans on a journey around the L.A. she knows and loves, including Leimert Plaza Park. We also meet Mila's father, Kamaro "Dr. Chill" Chilombo, and, together, the pair show a different side to L.A. and give a little insight into Mila's childhood. They showcase that the city is much more than Hollywood, the glitz and glamour city that we all see on TV and in magazines.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are The New Faces of Balmain

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West definitely heat things up in their new Balmain ad campaign!

I'm in LOVE with this campaign! We all know that Kim and Kanye are very fashion forward, so it's perfect for them to do together. Congrats to them for snagging the job!

Check out more of the hot pics below!


CONCERTS: Anthony Hamilton's Home For The Holidays Tour (Washington, D.C.)

On Thursday, December 18, I was blessed with an opportunity to attend and cover Anthony Hamilton's "Home for The Holidays" tour stop in Washington, D.C. The tour features soul singers Leela James and Mali Music, and it was an amazing show!  All three of these great acts were the perfect combo for this tour. The vibe with everybody was positive and chill, and I had so much fun, singing and dancing to wonderful soul music all night!

Read more on my experience, and check out some photos and video below!


Nicki Minaj Snags Roberto Cavalli Campaign

Nicki Minaj keeps winning! She just released The Pinkprint this week, which is getting great reviews,  and now she's in a new campaign! The rapper will be featured in the Roberto Cavalli Spring/Summer 2015 campaign!

Check out some more pictures below!

FASHION FEATURE: Lux House Mob (Store)

Whenever my girl, designer Ashley Chin asks me for a feature on something she’s got going on, I do it in a heartbeat (literally search her on this blog)! Today, I want to give a little shine to her amazing store, Lux House Mob!

“I think after being a stylist for so long, eventually, I began to outgrow it in some ways. I wanted more for myself and my brand,” Ashley said of starting the store. Back in 2013, I spoke with her and she was planning for a boutique named Vane For Decades, which she changed to Lux House Mob. “I thought it fit me and my direction better,”Ashley said of the name change.

Currently the store offers ring sets, body chains, and beanies, a lot of which have already sold out (my own ring sets are on the way)! However, Ashley has plans to expand the store, working on faux leather clutches that she designed, as well as more body chains, earrings, statement necklaces, and midi rings. “Slowly I’ll start adding in bags, hats, and clothes," she stated.

For the future, Ashley wants her brand to speak for itself. "I want someone to see a product while their out and know it's Lux House Mob," the designer said.  "I learn a lot from Sophia of Nasty Gal and my main thing is making my customers happy and providing top quality."

Lux House Mob definitely has great products, and I can't wait to see more from Ash! Shop Lux House Mob here! Also, be sure to also check out Ashley's official website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram


In The Spotlight: Valencia Jean

Another spotlight for you all today! As always, if you or someone you know is interested in a feature on The Spotlight, please email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com.

Today we have designer Valencia Jean, who I met briefly at the Made In The DMV Conference a few weeks back. Valencia is an androgynous fashion designer, creating clothes with neither a clear masculine nor feminine look. “I prefer men's clothes because I love the way men walk and feel when they feel good about themselves. But now, men are really starting to pay attention to they look, what's out, what's the trend?,” the designer said. “It allows [me] to really be creative with men’s style. But when I make women's clothes, it has a tomboy feel about it.”


TRAILER: Glee's Final Season

Fox has officially released a promo for Glee's upcoming sixth and final season!

In the short trailer, Rachel and Kurt return to McKinley High to reinstate the Glee Club, which will bring them head to head with Sue Sylvester. There's also a run in with the Dalton Academy Warblers, and Rachel sings everyone's favorite song, "Let It Go!" (*Sarcasm* It's a good song, but it's time to let it go!). I'm not exactly all that happy that Rachel and Kurt are back in Ohio, since they should be making their dreams come true in New York. However, as a true Gleek, I'll be watching!

The final season of Glee returns Friday, January 9 with a two-hour premiere beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You know it's the end most times when your show is on a Friday...

Check out the short promo below!


In The Spotlight: McCro Music Group

Continuing to keep the spotlights coming! As always, if you are or know of artists, producers, designers, etc., that should be featured on The Spotlight, email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com

Today, on the blog, we have McCro Music Group! Founded by producers Darnell McCro and Don Vanhorn, who I had the great pleasure to speak with for a while.McCro Music Group is dedicated to catering to the artists, not just being beatmakers.

Read up on how these two talented and humble producers got their start in music, how they first connected, and where they hope to take McCro Music Group in the future!

SHORT FILM: Yours and Mine-Beyoncé

Beyoncé is celebrating the anniversary of her self-titled surprise album with a short film "Yours and Mine."

In the video, The singer reflects on her life and career as various clips from her life and videos play. She discusses her fame, admitting that sometimes she just wants to be normal. “I sometimes wish I could just be anonymous and walk down a street just like everyone else,” she says. “Now that I’m famous, it’s really, really difficult to do simple things…When you’re famous, no one looks at you as a human anymore. You become the property of the public. There’s nothing real about it.”


The 2015 Golden Globes Nominations Are Out!

The 2015 Golden Globes are right around the corner, and the full list of nominations are out now! Comedic actressesTina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the show for the third time on Jan 11, 2015, and there's a lot of great films and shows up for awards!

See who made the cut below!


In The Spotlight: GLE Marketing

Love to feature upcoming people on the blog, and not just artists! The Spotlight features a multitude of entertainment industry professionals  from designers to producers, to marketing firms! Everyone is welcome (Check our Interviews section).As always, if you are or know someone (artist, producer, designer, etc.) that should be featured on the blog, please email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com.

Today, we have GLE (Get Lifted Enterprise) Marketing GLE is a full-service promotion, marketing, and branding firm based in Potomac, MD. Founded by Dontè Reams, GLE offers a variety of services including sales & business development, event productions, talent management, and media & marketing services, developing creative plans for high-profile clients.

ALBUM REVIEW: 2014 Forest Hills Drive-J.Cole

I've never done too many hip hop reviews for Spotlight or any of the websites I've written for honestly. The last one I remember doing for a mainstream artist was my review of Wale's sophomore album Ambition back in 2011...and that was for a music writing class my senior year at Loyola (*laughs*).

However, I'm trying to do more music and movie reviews, and it starts with the albums that I'm actually buying, which includes J. Cole's junior album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Cole did something different this time around by deciding not to collaborate with anyone or drop any singles, just giving his listeners a release date of December 9th, an order link on iTunes, and a video for his Intro as he rides his bike through NYC. Now the album is here, and the reviews are mostly pretty good!

What I respect about Cole is that he is really is about his music. Sure, every artist is somewhat driven by sales, but some artists take it too far releasing terrible content with a catchy hook that the audience is sure to dance to (*insert whoever's name here*). To me, Cole isn't like that. He carefully crafts his lyrics, which, as a listener, I love, because he is one of very few rappers who makes me think (as a blogger, I get annoyed when I can't get it, because I'm trying to write a damn review here!). Throughout the album, Cole literally takes listeners on a journey through his younger years until now, and you really get a feel for who he is as Jermaine and not just J. Cole. 

Check out my song by song review below!


Julia Roberts Lands Givenchy Campaign

Julia Roberts is now the new face of Givenchy's Spring 2015 campaign!

In her picture, the actress rocked a tuxedo in a a black and white shot. According to E! Online, creative director Riccardo Tisci told Yahoo Style that Julia was his first pick for the campaign. "A lot of people see Givenchy as only 'haute couture,' or only 'street and urban,'" he began. "For me, Julia is many things. She has this strength as an actress, but she's also this beautiful American woman. She's a big star, but she's not a paparazzi or a blog monster. It's going to be my tenth year at Givenchy in March, so I wanted to represent the woman who is more mature, beautiful, talented, but also unpretentious."

SPOTTED: Prince William & Kate Middleton Meet Beyoncé and Jay Z at Brooklyn Nets Game

British royalty meets music royalty! Prince William and Kate Middleton met Beyoncé and Jay Z last night at the Brooklyn Nets game!

According to an attendee who spoke with Us Weekly, the Duchess and Duke got to the game seven minutes into the third quarter, sitting next to retired NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, who reportedly explained the game to them. Jay and Bey, who were also in attendance, walked across the court to meet them, all while while "God Save the Queen" and then "Crazy In Love" played!

As previously reported, the Royal Couple is visiting the States, making some appearances and conducting meetings and what not. Good to see them just relaxing and having a good time!

Image via Christopher Wahl/Vanity Fair


SPOTTED: Pregnant Blake Lively Looking Glam in NYC

Blake Lively was spotted out and about in the NYC streets on Monday, Dec. 8, glowing and looking gorgeous!

The actress, who got all glammed up, literally to go to The City Bakery, rocked a slate sweater, fur-trimmed charcoal cape, and leather J Brand leggings with six-inch booties. Us Weekly, who snagged the pictures, said the fly maternity outfit was reminscent of Blake's days at Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl, and I have to agree! That bag alone needs to be in my closet!

Two of the pieces are available on her lifestyle site, which sells clothes from some great underground designers. The cape is by Alicia Adams Alpaca ($895), and the stacked golden cuffs are by Mikal Winn (from $132 to $144). I can only PRAY I look half as stylish when I get pregnant (years and years from now!).

Seriously, this photo is so good, it could be her new avi easy. And all she looks to be doing is crossing the street!

Image via Jesse Bauer/dbdpix.com

Miranda Lambert Talks Weight Loss, Marriage to Blake Shelton in Marie Claire

Country singer Miranda Lambert snagged the cover of the January 2015 issue of Marie Claire, openly discussing her marriage of over three years to Blake Shelton, her weight loss, and her feelings on creating music.

Miranda admits that she's head over heels in love with Blake, admitting that he's the light of her life. "I'm not sunshine and roses. Blake's the happiest person on the planet,” she told Marie Claire. “He pulls me out of my darkness … Literally, everything is the best about being married."

The singer also opened up about her recently weight loss (she dropped around 20 pounds earlier this year!). "When you have to walk out there in front of thousands of people, it does feel good to know that your s—t’s not jiggling, I’m just like anybody else, insecure and scared of looking bad or being criticized," she admitted. However, she included that it's not as big a deal as everyone is making it out to be. "Everybody's making this big, giant thing about it. It's way too much focus on women's bikini photos, and I hate it. Why do we care? I want women to love themselves whatever they've got going on," she continued in the interview.

SPOTTED: Kate Middleton and Prince William Arrive in NYC

Royalty has arrived to the States! Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton arrived in New York City Sunday, Dec. 7!

According to Us Weekly, the royal couple is currently staying at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan's Upper East Side. "It's good to be here," William told the hotel's managing director Giovanni Beretta before being escorted to his suite. William's own mother, the late Princess Diana was a great fan of the hotel during her trips to the States in the '90s.

It's not all fun and games for the couple, of course. They're going to be very busy with meetings and events during their stay! Shortly after their arrival, they headed to a private event for the American friends of the Royal Foundation.  Today, Dec. 8, Prince William will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House and then off to the World Bank to discuss illegal wildlife trafficking.  He will then fly back to NYC and check out a Brooklyn Nets basketball game at the Barclays Center (no word if Kate will be in attendance, but it would be a fun date night!).

Hoping that Prince William and Kate enjoy their stay!

Image via Neilson Barnard/Getty Images


ALBUM REVIEW:Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart?-K. Michelle

K. Michelle's sophomore album Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart? is set for release on December 9, 2014. Almost a week ago, the singer has teamed up with her home network VH1 to stream the album, and I'm glad I was able to take a listen before the album dropped.

What separates K. Michelle from many other singers is that she is REAL. Real to the point where she can admit that the man she loves has a baby by another woman, and she'll never be able to compete with that. She wears her heart on her sleeve, at least when it comes to her music, and, in a world of commercialized artists who are starting to sound mostly the same, I will always appreciate that about this woman.

AWBAH gives that rawness that we've come to expect from K. Michelle, but in a much more mature way. It's clear that K has been busy writing with other songwriters, and experimenting with different sounds, and it worked in an incredible way!

Check out my song by song review below!


EVENTS: Made in the DMV Conference (Washington, D.C.)

I consistently find myself hearing about or getting invited to a bunch of different industry events, and now I'm starting to actually go check some of them out. As I've stated before, it is my goal to get out there and learn and network with people, all in the hopes of growing professionally and personally, and having a good time too!

Today was the first annual Made in the DMV Conference, which featured music and media professionals in various workshops and panel discussions, giving their advice to mainly upcoming music artists but also bloggers as well. Some of the panelists included Tony Lewis, Jr. (DCorNothing), DJ Heat (WPGC 95.5), DJ Money (WKYS 93.9), Zechariah Wise (Depth Charge), Angela Byrd (IGotIt4Free), DJ Marauder (The Fader), Kayenecha Daughterty (Grammys DC Chapter), Rob Markman (MTV), and so many more! Topics included monetizing your movement, branding, submitting your music to media, and a ton of other great material that was absolutely FREE! The best way to really make it in this industry is to learn how it works and then take that information and hustle. It was great to see so many people out, and it wasn't just artists. I saw fashion designers, graphic designers, bloggers, and a bunch of others all there to learn, discuss, network, and grow. It was amazing.

There was also a concert/showcase for handpicked upcoming artists tonight as well, though I wasn't able to make that. I'm sure it was amazing though! Check out some of my pictures from the Made In The DMV conference below!


List of the 2015 Grammy Nominations!

The list of nominees for the 2015 Grammy Awards are officially out! It was a pretty good
year for music, and I'm excited to see who's going to be winning this year! Sia, Iggy Azalea, Beyonce, and Sam Smith are a few of the artists who led the pack, so it's definitely going to be a good award show.

Check out the major list of nominees below, courtesy of Billboard! You can check out the entire list of nominees on the Grammys website

I've bolded some of my picks. Did your favorite make the list? 

MOVIE TRAILER: Lifetime Original Film Whitney

After Lifetime's failed Brittany Murphy and Aaliyah biopics, many have understandable doubts Angela Bassett-directed biopic of the late great Whitney Houston. However, the official trailer for Whitney may just change your mind!

Lifetime has released the clip for the biopic, which stars Yaya DaCosta. Yaya is giving it EVERYTHING SHE HAS in this movie! The trailer showcases Whitney and ex-husband Bobby Brown's volatile relationship, including their fights and drug use. I LOVE Yaya as an actress, and she isn't disappointing at all. I'm actually excited now and can almost breathe a sigh of relief.

Whitney premieres on Saturday, January 17, 2015 on Lifetime. Check out the trailer below!


ALBUM REVIEW: Girl Next Door-Alexis Hightower

Last week, I put up my feature with singer Alexis Hightower. Today, I have a review for her debut full length album Girl Next Door, which mixes classic jazz, soul, and a touch of hip hop. Her sound is grounded in jazz and R&B, which is evident on this album. What's great about this album is that Alexis is very transparent in her lyrics, and the music is soulful and calming. I've never honestly been a huge jazz fan, but the different artists that I have heard in the genre always give a fun, yet relaxing vibe in their music. I definitely looked forward to checking out Alexis' project. 

Check out my review below!


In The Spotlight: Cooper Phillip

Happy Friday everybody! I have a spotlight to start the weekend. As always, if you or someone you know is a talented artist, designer, producer, etc. looking to be featured on The Spotlight, please email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com (please see my Contact/Disclaimer page for requirements)!

Today, we have Russian-born/LA-based soul singer Cooper Phillip! I featured Cooper’s great song “Silence” on the blog last week, and had to have an interview with her to find out more about this great talent! Cooper was born into a family of musicians, so she has literally been around music all of her life. “I grew up going to the theater where my mother performed on the violin with the orchestra,” Cooper reminisced. “She put me on stage when I was two as part of Tchaikovsky's opera.” Even at that young an age, Cooper’s excitement and interest in being a performer began. She started out as a classical pianist, but didn’t believe it to be her purpose, and ultimately moved on to singing. “I realized this was my passion and where I wanted to grow,” the singer said. She won her first international singing competition at 11 years old, and immediately realized that singing was her destiny. “I felt such energy and recognition from the crowd [and] I knew this was the right path for me,” Cooper said.  

MUSIC VIDEO: "The Followers"-Wale

Wale has just released his video for "The Followers." Directed by Jon J and Shaun Ross, the video features Wale rapping on where his head's been since the release of The Gifted back in 2013. He's taken a lot of mental breaks recently, and even had an undisclosed surgery some weeks ago, so it's clear he's been reflecting not only on his career but his life in general. With The Album About Nothing coming sooner than later, I'm definitely interested to see what he's going to give the fans next! I need that video for "The Body" too, Wale!

 Check out the video for "The Followers" below!

I'm also excited to go see him yet again in 2015 when the Simply Nothing tour hits the Fillmore in Silver Spring (Get your tickets here)! I plan to be front row center! 

Image via Complex


In The Spotlight: Manfred Kidd

I really am grateful for the opportunities to interview the up and coming! I got an email from a reader last week saying how he appreciates my features, and how he’s found some great artists because of the spotlights I do, which made my day. Doing what I love and having people connect with that is the greatest feeling!

Just to let y’all know, I have some great events and interviews to finish out 2014, so definitely be on the lookout! Celebrity news has been pushed to the backburner a lot, I know, which I’m trying to get back on track with. Pray that I find a balance come 2015!

Ok, enough personal stuff. I have another spotlight for you all today. Check out Swedish alternative pop-rock duo Manfred Kidd! The duo, composed of members Victor Crusner and Fredrik Folkestad, first met in elementary school but then went their separate ways for a while. They randomly bumped into each other on a tram in Göteborg, and discovered that they both had turned to music, which inspired them to work together. “The music we made became something neither of us could do on our own,” they said in a statement. “Finding that out was probably the moment we knew we wanted to do this.”


NEW MUSIC: "Bring It Back"-Floria

New music! Check out track "Bring It Back" released today from R&B producer/singer Floria! Based in Brisbane, Australia, Floria wrote and recorded the track in his home studio. Inspired by
Ariana Grande, Shlohmo, and The Weeknd, 'Bring it Back' "displays an infectious barrage of modern R&B grooves, powerful synth and Floria’s tender vocal croons." It tells the age-old story of losing love and wanting it back.  I heard the song some days ago, and it drew me in right away! I LOVE the beat and Floria's vocals on the song! Check out "Bring It Back" below!

You can connect with Floria on Facebook and Twitter, and hear more of his music on SoundCloud!

In The Spotlight: Alexis Hightower

Another spotlight for y'all! As always, if you are or know of an upcoming musical artist, designer, producer, etc., that should be featured on the blog, please email me at BrittanyShawnte@ gmail.com (allow time for response).

I want you all to check out singer Alexis Hightower! Combining classic jazz, soul, and a tiny bit of hip hop, this unique, talented singer is definitely one to look out for!

Born in Nashville but raised in Oakland, CA and then L.A., Alexis’ parents got her started in music. Though they weren’t musicians themselves, they constantly listened and played music, which Alexis loved. “My parents loved to entertain, and music was always a big part of that,” she said. “I felt very early on, probably from the time I was four or five, that music would be an important part of my life.”

In The Spotlight: Michael Schulte

Looking forward to getting a couple of features on some great artists up for you all this week! Right now, we have alternative/folk singer Michael Schulte! Based in Germany, Michael started singing around the age of six.“I just simply loved to sing the songs I heard on the radio and the CDs my mom and dad used to play,” he remembered. “I would sing the whole day and bother my family, event hough I think it was quite good already!” The singer never had any guitar or singing lessons, just learning by actually doing. He was able to develop amazing vocal and playing skills, and wrote many of his own songs!


MUSIC VIDEO: "Silence"-Cooper Phillip

Russian-born/LA-based soul singer Cooper Phillip is a true talent to behold! I want you all to check out her beautiful debut music video, "Silence," the first single from her Walk A Mile EP!

Released on October 6 and directed by Scott Nathan, the music video has a simple and classic black and white look, allowing viewers to focus more on Cooper's amazing vocals. She has serious soul and passion, and you hear it from the second she opens her mouth to sing! It's definitely a standout ballad, and I'm purchasing my copy right after I publish this!

Check out the video below!

Be on the lookout for a feature with Cooper on the blog soon! You can purchase "Silence" on iTunes now, as well as check out more from Cooper on her official website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!


NEW MUSIC: "Gunpowder on the Letter"-Cody ChesnuTT feat. Gary Clark Jr.

In honor of Veterans Day tomorrow, rock and soul artist Cody ChesnuTT has joined forces with Gary Clark, Jr. for "Gunpowder on the Letter." The song pays respects to American veterans and troops for their courage in their service. When asked about his inspiration behind "Gunpowder on the Letter," Cody stated, "This song was inspired by a documentary I saw on veterans that had been traumatized by the act of war. The broken spirit and disillusionment expressed by these veterans, granted me access to both the spirit and voice needed to communicate the narrative."

 Check out the performance video below!

Keep Up With Cody ChesnuTT & Gary Clark Jr.!

A salute to all of our veterans and current troops! We thank you and honor you for your continued service.

In The Spotlight: Anthony Lewis

My inbox is FLOODED with requests for interviews and music features! I stay swamped, but I love sharing the artists that I receive information on to you all! As always, if you are or know of an upcoming artist, fashion designer, producer, etc., and are interested in being featured on The Spotlight, email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com (please allow time for response).

Today, we have young singer Anthony Lewis! Back in September, I featured his music video for "Looks Like Me,” a powerful tribute to Michael Brown and other fallen black people, killed untimely and unjustly. I got the opportunity to chat with the singer about his upbringing, passion for music, and why it was important to him to create a song like “Looks Like Me.”

Check out more about Anthony below!


In The Spotlight: The Blue Van

More features on the way over the next few days! Right now, check out blues-rock band The Blue Van! The group’s members include Steffen Westmark (vocals and guitar), Søren Christensen (keyboard, vocals and guitar), Allan Villadsen (bass) and Per Jørgensen (drums and vocals). The quartet grew up in the same area of Northern Jutlan in Denmark, meeting in kindergarten! While other kids in their school were interested in soccer and dance music, the group wanted to do something different, and started playing music together. “We discovered early on after playing local talent shows and youth clubs that this was a dream we wanted to pursue,” they said. Their parents insisted that they finish high school first, but after they did, the guys moved to Copenhagen to focus on their music.

The Blue Van is more inspired by British and American bands, than music from Denmark. “When we first started out we were very much into mid-sixties british invasion bands. Kinks, Small Faces, The Who etc,” they said. “Since then, with all the traveling and touring, we have broadened our horizons immensely.”


MUSIC VIDEO: "Let Me Know"-Tamar Braxton

Just a few short weeks after the release of her newest single "Let Me Know," featuring Future, Tamar Braxton has released the official visual for the track!

The sultry video features Tamar in a variety of fly outfits, singing directly to her man! She looks positively stunning in every scene. I love the song, and the video is a classy and simple one. I can't wait to hear more music from her!

Check out the video below, and Let Me Know what you think!

NEW MUSIC: Eclection-Brandy Shanice (FULL ALBUM)

I would designate one day for new music, but I have a lot to share! Right now, I want you to check out R&B singer Brandy Shanice's debut project, Eclection! The album features production from BC of Necronam Beats, O C Thomas, Hall of Fame, and Evil Needle.
Hailing from Houston, Brandy offers up a great first project for listeners!

I love the title "Eclection," for the album because it truly is a collection of diverse sounds and topics. Brandy shares the stories of her past and present vividly on the album. Her vocal talent really does shine, as well as the production. It's a mostly chill album that I could see myself playing as I sat in the house, sipping on wine on relax mode after a long day. It's really cool and smooth like that.

Check out Eclection below!

In The Spotlight: Bow Promise

Though The Spotlight is an overall entertainment blog with celebrity news and reviews, I love to feature the up and coming. I get requests now literally from all over the world, and I want to give these talented people their due shine! As always, if you are or know of an upcoming artist, designer, producer, etc looking for a feature, please email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com

Today, we have alternative R&B artist Bow Promise! Hailing from the UK, Bow’s creativity and talent within the arts came out as a child. “My mum got me involved in a lot of activities including ballet, drama, modelling, and more,” the singer said. Bow also loved drawing and writing, eventually transitioning from stories to poems and songs. “My first song was influenced by Omar's 'There's Nothing Like This' and the intro to Mya's 'Fear of Flying' album,” Bow stated.


In The Spotlight: Kenn Retro

Another interview! As always, if you are or know of any upcoming artists, designers, producers, etc., that would like to be featured on The Spotlight, please email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com!

Today, we have hip hop artist Kenn Retro! Hailing from Chicago, Kenn stated that he grew up in a family with a passion for music. “Me and my cousins, when we were young, used to tour the West Side of Chicago performing Jodeci, Shai, Boyz II Men songs,” the rapper said. As he got older, Kenn continue creating music, switching over to a more “Alternative/Urban” sound. He fell in love with hip hop after first hearing A Tribe Called Quest through his uncle. “In 1999, I was inspired to develop my craft of rhyming with the guidance of my uncle, and he has been pushing me ever since,” Kenn said.


In The Spotlight: G5 Elz

Got another spotlight for you all on this wonderful Friday! Expect several within the next few weeks! As always, if you are an upcoming artist, designer, producer, etc., and you are interested in featuring your work on The Spotlight, email me (please allow some time for response)!

Today on the blog, we have G5 Elz! Exposed to music all of his life, the rapper learned and loved the art of rhyming. From Dr. Seuss books to watching rappers like The Notorious BIG, Jay Z and Nas, he quickly caught on to rapping. “By the time I was 8 years old, I began writing my own rhymes in school, preferably math class,” G5 joked. “Then it was always rapping in front of the TV like I was whatever rapper in the video with the remote in my hand.”

Hailing from Queens and living in NYC, G5 Elz recognizes that his environment has had a great deal of influence over his music. “My environment inspires everything because I’m seeing and hearing noises everyday then I incorporate that into my rhymes,” the rapper acknowledged. Though he always knew that creating music was his life’s purpose, he began to take his music seriously after his grandmother passed away in 2011. “I stepped my game up to another level and started molding solid projects, performing, and profiting.”


NEW MUSIC: "Blue Neon"-Soquelle

A little something different for your eardrums right now! Here's is a track from electronic duo Soquelle entitled "Blue Neon." The duo, comprised of Anastasia Gera (vocals, songwriting) & Mark Shvartsman (synthesizers, drum machines, saxophone, guitar), create this chill, futuristic track described by the group as "the late night streets of New York ’70s, the temptation to put the day behind you and saturate within the glow of fluorescent entrance-ways."

Check out the track below!

Soquelle is currently finishing up their debut album produced with Dan the Automator, which is scheduled for release in early 2015. You can hear more from them on SoundCloud, and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

NEW MUSIC: "Watch Me"-Cato

I'm literally spending this Wednesday night going through music sent to me, so expect several music posts throughout the night(As always, if you are or know of an artist that should be featured on The Spotlight, feel free to email me and we'll chat!). Another track I want y'all to check out is from Brooklyn-based singer Cato! Influenced by legendary artists like The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke, as well as more contemporary artists like Boyz II Men, Lauryn Hill, and the late great Whitney Houston, Cato has a heart for soul and it's clear in his music!

Released September 3, 2014, Cato's latest song "Watch Me" is an inspirational track for those involved in toxic relationships--romantic or otherwise. Sometimes it's honestly best to let go!

NEW MUSIC: "Good Karma"-BJ The Chicago Kid

Admittedly, I can be selective to who I pay attention to when it comes to the entertainment industry. Doing spotlights on artists outside of my preference has broken that bad habit down a little bit. My little sister was actually the first to tell me about BJ the Chicago Kid, who has actually been around for quite some time I found through my research. However, I never really listened to him until his PR team reached out to me, literally moments ago, and now I definitely want to hear more!

The singer recently dropped a new track called "Good Karma" features his stand out vocals and lyrics, and has a 1920's kind of feel to it. He sings about being the good karma to women out here, who have been going through in their lives. It's a real song of love to the queens out there, and BJ ain't discriminating. We all get love from him. "I hope I reach all of y'all," BJ croons. "Whether in the dorm room or the break room or the radio in your car." It's a feel good song for the ladies, and I'm loving it!

Check out the track below and sound off on how you like it!

You can check out more from BJ on his official website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!


NEW MUSIC: "Crumble"-Tamara Madison feat. Redway

I'm going to have some new music for you all throughout the day, so be on the lookout! The first track I'm featuring is from Canadian singer Tamara Madison! Just a little about Tamara: she hails from Toronto, and began singing at a very young age. Though exposed to a variety of genres by her parents, gospel is what took hold on her the most, as she grew up in church. Inspired by artists like Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley, the singer is steadily making a name for herself in the industry!

Her soulful influence is clear on her latest song "Crumble," featuring rapper Redway, off of her upcoming EP, Relapse: Part 2. This track expresses true vulnerability and anger as the hurt Tamara sings to her ex, wishing him bad luck with future relationships and life in general. I'm sure many other ladies (and maybe some guys too) have been in the same spot! Check out the hot track below!

The song may seem bitter to some, but I think it's a real track. When your heart is broken by someone you love, often times, you want them to fall apart so they can experience some of the same pain that you're feeling. Music is all about expression--the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. I'm definitely feeling this track. Tamara's vocals are on point, and she brings real passion to the song. Be sure to buy the track on Bandcamp, and look out for Relapse: Part 2 coming soon (listen to Relapse: Part 1 here)! You can also connect with Tamara on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!


Blake Lively Is Pregnant!

Oh baby! Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have officially announced that they are expecting their
first child!

Blake announced the news on her website, Preserve, while launching a "Preserve Celebration of Family," celebrating "that special moment at the creation of family. She posted multiple pics of expecting mothers, congratulating them all, and then posting one more picture--a picture of herself cradling her own baby bump! It was a really cute way to announce the pregnancy, and she looks absolutely stunning as always!

She and Ryan have been talking about expanding their family for a while, and I'm sure they will be great parents! Congrats to them!

Image via Eric Lively/Preserve


EVENTS: For Sisters Only 2014 (Washington, D.C.)

I had always heard about For Sisters Only (every major city seems to have their own), but never actually went to . However, this year, since the expo fell on my birthday weekend (I turned 24 on October 1!) and I was determined to do something fun, I decided to go with my sister and friends. And I am too glad I went!

Hosted by WPGC 95.5 and held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, For Sisters Only had a lot of great vendors selling jewelry, doing hair and makeup, and so much more, all for the ladies! Y'all know me, though! I was here primarily for the performances! I marched my sister and friends right to the front to the main stage, and basically parked it there the entire day. It was worth it, because I had a GREAT seat to all the action!


Snooki Gives Birth to Baby Girl!

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and her fiance Jionni LaValle officially have welcomed their second child! Snooki gave birth to a baby girl this morning, and, in true Snooks fashion, made time to tweet the news to her fans!
The couple's first child, son Lorenzo, was born in August 2012, five months after Jionni proposed to Snooki.

 Aww congrats to them! I think that they chose a beautiful name, and I'm sure that baby Giovanna will be a pint-size cutie just like her mom!

Image via Jamie McCarthy/NEP/Getty Images


In The Spotlight: Bryan Art

Always happy to feature artists and more on The Spotlight! If you are or represent a talented singer, rapper, designer, etc., please email their bio, quality pictures, and copies of their work to BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com (please allow time for response).

Today, we have talented Jamaican artist Bryan Art! Born in St. Ann, Jamaica, Bryan got his start in music at an early age, and learned to play the guitar at the age of eight. His mother actually taught him his first three primary chords that he continue to build upon throughout his life! The songwriter and producer graduated from the Edna Manly College of the Visual and Performing Arts, majoring in guitar (Caribbean, Latin American & Jazz Studies). Bryan spent his time there balancing guitar with photography and graphic art. He also took the time to teach music in Jamaican schools.


MUSIC VIDEO: "Looks Like Me"-Anthony Lewis (Michael Brown Tribute)

In the wake of the murder of Ferguson, MO teen Michael Brown, many artists have been using their
music to express their feelings about the situation. It's definitely been powerful to listen to these different tributes!

Upcoming R&B singer Anthony Lewis has dropped a song as well, entitled "Looks Like Me." Produced by Warryn Campbell and La'Shawn Daniels, the lyrics openly showcase Anthony's thoughts on the unjust murders of black teens like Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin among others. Anthony himself is a 17-year-old black teen, who has personally experienced racial profiling and losing a friend due to police brutality in his hometown of Los Angeles. The video for the song, released September 8, 2014, features pictures of people protesting and grieving these tragedies, and praying for justice and peace.


NEW MUSIC: "Heartbreaker (Remix)"-Graph Gonzales

A while back, I interviewed a great artist named Graph Gonzales, who impressed me with her music and feminist ideologies! She put out an awesome song called "Heartbreaker," inspiring the ladies to hold the reigns in their own lives, including their love and happiness. Now Graph has come out with a great remix to the track, mixed by Chad Hugo!

Check out the remix below!

Be sure to check out more of Graph's music on SoundCloud and YouTube, and connect with her on Twitter and Instagram!

What do you think of the track? Sound off below! 



I'm a big fan and believer still in Chris Brown. In spite of his mistakes, I've always admired his incredible talent, so I've been waiting for his new album  "X" for quite some time. Released today, September 16, this is Chris' sixth studio album, and he definitely gives Team Breezy a lot of great tracks.

In a past interview with Ebony, Chris explained the significance of the title:
It's the Roman numeral for 10. 5/5/89 is my birthday: 5 plus 5 is 10, and this is my tenth year since I got into music. 'X' is the 24th letter in the alphabet, and I will turn 24 when this album comes out. 'X' is also a metaphor, as in 'ex-girlfriend': it implies you're progressing and moving on in life, not holding on to the past and your old ways.
For the album, Chris has said that he was going for a more mature and soulful sound. He clearly incorporates his inspiration from his idol Michael Jackson, as well as Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. He mostly made that happen, though some tracks were off the mark. 

Check out my full review below!


In The Spotlight: Tim Wheatley & Crooked Saint

Today on The Spotlight, we have Australian artist Tim Wheatley! Born in Melbourne, Australia, he grew up in a family that was involved in music in one way or another. “My old man was a musician, and there was never a shortage of instruments lying around the house to kill some time on,” Tim said. Growing up in Australia, he always thought that the music had “quite a unique sound.” “Why that is I’m not exactly certain,” Tim said. “But I think it has a lot to do with the tyranny of distance. We take the music from places like the US and other parts of the world and put our own spin on it.”

The singer went on to form his own band in high school called The Sparrows, which signed with Sony a few years out of school. The band had gigs around Australia, the UK, and the States and was doing quite well. However, Tim and the lead singer Michael Badger, began moving in different musical and creative directions, and Tim left the group.


VIDEO: Style Zone With AC (PREVIEW)

I’m always excited to feature people on The Spotlight, but even more so my girl Ashley Chin who is doing her thing in Miami, killing the fashion game with her styling and designing! Since our first encounter back in 2010, when I first interviewed her, we have stayed connected, and I’m so proud of her and happy for her success!

Now Ashley is heading into a new venture—a new style series entitled Style Zone with AC! “I’ve been doing fashion for so long with wardrobe styling and fashion designing, [but] I’ve always had an interest in broadcasting and was always told I have a natural ability to be on camera with confidence,” the designer stated. “I decided to create a stable foundation for myself and collaborate my two worlds.”


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