Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fox of the Week [9/30]: Ebony Lavette

Ebony Lavette is a model-singer-songwriter-poet from Cleveland. She discusses how she got started, how she makes a good photograph, and where she would like to shoot.

How did you get started modeling?

My mom was a model and singer she inspired me to do both so at 13 I started modeling for an agency.

What would you say is your best feature?

My personality. Physically, my eyes.

If you could do a photo shoot anywhere, what location would you choose? Why?

Somewhere very secluded like a desert the more diverse the better the pic.

How do you make a good photo?

Make it "me" meaning don't be afraid to pose like a high fashion model even in my curves it's possible go against the norm.

What is one misconception people have about you?

I look mean.

In addition to being a model, you are a singer, songwriter and poet. What inspires you to write?

Everything from the sky to things that have made me stronger I can be free when writing poetry it just takes me to another place within me.

If I asked you to sing a song on the spur of the moment, what song would you sing?

"If I Was Your Woman" by Gladys Knight & The Pips.

What is one goal you hope to accomplish in your career?

Starting my acting career.

Vote for Ebony on TweetGurls.
Follow Ebony on Twitter.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

London band Enamel: a Mongrel child of Wham and Foo Fighters

Enamel is a five-piece band from London. Drummer Chris Egglestone discusses the band's sound, who Enamel would like to share a bill with, and what the members would be doing if they were not making music.

Describe your sound for someone who has never heard the band.

Raw bass and drums grooves with 'Springsteen-esque' guitar together with melodious vocals and intricate keyboards. Sounds wank...A mongrel child of Wham and the Foo Fighters.

How did Enamel come together?

Four out of the five members have been playing music since school days, thrashing out bad versions of Cream and early Radiohead songs. Then Tim (the singer) joined in 2004 and it's been lots of fun since.

Why should Enamel be in my heavy rotation?

You'll enjoy the disco.

If you could put together a bill with three other artists/bands (active or defunct), with whom would you share the bill?

Ultravox, The Cure & Sting (the lute album).

If you could write and perform a song with one artist, who would it be? Why?

Beyonce.. You would definately know that her band would have the chops to do anything you gave to them. We could provide the raw rock soul.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

All of us have different ideas but it would hopefully involve something creative.

Follow Enamel on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fox of the Week [9/24]: Shay D Diamond

Shay D Diamond
is a model from Newark, New Jersey. She has been featured in Rap Soul Urban Magazine, Top Vixens, and G Gurls, among others. She answered questions about her first photoshoot, what makes a good photoshoot, and what she hopes to accomplish in her career.

What would you say is your best feature? Why?

In the industry I'm in, my best feature would be my behind. That's just of the things that everyone looks for in eye candy modeling, and they want to see tons of it...the bigger the better. However, I do believe that my best feature is my smile. I get a lot of compliments on it.

How did you feel when you did your first photo shoot?

I felt nervous as hell! I had no experience, and I didn't know how the pictures would turn out. Me being a perfectionist, I wanted to make sure everything was perfect, but when you jump into something like modeling, it is not easy at all! I didn't know what the photographer thought of me, and I had butterflies in my stomach. After a few test shots, I just felt like a natural in front of the camera and all my nervousness went away. I didn't like how the pictures ended up coming out, but I decided to keep doing shoots to try and do better.

What makes for a good photo shoot?

You have to have a photographer who is looking to capture the best shot of you. Some photographers just want the money you pay them and take a few pictures, don't give a damn about capturing you at your best, and that’s that. When you have a photographer who truly loves what they do and wants to make sure you get the best picture possible, then you can feel confident not only in front of the camera, but confident that your photo shoot will go well. The best photo shoots that I have had have been with photographers who are easy-going and do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable so you two can produce the best shots. If you are not comfortable, or don't vibe with the photographer, it will definitely show in your pictures.

What is the most difficult thing about modeling? What is most rewarding?

The most difficult thing about modeling is getting respect. Some people feel as if a model is just a person who has a nice body and a head with no brain inside. People see me in my pictures, and I'm wearing a thong or g-string, and they automatically think I'm a hoe or a slut when I'm really not. In the industry I’m in, that is what works. I’m a glamour/eye candy model, not a prostitute. However, I still get emails and comments from people asking me for sex, and just saying downright disrespectful stuff. I know it comes with the territory...but would be a little better if people would stop assuming things and be a bit more respectful.
The most rewarding thing about modeling is having the honor of being featured online and in print. I love being able to add different sites that I'm featured on to my resume. It makes me feel like I'm doing something right when it comes to my modeling. I feel honored to be featured’s like, damn, you could have been featuring someone else, but no, it’s me. That makes me feel so damn good.

Who are some models you admire?

Well, I really love Kimora Lee Simmons. I think she is just fabulous. Everything she does is completely over the top. That is just the way she likes to be and I really admire that. I love to be different and over the top like her sometimes. She thinks of herself as a goddess, and all women should really feel that way about themselves, because we really are all goddesses. I also love Cubana Lust. She seems to know a lot about the industry and knows how to make money in it. She knows what it takes to draw people in to wanting to go and join her website, and she makes money from that. Now that is really knowing what you are doing and knowing how to get it done.

What is one goal you hope to accomplish in your career?

I would love to be featured in Straight Stuntin Magazine. That is one of the magazines that I am working so hard to be featured in. I went to a Funkmaster Flex car show in Edison, New Jersey, where they were also doing a Straight Stuntin model search, but they said I came too late to be in it. The winner of the search would be on the cover of Straight Stuntin. So I drove all the way over there for nothing and I was so sad I couldn't participate because I really thought if I was in it, I could have won. It was just a feeling I had deep in my heart. I was not going to let that stop me though...I'm going to keep going until I get what I want.
Visit Shay's Myspace page and Model Mayhem page.
Follow Shay on Twitter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Soul podcast Hot Slop: music feature of the week

If you are like me, you are more than a little disillusioned with the music on the radio. Whenever I listen to the radio for more than a couple minutes, I realize something is missing. That something is soul. It seems that In order for music to make it onto commercial radio, all of the soul must be produced right out of it.

Which is why I was so delighted to find Hot Slop. This podcast is a part of the GaragePunk podcast network. Host Rob Baker digs up some gems, mostly in the R&B (real R&B, not the electronic and vocal stuff that passes for R&B today) and soul genres, but he also taps into blues and rockabilly. These are songs that make you want to shake what your mama gave you, and not in any polite sort of way. These songs will make you want to dance in the nastiest way you know how.

He plays some artists you'll recognize (Little Walter, John Lee Hooker), artists you should know but may not (Joe Tex, Rufus Thomas), and artists you may never have heard of.

If you, like Mojo Nixon, think "we gotta have more soul," then you must check out Hot Slop. And hey, do a favor for yourself and the host; subscribe to the podcast. Trust me, you'll love it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fox of the Week [9/17]: Jasmine Joi

Independent LA model Jasmine Joi discusses getting comfortable in front of a camera, what makes a good photographer, and what she ultimately hopes to accomplis
Jasmine Joi is a model from Los Angeles. Via phone, she discussed her favorite kinds of modeling, getting comfortable in front of a camera, and her work with

What do you model?

I'm an independent model. I do my website thing. I don't really model for anybody or an agency.

What's your favorite kind of modeling?

Swimwear, lingerie. glamour modeling.

What would you say is the best modeling job you've had so far?

It was around November. I flew to Orlando. I did a complete photo shoot, me and a few other girls. I did some HD video footage. It reminded me of being on the set of a movie. It was very professional. There was a whole camera crew there. It was interesting to be the center of attention.

How did you get started?

I used to take pictures a lot. I didn't really do the modeling thing. Once I got better at being in front of the camera is when I said, "OK, let's take it to the next level." It's been three, four years. I got comfortable being in front of the camera and got better at my craft.

What are some tips for getting more comfortable in front of the camera?

I would say just relax and be comfortable. Know your angles. Hopefully you have a cool photographer you can vibe with. Basically, that's it. Just relax. Just have fun with it.

What makes a good photographer?

Someone who has been doing it for a long time. Someone who knows lighting. Somebody who knows the whole photography craft, not just a guy with a camera. I really like photographers that give you a creative scene. I like scenes, coming up with something different, to where everyone else doesn't have the same images as you. I like photographers I can vibe with.

What's a misconception that people have about you?

A lot of people would think the whole porn thing. I am an adult model, but I'm not a pornographic model. I do have a website where I pose topless, but I'm not into porn or erotic images. Just because you show your boobs does not mean that you're going to show anything else and do anything inappropriate. [laughs]

Tell me about

I mentioned the photo shoot I went on in Orlando. That was with them. I haven't done much with them to this point. It seems like we're going to have a good vibe with them with the mobile-to-mobile content, the video footage. It's just something different that I've never done. It seems like it will be good...give me a lot of exposure.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your career?

As far as the modeling goes, Playboy. I really love Playboy. It's very tasteful. I love their layouts. A lot of people say they want to do Playboy. It really is a dream for me and it will be a total accomplishment if I make that happen. That's my goal as a model. Overall, I want to be an entrepreneur. I'll give myself a couple more years with the modeling thing, and hopefully things will work out for me. I'm trying to do some reality TV stuff.

What sort of business do you want to start?

Everybody has hair and nail salons. I want to do a makeup salon. Nobody has that right now. I really like makeup, but I'm not good at doing makeup. I like the idea of changing a person in ten minutes. I've been thinking about opening a makeup salon with a few makeup artists. You don't really hear about people opening makeup salons. I really don't like to do my own makeup. I like to get my makeup done. For photo shoots, I won't go in front of the camera without having everything together, and that includes makeup.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ohio hip-hop artist Cy Harp: the most relatable artist

Cy Harp is a hip-hop artist from Ohio. He discusses his style, what's wrong and right with hip-hop, and why he is the most relatable artist.

Describe your style for someone who has never heard your music.

My style is super straight forward. What you hear is what you get. No sugar coating, no bubble gum, none of that stuff. It’s really just a big reflection of reality that’s why I’m the most relatable artist!

What makes you the most relatable artist?

The fact that I can rap about things that everyone has had an experienced. But I seem to tip the scale on more the humorous side. I just did a song called “Just Chillen” and I was talking about a girl that talks sexual, say how much they will do this and that to you. When it came down to the actual sex, she changed her mind and was actually afraid. Soon as I released the song, my mailbox was full of people laughing and saying they remembered when it happened to them.

If you could write and perform a song with one artist (living or dead) who would it be? Why?

Definitely Tupac, I just like the passion and heart that went into his material. You can hear through the emotion in his voice that he really means what he is saying. As I do on a different scale.

What would you say is right with hip-hop at the moment? What is wrong with it?

What is right about hip hop is the fun, a lot of people are hitting the clubs and having fun dancing to the new records… all in all just having a good time off of what’s being put out.

What is wrong is the fact the message is getting took out of music. The origins of music was based on delivering messages, whether it was a story about a great war hero or a story about directions to go north from slavery. All in all I think there is a way to connect good times with stories and still deliver a message. Will Smith's “Summer Time” did it. [laughs]

If you can only accomplish one thing in your career, what would it be? Why?

To be remembered forever. Because I believe a lot of messages in my music now and what you will hear in the near future is like game being passed down. I’m telling people how I dealt with college coming from the environment I came from to promoting the fact of having good morals. I believe that character in anyone should be studied, and I will be the person of that stature.

What would you be doing if you weren't making music?

I would still be finishing up my marketing degree in December. But with music being out of the question, my direction would be more community oriented than now. I think I would be just grinding with the marketing helping kids understand things I wish I would have known.

Contact or Booking CyHarp: (330) 780-1351 or
Follow Cy Harp on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fox of the Week [9/10]: Devi C

Devi C is a model and fashion designer from Ohio. She discusses her fashion line, and what she hopes to accomplish in her career.

How did you get started modeling?

Two years ago I was apart of a modeling contest at my school and it completely brought me out of my shell. I knew modeling was something I wanted to do along with fashion design.

What is the favorite feature that you have done?

I am featured in So Driven Magazine as the beauty of the month of September and fashion designer of the week. Check it out.

What makes for a great photo shoot?

For everyone involved in the shoot to be professional, relaxed, and most importantly have fun.

Which do you prefer: creating designs or modeling them? Why?

I love doing both putting both of my talents together makes me feel so good and proud of myself.

Describe your fashion line. Who do you think would like your designs?

Rock La Chic is a combination of hard rock and slick chic creativeness. With a focus on texture, feel and quality, the line is designed to enchant the patron wearing the garment, while attracting the eyes of eager onlookers with envy. I am inspired by things in life that most would over look or take for granted. My work speaks for itself and is original in its own right. I think every one will like my designs girls and women will love to where it and boys and men will loves to see beautiful women and young girls wearing it.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your career?

What I hope to accomplish in life is not fame, but respect and acknowledgement as a young, emerging and fresh designer ready to make her mark on the world of fashion. Oh and of course I want to make sum moola.

Follow Devi on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fox of the Week [9/3]: CiCi Santarelli

At only 20 years old, CiCi Santarelli has already been named Ohio model of the year. She was featured in The Source in April 2008, and was the Dimepiece featured model in July 2008.

What kind of modeling do you do?

My goals in modeling are to be successful in the glamour/urban/import modeling section of the industry, a cover girl of high end men's magazines such as BlackMens, King, XXL, SHOW, and Maxim, or even to be a centerfold or playmate of the year. I think with my ethnic, distinctive look that's where I fit in the most. Outside of modeling, I also have ambitions of acting, TV hosting, and more. I want to be an all around entertainer!

What led you to modeling?

I was approached by the founder of the Real Muzak Vixens (now Ghost Model Management), Aundrea Jackson. She had seen my Polaroids on MySpace and one of her former promotional models was my neighbor, so we met up through her.

Who are some models you admire? Why?

Marilyn Monroe! Not only does she resemble my mother, but she is one of the most beautiful women to ever walk the planet. Her smile, glamour, beauty and style. Overall she is a real beauty and i like the fact that she was not a size 0, but had ample curves. From her soft voice s to her pouty red lips, she had a knack for making men's toes curl. She was just herself but still an iconic figure.

What would you say is your style or approach to a photo shoot?

I am aiming to set my own standards in the modeling industry. My interest is in the glamour/urban side of the industry. Everyone knows that a majority of the succesful girls in the Urban side have a waist and hips measurement difference of 20 or more. I am trying to do what the girl next to me is not, but not in a negative, degrading way.

What makes a good photographer? What does a good photographer bring to a photo shoot?

As long as I am comfortable with the photographer, we are doing the images in a tasteful manner and the images are getting used for the right reason then everything is ok. As far as what he brings to the shoot; it would be his camera, laptop, A+ game and a ice pack because it gets kind of hot. [laughs]

How do people underestimate you?

I think sometimes my age, being only 20 years old, peoples expectations are not as high until they meet me or view my work.

Where would you most like to do a photo shoot? Why?
I am in love with the whole Old Hollywood/pinup (40s and 50s) image. So something in that sense with a little bit of fetish mixed in by a swimming pool or maybe in a martini glass with bubble bath.

What is one goal you feel you must accomplish in your career?

There's no progression like progress. I don't know for sure but I know I will continue to be successful and advance in my career.

Check out CiCi on Model Mayhem.
Follow CiCi on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Check my interview with Art Neville

I have posted the second of three interviews with artists performing at the 30th annual Long Beach Blues Festival this weekend. Check out my interview with the legendary Art Neville of The Funky Meters.