Fashion model Tocarra ("America's Top Model") appears on the new season of TV One's 'The Ultimate Merger'

*“I decided to do ‘The Ultimate Merger’ because it’s a great opportunity,” said Tocarra (“America’s Top Model,” “Celebrity Fit Club”), reality star and fashion model, about her appearance on TV One’s new season of the ‘dating competition’ reality show, ‘The Ultimate Merger.” “People think it’s easy to find a man. (It’s hard) Especially with you travel. It’s time for me to settle down and move it on.”

“The Ultimate Merger,” which has Tocarra dating 14 handsome men – eliminating them as she goes along – to end with one special guy, premieres Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9:00 p.m.EST with a two-hour special. Thereafter the reality show will air for a ½ hour on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.EST.

The reality show is produced by Trump Productions, LLC and JUMA Entertainment and gets pretty heated when 14 men try to win over the heart of the voluptuous television personality.

“When I first saw the guys I was so overwhelmed,” Tocarra told me when asked about all that testosterone in the room when she first walked in. “I went to the pool (probably to get some air) and then saw guys in trunks!”

“From the moment the camera’s started rolling,” said TV One EVP of Programming and Production when asked if she thought she made the right choice this season with Tocarra. “It was fantastic the way she captured the attention of the men – we knew.”

Tocarra came to fame on Tyra Banks’ reality show ‘America’s Top Model” and then on VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club.”  The fashion model, who also appeared as spokesperson for Ashley Stewart, also made reoccurring appearances on Ice Cube’s series “Are We There Yet?”

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The smooth soulful sounds of Gina Carey has a ‘Melodic’ affect on new album

*I’ve reviewed previous works of singer/songwriter Gina Carey, but this newest album “Melodic” (GICO Music) is more, if possible, impressive than the last. This lady can sing it all: Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Soul. On the new project Gina won’t disappoint any genre lover as it shows her vocal power reminiscent of the Gospel genre; her erythematic style shows her R&B influence; her scatting to show the Jazz flavor, and you will blown away with her soulful abilities.“It’s a God given ability,” said the Soul singer/songwriter about wide range of vocal and songwriting abilities. “I started performing at age 8 or 9 at school. The kids started gathering around me. The teacher took me to the principle who took me to board meetings (as entertainment).”

From there Gina said she started to travel throughout the Unified School District performing at events. In 1996 Carey decided to go professional and do some background singing. Eventually Gina recorded and released four albums – three Contemporary Gospel projects and one main-stream Neo-Soul album. Her latest CD, “Melodic,” is an Urban Soul inspirited album.

“It took two months. My husband was the main inspiration,” the songbird said about the new album. “I’d lost my stream…my husband (John Carey) had the fire.”

Well, it shows he had the fire on the “Melodic” project because the production – by him – is no less than award winning. My favorite cuts on the album include “A Change,” featuring John Carey on vocals, is a great inspirational song of hope – I also love the guitar support he contributes as well; “Share My Life” for its Urban R&B flavor; “Loving You (A Song For John),” an Urban/Smooth Jazz number, where Gina shows her skills at scatting, and “Unbelievable” for its nice Smooth Jazz feel.

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Husband/wife duo Kindred the Family Soul takes it to the streets on new CD, ‘Love Has No Recession’

Husband/wife duo Kindred the Family Soul (Shanachie/Purpose Music Group)

*The married couple first received their big break – as a group – when Jill Scott helped them get a recording deal with her label – at the time – Hidden Beach Recordings. Three albums were released from that imprint which garnered the duo national recognition for their projects. Their newest album is released on Shanachie, “Love Has No Recession,” and features Snoop Dogg, the “godfather of go-go” Chuck Brown, Raheem DeVaughn, Bilal and poet Ursula Rucker.

“Inspiration…music is what we do and love…it comes natural to us,” said Kindred the Family Soul to me when asked what brought about the project. “We’re living in an interesting time. We’re experiencing difficult times in the country.”

Kindred said they hope the new album, “Love Has No Recession” (Shanachie/
Purpose Music Group), will spread love and hope, and uplift the spirits of the nation.

“We were labeled Neo-Soul cause of the community we come from,” Kindred the Family Soul said when discussing the wide range of musical styles on the album. “We want to continue to be true and relevant. We feel like we aren’t limited. We want to get down-and-dirty, funky…”

Well they succeeded because it’s really hard to classified what genre music “Love Has No Recession” offers, specially when you have featured vocalist that are so varied. There is legendary Snoop Dogg with his Hip-Hop flavor; Chuck Brown with his ‘go-go” style; R&B crooner Raheem DeVaughn, the soulful styles of Bilal, and Ursula Rucker with the spoken word.

My favorites on the “Love Has No Recession” project include “Above Water P1” with poet Ursula Rucker; “Magic Happen” because it is such an emotional song; the single “You Got Love” cause I love what Snoop Dogg adds to the cut; “Authentically You” featuring Lady Alma Horton for its old-school feel, and “2 Words,” a sweet lover’s plea, for its hot harmony.

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(Eunice Moseley is a syndicated entertainment columnist: