*“My fans were my motivation,” said Grammy and Billboard Award nominee Syleena Johnson about her newest album, “Chapter V: Underrated,” on Shanachie. “I wanted to try something different.
Johnson, known for her collaboration with Kanye West on “All Fall Down,” has worked with R. Kelly, Common, Jermaine Dupri and Twista. Also an actress and modeling, the singer/songwriter has released four other albums: “Love, Pain and Forgiveness,” “Chapter 2: The Voice,” “Chapter 3: The Flesh,” and “Chapter 4: Labor Pains.”
“Chapter V: Underrated” has Syleena working with producer Unik (Pitbull, Tyrese) on the first single “A Boss,” Toxic, AK (Do or Die), Na’Tee, Malone, Big Dog and Tweet, who is featured on the cut “Angry Girl.”
“I want to be a total new artist,” Johnson pointed out. “But I want my old fans to know I’m here…My sound stays the same, I’m recognized for my sound.”
Syleena’s sound is certainly unique because its intertwined with her training in classical music. The Syleena Johnson sound is clear on some of my favorite songs off the “Chapter V: Underrated” release which include the first single “A Boss, a hot funky number, “Little Things,” a deeply soulful cut featuring Malone, and “Label Me,” a Pop hand-clapping song with an Urban twist.
When I asked Syleena, who was discovered the old-school way by sending in a demo tape, for advice to upcoming artists she stated for them to “not let anyone tell you different. There is going to be people hating…keep the faith.”
For more information on Syleena Johnson or her newest project “Chapter V: Underrated” log onto www.SyleenaJohnson.com.
The Freedom Sister’s exhibit launches at the Museum of Tolerance, hosted by Kevin Frazier
*“With the Freedom Sister’s I’ve been able to tour with Dr. Sonia Sanchez and Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams. Traveling with them is like being in graduate school all over again,” said Kevin Frazier (“The Insider”), master of ceremony, at the launch of the Freedom Sister’s exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
The Freedom Sister’s exhibit has been traveling the country for some time now with its multi-media displays of 20 historically significant black women of which Sanchez and Evers-Williams are part of.
The traveling exhibit is made possible by a grant from the Ford Motor Company’s Ford Motor Company Fund, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and the Cincinnati Museum Center.
“We sincerely thank the Smithsonian and the Ford Motor Company… they made it possible for the exhibit,” said Liebe Geft, director of the Museum of Tolerance.
In the audience were 43 Los Angeles women who were recognized that day as local “Freedom Sisters.” Of the 20 women in the exhibit some others include Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Harriet Tubman and Ida B Wells.
The displays include scenes such as a bus from the time-period of Rosa Parks’ civil rights stand and other fascinating moments in history. Traveling since 2008, the Freedom Sisters’ exhibit will be at the Museum of Tolerance until January 8, 2012.
“The Cincinnati Museum called and said, ‘You’re chosen as 1 of 20 women to be honor.’ I said you and I know there are so many other women that have fought for freedom and justice…but it is truly is an honor,” said Dr. Sonia Sanchez about her inclusion in the exhibit.
Members of the Freedom Sisters’ Committee of Honor include Quincy Jones, Dr. Johnetta Cole, General Colin Powell, Patti LaBelle and the Honorable Maxine Waters.
The Freedom Sisters’ exhibit is a must to see for everyone, in particularly, schools and families. History is so important to know, because without that knowledge we may just find ourselves repeating the same mistakes.
For more information on the Ford sponsored Freedom Sisters’ exhibit log onto www.MuseumOfTolerance.com.
Actor Eric Keyes III lands co-hosting role on the Fox Network series ‘Live Life & Win’
*The Fox Network chose actor/screenwriter/author Eric Keyes II to co-host a new Saturday morning series titled “Live Life & Win.” It premiered September 24, 2012 and it’s an inspirational teen show designed to inspire and enlighten young viewers. It will have segments focusing on arts, school, sports, exercise, nutrition, health and wellness.
“We made the pilot last year,” actor/writer Eric Keyes III said when questioned how he landed the co-hosting role. “I hadn’t heard back from them.”
Keyes reminiscence about the moment he found out that the Fox Network picked up his pilot. He received a call that said, “they got the show and want to do more episodes.”
“Fox picked it up… with 22 episodes,” Eric pointed out proudly.
What an impressive number of episodes, not to mention getting a show picked up by a major network at such a young age (which he wasn’t telling). Eric, who has appeared as an actor in commercials for Disney and McDonalds, is also an author. His book, “The Light in the Dark,” was written when he was only 11 and made it to Borders bookstore shelves were it was sold nationwide.
“I had a fear of going to sleep in the dark,” Eric said when asked what would make an 11 year old want to seriously write a book. “I’d hear noises and stuff…So I literally go under my covers, and think positive thoughts and the fear went away.”
He wrote a book about his fear of the dark and did such a great job it went national. He did great with Oprah and ended up in national commercials. Now, he will go national again on the Fox Network as co-host of “Live Life & Win.” Did I mention this young man also published a book of poems, “Shadow Eclipse,” through The Valley Press.
Eric credits meeting Oprah at age 5 for a print job as the catalyst for his success. For more on the Fox Network’s Saturday morning series, “Live Life & Win,” log onto www.fox.com.
(Eunice Moseley is a syndicated entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com)