*“Chris Brown’s ‘I Can Transform Ya’ was my first song to go platinum,” Grammy Award nominated songwriter/producer and recording artist Lonny Bereal said while discussing his credentials to me at The Village Studios in Los Angeles. This was just before his recording session with 19 inner-city youth of the ASCAP Songwriter Residency @ America SCORES mentoring program. “I took a part of each one of their poems to make the (lyrics).”
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ mentoring program signed Bereal on to lead the kids – from elementary and middle schools – through writing the lyrics to and recording (vocally) on the music track to complete an original song. The song will appear on a special compilation CD ASCAP will produce and distribute.
Also a singer, Lonny started as background singer for Jamie Foxx, Tank and Kelly Rowland – to name a few. As a songwriter and producer his credits also include Tank’s “Please Don’t Go” and Pleasure P’s “Under.” His songs are included on the soundtracks of such projects as the film The Seat Filler, televisions’ “Meet the Browns,” short film Life Support and BET’s “The Game.” His latest album, “The Love Train,” includes a duet with Kelly Rowland titled “Favor.”
Other mentors in the ASCAP Songwriter Residency @ America SCORES program include Country music songwriter Dave Berg (Keith Urban); Latin music songwriter Roke; Grammy Award winning nominated songwriter Maiysha (John Legend); Hip-Hop artist Psalm One and Grammy Award winning songwriter/producer Scott Jacoby (John Legend). Visit www.AmericaSCORES.org for more information on the ASCAP program.
The Hollywood Black Film Festival highlights Peter Bishai’s feature film, A Million Colours
*This was the first year the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) highlighted a foreign film on opening night. The film was produced by Peter Bishai and is titled A Million Colours. A Million Colours is set during South Africa’s 1976 Soweto uprising. The HBFF event was held at the L.A. Film School in Hollywood.
The red carpeted opening night received the support of actor Leon (The Temptations); actress Tangi Miller (Madea’s Family Reunion); the cast of Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married Too” (TBS); actress/singer Ashley Nicole (Hub-TV’s “Majors & Minors”); singer E.B .Wright, and Willie Macc – to name a few.
HBFF was founded in 1999 to enhance the careers of emerging and established North American filmmakers through public exhibition and competition programs. Learn more about the film festival at www.HBFF.org.
The British Virgin Islands ‘Full Moon’ U.S. tour’s a big success
*An innovative initiative by the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Tourist Board was recently held, a two-day culturally driven string of events called “Full Moon.” The “Full Moon” tour took place in Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. In Los Angeles it was held at The Conga Room.
Entertainment at the events included Caribbean singers Ouida Nisbett and Kamau Georges, and dance groups Anazazi and Mokojumbies.
“Being able to touch peoples’ lives with my voice,” said the award winning singer, Ouida, about her motivation to become a singer. “People respond by crying and laughing.”
Along with Ouida Nisbett was Kamau who is also a saxophonist, producer and engineer that studied at Berklee in Boston. His credits as a songwriter include “Bloody Mary” on Lady Gaga’s album.
The BVI tour brought the best of their culture to the U.S. You can learn more on the British Virgin Islands at www.BVITourism.com.
ComiKaze Expo reunites cast of ‘All That’ at the Los Angeles Comic-Con
*“I’m s excited to be at ComiKaze…We had the ‘All That’ Reunion that brought the whole cast together,” said comedian/actor Kel Mitchell about why he was at the 2011 ComiKaze, Los Angeles Comic-Con – held at the Convention Center. “I’m also here for my new movie, Dance Fu, in stores now. It’s written by me, directed by Cedric the Entertainer and stars Davidson, Affion Crockett, Cedric and Rodney Perry.”
Mitchell was also there to promote a new cartoon through Rubicon, Asia Lee (and shades).
“It’s a good cartoon, positive for the kids and a lot of action,” Mitchell pointed out.
ComicKaze is the first and only multimedia cross-genre expo in Los Angeles which has created a Pop culture that brings together the best in comics, gaming, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime and other cult programming. The massive expo provided a wide range of celebrities, aside from the cast of “All That,” as well as comic book distributers and publishers from all across the country.
The family oriented expo was kicked off by the legendary comic book animator Stan Lee with a ribbon ceremony. You can learn more about the event for its next visit by logging onto www.ComiKazeExpo.com.
(Eunice is a syndicated entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com)