Category Archives: videos

Spotlight on Talent: DH DaHitWryter, Wordsmith and Host with the Most.

Dionne  Halsey is a song writer, event host and mental health/self care advocate. She’s also the co-founder of Heal Baltimore and Creativity and Conscious Sippin, Dionne currently co-creates events that bring people together to support art and to give back to their communities. Dionne also hosts a popular variety show in Baltimore called #ThursdayNightRealness and facilitates workshops that focus on mental health and self care. Let’s take a  minute to  get to  know her a little better.

DaHitWryter
DaHitWryter

Sapphire: I was initially drawn to you because of your drive. I first noticed you as an event hostess. I was pleasantly surprised to find out you had much more to offer. In three sentences or less, how would you pitch yourself. Who are you?

DaHitWryter: First let me thank you for this interview. Alright so, I’m a motivator, team player and creator. I build, create and work with others to do the things that align with my purpose, and provide positive change.

Sapphire: You’re so diverse and I love it. You originally got your start in music. How did you get into song writing? Was writing always a hobby or passion for you?

DaHitWryter: Writing is so therapeutic for me. I wrote my first song for church when I was about 9. Then I got consumed with my first love, basketball. So I actually started writing consistently again when I was in high school. I actually would write for my peers and hang on my front porch and write and spit verses with the guys in my neighborhood.

 

Dionne

Sapphire: You been lucky enough to work inside the music industry as well learning more about the industry. These days you even guest host and interview some cool people. What have you learned from working inside the music industry?

DaHitWryter: Working in the music industry, I learned about the business and most importantly I learned a lot about what’s for me, and what’s not for me. It’s important to be self aware when you are constantly around others and exchanging energy.

Sapphire: Do you prefer to be in the spotlight or more behind the scenes? Why

DaHitWryter:  I actually prefer to be behind scenes because I love supporting others and seeing other people take my words and give them life when I write a song or some other piece for them.

Ressurecting Queens
Resurrecting Queens

Sapphire: You have many artistic talents, I love that you nurture them. How long have you been doing graphic arts? Was it hard to learn the craft?

I’ve been doing graphic arts, without realizing it, for over 10 years. I’ve always been the type to play around with gadgets and take things apart and put them together so once I taught myself the program, making flyers and all that, became easy. It definitely saves and creates additional income for me.

Sapphire: You are co-creator of Heal Baltimore and Creativity and Conscious Sippin, what can you tell us about these organizations and how you became involved?

DaHitWryter: Heal Baltimore came about after the riots that took place in Baltimore. It was actually an uprising as well. I kept saying the affirmation Heal Batimore so I reached out to my business partners and said, hey, would you be interested in putting together events that support and give back to our communities? And they were all in. We have artistic events, and we put together drives to collect things for those who need them. CCS is a mobile paint and sip company. We bring the sip and paint to your home, office, bar or wherever we are needed. Another business partner of mine was looking for ways to incorporate her artwork into her brand. So we did research and reached out to a company for her to work with. At the time they didn’t have any openings so I encouraged her to start her own company and ended up becoming a business partner. We also put together artistic events for the public too.

Sapphire: As someone diagnosed with mental illness Myself, I was extremely drawn to your need to share your story of battling depression. I’m glad that you got the help you needed. How has battling depression affected your life?

DaHitWryter: Battling depression would always have an effect on me being consistent with my career. There were times where I just wanted to sleep all day and let life pass by.

Sapphire: In the Black community, mental illness is generally overlooked or downplayed. We are told to            Suck it up, pray and the like. How supportive was your family and inner circle when they found out You were battling with mental illness?

DaHitWryter: My inner circle really stepped up once I revealed that I was feeling depressed and suicidal. At the time, I had a partner who went to the end of the world for me, and I cherish her for that. My family didn’t really know because I shutdown after coming to a family member about it and it not being taken serious. That family member was depressed too.

Sapphire:  What’s up next for you? What can fans expect to see from DaHitWryter?

DaHitWryter: Fans can expect more hosting, workshops about mental health and self care, motivational speaking, and new music! More businesses and merchandise too.

Sapphire:  How can people keep up with your work? Drop them links on us.

DaHitWryter: I’m big on hashtags so if you’re on Twitter, IG or Facebook it’s @DH_DaHitwryter or just plug in #TheDHExperience. To hear music from me as a lyricist and also a songwriter, check me out at www.soundcloud.com/dhdahitwryter. My website will be returning soon. Thanks again Queen and to all those supporting.

new music
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Video Blog: Deceptive Marketing Sucks

In a world  of  social media and  digital technology it can be a little  hard to know who’s real and who’s blowing  smoke up your ass. Especially when it comes to  business “opportunities.” I constantly meet  entrepreneurs like Myself and  engage in conversation. One approached Me this morning and   was telling Me about an awareness campaign for women, he was trying to sell Me  pads. Not cool.

There are  people like Me, who refuse to  chase easy money by deceiving people with products I know nothing about. People who offer a quality service at a reasonable  price with no hidden agendas or fees and still deal with nonsense. With Sexy Sapphire what you see is always what you get, direct answers are easily available and most information  you need  will already be made clear on My sites. No need to deceive, or reel you in.

When you know your target market there is less chance of you being  the pushy sales person in  every conversation you have. You’ll be able to  identify and qualify a customer  up front.

 

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LTAB And Baltimore Art Rising – A Day Of Poetic Youth Excellence

I had the opportunity  last month to attend the most amazing event, actually it was  two events held by the same entities on the same day. The people at Dewmore Baltimore  teamed up with Maryland  Institute College of Art (MICA) and put on two spectacular events. It was a big  day for Me and My son personally because My son was  being honored at one of the events.

LTAB
LTAB

We attended the LTAB ( Louder Than A Bomb) finals for middle and  high school before attending a book release event that My son was taking part in. The LTAB was amazing, I’ve written about  Dewmore Baltimore before, this local  group of poets give these kids a way to express themselves unlike I’ve ever heard from minds and hearts so young.

These children write their own  poems and  perform them  with  meticulous  execution. Some of the teens  brought tears to my eyes  in telling their life stories through their writing.

I had  shared a few videos from that  day below and more  are available on youtube. If you go through My videos you will find even more youth poets.


The  middle school and  high school LTAB events were separated by a book release event called Baltimore Art Rising.

Baltimore Art Rising
Baltimore Art Rising

Baltimore  Art Rising  is a poetry anthology  put together  jointly by  MICA and Dewmore Baltimore featuring the poetry of youth  under the age of 18. My  own  son was one  of those  youth represented in  Baltimore Art Rising and  we were so excited to be a part of it.

Book Release Event
Book Release Event

The set up was  really nice  plus they  set out a beautiful spread of appetizers and snacks. Each  student who had a poem published in the anthology also had their poem  turned into visual art and it was hung gallery style at MICA. The young poets had their poems turned into visual art and also  received a copy that visual version of their poem framed.

Marquis with his poem
Marquis with his poem

One of the  young women I recently introduced you to through the site was also one of the featured youth poets. You guys  remember  Mecca right? She was a judge for the  high school LTAB finals as well.

Marquis Receiving His Poem
Marquis Receiving His Poem

It was so wonderful  to watch the kids  all lit up and  beaming with pride as they walked up to accept their visual poems. I was such a proud parent. Spending the day with My son and  kids his age while listening to them speak about such  adult topics was eye opening. We’d like to fool ourselves into thinking they are children like we were, but they aren’t. The  world they are  growing up in is  so different than anything we experienced at their ages and they have to stories to back it up.

such talented kids
such talented kids

Want to  see more pics from the events? Check out the  gallery below and remember for more  videos check this link.    Click a  Photo  to make it bigger.

 

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Spotlight On Talent: Poet Mecca Verdell

Name: Mecca verdell
Age: 18

Sapphire: When I met you I was introduced to you as Mecca but I’ve come to know you as M E C C A ~M O R P H O S IS. How did the name come about?

Mecca: I got the name from another nickname actually, “Meccaroni” and I wondered what other words I could play around with. So it went from Meccaroni…to Meccatron…then one day Meccamorphosis was born and it sound awesome to me so I stuck with it.

Sapphire: You perform as a part of DewMore Baltimore. Can you tell us about the program and how you got involved?

Mecca: Getting involved with DewMore had to be the best experience of my life so far. I came into the program through a club they had for western high school then started writing more and more. I was looking for an outlet since Western didn’t have a theater club at the time and poetry was a perfect blend of acting and writing. Now to be a writer is a career I hope to have.

Sapphire: How long have you been writing and performing poetry and spoken word? What influenced
your start?

Mecca: I’ve been writing for little over a year now, and I owe it all to my mentors at Dewmore Baltimore.

Mecca
Mecca

Sapphire: You’re not a Baltimore native but you’re making quite a name for yourself in the city. Where are you from and what was it like relocating here? Did you find it easy to assimilate?

Sapphire: I’m from New Jersey and I was just starting to have a footing there but right when things started to go right it went sour with family issues and such. So having a complete new start in Baltimore was a huge change for me. Especially with Baltimore being so other worldly but then again so am I in my own way. I awkwardly felt at home as soon as I started to meet the right people.

Sapphire: You recently hosted your own open mic event for the first time. How’d you pick the name
Ryhmin Noodles? What was it like to host your own event?

Mecca: Recently I started the first independent youth open mic, and it was the most stressful time of my life. I was worried but it was nice seeing my dreams come true. I called it “Rhymin noodles” after a verse by one of my favorite artist Chance the rapper. “I should rhyme, rhyme with ramen noodles.” Its was a good success for a first open mic and I owe to my poetry family, my parents, also the owners of Breaking Bread restaurant for letting me host the show at their establishment.

Mecca 2
Mecca 2

Sapphire: You’re a co-host on VVC Radio? What is your show about and when is it on?

Mecca: I started co-hosting on VVC online radio in November I believe. It was right after my first interview they asked me to join with Speak, the main host of the show. The show is called Speakeasy Poetry Radio. We talking about current events in music and poetry locally and nationally every Monday at 8 on VVCRadio.com

Sapphire: What inspires you? What topics do you find yourself compelled to write about?

Mecca: I write about everything, at least I try to. Because I don’t want to be limited at all. I wanna make poem on almost every topic in a new refreshing way.

Sapphire: Switching gears a little, you’re not just a spoken word artist/writer, you’re also an activist. You marched for justice for Freddie Gray and locked yourself in a government building
overnight in the name of justice. Were you arrested? What inspired you to get involved

Mecca: I got involved because my friends needed me to but I don’t like calling myself an activist just because I got arrested. It wasn’t solely for the cause even though I was in the moment. I did it because I wanted to make sure my friends were safe. And that they weren’t hurt in way. But now I’ve been more active ever since. I’m an ambassador at LBS (Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle) where I use art to give attention to different issues. I still feel like I cant call myself an activist. Not just yet.

Sapphire: What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

Mecca: I hope to push poetry to new limits as my writing grows. I don’t wanna give to much because I have such a big mouth, but I’m working on a poetry mix tape called “Unaprosegetic.” It talks on all social issues about blackness in a new way. But I’m also making this mix tape to kind of “scratch” black lives matter poems off my list. I also have a lot of projects coming up so stay tuned.

Sapphire: Where can people follow your work? Drop them links on us.

Mecca: As I always say “you can follow me everywhere but my house” @meccamorphosis on all social media.

Youtube

Instagram

Facebook

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Spotlight On Talent: Jungle Barbie Julia Fashionista On The Rise

Jungle Barbie Julia 1
Jungle Barbie Julia 1

When I  first noticed this model it was through the photos of a photographer I had  once shot with. I was  mesmerized by her beauty and style. She was  young and  though she  was in a world full of models, she  stood  out. I  silently followed and watched this  young beauty for the last year and became a fan.

Watching  the  model, designer, stylist, singer turned fashion  blogger I was constantly amazed at the versatility and drive this young lady possessed. I was so excited when I  approached her to interview her for London LeBlanc Magazine and  she happily  agreed.  The interview will be available in print and  digital format January 13th.

Jungle Barbie Julia 2
Jungle Barbie Julia 2

In the meantime you can take some time to get to know this young  fashionista on the rise by checking out her  fashion  blog or following her on social networking sites. She  has some great ideas for Valentines Day and much more. Check out some of her other fashion  blogs at http://sevnetwork.com/author/junglebarbiejulia/

Jungle Barbie 3
Jungle Barbie 3

Follow her on social networking  sites

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Youtube

 

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OrchKids – These Young Musicians Blew My Mind

Orchkids
Orchkids

Have you ever  just happened to wander in on  something  so beautiful you found yourself stuck in a trance as you tried to take it all in? That’s what happened to Me this summer at Artscape as I wandered around  tent to tent, building to building soaking in all the  creativity  that flowed. I somehow ended up in one of the Mica ( an arts colleges) buildings and  saw a lot of people milling about on a lower level.

OrchKids performance
OrchKids performance

My friend and  I followed the flow of people and  walked into a  concert that was already in progress. The sight shocked Me, the  music  coming from the  stage was so sharp, and  beautiful but  I was not ready for the musicians, they were all children. The oldest looked about 14 maybe. These children were  playing  music with the talent of well trained  adults who had studied the  craft for years.

OrchKids is a year-round, during and after school, music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighborhoods. Under Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director, Marin Alsop’s artistic leadership and direction, OrchKids is the cornerstone of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s efforts to expand their relevance within the broad and diverse Baltimore community. (From the website)

OrchKids-Michelle-Obama
OrchKids-Michelle-Obama

This group of talented youth have even been recognized by the First Lady, Michelle Obama who presented them with an award for excellence on Thanksgiving 2013. I  was  so lucky to happen upon them  performing and was quick to whip out My camera. I captured four  videos and uploaded them to youtube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe_NSxP-NWTFCoSQDLyphvg

Orchkids


For more info on the Orchkids  check out their website at http://www.bsomusic.org/education-community/young-musicians/orchkids.aspx

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I Attended The Hottest Open Mic Last Week

Burnin Mic Open Mic

I’m the first to say you can find talent in all places but  I was  shocked to find it flowing  from My own  womb. I  entered My son into this  poetry writing/spoken word program for the  summer with the  Maya Baraka Institute directed and ran by various National poetry  slam winners and  contestants. The  program is  for youths age 13-20 and  focuses on spoken word and the creative arts with an afro-centric flair.

We were invited to their  first  performance last week which was in the  format of an open mic which was also open to the public sponsored by the Maya Baraka program along with Dew More Baltimore.  The open mic was hosted by the  youths of the program and  many of them blessed us with their talents from singing, to poetry and rapping. I  recorded  quite a few of the performances but no where near all of them nor did I capture what I think were some of the best performances.

Hopefully you will enjoy  a peek into  what you missed. These talented teens and young adults blew Me away.

I have  a few more  videos  from the event and will be continuing to  upload them to youtube at http://www.tinyurl.com/sapphiresyoutube.com

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Are You Following Us On Facebook? We Share Hot Talent Daily

Spotlight on talent logo
Spotlight on talent logo

While  I’m working hard  to boost the popularity of this site I’m also working hard to brand it on social networks.  Daily, on Facebook  through our fan page https://www.facebook.com/spotlightontalent I  post tips for writers, contests, artwork and videos of amazing talent.  To check us out on Facebook either click the link above or the facebook like box in the right hand side bar. This site and our social networking pages are designed SIMPLY to provide a  platform for aspiring and  established  talent to promote themselves and gain valuable information that  can be critical  to their careers.

resource guide
resource guide

This site isn’t JUST about interviewing and promoting hot talent but also to provide a place that  offers a range of resources that  can  assist talents of every type.  You will notice the resource  guide area at the top of the page and in the left hand side bar.  Just as I am constantly seeking talent I am also seeking businesses and  resources to add to the resource guide. So Email and tell me about your business and lets get you added.

Got Talent? Show It Off
Got Talent? Show It Off

Here’s just a  few examples of the type things shared through our facebook page. I would hate for you to miss out on great talent or an opportunity to get your own work out there.

Screencraft.org Short Screenplay Contest final deadline is one month away! Submit your script for evaluation by judges from Vimeo, Cannes Film Festival, Maker Studios and more:
www.screencraft.org/shorts

These young  girls had Me smiling, the shy one with the book bag is  going to have a hell of a voice once it’s properly trained.

Watch Video Here

By Artist Kelliebrew
By Artist Kelliebrew

I found an awesome artist on facebook  named KellieBrew check here out by clicking her name.

The following video really touched Me , I meant it hit home on so many levels. I hope you take a minute to check her out.

CLICK HERE

I’d love nothing more than to showcase your talent, here and on our facebook and twitter pages. SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT and  show us your talent at sapphirespotlightontalent@gmail.com

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Have You Seen The Young Dance Phenom Heaven? She’s Heavenly

Heaven King & Mom 1
Heaven King & Mom 1

I will be the first to admit I’m not a  fan of watching  videos  online and I  don’t watch  talk shows. I miss out on a lot of what’s currently popular. That’s part of of why I started this site, I know so many like Me  who are just as clueless. Well until last week I’d never heard of 4 year old Heaven King but  since the first time I saw her she has been blowing up all over My social networking pages.

Heaven King & Mom 2
Heaven King & Mom 2

This darling little  girl has taken the internet by storm with her danced moves.

Her and her mom were recently featured on the Ellen Degeneres show.

Her mom  has  many more vids with her on her  youtube page HERE

Heaven King & Mom 3
Heaven King & Mom 3
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