Category Archives: writing

Spotlight on Talent – Melanin Reigns: Writer, Goddess, Radio Show Personality

Name: Melanins Reigns

Age: 21

Location: Baltimore

Hometown: Pittsburgh

Job Title: Freelance Writer and Radio Host

Melanin Reigns is a freelance writer and radio host of WOLB 1010 ‘The Mentoring Clinic’. Born and partially raised in Pittsburgh, PA to two Liberian parents. Owner of Melanin Reigns Essentials LLC. However, she is more than just a writer and entrepreneur she is a spoken word artist, emcee, youth mentor and more.

Melanin Reigns
Melanin Reign

For quite some time I would hear the name “Melanin Reigns” around the poetry and arts scene but had yet to meet the woman so many spoke highly of. One day, I finally had the chance to hear her spit some poetry. Her flow was deep and amazing, her voice, mesmerizing. Though her talents had Me enraptured, I could not ignore her physical beauty.

She wasn’t “pretty”, to simplify her that way would be an insult, she was stunning. Her movements were regal, her clothing told you she was proud of her heritage, she didn’t have to have anything showing to command the attention of all in the room. Her jewelry, you could tell was handcrafted and hand-picked, each ring, earring, bracelet to invoke or ward off. I had to get to know her, so I started to follow her on social media. Then I knew I had to introduce her to you.

Sapphire: You’re very well known and loved in the Baltimore arts scene, yet you’re a Pittsburgh native. How long have you been in the Baltimore area? How is the Baltimore arts scene different from the Pittsburgh arts scene?

Melanin Reigns: I’ve been in Baltimore for about 9 years now. Although I have yet to truly experience the Pittsburgh art scene, I can definitely say that there isn’t enough indigenous people and that for me is an issue. The Baltimore art scene is far more diverse and more importantly the soul still lives here.

Sapphire: You’re not just a poet but also have a beautiful singing voice. How did you first discover your talents? Do you remember your first time performing something you wrote?

Melanin Reigns: I’ve always known I was multi talented, however, I didn’t do much performing until I joined the Speak Life Tour. As far as performing, a spoken word artist by the name of Epiphany inspired me to step out and use my voice to its full potential. The first time I performed something I wrote, was a little over a year ago for Stephanie Rawlings Blake’s Mayoral Youth Domestic Violence Forum .

Melanin Reigns outdoors
Melanin Reigns outdoors

Sapphire: You happily live a vegan lifestyle. For those unfamiliar with Veganism, can you explain what that is? What led you to this lifestyle?

Melanin Reigns: So I actually do not subscribe to the label of vegan, simply because I shift my diet often according to resources and needs. However, I primarily live a plant based lifestyle and it was influenced by the quality of chicken that became popular in the market around 2008. They were injected with so many steroids that it could still be tasted through preparation and cooking. Long story short I started my journey around 2012 to eat to live instead of living to eat.

Sapphire: Speaking of veganism, on Fridays, you cook up a beautiful vegan meal and go out and feed the homeless and those in need. What inspired you to start “Feed a Friend Fridays?” How long have you been feeding strangers around Baltimore?

Melanin Reigns: Feed a Friend Friday started from my desire to engage with strangers. As crazy as it may sound, a lot of people could use a friend. What better way to commune than over food? From that basic thought came the element to provide those individuals with quality meals that would nourish their bodies as well. We prepare free, tasty vegetarian and vegan food. A win, win situation in my book.

Sapphire: You also run Melanin Reigns Essentials, LLC,  a company that creates and sells natural products, hand-crafted jewelry and even performs spiritual readings. Can you tell us more about Melanin Reigns Essentials, LLC and what you offer?

Melanin Reigns: Melanin Reigns Essentials is a multi-faceted brand dedicated  to making your online experience a one stop shop. We promote healthy living and all natural products that work with your enzymes, rather than disabling them overtime. We offer natural hair and body products such as; body butter, hair oils, soaps, toners etc. Our spiritual services include:tarot readings, spacial energy cleansing, touch and sound healing. The alkaline jewelry line is created with healing stones and crystals custom made just for YOU! All of these services are pioneered by profound sisters in the community. Rychel Reigns Accessories, YOUniversall Multi-media Co. ,Kifalme Royal Naturals and Mytia_styles are all incorporated within Melanin Reigns Essentials LLC.

Sapphire: What exactly is a spiritual reading? What does one usually get from it?

Melanin Reigns: Readings involve utilization of a medium to see what energy is willing to surface from the underworld aka the subconscious. So as a tarot card reader, I utilize my ability to transmute energy unto the cards, in order for clients to see them as well. The confirmation then comes from the client’s ability to identify where the “past position” messages are relevant in their life. (As they have already happened and can assist in gauging accuracy in the rest of the reading.) After which comes your present position then future. Depending on what spread is used, things like financial abundance or issues can show up. In regards to love, messages about divine partnerships, marriages, blockages due to residue from your ex and third party situations can appear also.

You will be assisted to your highest good if you stay in alignment with @mrsmelaninreigns advice. What intrigues people about “psychic intuition” is their ability to connect with things that appear outside of the self. People want to know how does this occur and how can it be validated? Find out for yourself, diagnostic readings begin at 7 dollars and 11 cents. Our theme at MelaninReigns.com is to stop avoiding your healing process. The driving force behind the readings is to offer guidance in healing. You absolutely cannot go wrong with evolving authentically.

Melanin Reigns Live
Melanin Reigns Live

Sapphire: Ask Melanin? I love the concept. How long have you been doing “Melanin Mondays” on Facebook? What topics do you find most people come to you for guidance on?

Melanin Reigns: Melanin Mondays will soon be embarking upon it’s one year anniversary. Most people inquire about a starting point to heal and advice on how to pursue their true passions. I can always be reached on melaninreigns.com! Click the “Ask Melanin” tab under ‘Contact Us’.

Sapphire: Any big summer plans or performances coming up?

Melanin Reigns: I am touring Baltimore, DC, Philadelphia, New York, Virginia, California and MORE all summer long with the Speak Life Tour. Be sure to log onto speaklifetour.org to find out dates and invite us to your city! We have a lineup of phenomenal artists, hand picked by our founder @Cspeaksofficial. If you’ve never experienced our host @EpiphanysWords then you definitely need tickets to the next show.

Sapphire: You have some cool performance videos on YouTube, do you still perform live?

Melanin Reigns: Gratitude beloved. I still perform live and Melanin Reigns the music artist has plenty of gifts in store for fall!

Sapphire: Where  can  people follow you and purchase your natural products?

Melanin Reigns: Your healthy addiction begins at MelaninReigns.com ! Please keep in mind that when you support Melanin Reigns Essentials LLC. , you’re supporting a variety of small businesses that give back to communities like yours!

@MelaninReigns on all social media.

Melanin Reigns Essentials on Facebook

Please like & share:

Spotlight on Talent: Shae McCoy, The Uncommon Realist

Name: Shae McCoy

Age: 26

Job Title(s):  Journalist/ Photographer (freelance)

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore’s own Shae McCoy has been consistently blazing platforms and leaving her media footprint within  the  DMV ( DC-MD-VA)   area and beyond. At the ripe age of 22, she founded Uncommonrealist.com,  a media source positively cultivating the minds of the public in not just the realest way but in a “realist” way.

McCoy’s deep passion for pop culture, the arts, and news has enabled her to expand her brand and be in the same room with the greats. Shae has had the honor to interview actors, activists, community leaders, and local politicians. One of the highlights of her career was interviewing the Michael B. Jordan, who starred in the Wire, Fruitvale Station, and Friday Night Lights.

Shae  fell in love with words at an early age. She was enamored with its power to move, motivate, and inspire. As a young girl, she wrote personal narratives and short stories. As Shae grew older, she grew fond of journalism and realized that is how she would make her mark on the world.

She recently started Coy-Op Photos, a photography brand that caters to various types of photography.

Meet Shae McCoy
                Meet Shae McCoy

 

Sapphire: Though you’re so young, your journey as a photojournalist has been a long one. Can you tell us how you got started? Which came first, your love of writing or love of photography?

Shae:  I started this journey as just a blogger/journalist in 2013. Uncommonrealist really was something that was created in the same day that I thought about it. For years before that, I wanted to create a blog, but didn’t know where to start.  I literally just had a day off from my  retail job and got to work.  The name of my blog came as fast as lightning, I didn’t have to put too much thought into it. I wrote my first article about Fruitvale Station and once I started receiving feedback about my article I knew that this was something I was meant to do and to keep it up.

I started doing photography in July of 2016. I originally picked up photography to be able to add photos to my articles so that I wouldn’t have to search for images via google. That plan didn’t stick too long because it was festival season, so I ventured out. I took my first collection of photos at the African American Festival and was pleased with results. That was also where I picked up my first paid gig.

UncommonRealist Logo
UncommonRealist Logo

 

Sapphire: Three years ago, you started your own company, The Uncommon Realist. What inspired you to launch your own brand? What did publishing under your own brand do for you as a journalist?

Shae: I’ve loved to write ever since I was a kid, I started out with creative writing. I always wrote the best stories, narratives and poems in my classes. Writing is something I can do with my eyes closed as long as it isn’t being forced, because no one wants to be forced when it comes to something they love. As I grew older I kind of strayed away from writing for a while because I was going through turmoil at home.

Once I got to college and saw that there were classes dedicated to writing, I picked it back up. I always knew that I would find a place in the media field, I just didn’t know where I would be exactly. News reporting always sparked my interest, but I didn’t think I was fit for TV so I gradually moved into writing in a journalistic style. I started Uncommonrealist in my sophomore year of college and then left school for three years. I didn’t think I was focused enough at the time. Starting Uncomonrealist definitely is shaping me as a professional and developing me as a person. As a journalist, it has presented me with plenty of opportunities.

Sapphire: You’re a contributing writer to the newspaper at the University of Baltimore, The UB Post; How long have you been writing for the publication? What are you majoring in at the University of Baltimore?

Shae: I have been writing for The UB Post since February of this year. My major is Digital Communications.

Coy-Op Photos
Coy-Op Photos

 

Sapphire: You recently wrote an article about the state of Baltimore’s inner city communities, focused on generational poverty and gentrification. What made you decide to write the story? What kind of response did you get?

Shae: I wrote that story because I am living that story as we speak. I am in a better space than I was growing up, but I am still in the same neighborhood I wrote about. The way that it is changing before my eyes is mind blowing and I had to express that because I know a lot of inner city residents can relate. The responses I received were mostly in concurrence with what I discussed. People were offering suggestions and trying to help.

 

Sapphire: There’s a huge LED billboard on Charles Street, a major Baltimore thoroughfare; it’s located practically right outside on Baltimore’s Penn Station which is a central transportation hub for the east coast. What does it feel like to have your work on a billboard with the capacity to reach millions of people daily?

Shae: It was a great feeling, a small success, but a great feeling nonetheless. It was just something on my list that I wanted to do. It was cool to see my work up that high and for people to stop and take pictures. I made sure that I included photos that I took of people I know so that they could see themselves up there as well.

 

Sapphire: Photographers tend to be shy, quiet thoughtful types. Who is Shae McCoy? How would you describe your personality and personal style?

Shae: I’m someone who appears to be very social, but really likes to be around a small amount of people or alone. I’m always shy in the beginning until I feels like she is comfortable enough to be open and fun around you. I’m  outgoing and outspoken, which can appear as a contradiction to my usual laid back self. I just likes to be comfortable when not out working hard, that usually requires a loose outfit and a place with a great view.

Sapphire: Where do you see yourself five years after graduation from UB?

Shae:  Working in a newsroom, but if print media is still relevant in 5 years I can see myself in that field as well. I see myself as a photographer for huge companies and both of my brands expanding in a major way. I never really answer this question too well. [lol] The world is forever changing I just hope to be on the good end of things.

Black and White Series: Coy-Op Photos
Black and White Series: Coy-Op Photos

 

Sapphire: I’ve noticed and have been enjoying your summer photo series. What can people expect from you this summer?

Shae: Thank you. I plan on having a book made for 2 of my photography collections, one old and one new. While preparing for that I will be around at some of the local events this summer snapping photos and doing shoots.

 

Sapphire: Where can people keep up with your work and find  more of you?

Shae: People can keep up with brands by:

Following @uncommonrealistdotcom and @coyopphotos on Instagram

Visiting and subscribing to Uncommonralist.com

Liking “Uncommonrealist” on facebook

Following “Uncomonrealist” on soundcloud

Following “Uncommonrealist” on Tumblr

Thank you so much for having me!

 

Please like & share:

Opportunity for Writers: Essays Wanted

ESSAY CALL

Essays of reflection on love, life, parenthood, transition, death etc. I am looking for essays that a reader will be able to see your growth from where you were in mindset when the essay started versus where it was when it culminates.

Word length 2,500 to 4,000 (exceptionally good essays of up to 5,000 words will be considered)

Fee $50 add your essay and contact information plus ONE copy of Reflections. $125 add advertisement for your own book or project plus 5 copies of Reflections.

“Reflections: Getting to the Heart of Me” will be available on Amazon, CreateSpace and at Barnes and Nobles June 15, 2017.

Essays due no later than June 20, 2017

Submit your essay to Sapphirethesexyone@gmail.com for consideration

I recently published a book of poems titled “Writing for My Sanity” because honestly, writing has saved my life many times. I’ve kept a journal my whole life, in fact I still have one of my journals left from high school.

As I’ve aged, not only have I continued to journal but I started blogging as well.  Through my blogging, I started to notice my writing develop. Eventually, I found that I had become an essayist without even noticing.

No longer was I just pouring out my heart, my feelings and emotions but I was growing through the insight I was getting from my writing. I was able to share my own personal experiences yet have a message that was generally universal.

As I’ve written and shared my life with strangers across the world for the last 10 years, I’ve connected with so many on a personal level. As a person who has dealt with feeling alone and isolated, it’s been encouraging and therapeutic to connect with others who can relate to how I feel.

It feels even better when someone tells me they gained clarity, insight, or peace in their own situations from me sharing my own.

I’ve compiled a series of essays that I can see the growth in myself through such as a letter to my dead mother, pieces on self-esteem, love, motherhood and more. The essays will be put together in a book titled “Reflections: Getting to the Heart of Me”.

With the second book I published, Writing for My Sanity, I allowed two other talented writers to share their poems with my readers inside the book. I am doing the same with “Reflections”, I am opening space up for other writers to share their essays as well. I encourage you to  use this opportunity to invest in yourself and increase your reader base.  I look forward to reading your submissions.

 

 

 

Please like & share:

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
Please like & share:

Spotlight on Talent: Abman Glaster, CEO, Urban Legend Media

Urban Legend Media Is The Newest Trend In News, Entertainment & Advertising that prides itself on being a publication that targets anyone that is influenced by urban culture. It’s  CEO, Abman  Glaster is an  author, publisher and advocate. Let’s get to know him a little better.

UrbanLegendMedia

Sapphire: There’s so much I want to talk to you about but first in three sentences or less, how would you pitch yourself. Tell us who you are?

 Abman: I am the face of change. A story of overcoming life’s adversities. An author/publisher/screenplay writer, who likes to create exciting works that far exceed any certain demographic.

Sapphire: I just love your story, I love to see people overcome their struggles to succeed in life. Before we get to your success story, let’s discuss your start. You’ve spent quite a good amount of time in and out of the legal system. What led you to a life of crime and what caused you to change your life?

Abman: It’s the typical story of a minority youth growing up on the streets of America’s inner cities. Growing up in adverse economic conditions lead me to selling drugs. For me, the justice system has been effecting my life since the age of 12, up until my current age of 41. I’ve spent a total of 16 years inside, and I’ve recently completed a 108-month federal prison sentence. During that time, which was my fourth trip to prison, I made a vow to just continuously strive to reach my fullest potential. That was my moment of metamorphosis. My paradigm shift.

Sapphire: How did you start your publishing company?

Abman: While serving this last prison sentence I wrote my first book. Because of already having operated my own small business, a beauty and hair supply store in Jersey City, I just had the mindset that I wanted to control everything with my projects. So, after writing 3 novels in 11 months, I begin to consider all the avenues to get my book in print. Published my first book, ‘Foreign Exchange’ in 2008 while at USP, Terre Haute, and there you have the birth of Urban Legend Presents/Urban Legend Media. A very interesting journey, learning the ropes of the publishing industry.

Sapphire: Who are some of the authors you’ve worked with and how can a writer get published through Urban Legend Media.

Abman: Most notable are Wahida Clark of WCP and Michelle Fletcher of LaFemmeFatale. Whether an author is looking for a traditional, or self-publishing arrangement, they can visit urbanlegendmedia.org, and under get published they’ll be able to start the process.

stormy winter promo flyer2

Sapphire: You seem to have an interest in digital video. Is that something you will be bringing to ULM as it grows? What kind of projects can we expect?

Abman: Absolutely. My literary journey has lead me to add grant writing, and screenplays to my repertoire, and since screenplay writing has come into the fold, I’ve been on a relentless pursuit to bring my unique vision to the world thru visual medium. I think its inherent in fiction writers, the idea of seeing their works being created into film. Currently we are gearing up to begin filming One’s Pleasure: Another’s Pain, a short film that delves into the lives of identical twins, Winter and Summer, and how Summer’s pain always comes at the hands of Winter’s pleasure.

Sapphire: Since being released from prison, you’ve set up GETTING OUT AND STAYING OUT as a way to offer resources to other felons scheduled for release. Can you tell us more about your organization? How can someone help you by volunteering or offering donations and resources? .

Abman: My organization is being established as a 501(c) (3) non-profit, designed to help soon-to-be released prisoners overcome the challenges that await them upon release. Because I have personally experienced how the impact of a criminal record prevents many ex-offenders from obtaining employment, housing, health insurance, and higher education, I understand how difficult it is for the most well-intentioned individual to keep on the right path and STAY OUT of the criminal justice system. Therefore, GETTING OUT AND STAYING OUT is committed to connecting soon-to-be released prisoners to the critical resources they’ need in order to be successful in transitioning back into society.

Abman
Abman Glaster

Sapphire: With all the things that you do, it’s hard to imagine that you dropped out of school in the 7th grade. You went back and gained your GED later, and attended college courses, would you advise a child to drop out and follow your path or stay in school and follow a traditional path? Why?

Abman: I was always a kid that excelled in school, but it was just that I hardly went. There’s a certainty that comes with dropping out of school, and that is the probability of traveling down a vicious path of imprisonment. A cycle that destroys our neighborhoods, corrupts our children, and lays waste to entire communities. So, young boys and girls, please stay in school. In more than 90% of cases, the outcome of your life directly depends on your education.

Sapphire: What advice would you give to aspiring authors who feel like the process of becoming an author is too hard?

Abman: It’s always easier said than done. LOL. But I’d say just hang in there. Try to build schedules for writing time. The only way to get over writer’s block is to write, and don’t force it. Let the creativity lead you.

Sapphire: If not this, then what? If you weren’t in the field of media, what could you see yourself doing for a living? Any hidden talents?

Abman: At one point I was really interested in computers, so something in that field.

Sapphire:  Where can people keep up with Urban Legend Media?

Abman:

Check us out at: www.urbanlegendmedia.org

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/urbanlegend

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ulm2017/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ulm2017

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/urban-legend-media-2b82856b/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/

Please like & share:

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

Please like & share:

Spotlight On Talent: Photographer Caitlin Tabilog

Name: Caitlin Tabilog

Age: 20

Location: Atlanta, GA

Talents:  Photography, soccer, painting, drawing, and piano

Sapphire: You’re a great photographer, your range is awesome. How do you decide what projects to take on or start?

Caitlin: Thank you very much! I appreciate it! Being young, ambitious, and having a love for learning, I’m open to almost any type of project that arises. I want to gain as much experience and knowledge I can with photography and the business side of photography.

Sapphire: I love that you are not stuck in a studio all the time, you seem to have an affinity for nature shots. What so many outdoor shoots?

Caitlin: There is a special beauty and glow with natural lighting that is difficult to replicate with artificial lighting. I also love the bokeh effect (blurred background) that also causes the blending of colors found in nature that happens when you photograph a subject in a nature environment for the background.

image 1
image 1

Sapphire: I’m pretty impressed in this day and age that you’ve dabbled with actual film. What made you go retro and try it? How did you like the results compared to digital photos?

Caitlin: I took two film photography classes my freshman year of college (2014-2015). We were required to shoot our assignments with film and develop the photos ourselves in the darkroom. Photos taken with film have a particular visual result compared to digital photos and feel more personable. I feel more attached to film photos, because you are responsible for getting the exposure correct without a preview in the camera. Also, it’s important to get the developmental steps in the darkroom correct, because there is no undo, preview, or delete button unlike digital cameras and photo applications. Also, there is a distinctive color effect, sharpness, and grainy look to film photographs that I think many photographers, presets, and filters are often trying to replicate with digital photos.

Sapphire: So many photographers are stuck on models, you capture real people. What made you decide to go against the norm?

Caitlin: Due to not having that much experience yet with photographing portraits, I had to practice with people that I knew who I perceived would enjoy modeling in front of the camera to build my portfolio in the beginning. I also adore bringing out the beauty, or the best in people that many clients are not aware of or who are insecure about the way they look.

image 2
image 2

Sapphire: Switching gears for a moment I see that you have another talent. You’re a writer as well. Care to share more about that?

Caitlin: I was a writer for The Odyssey for a short period of time, but I enjoy journaling during any free time I have. I believe writing is another art form, and it is a healthy way to express and release your own feelings and personal experiences.

Sapphire: I love that you’ve taken the time to learn the process and not just point and click. How hard was it learning to edit your own photos? Do you offer editing services to others?

Caitlin: Thank you! Learning how to edit my photos took a lot of time, dedication, and trial and error. However, there is a lot of helpful and quality information that is easily accessible through the internet. Creative Live, Phlearn, and Fstoppers are great on-line resources for information. I do offer editing services to others. I have retouched other photographer’s photos before, and I can be requested to teach my culling, editing, and retouching process to anyone who is interested by emailing me at photography@caitlintabilog.com

Sapphire: Do you remember the joy and excitement you felt when you first learned that your work had been chosen to be displayed at the Roswell Visual Arts Center?

Caitlin: I was very grateful to learn that my photos had been chosen to be displayed at the Roswell Visual Arts Center, but I was even more excited to learn that my photography professor organized a class field trip to have the class drive to the gallery to view my work.

image 3
image 3

Sapphire: What’s next for you? What can we expect to see in 2016?

Caitlin: I am currently communicating and working with a non-profit organization to help teach a photography class for children and teens who have loss a loved one to show them how they can use photography to express their emotions. Additionally, in 2016, I plan to learn as much as I can about photography and the business aspect of it through my internship with a local photography studio and work to save as much money as I can to hopefully visit New York City one day. I aspire to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York someday and view in person the art pieces that I have been studying in college and adore.

Sapphire: Where can people keep up with you and your work?

Caitlin: People can keep up with myself and my work through my website and social media.

  1. Website: www.caitlintabilog.com
  1. Facebook: facebook.com/ctabilogphotography 
  1. Instagram: @ctabphotography
  1. Twitter: @ctabphotography

Please like & share:

We Have Had Such A Successful Week – Look Inside

I am working so hard to get the  name Sapphire Spotlight on Talent out there and I can see it starting to pay off. Combining My writing with My love of promoting talent is bringing more people to the site daily. More people to the site mean more opportunities for people to see you and your talent when it’s YOUR turn to be here.

hannah
hannah

 

Our current Model of the Month Hannah Moore is  not ONLY currently in  New York to walk for New York Fashion week but  she is also featured in the February issue of  London LeBlanc Magazine that was released yesterday.

imagery by malik
imagery by malik

I also met a  great photographer  from Atlanta who’s work I just immediately  fell in love with. I interviewed him for the magazine as well and it came out great. Check out his website and  check out the  new issue of London LeBlanc Magazine online FREE at www.londonleblancmagazine.com or buy  a print copy at http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1054466

I can’t wait to see who  will be next to be featured. Will it be you????

Model Call
Model Call

86 Blvd is  trying  something new and it’s looking  for models. 86 Blvd is  usually  extremely sensuous and  sexy but  it’s looking to tone done a little and become more mainstream. Are you fashion forward and still sexy? Submit to email above .

I have a new Spotlight on Talent Interview lined up here  for next week with an Actor/Photographer I  met. He has been in the acting career on and off Broadway for 30 years. I’m steady grinding so  you can  shine.

365 hiphop
365 hiphop

My exclusive interview with  Carl Michel, Best Selling Author of 365 Hip-Hop: Daily Motivational  Quotes was published this week as well.  Please take  some time to stop by and check it out http://theurbantwist.com/2016/02/09/revolutionizing-the-way-we-listen-to-hip-hop/ today and share with a friend.

Here it’s all about promoting talent and giving  people a place to shine. Want your  space  in the spotlight? Email Me sapphirespotlightontalent.com or sapphirethesexyone@gmail.com

 

 

Please like & share:

A Cute Ode To A Friend – Check Out this poem “My Condolences” By David Miles

David Miles
David Miles

 

I met David a few years ago and  his spirit is so  beautiful. He is a true testament to show that no matter what state the body is in the mind can be alive and active. In a nursing home  for many years , David  writes to pass the time. Check out his ode to a furry friend below.

MY CONDOLENCE

THE TIME HAS COME TO SAY GOOD BYE TO A FRIEND. I USE TO FILL MY BAG WITH SNACKS THAT HE WOULD EAT. MOUSES HAD NO MONEY TO SPEND.  GONE ARE THE DAYS OF PISTACHIO’S AND CHIPS, EVEN THE MIXED NUTS THAT WERE EATEN OFF AT THE TIP.  BUT THE STAFF GOT WISE AND SAID THERE IS AN ENEMY AMONG US.  SO THEY PUT TOGETHER A PLAN WITHOUT A FUSS/  WELL IN COMES A MAN WITH HIS BAG OF TOOLS SETTING HIS TRAPS TO MAKE THE MOUSE A FOOL.  THE DAYS WENT BY NEVER HEARD A SOUND MY AIDE CAME IN JUST THE OTHER DAY SHE SAID IT SMELLED REAL STRANGE.  SHE COULD NOT STAY WE LOOKED AROUND COULD NOT FIND A MOUSE. I HOPE HE IS RESTING IN HIS MOUSE HOUSE.  BYE BYE MR. MOUSE

THOUGHTS BY D.K. MILES LEVINDALE POET

Please like & share:

What A Deep Piece Of Poetry, Check Out “Tired” By Sicxfive

Sicxfive
Sicxfive

 

I’m tired

I’m tired of turning on the news and hearing political views that don’t coincide with a true picture of America,

I’m tired of hearing politicians spew and project an attitude that there is nothing wrong in America,

I’m tired of States banging Red and Blue and arguing about which side is true today …I said today… In America,

And I’m tired of racist views by police and people reporting the news who spin lies about America,

See I haven’t been around forever but I’m clever enough to see when you feed lies to me about the body that’s found deceased in the middle of neighborhood streets and yet you tell lies and have us think that innocent you will be until they blast the truth across the TV screens……
and we have the truth laid out for us….
Cops killing our children, our mothers our fathers, our brothers our sisters, our past and our futures,

And then I turn on the TV and I see more violence…..

But this time the hood is quiet, cause the science is that someone has shoot an Officer of the law and now he is in the ICU slowly dying…..
Do we not see that this human being killed is someone child, or mother or father, or brother or sister, ……this was someone’s past and future,

And I turn away….I can’t stomach it anymore, I need fresh air, I can’t breath, my feelings are raw and open to the core, I’m sore from the inside out because death has become so common that after I’m told someone died I turn around 5 mins later and ask what was the score to the game… And they told me,

But what they should have told me was that the score is a lot to a little,
A lot of death to too little life,
A lot of pain to few memories of joy,
A lot of sorrow for those who died today and will never see the beauty or horror of tomorrow,

I am scared to raise a child in a world where keeping it real is WSHH material,
I’m afraid to raise a child in a world where kids are snatched out of front yards,
killed inside the schools they learn in,
and preyed on by adults we are suppose to trust,
I fear raising a son who has to navigate adult choices at tender ages because our youth is looked at as a walking statistic…
Likely to be the next…athlete, drug dealer, gangbanger, deadbeat father, or felon,
I fear raising my daughter in a world where she must always be aware that someone is out to do her harm,
where her innocence is precious and a thief waits in the dark to steal it from her,
where a nice word must be looked at with skepticism and caution,

I want my children to grow up and be all the great things that they dream of when they sleep that drool soaked sleep wit a slight smile on their faces,
I want our children to know that we are doing things today so that they have a better tomorrow,
I want these children to know that we can get our act together so there is a safe world for them to raise children in in the future,

And all of this has me tired
This world this day and age when we are so advanced and yet still so behind,
I’m tired of the talk and rhetoric about what’s wrong while we never take the time to do what’s right,
I’m tired of the finger pointing and grandstanding and the me as the center of the world movement ,

I’m tired of it all…….
But I won’t stop because I have someone who expects more and deserves more from me,
I will continue to work to make my circle of influence better,
And if that keeps me tired then I know when I finally rest that I gave everything I could to make the future better for our future….

Please like & share: