Name: Melanins Reigns
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.
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 .
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.
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.
Name: Shae McCoy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
It’s Memorial Day weekend, the official start of summer and I wanted to do something special for all My up and coming and indie stars.
This weekend only I’m taking $100 off our Power Promo Package advertised in the services area here on the site. Normally this package is $500, but this Today – May 29th only, you can take advantage of this offer for only $400.
Website ( 5 page SEO optimized, social media integrate)
30 day front page feature
100 business cards
Blog submission ( submission to 5 other websites for promo consideration)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m coming out the house this weekend and I can’t wait to hit this event. It’s like a coming out event for Me, so many people know of Me but have never Me. I’ve been out the house recently more in Baltimore. This past weekend I had My second radio interview in two weeks to promote this site as well as My other business ventures. I’ve been asked to come back and co-host on March 31st.
This Sunday I’m all geared up for the DMA
I’ll be in the building with business cards, fliers and promo issues of Experience Reality Magazine. I hope to meet some new fans, and contacts. I love My job, in fact, I interviewed one of the panel members, Brave Williams, for a magazine cover last year.
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.
Hey guys and dolls,
As you can see I’ve been pouring My heart into making this site a place devoted to real talent, diversity and supporting the independent artist/entertainer.
I love what I do and I love helping other showcase their talents. Tomorrow afternoon I have a radio interview to talk about the things I do through this site, My new book and more.
I hope you tune in and show support.
I’ll be on The Artist Exchange Radio Show
The Artist Exchange Radio Show
Topic: – Let’s Talk Business PT.2
Nate Couser (Host)
Guests: Teara Booker & Melony “Sapphire” Hill
Real Artists⭐Real Talk⭐Real Live
My segment should be around 1 p.m.
Call in at (410) 702-5657