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.
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.
Nafrini is a Conscious Hip Hop artist hailing from the Midwest, on a mission to bring back authentic storytelling and substance to the art form of Hip Hop. In the spring of 2015 she released ‘All Day (Promo)’, a freestyle over Kanye West’s track of the same name where she addressed the braggadocio nature of rap music. She followed that up in the winter of 2015 with her first official single ‘In My Hands’—a laid back hip hop record detailing the obstacles of her spiritual journey followed by the release of the ‘In My Hands’ music video in the spring of 2016.
In the Fall of 2016 she released her second single ‘Lovin’ Him (That Was That Bullshit)’ detailing a past relationship that ended in regret. 2017 promises the next chapter in that tale with new music & visuals, live performances and as always, a focus on telling true-to-life stories.
Sapphire: Your portfolio on Model Mayhem is stunning. Each photo more mesmerizing. I see you’ve been modeling for 11 years, what got you started in the modeling industry and how hard was it to find your niche?
Name: Caitlin Tabilog
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When submitting your information to websites and talent agencies it’s imperative that you introduce yourself in an eye catching way. Along with promo photos and/or package most companies will ask you to submit a bio. Your bio is what tells people who you are and what you have accomplished in your field of expertise.
Your bio will more than likely be compared to that of many others as whoever goes through the auditing process weeds out the best of the best. If you bio is boring or less than full, it may end up in the reject pile. Showcase yourself in the best way possible.
The first thing to remember is to IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. If you are submitting to be a model in a magazine your bio should include any training you’ve had as a model, any major opportunities you had a chance to be a part of, any videos, publications or fashion shows you have been a part of and your hobbies and interests. It is better your bio is a little wordy than sparse.
Another key point is to WRITE IN THIRD PERSON. Your bio should read as if someone else wrote it, even if you carefully thought out every word yourself. Introduce yourself as someone else would. Your bio should start with your name at the beginning of the first sentence followed by what you are known for. IE: Sexy Sapphire is a former model and writer from Baltimore.
Have you been a part of any major productions, a band, a modeling group anything where you performed or received accolades? This is where you LIST YOUR NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Showcase those skills and let people know you’re more than a title, you’re action.
SHOW YOUR HUMAN SIDE. Its important that balance is a part of our lives AND our bio. People need to see that you’re not all work but have a little fun in your life too. Share a few hobbies and interest or charities that you are a member of.
DON’T LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE. This is not a time to just tell people how awesome you are but also a way of letting them know how to book you and all your awesomeness. Don’t forget to tell them where to find you. Close with your website or social media information and your contact email.
1.) Tell us Sicxfive, how did you start rapping and how long have you been perfecting your craft?
I started rapping from a base of poetry. I was always good with words and wordplay and loved the power of word usage.
In High School I was more the ghost writer and didn’t want the spot light. As I embraced my gifts I then started to enter open Mics and contest and freestyle on military bases. Once I got the good response that I received it just motivated me to go further.
2.) Who were/are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest influence musically were Biggie, Tupac, JayZ, Wu Tang, Outkast, NWA, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder.
Currently I check for some new acts like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Weezy, 2Chainz, A$ap, etc…
3.) You were what we call and “army brat” growing up. Did your fathers military career encourage you to enlist yourself?
Coming from where I came from, inner city Philadelphia, I didn’t see many options coming out of school. I didn’t understand how I could afford to go to college coming from a poverty stricken household. I knew my parents couldn’t afford it and they never took the time to explain how I could go to college. So I looked at the military as my escape and chance to not fit the statistics.
4.) What is it like as an artist to be stationed so far overseas where your passion of making music can not be easily fulfilled?
It’s painful….I really love the creative experience of writing and getting in the booth. I enjoy finding the right feel and voice to fit the track. I enjoy music..the good and the bad.
5.) What do you think of the state of mainstream hip hop and rap today?
I think the current state of hip hop is on a downturn. It’s not lyrically appealing to me on the whole. Yes there are some who are outstanding but the majority are not groundbreaking and won’t be around 2 years from now. And for the record I like some non-lyrical rap also.
6.) You rap with a level of consciousness not displayed by many artist today. Do you think not rapping about the stereotypical street life will help boost or deter your mainstream appeal?
I just try to rap about my reality. I am from the streets, the hood, the ghetto. I was raised around drug dealers, drug users, robbers, gangs and gangsters, pimps. The whole gambit. But I don’t lie about my stats. I totally fine being who and what I am and letting the fans know that there is more to the hood and streets than pure ignorance.
It may hurt my sales and it may be a tougher road but it’s my truth.
7.) I see you write poetry as well. Do you ever plan to release a poetry project?
I actually had someone contact me about doing it and I was surprised by it. I mean I am open to sharing my personal thoughts and ideas and verses but it will have t be in the right way. But in the near future I may release a concept I have that I think would really move the needle.
8.) What advice would you give to someone trying to get started in the music industry?
Believe in you.
Be ready to work.
Trust in your mental ear.
Listen to ya engineers and producers.
Get rid of all yes men around you.
9.) Any upcoming projects or events we should look out for?
Currently looking to release 3-4 new singles in lead up to my project in 2016.
10.) Where can people find more of you?
You can reach me on social media under
@sicxfive – Instagram, Tumblr, Vine
@sicx_five – Twitter
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.
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)
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
For more info on the Orchkids check out their website at http://www.bsomusic.org/education-community/young-musicians/orchkids.aspx
This site is My baby and I will nurture it until it grows healthy and strong. Sometimes I get discouraged by the lack of interest here but I know that with anything new it takes time to grow and become purposeful. I have all the time in the world to devote to this pet project of Mine, promoting the talent of others. This site needs you and your talent.
What is talent? The dictionary describes it as