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.
Name: Latonia Martin
Measurements: 5’7″ 240lbs 42-46-48
Latonia “Shostoppa” Martin is an up and coming model and actress out of Chicago Illinois. A plus size model, Latonia is hoping to help change the way plus models are perceived in the industry. Also a budding actress, Latonia shows her diversity as she makes her way up the ladder.
Sapphire: I appreciate you taking time out your busy schedule to sit down and talk to me. How long have you been in the entertainment industry? How did you get your big break?
Latonia: Actually, I just got into the entertainment industry in November of last year. I got my big break at my runway graduation from Chocolate Modeling Academy, when Shettima Web, another plus size model, opened the doors to opportunity for me.
Sapphire: When we met, I thought you were just a model, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you’re an actress as well. Can you tell us about Undercover Detectives?
Latonia: Undercover Detectives is a show about corrupt detectives that will be starting soon. It is directed by April Whitaker, I play the part of Patience. The cast is currently on a radio tour to promote the show, we most recently did Intellectual Radio with Brandi Love in Chicago.
Sapphire: Inquiring minds would like to know, how did you get the name “Shostoppa”?
Latonia: A group of my friends gave it to me for my comedy and clothes when I come in people look at me so I’m the Shostoppa.
Sapphire: How long have you been working with the Plushsize Modeling Agency? How did you end up joining the team?
Latonia: I’ve been with them only for a few weeks. By chance meeting I met Felicia, who owns the agency. We hit it off and she scooped me up for her agency and pus sized magazine.
Sapphire: As a plus sized model have you found the modeling industry to be open and welcoming? What is your biggest challenge as a plus model?
Latonia: Many Designers still have to learn to work with diversity, the industry and world is changing as we speak.
Sapphire: You looked beautiful at your Scholarship 2017 event. For those unfamiliar with the event, can you tell us about it?
Latonia: I’ve been a part of St. John Grand Chapter in Chicago for 17 years. We raise money to give scholarships to High school Seniors towards college. Every February we have a large banquet
Sapphire: Are you more of a tomboy or a girly girl? How would you describe your style?
Latonia: Both actually. I can go to 0 to 100 real quick, switching from a fully beat face to gym shoes and jeans
Sapphire: What advice would you give to young girls who aspire to be models even though they don’t fit the traditional standards of the modeling industry?
Latonia: Learn to take constructive criticism you will be told no. You have just keep going and put God first
Sapphire: What’s next for Ms. Shostoppa? What can fans look forward to seeing from you in the near future?
Latonia: I’m planning to make My way to New York Fashion Week, see the Bulls play and to hone my acting talents
Sapphire: How can someone book you and keep up with your work?
Latonia: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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?
Patrick: I am fully digital particularly for the convenience. I get quicker results and turnaround and the software allows me to manipulate the data in the file artistically. It allows me the easy opportunity to present my clients with an artistic jaw dropping image.
Patrick: I am not sure how to answer this because beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. I don’t set out to to shoot the amazing imagery but while out something has to catch my eye and then the hunt is on. Have you ever been out; saw something that grabbed you and said to yourself ” Dam I wish I had my camera with me”. Every now and the I will grab Baby ( his camera), turn off the phone and go for a long walk with her butt just to be together.
Patrick: It was great working with him. This was before the movies and during “In Living Color”. I had auditioned for the show but of course he was funnier. Very talented and funny. Great at improv as well. It was so relaxing in the green room he was literally getting a hair cut. I learned a lot watching him.
Patrick: I posted an image one day and got a lot of comments on it. I can’t remember which image but for some reason people felt emotional about the picture. The image aroused an emotion but no two comments had the same reaction. One of the comments said that my work seemed to have a healing quality like I was ‘The Camera Whisperer.’
Patrick: I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Lindi, Tanzania this past August with Stepping Together on a health mission. They were a team of doctors providing from cervical cancer screenings. This mission happened around the week of the biggest celebration in the district called “Nane Nane” meaning 8/8. Most of the people are farmers and they bring in their crop and meeting with others who are producing in the region. It was an amazing festival. Seeing the culture and differences from my world opened my eyes. There was very little electricity and the use of the bathroom was different. You were hard pressed to find a toilet bowl. They have a hole in the ground. That is a whole other story. I saw the kids having creative fun like our kids. Instead of a Wilson soccer ball they have taken plastic bags wrapped in tape. They played like it was the world cup.
Patrick: I got into radio in my 20’s as a way to keep my instrument strong. It afforded me the opportunity to keep my improv sharp and my acting tuned. These tools make for good voice acting and what a lot of advertisers are looking for. I would love to do an animated film.
Patrick: None that I know of.
When I look at the site it’s hard for Me to believe I started this as a little side project a year ago. I just wanted some place to share and promote things that mattered to Me that didn’t correlate with the adult entertainment side of My business. I can’t say that the site has matched My vision YET but for one year it sure has done better than I expected.
Having the responsibility of finding talent led Me to pay attention to things I hadn’t before and that opened so many doors for Me. I had been so focused on Myself for so long that taking time to focus on others has given Me immeasurable pleasure.
Last week I teamed up with London Le Blanc Magazine and now will be a contributing writer monthly starting December 2015. I’ve been given 2 pages a month for 2 separate interviews or articles. I’m so excited, that gives Me the opportunity to offer not only the opportunity to be featured here but to be published as well. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a Playboy Playmate as well for a different magazine. All I do is to bring attention back to sites like this and My other personal projects. All I do is to promote and offer the best resources to you. You can follow London Le Blanc on Facebook at
I’ve also decided to add a new section to the site for 2016, Sapphire’s Jewel and I will feature a model a month. Look out for new site design and updates. Happy Thanksgiving you guys and don’t forget SUBMIT TO BE FEATURED OR GET YOUR MUSIC PLAYED ON THE SITE at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on twitter @talentpromo410
Follow us on instagram @sapphire_spotlight_on_talent
There are a lot of BLAZIN designers popping up all over the place. With the invention of sites like Instagram, facebook, Pinterest and Youtube we are are getting introduced to talented individuals we may have never even known existed. From city to city, coast to coast I want to shine the spotlight on those who impress me most. I will be bringing you interviews with some of the hottest established and up and coming clothing designers that I run across as I blaze my own path of fame across the net. Let’s get it on!! Time to meet one of them now.
Q1# I first became aware of your clothing brand about a year ago when another local model I had
attended some shoots with was rocking one of your shirts. How long have you actually been
building your brand?
Its been a little over two years now, and I love it. A couple people actually ask to wear my clothing and that’s when I remember, I love what I do. So yea a rough two years. Something that started as a college hustle.
There are a lot of BLAZIN models popping up all over the place. With the invention of sites like Model Mayhem, facebook GGurls and other model networking sites, we are being treated to the beautiful works of models we may have never even known existed. From city to city, coast to coast I want to shine the spotlight on those who impress me most. I will be bringing you interviews with some of the hottest established and up and coming models that I run across as I blaze my own path of fame across the net. Let’s get it on!! Time to meet one of them now………..
Name: Tonie aka Model T
Weight: 115 lbs
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Tonie is a youthful looking beauty that reigns from Kentucky and she enjoys shopping, reading various novels, viewing artwork, watching reality shows with her mother, spending time with friends, and rollerskating with her 11 year old nephew. These are just a few things that goes on in her spare time but what she truly loves doing is posing in front of the camera! Once Tonie steps foot onto the set,she transforms into Model T!
1. How long have you been in the modeling game? What influenced your decision to start modeling?
With the help of one of my best friends, I did my first photo shoot in November 2005, so I am coming up on my 10 year anniversary! As a child, I always enjoyed browsing through fashion magazines with my mother. Of course, I would always picture myself modeling the clothes. One day, I came across a beautiful photo of Grace Jones and I asked my mother if Grace was male or female. My mother told me that Grace Jones is female and a model who is known for her wild sense of style. As a kid, Grace’s style was “scary” at times but I truly loved it because she made you not only notice her wild style but also her beauty. I told myself that I may not be Grace Jones when I grow up, but I darn sure can make a statement like she.
10. Where can people check you out at?
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/