Category Archives: Creative

09Aug/17
Maimouna Youssef

Shine Your Light with Songstress Maimouna Youssef

Grammy nominated music artist Maimouna Youssef has just released a new hot single “Shine Your Light” with DJ Dummy. Bringing back the old flavor of fun fueled concept music that had blazed the air waves in the 70s. Talented and beautiful, Maimouna Youssef allows listeners to escape melodically to an acoustic utopia. Taji Mag had the opportunity to interview her about her new single, her influences, and her sage like wisdom on life.

Taji Mag: What sparked your influence for your new single?
Maimouna Youssef: I wanted to develop music to make people feel good about themselves. Being that I grew up informed about the struggle through my family, I have not been surprised by today’s hardships. I feel like people that didn’t have similar upbringing, don’t know how to deal with some of the issues of today. I hear people say that they don’t know what to do with all this negativity going on in the world and I want them to know that it is going to be ok. That they can keep moving forward because what we are going through is nothing new.
TM: How did you combine dance and concept music in your new single “Shine Your Light”?
MY: I took influence from the 70’s that fused concept and dance music together for people to enjoy. Music shouldn’t have to be really serious or just dance music, it can be both and the 70’s were good for that.
TM: Would you ever consider doing a socially conscious album similar to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?
MY: I would love to do a concept album like that. The beauty of being an independent artist is that you are able to put whatever you want to put out without any questions. I love making whatever music I feel moves me. Instead of having someone tell me I can’t put out certain types of work, that limits me as an artist.
TM: How did you learn to keep self love?
MY: My mother inspired me and taught me to love myself. She told me no one else is going to give me that love, so I needed to learn to give it to myself. Everybody should have that love for themselves. I think that it is important now especially with what is going on today that you really have to have that self love.
TM: What advice do you give to your son about life? Women? Society?
MY: I talk to him everyday about his experiences and dealing with emotions. That’s why I have him in boxing in Baltimore with his uncle. To teach him about discipline and dealing with his emotions. I feel like some men of color don’t have that. A way to let out their emotions and not have it bottled in. You see a lot of men with good careers, lots of degrees, money, and are able to function externally but internally they are dealing with a lot of anger and frustrations that they don’t know how to handle. I don’t sugar coat things with my son and keep it real with him. I homeschooled him because during his time in pre-school I felt he wasn’t learning some of the things I wanted him to learn. An Example, in kindergarten he had the daily lesson of differentiating similarities and differences between objects. One day the assignment was to circle all the clowns with red noses and put an X on the ones with different colored noses. I noticed that he had a positive attitude towards the clowns that he was circling because clowns with red noses are the norm but when he had to X out the clowns with different colored noses, I noticed his attitude towards those clowns were more aggressive and dismissive as he was X’ing them out. Then just as an experiment, I asked him instead of using X’s which in our society connote something negative to be excluded and Circles to be something positive to be included, I asked him to use triangles and rectangles which don’t have social connotations neither positive or negative. So, he began doing the assignment and his whole attitude changed. He was feeling positive to all the clowns no matter what color noses they had. I knew right then that that assignment he was being asked to do everyday was teaching social intolerance in the most subconscious and insidious way. Its also teaching self hate because as a boy or color in this society, he’s going to routinely be the one that is different that society will want to X out. If we don’t have self love we didn’t have anything.

TM: Which artist made you fall in love with music?
MY: My mother and grandmother both made me fall in love with music. Especially my grandmother having a gospel background. They kept me exposed to artists like Mahalia Jackson and Donny Hathaway. I wanted to listen to groups like Total back in the day and they kept me on artist like Ella Fitzgerald. Both of them kept me into old school good music, that helped shape the artist I am today.
TM: Which other Artist influenced you?
MY: I have done some background work Lalah Hathaway who inspires me because she is awesome! There have been times where I have not been able to focus on my part as background vocalist for Lalah because she was so great during the performance. I also worked with Cody Chesnutt and I love his work as well. I always try to pick his brain and seek his mentorship because I think he is so talented and has great musical skills. I love working with Eric Roberson, he is another gifted artist. All these great artist are my mentors and I’m always asking them for advice to make my skills better.

Maimouna Youssef’s newest album “Vintage Babies” will be out soon and she also has an album release tour coming. Follow her on twitter @maimounayoussef and @mumufresh on instagram.

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01Aug/17
braids beauty vol 12 taji mag

Taji Vol12: Braids and Beauty

Release Sep 7 2017 | Vol12 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling it’s theme of Braids and Beauty! This volume features professional model Marsha Larose. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: Ites Int. – Designer Devoted to Indigenous Textiles, Positive Vibes, and Flow; the Community Spotlight on International I Love Braids Day; Hair Feature by Debra Hare Bey of OMhh Beauty Oasis; “Yemaya” by II-Kaya Ises; “5 Things You Could do That Are More Meaningful Than a RIP Post After a Suicide” by Tajh Sutton; The Men of Sigmafied; the elegant soaps, scrubs, and body butters of TheCelestineCollection; “The Science of Black Love” by Afica Jackson; “#BlackLoveConvo: “How Black Love Stole the Show at the ESPYs” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef – “Falafel Patties”; Featured artist Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Therians by B. Van Randall; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

braids and beauty

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 12

Taji Mag is a Black Beauty & Culture specialty publication highlighting the artistry of our essence.

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30Jul/17
International I Love Braids Day

International I Love Braids Day 2017 Was LIFE!

International I Love Braids DayInternational I Love Braids Day (IILBD) 2017 was all things braided godliness! This July 29th, the Queens came to make a statement, and that they did! From traditional styles with ancestral meaning to modern spins on staple techniques, these hair styles left everyone in awe. They proved that braids can be worn by anyone for all occasions, at all ages and stages in life. Your royal can be clean and simple or adorned with cowry shells and jewels, whatever makes you strut and walk with your head held high. This inaugural celebration made history.

International I Love Braids Day

Debra Hare Bey with International models Diandra Forrest & Mari Malek at International I Love Braids Day 2017

International I Love Braids Day received it’s official Proclamation on July 21, 2017 by the Brooklyn borough president’s office to the founder of IILBD, master hair braider Debra Hare Bey. Debra has been styling natural hair for over 30 years in Brooklyn. Her current salon, OMhh Beauty Oasis, is located at 407 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. At the salon she services clients with a multitude of natural hair styles, but she specializes in braids. Debra is the originator of the style Nu Locs, most popularly worn by “Maxine Shaw” on the television series Living Single. Go ahead, question it. You thought Erika Alexander was rocking locs back then? Nope, those were yarn braids done by Debra. Debra also has a line of nourishing vegan hair and body care products that smell so good you’ll never want to stop using them. Fall in love with all things Debra Hare Bey and OMhh at www.OhMyHeavenlyHair.com.

International I Love Braids Day

Some of the other participating stylists were Ayana Card of Kinky Rootz, Shaquora Bey and her daughters Fajr and Suhailah of Sophisticated Loc Salon, and Ngone Sow of Soween.

International I Love Braids DayIf you slacked in your mackin’ and slipped in your pimpin’, check the images here to see what you missed. Be sure to mark your calendar for July 29th next year for International I Love Braids day and follow @internationalilovebraidsday on IG to be notified of the #BraidLoveBK celebration for 2018!

 

 

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14Jul/17
brandy butler

Brandy Butler and Her video “Gentle Beating Heart” Are Soul Food

brandy butlerWith “Gentle Beating Heart,” the latest video from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye,” the vocalist/songwriter continues her collaboration with Nicole  Pfister the director and illustrator who created the sensual short for Brandy’s slinky track,  “Spell” earlier this year.
The video is an abstract visual essay shot in South Africa, which welds the rumbling atmospherics of Ms. Butler’s “Howling” to the mantra-like proclamations of “Gentle Beating Heart.” With the repeated phrase, “Oh your gentle beating heart opens up the sky at night,” Pfister’s short forgoes conventional narrative to visually play upon the theme of emotions so powerful that they transcend the physical realm and impacts the forces of nature itself.
As the camera explores the cliffs, sand and sea of the African coast it also discovers the still bodies of the beach’s inhabits. It observes the obscured tensions that lie within these bodies and beneath the landscape’s surfaces as well. And when the vibrations between these human figures and the land fall into sync, their forces come crashing together with vivid, metamorphosing power.
Listen to and discover more about Brandy Butler on her website.
Both musical pieces “Howling” and “Gentle Beating Heart” are from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye.” A collaborative short film between the musician/performance artist Brandy Butler, and the director and creative being Nicole Pfister.

 Credits:
Written / Directed / Edited NICOLE PFISTER
Music/ Additional visual inputs BRANDY BUTLER
DOP EBRAHIM HAJEE
Assistant Camera JESSE JAMES HARRIS 
ABDUL MALIK MASOET 
Hair and Makeup  DALE M. TITUS
Assistant Director CÉLINE-NIARA SAKHO
Runner STANSY KAWASA
Dancers SEEFLEX THE ARTIST / SHAMI SHAMROCK
Models LUCY MBIOLA / ROX KIM LO / RACHID POATI
Clothing Models 2BOP / YOUNG AND LAZY
Clothing Brandy Butler MALIKAH HAJEE / BETH DITTO
Thank you SHANE COOPER / ANTHONY SMITH / LUKE DOMAN / LUKASZ POLOWCZYK/ POPKREDIT
Photo credits: Ebrahim Hajee
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14Jul/17
harlem fashion week

Harlem Fashion Week is Casting New Designers

In an effort to create increased opportunity in the fashion design industry Harlem Fashion Week seeks emerging designers to rip the runway for the Spring/Summer 2018 installment of New York Fashion Week!

If you are ready to take your designs from small runway shows to the main stage at New York Fashion Week then this is your time! Harlem Fashion Week is the platform to showcase your collection for NYFW.

harlem fashion weekHarlem Fashion Week will create an opportunity for you to launch your career in the fashion design industry. HFW has been featured in Taji Mag, Vogue Italia, Yahoo Style, Bella NYC, Fashion Week Online, Racked.com, Urban Girl Mag, Black Girl Blog, Afrofusion TV just to name of few. In fact All of our designers and photos of their garments were included in the Vogue Italia article!

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR DESIGNERS WHO CONFIRM THEIR SPOT NOW!

Harlem Fashion Week Designers

HFW featured Project Runway superstar Viktor Luna and the Project Runway All Stars were at the show to cheer him on! HFW is listed as part of the master schedule of NYFW and Eila Mell fashion journalist was in attendance to interview the rising fashion stars!

Register Here

harlem fashion week

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05Jul/17
blerd city con

Calling all Black Nerds! BLERD City Con is Celebrating You in New York City

blerd city conBLERD City Con is about to bring a revolutionary event to the historic Dumbo Spot in New York, NY — and you’re going to want to grab your tickets soon. BLERD City is an innovative, unique, creative, and challenging celebration of the Black community and all the glorious nerdiness held within. Art, science, film, literature and technology; it’s all going to be on display from Sunday, July 29th through Saturday, July 30th. This family-friendly festival is going to be hyperactive and fueled with fantasy and fandom.
“What is a BLERD?”  A Blerd is simply a “Black Nerd”. They are those who have an interest in what others would say are strange and specific things.  An interest in talking about unrivaled passions for characters, stories, and forms of art that often outweigh real celebrities.  The goal of Blerd City Con is to honor creativity of the Blerd culture, encouraging inclusion, community, and awareness in the process.
Clairesa Clay, the founder of BLERD City Con, has a simple and inspired mission: “I want the audience to experience Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy by the talents of leading African Diasporic filmmakers, writers, coders and creators who are serving the community of Black and Nerdy.
BLERD City is a conference dedicated to showcasing the multi-dimensional complexity of black nerdiness through all spectrums of creativity, invention, and innovation. We’re going to have panels, workshops, film screenings, special guests, presentations, and so much more. Visit our marketplace for gaming and comic books and take your kids to our all ages science and technology exploration center.
This year, BLERD City Con will be honoring L.A. Banks for her outstanding contributions in fantasy horror speculative writing and non-fiction with an award in her name. BLERD City Con has worked with some of the most renowned, accomplished, and critically-acclaimed presenters within the community:
Sheree Renée Thomas, award-winning fiction writer, editor, and poet, and author of Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. Sheree will be honored with the new L.A. Banks award.
 Tim Fielder, graphic artist, cartoonist, and animator, best known for Afrofuturism: The Next Generation.
Warrington Hudlin, veteran producer of film, television, and online media
Floyd Webb, an award-winning filmmaker and groundbreaking film festival producer.
Regine Sawyer, owner and writer at Locket Down Production a press comic book company. Also the founder of the Women in Comics Collective International.
BLERD City Con’s mission is to provide the Black community with a tangible connection to the talented and cutting-edge professionals working within the arts and sciences, providing room for inspiration, networking, and education.
In addition to featured guests, BLERD City Con panels and workshops include:
People of Color Gaming
Venture Capital for Technology
Women in Comics
The Great Black Panther Debate
Afropast, Afrofuture
Black Karate
Coders and Writers
SciFi/Fantasy/Writers Reading
AfroCrowd: A Wikipedia Workshop
This expansive cultural celebration will be held over five areas: The Dumbo Spot (Panels), Creative Chaos (Book Readings), Automatic Studios (Film Screenings and Panels), The Green Desk (Workshops), and Brooklyn Bridge Park (Children’s Corner). You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind event and experience. Tickets are available now.
 
About BLERD CITY
BLERD City Con is a two-day conference celebrating the fantastic NERDiness in you! Join panels & workshops in Games, Tech, SciFi/Horror/Fantasy film screenings and book readings.
Get your tickets to BLERD City Con here!
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07Jun/17

Taji Vol11: Ethereal

Release Jun 7 2017 | Vol11 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling it’s theme of “Ethereal”! This volume features rising cover model Aïssata. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: Khinky.com is the Only Black Woman Owned Loc Extension Manufacturer; the community feature on the fitness trio “The Mix-Tape”; Hair Feature by Sophisticated Locs Salon; “Beginners Advice for Building your Savings from Phil Small” by Nay Marie; “Spiritual Technology of Freedom” by Jashua Sa’Ra; E.M.E.R.G.E. founded by Master Pioneer Hair Stylist Diane C. Bailey; the elegant jewels and body butters of TheCelestineCollection; “13 Reasons Why We Should Discuss Misogynoir by Tajh Danielle Sutton; “#BlackLoveConvo: Affection Between Black Men” with Dapper Dr. Feel; our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef – “Personal Pan Pizza”; Featured artist Will Focus; Must Have Comic Book: Ajala by N. Steven Harris; the Taji Model Winners; and more!!

RSVP for the Vol 11 June 4th Release Event at TajiMagVol11.eventbrite.com!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

Vol11

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 11

Taji Mag is a Black Beauty & Culture specialty publication highlighting the artistry of our essence.

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05Jun/17
Glamourina

Glamourina Announces New Collection of Athleisure Wear

Local Washington, DC designers Kia Renee and Nekol Choo are thrilled to announce the premier of their Glamourina Kente Athleisure line. Glamourina is an online athleisure apparel store. Co-founders Kia and Nekol are working mothers who have always had a passion for fashion and desire to encourage women and uplift women. “Our mission is to provide affordable, comfortable, and quality athleisure apparel to average, and above average working women and girls in efforts to promote self-esteem through beauty, health and fitness.”

Glamourina

Why Kente? Kente is a traditional tribal fabric originating from Africa.  Africa is a strong and powerful continent.  They are here to motivate and encourage women to be strong, powerful and confident. “We are especially excited about our Kente line of athleisure apparel,” said Kia and Nekol. “Our followers are in for a treat this year.  When we premier the new line in April, everyone will finally get a glimpse of a very special design we’ve been working on for the past two years.”

Glamourina’s Kente Athleisure line will be available for purchase online exclusively at www.Glamourina.com before expanding to other retailers. Follow them on all social networks @shopglamourina!

Glamorina

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27May/17
Devon Anthony

Devon Anthony is Bringing the Music You Want to Hear

Devon AnthonyJames Brathwaite aka Devon Anthony is about to release his music to  his already sizeable army of fans. With his mixtape expected to be a success and fame imminent, the exciting, newfangled sound that he has made his own is certain to gain interest from across New York.

His first foray into learning story writing  came when he was 13 years old. Later he began to write poetry, which he continued with for three years before finally entering in the NAACP ActSo Program, a decision which he never looked back from.

As his confidence grew and his style developed, he soon saw a loyal following begin to grow and he became a popular local hit in the Brooklyn music and poetry scene. His talent with a variety of musical instruments only added to his appeal, and his unique baritone sound with a twist started to find an appreciative audience.

He is keen to point out that everything he listens to directs his musical development in some way. However, he would certainly include Sam Cook, Bob Marley, The Police, Ray Charles, John Coltrane and Stevie Wonder as amongst his biggest influences.

Finally, after honing his unique sound over recent years, he is now preparing to release his mixtape, ‘Devon Portrait’, which underlies the changes that James has gone through over recent years. The biggest of these was the ‘switch’ from poetry to rap , which has allowed him to develop as a person, and has in turn profoundly aided his musical development.

Devon AnthonyOther changes that have affected and influenced his song-writing over recent years have been his development of political writing, an area that he pays a lot of attention to and incorporates to a certain degree in his music, employing sound bites of news reports to add an extra dimension to some of his songs.

And as if that wasn’t enough, James has taken it upon himself to take up an entirely different, though wholly satisfying, hobby of weight training. The satisfaction he gets from indulging in his many passions has led to create a better person, although he is not at his full potential due to the amount of time that he spends performing.

Check him out below!

https://devonent.simdif.com
https://www.instagram.com/devon_entertainment
https://m.facebook.com/DevonAnthonyEnt

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26May/17
Camp Lyfe

Introducing South Carolina Hip Hop Trio Camp Lyfe

Introducing Ludazh, Savage aka Bandit, and Kada From Darlington. They are known among their fans and supporters as: Camp Lyfe. They currently reside in Columbia, South Carolina.
Camp Lyfe
Their current album is titled “Meet Da Camp.” They are working on a new project right now, but they haven’t given it a name just yet. Ludaz was inspired to do it by the fact that he feels the music industry needs some good music right now. Life inspired them to write it and show people the world through their eyes.
Ludaz doesn’t consider himself an MC or lyricist. He just considers himself a real man giving you his street stories. Either he has seen it or he has done it. But, on the other hand Kada considers himself a lyricist and Bandit certainly knows that he is an entertainer!

They write and create their own music. They have collaborated with as many Artists that they could who were serious about their craft including Lil Ru, Nine Million, and Mo Beatz on their “Meet Da Camp” project.

Kada always loved music. He remembers his grandmother having literally hundreds of records in her living room wall unit. His father played almost every instrument. He started writing in middle school as a competition to see who could write the best verse with his friends at the time. Yet, for Ludazh writing songs is like therapy to him. In general life inspires him. As long as he’s living he always has something to rap about. Bandits’ mother is a passionate music lover, which she passed down to him. So she inspired him to create music.

In Kadas’ world his most memorable performance was their first show in their hometown, as the headliner for a comedy show. They were so young and excited. He loved every minute of it because they got to share something with the world. They worked hard and practiced for hours to prepare for. Ludazh he doesn’t really have a memorable stage performance moment because they all are LIT! But if he had to pick one it would be when they opened a show for Master P. Bandit says that his most memorable moment was when he did a song with “Soul 4 Real.”

Ludazh shares that if he could perform with any popular artist in the industry today, he’d choose Stevie Wonder! He thinks the fella is incredible and that it would be a good move for the CamP, mixing in two genres and all. Kada let’s us know that if he could perform with a popular artist today it would have to be Jay-Z. He’s a music mogul and has branched out into things other than music.

Ludazh tells us that what makes them stand out from other Artists is that they’re not afraid to be themselves. They don’t always have to be the coolest. They don’t mind laughing, and having a good time. Life is about living and enjoying it so they show that through their music, their personalities and all.

The future for Camplyfe is Lit with a lot of opportunities. They have a lot of surprises up their sleeves. The Jody video is on the way. Their CD is coming out this summer. In general the future holds more of everything for camp lyfe from music to fashion. They are also expecting to gain international recognition for their music company.

Their Conact Info and Work Can Be Found at the Following: 
Camp Lyfe
— Kada @mrfreshoncampus on all social media

— Bandit @scbanditcrc on IG
— Ludazh @Camplyfe on FB, IG, & Twitter

Check them out on their website www.camplyfe.com

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