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Monday, January 30, 2017

Actress Jeryl Prescott: Enjoying the 'Small Miracle' of Living Out Her Dreams



by Cyrus Webb

On January 10th of this year one of the most talked-about movies of 2016 made it's way to stores and and digital outlets: The Birth of a Nation. Based on the based true story of Nat Turner, the enslaved man who inspired many and led a rebellion against those who held sway over them, the film's talented cast included actress Jeryl Prescott who has brought to life so many amazing characters over the years including on the popular television show The Walking Dead.

I had a chance to sit down with Jeryl and discuss not just The Birth of a Nation but what it's been like for her to slip into the skin of various characters, sharing some amazing stories along the way. "Every time I get a job as an actress I consider it a small miracle," she told me. Her desire to act came from her roots in the church.  "The church is where I learned to play the piano and find the confidence to speak in front of a crowd and take a bigger leadership role," she says. "That gave me the confidence and the interest in being on stage and having something to say. That's how I began to see myself as an actress."

She went to college and did theater, but even though she saw herself doing more, Jeryl experienced what so many do when it comes to pursuing their goals and dreams: the individuals who told her what wasn't going to be possible for her.  "Nonetheless I've been able to find a variety of roles to play," she says. "It's suggestive of the need for diversity and a appreciation of diversity." Realizing the conversations taking place about the roles of women---and especially women of color---Jeryl added. "It's suggestive of we are everything. We have always met challenges and create spaces for ourselves. Every profession will offer certain challenges. You have to go into it with a positive attitude and the belief that God put you there for something and move forward."

Talking about The Birth of a Nation, Jeryl says "It is a powerful project, and I am so grateful to Nate Parker. Nate Parker is an amazingly generous and bold director/producer/writer. I have an amazing amount of anticipation about the journey of this film." (At the time of this article it is in the top 50 Dramas on Amazon.com.)

Jeryl's journey continues with not just exciting projects but the relationships she is forging along the way. Whether discussing the talented cast of The Birth of a Nation or The Walking Dead, she says "There's an immortality that comes with all acting. The fans hold on to you and never let you go. The friendships that I developed have been real." Speaking of The Walking Dead in particular she says this: "The show will never die, because it constantly asks us to search inside of ourselves. It's a constant universal questioning."

As she prepares for what's next, Jeryl continues to enjoy the 'small miracle' that is her career and invites you to stay connected with her on Twitter and Instagram at /therealjeryl.

Anthony C. Johns: Walking In Confidence Towards His Goals & Dreams

by Cyrus Webb

At the age of 33 model and actor Anthony C. Johns* is all about challenging himself to set goals, move past obstacles and showing others what is possible. He has traveled the world, worked with some of the best photographers in the industry, walked runways and amassed fans from around the world---and he is only just getting started.

When I caught up with him he was in the States taking a break from his whirlwind career and able to reflect a bit on the life he has been able to live. "I would say that my progress has been based on a spiritual foundation," he told me. On of the things that has helped him was the book THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE. "It really changed my aspect on what I can do, when I can do it and believing in myself."

The road has not always been easy though, but Anthony is no stranger to overcoming difficult situations. "I've been able to accomplish my goals through hard work and patience and going through rejection," he says. "It has made me a better person."

Anthony became interested in modeling and acting when he was just a kid. He says he has always seen the two as "a reflection of life." The emotional reaction that was generated appealed to him and seeing what you can create became a motivator. With the reward, however, has come the obvious challenge of just being thought of by how you look. "That's when it becomes pretty difficult for me," he admits, "when the titles come, and you have to live up to it." Though he says the compliments about his body can fuel the ego, he says he works hard to stay humble at the same time realizing how soon it can all be gone.

As with any art Anthony has come to see his body as his canvas, and that means he has to take care of it in order to be the best he can be in his industry. That also means being comfortable in his own skin and realize what he has to offer. "That was a major obstacle when I first wanted to do the business of modeling," he told me. "I was at a point in my life when I was comparing myself to other models. I learned to create my own self-representation by working on my mind, body and soul. "

Today he says he believes in confidence that begins within, and that confidence is what comes across in the work that he does. "My progress came through seeing myself improving in the way I lived, eat and balance life.  I saw myself grow by getting out of the box, doing jobs that are challenging, pretty much confronting what was an obstacle for me."

What Anthony has achieved is not just noticed by those who admire his work. He has become an inspiration for others, too. "I am a role model," he declared. "I am a person who has power," and he realizes that power is not just for him. "I wanted to use my gifts to help others. Those people have become my recipe to keep it going. I am making a difference. It's really not about me. It's a calling I must fulfill. If I'm doing this and I'm not helping other people then I am doing something wrong."

Stay connected with Anthony and his career on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ajthemodel and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/modeling4mylife.

* Photography by Ricky Day

Poet/Author Joy Elan: Sharing Her Words and Inspiration with the World

Award-winning poet/author Joy Elan is a force to be reckoned with.

In 2016 alone she was able to showcase her skills as an award-winning poet by winning national awards and even released her first novel LIFE IS A CANVAS.

"It was amazing, and some of it I couldn't believe that I accomplished," she said to host Cyrus Webb during their conversation together on Conversations LIVE.

Part of what made 2016 such a great year for her was that she was able to introduce her poetry to a younger audience by making some slight adjustments. "I knew I needed to clean up the language and the content to reach another audience," she said. "That helped me propel and take off even more." Realizing that she could still deliver powerful messages, Joy said that she realized she was limiting her audience before. It all began by speaking honestly to herself. "I'm supposed to be an educator. Why do I have all this foul language in my writing? Time for me to grow up a little. I wanted something that everyone could read." The big lesson that this changed revealed? "It made me realize that in order to be marketable you have to be accessible."

During the conversation Webb shifted the attention to how Joy has been able to do what she has and not allowed the fear of failure or the outcome stop her. "I'm my own determining factor," she told him. Life is a very interesting thing. You either believe you can do it or you can't. I don't wait for other people to tell me. I go based on when I'm ready. It's all based on my inspiration and motivation. I've always been like this as a person," she said. "Once I put my mind to something I do it. I have to believe in myself. I can't wait on anybody else."

Another motivation for Joy is her daughter. "She's part of the reason why I do what I do," she said during her interview. "I don't want to just tell her to go after her dreams. I want her to see me doing it. She sees me working around the clock. This is hard work and takes dedication. Things come when you put time and energy to it."

That is the message she wants everyone to get. "I want to be an example of someone who can have a goal or dream and see it come true. When I leave this earth my words will live on forever. I don't care where you're from or what kind of situation you are in, you have the power to make things happen for yourself. It might be hard, but if you really believe in something you will pursue it."

Stay connected with Joy Elan at her website at www.authorjoyelan.com.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Brian Cooks: Enjoying the Benefits of Hard Work, Dedication and Faith

by Cyrus Webb

At the age of 26 model/actor/fitness trainer Brian Cooks is not just living his own dreams but showing others by example what is possible with hard work, dedication and faith.

"Seeing how everything is unfolding is mind-blowing," says Cooks. "I spoke out on my dreams, had the faith and did the work." And that work is definitely paying off in a big way.

When asked how he has been able to stay focused, he says "I always had the mentality not to stop until I get what I wanted. Perseverance is what has kept me going." That perseverance and confidence has helped him not just in his own life but as he has been able to help others as well.

At the end of 2016 he took to social media to announce the latest accomplishment in what's been an amazing year for him: being featured as part of the Weight 2 Wear apparel campaign. Cooks told Conversations Magazine that he entered a competition by Krave Magazine which led to the honor. “It feels very good," he said. "I'm now a published model. I know this is going to open up so many opportunities for me. I'm excited to see what is going to happen next.”

Photo Credit: Nathan Paul Photography
The Hartsville, SC native now calls Shreveport, LA home.  His advice for anyone out there looking to see their dreams come true? "Put God first will open so many doors for you," he says, and adds: "Patience is key."

Stay connected with Brian on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


After 30 Years In the Business Singer Johnny Gill Continues to be a GAME CHANGER

by Cyrus Webb

Timeless. That is just one way to describe Grammy nominated recording artist Johnny Gill.

With the recent BET mini-series on the group New Edition there has been renewed appreciation for what artists like him bring to the table. Many have gotten to know him for his hit singles like "My, My, My","Rub You the Right Way" and "Where Do We Go from Here" (with Stacy Lattisaw) as well as his involvement with the popular groups New Edition and LSG, however, there seems to be no substitute for the man himself.

With his last full length album GAME CHANGER, Johnny Gill fed his fans insatiable appetite for new music, and on January 27th he re-released the single 5000 Miles featuring another R&B crooner Jaheim.

"I have been blessed with a gift from God that is magical. You can't design it," Johnny told me in our conversation together. "I think about my career and how my music has touched people. It is beyond a miracle and a blessing. To have people to connect with you is a gift."

Like many other soulful singers before him Johnny Gill began singing in the church and blossomed from there. He believes the main reason he is still able to do what he loves is because he understands the importance of staying consistent. "I stay true to me and my music," he says. "If you look at my body of work you'll see that I'm open to trying new things. At the end of the day my biggest goal is to always stay focused and be careful that I don't lose who I am. I set out to make great music, songs I can identify with and connect with and do it justice." Remaining true has given him the confidence to say that in spite of it all, he has put his heart and soul into each and every project. "I have something to hold my head up about and be proud," he says. That comes from walking in his musical truth. 

His beginnings were not so full of pride. Johnny relayed to me how when he first started in the business at the age of 15 he was not always the best of himself. "There was no blueprint about how you are supposed to be and act," he told me. "All the things you have to learn growing up in this business---the ups and downs that come with it---now make me blessed that I have my fans there for support." He understands that it is all a process, a machine that brings it all to life. The process that gets his music to the masses is something he feels more connected with, and he knows it's important not to take any of it lightly. 

To his fans, Johnny says this: "Thank you. Know that I don't take you or my success for granted. I couldn't have done this without you. "

Johnny Gill's GAME CHANGER is available on Amazon here. Stay in contact with him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/realjohnnygill. His website is  www.johnnygill.com

Chef Charles Mattocks Makes Eating Healthier on a Budget Easier and Delicious

by Cyrus Webb

When it comes to eating healthier there are many reasons why some might see it as a challenge.  First there is the financial cost that many say are associated with it. Then there is the counting of the calories and trying to figure out how much of what to have each day.

Thankfully there are books like The Budget-Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook to help you out on both counts. Don’t let the fact that Chef Charles Mattocks is a diabetic and that the book has “diabetes” in the title keep you from enjoying what it has to offer. This book is really for everyone. What he has done is shown how you can still have delicious food that is not going to break the bank but will give you the nutrients you need in portions that are feeling and delicious.

He has taken a lot of the work on himself by telling you not just what is in each dish but what are some great alternatives that can be used as well.

Chef Mattocks knows how difficult it can be to eat right and take care of yourself, so with the various menu ideas he gives you in this cookbook he makes it a little easier. He has done his part to help. The rest of the work is up to you.

Listen to my interview with the Chef here. Get your own copy of The Budget-Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook on Amazon.com here.

Below you will find Chef Mattocks' recipe for Fiesta Fish Tacos

Fiesta Fish Tacos*
Serves: 4
Serving Size: 1 taco
Ingredients
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb tilapia fillets
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup cubed mango
Black pepper, to taste

Preparation
1.Mix lime juice, garlic and olive oil in a glass bowl.
2.Add tilapia and marinate in refrigerator for one hour.
3.Place tilapia in a glass baking dish surrounded by green and red bell peppers, minced cilantro and tomatoes.
4.Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
5.Divide fish and veggies into four servings and place on each of the warmed tortillas.
6.Top with lettuce, cubed mango and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 260
Calories from Fat: 55
Total Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 1.4g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 50mg
Sodium: 190mg
Potassium: 675mg
Total Carbohydrate: 27g
Dietary Fibre: 4g
Sugars: 9g
Protein: 26g
Phosphorus: 260mg

 * Copyright (c) 2014 by the American Diabetes Association, Inc.
 From The Budget Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Grammy Award-winning Artist Ciara Signs w/ Warner Bros, Offers Encouragement to Her Fans

A new year begins another great chapter for Grammy award-winning recording artist Ciara. On Friday, January 27, 2017 it was announced that she was joining the Warner Bros. Records family.

Throughout her 13-plus years in entertainment, Ciara has sold over 23 million albums and 16 million singles worldwide. Upholding an unbreakable string of smashes, her catalog boasts the No.1 hit "Goodies," Top 5 R&B chart hits "1,2 Step," "Oh," "Promise," and "Ride," and her most recent platinum-certified single and 27th charted hit "I Bet" from 2015's acclaimed Jackie. Known for her unparalleled dance abilities, Ciara's video archive showcases some of the most memorable choreography in pop music.

"We welcome Ciara to Warner Bros. Records and look forward to the next chapter of her storied music career," said Cameron Strang, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Records.

"So excited about my new label home," Ciara posted online. To celebrate this new chapter of her career and life she will be doing a Facebook LIVE chat on Monday, January 30th @ 3p.m. eastern (2p.m. central/12p.m. pacific). Fans were encouraged to submit questions with the #AskCiara hashtag.

In true Ciara fashion, she also used the announcement of her new label home to offer some encouragement to her fans, especially the women. "This is truly a time where we can do anything,be anything we want" she wrote on Facebook. "There is No Limit! Dreams really do come true! I’m supercharged to make the World Dance again!"

Friday, January 27, 2017

Actress Christina Ricci talks Amazon Video's Z:The Beginning of Everything

With the new year a new show hit Amazon Video this month: Z: The Beginning of Everything. Starring actress Christina Ricci, who was inspired by the story after reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by author Therese Anne Fowler, the series takes us into the lives of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, from their courtship in Montgomery, Alabama, to their splash onto the New York social scene.

Recently actress Christina Ricci walked the Amazon Prime Red Carpet and spoke with Frankie Grande and Rachel Smith of Amazon's live show Style Code Live to talk about her new show and more.

"It was amazing," Ricci told them when discussing bringing Zelda to live. "I did so much reading in order to develop the series, I had so much information about her in my mind. And that really allows you to relax and trust yourself to behave in a spontaneous kind of impulsive way that lends so much to the part. So, It was intimidating, but I was so scared I did so much research that [I felt like] I was covered."

Stay connected with Christina Ricci and Z: The Beginning of Everything online. 






[REVIEW] Singer Jake Worthington's Newest Reminds Us to Cherish What We Love

Since appearing on The Voice and garnering fans around the world, recording artist Jake Worthington has kept Country Music lovers satisfied with music from his self-titled EP including songs like DON'T LET THE REDNECK FOOL YA and JUST KEEP FALLING IN LOVE as well as 2016's HOW DO YOU HONKY TONK.

Now with the new year in full swing he releases his single A LOT OF ROOM TO TALK (out now)---and it is sure to be another song that we keep talking about.

Unlike some of the music he is known for, Worthington takes on the darker side of relationships that don't work out---and gives voice to the one who messed up and is dealing with the consequences.

"There's an echo in this room," he sings, "that just won't let me be." What he hears is "all the angry words" he spoke to the woman he said he loves, and now he's understanding the power they had. "I can hear them in the halls. They're bouncing off the wall... Can't believe it's come to this, all this emptiness."

The realization is setting in. "I should have listened more to her," he admits. "I guess I got what I deserved. I sure do hear her now." And then there are the questions we all ask when we realize our part: "What good is pride now that she's gone? When did our house stop being home?" With us being alone, we realize as the song says "Now there's too many 'what ifs', opportunities I missed and a lot of room to talk."

I have to be honest and say that I can play this single easily on repeat, and I know I won't be the only one. The story it tells is one that reminds us to cherish what we love before it's too late. "I always thought she'd be around," the song admits, "never planned on missing her."  Maybe we will do as Jake sings and "look into the past and learn from my mistakes." Maybe we'll get the opportunity to "admit it when I'm wrong." In this case it doesn't seem to be enough so he says he'll "find the strength and move on." His hope? That he'll "grow from this but for now there's emptiness and a lot of room to talk."

Get ready for another song that will be a favorite on your playlist. A LOT OF ROOM TO TALK is sure to be one you continue to play through the year.

Listen to a snippet of A LOT OF ROOM TO TALK and get it for yourself on Amazon.com here.

Stay connected with Jake Worthington on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

12X Olympic Medalist Ryan Lochte signs with TYR Sport

This week it was announced that TYR Sport signed 12X Olympic Medalist Ryan Lochte to its roster of sponsored athletes.

As a truly iconic figure in the world of sports, Ryan has earned his status as one of
history’s most recognizable names in swimming. With showstopping appearances in the last
four Olympic Games, he remains the World Record holder in the 200 individual medley. In
addition, his seven individual Olympic medals are second all-time in the sport of men’s
swimming. Ryan has been named both American and World Swimmer of the Year twice in his
career (2010 & 2011) and has a total of 70 medals in major international competitions
including 45 first place finishes.

Ryan’s debut will be featured in TYR’s marketing campaign “Just Let Me Work,” and will
provide fans with a glimpse into what motivates the decorated athlete moving forward.

In addition to his success in the pool, Ryan is incredibly focused on charity. He is the
spokesperson for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (Duchenne), an illness that has
personally impacted his family, as well as the Mac Crutchfield Foundation, an
organization dedicated to raising money for drowning awareness.

“I am thrilled that I will be continuing my swimming career with TYR Sport,” began Ryan.
“I still have so much more I want to accomplish and TYR offers the perfect platform to
achieve those goals. I’ve always been very impressed with the quality of their gear and
feel fortunate to be part of their family. I look forward to the next chapter.”

“TYR is incredibly excited to welcome Ryan Lochte to our family,” said Matt DiLorenzo,
Chief Executive Officer of TYR Sport. “Through his work in the pool he has elevated the
sport of swimming on a global scale. However, it is his humble and caring approach toward
his fans that has proven truly commendable. As a company we stand behind Ryan, and look
forward to seeing what he can achieve.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Model/Singer LeVelle Williams: Pursuing His Passion While Standing In His Purpose

Model and singer LeVelle Zachary Williams has seen success in his life because he has made the decision that his goals and dreams are worth pursuing. As he reflected over what he has accomplished he told Conversations recently that "It's been a blessing," to reflect on all that he has been able to do and what is ahead of him. "I never would have dreamed or imagined being here," he added, admitting the difficulties he has faced---but he feels fortunate to still be standing.

LeVelle came to the attention of Conversations' Cyrus Webb through Instagram where he has been just not sharing snapshots of his work but inspirational messages as well. When asked why the motivational messages were so important for him to share, LeVelle says that encouraging people "is the fuel that ignites my fire. Life is about encouraging other people, picking other people up when they are down."

While he understands the importance of building his brand online and showcasing his work he feels as though platforms like Instagram and Facebook have a larger purpose. "I use social media to uplift and inspire," he told Webb. "I try to use it as a tool to encourage. Social media has the ability to connect with people all over the world. I try to keep that in mind and go off what my heart feels."

Being honest, open and growing into his own skin has had other benefits for LeVelle.  "It has opened so many doors," he explained, helping him to connect with so many people. "It has helped me to grow as a human being." He told Webb he reminds himself that you have to keep it real, no one is perfect. He says as long as he keeps striving to be his best, however, he knows he is on the right track.

Listen to the full interview between LeVelle and Conversations below:


Sunday, January 22, 2017

[REVIEW] ROCK AND ROLL: The Movie will make you laugh and think twice about giving up on your dreams

by Cyrus Webb

I think pretty much everyone knows that my sense of humor is not the best, but when a movie can make me laugh, think and get inspired it is definitely a 5-star experience for me.

With ROCK AND ROLL: The Movie you have a story that is all about possibilities and people's perceptions of you---and if you are going to allow them to define you. That is true in the case of the character David Roso in the film who wants to make his mark and prove others wrong in his quest to be an agent. It is also true of his reluctant client Steve Taylor (played by Darren Dowler) ---and what he has been told about himself and what he has come to then believe about himself. The two of them don't realize it at first, but they are exactly what the other needs.

Humor is a big part of this film, but the message can't be denied. If you want to succeed at your goal or dream sometime you have to be willing to risk it all. Otherwise if you just play it safe you will never do everything you should to turn your goal and dream into a reality. David realizes this early on. for Steve it is a slower process it seems, but when you have others pushing you, encouraging you to take a chance---it definitely becomes easier.

Like I said I am not known for my sense of humor, but I could look past some of the campier moments of this film and see a message that definitely spoke to me and I believe will speak to others as well.

Rent or purchase ROCK AND ROLL: The Movie on Amazon here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

[Article] "The Book I Didn't Want to Read But Had to Share" by Cyrus Webb

by Cyrus Webb

Each year I easily read 200 books or more of various topics either for my own reading enjoyment or because of individuals coming on the radio show Conversations LIVE. Over the years I have gotten comfortable enough in myself that I decide quite easily who I choose to feature and whose book I will take the time to read and share with my growing audience. I understand the responsibility that comes with the platform that I have, and so I do the best I can to share things that are entertaining, thoughtful and will be great conversation pieces with others.

Bestselling author Tony Lindsay is someone who over the past decade I have come to look forward to reading every time he releases a book. His fiction has always taken the reader to places we're not used to going and his non-fiction has been poignant enough to make readers reflect. In 2016, however, he announced the release of his latest offering ACORNS IN A SKILLET: Stories of Racecraft in America. Now anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that conversations about race are not the norm for me. Not because I think they shouldn't be discussed but it normally happens in situations where the individual's personal experiences and passion lead the discussion rather than individuals actually trying to connect with one another over what is being said.

For this reason when I first got the book in the mail I read the back of the book and that was as far as it went. What was Tony wanting to achieve with this collection of stories dealing with race? Was it something I would feel comfortable discussing? Would I enjoy enjoy the book and his direction? All of these were questions I pondered, and because of the thought of what it could be I neglected reading the book for months.

In hindsight I realize that my reaction to the very fact that Tony Lindsay---someone I respect---had written a book dealing with race is exactly part of the problem that exists. The truth be told I didn't even give it a chance to speak for itself. I had made a decision based on what I THOUGHT it MIGHT be about rather considering what it actually was.

Now that I have read the book I can say that it is something that not only deserves my attention but has to be shared. What he has done is laid out situations that are all too real based on perception, bias and the idea that we can't understand or appreciate someone who is different than us.

Take a look at my Amazon review here and then I invite you to try ACORNS IN A SKILLET for yourself. I think you might find as I did that it time well-spent with a book.


Cyrus Webb is the host of Conversations LIVE radio show and the Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine. He can be reached at cawebb4(at)juno(dot)com or at www.cyruswebb.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Keith Sweat: Celebrating a Musical Legacy that Will Last Forever

On Tuesday, January 17th R&B legend Keith Sweat began a new chapter in his award-winning career: a residency at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. The singer who has brought the world great songs like MAKE IT LAST FOREVER, TWISTED, HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE and NOBODY will be able to spend time with his fans, sharing music that they have come to enjoy for almost 3 decades.

"I helped a lot of people grow in terms of their relationships and growing up with me musically," Keith Sweat told Conversations' Cyrus Webb during a recent interview. "A lot of people don't get that opportunity."

With the songs that he has released have also come powerful stories and videos that have seem to connect with the listener, bringing them into each verse. Sweat says it's easy for him to do the videos because "I have it in my mind when I'm in the studio."

Outside of releasing music, Keith Sweat has also taken to the airwaves as a radio personality and the other of a book about relationships. All of which have been eagerly welcomed by his male and female fans. "I can't really say I'm the doctor of love," he told Webb with a life. What he does say is that he tries to let his audience know that when it comes to relationships "it takes time and it take understanding because no two people are the same." He also added "Every relationship takes work and needs work," and both parties have to be willing to do the work necessary for it to last.

Along with helping others appreciate what it takes to make a relationship last, as he celebrates his 30the anniversary in a competitive industry Keith Sweat is showing other artists what it takes to have longevity. "It's great to be the godfather for other artists," he told Webb. Talking about those who have been inspired by him he says it shows other artists that they can have just as long of a career. "The key to it all is to stay ahead and do as well as you can musically," he says. "For me to open doors for other artists and them to appreciate that means a lot."

Regarding his Vegas residency, Keith has called it the "second act" of his career. When asked to elaborate on that he told Webb: "I've done everything else. When you're going into a whole new arena it creates another journey. Going into Vegas for the first time in the residency is like going to Broadway. It's a new step in my career. It's a new platform that I have to step on. I've learned a long time ago that anything worth having is worth working for. I'm hoping this is something that my fans will be glad I have done."

Stay connected with Keith at www.keithsweat.com. Find out more information about the Vegas residency at www.keithsweatvegas.com.

Listen to Keith Sweat's entire interview with Conversations' Cyrus Webb below:


Filmmakers Abigail Fuller and Jai Jamison stop by #ConversationsLIVE

Recently #ConversationsLIVE host and #ConversationsMag Editor-In-Chief Cyrus Webb spoke with filmmakers Abigail Fuller and Jai Jamison about their love of telling stories through film and what it's been like to see the response to their work.


Abigail Fuller talked with Webb about her film DO YOU BELIEVE IN COLOR. "It's been a powerful experience to be able to screen the film nationally," she told him about the response to the story she has been able to share. Telling stories through film is something she knew she wanted to do. "It's something that I've always been drawn to and really can't remember a time when I wasn't pursuing that," she says. You can listen to the full conversation below.







Filmmaker Jai Jamison discussed his project TRI.  "I knew from a very young age that I wanted to tell stories," he told Webb. The two also discuss the importance of recognizing the journey and appreciating where you have been as you continue to move forward. You can listen to the full conversation below.













Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Avery*Sunshine Receives "Women of Impact" Award Before Touring w/Musiq Soulchild

Avery*Sunshine, whose single, "Come Do Nothing", premiered on Essence.com last fall, was honored with a "Women of Impact" award a few weeks before she goes on tour with Musiq Soulchild, Lyfe Jennings, and Kindred the Family Soul.  This past Sunday, she was recognized for her hard work and dedication in the music industry along with other influential women including special guest, Karen Civil. The singer/songwriter/pianist whose eclectic mix weds soul, gospel, jazz, and R&B said "I'm excited and grateful to be acknowledged for doing something that I feel that I'm supposed to do. She continued by saying "it makes me want to continue doing more."

Fans can hear her new single and favorites, from her body of work, during the 22-city NuSoul Revival Tour that kicks off on Feb. 3rd in Raleigh, NC.  Visit www.NuSoulRevivalTour.com to find out where to purchase tickets and to see where she will be performing.  To find out more about Avery*Sunshine, visit www.averysunshine.com.


About The Tour:  Musiq Soulchild will headline the tour following an exciting 2016 which included his seventh studio album, Life on Earth entering the US Billboard 200 at #27, his single "I Do" reaching #3 on Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and performing in the highly anticipated musical adaptation of the cult classic, Love Jones.

He will be joined by platinum-selling R&B and soul singer-songwriter, Lyfe Jennings; beloved Grammy Nominated “First Couple of Soul”, Kindred the Family Soul and; Multi-Award Winning Artist, Avery*Sunshine whose loyal fanbase includes music icons Aretha Franklin, Baby Face, Teddy Riley, Jazzy Jeff, and Patti LaBelle.  Also appearing on the tour, in select cities, are Grammy Award-Winning singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele, Grammy Nominated singer-songwriter and record producer Dwele, and Grammy Nominated group, The Foreign Exchange.


The NuSoul Revival Tour seeks to send the message that "Good Music Still Lives!" while continuing to support artists whose music is the soundtrack, and in some cases, a blueprint of areas of our lives.  It also seeks to raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease which affects over five million individuals in the United States.

NuSoul Revial Tour 2017 dates
Visit www.NuSoulRevivalTour.com to find out where to purchase tickets.
**All dates, venues, artist line-up, and on-sale information are subject to change.

Date           City                        Venue
2/3              Raleigh, NC            Duke Energy Center
2/4              Charleston, SC       North Charleston Performing Arts Center                              
2/10            Nashville, TN          Nashville Municipal Auditorium
2/11            Chicago, IL             Arie Crown Theater
2/12            Louisville, KY          Whitney Hall                                                                
2/14            Philadelphia, PA      Liacouras Center                                                            
2/17            Washington, D.C.    Constitution Hall
2/18            NYC                       Beacon Theater                                                              
2/24           Charlotte, NC         Ovens Auditorium
2/25           Detroit, MI             Fox Theatre                                                                
3/3             Norfolk, VA             Chrysler Hall
3/4             Dallas, TX              Verizon Theater                                                        
3/10           Atlanta, GA            Fox Theatre
3/11           St. Petersburg, VA  Virginia State Multipurpose Center                                
3/17            Columbus, OH        Palace Theater
3/18            Cleveland, OH        State Theater                                                          
3/24            Kansas City, MO     Midland Theater
3/25            St. Louis, MO         Peabody Opera House                                            
3/31            South Haven, MS   Landers Center
4/1              Houston, TX           NRG Arena                                                                
4/7             New Orleans, LA    Lakefront Arena                                                      
4/8              Jacksonville, FL     Times Union Center

Friday, January 13, 2017

Khloe Kardashian: Proving that Success in Life Is the Best Revenge

by Cyrus Webb

2017 is already shaping up to be a year of success and empowerment for Khloe Kardashian*.

She's celebrating the debut of her own show REVENGE BODY WITH KHLOE KARDASHIAN on E and her partnership with Protein World, helping to encourage and motivate others towards their own personal greatness.

For those around the world looking to make 2017 the year of their best self, Khloe and Protein World are introducing the 30 Day Challenge. "My biggest piece of advice is to remind ourselves that we all have to start somewhere," says Khloe. "I also love that someone once told me you can't get it all in one day." That is a reminder that all of us have to remember as we are setting our goals for the year.

As she continues to set and pursue her own goals, Khloe offers some tips to everyone about what they should do when it comes to themselves and what they want to achieve.

 "Anything worth having is worth fighting for," she says. "When you hurt the most, when your mind is drained, these are the moments when you must persevere. Only then will you transform mind, body and soul. What brings me the greatest satisfaction is setting out a goal and actually achieving it. I was always told that I could never be a certain size or that I could never look a certain way and that really got to me." She has learned the value of not comparing herself to anyone else but being the best that she can possibly be.

Find out more about Protein World's 30 Day Challenge here. To get more tips from Khloe click here.

Keep up with REVENGE BODY WITH KHLOE KARDASHIAN on E here.

*     Photos of Khloe Kardashian shot by Mike Rosenthal and provided by Nike Communications.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Model and Actor Mike V discusses the journey with Conversations

Social media has been a great place for individuals to connect with their fans and to share their work. Host Cyrus Webb found out about model and actor Michael Vinson aka Model Mike V thanks to Instagram and invited him to be a guest on #ConversationsLIVE.

The two discussed what it's been like to be on the journey to seeing his dreams become a reality, how the support has motivated him and allowed him to show others what's possible and what you can expect for him this year.

"Seeing the response is amazing," Mike said during the interview, "but I think more so going through the journey, understanding the process. Going from my first ever photo shoot to where I am now is amazing to see what you can do."

Though he enjoys seeing the finished product, Mike realizes that it's more than just what people see. "At the end of the day your brand is your name," he said. "If I don't market that then it's going to be like any other brand. It's a business at the end of the day."

Stay connected with Michael on his website at www.modelmikev.com.  Listen to the entire conversation below:






Friday, January 6, 2017

International Recording Artist Cheri Maree announces soul-stirring new project

On December 14, 2016 international recording artist Cheri Maree took to social media to announce her newest creation: a book! Now, it is with great pleasure that she shares details about---as Steve Harvey says in his latest book---her “Jump” with the world.

Cheri’s labor of love in book form is called WEALTHY WOMAN’S STEW. Co-written with media personality and author Cyrus Webb, the artist delivers her most powerful and personal project to date: sharing what were her darkest moments in life and how a dish made of eight simple ingredients gave her the jumpstart she needed to turn her life around.

“It was an honor to work with Cheri on this project,” says Webb. “What she shares about how she became the woman we have come to know and love is going to not only inspire women around the world to embrace their own personal power, but remind all of us how important it is to love ourselves in spite of our circumstances.”

WEALTHY WOMAN’S STEW will be officially available worldwide on February 14, 2017 on Amazon.com in print and for Kindle readers. Look for Cheri to be sharing details about the release and opportunities to connect with her in person and online soon.

“This entire process of writing about my Wealthy Woman’s Stew and its deeper meaning has really been phenomenal” Cheri says. “My hope is that sharing these experiences will inspire you to make your own amazing stews and that the insights I offer will help catapult you into a space of Personal Power, Healing and Joy.”

Information about pre-orders of the book will be coming soon. In the meantime, Cheri is available for speaking engagements, interviews, performances and panel discussions about the importance of loving oneself and getting back to a palace of wholeness. Stay connected with everything “Cheri Maree” on social media @cherimaree, by email at cherimaree@gmail.com and her website www.cherimaree.com.

Graphics: Melanie Granderson Mickel
Photo by Ed Snapshot Brown

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cyrus Webb Presents...10 Books to Read In 2017

by Cyrus Webb

I love to read, and thankfully in my profession I am able to read each and every day--as well as be introduced to new books and authors that I get to pass on to my audience through the radio show, web-series, book club and social media. As the year is coming to a close I wanted to share with you 10 books that I have had the privilege of reading that you might want to add to your reading list.

These books either were released after I compiled Conversations' Top Books of 2016 or will be new releases for 2017. Either way they are definitely worth your consideration.

Happy reading!

Cyrus Webb Presents... 10 Books to Read In 2017 (listed in no particular order)

  1. "Sisters One, Two Three" by Nancy Star (Lake Union Publishing)
  2. "I Liked My Life" by Abby Fabiaschi (St. Martin's Press)
  3. "Ashes" by Steven Manchester (The Story Plant)
  4. "Copycat" by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publishing)
  5. "Say Goodbye For Now" by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Lake Union Publishing)
  6. "Live, Love, Explore" by Leon Logothetis (Reader's Digest)
  7. "No Arms to Hold Me" by Zach Tate and Elissa Gabrielle (The Imprint Mass Media)
  8. "Her Every Fear" by Peter Swanson (William Morrow)
  9. "A Fatal Twist" by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink Books)
  10. "Forever Is the Worst Long Time" by Camille Pagan (Lake Union Publishing)