Get your subscription to #ConversationsMag today!

Click below for your 31 Days of Inspiration

Click below for your 31 Days of Inspiration
"31 Days of Inspiration" by Branden Nicholson

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Brandon Nicholson's "31 Days of Inspiration"


Conversations Magazine is excited to share daily words of encouragement from celebrity model/fitness trainer Branden Nicholson of B. Nick Fitness in California. The purpose? To encourage the reader to be the best of themselves each and every day.

Take out time to visit our website each day to find a daily dose of motivation and visit Branden online at www.bnickfitness.com.

Day One:  New day, new attitude...Take control, stay positive and be great!
Day Two:   The reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have come.
Day Three:  If you're not growing, then you're not living. You should never be the same person two days in a row. Make it your goal to get better!
Day Four: When you are going through something hard and wonder where GOD is, remember that the teacher is always quiet during the test.
Day Five: Don't give up on what God has called you to do. The end result is worth the pain. Keep the faith.
Day Six: Today is all about choices. Choose to count your blessings rather than your problems!
Day Seven: You may be the only one that can see your vision, but if you can see it that's all that matters.
Day Eight: Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
Day Nine: The same people that are hoping you fail will be the same ones that will have to watch you succeed. Never stop. Always keep going!
Day Ten: The WRONG people in your life will keep the RIGHT people out. You've only got a few spaces so choose well!
Day Eleven: You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is part of His divine plan.‪
Day Twelve: All liabilities must be let go! If they aren't building you up then they're tearing you down.
Day Thirteen: An original is always worth more than a copy. Be original!
Day Fourteen: When you focus on problems, you'll have more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you'll have more opportunities.
Day Fifteen: People who judge you by your past don't belong in your present.‪
Day Sixteen: Look around...Is this where you wanna be? If not, now is the time to decide to change it! The power lies in you.
Day Seventeen: Don't let your thoughts talk you out of the changes you want for yourself. Your body can do anything. It’s just your brain you have to convince! ‪
Day Eighteen: Get up & Go forward! Let go of the past so you'll have a free hand to open the door to your future!
Day Nineteen: They can copy you but they can't be you. Just keep being a better you and get a kick out of them trying to keep up.
Day Twenty: There are quick fixes for everything in life, but greatness is not achieved in one day. It is a process that each of us must experience.
Day Twenty-One: Don't let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.
Day Twenty-Two: You can't expect to live a positive life around negative people.
Day Twenty-Three: I Will NEVER lower MY standards, to RAISE someone else's!
Day Twenty-Four: Direct your thoughts today because your thoughts will direct your day.
Day Twenty-Five: ‪Temptation doesn't surrender. You have to come ready to fight everyday!
Day Twenty-Six: If you don't invest in yourself then your dreams will go bankrupt.
Day Twenty-Seven: Not everyone's opinion should be relevant in your life. Stop making irrelevant people relevant.
Day Twenty-Eight: Never let your,"mind"bully your body!
Day Twenty-Ninth: One day, you'll be just a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.
Day Thirty: Want to see your biggest opponent? Look in the mirror.
Day Thirty-One: Don't stress. Do your best. Forget the rest.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

IYSE GIBSON: Creating Music While "Keeping It King"

by Cyrus Webb

As a musician and recording artist Iyse Gibson has been able to take his passion for music and share it literally around the world.

In 2018 he was stepping things up a notch, preparing new music for his fans while still enjoying the success of his latest single KEEP IT KING.

"It's a blessing," Iyse told me during his recent visit to Conversations LIVE radio show. "I just take everything day by day." He quickly added: "Anything I accomplish I attribute it to God. I couldn't do anything without Him."

His faith has helped him to enjoy his success by garnering fans around the globe. "I appreciate all of the support," he says. Talking about his fans and what's in store for them he says "I'm excited about what's to come."

As we discussed what it's like to do something that he loves, Iyse says, "It's really special. You have to love what you do, anything that you do. For me that thing is music. For you it might be something else. If it's something you love and is dear to your heart you have to do it."

Though it is something that he loves, Iyse acknowledges that the love doesn't make it easy. I asked him what keeps it fun in what could be a competitive market. "I don't look at it as me competing against other artists," he explained. "I'm trying to be better than I was yesterday. My biggest competition is me. If that helps me to be better than that's cool. My main goal is just to be better day by day."

By being better than he was yesterday that is also the way Iyse has been able to diversify what he does musically. "I started off as a musician first," he told me. "My father taught me the piano and keyboard. I grew up around musicians." So it's more than just words for him. It's about the entire feel of a project. "When it comes to music that was always something that kept me going," he says. "I love to create in all genres. I've studied it all. Music is a journey just like your life. That's what I like to talk about, the things we all actually go through."

Going back to his single KEEP IT KING, Iyse says the great thing about the song is that it can mean a lot of different things. "If I told you I'm going to keep it king with you it can mean I'm going to tell you the truth, what's really going on. It's not just keeping it real," he adds. "It's how you take charge of your life, how you go after what you want. As a king I go after what I want. I fight for it. A king takes care of his throne and his people. My pride is my family, not my ego."

Iyse has come to appreciate the life he's living, realizing the gift that it is. "I had a dream and live that dream," he says. "It's a blessing to be able to do it. It's not always easy to do it either. Like I said you have to fight for what you want."

Part of what keeps him focused is he company he keeps. "That's like one of the most important parts of it all. I've always heard you want to be around like-minded individuals, and that's why I watch my circle and protect it."

Reflecting on his path and what's ahead Iyse knows that others can look at him as an example. "I believe that even my mistakes were meant to happen," he says. "They are all just making me who I am and who God wants for me to be."

Stay connected with Iyse through social media at www.facebook.com/IyseGibson, www.twitter.com/iysegibson and www.instagram.com/iysegibson.

Carrie Anne Hunt: Using Creativity to Feed Her Love of Life

by Cyrus Webb

I was first introduced to actress and producer Carrie Anne Hunt in 2015. At the time she was promoting her film MAGIC MIKE XXL, and it was clear after that chat in Atlanta, GA that we would stay connected and become friends.

Fast forward to 2018 Carrie Anne has continued to make moves for herself, both in front of the camera and behind it. As an actress and producer she is able to not just be a part of projects that she believes in but create those projects as well.

When we met up again this summer we talks about the process, the journey and why in spite of the challenges the creative process is still what feeds her love of life.


CARRIE ANNE ON THE PROCESS:
"When you have a clear idea of what you want then things start lining up. If you're open to it. It takes a lot of faith. It's like walking in the dark in a way and just knowing there's a light ahead of you. You're making this decision where there's more risk, but it keeps me open to the things I need to be open to. It's trusting that if you put the work in and you're hustling like you should be then everything is conspiring to help you continue to move forward.

"Enjoy the process. It's something that should be stated and can't be stated enough. If you're not enjoying it it's time to step back and see how you can find the joy again. There are days you're sitting on the kitchen floor and saying 'It's hard'. If you have that big picture, if you have an overall positive attitude, then you kind of know you can have that day. Don't run from that moment. Say 'I'm going to take this time and let it move through me.' Then you have another day and you keep going."

CARRIE ANNE ON NEW CHALLENGES:
"It's hard, but it's worth it. You just sort of do it. When you have the right thing and the right intention then the doors start opening up, and the people start showing up."

CARRIE ANNE ON EMPOWERING OTHERS:
"I'm glad it's happening. As artists of any kind we have a unique position that people are watching us to be inspired or have their hearts changed. It's a way that people can go watch a movie, read a book or listen to a song and it helps them not feel so alone. It's a way that people can be reached on their own terms. They take [it] in and carry [it] with them on their journey. It's important for me in everything that I do. it's important to be a light in the world for other people saying 'You can be happy. You can be a positive force for change in the world'. It doesn't have to be all dark and closing in on you. The more you do that, you get what you put out."

One of the big takeaways from me from Carrie Anne was that you have to be willing to be stubborn when it comes to your goals and dreams. Don't be afraid to learn. Don't be afraid to change. Learn from the process and never stop moving forward.

Stay connected with Carrie Anne on Instagram at www.instagram.com/carrieannehunt.

Monday, September 10, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: Actress Renee Lawless: Sharing What It Means to 'Have'

by Cyrus Webb

She may have become known to many through her work on stage, but 2013 solidified actress Renee Lawless as one of the unforgettable stars of the runaway hit by Tyler Perry The Haves and the Have Nots on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In the first 10 minutes of the first episode we saw her character Katheryn Cryer as the strong matriarch of her family, however, the show has also revealed another side of the woman whose cutting retorts and strength masks a world of hurt and pain. Millions have made the show must-see television and Renee couldn't be happier.

I have had he pleasure over the past 5 years to have her as a guest on Conversations LIVE the radio show, but in April 2018 we met in Los Angeles for the first time for a taping of my web-series Cyrus Webb Presents---and it was like being reunited with an old friend.

I asked about her thoughts of the first episode and the response to it. Her answer? "This is going to be a hit, and I'm a part of it." Renee went on to tell me that they expected high numbers on the first one and as we have continued to grow that's what has really been more overwhelming. The importance of that moment is not lost. "Not too many people get to be at the start of something great," Renee said to me.

Renee Lawless' place in the spotlight is something that has been in the works for quite some time. "Even as a young child I was singing the loudest in church plays," she told me. "I always dreamed of being a movie star." When she began in theater, it just felt right to her. "This is my home," she said of the experience. "This is where I want to be." She knew in high school that no matter where she went that performing would be a part of her life. "I've been on stage many years, but my ultimate goal was always TV and eventually film." The Haves and the Have Nots has made that dream come true. She said that to not only have achieved her ultimate goal of being a series regular and a star of a series is an experience she is loving.

It was really intriguing to talk with Renee about how she has brought Katheryn to life. "I knew all these layers before you all did," she told me. "With any new television drama everyone is brought in in the middle. It's up to the characters to bring you in. The one thing that I love about Katheryn is that she's a very multi-layered person, it's like peeling back layers of an onion. She's like a hollow oak tree: outside she's a strong pillar of strength but on the inside she's rotting and hollow. What her husband and children and life have given her has made her a very lonely person. It's basically what it means to have and to have not."

Renee then gave an example that I think resonates with everyone. "Even though she's worth 50 million dollars she's a woman who's over a certain age, who doesn't like getting old, who is dealing with cancer and problems with her kids. Not many can relate to being worth 50 million dollars, but 50 million people can relate to what she's going through. She in many ways is one of the most relatable characters because she has all of these layers. She's just like me."

Though things are going well for Renee and she is doing what she loves, it hasn't happened without a real commitment to her craft. "I worked very hard and long and got many more rejections than I've had successes," she told me. "I do this because I love it, not for the award or the paycheck that it affords me." Speaking of the world that actors live in she adds: "Our career is very unsure. If you're just doing it for the fame and glory you're not going to go very far or last." Her next words are great reminders for all of us with a dream. "You have to love what you do in order to truly be successful at it."

May those words resonate with us as we identify our passion in life and vow to pursue it.

Renee's website is www.reneelawless.com and you can follow her online at www.twitter.com/msreneelawless and www.instagram.com/reneelawless.

Conversations' 25 Summer Reads for Adults, 2018

It is one of Conversations' most popular lists: our 25 Summer Reads of each year. Handpicked and read by book club President, media personality and author Cyrus Webb, this list is sure to have something that you will want to add to your own reading list, covering both fiction and non-fiction interests. Though summer is coming to a close, see how many of these titles can still make it on to your shelf before the end of the year.

Conversations' 25 Summer Reads for Adults, 2018 (in no particular order)


  1. "Welcome to Moonlight Harbor" by Sheila Roberts (Mira Books)
  2. "Three Shoeboxes" by Steven Manchester (The Story Plant)
  3. "Racism from the Eyes of a Child" by Mathew Knowles (Music World Publishing)
  4. "I've Got My Eyes On You" by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon and Schuster)
  5. "Another Bump in the Road" by T.M. Brown (T.M. Brown)
  6. "Dog and Bitch Island" by Robert Blake Whitehill (Calaveras Media)
  7. "Firestorm" by Solange Ritchie (Stony Hill Publishers)
  8. "Flight Season" by Marie Marquardt (Wednesday Books)
  9. "The Escape Artist" by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central Publishing)
  10. "Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties" by Camille Pagan (Lake Union)
  11. "Jenna's Case" by Andy Siegel (Rockwell Press)
  12. "Abyss" by D.G. Torrens (D.G. Torrens)
  13. "I Give My Eyes" by Brian H. Peterson (Due Santi)
  14. "Envy" by Victoria Christopher Murray (Touchstone)
  15. "Happy Accidents" by Four Day Weekend Comedy (Wiley)
  16. "Death Logs Out" by E.J. Simon (Endeavour Media)
  17. "Welcome to My World" by Curtis Bunn (Strebor Books)
  18. "Love and Death Among Pigeons" by Lawrence A. Wood (Lawrence A. Wood)
  19. "Bad Men and Wicked Women" by Eric Jerome Dickey (Dutton)
  20. "Think Like A Winner: Act Like You Won" by Carl Mathis (Carl Mathis)
  21. "The Way of Beauty" by Camille Di Maio (Lake Union)
  22. "The Gospel According to Abraham" by Paul Abraham (thewordverve)
  23. "In Praise of Difficult Women" by Karen Karbo (National Geographic)
  24. "The Cutting Edge" by Jeffery Deaver (Grand Central Publishing)
  25. "Delta Epiphany: RFK in Mississippi" by Ellen B. Meacham (University Press of Mississippi)

TO YOU, FROM ME: The Power of Letting Go

We've all been there: holding on to something that is either weighing us down or keeping us stagnant. It's not easy to pull yourself away from individuals or circumstances that have become comfortable for us, especially if feelings have gotten involved.

What I have learned, however, is that we do everyone involved a disservice by staying in a place where no good is being served. In my own life I have had to sever ties with individuals and things that I realized were keeping me from the place I was supposed to be.

Here is the truth: Each one of us have to be willing to do what is best for US. It might sound selfish, but how can we be any good to anyone if we are not able to perform at our best? It could be a job that no longer satisfies us, a relationship that has us feeling empty or a geographic location where we feel as though things have gone as far as it can go. Is it scary to move forward, leaving the comfortable behind? Yes! Is it necessary to do so? Absolutely!

How do you know if a change is needed? Be honest with yourself. Make a mental checklist or even write down where you are, where you want to be and what you can do to get from one place to another. Is it about your attitude, and something you have to mentally let go of? Is it actually someone or something around you? If you can ask the questions that will lead you in the direction you need to go.

No matter what that thing is for you that might be keeping you stuck the important thing to remember is that you have the power. You can make the change. You can make things better. You can set yourself free if you are willing to unload that thing that is holding you back.


Until next time,




Cyrus Webb, Editor-In-Chief
Conversations Magazine

25 Women Changing the World in 2018 (Conversations Magazine)

The scene of the world is changing, and in 2018 there are powerful women standing up around the world showcasing their abilities and empowering individuals around them in the process.

"I always look forward to this list each year," says Cyrus Webb, Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine and host of Conversations LIVE Radio show. "I like the idea of taking the time to give some recognition to those that every day are doing something to make the world a better place through their gifts. It's a reminder for us all to use our light in a way that will inspire and motivate others to do the same."






Conversations Media Group proudly salutes these 25 women who are making a difference in their personal and professional endeavors (listed in no particular order):

THROUGH MUSIC

  1. Andra Day
  2. Keala Settle
  3. Antonique Smith
  4. Cynthia Erivo
  5. Rachel Kerr


THROUGH BOOKS

  1. Amy Newmark
  2. Rachel Renee Russell
  3. RJ Palacio
  4. Linda Bello Ruiz
  5. Joy Elan


THROUGH BUSINESS

  1. Allyson Byrd
  2. Jasmine Sar
  3. Oprah Winfrey
  4. Sallie Krawcheck
  5. Beverly Bond


THROUGH THE ARTS

  1. Jenifer Lewis
  2. Shonda Rhimes
  3. Viola Davis
  4. Ava Duvernay
  5. Tess Holliday


THROUGH PERSONAL MISSIONS


  1. Erin Merryn
  2. Leeza Gibbons
  3. Brely Evans
  4. JoJo Siwa
  5. Hannah Alper
*     Image for "25 Women Changing the World" created by Talamieka Brice

Friday, September 7, 2018

Recording Artist Gerald Green: Embracing Freedom by Letting Go of Ego

by Cyrus Webb

Many people have gotten to know recording artist Gerald Green as a member of the group The Perfect Storm. What I learned in 2018 when we met in Baton Rouge, however, was that Gerald has long been weathering storm in his life---and continues to fight to make sure his voice is heard.

As we taped an episode of Cyrus Webb Presents the web-series, I was impressed not just for his passion for music but his growth as an artist and individual.

Even before The Perform Storm, Gerald shared with me that he always has thought of the music business as just that, a business. "I've always had a serious side," he told me. In a previous group he was in he realized that it wasn't a good fit because "the brotherhood wasn't there."

Another thing Gerald has been open about is one of the biggest lessons he has learned: not being led by ego. That was something that became painfully clear for him when he was in high school and auditioning for the advanced choir.

"I had family members before me that were in the advanced choir," he told me. "I went in knowing 'I got this'. That,"he shared, "was probably one of the biggest mistakes.

"I was told by the choir director that I needed to humble myself. The director told me 'You have a gift, but that gift can only go so far. The rest has to come from within.' The words struck a chord with Gerald, because it wasn't the first time he had been told this. "I had heard this before from my grandmother," he told me. "I was used to winning," he said, but that conversation with the choir director helped him to see that to win you have to remain humble.

Today both as part of the group The Perfect Storm and as a solo artist, Gerald wants to do music that will appeal across the board. He has honed in on listening to lots of different artists, learning from them but being true to his own voice.

By finding his own voice Gerald Green has been able to embrace the freedom that music has given him. It is that freedom that he shares with his audience around the world.

Stay connected with Gerald at www.facebook.com/gerald.green.33046 as well as on Instagram at www.instagram.com/geraldsingdeep.gg.

Author Coralyn Jones shares how we can LEAP

by Cyrus Webb

At 19 years old Coralyn Jones saw a dream of hers become a reality: becoming a published author. Her book LEAP is all about taking chances, and it's something the author knows about quite well. Before the book's release she had been making a name for herself in dance. Now with LEAP she is able to merge her love of empowering others and movement into one project.

I was introduced to Coralyn through social media, and instantly went to Amazon to purchase the book. Since then we have had a chance to meet in person and she's been my guest for both Conversations LIVE the radio show and my web-series Cyrus Webb Presents. It all comes together in this conversation for the magazine, one that I think will inspire people of all ages.

Coralyn, thanks so much for the time. First of all how does it feel to have released your first book and to sel over 100 copies in the first week?
It's very exciting. I'm more determined as to what I can do. The idea for the book started when I went to college. I always talked about it, and my mom motivated me. I had to make the decision to do it and I did!

Did you always know that it was going to be a book that everyone would benefit from?
No I didn't! At first I was going towards the younger age. I was trying to be an inspiration to younger people just to motivate them to stay on the right track. To know it is inspiring others is a great thing.

What do you want others to know about their own goals and dreams?
I want to be an inspiration to others. I want them to stay positive and stay committed. When I think of what I've done to get to this point it gives me chills. You have to work for what you want and you have to keep going. Everyone has their own definition of success. Find yours and go for it! Even when difficult times come try to keep going. I know I have goals I want to pursue. I want to keep those goals going. If I work hard I know I can do it, and so can you.

Get LEAP on Amazon.com.
_____________________________________________________________

Cyrus Webb's Review of LEAP

In LEAP! award-winning dancer and author Coralyn Jones shares not just advice for those who want to make it in dance but also in life. Building on words like Purpose, Faith, Dream and Persistence she shares a story that will have you evaluating what you want and what you're willing to do in order to get it.

Winning is not just for a few, and even the idea of winning is different for everyone. No matter what your goal, Coralyn shares that it's something that is within your power---if you're willing to take the LEAP.

"It's deep inside," she writes. "You know it. You can be it. Who you're meant to be is more than just a feeling. You have purpose. It shows, and he world needs your flow."

That last line is so important. We have been given something that the world needs, but it's up to us to share it. Let go of the fear. Don't be afraid to dream. Take the leap. You never know what you can accomplish until you try.

PROFILE: Author David Lorenzo Glover, the Controversial Counselor

by Cyrus Webb

Everyone knows I love a great conversation, and I think one of the most powerful thing any of us can do is get people to talking about issues and looking at different perspectives. An individual that I had a chance to chat with this year who is doing just that is author/media personality David Lorenzo Glover, known to his follows as the Controversial Counselor.

After reading his book Cocktail Conversations by the Controversial Counselor we had a chance to discuss not just what led to it, but what he hopes to accomplish.

DAVID ON BECOMING 'THE CONTROVERSIAL COUNSELOR':
"It's been tremendous. As a school counselor I am pretty laid back and quiet, really not that outspoken. Being able to use this platform has helped me. For the people who knew me they knew I always had it in me to stir the pot. I wanted to come up with a catchy name, and make people feel a little uncomfortable. Being a counselor I have the background knowledge to give my assessment."

Thus The Controversial Counselor was born.

DAVID ON THE TOPICS HE DISCUSSES:
"I give scenarios, invite feedback and then give an assessment. I know it's not always easy to voice one's opinion but I give the platform to do so.

"Even within the book it was more really trying to hit individuals on the head. I want to try and make [people] understand that these things are going on.

"What surprised me the most are some of the responses. It makes you understand that we all can be looking at the same situation but have different opinions about it.

DAVID ON HIS GOAL AS 'THE CONTROVERSIAL COUNSELOR:
"The ultimate goal has to be to have that hunger and that there's more to do. Sometimes you have to scale down certain things to ultimately get where you're going. I want to be on platforms to talk about my painful childhood.. When you go through certain things you have to have a creative imagination to get through it. Certain things can drag you down. I was fortunate that I had good family support and a dream."

It is that dream that is now helping David to reach people around the world.

Stay connected with 'The Controversial Counselor online at www.controversialcounselor.com as well as on social media, including Facebook, www.instagram.com/david.glover.7712 and  www.twitter.com/dglovecc2.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Author Joyful Soul: 'Giving Birth' to Something Special

by Cyrus Webb

In July 2018 Shannon Little, known to the world as author Joyful Soul, posted this message on INSTAGRAM: "Best Thing I Ever Did Was Believe In Me"---and that is a message she has been sharing with the world.

I discovered Joyful Soul through Facebook initially as she was promoting her book GIVING BIRTH TO HIV. With a thought-provoking title and a fascinating story inside, the book has quickly become a conversation piece.

In this conversation Joyful Soul and I talk about the book, her message and walking in one's purpose.

JOYFUL SOUL ON SHARING HER VOICE:
"It's been rejuvenating to be able to see that I have a voice and something that someone wants to hear. It's been inspiring to me to be able to see that for myself and invest in it and continue the walk.

"I was at a place last year where I wanted to share my story and everything I had endured to help someone else. That was the turning point for me to say this can make a difference."

JOYFUL SOUL ON BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF.
"It's a very intense process. Anyone who does nonfiction will tell you [that] you have to go back to the beginning and live it out as you're writing it. It puts a little pressure on you, but it allows you to put it all out there and be yourself while you're doing it.

"I never wanted to tell this story. My point that I got to was when I wanted to date again after my husband had passed away. By putting it in a book I invited the platform so people can understand where I've been and where I'm trying to go."

JOYFUL SOUL ON THE RELEASE OF GIVING BIRTH TO HIV:
"[The title of the book] was my way of saying I wanted to give life to a dead situation. I wanted to give birth to it to show them (the reader) a different way.

"People who saw me and never knew exactly what I had gone through were astounded, and it allowed them to open up to me even more. It created a platform where they were able to share themselves. [The book] started a healing process for me and them. It's more than a book. It's a movement."

As Joyful Soul continues to share her message through the written form and her social message she hopes to be able to encourage others and get them to see that their lives can be better, if they are willing to do the work.

When it comes to relationships she told me that "A relationship does contain work. It contains serious commitment and communication. Being able to lay that foundation is a great experience for myself." She knows it will be the same for us too.

In meeting people where they are Joyful Soul is sharing her brand and spreading the word that if we do the work we can all give birth to something special. And that's something we can all look forward to doing.

Stay connected with Joyful Soul on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorjoyfulsoul and Instagram at www.instagram.com/officialjoyfulsoul. You can also visit her website www.insidejoyfulsoul.com.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Backstreet Boys Sign New Deal with RCA Records, Release New Music

by Cyrus Webb

As someone who has been a fan of the Backstreet Boys for over 20 years, I was excited to hear that 2018 was going to be an amazing year for the group and their fans.

First they sign a new record deal with RCA Records and then came the biggie: word of a new single AND video. "Don't Go Breaking My HEart" is out now on Amazon.com and the other online retailers, and already it is climbing the charts.


“The minute we heard this song we knew it was special,” says Kevin Richardson of the group. “I geeked out over the piano and synths. When that groove drops on the second verse, COME ON. Great verse, hook and melodies. Just makes you wanna listen over and over again.”

In support of the new single, the Backstreet Boys will be making the rounds of the new outlets including returning to the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series in New York’s Central Park on July 13th. The group will also perform at a series of summer radio shows like this year’s KIIS FM Wango Tango before returning to their record-breaking “Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life” Las Vegas Residency.

I told my friends that the new music takes you back to when you first became fans of the group in the very beginning. It’s hard not to think the group's latest activities didn’t shape this track. Whether it's the creative relationship with Florida Georgia Line that earned the guys their first #1 Country radio single; working with a variety of new and young producers; there’s an undeniable energy and creativity surrounding the Backstreet Boys and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is an extraordinary new track from a group who continues to impress 25 years into their storied career.

“We’ve been working our (expletive) off for 25 years,” says AJ McLean, “and with the support of RCA and our contemporaries, we know we’ll be performing for fans, both old and new, for a really long time. It feels like we’re just getting started.”


For more information on Backstreet Boys please visit:

www.backstreetboys.com
www.facebook.com/backstreetboys
www.twitter.com/backstreetboys
www.instagram.com/backstreetboys

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Remembering Soulful Crooner Abraham McDonald: 02/17/1977-03/10/2018

Abraham McDonald


Many got to know him as the winner of Oprah's Karaoke challenge on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Others know him for his powerful voice and commanding presence that sang for the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama and his friend Niecy Nash. Still others got to appreciate his humble spirit and call him a friend.
On March 10, 2018 soulful crooner Abraham McDonald died suddenly at the age of 41. In his amazing life he achieved so much and touched music lovers and dreamers around the world.




His family released this statement to Conversations: "The McDonald Family and the music community around the world is saddened by the death of our prolific singer Abraham McDonald (aka Oprah's Crooner). Abraham touched the world through his lyrics,songs, smile and bigger than life personality. He was immensely loved by the world, and he truly loved God. Memorial services are being planned by his sister Breeze McDonald in the city of Los Angeles. Details will be released soon. For now let the world join hands and sing."

Since 2010 McDonald had been a frequent guest on Conversations LIVE with host Cyrus Webb, even sitting down with him in person in 2016 for their last interview together in Los Angeles. “Abraham was more than a regular guest,” says Webb. “He was someone I am glad to call a friend. He will definitely be missed,but I know his music will continue to touch the world.”


Listen to Webb’s first interview with McDonald on #ConversationsLIVE in March 2010 here.
McDonald returned to Conversations in November 2010. Listen here.
In Jan. 2014 McDonald returned to Conversation with new music. Listen here.

Watch Webb's 2016 interview with Abraham McDonald below.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

#ConversationsMag Celebrates New Year, New Opportunities in 1st Issue of 2018!

For Conversations Media Group 2018 is not just ANOTHER year. It's a new year with exciting new partnerships, new adventures and new projects that will increase its reach around the world.

To encourage its readers and listeners to make it a NEW YEAR for themselves as well, the first issue of Conversations Magazine of the year has that as its theme: NEW YEAR. NEW OPPORTUNITIES---and features individuals who are making that their mantra.

"I'm excited to start off the year with such an amazing issue," says Cyrus Webb, President of Conversations Media Group and Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine. "Conversations' theme is 'Feeding Your Love of Life', and I think we live up to it with this issue and all of the amazing people we are able to shine a spotlight on."

The issue features Webb's friends and repeat guests on Conversations LIVE the radio show fitness model/trainer/photographer Wendell B. and Social Media Influencer and Motivator Shari Alyse as well as amazing interviews with singer Kenny Lattimore, author Gretchen Rubin, Entrepreneur Evan Carmichael, author Evelyn Murray Drayton and more.

The online issue of the magazine will be available at www.conversationsmag.com by Feb. 1st. Order the print edition of the magazine now for only $6.99, shipping included at the button below:


Wendell B: Growing His Brand and Motivating the World One Post at a Time

by Cyrus Webb

We all need to have examples around us of individuals who have set goals, met them and inspire others to do the same. One of those people for me has been Wendell B.* He is a fitness model,trainer, photographer and an example that life is all about what you choose to do with it.

When I was deciding on the first issue of this magazine for 2018 I knew I wanted Wendell for the main feature. He has been an example to people around the world as to what is possible--and the passion he has for his work is amazing to me. He's been a repeat guest on Conversations LIVE the radio show, and in this conversation we talked about his commitment to himself, his audience, the importance of association and why it is imperative that you take care of yourself along the way.

Wendell, glad to have a chance to talk with you again. One of the things that we share in common is our love of positivity and being able to inspire and motivate people. That's one of the things that drew me to you in the beginning, and it has been great to kind of follow that journey that you've been on. What has that been like for you when you kind of reflect on it especially these past couple of years, to be able to do what you love but then to be able to motivate people along the way?
I wasn't expecting it, because I never been that type of person at first to just to be 'Oh I am going to motivate the world.' It all started for me just wanting to better myself and be a better me. And just by me sharing my story and being transparent, it just helped others in the process. I am thankful that just me being myself I have been able to help others all from just stemming from me basically want to help myself and hold myself accountable. I am truly grateful for the platform and Instagram for being there to help me be that voice to help other people to get through their situation.

You are right. I mean Instagram is definitely that place for you. At the time that we are having this conversation over thirty-seven thousand have joined you there on Instagram. Do you still have those wow moments when you kind of think about that? 
Yes, actually I am still wowed sometime because it's really intriguing to know that so many people find me this interesting to like my page and want to follow my daily life to see what I am posting and to see what I am just doing on a daily bases. It's kind of insane for me, because like I said it all started just for being me so when I go places and I see people and they know who I am, they sometimes kind of catch me off-guard because I am still a regular person. It's a great feeling I can't lie. It's a great feeling just to hear somebody telling me that you impact them in a positive way, it's not just oh you have all of these types of followers and all of these people and you are not doing nothing with it. So I am just grateful to know that I am touching people in that way.

One of the things that you shared at the end of December of last year was your best 9 pictures that got the most attention. I mean of course you know you have gotten hundreds of thousands of likes on these pictures. We talked last year about how a lot of people wait until January to kind of get things started, and how one of the big pieces of advice that you gave was taking advantage of now. You shared in one of those pictures that got a lot of attention how you'd had some moments that you had not been you know as committed, and that you have kind of gone back a little bit. What was it like for you for one to be able to share that to let us know that, but then to know how you are bouncing back.
The response that I got from that post was wild. I had actually sent the picture to a friend of mine who is actually one of my business partners with me and I told her I was kind of embarrassed to post the picture, because people look at me as okay you are getting these results you are behind the product and you know you are supposed to have these great results. She reminded me that at the beginning you promised yourself and you promised everybody that you will always be real and you will always be transparent, and you will always just share your story. So to have so many likes and so much feedback from me just being transparent and seeing my downfall it made me feel so much better, because it made me realize that what I am doing is really helping people. This is my purpose. This is what I am supposed to do. My falling off wasn't just a bad thing for me, It was actually a good thing for me because I was able to get results and show people how to get results.

It took me falling off, but now I can recommit a whole new amount of people that haven't seen my journey from the beginning. They can see me now work on my results from this point that I am at now.  This is my way to let them know that it's not just that you get results and you keep them. You have to work at it. None of us are perfect. Everyone has their ways and everyone will fall off. And I just want to be that voice for people to let you know that everyone is normal. Every day is not going to be a good day. You are going to fall off but the thing about it is you have to be able to pick yourself up and just know how to keep going no matter what.

I want to stay with that for a moment, Wendell, because you mentioned in that post two things: One of course has to do with eating which I mean we All can relate to that. The second thing that was not being consistent and it ties into what you just said, because I think a lot of the times, and this is just in life in general, I think that we all get to a place where we do get comfortable and think okay I have done this so I am good. I mean do you find that pictures like that post and the response keeps you moving and not being complacent?
Actually it really does because when I originally started my journey, as I always said, I posted my first post on Instagram that's how I was able to grow that following and being transparent and feeling like this is my way of keeping myself accountable. I had no friends to hold me accountable at the time, no one wanted to work out with me or eat clean with me. So my responses to that was I will post all of these pictures that I am unhappy with just so I can see myself daily and know what I need to change. So far a while I kind of fell off of that mind-set, because I had then got to a point I kind of plateaued and at that point in my mind-set it's like I can help others--but at the same time I kind of forgot about myself. And you have to find time in between time and doing everything that you are doing to not forget about yourself. You have to focus on yourself, because if you are not helping yourself how are you going to help someone else?

Wendell, you have done so much as a fitness model and trainer-but there are still other things you have been able to achieve, especially with photography. To be an entrepreneur is another thing that a lot of people are experiencing this year. What has that part of the experience been like for you to be able to have started this business, and let us know about it on Instagram to build it through Instagram and to share it with us that way?
I shocked myself honestly at the way that my photography business has grown in a short period of time, and it's only going to grow from here. From a child I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I never knew what it was going to be that I ended up doing. And even through a couple of years ago I used to always be down and out not having extra money for things, and I just talked to my mother and say I wish I had other things that I could do to earn extra money. She always told me it will eventually come to you. Just be patient. And it's so ironic how this can tie into my Herbalife experience (what Wendell has used along his weight loss and fitness journey). Herbalife is not about just the weight-loss. It's about the Mental Health, and like I said before it took me going to an event to hear what the speakers said you have to do.

I started reflecting on my childhood and things that you enjoy doing as a child. With me, I always enjoyed taking pictures as a child. Never knew that I could build a business out of it. I just did it for fun. So when I got the experience, and I was able to invest in a camera, I started playing around with it at first and didn't think about it still as a business until people started motivating me and telling me that my work was good. They told me to keep going. I was able to grow a photography business in just 10 months just on something that I enjoy doing!

Got you, and in that same vein as we were talking about the motivating with the tribe you know one of the things that we've all heard and I am a firm believer in is that leaders are definitely readers. 

You have been talking about that even in your post on Instagram. I want to broaden that a little bit not just talk about what you are reading but also those that you associated with. This is a really good point because I think again this is one thing that we have in common, Wendell. Talk to us about how important it's been for you to be able to make sure that you are watching those around you but also you talk about this in your post as well about encouraging your audience to keep the negativity away. How has that helped you in meeting your goals?
It's very, very important to watch who you are around. It might sound cliche, but it's very true when people say that you are what hang around. And when you really paying attention to it if you are hanging around people that just want to do drugs or they just want to go out and party all the time, nine times out of 10 you're going to be doing the same thing. So why not hang with people that are reading books, people that want to start businesses and do positive things and always encouraging you to do positive things? If you hang around positivity you will become the positive. I always tell myself I want to be the least smartest in the group that I am in, because I am always looking to learn and grow more. I don't want to be the smartest one because how am I going to grow? Always challenge yourself to just be around new people. I have lost so many friends over the years, and it's not a bad thing that sometimes you just outgrow people, God puts them in your life for a reason, and you just have to move forward to new levels and new people that are put in your life that are going to take you to a different level and be more positive.

Thank you so much, Wendell, for your time. What should our audience be as we are beginning 2018? What are some of the goals that you've set for yourself that you can share with her audience?
Some of my major goals are I want to inspire thousands of more people. I feel like over this past 2017 I was able to grow like 17,000 followers on Instagram, so when I look at it most people look at like oh I've got more followers. To me I look at it as these are more people that can watch my journey, more people that I can inspire. So one of my biggest goals is to inspire more people this year. On top of that of course I want to work on my photography more and perfect my skills more. I am hoping to get more publishing, a new studio...things that will help me grow. I just want to help others and grow: that's my main goal that I want to do---and travel the world.

Stay connected with Wendell on Instagram at www.instagram.com/datdude_doody and his photography page at www.instagram.com/topoptics_photography.

*   Photos courtesy of Top Optics Photography/ Rhonda Hosey