Conversations Magazine, Oct./Nov. 2021 (Click below to order yours today)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

[MUSIC REVIEW] Canaan Cox delivers another unforgettable song with AS YOU LEAVE


 It's been amazing to watch Canaan Cox's star continue to rise. He's such a talented artist, and it's not just about releasing music. He makes every single an experience.

When he started teasing AS YOU LEAVE on social media his excitement for the song was contagious, so as soon as it was released I had to get it. The message is so good for the times we are living in, especially for those guys who are looking for the words to say to that special lady.

Cox sings about the feeling you get when you are not with that person, and how it seems as though things just stop. For some of us we know that's not an exaggeration. We just don't always talk about it. That is what sets him apart. He's not afraid of letting his girl know how he feels, how she makes him feel and what being with them does to him.

AS YOU LEAVE can be seen as a love letter or sorts but also a realization that you've found something real. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

[MUSIC REVIEW] To the one we can't stop thinking about, THINKING OF YOU 24/7 is dedicated to them

 


Nathaniel Kimble and Omar Cunningham come together to create a song that the ladies will love. 

THINKING OF YOU 24/7 is all about letting that special someone know how much they mean to you. As guys we are not known for expressing ourselves well, but this song is one we can put on and let it speak for us. In spite of all that is going on in the world we know we wouldn't be who we are without that love.

For the ladies who wonder if their man cares or appreciates them, this song answers the questions with an affirmative. 

[MUSIC REVIEW] IF IT ALL FALLS DOWN asks the questions we want answered when it comes to relationships


Sometimes things can seem too good to be true. With IF IT ALL FALLS DOWN by Karim and Claire Donzelli we are able to see how so many relationships start out, with everything going right. The question is there, however, will it always be that way? 

With a driving beat and the lyrical gift that is Claire on top of it we get the message loud and clear. When love is like a palace and seems magical, will it last? If it all falls down will you be there? When grey skies appear will you stay or leave?

A song that appreciates what is while realizing what might be, IF IT ALL FALLS DOWN asks the questions we want answered when it comes to relationships. 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

One-On-One with Actress/Content Creator Nadege August


by Cyrus Webb

Nadege, people have gotten to know you most recently because of the Tyler Perry hit show RUTHLESS, but you've been able to do some great work even before this. What has it been like for you, especially over the past five years to be able to reflect on your work and how you got to where you are today?

I must say it's a little surreal. You get into this work because it's something that you love. You must've heard people say quite often when you're starting out, if there's something else you can do, please go do that instead. It is a very, very challenging life. But when you are driven and you know your why, and you stick to it, the work speaks for itself. 

I've done everything from stage work, and I still do that, television series where I've been a guest quite often, pilots that didn't get picked up... And now seeing this, where it came from of all places, it's just amazing. I'm still a little bit shocked. You mentioned the show RUTHLESS, that's where I'm seeing a response that's outrageous.

I love the fact that you have not been afraid to trust your own voice. When did you realize that you had something that you wanted to share?

I think I got a few glimpses of it when I was 14 and realized this is something I wanted to do. I just didn't have a name for it. Just seeing the impact your performance has on an audience. Their reaction is usually genuine, because people are pretty honest in their nonverbal cues. I also have a podcast . That is where I started to realize that I do have opinions, what I say matters, and I have a responsibility. It's a part of my plan to use my platform that I'm gifted with and to have it be impactful in a way that is about compassion and empathy. 

I'm curious, Nadege, what was that like for you to not only be able to find some fulfillment for yourself, but to find that other people were also enjoying what you were doing?

You know what's funny for me is that you never quite know when you're in the work, After you do the work and you see the feedback, the results, the stranger who takes the time to either leave a review or find your email and send you an email. It takes my breath away. 

Sometimes I pause and I go wow. Those small gestures somehow keeps you going. I'm not going to lie. I don't wake up every day gung-ho and ready to take on the world. I have my highs and my lows, and there are times where I've thought of giving up. During those times I kid you not, I get a whisper from an angel in the form of a human who says something that is so encouraging and completely genuine that gives me this perk that I need to keep going. And it also is a cautionary tale as to when you think to say something nice to someone, you have to say it. It's always so easy for us to criticize and to point out what doesn't work, when in fact, when something does work, take the time and let someone know. You never know what that might mean to them.


Stay connected with Nadege on Instagram at www.instagram.com/bougiedilemma and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nadegeaugust

Actor/Producer Reggie Currelley: Enjoying the Marathon Towards His Goals and Dreams

 by Cyrus Webb

No matter what your career true success only comes with hard work, dedication and faith. Just ask actor/producer Reggie Currelley. I caught up with him earlier this year as we were celebrating our 10,000th guest on Conversations LIVE radio show. He was also celebrating being a part of a commercial that was broadcast around the world thanks to the Super Bowl. 

Many have gotten to know Reggie as Victor from the famed State Farm commercial, but one thing is for sure: that was only another milestone on his journey towards personal and professional success.

We talked about the journey and the focus it takes to make it in this inspiring conversation. 

Reggie, you've been on quite a journey for yourself.  Teamwork is very important, but bringing your own personal best is also important. How do you feel like bringing your best to everything that you do has helped your career?

Thank you for that. I think for me if I don't bring my best, I won't put out the best product; and I'll be cheating the world of the gifts that God gives me. So what I do is I put my best foot forward, everything else is going to fall into place. And when you do the work before you actually get the job, the job becomes easier. So that's the work that I do. I try to put in as much work as possible before I even get to set or wherever I'm going.

Have you gotten used to the, 'Hey you are that guy'? 

It's still fun and it's still amazing. You walk into a supermarket and someone goes, 'Hey, are you Victor from the she-shed commercial?'  And I say 'Yes, that's me.' It's still weird to get used to, but it's fun because people tell me I make their day. I'll keep going for the rest of my life if that's the case. I love it.

Did you always know it was going to be a marathon and not a sprint that this was not a, a success story that was going to happen overnight? 

I had an idea. I remember when I decided to come to Los Angeles to become an actor, some people in my neighborhood were like 'You're not going to get a job for 10 years.' So I prepared myself for that. When I got here, I noticed that it didn't come easy. I prepared myself for marathon. I was a sprinter in high school, so I'm used to running. So I just said to myself, 'You know what? I'm in it for the long haul.' I got some good shoes, and I was ready to go. 

Keep up with Reggie on Instagram at www.instagram.com/rcurrelley

* Photo by Cameron Radice Photography


Michael Jai White: Fulfilling His Life's Assignment with Every Role

by Cyrus Webb

For many the path of Michael Jai White* is definitely that of a man who is larger than life. 

He has been able to make a name for himself as an actor, producer and Martial Arts expert with fans around the world. You can find him in roles that are as diverse and entertaining as his own passion for life, but at his core he is an individual who is just appreciative for the opportunities to do what he loves. Like the rest of us he has not been unscathed by the pandemic that has enveloped so much of our lives, but he presses onward, channeling all that he is into his art. 

In 2021 I had a chance to catch up with Michael to discuss his career, his success and what's to come. 

You've been in this unique position, Michael, of being able to do what you love, not only in front of the camera, but also in Martial Arts. What has that been like for you to take your passions and to be able to share them with all of us?

I'm blessed behind it, because I get a chance to do what what's in my heart. I felt blessed early on, because there was a time where I learned that I was following my dream. Once I learned that piece of information, I felt like I've already won. Everything else to me is just gravy. That's my attitude going forward, and no matter what, I'm gonna continue to try to just do my best.

You've been able to amass a following. I think that it's not only inspiring for other creators like yourself, Michael, but also shows people what's possible. You've been able to reach people who enjoy the drama, the comedies and enjoy the action. How does that feel to have this cross section of support from so many different arenas?

It feels great. I just keep moving forward. I don't really reflect too much on it. I know it's a good thing, but there is so much that I want to accomplish that I'm not very reflective a lot of the time.

In 2020 WELCOME TO SUDDEN DEATH was just one of the projects you starred in that had people talking. It has to do with something that means a lot to you, Michael, that being family. What was it like for you to see the way that even through the pandemic people were responding to it. 

I'm finally getting the chance to play characters that are closer to myself. I understand you have to pay the dues and play characters that sometimes paint you a certain way. There were people that used to be frightened of me because I played a lot of rough characters. Friends of friends would say, 'Oh, I saw Mike. but I didn't want to go up to him because, you know, I'm kind of scared.' My friends are like 'No, he's a nice guy,' but I understand that sometimes you play a character that's pretty menacing or whatever, and they kind of define you by that. 

Well, [Welcome to Sudden Death] was a great opportunity, because I can really show the real me in a lot of those situations. I am a husband and a father, and my family is like a sitcom. We don't bicker. It's no drama. There's a lot of laughs. I was able to bring that into my movie.

You have fans literally around the world, Michael. Has it become a comfortable thing to look at yourself as an example for others in your industry?

We're always going to be examples, no matter what. Again, I don't really think too much about it. I'm one that is very uncomfortable with accolades and compliments. I enjoy lifting other people up more so than receiving anything myself. I'm painfully shy when it comes to that. 

I've been put on the earth as an entertainer. It's about service, right? So I'm entertaining people, and people are responding to it. That is a great thing for me. Even though I'm at the forefront of it, it's so not all about me. It's really all about what I'm providing.

Stay connected with Michael on Instagram at www.instagram.com/officialmichaeljai


*     Photo Courtesy Jaigantic Studios


Thursday, October 28, 2021

12 Social Media Tips to Help Build Your Business and Brand

 


by Cyrus Webb

In 2021 it is impossible to NOT to see the impact and influence that social media has in connecting audiences and for networking. However, if you find it difficult to reach your potential customers or those in your niche it might be time to reevaluate your strategy for using social media. 

Over the past year I have hosted several classes where I have addressed my own social media strategy and success and how I have been able to grow my customer base as well as my rolodex throughout the pandemic. You can do the same!  

Here are 12 tips for building your brand and your business using social media to keep in mind: 


  1. Strategize. What is your goal? Is it to grow your audience and find potential clients and customers or to just establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Being clear of your plan will help you realize the best way to approach social media. 

  2. Who is your audience? This is connected closely to #1. In order for you to get the desired result you have to make sure you are speaking to your preferred audience. As an example, for authors you want to reach readers not necessarily fill your page with other authors who are also trying to get the word out about their books and programs. Unless your goal is just to use social media for networking, you have to be clear about who you are trying to attract with your posts.

  3. Decide on the right platforms for you. This is definitely a tip that has to be personal for you as an individual---and should be based on your comfort level. Depending on what kind of content you plan on sharing, make sure the platform is right for that and you can best use your strengths there. That will make sure that you don't see it as a burden to post. It will come more naturally. Which leads to the next couple of steps that are interconnected. 

  4. Stay updated and informed. Over the past year the main platforms that I use (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube) have all gone through updates. Staying informed of the changes, tweaks and new features will allow you to maximize your time and get the best results. Make sure you keep your apps updated and following their social media pages so you stay in the loop.

  5. Provide value. Become a resource. Of course you want to sell whatever your product or service is. I get that. However, social media is meant to be SOCIAL. That means you have to have more to say then "buy my product", "click here to sign up for my newsletter," etc. Share what your know. That will let your audience know who you are, what you do and want to come back for me. 

  6. Consistency. It's great to start your journey to introducing yourself and connecting, but the mistake lots of individuals make is they don't continue! Yes, social media is something that takes time, especially if you're being thoughtful about the other steps. This doesn't mean, however, it has to be overwhelming. The important thing is to pick a general schedule that works for you and stick with it! Not only will your followers appreciate it, but new ones who might stumble over your page will know that you're someone who shows up on a regular basis. 

  7. Communicate. On social media the like, know and trust factors are even more important. That means the communication can't be one-sided. If someone leaves you a comment on your posts, acknowledge. Check your messages daily on your social media, including the spam folders just to make sure you don't miss anything. As you are trying to connect and grow you want to make sure your followers don't feel as though you are just talking at them and not to them. 

  8. Repurpose content. Wondering what to share on social media? Take advantage of the opportunity to repurpose your content. That means sharing posts across other platforms and shortening videos so that certain points or messages are made to stand out. Also just re-sharing content through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and help it get fresh eyes and more engagement. 

  9. Sale without being salesy. This one might seen difficult and even counter-productive, but it is so important. Do we want others to know what products and services we offer? Yes. Do we want to take advantage of opportunities to share discounts and opportunities we're offering? Of course. The important thing is to use that like, know and trust factor to connect with your audience and the benefit to THEM for what you have to offer.

  10. Don't leave the room: This tip is one that you really have to work on daily and is tied to consistency. You are building an audience. You are providing value. You are doing all the right things. The key, however, is to make sure you don't leave those who are following you stranded. I liken it to inviting people into your home and then leaving. Pretty soon they will stop relying on you, and you have lost the trust you worked hard to build. As you are navigating social media make sure you stay in the room and take care of those who have joined you. 

  11. Build (don't burn) bridges. I can't tell you how many times I have ran across some posts on social media and thought to myself the person was going to regret what they said or shared later. We have to remember the internet is written in INK, not pencil. Even if you delete a post there is no guarantee what you said hasn't been screenshot and shared already. The lesson is to realize that social media is for you to build bridges with your brand, not burn bridges. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it. 

  12. Be yourself. Of all the tips this one is the most important. Authenticity is key to your success, both online and offline. If you are able to let your audience see you and get to know you then I know you are going to win.