Conversations with Music Sept./Oct. 2015

Conversations with Music Sept./Oct. 2015
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Sahyba:Pop's New Princess Reveals Herself

by Cyrus Webb

Sometimes you just know a star when you see one. It's something about the way they carry themselves that tells you that no matter what they choose to do they are going to be successful. When it comes to pop princess Sahyba, she has only to open up her mouth and sing for you to know that you are looking at the future of popular music.

Signed to chart-topping recording artist (and fellow Mississippi native) Ray J's Knock Out Entertainment, the teenager with a big voice and the world before her is already making sure that you never forget who she is. At the time we were going to print with this music issue you could hear her infectious single MARCO POLO (Where You At?) being shared among music lovers and even being played on the hit VH1 show Basketball Wives.

With such talent and endless possibilities you might expect Sahyba to be anything but approachable. That is not the case.

She loves her fans, and her fans truly love her, communicating with the pop princess on social sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as gravitating to her live performances. In my conversation with her we talked about her beginnings, sharing her gift and her advice for all of you.

SAHYBA ON SINGING:
"Ever since I was 5 I loved to sing and dance and entertain people. Singing makes me really happy. Everyday I try to improve my talent, because singing is what I want to do for the rest of my life."

SAHYBA ON HER FANS:
"I never thought that my music would reach out to so many fans so quickly. For me to be an inspiration it is a blessing and really humbles me. They believe in me, so if I can influence someone to chase their dreams as I am living mine that would be a huge blessing for me."

SAHYBA ON WORKING WITH RAY J:.
"Being the 1st pop artist signed to Ray J and Knock Out Entertainment motivates me to work harder and make sure that I put out my best music, being the best that I can be. I never want to give up."

SAHYBA ON MARCO POLO (Where You At?)
"The game of Hide and Seek inspired the song. I started thinking about my finding someone and it being a great metaphor for the song. It happened so fast. I wrote the song in a day or two, and in less than a week the song was finished."

SAHYBA ON FAMILY:
"My parents work so hard for me . I have gotten so much support from them. I never want to take that for granted. Honestly I don't see my self doing anything else. Having their support has made all of this possible. It's important to find that one person out in the world to be in your corner."

With her voice and positive attitude about life and the future, there is nowhere for recording artist Sahyba to go but up. Look for her to pursue her other goals of acting and modeling as well. She is definitely going to be someone that we are talking about for some time to come.

Stay in contact with her on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/sahyba as well as follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sahybaforever. Her official website is www.sahyyba.com.

Antoine Dunn: Sharing A Gift You Don't Want To Miss


by Cyrus Webb

It was my second radio interview with the "New Voice of Soul" Recording artist Antoine Dunn, and it was just in time to make it into this issue of Conversations with Music that celebrates living life un-intimidated.

Dunn finds himself in a unique position of not just living out his dreams but inspiring others along the way. The Cleveland, OH native is someone who is not only confident about his gift but determined to use the attention he is garnering to make a difference each day.

In the past year he has seen the video for his single "Can't Forget" debut on BET's 106 & Park as well as sharing the stage with recording artists like Anthony Hamilton and introducing his music to a new audience. In the process he has not wavered in his goal of being the best artist he can be and sharing the gift that has been with him for so long.

It was in middle school that Antoine started getting serious about music. There he was a member of a choir and saw it as an opportunity to do something more with his gift. "I first saw writing as an ability to express myself and to wind down," he shared with me. "It was more an outlet just for me." By high school, though, he began to widen out and express his musical talents with others.

Now his music is being shared with the world and the new single "Miss My Love" is not only enjoying radio play but the attention it so rightly deserves. It's been really fulfilling and eye-opening," he says. "I see myself as being in a position to reach people that I probably wouldn't be able to otherwise. Doing this and being in the public allows you the ability to influence and inspire others."

When I asked him about how he deals with the challenges we all face and those who try to steal our dreams, Antoine said this: "One of the ways I stay focused is that I've never really referred to this as a dream. For me the desires of my heart are goals, and going after those goals keeps me motivated."

Some will listen to Antoine's singles like "Can't Forget" and "Miss My Love" and want to label him as just another R&B singer. That would be a mistake. "For me music transcends genres," he told me "My music incorporates many styles and includes elements from different genres." He says this allow him to reach a larger audience.

As he is performing on stage and sharing his music with audiences both online and in person Antoine told me that he truly believes he is living his purpose. "Their support is confirmation that this is what I was meant to do."


Some artists and individuals that I interview have been hesitate to say they see themselves as role models or take on that responsibility. Antoine Dunn fully embraces it. "Music is so powerful," he says. "People can hear a song and that can be life-changing for them. I love being a role model, because I believe it is part of my responsibility to help point people in the right direction if I can."

One of the main ways Antoine has been able to keep up with his fans and introduce his music has been through social networking sites like Twitter. He uses it to keep in contact those following him and even uploads pictures from his studio sessions and events. For him it helps to build more of a personal relationship with them.

What advice does he give for those looking to break into the industry? "Keep entertaining the possibility," he says. "As long as someone believes it will lead you to where you want to go."

Antoine Dunn's album TRUTH OF THE MATTER is slated to be released in October 2012. Get his singles today on itunes and Amazon.com. Visit his website at www.antoinedunn.com. You can also stay in contact with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/antoinedunn.

Finding the Courage to Live Life Unafraid

Anyone who has done something great in their life has had to overcome the chains of fear that attempt to weigh us down. You know the feeling: wanting to pursue a goal or dream but not knowing what the outcome will be or even if we will be successful. That feeling can leave you not only feeling helpless but unworthy of anything better than what you have.

In this issue of Conversations with Music I have been able to assemble an amazing roster of recording artist of various genres who have not only been able to achieve something amazing but have done so in a way that it has inspired others to do the same. They were able to find the courage to live life unafraid.

This doesn't mean that they didn't have reservations or were going about their careers not concerned about what could happen. What it does mean is that they weren't going to allow the outcome to stop them from doing anything at all.

Readers of Conversations know that faith is something I talk about a great deal, not just because I believe in it myself but because it shows itself in so many areas of our lives. As you read the profiles in this issue you will see a common theme: every artist was able to get out of their own way and let their gift and their belief in it guide them.

Can you do that? Can you not allow the thoughts of failure keep you from achieving success? If you can, then you will be able to do things that others just dream about.

Our commission in life is all about doing what we can to make the world a better place. There are times it might seem uncomfortable or downright scary, but you can find the courage to live life unafraid and do the very things that are in your heart to do.

Want to share your own story of how you are moving past fear with faith? I would love to hear it! Email me at cawebb4@juno.com or call me at 601.896.5616. Together we can motivate others to see the gift they have to offer and share it with the world.

Happy reading!




Cyrus Webb, Editor-In-Chief
Conversations Magazine/Conversations with Music Magazine/Conversations Model Citizens Magazine

Keith Moody: Living His Life By Dreaming Out Loud

by Cyrus Webb

From the moment I found out that Keith Moody's CD was called DREAMING OUT LOUD I knew already that it was going to be something special---and I was right. Though not an actual track on the album, the artist is able to take that theme of seeing his dreams coming true and share them in each and every song on the project.

Doug Weber of New Ocean Media was kind enough to set up an opportunity for me to talk with Moody about his music, living the dream and the lessons learned along the way. Here are the highlights from that conversation.

KEITH MOODY ON LIVING THE DREAM: "Cyrus, I find it very rewarding to do what I love to do. I've dreamed of this since I was a kid. It makes you feel very fortunate and thankful for the opportunity you've been granted to do this."

KEITH MOODY ON THE POWER OF MUSIC: "It came in several stages.For me it started with listening. By listening to other performers I was able to see how they could take you to completely different place. I started writing poetry in Elementary School and all the way through High School. After that I learned to play and write. It allowed me to get alot of complex feelings out."

KEITH MOODY ON SHARING THE MUSIC: "It makes you feel as though you have found your place, your little niche in the universe that we live in. To know that something that came from your soul is benefiting others is so amazing. Here I am this guy who is doing what he loves and able to bring a lot of joy to people along the way. That's true happiness, and true happiness isn't something that you can necessarily buy.

KEITH MOODY ON THE DREAM: "You have those moments when you realize that what you're doing has outgrown your own selfish impulses. You start to look at how much you've grown and that if you give up now you are giving up on yourself."
KEITH MOODY ON INSPIRING OTHERS: "Look at me and see perseverance. Here's a guy that took an opportunity . The best thing about creativity is that you can do whatever you want. Instead of reaching for something that is not going to fulfill you, try to find a dream that makes you feel good. Don't worry about how it looks to anyone else. Be willing to step out and do it for yourself."

Keith Moody's DREAMING OUT LOUD is available wherever you purchase your music online. You can find out more information about him at www.keithmoody.com. He can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/keithmoodymusic and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/keithmoodymusic.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bo Benton: Living Life Independent and Unintimidated


by Cyrus Webb

When I look back over the 3000+ individuals I have had the privilege of interviewing over the past nine years, there are few that leave me as inspired and encouraged as recording artist Bo Benton.

Her story is one that I think strikes at the heart of what it means to live a life of purpose and appreciating the gifts that have been given to all of us. She's a beautiful woman both inside and out, but that is not what makes her a force. Bo Benton matters because Bo Benton knows who she is, what she wants and what it takes to achieve the goals she has for herself. In other words, she is a authentically herself through and through.

I was introduced to her through her club banger INTIMIDATED, and it was obvious right away that this was a recording artist that was going to be with us for quite some time.

Her fans agree.


In about a month the video for INTIMIDATED garnered over one million hits on Youtube as well as enjoyed views on over 125 video websites, along with rotation at MTV Jams and about 600 plays at Music Choice. With over 15,000 spins at Urban, Crossover, and Top 40 radio, Bo Benton has tapped into something real that resonates with the hearts and minds of listeners, and she's just getting started.


Since her 2008 debut album release Queen of The Night, Bo, a former model, has been dividing her time between tour dates and studio sessions to work on her sophomore album release The Underground Collection due for release this September. I caught up with her between events, and the conversation we had is one that will inspire you towards your own personal greatness and remind you of what is possible in your life at all times.

Raised in Chicago, Bo Benton was born in a world full of music. Her grandmother was an opera singer, her mother a pianist and her father being a bass player, early on she found herself intoxicated by the industry. "My parents always instilled the discipline of music in me," Bo shared. "They always told me to shine. Just shine! When it came to music they told me that if this is what you want to do go after it with all your heart."

I was curious if having so much talent in one family was intimidating for her when it came to her own career. Bo's response was a quick No. "I never felt any pressure at all," she says. "The music I create is my music and that of my fans. It's like... we all breathe the same air, but it's our air that goes into our lungs. I always looked at it as an individual path that no one can go on but me."


That individual path has allow Bo to find your own voice and be her own person. "I was born that way," she explained. "It's in me to stand out and be an individual, letting others see that they can be individuals too. God created us all individually and uniquely. That is what I hope to bring out through my artistry and my music."

What Bo said earlier in our conversation about creating music for herself and her fans was something I wanted to explore some more with her. How did it feel for her to know that there were individuals literally around the world who were connecting with her message and sound? "It's wonderful," she told me. "I love my fans so much. They know that I'm dedicated to produce good music. I'm an independent artist, so that means all I've done has been part of a grassroots movement. It's because of the fans, so it's very critical that I keep in touch with my them and continue making music that the fans love."

For some their idea of "making it" in the music business is about being signed. Bo is not waiting for that moment. She's taking advantage of each day and every opportunity. Her career is just that: her career. That's not something she can just give away.

"To be an artist how can you put your career in someone else's hands," she says. On the other hand, she is quick to point out that this is not something you can do on your own, either. "There is no 'I' in team. There are a lot of components to getting your music out there. I make the music, but there are others involved in what you're getting."

Truly what you are getting with Bo Benton is the total package: beauty, brains and a commitment to excellence that is gaining respect from even those who might have just written her off as another pretty face. In our conversation she compared it to what some thought about the main character in Legally Blonde. "You can be beautiful and gorgeous and about your business," she says. "It's about discipline and determination." Over the past seven or eight years she has proven herself, and has the career to show for it. "You have to be assertive. We're all in this together. Don't underestimate my ability."

Because of what she is accomplishing, Bo says that alot of people are looking to her as a leader, asking questions about the business and what it takes to make it in the industry. She shared that she is writing a book to share what she has learned, yet another way that she will be able to inspire others and educate them along the way.

People are watching her, and since she has the spotlight and the platform, I asked Bo about being seen as a role model. She responded to me in a way that I have never heard before. "The term role model is an interesting one because it's not a role I'm playing. It's my life," she explained. "I don't have a problem with people looking at me. I take it very seriously."

Whether you are an artist yourself or making your mark in your own profession, Bo Benton shows that you can live your life and fulfill your purpose without selling out who you are.

"I stay in the moment. It's a beautiful experience."

Her advise to each of us? "Always stay prepared. Read. Stay organized. Stay ready. You should also stay current and know what's happening. Know about the technology that's out there, because it can enhance what you're doing. Most importantly stay humble and thankful for every milestone in your career. Remember you can't do this alone. you need other people in everything you do. Being kind and nice really does go a long way."

Bo Benton is yet another example that the good guys and girls can finish first and shine in the process. Keep up with her busy schedule at www.bobenton.com. You can also like her fan page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bobentonfanpage and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bobenton.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Next of Kindredz: Making Music In Mississippi That Impacts the World

                                Next of Kindredz (l-r:Carlito Santino, Rulet, Big Pap and Tazz)

by Cyrus Webb

For Next of Kindredz members Big Pap, Rulet, Carlito Santino and Tazz music is not just what they do, it really is a part of who they are. Founded by Maurice Martin and brought together by destiny in Mississippi, the state would prove unable to contain the group's talent. It was obvious from the release of their debut album FAMILY TIEZ in 2004 that they were going to be a real force in the world of Hip Hop.

I became aware of the group not long after their album was released, and I knew from the first listen that they had something special together. Something that was bigger than who they were and the state that had brought them together. FAMILY TIEZ had messages of hope, pain, good times and even some tongue-in-cheek tracks that were sure to be just right for the clubs. My production company Shadow Play Entertainment (the former parent company of the Conversations Brand) was working with artists at the time, and the guys of Next of Kindredz asked me to work with them as well.

Though Hip Hop was not my specialty, it was great to not only broaden the work I was doing but showcase their talent as well. When it came time to introduce them on the radio, I was able to use Conversations LIVE (then called Conversations with C. A. Webb on WMPR 90.1 FM in Jackson, MS) to do so. It was there that they introduced  their single RAIN N' SUNSHINE. Thanks to the Jackson Advocate Newspaper in Jackson, MS I was able to get the group their first write-up and some attention on their live performances.

 They were moving forward, but there were some things internal and eventual external forces that would begin to affect their being able to be the best of themselves as a group. In 2006, after experiencing some relative success in the South, the group took a break and pursued other projects.

Big Pap went on to found D.I.G. M.E. (Dis Is Good Music Entertainment) and began nurturing his own artists. Rulet founded Mudd Life Entertainment, Santino founded M.4.D.P. (Muzic 4 Da People) Entertainment and Tazz founded Go Get'Em Entertainment, all of which included solo projects as well as Santino founding the group Jack Squad which included Rulet as well.

Though they were staying active in music, as the years went by it became clear to each member that the work of Next of Kindredz was undone. In 2012, with a new outlook on life and the music they could deliver, the group reunited, ready to take on the world in a whole new way.

"It just feels right," Carlito Santino told me during the group's first together in more than 8 years. "We have something to say that the world needs to hear, so we have to get to the work of sharing it."

The way that music is heard today has changed alot since the group was together, but Rulet says they are ready to mix the old and new ways of promotion together to reach the most people. "A lot of what people are hearing today is coming from the internet," he told me. "Being online is good, and we are going to go that route, but there is nothing like reaching people hand to hand. We are still going to be in these streets letting people know who we are and what we have to offer."

Big Pap agrees. "The streets got us to where we were before, and I know they are going to help us spread the word as to where we are today."

As for the time that has passed, Tazz seems to think that was necessary in order for them to bring the best of themselves forward in their music and their lives. "I'm a better man today than I was 8 years ago," he told me. "I'm a father now, and I better understand what it means to be a man and do the best I can not just for myself but my family." All of the guys agree that the time they have been away has helped them to grow individually, setting the stage for their coming together to re-create the magic Next of Kindredz had before.  

 Beginning with their single RAIN N SUNSHINE they are reintroducing themselves to their fans in Mississippi who have been with them and new lovers of music around the world that will appreciate songs that speak to the mind and heart as well as entertains in the process. They believe that life has given them the gift and the opportunity to make a difference in the world of Hip Hop, and they are going to take advantage of every opportunity.

Stay in contact with the guys of Next of Kindredz and what's next for them at www.facebook.com/nextofkindredz

Liz Zelvin: Living Life Happily As An Outrageous Older Woman

by Cyrus Webb

I first heard of author Elizabeth Zelvin when I was introduced to her book DEATH WILL EXTEND YOUR VACATION earlier this year. It was great mystery, full of all of the elements I crave: memorable and relatable characters, a mystery that kept your attention and issues that all of us can get something out of.

When I had the chance to interview her on Conversations LIVE radio show it was brought to my attention that she was also a recording artist.

Under the name Liz Zelvin she has released the album entitled OUTRAGEOUS OLD WOMAN---and I tell you this: it is brilliant!

The album takes you on a great ride through her soothing voice and the lyrics that speak directly to who we all are as individuals. Whether she is tackling the somber issues that cause us to reflect on life and our purpose or the craze that is internet dating, Zelvin is able to do it in a way that is infectious and sure to bring together lovers of various genres along the way.

The stand out tracks for me are THE RAIN CAME DOWN, ONLINE LOVING, TWO TALL TOWERS and ALL SHE EVER WANTED.

Regardless of your age, I think we can all listen to the album and think to ourselves what can we do in our lives to be truly "outrageous". Individuals will try to tell you that once you reach a certain point in life that you should just stop pursuing that which you love. Liz Zelvin is one example of why that should never be the case! Let us all find inspiration to go the distance in our lives, knowing that is the only way we can truly be happy and free.

Find out more information about Liz and her album at www.lizzelvin.com.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Necie B: Sharing What's Necessary to Keep the Faith

by Sabrina Andrews

Conversations LIVE radio show host Cyrus Webb calls recording artist Necie B the "Amy Grant of her generation" because of her amazing vocals, cross-over appeal and spiritual message. Giving the world songs full of hope, praise and themes that individuals of all ages can relate to, she has definitely tapped in to a way of worship that will draw music lovers young and old of any genre.

Webb talked with Necie B as she was promoting her new single NECESSARY, and she shared with him the road to where she is today. "I've been singing since I was about four years old," she told him. "Growing up in the church I had people like Yolanda Adams say to my mom 'This girl is going to be big.' I was going through some things early on, so it was hard to see what others saw. Three years ago, though, I began to see it. I realized that God promised me this. This is what I'm supposed to be doing. That gave me the confidence to move forward."

The beautiful young artist is now walking in that purpose, sharing that God-given gift and ability with the world, but it's not always as easy as you might think. "Doing anything when you have to put yourself out there brings some anxiety," Necie B told Webb. What helps her, though, is to remember that it's not about her. It's about those who are being helped and inspired by the words and the ministry of music. "That alone makes me enjoy what I do," she says. "The fact that people like it and want to hear me means so much."

Her album RUNAWAY LOVE is not available around the world and is full of messages that read almost like a love letter to God. Necie B wouldn't have it any other way, because she knows that's exactly where her trust and strength lie. "I've been entrusted with this gift," she says. "I've come to realize that if God gave you something to do, then he will also give you what you need to carry it through."

Necie B told Webb that the songs that minister to others speak to her in the same way, giving her the courage she needs. "That makes it easier to keep fighting and keep pushing," she says.

To find out more information about Necie B, her album and what's coming up visit www.necieb123.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @inecieb.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Antoine Lomax: Answering the Call to Be the Best of Himself

by Cyrus Webb

For some people the arts are just a part of who they are. It's not so much a decision but a calling. Mississippi native Antoine Lomax has received and answered the call.

He is not just a recording artist that is respected for his lyrical ability but a talented visual artist as well. This year he was also a regular at my weekly poetry night that I hosted in Rankin County, so I got a chance to see firsthand how others responded to him.

"I found the passion for music when I was in high school," he told me during our conversation for this issue. "I was in a lot of groups but I realized that performing solo was my thing. It allowed me to speak about the things I was going through and knew about."

That ability to connect with individuals is a key part of his appeal. "I can touch people more," he says when describing the message he delivers through music." It is a gift that he says was encouraged by his family. "It was my great grandma that raised me and truly believed in me," he says. "She is by far my number one inspiration."

Having that inspiration has kept him from slacking, realizing the importance of what he has been given. "At times when I don't write and work on something like my art like I'm supposed to it bothers me. I feel God talking to me through other people telling me to keep going and not to give up."

When I asked Antoine what keeps him motivated when others have stopped he explained that it was the passion that's in him. "I want to do something with my life. It's a calling. I've been blessed with the talent, and I just want to do something with it."

His advice for anyone getting started or who has a dream? "Don't ever doubt yourself. There will be obstacles in your path, but go past them, keep the faith and believe in yourself. If you don't believe you can't achieve."

Stay in contact with Antoine Lomax on Facebook at www.facebook.com/antoine.lomax.

Recording Artist Carl Brister: More Than A Conquerer

by Cyrus Webb

If there is one thing I have learned it is that gifts are not just for the one whom it has been bestowed upon. Take Gospel recording artist Carl Brister. He has discovered that his gift of music is not just to bring him attention but a form of lyrical salve designed to provide healing in the world.

He takes the commission he has been given seriously, and while we talked about his album UNDEFEATED he gave me a glimpse into the making of a man of God.

"I am humbled to be recognized for the gift but I give attention to where the gift came from," Brister explained. "God has given me something that connects with people. The music helps get people through a tough time or remind them of a great celebration in their life. I see this as an honor and big responsibility at the same time."

What was interesting during my time with Carl was that he told me his gift has been something that has evolved for him as well. "I think it was a process of knowing what I had been given," he says. "There wasn't just one particular time I could point to where I realized the fullness of it. I'm eventually coming to an understanding that something special happens when I operate in this talent. One thing that I was always sure of, though, was that I knew it was God working through me."

It is not just the crowds he is able to minister to in concerts and events but those who are able to enjoy the music and the message online as well. "With the internet and uses of technology you can reach people all around the world," says Brister. When he reflects on the importance of being obedient to God when it comes to the music, he sees the results as proof. "It makes me feel like I listened, and I got it right," he explained. "People will write me and say 'Your song got me through.' It's confirmation that I heard the Lord, and I followed him. He was right all the time."

One of the powerful tracks from Carl Brister is CHAMPION: "I wrote this song at a really challenging time," he told me. "I had to encourage myself. This came at a time when I needed a war cry. I needed to reaffirm who I was in Christ." The message is clear: W don't have to be defined by our circumstances. We are more than a conquerer. "I came to understand that all things are working together for the good of those who love Him," he says. "God loves me. Throughout it all I still win. Jesus is the chamption and through him we are all champions, too."

Carl Brister wants all of you to know that the only thing that has to define us is our faith. No matter what the enemy tries to put in your mind you can overcome.

Stay in contact with Carl Brister at www.facebook.com/carlbrister and www.carlbrister.com.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Recording Artist NeJcion: Enjoying the Fruit of His Labor

by Cyrus Webb

True passion breeds something special in the lives of those who embrace it. I've seen it for myself in my daily journey, and recording artist NeJcion has experienced it himself.

In 2012 he has celebrated the release of his album MY TURN featuring the romantic single for the ladies "Lost In You", but the year has not been without its bumps in the road and personal challenges.

Through it all NeJcion has shown himself to be a young man set on his goal and ready to take the gift he has been given as far as he can. Lovers of real music around the world are gravitating to his talent and the dedication he has to the craft.

During our conversation we discuss how he got to where he is, what it has been like to do what he loves, and what he wants you to know about finding the way to your own success.

NEJCION ON MUSIC:
 "It's been a love that I've always had since I was a little boy. I always wanted to be a star. I knew that was where I was supposed to be. It just about taking the steps to make it happen."

NEJCION ON THE ROAD TO THE TOP:
"It's hard. You have to put the work in. I love putting the work in, so I can enjoy the fruit of my labor. I use this as an example for others to go for their dreams no matter how many 'nos' you get."

NEJCION ON WHAT KEEPS HIM MOTIVATED:
"I am a firm believer in God. He would not give me a talent that He didn't want me to utilize. That has kept me driven. I want to be different than what I was showed. I love to sing, model act... I just want to make a difference. No matter what a person says to you stand firm to what you believe and go for it. "

NEJCION ON THE FANS:
"When it comes to my music I want them to feel what I felt when I was creating it. This is my life, so of course I want them to connect with me in a way that's real. "I can only have dreamed to have this. The important thing is that I know I'm having an impact on others. I'm very humbled by the fact that my music is touching people in ways I could only have imagined."


Though things have not always gone his way, NeJcion uses that as inspiration for moving forward and becoming better. "I have something I aspire to be because of what I've been through," he says. "Every day I try to utilize it to be stronger as a person and an artist."

The album MY TURN can be purchased now through online outlets like Amazon.com. Stay in contact with NeJcion at www.twitter.com/nejcion and find him on Facebook by searching "NeJcion". 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Conversations with Music Magazine Receives Its 1st National Nomination

Conversations Media Group is pleased to announce that Conversations with Music Magazine has been nominated for Internet/Print Press Group of the Year by the Rhythm of Gospel Awards.

"We are excited and humbled by the nomination," says Mississippi native Cyrus Webb, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of Conversations with Music Magazine. "This shows that the hard work and dedication that we have given to this bi-monthly publication is paying off."

Conversations with Music Magazine began in early 2012 as a supplement to the monthly publication Conversations Magazine. It's purpose? To give a platform for nationally recognized artists as well as rising stars in music to share their stories and share how they have grown along their journey and what we can all learn from them and where they are going. Since it's debut it has featured the likes of Trey Lorenz, Ruben Studdard, Higher Authority, Israel Houghton, Freda Battle,Travis Malloy, Byron Cage and others. 

 Held in Jacksonville Florida, July 24-28, 2013 the 5th Annual Rhythm Of Gospel Awards (   www.therhythmofgospelawards.com ) is an annual nationally televised awards show filled with a variety of innovative and exciting showcases, choir competitions, pageants and achievement galas, bringing in over 6,500 excited, tourists, church, social and civic groups, families and business professionals throughout the entire USA, Canada, and Bahamas. 
                         
The Rhythm Of Gospel Award Show will spotlight 52 categories of recognition through various Churches and Religious Groups, Business/Community Leaders, and Independent Gospel Music Artist, giving them the opportunity to network formally while congratulating trailblazers from various sectors of the community and music industry.


This award show is an ongoing project and after only 5 years it has already been rated #3 amongst some of the more prestigious awards shows in the nation.  This newly acclaimed show is constantly growing and is said to become one of the nations best premiered events in the country for unfound gospel talent.

Nominees like Conversations with Music Magazine will be voted on by the people. Because of this Webb will be coordinating "Voting Parties" for supporters of Conversations Media Group and Conversations with Music Magazine to help spread the word. Online Voting will start November 1, -March 1, 2013. To vote log on to www.therhythmofgospelawards.com/voting.html for more information. To contact Cyrus Webb, email him at cawebb4@juno.com or call 601.896.5616.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hip Hop Legend Warren G: Still In Love With Music

by Cyrus Webb

He appeared on the music scene over 20 years ago, and Grammy-nominated recording artist and producer Warren G is giving his fans music that they love and appreciate.

When I announced that I was going to be interviewing Warren G on Conversations LIVE radio show some thought it was outside of my normal realm of guests. I couldn't disagree more! What he has been able to do in music, television and movies over the years is not only inspirational, but shows all of us what is possible regardless what profession you are in.

When we got a chance to talk the internet was buzzing about his new single STILL IN LOVE. Some talked about it revealing a "softer side" of the rapper, but when I heard the song it was obvious that what he was talking about was not a woman but the love of his life: music. That is where we started the conversation, and Warren G took it from there...

WARREN G ON THE RESPONSE FROM HIS FANS
"It feels good. It let's me know I'm still doing a good job in this industry as far as making music. Every record I try to still make great music. It feels good that after 20 years I can still do my thing as an artist, have longevity and still make hit records."

WARREN G ON BEING RELATABLE 
"When it comes to my fans I am just like them. When I see people go through certain things I know I've been through the same thing. I can guide them through my music."

WARREN G ON STAYING RELEVANT
"When you are trying to make it as an artist you have to stay relevant. I communicate with my fans through Twitter and U-Stream. One thing I don't do is get into all the drama. Life is too short for that. I keep relationships with all the people I started with in the business. A lot of these people who are the heads of these companies they were with me when I was nothing, and they were just starting out. The key is to be a humble person, and try to steer people in the right direction."

WARREN G ON TREATING THE BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS
"This is how alot o f people survive. You have to be able to work. I'm not going to be stupid and mess up what I have going and get in trouble where people don't want to work with me.

"A lot of artists over-saturate themselves. Those that do you're not going to hear from them much longer. When it comes to me, if I like the artist I will reach out about working together."

WARREN G ON SUCCESS
"Be yourself. Make sure you have a good lawyer and a great manager. Most importantly don't change for nobody. Be you."

 Warren G's single STILL IN LOVE is available now. Look for the mixtape by the same name to be released soon. To stay in contact with Warren G visit www.warreng.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/regulator

CONVERSATION PIECES: Recording Artist Trenyce

by Sabrina Andrews (with Cyrus Webb)

Her appeal is undeniable.

Many got to know Trenyce on Season 2 of American Idol, the platform that propelled her onto the world stage. The difference between her and so many others, however, is that she is still holding her own.

An accomplished recording artist who has gone on to do plays and concerts performing all over the world, Trenyce is not defined by the singing competition. If anything from there she has been moving onward and upward, sharing a gift that seems to know no bounds.

Cyrus Webb was privileged to spend some time with the songstress  a couple of months ago, and the first thing that came from the conversation was the gratitude that Trenyce feels for the opportunity she has to share her gift.

"I do feel absolutely blessed to have worked 10 years consistently," she said to Webb during her interview on Conversations LIVE. "A lot of  that is surrounding myself with really good people who believed in me from day one." Trenyce also discussed the discipline it takes to keep going, even in the face of difficulty. Referencing being a finalist on American Idol she told Cyrus and the listeners "There can only be one winner on the show. I have learned that being a winner is not a place in a race. It's about what you do with the spot that you're in and the circumstances that you're given.

"I know in my heart it's not about a number," she continued. "It's about accomplishing the goal that you've set out for yourself." If anything not winning American Idol was one of the best things that could have happened to the rising star. It made her that much more determined to follow her dream and be true to it.

"That is the ultimate goal," she shared. "All I wanted to do was sing. I didn't think about the politics of it. I've been singing in my room with a hair brush since I was 2 years old. The industry tells you that you're only as good as your last project. My thought was don't let American Idol be the last thing on your resume."

Sure enough that resume has grown quite a bit since Idol. Trenyce has shared the stage with actor Morris Chestnut and even been reunited with American Idol winner Ruben Studdard along her journey. With the opportunities have also come the rewards, including a Grammy nomination. With every event and milestone that comes her way she shares it with her fans both in person and online.

"I think that the #1 thing that keeps you going is the fans and the friendship you have with fans," she said to Webb. "Even through dark days there's always that email or blog that makes me realize that you're on your own path without all the extra. They allow me to breathe and vent when I need to. It's a great feeling to have your fans understand what you're going through and be on that road with you."

As she works on her album and continues to tour, Trenyce says that music has allowed her to stay in the light and not go into the darkness. "When I am in the studio I'm on a complete high. It's just me and the music. When I get in the studio I can be soulful and do what I know my voice is best for."

Trenyce believes that her career is built on the sincerity she brings to the craft and the realness she shares of herself. Music is her rebirth, and she invites others to find what it is that brings them to life. "It might take a long time to figure out where you fit in," she says, "but it's you that has to get you there."

Stay in contact with Trenyce on Twitter at www.twitter.com/trenyce and on Facebook by visiting  https://www.facebook.com/NYCELIFE

Travis Malloy: Pushing Others Toward Their Destiny

by Cyrus Webb

There's nothing better than to use your life as a message and testimony to what is possible in your life and that of others.

For recording artist Travis Malloy he has been able to use his abilities as a lyrical storyteller to not just share the Gospel with others but his amazing journey as well.

"I enjoy any time that I can minister to young people through my life and experiences," he told me when he joined me on Conversations LIVE not too long ago. "I don't enjoy writing songs that I haven't experienced. I enjoy writing songs that can show people that the presence of God is real."

The ability to reach people through words and song started some time ago. Travis told me that when he got to high school he was "singing songs that He gave me". "I understand the importance of being in the presence of God," he explained. "We don't sometimes give God's power the presence it deserves. If we let him, He can bring clarity to what you're going to."

The words that Travis Malloy pens are very personal to him, and that makes it even more powerful that others are benefiting. "I write to minister to myself," he told me. "Everything that I write about I have experienced. It's very humbling that others have been helped by what I have to say."

Because of that connection and the influence that can come along with it, I asked Travis how does he keep from getting lost in the attention and celebrity aspect of it all. He told me "Sometimes we deal with things in our lives that will always draw you back to Him. For me, I get really nervous before a performance. Because of this I have to put my focus on God and not on myself. He brings me the peace. My nervousness keeps the focused on Him and the goal of helping souls be drawn to Christ."

At the end of the day Travis told me that he wants others to understand the gift that they have been given and how they can use it for good. "I have always been one to help push people into their destiny," he says. "I want to help them to identify their calling. Once you know what your purpose is you won't say yes to everything." Realizing his purpose has also kept Travis where he knows he is supposed to be. "I have been hairs away from going R&B." What stopped him? "That would be fulfilling a 'right now' place in my life. God has called me to be a minstrel for Him."

TRAVIS MALLOY---the new self-titled project--- was a 2 year process that Travis wanted to take his time to get right. "I really worked on this album, because we wanted to serve God and wanted Him to be pleased with this ministry. I want you to enjoy what you hear." His hope is that it will reach people where they are and help them to understand how precious they are to their Creator and how much He wants the very best for them.

For more information about Travis and his music visit www.travismalloymusic.com. You can also find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/travismalloy.

Matthew Gray:Answering The Call To Create Great Music

by Sabrina Andrews
     with Cyrus Webb

Toronto's own Matthew Gray has gone from being just a lover of music himself to now creating music that others are enjoying as well.

His new single "Shoulda Got Her Number" definitely got the attention of Conversations LIVE radio show host Cyrus Webb, and Gray was invited to be a guest on the program to introduce it: his first radio interview in the States.

Webb began the discussion by asking the artist what it's been like to be promoting his own music. "It's been a rollercoaster," Gray told Webb. "I've been working on music my whole life, but to be now professionally doing it is showing that the hard work is paying off."

Gray went on to tell Webb that he wants his songs to be "something that guys and girls can relate to. I want it to be able to help them through situations in their lives."

During the interview Webb asked the artist when he knew that music was something he wanted to pursue. "It was almost like a calling," Gray told him. "I knew at the age of 4 that this is what I wanted to do and had to do. It was something that I had to pursue, and I've been going after it ever since."

Matthew also talked about how the journey has been made easier by knowing that he has good people behind him like his family and friends.

One tool that has certainly made it easier to find artists like Matthew Gray is the internet. He was asked about its impact on his career and the way he was able to communicate with fans. "The internet has definitely opened up the world to new artists," he says. "It's very innovative for the music industry and a great way to connect and share."

With this being something that he has wanted for so long, Webb asked Gray about the business aspect of the industry and how he is able to find a balance for himself. "I'm a perfectionist," he says with a laugh. "I feel the most amount of pressure from myself. I want people to connect with the music. I've been doing this for a while, and I did learn a lot along the way that is going to help me in the future. "

When talking about the single "Shoulda Got Her Number" Matthew told Webb that it was inspired by a real event in his life. Since it's release, he feels good about the response so far. "It feels like a huge accomplishment to finally have the song done. I definitely wanted to make sure that it was at the point where I wanted it to be." Another sign of how seriously he takes the craft and the art of songwriting. It's also been great for him to perform the single. "There are so many things you can do with your vocals," he told Webb. "It's a fun song to perform. I think that everybody can relate to it."

So what does Matthew's journey mean for what each of us can accomplish? "I really do believe that everybody has to go out there and pursue their dream," he told Webb. "It is possible. Anything is possible with hard work and effort. I believe that people can prevail if they never give up."

A great message from a talented messenger! Find out more about Matthew Gray and download the single SHOULDA GOT HER NUMBER for free today at www.matthewgrayonline.com. You can also visit his Youtube page at www.youtube.com/matthewgraytv and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Matthew_Gray.

Friday, September 21, 2012

CMG Reveals Cover of Upcoming Oct./Nov. Issue of Conversations with Music

Conversations Media Group is pleased to reveal the cover of its upcoming issue of 
Conversations with Music Oct./Nov. issue.
Featuring recording artists Willie Taylor of Day 26 and Pop Princess Sahyba, the issue showcases those who are not only entertainers but who are passionate about what they do and the impact it is able to have on listeners. "I wanted to focus on more than just celebrity status and the fun aspect of the business," says Cyrus Webb, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine. "This was an opportunity for our readers to get to know who these artists are and appreciate the gifts they bring to the world. Also included in this iussue are Eliza Smith, Cupid, Necie B, J. Long, Liz Zelvin, Carl Brister, Woodson and NeJ'cion. The issue releases Fri. Oct. 19, 2012, however, you can reserve your copy today for only $6.99, shipping included by clicking the link below:
Stay in contact with Conversations with Music updates by bookmarking www.conversationswithmusic.com and www.conversationsmag.com. For questions about multiple orders or being featured in upcoming issues contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Recording Artist NvS: Bold, Honest and Free

There's something about NvS that draws you in and won't let you go.

Maybe it's the way she is able to captivate you with just the words she speaks. One thing is for certain: she is a force to be reckoned with and she is not going anywhere any time soon.

Like many other features in this issue NvS was a guest of Conversations LIVE recently, during which time she shared a bit of where her confidence in her own skin originates from. "It was the moment I decided to love myself," she told host Cyrus Webb. "I decided to stop everything I was doing and look at myself in the mirror and accept who I am: the good, bad and the ugly." It is that honesty and that rawness that has attracted lovers of music and lovers of truth to the rising star. "This is who I am," she explained. "Better for me to focus on the truth about myself. Fans are looking for something honest and real." That is exactly what they get with her.

NvS has been able to harness the freedom she feels in her life into a message and music that will raise eyebrows and get you to thinking, but it is more than just the physical. "It's a real intimacy and the ability to connect," she says. "You're helping somebody know what it's like to love themselves."

When Webb asked her about having fans and being able to share the experience with them, NvS said it is "emotional and extremely intense" to know that something you wrote for yourself is resonating with others on such a personal level.

So who is NvS? She answers that she is "bold, honest and free". She then adds: "There are so many things that do bind us. Through my example and music and life I want you to know that it's ok. The only way you are going to be happy and fulfilled is if you are true to yourselves."

To experience all that is NvS visit her online at www.whoisnvs.com. You can also find her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/whoisnvs.

Heather Powell: Sharing How To BELIEVE IT TO LIFE

by Sabrina Andrews (with Cyrus Webb)

Everything great has a beginning. Somewhere along the way there was a spark that was ignited that led the way to something bigger and better to be born. For singer/songwriter Heather Powell that could not be more evident. When she joined Cyrus Webb on Conversations LIVE to introduce her story and music from her appropriately titled album BELIEVE IT TO LIFE she was aware of what had made her current state of being possible.

When talking about her love affair with words, Powell told Webb that "It has been a life-long thing for me." She then explained. "My mother is a poet, so words have been in my family forever. My father used to read to us at night as a family, so stories and words and language have always been a part of my life."

The actual process for her, though, came much later. "It just really came to me over the past year and a half," she revealed. "It's been an amazing journey of my life and completely unexpected." She then added: "It has been a true blessing for me."

That in itself shows that the path was there, but it was up to Heather to decide to walk it. She told Webb in the radio interview that she began her artistic journey as a actress and singer in the musical theater performing on stage. She admitted that she felt a little stuck. "My coach freed me to express myself in other ways," she says. She then began to wonder what would it be like to write her own songs. Her epiphany was this: "When you allow yourself the freedom other things bubble up. I started writing from my heart the songs that my soul told me that I needed to get on paper. That became the album."

The album BELIEVE IT TO LIFE shares not only the personal stories of Heather Powell's life but gives inspiration to those who are able to hear it and accept the message she is presenting. Webb asked her what it was like to perform her music for a live audience. "It is the most incredible experience," she gushed. "This album and this music are my baby. When I was getting ready to perform for the first time I was as nervous as parents are about their child going out and being judged." When it happened, though, she went on to say "it was beautiful to let the music stand on its own."

The lesson that Heather is able to share from her experience? "When you let go and truly do believe that what is meant to happen is going to happen then you'll be amazed at where you find yourself. You'll experience the joy of what you were meant to do. As artists we know who we are and who we were meant to be. We have no choice but to do it (music). This has helped me become the artist I was meant to be. If you continue to say it, express it and make the baby steps forward, it will happen for you."

"With all that is going on in the world, Heather says that she wants the music of BELIEVE IT TO LIFE "to have something that lifts you up,makes you smile, tap your toes, sit back and relax, smile and feel a little bit better." We think she has done that and then some!

Support Heather Powell's BELIEVE IT TO LIFE project today by purchasing yours at CD Baby, Amazon and itunes. You can visit her website at www.heatherpowell.net and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hpowellmusic.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cover of Sept./October Issue of Conversations with Music Revealed!

Conversations Media Group is pleased to unveil the cover of the upcoming September/October issue of Conversations with Music Magazine. Featuring singing sensation Bo Benton, the issue highlights those in various genres that are "Living Life Independent and Unintimidated".

"With each issue we hope to not only profile great talent but share amazing stories as well," says Cyrus Webb, President of Conversations Media Group (CMG) and Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine. "In this upcoming issue we do that and then some. We show people that no matter what your profession you can be fearless and success if you have your priorities in order and are ready to put in the work necessary."

Also featured in this issue is rising stars J. Rice, Heather Powell, Matthew Gray and Trenyce as well as Gospel stars Israel Houghton, J. Long, Carl Brister, Freda Battle and Travis Malloy. Webb's conversations with Grammy-nominated artists Warren G and Trenyce.
The issue is $6.99 (shipping included) and is available for pre-order now, officially being released on Monday, August 27, 2012. Orders can be placed at www.conversationswithmusic.com or www.conversationsmag.com

Friday, August 3, 2012

TWO OUT OF THREE: Double-Teaming R&B


by Cyrus Webb

Success is something that is so much better when you are able to share it. For recording artists Kyle and Cody Mead--twin brothers in a set of triplets--success is something they are enjoying to the fullest. Blessed with the gift of song, the guys have been making their mark not just because what they look like, but because of what they sound like. At a young age they are not just singer/songwriters but are living their dreams as R&B artists following their dreams and seeing results.

I've had the pleasure of talking with the guys on a few occasions, and as I have watched their growth and the attention and buzz around them swell, I can't help but be happy for them and their family. Managed by their father Wayne, the two are excited about all of the great feedback they are receiving about their music not just online but in the shows and events they have been fortunate to participate in. 



When I was compiling the second issue of Conversations with Music I knew I had to feature the guys. It wasn't just about what they were doing for themselves, but also because of the example they are setting for so many others when it comes to following a dream.

They talked exclusively with me about the progress they are seeing, their beginnings, drive and why Two Out Of Three is here to stay.


Guys, it's great to be able to speak with you two again. You all have been doing so much, but for those who weren't able to catch our previous conversations, let's go back to the beginning. When did this all begin for you two?
K.M.: We were really young, like nine years old. Both of us have always liked to sing. Around the age of 10 we started entering competitions and were hooked It's really just taken off from there. The response just kept us going, inspiring us to move forward.

Cody, how does it feel to be following your dreams the way that you are?
C.M.: It's really a blessing. I feel like we are blessed, because alot of people don't get the opportunity to do what we are doing. That's why we both are giving it our all. There really is no better feeling in the world.

Kody, we talked on the radio show about your having each other on stage for support. How do you carve out individual time for yourself? It has to be difficult since you are together so much writing and performing.
K.M.: I do write by myself, too. Though we sound good together we are different, so we do work on our own things as well. When it comes to being on stage it's just great to know that we have each other's back.

What do you hope people take away from your music?
C.M.: I want them to feel the love, energy and freedom that we project. This is our way of talking to people and telling them how we feel.
K.M.: I agree with Cody. I love energy, and we want others to know how we feel. Once you hear us you will know that we have our own style. We are not like everyone else. More than anything we want to make them happy.

We talked about success in June when you were on the radio show. You are getting more of a taste of that success right now. Where does it go from here?
K.M.: Our goals include for the world to hear us. I want our music to be available in store everywhere.
C.M.: Yeah, I agree. I just want us to be successful. Music is my life, and I want it to be my livelihood, my way of supporting my family. I also want to continue to help and bless others,too.

Thanks to both of you for allowing me to share with our readers your story. Any advice you have for those reading this conversation and need some encouragement in their own lives?
K. M.: Never give up. Keep pushing. If anyone tries to slow you down, get away from them. What's in your heart is in your mind and that is what you should listen to. Whatever you are trying to accomplish in your own life don't ever stop. Nothing's impossible.
C.M.: That goes for me, too. No matter how you were raised, do what you love to do. Go with your heart. If people inspire you, stay around those people. If you give up now you'll never know what you could accomplish.

Find out more information about Two Out Of Three by visiting www.reverbnation.com/twooutofthree /. You can also find them Facebook and on Twitter at @ttwwoouuttooff3.

Recording Artist Vassy: Embracing All That The Universe Has To Offer


by Cyrus Webb

Recording artist Vassy is one independent artist that is not waiting on the major record companies to give her anything. She's creating music that is being heard around the world not just for her fans online but in major ad campaigns that include Victoria Secrets, Chevy, Nike, Diet Sprite and several televisions shows.  She's not just another pretty face. Originally from Australia but now living in LA, she is proof of what hard work will bring if you don't give up---and she is embracing all that the universe has to offer her.

"I am who I am," she told me in an interview on Conversations LIVE. That has been the mantra that has kept her relevant and focused. "You just have to do you," she says. "People are either going to connect with you or not. Just authentically be yourself and the people who are supposed to be around you will come."

And come they have: lovers of her music have popped up literally around the world. "My fans have been really supported," says Vassy. "They give me a lot of love and encouragement. When you've struggled and things haven't been easy they resonate with that and they admire it. It gives them hope of what they are able to do in their own lives."

Vassy is one of those people who recognized her purpose early in her life, though she admits that didn't make it easier. "I knew from a very young age that I had something to share," she told me. "Even though I knew at a young age it still took me a while to actually do it. It's never too late. As long as you're alive you still have time. I didn't choose this. It chose me."
Her single COULD THIS BE LOVE has become one of my favorite singles of the year, and her new album BEAUTIFUL DAY is available now. When I asked Vassy about what she hopes others will learn from her story and experiences she said this: "I tell people you have to believe in yourself and go for it, having the faith that your hard work will pay off. You're going to have your low days, but if you really want something just put it out there. Write your goals, make your vision board and start making it happen. As soon as you put it out in the universe the wheels are already in motion. Don't worry about making a Plan B. Put all your energy in making Plan A work."
Stay in contact with Vassy on at website www.kissmyvassy.com. Her music is available at your favorite online retailer.

Higher Authority: Accepting Their Place In God's Plan

When Conversations LIVE radio show host Cyrus Webb first heard I'M HIS FAVORITE by the group Higher Authority he knew he had to talk with them. "It was just the overall message of the song that got my attention," says Webb. "Their voices blended together so well it was obvious to me that they functioned as a group and took their calling seriously."

In the single I'M HIS FAVORITE you hear the ladies say "I'm His favorite", following it up with "You're His favorite", showing that Jehovah God has no picks and chooses He loves us all.

The ladies (Charity, Khristi, Vennetta and Zimika) stopped by Conversations LIVE to discuss what it has been like to not only be together for over a decade but to see how their music and their message was resonating with others.

"We're out here spreading a message of love and faithfulness," they told Webb on the show. "The way God sees us is all that matters. We truly believe we are walking in higher authority."

That walk began for them some time ago, even before they were Higher Authority. They told Webb that they met in high school and used to sing in different places before it finally dawned on them that they could take it to the next level. They had other names but it was a faith-inspired dream that finally clenched the name they have become known for, and it is a name that truly reflects who they are and what they see as their purpose. The single I'M HIS FAVORITE reminds us all that we have a place in God's heart and in His plan. It's just up to us to identify it and receive it. "God knows what He's doing," the group told Webb during the interview. "Regardless of trials that come. We are excited about what God is doing and what's to come for us. We want to be able to awaken in others that they are not alone and they are worthy."

Find out more information about Higher Authority by visiting them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/higherauthority4 and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hamusic4. The single is available on I-Tunes and Amazon.com. 

Lil' Scrappy: Back On His Grind and Staying There

There is nothing like being on top, and for national recording artist Lil' Scrappy he knows better than most.

Seen as the one of the first young crunk artists to emerge on the scene, his work ethic and love of music has kept him in the minds of his fans and fellow artists for years and now he is back with a new attitude towards the business and his mind on building up his empire.

As the new season of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta was gearing up, he stopped by Conversations LIVE radio show to talk with host Cyrus Webb and guest co-hosts recording artist Chamber and Real Deal Entertainment President Stanley Clark about the business, staying on his grind (or "grustle" as he likes to say) and what advice he has for other artists looking to make it.

LIL' SCRAPPY ON BEING THE BOSS:
"Music for me is a stress reliever. I get to do it, make money and run my business my way. I own my own label. Nobody is stopping me or over me trying to make me do something. To me that's a piece of paradise."

LIL' SCRAPPY ON STAYING ON THE GRIND:
"Before I took it as if it was going to always be there. I took it for granted. Today I know better. I will never stop or chill out again. I thought I could help everyone else get on and fall back, but I know now that's not the way it works. It's hard to get back up to where you were. You can't stop.

LIL' SCRAPPY ON BRANDING AND RESPECT:
"Branding everything I have going on is key. That way it's hard to forget you. When people see you working, they respect you. After all the hate, after all the black-balling, after everything that others say if you are still around and doing your thing they can't help but respect you."

LIL' SCRAPPY'S ADVICE FOR UP-AND-COMING ARTISTS:
"Make yourself as hot as possible before you try to go there (to the majors). Be yourself and be hot. It's all about originality. People get geeked over something that's real and original. Above all you need to put God first, pray and go work for your own self. That way when they (the majors) come at you you'll get paid what you're worth."

LIL' SCRAPPY ON FATHERHOOD:
"When my little girl came I knew I had to be there for her. That means I couldn't be behind no glass (jail), couldn't be in a grave. She's a little girl and she needs her daddy. When a little girl has her daddy she grows up a certain kind of way. Likewise when she doesn't have her daddy around she also grows up a certain kind of way, you feel me? Being a father made me tone down and handle my business. I have to be there to let her see how a man is supposed to treat her."

LIL' SCRAPPY ON SUCCESS:
"I put God first and thank Him for even having me in this area right now. My idea of success has definitely changed. Today I pray for happiness.

To stay up on everything that Lil' Scrappy and the Grustle Gang have going on follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/reallilscrappy or "Like" their Facebook Fan Page.

Singing Sensation Karyn White: Seizing The Day

by Cyrus Webb

No matter who you are the world changes each and every day. With the changes we are able to learn, to grow and to expand the way we see ourselves and our contribution to those around us. For singing superstar Karyn White, change has brought about not only accolades for her gifts but opportunities for her to use the dynamic gift that is her voice to inspire others.

It was 1998 when music lovers got their first listen to Karyn through her self-titled debut album. Among the hits on the project was the single SUPERWOMAN that still resonates with women today. From there she went on to be nominated for Grammy awards and other honors, but the important thing for her was singing. It has been that way since she had sang in the church at the age of 7 or 8. As her star continued to rise and more people around the world got to know who she was and what she had to offer, Karyn White made the decision in the mid 90s to walk away from the spotlight.

Now some 17 years later she is back with not only a new outlet on the world but a clear understanding of her role in it. Her new album CARPE DIEM (Seize The Day) reminds music lovers why they fell for her before and what she has to offer today.

Talking with Karyn was almost like catching up with a good friend. I had first interviewed her in late 2011 and was grateful for her to once again take out the time this year to discuss the new album and what it's like being back in the public eye.

I began by asking her about the rise of internet and how it affects the way we get our information and our music. "I think it's wonderful," she said to me "It's great to be able to reach out and touch the world. I love social media." And that love has added to not only her old fans finding her again but new ones connecting with her as well. "It's just a blessing. You have an appreciation when you step away from something. Having the love and the support is everything, especially when you're doing it independently. This time around I am involved in every aspect of my career. Hearing from the fans and their letting me know how they feel about the music and me gives me a boost."

CARPE DIEM is a theme that for me denotes the greatness that is the gift that is today. Karyn told me that she feels the same way. "The way I approached this album and the message I wanted to share makes the whole project worthwhile," she says. "I am also fortunate that my music is affecting others. Like anything else it's hard work, but I'm for the challenge."

Along with the music Karyn has been sharing her positive affirmations online and in her new book. She realizes that she is seen as a inspired person that is able to inspire others, and that's fine with her. When fans listen to CARPE DIEM Karen told me that she wants them to think about their own possibilities. "Don't waste your time looking at yesterday or having regrets," she says. "Look for ways to create opportunities for yourself. Many would like at my being gone for 17 years and say that the odds are against me. I believe that if you fall down then you get back up. Keep dreaming and stay focused on whatever makes you happy."

Karyn White can be found at www.karynsworld.me or on Twitter @karyns_world. You can get her new project on Itunes.com or wherever you get your digital music.

Recording Artist Eric Dill: Stepping Into His Passion

by Cyrus Webb

We all know what it's like to not feel as though we belong. Though we might be surrounded by people who know our name there is something about feeling as though they really know YOU.

Recording artist Eric Dill knows this feeling well. Many around the world go to know him as the lead singer and face of the group The Click Five, but he was so much more than another guy in a group. Realizing that there was more for him to do and explore, Dill walked away from the group and ventured into his own world created by words that came from him. Part of that process is now seen in his single Wherever You Are. It's obvious in listening to the song and watching the video that he has not only step out on his own but stepped into his passion.

I had the opportunity to talk with Dill recently. We discussed not just the transition from being a part of a group to going solo but the music that drew him from the very beginning. "I don't know when I realized it was a part of me," he said in our interview when talking about the music, "but I knew I loved it and was drawn to it."

Growing up as a shy kid the artist that has been places many people can only dream about says that he has always been an observer of people and things. It was through music, however, that he realized that he had something to say. "It has become a way for me to go beyond talking," he explained.

One thing that impressed me about Eric Dill is his realization of the responsibility that comes with any gift. "You have to be careful," he told me. "Everyone has something to say, but you want to make sure you have something worth saying and worth sharing. Music is that universal language that transcends actual words. You harness and expand on it, pushing those boundaries. Hopefully you put it back out in a sophisticated way." That is his hope with every release.

I was interested in how it felt for Dill to go from being a part of a group to stepping out on his own in a solo career. His answer to the question fascinated me. "While apart of The Click Five I felt lonely and alone. I was not in touch with the experience. It was kind of moving in its own way. The experience was amazing on one hand and unsatisfying on another hand. We were different people. We went from nothing to front and center. At the end of the day it wasn't so much can I do it by myself. It was more about growing and moving forward in my life."

Yes, for Dill it was about the music. Ironically he shared with me that he didn't really write for the group. As soon as he left The Click Five, though, he says he started writing almost immediately. "It was a positive experience," he shared. "The way I look at it, you keep moving and doing things. What was important for me was that I needed to make a record. It became about leaving some kind of legacy. It was all about continuing the music."

So what does Eric Dill want you to know about the power of passion? "What passion will do is keep you fueled, keep you motivated and push you into those places you need to be. You don't have to know exactly where you're going with it. There should be inspiration, and if you follow it then hopefully that passion will allow you to express something great." He then breaks it down this way: "The passion allows me to do things that others might not do. My love of music keeps me in music. You have to have that courage and the desire and the rest will follow."
Stay abreast of all things related to Eric Dill at  www.ericdill.com and make sure to watch his music video for "Wherever You Are" on Youtube.

MC Yogi: Using His PILGRIMAGE To GIVE LOVE

by Cyrus Webb

I've interviewed hundreds of recording artists of all genres of music over the past nine years, but few have proved to be as engaging and enlightening as MC Yogi. He has transformed from a shy, quiet kid growing up to a man that is a force of nature all unto himself. In April of this year I had the privilege of conversing with the recording artist and Yoga Teacher as he was promoting his new single GIVE LOVE and preparing for the launch of his album PILGRIMAGE. We were able to discuss not just the beginning of his love of music but how he sees his role as a recording artist and how it affects the world.
Here are some of the highlights:

MC YOGI'S LOVE OF MUSIC
"My love of music probably started when I heard the drum beat of my mother's heart while in the womb. I've been searching for the perfect beat ever since. Life is music for me. From the sound of the birds to our conversation it's all music."

THE MARRIAGE OF YOGA AND MUSIC
"Music like Yoga brings us together and creates this common language. For me music carries you into a different place. Music and Yoga help us to overcome the short-sidedness of our own ideas about life. In that way they're like medicine."

THE ARTIST AS A VESSEL
"I believe that the music is always there. As an artist we're not creating the music. We're just opening ourselves up to being a vehicle, opening ourselves up so that the music can flow through us. When I'm performing it's important that I am getting out of my own way so that the music can flow them me. That's what any good music does: it helps you to get out of your own head, expanding our horizons."

"When you commit yourself to something that is bigger than yourself, there is a tremendous amount of energy that you didn't know you had that starts to surface. The moment you plug into that source you start to create this experience of being in awe all the time. There's nothing like it."

"The moment I committed to making my art my service, I was able to realize so much more. Our words have power. Words create worlds. That's how we build the foundation of our society."

When it comes to his single GIVE LOVE Yogi told me that it combines "the two most important things we can do in our lifetime: 'give' and 'love'. We're only here for a short time. The most important thing for us to do while we are here is to give love."

To find out more information about MC Yogi and his new project THE PRILGRIMAGE visit www.mcyogi.com.