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.