Category: Entertainment - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Detroit, MI- (April 2013)- Multitalented Actress/Comedian/Writer Maria Costa debuts her new comedy film special entitled “¡Viva America!” In the film, Costa transforms herself into an array of hilarious characters drawn from her experiences growing up in the ethnically diverse area of Southwest Detroit and being born into a family of Hungarian and Cuban immigrants.
Behind the scenes is acclaimed Director, Rick Najera's, whose credits include “”Nothing Like the Holidays” with Debra Messing and John Leguizamo, FOX's “Mad TV” and “In Living Color.” Costa brings a long list of television credits on shows like Ugly Betty and Strong Medicing and is accompied by supporting cast members including, Mike Batayeh who has recently appeared on the acclaimed TV series “Breaking Bad,” Lombardo Boyard, who starred as the voice of “Raul,” in the film “Happy Feet” and the hit TV series, Shameless on Showtime.It also film features music from some of Detroit's hottest musical talent; Mark Flash, Mike Duprie, Armado Vega, and Ara Topouzian.
About Maria Costa
Maria Costa is a native of Detroit, a dynamic actress, comedian and writer whom critics have compared to the likes of Lucille Ball, Lilly Tomlin and Richard Pryor. Maria’s hilarious, award-winning, one-woman stand-up performance, “Macho Men and the Women Who Love Them,” has sold out performances in 16 cities in six countries as well as the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, and is distributed worldwide on DVD by Image Entertainment. Costa has starred in several primetime television shows like ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” Lifetime’s “Strong Medicine,” CBS’s “Joan of Arcadia,” ABC’s “Dangerous Minds” and BRAVO’S “The It Factor LA.” Maria was awarded a Kresge Artist Fellowship in 2012 for her creative vision and commitment to excellence in the arts. For more information visit: www.mariacosta.com.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:19
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Leslie Griffin
If you you’ve fallen in love with the hypnotic and jazzy vocals of Grammy-award winning R&B and soul singer Chrisette Michele, then her latest album ‘Better’ will leave you completely mystified in the best way. Take a journey with the singer who credits her time away as the blessing she needed. Her latest single ‘A Couple Of Forevers’ is a well-mastered composition of why she is no longer afraid to love and sing about it. She talked exclusively with FrontPage Detroit about her career, being inspired through the time times, Keyshia Cole’s Twitter rants and why women must respect men now.
How have you been and how are you feeling these days?
I’m good thank you how are you? And I am feeling well thanks.
Your career has been amazing. Talk about what everything has been like for you.
Well it has been a long seven years and I do not want to give you the long run down on all seven of them. I came straight out of college and was signed to a record label. And so I’ve never had a regular job or regular anything. It’s just what I have experienced as being an adult. So it has been really special and I feel really blessed.
Did you imagine all of this success right out of college?
Absolutely not. I had plans on being an Indie Artist. I never thought I’d be signed to a major label and I never wanted to be signed to a major label. So when I was, it was larger than what I thought. Not so much in terms of success, but the type of people I began to meet. You know I thought I’d be sort of an earthy and bootsy kind of girl.
You just have this amazing voice and style that is not like any other artist. Who are some of your vocal inspirations in terms of your style adaptations?
Well my singing inspirations have been Ella, Billie and Sarah Vaughn. Just even instrumentally. It was such a huge inspiration to me because I was obsessed with the scales. But when I got signed to Def Jam Records, I began to study the likes of Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin, especially Diana Ross. I love women who are lady-like and so the class that Audrey Hepburn and Dorothy Dandridge had was really spectacular to me.
Your latest studio project ‘Better’ is amazing. Talk about the inspiration behind your single ‘A Couple of Forevers’.
I finally wanted to sing about love. I was tired of singing about being broken-hearted. And so I really feel love in my heart. I really feel it deep down inside and it feels so good. The problem that I am running into is that I’m aggressive and when I’m supposed to be sweet, I’m still a little tough (laughing). Yeah so I try to keep it as sweet as possible, but I’m a tough girl.
You’ve also released a song that features 2 Chainz. Talk about working with him and the decision to include a controversial rapper in your music.
Yeah I guess he is controversial, but I do not know what rapper is not controversial. There is always some controversy with hip hop. But working with him was really easy. He had shouted me out on his album and we had never met until I tweeted him. He tweeted me back and that’s how that came about.
Did your image take a hit and did you receive any flack by being associated with him?
Well I worked with Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Nas and with so many different types of rappers and I think people have an idea about everybody. While working with different singers on different tours, people have interesting opinions about them. What I focus on doing is just being myself and I think that is why I am able to be so comfortable because I am being myself. So even if a rapper is being themselves, I’m still being myself. So I don’t think it takes away from my image. I think it lets people know that I appreciate who they are and the culture that they are a part off.
How do you think you’ve evolved as an artist from your first album until now? What are some of the lessons both good and bad that you’ve learned along the way?
I have this idea of being fearless. It’s always been a mentality that I have adopted and I did not actuality know what that really meant until recently and for me being fearless is not even wondering what people think . After a while when you know you are meant to do something, it’s not really a big deal of whether someone likes it or not. If you like it, then it’s what you are supposed to be doing. An example of that would be how your friends feel about your parenting and you’re asking well how should I raise my son? But only you know your son. You know that you are meant to be his mother and that’s how I feel about music right now.
I follow all of your tweets and they are very inspiring. You tweet about love and just being the best you can be. How are you able to stay so lifted with such a hectic schedule?
It really took a long time to pick out the people around me. I mean it really took a long time to do that. That’s been a journey like over the last two years. So it was just like I love you but I can’t hang with you. Or there were times where it’s been like you’re incredible, but you get on my nerves so I am going to learn how to love you because we need to be together. So I’ve really been praying about who I have around me and that goes from my assistant to the person I have playing the drums for me. It’s like everyone on my team are people who keep me lifted, including my mom who is my manager.
Recently, you’ve been tweeting about relationships and successful women who have their own. Do you think in general some men are intimidated of successful women and are you able to have a relationship without men being intimated of you?
The bulk of that twitter conversation was about women respecting men. A lot of times successful women forget to respect, adore and admire men. And a lot of times we are so headstrong because we are successful and we are so confident because we are sweet, kind, gentle and loving. We are very tough. And so it was important for me to say that it’s wonderful that you travel a lot and it’s wonderful that you have an education and that you went to college. So it’s important if you can let a man know that you respect who he is and what he’s doing with his life and not ask so much from him if he’s not asking that from himself. If you do not respect who he is as a men, then do not date him. Do not just disrespect men. I think a lot of times we spend so much time writing songs and making statements about how there aren’t any good men and I think we can sometimes be very disrespectful toward men. And at the same time I wanted to say that it is okay to celebrate men.
You just kicked off your Woman To Woman tour and you’re taking the stage in Detroit with artist Keyshia Cole. What’s your relationship like with Keisha and what are your thoughts on her recent Twitter rants?
(Breaking out in a very hearty laughter). I have been waiting on someone to ask me that. You were the very first to do so. You know I haven’t put an answer together for that yet. It’s one of those things where you think about it and you don’t want to judge because you want to actually talk to that person before you be like okay so why did you do that and what did that mean. But you don’t want to say this is what I think because you love the music, you love the fashion, the story and the person. I think Keisha Cole has a very very unique story and a very unique rise to where she is and I think she has a very unique way of expressing her thoughts about the music industry in general. I think that she has earned the right to say what she feels and what she thinks and I think that she has enough hits and has sold enough records and completed enough tours and been in enough TV to earn the right to say what she feels like saying. I also feel like the people whom she’s speaking to have earned the right to respond. And it is definitely not my place to respond for them and I think I would want to leave it at that. She’s successful and she speaks to successful women and so I will leave it at that.
You’ve traveled the world. What has been your greatest inspiration to yourself, your fans and the industry?
I think I’ve given a lot of women hope and encouragement. I’ve met a lot of broken-hearted women on this journey and maybe that’s because of the kinds of songs that I’ve sang but it’s really been phenomenal to tell them that they are going to be okay and to be able to speak at shelters where women have been abused, but they knew they were going to get out of it and to hear them say that your album helped get me through this time. You know those were the most successful moments for me in knowing that there is someone who feels BETTER because of something I’ve said. And to be able to pray some woman through their experience is great.
Chrisette Michele will be in concert on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. at Soundboard inside the MotorCity Casino Hotel. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com. Stay connected with Chrisette on Twitter @ChrisetteM and www.thisischrisettmichele.com.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 14:16
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Leslie J. Griffin
The streets of downtown Detroit and surrounding areas will be jammed packed on Friday, April 5, 2013. Horns will blaze and traffic will cruise along Woodward’s historic brick-laid avenue. Restaurants will serve thousands of excited patrons in standing-room only venues and Detroiters and world baseball lovers alike will show their team spirit and pride as the Detroit Tigers gears up for Opening Day 2013. Nothing says springtime like the start of baseball season. Detroit Tiger’s baseball season. And nothing reflects Detroit like good music and live entertainment. Singer, songwriter, musician and producer Marvin Lee will be part of this year’s hot entertainment line-up and talked with FrontPage Detroit about his latest album and being part of Opening Day.
Congratulations on being part of the entertainment line-up for such a special and world-recognized event. What are your thoughts on that?
Thank you. Well it is really major and I am very excited to participate in such a huge event like this for a city that I was born and raised in.
How did you come to find such a huge opportunity?
Well I started working with promoter Rick Pink of ELIVE Entertainment and we were doing shows at Club Blu and that’s actually where I shot my first music video a few weeks ago. And he is now the promoter of Club 350 Terrace on top of the Music Hall. It’s on the roof-top and so it will be a very nice venue for the city of Detroit. It’s really in the heart of everything and overlooking Comerica Park. So the night games, summer action and night party scenes will be awesome.
Talk to us about your music.
Yes well I have a single out now that’s a club song and it’s called ‘Get Up On It”. The music that I do is pop, R&B and electronic dance music. I wanted to kind of transition into what was really popular right now and electronic dance music is huge in Europe, Asia and in the States. Pop music is really big in our culture and so my music is a mixture of those genres.
That really gives your listeners a taste of everything.
Definitely. There is a variety and diverse mixture as far as the energy levels that are set. It’s the kind of music that you can ride to in the car and play in the bedroom.
What can people expect from you on Opening Day? Where will you be located and how many sets are you going to perform?
I am doing two of my songs and we will be on top of the terrace at the Detroit Music Hall.
What other plans to do you have for your music right now?
Well my first video will be released in a few weeks and then I am doing another video in June. After that, I will be performing as much as possible. I am releasing another single with a radio station in Reno, Nevada and so I am just pushing my career.
You are a father, personal trainer and musician. How do you balance all of that?
It’s just my work ethic. I know that I have to apply myself and put forth the effort and make things happen for myself. Music is my passion and fitness is my passion. The hard work really becomes natural for me.
What makes your music different?
The entire musical experience is energy, passion, lust and emotion. It is just different and that really coincides with the title of my album which is called ‘This is My Melody’. The album will be released later this summer. Right now I am the number one pop artist in the state on reverbnation.com and then I am number 37 in the country and in the top 100 in the world. The world has really accepted the music so far and this is really just the beginning.
How can people get connected to you?
I’m everywhere right now. I can be found on Instagram and Twitter @marvinleemusic. I am also on Facebook and my website is www.marvinleemusic.com.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 April 2013 10:07
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins, Entertainment Editor
Society gives artists a certain amount of lee-way for creative expression. We understand and accept the eccentric behavior, strange metaphors and abnormal clothing. We accept that creative genius does not always fall under the umbrella of “society standards”, but has the ability transform what society considers normal. With that being said, there are a few rappers who “once upon a time” were visionaries or at the very least skilled lyricists, but have now gotten reckless with their lyrics and their actions. They seemed to have forgotten that their words reach millions and have the ability to affect the mindset of their fans, particularly their young ones. They have become an embarrassment to rap, hip hop and African Americans by making a mockery of serious social issues. With one stroke of their pen—one uttered rhyme, these rappers have the ability to set us back a hundred years—all in the name of shock value and record sales.
Although he’s not a rapper, his recent attempt at fame put him on the list. His newest release, “I Hit It First” is chock-full of subtle digs at his ex, Kim Kardashian. Yesterday, Ray J went on Hot 97 in New York claiming that the song is not a “Kim-ye” diss record, but the evidence speaks for itself.
Exhibit A) On the hook, he sings "She might move on to rappers and ball players, but we all know I hit it
Exhibit B) In one of the verses he says, "I hit it north, with her a** goin' south, but now baby chose to go west.”
Exhibit C) At the end of the song, Ray J references the famed sex tape that launched her career and stunted his singing, “If you were to come back to me, we can make another movie.
The song is generic and boring. The only thing keeping it in rotation is the absolute absurdity of a failed performer trying to resurrect a dead career by exploiting his ex.
Weezy is by far one of the most influential rappers/artist of our time and definitely a lyrical mastermind. Lil Wayne has the ability to weave metaphors and analogies through the ill-est tracks and make a Top 40 hit out of any song he is featured on. However his recent lyrics involving the slain teenager Emmitt Till made him Public Enemy No. 1 amongst industry greats like Stevie Wonder as well as Till’s family. In the song “Karate Chop” by Future he says, “beat the p***y up like Emmett Till”. On what planet did Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. think it would be appropriate/clever/funny/cool/hip hop to compare sex to the torture, degradation, fear and death of a fourteen-year-old is beyond comprehension. While Epic Records has apologized for the lyrics, Lil Wayne has not. For that reason, we are done with him.
"Put molly all in her champagne, she ain't even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it."
Yes—Ricky Rozay, father to a daughter--son to a mother, really went into the studio, recorded lyrics advocating rape and released it to the public. Last year, there were an estimated 300,000 rape cases reported in the United States. Keeping in mind that that the number only includes the number reported and does not account for those too ashamed or afraid to report their attack, making light of rape is not only morally irresponsible but shows a lack of empathy for girls around the world who are molested by family and strangers alike, who are sold as slaves in the sex trade business—who are brutally victimized and robbed of their dignity, security and sometimes their life. Rick Ross has apologized, but critics aren’t buying it. Considering he stands to lose a multi-million dollar contract with Reebok, it benefits him to apologize no matter how insincere.
Follow Amber L. Bogins on Twitter @AmberLaShaii
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 17:45
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins, Entertainment Editor
The weekend is here! Need something to do? Here’s a list of things to get into this weekend in and around Detroit.
Tigers’ Opening Day
Cheer for the Tigers as they take on the New York Yankees
Redford Branch Library
10 am-12:30 pm
Now through April 9, Redford Branch Library, sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation. This six-week workshop is intended to educate and provide skills and toolds for people living with Type-2 diabetes. For more information, call (800) 482-1455
‘A Thousand Circlets’ (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Detroit Repertory Theatre
Theroun D’arcy Patterson’s play will make its Midwest premiere this Thursday. The story tells the tale of a highly regarded African-american architect who is at the height of his career wihen he discovers he has alzheimer’s. You don’t want to miss this poignantly moving performance. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit detroitreptheatre.com
For more information call the theater directly (734) 688-8480
The acclaimed jazz artist will be in concert one night only for a magical experience of smooth sounds and electrifying rhythms.
Visit olympiaentertainment.com or ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.
After a highly successful bout on Broadway, legendary boxer, Mike Tyson announced today that he will take his acclaimed one-man show, "MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH," on a national tour with a limited one-night performance at Detroit's Fox Theatre on Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m. Helmed by renowned director Spike Lee and producer James L. Nederlander, the 10-week tour will visit over 36 cities.
The Village Theater at Cherry Hill
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8 pm.
For more information, visit tonylucca.com or call the theater at (734) 394-5300
Detroit native and finalist from NBC’s mega-hit show “The Voice” will be in concert singing songs for all ages.
All-Star Comedy Festival
Detroit Opera House
Come and be entertained by this laugh out loud, funfest featuring comedic acts like Sheryl Underwood, Earthquake and John Witherspoon.
For more information, visit ticketmaster.com
Delta Sigma Theta Inc.,: Celebrating a Century of Sisterhood Scholarship and Service Exhibit
Charles H. Wright Museum
9 am-5 pm
The first Saturday of April marks the beginning of a scheduled yearlong exhibit of Delta Sigma Theta memories and articles.
For more information, visit thewright.org
“Real Women Like Us—Redefining Our Beauty Dinner"
Silver Gardens Event Center
4 pm-8 pm
General Admission: $40
Positive S.I.S.T.E.R.S. presents an event with a theme of “Unleashing Your Soul’s Essence.” Come be a part of an afternoon of empowerment, live jazz and local vendors.
For more information, visit positivesisters.com or call Kimle Nailer at (313) 402-4887
Last Updated on Friday, 05 April 2013 01:55
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