Two focuses of my blog are Business/Entrepreneurship and Entertainment and New Talent. In some instances, you may need to book an entertainment act. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it can be a gargantuan task and as such, finding the a good booking agency could be very helpful. The following guest post is entitled, Finding The Best Entertainment Booking Agency.
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If you have ever thought about booking an entertainment act, you know that it can take a lot of work. Instead of doing all that hard work yourself, there are other ways to get the act chosen quickly and affordably.
This might seem rather apparent, but you may not realize how much time and energy it takes to find the act that you want. There are many entertainment options available and almost limitless entertainers within each option. You will need to look at dozens or even hundreds of performers, look for testimonials, watch videos, and get their contact information.
If you want to blow your guests away with the quality of your entertainment, you will need to put in long hours to find the right people.
But when you hire an agency, the process is fast, simple, and clan. A good entertainment agency should have several appropriate options available quickly, once they understand you needs and goals. An entertainment agency’s reputation is its most important commodity, and it will not waste that precious resource on bad entertainment. There will be few if any poor or unreliable performers. Your agency should take care of everything you need and provide you with great entertainment for your event.
Even after you spend hours researching an act or group, you may not be certain that what you viewed is what you will get. An entertainer’s tape can look fantastic, but may not deliver the goods when the lights go down. Or, they can be great on stage and very difficult off stage. There are stories of some acts getting drunk, making absurd demands and taking offense to strange things.
When you work with an agency, you minimize the risk of something bad happening. They have done the research and worked with hundreds of entertainers. They know who are seasoned pros and who to avoid. They also know who has talent and who is not. They know who will be a perfect fit for your act.
They Have Industry Knowledge
You could have the greatest entertainer for your event but you don’t have their contact information. Should you call their agent or call them directly? Where to get the information you need?
When you need to reach some entertainers, it helps if you have connections. An entertainment agency has great connections in the industry and more and better talent available. As your success means their success you know they will deliver a great product.
They Have Experience
If you partner with an entertainment agency, you are gaining an organization with decades of experience. This is something that is hard to beat, even if you are new to event planning. Beyond the instincts and knowledge that come with many years in this industry, the agency will be able to help you deal with drafting and negotiating the contract. If you try to do this yourself, it could be confusing and may create problems later.
While not every entertainment agency available out there has the exact same experience and benefits, you should get a clear, simple process that provides you with a good entertainer who is reliable and matches your needs. Booking good entertainment should not be a high-stress process. The agency will take most of that stress away and let you focus on other aspects of your event.
Now that you understand the benefits of working with an agency, you should be able to find the best entertainment option for your next event.
Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In today’s digital world, pretty much everyone has a website or should get whether it’s for blogging, for business, politics or even for churches. There are keys to creating a successful website. The following contributed post is entitled, What Your Website Will Probably Need In Order To Be A Hit.
A website is a staple of pretty much every single venture. Whether you’re looking to create a business, or whether you’d just like to start up a personal project; a website will need to accompany it. We’re nearly into 2020 now; we’re so far into the digital age, and it means that pretty much every man, woman, and child is connected to the internet somehow. You’ll need to be amongst the online crowd if you want your venture to be a success.
What does a website need in order to be taken seriously, and to be a real hit with anyone that enters it? Well, it doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure it out, but you’ll still need to practice fairly thoroughly. Here are just a few things you’ll need:
A Good Plan
Before you even think about spending money on the creation of a website, you’re going to want to plan everything out. You’ll first want to figure out what the point of the website is. Sure, having an online presence would be great, but just being online for the sake of it seems pretty counterproductive. You’ll also want to draw out an actual design for it. If you have a clear idea of what it will look like, and what the pages will be, then you’ll be in a better position to work.
Input From A Web Designer
Web designers know a lot more about this kind of thing than you do – that’s a fact. Now, if you’re completely in the dark, then you’ll probably need a web designer to create everything for you – that’s all part of their job, so it’s not a problem at all. You’ll just need to tell them the basic idea, and they’ll get going. Even if you have some skills, and have created a site yourself, you might still want to gather advice from someone that knows.
Managed IT Support
Your website and the data on it could be compromised at any time if it’s not protected. There are a lot of criminals out there looking to ruin your day for some reason, so you’ll need to get a little more secure. Sure, you might have protective software installed, but a company like Binatech that offers managed IT support will add that extra layer of safety.
Enough Content, But Not Too Much
Be sure to regularly update your site with fresh content, that’s the right way of doing things. If you abandon it, then people aren’t going to be interested. If you don’t put in the effort, then neither will others. Pumping in new stuff is great, but don’t just throw in random stuff just for the sake of it. That kind of clutter will only ruin it – and it might possibly make everything look a lot uglier.
Search engine optimization is quite literally the practice of making a website more popular on a search engine. Make sure your site’s SEO rank is high by utilizing an array of techniques. Link building and relevant content are just two ways of upping this kind of score.
The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and some of it’s key focuses are Art, Authors and Books, Blogging/Writing and Music/Entertainment. Whether it’s the cinematic media, music, the visual arts, or some sort of writing we all have some sort of creative genius inside of us. If we’re to make good on our talents and share them with other people, how do we create fans and supporters of our work? The following contributed post is entitled, You Love Your Art, But How Do You Gain Fans Who Do Too?
If you’re struggling to create a career out of your artistic talents, then you’re not alone. There’s a reason that the idea of the struggling artist has become such a prevalent concept in pop culture. All artists struggle at some point; many of them struggle and suffer once they’ve become successful too. Still, it’s the price that many of us pay for the chance to share our innermost feelings and skills with the world. At the very least, every artist wants an audience or some sort of recognition. Of course, that’s hard to achieve. You love your art, but how do you gain fans who do too?
Find out what makes you unique. When Radiohead started out, they sounded similar to The Smiths and other big artists of the 80s. When J.K. Rowling first started the Harry Potter series, comparisons to Tolkien’s work were made frequently. Plenty of artists in all manner of creative industries have worn their influencs on their sleeves. There’s nothing wrong with being similar to other successful artists. However, you just need to find out what makes you unique. Both of those artists ended up finding their own way. They defined themselves in a unique way, and that’s what attracted listeners. You need to know what you want as an artist. That’s how you’ll figure out your own personal brand.
The best way to find out what makes you unique is to keep creating. Instead of worrying about perfecting every single song you release or every single story you write, you should simply focus on finishing your work. Never stop creating. Even if you don’t like the finished product, you’ll have learned something. You can’t get better without practice. So, make sure you finish every creative project that you start. Fallen out of love with the song you started writing yesterday? It doesn’t matter. Wrap it up. Record it. Even if it sits in a private folder on your computer because you’re too embarrassed to release it, the point is that you’ll have improved simply by committing to finishing the project you started. Otherwise, how will you get closer and closer to creating that one fantastic song? After all, even Dave Grohl said that Nirvana sounded terrible when they first started making music in a garage.
Learn from other successful artists. Another great way to ensure that your art reaches people and captures their attention in the long run is to learn from other successful artists. Everybody has to make mistakes before they can succeed, but why not avoid such mistakes by learning from those who have already made them? You might want to read about Mateus Asato’s early years. You could learn some things that help you to find your own way to success.
Pursue a creative career. It’s not easy to get paid for your art, so you probably have to work to make money to afford your creative endeavours (and pay for your rent, of course). That’s why your career itself should be creative. You shouldn’t settle for a job you hate in an industry which doesn’t inspire you. By pursuing a career in a creative industry, it might lead to better things. If you’re an aspiring writer, then you could intern for a newspaper. If you’re an aspiring actor, then you could search for other jobs at theatres as you keep trying to make your big break. Pursue a creative career if you want to turn your artistic passion into a career too.
A major focus of my blog is Health and Wellness – see my interview with fitness expert James Tate, and my post regarding Chris Herren’s visit to Northern Virginia to discuss his battles with substance abuse. In Pop Culture, we often see celebrities fall victim to the same addictions and vices as everyday non-celebrities. A recent case is recording artist Demi Lovato. The following guest post by Sam Cardigan discusses what led up to her overdose. The image of Demi Lovato used in this post is attributed to Timothy Hiatt of Getty Images.
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In a sad development for fans of Demi Lovato, the singer suffered a setback in her battle with addiction when she was recently brought to the hospital for an apparent drug overdose.
The Los Angeles Police Department responded to an emergency at her home where she was reportedly found unconscious. She was reportedly treated with Narcan, a medication to immediately reverse opioid overdose, prior to being transported to the hospital.
Lovato has been open about her years of struggle with substance abuse. Just last June, she admitted relapsing after celebrating six years of being sober last March.
In the song “Sober”, which dropped June 21, the former Disney star sang about her struggle. Some of the lyrics seem to refer to her cravings for substances that are manifested by shakes and cold sweats. Demi then talked about not wanting any of those feelings as she pled for someone to call her when they were over.
She further sang about the people who never left her and who had been with her during her years of struggle. She finally asked for forgiveness as she acknowledged she is no longer sober.
The “Tell Me You Love Me” singer openly spoke of her substance addiction, eating disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression. She has also publicly shared about going to rehab to address these problems. Here is a look back at her history leading up to this tragic overdose:
Trying Out Drugs in 2009
In Demi’s 2017 documentary Simply Complicated, she shared that she first tried cocaine in 2009 when she was only 17 years old. Her friends were the ones who introduced her to the drug, which she was scared to try at first because her mom had cautioned her about it. Still, she did try it and claimed she “loved it.”
The singer-songwriter also claimed she was curious about drugs and alcohol because her birth father struggled with those substances and chose them over his family.
Lovato said she just remembered going up to the dancer and everything else was a blur. However, she remembered how everyone was freaking out about what happened and that she texted her mom the words, “I’m sorry.”
Shortly after that, her representative released a statement saying she was owning responsibility for her actions and that she was seeking help. During this treatment, Lovato learned she has a bipolar disorder.
Acknowledging Bipolar Disorder in 2011
In April 2011 or three months after leaving rehab, Lovato bravely revealed her bipolar disorder during an interview with People magazine. Around this time she also opened up about her bulimia and cutting issues.
Entered Sober Living Home in 2013
She spent most of the entire year of 2013 in a sober living home in Los Angeles. It was right about this period when she admitted to struggling to survive as little as half an hour without using cocaine. She also said that she would sneak some of the substance inside the airplanes.
In an interview, she said that she would wait for everyone to fall asleep and then sneak into the bathroom and do her thing there.
But Lovato claimed that she had her last drink in January 2012 and that she has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings just like any other person struggling with addiction would do.
Struggle with Sobriety Between 2013 to 2018
The singer opened up about her struggles to remain sober in an interview with Glamour last December 2016. She acknowledged that she didn’t stay sober even after coming out of rehab. She further said that she occasionally has issues, with some days being difficult while the other days are easy.
In March of 2017, she took to Instagram to share how long she has been sober. She posted about how proud she is of her journey and how, “my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else,” supported her.
Drug Overdose in 2018 and Her Road to Recovery
It was initially reported that Lovato had a heroin overdose but she has not been in rehab for heroin addiction in the past. She remained in the hospital longer than expected due to complications — a source told People that she had a fever and some signs of infection, and also was being treated for issues generally associated with a drug overdose—but was, “expected to make a full recovery.” As of Aug. 7, the Skyscraper singer was reportedly out of the hospital and in rehab.
One of my goals for starting the Big Words Blog Site was to provide exposure for other talented individuals around me looking to launch their own unique endeavors. One of my first interviews was with the Swamp Media Group, the creators of the Space Detective Movie, which has grown in international exposure. Another up and coming artist is vocalist Michael I-Zayah who hails out of Atlanta, GA. He has been working on perfecting his craft over the past several years and is looking to get signed by a music label sometime soon. His latest single and video are titled, ‘New Panties’ (see the YouTube link below). In this short interview, Michael I-Zayah talks about his background, his influences, his new single and his career goals.
Anwar Dunbar: First of all, Michael, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. We’re actually cousins and as such, I know how hard you’ve been working on your music career. I’m honored to help you get exposure for your art. For all artists and creators of things, exposure is definitely critical. Now I may know who you are (laughing), but let’s start off by telling the readers a little bit about yourself and your background. Where are you from and how did you decide to get involved in music?
Michael I-Zayah: I was raised in Atlanta, but I also represent Buff-City because much of my family is from there. If anyone doesn’t know, that’s Buffalo, NY.
AD: Do you go by the name Michael I-Zayah? Or just by I-Zayah?
MI: I go by Michael I-Zayah. At one time I did go by just I-Zayah, but after dealing with so many stage names, I decided to go with Michael I-Zayah. My middle name is Isaiah, like the prophet in the Bible, but I re-created it as “I-Zayah” because it has a unique look to it.
AD: So you created this yourself and it’s spelled I-ZAYAH and sounds like Isaiah?
AD: That is very unique. How did you get interested in music?
MI: Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been interested in music. When I was a baby, my mother would tell me that every time we were in the car listening to music, I would dance to it and move my head around. I also always liked to play with my toy microphone, and I always had dreams of music and acting. I was going through a lot of stuff in my teens and I just didn’t have the drive to pursue it, so I had to put it on hold. Music and acting are my main passions. That’s what I love to do.
AD: So you’ve always been interested in the arts, and you’re in your mid-20s now. Who are some of your influences? Who did you listen to when you were coming up?
MI: I listened to a lot of music from the 90s like Jodeci, Ginuwine, and Boyz II Men, just naming a few. I can go on all day, but I just like to tell people that I was really influenced by the 90s R&B era. It was my favorite time. He’s not from the 90s, but I always get comparisons to Barry White because of my baritone voice, and to The Weekend because of my background melodies.
AD: Yes, that was a great time for Hip Hop and R&B – one of my favorites too. Much of today’s music sounds strange to me. As I told you once, it took me a minute to catch on to Fetty Wap and appreciate his unique vocal sound. Today’s stuff is cool when I’m out, but when I’m alone or at the gym working out, I usually go back to the 80s and 90s sounds, though it could be just because I have personal attachments to those eras similar to you and the 90s.
As an artist yourself, how would you describe the changes in Hip Hop and R&B from then to now? Has it become more about making one hit? Is it more for the club? Has it become more about image?
MI: You know what, I would say that it’s honestly all of the above. I would also say that not all of the R&B music in this era is the same. You have different sections and categories, and you have different sounds. The younger generation of R&B is more popping now, but there are some artists who still turn out music like that from the 90s like Jodeci – they just released a record in 2015.
AD: Do you like any of the music pre-1990 or that you heard you mother listening to?
MI: My mother loved listening to Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, and Maze featuring Franky Beverly. Some legendary heavy hitters I’d like to work with one day if I could, are Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins and Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds. Darkchild produced for groups like Destiny’s Child (Say My Name) and artists like Brandy and Monica (The Boy Is Mine). I remember that prior to Babyface going solo, he was in the group ‘The Deele’; they made hits like ‘Two Occasions’ and ‘Sweet November’. I’m also a fan of Barry White.
AD: How would you describe your style? Is it R&B, or would it be more like music for the club? Talk about your musical style and genre.
MI: That’s a good question because in terms of my style, I do R&B, R&B Soul and R&B Pop. As far as my flavor, when people see me – how I dress and how I look, some people wonder if I’m a rapper and that’s not the case. I do have an urban look, but I can also dress classy.
AD: You just released a new single and it’s called ‘New Panties’. When I first saw the image for the single, I wasn’t sure if this was good for the brand I’m trying to build (laughing), but when I heard the song and saw the video I thought it was pretty hot. It’s a track that I can envision nodding my head to slowly while sipping a drink at happy hour at a club or a lounge like The Park at 14th here in DC on a Friday evening. You can keep playing it over and over again and start feeling nice. It definitely has a modern sound to it in terms of the way you’re delivering the lyrics rhythmically and the sound of the beat – the keyboards in the background and the drum beat. It’s also very sexual (laughing), so exotic dancers could also use it. What’s it about and where did it come from?
MI: Well honestly (laughing), that was my songwriter’s story, and I want to send a shout to Carlos, aka Mr. Nine Dimensional. He was telling me about an incident that he and some other people had experienced. He had it stuck in his head and he told me about it. So we tried to figure out how we could make it into a song. In terms of the hook, we talked a lot about how it should sound. He told me what the words were and I worked on coming up with the rhythm, added some more stuff in there and voila – it turned into the song and the rest is history.
To see the “New Panties” video, click the following link:
AD: Who created the track – the instrumental you’re singing over?
MI: It was a producer named DK and I’d like to send a shout out to him as well. He’s an up and coming producer and he created the beat.
AD: Have you guys approached any DJs or nightclub promoters about putting it in rotation during an event? If not, you definitely should.
MI: It’s been played at clubs and events, and I’m going to try to get it on the radio very soon.
AD: So you have a video to go with the single as well. How many singles have you released?
MI: I have three tracks. My initial goal is to have at least three to six tracks. All of them are going to have a unique sound and flavor. Besides DK, I’m also working with Four Front Beats – shout out to them. I’m working with BricksDaMane. I’m also working with Frank Bank who is a producer, an artist and a CEO from California – shout out to him. I want to send a shout out to Tony Sway. BricksDaMane has a lot of heavy connections in the music business and industry. I’ve known him since 2013 and I found out that he either produced or engineered Drake’s last album. He also produced or engineered one of Young Thug’s projects. These are the people I’ve been working with and producing my singles with.
AD: So what are the next steps for your career? What can we expect next from Michael I-Zayah?
MI: You can expect to watch me grow, to go through my journey – the good and the bad times. Lord knows I’ve been going through a lot when it comes to my music career, and I’m literally now just getting things back on track. I’m going to be getting my name back out there, doing performances, going to radio stations, talking to the media, magazines, etc. I have a lot going on and God is blessing me so I’m just trying to stay focused.
AD: Where can people go and find some more of your music?
MI: Well, I have some of my older music. People can find it on YouTube or on SoundCloud. I want to show people the type of work that I’ve done in my past compared to now. What people don’t know is that even though I do Hip Hop, I’m transitioning more over to R&B. I feel like I have a lot more to offer on that side. It’s not that I can’t make music with my hip hop, but a lot of people haven’t seen me do R&B and I want to show people that side of me.
AD: So when you say Hip Hop do you mean working with rappers or doing more club tracks?
MI: I’m just referring to when I did some rap in the past.
AD: Okay, yes. I remember that when you first started you were rapping. Okay, Michael, what have you learned about the music industry so far since being in it?
MI: Wow (laughing). What I’ve learned – what I’ve learned is that there are pros and cons to the music industry. People have to realize that there is a difference between the Music Industry and the Music Business. The Music Industry can be very cut throat. A lot of people can have ulterior motives to get what they want out of you and as soon as they’re done, they don’t want to deal with you anymore. A lot of people only care about themselves, and if it’s not all about them then they don’t care. For me personally, I’d rather just stay in my lane and mind my business and just worry about me. I feel like whoever I have a genuine connection to in the business and the industry, then it’s cool, and that’ll be a blessing. All you have is you at the end of the day.
AD: So the last question is how can the readers and listeners purchase “New Panties” if they want a copy of the track for their collection? And in terms of social media, how can they connect with you? You’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Are you on any other Social Media?
MI: They can download my track on iTunes, Amazon or Google Play. In terms of Social Media, I have all of those. I have Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube, Linkedin – I have a whole bunch of social media sites where people can reach out and find me.
AD: Okay, I’m not as familiar with Sound Cloud. Is that something people can just go to and type your name in, and your music will come up?
MI: Yes, I’m on SoundCloud too. Oh by the way, I want to say that I was in BET’s The Quad and Oprah’s Greenleaf both as a casting extra.
AD: Okay that’s all I’ve got. Thank you for talking about your new single and your budding career. As you pump out more material, perhaps we can do some future update pieces.
MI: Okay, cool.
Thank you for taking the time to read this interview. If you want to hear more of Michael I-Zayah’s music, look him up as described above. If you liked this interview, please share it and or leave a comment. Interested in making like Michael I-Zayah and taking off in the music industry yourself? Well, it’s time to start gaining some exposure. Upload your music onto Soundcloud and get involved with real soundcloud promotion. This can help to increase the plays on your tracks and get the ball rolling towards recognition and success!
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