Afro Chick’s Pick: The Good Sin x Late (Album)


What do you get when you mix the Good and the Bad? A dope artist by the name of “The Good Sin”, who knows how to put life experiences, dreams, and his evolving career into great music.  Born Kellen Herndon from Seattle, Washington, He began pursuing his career as an artist at the age of 18, where he’s created his debut “Read or Not” Mixtape, and his latest project “Late” which was released in February of this year.  The production of this 9-Track album is very unique and shows the difference aspects hip hop.  I was immediately drawn into the jazz, spoken word vibe making his lyrics clear and precise.  It’s always refreshing to understand the artist’s direction and as I writer I could follow his theme. I had a chance to ask him a few questions so in his own words. . .
What is your inspiration behind your latest project “Late.” ? How did you come up with the concept/songs? Is there a theme?
Late was me and my producer 10.4 Rog’s first all original project. We wanted to create a project that took a feeling and stretched it out thru all the other emotions that initial feeling had me going thru. Late was that feeling. In life people will always say you’re Late at this or that. But in all reality you are where you are at that moment because that’s where you’re suppose to be and that’s where God has you. The theme is basically about “doing you”. There will always be outside influences to the way we operate but in all that we’re still individuals who have to stand on our own within Gods time for us. 
Who are your favorite artists/producers that you look up to? Gain musical inspiration from?

I grew up off of Scarface, Jay-z, Outkast, J Dilla, Eminem, Kanye, Vitamin D, Dj Premier, Nas, NottZ, Busta Rhymes. A lot of people. Bilal, Common, d’angelo, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu. There are too many to name. O yea. Tribe too. 

What advice do you have for aspiring artists trying to pursue their careers?
Stay true to your story. Make what is relevant to you. Create your own lane. Follow your heart and don’t be driven by money but by your vision.

You can listen to the full length album here and if you like, download it on the link below =)

Oh, and here’s the visual for “Bad About You”

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Siaira Shawn x Unthinkable (Cover)

I’ve been keeping up with this Bay Area songstress, Siaira Shawn since I met her this past winter and so it’s only right to share with you guys her passion for music.  Siaira Shawn was born and raised in San Francisco where she discovered her passion for the arts and developed into a songwriter, songstress, educator, purveyor of Esthestics. Check out her recent cover for Alicia Key’s “Unthinkable” which makes the first of her series compilation that you can download.  He debut 3 song EP “Where You Are” is highly anticipated to hit your iTunes store really soon.

Oakland Creative + BLKPXL Films presents Siaira Shawn from BLK PXLS on Vimeo.

Rossi x Love (Video)

Check out the official music video for “Love” by upcoming Bay Area bred singer, Rossi better known as @RossiSings.  If you are local you probably heard him on the radio or even seen him perform a few times. Or if you’re cool enough you might catch him wearing his jean jacket, fedora, trademark in the streets.  Either way, Rossi has given quite the buzz. I love how tasteful the video is and how expressive he makes himself for a debut as an artist.  You don’t come across too many aspiring Bay Area singers with originality like he does.  The “Save The Last Dance” sequence was cute.  Watch and tell me what you guys think?

follow him on twitter at @RossiSings and check out his blog rossisings.tumblr.com

Rossi - love official video music produced by Justin Kase written and performed by Rossi Produced and Sound XF by: LeChristopher Williams
Directed and Edited by: Aquavis Warfield
AD: LeChristopher Williams
Choreography: Anna Noble

Goapele at Yoshi’s Oakland

From Thursday until Sunday baydestrains faced the winter storm to witness Oakland’s own Goapele at Yoshi’s restaurant and jazz venue in Oakland.  Hands down, no beating around the bush; her band was amazing.  The guitarist, pianist, bass player, and drummer definitely gave me a musical high this Sunday.  I have never seen Goapele live so it was a treat to hear her elegant soft voice amongst her polite personality.  It took a few songs for the crowd to warm up but after the first introduction of Dave Jackson on the keys, the audience began to clap their hands and sway to the rhythms that the handsome brothers were producing. Goapele gave us three songs from her upcoming album that she admitted to the audience she’s been working on for three years now.  They touched on single-hood, love, and of course heartache. Goapele has the perfect voice when capturing true emotion in sound but when it came to stage presence I felt as if the band in the background took over tonight.  The chemistry is there, and she’s still aspiring. Just give us that next album already, your fans are antsy!

Check out this clip from Dave Jackson on the Keys. This was on Saturday but he rocked the house just as good for us!

Photo Credit: Fred Shavies of 3680photography.com Check out all his latest flicks around the bay!

Keon Supreme x His Musical Breakthrough

Acceptance and Change are the words that I can use to best describe Keon “Supreme” Hall, an aspiring artist from Claremont, California.  Growing up living under a Jehovah Witness household, Keon has always seemed to stand out with creating his own identity.  At the age of 17, Keon reached a breaking point and decided to change his outlook on life, by developing his love for music. “My mother accepts me because I’m her son, but she’s never heard my music,” he explains to me about his relationship with his mother and the choice he has made. With his new mixtape entitled “Supreme” Keon shares his life-changing experiences and enlightenment.  In my opinion his featured song “Love Me Again” best describes his character as an artist.  When telling me about how much emotion was put into his words and relationship with his mother, I knew that he was passionate about his artistic ability to express himself through music.

“Dark, Enlightening, and life changing” is how he describes his mixtape but if I were to give my own take I would call it a breakthrough.  He spits versus that some young men like him can relate to as well as anyone who shares a love for Hip Hop.  After speaking with him it only made since that Keon is studying History in college because he stresses his vision to change the world.  With book knowledge, personal experiences, and the ability to musically express oneself, Keon Supreme is on his way to making his career a staple in today’s Hip Hop.

“Believe in yourself even if no one else will” –Keon “Supreme” Hall

For more information on Keon Supreme visit:

http://www.twitter.com/keonsupreme

http://www.keonsupreme.bandcamp.com

Happy People Products by Nailah Ricco

She calls herself the HSIC (Head Sista In Charge) but you may know her as Nailah Ricco, a New York City native and aspiring lawyer is making a big statement in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Nialah is the owner of natural hair and body care line called Happy People Products.  By producing products for individuals of color, Nailah’s strives to bring her own happiness to people who enjoy being healthy.  Happy People products are 100% safe and crafted with scents and textures to give each product its individuality.  

Reesa Speaks: Where did you get the name “Happy People Products”?

Nialah: Actually, I got the name Happy People after weeks and weeks of thought. When I made the decision to trademark my business, I was very cautious in selecting a name– primarily because if it bore likeness in anyway to another existing business, it’s trademark would be rejected. I wanted it to be a name that expressed how I felt when I was at my healthiest, and I wanted it to be a name that ALL individuals could identify with when they finally find something (be it earrings or shampoo) that they have been looking for possibly all their lives. I chose “Happy People” because after all…Happy People do make the world go ‘round. (Hopefully).

Some of the products available now on the website www.happypeoplestore.com  include Happiness Bath Wash, Orange Rosemary Bath Salts, honey plum and rosemary body oil.

 

Not only does she cater to the happiness of your hair, body, and skin, but also Happy People includes handmade glass bead earrings.  They are handcrafted to order by Nailah herself, with each pair representing and expression that she wants to share with others.

What’s very unique about this HSIC? She is not only a fellow Hampton University Alumna making a mark in society but also a recent law student in the process of obtaining her Juris Doctorate and receiving her certificate in International Law.  She is working on her law school endeavors as well as paying close attention to developing her own business ventures.

Reesa Speaks values artistic people, and especially the ones that have Natural Hair so when asking her about her own Naturality, I thought that it was only right to give EVERY bit of the advice that she shares to you, I couldn’t possibly hold out on the TRUTH!

Reesa Speaks: What advice that you live can you share for women (and men) with Natural Hair?

Nailah: I can give 5 pieces of advice that I live and die by for Women and Men w/ Natural Hair :

1)   Love your hair! Love yourself! – sounds simple but its really not. Loving yourself and the things that come as a product of your body can be a long journey. Once you love yourself, you will love your hair. Love is unconditional, doesn’t quit, and doesn’t hurt.

2)   Treat your hair like you would your lover – would you fry your lover? Yank your lover around? Would you let your lover behave in a way that is getting out of control? Would you say ugly things about your boo behind his/her back? No. Don’t get fed up and just neglect washing, trimming, pampering or grooming your hair, allowing it to get out of your “control”. And don’t bad talk your hair (Its counter-advice tip #1)!

 3)   Use your head! – There are some things in life that are just not logical. Sometimes we can blame our naïveté, but other times you may be entirely aware of moments when you over-dye your natural hair, you slip up and use some alien-language’d shampoo or you just do something you know you had no business doing. Use your head when it comes to your hair!

4)   Have some self-confidence! – It’s a horrible bi-product of any “ism” you can name, but the truth of the matter is that it is still VERY hard to have natural hair in some arenas of society. Break through! See that as an opportunity to show your self and your natural beauty off. Pick up some self esteem building books, some scented shampoo that makes you feel all that and get back in the game. Be proud, and have some self confidence.

 5)   Knowledge is Power! – one thing I have found is that the more people learn about their hair, the more they are able to use ALL 4 of the other pieces of advice I have listed. Learning about different styles and products, curl patterns and textures, and even the history of women with Natural, beautiful hair has PROVEN to contribute to amazing self-confidence and a loving relationship between you and your hair. You wont be able to stop bragging about all of the historical figures who had natural hair like yours at your next house party, and you will probably mention the textural strength and superiority of a natural curl to your chicas (homies?) next time your getting a mani (pedi?). Who knows, you may even wow your next date with your body of knowledge on your head full of hair ;-).

 Nialah is a goregous woman with such a powerful statement for herself.  I can only see greatness in her future!  While perfecting her own talents and attributes, Nialah Ricco encourages all your African American business owners to “Follow your dreams, even I they may be fleeting.”

For more information on Happy People Products visit the website www.happypeoplestore.com