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FLY Interviews Music

Fly Interview: Rising Songstress Ms. Karoline Talks New EP, Musical Influences, & More

Miami songbird Ms. Karoline is gearing up for the release of her debut EP Elephant In A Song this fall. The Colombian Florida native has always had an affinity for the arts, but it wasn’t until 3 years ago that she picked up a pen and tried her hand at songwriting. Since then, the soulful singer has been honing her craft while simultaneously channeling her ups and downs into her music. SFPL sat down with the songstress to discuss her upcoming EP, some of her favorite artists, and other projects.

Hey, thank you so much for chatting with me. Your upcoming EP is titled Elephant In A Song, can you tell me more about it? 

Elephant In A Song is an 8 track EP and each song is about a different person or relationship. “Elephant In A Song” is a record about an ex while “What If” is about my relationship with my father and how things would’ve been if things had gone differently.

What’s the main message you want people to leave with after listening to your EP?

I think honesty and vulnerability. To get the vibe of going from a place of fear to being like this is who I am. I have gone through different situations in my life that I feel people can relate to; but they don’t really know how to express it, so they listen to music to find what connects with them. Mainly sincerity. I would definitely say the theme for the project is honesty.

Awesome, I like that. It’s like your own musical diary. How long have you been working in music?

With my own music I began 3 years ago when I started songwriting. I kind of just was like I want to make an EP. I want to be able to write music and see if it would connect with people. I’ve been singing since forever. I was in musical theater, and I went to school for it. So I’ve been around music for most of my life. I started taking voice lessons when I was 15 or 16.

Is singing something you were always drawn to?

Yes, since I was a little girl. I would grab a brush, stand in front of the mirror, and you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t singing to thousands of people. I just knew it was something I wanted to pursue.

Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?

Amy Winehouse, and you can kind of hear her influence in my style. When I discovered her I had just gotten home from school and I was watching MTV. Her video for “F Me Pumps” came on and I was just like who is this woman? Where did she come from? Why is her voice like that? It’s amazing. I need to know who she is. I immediately started following her. I even cried when she passed. She will always be one of my all-time favorites. Also Lauryn Hill. I actually got to meet her in person. She has such amazing sides to her and soul. I think she’s just very misunderstood. I really liked Nelly Furtado too. Another one is this French singer from the 1930’s, I had a cassette that I would listen to of Edith Piaf.

I love her.

I just really love her story, how powerful her voice was, and how minimal her performances were. It was just her, a piano, and her voice and everyone was so captivated by her. I feel like nowadays you have to give people a lot more because it’s harder to keep our attention for even 3 minutes. You have to have 3D images jumping out of the screen, and all this other stuff that’s going to stimulate our brains. When before it was just like let me hear the pain in your voice, the lyrics, and what you’re going through, and see if I can relate to it. And even if you didn’t relate you still felt that pain and the beauty in that.

Back then the focus was definitely more on the voice. They were also limited by technology but Edith Piaf is one of the greatest singers of all time. She just had a very beautiful and powerful voice.

Nina Simone is another one. Donny Hathaway, I love Donny Hathaway. Alternative music too. Bands like Radiohead. I grew up on The Beatles. My Dad loved them. He was really into The Police, Journey, and Cyndi Lauper. I remember asking him what his favorite thing of being a part of the 80’s was and he said the transition in the music was the best. You had Hip-Hop which was new, and then you had synthesizers and that was funky. He definitely felt that the 80’s was one of the best periods of music.

I can see that. Do you agree with your Dad?

Definitely I feel like the 80’s was a time when music was really changing. I love early 90’s stuff too. I love 2Pac, and Biggie. You know very lyrical rappers. I can bop my head to what’s out now and get drawn in with catchy lyrics and dope beats; but I definitely love a good lyricist. Like J. Cole, I love J. Cole. Kendrick Lamar. Those are lyrical rappers.

I love J. Cole. I’m obsessed. Are there any other artist out now besides Cole and Kendrick that you’re really in to?

There’s this British singer Joy Crookes. She has a bit of an Amy vibe going on. Lizzo. I think she’s very funky, I love her. She kind of reminds me a bit of Missy Elliot. I love all kinds of music. I love people who can do that. Play with different styles. I don’t really think that I could do that. I’m more soulful. But I definitely love to listen to something that’s going to get me going. I love to work out and so I have to listen to music that’s going to make me want to be in the gym. Kali Uchis I mean she’s who I identify the most with. She’s Colombian as well. Jorja Smith, Sabrina Claudio. Sabrina Claudio she’s also someone I really look up to. She’s from Miami too. Her music is so great. I know she had some setbacks with an incident on Twitter but I believe people make mistakes and they learn from them. Ari Lennox is another artist I really enjoy too.

Ari is great. Her last project is amazing.

Hiatus Kaiyote. I was definitely inspired by their music. They’re this band from New Zealand and the lead singer she was featured on the intro track for Drake’s More Life. They’re this jazzy kind of R&B group. They’re super soulful; but their style is really gothic so it’s kind of interesting.

Who would you say is your dream collaboration?

Kali Uchis for sure. I love her voice, and style. She is who she is and doesn’t fit into this box. Especially as an artist who is latinx you can get put in box and at times are expected to fit a mold.

So besides the EP, are you working on any other projects?

I’m actually currently working on an independent short film as well. I also enjoy acting so that’s something else I wanted to tap into. I’ve been putting together visuals for the project too and I have a pretty good idea of what the next project will be about.

That’s cool, tell me more about the short film.

It’s by a local Miami filmmaker. I connected with her through a college friend. She reached out to me and told me she wanted to tell this poetic love story about a girl who finds love in Miami. It’s actually in Spanish. I have been asked before “why don’t you sing in Spanish.” Whenever I sing it’s always been in English, that’s just been my preferred language. So, doing something in Spanish is definitely something I wanted to try. I sing in both languages; but writing wise I don’t know how strong I’d be in Spanish so I’ve been a bit hesitant. I am Colombian so I definitely have to step out of my comfort zone and embrace that part of me.

Is there a title for the film and a release date?

It’s called Corazon Cantando and not release date yet. I believe sometime in November or December of this year.

What does fly mean to you?

Fly is honesty. It is being and owning who you are 100%.

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Entertainment FLY Interviews

Fly Interview: Event Producer Extraordinaire Devin Cobbs, When Preparation Meets Opportunity

Devin Cobbs, 40oz Van‘s right hand man has dealt with his share of struggle. While most would opt to put on a front especially within the industry, only allowing people the chance to watch their highlight reel. Dev’s opted to embrace his past misfortunes and wear them as a badge of honor. Detailing his experiences with homelessness to his 20K plus followers on Twitter, relative strangers, completely uncensored. Never one to shy away from owning his truth, good or bad Dev’s remained unapologetically himself, in an arena riddled with posers and superficiality.

The soon to be 25 year-old sat down with SFPL‘s own Arlene Danna to discuss linking with Van, the inspiration behind his 4 Lovers Only tour, launching his own production company Produced By Dev, working The Meadows Music & Arts Festival, giving opportunities to people of color in event production, and much more.
 

 

For those who may not be familiar, who is Devin Cobbs?

Devin is an introvert that for whatever reason decided to throw parties and work on festivals and concerts. An entrepreneur and someone who just really cares about the betterment of young black business men and women. That’s me. I’m a lot of other things, but that is a really good description of me.

Is event production something you always saw yourself getting into?

You know this, I used to work at The Source. We had the opportunity to work on a festival they were producing, The Source 360. Even though it didn’t go so well I really loved the running around and all that stuff. I realized there was a little bit of a lane for me doing that instead as opposed to selling ads for the magazine, or trying to write and be a journalist. It was something brand new, I didn’t really know what I was doing. To this day I don’t really know what I’m doing because there’s still so much to learn.

What were you doing while you were at The Source?

Initially I was selling ads for magazines and then I transitioned into trying to secure sponsors for the event everything from that to spreadsheets, guest lists, fixing the website, building the website, coming up with content, coming up with concepts to get sponsors to buy into the event, handling the social media for the events. It was a lot under that job title but that was my role for about 6 months.

It seems like after the Source 360 you kind of knew that you were making a change and pursuing event production.

Well after the Source 360 I was broke. Even though we had done all that work no one really got paid much. I left directly after that. The Source 360 was the second week in September and I was gone as soon as it wrapped. At that time, I took a little break from entertainment in its entirety because although I knew I really loved event production, there wasn’t another job lined up and I hated where I was at. So for a couple of months I worked at Chase, Home Depot, and then I met Van from 40oz. They had an event where I saw him and that kind of transitioned me to the next phase of event production. So it was like “Oh this is cool,” maybe I can try this and then meeting Van. I was like let me take what I learned and apply it to whatever Van had going on.

So you went to a 40oz Bounce here in the city?

I had gone to a couple of them, but that wasn’t really what inspired me to hit him up. Really he was suppose to do something with The Source, but money wise what he wanted we couldn’t provide so it didn’t add up. I still kept his contact and I studied the event throughout the months I was at Chase. I think he did an event with Modelo. It was this huge event they had ASAP Rocky and Ferg at this warehouse in Brooklyn with 1,500-2,000 people. I saw that and I was like “I want to do more of that.” It’s new it’s something that at the time wasn’t too popular. Now everyone has a party tour.

Hamburger Helper and 40oz Bounce celebrate Helper’s 40th birthday at the Good Room in Brooklyn, NY. Credit: Natalia Lens, Dinner Land Network

Yes, back then it was only really Henny Palooza.

Even then the party existed, but the tour going to LA and San Francisco that part of it wasn’t around at the time. I saw Van and I was like maybe we should do something. For whatever reason he believed in me and he let me do it.

That’s really dope. Is there anything you’ve taken from your experience working on 40oz Bounce that you’ve applied to your own agency, the production company you started Produced by Dev?

Of course, everything! I had to learn everything on the fly. When I started working with Van there wasn’t like anyone training me. Van had been running the business by himself along with one or maybe two other business partners, but that was just clothes. There was really no one just doing the events 100 percent of the time, so I had to learn. I apply stuff I learned with 40oz Bounce to The Meadows. Even a festival that big with Hov headlining, when I’m in the planning room I’m like “We did this for 40oz Bounce, we could probably apply this to Meadows.” It ends up actually working because no matter the scale of the event it’s still the same formula. People want good sh*t. You just have to package the good sh*t right and present it to them a certain way. That’s probably the number one thing I learned from Van. How to package things and put them out for people to consume.

When you originally started doing events with Van did you eventually see yourself starting your own event production agency or was it something that kind of evolved?

No, the idea of the agency started in 2016, but I always had these ideas. For Lovers Only the 90’s R&B party was something I had posted on Twitter back in 2015. It was something that was so old, that just now came to life. But no, I had no idea it was going to turn into me having my own production company. It kind of just happened. I’m thankful that it happened that way, that’s just the way of life. Even with everything from The Source, to going there to do one thing and ending up doing another, working with Van on events. Everything just kind of came together organically and I’m happy for that.

Is there anyone in particular who may have pushed you or said yo dev you should be doing this on your own?

No, not necessarily because even though the agency is my own thing working with Van is kind of that too. He runs his clothes and I run the events. It’s not like the two worlds are necessarily intertwined. It’s not him micromanaging me 24/7. I have my own event staff for 40oz Bounce and we manage that with Roc Nation and D’usse. Then the clothes is something that he’s 100 percent involved in. For the events it’s kind of like running my own business anyway. I just have to show him what were doing. It was always like that. The agency came about because I knew I couldn’t do a 90’s R&B party under the 40oz brand so I had to do it under a different brand; which is something that Van himself brought up to me.

You mentioned that you came up with the idea for the R&B party in 2015. Why R&B?

It was just what I was listening to at the time. I was with my ex-girlfriend. That’s just the type of music we would play whenever we were in the car running around etc. I only listen to R&B. At the time that I posted that I was listening to John B “They Don’t Know” and I was just like someone needs to do a party with this type of music. Even now people are taking the idea of using 90’s R&B and incorporating it into their entire event. We all know at event’s that one 15 min set where the DJ plays it, but now it’s more so a lot of parties want to do 90’s R&B the whole night. Which is cool, but when I posted it that wasn’t really the thing. People weren’t really playing that type of music in the club. Not for people our age it was more 35 to 40-year-olds not 21 to 25-year-olds.  I realized there was just a disconnect. This idea that young people don’t like R&B. That’s stupid because a lot of people I know listen to R&B. In the club at the ratchet parties they still drop “Pony” and it goes off. People still love it they just needed something to go to.

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4 Lovers Only Philadelphia

One could say that was kind of the inspiration behind it. You trying to come up with something given the current climate music wise?

That was a part of it. Then the whole aesthetic of it. The way the fliers look, and why I chose the color blue. Why it’s a sexy looking flyer, why the logo and all that are a certain color. I went into a bathroom, I was in San Francisco and the bathroom just had blue lights. This is going to sound weird, but I told my homie “Come into the bathroom real quick, look at this shit.” He was just like “I see what you mean. We can just do an all blue with a little pink here.” So the party itself was inspired, like you mentioned because of what was going on in the city party wise. The feel, the type of party, and vibe that I want you to get when you walk into the venue was inspired by a bathroom in San Francisco. Shoutout to the bathroom.

Funny where inspiration comes from.

It’s weird because you find inspiration anywhere. Yesterday I figured out what I want to do for my birthday in terms of what I want to post. Not anything corny like I’m finally 25 or twenty-fine or some caption like that. I want to post something, but I want it to not be about me and it be something I’m giving to people. It finally clicked on my way home from the gym. I was dead tired, I was so tired and for whatever reason it clicked. You can definitely find inspiration anywhere, from anything, anytime. When you have it you just have to write it down, or record it, or have a whiteboard in your room so you don’t forget it.

Speaking of your birthday, what was your great realization?

I can’t say too much, but essentially it’ll be a guide to help young entrepreneurs. It’ll be a quick and easy guide with some bullet points that I’ve already come up with. The way it’s going to be packaged people will enjoy it. It’s one of those things where the good thing is that I’m going to Jamaica for my birthday. I won’t be online to really see what people are saying about it. I’m just going to post it, airplane mode, and come back 5 days later. Hopefully people f*ck with it.

Do you think it’s necessary when you drop things to kind of disconnect?

Yea, because you would go crazy. You work so hard getting to the actual point of where you can put something out, then you put it out, and you’ll spend the whole day looking. This person doesn’t like it, this person does, this person said you copied them, another says it’s trash. It’s like too much. You kind of just gotta put your shit out and get the fuck out the way to let people enjoy it. If they enjoy it great! If not you come back to it, fix whatever’s wrong, and you put it out again. I don’t really like to sit down and look at everything that is going on. You do that and you end up fucking dizzy. Just get what you need to get out and take a couple days off because you go so crazy trying to make things happen.

Inaugural The Meadows Music & Arts Festival Oct. 1 st & 2nd 2016 in Queens, NY

You previously mentioned that you just wrapped up the Meadows for the second year. How was that?

The Meadows is definitely by far the most fun I have all year. It’s like 45,000 people. What’s tight is that it’s the same team that does The Governors Ball, but with The Meadows it’s a little bit more relaxed. The Governors Ball has been around since before I was a part of the team, so it’s kind of set up the way it’s going to be set up. I’m kind of just there to plug and play and do what I have to do. With The Meadows you can bring in more staff, you can bring in some of your friends to work. That’s the dope thing too. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of black people who produce the event. There a lot of black people that clean up, but there’s not a lot of black people on the production team who can actually hold some type of weight. Getting to bring some of my friends onboard in the past two years has been dope. You can see that there are jobs out here like this that pay really well. You can travel, do all that, and you don’t have to compromise yourself. You can have this grand result, have 45,000 people enjoy it. You have to bring people in though. Unfortunately it’s a world that’s very tight knit. If you don’t know anyone it’s not like you can apply online, that’s not the way it works. However, overall it’s amazing.

Is there anything else you’re currently working on?

There’s a project called “Picture Perfect Christmas.” I’m working with Adidas, General Mills, and other brands where we’re partnering with a shelter and a school in BK to give out clothes, sneakers, food, gloves, hats, basically everything to the less fortunate. That’s what’s going to be taking up a lot of my time after this month. I want to make sure that it’s perfect no pun intended. That’s the main thing then the guide I’m dropping for my birthday, and obviously planning for 2018.

What does fly mean to you?

Ownership is fly. Buying a house is fly, if you’re an artist owning your masters is fly, owning a publication or section of one if you’re working for someone that’s fly. Fixing your credit is fly. All that other s**t is whack. It’s cool to have chains, but you really have to put things into perspective. Being a grown-up and making smart moves.

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Entertainment FLY Interviews

Fly Interviews: Get Familiar With YouTuber Alonzo Lerone, Mastermind Behind ‘Dumbest Fails’

YouTube is a platform where millions of people go to express themselves, connect with others, and build communities. Alonzo Lerone began his YouTube channel almost a decade ago as a way to make friends, after spending the majority of his life constantly moving due to his father’s career in the military. This of course made it difficult for Lerone to establish relationships with his peers and eventually led him to YouTube where proximity doesn’t matter.

Over the years, Lerone built his audience organically by offering commentary on the best, funniest, strangest, and most failworthy posts on the Internet. After splitting his time between a day job and making videos, him getting the axe was the push he needed to dedicate himself to YouTube full-time.

SFPL’s own Arlene Danna spoke with Alonzo about his success, his first video on YouTube, where he finds content, hitting a million subscribers, being chosen to attend YouTube’s Creator Summit 2017, and much more.

For those who may not be familiar with you, can you tell us who is Alonzo Lerone?

“Just a normal guy from a little town, I’m in North Carolina. I’m a military brat. I’m basically a YouTuber right now. I’ve been doing it for eight years where I make videos about social media fails, grammar mistakes, and that’s about it.”

Is this something you saw yourself turning into a career when you first started? 

“Definitely not because I had a 9-5 actually a 9-9 job. I did YouTube on the side. It was an outlet for me. Coming from different schools growing up being a military brat. I was born in Germany, was in the Philippines for a little bit then California. I made new friends but I didn’t have that sense of belonging. When I came to North Carolina everyone was so different. This is where my father retired. Every time I asked my Mom if this was the last place she’d say yes but then two places later we’re moving. I was in that situation where I didn’t know if I should make friends right now because every time I’d get attached we’d move. So in that situation I just basically had YouTube. After I graduated from high school I decided to make a YouTube video ranting about my life because a friend of mine cancelled on me at the last-minute when we had plans. We had made plans for months and months. So that’s what I did and I started connecting with people overseas, in the same state, and on the west coast. I was terminated in around 2010 or 2011 and I decided to make it my full-time job and six years after that I’m still here doing it.”

Wow, awesome! So it wasn’t until you were let go from your job that you saw turning your videos into something more? 

“Well yes. I was already hooked on YouTube. I started making friends, I travelled to the UK to meet them in person after talking for so long online. So I was kind of on thin ice because I made YouTube my priority during my job and my stint at the bakery. I would actually go on break just to upload and check comments. So that was easy for me so I kind of knew I was on thin ice. So when they actually gave me the hammer I just said well everything happens for a reason. It gave me more time to concentrate on what I loved.”

It’s funny how life works out that way. You’ve reached a million subscribers on your channel. How was it reaching such a milestone? 

“Yes! Well, I don’t concentrate on numbers. I don’t want to misguided or distracted from what I came here to do. Which is make friends. I don’t want to get lost in the sauce of numbers, but someone tweeted me about hitting a million subscribers. I actually hit it on Thanksgiving Day last year while I was with my family. So that was amazing because I started YouTube with my family at zero subscribers and I ended up with a million subscribers on Thanksgiving Day so that was a great feeling.”

That’s really dope, on Thanksgiving of all days. 

“It’s crazy how things work out like that.”

How do you find content for your videos?

“Well my subscribers, the audience, my viewers send them to me. Which is crazy because the first few years I would do it myself. I’m on the Internet anyway so I’d do it myself. When the series Dumbest Fails started getting traction and getting picked up by different things people would email me, or tweet me, or Facebook me, or inbox me things. I decided to react to that and it made my career so much easier and that’s why I cater to them.”

Talk about harnessing the power of the Internet. Tell us what are you currently working on? 

“Well I’m going to a YouTube summit in New York in May. I’m getting prepared for that. This is will be my first time at the event so I’m getting ready for that but in the meantime I’m still making videos. I’m actually editing a video right now that I’d like to get up by tomorrow. Editing is the hardest process but I’m in the zone when I’m editing so I’m alright with that.”

Was editing something you were familiar when you started with your videos or is it something you’ve sort of learned to master over time? 

“I’ve perfected it along the way most definitely. Every time I’m editing I’m always in the zone. I can’t hear my phone, I can hear the TV but it sounds like a bee because I’m in the zone.”

Tell us about the summit.

“It’s a YouTube summit. It’s a bunch of elite YouTubers getting together, connecting with each other, learning more about YouTube, how to grow, and connect with brands.”

Awesome, that’s really dope. You guys have like your own little community and it’s kind of like expanding from the people who watch your videos and getting to meet other people just like you who are creating. 

“Exactly. It’s a wonderful feeling that doing what I love can make me and have me living comfortably and smart too because you’ve got to save. The money just comes while I’m doing what I do so it’s just a flawless connection right there.”

Besides your videos and the summit do you have anything else in the works?

“Right now I’m just taking it a day at a time. I just got my house and I paid off my school loans after graduating. So I’m just trying to be at ease, not too much stress. I’m just trying to take it each day at a time. I don’t expect anything but I’m just living for each day right now.”

That’s great. What advice would you give to someone interested in starting their own YouTube channel and creating a platform?

“Don’t get discouraged by focusing on the numbers. Back to what I was saying about numbers because there was that one time I did and that was my fault but I learned from my mistakes. It could have been so much worst if I concentrated on other people versus me. Do not get discouraged off views. Keep it going, keep it consistent, connect with your audience and go from there. The blessings will come to you when you least expect it just keep on doing what you love.”

Last question just for fun. What does fly mean to you?

“Handling your own, taking charge with no regrets and learning from your mistakes. That’s what fly means to me.”

Great answer! 

Follow Alonzo

Twitter + Instagram: @AlonzoLerone

YouTube.com/Alonzo

 

 

 

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Entertainment FLY Interviews

FLY Interviews: Ato Essandoh Talks Jason Bourne, Big Brother Watching, Diversity In Hollywood and More In Exclusive Interview.

A

to Essandoh is quickly becoming a household name when it comes to rising black stars in Hollywood. Essandoh is building quite the resume currently starring in HBO’s new hit show Vinyl and past roles on Girls, Elementary, Blue Bloods, Copper on BBC, Django Unchained and Blood Diamond just to name a few. Now he can add Jason Bourne to that growing list of films.

SFPL’s own Bernard Beanz Smalls caught up with the actor to discuss his upcoming role in film based off the popular Robert Ludlum books. He also touched on the government watching us through various forms of technology (cellphones, computers), diversity in Hollywood, working with Tommy Lee Jones and Matt Damon and more. Step into our exclusive interview with the amazing actor below.

Jason-Bourne_2016-2

 

 

First of all I loved the movie. Great performance. Tell me about your character in Jason Bourne.

Thanks man. I play Craig Jeffers, he is the right hand man of Tommie Lee Jones’ who plays the director of the C.I.A.. I’m basically a company man, a patriot, and I’m a true believer. Then suddenly I’m confronted which you don’t see a lot of in the movie because it’s an action movie and not a drama but, suddenly I’m supplanted by Heather Lee; which is Alicia Vikander’s character, and it’s the difference between the old school C.I.A. and what now is the new world that were facing these days.

jason-bourne-2016
Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vakander in Jason Bourne

Where it’s more a war about information rather than the usual wet work war of going into a place and blowing it up. That’s the dynamic we’re seeing between Jeffers and Heather Lee and essentially Tommie Lee Jones’s character and Heather Lee; the old C.I.A. versus the new C.I.A..

 

Awesome! That was actually one of my questions. I see this movie more kind of like “big brother” watching you. Do you ever think about that? Does it cross your mind? You know with the monitoring of your cellphone because there was a lot of cool but at the same time scary things like, the facial recognition technology.

It always comes to mind because there were often times on set where I would ask if this was actually real technology or we made it for the movie and Paul Greengrass would actually say no this is stuff people are already doing and it’s already possible, it’s been possible. So it’s scary but it’s also fascinating because the evolution of technology throughout human history has always caused us to reflect on our own humanity and what it means to exist in this world as a society. I think we’re at a tipping point that no other human society has been in ever in the 200,000 years that we have been humans. So we’re now faced with huge moral quandaries about what this power is giving us and what that means for us as individuals. It’s even questioning what privacy means anymore. When we even with all of this technology, we are willingly putting up our entire lives digitally on whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or any of the other technologies out there. It’s like on one side some of us want to keep our privacy but on the other side we’re posting everything on Facebook. Corporations are seeing this and using that as a way to market to us and sell us products or surveil us and it’s a very interesting place that we are in society today.

Very true, very true. I’m a huge fan of the Bourne franchise. I was very excited to see Jason Bourne was back. Are you a fan of the franchise? Have you seen any of the films prior to taking this role?

Yes! Those are the kind of movies where they’ll show it on TBS and even with commercials I’ll still watch it. What I loved about the franchise before is the mystery of a guy who has no memory but has all this incredible skills and is so resourceful he can kill you with some lipstick and a piece of paper, you know what I’m saying. I love the evolution and what I love about this movie is that now you see him when he’s older and maybe a little slower and now you know a little bit more about him so how does this older, more damaged Jason Bourne negotiate through this new world. Again we’re looking at this old world that he’s been a part of and now this new threat which is the informational threat; the more femoral digital threat that were all facing today.

I agree. Matt Damon is pretty amazing as Jason Bourne. It’s almost surprising to see him do all of things because you don’t really think of him as this action star. How was it working with Matt?

The man is a good dude. He’s sort of the trope of the guy you’d like to get a beer with. He’s an ultra famous guy and he’s really, really laid back. I mean there was one time, you know he’s Jason Bourne and Jason Bourne is supposed to be all sneaky and can disappear at a moments notice and we’re filming in a Las Vegas casino; it’s Alicia, I, and Matt trying to film this scene with a bunch of extras along with the people in the casino, and we call action and he’s being sneaky Jason Bourne; but everyone’s trying to record him on their cellphones as he’s walking by.

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

So you see the dynamic where Matt Damon can’t go anywhere. Jason Bourne is supposed to be able to go anywhere, but Matt Damon cannot. He played it cool, just real laid back, real professional; I loved chasing him around in a casino in Vegas.

How was it working beside Tommie Lee Jones who was your character’s boss in the movie?

Tommie Lee Jones is a legend. He is one of those straight talking dudes and he can bring it anytime he wants. He’s one of my favorite actors from back in the day and he likes to tell a lot of stories. One of the great stories he told me, he looked over to me and he goes you know what, years ago he was doing soap operas. This is how long this guy’s been in the business.

jason-bourne-2016-tommy-lee-jones-ato-essandoh
Tommy Lee Jones and Ato Essandoh in Jason Bourne

So he was playing a doctor in a soap opera and he had a bunch of scenes with a 5-year-old kid and he goes you know who that 5-year-old was? Laurence Fishburne. I said man Laurence Fishburne when he was 5-years-old. He’s a legend. He’s a real funny, sharp, witty guy so it was a lot of fun to work with him.

 

It would have been funnier if he said like Morgan Freeman. The whole joke that we’ve never seen Morgan Freeman when he was young. 

I know. I would have been shocked man.

How did you prepare for the role? Did you have training?

I knew I’d be running around a little bit so I was working out at the gym and just running on the treadmill, which helped because that scene where I’m chasing Bourne around the casino that ended up being hours and hours of shooting. Running down, chasing Matt Damon and literally jumping over people who I didn’t recognize, so if I hadn’t been stretching, working out, and doing some yoga I would be broken, it was hard. This is my first action movie. Action movies are hard; it’s no joke.

4

The Matt Damon’s, Will Smith’s, and Bruce Willis’ of the world, that stuff is really hard to do. We don’t appreciate it because we don’t really think about it, but you have to be in a certain amount of shape and have certain stamina to be able to do all of that stuff. It’s not like a coffee-room drama where you’re just siting there talking to someone at a coffee table. This is straight up running and acting, and you’re tired and you have to do it again because you need to get it from a new angle. It was really eye-opening for me. I’m not ready to do another one.

I can imagine, I’m sure. The blog I work for is called Stuff Fly People Like. So if you were an agent give me three fly gadgets you’d want in the field.

Night vision goggles is number one. Some kind of mini-drone that can fly anywhere, that’s smaller than a cellphone with x-ray vision would be number two. The third one, I’d want one of those wing suits so if I have to get away from some people and I just happen to be on top of a mountain I’d just jump off the mountain and be like fly!

That’s sounds like a video game character, it really does. Now, the Academy announced they’re taking steps to build diversity. Recently they invited the largest number into the Academy, 683; and 48% of the invitees are people of color and 46% are women. Do you feel Hollywood is finally going in the right direction? Do you feel this is a big step?

Absolutely, because it doesn’t make sense for it to be a monoculture because everyone goes to see movies. I would understand if only white people went to see movies and only white straight men went to see movies but we need the diversity and the organicness that’s a representation of an array of people. The people who are controlling the industry and moving the industry forward need to represent the actual people who go and see the movies. So it makes complete sense that you get a whole bunch of women in there and a whole bunch of people of color in there because we’re also going into those movie theaters and paying for those tickets.

What was it like working with Paul Greengrass? How was the experience?

I had to bone up on my knowledge of English premier league soccer because although I love watching football I don’t know all the teams in England. If you don’t know all the teams in England he kind of looks at you like, “who are you?” He’s a lovely guy with infinite patience and it was great working with him. I just kept looking at him like I can’t believe I’m in a Bourne movie with Paul Greengrass directing it and he’d just be like, “Aww man, come on.”

Paul Greengrass Image copyright Getty Images
Paul Greengrass Image copyright Getty Images

I still email him every once in a while just to say, “Hey what’s up?” He’s just that sort of open, and cool, and nice. I think he’s a great, great filmmaker. I know I’m in it so I’m suppose to say this, but I really think it’s one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a long time.

 

Yes, I agree with you. It was really good.  

All the stuff that happens in the movie they’re not just doing just to show you that they can blow up stuff or they can have car chases. Everything that happens in the movie is for a reason. Which is unlike other action films where you can tell they’re blowing crap up because they want to show you they can blow crap up, so it stops making sense. You lose all the suspense because all of that stuff is going to blow up just to show you, but this is like Jason Bourne has to get from here to here. This is what he has to do to get there. It makes for great story telling. Greengrass has a fantastic eye for that.

Jason Bourne hits theaters this FRIDAY, stay tuned for our FLY Review of Bourne’s latest adventure.

Stay Fly!

PHOTOS: Getty Images, Universal Pictures

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Entertainment FLY Interviews

FLY Interviews: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Star Kiersey Clemons Talks Sexism, Working on The Film and More In Exclusive Interview

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K

iersey Clemons is a star on the rise especially after her amazing performance in the ground-breaking film Dope. She now tries her hand at comedy in the hilarious film Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the sequel to the 2014 film Neighbors. SFPL’s very own Arlene Danna caught up with the young actress for an exclusive interview.

Continue below to see what Kiersey had to say about working on Neighbors 2, sexism, crazy set stories and more .

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Entertainment FLY Interviews SFPL TV

Fly Interview: TV One Born Again Virgin’s Danielle Nicolet Talks with SFPL TV

danielle-nicolet

Just wrapping up Season 1 of TV One‘s Born Again Virgin, actress Danielle Nicolet stops by to catch us up on the new hit comedic series, if her character relates to her in any kind of way [being a Virgin?], and her music obsessions with Kendrick Lamar and James Blake.

[Note: We tried to get her to do the “Nae Nae” dance…but she refused. HA!] 

Danielle also says that if she were dating Meek Mill — she would take her thumb and make it his ID Thumb Print on his phone, so he could no longer interact on social media. She’s hilarious!

Peep the FULL interview below:

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RELATED:

EVA MARCILLE & CASTS ATTEND BORN AGAIN VIRGIN SEASON 1 WRAP PARTY

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Fashion Stories

Fly Interview: Defining Fly With Diem (Does It Even Matter) NY

[Hook:]
And wherever we go
And whatever we do
And whatever we see
And whoever we be
It don’t matter
It don’t matter
I don’t mind cause you don’t matter
I don’t mind cause I don’t matter
(And don’t sh*t matter)

 

You’ll see in the end…..

 

 

 

Does It Even Matter? Well, let’s play around with the title a bit. Nothing really matters when you think about it right? The reasons why artist Wale goes to make an album about “Nothing”. In the same breath, nothing has to mean everything.

 

Hmm #Trippy

  Confused? I’m sure but hopefully within a few more scrolls down, it’ll all pull together and make sense one way or another.

 

Stuff Fly People Like uniquely has found its nitch among finding and narrowing down exactly what belongs in the category of fly!

Consistent artistic contribution to fashion is important. Without it, many would lack expression and the world we live in would be as bland rocks.

We at The SFPL deeply understand and acknowledge this and while constantly putting our talents and expertise to great use, it’s sort of our job to get that message across to our fly readers. Yea, It’s only right!


Recently out at their Brooklyn pop up shop, we got the opportunity to sit down with Michael Nicholas Owner/ Creative designer of DIEM clothing. Check out the dope interview and learn more about this brand below:

Be sure to check out DIEM online at:

http://www.Doesitevenmatter.com

On IG: @DiemNY

On Twitter: @Diem_NY

Special thanks to Nyj The Official for footage & editing

– Stay Fly

Lisa Brittany

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FLY Interviews SFPL TV Stories

Singer Olivia Chops It Up With Stuff Fly People Like TV [Video]

Olivia

Singer and former Love and Hip-Hop NY cast member Olivia stopped by the SFPL office to chop it up with the fly guys.

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Entertainment FLY Interviews

[Fly Interviews] Tiny Talks T.I., Rumors, Floyd Mayweather, Azealia Banks, Music & More With The Breakfast Club

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 5.34.55 PMTiny stopped by Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, she discusses everything from being married to T.I., the Floyd Mayweather situation, Azealia Banks and even an untold Biggie Smalls story.

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FLY Interviews

FLY Interviews: The SFPL Sits Down With The Lead Faces of Atlantic High Jusitne Skye & Trevor Jackson

The SFPL recently caught up with Atlantic Records brightest stars Justine Skye and Trevor Jackson. We got a chance to talk to them about being the new faces of Atlantic High, being on tour, musical inspirations and new projects.

 

SFPL: For those that know you, tell everyone about yourself.

Justine Skye: Hey Everyone I’m Justine Skye I’m signed to Atlantic Records. Just recently got signed, like it hasn’t even been a year yet. But… things are going really well for me. I Just released an EP called ‘Everyday Living’ it’s out right now on Itunes and it definitely has like an old school late 90’s early 2000’s vibe to it. That inspiration comes from Aaliyah, BeyonceDestiny’s ChildJanet JacksonBrandy and Missy Elliot like all the great people from those times. I just definitely want to bring R&B back.

SFPL: As the far as the “Everyday Living’ being out, anything else for fans to look out for?  Are you working on any other projects?

Justine Skye: Right now I’m on a High School Nation tour so it’s going out to the all the high schools like around the Midwest and the East Coast, like 20 states.  So that’s what I’m doing right now, that’s the focus right now but after that I’m gonna head out to L.A. to my studio and I’m gonna start working on my second EP. That one is gonna come out like around February, then I’m gonna start working on the album.

SFPL: So how’s tour life? I know it’s pretty much a rush. Is it exciting for you?

Justine Skye: Yes it’s definitely a rush. It’s my first tour so it’s really like exciting and I’m just happy to be waking up and performing in front of everyone everyday. It’s great; I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it (laughs).

SFPL: Any crazy tour stories?

Justine Skye:  Not really… This one girl cried when I was singing, when I was performing and I was just wow I cannot believe I just like made someone cry. But it was tears of joy of course.

SFPL: There’s gonna be a lot more of that, definitely a lot more of that.  I see you’re very popular on Instagram and Tumblr so what is that like?

Justine Skye:  That started to build up before I got signed cause they’re just like hanging out with my friends and being myself. They started to gravitate towards that because they just saw how real it was and how it authentic it was. They just wanted to be a part of that they wanted to see it. Like kids who live who live in like Ohio or like Indiana or somewhere they can’t reach that city life in New York. They felt like they were living it through us.

SFPL: What’s it like being the lead face for Atlantic High?

Justine Skye: It’s definitely an honor. I mean I think it’s a great thing to be promoting the youth in Atlantic and I mean the youth are the leaders of our generation.  So they make the rules and they make what’s hot.

SFPL: So whom is Justine Skye listening to right now?

Justine Skye: Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Drake. The album just came out it’s absolutely amazing so that’s definitely who I’m into right now.

SFPL: The ladies love Drake.

Justine Skye: (Laughs) Girls love Drake.

SFPL: Yes they do.

Justine’s EP ‘Everyday Living’ is out now on Itunes.

Connect with Justine Skye on Instagram: @JustineSkye, Twitter: @JustineSkye

 

SFPL: For those who don’t know can you tell everyone who you are?

Trevor Jackson: Wassup y’all I’m Trevor Jackson Atlantic recording artist and I just wanna make music for the world.

SFPL: Can you tell us a little about your background growing up?

Trevor Jackson: I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana, started off tap dancing from the age of 3 and really just went with that. Competed in a whole a bunch of different places that led to acting, acting led to a local show I did in Nap (Indianapolis) called the Beef and Boards Christmas show. I did the Lion King Broadway show for 3 years and that kind of changed my whole perspective on life and what I wanted to do. I moved to L.A. when I was about 11, while I was out there I did some shows I Eureka on the Syfy channel for 2 years, Cold Case, Harry’s Law, Let It Shine the Disney movie and then I was like music is what I am missing. SO I started meeting with managers, went with Primary Wave met with labels all labels were interested but Atlantic just seemed to be as hungry as I was for what I had to do.

SFPL: So who are some of your musical inspirations?

Trevor Jackson:  Definitely Michael Jackson would be one of the first ones, but also I love Ray Charles, I love Donny Hathaway, Brian McKnight and Gary LeVox from Rascal Flats. A lot of people.

SFPL:  Ahhh so you got like an old soul.

Trevor Jackson: A little bit, you can say that.

SFPL: It’s kind of rare you know, a lot of young guys say the new acts. You say more of the old acts, so that means you appreciate music a lot more.

Trevor Jackson: Well I love music that will last when I’m gone and my children are gone. I like a lot of meaningful music.

SFPL: How does it feel being one of the lead faces for Atlantic High?

Trevor Jackson: It feels great man, I feel like it was probably the best decision of my life was to with Atlantic. Everybody is so nice and has been supporting me; whatever I need they’re there. To just have that responsibility of being one of the young African-American artists on Atlantic, so I really take that seriously. So I really wanna make them look good as I make myself look good.

SFPL: Dope, so your EP is out ‘New Thang’.

Trevor Jackson: Yup!

SFPL: I know you’re excited about that.

Trevor Jackson: Super excited!

SFPL: So what’s next for Trevor Jackson?  Can you tell anything to your fans? Are their anymore-acting roles on the way they can lookout for?

Trevor Jackson: Hey if an actor role comes up bro, it’s the right timing it’s the right role I definitely wanna do it. I always said I wanna be the Denzel of acting and the Michael Jackson of music so definitely anything I can do bro. I definitely wanna take advantage of all aspects of life, but what’s next is the album, but I also wanna do some Christmas stuff coming up. It’s almost December so I’m gonna write some Christmas records and then top of the year the album drops. I’m super duper excited.

SFPL: So you’re on tour right now for High School Nation. Can you tell me more about that? Are you excited about that?

Trevor Jackson: Yeah we already 15 cities already in a span of like 2 or 3 weeks. So it’s been going really, really good, the fans are responsive, the crowds were loving it, the crowds are just gets bigger and bigger every time and it’s getting more and more hyped.

SFPL: Any crazy tour stories you wanna share?

Trevor Jackson: Not really any crazy ones, there always gonna be a little chaos after the show. One time it was raining we got backstage and somehow this one girl got backstage screamed and whole bunch of them just ran backstage. They just rushed me to car and we had to drive off.

SFPL: Well that’s nothing to complain about.

Trevor: (Laughs)

SFPL: That’s a great thing.

 Trevor’s EP ‘#NewThang’ is available on Itunes now.

Connect with Trevor on Instagram: @TrevorJackson5,  Twitter: @TrevorJackson5

 Stay Fly!