ARTISTS

WYCLEF JEAN

Carnival III

 

My name is Nel Usted Wyclef Jean. I was born in a small village in Haiti. Man listen to this: I lived in a hut and when I tell my daughter I took a donkey to school she laughs and says “here you go again dad with the donkey story!” Yes, that was my reality. For fun, me and my brother ran around the cemetery when it was raining, chasing lightning and thunder. That was our Coney Island Rollercoaster before we landed in Marlboro projects and went to the real Coney Island. What a culture shock! We went from putting oil in the lamp for light to real electrical poles with city lights! Wow. We went from walking miles to the well to get clean water, to turning on a faucet and water appears – looked like magic to me – but hold up, I didn’t know how to speak English. How was I gonna communicate? Some of my family came over crossing the Cuban waters to Miami, some made it, some died at sea, and now look at me, a refugee in New York City. I had to learn to speak the language.

I will not lie to you, in the beginning I saw drugs in my neighborhood, I could take a gun apart and put it back together like drinking water, and I have shot a few rounds on the project roof. I sold a fiend a Sony Walkman, and in return she gave me a 22!

But thank God for my Momma, she taught me the real weapon was not a gun but my guitar and my voice. In my daddy’s church I was like Eddie Kane from The Five Heartbeats – minus the drugs and the downfall – I’m talking about his swag. Yes, I am a P.K., and some of you are like what does that mean? A P.K. is a Preacher’s Kid! Real talk, the hardest thing was balance for me, because my dad wanted me to be a preacher but the way I learned how to speak English was listening to Hip Hop music. My daddy called it devil music and said I couldn’t serve two masters. I loved my dad to death, so I had to live a double lifestyle with my music for a long time without him knowing. I was a choir boy in the house, and outside the house, I was one of the most feared battle rappers to come out of Vailsburg High School in New Jersey. But one day in Vailsburg High, my life changed when I joined the jazz and chorus program because my choir teacher forced me to do it. I thought rapping was much cooler until I discovered Jazz and realized this is the genesis of it all. Somehow, I learned how to play over seven instruments – don’t ask me how I learned I am still trying to figure it out. Most were self-taught, then I learned how to read sheet music years later. To be honest, I miss those days of practicing my instruments 24/7, but the best thing about what I do when I wake up every day is the discovery of music, to know I played a part in a lot of people’s careers, some big superstars, and continue to discover new talent. I feel that’s part of my calling, but I ask myself sometimes why come back? And, after 100 million albums worth of wok, I can hear Quincy Jones’ voice telling me “your biggest years are ahead of you…”

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JAZZY AMRA

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I am Jazmine Pena. Born and raised in the Bronx by a single mother who didn’t always make the right decisions. Drugs were a large factor in my mother’s life which led to us living in a rehabilitation center in Harlem for about a year so she could get clean. Living there taught me a lot about my mom, from seeing how much she loved music and singing, all the way to her weaknesses. After a few months of being clean, she relapsed, and the system placed me in foster care. I was very young and confused as to why I was always being taken away from her custody and bounced around to different homes, never in a stable place with a legit family. My aunt adopted me at the age of five, and that’s when I can say my life took a turn for the better.

As I grew older living with my aunt made me question a lot, and I missed my mother more. The only strong memory I had of my mother was her singing and dancing so that’s something I would always do and it would put me in a positive space no matter how sad I would be. I was confident and knew in my heart that I had talent, but when I sang to my peers in school and church I would get a lot of positive feedback on how good I was. That was all the reassurance I needed. From that point, I knew singing, and being the voice of those who grew up with similar situations as me, was something I was passionate about. I wanted to be one to uplift people with my voice and be a great influence. As years passed and I got more comfortable with myself and my upbringing I took that as a chance to reinvent myself as  Jazzy Amra. Amra means princess in Arabic. I felt that was the perfect name for me because, despite those unfortunate events I lived through, it didn’t take away from the fact that I am royalty, I am special, I am beautiful. That is the kind of confidence I want to exude in others. Your past doesn’t make you. As of right now, I am still pursuing a singing career, and my future never looked so bright.

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HANNAH

Passion. Intensity. Emotion. Spirit. These words define me and my lifelong adoration for performance expressed through music and dance. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Bermuda. Atlanta was a place of ultimate discomfort for me, I never connected. We lived in a place where many of my peers didn’t accept me. I was either too white or too “Different.” After all, I was the only “light skinned” girl in my school. The bus stopped in front of this mansion where everyone thought I lived. No, I resided in the barn, behind that mansion, living out of boxes and suitcases.  Through this, with my mom struggling herself, still put aside just enough to give us piano lessons. She being a church singer herself, knew the importance of this musical skill. My mom saw my brother and me struggling in and out of school, and she took a leap of faith and moved back home. My brave and selfless mother moved back to Bermuda with my brother and I, with only 40 dollars in her pocket.

Needless to say, the next couple of years were the best and worst of times. I have always used some form of performance and art to overcome the disappointments and downfalls in my life. When I got to Bermuda, still very young and impressionable, my heart sang, my feet danced, and my ability to express freely burst out with such intensity. I joined every Thespian club, music group, and created my dance team. Performance became a thread in my DNA once again. My unique blend of textures and tone bring such an intriguing and immersive listening experience. Mixing my experience in theater brings out so many different qualities in my vocal performance. My life experiences have taught me so much, but a few stand out at this moment. Always find the art in life, and when you need a moment to collect yourself, create. While securing my place as a  legendary vocalist and performer, I am currently teaching dance to adults and children, and always working on my craft as a self-taught guitarist.  Always engaged with music, I am also the lead singer of the Trio Band, Heritage, based in California. I can not wait to share my unique and “Bermudiful” talents. 

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J’MIKA

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I am J’Mika Deshazer, and this is my story:
I was born and raised in the church, Christian Faith Fellowship Church, in Milwaukee, WI. My father, Jimmy Deshazer taught me how to sing when I was seven years old. Throughout my school-aged years, I was bullied because of my short stature and small body frame. Although I was gifted to sing when I was younger, I was scared to sing because I suffered from low self-esteem issues. When I turned 18 years old, I moved out of my parents’ (Jimmy and Leslie Deshazer) home because, like many teenagers and young adults, I was hardheaded and stubborn. I attended college at UW-Milwaukee when I was 19 years old, but dropped out of college because I thought I was not smart enough. I also felt like my calling was on a path different from the traditional educational one. I have experienced some heartaches in my short lifespan. I had two ectopic pregnancies at 18 and 20 years old, respectively – – they were painful experiences. The ectopic pregnancies caused me to lose a significant amount of blood and resulted in the surgical removal of one of my fallopian tubes. Consequently, I am unsure if I can have children.

Currently, I am a 21-year-old, brave woman. I am ready to tell my story through my music because I have been set free from my past and am responding to my life’s purpose.  My purpose is to empower young women. Follow me along on my journey as I uplift souls through my singing.

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RILEY

I am Riley, aspiring rapper/actor straight out of Harlem. I was born in Virginia Beach, but when I was two, my mom moved my sister and me to New York. Growing up my mom and uncle used to listen to Jay-Z, Nas, Tupac, Biggie — anyone you could name in your top 20 of all time I grew up to. Basketball was always my career goal growing up and being in Harlem all people ever talked about was the Knicks, LeBron, Kobe or Carmelo, so those were my role models for the longest period. The story of how I got into rap is funny to me because I had no intention of doing it until my friends Charlie and Geo introduced me to battle rapping. Before battle rapping, I used to only rap for fun, and after battling kids in school, I gained a love for it. When I left Harlem due to one of my relatives dying I stopped rapping for a while and just played basketball.

One year after leaving Harlem I moved back, recorded my first ever freestyle with my big bro Buda Da Future and met good friends like Wyclef, Dave East (who I look at as a big bro and role model), Jazzy Amra, Buda Da Future, and my big bro Rich (who gave me my first internship at his studio so I can earn studio time). The year after that I lost my cousin who was like my big brother and one of my people who gave me feedback on the raps I was doing. Right now in 2017 I’m pushing to be a rapper so he can look down on me and know that this dream is for him.

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H1 DA HOOK

I am H1 DA Hook, a dream chasing, risk taker from the inner-city streets of Milwaukee. Milwaukee is a small city with big city ambitions, located in Wisconsin where the black ethnicity is under populated, but profoundly influential. Being the oldest son, and raised by a strong, single, black mother with three brothers and two sisters, I felt a sense of pressure to be a provider at an early age. Even with a spiritual background and growing up in the church, the streets found a place on my plate. The street life is cold but fair. When I lost my father to the streets at ten years old, my mom taught me that there is a better life ahead. However, hard times and lack of resources pulled me into the street life. Basketball and music were always the love of my life. Due to the streets, basketball became more of a hobby than a future, even though I was a highly recruited high school player. The fast life, money, cars, clubs and women became my focus, at the expense of me losing sight of my purpose and religious beliefs at times. Losing my best friend when I was 20 years old gave me an epiphany that life is short. Since music was a passion that he and I shared, I felt obligated to live out his dream through me. I always had the talent, coming from a family of singers and my father being a music producer — even sang in the church choir as a child.

Finding out my mom had bone cancer sent me back to my roots, asking God to lead me to where I’m destined to be — which was the studio with my childhood friend and neighbor Branden Washington AKA WavieBoi. He promised me that if we put in the work, our talent would take us far, and I trusted him on that. Now as I ride the wave with him and my label mate, with God on our side, it is only an endless sky ahead. With a team of talented producers, artists, and writers, I have found my home and calling. Take this journey with me as I show you that dreams can come true and risks are rewarded. Let my music influence you as you hear my story through every note I sing, every bar I rap and every song I write.

Antoine Kern “H1 DA Hook” 

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MARX SOLVILA

I am Marx SolVila born from hardships, lost hopes, and new hopes. I was raised by my mother, in the 53206 -zip code where nearly every male has undoubtedly been incarcerated (watch the “Milwaukee 53206” documentary). My mother and father never married. By my parents never being together and me hardly seeing my father on a daily basis, it put a void in our relationship for years. We have since reconciled, and it is as though his absence during my childhood never happened. Although my family is close-knit, we are separated emotionally by the past hurts from relationships and hard times, and primarily due to my male family members’ extravagant lifestyle of women, drugs, and gambling. In my family, no man from my grandfather down to my father got to live out their dreams. Thus, I feel it is my job never to lose sight of hope or faith in what God has given me and called me to do. I feel that I have to execute the plan God has for my life – – it is also pertinent to me that I break generational curses in my life, by living out my dreams, which is singing. I learned to sing by singing in the church choir of Jordan Missionary Baptist Church and listening to my Grandfather sing around the house. My Grandfather was a member of a famous quartet group, in Milwaukee, named The Voices of Zion and influenced my singing. The different nuances of music were taught to me by my high school music teacher, Mr. Raymond Roberts, whom I believe is responsible for adding more flavor to my singing. I received the true definition of soul music during my adventures in Tennessee.

In my music, I feel it is my purpose to depict the pain in love, yet show how love can concur all hurt. Lastly, I believe it is my purpose to show the world, through my music, that the classic man still roams the earth and is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve had three instances in my life where I could have died but was spared to do something greater with my life. All those near-death situations happened in times where I became complacent in life.

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WAVIEBOI D

My name is Daniel Washington aka WavieBoi D. I am more than just the youngest of ten children with musical gifts and talents. I am a father, music producer, songwriter, music engineer, drummer, pianist, and artist. I am the best Hip-Hop/Trap artist coming out of the Northside of Milwaukee, WI, but it was not always this way. I have been on a journey ever since I was a youngster. I started entertaining when I was two years old in God’s Mighty Warriors Drill Team Alpha and Omega, Inc., a family and community Christian drill team. It was during this time that I mastered my superstar stage presence. When I was seven years old, I was run over by a Milwaukee County Transit System city bus. Ever since then, I have been more tenacious than ever and an even greater free spirit. Within my well diverse family, it was only fitting that as the youngest child, I be well-equipped to captivate audiences with a high-powered sound and compelling stories from my life’s journey.

I recently completed my freshman album entitled “10th Seed” and am currently working on a new album, as I continue to crank out grade “A” classics. Allow my music to sway you and take you to new heights.

Stay tuned.

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