Luke Bilyk Degrassi Interview

This retro interview from 2011 when Luke Bilyk decided to take some time out of his schedule to give me an interview.

1. Fans raved about Drew before season 10 started, then disliked him in the Riley conflict, then loved him for trying to protect Adam, then disliked him again. How do you feel about the see-saw approach to Drew’s character and are there any changes that you hope Drew makes by the time he graduates?

I feel because Drew is the type of person who is good, but makes bad decisions, it makes sense for the fans to be see-sawing. This lets me play Drew as two different characters – the nice loving brother and the cheater who gets boilers from other girls. I do hope that by the time Drew graduates he will be able to make the right decisions the first time around and not to have to get caught in order to learn. 

2. What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not filming?

Since I am home schooled, I am home a lot! On my leisure time I usually play Hockey. I also enjoy my time making music in the recording studio with Jordan Francis. I do hang out with my older sister Christina a lot too!

 3. Back in November you had your successful birthday bash. Whose idea was it to throw this party and do you see something similar happening for your 17th birthday bash?

Well I would like to take all the credit for it, but it was my sister Christina’s original idea, I agreed and thought it was a great idea to have the fans included. I would definitely love to do the same thing for my 17th but I guess we will have to wait and see.  

4. Is there another character on the show that maybe you feel that you can relate to the most?

No not really but if I had to pick I would pick Sav in having parents who are strict. 

5. Is there any advice that you have for those out there who may want to perhaps be the next star on Degrassi?

I would say it is an awesome experience and that learning and growing is the key to success. Study hard!

6. What can we expect to see from Drew in the rest of the season?

Drew experiments with drugs in these episodes. Let’s just say that it’s very animated if you know what I mean. 

Questions from Twitter

 7. BilykSquad – Who is your favorite musical group/singer?

I like Drake, L’il Wayne, Kanye West, Eminem and Lacrae. 

8. cassi_degrassi -What is your funniest memory from set? 

This didn’t really happen on set because we are always so busy but one day I had put a note on Munro’s car that said; “Sir, I am sorry I scratched your car and I will pay for the damages here is my number”. When he checked his car there was no scratches. He looked at his car for 30 minutes in the rain trying to find where this scratch was but there wasn’t any sign of one. He called that number and it was me – the prankster! Harmless fun really.

9. COURTandNIC – Most memorable fan encounter? 

I think that would have to be at my 16th birthday party, I wasn’t expecting that many fans to come out!  

10. ohhayjenn -What was the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?

When I was in senior Kindergarten my mom caught me when she walked in during playtime, and saw me kiss a little girl! My mom said “Luke! What are you doing kissing her and where is the teacher?” It is embarrassing because I still know the girl to this day and everyone still talks about it!

Catch Degrassi every Friday at 9pm on Teenick and Much Music

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Interview w/ OITNB’s Selenis Leyva

selenis leyva

Jill Greenberg-Netflix

Check out this interview as we got in depth with Selenis Leyva, who portrays Gloria Mendoza in Orange Is The New Black.

You have numerous roles to your name, but what made you get into this industry of acting?

I knew I wanted to perform at an early age.. It was something I enjoyed doing alone in my room. At the time, I wasn’t aware I was “acting”. It was just a great way to pass time. I’d lock myself in my rooms for hours. Dressing up, acting to the mirror, reading out loud. I would make myself cry a lot, just like the women on the telenovelas my parents watched. There was something about those moments as a child that made me feel alive! I remember watching the show Fame, and I was hooked! I was too young to get the stories etc, but the dancing, music and acting made me fall in love with it! I announced to my parents I was going to go to that HS someday. I don’t think they heard me, or understood. I ended up attending The HS of Performing Arts! My Fame school. By then it was called Fiorello H La Guardia HS. It all started there, my training and the certainty that I was going to be a professional actress.

How did you get involved with OITNB? What was the process like?

Jen Euston, who cast the show, called me in. I auditioned for another role on the show, which I didn’t get. I was crushed, because I knew it was a good project. NO idea it would be this big a hit! I knew I wanted in though.  You learn to go through the “mourning” process for a day when you don’t get something and keep it moving. A few weeks after that Jen called my manager with an offer to play Gloria Mendoza. I knew I had to be on this show. It was a Jengi Kohan project! And I love Weeds!

Jen is also so great in casting really wonderful shows, she cast me in Girls as well.

What is the atmosphere like on set?

We have lots of fun. Great support, so you feel confident about trying different things. We have fun, but we work hard. When cameras are rolling, it’s all business. It’s really like a huge house with a large family running around! It’s great.

We hope to see more of Gloria as she is now head of the kitchen. What do you hope to see from your character in season 2?

It’s so hard to say what I want to see more of. Gloria is still being developed. I trust the writers so much. I feel they have and are creating really complex beautiful people for us all. So I look forward to the journey. Just happy to be on set and continue exploring . Being in the kitchen is of course fantastic!

Now other than Gloria, who is your favorite character from the series?

My goodness, this is a hard one. All these characters are so wonderful!! I have fallen in love with all of them!! Love what Jason Biggs is doing! I fell in love with him after watching all the episodes!!! Crazy Eyes and Pennsatucky are delicious to watch! I like Crazy, but the beauty with those two is that it’s so layered! So much happening! As with every one of these characters just when you think you get it, or get them, something else gets thrown in and you think..”wow”. I could go on forever about ALL the characters I swear I would if you let me!

Why do you think the series has been such a huge hit among viewers of all backgrounds?

There is something or someone for everyone. People have a choice to who they can relate to. And that could change from one episode to the next, and that’s the beauty of this show. You can relate to these characters. It’s real. It’s not always pretty and perfect. You see the flaws. It’s layered just like life.

For your role of being confined to prison, how did you prepare, or how were you prepared?

I took this role like all my other roles I’ve played. I put myself in that world. By connecting as a person, no judgements! Just human instinct. Yes I’m playing a prisoner, but she’s also a daughter, woman, lover, friend..That has all been taken away now what? I also worked for a theater arts program years ago and I worked with a girls juvenile facility. That was one of the hardest jobs. Here I was with all my freedom and I would go in and work on writing scenes with these girls. Some were scared , all seemed sad, damaged to some point,and yet they were giving me stories, writing acting with me. They were making that environment work for them. They had created a world, a family. It was hard on my spirit to see these beautiful girls locked up. Yet they really gave me so much love. And I bring that experience to Orange.

When season 1 was finished filming, what was the overall feeling of the cast? Did you know that you were going to have a hit on your hands?

We were very emotional! When I was wrapped and heard those words,”selenis is wrapped for season 1″ I got chills ! I cried that day. I knew I was leaving that set, where I had worked side by side with the most amazing cast and crew ever! I didn’t want it to end. And no one knew what would happen. You never know! I thought it was good, but a hit? I felt it deep inside yes! But one never knows in this business.

How has your family and peers responded to you being involved with such a unique series?

My family is very proud! They have had a front row seat to my ups and downs in the biz. So they are thrilled! My mom was my date for the premiere, and I will never forget how she turned to me that night after the lights came back on in that theater after the pilot was viewed and she said ” this is a hit” she knew! She was beaming. All my peers want to be on the show! Its great , people have responded in an amazing way.

You ladies were renewed for a second season before the first season even premiered! How is the filming of season 2 progressing? Anything we should look out for?

That was crazy to hear we had been picked up before it premiered ! Talk about pressure! Season 2 is under way. It’s early in the season, we don’t know much. With the success of the show everything is very hush hush. Which I don’t mind. Its nice to be surprised. I wish I could say” look out for…” but I myself am just finding things out slowly.

I’m a Red Sox fan, but you happen to be a Yankees fan! With that being said, what’s your impression of the Yankees this year as the baseball season nears its end?

Should we even be talking!??!Red sox!!haha.. I Love baseball! We have a decent chance to get in the playoffs,  Will be fantastic to get our team captain , Jeter back in. Soriano is on fire!

Favorite food?

Love sushi!  And cuban food. Im a foodie!

Favorite music artist?

Marc Anthony, pink, Maroon 5 , Beyonce, Adele, La Lupe, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Oscar de leon, Amy Winehouse, Eminem, Jay Z….I really enjoy all music to be honest, my mood will dictate what i listen to it varies greatly!

Favorite vacation spot?

Went to Colombia Cartagena recently and really enjoyed it. Traveling is great! Panama was also amazing

One thing your cast members do not know about you

hmmm.. I co wrote two scripts that I hope to get produced in the near future!

Floyd Mayweather Jr Interview

Floys Mayweather

In just two days, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr puts his undefeated record on the line as he takes on Robert Guerrero in what is sure to be an explosive fight this weekend. Check out my interview with the self proclaimed “king of boxing”.

Everyone wants to fight you in this sport no matter their weight class. Guys like Pacquiao, Alvarez, Sergio Martinez, and so on. Why do you think guys from lower and higher weight classes want to fight you? Does this help prove the case that you are the best pound for pound fighter in the world?

For one, everyone wants a chunk of Mayweather money. Everyone knows that when you fight me, that is undoubtedly the biggest payday of any fighter’s career. And two, everyone wants to try to be the one guy to beat me, but we all know that isn’t happening. Forty-three have tried and 43 have failed.

You’re a boxer but you’re also an “entertainer” with a brand. Why do you think that so few boxers can establish a brand like yourself?

I am not just any fighter. I am a promoter. I am a businessman. I am an entrepreneur. I have my own style, and I am the best in the sport. All of that makes for an unbelievable brand.

You are one of the most polarizing figures in sports. People either love you or they hate you. How do you deal with the “hate” portion from boxing and non boxing fans?

I don’t pay attention to the critics and haters. If I let that get to me, I wouldn’t be doing this anymore. I have built my legacy with the support of my fans and followers. They have been there for me since the beginning and I appreciate that. As for the haters, they are still paying to watch me fight, so I have to thank them for that.

What can we expect out of you from your new unexpected mega deal with Showtime/CBS?

You can expect a whole new level of exposure for Floyd Mayweather and The Money Team. The programming they are rolling out for my May 4 fight is unbelievable and I am just really looking forward to being a part of the SHOWTIME/CBS Family.

Last year you faced some obstacles which helped contribute to yet another long layoff from the sport of boxing. How do you still stay motivated and committed to the sport of boxing year in and year out?

Boxing is what I do. It is my life and I have been doing it as long as I can remember. It is second nature to me, when I get in the gym, that is all there is…hard work and dedication no matter what is going on anywhere else. I am one hundred percent committed to preserving my legacy and being known as one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.

Some would say that Robert used borderline illegal bully tactics against Berto. What do you expect from Robert come May 4th?

I expect a tough tough fight. Guerrero has wanted this fight for a long time and it was because of his determination, that he got it.  He is a champion and is going for glory in the biggest payday of his career. He deserves the shot, but that is all it is going to be…a shot. 

You are now back training with your father, How does he being back impact life in the gym?

 My father taught me the foundation of my boxing skills, and we are really getting back to the basics in the gym. Hard work and dedication. Family is so important to me and it is great to have my dad, uncles and extended family day in and day out in the gym. 

What is your diet regimen like when you’re training? People are interested in how you maintain such great shape.

I eat a lot of lean proteins, but I mostly stay in shape just by working it in the gym. I spend about 5 hours a day in the gym or running. That is how you stay in shape.

When Floyd Mayweather’s career is all said and done, what legacy would you hope you’ve left behind? What would boxing be like without a Mayweather fight?

 I want to be known as the greatest of all time. Right now, I am the sport of boxing. People want to see me fight because there is no one else like me. There are some good up and comers, especially the fighters we have under the Mayweather Promotions banner, but the sport revolves around when I fight and luckily fans have a lot more Mayweather coming up.

Your boxing skills are second to none and you are a master technician. What advice can you give to boxing hopefuls who are hoping to make a career out of prizefighting?

 This sport is all about hard work. If you don’t have it in you to work harder than you have ever worked in your life, than this sport isn’t for you. You have to leave it all in the gym every single day because there are hundreds of other guys doing that and then some.

I wish you all of the best in the fight and I appreciate you taking the time to do the interview with us at Blended Entertainment. Is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans, the readers, and Robert in preparation for your May 4th battle?

Thanks. Just tune in May 4, you will be happy that you did.

 

Interview w/ J.Dash

J. Dash is a piano prodigy who performed his first concert at age 5. By the time he was 8 years old, this classically trained pianist loved to play Mozart for his family and friends. Throughout his teens, however, he cut his teeth playing in various blues and jazz bands. A rapper, songwriter, producer, mixer, & multi-instrumentalist, this Renaissance man also holds a degree in computer science from the University of Florida.
 

 How did you get the name J-Dash?

The name was given to me by another producer/artist because when I was 14, before I knew anything about music, he brought me into his studio as a fly on the wall. He left for a minute and I asked if I could play around with the equipment, then ended up making four beats in a ridiculously short time so he started calling me J. Dash.

When did you start getting into music?

I was always into it but around 14 I realized I could do it as a profession.

As you were growing up, were there any artists/albums that inspired you?

Absolutely. Definitely Dr. John, BB King, Eric Clapton, Timbaland, 2Pac, Mos Def, Talib Kweli. That would probably be the core of my early inspiration.

The name of your album is somewhat of a contradiction which is interesting. People normally do not find the truth in tabloids. What gravitated you to picking “Tabloid Truth” as the name of your album?

I was actually reading a tabloid when I came up with the name. The concept came from how you can get drawn into tabloids just by the cover, the surface. In the same way, my first single WOP was a dance record but didn’t have as much depth and I wanted to make sure that people knew there was more to me. We have hot stuff in here that will attract you but there’s also some meat, not just the dessert.

Your album is a collection of different styles both lyrically and musically. What is the concept of your album?

A journey through life in musical form.

What is your favorite song on your album?

The title track because it’s the realist track I’ve ever written. “Life” because it’s the most artistic track I’ve ever done and “WOP” because that song changed my life.

Your single “WOP” has garnered millions of hits on youtube and this is not even including your how to video for the dance which also has millions of views. How did the song and dance come together?

Actually the WOP was a dance before it was a song or the thought of even being a song. My friends and I used to do it in the club and after a while my friend told me I had to make a song that went with the dance. Next thing I knew we had a hit!

How did you feel about getting those views and all of the videos that followed with people doing different versions of the dance?

The video responses actually preceded my official music video. The original video was my dancers and that’s what started up the responses. The viral nature of the song/dance is what really propelled it so it feels great that people really caught on to the true, fun concept of the dance! 

Something we do not hear often from artists who dabble in hip hop is education yet you went to college. Can you talk a little about what college in regard to your major and what it has done for you as a person and artist?

Honestly college, if nothing else, gave me time to mature. My degree is in computer science and people wonder how that helps me but I was in an engineering school where you learn how stuff works so I developed a passion for how things work. When I first entered the music business I wanted to know how EVERYTHING worked and that’s how I approach everything these days. In college I learned how to learn and developed myself. It was so easy to grow and learn, so I doubt I’d be the artist I am today had I not gone to school.

I know your album just recently dropped this year, but what do you hope is next for you?

More success! My success thus far just motivates me to reach a higher and higher level. I want more people to hear my music and I’m excited about visiting new and different places. I’m always striving to do something better and bigger.

Are there any artists out there today that you’d hope to collab with in the future?

Absolutely. To name a few: Cee-Lo Green, Timbaland , Lil Wayne, Dr. John. BB King…I’m sure there are countless more!

I want to thank you for your time, is there anything you want to shout out to your fans, supporters, and the readers who will be introduced to you through this interview?

Make sure you follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all at therealjdash to get a more in depth view of who I am and I’m looking forward to meeting you all. 

 

J.Dash’s Official Website

J.Dash’s Twitter

J.Dash’s Facebook

 

Interview w/ Hugo

Hello world. Let me introduce you to Hugo whom I have had the pleasure of setting up this interview with. He is an artist from Thailand who is signed to Roc Nation which of course was founded by hip hop mogul Jay-z.

How did you end up writing a song for Beyonce’s successful “I am… Sasha Fierce” album?
My writing partner and mentor, amanda ghost, played beyonce songs from an album of mine that never saw the light of day, ms Knowles picked a song she liked called disappear and sung it.

What was the process and conversation like when you were getting a record deal with Roc Nation?
Exciting and confusing.

Who would you say were some of your musical influences?
The doors, Leonard Cohen, Neil young, howlin wolf, Robert Johnson, creedence Clearwater revival, free, Bob Dylan, Donovan, nirvana, carabao, 213, Dr Dre…and many more I’m sure.

How is the music scene different between Thailand and the United States of America?
Very different, in terms of Market size and language. Similar as far as intent goes though.

How would you categorize your artistic style?
I wont. I’ll leave that to you.

What are your greatest attributes as an artist?
Patience and sympathy.

Your album, “Old Tyme Religion” came out back in 2011. What does the title of the album mean, and what did it mean to release your first album a part of Roc Nation?
The title is from one of the tracks on the record that really crystallised the sound and feel of the record. It also goes some way to addressing the way I feel about American roots music, that is an almost religious respect and interest in it.

*Your cover and rendition of Jay Z’s “99 Problems” was featured in a couple of films last year as well, what gave you the inspiration of doing that particular track?*
Mainly gratitude for being signed and a real love of the original from the black album which seemed to be a new kind of rocknroll to my ears.

What projects are you currently working on?
Cutting live footage from some shows out here in Thailand and writing songs for the next record.

Thanks for your time. Any last comments for your fans, and Blended Entertainment readers?
Be strange or act normal.

Check Hugo’s official website for his latest music and news.

Hugo’s cover of “99 Problems” was featured in the movies, No Strings Attached and Fright Night