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

 

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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

Interview w/ Jessica Caban

The beautiful Jessica Caban

You were one of the special guests for a recent Latin American Gala held by the CHCF. How was the event and what was your role?

Yes it was the 12th Annual “Slice of Latin America” Gala. The CHCF was also celebrating 30yrs! It was a great event to say the least. The venue was Cipriani Wall Street, there was amazing food and a great mix of people who all came out for a great cause. I was a guest as well as a host for the live auction. We sold 5 items for the organization. I used my wit and charm to get as much money as I could and it worked!

The organization CHCF aims to strengthen the voice of the Latin community.  What areas do you feel need to be addressed most in the latin community?

The CHCF does an incredible job of strengthening the Latino community. They believe in self sufficiency and the best way to become self sufficient is to get educated. The CHCF provides various programs to ensure that. I believe we need more funding and programs to provide our youth with opportunities otherwise not available. We also need more programs to provide food for our Latino children and take the stress off of their families. No one should go home hungry.

You won a couple of awards for your first role in a film. What can you tell us about that film?

I won Best Actress twice for my portrayal of Thea Larson in Are You for Great Sex. This film is based on a true love story written and directed by Cynthia Hsiung. I can tell you the title is meant to grab your attention. Yes it is boundary-pushing and perhaps a bit raw but it is intelligent and sophisticated. There is a lot more to this love story told in a uniquely fresh female perspective. It was my first role ever acting and the most demanding. I’m almost in every scene. I learned a lot! Are You for Great Sex was released in 5 countries and will be available on Netflix soon.

What can you tell us about the movie you currently are working on?

I have two upcoming films. The first is a romantic comedy called “Getting Even” written and produced by Beverly Orozco. Aditi Pictures explains this hip and hilarious flick gives a revealing look at the highs and lows of celebrity relationships for three best friends who find themselves being dumped in a matter of days apart from each other. I play one of the leads. The second film I can tell you dates back to 1933 and I will again be working with the very talented Cynthia Hsiung. We begin filming this August in Montana. Both of these upcoming films are different from each other and from anything I’ve ever done. This is on purpose. I want to show what I can do and not be stereo typed as just the hot girl. I can’t wait to begin these projects!!!

Who are the NYC It Girls and what is their focus?

NYC It Girls was created by my friend/Brand Manager Eunice Quiñones. “It Girls” throw/attend the hottest parties in NYC, highlighting smart and talented women who are not only beautiful but business minded. The best NYC has to offer. They are one of a kind women who accompany each other as oppose to being someone’s arm candy. You know its gonna be an unforgettable event when these girls walk in.

What upcoming modeling projects do you have coming up?

Well currently I am on the cover of Fuzion Magazine and will have a spread in Signature Hits Magazine for their “Success Issue”. Next week I have a hair shoot with Herbal Essences.

What has been your favorite photoshoot?

 My favorite photo shoot would have to be the feature Latina Magazine did on me after winning Model Latina. Simply because I’ve always dreamed as a little girl of being in that magazine. Now I’m working on getting a cover someday.

Do you go through any rituals before a photo shoot, or before you attend a red carpet event?

Before filming on set or on a photoshoot/red carpet I say a few affirmations. I also make sure to either be focused if it’s for work or laugh a lot before hitting a red carpet.

Who was your role model as a child and how did that person influence your modeling aspirations?

Rita Moreno from West Side Story was my role model. That film was on constant rotation growing up. My father adored her and I wanted to be her. She was a trailblazer. She could sing, act and dance. She is gorgeous and classy. The true definition of talented. She inspired me to want to entertain.

If you weren’t modeling what other line of profession would you be doing?

If I wasn’t an Actress/Model I would probably be behind the camera directing or something. Maybe even working with animals. Growing up I did want to become a lawyer.

Any advice for young people out there aspiring to be models?

If its REALLY want you want to do. If you can’t live without it…. Don’t EVER give up. Build experience. Create the best portfolio you can and for acting start at the bottom. Do “extra” work if you have to. Most importantly always be safe!

Thank you for your time!

You’re Welcome…. Thank you for the great questions.

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Interview w/ Roy Jones Jr.

I had the honor of interviewing one of the greatest boxing talents of all-time

Congratulations on your recent victory over Max Alexander. How long does it normally take you to heal up after a fight?

Week

At this stage of your career, can you see yourself moving down a weight class or two?

No, only of great opportunity and budget is superb.

Outside of boxing you have been involved in tv, music, and film. Will we see you continue any of these ventures?

Would love to

How do you feel about the state of boxing?

It’s in horrible distress

When people ask why is Roy Jones Jr still boxing, what do you say to those critics?

Because I have one title that has eluded me an I want to try and get that title before I retire. 

There was a rumored potential battle between you and Bobby Gunn, that fell through as Gunn is scheduled to fight James Toney. Who do you want to fight next?

I can care less. I don’t pick names, I like to fight for the fans and I would chose any cruiser weight champ

Who is a boxer today that possesses some of the qualities that made you such a great fighter?

Andre Ward

If you had the opportunity to fight anyone past or present in any weight class, who would you choose?

Sugar Ray Robinson

Why should inner city kids start choose to box rather than play basketball and football?

Boxing is more closely related to life than any other sport. Wouldn’t say they should chose over basketball or football, but I don’t see anything wrong with trying. With boxing it teaches you in life if you get knocked down, you need to get back up

Everyone knows who you are as a boxer, but Who is Roy Jones Jr the man?

A philosophical guy that is very passionate and considerate about his actions. 

Thanks for your time. Any last comments for your fans, supporters, naysayers?

Fans: Thanks for the support you have given me throughout the years.

Supporters: thanks for being behind me, you give me the push to get up and go when days I don’t feel it.

 Naysayers: I’m sorry you feel the way you do. The ones that are concerned, thanks for your concern. The ones that are just a naysayer go do something positive in your life, so that someone can be a naysayer about you. 

Twitterview w/ International Gem

How are you today?

everything good, headed to get a fresh line for the felines

Definitely have to stay looking presentable. You are from New York, what was the upbringing like?

my upbringing was young parents (the struggle), during the crack era, public housing drama etc. a common story from the 80′s to the 90′s

Interesting. Now I dont want to take up much of your time. So Who inspired you to become an artist?

I always been into music, I started writing as a way venting and soon became my way of expressing myself

Who were some of your fav artists that you looked up to?

I wouldn’t say looked up to but the theme music for the early chapters were Nas, Kool G Rap, the Wu, MOP, Death Row

You mentioned that you started writing as a way to vent. When did you start writing?

started writing at 14 started taking it serious around 16

Where did the name international gem come from?

originally stemmed from Gem Star then a bunch of sucks ran with the name. Through International on left Gem to let them know where I’m headed.

What do you like and dislike about the rap game today?

it seem like the less talented the more shine but I respect the hustle and the level of creativity being shown right now

What do you feel like you could bring to the game?

As of 2012 I’m making music for me. I’ve said I want to help bring NY back but truth is it never left. my creativity and struggles I express are beyond the states line

What projects are you working on?

right now I’m working on my EP, reaching out to alot of producers coming up. I want this project to be me as a whole, love & war

Whats the process for you like when it comes to writing and working on an EP?

I write whenever my mood shifts. You can’t force emotion. I may be writing 5 different songs in the course of a day. if it was real when you wrote it, the feel will remain authentic to the listeners.

What are your ultimate goals?

my goal is to be in the credits. Fame only last for so long, history is what I want to be apart of.

Whats this Greenleaf Multimedia I hear about?

Green Leaf Multimedia was started some friends and I. A way for those around my way to be seen and heard. started in 09 and we’ve been growing. I’m also the editor for the company www.youtube.com/greenleafmultimediato view our work

I definitely like the idea. I was able to check out the one titled “Food” sampling the “Scarface theme”.

yeah. That was some work we did for an upcoming artist as well, creative dude s/o to Octane

You should definitely keep up the side projects along with your music. Versatility is unique.

definitely is. I also producer as well. Like I said I’m trying to be in the credits all across the board.

With at comes the end of this Twitterview. Any last words/shoutouts/pitches for my readers, people around the globe?

s/o to y’all for having me, @CeceVance @GreenLeafMM #KHM, the fans, GB an the struggle

Thanks for taking the time, good music, versatile, bright future, people need to be on the lookout.

I appreciate that #love

Twitterview w/ Maciel Cruz

I had the pleasure of Twitterviewing a fellow university student with a bright future.

How are you today?

Lol great hun… Just finished having brunch with the girls :)

Great! You’re from New York. Share with us a little about your upbringing.

Yep :) Born in D.R .. Raised in Queens, NY. I love where I come from; & absolutely Love where I was raised.

What’s the best aspect about being from New York?

Theres a lot of aspects. I would have to say the opportunities that arise. Also,living in NY forces you to be independent.

Speaking of independent, you’re definitely doing your share. You’ve been in some videos. Talk a little about that.

Had the opportunity to be in a couple of videos; met different people. Great experience. A couple of projects coming up as well.

Outside of doing big things with music videos and photo shoots, what do you do in your free time?

I LOVE spending time with my family & friends. They are who keep me Sane. I also work & go to school. My schedule is crazy lol

What do you study in school and what do you hope to do once you get a degree?

Paralegal Studies… Hoping to get my Masters in English Studies… Write a book… Countless things. I love to be challenged.

How long have you been modeling?

About 2 1/2 years or so… Really got more involved the past year… A lot of opportunities have come up that I’m grateful for.

What drew you to modeling? How do you feel personally about yourself and your accomplishments?

Ppl gave always told me growing up I should get into it. Never really thought about it till I got to college :) & I love it.

So far the experience is amazing; I’ve learned so much from the ppl I have worked with… Truly a blessing.

Who is someone you’d like to work with?

Shakira or Beyoncè!! Both Amazing performers!! :)

What’s the one thing you feel is your best feature?

My facial features lol people say I’m exotic looking. They compliment the personality as well. Personality is the most important

Where do you see yourself a few years from now?

I like to live in the moment. Haven’t thought that far ahead. Enjoying this moment to the fullest.

That was my final question, is there anything you’d like to say to your supporters/followers/ my readers? 

Thank everyone for their love & support!! <3 & thank you for the interview :)

Thank you for your time. I wish you the best in your future. Good luck in school!

Thanks love!! XoXX likewise.

Check out more about Maci