All photos courtesy of:


Bringing back the funk…”Raise The Bar…the Title Track from Chris Jasper’s 17th solo album “Raise The Bar” available on CD and Vinyl at (Free Domestic Shipping). Also available at iTunes, Amazon and More!

If you are familiar with THE ISLEY BROTHERS, then you know Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, CHRIS JASPER, an integral member of THE ISLEY BROTHERS during the 1970s and 1980s—their gold and platinum years—from the 3+3 (1973) to Between the Sheets (1983) albums. These were the years when THE ISLEY BROTHERS were a self-produced, self-contained group.

If you are familiar with THE ISLEY BROTHERS, then you have heard the music of CHRIS JASPER, who was primarily responsible for writing, arranging and producing all of THE ISLEY BROTHERS music during this time, including such beautiful love songs as “For The Love of You” and “Between the Sheets” and uptempo funk such as “Fight the Power.” His arrangements and instrumentation as a classically-trained musician, and his expertise on the keyboards and synthesizers, are the foundation of the legendary “Isley Brothers Sound.” When the six members of THE ISLEY BROTHERS disbanded (1984), Marvin and Ernie Isley joined CHRIS JASPER and formed ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY. Without this crucial musical component, THE ISLEY BROTHERS were no longer a self-produced, self-contained group.

When ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY disbanded (1987), CHRIS JASPER brought his “unique sound” to his own solo projects, topping the charts with “SuperBad,” a song promoting the value of education. CHRIS JASPER has continued to write songs and produce his own R&B and Gospel music, as well as other artists, for his independent record label, Gold City Records.

CHRIS JASPER’s music has been covered and sampled by hundreds of new and established recording artists, including Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Fantasia, Will Smith, Aaliyah, Queen Latifah, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Natalie Cole, Jaheim, Kendrick Lamar, and the list goes on and on. His music has also been used in many movie and television soundtracks.

In 1992, CHRIS JASPER, along with the other members of THE ISLEY BROTHERS, was inducted into the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME and in 2014, received a GRAMMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. In 2015, CHRIS JASPER received the German Record Critics Lifetime Achievement Award (“Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”). In 2016, Chris was awarded the National R&B
Society Lifetime Achievement Award.


In 1987, Isley-Jasper-Isley disbanded and Chris embarked on a solo career. Chris formed his record label, Gold City Records, and released two albums as a CBS-associated label. His debut single, “Superbad” reached #1 on the R&B charts.

Eventually, Marvin and Ernie returned to record under the Isley Brothers group name, and Chris continued his solo career, releasing a total of 14 solo albums to date, including 4 urban contemporary gospel CDs.

Chris has also produced a number of artists for his Gold City label, and has worked with such notable artists as Chaka Khan, writing and producing a song for her CK album (“Make It Last”). Chris’s music has been covered and sampled by numerous new and established recording artists, including Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Fantasia, Will Smith, Alliyah, Queen Latifah, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Natalie Cole, Jaheim, Kendrick Lamar, and the list goes on and on.

Chris works closely with his youngest son, Michael Jasper, who released his debut album “Addictive” on the Gold City label at the age of 16 in 2010. “Addictive” was written and recorded by Michael, and co-produced by Chris. Michael, now an attorney, writer and entrepreneur, continues to produce music and heads the EDM/Hip Hop Division of Gold City Records. Chris and Michael collaborate as music producers to create tracks for Film, TV, and other platforms, under Gold City Music.

Chris has received numerous gold and platinum albums and music industry awards, including the BET lifetime achievement award. In 1992, Chris, along with the other members of The Isley Brothers, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in 2014 received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, Chris received the German Record Critics Lifetime Achievement Award (“Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”). In 2016, Chris received the National R&B Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chris and his wife of 36 years, Margie, live in New York.

Bringing back the funk…”Raise The Bar…the Title Track from Chris Jasper’s 17th solo album “Raise The Bar” available on CD and Vinyl at (Free Domestic Shipping). Also available at iTunes, Amazon and More!

You can listen to the title track “RAISE THE BARHERE

You can listen to the HOT NEW SINGLE  “HEY LOVEHERE



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.



The Legendary London DJ, Dancer and Club Culture Icon …

Sunday, 25th September, 2022
3pm – 11pm
At Egg LDN

Featuring Sean McCabe, Kid Batchelor, Jeffrey Hinton, Bobby & Steve Zoo, Neil Pierce, Roy The Roach, Rap Saunders, Rhythm Doctor, DJ Soulprovyder

**LIve Artists: Marcus Begg – Vannessa Freeman and Shola Phillips ‘Feel The Vibe’ – Astro Trax Team **

Good Groove Loft: Dez Parkes, Marcia Carr, Ronnie Herel, Roy The Roach, Femi Fem, Gordon Mac (Mi-Soul) Fat Freddie M ++

This special event brings together the cream of London’s Soul, Funk and House music DJs to celebrate Paul ’Trouble’ Anderson’s life and to raise funds for a large permanent mural of Paul, a permanent memorial bench in Paul’s name, and to donate money to Macmillan cancer support.

Celebrating the heavenly birthday of London club scenes legend DJ Paul “Trouble” Anderson an Allstar line up of friends and clubland’s finest come together for one of September’s optimum feel good essential daytime events.

Boogie any way ya wanna across 2 floors and a roof terrace as over 25 DJs work the House room mixing up current sounds with some killer classics. Or head into the Good Groove Loft laying on all styles of classic funk, soul and disco sounds.

This memorial art and music project is in honour of Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson who lost his 7 year battle with cancer at the end of 2018, as well as raising funds for Macmillan cancer support. All the DJs and artists are performing for free in support of this memorial to one of London’s most famous club superstars whose career spanned four decades, and one who could genuinely claim to have been at the forefront of most of the significant shifts in UK club culture.

From the youth clubs and soul scene of the seventies right through to the global dance music festivals of today, Anderson was there at every turn. Clubs, roller discos, sound systems, warehouse parties, orbital raves, super clubs, Anderson did them all and usually first.

Indeed, this knack for being where the action remained with him until the end. Fittingly, one of Paul’s last DJ residencies was at Peckham’s Bussey Building, where over the five years he played there, the south-east London district rose from backwater to cultural and nightlife hotspot: with yet another generation young London club-goers falling under his spell in the process.

His legendary club residences included Crackers, the Electric Ballroom, Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson’s Loft Club and Bump N’ Hustle at the Bussey Building as well as guest performances everywhere from Ministry of Sound to the Sunrise and Clockwork Orange raves, Deep Into Soul at PoW Brixton, the Southport Weekender Festival and 51st State Festival.

Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson also hosted the Saturday night prime time dance show on Kiss FM for 9 years in its heyday and tapes of his legendary mix shows are still being collected and swap hands for good money. Paul is also heralded for helping break the careers of legendary singers such as Barbara Tucker, Jocelyn Brown, Ultra Nate, Byron Stingily (‘Get Up Everybody’ was a Loft classic), Rosie Gaines (‘Closer Than Close’) and Michael Watford.

This event is supported by Soho Radio, Mi-Soul Radio, Rinse FM, House FM, Faith Magazine and Time Out.



Date: Sunday September 25th 2022

At: Egg LDN, 5 Vale Royal, Kings Cross, N7 9AP

Times: 3pm-11pm

Line Up:

Advance Dance Arena: Sean McCabe, Bobby & Steve Zoo, Neil Pierce, Kid Batchelor, Jeffrey Hinton, Linden C, Rap Saunders, Stuart Patterson, Richie Fingers, Rhythm Doctor, Chrissy T, Funkie P, Mighty Funk Houser and DJ Soulprovyder. (House & Disco)

Live P.A.s

Marcus Begg

Vannessa Freeman

Shola Phillips ‘Feel The Vibe’ – Astro Trax Team

Good Groove Loft: Soul/Funk/Disco)

DJs Micky D, Dez Parkes, Stafford Black Market, Gordon Mac (Mi-Soul), Roy The Roach, Marcia Carr, Fat Freddie M, Paul Murphy, Ronnie Herel, Femi Fem and Terry Jones

Plus Master of Ceremonies: MC Micro

Tickets: £15 in Advance from Skiddle:

£20 on the door.




Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

All photos credit: Liz Lauren




Yesterday, Monday, September 19, 2022, The National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) granted me access to attend the incredible stage play “Clyde’s.”  At this performance, the principal role of Clyde, usually played by De’Andre Aziza, who is currently out (non-Covid-related), was EXCELLENTLY played by Danielle Davis. She has been standing in as Ms. Aziza’s understudy for the last five performances, and will continue playing Clyde until the principal fully recovers. From Director Kate Whoriskey: “While we were met with the challenge of having to make the show without our principal actor, we want to celebrate the work of our understudy.”


(Chicago, IL) Celebrated creative collaborators over two decades, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage and director Kate Whoriskey return to Goodman Theatre with their latest Broadway production, Clyde’s, launching the Goodman’s 2022/2023 Season. The cast of the Chicago premiere features Tony Award-nominated actress De’Adre Aziza as the hot-tempered Clyde, whose eponymous truck stop café’s kitchen staff of formerly incarcerated people—Kevin Kenerly (Montrellous), Reza Salazar (Rafael), Nedra Snipes (Letitia) and Garrett Young (Jason)—dreams of creating the perfect sandwich. Clyde’s appears September 10 – October 9 in the 856-seat Albert Theatre; opening night is Monday, September 19. Tickets ($25 –$80, subject to change) are now available at or by phone at 312-443-3800. The Goodman is grateful for the support of JP Morgan Chase & Co. (Lead Corporate Sponsor) and Winston & Strawn LLP (Corporate Sponsor Partner). Clyde’s is a co-production with Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, where it will appear November 15 – December 18, 2022.

“I am beyond thrilled to be returning to the Goodman Theatre, which has been so instrumental in nurturing me a theater artist,” said playwright Lynn Nottage, whose works at the Goodman include Sweat (2019), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2013), Ruined (her Pulitzer Prize-winning world-premiere Goodman commission and co-production with Manhattan Theatre Club, 2008) and Crumbs from the Table of Joy (2006). “I can’t wait to share Clyde’s with the Chicago community, and with audiences in Los Angeles at Center Theatre Group later this fall.”

Director Kate Whoriskey, whose world-premiere collaborations with Ms. Nottage include Sweat (2015), Ruined (at the Goodman, 2008), Fabulation or The Re-Education of Undine (2004) and Intimate Apparel (2003) said, “I’m thrilled to work with Tony Award nominee De’Adre Aziza, Nedra Snipes and Garrett Young—as well as to continue developing this play with our original collaborators Reza Salazar and Kevin Kenerly.”

Chicago audiences are first to experience Clyde’s following its Broadway run, where it earned five Tony Award nominations and was critically hailed as a “delightful new play” (New York Times) with “feisty comedy on the menu” (Washington Post), a “winning recipe” (Deadline) with “brilliant writing” (Daily Beast), and a “flavor-bomb of a new comedy about survival, second chances and digesting whatever life serves up” (Variety).

“It’s enormously exciting to welcome audiences to our new season with a sensational new work from one of the Goodman’s most-produced playwrights,” said Robert Falls. “We’re also thrilled to welcome back Lynn’s longtime artistic partner, director Kate Whoriskey, and to collaborate with our friends at Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group to extend the life of this wonderful production.”

Added Center Theatre Group Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman, “Clyde’s was a highlight of last year’s Broadway season, and our partnership with Goodman Theatre allows us to bring this outstanding production to Los Angeles. Clyde’s will be the second time we have produced Lynn’s work in Los Angeles, and we are thrilled to bring this bold, engaging, and entertaining play to our audiences for its West Coast premiere.”

Understudies for this production include Danielle Davis (Clyde), Lewon Johns (Montrellous), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Letitia), Arik Vega (Rafael) and Gage Wallace (Jason). The creative team includes Takeshi Kata (Set Design); Jennifer Moeller (Costume Design); Christopher Akerlind (Lighting Design); Justin Ellington (Sound Design); and Justin Hicks (Composition). Casting is by Lauren Port, CSA and Rachael Jimenez, CSA, and Nikki Blue is the Production Stage Manager.

A playwright and a screenwriter, Lynn Nottage is the first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Chicago credits include Ruined (Goodman Theatre); Sweat (Goodman Theatre); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Goodman Theatre); Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Goodman Theatre; Steppenwolf) and Intimate Apparel (Steppenwolf). Broadway credits include her plays Clyde’s (2ST) and Sweat, and the libretto for the musical MJ. Other work includes the libretto for the opera Intimate Apparel (Lincoln Center Theater); co-curating the performance installation The Watering Hole (Signature Theater); the libretto for the musical adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees; as well as her plays Mlima’s Tale; Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers and POOF!. She has also developed This is Reading, a performance installation in Reading, Pennsylvania. Ms. Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, among other awards, is an associate professor at Columbia University School of the Arts and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Kate Whoriskey is a New York-based theater and opera director. On Broadway, she has directed Clyde’s, Sweat and The Miracle Worker. Off-Broadway credits include All the Natalie Portmans at MCC; Sweat, Manhatta and Ping Pong at The Public; Aubergine, Inked Baby and Fabulation at Playwrights Horizons; Her Requiem at Lincoln Center; How I Learned to Drive and Cardinal at Second Stage; Oroonoko at Theatre for a New Audience; and Ruined and Tales from Red Vienna at Manhattan Theatre Club. Regionally, she has worked at the Goodman, A.R.T, the Guthrie, the Huntington, the Geffen, South Coast Rep, Sundance Theatre Lab, New York Stage and Film among others. Internationally, her work has been seen at the Chatelet in Paris and Theatro Municipal Opera in Rio de Janeiro and Carriage Works in Sydney. She also directed Turn of the Screw at Mannis. Teaching experience includes Princeton, NYU and UC Davis. She was recently awarded Best Director from the Drama League for her production of Clyde’s.


Clyde……………………De’Adre Aziza
Montrellous…………Kevin Kenerly
Rafael…………………Reza Salazar
Letitia……………….. Nedra Snipes
Jason………………..Garrett Young

Understudies for this production include Danielle Davis (Clyde), Lewon Johns (Montrellous), Maya Vinice Prentiss (Letitia), Arik Vega (Rafael) and Gage Wallace (Jason).

Set Design by Takeshi Kata
Costume Design by Jennifer Moeller
Lighting Design by Christopher Akerlind
Sound Design by Justin Ellington
Composition by Justin Hicks
Casting is by Lauren Port, CSA and Rachael Jimenez, CSA. Nikki Blue is the Production Stage Manager.
Visit for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.

Touch Tour and Audio-Described Performance: Saturday, October 8, 12:30pm Touch Tour; 2pm performance – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset. NOTE: Touch Tours for the 2022/2023 Season will not have access to the stage due to current health and safety protocols, but will feature alternate pre-show sensory introductions.

ASL-Interpreted: Friday, October 7 at 8pm – An American Sign Language interpreter signs the action/text as played.

Spanish Subtitles: Saturday October 8 at 8pm.

Open-Captioned: Sunday, October 9 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.

Please note: Our current Health and Safety Protocols require masks while in the theater. These protocols are subject to change and patrons will be notified in advance of their performance of any shift in our policies. Review our current policy at


Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, and in collaboration with the five Associate Artistic Directors, Luis Alfaro, Lindsay Allbaugh, Tyrone Davis, Neel Keller, Kelley Kirkpatrick, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1,600 to 2,100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics, and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement. The theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earner two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.

Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.

As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society.

Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation on the new Goodman center in 2000.

Today, Goodman Theatre is led by Artistic Director Robert Falls (Susan Booth will assume that role this fall) and Executive Director Roche Schulfer. Theater leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Dael Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Craig McCaw is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.


Pierre Andre’ Evans​
Freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and In addition, he’s an Author, Singer/Songwriter, Actor, Model, Poet, Dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo credit:   Lyle Owerko & Associated Press photographer Richard Drew



Today is the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on America.  The September 11, 2001 attacks, commonly known as 9/11, were four coordinated suicide terrorist attacks carried out by the militant Islamic extremist network al-Qaeda against the United States.

Video link:


The Falling Man refers to a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew, depicting a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 a.m. during the September 11 attacks in New York City.

The subject of the image – whose identity remains uncertain, although attempts have been made to identify him – was one of the people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who apparently chose to jump rather than die from the fire and smoke.

As many as 200 people jumped to their deaths that day; there was no time to recover or identify those who were forced to jump prior to the collapse of the towers.

Officially, all deaths in the attacks except those of the hijackers were ruled to be homicides (as opposed to suicides), and the New York City medical examiner’s office stated that it does not classify the people who fell to their deaths on September 11 as “jumpers”: “A ‘jumper’ is somebody who goes to the office in the morning knowing that they will commit suicide… These people were forced out by the smoke and flames or blown out.”

9/11: The Falling Man is a 2006 documentary film about the picture and the story behind it. It was made by American filmmaker Henry Singer and filmed by Richard Numeroff, a New York-based director of photography. The film is loosely based on Junod’s Esquire story. It also drew its material from photographer Lyle Owerko’s pictures of falling people.

Photo courtesy of: Facebook frames

Video link:



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Photo courtesy of: PBS.ORG

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died Thursday, September 8. She was 96 years old.

Queen Elizabeth II’s life was full of notable achievements, even before she became the Queen. During World War II (which ended when she was 19) Queen Elizabeth — princess Elizabeth at the time — didn’t sail to Canada as advised. Instead, she stayed in England and joined the army.

Click here to go to PBS.ORG for more coverage

Photo courtesy of: OBAMA.ORG


Hi Pierre,

Today, Michelle and I returned to the White House together for the first time since leaving office, to join President and Dr. Biden in unveiling our official portraits.

These portraits have a special significance, because they will hang in the White House alongside portraits of other presidents and first ladies dating back to George and Martha Washington. So it was important to find the right people to paint them.

I’m so pleased with the work that Sharon Sprung did to capture everything I love about Michelle, while Robert McCurdy took on a more difficult subject and did a fantastic job with mine.

Learn more about their work. (Click here)

Presidents often get airbrushed, even take on a mythical status—especially after you’re gone and people forget all the stuff they didn’t like about you. But what you realize sitting behind that desk, and what I want people to remember about Michelle and me, is that presidents and first ladies are human beings, just like everyone else.

I’ve always described the presidency as a relay race. You take the baton from someone, run your leg as hard as you can, then hand it off to someone else. The portraits hanging in the White House chronicle the runners in that race—each of us tasked with trying to bring the country we love closer to its highest aspirations.

When future generations walk through the White House and look at these portraits, I hope they get a better, honest sense of who Michelle and I were. And I hope they leave with a deeper understanding that if we could make it here, they can do remarkable things too.


Photo courtesy of:  Pirooz Moshavash


Julian Demond Thomas (born November 5, 1993), known professionally as Julian Keyz, is an American recording artist, musician, record producer, disc jockey (DJ), singer/songwriter, actor, dancer, author, philanthropist, and entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, he became involved in the local music scene at the age of 10. He became a 3x Amateur Night winner at the world-famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, Manhattan, New York by age 12. Simultaneously, he became one of the original Chicago BullKidz dancers for the Chicago Bulls for three seasons. Shortly after, he established an acting and modeling career by booking commercials and commercial prints for McDonalds, Coca-Cola Minute Maid, MTV, Disney, Nickelodeon, Burlington Coat Factory, Value City and others.

In 2012, Julian established his independent record company and brand under the name VIBES By InNo or simply InNo. The company serves his business interest with subsidiaries that include a music academy and a music marketing agency.

On March 9, 2020, Julian released his debut independent album InNo State of Mind to favorable reviews.

Apart from music, in May 2019 Julian graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing.

EARLY LIFE (1993-2003)

Julian Keyz was born Julian Demond Thomas on November 5, 1993 at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago, IL, to Dana Brown, a family law and entertainment attorney, and Willie Thomas.

Growing up, Julian experienced bullying due to his speech impediment, which caused slurs in his speech, and him being overweight. He and his siblings also witnessed domestic violence at home. This led to troubled behavior and poor grades in school. His punishment for his behavior was writing essays and giving presentations to his mother. From this, he developed a love for writing and expression. He states his biggest inspiration at the time was Tupac Shakur for his passion and diversity in subject matter.

To build confidence and a sense of identity, his mother Dana enrolled him into numerous extracurricular activities to keep him busy and focused. He joined local sports organizations, the Barbizon Modeling and Acting school, took dance lessons and began piano lessons at age eight.

With music, he thrived. He trained classically, then transitioned into Jazz Contemporary. He eventually switched schools and met his mentor Alan Franklin, owner of Muzicnet School of Music in Chicago. After years of training and building a local reputation, he began to receive offers for local performances and competitions.

EARLY CAREER (2003-2011)

Julian won numerous local music competitions and was eventually dubbed “A Real Showman” from local media outlets for his performances. During this time, he was selected to become a BullKidz dancer for the Chicago Bulls organization for three seasons. His modeling and acting career began to prosper as well with multiple national commercial and commercial print bookings with companies such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola Minute Maid, Burlington Coat Factory and more. During this time, Julian also learned new skills with recording and production. He worked with known Chicago DJ’s such as Lamar “Hula” Mahone from the Outhere Brothers for his first record.

Julian’s major breakthrough came when a talent coordinator, Jane Jackson Harley, discovered him and asked for him to audition for the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, Manhattan, New York. He was accepted and became a 3x Apollo Amateur Night Winner at the World-Famous Apollo Theatre by age 12.

From the Apollo stage, Julian received press recognition and national performance opportunities. These performance opportunities ranged from; Voter Rallies in Chicago, IL for then Senator Barack Obama, The Chabad Telethon with the Ray Chew’s Boys Choir, opening act opportunities for recording artist Stevie Wonder, Fred Hammond, Ginuwine, and private dinner events with celebrities such as the Kardashians, politicians such as Jessie Jackson Jr. and many more.

In 2008, Julian’s focus shifted to becoming a full-time recording artist. He began to work with industry music managers and started pursuing a record deal. During this time, he developed his production and engineering skills by working with numerous local artists. He signed to SESAC in 2010 as a songwriter. He also worked behind the scenes with emerging artists. He was cameoed in the Mindless Behavior “My Girl” Remix music video featuring Tyga and Ciara in 2011.

Julian dropped out of high school his junior year. With little success of securing a record deal, he decided to go independent and move to Los Angeles, CA full-time to pursue his entertainment and business career in 2011. Upon his arrival, he secured more performance opportunities along with acting bookings with companies such as Nickelodeon, Disney, MTV and more.

CAREER (2012-Current)

In 2012, Julian established his independent record company and brand under the name VIBES By InNo or simply InNo. The company serves his business interests with subsidiaries that include a music academy and a music marketing agency. He continued to expand his company and release projects independently under the company as well as produce music shows. Simultaneously, he developed his marketing skills which led him to securing contacts with businesses in the Los Angeles greater area. He also expanded his music academy, an on-demand in-home music lesson service, from two students to over 100 in 12 months.

Julian secured his GED to start junior college at Pierce College Los Angeles in 2012. During his first year of college, he took his remaining high school classes at West Valley Occupational School to receive his high school diploma in 2013. He acquired his Associates Degree in Business Administration with a transfer to California State University, Northridge in 2017. He graduated CSUN in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.

During college, Julian continued to work behind the scenes. In 2013, he interned for super producer Harmony Samuels’ studio in North Hollywood, CA. In 2017, Julian interned at Interscope Records in Santa Monica, CA in the digital marketing department. At Interscope, he worked on digital projects for recording artists Ella Mai, JID, Lady Gaga, Jaden Smith, Billie Ellish and more.

Upon his graduation from college in May 2019, Julian focused on expanding his company and working on a series of music projects.

He released both “InNo State of Mind” on March 6, 2022 and “SNAKESKINS: An American Hustle” on July 2, 2022 to favorable reviews.

He’s currently preparing for his upcoming new album release in November 2022. His first lead single for the project will be released in the very near future.

                                                                                        Photo Courtesy of:  Julian Keyz

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You had struggles growing up like bullying, due to a speech impediment, being overweight and witnessing domestic violence. How did these events affect you then, and what effect has it had on you presently, to make you who you are today?

Julian Keyz: The challenges in my youth definitely took a toll on me at the time. However, I’ve always been a person to internalize things, so I never even gave it acknowledgement. I was also taught to be quick on your feet, so I always had a response to adversity. My mom always taught me to channel the energy into positive outlets. I was also ALWAYS busy when I was younger, so it gave me an opportunity to take my mind off things. I’m the same way until this day. I find solace in meaningful work whenever I’m stressed or pressured.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Growing up in Chicago, you were involved in so many different activities, from performing in the music scene, to dancing for the Chicago Bulls, as well as modeling and acting. I too, have experience in all those worlds and it requires tons of discipline, commitment, and persistence to be successful. Of those four fields of entertainment, which one do you like the best and why?

Julian Keyz: I would definitely say I have always been more consistent and involved in music, so I’ve fallen in love with it over the years. Music taught me about EVERYTHING in life. It does require discipline, patience, commitment, and A LOT of sacrifice to be great at anything in life. Since I was always involved with music and it took a lot of time from me, it became a great teacher and allowed me to succeed in other areas of my life. Music has also made me more appreciative and interested in other areas of the arts. So, without it, I wouldn’t have done the other activities.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Your mother Dana, has been quite a driving force in your life, personally and professionally. Please describer to our readers how you mother has been influential in your personal and professional life.

Julian Keyz: I mean she’s been everything to me. I never get enough of giving her credit. I know for sure she doesn’t mind either. Lol My mom has always been my rock, my confidence, my example, and biggest supporter. I’ve never felt any lack of support or love in either area of my life from my mom. We’ve obviously had a lot of challenges throughout the time being both mother and son and business partners, but I am her son. We’re both very independent, entrepreneurial, risk-taking, free-thinking, creative, passionate, compassionate, loyal, sacrificial and hardheaded. Lol

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You have three other brothers and all of them have their talents as well, ranging from film, medicine, and business. Please describe how you and your siblings inspire and motivate each other, and if there’s any “friendly competition” between you all.

Julian Keyz: We all grew up believing that we could do anything. I can’t necessarily speak for them, but I honestly don’t think any of us ever felt a lack of support in our endeavors. So, in the process, all of us received the opportunity to get exposed to many things and test different waters to see what fit. Since we never felt restricted, we’ve all been pretty good at anything we pursued. I would attribute that towards us receiving a lot of support. I’m very close with all my siblings and I have a special relationship with each one since we’re all VERY different. But we all grew up pretty close.

Regarding friendly competition, I’ve personally never felt like that simply because we all have different passions. Everyone’s honestly their own person and we respect each other for it.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Early in your career, you dropped out of high school during your junior year, and moved to Los Angeles, CA. to pursue your dream. Thankfully, you returned to school and earned your GED and even graduated from college in 2019. Kudos to you! How important is education to you and what advice would you give to someone that maybe thinking about following your lead and dropping out of school to pursue their dream?

Julian Keyz: This one’s pretty conflicting for me. I would always advocate for education, but I honestly don’t feel many schools are providing the information needed to survive in the current landscape of the country. We live in very different times and kids nowadays are so exposed just because they have access to the world through the internet. I think that’s what starts the contemplation of dropping out because in some cases you feel it’s useless. Being a person who did drop out and who felt the same way, I would still advocate for those in school to complete your high school experience. School itself is a great place for networking and utilizing resources to your advantage. But there’s always benefits to getting real world experience.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: In 2012, you became an entrepreneur and established your own independent record company, VIBES By InNo aka InNo. Can you tell us about your company and brand?

Julian Keyz: InNo stands for being “In NO restrictions of your creativity”. I co-founded the company with my mom to allow myself the independence I craved, regarding my entertainment career. Prior to that, many people tried boxing me in, regard the direction of my career. I’ve always been free-thinking and a bit hardheaded, but that’s ok. I’ve always put my money, time, energy, and every ounce of myself into my goals. Once I started learning business, I felt confident to pursue these goals independently without waiting for the approval of someone else. Best decision in my life thus far.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You have been consistently on the grind in the entertainment industry for the past 20 years, and you’re only 28 years old. What has kept you motivated and inspire you to keep going?

Julian Keyz: I honestly just love what I do. Feels like a fish swimming or a bird flying. I ask myself all the time when things get rough, “what else would I do?” We all have functions and purposes on this planet… this is what I’m meant for, so I just keep going and growing.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: GO BANG! Magazine just recently found out that you are a DJ. At the tender age of 14, you had your first paid DJ gig. You stepped away from the craft for years, but the fire was reignited when you moved to Vegas. I too, am a DJ since childhood, but also stepped away for years. Again, we are mirroring each other since I just recently started DJ’ing again myself. When YOU dug back into your bag from the past and revisited DJ’ing, tell us what that felt like.

                                                                   Photo courtesy of:  Bright Light Digital Art / Amanda Altman

Julian Keyz: It just felt right and you kind of ask yourself why you allowed so much time to pass without you engaging with it. Circumstances happen though and you’re just happy to be back in love again. Almost, like a part of you was missing and you found the missing piece. That’s how I feel about music in general when we separate too long. Very much like a marriage.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Please describe your DJ style (single songs, mixing/blending songs together), the type of music you play (House, Dance, Hip Hop, R&B, EDM, Techno, etc.), and what your favorite genre of music to listen to personally.

Julian Keyz: I’ve been exposed to a lot of music in my lifetime, and I have different time periods that I gravitate to different genres. Regarding DJ’ing, I play a lot of Hip Hop, R&B and Latin Music. I occasionally do House music and I love it.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Another venture that you established is The Simple Music School, which was founded in 2015, where you taught piano in music schools in LA. Why did you start that company and how did that inspire you to start your own music academy.

Julian Keyz: When I was in college, I honestly just wanted to find a way to make some money and free my time up. Teaching music afforded me that opportunity. I got the opportunity to create my own schedule, pay my bills and do what I love to do. It was the best-case scenario for a college kid. Once I saw how lucrative it was, I scaled it and it did well. Been growing the business since.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: You recently started a training course entitled Professor Keyz Piano Basics. It officially launched on September 1, 2022, but you are accepting orders now at What does the course contain, how can someone benefit from purchasing your training program, and what is the cost?

Julian Keyz: The course highlights simple ways of understanding the basics of sight reading, composition, and music theory. It’s beneficial because it’s very simple to understand. Sometimes musician’s like to over complicate the process of music. It’s not simple by any means and it does take time to become good, but the concepts themselves are very simple and repetitive. Sometimes we can complicate the process to the point you intimidate a potential beginner. The goal should be making it concise and simple. I hate overcomplicating things.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Now let’s get back your NEW music. When are you dropping new music and when will your first single come out? Can you give our readers some exclusive information on your upcoming music drop, like what to expect, when it dropping, what’s the first single and when will that drop?

Julian Keyz: I’ve worked on so much music this past year. The only thing I’ll say is new music will be dropping in September and you’ll get a consistent flow of material to close out this year. It’ll definitely be an experience. Stay tuned!

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Now that COVID has somewhat subsided, the world has reopened. Do you plan on getting back on the road for touring and if so, when and what’s the tour schedule?

Julian Keyz: I plan on hitting the road top of 2023. The goal is to be touring the entire year. We’ll start domestically.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: In conclusion, is there anything that you’d like to say to our worldwide, international readers AND YOUR FANS?

                                                                                          Photo courtesy of :  Julian Keyz

Julian Keyz: I would just like to say thank you for getting this far into the interview and thank you for the support. Love y’all and many blessings to you and your endeavors in life. Let’s win big.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: Thank you for granting GO BANG! Magazine this interview and we wish you continued success. You’ve officially been BANGED!!! Now…GO BANG!

Julian Keyz: Thank you all, I appreciate you.


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Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

All photos courtesy of:  Emanuel Love

Dee Jay Alicia (DJA), a Chicago native, developed a love for music at a young age. Her musical beginnings were rooted in Soul, Steppers, and R&B. She began her DJ career in 1996 under the guidance of her mentor and then husband DJ Raphael. When she was properly prepared musically and technically, she became a member of the DJ group C-7 sounds.

Her first residency was a weekly Steppers’ set at Mr. G’s Supper Club. She enjoyed a successful 16 year stretch as a mobile Jock and Stepper’s DJ which included appearances on the weekly TV show “Stepping at Club 7” hosted by the Legendary DJ and radio host Herb Kent.

After a short hiatus in 2010, she made the decision to dive back into music and the world of DJ’ing. After a year spent familiarizing herself with the new DJ technology and musical landscape, the focus became the genre of House music. She began frequenting House exclusive parties and getting a feel for the very vibrant Chicago House scene. The first brick of building in a community where she was “unknown” was to gain a residency to perfect and showcase her talent. She did so, with a weekly night at a local southside bar.

Since that pivotal decision, her journey in House music thus far has included many events at bars, clubs, and picnics throughout Chicago, Detroit, L.A., Austin, and Houston. Also, there have been many phenomenal moments which include larger events at Millennium Park, the Silver Room Block Party, Navy Pier, the Shedd Aquarium, Randolph Street Fair, Charivari Detroit, Chicago Summer Dance, and two guest appearances at Chicago’s House music crown jewel, the Chosen Few DJs Picnic.

DJA is, and has been, a member of many groups such as Midnyte Productions, Black Onyx, the Triad, and Ascension. She has hosted internet radio shows and been heard as a guest on the airwaves of Philly Nites Radio, NYC Radio, NTS Radio, and House in the Midsouth. She holds DJ residencies for several groups and organizations which include CODE RED, Devo Entertainment, the Sisterhood Picnic, House Stock, and Heaven Has A Heart. Currently, DJA can be seen every Wednesday on Twitch TV on her show Studio Sessions with Hostess Lady Alicia and Moderators G Whip and Red Diva at

In 2018, Alicia founded a non-for-profit Legacy Arts Center for Education (LACE) with the mission to provide arts and educational programs to support and motivate the youth. LACE includes programs that foster positive, forward-thinking that guides our future leaders towards a successful future.

What began as a weekly internet radio show, evolved into a collective of some of the most talented DJs in the Chicagoland Area…the VORTEX DJs. In 2021, the VORTEX DJs hosted their first annual picnic.

GO BANG! Magazine: When you started DJ’ing, you were trained by your then husband, DJ Raphael. What was it about DJ’ing that attracted you to it?

Dee Jay Alicia: The music. I’ve always LOVED and been surrounded by music. Music played in my aunt’s kitchen daily while I was growing up. An eclectic mix of music (Rock, Soul, and R&B) was played at the skating rink on Saturdays. I rushed home as a teen to watch MV60… no commercials ALL MUSIC. Not to mention mixes on BMX and KKC. Every memory I have can be tied to a specific song, genre, or artist.

GO BANG! Magazine: At this time, you were spinning Stepper’s songs. What was it like to spin at Mr. G’s Supper Club and on “Stepping at Club 7”, and how were you received as a female DJ in a male dominated field?

Dee Jay Alicia: Spinning at Mr. G’s was bananas. The DJ booth was double sided with events going on simultaneously on both sides. At that time, Raphael and I shared our crates of wax. Two events going on simultaneously was tough in terms of sound and timing of record play. We eventually acquired double copies of popular songs and expanded to our own individual crates.

Stepping at Club 7 was stressful. The tapings were LIVE on set, so mistakes were frowned upon, and do-overs were not possible. The Producer was a no-nonsense woman and wanted perfection from the DJs and the dancers. I was about 3 months into my DJ career so needless to say I was scared to death. Calming words from my mentors Steve Breeze and Terrible Ted calmed me enough to perform.

Raphael and I had begun “blending” steppers music at parties. He convinced me to try a blend on the show. I mustered up the courage to do it and although it wasn’t perfect… I did it! After which, he proclaimed me to be the first to blend steppers on national tv. LOL!!!!!

As far as being a female DJ, I had two strikes against me. I was much younger than the crowd and I am female. They looked at me and automatically assumed I was uneducated on the music and was not skilled at the craft. As I did then, and still do today, I had to prove myself.

GO BANG! Magazine: Are there any DJs that came before you that were an inspiration to you and helped to motivate you to pursue a career as a DJ?

Dee Jay Alicia: That list would go on to infinity. There are DJs both on the Stepper’s side and the House side that both inspire and motivate.

Steppers and mobile DJs would include: DJ Porter, Eric “ET” Taylor, Stevo, Phil, Lonnie, Steve Brewer, and Freddie Mack (RIP), DJ Reese, Terrible Ted, Sam Chatman, Woody McNeal, and of course DJ Raphael to name a few.

House Music DJs include: Black Coffee, Louie Vega, David Morales, Beloved, Selecta, Joe Claussel.

More closely related are: Terry Hunter, Mike Dunn, Jamie 3:26, Wayne Williams, DJ Boxx, Lori Branch, Lady D, Jevon Jackson, Mickey Calvin, Steve Maestro, DJ Lil John, Taz, Derek Smokin’ Jones, and the list could go on forever.

GO BANG! Magazine: You took time off as a DJ, and when you returned in 2010, you switched genres from Stepper’s music to House music. Why did you make the switch?

Dee Jay Alicia: Prior to the break, I was a Stepper’s DJ and mobile jock. In Chicago, as a mobile jock, there is ALWAYS a House component to most events.

After the break, I returned as a multi-genre DJ playing events around Chicago. I began going out and observing different DJs, their technique, and style of play. It was at this time I became aware of underground parties and venues that were previously unknown to me. While visiting one of the underground venues, I had the opportunity to hear Jamie 3:26. This was the moment I KNEW that I wanted to spin House music EXCLUSIVELY and moreover I wanted to play at underground venues. I was encapsulated by the mix of music, the dark fog filled room, and shrieks of musical ecstasy from the dancers. THIS was what I wanted to do!

GO BANG! Magazine: It’s been 12 years since your return, and you have come back with a vengeance. You have performed at various locations throughout the US, including the Chosen Few DJs Picnic. Please describe to our readers what it was like, in just over 10 years, to go from a “brand-new House DJ” to performing at one of the world’s largest outdoor House music festivals.

Dee Jay Alicia: Unbeknownst to me at the time, with my eager to play music for people ideals, the Chicago House community was a tight knit family that didn’t take to newcomers so easily. They had a history of friendship that span back to their teenage years and the inception and development of House music.

Since I had not been a part of that scene, I had my work cut out for me. On a what seemed like a daily basis, naysayers were sounding off on social media and in House music groups. It was hard to ignore being “drug” on social media BUT my love for music was stronger than the chatter! It was said that I was too old, I wasn’t good enough and I would never play with the likes of Mike Dunn and Terry Hunter.

Being no stranger to starting from the beginning and having already been through trial-by-fire with the Steppers, I began a residency at a local lounge with a few friends. Thus, my House music journey began.

GO BANG! Magazine: Currently, you have a weekly show on Twitch called Studio Sessions. Please describe your show to our worldwide readers, who may not be familiar with your show.

Dee Jay Alicia: Studio Sessions has evolved overtime from its inception, which was meant to be a multi-genre jam session playing wax pulled from my collection over green tea, to an all-House format broadcast on another Twitch platform, to its current format on my Twitch channel, which includes Lady Alicia, the on-screen Hostess and partying with my Squad Mods G Whip and Red Diva.

Its’ most recent evolution are live interviews with a host of guest DJs, both local and global. This change was presented by SA DJ/Producer Harrison Crump during his visit to the show. I affectionately call this segment of the show “The HOT SEAT.” The discussion is very candid, and the exchange of ideas allow for the ability to inform, educate, and create a meeting of the minds on topics usually only discussed in like-minded DJ groups, never allowing for an alternative opinion. The differences in views are discussed in friendship and help create respectful enlightenment.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a DJ, you are also a talented music producer. How would you describe your sound and how has being a DJ influenced you as a producer?

Dee Jay Alicia: I think DJ’ing and Production goes hand and hand. I’ve had opportunities to sit with and work with some of the best Producers in the industry. Watching them create has totally changed the way I DJ. Prior to production, matching intros and outros and catching breaks to blend songs was my method of DJ’ing. The aftereffects of sitting with a talented Producer, changes you musically, if you’re paying attention. My musical ear became more open, and I now listen to select instrumentation and song key. My DJ’ing and Production became more complex. Even the sound of music I’ve heard for years became different.

I believe my sound both in DJ’ing and Production is an eclectic mix on my musical influences. I do find myself leaning toward specific instruments and sounds. Afrobeats, Soulful and Classics are at the top of my list.

My first attempt at production, was to make edits to create an arsenal of music that no other DJ had. I figured this would increase the demand for me as a DJ. Which it did. As of late, I want to create songs that ALL DJs want to play… which is now the goal.

GO BANG! Magazine: You founded the non-profit Legacy Arts Center for Education (LACE) in 2018. What inspired you to do that and what do you hope to accomplish with your organization?

Dee Jay Alicia: Legacy Arts Center for Education (LACE) had been 10 years in the making. I wanted to provide kids with a safe haven where they could also be productive. I’d wished, that as a child, I was exposed to things like DJ’ing, stock investment and STEM. As an adult, my view of the world, and the array of opportunities would have been much different. I want to provide this opportunity to kids that are interested and in need of leadership and mentoring. I want to provide a place where a path to success and a can-do spirit propels them to heights that we could only imagine as kids.

Shortly, after we were up and running the pandemic hit. As with everything else we were at a standstill. Currently, I am reorganizing LACE, but in the interim I have a small group of girls, the “Kim Possibles” that I have gathered to build sisterhood and comradery. I have high hopes for them and am looking forward to the magic they create with the springboard of supporters affiliated with of LACE.

GO BANG! Magazine: You were recently a part of the annual “Queens of House” picnic presented by DJ SolKat. Why do you think that an all-woman annual picnic is necessary and how does it feel to be a part of it?

Dee Jay Alicia: The “Queens of House” is an exceptional concept and event. Bringing together the ladies in sisterhood and solidarity is necessary and important to the industry. I am pleased to have been selected as a guest six of the seven years. The support given and attendance to the event (even if it rains) shows that the House community truly supports the female DJs of Chicago and that an all-female line up can rock out comparable to our male counterparts.

GO BANG! Magazine: In the past, women DJs were more of a novelty, and not taken as serious as their male counterparts. Do you think that image is changing or has changed, and why or why not?

Dee Jay Alicia: Funny you should say that and use the word “novelty.” I was told by a very good friend of mine that “I” was a novelty and that soon the hoopla would die down. That was 10 years ago.

I’ve seen females spinning with bikini tops on and the like, but Chicago is a bit different. You must “earn it.” Whether the DJ is male or female, the listeners here are more multi-faceted and discerning. They want the music delivered in the most authentic and passionate way. They are well-versed in new and classic House music. They recognize technical proficiency. That being achieved dispels the myth of the “novelty” and reinforces the skill of the Chicago DJ.

GO BANG! Magazine: There are several DJs in the House community with mad skills. Which do you personally like, which ones would you love to DJ with, and which events would you love to spin at?

Dee Jay Alicia: This is a trick question. LOL!

I listen to and learn from ALL DJs! There is something to learn from each and every one you listen to. You can even learn from mistakes (I learn from my own mistakes as well).

I’ve actually begun creating my own events. I’ve gathered a group of DJs, the VORTEX DJs, because I love hearing and playing alongside them. The group consists of DJ Scooter B, Tony Madd, G Whip, Brett Morrison, Nicky D’Vine, Jesus Martinez, Mickey Calvin, Fiddy Millz and DJ Boxx.

I am also a member of the Ascension group. A collective of individuals who promote and DJ events throughout Chicago and abroad. The Ascension group consists of founding members Red Diva, DJ Boxx, G Whip and Toni Marie with the addition of myself, Jesus Martinez and Fiddy Millz.

Outside of that, I love playing for and with people who enjoy what I do. From backyard parties to mega arenas. Being received well, enjoyed, and being paid for what you love to do is the real flex.

Looking forward, I would love to increase my territory, and spin more internationally. Being on a bill with great DJs from around the world is fantastic, but at the end it’s all about experiences. I’m looking forward to more music and great experiences that will last a lifetime.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are an “in-demand” DJ, appearing at numerous events throughout the year. You recently had an event at Chicago’s “Summer Dance”, in downtown Chicago. Are there any other upcoming events that you’d like our readers to look out for?

Dee Jay Alicia: A few upcoming events that I am excited about are as follows:

Sept 10th: Peoria, IL with the Pit Crew DJs
Sept 15th: Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL
Oct 19th to 23rd: I’m super excited about being invited to spin with the First Lady as a member of her “Love Team” at ADE in Amsterdam.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, GO BANG! Magazine would like to thank you for this interview and is there anything that you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered?

Dee Jay Alicia: I would like to thank you for the opportunity and interest. I appreciate your consideration.

GO BANG! Magazine: It was our pleasure Alicia…. Now you’ve been BANGED!

DJA also produces music and currently has two releases co-produced with Mike Dunn feat. The Black Widow under Terry Hunter’s T’s Box record label.

She also has self-produced original singles and remixes that can be found at the
links below:

Links to more info and how you can become a mentor are below:

More info can be found at

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

All Photo Credits: Eric Williams

Born and raised in Chicago through two Belizean parents, Steve’s musical journey started at birth through osmosis. His journey marks are with vinyl, instruments, and action. His humble musical beginnings included guitar and piano lessons, as well as choirs until the Hot Mix 5 and Prince came into his life. Striving to do both, produce & DJ, he started his professional DJ career spinning in Army base clubs on and off post while serving. He also played guitar, bass, keys, and drums in many bands during his military career until he came back to Chicago.

In the fall of 1993, Steve landed a mix show jock position on Chicago’s #1 station, WGCI. By mixing smooth blends of House, Old School, Hip Hop, R&B and Reggae, Steve quickly became a household name. Since then, he has gone on to mixing for syndicated powerhouse SuperRadio, Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, doing production and remixes for Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, Joe Smooth, DJ Kool, Janet Jackson, Erick Sermon, Tyrese, George Clinton, and Faith Evans.

During this time, he continued honing his craft producing which led to the meeting of Michele and Jaman Laws (son and daughter of Ronnie Laws). The trio produced “Brio As In Rio”, a jazzy-funky grown-up dance album. Through this piece and others, he started his record label, MMP Records, through another Chicago DJ Raphael, by selling his instrumental downtempo R&B tracks on CD for local dancers. Since then, he has produced U.K. soul siren Julie Dexter’s full-length album, “New Again” on Ketch-A-Vibe Records, released the “Bop Padow” EP on Unified Records, “Happy Place” EP on House4Life Records and the Julie Dexter “Make You Dance” EP with Vic Lavender’s Sophisticado Records.

It wasn’t until he released “Tribe Deep” on Void Digital Music, it was suggested that being a label instead of a DJ/producer/remix artist would be more lucrative. As a result, “Belizian Voodoo Priest” EP was released 2012. He has gone on to make countless releases on MMP Records, Shelf Life Music, T’s Box Records (Terry Hunter), Open Bar Music (Oscar P), Catch 22 (DJ Disciple) and Miggedy Entertainment. He also is a syndicated mix show DJ through the Digimix DJs @

GO BANG! Magazine: Let’s first start, if you don’t mind, by telling our readers the origin of the name Steve Miggedy Maestro, as well as some of the other monikers you go by, including Belizian Voodoo Priest, Morttimer Snerd III, The Beat-Trayers, and Sir Sound Bender.

Steve Miggedy Maestro: I will tell you the origin of my stage name. Prior to “Miggedy”, my DJ name was G.I. Jack. I was in the Army from ’86 -’91 so because I played House, it made sense. Around ’92, I was hired by DJ Fink to spin at the LaSalle Club. He asked me what my handle was, and I knew G.I. Jack wasn’t going to fly, so I changed it to Steve Maestro on the spot. The “Miggedy” part came courtesy of Rick Party once I got on WGCI in late ’93. When he used to introduce my name on Club 107.5, he would say “Steve Miggedy-Miggedy-Miggedy-Miggedy Maestro” just to throw some flavor and it stuck.

I came up Morttimer, Belizian Voodoo Priest, Sir Soundbender and The Beat-Trayers as production aliases for two reasons:

1.) I have so many styles, people not in the know will get confused. So, I wanted to put Morttimer in the Jackie House zone, Belizian Voodoo Priest for Afro, Sir Soundbender for Tech House, and The Beat-Trayers as a combo of all four. I wanted Steve to sing more. That’s discipline I lack, but I’m working on it.

2) People tend to put you in a box. They assume because I excel in one area, that I won’t be as good in anything else. Taking a page from the book of Prince, it put a sense of mystery about who these entities are and where are they from. Some people didn’t put two and two together, until they asked. Marketing.

GO BANG! Magazine: What was your child life like, growing up in Chicago with two Belizean parents, and how has your culture been infused in you and your creativity?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: I grew up in two different worlds. Belizean in the home, African / American outside. I got made fun of because I spoke the Queen’s English. Being short and dark, I was quiet until the music came on. I was born an art child. Wasn’t into sports or nothin’, just music and art. I went after my dad’s records as a baby, scratching them with my fingers, getting my butt beat and going right back to them. My parents, uncles, aunts, and older cousins had various music from everywhere, but mostly Calypso, Reggae, Rocker’s music, Funk, Jazz and Soul/R&B/Disco. My dad taught me everything he knew about music, records, and equipment. I decided that was going to be the rest of my life.

GO BANG! Magazine: Please describe how and when you discovered that you had an interest and talent in the arts, as well as when you KNEW that you wanted to pursue music professionally.

Steve Miggedy Maestro: I knew it when I came out the chute! Music was ALL I wanted to do. I also drew a lot, doing album cover art. I remember I was five years old running tunes at my grandma’s family gatherings, and she put five dollars in my pocket and said, “Now you’re a businessman.” That stuck with me!

My parents put me in guitar lessons at seven and piano at 10. I figured out the bass and drums in high school, listening to Prince. Meanwhile, “The Hot Mix 5” came into my life and that became my obsession. Buying music and figuring out how to make my own.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are now a worldwide known producer and DJ, but you had humble beginnings. Please describe some of the pivotal points in your life, or milestones in your life, that were game changing to your life, and led up to you being who you are today.

Steve Miggedy Maestro: It’s too many moments to list. But if I could pick one, it would be when I got hired at WGCI. So, up until then, I had been blending since I was 11. I was more than ready.

I remember my guy Ron Troupe told me about a contest to be the new DJ. I had been cheated out of so many contests, I wasn’t going to enter. My co-workers (I used to work at Coconuts record store back in the day) were like “Naw boy, go do that! You cold!” (I used to sell mixtapes in the store). I remember I had a bogus pager my guy sold me and I couldn’t figure out the voicemail. I kept getting these voicemails, but I cracked it finally. It was Elroy Smith, the Program Director, asking if I wanted a job. That call changed my life and put me on the path I sought to be on.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve worked with some of the powerhouse people in radio, including Tom Joyner, the late Doug Banks and the late and legendary Herb Kent. In the music industry, you’ve provided your production and remixing skills to Steve “Silk” Hurley, Joe Smooth, Janet Jackson, George Clinton, and many other notable talents. Can you please describe to our readers, what having opportunities like that have meant to you?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: It meant I was ready for greatness. I had been DJ’ing, a musician, producer, writer and sound engineer my whole life. It was just a matter of meeting the right people at the right time. And in truth, I had been manifesting it all since I was young. If I did talk, that’s all I talked about.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a successful DJ, you are also a multi-instrumentalist and the record label owner of MMP Records. You play guitar, bass, keys, and drums. How has being a musician influenced you as a DJ and vice versa?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: It’s all the same language. But, being a producer and a DJ are two different personalities. DJs have the edge of knowing what’s going to make the floor move more than a producer. Being a musician, I know the keys and sounds and can make things happen, quicker than a DJ. Triple threat!

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe your sound and the music that you create and how would you describe your DJ’ing style?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: My sound is clean, full, and bottom-heavy…both my oth DJ’ing and production work. I like to go with acoustic sounds, but with more 2022 bass on it. It makes a difference in the speakers, with the technology they have out now.

GO BANG! Magazine: You and your wife, Lady Laronda Maestro, are a beloved couple, here in Chicago and around the world, I’m sure. Lady Laronda is well-known and admired because of several reasons, including her beauty, inside and out, her healthy transformation, and the artsy and creative makeup and decorations she adorns her face with. How did you two meet, how would you describe Lady Laronda to someone that never met her, and how do you keep the love so fresh in your relationship?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: We met during both of our club phases. But we “MET MET” December 2009 at the Smart Bar. Brother Paul Johnson (R.I.P.) had gone through his second accident, so a group of people decided to have a benefit for him there. Lady was one of the hosts. We met in the DJ booth and sparks started flying.

As far as describing her, she loves to dance, cook, host and she LOVES being with ME (LOL!)

As far as keeping it fresh, I don’t know. It just does. We understand each other’s madness and there’s no jealousy between us as we get the same amount of attention when we’re outside; both of us are secure in our entities. We also keep everyone OUT of our relationship, and we stay out of everyone else’s.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who inspires you, in business, in music and in life?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: My Creator inspires everything.

GO BANG! Magazine: Being who you are and having the legendary musical history that you have, you have remained humble, down to earth, and kind. Many in the industry, at your level, have went “Hollywood”, if you know what I mean. How have you managed to remain level-headed and why is that important to you?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: I already had the big head early. I lost two important relationships because of it, so that’s how I humbled out. As I get older, I would see “Hollywood” come back and hinder or destroy careers, so I figured I need to be cool. Plus, NOBODY likes working with an arrogant artist. The one person you treat like dirt may be connected to the person you’ve been trying to get at.

GO BANG! Magazine: Is there any artist, DJ, or musical band (living or deceased) that you would LOVE to play or work with that you haven’t thus far?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: Prince and Michael Jackson.

GO BANG! Magazine: Chicago is the Mecca of House music, as well as it’s origins. Over the years, Chicago’s southside House community has had its ups and downs, as well documented on social media. How would you describe the House community here, in comparison to other states or countries, regarding community unity, competing DJs, and radio support of House music?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: All around the world, same song. Community and DJs. That’s just how people are. The people here are big on familiar music, spots, and people. But I’m sure it’s like that everywhere that there’s neighborhoods, schools, labor, etc.

Radio support. Do we need it at this point? I remember when radio was king. Not so much when you got YouTube, satellite radio and sites like TIDAL.

I selfishly like it underground the way it is, new or old music. If there are joints that make it commercial, bravo to them, get the bag. But the euphoria of hitting a classic or a new hot joint is why us DJs do what we do.

GO BANG! Magazine: The future of House music is secure. There are new up and coming DJs out there, like Chicago’s own J Star, and mainstream recording artists are putting their hats in the ring, like Drake and Beyonce. What is your outlook on the future of House music, as a genre and as a community, what do you think of the new up and coming DJs, and lastly, what is your opinion on Drake and Beyonce’s new music, which they are categorize as House music influenced?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: I don’t know about the future because were still trying to figure the past out lol! The problem is House is a culture AND a genre. There are people who still live in the culture that have not accepted House as a genre. To them, House left Chicago and became something else. That was the spilt in the 90s (Southside vs. northside). Then there are people that have went with the new sounds and did very well around the world, but it all still falls under the House umbrella.

The future of the community depends on the individuals participating in it. That’s why the youth are getting more into it now. I love the young DJs, but I hold everyone to the same standards… selections and skillset.

Drake and Beyonce. The thing that makes this unique is social media. Your opinion can be instant and global. So, it’s interesting to see the older folks trash it or embrace it. From a music trendsetter/label point of view, it’s great for the culture because it elongates our existence.

The vibration of music needs to change because so many of our young drill stars are getting smoked in broad daylight or OD-ing. Drill is the music that is the background to those demons. There’s no joy in it. House music (the genre) was made with JOY!

So, the fact that two of the biggest stars on the planet want to even go in that direction (because they personally never said it was House), I’m all for it because it brings it into the kids’ consciousness who never had House in their whole life! It brings it into the conversation to people who don’t know what House is. Older people had complained about House not reaching the youth; welp, here ya go! The fact that the world is TALKING about House again makes me happy.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, is there anything that you are currently working on or want to tell our international reading audience to be on the lookout for?

Steve Miggedy Maestro: Every Saturday I’m on live from the studio from 11a-1p CST at

Every 4th Monday(if you’re in Chicago), I’m the resident at The Family Den, 8940 S. Stony Island in Chicago!

Check my social media because stuff is added everyday!
Tiktok: https://www.tiktok/morttimersnerdiii


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.

Billy Ray Valentine comes with this fourth release in three years, “Roseland”, a film about a village trying to raise and protect their own. “Roseland” stars Julian T. Allen, Mike Sampson, and Shanta’ Renee Smith.

The film takes you on a trip back down memory lane to a time when hanging on the block in the summertime was innocent and fun. It’s the story of a young man and his best friend on a spree of mischief and quirky run ins. When the love of his life, family and others try to steer him in the right direction, a twist of fate is where life turns. Yes, Billy Ray has done it again with this fast-paced comedy about a village coming together.

The premiere screening of ROSELAND is Sunday, August 28, 2022, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT, @ Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre, 1022 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301.


ROSELAND is due to release August 30, 2022 on ALL major streaming platforms, through Maverick Entertainment.


Mark Anthony Mathews aka Billy Ray Valentine was born in 1967 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up on the south side of the city in the Robert Taylor Homes and in the late 70s moved to the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

In 1986, he lived in the Roseland community and that’s where he got his start in the entertainment business with writing, producing and performing music as well.

In 1990, Mark went to Hollywood and appeared on the television show “A Different World” alongside Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy.

In 1999, he collaborated with the production team at M.O.B. Records and produced the “Cha Cha Slide”, an album featuring Mr. C aka Casper.

In 2009, Mark started Singles Film & Music Entertainment and began directing music videos, documentaries, television commercials, and web series.

Fast forward to 2019, Mark started producing full-length feature films, which includes “Magic” and “Lil Ceasar.” From there, he started creating more content, including “Roseland”, “The Walk of Rufus”, “A Masquerade Trapp” and now the upcoming “Theodis”, the sequel to “The Walk of Rufus.”

As of today, Mark Anthony Matthews aka Billy Ray Valentine, is still creating content and entertainment for the streaming audience around the world, with streams in excess of billions in households across the world!

His fourth release in three years, “Roseland”, is a film about a village trying to raise and protect their own. “Roseland” stars Julian T. Allen, Mike Sampson, and Shanta’ Renee Smith, and is due to release on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 on ALL major streaming platforms, through Maverick Entertainment.

The premiere screening of ROSELAND is Sunday, August 28, 2022, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT, @ Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre, 1022 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301.


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for,,,, and, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, and on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.