Dancers pictured: (female) Cortney LaFloy & (male) Pierre Andre’ Evans @ Chosen Few Picnic’s 25th Anniversary (2015) in Chicago, IL

 

Information reprinted from https://www.facebook.com/akaBA

 

Young and mature House music dancers needed for a WTTW-TV taping!!!



We are doing a re-creation of the Warehouse club in the 70’s and 80’s.

WHEN: Monday Dec 4, 2023

WHERE: Smartbar, 3730 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613

TIME: 2:30pm-8:00pm (CST)

WHAT: We need real House dancers dressed in 70’s & 80’s clothes.
Please include full name & phone #, email and headshot/picture.

Email to:
ballen@wttw.com
ballen1245@gmail.com

Pictured above: Andre Pierre “The Dancin’ Machine” aka Pierre Andre Evans

 

 

LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!!!

NOTE: 

As a sidebar, I have been informed that I, aka “ANDRE PIERRE THE DANCIN’ MACHINE”, have been selected to participate!!!!!! 

This should be fun!!

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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.

 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ISAIAH JAMAL EVANS / CALI VISUALS EXCEPT WHERE NOTED OTHERWISE – @IsaiahJamalEvans @CaliVisuals

 

 

On Sunday, August 13, 2023, Chicago native and former Soul Train Dancer Brandy Sanders brought her fabulously fun “Disco Ball” to the town where the dance began, CHICAGO! It was held at the posh South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr., from 4pm – 11pm. In the words of the late great Don Cornelius,, “You can bet that it was a stone cold gas!”

SOUTH SHORE CULTURAL CENTER

Since 2008, “Brandy’s Disco Ball” has celebrated the culture and the spirit of the 70s Disco era through music and fashion. So, this event paid tribute to the legendary entertainers of the era. Each year, the Los Angeles legendary Soul Train Dancers are the honorary guests. But this year, Brandy honored and recognize the original Soul Train Dancers from Chicago, along with many other Chicago born entertainers and celebrities.

Maurice Christian (center) and 2 other members of “The Puppets” receiving their honoree certificates.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD FAMOUS SOUL TRAIN LINE

 

 

 




 

 

It was a night of fun and an exciting evening of live entertainment, “Best Dressed” Contests, Dance Contests, Games, Raffles, Vendors, the Soul Train Scramble Board and of course, The World Famous “Soul Train Line!!”

Remj

Special featured musical guest performers were Remj (a Michael Jackson Tribute Entertainer)

 

Nu Skool Sings Old School star Mesiyah and Gospel Soul Recording Artist “Lady Leah.” Special celebrity guest and Chicago born actress Cynda Willliams, from “Mo’ Better Blues” and Oprah Winfrey’s “The Wedding” was also in attendance, donning her funky and fabulous 70’s outfit. While the distinguished special guest was the SEIU African American Caucus.

CYNDA WILLIAMS & OTHER DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

CYNDA WILLIAMS & PIERRE ANDRE’ EVANS – GO BANG! MAGAZINE FOUNDER

One of the highlights of the event was Brandy’s award presentation to the honorees, which included Chicago original Soul Train Dancers Mable Buckner, Albert Adams, The Puppets (Maurice Christian, Anthony Fairchild, Melvin Shumpert, Willie Fultz, Carlton Knight, Yolanda Cooper, Wayne Ward and the late David Crockett), Captain Sky, Poppin Chuck, Robin Roberts Mister, the late Diane Roberts Mister and Stefon Patterson.

 

POPPIN CHUCK & PIERRE ANDRE’ EVANS – GO BANG! MAGAZINE FOUNDER 

POPPIN CHUCK

ORIGINAL SOUL TRAIN DANCER ALBERT ADAMS AND HIS ORIGINAL DANCE PARTNER MABLE BUCKNER

Albert Adams performed a fantastic dance routine and The Puppets put on a spectacular dance performance as well.

THE PUPPETS & DARRELL ROBERTS

 

Photo courtesy of Darrell Roberts

Also honored were Chicago’s legendary entertainers, including Blues Singer/Songwriter Deitra Farr, entertainment veteran Lee “Mr. Lee” Kirsky, musical group, The Notations (Clifford Curry, Eric Rapier Bryant, Marzette Griffith) and lastly, the Jazz & Blues artist Legendary HolleThee Maxwell, who spoke about her time with Ike Turner and wanted to dispel the talk about Ike being a monster. She stated that he wasn’t like that with her. She also promoted her memoir book titled, “Freebase Ain’t Free.” The book describes Maxwell’s wild ride as Turner’s friend, trusted associate, and closest ally.We cannot forget to mention the special tribute to Chicago House music pioneer, the late Ron Hardy and Chicago Original Soul Train Dancer Adolfo “Shabba Doo” Quinones. The tributes ended with a special dedication to Soul Train Founder, Producer & Host Don Cornelius and Chicago Soul Train Host Clinton Ghent.

THE NOTATIONS



This event not only celebrated the Chicago Soul Train dancers, but it also celebrated 50 Years of Hip Hop with a special presentation by Chicago Hip Hop Historian Darrell “Artistic” Roberts of the Chicago Hip Hop Heritage Museum, located in Chicago at 4505 S. Indiana Avenue, 773.414.2006. We got a chance to briefly speak with “Artistic” and he is just an incredible individual filled with great spirit, personality and knowledge.

Once the presentations and performances were over, the lights were dimmed, the music was pumped and the world famous Soul Train Line was formed. Everyone in attendance jumped out of their seats and hit the dance floor. From young teenagers to seasoned seniors, they all showed off their moves while going down the Soul Train line. This lasted for hours, as the line grew longer and longer. Then, the line broke up and all of the dancers just took to the floor and jammed, packing it from wall to wall.

DARRELL ROBERTS – CHICAGO’S HIP HOP HERITAGE MUSEUM CURATOR/DOCENT/HISTORIAN

 

 


Photos courtesy of Darrell Roberts

 

Brandy Sanders says “It’s always been my dream to bring my show from LA back to Chicago. It’s going to be a full circle moment for me. Grab your bell bottoms, your platform shoes, your miniskirts and your go-go boots. It’s Gonna Be A Ball Y’all!!!”

THE PUPPETS & BRANDY SANDERS

 

Brandy promised this to be one of the most epic and historical events to ever hit Chicago….and IT WAS!!!

We leave you with the famous words of the late Don Cornelius, LOVE, PEACE & SOULLLLLLL!!!

Brandy’s Disco Ball 2022

Video courtesy of Brandy Sanders @ https://www.youtube.com/@nuskoololdschool

BRANDY SANDERS

 

Photo courtesy of Brandy Sanders/Facebook

Special shout out and thanks to Desirae L. Benson, my publicist and PR EXTRORDINAIRE   DesiraeBBB@gmail.com

 
 

Please follow photographer Isaiah Jamal Evans and Cali Visuals:

IG @_calivisuals

FB @Cali Visuals / @Isaiah Jamal Evans

LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!!!

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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 Kalonda Kay

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO surrounded by successful business owners within her family and a grandmother who shared her life in the entertainment world, Kalonda followed in her footsteps and began dance and music as early as five years old. She began dancing at Judy Best Talent Center and began singing opera at the Fox Theater’s Annual “Nutcracker” production from age 6 – 15 with the Gospel Music Workshop of America.

She has used her many talents and has been blessed with opportunities in various areas of entertainment. She began teaching dance throughout the St. Louis region as early as 19 years of age. In 2010, Kalonda earned a leading role in the historical Urban Hip-Hop musical held at the historical Black Repertory Theater based in St. Louis, MO. “Real Life” was directed and produced by Joel PE. King, founder of JPEK Theatre Group as her first acting experience. She not only had a leading role but was also cast as a lead dancer and vocalist. Kalonda continued to utilize her dance experience throughout the years by performing with many national and local recording artists.

She also received a record deal as a vocal artist with Universal Records at the age of 21. She’s currently an independent lead singer showcasing with various local bands performing at various public and private events throughout the area.

Kalonda recently dabbled more into her acting career. She worked as a lead actor alongside celebrity actor Carl Anthony Payne II for the “On the Set” Summer Film Camp in Nashville, TN and casted on the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Network for an upcoming series and a lead role for “Don’t Go There” on St. Louis Public Radio.

She’s a jack of all trades. Kalonda was also the Associate Director, Lighting Director, and Choreographer for the recent play “Meeting at the Elder’s Circle” under the direction of Joel P.E. King in August 2022, at the Grandel Theatre. In September 2022, she performed two lead monologues for Sankofa Live under the direction of writer Maya Maedell Singh at the Grandel Theatre. She has performed with national and local recording artists. Kalonda recently signed a management deal with Major Moves Music Group. She is co-owner of Under Grace Home Health, Adult Day Program, U.G. Commissary LLC, and New Avenue Inc.

GO BANG! Magazine: Well, hello there Kalonda Kay. You’re a quadruple artistic threat, being a singer, actress, dancer, and performer. What is it about the entertainment industry that attracted you to it?

Kalonda Kay: I truly believe that the industry pulled me in subconsciously. I was too young to know anything about the life of entertainment, however I knew good music when I heard it. I knew how the music made me feel when listening. I realized that it was therapeutic and that because I had a gift to sing, I wanted to share with the world the sensation I received when I listened.

GO BANG! Magazine: Your first talents blossomed in singing and dance. How was your talent discovered and when did you know that you wanted to pursue the entertainment industry professionally?

Kalonda Kay: I have always been very shy, but whenever I was put on any stage, I became a different person. I lost all shyness. My mother was the one who placed me in many events and competitions as early as six years old. At that time, I only knew I enjoyed performing and drowning myself in my talent.
Many of my teachers and community groups would sign me up to sing and/or dance for programs and various events. They must have seen something in me that I had no idea would place me where I am today.

 

GO BANG! Magazine: Soon after, at age 19, you started acting and landed the lead role, lead dancer and vocalist in “Real Life,” an urban, Hip Hop musical. What was the highlight of that fantastic opportunity and what did you learn from it?

Kalonda Kay: I had never acted a day in my life! (Lol) That experience gave me more confidence in my talents and introduced me to the brand-new talent of acting. My highlight was the “baby momma dance.” I would perform in the very beginning of the show. I was interpreting the worst nightmare in my castmate’s dream. The dance was always everyone’s favorite. The entire musical was fast paced and intense, especially since I played so many parts (actor, singer, and dancer.) “Real Life” taught me how to juggle many things at one time, to be quick on my toes, and how to multi-task when it comes to my talents.

GO BANG! Magazine: At the age of 21, you were blessed with a record deal from Universal Records. Being your first commercial record deal had to be quite an exciting time. What did you like the most from that experience and what shocked you the most about the music industry?

Kalonda Kay: Being able to walk into a label and perform for label execs and they see my talent. What a blessing!!! I enjoyed meeting and working with Static Major. What shocked me was to hear him tell me how talented and how professional he thought I was. That meant everything!! He was an amazing talent for the world to witness. Especially ME! I also traveled and enjoyed meeting so many other talented individuals. It was definitely an experience that I’m grateful for.

GO BANG! Magazine: More recently, you’re strengthened your acting chops by working alongside famed “Martin” hit tv sitcom star actor Carl Anthony Payne. Please describe that experience and what it was like working alongside a famed actor.

Kalonda Kay: Wow, Wow, Wow!!! That experience was hilarious and so fulfilling. Before filming, I studied my lines to be sure I would be ready to work with such an icon. However, the day of filming on set with him, he basically freestyled. All my studying went out the window. He pushed me to fall right in order with his goofiness. I was honored. He said I did an awesome job, especially because he was so off script. I enjoyed every minute.

GO BANG! Magazine: You currently have a hit new single “Too Soon”, produced by 3x Grammy Nominated Producer Joe “Capo” Kent. “Too Soon” is bringing back the 90’s feel in a modern way. Please describe your hit single to our readers, “The Bangers”, who may not have heard it yet?

Kalonda Kay: “Too Soon” is a vibe. It’s a song you listen to when you’re doing your weekend cleaning, riding in the car, or pretty much anywhere. The song gives you that 90’s feel, but the video gives you a more visual vibe of the song. I love it and it feels good.

GO BANG! Magazine: What other new music or projects are you working on that our readers should be on the lookout for?

Kalonda Kay: I’m planning to release my next single in June 2023! It’s also synchrotronic to “Too Soon” as far as the vibe is concerned. My goal for my entire project is to create “timeless” music. Something anyone can listen to and enjoy. I’m looking forward to the release. I’m currently lining up shows and appearances to build connections which will lead to more opportunities.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a super-talented artist, you are also technically gifted, being an Associated Director, Lighting Director, and Choreographer of a recent play “Meeting at the Elders Circle.” Please describe that experience and how working behind the scenes differs from working in front of the camera.

Kalonda Kay: I enjoy the planning and operations of many genres of entertainment, as well as in family or business settings. I’m the “Hostess with the Mostess,” as the saying goes. I go over and beyond with anything that I do. I like to give good products, whether I’m on stage or behind the scenes. What’s important to me is what the audience will like and how it makes them feel. I’m always intentional when it comes to bringing a writer’s vision to life.

When you’re on stage, you can’t see everything. You miss the good stuff, as well as the things that need to be adjusted. When you’re looking from behind the scenes, you see it all. I’m such a perfectionist at times. It’s probably a good thing that I can’t see what’s happening when I’m on stage. (lol)

GO BANG! Magazine: You are also an entrepreneur, being the co-owner of Under Grace Home Health, Adult Day Program, U.G. Commissary LLC, and New Avenue Inc. Please tell our readers about your businesses and how to contact you if they are interested in your services.

Kalonda Kay: I have been working for myself since 2017 and it has been a blessing. I wish I had stepped out on faith many years ago. Yet, I also believe everything happens when it should.

My businesses all focus on helping the community. Each business has its’ specific area of expertise. Under Grace Home Health program helps individuals to receive assistance with daily needs in the comfort of their own homes. The Adult Day Program, on the other hand, gives a safe space for seniors or disabled adults to come and experience many different recreational activities with their peers. UG Commissary provides a commercial kitchen incubator for food truck operators, caterers, bakers, and business owners to create and expand their businesses. New Avenue Inc. is a Non-profit organization that is dedicated to the mental, spiritual, physical and financial enrichment of family by introducing or re-introducing strategies to create healthy sustainable lives and businesses.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, what do you want your legacy to be Kalonda Kay?

Kalonda Kay: I want the world to see the joy in my journey. How I didn’t set the bar but allowed GOD to move me as HE saw best. I want to always be remembered for my loving spirit and how I love and accept everyone for who they are. Also, how trauma, bad experiences and things that didn’t work out never poisoned my spirit. Lastly, for those who know me or see me from afar, to remember that I’m always smiling.

GO BANG! Magazine: Well Kalonda Kay, I want to thank you for granting me this interview. I also want to inform you that you have now been officially BANGED!!! GO BANG!

FOR ADDITIONAL HISTORY, PLEASE FOLLOW KALONDA KAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

“Too Soon” – Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiXDQsZ4sJ4


“Too Soon” – Link to buy:
https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/kalondakay/too-soon?fbclid=IwAR2oywbZbknH3P8L-wqOC7DbsbZfsa6lIb9F6zrEJyliyVpWbXZXpHH_-nE&mibextid=Zxz2cZ

Email: kalondakayent@gmail.com
Facebook : Kalonda_Kay
Instagram : Kalonda_Kay
YouTube Channel: https://youtube.com/@kalondakay
WEBSITE: www.KalondaKay.com



Publicist: Desirae L. Benson | DesiraeBBB@gmail.com





LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!!!



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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 DJ Rick Williams

 

Born in Chicago, raised in South Bend, IN, Anthony Tswang Gullens is a graduate from John Adams High School, Ivy Tech College and attendee of IUSB College for Business. He got started doing music while living in Chicago, IL from listening to his uncles’, mother, father, and grandparents’ listening to Blues, Funk, R&B, Pop, and Gospel music. He picked up his first instrument while imitating Michael Jackson and James Brown on TV. From elementary, through high school and some college, Tswang got into music classes and vocal choir. Fast forward to 1994, he was in a group by the name of N.I.N.E and wrote his first hit for the group which aired on a local radio station (Smoking99.1FM) from his hometown in South Bend, IN. Since then, Tswang has opened for Drake, Lyfe Jennings, Jeremih, Carl Thomas, Ginuwine, The Notre Dame Football Pep Rally, Trina, Sonya D, Michael Colyar, Michel’le, Full Force, Bizzy Bone, Jagged Edge, Usher, The Whispers, Rome, and Public Announcement.

Tswang, the multi-talented producer, writer, singer, and performer, is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting artists in the music industry today. Drawing inspiration from some of the most iconic figures in R&B and pop music, including Babyface, Roger, Michael Jackson, and Teddy Riley. Gullens’ music is characterized by its smooth melodies, infectious rhythms, and soulful vocals.

As a producer, Gullens brings a unique vision to the table, combining his knowledge of music theory with his creativity and expertise in the studio to create rich, dynamic soundscapes that enhance the emotional impact of his songs.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Dj Rick Williams

 

As a writer, his lyrics are heartfelt and honest, drawing inspiration from his personal experiences and the world around him.

As a singer and performer, Gullens brings a powerful presence to the stage, commanding the attention of his audience with his electrifying performances and magnetic charisma. His ability to connect with his fans on a deep level, both through his music and his live shows, has helped him build a loyal following and establish himself as one of the most exciting artists in the industry.

Gullens’ music has been featured on various platforms, and he has collaborated with several well-known artists in the music industry.

His brand-new singles “V.I.P Status” feat Lady Resin, and his groundbreaking single “I Aint No Quit-TA” are streaming on Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, iTunes, Amazon, Deezer and Apple Music.

VIP Status video


The second song, “I Aint No Quitta” written by myself and produced by J-Stylz from the Grammy Award winning group Blackstreet, is available on all digital platforms. Tswang even submitted some material to the “New Jack Swing King” himself, Teddy Riley.

“V.I.P Status feat Lady Resin” and “I Aint No Quitta” are finely crafted studio productions, fully written by Tswang. “V.I.P. Status” features the powerful vocals of both Tswang and Lady Resin. The track is intense with its bass-filled beats. “I Ain’t No Quitta ” features a fully realized hip hop melody with Tswang’s unique take on Hip Hop.

Tswang has gained fame opening for artists and writing songs for other artists in the studios like Teddy Riley. He also worked with Thrill Tha Playa from the 69 Boyz.

Tswang is quickly becoming a headliner in the hip hop scene.




Photo courtesy of DJ Rick Williams

 

GO BANG! Magazine: As a child, you had a talent in music and singing. Which instruments do you play and how long have you been performing?

Tswang: Yes, from what my mom says, I was always singing and dancing. Even in my pampers, I would be beating on the walls or trying to play on the red and white piano at our church, back in Chicago.

My main instrument is the Talk box. It’s the instrument that Teddy Riley, Roger Troutman, and his brothers Zapp, were known for. I also play keyboards. I can play drums, bass, and piano a little too. I used to play the violin and flute back in the day.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are some of the groups or artists that influenced you and why?

Tswang: I’m mostly inspired from some of the most iconic figures in R&B and Pop music, including Al B Sure, Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Roger Troutman, Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley, and Usher.

GO BANG! Magazine: If you had the opportunity to perform with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Tswang: Hands down, Michael Jackson, Al B Sure, Prince, and Teddy Riley.

Photo courtesy of Anna Marie Photography

 

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe Tswang the artist’s sound?

Tswang: I have always said I do Funk Hop, because of the wide range of musical influences. I listen to everything from Gospel, Rock, Pop, Jazz, EDM, and House music. I like Prince, Rick James, and Parliament. I also like Old School R&B like Sarah Vaughn and Billie Holiday. Then there’s Blues songs from B. B. King, Howling Wolf, and Muddy Waters.

My style is heavily influenced by Hip Hop, Bass Music, New Jack Swing, and anything by Quincy Jones or Stevie Wonder. You see what I mean? With Funk Hop I can do anything I want musically!

GO BANG! Magazine: What do you think about the current state of R&B and Hip Hop music?

Tswang: I think R&B and Hip Hop are at a level of expansion. We’ve always had changes in music over the years, from Blues, to Rock, Jazz to B Bop, R&B to Disco to Funk, to Hip Hop, to Rap, to New Jack Swing to Dirty South, to Mumble Rap, etc. History has proven that change is bound to happen. I think everything that’s happening in music right now is necessary.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a performer and a multi-instrumentalist, you are also a producer. How would you describe your production style?

Tswang: My production style varies. It depends on a lot of things, like what’s going on in my life or what I see or hear. Any producer, writer or arranger will tell you this. The way we produce is by what mood we are in or going through. Now there are a few of us who can give you an upbeat song even though we are feeling sad or a sad song when we are feeling completely happy. That’s where the said “genius” comes in. That’s where you learn to get out of the way and let the magic happen.

 

Teddy Bop video


GO BANG! Magazine: You’re also a dancer and you’ve created a dance and a movement called “Teddy Bop.” What inspired you to create the movement, the dance and how do you do it?

Tswang: Yes, I really do love dancing and creating new dance steps. It’s just one of my passions. The Teddy Bop dance was inspired by the one and only “King of New Jack Swing” himself, Teddy Riley.

Back in 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting Teddy Riley and J-Stylz after a “Black Street featuring Dave Hollister and Teddy Riley” show. This was in Indianapolis at the Black Expo. Any and everyone who knows me know that Teddy Riley is like one of my favorite producers.

So, I got a chance to talk with him about it. My A&R person, Oscar Shorty G Gullens, set up a meeting to happen between us. So, there was the man who had influenced my music career standing right in front of me. First, I met J-Stylz, one of the newest and younger members of the Black Street aka BS2 group. I got a chance to let him know that the show was amazing, and we talked about music and writing songs. We exchanged numbers right then and there because he was looking for some talk box on a couple of songs. Like I said earlier, the talk box is my instrument of choice.

 

Photo courtesy of  Debi Landry Photography

 

After we finished talking, I could hear this group of women singing for Teddy Riley. He listened and gave some tips. Then Shorty G said, “Now listen Swang, you are going to meet him.” My heart dropped to the floor. But before I could even get myself together, there he was right in front of me saying. “What up T?” I looked at Shorty G, he looked back at me, and all I could do was smile and show him my music.

So, Teddy Riley asked me a question only true talk box players know the answer too. He said, “So tell me, did you downsize your tube?” My voice cracked and I said “Yes.” Not too many people will know the feeling of having Teddy Riley listening to your music while my friend, DJ Quicks Track and my Talk Box on top of music and be straight dancing to it. But yep, it happened to me.

But I’m not done. After we started to talk, we talked about songwriting and production and the new stuff he’s got coming out. I was asked to write some songs for the GUY Album, Black Street and his Solo Book project. So, Teddy Bop was one of the first songs I had wrote for Teddy Riley. But he wanted something slower. So, I kept it for myself. And put a dance to it, shot a video for it, and the rest is history. But that’s not all! I had started working on music with J-Stylz, who is now like my brother, and Teddy ended up calling my house, through Shorty G, and was like, “Swang. What’s up bro? Were you able to get the songs finished?” I’m like, “Yes, I have seven for you already registered with BMI and ready to go.” Right after that phone call, I got a call from both lead singers from the group TROOP (Allen and Steven) about working on some new songs, then Thrill Da Playa, from the 69 Boyz, J T Money, Uncle Luke, etc.

Photo courtesy of Anna Marie Photography

 

GO BANG! Magazine: Where do you see Tswang in the next five years?

Tswang: I see myself as an artist, writer, and producer mentioned amongst the top names. I see headlining with sold out shows. I see myself giving back to my community. I see myself as a top business “go to”, because I will be so wealthy from all my wonderful investments, which will enable me to bring wealth to my family. SUPERSTAR STATUS!

GO BANG! Magazine: What can our readers expect from you in the near future?

Tswang: April 2nd of this year, I will be giving a “Fan Appreciation Party” to all my superfans from the South Bend, IN community. I will be shooting a video to my new single “What I’ve Been Waiting On” feat Shorty G. With the pandemic being not as bad, I will be doing some live shows TBA and more radio interviews. I also have new music with J-Stylz coming and a lot of features coming through the label I’m signed under, Bentley Records. My latest is the “Arcane Compilation” album, which is #1 in top Hip Hop/Rap albums in Belgium’s Amazon charts Top 10. It had Bow Wow, Ayoo KD, Aridbeatz, Future, and Luca Dayz.

The next drop will be with Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane. This project, “Celebrity Compilation” is anticipated to be dropping during the upcoming couple of weeks.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, what do you want your legacy to be?

Tswang: I truly just want to make music to inspire and create some type of escapism. I want you to feel good, dance, have fun, understand, and be thankful for this thing called life. It is truly a blessing, even in all its ups and downs. We all are going through something. The key is to just keep on living.

I want to be able to create generational wealth and tell our story from our perspective so that people can see that we are not animals that live for death. Our people are intelligent and heartwarming individuals. We are soldiers, but underneath the shield, we are people.

GO BANG! Magazine: Well Tswang, I want to thank you for granting me this interview. I also want to inform you that you have now been officially BANGED!!! GO BANG!

 

 

Photo courtesy of Anna Marie Photography

 

Upcoming Events

 

Thursday, March 23
Wedding Reception • Md, MD • 7:00pm

Sunday, April 2
Tswang Fan Appreciation Party at The Majestic on the River • South Bend, IN • 6:00pm


YOU CAN FOLLOW TSWANG ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS



Bentley Records HyperLink


For more music by Tswang, please visit:


Website

YouTube

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter


LastFM

Apple Music 

Spotify Link

Amazon




LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!!!



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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 credit courtesy of:  Tonya Howell

 

Tonya Howell has been part of the dance music scene since she moved to Chicago in 1996. Back then she followed her favorite DJs from underground rave parties to the late-night clubs of the late 90s and early 2000s and found herself dancing til the sun came up at places like Rednofive, Red Dog, Smart Bar. Tonya fell in love with Deep House and can still dance all night with the right DJ and selection of songs, a booming sound system, and of course, a little room to move. She creates an energy on the dance floor that can get the party started or allow for time to heal and release. Dance has become a kind of therapy for Tonya. It brings her pure joy and happiness – whether she’s dancing all day long at West Fest, the Silver Room Block Party, or Brunchlox or getting out after a long day at work. Tonya is not short on energy to dance and has been told it is a bit contagious – which is what sparked her nickname, Tee Boogie. She brings the boogie everywhere she goes!

 

Tee Boogie and Abantu Price

Photo courtesy of: Victor Price

 

Tonya is also a mother of two, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She is currently the Executive Director of Intonation Music, bringing the joy and power of music to young folks on the southside of Chicago. Intonation serves 3rd through 12th grade students in the Greater Bronzeville community and gives them a space to share their voice and explore their many talents through the formation of live bands and through digital music production. She’s passionate about what she does and loves to center music in both her personal and professional lives.

Tonya Howell and House music go hand-in-hand and that will likely never change. It gives her life and purpose, and she shows up again and again to give back to the house music community by spreading positive energy and love. Tonya says, “Chicago is House Music, and House Music is love.”


Manifest magic in all you do! 💫✨

GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised?

Tonya Howell: I was born in Miami, FL but was raised in my parents’ hometown of Englewood, NJ and in a small town near Dayton, OH then right outside of Philly then right outside of Detroit and then eventually landed in Oak Park, IL and Chicago. I moved a lot as a kid but found my home in Chicago!

GO BANG! Magazine: How and when did you get introduced to the House community?

Tonya Howell: After moving to Oak Park during my senior year of high school in 1996, I met some friends who invited me to a rave party. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was eager to get out and hear some music after moving away from the Detroit Punk and Ska scene. As soon as I walked into the enormous warehouse space with hundreds of people and purple and blue and orange lights and banging bass, I immediately fell in love. From that point on, I found a rave party every single weekend and convinced my parents (who were feeling guilty about the move) to let me stay out without a curfew. The parties started at 11pm and I always danced ’til at least noon the next day – rarely leaving the dance floor, allowing the sounds and vibrations from the speakers to fuel me all night long and into the next day.


Photo courtesy of: Marc Monoghan

 

GO BANG! Magazine: What is it about House that attracts you to it?

Tonya Howell: I feel at home with House Music. House is a feeling that moves through my entire body and does not allow me to sit still. I dance to House when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed and need a release, when I need to heal. I’ve met so many amazing people on the dance floor, and we understand each other deeply through experiencing the music and the energy in a shared space and vibe.

GO BANG! Magazine: As a House dancer, how would you describe your dance style and the feeling that House music gives you?


Photo courtesy of: Yvette Magallon

 

Tonya Howell: My style of dance is uniquely me and flows with the various styles of House music. I can bounce, I can jack, I can move my feet or swing my hips depending on who is playing and which songs and beats they have chosen. But mostly, I am a SOLO house music dancer. I don’t need a dance partner and I prefer to move around the party spreading positive vibes without having to lead or follow anyone else. When I dance I feel free, I feel pure joy, and I feel energized. I can dance all day or all night when the bass is bumping and the song selection speaks to me.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are some of your favorite House DJs?

Tonya Howell: My all-time favorite House Music DJs who I followed from the rave scene to the clubs to the underground parties and who still keep me on the dance floor today are Jevon Jackson and Diz. I always loved dancing to Gene Farris, Glenn Underground, Frique, Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Gene Hunt, Paul Johnson, and the list goes on. I also find myself moving to the sounds of DJ Lady D, Duane Powell, Julius the Mad Thinker, Osunlade, and many others. I know I am leaving out some favorites because we are absolutely spoiled in Chicago with so many amazing DJs, so many dance floors, and house music events happening literally every single night of the week.

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to be a lover of House, you are also an educator and a nonprofit leader in the community. Please describe to our readers your commitment to the youth as the Executive Director of Intonation Music.

Tonya Howell: One of the most important aspects of House Music is that it was born out of pure creativity, innovation, and breaking barriers. House explored new sounds and combined music-making tools in unique ways. House spoke to and included folks who maybe didn’t always fit into the mainstream. The underground became home to many, including myself. My work at Intonation Music allows me to support young people on the southside of Chicago to explore their unique sound, uncover their many talents, and make music in innovative ways. In order to do that, the students first learn the skill of playing instruments and forming a live band. This way they have the foundation that allows them to create and innovate in exciting ways. Our students at Intonation inspire me when they learn a new, challenging skill or when they write their own songs. We provide access to high-quality music instruction and instruments in communities that were stripped of arts programming. We know our students are incredibly talented and deserve the best when it comes to arts education. I feel honored to participate in this important work and lucky that music is at the heart of it.


Photo courtesy of: Obi Soulstar

 

GO BANG! Magazine: How do you tie music into your professional career, working with the students?

Tonya Howell: I started teaching in Chicago in 2001 and I have always shared my love of House with my students and fellow teachers. We would have dance breaks in the middle of the day, and I would share my favorite songs and mixes with them. This was a great way to let my students into my world and make meaningful connections through music and dance. Now as the Executive Director of a music education nonprofit, I continue to share my love for House with my organization, with the community, and with the students we serve. I have added House Music to start and end our community events and our larger fundraising events as well. The music brings people together and often gets people of all ages up and moving. My passion for youth development, engagement in my community, and my love for House Music are all at the center of my life, both personally and professionally.

GO BANG! Magazine: How has House, the music and the community, changed your life?

Tonya Howell: House gives me life and has been the one constant for me since my first party in ’96. I’ve earned 3 degrees, been married and divorced, raised 2 amazing children, seen relationships come and go, moved throughout the city, traveled across the globe, and House Music has been present and an important part of each adventure and throughout my entire journey.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, what would you like your legacy to be?

Tonya Howell: I have heard so many times, “you are that lady who is always dancing” or ” I saw you dancing at such-and-such event” or “of course, you were out dancing”! I am proud to be called a dancer and my legacy is felt by those who can vibe off of my energy and who I have energized on the dance floor. I’ve been called a fire starter, a spark plug. I’ve been told that my energy is contagious. I hope that all of that energy for dancing inspires my own children, Tzoe Skye and Zia Rey, to find their passions and to always create space for what brings them joy.

Facebook link of Tee Boogie jammin’ in the car with her two children, Tzoe Skye and Zia Rey, listening to a House mix by Jevon Jackson titled “Note to Self.”    LINK: https://www.facebook.com/1250236231/posts/10222586846520447/


GO BANG! Magazine: Well Tee Boogie, I want to thank you for granting me this interview. I also want to inform you that you have now officially been BANGED!!! GO BANG!

You can follow Tonya on ALL social media platforms.

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!!!


Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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 DEBAUCHERY BALL IS TODAY!!!!!!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Location to be announced to TICKET HOLDERS/MEMBERS ONLY

Tickets/MEMBERSHIP:  https://www.theedebaucheryball.com/contact-8

 

THEE FOUNDER:

Khari Bowden – The Church of the Funky Soul presents – THEE DEBAUCHERY BALL

 

THEE MISSION:
The Debauchery Ball is a celebration of sensuality, liberation, and consent from a Black cultural lens. We reserved inclusive melanated spaces because African descendants across the diaspora deserve and are worthy of having places to feel safe, protected, and free where we may fully express our beauty, creativity, and sensuality, away from the European gaze and of our own making. House music is our foundation. Freedom is our creed. Lames, creeps, and inhibitions are strictly prohibited.

THEE EVENTS:

Black
Fantasy Ball

October 29th, 2022
St. Petersburg, FL


Representation, liberation, and a combination of Black fairies, cosplayers, and lifestyle communities in a beautiful collaboration with friends in Florida are behind this presentation. In sync with the DBall, a premium play space is arranged for creative expressions, kinks, and costuming complete with the most heart-racing soundtrack to keep the People moving all the night through.

Thee Debauchery
Ball

December 9th, 2022
Chicago, IL

The Afrofuturistic Black BDSM-themed flagship of the series. 18 years running, the DBall is the defining celebration borne out of the sensual and electric nature of Chicago’s House music culture. Today it is an audience revered, protected space for POCs to marvel and be marveled at as living works of art and experience an uninhibited abandon they may not have known they needed. It’s a sensory engaging feast designed 2 fill its attendees up with joy and a greater sense of self simply by being their most beautiful selves.

winter
babies
revenge

Summer 2023
Chicago, IL

Once upon a time some of the liveliest people in the Western zodiac born under particular signs were forced to celebrate their entrance into this world in the wintertime, specifically in the Midwest. Such an egregious error and insulting assault has been corrected with WBR, a summer Debauchery celebration.

PAINTED, DARK & DIVINE is a living exhibition of AfroEroticism, dance, and Black divinity. Think Met Ball but WAY nakeder, sweatier and more Afrocentric!

The Rebirth Reverie 

Spring 2023
New Orleans, LA

Can you feel a brand new day? Honoring the hemisphere’s actual new year/Spring equinox, the doors of the “Church” open to costume, dance, and sweat into the wee hours of the night in one of the most celebratory cities in the country, New Orleans! The wonderful world of Oz (in the spirit of “the Wiz”) is the theme. Attendees wear elaborate costumes of red, gold, or green; to be seen.


THEE DOCUMENTARY:

 


What is Thee Debauchery Ball?

THE DEBAUCHERY BALL LIVING EXHIBITION IS, on its face, a tasteful, erotically-themed festival series where music, art, and live performance are synthesized into a memorable, highly-charged, sensual, sensory-engaging experience. Its foundation, however, is an odyssey into the world of sexual boundaries and allowance; into the protocol, custom, and social mores; into evolving attitudes and individual empowerment. It is a celebration of brown bodies freed from societal norms and conventional sexual expression. It’s a study of the relationship between collective freedom and individual comfort, all from a Black cultural lens. It’s a party but…
THE DEBAUCHERY BALL IS SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A PARTY.


Y’all did a documentary about the ball?


Yes! We did! The story of Chicago’s Afro-futuristic, BDSM/kink/fetish-themed House music party and how it has reshaped the Black social scene and challenged the narratives of Black sexuality. Thee Debauchery Ball, tells the story of a single house music event that was intended to pay reverence to the original intention of House Music culture of Chicago. Born in 2005, it has grown to become the only
fetish-themed, BDSM-friendly, body-positive, House party in the city. It has helped to redefine Black music, community, art, and sexuality, all topics that are often maligned in the Black community. The documentary tells the personal story of the founder, the DJs, and the participants who look upon this event and the culture within as a bastion of freedom and an escape from preconceived notions.

THE BALL IS TODAY!!!!!!

Tickets/MEMBERSHIP:  https://www.theedebaucheryball.com/contact-8


For more information, go to the WEBSITEhttps://www.theedebaucheryballdoc.com/

As seen and captured by Seed Lynn.
Ring by CopperCandy
Shirt by Mike Sims

Khari Bowden: “I make poetry a contact sport.”

4 booking: bookings@disco-poetry.com

 

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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 Ja’Pan Nation

“His vocals are dynamic!”
“He disrupts equilibriums!”
“His style is renowned!”
“Ja’Pan Nation is refreshing!”



Charles Hall, Jr., better known as Ja’Pan Nation, embodies the definition of sound.

A collage of versatility, composing tones of dance and choreography, while conquering all haters, Ja’Pan Nation represents adversity, redefining your average perception of rhythm and movements with each technique.

To understand the existentialism of his craft, one must understand the barriers of his past. 25 years of dedication, determination and endurance have prepared him for this level. A product of Texas, Ja’Pan Nation is determined to sleep with success.

Aware of his talent at a young age, Ja’Pan sacrificed to become the epitome of entertainment. Rehearsing, studying, researching, practicing, and becoming nothing less than iconic. Endless competitions and accolades he attributes to his dominance.

Artists before him such as Janet Jackson, who he considers to be the most influential artist of his time, paved the way. She is innovative and unique. These are characteristics Ja’Pan replicates in his own realm of performance.

Threads of retro, urban, vintage, and couture, Ja’Pan pops tags of originality. This fabric is authentic, which no market can ignore. Fashion wise, Ja’Pan illustrates diversity. He intertwines graphics. His style expresses all artistry.

Ja’Pan Nation is a trailblazer that thrives from taking risks. Whatever you’ve seen before, you have no idea what you’ve missed. Ja’Pan appreciates all those before him, however, he is his own muse. Ja’Pan pays homage to many, but this is his destiny, and he refuses to lose!

Ja’Pan enlightens cultures with his different variations of creativity. The force behind his movement is God. He gives all praise and recognition to the Lord. He ordered his steps, and he enforced them. Get ready, you’ve just been introduced to the humble beginnings of a star!!!

GO BANG! Magazine: Where were you born and raised and how would you describe your childhood?

Ja’Pan Nation: I was born in Dallas, TX and raised in Arlington, TX. I would describe my childhood as imaginative, fun, and adventurous.

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you get started singing and dancing and what do you like about it?

Ja’Pan Nation: I started learning dance routines from some of my favorite artist growing up, like Usher, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Aaliyah, TLC, and Michael Jackson to name a few. I really was intrigued with how cool their choreography and formations were and how they were able to sing/rap while killing these intricate routines. This definitely piqued my interest. My aunt Debra would also have me sing leads in my church choir.

GO BANG! Magazine: When was the moment that you knew you wanted to pursue the entertainment industry professionally?

Ja’Pan Nation: I went into a studio in Dallas, TX just to record a hook for an upcoming artist. People really liked my sound and what I offered as a singer. I won several talent competitions in DFW metroplex. I created a nice buzz from just enjoying myself and doing what I loved. In that moment, I knew I wanted to try this professionally.

GO BANG! Magazine: Why did you choose the name Ja’Pan Nation?

Ja’Pan Nation: Ja’Pan was given to me in school. I was known to love Anime, Kung Fu movies, and the culture and fashion Japan offered. My former manager, Mr. John Carrington, added the accent to make it resonate more as a name for me and not the country. Nation was added as my last name because Janet Jackson is my Michael Jackson. Rhythm Nation was the very first professional choreography I learned as a kid, and I built from there.

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe the Ja’Pan Nation brand, sound, and style of dance?

Ja’Pan Nation: I would describe my brand as sexy, classy, and innovative. My sound, versatile. I can go from Pop to RnB/Soul to Rap. My style of dance, I would describe as well rounded. I do a little of everything in my routines. Street Jazz being my favorite. I am very strong in Hip Hop, Lyrical, and Modern styles.

GO BANG! Magazine: Your dance skills are excellent. What dancers or performers inspired you growing up and who inspires you now and why?

Ja’Pan Nation: Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Usher, Beyoncé, Aaliyah, Chris Brown, TLC, B2K, Britany Spears, NSYNC, Justin Timberlake and Nicki Minaj were and are artist that inspire me as an artist and as a dancer.

GO BANG! Magazine: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Usher, Beyonce’ and Chris Brown are all considered superb dancers. What do you think about them as dance performers and how have they influenced you, if at all?

Ja’Pan Nation: I can go on and on about these icons. These are all naturally gifted entertainers. All of them are genius in their own way. I am inspired by them all.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are a very sexually overt person when performing and a self-described nudist. Why is it important for you to include sexuality in your performances?

Ja’Pan Nation: The female artists always give you edge, controversy, and sex appeal with class. That’s what I describe it as in male form. Male artists always play TOO safe for me. I do not believe in gender specific mannerisms as a man. Thongs are for us too lol. I identify as non-gender conforming, so it makes sense.

GO BANG! Magazine: Your new singles “Cake & Candles” and “Fluid” are club bangers. How would you describe these songs to someone that’s not familiar with your music?

Ja’Pan Nation: “Cake & Candles” really showcases who my RnB inspirations are. It’s within that realm of Michael, Chris, and Usher. “Fluid” is more of that bright upbeat energy that makes you want to twerk or go crazy lol. These two records are for the dance community and people that enjoy music that compels them to move, whether that be sexual, choreography or freestyle. I have a deep adoration for dance. Any song I release, you will most likely get a routine with it lol.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are quite a well dresser. Please describe your fashion sense and where it originates from?

Ja’Pan Nation: My fashion sense is very androgynous, like that of Milli Vanilli, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Grace Jones, with a hint of Janet, Aaliyah, BTS, drag queens, and Nicki Minaj lol

GO BANG! Magazine: Where does your song ideas come from?

Ja’Pan Nation: I don’t have ideas. I just say what I feel and name the song later.

GO BANG! Magazine: Being a great dancer, are you also a choreographer and do you choreograph your own performances?

Ja’Pan Nation: Yes, I am. I have choreographed for several step teams, cheerleading squads, and drill teams. I also choreograph for myself. However, I have also worked with other choreographers to keep everything fresh and set apart from the last effort.

GO BANG! Magazine: What advice would you give to someone that is pursuing their dream of dance and performance?

Ja’Pan Nation: Never stop climbing that ladder. There definitely will be obstacles and people that will try to deter you. Practice is the best advice I can give. The artists named above are great because they train hard! You must work on your craft and sharpen yourself as much as possible. There are millions of other artists out here wanting the same thing. If you want to stick out and be deemed the best or tough competition, you must be disciplined and train hard.

GO BANG! Magazine: Thank you Ja’Pan for this interview and good luck with all that you are doing. You have now officially been BANGED! GO BANG!

You can follow Ja’Pan Nation on social media and the following links:

Recent Performances/Video –

https://youtu.be/076BKWQ0RNU

https://youtu.be/6qQ4cDLHvok


Link tree/Spotify/Youtube –

https://linktr.ee/JaPanNation

https://open.spotify.com/artist/4WBdtVA4aohX2sYW22kQci?si=93AJo7j4StS-z5N4UFZkuw

Instagram –

https://instagram.com/japannationofficial?igshid=NDA1YzNhOGU=

Website:

https://www.japannation.net/




Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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:  Nicky Harwood

 

The Legendary London DJ, Dancer and Club Culture Icon …

PAUL “Trouble” ANDERSON’S ALLSTAR Macmillan BIRTHDAY BOOGIE
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.

Listings

Event: PAUL “Trouble” ANDERSON’S ALLSTAR Macmillan BIRTHDAY BOOGIE

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: https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/London/Egg-London/Paul-aposTroubleapos-Andersonaposs-Allstar-Birthday-Boogie/36161754/

£20 on the door.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/395876140423958

https://www.facebook.com/groups/319662812205509

 

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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.

 House music is the third largest music genre in the world!!!!

Here is the trailer.

https://vimeo.com/633808501

 

Black Harvest Film Festival will virtually stream The Woodstock of House November 13- December 2, 2021.

Streaming Ticket Info: 

https://watch.eventive.org/gsfc/play/6168922c7c7500030b0cfe7a

The documentary “The Woodstock of House”, a film that explores the origins of Chicago House music and its’ enduring worldwide appeal, featuring Chicago’s own The Chosen Few DJs, was selected for Chicago’s prestigious 2021 Black Harvest Film Festival and will screen in person on Thursday, November 11th @8pm and Friday, November 12th @8pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center, located in downtown Chicago!

On debut night, Thursday, November 11th, the audience will be blessed with live appearances by Writer/Director/Executive Producer/Producer Rodrick F. Wimberly, who will be joined by Tressa Epps, Executive Producer/Producer, Vonda Paige, Executive Producer/Producer, Steve Toles, Executive Producer/Producer and Senuwell Smith, Director

GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER WEBSITE: https://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/

164 N. State Street

312-846-2800 

 

MOVIE WEBSITEhttps://www.woodstockofhouse.com

 

TICKETS:  

https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

 

Here is the trailer.

  


This documentary details the triumph of a music genre that was attacked and nearly destroyed by mainstream America in the late 1970s for being too black, too Latin, and too gay.

It explores the music’s mutation, development, and re-birth by African American teenagers on the southside of Chicago in an underground culture of marginalized, largely homosexual nightclub constituents.

It is the untold story of the role of Chicago’s Chosen Few DJs in the creation of House music. It celebrates the enduring legacy of the annual Chosen Few Music Festival, dubbed the “Woodstock of House” that brings together more than 50,000 people of different races, ages, sexual orientations, and class together in an environment of unity, peace, and love.


TICKETS:https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

 

GO BANG! Magazine had the opportunity to meet the creative and production team behind THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE, as well as a few members of the cast. As a fellow lover of House music, it was an honor for me to be granted the opportunity to interview the creators and producers of this long-overdue documentary on the origins of House music.


Now, let’s get to know “THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE” posse…


RODRICK F. WIMBERLY
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/WRITER
A veteran of the film and television industry, Rodrick’s love for the film industry is enhanced by his knowledge of the law regarding the business of film, including contract negotiations, corporate formations and business entities. He is an executive producer, producer, writer and a director for the documentary, “The Woodstock of House” (2020) and produced the short film, “UH-OH” (2018).

 


SENUWELL SMITH
DIRECTOR
An actor, screenwriter, editor and director, he appeared in the Blind Faith Theatre Company’s production of “Streamers,” for which he was nominated for a Black Theater Alliance Award. He appeared in “Pullman Porter Blues” at the Goodman Theater in 2013. He has directed and edited several music videos. He wrote and directed the short film, “UH-OH” which was screened at the Pan-African Film Festival and the Roxbury International Film Festival in 2018. He is a director for the documentary, “The Woodstock of House” (2020).

 


VONDA PAIGE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
She has more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management, marketing, social media and public relations. She is an award-winning journalist and the founder of The First Black Woman, a digital media project recognizing the historic contributions of Black women. She is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Vice President of the Virginia Tech Black Alumni Society. She is the executive producer of the independent short film, “UH-OH” (2018) which was selected by the Pan African Film Festival.

 


TRESSA EPPS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
A sought-after independent filmmaker, Tressa has worked on a number of award-winning independent film projects, ranging from independent short films to feature films in a variety of roles as an executive producer, producer, and production designer. Her projects were released in theaters and aired on BET, BET HER, TVOne, Urban Movie Channel (UMC), Bounce TV and Netflix. She is honored to serve on the prestigious Black Perspectives Committee at the Chicago International Film Festival.

 


STEVE TOLES
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/PRODUCER
After graduating from The Ohio State University, Steve moved to Houston and resumed a lifelong passion for film production, acting, directing and producing various projects from short films, to experimental music videos to documentaries and features. Eventually he returned to Cleveland where he has produced video content for his school and his first independent film was accepted to several film festivals. Steve is an executive producer and producer on The Woodstock of House.

 


WAYNE WILLIAMS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
As founder of the Chosen Few DJs and longtime music industry professional, Wayne has helped shape popular music and dance culture. His music career includes work as a DJ, producer, and A&R executive with Trax Records, Jive Records, and RCA Records. Wayne is a recipient of an NAACP Image Award for his work with Aretha Franklin and was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2014 for his work with Jennifer Hudson. He continues to produce music and perform at event and clubs across the globe.

 


JESSE SAUNDERS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jesse is a founding member of the Chosen Few DJs who is recognized as the producer and performer of the first Chicago House Music record, “On & On”, in 1984. His production credits include “Love Can’t Turn Around”, one of the biggest-selling House Music records of all time, and “Higher”, which reached the top of the Billboard dance chart in 2019. In 2020, his book, “In Their Own Words”, which features interviews with House Music DJs, producers, dancers, club owners, and promoters, debuted at #1 on Amazon’s dance music book chart.



Knowing many of those involved in the film was the icing on the cake. I am so proud of them. Many of them are also my high school brothers and sisters, who attended “Thee” Kenwood Academy high school, located on Chicago’s south side, in the eclectic neighborhood of Hyde Park.


GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK) For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you please explain how you are connected to House music culture and what inspired you to Write, Direct, Produce and Executive Produce The Woodstock of House?

Rodrick:  I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago (SOUTHSIDE!!!)  When I was around 12 years old, I first remembered hearing “Mickey Oliver” Hot Mixes on 102.7 WBMX (the radio station that every young person in Chicago listened to at the time-reportedly 2 million Chicago land residents used to listen to the Friday and Saturday mix shows).  The frenetic energy, pulsing rhythms  and driving bass captured me and I said that I had to become a DJ!  I bought my first turntables (Technics SLB-100 belt driven) from Loop Electronics from downtown and became the best unknown DJ in my area. LOL!  After I went to college at Boston University, I took my equipment up there and DJ’d there for two years introducing them to Chicago-style house music and deep disco (which they were not used to).  In addition to DJing, I LOVE to dance.  In fact, some people used to call me the “dancing DJ” because no one dance more to my music than I would! 

My inspiration for “The Woodstock of House” was the manifestation of the themes that House Music promoted: love, unity and sharing being manifested every year at The Chosen Few Music Festival (“The Picnic”).  To see mostly black and brown people in a crowd of 40,000 house music lovers come together in a communal celebration of everything that is good about humanity without ANY violence in 30 years was worthy of a film.  I gathered my production team, created a treatment for the documentary, met with the Chosen Few and they were in!  We wanted to share this human story of young black teens from the Southside of Chicago creating a musical genre that is the 3rd largest musical genre in the world! 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (SENUWELL)   Being one of the directors of the film, alongside Rodrick Wimberly, can you please explain what is the purpose or mission of The Woodstock of House?

Senuwell:  My purpose is to create a new movement in music that will unite everyone of all races, ages and genders, like the influence of Rap and Hip Hop.  Eventually going global and creating a voice to bring peace and love back into a world of violence and hate.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA, TRESSA, STEVE,)    As executive producers and producers of The Woodstock of House, what was it about the film that inspired or motivated you to become involved?

Vonda: As a filmmaker, not only can you entertain, but you have an opportunity to inform or educate, depending on the subject. I didn’t grow up knowing anything about House music – I can tell you about Go-Go, living outside of Washington, DC – but not House!

When we were thinking about debut projects for our company, and Rodrick and Senuwell shared
stories about and their love for House music, I was genuinely curious about what draws tens of
thousands of people to a music festival featuring something I had never heard of. Early on, while  doing some research for the project, I thought wow… we have a chance to tell an untold story and that was truly exciting!

One thing about making a documentary is that you may start with an idea of what you think the story is about, but if you are true and authentic to the craft – you let the story give you the direction.  While the story may have initially centered around the annual House music festival, I am so proud that we were able to tell an inspiring history story about young Black teenagers from Chicago who created a special sound and form of music that sustains some 30 years later. Black creators across all spectrums don’t always get their credit in the history books. Remember the late Little Richard, who famously said “They didn’t give me nothing!” Well, we produced a film that documents these genius black creators and the love that has come their way from a grateful fan base in Chicago and worldwide. This film is one for the history books.

Tressa: Woodstock of House” was the well-written treatment written by Rodrick Wimberly and Ayanna Wimberly. The treatment provided the blueprint of promoting a conversation about celebrating young Black teens who created a music genre and created “The Annual Chosen Few House Picnic” every 4th of July. I was particularly fascinated with the historical similarities House music had with disco music. In addition, House music is empowering and created a dance movement. The Chosen Few created an event about love, peace, and unity without any violence. 

Steve:  Well, as far as what inspired me, I remember Rod asking me to come to the picnic for a few years.  He had introduced me to the music and how to DJ, so he knew I would love the picnic.  Finally, he convinced me and I came out…not to mention that it was the 25th Anniversary picnic.  WOW!!!! I had recently directed/produced my first short film, so I looked at Rod and said “Rod we have to make this documentary.  It would be amazing”.  From there, we started on the long journey that eventually became The Woodstock of House.   

So, the idea that inspired me to bring this film to life was the music and the life it has given me.  Now, this is my opportunity to give something back to House.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: (WAYNE)  What influence or effect do you think the film will have on society as a whole?

Wayne:  I hope the impact of the film is how the type of music we chose to impact our life, that grew to reach people all over the world, roots came from love, unity and freedom of art. Our music put smiles on people’s face and takes your stress away for that time when you are in House music. The world has been traumatized in the last  three years and has become meaner. Our music, House music, is the kryptonite of stress and depression and we have to get back to love, which is what House music is about.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE: (JESSE) Being the first person to have a House music song pressed on vinyl (“On and On”), as well as being a member of The Chosen Few DJs, which are featured in The Woodstock of House, how does it feel to be a member of a DJ crew that is considered to be part of the
foundation and continuation of the House music genre?

Jesse:  I’ve grown up originating and pioneering a culture that was new and different than anything prior to it. That means that my perspective is different than most peoples.  It all happened around me. I didn’t get the privilege of being able to look at something grow, because I was too busy trying to move and build the movement.. It turned out to be bigger than I could have ever
imagined.

My legacy with the Chosen Few is as dear to me as apple pie is to America. The walls that we
have been able to break down as a crew, that have bridged the gap between racism, sexism and
sexual orientation, have been immense. We’ve been able to bring everyone together to show that
we can love, dance and assemble as one – anywhere, anytime.

Personally, I’m proud to have started a revolution that allowed young, urban Black kids to DJ,
produce and release their musical expressions to the world…thus creating a world-wide culture
we now know as House music!

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK). As a Chicago native, who was there when House music was born and participated in its growth and evolution, I am proud that this film has been written and produced to show the international community how House all started.  Then, to have The Woodstock of House to be selected for Chicago’s prestigious Black Harvest Film Festival, as well as recently winning Best Documentary in Gary Indiana’s Black Film Festival must have made you feel some type of way.  Please explain to our readers how gaining all of this attention, support and accolades make you feel.

Rodrick:   It has truly been a blessing!  It is exhilarating to play the film for house music and documentary lovers after taking six (6) years to complete.  We were rejected by so many film festivals early on so we just were overwhelmed by the love that we received from the audience and programmers at the Gary Black International Film Festival and the exposure that we are now receiving from film festivals all over the country (we have even had programmers from Europe approach us and request to exhibit the film).  It has almost been unbelievable but we had faith in each other, our project and God and He always has the last say.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA, TRESSA) I am so proud to see two Black women being a part of The Woodstock of House production, especially serving as members of the executive producer AND producer team.  You both have an impressive, professional background and years of experience.  Can you explain why it is important to you to have minority, female representation in the film industry?

Vonda: It’s an incredibly exciting time for Black women filmmakers. There have always been Black women creating amazing film projects, in front of and behind the camera.  I think in the last decade – more media attention has elevated their work. I’m thinking of my personal shero, Ava Duvernay, who after becoming the first Black woman to the win the directing award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film “Middle of Nowhere”, has blazed a trail with development deals that allow her to hire other women producers, writers and directors in film and television. That is how you ensure representation. American cinema can reflect everyday life, culture, politics, music, education, etc. – and Black women contribute to all of those things. We have a unique prospective and imprint and our voices, experiences and stories should be told by us.

Tressa:  Thank you for your acknowledgment. Black filmmakers are underrepresented in executive decision-making roles throughout the industry. The film industry in particular remains disproportionately white. This underrepresentation extends to the buying side, where Black distributors make up a small fraction of the total. Most of the productions I’m part of are lead by directors and producers who intentionally choose female department heads. Having females in these positions are important so our voices are represented. 

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (RODRICK, WAYNE, JESSE)   House is more than a genre of music.  It is a mentality of peacefulness, freedom of expression, love and acceptance.  If the founding generation of House music, which are us, does not pass the music and the DJ skills to the next generation, House could be lost.  How do you feel about the future of House music and what is its’ legacy?

Rodrick:  That was a major theme that was part of the initial treatment from the film and is a serious issue within the House Music community.  We, as House Music cultivators and curators, must introduce more young people to the Chicago and soulful style of house music that advances these altruistic societal values.  While some subgenres of House have captured the imagination of younger fans by advancing the driving energy of mostly instrumental music, like EDM, we must make it a point to elevate our sound as a cultural musical expression that has sociological implications to break down barriers between peoples and even nations.  That is truly worth educating young people about.  

Wayne:  House music started in 1984 and has been going ever since.  It has never been in jeopardy of not continuing  because there are too many people of talent  who are constantly discovering House music who are producers, DJs, songwriters and artists.

Jesse:  The future for the culture of House is as broad and diverse as has been for the last 45+ years. The culture of love, understanding and freedom has been a part of our American heritage since the American Revolution 350 years ago. We ALL want freedom to be who we want to be, love who and how we want to and dance the night away. House music breeds that and is the flag that we carry throughout our time on this earth. So the future of House is bright and shiny and will forever live in the hearts of generations to come.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (VONDA)   Please introduce our readers to 2CHI Entertainment and explain what’s its mission.

Vonda:  2CHi Entertainment was founded in 2013 with the mission to produce movie and television projects that tell stories of the Black experience. Black production companies are vastly underrepresented within the film industry. We want to close that gap with stories that reflect the contributions of African-Americans to society on film in all genres: drama, science fiction, suspense, comedy, biography.

Our first project was a suspense thriller short film, called Uh-Oh, that was screened at the Pan-African Film Festival and the Roxbury Film Festival in 2018. We have projects in development including one about the historical contribution of Blacks in the military, a faith-based inspirational drama, and a family film that gives a slice-of-life view of a Chicago family.

GO BANG! MAGAZINE:  (STEVE, TRESSA)   In your opinion, what do you hope the “take away” is for the audience, after viewing The Woodstock of House?

Steve:  What I would hope the audience, especially the Chicago audience, “take away” is, is what this music is.  What we as a people can do over and over and over.   (We can) take bits and pieces of this and that and create something that will move the entire globe.  We do it under the most trying of circumstances, almost as a survival mechanism.  That ……and the music……is about LOVE.

Tressa: I hope the take away for the viewer is a reflection of the importance of unity, peace, and love.
Music is an universal language! Smiling and laughter creates great vibes! We can always add to our own personal happy! “House Music All Night Long!” 

GO BANG! Magazine would like to congratulate and thank you and the entire production team of The Woodstock of House, for writing and producing this informative, entertaining, powerful and much-needed documentary about another style of music that was born in Chicago, IL, USA….. HOUSE MUSIC!  What would you like to say “Mr. Writer” to leave with our international audience about the film, House culture, the future of House or anything else?

Rodrick:  Thanks so much for your kind words and for allowing us to share our story in such a great publication.  I just want to thank my amazing production team for their skill, excellence, character and patience in bringing this love project to life.  We became a family during this project and I love every one of them!

GO BANG! Magazine:  You are more than welcome Rod…thank you for bringing the truth about House, from the home of House, to the world!  

HOUSE MUSIC IS MY LIFE….ALL NIGHT LONG!

GO BANG!!!

Here is the trailer.

 

Black Harvest Film Festival will virtually stream The Woodstock of House November 13- December 2, 2021.

Streaming Ticket Info:

https://watch.eventive.org/gsfc/play/6168922c7c7500030b0cfe7a

 

THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE

Thursday, November 11th @8pm & Friday, November 12th @8pm

On debut night, Thursday, November 11th, the audience will be blessed with a live appearances by Writer/Director/Executive Producer/Producer Rodrick F. Wimberly, who will be joined by Tressa Epps, Executive Producer/Producer, Vonda Paige, Executive Producer/Producer, Steve Toles, Executive Producer/Producer and Senuwell Smith, Director

TICKETS:  

https://gsfc.eventive.org/films/the-woodstock-of-house-61687f3ba8594300b3cc787d?fbclid=IwAR1cfNIt1BoBuNXsb736vVvLPhwIYW4wcVL-CYil6KFMe2Mw6wErU0b0v6Y

You can find out more information about THE WOODSTOCK OF HOUSE on all social media platforms:

 

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/woodstockofhouse

@woodstockofhouse

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/thewoodstockofhouse

@thewoodstockofhouse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WoodstockHouse2

@woodstockHouse2

 

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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 credit: Katrina Monea

 

As a native Chicagoan, Djedi was born Kenneth Russell. He is the second child to be born out of four siblings. Djedi, has been involved in the performing arts since he was eight years old. He started out in tumbling class at Mayfair Academy. But after two years of repetitive routines, his enthusiasm faded. Soon after, his mother introduced him to tap dance. After all, his mother, brother, and sister were all taking up tap. So, he finally gave it a shot. After his first performance, Kenn fell in love with the art form and sought after it more as years passed.

Kenn studied dance at Columbia College Chicago. He has taken master tap dance classes from some of the greatest tap dancers in the world, including Jason Samuels Smith, Bril Barrett, Martin “Tre” Dumas III, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Derrick Grant, Reggio McLaughlin and the late great Ernest “Brownie” Brown, to name a few.

Now, more than 20 years in his craft, he’s teaching children to pursue their dreams. He leads by example with his own style of the art form of tap dance, amongst other rhythmic dance genres that were picked up along the way. Djedi has been using tap dance as an outlet for healing.


GO BANG! Magazine: Where in Chicago were you born and raised?

Djedi: I was born on the west side, but raised on the south side.

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you first get involved in the performing arts, particularly in tap?

Djedi: Well, I was in a junior bowling league for as long as I could remember and my mother didn’t want that being the only activity for me (especially as active and aggressive as I was). So she first enrolled me at Mayfair Academy for tumbling lessons. Two years later, I got bored, so I took up tap dance instead. After my first recital, I knew that I’d be doing it for a while, but not like this and I’m so grateful for it!

GO BANG! Magazine: What was is about tap dancing that attracted you to pursue it?

Djedi: The unique sound, the rhythm and the freedom of creating my own music, while I dance. I love the simple regalness of tap.

GO BANG! Magazine: There is a long history of great African-American tap dancers. You have had to chance to train under some of the greatest tap dancers in the world. Please describe some of the highlights of your training.

Djedi: The takeover of “Hoofers” of Chicago and New York is what I mostly remember. Sweaty rooms, foggy mirrors…you’d think you just entered a sauna. Training is no joke with those cats and others from other states and countries. “Shedding” (another is term in tap which means to train intensely) with some of the dopest tap dancers in the world is a privilege that I don’t take lightly. Without those experiences with such light-beings as Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Cartier Williams, Nico Rubio, and Martin Tre’ Dumas to name a very few, I most certainly wouldn’t be the same Djedi.

GO BANG! Magazine: After 20 years in tap, you’ve graduated to the level where you are now the trainer. Please tell our readers about your training classes and why you chose to teach the youth.

Djedi: I like to think of myself as a master student. I take the training that was given to me and I utilize it. Then, whatever I like and has helped me the most, I give to my students. The way I teach is strict discipline, but structured fun. I teach because I would like to see more light and love in the world. Tap dance is so much more than just rhythms and footwork. It’s language and dance, treble and bass, aspiration and inspiration. It’s historical and futuristic. It’s the first American dance and with that knowledge, I’d like to make sure that knowledge is being carried on and flourishing properly. That’s just one of my ways of improving the art form while it progresses, warps and moves with and around time.

GO BANG! Magazine readers already understand that music can be used to heal the soul. How do you use tap dancing as an outlet for healing?

Djedi: I think about my frustrations and I dive deep into steps and rhythms of expression. Instead of fighting or doing harm to anyone or anything, I go create something very aggressive, yet harmless, to filter out how I’m feeling.

GO BANG! Magazine: Besides tap dancing, what other types of dancing do you do?

Djedi: I have a little training in ballet, but I loved taking Jazz and West African dance. I’ve also done dances such as Ballroom for a cotillion.

GO BANG! Magazine: Please explain to our readers exactly what the other gifts are that you have been blessed with, including Reiki Practitioner and Oracle Reading. Can you please go into detail about what those are?

Djedi: Reiki is light work or universal life force. It’s basically God’s (or Divine Source’s) energy and I draw it in while giving a reiki session to allow the client to heal him or herself. I use crystals, five elements of the earth and breath. I like to ground myself, and the person, before and after the sessions. It’s pretty “magickal!”

Oracle readings are like in-depth prayers or conversations with God about your next moves in life like tarot, but less structured.
For both, I’m a conduit. God is the one doing the work. I’m just the plug for the connection.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are so multi-talented, being an artist, jewelry maker, as well as a music performer. Why do you think that God gifted you all of these talents and what do you feel is your responsibility, having these gifts?

Djedi: It’s like the lyrics in a song a good friend of mine wrote, “Cause I know what to do with it!” God bestowed these gifts upon me because I ask for it daily. I stayed as humble as I could, yet consistent and persistent. I showed I can handle these responsibilities by sending affirmations to people, healing people through shows by gracing their eyes and ears with educated feet and percussive sound. I am responsible for teaching tap dance with my own flare so that something else can blossom from it. This is the seed of a deeply rooted tree. It’s going to set its foundation and at the same time, create more seeds.

GO BANG! Magazine: Tap dancing is a dying talent. Looking to the future, where do you see tap?

Djedi: Tap dancing is dying? Really?!? Well, how can that be when it’s been around for nearly two centuries and cats still hitting. I mean, it may not be as many as it used to be, but there’s still a plethora of folk hitting strong and carrying their legacy. It’s the past present, and future.

Where I see it going is in many different directions for many different reasons. It’s such a broad subject in itself, I believe that with the right frequency, nurture, and discipline, it (tap dance) can ground and heal the world.

GO BANG! Magazine:  Lastly, what current projects have you been working on?

Djedi:  The most current project I released was a song called “Stars” featuring Sam Trump. You can find it on all musical platforms.

“Stars” Youtube link: https://youtu.be/jDvEDs0LOEc


You can follow Djedi on:
Instagram: @Djediisart and @Djedtasticgems
Facebook: Djedi Ohm
Latest Single: https://youtu.be/jDvEDs0LOEc

 



Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, 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.