Photo Credit: Anthony O. Studios

 

I got started in Entertainment through modeling, at the young age of 11. Slowly though, I took a liking to working behind the scene, rather than being in front of the camera. So, a few years later I decided to study photography to further my knowledge. I was also interested in managing models, which would give me the opportunity to help them reach their dreams, as I did mine.

As of today, my work has been displayed in various formats, from websites to billboards for companies. In the future, I plan on moving on to larger projects and productions for larger businesses. I also plan to book my models in more commercials and photoshoots as well.

Anthony says, “My goal is to give back to the community and help them as much as I can.” He continues, saying, “Look out for me, Anthony Oliver and Lights Out Entertainment! “

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

Anthony Oliver: I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.

GO BANG! Magazine: How and when did you get an interest in the Entertainment field?

Anthony Oliver: I grew an interest in the photography field from when I use to model at the age of 11. I used to get frustrated waiting for photographers to take my photos, so I bought a camera and started to learn photography myself. My mom helped me out a lot and so did my dad. They both supported me big time and I found a love for being behind the camera rather than being in front of the camera.

GO BANG! Magazine: What was is about modeling that you liked and why did you stop?

Anthony Oliver: What I loved about modeling was the confidence it gave me. Being on the runway and being in front of the camera gives you a confident feeling like no other.

I didn’t fully stop modeling. I just don’t do it as much. I feel like I’ve had my time in the spot light of modeling, now I want to capture other people’s moments and give them the spotlight. However, I do hop into frame every once in a while.

GO BANG! Magazine: You also manage models. What exactly do you do for the models and how do you recruit your models?

Anthony Oliver: Yes, I do manage models and what I do is teach them about the industry and help to build them a portfolio. My models don’t give money up front. I always tell my models “I don’t get paid until you get paid!” That pushes me to do my job. What that means is that when my models are booked, I add on a percentage to their price for me and the rest goes to the model. I do not touch it, it goes directly to them. I don’t want to take my models money that they worked hard for. I’m here to help others build and make money together, rather than digging in their pockets before I’ve done any work.

I recruit models by having modeling calls each year when my models contracts are outdated.

GO BANG! Magazine: What exactly do you love about working behind the camera, as a photographer?

Anthony Oliver: The one thing I absolutely love about being behind the camera as a photographer is the joy on people’s faces when they see the photo. The fact that I can make people that happy and create beautiful memories to remember forever makes me feel proud and I feel like I’ve done my job correctly as a photographer.

GO BANG! Magazine: What type of photography do you like; fashion, architectural, nature, animals, etc., and why?

Anthony Oliver: When I first started, I really loved boudoir photography. The reason being, my clients were women who lost weight or wanted to do it as a gift for their husbands. It was various heart-felt moments when my clients didn’t feel too confident. But then out of nowhere, there was this confidence boost and they always loved every photo. I just liked the fact that I could make someone feel comfortable in their own skin and not care what other people thought. But as of today, I would say I like doing product photography because products aren’t late to their shoots and they sit still.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re also an entrepreneur. Can you tell our readers about Lights Out Entertainment and what your company does?

Anthony Oliver: Recently I’ve rebranded to Anthony O. Studios for photography, videography, and model management. I do currently still own Lights Out, however that is the name of my fragrance line. Anthony O. Studios covers every photography need. I also offer video packages and models that my clients can choose from for any projects they plan to do.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve been quoted as saying, “My goal is to give back to the community and help them as much as I can.” What exactly do you want to do for the community, is there any community in particular, and have you started that mission yet?

Anthony Oliver: When I say give back to my community, I mean holding photography classes for kids that find interest in it at a young age and helping those who aren’t as fortunate as I am. I have put this into effect already. I started in the beginning of the month of August 2021. My business put together a “feed the homeless” movement and this December we will do a coat drive as well as toy donation to orphans.

GO BANG! Magazine: In the future, I know that you want to grow bigger and have larger projects. Is there any company or person that would be your “dream project” to do a shoot for?

Anthony Oliver: I would love to do a production for the rock (Dwayne Jonson) and his products Teremana (Tequila) or ZOA (Energy drink) because they are both products that I have tried and personally like.

GO BANG! Magazine: 2021 has been quite a year, especially after going through 2020. We’ve experience Covid, #BlackLivesMatter, a new president and a NEW variety of the Covid virus, the Delta variant. How has the past two years been for you and are there any events in particular that stood out the most over that time period?

Anthony Oliver: Honestly, I would say COVID has been one of the best things that have happened to me from a business stand point. Reason being, the lockdown gave people a reason to be on their phones 24/7. I took that as an opportunity to promote myself and get the word out through social media. But, from a personal stand point it was very hard because even though I knew it would lift up and I could go outside and explore new places again at some point, I just didn’t know when and that’s what bothered me, just not knowing when.


You can follow Anthony on IG @anthonyostudios




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: Leslie Carroll

 

Born in the Philippines to a Filipina mother and Indian father, Czarina (aka Czboogie) moved to the United States and attended Northwestern University majoring in Theater. She wanted to be an actress and did films, TV, commercials, and modeling, (all that lovely shit) for 15 years, but also had a serious love affair for House.

Czboogie’s style of sexy Disco-infused House music has made her an in-demand DJ all over Chicago, in cities around the US, as well as in Asia. She has had DJ residencies at Smartbar (Chicago’s number one club for electronic music), Evil Olive, Grandbar, Hydrate, 3 Degrees at Primary, Circuit, Crocodile, Uptown Lounge, Cocktail, Drop Chicago, and with the legendary Boom Boom Room (the longest running House nightclub in the world.) One of the highlights was her Nu-Breed Residency with the world-class House legends Cajmere and Chez Damier at Smartbar.

Czboogie has played alongside some of her favorite DJs such as Kerri Chandler, Dennis Ferrer, Derrick Carter, Cajmere, Joey Negro, Osunalde, Chez Damier, Karizma, Spen, Mark Farina, Timmy Regisford, Miguel Migs and Gene Ferris.

She is also part of the DJ collective The Untouchables with Farley Jackmaster Funk, Paul Johnson and Gene Hunt, 3 Degrees Global the Strictly 90s crews.

In August of 2005, she began 5 Magazine and says “House music has now become my full time job!” 5 Magazine is the nation’s only magazine committed exclusively to the dance music that grew out of Chicago’s club scene. “It’s very much a labor of love,” says Mirani. The monthly magazine, with 10,000 copies distributed free of charge throughout Chicago, includes stories on artists, DJs and producers from House music’s past and present.

Aside from being the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of 5 Magazine, she also does 5 Magazine radio shows and podcasts. She currently is doing ‘Cz’s Boogie’ which won New City’s ‘Best House Music Podcast’ as well as the ‘Conversations’ podcast where she interviews some of the most prominent names in the dance music field.

Loving all aspects of the House world, Czboogie promotes several events in Chicago and has her own dance company (Fivestarboogie Productions) with dance performances and classes throughout Chicago. Her House dancing classes have been named by the Chicago Reader as the ‘best dance class in the city.’

She has faced several cultural barriers throughout her professional life. But being a female, Asian DJ made her stand out and helped propel her career. She goes on to say, “House music is multicultural and it’s a very accepting culture.”

GO BANG! Magazine: What do you remember most about living in the Philippines and when and why did you decide to move to the United States?

Czboogie: My mom is Filipina and my dad is east Indian and that is where my family home is. My mom was a socialite and always had big parties in our house. We even had a little disco of sorts, and she would jam out Disco tunes all night long!
I decided to move to the States because I wanted to pursue an acting career, so I went to Northwestern University to major in Theater.

GO BANG! Magazine: When and how did you first become interested in spinning?

Czboogie: I had become interested in spinning because I was already at year 5 of the magazine and I had interviewed so many DJs by then. I was actually curious as to the technical aspects of it, not really thinking I would eventually play out. I was dating Rees Urban at the time and he was kind enough to show me the ropes.

GO BANG! Magazine: The House music in Chicago varies depending on what side of the city you’re on. How would you describe the music played on the north side in comparison to the south and west side?

Czboogie: Well I suppose the traditional answer would be that the north side of Chicago tends towards newer music while the south side plays more of the classics. I’m not really sure about the west side, as I didn’t frequent as many establishments there. That’s a really broad generalization though, because we all know that statement can get easily flip flopped depending on what night, venue or DJ is taking place!

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a legendary DJ, you are also a talented actress, model and dancer. What is it about being a performer that you like most and keeps you inspired to perform?

Czboogie: You are too kind! I love performing because it’s what I’m naturally drawn to do. I love the rush of being onstage and either playing a role or dancing. I’m an extrovert and I have a lot of energy so a lot of it comes from getting it all out there to a bigger audience!

GO BANG! Magazine: Can you tell our readers about your dance company Fivestarboogie Dancers and how they can find out more information about performances or classes?

Czboogie: I had originally started Fivestarboogie Dancers as a side project while dancing and training at Joel Hall Dance Company. I was really into different styles of dance even then…so aside from being classically trained in studio dance (ballet, jazz, modern) I loved House dancing, Vogueing, Bboying, etc. I wanted an outlet to be able to mix all of those styles together. So I would go out to New York, take a million classes in different styles, write a show, choreograph the pieces and cast my dancer friends in these shows. We would then perform at theaters and nightclubs around the city. The shows were always well received because they were a happy mix of club and party vibes…we would have an absolute blast!

In terms of classes I used to teach House dance classes on and off throughout the years, the last class being for the Chicago House Music Festival at Millennium Park. I don’t teach so much anymore, mainly because I have some major dance related injuries in my legs that make it difficult. That’s why I took up Aerial arts so I can use more of my upper body and stay active.

GO BANG! Magazine: Besides being a House dancer, you are also trained in other styles of dance. What other types of dance can you do?

Czboogie: I’ve trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop also loved Vogueing, Waacking and B-girling!

GO BANG! Magazine: As an actress, you performed in commercials, TV and film. What types of roles were you drawn to and most interested in playing, as a character actor?

Czboogie: I used to always get cast in roles as the bad girl lol. Also back then diversity was not what it was at it is now, so they would often try to pigeonhole me in very limited “minority” roles. It was frustrating, so I finally wrote my own production which was a Hip-Hop adaptation of Cinderella complete with full dance numbers. It was a huge success and we ended up doing a second run of it. After that I got out of the acting audition game to focus on my dancing.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re a beautiful woman with a unique look. It’s quite natural that you would be interested and experienced in modeling. Which types of modeling did you like doing the most: print, runway, sports, industrial or any other?

Czboogie: Thank you for that, you are much too kind! Modeling wise I did print, runway and quite a few industrials. But I don’t really stress this part of my career as I didn’t pursue it. I just took gigs when they were offered.

GO BANG! Magazine: Czboogie is not only known all over the United States, but in Asia as well. How would you describe the Asian House scene in comparison to the scene here in the US? What’s similar and what’s different?

Czboogie: Ooh it’s hard to tell because each country is so different. I think there are huge pockets here and there of underground House in their clubs. I used to play in Manila whenever I would visit my family and was happily surprised how big House was there. Now of course, commercial House and Dance music in general is much more prevalent over there.

GO BANG! Magazine: The COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you dealing with it?

Czboogie: Honestly, in the last two years I’ve become less of a party girl and more of a hermit lol. So the whole staying home thing is nothing new to me and I’m ok with it. Of course I count my blessings every day because I know there are so many people that are not as fortunate in their circumstances living with this pandemic. Many House artists I’ve spoken to say they’ve taken this break to sort of recharge their batteries, slow down and focus on other areas of their lives. I’ve become 100% focused on my fitness and am ok with no nightlife right now. It will come back. Thankfully the magazine is still going strong.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion Czarina, did you know that you and the success of 5 Magazine inspired me to launch GO BANG! Magazine? I want to thank you for inspiring me. I also want to thank you for taking the time and giving me the honor of interviewing you for GO BANG! Magazine.

Czboogie: I did not know that! I’m so flattered and honored! And I’m very proud of you, it takes a lot to start a magazine and to keep it going. Bravo!

GO BANG! Magazine: Thanks! 😉



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.

Just a few weeks ago, it was announced that lifetime Chicago resident Stevie Edwards would be making history in Vogue Magazine’s October issue, being the first Black designer to feature his collection in a full-page ad. This has not been done since the 80’s with Black designers such as Willi Smith, Patrick Kelly, or Stephen Burrows.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Stevie got his first accomplishment in fashion while attending the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. Winning numerous awards during the annual college student fashion show, it was one of Stevie’s designs that caught the eye of the late great “Fashion Icon” Eunice Johnson, founder of Ebony/Jet and Fashion Fair. Eunice purchased Stevie’s leather Evening Dress collection, which was showcased in her International Ebony Fashion Fair Show that traveled the world.

This also led to an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show to receive recognition for his designs. Also receiving major editorial in Ebony Magazine as “A Black Designer on the Rise”, Stevie was also receiving editorials in other fashion publications such as Vogue, W, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Defender, The Hyde Park Herald, Chicago Social and most recently CIE Fashion Magazine.

In 2008, Stevie opened up his freelance boutique in Chicago which launched his brand “I Luv Stevie”, which was a combination of one-of-a-kind sexy, cutting edge clothing for the upscale and fabulous woman.

Stevie’s clothes have been seen nationally on the runway in shows such as Urban Fashion Week in Miami and Black Fashion Week in Chicago. More recently, was the debut of his Women Spring/Summer 2018 collection in Sept 2017 at NYFW (New York Fashion Week).

Stevie’s unique designs have graced the bodies of celebrities and the elite including Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Jody Watley, Sparkle, LisaRaye, Patti Labelle, R.Kelly and D’Angelo, just to name a few.

Stevie plans on taking you on a fashion journey…so sit back relax and get into it!!

VIDEO LINK to ABC7 CHICAGO NEWS CLIP:  https://www.facebook.com/stevie.edwards.984/videos/10225243584943662



GO BANG! Magazine: What about fashion design attracted you as a child?

Stevie Edwards: I WAS ATTRACTED TO FASHION AS A CHILE BY WATCHING MY SISTERS DRESS AND ALSO WATCHING SOUL TRAIN DANCERS JODY WATLEY & JEFFERY DANIELS OUTFITS ON “SOUL TRAIN.” I WAS ALSO A BIG FAN OF DIANA ROSS’ GLAMOUROUS STYLE.

GO BANG! Magazine: Knowing how cruel children can be, as a kid, did you ever get teased or bullied by your peers for being a young boy that was interested in sewing? If so, how did you deal with it? If not, how did you avoid it?

Stevie Edwards: OF COURSE. I WAS TEASED BY BEING THE ONLY BOY IN A HOME ECONOMIC CLASS IN 8TH GRADE TAKING UP SEWING, INSTEAD OF BEING IN WOOD SHOP WITH THE OTHER GUYS. I REALLY DIDN’T LET IT BOTHER ME BECAUSE I WAS VERY INTERESTED IN THE SEWING MACHINE. I IGNORED THEM.

GO BANG! Magazine: When designing a gown for a woman, how are you inspired and what guides you to design that specific gown?

Stevie Edwards: DESIGNING A GOWN CAN DEPEND ON MULTUPLE THINGS. IM FIRST INSPIRED BY THE FABRIC. THAT GIVES ME AN IDEA ON WHAT STYLE OF DRESS I WOULD DESIGN. THEN THE TYPE OF WOMEN THAT WOULD WEAR IT.

GO BANG! Magazine: Soon you will debut your Men’s fashion line. Men, in general, are usually a little less fussy and/or particular about their clothing. Would you agree? What type of specific designing ideas do you plan to explore when designing men’s clothing?

Stevie Edwards: MEN ARE LESS FUSSIER BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE MANY CHOICES AS WOMEN DO. MOST MEN WILL TAKE YOUR ADVICE ON WHAT LOOKS GOOD ON THEM. I WILL DESIGN SOME THINGS THAT WILL GIVE MEN BETTER CHOICES THAN THE NORM…STEPPING OUTSIDE THE BOX OF BEING CONSERVATIVE…BEING A LITTLE RISQUE, BUT STILL TRENDY.

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years you have designed for a very special group of people and received awards for your outstanding designs. Are there any celebrities or other individuals that you would like to design for, and any designers that you’d like to work with, that you haven’t thus far?

Stevie Edwards: I WOULD LOVE TO DESIGN SOMETHING FOR RIHANNA AND USHER. THOSE ARE THE TWO CELEBS I HAVE MY EYE ON.

I WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH OR CONTINUE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY WITH DESIGNER TOM FORD. I SEE SOME OF MYSELF IN HIM WHEN IM DESIGNING.

GO BANG! Magazine: Designing is a very personal craft. You must not only please yourself, but you must also please your client. How do you manage to reach that sensitive balance, when you design your creations?

Stevie Edwards: YOU’RE ONLY GOOD AS YOUR LAST DESIGN IN THIS INDUSTRY. SO, I TRY TO GET BETTER AND BETTER WITH EACH NEXT DESIGN. IT’S A COMPETITION WITH MYSELF EACH TIME.

GO BANG! Magazine: If, God forbid, you were unable to design clothes anymore. What would you do then as a career, and why?

Stevie Edwards: THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION.
I WOULD PROBABLY TEACH FASHION, IF I COULD NOT DESIGN ANYMORE. I WOULD LOVE TO TEACH DESIGNING, PATTERNMAKING AND TAILORING ONE DAY.

GO BANG! Magazine: CONGRATULATIONS are in order for you!!! You were just recently internationally recognized and made history as the new “IT” designer by Vogue magazine, the “Bible” of Fashion magazines. How did you feel when you heard the news and what does it mean to you going forward?

Stevie Edwards: I WAS ESTATIC WHEN I GOT THAT VOGUE CALL. AT THAT POINT, I BELIEVED THAT DREAMS DO COME TRUE, BECAUSE I HAD DREAMED OF THAT MOMENT. MOVING FORWARD, I WILL JUST CONTINUE TO BUILD MY BRAND, NOW THAT I HAVE THE ATTENTION OF THE FASHION WORLD.

GO BANG! Magazine: The Covid-19 pandemic has dampened and ruined the entire year of 2020 thus far, for many people. They are dealing with it in various ways. Some are doing just fine, while others are depressed because of loneliness or death to loved ones, due to the virus. How has the pandemic affected you?

Stevie Edwards: THE COVID FOR ME HAS BEEN A BLESSING AND A CURSE.

A BLESSING MEANING, I HAVE CONTINUOUSLY BEEN WORKING AND GETTING MORE PRESS OVER THE PAST 6-7 MONTHS THAN I’VE GOTTEN IN MY 34 YEARS BEING IN THE FASHION BUSINESS.

THE CURSE IS THAT I CANNOT PRESENT A COLLECTION IN LARGE CROWDS OR DO FASHION SHOWS. THOSE ALLOW ME TO BE ONE ON ONE WITH THE CONSUMER. EVERYTHING IS VIRTUAL.

GO BANG! Magazine: Being a Black man in America today is dangerous on a daily basis. We have ALL experienced it in different ways. How have you been affected by systematic racism and have you witnessed White privilege? If so, please describe the instance for our readers.

Stevie Edwards: OH WOW, YES!

I WAS JUST GOING TO MEET A FRIEND TO HAVE DINNER AT A RESTAURANT. I HAD CALLED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS, BUT THET HAD SAID JUST WALK IN. THERE WERE NO MORE RESERVATIONS. AS I WALKED IN, THE HOST SAID, ‘SORRY WE ARE FULL FOR INSIDE DINING AND THE BAR IS FULL”, EVEN THO I COULD SEE THERE WERE MULTIPLE SEATS OPEN AT THE BAR.

SO, I PROCEEDED TO LEAVE, BUT DECIDE TO CALL ON THE PHONE TO ASK IF THEY WERE FULL. THE LADY ANSWERED AND SAID, “NO WE HAVE SEATS AVAILABLE, COME IN AND ASKED FOR ME.” I WENT BACK IN AND ASKED FOR HER. SHE PROCEEDED TO TAKE ME STRAIGHT TO A TABLE. I WAS LIVID!!! THE HOST WAS A WHITE GUY WHO SAID THEY WERE BOOKED.

GO BANG! Magazine: As a born and raised Chicagoan, you’ve been a member of the House music community since its beginning. In the early days, House people were very fashion conscious and expressed their individuality through fashion (self-designed or store bought), as well as through hair styles/cuts, jewelry and make up. How did being a member of the House community influence you during your developmental years, as well as now?

Stevie Edwards: I AM SOOO GLAD TO HAVE EXPEREINCES THE HOUSE /DISCO DAYS. IT ACTUALLY HELP DEVELOPED MY FASHION SENSE AND CAREER ALSO.

WE WOULD COME OUT TO THE POWERPLANT, MUSIC BOX & WAREHOUSE (NIGHTCLUBS) DRESSED IN DESIGNER PIECES. THAT WAS THE NORM. NOW IT’S DIFFERENT AND MORE COMMERCIAL.

THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO CLAIM THEY ARE HOUSEHEADS, BUT NEVER EVEN EXPERIENCED A CLUB BACK IN THE DAY.

I DON’T GET IT!

GO BANG! Magazine: You know that we here in Chicago have been proud of you for many years and are almost as happy and excited for you as you are for yourself. What would you like to say to all of your friends who know you and have supported you throughout the years?

Stevie Edwards: THANK YOU GUYS FOR THE YEARS OF SUPPORT AND AS ABC NEWS SAID, “IM MAKING CHICAGO PROUD.” I WILL CONTINUE TO DO WHAT I WAS BLESSED TO DO, WHICH IS CREATE FASHION AND LEAVE A LEGACY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION.

GO BANG! Magazine: Lastly, what would you like to say to GO BANG! Magazine’s international audience across the world, which may not be familiar with you or your designs YET?

Stevie Edwards: I WOULD LIKE TO SAY CONTINUE TO SUPPORT ME AND STAY TUNED FOR MORE FABULOUS FASHION. ALSO FOLLOW ME ON ALL MY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

GO BANG! Magazine:  CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO YOU FROM YOUR CHICAGO FAMILY!!!



Log onto the website and explore his designs: www.iluvstevie.com
Follow Stevie on social media:
IG: @steviethedesigner
Twt: @stevieedwards
FB: @iluvstevieboutique and Stevie Edwards

 


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. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram

Michael Cox, a Chicago native, is an artist of the heart. Being surrounded by art most of his life, this self-trained artist took hold and harnessed his creative force. Although he studied at Clark-Atlanta University with a focus in radio/television broadcasting, it is in the artistic world where his presence dominates.

Through an intricate layering and blending of colors and mediums, Michael is able to create visually stimulating 3-dimensional works of art. The dynamic attention to detail in each art piece captures the essence of the human spirit. Michael believes that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, and thru the eyes, true character is illuminated. This belief is reflected in the portraits of their creator.

Although Michael is best known for the creation of one-of-a-kind, hand-painted, works of wearable art; his unique 3-dimensional style is also captured on canvas. Michael’s work graces the walls of several private art collectors worldwide, and has been showcased in several art galleries in Chicago and Atlanta. Michael’s “ABSOLUTE BEST in wearable art” is available in several Chicago retail boutiques. BORN VAIN ART by Michael Cox has cultivated an underground following consisting of local and national celebrities, and those in a variety of industries including entertainment, sports, and fashion/ beauty.

Michael Cox is best known for the creation of one-of-a-kind, hand-painted works of wearable art. His unique 3-dimensional style is also captured on canvas and other mediums. Michael’s work graces the walls of several private art collectors worldwide, and has been showcased in several art galleries. Born Vain Art by Michael Cox has cultivated an underground following consisting of local, national and international celebrities and fashion/beauty stars (Oprah Winfrey, Verdine White, Fred Hammond, Eric Monte, Mike Epps, Gary Owen, Common, D’Wayne Wiggins, Bobby Brown, Steve Hurley) and athletes, including the late Ernie Banks.

Through many layers of love, paint, and deep seated fury in the innermost core of my spirit left there to manifest, over and over in a different form each time. But, each time you are overwhelmed with being…#BORNVAIN

GO BANG! Magazine:  How did you get started in artwork?

Michael Cox:  As a child, I was always interested in art, and that interest was deepened by watching my father’s talent as an artist. Throughout my teen years, I watched and attempted to emulate such artists as Ernie Barnes and Kevin Williams.

GO BANG! Magazine:  What type of art do you create?

Michael Cox:  I create a style of artwork known as BORN VAIN. A 3-dimensional abstract montage of color and layers.

GO BANG! Magazine:  What makes your artwork stand out from other artwork?

Michael Cox:  To me, it’s the texture and the 3D appearance that make my artwork different from others. My customers say it’s the incredible likeness to their image.

GO BANG! Magazine:  How did you come up with the idea of placing artwork on T-shirts?

Michael Cox:  The concept of wearable art has been around for a while, however, I loved the idea as not only an affordable way for people to have my artwork who wouldn’t normally buy canvas work, but also a great promotion tool…a walking art gallery.

GO BANG! Magazine:  Besides artwork, do you have any other hidden talents?

Michael Cox:  Basically, I am BORN VAIN!

GO BANG! Magazine:  You’ve designed artwork for several celebrities.  Are there any celebrities that you would like to create artwork for, that you haven’t?

Michael Cox:  Everyone is a celebrity when you have on a BORN VAIN!

GO BANG! Magazine:  Are you active in any type of community services events?

Michael Cox:  Yes, I have lectured on college campuses to inspire young Black creatives.

GO BANG! Magazine:  In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off-guard.  How are you dealing with it?

Michael Cox:  Social distancing is definitely key, as well as boosting my immune system with healthy eating and exercise.

 

YOU CAN FOLLOW MICHAEL:

FaceBook @BORNVAINART

Instagram @mrbornvain

 

Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.comNDigo.comChicagoDefender.comEmpireRadioMagazine.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.

 

 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” – Helen Keller

No better quote expresses the philosophy of the exciting and avant-garde designer Dr. Quinton de’ Alexander. Living in New Orleans, an area rich with diversity and culture, Quinton’s curiosity about the clothes and how they were structured was recognized by him and supported by his family at an early age. At eight years old, he saw a sewing machine at a local garage sale and asked if he could have it. Thank goodness for the world of fashion and for those of us who benefit from that world, that young Mr. de’ Alexander was not denied.

Quinton began by teaching himself, through trial and error, how to make things. At a rate belying his talent and imagination, he saw his first creations within hours of setting up his new “toy” -perfect potholders – an event that sparked the journey of his life’s vocation. Day after day, he would feed his newfound passion and sit at his Singer sewing machine and recreate garments that he had studied. Without any patterns or formal education in design, he worked at the concept until he got it right. Now, due to that unstoppable spirit and determination he demonstrated as a youth, every design created by Quinton is not only right, it’s breath taking.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Quinton is the Founder/President of Chez de’ Alexander. He has created designs for an impressive range of clientele, from celebrities to small nonprofit organizations. He is a strong believer in giving back to the community and has been doing so throughout his career. Quinton is known for what is referred to as “Drama Dresses” – dresses designed to display and say so much that every head must turn to admire that “incredible work of art.”

In addition to his extensive line of women’s apparel, he also has a line of distinguished men’s apparel. Featuring powerful suits and relaxing eveningwear. The sky is the limit when it comes to his creativity. Quinton de’ Alexander is taking the fashion industry by storm, with ease and astonishing style, as he continues to please and amaze clients throughout the United States with his unquestionable talent and passion for making fashion come to life.

Quinton’s designs were showcased in the 1995 “Canadian Club Tribute to Black Designers” held in Oakland, California where he was the feature designer for “SONGDIVA”, which he also Executive Produced, and Co-Directed,

Additionally, Quinton has received numerous local and national awards such as the Fred Hampton Image Award, the 2000 University of Illinois “Hester Bates Foundation Community Service” Award, the 2003 Russell Maryland “Community Service” Award, the Westside Youth Technical Entrepreneur Center Youth Center 2010 “Thanksliving” Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service, the 2011 Teen Parent Services “Central Outstanding and Dedicated Service” Award, the 2011 Mahogany Foundation “Image Award for Excellence” in costume design, the 2012 Black Heritage Award (clothing designer of the year), Lakeside Community 2016 ‘Humanitarian of The Year” Award, and Chicago Drifters, Inc. 2016 “Community Service” Award.

In 2019, he received a Proclamation from the Honorable Lori Lightfoot for his vision of “We Dream In Color” Humanitarian Celebration. The plans are limitless for Dr. de’ Alexander, as he prepares to launch the “BLUEPRINT” exhibit tour, and a design program for “at risk youth,” both in the fall of 2020.

Dr. Quinton de’ Alexander…an eight year old young, self-taught designer, who wasn’t afraid to dream BIG and DREAM IN COLOR!

GO BANG! Magazine: What about fashion design attracted you as a child?

Quinton de’ Alexander: I was a true fan of watching the old black and white movies with actors such as Clarke Gable, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Nat King Cole, Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis and Marlene Dietrich to name a few. One thing I noticed, and was well aware of, is the clothing they wore was something special. I even took notice early on of the way my father dressed on Sunday’s going to church. Not only did I take notice of their clothing, I was fascinated by the furniture in the television homes/castles like ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘Dracula’ movies. I found myself taking notice at the way various people around were dressed and knew within that I wanted to not only dress like the people on television, who was obviously rich and famous, I wanted to learn to make them as well. Mostly because as a young eight year old, I didn’t have money to purchase them myself. Let me point his out. At eight years old, I refuse to play with toys and almost demanded I get clothing for Christmas and birthdays, instead of toys. My Father honored my wishes and allowed me to have clothes that I selected, which looked very similar to the clothes I saw Grant and Gable wear. I can remember clearly the remarks people made as I walked into church on Sundays and holidays. Church members would always say, ‘Your father know he be dressing you sharp, all the way down to the shoes,” which is why I surely develop my love of shoes. I must have over 200 hundred pairs of shoes, half never worn.

GO BANG! Magazine: Knowing how cruel children can be, as a kid, did you ever get teased or bullied by your peers for being a young boy that was interested in sewing? If so, how did you deal with it? If not, how did you avoid it?

Quinton de’ Alexander: This question makes me think. Looking back on it now, I guess you could call it an attempt of bullying. In the beginning,  I would have to say no. It would come into play as the pre-teen years came into existence. Back then, I probably look at it as jealously because we were able to get the things we wanted and needed. My father was a excellent provider of wants. Now besides sewing, I was very active in after-school activities with choir in school and in church, as well as participated in sports.  I played  football, ran track, played basketball and snuck secretly to participate in boxing. What the bully’s weren’t aware of is that I could box well too.  I’ll just say, once they bullied, they stopped quickly. That was once or twice, that I can remember. News travels fast. I honestly think it was the difference in living circumstances.

By my teen years, not only was I designing clothing, putting together fashion shows, and organizing dance troupes for talent shows, I was doing hair in the neighborhood…the good old “on the stove flat iron and curlers.” I had two wonderful muses, Vernelia Harris and Sally Ross. These ladies allowed me to do their hair or make clothes which gave me the confidence to pursue my dream. Fifty years later, we’re still in each other’s lives. All self taught, I can easily remember my mother telling people “I don’t know where he gets this talent from.”

GO BANG! Magazine: When designing a gown for a woman, how are you inspired and what guides you to design that specific gown?

Quinton de’ Alexander: My desire is to bring out the beauty of each client individually, by accentuating the positive and burying the negative deep into nonexistence. I grew up watching the most glamorous movies in black and white, when women truly dressed like ladies.  So, I have the frame of mind to bring forth the most glamorous grande dame, even if she’s young in age. However, it’s very important to give the client what she wants, unless it’s harmful to your brand. I’m very firm on not designing clothes that are not ladylike or too revealing. My clientele generally ask for my input. I listen to the client’s concerns, view past images of things they like, and ask “what is the impact you want to make at your entrance and what do you want them to say after your exit?” This allows me to go into my creative state of mind, returning with the designs to rise to the occasion and to deliver the desired outcome. In the end, it’s all about manifesting the clients dream gown into reality, with style and class.

GO BANG! Magazine: You also design men’s formal wear. Men, in general, are usually a little less fussy and/or particular about their clothing. What type of specific designing ideas do you explore when designing men’s clothing?

Quinton de’ Alexander: I beg to differ. That may have been in the olden days, but men are sometimes just as fussy as women in regards to fabric and fit. Over the years, men have evolved and consumed the importance of making a statement or entrance in grand style.  All clients deserve the same attention to details and time. I find that giving them inclusion in the creative process and teaching the quality of fabrics bring them as much joy as if I was dealing with a client of the opposite gender. Educate today, satisfied client tomorrow.

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years you have designed for a very special group of people and received several awards for your outstanding designs. Are there any celebrities or other individuals that you would like to design for, or any designers that you’d like to work with, that you haven’t thus far?

Quinton de’ Alexander: I’ve been blessed to design, dress and work with many influential people. I learned early on to treat each client the same, no matter of social status. In my eyes they are my celebrity. I’m just grateful and humbled that they selected me for guidance and to bring their vision or dream creation to life. I’ve also worked with many designers who I’ve become friends with. I’ve always appreciated the uniqueness that each designer brings forward. I find there’s harmony in unification of the creative mind and forces. If at any time a designer brings the desire of collaborating and time permits, I’m all aboard.

GO BANG! Magazine: I know that you have the We Dream In Color Foundation Inc, which gives back. Why do you feel it is important to give back to the community, and in what ways does your organization give back?

Quinton de’ Alexander: As I traveled my journey of becoming an independent designer, as well as in  life, I not only experienced, but I’ve witness what the lack of support from family and peers will do to individuals that weren’t capable of making the impossible become possible. It takes a village to raise a child. The same goes for life. No matter who you are, no one can survive the journey of life out here on their own. Therefore, I promised myself that the first time I was able to assist others freely, I would do so. Be it financially, utilizing my God given gifts, or simply sharing the knowledge I gained from ‘trial and error’ along my journey of independent living and life.  I founded ‘We Dream In Color Foundation Inc.’ to be used as a vessel to assist individuals in need of a little assistance during challenging times. I hate when others call people down on their luck “The Needy.”  We Dream In Color Foundation Inc. has established a community outreach, which includes a monthly feeding program for individuals living outside, we’ve organized various fashion and entertainment events for senior residences, and deliver new clothes and toys to various children’s hospitals, such as La Rabida and Advocate, with wards servicing survivors of cancer.  We do that every Tuesday in December. It’s our extended version of “Giving Tuesday,” However, I find great joy blessing survivors of various life challenges, such as domestic violence, homelessness, cancer, and low self-esteem, with my “Encourage Yourself Makeover.”  It’s a  total image makeover created for assisting to bring the “confidence to live life” to the fullest, bringing the hidden in the darkness back into the light. It’s truly a blessing to be a blessing to those who truly appreciate human kindness. The one song that I find to be extremely true is “People Who Need People Are The Happiest People In The World.” Just imagine the positive results if we all took a moment to assist others to Dream BIG and DREAM IN COLOR.

GO BANG! Magazine: Designing is a very personal craft. You must not only please yourself, but you must also please your client. How do you manage to reach that sensitive balance, when you design your creations?

Quinton de’ Alexander: My pleasure comes with knowing that my client is 100% satisfied. It’s all about listening and seeing the clients vision clearly, then discussing each other’s interpretation in full details to make sure we’re on the same page of understanding. This way leads to no miscommunication. It’s like tomayto/tomahto. As long as we discuss our interpretations fully, the end result will surely equal a successful project and a very satisfied client.

GO BANG! Magazine: Later this year, you’re planning to launch the “BLUEPRINT” exhibit tour, and a design program for “at risk” youth. Please tell our readers what to expect from these two fascinating events.

Quinton de’ Alexander: The ‘BLUEPRINT’ exhibit tour is all about empowerment. It will consist of an exhibit that shares my journey of becoming a fashion designer. It’ll cover from my younger years, stepping out on faith, tackling the world on my own, up to the present showcasing some of the successes I’ve achieved, because I wasn’t afraid to dream BIG and DREAM IN COLOR. Mostly achieved with lack of support. I’ve secured survivors who are willing to travel, sharing their story of surviving their life’s challenge, with the hope of inspiring others to stay the course of finding their way from darkness into the light. As the tour travels, I will select various non-profits that are assisting “at risk youth.”   We’ll partner with them and incorporate a design program, to not only keep the youth off the streets, giving them a safe haven, but teaching them the skill of sewing.  This way, they too can possibly step out on faith, creating their own clothing design blueprint and then journey.

GO BANG! Magazine: If, God forbid, you were unable to design clothes anymore. What would you do then as a career, and why?

Quinton de’ Alexander: That’s a great question. I’ve been designing clothes my entire life. I would have to say the Mental Health field. I say this because I find pure satisfaction in assisting others with low self esteem find their way into feeling empowered. There’s nothing greater than seeing a person smiling after they look in the mirror and feel good about themselves. I can’t express to you the looks I’ve witness, or the tears of joy, after I turn survivors around and they see what they feel is a positive image of themselves in the mirror.  This happens after performing one of my ‘Encourage Yourself Makeovers.”  I’ve had family and friends say, “Thank you for giving me my mother, father, sister or brother back.”  These words fill my heart with joy. Knowing that I did a small part to rebuild the confidence of a human spirit, which I hope in return will give them the strength to push forward to reach for the “unreachable star.”

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you dealing with it?

Quinton de’ Alexander: To be quite honest, the current COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected me at all. Mostly due to the fact that I’m a serious planner and I’ve been preparing for retirement in the years to come for the last three years. I’ve downsized my home to a size in a very quiet area that I can manage in my seniors years, I’ve added the things that I enjoy for entertainment,  as well as the things I utilize to manage my exercise regimen, things such as a fitness room with sauna and steam. I also incorporated an entertainment room with a theater area, pool table and Pac-Man machine included. Lastly, I turned my back yard into my own destination getaway, accented with tropical plants and a hot tub. So the things I’ve been blocked from attending outside, I’ve been enjoying in the solitude of my home. Not forgetting to mentioned that my business life can be extremely busy, I find great joy in quiet/me time. I’m mostly a loner in my personal life. Rarely do I have personal guests. So being home during this pandemic lockdown alone has been quite relaxing, rejuvenating and totally stress free.

You can learn more about Dr. Quinton de’ Alexander or We Dream In Color Foundation Inc., visit: http://www.wedreamincolor.org

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.

Shettima Webb is an actress and producer, known for The Color of Me (2018) and Open Windows (2016). She is also the owner of Model Esteem. Model Esteem LLC is a model development, promotional modeling and brand ambassador organization geared towards educating youth and adults about the modeling/entertainment industry, while building self-esteem through creative arts. Model Esteem LLC also provides creative brand awareness solutions for companies looking to expand their market base by use of our trained talent and promotional marketing opportunities

SHETTIMA WEBB is an agency-signed professional model, actress, award winning author/poet, singer/songwriter, spokesmodel, brand ambassador, media personality, entrepreneur, mother, motivation speaker, self-esteem and body positive/anti-bulling advocate.

Shettima’s plus size modeling experience begin when she entered and won the 2009 Miss Illinois Plus America Pageant. From there she began her career modeling in various local shows as a freelance runway model. She begin to do research on how she can become a professional in her field. Attending casting calls for various agencies and talking to already signed models, Shettima realized that if she wanted to become a professional she would need to update her portfolio, take classes and establish herself as a brand. From there, Shettima has had the opportunity to model in NYC during New York Fashion Week and has trained models to participate in various runway shows in Chicago, Kentucky, NYC and Italy.

Growing up, Shettima was often bullied and teased for her looks. She developed extremely low-self-esteem and carried that pain well into her adulthood. It was not until she started to model that she found her true beauty not on the outside but on the inside. She realized that she was encouraging women and girls to be their authentic selves. She founded Model Esteem in 2013 as a way to educate models and creatives about the industry but more importantly helping them find the self confidence in themselves.

In 2019, Shettima reached International status when she became the 1st Plus Size Model to walk during Milan Fashion Week for the showcase Sellata in Cagarli, Italy for designer Sonny Michaels.

Shettima has been featured in N’digo Magazine, Essence, Allezom International Magazine, Rolling Out, Chicago Examiner, Chicago Now, Tiara Magazine to name a few . She has appeared on Steve Harvey, WCIU, ABC 7, WGN, Oprah’s Lifeclass, etc . She is currently a Brand Ambassador for Walgreen’s Expressions Challenge, AFAM Concepts Inc. and has been a spokesmodel/print model for Black Women’s Expo, Humira, BP Gas, Paylocity and Interfaith Youth Core. Shettima also as an actress has toured three cities with the Black Social Network.

In addition to modeling, Shettima has also established herself as a celebrity media personality. In 2015, she did a media tour as Mocha Chocolate Tv and interviewed various celebrities at the Steve Harvey Neighboorhood Awards. She’s currently the Editor in Chief of True Self Magazine and had has interviewed some of the top celebrities at the 2019 Finding Ashley Stewart Contest. Today Shettima is signed to Hayes Talent and Paige Model & Talent.

GO BANG! Magazine: When and how did you get involved in modeling?

Shettima Webb: In 2009, I won the Miss Illinois Plus America Pageant and then was introduced to an organization called Four Yours Truly Full Figured Modeling Organization that help me learn how to model on stage and build confidence in myself and others.

GO BANG! Magazine: How has modeling affected your personality?

Shettima Webb: It has helped me build more confidence and encourage others.

GO BANG! Magazine: In the past, models were typically “cookie cutter” thin and tall. Now, there are huge opportunities for models that are plus sized, and of color. Why do you think that there was this shift in the modeling/fashion industry?

Shettima Webb: The plus-size community was tired of being shut out in representation. There are more women who are my size then there is not.

GO BANG! Magazine: You are the owner of Model Esteem. What is the mission of your company?

Shettima Webb: Our mission is to help build confidence in teens and women, as well as education about the modeling industry. I also want to help guide those who want to actually start getting paid in the modeling industry and need that guidance connecting with reputable agencies.

GO BANG! Magazine: Since starting your business, you have mentored and trained numerous young women. What changes have you seen in them, after completing your program?

Shettima Webb: I have seen them have more confidence in themselves and go for their dreams.

GO BANG! Magazine: As an agency-signed professional model, you have traveled internationally. Do you see any difference in how plus-sized models are treated abroad, versus how America treats plus-sized women?

Shettima Webb: When I went to Italy, there were those who did not know what a plus size model was. Around the world people are still trying to understand the concept. America is definitely in the forefront of the movement.

GO BANG! Magazine: If you were speaking to the young, child version of yourself, what would you tell her?

Shettima Webb: Love yourself!

GO BANG! Magazine: There are many young boys and teenagers that may suffer from low self-esteem, bullying and overweight teasing also. Do you have any programs that are available for males?

Shettima Webb: Were working on programming and partnerships for young men.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is next for Shettima Webb?

Shettima Webb: I want to become a Casting Director.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you dealing with it?

Shettima Webb: Trying to maintain but I really want this all to be over soon.

FOLLOW SHETTIME WEBB AND MODEL ESTEEM ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA:
@shettima webb @modelesteem

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.

Go Bang Magazine: When was Market Media Entertainment (MME) formed?

Market Media Entertainment: It was established July, 2018.

Go Bang Magazine: What is the mission of the company?

Market Media Entertainment: The mission is basically supporting and promoting Music and Fashion artists.

Go Bang Magazine: Who are the official members of the company, and their roles?

Market Media Entertainment: CEO, Daniel Dan Jemison; COO, Alexis Lex Means; Director of Marketing, Gary Dukes; and New Artist Development, Jerimiah Porter.

Go Bang Magazine: How does each member of the team complement each other, to make the company better?

Market Media Entertainment: We all click with each other, just like pieces of a puzzle. Once we come together , the full picture is created!

Go Bang Magazine: What type of events does the company produce?

Market Media Entertainment: We do live music events and fashion shows.

Go Bang Magazine: Does MME only produce events in the Chicagoland area?

Market Media Entertainment: Yes for now, but we will soon be expanding throughout the Midwest.

Go Bang Magazine: MME not only produce events, you also work with recording artists, models and partnerships. Please describe those other business areas.

Market Media Entertainment: We work with new artist and models to help them develop their vision

Go Bang Magazine: Are there any events coming up in the near future?

Market Media Entertainment: Yes!

Go Bang Magazine: MME has produced concerts, showcases and events in different genres, including R&B and Hip Hop. Soon, MME will also start producing House music events. How does the company feel about producing events for the huge House community?

Market Media Entertainment: We are looking to push House music events to our forefront. We’re making that our main focus. By collaborating with you Pierre, we hope to achieve that goal.

Go Bang Magazine: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How is MME dealing with it?

Market Media Entertainment: As of now, everything is shut down due to virus. So we’re currently still in the planning stage.
YOU CAN FOLLOW DAN, LEX AND GARY ON FACEBOOK:
DAN: @Daniel Jemison
LEX: @Alexis Lex Means
GARY: @Gary Dukes

YOU CAN FOLLOW MARKET MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT:
FACEBOOK: @Market Media Entertainment
WEBSITTE: http://www.marketmediaentertainment.com/

Market Media Entertainment LLC

630-708-8493 Business

 

 

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.

Julian is an professional model looking to further his career in acting. He’s a freelance model that has landed opportunities to work with a variety of photographers. His ever-growing skills in modeling are enhanced with each and every shoot.

He’s also a recording artist, as well as a dancer. He’s looking to record beautiful and memorable music, which results in a positive change in the Music industry. This will be achieved by contributing his unique sound to the mix.

So, be on the lookout for the NEW face in town, that’s bringing acting, music and dancing heat… Julian T. Allen!

GO BANG! Magazine: How long have you been acting?

Julian T. Allen: I’ve been acting since I was a child. “Shout out!” to my family for developing my character. It’s been what I’ve always wanted to be growing up. It’s natural…it’s what I love!

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you get involved in acting?

Julian T. Allen: I got involved seriously in acting at 13, when my grandmother took me to Glamour Model Talent Agency and they kept telling me that I had the face. So, although nothing was pursued, other than a photoshoot for headshots, it always stuck to me that the “sky’s the limit.” With me being naturally funny and always coming up with characters, I decided to join the field to become an entertainer.

GO BANG! Magazine: How did you get involved with the movie Magic?

Julian T. Allen: “Shoutout!” to Leonard Stewart who introduced me to Billy Ray Valentine about a year ago. I was actually scrolling through my Facebook and noticed my friend was doing some amazing work pertaining to the movie Magic.
I saw a clip and was saying to myself, “if I could only squeeze a spot in that production it soon would be my chance no matter what platform to showcase what I could do.” Big ups to Billy Ray! I Facebook called him and told him what my passion was, and the rest was history. He embraced me with open arms, like a lost child who was in need of a family.

GO BANG! Magazine: What about Magic attracted you to want to be a part of it?

Julian T. Allen: I was attracted to Magic because I’m a great fan of urban films and independent directors. I’ve seen so many, no disrespect…low quality movies in my time that I’ve always felt needed to be seen. We’ve all started from the bottom on so many projects and I’m just the person that sees the best in everything. I just wanted to have a shot and here I am today. Magic was the story I related to.

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe your character in the film?
Julian T. Allen: The character I portrayed was S aka Security. There are so many things you can say by being silent. It’s the look that says it all. When you look at that character, his face says, “I’m not the one to play. I get the job done.” I was the person that would take you out, if the boss said so.
GO BANG! Magazine: You are also a model? Tell us more about that.

Julian T. Allen: I started modeling at 17. I had no interest until it had been suggested by friends I knew from the industry. So me being a hustler, I engaged and developed an interest. I started out freelancing, until I got paid for a shot and thought, hey this is cool I guess. I took it to the next step. Next thing you know, I made a page on Model Mayhem and I just kept getting booked. It’s fun, but sometimes it could be a lot of work, considering the fact that I love to eat. (LOL)

GO BANG! Magazine: As an actor, what type of roles are you currently interested in?

Julian T. Allen: Man, I’d love to do any and every part there is. There are no limits to my interest. I’m very open and comfortable playing whatever part necessary. But preferably a character that’s a stand up, action, grimy type figure, like “John Wick” or “The Equalizer.” Those are my goal roles, but I could be anybody. It’s just my love for acting

GO BANG! Magazine: Who inspires or motivates you?

Julian T. Allen: I’m inspired by mostly my peers and family. I’m self-motivated, so when I see people who grind the way I do, it makes me go harder. Not in a competitive way, but in an inspired, let’s get it, type of way. I love seeing people grind and make it. That’s what motivates me, knowing they never gave up, and hard work actually pays off.

GO BANG! Magazine: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you dealing with it?

Julian T. Allen: Today I received news that a close family member has passed, due to COVID-19. I’m deeply devastated. In conclusion, my advice is to be more aware of surroundings and stay as distant (from other people) as possible. This is more serious than we thought. It’s not fun and games no more. (We have to) be more self-sufficient, stay clean, and take care of your health. Not everyone is fortunate (enough) to live through these tough times.

 

 

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.

Pierre Andre’ Evans, a graduate of Chicago’s prestigious Columbia College, possesses a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management. He is an accomplished Freelance Writer with published articles, high profile interviews and event recaps, which currently appear in numerous publications and websites including the legendary and iconic New York based SoulTrain.com, Chicago based Ndigo.com, Dallas based UrbanMuseMag.com, D.C. based TheSOULetter.com, and London based EmpireRadioMagazine.com. In 2018 he authored his first book “Inside The Minds Of Entertainers,” which is available on Amazon. In 2020 everything came into focus and he became a publisher, with the launch of his online magazine “GO BANG! Magazine.” Log on at https://gobangmagazine.com/. Coming later in 2020 he will reveal his House dancing alter ego, Andre’ Pierre, when his House dance class, “Gotta Have House” kicks off!

As a freelance journalist, he has interviewed television and movie legend Eric Monte´ (creator of Good Times, The Jefferson’s, What’s Happening and Cooley High,) theater legend Shelly Garrett (Beauty Shop), the rising star Richard Pryor, Jr., legendary jazz/soul/fusion recording artist Roy Ayers, and various R&B singers including O’Bryan, D’Wayne Wiggins (founder of Tony, Toni, Tone´) and Karyn White. He’s even interviewed legendary DJ Herb Kent “The Kool Gent.” In the House music world, he has interviewed 4x GRAMMY ® nominee DJ/Remixer Steve “Silk” Hurly and DJ Jesse Saunders and his 30th Anniversary of House Music Tour. His tribute to the late DJ, Producer and House music legend Frankie Knuckles was well received, worldwide. Although his primary beat is Entertainment, he is well-versed and passionate about Community Affairs, Cultural Events and Educational topics, as demonstrated by his coverage of The Soul Train Impact events and his attendance at the 2014 Soul Train Awards show.

In addition to writing, he is active in several other artistic endeavors, including acting, performing, DJing, modeling and spoken word. As an Actor, he has appeared in numerous Hollywood blockbusters, including both Home Alone II and Richie Rich with Macaulay Culkin, The Negotiator with Samuel L. Jackson, Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore and Road to Perdition with Jude Law, Tom Hanks and the late Paul Newman. Performing under the moniker Playerre, he’s a well-known singer/songwriter with a loyal fan base and several self-produced and released recordings, including the dance hit “Mind Groove” and the stepping classic “Guaranteed Love”, which is available on all music platforms. He’s been a DJ for the past 40 years, since he was 12, and is known in the House community and clubs as DJ Playerre. Modeling and Spoken Word are also passions that he performs professionally.

He’s also an astute businessman. He’s been a Board member of Friends for Life Resource Center, Inc., a non-profit organization. He was also the Booking Agent for The Chicago Talent Factory television show, which debuted locally on Chicago’s WCIU, “The U,” the Media Director for The Soul Train Impact team, as well as the host of A Taste of Theater television show which highlights screenwriters and their plays and broadcasts nationwide. He also hosted the annual A Taste of Theater Festival, which occurs in October, and has been conducted in the past thru a collaboration with “The God-Father of Black Theater,” Mr. Shelley Garrett, where playwrights showcase their plays to a live audience and competed for the coveted Shelley Garrett Award.

He’s an entrepreneur and the CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions, which produces a wide variety of events including networking events, dance parties, fashion shows, plays, and concerts. He served as Co-Host on Herb Kent’s “Battle of the Best” radio show, which airs on Chicago’s V103. He served as Host and Master of Ceremonies (MC) of Anita Jefferson’s original stageplay “Jackie’s Secret Life” which was held in Chicago at the Harold Washington Cultural Center.

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.