If you risk nothing, then you risk everything. Art is all about taking these risks.”
-Marcos Luis

Raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Marcos got his start in the entertainment industry by appearing in stage plays, including being a host of “Kidsburgh”, later graduating to television and film. Since his introduction as an actor he has added singer, musician, award-winning host, photographer, and producer to his resume credits.

As the Artistic Director & Founder of 3SB Theatre Co LLC Theatre and Entertainment Production Company, based in New York, Marcos Luis may be most recognizable for his national commercials, print campaigns, and appearances in popular prime time TV shows. Marcos is also the host and creator of the 11+ year-long running live artist showcase and open mic, OneMicNite, in New York City, which showcases premiere talent in comedy, poetry, & music of every genre. OneMicNite has become an NYC staple responsible for launching the careers of numerous Independent Artists.

Marcos is a proud and active member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, Spotlight Talent UK, and is a OneBigMop artist. He received a BS in Theatre Arts from Northwestern University, where he studied with famed international instructor Ann Woodworth (also B.A.D.A). His studies also include comedy improv at the famed Comedy Sportz in Chicago, dance training at the world renowned Giordano Dance Center, and a Jeff Award winning show, Pecong at Victory Gardens. Currently he serves as an active screening judge for the Miami Indie Festival (Mindie Fest), the International Independent Film Festival, and the SAG-AFTRA Awards Film Nomination Committee 2018.

CURRENT PROJECTS
• The Darkness of The Moor (2018)UK
• Los Viejos/ The Oldies (2018) Documentary Cuba
*World Premiere IFFCG, Guadalajara, MX, World Premiere MIFF Miami, FL USA
• Dreaming of Peggy Lee
*Screened before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar nomination*
Distribution and sales: Network Ireland Television
• I’ll Be Home Soon
*Long-Listed For Oscar Nomination 2016*
Distribution and sales: Freak Agency

GO BANG! Magazine: Where did you grow up and spend your childhood?

Marcos Luis:  Aaahhh, that question! I was actually born in Nashville, TN. We then moved to the Pittsburgh are of PA and then went to boarding school, so I spent my childhood In those places.

GO BANG! Magazine: At what age did you realize that you wanted to be a professional actor involved in stage plays, film and television, and describe that moment to our readers.

Marcos Luis: I grew up singing, dancing, and acting from the time I was born. I think I was doing it in the womb! (You’ll have to ask my mother that one). I was in talent shows and the school plays, and hosting shows as a kid, so I guess I knew….but really didn’t know for sure then . It wasn’t until college that I decided for sure to be an actor. I remember meeting and talking to a then recent graduate of my alma mater , Northwestern University , named Harry Lennox (“Blacklist, The Five Heartbeats “) who returned to the University to encourage a group of students to pursue our dreams, and that it really clicked for me to do this as a career.

GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe the opportunities for minorities in television and film?

Marcos Luis: Right now we are at a fantastic and pivotal point in the Film and Industry. Studios are listening to the call for Diversity and Inclusion for Black and Brown people in front of the cameras as well as behind and are making changes . We are creating content, producing, and allocating our funds to make, direct, and star in our own works . Our stories are being told and heard. Opportunities are increasing but we still have work to do on all fronts.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re also a singer/musician with your own unique sound. How would you describe your voice, the Marcos Luis sound, and also what instrument(s) do you play?

Marcos Luis: The “Marcos Sound” is smooth and soulful. By I mean it comes from the soul and truth, just like my acting, and dance. “Issavibe” for sure. I started playing instruments when I was young. I started on woodwinds: the flute, clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax… then on to upright bass, and electric bass. Lately I’ve been hitting on some percussion with bongos..

GO BANG! Magazine: A man of multiple talents, you’re also a producer. As a producer, what types of films are you interested in making?

Marcos Luis: I’m interested in making films with good, good stories. Every genre is fair game. Making films is a different learning experience each time, problem solving, staying on budget, schedules, locations, etc. The light at the end of the tunnel is the story you present, feeling good about the end product , and also how others perceive your work.

GO BANG! Magazine: For our readers that may not be familiar with the duties of a Producer, can you please explain what producers do and what you find most interesting about producing?

Marcos Luis: A film producer is a person who oversees film production. Either employed by a production company or working independently, producers plan and coordinate various aspects of film production, such as selecting the script by the writing, directing , editing ; and arranging financing. There are different types such as Associate, Executive, and Line . Sometimes you wear multiple hats depending on how large and the budget of a project.

GO BANG! Magazine: There’s still more to you, being the Renaissance man that you are. You’re also an award-winning host and photographer. How did you get involved in photography and are you a professional or a hobbyist?

Marcos Luis: Hahaha, well, Photography to me is an extension of being an artist, how you view things, capturing it them in a truthful way, a beautiful way, or whatever the goal is. I started photography as a hobby, and then started shooting professional events, then was enlisted to shoot and document an Humanitarian expedition to Colombia, South America with www. Healing the Children.org , where I received an Award and had the honor of singing our country’s National Anthem live for thousands of people.

GO BANG! Magazine: Not surprisingly, you’re also an entrepreneur as founder of 3SB Theatre Co LLC Theatre and Entertainment Production Company. Please inform our reader about your company, its mission, and some of the projects you’ve done.

Marcos Luis: The mission is to create art with a purpose to shine a positive light on the Community. 3SB Theatre Company has not only sponsored International Artists for work here in the USA , but has created a few web series, sold out stage productions, and of course, the OneMicNite™️ Show.

GO BANG! Magazine: Being a creative person, as well as a businessman myself, I can relate to you creating your own live artist showcase and open mic event, called “OneMicNite” in New York City. For our readers that may not be familiar with it, please explain what the show is, how long it has been in existence and what its mission is.

Marcos Luis: OneMicNite™️ Is “NYC’s Best & Favorite Artist Showcase”. It’s been around for 14 years plus with its #LiveSeries performance shows. It’s been the start and home of many amateur artists, Indie Bands, as well as Grammy Award winning Artists. Starting in NYC’ Greenwich Village, with me as the Host and creator , it’s mission was to provide a space for a home to connect, perform, and network in all areas of the arts. We have held fundraisers for many other charitable organizations through performances of our artists such as Breast Cancer Walk, Women’s Prison Association, and AIDS Walk NYC. You can find out more at http://www.OneMicNite.com

GO BANG! Magazine: You studied comedy improve at Chicago’s own famed Comedy Sportz and dance training at the world-renowned Giordano Dance Center. Have you pursued a professional career in dancing and comedy? If so, please tell us about that and if not, why not?

Marcos Luis: For me knowing all areas of the Arts are important for balance, marketability, and to be well rounded. I’ve been on Comedy Improve Troupes and certainly have done Dance Shows in my career. My first professional Show which I did while still in college was called Pecong , a Caribbean version of the Greek Classic Madea , choreographed by T.C. Carson (Living Single Tv Show), I was a dancer and the Show won several Chicago Jeff Award. The Show was at Victory Gardens Theatre.

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years, you’ve had national commercials, print campaigns, and appearances in popular prime time TV shows. Are there any broadcasts in particular that you can recall that may refresh our reader’s memory, so that they can connect that with you?

Marcos Luis: Mmmm Chicagoans may know me as The “Illinois Vehicle” commercial guy, which ran for many many years there. Three -four years ago you may have seen the “Madam President” editorial print campaign for designer Elie Tahari clothing line which was in every major publication, ad, billboard which I did along with supermodel Shlomit Malke. And of course.. the infamous “Sex and the City” Episode…

GO BANG! Magazine: What is your ultimate goal in the entertainment industry?

Marcos Luis: My ultimate goal is to continue to enlighten, inspire, tell stories through any art medium I can.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who inspires or motivates you?

Marcos Luis: So may people inspire me in so many ways. People who have had hard journeys and are resilient. People who do the same thing as I do. People who do different things than I do so I can learn from that . It all motivates me to be better, enjoy the experiences of life, and be thankful along the way. There is no competition, there is room for everyone on this journey. That motivates me.

GO BANG! Magazine: Are you currently working on anything or would you like to mention anything that you’d like our readers to check out?

Marcos Luis: Coming up next, I’ll be in an Off Broadway Show called ‘Edin’ written by a brilliant writer/artist named Marcus Harmon. Look out for me in two animated film projects as a voice actor , and definitely check out my Podcast: OneMicNite Podcast with Marcos Luis which is available on Apple podcasts wherever you download podcasts. Season 2 starts after the New Year tackling Social issues that affect Our Community and personal inspiring interviews of Artists’ journeys. www.OneMicNite.Podbean.com

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

Marcos Luis: Yes, this pandemic took everyone by surprise. The key for me was to 1) Be Safe and 2) Be Flexible and 3) Create 4) Gratitude Safety first, for sure, then be flexible with your Life in the day to day actions . Next, create new ways of thinking, to enhance your situation finance by learning as much as possible. Lastly, be thankful for everyone and the things you have. Simplicity is the key. www.MarcosLuis.com


YOU CAN FOLLOW MARCOS:

Official: http://www.iMDb.me/MarcosLuis

New: ‘Los Viejos/ The Oldies (2018) Cuba Documentario https://vimeo.com/246902579

‘The Moor’ (2018)UK Oscar Qualified

Trailer:https://vimeo.com/226166126

Muted the movie https://m.imdb.com/title/tt3279922/ HBO


Dreaming of Peggy Lee

*Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar nomination* BAFTA Qualified

*Distribution & Sales: Network Ireland Television

I’ll Be Home Soon

*Long-Listed For Oscar Nomination 2016*

*Distribution & Sales: Freak Agency



 

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.

Reginald Corner is one of House music’s greatest assets in Chicago and has been extremely instrumental in keeping the peaceful celebration of music alive.

On the House scene since it began in 1980, Corner has had the pleasure of watching House flourish over the past four decades. During that time, he formed relationships with some of the most relevant DJs, party goers and communities in the Chicago area. His stance with everyday Chicago helped shape the powerful production entity “The Way We Were” which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Some of his notable accolades include working with the City Of Chicago to provide platforms throughout the land celebrating the power of House, specifically, how its music brings together all ethnicities and sexual orientations. Some examples are helping curate an exhibit of House music at the Chicago Cultural Center in which Corner shared photos, as well as knowledge of how it all started at places such as the infamous Music Box with DJ Ron Hardy. He also worked to put together House in the Park, one of the city’s favorites, giving people a chance to relax after work with different platforms of House music.

Some of Corner’s work includes promoting the Chosen Few Picnic yearly, where tens of thousands flock to Jackson Park to celebrate music in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Corner, along with The Way We Were Productions, looks forward to remaining a part of the House music journey in Chicago and abroad. Corner can be considered an orator, watching to ensure its past is not tarnished and remains a powerful force of peace between all who partake in its glory and continues to “beat the box” into 2020.

GO BANG! Magazine: When and how did you first become involved with DJ’ing and music?

Reggie Corner: Sauers was down the street from my house as a youth. I went over there being nosey and stumbled on House music/Disco/Preppy/New Wave Punk, and I liked it. They were playing a lot of music I’d heard from my older siblings at the house.

I played around with it as a kid. But I’m not a DJ. The opening slot gave me the opportunity. The party must go on, so I would step in. I started off by necessity. Sometimes DJ’s were late or not showing up on time. I had to keep the party moving.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is it about you or your personality that make you effective as a promoter?

Reggie Corner: I was popular among the people. Knowing people made it easier. I learned from my elders Butch and Craig, as well as Robert Williams who really showed me promotion and production… the art of producing events. My personality makes me a people person and my job is to make sure people enjoy themselves. That is my priority.

GO BANG! Magazine: There are many people that may call themselves promoters that simply share flyers or events on Facebook. Is that all it takes to be a promoter or does promoting consist of more than that?

Reggie Corner: For me, do whatever works to make you successful. Social media is not the only tool to reach people. There’s text messaging and emails too, basically creating databases. I have databases I have built for years. You have to be tenacious and master every social platform. I still go back to my roots of what I was taught. Simply print flyers, etc. The promotion game has changed and will continue to change, but never forget the old way.

GO BANG! Magazine: Are there any promoters or producers, past or present that inspire or motivate you to do what you do?

Reggie Corner: The love of House inspires me.

GO BANG! Magazine: How has the House music promotional scene in Chicago changed over the years and has the change been positive or negative, in your opinion?

Reggie Corner: Some of the people and the places have changed, some of the music has changed, but I always keep it close to the roots……for the love of house. Love cannot exist with negativity.

GO BANG! Magazine: Why is it important to you to keep the spirit and history of the House music genre alive, peaceful and accurate?

Reggie Corner: History is what we stand on for the future….. “In the beginning” is always important….The beginning sets the stage for now.

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

Reggie Corner: It’s fucked up! But, like everything in life, it’s a tragedy that we have to adapt to. Stand up or fold! Hopeful you’ll stand up and succeed.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is next on the agenda for you? Do you have any projects lined up for later in the future, after the COVID-19 pandemic that you can tell our readers about?

Reggie Corner: House is in a stall, in limbo, because of COVID-19. All plans are at a standstill. But, hold your punches right now. You can never let your right hand know what the left hand is doing.

GO BANG! Magazine:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MY FRIEND!!!   HAPPY 20TH ANNIVERSARY TO THEWAYWEWERE!!!!!



YOU CAN FOLLOW REGGIE C. CORNER & THEWAYWEWERE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/reginald.corner

https://www.facebook.com/reggiec.corner/

LinkEd In:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/reggie-c-b4b30b15/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/reggie_corner/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/reggieccorner/?hl=en






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

Photo courtesy of www.facebook/com/DJTonyPeoplesHouseGroup

Young Tony Peoples was only seven years old when he picked up a new toy and a record player with two speakers. He would place one speaker outside of his bedroom window and DJ for the neighbors or anyone walking by that could hear him. He knew at that moment he wanted to be a DJ and he wanted the whole world to know.

Later at 12 years old, his older brother came home with a mixer and two belt-driven turntables. He immediately started DJ’ing a small selection of records. His brother asked him “how do you know how to do that and blend music so easy?” He replied “I’ve been doing it for years in my head when I was pretending to be a DJ.” We both started doing parties for people in the neighborhood where we lived. Word got around real fast that we were the ones to hire as DJs. We did cabarets, basement parties and backyard parties.

When Tony turned 19, he went professional after he got a call that hired him as a club DJ for Tuesday nights at the Grand Quarters in Detroit. The theme night was “Tuesday Night Illusions” produced by Keith Giddings and a young lady named Pam. He played music between the shows. After the show he would mix music for the closeout. That was the beginning of his career.

He has DJ’d for clubs, cruises, major cities and outside of the country too. Even though he had a day job working in the factory for many years, he managed to do both. Now he’s excited to explore the world and see the world while using his talents. Tony calls it “a vacation while working.”

Lastly, he has shared the “1 & 2’s” with several notable DJs including Ken Collier, Melvin Hill, DJ Semaj, Melvin Gentry, DJ Cent, DJ Dream, DJ Red Dawg, DJ Marquis Detroit, Mojo Detroit, DJ Eddie Fludd, DJ Tone and many more.


GO BANG! Magazine: What is it about DJ’ing that attracts you to it?

DJ Tony Peoples: People enjoying the music is what attracts me to it. I basically get a rush from people having a good time and dancing.

GO BANG! Magazine: The Chicago House sound, the home of House, is different than Detroit’s House. How would you describe Detroit House and what is similar and different from the Chicago sound?

DJ Tony Peoples: Most definitely is different, however they are very much alike. Detroit’s House has been known as a soulful sound, hard hitting hand claps and a fat bottom bass with what sounds like a fat woman or a fat man singing. What I mean by that is that we want our House sang by a powerful, mature vocalist, not a lil girl or boy that needs to mature.

GO BANG! Magazine: Techno and EDM are also very popular in Detroit. What is YOUR favorite style of Dance music and why?

DJ Tony Peoples: Disco Dubs, Deep House, Garage and Gospel House because I need the type of House that will pierce your soul. Once again must I say I want a fat woman or fat man singing, not a skinny lil boy that needs his voice to mature. I need a vocalist singing about their problems. Something I can relate to .

GO BANG! Magazine: If you had the opportunity to DJ at ANY venue in the world, where would that be and if you had the opportunity to DJ with any other DJ, who would that be and why?

DJ Tony Peoples: I would want to play a big party on Miami Beach. I would like to spin with Louie Vega. He moves me through his music and for me to be on the same platform to spin with him would be a dream come true.

GO BANG! Magazine: Please describe the DJ Tony Peoples sound to our readers and what separates you from other DJs?

DJ Tony Peoples: The DJ Tony Peoples sound is that sound from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. My format is that I make sure I stick to the basics. I try to keep the same sound I had 30 years ago, so people appreciate me not changing. I’m me.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are your mentors, who inspire you and who motivates you?

DJ Tony Peoples: Ken Collier, Melvin Hill, Larry Levan and Louie Vega motivate me.

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

DJ Tony Peoples: I am making sure I limit the people I am around. If I have an event, I make sure we keep a distance. I also wear my mask. I only go to my gigs and very few other places.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is next on the agenda for you? Do you have any projects lined up for later in the future, after the COVID-19 pandemic that you can tell our readers about?

DJ Tony Peoples: Most of my events are in Michigan. I’ve recently started a new party every Thursday at Georgiz419, 1205 Adams St., Toledo, Ohio 43604. So far, it’s doing well on the patio deck and parking lot. It’s called “Jack’d up and Grinded Thursdays.” I will be doing something in Atlanta in the summer of 2021.

GO BANG! Magazine: On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down, begging for his life and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” This incident has caused civil unrest and massive protests across the world. How do you feel about this unfortunate situation and call for police reform due to the horrible treatment of minorities by the police?

DJ Tony Peoples: I am disgusted that not only a life had to be taken, but the fact how it was done. How could anyone do something like this and not feel it was wrong.


Follow DJ Tony Peoples:
Facebook @Tony Peoples, Instagram @djtonypeoples, Snapchat @djtonypeoples, Tik Tok @djtonypeoples and Twitter @musesolo




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

Robbi The Promoter is based in New York City. He began promoting in 1995 and currently promotes dance parties (in and outside of New York), web sites, clothing, dance music videos + releases, and is affectionately known as the “5 Time Award-Winning Best Promoter”, winning Undergroundarchives’ Best Promoter award five years in a row (2000-2005). His promotional reach extends from Chicago to Philly, Miami and beyond.

He also “shops” music to labels and has played a major part “raising” (promoting/managing) a few DJs, from the ground up, such as Ian Friday, Mr.V, Alix Alvarez, Adam Rios + Mark Francis, and Miguel Ortiz, just to name a few.

His managing and promoting has single-handedly made Chicago legends DJ Wayne Williams and DJ Alan King more popular in New York and cities outside of Chicago.

He’s also a “filter” for DJs, which simply means that promoters from all over contact him to book DJs which in turn, he refers them to the actual DJ or their booking agents.

He has a blast doing all of this all day, which makes his “pro” life pretty much his personal life.

GO BANG! Magazine: Why did you decide to pursue the business side of the House music industry and become involved in the marketing and promotion of dance parties?

Robbi The Promoter: Actually I never planned for it to get this far nor be a promoter. I simply love the music but was always too broke to get into clubs. I used to go to these parties called the “Underground Network” and asked around if there was anything I can do to help. So, I was introduced to Cedric Freedom (RIP), Barbara Tucker (yes the Queen of House music), and Don Welch, who ran that party. So funny! It was a meeting that lasted not even 30 seconds…..They gave me a stack of flyers and told me to go hand them out!

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years you have become what some would call a legendary promoter in the House community. How do you feel about possessing that title?

Robbi The Promoter: Without a doubt I feel great about it. First, I’m probably the only one in the world that uses promoting as an art form. I mean from the time I was handed that first stack of flyers, I’ve been extremely creative with the way I do things. My aim daily is to impress folks with insane thought process that constantly evolves ……for most part, it’s like watching a legendary DJ do those distinct tricks.

GO BANG! Magazine: There are many people that may call themselves promoters that simply share flyers or events on Facebook. Is that all it takes to be a promoter or does promoting consist of more than that?

Robbi The Promoter: Well to be honest, one can succeed in doing just that if they have a ton of followers, but of course promoting consists of way more than that.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is it about you or your personality that make you effective as a promoter?

Robbi The Promoter: I actually don’t have much of a personality and very poor social skills. When I’m out, I don’t talk much, sit at bars, engage in convos or any of that stuff. But, it’s the way I do things and the artists I’m associated with that brings attention to me and the things I’m involved in.

GO BANG! Magazine: Not only do you promote dance parties, you also promote websites, clothing, music and more. What is the difference in promoting products versus events?

Robbi The Promoter: Parties, websites, and clothing, I target everyone. As far as for Music, I target DJs and people I know who collect music.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve promoted events in the U.S. and abroad, including here in Chicago, the home of House music. What in particular do you like about promoting Chicago DJ’s and events?

Robbi The Promoter: When working with the Chosen Few DJs and Ron Trent, first the most important thing they NEVER do is crowd or micromanage me (as I’m quick to get away from the controlling types.) They’re swift in providing me with tools I need and working with them is naturally smooth and exciting. Speaking of tools, lemme give a quick shout out to dude MOE (moeknowsbest.com ) the media/artwork/web design guy for the Chosen Few. In my 26 years, his work is the best I’ve seen.

GO BANG! Magazine: What advice would you give to someone that is interested in becoming a promoter, but don’t know exactly how to begin or if they have what it takes?

Robbi The Promoter: First learn and love whatever you’re interested in doing. If you’re desperate and just geared on becoming a star, it’s not going to happen and you’re going to look stupid (to me at least.)

Just starting off?? I’d suggest take a course in Marketing.

Avoid being exclusive to working with one person it never ends well. For example, I’ve seeing tons of so called EXCLUSIVE promoters benched during the pandemic.

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

Robbi The Promoter: I’ve been keeping things moving here. Closed clubs have been replaced with promoting VIRTUAL DJs, festivals and there’s still music, etc.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is next on the agenda for you? Do you have any projects lined up for later in the future, after the COVID-19 pandemic that you can tell our readers about?

Robbi The Promoter: As soon as clubbing restarts (if ever), I’m ready to relaunch my UPTEMPO party (residents Franke Estevez and Duce Martinez) at a nice club in Brooklyn.

You can follow Robbi The Promoter on ALL social media formats:
IG@robbipromoter05
FB@robbiethepromoternyc




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

Boxx – An established presence in House music, as well as being a complete DJ and Producer in the industry. He’s a long time Chicago DJ, beginning from his first residency at the Galaxy Disco in 1985 at the age of 17.

Boxx has had the opportunity to play in many cities and venues in recent years throughout the country and world including Nassau Bahamas, Dallas, TX – Crown & Harp, Sandaga, Renaissance, Truth, The Shrine, “The Silver Room Block Party”, The Mid, Da House Spot, The Garage, Evil Olive, Cuatro, and several other Chicago venues.

Boxx also plays consistently at venues and events across the country. For instance, New Jersey’s Club Elevation and Club Lush to New York’s Coney Island, Houston’s Club 4212, Detroit’s Club Mix, The White House, TV Lounge, “Beautiful Sundays” at Motor City Wine, Atlanta’s Club Velour, “House In The Park” and many more venues in Miami.

Having had the opportunity to live in Chicago and Dallas at the same time, he held a dual city residency at The Garage / Code Red in Chicago and “The Deep Inside” parties in Dallas for three years.
Boxx has been a Cyberjamz Radio programmer, the founding member of Ascension, and a member of Nu Bang. Along the way, he has produced many new releases, edits and re-edits that eventually lead to the launch of his label Bosar Music.

GO BANG! Magazine: When and how did you first get interested and bit by the DJ bug?

DJ Boxx: The DJ bug didn’t hit me until 1978. I was 12 years old. Me and a few friends from 35th, where I grew up, loved skating and there was skating on Saturdays at the old YMCA on 37th and Wabash. Well, we had normally been going to other rinks like Markham, etc. so I never really saw the DJ equipment being used. Well at the YMCA, the DJ was set-up basically on the skating floor. We walked in and I could see a table with the two turntables and some device in the middle, for which I had no idea what it was. But, I stood there on my skates basically the whole time watching him transition from song to song in amazement. I was instantly mesmerized that this could be done. I was used to playing one record after the other at home. After bugging the DJ and asking him “what’s this?” and “what’s that?” I immediately came home and began to ask my Mom to get me some equipment. Of course she was not having any of that once we realized the prices. LOL. But, two years later, my mom sent me to go live with my Dad in the 100s’.

My Dad saw the need to keep me busy when me, my brothers and cousins weren’t playing baseball, to keep us (me) out of the streets. Well of course he got the pitch about turntables and DJ gear since he was an audio & music enthusiast himself, but he never said ok. Well…one day in the summer of 1980, he came home and yelled from the garage, “Reggie, Mark, Kevin, come get this equipment out of my car!” Imagine the shock! I had already been buying music, etc. because I knew I would DJ someday. It was an undeniable passion that still burns just as hot on that June day in 1980.

GO BANG! Magazine: Please describe the DJ Boxx sound to our readers, explain why you named yourself Boxx, and what separates you from other DJs?

DJ Boxx: This is going to be a long answer (LOL). The DJ Boxx sound is fluid, flexible, energy received and energy returned. It can be gritty, soulful, energized, good feeling, tone setting, encompassing and far reaching. I’ve had many people over the years, suggest or say I should drive this lane or that lane, but the music in me needs to be expressed. I stay ready to lead or adjust, based on what’s in front of me. So the lane thing never intrigued me. Why can’t I play new music, as well as disco, classics, afro, pure underground, acid and even stretch to hip hop, R&B, Jazz, Reggae etc.? I still study music. My musical mental library is etched in my brain and soul. I get booked to do several different types of events and some actually require a full pallet of music to be played. But best believe, whichever it is, it’s going to be played at the highest of levels…bar none!

The name Boxx does not connote what most believe it to (LOL). Way back in the day, I went by another DJ name (Reggie ‘Remixin’ Anderson). After starting my pro DJ career in 1985, I abruptly stopped DJing due to some personal things going on in 1990. I wouldn’t play again professionally until 2003. Well, in between that time, I met some buddy’s and we worked together for a number of years. We always roasted and cracked jokes on each other. One day, me and a good friend Cedrick Hicks were going at it. I made a crack on him and he replied, “I know you’re not talking with yo’ big Boxx head ass.” It just so happened that about eight guys we knew and worked with were coming thru the door at that exact moment. They chimed in, “Yeah Reg, you do have a big ass Boxx head.” From that point on, everyone I knew and was around at the time started calling me Boxx. It ended up sticking and when I started DJing again, I just leveraged the nickname into DJ BOXX.

What separates me from other DJ’s is that number one, we are all a total of our own individual experiences in life and music and that is going to always lend towards individuality. Now I do believe my mental musical library, my flexibility to play extremely well, no matter the format, are huge for me. But one thing I truly believe is a factor, is my accessibility. I am not stand-offish and I actually truly enjoy all of my supporters.

GO BANG! Magazine: Who are your mentors, who inspire you and who motivates you?

DJ Boxx: I was actually a self-taught DJ. So when the radio mixes started in Chicago, I was already pretty well into the culture and techniques of it. I would say Herb Kent was a huge influence because before we had House, as we would come to know it, Herb would do this “Punk Out” hour every Saturday and he opened my ear and mind up to all this cutting edge new wave / punk music that was taking over the city. Then we began to take a turn toward House, as we would come to know it, and the radio stations began playing the mixes.

Well, I had the equipment and a little know how, but I wasn’t polished. So, I keyed in on a couple DJs on the radio for different aspects. I listened to Ron (Hardy) & Farley (Keith) live and Farley and Scott Silz on the radio for content. I would key in on Scott Silz and Ralphie Rosario for technical aspects. I would then go mimic everything I heard until I got it refined. Then, I met Julian Perez when I transferred from Simeon (HS) to Proviso West in 83′. I worked with him for the next three years as an understudy, you could say. His technical ability was the best I’d seen at the time and I emulated what I saw. He put me on at the Galaxy Disco/Dilligafs to open up for him and after he left. That lead to my very first professional residency as a teenager.

The people / DJs that were mentors are Craig Loftis and Celeste Alexander. Celeste is a big sister and we both played integral parts with each other in coming back into the DJing world. Ronda Flowers and Koko were huge in giving me a residency, shortly after I started back DJ’ing in 2003. Craig Loftis was right there too. He put me into rotation on some pretty cool events early on and I can’t leave out DJ Reg (Reg McClain.) He booked me for my first pro set after coming back. DJ Emanuel and Ms. Wynell were huge as well.

The people that motivate me are…the DJs that I have helped and continue to help me: Boolu (Master) is my cousin. To see where he’s gone after breaking all my needles trying to learn is massive. G-Whip is another cousin that is coming into his own. To see the spark light up and turn into a fire is motivating to me. Eric “DJ Eaze” Robinson was an understudy of mine and he wanted to learn bad, but didn’t know much about DJ’ing. I had him carry equipment, roll cables, hook up gear, break down and repack…thinking he’d say F-this! (LOL) But, he never gave up. He stuck with it, has become his own DJ, with his own brand, and now gets his own bookings. He also takes some overflow gigs for me. My other motivation is Fiddy Millz and Dee Jay Alicia. I think we all push the hell out of each other, kinda like steel sharpening steel. But not just in music, but in the walk of life. Music brought us together, but it’s love and family now. In helping others, it brings motivation. Not just musically, but personally. I always tell people if you’re feeling down and out…go help someone!

GO BANG! Magazine: You are a member of two entertainment groups, Ascension and Nu Bang. Please describe your connection to the groups and explain their impact to the nightlife community.

DJ Boxx: I first became a member of Nu Bang in 2009, so it’s been a while. Immediately upon becoming a part of Bang, I began working closely with Greg Gray, Celeste (Alexander), Craig Loftis, Sammy Rock, Tim Mc Callister and others on DJ’ing, promotion, production and the growth and representation of the Nu Bang Collective. Nu Bang connections opened many, many doors for me that probably would’ve been otherwise closed. It created opportunity to create relationships outside of Chicago that stretch around the globe.

Ascension (Elevate Your Mind, Body & Soul) – Ascension was an idea I came up with in 2013, but never acted on it because it was a lot going on DJ-wise for me. I currently had two residencies at the time, one in Chicago and one in Dallas. I had the vision and the idea of what I wanted it to look and feel like. So, when the Chicago residency ended, I sat down with my Ascension co-founder, (she didn’t know she was going to be that at the time) Lisa Henderson and I expressed my vision and desire for her to be a part of it. I really loved Lisa’s presence and energy. I felt as though she was the missing piece to the puzzle. Besides being friends and working together on events, she showed a level of professionalism, engagement, compassion and energy that I felt was needed to craft the Ascension characterization.

This ideology was the idea of impact on the nightlife scene that was envisioned. We wanted to be inclusive and not exclusive. Sure the music is paramount, but we wanted people to have a great time, grasp the good energy, vibes, the hugs and the laughs. Don’t think you’re just welcome…know that you’re home! We wanted the warmth, so we brought even more good vibes with G-Whip and Toni Marie joining us. We wanted to bring in and book DJs that are far reaching, as well as the DJ that maybe needs to get heard more. We are a collective of people that genuinely care about your experience at any Ascension event, rather it be at one of our monthly parties, personal party, party in another city or on an island in the Bahamas!

GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a DJ, you were a radio programmer and you have your own record label, Bosar Music. How has being a DJ influenced your abilities as a programmer and a label owner?

DJ Boxx: DJ’ing is the catalyst for all of that. I feel to be an effective, well-rounded DJ, you really have to have the study of music and its organization has to be almost effortless mentally. The ability to recall names, sounds, feels and sound textures is really what a DJ does. So, joining Cyberjamz and doing a mix show for three years was huge for me. I also did “Gotta Have House Radio” with my man Kenny Ray. The gathering of newer music at the time and its presentation was huge in getting in step with what the scene had become. Launching the label was natural. I felt as though the DJ opportunities and the programming show had given me the ear I needed to say, “I’m just not going to produce music for release on others labels.” I thought I’d start my own. So I went to work to gather the knowledge to do it correctly. House music was fresh, energized and new again to me.

GO BANG! Magazine: What type of music does Bosar Music produce, who are some of your past/present artists, what type of artists are you looking for, and how did you arrive at the name Bosar?

DJ Boxx: Bosar produces mostly Soulful House. Under the Bosar identity, even prior to starting the label, I’ve worked with Darryl Pandy…unreleased at this time. (DJ) Gene Hunt and I are about to re-work. My first full release was “Send For Me“ with Carla Prather: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoHAXgwPmLc. Wincie Collins did a beautiful spoken word on “Music Is My Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QtUhcC7MQ4 . Both released on Sophisticado Recordings. I’ve worked with Derrick Sales (DJ Sound) on a Luther Vandross remix “Wanna Love” that was released on TMC and eventually Bosar Music. Lafayette Parker was the vocalist on “Heavenly Journey” with me doing the spoken word part released on Joe Smooth’s label. Franky Parker performed on “Fly Free” with remixes from Sean Ali and Salah Ananse, released on Bosar. https://www.traxsource.com/title/775661/fly-free. I’ll also be releasing a production with Koffee (First Flowetrest of House) from New Jersey this year and two projects with some amazing performers from Detroit as well. It’s literally about six projects on the table including one with my Carla Prather.

Bosar is an acronym for – Boxx of Soul and Rhythm.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’ve experienced the House community as a DJ from various cities of America. Could you please describe the House scene here in Chicago and compare and contrast the scene to other locations you’ve spinned in?

DJ Boxx: Excluding the current pandemic (COVID-19), up to that point, and for as long as I can remember, Chicago has had the most consistent number of events / parties on weekly basis that I’ve experienced. Not being a homer either, I do believe that Chi has the largest concentration of DJs of any city, but also the best DJs. I think the number of DJs and opportunities to play created a vacuum. DJs in Chicago had to get good, out of sheer desire for a chance to even be considered to play.

I’ve played just about everywhere there is to play in the U.S., from the east coast to west coast, South Beach to Canada. Most of these other cities tend to have a complete diverse mix of dancers at a higher concentration than Chicago, I must admit. In Dallas, depending on the section, the music is wide ranging and accepted. If the doors open in Dallas at 9pm, at 9:05 the DJ has a full floor. In Chi, we are fashionably late. (LOL) I love the symmetry between the DJ and the Dancer in New York, it’s a flow. They get it in, but different than in Chi. It’s the same energy, but different. New Jersey is very close to Chicago in terms of feel, flow and energy. I really feel of parties in Houston as well. They are very receptive to the DJ, as well as in San Diego. Atlanta is very natural in its feel. It is a great chance to be very expressive with natural vibes and rhythms, when you DJ there. Detroit is awesome…gotta bring your energy! Chicago is a collective of all of these in my opinion. You can find all these aspects in one degree or the other here, while still holding on to the Disco/House foundation.

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

DJ Boxx: Maaan, it’s heavy. It has thrown off a number of things for me professionally, as well as personally, like everyone else. Personally, I have been very selective about what I do, where I go and whom I’m around.

I can say that I can count on my hands and toes, the number of people I’ve been around constantly. I don’t do conspiracy theories. I’ve believed the seriousness of the virus since it was first made public. I know individuals who have lost their lives to it. So to that aspect, it is very personal.

As I type this, I’ve just had my third Covid test a few days ago. I believe we owe it not just to ourselves, but to our families and society, to make sure we follow the guidelines to limit the spread of this virus.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is next on the agenda for you? Do you have any projects lined up for later in the future, after the COVID-19 pandemic that you can tell our readers about?

DJ Boxx: Of course! The Bosar Music Production is in full-ops mode at the moment for upcoming releases as we speak. Nu Bang Clan is moving toward bringing in new members.

Ascension plus “The Squad”, which extends beyond Ascension itself, is planning some things for the near and far future, virtual events later in the year and hopefully real events next year. We are putting our faith in hopes that we’ll be beyond this pandemic.

Virtual events coming up are:
“BACK2BACK” w/ Dee Jay Alicia every Saturday 7:30 – 1:30am – http://Twitch.com/deejayalicia 

“HOUSE STOCK 2020” Virtual Broadcast Sunday Sept 6th: https://facebook.com/events/s/house-stock-2020-virtual-broad/1202551810099670/?ti=cl

And of course mixes are always on Mixcloud:https://www.mixcloud.com/djboxx/

GO BANG! Magazine: On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down, begging for his life and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” This incident has caused civil unrest and massive protests across the world. How do you feel about this unfortunate situation and call for police reform due to the horrible treatment of minorities by the police?

DJ Boxx: I found the officers’ actions and lack of care and concern for Mr. Floyd to be completely void of the level of humanity to even call oneself a human. What I saw was evil in action. Hate in its purest form.

Individuals that will behave in that fashion do not need to hold a badge in this society. Regarding police reform…sure. There’s also a need for further psychological training, in relation to arrests and responses. Hell, maybe even some sensitivity training. However, I do not feel that the “defund the police” aspect would be good for society…well definitely not here in Chicago.

You can follow DJ BOXX on FB: @DJ Boxx, @RegAnderson, @BosarMusic, on IG @DJBoxx, and on Twitch @BoxxBosar




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

July 1, 2020
6th Annual HOUSE CLUB TOUR Global Crawl #2

Enjoy Four Hours of Sounds from Chicago, Detroit, Japan,
Italy, Jamaica, London, Moscow & Brazil

SHOWING @ HOUSECLUBTOUR.COM

Music By: Maurice Joshua, Paul Johnson, Roussoul
Jukie Tha-Kidd, Randall Dean, Hula, First Lady
Dave Maze, Bruce Bailey, LoftSoul
SoulBridge, DJ MarshyRedz, Cem Ceylan
Risha_Rush, DJ G

VIEW on YOUTUBE
or Visit CHICAGO BARS
(Limited Seating so Crawl Around)!
*City Life 11am -11pm
*Frances’ Cocktail Lounge 12am – 11pm
*The Family Den 1pm-11pm
*Renaissance Bronzeville 4pm-11pm

Powered By: HCT, RFK Promotions, Tri-M Entertainment

When it comes to beauty, Toni Shelton has been at the forefront of identifying and leading a trail of it from coast to coast. As a Chicago native, she has made her mark from Hollywood to New York City and everywhere in between. She’s known for being energetic, sexy, and a one-of-a-kind woman. Whether working with celebrities, commentating about them, hosting House parties, or being the one who is interviewed, she turns heads and opens ears wherever she goes!

Toni is a legend in the House music scene, where she’s referred to as “Disco Toni,” and is known for holding “Another Toni Shelton Production” House music parties, which have been a part of Chicago culture that has included such attendees as Will Smith, four-time Grammy-nominated producer Steve “Silk” Hurley, and more. She was featured in “UNSUNG: Frankie Knuckles”, and was the only black female House music promoter during the 1980s. Her parties were DJ’d by such notables as Tony Hatchett, Andre Hatchett, Keith Fobs and Wayne Williams, and attended by such people as Bernie Mac, Common, Michael Jordan, R. Kelly, and numerous NFL and NBA athletes.

As the “Queen of House”, she was the second person ever to receive a Chosen Few “I Love Music Award: ‘Disco Toni’ Shelton” for her contribution to the genre. She is also featured in the “Move Your Body: House Music Legends” display at the City of Chicago Cultural Center.

Today, Toni is still playing a major role in the progression of House music by holding annual parties in Chicago, and was also given an award at an event at the Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago for her dedication and contribution to House music. Her annual “All White” House music parties in Chicago have been a popular event since starting them in 2009. She’s worked with many notable DJs, including Steve “Silk” Hurley, New York DJ Charles Dixon, Farley “Jackmaster Funk”, DaMinista, DJ Kenny Ray, DJ Angel, and Rory McAlister, to name a few.

Toni has also been known as Hollywood’s publicist, having established herself as a popular celebrity commentator. From being a commentator on InsideBlackHollywood.com to working on the “10 Worst Hollywood Divorces” feature for E! Entertainment Television, she has successfully covered it all. She has also worked with a variety of celebrities, provided coaching to others entering the business, and been in the spotlight for events held in her honor. She was also a background singer for Ramsey Lewis’ video “Tonight.”

Whether in front of or behind the camera, Toni has a way of charming those she works with and touches. She has also been recognized several times for her humanitarian efforts, including providing mentoring and helping Hurricane Katrina victims find housing and helping the homeless. Philanthropy is an important part of her life, and she tries to instill that value in others. She has also been a pageant judge for Miss Illinois, and has been featured in numerous publications, commercials, and on billboards.

She has also received awards for her humanitarian and charity work, including the “Women Who Make a Difference” award, as well as being a recipient of the award dedicated in her honor, the “Toni Shelton Humanitarian Award.” She has won additional awards, including the “Trail Blazer Award”, “The Coalition for Enhanced Humanity”, and a “House Music Award.” Toni has also been featured in spots for Miller Genuine Draft and Seagram’s Gins, as well as working with the Make A Difference Youth Foundation. She has also written three books on modeling and the entertainment industry, has been featured on billboards, in commercials, and more. She was also featured in Lift Magazine on an article titled “What Success Looks Like.”

When Toni is not working with celebrities, grooving to House music, or providing on- or off-camera commentary, she hosts events, does public speaking, and combines her strong work ethic with her compassion for others, in order to give back and make a difference. She also worked with actress Lisa Raye to help Hurricane Katrina victims find housing.

As an entrepreneur, Toni has made her mark by owning Tonae’s Hip Hop & Jewelry, and Tonae’s Entertainment Group, both in Chicago. She started out working for the City of Chicago, working on the back of garbage trucks for the department of sanitation. Her childhood got off to a rough start after finding her mother dead at the age of seven, after having been murdered. She went on later to lead a rally after her brother had been beaten in the streets, which brought the community together, and led to the imprisonment of his attackers.

Toni has won numerous awards for the many things she is involved in, and has also been featured in numerous publications, including the likes of the Hyde Park Herald, Chicago Maroon, Sun Times, Chicago Defender, Sister 2 Sister magazine, N’Digo, Ebony Magazine, and more.

As a mother of four, and a five-time serial entrepreneur from the Hyde Park area of Chicago, nothing can slow her down. Toni believes in the beauty found within us all, as well as in our ability to use it for doing good and giving back. At the top of her game, she looks forward to seeing what else is yet to come!

GO BANG! Magazine: Can you please describe your childhood and how the devastating death of your mother, at an early age, affected you and how it helped to shape who you are today?

Toni Shelton: How my mom’s death affected me? My mom’s untimely death shaped me to be the woman I am today indeed. I found my mom dead at the young age of seven years old. I had to grow up fast, take charge, and start thinking about my future at a very young age, while other kids were being a kid.

GO BANG! Magazine: I hear that you owned a business in Hyde Park early in your life. Please tell our readers more about this exciting venture.

Toni Shelton: My business in Hyde Park was called Tonae’s, it was a Hip Hop shop, 1995- 1997. I sold hip hop clothing, skateboard gear, gym shoes, tee’s, (nowadays called Streetwear), jewelry, etc. It was one of the first stores to carry FUBU and other urban brands, before “Streetwear” was a trend. I donated to the community clothes, food, etc. It was a hang-out spot for the neighborhood kids. I hired from the neighborhood. We had all kinds of events, fashion shows, local rappers perform, and local young artist came in to draw/do paintings. We had celebrities stop by like Bernie Mac, KRS, TLC- Chili, Common and others. Tonae’s was featured in Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Defender, Hyde Park Herald, and the University of Chicago Maroon newspapers.

GO BANG! Magazine: Being blessed with beauty, it was only natural for you to be involved in the modeling industry. How was your time in the industry, and what did you learn from that experience?

Toni Shelton: I was signed with Ford. I left Ford, did a lot of freelance and music videos, one was with Ramsey Lewis, as a background singer. I also did print modeling in Ebony, Essence, Sister to Sister Magazine, Billboards, and more. It’s not an easy industry to get in to, but you must stay diligent and believe in yourself. I wasn’t even the normal height and proportions being only 5’7” and 165 lbs., I was heavier and shorter than most models. I wouldn’t change my experiences in the industry. I learned a lot; how to manage myself and push.

GO BANG! Magazine: During your high school days at Chicago’s Kenwood Academy in Hyde Park, you became well-known and even nicknamed “Disco Toni.” How did you get that name and how did you become involved in the House scene, particularly in the promotions area?

Toni Shelton: I lost my mom at a very young age. I used House music to take me away from the pain and loneliness as a child/teen. One of my friends at Kenwood gave me the name “Disco Toni” in my second year of high school. I didn’t know it would stick. I hated it at first, but I learned to embrace it.

I started giving House music parties in 1980. Andre Hatchett, Tony Hatchett, Keith Fobs and Wayne Williams were my main DJ’s. That was before Chosen Few DJs popularity. My ‘logo’ has always been my photo, carried over until today. I modeled for many years, so a photo was easy. I’ve always promoted my own events and I’m always solo. I used radio ads in the early days. There was no social media, so I footed it…me and my crew.

GO BANG! Magazine: Years later, you would become what some would say a legend in the House community. How do you feel about possessing that title?

Toni Shelton: I did not give myself that title, but, I embrace it and the name “Disco Toni.” I was one of the few female House music promoters back then, to date over one-thousand parties. I do not know any other females to date, that have surpassed my record.

GO BANG! Magazine: You relocated to sunny California and raised four beautiful and talented children, each possessing their own goals, accomplishments and talents. What prompted you to make that leap and move to California, and what brought you back to Chicago?

Toni Shelton: My kids are all in their own career paths, I am proud of them. Jen is 35, lives in NY, and is an artist; David is 33, lives in LA., works in promotions; Imani 26, lives in ATL, is in the entertainment industry; and Carl is 21, lives in NY, and is a pro-skateboarder.

Cali is always home and I’ve kept a place in Chicago as well. I love LA! The sun comes out 350 days out of the year. I raised my two youngest in LA, Carl – (my pro skateboarder) and Imani – (Degree in Sociology, 2019.) Jen has been in NY since graduated from Howard University, 2006. David’s been in LA since age 17.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re also an author and a businesswoman. What advice would you give to someone that is interested in getting into the business side of entertainment?

Toni Shelton: The business side of entertainment… First you need to decide what your specialty is, promote/advertise your expertise/gift and stay diligent. It’s a hard egg to break. Then, you must find your specific niche and value that you can add to the industry. Finally, networking is KEY. You are your best product, so make sure you are in a constant state of enrichment.

GO BANG! Magazine: There are only a few women involved in the promotion and marketing of House music events, including yourself and Ronda Flowers. (1) How does it feel to be amongst the ones trailblazing a career path for young women of the future to follow, and (2) what advice would you give a young girl that may be interested in pursuing event marketing and promotions?

Toni Shelton: A career in promoting and marketing is rewarding, but not an easy job, especially for a female. I started when I was 17 years old. At that time, there weren’t many female promoters. As far as I know, I’m the only one from back then, that’s still riding that wave. The few that were around did two to five events. I’ve been blessed to have a following for as long as I have. I’ve done over 1000 parties since 1980. I would say it’s a lot easier now because we have “social media” and that there is “The Key.”

My advice would be to give the people what they want. Build on that and stay true. Don’t get all commercialized and start to sell socks and jewelry, just for example. If your thing is House music, stick to House music or whatever your forte is for your production. Last, be consistent, personable, and loyal with your people.

That goes along way!

You can follow Toni Shelton on social media @ToniShelton




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

RONDA FLOWERS, “Queen of House”, is a House music pioneer. As co-founder of RFK Promotions, Ronda Flowers and Koko, “Soulful Saturdays”, “Summer House Series with KoKo, Nick Nonstop & Torin Edmond” and “House Club Tour with Dana Divine”; Ronda specializes in creative social marketing and promotion companies that specializes in hosting events for urban professionals; featuring some of Chicago’s legendary and international DJs that have captivated audiences for nearly 30 years on the Chicago born House music scene.

After years of perseverance, and achieving success with her well-attended signature House music events across Chicago, DJs, colleagues and club owners branded Ronda as the Queen of House. Opening the doors at nightclubs for the House music scene starting in the late 80’s as Timeless Productions was not easy as a young entrepreneur in the Windy City. Her sell-in approach was all she had to pursue the club owners for an opportunity to have weekly House music dance events. From the north side to the south side of Chicago, Ronda Flowers’ name has become respected by clubs throughout the city.

Over the years Ronda Flowers and her company RFK Promotions have branded several weekly House events, beach events on Chicago’s lakefront, and Chicago’s first and only annual House music pub crawl.

With partners Tri M Entertainment, We Jam, and Sound Sanctuary Music, RFK Promotions’ Ronda Flowers & KoKo have a lock on the Chicago House music scene. She is now expanding her influence as a promoter globally and collaborating on several events bringing her very own Chicago style with her select roster of talented DJs.

GO BANG! Magazine: When and how did you get involved in the House music community?

Ronda Flowers: I was not always around house Music. I gave parties in the 70’s in my basement playing R&B, Soul and Funk. I thought if I can get a boy to pull a chic off the wall, then I was having a great party. It’s 1977 and the money is great for a kid my age.

Around 1979 I went to a party and the DJs played all Disco. Man did I have a ball. The people were different from my neighborhood and I met a whole new crew of friends that loved dance music that wasn’t just R&B.

By the time I reached high school I decided to give parties another run. In the early 80’s, I started hosting Disco & Dance Music parties at my home and backyard. At that point I started building a network of followers. By this time the Dance Music was labeled House.

GO BANG! Magazine: How did growing up in the “home of house” Chicago, attending Kenwood Academy, and residing in Hyde Park influence you in becoming a member of the House community.

Ronda Flowers: It was easy as a 13 year old starting to feel the groove til the age of 21. At this point I felt I was a member of the House Community. I was giving parties and going to parties at juice bars as a teenager. The community was humble, non judgemental and about friendship and the love of music; just as my highschool and neighborhood was to me. The good old days.

GO BANG! Magazine: Why did you decide to pursue the business side of House and become involved in marketing and promotions, thru RFK Promotions?

Ronda Flowers: Well I was in college and I needed to pay for it. So in 1989 a very good friend of mine Charles Matlock Esq./ Promoter asked me to give a party with him and James Vincent. I agreed to do a few but they were such fun and profitable events and off the chain that I decided to keep doing them. That’s when I decided to make promotions a business for myself. So Charles and I became business partners as TIMELESS PRODUCTIONS In 1989.

GO BANG! Magazine: RFK Promotions consists of yourself and Robert “Koko” Walker. Can you tell our readers how you two met and how your business partnership developed?

Ronda Flowers: RFK is a creative social marketing and promotions company that specializes in hosting events for urban professionals. It was 2002 When I was introduced to a Robert KoKo Walker who ran a Speakeasy joint. I was giving parties in two locations during the same time on the north side. So another friend of both of us, Brian Sayles, wanted to give parties at the Speakeasy. He asked me to co-host since I had a following to the north side. We met and gave a few parties and later KoKo asked me if I would like to host more parties; I accepted and said yes. Soon the Speakeasy closed. I was still hosting parties at the time at a place called D’Vine and Dante’s. I received a call about my client at the time, Andre Hatchett, a Chosen Few DJ, was playing at Summer Dance Fest along with Joe Smooth. Being Hatchett’s booking agent I wanted to give them an after party. This is when I called KoKo to assist me on the event on the south side named The Dating Game. The party was so packed and exciting the owner asked us if we could do it again on any night we wanted. KoKo and I accepted and we have been partners ever since. Later we were known for the night “ I Live for Wednesdays”.

GO BANG! Magazine: Over the years, you have become what some would consider a legend in the House community. How do you feel about possessing that title?

Ronda Flowers: That’s a big title. I’m humbled and honored. First let me say Thank You. After years of perseverance, and achieving success with well attended signature house music events across Chicago, DJs, colleagues. Opening the doors at nightclubs for a Black Woman in the The House Music scene starting in the late 80’s as Timeless Productions, was not easy as a young entrepreneur in the Windy City. My approach was all I had to pursue the club owners for an opportunity to have weekly House Music dance events. From the north side to the south side of Chicago my name had become respected by clubs throughout the city.

GO BANG! Magazine: You’re not only a successful business woman you also have a talent in writing. Recently you wrote a script for production. Can you please give our readers some details on this exciting new venture you’re involved with, and what’s the current status of this project?

Ronda Flowers: I’m excited about my new life’s venture. One day I woke up and started writing. I’ve always had a knack for theater and tv production, which was my major in college. It came to me so naturally. Maybe it’s all about timing and life experiences. I presented one of my scripts to a film producer and it was admired so much, they sent me an acceptance letter to go into production for my script “Sammie” and commended me on the subtle messaging on those that are physically challenged. Yes I’m very excited! Since then I’ve written 4 more scripts. I’m going to keep writing as long as the stories come to me. I won’t stop! In addition to the entertainment industry I’m an educator, teaching primary students Financial Literacy.

GO BANG! Magazine: There are only a few women involved in the promotion & marketing of House music events, including yourself and Toni Shelton. (1) How does it feel to be amongst the ones trailblazing a career path for young women of the future to follow, and (2) what advice would you give a young girl that may be interested in pursuing event marketing and promotions?

Ronda Flowers: It’s nice to be a role model for young women and men. I believe young people behind the scenes are powerful with a voice and vision. I give 150 plus events per year and have expanded globally. I want young women to learn this game as a business and know it’s not all about being at a party. Always remember there are people depending on your service that you provide which is why it should become a business. My advice is to learn the world in person or from a book and follow your desires. Learn about the needs and wants of people and choose your path because you have access to the world.

GO BANG! Magazine: With the current COVID-19 pandemic in effect, many people are afraid and uncertain about returning to large gatherings, such as House parties. This has led to “virtual” events becoming more and more popular. How do you plan to adjust to the changing times and the “new” normal of masks, crowd limits, and social distancing?

Ronda Flowers: I believe there will be a new norm and I feel society will adjust and I’ll adjust with it. New concepts will be created. As far as the large crowds and social distancing, we must maintain the rules for survival. This epidemic was terrifying to me. This was the one that could have ended my life. I wish it hadn’t happened and I want safety first for all of us.

GO BANG! Magazine: What is next on the agenda for you? Do you have any projects lined up for later in the future, after the COVID-19 pandemic that you can tell our readers about?

Ronda Flowers: I have a few events and projects that I’m working on. It will be exciting and love will be spread to everyone as long as we can continue to work together.

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

Ronda Flowers: I give all praises to God. I’m thankful for my health and family. Always staying prepared for the unexpected is crucial for our community. I’ve been blessed to have been able to help those in need and sad about those I have lost. This has broken my heart. I appreciate this gentle life we have and I will never take it for granted. I love all of you.

GO BANG! Magazine: On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down, begging for his life and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.” This incident has caused civil unrest and massive protests across the world. How do you feel about this unfortunate situation and call for police reform due to the horrible treatment of minorities by the police?

Ronda Flowers: I am mad at the fact another Black Man has died due to the mentally ill, untrained, racist police officers. My heart goes out to all men, women and children who have died and their families who had to deal with their loss due to an unforeseen masacre. Police officers have been killing Blacks for a very long time. I learned years ago that the racist white man is intimidated by the Black Man and have hid behind their uniforms. We all know, it’s nothing new in America. We’re tired and have had enough. I believe a change will come but we must keep fighting for justice and equality.

You can follow Ronda Flowers and RFK Promotions on social media @RondaFlowers @RFKPromo

Log on their website @https://rfkpromo.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. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram

On Friday, May 8, 2020, over 106,000 house music lovers came together and “HISTORY WAS MADE!”

The Frankie Knuckles Foundation, The Chosen Few DJs, and Le Nocturne Chicago united to present a 10-hour musical marathon/benefit honoring the birthday of the late legendary DJ, Ron “Heart Attack” Hardy, and to raise money to buy a headstone for his resting place.

A Go Fund Me account was established with a goal of $2,500, but to date they have raised over $8,100. The excess monies will be donated to a charity of the Hardy family’s choice. The purpose of the Go Fund Me drive is as follows:

“On March 2nd 1992 the #HouseMusic community lost one of its great pioneers, the legendary DJ Ron Hardy. Since that time, his final resting place has gone unmarked. Three years ago, Chicago attorney and co-founder of the Frankie Knuckles Foundation, the late Randy Crumpton came up with the idea to raise funds to purchase a memorial marker for Ron. Crumpton mentioned his idea to FKF President/Executive Director Frederick Dunson who then spoke with Chosen Few DJ members @DJWayneWilliams, @DJAlanKing and @DJTerryHunter about a collaboration to purchase the stone and remedy the situation.

Fast forward to this year… a few weeks ago during a conversation, Dunson mentioned the idea again to Hunter, who enthusiastically responded “Let’s do it!”

So on May 8th, to observe and celebrate what would have been Ron’s 63rd birthday, the @ChosenFewDJs + the @FrankieKnucklesFoundation join forces to host a fundraising effort to raise funds to purchase a marker. The day will consist of a marathon of DJ sets featuring ANDRE HATCHET, BILL HARDY (Ron’s nephew), CELESTE ALEXANDER , CRAIG LOFTIS, GENE HUNT, JAMIE 3:26, MIKE DUNN, RON CARROLL, TERRY HUNTER and WAYNE WILLIAMS broadcasted live from @LeNocturneChicago 12pm-10pm (CST) on their Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. Donations to the cause can be made via GoFundMe.com/For-The-Love-Of-Ron.”

Well, GO BANG! Magazine tuned in to Le Nocturne’s YouTube channel @12 noon and the party wasn’t over until 10:30 pm…10 ½ hours later. It felt like back in the day, when we’d go the the Box on a Saturday night after 12 midnight, and emerge 10 hours later to a bright Sunday morning. The comments during the event were heartfelt and hilarious. Even more entertaining were the comments after it ended. Viewers were posting comments like “let’s all meet up for breakfast”, or “my clothes are drenched”, “I threw my back out” and “Let’s go to Valois.”

The DJ line up was fierce, even including one of Ron’s nephews, Bill Hardy. Each DJ gave a Ronnie inspired performance. DJ Celeste Alexander, the only female and the final DJ, brought the house down, and was the perfect DJ finale. After her set, they teased her saying that they’re glad she didn’t throw up this time. Once before, back in the day, Celeste DJ’d at the Box and threw up in Ron’s DJ booth.

Overall, Ronnie’s marathon was an overwhelming success and it showed the power and unity of the House community! We came together, showed up, and showed out!

ONE LOVE, ONE HOUSE, ONE FAMILY!

In closing, Fredrick Dunson of the Frankie Knuckles Foundation (FKF) says, “We have been inundated with so many positive comments from a number of 106,000 viewers that tuned in via one of the several platforms that the tribute was streamed on. On behalf of the Chosen Few + the Frankie Knuckles Foundation I’d like to thank all of the individuals whose donations in honor of Ron that we received helped us surpass our goal…we couldn’t have done it without your support…again thank you for your generosity!” 

Frederick Dunson
President/Executive Director
Frankie Knuckles Foundation


To contribute: https://www.gofundme.com/For-the-love-of-Ron

HAPPY 63RD BIRTHDAY RONNIE!!!!!!!

WE HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY WITH YOUR HOUSE FAMILY!!!

Continue RESTING IN BEATS!!!!!!

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THE EVENT OR RON HARDY MEMORIES BELOW!

#ForTheLoveOfRon



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. In addition, he’s an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions and the Owner/Publisher of GO BANG! Magazine. Follow him on Facebook @Pierre Andre Evans, Twitter @Playerre, on Instagram @Pierre_Andre_Evans.