Born to church choir directors on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Bryan Sledge, aka BJ the Chicago Kid, relocated to Los Angeles at the age of 19, when he became a backup singer for contemporary gospel stars Mary Mary. Over the next several years, he appeared as a vocalist on Stevie Wonder’s A Time to Love and wrote material for a mix of R&B and gospel artists, including Crystal Aikin, Shirley Caesar, Lalah Hathaway, Joe, and Kindred the Family Soul. Major strides as a solo artist were made in 2012. In February, he released Pineapple Now-Laters — a hefty introductory showcase for his streetwise mix of vintage and modern styles. Two tracks, including an update of War’s “The World Is a Ghetto,” featured Kendrick Lamar. That August, he announced that he had signed to Motown, which released the Pineapple track “Good Luv’n” as a single in October. A mixtape, The M.A.F.E. Project, was released in November 2014, while one of its tracks — “It’s True,” featuring ScHoolboy Q — was issued as his second Motown single. In 2015, he continued to work toward the release of his first proper album with singles “That Girl,” “Church,” and “The Resume,” and he was featured on tracks by Joey Bada$$, Kehlani, Jill Scott, and Dr. Dre, among several others. In My Mind arrived the following February.Checkout our latest interview with BJ The Chicago Kid now !
Michael Francis Seander, Jr., better known as Mike Stud is a Duke educated, former All-American baseball player who unexpectedly turned to music after an injury robbed him of his lifelong dream to play pro ball. Now, Mike Stud can be seen at the top of the Billboard and iTunes charts as he continues to build his brand in the most unconventional way — as an unsigned artist, heavily relying on social media to build awareness, sell tickets and engage with fans around the world. In just five short years, Mike Stud has garnered over 60 million views on YouTube, released three #1 Hip-Hop Albums on iTunes, and headlined three notoriously ‘wild’ national tours. His music first received notice with the rap single, “College Humor,” in 2010, which he recorded as a joke. The video was a huge viral success, racking up over 1.5 million views. Mike’s music career took off quickly: He released his first mix tape, A Toast to Tommy, in October 2011. In May 2013, Stud’s debut studio album, Relief debuted at 109 on the Billboard 200 chart and peaked at 55. But the biggest move from the former pitcher-turned rapper came when Mike Stud hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Rap charts with his 2014 2nd album, Closer, which received over 1.4 million YouTube views for the title track. His YouTube channel has passed 135K subscribers, and he recently dropped his third album, “These Days” which landed him #1 on iTunes Hip Hop charts. Checkout our latest & new interview with Mike Stud !
Grammy-nominated singer, actress, and model V. Bozeman disrupts conventions, burns expectations, and emanates extreme energy in its purest form. Take one glance at her, and you’ll see strikingly natural beauty augmented by runway-ready features and edgy modern style. Musically, she doesn’t flip the script so much as rewrite it altogether. After one listen, you’ll hear feral intensity, focused vision, and unnervingly dynamic talent that turned musical innovators like Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds’, CeeLo Green, and Timbaland into fans, creative collaborators, and supporters. V. is best known for her recurring role on FOX’s Golden Globe nominated hit drama series “Empire,” where she had the distinction of opening the Empire series premiere (2014) with the heart-wrenching ballad “What Is Love”, captivating both viewers and listeners, and garnering the most downloaded and streamed soundtrack on the original Empire Pilot EP. The first episode was viewed in more than 20 million households. The official soundtrack, also containing the single, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and has since been officially certified Gold. V. once again stunned fans with her performance of her single “Hourglass,” written by Terrence Howard, on the season 2 series finale of “Empire” (2016). V has recently teamed up with Lincoln Motor Company (June 2016) for a commercial and release of her single “GO” off her upcoming debut album. In addition to the album you can catch V. and her incredible vocals at the 2016 BET Experience kick off concert as well as the 2016 Essence Festival later next month. In addition to her music and recurring role on “Empire” she can be seen staring in 2 international Heineken commercials and is working on several other TV projects, which are currently in development.
Alt-pop/R&B duo Chloe x Halle are self-produced singer/songwriter/instrumentalists signed with Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment. They recently appear in a memorable scene from Beyoncé’s HBO special Lemonade. On April 29, Chloe x Halle premiered their five-song EP, Sugar Symphony, shortly after debuting their cinematic “DROP” video while gracing the pages of Elle. The duo is currently featured on Michelle Obama’s charity single, “This is for My Girls,” and are working on their first full length album. Checkout our interview with Chloe x Halle from Essence Music Festival 2016.
Andra Day uses her songwriting and voice as vessels to freedom and redemption. The lyrics on her debut album Cheers to the Fall highlight the lessons learned through trial and error while rising to the occasion in the wake of those setbacks. For this woman with a throwback voice in a modern era, it’s her truth that may set you free.
The chanteuse has since gone on to bless audiences with show-stealing performances at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 2015 BET Awards, Cannes, ESSENCE Music Festival, McDonalds 365 Black Awards, the Closing Ceremonies of the 2015 Special Olympics, Good Morning America, LIVE with Jimmy Kimmel, Live with Kelly & Michael, Wendy Williams, A&E’s Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America with Nick Jonas, the 89th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, and more. With its universal and uplifting message, her current single and the album’s crown jewel “Rise Up” continues to resonate with listeners from all walks of life. Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine called her “the latest thing” in an interview with WIRED after revealing the song “stopped me in my tracks.” Moved by the empowering anthem, Beats By Dre selected “Rise Up” to appear in a new campaign that aired during the U.S. Open featuring tennis superstar Serena Williams.
The singer/songwriter was nominated for “Best R&B Performance” (“Rise Up”) and “Best R&B Album” (Cheers to the Fall) at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, as well as “Outstanding New Artist” for the 47th NAACP Image Awards. She also ignited the stage during a duet with Ellie Goulding, pairing “Rise Up” with the latter’s “Love Me Like You Do” for one of the evening’s standout performances. With a vintage flair and a voice for the ages, Andra Day is ready to take her place in the pantheon of soulful vocalists and deliver her truth to the world. Checkout our interview with Andra Day from Essence Music Festival 2016.
Considering his roots and upbringing, it is no wonder that Eric Bellinger has become an R&B sensation. An LA native and grandson of Jackson 5 hit songwriter, Bobby Day, Bellinger has been engulfed with music his entire life. His love for music drove his decision to turn down a football scholarship at USC to pursue his real passion. Bellinger began his musical journey recording and touring with the R&B group, AKNU (A Kind Never Understood) and soon signed to Epic Records by legendary executives, Max Gousse and Tommy Motola. His natural talent for songwriting became apparent and he returned home to hone his abilities under the guidance of his childhood friend and mentor, Erika Nuri of “The Writing Camp”.
After signing a publishing deal with Sony ATV, Bellinger hit hte ground sprinting with stellar contributions to major R&B and pop artists such as Chris Brown (“Fine China”, “Love More” featuring Nicki Minaj), Usher (“Let Me See” featuring Rick Ross), Selena Gomez (“Intuition”) and Justin Bieber (“Right Here” featuring Drake) to name a few. Bellinger’s music continues to gain prestige through illustrious awards from ASCAP (“Lemme See”), BMI (“Lemme See”), iTUNES (“Lemme See” 2012 Song of the Year) and the coveted Grammy’s (for multiple contributions to Chris Brown’s “Fame” album, voted “Best R&B Album” in 2012). In the midst of writing smash hits for other artists, Bellinger continued to create exciting music for his loyal fans, releasing multiple mixtapes (“Born to Sing Vol 1-3” which reached #3 on iTunes, and his most recent and widely loved “Cuffing Season parts 1 & 2”). Bellinger is now focusing on his highly internationally-anticipated album, “Eric Bellinger” set to release the first half of 2016. Checkout our latest interview with Eric from Essence Music Festival 2016 !
MINDLESS BEHAVIOR released their highly anticipated comeback album, #OFFICIALMBMUSIC, which serves as the perfect soundtrack for the summer. MB wanted every aspect of their album to incorporate a #hashtag to engage with their fans online. The 11-song project is a blend of both dance and pop tracks that reflect the group’s evolution from boys to men. Each record on #OFFICIALMBMUSIC illustrates the ultimate turn up, but does not abandoned the love stories that made them popular with young ladies.
Mindless Behavior is the R&B trio that includes Princeton, E.J. & Mike River. The group released their debut album, #1 Girl, in 2011. The LP climbed to #7 on the Billboard Top 200 and yielded hits such as “Mrs. Right” feat. Diggy Simmons, and “#1 Girl,” which collectively surpassed 5.5 million ringtones and 845,000 single sales. Along the way, Mindless Behavior garnered honors such as the “Coca Cola’s Viewer’s Choice Award” at the BET Awards, as well as nods at The People’s Choice Awards and MTV VMAs. Additionally, they have shared the stage with musicians such as: Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo. Checkout our new – latest interview with MB
Bianca Bonnie (formerly known as Young B) is a singer, dancer, songwriter, and actress from Harlem USA. Writer and performer of the worldwide hit “Chicken Noodle Soup” when she was just fifteen, Bianca was able to hone her talents ahead of her time. The smash hit earned the young songstress the highly acclaimed “Best Hip Hop Dance” Soul Train Award along with appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Regis and Kelly, Ellen De Generes, 106 & Park and even Sesame Street. Bianca Bonnie has a unique brand appeal that provides a young and refreshing feel. Combining her classically trained dance skills with her uptown New York lyricism Bianca brings a new flavor to hip hop. Her highly anticipated album “The 9th Year” is set to be released Summer 2016.
Recently cast on the upcoming Season 6 of “Love & Hip-Hop: New York” Bianca Bonnie is now positioned to make her comeback debut to the industry. At a fresh 23 years, she is older, sexier, and her talents have grown innumerably. With remixes including Lil Wayne, Trina, and Fabolous and shows at the famed Madison Square Garden and The Apollo under her belt, the industry is anxious to see what this seasoned starlet is going to bring to the game her second time around. Checkout our latest interview with Bianca Bonnie NOW !
A multi-talented, platinum-selling recording artist, Ke’Tara Shavonne Wyatt, better known as “Keke Wyatt,” has been wowing audiences around the world with her powerhouse vocals and chart-topping songs since she was a teenager. Now, the sassy, sexy, vocalist, instrumentalist, songwriter, and former star of TV One’s smash hit R&B Divas Atlanta, has released the latest single, “Love Me,” from her forthcoming album, Rated Love, which was released on April 22, 2016.
The sultry track marks a new direction for Keke musically. It is a reflection of who she is—sexy, confident and ever-evolving. Through her new music, Keke believes that people will continue to get to know “the real Keke Wyatt.” While the new single will appeal to her current fans, she also has ventured into a sexier musical style that will appeal to the lovers at heart. She’s been energizing fans about the new single by asking, “What’s your favorite sexy song?” The song, which is currently at radio, was written by Keke and produced by rising hit-maker Dominic Gordon (Luke James).
Keke was an original cast member of TV One’s hit show R&B Divas Atlanta, which featured Angie Stone, Monifah Carter, LaTavia Roberson, Syleena Johnson and Kameelah Williams. The show was TV One’s top-rated reality series and offered an inside look at how seven highly acclaimed and award-winning singers balanced their musical careers and family life. Keke allowed us a glimpse into her world where we learned that she has an immense love for her family, music and friends. Stepping away from reality TV has allowed Keke to get back to her first love—music. She has hit the ground running after the birth of her baby girl, Ke’Yoshi Bella, and recently inked a multi-album distribution deal for her Aratek Entertainment company. She is excited about the future, and she’s ready for it. In her own words: “stay tuned honey, because the best is yet to come.”
Listen to her new exclusive interview with Keke Wyatt and checkout in New Orleans for the 2016 Essence Music Festival: