Posts tagged with "activist"

Quincy Jones' The Dude Production shot via Juggernaut Sound

Quincy Jones – The Dude Reissue

In 1981, Quincy Jones released The Dude, a monumental pop-soul album created with a stellar cast of vocalists, studio musicians, and songwriters. Today, IGA (A&M) / Urban Legends is pleased to announce the 40th anniversary reissue of The Dude; available for pre-order now and available June 11, 2021. Featuring bold yellow vinyl with red/orange splatter, the limited edition 40th anniversary reissue also boasts a lithograph of the iconic album art, a gatefold jacket with foil finish, and newly remastered audio. A standard edition single LP is also available, featuring a tip-on gatefold jacket and newly remastered audio.

The Dude was a commercial success, spending 81 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaking at number three. It spawned three top 40 singles, including “One Hundred Ways” with James Ingram, which went on to become Jones’ single biggest hit as a solo artist. The Latin-inspired dance number “Ai No Corrida” and tender ballad “Just Once” also charted in the U.S., while the horn-driven “Razzamatazz” achieved Jones’ highest U.K. chart rank as a solo artist. Quincy Jones was awarded Producer of the Year at the 1981 Grammys. The Dude was nominated for five Grammys, winning three: Best Instrumental Arrangement, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Best Instrumental Arrangement (Accompanying Vocalists).

About Quincy Jones

Jones‘ creative magic has spanned over seven decades, beginning with the music of the post-swing era, and continuing to influence today’s high-technology, international multi-media hybrids. Named by Time magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Jones was born on March 14th, 1933, on the Southside of Chicago and raised in Seattle. 

Jones won the first of his 28 Grammy Awards for his arrangement of Count Basie’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” and continued to work with Basie on Frank Sinatra’s classic Sinatra At The Sands, which contains the famous arrangement of “Fly Me To The Moon”: the first recording played on the moon by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, when he landed in 1969.

The laurels, awards, and accolades have been innumerable. Jones has won an Emmy Award for his score of the opening episode of the landmark TV miniseries, Roots; seven Oscar nominations; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award; 28 Grammy Awards; a N.A.R.A.S.’ prestigious Trustees’ Award; and The Grammy Living Legend Award. He is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist with a total of 80 nominations.

In 2001, Jones was named a Kennedy Center Honoree for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the United States of America, and was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master (the nation’s highest jazz honor). In 2010, Jones was bestowed the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest artistic honor, and most recently in 2016, Jones received a Tony Award for the category of “Best Revival of a Musical,” for the Broadway production of The Color Purple. The award completed the rare EGOT set for Jones: an exclusive subset of artists who have received an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. There are only 21 EGOT recipients in history.

music notes via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Paris Jackson – adagio

Paris Jackson surprises fans with the release of a new song “adagio” featuring Manchester Orchestra today. Listen to “adagio” HERE.

The track unfolds as a simmering psychedelic slow burn. Embers of distortion glow underneath Paris’s hypnotic delivery as she locks into an unbreakable groove with Manchester Orchestra. Clocking in at just shy of seven minutes, the track culminates on a moment of empowering and entrancing catharsis. Once again, she illuminates the scope of her sweeping and soaring vision. The accompanying music video brings this emotional push-and-pull to life in vivid fashion as well.

Paris has consistently collaborated with Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull. He notably co-wrote and produced her 2020 full-length debut album, wilted.

Upon release, wilted hit #1 on the iTunes Alternative Albums Chart and was praised by NPR, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly, E! News, People, NME, NYLON, Refinery29, WWD and more. Rolling Stone hailed the album as “well-crafted indie-pop,” while NME described it as “11 intimate songs that’ll fit like your favourite sweater.”

About Paris Jackson

While Paris hails from one of the most successful families in music history, she is best known for her activism, acting and modeling work. The latter of which has seen her front campaigns for international brands like Calvin Klein, grace the cover of top fashion magazines and make her runway debut earlier this year at Jean-Paul Gaultier’s final show. On the acting front, Paris has taken on several TV and film roles, collaborating with acclaimed industry professionals, including Lee Daniels, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, and Rachel Winters. Aside from music, Paris’ biggest passion has always been in using her platform to shine light on causes important to her, notably going off script while presenting at the Grammy Awards and MTV VMAs, to highlight the Dakota Access Pipeline and events of racial injustice in Charlottesville, respectively. Paris also serves as an Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) and is passionate about continuing her godmother’s legacy of ridding the stigma and finding a cure for the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Rob Kenner book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rob Kenner × Nipsey Hussle

Rob Kenner is one of the most prolific and influential voices in hip hop publishing and a founding editor of Vibe magazine. 

After meeting Nipsey Hussle in the offices of Vibe, Kenner spent the next ten years tracking the life and career of the hip hop mogul, artist, and activist. THE MARATHON DON’T STOP: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle by Rob Kenner (Atria Books; Hardcover; March 23, 2021; $27.00; ISBN: 9781982140298) ​is the first in-depth biography of Nipsey Hussle, whose transformative legacy inspired a generation with his motivational lyrics and visionary business savvy—before he was tragically shot down two years ago, on March 31, 2019 in the very neighborhood he was dedicated to building up.

Combining on-the-ground reporting and candid interviews with Hussle’s friends, family, and peers, THE MARATHON DON’T STOP traces the life and work of an extraordinary artist, placing him in historical context and unpacking his complex legacy.

Some details of Hussle’s life that Kenner can discuss in an interview include:

  • Ermias Asghedom, before he was Nipsey Hussle, was a brilliant, soft-spoken, and underestimated young man who loved hip hop with a passion and was determined to build his own successful music label and clothing business—as well as other businesses that would employ many members of his community.
  • His life in the Crenshaw District starting in 1985, placing Hussle in historical context within the evolution of Hip Hop, Los Angeles, and America.
  • Hussle’s genius as a teenager who built his own computers and went on to push the envelope of technology in growing his businesses as well as innovating new revenue models for independent musicians that have since been adopted by the mainstream music industry
  • Hussle’s life-changing trip to Africa to visit his father’s family in Eritrea, as well as his little-known first meeting with Afeni Shakur, long before he called himself the ‘Tupac of My Generation’ or even took the rap name Nipsey Hussle.
  • Hussle’s impact as an activist, and his efforts to re-align L.A. gang culture with the mission of organizations like the Black Panthers…AND MORE.

Rob Kenner is one of the most prolific and influential voices in hip-hop publishing. A founding editor of Vibe, Kenner joined the start-up team of Quincy Jones’ groundbreaking hip hop monthly in 1992. During a nineteen-year run at Vibe he edited and wrote cover and feature stories on iconic cultural figures ranging from Tupac Shakur to Barack Obama as well as writing the acclaimed column Boomshots. Kenner’s writing has appeared in ComplexGeniusMass AppealPigeons & PlanesEgo TripPoetry magazine, The New York Times, and Billboard. He’s also produced and directed documentary shorts on the likes of De La Soul, Nas, and Post Malone. As an editor at Vibe Books, Kenner worked on the New York Times bestseller Tupac Shakur and contributed to The Vibe History of Hip Hop. He went on to co-author VX: 10 Years of Vibe Photography and produced the book Unbelievable, a biography of The Notorious B.I.G. by Cheo Hodari Coker Jr., which was optioned for the motion picture Notorious.

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Idris Elba × HarperCollins

Iconic and multi-award-winning actor, musician, filmmaker, and activist Idris Elba has signed a global multi-book deal with HarperCollins to publish a range of children’s books launching in 2022.

In a major UK/US co-publication deal, world rights were acquired by Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher, HCCB UK, and Suzanne Murphy, President, and Publisher, HCCB US, from Crystal Mahey-Morgan at OWN IT! Entertainment Ltd.

Publishing will include picture books and fiction featuring a character and world imagined and developed by Idris and his writing partner Robyn Charteris, who has written numerous live-action drama, pre-school and animation programs for BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company, and Endemol as well as educational theatre for schools. Idris Elba said, “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring stories inspired by my daughter to life with my incredible partner Robyn Charteris, and the powerhouse team at HarperCollins.”

Executive Publisher HCCB UK, Ann-Janine Murtagh said, “Idris Elba is one of the most iconic and multi-talented creatives of his generation and I am delighted that he is joining the HarperCollins Children’s Books list. From the outset, Idris had a very clear vision of the characters and stories he has imagined and is passionate about creating books that will appeal to all children. Robyn Charteris has a fantastic track record in writing for children, working with some of the biggest producers of children’s entertainment, and I am hugely excited to also welcome her to the world of children’s books. I feel privileged that Idris has entrusted us to bring his stories to life and I cannot wait to share them with children across the globe.”

President and Publisher HCCB US, Suzanne Murphy said, “Idris Elba is a creative force, who has many wonderful stories to tell. We are honored to be working with him and with Robyn Charteris to bring Idris’s rich and imaginative storytelling to the world of children’s books, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the HarperCollins family.”

IDRIS ELBA

Golden Globe and SAG winning Idris Elba captivates audiences as an actor, producer, and director, and continually secures his position as the one to watch in Hollywood. He is the first actor to receive dual SAG awards in one evening.

Idris’s career skyrocketed on the small screen in some of the UK’s top-rated shows. Soon after, he landed the role of Stringer Bell in HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire (NAACP Image Award nomination). In 2010, Idris landed the title role on the BBC mini-series Luther, which earned him a Golden Globe, SAG Award, and four Emmy nominations. In 2005, he began his film career; his credits include American Gangster (Golden Globe nomination), Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom (Golden Globe nomination), Beasts of No Nation (SAG Award, Golden Globe nomination), and the Oscar-nominated film Molly’s Game.  He can be seen this April in the Netflix film Concrete Cowboy, which he also produced, and this summer will be starring in The Suicide Squad 2.  Other upcoming films include The Harder They Fall and Three Thousand Years of Longing.

Behind the camera, Idris made his feature-film directorial debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Yardie. In 2013, he founded his production company, Green Door Pictures, to champion diversity of thought. With Green Door, Idris released the documentary Mandela, My Dad and Me, produced the TV mini-series Guerrilla for Showtime, and created, produced, and appears in the Sky comedy series In the Long Run. He also created, produced, and starred in the Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie.

ROBYN CHARTERIS

Robyn began her career writing educational theatre for schools and charitable organizations internationally before graduating to television. For television she has written on numerous live-action drama, pre-school, and animation programs for the BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company, Channel 5, Initial Kids (Endemol), Carlton TV, Gullane, Hit Entertainment, Granada, SABC, Urban Brew, Disney, and M-Net.

Her credits include a BAFTA-winning children’s drama series for CBBC, creating and writing one of the first original 52-episode pre-school series for the launch of the digital channel CBeebies, creative consultancy for Mattel Toys and Lego, and a master’s degree in Playwriting.

ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS
HarperCollins UK is a division of HarperCollinsPublishers, the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries, and was named Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards 2018. With over two hundred years of history and more than 120 unique imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year, in 16 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins UK has offices in London, Glasgow, Honley, and Manchester and can be found online.

HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS, UK 

HarperCollins Children’s Books, unprecedented three times winner of Children’s Publisher of the Year (2014, 2015, 2016), is one of the leading publishers of children’s books, recognized for nurturing new talent as well as boasting a reputable list of established bestselling authors. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many children’s classics, including The Chronicles of Narnia, Mary Poppins, the Paddington stories, The Cat in the Hat, and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and to some of the biggest names in children’s literature past and present, including Judith Kerr, David Walliams, Lauren Child, David Baddiel, Oliver Jeffers, and Michael Morpurgo.

HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS, US: 

HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s and teen books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures and bestsellers such as Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Where the Wild Things Are and The Hate U Give; series including the Chronicles of Narnia, Ramona, Warriors, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Divergent and Red Queen; and graphic and illustrated novels such as Nimona, Invisible Emmie and New Kid. Consistently at the forefront of digital innovation, HarperCollins Children’s Books delights readers through engaging storytelling across a variety of formats and platforms, including the largest young adult (YA) book community, Epic Reads. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollinsPublishers, which is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, has operations in 17 countries, and is a subsidiary of News Corp.

You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at HarperCollins Children, Epic Reads, and at HarperCollinsPublishers.

First Jewish American Heritage National Park Made Law

Yesterday marks a significant win in the decades-long effort to recognize and celebrate the philanthropic legacy of Julius Rosenwald and his impact on American democratic equality.  With the president’s signing of the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools Act of 2020, a process begins that would lead to the establishment of the first National Park Service site to honor a Jewish American and celebrate the contribution of a Jewish American to our society, while preserving a selection of iconic Rosenwald Schools.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation first highlighted the threatened natureof the Rosenwald legacy by placing Rosenwald Schools on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List in 2002. The National Trust supported the preservation of Rosenwald Schools for many years, providing workshops, conferences, and technical assistance – including a publication: the Grassroots Guide to Preserving Rosenwald Schools.

The heightened awareness created by the endangered list designation and Rosenwald Schools initiative  ultimately led to a partnership between the National Trust, the Campaign to Create the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park, and the National Parks Conservation Association, which together collaborated to achieve the successful enactment of the Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Schools Act of 2020 (H.R.3250).  Within this effort the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund established a grant fund that has provided over $2.5 million in matching grants to advance Rosenwald School preservation, including planning, engineering studies, architectural plans, archaeology, research, and rehabilitation.

“Rosenwald Schools unearth a fascinating and true history of African American activism, achievement, and resilience in the United States,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.  “Their permanent preservation and interpretation broadens our understanding of the civil rights fight for equality in twentieth century America and the enduring power of interracial cooperation.”

BACKGROUND
Born in 1862 in Springfield, Illinois not far from the residence of then President Abraham Lincoln, Julius Rosenwald made his fortune as co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company. His own parents, however, had fled persecution in Germany in the late 1900s, and he began to channel his experience of hatred and bigotry into the creation of the Rosenwald School Fund, which had a lasting impact on education in America.  A prominent philanthropist, Rosenwald joined the board of esteemed black educator Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute in 1912.  Together, these two champions of social justice, one a former slave and the other a first-generation American refugee from persecution, used architecture and innovation to address the crisis in education facing Black families across the South.

Between 1917 and 1932, the Rosenwald School Fund, working in partnership with local Black communities, helped to finance the construction of more than 5300 state-of-the-art school buildings for community and academic use.  The schools served as a lifeline for students and educators whose progress was held back by the separate and unequal school system that ruled the Jim Crow South.  By 1928, one-third of the South’s rural African American school children and teachers were educated in Rosenwald Schools.  Notable former students include poet and activist Maya Angelou and the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), among many notable others.

“History shows us,” Leggs continued, “that countless ordinary citizens were the vanguards of collective action and human innovation.  These stories and landmarks serve as a testament to our progress, and they remind us that our work is not complete.”

Passage of the bill was a multi-year effort, but yesterday it was signed into law.  The legislation,  sponsored by Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), directs the Department of the Interior to conduct a special resources study of sites associated with the life and legacy of Julius Rosenwald, with a special focus on Rosenwald Schools and determine how they might be designated as a new unit within the National Park System.  Once established, the Rosenwald park unit would become the first of over 420 National Park Service sites to honor the life and contributions of a Jewish American.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.  http://savingplaces.org | @savingplaces

About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism. Visit http://www.savingplaces.org/actionfund

Griffin Matthews Photography By Carson Davis Brown

Q×A With Griffin Matthews

By Justin Lyons

360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with actor, Griffin Matthews, to discuss his successful career. Matthews has been able to work on shows such as Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendantas well as co-writing a successful musical. We were able to discuss his future career plans as well as his activism in the community.

Among acting, writing, directing and other creative positions, which one do you like the best, and which one allows you to best express your own creativity?

I love acting. I love writing. But I ultimately think I’m a director through and through. The responsibility of guiding the entire vision is so exciting to me. It’s such an honor when I get to direct because every story is a little baby that needs to be nurtured properly and guided along her way. And guess what? I’m such a dad. 

How has working with streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max changed the way you address your audience?

When you work on Netflix or HBO you get to really find your unedited voice. You get to be risky, controversial, imperfect, fabulous, complicated, political…I’ve been so lucky to get to work on Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendant because I always felt like I could fire from all cylinders on day one. I did not need to ask for permission. I got to bring my entire self to each role. I got to curse. And kiss boys. And wear g-strings. And travel the world.

How do you use your experience acting in productions like The Flight Attendant to inform and influence your ideas on the stage?

I will always go back to the theater. I’m a theater kid. It’s where I honed my talent. So every experience that I have, I think about how I will translate that to the stage. I was lucky enough to travel the world and meet incredible people and see exotic places while we were shooting The Flight Attendant. I spent afternoons alone rummaging through the Bangkok market and got lost in the streets of Rome. I made friends with strangers and made peace with being a grown man and also homesick. As a writer, I’m a sponge. I soak up life and then look for an opportunity to let the water run out all over the stage.

How do you approach the assembly of a theatre show differently from how you approach the direction of a concert?

I approach concerts the exact same way that I approach theater. When I directed Shoshana Bean and Cynthia Erivo’s holiday concert at The Apollo, we had endless conversations about story and themes and vulnerability. All of those things make for an exciting night in the theater! I think a lot of concert directors only think about pyrotechnics, but I like to think about the heart of the performers. The message. The mission. And let all of those things spill out…and of course, we add some pyrotechnics, too!

How does your activism influence the projects you choose to be involved in or choose to create yourself?

Activism is such a sexy word these days. It seems like everyone claims to be. For me, my personal pledge is to be an activist when everyone’s looking, but more importantly when no one’s looking. That pledge always checks my motives and my ego as I navigate projects and stories that I want to be a part of it. Every time I sign on to a project, I bring my whole self, my whole truth, the parts that are great and the parts that are ugly. That’s what I’ve learned running a nonprofit for over 15 years. So much of the work is tough. It’s messy. But it’s real.

What are you most excited about with your career in the near future?

I’m currently developing a musical series with Ester Dean that will center black queer voices. It’s really exciting because I’m a fan of Ester and her work (Pitch Perfect, songwriter of Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Rihanna’s “Rude Boy”). She’s broken many ceilings in this industry as a songwriter, actor, musician, and host. We both want to create a show where young people (who look like Ester and I) will see their truths accurately and joyfully reflected on screen. I’m also directing a film called The Amish Project by a playwright named Jessica Dickey. When I tell people that I’m working on it, it can raise eyebrows because people don’t often hear about black directors working on pieces that don’t center black narratives. But here’s the thing: black directors want to direct EVERYTHING. And we can. And we will. And I’m excited to finally get my shot!

What is a creative role you haven’t taken up that you’d like to at some point in your career?

I really want to direct for TV. For some reason, the thought scares the hell out of me! There’s so much to manage: logistics, people, locations, safety, technology, performances, but I’m fascinated by it. It’s time for me to tackle that fear and get behind the camera ASAP. 

Covid-19 Impact on Artists

Story × Art: Alex Rudin

As we head into the eighth month of Covid-19, the distractions of apple picking, pumpkin carving, and outdoor dining are behind us. Lockdowns have long been lifted and social gatherings have become commonplace. The ominous inevitability of a deadly third wave looms. This guaranteed “dark winter” begs one to reflect on the early days of the pandemic. A time when fear, disinformation, and isolation plagued every household, no matter its inhabitants. 2020 has been a year of postponement, grief, isolation, and reckoning. Yet with struggle comes the opportunity for growth, change, and creation… If you let it. As Andy Warhol once said, “they always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

As a self-employed artist, uncertainty is a language I speak well. Prior to Covid-19 I spent my days in the School of Visual Arts printshop in NYC. From conceptualizing and prototyping new products for my business, Rudin Studios LLC, to fumbling around for an answer to the age-old question of “what to make,” it is clear I was lost in an artistic haze of looking for purpose. Then Coronavirus hit. Instantaneously everything turned upside down. Suddenly, I was in an unfamiliar town, without the ability to work (silkscreen), miles away from the studio I call home. I remained glued to the news awestruck by the infection and mortality rates. I racked my brain for something to do, how to help, what to make.

I became focused on those who were not as privileged as me. Those who were struggling to find housing, to feed themselves, to protect themselves from this deadly virus which was clearly and disproportionately hurting people of color. I began working on a series of paintings to be auctioned off, 100% of the proceeds going to homeless and trafficked youth in NYC. While the fundraiser was a success, I could not help but feel the conceptual aspects of the work were not important, relevant, or impactful. If I learned anything from my education at Parsons School of Design, it is that concept is king. My artwork slowly began to shift towards the idea of documentation. Buzzwords like “historical” and “unprecedented” flew across the airwaves and fueled my desire to capture and document the struggles of 2020. This was just the beginning.

Soon to follow were the atrocious murders of George Floyd, Ahmed Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, which brought racial justice to the forefront of the American conscience. While the President continuously fanned the flames of racism, the cries for equality and allyship were deafening. It was time to allow my artwork to reflect the times and struggles of our country which so deeply affected me and so many others. Black Lives Matter, and it is the white person’s responsibility to be educated allies; to use the privilege we are born into to advocate for our oppressed brothers and sisters. I wanted to help acknowledge, reflect, and correct the institutional racism that is so insidiously intertwined with our institutions and the American way of being.

Concurrently, the 2020 Presidential election was ramping up. Climate change’s incendiary winds pillaged the west. The wearing of masks became a polarizing political tool. And all the while, the current administration refused to acknowledge or accept responsibility for any of it. Rather shifting blame, denying, and lying became the governing practice. The global importance of what was taking place in the United States was apparent. Election 2020 was to be a reckoning. On the docket: racial justice, women’s rights, climate change, science, and healthcare, to name a few. A polarizing choice between Id and empathy.

For the first time in my career, my purpose seemed clear. I began making work that focused on the progression of human rights, equality, and fairness relying on my trusty formula of stylized portraiture and anecdotal commentary. I firmly believe that artists have a social responsibility to reflect the times we live in. The majority of my work has focused on uncovering and expressing truths about what it means to be a woman in 2020. However, one cannot comment on the feminine experience without addressing the current political situation and the oppression experienced by American minorities. While the Trump Administration continued to attack women’s rights, promote violence, ignore climate change, and fan the flames of racism, I relied on my creative voice to talk about the challenges we faced not only as women, but as a nation. That being said, I decided to devote my time to creating a series of posters for the 2020 election to help galvanize the female vote. This included partnering with Women for Biden Harris 2020, Women for the Win, and Article 3 among numerous other female-run organizations.

While the trials and tribulations of 2020 have forever altered the fabric of American reality, so has it altered me. A year such as this begs internal personal reflection if not metamorphosis. To find purpose, love, and empathy through the chaos of hate and violence is the silver-lining we all need. In a time where division is the name of the game, we must transcend the idea of the “other.” As the most recent Covid-19 wave surges across the country, I implore anyone with the creative impulse to say something, to do so. Pick up the pen. Document the times, the thoughts, the fears that come along with living through such tumultuousness. Follow the empathy, the creativity, and the voice inside telling you to advocate for those less fortunate. As Thomas Paine aptly stated, “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” If you find yourself in a place of privilege, take it upon yourself to seize the opportunity in front of you. It is not an opportunity for financial incentive or career advancement, but for internal revolution. Soon, life will “go back to normal,” but there’s nothing normal about what we have witnessed. Allow the intensity of experience to alter you. For when the time has come and gone, and you reflect upon 2020, wouldn’t it be nice to say that through all the sadness, grief, and fear a better version of yourself was uncovered?

Sting’s new album “Duets” will be released in March

Due to unforeseen pandemic-related manufacturing delays, the release date of Sting’s forthcoming album, Duets has been postponed to March 19, 2021. Also available in a vinyl LP edition, fans can still pre-order this special collection now – which includes liner notes by Sting – at: https://sting.lnk.to/Duets. A limited edition with autographed cover art is available for pre-order as well at the official store within the pre-sale link above.

Featuring the brand new collaboration with Italian icon, Zucchero entitled “September,” which will be released digitally worldwide on November 27, Duets also includes “Desert Rose” with Rai music singer Cheb Mami, “It’s Probably Me” with Eric Clapton, 44/876 with Shaggy, among some of Sting’s other most beloved duets with artists such as Mary J. Blige, Herbie Hancock, Annie Lennox, Charles Aznavour, Mylène Farmer, Melody Gardot, Gashi and more. The full tracklisting can be found below.

Duets was Executive Produced and A&R’d by Guénaël “GG” Geay & Martin Kierszenbaum with all songs mastered by Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering, Los Angeles, United States.

DUETS Track Listing:

Standard CD
1. Little Something with Melody Gardot
2. It’s Probably Me with Eric Clapton
3. Stolen Car with Mylène Farmer
4. Desert Rose with Cheb Mami
5. Rise & Fall with Craig David
6. Whenever I Say Your Name with Mary J. Blige
7. Don’t Make Me Wait with Shaggy 
8. Reste with GIMS
9. We’ll Be Together with Annie Lennox
10. L’amour C’est Comme Un Jour with Charles Aznavour
11. My Funny Valentine with Herbie Hancock
12. Fragile with Julio Iglesias
13. Mama with Gashi
14. September with Zucchero
15. Practical Arrangement with Jo Lawry
16. None Of Us Are Free with Sam Moore
17. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning with Chris Botti

VINYL LP 1 
A1. Little Something with Melody Gardot
A2. It’s Probably Me with Eric Clapton
A3. Stolen Car with Mylène Farmer
A4. Desert Rose with Cheb Mami

B1. Rise & Fall with Craig David
B2. Whenever I Say Your Name with Mary J. Blige
B3. Don’t Make Me Wait with Shaggy 
B4. Reste with GIMS

VINYL LP 2  
A1. We’ll Be Together with Annie Lennox
A2. L’amour C’est Comme Un Jour with Charles Aznavour
A3. My Funny Valentine with Herbie Hancock
A4. Fragile with Julio Iglesias

B1. Mama with Gashi
B2. September with Zucchero
B3. Practical Arrangement with Jo Lawry
B4. None Of Us Are Free with Sam Moore
B5. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning with Chris Botti 
 

About Sting: Composer, singer-songwriter, actor, author, and activist Sting was born in Newcastle, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five studio albums, earned six GRAMMY Awards® and two Brits, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. 

As one of the world’s most distinctive solo artists, Sting has received an additional 11 GRAMMY Awards®, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, four Oscar nominations, a TONY nomination, Billboard Magazine’s Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year.  In 2003, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his myriad of contributions to music. Also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he has received the Kennedy Center Honors, The American Music Award of Merit and The Polar Music Prize. Sting has been awarded Honorary Doctorates of Music by the University of Northumbria (1992), Berklee College of Music (1994), University of Newcastle upon Tyne (2006) and Brown University at its 250thCommencement ceremony (2018). 

Throughout his illustrious career, Sting has sold 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist. 

Following his critically acclaimed album, 57th & 9th, his first rock/pop collection in over a decade, Sting and reggae icon, Shaggy, both managed by the Cherrytree Music Company, released a collaborative, island-influenced album, entitled 44/876, drawing from the many surprising connections at the heart of their music. With its title referencing their home country codes, 44/876 first and foremost honors the duo’s mutual love for Jamaica: Shaggy’s homeland, and the place where Sting penned such classics as The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Their chart-topping release debuted at #1 in Germany and Top 10 in the UK. It spent over 20 weeks atop Billboard’s Reggae Album chart in the US, earned Gold certifications in Poland and France and received the GRAMMY Award® for Best Reggae Album. 

Last year, Sting was honoured at the BMI Pop Awards for his enduring hit single “Every Breath You Take,” which has become the Most Performed Song, with 15 million radio plays, from BMI’s catalog of over 14 million musical works. 

Also last year, a new album entitled My Songs, featuring contemporary interpretations of his most celebrated hits, was released and followed by a world tour of the same name. Sting’s ‘My Songs’ World Tour is a dynamic and exuberant show featuring his most beloved songs spanning the 17-time GRAMMY Award® winner’s prolific career with The Police and as a solo artist. 

The special edition release of Sting’s album, My Songs was released November 8 and includes a bonus CD with new live recordings from the My Songs World Tour.  A digital album titled My Songs: Live containing 11 new live recordings captured along the My Songs World Tour is also available. 

Next year, Sting will headline a Las Vegas residency, “My Songs,” set to open at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The show will present a compendium of Sting’s songs with dynamic, visual references to some of his most iconic videos and inspirations. 

He has appeared in more than 15 films, executive produced the critically acclaimed A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and in 1989 starred in The Threepenny Opera on Broadway.  His most recent theatre project is the Tony®-nominated musical The Last Ship, inspired by his memories of the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England where he was born and raised. The show, with music and lyrics by Sting, ran on Broadway in 2014/2015 and completed a UK regional theatre tour which ran from March-July 2018. Thereafter, Sting starred as shipyard foreman Jackie White in the Toronto-based production of The Last Ship at the Princess of Wales Theatre. He reprised the role for productions in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre (January 14 – February 16, 2020), followed by San Francisco at the Golden Gate Theatre. Additional information on The Last Ship Tour can be found at www.thelastshipmusical.com

Sting’s support for human rights organizations such as the Rainforest Fund, Amnesty International, and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach.  Along with wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect both the world’s rainforests and the indigenous people living there.  Together they have held 19 benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness for our planet’s endangered resources. Since its inception, the Rainforest Fund has expanded to a network of interconnected organizations working in more than 20 countries over three continents. 

www.sting.com
Instagram: @theofficialsting
Twitter: @officialsting
Facebook: @Sting

About the Cherrytree Music Company: Founded in 2005 by Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Martin Kierszenbaum, the Cherrytree Music Company provides management, record label and publishing services to a boutique roster of artists, producers and mixers who push the creative envelope in popular music. Cherrytree has had an indelible impact on the music landscape from managing celebrated musician and cultural icon Sting to launching Lady Gaga’s first two albums. The Cherrytree Music Company has released the artistically and commercially ground-breaking records of Feist, Ellie Goulding, Robyn, La Roux, LMFAO, Far East Movement and Disclosure and sold over 35 million units. In the process, the Cherrytree Music Company has become a vital source for popular music and catalyst for artist collaboration and innovation. For more information on the Cherrytree Music Company, please visit:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zbmdi1qdk5zoq8v/Cherrytree%2015%20Radio%20Special.mp3?dl=0

KO Media's Elle Canada Adwoa Aboah Cover covered by 360 Magazine

Adwoa Aboah × ELLE Canada

KO Média proudly unveils the October issue of ELLE Canada featuring activist, model and optimist Adwoa Aboah, who opens her heart and shares frank advice for students navigating these strange times.

“For me, school was a roller coaster. On the one hand, I was fortunate to have a supportive family and a close circle of friends,” Adwoa explains in the intimate piece.

“On the other hand, I was extremely shy and insecure about almost everything… I quietly hid my insecurities and internalized my shame.” Now, after founding an online community dedicated largely to mental health, Aboah explains how she rebuilt her life after hitting rock bottom. “Why did I feel so much loneliness and shame about having messy feelings when they are so common and natural?”

In addition to Adwoa’s feature and fresh advice, the October issue will discuss navigating your career during the pandemic, fall accessory trends, and how frizz is in for hair styles this season. Also, this issue has ELLE and UNESCO joining forces and inviting noted thinkers from around the world to imagine what our post-pandemic new-normal will hold.

Check out the October issue of ELLE Canada when it hits the stands on Monday, September 14th.

Naomi Campbell Interviews Cynthia Ervio

Naomi Campbell returns with an exclusive episode of her popular YouTube series featuring special guest Cynthia Ervio.

International supermodel, activist and philanthropist Naomi Campbell welcomes Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-Winning Actor, singer and songwriter Cynthia Erivo to “No Filter with Naomi” – a limited-time series beneath her highly popular “Being Naomi” YouTube channel. The intimate, live streamed series has invited fans to #stayhome and save lives during this critical time and has focused on in-depth, career spanning conversations between Naomi and a close group of her friends including: designers, musicians, actors, beauty gurus and media personalities.

The series debuted on April 6th and has since featured guests Cindy Crawford, Marc Jacobs, Nicole Richie, Ashley Graham, Pierpaolo PiccoliLee Daniels, Christy Turlington, Adut Akech, Sharon Stone, Paris Hilton, Serena Williams and Venus Williams, Karlie Kloss, Anna WintourSean “Diddy” Combs and Jackie Aina. 

The “No Filter with Naomi” series returned after hiatus on June 23rd and featured a select group of episodes focused on impactful conversations dedicated to #BlackLivesMatter, social justice issues, racial and human inequalities. These critical conversations, reflective of our times, included featured guests: Opal Tometi, Rev. Al Sharpton, Alphonso Reed, Cleo Wade, Bethann Hardison, Tyler Mitchell, Indya Moore, Chase Strangio, and Tori Cooper.

Streaming live on Naomi Campbell’s YouTube Channel. View all “No Filter with Naomi” episodes here.