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Audrey Hepburn by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Peter Luger Steak House

Madame Tussauds Famous Wax Figures Fill Seats of Historic Family-Owned Restaurant Ahead of Increased Occupancy

Governor Andrew Cuomo has given the greenlight for New York City restaurants to increase occupancy to 35 percent beginning Friday and Peter Luger Steak House is bringing in a bit of star power to ensure guests continue to follow social distancing safety measures. The iconic steakhouse has teamed up with the world’s greatest wax museum to fill empty seats with A-Listers and offer patrons an unforgettable dining experience. Beginning today, diners are invited to toast with Jon Hamm at the bar, enjoy a moment of elegance with Audrey Hepburn, or share a laugh with Jimmy Fallon. Al Roker is also waiting to direct diners to the second floor.

“The restaurant industry is vital to New York City’s economy, and it’s been particularly hard hit this past year”, said Vice President of Peter Luger, Daniel Turtel. “We’re excited to welcome diners back indoors at 35%, and thought this would be a fun, safe way to fill some of the seats that need to remain empty as we continue to fight the pandemic. It has been wonderful working with the fabulous team at Madame Tussauds New York.”

The New York City icons wax figures will remain at Peter Luger Steak House through Monday, March 1.

For reservations, please visit the Peter Luger Steak House website. Madame Tussauds New York is also ready to welcome guests back to the red carpet. Star-studded safety measures have been introduced including timed and dated tickets, social distancing guidelines, contactless payment, enhanced cleaning and employee health screenings. Madame Tussauds New York is offering a special-priced $29.99 ticket specifically for “locals” looking to explore. Guests are encouraged to visit this website to purchase tickets and review safety protocols ahead of their visit.  Local ticket eligibility is limited to residents of New Jersey, New York’s five boroughs, Connecticut’s Fairfield and New Haven counties.

About Madame Tussauds New York

Voted as one of New York’s most unique attractions, Madame Tussauds invites you to pose “In a moment in time” with our famous fun figures of internationally renowned musicians, A-list stars, sports legends, world leaders and more. With more than 85,000 square feet of interactive entertainment and several new spaces, including the new Madame Tussauds New York Presents Broadway, and NYE in NYC, the world-famous attraction is bigger and better than ever!

About Merlin Entertainments

Merlin Entertainments is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin operates 129 attractions, 21 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 24 countries and across 4 continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its millions of guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its employees.  See their website for more information and follow on Twitter.

About Peter Luger Steak House

Peter Luger Steak House has been a fixture in Brooklyn for more than 130 years. When restaurateur Peter Luger first opened the Williamsburg restaurant in 1887 it was called Carl Luger’s Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley and quickly became a neighborhood favorite. Following Luger’s death the restaurant struggled and was sold at auction to Sol Forman, owner of Forman Family, a local manufacturing company. The Forman family still owns and operates the restaurant today and has since added a second New York location in Great Neck, Long Island, and an international location in Tokyo will open later this year. In addition to the restaurants, Peter Luger products are sold in grocery stores and dry-aged cuts are available for home delivery through the online butcher shop.

Jon Hamm by Peter Luger Steakhouse & Madame Tussauds for 360 MagazineJimmy Fallon by Peter Luger Steakhouse & Madame Tussauds for 360 MagazineAudrey Hepburn by Peter Luger Steakhouse & Madame Tussauds for 360 MagazineAl Roker by Peter Luger Steakhouse & Madame Tussauds for 360 Magazine

Top Latinx Influencers

360 Magazine is highlighting the top Latinx influencers within pop culture. 

By: Carly Cohen

Demi Lovato:  Demi Lovato is a well-known singer, songwriter, actress, and producer. Her early acting shows such as Camp Rock and Sonny with a Chance both were huge Disney programs. Demi dealt with addiction but has spoken about it and has made it very public after her overdose in 2018. She has thrived to do better and push her career and doing so has made her an inspiration to the public eye. 

Neymar: Neymar (Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior) is a Brazilian professional soccer player for Paris Saint-Germain. He is known as one of the best players in the world and has a massive following on Instagram with nearly 150 million. Neymar has competed with the title against Messi on ‘who is better.’ 

Jennifer Lopez: Jennifer Lopez is and always has been a huge American actress, singer, and dancer. She is engaged to the famous baseball player, Alex Rodriguez, and has two charming children. She has a following of 143 million on Instagram and is always staying up to date on the latest trends. Jennifer very recently came out with a new makeup line called JLo Beauty that has gotten great feedback from. 

Lele Pons: Lele Pons is the new face of the “ideal celebrity.” Influencers have taken over and Lele is one of many. She is available on platforms such as Youtube, Spotify, Instagram, etc. She consistently is showing her following vision in her personal life. For being somewhat new to the influencer world, she has a following of 43.5 million on Instagram. Lele has opened up about her battle with OCD, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome in a documentary posted on her YouTube channel called The Secret Life of Lele Pons.

Lejuan James:  Lejuan is a comedian and an influencer on Youtube. In 2019 he released his book called Definitely Hispanic which is a comedy and heartfelt book about Lejuan himself. The book walks the readers through Lejuan growing up Hispanic in the US. On his YouTube channel, he creates skits and small clips to express his enthusiastic personality. 

Camila Cabello: Camila Cabello is originally known for being a part of the girl group Fifth Harmony which was created on the  X Factor in 2012. When Camila strayed away from the group she created her songs and sang her music that wowed millions of people. Currently, she is recognized for being partners with the other musically talented, Shawn Mendes. Her socials show the raw, heartfelt women she is. Recently, she has shared many posts regarding her beliefs and what she stands for. She is using her platform to express and show social issues, politics, and pushes her viewers to make a difference in the world. 

Yuya: Yuya (Marind Castrejón Castañeda) is a YouTube star. Her content subsists of beauty tutorials, her authentic daily life, and her style inspiration. Her social media captures alluring photography of herself, styles, food, and a simple day in her life. Yuya has been featured on multiple Mexican television and also on Vogue.  

Bethany Mota: Bethany Mota is known as the Youtube star who raised us all. She started on Youtube sharing content relating to fashion advice, hauls, DIYs, and so much more. She continues to post on Youtube and other socials but has done a great job staying up to date on current trends involving fashion, lifestyle, and content. Bethany strained away from her usual content and was featured on Dancing with the Stars Season 19

Dulce Candy: Dulce Candy is a beauty and fashion vlogger. She has two channels on Youtube, one focuses on tutorial videos while the other focuses on her everyday life. Her socials consist of true and authentic life, have an influencer but also has a mother. 

Selena Gomez: Selena Gomez is one of many talents. She is a singer, an actress, and a producer. Recently she has also become an entrepreneur because of her new skincare brand RareBeauty which is based around mental health. Selena always uses her platforms for inspiring messages and spreading awareness which is why she has always had such a good look to the public eye. 

Leo Messi: Leo Messi is a professional football player for FC Barcelona. He is known as being the world’s wealthiest football player. His socials consist of ads, his family, and his life as a professional football player. An interesting fact about Leo is that he sticks to five key foods – water, olive oil, whole grains, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables. 

German Garmendia: German is a content creator who targets comedy. He shares content on his authentic daily life. German is now signed to WME talent agency

Maiah Ocando: Maiah is an express and an internet star. She has a background in Fashion Design and shares storytimes, makeup tutorials, and fashion advice on her youtube channel with 735k Subscribers. An interesting fact about Maiah is that she is the host of a web show on YouTube called Visto Bueno and is also a writer of a book called Visto Bueno.

Kathy Cano-Murillo:  Kathy Cano-Murillo is a creative genius! She is an author, and an artist and has created an award-winning brand called CraftyChica. CraftyChica is a space to express ingenuity. It consists of Latino crafts, activities, recipes and so much more. It is the perfect place to express oneself creatively. 

Jorge Narvaez: Jorge is a full-time creator and speaker. He posts content relating to his work and especially relating to his family. He is a first-generation high school and college grad. 

Andrea Espada: Andrea is best known for her modeling, an influencer, and a popular television star. She is always posting content that relates to workout tips and her adorable baby. Her Instagram is exciting and authentic to who she is. Andrea had her baby, Ferran in a past relationship, not with her current spouse. 

Salice Rose: Salice is an Instagram and video star. Her videos always focus on comedy and are super entertaining to watch. She has recently become popular on Tik Tok and has reached a following of 16.8 million. Salice is known for speaking her mind and posting exactly what she wants. She is a rising star. 

Ana Alvarado: Ana is also known as LipStickFables. She is beloved on socials such as youtube and Instagram. She is famous for her captivating and up-to-date videos. Ana gives an understanding of her Honduran life. 

Tiffany Garcia: Tiffany is best known for her gaming videos on her youtube channel IHasCupquake. She talks about different games and gives feedback and reactions to her viewers. She is visionary and has a joyous personality. Tiffany has been nominated such as Shorty Awards for Best in Gaming and Teen Choice for gaming. She is a big deal in the gaming community. 

Nicole Guerriero: Nicole is a fashion influencer with a following of 1.9 million on Instagram. She is always posting insight on her life, adept makeup looks, and outfits of the days. She is one of the original YouTubers in the beauty community. 

JLo illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

NF – CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE)

Today, the myth-making, chart-topping Michigan rapper NF announces his latest project and first mixtape, CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE) out March 26, 2021, which is now available for pre-order/pre-add via NF Real Music/Caroline here. NF has also released the ominous, chest-beating title track, “CLOUDS,” in tandem with a fittingly cinematic video. Listen here and watch here.

With “CLOUDS,” NF outlines his reasons for releasing this mixtape now. “Hanging onto songs this long is daunting,” he raps, matter-of-factly. He then playfully delivers clever lines in unison with a sparse violin melody before his delivery becomes more fiery, matching a thundering, industrial beat. Throughout, the technically gifted MC passionately strings together intricate rhymes about his continued ascent and the gravity of his ambitions: “It’s probable / That I might press the envelope / Ideas so astronomical / Sometimes I find them comical.”

“CLOUDS” follows NF’s last surprise single, October 2020’s “CHASING_(DEMO),” which featured 15-year-old Australian fan Mikayla Sippel. A gripping ballad about breaking down and wanting to escape the world, “CHASING (DEMO)” arrived just as calls for new music from NF’s fervent fanbase were becoming deafening. Ever since his Billboard-topping fourth album, 2019’s The Search, fans have eagerly awaited more of his emotive and brutally honest songwriting, grand production, and sharp delivery. This new single suggests that CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE) will be well worth the wait. NF will have collaborations with HOPSIN and TECH N9NE on CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE).

CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE) TRACKLIST

  1. CLOUDS
  2. THAT’S A JOKE
  3. JUST LIKE YOU
  4. STORY
  5. PRIDEFUL
  6. LOST (feat. HOPSIN)
  7. LAYERS
  8. DRIFTING
  9. TRUST (feat. TECH N9NE)
  10. PAID MY DUES

ABOUT NF

NF is the stage name of Michigan rapper and composer Nate Feuerstein, who emerged with his debut album, Mansion, in 2015. The raw emotion and honesty in his music continued on Therapy Session, building the foundation of an incredibly strong and loyal fan base. In 2017, Perception gave NF his first No. 1 album on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart, and delivered the multi-platinum hit single, “Let You Down,” which reached #1 at Pop Radio. In the summer of 2019, NF released his fourth album, The Search, earning his second consecutive No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart. Now certified Platinum, The Search featured Top 10 Pop radio hit “Time” and propelled NF to the global stage, selling out 19 dates on “The Search World Tour,” including shows in Australia and Europe. With over 28 RIAA certifications and 18 billion streams, NF recently earned a spot in the Top 50 most streamed artists of 2020. His fifth album and first ever mixtape, CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE) is set to release on March 26, 2021. Fans can expect NF to take his signature blend of lyrical introspection and powerful thematic elements to the next level on this 10-track project.

CONNECT WITH NF

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Ivory Layne – Confetti

Rising Nashville-based singer songwriter Ivory Layne releases her debut EP ‘Confetti’ today, alongside focus track ‘Lonely Hearts’.

A collection of powerfully emotive songs that shows the breadth of and scope of Layne’s talents, the ‘Confetti’ EP includes critically acclaimed singles ‘December’, a surging rush of modern day soul pop, and Layne’s rousing feminist anthem ‘God Save The Queens’.

Meanwhile, the heart-crushing title track outlines just why Billboard tipped her to become “the new Adele”, while ‘Lonely Hearts’ is a sublime combination of classic songwriting and widescreen production that places her in the sphere of contemporary pop polymaths like Maggie Rogers.

Produced by Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway aka The Barn Productions (Lewis Capaldi, Gabrielle Aplin, Dean Lewis) Jimmy Robbins (Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert) and Ivory herself, the Confetti EP is Ivory’s first UK release since signing with Justin Timberlake’s development company Villa 40 and showcases the unique voice and masterful songwriting that caused Timberlake to sit up and take notice of Ivory’s talents.

Layne says‘In a world constantly asking “what do you believe?”, I see the Confetti EP as my answer. It’s been my musical collection of lessons learned over the last seven years, touching on themes of personal growth, heartbreak, love, mental health, and letting go. I began this EP having barely co-written, never been in a relationship, still new to Nashville, and with one academic trip abroad under my belt. I finished writing it last year in London, having visited so many times it felt like home, crafting songs about dates gone wrong for the right reasons and the beauty found in every season when you take the time to look. I’m still writing as I’m living, it’s the nature of art itself, but the Confetti EP will always hold a special place as the diary of my early twenties, where I’ve been and where I want to go.” 

Tipped for stardom by the likes of Billboard, V Magazine and Live Nation’s Ones To Watch, Layne’s remarkable talent has garnered critical acclaim as well as attracting a wealth of stellar collaborators.

In just a few years, she’s worked with Grammy award-winning producer Ed Cash (Dolly Parton, Amy Grant) on her debut EP; collaborated with Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness and Needtobreathe; written for other artists alongside co-writes with some of Nashville’s finest including Jimmy Robbins, Shane McAnally and Lori McKenna. Layne’s sharpness in the writer’s room has also landed her two global ad campaigns, one for prestigious jewellery house Swarovski and another for cable giant, HBO.

The Confetti EP is primed to cement Layne’s reputation as one of the world’s finest, rising female talents.

ABOUT IVORY LAYNE

Since signing with Justin Timberlake’s artist development company Villa 40 Ivory has been earmarked by the likes of Billboard  and V Magazine, garnered critical acclaim and attracted a wealth of stellar names. She has worked with Grammy award-winning producer Ed Cash (Dolly Parton, Amy Grant); collaborated with Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness and Needtobreathe ; and written for other artists alongside Nashville’s finest (such as Jimmy Robbins, Shane McAnally and Lori McKenna). While her sharpness in the writer’s room has landed her two global ad campaigns, one for prestigious jewellery house Swarovski and another for cable giant, HBO.

FOLLOW IVORY LAYNE HERE

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Def Jam Recordings × Marvel Comics – Black Panther

Def Jam Recordings and Marvel Comics – two iconic brands who have left an indelible stamp on popular culture the world over – today announce a special collaboration designed to integrate the voices of young Black creatives with one of the most transformative characters and storylines in graphic arts history: Black Panther. Three of Def Jam’s rising stars – Saint Bodhi, Bobby Sessions, and Kaash Paige – will each contribute character-driven short stories in Black Panther #23, #24, and #25, the last three issues of the “Intergalactic Empire” saga from the acclaimed creative team featuring writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Daniel Acuna.

Black PIn celebration of Black History Month, arriving February 24th, Black Panther #23 will see buzzing South-Central-LA singer/songwriter Saint Bodhi share her take on Storm for an emotional story grounded in tragedy and acceptance.  One month later in issue #24, Dallas-native, revolutionary rapper Bobby Sessions will tell a story about the King of Wakanda Black Panther himself.  And in the series finale issue #25 in April, “Toxic R&B” breakout star Kaash Paige will forge a tale about Wakandan Princess Shuri and the power of knowledge. Aligned with the Def Jam Forward initiative to promote social, economic, and educational equality, each three-page story will also feature an exclusive one-page Def Jam artist profile.

“Bringing these two logos together was a dream,” said Def Jam partnerships consultant Jonathan Rheingold. “There was a mutual desire to unite these two great brands for a mission and a cause — leveraging Def Jam’s rising stars and the legendary Marvel characters to tell powerful stories that would make an emotional connection with fans of both cultures.”

Bodhi, Sessions and Paige are stepping into comics for the first time within these highly anticipated issues, but each of the Def Jam artists have a long-standing passion for Marvel and the world of comics and graphic arts in general. And like the inspirations behind their latest albums, the challenges faced by Marvel’s heroes are not so far removed from their own. “My album Mad World is a raw, honest, and very personal journey into my life and upbringing in South Central L.A.,” Saint Bodhi writes. “I grew up with a not-so-normal past.  I say the things people are afraid to say. I let you experience the ‘mad world’ that is my life.”

Similarly, “Teenage Fever is my debut album and it was important for me to capture my last year of being a teen through my music,” says 20-year old Kaash. “This chapter of my life is coming to an end so I wanted to put all my experiences into a document that will live forever.”

“My album Manifest is a guide for people to transform into the greatest version of themselves,” Sessions concludes.  “A body of work that will lead people to find their inner super hero!”

Bodhi, Sessions, and Paige will bring their short stories to life alongside some of Marvel’s most talented comic book writers and artists. Kicking off with her Storm story in Black Panther #23, Bodhi will be joined by co-writer Danny Lore, artist Alitha Martinez, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg. Don’t miss this iconic new issue of Black Panther and Bodhi’s Marvel Comics debut, on stands in comic shops everywhere February 24th! As a bonus, Bodhi’s debut story will also be included in Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1, a celebration of Black voices and artists, on sale the same day.

Over the next week, fans can tune in to Marvel’s podcasts on SiriusXM including This Week in Marvel, Women of Marvel, and Marvel’s Pull List to hear from these artists making their Marvel debuts. More information about Sessions and Paige’s stories will be released in the coming weeks.

About Def Jam Recordings

Founded in 1984, Def Jam Recordings has represented the cutting-edge in hip-hop music for more than 35 years. Def Jam began as a maverick independent label inspired by downtown New York City’s vibrant street culture and the emerging sound of hip-hop, pioneered by iconic stars like LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Over the following two decades, Def Jam established its dominance with superstar acts like Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, Ludacris, Rihanna, Jeezy, and the inimitable Kanye West. Now in its fourth decade, Def Jam’s music and lifestyle has grown into a global brand – synonymous with creativity, quality and authenticity – encompassing a diverse roster of marquee and emerging stars like West, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, Logic, Pusha T, Jadakiss, Vince Staples, Jeremih, Big Sean, YG, 2 Chainz, Dave East, and Jhene Aiko, among others. Today, Def Jam has reaffirmed its passion for and commitment to hip-hop culture, and has expanded its global brand reach to become the most-followed major label on all major social media platforms.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media.

For more information visit marvel.com.

© 2021 MARVEL

About Def Jam Forward

Def Jam Forward is a task force committed to fostering a community that values, promotes and demands respect, freedom, equal opportunity and justice for Black lives.

Our goal is social, economic and educational equality for every Black person in our community, starting with our own artists, staff and colleagues. Our commitment to equality means we will examine and amend our internal practices, as well as support organizations on the frontlines of the fight for change.

As a company, we are uniquely positioned to be a thought leader within the music industry and the world at large. As members of this task force, and ambassadors of its message, it is imperative that we embody and implement a roadmap to lasting and meaningful change.

MarvelXDefJam – Storm

The New Blade

By: Catherine Martin

With the reboot of Marvel’s Blade expected to arrive to theaters in 2022, many fans of the original 1998 superhero movie speculate whether Wesley Snipes will reprise his role in the film. Snipes played the role of the eponymous half-vampire/half-human hybrid, Blade, who has the duties of a superhero and a vampire hunter. He played Blade throughout all three of the Blade franchise movies, yet, he is not expected to be cast in this iconic role again for the new reboot. Instead, Oscar-winning Mahershala Ali will be playing the role of this flawed hero. Keep in touch with what Ali is up to HERE.

Fans of the original Blade trilogy were uncertain about how to feel about the new casting, but Welsey Snipes has since told his fans to “chillaaxx.” Although he has told his fans to calm down, it has not stopped him from being adamant about how he is, and always will be, Blade. On January 7th he quote tweeted a message to him asking, “Wes, can you be Blade again?” and in response stated, “I AM BLADE…forever.” After spending so much time as Blade, there is no doubt that Wesley Snipes has a deep connection with this role and that it will always be a part of him.

The details of Blade are still being kept from the masses, and the only confirmed detail known, right now, is Ali’s attachment to the project. Back in 2019 Snipes made a comment about his opinion of Ali’s casting for the role of Blade:

“People are very, very sneaky. They try to make it about the actors,” Snipes told AP. “It’s not about me and him. I’m happy for him to be considered. I’m happy for them looking at him. Flattery… what do they say? Imitation is the best form of flattery. It’s something that he has acknowledged that he wanted to do and his family wanted him to do it, so I’m appreciative of him getting the love that I’ve created something that others want to carry on and make their own stamp on.”

Wesley Snipes response was not only calm and collected, but extremely supportive as well. More support can be noted in a more recent interview with Den of Geek (read more about it HERE), and we can see where the two stand in regards to each other and if they have kept in contact since the announcement of Ali’s new role as Blade. So, the suspicions people have about Snipes being upset with Ali can be erased once and for all.

“No, he hasn’t called me. We haven’t talked about characterizations or how he should play it or anything like that. I can’t imagine that call ever coming in. That would be really strange. But we did communicate about how much we appreciate each other’s work, and how I’m comfortable with saying, ‘Hey man, go rock it, baby. If you got it, do it.”

Though, Wesley Snipes will not be playing his iconic role as Blade, he will always carry the attachment and fond memories of his time with this character. In addition, his part has inspired many people, Mahershala Ali included (you can hear his thoughts on Wesley Snipes HERE), and will remain the marker and epitome of, Blade.

WESLEY SNIPES’ OTHER ENDEAVORS

There are many ways to keep up with the actor through his other endeavors. He recently played General Izzie in Coming 2 America, starring Eddie Murphy. The comedy/rom-com will be available to watch on Amazon Prime March 5, 2021. Watch the trailer HERE. Additionally, outside the realm of acting, Snipes has now coauthored a dark fantasy novel with Ray Norman, Talon of God. So, for all fans of Wesley Snipes, you can continue to keep up with the actor, film producer, martial artist and author through the multitude of content he continues to produce.

KEEP UP WITH WESLEY SNIPES

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Essence Magazine article for 360 Magazine coverage for Coming to America

Coming 2 America

ESSENCE MARCH+APRIL TRIPLE COVERS FEATURE STAR-STUDDED CAST OF THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED COMING 2 AMERICA – INCLUDING EDDIE MURPHY, ARSENIO HALL, JERMAINE FOWLER, KIKI LAYNE AND BELLA MURPHY 

Prepare the royal jet! Coming 2 America is finally arriving, with Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and an all-star cast of returning and new faces—including Jermaine Fowler, KiKi Layne and Bella Murphy. It’s been more than three decades since the beloved original Coming to America hit theaters and became a true cult classic that has spanned multiple generations and demographics. Now, in the ESSENCEMarch/April issue triple cover article, The Fresh Princes of Zamunda, Regina R. Robertson talks to the cast about why this was the right time to do the sequel, their fave moments and what the film means to the culture: 

  • EDDIE MURPHY ON WHAT THE FILM MEANS TO THE CULTURE: “Coming to America is one of my films that has really worked its way into the culture. People get dressed up as the characters for Halloween, and they still walk around saying catchphrases like ‘Sexual Chocolate.’ So many people grew up with Coming to America and have a lot invested in it, so I didn’t want to taint that…Once the ideas started coming together, it took about four or five years to get the script all the way right. Once we got it right, I knew it was time…” 
  • ARSENIO HALL ON DOING THE SEQUEL: “A lot of people have posted about Coming to America and said things like, ‘Please don’t mess with my movie’ or ‘I don’t want no sequel!’ We’ve been pitched all kinds of ideas, but I remember reading the script in Eddie’s backyard and it was all making sense. That’s when I knew that this was going to be the sequel…”  
  • KIKI LAYNE ON PLAYING MEEKA: “Meeka is loyal to her family. I’m interested in showcasing strong Black women— and being a part of this film was an opportunity to play in such a classic world and also to work with straight-up legends, all the way around…”  
  • BELLA MURPHY ON PLAYING OMMA AND WORKING WITH HER DAD: “Omma is super-smart, a little bit of a badass, and she’s super-cool. Being able to do my first film with my dad is really special…I’m over the moon…”  
  • JERMAINE ON PLAYING LAVELLE—AND WATCHING HIS DREAM COME TRUE: “In some ways, Lavelle reminds me a lot of myself when I was growing up and trying to figure out life. As a fan of the original film, I was honored to be a part of this whole world—but when they told me how Lavelle becomes part of the story, I just laughed my ass off and thought, All right, let’s do it…” 
  • SHARI HEADLEY ON WHAT AUDIENCES WILL LOVE: “I’m as excited as the audience and have no doubt that this will be a film that people will love. I’ll venture to say they’ll love it even more than the first one…” 
  • WESLEY SNIPES ON JOINING THE FILM: “I was like, ‘Whatever the role is, I want to be in it.’ Later, I was told that I was going to be a General—but really, I could have played a zebra and been just fine…”  

For more on this issue, visit ESSENCE.com or pick up the March/April issue on newsstands next week.

TV2 illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Brightback Reveals Shift in Subscription Economy

New Data Shows Permanent Turning Point for Subscription Services Industry Post-Pandemic and Strong Link Between Customer Satisfaction and Online Cancelation Flow.

Brightback released its State of Industry (SOI) report today, which revealed that 86% of respondents say they anticipate maintaining or even increasing their number of subscriptions over the course of 2021. Additional results include:

  • 98% now subscribe to streaming media (75% subscribe to two or more services, foreshadowing a greater propensity for hoppers to jump from service to service).
  • Up to 40% subscribe to online news, food, fitness, or curated box services.
  • 36% have subscribed to services since the onset of the pandemic that they would not have otherwise.

As retention remains the industry focus, the SOI report points to unexpected impacts of companies’ cancellation flow; suggesting that ease of cancellation influences a company’s re-engagement, brand perception, and more. According to the report, over 80% of consumers would be more likely to try or buy a new subscription if they could pause or cancel that service online. This data suggests subscription services should pivot to not only simplify their cancellation processes, but also to tout this for potential new customer acquisitions.

Netflix is considered to have the best cancellation experience: 23% of respondents ranked Netflix in the top spot for this category, more than 2x better than runner up Amazon at 10%. Additionally, the recent Netflix subscriber milestone of 200m further points to the link between company growth and ease of cancellation.

“Leading tech companies and subscription services understand that sheltered-in-place consumers want user experiences that make it easy to try, buy, use, and cancel online,” said Brightback CEO Guy Marion. “As more companies invest in digitizing their subscription experiences, they are using best practices to let customers quit online, with a concerted focus on retaining over acquiring customers.”

In the survey, a whopping 32% of respondents said that in the past 12 months they had changed their minds about cancellation after being offered an incentive. This finding should be encouraging for subscription businesses concerned about churn–at least a third of their cancellations can be prevented with well-timed, relevant offers.

The survey also shows the pandemic-driven growth of the subscription services industry is here to stay:

  • 8% anticipate having the same number of subscriptions 12 months from now.
  • 25% anticipate acquiring even more subscriptions within the following 12 months.
  • Only 14% of respondents anticipate having fewer subscription services by the end of 2021.

These findings suggest that the dramatic shifts in consumer behavior over the past year are permanent.

For the full findings, visit Brightback’s website.

About Brightback

Brightback is the first customer retention solution that automatically saves customers at the moment of cancelation. Trusted by high volume subscription businesses like MeUndies and Unbounce, Brightback helps retention leaders deflect churn with personalized cancelation experiences, optimize offboarding processes through testing and targeting and gather aggregated insights to drive product and company improvements. Headquartered in San Francisco, Brightback is a remote-first company with a team of subscription-industry veterans located across the United States.

 

Surf Mesa × Madison Beer – Carried Away

Surf Mesa and Madison Beer celebrate the euphoria of young love in the new single, “Carried Away,” released today by Astralwerks—just in time for Valentine’s Day. Coming of age and falling in love maylook different in quarantine, yet the duo evokesthe timeless essence of romance that remains unchanged. After opening simply with Madison’sexquisite, emotive vocals and acoustic guitar, the tender ballad swells as Surf imbues it with rich, ethereal layers. Download / stream “Carried Away” HERE. View the lyric video, created by Katia Temkin (Ariana Grande, Drake) as well.
“‘Carried Away’ is about the butterflies in your stomach feeling you get when you meet someone new and fall in love for the very first time,” explains Surf Mesa. “Working with Madison was a dream. I hope this song spreads love during this time when we need it more than ever.”

“When writing songs about love,” says Madison,“I’m often drawn to the ups and downs and heartache that can result from a relationship gone bad. It was refreshing to explore the other side of love for ‘Carried Away,’ the excited nerves you get from meeting someone and falling in love for the first time. I’m so grateful to Surf who made the whole process so fun.”

“Carried Away” follows Surf Mesa’s breakthrough hits “ily (i love you baby)” ft. Emilee and“Somewhere” ft. Gus Dapperton. Recently certified Platinum by the RIAA, “ily (i love you baby)”has amassed nearly two billioncombined global streams. Hailed by Rolling Stone as an ”earworm of a song,” it hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart and reached No. 2 on the U.S. Top 40 radio tally.Surf performed both songs in an exclusive live performance for Vevo DSCVR ARTISTS TO WATCH 2021. 

View Lyric Video HERE

Download / Stream “Carried Away” HERE

ABOUT SURF MESA

No matter how dark things get, Surf Mesa remains a dreamer. The 20-year-old songwriter and producer spent much of 2020 honing the escapist energy of the nostalgic electronic ballads he’s been working toward since he got a copy of FL Studio in third grade. The Seattle artist makes “music for good feels,” which made his music a breath of fresh airin a tough year. Both of his beloved 2020 singles—“ily (i love you baby)” featuring Emilee and “Somewhere” featuring Gus Dapperton—offer romance and refuge for tired minds, drenched in gossamer synth and fueled by insistent drums. The delicate “Carried Away” with Madison Beer, continues in this windswept tradition.

This placid mindset has clearly connected. “ily” was recently RIAA certified Platinum after almost 2billion global streams and nearly 4 billion TikTok videos. The song hit #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic chart and #2 on Top 40 radio.“Somewhere” is right behind it, landing on Spotify’s hallowed New Music Friday out of the gate and garnering placements on dozens of playlists across platforms since. His whirlwind rise also earned him remixing duty on Marshmello and Halsey’s “Be Kind,” and Shawn Mendes’ “Wonder”—both fitting titles for Surf’s heartwarming music to enter mainstream EDM and pop.

By year’s end, “ily” placed on Spotify and Amazon’s top songs lists, setting him up for even bigger successes this year—VEVO has already named him a DSCVR Artist To Watch for 2021. And yet, after all this, he continues to make music at home alone, the same way he’s worked since he was a kid,holed up in his room making beats between Counter-Strikematches. He has humble aims: to make catchy, chill pop music and give others a way to “feel better about their day.” Listening to Surf, it’s hard not to.

ABOUT MADISON BEER

Prior to signing withEpic Recordsin 2019, Madison Beer achieved unprecedented success as an independent artist with her partnerFirst Access Entertainment. Her debut EP As She Pleases boasts over 700 million streams and made her the first independent female solo artist to break into theTop 20 radio charts, after having debuted in theTop 5 on iTunes in 18 countries and in the Top 10 in 42 countries worldwide. Globally, Beer has over 2 billion streams across her catalogue.

She’s attracted the endorsement ofTime, Rolling Stone, NME, V Magazine and Billboard, which named her among its coveted “21 Under 21” list, and has a social following that reaches an audience of over 20 million on Instagram and 12 million in TikTok.

Her latest single “Baby” was included on PAPER’S “10 New Songs You Need to Hear Now” and MTV’s “SONGS WE LOVE” list, with the video amassing over 4 million views on YouTube within its first week of release. Last year, feverish fans mobilized and left thousands of comments on Epic’s Instagram page to demand the release of “Stained Glass,” Madison’s most personal song to date, after she teased it during an Instagram Live session. Continuing on her hot streak, Madison has consistently beaten her daily best streaming numbers with “Selfish” after the single was added to Spotify’s coveted Today’s Top Hits playlist and is now certified Gold. Madison’s debut album, a strong personal and artistic statement, is slated for release in February 2021viaSing It Loud/First Access Entertainmenton exclusive license toEpic Records.

ABOUT ASTRALWERKS

Established in 1993 in New York City, Astralwerkswas the brainchild of Caroline Records staffers who saw an opportunity for a label focused on the nascent electronic and ambient scene. Now based at the historic Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, Astralwerkshas emerged as a modern, artist-first label and the #1 market share leader for dance/electronic music in the U.S. Combining a scalable, independent and global-thinking ethos with the ability to tap into the resources of a major label has enabled Astralwerksto sign such artists asILLENIUM, Jonas Blue, Alison Wonderland, EDEN, ZHU and Alesso. As a testament to its pioneering approach, Astralwerks has amassed 30 GRAMMY® nominations, taken home six GRAMMY Awards and had historic releases from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia, Halsey, Porter Robinson, Phoenix, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim and many others. The label has also released such massive singles as the 6x Platinum “Happier” by Marshmello + Bastille and FISHER’s “Losing It.”