Posts tagged with "new york city"

Audrey Hepburn by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Star-Studded Dining Experience at 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

Flying Solo at NYFW

Flying Solo is a company based in New York City that brings together a variety of brands to one boutique, creating a platform for designers and products to have a selling platform. Flying Solo has a network of designers from around the world that come together to offer all types of fashion to New York. 

Flying Solo also brought their diverse range of designers to the runway for New York Fashion Week. With unique designs and bold colors, Flying Solo collected some top, trendy designers to feature at the shows. Below 360 Magazine has highlighted some of the best looks from the Spring 2021 shows. 

AERT

AERT defines spring fashion. Featuring a fusion of frosted lilacs, lemon yellows, and other bright, pastel colors, AERT’s line shows clear inspiration from nature. The brand began in 2016 and now focuses on using garments and products that are kind to the environment. 

AERT Designer Image
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 13: A model walks the runway wearing Aert Designs, Beth Aimee Jewelry and Juliana Heels shoes during the Flying Solo show on February 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Flying Solo)

Bendición

Bendición brought street style to the runway with bold graphics and bright colors. Featuring styles for both men and women, the line features inspiration from spray-painted graffiti which brings the city to life on the clothing. The New York City based brand was created to bring the energy and attitude of New York City to life, something they achieved with this line.  

Flying Solo NYFW February 2021
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 13: A model walks the runway wearing BENDICION during the Flying Solo show on February 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Flying Solo)

ELLIATT

Founded by Katie Pratt in 2011, this Melbourne-based brand is bringing it’s femininity to New York Fashion Week. Pratt believes in focusing on precise details and this shows through in her designs. ELLIATT is now known around the world and the brand can be found in boutiques across 25 countries. 

Flying Solo NYFW February 2021
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 13: A model walks the runway wearing ELLIATT during the Flying Solo show on February 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Flying Solo)

Kate Barton

Kate Barton is a rising American fashion designer who is gaining fame for her unique approach to evening wear. She creates sculptural and innovative pieces for women that are wearable and will leave women feeling empowered. Her designs are sophisticated while creating modern silhouettes and 3-dimensional shapes within her clothing. 

Flying Solo NYFW February 2021
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 13: A model walks the runway wearing Kate Barton during the Flying Solo show on February 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Flying Solo)

NG2 Studios

Margarita and Cristina Ng Ng are twin designers who were born to Chinese parents in the Dominican Republic. They have been fascinated by clothing design since they were young and named their label NG2 to honor their last name. They now design voluminous pieces that take inspiration from streetwear which combines for a distinctive look that represents their brand. 

Flying Solo NYFW February 2021
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 13: A model walks the runway wearing NG2 STUDIOS fashion with EATMETAL during the Flying Solo show on February 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Flying Solo)
Bronx Point Renderings by John DeSio (Risa Heller Comms) for use by 360 Magazine

TIME 2 BUILD CAMPAIGN

Campaign To Build the Universal Hip Hop Museum Begins

February 24, 2021 marks the official virtual announcement of the $100 Million global capital campaign, “Time 2 Build” for the permanent home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the South Bronx, the cradle of Hip Hop culture. As we enter Phase 2, after raising $23M during Phase 1 for initial construction, The UHHM is launching its capital campaign to support the museum’s “Fit Out” of its interiors. The future home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum is poised to become the premier cultural institution founded to preserve, protect, and present the historic cultural influence of Hip Hop worldwide. This soft launch is designed to engage, excite, and drive donations from Hip Hop lovers locally and globally. With a targeted opening date of 2023 that coincides with the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, the UHHM will rise with the support and generosity of generations of “Hip Hop Heads” and their passion for the culture.

At 2:00 pm EST veteran radio host on the SoundChat Radio network, Barbara “Roxie” Delaleu, will be joined by Rocky Bucano, Founder and Executive Director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, with remarks offered by Civil Rights icon, Dr. Benjamin Chavis of Black Press USA. Joining them will be DJ Spark of iHeart Radio, and MC Lyte’s Hip Hop Sister’s Network, and Monalisa, host of Dublab’s Paths of Rhythm. Former New York State Assembly Member and Chair of the Capital Campaign and UHHM Chief Strategist, Michael Blake, and more will join this event to share why donating to build the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the birthplace of Hip Hop, as the “Official Record of Hip Hop,” is so vital culturally. Register in advance for the Universal Hip Hop Museum’s Time 2 Build Capital Campaign fund by visiting this website.

Viewers will be led on a dynamic 3D virtual tour of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, by the UHHM’s Director of Design, architect Michael Ford, founder of the Hip Hop Architecture Camp. He’ll preview the museum’s design within Bronx Point–the award-winning mixed-use, waterfront. 1 million square foot, affordable housing development project in partnership with the New York Economic Development Corp. (EDC), Empire State Development (ESD), and L & M Development Partners. The Universal Hip Hop Museum is the New York City Council’s designated cultural anchor at Bronx Point. And the “Award for Excellence in Design,” has been awarded by the New York City Design Commission to L&M Development Partners for Bronx Point, the future home of Hip Hop culture.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said “Bronx Point is a tremendous step forward for our borough. Inclusion of the Universal Hip Hop Museum as part of this project will help showcase our role in the creation of that worldwide cultural movement for generations to come.”

Rocky Bucano, Executive Director states, “It is a pivotal time now more than ever that we bring this museum to life. It is a cultural timestamp that will bridge the Hip Hop and Bronx community with a permanent place to call home, but we can not do it without your support. This capital campaign is a call to action to ensure we preserve the culture.”

Michael Blake said as the Chair of the UHHM Capital Campaign, Chief Strategist and former Assembly Member (79th District, The Bronx), “The time for Hip Hop to have its home has come. Now, it’s Time 2 Build. Our $100 Capital Campaign, which is in five phases to signify the five elements of Hip Hop, will ensure that the Official Record of Hip Hop is cemented where it should be, in the South Bronx, the South-South Bronx!”

About The Universal Hip Hop Museum
Anchored in the birthplace of Hip Hop culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum will break ground in the Bronx in 2020. Built as a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge and create unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences, the museum is slated to open in Bronx Point in 2023.  The UHHM will celebrate and preserve the history of local and global Hip Hop music and culture past, present, and future.

Bronx Point Renderings by John DeSio (Risa Heller Comms) for use by 360 Magazine

Bronx Point Renderings by John DeSio (Risa Heller Comms) for use by 360 Magazine

Kusama with Pumpkin, 2010 for 360 Magazine, Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, David Zwirner, Victoria Miro

NYBG Newest Installation

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) has announced the dates for its expansive 2021 exhibition, KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature, featuring work by internationally celebrated Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition will include four experiences that will debut at the Botanical Garden. NYBG is the exclusive venue for KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature. On view April 10 through October 31, 2021, the exhibition will be installed across the Garden’s landscape, in and around the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building. Advance, timed, limited-capacity tickets for the landmark presentation go on sale to the public March 16, 2021.

The exhibition, related programs, and accompanying publication will reveal Kusama’s lifelong fascination with the natural world and its countless manifestations, beginning in her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery in Matsumoto, Japan. The exhibition will include works from throughout Kusama’s prolific career and multifaceted practice. By integrating seasonal horticultural displays, KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature will further illuminate the power of nature that pervades the artist’s practice and dynamic body of work.

Multiple outdoor installations will be on view, including monumental sculptures of flora that will transform the Garden’s 250-acre landscape and visitor experience. Her signature polka-dotted organic forms and mesmerizing paintings of plants and flowers will also be presented. These vivid observations of biodiversity will be shown along with archival material that has never been publicly exhibited, and more that will be on view for the first time in the United States.

Among the works created for and debuting in the exhibition are:

  • Flower Obsession(2017/2021), Kusama’s first-ever obliteration greenhouse;
  • Dancing Pumpkin(2020), a monumental sculpture presented on the Haupt Conservatory Lawn;
  • I Want to Fly to the Universe(2020), a 13-foot-high biomorphic form presented in the Visitor Center; and
  • Infinity Mirrored Room–Illusion Inside the Heart(2020), an outdoor installation reflecting its environs.

Spectacular seasonal displays will complement the artworks on view, making each visit unique as new plantings, textures, and palettes are introduced. Glorious outdoor displays of tulips and irises in spring give way to dahlias and sweet peas in summer, and masses of pumpkins and autumnal flowers in fall. In and around the Conservatory, Kusama’s plant-inspired polka-dotted sculptures will be nestled among meadow grasses, bellflowers, water lilies, and other plantings. Stunning floral presentations will bring to life one of Kusama’s paintings on view in the Library Building through a seasonal progression of violas, salvias, zinnias, and other colorful annuals. In fall, displays of meticulously trained kiku (Japanese for chrysanthemum, one of that country’s most heralded fall-flowering plants) will create a dramatic finale for the Conservatory displays.

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature guest curator Mika Yoshitake, Ph.D., said, “For Kusama, cosmic nature is a life force that integrates the terrestrial and celestial orders of the universe from both the micro- and macrocosmic perspectives she investigates in her practice. Her explorations evoke meanings that are both personal and universal. Nature is not only a central source of inspiration, but also integral to the visceral effects of Kusama’s artistic language in which organic growth and the proliferation of life are made ever-present.”

In the Garden

On the Conservatory Lawn, visitors will encounter the monumental Dancing Pumpkin, a 16-foot-high bronze sculpture in black and yellow. Both playful and powerful, it will be sited in an immersive landscape of river birches, flowering plants, grasses, and ferns. The setting is inspired by the sculpture itself and the plants native to Kusama’s childhood home.

Visitors can marvel at the bright, purple-tentacled floral form with a vivid yellow primordial face of I Want to Fly to the Universe in the Visitor Center Reflecting Pool, and then behold Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees (2002/2021), where soaring trees adorned in vibrant red with white polka dots will pop in the landscape along Garden Way.

Narcissus Garden (1966/2021), 1,400 stainless steel spheres each nearly 12 inches in diameter, will be installed in the 230-foot-long water feature of the Native Plant Garden. The reflective spheres will float on the water’s surface, moved by wind and currents, each mirroring the environment around them to captivating effect.

The exterior of Infinity Mirrored Room–Illusion Inside the Heart, a cube-shaped structure with a reflective surface, will be on view, revealing and repeating the changing landscape throughout the seasons. Interior access to the installation, which responds to natural light through colored glass throughout the day, is planned to begin in summer, per New York State and New York City guidelines for COVID-19. A timed-entry ticket will be required for limited-capacity access.

In the Galleries

In Flower Obsession, visitors may opt to apply coral-colored floral stickers to the glass-paned walls and interior objects. Over the course of the exhibition, the stickers will transform the greenhouse. Through works like this, Kusama employs the repeating patterns and forms of flowers to represent the concepts of obliteration, infinity, and eternity.

Three galleries in the Conservatory will be transformed into a horticultural celebration of Kusama’s self-proclaimed biophilia. My Soul Blooms Forever(2019), colossal polka-dotted flowers made of stainless steel and painted in dramatic colors, will greet visitors under the newly restored dome of the Palms of the World Gallery.

In the Seasonal Exhibition Galleries, Starry Pumpkin (2015), adorned with pink and gold mosaic, will be featured in a woodland garden of foliage and flowers chosen to harmonize with the sculpture’s pink polka dots. Using Kusama’s vibrant painting Alone, Buried in a Flower Garden (2014) as inspiration, NYBG horticulturists have designed a living work of art to mimic the painting’s bold shapes and colors, with plantings that will change seasonally. The patchwork of shapes in the painting reads as garden beds seen from above.

In the Conservatory Courtyard Hardy Pool, the exuberantly colored and patterned sculpture Hymn of Life:Tulips (2007) featuring outsized, fiberglass flowers will be bordered by water lilies and other seasonal plantings. The buoyant flowers echo the stunning horticultural displays in the Conservatory.

Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity (2017) comprises a glass cube with two-way mirrors reflecting an infinity of glowing polka-dotted pumpkins within it. The work, one of Kusama’s signature mirrored environments, will be installed in the Visitor Center Gallery. Viewed from the outside, the installation is accompanied by a statement by the artist that reads, in part, “My pumpkins, beloved of all the plants in the world. When I see pumpkins, I cannot efface the joy of them being my everything, nor the awe I hold them in.”

On display in the Mertz Library Building, Kusama’s 1945 sketchbook reveals the 16-year-old artist’s keen eye for detail in some 50 drawings capturing the bloom cycle of tree peonies. This early work is the product of a lifelong connection with the natural world that has inspired her practice across mediums, and also portends the avant-garde ideas she developed while living in New York City between 1958 and 1973 as a contemporary of Joseph Cornell, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, and Claes Oldenburg, and continues to explore rigorously today.

The Library Building presentation will feature examples of her botanical sketches, works on paper, biomorphic collages, assemblage boxes, and recent soft sculpture and paintings on canvas depicting flora and its limitless variety of patterns.

Kusama’s considerable body of performance works is represented in the exhibition by projected photographs of Walking Piece (ca. 1966), a performance in which Kusama walked the streets of New York wearing a bright-pink floral kimono and carrying an umbrella decorated with artificial flowers. Art historians have analyzed Walking Piece as a carefully calculated representation of the artist’s ethnicity and gender, one that was intended to demand attention. Interpretation will provide further context for the artist’s performance works.

From monumental polka-dotted pumpkin sculptures to abstract paintings that suggest cells magnified thousands of times, Kusama’s works suggest the patterns that can be observed all around us. In Patterns in Nature: Science Walk, a self-guided walking tour bringing together living plants and images of magnified laboratory specimens, visitors will explore the visible and microscopic patterns that can be found in nature, and how they reveal what makes species unique, as well as how all living things are connected at the genomic level.

Lauren Turchio, NYBG Vice President for Garden Experience, said, “When the exhibition had to be postponed last spring, Yayoi Kusama shared a moving message that read, in part: ‘The passion that I and those at The New York Botanical Garden have poured into this exhibition is still burning. Everyone, I hope you will wait.’ We are so grateful to our visitors for waiting for this once-in-a-lifetime presentation.”

Programs and Publication

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature will be accompanied by a roster of public programs for all ages, including pop-up performances by musicians, jugglers, and puppeteers; self-guided “Kids Get Cosmic” activities in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden; and more. Signature exhibition merchandise will be available for purchase at NYBG Shop.

Coming in summer 2021, a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue, co-published with Rizzoli Electa, will include essays by KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature guest curator Mika Yoshitake, art historian Jenni Sorkin, curator Alexandra Munroe, and NYBG curators and scientists that focus on Kusama’s lifelong engagement with nature and the ways in which her interest in nature and plants has formed her career-long investigation of themes of the cosmos and the interconnectedness of all living things. Images of works displayed at The New York Botanical Garden will be featured.

Ticketing

Since reopening July 28, 2020, the Garden has incorporated safety measures based on best practices and guidelines from health authorities and government agencies. Admission to the Garden is currently available through the advance purchase of timed tickets.

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature tickets go on sale for NYBG Patrons beginning on March 9, 2021, Members on March 11, 2021, and the general public on March 16, 2021. The new, limited, timed-entry ticketing system staggers visitors’ arrivals and promotes social distancing. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required and will be confirmed by e-mail with the option to print or download a mobile ticket.

The following options will be available:

  • KUSAMA Garden & Gallery Passincludes access to all KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature outdoor installations across the grounds and access to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, installations in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building and Ross Gallery, as well as interior access to Flower Obsession and Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity in the Visitor Center Gallery, plus the Tram Tour and Garden features including the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and outdoor collections.
  • KUSAMA Garden Pass (Non-NYC Residents)includes access to all KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature outdoor installations across the grounds, plus Garden features including the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and outdoor collections.
  • KUSAMA Garden Pass (NYC Residents) includes access to all KUSAMA: Cosmic Natureoutdoor installations across the grounds, plus Garden features including the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and outdoor collections.
  • A timed-entry ticket will be required to access the interior of Infinity Mirrored Room–Illusion Inside the Heart. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

NYBG will welcome Bronx Health Care Heroes and Bronx Neighbors to KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature with complimentary tickets. Communities in the Bronx are among the most severely impacted by COVID-19 in New York City. Through these community access initiatives, the Garden seeks to acknowledge, with gratitude, the dedication, strength, and resilience of Bronx frontline health care workers and residents. Additional information about these initiatives will be available in the coming weeks.

About The New York Botanical Garden

Founded in 1891, The New York Botanical Garden is the most comprehensive botanical garden in the world and an integral part of the cultural fabric of New York City, anchored in the Bronx. Visitors come to the Garden to connect with nature for joy, beauty, and respite, and for renowned plant-based exhibitions, music and dance, and poetry and lectures. Innovative children’s education programs promote environmental sustainability and nutrition awareness, graduate programs educate the next generation of botanists, while engaging classes inspire adults to remain lifelong learners. The 250-acre verdant landscape, which includes a 50-acre, old-growth forest and the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, support living collections of more than one million plants. Unparalleled resources are also held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the world’s most important botanical and horticultural library with 11 million archival items spanning ten centuries, and William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere with 7.8 million plant and fungal specimens. Committed to protecting the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources, Garden scientists work on-site in cutting-edge molecular labs and in areas worldwide where biodiversity is most at risk.

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KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is presented by:

Major Sponsors: Tom and Janet Montag and MetLife Foundation

Generous support provided by: Citi and Delta Air Lines

Digital experience provided by: Bloomberg Philanthropies

Additional support provided by: Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; and The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Exhibitions in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are made possible by the Estate of Enid A. Haupt.

LUESTHER T. MERTZ CHARITABLE TRUST: Providing leadership support for year-round programming at NYBG

The New York Botanical Garden is located at 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458. For more information, visit their website.

Meet the Man Behind Bronx Night Market

By Hannah DiPilato

360 Magazine recently had the opportunity to sit down with Marco Shalma, founder of Round Seven Media and MASC Hospitality Group. He is responsible for beginning a food and culture festival in New York called The Bronx Night Market. In this interview, he talks about everything from advice for young entrepreneurs to his favorite food spots in New York. 

How did you begin Round Seven Media and why did you decide to start this?

I started in 2013, which was after my education at NYU for undergrad and pursuing a master’s degree in film and tv. Marketing was my passion, and I wanted to run a campaign in a different way. I wanted to use the concept of getting people into the mix of the story and I wanted to get that into a narrative for clients in marketing. In 2013, I sold my shares in restaurant groups and I wanted to begin marketing for myself. I went around and started looking for clients in restaurant and hospitality for about 20 years, which I had experience in. With the explosion of Instagram and technology, it was the perfect time to explore marketing opportunities.

When the company started, the first thing was to go find professional people with a school of thought from film and writing. Our business is known for being a launch campaign for ideas, projects, etc. and we will build an online presence for our clients by finding the key demographic. We are focused on the launch period so our work doesn’t really go further than the six month period.

You also founded MASC Hospitality Group, what made you start another business as well?

MASC Hospitality is one of those situations that happened backward, meaning we first took on the Bronx Night Market project in 2017, which then branched out to many other events that were affiliated with the Bronx Night Market. At one point, we needed to incorporate all of these events, so we decided to create MASC Hospitality Group. If you think about it, MASC Hospitality is a company that basically creates different events while Round Seven Media is the one promoting these events. Sometime around 2018, I started taking fewer clients for Round Seven Media and started adding more of my own companies to Round Seven Media. 

What is your favorite event that MASC Hospitality Group is responsible for?

My favorite event hands down is Bronx Night Market. The Bronx Night Market is my baby, it’s a proud moment for me because it came from a vision of bringing something to the Bronx community, my community, that is a prideful event and a reason to be proud of the borrow, without needing to commute to Manhattan or Queens to experience a festival that celebrates culture, cuisine and commerce. 

We always say culture, cuisine and commerce because culture encompasses the diversity of the city with so many different flavors, cuisine because this is the grand unifier, everyone can enjoy a meal together no matter what skin tone or nationality and commerce is the idea of creating space for young entrepreneurs and small local businesses to present what they do to a large number of people and promote their business to help them move into the next stage of their success. This encompasses everything we are about, supporting small businesses, young entrepreneurship and of course, good, good food. 

Have you encountered any problems while being a business owner for these two organizations?

When you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, you always encounter problems. It’s always a matter of hiring the right people, navigating through resources, financing and funding, but mostly it’s identifying and understanding the demographic. I think for me, as a serial entrepreneur, a good idea is a good idea, but you need to identify your key demographic. You need to identify what you do and who it’s for. Then, you work for months or years fine-tuning to make everything connect and basically build a community around your brand.

For example, Round Seven Media is a brand that understands the power of our way of doing business. We are known as one of the top agencies in New York to run launch campaigns for brands because we are dedicated to doing that. With something like The Bronx Night Market, it’s about identifying Bronx-based foodies and people that want to explore offerings and now they have the opportunity to do that in a place where they feel safe, secure and happy. The event is really designed for the community instead of something that could be done anywhere else. 

What do you look for in employees that you hire for your company? 

We hire on a regular basis, we continuously hire for different projects on behalf of companies. When we finish a launch campaign at Round Seven Media, we like to hire people to replace us, younger people, hungry people that can do social media for those brands. When we look at hiring, the most important thing for us at the moment is consistency and the ability to have a follow-up and a follow-through. I think those are the three very, very important elements because in today’s field of business, having consistency and bringing your A-game every time is something that is critical to the success of any business. I’ve unfortunately had to work with people that can bring 120% one day and 30% the next day. This also has a lot to do with company culture and the idea that you need to create an environment that allows people to be consistent.

Another big part is the ability to follow up and follow through. I can’t even tell you how many times you will be doing things where you need to follow up with clients and partners and sometimes it even takes up to 20 emails. Each and every opportunity for you to accomplish something or to create something if you don’t follow through, you have failed. We are also looking for employees that are super savvy with communications and social media because this is becoming a crucial part of any brand. The ability to understand how media works and how to maximize these services is important to our brand. 

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs like you once were?

If I had to give one piece of advice to young entrepreneurs, it would be to not bite off more than you can chew: focus, focus, focus. I keep seeing a lot of young entrepreneurs that I work with trying to do too much. They try to put on six or seven different hats and be the CEO of the universe at the same time. I always say, focus on the one thing, take your time, become the best in your field and then explore from there. From what I’ve seen, the ability to focus and distill your message and brand into the simplest form and show it to other people such as the investors and partners, showing your dedication to a single idea is the most valuable.

When I used to work on movies, right after grad school, one of the exercises I had that influenced me completely was an exercise of writing a logline for a feature film. You have a script of like 90 pages that you need to turn in to a 25-word logline that will explain exactly what that movie is. It’s almost an impossible mission, but once you start on this, you understand how important the focus is. I now tell people you need to understand your business so well that nothing will get in the way. That’s how you get investors and money. 

I know you’re passionate about food, what are some restaurants you would recommend to our readers?

It’s hard to talk about restaurants right now when the restaurant industry is suffering so much. Every day we see another one of my favorite restaurants closing down and the industry is struggling especially when it seems like the industry won’t open soon. I’ll tell you about food in general, as a foodie the most important thing for me is not chasing trends, but a restaurant that has a focused menu, where they know what they’re doing and they’re focused on creating the best experience with a sense of consistency. I know I probably sound like everything is driven like that, but honestly, it’s so important.

Before covid I used to go to a restaurant once a month in West Harlem that used to make the most amazing eggplant pasta, there was also a place I used to go with the most amazing salmon dish and I used to go to another place with the most amazing pad thai. That’s the best thing about living in New York, you get exposed to so much food and you’ll try a lot of trends, but at the end of the day, when you hit something that you know is going to be just as good every time you get it, it becomes the place you go for that dish.

The older I get I realize that’s the most important thing because I want to go back to the restaurant five years later and get the same food and experience. I’m hoping we’ll come out of this soon and be able to go and enjoy restaurants again. Even if you don’t like restaurants and you’re a great cook, you miss sitting down with your friends in a restaurant, eating some food, enjoying a bottle of wine and sharing a good laugh. It’s not about the food, it’s about the experience. 

Where do you see yourself going next in your career? 

At the moment we are trying to get back to normal life especially with Bronx Night Market and other events that we have. I’m working very hard to define what we can do in public spaces to help restaurants and other brick and mortar restaurants come back to life.

At the moment, I’m really dedicating a lot of my time to working with city and state agencies to create programming that will allow brick and mortar businesses to have more visibility as well as helping small businesses that began at home during the pandemic. I like to call these businesses “homentrepreneurs” and they will need a place for their businesses outside to get more traction in the community once the pandemic is over.

I am taking my experience within marketing and media, my ability to push forth different agendas and my ability to plan different activities to bring these skills to neighborhoods around New York and support these businesses and give a place for new entrepreneurs to grow outside of their homes. This is something I have been very excited about for a few months. 

After Covid is over, are there any events you would hope for the MASC Hospitality Group to execute?

Help New Yorkers get back to normal as soon as possible. Possibly that will be creating open-air markets and events relating to many different niches, and just to let New Yorkers come to celebrate returning to normalcy. After covid, trying to figure out with different partners how to help businesses survive the next few months and thrive as soon as we get out of this crisis. This has been a focus for us to do. We have seen way too many friends of ours close shop and disappear. 

Be sure to keep up with Marco Shalma and the Bronx Night Market on Instagram. 

photo credit foodcre8tive
Photo credit to r.ace.me
Kaelen Felix illustrates Ritchie Torres for 360 Magazine

TRAILBLAZER: CONGRESSMAN RITCHIE TORRES

By Elle Grant

January 3rd marked the commencement of the 117th Congress and the swearing of its newest members. For many, it marked the beginning of a new dawn. One that will be followed by the inauguration of TIME’s People of the Year, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. They will replace President Trump on Inauguration Day on January 20th. Yet several other remarkable individuals were elected this year and sworn in a bit earlier, solidifying the 117th Congress as the most diverse in American history. One of these representatives is a freshly elected Ritchie Torres, a 32-year-old politician serving the 15th congressional district in the Bronx, New York. Torres is the first openly gay Afro-Latino man elected to Congress, and one of two gay Black men that will serve in the 117th Congress, a distinction he shares with fellow New Yorker Mondaire Jones. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Torres to discuss the story of his life, the issues he considers vital, as well as pick his brain for his thoughts on current events.

“I am a product of the Bronx,” Torres says of his childhood, “I spent most of my life in poverty.” Ritchie Torres was raised by a single mother, one of three children, in the Throggs Neck neighborhood of the East Bronx. He recalls the difficulty his mother had raising a family on minimum wage in the 1990s, as well as the awful conditions of the public housing he grew up in. Torres recollects these experiences with the soft yet fluid countenance that marked his speech throughout 360’s conversation with him. He floats between topics and memories with ease.

He recalls, with a rich sense of irony, the construction of Trump Golf Links as a child. “My life is something of a metaphor. I grew up right across the street of what became Trump golf course and actually something funny, is when the golf course was undergoing construction, it unleashed a skunk infestation. So, I often tell people I’ve been smelling the stench of Donald Trump long before he became President.” His own situation, compared with the government subsidized construction of the Trump Golf Links, deeply unsettled Torres’ image of society. He says collectively of his youth, “Those experiences shape not only who I am as a person, but as a public official.”

Such injustices prompted Torres to seek to become “The change that you wish the see in the world,” he says, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. He named public figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy as role models. He got his start as a housing organizer and eventually took the leap of faith to run for public office, becoming New York’s youngest elected city official at age 25. He had “No ties to the machine. No ties to the dynasties of Bronx politics, but I was young and energetic. I knocked on thousands of doors,” he claims that kind of face-to-face contact won him that election. Torres then became the first LGBTQ+ official elected from the Bronx.

“I think it has several implications,” he says when asked what this early accomplishment meant to him. “I mean, first, we are all products of our identities and our lived experiences. Right? Who we are as people shapes what we do as policy makers. It is important to have LGBTQ policy makers in the room where decisions are being made. A wise person once said, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you are probably on the menu.’” Referring to his 2020 election win, he says “My election means that LGBTQ people of color, in particular, will have a seat at one of the most powerful tables, the United States Congress.” He calls the reality of his election both empowering and normalizing. “I am a symbol of possibility.”

“I met Mondaire for the first time four years ago,” Torres says of Mondaire Jones, U.S. representative of New York’s 17th congressional district. “I remember when I met him for the first time, we had a conversation about the lack of LGBTQ representation of color in New York state politics. And I never imagined that four years later, he and I would become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of United States Congress.”

Congressmen Torres recognizes that his path, though marked with accomplishments, has not been one of only highs. Torres stands apart as a public official on the national stage who is open about the lows of his life and his struggles with mental health. When asked why he chooses to be so transparent, he says “I felt a deep sense of obligation to speak openly about my own struggles with depression in order to break the silence and shame and stigma that surrounds mental health.” He seeks to evolve, not perpetuate, the current ideas surrounding mental health. He hopes to show that “there is a way forward” out of difficult moments, which for him were struggles with substance abuse, the loss of a friend, and moments when he considered taking his own life. But seven years later, Torres was elected to city council. “I would not be alive today, much less a member of the United States Congress, were it not for mental health care which saved my life.” He aspires to send a message that “Recovery is possible. You can take an antidepressant, as I do every day, and find normalcy and stability” and achieve feats like being elected to Congress.

The 117th Congress is slated to be the most diverse in history. Torres says of this reality, “I think American is increasingly becoming a multi-racial, multi-ethnic inclusive democracy. We are witnessing the collapse of politics as an old voice network. I am part of a new generation of young leaders every bit as diverse as America itself. Congress is becoming what it always should have been, a miniaturization of America itself.”

Torres acknowledges the year 2020, monumental in many ways, as harrowing for his Bronx community. “COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the city and the country, and the South Bronx has been the epicenter of COVID-19. The South Bronx had the highest rate of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality during the peak of the pandemic. And just as destructive as COVID-19 itself were the deeper inequalities that were brought to light.” He argued that the coronavirus exposed the deeper health inequalities, racial inequalities, and class inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

These issues are at the forefront of Torres’ mind in thinking of his work as a legislator. When asked what he saw as the first step to rectifying the rampant racial injustice in the United States, he answered “the first thing is to bring greater accountability to policing in America,” an argument familiar to many Americans following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and their ensuing protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation with greater momentum than ever before, cries for justice and defunding the police became common across the country’s cities. “Where there is no accountability, there will never be an end to police brutality” Torres says, being especially critical of qualified immunity in the United States.

Torres heads to Congress as a man with a mission regarding many issues. He himself declares “My great passion is affordable housing,” reflecting a long journey working continually in the housing sphere. He seeks to secure far greater funding for public housing in New York City and to expand the Section 8 program. The Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, created by an act in 1978, provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families to rent housing in the private market. Torres says, “For me the surest way to stimulate the economy is to put money in the pockets of struggling families.” In order to do that, he believes the solution is an expanded child tax credit, which he describes as the single largest tax expenditure in America, yet he finds fault with a system that is “so regressive that it excludes a third of American families. Particularly the poorest families in America.” Torres’ passion shines through when he discusses the subject, detailing how this solution could slash childhood poverty by 40% in the span of the year. He calls its potential an absolute “game changer.”

Without question, affordable housing and tax reform are the first issues Torres hopes to address after being sworn in to the 117th Congress on January 3rd, 2020. “For me, the central mission of my life is to fight poverty in America. Racially constructed poverty in America. The South Bronx is said to be the poorest district in America and if we can make progressive policies work in the South Bronx, we can make them work anywhere.”

360 Magazine also had the opportunity to discuss a variety of current issues with Congressman Torres, one of which being the then impending Senate run-offs in Georgia. Following races too close to call in November 2020, Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff. Additionally, GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler is defending her seat against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The election is vital because it will determine which party will control the Senate. “The stakes are supremely important,” Torres says of Georgia. “As long as Mitch McConnell refuses to bring critical bills to the floor for a vote, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. For me, Mitch McConnell is the single greatest obstruction on the path to progress. Winning those two seats in Georgia are essential.”

Regarding the impending mayoral race in his home of New York City, as well as early polls that display former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang as the frontrunner, Torres is coy. “The mayor’s race is wide open. Anyone who claims to have it figured out is lying.” He goes on to affirm “It is full of more than one credible candidate.”

“To be clear, I never announced that I wasn’t going to be in the squad.” Torres says, referring to ‘The Squad’ of United States Congress, composed of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow New Yorker, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. With new young progressive politicians like Torres joining the fray, claims of expanding membership are common. Torres, along with the aforementioned Mondaire Jones, as well as Congresswoman Cori Bush, Congresswoman Marie Newman, and Congressman Jamaal Brown are commonly referred to as impending members.

Instead, Torres clarifies, “I would never issue an announcement that I would not be a part of something. That would be an odd thing to do. Whenever I’m asked about the squad, I simply state that I’m my own person and I prefer to be judged on the basis of my own story and my own record, on my own terms.” He goes on to assert he is willing to work with “anyone and everyone in the service of delivering to the people of the South Bronx. That is my highest priority.” Torres is clear in this declaration that he is willing to work with more conservative members of his own party or the Republican party in hopes of progress.

On a future in politics, Torres affirmed his intent to serve the people in the moment and to “let the dice fall where they may” regarding the future. When asked what wisdom he would impart to a younger generation, Congressman Torres says “We are all only as strong as the support we have in our lives and be grateful for the supporters you have. The friends and family. I would not be here today if not for the friendship of people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Know who those people are and value them and be grateful for them.”

Update as of 1/14/21, Congressman Ritchie Torres has formally endorsed former presidential candidate Andrew Yang for mayor of New York City. This comes just a day after Andrew Yang announced his campaign in a video titled ‘Why I’m Running,’ which features Torres in it.

Dance Your Dance – Laurieann Gibson

Thomas Nelson/W Publishing (a division of HarperCollins) today announced the pre-order for Emmy-nominated choreographer, creative director and entrepreneur Laurieann Gibson’s debut book Dance Your Dance: 8 Steps to Unleash Your Passion and Live Your Dream, set for release on February 16, 2021. The pre-order bundle includes access to exclusive video content from Laurieann and a first look at chapter one of the book. Additionally, the first 500 to pre-order will receive a limited-edition promotional item. Pre-order Dance Your Dance here.

Dance Your Dance highlights Gibson’s evolution from a young dancer training in New York City to a well-respected and in-demand creative visionary with an eye for cultivating music artists from the ground up. The book unveils the ultimate blueprint to achieving your dreams—a blueprint she’s implemented countless times to develop some of the world’s greatest superstars including Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Diddy and The Jonas Brothers, among others. Packed with personal anecdotes from her 20+ year career in entertainment and messages of empowerment, Dance Your Dance speaks to the dreamer in you: the artist, the singer, the writer, the entrepreneur, the mogul, the mover, the shaker, the thinker.

Reflecting on the power of the book’s message, Laurieann shares, “Dance Your Dance is an explosion of inspiration, passion and empowerment—an entertaining and transformative unstoppable ride to your greatness. I can’t wait for people to start reading it. I believe it can be life-changing.”

ABOUT LAURIEANN GIBSON

Laurieann Gibson is one of the most important pop culture influencers in entertainment today. Having served as creative director and choreographer for numerous international superstars, Gibson’s expertise in developing artists’ performance skills earned her an Emmy nomination for directing Lady Gaga’s HBO concert special Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. Laurieann also directed and choreographed Nicki Minaj’s sold out “Pink Print World Tour” and Diddy’s “Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour.” More than a choreographer, Gibson is a business force whose presence is felt across TV/commercials, film, gaming, and now publishing. She can currently be seen as a judge on FOX’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance and will serve as creative director/choreographer on MTV’s highly anticipated return of Making the Band. On top of film appearances and commercial work (previously choreographing for the likes of Pepsi and Google), she is producing a number of television projects that are currently in development. Laurieann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her doggie “son,” Samson. Connect with her here.

 ABOUT THOMAS NELSON

Thomas Nelson is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. As part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information, visit here.

Katie Commodore x The Untitled Space

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers” solo exhibition opening on November 21st, and on view through December 12, 2020.  Curated by Indira Cesarine, “Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers” debuts a series of large scale erotically charged figurative tapestries, created with detailed adornments and unique embroideries, along with a number of her signature portraits in gouache, miniature watercolor paintings on ivory, as well as works on paper including intaglio etchings, metallic foil cutouts, and photogravure prints. Katie Commodore is an interdisciplinary artist who concentrates on creating intimate portraits of her friends. In 2000 Commodore received her BFA in illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2004 she obtained her MFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design where she is currently an adjunct professor.

“Katie Commodore: Between Friends and Lovers”

A Solo Exhibition
Presented by The Untitled Space

THE UNTITLED SPACE
45 Lispenard Street, NYC 10013

*RSVP*
Due to COVID, there will be limited capacity inside the gallery, and guests are required to wear masks. RSVP Required via Registration Link. All RSVPs will be confirmed. Thank you in advance.
RSVP REGISTRATION LINK 

EXHIBITION ON VIEW
November 21– December 12, 2020

“Everyone is my friend and they are allowing me to be a witness to their love, which in turn is then celebrated by everyone that sees it.” Over the past few years, Katie Commodore’s artwork has concentrated on depicting real people’s sexuality, although not necessarily their sexual preferences, but rather sexuality in the broader sense. Her intimate portraits address what is it that makes them feel sexy, how they express that physically, and how it evolves over the years for them as individuals. “We change our clothes every season; our physical appearance through body modification, losing weight, gaining weight, tattoos, etc; we change our kinks and sexual preferences partner to partner, year to year.  Our sexuality, and how we feel about it, is in constant flux; the same way that we redecorate our homes, change the wallpaper and curtains, change the sheets.” States the artist on her portraits. Commodore likens this subtle change in how her friends express themselves to the way society also expresses its collective self through decorative patterns. “In a roundabout way, it can be looked at as a meter of a population’s ‘sexuality’ – the public expression of the private. Bright colors, vibrant patterns, clean lines, and minimal decoration all provide a window into the personalities that chose or created them. Historians and anthropologists often use the decorative remnants (pots, jewelry, frescos, etc.) of past cultures to gain valuable insight into the lives of the people that created them, the same sort of cultural portrait can be drawn from our design choices today.”

Throughout the years, she has focused on various mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, and scrimshaw. She has often emphasized materials that are not considered “fine art” but were rather thought of as women’s “hobbies” and in so doing highlights their traditional merit. A majority of her artwork is portraits of her friends during their most erotic moments, acting as a celebration of personal power, beauty, and sexuality.  It is a subtle, but often rich moment that shows the kink, sexual fulfillment, and the sexual interests of those closest to her. “Any activity that helps someone express their sexuality is beautiful, to be supported, and worthy of being immortalized in art.” She states of her sexually charged portraits which depict real people in the moment, captured through private photo sessions with the artist which are used as references for her paintings or prints.

Commodore was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007, which forced her to adjust her artistic practice. Her diagnosis motivated her to explore ways of maintaining the vibrant patterns and detail that she’s known for while not having to rely completely on her super fine motor skills. “Right before I was diagnosed with MS my artwork got much more detailed and pattern-based, and I think that was an unconscious reaction to the fact that I was losing my super-fine motor skills. Since then, I’ve adapted my studio practice to accommodate what I can and cannot do. I don’t draw with a pencil or pen as much anymore, paint brushes are more forgiving when it comes to small hand tremors. I do much more planning and sketching in the computer. Embroidery has been a real change that allows me to maintain the compulsive marking and patterns while there’s no need for perfect hand-eye coordination.”

Her latest series of large-scale figurative tapestries are ripe with intricate details. In a continuation of her signature style she presents bold figures against dramatically complex patterns, pushing the visuals into the realm of surreal erotic fantasies. The sheer scale of the works heightens the drama in a cinematic manner with the life-sized figures taking center stage. “Tandem to creating miniatures and paintings with vivid patterns, I’ve always been interested in creating life-sized portraiture. In grad school I did a series of life-sized relief prints and over the years I’ve done several life-sized drawings that I then spent months filling in with patterns. There was always something about portraying my models in a completely relatable scale that took the image from something precious to something actually more personal, the viewer can feel their gaze and the energy in their pose, feel their weight and almost come away feeling like they know the model in real life. Several years ago, I wanted to have custom tapestries made to reference the historical value of tapestries while giving tribute to the fact that often women were the actual makers of the tapestries which were usually designed by men. My digitally woven textiles start out as drawings in my computer. Like my works on paper, the patterns are historical wallpaper and fabric designs that range from the medieval to contemporary examples. I embroider on them, adding appliques (chine collé, if you will), bejeweling and beading away for hours, turning them into monoprints. I’m creating something new that combines the immediate gratification of print on demand fabricated works with the meditative, time consuming craft of embroidery and fiber arts. I juxtapose mass-produced elements with the uniqueness of each piece, elevating each patch and plastic bead to something more substantial.” She also introduces a number of text works in fiber that complement the series with their adventurously powerful statements.

Katie Commodore has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, including England, Italy, Germany, and Greece. She has had solo exhibitions at Baby Grand, NYC, and SHAG, Brooklyn. Her work has been previously featured in a number of group shows presented by The Untitled Space including “(Hotel) XX” at Spring/Break Art Show, “IRL: Investigating Reality” and “Secret Garden”. Other notable exhibitions include “FEMME” presented by Spoke Art and Juxtapoz Magazine, SCOPE Art Fair, “StitchFetish 6” at The Hive Gallery, and “Facing the Walls” at The VETs Gallery. Residencies include ChaNorth, Pine Plains, New York; Red Light Design, Amsterdam, Holland; and One Night Residency, London, England. She is currently the Administrative Director of Crux, LCA, a cooperative of Black XR Creatives and Producers that focuses on Black storytelling and creating a foothold in the burgeoning vocabulary of new media of VR and creating Black wealth. Commodore has been featured in a number of publications including The New York Times and Dazed Digital, among others. She currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.

SEVANA UNVEILS “BLESSED” VIDEO FROM HER LATEST EP BE SOMEBODY

SEVANA UNVEILS “BLESSED” VIDEO FROM HER LATEST EP “BE SOMEBODY” 

“The rising Jamaican star definitely has the range…manages to make the song’s already blissful hook sound even sweeter.”

NYLON

“Sevana has the octaves and pipes that give singers like Beyoncé their stripes.”

ESSENCE

“…poised for greatness…effortless, airy and buttery, it [Sevana’s voice] floats above dreamy melodies…forming a blend that feels timeless and yet profoundly modern.”

POPDUST

Sevana released her latest video for “Blessed.” The Jamaican singer gives reverence to a higher power on this Yoram Savion directed visual shot in the rustic terrain of Soda Springs, CA. Sevana towers over the bright horns as her voice overflows. This soul-baring anthem is off her acclaimed EP Be Somebody (out July 31 via In.Digg.Nation Collective / Six Course / RCA Records) and produced by IzyBeats, the hitmaker behind Koffee’s “Toast” and Lila Iké’s “I Spy.” Watch it HERE.

“The visual follows the story of a woman lost in the wilderness. She’s made a home there, but it all comes to a head when a threat finds its way into the home she’s made. Through divine intervention, she escapes. The threat is fear. The woman is me, “ Sevana explains.  It’s the story of my spiritual growth, how I awoke to a relationship with God as my world came crashing down. I  know what it feels like to never be alone again, I am covered, I am at peace. I am Blessed,” she adds.

The “Blessed” visual follows her “Mango” video which has over 2m+ views and is a favorite among the likes of actress Halle Berry and dancehall queen Spice. The latter song is also featured on her 6-track EP Be Somebody.

Listen to Be Somebody EP: 

https://smarturl.it/BeSomebodyEP

Watch “Blessed” Video:

https://smarturl.it/BlessedOfficial 

About Sevana:

Hailing from Jamaica gives any artist a certain legitimacy, but it also brings certain expectations — ones which Sevana lives up to, but also defies. While reflecting the island’s musical sensibilities in some ways,  Sevana’s vocals are strongly influenced by R&B and soul. Be Somebody comes after Sevana’s self-titled EP (2016), her 2018 breakthrough song “Sometime Love” and 2019’s singles “Nobody Man” and “Haul & Pull” off the Protoje and J Vibe produced Rock & Groove Riddim. In 2019, Sevana landed festival performances at Boomtown (UK), Reggae Geel (Germany) and Rototom Sunsplash (Spain), Sole DXB (Dubai) and joined Protoje on some of his major shows, including BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! NYC concert and Jamaica’s largest annual music festival Reggae Sumfest. Sevana has earned notoriety by The FADER, ESSENCE, NYLON, COMPLEX, ASOS, VICE/Noisey, BBC (1Xtra), LargeUp and graced the cover of RIDDIM Magazine’s SPRING 2019 issue. Her naturally radiant look has made her a favorite of photographers and fashion labels. Most recently, she was included in PUMA Middle East’s 2020 campaign along with labelmate Lila Iké. 

www.sevanaworld.com

www.instagram.com/callmesevana

www.twitter.com/callmesevana

www.facebook.com/callmesevana

SFERA EBBASTA × J BALVIN - “BABY”

SFERA EBBASTA ×  J BALVIN – “BABY”

After the release of his album FAMOSO, today international superstar Sfera Ebbasta unloads the video for the standout single, “Baby” with J Balvin.

WATCH OFFICIAL VIDEO HERE

The new album, FAMOSO, released on November 20th, has been welcomed internationally with a standing ovation. All 13 tracks debuted at the top 200 Global Spotify chart while disintegrating all past records and achieving new heights for Italian albums. It received 16M streams in 24 hours while climbing the first 13 positions in the Italian top 50 chart on Spotify. FAMOSO is the most-streamed album ever on release date on Spotify and the 2nd most-streamed album Globally.

Today, Sfera Ebbasta flexes as a major player in the game with the release of the video for the international focus track, “Baby” with J Balvin.

J Balvin expressed the wish to see the birth of a truly international Latin gang, an artistic partnership between Italy, Colombia and the whole Latin world. “Baby” marks the beginning of a journey destined to bring Italian music where it has rarely landed. Sfera and J Balvin met when the king of the trap made a remix of the track “Machika”. In the film Famoso, directed by Pepsy Romanoff and distributed worldwide by Amazon Prime video, the Colombian artist talks about his relationship with Sfera:

“At the time of the “Machika” remix I didn’t know him personally, but now we’re friends. There is nothing planned, no strategy, just a true friendship. One day I went to Italy, I looked at what was happening in the music world and there were 5 Sfera tracks at the top of the chart. I said to myself: and where is my music? (Editor’s note laughs) – and then adds – It’s a real movement! And for this, I respect my little brother because yes … he is like a brother to me! He is a big star in Italy and I think he will soon be one everywhere. He has all my support and my respect. I really think we are at the beginning of a real worldwide Latin gang and I want to see my people win! ” – J BALVIN

In the video directed by Mattia Benetti and produced by Ocean Code Studio, we see Sfera and J Balvin together for the first time, immersed in a parallel universe, in those fantasy worlds where everything seems possible; golden statues emerging from the sea, sharks swimming over the city skyline and purple skies where gigantic planets stand out in a magnetic, almost hypnotic way. Between mermaids swimming above Sferas car and landscapes like el dorado, the song, produced by Sky Rompiendo, with its up tempo makes us understand why it has been chosen as the first international focus single and how it is possible that in only four days after its release, “Baby” is already a hit. The track is already at #1 on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Youtube Italy.

Under the artistic direction of Charlie Charles, FAMOSO is the most important album in Sferas career, a boy who comes from nowhere and has never had help of any kind and who together with extraordinary teamwork, managed to become the most important Italian recording phenomenon in recent history. Results such as the one achieved by “Baby,” certify his entry into the very small circle of European artists who are truly recognized, respected, and above all listened to in the world. However, knowing the hunger of Sfera Ebbasta, his desire to continually improve himself, we are only at the beginning.

Follow Sfera Ebbasta on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Spotify 

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Zendaya and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it also comprises innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G) and Hollywood Records.  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.