This Man’s Brand is a collection inspired by the timelessness and ubiquity of denim, infused with a bold aesthetic. Sheers, netting, and vinyl are juxtaposed with poignant strapping details, color blocking, unexpected pockets, collars & cuffs. Provocative exposed zippers and subtle rhinestones complete the look. Each piece was handcrafted by the designer to unleash the hero or rockstar in you! Marc Littlejohn is a native Angeleno, who has been inspired by his international travels as well as the western films that are rooted in Hollywood.
Fashion Director and Star Designer Marc Littlejohn has over 20 years of experience in the fashion and entertainment industry. He clothed the following celebrities: Beyoncé, Vivica A. Fox, Eminem, Queen Latifah, Shemar Moore, Courteney Cox, Vanessa Williams, Snoop Dogg and Tyra Banks.
He attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where he obtained his degree in manufacturing management and fashion design. This is where he learned to be well-balanced in all aspects of fashion.
After working on Michael Jackson’s final tour, and later on Cher’s farewell tour, he extended his creative stream to include costume design and photography. At the helm of 360 MAGAZINE, he has stylized and photographed numerous artists including Steve Aoki, Jasmine V, and TYGA.
He has worked in costuming and styling for international ad campaigns for A&E Network, Lifetime, the CW, and lent his wardrobe talents to the fourth season of Netflix’s Narcos.
Marc continues to build on his multifaceted career in the fashion industry, allowing his skills and experience in these diverse disciplines to guide his creative vision.
Throughout this pandemic, the artist Jesse Forte, known as Jforte, has continued to do what he has done his whole career since he began making music in 2013: push the boundaries of his music and what he can do as an artist. Jforte is constantly creating and expanding as he has out a new song every week over the course of the pandemic (55+ weeks). Throughout his career he has also founded his business “Young Revolutionary Minds,” hosts the YRM podcast, wrote three books, launching products, and training to become an astronaut, all while giving back to and empowering his community. His song “Make It Happen” is culmination of his drive, story he wants to put out into the world to inspire others. We had the opportunity to ask Jforte about his career and what’s next for the artist:
You stated that making music consistently throughout the pandemic was a goal of yours, and you’ve clearly done that with one song produced each week for 55+ weeks. Where did the idea of weekly songs come from and why was it so important to be weekly?
After writing my third book, “Make It Happen” and listening to “It’s All In Your Head” 200 times, I realized I needed to be consistent and treat my gift like a job. Once I heard Russ express it the way he did, it made sense to me and I tried it out. So far, it’s been going well and getting better! Being able to put out a song weekly keeps me energized to create. I know that people may not listen right then and there, but the music will be there forever and it’s better to start now than later.
What is the production process like when you are making a new song every week? Is it any different than the production of other work you have made?
At first, I had music I wrote to beats that were famous. Then, I shopped around for beats that made sense for the music I was putting out. I would purchase the beats and write music to them. Once I got the hang of it, I started buying more beats, listening, and then sitting down. [I would use] pen and paper [to] writ[e] down my feelings, thoughts, ideas, concepts and purpose. The more I write, the better I get.
Once I get the lyrics down, I start to rehearse them, call up an engineer, and prep for the studio. I generally have at least 5 songs ready to go, just because I like to truly take advantage of the opportunity of using the booth–time is money. Most of my sessions last between 3- 5 hours.
When I write books, I try to write 2-3 pages a day. When I wrote “Fail Forward Through Success,” I would write in Cartel coffee in Tempe every day, and I wouldn’t leave until I pushed out 3 pages. Same thing with “Redemption,” and “Make It Happen” was special because I wrote it during the pandemic.
Being someone as busy as you are, burnout seems inevitable. Have there been weeks where it felt impossible to make a song? Where do you look for inspiration in times where motivation may be lacking?
Whenever my mind becomes too loud, I get rest, meditate, take a break and when I feel better, I take a step forward with whatever the goal is. I’m cool with resting, but I’ll never lay down or give up on what I have intended to accomplish. Sometimes it doesn’t happen instantly, but patience and persistence have been the best lessons and gifts I possess. I have an engine that is going to go, whether I am motivated or would rather rest. That was instilled back at Parkview.
Was music always something you wanted to do, or was it more like a passion that snuck up on you? Who were your biggest inspirations when getting into the music industry?
I was talking to Bow Wow a couple weeks ago on IG live and told him I performed “Basketball” for the talent show. We bumped Pac in the car when I was 3 and I could hear Rakim through the womb when I was being created. That’s just confirmation that I am supposed to be right where I am and that these conversations are blessings from the universe saying “we got you” and to keep going!
I’ve always wanted to be a rapper. My second-grade teacher told me, “No.” Subconsciously, I listened to her for 20 years. Then, this inner me said to fuck her opinion and be happy. I knew I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t pursuing what was in me. That why it’s important to be around people that lift you up and let you dream!
My influences are Jforte and Yé– fun fact: I performed Roses at America’s Got Talent. They liked it but I didn’t make it past the 1st round. [Also,] Drake, Immortal Technique, Uncle Snoop, Meek Mill, Drake, Logic, Doja Cat, Cardi B, Jack Harlow, Bow Wow, Gucci, Rakim, Jay-Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Big Pun, 50 cent, Red Man, Method Man, HER, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Pharrell, Michale Jackson, Prince, Queen, Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre and so, so many more. I just love good music!
It’s apparent that “Make It Happen” is an important, encouraging phrase for you as it is both a song title as well as the title of your third book; where did that phrase come from and what does it mean to you personally?
“Make It Happen” became even more powerful for me once I started to realize that people enjoyed the song and it pumped them up! “Making It Happen” means that regardless of circumstance, we rise to the occasion. That means meeting a deadline, being there for your loved one or just staying committed to the vision you see within yourself.
My goal is to share my truth in a majority of my music. If you listen to what I say in “Make It Happen,” it’s everything I’ve specifically been through. By the way, I write 100% of my lyrics–no ghost writers or floating pens. I thought I should mention that because I take pride in making the music you hear from me.
You’ve pursued many different avenues throughout your life, from music, writing, and hosting podcasts to getting a technical degree in software engineering, college football, becoming an astronaut and even making a biodegradable toothbrush and charcoal toothpaste. What motivates you to explore so many different paths, many of which people choose as a career rather than trying to do it all at once?
I was a D student in elementary school. I bloomed in middle school and started getting A’s and B’s. Then high school hit, and I was a jock. Then college hit, and I did pretty well. I’ve had a chip on my shoulder most of my life, I think it comes from being an underdog, my upbringing, and just realizing I want the best for myself and the people that enter my life. I definitely haven’t taken an easy road, but I know that I rather take a road less travelled and lead the way than to do what’s easy and regret the journey I could have had.
On your podcast “Young Revolutionary Minds” you share and support people’s journeys in reaching their goals. What led you to decide to share these people’s stories as the topic of your podcast?
One of my favorite podcasters, and the reason why I started that, was because of Lewis Howes. He is a big inspiration to me and I love listening to his podcast, you should check it out! Listening to his [podcast], made me realize I have met amazing people around the world and I’d love to share what they are working on! On top of this, I wanted to build relationships with new people, learn from some of the new leaders of the world, and have something to do while I was figuring out who I was.
You’ve been through lots of highs and lows throughout your life. What advice would you give people, whether it be making it in the music industry, or just achieving their personal goals? What have you learned that you’d like to share with people?
Love yourself. Trust that you are someone to adore, and know that your dreams will manifest when you do the work. Secondly, make sure to fight for what you want. When I say fight, I mean relentlessly go after what you desire. If you don’t know, ask questions, preferably from people who have been there or know how to get there. When it comes to music, don’t be afraid to explore different genres. Put your music out, stop waiting for the perfect time. Right now is perfect and will improve! Lastly, create a vision board and look at it every day. Read it out loud, then do something each day that gets you closer. And dream big!
Being in the public eye you make impressions on people and inspire others. You seem to try to always give back to communities and try to have positive energy that you’re putting out into the world. What message or feeling are you trying to put out to the world? Why is it so important for you to have that positive energy you’re exuding?
Being an artist is a privilege and my vision is to inspire 7 billion people around the world through my voice, ways of life and community. I make a lot of music– some deep, some chill, others scary, and some gangster–but the message I’m putting out is, be you. Cuz I’m me, and I do it better than anyone in the world. 😉 Being me, of course.
In 2020 you came up with the ambition goal to release a new song every week, and you have not stopped. How long do you plan to continue that? What’s next for you in 2021?
I’m going to keep putting music out and when I need a break, I’ll rest. I make music because it’s my passion. In 2021, I’m manifesting opportunities to create music with the people I listen to like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Bow Wow, Drake Meek Mill and Russ. I plan on finding ways for more people to listen to my music and to be inspired.
Some of the biggest stars in the world rely on Erodney Davis and his agency, Basic White Shirt, with its roster of the world’s most sought-after Celebrity Hairstylists, Makeup Artists and Nail Artists, to look their best.
After graduating with honors from North Carolina A&T State University in 1996, Davis accepted a job at ad agency, Y&R New York, while also moonlighting as part-time personal assistant to Celebrity Makeup Artist and Author, Sam Fine.
After more than a decade developing his acute business acumen alongside visionaries from the world of advertising, beauty and fashion, Davis changed course, leaving corporate America behind with only his savings and a desire to work in a more creative capacity. A month later, he began assisting top Casting Directors in NY, Paris & Milan, helping designers like Ralph Lauren, Proenza Schouler, Alice Temperley, and J. Mendel choose the most elite models of the moment to bring their designer collections to life on the runway.
During this time, Davis experienced a full-circle moment when Sam Fine tapped him to manage Fine’s freelance bookings and eventually other clients came calling, giving rise to Davis’ boutique agency, Basic White Shirt, boasting a cadre of talented beauty professionals. Davis continued casting models for New York Fashion Week for another 8 years while simultaneously running BWS. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Davis’ main focus is growing his agency’s roster with select, creative clientele and managing the needs of his world-class talent.
Oslyn Holder Celebrity Makeup Artist whose clients include Bette Midler, Vanessa Williams, LionBabe, Bernadette Peters, Kelly Clarkson, Tia & Tamera Mowry, Danaii Gurira, Holly Robinson Peete & Regina King
The ever-versatile Queen Latifah returns to her throne for a soul-driven set showcasing the emotional power of her voice and her sophisticated presence as a singer. Fresh off his second Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Song – an award he won in 2013 for “Glory” – rapper, poet, and actor Common fuses social justice and large-hearted positivity for a highly charismatic performance.
Actress, Activist and Grammy Nominated Singer, Songwriter Antonique Smithis one of the new stars in season 2 of Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix. Smith has an eight episode arc in the hit series playing Detective Nandi Tyler. Is Nandi, a rival of Misty Knight, a friend or foe of Luke Cage? The highly anticipated return of the show premiered worldwide to rave reviews on June 22nd.
The action drama stars Mike Colter as Luke Cage, a Harlem-based superhero with super strength and bulletproof skin. The cast also includes Alfre Woodard, Simone Missick,Theo Rossi, Mahershala Ali, Gabrielle Dennis, Mustafa Shakir and Rosario Dawson.
Luke Cage is created and executive produced by Cheo Hodari Coker and co-executive produced by Aida Croal, Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
On Sunday night, Netflix launched the Strong Black Lead campaign. The campaign features Antonique amongst other black actors, writers, show runners, and producers on Netflix and in Hollywood. The plan for the spot, which debuted during the BET Awards, and the “A Great Day In Hollywood” campaign image stemmed from Netflix’s Strong Black Lead initiative designed to foster an “ongoing, intentional focus to talk authentically with the black audience.”
Variety released an article detailing the inspiring campaign and listing all those involved. Watch the video and read the article here
Antonique Smith is a singer, songwriter, actress, and social justice activist, primarily known for her starring role
in the blockbuster film, “Notorious“, and her leading role in the Broadway musical, “RENT“. In 2015, she was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional R&B Performance category and later that year released her buzzworthy EP “Love Is Everything”.
Antonique has been seen in numerous film and television roles including the Queen Latifah executive produced, 2017 Netflix film, “Deuces” and she had a recurring role in the hit FOX drama-series, “Shots Fired“, Executive Produced by Gina Prince-Bythewood and Empire’s executive producer, Brian Grazer.
Antonique brought in the year 2018 with her stirring rendition of “Here Comes The Sun” live in Times Square on Steve Harvey’s New Year’s Eve on FOX program.
Having been on a 20 city “Act On Climate” tour with the Hip Hop Caucus and also singing for the Pope’s climate rally for over 100,000 people on the National Mall in D.C., Antonique is a serious advocate for climate justice and human rights.
Today, Republic Records and Twentieth Century Fox Television released “Lifetime” ft. Ryan Destiny & Quavo and “Spotlight”— special new tracks from FOX’s hit drama, STAR. Billboard premiered the “Lifetime” lyric video yesterday, which sees Quavo and Destiny laying down the track in the studio. “Lifetime” is to be featured in next week’s episode on Wednesday April 11th.
This week’s episode of STAR saw two songs enter the Top 20 on iTunes soundtrack chart, including “Oh Lord” featuring Queen Latifah, Patti Labelle and Brandy, and “My Love” performed by Jude Demorest.
Earlier this year, “Bossy” was released—a brand-new single performed by actress and singer Keke Palmer—who guest stars in season two of the show. “Bossy” entered the Top 20 on the iTunes Top Soundtrack Songs chart and was the second “most added song” at Urban radio last week. Since its release last week, the “Bossy” companion video has been viewed nearly 3 million times across the artist’s and network’s social channels.
Created by Academy® Award and Golden Globe® nominee Lee Daniels (EMPIRE) and Tom Donaghy (“The Whole Truth”), STAR features original music and stunning performances from an all-star cast and impressive group of rising young talent. The series features Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny, Brittany O’Grady, Amiyah Scott and Quincy Brown.
The second season of STAR airs Wednesdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Aussie rock icon, Sarah McLeod, announces the launch of her fashion label, BAD VALENTINE. The range will debut with a small selection of T-Shirts that project bold statements for the brave at heart. McLeod’s single of the same name will also launch with a video clip featuring models Lola Van Vorst, Tuyamaa Tumenjargal (Miss Mongolia), Natalie Sweete in the reimagined Enchantment Under The Sea scene from Back To The Future! Watch here.
With a penchant for embellishing T-Shirts for stage for many years, and more recently making her own T-Shirts for her solo shows and performances with her band The Superjesus, the calling became an obvious one. An overwhelming number of requests from fans wanting to know where they could get the same T’s was the catalyst to bring BAD VALENTINE to life.
Well known for her palpable energy and strong sense of self, Sarah has never been shy of being bold and brave. Adored for her straight up ballsy rock & roll character, she has moved through her 20 plus years in the media spotlight with a pinch of endearing larrikin, and a fistful of authenticity. ”
BAD VALENTINE is a clothing label dedicated to the celebration of self-confidence, empowerment, and freedom of speech. As Queen Latifah once said: “Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self”.
“I want people to feel empowered wearing these shirts. They are tongue in cheek but also a very powerful tool of self-awareness and confidence. I want people to know its ok to be bold and its ok to be confident and its quite alright to let ‘em all know you feel that way by pasting it across your chest in broad daylight! Yes you may get some funny looks but if you back it up with a smile and spades of conviction, you’ll BE the business.” Says McLeod…
Initial collection consists of the following 7 shirts (in Women’s and Men’s sizes)
BAD MUTHA FUCKA
BAD VALENTINE 69
BAD VALENTINE SKULL LOGO T
Sarah is also gearing up to take Australia by storm in her role as St Jimmy (shared with Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson, and Magic Dirt’s Adalita) in Green Day’s award winning Broadway phenomenon American Idiot. Check out her knockout performance at the Australian Open recently.
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