Monday, December 23, 2013

The Lower East Live EP by Teresa Jenee

Gorgeous minimalist soul ballads and experimental melodic chord progressions reminding us to connect. It's Teresa and her keys creating the music in the silence between notes. The Lower East Live, an EP recorded at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC can also be described as a "moment of zen."

It starts out with The Storm, a sound check that tosses in mishappenings in such rhythm and with such certainty that it's hard to believe they weren't orchestrated.

The second, Tahitian Vanilla,  conveys a reminiscence of ballads such as Ode to October with visual sound that enables the listener to hear the fragrance of an easy development from Haiku-esque wonder into a violent jazzy scat before returning home to nature.

Next, Cleopatra Love & War giving us piano accented by strings and an unsettling love story.

Finally, Electric Yellow, a remix that reminds us that Teresa was always a genius.

The Lower East Live EP  provides a brilliant re-interpretation of Electric Yellow complete with crowd participation. I'm both inspired and on the edge of my seat. And the artwork is dope.

Pop Robbery: What to do if you get robbed.

It happens a lot: Pop hop stealing beats from indie artists. Portland, OR based Indie hip hop news source, We Out Here Magazine, recently broke a story about a Portland artist who may have gotten robbed.

Rumor has it that there was "controversy surrounding the new Rick Ross x Jay Z track Devil Is A Lie where KE On A Track has been accused of stealing the beat from Major Seven. Well the story gets murkier and took a turn into Portland when Complex writer Edwin Ortiz traced the beat to new rapper Manny Monday’s October single, OG Shit, which he had reported as produced by Lex Luger" (We Out Here Magazine, Dec. 20, 2013).

Photo courtesy of We Out Here Mag
Often, indie artists feel like their hands are tied when they get violated by pop artists but pop artists are subject to the same laws everyone else is subject to. If a copyright is infringed upon, it's up to the artist to hold the thief accountable or not.

First of all, what's a copyright?
In short, a copyright is the right of an artist to make money off of copies of their art. If you have a copyright and somebody else is making money off your shit without your permission, they have violated your copyright.

Once you fix your work into a tangible medium, you technically own a copyright. So if you type your lyrics on a computer, you have a copyright. If you save your beat in Pro Tools, Fruityloops, Audacity, Garage Band, or any other mixing software, you have a copyright. If you create a video of yourself performing your song, you have a copyright. If you print the lyrics to your song on a T-shirt, you have a copyright. Even if you write a status on Facebook you own a copyright to that status.* Most of these electronic media have time stamps associated with whatever is saved or posted, so this can help to determine when the piece was created.

HOWEVER: if you perform your song live and it is NOT recorded, YOU DO NOT HAVE A COPYRIGHT. That means that if you sing your song at an open mic and somebody goes home and records it, THEY can claim the copyright.

Based on the example of OG Shit, it is alleged that the single Devil Is a Lie violated somebody's copyright. If this ever happens to you, you have rights that you can enforce if you choose to.

1. As a precursor to all of it, make sure you own your copyright. If you signed your copyright or your masters away to somebody else, like a label, you're probably not gonna have a leg to stand on. So don't give away the rights to your shit.

2. Register your copyright with the US Copyright Office. If you find the process confusing, Youtube instruction videos can help. If you register your copyright within the FIRST 3 MONTHS of having fixed your beat or your song in a tangible medium, then you might be able to get statutory damages. That means court costs, lawyer fees and shit like that. If you don't register your copyright within the first 3 months of creating your work, you may still get damages based on what was profited, but this is harder to prove.

The Poor Man's Copyright, you know, mailing a copy of your EP or lyrics to yourself, may help establish when a piece was made, but if you want to take someone to court for real, you have to register your copyright with the Copyright Office. Show a judge an envelope with your shit in it and you will be clowned in court.

3. Get a lawyer. If it's some round the way hood shit, you may be able to just go to a civil court, show your copyright registration and get damages. But if you're going up against pop industry folks, you don't wanna be alone. You can contact your regional arts commission or your local Recording Academy chapter. These folks are artist advocates and can lead you in a direction toward success. You can also file a complaint with the FBI's cyber division. If this all sounds like some mafia gangster type shit, that's because it is.

Another option is to make more music and keep it moving, but that's that illuminati shit.


*There was some controversy recently about whether or not a person can relinquish the copyright to their original work to Facebook if they post it, but this is not the case. When posting something to Facebook, you give them a license, to make money with your shit and use it however they want to on their site, but you still own the copyright.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Twitch's Mind: Introduction to a Brilliant System

Imagine a skull, if you will, with a square shaped hole through the face of it. Running through from infinity in both directions, an industrial style, rickety, wooden railroad track. Protruding from from the temple is a lever that flicks back and forth from a tiny little embedded brass sign that says "forward" accented symmetrically with a tiny little embedded brass sign on the other side that says "backward". Now picture a train cart system of file cabinets on this train track that also sprawl infinitely in both directions. Each train cart file cabinet is stamped with a number system above the handle on their fronts. Sitting in a tiny lazy boy suspended by bungee chords to bolts drilled into the outer brows, is a tiny brilliant man with an addiction to rationalizing, and an eye on both his face and the back of his head. Perched in perfect sight of not only the numbers on the handles of the train cart file cabinets, but also their contents when requested, this tiny little brilliant man switches the lever back and forth at what appears to be thousands of miles an hour. The train cart file cabinets as expected correlate at even faster speeds as to reveal the correct file with the correct request. Imagine this is the average mind.

Now see the same scenario only the lever has been disconnected due to it's inefficiency and replaced with a twister wheel. The file cabinets are alive and speak harshly back and forth with the tiny little mohawked man suspended in mid air, darting to and fro around all sides of the talking file cabinets with bat wings and a home made pimp cane. The labels are confusingly perpendicular to the run of the train track on both temples etched in like phone numbers on a bathroom stall. One saying "fuck it" and the other saying "20/20". As they bicker back and forth for eternity the little tiny man valiantly debates very rarely with only one talking file cabinet while birds swarm around pecking at his eye in the back of his head... That's a nutshell version of a Twitch's mind... Surprisingly, this system works brilliantly...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Return of the Raw: A Mix Tape by DJ Reminise of the Soulition

DJ REMINISE, of Different, Pa Dukes, and Paper Trail fame has released a new mixtape for the lovers of mixtapes:  
RETURN OF THE RAW. It's groovy as fuck, so just hit play and pour the dranks.

Reminise is also a member of the Soul, Afro Beat, House, Deep Funk, Reggae/Dancehall, True School Hip Hop, Latin, Breakbeat, Acid Jazz, Nu Soul, Rare Groove spinnin' DJ coalition The Soulition out of STL/ATL (That's St. Louis, MO and Atlanta, GA for those who ain't hip to hood slang). members of The Soulition include Nappy DJ Needles, Enoch Is Real, DJ Reminise, Will Power, DJ J Mo, DJ Nimbus, Applejac, DJ Rahdu, DJ Cuzzin B, Frances Jaye, M Knight, DJ Kase One, DJ 76kiD and DJ Agile One. 

 Click the cover art to download RETURN OF THE RAW
(avoid downloading spam by clicking the portion of the link that reads
"click here to download from sendspace")

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Getting Icy Out Here

The Midwest is experiencing a winter for the history books. Writer and poet Teddi B shares with us the story of how he made it to the bus this morning in a piece called "It's Getting Icy Out Here."

:::Good Morning. Here's a story:::

Good Morning, beautiful people! I would like to share my morning with you today. here's how I got my day started.

I woke up 15 minutes before I had to be out the door, after having had three hours of sleep. I lazily woke myself and got dressed and then realized I didn't have Exact change for the bus, thereby adding 3 minutes to my morning. So, as I walked into 7-11 to break a ten and get change, a Pepsi truck pulled up outside blocking my view of the bus stop. I took note and resolved to get done extra expediently.... upon leaving said convenient (albeit overpriced) store, I headed for the Pepsi truck and heard what sounded like air brakes on the other side of it (if you ride the bus you know that sound lol) so I quickly trotted around the Pepsi truck and behold the bus was there! people were getting off luckily, though I wonder where they were coming from at 6:37am...

but I digress...

So... I proceed to run for the bus, which is something I NEVER do on sheer principle. but I made the exception rather than stand in the cold for thirty minutes.

Now to the good part...

as I rounded the bus, I barely missed slamming into someone coming out of the rear door. and in my haste to apologize and make it to the summit, which was the front door, I neglected to remember that it's winter time and thus was oblivious to the patch of ice that lay between myself and my destination. I took a sprinting step and BOOM.. Down I went with a loud thud, as I attempted to catch myself against the side of the bus but only managed to draw more attention to my seemingly endless tumble... as a last ditch effort, I reached for the door, half to stay up and half, I think, because it was my destination and I was so close! I grabbed it, but it did not hold. It flexed under me and I hit the ground, my head illuminated by the interior lights of the bus, and all I could do was look up at the driver from my snow covered embarrassment and say "it's getting icy out here".

I proceeded to board and ride the bus, making no eye contact with anyone aboard.

the end.

you're welcome.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Breaking Down the Game with Christopher Burns

Photo by Darius B. Williams
We know that the music industry is changing in real time, but how do we as indie artists take advantage of the change? Art lover, sneaker mogul, and music publisher Christopher D. Burns, MFA talks about his experience and breaks down the game.

What has to happen is an empowerment of the indie artist. I don't even do music, but this spring when my shoe company was doing really well, I diversified and produced a single. I paid for the video to be shot, I paid for the beat and studio time. I didn't know anything about the publishing industry and I wanted to help, so I didn't even put the publishing under my name. I let the artist do it all and I moved him towards Tunecore. I knew that Tunecore could get the music on all of the platforms and since it was one single I let it go. He has since gotten several royalty checks on that one song, the Youtube vid is at 20K and he's been invited by emcees in Europe to do small, but paid features. (I leave the name out because this is a post for the purpose of explaining how to empower). I state all of this to say that those of us in small business have to share our knowledge. I break my neck to share what I know with people. I post it in my blog and when I write on my other blog, I share as much as I can. Breaking an artist is definitely possible and attainable. If I can make my own running shoe and sell 600 pair in competition with Nike and Adidas, emcees with the right strategies can get to the public and sell downloads. Here is how:

1. Make sure you have a web presence that is central to your brand. One place. I want to visit your site and find everything I need to know.

2. Sign up with a digital distributor like Tunecore (they will get you with BMI or ASCAP or you can sign up to keep your catalog there on your own) to have your music placed on all of the digital platforms. You can also sign up for Createspace to control this on your own and release music through - 60% of all music is downloaded on iTunes the other 30 is Amazon, the rest is Google Play, etc.

Christopher sporting ARCH sneakers
3. Get you a dedicated Youtube station which you can later monetize if you get the traffic. When you have a solid base of 2 videos sign up with VEVO which will gain you distribution and connection to other artists in the genre and VEVO has an app on Roku and other wireless streaming devices.

4. Set up your facebook page/instagram/tumblr and grant yourself a budget of 30-50 dollars per month to build likes. I know personally that every 1000 fans/likes will get you interaction with about 70 people. Yep it's that small, but the more people you have like your page the more you reach your base.

5. Make dope fucking music and believe in it.

I think it's critical that we share what has helped us. I may have put my shoe company on hiatus, but after a lot of trial and error, when I'm ready to relaunch (deeper pockets) I have 4 years of experimentation with results to go to. I'm passionate about the small biz and artists who are willing to listen and learn.

Find out more about Christopher's publishing company at When you're done, check out his sneakers at because the only thing doper than empowerment is empowerment + new kicks.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Industry Boogeyman

A friend shared this article about the challenges of women in the music industry, even more specifically, Black women's challenges.. Reading the introduction, I couldn't help but think, "what is this? Suffrage?" I am always amazed at how far behind the times the art industry can be...especially since artists are supposed to be at the forefront of societal transformation, right?

The article brought up some things that I hear ALL THE TIME but don't necessarily experience.
I see my comrades in the struggle really suffering with their creativity because of the belief that women don't get support in the music industry, that white male domination is a hindrance to women, and that there's all this pressure to be something other than who you are when you're a female artist.

Spending time in LA, I discovered that artists' emotional connection to other people's opinions is often driven by money. For artists who are driven by money, rejection can be detrimental, as it directly affects immediate cash flow. However, being true to your voice usually pays off much greater in the long run because fans know they can trust you and your message.

Ultimately, it's not about the industry peers or execs. It's about the people who are buying your music. Take care of them and they'll take care of you. At least that's been my experience. Doesn't mean that support isn't necessary to keep morale and profitability up, but when your music touches people, it doesn't matter what industry moguls think. They're trying to get to the people themselves. The people are the goal...not money. Successful artists understand this.

I want to see more women of color creating more art and not being hindered by fear of the big bad industry boogeywhiteman myth.

If you're an artist with a vagina and/or melanin who doesn't define your value based on the opinions of white men, you'll find supportive folks all over the globe coming together to keep it real post-Civil War. Folks like The Female Producers Association. 

The purpose of The Female Producers Association is to provide a creative networking outlet for women worldwide. The organization hopes to facilitate learning, long term connections and business relationships that will allow creative women to progress within their own fields and creative endeavors.

Thanks, Danielle for the information. I learned something.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Healer's Testament: Transforming The Filthy Lucre

A challenge that many independent artists face is the challenge of accepting money as a part of the process. I know this challenge well. Learning to accept increasing amounts of money for the work I do is very difficult for me at times because my art is a sacred thing to me and money...well, money is evil, right? But what of those who appreciate me? Should they not be able to give to me as much as I want to give to them?

Sarah B. Tonin is an independent Spoken Word Artist and Healing Arts Therapist. In this piece, she discusses her history and indoctrination concerning money and how she is transforming "The Filthy Lucre" into Support and Abundance. I hope you are as inspired by her testimony as I was.

A Healer's Testament: Transforming the Filthy Lucre by Sarah B. Tonin
I had a conversation with a friend last week, and she asked me some very simple questions that had previously uncharted possible answers. I happen to believe that the solutions you seek usually always begin first with the right questions being asked. I thank God for having people in my life who help me introspect with certain accuracy.

My friend asked me, "What did money ever do to you, for you to dislike it so much?" I was determined that disliking money was not a problem I had, sure as I have businesses that I'm determined to see succeed. Then she illustrated to me my detachment from what I undoubtedly perceived to be "filthy lucre". She asked me again, "Why don't you see it as part of your processes, compensation for your effort, as opposed to a separate offensive entity that you want no REAL association with?" At first I defended with, "I am a healer, and money runs opposite my purpose." I thought after she pointed out, that I would not be able to continue to perform as a healer if I didn't first accept that capital will support my efforts and help sustain my practices (I knew this, but.....) She insisted, "If the universe wants to give you money, why won't you just accept that? It knows that you will not abuse and misuse people to attain it." So, I sat thinking for a moment, with tears in my eyes because we were being real, and stripped down and either I didn't want to admit money's importance to my missions, or because I just didn't want to go that deep into my own psyche at the moment....but I thought about it.

Two days later, after she was safely back in Portland, I was still contemplating. I could not recall ever being set aside for the love of money by the important people in my life. No one had ever stolen from me, or given me any funds that could be linked to illegal activity. I didn't know WHY I was so detached from the idea of accumulation of financial gain. Another day passes, and I think about how many times in the past I've been reluctant to work with money. I wanted NOTHING to do with people's cash. It was not worth the "headache" as I so often recall thinking. I actually made my path more difficult at times, in avoidance of dealing with money. That's when it came to me! I had not been at odds with money because of anything it had done to me. I had watched how corrupt people around me became with the prospect and actuality of money being within their grasp. I had seen the love of lucre destroy friendships, marriages, strain parental ties. I have witnessed people fight over it. Known of those being killed for it. I understood, without actually being in the midst of any of these instances that money could indeed created a volatile and hostile environment....and I was determined to exist in the midst peace and healing. Without ever really considering how far I had removed myself from the reality of things, money and I became estranged.

Today, with a renewed understanding of our misunderstanding, I'm prepared to kiss and make up. I know that I am who I am, and that money will not alter my character, to become like those I've seen descend to the most foul of lows because of character issues in them...not the money. I know that I will not lose my title of being a healer, and that money will work with me to further healing efforts for every single person it helps me to reach. I know I won't risk my individualism and become one in a sea of others, who live in the pursuit of money. And dear Universe, if you're still in a generous mood, I'm more than willing to accept the money you've been trying to send my way. Sorry it took so long to accept your offer of support and abundance. I'm learning how to get out of my own way more, with each passing day. I have long admitted to being an anomaly to myself though...even in all the good I seek to manifest for others. I'm gonna chill with that anomaly shit.

Sarah, let's get these monies!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On Gatekeepers

On Gatekeepers:

When we do our work, we are undoubtedly confronted by gatekeepers who insist that we prove to them that we have done what it takes to be able to do the work that we do. So who the fuck is a gatekeeper? What the fuck difference does a gatekeeper make? And why the FUCK do we listen to them?

To understand the answer to these questions, we must understand motives. Here are 4 examples of some very common gatekeepers. See if you can identify their motives.

1. The Fragile: she is terrified of following her own path. Whenever she makes a comment or develops a notion that someone doesn't agree with, she changes her story in order to be perceived as intelligent (or at least, not foolish). By the time she's done explaining her goal, it sounds like some cliche shit from a made for TV movie. As a result of never having the back bone to achieve her original goal, she aims to instill fear in all those who display the potential to be powerful. She wants to water down the dreams of everyone around her in the same way she has been watered down. She is known to say things like "I wouldn't do that if I were you," "yeah, but all the work would never justify the outcome," and the famed, "sounds nice, but it's not in the budget."

What is The Fragile motive?

2. The Competitor: she prides herself in being at the top of her field. She is frightened by the truth that with the right mentors and cultivation, you will undoubtedly be doper than she is. She will poise herself to appear stronger and more powerful than she is in order to keep you intimidated enough to believe what she says. The Competitor probably went through the "system" to achieve all the honors, signatures, and tags that would keep The Fragile from having anything to say around her. In fact, The Competitor often surrounds herself with The Fragile in order to appear awesome by comparison. If challenged head on, The Competitor will fight or flee. If she fights, she'll sound ridiculous to a smart person. If she discovers her ridiculousness, she'll try to save face by discrediting her opponent. She devalues all things that lie outside of her institution, and is often overheard saying things like "you may be passionate, but from where did you graduate?"

What is The Competitor motive?

3. The Collector: she is much less interested in the actual work and much more interested in how much she can do before she dies. She can tell you all the schools she's been to, the people she's worked with, the degrees she's completed, the number of stamps on her passport and the papers she's published. The Collector is full of great stories and experiences. The Fragile and The Competitor look up to The Collector because she's living the life they always dreamed. She enjoys being perceived as amazing by those who value letters and accolades, but she's really just having aimless fun. If you ask The Collector what her passion is, the honest answer will have nothing to do with work. It may, instead, be something like "I love to travel and meet new people!" She may seem harmless, but her aimlessness and lack of focus can be a threat to someone who is relying on her for the work she claims to do.

What is The Collector motive?

4. The Hater: she hates anything that looks productive. If she didn't think of it first, it's wrong. If somebody listens to what she thinks and champions it, the hater will rethink her position. There is always a reason why "it just won't work" no matter what it is. She fails at what she tries because she gives up, not because she gives it a go and sees it through to the end. At best, she will reluctantly settle in the same camp as The Fragile. At worst, she will stay sick and look way older than she really is. Then she'll die at 55 from some rare illness. Avoid her.

What is The Hater motive?

Now that we know who the gatekeepers are, let's explore who they aren't. See if you can identify their motives.

1. The Champion: though she may be more decorated than The Collector and more influential than The Competitor, her goal is to find and highlight the awesomeness in others. A compliment from her feels genuine, as you know she's coming from a place of expertise. She has no need to pull others down because she is secure in herself. When finding a new student, The Champion won't withhold information in order to maintain an upper hand. In fact, she does just the opposite: she answers every question completely and honestly and encourages others to live their dreams, research their passion, hone their craft, and contact her if they ever need assistance. The Collector and The Competitor are always curious as to why the largest group of people at a networking event are surrounding The Champion, vying for attention. The Champion could care less because her work and the people she serves are way more important to her than who's who at the networking event. In fact, the only reason she's at the networking event is to find people to introduce to The Philanthropist.

What is The Champion motive?

2. The Philanthropist: she is looking for opportunities to connect people with resources. She keeps a bird's eye view of all the goings on in order to identify where links are missing and how she can be of assistance. If asked what she does, she'll respond, "I'm looking to give resources away." A curious thing occurs when The Gatekeepers interact with The Philanthropist: they either run away because they're full of shit, or they try to make others think that they discovered The know, doing that typical gatekeeper dance: "If you wanna get to her, you gotta come through me! Mwahahahah!" The Philanthropist will gladly give you her cell number if you ask for it, and only about 3 of every 10 contacts will follow up, so she's not as busy as one may think. The Philanthropist and The Champion are old friends who work together all the time, comfortably relying on each other to identify and provide resources for emerging leaders.

What is The Philanthropist motive?

3. The Renegade: she doesn't give a shit about any institution and looks very strange to The Gatekeepers. She doesn't dress like others. She doesn't talk like others, and she doesn't spend a lot of time with people who are not directly involved in her work. She has strong connections to the people she serves and she's only interested in whether or not an initiative works for those people. Despite her somewhat odd appearance and mannerism, she knows exactly what she's doing and what she came for. The Champion refers to the Renegade saying things like, "Welp, that's our Renegade!" and is always available to lend a helping hand.

What is The Renegade motive?

4. The Entrepreneur: the entrepreneur is the most auspicious of the non-Gatekeepers and was probably an ambitious teenager. She is a job creator, is usually very wealthy, and has absolutely zero time for bullshit. We rarely see the entrepreneur because she's in an office in a far off land scheming to discover a more efficient method for facilitating production and distribution. When she discovers her new methods, she pops her head out of the water. The unveiling is a big fucking deal, costs hella to get in, and The Collector has a ticket. The Entrepreneur is in the paper a lot and she can be followed on twitter.

What is The Entrepreneur motive?

Now that we know what gatekeepers are and what they aren't, we can gain the perspective we need to cultivate the relationships and motives that will help us get where we want to go. Gatekeepers make no difference when our mind, spirit, and resources are pointed in the right direction: the direction of service. So we don't listen to them. We listen to our hearts. We focus on the population we aim to SERVE because that population is going hungry waiting for us to mind our own business. Explore your passion. Then, see if you can identify your motives....

What is Your motive?

Thug Life,

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm a GROWN ASS MAN! A Q&A with Sir Ervin Williams

Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas
I approached Sir Ervin after he ripped an open mic and exclaimed, "You know why I like you? Cuz you just don't care what people think!" He raised his eyebrows real high, creating a dozen wrinkles in his forehead. Then, without missing a beat, looked me dead in the eye with authority and replied, "You cain't! You will go crazy worrying about what people think!" At that moment, I fell in love. Not the gooey girl-boy "I like you. Do you like me?" kinda love, but the "Don't try to run from me cuz I'ma CATCHYA!" kinda love. I'd seen Ervin do what some would consider spoken word performances on the scene. But I'm a witness. I know that when this man is put on a stage, the room becomes a studio theater and Sir Ervin becomes a One Man Show. With a seamless weave of history lessons, drama, comedy, and poetry into an experience that turns audiences into congregations, the only thing folks gon be thinkin' and sayin' is "AMEN!" All creatures of the Galaxy, unite for an introduction to the incredibly talented and purpose driven Sir Ervin Williams! 

Blue: Where are you from and what hood do you claim?

Sir Ervin: I’m from Saint Louis, MO… North Side STL to be exact. And I don’t claim any particular hood I’m a grown ass man LOL!!!

B: Tell us a little about your history in the arts.
Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas
SE: I’ve been acting as long as I can remember…. I’m an actor, director, playwright, poet, spoken word artist (there is a difference), educator, mentor… Hell you name it and I probably do it. I’ve been in featured films, commercials, plays, I even directed a kids television program called “The Learning Express” google it…LOL! I enjoy the arts; all facades of them and I believe you should study your craft. This way, you will always know where it’s been, gone and where it’s about to go….

B: As a writer, actor, director, and educator how do you bring your talents together in your art?

SE: My #1 Goal is to always educate and enlighten the masses. Whether they agree with what I’m saying or not I love to evoke conversations that may never take place on a day to day basis. As a writer I challenge my audience to see life, or a lesson, through my eyes. I want them to experience my thoughts through my work. As a director I always make concise and conscious decisions with respect to what I’m portraying to my audience. I don’t like to shuck and jive anyone and I don’t smile unless I’m happy... and I don’t dance unless I hear music. With that being said, I like to create what I’m thinking and then broadcast my thoughts in the form of my understanding. As an actor, I like to take characters and experience them through everyday life… Place them in this time; give them a voice, a vision and a goal to obtain… If I’m remaking a character I never watch the original, I like to develop the character from “Sir Ervin’s” point-of-view and see how I can breathe life into the role… As an educator I always challenge my students to challenge me… I teach them how to “think outside of the box, to get into the box." My students are allowed to create, develop, and craft their own beliefs about art. I give them structure, but I allow them to give the subject matter meaning… I choose to encompass all of these talents in all of my work… The #1 goal is to educate and that’s what I try to do with my work.

B: How would you describe your artistic vision?
Photo Courtesy of Richard Keith

SE: I will describe my artistic vision as nontraditional and unconventional… I know I’ve been given a gift, so I am extremely blessed and proud that I was chosen to challenge the masses. I know I don’t think like anyone else in the room, I understand that the glass is always half full; and I also understand that everyone isn’t going to get what I’m doing with my art, and that’s ok….My artistic vision is to see past what’s in front of us and understand that there’s a horizon about to happen….

B: What inspires your writing?

SE: Life and history inspires my writing. I love to be able to tell the story of forgotten memories, or sit at the foot of an elder when they’re speaking about their past life experiences. That’s where I gain wisdom and understanding of what I should be doing with this short life that was given to me… Everything, and I mean everything, can inspire me: from a butterfly floating in the air, to a conversation I hear on the streets, to an article I’ve read… When my mind decides it wants to be creative it starts doing so without my permission LOL!

B: If you could go on a road trip with any historical figure from the past, present, or future, who would it be and what would you talk about?

Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas
SE: Oh good question… There are so many people in history who I would love to go on a road trip with, but I would love to put more than one person in the car if I can… Passenger seat Harriet Tubman, because I still don’t think people understand the courage it took for her to do what she’s done in history… and all by (Foot).. I will put Martin and Malcolm X in the back seat to hear them debate each other, because contrary to popular belief they actually shared some of the same views. That’s why they had to be assassinated… (Too Much Power)… And I think in the middle of it all I would put my concept of (God)… and we would talk about everything from the meaning of life, to asking God why did he/she choose to make a giraffe. It would be a great trip, that would charge me to enlighten the masses…. WOW! Great question…

B: As a teacher, what do you want your students to take away?

SE: As a teacher I want my students to take away from me the concept of “Any and Everything you put your mind to can and is ascertainable.” I’m walking, breathing and living proof of that concept. I also want them to understand that there are adults in the world who genuinely care about their future and well-being: African American Males in particular… Furthermore, I want them to understand the power in words and have the determination to educate themselves beyond the text books and what the media tells them they’re supposed to be…

Sir Ervin with the cast of ZELLA. Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas

B: If you could go back in time, what would you tell 15 year old Ervin?
SE: I would tell 15 year old Ervin, that life is too short. Enjoy your teen years, because you have the rest of your life to be grown. I will also tell him to make more mistakes, forgive easier and don’t be so hard on yourself. Contrary to popular belief you are not a man as of yet….

B: What's next for Sir Ervin Williams?

Photo Courtesy of Richard Keith
SE: What’s next for me is everything…. LOL! I’m currently in the process of writing my first screenplay. I’m taking one of my plays and turning it into a movie. I’m going to shop it and one day in the near future you will see the vision on which I wanted to create the film. Also, getting healthier and making better decisions about my life spiritually is on the top of my list… Please look forward to my Book coming out 2014 “Mr. Duplicity” also, more plays, more acting, more movies…etc

B: Where can the people find you?

SE: People can always find me on Facebook @sirervinwilliams also in Worcester Mass, because that’s where I’m residing now. I’m also re-launching my website with more in-depth information about myself. Be looking for that Thank you so much for asking me to participate in such an awesome blog and I’m looking forward to doing more things with you guys in the future… Love, peace and SOUUUULLLLLL! LOL!

Thanks for visiting Uranus!

Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas