A fun look behind the scenes at one of our favorite shoots.
When we sat down for a quick chat with the super busy Shalita Grant, we were pleased to hear that her answers to our questions were just as bold as her character on the hit series NCIS New Orleans, which has returned for a second season. In Season two we watch Shalita’s character, Sonja Percy, adapt to working as the newest agent alongside Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula) and his top notch NCIS team. Our exclusive interview allowed us to see a side of the talented actress that you seldom get to experience with actresses of her caliber. If you don’t know Shalita, you will want to know her by the end of this interview, which you will be able to read more of in our upcoming issue. For now read a few fun facts that she shared with us that most of her fans don’t know about her yet.
1. “I don’t live with a television,” the actress said.
That explains her super awesome Instagram videos showing her 5:30 a.m. workouts. They really make us feel like we are failing at life.
2. “I have started working on my music. The sound is being fine tuned. It is more like a true blues sound.”
3. ” I am the oldest of nine children.”
4. “I love partying. Give me a beat and let me twerk.”
5. “I have spent my whole life trying to feel worthy. I am worthy because my unworthiness is not enough to make me stop trying. It is not strong enough.”
When we asked her for her best pitch about why you should be watching NCIS New Orleans Tuesday nights at 9 central time, it was a simple formula for her.
“If you love action, the first seven episodes have some crazy insane stunts, you should be watching. There is amazing team work. It is quirky and you gotta love Scott Bakula. Watch the show,” Shalita said.
We told you that you would love her. Shalita will also have a reoccurring role on the upcoming public television mini-series, “Mercy Street.”
Did Samsung just pull a fast one on it’s most loyal customers? The company’s new Gear S2 smartwatch was heralded as sleek, thin, round and praised for an innovative bezel that makes navigating the Tizen operating system a joy. The tech world rejoiced as a worthy competitor to the Apple Watch was FINALLY coming to the market. The rotating bezel was so compelling that Yahoo’s Tech Reporter dubbed the Gear S2”The First Smartwatch I’d Actually buy”. At $299 the Gear S2 bluetooth edition also seemed like a bargain when compared to an Apple Watch
that starts at 349 for it’s smallest version. Samsung loyalists rushed out to stores to purchase the device that Ars Technica described as “Svelt”. As the tech world gushed over the device,
few outlets reported that the Gear S2 bluetooth edition came without a speaker. This lack of a speaker means that features that most consumers expect, like the ability to answer a phone
call, or listen to music or (unrelated to the speaker) create a voice reminder on the watch are absent on the Gear S2 bluetooth edition. As Samsung boasted over the early sales of its first
decent smartwatch the company was less vocal about the fact that the 3G version of the device, which comes with it’s own cellular connection and is a dramatically more useful is ONLY $50
more! Samsung could have disclosed to it’s customers that most of the features they desire will be available in three weeks for pre-order shortly after the initial sale of the Gear S2 bluetooth
Samsung also kindly informed us that the most attractive version of the watch, The Gear S2 Classic (which is absolutely beautiful) will only be available in the bluetooth version at least for now! Samsung has abused its early adopters with one release after another of half baked smartwatches. After finally getting it right, the company continues to betray their trust by ripping them off for a quick fire sale for a device that no reasonable person will choose just to save 50 bucks and by unnecessarily hampering the most attractive version of its device. Samsung is a company that prides itself on relentless innovation but the only thing relentless about Samsung is its pursuit of profit at its customer’s expense. While Samsung may have adopted a new design language and is undeniably producing more beautiful products, the company has not learned that even more enduring than beautiful design is a genuine appreciation for consumers.
In an era of self-proclaimed gurus and aspiring entrepreneurs, allowing your work to speak for it self is becoming a lost art. In our opinion, Melody Jeha who is the creative director at Destylio is an amazing artist. We appreciated her work before we even understood what Destylio does. Once we understood the genius behind the brand, we were hooked.
“Destylio is a boutique styling studio that offers a wide range of styling services,” Melody said. “Flat lay styling has recently become one of our popular services and is mainly provided to bloggers, online businesses, and brands who are looking for customized stock photos that reflect their brand identity. These styled photos are used on their blogs, social media accounts and websites. We also provide event styling services for business events, seminars, workshops, boutique openings and other private events,” she said.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Sometimes, a client has a certain approach or a different vision to a project than the vision I have. The most challenging part about my job is being able to find common grounds without any compromise on any level to create a successful project that exceeds a client’s expectations.
YOU ARE IN DUBAI? CAN YOU DISCUSS WHAT THAT IS LIKE? WHAT IS THE CREATIVE SCENE LIKE THERE? WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING AND WORKING THERE?
I have had the privilege to watch Dubai evolve over the years, transforming into a global city dominated by modern architecture and touristic destinations. People of diverse professions and backgrounds come from all over the world and live in this multicultural environment. Being a new- born cosmopolitan city, the amount of activity is quite high on all levels- especially in the artistic sector. Annual design fairs, competitions and international exhibitions are the highlight of Dubai’s creative scene. Dubai is full of liveliness, inspiration and opportunities, which makes it a highly competitive and highly demanding city to live and operate in.
WHAT ARE YOUR MUST HAVE ITEMS AS A BUSINESS OWNER? THESE WOULD BE THE PORTABLE ITEMS THAT YOU USE EVERY DAY. (IPAD, LAPTOP, CELL PHONE ETC)
My must have items have got to be my cell phone, camera, and planner since my entire day revolves around them. It’s all about organization and capturing the right moments at the right time.
All images are courtesy of Melody Jeha.
Unapologetically blunt and confident, Ellis Martin is an artist who has captured our attention. His signature sound finds its groove in classic Motown soul while being amplified in the modern melodic vibrations of EDM.
“Growing up, my parents played everything under the sun. Puccini, Sam Cooke, Debussy, Led Zeppelin, The Supremes, Bob Dylan, Santana, the Beatles. I would sit on the floor in front of the speakers and just listen for hours. It would throw me into another world. When I started creating music, I drew inspiration from every genre and style imaginable. That is why it is difficult to put my music under a particular category,” Ellis said.
We were all too excited to sit down with the man behind the sound to discuss the details of his seductive and bold EP titled “Pornotopia” produced and co-written by Jidenna and hear his honest opinion about the current state of music.
What is your take on music now in this era?
My take on music in this era is that it is not music. It is senseless noise; trash; a cacophony of electronic madness. Musicians used to be good at music. Now, they’re good at Instagram. I find myself on the verge of tears whenever I go to a club and hear some techno or dubstep song that literally has no melody, no chords and no consistent rhythm. And, to the detriment of all culture, it is being considered “music”. In the 60s and 70s, there were literally hundreds of legendary artists. Since 2000, I can pretty much count them on one hand. That is a crisis of epic proportions. Music is dying, and it needs salvation.
What inspired you to write/create your latest single “Pornotopia?”
Pornotopia, both the song and as an EP, emerged less from inspiration and more from frustration; a sort of anti-inspiration, if you will. Just leaving my house and walking around the streets, looking at billboards, watching commercials, flipping on the radio. Pornotopia was everywhere, and I could not escape it. So I figured I had two choices: commit suicide, or write a song about it. And I’m happy to say that I chose the latter. The Pornotopia EP is not a statement against porn. It’s not even about porn. It’s about the act of pornification, which I define as the cheapening and degradation of something sacred in order to make a quick buck. And in 21st century America, pornification is happening everywhere and always.
Who was your inspiration growing up?
I grew up idolizing Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. They were fearless leaders committed to an unwavering cause, and capable of inspiring the highest devotion and faith in their followers. I’ve always felt a deep responsibility to lead, to speak my mind without hesitation and to take upon myself the greatest risks possible in order to inspire others to take up the cause. These feelings began at a very early age, long before I became a musician, and are due in large part to the impact that Malcolm and Martin had on me.
What was it like growing up on the south side of Chicago?
Well, I’m a Cubs fan, so many southsiders would consider me a traitor. But aside from that, it was a blessing to be born and raised in the greatest city in America. In the 1990s, the south side was not the best place to be. I grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood, which was a major heroin spot. Gang violence was always prevalent, so my parents did the best they could to shield me and my brother from that. But they were careful not to insulate us so much that we were in a bubble of comfort. I lived in one of the worst neighborhoods in the country, but went to one of the best schools in the country. I’m fortunate to have experienced both.
Was music always something you wanted to do?
I always loved to create music, and was born with a natural gift for hearing melodies. But I did not consider being a musician until I was in high school. I never wanted to be a pop star or celebrity. Not that I am against it. I just never had it as a goal. What was most important to me was creating great music, and proving to the world that great music and pop music are not mutually exclusive.
Who/what inspired your music?
Growing up, my parents played everything under the sun. Puccini, Sam Cooke, Debussy, Led Zeppelin, The Supremes, Bob Dylan, Santana, the Beatles. I would sit on the floor in front of the speakers and just listen for hours. It would throw me into another world. When I started creating music, I drew inspiration from every genre and style imaginable. That is why it is difficult to put my music under a particular category. For example, Just Like a Baby is a blend of pop, doo-wop, reggae, hip-hop and hard rock, whereas “Pornotopia” draws heavily from Chicago soul, country, Sinatra-esque crooning and even opera. Whatever gives me goosebumps becomes immediate inspiration.
According to your biography, you are a traditional man. What are your thoughts on love/relationships/marriage in this era?
I am a traditional man in many ways. I’ve always wanted to be with, and love one woman. There is something powerful and meaningful about companionship. But media likes to glorify the idea of a single man having sex with a lot of beautiful women. At the same time, media encourages girls to find their perfect Prince Charming who will treat them like a queen until the end of time. Men and women are being fed polar opposite ideals, and this inevitably leads to relationship issues. And with divorce rates in America rising above 50 percent, I think we can clearly see the negative impact of these competing desires. Marriage has become nothing more than a fun opportunity to have an expensive wedding. When people get even slightly tired of each other, they immediately bail and find someone new. It’s really a shame.
Are you married/in a relationship?
Yes, I’m in a relationship with a smart and beautiful woman. We’ve been together for about 2 years. We’ve had our fair share of fights, but they’ve gotten more rare because we are determined to figure out, and solve the underlying problems. In order for a relationship to work, you have to work on your relationship. And it’s hard work sometimes, but definitely worth it in my opinion. Love is the purpose of life.
What artists do you have in mind to collab with or already plan to collab with?
I’d love to collaborate with Leon Bridges. He’s an amazing artist and brilliant songwriter. It would be a dream come true to work alongside him in the studio. I’m also a fan of Meghan Trainor, both the quality of her music and what she represents. She’s extremely creative in how she brings together doo wop, reggae and soul to create her own sound. She’s had an important influence over the development of my style.
Any hobbies you like to get into when you some down time?
I’m a pretty, damn good chess player. I love strategy and competition, and there is no greater game in my opinion. But I rarely find myself with any down time, so unfortunately, I’ve been playing less and less over the years. When I get old, I plan to switch to Bingo.
What do you want the world to get from your music?
I want the world to wake up and realize that they live in the new dark ages, in a place called Pornotopia. Everything is for sale. Nothing has value anymore. Americans only live to make money, and all the while, they absorb talentless trash that some dare to call “art”. I want the world to know that I’ve been sent to destroy Pornotopia. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I think of nothing else. It’s time for someone to say, “Enough!” And I will proudly be that someone. Because the world deserves a culture they can be proud of.
FINISH THIS STATEMENT: “I AM WORTHY BECAUSE__________________”
I am worthy because I create my own destiny.
Have a listen
FAMILY FUN DAY
Sunday, October 18th at 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
You can celebrate Hoffman’s new Hollywood, Fl location and enjoy some family fun. There will be free chocolate and ice cream samples, free face paintings and a live DJ. Did we mention that there might be an Elsa, Anna and Olaf from Frozen sighting at 1:30?
CURE SMA ANNOUNCES THE FIFTH ANNUAL GALA OF HOPE
A night of fundraising to find a cure for the leading genetic cause of death in children under two
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – November 12, 2015 – Cure SMA announces the fifth annual Gala of Hope on Thursday, November 12th, 2015 from 7p.m. to 11p.m. All proceeds from the event will benefit Cure SMA, a non-profit organization, working to fund the research that is necessary to further develop treatment and most importantly, find a cure for this debilitating disease.
Ferrari-Maserati of Fort Lauderdale will be transformed into an old-fashioned Italian circus soirée with traditional performers and antique decor. The evening of luxury will feature live entertainment including music and speed painting by Michael Israel, a 360-degree open bar, delicious cuisine compliments of The Capital Grille, a VIP lounge and additional catering including live sushi provided by Dapur Asian Tapas and Lounge, a whiskey bar by Heaven Hill Distilleries and a raffle for the chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree to JR Dunn. The night wouldn’t be possible without all supporters, including top diamond sponsors: Eric Pintaluga of Kanner and Pintaluga, Ferrari-Maserati of Fort Lauderdale, Advocate Home Care, Galaxy Production, Expo Convention Contractors, Inc., The Capital Grille and The Pontes Group.
In 2011, two moms, Fiorenna Fuentes-Israel and Jennifer Miller-Smith, with daughters recently diagnosed with SMA, joined forces to create the Gala of Hope. Since inception, the Gala of Hope has been able to raise nearly $500,000 towards research funding and raising awareness.
Spinal muscular atrophy is a group of inherited diseases that cause muscle damage and weakness, which worsen over time and eventually lead to death. The destruction of nerves that control voluntary muscle movement decreases the ability to crawl, walk, swallow, and control the head and neck. One in every 10,000 babies is born with the disease and one in every 50 people carries the gene that causes SMA. There is currently not a cure or any treatment.
Tickets are $150 per person or $300 for VIP with all proceeds benefitting Cure SMA. To purchase tickets or for event sponsorship information please visit http://events.curesma.org/5thGalaofHopeSFL.
About Cure SMA
Cure SMA is dedicated to the treatment and cure of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)—a disease that takes away a person’s ability to walk, eat, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants.
Since 1984, we’ve directed and invested in comprehensive research that has shaped the scientific community’s understanding of SMA. We are currently on the verge of breakthroughs in treatment that will strengthen our children’s bodies, extend life, and lead to a cure. We have deep expertise in every aspect of SMA—from the day-to-day realities to the nuances of care options—and until we have a cure, we’ll do everything we can to support children and families affected by the disease. Learn more about how you can help us reach a treatment and cure at www.cureSMA.org.
About Ferrari-Maserati of Fort Lauderdale
Ferrari-Maserati of Fort Lauderdale – part of the Experience Auto Group – is South Florida’s oldest and most respected dealer of luxury performance Italian automobiles. The state-of-the-art Fort Lauderdale showroom features some of the world’s most coveted vehicles and carries a wide array of Ferrari and Maserati parts, accessories and apparel. Located at 5750 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Ferrari-Maserati of Fort Lauderdale is home to the only factory-authorized Ferrari and Maserati body shop, which is comprised of an award-winning restoration team. For more information, call (954) 493-5000 or visit www.ferrarifl.com.
20th ANNUAL JEB BUSH FLORIDA CLASSIC ANNOUNCES 2015 SCHEDULE
Annual Fundraising Event Series to Benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Fort Lauderdale, FL – November 2015
The 20th Annual JEB BUSH Florida Classic Sponsored by The Wasie Foundation and Presented by AT&T, BB&T, Ford and Premier Beverage to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has announced its 2015 event schedule, which will kick-off on November 19th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Four events will be included, featuring golf and fishing tournaments, and social functions for South Florida tastemakers to enjoy.
The 20th Annual JEB BUSH Florida Classic Sponsored by The Wasie Foundation and Presented by AT&T, BB&T, Ford and Premier Beverage to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation includes:
Tickets: $100 GA / $150 VIP
Thursday, November 19, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
Guests are invited to indulge in delicious food from some of the best local restaurants and dance the night away with live music at ‘the sexiest party of the year.’ Ticket price includes open-bar all night, compliments of Premier Beverage.
Entry: $1,500 individual / $6,000 foursome / $8,000 corporate / $10,000 VIP
Friday, November 20, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Fort Lauderdale Country Club
The golf tournament includes registration and breakfast, welcome remarks with the rules of play, a shotgun start, and a lunch and awards ceremony. All foursomes will receive a complimentary photo with honorary chairman, Governor Jeb Bush.
65 ROSES GALA
Table of 10: $5,000 / $7,500 VIP
Friday, November 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
Guests will enjoy cocktails provided by Premier Beverage while bidding on fabulous silent auction items. Dinner will begin at 8 p.m. followed by live auction and entertainment. An exclusive after-party will follow dinner.
Boat Entry: $2,500 early registration / $3,000 regular / $5,000 corporate / $10,000 VIP
Thursday, November 19, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Captain’s Meeting & Angler Registration
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
Captain’s meeting, registration and angler gift package distribution.
Saturday, November 21, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach DoubleTree by Hilton
The fishing tournament portion will begin with lines in at 8 a.m. and end with lines out at 3 p.m. There will be an awards reception at 6 p.m. the same evening, featuring cocktails provided by Premier Beverage and hors d’oeuvres.
“I am so thankful to all of our supporters and sponsors who will be joining us for this extraordinary three-day event which I hope will raise significant funds that will be used to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,”said Former Florida Governor/Honorary Chairman Jeb Bush. “It is a great privilege to serve as honorary chairman of this event and be associated with this tremendous non-profit organization which works tirelessly to search for a cure and research new treatments for cystic fibrosis.”
Since its inception, the JEB BUSH Florida Classic has netted nearly $7.5 million to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, thanks to the support of honorary chairman, Governor Jeb Bush and dozens of sponsors and volunteers. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disorder affecting the lungs and digestive system. Currently, there is no cure.
“We’re so excited to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the JEB BUSH Florida Classic Sponsored by The Wasie Foundation and Presented by AT&T, BB&T, Ford and Premier Beverage,” said Christina Landshut, executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s South Florida Office. “We are so thankful for the incredible sponsors, donors and committee members who make this all possible. It’s only because of their untiring efforts that the Classic has netted nearly $7.5 million since it began, and I know with their continued support we will have another fantastic year.”
In addition to the three days of events, tickets currently are available for a drawing of a 2016 FORD MUSTANG EcoBoost Premium FastBack. Only 600 entries are offered, making the odds extremely favorable. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis and are available for a suggested donation of $100 each while supplies last. The winning ticket will be pulled on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 9 p.m. at the 65 Roses Gala.
To learn more about the 20th Annual JEB BUSH Florida Classic sponsored by The Wasie Foundation and presented by AT&T, BB&T, Ford and Premier Beverage to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to purchase tickets, or for sponsorship opportunities, visit www.jebcf.orgor call 954-739-5006.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation:
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more cystic fibrosis research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization.