*“It’s about young people’s dreams, aspirations, and the emotions that young people have,” said Lyah Beth DeFlore, New York bestselling author, and creator/writer of the new BET Network original web-series, “8 Days A Week” – which premiered a month ago on www.BET.com. The series is based on DeFlore’s critically acclaimed book series “The Come Up.”
The web-series targets the “106 and Park” audience and stars Justin “IROCC” Williams as Blue Reynolds, the lead character, a young music mogul in the making.
Blue manages up-and-coming rapper J-Shine played by Nicolas Green. The cast also includes Skye Townsend as Jude Taylor, a struggling college coed; Alex Lynn Ward as Marie “DJ ILL MaMa” Lopez, the budding young female DJ/producer; Justin Jacoby as Tommy “Whiteboy” James, the aspiring artist, and Skye P. Marshall as Olivia Daniels, the passionate young fashion designer.
“Everyone was 21, I was 17 when we taped,” laughed Skye Townsend, daughter of Robert Townsend, about her experience tapping the series. “They’d hit the clubs and I’d go home.”
The series follows Blue as he struggles to make it in the music business and his interactions with the other characters also passionately pursuing the ultimate success stories too. Directed and executive produced by Kenn Michael, the series is of such quality in its production and cast that I have no doubt it’s the next “90210” – the Urban tale.
“It’s just the beginning, the ground work,” Nicolas Green said about the new web-series.
“8 Days A Week” is BET’s third original web-series which includes “Buppies” starring Tatyana Ali and ”Shop Talk” starring Malik Yoba. You can see the “8 Days A Week” web-series by logging onto www.BET.com.
Dawkins & Dawkins returns with a new Contemporary Gospel project, ‘From Now One,’ the ultimate love offering
*“It was exciting, after all these years, the interest,” said twin brothers Dawkins & Dawkins about their third album, “From Now On,” (Light Records) debuting at #4 on Billboard Gospel. “Our skill-set level has gone up. We tried for excellence, from production, packaging, quality of the sound…lyrics.”
Excellence I think they found because I’m still in awe of this project, From Now On,” not only for the unbelievable harmony they delivery, but the vocals and styles of music are very impressive. The Word of God delivered with Contemporary lyrics is what this project offers.
“We want to point the way to Jesus,” the brothers said. ‘Not so much ourselves.”
Dawkins & Dawkins lyrics are carried out on a plate of Urban R&B tracks that make you stop to listen. Some of their influences are noted as Andrea’ Crouch and Commission.
Some of my favorite songs on the “From Now On” project include the title track, a sweet R&B flavored number; “Like Him,” a heart-felt Urban flavored cut with a great classical guitar support; “Pray For Me,” which has an impression high-note; “Back,” a nice hand-clapping R&B influenced song, and “Can You Hear Me,” a Christian Music selection that has a nice marching-drum beat for support.
For more information on Contemporary Gospel artists Dawkins & Dawkins or their “From Now On” album log onto www.LightRecords.com.
Singer/songwriter Crissy Collins brings a fresh twist to Gospel music with new CD release, ‘Faith In Progress’
*What an exquisite combination of Jazz and Contemporary Gospel singer/songwriter Crissy Collins is offering with her newest album release, “Faith In Progress.” The backup singer for such mega talents as Beyonce’, Kelly Price, Monica and more, steps out once again to the forefront to release a new project.
“I’ve been singing all my life,” Crissy Collins said about how her career began, which includes singing and performing in stage-plays and movies. “I was cool and comfortable singing backup. Nine years ago it was like, ‘OK, let’s go.”
Recently Collins presented “Up Close and Personal Part 2” in Atlanta, a 2-hour special with many of her closest friends such as Kelly Price and the cast of “Meet The Browns” and “The House of Payne.
The first single off of the “Faith In Progress” project is “Will Be Done.”
“I love theater, love acting,” Collins confided. “You know I was in ‘Madea Goes to Jail’ (stage-play).”
Crissy pointed out that in preparing for the album, as she listened to the tracks, God gave her the lyrics. That fact is evident when you listen to the album and Crissy’s versatile vocals left me wanting more. Her ability to mix her love of Jazz with R&B/Urban flavor is what will give her staying power in the Gospel industry, no doubt.
My favorite songs on the “Faith In Progress” album include “Unconditional Love, which has a cute Pop/R&B feel; “Faith,” shows her vocal power; the single “Will Be Done,” a traditional ole’ time Gospel number, for its twist of Jazz; “Father,” a powerful heart-felt cut, and “Round and Round,” a sharp Urban/R&B song delivered with Jazz flavor.
To learn more about Crissy Collins or to hear more about her “Faith In Progress” album log onto www.CrissyCollins.com.
(Eunice Moseley is a syndicated entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com)