Now we at Y.I.F get bombarded with music from indie artist but this one stopped us dead in our tracks when we clicked her Soundcloud. Miss Kola Rai a Bronx native of NYC has slowly but surely made a name for herself over the past few years performing across the country on The Deans List Tour which has definitely sharpened her skills on stage. The sultry songstress who got her start singing in church & school shows sites artist like Whitney Houston , Chaka Khan , Stevie Wonder, Prince, Beyonce , Chris Brown & FKA Twigs as her inspiration. Trust me this one is definitely one to watch and if you don’t believe me get into some of her tracks below to see why shes got next. Get into our in depth convo below to see why Miss Kola Rai is the one to watch , then follow her on Instagram @IAMKOLARAI & Twitter @KOLARAI because this star is well on her way.
Now it should come as no surprise that once again we are shining light on a dope new artist. The time around we put our spotlight on soulful r&b powerhouse Shaun Sutton. The Long Island,NY Native who sites Stevie Wonder , Donny Hathaway , Luther Vandross , Musiq Soulchild & Tank as some his inspirations is clearly making a name for himself in the business. The former group member who has sang backup for Shaggy, Jason Derulo , Austin Mahone & more is finally stepping out on his own and people are taking notice.Listen to our exclusive interview then check out the premiere of his new video for the Jerry Green produced track ‘ He Aint Me ‘ which has everyone talking and wanting more from the rising star below.
So Every once in a while we come across a new act over here at Y.I.F that catches our attention , and once again we had to get that exclusive interview. This time around we got to chop it up with newcomer Ryan Kyle who quietly has the internet buzzing with his debut single ‘ Trap EDM ‘. The Chicago area native who sites fellow chi-town artist R.Kelly , Kanye West & Chance The Rapper as some of his influences is clearly on his way to being the next big thing in the spotlight. This self made entrepreneur is just starting to take off with his debut single but from this interview we can only imagine whats to come and from the looks of it some of you up & coming artist need to take notes. Listen to our in depth one on one interview with the rising star then get into his music video. Make sure you follow Ryan on all social media sites at @IAmRyanKyle so you don’t miss out on whats next.
Now here at Y.I.F. we always like to keep our ears to the street for new talent and Ms Phoenixx Rocks has come right on time. The singer/songwriter who hails from Brooklyn is finally taking the spotlight from behind the scenes. The eclectic songstress who started her journey in music at the age of 3 as a flutist and poet quickly learned that her words & talent can be turned into a career. Phoenixx then teamed up with singer/songwriter Lil Eddie which opened the doors for her to work with many producers & artist like Mario Winans , Danjahandz , Kwame , Soul Diggerz , Arkitechs ,Misto n Pizzi , Jimi Kendrix & more. This has also lead her to hit the hit the stage with acts such as Yummy Bingham , Shaliek River , Shorty Roc , Steff Reed & more on legendary stages like 106 & Park ,SOB’s , BB Kings , The Bitter End & Crash Mansion . The Soul Train & Out Award nominated songtress has finally stepped out into the spotlight as an artist with her funky sound which is a mixture of everything from R&B , Gospel , Pop & Hip Hop . Get into some of her flavorful covers of classics like Queen Latifah’s ‘ Just Another Day ‘ & Missy’s ‘ All In My Grill “ and listen to our in depth interview below to see why Ms Phoenixx Rocks is one to be watched. Look for her upcoming EP ‘ Bamboo ‘ to drop this spring and follow her on all social networks at @PhoenixxRocks to see whats next for this rising star.
Time to kick off the new year with our first new artist spotlight and trust me you wont be disappointed. Rising star rapper/actor Corr Kendricks was brought to our attention recently after hearing his ‘ Im The Plug ‘ freestyle. Though the track was short & sweet it left us wanting to know who this guy is. We got a chance to talk with the KanKaKee,Illinois native who now resides in Blackwood,NJ. Corr sights Michael Jackson, Tupac, Harriet Tubman , Malcom X & Martin Luther King Jr as some of his biggest influences so it should come as no surprise that he is definitely . Although he is an indie act he has performed at the legendary Apollo, opened for rap star Meek Mill and performed in a cipher with Young Money’s own Drake. Now If that wasn’t enough he has also been featured om the breakout FOX hit series ‘Empire’ as Black Rambo so its only a matter of time before his star rises right to the top. Check out or exclusive interview with him below to see why hes got Next and don’t forget to follow him on social media @CorrKendricks via Twitter & Instagram.
Last night stars came out in NYC to attend the fifth annual WEEN Awards. The empowering event held at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem was packed with media , fans and of course some of our favorites in music,film & television who came out to support some special women who were honored. This years honorees were Faith Evans, Naturi Naughton, Regina Hall , Rocsi Diaz , Valeisha Butterfield Jones ,Cari Champion & Tiffany Smith Anoa’l. Now of course there were tons of special guest in attendance including Antonique Smith, Charlamagne Tha God , Angela Yee , Ja Rule ,KeKe Wyatt, Joe, Nicci Gilbert , Misa Hylton , Kevin Liles , & Don Lemon but that’s just to name a few. The night was filled with love and admiration for the honorees who exuded excellence and continue to empower women in their respective fields. Now we could go into detail about every aspect of the night but why not see for yourself. Check out tons of pics and video footage from last nights event below.
Stars came out big this weekend in NYC for the 2015 Circle Of Sisters Expo. The two day event once again held at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center was jam packed with fans & media ready to experience the greatness all over again. The expo in itself was filled with tons of vendors and booths who sold everything from Food, Clothing, Music, Books ,Toys, Hair Care, Health & Fitness products among other things. Panels were held over the weekend with seminars on every topic you could think of including Marriage, Relationships , Health , Politics, Police Brutality , Wealth , Reality TV vs Scripted Television , Black in Hollywood ,Fashion , Branding , Hair Care ,Education , Cooking , The Music Business , Women Empowerment and more. Some of our favorite celebs in Music, Television , Politics , Radio , Fashion & more sat in on these panels and trust Circle Of Sisters delivered.
The Men Of BET’s hit series Being Mary Jane Stephen C Bishop , Richard Roundtree & Richard Brooks spoke on a panel about the upcoming season of their hit show and of course about being Black Men in Hollywood. Check out a clip from their discussion below.
Jennifer Hudson , Danielle Brooks & Cynthia Erivo the stars of the upcoming revival of ‘ The Color Purple on Broadway ‘ sat with the crowd to discuss their excitement for the show coming back to the stage. The ladies touched on many topics about the struggle it is for women to make in this business and what fans can expect when they come out to see their show.
Some of TV , Music , Fashion, & Politics finest including Naturi Naughton , Darrin Henson , Bobby Brown , Loni Love , Tina & Teddy Campbell, Wendy Raquel Robinson , Malcom Jamal Warner , Tami Roman , Beverly Bond , Kim Kimbell , Matthew Knowles, Al Sharpton and more came out to speak on Panels informing the audiences on everything from Health care, Branding , Having Faith , How to make it in the entertainment industry , Cooking , Hair Care & more. Now you would think with all this star power in the building that would be all but trust us there was.
Now not only was there a fashion show showing off some of today’s up & coming designers, but there were tons of performances through out the weekend which music lovers of any age demographic could enjoy from R&B, Hip Hop & Gospel. 50 Cent, SWV, Rotimi, Justine Skye, Diggy Simmons, Tory Lanez, JR Castro, Demetria McKinney , Steph Lecor , Avant, Jaheim , Chaka Khan , Tina Campbell , Tasha Cobbs, Hezekiah Walker , Charles Jinkens & more rocked the house on the main stage , WBLS stage, Hot 97 stage, and at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Now if you missed out trust us after checking out these pics , interviews and performances, you will make sure you’re in the building next year for another must see weekend. Special thanks to all the sponsors AARP, COBA, AT&T , Metro PCS , Hair Infinity , Health First ,Maybelline , Disney , Fox 5 , BET ,Creme Of Nature and the 529 College Saving Program this year for another successful expo.
Pics Courtesy of Johnny Nunez for Getty Images & Circle Of Sisters Instagram
Last month we had the pleasure of sitting down with Dancer/Choreographer/Actor John Silver while in NYC. The St.Louis native who now resides in LA has been going non stop this summer while on tour with Nicki Minaj but as we come to find out dancing is only the beginning for this rising star. The Dancer/Choreographer of over 12 years to stars like Nicki, J.Lo, Chris Brown , Beyonce ,Ne-Yo , Omarion, Ciara, Keyshia Cole & more has so much more in than just dance on his horizon. Now John has recently graced the tv & big screen with small roles in Blockbuster films such as ‘ Stomp The Yard ‘ , ‘ Dreamgirls ‘ ‘ Dance Flik ‘ , ‘ Step up 3D’ and was also one of the stars of the premiere NUVO docu-series ‘ A Step Away ‘ . Now if that wasn’t enough he has set his eyes on Hollywood with his first co-starring role in the upcoming film ‘ High Strung ‘ which we were luckily able to screen last month. Many in the biz would say ok hes danced for some of the biggest names and should just stay in his lane but some people just have the ” IT “ factor and if you ever sat down or hung around John you would know why this man is definitely meant to be in the forefront. While sitting with John he mentioned that as well as acting he has also ventured off into the fashion world as the face of the clothing line ‘ Sixth June ‘. Now with all this going on he remains humble as he continues to inspire dancers from all over to make their dreams come true and i witnessed it firsthand when we were stopped by one his fans who recognized him & wanted to tell him how much she looks up to him and aspires to work like he does. Check out a stream of our in depth conversation as he opens up about his journey in the business, the future and what he wants his legacy to be below.
If You wanna see some of the magic watch him live on tour with J.Lo below.
So a few weeks ago we had the pleasure of talking with the legendary Brandy Norwood after her amazing performance in Chicago on Broadway. Watch our exclusive interview as she talks about her experience on Broadway, The Next Brandy, her new music & so much more below. Make sure you catch her staring as Roxie Hart before she leaves the show this Sunday on Aug 2nd, trust us you wont regret it.