a period of 366 days in which I struggled, cried (a lot), lost hope, found some, opened my heart, experienced new cities, made many new friends and collaborators, challenged myself through creative projects and uncomfortable circumstances, and took some exciting steps toward my lofty goals
Work holiday party. Our first night on the town that included food, drinks, bad dancing, and a lot of fun.
The official start to the holiday season, a family outing to Jones Family Farm to pick out our Christmas tree.
Y’all. The backstory behind my first published piece is a trip, but what matters is that it exists.
Climbing Vines lives on through the Sister, Sister x Climbing Vines first annual brunch at Penn Homecoming. Looking forward to reengaging on this project in January.
My first professional video shoot. It may not have been perfect, but I am proud of it nonetheless.
Just one of many rewarding industry-related events I attended throughout the DMV this year, providing me with the opportunity to connect with up and coming singers.
Volunteering at a Grammys DC event. More networking. More new friends.
On a boat. Probably the best 4th of July weekend I’ve ever had. Water, beers, and friends – you can’t go wrong.
As I climb these mountains, grateful to have my family by my side. Standing on top of Diamond Head in Honolulu, HI.
Our first “big” family vacation in many years to celebrate my Dad’s retirement. Trying to take it all in at Kahala Lookout (Honolulu, HI).
Looking out on the waters I would eventually surf on in a day’s time. The famous Waikīkī Beach.
At some point during the year I had the random impulse to shoot some video shorts/covers primarily for Instagram. I called up my DC partner in crime, and she agreed to help me out no questions asked. All of our ideas didn’t pan out (this was all one night after work), but here’s to releasing more of them in 2017.
My last night in Paris, France with my wonderful, gracious, hosts in front of the Notre Dame. Such an incredible experience.
Just me, chillen in the hall of mirrors. This was my big solo adventure during my trip to Paris, I navigated to, and spent the day exploring the Palace of Versailles all on my own.
Doing some recon for my future home, I think these gates will be perfect. (Palace of Versailles, Paris, Fr.)
The infamous cherry blossoms. Not only did I get to take in their beauty, but I did it was my DC partner in crime during a 3-hr walk from Georgetown to the monuments and back during perfect weather. One of my favorite work-nights.
I literally never win contest that are by chance; that is until 2016. Due to my social media activity I got to have breakfast with Andra Day. Shoutout to Homewood Suites once more!
I had to include this in here because you know what, although the day ended terribly, I had a wonderful afternoon. I had spent most of that weekend crying, feeling alone and lost. But that beautiful Sunday I picked myself up, did my hair and makeup, and took myself on an outing to the Newseum.
Finally, a bish got a photoshoot. And the photos were phenomenal — peep the homepage!
One of my first trips of the year to visit my best friend in Atlanta. Still waiting to tour inside the house!
With the bad at the start of the year came the good – an unexpected invite to attend a Heat game followed by access to the team friends and family meet & greet.
/twenty seventeen/ noun
a period of 365 days that has me shook. that I don’t feel ready for. that will challenge me in new ways, some of which will be undesired. yet a period in which I will prevail over the hurdles that have plagued me for nearly two years. a period in which I will rediscover purpose in my work. in which I will build on the relationships I forged in 2016. in which I will travel more domestically and internationally. in which I will put my mental, physical, and emotional health first.
Thank you to all of my family, friends, and readers who continue to support ayminor.com, may you all have a blessed 2017!
On Friday, October 21, Baltimore recording artist and producer Von Vargas hosted an event for local creatives who are paving their own way in the music and arts space.
Ever since growing up on the Westside of Baltimore, Vargas (né Von Smith) has always felt he was in his own lane—choosing the arts over the pressure to conform to the conventions of his urban environment. As he has grown as an artist, producer, DJ, host, and creative services professional, he has looked to use his platform to inspire others to continue down their own creative path, whether it be in public relations, arts education, or music production.
“Being in the industry for years, I’ve seen dope artists who don’t fit the ‘norm,’ so they may not get the same exposure given to the next artist…” Vargas said. “I feel it’s my duty to advocate for artists who create fearlessly, contrary to the norm.”
The 3-hour, curated event included performances from two artists personally selected by Vargas, “Philadelphia’s own” Japhia Life and “Grammy-Nominated” singer Carolyn Malachi.
Japhia Life, who continues to defy the label of “Christian rapper,” performed a short set featuring songs from his latest release “The Profit.”
Malachi, accompanied solely by a bassist, showed her range, fusing soul, R&B, jazz, spoken word, and hip-hop into her titillating set. She treated event attendees to her latest single “Blowing Smoke” which will be featured on her upcoming album “RISE [STORY 1].”
Vargas ended the night with a live band performing songs from his 2016 release “Metropolis Binocular,” as well as a few other surprises from his catalog. Among them, the event anthem “Fit Out,” a testament to the importance of staying true to oneself, even if that means going against the grain.
At the event, three dynamic, creative professionals were honored for their contributions to the music, arts, and entertainment space: music producer Wendel Patrick, PR maven Candice Mackel of Candice Nicole Public Relations, and artist Rufus Roundtree. Mackel and Roundtree were in attendance to receive their awards and impart inspiring words.
I had so much fun last Thursday at The MUSEUM attending the launch party for Serene Management. Serene co-founders NiaEvents and MegThePlanner brought out all the stops to make sure guests remember who to call for their event planning, management, and artists development needs.
I could get used to the red carpet life!
The event kicked off with red carpet photos and interviews with Alexis Janai, followed by performances from indie artist C.ME, Instagram dancing sensation YvngSwag, R&B singer JusPaul and poet Nathan Tyrese.
The icing on the cake – guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar featuring Julian Wines throughout the night as we mixed and mingled. Sounds were curated by 93.9’s DJ Gemini.
On Tuesday, I attended an exclusive media event for two Baltimore-based hip hop artists & producers – Von Vargas and Greenspan. One thing was clear, they know how to treat their guests. Attendees enjoyed light hors d’oeuvres from Love.Lust.Food, drinks, and a mix of old-school and new-school jams spun by DJ Trelly Trell to get the night started.
Gibson Showroom, an event space perfect for intimate performances with a full suite of instruments and equipment.
My curiosity got the best of me. I’m “not a rapper,” but I had to check out my first Made in the DMV event this past Monday, Aug. 15 at the Blind Whino. DMV Track Stars is an event for artists and producers to gain exposure and feedback in front of a panel of music industry professionals and their peers. As the night progressed, the space filled with music-lovers, friends, and family to support the up and coming artists showcasing their latest material. Definitely a dope event, keep an eye out for the next one!