J Events: BPRS DC Hosts Panel ‘Entertainment PR Unfiltered’ with Powerhouse PR Professionals

Photo courtesy of Black Public Relations Society, D.C. Chapter.

On Thursday, June 22, the Black Public Relations Society (BPRS) D.C. Chapter held their anticipated panel discussion, “Entertainment PR Unfiltered” featuring four PR Powerhouses – Priscilla Clarke, Gwendolyn Quinn, Candice Nicole, and Lisa Fager. I may be not be a PR professional, but something told me as someone looking to pursue a career in the industry, I needed to hear what these women had to say. Many of the lessons and stories they shared related to anyone who wants to work behind the scenes for an artist or entertainment company. A few gems:

Everything that glitters is not gold. If you’re going into the biz for the glitz and the glam, you may need to reassess your plans immediately. Life in entertainment means long hours, odd hours, and a lot of hard work. Priscilla Clarke told us about one a-list event during award season, where much to others’ surprise, she choose to skip out and instead sit outside the venue after a long afternoon getting her clients through red carpet interviews.

Publicist or Therapist? Gwendolyn Quinn had stories for days – I would love to take her to dinner to hear about her many experiences in the industry over the years. She dropped many gems, but one she stressed in particular is that as a PR professional, you have to be prepared to be the voice of reason for your client, and that can take many forms. Sometimes it’s boosting them up. Sometimes it helping them see their best selling point, and sometimes it can even be an ego check. A PR professional is a jack of all trades!

You can sleep before you die, but it may be at 3pm. Candice Nicole talked about her unorthodox approach to sleep – because the entertainment industry runs on both the East coast and the West coast, work as a PR professional can mean staying up until 3a to ensure a client has everything they needs while attending an event in L.A., or early mornings to get ahead of the producers and reporters on the Each coast. She was clear about one things, sleep is important, but it may mean having to sleep at different points in the day to make sure you are looking out for both your health and your clients.

Social Media– Foe, Friend, or Frenemy? And of course, we had to talk about the impact of social media. Lisa Fager talked about how much of a game changer it has been for PR professionals. The consensus of everyone on the panel was that it’s not an option to ignore social media – clients should have curated accounts featuring content that can build followers, interactions with reporters need to be managed, and it is always beneficial to have a client go through social media training.

(Left to Right) BPRS Programs and Events Director Ciara Brooks, Priscilla Clarke, Candice Nicole, Gwendolyn Quinn, Lisa Fager, and BPRS President Antonice Jackson. Photo courtesy of Black Public Relations Society, D.C. Chapter.

J Travels: Coachella 2017, A Look Back in Photos


Coachella. The end all, be all music festival. The Woodstock of our generation. The destination in the desert for the who’s who. And I was there. Ah! It was the opportunity of a lifetime, a trip I could never take on my own – not even four flights and 20 hours of travel was going to keep my away from my coveted wristband. The experience was over in a blink, but thankfully memories live forever. So let’s ride off into the desert together… a look back, in photos.



Self-indulgence is a thing.

VIP: A strange, crowded place where you can stand next to Katy Perry and mistake her for a Justin Bieber impersonator. 

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Everything is beautiful. The people. The scenery. The vibes. Everything.

J Feature: Making the Cut for Refinery29’s Hottest Coachella Hairstyles

Not gonna lie, getting back into the swing of things after my trip to the desert has been ROUGH, but nothing can take away my post-Coachella high. It was only made sweeter by an unexpected surprise, my friend spotted my feature in Refinery29’s “Hottest Natural Hairstyles at Coachella” article!

 

 

Check it out below! More on Coachella to come!

 

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J Quote: 60 Seconds with Candice Nicole of Candice Nicole PR

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Candice Nicole, owner of pr boutique Candice Nicole Public Relations, poses with recording artist Von Vargas as she receives an award for her contributions to the music and entertainment space. Find a full recap of In My Own Lane here. Photo via @kelvinjstudios.

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J Events: Baltimore Recording Artist Hosts “In My Own Lane,” an Event for Creatives Who “Fit Out”

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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.

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Von Vargas. Photo via @KelvinJStudios.

“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.

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Japhia Life. Photo via @KelvinJStudios

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].”

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Carolyn Malachi. Photo via @KelvinJStudios

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.

The event, which was held at the Motor House in Baltimore, was sponsored by Applebees, Lobe’ Dangle, LTH Accounting Services, Liam Flynn’s Ale House, and Kelvin J Studios.

J Events: Serene Management Launch Party

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Serene Management co-founders, NiaEvents and MegThePlanner welcome guests to their launch party. Photo via @_royal_eye.

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.

J Event: Press Play USA Featuring Von Vargas & Greenspan

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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.

The Scene:

Gibson Showroom, an event space perfect for intimate performances with a full suite of instruments and equipment.

The Players:

Von Vargas, a man of many talents – not only does he rap, write, and produce his own tracks, he also owns his own studio, Creative Development Studios, serves as a member of the Grammys D.C. chapter, and was recently tapped to be the host of RAW: Baltimore.

Greenspan, also no stranger to the music game. Greenspan has performed at some of the biggest venues in Baltimore and beyond.

The Music:

Moderated by Tracey Lee, Von and Greenspan went track for track, sharing three songs off their respective albums before treating the crowd to live performances.

The tracks to check out on Von’s album, Metropolis Binocular, available now:

The tracks to look out for on Greenspan’s forthcoming album, Never Gon’ Die, available October 14:

  • In the Key of Green Ft. Carolyn Malachi
  • Cool or Whatever Ft. Ashley Alexander
  • Never Gon Die Ft. TT The Artist

VIDEO: Greenspan on the title track, Never Gon Die and the Baltimore sound.