Brandi D. is back…! Formerly a member of the all girl R&B group BLAQUE (discovered by the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez), she’s working on a solo project that is yet to be named. However, we were invited to an exclusive listening party – held on her birthday, by the way – so we were able to spend a moment with her during her very special event.
Held at the ultra modern Vanquish Lounge, in Midtown, the party was an incredible mix of fashion, music, fun & let’s not forget, celebrity. The red carpet saw the likes of New Editions’ Ron Devoe and Shamari Fears-Devoe (another member of Blaque), RL (formerly of NEXT), Celebrity Chef & friend of AOM Bren Herrera AND Michael & Deena Beasley, Atlanta based actors with enough myriad titles to their credits to be dubbed the “Will & Jada” of Atlanta.
The “Birthday Girl” entered the building led by a procession of friends, family and crew – all of who were preceded by sparkled bottle service. That’s right… real, 4th of July type, sparklers. The party was officially started at that point.
“It feels great… I’m so blessed! It’s my night… It’s my birthday. It’s my single release. There’s a lot going on”, Brandi D told AOM.
The single, titled “Love It” is a beautiful, sexy, sultry ballad that can be described as classic, yet modern at the same time. “It’s the first thing I’ve put out as a solo artist… I strived to keep the Jimmy (Jam) & Terry (Lewis), the Janet (Jackson) sound alive”, she offered. “I just want to make my Blaque fans proud, as they’ve been sticking with us for years.”
Brandi D. definitely pulled it off with this single, released on 10/3/2011, and it could become a quick hit with Blaque fans and new fans alike. The album is scheduled to be released early 2012 but you can download the single (for FREE) at www.brandidmusic.com. See more images from the event here.
-Jay Young for AOM & The HIGH UP. Photos by Jay Young and Britt Hutchinson.
The countdown has begun… Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) is back in Atlanta for 2011. At the public press conference, attended by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and myriad personalities from Atlanta’s fashion industry, we learned this year’s global night of shopping, partying and spotlighting the role of fashion on culture and the economy will take place on September 8th 2011.
Says Mayor Reed, FNO is ” a local phenomenon” and “inspires consumer confidence.” With over 100 cities, worldwide, participating in the event, it’s becoming a global phenomenon. Reed joked that he took time out from “negotiating a 6.5 billion dollar deal” to give the attention to this event that it deserves.
Camille Love, Director of City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, shared some of the FNO Week activities which starts with a kick-off event which includes the likes of Tyson Beckford and Kenny Lattimore. Atlantic Station will host the kick-off event on Tuesday, September 6th 2011 and activities are planned across the city’s landscape until the culminating event on Thursday, September 8th.
The FNO Atlanta event is a special occasion in that the city has fully endorsed it. Additionally, given there are several days leading up to the “big day”, we shall not only see a plethora of local celebrities, but international celebrities as well – a testament to Atlanta’s fashion appeal to the world.
FNO Atlanta will be a mix of brick & mortar shops/stores, pop-up street shops around the city (mainly in the Atlantic Station Area) and a host of events supporting the concept. Additionally, there will be activities running throughout the weekend, so get some sleep Monday and Tuesday… because starting Wednesday, it’s on!
-Jay Young for AOM & The “HIGH UP”
This past weekend, I attended the 34th Annual Atlanta Jazz Fest in Piedmont Park and I had the best time ever! Although the sun was blazing down on my neck, the heat seemed to disappear when the performers took the stage. The melodic sounds of jazz drew me in and I almost forgot how hot it was. But as soon as each set was over, I was quickly reminded that it was officially summer time in Atlanta.
When I first arrived at the festival, I stood off to the side of the stage taking in the atmosphere. Instantly I thought about summer backyard barbecues. Piedmont Park transformed into a big backyard party! All over the park, you could smell the meat sizzling on the grill, you saw kids playing in the grass, all while the sweet sounds of jazz filled the air.
One thing that most impressed me was the organizers, Office of Cultural Affairs, who created the event with the whole family in mind. Parents did not have to find a babysitter if they wanted to attend the festival. The organizers did a great job in making sure everyone young and old had an outlet. For example, there was a Kid’s Corner, Jazz Eco Village and a Jazz 101 Tent so people could learn about the history of jazz. There were plenty of vendors for patrons to purchase good food and shop trendy items. And if you happened to be low on cash, there were plenty of giveaways that included food and products. Between the vendors, music and family setting, no one should have left the festival feeling unfulfilled. I certainly didn’t!
So, finally, I was able to take a spot on the grass, under the shade of course, and listen to Sean Jones Quintet, one of the features on the main stage. I had never heard of Sean Jones, but after listening to his music, I was blown away. He is a trumpeter who has been performing since he was in the fifth grade. I was most impressed with him because of his vast background and the story behind his music. You should pick up his new album, Shades of Love. I also met a guy who is the ambassador for the Atlanta Jazz Fest, saxophonist, Mike Phillips. He is now on tour with Prince and has played with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder! What great inspiration!
I also got a chance to check out some local bands, too – Rua6 and Neo4. Since they are local, I highly recommend you check them out, especially Rua6. They had the crowd dancing in 90 degree weather with their flavorful Brazilian jazz beats. They are also the house band of Loca Luna restaurant in Midtown, Atlanta.
I only attended the Jazz Fest on Sunday, but if the other days were anything like Sunday, I have to say, job well done to the organizers and artists. I give the Atlanta Jazz Fest 4 stilettos, and yes, I will attend next year with my grill, blanket, and bucket of ice-cold water! See more photos here.
-T. Monet is a Special Correspondent for AOM. Photos by Britt Hutchinson.