Understanding Ywada

BY PHONZ L. REYES One of the worst things that could dimmer the shine on a new musician’s  career is being compared to someone in the industry who is already established. As a music enthusiast you want to experience someone new for their own unique sound and talent. Sarasota, Florida native singer and songwriter Ywada (pronounced [...]

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Seeking Sebastian Mikael

WRITTEN BY PHONZ L. REYES It’s often funny when interviewing musicians in person because you never know what to expect as a journalist. Especially with newcomers on the music scene, because you never can quite calculate how far stardom is going to take them. But when you have an ‘inkling’ that the person you are sitting [...]

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Just Audubon

COVER FEATURE BY PHONZ L. REYES When people think of Manhattan, they often think of Times Square, SoHo, and all the other areas of the island that are south of 110th Street. Neighborhoods to the north are often overlooked. But MTV decided last fall to change the perception and often negative stereotypes associated with Uptown Manhattan, [...]

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The Beauty In the Black Era

COVER FEATURE BY DEV GILLESPIE There isn’t one successful music artist you will meet that doesn’t have a story of trials and tribulations that they had to over come with perseverance in order to reach their full potential and make it to the top. Now a solo artist, Dawn Richard has experienced many faces of the [...]

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Redefining Greatness With No Malice

Cover Story By Dev Gillespie When you’re talking about great hip hop music and great artists, IF you know what you’re talking about, Clipse will be mentioned some time in that conversation! After two brothers from Virginia formed the rap duo Clipse and gave us three memorable albums, Malice and Pusha T have both created longevity [...]

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Forever Fantasia

Cover Story by Phonz L. Reyes Grammy Award and Theatre World Award winner Fantasia Barrino is back again with her fourth album release titled Side Effects of You. The 2004 American Idol winner who has captivated music enthusiasts’ heart has been working hard promoting the new project which features guest appearances from Kelly Rowland, Missy Elliott [...]

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King E.N.J.

Web Exclusive By Phonz L. Reyes Hip Hop music is often criticized for its sexualized content and derogatory dehumanization of women. But one rapper is doing his best to bring sex to the forefront in a more positive way and instead bring awareness to a situation many tend to disregard. Werewolf Mafia Entertainment recording artist King [...]

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Ready Set GO

Written by Phonz L. Reyes | Outasight Photos © Ray Lego & Dan Gotti, Photos provided by Warner Bros. Records, 2012 The best part about the music industry is when we get introduced to new talent. Generally speaking, a new recording artist’s debut project sets the tone for their entire music career. Warner Bros. Records recording [...]

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Mateo: Inside My Stories

Written by Phonz L. Reyes | Mateo Photos © Alejandro Garcia, 2012 Mateo has been on the music scene since the mid-2000’s when MySpace was still a social networking web site people cared about. He’s one of the few remaining acts that can actually be classified as a male R&B artist. In a time now where musicians [...]

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Who Is Matthew Burnett?

Within the past few years, there’s been a surge of talent emerging from our neighbors up north. Canadian artists such as Melanie Fiona, Justin Bieber, and Drake have left their impressions on the music industry. Amongst the influx of talent arriving state side, there’s some rising stars as well. You may not know him, but [...]

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Elevating Your Brand: PRSVR

Written by Dev Gillespie Living an “Elevated Lifestyle” not only consist of looking and feeling fly, but also having elevated principles like Passion, Resilience, Sacrifice, Values, and Respect. Put the state of living lavishly and these principles together and you have fashion and lifestyle brand, PRSVR! Newly launched this fall, Pesévérer (PRSVR) is a new Chicago-based [...]

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R&B's Angel: Brian Angel

Over the summer we learned that one of the last standing male R&B groups, Day26 had broken up which caused an internet frenzy. Blog web sites were reporting that Brian Angel (Brian Andrews) had been ousted by remaining members Willie Taylor, Robert Curry and Michael McCluney; and that a Twitter war had been posted between [...]

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Dropping Bombs: Kongo Beats

As a new producer with a developed style from Atlanta to the Virgin Islands, Kongo Beats is determined to create his own lane and more than ready to ride it out. The music industry in full lacks original material, but Kongo Beats is coming to break the cycle and inspire artist to be who they [...]

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Kickin' It with Kayla Brianna

Growing up in the spotlight of a well-known parent figure is not always easy. Ask anyone whose parents are public figures and they will tell you the same. But for Kayla Brianna, she’s not using her father’s name to branch out, she’s making her own moves within the music industry. Daughter of “Inside the NBA” [...]

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You're Not Snob Enough for the Mobb

By Dev Gillespie When you hear the word “snob” you probably think of some stuck up chick that you use to hate in high school, right? Well, Ming Lee is here to tell you differently as she builds her hair empire as the Snob Mobb. Throughout the last two years the Atlanta based hairstylist has been [...]

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Antonio Samar… The NEXT to Hit Fame

By Phonz Reyes To truly make it in today’s entertainment industry you have to be a quadruple threat. No longer are spectators looking for someone with just a voice, but they have to be able to stimulate and ooze entertainment on all levels. Antonio Samar is just the next thing the entertainment industry is waiting for. [...]

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The Reinvention of Anthony Q

By Phonz Reyes After being chosen to an opportunity of a lifetime on national television as one of the five original members of the male R&B group Day26 on MTV’s Making The Band 4, fast forward to five years later there hasn’t been much chatter about former member Qwanell “Que” Mosley since his departure from the [...]

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Redefining Mainstream Music

Article By Phonz L. Reyes For many in the music industry, its challenging living double lives; keeping up a public image one minute and a private one the next. But for House/Rap/Hip-Hop artist, Cazwell this is one of the challenges he doesn’t have to worry about. Cazwell (born Lucas Caswell) has gone from being an underground [...]

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Behind the Beat

Article By Dev Gillespie Sonny Digital is the man behind a lot of new hot beats and a few hit songs that the radio and clubs love. Producer of hit songs YC’s “Rack$” and Future’s “Same Damn Time,” 21 year-old Sonny Digital from Michigan came to Atlanta to make some noise. Being raised [...]

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Platinum Dreams

Article By Phonz L. Reyes Antwan “Amadeus” Thompson has made platinum moves in the music industry for years having done production for over fifty+ recording artists. He’s one of the newest record producers for ‘The Hitmen’- a production team under Diddy’s Bad Boy Management; additionally he is the Music Director and tour drummer for Trey Songz, [...]

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Standing Tall with Jordy Towers

WRITTEN BY PHONZ L. REYES Often we as fans forget that musicians we come to love have made major sacrifices to be in the industry and chase their dreams. Recording artist Jordy Towers is one of those musicians who has sacrificed and made it through some major obstacles in life to be where he is today [...]

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Who's Ca$hin Out?

WRITTEN BY DEV GILLESPIE Anybody with a condo on their wrist is definitely cashing out! Atlanta artist Ca$h Out is on FULL BLAST in every car, radio station, and club in Atlanta with his first single “Ca$hin Out” and it is quickly spreading throughout the country! With his first mixtape titled It’s My Time on its [...]

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Jessie & The Toy Boys: The Future of Pop in Plastic

BY HANNIBAL ALEXANDER It seems that every few months industry insiders predict an up and coming artist will become ‘The Future of Pop Music,’ and they are usually wrong. Simply because the idea of predicting the future is nearly impossible! Just ask Jessie Malakouti – the driving force behind the highly buzzed about Dance/Pop outfit Jessie and the [...]

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Music 101 with Miguel

BY DEV GILLESPIE Music and the industry have been through a lot of changes in the past few years. Some changes for the better and some for the worst, but through it all we are still seeing amazing artists show us that there is still hope for meaningful music. The Los Angeles native Miguel has brought another breathe [...]

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Up Close & Personal with Tyler Jacob

BY RITA FOSTER We are given opportunities to experience the sounds of new artists in the ever expanding field of music.  Many times we like what we hear but, walk away feeling a little underwhelmed.  And sometimes, we are just blown away and can’t stop replaying a song in our heads.  This is the case with [...]

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Rah Digga: This Ain’t No Lil’ Kid Rap

BY JAY DENSON There aren’t too many female MC’s who touch the mic and have a commanding presence such as Rah Digga. Her introduction to the world “Digga Digga, first name Rashia” was one of the first verses I remembered during her stint with Flipmode Squad. Besides her commanding voice that captures your attention when you [...]

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SHE IS A SYN…

BY AJA DIONNE I am trying to find a word to describe her. Eccentric…funny…random…hot…talented…well-traveled…but the fact is DJ SYNCITY cannot be defined in one word. She has a resume that will blow your mind, under 30 with a peculiar insight and she’s been around the world and ay-i-i. During the hectic All Star Weekend in Los [...]

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WHY WE LOVE DAWN RICHARD

WRITTEN BY PHONZ L. THOMAS | PHOTO CREDIT HANIF ABDUR RAHIM | STYLED BY UGO MOZIE | HAIR BY ONYX  There are so many reasons why we have fallen madly in love with Diddy-Dirty Money member Dawn Richard. She first captivated our ears and hearts when she emerged on our television screens back in 2005. We [...]

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Discovering Tinie Tempah

BY PHONZ L. THOMAS Some of the most remarkable recording artists in history have emerged out of the United Kingdom to ‘cross the pond’ and grab the attention of American listeners. Twenty-two year old songwriter and rapper, Patrick Okogwu known to his fans by his stage name, Tinie Tempah will be the next to follow that [...]

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Far*East Movement: The West Coast Edition

BY DEV GILLESPIE Listen to a Far*East Movement track on FULL BLAST and we bet you’ll start to feel “Free Wired”! And if you’re wondering exactly how that is suppose to feel, Far*East Movement (also known as FM), Free Wired is what they call their combination of pop, hip hop, dance and electro music. Topping the Billboard charts with [...]

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"CR" is the Show

BY HANNIBAL ALEXANDER If you feel like the current R&B scene is just recycled beats, concepts and hooks, you are not the only one! In the midst of all the tired “up in the club” tracks and sophomoric bedroom anthems, there are some R&B acts that want to progress on the R&B sound that was created [...]

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Finding a Title for Untitled

BY JAY DENSON When you think of R&B male groups as it applies today, the genre is almost non-existent. Gone are the days of Jodeci, Dru-Hill, and Boyz II Men who dominated the charts during the 90’s. If you were to stop and ask the average person who listens to R&B music some favorites, you’re almost [...]

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According to Hazel-E

WRITTEN BY AJA DIONNE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL-ANTONIO HUNTER Hazel-E has got to be one of the most interesting people on the planet. Actress turned party girl turned celebrity publicist turned Valley Girl rapper turned style maven…she is a force that has been slowly overtaking the world wide web and creeping up on the mouths (and [...]

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Philly Based Duo Chiddy Bangs a Unique Sound

WRITTEN BY JAY DENSON The group Chiddy Bang is made up of Chidera (Chiddy) Anamege and Noah (Xaphoon/DJ & Producer) Jones. The duo teamed up while attending Drexel University and was introduced through a mutual friend. Emcee Chiddy being a resident of New Jersey and Xaphoon born and raised in Philadelphia capitalized on the chance meeting [...]

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Daddy Yankee's In Control

BY PHONZ L. THOMAS & AJA DIONNE When most people think of Reggaeton, the first name to come to mind is Daddy Yankee. He is the embodiment of what a successful Reggaeton artist is with pushing more than eight million albums, endless number one hits to crossover on Billboard’s Latin music and Top 100’s charts, and [...]

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Welcome To Full Blast Magazine Class Is In Session

The New Brand Of  Team FBM is A Force That Will Shock and Awe in the Media Circles, Official Launch April 1st 2010 Nothing foolish About it…  Class is Mos Def in Session  Happy April Fools Take Notes……

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WHY WE LOVE DAWN RICHARD

WRITTEN BY PHONZ L. THOMAS | PHOTO CREDIT HANIF ABDUR RAHIM | STYLED BY UGO MOZIE | HAIR BY ONYX 

DawnRichard_RedCoatPromo1

There are so many reasons why we have fallen madly in love with Diddy-Dirty Money member Dawn Richard. She first captivated our ears and hearts when she emerged on our television screens back in 2005. We loved watching every moment of the New Orleans native rise to stardom on MTV’s “Making the Band” while she was one of the finalists chosen into then Diddy’s all girl group, Danity Kane. “I needed my experience in Danity Kane to rise in Dirty Money. It’s like going from High School to an Ivy League college. I’m grateful for both groups,” recalled Dawn. From that point on many fans dubbed her ‘the voice’ because of her soulful depth and her vocal ability. We can still recall her last moments with Danity Kane and the infamous episode where we would learn the group’s demise. We all knew Dawn would keep her spirits high and move forward towards her own dreams and aspirations, learning from her experiences in the group.  “It’s been four years. I know everyone has moved on. I wish them well and know they will be great at whatever they do. I think we should all move on. I don’t want to ever try and use Danity Kane to remain relevant. I remember the great things we did and I’ve chosen to work hard to keep music in my life.”

DawnRichard_DM_PromoSince then a couple of singles leaked that featured Dawn’s vocals and we wondered if she was going to drop a solo project. But then headlines broke in 2009 that Diddy was forming another group with Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper called Diddy-Dirty Money. We wanted to know how Dawn’s rapport working with Diddy has been. How things differed in voicing her opinions while in the two groups, which she informed us, “I’ve always voiced my opinion. The difference between now and then is there were four other girls doing it as well. Puff and I get into it a lot. I have a strong opinion about what I want, how I want to be represented, and how I should be handled. But I think he likes that FIRE in me.” Diddy-Dirty Money’s album, Last Train to Paris was released this past December and has generated frenzy, with positive feedback from critics such as USA Today, The Boston Globe, AllMusic and The Village Voice. The album which includes numerous features including Justin Timberlake, Lil’ Wayne, The Notorious B.I.G., Rick Ross, Trey Songz, Drake, Grace Jones, and Swizz Beatz came in on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Albums at #3 upon its debut. This is the first album where Dawn has written for the track “Loving You No More”. It went #1 on “106 & Park”. She also had the chance at producing. “To be able to say I’ve worked with the Amazing Grace Jones is just incredible,” explained an excited Dawn Richard. “I had a chance to vocal produce her on the record, “Yeah Yeah You Would,” she continued by informing us, “She and I are from the same planet!” One of Team Full Blast’s favorite music videos and singles off the album is “Ass On The Floor” which features Bronx native, Swizz Beatz. We had to ask her about working with Swizzy, in which she replied, “To be able to work with Swizz Beatz was such a great opportunity. I’ve always appreciated his work. I’m really proud of “Ass On The Floor.” It’s Kalenna and I’s record, so it’s our baby and means so much.”

In the last year, Dawn has become a rising fashion icon for her futuristic styles, most notably for her threads in Ghubar Magazine in the summer of 2010. In addition she and Kalenna’s styles in some of Dirty Money’s music videos have been the talk of the fashion community. “We have some of the greatest people working with us. Kalenna and I put our ideas together along with Deonte, David, and Marni – the best in the game. We pride ourselves in making sure the music translates through our fashion,” Dawn proclaimed. We’ve also been paying close attention to Dawn’s passion for fashion during her off time for a while, as we learned one of her favorite stores was right in our backyard, “No.6 Store in New York. They have the best vintage clothes.”

As we’ve watched Dawn throughout the years, we learned there are multifaceted levels of her creativity. While talking to her, we learned she loves to cook and paint, and considers herself an artist. She’s still very much involved in her series of comic books with illustrator Kim Ji Min and writer Natashia McGough called Danity Kane Comics as she informed us, “I’m creating a graphic novel this year, putting all my stories together. I’m excited about it!” But her passion for dance is one that has remained within her since childhood. “Any off time I get I head over to a studio and take a modern or tap class. I’ve danced my whole life. My mother is a dancer,” stated Dawn. We wanted to delve further into Dawn’s personality…

FULL BLAST Magazine: Do you ever find yourself getting irritated when people refer to you as Dawn “Richards?”

DAWN RICHARD: Ha Ha… Not really. I’m Creole, so my hometown family knows the pronunciation. But when you start going up North, the pronunciation isn’t familiar to people. So they add that ‘s’.  I have faith people will get it right.

DawnRichard_RawFULL BLAST Magazine: Being that the Valentine’s Day season is upon us, what is your favorite LOVE song of all time?

DAWN RICHARD: “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig Beethoven.

 FULL BLAST Magazine: What’s up with the introduction on DawnRichardBlog.com of “Fly high and dream big?”

DAWN RICHARD: I don’t live like a have feet, I live like I have WINGS. It’s important to know that you can do all things through Christ. So fly high and dream big. If you’re gonna dream, dream big! Then fly towards it with persistence.

Fans still ponder if Dawn has plans to release a solo project. While one has not been confirmed, there has been rumors flying around saying a mixtape is on the horizon. “Yes, I wanna be gentle with my supporters. I’ve done so many looks and groups I want them to know ME, just Dawn Richard. So musically I want to just give a thank you to all those who have been there and supported. The entire story of the mixtape is love; the journey of a girl inside her own heart. I want an opportunity to sing and be creative, to share my own vision and to share the raw journey of a #telltaleheart,” Dawn confirmed.  As our time with her came to a close, we asked her what advice she would give newcomers breaking into the music industry. She replied, “Know your craft, know yourself, know God; and love what you do with a passion that rivals the best of them. Be okay with rejection and look at it as a platform to grow.” This is why WE LOVE Dawn Richard.


If you don’t already have your copy of Diddy-Dirty Money’s Last Train To Paris, be sure to get it available now on iTunes and Amazon now.

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