Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Excellence in Christian Music Academy & Awards

This blog is about the Excellence in Christian Music Academy and Awards.  This organization is about to celebrate its fourth annual academy gala.  The Excellence in Christian Music Academy is for independent Gospel/Christian artist to learn more about the music industry and become equipped to be successful in this ever-changing business.  This October 11, 2014 will culminate a year of training and education from experienced artist, managers, vocal coaches, song writers, music business professionals and more to the artist that have received knowledge, mentorship and opportunities.
Mr. Henry Harris is the founder and chief administer of this organization and because of his passion to see people succeed in the music industry, he chose to support positive music and be a part of the solution right in the DMV area.  Some of the participants are on their way to national or international exposure because of some of the encouraging words told to them in this program.  People are making the connections they need to make and going after their dreams with God’s help of course.

The Excellence in Christian Music Awards is one part of the academy, but throughout the year the academy encourages people to support others projects and become a part of a community of artists and perform at different venues, gain exposure to industry professionals to expand ones entertainment network, while also providing a platform for future engagements.

As a soon to be graduate of Full Sail University in the master’s program for entertainment business and as a part of the ECMA2014, this program exposes people to the business of music and helps enhance the art side of music.  I would recommend this program to any independent artist, manager, songwriter, etc.  ECMA can be used as a good tool to help people gain insight into the real world of music and see how gospel/Christian music is still a business also.  Learning the business side of music is what lots of artist miss out on and the ECMA provides an opportunity for people to express themselves through music and utilize their gifts and talents.

By: Monique Lynelle Gray

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Celebrity Hair Stylist – Kim Kimble

This month I have the pleasure of writing about celebrity hair stylist Kim Kimble.  She has done the tresses of super celebs in the entertainment business, like Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Monica, Brandy and more.  KK & MJB

This super hair diva has made a name for her-self on and off the screen in the entertainment business.  With Ms. Kimble’s hit television show L.A. Hair, she has shown the world how busy she is running from photo shoots to video shoots and even fashion shows.  It is never a dull moment on the reality show of a busy celebrity hair stylist.  It is great to see this woman as a successful business owner, entrepreneur and hair stylist.  It is also great to see a woman of her hue in the United States being able to be herself in front of the camera without her being portrayed as an ignoramus. Although the show only shows a part of Ms. Kimble’s life, it also shows the other stylist in her salon styling some of his or her own celebrity clients.                                                                                                    

Ms. Kimble is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to hair, this woman knows her stuff.  She attended Vidal Sassoon and Dudley Cosmetology University where she received training, which set the foundation for the stylist she has become today.  Ms. Kimble’s exciting lifestyle with celebrity clients began years ago, when she got a chance to style hair for the movie “BAPS,” and from there the opportunities were endless.  Kim Kimble is successful because of her determination and hard work, which is easy to see from the outside looking in on her work.  Ms. Kimble also has a line of products and hair extensions that are being advertised through her reality show and through her clients.  There are great celebrity hair stylists, but a person has to be on point, and really do a good job to maintain her roster of clientele.  I am honored to write this blog about such a mogul of hair.
Monique Lynelle Gray

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tyler Perry - June's Highlight

Tyler Perry, the real life rags to riches story.  Mr. Perry is a household name now, whether people love him or hate him; they can’t help but to notice his work or someone who works for him.  I chose to write about Mr. Perry because he started from the bottom, wrote a play, had faith and look at him now.  From plays, to television sit-coms, to movies, to dramas, Mr. Perry is truly a success story.  I have always appreciated the use of music within Mr. Perry’s plays.  It seems as though Tyler Perry is more musical than he let’s on.  If I were to interview him, I would definitely ask, what part has music played in your projects and how has music influenced you?  Some of the topics of Tyler Perry’s shows, movies and plays have had controversy, but people are still talking, so he is definitely still relevant.  Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry proved that dedication and perseverance, the outcome could spell success.  Although it took six years for Mr. Perry to get a break for his first play; now he calls the shots and has his own studio and employees of his own.  The one thing that I noticed about Tyler Perry is that as he grew his business, he also reached up for a mentor.  Mr. Perry did not come out of his mom’s womb knowing Oprah Winfrey, but he chose to make her one of his mentors before he became the mogul he is today.  Mr. Perry took advice from Oprah and became a better person because of it.  There are people that come in to others lives and sometimes to be where you want to be, you have to seek out certain people to become a part of your own life.  My point of saying this about Mr. Perry is that he did not choose to hang with underachievers to become successful, he chose to write stories about life and lived through his hard times to be able to help others fulfill their dreams.  Although some people do not agree with how certain people are portrayed or with how a story line went from a movie, play or sit-com, there is a lesson to be learned here; hard work can pay off.  If someone has a problem with a script but they do not write scripts, they are not being part of the solution. 

In business Tyler Perry should be respected for his accomplishments and the doors he has opened for so many people.  I am encouraged to continue on the path that will lead me to share my own stories and bring them to life.  Everyone has different things they have experienced in life or heard about and when the write elements are formulated, beautiful works of art can be portrayed for others to share and be a part of.  Mr. Perry’s accomplishments are numerous, from book of the year, to award winning movies.  Although everyone will not be the next Tyler Perry, he made it because he believed that he should try and then he succeeded over time.  Mr. Perry showed me that trying is worth a try; I just might succeed.  FandangoTPFilmography

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Controversy and Industry Liabilities

 According to an article from Popular and Music Society, there have been so many legal arguments about file sharing and music being improperly distributed online that it has changed the way music labels operate.  For years the record labels dictated how music would be distributed, and which stations the music would be played; while maintaining a complete monopoly on how the system worked.  In today’s online frenzy of how much music a person can hear in multiple mediums, the music business is not containable to what the music labels release to the radio.  There has been a lot of controversy about the issue of piracy and the overpopulated music sphere online, but music is still being made and the public likes whom they like.  Independent artist have a chance to become their own bosses and make their own rules concerning their music, which makes labels work much harder for their artist to gain the recognition they deserve with the dollars that are allotted for a particular artist.

This video is about a woman’s song that was nominated for an Oscar and then it was retracted from nomination.  Huckabee is faith-based movie and the song “Alone Yet Not Alone,” gained recognition for not winning the Oscar’s but for having their nomination pulled from Oscar’s.  The lady that sang the song is a disabled woman that does not have a career as an recording artist, but was asked to sing the song for the movie Huckabee.  Although this movie and song was no longer nominated, the controversy around the film made it a buzz in Hollywood.  Now this video that is attached asks people to get involved if they would like the Oscar’s to reconsider this song for nomination, which was quite interesting.  There was no proof that the song was pulled because of its religious theme, but it definitely raised some eyebrows.

This article spoke about an Intellectual Property Dispute concerning Google and another company by the name of “Rescuecom.”  Google was accused of selling Rescuecom’s trademark to its competitors.  The article does not tell every detail of the lawsuit, but it is clearly an issue between the two companies.  Rescuecom was upset that its competitors would be able to ride their coattail and come up in a search when people search Rescuecom’s name.  This article brings up a controversial issue concerning a trademarked company.  This is not the only case that Google has had to deal with concerning this matter, but with all of the names and trademarks that come through Google I am sure it is hard to catch everything that slips through the cracks, but they will have to be more careful in the future.  It’s quite a sticky situation, which brings legal issues and unnecessary controversy to a company.

By Monique Lynelle Gray

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tamar and Vince - The Artist and Management Team

Tamar and Vince
The dynamic duo has quite a big audience with their reality show, but they have to juggle being in an artist/manager relationship along with being a married couple.  It is interesting to watch the couple on television and know that they are really married and now that Vincent Herbert is Tamar’s manager brings something different to the table.  As an artist, one has to be able to trust their manager with a lot of valuable, important information, which seems like it would be easy to do as a married couple, but I can imagine that it has it’s challenges.  Tamar and Vince Show
Watching Tamar Braxton’s career blossom and their relationship unfold before our eyes with their reality show, it shows the behind the scenes activities or interaction with each other concerning business and personal matters.  They seem to really love each other and it’s great that they are making it happen together.  I appreciate the fact that they love each other, and they do not always agree on everything, but they decide to work it out.  There are not many couples or artist/managers that would allow people to see them in a counseling session, but it was necessary for their relationship.  Some people have negative thoughts about counseling, but sometimes counseling is needed to help work through issues, especially if both parties really care for one another.
Lot’s of manager’s are only behind the scenes, but Vince was able to make a smooth transition and stay true to himself as a husbandger. (as Tamar stated in the interview below)  This team has a bright future ahead of them, if they can stay focused and positive while enjoying the ride.  It was great that Tamar was able to see her husband work for other artist years before he became her manager, because as an artist she wanted the best things for her career and she trusted him with her career not just because he was her husband, but because his work spoke for itself; and so far it looks like it has been a wonderful experience.  Artist/Management Info

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Interview with Mrs. Yvonne Perkins

Interview with Mrs. Yvonne Perkins
Monique Lynelle asks - What does music mean to you?

Yvonne Perkins replied - Music is a tool that can assist you in changing your atmosphere.  As a therapist, music is used as a tool to help people in their personal lives.  For example, if a person is depressed, they don’t need to listen to music that is saying, “since my baby left me” or heartache but rather music about joy, love and peace that will uplift your mood.

Monique Lynelle asks - What part do you play in the music industry?

Yvonne Perkins replied - I see myself as a creator of positive music that I hope will impact lives of the listeners, music that will inspire believers and connect the unbelievers in a way that draws them to Christ so that they would at least speak on the name of Jesus and his mercy towards them.

Monique Lynelle asks - When did you get started with songwriting?

Yvonne Perkins replied – I have been writing poems and lyrics for as long as I can remember.  I published my first book of poems at 21 years of age and had two songs accepted for publishing, money wasn’t available to proceed because I wasn’t sure what to do or how to do it, the first two songs were entitled, Memory and I’ll Help You Forget, these songs were not gospel; but the first gospel song I wrote was entitled Holy.  Holy was written after a church service I attended that was so anointed and it made me think of the holiness of God and wanting to be Holy like Him.

Monique Lynelle asks - If you could do something different in this career, what would it be?

Yvonne Perkins replied – Music therapy. My background is as a therapist, working with children that had been abused and families in need.  Music can impact and has impacted people’s lives.  Working with families through music and meditation, (not chanting, etc.) but teaching people to get in touch with their feelings by listening to relaxing music.

Monique Lynelle asks - If there were three words you would use to describe yourself, what would they be?

Yvonne Perkins replied – 1) Family oriented - because family is very important to me as a wife, a mother, daughter and grandparent, 2) Intercessor – is what I do for others, it’s what I breathe, it’s what I live, interceding for pastors, leaders and the music industry, and 3) Songwriter – which is part of my heart.

Monique Lynelle asks - What are you working on now?

Yvonne Perkins replied – There are several songs I’m working on, although finances limit the process of putting songs out at times, I plan to make the effort and sacrifice to make sure to get out a new project this year. The title of the next project is Stop the Merry Go Round and I have been thinking about writing a book on intercession.

Monique Lynelle asks - I know you are involved with ECMA (Excellence in Christian Music Academy), how has that experience been for you?

Yvonne Perkins replied – That experience has been one of the most rewarding, awesome, gratifying works that I have done.  It is an experience that brings both honor and humility.  To be a part of it and to be considered as a coach, it brings you in contact with people that are already established and great in their own right.  The participants are looking for more education and looking for better ways to expand their gifts.  When I start the classes I get a brief introduction of the participants and hearing some of the participants backgrounds, (jokingly) I feel like I can’t teach them anything, some of them can probably teach a class.  The award show is awesome, you finally get to meet the people you have been talking to throughout the program and put the faces with the names and voices.  Mr. Harris is the best person to work with, no words can explain Mr. Harris, but his energy and vision is wonderful. (Mr. Harris is the founder and producer of ECMA).

Monique Lynelle asks - Is there any advice you would like to leave for singer/songwriter’s or songwriter’s in general that might help propel their career to the next level?

Yvonne Perkins replied – Being a songwriter is an arena that is very crowded, so you have to learn as much as you can by doing research and reading as much as you can about songwriting.  You have to network with other people, don’t burn bridges, and be ready to accept failures, but don’t give up, use the experiences to build you up for the next experience.  Keep trying whether you become a major star or artist; enjoy the experience.  If you are a gospel songwriter, your first task is to honor God.  Some people write positive songs, but if you are a gospel songwriter you should include God in your songs at some point.

Monique Lynelle asks - If someone wanted to buy your music, where should they go and which steps should they take if they want to sing one of your songs?

Yvonne Perkins replied – When you want to record something that you did not write, you will need a mechanical license.  This license gives you permission to record, or do a video of that person’s song.  On my website there is link that will explain mechanical licenses.  There is a statutory rate that has to be paid to the songwriter.

Anyone interested in singing one of Mrs. Perkins songs can go to her website and email her and she can explain in detail the financial aspect of the agreement you decide upon.   Mrs. Perkins website is as follows: also Mrs. Perkins Music Page is available at

Thank you for your time!
Monique Lynelle Gray