Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bella Rose Passion

Bella Rose Passion - Lipgloss and Cupcakes Event with Derek J (8)Does the name Bella Rose Passion ring a bell? It should. The founder and creator of Bella Rose Passion, Rina, was a recent guest on Young Urban Life's radio program. During her visit she gave us the scoop on her cosmetic lip line.

Fast forward to today and one will see that the Bella Rose Passion lip line business is very much booming. I had the chance to catch up with the lip line entrepreneur at J Spot Salon owned by Derek J of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Miss Rina was promoting the cosmetic lip line in a beautifully appointed booth. The setup included a limitless supply of Bella Rose Passion lip stick and gloss, free drinks of Passion XO and cup cakes. From the looks of her beautifully designed lip line, one would find it hard to believe the difficult encounters she faced.

Rina first entrepreneurial endeavor was not in cosmetics, but instead in fashion. It was after struggling with creating a successful boutiques store that she refocused her efforts into creating a cosmetics line--her lifetime dream. Unburdened from the pressures of the store, Rina fully committed herself into launching the cosmetic line Bella Rose Passion. This cosmetic line carries lip stick and gloss in vibrant and neutral colors that maintains the moisture to the lips. Rina understands the difficulties in finding a lip stick that gives an extra shine. It was part of the reason why she created the lip wear in the first place. Some of her favorite products are Future, which is a bright fuscia pink color, and Social Light, a neutral color lip-stick painted in shimmery shininess. After achieving a certain level of success through her cosmetic line, she has looked to strategically grow the business by partnering with other businesses.

Bella Rose Passion Lip Cosmetic Collection

In addition to her cosmetic line, Rina also endorses the alcohol drink Passion XO. This drink comes in three different flavors, Sun-Passion Fruit, Pink-Pomegranate, and Blue-Curacao and can be found in over 200 stores nationwide. When asked how she partnered up with the drink, she said, “I met the owner of the company and he was awesome! I suggested that we link up and do business. Passion XO…Bella Rose Passion. He agreed and then we started brain storming on some ideas.” Rina plans on taking the Passion XO to the next level by endorsing the Pink-Pomegranate flavor and renaming the beverage Bella Rose Passion XO. 
Passion XO drinks!
(Yellow) Sun-Passion Fruit
 (Blue) Blue-Curacao and  (Pink) Pink Pomegranate

As far as the hook up on the venue goes? Let’s just say Miss Rina is an expert in networking! Rina explains how she was able to link up with Derek J to promote her new product. She says, “We have seen Derek out plenty of times in many events. Him knowing who I am definitely helped me to promote my cosmetic line here. It’s awesome being able to do something like this at a place with so much exposure and very humbling.” The connection with the reality start proved to be a great turn out for the Bella business. Not only did customers leave the J Spot with a new hairdo, but they also left with a new addition to their makeup bag. As the evening progressed, women could not help but to take notice of the lip line. Some stopped by to examine the line while others did not waste time in buying the product for themselves.

To find out more about Bella Rose Passion cosmetics visit the website at:
Instagram: @BellaRosePassion
Twitter: Follow @BellaRosePassion

Founder&Creator of Bella Rina Passion: Miss Rina


Close look at Bella Rose Passion 


Diary of A Decade: The Story of A Movement **Powerful Documentary**

While many people filled their seats at Georgia Lakewood Ampitheater and Gwinnett Center July 12, I took my seat at the Southwest Arts Center to witness the historic, and what will soon be a legendary documentary.

Funk Jazz Kafe: Diary of a Decade (The Story of a Movement) shows the evolution of soul music during the times of the late 1980’s to early 2000’s. Jason Orr--the writer, producer, and director of the movie--brilliantly and accurately captures every aspect of soul music and its evolution. He is also the founder of the magical and cultural building Funk Jazz Kafe. Throughout the film, ask and answers questions like: what is soul music, where it originated from, which soul artists were game changers in the evolution of soul, and most importantly why has soul music become soul-less? People of all ages came out to see this film and to support the movement Funk Jazz Kafe has provided for over 19 years to soul music lovers.
 Upon the arrival, I was captivated by the sight of black culture that was portrayed through various aspects of the black arts. Straight ahead was a deejay that played 80’s and 90’s hip-hop, r&b, and soul music. To the right of the deejay booth was an art exhibit which instantly caught the eyes of viewers with sketches and paintings from black artists. In the middle of the exhibit were two artists who were creating there art in live form. As I continued to walk through the building, I saw other black businesses promoting their companies. They even had a concession stand where people could purchase some t-shirts! Finally I found a seat in the front of the auditorium. While waiting, we sat and conversed with each other until the movie began. And then, Jason Orr, the man himself, introduced his documentary. 20130712_190639
A plethora of artists were featured in this movie including artists like: Cee Lo Green, Erykah Badu, Mizell Brothers, OutKast, Janelle Monae, Dallas Austin, Raphael Saadiq, Jamie Fox, George Clinton, Jill Scott and more. Its historical and cultural influence continues to live on as the cafe celebrates its 19th year anniversary. Although I did not attend the FJK music festival the next night, I am sure it was the experience of a lifetime. Jason Orr says it best:  
“Magic only happens if you believe in it: point and blank. I like to dream and create real. As you all leave, look at that drawing you all saw out there. That was my first creation of Funk Jazz Kafe and the stage alone amazes me to this day.” 
Instead of going in depth about the documentary, I felt it was more important to provide readers the reaction from the audience from the question and answers discussion people asked after the end of the movie. Diary of A Decade received nothing but positive feedback from the audience. Their statements, comments, and questions better explains the impact one will receive after viewing this documentary.
Question: This was a great film and my first time seeing it. It is a wonderful testament to your dedication for the promotion of the arts, creativity, documentation, and vision—and we really solute you. I want to know, did you do the filming or were there other film makers?
Jason Orr: You know, it was taped over a period of time; a decade plus. Of course I went around like yea (signals him holding a camera) on all of it. So it might have been a little bit of Shannon Cobb or John Crews, and some other people. I talked to the videographers and what angles I wanted to catch. Then I talk to them about the program and what’s going to happen or what we think is going to happen, because something else always happens. And it never goes as plan. That’s the magic.
Question: What has made you do this for 19 years? It’s a labor of love when you wake up every day, what makes you want to do Funk Jazz Kafe?
Jason Orr: Yal. (applause from the audience) It wasn’t a thing to build personal wealth. It was a thing to build a strong community. For example, like the story about LA, we could all read about that. I went down to DC and people were saying how embarrassed they were of their community. DC created a new dance invention like the "GoGo." New rich artist like Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, even new kats like Raheeme Devaughn. People have to lead DC to get their recognition. If we had a Mount Rushmore in Georgia, it would be James Brown, Ray Charles, Ottis Ready…see you guys already know.
Jackie Marks: I have two questions. Were there any artists you wanted to include in the documentary but could not?
Jason Orr: Yea…a lot in that period. You know when you’re talking about the music Jazz Funk, and its influence on hip hop, one of the first things you think about is a tribe called West. Umm Q-Tip and who wouldn’t want to talk to Prince, Stevie Wonder or James Brown? My goal was to capture every living legend. So yea, there were some.
Jackie Marks: Second question. What would you like to see Funk Jazz Kafe 19 years from now?
Jason Orr: Umm…I haven’t thought that far yet. I think what we’re doing are still in the early stages in terms of the perseveration of music and culture. I may be one of the first. We need people to talk about the preservation of SOUL music.
Question: Thank you Jason for your documentary. What I have always loved about Funk Jazz Kafe is that it transcends generations young and old. It’s soul music that makes us move and feel good. So I just want to commend you for your work. Today they are taking arts out of schools, radio doesn’t appreciate it as much, and parents do not expose it to children enough. Can you give some encouraging words towards the youth to continue in the arts?
Jason Orr: If there are any young people in the audience…it is important to do you and not be caught up in the colt of celebrity. Don’t get caught up in trying to do Nikki Manaj, Lil Wayne, or whatever is hot now. Actually do you and your own expression. Also look at your peers and their skill sets and what they contributed to the community. Thanks for the question. 
Question: I wanted to know, as an investor, what do it takes for you to produce the show every year and then take it on a larger scale?
Jason Orr
Jason Orr
Jason Orr: Well, preparation, money, money, and money. (audience laughs) That is basically it. And just show up!
Question: If I wanted to direct some of my close friends to the movie, how would I do that?
Jason Orr: You can check it out at by going to We are still screening all over the country until 2014.
Question: I saw that you had a lot of artist come through in your performances. Is there anyone you were just star-strucked by and said to yourself: “Man, I can’t believe I that I had them on my stage!”
Jason Orr: Hmmm…Public Enemy.
Question: Jason I just want to thank you for this film. Much respect to you. In your dreams what is on the horizon for you?
Jason Orr: Funk Jazz Kafe was almost like a ten step program. Step one was to establish FJK Music Festival. That went well for us. And then we decided to take it on the road, books, tv shows, and movies. So there is still a lot going on. Next year will be 20 years. Imagine that! I have been doing new music. And I have been very fortunate to work with other great talents. We possibly could take FJK on the road again but I like taking a DVD around. (audience chuckles) It’s much lighter. There are more films that I am already working on that I can show in trailers today. Most importantly, to educate people about our culture, where we come from, and how we got to where we are today.
Question: I have been to a number of Funk Jazz Kafe’s Music Festivals and what really struck me was your personality and humility. I think the genius of your documentary highlights the initial ten years of your movement and also gives a very thorough history of black music in America. For young people who may have not been around during the time you started filming your documentary, how can FJK movement help educate young people in our schools?
Jason Orr: You know I do a lot of college tours. I wanted to make education at peace in terms of where do we come from, where are we going, and the actions you can take; something that is a social change. So I appreciate your question.
Question: Jason, your movie was an extraordinary documentary. You played a big part in breaking a number of artists people really didn’t know about. In regards to new artists today, who should we look out for?
Jason Orr: King. How many of yal know King? (light applause) Since Stevie Wonder, that brother has created some of the most beautiful stuff ever. It’s a lot out there, but that’s one of them.
Search for upcoming artist King Elliot.
Jason Orr: Hope to see you tomorrow because we have a show for you! Thank you all again for coming out.
Honestly, this was an amazing film that changed my perspective on how I view not just soul music, but any genre of music. During the screening, I have received a revelation: We (the audience) consider ourselves to be very knowledgeable in music. After watching this documentary, I have learned that we have so much more to learn. The life span of music can be traced back many years. It has and will continue to outlive the human life. It has and will continue to make us feel, breathe, and move to its beautiful sound; no matter how it is played or expressed. However, we are not masters in the subject of music.  I think any producer, songwriter, and artists can agree with this statement. Passionate is something seen through what you do. Jason's passion for music, arts, and black culture goes beyond Funk Jazz Kafe and his documentary. It's his life style and is living  proof that magic really can happen if you believe.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ATL Live: Chris Scholar, Ywada, and Vivian Green

ATL Live at Park Tavern keeps getting bigger, better, and hotter with every showing each month. It is like the weather purposely became hotter during the event because it knew the performers were on fire! Okay, so that was a terrible analogy, but the main point is the artists did their thang! At ATL Live, you never know what to expect. Last month it was a chilled environment. This month singers Chris Scholar, Ywada, and Vivian Green, all turned it up with their amazing voices. Thanks to DJ Trauma who once again, killed it on the ones and twos playing classic funk, soul, and R&B, kept the audience dancing from beginning to the end. It was a great night, great music—courtesy of the Teddy White Band—and great fun.

He is cute, talented, and charming, and yes ladies he can sing! Chris Scholar is a Richmond, Virginia native who sings, dances, and raps. The scholar behind his name is there for a reason. Chris, a mass communications major and business minor, focusing on his studies while perusing his music career. He believes in having an education saying, “I went to college, and I say that I am a student of music. I study 90’s r&b, some Sam Cook, The Fugees, and Tupac. You know, just a wide variety of music. It makes me a scholar in my field.” Chris uses his knowledge in mass communications not only in his music, but also in his videos. The 22 year old is a proud owner of his video production called Brown Brother Productions where he directed and edited his latest video for his new single “Way Back Home.” He lit up the stage with his voice and dance moves performing the popular single “Way Back Home” and two other songs. By the time his act ended, the crowd was turnt-up and ready for more.

In between performances, DJ Trauma keeps the crowd alive just in time for the host, Kenny Burns, to introduce the next singer whose voice is as beautiful as her Hebrew name. Ywada, pronounced as (YADA), is living up to her name. Ywada means “to be known,” and once you have witness this lively soul, you too, will understand how she is walking in her calling. Some of her influences stem from the greatest like: Chaka Kon, Patty Labelle, and Whitney Houston, which explains the powerhouse voice behind the singer.  Ywada brought the power in her voice as she opened up with Chaka Kon “Aint Nobody.” Instantly, the crowd began to move, singing every line, hook, and bridge with the soulful songstress. That was only the beginning. Ywada continued to show case her music singing several other songs including her latest single, “The End of the Road.” Ywada, will be releasing the new single on iTunes July 16 along side with her EP project called Perception Against Reality. She explains the reason for the EP
 title saying: “A lot of times, men and women, believe things that are not real. We think it’s something when it is really not and eventually, we face reality. I can’t wait to share it with everybody.” 

After the Ywada interview, Vivian Green was already up on the stage as she kept the audience with her soul-try voice. There is no doubt that Vivian still has it. She proved that by singing some of her classics like “Emotional Rollercoaster” and “Beautiful.” Since her reemergence back into the music scene in 2010, Vivian has put out two albums; Beautiful 2010 and her latest album The Green Room 2012. She performed several songs including her latest single, “Anything Out There.” Vivian Green fans have a lot to look forward to in the future. She speaks on her struggles with her latest album and that she is working on her next album. However, Vivian continues to keep a bright outlook on life saying, “I want to be positive and optimistic. I am working on another album, but I did put a lot into The Green Room. Sometimes things do not go your way but I just have to keep going. I’m just grateful that I can still make music.” Vivian ended her session with the classic song, “Gotta Go, Gotta Leave” in which she received a standing ovation. In other words, she is not going anywhere. 

So there you have it! Another awesome evening with great food, performance, and music. Hopefully has sparked your interest to experience the ATL Live at Park Tavern for yourselves. ATL Live will continue August 13th with more great artist, food and music. We hope to see you there.


Vivian Green
Chris Scholar

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Douglas Kennedy Book Signing

Okay, so I know it has been a while since I have posted something on here, but I have been really busy. Here is an article on the prolific novelist Douglas Kennedy and his new book Five Days. Enjoy!

What else is there to say about the creative and philosophical writer Douglas Kennedy? His writer’s resume and life experience are impressive and speaks for itself. One could be a little immediate just trying to write a review about the author and his many accomplishments! Douglas Kennedy—a proud father, newly husband, and writer—is an American author who has a popular demand of novels that reaches worldwide. The international novelist has written eleven novels, which has been translated in 22 different countries including his latest novel, Five Days. Two of his novels, The Dead Heart and The Big Picture, were adapted for the movie films Welcome to Woop Woop and L’Homme Qui Voulait Vivre Sa Vie. Another one his novels, The Woman in the Fifth, was also adjusted for a film movie and theater. Finding a word that best describes Kennedy’s work is not nearly impossible, but right about now, it feels as if it is. Maybe some words like enthralling, with a theoretical and delineative style of storytelling will do for now.   

Kennedy graced us with his presence at the Alliance Francaise in mid-town Atlanta. Alliance Francaise is a non-profit organization that teaches and promotes the French language. Since 1912, the organization has been a proud supporter of the French culture. Kennedy got to witness the French experience in an open discussion with the audience where many questions were asked and answered in the language. He began speaking in French, humbly showing off his skills, not only as a writer, but also as a bilingual speaker. In addition to speaking French, he can also speak in fluently in German as well. Thankfully, he reverted back to speaking English as he proceeded to tell the audience about his new novel.

Five Days is a compelling story that deals with regret, infidelity, family, and second chances. Kennedy tells a story that brilliantly and discreetly challenges readers to carefully evaluate their life experiences. He later tells his audience that he too, had to refocus his life by asking two simple questions: What do you want?  What makes you happy? He goes on to say people generally wants to be happy, but often times struggle with “embracing” true happiness. As it is already nicely written on his website here is a brief synopsis of the story, Five Days:
Forty-two-year-old Laura spends her days looking at other people’s potential calamities. She works in the radiography unit of a small hospital on the Maine coast, scanning and x-raying frightened patients. In a job where finding nothing is always the best result, she is well versed in the random unfairness of life, a revelation that has started to affect her personally. Her husband Dan has become a stranger since losing his job eighteen months ago and she feels the distance is only growing between them. Her son, a promising artist, is in college, and her vivacious seventeen-year old daughter is set to leave home within the year. Laura begins to wonder if her impending empty nest will only deepen the disconnected state of her marriage. She gets an opportunity to spend the weekend at a radiography conference in Boston for three days where she meets Richard Copeland, a fifty-something insurance salesman who is also in the area for the weekend. It was not love at first sight. However, within the next few days of her having to work together for business, Laura discovers that they both share common interests that deeply entrance them on a personal and passionate level.

Kennedy reveals how the narrator, Laura, deals with these two questions in her situation which eventually, determines the narrator and her lover’s end result. He assures readers that the ending is not what you expect saying, “It’s not a happy ending.” These are just a few of the many simple, yet still complicated questions a person could ask in their lives; but they are questions that will ultimately, guide a person to happiness.

Check out Douglas Kennedy website where you will also find more books that he has written: 

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