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When it comes to who in Atlanta has and who does not there is a short list and then there’s a list that practically scrapes the stratosphere. Thankfully one Atlanta artist and actor is daring to break the stratosphere, becoming a rising star of the Web World and music world!

Martel Star is his name, winning is his game, and if you haven’t heard of him there’s a ledge on Spaghetti Junction you can step off of!

martel star

We first met Martel back in 2015, when he first began his acting career in a fledgling web series that never quite made it to production. That project may have fizzled but Martel has done everything, but that. “I’m just always determined to be the best me I can be. God’s blessed me with the ability to do a lot and I just know that my talent is going to take me some really amazing places…it is already is actually!” 

Indeed, Martel Star has made some serious moves in the last year with his appearance in noted web series, 7th & Love and Rahim Brazil’s Twisted. “Acting has really been taking off for me and I’m very happy about that [He laughs]. I definitely consider myself blessed for the opportunities I’ve been given and I’m actually about to be in a new web series that I can’ give the details on yet…” Martel made waves in his role on Twisted as “Nick,” an HIV positive gay man looking for love in all the wrong places. “Y’all know y’all love Nick! I’ll definitely be reprising that role in ‘Twisted 2’ [sequel/Season 2 of Twisted]…I really enjoyed playing that character because I feel like people relate to him a lot…we’ve all been played a little or been the person pining after someone. But he has a lot of strength and he really grew as the season progressed…”

As aforementioned Martel is not only a great actor, but an equally amazing artist. The boy can rap with the best of them and is constantly working to be greater and push the envelope to stardom. His latest musical venture involves a new EP, Welcome To Emerald City! The EP not only showcases his talents, but really set the bar for other indie rappers out there. “This [EP] has been a long time coming and I’ve put a lot of love and time into it–it’s my baby! The album definitely has something for everyone and you will be able to have fun and turn up to it!” Martel goes on to reveal the origins of his EP’s name. “Well I absolutely love ‘The Wizard of Oz!’ [And] I feel like Atlanta is Emerald City…It’s Black Hollywood, all the music and entertainment is coming from out here. It’s like the Black Mecca and land of opportunities just like Emerald City is where Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and The Lion went to get what they needed.”

martel star

Atlanta may very well be the launching pad for what will undoubtedly be an amazing career for Martel Star. However, it will be his charisma, talent, and will to be the best that will keep him there and rocket him to the top. “I’m ready for it all, and it’s going to be lit! I know I’m ready for it all and I’ll be giving the people a show!” Still, don’t take our word for it. If you are in Atlanta come and check him out at Welcome To Emerald City’s Release Party!  It all goes down at the Liquid Lounge, 150 Pine Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30308 at 5 PM EST! You can download Welcome To Emerald City on ALL digital platforms! Happy Listening!

Interviews

In It to Win It! Meet VNIS! Music’s Latest Rising Star!

When it comes to new artists, many are talented, but few have the lion’s share of true creativity and the ability to truly stand out. The latter is the stuff dreams and wishes are made of.

However, VNIS (pronounced like Venice), a rising star seems to have what it takes to “Kontrol” his destiny and leave his musical mark on the world.

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vnis artist

When it comes to new artists, many are talented, but few have the lion’s share of true creativity and the ability to truly stand out. The latter is the stuff dreams and wishes are made of.

However, VNIS (pronounced like Venice), a rising star seems to have what it takes to “Kontrol” his destiny and leave his musical mark on the world.

VNIS’s love for music,  like many artists began in his childhood, stirred by the musical ability and influence of his family. “…my older brother was a rapper and I remember he would set up a microphone in his room, and he had very primitive audio recording equipment and used Quick Mix and FruityLoops [mixing softwares] and would write verses and I’d sing on the bridge. I think that’s where my love of music started. My parents had me in piano lessons very, very young; but I think it wasn’t until middle school that I joined the chorus and musical theaterI envisioned a life for myself in music and performing…” 

vnis artist

VNIS’s love of music is definitely shown in his work. His vocals are smooth, alluring; and almost supernatural in the ethereal feel of the sound. We are big fans of his singles “W.A.I.H.” and “Young Visionary!” The former is a ballad that is all too relatable for anyone who has ever wondered why they are sticking around for an unrequited love, while the latter is a celebration of self! Indeed a celebration of self is what fuels all independent artists in the music industry as it can be daunting to make a name for yourself or be respected for your work without a major label behind you. “I don’t think anyone who is independent is without trials and tribulations. The biggest thing is not having a lot of  money behind you…things happen a little bit slower [he laughs]…The good thing about being independent–at least for me–is we have creative control on everything that we release….if you’re seeing something that VNIS is putting out, me and my amazing team put it out because we made the executive decision to do it. It’s not because we were coerced or anything…but I feel like the love of what we do supersedes any struggle we [independent artists] might have.”

Interestingly, VNIS is quite the globetrotter, formerly living in South Korea. He admits the culture and locale and have had an impact on his music. “So I left Korea about a year and a half to two years ago…when I moved to Korea, I kind of moved there at the drop of a dime. I threw a dart at a map and I was like I need to go here! I didn’t really know anything about the culture or language, but the really cool thing about Korea is that it has a very, very supportive community so I joined groups and started rubbing elbows with the right people and started performing and building up a fan base, and it was awesome. ..Black culture and music is so respected and revered there in a way that we don’t see stateside and so I felt like a huge celebrity there [he laughs].” VNIS is right about hip-hop culture in South Korea where some of the world’s greatest hip-hop dance groups and Asian rappers hail from. It is amazing to see the extent of our culture in the most nether regions of the world!

VNIS artist

VNIS, like everyone else on the planet, has been affected by COVID-19. However, he chooses to see the brighter side of the pandemic’s influence, asserting it has been highly beneficial for creatives. “It has allowed creatives to be more focused. Myself, and people I have worked with, kind of have more time to invest in projects that we really, really want to…it’s difficult for a lot of people, but there’s some benefit to being able to sit back and decide what you really want to do within the next couple of months…” With 2021 mere months away VNIS went on to assure us more new music was on the way! “We’re really excited! The feedback we got from my two singles [W.A.I.H. and Young Visionary] let me know where we needed to go with the music…I definitely think my team and I plan on releasing new music, getting a storyboard together–What do the people need at this time? What is the story? What is the sound?–I’m ready for some great things in 2021!” We are hoping these new singles will come along with a full-fledged album. VNIS’s voice is addictive! In the meantime, we can get our fix on November 20, 2020, when he drops his EP, “POV!”

Besides music, VNIS is also a lover of fashion! His style is trendy and chic with looks that would put any GQ Magazine spread to shame! For VNIS he admits how he dresses reflects his demeanor. “How you dress affects everything that you do…for me as an artist I’m not only getting dressed for me but how my day is gonna go, how my week is gonna look…like I have these sweatpants that are really fluffy and wear them when I’m writing and I love them and that’s what they’re for…I think that goes for any outfit that I’m wearing and I love the option to wear something beautiful…” At Kontrol Magazine we believe fashion is more than a label it’s a lifestyle, so wear it. Clearly, VNIS is wearing his life beautifully and amazingly.

We love VNIS and his music, he is an amazing artist and things are only going to rise higher and higher for him. He advises other independent artists to “keep at it, don’t give up. Something in you is telling you this is what you’re meant to do so you need to follow it and give it life…” Indeed, there should be nothing that stops your dreams. VNIS is a shining example of breaking away and taking a true risk to make your dreams come true. There’s much to be appreciated and loved.

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Interviews

[VIDEO] “Hey Mikey Goes Virtual” w/ Toni Bryce!

The intersections of race and sexuality can be as complicated as being between a proverbial “rock and a hard place.”

However, Toni Bryce, an amazingly talented young woman is navigating them with poise, grace, and a growing voice in the fight for her right to exist, a budding acting career, and a new role in Starz’ new series, “P-Valley!”

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toni bryce

The intersections of race and sexuality can be as complicated as being between a proverbial “rock and a hard place.”

However, Toni Bryce, an amazingly talented young woman is navigating them with poise, grace, and a growing voice in the fight for her right to exist, a budding acting career, and a new role in Starz’ new series, “P-Valley!”

toni bryce

Talking with Toni is always a treat! In the first part of her interview our very own, Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning (in regards to COVID-19 limitations) snagged a Zoom interview with Toni as she spoke on the frequent murders of transgender people of color, the role of transgender women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera in LGBT American History, and Black Lives Matters unwittingly overshadowing Pride Month.

Toni went on to discuss “The Beauty in Colors March,” created by Atlanta councilman, Antonio Brown; which began near Atlantic Station and ended at the Rainbow Walkway in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. Here, she discusses fighting for justice for all oppressed people, the power of words and pronouns in relation to transgender people, the erasure of transgender people from LGBT community causes, and how she got her role on the upcoming series “P-Valley!”

Toni Bryce is one of those rare people who “talks the talk AND walks the walk!” Her work and service to various communities of people, while reconciling her own personal feelings and experiences.

toni bryce

Toni’s story is far from over and as you can see she is only scratching the surface of her potential! We are happy to witness her rise and will always be down for the ride when it comes to Ms. Bryce! Congratulations Toni on EVERYTHING!

To book your own interview contact us at HeyMikeyATL@gmail.com.

**We reserve the right to edit, use, or not use any footage we see fit. Thank you!**

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Interviews

The Divine Shine of Divinity Mychael!

“A Star is Born!” Those are just four words which describe Divinity Mychael, singer, fashion designer, and rising star! Divinity is truly a young woman on the go, working hard for her dreams and to share her voice in an industry where the competition is only becoming fiercer by the day.

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divinity mychael

Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning

divinity mychael

“A Star is Born!” Those are just four words which describe Divinity Mychael, singer, fashion designer, and rising star! Divinity is truly a young woman on the go, working hard for her dreams and to share her voice in an industry where the competition is only becoming fiercer by the day.

Divinity, however, is not phased, she has all the talent in the world and God on her side. “I’m determined and have a dream I’m going to make happen…there’s nothing easy about it, but nothing worthwhile really is.”

divinity mychael

Like many artists, Divinity Mychael has known she wanted to be a singer since she was a child. Also, like some of the greatest singers who ever lived like Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin she learned to sing in church. “Church is definitely one of the best training grounds in the world for singing. I sang in the choir for years and sang different parts. I can sing soprano, alto, and even tenor [she laughs]–the last one is a little hard for me though.” Indeed there is true versatility in her voice allowing her to hit the highest notes or smooth undertones, making her music a true treat. Her single, “SCAR,” is a real bop and gives us real Tinashe vibes. 

They say life and experience are the best teachers, but for Divinity, it is the source of her music. “My music tends to reflect things I’ve been through and situations I’ve dealt with. It makes your music relatable and you’re transparent…that’s how I want to be with my fans and supporters. I want them to get the authentic me when they hear my music.” SCAR may be Divinity’s most popular single, but it is not her newest piece of work. In fact, she has an unnamed EP ready to drop this summer! “I really feel like everyone is going to enjoy the tracks. I put a lot of work and love into them, and can’t wait for you guys to hear what I’ve come up with. You’ll see I’m no stranger to hard work!” 

divinity mychael

As aforementioned, Divinity is definitely no stranger to working for what she wants, having another venture in fashion with her own fashion line, “Div Life!” “My line is made of clothes every woman can wear. I really want women to feel empowered, sexy, and beautiful in my clothes. Currently I’m looking for models for an upcoming fashion show I’m planning and from there it is more work getting it off the ground.” There are few things more trying than being an entrepreneur on top of being an artist as well, but she handles the combined pressures well. “I have an amazing team and support system behind me. You know I still work a day job, I’m an artist, and a [fashion] designer, so for me it’s really a balancing act, time management, and remaining focused. There’s so much to do when you’re on the rise.”  Divinity’s many hats are currently her “true loves.” Determined to remain focused, she is not dating or looking to date anyone at the moment. “I’m nineteen [she laughs] love will come, but for now I’m in my bag! I don’t need any distractions.”

Divinity Mychael is destined for greatness. We can hear it in her music, see it in the way she moves, and watch it manifest itself in her drive. She advises other independent artists and rising stars to “never give up…I know it’s hard, we’re all trying to make it, but we have to keep at it. Nothing happens overnight–nothing.”

divinity mychael

Instagram: @divinitymychael, @divlifeonline

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