Mya Cullins is a Business Woman, A Mother, An Author, A Speaker, A Wife, A Woman of God and A Prominent Community Leader of Greensboro, North Carolina. As a woman of color in business, Mya represents what every strong ambitious woman deserves in life. Mya Cullins has written her first book “Behind The Veil” that will be on the big screen very soon and speaks to her community about Ambition, Women Empowerment and Entrepreneurship.
A Little about Changing Phases Inc:
Changing Phases Behavioral Support, Inc. (CPBS) is a professional organization that is known for providing Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services since February 2006. Changing Phases has experience in providing everything from Residential Treatment , Substance Abuse Groups, Individual Counseling and Assessments in North Carolina. Changing Phases also currently provides Community Based services in the Greater Atlanta Area. Changing Phases recently decided to incorporate outpatient opioid treatment services as another measure to successfully address ongoing opiate dependence. Changing Phases takes great pride in maintaining the values, mission, and direction of the organization. Changing Phases always provides a comprehensive treatment experience resulting in a desire for the best outcome possible for all persons served.
There were only 5 clients before the true success and moving to North Carolina proved more success to Mya and Quinten Cullins where they could best serve their community as the services were desperately needed. Mya is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Human Services and is very strategic in balancing her personal life and career so that neither will spill into the other.
The Official AO recently Interviewed Mya Cullins, the Co-founder of Changing Phases Inc. As a family woman, Mya wants the best outcome for not only her family, but also her community.
The Official AO: What Inspired you to Write “Behind The Veil”?
MC: I was inspired by my family and marriage. The book is based only on real life experiences.
The Official AO: In your Opinion, What are the 3 keys to success?
MC: Have a vision, Fulfill vision, and Never give up.
The Official AO: What Can We Expect Next?
MC: My book, “Behind the Veil” to be on the big screen and Major Network offers for our own Reality Television show.
The Official AO: Why do you love serving your community so much?
MC: I enjoy giving back and making a difference in the lives of others that are in need. Giving back in something that was inspired by the acts of my great grandparents, grandmother..etc. This is what led me to start my own non-profit organization Sarah Jettie Community development Corp @ www.sjcommunitydevelopment.org
Mya Cullins is an inspiration to the ones who feels like there is no way out especially in mental health where leadership is greatly needed in all of our communities. We are deeply appreciative of such the leader you are to your community in North Carolina and communities world-wide. All of the compassion that you give to the youth and families, you are a perfect example of how we all should serve our people.
To stay updated with everything Mya Cullins is doing for her community and a chance to purchase her book “Behind The Veil” please check out her website below.Read more
Who is Brittany Dixon and how do you inspire women in the fitness industry?
That’s a really good question…”Who is Brittany Dixon” the funny thing is, I’ve been on a self discovery journey to find out exactly who I am, what I stand for and what truly makes me happy. I had to step out of my comfort zone to find out. I discover the good, the bad and the ugly. Most of all, I finally found the beauty within me. I was able to tap into a piece of my brain that I was afraid to unleash out of fear. Once I let those fears go I was able to live and have piece of mind. I free’d my mind, and it’s a feeling like no other. I feel heroic as if I can concur anything. So to answer your question, I am a woman of happiness, positivity, a go-getter and a woman of “yes” who isn’t afraid to say no. I am a brave woman, but most of all I am a woman. A woman that can relate to other women. At first, I believed posting my fitness videos inspired women to workout, (which it did), but since I’ve stepped out of my comfort to pursue my passion of becoming a fitness model, I’ve gained a new following of women (and men) wanting to purse their passion but afraid to take that first step. I think the fitness videos is that extra value to your lively-hood of feeling good and looking good…it totally builds confidence and gave me the energy I needed to not give up. Working out gave my day structure and taught me discipline. I learned results don’t happened over night and to stay consistent. I applied every mental challenge from fitness into making my dream come true. I am living proof of what it means to be fearless, take that first step to reach your goals, believe in yourself, put in the work, there will be blood, sweat and tears but the reward is so worth it if its what you really want.
What are your goals when it comes to teaching in health and fitness?
My goal is to push the importance of happiness and piece of mind. Use fitness as a way to release stress, tension and toxins from the body and use healthy eating habits to nourish, repair, and fuel your body. These are what kept me going and keep a positive mindset.
What drives you to continue to inspire young women?
Sometimes I feel I’ve been brainwashed as to how a female is suppose to think, look, and act. I’ve lowered myself, my value, and thoughts just to fit in the box of what a woman have been painted to be. I’ve been told “girls can’t play sports”(Although I received a track scholarship), treated like an object, and deemed “psycho” because I’m single. Ummm, that doesn’t even make sense! This nonsense and unfair treatment is what drives me to inspire young girls…because it drives me crazy!
What are some of your biggest achievements in your career thus far?
My Biggest achievement would actually be doing my very first fitness modeling job for Silk Almond Milk. I call it my biggest achievement because, I quit my job to chase my dream of becoming a fitness model. I put in the hard work, gave it my best and it worked! Even though I was only shown for seconds at a time…I can truly say I am a working fitness model and ready to continue building my portfolio.
How did fitness help you keep a balance on your mental health and what did the beginning struggles look and feel like to you before transitioning over to becoming a professional fitness model?
Fitness was and has always been my escape zone…It was my mental and physical therapy and it helped with getting in rhythm with my body and making sure I kept breathing. Yes, breathing! Breathing is super important in fitness, when you properly breath in rhythm with your body, your able to execute the exercise much easier. If I feel stressed, I stop to take three deep breaths to get back in tune and think clearly. The biggest struggle when I first started modeling was not knowing when or if I would get an audition and/or booked. Going on auditions are nerve wrecking, because you don’t know what the casting director wants…especially when image is everything. Before ever audition I do my breathing exercises “Three big inhales and exhales”. Transitioning into a fitness model was exciting and I was eager to go on any audition I got. My first audition was for “REAL VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS” and I never played 1 day in my life…so I had to fake the audition to the best of my ability. The casting director saw right through it and gave me a look of “please leave” lol. I learned after that not to lie about your talents, practice the requested skills (if you can), never look unsure, always look confident and just be yourself. The best part of being a fitness model: it is my job to stay in shape, so I’m able to distress on a daily basis.
With all of your accomplishments in TV Production and Entertainment do you ever aspire to keep with it and combine both fitness and production together?
YES, ABSOLUTELY!! It is my dream to merge wellness and entertainment together. I have written so many ideas and shows that I could have my own channel worth of content. I have a few videos on my youtube channel all professionally shot by an Atlanta based production company and produced/created by me. However I would like to have my own production company where my work is being cranked out 24/7 and produce content for others.
How has following your passion in fitness lead you into a happier and more fulfilling life?
I can truly say nothing is impossible and words are powerful.
What advice would you give to young women today if they came to you and said, “My mother wants me to do this, but my real passion is…” What would you tell them?
I would say never disregard advice, but make sure you’re happy. I was fortunate enough to have a supportive Mom who at first feared my career jump from the office to model, then later embraced it, then got inspired to do her own thing once she saw my success. Now she is making extra money from a company she built in less than a year just by taking a leap of faith and believing in herself. My mother warned me of the things that could go wrong, but never of the things that could go right. We were taught to fear. So, I would tell that girl to listen to your mother and be prepared for the challenges ahead, but know yourself worth and make sure you’re happy, you never know who you may inspire.
Do you have any events or classes coming up for young girls to join and support?
Yes, I am currently putting together a fitness and women empowerment event later this year. I will give you all the details soon.
How can people watch you online and follow you on social media?
You can follow me on Instagram @Brittanynicole.fit
Twitter & SnapChat @BrittNicole_Fit
you can follow my career switch journey on my blog at www.brittanynicole.fit
Thank you so much for this interview, I am truly horned!Read more
Recently we were contacted by Hip Hop Artist Mz. Nicky’s team, who stated that she had a horrible experience with member of the Hustle Gang label. She alleged that she paid to do a song with Shad Da God, Banditgang Marco, Young Dro, Young Thug & T.I., but never received the Masters or the Video she was promised. Read more into the interview as she explains in her own words, what really went down.
Hello Mz. Nicky. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Let’s jump right in.
You have a hard working track record, how long have you been in the industry?
I’ve been in this industry since 2009, I did music with Mia X of No Limit, Young Bleed of No Limit, and Shawna of DTP.
You have worked with some major figures in this business, what was the motivation to go that direction?
Motivation is always having a strong networking relationship with others that will help elevate me to the next level of making wise business decisions. I believe that will raise me to a higher platform of respect and a recognition as a female MC.
The industry has given a lot of artist ups and down. You recently went through a situation with some major artist, can you explain the situation?
Yes, the industry is shady and cut throat in my situation. I paid for major multiple features on my new single titled “Add little purple.” I did my part of business and never received my masters or the video that corresponds with my song. I’ve gotten the run around no calls back or emails. So this forced me to go public.
Seems like that situation dragged out a bit. Please tell us what was the final moment you felt it wasn’t going to work out?
When someone for the hustle gang was acting as if they were a part of T.I.’s management and the team apologized to me that they had been busy and wanted to assure me that I would be flown down and they would pay for hotel and arrange for us to shoot a group scene to add to my video. We signed paperwork to clear everything so I could move to start making money and promoting. However, I got hustled out of extra money and they never sent my session files.
At this point what are you hoping will happen to resolve it?
I am hoping to receive all my session files and the full video along with the group scene. I know that now I’ve decided to move forward and go public, they will view me differently. So being compensated and to receive a sincere apologize would right the wrongs and make us all money to continue to feed all our families.
What’s your next move as an artist?
My next move is to take my story public and inform others how independent artist are being treated and what we go through. To continue to make great music that everyone can relate, listen to, vibe to, and share similarities with.
What did you learn that you would advice others to be aware of?
I would to advise others to seek a lawyer before any money is handled to any artist. Always do your research on people , so many of them are running successful scams on others.
Would you ever work with another top artist again?
I would work with anyone who makes great music. If someone wants to work with me, I’m always open to work when it comes to music and money.
How can people find you on social media?
Mz. Nicky (@MzNicky513) | Twitter
Mz. Nicky (@mznicky513) • Instagram photos and videos
For Business: contact Tangi Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Losing a child to gun violence is a hard thing to deal with. TheOfficialAO.com had the opportunity to talk with a mother who had lost a child to gun violence. Her name is Chandra Shaw and her son Michael Shaw, died at just the age of 20 years old. Michael left behind his 2 year old daughter Brooklyn Shaw who will now have to grow up without a father to look up to. Imagine, having a fatherless child and how they would yearn for their father’s love and attention.
Tell me about your son? What was he like, how was he portrayed in high school?
Michael had a big heart and was very over protective when it came to the people he loved. We used to call him “Iron Man”, because he was strong and tough. My son was book smart, he loved math and loved his daughter. We had a bond like we were brother and sister, he could come to me about anything, We used to get together once a month with the family and have movie nights and throughout the movie he would be the only one joking and laughing. He always had a smile on his face even when he got mad there was always a smile there. I knew when he would lie and I would know, because of his smile.
Do you recall the day he was killed? What happened?
October 10th, 2016, Michael went to his friends house to hangout. As they were hanging out, the conversation about one of his friends sister came up and they started arguing. One of the friends tried to break it up but by the time he could the other friend had shot him in the back of his head twice.
Is it hard living without him? How do you cope with his death?
Yes, it is very hard, because he used to sleep in the same room as me and I’ve been more protective over my other children since his death, because Memphis is a very dangerous place to stay in. You never know what could happen to your child, they cant even go to the movies without some being shot.
Would you want to help other parents who have been in this type of situation?
Yes, I would like to help other parents, because we can`t keep sitting around watching our children die like this. A mother never wants to bury their child first, but sometimes God has other plans for our lives.
At the end of the interview, I offered my condolences to her family. As I said before losing a child isn’t easy. Parents have to deal with a lot after they lose their child, because that may be their only child and if they have more they become over protective than ever, because they wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to their other children.
There has been approximately 227 homicides in Memphis, Tennessee since January 2016 to Present time and 184 has been recorded as Gun Related deaths. When will our youth learn better ways? It is up to the older generation to come together and educate our youth so fatal outcomes such as Michael’s would not happen so commonly.
Always remember to take ahold of your loved ones and love them dearly, because you never know when it’s going to be the last time that you will be able to see them.
For more information about Michael Shaw’s family and if want to help support the family in anyway please reach out to The Official AO at info@TheOfficialAO.comRead more
Who is L Rucus?
What kind of music do you bring to the industry and how do you stand out from the rest? L is a hungry, hardworking, humble and above all talented artist who strives to be the best in whatever he does. Delving in both hip/hop and Rnb, L isn’t afraid to try new things and make a splash in the music scene. With a hip/hop soul and lyrics, blended in with smooth Rnb hooks and harmonies, L isn’t afraid to push the envelope on what it truly means to be an artist.
Tell Official AO about your story and what challenges did you have to go through to be successful?
Adversity facing a growing boy and a dying father. With a father suffering from Alzheimer’s, a debilitating disease which deteriorates the mind and stops old and new memories from being made, I suffered with finding a medium between a man for my family, but a boy mourning his father. Music was my escape and my focus to take my mind off of what stressed me on a daily. Rather vent and talk about it in a way that helped me cope.
What has been your biggest lesson in pursuing your independent music career?
Never expect someone else to do what you should be doing yourself. Its cool to depend on people, but never more than you depend on yourself. You should always be the first line of defense to any problem. The kobe to your lakers, or the Lebron to your Cavs. Team is important, but be your own star player.
Who are some music artists that you have opened up for and what are some of your biggest career achievements?
BIG KRIT by far was one of my favorites and best events as of now just because of how much i respect and admire him as an artist, as well as the feedback i received from that crowd when i was given my moment. It was really a night to remember.
How do you keep yourself motivated when it seems that all odds are against you?
By telling myself this is what i was meant to do, your so far than the rest, your more talented, you work harder, and above all, your family depends on you. If I don’t, who will? I refuse to let another man live my dream for me.
Before i release my next project titled “The long way home”, i’m planning to drop very soon my “F.I.I.R 2″(pronounced “fear”) mixtape. Which is an acronym for “Fxxx it, Its Rucus”. Its a compilation of the hottest songs of the year that i compiled into a project to showcase my versatility as an artist. Whether its an Rnb vibe, Lyrical exercise, swag rap, or something for the ladies. The project is without a doubt going to leave people saying “He can rap, and above all, he’s talented as hell”.
Are you performing live anywhere and how can we keep updated with everything that you are doing?
Currently putting together a list of events and shows to be announced, to stay updated check out the website at IAMLRUCUS.NET and follow all the social links to stay in the loop. Subscribe to the mailing list as well to be given any and all music and news ahead of time
Do you have any advice for the youth out there who only hears the negative feedback in pursuing their career and can’t seem to stay motivated?
How can you encourage them to see that their careers are worth it in the end? This isn’t a game, its a job. And like any job, you put in work, time, and effort to really get the best result. It’s not all fun and games, but if your serious and truly take your craft serious, you’ll rise to the challenge and stand tall. I always go by my very first verse as a way to keep me motivated. “You see this life is never guaranteed, so i choose to wake up from reality, and live my dreams”. -L.Rucus-
Do you have any shout-outs and where can we follow you on social media?Read more
Who in their lifetime can say that Prince mentored you and was able to work with superstars life K. Michelle and Nicki Minaj? Dre Knight, a very talented man can tell you some of his experiences and also talks about his journey getting to where he is now as a well respected Music Producer in the game today. Read full interview here on TheOfficialAO below.
Tell us a little about what you do in the music industry and about your journey to how you got to where you are today?
I’m a music producer, composer, arranger, musician and the owner of Knightlife Entertainment, which is a production company that houses artists, songwriters and producers. Here, we develop artists and look to mold and shape their careers. My journey to get to this point involved a lot of “right place, right time scenarios, luck, a lot of being prepared, a lot of time mastering the craft and clearly outlining my goals and most importantly trusting my instinct and always stay true to the “dope” and never the hype.
What does it feel like to have produced songs for stars like K. Michelle, Nicki Minaj?
Producing K Michelle and Nicki Minaj was a lot of fun… I think I really enjoyed it because they were at an earlier stage in their careers and it made it a little easier to get to know them a little bit. The music that we made was honest, which means that it came from a very real place and I felt like I was able to capture “musical moments” with them.
I always made sure I had jack Daniels in the studio for K. Michelle and I knew how to really embrace her perspective on songs. It was never gonna be anything politically correct but it was going to be real. She is a real champion and overcame a lot of odds to get to where she is now. I’m really honored to have been a part of her journey. What I remember about my time working with Nicki was that she was an incredible writer and lyricist, really humble, but super determined and hungry to manifest her destiny. Nicki was always grounded… Even today as arguably the biggest female rapper in history, she has kept that intact.
What has been your biggest lesson in your career as you have been climbing up the charts to success?
The most important lesson I learned was that “the table that I wanted to sit at, that I didn’t have to TRY to sit at. All I had to do was grab my chair.” Those were the exact words that Prince gave me during our time together. When he said that to me, it hit home… I was so focused on trying to appease the A&R’s or the tastemaker that dictates which songs get released. To have him offer me mentorship, advice and guidance in such a short time meant the world to me and I never looked back. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself because never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that my most important lesson would come from the man that inspired me the most.
Tell us about some of your current projects and music artists you are working with right now?
Currently, my focus is devoted to the artists at Knightlife. Mega Eli, a gifted writer and artist as a whole, has a great future in front of him. I’m excited about his project because it’s out the box. My mother, Robin West, is producing some of the songs on that project and I’m enjoying just watching her work with the artists at the company.
Israela, or “Queen Izzo” (what I call her) is a brilliant vocalist, but all around she’s mesmerizing as an entertainer. Her ability to tell stories through song and dance makes her unique but her dedication to the craft and her work ethic is unparalleled. Other than that, I’m back in the studio with Tish Hyman as she prepares for her second album. Most people that know me, know that Tish is like a sister to me and the music on her new project is really special. Her process is really incredible to watch. She gathers a bunch of us producers together and it’s a collaborative effort. She’s a great producer in her own right… Soon, she will be acknowledged for it.
How has big influences such as Prince, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder influence your style of production in today’s time?
Prince, Smokey and Stevie Wonder are my musical holy trinity. As a child, i wanted to capture the groove of Prince, play keys like Stevie and write like Smokey. As an adult, I’m still chasing that… Lol. I think u can hear some of those influences in my music especially rhythmically. Creating groove and trying to evoke an emotion musically is where I feel I excel and I learned that from them. I’ve been fortunate to know Smokey a little bit and able to have great conversations about his process and I was able to do the same with Prince. Their influence has been HUGE. They gave me something to aspire to be.
Which music artist would you like to work with next and why?
I think if Frank Ocean and I got together to make another song, it would be special. He has his own approach in song making that can turn an ordinary song into true ART. I think he’s the epitome of what an artist is in that regard. I still get a lot of comments on social media about “Acura Integurl”. I can’t help but imagine what would have been if we actually got a chance to create more.
What are some life mottos do you like to live by and how have they enhanced your career in the music industry?
I take most of my life mottos directly from the sports world. One that sticks out is “All it takes, is all u got”. It’s a constant reminder to keep on pushing and working no matter what, and holding yourself accountable for the results you desire. If u give 100% to your craft, eventually your craft will give 100% back to u. Trust the process and find the beauty within it.
Do you have any advice for the up and coming music producers? What are some of the dos and don’t dos while beginning your production career?
My advice for aspiring music producers would be to really understand the psychology of the song. I encourage other creators to take the time to analyze the song to make sure there’s a storyline to follow and that musically, it does everything to bring that story to life. I believe songs should have a beginning, a middle and an end. This isn’t a singing contest or a dance contest… It’s a connect to people contest…people connect to perspectives they identify with. When the music, story, melody and vocal performance are all dynamic, the opportunity to make impact is real. Master the craft, experiment in different genres of music, expand your palette, and unlock your full musical potential. Stay creative, push the envelope and the boundaries of creativity.
As far as do’s or dont’s, it’s difficult to say what a creative should or shouldn’t do because each person has their own path and sometimes what’s wrong for me is right for someone else. I think if you’re reliable, dependable and consistent, you have a shot at being successful but in the end, talent alone doesn’t entitle any of us to success. Understanding the intangibles and the “game within the game” is paramount.
How can your fans follow you on social media?Read more
I am very happy to be able to talk with Actress/Comedienne COCOA BROWN about her return in the long-running comedy series on the Oprah Winfrey Network, “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse”.
We also get into COCOA BROWN’s celebration of her weight loss of 50 lbs, through diet and exercise and how the weight loss has affected her as a single mother and woman.
Cocoa Brown, a native of Newport News, Virginia is best known for her starring role as fan favorite “Jennifer” on “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse” on the Oprah Winfrey Network, juror “Queen B” on FX’s smash hit “American Crime Story: People v. OJ Simpson”, which recently won multiple awards at the 2016 Emmy Awards and the films “Ted 2” and “Single Mom’s Club”.
EJ: Hello Ms. Brown thank you for your time. I would love to start off by congratulating you on your recent weight lose. How did this transformation come about?
COCOA BROWN: Well after I had my son back in 2012 I begin to slowly start the process of getting healthier for him but as well as myself. I was diagnosed with just diabetes in the 3rd trimester and because diabetes runs in my family I knew I had to take some serious precautions to prolong my life. It began slowly with walking drinking lots of water and watching my portions and just basically what I ate. But with the help of meal supplements and vitamins I’ve been able to take this 4 year process and make it part of my lifestyle.
EJ: Would you say that being on TV there is pressure to maintain a certain size?
COCOA BROWN: Luckily for me I came in the business considered a plus size actress so a lot of the roles I got called for just that. But as time progressed and I begin to lose weight I noticed that a lot of those rolls would not be made available to me and I was kind of in a crossroads because I’ll never be a size 2 and according to industry standards even with the weight-loss I’m still considered plus size. So if anything I’ve been told not to lose too much weight which to me is pretty funny
EJ: Is there a personal weight goal or are you just going for healthy living?
COCOA BROWN: I would like to lose about 30 more but basically it is a healthy lifestyle but I’m trying to live and maintain for not only myself but my son.
EJ: You are from Newport News, Virginia is that where your career started?
COCOA BROWN: Well I did my first play when I was 10 years old but I have to say my actual career started in 1996 in Washington DC.
EJ: You have had the opportunity to work with two icons in entertainment Mr. Tyler Perry and Ms. Oprah Winfrey, was there ever a moment you felt a little intimated being in the room with them?
COCOA BROWN: I wouldn’t say intimidated but more so starstruck and also just completely in awe of these two iconic people. Something about being on the set with Mr. Perry makes you want to step your game up
EJ: What are you like on set? Are you into pranks, do you crack jokes or are you all business?
COCOA BROWN: Well I pride myself with having the reputation of being professional and easy to work with but overall I’m all about my business and giving the best performance that I can but I will crack a joke or two especially if things get really stressful.
EJ: The new season of “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse” just started and we are so happy you are back. Should we expect some surprises from your character this season?
COCOA BROWN: I think the biggest surprise is that Jennifer and Richard have become item. 2 characters that couldn’t be any more opposites and they falling for each other and dealing with the opinions of their friends on their union. I so appreciate this story line from Mr. Perry because so many times us thicker sisters get forgotten about on screen when it comes to matters of the heart and right now I believe just from the comments from the fans that this new love in Jennifer’s life is giving a lot of my thick sisters hope.
EJ: If you had to give up one, would it be Acting or Comedy, and why?
COCOA BROWN: I would hate to give up either because both Bring me equal amounts of joy for different reasons but if I had to pick One at this moment it might be comedy because it does take me away from my child a lot and with him getting older Mommy just wants to be more present and involved in his everyday life.
EJ: Congratulations is in order for your Screen Actor’s Guild Award nomination, are there any awards that you wish to one day put in your Trophy Case?
COCOA BROWN: Thank you! But just to be on the ballot was an honor in itself. But who wouldn’t want an Emmy, Oscar or screen actors Guild on the mantle. All artist do this for the love but as a human you want to be acknowledged and rewarded for your hard work
EJ: You recently released your comedy CD “One Funny Momma”, which is currently available on iTunes, tell us about that project?
COCOA BROWN: I was deeply honored Bounce TV reached out to me to shoot my one hour special it was a labor of love and a long time coming. What I am most proud about is that I am the kind of comic that can do any kind of material but I was able to let the world see me do clean comedy and shut up the naysayers lol
Thank you for your time and we at The official AO will continue to support your career and accomplishments.Read more
Celebrity Chef Milton Guinses recently kicked off his Healthy Mommy Meal Prep plans. The healthy mommy meal prep plans are for new mothers who have recently given birth. His healthy meals contains a variety of foods that are healthy for mothers while breastfeeding. Some meals include, lean beef, salmon, brown rice, leafy greens and more.
Milton set the healthy mommy meal prep plans in place because he knows that mothers who are breastfeeding need to maintain a healthy balanced diet and that most mothers do not do that much cooking the first month after giving birth.
EJ: Hello Chef Guinses, how did your culinary career start and why did you want to become a Chef?
Chef Milton Guinses: My career as a Chef and caterer started in 2008 when I was laid off along with 7000 people at a timeshare company and 3 days later I received a call from a old client I cooked for after telling him if he bought the timeshare from me I would go to the resort and cook for him and up to 10 guests for the whole weekend, he and his family loved it so much they told me I was their first choice to cook for their wedding in Cabo! Even though I had the training from school I never thought I would be this talented and or a natural as a Chef then I am now, it’s still humbling to me to hear soooooo many people tell me how my food makes them feel so right now my best answer to this question is I love the “wow you made this”?!
EJ: You are traveling a lot currently…does it influence your cuisine?
Chef Milton Guinses: Yes, me traveling a lot helps me see the different foods and other cultures that people eat and I am able to adapt to them and make them my own and bring them back to the states with my own little spin on it.
EJ: For you, what are the key qualities needed to becoming a Chef?
Chef Milton Guinses: You have to have Thick skin, many people will not like your food, you need to learn to see it from other people’s eyes, I have high blood pressure, so I cook without salt, 85% of my clients thank me for it, and the 15% will say it’s lacking salt, and I’m OK with that because they will never say it’s lacking flavor… just salt that I can live with, my father bless his soul was one of these people that would put salt on popcorn at the movie theater, and everyone knows how much salt they put in the popcorn because they want to sell you soda and water!! you also have to be open to change, I know some great cooks but they will not get out of their own way because they can only do food a certain way and don’t want to adapt, I have made so much money once I learned about vegan and vegetarian cuisines.
EJ: Being around food all of the time do you find it hard to stay fit?
Chef Milton Guinses: Not at all, as a Chef you taste the food over and over and you get sick of tasting food very quick! I taste every dish I make prior to sending it out and not to mention testing the dish out first before putting it on the menu for the client to,make sure it will work well.
EJ: How did you come up with the healthy Mommy Meals concept?
Chef Milton Guinses: I came up with Healthy Mom’s meals when i got a request to make meals for someone that just had a baby and was to tired to cook because husband didn’t cook, it went so well she referred me to 3 other pregnant women and I knew i stumbled onto something very useful.
EJ: Do you recommend your prepped meals only for Moms?
Chef Milton Guinses: I recommend my prep meals to anyone that is tired or just don’t have the extra time to cook, it is such a relief knowing after a hard days work, everything is already prepared and waiting for you.
EJ: Why is Meal Prep so important?
Chef Milton Guinses: Meal prep is so important to maintain a healthy balance in life if your trying to lose or gain weight, it also makes it fool proof so it’s less likely for you to binge eat, it’s a pack, grab… and go type deal which is perfect if your lifestyle is busy or you just want a variety of meals to eat but don’t have the time to make them in advance.
EJ: Have you had the chance to cook for any celebrities?
Chef Milton Guinses: I have had the pleasure to cook for many celebrity clients to many to name all of them, however the most recent ones this year alone have been Kim Whitley, Mario Van Peebles and his Father Melvin Peebles, Dionne Warwick, William Fichtner, Tatyana Ali, Martin Lawerence, and Eva Longoria.
Chef Milton Guinses With Actress Eva Longoria
EJ: What do you think of the recent craze of cookery as entertainment (TV shows, contests…)?
Chef Milton Guinses: It’s all for entertainment.. not talent, I have been around many….many many chefs and none of the behind the scene craziness ever is displayed like that! it’s for show and drama..and right now the world loves drama not so much talent..But I hope to change all that with my examples of hard work and attention to detail to my clients needs.
EJ: What advice would you give someone who wants to become a Chef?
Chef Milton Guinses: Attention to detail is the key to changing basic food into “wow you made this food”?! do not take short cuts when you don’t need to food is not a race it’s a dance and a story that needs to be told, and everyone dances different and reads different stories so you must be good at telling stories and dancing when it comes to making food for a client.
EJ: Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? How can we find you on social media or purchase your meal prep products?
Chef Milton Guinses: You can find me on Facebook under fb.com/mdcconciergellc or Instagram at mdccatering4you or call me to talk about how I can help you for your next event or meal plan at 323 375 3612Read more
So tell us a little about your company Mugen Music and Management?
Mugen Music & Management Inc. is an independent record label and promotional company in Tulsa, OK. We started up in August 2015. We focus primarily on urban music genre such as hip hop. It started as an idea among friends. Within a month all legal paperwork and incorporation forms were filed, top of the art recording booth and equipment investments as well as social media and website was launched. 360 as well as 12 month partner artists offers were made and the team was quickly assembled. We also offer venues and bars social marketing assistance as well as loyalty reward programs. Mugen takes a strong stance on branding and marketing.
How has your company revitalized the music of Oklahoma for the better?
Mugen Music came out of nowhere onto the scene. Each artists is a unique sound and style. However as a team, the sound and show presence cannot be denied. There were only a few local spots that had hip hop shows regularly, we like to think that with the strong business model such as performance contracts and marketing we opened the market for hip hop in many new venues and locations. In the first year Mugen has been involved in over 50 shows and over 20 locations as well as surrounding states. We have networked with so many talented local acts and have actively assisted in tour support for major hip hop acts such as Scarface, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Eff Yoo, Stevie Stone and many more. We would like to think Mugen injected a sense of pride and new found talent.
As a business owner what kind of role model are you to the youth and how do you plan to make a positive difference in the Tulsa Oklahoma community?
I strive to give back to the community. Mugen does a benefit show almost monthly. We have teamed up with Cancer awareness groups and have assisted children with cancer. Red Cross to assist with tornado victims and even have developed an after school program with the YMCA called hip hop history. We teach the children the positive influences of the four fundamentals of hip hop.
What music artists do you have signed to management?
Had Enough, Unknown Kapriest, Los Boi, Tra G, W.I.L.L. da Big Homie, Kromatik & DJ YG Oklahoma handles all our production and DJ needs.
What are your roles and how do you keep business organized?
The artists are responsible for producing quality music for distribution and live performances as well as PR for fan meet and greets as well as street team interaction. My primary role (Ryan Paquette) is to assist all artists with their careers such as merchandise, branding, social awareness, promotions, venue and show scheduling. I also provide the artists with a quality studio for recording and I handle all production and distribution as well as all legal paperwork for artists.
We hear you went to San Diego for a music conference on Mugen’s behalf how was that experience and what did you take back to your team?
Yes, I attended the Urban Music Network. My mentor, Harold Whaley, invited me to speak on a panel that he hosted. The response was amazing. So many movers and shakers in the industry were there. A lot of critical connections were made and today I am proud to say that I am working closely with many of them to advance and grow Mugen Music. Coming out of that conference I earned a Sony/Orchard digital distribution deal which is rare in my area of the US. I am utilizing that to promote all my artists as well as serve as a conduit for Tulsa local talent that chooses to be serious about their music.
How do you see your company growing in the next year?
I know each artists will be releasing a new album. Major features will be added as well as larger distribution since their first release. We also are looking into a college campus tour next year to grow our fan base and become more well known among the industry. Also radio will play a major role as we focus on avenues such as slacker radio and more over seas connections. Mugen also is teaming up with a talent buyer out of CA, we are looking for venues that would and can handle the capacity for major talent to do shoes in Tulsa with Mugen as tour support and promotional support.
What is some advice you can give to all struggling entrepreneurs out there who really are hungry for success?
Never give up. No matter what negativity is thrown your way. You will find that people will turn on you in a heasrt beat. Depend on only yourself. Build and network with those who have paved the way before you. Be humble. Be you.
How can your supporters support Mugen and the whole movement?
Like our facebook page – Follow us on twitter and Instagram – and subscribe to our YouTube. But most importantly, please purchase merchandise and albums. Come to our events and shows. We love meeting our fans. And other artists should recognize the good we are doing and network. We cant make this happen alone. We need all the support we can. Much Love!Read more
Do you remember Making The Band on MTV, then you have to remember one of the best talents that was seen on the show R&B soul “Big Mike”! He’s one of the cast members of P.Diddy’s hugely successful MTV reality show, Making the Band and he just released his debut single “Lay Around” featuring III. Although Big Mike has a crazy promotional schedule, he took some time to answer a few questions about how his life has changed since finishing the show, joining the group Day 26 and now pushing his solo career.
EJ: So Big Mike tell me a little about your new single, Lay Around.
Big Mike: Lay Around is just a sexy club/lounge type of record made to let her know that no one can do her like you do in every way! I mean you can jam to it with your significant other wherever or pregame before going out with your girls. Its just a dope record that people are definitely starting to gravitate towards.
EJ: What is your goal for this project?
Big Mike: My goal for this single is to get in playing in as many different markets as I can. I want people to hear it understand it and love it and those that were not a fan maybe because they didn’t know about will become fans and those that already are will fall in love all over again.
EJ: Are you working on any collaborations at the time?
Big Mike: Right now yes I have a few collabs in the works on a future project but you will have to wait and see.
EJ: Would you say your music has a certain style or are you versatile with your sounds?
Big Mike: I’m very versatile with my sound. In fact that’s one of the reasons that I’m still independent cause I have so much to offer and I don’t want to be pushed or stuck into one sound.
EJ: Alot of people say R&B is dead, do you thing there is still a place for good old R&B?
Big Mike: Of course there’s a place for good or real R&B your listening to it right with “Lay Around” so go get it on iTunes! R&B is still out there its just a little different vibe though but it had to change though cause people change. Most people associate good R&B to a memory of a time in there life that a song catered to something that was happening in their lives or was going through, or it just reminds them of their youth but its good R&B out here still you just have to know those artists that will give that sound.
EJ: Are record labels still investing in R&B groups?
Big Mike: It depends on how they come to the table. Day26 yes, mainly because we’re a brand already with a huge fan base. So its easier when you already have certain things but if they have to take the group and build it from the ground up no it will never happen its too expense and they don’t know if your actually going to sell cause you have to win people over so its an investment that a label will not make unless they are 100 percent sure that your going to be able to turn a profit or make money for them.
EJ: How do you become a successful artist doing it independently?
Big Mike: You become successful independently by the goals you set for yourself. To be honest success is really depending on how the individual or artist classifies it in their lives. When your independent your an entrepreneur. So your basically grinding all day and night sacrificing everything for this one dream that you have. You also want to be on the road. You want the people to know who you are. You want them to buy your music and play it, but it all goes into the little things you do to build a fan base. What do you do to make your fans feel special? To assure them that they are apart of your journey. You do it because of them and when you really master that and can grab those fans like that, then that’s what I call success. You’re only as big as the people that buy and listen to your music make you.
EJ: Do you look for young producers to work with or mostly industry producers?
Big Mike: I have an open ear to all producers I take inquires from everyone. doesn’t always work out but I still try and give an opportunity whenever I can.
EJ: What can fans expect when they come to one of your shows?
Big Mike: When you come to a Big Mike show you get an experience of a lifetime! I’m gonna take you on a emotional ride. I want to party with you I want to make you cry. I’ll give you hope. I’ll show what it means and how it feels to be loved, but most of all I’ll never cheat you. I’ll always leave everything I got on that stage cause you took the time to come see me and listen to me and for that, I’m forever grateful.
EJ: What does Big Mike do when he isn’t doing music related stuff?
Big Mike: Everything is music related for me. That’s why its my purpose to entertain people through music, dance and acting. No matter what I do I always find myself doing music I’m always singing and humming. I’ll stop a full out conversation to record a melody in my phone so that I won’t forget it so I can write a song as soon as were done if I can wait. So it never stops for me. Music is life!
EJ: You went through a amazing weight loss some years back, is it hard keeping the weight off or is it a lifestyle now?
Big Mike: Well I cant lie at times it was, because I changed sizes a lot and mainly because of the things I was putting into my body. The wrong food choices kept me from wanting to work out properly. Now it has become a lifestyle change, that made things better and easier cause there’s so many things that myself being an African American male should not eat that America has made ok for everyone. So it’s primarily a lifestyle change,
EJ: What’s next for you?
Big Mike: I plan on giving my heart and soul to this music and I hope each one of you appreciate it and love the message and sound. I also plan to do as much as I can for the youth of tomorrow. There’s so many things that they can get into now that I had no idea about and I just want every child to have the knowledge to go far in whatever they want to do. I also plan on opening up a school soon. Something like an entertainment center for youth just to get a head start before they hit the real world and they will already have job references. There’s way more that I’m doing now and plan on doing so I have no limits to what will come next.
EJ: Where can fans and our readers follow you on social media?