KV The Writer Talks Being An Artist and Laughing Through Heartbreak

I got the chance to interview a very talented artist from St. Louis with DELUX Magazine, whom I write for. Check out the interview below.

St. Louis artist KV Thompson, also known as KV The Writer, is more than just that. She sings, raps, writes her own music, and she’s even a published author. KV been writing since she was a kid and with that she’s perfected the skill.

KV’s recent project is about a guy breaking up with her at an ice cream shop. With her getting her heart broke, she channeled her hurt into her music, a full blown EP titled Love Sucks. DELUX was able to talk to her about her transparency, her talents and being an artist here in St. Louis.

DELUX: Being an artist comes with practice or it’s a natural thing. How do you start out singing?

KV: I honestly don’t consider myself a singer (lol.) I think of myself as a songwriter that tries to deliver songs the way I think they should be delivered. Sometimes that requires me to sing. Other times rap. I just try to bring songs to life the best way I can. My producer/engineer is the one that makes me into a singer.

DELUX: Were you hesitant on being so transparent about getting your heart broke?

KV: Not at all. I laugh at myself a lot, including when I get my heart broken. Of course, at the time, it wasn’t very funny, but after a while I would look back and laugh at myself about all the weird and ridiculous situations I found myself in.

DELUX: When dealing with getting your heart broke, did it change your perception on dating during these times versus 10 years ago?

KV: I can say 10 years ago I knew nothing about dating or what it meant to be your full self while in a partnership. 10 years from now I’m sure I’ll still be learning about how to form a romantic partnership with another person. I would say getting my heartbroken was a much needed lesson on love and attachment. It made me realize that we don’t own people, even the ones we love. People are free to walk out of your life for whatever reason. We have to appreciate the moments and seasons they are in our life, and don’t try to hold on to something past its time.

DELUX: How long have you been singing and who is the inspiration behind your sound?

KV: I started really developing the sound I have now about 2 years ago. I pushed my pen by writing songs every day for a whole year. During this time, I experimented a lot. I played around by writing songs for different genres, started practicing making melodies, and played with my voice a lot. I guess what inspires my sound is just being true to me. Whatever I feel like should come out, I do that.

DELUX: Your song “Crazy” is dope with you rapping and singing? There are only so many female artist that does that such as Nicki Minaj and even Lauryn Hill. With you having talent in both, would you consider yourself a singer, rapper or an artist overall?

Check out her response and the rest of the interview HERE

Make sure you follow her on IG @KVTheWriter

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Dannie B; A Man of Many Talents

Dannie B is artistically-inclined individual in every aspect, from songwriting, to playing instruments, and even his familiarity with videography. He considers himself a storyteller. I had the opportunity to sit down with him to learn more about his background.

 

Danii Gold: Being a man of many talents, how did you start off in all of your talents ?

Dannie B: It started in high school, I was a curious person. I just loved trying out different things. So during my senior year, Me and my friends would have rap battles every morning before school and one day I had this idea to record it. My mom had just got a digital camera and I decided to records the rap battles. Once I had the footage, I decided to edit it into a film. So that’s was the start of my video experience. And then I started getting into photography senior year as well when I wanted to take pictures for my senior memory book.

I actually began considering myself an artist in college when I started studying creative writing and so I had to transition to that from computer science. My counselor asked me why would I want to change my major and I’m thinking, “she’s supposed to be encouraging me to follow my dreams.” After I spoke with my parents, they said they trusted me to make my own decisions so that’s how I got into creative writing. Then my last semester at Flo Valley is when I got into the poetry club and started writing for the school newspaper and pretty much got into whatever writing that I could.

Photography came about when I interned at KDHX. I was a writing intern and pretty much a music journalist. My manager asked me for pictures one day instead of sending out separate photographers so I started taking a few pictures for articles. At the same time, I became further interested in photography by traveling and by meeting a group of black photographers at UMSL. Those experiences grew on me then I gradually transformed into a photographer.

My love for music comes from my childhood, I come from a family of musicians, my mother’s side was gospel singers. On my dad side, my grandfather was a gospel singer, then I had a uncle who was a touring musician and played with a bunch of major acts. Music was always there but it wasn’t until the middle of college when I had this spark to do it professionally! For a period of time, I did a mixture of poetry and guitar playing at open mics, then over the years I started playing for a couple of different bands and pretty much grew as a musician from there.  To sum it up, I had all these individual influences that sparked my curiosity to get me into doing all those different things. Originally, I wrote poetry to music and then I got the idea to become a songwriter. I wrote my first original song last fall.

Danii Gold: So do you play instruments as well?

Dannie B:Well, when I was in grade school I started off as a percussionist but when I actually got into music more seriously, I started playing the guitar, which is my main instrument. Then I went on to play bass and piano.

Danii Gold: Out of all of your talents, which one is your favorite one to do?

Dannie B: I kind of go through seasons. So for the past year I’ve been doing a lot of music and instrumentation with other people, and doing poetry. I’ve been kind of dormant with photography and haven’t done a lot of it in the past couple years but I am gradually getting back into it; every 3 to 6 months I go through a cycle with all my talents. But I spend the majority of my time on music so that’s my favorite right now.

Danii Gold: What do you like to write about when it comes to poetry and songwriting for instants love, feelings, etc?

Dannie BMy genre is love intimacy and romance so the vast majority of my work deals with that. Whether it’s the typical boy meets girl or being in a relationship and going through things or just teaching in general.

Danii Gold: While you were doing photography what kinds of images did you like to capture?

Dannie BWhen I first started off I did a lot of travel work. My big entry into photography started when I studied abroad in Amsterdam and that’s when I was fascinated by all the buildings and architecture and bicycles. So I got into travel photography, and when I went out of town somewhere, I would try to take pictures as much as possible. I did a lot of street photography, like walking downtown and seeing people as they are and things happening. Then I got into protest photography and was contracted with SEIU, Service Employee International Union in 2013, which was before Ferguson. So when Ferguson actually happened, I was doing a lot of protest photography and I knew a lot of people that were activists and organizers within it. What I learned with shooting protest, there is a flow to it.

Danii Gold: Do you have a favorite musician/someone who’s inspired you ?

Dannie B: Definitely there are all these different types of aspirations like as a guitar player, my favorite has been Chris Martin or Johnny Buckley from Coldplay. John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even 70s soul like Earth Wind and Fire, Ohio Players and Heat Wave.

Favorite Photographer; I like Ami Vitalie, she’s a shooter for National Geographic and she focuses on pandas. When it comes to film, I am a huge Ava Duvernay fan. She’s my favorite right now. In terms of individual films, I am obsessed with Intersellar, it’s directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway.

Danii Gold: Do you consider yourself an artist or a creator?

Dannie BKind of a mixture of both but I do find myself more so an artist. I’ve come to that decision because I do work in marketing and PR and that’s a creative field and I’ve come to realize that a creative is someone who creates for the sole purpose of monetizing their work or their work being part of an advertisement. Whereas an artist there is something deeper and more meaningful and monetization isn’t the first thing that is on their mind. So I straddle the line, but I feel in spirit I’m definitely an artist.

Danii Gold: What are other talents that you still want to explore?

Dannie B: The next thing I would like to get into is acting. The idea of putting on a façade and playing a character is cool.

Danii Gold: What is end goal?

Dannie B: My end goal is to have a solid body of work or bodies of work long after I stop doing what I’m doing that can inspire and influence people. That is the main drive behind what I do is being an inspiration whether it be teaching something to people that didn’t know something or inspiring somebody to do something that I’ve done or that they want to do for themselves. So the end goal is creating something that I believe can be value to other people and give them hope and inspiration.

As far as projects go, Dannie B is working on a music project that he can place on a digital platform. He’s already done a written poetry project and a photography project so, he says this is one of the things he hasn’t done yet.

Make sure you follow him Instagram for music updates and when he’s performing at a local St. Louis spot. @DannieB224

I Wasn’t A Fan, But It Makes Me Sad: RIP Nipsey Hussle

A week ago today, I was scrolling through YouTube and I came across a GQ video that featured Lauren London & Nipsey Hussle, a couple’s quiz. Since I like Lauren as an actress and Nipsey is a well-respected rapper, I decided to watch it. It was so cute, Lauren was her sassy self and Nipsey was so cool and calm and answered damn near every question correct, all but one six at least lol.

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To be honest, I’ve only listened to one Nipsey song, “Last Time That I Checc’d” and I like it, but I never listened to his whole album unfortunately. I do know that his first album Victory Lap was nominated for a Grammy this year. I do know that Nipsey was a man of the community. He’s from Crenshaw and Slauson, and he used to hustled so he could get money for his music. It worked and when he got the money, he gave back to the community that helped mold him. He invested into programs for children and even helped reconstruct a playground in his neighborhood of Crenshaw. He opened a clothing store, The Marathon Clothing, selling  apparel with the city Crenshaw on it. On top of that, he bought out some of the other businesses in the plaza that his business is in. It’s been told that he even hired local artists and others in the community to work at his store. 

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As far and his relationship goes, Nipsey and Lauren London kept their love life semi private. We would see the pictures and happy captions but never the negative, which is how it should be. They had a baby boy and kept him out of the spotlight. They recently gave us a glimpse of their relationship through GQ. 

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So with little or just enough information I have on this guy, why am I sad that he passed away? Why do I get teary-eyed when reading other artists’ post on social media mourning him? Why do I shed a tear for his lady Lauren London and his kids even tho I’ve never met them? Why do I sit and read all the stories people told about him? The answer to all that is because…it’s sad to see a young man who was praised and respected by many, get killed by his own kind. It’s sad to see a young man who was giving back to his community get killed in front of his business that he worked hard for. It’s sad to see a young man grow from the streets and flourish into a well-rounded individual. 

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I’ve lost someone close to me at a young age. He was 21 and my cousin; we grew up like siblings because that’s just how it was. I remember him from when he was in diapers and watched him grow and go off to college with me. He was killed by his own kind, some say it was someone that he knew. That was a hard time for me and it took me a year to stop crying about it whenever I brought his name up. It changed me, made me more paranoid. I couldn’t watch movies where people were violently killed and young. If I did, I would get emotional and cry. I’m better now, but I’m still a simp when it comes to those scenes lol. But he was into music and was a well-rounded cool, calm dude but sometimes your own people will hate on you. Maybe that’s why Nipsey’s death hit so close to home for me. 

All in all, I’m not going to act like I was a big Nipsey fan. I’m not going to fake it. Yes, I shoulda gave this man his flowers while he was here, but I didn’t. But…what I will do is respect his legacy. I am sad for his death because he didn’t deserve it. I will continue to pray for his family and hope that his killer gets that life sentence in prison.

What are your thoughts on Nipsey’s death? Comment below and let me know.

Danii Gold out!

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We Don’t Appreciate the NAACP Image Awards Enough

Over the weekend, the NAACP Awards celebrated it’s 50th year and per usual, people of color were recognized, from Maxine Walters and many more. Artists an Actors were awarded such as:

Chadwick Boseman for winning Outstanding Actor in a Film for “Black Panther”

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Taraji P Henson for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for the show Empire

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Anthony Anderson Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for the ABC Show Blackish

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Tracee Ellis Ross Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for the ABC Show Blackish

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Jay-Z received the President Award and Beyonce received the Entertainer of the Year Award.

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I think it is important for black award shows like this to be in a category of their own peers. I understand that being in a category with other peers of difference genres of music and different movie categories, that it is more important to win because you beat out a wider range of nominees, but “competing” against your own peers and being positively recognized for it is definitely a plus. I think that us as an audience and others as a creative should be more thankful and appreciative of these kind of awards.

Tell me your thoughts below!

Danii Gold out!

 

Women’s Month: Issa Rae Appreciation

How could you NOT love Issa. She’s the same person, (it seems) around her friends, in interviews and on her show. Like she’s well-rounded AF! More recently, landed the cover of Women’s Health Magazine

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And Essence SOLO! The first appearance was with Ava Duvernay, Debbie Allen and other notable women.

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She’s also dope because she wrote a book being her transparent self.

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Her show Insecure being picked up by HBO, revealing millennial women issues such as being independent, having a dating life, dealing with a break up, as well as different types of guys. Her show also portrays a woman (herself) cheating on her boyfriend because he just wasn’t doing enough. (It happens)

She is so authentic that you got to love her, especially since she’s “rooting for everybody black.”

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Issa has a new movie called “Little” featuring Marsai Martin and Regina Hall, that comes out next month.

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She is also starring in a Will Packer film with Lakeith Stanfield called “The Photograph” that is bound to come out later this year.

All in all, Issa Rae is the shit and we should appreciate her more!

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Danii Gold out! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾

 

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Women’s Month: Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross is not only spunky and adorable but she’s talented as well. Her mom is freakin Diana Ross so clearly she comes from a talent-inclined background.

Her first major role was Joan Clayton in the hit show Girlfriend. Her role as a successful lawyer was something to look up to, especially since her friends were equally successful; even if one was working for her and the other was finding herself, and the successful real estate agent was self- centered AF! The show lasted from 2000-2009.

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Her role as Joan showed the world that a woman can be successful, date and their best life. Also, she rarely wore bras and she was a Corporate America type chick.

Tracee’s more recent role is Rainbow Johnson, a doctor, wife, and mother of 5 kids on the show Blackish. She makes it very clear that she’s a doctor and not a stay at home while since her husband Dre, played by Anthony Johnson, is a successful Senior Marketing Executive at a Marketing Firm.

Bow has spoken up about black dolls in a store not being idolized as successful women such as pilots, mathematicians and even doctors like herself. She believes in equality, even if that means her daughter playing a the lead role of a boy in a play and even if that means speaking out against her daughter being poorly lighted in a school photo because she is dark skinned. In her role, she’s comedic, so comedic that in 2017 she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV series–Comedy. Tracee has also been nominated for an Oscar three times three years in a row.

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I think it’s safe to say she’s DOPE AF and sets the standard.

When did you first lay eyes on Tracee Ellis Ross? Comment below and let me know!

Danii Gold out! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾

Women’s Month: Jada Pinkett Smith

Who doesn’t love Jada? We all know her for being a dope actress in movies such as Set It Off, Low Down Dirty Shame and plenty more. She’s married to one of the dopest, coolest actors Will Smith and more recently she’s served as a voice of reason and even a therapist to entertainers in the industry.

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Jada sat down with her husbands ex-wife and talked about the power of coparenting and blended families.

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She sat down with Gabrielle Union to talk about their unknown beef with each other.

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Shes discussed mental health with Kid Cudi

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Jada was a big help in August Alsina’s addiction recovery

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More recently, she had Jordyn Woods on her show to discuss the scandal she was involved in with Khloe Kardashian’s baby father. She let Jordyn speak her peace and whether it’s true or not, Jada gave Jordyn the platform to speak.

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Jada doesn’t steer away from any topics. She’s even opened up about her and Will’s relationship which has been in the headlines. All in all, Jada is dope and we should appreciate her more.

Comment your thoughts on Ms. Jada below.

Danii Gold out! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾