Interview With Legendary Artist Dionne Warwick!

Dionne-White TopDionne Warwick embodies staying power. The legendary songstress, philanthropist, author, and entrepreneur has been active in her career for 56+ years. Yes, you read that correctly. She has 56 Billboard hits to her name and has sold beyond 100 million records. The Recording Academy recently awarded her with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Special Merit Awards, which precedes the Grammys. Did we mention Ms. Warwick has 5 Grammys to her name? With nearly 40 studio albums, she will release her newest one, She’s Back, this Spring.

“I’m in love with it, I really am,” Ms. Warwick shared with So Booking Cool about She’s Back, which is produced by her son, longtime producer and singer, Damon Elliot. “I’ve said that about maybe four or five of my projects, and I’ve done many. But this one is very, very special.” The “Walk on By Singer” added that she had a wonderful time recording the LP in the studio and was delighted to collaborate with some of current R&B’s favorites, Musiq Soulchild and Kenny Lattimore.

The lead single from She’s Back is a remake of her classic record “What the World Needs Now is Love,” which will release March 1. Listen to the interview to hear about Ms. Warwick’s motivation for the single; her forthcoming biopic; her thoughts on awards or “rewards” (her terminology); whether she’ll’ write another book; her perspective on artists getting a degree in music, and more! For more information visit Ms. Warwick’s official website.

DIONNE BOOKS
Ms. Warwick’s books

Bonus quote from our interview with Ms. Warwick.

 “I don’t call them awards, I call them rewards. It’s what you receive for doing something that merits it. I think anyone who receives an accolade, especially from their peers, it’s a very, very important reward for doing something good.”

Until “What the World Needs Now is Love” is released, enjoy Ms. Warwick performing some of her hits.

Interview With Brent Kinetz and Terence Mickey, the Co-Directors of “1 Billion Orgasms”!

1 billion

1 Billion Orgasms is more than a documentary about sexual intercourse. It is about one following one’s dream, entrepreneurship, and perseverance among other things.  “What Aaron’s story really represents is to some extent, is a reflection for all of us to think about what are our hopes and dreams? What do they mean to us and why are we really pursuing them?” co-director Brent Kinetz said when he and co-director Terence Mickey appeared on So Booking Cool. “We [Brent and Terence] weren’t looking to make a movie about a squirt watch as Aaron calls it or about female ejaculation; we were really just intrigued by: how does one individual become so singularly committed to bringing this out into the world?”

BRENT AND TERENCE
From left to right, Brent Kinetz and Terence Mickey

The movie follows Aaron Headley, a middle-aged engineer who invents and patents a product to fulfill his obsession and overall self-worth. The invention? A watch that triggers female ejaculation, in which Headley hopes will make him responsible for one billion orgasms. Check out the interview to learn more about the film, what entrepreneurs can learn from watching it, what they learned about making their first feature film, how the movie connects to the #MeToo movement and politics, and more! For more information, visit the documentary’s official website.

Interview With Michelle Wolett, Owner of Once Upon a Book Club!

ONCE UPON A BOOK CLUB

Once Upon a Book Club is not the typical book subscription box. It enhances the reading experience by including a replication of an item mentioned in the novel. As you can imagine, this concept is engaging for people, an aspect that the company’s founder, Michelle Wolett, appreciates. “I’ve learned that it’s really helping the world read more,” Wolett told So Booking Cool. “So that’s the part that I really love about our company because I also at some point in my life just stopped reading; life just got too busy. There’s so many people out there that say ‘oh, I just don’t read’ or ‘I don’t like books,’ and this has actually changed their mind because they’re not supposed to open their gift until they reach a certain page. So it’s also like a treasure hunt for them.”

MICHELLE WOLETTE

It would not be untrue to say that entrepreneurism runs in Wolett’s family. However, one unlucky business move that her parents made with her uncle, unfortunately led to her parents losing their home (that her father handmade, by the way). Wolett, who recalls her father’s devastation, turned tragedy into triumph. She was determined to start a successful business. Anything to help her parents out financially. Her parent company, Chick-Lit Designs would also revert her love for reading and she would eventually quit her day job to take over her business full time.

When asked for her advice for anyone who wants to become a self-starter, Wolett said, “…I notice that a lot of people seem to just be afraid of failing and that’s one thing as an entrepreneur that you have to just go with. It’s okay if you fail, it’s not the end of the world. You can fail or you can adjust or tweak.”

Listen to the full interview for Wolett’s advice, her insight on re-branding and branding in general, the Once Upon a Book Club system, how she selects books for the subscriptions, her Once Upon a BookCase collection, and more! For more information visit Once Upon a Book Club.

Interview With Angelo Ellerbee, PR Guru & Author of “The Sense of Success”!

Ang Sweater2Public relations expert Angelo Ellerbee recently visited So Booking Cool in support of his new book The Sense of Success and candle line, Scent of Success, both of which champion the omnipresent phrase: I’m living my best life. “The acceptance of you is success. The movement of you is success. You have to find it in yourself. And sometimes you need to be instructed about how to find the sense of success,” he said.

The Sense of Success is the sophomore release to his debut, Ask Angelo: An Inside Look at the Entertainment Industry From a PR Guru. Though both are self-help books, the heart of the former is for the disadvantaged, especially youth, while the latter angles on artists and performers.

The_Sense_of_Success_Cover_for_Kindle sm

Throughout his career of nearly 50 years, Ellerbee has  represented and/or managed the likes of Michael Jackson, James Mtume, Dionne Warick, Shabba Ranks, Mary J. Blige, DMX, and Alicia Keys just to name a few. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Publicity at Island Def Jam Records. His company Double XXposure Media Relations was the first and probably only black-owned public relations firm to be located in Midtown Manhattan. Dubbed the “Henry Higgins of Hip Hop” by the New York Times, Double XXposure remains a respected company for talent, not just regarding publicity, but in artist development as well.

Also a community activist, another reason Ellerbee wrote and published The Sense of Success because he feels strongly about guiding people of color. “I just believe that my people deserve to have the right to understand that they are successful. I just need for them to open their eyes and dig deep down inside and find out where their success is. And if I have to be that person that shines that candle so they can see, and feel, and understand where the sense of the fragrance of success is coming from internally, let it be,” the New Jersey native said.

Listen to the full interview to learn more about Ellerbee, his activism, the film-adaptation of his compelling life story, his views on navigating publicity for troubled clients, his humble beginnings, his wisdom, his upcoming college tour dates, and more! Fore more information visit the following websites: http://www.dxxnyc.com/home and https://www.ellerbeeelegance.com/home.

Interview With Yahdon Israel, Writer and Creator of Literaryswag!

yahdon
Photo by John Midgley

An important goal for Yahdon Israel, the creator of the Literaryswag and Lit Platform movement and book club, is to bring more fans to the art, not more artists. Many writers and other industry-related professionals attend book events, whereas at a Beyoncé concert, most of the attendees are not singers but fans, he noted. “If the only reason you enjoy something is just because you’re doing it, then you’re really limiting your capacity for it to affect other people,” the writing instructor explained to So Booking Cool.

“Most people are never gonna be a writer, and they don’t have to be. The [Literaryswag] book club shows you don’t have to be a writer, have an MFA, nor study literature to have something valuable to say about a book. You just have to be someone with a perspective and that’s more than enough.”

Israel, who is based in New York, started writing seriously, as he puts it, when he was nineteen-years-old. Now at 28, the writing instructor said one of the most important aspects of his classes (in addition to learning from his students) is for his students to be able to put into words what they understand of themselves. He will begin his new nearly sold out (only one seat currently remains) creative nonfiction workshop July 9 at Park Slope. Later this month, the Awards VP of the National Book Critics Circle, will host his next book club meet on Wednesday, July 25 at 7pm at the Brooklyn Circus. The event is open to all.

Listen to the full interview to learn how culture and hip hop frame Literaryswag, why he thinks writers and authors should be more visible, his thoughts on black consumerism when it comes to book buying, how he hopes to build his movement to immerse the current and future generations into the appeal of books, the book release he is highly anticipating, and more! For more information on Israel, visit his official website. 

Interview With Mathew Knowles, Ph.D, Author of “Racism From the Eyes of a Child”!

MNOWLESMathew Knowles, Ph.D, music mogul, professor, speaker, and author chatted with So Booking Cool about an array of topics including the parallels between music and book publishing, his thoughts on the digital age, being a writer, and his coined term “social courage,”  something he hopes readers will get out of his memoir Racism From the Eyes of a Child. He also dished on his first book, The DNA of Achievers: The 10 Traits of Highly Successful Professionals, in which he interviewed a number of accomplished individuals from various walks of life including the former L’Oréal President, Joseph Campinell, and Roy Willis, who made history by becoming the first African American graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia.

“I started thinking about me and my path, and my kids’ path to success. Passion is by far the number one trait…and what co-exists with passion is work ethic,” says the professor, who is among the Board of Directors of the Make A Wish Foundation. He later recalls the time he asked for mentorship when he first started working at the Xerox Corporation prior to accomplishing his goal of becoming a top sales executive at the company.

Mr. Knowles revealed that ten of his students at Texas Southern University co-wrote his upcoming book, The Emancipation of Slaves Through Music (6/1/18), now available for pre-order, and he’s currently penning Destiny’s Child: The Untold Story. Listen to the full interview to learn more about the Alabama native, including his childhood, racism, the three biggest misconceptions about him, and the book that he keeps in his office for motivation. For more information visit his official website.

Interview With Artist & Illustrator Keturah Ariel!

keturahabobo2

Entrepreneur and artist Keturah Ariel chatted with So Booking Cool about her company, the art industry, book publishing–including the upcoming Spring title, I Am Enough (HarperCollins) she illustrated by Empire star Grace Gealey-Byers. Keturah has been drawing and creating artwork for others since she was a child. The Columbus Ohio native worked at an art company before launching her very own, Keturah Ariel Brands.

Her designs range beyond illustrations, such as clothes and mugs. In addition to HarperCollins, Keturah’s clientele includes Essence, Hairfinity, Boys & Girls Club, and Giphy to name a few. And we exclusively learn Penguin Random House will be added to her clientele.

Image result for i am enough grace byers

Check out the interview with Keturah to learn what influences her socially aware artwork, other artists she admires, her advice for entrepreneurs, and more about I Am Enough. Visit the following websites for more information http://www.arielbrands.com/ and http://www.keturahariel.com/