Before taking that next leap forward in your personal life or career you may want to look back to learn from previous mistakes. For Soul singer, Dwele reflecting on his previous relationships helped him evolve not only as an artist but also as an individual. The results of his introspective journey can be heard on his latest album, Greater Than One.
"With this album, I discovered in looking back on relationships that I am human and made mistakes," he says. "I used to be very quiet and wouldn't talk or express myself a lot especially in relationships. I still do it but I've gotten better and don't hold things in as much as I used to. I am also more vocal when it comes to my career."
Dwele is also working on improving his work ethic. "With this album I went hard for three or four months. But I need to get back into the habit of still creating all the time so that I won't burn myself out when it is crunch time."
Harlem power couple Vivian Scott Chew (founder of TimeZone International) and Ray Chew (Musical Director for "American Idol") are hoping to inspire future singers and musicians with the launch of their foundation, Power to Inspire. The foundation aims to provide youth with the insight and knowledge of music appreciation and the music business and its many facets.
“We saw the void and need for someone to assist this next generation coming up,” Vivian says. “There is that gray area of musicians who don’t know how to be businessmen. It’s about how to invest, buy equipment and get it insured and they need to know how to do it in an expanded kind of way.”
The foundation isn’t the only project that Vivian and Ray are managing. The two co-own Chew Entertainment, a premiere event production firm working with clients like Carnegie Hall, NAACP and the Apollo Theater. Vivian has one key tip for other entrepreneurs juggling multiple projects; remain centered even if it means putting down that smartphone.
“Your inspiration has to come when you sit down and listen. You have to be open,” she advises. “What keeps us from not being open is all the technology. So by noon I disconnect to recharge so something new can happen.”
Something fresh is on the horizon with the launch of the new television network, UBC-TV Network. The network is the vision of Harlem entrepreneur, Peggy Dodson. UBC-TV will produce original urban lifestyle content and will debut its signature programming this fall into over 50 million households. Among some of the highlights are “The UBC Mix Dance Show,” longtime television veteran, Felipe Luciano’s political and current events show, “A Different Perspective,” and starting this December the first ever national broadcast deal for the American Basketball Association (ABA) games.
For Dodson the goal is to tap into the underserved urban multicultural market.
“This is 2012 and we are still in the dark ages and people of color are tired of it. We don’t feel represented. People are looking for a more diversified programming grid. I don’t identify as just a black network. We are urban lifestyle which is more multicultural and inclusive.”
Dodson also aims to promote emerging talent, many of whom are also in Harlem. “We wanted to get fresh new faces for UBC because there is so much talent that never gets seen and never gets in the door. I want to change that with this network.”
For visual artists seeking to change the odds of success in their favor, owner and director of Causey Contemporary gallery, Tracy Causey-Jeffery recommends gallery representation. “Gallery representation gives you more credibility with art world collectors and curators than going it alone.” When seeking representation, Causey-Jeffery advises not to sign an exclusive agreement with your first option. “Ask them to help you find galleries in other cities or countries who would be willing to represent you as well. The more people in different places working on your team the better.” Of course before entering any partnership an agreement in writing is essential and Causey-Jeffery notes that artists can find great samples here, here and here.
Now, there’s a great way to start avoiding a few mistakes.
The Harlem Arts Alliance is a not for profit arts service organization celebrating 10 years of service to a prestigious list of members such as the Apollo Theater, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University, Harlem Stage (Aaron Davis Hall) and over 850 more cultural/arts institutions and individuals. The weekly column, Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture and entertainment scene in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.