SOUND & STYLE: Volume One was the first event in a series I created to combine two of my biggest passions, music and fashion. Held in New York City on Wednesday, February 8 with the theme “The Come Up: A Tribute To Ladies In Hip Hop,” the night featured incredible performances from some very talented MCs, interview videos with pioneers like Nikki D, Monie Love and Gangsta Boo (plus hot newcomer Iggy Azalea) and the first ever all-female cipher, “The Freestyle.”

An event of this stature is never obtainable alone and I was blessed to work on every aspect of it with an amazing team. We’re coming down from the high of it all right now (and blessed to be receiving the positive feedback that we are) and I’m ready to get started on making the next one even better.

Special Thanks:

-Reebok Classics: Saadia, Michelle, Angela, Matt and crew. It may never fully sink in that I’ve established such a strong bond with one of the premiere footwear and apparel brands in the world. Your belief in me and my vision for not only myself but young women across the world empowers me to go out, be fearless and truly embody the company’s “classic” ethos.

-Inspiration by Monster Cable: When you’re a new competitor in a market dominated by a brand YOU originally created, it may look like the odds are stacked against you. But with marketing masterminds like Kevin “Sincere” Mucthison at the wheel and a new way at approaching sound, I’m proud to support and be supported by this emerging brand.

-Ricardo’s Steakhouse: My favorite restaurant in New York provided mouth-watering appetizers and desserts for the event; definitely one of the highlights of the night. Derek, you and your team are amazing and prove that professionalism and scrumptious food are unbeatable. Both natives and visitors to the city truly miss out if they don’t make the trip uptown to Ricardo’s.

-Hpnotiq Harmonie: Our amazing drinks sponsor provided endless bottles, cake pops and more and proved why Harmonie is a ladies’ favorite. Shout out to Sonja for being so professional and on point in all of our dealings and we truly look forward to working with you again.

-Hip Hop Nation (Sirius/XM, Ch. 44): DJ Green Lantern, Reggie Hawkins and Ron Mills—thank you for giving me a chance to shine in an arena I love. Green, you are a mentor and a friend and I’m honored to be part of your legendary Invasion Radio show. Shout out to Mz Stylez and S. Whit for holding down hosting and DJ’ing duties on the night.

-iPop (Innovative Popularity): Lindell, Jade and Stephon, we definitely had a learning experience together and the results came out fantastic. Thank you for your openness, hard work and especially for supporting my vision from day one.

-L’OREAL Professionel: Rodnei Ferby and creative team, you guys did an incredible job with the hair care and styling on the night and have my utmost gratitude for the hours of work you put in.

-Allison Perlstein and Rodney Jon: Make-up masters, thank you for “beating” our faces and having us feel like a million bucks as soon as we hit that stage!

-Roberta Tabb: Your design work never ceases to amaze me. I appreciate you so much for always being on call when I need you and always serving up high quality work, even within the shortest timeframe. Thank you for being in my corner.

-Amber Ravenel: Words can’t express the feeling you get when you meet a like-minded woman who’s about her business and most importantly, honest and forthright. You’ve gone from being an industry peer to a business partner and one of my closest friends and there’s no doubt in my mind that we are on our way to greatness together.

-Michele Uram: You’ve become a mentor to me in many ways Chele, and your support is crucial to the next level of my success. Thank you for being the calm shoulder I need when times get heated! Not only the company that brought me from Australia to New York, truly my home away from home. Thank you for believing in me for over five years now and for teaching me more lessons in my career than ever before.

-Andrew Fennell and the camera team: You guys worked effortlessly all night to capture the vibe and essence of the event; I appreciate not only the camera work but the hours it takes to edit the footage also.

-Zenova King, Ashley Nunez and my beautiful WEEN ladies: Love you guys from the bottom of my heart. NOTHING would have run as smooth on the night if you ladies weren’t there to help out. Anything you need, you know I got you. Thank you for allowing me to be your mentor!

-Maricarmen Lopez: You worked tirelessly to secure the interview footage for me and your role proved crucial. Love you and appreciate you more than you know and I’m so excited to watch the moves you make this year and beyond.

Last but not least…

Snow Tha Product, Brianna The YRB, Nina B, Jasmine Solano, Audra The Rapper, Nyemiah Supreme, Rapsody, L.A., Dai Burger, Tiye Phoenix, Lady Luck and Gypsi: My TALENTED, phenomenal women who rock the mic just as hard (sometimes harder) than these dudes out here. Your spirit, passion and belief in yourselves inspired me throughout this whole process and I truly love and respect you all. Like I told you—anything I can do, I’m here.

Iggy Azalea, Nikki D, Gangsta Boo and Monie Love: Thank you ladies for making sure you were part of our groundbreaking event by recording interview videos to add something special to the night. It’s because of the camaraderie and respect you showed that we were able to call the night a success.

Till next time!


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