Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Summer is Here...What are you Listenin' To?!?

I just wanted to say that I am estatic that summer is here (or near). Although I love Fall for the fashion (boots, coats, scarves, oh my), I must admit there's no greater season than Summer. I do have a birthday coming up during this season and as a true LA girl I am looking forward to the beach, bumping the latest summer hits with my windows rolled down, summer reading and shorts-skirts-bearing skin!

For my summer vacation, I am heading to NYC to celebrate the grown and sexy 23. So for all of my blogger friends and readers that live in the City - hollar at me!

Anyways, I've got tons of work to do today, so I'll catch you on the flipside. But in the meantime, I wanna know, in your opinion, hands down the Best Summer Songs!

My current favorite: Number 1 - Skateboard P and the Louis Vuitton Don (Pharrell and Ye')
Oldie-but-goodie: Summertime in the LBC (for all my Westcoast fam) - Warren G
More Recent Fav: Summertime - Beyonce ft. Ghostface Killah


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Goals for the Summer...

My summer goals are simple:

1. Lose 10lbs
I don't think I'll look very different physically, just more toned. So for all of my people out there who may be worried that I'll lose my curvacious goodness - not to worry. It'll jsut be accentuated.

2. Networking
I haven't quite figured out what I mean by Networking, but I just know that I need to expand my creative community and strum up some more opportunities for singing. Although my ultimate goal is becoming a major-label-signed Recording Artist, at this time I'd like to pursue studio work and background singing gigs to better my skills.

3. Recording
To get as much stuff cataloged as possible for my EP and for a demo for the purposes of networking. Plus, recording is an art within itself and is different from singing live, so I can always learn how to be a more polished recording artist.

I read The Alchemist this past weekend and I am feeling re-focused on my career goals. More to come - but like Al Pacino said in 'Any Given Sunday'..."Like football, you live life Inch by Inch."

*come and get me*

Monday, May 29, 2006

Back down memory lane...

So senior year, a friend of mine asked me to be a singer of a small chorus for a project he was doing for a leadership class. I said yes and joined five others in Calabasas to record the theme song at the home of the engineer. Most of you have heard the engineer's work at amusement parks across the country as he has composed and recorded many amusement park soundtracks.

powered by ODEO

Take a listen to, Team Victory! (to download)

I'm going to try and find some of my other earlier recordings to share with you all. Tell me what you think...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Honey, She's Fierce!

I think she'll be bigger than Eva The Diva...or at least I'm hoping.

*one time for chocolate sistahs*


I saw this over at Cake&Ice Cream first so I decided to youtube it here for those of you who've not yet seen the featurette on the film.

Personally, I can't wait to see the film. I will say that I am still saddened that Fantasia will not be performing 'You're Gonna Love Me' because Jennifer Hudson was cast for the role of 'Effie' instead. And, while I begrudgingly confess that I too am a Beyonce fanatic, I am worried that her acting might ruin 'Deena' for me.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Jus Cus'

I think Danielle is fabulous!

*that's it*

Pics from the 'Audition'

So, um, months after my audition with the label - my homeboy finally sent me the phots.
(thanx, honorable)on my balcony before take off...
k, the close-up. ha ha
en route to the 'label's' LA offices...
at lunch outside of the Grand Lux afterwards...I really was happy, but I had to go back to work.

*Still in the game, waiting to see what happens with the 'producer'*

Weekend Re-Cap...

Sup Er'Body!

This weekend was pretty productive:

- Worked w/ Goldfingaz again. I recorded the hook for 'What's Going On' and we started writing to a new track, working title is 'I left My Man at Home'

- So Dark the Con of Ron Howard? I'd say yes. I saw the film, The Da Vinci Code this weekend - I wish I'd spent my time handing out copies of the book to people who haven't read it.

- I read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons this weekend. It was just as entertaining and Da Vinci. I doubt I'll read another one of his novels for a while, because, even though his books are entertaining, he has formula and it can become predictable.

- Suffered through TONS of anxiety about my personal life. When will it end?

- Had dinner with my mom last night to discuss our newly formed 'Manager/Client' relationship.

Now, I'm back at work. I'll holla!

*ciao for now*

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hits Close to Home...

If you are like me, you watch America's Next Top Model. You started out with excitement and glee because Tyra Banks - a premier Black model - was at the helm of this project and well, of course, reality tv is as addicting as is crack to Whitney Houston.

A loyal top model fan can name each winner and recant the most annoying contestants, their life stories and your favorite photos shoots. And being a loyal viewer myself, I was even pleased to see Tyra successfully expand her media empire to a daily talk show, most of which consisted of Top Model reunions thereby curbing my appetite for Top Model in the off season.

In my apartment we have two VHS tapes: one for Top Model and one for Grey's Anatomy. To these primetime shows, my roomies and I are loyal. And while Grey's Anatomy sated our desires for a climactic and dramatic season finale, we are left with remnants of 'Tyra-specific-inspired' disdain at the close of the ANTM season. How could this be, you may ask?

For the men out there, you are either not reading this post or you are asking yourself what is up with chicks and ANTM? Give me a second, let me explain. As for my ladies, particularly those of the ebony-hued variety, you probably know where I am headed. Tyra has crossed a line that has made us rethink our 'loyalty' as Fresh puts it. Despite the fact that our most favored ('our' as me and my friends) contestant Danielle won the competition, we can't help but feel as though it was against Tyra's wishes.

Actions Speak Louder than Words: On more than enough occasions, Danielle received countless put-downs from Tyra on her God-given features. Like Tyra's unfortunate forehead, Danielle once had a gap. Instead of mentioning it as a flaw, Danielle actually resisted closing her gap, despite Tyra's insistance. And when Tyra hinted her resistance could be the reason she was sent home, Danielle went through the procedure. Professionalism at its best.

Once the gap was closed, Tyra opened another one, so to speak. Danielle would need to fill the gap between her and the remaining contestants who weren't 'inflicted' with a country-girl dialect. Not that Danielle wasn't articulate, well-mannered and appropriate, it's just that her southern drawl prevented Tyra from being able to clearly see that Danielle was the total package - the same way Danielle's gap also prevented Tyra from clearly seeing how great she photographed.

As Slated points out, Tyra's speech-related criticisms of were not unique to the Arkansas-native. If she were being fair, Tyra would have taken issue with Jade's eccentric interpretation of the English language and Nnenna's thick Nigerian accent. Perhaps, as Slated proposes, Tyra was just trying to toughen Danielle up. We've all heard black women being referred to as 'Exoctic' versus being accepted as a standard of beauty. But Tyra, why continue to maintain the status quo when you are now a gatekeeper to the fashion world? Do you not have the power and influence to shift a paradigm? And as a 'pioneer' so to speak as a Black woman in the fashion industry, are you suggesting that Danielle's accent takes precedent over the professionalism she's continuously displayed? That somehow, it makes her too black, less of a model... unacceptable because it bears witness to her roots? Her accent is undetectable from a photo or the way she walks down the runway- what's your real issue? Does Danielle's inhibition of self make you confront yourself and that is why you tried so desperately to change her?

In the final episode, I was stupified when Tyra misappropriated Danielle's accent with her being "hood." At that moment, I decided I would never watch or support any Tyra project again if she sent Danielle home. How could she spend thousands of dollars on dental work, but couldn't give Danielle some time with a speech therapist? All the while, it appeared Tyra had set her mind on Joanie as her pick for the next ANTM winner. While Joanie has been a favorite for my roomates, she still lacked a certain level of confidence and 'go-getter' attitude that Danielle exuded. I think at this point in the show I had actually called Tyra a "crab in a barrel" out loud.

In the end, Danielle's position as the next ANTM winner was irrefutable. She was head and shoulders, both literally and figuratively, above Joanie in the runway competition. And as my roomates and I jumped around our living room when Danielle's photo was displayed as if someone had just informed us all that our student loans had been forgiven, I couldn't help but notice: Tyra hugged Joanie first in what seemed to be a 'forgive-me-hug' and proceeded to Danielle, saying "We're gonna get you some voice lessons girl."

Tyra, you got some explaining to do.

Hollar at em'...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BET Award Predictions: I Guess, You Guess..


The nominees for the 2006 BET Awards were announced today. I thought it would be fun for the next couple of weeks to make predictions - one category at a time - on who will win this year.

I'd like for you all to be involved - it's been a while since we had one of these interative posts.

I'd like to know what you think and why. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Chris Brown*
Jamie Foxx
Anthony Hamilton

Elle's Prediction: While I love, love, love me some Ne-Yo and I'd want nothing more for him to win, I don't think it will happen. 'So Sick' was a great debut single, the only problem is, it wasn't his debut single - 'Stay' ft/ Peedi Crack (which recieved either major play or none whatsoever depending on which coast you reside) was marginally successful. 'When Your Mad' has been stable on Billboard's Hot 100 peeking this week at #18, with 'So Sick' slowly descending this week at #30 from #28 last week. Despite these radio successes and a platinum debut album, Ne-Yo is just not as entertaining as Chris Brown - who I think will take this category.

Now a word about, Ant Ham and Prince and Jamie: They won't win because BET's target audience is too young. Last year's BET award's ceremony had an obvious 'grown and sexy' appeal brought on by hosts Will and Jada Smith; leaving Omarion's performance and acceptance speech seemingly misplaced. However, there is a noticeable difference this year and it's about a decade. The the year running between this year's show and last year's has ushered in Rihanna, Tierra Marie, Chris Brown, Bow Wow, Ciara, and Ne-Yo as the dominant force in popular urban music (hip-hop notwithstanding). Entertainment is getting younger and younger - BET has probably been the best purveyors of that reality.

And so, the slender dance sensation Chris Brown is my pick for this category. For male solo artists it seems to be that they must be one of two things: 1) Sexy balladeer that drives the women crazy (Teddy P, Jahiem, Avant) or 2) Dancing pop act (Bobby Brown, Usher, Omarion). At 16, Chris Brown falls into the second category, but with his adorable dimples and developing voice it remains to be seen if he'll mature into the first. Future aside, he's had incredible success with debut single 'Run It' that had young 20-somethings (plus) asking ourselves why are we getting it on the dance floor to a 15, er, 16 year old's song. Following up in RnB star maker fomula fashion, Chris Brown released 'Yo' as his second single - a cute ballad that was probably played to death at every junior high spring dance in the country.

Despite the fact that Ne-Yo's Hot 100 standing is ahead of Chris Brown's, Brown is far ahead of the pack with three strong singles and videos to compliment. I think he's a no-brainer for this category.

*tell what you think - I'll be waiting*

Monday, May 15, 2006

That time of year again...

to read:

this book is extremely motivating.

It's a long hard road...

so last week, I was extremely frustrated by my situation with 'the producer.' after waiting for several months to work with him directly, he suggested that I record the songs on my own, with him providing oversight aftwards. And if you know anything about producing - this suggested scenario would have made me the producer and his a co-writer.

My first instinct was to just leave the entire situation alone, but you never know where your blessings may come from - and so walking away from any opportunity, like it or not, would not have been a smart move.

Instead, I emailed him:
Hey [Producer],

A couple of things:

So I checked into get the scratch vocals recorded to the tracks that you gave me - and the place I'd normally go to get it done for free is now charging.

I'm kinda concerned about the expesense of recording the songs you haven't heard yet. I was hoping it'd be a more collaborative effort. I understand that you are extremely busy - but if we could just spend a day - I record quickly and have some ideas for vocal arrangements.

But beyond that, my major concern is that everything that I've sent to [label exec]so far has been what I've done on my own - and so I think he'd like get me with your ideas and style. For that, I am willing to wait, I just need to know if this is something we could make happen?

Let me know what's up!

[elle b.]
His response:

We can definately make it happen. Its just gonna take a min cuz my schedule is crazy right now. I hope you understand

Although it looks like I will be sitting tight for another couple of months - something will get done. At least, I am back to square 1.


[Jack Move] One Year Ago...

So my girl Jamz, did a re-cap of her life one year after graduation. Since I've been feeling like things have been moving rather slowly lately, I thought I'd do this for my own personal edification.

May 05 - Walked at graduation
June 05- Finished two final classes; moved into summer housing;
decided NOT to move to Miami or DC/Maryland;
July 05- Finished summer courses; re-hired as an intern with UBOC;
Realized that in all of my post-graduate plans, music was the only constant; called DJ OK and we began working; wrote and recorded 'Ain't Gonna Cry'; Met Raphael Saadiq - he told me to send him a package when I had stuff recorded;
August 05 - moved back home; started writing more and more songs; continued working with DJ OK; began networking
Sept 05' - Submitted my 40 pg independent research project to complete my degree (got an A-) ; still working on new music; met the Beatnix;
Oct 05' - Started my blog!; began researching apartments; began process to be hired full-time at the bank; preparing for first Elle B. performance
Nov 05- First Elle B. performance at Katrina benefit concert
Dec 05- First photoshoot for Elle B. promotions
Jan 06 - Elle B. team meeting to discuss project for the year;
Feb 06 - Label opportunity emerged; postponed Elle B. project temporarily; met with new producer; photoshoot with Jerome Duchange
March 06 - Performed at USC Hip-Hop/Poetry night; Performed at DST Scholarship gala
April 06 - Performed at USC Black Alumni post-gala
May 06 - Second Elle B. performance; back ont track with Elle B. project; label opportunity on the back-burner; started working with new producer, Goldfingaz

I've done a lot of pre-work, now is the time to get the product out. I put my own project on hold to get stuff done for the label - but I still have not been able to get to work with the producer they set me up with. So I am now back on track for my EP.

Some Technical Difficulties...

Presently, my blog is best viewed in Firefox.
I am working on making the changes for IE, but until then, I apologize for the inconvenience.


Video From May 7th Performance

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Exrtreme Makeover...

I seriously spent beaucoup time re-designing my blog weekend. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

More updates to come soon.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rest In Peace, Ryan.

Starting guard for the USC Basketball team, Ryan Francis, was shot and killed last night in Baton Rouge, LA. He was visiting his mom.

Although I didn't know Ryan, I am praying for his family. He was only 19 years old.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I guess MySpace is aight...

I mean it has been good to me.
Today I marked 4, 242 plays.

I've only had about 3 page views,
which means the joints are being added to profiles.

Just wanted to say thanks!!!

Career Update...

This weekend:
- Recording, Triflin' Woman
- Mtg with Yoel to discuss production schedule for the EP
- Try to book my next gig.
- Re-design the blog.
- Post video of my show.

*Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there*

It's a Celebration, Trojans!!!

Aight, so today is graduation day at SC! I just want to give shout outs to all my friends who are walking today - this is a huge accomplishment.

Of note, I want to shout out:

- my girl, Arameh. Just one year after undergrad she's getting her Masters in Occupational Therapy. She's got big, big, plans; Ph.D and special clinics she's gonna found are just a few. I am extremely proud of her.

- my girl, Alisia. She finally made it! I met her when she first transfered to SC'; she and her mom has been such a blessing in my life. She'll be interning with the SD Chargers this summer and then off to Law School.
On another note:
People are liars, especially at SC. This week, many members of the Black community were horrified to learn that one of their companions has been lying about being a real student. He was found out, not because he came clean, but because an old friend from HS, ratted him out to one of his SC compadres. Said SC buddy didn't hold his toungue and I don't blame him - dude lied.

The worst thing about the situation is that he was lying for three years! He coulda gotten his AA and transfered to SC' by now. Well, this is actually the worst part, he actually raised money from family, friends and his church in order to "study abroad." Ha!

He was on the executive board of the USC NAACP chapter, member of a campus ministry organization and ran a little massage therapy business on the side.

Oh well. I always thought he was strange and so I kept my distance. Good to know that I went with my feelings.
*look for a re-design soon*

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I struck Gold...

finally! well I shouldn't say finally cus I've known Goldfingaz for some years now (at least half a decade). We used to sing in the Norwood Kids Choir at Rogers Park over in Inglewood. I remember then a handful of us would just get around him at the piano after rehearsal and just have a good time improvising or singing popular songs to different melodies.

Anyways, last night we got together and started working on a track called "What's Going On." The song isn't one that I would have written on my own, but it's different and challenges what I am used to - which I really enjoy. And not only is it different, but Goldfingaz is a talented musician, producer and engineer. He's on point with his RnB. And that's just what I've been looking for.

I'm going back on Thursday to finish up the track. I am hoping that he and I work consistently cus I think I could learn alot from working with him.
In other news, special shout outs to Sang Diva for coming out to see me Sunday night. She's a fellow blogger - we'd never met before then. Thanks for believing in me.

*aight, back to work*

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This Label Thing...

is slipping right through my fingers.

man, the music biz is a trip.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Some photos from my show...

Thanks again for everyone that came out to support. We were about 70 strong last night. Great turn out to just be me on the bill.


Tha Show...

hey yall, just really quick - I had a great time at the show last night. The turn out was good, I saw so many friends from high school, met a fellow blogger, and made some new fans!

Will follow-up soon with photos and video. until then...ciao.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Quick and Dirty: Cinco De Mayo Edition

Most likely won't be any posts until after my show on Sunday. Wish me luck! Hey and if you are in the greater LA area, come by Hollywood on Sunday night for some great music, a great show, and a GREAT voice!

*bonne weekend*

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Someone's Cousin is going to Yale Medical...


She's gonna be an oncologist and do cancer research!

That's that Daniels blood, baby!

*as you can see I'm extra excited*

"Never Too Much, Never Too Much, Never Too Much..."

of It's my new favorite site.


check out my boy, the honorable. He's on the up&up in this blog game.

*ciao for now*

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"I have the need to"... Read.

(c) Keanu Reeves, Speed.

um, so lately, I've felt like my mental capacity is diminishing. I don't feel as articulate as I once was and I think the fall off of my mental dexterity has to do with not being in school anymore.

Got any good book suggestions?

Also, I noticed my songwriting creativity was up when I read more. In the past few months, I've gotten so sidetracked that I have neglected one of my favorite pasttimes.

*trying to get my mental game back uup to par*

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

and a word from my favorite trojan...

Don't act brand new, you knew it was coming... Lendale White is my favorite Trojan. Looks like now, I'll be a Tennessee Titans fan.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lendale last night at the NFL Draft Celebration that he and Dominique Byrd (drafted in 4th round to the Rams) hosted at Pearl. Instead of gushing on and on about meeting him, I figured, I'd post this instead.


(On why he feels like he dropped out of the first round and into the second round)

I can’t speculate on it. I don’t want to speculate on the reason why I did. I’m happy and excited about the opportunity to work with the Tennessee Titans. I can’t wait to get in and start winning football games.

(On how much he will use falling in the draft as motivation)

Every bit. Right now I’m working with a 31-team chip on my shoulder. Every team that has passed me up, every team that didn’t give me a shot, I’m coming for them. I’m gunning. I’m going to do everything to get healthy, get in shape and I can’t wait to start playing football.

(On dealing with character issues)

I don’t think there is anything to even bring up. I don’t feel like my character is going to be an issue at all. I’m a wonderful young man. I know the difference between right and wrong. I know the difference between good and bad. They took a shot and drafted me. They took a shot on taking me and I took a shot. I’m so excited about playing with them that it will never be a worry or a problem. I’m a Tennessee Titan and I’m excited about it.


Peep the rest of the article here...

In My Opinion...

Turns out that I really like Rihanna. I think she could mos def benefit from a great vocal coach, but I think she could be onto something otherwise. This video has me sold - she's so uninhibited.

Not the biggest fan of this song, but I loved S.O.S. and I think she's unique.


Reason #021 Why Myspace Is...



Monday, May 01, 2006

Ah, soon-to-be-quarter-life-crisis...

BUT, I will say that I am becoming a bit freaked out by the fact that I am pushing mighty close to 23. I still have a youthful look, but it's my nature to become so uptight that I forget to live in the moment and appreciate the progress that I am making...and to exasperate this unfortunate characteristic, I am terrified of 25.

It's not that I don't want to get older, but I am feeling anxious. It could be that my entire life, I've prided myself on striving to be above average and suceeding most of the time - it could be that I am now a full fledged adult and I miss my childhood, but most likely it's the fact that I feel as though I am starting late. Late, in my music career.

Only recently have I begun to feel as though I am aging way too fast... here are a few reasons why:

- RnB seeems to be getting younger and younger:

older acts are trying to imulate teenie-boppers; teenie-boppers look 25

- In my first meeting with 'the producer' he asked me how old I was. When I told him 22, he asked me if that was my real age. *can be interpreted in a variety of ways*

Now, I don't believe that 50 cent is 29 or that Ne-Yo is only 23 or hell, that Alicia Keys was 21 when she first went mainstream. Age manipulation is a part of the game. And while I understand the politics of entertainment and maintaining the will only be so long before I am not really in my early twenties and have to lie about how old I am.

But how old will I be when I am at least marginally successful? Especially when you look at someone like Anthony Hamilton, for whom it took 10 years to get his first major release? I wonder if I've started too late!!! And today is May 1st; I am less than a year into my full-time music career.

I went to college and graduated. That was a promise that I made to myself - get your education, so that you will always have something to fall back on. But now, as I am getting the quarter-life-crisis jitters, I wonder if this is the consequence for not having faith/confidence to embark on this journey sooner. The opportunities provided to me because I went to college cannont be disregarded. Nor, can I knock myself because I chose a path and stayed on it - this is just the rode that I am on - despite its irregularity.

I told my roomate that I once wished the weeks would go by faster because working in a cubicle 8 hours a day was hell. But now that it is the first of May and 2006 is almost half gone I am now careful of what I wish for.

I may be starting late in the game by some standards. I could be getting an itch because there is a really great opportunity looming or I am just in waiting for the next level of my career. Either way, I've decided not to get ahead of myself and just take it day-by-day.

*As you can see, I've got a lot on my mind*

*Elle B. performing at USC BAA Gala
**Photo: Leroy Hamilton