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RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Music Rejoice Rising - Ent Rising - Music

‘UPFRONT’ featuring Kevin Hart, Will Packer, Jonathan Nelson and more (AUDIO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Check out last weekend’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. It featured my red carpet interviews with Night School star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer. The film opens in theaters this Friday, September 28.

I also talked to Gospel music sensation Jonathan Nelson about his new album, Declaration and film critics Edward Adams and Ronda Racha Penrice talk about AAFCA’s The Black Experience on Film with Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

UPFRONT is a 30-minute arts and entertainment program featuring the biggest names in TV, film, music, fashion and the performing arts. It also features the behind-the-scenes superstars that make Atlanta the “entertainment capital of the south.” It airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and is hosted by yours truly, Ray Cornelius.

Click here to check out more of our past shows!

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RC Exclusive - Music

RC hosts ATL Screening and Performance of ‘Presenting Princess Shaw’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Sassy, bold, raw and edgy are just a few of the adjectives to describe rising vocalist Samantha Montgomery aka Princess Shaw. The New Orleans based singer-songwriter is the subject of a new documentary, “Presenting Princess Shaw,” where Israeli music composer Ophir “Kutiman” Kutiel sampled her song “Give It Up” as well as the songs of other musicians from around the world for a You Tube video that became an overnight sensation.

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Princess Shaw

I had a chance to meet the elder care worker turned singer on Thursday night at the Atlanta screening of her film and I talked exclusively to her about her new found fame and how the film has changed her life. We also chatted briefly in front of an audience before she performed a few of her songs.

Shaw has been singing for as far back as she can remember. A native of Chicago, she left the windy city and traveled to Indianapolis and then to San Diego and then back to Indianapolis. However, it wasn’t until she settled down in New Orleans that she decided to pursue her musical ambitions and found her voice.

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Princess Shaw and Ray Cornelius during Q&A Session

“So this one time I was recorded myself singing in the shower and was singing with full force and wasn’t afraid to hit those high levels. Then I played it back and was like, ‘WOW.’ I felt very comfortable in that setting and could repeat that. It was me and I felt like I had found myself. I was ok with that setting and was like ‘this is who I am as an artist,'” said Shaw during our interview.

From that point on she began recording more of herself and eventually set up a You Tube channel where she began sharing all of her original songs. One of those tunes caught the eye of Israeli music producer Kutiman and he used it along with a few others to record, “Give It Up.” The song went viral in 2014 and has been viewed by nearly three million people.

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Princess Shaw and her musical companion Buzy

“My thing was freestyling. I sing acapella and would take beats from You Tube that I never heard before and just play them and just create a song right then and there. Then it turned my channel into a confessional where I began to purge my soul. It was me talking about my life and just getting it out of my soul. I honestly didn’t think beyond the phone. I would just push publish,” said Shaw regarding her late night confessionals and music sessions on You Tube.

Shaw was later contacted by Kutiman and Ido Haar regarding a documentary about her musical journey and she immediately began filming in New Orleans. However, it wasn’t until she visited Atlanta, to explore the city’s bustling music scene, that she found out that Kutiman’s new version of her song, “Give It Up” was creating quite a buzz on the internet.

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Ray Cornelius during Q&A with Princess Shaw

“I didn’t know what song it was and found out it was ‘Give It Up.’ The song had been up on You Tube for a year. My purpose was, ‘please somebody make music with my song’ and finally somebody did. It was beyond anything I could have imagined when I heard it.”

Since it’s release, Shaw has been traveling around the world performing with Kutiman and promoting the film. And while she is not exactly where she would like to be professionally, she’s definitely not where she was when this journey began.

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Princess Shaw

“I feel so sorry for her but that’s still me. I was really screwed up. Like my head was really screwed up at the time. I look at her and I’m like, ‘WOW!” I hope people don’t want me to stay there because people get attached to that sad you. I can still sing with that same emotion but I’m not in that place. I’m like hella better.”

Check out more photos below and click here to see Princess Shaw perform:

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Presenting Princess Shaw 

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Princess Shaw‘s red hair is part of her signature look

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Princess Shaw performed all of her original songs including “Give it up”

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Princess Shaw with American Idol contestants Terrell and Derrell Brittenum

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Princess Shaw and Buzy with a fan

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Princess Shaw and Buzy with Doc Robinson and her Atlanta band:

Joey Green, Rod Harris, Loius Styx Newsom and Bill Barlow

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com & Aric “DreamPhotographyGroup” Thompson

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Recap

Brian Michael Cox hosts ‘Who Is Nino’ Private Listening Session [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Super music producer Brian Michael Cox recently hosted a private listening session in Atlanta for the R&B artist, Nino formerly known as Bertell.  The “Who is Nino” event took place at the SESAC Atlanta Offices in West Midtown.

‘Who Is Nino’ is the latest endeavor from the self-proclaimed musical activist who used the project to tackle community issues surrounding the black community and well as promote his new image and his first single, “Dope Chick.” Nino is no stranger to the music industry having written and collaborated with some of the hottest artists on the charts including Trey Songz, Nelly, Bobby V, T-Pain, Bun-B, Twista, Bow Wow, Yung Joc and Dondria.

Invited guest enjoyed complimentary bites and cocktails from Disaronno as well as an acoustic set by Nino.

Check out the photos below:

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Photo Credits: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com

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Rising - Fashion

Luke James for Prince Magazine (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

R&B newbie Luke James is the latest celebrity to grace the cover of Prince  magazine.  The New Orleans born vocalist channels the jazz greats of yesteryear like the Nicholas Brothers, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole for the magazine’s “Music Meets Fashion” issue.

James has been making quite a name for himself appearing in Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” video and opening for her this past Memorial Day at the Revel Resort and Casino.

The “Soul Train Award” nominee most recently lite up the stage at BET’s 2012 Black Girls Rock!

Check out James in these amazing shots featuring classic cardigans, trousers, blazers, hats and more!

“I think back in the 1920’s there were rules and strict formulas that were used in creating music. As of today, it’s just different. Those boundaries have been broken. There is no set formula. The only one I believe that works since that time is feeling…”

 “A ring and a hoodie are the only articles of clothing I need. A ring makes me feel good and a hoodie I can hide…”

“Being honest is what I strive on and I feel like that’s what people feel.  You know when you’re just straight up honest and you just let it all out. For me performing and creating music is my therapy…”

“There is only one Luke James!  No one has my voice.  No one’s feeling is completely the same.  I feel like I bring what I bring to the table and I feel there is a market for it…”

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Replay

Luke James discusses Beyoncé and lessons learned…

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Newcomer Luke James is one lucky guy!  Not only has the New Orleans native been creating quite a buzz in the music industry, but he had the opportunity to open for Beyoncé during her comeback performance this past Memorial Day Weekend.

MTV caught up with James after day two of his 4-night gig at the Revel resort and discussed the invaluable lessons he learned from the Queen B.

“What I learned from Beyoncé is just the focus, the drive and to stay creative and to always give, just keep giving,” he said. “Throughout the years that she’s been doing it, since Destiny’s Child to now, she’s been giving.”

James is currently signed to Island Def Jam and is managed by Beyoncé’s longtime choreographer/creative director Frank Gatson Jr. Although he is still fairly new to the business, James is motivated by this experience and optimistic about what lies ahead for him musically.

“So this is the beginning for me … I just want to remain giving and always [be] a necessity to people, you know?  Giving [fans] what they need. At the same time, it’s basically giving me what I need.”

Here is the latest video from Luke James entitled, “Mo’ Betta Blues”:

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