The Making Of An International Music Star

An Interview with legendary performer Leroy Collins conducted by Ricardo Williams for Future Hit Songs Review.

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Future Hit Songs Review:

Tell me, Leroy, a little history about yourself. Where you were born,  and any difficulties you faced as a child? When did you know you were going to be a musician?

Leroy Collins:

As a young boy growing up in Trinidad without a dad, I used to hang around the music auditorium after school and admire the bigger kids practicing for school concerts. My mom found out that I was not interested in being a policeman like my daddy was, and he had already left us by the way.  When I was about twelve, she bought me a plastic guitar.  It was big enough to play on, but it was right-handed, and I am left-handed, but that didn’t stop me from learning to play in my own way. I was inspired by Sam Cook, and Brook Benton, and wrote my first song, with words like, “A true and faithful woman is only found now and then.”

Future Hit Songs Review:

What was your first notable accomplishment in music?

Leroy Collins:

My first stage performance was accidental. The school was having a concert and needed a singer. I was passing by, and they asked me if I could sing.  I gave them the answer they wanted. I got on stage the following week, and sang, “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke of course, and from then on I started looking for a band to sing with.  I was seventeen when I found a band called Echo Strings and played with them until I was twenty. We played in clubs and concerts and so on, then I was discovered by one of Trinidad’s leading Calypso Artist, The Mighty Sparrow, and made my first record as a backing singer.

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I then went to Grenada for Expo in 1969, and there, I had my first solo recording.  In Grenada, I had played at all the hotels, then I moved back to Trinidad and did some new gigs in clubs, but I wanted more, so I went off to Holland, then Italy, then Finland, then Germany, then I ended up in Denmark, and made a record there called “The Disco Man” and a follow-up on the flip side called “Suzy,” that was on a CBS label.

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After that, I made an album with a band, Trans Europa Express, with cover songs, and then another one with our own songs. I then made a solo album called, “Here I Am.” I went to Spain and lived there six months a year from 2003 until 2011 doing revival shows at hotels and festivals every single day two shows a day. I then returned to Denmark and made a new album, called “I Wanna Get Up.” In the meantime, I had a single out called “Parquita,” then another one called “I’m the Julemand” meaning (I Am Santa Claus).

Future Hit Songs Review:

What’s in the pipeline for 2018?

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Leroy Collins:

I am currently working on a new album and hope to get worldwide recognition this time. I’m still trying for that big record contract and a spot somewhere in Las Vegas. Performing is what I do and I intend to take my last breath on stage. I forgot to mention that I played for George McCrae, and I played for The Jordanaires (Elvis’s original backing singers) when they were on their Scandinavian tour. I was also an actor and did some musicals, like for example, “Hair,” and “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Future Hit Songs Review:

I’m amazed by your accomplishments and your drive for success. You also auditioned a couple of times for the X Factor, and Britain Got Talent? Tell me about that?

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Leroy Collins:

Britain Got Talent was only one time, but X Factor was twice. On Britain Got Talent, there were about 40,000 thousand people who auditioned, then they cut us down to ten thousand, then we were six thousand who were chosen for the last audition, and I was in the six thousand, and out of six thousand they chose 250 contestants to appear in front of Simon Cowell. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I am one of the 250 at the X Factor.  Two years ago in London, there were 80 thousand that applied, and then they cut us down to 12 thousand, then 2,500, then three hundred to appear at Boot camp, and I was there at boot camp, and surprise!! I was the oldest at 68.  last year, I also performed at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which is a prestigious arrangement.

Future Hit Songs Review:
That’s quite remarkable, something that many will not even dream of achieving. I know you do great impersonations also. I’ve seen you do Stevie Wonder for example. I see you have the current No. 1 and No. 2 song now on the NumberOneMusic site. I fell in love with “Girl” for the lyrics and the melody. It seems to be a sad song. Tell me the story behind it?
Leroy Collins:
The song “Girl,” is a true story about my wife and how I met her. She was a young girl at eighteen when I met her. Everyone said that I was a fool to choose someone like her. They said it wouldn’t last. She was at the karaoke bar that I was running, and she was staring at me all the time, just drinking a cola. So when I finally walked over and asked her to sing, she declined, but one thing led to another. I found out that she was having trouble with her family, and I offered her to be a part of mine.
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So, the song is about my wife and our journey from then and now. The song was easy to write, and if you listen carefully you would detect a little anger towards my friends, who instead of supporting me, they were trying to discourage me from what turned out to be the longest and best relationship that I’ve ever had. So that song is meant from the heart, and I’m so happy that everyone likes it. I am actually recording another song that I wrote for my wife called, “I Will.”

 

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An Unchained Mind Minute – Waves

 

Our breaths are like waves washing up against the shore. Each breath either creates a feeling of calm or a feeling of chaos. We get to make the adjustments. We get to change the tide. We get to choose the type of waves, we want to experience. Be vigilant. Change the tide of destruction. Change the tide of heaviness. Change the tide of self doubt. Change the tide of negativity. Don’t let the tide carry you away. You carry the tide that washes up waves of love, peace, and success.

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The Disaster Artist – A Movie Review

 

When Greg, played by Dave Franco fails in his bid to become an actor, he turns to his classmate Tommy, played by James Franco as a coach. The two develop a friendship based on spontaneous decisions, trust, and chaos. Two spontaneously decides to go to visit the site of the scene of the accident that took the life of their idol James Dean. They are aware of his struggles as an actor and how many people had given up on him, but he was persistent to follow his dreams. They pledge the same persistence and to pull each other up. Tommy is a mysterious character who moves through scenes of feeling confident to feeling helpless and isolated. He pushes Greg out of his comfort zone by having him reenact lines in restaurants and bars. The two moves to California to pursue their acting careers. The movie shows the various stages of the struggles experienced by both Greg and Tommy as their lives play like a see-saw up and down. When Greg suggest to Tommy that they produce their own movie, Tommy not only hired his crew for the filming, but purchased the cameras and other equipment as opposed to renting it.

Greg and Tommy seems like the perfect, imperfect friendship until Greg falls in love with Amber (Alison Brie) and moves in with her. We witness Tommy dealing with the fear of abandonment as he kick and throw things around.

There are many good performances in this movie. James Franco as Tommy is both annoying and convincing. Dave Franco as Greg is both charming and confused as he tries to understand his friend Tommy. Seth Rogen as Sandy who is hired to work on Tommy’s film is convincing.  There are many funny scenes like Tommy forgetting his lines in the rehearsal, and Tommy trying to shoot a nude scene.

The Disaster Artist is a good movie. I enjoyed it as I understood the struggles and challenges of the actors. The problem with the movie is that it didn’t answer the questions that were on my mind and I believe many people who saw the movie. Simple questions like where the Tommy get his money, what country is he from, and how old he is. The movie also didn’t give us a back story of the characters so that we can understand why they act the way they do.

I give the “Disaster Artist,” 3 Stars out of 5.

 

Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas Nominates Brian McKnight The 2017 Fan Award

 

If you haven’t been Brianized on the Internet in 2017 by legendary singer, writer, and producer Brian McKnight, then you’ve missed out on the best thing that happened in the year.

Brian McKnight used the web to globally unite his fans and give them musical treats that they couldn’t resist. Brianized quickly became a date night for fans to look forward to. Fans got to listen to Brian sing some of their favorite hits and even heard him tackle songs from some of his favorite artists.

The sessions were so personalized that fans got to share their love with him and thank him for his years of service in the music industry. The impact of Brian’s songs are of such a wide range that it engulfs all occasions, from weddings, with “Back At One,” to break ups with “One Last Cry.” There is also the seductive songs like “Anytime” which I remember singing to someone on my way home from class at the World Trade Center in New York in 1999, and then there is “Love Of My Life,” which he sings with a perfect falsetto. Then there is the sensual and tender “Never Felt This Way” which beautifully integrates R&B with Jazz.

You can catch his latest “Forever,” which just about says it all that his music will last many lifetimes, and probably will be around forever.

You’ve been Brianized.

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Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas recently Awarded Martan Dean “The Person Of The Year Award.”

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An Interview with Martan Dean, Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas “Person Of The Year” Award

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In a world of people empowerment, the marketing power of any entity lies with the commitment of its members. When Ricardo Williams launched the Facebook Group, “Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas, he was hoping to engage music lovers and bring them to a place where they can engage in their favorite songs and even share memories in music. He found the perfect member in an Uncle by marriage in Martan Dean. Martan is the uncle of Ricardo’s wife Anjanette, and he has a great love and passion for music.

Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas awarded $100.00 to Martan for his commitment and interaction with the site and also awarded him, the “Person Of The Year,” award.

 

We caught up with Martan who lives in Rochester NY, for an interview:

Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas:

Have you always loved music?

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Martan:

I’ve always loved music. There are songs for every part of my life experience.

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Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas:

Totally agree with you. Some songs brings us back to beautiful memories. How do you use the group site, “Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas?”

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Martan:

I try to Share the site with as many people as I can. I listen to the music on the site almost everyday. The songs are part of my day. I’ve already listened to some this morning.

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Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas:

You won the “Person Of The Year” Award. You were one of the first persons to join the Group and you were committed all the way. That in a nutshell is the story of life.

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Martan:

I’m smiling from ear to ear. I just love what you started, and I enjoy music, and commentary. I hope the site continues to grow, and I’m happy to be a part of it. It enriches my life.

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Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas:

What will you like Listeners to know about you? We know that you are a Veteran, you love music, and you love children.

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Martan:

I like helping people, just for the joy it brings them and me in the process. I am a humble man who just loves life. It makes me feel good to see people successful in the things they strive for.

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Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas:

We love your heart, spirit, and soul. Thank you for the interview.

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Martan served Post Nam as the U.S was getting out of Vietnam. He served for 4 years. He was on the carrier “The U S S INDEPENDENCE C V 62. He said that they were all over the Mediterranean including Italy, Spain, Greece, and even the Mother Land, Africa. It’s an experience he would always treasure. His job was refueling the Jets and other aircrafts.

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His hobbies include his love for old school muscled cars. He makes chocolate roses, and chocolate covered strawberries. He loves working with his hands, and taking pictures. He was born in the 50’s, but his favorite decades in music are the 70’s and the 80’s. He has 12 grandkids.

He describes his wife, Cynthia, as an amazing woman. They’ve been married for two years, but been together for 5 years, but have known each other for about 40 years.

Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas will like to congratulate Martan Dean on the “Person Of The Year” Award.

We also like to thank the following nominees for their contributions. Each nominee will receive a copy of the book, “Dear God, An Impatient Conversation With a Patient God,” by Author Ricardo Williams.

Richelle Bubb – Richelle is an Admin of the group and has played a very important role in building group membership, posting favorite videos, and LIKING and commenting on videos. Richelle is also an innovator as I remember when she posted the first Spanish video.

Richie Gibbs – Richie is an Admin and has played an important role in boosting membership, and posting, LIKING, and commenting on videos. He is also an innovative person. I remember when he introduced the first comedy video to the group.

Shericka T. Giles:  Shericka is an Admin and has played a very important role in building membership and driving innovation. Thanks to Shericka’s innovative thinking that we now have LIVE DJ sessions in the group. She gave us DJ Bro-Rabb Mr Lawd Have Mercy.

DJ Bro-Rabb: By far the best Online DJ there is. He takes us on an intense musical journey on Sundays and Tuesdays. During his sessions, one is drawn into his music and feels so connected that it is like a magnetic work of art. On Sundays, he takes us into the bedroom, and on Tuesdays he takes us to the club.

All nominees can contact me by email ricardowilliams@hotmail.com to receive your prizes or instant message me.

In addition, Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas will like to thank all the Admins, and all the members. We also thank the artists and promoters in the Group. We value each and every one of you and encourage you to post and share your work and keep the Group growing and the vision of Grown And Sexy R&B Dallas of bringing the marketplace and the consumers under one umbrella.

 

 

 

 

Wonder – A Movie Review

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“Wonder” is the perfect family movie. The kind of movie that will help anyone having to deal with bullies. Director Stephen Chbosky takes the movie about a boy by the name of Auggie, born with facial deformities and turned it into a case study of bullying. Jacob Tremblay plays Auggie and he’s been home-schooled by his mother Isabel played by Julia Roberts, who decides to let Auggie experience his 5th Grade school year in a regular school outside of home-schooling. She is aware of the risks of him being bullied. Auggie has been wearing a NASA space helmet for sometime and now he must remove it and face his school mates. Owen Wilson plays Auggie’s dad, Nate, and Izabela Vidovic, plays Auggie’s older sister Via.

There are conflicts to be resolved in “Wonder.” Auggie must adjust to his new world. Via must find a way to connect with her parents especially her mom, who is consumed by the care Auggie needs. The chemistry between Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson in parenting role works beautifully and it is easy to identify with their parenting styles. Julia Roberts looks far different from the “Pretty Woman” charm as her choice of dress seems old and more of a librarian feel. Owen Wilson is funny and is the perfect dad.

“Wonder” takes the time to give us adequate background into the main characters. We get to hear Auggie’s story, and then Via’s story. We get to hear the inside story of class friends and foe. We get to see that even those with good intentions, may appear bad.

“Wonder” is not a tear-jerker, and Via had to remind Auggie that everything is not about him. Auggie may have a deformity in the face, but he is very intelligent and imaginative. He is more than equipped to handle bullying. However, he proves that he too can laugh at others and even do unethical things like allowing a classmate to look at his answers for a quiz.

“Wonder” is a movie about friendship, and we see how those relationships develop, and how they stall, and how they are repaired. We see the ugly side of bullying as adults influence their kids behavior, and see their actions as nothing more than preparing everyone for the harsh realities of the real world. We can remove the facial deformities, and add Race, or Sexual orientation, and we will get the same effect of people being mean to things they don’t understand.

I enjoyed “Wonder,” but I found it predictable. I didn’t cry and I didn’t fall asleep. “Wonder” is a movie about Via as much as it is about Auggie. “Wonder,” is definitely worth the time spent. I give it 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 only because it didn’t make me cry.