Indie Soul: College 101

With spring in the air, high school seniors are preparing for the colleges they will attend in the fall.

Baltimore’s very own Tiona Blyden, author of “College 101- 7 Ways To Hit the Ground Running” has some advice for those who choose to continue their education. “This book is really for the students who are going to college. It’s really simple and to the point to help them before they even set foot on college campus, so that they are prepared for what college will bring them.” says Blyden.

“I wrote this book because although I was an honor student in high school, in my honest opinion, the school system does not really prepare you for college life and how to make sound decisions,” she continued.

A Morgan State University graduate, Blyden focuses on the core subject of the decision to attend college, getting students to really think about why they are attending, picking classes, and setting goals. “This book is not just for students, but adults as well, so they can sit with their child and see if this something their child is truly ready for,” says Blyden. Her book is available at

Indie Soul Entrepreneur: Jimmy Powell Jr.

MICA graduate, Jimmy Powell Jr., is our entrepreneur of the week. The young man started his company Digital Specialist 1( Visual/Video/Audio Production) with his sights set on winning an Oscar. “I have dreams and aspirations. There is no plan B. Everything I set out to do I have accomplished. There have been people that have expected me to fail and I use that for inspiration” he says.

Jimmy credits his strong family support from his mother and father. “My parents never told me, I could not do anything. They have always encouraged me to be and do the best at whatever it is I planned on doing. Dream big is something I have always done and I will continue to do.”

At the age of 16, Powell moved to Baltimore because of the huge art community. “Man the creativity in this area is great. I love the passion of being around other creative people, so to come here was something that I truly believe God had for me.”

Jimmy has produced various commercials, videos, and movies. The 30-year-old has even had Lionsgate Films interested in his work. Yet it’s not the money but the love of creating and the love of art that fuels him. And what about that Oscar? “I am not hoping or wishing for that honor, it will happen. Failure is not an option.”

To see some of Jimmy Powell Jr.’s work:

Indie Soul: Meet Anthony Leslie Jr. and Civ Jones

In this week’s Indie Soul, a book that details the real life problems of growing up on the wrong side of Baltimore, and popular radio host/event promoter using her celebrity to make a difference.

Anthony Leslie, Jr.: At first glance when you meet Anthony, you think that this a quiet man with little to say. Once you speak with him, you begin to learn that he has a lot to share with the world, especially about Baltimore. “When I wrote this book, I knew there would be some controversy because of the content. But I wanted to share my story so that I can breathe. There is a lot on my chest I wanted to release and I am sure that there are many like myself, and I wanted to let them know, there is someone just like them and that they can make it,” states Leslie Jr.

The book chronicles real-life situations that many Baltimoreans have experienced. In Anthony’s book entitled “The Naked Truth…The Journey From Within,” he shares his struggle with drugs, sexual abuse and identity, and finally his relationship with God. “I know what I went through, I don’t want others to experience what I did and if this book can help someone, then it has served its purpose.” To purchase a book, please visit

Civ Jones: The 12-year veteran of media is co-host of the “Midday Show” on Magic 95.9 with Tim Watts. She is also one of the most innovative promoters in the city of Baltimore. “I want to do things that are out of the box” says Jones. Civ Jones is very aware that she is a role model not just for the hip-hop generation, but for women, especially those working in media. “I am very conscious of who I am and what I represent, and I want to set an example for those females coming up to know that you have to know your self-worth.”

That’s exactly what Jones is trying to get across with her next event, “From Niggas To God Performance & Art Exhibition.” “The title is controversial to many,” she says, “but it is the only way I could get the message across. That word means ignorance and we as blacks need to realize that we must move on from that and recognize that we are God’s and not ignorant.”

The event will host an art, hip-hop, and spoken Word performance. The sole purpose is to create a celebration to connect attendees to their personal divine Source through music and art. The event is March 29, 2014 at 7 p.m. at the Warehouse in Baltimore, Md. For more information:

Indie Soul welcomes your comments and questions. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: Follow him on Twitter @lfpmedia.

Indie Soul: The Colemans and Debora M. Ricks

— The soulful sound of some very talented homegrown music artists and the producer of a popular radio show are on tap for this week’s edition of Indie Soul.

Butch and Rhonda Coleman: Butch and Rhonda are musicians who combine jazz and funk to create their unique sound. On Sunday, March 2, 2014 they performed songs from their new CD “Night Sketches” in front of a packed house at The Creative Alliance. The husband and wife team have produced a wonderful CD. This CD is not just for music lovers, but people who are in love with love. With tracks like, “Here I Go Again,” “Fallen,” “Carry My Heart,” and “We Belong Together,” there will be plenty of quiet nights at home with a bottle of wine and dinner for two as you listen to the Coleman’s CD on repeat. A mix of up-tempo grooves round out a very enjoyable and classy sound. Please support them and pick up the CD/Digital download today:

Debora M. Ricks is the producer of “The Anthony McCarthy” Show on WEAA. She has written a book designed to help people understand why they are being dumped. The book is entitled “Why did he Break Up With Me? Lessons in Love, Loss & Letting Go.”


“Letting go can be hard,” says Ricks. “Even when you know the relationship isn’t good for you, letting go can hurt. But we let go so we can create a vacuum, so to speak, in our life. Because life abhors vacuums, now we’re available for a new love, adventure, experience.”

The book covers a multitude of topics like dealing with emotionally abusive relationships, being strong and independent, and managing expectations. The book is not just for women; men can learn a few things as well.

Ricks added, “I wanted to offer something to people, especially women, that will help them get unstuck, so they can be open and ready for love when it comes again. I show women how to get closure.”

For more information:

Indie Soul welcomes your comments and questions. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: Follow him on Twitter @lfpmedia.

Indie Soul Entrepreneur of the Week: Diedre Gambrill Webb

— Ever since Diedre was young, people have complimented her on her voice. For many years she had dreams of turning that voice into a business.

“Like everyone else, I have been captivated by great voices on radio, television and other audio recordings that made me say to myself, ‘I can do that!’ I have also heard voices on those same mediums that have made me cringe, and say ‘I could have done that better!’

Some of her work includes on-hold messages, being featured in a promotional video for a local non-profit. Webb has also voiced magazine articles as a volunteer for the Radio Reading Network at the Maryland School for the Blind. Most recently, her voice is featured as the opening for a weekly online radio program for local author Caprice Smith.

“Of course, like all entrepreneurs, I want to be able to earn a living, but more than that, I want to use the gift of my voice to positively impact people’s lives around the world,” she said.

For more information: Website: or Email:

Indie Soul welcomes your comments and questions. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: Follow him on Twitter @lfpmedia.

Indie Soul: Talkin’ all that jazz

In this week’s Indie Soul we are “talkin’ all that jazz.” Get ready to find out what’s happening in the community and yes we are talking about jazz music!

Marshall C. Bell’s book “Baltimore Blues: Harm City” deals with life on the streets and how to change life for the better.

“I took a different path when writing this book,” he said. “I wanted to reach back and hopefully reach those who are going through some rough spots in their lives to help them see that there is something else out there and it is positive,” said Bell.

Marshall C. Bell will be part of the book club “Books, Wine and Conversation” on Saturday, March 1, 2014 from noon to 2 p.m. at The Baltimore Times, located at 2513 N. Charles Street in North Baltimore. The event is FREE and open to the public. For more information on the book club call 410-501-0193.

Jazz@the Grand: Baltimore has been starving for LIVE Jazz shows and the Bonneau Caprece Jazz Series presented a show for all ages on Sunday, February 23, 2014 with an incredible performance from “The Four Saxophonists:” Craig Alston, Tim Green, Mark Gross, and Ron Pender. These soon-to-be legends in the game, took the audience on a incredible ride with standards, blues and classic jazz pieces. In honor of the old time jazz showcases in Baltimore, the show was held in the afternoon— great for a family outing or a Sunday afternoon. Don’t worry, you can catch another show on Sunday April 27, 2014. For more information call 443-695-9384.


Hip hop artist OurReality

OurReality-TGDOM: Underground Hip-Hop artist OurReality, takes you on a mental journey with a sound that brings back the elements of hip-hop— beatboxing, deejay scratches, and most importantly lyricism.

“I wanted to let people know that there is real rap music out there especially for 35-year-olds and up, that deals with real life issues, struggles, and at the same time, has feel good music,” said M. Childs, artist and executive producer.

If you are a fan of George Clinton and Funkadelic who made music for the mind, this is what OurReality has done with their brand of mental music. They want you to get your mind right!

For more information about OurReality, or to listen to a sample of his music or to purchase a CD/Download, visit:

Indie Soul: Food for the soul

This week, Indie Soul concentrates on Soul Food— not the type of food that you eat physically, but food for the mind and body and soul!


The book “Without Mercy,” is a stunning true story of race, crime and corruption in the deep South as it pertains to the pattern of convicting and in some cases executing people of color without fair a trial. Author David Beasley shares facts and provides historical evidence of how cases were tried and fixed all in the name of inequality. The book looks at cases from the past right up to modern times. For more information: visit Amazon or Good Reads.

The movie “Dreams,” was originally to be released in theaters across the country. However, Lionsgate changed course and it has now been released on DVD. The cast includes a variety of stars including Grammy nominated Angie Stone; Vickie Winans and Marvin L Winans, Jr.; professional dancer Marchello Lee; boxing trainer Joseph Awinongya; R&B singer J’SON; and “American Idol” contestant Syesha Mercado to name just a few. This is really an inspirational film inspired by true events. To order your copy please visit:

The Last Epistle (Mike Body): The hip-hop music that floods the airwaves is not the only sound of today’s culture. There is plenty of GREAT music by artists with awesome lyrics. Mike Body, born and raised in West Baltimore is one such artist. Body’s decision to make a change in his life occurred when both his friend and his uncle died violent deaths on the same night. With the help of his friend Miles, he turned his life over to the Lord on March 28, 1999.

Body’s voice on tracks is full of passion and love. This project has a mature sound and message such as when he talks about his recent marriage in the track, “Selection Process.” He might not be on the “gangsta” grind but he can rhyme with the best of them and his message is all truth. “My Enemy’s Enemy” is a standout track where talks about losing a job and staying strong against ones’ enemies, both physical and spiritual. Amazingly, Body gets his point across in his music that is appealing yet doesn’t compromise his relationship with God.

For more information about Mike Body, visit:

Indie Soul: Soulful music winter review

Soul music is a feeling, the essence of what comes from the heart. Soul music comes from deep within. It’s not manufactured but from the soul. In this week’s review, meet three indie music artists who are truly the definition of soul!

Meah Pace: This Maryland native, Morgan State University alum, and former captain of the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleading squad, has dropped a jewel of an EP (Extended Play). Meah Pace is a take-charge kind of artist. She is executive producer on her latest project “11:03.” She combined elements of rock, blues, and gospel into a sound that is truly her own. There is a song entitled “Gracefully”; when you listen to it, you just want to grab someone and just do that slow grind as if you were in New Orleans at some hot sweaty club. The tracks “I Don’t Need You” and “On My Brain” are two standouts that are sure to get your toes tapping. For more on Meah Pace visit her Facebook page at: meahpaceonline or follow her on twitter @meahpace.



Born and raised in Nigeria, Douye’ traveled here to the United States to pursue her singing career. Like Meah Pace, she has taken control of her music and her sound by calling the shots as executive producer on her latest album. The CD is entitled “So Much Love” and it has 13 of the most soulful songs you will ever hear. Not one track should be skipped. Douye’ has combined the sounds of jazz, reggae, and R&B, to bring you music that will stand the test of time. From the moment you press play, you will be immediately blown away with the tracks “Til Morning Comes” and “Love Rules” with smooth sensuous grooves. On the track “You’re the Only One,” Douye’ speaks to women hanging on to the wrong man hoping he’ll change. The song is done with class, as is the entire project.

Finally, back in the good old days every summer there would be hot songs to make your summer one to remember. The song entitled “Life is Good” will be one of those summer songs of 2014. Douye’s CD, “So Much Love,’ will have you hitting the repeat button over and over. Want the CD? Then go to:

Marcell Russell: The indie artist and new father, represents for the real men who are not afraid to express their emotions. On his latest project, the double CD release, “The Serenade & The Sinner,” he manages to give you the best of both worlds and is very uncompromising when doing so. The lead single, “Baggage,” is about giving thanks to a woman who hangs on to her man despite his past. So much emotion goes into that song that it is amazing that Russell has anything left. It is music dealing with real life problems that everyone can relate to. Russell, like many great producers of the past, writes from the heart and then delivers music with passion and soul. Check out Marcell Russell for yourself:

Indie Soul welcomes your comments and questions. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: Follow him on Twitter @lfpmedia.

Indie Soul: Review of the Week

This has been a very busy summer for IndieSoul. We have been to lots of shows from concerts to comedy to theater. We have also had some speaking engagements and been on a few radio shows— Thanks Anthony McCarthy! Most importantly, our readers and our fans love what we are doing and want more, so we will keep it going!

This week is dedicated to the POSITIVE black men who are making difference in their communities.


Marc Goggins

Marc Goggins: As the owner of Black Poetry Café ( and Black Revolution (, Mark Goggins has opened has opened the door for many of D.C., Maryland and Virginia poets and given them a platform to showcase their art. This

summer in Atlanta, Georgia marked the 8th Annual BPC Poetry Festival ( When this event first started, Goggins used his own funds, so that poets worldwide could come together to network and share. This year, Indie Soul in conjunction with our media partners MY SOUL RADIO ( honored him with an award for his dedication, hard work and his support of the arts, and in particular the independent artist. To his wife Mary, we say thank you for sharing your husband with us, without your support, none of what Mark does would be possible!

Chef Patrick: Usually a venue heats up because of the deejay, the dancers or the bands that come and perform. However, what makes Pearl’s Place a premiere hot spot is Chef Patrick! This guy is a phenomenal artist! Yes, I say artist because he designs meals that are out of this world! He is passionate about cooking! “I love the look on people’s faces when they taste what I create!” says Chef Patrick. Chef Patrick tells says that he is bipolar and has good days and bad days but the one thing that keeps him calm, is being in that kitchen. He is that diamond in the rough and Pearl’s Place is lucky to have him. Don’t just take it from me, please go and experience his cooking yourself. Pearl’s Place is located at 2578 Hollins Street in Baltimore City and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. with Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Anthony Shoats: When black men say that they are entrepreneurs most people automatically presume that they are involved in the music business. However, this is not the case with Anthony Shoats. “I love to drive. I truly am blessed to be able to do what I do and more importantly show another side of being a black male who owns a business.” Shoats’ passion has now turned into one of the most respected services in the area. Serving the Maryland, D.C. and Virginia area, the name of his business, “Xquisite Transportation” says it all. His company provides professional, safe, prompt and reasonably priced service. He is a very humble man who always puts God first in everything he does. He tries to lead by example and values his company’s good reputation. For more information about Xquisite Transportation, call: 443-992-2844.

Indie Soul welcomes questions and comments. To contact Phinesse Demps, email: or call: 410-941-9202.