Heartwarming greetings from my African sunkissed heart to yours 🙂 and a Happy new month of August to you!
I just arrived from my home country of Nigeria the past month of July, promoting my debut album“Organically Singing” and garnering some press/media presence and on ground performances. Follow me at @Tosinger on instagram to have a sneak peak of that journey, see a few pics below. Thank God for His mercies, grace and favor and thank you Lagos for your hospitality.
I am also delighted to present to you a creative product of my visit to Nigeria which is officially released digitally today. I worked with the multitalented Producer/Musician – FloRocka– on my latest project, an audio drama/spoken word titled ‘Silent Thoughts’.
‘Silent Thoughts‘ is an Audio Drama/Spoken Word/Storytelling Project with an afro-theatrical edge addressing the issues of our times. As a spoken form of art on a musical backdrop, ‘Silent Thoughts’ intends to provoke and inspire thought towards change. Things have been quiet lately about the Chibok Girls. Whatever happened to #BringBackOurGirls? What is currently happening?
The call for Britain to exit the European Union (EU) can be traced to the global economic meltdown which saw the economies of the world crumble. The global recession took a toll on every nation of the world but Britain compared to many other nations recovered in a fairly good time. Following the recession came increased terrorism and Islamisation of the world with Islamic terrorist groups holding sway in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, they were beginning to gradually infiltrate Europe. The crisis that rocked the Middle East led many to migrate massively into Europe not just for safety but for greener pastures, the slow economic recovery of some European countries led Europeans too to migrate to better economies within the region. With migration of people into a country comes the transference of ideologies, systems, lifestyle, religion, traditions and culture etc. Matters…
People always ask about the designer of some of the dresses I wore on my brand material and at a few performances, well they were designed by no other than the sweet spirited Ms Afua Sam of Studio D’Maxsi. Studio D’Maxsi is the notable fashion house owned by Ghanaian Fashion Designer Afua Sam based in Washington DC . Celebrated as an innovative, sophisticated and edgy women’s wear line for the modern woman, STUDIO D’MAXSI makes unique designs for the classy, funky, chic and confident woman.
Studio D’Maxsi’s success journey so far includes having her designs grace Hollywood’s Red Carpet, the BET Honors event, the Grammys, celebrity music videos, TV and documentary appearances, styling various beauty queens, features at national & International fashion shows, multiple awards won, collaborations and much more. Full of gratitude for how far she has come, Afua Sam reflects on how she took a leap of faith traveling from Ghana to America knowing no one on arrival and despite struggles and rejections, her talent and love for fashion withstood the odds and built the strong fashion brand we know as Studio D’Maxsi today.
Afua Sam also founded ‘Operation Prom’, a ‘win a PROM dress’ competition open to deserving academically excellent high school female students.
As a single mother of two, Afua Sam has successfully pulled through balancing motherhood, health, personal struggles while pursuing her passion of fashion. Motivated by her personal story, Afua has over the years embraced social responsibility as a major part of her brand, significantly contributing her talent to support various charity events and causes. Studio D’Maxsi has contributed immensely in developing businesses, personality brands and charity organizations by supporting fundraisers and donating her designs for charities like ‘Fashion For A Cause’, ‘Pink for Africa’, ‘Tigerlily Foundation’, American Breast Cancer Foundation’ and ‘Steps For The Cure’ ; to name a few. Afua Sam herself modeled on the runway for ‘Runway Moms for A Cause’. Giving back remains an important of the vision of the brand.
In the month of June, to celebrate the ten year anniversary, there will be a giveaway to the general public of specially designed fashion items by Studio D’Maxsi with the hashtag #studiodmaxsi10years. More details on social media @dmaxsi. The new and improved website will still be hosted at www.studiodmaxsi.com and it will feature an e-commerce shopping platform for the general public and fashion lovers to shop exclusive non-couture Studio D’Maxsi designs and accessories that are for the everyday woman. Afua Sam is thankful for family, a great team of Photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, models, fashion show producers, nonprofit organizations, the media, fans, PR clients and everyone who believed in the brand over the years.
STUDIO D’MAXSI’s brand of elegant yet edgy collections has gained her a diverse clientele that also includes artists Jamie Foster Brown, Grammy nominated artist Carolyn Malachi, Miss Ghana Universe, Miss China America First Runner Up, Miss Maryland, Miss Black USA DC among others. STUDIO D’MAXSI specializes in Red carpet looks, party dresses, casual chic (men & women), wedding dresses, prom dresses, suits (men & women) and accessories-for all events.
Operation Prom’s Vision
Operation Prom seeks to make the prom night of one very special high school senior a special night to remember. It is the “giving back” vision of Ms. Afua Sam of Studio D’Maxsi. She designs a prom dress for three lucky 12th graders selected for ‘Academic Excellence’ by their one-page essays.
This is a collaborative effort with Ms. Charlene Brown, a Celebrity Hair Stylist, who has been part of the “Glam Team” since Afua started Operation Prom six years ago. Ms. Brown and the Glam Team, also provide hair and makeup for the girls during a scheduled photo shoot before the prom!
Congrats to the winners of 2016’s Operation Prom
NAMES OF STUDENT WINNERS
PHOTOGRAPHER// Marcus Bennet
HAIR // Charlene Brown
DESIGNER// Afua Sam of STUDIO D’MAXSI
Excerpt from thr winning essay by FAVOR OGU
My name is Favor Ogechi Ogu and I am a senior at Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus in Washington D.C. I am originally from Nigeria, but was born and raised in the DC metropolitan area. I have two younger sisters who look up to me as a role model and a caring mother who is my biggest support. My mother and my father are separated; I live with my mother. Growing up in a household with just a single mother and two sisters took a mental, physical and financial toll on me. I feel as though I was not exposed to nor had the same doors opened for opportunities compared to those students who have the advantage of living in a two-parent household. Yet, that did not discourage me; I took this as a way to prove myself more, as another obstacles I had to overcome…..
Deshauna Barber from the District Of Columbia has won the Miss USA title for 2016!
The annual pageant was held on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas with 52 contestants. Deshauna Barber was presented her crown by the Miss USA 2015, Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma. Miss Georgia – Emanii Davis, and Miss Hawaii, Chelsea Hardin were named the runners up.
Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber is the commander of her unit in the U.S. Army and she uses the pageant as a platform to promote gender equality in the military. She is very proud of her achievements and being able to serve our country – heavy
It’s been a minute and here is what I’ve been working on. I sing, I write, I act and I tell stories. I am a modern day griot and a cultural ambassador and my name is Tosinger. 🙂
Here’s introducing, the first vlog/webisode/series, whatever you choose to call it, edition of my weekly (on Tuesdays) folk storytelling project- TALES WITH TOSINGER,
Folk tales and fables are an educational and entertaining means of passing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next. An African tradition for several generations, adults would tell tales by the moonlight while teaching morals and lessons. I have chosen to gather adults and children alike around a social app, a youtube video, the millennial way to get the world’s attention 😉
Enjoy Episode #001 Dawu the Lion King. DO SUBSCRIBE, like, comment and spread the word. Ese! ( pronounced “E-shay ” — which means ‘Thank you’ in Yoruba)
Folarin Falana, better known by his stage name Falzis a Nigerian rapper and funny guy. Falz describes his style of music as “Wahzup music” a fusion of comic lyrics with the contemporary hip-hop in a faux lispy Yoruba accent. Falz, a lawyer by education, called to the bar in 2012 after graduating from the Nigeria Law School, Abuja is the son of popular Nigerian human activist and lawyerFemi Falana.
Falz just released the official video for his hit song ‘Soldier’ featuring sweet singerSimi , one of Nigeria’s fast rising female artistes with a sonorous, smooth and soulful voice. The song ‘Soldier’ off his Stories That Touch album released late 2015 is a musical narrative of an army official trying to win the heart of a beautiful village sweetheart. The visuals for ‘Soldier’ is in form of a short film and it stars Falz, Simi, Actor Deyemi Okanlawon, Oluwasesan Salami, Efa Iwara and Morenike Alausa and was directed by Clarence A. Peters.
‘Soldier’ is a short musical film, shot By Clarence Peters, and taken from ‘Stories That Touch’ – the second studio album by Falz TheBahdGuy. Written by Clarence Peters and Chioma Onyenwe, scored by Oluwasesan Salami, with music by Oscar Ackah.
Watch the well produced video below:
Here is another collaboration by both artistes that is very enjoyable. A previously released song by Simi “Jamb Question”. The two surely have some good musical chemistry going on.
There are stories that need to be told over and over again. Havard Business School has just released an audio commentary of the story of the entrepreneurship and progressive success of the historical hair business icon and philanthropist, Madame C.J. Walker aptly titled The Amazing Life of One of America’s Earliest Black, Female Entrepreneurs
Culled: Though not everyone may know her name, Madam C.J. Walker helped invent what have become staples of our modern country and economy: national sales forces, corporate social responsibility, and, yes, even basic hair care. Orphaned at age 8, married at 14, and widowed at 20 with a daughter to raise, Walker went on to become a millionaire entrepreneur in the Deep South at the turn of the century, against all odds. Professor Nancy Koehn describes Walker’s inspiring real life story of making good on her own unique American dream.
ROOTS, The MiniSeries
I remember watching and re-watching Roots in the earlier years on Nigerian TV, truly drawn in and deeply empathetic and affected by the horrific experiences of the primary character Kunta Kinte(played by LeVar Burton) and his kin.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family is a novel written by Alex Haley and first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his descendants in the U.S. down to Haley (via Wiki).
“Roots opened up the minds of Americans of all colors and faiths to one of the darkest and most painful parts of America’s past.” – Publisher’s Weekly
PBS states that Roots is one of the most-watched miniseries of all time, Roots captivated its audience over eight consecutive nights in January 1977. The award winning series followed the multi-generational account of author Alex Haley’s family line from enslavement to liberaton. For the first time, America witnessed on film the horrors of slave ships, the mistreatment of slaves and human cost of slavery. Roots has since become a part of American cinematic history and cultural consciousness.
Fast forward to 2016, Roots has been remade. IT PROVES SOME STORIES ARE WORTH TELLING AGAIN, ISTORY® premieres “Roots” on Memorial Day 2016, airing over four consecutive nights at 9 p.m. beginning Monday, May 30, 2016. The four-night, eight-hour event series developed by HISTORY, from A+E Studios, is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship.
“Roots” will be simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, in addition to HISTORY. The stellar cast includes Academy Award® winners Forest Whitaker (“Fiddler”) and Anna Paquin (“Nancy Holt”); Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award® winner Laurence Fishburne (“Alex Haley”); Golden Globe Award® winning and Emmy Award® nominated actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“Tom Lea”); Tony Award® winner Anika Noni Rose (“Kizzy”); Grammy Award® winner Tip “T.I.” Harris (“Cyrus”); Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Belle”); Matthew Goode (“Dr. William Waller”); Mekhi Phifer (“Jerusalem”); James Purefoy (“John Waller”) and introduces Regé-Jean Page (“Chicken George”) and Malachi Kirby (“Kunta Kinte”).
As you celebrate the miracle of this special season, may your heart be filled with joy and peace. May Jesus, the reason of the season and the blessing of Christmas, guide your heart always.
I thank you for joining me on my journey this year. 2015 has been full of valleys and mountains. I thank God for all. Notable musical/artistic milestones for me include the release of my debut album ‘Organically Singing’ in July and being an opening act for ‘Lagbaja’ at the Variety Playhouse in May.
To God, I’m grateful. To you, my family and friends, I say thank you for your continued support. Let us look forward to new connections, new horizons, new projects in 2016. It has been a very blessed year and I am very grateful. Here is a token of my appreciation, my Christmas gift to you; it is a free download of ‘Olugbala’ – a Christmas single I wrote a little while back. Download here and feel free to share.
I hope 2015 was good for you too and I pray in faith that 2016 will be better. It is my hope that in 2016, you will absolutely dominate your unique space of inspiration and influence.
(a paraphrase of words used by MsUdoak, loved the expression)
Enjoy a happy holiday season full of family quality time, friends and fun! As we prepare to enter into the new year, I wish you all a restful break and a successful 2016.
Enjoy these two simple videos I did recently for 2 songs off the album – ‘Te Amo’ and “Jiji Moji’
Jiji Moji (I’m awake) is a song to start the day off right, thanking God for life. Take time during the rush of the holidays to enjoy the things in life that really matter.
Te Amo (I love you) – Let the message and power of love latch on to your heart and soul.
Love, Peace and Beautiful Afro Music,
P.S — ✿CHRISTMAS SALE SPECIAL✿ Full Digital Discography On Sale Get all 4 ✿ TOSINGER ✿ releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%. Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Organically Singing, Aeroplane, Ile, Ise Oluwa & Aye, and One Day. Buy Now $9 USD or more (25% OFF) https://tosinger.bandcamp.com