Archive for September, 2010

David E. Talbert

Date of Interview: 09/30/2010

David E. Talbert is one of the highest-grossing and most-recognizable brands in the world of touring comedies and musicals. In addition to being acknowledged as a “trailblazer” by the NAACP, which has bestowed Talbert with five awards over the years, he has also been honored as “Best Playwright” at the New York Literacy Awards. Such recognition, however, is the byproduct of 12 critically-acclaimed touring productions, which have broken box office records nationwide. His latest play – “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” – is set to begin its tour in February 2011.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for the DVD release of “Love in the Nick of Tyme,” David E. Talbert managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on his creative process, his musical collaboration with Vivian Green, and the influence of Neil Simon, August Wilson, and Spike Lee on his craft.

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John Legend

Date of Interview: 09/17/2010

In less than a single decade, John Legend has made a mark upon the music industry that will never be erased. As a six-time GRAMMY Award winner, Legend has garnered respect not only for his chart-topping singles and smooth, velvety vocals, but he has also become one of the last mainstream vanguards of contemporary soul music. From Get Lifted, his 2004 debut, to Wake Up, (2010), his innovative collaboration with The Roots, John has blurred the lines of hip-hop, soul and inspirational music with seemingly little effort.

Outside of the world of music, John Legend has become well-known for his philanthropic efforts as well. In 2007, he started the “Show Me Campaign” and partnered with The Gap’s “Project Red” initiative. In the year that followed, he would also become heavily active in President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, where his performances of “If You’re Out There” and “Yes We Can” at the Democratic National Convention stood out as classic moments in our nation’s socio-political history. More recently, Legend has lent his celebrity and support to Harlem Village Academies, which was created to change the lives of children – and to change the world.

As Columbia Records’ promotional machine revved up for Wake Up, John Legend managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on childhood inspirations, America’s “invisible” population, and members of the Roots collective. (more…)