Grammy Nominated VaShawn Mitchell Found a Secret Place
in South African with New Album
"I travel to South Africa...I realized it's become my secret place where I am not bothered by emails and cell phones...just
you and God," said VaShawn Mitchell, a Grammy nominated Contemporary Gospel vocalist, songwriter and producer (Smokie
Norful), about the location of the live recording of his latest album release "Secret Place: Live in South Africa"
featuring Tasha Cobbs and Bebe Winans (November 4, 2016). "It was important not to just go and record, and not incorporate
South African artists."
Born in Chicago November 19th VaShawn
has been in the Gospel music business for almost 20 years, starting as a member of Youthful
Praise which still backs him. His accomplishments are great which includes a street in
his hometown named after him; two Grammy Award nominations; six Stellar Award wins, and
two Dove Award nominations. This recent live recorded project, "Secret Place: Live in South Africa,"
is Mitchell's ninth album. The current single off of the project is titled "Joy."
"It came together over time," VaShawn
said when asked if he had a concept for the album when it began. "We invited the South
African artists. I personally reached out to the top artist...and he said yes! So it came
together over time with South African's sound."
Place: Live in South Africa" was recorded near Johannesburg to a sold out crowd where VaShawn combined
his American Contemporary Gospel sounds with the worship sounds of South
African artists. American guests on stage with Mitchell included Tasha Cobbs on "Jesus Reigns"
and Bebe Winans on "Nobody Greater."
"It was epic to see the massive worship experience," VaShawn
pointed out. "The energy will transfer to the Word and Spirit. It's worship from front
VaShawn said that South Africa is Americanized. "South
African is almost an Americanized country...technologically advanced," Mitchell stated when I asked.
"I spent time in Johannesburg - everyone should visit!"
If you can not visit South African then listen to VaShawn Mitchell's "Secret
Place: Live in South Africa." Log onto www.VaShawnMichell.com for more information about the artist who is noted as Billboard's "Gospel Artist of the Year" (2011) or about the
"Secret Place: Live in South Africa" album release.
Baltimore Filmmaker Anthony Michael Hobbs Wins Again
at GIBFF for Naga Pixie
Anthony Michael Hobbs is only eleven years old and yet a seasoned actor with an Emmy nominated project to his credit (PBS's
"The Abolitionists") and a four-time award winning record as a film director/producer (One Nation). Hobbs adds another
filmmaking award for receiving the 2016 Gary International Black Film Festival "Best Youth Film Director" Award
for his second short film Naga Pixie (Imagination Lunchbox) starring Anthony Michael Hobbs and Trinity Breanne Perio as Naga
"I'm happy, very proud," said Hobbs about his fifth award as a filmmaker.
"Also very sad I wasn't able to accept it."
mother Kerri Moseley-Hobbs drove him 13 hours from his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland
to Gary, Indiana to attend the four day event where his short film Naga Pixie was screened twice. They
had to leave before the awards ceremony to get him home in time for school.
"I guess it's thanks to my mom," Anthony Michael admitted when asked who he credits for
his career as an actor, model, motivational speaker and film producer/director which started
at the age of four. "Without my mom I wouldn't have been able to go...to travel...to
meet the people."
people Hobbs refers to are his adult supporters and fans. While on the road to the Gary International Black Film Festival
the media was reaching out for him, he had a radio interview while in route. While at the
film festival and while on the red carpet people and journalist were so excited to meet
the young articulate professional. I was there to cover the screening because this outstanding
artist is my youngest grand child. He was pulled here and there for interviews and conversations
with people saying to him, "I heard you on the radio station and I just had to come meet you."
When I asked him which craft, acting or filmmaking, does he like to do the most he said,
"They are equal. While filmmaking I act in the films that I make."
Before he started his filmmaking career at age 9, his acting credits included a role
as young Frederick Douglas in the PBS documentary "The Abolitionist" which earned
a 2013 Emmy nomination. PBS chose Anthony Michael Hobbs to represent them at the Emmy Awards
ceremony that year. He was the voice that welcomed website visitors of TBWA World Wide, the largest
advertising holding company in the world. The TBWA campaign was "our website is so easy to navigate through
a child can show you." He starred in the DreamWorks documentary "How to Train
Your Dragon: Dragons and Dinosaurs," he stars in numerous PBS Sprout Network mini-segments
- "Claritin Kids Allergy Medicine," "Sunnyside Up Show," and "Good
Night Show" and he stars in a national classroom program called KinderRhyme which appears in over 2600
Hobbs is also a stage
actor appearing in two professional plays. As a model Hobbs has appeared in the USDA Healthy
Kids national print campaign and the Finish Line Athletics chain print in-store campaign.
As a speaker he has worked for author Daniel Shields at a dramatic book reading event,
former NFL player Joel Gamble (Cleveland Browns) at his Foundation's Scholars Program and for Ocktober Film Festival for the
Youth Award Presentations.
think its great," Anthony Michael said when I mentioned that kids came up to me saying
their roles in his films or his films have encouraged them to be actors. "The more
people in the business the better...I'm sure people are tired of seeing the same actors
over and over."
In Anthony Michael's first short film
One Nation (Imagination Lunchbox) he plays Steven who along with his friends decide to
give back to servicemen returning home from the war. One Nation was screened at 10 national
film festivals and he won at four of them - the Alhambra Theatre Film Festival's "Spirit
Award"; the Montclair Film Festival's "Grand Prize for Kidz Shortz"; the Ocktober Film
Festival's "Best Youth Filmmaker," and the Gary International Black Film Festival's "Best Youth
Short." In his current film Naga Pixie Hobbs plays Jason who teams up with his friends
again to figure out why Naga Pixie is always nagging them about things they think are trivial
such as not hurting animals and respecting nature. Naga Pixie, which held a special red
carpeted screening in his hometown of Baltimore in August, 2016 at the Firehouse Community Hall with Iron Man
in attendance, will also be screened at the Sunrise Film Festival in Nova Scotia in Canada.
To kids like him looking to become filmmakers and
actors the advice this young achiever gives is, "If your mom say sure then just do
it. Just do it. If you are an adult just do it. Like Nike' say, ‘Just do it.'"
Learn more about this extraordinary young man by logging onto
www.Anthony-Michael.com or www.ImaginationLunchbox.com.
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice
Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse
of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management
Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore
Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: The 18th annual "Uplifting Minds II" Free Entertainment Conference (Baltimore in
April and Los Angeles in October, 2017). Offering an entertainment business panel and national
talent showcase competition (vocal, songwriting and dance) with over $10,000 in prizes. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.