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Game Changer in the Music Industry: MGM Stanlo’s Vision for the Future

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Groundbreaking artists aren’t just born. They’re forged through relentless grind, unwavering vision, and a sharp business acumen. This deep dive into the industrious mindset of MGM Stanlo reveals the strategy behind making music crackle with energy and authenticity.

Building a Brand That Beats the Odds

Creating a presence in the music industry requires more than just raw talent; it demands a personal brand that resonates with your audience. MGM Stanlo understands the importance of setting himself apart with a distinct sound and persona. “I tell them, I’m not your ordinary Louisiana artist,” Stanlo asserts. He’s aware of his regional stereotype but spins the expectation on its head to show his unique approach to the music. Crafting an identity that defies the norm has helped him gain traction, while embracing social platforms and live interviews extends his reach even further.

*“It’s definitely will be a different take on it,” * Stanlo explains. His message to aspiring musicians is clear—challenge conventions and build a personal brand that’s versatile, memorable, and relatable.

From Passion to Paycheck: The Shift in Musicpreneurship

Embracing music as a business is pivotal for serious artists, and MGM Stanlo exemplifies this shift by discussing his growth from passion-driven performer to strategic entrepreneur. *“To actually receive income to take care of my family. ‘Cause, like, I know it’s fun, it’s a hobby. But the business side of it, like, now it’s time to start getting royalties.”* Music is a multifaceted business calling for artists to think about their craft in terms of investments and returns.

Stanlo’s revelation elevates the conversation around music and entrepreneurship, highlighting the importance of learning the ins and outs of the music business to prosper. It’s clear: artists need to be shrewd business operators as much as they are creative contributors.

Consistency: The Beat That Doesn’t Stop

The theme of consistency is a drumbeat throughout MGM Stanlo’s journey, as he underscores the importance of maintaining momentum. *“Stay more consistent,” * he advises his younger self, alluding to lost time and opportunities. His current trajectory—rife with releases and planned music videos—is a testament to his newfound focus on persistence.

Stanlo’s candid reflection on his past underscores a broader truth within the industry: talent may open doors, but it’s grit and regular output that keep them wide open. For an artist like MGM Stanlo, going full throttle isn’t just a choice but a strategic imperative unique to the hyper-competitive world of hip-hop.

The Unseen Horizon: Diversifying the Portfolio

A true artist doesn’t merely keep up; they leap forward into new realms. Stanlo eyes avenues of expansion, like his dive into the world of fitness as an extension of his brand. *“I want to open an own gym to become a trainer and do that too,”* he shared, casting a vision where music and fitness intersect. His proactive stance suggests the more versatile your ventures, the more robust your career resilience.

Envisioning his future, Stanlo’s ideas go beyond hitting the gym; they encompass building a community around health, much like he has around his music. It’s a lesson in diversification that every aspiring artist should take to heart.

MGM Stanlo isn’t just another artist trying to make his mark; he’s an entrepreneur seeking to etch his name in stone. He has laid out the tools he has used and plans to use: personal branding that breaks grounds, savvy business practices, unyielding consistency, and an undeterred spirit to harness new ventures. His is a narrative that resonates with the grind synonymous with success in music and beyond—a story of a man who keeps asking, “What’s Tha location?” yet knows precisely where he’s going.

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Interview

Grinding in the Music Industry: Lessons Learned from Zacc P

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In a candid radio interview with Shah Cypha on On The Grynd Live, Zacc P, an emerging artist in the music industry, offers a glimpse into his artistic journey, the trials of navigating the music business, and his creative process. The exchange reveals recognitions about the dynamics of independent music production, the importance of authenticity in songwriting, and the ongoing necessity of determination in one’s career.

Navigating the Waters of Independent Music

Music independence can be both liberating and challenging, as Zacc P articulates in his discussion with Shah Cypha. **Navigating the Music Industry** is a nuanced theme in their dialogue, focusing on how emerging artists like Zacc P perceive the landscape.

Zacc P’s perspective on the subject is multifaceted. As an indie artist, he appreciates the creative control he maintains over his projects, stating, “I’m in very much control of my life at this point.” Yet, he also addresses the downsides: “You got to navigate through the scammers before you get to the real deal.” These statements present a raw truth about the music industry’s complexities, particularly for those without a familial or institutional legacy in the business.

To emerge successfully in such an environment, one must tread cautiously and learn from experience. Zacc P has learned the importance of who to trust, emphasizing the recurrence of “people \[who] be stealing, bro.” He suggests that navigating these realities is about learning self-worth and “how to, like, do your business, correct.”

The Craft of Creating Music

Beyond the business dynamics, an artist’s **Creative Process** stands at the heart of their artistic identity. Every artist has their own method, and Zacc P shares his, which leans heavily on authenticity. “Depending on what song you get, you’re gonna get the ultimate version of myself,” he says.

He rejects the notion of a ghostwriter, affirming, “No one writes my music but me.” His approach is introspective and transparent, using music as a conduit for sharing life experiences: “I’ve felt like being real… you might not want to say something… it might be too personal.”

This philosophy speaks to the broader role of music as a form of personal expression and communication, blurring the lines between artist and audience. Zacc P leverages this form to forge a true connection with listeners, crafting songs that resonate on deeper levels, such as the emotional track “What Can I Say?”

The Essence of Perseverance

The conversation turns towards the **Persistent Grind**, a reality for any striving artist. When asked about the definition of ‘grind,’ Zacc P succinctly answers, “Everyday lifestyle.” This reflects the commitment required to make a mark in an industry saturated with talent. The grind is continuous, extending beyond just creating music—it’s about ceaselessly striving to leave a legacy and reach new heights.

Whether an artist is independent or backed by a label, they cannot afford to slack. Zacc P’s dedication is palpable as he mentions the desire to grow his catalog before taking his show on the road, signaling that for an artist, the grind is never done. “Even when you reach where you want to go, you got to keep grinding. Otherwise, you’re going to lose it,” he explains.

The support system, like Zacc P’s shoutout to his fiancée, underlines that while the grind might be personal, it doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Artists rely on their supporters, from their inner circle to fans worldwide, to sustain their momentum.

Throughout the interview, the recurrent idea is that an artist’s pathway is not a solitary trek but an intertwining of personal growth, community, and industry knowledge. Zacc P’s experiences reflect a microcosm of what it means to strive in today’s music scene, with lessons that resonate beyond the confines of the arts.

The takeaways are clear: Recognize and trust in your artistry, understand the business to protect your work, and, above all, persist in the grind to turn a passion into a lasting legacy. The soundscape of the music industry might be treacherous, but artists like Zacc P demonstrate the rewards of navigating it with integrity and resolve.

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Interview

Meet Rising Actor Shakeil Kanish

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Shakeil Kanish

Actor and writer Shakeil Kanish is making his dreams as a prominent mainstream actor come true right before his eyes. Coming from humble beginnings being born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, he relocated his life to Los Angeles, California and enrolled in the Lee Strasberg School of Acting. As he is on his rise to stardom, I had the pleasure of speaking with him about his aspirations in entertainment, moving to Los Angeles and what led him to this career path. Check it out below.

Shakeil Kanish Interview

Who is Shakeil Kanish?

Shak: This is always a hard question! I have a new quote for this I started using. “I am just a small boy looking at a big screen hoping to one day be on it!” I am a guy who loves this business. I want to show up and give 150% percent every time I go out there. Not just for my co stars but for everyone around me. I’m always first to show up, and last to leave (unless they kick me out). I’m a BIG people pleaser for better or for worse, and I always want everyone to have a good time, or to be smiling when I’m around. I am a proud gay man who is excited to create amazing characters, tell stories, and hopefully one day tell stories I have written as well! I am a huge nerd! If anyone knows any good DnD groups or wants to talk about My Hero Academia for hours I’m down! Plus Ultra!

How did you get your start in acting?

Shak: I got started at a young age. I think about 5 or 6 I was doing plays for my church and I ended up loving them so much that I couldn’t stop! I eventually started doing musicals. My first one was Into the Woods. I played the character Jack. I am pretty sure I only got it because my voice was so high pitched ( although not much has changed). The more I did, the more I realized that nothing made me happier than being on stage and feeling that energy. Now I am trying to transition over to my new love of television and film.

What made you decide to move to LA to pursue acting full time?

Shak: I made the decision once about 7-8 years ago. I had just graduated college, and was tired of my 9-5 job, which prompted me to go live the dream! So I moved out to LA and it was a disaster. At the time, I thought that I had failed. I thought that my dream was over for me and that there was nothing left for me in the entertainment space. So I joined the military thinking maybe I would at least get to see the world and find something I enjoyed better. While that experience was good, I think it just further proved that there’s nothing in my life that makes me happy like acting does.

Describe your experience at the Lee Strasburg acting school?

Shak: So far it’s been amazing! I was recently the first student that was allowed to curate and completely fund my own event! We managed to pack the entire theater. It was great. I think being at this school has shown me that I can do more than I thought was possible. It also was the best way to make friends living in a new city! There are so many students from all around the world that I get to surround myself with daily. Everyone is incredibly talented and hilarious, which makes me want to work harder and constantly get better by watching the people around me. I am hoping that after 3 semesters, that I have elevated into the actor I know I can be.

What are some ways you stay motivated to become the best actor you can be?

Shak: Staying motivated is one of my hardest things ever. I am so all over the place all the time. Recently I made a manifestation board and by having it in a place where I can wake up and see it all the time, has been helpful. Reminding myself about what I want, and the reason why I’m here is important. I also try to make sure everything I do pushes me towards my goal! One thing that did start implementing into my life is speed reading and memory retention classes. This allows me to learn my lines much faster! I also started learning sign language and that has been a really exciting journey. I want to learn as many skills as I can to stay relevant in the space I am in.

Who are some of your favorite actors/actresses and your favorite films?

Shak: I really love Paul Pescal, Daisy Edgar Jones, Dacre Montgomery, and Nico Greetham. I think I just love how authentically and naturally they can sink into their roles. When I watch them, I feel like I can just see what they are thinking, and they all seem to have fun with whatever it is that they are doing. That is something I never wanna lose you know? I never want to stop having fun doing this. I think if I do, that will be the time I step back and be like what just happened?

Who do you look up to in the film industry?

Shak: Honestly my whole life I don’t think I have had an actor or actress that I have looked up to. I think since moving here, all I have done is work behind the scenes as a PA so if I look up to anyone it’s the people working behind the scenes. It is the people who show up early, work hard, stay late, and clean up afterwards. It is the writers, editors, sound, directors, and production assistants who none of this would be possible without. It always humbles me and just makes me love this industry more knowing that I love EVERY aspect of it. So it sounds cliche but those are my heroes.

What is up next for Shak?

Shak: What’s next for me? I want to start auditioning for more TV and Film roles! Things have been a little slow this year but that has given me time to get everything together. My resume, my headshots, and my training is coming along. I am really trying to take advantage of this time I have been given and I want to hit the ground running as soon as these doors start opening! So I am ready for the opportunities and I am just kind of riding the wave. Also as I mentioned before, I am taking classes and workshops outside of my Lee Strasberg Training. I just finished Killian’s Workshop which was absolutely incredible.

To Follow Shak’s rise to fame in Hollywood, follow him on Instagram @shakkanish.

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Entrepreneur

Award Winning Entrepreneur Mama Sue Taylor Talks Being A Cannabis Pioneer & Resource For The Elderly Community

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Sue "Mama Sue" Taylor

Sue Taylor “Mama Sue”, is a pioneer in the space of wellness and cannabis. Breaking barriers as the first black woman to open and operate a dispensary in Berkeley, California, she has been featured in Forbes, CNN, ABC7, Black Enterprise, MSN and several other publications sharing her incredible journey through cannabis. As she is one of the most influential women in cannabis she continues to utilize her platform to debunk any negativity surrounding the healing plant. As a mother, grandmother, entrepreneur, and advocate, Sue Taylor has made it her mission to be a resource to the elderly community through her Mama Sue Wellness tinctures and series of educational events.

I had the pleasure and honor of speaking with Sue after she was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from Grammy Award Winning singer Erykah Badu at the 2024 Women in Cannabis Awards. Check it out below.

Sue Taylor Interview

What does it mean to you being a cannabis advocate and how did you get your start in the cannabis industry?

Sue Taylor: If someone had told me 17 years ago that I would be working in the cannabis industry I would have never believed them. I did not choose this, it chose me. My son lured me into the business by convincing me that this is a way for me to have my spiritual wellness center that I have always wanted and that intrigued me. I saw that it was needed because of how I took care of my body when I began to age and I knew the pharmaceutical approach wasn’t working way back then. As I said yes to work with Cannabis, I was actually scared and frightened by it due to the movie Reefer Madness. People in my generation were always told weed was a drug and it was always black people or hispanics and the weed devil and a lot of craziness.

This deterred my generation from cannabis because we simply do not break rules and it was deemed federally illegal. As an African American woman you know there is a stigma around us. I am already judged for being a black woman and I don’t want to be judged again! Being black I am judged everyday even still to this day, so to be taking on something that is extremely stigmatized was scary. But when my son told me I could have my Sue Taylor Wellness facility, I said okay let’s give it a try. Even though I was scared, I knew it was something I had to do to improve the quality of my life. If your dream doesn’t scare you a little bit your dream is not big enough. I was so scared but I was not willing to give up, which has allowed me to live my dream in real time.

Not only are you a cannabis advocate but you are also a pioneer. Can you share with me your vision for your Farmacy dispensary as you are the first and only black woman to own and operate a dispensary in Berkeley?

ST: The journey to opening Farmacy Berkeley was not an easy one. It took us 17 years to get things going. However, I was granted a permit to open Farmacy Berkeley because I had a special niche. Mine was geared to the needs of seniors. I also did my own lobbying to the city council and the mayor. I did it because we really didn’t have the money to do it and we are not equity people. We used our family’s money to get things accomplished. I had another key component Brittany that I want to share. When I went in, they could see that I genuinely cared for humankind. It wasn’t about me. And it really wasn’t just about cannabis. I just saw cannabis as one tool to help people. My pioneer work has helped with the stigma that surrounds cannabis. Recently I received the Lifetime Achievement at the Women in Cannabis Awards for my advocacy work and have also received an advocacy award from Oaksterdam University.

I have been very successful at helping to eliminate the stigma because I don’t fit the mold. I’m a former Catholic school principal. I am also a commissioner on aging. I was the commissioner on aging for Alameda County, where Farmacy Berkeley is located. On top of that, I am certified by the state of California to teach the cannabis program to nurses and help them obtain credits toward the yearly certifications that they need. I’ve had that certification for five years or more. It’s amazing to do that. It has been quite a journey for me. I have also been successful simply because I genuinely care.

When we opened up Farmacy Berkeley, we were open for one month, then the pandemic stopped everything. They sent all seniors home because people were afraid I was going to get covid. So we went away from it and then came back. But before I really got into business, I was teaching seniors. I had a community room where I would educate seniors free of charge, just come in and talk. I even did meditation classes. I did a lot of things there as well. Then that all stopped because of the pandemic. But I want you to be clear on this, we were opened up after we got the license.

How did Cannabis change your life?

ST: When I saw the way cannabis was positively impacting the lives of everyone around me that I was working with, that’s when I became open to cannabis. When I started off, I would not touch it, I was simply just doing the work. But after time, people kept coming to me saying that they were no longer using canes, wheelchairs or medication anymore. Seeing the progress in those people, I began to change my mind and became open to cannabis to help with pain or to help me sleep.

I started to think “maybe my son was right this whole time”. I thought he was on drugs, but when I found out what he was doing things changed. He was attending Oaksterdam University learning the entrepreneur side of cannabis. 17 years ago, there were only dispensaries for medical patients and only three in the Berkeley area making the rules a lot stricter. Its incredible how much growth there has been in the industry and the opportunities it’s presenting in helping others, especially seniors. I continued to do the work, myself along with the many hardworking individuals in the cannabis industry see the benefits of being in the business.

What is your mission for helping the elderly connect to cannabis as you have your Mama Sue Wellness products that are specifically geared toward seniors?

ST: Those products were made with love for a group of people that most people have forgotten about. This means everything to me to be able to have wellness products that cater to my demographic.

Seniors mostly come to cannabis for two reasons, because they can’t sleep or they’re in pain. Thats what each tincture was crafted to help with, we have a sleep tincture made with high CBN and CBD and an extra strength tincture which is high-CBD to help with aches and pain. And we have more products coming very soon. These were made with seniors in mind, but I think I might have more young people using the Mama Sue products for sleep and anxiety because the relief tincture, you could use that during the day and still function. They won’t get you high.

What has it been like working with Glass House Brands?

ST: I’ve been a part of Glass House, for a little over 4 years. What many people don’t know is that in the process of building Farmacy Berkeley, we ran out of money. That is when Kyle, Graham and the Glass House team came in, we became partners and they put up the remainder of the money to help build out the dispensary to my specifications. Glass House also helped me develop my tincture products that I’ve always wanted, Mama Sue Wellness. They aligned with my values and are doing things right, that’s why I chose them.

I’m grateful to be part of the Glass House team, they really support my mission in helping change the stigma around cannabis. As a Brand Ambassador we work together to put together these educational events, I travel to our different dispensaries where I get to speak and answer questions for local seniors one on one.

You mentioned your Mama Sue products and how they’re kind of more so geared toward the senior community. What do you feel like is the most important thing about wellness when it comes to cannabis and debunking these misconceptions?

ST: To begin, it depends on the group of people you are talking to. For instance, when me and my fellow cannabis advocates needed to get something done as a cannabis group going up against the city and state, they would always suggest sending me to speak on the group’s behalf. They thought it was like some magic or something, but let me tell you what it was, Brittany. I looked at the cannabis industry and I looked at most of the people who were in that industry at that time. They looked like stoners. I did not. And I was not. And I made a conscious decision that every time I was representing cannabis, I would look like a lawyer. And that’s who they met. They said, oh, you are in the wrong place, lady. I said, no, I’m here for cannabis. I didn’t fit the mold. Brittany, when they looked at me, I didn’t fit their perception of what people who used cannabis look like. Does that make sense?

I know that recently you and Dreka Gates got a chance to connect, can you share the synergy and connection you two ladies share?

ST: It was amazing. It was one of my most amazing ‘Plants Over Pills’ interviews because we connected on so many levels, so many levels. I’ve never met a young person like that, that’s spiritually evolved like her, because she’s young, you know she’s young, she’s only 37. And we just talked like we knew each other. Wait till you see the interview, it’s on the Glass House YouTube channel. I’ve never conducted an interview like that before. The camera crew was saying, oh my God, they were amazed at how easily we connected, and we just kept talking and talking. We connected on such a high level, we’re both spiritual people, we’ve been through a lot, we believe in plant medicine for healing, and she’s now even opening her first dispensary in Mississippi. Dreka talks about all the challenges she went through to secure the permit. We had trouble in California and we’re the most progressive state there is, I can’t imagine Mississippi. We bonded over all of that, opening our first dispensary and our vision to expanding that into our wellness facilities.

What has been your experience with pills versus plants for healing?

ST: They tried to give me a pill during the pandemic. I’m a spiritual person, and I had anxiety and was having difficult nights of sleep, had so much fear, all that kind of stuff. So, I went to my doctor and she prescribed me pills. I said, you know, I’m not a pill taker. But for some reason she insisted that I just take it. So I took the pills home, I looked it up and researched them before I popped anything. You know what it said on the bottle, they were to help with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia! I called her immediately and relayed my findings to her. You know what her response to me was? Why are you questioning me? You are not a doctor. She said, I give that to all my patients that have anxiety. You know what my response to her was? “I am not all your patients, and I don’t take a pill for anything. You know that I don’t take a pill to manage my health so why would you give me something for schizophrenics? I am not schizophrenic.” So that was it. I had to start looking out for my own health, and wellbeing.

I always make this disclaimer, pills have their place. Pharmaceuticals are not bad. They are not bad for people who need them. Pharmaceutical drugs were made for temporary use. If you get into a car accident or going into operation for eight hours, yes pills are helpful. But most people are using pharmaceuticals just to manage their day to day lives. Like with high blood pressure, with high cholesterol, with even anxiety.You start taking pills for an operation, then you have high blood pressure, then 10, 15 years later, you’re still on those same pills and more. That’s not okay. We have to stay educated about our health and thankfully, our younger generation are getting better at understanding that. The younger generation just doesn’t take what people tell them. You guys research everything. I have three sons so I’m surrounded by all the young people all the time and they keep me sharp.

I just met another guy, he’s gonna open up a wellness facility because everybody is seeing the light, popping a pill is not going to get you healthy. If anything, it’s gonna deteriorate your body because it’s all about the money. Pharmaceutical approach to healthcare. They give politicians money so they continue to push pills on us. We have to look beyond. We have to think for ourselves and find more natural ways to heal and care for bodies, mind and spirit.

Brittany, as I look at your beautiful face today, with that beautiful skin, that beautiful complexion, you have to go within and do what’s best for Brittany. I don’t care what the doctors try to tell you. Trust yourself first, always.

To learn more about Mama Sue Taylor and her journey through cannabis, follow her on Instagram at @suetaylorwellness.

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