Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Making Everytime Like the First: Dessy Di Lauro

"If ya feeling good let me hear ya say..."

Hep! Hep! 

Photo Credit: Nilaya Sabnis
That's me, I am Hep, Heppin' all around my office. My girl has done it again. Dessy Di Lauro, the co -creator of a style of music called Neo-Ragtime, uses call and response to get me up and moving around.  

I have to acknowledge that in this moment, at this precise time, there is absolute no thing to complain about. Dessy, with her unique voice sings with a jazzy beat, reminds me that 'its all good', as I spin in my swivel chair like a 6 year old high on life... Hep! Hep!

And what exactly is Hep? It is a slang word from the 1920's that means hip, cool, with it, in the know about  the newest things in music, fashion, etc.

So of course, with the honor of calling her a friend, Dessy di Lauro is the powerhouse Sparkstar to turn to for mega HEPness! Her creative mind and amazing voice has produced style, music, and language that clicks with the body, mind, and spirit.

A little back story: 

Photo by Madonnarama
While on tour in 2008, I worked closely with Ricky Pageot as his barber on tour and keeping his mohawk funky.  He was always smiling and just seemed happy to be alive and living out his dream. But it was not until I met his wife Dessy, that I can honestly say I understand the reason for his smile.  

If I was married to such a beautiful, talented, and spunky woman, I would have to walk around with bleach to make sure my teeth stayed white from being exposed to the elements... lol.  I am just saying... Dessy makes ya smile... Hep! Hep!

One day while she was visiting us (well Ricky) on tour, she and I sat way up and looked out over Madonna's super stage and begin to dream with each other.  We spoke about being an inspiration in the world using our talents, how difficult it can be to maintain focus in the face of nah sayers, and we committed to supporting each other on the journey. I love her so much!

Dessy Di Lauro’s Snazzy Jazzy Show
I had never been to one of their live shows at that point, so while in Vegas I made it my duty to make it to a performance.  The club was super sexy and now looking back, I must have looked crazy because for the first 30 minutes all I could do is stare in awe.  Dessy worked the stage magically and it looked that she was born right from the belly of the piano.  Seeing her surrounded by the instruments dancing, moving, the costumes, I was in Ragtime Heaven.  When I finally caught myself, I was jumping up, dancing, moving, singing, and shaking what my momma give me. 

From then, every time they performed on tour, I was there because it was always just what my spirit needed to spark up with musical inspiration and feel good times. 

 Dessy is one of my greatest influencing in the creation of the HipNoticHop sound and movement.  So I am beyond honored to celebrate her beauty, life, and music today on THE SPARK SPOT.  

From her heart to yours: 

What is your name, where are you from, what is your profession?

-My name is Dessy Di Lauro. I am originally born in Montreal, Canada and I am a creator of art. Specifically music, I sing, and I am the co-creator of a style of music called Neo-Ragtime.

Who are you really? Describe yourself without using your name, or any attributes given
to you by society and really think. Deep down, who are you?

-I am many things…love, light, giving, caring, an energy giver, shoulder to cry on, lover, music healer, giver, more giver than taker, a vessel through God to create, a peacemaker, tough as nails when I have to be and hopefully that’s not often, affectionate, emotional, trusting, loyal, faithful, creative, colorful, addicted to love, music, fashion, life and food. Above all, humble and thankful I AM.

Standing at the gates of heaven, and God asks you “Why should I let you in?” What do
you reply?

-“Ha, you know the sacrifices I have made for others God. Wasn’t that you who taught us that. Besides I’ve done A LOT of GOOD and dealt with a lot of shit, don’t I think deserve the right to get in?” no, on a more serious note, I would hope He’d let me in cause I’ve done most of what was expected a “good” person should do and that my heart was always in the right place.

If you lost everything tomorrow, whose arms would you run into to make everything ok?

-My husband’s Rickey Pageot. We’ve been there within the past couple of years. Having dealt with such tough times, we made it through together. We feel good, even though we have nothing, we could still be happy going through the storm at our lowest. My mom is always 1st and foremost that goes without saying.

If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in less than 140

-Wow….I would say: Be Just, Keep the peace, love one another, forgive more, hate no more, respect each other, help one another, no fear, don’t hurt each other, make more art, black lives matter, seek justice always. love love love to your fullest and hardest and live hard.

If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your
time doing?

-Music of course and helping others in the business get ahead. We need more positive and honest people in the music business. I would also GIVE to many different charities, start my own farm so I can give to those less fortunate and also employ those who need a job. I would also LOVE to open up an arts school, music, dance, art and focus on the arts but also the level of education.

If today was the last day of your life, what would you want to do?

-Spend it with the ones I love, eat the best food, smell flowers, roll in the grass, go to the beach, make love to my honey, cuddle all day and all night. Show everyone I love how much they mean to me and what they mean to me. Tell everyone how much I love them.

If your entire life was a movie, what title would best fit?

-Hahahaha, whew….not sure it exists already or not “Music Industry Survival Guide: How not to Get Screwed”
How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

  • unique
  • trusting
  • loving 
  • loyal 
  • •stubborn

What would you do differently if you knew that no one was judging you?

-Hmmm, I am already open, I am afraid of being completely uninhibited. I try to be as straightforward with folks as I possibly can. Without hurting people, of course, unless someone comes at me that way. And I would probably be a lot more bold as my approach on meeting people and talking them without the fear of just walking up to someone I don’t know.

If you could ask a single person one question, and they had to answer truthfully, who
and what would you ask?

-Ha, not calling anyone out specifically but I have a few single friends and I would say “Why are you chasing that married man or woman”? What the hell is wrong with you? Why do you want to attract that kind of karma into your life, because it will bite you in the ass when you least expect it to or their significant other will”! hahahaha
How do you celebrate the things you do have in your life?

-I put it out into the universe saying how thankful and grateful I am. I also do it through meditation and prayer.

What were you doing when you last lost track of the time?

-My OCD self was probably cleaning. LOL most of the time, I lose track of time when I either clean or go out with a group of friends and drink a little too much which hardly happens.

If you had to teach someone one thing, what would you teach?

-Kindness. Not enough kindness towards one another nowadays. Values are so important. Oh…..and to listen to good music by listening to old classics. This of course is pertaining to my music profession. Gotta educate so that the state of music doesn’t die. People are putting out music with no lyrical depth or musical depth. Definitely would be teaching people to do better and take their craft/ art seriously. This is no laughing matter.

What makes you smile?

-Great food, family, my husband, music, a good health report, a great glass of wine, a cute outfit, an english bulldog, babies, an old couple still in love, the sun, warm sand, a hot day, so many things….too many to write only a few.

What can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago? What will you be able to do at
this time next year?

-Spend a little more money on spoiling myself. I couldn’t last year cause I was broke. Still there but could afford a little more than I did. Next year, I plan on touring the world, so I plan on taking my hubby and entire family on an all expense paid vacation. *(GO DESSY!)*

What is the last thing that you’ve done that’s really worth remembering?

-Singing live in front of people. I do it all the time but every time is like the 1st.
What gets you excited and driven to achieve?

-My music. I believe in what I am sharing with people and the movement we are pushing forward. I hope to preserve the era of music which I am very influenced by the 1930’s Harlem Renaissance style mixed with Hip Hop soul, jazz, R & B, ragtime and educate those coming up about my influences and to re-introduce the great legends like Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington. It’s an era of music that is so rich but totally forgotten.

When was the last time you travelled somewhere new?

-Wow, I had to think long and hard about this one. I believe it was in 2008 or 2009. I visited Istanbul, Turkey on a private event gig for Cirque Du Soleil.

What do you want most out of life?

-Happiness and Health

If you had a year left to live, what would you achieve over the next 12 months?

-EVERYTHANG I could possibly cram into 12 months. Except for skydiving and stuff like that. I would probably wanna kick it in the Islands with my hubby listening to amazing music and eating great food. Definitely be a lot of traveling.

If you could ask for one wish, what would it be?

-I want to tour the world, selling out arenas with my Neo-Ragtime music. 
*(DECLARED...and so it is!)*
What do you “owe” yourself?

-A mani and a pedi. Whew in desperate need.

How do you spend the majority of your free time? Why?

-Social media because I have to, to support my music career. But also out in the sun. I get energy from the sun.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

-Exacly what I am doing. I am living my dream.

Where would you like to live? Why haven’t you moved?

-I would love to live in Florida. I haven’t moved because the industry is here in LA and my hubby doesn’t like hurricanes, although I can do without the earthquakes here. I also love NYC but can’t live there because the cost of living is INSANE! And its also stressful city.

What have you done that you’re most proud to have achieved?

Photo by Nilaya Sabnis
-The brand of music and style of music I have created with my husband and partner Ric’key Pageot.

What is your greatest strength?

-My talent, the advice, love and help I give others and my loyalty to people.
What is your greatest weakness?

-Damn fear that kicks in. Wretched fear.

What did your life teach you yesterday?

-How to be stronger. My skin is thicker but this coming year, it needs to get a whole lot thicker.
What have you done today to make someone’s life better?

-I actually gave another up and coming artist contact names of people who can help her music and gave her a whole bunch of advice on how to go about promoting her music when it comes out.

Whose life have you had the greatest impact on?

-I would like to think it would be my husband. He has sickle cell anemia and he has been healthy the past couple of years because of the research I have done and the incredible natural supplements I found for him. I am proud of myself because of this. Medecine hasn’t come far when it comes to this illness. I took it upon myself to find other alternatives to keep my husband around for along time. I’ll also say the opportunities he has gotten because of music. I introduced him to Cirque Du Soleil and then it was history.

When did you not speak up, when you know you really should have?

-When I went through domestic abuse with one of my ex’s and everyone was asking because they had the feeling that this was happening and I covered up for him. I should have said something but it was for fear of him doing something to me. And standing up to someone, won’t say names, but who talked bad about me but knows nothing about my heart. I wanted to give them a piece of my mind but you just need to let God handle it for ya sometimes.
Describe the next five years of your life, and your plans, in a single sentence.

 "The Jamboree" 
-I will be traveling the world with my husband as musical director, performing my own original music, filling up and selling out arenas and jazz festivals as a success artist in the music business.

When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?

-I’d say in December 2014. I didn’t think I was capable of building an entire production with my hubby based around our music but we did and it was a success. Also making huge budgets for a big cast and all that logistical stuff. I challenged myself and learned a few new things that I am proud of.

I wish for the world more love, light, understanding and forgiveness.


And check out her new single LET ME HEAR YA SAY HEP HEP

And available for purchase on iTunes

Tune in for The Spark Spot with Minista Jazz Every Saturday at 7pm EST

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I SEE ART: The Future of Nail Design

I love creative people.  And basically, that means 'I love people'.  

We are ALL creating something.  It's just that some of us are AWARE of our art. 

But it is passion that fuels artist awareness, more than anything else. Passion, as thick as the pollen in the air and as mysterious as the wind, seems to appear plentiful at certain seasons in our lives. Floating around invisibly, passion inspires new life and ideas in those that it touches.

So the confession comes through like on police siren... I HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY THE PASSION OF RHONDA MOODY.  

Everything in her path has to move to the side and hault for a second because her work is astounding!  

I was sparked me up and when I came across the work of this, nail designer, and it is my sparktacular duty to pass it on! 

You may be like, ok Minista Jazz, it is nails, come on... but to me, I see so much more than that.  I see a growing dream.  I see feverish excitement over color, design, technique, and originality.  I see a future of entrepreneurs inspired to work hard in order to create a business that they love.  I see connections as people sit down and explore their core desired feelings (what colors do I chose today) and use that to increase the joy factor in others (oh wow, your nails look so awesome)... I SEE ART.

Rhonda Moody, lives in Sacamento, California and is a Site Director for an After School Program.  But she is also one of my favorite creative people.  

Week by week, I have watched this self taught artist, push the envelope on possible with it comes to design and pull off looks with color combination that I would have thought could only occur in the beauty of nature. 

She has used social media as her digital museum and has grown her fan base with time, patience, and PASSION. 

GET ME...  Passion is contagious and I definitely caught what was going around because I am excited about color, creativity, and courage.  

This young lady definitely gets the award of vision and I wish her all the best in all that she does here and beyond.  Rhonda Moody, is a true SPARKSTAR!

From her heart to yours...

1. What is your name, Where are you from, What's your profession?
My name is Rhonda Moody...I live in Sacramento, California and I am  Site Director for an After School program!

2. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

3. What makes you Smile?
I smile everyday just for having the ability to wake up in the morning. I smile the most when I'm with my daughter she is my EVERYTHING! 

4. What do you "owe" yourself?
I owe myself the best... To try my hardest in all I do... and to forgive myself in the areas I have failed... And to strive to better those areas and never give up on myself!

5. How do you spend the majority of your free time? Why? 
I have developed a PASSION for nails/ nail art! I am self taught at this time and looking forward to attending school this Summer to become a nail tech. I would love to do this on the side and create my own business.

You can see a few of my designs at 
I'm always adding new pictures hope you enjoy my work... I'm really trying! 

Supporting others that are doing what they love support love and love is the solution to every problem imaginable. SUPPORT LOVE.

or INSTAGRAM @yellowronni6 

Tune in for The Spark Spot Every Saturday at 7pm EST

Friday, May 1, 2015

Enter Course with Dr. TaMara Sex Therapist

Sex is great.  I love sex.  I love talking about it, doing it, thinking about it, sharing it, or going at it alone.  

I finally found someone that loves to talk about the bedroom business just as much as I do.  

And because sex is not just confined to the bed and is more than intercourse, I am going to be having Dr. TaMara join me on The Spark Spot radio show this week to give us more of the 1-2-3's about sex, intimacy, and sexuality.

With perfect timing surrounding hot topics about transgender, I am sure Dr. TaMara will weigh in on what she feels are the do's, don't, haves and have not about sex. 

At the age of 13, Dr. Tamara she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. 

Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. 

She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. 

She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. 

Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. 

Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. 

Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram,

Be sure to tune in LIVE Saturday 7 PM EST for THE SPARK SPOT!