Had Enough Pinning? Try Tapping

I’ve been using Tapiture for a while now and have been enjoying it for its uniqueness.  I’ll admit, at first, I thought it was just another Pinterest but as I got to know the users through their posts I realized this is very different.  The users on Tapiture are more about the style of a “Tap” than the story or recipe behind it.

People who “Tap” are creating snapshots of themselves online by showing their interests as well as sharing the images they like from others.

I felt very lucky to be asked to host a weekly “TapChat” on Twitter every Wednesday at 6 PM PST (9PM EST) because it gives me a chance to show off what I like about Tapiture while combining my obvious love of Twitter.

I recently posted an article to Technorati.com and would love to share it with all of you.  Please feel free to comment and share :)


“With all the talk of Tumblr Pinteresand Fab, a stylish newcomer called Tapiture is creating something unique in the visual discovery and sharing space.”

Read more: Had Enough Pinning? Try Tapping

End It Movement Needs You to Help End Slavery For Good

What would you say if I told you that slavery still existed right now, in the time we are living?  According to many, we are in a time of enlightenment, most of us have information literally at our fingertips, and many of us make it a point to be involved in human rights causes.  It is shocking and disheartening to know that there are 27 million men, women, and children living as slaves. Even more shocking is the fact that some of them live in the United States.

I have been involved in spreading the word about this horrific truth for the past few years thanks to people like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore who have been bringing awareness to this crisis through their own organization, THORN: Digital Defenders of Children, and most recently Nathaniel Buzolic (Kol on the Vampire Diaries) brought the End It Movement to my attention.

Here are a few more staggering statistics about slavery and human trafficking:

    • The slavery “industry” generates  $32 billion dollars each year
    • 17,500 people are trafficked INTO the United States annually
    • 80% of human trafficking victims are women
    • 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking
    • People’s lives are bought and sold for $90 or less a piece

What can you do to help? I’m glad you asked, because there is plenty you can do.   If you are active on social media, you can follow End It Movement on Twitter, like them on Facebook, subscribe to their YouTube page, follow them on Instagram, and share with your friends.  They also have some really great items available in their online store and of course you may donate money.  Be sure to watch the video I have included here and share that everywhere.  One of the things I like about End It Movement is the many ways you can be actively involved as well.  You can get a group of friends together, be creative with photos to show your support and take a stand.  As with any cause or movement, the more voices we combine, the more we are heard.

When you visit the End It Movement site, you can download the digital tool kit that has EVERYTHING you need to show your support.  There are pictures you can use for your own Twitter and Facebook accounts, posters, information presentations, and more.  Maya Angelou says it best, “When you know better, you do better.” My hope is that we create a chain of information which will educate people and make them aware causing them to act.  To see an end to slavery and human trafficking in our lifetime would be a perfect way to leave this world better than the way we found it.

Tuesday, April 9th is Shine A Light on Slavery Day.  Please join us by drawing a Red X on your hand, snapping a photo of it and sharing it on your Social Sites.  Use the Hashtag #EndItMovement and add your voice to the collective!

Now is the time to Shine a Light on Slavery.


Olivier Bassil is Innovating Music With His Superpowers

Have you heard of Olivier Bassil? If you have, then you know he is a talented, passionate musician who is equally passionate about his fans.  He treats them like a community, a family, that he connects through his website and of course, with his music.  If you haven’t heard of him yet, get ready to hear lots about him in the coming months.  I have had the pleasure of interacting with Olivier via social media for a few years now and recently we connected with a lengthy phone conversation where we discussed everything from music videos to brands and beyond.  Behind the obvious good looks and the music talent is a caring, intelligent man who aims to please his fans by incorporating his vast knowledge to create the best possible environment for them to accompany him on his journey.

I am so thankful that he invited me to come along with him and has given me the opportunity to invite all of you by doing this interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did and that you check out his website ASAP. :)

Q: Have you always been interested in music? Who are some of your role models/influences?

A: I started being interested in music when I got enrolled in piano and violin lessons at around 7 years old. At the time I had just lost my sister of cystic fibrosis at only 5 and music turned out to be the ideal art form to channel my emotions. I found so much joy in music that I started composing and improvising very early. I already knew at that time that music was my life vocation, all the way to being enrolled in the conservatory and then Berklee College of Music in Boston.

I have a great number of role models. Elvis Presley is my favorite singer for how well he adapted a classic technique into rock. I also admire Jim Morrison’s artistic side of his life, putting poetry into music and turning himself so naturally into an eternal rock icon. Musically speaking, I am a huge adept of Paul McCartney and the Beatles. Their songwriting genius is simply unequalled. On a more contemporary spectrum, I love Maroon 5’s ability to mold their sound, Owl City and Gotye for their amazing creativity and the whole K-Pop movement for bringing international flair into global culture.

Q: Tell me about the new song ‘Superpowers.’  What does it mean to you?

A: ‘Superpowers’ describes my feelings for a girl who is incredibly strong in her life, her work and most importantly, in her heart inside. In the song I refer to her as Superwoman. The story in the song goes through a couple of days spent together, it’s a true love story with a mysterious side. I refer to wanting to “stop the time and hide” and to going “where no one can see us”. I think this song is all about not only finding but following your love and making it real in your life. Because life is simply all about love and in today’s world, people forget that, especially in modern culture.

Musically, it starts with my guitar playing what will be the verse melody. This song reflects my will to express different emotions in the same song. It starts very intimate and builds up into something not only very strong in volume, but also very groovy. The post-chorus, which is the part right after the chorus, goes “you-ou-ou-ou give me superpowe-e-ers” and adds a clear electronic twist to the song. And I think the bridge that goes “forever stronger, I’ll never alone” is very catchy and really takes off the song to another level. When songwriting and producing, I love picking from everything I like with no rules or limits. I think this creates infinite possibilities.

Q: Congratulations on the success of the video, to date it has received over 90,000 views.  I know you take much care in everything you create.  How long did it take for you to create the video for ‘Superpowers?’ From concept to finish?

A: It took us about four weeks of concept making, 10 days of shoot preparations and only 3 days of shooting with an additional 10 days of post-production. But the video is the fruit of a much longer preparation. We have gone through over a year of in-depth creative brainstorms with my collaborator Maria Mikulas. She’s the super-talented director and visual artist behind all my artwork and photography. What’s interesting about the video is that we were only a few people behind and in front of the camera: Nikki DuBose, the extremely talented and stunning supermodel who is co-starring with me, Maria making her usual magic behind the camera, style genius German Pinazo doing the styling and a couple more people helping on the set. This video really is the fruit of our passions put together for the cause of making a concept real. We’re all so thrilled with it, and it only brought us closer together as creative artists. I can’t wait for the next one!

Q: You have also been a Brand Ambassador, even appearing on the Today show. It sounds like you have incorporated that background into your music by creating your own name for your sound.  Tell me a little about the concept of “Envy Rock.”

A: Since I love to mix inspirations that stem from classic rock all the way to the latest electro-pop hits, I had to come up with a creative way of describing my genre. Rock or pop did not make the cut as my music is probably somewhere in between. That’s how we came up with “Envy Rock”. Envy Rock describes the new generation of music that incorporates more electronic sounds but which at the same time has a strong aspirational side for the classics. The aspiration in Envy Rock is about doing something inspired by the legends of the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s in music. That’s why you have that psychedelic guitar in Superpowers, mixed with an electronic pop sound. At the end of the day, everyone comes to you as an artist for a different aspect of you. But what I seek in my music, is for it to be unlike anything people have heard before, in order for people to truly love or adhere to it in a new and special way.

Q: We discussed the importance of remaining balanced and centered, especially when it comes to the creative process.  Being as busy as you are, how do you find the time?

A: I just give the best in the moment. I achieve that by keeping away from distractions, remembering to breathe, and being naturally peaceful at all times. I make sure that I keep my inner peace by taking some time to meditate and be grateful to God after each activity for a few minutes. I think the importance of letting go is so strong, that it means everything in your ability to undertake something in your life on a deeper and more passionate level. When it comes to making music, I love to have a creative routine around it. I warm up first, and then start songwriting. I value the interest of singing and writing every day with no exception, because it’s the only way to truly grow and build continuously in my artistry, no matter where I am.

Q: You have said that music is about innovating and that there is a deeper meaning to life that needs to be addressed in music.  How do you plan on bringing this to your fans and taking them on the journey with you?

A: Music is like a human being. You are often attracted to someone you’ll like very rapidly, based on something in their look or attitude. Similarly in music you will be attracted by a catchy sound or melody first. And then there is a whole deeper level, and that’s what will keep you coming back to an artist’s music, as you would develop a relationship with someone you like. I think we can innovate in music on both levels. First of all, the reason why I make music is to do something attractive, catchy and that makes people want to move, hum or sing. I think if people keep singing a song after hearing it a few times or even once, then my role as a singer-songwriter is fulfilled already. But music is not just about being a singer-songwriter, it’s about being a messenger for a deeper cause and set of values that you stand for and live by. My goal is to share love and joy through my songs. I feel an urge to spread happiness, peace, positivity and love. And this is also part of the Envy Rock movement, which started on my site. My song Infectious, which also is the title of my community, is all about that. Joy and positivity can truly be Infectious if you simply start sharing them, and music has that transcendent power to spread a feeling like that all over the world.

Q: The music industry is very different today than it was even a few years ago.  What are some of the tools you think can be used to help artists get more exposure and increase their visibility to fans?

A: The first thing an artist needs to do is find their identity. And that’s something that hasn’t changed throughout the times. The difference is that you used to have labels to help you express it. Nowadays, you usually have to express that identity by yourself before being offered the back up of a label. The artist owns a bigger share of the work, but also of the rewards. That’s why it is very helpful to work with collaborators on creating truly inventive content around the songs that will help you get into the channels offered. Once that creative challenge is fully taken care of, it’s a case of being an entertainer online in the same way as you would be in a live event context. As far as platforms are concerned, I would suggest to embrace the amazing sites that are offered out there: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all the new up and coming social tools for content sharing. The key is to spread key updates very regularly on all of them simultaneously and to dedicate some time to each platform individually as well. It’s amazing how much impact you can make just by using these tools. And it is also a chance to truly grow with a global audience from day one. That’s something very few artists of the previous generations were offered.

Q: Do you write your own songs and lyrics? What is your process like? I have read that some artists, like Stevie Nicks will actually hide away for months while they are writing.

A: I sure do! The reason why I make music is because of how much I feel the need to express myself through melodies that will define parts of my life, in ways that can apply to others too. I do not have one unique setup to compose music. Sometimes a new melody comes to me while walking in the street and sometimes it comes while being immersed in the midst of singing over a new instrumental part in the studio. There’s nothing like being wholly immersed into a song, and being so inspired by the moment that you write everything from the lyrics and melody to the music in one go. When it flows like that, you know you’ve got a new hit in the making. To achieve that state of creating in the now, no distractions are allowed. That’s why I love to be in my cocoon to create. I actually had to apply Stevie Nicks’ isolation technique for a while before being able to come back into society as a more grown musician. But I find that contact with the world inspires me too. Music today has that vibe to it that is very attached to society’s day to day rhythm and I adhere to that too. So I decided to develop my lifestyle somewhere in the middle, living close to the city, but with a secluded and quiet home base, allowing me to truly go on a complete retreat when I an writing music every day.

Q: Do you plan on doing a full album at anytime?

A: Of course, my debut album is to be called Infectious. It is titled after my debut single which is already live on iTunes and for which we will do a video in the future. You are participating in the creation of this album right now, and so is everyone of my fans, by simply discussing about my songs and setting the tone for more songs to come ahead of the album. I have always been more interested in the power of songs than I was in the whole album, so I have decided to focus on growing my career through releasing singles first. This allows me to entertain with great videos and to offer a new world to my audience through each single. They can follow my progress through the whole album-making process. Eventually my album will be a best off album featuring all the songs together as well as of course, many extras. That way I truly feel that everyone can participate in the fantastic creative process that music truly is.

Q: Where can we find you online? Twitter, Facebook, etc?

A: You can find me on Twitter @OlivierBassil where I continuously share updates on my work as well as interact with my followers, who are super supportive. It’s a true pleasure to read my mentions every day and I love replying to them. I use Facebook as a place of exchange for updates, photos and of course videos of the moment. You can also subscribe to me on YouTube where I will release all my music videos and other video content. I’m also on Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.  But most of all I love sharing deeper conversations with my community on OlivierBassil.com, where all the core supporters of the movement can register and interact.

Q: Your website is quite the little community. What can people expect when they visit?

A: So many things. OlivierBassil.com is not only a place to listen to my music, watch my videos and follow my updates. It has grown into a place of exchange between all my supporters, which include artists, creatives of different sectors and of course fans from countries all over the world. I don’t believe in a fan relationship as a one way relationship. I believe in being able to exchange with everyone and in everyone do more than just consume content. They should have a chance to directly interact, grow and participate in the project, and that’s the chance they are offered by being part of the community. It’s a statement that you make that you take an extra step to stay close and to be in the loop with my music and the Envy Rock movement. And that can make a strong impact in your life too. We share a lot of philosophical insights on life, and on the importance of pursuing your calling. Many members have been encouraged to pursue their own calling based on their exchange on the site, and they have also met with other people who were as incredibly passionate as themselves. The common denominator is not age, not a certain type or culture, it’s an Infectious positivity and generosity of heart that everybody on the site has and develops. That’s why the community is called Infectious.

Q: What’s up next for Olivier Bassil?

A: I have received so many calls and propositions from the first week of Superpowers being live that it’s impossible to tell exactly what the future holds. But what I can promise you is that it will be truly exciting, and that it will involve releasing great songs, in really innovative way, and involving some really unique collaborators. I cannot wait to share all that further, but the best place to start for anyone who wants to be in the know, would probably be to register to my website at http://OlivierBassil.com/register

I am so grateful to you and Teeco71 for deciding to be part of this story at such an early stage of the process, this is a type of memory you never forget.

Mark Munroe: (No) Secrets and (No) Lies

Mark Munroe is a singer-songwriter from Canada who is also an accomplished model as well as an actor.  He was born and raised in the little town of Schomberg, Ontario, where he starred in musicals starting at age 5.  As a  model, he has graced the pages of Cosmopolitan Magazine and has starred in countless ad campaigns.  On the music front, Mark fronted the internationally known band IM Munroe.  Now, Mark is embarking on a solo career and ready to take the music industry by storm.

There is much more to Mark than the acting, modeling, and music.  He is has also overcome personal challenges that could have prevented him from ever attempting all that he has.  In his teens, Mark had gained weight but once he put his mind to it, he was able to shed 100 pounds.  He also chose to come out publicly on his blog, which I am sure inspired countless people and helped others to feel less alone in their own struggles.

I have been wanting to interview Mark for a while now and I am very happy to bring this to you:

Q: Music has always been a part of your life.  Did you always know you wanted to perform? Do you play any instruments?

A: Music has always been a huge part of my life, since I was a little boy who learned to play the piano, and sing in the church kids choir, and then when I was 12 recorded my first EP.
Even when I was a child I was already making plans to be an entertainer.

Q: You lost 100 pounds, how long ago was that?  Do you have any advice for people who are going through similar struggles?

A: In my teenage years I gained a lot of weight, and by the time I was 19 I was so ready to shed the weight and start fresh. From the time I was 19 – 22 I spent all my extra energy in loosing the 85 pounds i needed to get to the weight that I wanted to be, well I smashed that and lost 100 pounds in the approximately 2 1/2 years.

The thing with weight is that for feeling good and being healthy it’s good to be a certain weight based on your size, gender etc, but at the end of the day, the greatest lesson that I learned from all of it, is that loving yourself in the good and bad is what really matters, for me being happy, it wasn’t ever about a number on a scale but a feeling inside.

As for the working out itself, you have to do your own homework and find what food, exercise, and activities work for you, cause if you don’t enjoy what your doing, you won’t stick with it, and you’ll gain the weight back.
My greatest advise for some loosing weight is FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, and make sure that you can sustain it!

Continue reading “Mark Munroe: (No) Secrets and (No) Lies” »

The Clandestine: A Webseries project

The Clandestine is a web-series about a group of geeks and one smoking hot woman who form an outlaw motorcycle club. It’s been described as Sons of Anarchy meets The Office.  The show has a little something for everyone: killer motorbikes, sexy ladies, and even geeks doing dangerous stuff.  It also boasts a soundtrack packed with music from the best up and coming bands in the Irish rock scene.

This webseries comes to us from Belfast, United Kingdom by Joseph Campo.  Thankfully, webseries have been gaining momentum as of late.  I have found many great shows that are being produced on the web.  Shows like Husbands and Dating in the Middle Ages, and Vampire Mob just to name a few.  What’s the big deal about bringing a series to the web? I think it is the future of entertainment.  There are less constraints with doing a series for the web so they give you entertainment that is pretty much geared toward you and you can watch episodes any time you want.

Check out episode one and two now, or when you have some time. That’s the beauty of it, the show is there when you are ready for it: Episode One  Episode Two

After you watch, head on over to their Kickstarter page and find out how you can go about helping to create more episodes.   Actor Mark Gantt has even put in a bid to be part of  The Clandestine so be sure to check that video out as well.  Mark has done some amazing work on Indie projects such as The Bannen Way  and Love Makers.

I think you will be very pleased with what you see when you watch The Clandestine and hope you decide to help out by donating or sharing this story on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and all of your social media sites.