By Erin Glines
Fresh out of prison and all alone in the world, Shadow Moon is a man who just wants to be left alone, but the gods are at war… and they have other plans.
Fans of author Neil Gaiman are thrilled by the news that his best-selling novel, American Gods, is finally being adapted by Starz for TV. With 8 episodes set to premier on April 30th, this thematically rich, contemporary fantasy has an all-star cast with names such as Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Ian McShane (Wednesday), Kristen Chenoweth (Easter), Crispin Glover (Mr. World), and Orlando Jones (Mr. Nancy).
American Gods stands apart in a world of formulaic plots and stale characters. With unique players like a towering leprechaun, a blood thirsty, hammer-wielding god, and an enigmatic white buffalo, viewers will be hard pressed to guess what could possibly be coming next. Yet, while fantastic characters and unpredictable storylines are prevalent, underneath it all there is a fundamental theme that focuses on what it means to be an immigrant to this country, new or old, and how different cultures have clashed and blended into an entirely new identity.
Swept up into a metaphysical conflict, Shadow Moon will crisscross the country gathering support for the tired, fading gods of the old countries, against the new, powerful upstart deities of the modern age. Can he complete his task before the storm breaks and war is unleashed?
If you’re having a conversation with someone about the cities or countries that field famous or well-known music artists, and yes such conversations actually do take place, the usual suspects pop up; Los Angeles, New York City, England, Memphis or even Canada. There are two locations that may not pop up that often if at all, Las Vegas and Australia. The former city comes up as a entertainment capital but you don’t hear about many music artists emerging from there. Meanwhile, Australia might be, ignorantly, known for kangaroos, the Sydney Opera House, the Outback (not the damn restaurant) and residents with the coolest accent I have ever heard. Well, once you meet up and coming music artist, Destiny Rydas, that view is sure to change.
Rydas, a young music artist and model who hails originally from Australia but currently resides in Las Vegas is trying to make her mark on the music scene with her unique blend of hip hop and EDM, she’s slowly working her way to the top and based on the strides she has made so far, she will be there in no time.
Overcoming a difficult upbringing in Australia, Rydas turned to music as an outlet but first worked in the music industry behind the scenes cutting her teeth that way. First working on a Fifth Harmony tour then working as a manager and a talent booker, all while biding her time to pursue her passion which is music.
Rydas finally made the leap to pursue her music dreams in mid-2015 when she made the big move across the world to the United States, specifically Las Vegas. Listing 50 Cent and Rihanna as her music inspirations, she began the process to what is sure to be a long and successful career.
Within the last year and a half, she has released her debut album, “It’s My Destiny” with the hit single, “Frenemy” doing big numbers on SoundCloud (1.15 million listens to be exact) and being featured in the 2016 thriller/action film “Marauders” starring Bruce Willis.
“It didn’t really hit me until I saw my name in the end credits”, said Rydas. “It was truly inspirational.”
Coming to a new from a foreign country to do music is usually a great thing because most times there aren’t any former music stars to be compared to. In this instance, not so lucky because there is a certain rapper that came from Australia about five years ago looking to make a name for herself. You may have heard of her, does the name Iggy Azalea ring a bell? When asked if she often gets compared to her and if so, how does it make her feel, Rydas spoke her mind:
“I don’t fully respect the way she came up in the industry but at the end of the day, she was successful and you can’t hate on that. I don’t necessarily like the comparisons but I just smile and am gracious about it.”
With so much instant success in less than two years, a collaboration with major artists are inevitable but there is only one music artist Rydas would love to work with. Who you ask?
“Beyonce. She’s so beautiful and talented and amazing and she represents the female artist in a great way.”
The way Destiny Rydas’ early career is flourishing, not only is a Beyonce collaboration a possibility but maybe even with some of her favorite artists, Chris Brown, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande could be on the horizon. She is definitely someone to keep an eye out on.
Written by Andre Brown - @lifelovescooldre
When I would hear the term “American Dream”, I would always scoff at it or it would make me cringe. I’m not sure why exactly but it always came off as corny to me in a sense. It sounded too cliché and there is such a vague definition on what it means. Merriam-Webster defines it as “an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity”; so basically everyone that lives in this country has the opportunity to make something out of themselves or for them self.
At the risk of sounding corny and cliché, Terroll Fields is the living embodiment of the American Dream. He is the founder and CEO of Fly Boy TCF Clothing which, in his words, “is not a clothing line but a brand.” When you hear his story, you slowly learn that Fly Boy TCF Clothing is even more than a brand but a lifestyle.
Fields, 37, was born in New Orleans’ roughest neighborhoods but despite his rough surroundings, he was determined to not become a statistic.
“I always thought outside the box and knew I was going to make something of myself” said Fields. “Even growing up, my homies recognized that and looked out for me and made sure I didn’t get into any trouble. They made sure I was successful.”
In 2005, Fields was working as a salesman in Minnesota and quickly moved up in sales and had an epiphany of sorts. If my calling is sales, why not do it myself but this time on myterms where I can reap the full benefits? So he moved to Miami in February 2008 and got into the music business for a bit and made a connection with a guy within the music industry who taught him the ropes of how to run a business the right and successful way. Armed with his new knowledge of business information, Fields, who was already selling self-made FlyBoyTCF shirts independently, headed out to Las Vegas to make FlyBoy TCF Clothing into a brand.
He arrived in Vegas and 2012 and became licensed a year later and the dream was finally starting to take shape. By the way, if you are reading this and wondering what the TCF stands for, it is not only Fields’ initials but his two daughters’ initials as well. Incredible right?
But the versatility and creativity showed in his brand is truly outstanding and one of a kind and if you if ever talk to him about it, you will hear the passion in his voice about it.
Most clothing lines cater to only a couple of audiences if that and it is typically a man’s line and woman’s line. FlyBoy does that and then some with skateboard apparel, hats, headphones and jewelry and much more to come this year and down the road. Fields also features a lion quite prominently in some of my favorite pieces personally, on a backpack and snapback hat.
“The significance of the lion is threefold”, explained Fields. “It attracted a more mature crowd to my brand, it represents my new line coming out soon and the lion is the ‘king of the jungle’ and that the latter is how I see my brand.”
Without giving too much away, the plans that Fields has for FlyBoy in the micro and macro are something else. One thing that can be shared is his men’s suit and tuxedo line, Black Luxury which, Fields says is scheduled to see the light of day in “October 2017”. Other long term plans include franchising the brand in terms of multiple brick & mortars, a sneaker and jeans line. Add with that, Fields’ having connections in China with manufacturers and taking FlyBoy global is not out of reach at all.
Speaking as a Black man myself, to see someone from your own community take charge of their own destiny and be their own boss is very inspirational. It makes it that much better when the person is easygoing and humble as well. I am not quite sure whether Terroll Fields is living the American Dream or if it is still to come but either way he is living a dream for sure.
Written by Andre Brown - @lifelovescooldre
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