Artistry
Artist Feature

Brave Soul Artist: Sampson

Our Brave Soul Artist for this month is a young man on a mission to change the world one laugh at a time. Sampson McCormick is an award-winning, black, openly gay stand-up comedian, writer and activist, who has done it all. Sampson has produced three comedy albums, written two...

Brave Soul Artist: Gretchen Parlato

Our Brave Soul Artist feature for May 2013 is a woman whose music leaves a lasting impression on listeners. Gretchen Parlato's voice is an instrument which I can only describe as a "quiet fire". Whether performing her own compositions, or interpreting songs originally recorded by other artists, she beautifully...

Brave Soul Artist: Esthero

Photos by Leigha Righton This month's BSC Artist Feature, Esthero (in addition to being a personal favorite of mine) is a woman whose artistic prowess is evident not only through the beautiful instrument that is her voice, but also as a result of her amazing skills as songwriter and...

Brave Soul Artist: Kia Bennett

Our September Brave Soul Artist feature is a young lady who clearly uses her artistry and music to tap into everything related to beauty (in all its forms). Kia Bennett is someone whose music is helping to keep a long lasting legacy of Soul/R&B music alive and thriving. A...

Brave Soul Artist: Craig Stewart

Our Brave Soul featured artist for July 2012 is a trailblazer and true "renaissance" man. He has had his hands in music, theatre, and a host of other artistic entrepreneurial ventures for a decade. Craig Stewart is one of America's most talented young playwrights. The first in his immediate...

Brave Soul Artist: Columbia Nights

Our Brave Soul featured artists for May 2012 are a pair of talented young men whose music speaks for itself. Comprised of musician/producers Hayling Price and John E Daise, Columbia Nights' work is an organic blend of analog and digital elements- a hybrid that looks to the past while...

Brave Soul Artist: Red Summer

Our Brave Soul featured artist for April, Red Summer, is a self proclaimed "Jane-of-all-trades". Her background in Musical Theater, Interdisciplinary Art, Song-Writing, Spoken Word Poetry, Film Production and both Secondary and Post-Secondary Education, makes her a force to be reckoned with. She is a performance artist, activist, educator, motivational...

Brave Soul Artist: Deborah Bond

This month's BSC artist feature is an artist with one of the most distinctive, powerful voices I've ever heard. Her lyrics & music pay homage to a long line of soul & jazz musicians that have come before her & it's clear from experiencing both her studio & live...

Brave Soul Artist: Tracy Cruz

Our Brave Soul Featured Artist for September [to end the summer & kick off the fall season] is a musical virtuoso whose work is steeped in sincerity, compassion, & love. It is demonstrated through her stirring vocal delivery, as well as through her self-penned poignant & honest lyrics. Her...

Brave Soul Artist: Darian Aaron

Our BSC Artist feature to kickoff the summer of 2011 is a trailblazer & courageous brother who embodies all the traits of a 'Brave Soul'. Darian Aaron is an American journalist and editor of Living Out Loud with Darian, a 2008 Black Weblog Award winner for Best LGBT Blog...

Brave Soul Artist: L. Michael Gipson

Our Brave Soul Artist Feature for February 2011 is a maverick, as well as an inspiration for all those who aspire to greatness. Award-winning writer, public health and youth advocate, L. Michael Gipson has worked on HIV/AIDS, youth and community development programming on the local, state and national level...

Brave Soul Artist: The Foreign Exchange

Our Brave Soul Artist feature for this month are a pair of brilliant musicians/artists whose musical union has yielded some seriously powerful, memorable, soulful music. Consisting of rapper/singer/songwriter Phonte and producer Nicolay, The Foreign Exchange came together via the online hip-hop community Okayplayer.com in 2002. After trading files through...

Brave Soul Artist: Kimberly Nichole

Our Brave Soul Feature for this month is a trailblazer, a vocal powerhouse, & fashionista who has been dubbed the "the puffy-haired tower of power". KimberlyNichole an avant-garde singer, songwriter & mesmerizing performer recently released her debut album "The Yellow Brick Journey". Her acclaimed multi-dimensional debut has introduced her...

Brave Soul Artist: Zo!

Our Brave Soul Artist feature for this month is a self proclaimed "Musical Architect" and a true definition of an artist. Multi-Instrumentalist/Producer Zo! is Detroit-area born and raised Lorenzo Ferguson. Music was always present in and around the Ferguson house, which let to Zo! taking piano lessons at age...

Brave Soul Artist: Stanley Bennett Clay

Our 2010 Brave Soul featured artist for the month of July is a 'renaissance man' and multi-faceted artist who is a true example of what it means to have 'staying power'. Stanley Bennett Clay, who recently relocated to New York from Los Angeles, received 3 NAACP Theatre Awards and...

Brave Soul Artist: YahZarah

Our artist feature this month epitomizes what it means to be an artist, and she is truly a 'Brave Soul' in a league of her own. Critically acclaimed R&B vocalist YahZarah returns with her long-awaited album "The Ballad of Purple Saint James," dropping May 4 on The Foreign Exchange...

Brave Soul Artist: N'Dambi

Photography credit: Jason Clark Our Brave Soul Artist for the month of November personifies what it means to be SOULFUL...in every sense of the word. For the last 10 years, N'dambi has blessed the world with the beautiful instrument that is her voice, lyrics that tell vivid inspirational stories, and...

Brave Soul Artist: James Earl Hardy

This month's artist feature is an author whose groundbreaking work has paved the way for many of today's black gay writers and continues to entertain legions of readers at the same time. James Earl Hardy is the author of the best-selling B-Boy Blues series: B-Boy Blues (1994), praised as...

Brave Soul Artist: Keith Barbee

Our Brave Soul artist feature for April 2009 is an author, journalist, poet, and all around renaissance man who currently resides in our very own Washington, DC area. KEITH BARBEE, born in Ripley, Tenn, is the NEW VOICE OF LITERATURE. He is truly a product of 'the village.' Having...

Brave Soul Artist: William Scott

Our feature for this month is a courageous, amazingly talented brother whose work is in a class all its own...In 2006 William Scott independently released his debut album, "Who's Afraid of William Scott?" which sparked consciousness and controversy because of it's refreshing sound and daring subject matter regarding race...

Brave Soul Artist: baron.

This month's artist feature is an amazing talent whose music, and art speaks for itself. baron. is an award winning poet/spokenword artist turned electro hip-hop, rock, lyricist/singer-songwriter/producer on his sophomore album "Celebrity". Originally from Newark, New Jersey, baron. now finds his home in the borough of Brooklyn. According to...

Brave Soul Artist: Heidi Martin

In February 2007, I attended The Front Porch, a monthly open mic/artist showcase produced by Brave Soul co-founder Tim'm West. On this particular night, one of the featured artists was a woman who Tim'm himself had told me was someone I would wind up not only appreciating, but LOVING....

Brave Soul Artist: Mo'Nique

This month, in honor of Women's History Month, we've decided to feature a woman who not only entertains and inspires, but makes millions of people laugh through her work as a multi-faceted artist. Recently, Brave Soul artist keithromell (who is also an associate editor for Positively Aware, an HIV...

Brave Soul Artist: Rodney Lofton

Our Brave Soul Artist for February is a man whose travels both personally and professionally have led him literally back to himself. Rodney Lofton is a writer, HIV/AIDS activist, and author whose journey has been detailed in his memoir entitled, The Day I Stopped Being Pretty. Lofton was born...

Brave Soul Artist: Ra-Re Valverde

"..Normality don't exist for me...Mostly I live on the other side....Fine with me. I'm cream filled with such complexity. See love in unordinary things... ....I'm right where I am supposed to be... steady and my mind is clear...why can't you understand that I am who i am...won't let you...

Brave Soul Artist: Frederick Smith

Our December Brave Soul Artist is dynamic writer whose work not only entertains, but propels readers to think and FEEL something. Frederick Smith, originally from Detroit, Michigan, is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and Loyola University Chicago. A finalist for the 2004 PEN Center Emerging Voices...

Brave Soul Artist: Maurice Jamal

This month's Brave Soul Artist is an extremely talented young man by the name of Maurice Jamal. He is a DIRECTOR-WRITER-PRODUCER, who's groundbreaking work can be seen in both film and television. He is the creative mind behind the landmark film THE SKI TRIP (MTV's LOGO Network). His second...

Brave Soul Artist: Janelle Monáe

Our Brave Soul artist for the months of July & August is a young woman whose work as an artist is nothing short of amazing. She is far too talented to put into a box as just being a 'singer' or 'vocalist'. I won't include an official bio here...

Brave Soul Artist: Michael-Christopher

In honor of May being a kickoff of sorts in terms of Black [Gay] Pride celebrations that take place over the summer months, we've decided to feature Michael-Christopher, who has been an active voice in the black lesbian and gay community for over a decade as an author, illustrator,...

Brave Soul Artist: Choklate

Our subject for April's Brave Soul Artist feature is a dynamic young woman whose approach is not powerful or pop-polished, but rich, mature, and effortless. She's also a great songwriter, and has a knack for coming up with odd but catchy lines. Her songs not only make you think...

Brave Soul Artist: Queen Aishah

Our Brave Soul Artist for March is a woman who is a very close friend of mine, and lifetime Brave Soul family member. Comedienne Queen Aishah is not only a funny ass woman, but a warm, loving spirit who is committed to... "TOUCHING AND HEALING SOULS THROUGH THE ART...

Brave Soul Artist: Eric Roberson

Our Brave Soul Artist for February is an innovator and most definitely personifies what it means to be a 'brave soul'. Blue Erro Soul vocalist, songwriter, producer, and CEO Eric Roberson aka "Erro" is known for his insightful lyrics and soothing vocals. His ballads are always delectable, and he...

Brave Soul Artist: Briian Dargon

Our premiere Brave Soul Artist feature for 2007 and the month of January is a young man who is living life on his own terms as an artist. Briian Dargon, designer and creator of BSIXTEE6 [B 66 for those who don't get it..lol] is a talented, creative individual whose...

Brave Soul Artist: Ashley Phillips

Our Brave Soul Artist for the month of December is a young lady who is truly in a league of her own. Hers is a name you will want to remember: Ashley Phillips. Tim'm and I first had the opportunity to meet Ashley in late October of this year...

Brave Soul Artist: Sheryl Lee Ralph

Our Brave Soul Artist Feature for October is not only a Broadway legend, television & film star, but a humanitarian in her own right. You know, for me truth is everything on a certain level. I've modeled my career by doing the roles that I felt my family could...

Brave Soul Artist: Lee Hayes

This month, we at Brave Soul Collective decided to highlight a brilliant brother whose literary works have firmly established him as one of today's most talented black gay authors. Hayes first novel "Passion Marks" tackled domestic violence within gay relationships, an issue which is rarely, if ever discussed. However,...

Brave Soul Artist: Patrik-Ian Polk

Photo by Anthony Nouri CaravanFor the month of August, we decided to spotlight the incredibly talented artist, Patrik-Ian Polk. About a month into BSC's premiere, we contacted Patrik to let him know about the BSC website, the organization and our mission. After checking out the site, Patrik quickly responded...

Brave Soul Artist: Frenchie Davis

Photo by Stan SchaferWhen we were trying to determine who our next Brave Soul Artist Feature would be, Frenchie was a no-brainer. She has a personal connection and relationship with Monte, since the two of them were friends and classmates at Howard University, where they both were students of...

Brave Soul Artist: Lalah Hathaway

Our premiere Brave Soul Featured Artist is a woman who personifies what it means to be an artist. Music is in her genes, as she is the eldest daughter of the legendary and beloved soul singer, songwriter, & composer, Donny Hathaway. As raised by Donny and their mother, Eulaulah,...