A few weeks ago, I sat down with local artist Lyric Nicole to discuss her new career in the business. This time around, I sat with Valenza, an up and coming Jazz artist from Central Florida (whom is also the label mate to Lyric) whom is on the cusp of releases his very first album. I had the honor to work with Valenza, real name Troy Harris, on a number of events including a music video and will have the pleasure to be working with him again very soon in the near future. Like a seasoned jazz artist, Valenza has the talent of picking up a jazz saxophone to play whatever comes to mind in an impromptu segment.
Recently, I’ve been away in production on two music videos for local artists in the Orlando area. Not only was it my first time working semi-professionally, it was my first time directing a music video, let alone two. One of the artists that I directed was Lyric Nicole, a young neo-soul singer with a fantastic voice and beautiful music under the Me 2 Entertainment label. I may be biased in my choice of words but you should check her out yourself. I won’t go into more detail about my times directing since that would be another, much longer piece. After the hecticness of a rushed production, I sat down with Ms. Lyric Nicole about her inspirations and work ethic.
As George Zimmerman’s trial heats up with new evidence and witnesses and Zimmerman plea of not guilty, we’d like to take the time to look back and remember the initial events in February of 2012 that led to one of the biggest court cases of its time.
On February 26, 2012, a seventeen-year old Trayvon Martin was walking through the gated community in Sanford, Florida where his father lived. Later reports stated that Trayvon Martin was on the phone with his girlfriend at the time, who recounted for the police what she heard over the phone. Zimmerman, who was on neighborhood watch at the time, called 911 to report young Trayvon as a suspicious person. Rather than remain in his car as Emergency Dispatch told him to do, Zimmerman decided to confront Trayvon himself. Moments later, Trayvon Martin was found dead and Zimmerman was claiming self-defense.
In a media debacle, Zimmerman was not initially arrested for Trayvon Martin’s death as the police chief cited there was no evidence to disprove Zimmerman’s statement of self-defense. By March, the people of the Internet rose to Tryavon’s defense and filed a Change.org petition calling for Zimmerman’s arrest. The petition collected over 1.3 million signatures and all around the country rallies were held.
Finally, on April 11, Zimmerman turned himself in and was arrested for second-degree murder. A year later, Zimmerman chose to waive his right to a stand-your-ground trial and attempt a self-defense trial, which is currently underway. By June 24th, an all-female jury was chosen and opening statements were presented in one of the biggest and most controversial trials of the decade.
While the case should be centered around Zimmerman and his motives for shooting Travyon Martin, the defense is focusing instead on Trayvon’s past. Trayvon had been involved in past fights, had a past with marijuana use, and was familiar with guns. But whatever the outcome of the trial, several things about this case have been handled terribly. Trayvon’s girlfriend eventually admitted to lying about being hospitalized at the time of Trayvon’s funeral. No matter the outcome of the trial or if justice is ever served, we hope the Martin family eventually finds peace during this difficult time.
In a shocking and tragic turn of events, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the crime on Saturday night. Zimmerman was acquitted of both a second-degree murder charge as well as a manslaughter charge. While Obama has encouraged the country and those upset over the verdict to remain calm, hundreds of peaceful protests have been staged across the country. Instagram is filled with hoods and skittles and the world is remembering a seventeen year old boy who was simply walking home that fateful night. Even if justice wasn’t served the way the majority wanted or was expecting, this trial has changed the way our country views gun regulation and racial constructions in our society.
Rest in Peace, Travyon.