It’s Challenging To Support Indie Artists

14344678_167200017054114_3322610379642491515_nI have been working in a varieties of ways to support the underground, independent, unknown artists since the days of Flava Coffee House 2003-2008 to now the days after Flava.  Before closing the doors of Flava I got into online promotions and marketing for a variety of artists but heavy in the literary industry.  In 2008 I hosted a literary conference at Flava Coffee House and it was a great success with Authors and Fans of Literature flying in for a 3 day weekend event including folks and Authors from Seattle.

The literary conference was a success because there was a team that was created by the co-host of this event and everyone put in the hard work to promote and invite people to pay attention, to join the event and to take part in the excitement of the whole experience. This took place back in the days when MySpace was the place to hangout and Facebook was just being created.

Fast forwarding to 2017, a new year in the game of creative soulz, I  have decided to embark on a new beginning for myself personally and professionally.  I made the decision to move to Vegas, the Entertainment Capitol of the World.  I have colleagues there along with a “following” from my great connection to Sherry Gordy (Berry Gordy of Motown’s daughter) and Lillian Rice of The Love The Muzic Entertainment and Productions. Plus my business partner, Marc VanClaggett Owner and CEO of Marlex Records relocated to Vegas with our Indie Record Label.

I had come up with what I believe is a great concept for an ongoing Indie Artists Showcase where there would be no more that 3 acts spotlighted.  The goal was and is to fly artists in from around the country, provide lodging for them and an professional showcase to be featured and paid for their performance.  After processing if I could do this in Seattle with my business partner Jace ECAj of Black Stax, we decided that Seattle struggles in supporting the culturally diverse art seen and artists walk away disappoint more often then not.  So I had a grand idea, why not do it in Vegas…So Flava’s Lounge is birthed and will take place in Las Vegas< NV with the support of my colleagues who also loves the concept.

Now how do we fund this concept and get if off the ground.  Every business needs money to build from, and I am not a person with a lot of money, so where will the MONEY come from or where SHOULD it come from. I feel that anyone that believes in the concept that I come up with and the artists I support in a variety of ways on my radio shows and promoting to my networks a several social media sites…they should come on board with me and help me raise the funds to support the beginnings of Flava’s Lounge.  I feel we the people should be our own investors…But They Don’t or very few have stepped up to support the concept and need.  I am so extremely grateful to those that have give and in-kind gift and I am still hopeful that others will come on board. 

14225527_162217300885719_8365955627218739920_nBefore my Daddy’s passing last year, he gave $100.00 a month towards Unity Through Arts Exchange/Flava’s Lounge because he believed in it and wanted to show his support in hopes that will encourage others to join in.  I have tried to encourage especially Indie Artists to join me in building by everyone giving a $1.00 to $5.00/$10.00 a month and we could raise a significant amount in a short amount of time…What a struggle, the numbers will not come on board with this concept and join me in building a foundation for ARTISTS.

I have wondered is it because they do not give  because there is a lack of trust in me?  I have been consistent over 10 years in doing the work…shouldn’t that be proof that I am sincere in what I want to do in support of great talents.  I shake my head in disbelief and with lack of understanding on what I need to say and do to get people on board with Unity Through Arts Exchange/Flava’s Lounge.

I am the face of FLAVA’S LOUNGE #VEGAS, but the project is for Quality Indie Artists that have Mastered their Craft and ready to hit a stage in Vegas. flavas-lounge-vegas-1 I came up with Flava’s Lounge based off of conversations that I have had time and time again, with disappointed Indie Artists from here in Seattle where I am, to across the United States to even around The Globe…Indie Artists are treated like the industry’s step children, than with the support and respect that many of them deserve.  I want to make sure everyone that needs to and deserves to gets paid, to be apart of Flava’s Lounge.  I do not want to base the responsibilities on what is made at the door, and I don’t want to seek any investor who I will need to payback with interest, immediately after the show.  I have heard horrible stories about both ways.

Tell me, am I wrong for believing that we can united to create our own lane? Am I wrong for wanting to raise the funds to pay for the venue, light & sound person, pay the band and DJ and pay 3 amazing featured performers?  It feels like I am wrong to want to do this, or I am not famous enough for people to come on board.

So I face a great challenge in supporting Indie Artists.  Everything that I do in support of Indie Artists, I pay for from my own money with no reimbursement from anywhere.  Does it make me bitter, no just frustrated.  I want to build with others and give others, I would like to have a planning committee to help make the decisions of how this  will come together and who should be chosen for the event.  It would be awesome to build this to the point, where I can hire staff and turn it into a profit making business that grows and grows in it’s capabilities.

We live in an era where people feel “entitled” and want this handed to them verses working hard with the right people to created opportunities.  I personally and professionally feel that the digital era has taken the value away from paying for Art…Once upon a time you knew when a new album, 45, book or movie was going to come out and you saved the money to purchase the product and the experience.  Now it’s all about digital downloads and everything needs to be purchased online verses an actual store.  I also believe the digital downloads looses sales because not everyone has the capability to buy online or they do not feel comfortable in buying online.  So how does that dilemma get resolved?

How do we come together and make success stories for many in the Indie Artists Community…Can we build it together, or is that just out of the question? photostudio_1486519601739 I thank my Daddy and the few that have given to Unity Through Arts Exchange/Flava’s Lounge…Together we have raised $724.00 ($500.00 of it was gifted from Unity Through Arts Exchange)  I have set up a CD Account for the money that has been raised through along with in-kind gifts I receive in person, and through paypal and square.

I have been given information for an arts grant that I am going to apply for.  So send me good vibes that I will be among the ones selected.  It will help expand my radio show, host Flava’s Lounge and develop a strong promotional and marketing program for everything I do in support of local, national and international indie artists. And when I speak about Artists, I am speaking about Artists of all genres and all art forms.

At times I feel like giving up, but then I wake up and continue to promote and encourage people, Artists, Industry People, Fans and those that Follow me on Social Media to join me in building this foundation for Indie Artists, I am pulled into my purpose and mission…I am Grassroots but effective in so many ways and I want to keep this concept and project grassroots.

For Us By Us (Daymond John FUBU)  We really don’t need anyone but ourselves to build. Think about it…Jace ECAj and I have had a conversation many times over the years that goes like this “if everyone we knew and everyone on our social medias gave $1.00, that would amount to a great foundation to work from.”  When I speak to my business mentor she gets frustrated and says, Susan, you should be asking for $100.00 and not $1.00.”  I understand why she says this and I believe that it will get to that point where I can and will be able to request more…Today, my request is based more on united than the actually amount  donated.

I have had the opportunity to have a matching funds sponsor.  The requirements was to raise a certain dollar amount and by a certain number of people and they would match what was raise.  Well, you can guess that, that didn’t happen.

15027842_10211118395904561_8039522266613141828_nI would love some feedback from people on what I am trying to do in support of creating an Indie Artists Platform and Foundation of Financial Support.

We are living in a time where our country is falling apart, not coming together based on the person that somehow was voted into our presidential office.

People still don’t understand that we have power in uniting together to effect change.  I am here to advocate in making a change and placing value on Indie Artists and allowing them to be financially compensated for their creativity.  Could you imagine if ART did not exist?  No music, no books, no visual art, no creative chefs, no clothing designers…no colors and designs, no textures…Art is all around us every single day, I think we take that for granted.

I fight for Underground, Independent Artists, The Unknown Artists…I see them as amazing soulz that need a leg up for mass exposure.  I will continue to advocate for Unity Through Arts Exchange/Flava’s Lounge.  Several times before my Daddy passed in 2016, he told me that my ministry was with artists, and I take this very seriously, this is not a game nor pass time for me.


Again, I hope you will post your thoughts, I appreciate your feedback.

Learn more about Unity Through Arts Exchange and Flava’s Lounge by clicking the links below.

Unity Through Arts Exchange  Building a support foundation for Artists from all art forms and genres.

unity through arts exchange






Flava’s Lounge #Vegas Meet & Greet, Open Mic and Showcase 2017 14089276_156657658108350_5120801965829790689_n







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Morning Coffee with Flava 06/11 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Morning Coffee with Flava 06/11 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Welcome to Morning Coffee with Flava where I shared some stories of my trip to Vegas, shared s few thoughts as usual and brought you the musical flava of: Jon Bibbs-Gone ft Conya Doss, Ledisi-Coffee, Jefferson-Early Morning, Tony Terry-All I Need, Keyan Williams-Thought I Told You, Four80East-Noodle Soup, Paul Davis-Brand New Day, Mycle Wastman-As Long As I’m With You closing out with Mista Chatman-Waiting ft Sistah Luv,

The Sounds of Paris Toon & Music Family 05/29 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

The Sounds of Paris Toon & Music Family 05/29 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.

Sharing The Sounds of Paris Toon & His Music Family with tracks: Brooklyn Baby, Pop’s Barbershop & Sweet Tooth 4 Chocolate ft Mothers Favorite Child…Ordinary Man ft Cree Smooth, Music Like This ft Tanya Ti`et, No Choice ft Nik West, Love Temptation Insanity ft iAm Jones…Nik West called in….Naturally Me ft Meelah, Numb ft Morris Alan & Pimp Strut ft Mothers Favorite Child…Vaughn Willis called in…closing with Who Are You ft Vaughn Will and then Sick by CeCe Peniston. You can find out more about Paris Toon and His Music Family

 (This was the top listened to show LIVE in the history of Lady Flava being on the radio since 2009)

Flava’s Global Listening Party 05/26 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Flava’s Global Listening Party 05/26 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Welcome to Flava’s Global Listening Party sharing the sounds of artists from around the world, like : Rajdulari-Natural, Promise Marks-Sunshine, Ida Divine-IG My Shoe Game, Mista Chatman-Waiting ft Sistah Luv, Dave Tolliver-Greatest, Chris Starr-Your Show, Paris Toon-Sick ft CeCe Peniston, Neo Souljah-He Played Me, Monica Monet-Simply Beautiful, Noel Gourdin-Foxxxy, John Michael-Just A Man, Calvin Richardson-We Gon’ Love Tonite, Collette- Ready For Love, India Shawn-Be Myself closing out with Conya Doss-Reaching For The Stars

Flava’s Global Listening Party 05/19 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Flava’s Global Listening Party 05/19 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Welcome to Flava’s Global Listening Party…Sit back, relax and enjoy the Funky Sounds of: Blaque Ahys-Indigo Moon, Da Phatfunk Clique-Dawning Mist, Stephen Jerome Ferguson-Construction Phase, Ida Divine-Flute of Eden, Christopher Fields-Black Man, Darryl “Z” Fields-Good Thang, 2unes-Upside Down Funky, Melvin Chenault-Peace & HairGrease, Michael Walker-Sweet Swag ft Earl “Tee” Harris, Jerone Da Entertainer-Solo, Tony Bunn-Mystique closing out with Marc VanClaggett- Egyptian Nights

Morning Coffee with Flava 05/14 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Morning Coffee with Flava 05/14 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Welcome to Morning Coffee with Flava…I rolled out of bed for this one…LOL…shared why I was wide awake at 1am PST, other stories and thought along with playing: Stephen Jerome Ferguson-Born Leader, Ida Divine-IG My Shoe Game, Mista Chatman-Watiing ft Sistah Luv, Sistah Luv-Bam Bams, Nichelle Colvin-Next Pay Day, HoneyB Larochelle-Hey Love, Kashy Keegan-Believe In You, Paris Toon/MFC-Ordinary Man ft Cree Turner closing out with Marc VanClaggett (the Marlex of FMarlex Radio) with his piece Windsor Mill Road.

Flava’s Global Listening Party 05/12 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Flava’s Global Listening Party 05/12 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Welcome to Flava’s Global Listening Party, where I play the sound of amazing indie artists from around the world.  Tonight I shared the musical flava of: Larie`-Fallen In Love, D Millz-Holla Back, Ida Divine- Sometimes, The Jefferson-No Surprise, JC Flow-Hold You Down ft Tiffany Wilson, Black Stax-I Love My Life, Nina Bradlin-Right Where You Are, Heston-My Kinda Lady, Mama’s Moonshine-Collapsing In An Elegant Way, David Britt-Say What I Want To Hear, Kamilean-My Shining Light, Brian Christopher-In The Groove ft Mycah Chavalier, Yewande-Amazing, Dave Tolliver-Greatest and closing out with Tidez-Tonight

Flava Coffee House on Mother’s Day 05/11 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Flava Coffee House on Mother’s Day 05/11 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Celebrating the women that play the roles for children young and old…We honor you…Sharing the music of: Boyz 2 Men-A Song For Mama, Darien Dean-All That I Am, Ralph Lofton-Unconditional Love, Ava Lemert-A Mother’s Song, Sean Hardin-We Worship You ft Detroit Mass Choir, Chris Jordan-Devoted, G Wright-All Things Are Possible, Stephen Jerome Ferguson-Faith, Radikl-My Angel, Keyan Williams-Thought I Told You, Joeleen-Little Child, Dehara September-You’ll Find Way, Celine Dion-Because You Loved, Antonio Farao`-Something, Ida Divine-Flute of Eden, Only1Wizer-#1 Queen, Pharrell Williams-Happy, Tasha Taylor-Queen, Chuck Eaton-Woman, Alvin L.A. Horn-The First Time I Saw My Mama Cry, Colie Williams-Black Love and closing out with The Intruders-I’ll Always Love My Mama…Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Flava’s Coast to Coast Hip Hop Listening Party 05/08 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Flava’s Coast to Coast Hip Hop Listening Party 05/08 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Flava’s Coast to Coast Hip Hop…Sharing the flava of: International Nova-Photogenic, A King Also-Marmalade Skies, Beat Bumma-Get Away ft JT, Smallz & Dosha, BK-Hardest Part ft Nappy Roots, Black Stax-Rap 4 Intellect (Jace), Clizark-Kush Talk-Cold Industry, Cloak The Scribe-Wake Up, Ordinary Childhood-Unconditionally, Shyan Selah-Angel, Swift Tongues-Seattle Sound ft Tracy Dyson, Terrell Barnes-City In The Skies ft Lost Sohl, Yiddim Seck-Sea Tac to Laguardia, Woo Child-Don’t I, Fredro Starr-Made In The Streets, JC Flow-Holding On ft Joint Inc and closing out with Lord Soldier-Heat Seekers ft Willis.  Flava’s Coast to Coast Hip Hop is Sponsored by JC Flow

Morning Coffee with Flava 05/07 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts

Morning Coffee with Flava 05/07 by FlavaMarlexRadio | Radio Podcasts.


Welcome to Morning Coffee with Flava…I was little sleep this morning but received a nice surprise when my daughter Tameko and grandson Matthew called into the show…I share a story about my evening Tuesday night as I was doing my Spectra Spotlight with Flava show and then play music by: Stephen Jerome Ferguson-Construction Phase, Paris Toon/MFC-Sick ft CeCe Peniston, Debut Mista Chatman’s-Waiting ft Sistah Luv, Dave Tolliver-Home, JC Flow-Fire To Our World ft Che Blaq, King Dro-Peace of Mind…Tameko & Matthew called in…Che Blaq-Ready closing out with Colie Williams-You (Reggae Love) Have a wonderful and blessed day!

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