As always, this episode of Planet Noun is about the People, Places, Things and Ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents.
Today’s guest is Jay Herriott of The 25th Project, an organization dedicated to helping the homeless on the 25th of each month—and beyond.
We met through my job, a former co-worker recommended him to me as a source for story ideas. I’ve interviewed him for work stories a couple of times, and wanted to talk a bit more with him, so I called him up for Planet Noun.
But HOW did his organization get started?
That’s pretty simple. It started with one meal from one restaurant—and a bit of sharing and an idea that blossomed from there.
During today’s episode, Jay mentions some statistics on homelessness in California. Click here to find more information about those numbers, or here.
Jay mentioned a news story about New York moving their homeless population to other locations. He didn’t specifically mention this article, but here’s one of several that are about this topic–one from CNN, and the other from a local ABC affiliate station.
I can’t help but think of Alice in Wonderland—the Disney movie…and the caterpillar with the hookah…asking Alice this question while blowing smokey designs in her face.
No smoke here…but the question remains the same.
Who ARE YOU?
What are you here to do?
What’s your gift?
No, I’m not talking about something you got for a birthday or holiday—if you celebrate those.
I’m talking about something that’s special about YOU…something that you were BORN with—that no one else can do just like you.
I’m not talking about a skill like playing an music instrument.
I’m not talking about talents either…but gifts.
But what’s the difference, you ask? That’s what today’s guest on Planet Noun is discussing in this episode. Fredrick Bussey also wrote a book about it.
So let’s get right into it…he’s a dad…a speaker and entrepreneur…founder of marketing and branding consultancy IconStatus…his work? Helping brands and individuals to convey their stories with more power.
More from Fredrick Bussey author of the book “Breaking Orbit: Rip Out of the Regular by Unearthing the Power Within” on Planet Noun.
Learn more about Bussey via his social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram:
So my sister and I met up for Essence Fest during the summer…it was the event’s 25th anniversary. And we had a BALL! We mainly went there this year for the music and the marketplace that showcased all of these black-owned and produced product.
So we were meandering through one aisle…and a gentleman approached us and started talking to us about our skin. We were both satisfied with our current products but wanted to learn more about this brand. Then he introduced us to the product line creator…who is today’s guest on Planet Noun…
So we tried the moisturizer on our hands…and were impressed with how our skin felt…supple-soft…and the product had no heavy scent…another plus for us.
Now sis and are loving Three Notes Skincare!
But how did this business get started? Simple…It started with an issue that needed a solution.
Take a listen to Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare—on Planet Noun.
00:00—A skin problem needs a solution
24:38—The meaning of Three Notes
35:30—Good news for the company
Today’s guest—Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare. She joined me from the Memphis area. We met at Essence Fest where there were LOTS of quality products for sale in their marketplace at the convention center in New Orleans.
Here are some other products and sites Tanzania mentioned during out chat:
Doughful website: An online marketplace for folks who create doughful deserts to those who plan events where such artfully crafted treats are served up and eaten. Learn more on the Doughful website: https://www.doughful.com
The Pupp Cleanse This book sparked from the time when Tanzania got a rash after the birth of one of her children. She developed an intense rash and chronicles the process she used to eradicate hers.
As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases
Life can abound with various challenges, but it’s up to us to take that stuff and make it into something better.
There are some folks in this universe who, despite challenges, imagine how they’d like life to look. Then they plan and move boldly in the direction of those dreams.
My next guest is one of those beautiful humans.
Deia Davis-Williams and I go way back to college. We’ve been connected on social media, but and saw each other in person for the first time in YEARS in New Orleans as Essence Fest was wrapping up. It was the first time at Essence Fest for either of us. Shoutout to Essence for such an awesome, affirming event!
Deia is a publicist…and founder of ExquisteM Public Relations. She’s also in law school and is very specific about her goals and the impact she wants to have in the African-American community.
Take a listen to this driven sister’s story…On Planet Noun.
00:00—Deia’s organic road to becoming a publicist.
04:35—The role family plays in the ExquisteM brand
10:20—How she knows the law path is right for her and for giving back to her community
38:15—So who are some of her clients? You know I TRIED to find out…
39:02—How Deia rolls when she walks into a room when there aren’t many people like her present
Thanks for listening to this episode featuring Deia Davis-Williams of public relations firm ExquisteM! Quite a few nuggets to remember in each episode… A key from this one to remember: Set clear goals, and if you want to reach them, figure out a way do so with persistence, honest hard work and integrity.
It’s always exciting when a new episode drops…this one is no exception. It’s the second of two collaboration episodes with Liliana and Tamara of Barely Bougie Mamas—a podcast that was released during the summer.
If you haven’t heard last week’s episode, take a listen after you get through with this one.
So Barely Bougie Mamas is a podcast featuring Liliana and Tamara—two moms who grew up in poverty—but have crafted lives for themselves and their kids that are totally different from their own upbringings…and all of the funnies and concerns that stem from those differences.
My sister Lea and I joined them at Liliana’s home in Southern California for some kiki-ing and questions.
Last week, we talked about some of their experiences growing up vs. how their kids are growing up.
And this week, Liliana, Tamara, My sister Lea and I talk about something Le-Le and I know…being single, childless aunties….And the role all aunties play in the family fabric. Whether they’re linked by bloodlines or play aunties that are for real-real with their care, concern and involvement.
So let’s get to it with the Barely Bougie Mamas and Planet Noun:
Topics and timecodes:
03:13—Dealing with annoying comments like “You’re not married? You don’t have kids? And you’re HAPPY?” (Answer: Hell to the yes! Contented, single and childless women do exist, they’re real people)
08:55—Aunties to O.P.K.-Other People’s Kids
10:19—The Sister-in-Law Co-Parent (Tamara says don’t skip your visitations) & the Auntie Posse
14:15—Unmarried Aunties, do you realize your importance (and not just for babysitting)?
17:30—Liliana’s experience as a single, childless auntie
21:28—The fun auntie
29:32—An auntie’s listening ear
35:05—Forging the relationship with a potential auntie in your life
If this is the first time you’ve heard of them, they have several episodes already released…12 of them…13 including this one.
I’m always excited when a new episode comes out…this one is no exception. It’s one of two back-to-back collaboration episodes we’re dropping today and next Thursday. Planet Noun’s first collaboration ever—and it’s with Liliana and Tamara of Barely Bougie Mamas—a podcast that was released during the summer..
A capsule-sized explanation of their show—it’s about two moms who grew up in poverty—but have crafted lives for themselves and their kids that are totally different from their own upbringings…and all of the funnies and concerns that stem from those differences.
My sister Lea and I joined them at Liliana’s home in Southern California for some ki-ki-ing and questions.
A little background…Tamara and I met the afternoon this was recorded…But she’s listened to some Planet Noun episodes, and I’ve listened to Barely Bougie Mamas shows.
Liliana and I grew up together. My sis and I have known her for years. Matter of fact, we go so far back, I don’t remember WHEN we met. My mom says it was at church when we were wee children who were sat in the class for babies, toddlers and under fivers. We used to sit next to each other and suck our thumbs, mom said.
That’s enough intro! There’s cussing in this episode. You’ve been warned…now listen in!
1:32 — How Tamara and Liliana met, then learned they had things in common
20:22—Dealing with bullies
21:03—Snitching then and now
41:55—Whose kids are more bougie? Tear-jerking experiences with their children
51:13—What to expect from Barely Bougie Mamas podcast
If this is the first time you’ve heard of them, they have several episodes already released…12 of them…13 including this one.
Listen to Liliana and Tamara, the Barely Bougie Mamas, on Anchor FM
Sometimes romantic relationships SUCK. Especially when they run off the rails…whether it be from growing differences between relatants or if someone just up and decides they don’t want you anymore, but they don’t bother to tell you about it.
Basically—when someone ghosts you.
Today’s guest experienced ghosting…she was the ghostee—if you will. Old boy turned her loose, but didn’t verbally communicate that to her—and wouldn’t communicate with her as she tried to get to the bottom of things.
So Lenina Mortimer wrote a book about it—to help someone else along the ghastly breakup recovery path.
Take a listen to Lenina Mortimer, author of the book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”
Let’s get this mourning in motion…On Planet Noun.
1:50—Getting the un-holy ghost(ting)
3:09—Discovering the root of dysfunctional relationships
6:24—Creating the Breakup Funeral
14:51—Timing: When is it best to hold a breakup funeral?
19:20—Why separation is healthy after a breakup/Why the Breakup Funeral is a communal experience
25:54—Running into the ghosted
30:09—A love letter to black women
35:32—Self-care is crucial to breakup recovery
38:50—Steering clear of breakup traps
41:31—To forgive or not to forgive?And when?
Get your e-book copy
Find out more about Lenina Mortimer and her work! Let’s start with a link to her e-book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”
Lenina’s also on social media. You can learn more about her coaching services there. Facebook Instagram
When you know what you do best, sticking to your guns—as singer-songwriter PJ Morton writes and sings—is how to get your life’s work done.
Today’s podcast guest is N’Namdi Olufemi Bryant, a singer-songwriter and host of the podcast “For the Love of A Cappella.” We get into some themes of his latest album during this episode. It’s titled “If We Could Only Talk.”
So N’Namdi and I had been talking about doing a podcast together for MONTHS, but as usual, life takes on its own plans. We were going to have him on before an album release earlier this year, then tech difficulties took over his project.
But the idea was still in both of our orbits. So—lookie here—I saw on Instagram that N’Namdi was in Washington, D.C. I said to myself—GIRL…..let’s make this happen! If you don’t ask him if he’ll have time for an interview—it’s an automatic no!
I asked if he had an time to chat. He said yes, and here it is! It all worked out.
So we met up at the Mansion on O Street. It’s a tourist destination located just off the bustling Dupont Circle, and has a fascinating trove of history tied to it. It’s also where N’Namdi sometimes performs.
There are so many themes to this podcast, and to preserve the integrity of the conversation flow, I tried not to do too much lifting and pasting of interview parts. We talk about negative self-talk, and what N’Namdi does to overcome that hurdle. Also—a discussion on imperfection and about the different ways he stretched his vocal range.
During our talk I learned some things I didn’t know in the decades since we last saw each other.
So let’s get right to the conversation, where we start talking about his podcast “For the Love of A Capella,”and where he got the idea for his program.
07:55-Why it took him more than 10 years to complete one particular song arrangement
11:05—The makings and stories behind his current project “If We Could Only Talk”
21:30—How Kermit the Frog came up in our conversation
26:06—The road to vocal range
31:51—The time we talked about skylines and smog
33:39—Homeless in Huntsville, Ala. and Nashville
49:59—The part about albums, hilarious singing telegram and touching ride-share driver stories
That was N’Namdi Bryant…singer, songwriter, musical arranger…lover of a cappella! His new project “If We Could Only Talk” and his other albums are available on various online platforms–including iTunes.
In this episode of Planet Noun, a chat with an up-and-coming…award-winning jazz musician Jazmin Ghent.
When she learned she won the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album, Ghent was in the midst of a trip to Australia.
“So I was absolutely shocked, so shocked, and I feel like it changed the dynamic of that whole trip in Australia. I just know it’s no one but God, and I’m beyond thankful, and I don’t take it lightly. You know, I’m representing women, African American women in music, in Jazz music, so I’m beyond thankful and grateful.”
When she’s not belting smooth tunes from her saxophone, she’s in the classroom teaching music to children in Polk County, Florida.
We talk about her pathway to jazz music, the saxophone, and how names and other language used with children can affect the trajectory of their lives.
She also talks about how words from musicians she looks up to helped guide her path.
“I did this Show Your Talent competition. The judges were Marcus Miller, Brian Culbertson and Boney James… It was surreal to be in front of these people I grew up listening to,” Ghent said.
“I was so nervous before I played, and Brian Culbertson came up to me and said ‘you know what, just have fun. And if you have fun, everyone else will have fun, too.’ That was the moment where I was like—maybe I could do this and record, and write and make this a career. That would be a defining moment.”
Ghent says she is on a constant path of self-improvement when it comes to her musical gifts.
“I feel like there’s this unattainable goal that I have for myself that I’m constantly working towards. I just know I had a love for music and it’s what I wanted to pursue. I can’t see myself doing anything else. So that’s what turned it into a career…”
Planet Noun is all about the People, Places, Things and Ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents. That’s exactly what Ghent is doing with her teaching and her music.
Listen to the entire interview —featuring Jazmin Ghent, winner of the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album.
WARNING: This episode contains cussing. And it’s not all bleeped out. So govern yourselves accordingly with earbuds and such.
The Glow Up. Been hearing a lot about that lately. First of all—what the F is that? Well, intuitively, I know what it is…but I had to consult a reputable source…
So…the Urban Dictionary tells me the Glow Up is when you go from wack-looking to gorgeous… another definition is to rise to the top from the bottom of whatever aspirational ladder a person is climbing. The Free Dictionary’s idioms section says something similar—Basically, it’s a fantastic transformation—that’s very real.
Who doesn’t want the Glow Up? I mean, who isn’t fascinated by someone’s rise from out of nowhere?
Thing is—I’ve learned—it’s hardly EVER from nowhere. The folks you love and adore today—famous folks or maybe other folks—have likely been working their tails off for YEARS in order to get the results that are now visible to lots of people.
A lot of more time-established shows and podcasts interview folks AFTER their glow has started, and there’s everything RIGHT with that.
But what about the folks who are somewhere in the middle, folks who are not quite at the top or at the bottom, but somewhere in between?
Well, today’s guest took time off of his grind to talk to me.
His name is Patrick Fenison. He’s one of many people committed to meeting their aspirations.
We start our conversation with the time Pat started recognizing his glimmer—when he KNEW he was born to be a performer.
3:45—When Pat knew performing was for him 5:42—Pat ain’t got no sense! His path to becoming a comedian 8:10—I’m going for it! 14:09—Creating a fanbase, then a move upsets hometown momentum 23:43—Everyone’s not going to believe in you; the importance of guarding curating your energy spaces with like-minded people 34:13—A story behind his video “Drop It” 46:30—Where to find Pat on social media