Business Spotlight: Sound Mentality Productions

If you are looking for professional quality production services in the Houston, Austin, or College Station

area, you have to check out Sound Mentality Productions. This newly established and innovative music production company offers services in the production of high-end mixing, high-quality recording, marketing packages and much more. The Sound Mentality Team prides itself on delivering excellent production quality in any music genre.

Founded in 2011 by a group of like minded individuals who all dreamed of being a part of the music industry, the Sound Mentality Team combined their knowledge and skill sets to create one cohesive company that could service artists, record labels, and entertainment and marketing companies. Their team of producers, song writers, artists, and management produce a level of professionalism that many in the music industry yearn for. They stress that Sound Mentality is more than just another production company, it’s a movement.

This young company has big dreams to make major waves in the music industry in the coming years. They tell us that they have no limits. They are building the foundation to create a demanding presence in Texas as well as the entire southern region. They are confident in their talents and services, and tell us “We are a new and innovative company on the rise and we don’t want you to miss your chance of getting to know Sound Mentality Productions and all this movement has to offer you.”

-Coyo Alexander

www.soundmentalityproductions.com

“Sling Shot” – Justin Johnson

“Sling Shot” was a grade school nickname that Justin Johnson had to quickly outgrow if he wanted to become a professional basketball player. Johnson was given the nickname by his 7th grade coach after he witnessed Johnson placing the ball behind his head and shooting. The coach couldn’t help but call him “Sling Shot” after that. The coach also told him, “Don’t think about making varsity if you keep shooting like that.” Needless to say, it was a cry for help. Instead of allowing the coach’s comment to discourage him, Johnson used his words as fuel to get better and practiced changing his jump shot. Hard work pays off; not only did he make varsity in high school but he also was never called “SlingShot” again.

Johnson was born and raised in Tyler, Texas and attended Tyler Junior College where he played basketball for two years. He then took his talents to Iowa University. There, during March Madness, Johnson hit eight three-pointers against Ohio State University. After his college career, Johnson played in the D. League for Sioux Falls Skyforce from 2008-2009. In the 2012 D. League Draft, he was selected in the 8th round as pick 15 by the Austin Toros. Currently, Johnson is completing his second year as a professional basketball player overseas in Japan.

During his first year in Japan, he experienced the huge earthquake and tsunami that occurred killing thousands of people. “One minute everything was fine and the next minute you felt the ground shaking. It stopped and then minutes later it continued again. The team manager rushed all the American players to the airport and got us to safety. All I remember is thinking about my teammates that couldn’t come with us and praying for them and their families,” stated Johnson. After having gone through that terrifying experience, he told himself he would never play basketball in Japan again but he found himself playing for his current team, the Fukuoka Rizing. Despite the team preparing for playoffs, I was able reach Johnson in Japan for an interview.

Vesti: Who introduced you to basketball and when did you first realize you had a love for the sport?

Johnson: My mom was the one that introduced me to basketball. It wasn’t until 7th grade when I changed my jump shot, that I realized I had a love for basketball.

Vesti: What was the hardest thing about being a college athlete vs. a professional athlete?

Johnson: In college the hardest thing for me was that your whole day was arranged by the coaches. We were barely able to have a life outside of basketball. The hardest thing with having basketball as a career is making sure you stay employed.

Vesti: What do you like to eat to fuel up for a game and what foods do you try and stay away from? As far as drinks are concerned, do you prefer Gatorade or Poweraid?

Johnson: I’m not really a big nutrition guy. I eat anything. When it comes to drinks, whichever is cheaper when I walk into the gas station is what I purchase.

Vesti: Lol, you’re funny, truthful but funny. If you could create a two-on-two basketball game against anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Johnson: It would be Kobe, Hakeem, and I vs. Lebron and Shaq.

Vesti: Yeah, you better add a third person on your team because y’all couldn’t win without him, lol. What are some of the things you do off the court for the community?

Johnson: Please, Kobe can beat both Lebron and Shaq with his eyes closed if he wanted to. Off the court, I help out at basketball camps. I also help high school students during the week on fundamental skills and reinsure that if you want to play basketball then you have to be committed to receiving an education as well.

Justin Johnson has also started his own blog which gets published in his hometown’s daily newspaper in Tyler, Texas. I had an amazing time interviewing Mr. Johnson. On the behalf of fyihouston, your fans, and family we wish you luck in the playoffs this month.

“I want to be remembered as a competitor in life that wants to get better as a

person everyday on earth, while also having a positive influence on family, friends, and strangers.” – Justin R. Johnson

VestiSports

by

Vestina Okeke“Sling Shot” was a grade school nickname that Justin Johnson had to quickly outgrow if he wanted to become a professional basketball player. Johnson was given the nickname by his 7th grade coach after he witnessed Johnson placing the ball behind his head and shooting. The coach couldn’t help but call him “Sling Shot” after that. The coach also told him, “Don’t think about making varsity if you keep shooting like that.” Needless to say, it was a cry for help. Instead of allowing the coach’s comment to discourage him, Johnson used his words as fuel to get better and practiced changing his jump shot. Hard work pays off; not only did he make varsity in high school but he also was never called “SlingShot” again.

Johnson was born and raised in Tyler, Texas and attended Tyler Junior College where he played basketball for two years. He then took his talents to Iowa University. There, during March Madness, Johnson hit eight three-pointers against Ohio State University. After his college career, Johnson played in the D. League for Sioux Falls Skyforce from 2008-2009. In the 2012 D. League Draft, he was selected in the 8th round as pick 15 by the Austin Toros. Currently, Johnson is completing his second year as a professional basketball player overseas in Japan.

During his first year in Japan, he experienced the huge earthquake and tsunami that occurred killing thousands of people. “One minute everything was fine and the next minute you felt the ground shaking. It stopped and then minutes later it continued again. The team manager rushed all the American players to the airport and got us to safety. All I remember is thinking about my teammates that couldn’t come with us and praying for them and their families,” stated Johnson. After having gone through that terrifying experience, he told himself he would never play basketball in Japan again but he found himself playing for his current team, the Fukuoka Rizing. Despite the team preparing for playoffs, I was able reach Johnson in Japan for an interview.

Vesti: Who introduced you to basketball and when did you first realize you had a love for the sport?

Johnson: My mom was the one that introduced me to basketball. It wasn’t until 7th grade when I changed my jump shot, that I realized I had a love for basketball.

Vesti: What was the hardest thing about being a college athlete vs. a professional athlete?

Johnson: In college the hardest thing for me was that your whole day was arranged by the coaches. We were barely able to have a life outside of basketball. The hardest thing with having basketball as a career is making sure you stay employed.

Vesti: What do you like to eat to fuel up for a game and what foods do you try and stay away from? As far as drinks are concerned, do you prefer Gatorade or Poweraid?

Johnson: I’m not really a big nutrition guy. I eat anything. When it comes to drinks, whichever is cheaper when I walk into the gas station is what I purchase.

Vesti: Lol, you’re funny, truthful but funny. If you could create a two-on-two basketball game against anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Johnson: It would be Kobe, Hakeem, and I vs. Lebron and Shaq.

Vesti: Yeah, you better add a third person on your team because y’all couldn’t win without him, lol. What are some of the things you do off the court for the community?

Johnson: Please, Kobe can beat both Lebron and Shaq with his eyes closed if he wanted to. Off the court, I help out at basketball camps. I also help high school students during the week on fundamental skills and reinsure that if you want to play basketball then you have to be committed to receiving an education as well.

Justin Johnson has also started his own blog which gets published in his hometown’s daily newspaper in Tyler, Texas. I had an amazing time interviewing Mr. Johnson. On the behalf of fyihouston, your fans, and family we wish you luck in the playoffs this month.

“I want to be remembered as a competitor in life that wants to get better as a

person everyday on earth, while also having a positive influence on family, friends, and strangers.” – Justin R. Johnson

VestiSports

by

Vestina Okeke

Cadillacs in Space

The young talented sing and performer Robyn Troup has been on the rise to stardom since she began singing in her Grandfather’s church as a young girl. Born and raised in Third Ward, Houston, TX—so you know she’s real, Robyn grew up singing in front of her church family at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and in the Ensemble Theater, and realized her destiny as an entertainer ever since she saw her first movie on the big screen saying, “I just always wanted to be up on that screen.”

During her school years Robyn continued to sing and develop her voice but she really came into her own while attending Jack Yates high school where she decided to step out of her shell and be herself. She recalls “I always used to be extremely shy back in the day when it came to performing in front of people. I knew I wanted to do it, but growing up as the preacher’s grandkid everyone was expecting me to be so much more polite and sweet and unassuming. That really led to a lot of depression and self-loathing throughout my school years. But in high school I overcame that fear by facing it directly. I just started singing to anyone at anytime for any reason.”During high school Robyn joined several girl groups and worked on her own music, growing her confidence each time. Her defining moment came when she went to college at USC and decided to take her dream seriously.

While in Los Angeles Robyn singed with Emblem Music Group under the Warner Bros. label. During that time she joined a rock band called Beverly Kills, wrote a ton of hot rock songs, and toured Los Angeles and San Diego. She also worked on Carlos Santana’s cover of Back in Black with rapper Nas, and Rob Thomas on his album Diamonds. After three successful years with Emblem they parted ways and she started work on her solo project Robyn the Bank. As her solo project evolved, her good friend and fellow singer/songwriter Shy Carter invited Robyn into the studio to collaborate on a track with him and ‘Backwoods’ rapper, Aleon Craft. The rest is history. Robyn tells us, “After the song was finished we realized we had something special and formed this new bomb group called ‘Cadillacs in Space’.” After joining forces they quickly signed with Interscope Records and are getting set to release their music in the coming months (check out their latest music HERE).

Now that Robyn has found her home, she continues to focus on creating timeless music, touring the world, and is also very passionate about infiltrating the fashion scene. Check out her fashion blog www.robynhoodscloset.com. Robyn loves to connect with her fans and makes herself available to them through her numerous social networks and blogs. Judging by ‘Cadillacs in Space’ latest song Overdose, we can surely expect nothing less than greatness from Robyn. She definitely makes Houston proud.

-Coyo Alexander

Cadillacs in Space – Overdose

Business Spotlight: Verticality Pole Fitness

“My students motivate me—I want to bring them the best class I can possibly provide.” –Christine Spiro, Owner, Verticality Pole Fitness

Nestled comfortably in the quiet and conservative River Oaks area of Houston, TX, lies an extravagant dance and fitness studio unlike the traditional ones familiar to the neighborhood. Welcome to Verticality Pole Fitness, an innovative dance studio that offers pole dancing fitness classes that combine elements of dance, gymnastics, strength and flexibility into a fun and empowering workout as way to get fit and stay in shape.

Founder, Christine Spiro began her journey with a vision to design a workout that women (and men—yes, men) of all ages could enjoy and continue long term. Six years ago, Christine struggled with motivation during her mundane workout routine and found it difficult to remain consistent. She had heard about pole dancing, and decided to give it a try. Christine exclaims, “It was the most challenging—and fun—workout I had ever done, and I still love it today!” The rest is history. Christine opened the doors to Verticality Pole Fitness in June 2011.

While you may be thinking of exotic dancing while imagining pole dancing, understand that pole dancing is an art that has been proven as a great way to condition, tone the core and lower body, as well as stretch the muscles. The best thing is that you won’t notice you’re working out! Christine strives to design classes that are focused on having fun and building confidence, all while getting in shape. You will also appreciate the personal attention you will receive in the small classes. Spiro is dedicated to providing customers with the best experience possible. She explains, “I want to grow by satisfying the needs of our current customers. My biggest challenge is putting together a class each week that pleases our customers. I want to offer a class that is fun, challenging, and safe; which can be quite a balancing act.”

If you’re not ready for pole dancing just yet, don’t fret. Verticality Pole Fitness also offers chair and belly dance classes if those are more your speed. They also offer private lessons, as well as private parties for those who want to celebrate a special occasion, or just get a group of friends together for a fun night out. Whatever experience you’re looking for, Christine Spiro at Verticality Pole Fitness has got you covered.

-Coyo Alexander

www.verticalityfitness.com
Facebook verticality pole fitness
Twitter @verticalityfit
Youtube channel: verticality fit

“I hate fat people at Popeye’s in South Park on Tuesdays. If a drunk walks into a bar, the bartender will not serve him, so when a fat person walks into a fast food restaurant, they shouldn’t be served either.” –Marcus Bowers, Comedian

Hot date? Going through some things? Just need a good laugh? You have to hear Marcus Bowers!!! His comedy is based on daily life and current events and whether it is funny or not, he will make you laugh. He travels often throughout the nation but you can find him most of the time in his hometown Houston, Texas; South Park to be exact. When he was in school he was the class clown, then he took his comedy to social networks, and now you can find him on stage. His last major project was opening for CoCo Brown at the Houston Improv during All Star weekend in Houston, Texas. “I am not your average human being” says Bowers.

Bowers speaks on true events and real ideas. People constantly tell him to tone it down, especially when he jokes about fat people at Popeye’s on Tuesdays. “I hate fat people at Popeye’s in South Park on Tuesdays. If a drunk walk into a bar, the bartender will not serve him, so when a fat person walks into a fast food restaurant, they shouldn’t be served either.” He is aware of the obesity problem in America and so many other problems; he prefers to bring laughter to these issues. He does not mean any harm to anyone. While he means no harm, the comedian/entrepreneur’s candid delivery is his biggest problem in the entertainment industry because he often has to watch what he says.

Not only is Marcus Bowers a hilarious comedian, he also owns a hair boutique with local celebrity ‘Just Brittany’ as one of his models. He also has his teacher certification, is a former navy seal, and holds a college degree in engineering. He feels he can help the next generation because he is someone that everyone can relate to one way or another. In the future, he wants to be recognized as the best script/comedy creator of all time.

-Tinka Bell Israel

www.sheshappyhair.com

instagram @marcusbowerspics

twitter @marcusbowers

Jordan Pugh – Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins DB, Jordan Pugh, had a love for baseball as a child but had a change of heart after one blistering Texas day. “I remember burning up while sitting in center field thinking this is not fun. No one is hitting me the ball and I am burning up for no reason, so why should I continue to play this sport,” recalled Pugh. That day he went to his father and told him he wanted to play football.

Since then football has been his everything. Pugh played football at Plano West High School and later proceeded to play football at Texas A&M University. There Pugh’s football skills and knowledge enhanced, permitting him to become a prospect for the 2010 NFL draft. Pugh was drafted in the 6th round by the Carolina Panthers. After being with the Panthers for two seasons, he was released by their organization. However, Pugh wasn’t a free agent for very long. He was signed by the Washington Redskins before the 2012 season. As a Redskin, Pugh received his first career sack on Joe Flacco in week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens, along with his first playoff run. I was able to catch-up with Mr. Pugh during this off season to see how life has been both on and off the field.

Vesti: Looking back at the 2010 NFL Draft, how did it feel to know all your hard work had finally paid off when you were selected by the Carolina Panthers?

Pugh: It’s a feeling you can’t describe. It’s something you’ve always prayed for when you first start playing the sport. You want to reach the highest level possible and when I received that call from the Panthers organization, I was beyond happy. Although, getting that call was joyful, it also added pressure because now your mindset is to prove to them that they didn’t make the wrong decision by selecting you.

Vesti: When you arrived at North Carolina, would you say A&M prepared you enough for the league?

Pugh: Yes, physically and mentally they did prepare me. The hardest part was adjusting to the demands of the league and the business side as well.

Vesti: You have always intrigued me when it came to your religious beliefs. Can you inform everyone on what your beliefs are and how you feel He challenged you while you were playing for the Carolina Panthers?

Pugh: I’m a big faith guy and I believe in God. The biggest things you face in this league are pride, money, and women. It can get hard trying to do the right thing when you consistently see these things daily. When you remember your purpose and why God put you here it gets easier to handle.

Vesti: What transpired with the Panthers that caused the move to the Redskins?

Pugh: Honestly, I have no idea. That’s the thing being in this league, it’s a business. You never get the real reason why things happen the way they do. I wish I did know what transpired but I don’t.

Vesti: How was it going from Cam Newton to RGIII? Who would you say is the biggest Diva?

Pugh: Lmao on the Diva question and no comment. When it comes to going from Cam to RGIII, they are honestly one in the same. I’m a fan of both and yeah they have different things to offer but all in all they are both winners. It comes down to who you prefer. I was honored to be on the same team with Cam and I am now honored to be playing on the same team with RGIII.

Vesti: Since the move to the Redskins, how has your on field play improved?

Pugh: Just playing football overtime has helped improve my skills. Physically, you improve through different coaches. While I’ve been with the Redskins, I’ve improved with breaking down the film and moving it over to on field play.

Vesti: I’ve always called you Plano since the day we met because that’s the part of Dallas you are from. Your high school, Plano West, has recently retired your football jersey. Is it safe to say that you are Mr. Plano now?

Pugh: Lol, no I wouldn’t say I’m Mr. Plano but I am definitely honored that they choose to retire my jersey. It goes to show my hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

Vesti: Since the season is over, what are some of the things you’ve been doing in the community?

Pugh: The past two years, I’ve started my own foundation called Pushing

Upward Going Higher; PUGH. I have collaborated with my high school, PlanoWest, to reach students who have academic passion along with their athletic ability to show them that they have not been overlooked. When playing a team sport, not everyone gets noticed for all their hard work that they have contributed to the team. I take the time to mentor these kids and let them know that they are not being forgotten. I award one student every year that distributes hard work in their academics as well as their on field play.

Jordan Pugh is not only a professional football player, he is also a business man and a public speaker. Check him out at http://www.jordanpugh29.com. Thank you, Mr. Pugh for a wonderful interview. To football fans all over I say: continue to watch and follow Pugh on his journey with the Washington Redskins as they battle to reach the SuperBowl this coming 2013 season.

“The two biggest things that I am about are being a business man and a mentor. I love getting to know people, talking to people, and helping people. Since God has blessed me, I try to lend out a helping hand as much as I can.” – Jordan Pugh

VestiSports
by
Vestina Okeke

Sky Culture: Stay True to Yourself

Urban flare, street, and also simplicity are just a few examples that Sky Culture Clothing owners, Corey & Corey use in their line to express themselves. Growing up and always fly, repping brands of clothing that other kids never heard of. They always had an eye for fashion, so during college the two innovative young men and a few others established an organization of individuals with similar styles and creativity working to break the mold of fashion and mainstream society. “We want our clothing to appeal to the masses, not just skateboarding and surfing, but we want to hit every demographic and genre of streetwear.”

The Sky Culture Clothing line targets 13 to 40 year olds. It is classy and comfortable, but at the same time simple and sleek. Gaurantees creativity and swagger.The fashion line consists of graphic tees, hoodys, 5 panels, snapbacks, long sleeves, and accessories to go along with their trendy fashions. Currently, their Spring line has a strong influence of retro and camo colors.
“Sky Culture Clothing was a blessing in disguise.” Their original name was Supernova, but unfortunately Adidas got their hands on it. So the young aspiring professionals put Sky Culture name with their signature classic parachute logo with their slogan, “Created in the Clouds.” It was sky’s the limit from there. The clothing line has grown and expanded immensely. Corey, one of the founders, mother is a huge support and major part of the business. So if you have ever received your shipment in one day of ordering, it was because of her.

To stay up on their game, the founders are constantly reading up on upcoming trends about what’s hot and what’s not. They consider themselves visionaries. They have a personal designer who brings their designs to life. Sky Culture Clothing has a lot of different fashions and goals in the next couple of years. Some influencing brands of Sky Culture are fashion labels such as: Diamond, 10 Deep, Entree and UNDEFTD, just to name a few. We can look forward to their upcoming sneakers and fitted sweatpants with in their next several lines.