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Table Talk w/Rachel Kline of Philadelphia Funk Authority

Ladies and gentlemen…

…………..it’s time to prepare to get all sorts of funked up for the start of your final weekend of February.

Tomorrow night, the much celebrated local music group Philadelphia Funk Authority will be taking over the stage at World Cafe Live, and it’s a soon-to-be stellar evening of entertainment that we must ALL show our love and support to for a beautiful musical buffet of incredible reasons.

First, gettin’ down to the vibes that will be indefinitely served up by PFA is always a grand idea for our local entertainment lovin’ lives. Second, you’ll be magnificently introduced to their incredible new lead singer, Ms. Rachel Kline. Not only does this red-hot and rising local vocal superstar contain the beauty of Ariana-meets-Camila(like, so not kidding), but she’s got a voice that is that voice….and it’s guaranteed to take over your entire existence. 

But luckily for all of Philly and beyond, everyone can get to know her magnificent voice and her soaring creative spirit right this very second  (and get those tickets for tomorrow night right here….right this very second), as Rachel took some time away from shattering everyone’s souls with her magnificent pipes to spill some tea with Philly Mixtape, where she spilled about her endeavors with PFA, all-time favorite soul divas, and…just why the hell it took so long for her to begin owning our local entertainment worlds. 

Oh, and if you want to get down to some of Mizz Kline‘s current greatness while you take a seat to her many talents, check her official Instagram page out…and if you have a string of pearls handy…put them on because they will be clutched, honey. Yeah, it’s like that.

Now, let’s take a sip because the fabulous Rachel Kline of Philadelphia Funk Authority is certainly speaking and singing…and Philly and the entire tri-state area need to be paying attention…now. 

Okay, we might as well start shattering those fancy Lennox mugs right away. I’ve personally known you for quite some time now, and if it wasn’t for me coming across your soul shattering cover of Ms. A Keys “If I Ain’t Got You,” I never would have known how truly incredible you are!! So, sipping some tea…why the big secret all of these years?  I think I have this underlying problem where I feel like if I show the world something that I’m good at, everybody’s just going to be like, “Oh, there she goes again..there’s something else that she’s good at!” I didn’t want to be that person, but after I graduated college I was stuck trying to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my everyday life! [But] I sing everyday…alone. Not even my boyfriend knew I could sing! Then I just posted an Instagram video and let me see what people think…and they kind of went nuts! I started posting more and then I auditioned for this band, Philadelphia Funk Authority. [As it turned out], the lead singer had to leave the band due to some [health reasons], so I auditioned against eight other people and they picked me and I was like…okay, here we go! It’s a very new journey, but I love it so far! 

But you have to admit, once that first Instagram post was served….it had to have felt mighty freeing. I didn’t look at my phone for two hours! I didn’t want to know what else people were saying, I didn’t want to know who watched it, liked it..anything! Finally, I opened my phone and it was just all positive feedback. Most people were shocked and, like..what the hell? Where did this come from? I mean, I expected that, but [all of it] really helped me solidify this decision to go down this new path. It feels good, it feels really good! 

Any more slaying covers or shimmering new songs on the way? I’ve done a few covers, but I’ve actually been putting up a lot more original songs because I’ve really been trying to force myself to be in this creative space in my own mind and write music. I actually just go to YouTube and find random beats that suit my voice well and I just sort of let the creativity roll in my own my mind. And then I find a word that could fit here, rhyme there, and then the words turn into phrases..and before I know it I have a mini song! 

Okay, how about your personal music divas that you simply can’t live without? Definitely love my soul performers..Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and Ms. Alicia Keys is a big one. I love to just embody her music. Ariana Grande is also another big one. She’s kind of bridging this gap between all genres. She could come out with a country song and make it sound cool! “thank u, next” is still giving me life! 

And how are you feeling these days about our girl Cardi B? Obsessed. I’m just so proud of her. I like that she embodies herself and is like….who cares that I used to strip for money? I’m gonna put that in every single song so you all know where I started from and now I’m at the top! I appreciate that mentality.

What about your future with Philadelphia Funk Authority? Where are you crazy music kids headed this year, besides, like, everywhere? So far we’re just in Philly. We do a lot of weddings and wedding season is coming up soon! We might have some bigger gigs along the way, so we’ll see!

One last mug shatter, what are some of your personal creative goals both on and off the mic this year? I want to really just want to continue to figure out who I am. In the past I kind of felt lost. There was so many different directions I could have gone. Still now so many directions I could go. But I really want to hone in on just what my loves are in life and what my interests are. Keeping the people who really ground me surrounding me. Just keep bettering my life and believing in myself! 

And there you have it, kids. For more with the incredible Rachel Kline, get lost in the heavenly sounds she serves up on her Instagram page and then you MUST go see her own the World Cafe Live stage alongside Philadelphia Funk Authority tomorrow night…you certainly won’t be disappointed. 

Are you a local entertainer who’s slaying it in every which direction? Well then, feel free to take a seat at the Philly Mixtape tea table right here and here and let’s get to spillin’ and sippin’! 

Cover photo courtesy of Mizz Rachel Kline 

 

 

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Table Talk w/Kala Moses Baxter of ’74 Seconds…To Judgement’

There’s plays……….

…….and then there’s this play, the simply-yet-powerfully titled, 74 Seconds….to Judgement

Wonderfully penned by Philadelphia playwright Kash Goins (get to know him), it’s a local theater pearl clutch worthy story about a jury of 6 who have been in pure deadlock for a week straight as they undoubtably struggle to decide what is ‘justifiable homicide‘ in a headline grabbing murder trial. 

As relevant as it is, well, pure relevant in today’s frustratingly divided times, it’s not just a must see for you, you, and you (yes, you), but indeed for all of us with major emphasis on the word all….seriously, everyone must go see this play. 

Actually, you can go see 74 Seconds..To Judgement as its taken a hold of the stage and the box office at the Arden Theatre Company (right there in Old City!) tonight through Sunday, March 3rd. And if the many sold out dates on the way are indication, you shouldn’t waste any time in getting those tickets here

The beautifully talented Kala Moses Baxter is just one of the six incredibly gifted actors who are straight owning this production each and every night, and she was gracious enough to take a seat at the Philly Mixtape tea table amongst her busy schedule, where she spilled tea about everything we need to take a sip for for when it comes to 74 Seconds…To Judgement

Again..go see this show…your 2019 life and beyond will thank you. 

Okay, so before we break some local theater mugs about this insanely powerful show, I just want to sip it back for a moment about how you got your start in the acting and entertainment business… I started attending classes at the original Freedom Theater when I was 10 years old. As a child, I wanted to be so many different things…I wanted to be a private eye, all of these different things! Then I realized I just wanted to pretend to be them! And I loved being on stage and in front of people, especially making them laugh. Eventually, I finally decided in my junior year of college that theater was going to be my major…and I’m so thankful that I did!! 

Now, onto 74 Seconds…To Judgement.’ I had the esteemed privilege of watching you and your truly incredible cast mates own the stage with this pulsating production, and all I have to say is…wow. But, if there’s one question that’s truly burning my mind…I just have to know…how much Law & Order did you guys watch to mentally prepare and keep it so authentic?? Actually….we didn’t watch a whole bunch of Law & Order! A lot of our prep work was researching a lot of the cases that have dealt with ‘justifiable homicide’ in terms of dealing with African Americans who were killed and the verdict would come out not guilty. We also studied a lot of the laws as well. The law that we’re using in the play is a Florida law that is about 200 years old, and is the same one that was used in the Trayvon Martin case. The playwright also provided us with a lot of information, and for me personally, And I also knew a great deal [about these cases] when they happened, but to revisit them for this particular play was important for not just me, but for my character. 

What is hard to dig so deep for this role? Were you able to separate your emotions from the acting? You know what, I didn’t separate myself the acting from myself emotionally. As actors, that’s not really something that we’re able to do….we have to bring our emotion with us. Even in those moments where I’m speaking to [Travoye Joyner‘s character] Brandon, there’s a moment where [we’re acting] and he’s playing my son. I have two stepsons and I always think of their lives as young black men and the possibility that they could go out one night and not come home alive. That [scenario] was real for me, and also watching the pain of the mother that had lost their children, especially Valerie Castile….I watched her a lot. In these moments [in the play] deciding as an actress that it’s real for me in that moment, especially for that character. 

Okay, so…there’s a moment in the play…and without giving anything away here because everyone must see it for themselves….where two of the “jurors” get into a slight altercation…okay, big altercation. How intense is it for the cast in that moment? It’s a true turning point in the story, without a doubt… It’s difficult! You can imagine that if this really happened…I would have been like..I’m not doing, I got to go! For that moment, we had stage combat, we have a gentleman named Alex that came in and worked with us. So, as an actor, I’m able to say that we’re all safe and that is important to me. That’s probably a portion [of the show] that in the moment I’m pretending it was real. 

All intensity of the show aside, how does the cast let loose after each show? Are you able to at least go out and enjoy a cocktail for a job well done?? We haven’t done it yet, but we’re looking forward to getting together and going out afterwards! Usually, we’re in the dressing room and we’re laughing and talking with each other. We’re a pretty close knit group of people who some of us knew each other, but [everyone else] bonded quickly, which has been great. We also shared our different stories of racism, biases and what we learned growing up. That made a big difference, and of course being able to trust each other. We are looking forward to going out, but we’re all just so tired after each show! 

A question I love to ask anyone and everyone….what kind of music is rockin’ your world right now? Actually, my husband and I have an urban gospel radio show called Those Baxters….and we’re syndicated across the country! It’s a mix of Christian hip hop and R&B with some great beats behind them, and that’s what we mostly listen to and hope all of our fans enjoy it, too! 

One last sip, now that we’re somehow already in February, there’s no denying that the year is officially moving along. So, sum up your 2019 ambition in one word or phrase… Inspirational. 

And there you have it. Thank you, Ms. Kala Moses Baxter

For much more insight about 74 Seconds…To Judgement, check this out…now

Are you a local or legendary entertainer out there who’s living and owning your best life? Well, then…take a seat at the table with Philly Mixtape right here and here and let’s talk it up!! 

Table Talk cover photo courtesy of bbmediarelations and the Arden Theatre Company 

Video clip courtesy of YouTube & Fox 

 

 

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Table Talk w/DJ Chris Urban

What do Franky Bradley‘s, L’Etage, Tavern on Camac and Positano Coast all have in common? 

Besides being all fabulous Philly places to go and get your party on and stuff, they’re also all of the places that one of the City of Brotherly Love’s hardest werkin’ DJs, Mr. Chris Urban, serves out his unique buffet of beats every weekend for all of us to get down to….

….and that we most certainly do when it comes to this explosive DJ Daddy

You may also find Chris at the address of 1724 Passyunk Avenue, which has quickly become well-known around the town as iLL Exotics, a joint small business venture he shares with his partner, the equally yaaas, Mr. Franco Franchina

And what might one find there, you might ask? How about an incredible collection of the sexiest plants, reptiles and amphibians that you’ll ever get to be all sorts of up-and-close-and-personal with. Intrigued? You absolutely should be. 

But what really makes DJ Chris Urban a true class act in this groovy city of ours is that, quite simply….he’s just a really, really good guy, bro. 

You’ll all get to pick his cheery vibe up right away as the superstar beat maestro took time from his busy slaying-our-lives schedule for a little Philly Mixtape Table Talk action where he threw mugs across the room and spilled all about his business, and of course, those beats. 

Now, take a seat, actually, get on the local dance floors because DJ Chris Urban is speaking…and the whole entire city of Philadelphia has certainly been listening. 

Okay, so crackin’ open this Mariah approved cupboard of hot tea on such a winter’s day, let’s pour it out and heat things up with a little business biz…about your growing small business, iLL Exotics. Basically…who, what, where, when and why? Spill it all….  ILLExotics is the baby of my partner, Franco, and I. We specialize in house plants, captive bred reptiles & amphibians and everything to house  and successful care for one! We launched our website (check this…now) at the top of 2018 and opened our brick and mortar mid-June at 1724 East Passyunk ave. [It’s] located inside Floral & Fauna, a shared space with our florist friend Creations by Coppola. We have BYO Terrarium building classes in our space every weekend that you can sign up for on our website as well as educational outreach bringing all the cool things in our store to schools in the Philadelphia area to share our passion with future generations! 
What has your experience been like with the rollout this past year?  In complete honesty it’s been hectic! The ball is rolling and we are doing our best to keep up with it. The neighborhood has been super supportive, and we have a lot of big plans for the future. 
Okay….time to hit the floor with some grooves. It’s also a new year, so it’s time to keep the motivation gang. What’s one album or albums that you blast off to keep your creative self fresh and ready?  Not really an album yet–hopefully she has one in store for us soon–but “Made for Now” by Miss Janet Jackson has been my track for this new year. I’ve got several fire remixes that I drop occasionally in the club … but if you’re looking for motivation in this new year, Janet won’t let you down. 

What words of wisdom would you give to the aspiring DJs out there who may be picking up those coveted headphones for the first time this year?  If this is your first time on the decks – dive in and learn your instrument and craft. Practice your fundamentals till its effortless and muscle memory, that’s a great start.
So, I’ve been sewin’ my former DJ oats lately and have been diving through the ol’ collection…and I’m sure you can agree…there’s nothing better! So, what are some of your favorite throwbacks that you think all of the kiddies and kweens of the world should get down to right now?
…….Ciara/”1,2 Step”

…..Missy Elliot/CiCi/Fatman Scoop/”Lose Control”

…….Mary J Blige/”Real Love”/Biggie Remix 

And of course where can everybody witness you serve it out this year and any future floor ownership plans you can spill…now.
1st and 4th Fridays at Franky Bradleys (10 pm)………..2nd and 3rd Fridays at Tavern on Camac (10 pm)………Saturdays at L’Etage (10 pm)……..Sundays for Bottomless Brunch at Positano Coast (12pm-4pm). 
One last sip…describe your 2019 agenda in one word or phrase. Rise Above & Slay.
And there you have it. Now, let’s dance along with DJ Chris Urban for the rest of our motha f@#kin’ lives, shall we? Always. 

Are you dying for a little Table Talk with Philly Mixtape? (it’s like The View, but music instead of politics)
Then join the pham right here and here and let’s destroy some Lennox! 
Cover photo courtesy of DJ Chris Urban, bro