As April comes to a close on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a message for my kindred spirits, the beautiful and the broken who may still be in the path of healing…
Nothing of the trauma and the abuse you may have lived through in your childhood and/or your life was ever your fault. You never asked for it then, and the pain you may encounter still today, will get easier in time.
Don’t live your life in denial. SPEAK UP about your demons. None of us are perfect.
There are other beautifully broken souls looking for the same love as you do. When one presents itself, let it flow. We all deserve an abundance amount of unconditional, strong, and deep love. You don’t have to fight your demons alone.
Healing takes time and everyone’s in a different stage in their life with that healing. Don’t fear the process. Accept both the parts that have healed and the parts that haven’t. This life is not of the destination, but the journey.
Most importantly, do not be afraid of the storm. Healing is nowhere near a walk in the park and we must be ready to fight with all of our wills and inner strength.
Fresh off of 61st and Pine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we sit and spend some time and get to know the 18 year old, up and coming artist, KEEM HEAVY.
With his dedicated mother, Lynnette, a.k.a. Da Goodsister, by his side as his number one fan and motivator, greatness is surely coming for this young artist.
Tell us your story. In your own words, who is KEEM HEAVY? Give us a small biography of who you are as an individual and as an artist.
KEEM HEAVY: I’m a person that always loved music since I was six years old. The person that inspired me too start doing music and dancing was Chris Brown. My family use too call me Lil’ Breezy, because I always had my shirt off dancing And singing to the girls . When I was nine or ten that’s when I started writing music, because that was the only way to express myself . Since I didn’t ’t tell people about what I’m going through. I always stayed on my own grinding , trying to turn my dreams to reality. I was always a positive person. No matter how many negative things come my way. I always found a way to ignore it by listening or writing music.
Where did your stage name, KEEM HEAVY, originate from?
KH: KEEM HEAVY was given to me actually. I use to just go by KEEM, but my friend Akhen heard me rap for the first time in a studio and told me that I have swag, my songs are hot, and I’m always where the money’s at. In result, he came up with KEEM HEAVY. I’ve stuck with it ever since.
Let’s throw a quick sell point for your name and music. How would you describe, in your own words, the style of the music you create?
KH: I would describe my music as different . For example, I know I be going through a lot and done a lot, but I don’t always want to talk about the negative things about me. I want the world to hear positive real music. Music that can cheer you up. Music that can actually touch people by words.
How did you get into the entertainment industry initially? Were you always drawn towards music or the entertainment industry your whole life?
KH: Yes, since I was six years old, I’ve been in love with music. I got into the entertainment industry initially from my family help working as a team.
When and how did you discover that music was the route for you?
KH: I always thought music was for me. But when I was young people use to say I couldn’t make it or I’m corny. But that didn’t stop me it just made me grind harder.
Even though you are an up and coming artist, I’d like to know about your vision a bit more. What’s your ultimate mission with your lyrics and music?
KH: My ultimate mission with my lyrics is to show The world to be There self . Don’t portrait something that you are not . Then , to always be real, because being fake will catch up to you one day.
What influences the lyrics you create for your music?
KH: My family influences the lyrics I create because they the ones that’s making me go harder with this music . Helping me follow my passion and make it come true
What artists have had the biggest influence for you in life and in music and why?
KH: Chris Brown, because I like his style. His music is always evolving, and his imagination for his videos are creative, and Lil’ Durk, because he’s always grinding for his family and taking care of his city . Which, that is my goal. I want to do that for my folks and city.
You just released your EP, Season One, that you just released in 2018. Describe your EP and how you came up with the name, Season One, for the EP?
KH: I came up with Season One, because I wanted it to be like a movie. I want to get the world’s attention. Tell them my story of what I been through and show them that dedication and hard work can always get you to your goals .
Should we expect new music from you soon?
KH: Yes, very soon.
Do you want to get involved in other entertainment avenues like film, television, fashion, etc… or are you planning to stick to just music for your career?
KH: Yes, my other passions and interests are fashion and acting. I will work towards those avenues, as well, in the near future.
We are still in the first quarter for the year of 2019, what kind of goals have or are you setting for yourself this year?
KH: The goals I’ve set for myself this year is to keep grinding and staying focus. No matter what I go through, I always express it into music, because any day you can become rich and any one of them songs can get you famous.
I’ve became friends and a supporter for producer and filmmaker, Jim Cirile, when I discovered his project Liberator, which featured heavy hitters like Lou Ferrigno (Hulk), Michael Dorn (Star Trek), Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist), and last, but certainly not least in my book, one of my favorite actresses, Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita).
A few years down the road, the creation for To Your Last Death would come to life, and I would again, support this project for Jim and his wife and business partner, Tanya Klein. Two projects later, I am confident to say that this won’t be the last project that these two amazing human beings will create that I will support and promote for.
Y’all have an astounding cast including William Shatner (Star Trek), Morena Baccarin (Gotham, Deadpool), Ray Wise (Robocop, Twin Peaks). Did you already have these actors envisioned in your mind for your characters when creating the project, or was there an audition for these actors and actress?
Tanya Klein: No, we didn’t write those parts with anyone in mind. During the pre-production process, we sat around with our producers and director and made lists of actors who would be great for these parts. Our producers called their agents and then it hinged on their interest and availability and cost.
To Your Last Death, formally known as Malevolent, has been in production for a few years now. How does it feel to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project for the both of you?
Jim Cirile: I guess the best way to describe it is simply “wow.” There were times during the production process when we weren’t sure we’d be able to finish it. Animated movies are pricey and sometimes there are unforeseen hiccups. So at times it was pretty stressful. Getting it done felt great. We recently had our first cast/crew/friends/family screening to celebrate the fact that we had climbed the mountain. To show it on a big screen in front of many people was, of course, nerve-wrecking and we were thrilled to discover that it went over really well. Everyone got it. They laughed at the right places and they were scared at the right places. It was awesome. So “wow.”
How long have y’all been working in the film industry?
TK: I have been in the entertainment industry for all of my adult life starting out in theater as a playwright, director, actor and producer in New York as well as Artistic Director of a theater company before switching over to film about 15 years ago.
JC: I started out as an assistant at a small production company in New York right after college. After that, I worked my way up to writer/producer at that company before coming out to Los Angeles. All in all, I have been working in the industry for 30 years.
Producing isn’t the only expertise you both have on your resumes, is it? Can you give the readers an outline of your accomplishments over the years in the industry?
TK: We’re both writers, as well as, story analysts. I am also an actor/director. I has a slew of NY stage productions, as well as, several short films under my belt.
JC: I am an artist/musician. I also have written on many features including having a three-movie deal with Lionsgate.
Y’all are just co-producers for film projects, you both are married to each other. 😊 When did you two decide to take your relationship to the next level, as not just husband and wife, but as business partners?
JC: That happened quite organically because when you’re around someone a lot you naturally get involved in their projects. So I’d say pretty much from the start.
What’s the best thing about working together?
TK: Firstly, it’s efficient. If you need to discuss something you can simply walk into the other room. Secondly, you know each other well and can develop a kind of shorthand.
You’re been behind two successful crowd funding projects with Liberator and now To Your Last Death. What are some of the advice can you can share with other aspiring filmmakers to accomplish this aspect of success for raising money to budget your film projects?
JC: Oh, many! First of all, if you can avoid crowdfunding your movie AVOID IT! This might sound flippant, but I’m absolutely serious. Crowdfunding isn’t a walk in the park. A few things to keep in mind: 1. you need a strong online presence months before you start your crowdfund (so plan accordingly). 2. When deciding how much money to ask for you must keep fulfillment of perks (which costs money) as well as taxes in mind. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you lose money or barely break even when you do a crowdfund 3. On average one crowdfund team member can raise $6K (some a bit less and some a bit more depending on their social media footprint, but that’s what it averages out to). So if you want to raise $60K, you’ll need 10 committed team members.
What inspired to bring To Your Last Death to life? How was the story created?
TK: Often horror films end up in the same place: Final Girl, exhausted and blood-smeared, claws her way out of the wreckage after a time of absolute horror where she had to watch everyone else die only to finally best the bad guy. We thought: “what if that was our starting point? Final Girl crawls out into the light… and then we send her back to do it all again. Wouldn’t that be cool… and cruel? ”
Are any of the characters based on anyone you know in real life? How much did the actors end up relating to the characters they played in the film?
TK: No, thankfully not! (laughs) However, we do like to call Cyrus our Dick Cheney character. Similar bio and similar personality. (Yeah, he’s the bad guy.) The actors seemed to enjoy themselves a lot especially since some of them got to play against type.
How does this film stand out from the rest of the anime films? How does this film stand out from the rest of the films in America?
JC: Animation is only now in the process of “growing up” in the US. For many, many years animation was something for kids (and on the feature film front it still very much is). TV has led the march towards adult-themed animation and, slowly, this is opening up the feature film sphere. An animated horror film was pretty much unheard of when we first started this project and still is in many ways. It differs from anime films in the sense that we’re going for more gritty realism in character design and color-work as well as animation.
This is the very first American Anime here in the states, so that’s an accomplishment. Do you see yourself trendsetting for future anime films in this country, or even worldwide?
TK: That’d be cool! However, an animated movie is very difficult to produce when one has to do it on a small budget. Hence, the next animated movie we make has to be with a deep-pocketed investor or studio on board.
Are there any other projects in the works from Coverage, Ink you two can hint at for the near future?
JC: We actually have several scripts we’d like to make…
TK: …However, the first step is selling To Your Last Death and possibly a vacation. (Smiles!)