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BRNDD: Conversations with Creatives

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Episode 22: D'wayne Edwards

D'Wayne Edwards is the founder of Pensole Footwear Design Academy, located in Portland, OR. He's spent over 30 years in the industry, from working with Tupac and Biggie at Karl Kani to working with the GOAT, Michael Jordan. After spending 10 years working at Jordan, D'Wayne decided to start a school for footwear designers to help the next generation and has established one of the top schools in the world for Footwear Design. Donte' not only got to learn under him but interview him for the...


Episode 21: Blake Thomas

Blake Thomas is one of the best freelance photographers on the wrestling circuit. He has worked with the likes of; Mia Yim, Veda Scott, NXT's Nikki Cross and Baltimore Legend, Ruckus. Over the years, he's also gotten into management and production for different leagues across the nation. Ronald and Donte' catch up with Blake to talk about his story and ultimately striving to work for the WWE. Highlights: Contact Blake: Twitter/Instagram: @itsbliz BRNDD Podcast: Website:...


Episode 20: BRNDD Live: BCMakes Series for BCPL

Baltimore County Public Libraries invited our hosts Donte' Cotton and Ronald James to host one of their Inspire Nights to talk about BRNDD, how they started the podcast, what's it like being a creative and what challenges they faced, and what makes them successful. Highlights: BRNDD 10 Playlist: BRNDD Podcast: Website: E-Mail: Facebook Fan Page:...


Episode 19: Pierre and Jamyla Bennu

Pierre and Jamyla Bennu are the owners of Oyin Handmade and Exit the Apple. This New York couple migrated to Baltimore over a decade ago and have been a thriving part of the scene ever since. Jamyla being the brains behind Oyin's natural products and Pierre being an all-around artist, the two have an amazing story. They were fortunate enough to celebrate their 18th anniversary sharing their story with us. Highlights: BRNDD 10 Playlist: Exit the Apple's: Instagram:...


Episode 18: Ivan Martin

Ivan Martin is a Duval, FL transported to Maryland via the Navy. He's a working comic, teacher and Festival founder. He's done shows up and down the sea board and has had some great experiences with other rising comics such as Quincy Jones and Jordan Rock. Ronald and Donte' talk to Ivan about his journey as well as his upcoming Baltimore Comedy Festival! Highlights: - 4:10: I'm happy...and broke - 5:56: What was your 1st hit joke? - 10:39: Stepping into new comedy territory - 16:50:...


Episode 17: Dino Hatfield(of Baltimore Sneaker Show)

Dino Hatfield has become a pioneer in the age of sneaker news. He has broken numerous stories, from the Yeezy 650 first ever leaks to the Jordan 8 releasing and informing the world a whole year before it's release. He has taken his social platform and set himself apart from any other outlet available. With the help of his team, 7 years ago, he also established Baltimore's Premier sneaker event, the Baltimore Sneaker Show. A show with so much buzz, that Under Armour has given the event its...


Episode 16: Ericka Blount Danois

Ericka Blount Danois is an award winning author who has worked as a staff writer, editor, freelancer, and stringer for a number of publications including: Spin, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, and The Source. She also has written a non-fiction book on the history of Soul Train, entitled, Love, Peace and Soooooouul! The BRNDD hosts caught up with her to talk about her career over the past couple decades; from...


Episode 15: Sam Smith(Of New Vintage by Sam)

Sam is is a business owner, mother, wife and creative director, all of which she is successful with. She She owns New Vintage by Sam, an apparel and accessories company, Sam Styled you, a personal styling company as well as her mommy blog, Dressed in Motherhood. Coming from a corporate background, she decided she needed more to feel fulfilled in life. Join Ronald and Donte' as they talk with Sam about being an Entrepreneurial mommy and how to handle it all. Highlights: Get...


Episode 14: Kalilah Wright(of Mess in a Bottle)

Kalilah Wright is the founder of mess in a bottle. A company that makes inspirational shirts and packages them in a special bottle. The brand has been going strong a little over a year now and has even been recognized by the likes of Mark Cuban. Ronald and Donte' kick off the episode talking briefly about Kalief Browder's story, and his music with his cousin, under the crew name Catch the fade. Then Ron gets into how he met Kalilah at Under Armour and she speaks on her architecture...


Episode 13: Brian (of Creative Culture Lifestyle)

Ronald and Donte' are back for Season 2 with a 2-hour premiere! Creative Culture lifestyle is a brand started by Brian in 2016 that focuses on black males' beards with a line of natural care products. They've been featured on news channels from Baltimore to Philly, sold in several beauty supply stores across the state of Maryland and their online presence is ever-growing. This year, Brian be launching his non-profit H.U.S.T.L.E.R. and all that and more is discussed in this episode. Before...


Episode 12: Joey Malinski(of ATB Productions)

Joey Malkinski is a Brooklyn Park, MD native. growing up with a love of film, he always pursued his dream of directing and producing visual content. Ronald and Donte' sit down with the creative behind the company, Across the Bridge Productions and break down how he got to this point. The BRNDD hosts go over the beginnings with Joey, from him starting his own class in high school and how he felt the need to move to NY to start his career(6:34). After moving to New York, Joey got the...


Episode 11: Jerrill Sankey(of Creative King)

Donte' and Ron are back again. This week they caught up with Jerrill Sankey, the owner of Creative King. Jerrill crafts his hats by hand, from scratch. A unique aspect in an industry where everything is manufactured and mass produced, Creative King exists in a space of its own. In the span of a few years, the head of Creative King went from a Public School Janitor to a recognizable, internationally sold brand. Before they get into the interview, Donte' and Ron speak about the art of...


Episode 10: D. Watkins

The BRNDD podcast has reached double digits! To celebrate, they bring on one of their most successful guests to date. Two-time New York Times Best selling Author, Editor-At-Large for, and contributor to a hosts of publications; from ESPN, to Rolling Stone, to the New York Times, D. Watkins. Ron sparks off the conversation with asking D to speak on the moment he realized it was important for someone to speak on black culture from the inside, opposed to other outlets controlling...


Episode 9: Brian Bomster-Jabs

Ron and Donte' are back with their first podcast with a guest for the year. They sit down with Brian Bomster-Jabs A.K.A. Bomster-Jabs Studio. They dive right into it and talk about being stereotyped being an adopted Korean raised in Baltimore(4:06). Brain also talks about what inspired his art and how he chose art at a young age by way of a traditional Korean custom(8.10). They also how he went from learning how to paint in high school, transitioning to college and feeling the pressure of...


Episode 8: Best of '16, Welcome to '17

The BRNDD podcast is back for 2017! Ron and Donte' sit down and discuss their absence, how they spent the holidays(1:09) and what they are looking forward to in 2017 along with the official announcement of Debonair Material Media(10:14). Also, the two highlight their favorite moments from 2016. Listen to some of their favorite moments from guests; Jordan C. Jackson(25:15), Beya Likhari(29:27), Harrison Davis of For Rent Shoes(32:01), Sun Zulu(37:39), Reed BMore(42:16), Daniel Biltmore of...


Episode 7: Fraizer (of City of Gods Shop)

City of Gods has become a pillar in Baltimore. Not only have they created a staple for themselves in the fashion department but also the community aspect. From their Conscious Book Club to feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving. We sat down with part of the creators of the brand to talk about C.O.G. beginnings and how they became such a strong pillar in East Baltimore. Donte' and Ronald sit down with Fraizer to talk about their book club, community service, Team City of Gods basketball team...


Episode 6: Daniel Biltmore(Of MSSL CMMND)

From working with musical legends to traveling the world. Daniel Biltmore has done a lot in his lifetime. Donte' and Ronald sat down with Daniel to tell his story, the highs and the lows of his DJ Career. Daniel Biltmore is 1/2 of the Duo MSSL CMMND, the other being Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. Daniel talks about how the two became friends, going to Virginia to work with the Neptunes and traveling the globe with Chad DJing amazing sets. From Abu Dhabi to Hip-Hops first Banaroo jam session,...


Episode 5: Reed Bmore

Reed BMore is one of Baltimore's most unique street artists. While many of his friends and peers are known for tagging walls, he's mastered a different craft, wire bombing. Known for hanging his works in a busy intersection on traffic lights so everyone that rides by sees his work, Reed Bmore has been featured on the local news, designed pieces for Tyler the Creator, and lead him to meet Chance the Rapper. Listen as Ron and Donte' learn the story of Reed Bmore along with you. Reed...


Episode 4: Sun Zulu

Sun Zulu is a Baltimore born and bred Emcee and Producer. He has traveled the country with great indie acts such as Blu and J*Davey. He's also a youth mentor and supporter of the city. The BRNDD hosts sit down with Sun to talk about growing up in Baltimore, finding music at a young age and his inspirations from anime to Wu-Tang. The trio also discuss today's trend in hip-hop, recording in the same space Chance the Rapper recorded his first projects and more. Sun Zulu's BRNDD 10...


Episode 3: Harrison Davis

Harrison Davis is the owner of For Rent Shoes Baltimore, a top streetwear boutique in Baltimore established in 2013. Since its opening it has become an integral part of Baltimore's fashion scene. Housing exclusive brands you can't find anywhere else in the city. Ron and Donte' sit with Harrison to discuss how bringing an image boutique to Baltimore was a new, challenging experience; how the riots affected his business, how the store has become a part of Baltimore and the overall good and...