I've Been Nominated for Blog of the Year Again!

Hello lovely,

After six years of blogging (while getting a Master's degree and working a full time job), working several fashion shows, reviewing international products and services, photo shoots, partnerships, and two blue ribbon awards for original recipes, I've been nominated for the second consecutive year for the Elevation Awards Blog of the Year!

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It's been an amazing journey and I never get tired of it. I share this honour with last year's winner, Ianthia Ferguson, Rogan Smith- This Bahamian Gyal, Nik Barnes- Stylezine Magazine, Gail Hanna- Hard Work, Bad Employee and Renaldo Dorsett- 10th year services like senior.

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The night was hosted on LiveUp TV by the incomparable Rabs and Jerchovia with DJ Epic Forealz. The opening act was a hot new single called That's Why I'm Single by Leo. Then two nominee categories were revealed. The night had many hilarious moments including a new hashtag #LittyToTitty.

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Sacha the Duchess brought the house down with an emotional performance of her second single, Waiting to Exhale before sharing the epic music video for her first single, Mr. Lover. Then we had a performance from the dynamic duo of Johnny B and Eman.

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My high school scholar, Stephan Brown premiered his brand new app, Cameo Tunes. The app combines filters that highlight many aspects of Bahamian culture with Bahamian music hits from fan favourites like Wendi, Jonathan Farrington and Bodine. The app debuts on Android and iOS next Friday!

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I loved Kenique Marie's performance and I can't wait to hear more music from her!Of course I had a fan girl moment when Patrice Murrell took the stage to perform Feeling Good. From I first saw her perform I couldn't believe such a powerful voice came from such a tiny person and I honestly admire her and try to follow her music career.

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Sanjardo B closed out the show with a performance of his hit single, Hola. Last night was amazing. I finally got to meet Patrice Murrell, the room was full of positive energy and I'm nominated AGAIN! This year there are even more categories so there will be even more winners!

For a complete list of all nominees, check out the list below:

2019 Elevation Awards Nominees

The 2018 Elevation Awards

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend was the much anticipated 2018 Elevation Awards. Artists from all genres flocked to the New Providence Ballroom in the BahaMar Convention Centre for the 2nd Annual Award Show. Last year I attended the show as media, but this year I attended the show as a nominee. I was nominated for Blog of The Year and this was also the first year for the category. I was grateful for this addition because while the world was quickly accepting vloggers and recognising them, there weren't really awards for bloggers. Going into it, I simply new I was not going to win because I was going against Ianthia Smith (fiancé of Farreno Ferguson of F.Dot Photography) and of course she won. I was excited for her to win. Honestly I don't know what I would've done or how I would've felt had I won, so I really think it's for the best. Simply being nominated and recognised for six years of hard work was enough for me. I went with my mum and one of my best friends Krista because they are two of my biggest supporters.

I've always thought that the Elevation Awards has the potential to be a local MTV Music Awards in terms of nominees walking the red carpet in wearable art made by local fashion designers and musical performances that are concert worthy. While the fashion was gorgeous, very little was Bahamian designed, HOWEVER, the performances were amazing! 

Possibly the most outstanding performance of the night was by Judah the Lion who gave us an a riveting steampunk drama. A very close second was a group of young Christian rappers called Christ Gang who brought a lot of energy to the Pre-Show. And of course I loved the performances by Bodine, Wendi (who opened the show) and Duchess who made her stage debut as a solo artist last night singing her new hit single, "Mr. Lover."

Here's the Complete List of Winners:

  • Best Short Film of The Year: Cinemorphesis
  • Best TV Show of The Year: On The Record
  • Photographer of The Year: Stanlo Photography
  • Blog of The Year: Mini Skirts & Microphones - Ianthia Smith
  • Vlog of The Year: Who Dat?
  • Visual Artist of The Year: Jamaal Rolle
  • New Artist: Sanjardo B
  • Bahamian Song of The Year: Qpid - Gimmie My Culture
  • Community Development: Get Fit With Smith
  • Gospel Song of The Year: Jonathan Farrington & Grace Generation - Free
  • Male Artist of The Year: Julien Believe
  • Music Video of The Year: Wendi - I ain't Missing It
  • Entertainer of The Year: Naughty
  • Contemporary Song of The Year: Sammi Star - I Iz What I Iz
  • Video Producer of The Year: Kyle Ferguson
  • Female Artist of The Year: Bodine
  • People's Choice Award: DJ Ovadose

It was interesting to hear so many new names, but of course they were really only new to me. In the moment, I thought some artists were snubbed or overlooked. For example, Who Dat? winning consecutively, Naughty winning entertainer of the year when literally anyone else in the category was a better option and Julien Believe winning Best Male Artist over Judah. The room was eerily quiet when Julien won and I'm not sure anyone really knew how to react. So I spoke to an organiser, to get some answers. Apparently, during the vetting process, nominees are asked to submit a complete portfolio along with a few other requirements; without this the nominee would not even be considered.

Of course no one likes to lose so there were mixed reactions to the award show. Some left before it was over, and some didn't bother to show at all. Then there were the ones that took to social media to throw digs. No one wants to think that awards and recognition are only for an elite circle in society, but when it's the "elite circle" mocking the establishment, you kind of begin to wonder what more could they want? I learned last night that Bahamians would rather diss your work or event before they support it. And they're really only happy to see their friends win. The tasteless comments were rather unfortunate. Sure this year was NOWHERE as good as last year's, with far more technical glitches and a lack of organisation, but the entertainment made up for it. I stayed up until the People's Choice Award because it was really late and I had to get my mother home. But something incredible last night happened that cannot be overlooked.

There was a very touching moment during the show when the host realised that a young 10 year old girl he had used as a part of a bit and buried her mother that same day. As a show of good faith and support, Demetrius not only gave the girl a brand new cellphone courtesy of BTC, $100 and offered to pay her next semester tuition, but he also encouraged the entire audience to donate to her. And the ENTIRE audience got up and gave something. It was very touching. I genuinely hope that the donations are put to good use for the girl.

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FINAL VERDICT: Last year's award show was much better, but it could also be that we were so enamoured by the fact that it was something new. I have a lot of ideas for how the entire experience can be improved on next year that I will sit down with the organisers and discuss. I believe in what Elevation Media is trying to do. Bahamians work hard and we really have to learn to celebrate one another. There are so many creatives in this country, maybe next year artists from the various family islands can be recognised as well. I don't take any part of this experience for granted and look forward to watching the show grow and expand to become a force to be reckoned with. See you next year!

And The Nominees for the 2018 Elevation Awards Are...

Hello Lovely,

Can you believe it's time for the Elevation Awards already? This year Elevation Media hosted the first annual Elevation Awards. I had a joy covering it and looked forward to covering it again next year. Last night, at The Golden House, Caves Village, the nominees were announced. It was a star studded event with live performances by Maleah Gabrielle, Ophine, Sammi Star, Eman, Charisa & Shon P and M-deez.

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You can watch the video recording from last night here, or just check out the nominees here:

Visual Artist Of The Year

  • Philese Roberts
  • Allan Wallace
  • Emerald Sands
  • Stefan Davis
  • Minolta Butler
  • Jamaal Rolle

Female Artist Of The Year

  • Lady E
  • Bodine
  • Fanshawn
  • Wendi
  • Patrice Murrell

Male Artist Of The Year

  • Dmac
  • Dyson Knight
  • Julien Believe
  • MDeez
  • Sammi Starr
  • Judah Tha Lion

New Artist Of The Year

  • Ophine
  • SanJardo B
  • Twin Dem
  • Charisa
  • Lexx
  • Patrice Murrell

Short Film Of The Year

  • Archipelago Alliance - CINE Morphosis
  • Eyes of Glass - Rashad Ferguson
  • Liars Dice - Valicia Rolle
  • Outlaw (The Prophecy) Steampunk Short Film - CINE Morphesis

Vlog Of The Year

  • Khing Kloud
  • Who Dat
  • The Click
  • The Next Face
  • Sawyerboy
  • Such A Pratt

Music Producer Of The Year

  • Sketch
  • Sammi Starr
  • Orthniel
  • Rik Carey
  • Zoltan Johnson
  • Frederick Seymour

Song Of The Year

  • Long Time - Dmac
  • Gimmie My Culture - Qpid
  • Your Ting - Patrice Murrell
  • Down Home - Lady E
  • Rocka My Cherry - Bodine
  • Red Plate - KB

TV Show Of The Year

  • The Stew
  • Happy Foods 242
  • The Rush
  • Chef It Up
  • On The Record
  • Sawyerboy TV

Video Producer Of The Year

  • Stephen Hanna
  • Carl Ferguson
  • Keirohn Farrington
  • Owen Petti (Cubes Pro)
  • Lavado Stubbs
  • Farreno Ferguson

Music Video Of The Year

  • Een Missing It - Wendi
  • Wanna Know Your Name - Ton Ash
  • All Wrong - Tebby
  • Outlaw - Judah Tha Lion
  • Away from Home - Mdeez
  • All Mine - Charisa & Shon P

Gospel Song Of The Year

  • Thank God For Life - DJ Counsellor
  • Young & Free - Rashad Rich
  • Make Me Wanna Dance - Althea
  • Jack In The Box - Stacs
  • Free - Jonathan & Grace Generation
  • Our Father - Godsent Music

Entertainer Of The Year

  • Sawyerboy
  • Naughty
  • Empress
  • Khing Kloud
  • Epic For Realz
  • Dyson Knight

Caribbean Song Of The Year

  • No Lie - Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa
  • Fever - Vybz Kartel
  • Pretty Girl Team - Alkaline
  • Single - Orlando Octave
  • Buss Head - Machel Montano
  • Technically - Farmer Nappy & Destra

Photographer Of The Year

  • Stanlo Photography
  • Braxton Gardiner Photography
  • Churchboy Photography
  • Blair J Meadows Photography
  • Shawn T Photography
  • T Glinton Photography

Blog Of The Year

  • Cay To Style - Aneka Stewart
  • She So Major - Sherice Major
  • Kyss My Hair - Brittany Basden
  • Girl With Her Views - Ashley Bethel
  • Stylezine Magazine - Nik Barnes
  • Life By Olivia - Olivia Russell

Lifetime Achievement Award

James Catalyn

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THAT'S RIGHT!!!!! I WAS NOMINATED! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! i genuinely don't even care if I win, it's just such an amazing honour to be recognised. I've been blogging since 2012, but I didn't get serious until 2014 and it wasn't until about last year that I really found my niche with it. Running this blog has been so therapeutic for me so it's a blessing to hear from you guys how much you enjoy everything I share. I couldn't do this alone. I've had amazing support from friends, family and various freelance artists I've met over the years. Thank you so much for the support and I can't wait to see you all in April!

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The 2017 Elevation Awards

Hello Lovely,

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (or IG as the kids call it), you would have seen a few highlights from the first Elevation Awards Show at the Melia Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. On Saturday April 15th, 2017, the Life by Olivia team was there to capture and mingle with some of the young Bahamian artists who are making waves on the scene and changing the industry.   The Red Carpet activity started buzzing shortly after 5:30pm as scores of fashion looks graced the scene sporting various trends, cultural prints and bold coloured jackets. The talent was anything but shy! These game changers are making BIG statements with their accomplishments but still remain humble.

If you haven’t heard, the Elevation Awards is geared to be an annual award show created by The Elevation Media Group.  The Elevation Awards celebrates the accomplishments of Bahamians in music, acting, sports, community building and other fields of entertainment. We chatted with some of the big names that night, including musical artists Gary Francis, Dyson Knight, Keeya, and Jonathan Farrington. Each artist shared a word of wisdom with us. Gary advised any new artist trying to get on the scene that practice truly does make perfect. Dyson stated that his motivation for his career comes from seeing his music touch and inspire others. Keeya shared that the inspiration behind her #1 single Faded was about being a millennial girl trying to figure out the young guys on the dating scene. The video was created by an all Bahamian team with world-renowned director, Kareem Mortimer. While, Jonathan, who had to quickly jet back to Canada to perform at the Canadian Music Festival shared how placing second in the Canadian musical competition and being the only international competitor has helped his networking and boosted his determination to continue his career.

Hosted by the host of one of my favourite local TV Shows, “Chef it Up”, Ianthia Smith, kept the audience entertained with her quick wit, humour and engaging personality.   But the best part was the live performances. The Award Show provided nonstop entertainment with concert-like performances in all genres that brought the crowd to their feet and made inner karaoke superstars out of many! We were entertained by artists such as Keeya, Jive, Jonathan Farrington, DJ Counsellor, Sammi Star and Bantangy. My favourites were Jive for their performance of Rhythm, a  rap artist by the name of Eman who performed a raw piece that told us of his transformation from street life to Christian, and a spoken word piece entitled, “The Bahamian Dream”, which spoke to the realness of current events and politics that many choose to ignore; it was written by Michaela Munnings and performed by Zemi Holland.

The first of many to come, The Elevation Awards serves as inspiration to young artists to let them know that there is a place for them in society. I've heard the biggest complaint from young artist who submit their work to local competitions: "I was told it wasn't Bahamian enough." Artists should feel free to make whatever work makes them happy and sparks a change socially. The Elevation Awards is the right platform to do this and next year, they're coming back bigger and better than ever! And as always, Life By Olivia will be there to keep you covered. Because Life Could Use a Personal Touch!

XoX,

Bahamian Icon Awards 2016 Recap

Hello Lovely,

I'm back with my second annual recap of the most fabulous night in The Bahamas. The Bahamian Icon Awards (which was celebrated on Saturday, July 2) is the place for anybody who's anybody to be! Local and international celebrities all come together to celebrate the brilliant work of the ordinary hard-working and dedicated Bahamians who do extraordinary things with their talents!

For anyone who is still unsure on what exactly The Bahamian Icon Awards is: The Bahamian Icon Awards celebrates greatness. The award recognizes Bahamian Citizens who have exemplified the best intentions of the Bahamian Spirit; that of excellence and achievement.

Not only that, it is the defining standard by which these attributes are measured in The Bahamas and is an opportunity to create visible heroes and role models in the community while at the same time saluting those among us who have taken up the challenge to achieve greatness.

The Bahamian Icon Awards acknowledges the exemplary achievements of men and women who have excelled in various industries thus contributing to the overall development of the Bahamian community.

The red carpet began at 6:30 pm and jam-packed with excitement! There were so many colours but definitely some trends. Sequins, red and blue were seen everywhere last Saturday! Men showed up in style this year, opting more for blue and burgundy tuxedos, with a few even opting for floral prints! It was definitely a surprise to see men step up their game from the traditional black tux!

Certain looks of course stood out to me, like these:

The show itself was great! With live performances from local artist, such as Mdeez, Tebby Burrows and the National Dance Company, giveaways during commercial breaks and impromptu serenades, it was a night to behold! Congratulations to all the winners (not all photographed below) and to all the nominees who cheered for their competition in grace and gratitude!

And I must give credit to the best dressed couple on the red carpet, Entertainment Nominee for The Vagina Monologues, Anastarcia Palacious and her beau: 

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

  • COMMERCE: BARRY RASSIN - DOCTOR'S HOSPITAL
  • EDUCATION: GILLIAN WILSON - SUMMIT ACADEMY
  • ENTERTAINMENT: PATRICE JOHNSON - PERFECT IN WEAKNESS
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP: PAUL ARAHNA - TRANS ISLAND AIRWAYS
  • FINE ART: JAMAAL ROLLE - THE CELEBRITY ARTIST
  • HEALTH: DR. DARIUS UNWALA - PRINCESS MARGARET HOSPITAL
  • HUMANITARIANISM: ANDREA SWEETING - SISTER SISTER BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP
  • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ENSEMBLE: GEA PIERRE - CRAZY LOVE
  • MEDIA: CLINT WATSON - YOUTH ZONE
  • MUSIC:SAMMIE STARR POITIER - EVERYBODY JUMP IN THE LINE
  • PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: HARRISON THOMPSON
  • RISING STAR: TE'JA MUNNINGS - RIBBONS FOR LIFE
  • SPORTS: SHAUNAE MILLER - TRACK AND FIELD
  • TOURISM: 
  • YOUTH DEVLEOPMENT: YONELL JUSTILLIEN - BAHAMAS ALL-STAR BAND

But all in all, it was a good night for fashion! There weren't many major risks taken, which was slightly disappointing because I feel that last year the guests were a little more risky with their looks, while this year a lot of them were, how you say, risque. But I'm not mad, hunny! Except for this look here:

This is my most hated look of the night because everything about it confused me (girl on the left). How do you wear a dress that has all of your tatas out, but wear a fur vest in 91 degree temperatures? It was inappropriate for the event and the weather. It would be better suited for a movie premiere....in a different country....with 50 degree or less weather maybe....Even the shoes just did not work for me. Well, there's always next year!

I had so much fun catching up with friends and I can't wait for next years show!

Who's your icon?

 

Power Woman of the Week: Ria Georgina

The Bahamian Icon Awards may be over, but hype hasn't died yet! If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!

Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! I have the pleasure of calling her a friend so scoring this interview wasn't difficult but it was still a privilege to be able to sit down with her and talk about her and her brand! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

If you were on the Red Carpet at the Bahamian Icon Awards, then you probably heard the same name, over and over again!

Three nominees graced the red carpet in custom designs by none other than the fabulous Ria Georgina! Her designs were the most stunning and talked about, all night! So let’s take a minute to meet the woman behind the dress!

 

Her full, government name, according to her passport, is Kenria Geoginia Smith (side eye to the government worker who butchered her intended middle name of 'Georgina' so perfectly). At the young age of 29 she has been operating under the brand name Ria Georgina, since 2012. Kenria’s (Ria for short) grandmother used to sew and passed it on to her mother, whom she mostly learned the basics from. As she got older and started to gain more interest in fashion, she started to experiment with different techniques, purchase textbooks and everything else she pretty much learned from trial and error and, of course Youtube. I sat down with this Power Woman this week to talk about her Red Carpet debut and gain insight on who she is and what’s next for her brand.

How did it feel to design for 3 Bahamian Icon Nominees?   

It really didn't hit me until I started working on Leanne's dress (I had less than 24 hours to pull that together lol). I knew Leah and Leanne from Facebook, and Wendy is one of my newer clients, but I love all of their energy, so it felt pretty easy breezy as opposed to 'Holy crap, these are ICONS'.   It was my first red carpet as well, so watching the red carpet and the show was kind of surreal, especially when Leanne was asked who she was wearing and she said 'Ria Georgina'. I legitimately almost jumped out of my skin.

What is your personal development plan?  

I'm not a big planner, especially when it comes to things like running a business. I literally have no idea what I'm doing, but I know that I would be miserable if I were doing anything else.  For now, I just want to build my clientele and continue doing what I love and see where it takes me.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Hmmm, probably the combination of the Love and Hip Hop series (all of them lol) and Twitter. It's so ratchet but I can't stop watching/tweeting. It's hilarious.

Who was your favourite person to design/style for and why? 

 And NOW you're trying to get me into trouble.   Generally speaking, I love designing for women who know what they want, come with reference photos, but are open to trying something different. I love when I can get to that sweet spot where the client trusts me completely, it's really quite the compliment.

What are the top three life lessons you've learned that have been the most helpful in your career?  

The main lesson I've learned is that not everyone is as honest as you may be. Just because I would never commission someone to make a dress and drop off the face of the earth without paying for it, doesn't mean that someone else won't. I had that happen to me more times than I'd like to admit.   I've also learned that if you don't love what you do, it won't matter how much money you make. I worked for a handful of people before finally deciding to try it on my own, and the same thing usually happened; I'd be happy the first few weeks because I could finally save up for something I may have wanted, but once I got it, I kind of felt unfulfilled, like I was missing something important. Money is nice to have in abundance, but to be honest, if the world never ran on currency, I would still be doing what I do now.   The third thing is that your client should NEVER see you panic. There are times when something is a bit too snug, or too short, and I can visibly see the panic in my clients' eyes. I always keep a cool head and reassure them that it's not the end of the world, and that it can be fixed. Because in most cases, it can. Things go wrong all the time, but it's the way that we handle it that people usually remember.

Name someone you would really like to work with. Why?  

I have a designer bucket list that I constantly add to, but if I had to pick one person right now, it would be Emma Stone. She's one of my favorite redheads and I love that she likes to stand out on the Red Carpet. Plus she would be so much fun to hang out with.

What are the top three life lessons you would pass on to someone else?   

First, I would advise them not to take failures and the word 'no' as the end of the road. None of these things are permanent unless we let it be.  Also, I'd tell them to not let the way the world treats you change you for the worse. If you are a positive person, hold on to that. If you're a video game enthusiast way into your 30's, own it. The world needs diversity.   Finally, I would encourage them to travel and learn as much as you can about as many places as you can, while you can.

You run into a potential client in the elevator/coffee shop and you only have 60 seconds to sell yourself. Go!

Hmmm. Well at least 20 of that 60 seconds would be wasted on me just going back and forth in my head about whether or not I should even approach them. If it's someone who's in the public eye, I'd ask them if they were so-and-so and then I'd say something like 'Awesome, I really appreciate what you do for (insert charity here). My name is Kenria Smith, I'm a local designer and stylist, and I'd love to work with you for your next event.' Then I'd give them my card and let the rest sort itself out. I'm not an aggressive human.

 What's next for Ria Georgina?  

I'm currently working on some pieces for an upcoming music video (I won't say who yet), and after that, I will be winging it. I'm open to whatever opportunities this profession has waiting for me.


The 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards

It was a night of Glitz & Glamour filled with celebrities and selfies, oh my!

If you missed the 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards on Saturday July 11, don't worry. I'm about to fill you in on everything you need to know about what went down!

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