*Are you tired of just reading, listening to, or watching your favorite celebrities? Well, with the new Looped mobile app, released just last month, you may get the chance to talk it up, one-on-one, with your favorite singer, actor, dancer or even athlete, like Maurice Green (go here to signup), in a live video chat
Looped was founded over a year ago by four college roommates, with backgrounds in music, consulting, digital marketing, and as venture capitalists. The EUR caught up with one of the founders and CEO, Prajit Gopal, in a phone interview, who explained what fans can expect on the chat app.
“It’s a platform that allows any type of celebrity, artist, athlete, authors, and politicians to connect with people on video chat – one-on-one, personal, live video chats.”
Top music acts such as KT Tunstall and Haley Reinhart are in the Looped family as well as newcomer HappyBirthdayCalvin. Even multi-Grammy-winning singer/songwriter David Foster, who has worked with Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, and Celine Dion, is in the mix.
Harry Hudson, in the video above, was the first celeb to work with Looped. In fact, the original idea for the app started out as a way for music acts to talk shop with fans but that changed quickly.
“Pretty early it started out as a platform for music artists since that was my background,” said Gopal. “I used to be a talent manager for many years. And with Ben, a Looped co-founder, we started a management company together in college.”
The Columbia University graduate continued, “We were managing for a long time, and (not being able to video chat real-time with celebs) was a problem I saw in the music industry.”
“We designed (Looped) as a solution,” Gopal continued. “As we started building it and showing it around, we very quickly realized it was really more than that. It could be applicable to any industry.”
Aside from music celebs wanting in, another type of celeb also wanted to feel the love – athletes. Additionally, to Greene joining the lineup, other athletes including Eryk Anders (college football star turned MMA fighter), Saad Abdul-Salaam (soccer player), Ivica Zubac (Los Angeles Clipper), and Vanessa Serros (fitness model) said yes to the live chats.
“Music artists have interaction with fans with meet-and-greets during tours,” said Gopal. “But it’s been really interesting seeing how many athletes have been excited about it. There aren’t many outlets for athletes to get that type of one-on-one connection with the fans.”
Gopal added, “Fans for athletics are passionate. They really do want that type of access but there hasn’t been an outlet for them to do that. There’s usually no meet-and-greets after a game, fight, or race. So, it just became an outlet for them to have that experience.”
One celeb Gopal would love to land for the platform, “I love Lizzo. I have been following her from the beginning. I’ve never met her and I would be very excited to meet her.”
Social media has been getting hammered for its lack of real human connection, especially with celebrity culture, and Looped hopes to be the answer to move it in the right direction.
“It is very personal and it is live,” said Gopal, “It’s an interesting thing with celebs and fans and being able to bring each other into their worlds in a way that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Some celebrities will be on their couch, in their studio, backstage, or in their garage. They could be anywhere.”
“For the fans, they’re in their bedrooms, at school or at work, anywhere right? We’ve had really cool moments. Like one celeb met this fan who was in his bedroom and saw artwork, pets, his family, and all this cool stuff that wouldn’t be able to happen in a physical space. There are advantages to doing it anytime, anywhere.”
For more information on having a one-on-one, live video-chat with a celeb on Looped, go here. You can even put in requests if you do not see who you are looking for. Meanwhile, head here to schedule your chat with Olympic gold medalist Maurice Greene on November 17, 2019.
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH
*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!
Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai
SCREENPLAY BY | Kurt Wimmer
STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.
Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
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