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#UPFRONT featuring Letitia Wright, Malachi Kirby, Justin Simien and Singltn


Check out this week's edition of UPFRONT Inside the Entertainment Industry. It features my AAFCA Roundtable interviews with the stars of Mangrove - Letitia Wright and Malachi Kirby plus Bad Hair director Justin Simien and music sensation Singltn. 

Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen has released a new anthology series titled Small Axe. The project chronicles the journey of Blacks people in Britain from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. It is taken from the Proverb, "If you are the big tree, we are the small axe" – that was popularized by Bob Marley in his song "Small Axe.” Mangrove tells the true story of the Mangrove 9, a group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970 and their highly publicized trial that followed. Letitita Wright and Malachi Kirby talk about their characters, working with Steve and more. 

Award-winning director Justin Simien is also here to chat about his horror flick Bad Hair. The film takes place in 1989 and follows an ambitious young woman played by Elle Lorraine who gets a hair weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a mind of its own. Justin talks about the inspiration behind the film and the role Janet Jackson's song, "Pleasure Principle" played in creating the film's look. 

Closing out the show is my #MusicSpotlight with R&B artist Singltn. The Georgia native is here to chat about his new songs, "Skin" and "Congratulations." He also talks about his rendition of a John Lennon and Stevie Wonder classic, working with Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson and much more.  

Ray Cornelius is one of Atlanta’s newest entertainment writers and media personalities. His arts and entertainment website, www.raycornelius.com spotlights the latest in “positive” African-American celebrity news and was established in 2012. Since that time Cornelius has covered a myriad of red carpet premieres, award shows and Atlanta-based films including Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The BronzeLens Film Festival, The Trumpet Awards, and The Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards just to name a few. He has also interviewed a who’s who list of today’s top singers, actors and reality stars. With nearly 20 years of media experience, Cornelius has also worked as an associate producer for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, ATL Insider and with such award shows as The Soul Train Awards, The Trumpet Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.