Meet The Beauty Queen Behind The Cover Of The January 2022 Issue Of GEQ Magazine: Kerry-Anne Peterson

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Kerry-Anne Peterson is a Sagittarius-Capricorn beauty queen who’s currently studying Psychology – she plans to attain a Ph.D. in Psychology with a focus on diagnosing and treating mental illness. She also loves animals, and in fact, she has adopted and cared for a wide range of species, including dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

GEQ magazine recently caught up with Kerry-Anne to discuss her journey in the pageant world, and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the pageant industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

It’s a funny story actually! I walked at a charity runway for breast cancer awareness when a pageant trainer and scout approached me. They said they’d think I’d do a great job on a pageant stage, so I decided to try it out. At my first pageant, I won 4/12 titles; needless to say, I loved the experience and have been competing ever since!

What do you like most about being a beauty queen?

I get to help others and inspire people to be confident in their own skin. It’s always heart-warming to know that I’ve made a positive impact on someone.

Downside to being a beauty queen?

Unfortunately, the downside, as with any industry is dishonesty among companies. One of the biggest eye-openers for me was discovering that the title doesn’t always go to the rightful winner.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the pageant industry so far?

My most memorable moment was volunteering at an orphanage, the children put on a special performance for us, and we got to dance alongside them. My best moments have always been when I’m helping others.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

To be honest, mostly everyone! Each person I have met has a unique story, and I’m always able to learn or take something new from each experience.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the pageant industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Stay true to yourself, be strong, and trust in your ability. As I said earlier, I’ve experienced both amazing and not-so-amazing things while competing. The most important thing is to know who you are and love yourself as you are.

Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

You’ll actually find that the industry has changed immensely now; it is so liberating to see that diversity is the front-running theme now. People are now being valued and seen for who they are inside, which always counts from the start.

Is your family supportive of you being in the pageant industry?

Absolutely! Without their support, I wouldn’t even have gotten this far. They’re the ones who had driven me every time I’ve felt down and have praised me behind the scenes when it really mattered most. I love and adore my family and friends.

What are your future plans? Inside pageantry or out of it.

I want to open an animal shelter with a no-kill policy; animals deserve the absolute best we can offer them. I also want to focus on senior animal re-homing; statistics show that senior pets are usually left behind, which is so upsetting. Like I said earlier, I also want to get a Ph.D., so I have some really big goals!

I’ve always been a very ambitious and driven person, so I always strive to work hard and be the best I can be.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Halloween Kills; I love a good horror flick!

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? My pet dog Chloe, she’s just a little baby, and I love the way she looks at the world.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Probably visit a crystal cottage; I love collecting gemstones. I’ve always felt a spiritual connection to the Earth, and it’s amazing how gemstones come in diverse colours, compositions, and spiritual meaning.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” Cliff dive every single day.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? All of my fears make up who I am; they also make me brave because I can challenge them and feel accomplished.

This feature is courtesy of Road2Bollywood/International Film and Entertainment Festival Australia and WOW. Big shoutout to the director and founder Maxine Simmons.

10 Fashion Essentials You Definitely Need For 2022

By Chi de Jesus

Are you tired of flipping through the magazines and going through people’s OTD’s just to get an idea of what to wear or what to shop for yourself? Here are some fashion essentials that will get you through this year. We’ve interviewed fashion experts and clothing aficionados to get their recommendations on what a stylish woman would need to be “in fashion” in 2022 (at least).

A WHITE SHIRT – buttoned-down, blousette, or crew neck, this versatile piece can go well with any clothing item. Former print and runway model, Aileen Santarinala says fabric and fit are key to making this item go with any other fashion item. Asia’s Next Top Model alumni Jodilly Pendre, says it’s her go-to item because it’s a “no brainer” – it fits any look and fashion item.

A PRINTED BLOUSE – can be the centerpiece to any solid colour combination or a break to any colour blocked look, be mindful of the size of the print though and make sure it works for you (more of this in an upcoming article). Your printed blouse can be an accent to your streamlined look.

CASHMERE KNIT – with a cowl or a turtle neck in light breathable fabric can easily transition through any season – wear it easy or with a classic look, it’ll work wonders for you… light cardigans and cozy sweaters can also work as long as it’s not fabric heavy
Comfort and style rolled into one item that may add sophistication to your style.

BLACK BODYSUIT – it’s like a leotard but with snap-ons at the bottom for easy access when you go to the little girl’s room. This is perfect for night-outs where you can move freely without worrying about what’s-untucked-where.. Perfect with low waist denim or dress shorts.

BLAZER – double-breasted or three-buttoned, tapered or oversized, this item can make the transition from casual to casual chic, from chill to corporate, and can be an emergency item that you can “pull out of the hat” when the need arises. Work with earth tones to make this item more versatile.

SILK SLIP DRESS – by itself with sexy pumps can be as captivating as wearing it with white runners and a denim jacket. It’s an item that provides a great contrast between fabrics and accessories and a good canvass to express your whimsy. Innerwear as outerwear brings us back to the design concept of Coco Chanel.

A JUMPSUIT – an item that you can literally “jump into” combining top and bottoms in a sleek design – it’s classic enough that it goes through seasons and timelines all you need to do is accessorize. Can work with or without an inner shirt.

BLACK TROUSERS – straight cut or bootleg, this goes well with almost all fashion items and it streamlines the look especially if you are bottom-heavy. If not, there is always the white option.
Make sure that cut and length complements your body proportions.

DENIM JEANS – how can you get more classic than that? Robby Carmona, multi-awarded Filipino Fashion Director says it’s a staple for daily activities and travel. Fit is key and an understanding of your body structure allows you to choose the best type for you because there’s always a denim pair of jeans for any shape or size. Proper accessories can glam this number ready for the clubs.

CLASSIC COAT COVER-UP – an easy choice to transform your look from laid-back to travel chic without breaking a sweat … make it more versatile by choosing water-repellent fabric for the rains and you will look smashing. All-weather, all occasion.. a necessary item for your wardrobe.

They’re VERSATILE, CLASSIC, and FUNCTIONAL – three qualities that make all these items essential to your wardrobe. Watch out for the rest of the “Fashion Essential Series” where we discuss accessorising and how to handle your biggest fashion essential – your skin!

Source: The Australian Filipina

Meet The Pageant System Behind The Cover Of The December 2021 Issue Of GEQ Magazine: Monarch International

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World Universal Productions is thrilled to announce their new brand Monarch International and is revealing some of their inaugural titleholders in this GEQ exclusive!

Monarch International is THE most inclusive organization in the modeling, glamor, and pageant industries.

There are categories inclusive of transgender and non-binary individuals, a category celebrating the art of Drag, a category just for talent, and an introduction to the world’s first international, all-inclusive pageant for Mermaids, Mermen, and Merfolks! All categories are open to anyone age 21 and over. Marital status and orientation are not a factor for inclusion.

Instead of traditional evening wear, Monarch International will hold a fantastical Charity Gala where the contestants will model their incredible creations along a specific theme, similar to the world-famous Met-Gala. The theme for 2022 will be Carnival in Venice!

Monarch International is finalizing its 2022 International dates, but it will be held in Washington DC in September 2022. Follow Monarch International on social media @WUPMonarchInternational and visit the website at www.worlduniversalproductions.com/monarchinternational to learn more.

Now, let’s meet the inaugural court.

Chuck Burk

Chuck is a diversity, equity, and Inclusion professional working in customer advocacy in the technology sector. He also serves on the DEI board for a not-for-profit group. He is the co-founder of a Political Action Committee focused on down-ballot candidates and legislation supporting traditionally marginalized and underrepresented groups. He is a former titleholder in the Miss Gay America system. Chuck enjoys travel, and his favorite place is Prague. He is honored, excited, and ready to get to work as the first Supreme Monarch International.

Evan Taylor

Evan resides in his native country of Scotland; he has a degree in Human Resources Management and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personal Development. He works as a Program Manager at Amazon. He was previously a restaurateur who co-created a brand new concept in casual dining with the UK’s youngest ever chef to hold a Michelin Star. Evan is passionate about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging and works closely with local abuse prevention, ritual abuse, and LBGTQIA+ charities in Scotland. He is a practicing Buddhist and really does want world peace. Evan will be spending the next year sharing the mission of Monarch International and is excited to welcome all of the 2022 delegates who seek to be his successor.

Arilyn Roberts

Travis Dupuy, otherwise known as, Arilyn Roberts is from Baton Rouge, and has competed in pageants since the age of 10. Arilyn is your current reigning Queen Apollo, Miss Southern Illusion Queen of the South, a former Miss Louisiana Gay America, and was recently named the inaugural Queen Monarch International. A licensed cosmetologist and barber, Arilyn has also been a cosmetology teacher for 10 years with Paul Mitchell. Arilyn is also an accomplished dancer and a member of the National Thespian Society. Arilyn has had the opportunity to appear on the big screen in the movie “Dallas Buyers” starring Matthew McConaughey, and was recently an extra in the hit TV series “Claws.” Arilyn is thrilled to be our first Queen Monarch!

Jorge Romo-Jimenez

Jorge is a 2017 graduate of Norfolk State University, where he was Mr. Norfolk State University 2015 and earned a BS degree in Chemistry. He is currently in his fourth year of teaching at a public charter school in Washington, DC. With his core values being authenticity, equity, and effectiveness, Jorge is passionate about education and creating a culturally responsive classroom where each scholar can learn and grow. As a black male educator in an underserved community, he prides himself on the safe space he creates for his students, the relationships he nurtures, and the growth mindset principles that serve as the foundation of his classroom. Jorge’s most important education pieces are the platform to enhance students’ voices, self-advocacy, and autonomous learning and thinking. While in the classroom now, he hopes to advocate for educational reform for students in low socio-economic communities and reform the oppressive structures in which educational systems have been rooted for centuries. Jorge is proud to represent Monarch International as the first International Ambassador.

Mermaid Echo

Echo is an international award-winning aquarium performer and aquatic educator. Echo is Wisconsin’s premier professional mermaid entertainer, specializing in children’s conservation education. Mermaid Echo Entertainment LLC works to inspire the next generation to care for at-risk aquatic ecosystems through storytelling and hands-on learning. Echo is a certified PADI Mermaid Instructor, Open Water Diver, and Red Cross Lifeguard who centers safety in their events and curriculum. They have over seven years of experience in one-on-one childhood development and aquatic education and have been running Mermaid Echo Entertainment LLC since 2016. They currently hold the titles Merfolk Monarch International, Ocean Ambassador, and Ms. Mermaid Wisconsin 2021. Mermaid Echo is excited to combine their love of mermaiding with a passion for supporting non-binary communities, as the Merfolk title is specifically for individuals who identify as non-binary.

Blix

Blixunami (Eric Milligan) is from Charleston, South Carolina. As a young kid, in 1995, Eric saw his mermaid on tv, the Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie, and fell instantly in love with the creatures! Eric would spend their days daydreaming about mermaids. Once Eric got to High School, they found a website forum called mer-yuku where they met so many others that loved merfolk just as much as him. Eric finally found his tribe. After years of dribbling over others’ tail pictures and unwrapping videos, in 2012, Eric got blessed to receive their first tail for free from a long-distance friend. After putting the tail on for the first time, Eric knew life was complete, and Blix became their mer-sona. Eric mostly swam in local pools with friends until one day in 2016; he got his first paid gig as a professional Merm for Dallas Southern Pride. This then led to his 1st kid’s party, a 7 day trip to Italy for the Santarcangelo Festival, a YouTube interview with Davey Wavey and even scored an episode with Tosh.O! He has been a cover model for BEAU Magazine in South Carolina and at this time decided to create a more uniform look for his mer-sona and The Blixunami was born. Now, as The Blixunami, they made their new look debut at the Tybee Island Mermaid Festival and were a mega-hit with the crowd! Since then, Eric has done many festivals, parades, and other gigs. Eric’s goal as The Blixunami is to make sure that everyone that gets the chance to meet them leaves with a bigger imagination than before and the knowledge to know no matter who they are, what they look like or where they come from, they can always follow their dreams no matter what any says and to always SPLISH SPLASH ON THE ANCHOVIES! Eric is thrilled to be the inaugural Merman for Monarch International!

Syrena

Syrena is Singapore’s First Mermaid, Singapore’s first and premier professional mermaid, and the founder of the Singapore Mermaid School.

Born and raised in the cosmopolitan Little Red Dot with the legendary Merlion as its cultural creature of myth, Syrena has made waves locally and internationally as an industry leader.

She has executed, hosted, and performed at numerous first-of-their-kind mermaid events in Singapore, including having her own weekly aquarium show, collaborating with the Singapore Zoo, performing atop the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, as well as performing in a custom-built tank outside Tiffany’s. Besides the glitter and glamor of her larger-scale events, Syrena retains a soft spot for the signature mermaid appearances she executes for little ones, believing it is important that children are shown the wonder and whimsy of the world around them.

Adjacent to her performing career, Syrena founded the Singapore Mermaid School, which opened its doors to children and adults.
The Singapore Mermaid School was the first mermaid school in the world to establish a tiered and holistic syllabus, and was also the first mermaid school in Asia to be established by a professional Asian mermaid. The vibrant community that has sprung up from the School celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and sisterhood.

Syrena’s career has taken her from the chrome and glass infinity pools of Singapore to the shores of Hawaii, Bali, the Maldives, and most recently – America, where she headlined MerMagicCon 2019.

Syrena has dipped her fins in pageantry, securing a place as a Top 10 Finalist in Miss Universe Singapore, and is thrilled to take her place again in the scene for a cause that celebrates individuality and dynamism as Ms. Mermaid Monarch International.

Montara Grace

Montara Grace has been a professional mermaid performer since 2016. In her adventures, she has performed as far north as Ohio and as far south as West Virginia, where she has worked with the West Virginia Renaissance Festival since its opening in 2018. She has participated in several pageants in the past few years, having held the titles of Miss Mermaid Montana 2019-2020 and Miss Mermaid North Dakota 2021 with Miss Mermaid USA, Monarch of the Lake with Mermaid at Any Age, and Ms. Egypt 2021 for Ms. World Universal International. As a plus-size woman, her platform has continuously been diversity, inclusion, and body positivity. She works to create a space where everyone can coexist and supports others as they learn to love themselves. Pageantry has elevated her love of philanthropy. A long-time supporter of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Save the Manatee Club, and the National Zoo, Montara Grace has since donated efforts to the Maryland chapter of the TEARS Foundation, the Trevor Project. She is an active member of the Society of Fat Mermaids. She currently resides in Maryland with her dog, three cats, chickens, and mini pig, Pancake. This past year she founded a cat rescue, The Purrsery, for pregnant strays and abandoned kittens. When not mermaiding, volunteering, or bottle-feeding kittens, she works full time in vaccine manufacture. Montara is so excited to share the first fully inclusive Mermaid pageant with merfolk around the globe!

Meet The Shepreneur Behind The Cover Of The December 2021 Issue Of Global Elite Entrepreneur: Robbie Canner

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Robbie Canner is a 63-year-old entrepreneur, international model, and the Director and owner of Ms. Australia, New Zealand, Oceania World Universal, and Ms. Regal World Universal, and Ms. Majestic World Universal. She was crowned Ms. World back in 2018/19, and she’s the reigning Ms. World Universal Elite 2020/21. She’s also a public speaker on the topic “Age Is No Barrier.”

Since winning the Ms. World title, her public profile has considerably grown, allowing her to promote her platform and raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Winning major international titles in her 60’s has given her a platform, showing men and women from all walks of life, that age is no barrier to what anyone can achieve.

Since losing her son to cancer, her emotional and mental stress led her to visit thoughts such as, “I don’t want to be here anymore,” or “I want to be with my son.” However, her inner strength eventually led her to want still to continue living, have a say, and give direction to help others in any area of situational, emotional, and mental stress – assuring them that things can get better in time.

She loves chatting with future queens and friends she meets along her journey, and she wants to help them achieve their hopes and goals.

Global Elite Entrepreneur recently caught up with Robbie to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur, and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

My first business venture was 36 years ago when I started my Sports Therapy Practice which all these years later is still running at a huge and booked-out pace. I always did extra work in TV commercials and movies but always wanted to walk the runway at Fashion Week. Little did I know that it would take into my 60’s to achieve this as in right now. Now, after winning Ms. World in 2018, it has propelled me into many avenues of modelling, media, guest speaking, podcasts, promotions, and becoming the Director of my pageant event Ms. Australia, New Zealand, Oceania World Universal and Ms. Regal, and Ms. Majestic World Universal with my bestie Nancy Ellen Martin in the US now extending into Canada and Japan and the start of Monarch International. Between my practice, modelling and pageants, these are now my full-time jobs, and I love the combination. My practice works with the human body and movement, the modelling shows the human body and movement, and the pageants grow the human body and mental mindset. I guess I have the perfect combination woven together in all my careers. And I certainly don’t intend to retire from any of them, only increase this creative combination to success.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

To maintain and grow my businesses currently is staying on a platform of currency in the trends happening, contacting or being approached by the right people and companies, and just having the guts to put myself out there and take a risk. My practice has a history of success, so that takes care of itself, but my national and international modelling career through my agents is going very well and now entering a new realm. Collaborating with other sources is currently a project in play, so I guess it’s a watch this space over the coming year. I have a great team around me, so I am blessed with having the best in every area.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

The form of marketing to grow my businesses, especially for my practice, has only been through word of mouth, which I have been eternally grateful for my work has preceded the need to advertise. My modelling and pageant career has taken care of itself from being approached by many sources for interviews, magazine articles, and TV and radio interviews. I have put myself out there for fashion week and travel, but luckily, I have always been invited back to grow further.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

My social media platforms of choice are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn; these all get the word out to promote and gain ground in all avenues of my businesses. Articles and word of mouth are two of the greatest outlets to increase brand awareness.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision I have had to make in the last few months, as has been everyone else’s toughest decision as well, is how to get through Covid. How to survive and understand that at the end of all this craziness there will be a continuation of what was started before lockdown. I used this time to think and grow in how I would achieve my finest outcome from day 1 of freedom. I used these difficult times to grow into the best times still to come.

What do you put your success down to?

I have great friends as a source of support and visa versa, the added smile of having someone special enter my life just at this time, and most of all, to visualize where I wanted to be emotionally and career-wise post-Covid.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Luckily, my business was an essential service, so the Covid situation did not affect my practice. With constant updates from NSW Health and following all the rules, I was able to grow through this outbreak which made me feel so good because I was not only able to help others keep their bodies mobile – but also help them emotionally giving all of them a reason to strive through to freedom.

How have you adapted your business operations in response to COVID-19 and its associated impacts?

I have used a considerable lot of spare time to think, write and plan on all levels, and somewhere along the line, I have succeeded in some of my dreams and goals. At times, I just wanted to fold like so many others, but I found the strength somewhere. Sometimes you need to hang in there in the face of adversity.

What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned because of this pandemic?

Some of the most important lessons I have learned through the pandemic are: there are a lot of people worse off than me, we can’t control life, but we can control and adapt ourselves to this situation, and to take this time to plan, think and try to grow through the emotional breakdowns. I had to plant a thought in my head that I could put my mind to anything I might like to try when I am through this. I’m looking forward to exciting, new journeys.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

For all small businesses, I would like to see them all survive in the near future. Unfortunately, this will not always be possible, but some small businesses have been established and grown through this unusual time to total success and achievement. Life itself is a small business in just being a human being, and we all have the self-capability to survive and start to grow again; even though we may get knocked down, we can all support each other in this; how fantastic.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up a new business in this pandemic?

For anyone to start a new business in this pandemic is a testament to the ability of what we can all achieve to grow and succeed in the face of adversity. It is another ultimate level to challenge yourself in everyone’s mind and faith. I take my hat off to everyone who put a physical and mental idea into practice during a pandemic and survived to start a new business into where we all now exist. This is the ultimate achievement and growth to saying there’s nothing anyone cannot do.

Photo Credit: Tony Palliser of Studio 49

Get To Know Oscar Nominated/Grammy Winning Composer Stephan Moccio

By Allison Kugel

Sitting down with famed Oscar and Grammy-nominated music composer, writer and producer, Stephan Moccio, I join his gaze on his piano, which has given life to some of the most iconic songs in popular music. He is kind enough to show me his home’s expansive canyon view, which takes my breathe away. We talk about life, laughter, love, and the behind-the-scenes stories for some of my favorite hit songs.

The collective vibration is buzzing with positive energy as we discuss his role as co-writer and composer on chart-topping hits from The Weeknd’s seven-times-platinum single Earned It from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack for which Moccio earned three Grammy nominations and an Oscar nod; to the Miley Cyrus multiplatinum single, Wrecking Ball, and countless Celine Dion hits, including her record-breaking single,  A New Day Has Come.

The stories behind the songs are surprising, revelatory, and poignant, as is Moccio’s propensity to swivel his torso towards his piano keys and start playing the melodies of some of his famous hits. This thrills and delights me; it’s an unexpected front-row seat into his artistry.

The conversation then turned to Moccio’s latest solo effort, the instrumental album, Lionheart, an exquisitely composed and arranged album that demonstrates the tremendous scope of his musicality, drawing upon his eclectic background. Stephan Moccio’s piano-based solo recordings, including his 2020 album, Tales of Solace, has enjoyed a jaw-dropping four hundred million streams across music platforms.

Allison Kugel: You co-wrote and composed the Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated song Earned It with The Weeknd, for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. Though you’re both from the Toronto area, that is actually not where the two of you met and began working together.

Stephan Moccio: Maybe it helped us eventually get together, but we never met each other in Toronto. When I was living in downtown Toronto, our respective studios were seven blocks away from each other. When Abel (The Weeknd’s birth name is Abel Tesfaye) was doing his mixtapes and he was becoming underground famous, prior to his explosion to the world, I had a bunch of assistant engineers at the time that kept saying, “You have to get with this guy called The Weeknd. He has a really cool voice, kind of like Michael Jackson, and everyone is loving what he’s doing.” He was on my radar and we just never made it happen until I moved to LA.  Our managers got together for lunch in Toronto and said, “Listen, we have to get Stephan and Abel together and make some music.” The rest was history.

Allison Kugel: Tell me about how you and Abel collaborated to create the song Earned It

Stephan Moccio: Again, great story, because he was already asked to do something for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, as was I. Before Earned It was written, I had the end credit song called I Know You, that I wrote with [singer/songwriter] Skylar Grey. When Abel and I got together with [music producer] DaHeala, his other co-producer, and another writing partner, Belly, the four of us wrote Earned It, and of course, that obliterated my other song (laugh).

Allison Kugel: As a solo recording artist, your music is primarily piano and instrumental. When you work with a vocalist as the composer and co-writer, are you writing lyrics as well? 

Stephan Moccio: I do, but I don’t write as many lyrics. They don’t come as fast. Music just comes out of my fingers. It just bleeds. I have so much music in me, and that’s the easy thing for me, so I have the privilege of getting together with some of the greatest singers in the world; Celine Dion, Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd. Oftentimes, especially with Abel, he does write his own music and he collaborates with producers like me. It’s like a waltz, that song (Moccio begins playing the melody to ‘Earned It’ on his home piano).  What people don’t realize is that lyrics will shape melody as well.  A word can shape the melody, so we don’t even divide it that way anymore.

Allison Kugel: Is Abel singing his lyrics while you’re playing the melody, and then you’re like, “Okay great, let’s do that.”? Am I getting the process right?

Stephan Moccio: It pretty well is, yes. He had an idea, and I sort of expanded on it. He and one of his producers came into my studio, but that whole string element that you hear at the beginning was something I just do in my sleep. I was kind of mocking it up on my piano and he and DaHeala said, “Oh my God, that is amazing! Record that.” And it became the foundation of the track. In order to qualify for the Academy Awards, you have to see the movie and then write the song according to what you saw. Once we saw the movie, we completed the song, lyrics, and arrangements.

Allison Kugel: And the song was nominated for an Oscar.

Stephan Moccio: Yes, it was, and we performed it at the Oscars, which was exciting.  It was such an incredible experience. Not just the nomination, but the whole week and a half leading up to the Oscars… the luncheon, and performing at the Oscars.

Allison Kugel: Well, the luncheon.. you can’t miss the luncheon (laughs).

Stephan Moccio: No, the luncheon, people don’t realize, can be more powerful and exciting than the actual Oscars (laugh).

Allison Kugel: I know, I’m teasing. Let’s talk about another song you collaborated on, one of my favorites, the Miley Cyrus song, Wrecking Ball. Tell me how that collaboration came together with Miley Cyrus.  

Stephan Moccio: I got in a room with two other incredible songwriters.  It was me, songwriter Maureen McDonald who goes by the professional name “Mozella,” and Sacha Skarbek. Mozella was supposed to get married that week and she decided it just didn’t feel right, and so she came to the session fragile, down, and broken.  With a lot of courage and bravery, she showed up to the session. Oftentimes, in a situation like that you want to wallow or just kind of sit in that misery and lay in bed. Somehow, I felt that she kind of needed to change things up, write some songs, and not think about how hurt and upset she was. She came into our songwriting session in such a state, that the song and the lyrics for Wrecking Ball, that is her real story. And we, of course, all wrote the song and the melody. I’m at the piano with Mozella singing it, and she said, “I’m going to be seeing Miley [Cyrus] in a couple of weeks. Do you mind if I pass this song along to her?”

Allison Kugel: That’s so interesting, because most people including myself, assumed Miley Cyrus wrote the lyrics to Wrecking Ball about her relationship with Liam Hemsworth.

Stephan Moccio: Yes, of course. That was a one in a million [coincidence]. It rarely happens like that. Miley is a phenomenal writer, herself, but that song was really and truly written by the three of us. It really resonated with Miley. A lot of artists would say, “I don’t want to do it because I didn’t write the song,” but there was so much truth to what Mozella was going through, and that’s how universal that theme is in Wrecking Ball.  Dr. Luke produced the song, for which Miley then did a provocative music video, which was a big part of it.  Miley was going through a lot of personal growth at that time, and she was wanting to sort of break up with her Disney days and become the artist that she is now. Miley was, of course, going through her breakup [from Liam Hemsworth] at the time and she said, “I’ve got to record this song.” She recorded the song, and they ended up using my piano melody for it.

Allison Kugel: You just brought up an explosive name, Dr. Luke. You said it in passing, like a drive-by. What is the current consensus about him in the music industry?

Stephan Moccio: I’ve learned that as a producer he is certainly highly respected in regards to his skills, to be very clear. With what went down, it would be unjust of me to comment on something that I’m really uneducated about. The irony, though, is that the music industry is full of so many pitfalls and I’ve just seen that so much is manipulated to create something that is not always truthful. As artists, we create a painting that is not truly us. Instagram is not truly us. It is our highlight reel and it’s the best part of our lives.  Are we showing when our kids are in pain and they need us the most when they are crying and you’re exhausted and just want to punch a wall sometimes? All I can say is, he truly is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to music, but the rest, who knows.

Allison Kugel: Do you think young female artists, generally speaking, get the respect they deserve when they are working intimately with male writers, producers, and composers? Is there professional respect and professional boundaries, for the most part?

Stephan Moccio: Generally speaking, no, there isn’t. I still think women are at a disadvantage. I have a lot of respect for female writers and female artists. Some of my greatest successes have come from working with songwriters like Mozella and Skylar Grey, two incredible talents who happen to be female. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a female artist getting into a room with certain genres of music, which sometimes can be a little more male dominant. Things are certainly better. If you think about some of the great albums of our time like Tapestry by Carole King, Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette, 21 by Adele. Some of those are the greatest albums of all time, and they are by scorned women who got through breakups. There have been science to prove that part of the success is that woman respond to female art in that way. I find that fascinating, but I also was raised primarily by a mom.  My parents got divorced when I was thirteen years old. My dad is a great man and is still alive and still a huge part of my life. But as I see mothers, and single mothers, I have tremendous respect for them.

Allison Kugel: Right here (I raise my hand).

Stephan Moccio: You’re one of them, and that is why I have such admiration. My mom raised my brother and me, two boys, and she was a French-speaking woman in an English-speaking part of Canada, so she had her own challenges. The female aspect in the music industry is certainly something we are making positive strides to change, but I still believe there is a lot of progress that is needed.

Allison Kugel: Speaking of French-Canadian, you have also collaborated with Celine Dion.

Stephan Moccio: Celine is a treasure in Canada. I’m French Canadian as well, and we go back twenty-plus years. I’ve written and produced a handful of songs for Celine, and my first international hit with Celine was her song, A New Day Has Come. It was a song that changed my life as a songwriter. I was in my twenties when I wrote that, and it was her first comeback song after she took a sabbatical for a couple of years to give birth to her first child. That song became the title to her Las Vegas residency. A decade earlier I met her and said to her, “One day I’m going to write you a hit song.” She was so gracious and she said, “Okay, bye for now.” Then I had the opportunity to write A New Day Has Come almost a decade later and sent it to Celine and her manager. They called us back and Celine said, “This song is unbelievable.” Sometimes you can visualize your dreams and really go for it.

Allison Kugel: And this collaboration with Celine Dion has been ongoing…

Stephan Moccio: Yes. Then, of course, I went on to write the Olympics theme song for Canada and a plethora of other things for her. I moved to LA in 2013 and I had a huge string of successes with Miley and The Weeknd, and then I got another call from Celine when she was ready to do an English-speaking album, just a few years ago. She asked me to produce and write a good part of that album. We have now been working together for twenty years.  I’m forty-eight now! Celine Dion is one of the hardest working artists I’ve worked with at that level, with no disrespect to anybody else, but she still wants it more than anybody.

Allison Kugel: That hunger is still there? 

Stephan Moccio: The hunger is still there, and it is there with Abel (The Weeknd) as well. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know Miley that well, and I can tell Miley is definitely a student of pop culture, but Celine’s work ethic is where she will get into the studio at 6 pm and she won’t get off that microphone until it’s done, at like, 5 am or 6 am. Sometimes she is in there for twelve hours. And she doesn’t need to be. She’s one of the greatest singers in the world, but she’s certainly driven to make sure her emotion is communicated on record.

Allison Kugel: Your own instrumental album, Tales of Solace, which came out in early 2020, it did extraordinarily well. Do you think it was because the tranquility and meditative quality of your piano melodies were exactly what people needed?  

Stephan Moccio: That is exactly it, Allison. I wrote that album, pre-pandemic, but I was writing it because I was needing to come back to the basics. Before the world shut down last year, I felt like my life was very complicated. It was very big, living in Los Angeles, I was going through a lot of personal changes, and so I wrote Tales of Solace. When it was released, shortly after the world shut down, people thought it was the pandemic album (laughs).

Allison Kugel: The quiet in the storm (laugh).

Stephan Moccio: Exactly. The friend that you needed. I just happened to be ready and prepared with that album. It came from a genuine place. I was doing it just to serve my own emotional needs. I needed a break from the madness of always chasing the charts. That stuff is exciting, but I just felt it was time to make a hard right turn and go back to my roots, which was my piano. That is also why I think it did well because there are no lyrics to it. These [solo] albums I do are meant to be meditative, peaceful, and just bring you introspection and allow reflection. By virtue of not having lyrics, the music crosses and transcends cultures.

Allison Kugel: And your new instrumental album, Lionheart, that album title resonates with me because I’ve always said, although I’m 5’3” and have a certain visage, I have the heart of a lion. Why did you choose to title the album, Lionheart, and how is the music different from Tales of Solace?

Stephan Moccio: I proudly state my age, because I think in age there is wisdom (Moccio is 48).  I’ve been going through a lot of personal growth over the past five years. I was always someone who tried to please others and that doesn’t get you everywhere all the time. If you try to bend to make other people happy, you sort of forgo our own moral compass at times, if that makes any sense. With the album, Lionheart, I was looking for an album title and I came across Joan of Arc. I love Joan of Arc because of my grandmother, her name is Joan of Arc in French. And her name means “lionhearted.” I thought it was interesting. It means bravery and determination.  It really summed up exactly where I am in life. Opinions of other people don’t bother me anymore. They don’t affect what I know to be the truth, or what I know to be what I need to do.  If you love piano music, if you love instrumental music, I’ve put so much love into these albums.  Hundreds and hundreds of millions of streams later, it’s hugely impressive for a piano album. Lionheart is a word right now, at this point in my life, that encapsulates everything I am.

Allison Kugel: I am forty-seven, and I’ve been listening to a lot of spiritual leaders who have said that as humans we don’t often look at age in the right way. There are so many wise people who have said that you really don’t reach the stage of adulthood until around forty. Before that, you are still in some ways very much a child. Then, when you reach the age of 49/50, you really kind of come into your own, because that is the stage of life where, energetically, you shift from being concerned with how other people see you to letting go of a lot of that so that you can create a life in a more authentic way.

Stephan Moccio: That is exactly what happened to me. Throughout my forties, especially in the last few years as I get towards fifty, which is crazy to think about, there is a metamorphosis that I literally see change in my life. People will sometimes, on a surface level, mistake that for ego or selfishness.  It’s actually the opposite.  It’s benevolence. It’s when you do know exactly who you are, that you can offer your true gifts to this world.  You able to give more to people. It sounds cliché, but as soon as you are able to accept that, you learn the ability to say, “No,” or “No thank you, not right now.” Otherwise, it just infringes on your ability to give back your true powers to the world your true energy.  Again, I’ve seen it with all the great artists that I’ve worked with, whether it’s with Abel or Celine.  Celine is truly who she is.  Sometimes people will get irritated by happy people because they are irritated by the fact that people have found their calling. I hope I’m becoming one of those people, through my piano music, who can transform or shape lives differently through something great, through my fingers or through my art with my piano.

Allison Kugel: What is the emotional arc of the music in Lionheart?

Stephan Moccio: Lionheart was truly written and composed during the pandemic, so there was this kind of feeling last year when we were all sitting there and the world was shut down, none of us had gone through that before. I was locked in my studio in Santa Monica for seven weeks, just kind of recording all these beautiful melodies for this album. It was in a sense, a rebirth, like a renaissance, a new world. When we look back in the history books this will be another renaissance, for better or for worse. The pandemic has reshaped our values, reshaped us as humans, reshaped our political system. It’s reshaped so much in life, and so it reshaped my music.

Allison Kugel: Where do you believe this musical ability comes from? Do you think it comes from God? From your mind? Your heart?

Stephan Moccio: That’s a great question. I came from a very open household. Both of my parents are phenomenal and great speakers. My mom, in particular, and I, come from a family of pianists. I had to learn my craft my entire life and I’ve been at it for forty plus years now, where I know how to communicate on an instrument.  So when I have a feeling, I can get that feeling from my head, to my heart, out through my fingers, and play exactly what I want to play, chord-wise or melody-wise.

Listen to the full, extended interview with Stephan Moccio on the Allison Interviews Podcast at Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at allisoninterviews.com.

Stephan Moccio’s latest instrumental album, Lionheart, is out now, on all streaming services and at stephanmoccio.com. Follow on Instragram @stephanmoccio.  

Defining Beauty… Do You Feel Beautiful Right Now?

Defining beauty as a concept is akin to holding sand in your hands. You can grasp at it and you certainly can seem to understand what it looks and feels like, but it is by no means solid. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this cliché certainly holds true. Approach anyone in the street and ask him or her to explain their ideal of beauty and you will undoubtedly get substantial variations in response. What you might come to discover is that defining beauty is closer to “I know it when I see it”.

It becomes very obvious then that defining beauty is as subjective as one’s taste in music. The search for it has spanned centuries – a relief in the tomb of the Egyptian nobleman Ptahhotep (who lived around 2400 BC) shows him getting a pedicure. Cleopatra wore kohl, a precursor to the modern eyeliner. Incarnations of what is considered ‘beautiful’ has ranged from breath-stealing corsets in the 19th century to achieve a tiny waist to our modern-day gravity-defying, ankle-threatening stilettos.

And that search is an expensive one! According to National Geographic, in the US, billions get spent on makeup, hair and skincare, diet products and services, and billions more on health club memberships and plastic surgery.

But what for? Experts from all different fields have weighed in to define beauty and why we search for it. Studies by anthropologist Don Symons at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and psychologist, David Perrett at St Andrews University in Scotland, all show that men consistently showed a preference for women with smooth skin, larger eyes, fuller lips, and a smaller nose and chin because “all these traits are reliable cues to youth, good health, and fertility.” Essential characteristics we instinctively know (honed over millennia) are vital for continuing the human race. However, that hard-wiring in our brain circuitry can be altered, especially by culture, according to Douglas Yu, a biologist from Great Britain whose studies, for example, found that indigenous tribes in Southeast Peru preferred body shapes regarded as overweight in western culture. “A fuller, evolutionary theory of human beauty must embrace variation,” says Yu.

So, who’s been shaping the modern definition of beauty? That modern definition that has us worshipping Victoria’s Secret models, A-list stars, and beauty queens, and has us comparing our bodies to theirs? That has us modifying our eating habits that in an ever-growing number around the world, has resulted in eating disorders? That has us losing our sense of self-worth and self-esteem? It’s so easy to blame the media – magazines, TV, movies – as the culprit. But who buys those magazines, watches those TV shows, goes to the movies?

We do.

In a twisted sort of way, we ourselves have been responsible. What we watch, what we buy has inadvertently shaped what modern society now considers beautiful. So, in recognizing that, can we then be the instruments of change?

I am an aunt to three beautiful little girls and I find myself sometimes terrified when I think of the challenges that face them when they grow up. I was fortunate enough to have grown up surrounded by strong, confident women and in that most essential stage – the teenage years, the high school years – when your perception of yourself in relation to others is shaped, I was blessed to have had a group of friends who couldn’t care less what anybody else thought of them. They were proud in who they were and in the dreams and ambitions they had for themselves. After high school, I again found myself, in the form of my two best friends and the women in my Christian youth group, with kindred spirits whose values and integrity meant more to them than superficial cares. I look back at those women, grateful that I knew them, and praying that my nieces will have women like them who will stand steadfast against today’s shallow perception of beauty.

When I was researching this article, I decided to have a look at the dictionary’s definition of beauty. According to Merriam Webster, beauty is:

– The quality of being physically attractive
– The qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind.

Now that second part got me thinking… “qualities that give pleasure…” Isn’t that a healthier way of thinking about beauty? I mean, something can be physically attractive or ‘beautiful’ but deadly like a poisonous plant, and in that same vein, someone can be stunningly gorgeous but be a horrible person inside. So, I think instead of aiming to be beautiful, we should aim to be attractive. I mean, let’s face it, there is no way you can look like those models in the magazines. You know why? Because you don’t have the same genes they do, It’s as simple as that.

So, what do I mean about aiming to be attractive? Being attractive means that you’re the sort of person people are drawn to – like two magnets being pulled towards each other. Not drawn to you because of how gorgeous you look, but because they actually want to spend time with you. They are drawn to you because you are a person with a good heart, whose confidence and positive nature is just as irresistible as honey is to a bee. It’s a challenge, yes. And much more difficult for some to achieve than others but that’s what my circle of strong, confident women taught me – that my heart is more important than my face. Because ultimately, when I’m at my most unguarded when the only critic I face is me and I ask: “Do I love me?” and when I can say: “Yes”….that’s when I feel beautiful.

15 Of Instagram’s Highest Earning Celeb Couples Ranked

From Selena and Chris to Kim K and Pete –  the rumors are rife with potential new couples blossoming every day. But which of our favourite A-list couples stand to earn the most per combined Instagram post? By utilizing tools such as the Influencer Marketing HubTop10Casinos.com can now reveal all.

THE RESULTS:

Name

Potential earnings per post $

Combined potential earnings per post $

Potential earnings per post $

Partner

Kylie Jenner

$921,751

$1,066,150

$144,399

Travis Scott

Selena Gomez

$894,163

$937,452

$43,289

Chris Evans

Ariana Grande

$904,409

$904,409

$0

Dalton Gomez

Kim Kardashian

$864,988

$865,636

$648

Pete Davidson

Justin Bieber

$667,533

$794,846

$127,313

Hailey Bieber

Beyoncé

$715,103

$715,103

$0

Jay Z

Kendall Jenner

$652,144

$652,484

$340

Devin Booker

Taylor Swift

$606,084

$609,606

$3,522

Joe Alwyn

Zendaya

$364,834

$527,004

$162,170

Tom Holland

Kourtney Kardashian

$491,163

$510,837

$19,674

Travis Barker

Katy Perry

$462,258

$480,263

$18,005

Orlando Bloom

Cardi B

$375,476

$439,786

$64,310

Offset

Kevin Hart

$421,185

$432,557

$11,372

Eniko Hart

A$AP Rocky

$45,530

$411,836

$366,306

Rihanna

Camila Cabello

$192,315

$405,761

$213,446

Shawn Mendes

Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are the celebrity couple with the highest combined potential Instagram earnings, with an estimated $1,066,150 per post! When broken down into individual figures, Kylie not only has the largest number of followers (278 million) of all the celebrities analyzed, but she also could rake in the most with an estimated individual earning of $921,751 per post – a whopping 538% more than her baby daddy Travis Scott ($144,399 per post), and 41% more than her big sis Kendall Jenner ($652,144 per post).

If the rumors are true, Selena Gomez and Marvel man Chris Evans could take second place, with combined earnings of $937,452. Despite Selena potentially earning 1.3% less than her fellow pop star Ariana Grande, it is Captain America himself that comes to the rescue to place them in second with estimated $43,289 per post.

Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez take third – with Ariana potentially carrying both her and her newlywed husband Dalton Gomez with Instagram earrings of $904,409, as the real-estate broker chose to keep his life and Instagram private.  This makes the popstar the second-highest-paid A-lister of the celebrities analyzed, just 1.8% behind Kylie Jenner who takes the top spot.

Another rumoured romance is that of Kim Kardashian and comedian Pete Davidson, as they were recently spotted holding hands on a Halloween ride. If they were to couple up, they could be the fourth highest-earning couple on Instagram with estimated potential earnings of £632,810. However, this is a 3% decrease from the earnings Kim K could have made with her baby daddy Kanye – as the couple had estimated earnings of £654,184 per post before their split.

Beyoncé earns more than 90% of celebrity couples collectively

Queen B places in sixth despite the lack of her husband’s, Jay Z, Instagram account with a whopping estimated earning of $715,103 – single-handedly earning more than 90% of the celebrity couples analyzed!

Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes make the top 15

In 15th place are sweethearts and ‘Senorita’ singers Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, with combined potential earnings of $405,761 – 361% more than Cabello’s collaboration partner Machine Gun Kelly and his girlfriend Megan Fox, who could earn together $87,870 per post.

Although they have recently split – Victoria Secret model Gigi Hadid and her ex-boo, Zayn Malik would place in 16th. With Gigi ($233,464) potentially earning 65% more than her ex-popstar boyfriend Zayn ($141,213), the pair still pull in 2% more than Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi ($367,069 combined potential earnings) who place 17th.

Methodology:

  1. Top10Casinos.com sought to discover the most popular celebrity couple with the highest collective potential earnings on Instagram.
  2. The obtained list of celebrity couples was sourced from multiple articles relating to the most well-known celebrity couples using in-house metrics. Sources can be found here.
  3. Following the establishment of a seed list, each celebrity’s Instagram username was obtained – if neither member of the couple had Instagram or had private accounts they were omitted from the study.
  4. Influencer Marketing Hub was utilized to collect each celebrity’s potential earnings per Instagram post, by inputting their Instagram username into the tool.
  5. The combined earnings of the couples were totaled and ranked in descending order, to thus determine the celebrity couple with the highest potential earnings on Instagram.
  6. The currency was originally collected in USD ($) and rounded up to the nearest dollar.
  7. Data was collected on 28.10.21 and is subject to change.

Editorial credit: Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.com

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Bethany Surridge of Journalistic.org

Are You Oversharing?? Here’s Why Posting Photos On Social Media Can Be Dangerous!

Are you oversharing? The pictures you post online reveal more than you might expect.

As some COVID-19 restrictions get lifted, people are spending more time in social places and are very eager to showcase their life outside home online. Visited your favorite restaurant for the first time after lockdown? Better post a picture of the memorable event! At least, that’s what the majority do.

However, not many think of the dangerous outcomes of posting on social media. According to BrandWatch, 3.2 billion images and 720,000 hours of video footage are shared daily, making those people perfect targets for thieves and cybercriminals.

“People share information about themselves in exchange for positive reactions or when they need to vent. However, every picture we post may set off an incident of cybercrime,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

While most social media users know they shouldn’t reveal their home address, current location, or phone number on Facebook, many still share entertaining photos or social plans. Such information might seem innocent to share, and potential threats tend to be overlooked.

Are you oversharing?

Since vacation season is upon us and everybody hopes for less strict COVID-19 rules, the expert has made a list of the most common mistakes. If you make at least one of them, have no doubt that you can become a target for hackers frequenting the dark web.

You share your location. You post pictures with location tags of your whereabouts, letting everyone on the internet know where you are and where you live. If you’re on a trip, and the only one guarding your property is your neighbor’s cat, rest assured that criminals will consider breaking in.

You share your address. You take pictures of your house, allowing others to figure out where exactly you live and what items you own. Sharing where you live can do more harm than you think. A Japanese pop star posted a selfie with a reflection of a train station on her eyeball. This minor detail helped a stalker trace her location and sexually assault her.

You vent or rant on social media. Pressure at work, family duties, and social tensions might result in a burning need to vent. Never do that online: what gets on the internet stays there forever. Personal feelings should be shared with close circles rather than publicly.

You post images that contain minors. Even high-profile parents like Pink and Gwyneth Patrow have given up posting pictures of their children. This is not only because of the hateful comments they receive, but also because kids are often mocked at school for being featured in their parents’ snaps.

You share your intimate pictures. This is a classic —  engaging in sexting and sharing nudes. The number of image-related crimes grew by a triple-digit during the pandemic, as people engaged in intimate conversations more than usual. As a result, NordVPN’s recent survey revealed that as many as 36% of Brits are highly worried about their stored personal pictures being made public.

You have all the trending social media apps on your device. Choose a few. Do you really need Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and all the other social media apps? These applications have access to your gallery, location, and contacts, meaning they collect and store your data, which might not always be that innocent.

You never turn off Wi-Fi on your mobile device. Your phone is continuously scanning for trusted Wi-Fi networks. Once you get close to your home or work, your device automatically connects to the network it finds. This is convenient, but, along with these constant joining requests, your phone gives out a lot of valuable information about you. There are tools that collect the names of all nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, including your home network. This data is then sent to public websites like Wigle.net, which create heatmaps of Wi-Fi hotspots. Anyone can find your home address — even a non-techie stalker from your college or office.

You use your work device for personal needs. Are you guilty of browsing X-rated content, looking for a new job, or shopping online on your work computer? It is very likely that your boss or the tech guy will know about it. Your internet service provider keeps logs of where you go and what pages you visit. Keep your personal matters on your personal devices. And use a VPN to keep your private affairs really private.

You use the same password or its variations for multiple accounts. If you use the same password on multiple platforms, you are making it easier for hackers to get to your private accounts. Additionally, don’t risk it by using the most popular passwords of 2020, as identified by NordPass’s research. For example, ‘123456’ has been breached more than 23 million times and takes a second to crack. Among others are ‘picture1′, ‘password’, ‘senha’, ‘qwerty’, ‘abc123′, ‘Million2′, ‘iloveyou’, ‘password1′, and others.

You never check the background of the picture you are about to post. The last piece of advice is to simply follow common sense. Surely,  anyone can make a mistake, just like Lisa Kudrow, who accidentally posted a picture containing a post-it note with her passwords. Consider the internet a public space — everyone can see you both from the good angles and the bad.

“Besides cyber threats, it’s fun to post photos and let everyone know you’re having a cocktail at a nearby bar, but that sends a clear signal to burglars that your home is empty,” Daniel Markuson adds. “Even the people who feel sufficiently educated about online privacy still reveal their personal details online. Millennials especially tend to post their social activities online.”

ABOUT NORDVPN

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.

Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The November 2021 Issue Of Global Elite Entrepreneur: Kamran Karim

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After being a crucial part of brand development and click monetization projects of several Fortune 500 companies, serial entrepreneur Kamran Karim is taking the entrepreneurial world by storm armed with his more than 13 years of professional experience in mobile app development, software development, deployment building strategic alliances, branding, product life cycle completion, digital marketing, and internet promotions.

Kamran Karim has founded several companies, such as Tech Whizards – a global company that provides innovative digital solutions for businesses, and Yacht Rental DXB – a luxury yacht rental company applying Uber’s digital business model for clients to rent yachts and spend time with their friends and their loved ones. He is also the founder of Binary Geeks – a software house that provides innovative products for the global market.

Kamran Karim has a number of exciting upcoming projects lined up, such as a YouTube channel named “She Inspires,” where they will be interviewing women who have gone through struggles and overcame all the obstacles life put them through. He’s also planning to launch another YouTube channel called DefiGeeks, which is catered to the Pakistan market, where they are planning to post weekly episodes about cryptocurrency and the hype surrounding it. Lastly, he’s also in the process of launching a private jet rental company called Jetify in UAE, where users will be able to follow the Uber business model and rent private jets, similar to their Yacht initiative.

Global Elite Entrepreneur recently caught up with Kamran to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship, and here’s what went down:

What inspired you to develop your idea? What is unique about your business?

I believe that ideation is a gift; it is definitely inspired, and for a person like me, inspiration comes from being spiritually connected to my environment, being able to seek the “What is missing” element in my surroundings, and then forming that element into an idea. Many people get inspired but cannot evolve that inspiration into an idea, which is what sets me and my business apart; my ability to get inspired, evolve that into an idea, and most importantly, implement it to make my whole business strategization “unique.”

How have your priorities changed from when you first started?

I think everyone’s priorities need to change from time to time; if there is no change in priorities, then there is no evolution and no movement towards the higher order. That said, my priorities have definitely changed from the beginning to now. Initially, it was more of a subtle change in priorities than a deliberate or planned thing.

Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?

You will find me incredibly poetic here but, I don’t think a person should think of undoing their previous mistakes. Ask me why and the answer will be that I find that mistakes define the journey to success, so one should not regret any mistakes they might have made in the past.

What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey? How long did it take you to find success?

I am still a long way from being successful in the way I’d want to be; however, my challenges have changed since I began my first business. Initially, I used to be worried about matters like finding investors, and finance, while now I worry more about things like product sustainability, marketing, etc.

What strategies did you first use to market your business?

I think the most common strategies for business are the ones where I employed myself in the beginning. I also took advantage of the various social media platforms and heavily utilized them to promote my business and create a market for my products. Now, it is more word of mouth situation, a family of clientele, and the likes.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in business. This can be about your industry or about yourself.

Patience is a virtue! Instead of expecting to become a success overnight, one needs to be patient and plod their way towards success.

How do you define success?

Internal satisfaction and the gratification that one obtains when you see your business being trusted by a lot of people – and knowing that you are the person behind the business. That is what I call success.

What have you enjoyed most about starting your own company?

A person like me loves everything about the experience of starting their own company. It is like you have a baby, and you are watching it grow. The first clients are like the first steps; the 2nd product is like the baby has learned a new word. So, I can not as such define any specific thing that I enjoyed the most while starting my own company. I think it’s everything about it.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The same one I quoted about patience being a virtue.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Well, expansion, the addition of new things, and diversifying into other areas are on the cards; as for plans outside the career, I’d rather not discuss at the moment. I tend to be a highly private person.

Iyuno-SDI Makes Strategic Investment in Ortana Media Group

Iyuno-SDI Group, a global localization and media services partner to the world’s leading content producers and distributors, announced today its investment in UK-based technology provider, Ortana Media Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Iyuno-SDI’s localization supply chain is taking a significant step forward with the highly scalable workflow orchestration and asset management solutions of Ortana. Founded in 2012 by CEO James Gibson, Ortana quickly established a market presence in AustraliaEuropeNew ZealandSouth AsiaNorth America and South America with its platforms Cubix, Kiosk Cloud, and Spot & Spin. Ortana is helping its clients better manage their media assets, automate processes, reduce operational costs, and scale workflows.

“By leveraging Ortana’s technology across Iyuno-SDI’s global infrastructure, we will continue to meet and exceed the demands of our customers with a highly scalable end-to-end localization supply chain,” said David Lee, CEO of Iyuno-SDI Group. “Global Media and Entertainment Distribution is experiencing an unprecedented period of growth as consumers’ appetite for content is at an all-time high, and the need for a single supply chain provider is critical to global content producers’ distribution strategies.”

“We are thrilled to join the Iyuno-SDI Group,” said James Gibson, Founder CEO of Ortana Media Group. “David Lee’s vision for a truly global, scalable localization media supply chain is perfectly aligned with ours. We see this as an immense opportunity to expand these offerings to customers worldwide.”

Iyuno-SDI delivers the world’s leading content creators and distributors a portfolio of localization and media services including dubbing, subtitling, mastering, packaging and distribution, encoding and transcoding, and quality control.

The Ortana platforms, integrated with Iyuno-SDI’s global network of studios and media services facilities, will form the industry’s most cutting-edge end-to-end supply chain service provider in the business.

ABOUT IYUNO-SDI GROUP

Iyuno-SDI Group (www.iyuno-sdi.com) is the media and entertainment industry’s leading localization service provider. As a trusted global partner to the world’s most recognized entertainment studios, streaming platforms and creators, it offers end-to-end localization services – from dubbing, subtitling and access services to media management, transformation and distribution services – in over 100 languages for every type of content distribution platform. With deep roots in the industry dating back to 1974, the company is unmatched in operational expertise, scale, capacity and breadth of services.

Iyuno-SDI Group was formed in 2021 following the acquisition of SDI Media by Iyuno Media Group. Leveraging the best in breed creative and technical talent, state of the art facilities and next generation technologies, the company now boasts the largest global footprint with 67 offices in 34 countries. The company’s scale and customer-centric approach is focused on its mission of connecting content, connecting people.

ABOUT ORTANA MEDIA GROUP

Ortana Media Group (www.ortana.tv) was founded in 2012 with the vision to improve the way media workflows are managed. An intuitive, faster and more cost-effective way for clients to leverage their content and grow their businesses.

Today, Ortana is a leading specialist in the development of products and solutions that meet the practical requirements of a wide variety of sectors, including content owners, post-production houses, distributors and broadcasters. The company has a worldwide re-seller network across North AmericaEuropeSouth AmericaSouth AsiaAustralia and New Zealand.

The Ortana team has developed a portfolio of highly flexible, multi-tenanted, end-to-end solutions that are easily adaptable and reconfigurable to meet the needs of current media enterprises and future workflows. From automating and orchestrating media management at every point of the file cycle, to deploying and moving systems to the cloud, tape digitization, LTO migration, and more.

Source : Iyuno-SDI Group

This article was sourced from a media release sent by PR Newswire