Maleena Lawrence (Los Angeles Sentinel): Congratulations on hosting the 2013 StarQuest Singing Competition. What do you think attendees have to look forward to on this year’s StarQuest stage?
Jonathan Slocomb: A very diverse group of people. When I saw the auditions it ranged from musicianship, instrumentals, rappers and singers. It is going to be a little bit of something for everybody and good times.
LAS: This year you were one of the judges on Day 1 of the StarQuest Singing Competition auditions. Based on what you saw during the auditions, what advice would you give to future talent and finalist on how they should prepare for the day of contest?
JS: It’s important during auditions even if its American Idol or StarQuest that you have to present yourself in a way that you look like you put time into being the best you that you can be on stage. You got to have the outfit, choreography, umm everything. You just can’t take it for granted that it’s just a little festival and you should not put your best forward. There was maybe one group that I thought came dressed as a group and ready. You have to take it seriously because you never know who is in the audience. When you prepare, come as if you are ready to get a contract.
LAS: What are some highlights in your career right now?
JS: Oh yeah! Every Tuesday night I am currently on Magic Johnson’s new television network, ASPiRE. I host a show called, Ground Breaking Comedy. I am the spokesman for a Black male skin care line called Solo Noir that’s on and poppin. And I am on an upcoming episode of The Ricky Smiley Show on TV One. There are a few other things but I just can’t think right now, I’m trying to get on this plane but, yes, there is a lot going on.
LAS: I understand one last question before you take off. The Taste of Soul is a Family event, one of the biggest street festivals in Los Angeles, what do you think makes the Taste of Soul so special?
JS: That reminds me that one of the things I forgot to mention is that where the Taste of Soul has gone from the early stages to now it is more than likely going to be a televised experience. A series that you will be hearing about and as well as Black Businesses. You get to hang out with people among all cultures that actually celebrate SOUL, food, music, fashion and it’s just a good way to be proud of who we are. And Danny Bakewell, who is on record, please quote me on this “Danny Bakewell is the lightest Black Man I’ve ever seen because I honestly did not know he was black until I meant him. He is such a visionary. I appreciate him for believing in not just me but anybody and giving people a chance to make their dreams come true.”