CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Q-VO Records Aims to Put Singer Taliesha Boatwright
At the Top of the Charts
Courtesy of Q-Vo Records for The Westfield Leader and The Times
SUPERSTAR IN THE MAKING…Taliesha Boatwright (Ta-Ta) of Plainfield is on her way to the top of the record charts with the help of her record label, QVO Records in Scotch Plains. Ta-Ta is currently working on an album, “Who’s That Girl,” which should be completed within the next two months. Pictured above, are: Ta-Ta with recording artist Smooth B.
By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN
Specially Written for The Times
SCOTCH PLAINS Taliesha Boatwright, or “Ta-Ta” as her friends call her, is the next white hot hip-hop artist on the music scene. With her unique lyrics, which are entirely selfcomposed, and her own brand of rhythm and rhyme, she is ready to take the hip-hop norm and stir up a storm.
Recently, the rap industry which is primarily dominated by men with lyrics crafted mostly by men, has been usurped by artists like Lauryn Hill of South Orange, who are turning the tables by giving women an important voice.
Paving the way for a female perspective and talent in the rap industry, Ms. Hill, 23, who captured five Grammy awards on February 24, is an inspiration to Ta-Ta who is also in her early 20’s.
Tom Grant of Q-VO Records in Scotch Plains which is producing TaTa’s music, told The Times that Ta-Ta is the reason why the record label originated.
Q-VO was established in the late months of 1998 from SRA Recording Studio of Scotch Plains has essentially produced rap, jazz, and rock and roll for approximately 14 years. But, due to Ta-Ta’s talent, Q-VO was born to devote itself entirely to rap and hip-hop.
“She’s the reason for Q-VO,” revealed Mr. Grant. He added that when he first listened to Ta-Ta’s music with Q-VO President, Seth Alexander, he commented, “This girl’s got it.”
While originally under contract with another record label, Mr. Grant and Mr. Alexander realized that TaTa was not just any other ordinary recording artist with the average sound. They decided that she had to be under contract with Q-VO.
Mr. Grant observed that upon hearing other hip-hop artists such as ‘Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, he realized that their voices and styles were not distinctive and seemed to blend into a style that did not strike the ear with an uncommon sound.
He stated that Ta-Ta’s sound could be best described as “rap singing with a chant.” “She’s got a style all her own. She’s wellrounded and doing it all on her own,” he added.
“I think we will see some things done in the rap industry that were never heard before,” Mr. Grant revealed.
Whether or not a performer with an original sound can succeed is also
reliant upon the artist’s ability to command the stage. According to Mr. Grant, Ta-Ta has the monopoly on that talent, as well.
“She has a real presence on stage,” he stated, while reminiscing about a performance in New York City when Ta-Ta had the audience rousing and raving. Although the majority of the audience had dispersed and Ta-Ta was the fifth act instead of the third as she had been promised, the remaining crowd was bowled over.
Ta-Ta told The Times that she has been inspired by her hometown of Plainfield and her friends and family who have given her support throughout her young and blossoming career.
Although she had started to hone her singing skills through solo appearances in school and a spotlighted performance at her eighth grade graduation, Ta-Ta’s actual interest in hip-hop sparked while viewing a male rapper’s performance during an afterschool program.
With lyrics that were “disrespectful to women,” Ta-Ta was appalled and counteracted with an impromptu rap performance which later motivated her to turn her inspiration into a prolific career.
Since then, Ta-Ta has continued to compose lyrics based on sources such as “life experience, pain and happiness.” “I like to be original. I’m very creative,” she stated.
“Ghetto Blues,” was recorded by Ta-Ta with platinum and gold artist Smooth B of Nice & Smooth and Norman “The Storm” Bradley, as the producer. According to Mr. Grant, the record will be released late this year.
Another recording, “Who’s That Girl,” is Ta-Ta’s current work-inprogress. She is working with Arthur Woodson or “Dark Blue” to produce the album which will be named at a later date.
According to Mr. Grant, the concept behind “Who’s That Girl,” is to officially introduce Ta-Ta’s talent to the world of hip-hop and to incite interest and curiosity about exactly who this talented and up-and-coming star could be.
Donning a relaxed pair of denim overalls and a confident and carefree grin from ear to ear, Ta-Ta revealed that in addition to furthering her recording talent, she would like to produce and direct movies in the next few years.
With the dream of maintaining her own record label in the future, Ta-Ta said, “I’d like to help others with their careers.”
“She’s going to take the world,” concluded Mr. Grant.
Preventing Substance Abuse Is Emphasis for Talk
Dr. Robert Johnson to Speak On Surviving Adolescence
WESTFIELD — Have you often walked away from your teen wondering what just happened and what should I have done?
Are you worried about whether you are helping or causing your child’s problems. Adolescence is a time of rapid physical, emotional, and psychological change for teens.
While some aspects of adolescence are the same that parents may have experienced in their own youth, there are many changes that make adolescence more challenging today and that places our teens at greater risk.
On Wednesday, March 10, nationally renowned adolescent expert, Dr. Robert L. Johnson, will present “A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Adolescent Years” at the Roosevelt Intermediate School Auditorium, 301 Clark Street, Westfield, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Dr. Johnson, bringing the most recent research, will provide an overview of adolescent physical, psychological and social developmental landmarks to give parents an understanding of normal growth and development.
He will outline parental, school and individual factors that can protect children, as well as those that can put children at risk for drug abuse, suicide, violence, pregnancy and depression.
Dr. Johnson, Director of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, has been invited to the White House numerous times as a speaker and resource.
He was recently appointed to the National Institute for Mental Health by Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services. Dr. Johnson served several governor appointed terms on the State Board of Examiners.
He is also a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Teen Pregnancy and was a recipient of the 1997 Governor’s Award. He is often featured in the media as an authority on adolescent issues.
Dr. Johnson’s workshop is co-sponsored by the Cranford, Garwood, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains-Fanwood and the Westfield Municipal Alliances.
The Municipal Alliances sponsor substance abuse prevention activities in their communities. This workshop is being funded by the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and the Union County Department of Human Services, Division of Planning.
For more information or for reservations, please call the Westfield Municipal Alliance/PANDA (Preventing Alcohol, Narcotic and Drug Abuse) at (908) 789-4040 or the Scotch PlainsFanwood Alliance at (908) 654-4441.
DECA Students Awarded At Statewide Competition
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School DECA Chapter, an association of marketing students, continued its award-winning tradition in recent statewide competitions, bringing home 50 prizes.
Seventy Scotch Plains-Fanwood students were among 1,200 students from throughout the state competing in areas students learn in their Marketing class or on-the-job training. The state DECA competition was held Febrary 2224 in Cherry Hill.
The students participated in various competitions.
The competitons ranged from competency-based objective testing to case studies based on marketing instructional areas, or through written marketing research projects students prepare in their related class.
Sophomore Rob Bugg, seniors Dave Budd, Pete Kobliska and Paul Valenzano won first place honors in the Quiz Bowl Event with a series of questions on marketing and economic terms and concepts.
The Scotch Plains-Fanwood groups have won the Quiz Bowl each year since it was adopted by the State Association.
Sophomores Andrew Elko, Anthony Gicas and James McClintock were awarded first place for the market research they performed for the Borough of Fanwood. Their project included a survey of how to improve communications and the business district of Fanwood.
Sophomores Rob Bugg, Eric Konzelman, and Doug Gillie won first place for their promotion of the Free Enterprise System.
Senior Peter Kobliska, and sophomores David Larkin and Tim Gander were awarded first place in the Learn and Earn Event, a research project by
USA Today. Sophomores Dave Bell and Chris Gawryluck, and senior Adena Plesmid won the Public Relations Campaign Event, which included research and work for the homeless and the Union County Interfaith Council.
Seniors Dave Budd and Paul Valenzano each won first place in their events, Marketing and Management Services and Business and Financial Service Marketing event, respectively.
Junior Jennifer Miller and senior Caroline Mattar won first place for their marketing research project in the Hospitality and Recreation Industry, while junior Megan Kiel and senior Alex Valera won first place in the General Marketing Research category.
Second place winners for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood group included juniors RJ Milligan and Nathan Jones for Food Marketing Research; Pete Kobliska for Business and Financial Services Marketing Research; junior RJ Raszka in the Retail Management competency testing event; juniors Julie Lowen and Jane Shih in the Travel and Tourism Marketing event.
Becky and Sarah Vilim were awarded in the Hospitality Market Research event. Megan Kiel took third place in Retail Management and Jackie Sanders in International Marketing.
Other winners listed as top five in the state included: sophomores Anthony Blasi, Damiano Gaetano, Michael Dixon, juniors Diane Ferrara, Tricia Hellstern, Dan Kalisky, Russell Rabadeau and seniors Matt McCarthy, Tom Gentile, Evan Campbell and Steve Averbukh.
As a result of the state competiton, 28 Scotch Plains-Fanwood DECA students became eligible to compete at DECA’s national competitions to be held in Orlando, Florida in April.
F.E.M.A.L.E. Chapter Posts New Meeting Site
The Union County Chapter of F.E.M.A.L.E. (Formerly Employed Mothers At the Leading Edge) continues to meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.
These meetings are now being held at the Hanson House, 38 Springfield Avenue in Cranford, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Health and First Aid Seminar Set Saturday for Grades 2 to 6
SCOTCH PLAINS – Terrill Middle School in Scotch Plains will host a Health and First Aid Seminar on Saturday, March 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. for children in grades 2 through 6.
Students may have their favorite Beanie Baby examined by real nurses; practice making 911 telephone calls with a special simulator, and talk with members of the local police, fire, and rescue squad.
The program will teach students the difference between hypothermia and heat stroke; dangers they should look for in their homes; basic First Aid and the Heimlich Maneuver.
Youngsters will also have an opportunity to learn what doctors, nurses and dentists do to maintain patients’ health; enjoy an activity with finger
prints, and test their reflexes, pulse and blood pressure.
Junior Girl Scouts will be able to earn their First Aid Patch and part of Safety Sense by attending the program. Brownie Girl Scouts will have an opportunity to earn their My Body Try-It and part of Safety. Webelo Cub Scouts may earn their Readyman Badge.
For more information, please call Monica at (908) 769-8610. Pre-registration is required. Registration forms must be accompanied by a $3 check for each participant.
Troop and individual checks may be made payable to Troop No. 561 and sent to Monica Anderson, 27 Ravenswood Lane, Scotch Plains, 07076.
Westfield Wash & Dry Westfield Wash & Dry Westfield Wash & Dry Westfield Wash & Dry Westfield Wash & Dry 341C South Ave, East • Westfield • 232-0171 341C South Ave, East • Westfield • 232-0171 341C South Ave, East • Westfield • 232-0171 341C South Ave, East • Westfield • 232-0171 341C South Ave, East • Westfield • 232-0171
(Next to STS Tire)
• FREE Pic • FREE Pic • FREE Pic • FREE Pic • FREE Pick-up/Deliv k-up/Deliv k-up/Deliv k-up/Deliv k-up/Delivery within 5 miles • ery within 5 miles • ery within 5 miles • ery within 5 miles • ery within 5 miles •
Everything Under One Roof! DRY CLEANING SERVICE • ALTERATIONS • SELF SERVICE •
WASH & FOLD SERVICE • COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS
Mon-Fri, 7am-8pm Weekends, 7am-6pm
The Best Service at the Lowest Prices – Check for Yourself!
10% OFF Dry Cleaning or Wash & Fold
• No Limits to By-The-Pound Bulk Cleaning • • Commercial Accounts Welcomed •
• Dry Cleaning Experts • Coin Laundry • Dry Cleaning By The Pound • Alterations • Shirt Laundry • Valet Wash
THINK SPRING Cleaning!!! Jon M. Bramnick
Certified Civil Trial Attorney
Admitted to New Jersey, New York & Florida Bar
20 Years of Civil Trial & Personal Injury Law Experience .
•Personal Injury Law •Negligence •Motor Vehicle Accidents
NEW PRODUCTION Arsenic & Old Lace By Joseph Kesselring, Directed by Peggy E. Seymour (908) 276-7611 • Tickets $15
Friday, March 5 Saturday, March 6 Curtain 8pm