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NEXT Alumni

At NEXT…we showcase four amazing artists every season…artists on the brink of stardom


Bio: Brenda Nicole Moorer encompasses folk writing with a soulful sound, using what she learns about life to tell a story and promote a message. With the February 2014 release of her follow up cd “For Lovers & Believers,” Brenda presents simple melodies atop laid back rhythms, heavy Rhodes, and underlying synths. She teamed up with Jesse Fischer of Soul Cycle Music to create a vintage feel for the current release.

She has sung background for Dave Hollister, and dozens of other artists including jazz vocalists Julie Dexter, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Mya, and Omarion. In 2011, Brenda released her debut album “Songbird,” independently through Yellow Orchid Records. The album, being well received, was placed in rotation on Pandora and achieved significant success on UK stations. 

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Bio: Jon Goode is an Emmy Nominee and HBO Def Poet. Over the past decade Jon has performed his unique brand of comedic and life-affirming poetry at colleges and universities all over the nation, and venues both domestic and abroad. He is currently one of the featured artists in the sold out Passion and Poetry concert series that features some of the top rated poets and spoken word artists in the nation. His work has also been featured in radio commercials for McDonalds and in television commercials and interstitials for TVLand/Nick @ Nite. Jon’s work with Nick @ Nite earned him an Emmy nomination along with the Promax Gold award for best copyright As a national award winning performance poet, Jon has been privileged to share the stage with Jamie Foxx, Mos Def, Kanye West, Tommy Davidson, Will Downing, Kindred, Ledisi, Roy Ayers, Common, Amiri Baraka, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Kim Fields, The Last Poets and many other talented poets, comedians and performers.

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Bio: Michael Molina is an attorney, author, cultural organizer, arts advocate, and performer. A graduate of Yale Law School and Xavier University of Louisiana, Mike is an alumnus of the New Voices fellowship program. He has authored two novels and stars in the theatrical adaptation of his spoken word novel Mass Transit Muse in 2014. Michael is a Georgia Lawyer for the Arts, Director of Programs for Clarkston Community Center, board member of the Decatur Arts Alliance, and principal of 5D Stories, a media company producing books, films, music, live performance, and popular education workshops that increase human understanding and catalyze human potential. 

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Bio: Fahamu Pecou  is a visual artist and scholar whose works combine observations on hip-hop, fine art and popular culture. Pecou’s paintings, performance art, and academic work addresses concerns around contemporary representations of Black masculinity and how these images impact both the reading and performance of Black masculinity. Pecou is currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University and his work has been featured in noted private and public collections including; Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Paul R. Jones Collection, Clark Atlanta University Art Collection, The West Collection, and Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia.

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Bio: Formed in 2003, by guitarist/producer/songwriter Steve Wright and vocalist/lyricist/songwriter Kim Leachman, Atlanta-based Daysahead continues to chart an innovative musical course that weaves jazz, rock, and soul into a unique, melodic and at times hard-driving sound coined as “Jazz-n-Roll.”The band was nominated Best Duo/Group of the year by SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Awards, and Best Band & Best Album of the year by RockWired Awards and was featured on BET J “Soul Sessions”and TBS “STORYLine Soundstage” series.

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Bio: This native Atlantan wordsmith has been sharing his word music in Atlanta and beyond for over a decade. Ayodele has been a featured performer at the National Black Arts Festival, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, TurnerSouth’s My South Speaks television campaign and festivals and educational institutions up and down the East Coast. His awards include. His awards include: Creative Loafing Best of Atlanta Best Spoken Word Artist and Caversham Fellow for Writers & Artists in South Africa. Published in dozens of anthologies and journals, he holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from New England College.

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Bio: William Jelani Cobb is an Associate Professor of History at Spelman College. He specializes in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. He served as a delegate and historian for the 5th Congressional District at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations. Dr. Cobb is also the author of To The Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic–a finalist for the National Award for Arts Writing and The Devil & Dave Chappelle and Other Essays .

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Bio: Considered the Gordon Parks of Hip-Hop, Shannon McCollum has photographed Dead Prez, Goodie Mob, Brian McKnight, Jermaine Dupri, P. Diddy, Wu Tang Clan, Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, Cicely Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., to name a few.

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