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Downtown’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageATL is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Atlanta’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out Downtown’s rising stars below.

Michael Butler

My biggest motivator was the cars pulling in valet. I couldn’t be the guy looking through the window wishing. I’m very grateful for radio, it pushed me, opened doors. I’m really blessed to know or even be around the people that I’m around. Helped my acting career tremendously. Read more>>

Eric Hart Jr.

My love for photography came completely unexpected. Sitting at home one day, under the influence of boredom; came the idea to go out in my yard and take photos with my iPod. Capturing the beauty of the nature that surrounded me became my infatuation. Once the photography bug had bitten me, there was really no going back. Read more>>

Ashley Loper

I love working with people and helping capture their memories. I get to be a part of so many moments in people’s lives, and it’s amazing. A photograph is so much more than just a picture or clicking a button, it’s freezing a moment in time, it’s a memory that will live on forever. Read more>>

Nathaniel Lynch

I’m a recording artist, producer, engineer, graphic designer, songwriter, composer, investor, businessman. You can choose whichever one you want to talk to. Each skill I have carries its own story behind it. What sets me apart is I don’t worry about my competition. I don’t focus on what sets me apart from them. Read more>>

Munir Zakee

The sounds in all of this music led me on a journey to want to know what they were in order to create my own compositions. During my middle school years, I began exploring other instruments as well as being introduced to using digital audio workstations and all types of studio gear. Read more>>

Devon Commons

As being a first time Author-it has been a little bit smooth at sometimes, but being a self-publishing author started off, it has been lack of support from family members as always but I’m not a family writer, I love what I do for the people on the outside to love and consider me as they favorite horror writer and suspense. Read more>>

Ashli Ognelodh

My artistic journey started ten years ago. I was sitting in Victory World Church in Norcross, GA one day and as I was listening to the pastor preach, I heard God say to me I want you to quit your job and pursue art full-time. At the time I was 21 years old and working a great job with great benefits, living on my own, and just all around taking care of myself without dependability from anyone else. Read more>>

Carrie Burns

Filming has been a big part of Castleberry Hill and working with productions to try and make things easier on the residents and businesses is always a big deal so I developed a relationship with many folks working in locations. A girlfriend invited me to a dinner in January 2012 and inevitably we started talking about The Walking Dead. Read more>>

Michele Struss

I finally learned the word “no” and began painting according to God’s leading within my own creative spirit. I felt strongly that He was calling me to paint people (the subject matter I’d been intentionally avoiding due to its difficulty). The first piece I painted is entitled “My Hero” and is a self-portrait of sorts as it tells my story. Read more>>

Skate

I started out feeding the homeless with my church when I was little. I always love giving back and helping those in need. Just doing what I can to put a smile on people faces and help put them in a better position in life. As I became older, people always told me that a lot of people around my age looked up to me. Read more>>

Kanobi Pollard

I have been interested in photography since I was ten years old. My earliest memory was convincing my parents to buy me one of those Kodak disposable cameras from Target. They quickly realized it wasn’t very cost effective and decided to purchase me my first real camera at age 16. Read more>>

Chef Terrell Gaskin

I went to Le Cordon Bleu right after high school – and graduated with honors. My culinary career took flight immediately after receiving my culinary degree. I went from small scratch kitchens, golf & country clubs, to high volume restaurants – holding many titles from Line Cook, Sous chef, and active Executive Chef. Read more>>

Oran Williams

My main profession is videography. Photography was more as a side hustle to fund the equipment for video but I enjoy it as well. Currently, I am attempting to venture more into directing. I currently work for Universal Music Group as a marketing & content representative and for Cam Kirk Studios. Read more>>

Janae Adams

I wanted to be at Turner Sports, so I asked to shadow two professionals there by the names of Sekou Smith and Gregory Lee. Then, I began being an assistant to Rosalyn Gold-Onwude by helping her with transcriptions for her NBA and March Madness games. Also, I landed my first internship with Perfect Pitch Media Group where I did work in public relations. Read more>>

Kalif Alder

In December of 2016, I discovered real estate wholesaling. I was fascinated by the business model so I dived in head first. Fast forward to today, I founded Cash Offer Plus and the best part is that I’ve repositioned Mix2Match as the parent company of my real estate business. So, maybe I’m not a part of the infamous 90% after all. I guess that’s debatable. Read more>>

JRich ENT.

I started off rapping, Iooked at engineering as a way to cheapen my session cost. I didn’t go to school, I learned from my mentor Big Fraze. I tattooed his name on my face for teaching me how to engineer “Thank Fraze.” Since then, I have made a name for myself for working with numerous artists during the Soundcloud era. Read more>>

Jenifer Thach

Beauty has always been a focus for me because I love the industry and I love making my clients feel their inner beauty is showing on the outside as well. I plan on attending beauty school or esthetician school to get my license and be able to add even more services to the list! Read more>>

Tana Julio

I started doing music at the age of 14. I came from a family of hustlers and entrepreneurs and always knew I would have my own business venture or something that I created that was different from others. I started out in a group which led to other groups and that led to me ultimately doing my own thing. Read more>>

Joshua Smith

Throughout all the ideas that I said to people, they supported me through it all from my friends to complete and utter strangers. Without these people, I wouldn’t be able to place these ideas into the world to the fullest extent at which I could. Everything I couldn’t be in life has caused me to succumb to the realization that I am who am regardless of others opinions. Read more>>

Savanna Solomon

My school offered a class called Broadcast Video Production. That is when I first learned to edit and make videos come together. From then on, I fell in love with the whole thing. I am now a film and media major at GSU, to get my BFA in Film and Media and pursue my dreams. Read more>>

Love Jones

Things kicked off my Senior year at Morehouse College. I had had this goal to drop a mixtape. Half of its reasoning was for pure fun and the other half was a search to find some type of creative outlet for myself. It wasn’t until I met my dawg, DosDias, who was a dj on campus. I soon found out that djing was just one component to his arsenal of talent. Read more>>

Verona Jones and Spinxx

Spinxx’s foundation as a creative writer and poet evolved into digital design, video, and photography. While working 9-5’s, we steadily engaged with the arts, music and entertainment scene of the ATL ’90s. After over a decade of honing skillsets and fostering the goals of someone’s else’s blueprint, we discussed ways to brand our talents in an effort to establish long-term revenue. Read more>>

Madox Dorsey and Gabby Leaphart

Gabby & Madi have been making their mark on the industry since the tender age of eight years old. Prior to forming the new duo GabbyandMadiMusic – they began singing together in a group called Pink Heart. While in “Pink Heart” they had a song played regularly on Disney radio called “Super Cali.” Read more>>

Marquel Russell

I knew there had to be a better way. So, one day, I was introduced to an ebook, that said there was a way for me to “magnetically” attract distributors for my network marketing opportunity using the internet and even get paid from the ones that said “NO” (which were most of them). Read more>>

Luis Correal

Although I did not know it at the time, watching this one short video footage of a slaughterhouse was the first step into my journey as an animal rights activist. That short video planted a seed in my psyche that would forever change the way I saw animal products on my plate. Read more>>

Davon Agnew

I got into sports so I had lost all interest in music and became really distant besides listening to, fast forward a couple of years, I used to be in lunchroom being forced to freestyle. And I had no confidence at all but I was decent at it. Few more years, my sports dreams were crushed and I was back up with school loans. Read more>>

Brigid Oesterling

I have always been an artist and maker of some sort. Over the years, I’ve studied photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture and more. I love the challenges of learning new methods and techniques in different mediums. In my early 30’s, I decided to stop making art because I was concerned with the impact of my being on the planet. Read more>>

Caitlin Annette

People and places don’t ever cease to amaze me, and while the sights and landscape are beautiful, for me what makes it all worthwhile are the people I meet, and well, definitely the food I eat. On a day to day basis, I wake up happy because I know that this life is mine, I can sip my coffee and work from bed whenever I feel like it, and always in a different beautiful city. Read more>>

Elijah Thompson

From arranging music to ordering buses for our out of town trips all as undergrads and now all recent college grads, putting together this 300 piece monster is not easy, but with the support of our community, we’re able to consistently make it happen each year. I could go on about my life and contributions, but truthfully none of this is possible without each and every single person that is apart. Read more>>

Brock Edmonds

I’ve always danced at home or been the “little black boy” that danced at all the neighborhood parties. In middle school, I was one of the only people that could dance or interpret music the way I did. Until about high school when I met other dancers and it changed my entire world. Read more>>

Angela Thomas

Birthday Sugar started out as event planning company specializing in children’s parties. I actually started off by planning my twins first birthday party birthday. At the time, I could not find any planners in my area that specialized in kids events. Read more>>

Tamara Rice

In finding who I was, I learned that what I love most is connecting with other women and helping them through life transitions with my coaching business and creating memories with my daughter by hosting mommy and my events. Without the break up from my daughter’s father, I wouldn’t have had the space to get to know these things about myself. Read more>>

Dionne Brown

How ATL Straight Talk Radio Show, Empowering the People got started was when I was out scouting, or shall I say prospecting for my son a new space for his dealer brokerage business. My dad and I walked into one of the suites located off Old National Hwy. I asked the gentleman sitting at the front desk if the owner was available. Read more>>

Bree Couture

I’ve been in the fashion industry since I was 11 years old and began as a model. I learned to sew in high school, and taught myself how to distress denim & various other techniques. I’ve done fashion show production, model coordinating, dressing, styling, etc., really just attempting to understand each aspect of the industry to see which part fits my aspirations best. Read more>>

Mallorie Robinson

I have an intense desire to learn how to improve the web’s core functionality, and to also be involved in its future developments. I have experience in creating logical and innovative solutions to complex problems. I enjoy building everything! If you are looking for a dynamic web presence, then you have reached the right developer! Read more>>

Darrell Adams

“You never heal what you never reveal.” This quote by Shawn Carter helped start a new journey for me in life. For years, I’ve denied my problems and feelings until my senior year of high school. Depression was the battle I’d been fighting for years. It was the battle I could no longer deny. Read more>>

Jasiel Martin-Odoom

My financial literacy workshops are popular among diverse audiences ranging from middle school children to full-time entrepreneurs. For the future, my plans include growing my business into more international partnerships while working to reach more people on their quest for financial peace. Read more>>

Uptown Geno

Always had a good taste in music, figured why not have a good time enjoying great music with beautiful people and providing dope vibes and unique experiences. As a kid, my father played music Sunday mornings like Sam Cooke, sting and old reggae classics. Read more>>

DeMarlo West

D’Marlo has been a part of the music industry for 16 years, however, he was behind the scenes. He is a professional makeup artist and has worked with notable networks such as OWN, BRAVO, WeTV, Lifetime, Bounce, and many more. He’s worked with some incredibly successful artist and actors/actresses. Read more>>

Bakarí Shuman

For as long as I can remember, I have been acting. From acting like I was sick to get out of going to church every Sunday to being in a play at church or high school and even in my parents living room. I knew at a very young age, I wanted this career but my parents encouraged backup plans like becoming an astronaut or a policeman like my father. Read more>>

J.R. Born

I started writing poems and short stories in middle school which transferred to raps after my older brother started teaching me how to count bars, rhymes schemes, wordplay, etc. I fell in love with the process and I knew that my journey would be a long one! I’m great full for all the people who have seen my vision across the years and genuinely believe in my talent and work ethic in this industry! Read more>>

Dr. Tiffanie Williams

I started Liam Lives Foundation November 28th, 2016 after the passing of my son Liam on November 15th, 2016. Liam was stillborn at 20 weeks gestation. I was so overwhelmed with grief I prayed to God and asked him what was I to do with my tragedy. I believe, after a day of spiritual fasting, God gave me the vision of Liam Lives Foundation. Read more>>

Ashley “Ali J” Williams

While pursuing her career in the TV and Film industry, Ashley realized that not only does she want to succeed in her career’s journey but that she wanted to help other underground entertainers as well. Noticing that a lot of independent entertainers needed exposure and business know-how. Read more>>

Dr. Roblena E. Walker

Dr. Walker continues to hold fast to her dreams and empowers everyone she comes in contact with to dream big dreams and to realize that all dreams can come true. All you have to do is Dream them! Believe them! and Achieve them! Keep the faith and remember that all things are possible with God. Read more>>

Kyerra Weldon

My journey started almost two years ago. I was interning at The Atlanta Voice and met my mentor, Jae Nash! I was working as her intern in the community relations department and she pointed out my skillset of being a personal assistant. Jae has truly been a blessing to me. She helped me come with my business name, licenses, etc. Read more>>

Chanel Cooper

Being able to use my hands to create something beautiful has always been a valued gift of mine. With that, doing hair and doing it beautifully, came very natural to me. Since high school, I used my hair as an art form medium. It was there to accessorize my style, express my thought and emotion, and allow me to create! Read more>>

Lavene Gass

While in Atlanta, my affinity for the arts cultivated. I was exposed to television, radio and film production. Upon my graduation from Clark Atlanta University in 2004, I moved back to New Jersey and successfully pursued various areas of communication: editorial, public relations, marketing, theater, among other things. Read more>>

Quintin Bostic

I absolutely love what I do! I love working with undergraduate students and helping them to think critically about ways in which to expose their students to various diverse topics, whether its race/ethnicity, gender, religion, language, etc. To be honest, the one thing that sets me apart from others is that not only am I an African American male teaching in higher education, but I am also one of the youngest doing it. Read more>>

Heather Schlesinger

I have been very fortunate to have an exciting career journey and have had some incredible opportunities and marketing experiences with brands. Forging interesting partnerships is my passion, and it has led to some amazing promotions and campaigns. Read more>>

Sarah Loftus

I think I’m most proud of my growth in the last two years. I’ve made learning my craft a big priority, and I’m proud of myself for continuing my photography education outside of a school environment. Quality is really important to me. Making people feel comfortable in front of the camera is really important to me. I never want to half-do anything. Read more>>

Miss Storm

The Black History Month Cypher’s B.K.A. (The B.H.M Cypher’s Blog) was created by Award Winning Songwriter “Miss Storm” in Atlanta Georgia in 2018, The B.H.M. Cypher’s came to Miss Storm in a dream. She had a vision of young poets artists and musicians united celebrating and learning about the history of African American Culture past and present. Read more>>

Jasmine Anderson

After about 4-5 years of coordinating events, working with artists and brands with development and marketing, I finally decided to brand myself as SincerelyJsmn, which had been my social media handle for a while. I consider myself a professional dot-connector as I like to provide creatives with a platform and opportunities to promote their talents. Read more>>

Brian Lucear

I started my passion young just by watching a lot of movies as a kid. When I was in high school, I became interested in making movies of my own and my passion became my career aspiration. I started out just doing Videography work, but on the side, I was writing my own scripts and developing my own narrative projects. Read more>>

Muhammad Rasheed

When I was in high school, I wanted to become an actor. I wanted to be the next Denzel Washington. I participated in drama classes and in school plays. Being in front of the camera felt great. As I advanced in my high school career, I started learning more about what went on behind the scenes. I started gaining more interest into learning more about what it took to create a film. Read more>>

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