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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.

Deondra Sorrells

In 2015, when I first got to college, I struggled to find my life’s purpose. I switched my major three times in hopes of finding my way. I knew I loved everything about the entertainment industry, yet there was a constant battle of going to school to make a lot of money in the long run versus going to school to do what I love. I went from nursing at Tennessee State University to mass communication at TSU to finish out at Georgia State University in December 2019 with a journalism major. Read more>>

Ciarra Hodges

I supported my first birth when I was 16 years old. At the time, I had no idea how impactful that very moment would be for me. I have always been a little obsessed with birth. I used to watch “A Baby Story” on TLC when I was young and I had a birth plan by the time I was eight years old. Somewhere around age 11, I discovered theatre and my thoughts of becoming an award-winning obstetrician slowly began to fade. Read more>>

Dujuan Thomas

My passion for film and acting started at a young age. Filming daily vlogs since 2012. As I entered into adulthood, I began connecting with several prominent people in Film and Music such as Bobby Brown and Jennifer Lopez. With my first encounter being Bill Murray in 2015. I have since went on to interview the likes of Lavar Ball, Jekalyn Carr, Makenzie Thomas, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Kel Mitchell, the cast of NBC’s The Office and several other notable people. Read more>>

Mahogany Wallace

I have always been bigger than most kids my age. I used to get teased on because of my weight. It wasn’t until I got in my 20’s that I started learning to love myself for who I was and I truly gained my confidence. Finding affordable and trendy plus size clothing was always hard for me considering my sense of fashion. Due to that, I wanted to start my own plus fashion boutique. I remember one day sitting around with my then boyfriend and I told him I wanted to start a plus size boutique. Read more>>

Alexander Johnson

I first started customizing sneakers back in 2015 in Pontiac Michigan. It all started when I painted some Nike Foamposites and I posted it on Facebook and it went crazy viral and my inbox was just flooded with everyone asking how much I charge to customize sneakers. I then started customizing sneakers for my family and also myself just to get practice, After I felt I was comfortable with my craft I then started customizing sneakers for everyone in my city (Pontiac MI). Read more>>

Saliou Thiongane

I remember as a teenager, I was fascinated with TV, films and commercials. I always asked myself, how did they make that video or how did they create that effect? That was when I realized that I wanted to create videos and films for life. That passion drove me to get a degree in computer science after high school. Then one day in January 2018, my two brothers (Khadim, Oumar). Read more>>

Houston Llew

I started my enameling studio in a hot lean-to garage off of Scott Blvd in the summer of 2008. At the time, I was unemployed in the middle of the great recession, moved from Gulf Shores Alabama searching for work, and spent the last dollars that any bank would lend me on art supplies. If I was going to crash, I was at least going to enjoy myself doing something I enjoyed. Read more>>

Armani Rose

My original name is Dashawn Hiett. I’m originally from Largo, MD. Armani Rose was created while I was at Benedict College with the help of my friend Tati. Coming from my hometown, I wasn’t really allowed to express my individuality let alone my sexual preference, so when I got the opportunity to go to college, 7 hours away from home, I vowed to myself that I would live my life for me without any regrets; so that’s what I did. Read more>>

Alaisha Lewis

I started my business on and off five years ago just simply selling hair, it first was just to locals and friends with no extra promotion of exposure but then it became a business. Approximately three years later, January 2019 I decided to get serious with the business of selling hair but this time mainly wigs, it went from one person to another to social media promotion, then my business grew. Read more>>

Jabari Hollis

Coming from an era of Bankhead when it was at its peak in crime, I’ve managed to survive the harsh reality of my surroundings by putting my focus in music. I’ve rapped and became a full engineer with some Atlanta legends under my belt such as kilo Ali and Dj Tazz. But my real passion came later down the line and was introduced to me by JC which is the film industry. I never knew I’ll become an actor, writer, and director four years ago. Read more>>

Tiana Flanders

I’ve always been interested in the beauty industry and grew up binge-watching makeup tutorials on YouTube being inspired every day. I would never forget the first time I started doing my makeup it was the 10th grade and at that time I only knew how to put on foundation. As I grew more comfortable with the application of makeup, I started perfecting my eyebrows and even adding a little eyeshadow here and there. Read more>>

Deja’ Richards

“My dream for the world is to help care for poor people,” I stated these words at the adolescent age of 6 years old during a routine school activity. I was in Kindergarten at Emerson Elementary School, a small school located in Northwest Metro, Atlanta. This activity intended to promote creative thinking; however, for me, it was an outward expression of my purpose- being a servant leader. Read more>>

Nicky Carlisle

I always loved to sing with my sister and family members in church. My mother (Barbara) was a choir director for the small church we attended in Augusta, GA and singing gave me great comfort. I would get lost in the hymns and gospel music but more importantly fell in love with hearing my voice. Especially when I saw that singing reached so many and touched so many lives; it was a safe place for me. Read more>>

Kevin Bellinger

This journey actually began while serving in the US Army. One of my friends knew someone who was getting married and needed some bouquets. They asked if I could make them and before I knew what I said, yes came out of my mouth. (Never touched a flower before.) The bride loved the flowers. My dear friend back home got wind of it and asked me to do her wedding, from decor to day of coordinating. Read more>>

Tara O’Meara

My passion for photography started when I took my first photography class in High School. And for the last 15+ years, I have had the opportunity to learn from a wide range of amazing professionals and really find my own “eye” behind the camera. As I experimented in different styles and genres of photographer, I found my self pulled towards boudoir photography. Capturing the perfect moment between a family, or showcasing love at a wedding is a beautiful thing to do. Read more>>

Nicole Fegan

I grew up on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. An island town where people jokingly phrased that you would “come on vacation and leave on probation.” Once I graduated high school, I moved to Philadelphia to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree at Drexel University. Moving from a small island to a northern city was a culture shock. I learned that you actually went to school when it snowed and that in order to keep up with the world I had to run faster. Read more>>

Seneca McFarland

Seneca Dejuan Mcfarland (Born January 30, 1977), also known by his stage names Sir Classic, Mista Classic and DJ Sir Classic is an American DJ, actor, entrepreneur, humanitarian, rapper, record producer & radio show host. Sir Classic was born in Aurora, Illinois and grew up briefly in Texas as a kid before traveling to Nigeria to live with his grandmother in his teenage years, before coming back to the United States. Read more>>

Quiana Ree

Born in 1992, an era of music where female rappers like Lil Kim, Amil, Trina, Vida, Foxy Brown, and Missy Elliot set trends and broke barriers; Quiana Ree used these powerful women in hip hop to help mold her confidence and find her hidden talent. Writing. At the age of 7, Quiana Ree began writing poems, short stories, and won numerous writing competitions throughout elementary. Read more>>

Charles Kelley

At 15 years old, I just began my music career by making beats on Fruity Loops and having freestyle sessions while riding in the car with friends. I immediately saw my talents and decided to record, but studio expenses limited me. So at 19, I bought my first studio so I could record at my leisure. Since then, I have perfected my craft. Read more>>

Octavian Canty

Born and raised in Statesboro, GA, Octavian Canty, a young king created with many gifts has found out that his love for the art of dance is his most beloved. He began dancing at the age of 7, mostly self-taught with a natural ability to dance. Some of Octavian’s inspiration came from watching and vastly picking up choreography from music videos, award shows. Read more>>

Tisa Jackson

I’ve lived with Alopecia most of my life. Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system goes haywire and attacks body organs and systems, impairing their functions, for example, the pancreas inability to produce insulin in a person with type 1 diabetes, the mobility of joints in someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Read more>>

Candace Lawson

I got where I am today pursuing and growing in a music career by sting faith and trust in God, through hard work and sacrifice. Also, by not worrying about how others felt or thought about me or my craft, although I’m not where I fully desire YET, I’ve come a very long way in a short time. There’s were days when I would ask myself can I do this will I actually succeed but I put my fears and doubts aside and pushed through my supporters. Read more>>

Jerome Hayes

I was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. I’m born to be a barber. My father was a barber, so I was always around it. Even when I was separated from him at an early age, I had an older friend that was a barber. I would watch him cut hair on his back porch or at a neighborhood barbershop. When I reconnected with my dad around my pre-teen years. Read more>>

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