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–AArrow Sign Spinners is the world leader in “human directional” advertising. They are making a big push in the South Florida market and just opened a new office in Hollywood.
-The company was founded by Max Durovic when he was in college. Durovic started the company with just $500. It now employs 2,500 sign spinners in 35 different global markets.
-The South Florida market is run by two Jamaicans named Kadeem. They are also considered some of the top spinners in the world.
Max Durovic is spinning mad.
And that’s a good thing.
Durovic, the founder of AArrow Sign Spinners sits at the top of an unusual advertising empire.
He doesn’t harvest people’s attention via television or on the radio, he does it using the human form on the side of the road.
Durovic reinvented the sign spinning form and turned it into a sport.
15 years after he founded the company, Durovic now has 2,500 sign spinners working for him across the world in 35 global markets.
He is also doubling down on South Florida, a market that he feels could soon rival his top earning areas.
The company recently opened a new office in Hollywood.
That office is managed by Kadeem Johnson and Kadeem Grant.
Both Johnson and Grant are Jamaicans who met Durovic while he was attending graduate school in Washington, D.C.
Both are also considered to be soon of the top spinners in the world.
Johnson is even a three time world sign spinning champion.
They have a world championship in Las Vegas every year.
This company fits right at home in South Florida.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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Across America, a new song about female empowerment is starting to gain traction in the most peculiar of places- on Radio Disney.
“Slide over, I’m driving, I ain’t just another cliché riding,” Abi Ann’s song “Truck Candy” commands.
A catchy tune poking fun at some of the more ridiculous tropes in country music, “Truck Candy” is enjoying a run on the kids centric radio network and on iTunes Radio where it is featured.
Rise News recently spoke to the 18-year-old rising star via phone from her apartment in Nashville, TN about her upbringing, her music and what she hopes to accomplish in the changing country landscape.
“I think that history repeats itself,” Ann said when asked about changes in the genre. “I see country music becoming more open to seeing more unique changes. A good twenty years ago that may not have happened.”
Abi Ann was born in Texas but raised in Los Angeles.
“I was an extremely ADD kid, my parents threw me into a whole lot of different activities. Music was the only thing that really stuck,” Ann said. “I grew up with very strong country roots.”
She attended Campbell Hall School where she said that she was encouraged to try to strike it big.
“I grew up in LA and my friends called me Hannah Montana growing up,” Ann said. “I went to a very understanding school and they were very helpful with everything.”
One of her first big breaks came when she was able to join Kelly Clarkson on tour, performing before the superstar in 36 cities in the US and Canada. She said that she learned a great deal from the experience.
“It was my first major tour. Kelly really runs a very loose camp and there is like no tension on the tour. It was just really eye-opening and I learned about my craft,” Ann said of Clarkson. “She really plays with her sound. I have so much more respect for her because of how versatile she is.”
After graduating from high school, Ann enrolled in Belmont University in Nashville where she is studying entrepreneurship, not exactly a major for those who wish to skirt through school.
She has a strong business sense, learning from her small business owning father the importance of being self-reliant.
“I’ve always been very much a believer in a separation of church and state in my life. I really like school and music,” Ann said. “I’m going to school for business because I want to be self-sufficient. I’ve just always had a knack for business. And I’ve always loved academics as much as music.”
The Clarkson tour wrapped up on September 20, which cut into the start of the fall semester. As a result, Ann is taking classes online but she hopes to take on campus classes in the future.
In terms of her sound, Ann said that she is very willing to mix different influences into her music from current pop and country music to some older legends that helped define the genre.
“My main influences were Johnny Cash and Shania Twain. That’s a weird combination for sure,” Ann said. “Shania, I look up to as a very strong woman figure.”
And that brings us back to her hit “Truck Candy”, a song that could easily be seen as a modern-day feminist ballad.
“It’s not that intense,” Ann said. But I’m very supportive of female empowerment.”
Saying that she views music as a form of therapy, Ann indicated that the song was more a direct response to the default masculinity that exists in much of country today.
“I wrote it with Walker Hayes. This was before Maddie and Tae and we were concerned about the gender imbalance in country music,” Ann said. “I definitely think it is an acquired taste. Country is not something that everybody loves.”
Ann made it clear that she deeply loves country music and sees it as one of the most vibrant music scenes going today.
Having only turned 18 a few months ago, Ann is still very young.
“I’ve had instances where I couldn’t go and do the typical teenage thing but I keep a pretty tight circle,” Ann said of some of the challenging aspects of fame. “But I have the best friends. My roommate is with me now and she’s smiling [listening to the interview].”
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Despite reports to the contrary, world renowned actor and philanthropist Leonardo Dicaprio did not get raped by a bear in his new film The Revenant.
Drudge Report had exclusively reported that the actor’s character was raped twice by a bear in the survivor film set in the 1820s.
“The bear flips Leo over and thrusts and thrusts during the explicit mauling.
‘He is raped — twice!'”This of course is not even close to being true according to Fox, the studio that produced the picture.“There is clearly no rape scene with a bear,” A Fox statement obtained by The New Republic said.
The film centers around the life of Hugh Glass, a real life explorer who was brutally mauled by a bear and left for dead. Glass survived the attack after a harrowing 200 mile journey to the nearest American outpost.
WATCH: Trailer for The Revenant.
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Sierra Black has been gambling since she was 6 years old.
Now she’s gambling on a future as a country music recording star, which looks bright after recording her debut album in Nashville.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Black is now on the road promoting her debut single, “Heart On Ice”, to radio stations.
“I immediately fell in love with it when I heard the first verse,” Black said of “Heart On Ice”, a song written back in 2002.
On the up-tempo country song, she sings: “Flying 90 miles an hour down a dusty road, pushing this thing to just see how fast this thing will go; engine hot enough to burn up the fuzzy dice; I better put my Heart On Ice.”
Black finds herself on her debut single preaching to the choir about “having to step back and cool off” when hot in love.
Black, who is 22, fondly remembers how her father sparked her love of country music at age 6 when he used to play guitar and sing Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash songs to her.
Sierra’s love of music didn’t just originate with her father though. Her grandmother was Babette DeCastro, one of the members in the trio, DeCastro Sisters, who were famous for their 1954 top Billboard hit “Teach me Tonight.”
Unfortunately, her grandmother never got the chance to hear Sierra sing because she passed away before Sierra was born in 1992.
WATCH: Sierra Black’s “Heart On Ice”
Sierra proudly wears her grandma’s necklace to keep her close to her. Interestingly enough, her grandmother provided the voices to the animals, including the butterflies, in Disney’s animated film Song of the South.
Sierra has been playing around with music ever since she can remember.
As a young girl, she would put on her own stage shows, alone, in her bedroom.
Fluent in Spanish, she could sing “El Paso” by heart by age 7.
She wrote her first song at the age of 12.
Her first break came when Keith Urban handpicked her out of 14,000 contestants to sing alongside him at a music festival.
“I wasn’t nervous meeting him or singing with him but the experience was surreal,” Black said of singing with Urban.
Chalking up her lack of nerves and comfort singing on stage to being an “old soul”, Black is determined to take the country scene like a dust storm.
And unlike many other young stars, Black actually has some chops in writing songs as well.
“I start with the title first and then the lyrics come to me,” Black said of her songwriting process that eventually leads to a melody.
With a bit of luck, Black eventually found herself in Nashville working with Grammy award winning producers Michael Omartian (who has worked with Donna Summer and Trisha Yearwood) and Tom Hemby (who has worked with Faith Hill and Bebe & Cece Winans).
She was recruited from Vegas after someone at one of her live shows caught wind of her voice. One thing led to another, and she was flown out to Nashville for back-to-back meetings with the producers.
“It’s been a bit of talent and luck and being in the right place at the right time,” Black said of the events that’s led to her rise.
Black’s promotional single, “Casino”, was her first release to iTunes and will also be featured on her debut album.
Lyrically, the song is a metaphor for love where Black says, “Sometimes you win in the game of love and sometimes you lose.”
On this ballad, she sings: “Like a coin I was tossed into a wishing fountain. I was only one of a 1,000 looking for a little fortune,” and further laments that her heart is like money a lover blows with “I was a card you were using and a trick that you were good at playing. Luck didn’t build up the Monte Carlo just like love never promised tomorrow.”
WATCH: Sierra Black sings “Casino”
Black describes her sound as “twang with a slap of gospel.“ Like a true Vegas Show Queen, she laughs, “you can never have enough rhinestones.” Hoping to have a show like Shania Twain in distant future, she is now hoping for a duet with Jason Aldean in the near future. She has already opened up for Joe Nichols and Uncle Kracker to name a few.
She is not hoping to hit the jackpot with slot machines but instead with her music. What is truly special about both of her songs, “Heart on Ice” and “Casino”, is that they do something that most songs in the music business fail to do. Both songs brilliantly forfeit a clunky bridge and offer a seamless melody to sing along to.
The music is already there. As long as she doesn’t forget her bedazzler at home, Sierra Black will surely be able to forge her own luck and have a long career in the business.
Sierra Black is on a radio tour promoting “Heart On Ice”. You can find it along with her promotional single, “Casino”, on iTunes. Look out for her self-titled debut album in the Spring. And don’t forget to request “Heart On Ice” on your local radio stations.
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