Today is January 2, and already, it's shaping up to be a great year! 2016 is set to be the best year yet, personally and professionally. With only 2 days of the new year having passed, we already have two new opportunities on the table that will take things to the next level. Urban Grandstand Digital has been one of the biggest blessings in my life over the last two years. I've been blessed with the chance of doing something I love, and I'm so grateful for that opportunity. I'm clear that everyone is not afforded this opportunity. Surely, it hasn't come without some struggles along the way, but there have been far many more triumphs that make it one of the best decisions I've made. UGD began as a simple thought of something different. I wanted to be a part of a magazine that, instead of leaning on the everyday sensationalism of journalism, tearing people down and dragging their names and their families through the dirt for a story, and living for drama, would focus on the actual talent of the artist. What makes them happy? What makes them tick? What about their project? Clearly, that's not the focus for most, so UGD would be taking a big risk. Most magazines don't make it, even WITH all of that "drama". Even so, God continues to see us through.
There are so many people to thank for the many successes we've experienced throughout 2015 with UGD, and I would literally go crazy trying to name them all. I will simply shout all the publicists, managers, artists, label and record execs, and so on, that we've worked with throughout the last year. I must directly shout @angelarobschild, @mrbradjames, @trevorjackson5, @juswho, @phase_4, @noryk_apparel, @a5kem, @sashastoltz, #JudiCHill, @mykeltiwmson, @darrin_dewitt_henson, @mariahowell1, @itsalgee, @iam_the_atkins, @joyvilla, #NafeesaMonroe, @robrooks_, @TheRealFaithEvans, @idadivinetv, and @cyrenelovette for being an intricate part of our cover stories, and/or gracing our covers. We also had some pretty huge stories with individuals like @bmorebrave, @therealtracibraxton, @tahj_Mowry, @michellemuzic, @luenell, @michael_colyar, @jayrellis, and many others.
I actually will make it a point to offer special thanks to @therealfaithevans ... Faith graced the cover of the premier edition in our line of tribute issues! With her 20th anniversary being this year, I suddenly had a thought of writing an article to commemorate her debut cd. To say I was being overzealous of me would be an understatement. We were literally 3 weeks away from the August 29th anniversary date when the idea came to mind. What was initially an idea for an article turned into a full issue, and he icing on the cake was her involvement. As a huge fan since the start of her career, not only was it amazing to even try putting that together, but it was even more amazing that she willingly devoted the time to participate. Along with a host of others including @herbmiddleton1, @qparker112 of 112, and #PrinceCharlesAlexander, a full issue was born, just in time for the anniversary date.
Clearly, everyone involved this year led the way for much of our success. I am so happy and proud to say they have been a part of our history as things have kicked off for us. I also want to directly shout the individuals who have been a part of my immediate circle: @dee_johnson29, @ms_aires77, #seandharris, @treciejeffcoat, @williamdynamite, #joykennedy, @amirakalmarketing, @nulifefitnesscamp, #vernonshelton, #joeharris, @loransrjones, @jjohnson0853, @kindusupertrims, and @etj75. Some have been involved on a daily basis, while some have jumped in as needed and made themselves available to add their level of perfection and expertise. It all has been much appreciated and I can't say thank you enough. We've had the opportunity to expand into other directions early on, and while it was a little challenging at times, it's been a great ride. 2016 will surely be our year of continued growth. We've already cracked the door on another expansion that will be huge as it continues to develop. We now have our hands in radio with two different formats, we're working on breaking into television with a new venture, and we have a second brand that is in the beginning stages. We hope to see you all riding with us through the new year and beyond! If you haven't had the chance to check us out, now is as good a time as any. Download our app via iTunes or GooglePlay, or visit us at www.ugdigital.com
Best wishes to everyone for a prosperous new year!