Pop singer-songwriter Neil Davis will celebrate his birthday this year with a fundraising performance in New York City for organization True Colors United, co-founded by artist Cyndi Lauper, which implements innovative solutions to end homelessness within LGBTQ youth community. The performance will take place on Friday September 13th at 7pm, at Rockwood Music Hall’s Stage 2 located at 196 Allen street, NYC. There is no cover charge, but any donations collected at the show will benefit True Colors United.
After The Related Companies (parent company of Equinox, SoulCycle, Hudson Yards) Founder/Chairman Stephen M. Ross announced his Trump fundraiser (tickets which will cost up to $250,000) in the Hamptons, all hell broke loose – tons of memberships have been cancelled online, over the telephone and in person. After all, Ross is a ‘passive investor’ for Equinox and SoulCycle which are premier fitness centers for celebrities, political leaders and senior level executives alike whom all seem to be proactively involved within the LGBTQ+ and art communities.
Why are members so infuriated?
Many feel they were a part of a movement of societal justice and equality, not just a fitness institution since its inception twenty years ago. Fast forward to present day, Equinox has popped all over every urbane and metropolitan area’s infrastructure largely in part to real estate mogul, Ross.
Lately, the brand has announced a slew of designer duds, hotel chain and talent agency geared towards their top instructors. Today, more or less of its constituents will gather at the West Hollywood location (8590 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069) at 4PM to protest against Ross’s decision to host such a lavish engagement for one of the most ridiculed US Presidents in modern day times. A man who’s rhetoric has possibly fell upon the ears of young white supremacists like the alleged shooter at El Paso last weekend who gunned down dozens of Hispanic people at a local Walmart.
Maybe after today’s outrage, the Miami Dolphins owner, who was shunned for his actions by some of its players, will renege on tomorrow’s elaborate event. According to the LA Times, the soldout venue may raise close to 12 million dollars for Mr. Ross’s friend of over 40 years.
As of late, Equinox has announced the construction of a 20-story hotel and residential building downtown LA which is scheduled to be completed around 2021.
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/fashionista?
All my life I’ve had an attraction to doing things in a different way. I never wanted to look like someone else, never wanted to share my fashion secrets or my music because I had attached so much emotion in creating whatever piece it was or if were music it would never just be a song, for me. I was never like my friends and for a while that was a struggle for me internally. Sometimes I would even sacrifice my own desires to wear certain pieces in order to skip out on the ‘reading’ sessions. That still didn’t stop me from trying it sometimes though, I remember I would go to the nearest arts and crafts store which for me was ‘Michaels’ (laughs) and would go crazy getting little things to add to my clothes to make them different but then I would also go to Sam Ash, the Virgin Music Store, Guitar Center and I would feel like I was in heaven. No matter what, fashion and music have always been my life. Like I could sit in these stores for the rest of my life and be okay. That’s how much I loved creating and these stores gave me all the tools I needed.
I have always been a magnet to everything that dealt with the arts. But my biggest passion was singing and even though I’ve been singing since the age of 5, I didn’t know that I wanted to pursue being a singer until my 9th grade year in high school. This is why after graduating I ran straight to NYC all by lonesome (giggles) to pursue music. I was way to young to be running off to the Big Apple as a teen with a part time job at the GAP, making minimum wage. New York City was a monster and I’m not going to lie it almost ate me alive. But only after 6 months of being there, thankfully, so many doors opened for me and it was an amazing feeling to be carefree and pursue music with no walls or barriers. NYC was giving me all the life and opportunities needed in order to grind and continue to grind even when I had not a dollar to my name and had to sing on the train with my friends for food. That part never made me feel sad because I never knew how ‘low’ I was because I never had LOW thoughts, I knew that where I was, was temporary and only for the sole purpose of learning the lessons needed to be successful and to grow and to evolve. Crazy thing is I never felt bad for it, it felt so good to grind for my money while doing what I love. I looked at singing on the trains as my stage per say for that chapter in my life. Today, I have experienced so many different things which I won’t even dive into but it has given me a different appreciation for life.
As of late, I am in the studio recording my album and will be performing in Manhattan, Monday, February at 7PM
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1.
What inspired your new album?
I had a full album done and ready to go and visuals that my fiancé (Michael Mann) had helped me out with for my release but after the tragedy that happened I no longer connected to the old music. I have so much more to say and so much pinned up aggression that I knew my only healthy escape would be to express it on my debut album. Which will be entitled, Steven my birth name.
It symbolizes me going back to my roots to find myself again.
How’s life after losing a loved one?
Life after losing a loved one has been very up and down for me. As of recent, I’ve drowned myself in work because I know that is where I’m safest right now. When you know yourself and you want better you keep yourself away from danger. Right now dead time is danger for me so I’m always moving. My heart is in constant pain but I’m learning to live with it. It is a battle I have yet to conquer but I know with time I’ll be fine.
Ajay Holbrook, formally known as Ambreia Janee Holbrook, is a 21yro from Houston whom has been medically transitioning from female to male over the last 4 years.
Three years ago, he began bodybuilding. Since he’s recognized his newfound passion and love for this sport, he is dead bent on tackling one of the biggest titles,
“‘Mr. Olympia’ … this is especially a challenge because of who I am but I’m not letting anything stop me from reaching my goals. I insanely train and keep my body in top condition at all times. Recently, I packed up everything I owned to move to Los Angeles to pursue my careers in bodybuilding, dancing, modeling and music production. It has been one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make but also becoming one of the most rewarding.”
Dozens of challenges are constantly thrown Ajay’s way and he’s always having to overcome them. Many of which tie into his identity. “I don’t let them entertain me back… I’ve gone viral due to a Men’s Health and Generation Iron publication… And, [I] had so much support, but also a lot of backlash from the bodybuilding community in particular,” asserts Ajay.
Eager to prove naysayers wrong, Ajay has been eating healthy, training and is ready to tread on that stage very soon. “They may have thought they witnessed the last of me, but this is ONLY the beginning!!!”
*All photos by Tyren Redd
photos: Catherine Asanov
designer: Jason Ryan
article: Vaughn Lowery
Frank Pena was born and raised in New York City. As both a professional dancer and fashion model, he consistently stays involved within the entertainment industry.
In 2016, he decided to move from the Bronx to Los Angeles. As of late, he appeared as a cast member on E Network’s new reality series, What Happens at The Abbey (the most prestigious alternative lifestyle bar in the world).
Recently, he was tapped by 360 MAGAZINE as a red carpet correspondent.