Musiq Soulchild, Syleena Johnson, Carl Thomas at the Westside Music Festival

Carl Thomas performs at the Westside Music Festival

The Westside Music Festival took place over the weekend in Chicago, and rolling out was there to capture all the action. Here, a few celebrities share their best advice for attaining success in the music industry. The Westside series was made possible by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust, the Chicago Park District and the support of corporate sponsors, community partners and elected officials such as Congressman Danny K. Davis, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Deborah Graham.

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Syleena Johnson

What new projects do you have?

R &B Divas is my new reality television show with myself, Faith Evans, Monifah, Keke Wyatt, Nicci Gilbert and it airs Monday on TV One its 10 p.m. eastern 9 p.m. central. I have an acoustic EP coming out called “Acoustic Soul Sessions” my set tonight will be acoustic and I’m working on a workout DVD called “Mommy’s Got Soul” for all the moms and I’ve got an album coming out at the top of the year called “Rebirth Of Soul” and I’m working on “Chapter 6: The Awakenings” which is coming soon.

What’s the best advice you can offer to aspiring artists?

Stay true to your craft and have the faith. Don’t give up and like my good friend Monifah would say “Be fearless and walk in truth.” That’s what artists need to do; they need to walk in the truth of what their artistry is and don’t let the industry change them and be someone to fit the mold. That’s what they need to do.

What’s your fondest Chicago memory?

Lake Shore Drive. Which brings me to my next point, I am working with a group from Chicago which I just put together called Lakeshore and you will see them tonight too. They sing background for me. Lake Shore Drive is my most biggest and fondest memories, because as a child we went through it all the time.

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