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Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!
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Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!

Author: Diane Foy

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Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! Entertainment Publicist and creativity coach Diane Foy has conversations with thriving performing artists and industry influencers on what it takes to succeed. Solo shows offer coaching drawn from her 25 years’ experience as a multi-passionate creative entrepreneur. This podcast will empower you to thrive in the arts.
32 Episodes
030 Global Superstar Akon on Releasing 4 Albums at Once & Why Women Should Run the WorldHello and welcome to episode 030 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!Today we have global superstar Akon. The American born Senegalese artist has sold over 35 Million albums worldwide, received 5 Grammy Nominations and collaborated with an array of A-list artists from many genres including Lady GaGa, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Daddy Yankee, Lil’ Wayne, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg and many more.In addition to having two multi-platinum albums, Akon has had 27 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and is the first artist to accomplish the feat of holding both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.Akon’s global vision is rooted in music, but has expanded to include renewable energy. His “Lighting Africa” initiative put him at the forefront of the Sustainability Movement- an issue that profoundly affects citizens all over the world.At the Collision Technology Conference, Akon was on various panels talking about Akoin, the cryptocurrency with a vision to stimulate and innovate, revenue-generating opportunities that support and empower youth entrepreneurship, economic stability, and growth across Africa and the world.Recently, Akon announced the formation of Akonik Label Group, distributed by BMG. The unprecedented artist-founded label group is comprised of four distinct record labels: Akonda (Afrobeats), Akonik (U.S.), Jamakon (Caribbean) and Ke Lo Ke (Latin America). This is the first time an artist has established a global record label group dedicated to multiple genres.This explains why he is releasing 4 albums this fall with various genres. The release dates have changed as you will hear him say Aug 30th for all, however, 3 of the albums were just released in October and the 4th is set for DecemberThe audio is from the press conference at Collision. In addition to Akon you will hear the voice of Akoin COO Lynn Liss and President Jon Karas talking about Akoin. I asked Akon why 4 albums at once and you will also hear a question from Sharon Fletcher from Blacks Inspire and then at the public Q&A Akon goes on a wonderful rant about how the youth need to get involved in politics and how women should rule the world. Enjoy.For links and a transcript visit
Hello and welcome to episode 29 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!I am so excited for today’s guest, Canada’s Punk Rock Queen Bif Naked! I have been a fan of hers since her 1996 self-titled debut album and her follow up I Bificus with the hits “Daddy’s Getting Married,” “Spaceman” and “Moment of Weakness.” In 2001 her album Purge produced by Desmond Child had even more hits including “I Love Myself Today,” “Chokin on the Truth” and one of my favourites “Tango Shoes.” The albums and tours continued and in 2011 she released BIF NAKED FOREVER: Acoustic Hits and Other Delights and in 2016she released her autobiography I Bificus.In the book, she shares her journey from being born in secret to a teenager living in India, the product of a Canadian girl and a British boy. She was rejected by both families, hidden away in a mental hospital and adopted by missionaries and then moved to North America. She began what she recalls with ironic humour as a “charmed life.” Targeted by girl gangs and facing other abusive situations, she escaped this early life by joining a punk rock band and leaving on tour, where she married the drummer and hit a downward spiral that found her on the floor of a Vancouver drug den.Through it all, her creative personality and unstoppable humour were her weapons of self-defence. Bif showcased her life’s journey in tattoo ink across her body and, with her unique ability to transform her true life stories into song lyrics, she found her voice as a solo artist, started her own record company and at twenty-three years of age became an international recording artist.Throughout her remarkable career, armed with her singular talent and instantly identifiable look, Bif would captivate the imagination of audiences and media alike, releasing nine albums and twenty-one videos. She embarked on seemingly endless international tours, several feature films and multiple television roles, only to be struck down with breast cancer at the age of 37. Bif would discover her passion for advocacy, as a triumphant survivor and someone who helps others first.When I started this podcast she was on my wish list of people I wanted on so when I got the opportunity I jumped at it. She now lives in Toronto so her publicist Eric Alper asked if I wanted to go to her house for the interview. Um, yes, yes I would like that very much. Lol. I love her.So of course she was fabulous and we are best friends now so I know that you will enjoy our lovely conversation.For links and transcript visit 
Hello and welcome to episode 28 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!Today we have Christopher Leacock aka Jillionaire who staying true to his Trinidadian roots, fuses original caribbean rhythms of soca with dancehall beats. Along with Diplo and Walshy Fire, he was a member of the electronic music group Major Lazer until this past June when he left the group to pursue solo projects. Major Lazer is best recognized for the global smash “Lean On” featuring DJ Snake and MØ and “Cold Water” with Justin Bieber and MØ. “Cold Water” became their second track to achieve one billion streams.Jillionaire has been touring worldwide with Major Lazer since 2009 including performing at festivals such as Coachella, Trinidad Carnival, CMJ Music Marathon, Electric Daisy Carnival, South by Southwest, and Mad Decent Block Party. He continues to establish himself as an innovative and creative producer and has invested in various technology start ups.As the audio was taken from the press conference and Q&A at Collision tech conference that happened in Toronto in May, many of the questions are about technology and how it relates to music. I had the opportunity to ask a question at the press conference, however, the rest were from others so I will pop in to let you know what was asked. For a transcript of this episode visit
Hello and welcome to episode 27 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!Today we have Broadway and Symphony Star Capathia Jenkins. I love this line from her bio that says “This woman who grappling with two dueling passions each with a strong grip: acting and music, yet she refuses to pick one because they both represent her soul. Capathia approaches a song the same way she approaches a script, like an artist. She looks for the nuances, the secret hidden within the notes or text. She seeks the melody, harmony and rhythm. She asks herself: what am I trying to say? What do I want my audience to experience with me? She wants to take her audience on a journey.Her Broadway theatre credits include Newsies, The Civil War, The Look of Love, Caroline, Or Change and Martin Short-Fame Becomes Me.Her Television credits include 30 Rock, the Practice, Law & Order SVU, the Sopranos, Law & Order. She can be seen in the film ‘Musical Chairs’ and heard on the film soundtracks of Nine, Chicago, and Legally Blonde 2.An active concert artist, she has appeared with orchestras around the world including the Toronto Symphony where she is a featured performer in James Bond: The Music Oct 15th and 16th. Next she performs a tribute to Aretha Franklin with various orchestras across the US.I hope that you enjoy it, she has a lot of great advice for up and coming performers.It was so great chatting with Capathia and I am looking forward to seeing the show on Tue. If you are in Toronto check out for all the upcoming concerts. For links and transcript for this show visit
Matthew Willson is an award-winning Canadian actor, director, producer and financier of the arts with more than 500 stage performances to his credit. A versatile and talented character actor, he also boasts numerous TV and film credits, including roles in Rookie Blue, Murdoch Mysteries, The Strain, Arrival and Queer as Folk. Through his production company, Willson Entertainment Productions, he has produced, directed and starred in several cutting-edge short films.He also finances several small and large scale film and television projects across Canada and this past year, Matthew has become the sole individual financier of the National Theatre School Drama Festival (previously Sears Festival), which has trained Canadian celebrities such as Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Matthew is an industry expert that has been involved in the Canadian film and art community at every level.Matthew shared fantastic advice and insight on being an actor, director, and producer in Canada and some great auditioning tips since he has been a casting director for his own projects. We also talk about our love/hate relationships with social media, the joy of podcasting and he makes a case for why I should listen to Howard Stern. I don't want to, I don't like him, but maybe I'll give it a try. I hope you enjoy it.For links and transcript visit
Hello and welcome to episode 25 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!This week we have live music producer Tom Jackson who has transformed the live show for artists such as Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, High Valley, Magic and many more.Author of the book Tom Jackson’s Live Music Method and the All Roads Lead to the Stage DVD series, Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist’s live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artist at every level to create a live show that is engaging and memorable and teaching them to exceed their audiences’ expectations to create fans for life.Tom comes up to Toronto every year for Canadian Music Week to teach a workshop on live performance and brings a band up on stage to work with. This year he added a second workshop that focused on singer songwriters.After our interview you will hear from a couple artists that attended the workshop so that you can hear what they learned and how they will incorporate it into their own shows.For links and transcript visit
My guest today is Dave Randall who is a guitarist, producer, and composer. He has contributed to multi-million selling albums by Grammy Award-winning artist Dido and has toured the world a number of times performing with UK dance act Faithless. His own critically acclaimed albums released under the name Slovo feature international collaborations with artists including Iceland’s Emiliana Torrini, West Africa’s Maezah and US jazz legend Max Roach.Dave was invited to appear alongside Baaba Maal, Michael Stipe, the Mahotella Queens, Neneh Cherry, and others, in the studio and on stage, as part of the 1 Giant Leap project. Recently he has toured with Sinead O’Connor, teamed up with Big Dada artist Mike Ladd, clarinet player Carol Robinson, and drummer Dirk Rothbrust to create the Paris based improvising quartet ‘Sleeping In Vilna’, and contributed guitars to the stunning debut album from Nessi Gomes. He’s currently performing live with Roland Gift from the Fine Young Cannibals.​As well as making music Dave has published numerous articles and given talks on the history of music and its role in society. His debut book Sound System – The Political Power of Music was published on Pluto Press in 2017.He was in Toronto for Canadian Music Week conference this past spring and I had a chance to sit down with him for a fascinating chat about music and politics. I hope you enjoy it.For links and transcript visit
Hello and welcome to episode 23 of Sing Dance Act thrive!It is great to be back after a little Aug hiatus. I have created a new website at where I will be adding lots of articles and resources for performing artists in addition to it being the new home of the podcast. All previous episodes now have full transcripts and a few past guests of the podcast will be contributing articles including a series from Meisner acting coach Adrian Griffin, music biz and radio promo tips from Andrea Morris and her assistant Jessica Moore will be teaching us all about social media marketing. I will be contributing articles on publicity, marketing, personal branding and entrepreneurship.Since it’s been a while since I released an episode I thought that I would keep this one short and tell you all about my TIFF 2019 highlights.For show notes visit
Tap Dancer Travis Knight

Tap Dancer Travis Knight


Hello and welcome to episode 22 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!My guest today is tap dancer extraordinaire Travis Knights who is in the Soulpepper Theatre Company's brand new concert, The Promised Land: Steinbeck Through Song running July 12-27 in Toronto. This concert reimagines the music from Bruce Springsteen, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan and more to illuminate the works of famed novelist John Steinbeck and the search for The Promised Land through song and dance.Travis’s professional career started in 2000, when he was cast as a principal dancer in the motion picture biography of Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover*. The legendary Henry LeTang choreographed the film. He shares what first inspired him to get into tap and what it was like to work with these legendary performers.Travis is so passionate about tap that you will be inspired to follow your own passion no matter what it is as he believes that you have a responsibility to follow it. We also talk about his podcast The Tap Love Tour and some of the amazing guests that he has had on the show and how they have inspired him.For links and show notes visit
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