Anniversary Celebration: Elsa Lathan and Kerry DeBruce

From Friday night, I have some really wonderful examples of just how much of a dingbat I can be. First, I forgot to put in the program that ELSA LATHAN (of Footprints Communications, Inc.) is AKILA alumni too! Not only is Elsa a dear friend from my HU days, but she is a tireless and highly effective communications specialists. She is the PR whiz behind Eric Roberson (dang…another Howardite!). Most people that pay attention to contemporary independent music from soulful artists have at least heard of Eric, if they are not die hard fans (and most of us are). That’s thanks to Elsa. She and I have worked on the HU hip hop conference, a bunch of fatherhood work, the Stori James project, and other projects. While she’s not hands on with AKILA any longer, we mutually support of each other’s work to this day. Big shout out to ELSA! (gurl, thanks for the card and that generous donation to Artists For Life…alright now!).

And to top that …I was so out of my head Friday night that I stood right in front of Kerry DeBruce and didn’t register her face for like 50 million seconds! How wack is that?!?! Not only was I walking around without my glasses nor my contacts that night, but I was having an outer body experience for the whole two hours! I’m sure there’s someone I didn’t “see” cuz I was so out of my head that night. Sorry!

But let me tell you what’s so hot about Kerry: If it weren’t for the flier and special logo that she created for AKILA WORKSONGS, I don’t know if people would have been as “pulled in” to our celebration. People call me a PR and marketing whiz, but really and truly, it’s the people around me. Packaging matters! Take the time and save the dollars to market your work as best you can. It will pay off! I know that your budget may not allow you to present your work with all the bells and whistles that you’d like, so do what you can. Your best foot forward will make a lasting impression and it compels people to take you seriously!

Thanks to Kevin Powell for introducing me to Kerry in 2004. And thanks to Kerry for putting up with me during the design and implementation of our anniversary collateral material (there’s more for ya’ll to see). Since working with her, I’ve referred her to a few satisfied clients such as Mo Beasley, the Kwanzaa Collective, Byron Hurt, and others. She’s the one, ya’ll! Check her work at or