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Tarek Tohme’s Enticing Courage & Novelty in Hollywood

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Originating in 19th century Europe, films have long been considered a medium of transformative entertainment. Beginning with Louis Le Prince’s Roundhay Garden Scene in 1888, people expected to see something extraordinary that catapulted them away from their dreary reality, even if only for a fleeting moment. Initially, films were rather short and contained no synchronized dialogue. However, with the establishment of the American film industry in 1914, films became substantially longer, propelled by advancements in technology and storytelling. As the filmic medium came into fruition, it attracted a wide array of talented artists—the first wave of filmmakers and auteurs. These rising artists experimented with various themes unique to their own lives and communities, and—whether knowingly or not—they showed that the medium of film had an ability to truly touch the soul. As moving image content became increasingly popular, the Hollywood Studio System emerged, transforming a once infantile medium of entertainment into one of the world’s most bonafide commercial enterprises. And while the film industry today continues to be dominated by these major studios—Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros., Walt Disney, and Sony—one aspect of the film industry that has been a key player since the medium’s inception is that of independent film—and the artists who fight to tell unique stories. Driven by the minds and creativity of artists outside of the established, multi-billion-dollar entertainment conglomerate that is Hollywood, independent films often stress reality and focus the lens on stories specific to the independent filmmaker’s unique perspective and life experience. Today, independent films have gained significant traction among cinephiles and continue to attract bright minds to tell stories much different than the franchises, remakes, and comic book adaptations that dominate today’s box office. One such artist working his way up in the independent film sector is Tarek Tohme.

A Burning Desire for Filmmaking

On August 28, 1989, Tarek was born in Santa Monica, California, to a Lebanese immigrant father and American mother. His father exposed Tarek to the entertainment industry at a relative young age; however, his father’s work was in the music industry rather than film—he served as pop icon Michael Jackson’s manager. Tarek completed his early education at Harvard-Westlake High School in 2008. From a very early age, he harbored a passion for storytelling, first beginning to tell stories in a video art class that was offered in ninth grade. Tarek’s passion for the medium drove him to attend the University of South California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he obtained a degree in film in 2013. Owing to his stellar academic background, he also became the university’s prestigious, full-ride, Trustee Scholarship recipient. Upon graduation, Tarek decided to venture into the filmmaking world as a producer. To his credit, some of his feature films include Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha and In Dubious Battle. But these projects were only the beginning of Tarek’s gradual rise as an artist.

Tarek had found the independent film world to be quite fascinating—it was a sector of the industry that enabled artists to create works of art not limited by budget, cast, or executive opinion. It was the lone space in the film industry where an artist could truly tell the story he or she desired to, while simultaneously providing opportunities for artists and production personnel that the established Hollywood system might not see as lucrative due to their unproven monetization power. After producing several feature films, Tarek went on to test the directorial waters. While he had directed several short films and a segment of the feature anthology The Labyrinth, his first full-length feature film as a director was Hold On, starring Luis Guzman, Maurice Benard, Flavor Flav, Beth Grant, Micayla De Ette, and himself. The film entered production in 2016 and was first released to American audiences on December 6, 2019. Hold On portrays the life of an overlooked singing prodigy who develops an unlikely creative bond with the son of a famed music manager. The film was Tarek’s attempt to cathartically transform the traumatic personal and professional experiences of he and his real-life best friend Micayla De Ette into a work of art that could shed a light on De Ette’s incredible music talent, while also serving to inspire others who are struggling with the loss of loved ones or unrealized dreams.

The years prior to the film’s conception were a challenge for Tarek; he was grappling with the loss of a mentor to cancer and the recent disappearance of a dear friend. His best friend Micayla De Ette (the star of the film) was also struggling with her own grief. She had just lost her sister and was losing a hold of her once undeniable musical dreams. In De Ette’s words, “[losing my sister] rocked my life. It rocked my faith. My family is still recovering.” While both Tarek and De Ette were in the midst of their respective struggles, in each other they found something beautiful—they found unparalleled friendship, support, and a reason to make a meaningful change in the world.

Tarek and De Ette’s collaboration conceived a special work of art that continues to be loved and supported by many individuals. In 2017, Tarek joined forces with De Ette in laying the foundation for a music production company, “De Ette Dream Productions,” with De Ette as the company’s primary creative force and Tarek as her partner.

“We are going to get this to a point where we can make it successful and then hopefully bring on other people who have similarly been overlooked and not had the chance.”

In conjunction with Tarek’s film production company, Stone Canyon Pictures, Tarek and De Ette hope to provide a gateway for people to realize their true potential in the film and music industries.

And while he is ambitious and will go to great lengths to bring real, inspirational stories to the big screen, Tarek is not one to boast. “We are not doctors or heroes saving lives. We are not changing the world in some profound way. But if the films or music we create can positively impact just one person’s life—if we can inspire one person to keep hanging on—then we’ve done our job.”

And despite his humble claims, Tarek’s work carries a magical quality. It not only inspires those who are struggling, but instills a sense of hope in aspiring filmmakers and artists who might not have the courage to put their art out to the world. Tarek’s rise in the industry is proof that it sometimes pays off to take the road less traveled in Hollywood. Through this inspiring journey alone, one could argue that Tarek Tohme is, in fact, changing the world. But just like the young auteurs of the 19th century, he may not realize it yet.

From television to the internet platform, Jonathan switched his journey in digital media with Bigtime Daily. He served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for Bigtime Daily by writing about the tech domain.

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Entertainment

D KIRK pulling in crowds with his sensational rap music

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DKIRK KV is a name that doesn’t need an introduction among hip-hop music lovers anymore. The rapper has made a mark in the music industry in a very short time thanks to his phenomenal music-producing skills. 

DKIRK KV’s exceptional musical talent comes from his childhood. The US rapper’s father was a DJ who played all around the world. Hence, the music star had early access to music and its different sounds. The artist says, “My ears were engulfed by the sounds of Nelly, LL Cool, Michael Jackson, and Seal Paul.” 

The half Jamaican and half American singer hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He says that music officially came into his life in 2013. Kirk shares that he developed a love for the flows and rhythms of music, and set out to make his own mark in the music world. He is aware that his music has a great following already amongst youngsters and new rappers who see him as a solid role model. Even his contemporaries look at him with respect and admiration.

The rapping star describes his genre as rap and his style of music as dance hall. DKIRK KV himself has a list of people he wants to collaborate with. He says that those on the top of his list are Chris Brown, Tyga, Kid Ink, Big Sean and Tory Lanez. Even though each one of these artists have different vibes and music styles, D Kirk KV wants to get their guidance and be able to experience their process of creating music from up close. In a sense, all these artists are the rapper’s ideal musicians!

However, Kirk’s biggest inspiration is the Notorious B.I.G. The hip-hop star says that he can relate to BIGGIE in a lot of ways; he loves how much BIGGIE’s music is about culture and never giving up in life. He says that he’s learnt that one must constantly keep pushing themselves if they want to grow as an artist and make their name in the music industry.

One thing that he loves about music is that it is so personal and individualistic. One can pour their personality into their music and bring forward different perspectives through their sound. Nobody is restricted to only one sound, which makes the process of producing music and songs much more enjoyable. 

Sharing his goals for 2023, the rapper says that he wants to accomplish all his dreams and become a top choice musician. He says that it would be a dream cum true if he were on the BET Cypher list, which is a great recognition for a hip-hop artist! When asked what would he be doing if he were not a musician today, DKIRK KV says that he probably would have been a professional fitness trainer if he were not giving his all to music.  

At the moment, Kirk is working hard at building his influence on social media by making reels, having photoshoots, and engaging with his followers. However, it’s not only music that keeps this musician busy. Outside of music, DKIRK KV has a clothing line called D&J clothing. He is currently working on expanding the clothing line with his business partner. He plans to expand his clothing line to multiple locations. 

D Kirk sees himself having released multiple albums, gone on various music tours; and having dropped collaborations with his favourite artists in the next five to ten years. He believes in “being a smart business man with constant success”. When asked how he would adjust to being away from home while touring for an extended period, the musician says that while it might be difficult initially since he loves following a routine, he thinks he would adjust quickly too. He says that he has waited for this success for a long time and worked really hard at it, so he is looking forward to enjoying it.

Talking about his brand new song named Tempted Ft xBvalentine, Kirk says, “This song has a very different type of sound that puts you in the mood to dance all night”. The hip-hop and R&B singer is available on all social media channels as D Kirk (KV). 

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