ThisFunktional Junior: December 2021

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(Skye Dakota Turner stars as Young Aretha Franklin and Audra McDonald as her mother Barbara in RESPECT A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Written by Jesus Figueroa

Twelve year old actress Skye Dakota Turner had never worked on a movie set when she got the role of Young Aretha Franklin in “Respect.”

Turner had experience on stage, but being in a major film was a bit of a change for her.
“Since this was my movie debut, I was really nervous about my expressions and things that were captured in screen. I was really trying to put an emphasis on my expressions because I’m so use to theater,” Turner said. “Film was such a big change.”
At first Turner said it was a shock to have gotten the part.

While it was a dream to get the role, it was also not something Turner expected.
“I thought it was a dream to be honest,” Turner said. “It was like, why are you telling me something that’s not true, I didn’t get that role, I’m not young Aretha Franklin.”
While her expressions and acting made Turner nervous, singing was something that did not bring any worry.

Although this was Turner’s first film, she had experience singing, even if it was not for such a big audience.
“Singing is something that I’ve always done. I never felt nervous singing,” Turner said. “So it just kind of comes out, I don’t really have to think about it. I did, however, need to get use to learning how to scat. That was very fun though.”
Turner did not get nervous singing and her performances in the “Respect” showcase her vocal talents.

It was not for the lack of knowing the Queen of Soul’s music, but rather because there is little known of Aretha Franklin’s youth.

Trying to find ways to prepare was a task for Turner, but she found what she needed.
“I had already known about Aretha Franklin since I grew up in a house with old school music and my parents had always played her music around the house, on road-trips, and in the car. So I kind of just always knew about her,” Turner said. “But, when I read the script, I found out there was so much I didn’t know about her as well. I would go and I would go online and look up alot of things about her and make sure I knew the real truth about who she was. I kind of tried to dig deeper about her childhood. There’s alot on her adulthood, but not much on her childhood. It was alittle harder than looking for the Queen of soul than looking for Riri, but I am glad that I took the time to do that.”
While her personal research and preparation worked for getting into character, Turner also wanted to do the best acting job she possibly could.

Turner said she had an acting coach who she worked with to make sure her performance matched that of her talented co-stars.

Turner worked with veteran actor Forest Whitaker, whom she said was intimidating at first, but would turn out to be a sweet person to work with.
“Honestly, I was super nervous going in because this is Forest Whitaker, I’ve seen him in so many things, all these intense roles, all his accomplishments, and everything that he’s done,” Turner said. “I did actually think he’s this intense person and serious, but really he was so kind to me. I remember he bought me a record player because he saw me looking at a record player on set.”
Turner has her first major motion picture under her belt and co-stars such as Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson to learn from.

Through this experience, Turner said she did have a major take away from the story of Aretha Franklin.
“One thing I learned about Aretha Franklin, throughout making this movie, is that everyone goes through challenges and I am really grateful that her story ended the way it did and how triumphant she was, and, honestly, representing as a black woman,” Turner said.
Available on Digital, Blu-Ray, and DVD Now
TWITTER: @RespectMovie
Written by Jesus Figueroa

Singer-songwriter Jazzy K () talks with Jesus Figueroa,  of, about her single “Don’t look back,’ out now.

“Don’t Look Back" follows her last single “Trap House”.

Trap House was the first single to be distributed worldwide and with her new global management, media and production team consisting of several veteran industry heavyweights to include Manager Yamile Fernandez.

"Trap House" was written by Jazzy K and produced by multi-Grammy winning Producer My guy Mars (Jay-Z, Snoop Dog, Drake, Mary J. Blige, Drake & more) and was recorded at the legendary Sound Factory in Los Angeles.

You can watch the video for "Trap House" by clicking here

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(RC Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington in RESPECT A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert © 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved)

Written by Jesus Figueroa

Biography films like “Respect,” the story of Aretha Franklin, can sometimes be overly glorifying, but writer Tracey Scott Wilson wanted to ensure that the film gave light to the actual story of the Queen of Soul.
“To me it was the only way to tell the story because that’s the only way it’s interesting,” Wilson said. “Otherwise, you are sort of doing a Wikipedia page, right? If you don’t venture into telling the good with the bad and actually show what made the person, then, you might as we’ll be watching an episode of behind the music or something. It’s really important to show all. It’s what Aretha (Franklin) wanted.”
For Wilson, she did not have Aretha Franklin to verify events or run things by to be more authentic, making this story truthful came from research.

Aretha Franklin’s family and friends helped with details that could not have been acquired through the many interviews, documentaries, and biographies used for researching.
“I wish I would have met Aretha (Franklin). I did not have that honor to meet Ms. Franklin,” Wilson said. “Jennifer (Hudson) did. She knew her for awhile. Alot of my insights of Aretha (Franklin) came from watching the many, many interviews that she gave, but also talking to Jennifer (Hudson), and also talking to (Franklin’s) family.”
It can be more difficult to find someone who has not heard the music of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin than to find that in one way or another people have been aware of her music.

For many, Franklin’s music was so common to hear. 
“My parents, my siblings, my grandmother, everybody in my family listened to Aretha (Franklin). It was like water in the house,” Wilson said. “I have gotten this question a couple of times. I can’t remember a time I didn’t hear her music.”
With such a fan base, telling the story of Aretha Franklin had to be honest and show a real version of Aretha Franklin that the audience could connect with.

“Respect” became a movie that showed a complex version of Aretha Franklin and not just a perfect rise to fame.

Through the movie there are flaws show as we’ll as triumph.
“Liesl Tommy, part of her pitch before she got the job, she said she wanted to answer the question about how the woman with the greatest voice of all time found her own voice,” Wilson said. “She set the parameters of age 10 to age 30. It made perfect sense because it was the beginning and then entered the highlight of her career.”
“Respect” not only pays homage to Aretha Franklin, but those so in what feels like an authentic telling of a life that was not always easy.

Instead of showing just the success which Aretha Franklin did have, “Respect” delves into obstacles and rough patches which help being even more meaning to the success of the Queen of Soul.

While it’s always enjoyable to see people succeed, it is more powerful to represent Aretha Franklin as human as she was.
“I think everyone was really aware of how important it was to tell the story,” Wilson said. “Unfortunately (Aretha Franklin) had passed away by the time we got to filming (‘Respect’), but we knew we had this one opportunity to really get it right.”
Available on Digital, Blu-Ray, and DVD Now
TWITTER: @RespectMovie
(Info from Press release)

Celebrate the Holidays with Canela.TV by Watching 
Your Favorite Holiday Films and a Chance to Win a SmartTV 

Canela.TV is celebrating the holiday by streaming a myriad of Christmas films and by giving away a SmartTV to help boost the spirit of Christmas. Canela.TV will be streaming some of your favorite holiday films such as: Christmas Matchmakers, A Royal Christmas Engagement, Christmas Together, A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale, etc.

Starting December 13th thru December 24th, viewers will have an opportunity to win a 65-inch SmartTV. To enter this year’s “Canela.TV Christmas Giveaway,” interested viewers must visit @WatchCanelaTV on Instagram and look for the following post:


WIN a SmartTV from Canela.TV
  • LIKE the post + FOLLOW @watchcanelatv
  • DOWNLOAD the Canela.TV App
  • TAG 3 friends + Name one Christmas Movie on Canela.TV
The Giveaway ends December 24, 2021, at 11:59 PM PST. One winner will be announced on the original post and contacted via DM. Good Luck! #Giveaway
Canela.TV is a streaming service that enriches the new generation of U.S. Latinos by providing free access to unique, culturally relevant content. For additional information on Canela.TV please visit: 

About Canela Media
Canela Media is a leading digital media tech company offering brands a complete ecosystem to connect with multicultural audiences leading with its free streaming service, Canela.TV, offering on-demand Latino-focused movies and TV entertainment through multiple platforms.  Additionally, Canela Media reaches more than 22 million unique Hispanics across its 180+ premium Spanish-language sites and influencer database. Combined with the company's proprietary data, Canela Media possesses in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to establish meaningful and culturally relevant connections with the new mainstream – U.S. Hispanics. Headquartered in New York, Canela Media is ranked as the fourth largest Hispanic ad-focused company and the only female- and minority-owned certified digital company. For more information please visit

Level Up with A Power-Up Band as SUPER NINTENDO WORLD Prepares to Open at Universal Studios Hollywood on Friday, February 17, 2023

(Info from press release) SUPER NINTENDO WORLD ™  opens at  Universal Studios Hollywood  on Friday, February 17 ,  so let’s  take a  closer...