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25 September 2016

Absentee Ballot Requests in Republican Districts Outpace Democrats

Absentee ballot numbers released by Secretary of State Brian Kemp contain some good news for Georgia Republicans.

74% of all absentee ballots mailed to voters, last week, went to traditional GOP strongholds.

A total of 83,176 absentee ballots were sent from local elections office across the state. 62,142 went to the ten congressional districts represented by Republicans.

The 6th Congressional District lead the way with 10,464 absentee ballot requests.

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R - Georgia) represents the 6th district, which includes the cities of Roswell, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.

20 September marked the earliest day absentee ballots could be mailed to voters, according to state law. All absentee ballots must be received in the county elections office by 7PM on Election Day in order to be counted.

24 September 2016

Heavenly Harpist Tulani Successfully Blends Old School and New to Create Her Own Sound

Rashida Jolley, better known by her stage name Tulani, is an artist unlike any other.

The singer, songwriter and harpist could easily have followed her mother’s path into law school. In fact, that was her goal when she was a child.

(Singer, songwriter and harpist Rashida Tulani Jolley uses her fingers to pluck at the heartstrings of her listeners. Image courtesy East Coast Entertainment.)
Jolley says, “I wanted to be like my mom when I grew up. So I would always say, as a little girl, I want to be a lawyer like my mom.”

But the DC native decided to scrap the script and pursue her own passion . . . music.

“This is where my heart is, with the harp and singing,” the Nyack College graduate said. “I love to perform more than anything.”

Now, as Tulani prepares to release her latest album, Unscripted, she’s crafting a sound that breaks the mold of modern music, while also drawing inspiration from the past.

Tulani is an unabashed fan of music from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The 2001 Miss America contestant lists legends like Prince, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner as artists who influenced her.

Her producer, Geno Regist, advised the 2009 “America’s Got Talent” hopeful to be true to herself.

“You are a lover of that style of music,” Tulani recalls Geno telling her. “That’s who you are as an artist. That’s what you love. Turn what you love to do into what you do.”

The harp is not an instrument one typically associates with popular music. But again, Tulani doesn’t exactly follow the script.

16 September 2016

Australian DJ Tigerlily Discusses New Single, Suicide Prevention & Running the Peachtree Road Race

It's been five years since Dara Hayes revealed herself to the world as the DJ Tigerlily.

The Australian mix master has, since then, performed at some of the globe's biggest music festivals like Tomorrowland Belgium, Stereosonic Australia, Electric Zoo New York and once dropped a set in Malaysia before 30,000 screaming fans.

Tigerlily recently collaborated with American DJ KSHMR to produce a new single, "Invisible Children." The track is best described as a combination of Indian music featuring an added tribal element that makes for an extremely catchy sound.

"Invisible Children" by KSHMR & Tigerlily

Georgia Unfiltered caught up with Tigerlily for a quick Q&A session, where she talks about what inspired her DJ career as well as her charitable work that stemmed from personal battles in her own life.
(Australian DJ Tigerlily visits Atlanta for one night only at Opera, 16 September 2016. Image courtesy Tigerlily.)

Q: For people not familiar with you --this is your first trip to Atlanta I believe-- tell us a little about yourself. What prompted you to embark on a DJ career? What did your parents want you to be when you were growing up?

Tigerlily: Music has always been a big part of my life. I started playing piano, writing and singing at the age of 4 and continued to do this up until I finished high school. The transition into dance music was very organic. My parents have always been very supportive of me no matter what I do. As long as I am healthy and happy, then they are content and proud. I'm very lucky.

Q: You're from Australia, and so is Trance DJ MaRLo, but I can't seem to find any collaborations with the two of you. How would you feel about doing some work with MaRLo in the future?

Tigerlily: I really love and respect MaRLo as an artist and a human. He is incredible. I would love to work with him at some point if we could fuse our sounds and brands together in the right way.

13 September 2016

Chattahoochee Hills Applying Lessons Learned from Tomorrowworld to Sankofa Music Festival

Local officials vow not to repeat the mistakes made during last year's Tomorrowworld event as Bouckaert's Farm prepares to host the Sankofa "Many Rivers to Cross" Music and Arts Festival next month.

Chattahoochee Hills City Manager Robbie Rokovitz says the city is working closely with "Many Rivers" planners to ensure everything runs smoothly.

"All city officials have been interacting with the festival organizers and other jurisdictions involved in the coordination of services on a regular basis," Rokovitz says. "This will be stepped up to an almost daily interaction up to and during the event."

40,000 people are expected to attend the two-day event.

The large influx of people is sure to raise concerns about traffic and noise control among area residents. Chattahoochee Hills is a largely rural area with an estimated population of 2,400.

City officials say a larger contingent of uniformed officers from Chattahoochee Hills, Fulton County, Atlanta and Georgia State Patrol will be on hand during the event to facilitate the flow of traffic. Stages and performance platforms will be directed towards non-residential areas. Organizers even say they have drawn up a plan to deal with any inclement weather.

“Many Rivers” is the first major music event held in Chattahoochee Hills since Tomorrowworld in 2015.

The 3-day electronic dance music festival Tomorrowworld was plagued by rain-soaked grounds becoming mud pits, festival-goers stranded on the side of the road late at night after promised shuttles failed to appear and other issues. After the event ended and complaints came pouring in, Chattahoochee Hills Mayor Tom Reed promised a full investigation into what went wrong.

“We will be compiling policy recommendations for the City Council to vote on for changes in the process go-forward, to correct and mitigate whatever the specific failure points were this year, to ensure that the contingency planning is more robust, and that all of the vendors involved are capable of and committed to their parts of those plans,” Reed said at the time.

Sankofa’s “Many Rivers to Cross” Festival will be the first chance to see if those policy recommendations actually work.

10 September 2016

21-year-old Dies From Injuries Sustained During Music Festival Held at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Kurt Stelzig, 21 of Rock Hill, South Carolina, died in the hospital last week from injuries sustained in a twenty to thirty foot fall during a music festival held at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Henry County Coroner Donald Cleveland says his office was notified of the death by Grady Memorial Hospital. No autopsy was needed, according to Cleveland.

Stelzig's family confirmed his death in a 2 September 2016 Facebook posting.

Brenda Janousek, Kurt Stelzig's aunt, shared an update on the young man's condition (pictured right) shortly before he died.

"Kurt fell off a balcony at the Atlanta Motor Speedway while attending a music festival in the wee hours of Monday morning," Janousek's update read. "He fell 20-30 feet/ 6-9 metres and landed on his head on concrete. He was air lifted to one of Emory University's Trauma Centers. His life has been hanging by a thread ever since."

Georgia Unfiltered has left messages with Henry County officials, seeking information on the cause of death and whether any criminal investigations are currently underway. We've also reached out to Imagine Music Festival organizers. The Imagine Music Festival was a 3-day event at Atlanta Motor Speedway that occurred during the same time as Stelzig's fall at the venue.

Funeral services for Kurt Stelzig are scheduled for 10 September 2016 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Family asks that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Kurt Stelzig Memorial Fund, House to House Christian Community Development Ministry at