“Noble Exchange” is a Halogen original TV series that follows rising celebrities who are challenged to work with local mentors in some of Latin America and the Caribbean’s most beautiful and dangerous places. Can a five-day journey help them see the world differently and use their fame for good?
Latin America & the Caribbean
EP 1: Dawn Richard
As Dawn’s career was racing forward, Hurricane Katrina slammed her hometown of New Orleans. Despite losing everything, Dawn felt compelled to chase her dreams. It’s been five years and she’s still going strong. Her latest album with P.Diddy is about to drop, but home and her roots seem to be slipping further away.
Dawn is of Haitian decent and her granddad was a painter in Haiti. Could a trip to this disaster zone and a connection with creatives ground her as her career skyrockets? Or will it be simply too much?
Music Playlist: Check out Dawn Richard’s music on: Dawn Richard Blog.
EP 2: Jared Cotter
Millions have seen him sing and even more have sung along with the music he’s written for pop artist Jay Sean. Yet in the fierce competition of the music industry Jared’s dreams have had to adjust. To take his craft as a songwriter to the next level he needs to learn the guitar. Will Colombia’s top pop band get him there? And will it be able to show him things the U.S. music industry rarely offers?
EP 3: O’Neal McKnight
O’Neal is a Deep South talent destined for stardom. Sean P. Diddy Combs hired this likely star as a stylist. Now he shines on his own in American Pop and R&B. Can a connection to a Brazilian musician spark an international career? Or will the samba beat and an unknown culture short-circuit his dreams?
EP 4: Katie Chonacas
Katie is a woman on the move – from TV shows to films, rapping to modeling. She rarely stands still. But what stands out is her fashion. Katie sets off to Latin America’s fashion capital, Sao Paulo, to see if a career in fashion will bring her the focus and fulfillment she seeks.
Will her encounters with Brazilian designers give her the direction she needs to start her own label, or will she be stopped short with just another hobby?
Music Playlist: Listen to a Katie Chonacas original at: Kyriaki Sunday
EP 5: Sheena Sakai
Sheena captured hearts and snagged ratings on America’s Next Top Model. She also caught the attention of Tyra Banks as a fashion superstar hopeful. But a star model can burn out quickly. In order for Sheena’s career to outshine others she needs new images of beauty and strength.
Can encounters with a Peruvian nun, ominous mountain and fellow model give her what she is looking for or will it cause her to meet with failure?
Music Playlist: Check out the gorgeous sounds of the Andes by Conrado Garcia: Conrado Garcia and if you ever find yourself in Cusco, Peru catch the live music of Jose Carlos Collantes and Pachu-Mama band.
EP 6: Tamara Park
Tamara has explored the world, written a travel memoir and now produces “Noble Exchange.” She’s in her element taking young celebrities out of theirs. But what happens when she goes from behind the camera to in front of it? Will she be able to make it through her own Noble Exchange, or will the show she produces finally throw her into culture shock?
EP 7: Wrap Show
In this season of “Noble Exchange,” up-and-coming celebrities traveled to Latin America and the Caribbean to chase their dreams and connect with local mentors. They set off separately, and now for the first time come together to swap stories.
Find out their most surprising moments and challenging experiences, and hear what life has been like after returning from their international journeys.
Dawn Richard is a former member of the musical group Danity Kane, and currently a member of the group Diddy-Dirty Money, along with label head Sean “Diddy” Combs and another singer/songwriter named Kalenna Harper. Her “prelude” album The Prelude to A Tell Tale Heart released February 7, 2011, and will by followed by an official debut studio album called A-Tell Tale Heart, which she has been working on for past three years. // Twitter // Facebook
Jared Cotter is a singer, songwriter and model who has hosted a number of TV shows. He co-wrote the number 1 song “Down” by Jay Sean. The Long Island, N.Y., native’s father and grandfather were both professional musicians, and got Cotter started early, recording his first album at age 15. After an appearance on “American Idol,” he released his album The Album Before the Album. Cotter has written songs for popular artists and has been nominated for Best Male R&B Vocalist at the Underground Hip Hop Music Awards. In June 2007 after Idol, Cotter began hosting a number of television shows. He is currently hosting “The Challenge,” a quiz show involving teams of high school students, on MSG Varsity cable channel. // Twitter // Facebook
A native of Lynchburg, S.C., O’Neal McKnight spent his youth winning school and neighborhood talent contests until he saved enough money for a bus ride to move to New York City. After working various odd jobs in the entertainment world, O’Neal’s flair for fashion helped him break into styling photo shoots. Through styling the hottest names in the industry, O’Neal met DJ Cassidy and music production partner, Dub-L, which whom he created 2 hit singles, “Check Your Coat” & “Champagne Red Lights” that took the NYC club scene by storm. He soon signed a deal with Motown/SRC//Universal records. In 2010 O’Neal performed his music all over the world, filmed a reality show, and started recording music with DJ/producer Junior Sanchez, Bryce Wilson(Groove theory), and Michael Moog for multimedia label BROBOT. O’Neal is now working on his debut album. // Twitter // Facebook Check out his latest music video here: “Crazy”
Katie Chonacas is an American actress, model, singer and film producer. The Detroit, Mich., native landed her first television roles on series including CSI: NY, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Cold Case and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She has toured with 50 Cent and G-Unit throughout Spain and South Africa and released two albums, SO N2 U and a spoken word album, Virgin. Website// Twitter // Facebook
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sheena Sakai captured hearts and snagged ratings on “America’s Next Top Model” as a fashion superstar hopeful. She placed sixth in season 11 and has been invited back for the next cycle of “America’s Next Top Model” (beginning Sept. 8, 2011 on The CW). Known as the hip-hop Asian girl, Sheena has modeled for 1800whoopass, acted in a Trojan Condom Commercial, played lead in a music video for artist Charlie Ward called “I Wanna” and is a spokesmodel for Metro PCS. // Twitter // Facebook
Tamara Park‘s career has crossed borders and transcended fields as she has chased her passion for storytelling and travel. She has produced videos in Europe, wrote articles while living in the Middle East, worked with numerous nonprofits and authored a travel memoir entitled Sacred Encounters from Rome to Jerusalem. Most recently she has traveled from Mozambique to Morocco, Brazil to Haiti producing stories for the Halogen TV series original “Noble Exchange.” // Twitter // Facebook
…and a little look at what’s happened to us after “Noble Exchange.”
A producer’s journey from behind the camera to in front of it.
We all have a dream. It is what gives us hope and inspires purpose. I long to entertain the world through my creative expression of music, modeling and even acting.
I have so many passions, when I was asked to go to Brazil to talk about the possibility of having my own fashion line, I felt it was a real blessing and was looking forward to putting all my efforts into this one huge project.
Why not begin your own Noble Exchange in your very own community? Life Coach Tanya Brown offers some ideas to get you started.
From recording music with the tropi-pop band Wamba and learning a little bit on guitar to making friends that will last a lifetime this journey was one that I hope everyone gets to take no matter where they are in life and in the world.
“Noble Exchange” is based on the idea that we have so much to learn from each other, especially from other cultures…and every story shared is a gift exchanged.
Haiti just seemed like a five-letter word on a map; the name of a place that was part of me but I would never see. All that changed when I met a group of amazing people with Halogen TV.
Diddy-Dirty Money, featuring P.Diddy and Dawn Richard, who will be featured on the second season of “Noble Exchange” won the best group at the 2011 BET Awards.
Sheena Sakai captured hearts and snagged ratings on “America’s Next Top Model” as a fashion superstar hopeful, and now she appears on “Noble Exchange” to explore true images of beauty and strength.
Go on Your Own Noble Exchange
Dawn Richard: Haiti
- Mennou Art Gallery: Check out the art gallery Dawn visited when in Haiti.
- Haiti Partners: Find out more about what this organization has been doing to help rebuild Haiti.
- Haitian Art in the U.S.: Not only you can purchase Haitian art in the U.S., but can participate in a Haitian art conference to be hosted by the Haitian Art Society in New Orleans from October 28 to November 2, 2011.
- Tour Guide to Haiti: This website offers updated information about how to explore Haiti after the earthquake that devastated the country.
- Mercy Corps Haiti: Learn how art therapy is being used to help children and youth recovery after the earthquake. See a video about Mercy Corps’ 18-month Art Therapy Program.
- Travel to Haiti to vacation and volunteer
- Check out Dawn dancing with the WOZO choir and join her in an effort to raise money so this choir can travel to the U.S.
Jared Cotter: Bogota, Colombia
- WAMBA Band: Learn more about Wamba and perhaps even see them performing live in concert.
- Rock al Parque: Experience good music for free at one of the largest rock festivals in Latin America. It all happens in Bogota Nov.1-3 each year.
- Bogota Tour Guide: Learn how to get around Bogota without missing the best of the city.
- In Bogota’s central district of Candelaria, visit two cultural landmarks of Colombia: The Botero Museum and The Gold Museum.
- Check out César López and his “escopetarra”: This International Peace Activist brilliantly uses Colombian music to respond to terrorism.
Sheena Sakai: Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru
- SAS Travel: Go on your own trek to Machu Picchu with the experts. SAS guides are not only specialists; they’re environmentally friendly too.
- El Buen Pastor Bakery: Stop by El Buen Pastor Bakery in Cusco to try for yourself some of the goodies Sheena had…and meet some of the fabulous young women that so inspired Sheena.
- Peruvian Hearts: During Sheena’s journey to gain new images of beauty and strength she also met some amazing women working at this non-profit. They are committed to helping address poverty and promote education in Peru.
- Tour Guide to Cusco
- Marinera: Get a glimpse of Peruvian dance
Strength and beauty are present in every step! Sadly, women and girls’ beauty is exploited in Peru. Human trafficking has been a growing problem in the country. Here’s how you can learn more about it, and possibly contribute to the fight against this crime.
O’Neal McKnight : Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- qinhO: Check out more of qinhO’s work and learn more about this young Brazilian musician.
- Brazilian Independent Artists: Get to know some of unsigned artists in Brazil.
- AfroReggae and AfroSamba: Connect with this cultural group O’Neal met who are making phenomenal music right in the heart of the favelas. Use Google Translate to read their site in English.
- Bossa Nova: This Brazilian rhythm that has delighted the world is one of the roots of the music O’Neal encountered in Rio de Janeiro when he met qinhO. Check out some of its history and songs.
- The Girl from Ipanema: Check out here one of the most famous Brazilian songs of all time. “The Girl from Ipanema” has been performed by several prestigious artists including legendary Frank Sinatra.
- Copacabana Palace: One of the most famous hotels in Brazil, it’s located right on Copacabana Beach and is a great spot to visit in Rio de Janeiro.
- Rio de Janeiro Beaches: Rio is known for its beautiful beaches. Check out this guide when exploring the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (The Marvelous City,” Rio’s nickname).
Katie Chonocas: Sao Paulo, Brazil
- POP UP Store: Pop Up Store is where Katie met Fabiana, a young and passionate fashion businesswoman. Check out this new and up-coming store in Sao Paulo. Trendy, modern and fun.
- Eden Organic: This label represents an innovative way of producing fashion: environmentally conscious.
- Marcelu Ferraz: Visit his funky boutique at Rua São Miguel, 57. São Paulo
- Brazilian Fashion Scene: Learn more about what is going on in Brazilian fashion.
- Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Sao Paulo has internationally become a reference in fashion. Sao Paulo Fashion Week is the big event that brings together renowned Brazilian designers.
- Loja Havaianas at Oscar Freire: On the street Katie met designers in Sao Paulo, you can find the Havaianas store. That’s right! The famous Brazilian flip-flop brand has its own megastore.
- Bianca Ranucci: Bianca’s futuristic designs have debuted at Sao Paulo’s Fashion Week. During Katie’s time in Sao Paulo she got to meet with Bianca and learn about high-end design work. Visit Bianca’s boutique on Oscar Freire.
- Projeto Arrastao: Learn more about this non-profit organization that Katie visited.
- Casa do Zezinho: Katie got to visit another amazing non-profit located at the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods in Sao Paulo. Read about their mission and how you can get involved!
Tamara Park: Amazonas, Brazil
- Manaus Guide: Experience Manaus, the city that sits right in the middle of the Amazons. Tips on restaurants, shopping, entertainment and much more.
- Festivals and Events: Manaus is a lively city that hosts festivals and carnivals throughout the year. Get more information here:
- Sights You Can’t Miss
- Amazon Rainforest: Interesting and alarming facts about the largest rainforest in the world.
- Samba: Learn more about this amazing Brazilian dance.
- Capoeira: Much more than a type of dance, capoeira is a type of fighting, it is a life philosophy. Now, you don’t have to Brazil to take capoeira lessons. The art is becoming more popular in the Unites States, and it’s being thought in several locations across the country.
- World Vision Brazil: This global non-profit is doing a powerful job encouraging education, health care and the spiritual vitality of people through the Amazon region. Learn how you can get involved.