Is Delux magazine the new Alive – or at least the “black Alive”?
That’s what some folks on the street are saying about Delux, though editor Keith Griffin is hearing none of it.
“We’re not a black Alive even though that’s what a lot of people think, so I don’t respond to that,” says Griffin. “We’re Delux, and we’re not in competition with Alive. There’s no competition or negativity going on.”
He calls the bi-monthly Delux a “real St. Louis magazine presenting St. Louis for what it is,” a cosmopolitan city that isn’t as divided as is perceived. “People say we’re filling a void, giving a new outlook on the (black) community and showing other communities we have stuff going on that’s positive.”
Delux, which has two issues under its belt and is presenting its first concert this weekend at Home Friday with rapper Murphy Lee, is described by Griffin as “St. Louis’ hippest lifestyle, fashion, art, and music magazine.”
The first issue of Delux, which considers Complex and Fadar inspiration, featured developer Joe Edwards and urban party planner Wellz Fargo S.L.I.M. of Loose Cannon Entertainment as its cover subjects.
“Joe Edwards has this plan for diversity,” and that’s what this magazine is,” he says.
That issue also included stories of DJ Deception, rapper Black Spade, blogging, and a car detailing business. November’s Money Power Respect issue, which Griffin and his staff are working on now for late October release, includes pieces on President Obama and healthcare, blacks and whites talking honestly about race in St. Louis, the nightclub the City, singer Teresa Jenee, and more.
The second issue, the Fly and Sexy Edition, was fashion-heavy.
Delux is Griffin’s first time foray into publishing, and his primary nine-to-five remains real estate (he’s still one-half of the Power Couple with his wife Carri, which debuted last year to provide elite events for St. Louis’ party crowd).
“It’s definitely been an experience,” Griffin says of publishing Delux. “I’ve done a lot, and never had anything this strenuous or tough.”
The biggest challenges in putting out was convincing potential sponsors to believe in something they hadn’t seen yet, “convincing advertisers we were really putting out a magazine.”
Deadlines are a crucial thing in the publishing business that’s proven challenging as well, and layout wasn’t a cakewalk either. Griffin brought on art director Jenn Carter, who has worked with St. Louis magazine.
Since they’re bi-monthly, they’ve devised a plan to stay visible between issues by having concerts, parties and special events, such as one over the summer for Derrty Entertainment’s Topher Jones.
Next up is Friday night’s unplugged concert with Lee, backed by a band plucked from an open audition at the City. The band features Kevin Dean (drums), Keisha Ellison (vocals), Nephari Burton (vocals), Krazee Rhythm (congo), and Dernard Thornton (bass).
Abesi Manyando, columnist and publicist for Delux, says they’re showcasing Lee because the breakthrough of the whole St. Lunatics crew a decade ago was “the first huge thing to happen in St. Louis in a long time, and people are interested in what they have going on now.”
– Murphy Lee Unplugged with Arty J and Jay-E, 8:30 p.m. Friday at Home, $10.
– Get more information at www.delux-mag.com and www.myspace.com/homenightclubstl.