Amanda Seales (formerly Amanda Diva)
Amanda Seales, (1981-07-01) July 1, 1981 (age 31)
personality, host, artist, DJ, song writer, poet
Amanda Seales, formerly Amanda Diva, (born July 1, 1981 in Los Angeles, California) is a personality and visual artist, DJ, host, culture critic, rapper/singer songwriter, actress, radio host, and former replacement of the musical group Floetry. She has a Master's in African-American Studies from Columbia University, has been featured as a host/commentator on MTV, VH1, HLN, CNN, and BET, is a Def Poetry Jam Alum, the creator of several news and culture based web series including "DivaSpeak TV", AOL Black Voices "The Spark" and Karmaloop's "Diva Diva Ya'll", the writer and performer of "Death of the Diva" a one-woman musical challenging pop culture's portrayal of women one hilarious character at a time and the CEO of DivaWorks Inc an arts & entertainment company under which she performs and produces programming, releases music and creates and sells visual art.
Amanda Seales was born in Daniel Freeman hospital in Inglewood, California to Annette Seales, an R.N. from Grenada, W.I. She spent the next eight years in the San Fernando Valley before moving to Orlando, FL in 1989 where she lived until leaving to attend college at SUNY Purchase in Purchase, NY in 1999. While in California her mother involved her heavily in sports and the arts, enrolling her in ice-skating, swimming, tap, jazz, ballet, violin, and piano lessons at an early age. In kindergarten she was designated "gifted". After moving to Orlando Amanda began auditioning and working in the entertainment business as a child actor. At the same time, she was a competitive gymnast at Brown's Gymnastics Metro until 1996 when she quit after a series of injuries. In 1994 Amanda was accepted into the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet at Dr. Phillips High School. She was very involved in the program winning several awards, performing in several productions, and holding the office of President in her senior year. During that time she also was a part of the 1998 State Champion Swim and Dive team as a diver and at 15 began painting after attending an art class with a friend. Before graduating with honors she won the NFAA Arts scholarship as well as the Donna Reed scholarship in the category of Acting and was named "Most Talented" of the Class of '99 senior class. In the fall of 1999 Amanda attended SUNY Purchase as an Acting major but left the conservatory after one year due to differences with the teaching staff. She then created her own major, Black Studies with a concentration in the Visual and Performing Arts and graduated in 2003, serving as commencement speaker at her graduation. In fall of 2003 she began the Master's program at Columbia University's Institute for Research in African American Studies and graduated in 2005.
In 1989, Seales began her career as a dancer in Disney World's "Sparkling Christmas Spectacular" which she performed in again in 1991. Shortly thereafter she began doing commercials and was frequently featured on Nickelodeon. In 1993 she was cast as the role of "Katie" in the film "Cop and a Half" starring Burt Reynolds and directed by Henry Winkler. At the age of 12 she appeared as Dion on the Nickelodeon sitcom My Brother and Me. Though a big hit on the network the show was eventually canceled due to disagreements between the producers and creators of the show. Over the next several years Seales continued to work with the entertainment industry on various projects before leaving Orlando to attend college in 1999. While at SUNY Purchase Amanda was exposed to spoken word poetry and in 2001 began performing on the New York and New Jersey circuits in showcases, open mics, and slam competitions as Amanda Diva. In the spring of 2002, she was featured on season two of Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam performing the piece "Hot Shit" (she was also featured again on in 2005 on season five performing the piece "40 Emcees" and shortly thereafter began touring colleges and universities performing poetry. 2002 also marked the independent release of her first album, the self produced "Never a Dull Moment" on which she performed spoken word and sang. In March 2003, after performing at a Jessie Jackson benefit Amanda met a channel coordinator at the then Sirius Satellite radio. After a subsequent interview she was given on a show on the channel "Planet Rhyme" before being transferred in October 2003 to channels "Hip Hop Nation", where she hosted "Breakfast at Diva's", and "Hot Jamz" until leaving the company in 2007. In March of 2004 Amanda became the host of MTV2's "Sucker Free" programming becoming the face of hip hop for the channel and interviewing such music heavyweights as Jay-Z, Nas, The Roots, LL Cool J, Pharrell, along with Hollywood stars, Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx and more. She also began writing for web site Allhiphop.com and XXL magazine, became the only female member of the DJ Drama/Don Cannon/DJ Sense-helmed Aphilliates crew, released her self-published collection of poetry, "Young Skin, Wise Mind, Old Soul", released her second spoken word mixtape, "It's Bigger Than Hip Hop, Vol 1" and completed a Master's degree in African-American studies from Columbia University. Amanda left MTV2 in March 2005 and created her arts & entertainment company DivaWorks Inc. while working freelance jobs, and performing/ speaking at colleges, transitioned from recording spoken word to hip hop soul adding rapping and singing to her repertoire. In 2006 she joined with Mick Boogie to release "Still Sucker Free", a critically acclaimed mixtape which displayed Amanda's lyrical skills. In 2007 she was cast as a comic commentator on VH1's "Best Week Ever". She would become a regular on the show before its being cancelled in late 2008. She has since became a mainstay on the networking providing commentary and voice-over narration for over 25 clip shows. In 2007 Amanda was asked to replace Natalie Stewart of the musical duo Floetry, and went on an 18 city tour as "Floetry Remix" disbanding at the tour's culmination. In 2007 she left Sirius Satellite Radio and created "DivaSpeak TV", a humor-based current events web show that beginning on her YouTube channel ran weekly for 50 episodes and became syndicated on major sites Thisis50.com, QD3.com, Okayplayer.com. In the fall of that year Amanda released "Life Experience" her first of several, what she called, FreePs, unlike mixtapes, fully produced albums distributed for free. The project featured fan favorites "40 Emcees featuring Q-tip" "SupaWoman" and "Windows Over Harlem". In promotion of the project she would join rapper Lupe Fiasco tour. In 2008 Amanda created the series "Diva Diva Ya'll" for KarmaloopTV. A lifestyle web show, it featured interviews with artists of different genres along with coverage of events and concerts, and followed Amanda to cities like Berlin, Toronto, and more it ran for 24 episodes until it's finale in Summer 2009. In early 2008 she released The Foreplay Mixtape and later that year was featured, along with D'angelo, Raphael Saadiq, and Norah Jones on Q-tip's album The Renaissace on the record ManWomanBoogie. She then joined him and The Cool Kids on the NBA2K Tour in Spring 2009. 2008 also served as the launch year for The Roots Picnic Spring 2009 saw the release her critically acclaimed 2nd FreeEP "Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul" a versatile piece of work that featured production from DJ Green Lantern, Kovas, Tumblin Dice, and Droop-E. Standouts off the project include, "Neon", "Devils", "Little Things", and "SuperSonic SuperNova". In 2009 Amanda began live painting at Libation in the lower east side and soon became a presence on the scene. She began showing in group shows and selling tote bags and prints online through the creation of DivaWorksofArt.com. In, 2010 she was honored as a Grey Goose Rising Icon in visual art and was chosen as part of the Bombay Sapphire artisan series. 2010 also saw the creation of "Technicolor Lover on Creative Control" a reality show that chronicled Amanda's journey as an working artist and personality striving for success and stability in an unstable business and of "The Spark" a weekly humor based news show that featured guest panelists including Quincy Jones, Swizz Beatz, John Legend, Spike Lee, Ben Vareen, Marc Lamont Hill, and more. The show ran for a year before being dissolved under the AOL/Huffpost merger. Following her thirtieth birthday on July 1, 2011, Seales dropped the moniker Amanda Diva and has since been professionally known by her birth name Amanda Seales. After a year long hiatus from music Amanda returned in 2011 with the release of Madame Monochrome, a project inspired by a trip to Paris and the support given to artistry there which featured one of her most beloved records to date, "Manchild" produced by Ski Beatz. In 2011 she also returned to DJing with the urging of New York's DJ M.O.S and became a regular contributor on HLN's Showbiz Tonight. Later that year she wrote and starred in "Death of the Diva" a one-woman musical challenging pop culture's portrayal of women one hilarious character at a time. The show premiered in Spring of 2012 at the Helen Mills Theater to full houses and rave reviews. 2012 also saw the premiere of the short lived hip hop round table show, MTV's Hip Hop POV on which Amanda served as one of 5 co hosts. Her interview, on the show, of international hip hop star Lil Wayne, was MTV's most candid with the global mc. After much urging by fans in 2012 she released the Freep "Technicolor Lover" a concept based project that saw Amanda speak on many perspectives and her own experiences of love. She also became a member of the Monster DJ's a dj crew assembled by Monster Products. Amanda Seales continues to be a multifaceted artist, personality, and culture critic, pushing the boundaries of her own creativity and sparking conversation through speaking truth and delivering humor. ,
•Columbia University, NY M.A. Degree in African American Studies w/ a concentration in Hip-hop '03-'05 •SUNY Purchase, White Plains, NY B.A. Degree in African American Studies w/ a concentration in the Visual & Performing Arts '99-'03 •53k + followers on Twitter.com/AmandaDiva •Co-host MTV HIP-HOP POV late night round table show '11 •Writer/Performer Death of the Diva a one-woman musical narrative challenging pop culture's portrayal of women •Creator /Host of "The Spark" news based panel show on AOL BlackVoices.com '09-'11 •VH1 and HLN Contributor '08-present •Creator/Host of DivaSpeak TV news based web series '07-'09 •Creator/Host of "Diva Diva Ya'll" lifestyle web series on KarmaloopTV.com '07 •Host of "Speaking of..." a pop culture based news show on Music Choice '10-'12 •MTV2 VJ SuckaFree Hip-hop programming '04-'05 •VH1 "Best Week Ever" comedy commentator '07-'08 •Honored by Grey Goose Rising Icons & Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series for work in the Visual arts as a painter/illustrator. '10 •Creator/star of "Technicolor Lover" a reality based web series on CreativeControl.tv '10-Present •Featured alongside Norah Jones & Raphael Saadiq on Q-tips's Grammy nominated album The Renaissance - "ManWomanBoogie" •"Certified" on Music Choice Contributor '09-'10 •Toured the USA as part of Grammy award winning R&B group Floetry Summer '07 •Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam Feature Poet '02 & '05 •Host of Sirius Satellite Radio's "Breakfast at Diva's" on HipHopNation/40 '03-'-07 •Contributing writer XXL mag, Allhiphop.com, Ozone mag '03-'07 •"Deonne" on classic Nickelodeon sitcom "My Brother & Me" '92