Way Out West

Two Michigan natives now living out West are hoping to make it big in the world of music.

Mario Cholak has been pursuing music since he was 13 and living in his native Southfield. Cholak moved to Phoenix, Arizona, six years ago, and began writing rap and techno songs shortly afterwards. He’s now 19.

“My stage name is Filo and I perform at local clubs here in Phoenix,” Cholak said.

Cholak is currently working on his album, “Thank God,” which will be available on iTunes. His video, “My Swag,” can be viewed at He is also shooting videos for three more songs and has worked with artists like Willy Northpole, who is signed to rapper Ludacris’ record label, DTP.

“I record at two different studios, and I’ve built a good working relationship with Willy Northpole,” Cholak said. “He’s like a mentor to me.”

Cholak said his faith is a strong motivator.

“Without God there is nothing,” Cholak said. “I have a song on my mix tape called, ‘Why Wouldn’t He?’ which is dedicated to Him.”

Cholak has not interacted much with Chaldeans in Arizona, whom he said are generally more individualistic than acting as part of a community.

“I think that the Chaldeans here who work with the church are the closest to representing a community,” Cholak said. “Other than that, we’re just a part of Arizona’s ethnic minority.”


hermezOut in California, 20-year-old Megan Kashat  who goes by the name Megyn Hermez professionally  hopes to make it as a singer. Her music has a jazzy/R&B feel.

Hermez has been singing since age 8 and began dancing at 16. At age 18, she competed in Barcelona, Spain, at the Prix De Espana World Cup Dance, winning second place for the American Dance Company. Last year, she was a backup dancer for R&B artist Charlie Wilson.

“When I toured with Charlie Wilson I performed at the biggest award shows and full stadiums across the country,” Hermez said, listing the 2010 Grammy pre-telecast, Mo Nique Show, Wendy Williams Show, Macy’s Festival and the Trumpet Awards show as her major credits.

Hermez, a native of Novi, moved to North Hollywood, California, in May 2010 and wrote 15 songs in two weeks.

“In that time I also had my album produced,” she said. “I was offered a deal by an independent label but I turned it down because my entertainment attorney advised me against the unfair terms and conditions in the contract.”

Hermez’s album, “Anxiety,” debuted this spring. Check out her work at, or at

Timely Release

California hip-hop artist Tommy Hanna – aka TIMZ – has released a solemn music video, “Refugee,” which decries the persecution of Christians in Iraq and their struggles resettling in the United States. It features Michigan singer Majid Kakka and was directed by Ron Najor. Watch the video at
TIMZ’ new EP, Future History, is available on iTunes. Proceeds will be donated to the International Rescue Committee to aid refugees in need. Visit

article by: Omar Binno