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the

magazine of the students of

the university of miami

march 2013

Awesome Karaoke Joints Rising Artists: Jake Miller, Troy Kurtz, and More!

What Your

PLAYLIST

Says About You

People You’ll See at Ultra Inside Miami’s Scene


The Last Issue Ever

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what’s inside The Music Issue

THE GUIDE 4

5

6

7

Be Right Back

Check out Wood Tavern, Wynwood’s grimy and ultra hipster bar. By Christine Keeler

Beats and Bread

These restaurants offer a side performance with every meal. By Jessica Swanson

Getaway Time

Not sure what to do for spring break? We’ve got you covered. By Melissa Ostroff

Sing It, Baby!

Bring on the karaoke at these local venues. By Christine Keeler

IN THE LOOP 9

The 6 People You’ll See at Ultra The tree hugger isn’t the only character you’re bound to see this year. By Amith Ravindar

11 Illuminating the Truth

Blu Ivy Carter is a hot topic in the gossip columns, but is she in the illuminati? By Megan McCrink

12 Is Miami Actually the South

From Chilli Cookoff to Roundup, Miami is going country. By Stephanie Martin

March 2013

10 A Sexual Examination

Find out what your music tastes says about your sex life. By Sarah Kamakawiwoole

13 Music and the Brain

Perhaps all those EDM beats are the reason you’re acing each exam. By Rianna Hidalgo

SPORTS

THE MAIN EVENT 28 Queen Bri

14 High Stakes

How underdogs, favorites and point spreads have changed sports. By Patrick Riley

16 Is Baseball Dying?

Soccer’s Emily Lillard never forgets faith and family. By Luisa Andonie

20 Bust a Move

It’s time to once again say hello to the ‘90s. By Ana Calderone and Gabrielle Mottaz

27 Drop ‘Em

There’s more to the Frost School of Music than meets the ear. By Rachel Kliger

38 The Sound of Miami

FASHION

34 Music Major, So You, Like, Jam Out All Day?

Some believe football has taken over as America’s pastime. By Robert Pursell

17 Behind Goalkeeper Lines

Rapper Brianna Perry is about to assassinate the industry. By Jonathan Borge

From Kanye to Lil Kim, rappers are obsessed with designers. By Ana Calderone

With EDM growing everyday, we take a look back at our city’s music history. By Hyan De Freitas

42 Musically Inclined

These four ‘Canes are destined for music success. By Kristen Calzadilla

END NOTES

46 #LoudestIssueYet

Love Instagram? Our staff’s favorite musicrelated pics. By Christine Keeler and Jonathan Fernandez

On Brianna: Dress, ark & co. The Dressing Room, 5829 SW 73rd St #9. Bracelet, The Dressing Room. The Music Issue

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Letter from the Editor

March 2013

distractionmagazine.com WHAT SONG BEST REPRESENTS YOUR PERSONALITY? Editor-in-Chief _Jonathan Borge Executive Editor_Ashley Brozic Managing Editor_Alexandra Solano Art Directors_Sophianna Bishop and Ivana Cruz Assistant Art Director_Megan McCrink “Put Ya Lighters Up” Photo Editor_Raquel Zaldivar by Lil Kim Assistant Photo Editors_Rori Kotch and Mia Van Peenen Copy Chief_Kristen Calzadilla The Guide & End Notes Editor_Christine Keeler In The Loop Editor _Nicole Vila Sports Editor_Patrick Riley Assistant Sports Editor_Kristen Spillane “Classy Girls” Fashion Editor_Ana Calderone Assistant Fashion Editor_Gabrielle Mottaz by the Lumineers The Main Event Editor_Rachel Kliger “Sugar Magnolia” by Web Master_Rosa Orihuela the Grateful Dead Online Copy Chief_Amanda Arrandt Culture Blog Editor_Kristen Calzadilla Music Blog Editor_Hyan De Freitas Online Fashion Editor_Adam Tomashek Photo Blog Editor_Kacie Nelson “All the Small Things” Student Life Blog Editor_Shivani Aluru by Blink 182 Features Blog Editor_Taylor Duckett Video Editor_Kappes Chatfield Co-Public Relations Managers_Rachel Kliger and Casey Gasinowski Assistant PR Manager_Morgan Chicchelly Social Media Editor_Jonathan Fernandez Business Manager_Alexandra Hurtado Advertising Sales Representatives_Hannah Baker and Reza Ayazi Faculty Advisor_Randy Stano Contributors Luisa Andonie, Writer Holly Bensur, Photographer Sarbani Ghosh, Designer and Illustrator Rianna Hidalgo, Writer Sarah K. Kamakawiwoole, Writer Stephanie Martin, Writer Corinne Nobili, Writer Melissa Ostroff, Writer Sydney Polke, Photographer

WE LIKE YOU

Robert Pursell, Writer Amith Ravindar, Writer Ken Rubi, Photographer Jamie Shankman, Designer Kelly Smith, Photographer Samantha Smith, Illustrator Chris Stampar, Photographer Jessica Swanson, Writer Rachel Watkins, Designer

When it comes to contributors, we’re not picky. Whether you’ve found your niche in a bio book, you’re notorious for doing “nothing” at the comm or business school, or you’re halfway into your college career and still wave that “undeclared major” flag, we want to hear what you have to say. Distraction is written for students, by students, and covers the full spectrum of student life here at The U. If you want to get involved with us or have any questions, email our editor-in-chief, Jonathan Borge, at j.borge@umiami.edu and he will get you in contact with the right people. March 2013 Distraction is dubbed “The Music Issue.” The magazine is produced four times per year, twice a semester. City Graphics and NU-PRESS Miami printed 6,500 copies of the magazine on 8.5 x 11 inch, 60-pound coated text paper 4/4. The entire magazine is printed four-color and saddle stitch bound. Most text is nine-point Minion Pro with 1.8 points of leading set ragged with a combination of bold, medium and italic. All pages were designed using Adobe Creative Suite 5 software InDesign with photographs and artwork handled in PhotoShop and Illustrator. For additional information please visit distractionmagazine.com. Questions and comments can be mailed to 5100 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables Fla. 33146-2105, dropped into LC150-A or emailed to j.borge@umiami.edu. All articles, photographs and illustrations are copyrighted by the University of Miami.

ABOUT US

2

Distraction

Masthead

March is all about music in Miami. Each year, waves of artists flock south for the month and invade our city from the beaches to the mainland, and this year won’t prove differently. For months, my Facebook newsfeed has been full of countdowns to this year’s hottest ticket, Ultra Music Festival, which for the first time is split into two weekends with separate performers, DJs and crowds. Music revelers are also eagerly anticipating Winter Music Conference, another massive gathering for EDM lovers. But what’s great about Miami isn’t that we host these gigantic festivals for throngs of people. It’s that no matter your liking, there’s something for everyone. Hip-hop, R&B, pop, reggae, dance, rap, jazz, rock, salsa, merengue and a slew of other genres have all thrived in Miami, and the city’s unarguably a hotbed for new talent. Which brings me to our cover star, Brianna Perry. At 21-years-old, the junior has already worked with Trina, Missy Elliott, Flo-Rida, Trick Daddy, A$AP Rocky, Pusha-T, Future and DJ Khaled. You can find her standing outside of the LC, waiting for class to start, headphones plugged in and song lyrics spitting out. You can find her in the studio, working on her latest mixtape. And you can find her at the BET awards, accepting nominations for best female hip-hop artist. In this issue, we also profile UM students and alumni like Jake Miller and Troy Kurtz who, like Brianna, have already proved their worth in the industry. Distraction is all about looking forward to what’s new, what’s next, and we’ve done just that. Cheers,

Jonathan Borge


On the Cover At only 21 years old, junior Brianna Perry has already collaborated with hip hop and rap heavyweights like Missy Elliott, Trina, A$AP Rocky and Pusha T. As a Poe Boy Music Group and Atlantic Records artist, Perry is bound to make music history, making her the perfect choice to cover our magazine’s first music issue. design_ivana cruz. photo_raquel zaldivar.

Letters to Distraction

“The Last Supper” pictures are really captivating; they made me want to try out some new restaurants.” -Michael Dellentash, Senior

how I’m helping the environment.” -Erika Jackson, Junior

“When people ask why I am a vegetarian, I never know what to answer. This article explains all the reasons why I don’t eat meat, and

E IN L ON OW

“The Art Basel guide was so helpful and made my life that week so easy.” -Cassandra Pino, Senior “In our generation, music is a big deal and how we access it is drastically

changing.” -Michelle Avalos, Junior “The photography in the fashion section is really beautiful.” -Elizabeth Gil, Junior HAVE AN OPINION ABOUT THIS ISSUE? EMAIL IT TO FEEDBACK. DISTRACTION@ GMAIL.COM

distractionmagazine.com

N

Hip-Hop’s Next Diva

For the Love of the Game

Want more Brianna? Check out over 25 additional photos from our very black and white photo shoot with the cover star.

Head to our site for an extended version of Patrick Riley’s story about the truth behind sports and gambling. The Music Issue

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T h e g u i d e spring

T g 2012

BE RIGHT BACK

words_christine keeler. photo_lily zhang. design_sophianna bishop.

A self proclaimed “bar’s bar,” whatever that means, Wood Tavern, a grimy, pub-like hipster hangout is Wynwood at its finest. Inside, beneath an ethereal lightbearing tree, you’ll find gritty picnic tables and concrete bleachers propped up as an alternate dance floor. But you won’t come here to witness spunky downtown kids downing the must-have quesadillas straight out of a vintage-looking dismantled car; instead, you’ll enjoy the music, which seems to have been pulled from every cool kid’s top 25 playlist. Here, forget Bruno Mars and jam to some classic MGMT, Phoenix and the occasional ‘90s anthem (cue “Wonderwall”). At press time, Wood’s outdoor patio was temporarily closed because of the lack of proper permitting, but we’re hoping the venue’s house party feel - people drink from red Solo cups - will soon return. 2531 NW Second Ave., Miami, 305-748-2828; woodtavernmiami.com

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Distraction The Guide


G food

Theguide

BEATS AND BREAD

words_ jessica swanson. photo_holly bensur. design_sophianna bishop.

THE HOXTON: Maine Lobster Roll

KORK: Dark Chocolate Fondue

KORK

CHURCHILL’S

VAN DYKE CAFE

THE HOXTON

A true diamond in downtown, Kork lets you indulge in soul-soothing cheeses, succulent dark chocolate fondue and fine wine. But don’t let its innocent market cafe facade fool you; Kork has a basement with the allure of a 1920s speakeasy. Let your hair down and tap your toes to jazz music every weekend at this underground bomb shelter turned jazz house. Oh, and don’t forget to take advantage of the no corking fee from 4 to 6 p.m. 2 South Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-8899; korkwineandcheese.com From folk and contemporary to Latin jazz, Van Dyke is the only restaurant on Lincoln Road to boast live music. Although wafts of lobster ravioli lure pedestrians inside, the upstairs music lounge hooks you for the night. The cabaret style waiters, red velvet curtains and stage full of shiny, polished instruments are reminiscent of a backroom poker game. And although it’s packed on weekends, we must admit: there’s not a bad seat in the house! 846 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305-534-3600; thevandykecafe.com

SOUTH STREET RESTAURANT AND BAR

Amid the Design District’s upscale dining, fine boutiques and retro light fixtures lies Miami’s most craved neo-soul food joint, South Street. Besides the food, it boasts an upstairs lounge that hosts live performances. While management is currently trying to set a permanent night, expect a live band playing most nights. But if you’re adamant about the live music, guests have been known to jump on stage as a stand-in, after a few tries from the extensive cognac selection first. 4000 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-573-5474; southstreetmiami.com

Neighboring Sweat Records in Little Haiti, Churchill’s has been a landmark in the underground music scene for the last 30 years, playing host to the likes of Marilyn Manson, the Mavericks and Social Distortion. While the dilapidated interior and enter-at-your-own risk bathrooms aren’t for everyone, this dive bar has it’s own kind of charm, starting with its outdoor terrace and very own laundry room. Churchill’s Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com A posh beach house perfectly suited for the Magic City, The Hoxton gracefully introduces the Hamptons to Brickell. This metropolitan oasis offers patrons live music from Thursday through Saturday, with genres spanning from jazz and reggae to ballads by moody singer-songwriters. Dine on New England specialties like their Blue Point Oysters or their delicious Maine Lobster roll. Oh, and don’t miss their epic happy hour - the Hoxton lemonade is a must! 1111 SW First Ave., Miami; 305-677-8466; hoxtonmiami.com

LIPS

If you’re a fan of hairspray, glitter and a whole lot of sass, then look no further than this drag queen bar. Although it’s a trek from campus, Lips is sure to put a smile on even your most conservative friend’s face. Their performances are naughty and every night they offer their best impressions of music legends like Michael Jackson and, yes, you guessed it, Cher. But strutting their personalities on stage isn’t all these ladies do; they also double as servers who offer a side of provocative slapstick quips with your meal. 1421 East Oakland Park, Fort Lauderdale; 954-567-0987; floridalips.com

VAN DYKE CAFE: Lobster Ravioli

TAPAS Y TINTOS

Tapas y Tintos is nestled in the heart of Espanola Way, safely hidden from the hustle and bustle of Washington Avenue. Sip sangria over an array of Spanish tapas and don’t forget to order some crème brûlée for dessert. The venue’s flamenco musicians and dancers with castanets and guitars will transport you straight to the streets of Seville. 448 Espanola Way, Miami Beach; 305-538-8272; tapasytintos.com

LAGNIAPPE

Lagniappe (pronounced LAN-EE-YAP) is a laidback New Orleans-style joint that promises live music every night of the week. Handpick your selection of wine and cheese and sit in their ethereal garden as the housecat slinks from table to table, all with the sounds of an acoustic Bluegrass band playing in the background. They serve top-notch beverages here, so don’t even think about ordering a glass of Yellow Tail or PBR. 3425 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305.76.0108; lagniappehouse.com The Music Issue

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G to do

Theguide

GETAWAY TIME

words_ melissa ostroff. photo_ivana cruz. design_sophianna bishop.

It’s that time of year again, as March Madness looms ahead, where everyone is buzzing about where to go and what to do over spring break. Are you stumped? Here are some great options, which are sure to not disappoint.

CRAZY SPRING STORIES words_ corinne nobili.

ise Parad

never

BAHAMAS

If you just want to go on a relaxing getaway, the Bahamas is the ideal locale. Endless sunshine, beautiful beaches, glistening water…what could be better? There’s enough adventure to cure your boredom and it’s laid back enough to let you tan, chill and sleep on the beach all day. Close enough to Miami, it’s an easy plane or boat ride away. For a luxurious stay, you’ll want to check out Atlantis on Paradise Island.

PUERTO VALLARTA

If you are looking for a quick and easy vacation to a beachside paradise, look no further than Puerto Vallarta. This increasingly popular Mexican destination has all that you could ask for in a classic spring break trip. Young people come here to vacation, and if you love to party, this is the place for you. Lounge by the beach by day and then at night, go out and have a good time. Unlike other tourist traps, Puerto Vallarta still maintains its traditional charm with small, untouched villages nearby.

CITIES NEW YORK CITY

Always on the go? Then heading to New York is your calling. There are literally an infinite amount of things to do. History buffs can head to Ellis Island for a dose of the past. Fashion lovers can walk the streets of SoHo or Fifth Avenue in midtown for designer goods straight from the runways. On Broadway, musical theatre lovers can catch a show on any night of the week, while foodies can stop by any restaurant across town for the ultimate dish. 6 Distraction The Guide

lue sky b

be ac h

take me b ack

BEACH AND RESORT

bu m

Max Tengalia, a recent grad of geological studies, went to Oaxaca, Mexico, and ate fried grasshoppers, claiming: “Once was enough for me.”

Ivan Zorn, a senior in the engineering school, kiteboarded in Puerto Rico and “continually got stung by sea urchins in the reef ” when he crashed.

SAN FRANCISCO

Far from the hustle and bustle of New York, San Francisco has some of the most diverse types of neighborhoods in the city. Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to grab a bite, walk the boardwalk and even spot seals. Not far away is Haight Ashbury, which is filled with amazing vintage clothing stores and plenty of eccentric people. Take advantage of the city’s steep and sometimes frightening hills by hopping on a streetcar at night. Oh, and did I mention the Golden Gate Bridge?

HISTORY AND ADVENTURE

Billy Magenmeigher, a senior in accounting, played in a bouncy castle on a cruise to Cozumel and “participated in a belly flop contest. [I] also got a fake tattoo to mess with my girlfriend.”

CHICHEN-ITZA, MEXICO

Chichen-Itza is made up of various Mayan Ruins, some of which you can climb. Adventure lovers can visit the grounds home to an ancient ball game played by the Mayans in which losers were sacrificed - their hearts were cut out and placed on a stand, which was then positioned near the court. Don’t forget to see the Cenote, a large pit with water in the bottom where bodies or even sacrificed people were thrown. Legend says the ancient Cenote is bottomless.

BELIZE

Throughout the Belizean jungle, there are many adventure lodges, which offer you the opportunity to do more than just lounge beachside. They come with day-trip packages, which include cave-tubing fun and road trips to Guatemala. Excursions are designed for everyone from beginners to professionals, and the more experienced can take a strenuous hike. Night walks are available for insomniacs hoping to spot the native wildlife. Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch in Belmopan is a solid option.

On a humanitarian note, Manuel Centurion, a graduate of broadcast journalism, volunteered in a clinic in the Dominican Republic for a few days. He figured, “I do good, karma is on my side, and then I can spend the rest of spring break trashing myself.”


G music

Theguide

SING IT, BABY!

words_ christine keeler. photo_christopher stampar and rachel kliger. design_sophianna bishop.

MR.MOE’S

ALEX POST, RYAN WEDMORE AND KARAM BASRA SING AT MOE’S.

RED KOI

JAZID

Jazid offers a refreshing departure from a typical dive-bar feel, with karaoke offered “every damn night” and an upper level that features downtempo beats. While you may find yourself elbow-toelbow with tourists on weekends (after all, it is South Beach’s longest-running nightclub), Tuesday nights are just the reprieve for locals everywhere. Doors open at 9 p.m. for 21-year-olds everywhere. 1342 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-6739372; jazid.net

RED KOI

Located in the heart of the Gables, Red Koi offers the ultimate karaoke nights on Thursdays. Best of all, there’s no need to worry about stage fright here, as the only place to perform is on the dance floor where you’re surrounded by your own personal band of friends (or strangers, if you secretly like to karaoke solo). Although the food can be on the pricey side, Red Koi’s happy hour is the perfect excuse for a night of sushi, saki and a whole lot of song. 317 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-446-2690; redkoilounge.com

TITANIC

Located next to All Canes on Ponce, Titanic is the closest karaoke joint to campus. This pub is packed with students on karaoke Sundays, which become tolerable when you get the beer sampler

KARAOKE SONGS THAT NEED TO DIE. LIKE NOW. words_ christine keeler.

(6 glasses for $6) after 10 p.m. Oh, and you should seriously consider an order of the N’awlins Fritters before closing time. Or at least before your last stand singing “Piano Man.” 5813 Ponce De Leon Blvd. Coral Gables; 305-668-1742; titanicbrewery.com

STUDIO

Studio is a star-studded karaoke joint located in the basement of the Shelborne, just a few doors down from Rokbar and Mynt in Miami Beach. Not only can you sing a song in Japanese, French, German, (or any of the other 20 languages offered), but you can also share your talents by playing one of their 100 instruments. The only catch? There’s a two drink minimum, so bring more than cab fare. 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-1770; louiestudiosouthbeach.com

AUTOMATIC SLIMS

Automatic Slims started out as a rock n’ roll bar with no cover and hardly any line outside. Ten years later, it’s a staple in Miami Beach with a college bar vibe. The DJ bumps the usual Top 40 mix with an occasional house or hip-hop jam. Oh, and did we mention there’s a stripper pole in the back? Not so fast, gentlemen; Slims is known to be what we’d call a “sausage fest.” 1216 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-2220; automatic-slims.com

SING SING KARAOKE

Sing Sing Karaoke has made the art of drunken karaoke performances less embarrassing. The venue boasts 17 private rooms where you and your group can choose from a selection of over 120,000 songs to sing sing as off-pitch as you’d like - no line required. For those who think their talents deserve a bigger crowd, there is also a stage at the bar open for a bold bravado. 717 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-763-8410; singsingmiami.com

JELSONIMO

Jelsonimo, the LIV of karaoke bars, is a recent high-end addition to Miami Beach nightlife. Like Sing Sing Karaoke, Jelsonimo offers private, soundproof rooms where your crew can belt out their favorite renditions of “Livin’ on a Prayer.” But if you’re feeling courageous, get out on the main stage, which comes complete with backup singers and dancers that can distract others from your “questionable” talent. 247 23rd Street, Miami Beach; 305-673-7757; jelsonimo.us/miami

MR. MOE’S

Apart from the appearance of a mechanical bull every now and then, Tuesday is all about karaoke here. The secret ingredient to a successful night? Cabin Fever and, obviously, Moose Juice. 3131 Commodore Plaza., Coconut Grove; 305-442-1114; mrmoes.com

1. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey

4. “We Will Rock You” by Queen

2. “Wannabe” by The Spice Girls

5. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

3. “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne

6. “...Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears The Music Issue

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YOU KNOW YOU’VE done something

AWESOME WHEN YOU

CELEBRATE BY

SLEEPING On behalf of the PhilADthropy Committee and AdGroup, we would like to thank all of our participating non-profit organizations, sponsors, team leaders, and of course, our student volunteers! Whether you gave us a problem to solve, sent in a midnight snack, pushed us through a creative wall, or poured your heart into creating incredible work, you helped make our 4th annual PhilADthropy the success that it was. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Participating Organizations Include: BLUE Missions Dream in Green

FLIPANY ComicED

Mystic Force Foundation

Perception Is Everything, Inc.

Gloria M. Silverio Foundation – A Safe Haven for Newborns

Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida, Inc.

Guitars Over Guns Organization (GOGO) Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) Easter Seals South Florida, Inc. The Humanity Project

Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade Big Bike Riders Children’s Foundation Abandoned Pet Rescue Take Stock in Children

Sponsored by:

DOWNTOWN DADELAND

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Distraction

The Guide

STUDENT GOVERNMENT


THE SIX PEOPLE YOU’LL SEE AT

The headliners at Ultra Music Festival may change every year, but a few things will always remain the same, like the fact that its spectators wear enough American Apparel to keep the ailing business from bankruptcy, or that they often steal the spotlight from acts like Tiesto and Calvin Harris. We’ve rounded up a list of the characters to look out for this year, since they may appear on YouTube the day after. words_amith ravindar. illustration_sarbani ghosh. design_megan mccrink.

THE RADIOACTIVE RAVER Decked out head to toe in neon spandex of every color and variety, these glow in the dark humanoids probably don’t even care. But during an unreal night at the Main Stage, watching these fluorescent spectacles will make you wish you got a little overenthusiastic with the X-ray machine too.

THE SENIOR CITIZEN It’s hard to believe that house music’s been around since before we were born. The music didn’t always sound like it does today, but the subculture that surrounded these raves back then was just as potent. When you see an old raver, think of them not as a spectacle, but as a remnant of a fascinating past.

THE DEALER The dealer is that slightly older guy wearing nondescript sunglasses who looks a little too calm to be standing in the middle of absolute insanity. Not sure how all your friends manage to make it through 12 straight hours of Ultra? He’s the guy they probably talked to.

The High Schooler An upbringing of house music and psychedelic light shows has led this kid to strive for an experience the rest of us only hope to achieve. Look for the kid wearing an Ultra ‘09 shirt while fist pumping and you’ll witness the deadly combination of experience and youth.

THE ALIEN THE TREE KISSER Let’s face it: drug use is rampant at Ultra. That romantic, actually quite attractive girl in the YouTube video that everyone’s seen was just a very avid gardener and suddenly felt a special connection to nature... not. Moral of the story? Don’t be that girl.

Some people say aliens don’t exist, but anyone front and center at a Skrillex set would beg to differ. Ultra’s sheer number of musical offerings makes it a major attraction for every type of raver. For a few of these kids, Ultra’s the time of year to break out the best raving objects.

The Music Issue

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ILLUMINATING THE TRUTH

words and design_megan mccrink. photo_raquel zaldivar.

Conspiracy theories have created a sense of hysteria among the music industry. At first, they seem too frivolous to even make sense, but although they should be taken with a grain of salt, many have enough circumstantial evidence to eerily seem true.

>> PAUL IS DEAD

Paul McCartney is dead. Yes, your favorite Beatle is dead. He’s been gone for almost fifty years, actually. The man you see as Paul McCartney on TV is not actually Paul, but instead, a cover-up. Here’s the lowdown: On November 9, 1966, Paul McCartney left the studio after arguing with bandmates while recording songs for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” While driving in his Aston Martin, he lost control of the car, smashed into a fence, burst into flames, and died. He was left unidentifiable. Since the death was in the middle of Beatlesmania, the band’s financial success was the most important factor in this situation. Allegedly, the British government, along with the Beatles, conspired to cover up Paul’s death. They held a Paul look-alike contest and found actor William Shears Campbell as the winner. There are various

T YI A K P L AC B

clues clues pointing pointing toward toward Paul’s Paul’s death death in in albums albums like “Sgt. “Sgt. Pepper’s Pepper’s Lonely Lonely Hearts Hearts Club Club Band”, Band”, like “Abbey “Abbey Road, Road,”” “Magical “Magical Mystery Mystery Tour” Tour” and and “The White White Album. Album.”” “The

>> >> THE THE ILLUMINATI ILLUMINATI

Popular music music favorites favorites like like Jay-Z Jay-Z Popular and and Lady Lady Gaga Gaga are are allegedly allegedly part part of of this this secret organization organization and and seek seek to to establish establish aa secret “New “New World World Order, Order,”” or or one one authoritarian authoritarian government. government. Other Other people people include include the the Pope, Pope, Barack Obama and even Willow Smith. Barack Obama and even Willow Smith. Many Many claim claim that that the the Illuminati Illuminati are are responsible responsible for for world tragedies tragedies like like the the 9/11 9/11 attacks attacks and and world even even Whitney Whitney Houston’s Houston’s death. death. Remember Remember Madonna’s Superbowl Superbowl halftime halftime show? show? That That Madonna’s supposedly supposedly was was aa satanic satanic ritual ritual to to help help celebrate celebrate the assassination assassination of of Houston Houston to to make make room room for for the Blue Blue Ivy Ivy Carter Carter and and Queen Queen Elizabeth’s Elizabeth’s Diamond Diamond Jubilee. Jubilee. Also, Also, many many say say that that the the triangle-esque triangle-esque

hand signal Jay-Z and chart-topping artists like Rihanna throw up is a symbol of their membership. Another symbol for the Illuminati is also a goat head, which can be seen in Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” video and in Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One” video. Overall, the Illuminati is said to help bring about the rise of the Antichrist. Say what?

>> TUPAC IS ALIVE

Tupac Shakur is alive and well. At the time of his death in 1996 many said they did not see Shakur’s body after his death. Evidence of him still being alive is primarily seen in his posthumous albums like “Makaveli: Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.” This album title was in reference to Nicholas Machiavelli, an Italian philosopher who believed in faking one’s own death to foil enemies. Did Tupac fake his death to foil his enemies? The theory is still buzzing today with photos of Tupac look-alikes popping up around the Internet, including one photo famously taken by Kim Kardashian in early 2012. Even Death Row Records’ CEO Marion “Suge” Knight, who was in the car with Shakur when he was shot, said in an April 2012 interview that he believes Shakur is still alive.

Ever wonder if your favorite artists really add hidden messages to their songs? A cult following of fans believe these messages are rampant. From Zeppelin to Queen to Britney, check out these songs.

10 Distraction In The Loop

Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” when played backwards, says, “So here’s to my sweet satan.”

Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” when played backwards, says, “It’s fun to smoke marijuana.”

Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” when played backwards, says, “Sleep with me, I’m not too young.”


SOUTHERN LIVING. University of Miami students embrace their Southern spirit with country music, boots and traditional southern food at the annual 99.9 Kiss Country Chili Cook Off at C.B Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.

HOW SOUTHERN IS MIAMI? words_stephanie martin. photo_ken rubi. design_megan mccrink. New trend alert! As of late, Miami has been going country. That’s right folks, country. If you think it’s not your thing, don’t knock it ‘til you try it. The Western scene and country diehards have always been around, but lately it seems like they keep growing in numbers, which proves there’s something good going on in ‘Murica. Country heavyweights like Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band have helped introduce country into the mainstream. Here in South Florida, 99.9 Kiss Country is devoted to spinning the latest country songs out there, and the station hosts what’s undoubtedly the largest country music concert in South Florida, the 99.9 Kiss Country Chili Cook Off. This year’s headliners included Luke Bryan, Ronnie Dunn, Thompson Square, Florida Georgia Line and Kacey Musgraves. The concert is usually held in late January, with tickets nearing $45, and promises plenty of food, drinks and chili. Another country music concert approaching Miami is Taylor Swift’s RED tour, which is coming to the American Airlines Arena on April 10. The country genre has even provided us with some of our favorite looks, from plaid button-down shirts for the gentlemen to cutoff denim shorts and cowboy boots for the ladies. Some of the best country stores in South Florida include Cowboy Center, located in Miami, and Grif ’s Western Inc., located in Davie. At either of these stores, you’ll

be able to pick out the perfect country outfit. There are even a couple of hidden away country clubs where you can learn how to square dance and throw back a few beers. By far the two most popular country nightclubs in South Florida are Round-Up Country Western Club and Cowboy’s Saloon, which are both located in Davie. These are the best places to get away from the traditional club scenes and step out of your comfort zone. Who knows, you just might want to join in on the craze. Both Round-Up Country Western Club and Cowboy’s Saloon are 18 and over and have ladies’ nights on both Wednesday and Friday, and women drink for free from 8 p.m. until close. Thursday nights are Beer Pong Thursdays—aka College Night—at both clubs (Thursdays are the only night that Cowboy’s is 21 and over), and at Round-Up, $10 gets you all you can drink draft beer. On Saturdays at Round-Up, $15 gets you in and you can have free drinks from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Both RoundUp and Cowboy’s also host live music concerts. Cowboy’s Saloon even has a mechanical bull. For some of the best home cookin’ and Southern-style food, try Shorty’s Bar-B-Q, which is located in South Miami and offers menu items such as barbecue spare ribs, franks and beans, pulled pork and burgers. You should also try Bulldog Barbecue, located in Aventura, which contains menu items such as St. Louisstyle ribs, pulled pork by the pound, and for the fixin’s, cheddar grits and chipotle fries. Hungry yet?

Hey, Folks!

MUSIC words_nicole vila. Folk music is back. And even though Bob Dylan is a legend and all, this new breed of folk bands is much livelier. Mumford and Sons went from debuting in America alongside Dylan and the Avett Brothers at the 2011 Grammys to earning six nominations at this year’s awards. Led by Marcus Mumford, the British band released their second album, “Babel,” late last year. Its number one single, “I Will Wait,” even got some airtime on popular mainstream music stations like Y-100 in Miami. The band, along with Ed Sheeran, the Lumineers, Michael Kiwanuka, Delta Rae and Fiction Family are prime examples of folk’s reintroduction into pop culture.

Distraction’s Folk Album Picks: • “Babel” by Mumford and Sons • “Big Parade” by The Lumineers • “I and Love and You” by The Avett Brothers • “Drunk” by Ed Sheeran • “Dead Sea” by The Lumineers The Music Issue

Distraction 11


A SEXUAL EXAMINATION In need of a perfect playlist to get you in the mood? Take our quiz to find out what your musical taste says about your sex life. words_ sarah kamakawiwoole. design_sophianna bishop.

1

A. Ginuwine or The Weeknd B. Calvin Harris or David Guetta C. Rihanna or Ke$ha D. Kanye West or Big Sean

5

2

YOUR FAVORITE PLAYLIST CONSISTS MOSTLY OF:

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING LYRICS DO YOU LOVE MOST?

A. “If you let me set the mood right, I’ll make you feel so good tonight.” B. None - you usually start an argument about how music without lyrics is clearly superior. C. “Hey, I just met you. And this is crazy. But here’s my number. So call me, maybe.” D. “Doctors say I’m the illest, ’Cause I’m suffering from realness. Got my N****s in Paris, And they going gorillas, uh!”

A. Sweet, sweet baby making jams. B. So much electronica they’d think you’re a DJ. C. An ode to the last decade of Billboard 100. D. Tracks on tracks on tracks and a whole lot of ass shakin’.

6

3

SOMEONE GOING THROUGH YOUR MUSIC FINDS...

YOU’VE MET A NEW FRIEND WITH WHOM YOU HAVE A TON OF COMMON INTERESTS, INCLUDING A PANDORA STATION. WHICH ONE IS IT?

A. Amber by 311 radio. B. Deadmau5 radio. C. “Genie In A Bottle” by Christina radio. D. “The College Dropout” radio.

4

YOUR PREFERRED VOLUME IS:

A. On the softer side, really. B. The louder, the better. And it can always get louder. C. Whatever it takes to be audible, you just need to sing along. D. Bass only, please.

WHAT’S ON YOUR BREAKUP PLAYLIST?

A. “What You Need” - The Weeknd B. “Titanium” featuring Sia - David Guetta C. “Independent Women” - Destiny’s Child D. “Gold Digger” - Kanye West

A. Aaliyah: and you’re insulted that your friend has never heard of her before. B. 3LAU: you have all of his mixes and dance around to them on a regular basis. C. The Saturdays: despite a 2012 U.S. debut, they’ve been a group since 2007. Duh. D. Macklemore: that Evergreen graduate blowing up with a song about Goodwill.

THE GROUP YOU’VE BEEN OBSESSED WITH FOR OVER A YEAR IS IN MIAMI FOR A SHOW. YOU GO INTO THE VENUE AND EVERYONE IS DANCING - WHAT’S THE CROWD MOVEMENT LIKE? A. Mostly swaying and hip rolling. Oh, and some subtle and not so subtle grinding. B. Fist pumping, jumping around, jerky movement, and some shufling. C. You’re not quite sure because there’s really more screaming along than dancing. D. Vertical humping, crotch grabing and throwing up gang signs.

7

YOUR FRIEND TEXTS YOU TO CHECK OUT AN ARTIST THEY JUST DISCOVERED, BUT YOU’VE BEEN LISTENING TO THAT ARTIST FOR AGES ALREADY. WHO WAS THIS FIND?

8

MOSTLY A

MOSTLY B

MOSTLY C

MOSTLY D

Congratulations, you’re a resident love connoisseur that knows the benefits of patience and thoroughly enjoys lengthy, steamy sex. To turn you on, all your partner needs to do is play something below 70 beats per minute. You’re not against some speed, but your real love is for smooth vocals and a heavy bassline that can set the pace. Why? To build anticipation and drive your lover crazy. Yeah, your friends might brag about going six rounds, but all you need is one. You probably like: “Climax” by Usher, “Motivation” by Kelly Rowland and “Thinking About You” by Frank Ocean.

Even when the doors close and your clothing meets the floor, your conquest will definitely notice your Ultra-worthy speaker system. Foreplay isn’t a must for you, since by the time you get naked, the music is already providing all the excitement you need to get to the main act. Besides, fist pumping together is all you need to get you in the mood. Your happiest moment is a tie between climax and a sick drop. You probably like “Greyhound” by Swedish House Mafia, “F*** on Cocaine” by D.J. Caffeine and “The Devil’s Den” by Skrillex.

You’re a pop star, in bed and out. Fun and flexible like the charts you follow, you always change it up and keep your bedmate(s) beguiled and surprised. You’re a bedroom wildcard - Monday, toy experimentation; Wednesday, edible body paint; and the weekend, role-playing.The likelihood of a lover getting a serenade is definitely high with you, and while that might seem strange to some, there’s always someone who wants to make you sing. You probably like: “Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars, “Kiss You” by One Direction and “One More Night” by Maroon 5.

Will the real Slim Shady please get into bed? Only the lucky get to grind with you, and it’ll definitely get nasty since you live and breathe rap. You can speed it up with the verse and slow it down with the hook. In fact, some of those verses are probably how your friends describe you to others. Although you like it as rough as the voices of your favorite artists, everyone comes back with a craving for more pounding... the pounding adrenaline, that is. You probably like “Do My Dance” featuring 2 Chainz by Tyga, “In Da Club” by 50 Cent and “6 Foot 7 Foot” featuring Cory Gunz by Lil Wayne.

12 Distraction In the Loop


AND THE

MUSIC BRAIN words_rianna hidalgo. photo_ raquel zaldivar. design_sarbani ghosh and sophianna bishop.

You’re sitting in a desk for your midterm exam, pencil in hand. You pull out your noise cancelling Bose headphones and listen to Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major.” The strings soar. The flute flutters. The melody rises and falls with vigor. Your teacher hands you the test. Something about the music has super-charged your brain, boosted your memory and sharpened your skills. The answers fly to your fingertips. You breeze through, certain you’ll get an A+, hands down. And that’s not even counting the bonus questions. Ok, so maybe this scenario doesn’t align with reality — although many of us would like it to. But ever since researchers in the early ‘90s found that listening to Mozart increased spatial reasoning scores, the notion that music makes you smarter has spread like wildfire. Pan to pregnant women walking around with headphones strapped to their giant bellies. For the most part, this “Mozart Effect” has been debunked by many studies and is controversial at best. So what impact does listening to music actually have on your brain

Music Lesson

LYRICS: THEN AND NOW words_nicole vila.

Like karma, what goes around comes around. Although music has evolved over the last century, the themes of most songs – love, breakup, party – are still common today. Take a look at these songs from the ‘60s and see if they pair with your modern day anthems.

and your ability to ace a pop quiz or study like the Energizer Bunny? The idea is simple: it is probably more about mood than intelligence. If you are in a better mood, you will perform better. Music has the power to put you in that state by triggering the release of dopamine. Teresa Lesiuk, associate professor of music therapy at UM, has found that listening to music can increase work productivity for that very reason. Her research, which focuses on computer information systems developers, was recently featured in The New York Times. “If you are in a highly stressed mode, you can become overly fixated on a solution and not see options,” Lesiuk said. “Feeling even mildly content helps increase one’s ability to problemsolve.” Luckily, this doesn’t mean you have to swallow a heavy regimen of classical music to produce quality work. The most important factor in all of this is personal choice. Music only has a positive impact if you get to choose what you want to listen to and when you want to listen to it. In fact, a study published in The Psychology of Music, which tracked eye-movement, showed that subjects listening to music they did not prefer performed poorly on a reading

“SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND” BY RIHANNA

vs.

So shine bright, tonight, You and I/ We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky/ Eye to eye, so alive/ We’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky.

“THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT” BY FRANK SINATRA

Yes you’re lovely, with your smile so warm/ And your cheeks so soft,/ There is nothing for me but to love you,/ And the way you look tonight.

comprehension test. This suggests that if your roommate blasts death metal against your will while you are trying to decipher complex algorithms, you are perhaps bound to turn in your homework late. There are many suggestions for increasing productivity: listen to music without lyrics, seek out slow tempos, avoid heavy drums, keep the volume down. If you type, “study music” into a music source like Pandora or Spotify, you will get an endless supply of second-movement symphonies. Lesiuk’s advice? Assess your mood. You could listen to calming music prior to studying if you need to relax or more stimulating music if you need to ramp up some energy and sharpen your focus. So as much as we would like to sit back on the couch and spontaneously generate neural connections by streaming our favorite albums, actually playing an instrument is the only way to move beyond mood and change our brains for the better. Music training is associated with advantages in speech and language tasks, IQ, memory, auditory skills and grey matter in certain areas of the brain. Oops. Should have picked up the violin and put down the Gameboy.

“YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE” BY DIANA ROSS

vs.

You can’t hurry love/ No, you just have to wait/ You got to trust, give it time/ No matter how long it takes.

“TONIGHT (I’M F*CKING YOU)” BY ENRIQUE IGLESIAS

You know my motivation/ Given my reputation/ Please excuse me I don’t mean to be rude/ But tonight I’m f*cking you. The Music Issue

Distraction 13


HIGH

STAKES

HOW UNDERDOGS, FAVORITES AND POINT SPREADS HAVE CHANGED SPORTS words_patrick riley. photo_chris stampar and rori kotch. design_rachel watkins.

VEGAS.

It is tough not to utter those five letters in a reverential tone with wide, dreamy eyes. After all, there is an unmistakable mystique to this city: Disneyland for grown-ups. A playground for bachelors and retirees alike. City of sin. From gaudy casinos and decadent nightclubs to exquisite restaurants and luxurious hotels, the entertainment capital of the world has everything...or so it seems.

14 Distraction Sports


“Vegas would seem to be the logical place to have a professional team,” said Tywan Martin, professor of sports management at the University of Miami. “Not one.” Now you might ask yourself why of all the major cities in the U.S., Las Vegas doesn’t have any teams? The answer is simple: sports betting.

>> FEAR AND LOBBYING IN LAS VEGAS

“People want to believe and you want people to believe that this is authentic, clean,” Martin said. “Teams that are winning, it’s done by hard work – you want that image projected. Gambling dilutes that quite a bit.” Sports leagues have been fighting the legalization of sports betting every step of the way. “It’s a big item for them,” said Ryan Rodenbeg, assistant professor of sport law at Florida State University. “If gambling were to become pervasive and viewers no longer thought the games were legitimate, competitive sporting events, then a certain percentage of people tune out.” At the same time, more and more states have been pushing for the legalization of sports gambling with New Jersey being the most recent one. After voters approved a referendum in 2011, the state’s legislature passed a bill that Governor Chris Christie signed into law last January. There is one drawback: The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). “It’s a tough fight for the state of New Jersey because you have this federal law already in existence,” said Darren Heitner, a sports and entertainment attorney who practices law in Miami. “Have times changed? Sure. And maybe with a strict constitutional review we determine that Congress overstepped its powers and should never have implemented it in the first place.” Right now, only Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada are exempt from PASPA, all of which were grandfathered in and allowed to keep their sports betting schemes. Thus, only Nevada has full-fledged sports betting. And it’s paying off. Big time.

>> SHOW ME THE MONEY

“The most recent figure shows that close to $3 billion were wagered in Nevada on sports,” Rodenberg explained. “Which on the surface sounds like a lot, but when you think about it, most estimates peg that as only as one percent of the total amount Americans bet on sports.” So where does the rest of the betting come from? “There [are] a lot of other avenues,” Rodenberg said. “People clearly are betting on sports and it’s your neighborhood bookies, they’ve been around for decades. The other one,

“People clearly are betting on sports and it’s your neighborhood bookies, they’ve been around for decades.” -Ryan Rodenberg, assistant professor of sport law at FSU

which has only been around for 15 years, is all the offshore, online stuff.” New Jersey has argued that legalization and regulation would allow sports betting to become more transparent, thus mitigating corruption - an argument supported by past history, Rodenberg explained. “It hasn’t happened all the time, but Nevada has detected some of this point shaving in the past. It was Nevada sports books, almost 20 years ago now, [that] helped detect the Arizona State basketball point shaving scheme,” he said. “They were getting such weird wagers...they actually launched an investigation and found that the leading scorer on the team and one other co-conspirator were being paid money to shave points.”

>> FOR THE LOVE OF THE GREEN

While all sports are susceptible to corruption, the ASU episode shows that college sports might be at risk the most. “The problem is that you have these young men who are not being compensated,” Martin said. “And that’s why it’s easy for a Shapiro to come about, flashing dollars to get close to some of these guys.” And according to Rodenberg, this sentiment could even be backed up by the NCAA itself: “The NCAA did an internal study where they surveyed student-athletes. I think about two percent knew of situations where teammates took money to affect game outcomes and then one percent of the respondents acknowledged that they even did it. Some of those numbers sound pretty small, but even if that’s the case, one out of 100 games seems like a lot to me, because there are thousands of college basketball games every year.” To think that a game that was on TV last night may have been manipulated is undoubtedly discomforting. But to believe that the culprits are only found on the field or court is just plain naïve.

>> PLAYING FAVORITES

Language plays a big role in sports gambling. “ESPN gets away with it all the time,” Martin explained. “If you are using ‘underdog’ or ‘favorite,’ that type of language, you are

indirectly – and perhaps directly – talking about gambling.” And this language also applies to sports at the college level. “Rarely do they use the words ‘university,’ ‘institution,’” Martin continued. “Most of the time you hear them say ‘teams.’ So it removes the idea from the viewer that you’re actually looking at an amateur sport.” The problem also lies in the way these sport network personalities are perceived: as experts. “When you have people that have played the game, who have studied the game, they know the players, they know the coaches, their information is valuable to you,” Martin said. “Some guy out there trying to make a living may listen to what they say and that can certainly influence where they place their money as far as the bet goes.” While accusing the media of having a sports betting agenda would be rash and sensational, one cannot overlook the influence it has on sports gambling. In many instances, they undoubtedly stimulate the betting market, which can’t be good for the leagues, right?

>> FRIEND OR FOE

By now, the old adage ‘sports is a business’ is more of a cliché, but it holds true. What counts at the end of the day is that every gambler is a guaranteed viewer. “We’ll never probably know to what extent gambling drives interest in TV viewership and interest in sports,” Rodenberg said. “If the score is 28-0 with five minutes to go, I might go do something else, because the game’s already decided. However, if you’re a gambling man, you’re still tuning in. I’m certain that sports leagues are aware of that.” And sometimes leagues are not only aware of it, they perpetuate it. Just look at fantasy sports or injury reports, which of course are nothing more than inside information for gamblers.

>> BACK TO THE FUTURE

So is it only a matter of time until gambling will become universally legal? “Well, it may be a matter of time, but it may take quite some time,” Heitner said. “This is going to be highly contested litigation. Personally, I’d like to see PASPA overruled. I do think that it is violative of the constitution in different ways and I think it’s outserved its purpose. I do believe that gambling will occur either way and it’s better that it’s regulated, that it’s taxed where states can bolster their budgets as opposed to allowing the offshore, online sites to benefit.” But while the future for sports gambling in New Jersey and other states is unclear, two things are certain: Offshore websites, local bookies and Nevada will still turn a profit and Las Vegas will still be waiting for its professional sports franchise.

The Music Issue

Distraction 15


IS BASEBALL DYING? You know this country has changed when football television ratings supersede baseball’s. But America’s favorite sport isn’t ready to strike out yet.

MLB BY THE NUMBERS

Americans’ interest in watching baseball on TV is waning. Attendance, however, is on the rise.

words_robert pursell. photo_kelly smith. design_ivana cruz.

16 Distraction Sports

In 1978, national viewership of the World Series peaked at 44,278,950.

In 1987, it dropped down to 35,340,000.

In 2004, it dropped to 25,390,000.

In 2012, it was 12,700,000. 73,451,522

MLB

NFL 17,124,389

NHL 21,470,155

Average Season Attendance

You’ve probably heard this saying before: “As American as baseball and apple pie.” In the ‘70s, Chevrolet used the slogan to sell cars. Yet as of late, some Americans might be questioning the legitimacy of that quote. Some people, it seems, think that our nation’s pastime is no longer played on the diamond but, rather, the gridiron. “Football is America’s pastime now,” said Julian Jowise, a senior studying public relations. “I love baseball, but it’s too slow-paced for most people. Our nation’s attention span is too short for it.” What Jowise is getting at isn’t exactly breaking news. We live in a society where the CrossFit Games (which consists of a bunch of people doing odd workouts) is considered worthwhile television. National television ratings for baseball have been on a steady decline for years now. Consider this: On Oct. 3, 2011, there were two primetime national sporting events. One was a Week 4 “Monday Night Football” game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts. The other was Game 3 of the Major League Baseball American League

Championship Series between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees. According to Variety, the baseball game drew 6.05 million national viewers. The “Monday Night” game? 10. 83 million. Allow that to settle in. A playoff baseball game of the most successful sports franchise in the world was beaten in the national ratings by a meaningless “Monday Night” game featuring a winless Indianapolis team that starred Curtis Painter as the starting quarterback. Curtis Painter. For those of you unfamiliar with Curtis Painter, he’s the quarterbacking equivalent of a car with three wheels. So all of this begs the question: Is baseball dying? Are we in the process of watching a sport fade out of relevance? “I think so,” said sophomore Jake Marks, an international studies major. “I mean, I consider myself a decent baseball fan and I couldn’t even name the starting pitching rotation of my hometown team.” Just so you know, his hometown team is the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that featured David Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award Winner. Others, however, aren’t quite as ready to pronounce baseball dead. “Baseball is America,” said Sarah Cox, a senior health science major. “There’s no way it’s going to die. It’s unlike any other sport. It’s so nuanced. Every single strike is vital. Plus, it has traditions unlike any other sport. The seventh-inning stretch, the national anthem; it’s all perfect.” Greg Bouris, director of communications for Major League Baseball’s Players Association, agrees. “Our league attendance continues to grow every year.” “Our global participation is at an all-time high and while national ratings might not be what they were 20 years ago, our local ratings are as good as they have ever been, which is important because above all else, the MLB is a local league,” he said. So are the tales of baseball’s demise premature? “I see no sign that our sport is in anything other than a period of progress,” Bouris said. “Baseball is an incredible sport and when you introduce it to individuals both here and abroad, it always takes off.” Bouris’ and Cox’s optimism is striking, as is their obvious love for the game. And when you actually take the time to sit down and watch a game, what they see is apparent: the passion, the tradition, the intensity. It’s all so beautiful. You could say that it is as American as…well, you know.

League Source: Nielsen Media Research, ESPN.com and Yakyubaka.com


SAVING THE DAY. On her free time, Lillard likes to kick back to a good movie. But on the field she’s anything but laid back. In 2012, she recorded 67 saves and helped maintain a defensive scoreless streak that lasted for 447 minutes.

BEHIND GOALKEEPER LINES

For sophomore Emily Lillard, faith and family are the ultimate motivators. words_luisa andonie. photo_holly bensur. design_ivana cruz. Emily Lillard is a tower of power. One glance at this goalkeeper from Kansas gives you an idea of the physical strength she possesses. But if you sit down and talk to her, you’ll uncover a little more and see that her mental strength is just as impressive. During practice, the only evidence of her bubbly personality is her sunny hair in a messy bun on top of her head. Off the field, she is funny and down-to-earth. But don’t mess with this girl when she is in game-mode; the sophomore starter ranks second in the ACC in shutouts and saves per game, and she won’t shy away from yelling at her defenders or hitting the ground hard for saves. But for this sport administration major and criminology minor, strength isn’t just pushing off her muscled legs to dive for a save, nor is it just a word she has tattooed to her body. No - for Emily, her strength lies in her faith. “I try to focus on why I’m playing and who I’m playing for and that’s God. I try and glorify Him,” she said. Other than the word “strength” emblazoned behind her ear, Emily has four other tattoos of special significance: a compass, two Bible verses and the word “blessed” on her wrist. And her impressive record proves that she is blessed indeed. After a strong season at the University of Arkansas, she transferred to UM last fall and was eager to join the ‘Canes. But even though Lillard had big shoes to fill when she replaced previous goalie Vikki Alonzo, the sophomore

Side Chat Distraction: What’s your favorite movie? Emily: Anything with Mark Wahlberg. He’s attractive. D: Do you have a favorite soccer player? E: Amy Wambach. D: And on the men’s side? C’mon, there are some crush-worthy players out there. E: I’d have to say [Leo] Messi. D: Pump-up song of the moment: S: “We in This B****” by DJ Drama featuring Future and Drake.

from Kansas was not fazed. “I like competition. I thrive on that,” she said, adding that her only concern was connecting with the defense. With her outgoing personality, though, she quickly clicked with her teammates, becoming best friends with her defenders. “Sometimes I’ll yell at my defenders, but we’ll leave it on the field.” To stay focused during slow-paced games, Lillard has devised an interesting strategy. “I always look at the shape of my defenders, because if they’re in the wrong position, that can lead to a breakdown really quickly,” she said. “So I’m always talking to them. I play really high up compared to most goalies.” In close matches she commits completely, once even diving so hard that she split her elbow in a “clean break,” leaving her with a plate and seven screws as mementos. For most people, that would be a deal breaker, but Lillard is a fighter and more notably, a believer. “Before every game, I’ll kneel and focus and talk to God,” she says. “It’s hard not to get heated. I try to keep my cool and remember why I play.” Recently, she has started her own tradition. She writes her parents’ and sister’s birthdays on one side of her gloves and “Audience of One” (God) on the other. This way, one quick glance at her gloves reminds her of what – or rather who - does matter.

The Music Issue

Distraction 17


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LEAP, GET DOWN, STAND OUT Our models defy gravity dressed in ‘fits inspired by our favorite decade, the ‘90s, of course.

style_ana calderone. fashion assistant_gabrielle mottaz. photo_kelly smith. models_maria victoria coronado and aida esi. hair and makeup_monicamay bishop. design_ivana cruz.

20 Distraction Fashion


On Aida: Dress, BLACK; Blush Boutique, 5784 Sunset Dr. Hat, Obey; Model’s Own. Sneakers, Reebok; reebok.com The Music Issue

Distraction 21


22 Distraction Fashion


On Maria: Top, BLUSH; Blush Boutique, 5784 Sunset Dr. Leggings, Understar; Blush Boutique.

The Music Issue

Distraction 23


On Aida: Top, BLUSH; Blush Boutique, 5784 Sunset Dr. Shorts, Rehab; Blush Boutique. Earrings, BLUSH; Blush Boutique. Sneakers, Wild Diva; Blush Boutique.

24 Distraction Fashion


On Maria: Leotard, American Apparel; American Apparel stores. Jacket, Nameless; Blush Boutique, 5784 Sunset Dr. Necklace, Model’s Own. Sneakers, Nike; nike.com.

The Music Issue

Distraction 25


On Maria: T-shirt, Understar; Blush Boutique, 5784 Sunset Dr. Pants, Torn by Ronny Kobo. Necklace, Stylist’s Own. Sneakers, Zara; Zara stores.

26 Distraction Fashion


drop ‘em

like it’s haute

words_ana calderone. illustrations_samantha smith. design_ivana cruz.

Nicki Minaj - “Letting Go”

“I think I like your style yo • Why, yo • Why don’t we let go? • Hey yo, and I ain’t gotta tell ‘em, and I ain’t gotta sell ‘em • It’s YSL daddy • I ain’t gotta spell it”

Notorious B.I.G. - “Hypnotise”

“I put h**s in NY onto DKNY • Miami, D.C. prefer Versace • All Philly hoes, dough and Moschino • Every cutie wit a booty bought a Coogi”

From Biggie’s Coogi sweaters to Kanye’s Maison Martin Margiela, artists are notorious for name-dropping fashion brands in their songs. With designer labels’ heavy price tags, it’s no surprise hip hop and rap artists have embraced the fashion world. How else would they prove their luxurious lifestyles than to brag about the Gucci, Fendi, Prada that they lather themselves with, right? But just who and which labels are they sporting? We’ve narrowed down a few of the greatest song lyrics that include fashion’s most notable design houses.

Kanye West - “Ni***s in Paris”

“What’s Gucci my ni**a? • What’s Louis my killa? • What’s drugs my deala? • What’s that jacket, Margiela?”

Lil’ Kim - “No Matter What They Say”

“If I was you I’d hate me too • Louis Vuitton shoes and a whole lot of booze • Every other week a different do and other crews • I make offers nobody can refuse” The Music Issue

Distraction 27


Top, Lush. The Dressing Room, 5829 SW 73rd St. #9. Pants, Olivaceous. The Dressing Room. Necklace, Anthropologie. Anthropologie stores. Bracelets, The Dressing Room. Shoes, Vince Camuto. vincecamuto.com.

14 Distraction The Main Event 28


A

L

L

H

A

I

L

QUEEN

BR I Fresh off of a 2012 BET nomination for best female hip-hop artist – among the likes of Nicki Minaj, Diamond and Trina – Brianna Perry is ready to assassinate the industry with the March release of her latest mixtape, “Symphony No. 9.” From making it to 8 a.m. classes on time to surviving late-night studio sessions, she shares the secrets to musical success.

By Jonathan Borge Photography by Raquel Zaldivar style_ana calderone. fashion assistant_gabrielle mottaz. design_sophianna bishop.

The Music Issue

Distraction 15 29


Blazer, ark & co. The Dressing Room. 5829 SW 73rd St.. #9. Leotard, Carribean Queen. The Dressing Room. Shorts, ark & co. The Dressing Room. Necklace, Brianna’s Own.

I’m my only

competition.

30 14 Distraction The Main Event


BRIANNA PERRY, the 21-year-old rapper and self-proclaimed “young rich bandit” is an hour and forty-five minutes late to her Distraction cover shoot. It’s almost 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I’ve been anxiously glancing at my iPhone, opening and reopening my text messages, hoping Brianna says she’s near. Our photographer, stylist, assistants and I are all beginning to think this cover shoot is more of a miss and less of a hit.

B

UT WHEN BRIANNA arrives, when she’s finally ready, she pulls up in a sexy and sleek silver Benz and has come to work. “So sorry. We were in glam mode,” says Kiki, Brianna’s mom, manager and as I learn, backbone. Her hair is perfectly curled and her make up accentuates her best features. The 5-foot-9 Miami-bred diva walks into the studio wearing Gucci flip-flops and nondescript gray sweats. She flashes a warm smile at everyone on set, gently drops down her bags and starts to sift through the black and white outfit choices our fashion editors have selected. For someone who calls herself arrogant and a diva in her own songs, Brianna’s demeanor is far from cold or aloof. In fact, the in your face, all about glamour woman I studied in music videos on YouTube wasn’t the one who arrived. Instead, I was graced with a quiet, polite and almost shy persona who was more interested in the job at hand than small talk. A pin-drop quiet has set inside the room we’re shooting in. Perhaps we’re all nervous, waiting for Brianna to demand what only celebrities and artists can think of – blue and not red M&M’s; Fiji water; 8, not 7 cans of Red Bull; three full-time assistants; an on-site yoga instructor; a devoted posse. To my surprise, this never happens. She’s much more humble and only has one request: to use a pair of sky-high black/red/white bootie heels and loud crossstriped pants. The first look is set and Brianna steps in front of the camera. There’s no fuss. No attitude. No screaming. Brianna is every photographer’s dream. She doesn’t ask many questions. She doesn’t pose awkwardly. She commands the lenses’ attention and makes the camera follow her. She – not anyone else - is in control. Her latest track, “Red Cup,” featuring Pusha T, plays from a laptop and her shyness is immediately replaced by a badass bravado. It’s as if she can tap in an out of an alter ego at a moment’s notice.

H

ER LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM and ability to help make

fabulous photos isn’t a surprise. Before becoming the young rich bandit a.k.a. YRB, a moniker she and her fans have made trend on Twitter, she was your Miami girl next door with a love for hip hop and rap. This girl next door, though, didn’t have a “Little House on the Prairie”-type of upbringing. In 2002, Brianna made her official rap debut as Lil’ Brianna in “Kandi” on Trina’s second album, “Diamond Princess.” This same album also brought the world “B R Right,” featuring Ludacris, which soared to the top of the charts and secured Trina’s place in rap royalty. Trina’s “Kandi” proved that Brianna was ready to go: “Watch out now, it’s Lil’ Brianna. No, I’m not Bow Wow…10 years old, the baby diva, all the kids at school call me baby Trina.” “I got in the booth for the first time at age 7, at Poe Boy,” says Brianna, referring to Poe Boy Music Group, one of the labels she’s currently signed to and the home of Flo Rida, Brisco, Billy Blue, J Rand and Kulture Shock. She credits the discovery of her talent to an uncle that recently passed away, but always encouraged her. It was after school, inside of Poe Boy’s studios, that Brianna learned the art of making music and writing from beats. Following “Kandi,” Brianna caught the attention of not only local musicians, but also national ones. She’s seen dancing in the background of Missy Elliott’s famous “Pass That Dutch” music video and in others by Trick Daddy. Since then, her songs feature collaborations with hip-hop and rap heavyweights like Rick Ross, Pretty Ricky and Flo-Rida. And we can only expect more. Last year, Brianna was officially signed to Atlantic Records. “Atlantic presented me with the best plan, the best opportunity, so I went along with that,” she said. When it comes to music making, she has it all. Her vocals and unarguable ability to rap are evident in all her songs, but her talent as a lyricist and wordsmith deserves applause. Her songs - fast, punchy, funny, witty - have the same, if not better, polished sound than those of her contemporaries. Like most rappers, Brianna loves to boast about her lavish, workcentric lifestyle and does so from a sarcastic,

it’s-all-about-me point of view. She’s a fan of glamour and she’s not afraid to say it, dropping the names of designer labels, luxury cars and what she thinks is the best in travel. In “Marilyn Monroe,” she shares the name of her favorite hotel: “Fontainebleau, we don’t do the Hilton.” Yet if you listen to each song closely, she’s still the girl next door. Brianna reminds us that she’s young, on the rise and in school. And she has an admirable ability to make mundane subjects - walking to class, driving around Miami, shopping for shoes - sound fascinating. “When you listen to my lyrics and my music, you get a sense of who I am,” she says. “The beat tells you what to say. It’s a feeling and a vibe that you pick up when you listen to the instrumental and track and it guides you.” Perhaps more impressive is her fan base. On Twitter (@BriannaTheYRB), Brianna is verified and is followed by a legion of over 58,000 devotees. Her tweets jump from song lyrics to inspirational quotes, Instagram pictures to fan retweets. On YouTube, Brianna lovers and haters unite to critique every move, every word and every video released to the public. A majority of the comments, not surprisingly, are written in adoration. Team YRB, as Brianna officially calls them, love her lyrics (“she’s sick”), her beauty (“she gives me chills, don’t change”) and look forward to her future (“she could take out the whole industry”). “You’re working so hard and you’re sharing so much of you with people you’ve never met. I talk to my fans on Twitter and Instagram and I love the feedback,” she says. “I sometimes want to know how people feel about what I’m giving them, especially the fans. Team YRB, I love them and they’ve been riding with me for a very long time.” Her fans aren’t just anybody, either. In March 2012, Beyonce Knowles – mother, mogul, entrepreneur and chart topper – featured Brianna’s “Marilyn Monroe” music video on her own website, BeyonceOnline. com, and simply wrote, “A hot song from a cool new artist!” If social media is any indicator of Brianna’s interests and reaction, she loved the compliment and in just the past month has The Music Issue

Distraction 15 31


“Iblessed

know I’m very and

I’m getting to live out my

dream

and do what I

love and have a

passion

for.

32 14 Distraction The Main Event

posted two photos of Beyonce in admiration. The list of accolades doesn’t stop there. Last year, Brianna was nominated for BET’s best female hip-hop artist award, placing her in the same category as Diamond, Nicki Minaj and her still-to-this-day mentor, Trina. Minaj took home the title, but Brianna wasn’t fazed. “I was the only one in the category yet to release my debut album,” she says. “I landed in New York and as soon as I powered my phone on I saw all the tweets. My dad or brother called me and told me the good news. It was a blessing to be nominated. It was so shocking to be in the same category as people who have been in the game. It was super dope.” It’s not uncommon for writers, editors, rappers and of course, fans, to compare Brianna to Minaj or other female rappers like Diamond and Azealia Banks. In fact, People placed Brianna in the same group as Banks when identifying top female rappers to look out for. In an article dubbed, “Nicki Minaj is the Influential Leader of Hip-Hop,” New York Times writer Jon Caramanica said of the female rap world: “a new generation, including Azealia Banks, Brianna Perry and Angel Haze, is rising quickly, working territory that [Minaj] carved out.” Other publications have followed suit with comparisons, including TIME, Billboard, Los Angeles Times, Vibe and XXL. “You don’t really have time to focus on others,” Brianna says. “I wish them the best of luck, but I think we’re all different; different artists, different types of women. I think we represent different things, but at the end of the day we’re all fellow FeMCs, not competitors. I’m my only competition.” But the competition within her not only lives in the music world, but on campus. Brianna, a junior studying business administration, has to balance her studio sessions and performances with homework and exams. On a typical day, Brianna wakes up early after only having slept for two or three hours. She heads to an 8 or 9 a.m. class, leaves school and then arrives at the studio to write and record. There’s often a late-night performance that same day followed by another 8 a.m. the following morning. It’s grueling. “You’re constantly on the move. You rarely sleep. It is glamorous because of photo shoots and shows, but it’s really a lot of traveling, airplane clothes and rehearsals. Sometimes I don’t leave the studio ‘til 4 in the morning,” she says. “I love every aspect of it and I try not to complain. I know I’m very blessed and I’m getting to live out my dream and do what I love and have a passion for.” Brianna’s biggest fans are in her inner circle, a tight, close group of mostly family, friends and industry insiders. There’s Kiki, Brianna’s mom and manager, her dad and her brother Bryson and then, of course, her Poe Boy family, which includes E-Class, the label’s CEO. She says Trina, Teyana Taylor, Rick Ross, Flo-Rida and other local Miami-raised rappers are her mentors. “I have a great group of friends and a great family and they inspire my music,” she says. In 2011, Brianna told Distraction that her greatest accomplishment to date was

receiving her UM acceptance letter in the mail. That still holds true today. “All my other accomplishments have been music based, but getting into UM was solely on me and nothing else. I’m very proud of that. Getting signed to a major record label was amazing, but being a Hurricane is core.” Brianna still wants to add more to her to-do list. “I’m pretty social around campus and I have a small group of friends, but I want to go to more sporting events,” she says. “I walk around and I see posters for events and I just feel like I’m not too engaged. I want to do everything.” And though she may feel disconnected from the campus community, she’s certainly imbedded into Miami’s hip-hop club and performance scene. She regularly opens the shows of other rappers throughout the year, and on her free time, enjoys heading to Room Service, Bamboo and LIV. “I have fun,” she says. For her 21st birthday in January, Brianna celebrated by performing. “I was at a party in Tallahassee and I got surprised with a cake,” she says. That cake was of course fit for Brianna’s standards and was modeled after a Chanel and Prada handbag. “I also performed, Trina performed, Future performed, Trinidad James performed - I turned up that night.” Of her hot songs and projects in the works, Brianna says, “I’m on a roller coaster right now. It’s a crazy ride and I’m chasing my dream.” These dreams have been realized with the release of a new mix tape, “Symphony No. 9,” set to drop March 1. With its 11 tracks, she’s bringing fans new music with an entirely new list of collaborators - Trey Songz, Teyana Taylor, Pusha T, Trina, French Montana and Future, to name a few. “You’re going to see so much growth from the little girl who was in the booth with Trina, spitting about candy.”

B

ACK IN THE PHOTO STUDIO, Brianna’s mom, Kiki, is giving Brianna a reality check. As our photographer snaps the first round of photos for her second look, Kiki w, like any mother, walks over to Brianna and repositions her hair, adjusts her jewelry, and reminds her to push that skirt down lower: “Not too sexy, more lady like.” Four looks later, the photo shoot wraps and Brianna’s cameraready facade turns off. Which brings us back to alter egos. I mention to Brianna that despite her striking, dramatic on-stage presence, she’s reserved in person. “I’m very laid back, passive and chill, but when I hit the stage it’s something else,” she tells me. “My other side comes out. I’ve given her a name. She’s Milan. She’s very sassy and it’s all about her.” The biggest different between Brianna and Milan? “Everything. Milan is more outspoken and she’s very outgoing and in your face, whereas Brianna is just chill.” Bullshit. With a major record deal and BET nominations, it’s hard to categorize Brianna as simply ‘chill’. I think we’ve already seen more of Milan, and less of Brianna. And that won’t be changing anytime soon.


“Iblessed

know I’m very and

I’m getting to live out my

dream

and do what I

love and have a

passion

for.

32 14 Distraction The Main Event

posted two photos of Beyonce in admiration. The list of accolades doesn’t stop there. Last year, Brianna was nominated for BET’s best female hip-hop artist award, placing her in the same category as Diamond, Nicki Minaj and her still-to-this-day mentor, Trina. Minaj took home the title, but Brianna wasn’t fazed. “I was the only one in the category yet to release my debut album,” she says. “I landed in New York and as soon as I powered my phone on I saw all the tweets. My dad or brother called me and told me the good news. It was a blessing to be nominated. It was so shocking to be in the same category as people who have been in the game. It was super dope.” It’s not uncommon for writers, editors, rappers and of course, fans, to compare Brianna to Minaj or other female rappers like Diamond and Azealia Banks. In fact, People placed Brianna in the same group as Banks when identifying top female rappers to look out for. In an article dubbed, “Nicki Minaj is the Influential Leader of Hip-Hop,” New York Times writer Jon Caramanica said of the female rap world: “a new generation, including Azealia Banks, Brianna Perry and Angel Haze, is rising quickly, working territory that [Minaj] carved out.” Other publications have followed suit with comparisons, including TIME, Billboard, Los Angeles Times, Vibe and XXL. “You don’t really have time to focus on others,” Brianna says. “I wish them the best of luck, but I think we’re all different; different artists, different types of women. I think we represent different things, but at the end of the day we’re all fellow FeMCs, not competitors. I’m my only competition.” But the competition within her not only lives in the music world, but on campus. Brianna, a junior studying business administration, has to balance her studio sessions and performances with homework and exams. On a typical day, Brianna wakes up early after only having slept for two or three hours. She heads to an 8 or 9 a.m. class, leaves school and then arrives at the studio to write and record. There’s often a late-night performance that same day followed by another 8 a.m. the following morning. It’s grueling. “You’re constantly on the move. You rarely sleep. It is glamorous because of photo shoots and shows, but it’s really a lot of traveling, airplane clothes and rehearsals. Sometimes I don’t leave the studio ‘til 4 in the morning,” she says. “I love every aspect of it and I try not to complain. I know I’m very blessed and I’m getting to live out my dream and do what I love and have a passion for.” Brianna’s biggest fans are in her inner circle, a tight, close group of mostly family, friends and industry insiders. There’s Kiki, Brianna’s mom and manager, her dad and her brother Bryson and then, of course, her Poe Boy family, which includes E-Class, the label’s CEO. She says Trina, Teyana Taylor, Rick Ross, Flo-Rida and other local Miami-raised rappers are her mentors. “I have a great group of friends and a great family and they inspire my music,” she says. In 2011, Brianna told Distraction that her greatest accomplishment to date was

receiving her UM acceptance letter in the mail. That still holds true today. “All my other accomplishments have been music based, but getting into UM was solely on me and nothing else. I’m very proud of that. Getting signed to a major record label was amazing, but being a Hurricane is core.” Brianna still wants to add more to her to-do list. “I’m pretty social around campus and I have a small group of friends, but I want to go to more sporting events,” she says. “I walk around and I see posters for events and I just feel like I’m not too engaged. I want to do everything.” And though she may feel disconnected from the campus community, she’s certainly imbedded into Miami’s hip-hop club and performance scene. She regularly opens the shows of other rappers throughout the year, and on her free time, enjoys heading to Room Service, Bamboo and LIV. “I have fun,” she says. For her 21st birthday in January, Brianna celebrated by performing. “I was at a party in Tallahassee and I got surprised with a cake,” she says. That cake was of course fit for Brianna’s standards and was modeled after a Chanel and Prada handbag. “I also performed, Trina performed, Future performed, Trinidad James performed - I turned up that night.” Of her hot songs and projects in the works, Brianna says, “I’m on a roller coaster right now. It’s a crazy ride and I’m chasing my dream.” These dreams have been realized with the release of a new mix tape, “Symphony No. 9,” set to drop March 1. With its 11 tracks, she’s bringing fans new music with an entirely new list of collaborators - Trey Songz, Teyana Taylor, Pusha T, Trina, French Montana and Future, to name a few. “You’re going to see so much growth from the little girl who was in the booth with Trina, spitting about candy.”

B

ACK IN THE PHOTO STUDIO, Brianna’s mom, Kiki, is giving Brianna a reality check. As our photographer snaps the first round of photos for her second look, Kiki ,w, like any mother, walks over to Brianna and repositions her hair, adjusts her jewelry, and reminds her to push that skirt down lower: “Not too sexy, more lady like.” Four looks later, the photo shoot wraps and Brianna’s cameraready facade turns off. Which brings us back to alter egos. I mention to Brianna that despite her striking, dramatic on-stage presence, she’s reserved in person. “I’m very laid back, passive and chill, but when I hit the stage it’s something else,” she tells me. “My other side comes out. I’ve given her a name. She’s Milan. She’s very sassy and it’s all about her.” The biggest different between Brianna and Milan? “Everything. Milan is more outspoken and she’s very outgoing and in your face, whereas Brianna is just chill.” Bullshit. With a major record deal and BET nominations, it’s hard to categorize Brianna as simply ‘chill’. I think we’ve already seen more of Milan, and less of Brianna. And that won’t be changing anytime soon. The Political Issue

Distraction

1


Getting signed to a

major label was

amazing,

but being a

Hurricane is core.

Top, Hot & Delicious. V74 Boutique, 180 NW 183rd St. Suite 111. Pants, Hot & Delicious. Shoes, Dolce Vita. Brianna’s Own.

The Music Issue

Distraction 33 15


Just across Lake Osceola and steps away from the freshman doors, the Frost School of Music can’t be missed. Yet while we can hear their work in action, most students walk by oblivious to the blood, sweat and tears behind every note. riday for a typical UM student includes laying poolside until a 3:35 class, pitchers at the Rat or even the start of a weekend getaway. But veiled by the seemingly never ending construction of the new Student Activities Center are the students of our famous, highly ranked Frost School of Music. We’ve all heard it: Frost is one of the top music schools in the nation. But little do we know about the individuals that make this school so great. Unlike most of us, they fill their schedule with zero-credit classes, carry an intense workload and, worst of all, are expected to show up to class on Friday mornings (who does that?). Take Dan Overstreet, for example, a junior majoring in music business and entertainment industries and minoring in marketing. A typical day for him begins bright and early with Chorale. The Frost Chorale is one of the top choirs at UM consisting of about 40 people. It’s considered a one-credit class that rehearses five days a week. “I could see people thinking that being a music school student is easy because we play music all day,” he said. “But not only are our music classes just as difficult as any other class at UM, so many of them are worth only one or two credits. We’ll have three classes on Monday, five on Tuesday and Thursday and three on Friday. And that only adds up to 18 credits.” Next on the agenda for Overstreet is international music publishing, then professional selling followed by business communication for the rest of the afternoon. The music business major is interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to pursue additional degrees in both the school of business and communication. It’s a wonder how these students balance their musical pursuits and academic work in fields outside of music with the perks of living in Miami and attending a notorious “party school.” “For the most part, it’s a work hard during the week and play hard during the weekend mentality. We all go out on the weekends, but only after trucking pretty hard the days before,” Overstreet said. Four classes later at about 6:00 p.m., one would think the day is over for Overstreet. But he still has rock ensemble that keeps him on his feet, or rather on stage, long into the night. An ensemble is a group of performers, like a concert band, an orchestra band, or jazz band. Every music school student is required to be in at least one ensemble. “They are usually onecredit classes that meet two to five times a week and then we have concerts two to three times a semester. It’s a lot of time for only a one-credit class but we love them because they are the

F

fun music playing part of our day,” Overstreet explained. While being slightly disconnected from the center of campus may benefit Frost students by providing the peace and quiet they need to stay in tune with their work, it’s definitely a loss for everyone else at UM. Following Overstreet for a day shed some new light on Frost, even a newfound appreciation for music. Once you walk close, you can hear the wind instruments humming a mile away. Once a door opens you can hear the strings of orchestra rehearsals loud and clear. And once you step inside, you can feel the vibrations of all the sounds bringing the school together as a whole. “The atmosphere here is eclectic and definitely electric. I’ll be teaching Beethoven Sonata in this room and next door you’ll hear Blue Grass and across the hall, some jazz. Downstairs you’ll feel some rock riffs while some electric sounds bleed through the walls,” said Scott T. Flavin, a lecturer in the department of instumental performance and resident conductor for the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. “You will never cease to hear the melodies being created, even history being made at Frost.” The Frost professors are no strangers to the hard work and perseverance their students portray. Flavin explains that “for my needs, as a studio student, they have to spend a lot of time practicing on their own. A lot of it is unsupervised so they have to structure that time and use it in the most effective way possible, but I think that challenge mirrors the real world. I consider my violin studio as a hearth for students. We spend a lot of time together and I try and talk to them about their lives outside of the studio as well. You try and give them all of yourself.” But the interesting thing about Frost is

“I could see people thinking that being a music school student is easy because we play music all day”

that the students and faculty all work together in unison for the same cause of bettering the art of music. Thomas M. Sleeper, professor of instrumental performance and program director of orchestral activities, says that if he isn’t learning from his students, there’s a problem. “It’s a huge commitment and if it’s not in our blood, then we wouldn’t be doing it. I think Laury Anderson said talking about music is like dancing about architecture. You can’t describe in words the interaction that takes place. We are all creating something together that requires a creative input from every individual here,” Sleeper said. It’s apparent that Frost students are required to spend more time in class and on campus than the majority of others, but imagine adding on the homework and extra curriculars that plagues every college student. “Some may think our classes are meaningless but they actually have no idea how demanding they are time and practice wise. Most people will go to class, then go home and do homework or study for exams. We do that, but also have to practice our instrument to perfect our craft,” said junior flute player Andie Cohen. Some music students even keep their extracurriculars close to their craft. Senior Jonathan Cyrus, a music engineering major, is a trombone player for the Frost Band of the Hour. “My first three years of college I was taking 18 to 20 credits a semester, but I was taking four one-credit classes and two zerocredit classes and probably four three-credit classes. So I was essentially taking about ten classes per week,” Cyrus explained. On top of the technical work required for a music engineering major are the daily forums and ensembles, and piling onto that are the grueling rehearsals for the band responsible for every other UM student’s halftime show at every home football game. What most other students hear for a mere twenty minutes midst the loud chaos of raging fans is the result of painstaking practice and devotion from their peers. “Although it’s really time consuming, it’s been great being in the band. You just get used to the hard work and figure out how to balance everything in college,” Cyrus said. Though each student’s schedule differs, they all share love and passion for the art they create. “A good thing is that a lot of our work is mostly musical,” said junior Kayla Zuckerman, a music therapy and psychology major. “We’re all pretty close so it’s a very homey feel. I love music and I love my major, so the music school definitely brings the two together.”

The Music Issue

Distraction 35


Just across Lake Osceola and steps away from the freshman doors, the Frost School of Music can’t be missed. Yet while we can hear their work in action, most students walk by oblivious to the blood, sweat and tears behind every note. riday for a typical UM student includes laying poolside until a 3:35 class, pitchers at the Rat or even the start of a weekend getaway. But veiled by the seemingly never ending construction of the new Student Activities Center are the students of our famous, highly ranked Frost School of Music. We’ve all heard it: Frost is one of the top music schools in the nation. But little do we know about the individuals that make this school so great. Unlike most of us, they fill their schedule with zero-credit classes, carry an intense workload and, worst of all, are expected to show up to class on Friday mornings (who does that?). Take Dan Overstreet, for example, a junior majoring in music business and entertainment industries and minoring in marketing. A typical day for him begins bright and early with Chorale. The Frost Chorale is one of the top choirs at UM consisting of about 40 people. It’s considered a one-credit class that rehearses five days a week. “I could see people thinking that being a music school student is easy because we play music all day,” he said. “But not only are our music classes just as difficult as any other class at UM, so many of them are worth only one or two credits. We’ll have three classes on Monday, five on Tuesday and Thursday and three on Friday. And that only adds up to 18 credits.” Next on the agenda for Overstreet is international music publishing, then professional selling followed by business communication for the rest of the afternoon. The music business major is interdisciplinary, giving students the opportunity to pursue additional degrees in both the school of business and communication. It’s a wonder how these students balance their musical pursuits and academic work in fields outside of music with the perks of living in Miami and attending a notorious “party school.” “For the most part, it’s a work hard during the week and play hard during the weekend mentality. We all go out on the weekends, but only after trucking pretty hard the days before,” Overstreet said. Four classes later at about 6:00 p.m., one would think the day is over for Overstreet. But he still has rock ensemble that keeps him on his feet, or rather on stage, long into the night. An ensemble is a group of performers, like a concert band, an orchestra band, or jazz band. Every music school student is required to be in at least one ensemble. “They are usually onecredit classes that meet two to five times a week and then we have concerts two to three times a semester. It’s a lot of time for only a one-credit class but we love them because they are the

F

fun music playing part of our day,” Overstreet explained. While being slightly disconnected from the center of campus may benefit Frost students by providing the peace and quiet they need to stay in tune with their work, it’s definitely a loss for everyone else at UM. Following Overstreet for a day shed some new light on Frost, even a newfound appreciation for music. Once you walk close, you can hear the wind instruments humming a mile away. Once a door opens you can hear the strings of orchestra rehearsals loud and clear. And once you step inside, you can feel the vibrations of all the sounds bringing the school together as a whole. “The atmosphere here is eclectic and definitely electric. I’ll be teaching Beethoven Sonata in this room and next door you’ll hear Blue Grass and across the hall, some jazz. Downstairs you’ll feel some rock riffs while some electric sounds bleed through the walls,” said Scott T. Flavin, a lecturer in the department of instumental performance and resident conductor for the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. “You will never cease to hear the melodies being created, even history being made at Frost.” The Frost professors are no strangers to the hard work and perseverance their students portray. Flavin explains that “for my needs, as a studio student, they have to spend a lot of time practicing on their own. A lot of it is unsupervised so they have to structure that time and use it in the most effective way possible, but I think that challenge mirrors the real world. I consider my violin studio as a hearth for students. We spend a lot of time together and I try and talk to them about their lives outside of the studio as well. You try and give them all of yourself.” But the interesting thing about Frost is

“I could see people thinking that being a music school student is easy because we play music all day,”

that the students and faculty all work together in unison for the same cause of bettering the art of music. Thomas M. Sleeper, professor of instrumental performance and program director of orchestral activities, says that if he isn’t learning from his students, there’s a problem. “It’s a huge commitment and if it’s not in our blood, then we wouldn’t be doing it. I think Laury Anderson said talking about music is like dancing about architecture. You can’t describe in words the interaction that takes place. We are all creating something together that requires a creative input from every individual here,” Sleeper said. It’s apparent that Frost students are required to spend more time in class and on campus than the majority of others, but imagine adding on the homework and extra curriculars that plagues every college student. “Some may think our classes are meaningless but they actually have no idea how demanding they are time and practice wise. Most people will go to class, then go home and do homework or study for exams. We do that, but also have to practice our instrument to perfect our craft,” said junior flute player Andie Cohen. Some music students even keep their extracurriculars close to their craft. Senior Jonathan Cyrus, a music engineering major, is a trombone player for the Frost Band of the Hour. “My first three years of college I was taking 18 to 20 credits a semester, but I was taking four one-credit classes and two zerocredit classes and probably four three-credit classes. So I was essentially taking about ten classes per week,” Cyrus explained. On top of the technical work required for a music engineering major are the daily forums and ensembles, and piling onto that are the grueling rehearsals for the band responsible for every other UM student’s halftime show at every home football game. What most other students hear for a mere twenty minutes midst the loud chaos of raging fans is the result of painstaking practice and devotion from their peers. “Although it’s really time consuming, it’s been great being in the band. You just get used to the hard work and figure out how to balance everything in college,” Cyrus said. Though each student’s schedule differs, they all share love and passion for the art they create. “A good thing is that a lot of our work is mostly musical,” said junior Kayla Zuckerman, a music therapy and psychology major. “We’re all pretty close so it’s a very homey feel. I love music and I love my major, so the music school definitely brings the two together.”

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The Vagabonds and Arthur Godfre y. Clover Club, 1946.

18A

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Ella Fitzgerald and other artists.

22A

MIA, 1952.

05

“Ain unkn

Eden Roc Hotel. April, 1980.

19A

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Al Schenk, Abner Silver and Nat King Cole. Di Lido Hotel, 1954.

Count

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Long before Swedish House Ma

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fia and Calvin Harris ruled, Miami laid the foundation for some of today’s mo st popular genres.


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“Ain’t Misbehavin’” at the Eden Ro c Hotel. Year unknown.

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The Beatles. Miami, 1964.

03

Count Basie. 1965.

21A Olympia Theater. 1955.

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04

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25A

cruz.

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Traditions and legacies aren’t built overnight. Like the expression, “Rome wasn’t built in one day,” it took years for the Miami music scene to evolve into what it is now. What this scene consists of is difficult to pin down, but this has always been the case. Not only is there a diverse and rich history representative of the city’s population, Miami’s music scene has also consistently made wide-reaching contributions to the American musical landscape. A SCENE DIVIDED: POP ON MIAMI BEACH, R&B IN OVERTOWN.

T

the documentary film “All Shook Up,” produced by Mia Laurenzo of WLRN, offers great insight into one of the many “glory days” of the Miami music scene. As the documentary explains, some of the great pop legends that came to perform in Miami arrived under spectacular circumstances. Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau Hotel is where Elvis Presley stayed when he arrived in Miami to perform on Frank Sinatra’s final Timex-sponsored television special on ABC in 1960. Specifically, the segment commemorated Presley’s return to the States from his time away in the U.S. military. In the special, Sinatra and Presley shared a now famous duet. And those that consider Miami to be “out of the way” for traveling acts should refer to The Beatles. Miami was the location of the second appearance by The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. Beyond being just factoids for trivia, these landmark visits helped turn Miami into a premier destination during this period, enhancing the clout of the local music scene. It’s been reported that The Beatles loved Miami’s weather and beaches. Climate played a major role in attracting music artists and fans alike. As is the case today, the warm weather offered a reprieve from colder, more bleak climates and tempted musicians to purchase permanent and seasonal homes in Miami. In Overtown, a musical and cultural shift was occuring. According to History Miami, Overtown, like it still is today, was blighted from poverty and was rich in cultural activities and institutions. Perhaps this line from a document from The Black Archives History and Research Foundation Of South Florida best puts the Overtown scene into perspective: “When residents of Overtown would walk the streets of the area, it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence to pass right by Nat King Cole, Bojangles, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and others.” There was just as much musical talent coming out of Overtown as there was coming in. It was the home for local rhythm and blues. The music being produced and showcased there inspired many of the artists, white and black, who were drawn into its raw and soulful sounds. Steve Alaimo, a University of Miami graduate, was drawn into the Overtown scene and later went on to become a successful

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recording artist and record producer. When he first started performing locally after graduation, Alaimo would leave the hotel venues of Miami Beach for the nightclubs of Overtown. He says he definitely felt, as a white male, that he was ahead of his time. “Like you go to school to learn chemistry or math, I went down there and listened to them and tried to soak up as much as I could,” Alaimo said. “That’s where my education in the music business came from.” The education payed off as Alaimo soaked in that R&B music he found in Overtown’s “Little Broadway.” Alaimo adopted that sound and brought it with him when he performed regularly at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach. At the time, hotels provided live bands and Alaimo chose to regularly perform with African-American bands. While Alaimo was welcome to perform and watch others perform across town at any time, his black bandmates were only allowed to enter venues when performing. “When work was over, they went home,” Alaimo said. Segregation often made performing and traveling difficult. Despite this, the musical talents of Overtown were able to make a lasting contribution to music, one that deeply influenced the next generation of Miami music.

THE DISCO DAYS

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fter a successful recording career, Alaimo would go on to work with Miami music mogul and legend Henry Stone. Specifically, they shaped TK

Records into one of the premier record labels in town. Some of the styles associated with TK Records, of course, included the genres that Alaimo so closely studied from Overtown: R&B and soul. With the rise of disco music, TK Records made artists like KC and the Sunshine Band and Betty Wright into household (or dance floor) names. Essentially, TK Records was on the cusp of one of the great signature musical exports of Miami: the discovery of “The Miami Sound.”

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THE MIAMI SOUND

If you ask any veteran of the Miami music scene, or even any Miami native, about the “Miami Sound,” the initial reaction is most often the same. You can almost see the nostalgia sweeping over them as they smile at the thought of one of Miami’s finest creations. Creation is perhaps the wrong word, however, because the sound developed gradually from a mixture of musical styles and did so organically, Alaimo pointed out. An influx of immigrants in Miami led to diverse musical backgrounds. Miami gained an influence of Afro-American, Cuban and Jamaican music flairs. “The Miami sound is unbelievable because once you’ve got the grooves and the Afro-American beats, the Cuban influence, the Jamaican influence and the R&B and pop influence, what more do you need?” Alaimo said. Raul Murciano Junior, associate dean and program director of media writing and production at the Frost School of Music, was one of the founding members of a band called the Miami Latin Boys. The group had to change their name once they added two girls, one of them being UM alumna Gloria Estefan. Although the music they made wasn’t widely being referred to as the Miami sound yet, they called themselves the “Miami Sound Machine.” Murciano puts the Miami Sound Machine, along with artists like Willy Chirino and Carlos Oliva and the Judges’ Nephews, between the outliers of music that was true to the Cuban

GUSMAN GOES WAY BACK. The University of Miami Summer Symphony plays a concert at Gusman Hall as part of the “Meet Me at the Pops” series on June 4, 1961.


tradition and music that imitated popular songs back then. Specifically, Murciano describes the music as a convergence of traditional Cuban musical styles that also had elements of funk and R&B and elements of mainstream pop-rock. Many of these pop-oriented Miami sound bands played at events known as “open houses.” These were young, local groups who held dances at various halls around Miami. These groups would draw inspiration from covers of both American and Cuban music for the most part, along with some originals, said Murciano. This made sense, considering the dual cultural sources they were influenced by, making for a unique experience. “It didn’t sound 100 percent Anglo and it certainly didn’t sound 100 percent Cuban at all,” Murciano said. “It was kind of a hybrid thing.” Groups like the Miami Sound Machine moved on to achieve more mainstream, commercial success. Artists like Gloria Estefan were able to cross over into the pop world, which opened Miami’s sound to the world. Then came Miami Bass, otherwise known as Booty Bass. Steve Alaimo found himself involved with this genre as well through his work in Vision Records. Again, Overtown played a role in the development of that genre, along with Liberty City. Even Alaimo, who before worked in the pop, R&B and dance music world, found himself involved in the production of Miami Bass. After working with disco and popular dance music, Alaimo founded Criteria Studios. It was there that many Miami Bass records were produced. “It’s just grooves, R&B grooves. There’s nothing really that got invented, it just got changed,” Alaimo said of the inspirations for Miami bass and hip-hop in general.

ROCKIN’ AGES

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The Miami sound was not the only sound coming out of the city. Also erupting were the sounds of gritty guitars and even grittier vocals. An alternative to the mainstream dance music pumping out of mainstream radio was the alt-rock and punk rock that had its own dedicated scene in Miami and was being played by stations like WVUM. Norman Waas, aka Stormin’ Norman, was a DJ at WVUM at a time where the only college station in Miami was a home to those local rock and new wave acts. Back then, what was playing on MTV wasn’t necessarily music that commercial stations were playing in Miami. Music from groups like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Devo, Elvis Costello and The Ramones went up against disco hits from the Bee Gees and Gloria Gaynor. The same battle of genres existed within the university. Although the tastes in music among the student body were as eclectic then as they are now, there were moments when a mainstream-leaning student body would align itself with the more alternative WVUM.

Waas recalls watching R.E.M. perform on campus. “I still remember vividly four guys getting out of a white camel van that they drove down from Athens, Georgia. It showed a maturation of the student body in that they were listening to it and it was great,” he said. To really delve into what the music scene had to offer, one had to travel off campus, though. During the time right at the brink of the digital revolution, record stores played a vital role in supporting music that hadn’t yet reached widespread success. Fulfilling the role that blogs most closely accomplish now, record store clerks were seen as the authority on music. They were the tastemakers. Waas noted that whatever music the record store owners liked at the time was usually similar to the tastes of the student body. Outside of school, Waas also has fond memories of going to see both local and lesser known national acts play at nearby venues. He remembers Richard Shelter, widely considered a hero and major contributor to Miami rock music, and the bands he promoted and helped foster at 27 Birds, a local venue for rock music in Coconut Grove. Such bands include The Kids, perhaps better known by one of its members, Johnny Depp. Though there was a small community of rock appreciators present, there was still room for frustration. Local rock legends like Charlie Pickett, who had much local fan support and critical acclaim, weren’t able to break out of the Miami scene. “Poised on the precipice of the big breakthrough, he walked away frustrated, fed-up and convinced he’d never be more than a regional wannabe,” wrote Lee Zimmerman of Pickett for the Miami New Times in a preview of a 2008 comeback performance in Fort Lauderdale. As the film “Rock and a Hard Place: Another Night at the Agora” documents, although Miami was home to immense rock talent which drew large crowds and other national rock acts, the rock scene never established a brand for itself like the grunge movement typically associated with Seattle. Glen Kolotkin, a producer interviewed in the documentary, placed some of that blame on disco. “I hadn’t heard any rock and roll coming from Florida, but disco was a big thing,” Kolotkin said in the film. “Florida, in my mind at least, became the disco capital of the United States.” The film goes on to reference Miami’s location, a bit out of the way for tourists and touring bands, as part of the blame for the scene never really concretely establishing itself a setback that oftentimes still holds true today. Despite what some pessimists may say, these difficulties didn’t completely do away with Miami’s rock scene. In fact, local bands like Deaf Poets and latin rockers Arboles Libres prove that Miami’s signature diversity even today has found its way into the rock scene. So then what’s the music scene like in Miami today? Have the DJs really taken over and left behind no remnants of the Miami sound? Or is it still as difficult to define and as complex as it always has been. The answer seems to be the latter.

60.

Elvis Presley. Miami, 19

“I think it’s a living, vibrant flowing thing that continues to evolve,” Murciano said. “As we continue to bring into Miami a broader cultural spectrum from other countries and from other cultures, that experiment just continues to develop and grow in relation to that.” Murciano also noted that this makes the Miami sound harder to define and classify. As a result of the blending and melding of different genres together, you get that sound that is uniquely from Miami and can be found nowhere else. As long as you have that, you have the Miami sound. “It’s not just Cuban music anymore, there’s a lot of other stuff that’s thrown into the pot,” he said. He compares the evolution of Miami music to science, juxtaposing music to energy and arguing that music, like energy, cannot be created or destroyed. In many ways, his idea makes sense. The “Miami sound,” which refers back to dance music with Afro-Cuban elements, for example, drew from traditional music that Cuban immigrants brought with them to Miami. And just how that particular sound was a compilation of others, the city also resonated with rock and R&B influences. While many music scenes come and go in terms of popularity and impact, Miami’s has continued to evolve over generations, with every new group of local artists adding their own influences into the mix and, in turn, shaping the scene in unique and diverse ways. So if one were to ask what the Miami music scene is made up of and what factors made it what it is today, a possible answer could literally be: everything.

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40 Distraction The Main Event


What do a future Billboard chart-topper, an Ultra-worthy DJ, a teenage rap heartthrob and an aspiring music industry mogul have in common? An insane amount of talent and a deep connection to the U. With impressive musical resumes under their belts, these ‘Canes are bound for stardom. words_ kristen calzadilla. photo_raquel zaldivar and chris stampar. design_jamie shankman.

JA K E M I LL E R The Justin Bieber of the rap game is University of Miami freshman Jake Miller. Many have said it, and he’s embraced it. “I couldn’t be happier with that comparison,” Miller said. “Obviously the kid is doing something right.” Miller himself is a textbook definition of a 21st century teenage idol. The up-and-coming rapper made a name for himself via social media, namely YouTube, where his channel has garnered over 10 million-plus views. The same goes for his Facebook and Twitter page, where he has more than 130,000 followers. That fan base, much like Bieber’s, is made up of young teens. “When I’m out with my friends at the mall, I’ll have little girls come up to me 24/7, hysterically crying with their moms,” Miller said. “It’s nuts.” His plan wasn’t always to appeal to that “tween” crowd. At first, Miller attempted to mimic Pennsylvania rapper Mac Miller who, coincidentally, shares his last name. Other underground rappers at the time inspired him as well, but he saw himself gradually move away from it. “I didn’t really have any messages behind my lyrics. I wasn’t trying to inspire people and I didn’t really care about sending out a positive message,” Miller explained.

“I was just writing to fit in, to be another underground hip-hop rapper.” Miller’s music style began to shift from hip-hop to pop in high school when he continuously uploaded videos to his Youtube page in hopes of publicizing his music. That’s probably where his comparison to “The Beibs” started. What seemingly began as a side project transformed into something more. “To be honest, my dream had never been to be a rap-pop star. It kind of just fell into place,” he said. Miller writes his own music when he feels inspired. The first step is listening through the hundreds of beats he receives from producers daily. “Some of them are great, others I’ll listen to for one second and know it’s not right. It depends on the vibe that the beat gives off, which puts an idea for a song in my head.” Miller admits that not that many people on campus know too much about him. While he says they aren’t his target audience anyway, he still tries to create music that appeals to a wide demographic. “I’ve had adults come up to me saying ‘Are you Jake Miller? I listen to your music with my kids!’ I try to make music that everybody can listen to because that’s going to make you a more successful artist,” he said.

Every musician does have his critics, however. Some even go as far as to criticize Miller’s upbringing in Weston, one of South Florida’s wealthier suburbs. He doesn’t find that fair and sees himself as “well-off,” not wealthy. “There were definitely moments when it just got under my skin to the point that I had to write back,” Miller said, referring to comments saying he “paid” his way into the industry. “There were times that I have to defend myself because people are just saying false things about me.” Another hurdle for Miller is trying to balance his busy performing schedule with his equally demanding academic schedule. With his “Miller High Life Tour” hitting various states this spring, maintaining that balance is going to get even more difficult. Still, the undeclared student who is “technically a freshman” doesn’t seem to mind. “If music works out and it starts to blow up in the next year or two, hopefully I won’t even have to take any classes,” Miller said. “If not, I’ll be sticking to the books. I’m just doing this right now as a back-up plan.” In January, Miller announced that he signed a deal with eOne Music Group. Seems like his path to teenage stardom is on the rise. - Hyan De Freitas The Music Issue

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42 Distraction The Main Event

S N I H UR

Having been raised by insiders - his father helped solidify the careers of Britney Spears, N*Sync, Usher and other major artists- Michael Weiss’ destined career path is in music. Weiss, a senior studying accounting in the school of business, believes his business know-how will aid him in the ever-changing digital music market. “The digital market is changing every year. With the music industry, it’s been happening for ten years already. It’s just a matter of finding new ways to get the music to the consumer,” Weiss explained. “Now that you have the option of buying songs or illegally downloading them, you have to find a way to bond the consumers to the artist so that they want to buy their music rather than steal it.” He’s gained extensive experience in the music industry by landing impressive summer internships. “I spent one summer doing marketing at Def Jam,” Weiss explained, where he was in charge of creating market reports and market research based on artists’ sales. “I judged the different artists on the label and how their sales went and recorded their market demographics. I put together general marketing strategies.” Weiss spent another summer working in a different sector of the music industry – scouting new talent for the label to sign. “When I was at Mercury Records doing A&R [artists and repertoire], I worked mostly on the development of Cris Cab. It actually turns out that now I’m working with him in the consultancy. It worked out perfectly because I worked on all of his new projects over the summer and now I’m working directly with him.” Weiss has a busy future ahead of him. “I plan on pursuing music. Right now, I’m actually managing an artist myself and doing consulting for another artist. If that starts picking up, which it looks like it’s going to, I can start making a living off of it,” he said. “Hopefully within the next year, I’ll have the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and make it big, just like my father and grandfather.” So keep a lookout Miami, a music management dynasty is about to emerge.

AR I EL

M I CH A E L WE I S S

Few in this world are lucky enough to know that their talent will make them famous. But every once in a while, one comes along. In this case, it’s freshman Ariel Snihur. “I’ve been singing since I was six-years-old in front of audiences,” she said. “I knew my whole life that I had to be a singer. I’m going to pursue it because I can’t picture myself doing anything else.” And she’s off to a great start. Snihur has managed to build an eclectic résumé in an effort to put her name on the Billboard charts. “I started performing at schoolrelated events singing the national anthem. Now, I sing at several charitable organizations like The Alzheimer’s Foundation, Relay for Life and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.” Like many of the truly talented artists making a name for themselves, Snihur writes her own music, especially for charity. “I released one of my singles, ‘Reach for the High,’ at the Special Olympics Gala last year. It was in honor of tSpecial Olympics athletes. I wanted to inspire them to know that they can overcome obstacles despite what people say.” Snihur has even managed to secure some studio time. “I actually recorded my first CD when I was sixteen years old called ‘Rhythms of Life.’ I co-wrote many songs on the album with Juan Vicente Zambrano, a Latin Grammynominated producer and songwriter.” The CD features Ariel singing in both English and Spanish as a result. Although Snihur’s forte is pop music, her music choices have definitely expanded here in the musically diverse city of Miami. “I enjoy pop music, but since I started singing in Spanish on my CD, I definitely gravitated toward Latin music. Of course, growing up in Miami, you have to like Latin music.” Her studies at the Frost School of Music have taken her vocals to a new level altogether. “I’m a classical performance major, so I’ve been singing opera. Weird, I know!” she says, laughing at the irony. “Frost is the best. They give you a lot of opportunities to perform in all different types of musical arenas.” Unlike most freshmen, Snihur already knows what her future has in store. “I want to keep performing and get my name out there. Right now, I’m the official national anthem singer for the Florida Panthers hockey team.” We can only expect great things from Ariel Snihur in the next four years, so it might not be a bad idea to get your autographs now.


T R OY K U RT Z

Vibrant streams of light zoom above an eager crowd at Art Basel. The horde begins to swell in anticipation. And finally, the beat drops. For DJ Troy Kurtz, it’s an experience like no other. “When you’re playing for a couple thousand people at a festival or a huge nightclub, you get lost in what you’re doing,” Kurtz said. “I opened up for Richie Hawtin at LIV and it was one of my best shows of the year. The staff there was accommodating and the vibe in the club was really special.” A recent UM grad, Kurtz moved to L.A. this past October, looking for a breakthrough in the music industry. “I really took a liking to this city. I’ve had a couple really fun shows in Hollywood and I’ve been inspired to make some new music.” While in college, Kurtz seized an opportunity that opened the doors to the world of EDM. “I began writing for a major electronic music blog called ‘Gotta Dance Dirty,’” where he gained valuable knowledge about the music industry. “I also started working as a DJ around the same time, so it seemed like a natural pairing to pursue music.” His schedule as a budding DJ and the life that it provided him made being a regular student a little tricky. “During my junior and senior years at UM, I was touring around New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Puerto Rico and Toronto, so having to juggle class at the same time was pretty difficult,” Kurtz said. “But I explained to my teachers my situation and most were accommodating.” Still, Kurtz said it wasn’t just the schoolwork that made the transition hard for him. “The most difficult thing was having to switch my brain from tour mode to study mode. Going through finals during the spring semester after the Winter Music Conference in March was especially tough.” Even with these obstacles, Kurtz admits that a few late papers and a below average grade or two were worth it. “I just had my debut EP release in October with my partner Panic Bomber in our Kurtz & Bomber project,” Kurtz said. With college now behind him and with music as his main focus, Kurtz plans to perform in major cities both in the U.S. and abroad. “In the next few months, it’s looking like I’ll have shows in L.A., Denver, the South by Southwest Festival in Texas, the Winter Music Conference in Miami and abroad in Mexico and Venezuela.” Whether dropping beats abroad, on the West Coast, or close to Kurtz’s alma mater, it’s safe to say that perhaps Ultra 2014 and other music festivals may begin to have this UM alumn on their lineups. The Music Issue

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Obsessed with Instagram? We nailed down the best music-related pics.

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