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INDEX

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS DAN DEJESUS CHRISTIAN CABANG CAMILLE COHEN ALYSSA BROWN NIA COATS ERICA GRAY

SOCIAL AND SAFE by SAYLOR NEDELMAN

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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS EMILY CURIEL CAMILLE COHEN SAYLOR NEDELMAN JUN UEDA CHRISTIAN CABANG ELOISE KELSEY

BAY AREA TWIN DJS RELEASE THEIR MOST STREAMED SONG AMID PANDEMIC by DAN DEJESUS

CONTRIBUTING DESIGNERS HARIKA MADDALA RYCE STOUGHTENBOROUGH CAMILLE COHEN

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HOLY COMMON GROUND

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

by CAMILLE COHEN

MALAKAI WADE MANAGING EDITOR CAMILLE COHEN ART DIRECTOR

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ELOISE KELSEY PHOTO EDITOR

SF STATE STUDENT DEMANDS A SEAT AT THE TABLE FOR MEXICAN, CHICANO CULTURE by EMILY CURIEL

SAYLOR NEDELMAN ONLINE EDITOR SAMANTHA JOSON MULTIMEDIA EDITOR RYCE STOUGHTENBOROUGH

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SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR REBECCA SCHUPP COPY EDITOR

RISING STAR KIYOMI STEPS INTO THE BAY AREA MUSIC SCENE by CHRISTIAN CABANG

CHRIS RAMIREZ COPY EDITOR OMAR MORALES RESEARCH EDITOR DAVID HOROWITZ

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NOVEMBER 2020

LETTER FROM THE EDITORS

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he November issue of Xpress Magazine came together amid a whirlwind of election stress, and of course, a continuing online semester. I doubt we will forget about how we produced this magazine during that wild election. But the staff at Xpress wanted to focus on the good in the chaos; the silver lining if you will. This is a loose theme for our November issue. We start the magazine with a look at some socially distanced events; a way for San Franciscians to get some magic back and go to a drag show, yoga, outdoor concerts and drive-in movies. We follow that with the first written piece, a profile on a twin DJ duo whose music has become increasingly popular during quarantine. Our cover story focuses on holy common ground; a look at the intersection of religion and how many people have been looking to the community of a church, temple or monastery during this time. This article is also accompanied by a photo story about places of worship and those who find solace in them. Opening a business is a difficult feat, especially for a college student during a pandemic. Our third story is a photo piece about an SF State student who opened an Indiginous Mexican food stand. We think you’ll enjoy the close up shots of delicious-looking tacos. To follow a flow of music, our fourth article is a profile on a young singer, songwriter who is currently emerging into the music scene. Publishing our penultimate issue feels bittersweet for us. We have been writing, editing, shooting photos, designing and working during such an uncertain time. Some of us are having a hard time keeping our spirits up, but one thing’s for sure, we have enjoyed every minute of this journey to bring the best of Xpress Magazine to the students of SF State. Check out our website in the following days for even more content! Signed, The editors of Xpress Magazine

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CI SA AL FE &

T MEN N I A ERT O T N T E PTS CISCO A D N A FRA IONS N T SA RIC T S RE Y BY R STO AN O T ELM D PHO E N LOR SAY

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OASIS DRAG SHOW From left to right are: D’arcy Drollinger, Evian, Pablo Shmidt-Escobar, Oliver Branch, Trixxie Carr.

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OASIS, an internationally acclaimed drag venue and cabaret, is located at the heart of San Francisco’s nightlife scene in SOMA. D’arcy Drollinger, pictured on the far left, serves as an owner, artistic director, and performer at OASIS. Once an indoor club and performance venue, OASIS converted their bombastic stage production to an outdoor dining show on 11th Street. Despite limitations from COVID-19, OASIS still holds drag shows from Friday to Sunday and is available for private events on weekdays. On Halloween, the OASIS drag team did a street performance for a few pre-reserved tables.


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OUTDOOR YOGA Outdoor Yoga SF holds weekly classes at Crissy Field, Baker Beach, and Golden Gate Park. The instructors teach through silent disco headphones, with a goal to safely reconnect a community practice. Attendees are welcome to spread as far as they would like and remain in their bubble of peacefulness and privacy.

Pictured left: Julianne Aiello teaches an outdoor power yoga class at Crissy Field on Friday, November 6, 2020.

FORT MASON DRIVE-IN MOVIE

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MIDWAY EVENTS

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J.Worra performs a DJ set at The Midway on Friday, October 30, 2020.

Fort Mason is known for being one of San Francisco’s most versatile outdoor event spaces. It has recently been valued for hosting safe community gatherings during the pandemic. On Thursday, November 12, 2020, an independent film called Ace In The Hole made its debut to a hundred cars on a 40x20 ft. LED screen at 4500 nits, which is 90 times brighter than a standard movie projector. Film Director Yasmin Mawaz-Khan described it as a magical night, “We laughed, cried and honked at the screen. Even though we were all in our vehicles, we were able to see each other across the rows, and remember that we are not alone and we’re all in this together.” The film was a San Francisco story in and of itself about Ace Junkyard, “a unique place for artists to go when they needed inspiration, materials, or simply an accepting ear to hear their crazy ideas,” as stated on Ace In The Hole’s website.

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Popular music and event venue, The Midway, is keeping dance culture alive with social distance concerts. By partnering with major house music labels such as Dirtybird, Desert Hearts, and Space Yacht, they are able to book headline acts and provide a safe experience for music-lovers even in the age of COVID-19. The Midway’s safety precautions went through several trials before getting approved by the city. The show is treated like an outdoor dining experience, where guests are required to wear a mask when not eating or drinking and may reserve a private table with up to four people. Food is provided by The Midway culinary team through contactless ordering, while guests enjoy a day outside and live concert.X


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BAY AREA TWIN DJ DUO RELEASES INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION AMIDST THE PANDEMIC

There’s a lot more to being a DJ, it’s not just playing music, there is definitely a business side to it that talent alone cannot achieve. — CARLOS CONCHA

Story by DAN DEJESUS Photos by JUN UEDA Bay Area DJ duo OtebNSolrac, consisting of twin brothers Beto “Oteb’’ and Carlos “Solrac’’ Concha, felt the loss when the statewide shelter-in-place first happened in March. With clubs shut down around the Bay Area as the result of COVID-19, a huge source of their income was now gone. However, a new song released on Sept. 18 by the duo titled “Amante’’ has given the brothers a rise in popularity amid the pandemic. Since COVID-19 put a halt on concerts and club events, the music industry has had to adapt with the times. The lack of live events has made it harder for musicians to earn an income due to the loss of a live audience. To remedy this issue, live concerts have migrated to streaming platforms such as Twitch in order to provide fans with a similar experience to attending an in-person concert. OtebNSolrac have gone this route as well, hosting streams of the two performing DJ sets for viewers on occasion. The brothers were on a hot streak before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to it all. Prior to the

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state lockdown, the twins DJ’d for Bay Area radio station 99.7 NOW, in addition to regularly performing in the club scene. They also attended the National Association of Music Merchants convention (NAMM) for turntable brand Technics and performed for convention attendees. The NAMM show is a convention held every January at the Anaheim Convention Center that exhibits the newest products for musicians. “One thing after another, after another just happens, it was rough but we’re here still,” Carlos said. Despite the challenges, the twins now have a hit record on their hands. Collaborating with Bay Area producer Clayton William and Trinidad artist Braveboy, Amante, has blown up in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain and Braveboy’s home country of Trinidad. The dancehall-moombahton track has propelled the twins monthly Spotify listeners from 90 to 10,000 in a matter of two months. Moombahton is a fusion of house music and reggaeton that first gained prominence in 2008 when DJ Dave Nada created the genre.


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Jun Ueda / Xpress Magazine

Beto describes the song as having an upbeat, summer vibe to it. He jokingly called it sexy, noting that that is Braveboy’s favorite word to describe the song. OtebNSolrac attributes their overseas success to how countries such as the U.K. and Spain have handled the virus compared to here in the U.S. “It gained popularity where COVID is under control,” Carlos said. “I know Trinidad is going through it right now, but the U.K. and Spain, they have it locked down,” Carlos said. The song idea came from Beto and a friend, fellow producer, Gibran “Gibrawn” Huerta, who wanted to create a Latin-inspired track. Huerta recommended they collaborate with Braveboy, as he felt the Trinidadian artist was a perfect match for the song. After listening to some of his prior music, the brothers agreed and the collaboration commenced. “He had bars to cut it short,” Beto said. With the brothers in the Bay Area and Braveboy in Trinidad, communication between the two parties was done solely through email. The time zone difference between Pacific and Atlantic times meant the twins stayed up late some nights in order to be awake at the same time as Braveboy and work on the song together.

Once the song was finished, a turn of events followed. Clayton William, a Bay Area producer for EMPIRE records in San Francisco, was in contact with the twins with the goal of producing a new hit. One the song was finished, the twins sent William the track. The producer responded saying, “I’m over here looking for the next big track, and you guys just randomly direct-messaged it.” The song ended up being distributed by EMPIRE upon release. The main priority for the twins right now is getting the song out to DJs. DJs often have large followings and play a large role in popularizing tracks, according to Beto. The twins noted something big in the works for the song but remained hush on the details. OtebNSolrac is eagerly anticipating their comeback once clubs and concerts reopen. Describing the reopenings as a big reset button for music once it happens, the two said they plan to go all in once that time arrives. “What’s better than having a party track like Amante, everyone’s gonna wanna party, I know everyone’s tired of being in the house.” X

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NOVEMBER 2020

Carlos Concha (Solrac) plays a tune on the keyboard while Beto Concha (Oteb) examines records on Nov. 5, 2020. DJs Oteb and Solrac have gained attention overseas with their song “Amante,� which was produced along with Bay Area producer Clayton William and Trinidad artist Braveboy. 13


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HOLY COMMON GROUND Highlighting the connections between religions in a time of division

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The groups highlighted were chosen based on location and willingness to share their ideas and spaces with a curious photojournalist during the pandemic. Working with organizations that promote interfaith understanding, the story highlights some faiths who are often misunderstood. The story intends to act as a springboard off which for the search for intersectional spirituality will continue.

Story and photos by CAMILLE COHEN While meandering through the meditation garden that sits on the coastline of Southern California, Sister Sarala, a nun in the Self Realization Fellowship’s (SRF) monastic order, explained her belief that followers of polytheistic religions are simply worshiping different aspects of her one God. The international nonprofit group believes all religions have much more in common than one might assume. “The society seeks to foster a spirit of greater harmony and goodwill among the diverse people and nations of the world, and a deeper understanding of the underlying unity of all religions,” its website reads. It once touted the name “Self Realization Fellowship: Church of All Religions,” but according to Sarala, they have since dropped the latter part for convenience purposes. Sarala joined the SRF in the ’70s after reading “Autobiography of a Yogi,” by Paramahansa Yogananda. The book is considered one of the best spiritual books of the 20th century, according to Harper San Francisco. The SRF has multiple levels of devotion. The most dedicated believers wear saris, (wrapped dresses similar to robes) and reside on the temple grounds. They practice abstinence, dedicating their life to both Jesus Christ and the practice of yoga. Many Americans begin searching for a connection to their spirituality around this time of year, considering internet searches for “church” reach highs when Easter and Christmas are near. According to

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a Pew study, 55% of U.S. adults say they celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. However, 90% say they mark the holiday, regardless of religious identity. Religion can be linked to at least 123 wars around the world while almost three-fourths of Americans identify as religious, according to Encyclopedia of Wars and Pew Research Center’s religious landscape study. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a taxing and divisive election year and social unrest, many spiritual leaders are working to bring both peace of mind and interfaith understanding to their followers. “This is a particularly difficult time to see people so angry,” said Diane Keyes, the church administrator of the Center for Spiritual Living (CSL). The organization aims to teach “principles for personal growth and global transformation” while “honoring all paths to God.” “By building bridges between religions and for each other, we can stop judgement and criticism. We can make a world that works for everyone,” Keyes said. Keyes has worked at various churches, gathering spiritual practices from each. She believes that prayer can help people make fewer fear-driven decisions. The administrator and author believes that prayer helps humans live in “the realm of possibility,” and that focusing on positive possibilities “reduces fear to nothing.” The SRF has similar values. The group’s primary focus is on the intrinsic value of meditation as a way to “experience a deepening interior peace and attunement with oneself and with God” — or “Nirvana,” as Buddhists would define it.


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The Garden of Liberation, located in Bangkok, Thailand, is one of the most revered Theravada Buddhist temples in the country. The walls bear resolutions that echo the mission of the SRF and CSL: “To help everyone penetrate the heart of their own religion” and “to create mutual good understanding between all religions.” The third resolution and the point of this spiritual unity, for Theravada Buddhists, is “to work together to drag the world out of materialism.” Yogananda, the founder of SRF, aimed to balance Western material growth and Indian spirituality. Yogananda arrived in the U.S. in the ’20s from India, where Hinduism is the dominant religion. The Hindu belief in reincarnation is shared by both the SRF and many Wiccans. According to Khaia Gerber, who’s preferred name is Gaia the Empress, Wicca is the pagan counterpart and the religion of many witches. The religion allows room for varying beliefs about the afterlife, Gaia, founder and high priestess of the Bay Area Brujx, explained that, “Witchcraft is commonly misclassified as a religion, when it’s really a practice, similar to yoga or tai chi. Wicca is the religion.” Gaia believes that after death, humans are reincarnated to understand certain lessons about the world. “I just believe that we are sent here as many times as we need to, to understand the individual ways that we can manifest and create beautifully, most effectively, and most positively for the whole Earth.” Gaia said. Wicca is defined by a strong relationship to the Earth

and nature. A hummingbird visited Gaia’s window just as she was explaining the intrinsic connection. She laughed aloud and gleefully exclaimed, “Oh thank thee!” Wiccans believe they possess a unique responsibility toward the environment. “We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness,” according to Principles of Wiccan Belief by the American Council of Witches, published in 1974. Though the council disbanded later the same year, the document gave clarity to the American public, which was fearful of their spirituality and falsely equated Wiccanism to Satanism. According to Patti Wigington, a Pagan author, educator and licensed clergy, “Satan is a Christian construct, and Wiccans don’t worship him.” In her Wiccan FAQ, she explains that “even the Satanists don’t actually worship Satan, but that’s a whole other conversation.” The wheel of life, which acts as the Wiccan calendar, follows the Earth’s seasonal patterns. It’s original intention was to help with harvesting food at the most fruitful time, according to Gaia. The wheel of life follows the lunar cycle, similar to the traditional calendar of the Jewish faith. The Hebrew months also follow the phases of the moon, according to the Jewish Museum of London. Both religions refer to holy days as “Sabbaths.” The Torah, the sacred text of the Jewish religion, is also referenced in religious texts of Christian and

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Camille Cohen / Xpress Magazine

Gaia the Empress shows off her jewelry, which carries spiritual significance, in the garden of Sword and Rose, after purchasing new gemstones on October 14, 2020

Gaia the Empress performs a tarot card reading while sitting in The Panhandle park in San Francisco on October 14, 2020.

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Sister Sarala, a nun in the order of the Self Realization Fellowship, walks Diva, the community dog. Diva was a stray who wandered onto the Encinitas temple grounds and never left.

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Islamic beliefs. Christians might know it as the “old testament.” Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all considered Abrahamic religions, since they share belief in the prophet Abraham. Though these different strains of biblical beliefs have varying ideas regarding following religious profits, they can at least agree on about 929 chapters of text. According to Aherents, a religious statistics database, followers of these three religions account for more than half of the world’s total population. “Many people were raised in a faith that no longer works for them… A lot of people have been hurt by their churches.” said Keyes, referencing the many young Americans who have denounced religion in protest of

outside of an organized religion, and have created their own personal brand of spirituality. Gaia’s coven includes members of various faiths. One member is both magic-practicing and a devout Christian. Gaia sees no conflict in combining religious beliefs and practices together. In fact, she can’t see how it could be wrong. “God is not a judgmental entity. That is written in every textbook that mentions a god.” Gaia said. “Your God does want you to grow. Your God does want you to access the best parts of yourself. That is really what magic is: Accessing the highest working parts of you, and saying to that person, ‘Whatever you dream, you can create. All the thoughts in your mind that seem so unintelligible,

their churches’ treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. But Keyes wants these individuals, and everyone on the spiritual spectrum, to know they’re welcome at the Christ-based community of CSL. Though the church has moved spaces due to COVID-19, the center in Temecula, California, flew the American flag, Black Lives Matter flag, the earth flag, human rights flag, interfaith flag, peace flag, and rainbow flag above their service space for over five years. “We honor people wherever they are in their journey, wherever their faith is, to integrate spirituality into daily life,” Keyes explained of the multicultural, multiethnic congregation. The world contains about 4,300 different religions, yet many people identify

you can make a reality,” Gaia said. “Understand that you’re not stepping on anybody’s toes by recognizing the power that God gave you, that God gave all of us, that God gave to the whole universe. Because creation is magic. You are made with magic. You’re made with love. You are made in the image of a God who is a magical being, and who shows their magic through the powers of creation on a daily basis. In no way, shape, or form, would that God ever be angry with you if you just took a second to stand in the power of their creation, and understand that the energy that is leftover can be used to make and manifest your dreams.”

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MORE FROM HOLY COMMON GROUND

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Photo Essay by CAMILLE COHEN with contribution by ELOISE KELSEY

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MORE FROM HOLY COMMON GROUND

ON PAGE 34

Photo Essay by CAMILLE COHEN with contribution by ELOISE KELSEY

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Nomar Ramirez is a 21-yearold, first-generation Mexican American and full-time business student at SF State. Originally from Azusa, California, located in Southern California, Ramirez is the owner of a taco spot called “Molcaxitl” at the Sunset Outer Farmers’ Market. “I learned how to cook when

I was in middle school,” Ramirez said. “My mom was busy a lot of the time, doing stuff around the house or helping my dad out with his business. I never thought to wait for my mom to make the food. I would just go in and just make stuff. A lot of times, when I would come home from school no one was there, I would be home alone. So, I would have to make my own food. And it started just from out of fun.”

SF STATE STUDENT DEMANDS A SEAT AT THE TABLE FOR MEXICAN, CHICANO CULTURE Photo story by Emily Curiel 22 22


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“Molcaxitl” — pronounced (MOL-CAH-SHEE-TL) in the Nahuatl language, meaning mortar and pestle — is the name that 21-year-old Nomar Ramirez, a business student at SF State, gave his virtual food vending business at its inception in October. His idea originated and grew from the “XOCO Kitchen” YouTube channel, which provided viewers with insightful recipes on cooking with Indigenous ingredients.

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With my unemployment money, I hired an editor, graphic designer, bought camera stands and lights, the whole thing. In the midst of all that, I would jar salsa and sell that to people I knew. Once it got some really good feedback and attention, I decided I’d open a virtual restaurant

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“The name is not easy to pronounce on purpose,” Ramirez said. “I’m tired of the whole system that ethnic people in the U.S. have to abide by, which is basically do things so the white man can access them, and we constantly live in this upward battle of being put in the same positions as white people … So Molcaxitl is a space crafted for Chicanos and Mexicans but is completely open to everybody else, I just refuse to use a name that is easy to say just so Tim and Carol can pronounce it.”

“I live in the Sunset and have little to no access to Mexican foods and culture, so out of homesickness, I started traveling a bit more to Daly City to go to Mexican markets, and I would just make food I grew up with to comfort me,” Ramirez said.

Nomar Ramirez sits on a stool next to his dining room table in his home in the Outer Sunset in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2020. (Emily Curiel / Xpress Magazine)

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Nomar Ramirez sears his “Ayotli,” a specially seasoned zucchini, on a grill at the Molcaxitl booth at the Outer Sunset Farmers’ Market in San Francisco on Oct. 18, 2020. (Emily Curiel / Xpress Magazine)

“All my ingredients are purchased from a Mexican farm that attends the same market I sell at,” Ramirez said. “I buy my meat from local farms, and they're completely free-range, antibiotics free, non-GMO, etc. Our food is completely made from scratch, and each item has a bit of a spin on it to make it original and closer to what genuine Mexican food is. So essentially, we try to bring mindfulness about the food that has the customer thinking about the ingredients from seed to plate, which is very much based on Indigenous ideologies and philosophies.” X

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RISING STAR STEPS INTO THE BAY

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I just want to attract what’s meant for me, the rest don’t matter. I’m [not] forcing anybody to listen to my stuff, but if they connect with it, they connect with it.

- Kiyomi

Story and photos by CHRISTIAN CABANG Union City’s own Kiyomi is bringing a new type of R&B into the Bay Area scene. After releasing her debut EP in February 2019, “Solara Sunsets,” the young, rising artist is paving her way into the music industry. Since the drop of her EP, 19-year-old Kiyomi has shared studio time with notable Bay Area artists such as P-Lo, Traxamillion and Rexx Life Raj. What started as fun cover songs on Instagram quickly turned her into one of the newest breakthrough artists from the Bay Area. Hip-Hop artists and rappers often come to represent the cities they grew up in. Take P-Lo, who became synonymous with the Bay Area after releasing his single “Put Me On Somethin,” feat. E-40. Where the artist is from plays a significant part in their identity and their music. Kiyomi bridges that gap from rapper to singer, songwriter in her music video, “The Weekend,” shot on a BART train. “I feel like we’re really lucky to be here. [It’s a] special place to be,” Kiyomi said. Kiyomi writes songs from her personal experiences. She brings the listener into her world with her wise words on Solara Sunsets, with lyrics that highlight themes revolving around loss, heartache and her surroundings. On “Freeze The Frame,” written about a lost loved one, she says “Better live your life today. Things ain’t ever how it seems. Maybe there ain’t tomorrow.”

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“So I get the beat first, right? I mainly go off feeling [what] does this beat make me feel something first of all? And where does my mind go with it.” Kiyomi said. With her EP and a handful of singles streaming on multiple platforms, including Spotify and Soundcloud, she’s gathered a following of 12,000 followers on Instagram, and hundreds of thousands of plays on Spotify. Kiyomi said she isn’t worried about what fame might bring her and will stay grounded in her beliefs. She said she remains firm in the belief that with hard work comes reward. Although she’s gained traction on Instagram and through music, she’s not “stressing over the numbers.” “I just want to attract what’s meant for me,” Kiyomi said. “The rest don’t matter. I’m [not] forcing anybody to listen to my stuff, but if they connect with it, they connect with it.” When not front and center of her music videos or writing songs, Kiyomi actively builds her brand by forging the relationships necessary for her to grow and expand her music. In 2019, Marco Alexander, a media creator, took Kiyomi under his wing. Although it took some time to catch Kiyomi’s attention, Alexander remained persistent in his endeavor to trust him. “Yo P-Lo said your shit’s hella good. Yo, David Ali, who [is] Kehlani’s manager [...] he fucking loves


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your music,” Alexander said regarding the beginning stages of their relationship. Alexander pushes for Kiyomi’s growth as an artist by placing her in environments where she’s been able to soak up knowledge and collaborate with various artists and musicians. In October, Alexander scored her background vocals on Rexx Life Raj’s single, “Tesla In A Pandemic.” “I fully believe in Kiyomi [...] Once the world hears it, it’s gon’ be game over,” Alexander said regarding her career. Kiyomi showcases her natural talent for songwriting and storytelling on her singles and EP, Solara Sunsets. Her 2018 single, “Temptations” says, “No point in stressing over things you can’t control,” echoing her worryfree approach of engaging with listeners. Kiyomi added that COVID-19 initially left her with no inspiration and writer’s block. Prior to the

state’s lockdown, Kiyomi was preparing to release a project of 3-4 songs, but when the music industry took a full stop in March, Kiyomi did too. “You know, we gotta play it out,” Kiyomi said. “Everything’s up in the air with how things should go. We just gotta feel it out, basically. I’m [in] no rush. I’m just trying to get it right before [I] start putting stuff out again.” Kiyomi said. Despite her initial reaction toward the pandemic, Kiyomi saw the moment as a blessing in disguise. Throughout quarantine, Kiyomi said she took the time to slow down and cultivate her sound for future releases. Her and Alexander project to release another single by the end of November, and another album in the summer of 2021. “I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I assume the best. But expect the worst. Bless,” Kiyomi said with a grin. X

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Kiyomi photographed at the Harward Japanese Garden on Nov. 9, 2020.

Christian Cabang / Xpress Magazine

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HOLY COMMON GROUND CONTINUED…

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Officially, women are forbidden from becoming ordained as monks in Thailand. The country does not recognize female monks, but dedicated women can become white-robed nuns. This nun demonstrated proper prayer techniques but due to the language barrier, did not reveal her name, but posed with various statues in the temple.

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Bishop Bob Morrison wanders the empty halls of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Murrieta, California. The religious organization follows the Christian bible and supplements it with the Book of Mormon.

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Eloise Kelsey / Xpress Magazine

Hannah Sudaria and Olivia Reich lay under a framed “Jesus loves you�

poster hanging above their roommates bed on a Sunday morning.

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Elder Harper, a missionary for the Church of Latter Day Saints, began his “mission� in Bolivia but because of the CoronaVirus pandemic was forced to come back to the US. He is now serving his mission in Murrieta, CA. 39


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ONLINE EXCLUSIVES Down the Drain BY ALYSSA BROWN

What freshmen depression looks like during the pandemic BY ERICA GRAY

Exploring the relationship between people of color and the Democratic Party BY NIA COATS

HOLY COMMON GROUND BY CAMILLE COHEN ON THE COVER

Sister Sarala, a nun in the order of the Self Realization Fellowship, walks toward the meditation garden of the Encinitas temple, which is currently closed to visitors due to COVID-19, on October 2, 2020 in San Diego, California.

The Wat Samphran temple, outside of Bangkok, Thailand, is known for the dragon that wraps around the outside of the main building, but the inside contains hundreds of gold buddha figures and intricate mural paintings. In this public shrine to Buddah, people can come to pray and leave offerings.

The boarded up church gathers ash on the day wildfire smoke filled the air on September 9, 2020 in Murrieta, California.

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SPECIAL THANKS JOSH DAVIS LAURA MOORHEAD AMBER WEHRER RACHELE KANIGEL SOCIAL MEDIA INSTAGRAM & TWITTER @XPRESSMAGAZINE ONLINE CONTENT XPRESSMAGAZINE.ORG

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Profile for Xpress Magazine

Xpress Magazine | November 2020  

Publishing our penultimate issue feels bittersweet for us. We have been writing, editing, shooting photos, designing, and working during suc...

Xpress Magazine | November 2020  

Publishing our penultimate issue feels bittersweet for us. We have been writing, editing, shooting photos, designing, and working during suc...

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