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ISSUE #10 | JUNE 2017

JUSTIN PRENTICE EMMA KENNEY // REBECCA BLACK // BRIT DANIELS // & MORE ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 1


STAFF Editor / Head of Photography Acacia Evans Acaciaevans.com Instagram.com/acaciaevans Editor-in-Chief / Social Media Manager Kaitlyn Midgett Twitter.com/kaitlynmidgett Design Andi Rogers Andirogersdesign.com Instagram.com/andilr89 Contributing Writers Acacia Evans Lexy Fields Hannah Jones Niki Major Kaitlyn Midgett Contributing Photographers Acacia Evans Hannah Jones Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist Brit Straley Britmariemakeup.com Instagram.com/britmariemakeup Karlyn Ketelle (Justin Prentice hair) Karlynketellemua.design Instagram.com/makeupkarly Playlist Louise Nussac Twitter.com/L_ou_ise

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 2

04

08

12

contents


24 04 08 12 16 20 24

Ashley Leone Bradley Walden Brit Daniels Chord Overstreet Drew Chadwick Emma Kenney

32 28 32 38 42 46 50

50 Jacob Martin Justin Prentice Lovelytheband

60 56 60 65

Savannah Outen Spencer Sutherland BCT Playlist

Madeline Lauer Mike Taylor Rebecca Black

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 3


I feel like I’m the most focused I’ve ever been......

ASHLEY LEONE interview by kaitlyn midgett photos by acacia evans

The last time we checked in with Ashley Leone, she was cooling her heels after the release of her Sugarcoated EP last May. At the time, Leone was still in the process of learning exactly where she wanted her sound to go. Her producer at the time, Kevin Rooney, helped bring out the beginning stages of the sound they had been looking for. When she first relocated to Nashville from outside of Philadelphia, Leone met

Instagram.com/ashleyleone Twitter.com/iamashleyleone

Facebook.com/ashleyleonemusic

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 4

Rooney at Nodaway’s EP release show. As a fan of his work, the two connected and worked on projects together including her song “Talk,” which was released this past November. Leone has been consistently


working with her management

Over the past few years, Leone’s

team as well, knowing one of her

music has been evolving. She’s

managers since she was sixteen.

played almost every venue in Philly

“Somebody at my dad’s work knew

when she was in her acoustic

that I was going out to Nashville

singer/songwriter era. After she

and they connected us. [After]

moved to Nashville, Leone’s raw

freshman year, I stayed over the

soulfulness was brought to light.

summer and lived in an extension

“I always had this bit of soul in me

of his house to work on music.

and I think moving and finding

He was a family friend, so he was

myself as an artist and as a writer,

helping me out in any way that he

that has now fully come out of me.

could. I wrote one of the songs [for

I’m now playing electric and my

Sugarcoated] while staying there,”

sound has changed from [acoustic

said Leone.

singer-songwriter] to pop to more

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 5


BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 6


R&B with pop influence.” Leone’s “Overexposed” reflects this. The track has an “old-school soul” vibe that’s more “modernized.” “Instead of a big band feel, it has 808s,” she said. Leone’s most recent single “Night Ride” is an R&B breakup anthem reflecting on times she had with an ex-lover. Produced by Jacob Durrett, he and Ashley created a chorus that’s hard to not put on replay. The music video is simple but emotional, filmed at a loft in the city of Nashville. It was exclusively premiered on No Country for New Nashville and has been placed on YouTube’s New R&B playlist. Leone will soon be releasing her next single “Rich” that will hopefully have a video tied along with it as well. She is also playing her next show at the High Watt in Nashville on July 19. Overall, Leone is excited for what the rest of 2017 has to bring and we can’t wait either. “I feel like I’m the most focused I’ve ever been.” Be sure to keep up with Ashley on social media and catch her live show if she’s in the area.

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 7


interview and photos by hannah jones

EMAROSA

BRADLEY WALDEN Emarosa, a Lexington, KY-based posthardcore band that has seen drastic line-up changes and experienced an everInstagram.com/emarosa Twitter.com/emarosa Facebook.com/emarosa

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 8

evolving sound has finally hit their stride with their latest album 131. Nearly a year since the release, the band is still riding the success of the album.


Being the second LP with former Squid the Whale vocalist Bradley Walden as leadsinger and first release with Hopeless Records, this took a slight turn from what they have done in the past and it worked. Regardless of it’s critical or commercial success, it is important to note that this album is what the musicians wanted to make. No longer trying to please others, Emarosa put out a record that truly emulates what the band is today. “This one feels like we knew what we were doing. You can’t rush it. I wanted to make sure that I wrote and was part of a record that I felt proud of, and when you get to that point, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. We found that vibe that solidified that yes, this is what I really want to do,” said Walden. Backstage at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Walden was getting ready for Emarosa’s set. They were in the middle of a massive tour with Chapel, Sum 41 and Pierce the Veil. While it is a popular move to tour with similar bands that share your fan base, that is not quite the case with these four artists. What that leads to is a beautiful way of introducing new music that people may not have listened to it before. “Slowly, but surely we’re bringing people into what we’re doing. We’re seeing kids and people come to our shows who have seen us at

“This one feels like we knew what we were doing. You can’t rush it. I wanted to make sure that I wrote and was part of a record that I felt proud of, and when you get to that point, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says...”

different tours” said Walden. Emarosa also has some one-off headlining dates sprinkled ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 9


in throughout this run, which is drawing in fans, new and old, from all over. With the majority of people consuming music digitally in 2017, the topic of streaming is one of much debate in the music industry. Recently, Emarosa’s song, “Helpless� hit 3 million plays on Spotify. In 2017, that is quite an achievement and something to be proud of. The popularity of that specific song pleasantly surprised the band, as it is different from what their fans had been drawn to before. They are lucky to have a great fan base that, for the most part, has happily embraced their shift in sound and continue to support Emarosa. Personally, Walden does not really mind how people hear his music. That is one major reason why having their live show be memorable is so important to him. It is what gets kids to go home

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 10


and listen to the album, buy merchandise or come out to more of their shows. Known for his on and off-stage antics, Walden is a very dynamic performer. Usually utilizing whatever environment he’s in, it’s not uncommon to find him climbing on something that has security guards cringing. This specific set found him entering the crowd multiple times, even once being carried around on the shoulders of a fan, without skipping a beat of the song. Walden explains, “It started on Warped 2015, I got a little crazy and hung upside down one day. It got a lot of buzz and I just started to push the envelope and see what I could get away with.” This kind of electric and interactive stage presence can quickly help a band make an impact on viewers and keep them returning to see what will happen next time. It’s no surprise the band was on everybody’s mustphotograph list at last year’s Warped Tour. Emarosa is at a point where it is only looking up from here. It has taken some time, but the best things always do. While still enjoying the high of releasing 131, they are excited to get back into the studio soon to record a reimagined version of the album.

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 11


BRIT DANIELS interview by kaitlyn midgett photos by acacia evans

Instagram.com/britdanielsmusic Twitter.com/britdmusic

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Brit Daniels might hail from Texas, but that doesn’t mean that she has to be placed in the country or singer/songwriter box. Daniels is passionate about pop music, and she’s very careful about distinguishing between the two genres. “Honestly in [Nashville], the shows are all writers rounds so you’re doing it acoustic. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate, so I’m very particular with the shows that I play. I don’t want there to be any confusion as to what genre I fall into.” As a child, Daniels’ mom was a big influence on her love of music. Even though nobody in her family is necessarily musical, her mom wanted her future daughter to have a deep appreciation for music. She used to put headphones on her belly when she was pregnant with her. She swears that she knew that Brit was born to sing when she heard her “scream singing” nursery rhymes in the backyard at only a few years old. As a selfproclaimed choir nerd, Daniels ultimately cultivated her singing chops while singing first soprano in school choirs from elementary school to high school. After her freshman year of college, Daniels’ father, who was a police officer, died in the line of duty. The resulting grief and trauma has influenced Brit’s lyrics and her propensity to write dark pop music. Brit’s most recent

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 13


single, and perfect representation of this style, is “Shadows” – a song she describes as a “Halsey mixed with Sia vibe.” In Brit’s unique songwriting process, she writes about her specific experiences and then makes them a bit broader in order to keep her songs relatable to each different listener. Her previous single, “Eulogy,” she worked on with Thirty Seconds to Mars’ producer Jordan Galvan. It’s been getting incredible feedback since its release and has been making rounds on various Spotify playlists. After re-recording the original track with Galvan’s help, Brit is much more in love with it. “I love the vibe. There’s nothing out

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 14


“I have had the luck and the blessings to have met so many people that are doing big things and believe in me and want to work with me. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is where I’m supposed to be.”

there that compares a relationship to death.” Currently, Brit is working hard to release singles and promote them to the best of her ability. She loves living in Nashville and experiencing how much it evolves over time. She also finds that the pop music community, although small and sometimes competitive, is supportive to one another at the end of the day. Throughout the hardships in her life and the ups and downs of a music career, Brit Daniels knows that she is on the right path. “I have had the luck and the blessings to have met so many people that are doing big things and believe in me and want to work with me. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is where I’m supposed to be.”

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 15


CHORD OVERSTREET interview by lexy fields photos by acacia evans

Chord Overstreet was born and raised in Nashville, TN and just made his debut there once again, this time sharing the stage with both his band and his father.

Instagram.com/chordover Twitter.com/chordoverstreet

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 16


Leaving his young television character as ‘Sam’ on Glee behind him, Overstreet is more than ready to put his original music out to the world. His Los Angeles look was met with some Nashville style as he greeted his team with a smile. His first song released under Safehouse Records, “Homeland”, had a music video that was filmed all around his hometown. For Nashville locals, many of the locations are recognizable. “A lot of people don’t know me, even if they’re aware of me,” said Overstreet. “It was a way to introduce myself and to show authenticity as an artist.” Overstreet is a firm believer that playing live shows are a whole new experience for him. The vibe of the crowd is honestly different every time and it allows him to feed off of the energy. After admitting that doing the same song, all day, over and over was exhaustive on his old TV show, the Nashville native also said that it was an extremely weird transition for him. “I just love creating art,

it was writing or singing,” he confessed.

which is really an extension of myself,” Overstreet

“He has shown me the storytelling aspect

said as a smile began to form.

of being a musician. Everyone looks up to their dad and I’m lucky that others look

With his whole family being involved in the music

up to mine as well.”

and entertainment industry, it was no surprise when Overstreet wanted to experience it for

Though it was a nurturing, encouraging

himself. His father, Paul, is a country music singer-

environment rather than a competitive

songwriter while his brother Nash is a guitarist

one, Overstreet said that his first itch

in the pop genre. Not only does Overstreet play

to perform came after his brother had

multiple instruments but also writes his own

joined a band called Hot Chelle Rae. The

music - an important aspect in his career. “I always

band would play a variety of television

wanted to do what my dad was doing, whether

shows and venues and would have him ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 17


feelings and vibe of the original song, which is something he holds at the utmost importance. He also got the opportunity to perform the remix on The Today Show in New York City and the recorded version been added to multiple popular Spotify playlists. As always, we asked Overstreet the three artists that he would most like to play a show with. His answer - “James Taylor, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and of course, Elvis Presley.” Be sure to follow Overstreet on social media to keep up to date with what’s happening next.

help soundcheck them prior to their official performance that day. His latest single “Hold On” is based on a trying relationship that he previously had. Between the crazy stories stemming from that and losing someone close to him to drug addiction, Overstreet was ready to write his feelings out for the world to hear. “It honestly is a hybrid of emotions and came from me wanting to tell that story,” he said. “Regardless of the flaws and the terrible things in different relationships, you still miss that person at the end of the day.” A remix of “Hold On” was released on May 18, done by Deepend and approved by Overstreet. He believes that the remix stays true to the

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 18


“I always wanted to do what my dad was doing, whether it was writing or singing.”

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 19


DREW CHADWICK written by kaitlyn midgett photos by acacia evans

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 20


BCT got the chance to hang out with Drew Chadwick for ten minutes backstage at a Saving Innocence charity event in Los Angeles, and he might just be one of the most interesting people we’ve come across. Through his involvement in a previous band, Chadwick knows the ins and outs of the music business. He knows that co-writing is an important part of any songwriter’s journey, even though it might not be his favorite thing to do. “I’d go into a session and felt like I wrote 90% of [the song] and I’d get a third of 11% [of the royalties.] But on a record, it’s good to have a few songs that you’ve co-written and then for the rest you can do your own thing. It’s the balance. You gotta make the label happy,” said Chadwick. Drew Chadwick also knows what’s most important to him at the end of the day, and that’s evident through his work with Saving Innocence. The nonprofit, which is based out of LA, is focused on preventing and reporting instances of human trafficking and sex slavery, rescuing victims, and empowering survivors. Through his own research, Chadwick got involved with Saving Innocence and in order to raise money for the cause. “I just hate that the police force is using all of their money on drug wars and cannabis and this petty shit when there’s literally children being molested

I really just want people to wake up into that oneness realization where they feel like they are everything and everything is one, and that’s where compassion and healing can begin. ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 21


Even though Chadwick had quite the journey so far, he feels as though he pretty much has to start from scratch, as the fans of his old band haven’t necessarily crossed over to his solo career. Chadwick is locked, loaded, and ready to make his move. For the first time ever, he finally finding himself as an artist. Chadwick has real solo artist debut show on June 23 in Los Angeles and will be touring the United States this summer. He’s also been keeping up to date with his social media and raped. They’re being passed around like an object. It’s the most horrific, disgusting thing and nobody wants to talk about it,” he said. Chadwick is also clearly passionate about music. He’s been writing songs since he was 12-years-old when he found an old guitar in his mom’s closet. After she wouldn’t let him play it for sentimental reasons, Chadwick headed to his friend Steven Baker’s house where Steven’s dad taught him how to play “Smoke on the Water.” “His dad was a legend. He had a tiny house and pretty much nothing. But he was chilling on the front porch smoking a cigarette and playing guitar. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen.” BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 22

where you can keep up with all things Drew Chadwick. Be sure to keep checking up on the release of his tour dates, when he will begin recording this music and how he is making a change in the world. “I


really just want people to wake up into that oneness realization where they feel like they are everything and everything is one, and that’s where compassion and healing can begin.�

Instagram.com/drewchadwick Twitter.com/truechadwick

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 23


I truly have a good relationship with the cast, we’ve grown up together, we’ve all gone through it together.

EMMA KENNEY interview + photos by acacia evans

17-year-old Shameless star, Emma Kenney, has been acting ever since her mom put her in improv classes at the age of four in New Jersey. As most kids do, she tried many activities before discovering that acting was the only thing she actually enjoyed doing. She thrived off her love of improv classes for years, and ended up acting in student films at NYU Tisch School of the Arts as a child. At the age of ten, Kenney moved to Los Angeles with her father to pursue a fulltime career in acting. She played various

Twitter.com/emmarosekenney

smaller film roles before going through

Instagram.com/emmarosekenney

an extensive audition process to land her role as Debbie in the Showtime television

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 24


series Shameless. “I just kind of liked the idea of a TV show and wanted to go to L.A. and Chicago. The character looked cool and the plot looked cool.” she said. Shameless magnifies the life of a six children family born from an alcoholic father, Frank Gallagher, and an absent mother with bipolar disorder. Though seen to some as a comedy, Kenney clarifies it strictly as a “straight up drama.” She recalled a couple of intensely graphic and emotional scenes, where she was crying on set, that accurately represented what mental illness and addiction can be like. “I liked how it wasn’t glorifying,” she said. “My show doesn’t glorify drug use. It’s raw and real and shows you the downside effects of drug use.” What a lot of viewers don’t realize is that many of the cast members quite literally grew up on set together. Ethan Cutkosky, who plays Carl on the show, and Kenney both dedicated their childhoods to working on Shameless. For the younger cast members, it was really their first big break. “None of us [in reference to the younger cast members] were really in the spotlight

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 25


before. This was all kind of our first real

jokingly called “the worst Gallagher” amongst

gig,” said Kenney. “I truly have a good

younger fans online. “Some people love my

relationship with the cast, we’ve grown

character; some people hate it. That goes with

up together, we’ve all gone through it

any kind of person or character - television,

together.”

life, movie, whatever. It doesn’t bother me because I know that’s not who I am.”

There is more to the acting biz than just maintaining healthy relationships

When she’s not filming, Kenney is a huge

with your co-workers, though. Being

animal activist and is currently working with

humble on set is a quality that Kenney

the animal rights organization, PETA. She

firmly stands by. It’s something, along

loves to spend time with her close friends,

with many other things, that she learned

be in charge of the AUX cord in the car and

from four-time Golden Globe nominee

travel. In regards to her career, directing

William H. Macy and Academy Award

and filmmaking outside of Los Angeles is

nominee Joan Cusack – an experience

what comes to mind for when Shameless

that has been “more than she could

wraps up. Until then, be sure to check out

ever ask for.”

the series on Netflix and follow Kenney on social media to keep up to date with her crazy,

Kenney has also learned to deal with

wonderful life and the taping of Shameless’

hate and criticism she receives in regards

8th season.

to her character, Debbie, who has been

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 26


“Some people love my character; some people hate it. That goes with any kind of person or character - television, life, movie, whatever. It doesn’t bother me because I know that’s not who I am.”

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 27


JACOB MARTIN interview by kaitlyn midgett photos by acacia evans BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 28

Jacob Martin has faced some true adversity in his life, but it never stopped him from chasing after his dreams.

Instagram.com/jacobmartmusic Twitter.com/jacobmartmusic


At the young age of eight, Martin was

Craigslist ads to find his band members

diagnosed with a virus that attacked his

and started the Jacob Martin Country band.

spinal cord called Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Soon enough, the group was off to Nashville

After a long battle with doctors thinking

to be closer to the music business. “When

that he was faking it and not being able to

I was in Minneapolis doing this pop/rock

figure out what was actually wrong with

thing and I heard this country music that

him, he was given a wheelchair and told that he would never walk again. As Martin struggled with no longer being able to actively play with his friends and his brother, he turned to music. He performed at community talent shows and local fairs to show off his new passion. His mom taught him how to play some chords on the guitar and it all started from there. After a year in the wheelchair, Jacob worked as hard as he could at physical therapy and miraculously learned to walk again. “I believe that my higher power has always had a plan for me,” said Martin. Jacob Martin’s music taste is all over the map. He enjoys everything from Garth Brooks to U2 to Panic at the Disco. At age 16, Jacob started to play in rock bands with his older brother who plays guitar as well. Hailing from Iowa, Martin also traveled to Chicago to sing in an alternative band. Eventually, Martin felt like he had come full circle. This was when he put out some

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 29


was amped up just enough. It was a song by The Lost Trailers called ‘Holler Back.’ I loved country music but it was too

“I believe that my higher power has always had a plan for me...”

twangy for me. This was the perfect mix of pop, rock and country,” he said. In 2012, the band released their album Country in the City which opened up a lot of doors for them. As the LP made its way around music row, the band started working with Lyric Street, the label behind country greats like Love and Theft and Rascal Flatts. Eventually, the band had the support of Sony ATV songwriter and producer Jody Stevens. Stevens and the band worked on an EP together in 2014, which included single “Look at What You Started.” The music video landed the boys on CMT and made it to number 2. The band is still working together, but now Jacob Martin is more in the forefront of the project. Recently, Jacob got to work with Eric Bass of Shinedown on a track called “Outlaws.” The pair wanted to appeal to a younger audience of sorts. “Outlaws,” which was released in April as a single, is on the band’s aptly named EP, While We’re Still Young. With his growing success as a musician, Jacob Martin is ready to give back to Shriners Hospitals for Children, a

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 30


nonprofit that is close to his heart.

the age of 18. So far, Martin has played

Shriners Hospital, which helped Jacob

one benefit show for the hospital and

and his parents afford his much needed

is excited to continue on his journey of

leg braces, provides medical care for a

giving back through his music.

wide array of conditions for free until

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 31


JUSTIN PRENTICE interview + photos by acacia evans

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 32


Nashville, Tennessee-native, Justin Prentice,

by Tom McCarthy and Selena Gomez, he

recently landed his biggest role to-date

thought, “Wow okay, this is going to be

as ‘Bryce Walker’ on the Netflix series 13

pretty cool.”

Reasons Why, a television series adapted from a book written in 2007 by young adult

Prentice got a callback for his current role

author, Jay Asher. The plot follows the story

as ‘Bryce’, the head jock and “bad guy” of

of ‘Hannah Baker’, a high school student

Liberty High School. To his surprise, Yorkey

who commits suicide and sends tapes out

and McCarthy were sitting right in front

to thirteen people she says contributed

of him in the callback room - McCarthy

to her taking her own life. It has been

freshly honored with an Academy Award.

controversial, to say the least.

“I was thinking ‘They’re just going to judge my performance and everything I’ve ever

Young Prentice started acting in

worked on,” joked Prentice. “I guess I didn’t

community theater and was a member of

screw up too bad.”

drama club in middle school. Somewhere during that time, he happened to run into

13 Reasons Why has become the most

the right people at the right time. At the

tweeted about show of the year, according

age of thirteen, Prentice moved to Los

to official Twitter analytics. This is most

Angeles with his new manager and team, realizing there wasn’t much Nashville could offer him on a larger scale when it came to acting. He landed reccurring roles in teen shows such as Glee, iCarly and Awkward along with more family and adult roles in series like Malibu Country and Preacher after working for years on the West Coast. When the word of a new opportunity for 13 Reasons Why came along, Prentice was intrigued. After seeing that it was developed by Brian Yorkey and produced ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 33


We’re hoping kids will watch with their friends and their parents, and we’ll all be able to ease into these dialogues that are hard to initiate. likely due to publicizing and attempting to normalize real life issues such as suicide, rape, sexuality and more. Though these are common things that occur every single day, society often has a difficult time admitting to it. Talking about them is hard, and starting the conversation is even harder. “I think it makes it easier to talk about,” said Prentice. “We’re hoping kids will watch with their friends and their parents, and we’ll all be able to ease into these dialogues that are hard to initiate. It’s an important message and I think it’s very relevant to what kids are going

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 34


through in high school right now. They’re dark topics. It’s a really heavy subject matter, but it’s crucial that we start talking about it.” If you aren’t familiar with the show, Prentice’s character, Bryce, is a rapist. Throughout the series he rapes two of the main female characters with, seemingly, no sense of remorse. Prentice admits he did a lot of research before taking on this role, including talking to close friends and family members who were kind enough to speak out to him about their personal rape victim stories. He also talked to a handful of mental health professionals and psychiatrists to get insight into the minds of those who sexually assault and others who are suffering from

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 35


“I think these issues hit close to home for all of us, which brought us really close together. We all had to have each other’s back to make it through the experience.” BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 36


various mental illnesses. Prentice also

the star behind the role. For people who

spoke with Alexis Jones of I Am That Girl

haven’t had the opportunity to meet Justin

– a nonprofit organization that creates

himself, he is truly a genuine, funny and

a safe space for young women to have

intelligent guy. If anyone were to be able

“honest conversations about things that

to handle vicious fans, it would be him.

matter.” Jones herself also travels to locker

“You get the random hate comments that

rooms around the nation to talk to college

flow in, but then there are also a bunch of

athletes and educate them about consent

people who will defend my name, which is

and sexual assault.

awesome. Most of them are pretty good at differentiating between the character and

Prentice revelas the cast prepares for

actor,” he said.

the hard scenes by sticking together and supporting each other. Although he was

Prentice plans on working more with

initially shocked by the rough spots of

Alexis Jones alongside other various

the plot and the things he had to act out,

suicide, rape and mental health awareness

he says that rehearsal makes you semi-

organizations in the future. He is also

numb to it. “I think these issues hit close

working on season 2 of AMC’s Preacher and

to home for all of us, which brought us

dabbling with some behind the camera

really close together. We all had to have

work. In his free time, Prentice loves getting

each other’s back to make it through the

out into the woods, reading and learning

experience. I had someone close to me

about science. Be sure to catch Justin in 13

who took his own life and I feel like we all

Reasons Why on Netflix and stay tuned for

know someone, or know someone that

a second season!

knows someone, and that’s unfortunately the world we live in,” he said. “On the day (of filming) you just kind of lend yourself to the character and let it fly, I guess.”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Predictably, Prentice gets the short end of the stick when it comes to hate mail and

Instagram.com/justinprentice

nasty threats online. Entertainment lovers

Twitter.com/justin.prentice

sometimes have a hard time separating actors from their characters, as they don’t personally get the opportunity to meet ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 37


LOVELYTHEBAND interview + photos by acacia evans

With over 750k Spotify streams on their

grew up in a creative household that was

debut single “Broken” that was premiered

primarily revolved around the television

via Billboard on April 13, lovelytheband

industry and has played for various acts

is already shaking up the music scene.

during his time living in Nashville before

The band was created by Oh Honey’s

making the move back to Los Angeles.

Mitchy Collins who asked guitarist Jordan

Once hearing the songs from Collins, he

Greenwald and drummer Kosta Theodosis

immediately knew it was a perfect match.

to be a part of his new project. Greenwald

Theodosis is originally from Australia and

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 38


has been touring professionally with artists for over 10 years. He also has a background and degree in jazz music. Collins has been in a couple of other groups with “moderate success,” but he felt that he had a different side to him creatively that he had yet to tap into. Over the past year and a half, he’s been in and out of the studio, working to make this side of him come to life. He wanted to take his personal life changes and put them into new art, even though he was unsure of what the outcome would be. With support of his close friends, he received an incredible amount of positive feedback during the developmental process. “I guess this is turning into something,” he thought. “Broken” identifies the human desire to find people that are equally as troubled and messed up as we are. Everybody is looking for friendships and relationships with people that understand and emphasize with similar feelings

about trying figuring out life together with people that understand you and taking battles as they come. The band has a direct focus on the feel, vibe and aesthetic of their image. They worked with director and photographer Jonathan Hoeg to accurately portray this through the lyric video for “Broken.” Hoeg assisted to create a visual

and experiences. This song is

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storyline with two beautiful women

and eventually a music video for

that keep viewers wanting to watch

“Broken.” The timeline is unknown as

all the way through. “Whenever I do

the band is going to be playing it by

anything I have a vision set out. I

ear, basing releases off of responses

don’t like to wing things,” said Collins.

they’re getting from fans and friends.

“When you close your eyes, what

In the meantime, keep an eye out for

are you going to see when you hear

some potential Los Angeles pop-up

lovelytheband?”

shows and even a tour with some of their good friends.

The future of lovelytheband looks brighter than ever. They will be releasing more music single by single

Instagram.com/lovelytheband Twitter.com/lovelytheband

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 41


MADELINE LAUER

interview + photos by acacia evans

Instagram.com/madelinelauer Twitter.com/Madelinelauer Youtube.com/madelinelauer

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Madeline Lauer grew up in Columbus, Ohio,

Madeline then came to the honest realization

performing in several talent shows and high

that she didn’t have much to write about. She had

school plays. Always knowing she was born to be

a near perfect childhood, was extremely happy

a singer, her parents wouldn’t allow her to start

and hadn’t experienced any major obstacles or

that career path until she was 18-years-old and

trauma. It was then that her producer told her

a high school graduate. The only real experience

that she needed to go live life. She had to go

she had was occasionally flying to a studio in Chicago on weekends that her grandfather’s friend owned to create some tracks. During her senior year of high school, an agent she met at a talent competition asked her to come to Los Angeles and record an album with him. It was this interaction that provoked Madeline to move to the West Coast with her dad halfway through her senior year of high school and finish up taking the home-schooling route. Everything was going okay until everyone finally came to the consensus that things just weren’t working the way they were supposed to be. Madeline wasn’t cut out to be pure pop. There was something missing, but she didn’t have the courage yet to stand up and say what kind of music she really wanted to be playing. With influences like Toni Braxton, Aaliyah and Eric Benet, she was meant to be travelling down another road.

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 43


through real life experiences if she wanted to create real, meaningful music. “He told me that if I was going to start writing my own music, that I needed to live. I started pretty much saying yes to any opportunity or really anyone and anything that came my way,” said Madeline. Although this might sound fun at first, she ended up in some odd situations. At one point, she had an unknown, young producer from the Bay Area live with her for a while where they created a “grimey and trappy” album. It ended up being more sexual and dirty than anything else; not quite what Madeline was about. “I was going through a phase,” said Madeline. “I was really lost at this point and frustrated with this industry.” After not hearing from her daughter for weeks, Madeline’s mom finally got ahold of her and asked her to come home for a while. Madeline was depressed for the first time in her life. She thought that she was going to end up in Ohio forever and needed to begin looking for places to live. She was tired of working with producers in the music industry that wanted more from her than just a musical relationship, and didn’t think she would find anyone that really cared. Her mother thought

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 44


Madeline’s upcoming album, Open Book, will be a collection of songs that she has worked on throughout the past couple of years while living in Los Angeles and working with her boyfriend. Her songwriting process consists of constantly writing down notes in her phone and in various notebooks. She finds a beat or makes a beat, and then takes anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to complete the song. “I love to have a little heartache. I don’t know why. It keeps me going.” Open Book looks like it’s going to be a standout. There will be a slew of 90’s influence along with some horns. We can already feel her soul/R&B vibe with her otherwise; she wasn’t going to let Madeline give up on her dreams. “Why don’t you just learn how to make your own music,” said Madeline’s mother. Madeline moved back to the LA and worked at a small studio in Burbank, California. It was there that she and a local record producer fell in love. They would share music and talk about life. He was the one person that understood her and her message, someone that wasn’t using her and was just as passionate about what she was trying to create.

latest sexy single “Come Around” and the heartfelt music video for it. “The beats are a little trippy, they’re all made with a drum machine,” said Madeline. Outside of creating beautiful music, you can catch Madeline watching horror flicks, spending time outdoors and relaxing with her diverse group of friends. She’ll most likely be listening to Aaliyah, Frank Ocean, Miguel and Chance the Rapper. Be sure to keep an eye out for Open Book, out June 9th, and when she may be playing in your area. ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 45


MIKE TAYLOR interview by kaitlyn midgett photos by acacia evans

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 46


Growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mike Taylor was always around music. Being the son of a jazz musician, Taylor learned how to play the saxophone early on. From a young age, he was always dancing around and enjoying all kinds of music. This upbringing influenced his music style, which is especially true of his hit single “Electric Church.” The track was initially meant to be a soul infused track, but through working with esteemed DJ and producer Afrojack, the world was introduced to an electric dance song with soulful elements. “I like to challenge myself and make sure that I’m living on the edge of being uncomfortable,” said Taylor. ‘Art’ might as well be Taylor’s middle name. He tackles all different mediums — from unique patterns and art to his music. Taylor’s music is just as much about visuals as it is about the lyrics. The unique print for his brand translates into his visual identity — it’s used on his social media, his album artwork

“I think that I’m just going to keep working until they tell me to stop”

and even on a limited run of vinyl copies for Record Store Day. “I had the whole idea about creating a print that I could wear. In the ‘90s, brand identity was a whole thing. It was a lifestyle. Just from the aesthetic alone, you knew what was going on. So I wanted to bring the brand back to that,” he said.

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Taylor has also expressed interest in other mediums to display his art. When he goes on his next tour, he wants to sell exclusive, one of a kind art in galleries and pop up shops. Additionally, he is filming a mini documentary series that will show his fans a sneak peek into his daily life. He also has a strong work ethic and commitment to making his art the best that it can be — he says If all goes according to plan (and his team can get him to stop working), the full length will be released in late summer/early fall. For now, you can jam out to Taylor’s latest EP Feels Good. Taylor showcased the vibrant colors of Mexico in the song’s music video, which was released last month. You can also catch Mike Taylor on tour this summer with Unlike Pluto.

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I like to challenge myself and make sure that I’m living on the edge of being uncomfortable. Instagram.com/iammiketaylor Twitter.com/iammiketaylor

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REBECCA BLACK interview + photos by acacia evans

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Rebecca Black spent most of her teenage years homeschooled. With her parents both being full time veterinarians, she had more time alone than anticipated. It was during this period that Rebecca realized she really wanted to cultivate herself as an artist. She had released some music previously, but it was never a true representation of herself. A lot of people were telling her what to do and how she needed to act. None of it felt right. Growing up listening to Michael Jackson and the Bee Gees with her mom and Kings of Leon with her dad, 15-year-old Black knew that there was music out there other than the Top 40 she had been honing in on. She headed to Spotify and Pandora to see what else could potentially be out there. During this time, she discovered a whole new world of music consisting of Young the Giant, Temper Trap, Glass Animals, Daughter and many more. “Maybe this is the kind of music I want to do, maybe it’s about the alternative stuff,” thought Black. Fast forward to 2016, Black released her single “The Great Divide,” the first glimpse of music we’ve caught since 2013. She’s also developed an incredible fashion, beauty and music collaboration

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 51


YouTube channel with over one million

lived out here in Los Angeles on my own

subscribers. But those three years away

for a good eight months. In the process

from releasing music were vital for Black.

of figuring myself out, what I first had to

She used this this time figure herself out.

realize was how lost I was.”

“The Great Divide was written about this time last year and I, at that point, had

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 52

“The Great Divide” placed Black back to square one. For the longest time, she felt


like she needed to heal from everything that had pained her in the past. She thought that she had to be someone who wasn’t bothered and didn’t care about anything – someone who needed to be fine all the time. Writing the song forced her to get vulnerable with herself. It pushed her to be kinder to herself and be able to reach out to a broader audience that she ended up captivating so well. The meaning of “The Great Divide” is truly versatile and can apply to various situations. “I don’t think people realize how disconnected some people are and I didn’t either until I stopped lying to myself, said Black. “You gotta let go at some point.” Her newest single “Foolish” is groovy and funky, giving her developed sound an even broader, but still cohesive, representation. This is the first song Black has written that strictly pertains to her love life and being more expressive about sexuality. It was inspired by the time she was getting into her first real relationship and the “awesome, terrifying, vulnerable” rush of it all. The “Foolish” music video matches up to this theme exactly. From dancing in the club to getting a little scandalous in the pool, it’s absolutely worth the watch. Black’s popular YouTube channel covers literally everything “girly.” She vlogs about ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 53


BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 54


boys, her favorite clothes, bucket lists and, of course, covers. She’s collaborated with anyone from her good friend Olivia O’Brien to Max Ehrich to recreate some of her favorite songs. Speaking of favorite clothes, some of her top pics are Dr. Martens, leather pants and big jackets. More is more, right? When

So many people preach the idea of staying strong.

she’s not working music, she’s hanging out

While I think that is

with her best friends and helping her parents

a beautiful message,

on their journey to conserve wild life through their veterinary work. Being a 19-year-old in the spotlight is hard. It’s

I think it puts so much pressure on

even harder as a 13-year-old. Black has dealt

girls to be tough,

with this personally and experienced it first-

to be big, to not let

hand for years and years. “So many people preach the idea of staying strong. While I think

anything bother

that is a beautiful message, I think it puts so

them. But at the end

much pressure on girls to be tough, to be big, to not let anything bother them. But at the

of the day, we’re all

end of the day, we’re all human,” said Black.

human,”

Rebecca has some incredible things to look forward to. She’s currently in the midst of working on a five or six song EP along with some potential shows in the fall. Be sure to check out her new singles, YouTube Channel and social media accounts to stay updated. You may even find her as a host on

Instagram.com/msrebeccablack Twitter.com/MsRebeccaBlack

AwesomenessTV.

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 55


SAVANNAH OUTEN

interview by kaitlyn midgett photos by acacia evans

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 56


Savannah Outen has been singing since

handful of artists posting music on YouTube

she could talk. When 13-year-old Outen

including Dutch singer Esmée Denters,

discovered that she actually wanted to give

Cimorelli and Justin Bieber. These artists

the music thing a true chance, her parents

were the face of YouTube and helped

flew with her out to Los Angeles where she

really launch and open the website into

participated in a talent contest, judged by

the world of music. “I’m so thankful for

Raven-Symoné, and won second place. After

YouTube because nobody would know

she came home, her parents encouraged

my music and I wouldn’t have gotten to

her to sign up for a YouTube account

do the things that I’ve done so far. It has

because they thought it would be a good

been an amazing platform. However, I will

way to connect with people in the music

say that it has changed drastically and it’s

industry. Nervous that her friends would

not so much about music anymore, which

find her channel, Savannah posted under

is totally fine. Things change and evolve,”

somewhat of an alias — “Savannah7448.”

said Outen.

And yes, it still exists. Regardless, Savannah is coming up on her When her original music and covers started

10th year of YouTube. It’s been somewhat

to take off, Outen was part of a small

of a learning curve, but now she has a ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 57


...I’m still writing about what I’m going through and being honest. I’ve never been one to hide anything...

formula that works for her — only posting songs that she is passionate about, whether that be because of the lyrics, message, or just the song itself. Outen has been working on original music and is transitioning to more of a mature sound. After all, her track “Goodbyes” was written when she was heading off to a different high school than her best friend. Outen’s self-described “super pop” beginnings might have changed in the ten years since, but one thing will always stay the same — “I think that one thing that hasn’t changed is that I’m

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still writing about what I’m going through and being honest. I’ve never been one to hide anything. I’ll write about anything and I don’t care if an ex hears about it. Stylistically it has grown, evolved and become mature sounding, but I’m still writing about my life and just being an open book,” said Outen. Outen released “Coins” a few months ago, which served as sort of an introduction to her new wave of music. As an anthem for her followers and a message to the music industry, Savannah is showing off her confident, ‘giving zero craps about what you think’ side. It’s a bit of a departure from her “girl with a guitar” days, but in some ways feels more authentic and natural for this point in her life. In addition to her music, Outen is also stepping out into the wide world of fashion through her jewelry line with Stilnest called

which is her home base when she’s not in Oregon. Because of streaming, Savannah is strategically thinking of the best way that her music can make an impact, and for now, that means releasing singles. She hopes that she’ll be able to release an EP but the end of this year.

“Tempo.” Her simple and classic earring and ring collection is in part inspired by her love of music that brings her back to her roots. Savannah herself wears an item from the

Instagram.com/therealsavannah Twitter.com/therealsavannah

collection almost every day. As for new music, “Coins” marks the beginning of a new journey for Savannah Outen. She’ll be performing shows around Los Angeles,

ISSUE 10, JUNE 2017 | 59


SPENCER SUTHERLAND

interview by niki major photos by acacia evans

BIG CITY THOUGHTS | 60


If you haven’t already heard of Spencer Sutherland, it’s guaranteed that within the next few months you will. Big City Thoughts had the pleasure of hanging out with him for a few hours and learned tons about him (Spoiler alert: There is a lot more than a pretty face and killer vocals). Raised in Ohio, there was not a time growing up when Sutherland wasn’t singing or performing. He was involved in school musicals, made YouTube videos and played shows at local restaurants. Some restaurants would say no, but the ones who said yes would pay him twenty dollars or a give him a free meal - not a bad gig for a kid in high school. “Every day after school for a while I would go to the Yellow Pages to look up restaurants and then I would just call,” said Sutherland. Through years of releasing content on his own, Sutherland met his manager who found and reached out to him via YouTube. Just three days after she discovered him, she asked if he wanted to open up Big Time Rush’s tour. At this point in his career, Sutherland was still traveling back and forth from

...I went from playing in front of 21 people at a mexican restaurant to playing in front of 10 thousand people...

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Ohio to Los Angeles, couch surfing - bringing more and more things with him each time he came until eventually he made the move. “It was crazy. I went from playing in front of 21 people at a Mexican restaurant to playing in front of 10 thousand people. It was where I needed to be,” said Sutherland. Not only is he a musician, Sutherland is also signed to Ford Models whose roster includes Tyson Ritter from The All-American Rejects, actor Channing Tatum and so many more. He is signed as a singer who wants to model on the side, which means he isn’t obligated to have a full-time modelling schedule. This takes a ton of pressure off his crazy busy schedule. Sutherland also mentioned that he has recently begun professionally acting as well. He will make his debut as young Billy Ray Cyrus on the show Still the King on CMT. Unfortunately, BCT can’t provide you with a visual of the iconic Billy Ray mullet, but believe us, it is worth tuning in for. Spencer released the music video for his single “Selfish” back in February. The visualization quite literally came to him in the middle of the night and he immediately called his friend Chase to tell him the idea. The video takes place on the roof of Chase’s building and is a representation of what goes on in our minds, when you are feeling selfishly in love.

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Not only is the song cleverly delivering the message, the video does a great job of bringing the lyrics to life, too, making us wonder - do we dare to cross the line of being Selfish with our lover? “I think everybody’s felt selfish with someone that you’re with. Like, I don’t want you to go hangout with your friends, I want all of your attention and affection because I’m so obsessed with you!” said Sutherland. Sutherland will be hopping on The Pink Couch Tour this June with Round2Crew. The tour begins in New York and ends in Nashville, hitting tons of cities in between. What is Spencer’s favorite thing about touring? He loves performing, meeting his fans and seeing their reactions. There is also some new music on the horizon and a new EP late summer/early fall.

Instagram.com/Spencermusic1 Twitter.com/Spencermusic1

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BIG CITY THOUGHTS - 1

Big City Thoughts - Issue #10  
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