Issue 45 | Taylor Cassidy

Page 1


PRINT NOT DEAD SUPPORT INDIE PUBLISHERS


T IS

D. reignlandmag.com/shop




This has been a long over due issue. I apologize to the you, the readers, for being fashionably late but I promise it was worth the wait. This issue is my aesthetic dream honestly. I think I finally found my flow for this publication and I am in love. I took some time off to really revisit why I started this brand in the first place. and to map out where I want it to go. As always, this publication is ment to bring to light the stories of those who inspire us to keep going. It is for the artist who feel overlooked. I am a fan first. There are no gate keepers here. This publication is created for the creative in you and no matter what you are always welcomed here. I will never change that format, no matter what becomes popular to do. As a journalist, I take pride in writing facts and telling the story correctly. It's good to be back. Welcome to Forty Five.





Filah L


Lah Lah PHOTOS COURTESY OF D EIN-CONRAD O'TOOLEE STORY BY ELLA AUD REY RAE


Fila Lah Lah is r eady t o br in g u s back in t o h er soot h in g R&B oasis w it h t h e 'We Ar e Gon n a Be Ju st Fin e" EP, ar r ivin g Oct ober 25t h . Th is sin ger , son gw r it er , an d m odel cam e on t o t h e scen e w it h a br eat h t ak in g debu t sin gle t it led, 'Th is Is' in 2020. Not icin g t h at h er f an s cou ld n ot get en ou gh of h er voice, sh e blessed ou r playlist w it h h er debu t EP, 'Filosph y '. Th is six-t r ack exper ien ce in t r odu ced u s t o h er t ak e on self -love, r elat ion sh ips, an d m or e, cr eat in g t h is space in t h e m u sic in du st r y t h at on ly sh e cou ld f ill. In t h is t im e, sh e h as been an ar t ist on t h e r ise w it h Apple M u sic, a sh or t docu m en t ar y by Adidas, f eat u r ed in n u m er ou s pu blicat ion s, an d

gr aced t h e st age of

dif f er en t

live

plat f or m s. It 's f ou r w eek s pr ior t o t h e r elease of t h e pr oject an d I cou ldn't be m or e excit ed.

How

h as

t he

In reality we are experiencing some

" Since

sort of completion almost on a daily

Filahsofy so much has changed.

basis. We just don?t notice. So right

There

now in this current place of life I am

r elease

lif e of

were

been

sin ce

'Filah sof y '? changes

that

were

welcomed and changes that were

complete.

uncomfortable and aggressive. All in

complete."

all, I?ve been so blessed and I?ve been incredibly grateful."

Not

perfect.

But

Do you st ill f eel t h e an xiet y an d depr ession t h at you f elt u p t o t h e

You spok e in a pr eviou s in t er view

r elease of you r debu t ? I k n ow

t h at bef or e you r debu t EP, t h at

m en t al h ealt h is su ch a big t opic

you f elt u n don e. At t h is st age in

at

you r car eer do you f eel m or e

pan dem ic. How h ave you been

com plet e? "I think, as a human

able t o m an age it or get past it ?

being, I am always trying to forage

"I?m in a constant battle with anxiety

for some sense of completion. But it

and depression but I take it one day

can be so destructive because we

at a time. It sounds corny. But you

have these ideas of what completion

get to a point where you have to

should be. And when we don?t

level with that side of yourself. The

experience anything resembling that

side that just refuses to have a good

idea we believe we?re undone. When

day and a good existence. You level,

t he

m om en t

du r in g

t he








you accept and you forgive."

Wh at is t h e back st or y of t h e n ew

You said you t h ou gh t people w ou ldn't con n ect

pr oject ? "Heartbreak, loss, love, newness,

t o you r debu t . How w as it w h en you saw h ow

light, time, happiness, sex, rebirth, the

w ell t h e f an s w er e t ak in g it ? "I thought ?this

natural way of things, beauty, pain, risks

is wild...what?s wrong with everybody?? I?m

,and transcendence. In a nutshell. "

kidding. But I was genuinely blown away by the

reception.

The

genuine

love

and

connection that people have to the music makes me feel like I?m doing something right. As someone who loves music for such deep and sentimental reasons, it makes me feel warm inside to know that people vibe with mine for the same if not similar reasons." You spok e of a pr oject

In conclusion, Filah is one of the best alternative R&B artists to come onto the scene in a long time. She sounds like a breath of fresh air with her ambient tones and relatable poetic lyrics. With each tune she sings on, she delivers such an effortless sound that you won't find anywhere else. Filah does not just deliver music, she delivers visual art to go along with it. Filah

in a r ecen t

in t er view t h at w as su pposed t o com e ou t

doesn't just have a seat at the table, she is THE table and she is here to stay.

in Ju n e of t h is year , is t h e WGBJF pr oject t h at on e? If so w h at m ade you m ove t h e deadlin e? "It?s been such a roller coaster, really. WGBJF has been in the works for almost a full year now. I mean deadlines change all the time. But I think this particular project was being delayed for an

"You g et t o a p oin t w h ere you h ave t o level w it h t h at sid e of you rself. Th e sid e t h at ju st ref u ses t o h ave a g ood d ay an d a g ood exist en ce. You level, you accep t an d you f org ive."

array of reasons too vast to even get into. I will say this though: things really do happen in their own time" How did t h e con cept of t h e WGBJF t r ailer com e abou t ? "I wanted to do something that felt ironic and yet super spot on in terms of the project and its feel. It?s weird but it felt like the most natural way to promote it. I?ve always liked infomercials for their ability to incite curiosity and interest in a product, whilst maintaining this extreme sense of awkwardness."

You can stream and download Filah Lah Lah's new EP 'WGBJF' on your favorite platform starting OCT 25th.




why youneed m akro PHOTOS COURTESY OF M AKRO STORY BY ELLA AUD REY RAE M ak r o is a pow er h ou se du o t h at

stayed in love with throughout the

con sist s of cou sin s Er ic an d Kr is. I

years. Growing up, I?ve always been

m et

EXTREMELY expressive. I don?t know

t h em

w ebsit e

on

w h en

a m u sic r eview I

w as

w r it in g

how my family was able to handle it,

ar t icles f or a dollar per r eview in

but I literally sang, danced and made

2019. Th ey su bm it t ed t h eir m u sic

so much noise 24/7. My first love

t o m e an d f r om t h en on , t h ey h ave

was singing though. My parents had

been m y m u sical h u sban ds ever

me compete in singing competitions

sin ce. Th ey h ave t h is sou n d t h at I

growing up and I also was involved

ju st can't descr ibe bu t n eed m or e

in musical theater for a bit. It wasn?t

of . Th eir lat est sin gle, 'On e' br in gs

until I was 16 though when I first

t h is r aw sou n d t o t h eir cat alog

dabbled in

let t in g you h ear u n t ou ch ed vocals

musician (and really the first person

an d pr odu ct ion t h at t ak es you t o a

to teach me how to sing) and one

soot h in g place. M eet M ak r o.

night I came up to him and I brought

How did you f all in love w it h m ak in g m u sic? KRIS: I?ve always had a love for music since literal birth (seriously, my earliest human memory was picking up a magic-sing

writing. My dad?s a

his guitar with me and said, ?TEACH ME

PLEASE.?

A

few

chords

progressions later, writing just kind of came with it naturally and shortly after? I was HOOKED.

karaoke mic at a cousin?s house as a

ERIC: I got into making music when I

fetus) ? BUT once I realized I could

was 13 when my dad bought me my

make music, it?s the one thing I?ve

first guitar. It was a cheap electric



You can stream and download Makro's new single 'ONE' now on your favorite platform.


Squier Stratocaster with a tiny amp, and in middle school, I was constantly playing it till my fingers hurt. Around my freshman year in high school, I had met my best friend who was an amazing drummer. We formed an alternative band called A Year Without a Name, and it was the first time I had ever written music rather than covering songs. I think I was 15 at the time when we were playing a bunch of gigs around Memphis. Performing live was the best feeling especially when it was our own songs. Later on, I was in another alternative band called Wilby during my senior year of high school, and I was also writing a bunch of music with that group. I was in a few other music groups on and off, but it

made

me

realize

how

much

I

loved

songwriting. I was never really interested in covering songs, so I would always be recording random guitar parts on my iPhone (I have a long list of ideas on there) trying to write melodies or chord progressions that sounded good to me. I always write songs with my electric guitar and that was how I fell in love with making music. How did you t w o m eet an d decide on bein g a gr ou p? KRIS: We?re actually real-life cousins ? but also pretty much brothers. The first time we met was actually in the Philippines! I was born and lived there until I was 8 and when I was, I think 7, Eric and his mom (they were in the U.S.) came and visited for some reason. But yeah, one day I remember this bowl-headed little dude walking up and for some reason, we?ve been best friends ever since. When my family moved to the US, we grew up very involved in each other ?s lives because our families were super close. Eric picked up the guitar and started playing in bands. I on the other hand had my own solo gig going on.


Although we did have moments where I would sing

piano, but the feeling of the song didn?t have the

for Eric?s band or Eric would play for one of my

same emotion compared to just the acoustic guitar

gigs. But we never thought about coming together

and vocals. It?s a weird process. We kind of let our

as a group until we wrote this song called,

songs write themselves, and we just let the

?Elevator.? It was the first song we ever wrote

speakers tell us if it sounds like trash lol.

together and honestly still one of my favorites to date. After writing that, we started writing more and more songs together and it just ended up feeling natural. But then one day, I came up to Eric and suggested the name makro (it?s the easiest parts of our last names put together lol) , and we

Our goal was to get it to sound perfect but in a real -world, so we recorded the guitar and vocals each three times because we were waiting until a specific feeling was there. Honestly, we would?ve kept going, but the third time recording ended up being the ONE. Lmao

just kind of ran with it. Do you t h in k you w an t t o m ak e m or e m u sic You gu ys of t en h ave su ch a ch ill aest h et ic w it h

w it h t h is con cept ?

you r m u sic videos an d ph ot os. How do you cr eat e t h at at m osph er e you give you r f an s?

KRIS: Do we want to? YES. Have we already? Maybe? ;)

KRIS: I feel like the both of us just kind of base our visuals on things we find beautiful at the moment.

Will w e be get t in g a visu al f or t h is an d w h at do

Just kind of like with how we create music ? our

you h ave plan n ed f or it ?

goal when creating visual concepts is to fill empty

KRIS: Yes, it is actually part of a larger project that

space with something beautiful.

we?re working on so it might take a while before

Let 's t alk abou t you r n ew sin gle 'On e. It 's

that comes out but you can definitely expect a

sim ple bu t pow er f u l in ever y aspect . Wh at

video (and maybe merch) to come.

in spir ed t h e lyr ics an d sim plicit y?

How h as t h e jou r n ey been as an in die ar t ist an d

KRIS: I meant the song concept to be a cheeky

do you h ave an y advice f or n ew on es?

conversation with yourself, wondering whether you

ERIC: Our journey as an indie artist has honestly

actually do feel a type of way about someone and

been very freeing for us. We can create whatever

like ACTUALLY mean it. This song had a very

we want, release anything when we want to, and

interesting writing process. Eric initially made up

with our two skill sets, we can create art right from

the chord progression and recorded it then we just

our home studio. We?re constantly learning and

had it sitting for a while in our ?beats with potential? figuring things out gradually, but being able to have folder. One day, we were just kind of sitting outside that self-sufficiency and control allows us to be and he started playing it ? to which I reacted by

more of ourselves. I would say being an indie artist

humming the melody of the hook. And from there

has its own challenges compared to being signed

the song just ended up unfolding before our eyes

to a label, but there are pros and cons to both. You

and ears. We didn?t force it at all ? if anything it

don?t automatically become successful when you

happened by accident.

sign to a major label, so knowing the music

ERIC: The simplicity of the song was interesting

business and knowing your own strengths &

because we actually kept trying to add more

weaknesses are important to navigate the music

elements to the song, but nothing seemed to work.

industry.

We originally had extra guitars, percussion, and

KRIS: PERIODT?




SHE'S A VIBE FEATURING ANGELIQUE JEFFREY

This spread was created to showcase the beauty that is, Women of Color and the hair we wear as our crown. You are a vibe. You are the pr ize. You are the goal..

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Trevor Pierre @trevorpierrestudios


PHOTOGRAPHY BY Trevor Pierre @trevorpierrestudios



PHOTOGRAPHY BY Trevor Pierre @trevorpierrestudios


"I need to see my own beauty and to continue to be reminded that I am enough, that I am worthy of love without effort, that I am beautiful, that the texture of my hair and that the shape of my curves, the size of my lips, the color of my skin, and the feelings that I have are all worthy and okay." - Tr acee Ellis Ross



Cover Stor y

A powerhouse creator with a hear t of gold for black histor y, Taylor Cassidy has redefined the meaning of being a Tik Tok creator.


Video sh ar in g app, Tik Tok h as

because of a Twitter thread or

misrepresentation in the media."

becom e on e of t h e w or ld's

Instagram

speaks

HOW CAN THESE PLATFORM S

biggest apps t o dat e, h elpin g t o

volumes to the power one post

DO BETTER? " Give creators their

cr eat e lif e-ch an gin g cr eat or s

has in creating a domino effect."

flowers. It?s amazing to have

an d in f lu en cer s like

YOU OFTEN SPEAK A LOT ABOUT

?Black creator ? and ?POC creator ?

18-year -old, Taylor Cassidy. Sh e

AM AZING BLACK WOM EN

IN

initiatives, but at the end of the

st ar t ed h er car eer in

M EDIA & SOCIETY. WHY DO YOU

day, POC creators don?t want to

Novem ber 2019 ju st f or f u n

THINK OUR ACCOM PLISHM ENTS

be boxed in. If a challenge or

bef or e r ealizin g t h at sh e cou ld

ARE

song

do m u ch m or e w it h in t h e

"Blackness traditionally isn?t the

normalize

plat f or m t o ch an ge t h e

standard in our society. Because

opportunity

to

dyn am ic. Sh e st ar t ed cr eat in g

of this our talents, the innovation

instead

using

con t en t t h at u plif t ed ot h er s

we create, and our creativity is

?brandable? face."

an d br ou gh t t h e REAL black

taken and donned a new face to

h ist or y t o ligh t f or t h e you n ger

make it more digestible for the

SOM E OF YOUR VIRAL VIDEOS

gen er at ion . Today sh e h as

masses. I use my videos to talk

ARE

m or e t h an 2.1 m illion f ollow er s

about not only Black women, but

SOM EONE'S WHO IS WATCHES

on t h e plat f or m an d w ow

all POC to reclaim our creativity in

HYPE M AN. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE

au dien ces w it h h er on goin g

our own narrative."

IT. WHERE DID THAT CONTENT

hashtag.

OFTEN

It

OVERLOOKED?

ser ies ?Fast Black Hist or y ? an d ?Black Gir l M agic M in u t e.?

becomes

popular,

giving of

YOU

credit the

and

creator a

JUST

more

BEING

CONCEPT COM E FROM ? " In High DO YOU FEEL LIKE CONTENT

School, I would post Instagram

CREATORS OF COLOR ARE OFTEN

stories talking about positivity

BIG

OVERLOOKED ON

PLATFORM S

and self-love to hype myself up

OR

SUCH AS TIKTOK? " Absolutely.

for the day. They didn?t have the

WERE YOU NOT INTO THAT

Countless

dances

intention to go viral. I started

KIND OF THING? "I?ve always

created by POC have made their

filming them a year or two before

loved

media

way to the mainstream influencing

I started Tik Tok. They were a gift

connects me to many different

commercials, Superbowl ads, and

to me each day as I learned how

worlds. Since middle school, I?ve

late-night talk show appearances.

to keep a positive mindset." YOU

loved watching content creators

However, instead

the POC

ARE ONE OF THE FEW ON THE

be themselves and unleash their

creator being at the forefront, a

APP THAT CREATES CONTENT

creativity for a living. It?s always

more popular white creator is

THAT NOT ONLY EDUCATES US

make

for

given visibility and the paycheck."

BUT UPLIFTS US AS WELL. WHAT

myself." DO YOU THINK THE

DO YOU THINK INITIATIVES LIKE

M ADE YOU DECIDE YOU DIDN'T

RISE OF SOCIAL M EDIA HAS

YOUTUBE BLACK

WANT TO

HELPED

OUR

BLACK FIXES THAT OVERLOOKED

INFLUENCER? " I don?t know how

SOCIETY? " For the most part,

ISSUES ON THEIR PLATFORM S? " I

to be normal. That?s not in my

although my opinion may be

think these programs do a great

DNA. I only know how to be me,

unpopular,

has

job at addressing the problem on

so when I started social media I

deeply impacted the way we

their apps individually, but I think

didn?t feel the need to follow

confront social issue and incite

it?s up to entertainment as a whole

another

change. I?ve seen so many laws

to

blueprint. It wasn?t a decision, but

and call for action be amplified

underrepresentation

WERE YOU SOCIAL

ALWAYS A

M EDIA

the

me

way

PERSON

social

dream

larger

OR HINDERED

social

media

fix

trends

the

and

of

OR

TIKTOK

system

of and

rather

BE THE TYPICAL

content a

resolve

creator ?s to

never


"As long as you pour love into the spir it, your roots will remain".





WHAT

HAS

YOU

OFTEN

TALK

ABOUT

THAT

BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE

HOW

YOU

HAD

BLACK

WITH GOD KEEPS YOU ROOTED

LEARNED BY BECOM ING AN

HISTORY TAUGHT TO YOU ALL

IN

INFLUENCER?

YOUR CHILDHOOD BY YOUR

AND NOT MATERIAL THINGS.

valuable thing I?ve learned so

PARENTS.

THINK

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO

far, and my journey still has a

SCHOOLS DO BLACK HISTORY

OTHER UPCOMING CREATORS

long way to go is the audacity

EDUCATION

ON

to try. Being a growing content

HOW COULD THEY IM PROVE?

WELL? "Without foundation,

creator I?ve been challenged to

"The reason I?ve learned a

one can?t stand. My advice to

set

in

majority of my Black History

other creators is to remember

experimenting with ideas and

from my own family. is because

that while you are on social

subject matter and I?ve dared

the education system has a

media, you are not social

myself to take that audacity

lack. In elementary school, the

media. My relationship with

into my own life. This past

only Black History we covered

God reminds me that the

year, I?ve discovered a tenacity

during the 1800s was two

purpose

in myself to stop consulting

dark-colored pages on slavery.

cannot

fear for my future. I can credit

For

of

Instagram or TikTok. While I

some of that discovery to my

foundation

and

can use them as tools, they

journey on social media."

revolutionizing

people

are not the destination. As

have done to and for this

long as you pour love into the

country, the education system

spirit, your roots will remain.

should

Social

fear

BEEN

THE

" The

most

aside

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR POSITIVE ENERGY HIGH IN HARD TIM ES? "I think there?s a misconception about people with positive mindsets always being high energy no matter what

the

situation.

That?s

simply not the case. Positivity is a consistent practice rather than

a feeling. It?s always

seeing possibility in life even when you?re not fully ready to take action. When hard times come, I've learned to allow myself grief; It?s still a form of love. In those hard times, I turn to my consistent practice of

journaling,

prayer,

conversation, and possibility."

the

DO

YOU

JUSTICE?

vast

AND

amount

building Black

be ready

to

fluidly

YOUR

RELATIONSHIP

THINGS OF SUBSTANCE

STAYING

ROOTED

I?ve be

media,

AS

been

given

boxed

into

the

hottest

incorporate it in every unit

clothing, and the number of

rather

followers

than

a

ten-minute

will

always

fade

lesson." YOU ARE A RAY OF

away, but the spirit always

SUNSHINE IN M ANY PEOPLE'S

remains."

LIVES WHO LOOK FOR YOUR VIDEOS TO

UPLIFT

THEM .

WHO IS YOUR OR WAS YOUR 'TAYLOR CASSIDY" ? "My Mom has always been ready to give me wisdom, inspiration, and encouragement. I know that no matter where I am, she?ll be ready to give advice and lend an ear to listen. In our hardest moments, she?s always pointed to respond with love." I READ

WHAT WAS THE M OM ENT IN YOUR CAREER THAT M ADE YOU FEEL LIKE, " OKAY THIS IS M Y CALLING AND I NEED TO

KEEP

GOING" .

"My

moment was on a small stage at the TikTok Black History Summit in 2020. I had just shared

my

goals

for

the

platform and beyond in front of new creator friends and others I had

watched

for


years.

I

ended

with

will

learned that in challenging the standards I

revolutionize because I am Black History.?

set for myself in how I treat others, how I

That moment of saying aloud the words I

listen and observe, and how I grow, I can

heard faintly humming in my heart for

be

months

continuous journey."

solidified

my

saying, ?I

passion

for

content

in

my

own

steady

and

WHAT KIND OF CONTENT DO YOU WANT

creating." YOU ARE VERY HONEST AS WELL WITH

TO CREATE IN THE UPCOM ING FUTURE?

YOUR VIDEOS, WHY DO YOU THINK

"I?ve just launched my new series, Black

BEING VULNERABLE ON SOCIAL M EDIA

Girl

IS IM PORTANT? "Social media is often a very fake place. It?s no surprise now to see artificial things on your timeline. For me, being vulnerable is where truth is

Magic Minute, a

YouTube

show

uplifting Black creatives that I am beyond excited about. In the future, I see myself hosting a Podcast, diving into acting and the film industry, and continuing to keep creating magic."

seen. By coming to my content open and authentic, I retain ownership over it. For my audience, I think it?s a breath of fresh air for them."

In con clu sion , Taylor w as on e of m y dr eam in t er view s an d sh e is su ch a ligh t t h at t h e cr eat or space w as m issin g. Her abilit y t o n ot on ly in spir e bu t edu cat e is

BEING AN INFLUENCER ON AN APP

su ch a br eat h of f r esh air . I can't w ait t o

LIKE TIK TOK CAN M ENTALLY DRAIN A

see

w h er e

sh e

t ak es

us

n ext .

PERSON. AT WHAT M OM ENT DO YOU SENSE, OKAY IT'S TIM E TO TAKE A BREAK"

AND

WHAT

DO

YOU

DO

DURING THAT BREAK TO REFOCUS? "I?ve learned that it?s time to set the phone down when I start feeling a need to gain happiness from it. When I find myself endlessly scrolling, often it?s because I am searching for a feeling. I?ve recently started to practice turning my phone off more often to recognize that

those

feelings and desires are experienced offline." YOU SEEM LIKE YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND YOU STAND FIRM IN THAT TRUTH, HOW DID YOU GET TO THAT POINT IN YOUR LIFE? "I think a big part of discovering who I am was recognized early that life isn?t about destinations. I?ve

"Positivity is a consistent pr actice r ather than a feeling. It?s always seeing possibility in life even when you?re not fully ready to take action."



PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ZOË FERGUSON STORY BY ELLA AUD REY RAE If I cou ld lead you t o on e ar t ist ,

wasn?t able to go to LA were I usually

w h o get s it , it 's Zoë Fer gu son . Sh e

record my music. I was so excited to

is a t alen t ed sin ger an d son gw r it er

finally record and release again and I

w h o f ir st cam e on t o t h e m u sic

can?t wait for everyone to hear what I

scen e in 2019 w it h h er f ier y an d

have been working on." How w as it

h on est

sin gle, 'Dip'. Th e

t o r elease you r f ir st ever m u sic

st or ies sh e t ell in h er m u sic ar e so

video? "It was so cool! I wasn?t really

st r aigh t f or w ar d, it alm ost seem s

sure what it was going to be like

lik e sh e can r ead you r m in d. Her

because I?ve never released a visual

debu t EP, 'Pr obably Abou t You ' is

before. The feedback I got was

ou t

awesome and I can?t wait to make

debu t

an d f eat u r es seven t r ack s

t h at

speak

on

r elat ion sh ips,

h ear t br eak , f r ien dsh ip

more!" Wh at w as you r f avor it e

bet r ayal,

m om en t on set ? "I loved doing the

self love, an d m or e. Wit h an 80's

last scenes with the projector. It was

vibe, sh e deliver s a r aw an d u n cu t

so

look in t o h er st or y, w h ile t ellin g so

awesome in my opinion!"

m an y ot h er s.

so

fun

to

film

and

looked

Wh at is t h e st or y beh in d t h e EP? "I

You seem t o h ave t ak en a sm all

wrote 'probably about you' about

br eak f r om m u sic af t er you r 'im

other people obviously. I wrote it

ok ay ' sin gle w as r eleased. How

about getting over a breakup and all

w as it

get t in g back t o m u sic? of the stages you go through. Like

"Taking a break from releasing music

with the first few songs, no longer

was super hard! Once Covid hit, I

believing in love, then the loss of



"I think it?s super impor tant to feel as much as emotion you can in the moment in order to fully let go of what?s making you feel so stuck."

You can stream and download her new EP 'Pr obably Abou t You ' now on your favorite platform.


some of your friends and getting betrayed, the

relatable. I think 80?s music really captures the

petty stage, and then the stage where you?re over

feeling of fully being over someone and finding

that person. I titled the EP 'probably about you'

love within yourself." You w er e so open on t h is

because in high school everyone always wondered

pr oject . How w as it t o r eally t ap in t o t h ose

who I was writing my songs about so, they?re

f eelin gs t o br in g t h em t o lif e? "Being open in this

probably about you?

project was really hard because some of the things

Can you t ell m e m or e abou t t h e st or y beh in d t h e in t r o son g of you r EP, 'Fu ck Love'? It 's su ch a r aw an d h on est an d ph en om en al sin gle. It sou n ds lik e it com es f r om a place w it h in . "I wrote 'fuck love' out of literal pure hatred for love. I

I write about actually happened. I knew the people that I wrote the songs about were going to hear them and they would think the song is probably about them. That?s another reason why I titled it 'probably about you?."

wrote it about getting so hurt so many times that

Can you sh ar e som e en cou r agin g w or ds t o

love is hard to continue to believe in. It kicks off the

w om en w h o go t h r ou gh t h e sam e st or y as t h is

EP because it is a feeling that we all go through

EP an d don't f eel as f r ee r igh t n ow ? "Everything

right at the start of an EP."

takes time and you?ll never be stuck in the same

Now t h e son g 'Ch r ist in e', Th e jou r n ey of t h at st or y w as so r elat able. Is t h at a t r u e st or y? If so h ow did you h an dle it , m en t ally? Wh at 's you r advice on dealin g w it h losin g f r ien ds in t h at

place or feeling forever. I think it?s super important to feel as much as emotion you can in the moment in order to fully let go of what?s making you feel so stuck."

k in d of sit u at ion ? "I also wrote ?christine' in such a

How h as t h e pan dem ic af f ect ed you as an

vulnerable time stamp in my life. I wrote it about

ar t ist ? How h ave you been able t o get t h r ou gh

this group of girls that I used to be friends with.

it ? At first it was super tough for me to come to

Falling out of a friendship and feeling ?betrayed' or

terms with. I decided to not go to college this year

'left out' is essentially what the song is about.

after high school and it was super hard watching all

Friend

romantic

of my friends leave while I stayed behind. I was

breakups in my opinion. My advice to losing

supposed to move to California but didn?t due to

friends is, people who are meant for you will bring

the pandemic. It was also very hard not recording

you positivity. Once someone is bringing you

any music in a studio but I continued to write on

negativity, the relationship isn?t meant for you

my piano at home. I was able to get through it with

anymore and that?s definitely a hard thing to realize

my new best friend, Bowie, who is a 7 month old

but essential for your character development."

Dachshund. He helped keep me company. "

Th e son g '80 m u sic is su ch a f r eein g son g. I love

In

ever y r espect of t h e EP bu t t h at on e, w h en you

assignment. She creates this feeling of openness

f in ally f eel f r ee is m y f avor it e. "80?s music' is

with her music that many artist have not been able

actually the first song that I wrote off of the EP. I

to tap into. You almost feel like you know her and

wrote it because I knew in order to write about all

that she knows you. Her lyrics always seem to be

of the other stuff I was going to put on the EP, I

written from a raw place and not polished by a

had to be sure that I was over the certain situation

million writers or labels. She's just healing like the

or the songs would come from a darker place,

rest of us and that is so relatable. I present to you

which I didn?t really want. I wanted the songs to feel

the storyteller that is, Zoe Ferguson.

breakups

hurt

more

than

conclusion,

she

always

understands

the


Heather LaRose PHOTOS COURTESY OF HEATHER LAROSE STORY BY ELLA AUD REY RAE Heat h er

is

a

sin ger -son gw r it er

my self-worth. I was in a serious

com in g f r om West ch est er , New

relationship

Yor k . Her debu t EP, 'Beach side'

2020 and I really think that the

gr ossed m illion s of st r eam s af t er

people around us help us grow. So I

bein g r eleased w h ile sh e w as st ill

was looking a lot into where I place

in

w as

my value and how others around me

of

affect me. Most of my friends that I

Jack son Hof f m an , a h igh sch ool

made when I first moved to LA had

f r ien d, an d ban d m em ber . Th e

to move back to their home states.

sin gle ?New M oon? w as syn ced t o

All of these situations fueled me with

M TV?s Teen Wolf Season 3. Now

incredibly strong emotions which

w it h h er n ew sin gle 'Baby Blu e'

have kept me writing this whole

ou t , a br an d deal w it h BM W, an d

time."

college.

r ecor ded

in

Th e

pr oject

t he

basem en t

m or e, I sat dow n w it h h er t o ch at abou t all of it .

throughout

most

of

Wh at in spir ed you r son g ?baby blu e?? "This is actually a song idea

Wh at h as k ept you in spir ed t o

that I had written down for years.

w r it e

After hearing Taylor Swift?s ?Red? I

t h is

past

year

w h ile

t r adit ion al sh ow s w er e on h old? reflected on what color my love was. "Having this time to reflect has been

Since I have been through a few

really important for me. I feel like so

heartaches I knew in my bones it

many of us were forced to face some

was a shade of light blue. I just

demons that we?ve been holding at

didn?t have the full experiences to

bay for a while. A big one for me was

articulate it until this summer. I was



You can stream and download Heather 's new single 'Baby Blu e' now on your favorite platform.


processing my past relationships and finding the

everything and that good can come out of the

common theme between them

darkest moments of our lives has always been a

and tried to

describe what it?s like to feel ?baby blue?."

compass for me. "

You ar e a beast w it h t h e gu it ar , w h er e did you

You r m u sic h as k in d of t r an sit ion t o m or e of a

love f or in st r u m en t com e f r om ? " Thank you, ever

pop f eel over t h e year s. Was t h at in t en t ion al or

since I was little I wanted to play guitar. I asked my

ar e you m or e t o w h at ever f eels r igh t ? "I think

parents for one for years growing up and then one

that pop has always been at the core of who I am

year for Christmas they bought an electric guitar

as an artist. The more I get comfortable with my

for my brother and enrolled him in classes that he

voice, both lyrically and literally, the more I?m able

hated. So naturally, I started teaching myself with

to find the sounds that fully help me tell my

YouTube videos on his. Which was a lefty guitar so I

stories."

actually learned really bad technique at first. But music was always something that I wanted to pursue and for me learning guitar gave me more freedom as a songwriter."

How did it f eel t o h ear you r son g in Teen Wolf ? "I mean that is huge! What made it so much better was how genuinely obsessed with the show I was. I wrote ?New Moon?about what it must be like to be

Did you alw ays k n ow you w an t ed t o get in t o

a teenage werewolf and struggling to battle animal

m u sic? "I was that little kid who was singing

instincts. Also, the entire cast of that show is

constantly. When I was little and my grandmother

amazing."

would babysit me, I would ask her to sing me a song over and over again until I had it memorized."

Wh at is you r f avor it e son g t o sin g live an d w h at is t h e h ar dest son g t o sin g live an d w h y? "One of

How w as it collabor at in g w it h BM W f or you r

my favorite songs to perform live is ?Betty Cooper ?. I

son gw r it er ch allen ge? "Working with BMW was

wrote it during the BMW challenge actually. The

amazing. It was the beginning of quarantine and I

lyrics are tongue and cheek about being in a

got to explore my emotions while racing down the

relationship with someone who doesn?t see you as

PCH. I honestly think that some of my best songs

a real person but instead a fictional character. It

came from the experience."

talks about letting go of the need to be perfect

You h ave def in it ely over com e som e r eally t ou gh t h in gs t h at w e don't h ave t o t alk abou t bu t I do w an t t o k n ow , h ow do you k eep m ovin g f or w ar d as you do? "There have definitely been moments that really made me question, ?Am I strong enough to handle this?? I think the most important part when going through times that challenge you as an individual is taking note of the small things that you can do to give yourself a sense of normalcy." Wh en you w er e goin g t h r ou gh t h ose t ou gh t h in gs, w h at k ept you r h ead h igh ? "I definitely have a very strong sense of self and a deep belief in God. To be honest, my head hasn?t always been held high. But my belief that there?s a purpose to

which makes it really fun to dance to. I performed my song ?Homecoming Queen?for the first time live last week and I actually cried. It?s about realizing you?ve outgrown where you?re from and letting the people you love know that you?ll never be their homecoming queen. Since I spent all of 2020 and a bug portion of 2021 away from my family that hit a little hard." Wh en can w e expect an albu m f r om you ? "I?ve been working really hard to create a series of songs that tell a story. Since I?m on an independent label, I?ll probably release an EP before a full length album. But I hope to announce the project very soon!"


FALL IN LOVE WITH ISSALYNN



S ham ba The Artist PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM MCGUIRE JR. STORY BY ELLA AUD REY RAE

At lan t a

ar t ist ,

Sh am ba

is

an

pow er sh e placed in each n ot e. I

except ion al sin ger an d son gw r it er

k n ew f r om t h en on t h at I w ou ld

t h at h as ju st r eleased h er f if t h f u ll

be h ook ed on h er sou n d. Wit h t h e

pr oject , ?Th ou gh t It Was Love?. Th e

debu t pr oject , sh e r eleased t h r ee

eigh t -t r ack EP depict s a t im e in

m u sic videos in clu din g a f eat u r e

h er lif e, w h er e sh e m ist ook all t h e

w it h an ot h er u p-an d-com in g f ir e

w r on g t h in gs f or love.

bom b

"I found myself in a situation where I was mistaking all the wrong things for love. The title summed it all up and gets straight to the point. It lets you know

at

t he

Deet r an ada.

t im e

Th e

k n ow n

m u sic

as

video

accu m u lat ed over 150k view s an d w as m et w it h posit ive r eview s f r om all over .

exactly what you are

Sin ce t h en , sh e h as r eleased t h r ee

about to hear. It is a story of falling

pow er f u l EP's an d a f ew sin gles

for someone and being blinded by

t h at I can't live w it h ou t . On Ju ly

everything wrong and just looking at

16t h , sh e an n ou n ced t h e r elease

the good. It is a story of coming to

of h er n ew est pr oject , Th ou gh t It

the realization that it wasn't actually

Was Love'. "The journey leading up

love."

to the release of 'THOUGHT IT WAS

Sh am ba

r eleased

h er

debu t

albu m , ?Rain bow s & Hu r r ican es?in Jan u ar y

2018

w h ich

placed

Sh am ba on t h e m ap as on e of t h e best n ew vocalist s ou t of At lan t a. I h ear d h er voice f or t h e f ir st t im e on ?Red Ligh t s?, a son g of f t h e debu t

albu m .

I

in st an t ly

LOVE' was very different. I wanted to move differently than I have with any other project I put out. There was so much intent behind every picture, lyric, and song selected. It honestly was such an amazing feeling that I will hold on to forever."

got

How w as it cr eat in g t h is EP du r in g

goosebu m ps f r om t h e am ou n t of

t h is t ou gh t im e in t h e w or ld f or



You can stream and download Shamba's new EP 'Th ou gh t It Was Love' now on your favorite platform.


you ? "Surprisingly enough this felt like the perfect

Wh at m ade you m ade you pu blish you r n ew est

time to create this project. I will forever say that

r ecor d u n der Sh am ba Th e Ar t ist LLC? "Having my

the pandemic was a bittersweet moment in time. I

own company just seemed right because my name

had

the chance to sit and create with no

is attached to everything I do. I am a business. I am

interruptions. My mind was so clear and so open,

a brand. I had to capitalize on that. I am still apart

it made the process smoother. That time in my life,

of the Kalombo family, it's just that this project was

I was blessed to enter into rooms that I've never

pieced together apart from that. Being a part of

been and experience things that I truly don't think

Kalombo Records is still being independent. It is an

I would have, had it not been for the pandemic."

independent label. I am 100% in control either way.

Wh at w as t h e h ar dest son g t o r ecor d or w r it e on t h is pr oject ? " Truly, I don't think any song was hard to write or record. Every song came so effortlessly. The beauty of writing about your

Having the Kalombo family behind me is just that, a family. You have the support and resources of the village. We're independent yet together, if that makes sense."

current experience is that it is just storytelling. I

Wh at w ou ld you say is t h e h ar dest par t abou t

was just painting the picture of what I was living in

bein g

real life."

do you m ak e it all w or k f or you ? "The hardest

Did cr eat in g t h is pr oject h elp you h eal f r om t h is st or y? "Creating this project absolutely helped with the healing process. I can play it and feel relieved. In the midst of writing these songs, It hit me: "Yo

an

in depen den t

ar t ist

an d

h ow

part of being an independent artist for me is the doubt. I have these moments, that come and go, where I feel like I am not doing enough or that none of it is worth it. It is definitely the harder route but the most organic path. I feel so much

this is not love."

better when things come my way knowing that it Wh y did you ch oose t o be so open on t h ese

came from nothing but my hard work and talent.

t r ack s? "I have no idea why I chose to be this open

That is what makes it all worth it to me. I make it

haha. I know for me writing about it on a song is

work in my favor because the freedom I have is

me being done with the situation. It's like I actually

not something I am ready to give up. The creative

leave it all on the track. So in a sense, I knew that if

control keeps me grounded. I can do what I want

I was able to put it on a track, I am able to begin

lol and it is a plus that people rock with that."

that healing process. And at that point it's like, why In conclusion, Shamba is one of my favorite

not release it?"

vocalist. Her range and control is exceptional and Wh at is you r advice t o n ew pr odu cer s w h o w an t

to

t o get in t o t h e in du st r y bu t don't k n ow w h er e

experience. Aside from her music, her ability to

t o st ar t ? "I can give advice to new artists wanting

show up as her authentic self in her music is

to get into the industry. Do not waver in your

inspiring. You can tell from the records she release

foundation. Make sure you are already grounded in

that each song is crafted with emotion and

who you are as a person and as an artist, because

precision. Her pen game is one of best I have heard

they truly go hand in hand. Believe in yourself

come out of Atlanta in a long time. With each track,

enough for the world because as cliche as it is,

she becomes this bestfriend in your head that we

literally no one believes in you more than you.

all need. She sounds like no one else. She is

Create

Shamba.

create

practice."

create

and

practice

practice

hear

her

sing live is such

a refreshing


Y

p

d

Respect yourself enough to say, 'I deserve peace,' and walk away from people or things that prevent you from attaining it.

Y

p

d


You deserve peace + You deserve love + You are beautiful. + You deserve self love + You deserv

peace + You deserve love + You are beautiful + You deserve self love + You deserve peace + You

deserve love + You are beautiful + You deserve self love + You deserve peace + You deserve lov

THE SELF LOVE CLUB W RITTEN BY ELLA AUDREY RAE

PHOTO BY KRISTAL TERZIU FROM PEXELS

I saw this clip from mama Tabitha

past. It is not your whole life. It is not

Brown that said, 'Maybe you are at

who you are. It is not what you are. It

a stop sign in life because you need to look both ways before

is a moment in time that will past. When it passes, you will still be the prize. You will still be worthy of love.

moving for ward'. Moving for ward

You will still be beautiful. You will still

is something that seems so easy

be you. Those people that come into

to do but in reality when you have

your life just to disrupt your peace,

dealt with tr aumas, which create

don't have peace themselves. It is not

depression and anxiety, it seems

your job to give them yours.

it gets harder and harder to find

On another note, we simply can not

the strength to move.

obtain

It took me years to truly feel what it means to have peace..In my journey I learned that forgiving yourself is a major part of it. Isn't it strange that when things happen to us, we end up blaming ourselves for it happening? Instead of realizing that we are more

peace

within

a

toxic

environment. Peace and toxicity will never be friends, let alone found in the same room. Light will always outshine the dark and you dear, are the light. Don't let one bad bulb in the bunch keep you from shinning as bright as you can.

then that pain or moment, we stay in that

moment

and

become

that

moment. It's just a moment, it can

You deserve peace + You deserve love + You are beautiful. + You deserve self love + You deserv

peace + You deserve love + You are beautiful + You deserve self love + You deserve peace + You

deserve love + You are beautiful + You deserve self love + You deserve peace + You deserve lov








rei gn i n your craft.