#TEAMSOLITUDE It’s officially summer where we all gather plans to explore, catch up on sleep and hang with friends that we haven’t seen in a while. This time of year brings me to the thought of solitude. Don’t get me wrong, there are times in the summer where everything is peachy keen, ayy-okay, all in good fun. But sometimes life hits you with a curve ball and you’re left with time to yourself. Whether you choose the time to pamper yourself at the spa, journaling your thoughts or simply rewatching your favorite television show, it’s okay to be alone. Being surrounded by a great support system that provides positive energy should enable you to conquer your fears. Be comfortable being alone, handle the bills on your own and know that you are not the only one who has to deal with this. I remember back a few years ago, I expected that college would be so easy to make friends and it would be like high school but just more students and real deal professors. I realized that I have to be comfortable in my own skin to be able to open about my passion and goals in life. With everything, nothing can be done in a split second and like my seven year old cousin always says, “Everything takes time.” As adorable as it sounds, coming from a child, it’s so true. You make the decisions, don’t depend on anyone else. With that being said, I welcome you to our #TeamSolitude issue which I’m excited for you all to find out more about, it’s pretty awesome.
Cathrine Khom founder + chief editor
@alliereed atlanta, ga
@jessbowen n. hollywood, ca
@meldenisse redding, ca
@bwycee dallas, tx
@jillianclare los angeles, ca
@nightriots san luis obispo, ca
@dillonchang huntington beach, ca
@jordangable nashville, tn
@paperdaysmusic san diego, ca
plain white t’s
@effybee new york, ny
@joksiea london, uk
@plainwhitets chicago, il
weaver house co.
@emilyvaughnx boca raton, fl
@megframpton los angeles, ca
@weaverhouseco philadelphia, pa
jun e 2015
do it yourself
on the street
f e at u r e s 22
plain white tâ€™s
weaver house co.
speak up tour
74 76 80
emily vaughn evolution of a mermaid
is s ue t we n t y s i x / / j u n e t w e n t y fi ft e en
t o ri kelly
founder / chief editor cathrine khom copy editor sophia khom publicist faith escalera web designer ariane therrien illustrators eduardo martinez + jaimus tailor diy coordinator madison bass-taylor web content coordinator kristy cheung social media coordinator nicole tillotson videographers jessica eu + gloria wong ads/marketing marisa petrillo playlist maker sena cheung front cover logo fiona yeung back cover logo isabel ramos cover photo madison bass-taylor contributing writers kamrin baker, ashley bulayo, orion carloto, sydney clarke, rachel coker, anna hall, madisen kuhn, emma fjalland lund, chloe luthringshausen, hudson luthringshausen, megan magers, kaela malozewski, lydia snapper, averly tan contributing photographers lexie alley, philipp ammon, mila austin, pamela ayala, talia azadian, viviana contreras, ron dadon, julio-adrian del la torre, justin dingwall, samantha eisenberg, rachel epstein, simrah farrukh, amanda harle, laura harvey, emily hedrick, stephanie huang, ruby james, katy johnson, rachel kober, vivian ku, chris lampkins, rosie matheson, louisiana mei gelpi, natalie montero lugo, kohl murdock, danny owens, jade park, dylan razo, haydn rydings, andy sawyer, katya schulz, zara staples, meagan sullivan, madison bass-taylor, lhoycel marie teope, melissa tilley, acacia trenholm, alyssa vaphiades, madison vujnov graphic designers cassidy boatright, christine ennis, isabel manimbo, isabel ramos, nicole tillotson style department sophie bernard, emily hedrick, katie qian, jessie yarborough connect localwolvesmag.com twitter / instagram / snapchat: @localwolves facebook.com/localwolves #localwolves community
description local wolves magazine, an online + print publication based in southern california with a talented team from all over the world. we focus on embracing the local scene in art, music, entertainment and film. our goal is to capture and share the stories about people doing what they love to do.
general inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org press inquiries email@example.com
COVERAGE: SENA CHEUNG
local wolves magazine // 7
COVERAGE: MEAGAN SULLIVAN
STEEL C ITY P O P S
Tucked in the midst of Fort Worth’s 7th Street shopping district, Steel City Pops gives locals a taste of summer on even the dreariest days. The small chain, inspired by brightly colored Mexican popsicles, or paletas, has just six locations in the U.S. (two in the Dallas / Fort Worth area and four scattered throughout the state of Alabama). Since opening in 2012, Steel City Pops has been dedicated to creating gourmet treats that are equal parts colorful, natural, and healthy. The rotating menu is divided into fruity pops (passion fruit, hibiscus), creamy (peanut butter, vanilla bean), and cookie pops. While every popsicle I’ve tasted has been delicious, I have to say that my favorite is either strawberry lemonade or coffee. If you’re in the area, grab some while you can, no regrets. LOCATION + CONTACT 908 Currie StREET Fort Worth, TX 76107 (817) 744-8544
local wolves magazine // 9
do it yourself + NEON W ALL SI G N +
SU P P LIES + a board of some sort (i used a wood board that i had previously made) + e6000 glue + neon el wire + drill + pencil COVERAGE: MADISON BASS-TAYLOR
STE P S
write out what you want to say in pencil
on the back of the board tape your battery pack and string the el wire all the way through the hole you drilled. tape the wire down at the end near the hole to stop it from being pulled
while spelling your word out, tape it down to hold it into place. finish by gluing the el wire to the board
drill a hole on one of the ends of the first letter of your word. make sure the hole is just the size of the neon el wire in order for it to fit snug)
start spelling your word out with the wire
local wolves magazine // 11
on the street COVERAGE: EMILY HEDRICK The season of summer truly brings out the individuality of fashion throughout Los Angeles. Some trends include gingham skirts, ribbed shirts, crochet, denim dresses and skirts, flared pants, and dark militant layered aesthetics. Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you have to avoid pants or all black looks! Life is all about balance. The world is your runway. I loved the girl’s look with the crochet dress and snake skin boots because of the structure and edginess she brought into the bohemian aesthetic, and isn’t she rocking those snakeskin boots? Even with the hot weather, I loved to see people incorporating elements of layering into their looks. It is my hope that you will be able to find some great inspiration for your upcoming summer looks!
local wolves magazine // 13
n o i r O to: Carlo
o, it’s a Saturday night and you find yourself alone in your room, scrolling Tumblr, and listening to the entire Arctic Monkey’s album on repeat. Somewhere between seeing a picture of a cute and happy couple that screams “goals” and hearing Alex Turner’s beautiful voice sedating your ears, it’s clear to you that you feel absolutely lonesome. Well that’s my life. Now I’m not going to play the whole “I don’t have friends, I’m a loser with my pizza and Netflix” card on you guys, because it’s simply not true. I do have friends and a wonderful boyfriend that I spend a lot of my time with, but there are many times where I close all of that off just so I can have time for myself. So here it is: The truth about being alone. People fear loneliness, and to be honest, in some concepts it can be scary. I get it. But in the grand scheme of things, solitude is healthy for the mind and soul. Being alone can really give you time to learn about yourself. You get to really figure yourself out, discover what inspires you, what makes you love yourself, and what makes your skin crawl. I used to think that being alone was the worst thing in the world, but over the past few years I’ve spent a vast amount of my time
with my own company and I enjoy it more than ever. Most of my best ideas and writings come from being by myself! It’s how I refuel my body and mind. I feel refreshed just from spending a night all to myself! You just have to understand that being alone doesn’t make you lonely, for those are two different things and I think that most of the time we confuse the meanings of being alone with the actuality of being lonely.
“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” - Oscar Wilde
illustrations by eduardo martinez
“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to place you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.” - Eve Ensler
Because let’s face it, we find ourselves becoming great friends with people who act just like us only because it’s easier to get along and find common interests, so why no take the time to really befriend yourself? Your own company should be comforting and the last thing to be exhausting. If you’re sitting here reading this thinking to yourself, “Yeah easy for you to say! I’m the type that gets bored easily, there’s no way I can survive being by myself.” The good news about this is that I’m here to give you some suggestions that I do when I’m alone that I quite enjoy and 100% recommend: - Binge watch that show your friends have been begging you to watch, you may actually become obsessed and finish a whole 3 years worth of episodes in one sitting (it happens, alright). - Memorize the lyrics to Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” and have a total sing session in front of your mirror in only your favorite pair of undies and bra (I prefer no bra because I mean, free the nipple, eh?). - Go out to a new café and have a cup of coffee by yourself. That’s actually what I’m doing right now as I type this. - Get sucked into the Tumblr machine. Scrolling on your dashboard will leave you distracted for hours. - Find some soothing playlists on Spotify and lose yourself and discover new tunes.
- If you have a pet, spend some time with him /her! Nothing’s better than critter cuddles. - Finish that annoying project you’ve been working on for the past 3 months… Is that just me? Yeah? Okay. - Go invest in a bunch of paint, brushes, and a few canvases and have an art night to yourself. - Get on YouTube and try out a few makeup tutorials. Maybe you can master the art of perfect contour and that goddamn winged eyeliner that takes me forever to do. - Simply take a nap. That’s my favorite hobby! Keep yourself busy and you will find that being alone is extremely healthy and so important for self-care and love. Become obsessed with the silence and the company you create for yourself. Relax and take a break. Because like I’ve said in the past and will continue to repeat until the day I die, in the end all you have is yourself. So treat yourself with the respect you deserve. Give yourself time to recharge and discover parts of you that you have yet to discover. Treat yo’ self!
pinpoint + P HILA D EL P HIA / / P ENNSYLVANIA + COVERAGE: MELISSA TILLEY
fishtown PHILADELPHIA, located on the southern point of Pennsylvania, is full of history, culture, and life. There is so much going on in this city at all times, and I am lucky enough to call it home. I grew up in a very small, rural town in Central Pennsylvania, so the outlets for art, music, and delicious food were slim to none. It wasn’t until I got a little older, and started spending more time in big cities, that I realized I was meant to be in an urban environment. At this point of exploration, I also developed a palette for coffee and a craving for creativity and variety in my meal options. Here in Philadelphia, one is constantly surrounded by so many delectable choices. I am now lucky enough to live in my favorite city, and more specifically, my favorite neighborhood: FISHTOWN. Fishtown is a small, artsy area in Philadelphia located northeast of center city, filled with some very forwardthinking individuals, creative businesses, a killer music scene, and an overall hip vibe. Fishtown is definitely the place to be, and where so many of my most-loved food and drink spots are located. While there are so many gems to choose from, I’ve selected three of my favorite joints, which show a wonderful side of Fishtown that everyone should indulge in at some point. Whether you live in the area, or are planning to visit soon, you definitely want to add these three to your list of “must-see” or rather, “must-eat.”
local wolves magazine // 17
The roasting behind REANIMATOR COFFEE began in the basement of partner Mark Capriotti, based around the idea that this particular section of Philly didn’t have much going on in the speciality coffee department, and the drive to fill that gap. Both partners had been putting in time in the corporate world, but weren’t happy with their daily routine. Thus, after some hard work and ingenuity, ReAnimator Coffee was born. Since it’s start, ReAnimator has been “driven by the experience of coffee” and they recently expanded to their second location. I caught up with Mark Capriotti and got a chance to ask him a few questions about this killer coffee joint. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING LOCATED IN THIS PART OF PHILADELPHIA? MC: I moved to this neighborhood in 2006 because I thought it was an interesting place where stuff was going to be happening. I feel like over the past few years we’ve gotten into a situation where there are a lot more options, and I knew that it would be expanding in such a way. It was clear that this was where stuff was moving. There’s just a bunch of people who want to do stuff in this neighborhood. How does it feel to have your second shop up and running? MC: It feels great! We’re not too far away, but I think we’re definitely in a neighborhood that is sort of in the same position that Fishtown was around 2006 when I moved here. Fortunately, I think we’re one of the first flagship businesses in Kensington and beyond that, it’s great to have a clean, beautiful space to work in each day. Not only do we have a cafe, but we are also roasting there, as well as house our coffee storage and offices there too. It’s sort of like the headquarters that we never had before, so it’s nice to go there and see everything happening all at once.
Do you think you’ll stick with two locations, or do you hope to keep growing? MC: I would say that anything is possible. We’re definitely settling in over at the 310 Master location, and right now we are trying to push for a little bit more of a national presence. We’ve won some awards a few years in a row, and since then, we’ve had some people talking about our coffee, so we’re definitely trying to expand our wholesale both locally and nationally. People ask us about opportunities in the city, and I think that if one pops up that is too hard to resist, like our first two locations, then I think it’s possible. We are really lucky because at both of our shops, we are really into the space and the neighborhood. We love both buildings so far, and they both fit our aesthetic, so it’s like a full package. I think that’s what will happen in the future when another similar opportunity comes up. What’s your personal favorite roast and why? MC: There’s a Guatemalan coffee called Peñsco which is the first coffee that we bought the entire lot of. This means no one else in the world has this specific coffee from this lot on a family’s little farm in Guatemala. We all think that it is a great-tasting coffee, but it’s also our first true relationship; we know the family, we’re about to buy it for the second year in a row, and it’s kind of a symbol of where we are headed. We wanted to do stuff like this when we started the company, and it seemed like an unobtainable goal, but we want more of our coffee to be like this in the future. That’s why I would point this particular roast out. Visit: First Location: 1523 E. Susquehanna Avenue + Second Location: 310 W. Master Street // All photos taken at the Master Street location.
little baby’s ice cream Who is the mind behind the zany flavors that can be found on your menu? PA: I came up with the first bunch of unusual ones, but it’s very much a team effort. My partner, Martin manages the kitchen at this point, so we do a lot of brainstorming on our own terms, but we partner and collaborate with lots of local and regional folks, anywhere from urban farms to larger scale farms in Pennsylvania. We also work with local beer companies, candy companies, and dozens of different producers in the area. It’s really cool and exciting to highlight new things seasonally as new ingredients become available. We have a constantly rotating menu and it’s very fun.
In the mood for some ice cream, but tired of the same old flavors? LITTLE BABY’S ICE CREAM is the place to go for zany and unusual flavors that will surprise your taste buds and leave you craving more. And with dairy-free flavors, who could resist stopping in to this shop while in this area of the city? In 2011, PETE ANGEVINE and three friends began to experiment with ice cream making, and within a year, they were doing some fantastic things. I met up with Pete to talk all things ice cream. How did you get into the ice cream business? PA: It was in a little bit of a roundabout way. I started the company in 2011 with two friends, none of us ever having any real experience in food or business, but we were ambitious. We had been involved in different parts of the Philly culture for awhile, and had grown tired of the regular routine we were living. I was given an at home ice cream machine by my mother-in-law and started to make ice cream, and got pretty good at it. I started to see it as a blank canvas; frozen milk and sugar is pretty hard to mess up, so it became a good platform for my imagination and creativity, much in the same way as art or music was.
Any particular personal favorite flavor? PA: I’m pretty partial to one of the weirder ones, which is Everything Bagel. That one made me feel pretty great about my adult life. It’s our standard 16% butter fat, Philly style ice cream base, which is made by our most important partner, Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg. To that, we add actual bagel, onion, and butter. It ends up tasting exactly like an everything bagel. It’s insane, funny, and I genuinely find it to be delicious. What do you see for the future of Little Baby’s? PA: We are getting ready to roll out and expand our pint distribution a good bit, so people in a much wider region than just Philadelphia will finally be able to buy pints of our ice cream at grocery stores in the very near future. Visit: First Location: 2311 Frankford Avenue Second Location: 4903 Catharine Street Custom Ice Cream Tricycles: Find them riding around town at festivals and other Philadelphia events.
What’s your favorite part about being located in this part of Philadelphia? PA: It’s 996 steps from my house. I seriously used a pedometer once. But really, a big part of Little Baby’s identity and our whole reputation and reason for being is to be a positive part of the neighborhood. For me, it’s part a business, part an art form, and part a stab at community development. It means a great deal to me that I can provide something that people care so much about on Frankford Avenue.
local wolves magazine // 19
pizza brain Feeling in the mood for a slice of pizza? Let’s be honest, who would ever say “no” to such a question. PIZZA BRAIN, located on Frankford Avenue, is where you want to go for a tasty slice with a side of art. Pizza Brain isn’t just a place to grab a pie; it’s actually the Nation’s first pizza museum. The Guinness Book of World Records actually named it the largest collection of pizza memorabilia in the world. The food is delicious (it’s also vegan friendly) and there’s so much to see, so you’ve got to check it out for yourself. I had the chance to talk with BRIAN “BRAIN” DWYER, a founder of Pizza Brain, about the shop and what Pizza Brain means to him. How did Pizza Brain get its start? BD: Pizza Brain actually began as an art project. Roughly five years ago, a few of my buddies and I thought it would be cool to curate an art show. I had never done that before, and I was a bit weary because art shows tend to be pretty exclusive, and I’m very much an inclusive person. I knew I wanted it to be about pizza, so I did just that and a few friends helped. I had no idea how it was going to change my life. About 400 people showed up to the show which was called Give Pizza Chance, and everyone really seemed to have such an appreciation for it. Fast forward five years from that night, I’ve been blown away by the appreciation of pizza that exists here. I began seeing pizza differently; more so as a vehicle for creativity and a vessel for art which led me to run a Kickstarter and become the owner of this weird pizza shop in 2012 which is essentially a pizza museum. I’m just fascinated because pizza is seemingly bottomless to who it can touch. Pizza Brain is a safe place for people to come and worship pizza. It’s a real home that envelopes the culture of pizza, and I see it as more of a shrine than anything else.
What’s the best part of running a spot in Fishtown? BD: Absolutely without a doubt the best part about being located in Fishtown is that it feels like a Richard Scarry’s book somedays. Minus the banana cars, I do feel like there’s a lot of specialists; people who do one thing really well, which is how people used to do it before the industrial revolution. It seems like Fishtown is preserving that idea, or at least valuing it. Pizza Brain does pizza, but we don’t try to do everything. We focus on what we know. The fact that we only sell fifteen things on our menu is a justification of Fishtown itself, because everyone is accepting of the renaissance that happens here. I’ve lived in Fishtown for 10 years now and it’s crazy how it’s just growing in itself. I feel good when I walk down Girard and Frankford; there are very few chain restaurants and such in existence and overall Fishtown is full of people who give a sh*t about the neighborhood and want to see it stay the same.
What’s your personal favorite pie? BD: My favorite pie is actually not on the menu, and the only way to get it is if there happens to be a man working with a bald head named Daniel Gutter, our top pizza chef. He makes the “Uncle Gutter,” an upside down pizza and it’s probably the most honest reputation of a red pizza I’ve ever had. If he’s in a good mood with a smile on his face, he may make it for you. Generally though, my favorite is the Forbes Waggensense. I really like the simplicity of how low executed the Forbes is. It gets lot of recognition nationally, and the specific pepperoni that we use on it took five months to find. I believe we are the only place using it in the state. How’d you get your hands on so much pizzarelated memorabilia? BD: Easy internet access, yard sales and a very focused idea in my mind of what I wanted to look for. I had a criteria. I invented the category for The Guinness Book of World Records. When I began collecting, there wasn’t a category for it, so I made it. I have my eyes open all the time and Ebay is very helpful because people are constantly putting things on there all the time. Pizza Brain has a good reputation with people, so now they often come in and give me things to contribute which is great. It’s funny; I have a place where people drop off their “garbage” from their attics because it’s a safe place for it. What once was destined for a thrift store becomes a collectible, and it gets the original owner pumped up to know it’s going to a pizza museum instead. How is Pizza Brain involved in the local community? BD: In the most curious sense of the word, Pizza Brain wouldn’t exist without the community. The very resounding “yes” that we got from the community is why we are here; evidence from the Kickstarter, fundraisers and ongoing support. The Fishtown neighborhood lifted us up on their shoulders and said “yes, we want you here.” There are a lot of people in Philadelphia who love pizza and wanted us to exist. We were the first business added on the block in forty years, and it’s cool to provide this cultural hub where people can come and hang out on a street where up until then wasn’t attracting people at all. We’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the movement that’s happening in Fishtown for about eight years. Pizza Brain seems to fulfill a need in the movement and we are honored to be a part of the conversation. You can really tell when someone cares about their neighborhood; everyone involved with Pizza Brain lives right in Fishtown, so we are very invested and know what the neighborhood means. Pizza Brain wasn’t schemed up in a boardroom far away; we live in it and are here each and every day. Visit: 2313 Frankford Avenue
local wolves magazine // 21
#teamsolitude + W OLFIE SU B MISSIONS + This month we asked our readers: We think #teamsolitude is about being comfortable and believing in yourself and your abilities to independently go after what you want. Why do you think it’s okay to be alone? // illustration: Jaimus Tailor.
People have so many ways to cope with living their life. Some people like to be alone or they like to be in a social setting. In my perspective, I think it’s absolutely okay to distance yourself from people. There may come a time where you can’t exactly find the crowd you can stand and blend into, trust me. You may think that it’s not okay, but it really is. Being alone sometimes helps you find yourself, talking to people is okay but maybe you tend to not do as much when you’re offered to go out and socialize with a bigger crowd. I’ve found myself so much during my third to last year of high school when I was alone. Think of it this way: “You’re working on yourself, for yourself, by yourself.” It may seem extremely overrated because so many people have used this phrase but in all honesty, this phrase lives up to it’s meaning. Do what makes you comfortable! If you like to stay out of the crowd due to certain circumstances, go for it. No one should be allowed to define your actions, life, or thoughts. You do not need validation from others on the way you intend to life your life. So if you feel that being alone is okay, be alone because I would rather be in solitude and live life the way I feel I’m meant to than force myself into a crowd I was not meant to be apart of. – JONALYN CORDERO, STOCKTON, CA I want to get to the point where I’m overwhelmingly content with who I am. I know that doesn’t just occur, you have to work for it, just like anything else worth attaining. I’m going to have to stop being lazy and get stuff done, and I’m going to have to exert more positive energy towards myself and others. I’m going to need to spend lots of time by myself. I think it’s going to be so worth it because I’m always going to be with me. Unfortunately, I don’t get much of a say in how others speak to me and treat me, but I have full authority over how I treat myself. I want to focus more on my health so that I feel like the best version of myself, but I also want to treat myself to mint chocolate chip ice cream. I hope that being more content with who I am will flow outwards and I will be able to impact others positively. Everybody deserves to see his or her individual worth. – CLAIRE SCOTT, FAYETTEVILLe, AR
“ONE HALF MAKES A WHOLE” I’m in love with this girl. Her beauty is inexorable, her eyelashes flutter like the wings of a magnificent butterfly, her hair and skin remain soft to the touch. Nobody knows me better than her. While we walk, our souls merge into one and my confidence goes through the roof as she whispers positive comments in my ear. My friends scrutinize what we have on the daily, defining her very existence as narcissistic and selfish. Although I truly love her, those foreboding nights still exist. She points out my flaws as if she were a cruel doctor examining my issues. Her sometimes cynical laughter rings through my ears and makes me want to demolish every ounce of happiness I have built up for us. She gambles with my emotions and strikes sadness through my body. But as I look in the mirror today, all I can see is her ethereal body and soul which look as if they have been created by an artist. In that moment I know that one half can indeed make a whole. I’m in love with this girl and that girl is myself. – NIKHITA KHOSA, STERLING HEIGHTS, MI It is my firm belief that not only is being alone okay, but it is absolutely necessary. In high school, I was part of a very close knit group of friends. We did everything together. But after high school, in my first few weeks of college actually, I got into a horrific car accident that changed everything for me. Since all my friends were away at school, I was almost completely alone, except for the support of my parents, and I had to figure out how to deal with that. I had to learn how to be myself, without other people. I began re-considering college altogether, and had to figure out who I was if I wasn’t a student. Who I was without my friends. After the accident, it felt like my friends just didn’t understand. I felt as though they wanted me to be the same person I’d always been, and I didn’t know how to be that person anymore. I was having an identity crisis. You know how they say that you are who you are when no one is watching? Well, I’d never felt the sensation of not having anyone be watching. I was always so hard on myself, I never let myself just be. So I took some time away from everyone to figure myself out. Over the past year and a half, I’ve spent a lot of time with myself, trying to figure out who exactly I am. And although that isolated me from my long time friends for a while, I don’t regret it. Because now, after 19 years of not, I finally like the person I’ve become. I finally feel confident enough to do what I want with my hair, to do what I want with my life, and to do what I want in general. As for relationships, well it’s never been a priority for me. I have too many big plans for my life to waste a single second of it pining after
some guy who probably doesn’t deserve it. I’ve always said that you can’t be in a relationship with someone else until you have a really good one with yourself. So now that I have that, I suppose I’m ready for a relationship, but it’s not the thing I want most in the world. What I want most is to write, because it’s my passion. I want to tell the stories that only I can tell, and hopefully help people in some way as a result. So what I want to say to everyone that it’s okay to choose yourself. It’s more than okay to spend time with yourself, laughing at shows, writing, reading and burning your favorite candle. It’s okay to love yourself, and it’s okay to value yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s self-preservation and I highly recommend you try it out sometime. – FRANCESCA CACACE, SYRACUSE, NY There is a frequent misconception that being alone is synonymous with being lonely. For me, drawing a line between those two entities came naturally as I lean towards the more introverted side of the spectrum. I find myself constantly craving time alone, that’s when I can be the most creative, that’s when I’m at my most authentic, and that’s when I feel the most liberated. I don’t think that this is just limited to myself or others of the more reserved nature. Collectively, I think everyone should learn to reach a point where they feel comfortable with being alone and realize that it is more than okay. I strictly believe that in life, there are only two kinds of scenarios that you will grow from. In the first situation, you can learn something by working with others or having someone deeply affect you. In the second situation, the only way to go about it is alone. A lot of the most stubborn qualities within us are things that were instilled when we had no one else to turn to, when we experienced personal failure, or when we simply had no discretion. You will always do your best dancing if you dance like no one is watching. Those enigmas we call epiphanies also tend to strike when you are just in your own solitude with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company. Being alone is perhaps one of the bravest things you can do. It’s about casting that call upon the open ocean, and not being afraid of the echoes that you hear in return. It’s about embracing the world around you without necessarily having to possess everything; it’s about just being content with yourself without having to rely on others for a sense of satisfaction. Once you have adopted that mentality that being alone is okay, that’s when you will be able to genuinely express yourself with passion and without fear of judgement. – SELINA YE, VANCOUVER, BC
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PHOTOS: WESTON CLARK, RICHMOND, VA
When I fell in love for the first time– Not lust. Not attraction. Not like. But full-blown, mind numbing love. It was everything. When that ended, I was nothing and I was lonely and hurt emotionally, mentally, even physically. In my heart, there was this dull empty ache. An ache that needed to be fed. It was constant. Endless. The hurt was not just something I said. It was day in, day out. It was a gut wrenching, heart aching, physically crippling illness. That consumed me, and I let it. Everyone talks about falling in love; about the “butterflies” and the “feelies” about the “I wrote you every day for a year” Nicholas Sparks’ vibes but no one talks about lovelost. The depression. The anxiety. The constant mental hamster wheel of holding on to something that was gone. The desperation. The moments of weakness: The breakdowns. It wasn’t something I understood until I lost her. Love-lost that is. At that moment I knew that it doesn’t matter who or where you loved: Love-lost hits you like a train and unless you have loved selflessly and full heartedly and then lost that love, these above words are empty. But the ironic thing is love-lost is empty and I promise that when love leaves you. You will know and understand these words. You will feel them and you will be okay. What I learned from that pit, that void, was I placed so much of my happiness in one person. And when that one person left I lost myself. I loved so selflessly I didn’t realize the reality of my situation, that I was alone. I had forgotten to love myself. I spent the next two years chasing the girl I lost. Trying to rekindle or rather keep the embers of our lost flame burning. Two years of embarrassment. Two years of excuses. Two years of living for her. Ultimately two years of loneliness. It took two years for me to realize I needed to be happy. I needed to love myself. I need to take hold of, and make “lonely” my own. John Mayer has a song, “Perfectly Lonely” and that’s exactly it because I needed to be perfectly lonely. When I was still chasing her, still living through her. I went abroad to Europe. A two-month stint in London, England working the juvenile court circuit, and two months travelling city to
city, on a three day turnaround, through most of Europe and Scandinavia. I didn’t text her and blocked her from social media from the likes of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Then suddenly I had no reminders, no evidence, will you, that she existed. I couldn’t reach her, and she couldn’t reach me. It was naively, immaturely, weakly, perfect. I realized I didn’t need her and from that point forward I focused on me. I enthralled myself in cities I had never been, people I had never met, and languages I never spoke. I ate and drank local, and every three days I got to lose myself again. I wasn’t travelling with anyone, or anything really. I focused on growing and maturing myself and figuring out what I wanted. I found that the more I lost myself, the more I found. I was single, and in the best sense of the word alone. Yes you can find console in the kindness of strangers or the passion and lust of a one night stand, but those are fleeting moments and those moments are short. Nobody chases depression. Or pain. Or hunger. Or war. They are short term. It’s human nature to strive and pursue the better things. Happiness. And yes there are nights I sit in bed peering through the window of my phone screen seeing happy couples and friendships. A part of me wishes I had those or I watch a movie and the actors portray love and I watch the credits roll wishing I could live in those fleeting farce moments on screen. But I know that I am happy and that if I keep being audacious and bettering myself health, body and mind, good things will come because I am indirectly chasing them; because I put into action the things that better me. I am perfectly lonely and when you are perfectly lonely you can take off across Europe: Walk around a city you’ve never seen or sit at a dimly lit coffeehouse alone for hours because suddenly you realize the sonder. You realize the beauty of places you’ve never been and people you’ve never met. Suddenly the buildings and faces take shape, they become real and they are not just fleeting silhouettes. I am perfectly lonely and that is beautiful. – MARC KEISER, BOSTON, MA / LOS ANGELES, CA
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He told me once that he’s never alone. That his dreams follow him into the morning light, and his fears chase him into the dying sunset. He told me once that I am always next to him, even when he sits alone. He told me once that his mother’s voice is with him, every time he thinks he might cry. She whispers to him that things will be alright, and then they are. I think I love him. He tells me that my love walks in his shadow, and reminds him to be good to me. He tells me that he will never leave me alone. But alone is not such a bad place to be. When I’m alone, my shadow is just darkness, and no one stands in it. I don’t know what it feels like to not be alone. But I think I love him. When I’m alone, I don’t have to be anything. I don’t have to be his, or my mother’s, or a part of something bigger. No weight sits on my shoulders, pushing me into someone else’s shadow, so that I can remind people I’m there. The universe is a very big place, and I am very small. I’m okay with this. – MEGAN BECKER, AUSTIN, TX
Alone does not equate with loneliness. It’s a chance to be who you are, with no judgement. I wish someone had told me that I did not have to feel abnormal for wanting to be on my own. If I had never spent time alone, I would not be so independent. Use being alone as a way to grow. Foster your interests. Water your emotional garden. Do all the things your friends never wanted to do with you. Read as many books as you can. Listen to music, all kinds of music. Watch all your favorite television shows and movies. Write poetry and recite it to yourself in a dirty mirror. Take care of yourself for once. Be who you want to be. Take all the time you can get with yourself and use it to make you, a better you. No one can take your sense of self away from you once you know who you are. Spend time alone so you never have to feel lonely. You will learn what you want from others and from yourself. Therefore, you can make meaningful relationships that will never make you feel like you have no one to hold out an umbrella to you, while you’re standing in the eye of your own inner storm. Plant roots in yourself by spending time alone. Then you’ll never be left with your flowers cut off when the person you planted your seeds in gets up and walks away. Solitude gives you strength in yourself. Use this strength to change your life. You can always start over. Just get to know yourself. I guarantee you’re incredible and worth getting to know. – LIBBY PHIPPS, BOSTON, MA
At a young age, I realized solitude is so much better than socializing. I spent my time in the comfort of books rather than opening up myself. After a school change in junior high, I began to become more of an extrovert. I started making friends, and because of my lack of experience with people, I trusted too many of them; needless to say, it inevitably led me to betrayal. It didn’t stop me, though; I refused to go back to my position as a “loner.” You know the rest of the story, though. I found my true friends and everything was fine and dandy. Unfortunately, though, this is life, and not everything is fine and dandy. I still had a tendency to feel like I was on my own. I still had a tendency to feel like no one was there for me. Except this time, I left it that way. I found the solitude comforting, and I’ve learned to keep distant, because a lot of the time, I find that it is so much easier to be peaceful and alone, rather than having a bountiful amount of friends and betrayal. When alone, you learn to pick yourself back up. You learn and enjoy independence and freedom. It is so satisfying to be at peace with yourself. It is so satisfying to just stay at home and watch season after season of Gossip Girl on Friday nights. I’ve realized it is okay to be alone with the confinement and comfort. – HANNAH BUTLER, HOPE, AR
”My other half” has been a phrase coined by youth to express love toward a significant other, yet the implications of this phrase suggest that they were not a whole person to begin with. In search of a significant other people lose sight of what they love about themselves as they sacrifice their unique qualities for ones that they assume will appeal to another person. A certain level of conformity has the powerful ability to take over what we love most about ourselves in effort to please the people around us. I’ve learned that a little bit of introspection and time alone serves as medicine, allowing us to accept every aspect of ourselves. Without pressures of attempting to follow the beaten path, solitude gives us time to sit with our thoughts and think honestly about personal passion and ambition. The law of attraction states that ones energy attracts like energy. Meaning that as we sit in solitude and make our ambitions concrete, those with similar passion connect by the energy that’s radiating from their being. As opposed to transforming ourselves into what we assume is the ideal person, focus on what we love attracts the right people into our lives by simply being ourselves and outwardly moving toward our ambitions. As we spend time alone and work out personal problems to find our passions, the suitable people find us and enhance who we are instead of completing us. – JENNIFER TARBELL, GRANITE BAY, CA PHOTO: HANNAH ZHANG, ANDOVER, MA
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plain white t’s STORY: KAMRIN BAKER PHOTO: RACHEL KOBER
Way back in the Throwback Thursday essence of mind, the Plain White T’s are young, nuanced and romantic in their most notable 2006 single, “Hey There, Delilah.” The song is played hour by hour on radio stations, staged by show choirs across the nation, and even featured on Nickelodeon’s acclaimed, iCarly. But now, ten years later, the band is older, wiser, and more independent. After releasing their new album American Nights, in March of this year, the group is proudly immersed in their new direction, self-funded and self-motivated. Guitarist, Dave Tirio took time out of his spontaneity fuelled schedule to discuss new chances, adjusting to changes, and taking charge. “What I’ve been saying about this album is that it sounds more ‘like us’ than we have in a long time,” Tirio says. “After years of making music, you tend to screw with the formula a little bit, and with this one, it was finding a comfort zone. The essence of the band is more team based than ever before.” After a history of lead singer, Tom Higgenson writing the songs for the group, American Nights is an effort composed by everyone in the group. Tirio is optimistic about the fresh writing process because he believes his sarcastic twinge has the capability to align with Higgenson’s earnest counterpart. “Personally, I use desperation as healthy pressure to write,” Tirio explains. “I never used to write before, and on this album I contributed a song. It’s not lost on me how weird music is, that you take a thought you want to communicate and go so far as to sing it a certain way so people understand and relate to your idea, and that this all somehow became something that everyone enjoys. Everyone likes music. Even the biggest curmudgeons, like myself. Maybe the enjoyment of it is just something that’s good for the soul.”
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STORY: SYDNEY CLARKE PHOTOS: MELISSA TILLEY
weaver house co. Weaver House Co. is the “cool girl” answer to traditional textiles, as demonstrated by their beautiful patterns and striking Instagram. The woman behind all of that, Rachel Snack, began her business returning from an artist residency in Peru. Here, she came to the realization that the normal 9-to-5 grind just wasn’t for her, and she began looking at ways to channel her creativity into a job. “I quickly found that my biggest need was for freedom– creatively and physically. I purposely held onto one desire: I wanted to be at my loom everyday,” She says. “I needed weaving, or some form of creating, to be a priority in my everyday life.” Always an artist, Snack has been involved with painting since she was six. It wasn’t until she was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that she got into weaving. “It was a fluke of fate that brought me to my love of textiles,” she says. “I had planned to study painting and art education, but was placed in a class called ‘Intro to Fiber’ my first semester at SAIC. I remember the first loom I dressed, I was out of my mind in misery until I started weaving. Then it was like a light switch went off in my brain and I never looked back.”
Now, as the founder and creative director of Weaver House Co., she gets to create not only her own textiles, but also display a large selection of reclaimed ones. “I’m a bit of a collector and I love to go antiquing/treasure hunting. When I say a ‘bit of a collector,’ I mean I have boxes and boxes of antique and vintage textiles. Part of the foundation of Weaver House Co. was taking some of these textiles, conserving them, and selling them in pristine condition.” Buyers on the site can browse an extensive collection of these “treasured” textiles right alongside Snack’s original work. According to Snack, most of her design process comes straight at the loom. For orders that aren’t custom (which she can also make happen), she says that color is the only decision that she makes before beginning. “I design 100% at the loom. My process is supported by intentional material choices and instinctual design decisions. Sketching and drawing are so important to an artist practice, but I don’t incorporate those tools in my weavings– maybe as inspiration, but never in design.” This allows her to create pieces that are completely unique and organic.
Her process, however, is a bit more structured. With many of the warps (aka what the textile is woven from) being hand dyed, production for a piece cannot start until these are completed. She then dresses the loom, a process that can take many days depending on the design, and begins weaving. For a more in depth look at this, readers are encouraged to watch the video on Weaver House Co’s website: (weaverhouseco.com) that shows all of the complexity of her weaving. Like many brands of this age, Weaver House Co. boasts a strong social media presence (namely Instagram), as well as a distribution method that relies solely on e-commerce. Snack credits Instagram as a large part of her brand and branding. “Social media gives you the opportunity to become transparent. With Instagram I am able to show my followers what my process looks like, what I’m currently working on, and where I am finding inspiration.” In addition to this, she is able to connect easily with potential customers, as well as other artists in similar fields. “I have found many kindred spirits and loyal customers all around the world through social media.” For the young designer, the only place to go from here is up. “I have post-its covering every inch of my studio desk with ideas and plans for the future. Many of them are works in progress, so you’ll have to stay tuned for what’s to come,” she says. What we do know, however, is that she will be taking her textiles into the land of brick and mortar commerce in late June at Brooklyn’s Renegade Craft Fair, something that she has been dreaming about for a long time. She is excited to bring her work offline, and create an in-person shopping experience for her customers. Additionally, she hopes to educate others about how to get into textile design. She hopes to work on a curriculum for weaving and dying classes, and to begin to provide small classes in Philadelphia. While her textiles sell all over the country, Snack still values the importance of home. “Place and homeland are themes that I often tackle in my conceptual work, and have greatly influenced my artistic path” She says that without the right environment, she cannot work properly. “I practice stubbornness in my creativity, and I cannot work in an environment that I don’t find comfortable and inspiring. Home becomes the right head space or the right atmosphere.”
“MY PROCESS IS SUPPORTED BY INTENTIONAL MATERIAL CHOICES AND INSTINCTUAL DESIGN DECISIONS.”
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mel denisse STORY: AVERLY TAN PHOTOS: MADISON BASS-TAYLOR
The dream of achieving your goals through the holy trinity of fashion, photography, and blogging, has become a reality for MEL DENISSE. With her talents in modeling, photography and writing, she began her journey with her blog, The Jealous Love in 2013. She broke the barrier of thought by writing daily devotionals embellished with her photography. Over time, another platform of self-expression was sought, and meldenisse.com was born. The personal blog displays her different facets of interest. It quickly received recognition for its unique elements and gained partnership with names that fit its purpose. The twenty six year old creative has cultivated her space in the internet to reflect her whims and full-hearted desires to both inspire and empower her audience. A woman of many talents, Mel has admitted to writing and playing music and has expressed wishes to design clothing. This is all in addition to her already successful blogging, modeling and photography career. For most, this would be overwhelming, but she takes heed to the most positive of thoughts when facing her challenges, or rather, she views them as goals. She strives to “remain teachable and humble” throughout her journey in the fashion and blogging industries. An admirable quality the young woman holds is the ability to be true to herself in a world where it is simple to lose who you are in the midst of a widely sought after dream.
“I posture my heart to remember that what I’m doing is simply a reflection of who I am through the
Growing up in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee has inspired and conditioned Mel since the humble beginnings of her youth. There is a certain energy that is unique to the city. “You can feel it as soon as you land and walk in to the airport,” she says, “There’s so much to explore and experience in a small place with a big heart.” She finds that the seemingly common things in life are what allows her the ultimate inspiration that fuels her creativity. She enjoys spending time at coffee shops where just sitting in one spot and observing her surroundings can make one feel more in tune with the simple ideas. Writing is not only a career, but the ultimate pastime for Mel. This passion combined with her other desires culminate into her treasure of a website. With her humble start, both with growing up and her blogging career, Mel has learned enough to share with those just getting their start in the industry. “Be patient. Be willing to learn. Let your persona speak for you. When it’s you that’s speaking, you’ll grow in momentum as you discover more about yourself through your art. When it’s not fully coming out of who you are, it’s easy to lose vision,” she shares. She also points out that it is vital that fresh bloggers are able to identify their goals and the reasons why they are pursuing the dream to begin with. As she had done so herself, Mel believes that it is important to surround oneself with inspirational people, things, and places. However, the most important of the three are the people, as they have the potential to be creative canvases to throw paint on. Sharing ideas and just keeping up a conversation that is you in the core makes the all the difference. Mel says, “Doors will open as you get more acquainted with you because others will see that too.”
avenue of fashion and art.”
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Every creative tends to have sacred places in the world where their craft expands naturally. Mel shares some of her favorite local gems in Nashville, Tennessee and Redding, California. In Nashville, the coffee shop, 8th and Roast, is the one of choice. It is on the top of her recommendations due to the superb CafĂŠ Con Leche that graces the menu. Other places like 12th South, the Gulch, 21st Avenue, and Downtown Franklin also made the list. Mel promises that one will be lost in the local scene of fun boutiques, delicious food, and coffee shops. As for Redding, she shares that the small town scene sets the mood well for a day of exploration and perhaps some photography. Whiskey Town, Mount Shasta, Lassen Mountain, and the Redwoods are amongst her recommendations. Not much is able to slow down the creative and progressive brains of Mel. Still fresh in her twenties, Mel desires to keep forward with her interests by learning more about fashion design, photography, and writing. She also has some unique topics such as the human body in relation to its role in the emotional and mental health, along with public speaking, on her list of things to delve into in the coming months. Mel is currently inspired by the styles of Mes Demoiselles and Candela, and hopes to collaborate with ChloĂŠ sometime in the future. She looks forward to the year ahead, opening her arms to the challenges and blessings to come.
self-portrait summer PHOTOS: ALLIE HINE alliehine.com
STYLIST: KELLY MARTIN kellymartinstyle.wordpress.com
HAIR & MUA: TIFFANI KING tiffani-king.format.com
DRESSES: MORGAN KYLEE BOUTIQUE, ATLANTA, GA DRESS DESIGNER: HAN CHONG OF SELF-PORTRAIT
LILIANA DRESS SHOES: BAKERS
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PATTERN PLAY LACE MIDI DRESS SHOES: STEVE MADDEN
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LILA MIDI DRESS SHOES: BCBGIRLS
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You may have heard of BRYCE GILBERTSON from her YouTube channel, where she first started posting acoustic covers of songs like “Sway” by the Kooks. Or maybe you heard about Bryce after she released her emotional music video of the popular single “Come What May.” Either way, Bryce Gilbertson is a name that you will definitely be hearing a lot of this upcoming year. At only twenty years old, she is full of the talent, passion, and ambition it takes to make it in the music industry. Gilbertson’s musical sound may be defined as singersongwriter mixed with a dance beat. However, she grew up surrounded by country music in her hometown of Dallas, Texas. “When I was younger, I sang all around Texas at different little country opry venues, and of course fully equipped in my pink cowboy boots,” says Gilbertson. “As I got older, however, I began to really develop my own style and realized country music was not for me.” Although she decided to step away from the country music scene, it still taught her a lot about the music industry and connected her with a network of supportive friends. “The community of musicians in the Dallas area is incredible. The friends I have made through playing shows are friends I know I will have for a very long time,” she says. Music has always been a big part of her life. Growing up with a family involved in the music industry definitely played a major role in influencing Gilbertson to pursue her dreams. “All of my cousins were in bands, my mom sang, my aunt taught voice lessons; everyone was pretty involved. My parents have always been so supportive of my dreams and have done anything they could to help me reach my goals,” admits Gilbertson.
“I THINK HAVING THE RESOURCES AND SUPPORT ALL AROUND ME DEFINITELY PUSHED ME TO BELIEVE I COULD ACTUALLY DO THIS.” With encouragement from friends and family, she decided to take her first step toward pursuing her musical dream by posting covers to YouTube. Her first video, a cover of the Kook’s “Sway,” reached 1,000 views overnight. After receiving such great feedback, she admits, “That was the biggest encouragement I could have gotten. After that, I decided I would do this more for me, not for anyone else’s approval but just because it made me happy.”
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Being in the music industry can have its ups and downs; however, Gilbertson knows it’s important to stay positive through it all. When asked her favorite part of having a musical career, she admits it is playing live shows. “I love getting onstage and interacting with the crowd. Being able to play songs that are close to my heart and have people give a good response is one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world,” says Gilbertson. Unfortunately, being a part of such a demanding industry can also provide a lot of uncertainty. She says the hardest part is the waiting game. Whether it is waiting to find out if you booked a show or waiting for the next big step in your career, it can be easy to get discouraged. However, Gilbertson’s advice is:
“TO BE HAPPY AT THE PLACE YOU ARE AT IN THE MOMENT AND CELEBRATE OTHER PEOPLE’S SUCCESSES. YOU ARE AT THE EXACT PLACE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE AT THAT MOMENT. JUST DON’T GIVE UP.”
The best advice she has received about being in the music industry came from her parents, who told her to always stay true to herself. “People are going to try and fit you into the mold that they want. They’re going to push you and poke you to be what they think you should look like,” claims Gilbertson. “But what’s the point in fitting someone else’s idea for yourself if you aren’t who you want to be? Stay true to who you truly are. Don’t sell yourself out for a little spotlight.” This attitude is exactly what makes her stand out from the rest of the crowd. Gilbertson’s natural charisma has transformed her from YouTube cover artist to singer-songwriter superstar. Her first EP, Prudence was released in fall 2013, and received rave reviews from fans and critics. Although excited to record her first EP, she admits it was definitely a learning process. “I depended a lot on the producer and his ideas of what it should sound like,” says Gilbertson. “I learned that as an artist it is important to be as involved in your project as you can be.” Gilbertson brought what she learned from her first EP into her second recording session, where she admits her new EP sounds completely different. Coming out this fall, her new EP will have a more electronic dance vibe. “All of the songs on Prudence I had written when I was extremely young and were in my opinion very teeny-bopper,” says Gilbertson.
“KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOUR DREAMS ARE. DON’T LET ONE PERSON’S SOUR OPINION TEAR YOU AWAY FROM YOUR END GOAL, BECAUSE FOR EVERY ONE PERSON WHO DOESN’T BELIEVE IN YOU, I CAN PROMISE YOU THERE ARE A WHOLE BUNCH WHO DO.”
“I believe I have grown a lot in my song writing and style. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Lorde and Broods in this project.” Her favorite part about creating new music is incorporating real life events into her songs. She loves when music can tell a story and brighten up someone’s day. “I want my music to make fans happy, as cliché as that sounds,” admits Gilbertson. “I want them to be able to turn on my EP after a terrible day and have it put a smile on their face. If my music can do that, then my job is done!” Although she has only been in the music industry for a short period of time, Gilbertson has already had the opportunity to be part of many music festivals, which she admits is an amazing experience. “Being surrounded by so many talented people is incredible. I love the chance to make new friends and learn from all of the other artists playing,” says Gilbertson. She also loves the fact that festivals allow for a broad range of genres to come together and share their music to fans across the world. One of the moments that stood out to her was when she played at South By So What, where she performed in the pouring rain. After her set, Gilbertson’s friend told her that Anthony Green of Circa Survive had watched her set and loved it. “I was shocked! He is someone I really look up to,” she says. “Later in the day, he made a point to come find me and tell me I did well and that he loved my voice. I was definitely all smiles.” In only three years, Gilbertson has already made a name for herself throughout the music scene. She knows that being in this industry and the spotlight can come with criticism. However, she admits it can be very helpful learning from other people. “If no one ever tells you what you’re doing wrong, you won’t be able to grow as an artist. For me, criticism is a driving force to be better,” claims Gilbertson. When people want to put you down, she says that best thing to do is to when people want to put you down, Gilbertson says that best thing to do is to “Know who you are and what your dreams are. Don’t let one person’s sour opinion tear you away from your end goal, because for every one person who doesn’t believe in you, I can promise you there are a whole bunch who do.”
This positive, ambitious attitude is exactly what will catapult Bryce to superstar status. With a new EP coming out in the fall and a schedule of new shows to promote it, fans will be seeing her a lot more this year. “I’ve grown so much as an artist over these past few years,” she says. “Whether I’m playing for a hundred people or thousands, I plan on pursuing my dream because it’s what I love to do and what I know I was made to do.” STORY: CHLOE LUTHRINGSHAUSEN PHOTOS: MEAGAN SULLIVAN
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jordan gable Story: Anna Hall Photos: David O’Donohue
Top down, salty wind in your hair, and the ocean at your fingertips: this is the feel of Jordan Gable’s hit song, “In My Head.” It’s no wonder that Hollister featured the tune in their summer playlist. “In My Head” is a beachy, happy song that you’ll want to blast in your car and jam to as temperatures rise and cares melt away. Singer-songwriter Jordan Gable is sure to be the soundtrack to your summer. Luckily for us, Gable has a new single coming out very soon called, “Didn’t Mean It.” He explains about the track, “Think Franki Valli meets Katy Perry,” he says. “I haven’t been this amped about a song in a while.” Gable also cites early Beatles as a major influences. He even jokes that “I told myself once, that if I couldn’t write a record as good as A Hard Days Night, my life would mean nothing.” More recently, Gable has been really into Burt Bacharach, “so much so that I just released a live video of me performing one of his songs, I’m always a sucker for a simple, to the point romantic tune.” Behind Gable’s breezy pop melodies, however, is (surprisingly) a biting sarcasm and wit. Generally acquaintances say Gable is upbeat and positive, but his close friends know that he’s “super sarcastic, offensive, satirical, all wrapped in dark humor. I like making people smile though. I try to do it at least 666 times a day.” Gable also mentions that he’s a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan. “I’ve read all of his books. He’s really great at being sarcastic, so I have a lot of fun integrating sarcasm into my lyrics. Even though he’s a novelist, he’s been a huge influence on my lyrical style.” If you’ve ever read Slaughterhouse 5, or any Vonnegut for that matter, it may seem like an unlikely influence on Gable’s cheerful jams. But perhaps that’s why Gable’s music is so appealing; behind his bubbly melodies is a dark humour and behind his catchy lyrics a nuance. Even growing up, he had to do his own thing and be unconventional. “I picked up the guitar when I was eleven. Possibly, an attempt to get girls to notice me because being on the side lines of every sport I played sure wasn’t cutting it.” In his hometown of Akron, Ohio, there really wasn’t a music scene at all. “Akron is a very grey industrial town, so I guess I was in a daydream for eighteen years. Maybe, I still am.”
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Gable may have come a long way from living on the sidelines and living in a daydream, but he’s still unconventional, giving us pop tunes straight out the heart of country music: Nashville, Tennessee. In a town brimming with aspiring country stars, Gable is leading the indie-pop scene down south. Nashville was hard at first, he admits, but it has “grown so much. there’s everything here now and as long as you are entertaining, Nashville is pretty welcoming of any genre, at least the crowd I run in is.” For someone so used to doing his own thing, creative freedom is especially important to Gable, who recently broke away from a restrictive record contract. “I was young and dumb, and just happy to sign anything. Maybe I just wanted to show people from my hometown that I was doing something. I honestly don’t know. If I could take a time machine back and smack nineteen year old me across the face, I would. Nonetheless, it was a learning experience and had a great attorney to save me, which has allowed me to do what I do now (perform, release music, actually own my songs).”
As of now, we can probably catch Gable at his favorite local spot, The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville where he writes lyrics and kicks it with “a bunch of old dudes.” Or we may be able to catch him at a few spontaneous gigs. “A lot of the shows I do are last minute. Catch me on my new television series, Pop Artist With No Booking Agent,” he jokes.
“I’m just kidding, I’m in this for the long haul. Only time will tell what that looks like.” Whatever direction he goes in, Gable won’t stop singing tunes. “Hopefully I’ll be doing the same thing but with a larger audience, if not maybe I’ll just be a crazy dude on the streets. Animals are cool, maybe I’ll be a heartbroken zookeeper singing songs to the groundhogs that never come up to listen.”
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TORI KE LLY STORY: HUDSON LUTHRINGHAUSEN PHOTOS: MADISON BASS-TAYLOR H/MUA: JESSIE YARBOROUGH STYLING: KATIE QIAN
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I FIRST HEARD HER VOICE belting through the radio... then again from the television during a show stealing acoustic performance at the Billboard Music Awards, but the voice that stuck out the most was the one that came from over the telephone. Unlike her powerful vocals, she speaks softly, comfortably; a croon like tone that draws me in and instantly feels as though we are on the same level. Only I don’t have a Billboard chart topper, I haven’t toured with Sam Smith or Ed Sheeran, released two EP’s and booked a North American tour all before turning twentythree. Sounds like a lot? Well, that’s just the beginning for TORI KELLY. At twenty-two years of age, Tori Kelly is one relentless singer/songwriter who is determined to go the distance, and more. You may have heard her name already— and I can promise that you won’t be forgetting it any time soon. While her latest hit single “Nobody Love” has cozied up to the Billboard Chart for 10 weeks running, the musician’s beginnings date back much further. From American Idol on the television to viral videos on YouTube, the name Tori Kelly has been no stranger to households since her early teen years. But the real story begins in Southern California where two parents encouraged their young daughter to sing her little heart out. “I definitely credit my parents for putting up with me for one and just letting me sing,” Tori tells me about her early exposure to music. “They never told me to shut up or anything.” It was an immediate passion, she says, explaining how the musical household she grew up in fostered the flame. As she remembers her younger years— her voice dancing down the halls at just three years of age— I ask her what it was like to be involved with music at such an early age. “It definitely encouraged me,” she says without skipping a
beat. “I look back now and I think of all the exposure to music that I had as a kid — you know, I was doing singing shows since I was six years old— I think all of that plays a huge role even with how I perform now and how comfortable I am on a stage.” And comfortable she is. There seems to be an extra tier of talent required for artists to perform live, and Tori is certainly no stranger to that stage. What sets her apart are her vocals— their sheer power is overwhelming ( just check her out on YouTube), but what makes her memorable is her personality. “There’s something about being on stage where I kind of forget about everything else and its just me up there being myself,” she tells me about her stage presence. “And I think that’s the best part about it because nobody can run up on stage and tell you ‘oh no you can’t do that— maybe do it this way.’ Once the show starts, once that curtain opens it’s all you and you have full control to do whatever you want.” What differentiates Tori from other artists out there isn’t just her distinctive sound. It’s the way she manipulates her environment and connects with her crowd. When she takes the stage it’s her, the music, and the fans. “I think that’s actually the beauty of it— I don’t have to think about, you know, ‘what should I do to set myself apart?’ That naturally happens because I’m just letting loose and doing my thing.” She’s a natural, but she didn’t learn it all herself. Aside from picking up a thing or two during her time on tour with Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, Tori calls herself an observer as she goes on to explain how she’s the “type of person that goes to a show and totally soaks it in, analyzes everything, and studies the performer.” I’m instantly fascinated by the passion she has not just for music, but for captivating her audience. I know she has a special relationship with her followers, but I want to know just what makes it so unique.
TANK: DIVIDED SHORTS, SHOES: TOPSHOP NECKLACE: ARTIST’S OWN
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OVERALLS, BUTTON UP: DIVIDED 56 NECKLACE: STYLIST’S OWN
“there’s something a b o u t b e i n g o n s tag e where i kind of forget about everything else and it’s just me up t h e r e b e i n g m y s e l f.”
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OUTFIT: ARTIST’S OWN
“I think because my fans and I have been doing it for a while we’ve had this connection— since the earlier Youtube days, even when I was posting stuff on Myspace. They’ve had time to learn my personality, I get to learn their personality and we click on a lot of different levels.” Her dedication doesn’t falter— the relationship extends beyond the music to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat... you name it; she’s got it covered. And the rising exposure doesn’t phase her, it never has. “As things grew even more and I got signed and got to put out more music I remember specifically thinking I cannot lose this connection that I have with my fans,” says Tori. “Just because things are rolling, I’m still going to tweet the same, I’m still going to post on Instagram. I wanna keep all that because if I lose it, what’s the point of doing it all?” She’s wise beyond her years, that comes without a shock. And despite her unwavering work ethic (did I mention her first EP was written, produced, and recorded singlehandedly from her bedroom?), she’s no stranger to the lazy Sunday. She’s a SoCal girl, so her idea of down time calls for fun out on the water wake boarding. Even Mario Kart— “I can get down with some Mario Kart, too,” she laughs. And while I am intrigued by what a fierce competitor she must be outside of the studio, I want to know more about what goes on in the studio and the music that’s found its way onto so many playlists. As someone who’s been around for many years, it is no surprise she had some setbacks early on in her career. The process for Tori, though, has been natural, an organic growth as she calls it— not an overnight sensation. She’s worked long and hard to earn her place in the industry and one thing Tori stresses about her road to success is the process, crediting her fans for keeping the wheels rolling
all this time. “They’re the ones soaking it all up, coming to shows, creating that buzz for me.” The buzz has to start somewhere, though— and as a writer myself, I’m curious about Tori’s story. She writes all of her own music, always inspired by events in her own life. Sharing one’s self is hard enough, but producing hit songs has to be just as much a challenge. Although I’d wager she has the process down pat, she agrees the studio can be slightly intimidating. “There’s something about my bedroom that I grew up in, I feel really vulnerable,” she tells me about her go to writing spot. “When you walk into the studio, you’re kinda pressured to come out with a song at the end of the day. There’s something about sitting in my own room I’m free to do whatever I want. I usually get the best stuff out of those moments.” She even wrote a few songs for her debut album Unbreakable Smile in her room, which comes out June 23rd. As for her North American tour, fans can expect nothing less than Tori’s best. She’s planning to make each performance different from the one before, all the while revealing her new music for every crowd. “I’m going to have my band with me, who’s amazing, and I also strip it down and do a little acoustic set,” she explains about the Where I Belong Tour. “I’m back and forth with the guitar and without the guitar. It’s a lot of new music that I’m playing, and it’s cool because [fans] don’t know the songs yet.” If the tour is anything like her BBMA performance, which John Legend dubbed “the vocal performance of the night,” fans are truly in for something special. With buzz like that, Tori Kelly has the perfect momentum she needs going forward with not only her tour, but her career.
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jillian clare Story: Kamrin Baker // Photo: Talia Azadian
Most childhood actors fall under a stigma of growing up into a persona of angst, melodrama, and distrust with the industry. While that can work as a piece of truth in some circumstances, it is quite the opposite for creative, Jillian Clare. "I've been a working actor for 15 years, producing for the past 6 years, and doing random fun things in between it all," Clare told us.
“I think of my career as a long term journey, and I don’t plan on stopping until I’m 80. I guess my background is that I’ve had fun with my work.” As she gets rolling on her career as a more mature professional, Clare will begin filming a feature film called Free For All in upcoming months. She feels as though her character will show a grittier side to her talent and will truly embody the woman she has become. Prior to this new project, Clare has worked on shows like Victorious and Castle, and even before her acting skills came about, her true passion was in singing. "I'm a big 'do it yourself' type of person," she said. "I don't like to wait for the mainstream avenue of the business to tell me I can act. I love making my own art. I'm producing my first feature this year (Free For All) and that's gonna be a wild experience!"
To inspire some of that art, Clare uses the approach of being a free spirit. Not only does this allow her to act in a deeper and more meaningful way, but it creates opportunities in her field. “I feel so incredibly open as a person,” Clare reflected. “I don’t really know what I would be like without acting, but I figure I probably wouldn’t be as full of emotion all the time. It’s taught me to really wear my heart on my sleeve, and that having a wall up as protection will only hurt you in the long run because you will have missed out on some amazing chances.” Clare was discovered at five years old when she was scouted by a talent agent when she sang on a small tour through the Northwest of the United States. From there on out, she took some acting classes in Portland and fell in love. “I’d say the most negative part about acting is the rejection, especially when it’s based on how you look rather than your talent. It blows,” she explained. “The most positive part is obviously my passion for it which is a part of me now and I don’t ever want to stop acting. It’s what makes me happy.” Despite Clare’s impassioned career moves, she also has a quaint lifestyle outside of the schedules of shoots and projects. She is a huge book lover, Darren Aronofsky fangirl, and a dreamer. Her favorite place in Portland is Powell’s City of Books. She is astonished by Aronofsky’s work in Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. Her parents are her biggest supporters and stick around when her head is in the clouds and knowing that, she has nowhere to go but up.
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dillon chang STORY: CHLOE LUTHRINGSHAUSEN PHOTOS: MADISON BASS-TAYLOR
Having a career that you are not only skilled at, but also truly passionate about, is what most people dream of growing up. DILLON CHANG is living that dream. Having a career in the film industry is what he has dreamed about ever since he was four years old. Chang not only has the skill and creativity it takes to become a great filmmaker, but also the passion to turn his films into visual, emotional stories. Chang’s passion for film started with acting. As a child, he loved being in front of the camera, dancing and acting with his brother at family gatherings. “I just loved the imaginative process behind it all. Virtually anything is possible in films and I love that,” says Chang.
“I WAS ENTICED WITH THE CREATIVE FREEDOM TO EMBODY ANYONE I WANTED TO, WHEREVER AND WHENEVER I WANTED TO.” He started learning about filmmaking through watching his favorite films, such as Star Wars. His passion for film then grew to include being behind the camera as well. He wanted to be able to create his own stories and characters. “There isn’t a correct answer as to what life’s meaning is,” he admits “but I feel like spending it making stories and characters than can potentially impact generations is sufficient for me.” Chang was blessed to learn different techniques of filmmaking as early as middle school. He experimented with different types of cameras while filming his friends and family during these years. His early experience in film gave him confidence when he began attending college at Cal State University of Long Beach, as a Film and Electronics Art major with a Theory and Practice of Cinema minor. “The most important thing that I learned while at school was to learn as much as you can in your field, even if it’s not specifically what you want to be doing,” says Chang. “The process of learning never stops, whether you’ve graduated school or mastered your area of interest– keep that ambition to learn always living.” His prior hands-on practice, along with the knowledge of film theory acquired while at university, has helped Chang set himself apart from other filmmakers. Not only did he gain practical experience in the production side of film while working for several surf companies and making commercials before college, but he was also able to master the theory and story telling aspect of filmmaking at school. His Theory of Cinema minor allowed him “to learn about the elements of story, character development, philosophy in themes, and the psychology of films,” turning him into a visual storyteller behind the camera.
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Chang has had the opportunity to combine two of his favorite passions while working: filmmaking and surfing Chang’s work for the popular surfing website, Surfline catapulted his career and blessed him with experiences he’ll never forget. Although surf-filmmaking is an incredible part of his life, he admits that it’s harder than it seems and is much more than just the laid back traveling lifestyle everyone imagines. “To be a good filmmaker in surfing, you really have to be a jack-of-all-trades– directing, writing, cinematography, editing, distribution,” says Chang. “Being at Surfline gave me an opportunity to indulge in all those trades and practice all those components.” Fortunately for Chang, this well-rounded experience has allowed him to take a step closer to his ultimate goal: becoming a successful director. “To be one of the great directors, you have to know about all the different components of filmmaking and I believe making surf films gave me that foundation,” claims Chang. Growing up in California, Chang says his hometown has inspired his style of filmmaking. “California has that facade that everything is beautiful– from the topography to the people, so in turn, I want to make that in my films,” says Chang. However, he also admits that sometimes he wants to escape outside of California and find inspiration in a new place. One of the most memorable moments Chang has had was travelling the world while filming, directing and editing surf videos for brands such as Billabong, Swatch, Hurley, and Quicksilver. He recalls that it was truly a dream working with brands he has idolized since he was young.
Along with visiting exotic places and taking in different cultures while traveling the world, Chang also learned a lot about the challenges of filmmaking throughout the process. He experienced gruesome working conditions, such as intense humidity in South America and freezing rain in Ireland. While in Ireland, he hiked to the base of Cliffs of Moher while carrying 40 pounds of gear on his back, all in the pouring rain. In Mexico, he was stopped by a small platoon of Federalies, carrying weapons and ransacking all of his gear. “It made for some pretty challenging filming conditions and taught me to be flexible,” recalls Chang “to be able to adapt to the situation to obtain the best content I could, but it’s all been lovely looking back. It just gives me even more experience in my field.” Chang’s videos not only tell a visual story, but also pour raw emotion through the screen. When asked how he brings so much emotion into his videos, he admits that his creative process differs depending on each project. “I always start with trying to reduce whatever story it is I’m telling into a single word– the most minimalistic way of expressing the theme,” says Chang. When creating documentaries, he first tries to find the right word to express to his audience, such as “pain” in surfer Courtney Conlogue’s story about her injury in his documentary video, There and Back Again . On the other hand, fictional pieces require more creative processes, such as camera movements and compositions, to express a singular theme to an audience. Whether documentary or fiction, however, Chang admits he wants all of his videos to send valuable messages to his audiences.
“The message I hope audiences gather from my projects are that every human has a story that is worthy of being told and in that capacity, we are all alike,” says Chang. “I want people to relate to others within my stories– whether fiction or documentary. The more people understand and relate to one another, the less animosity there is towards others.” Chang’s talents are not just limited to filmmaking. He also has started his own production company, Effects of Blank where he has began producing his first autobiographical coming-of-age film. The inspiration for the film came from a dark time in his life. He then shaped those feelings into a fictional story that embodied his experiences. “I can’t disclose too much of what the film is about, but what audiences can expect is a real, raw coming-of-age story that I feel many people will be able to relate to,” says Chang. “I hope to use this film as inspiration to others– to inform individuals that your circumstances in life do not define you as a person.” Recently, Chang had the exciting opportunity to leave Surfline to work for Disney Channel. Although he admits surf-filmmaking has taught him many valuable lessons about the industry, he is excited to move to television and take the next step in his career goals. He now will be a postproduction coordinator for a show on Disney XD that will be airing during the summer. “Surf-filmmaking will always have a place in my heart, as will the sport of surfing, and I will still probably end up doing projects from time to time, but narrative work is where my heart and passion has always
laid,” says Chang. Outside of film, he has many different interests, including surfing, snowboarding, reading and music. Filmmaking stands at the top of that list because it allows him to access various interests without having to focus on just one. “I think what pushed me towards filmmaking was that it combined many different creative outlets,” says Chang. “I could direct, film, write, act and so on, and it is all still filmmaking.” One of his favorite aspects of the industry is being able to create stories that can last longer than a lifetime. “My favorite part about working in the industry is getting the opportunity to create something that potentially could transcend my time on Earth. I think having that fire to want to create something that can impact so many people in a positive way, like Star Wars or something, is an amazing achievement,” admits Chang. He says the film industry can be demanding and hard to land a job, but he knows “nothing worth having is easy.” With so many experiences already under his belt, Chang still has many more aspirations he wants to achieve in the upcoming year. “I hope to be able to transition from television into films the same way I transitioned from surfing into television. I’m the type of person that narrows in on something I want and won’t quit until it is attained.” With his passion and creativity behind the camera, there is no stopping Chang from achieving his ultimate goal of being a film director.
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night riots STORY: KAMRIN BAKER PHOTOS: MEAGAN SULLIVAN
In our world’s current landscape of confusion, frenzy, and storming dispositions, Night Riots is a band that compliments the tides quintessentially. Self-proclaimed as having “gloom, passion and energy,” the group is on its way to expanding the alternative scenery. Their newest single, “Contagious” pivots around the idea of being overwhelmed, which isn’t too hard to grasp in this day and age. “‘Contagious’ is a song that stems from the feeling of being overwhelmed in not knowing your purpose and place,” they explain. “As for it being different from any other song we’ve made before, every new song we write is different. We are constantly pushing and exploring new themes and sonic landscapes. I suppose this was one of the first ones where we really started to push some crazy sonic elements.” While their newest EP, Howl was just released this past January, the only place to go is up– on and off the charts. The explorative core of Night Riots has given them opportunities for the ages. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Cage the Elephant, Walk the Moon, The Mowglis, Wild Cub, Youngblood Hawke, and many others. “Typically we wake up in a hotel room with the shades drawn, do a few errands and then head to the studio,” they account, on what a typical day looks like for the band. “These are generally window-less, so as soon as we go in, we lose all sense of time. We will usually work until the early hours of morning when we emerge and head back to our hotel room then we wake up, repeat.”
Their steady schedule is rocked by performances and lyrics that spin off the daily drama of human life. Their steady schedule is rocked by performances and lyrics that spin off the daily drama of human life. When they aren’t recording, the band has a favorite local restaurant called Cha Cha Chili to escape to. The reportedly Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant has fish and spare rib burritos that will “make your taste buds explode.” The five piece band has a hint of that explosive energy, as well. With inspirations like Mikky Ekko, The Cure, and The Strokes, they are bound to create legendary bars that redefine the genre. “I don’t even feel fair answering this question,” lead singer Travis Hawley confesses, after I ask what his favorite recorded lyric is. “It is sort of like asking a parent which of their children they like the most. Some of my lyrics are brash and confident and have obvious trophies in my mind. I am very proud of those lyrics but I am also very proud of the quiet, shy ones that sometimes go under the radar. There are also a couple that belong in juvenile detention.” Sticking with the humble creative process that they know and love, Night Riots plans to keep growing strong and steady as the year progresses. Whether in the studio, or on a hopeful United Kingdom tour, their hearts, melodies, and plans are up in the air– humid and culminating like a thunder storm in the forecast.
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paper days STORY: KAMRIN BAKER // PHOTOS: KATY JOHNSON
SUGAR. SPICE. EVERYTHING NICE. Those are the three words (almost) that Paper Days would use to describe their music. It’s almost impossible not to agree with the four person band, hailing from San Diego, California. This band is the soundtrack you’re dying to hear on the way to the beach, described as “California Dream Rock.” They create a freeing recklessness of sound, grounded by a sunny, lucent core that makes even the gloomiest of days have a chance at summer. Their Playground Dreams EP dabbles with a sensation of paradise and passion. Their consistently strumming guitar backgrounds align with the deep, excited vocals, which are proof that music is equal parts feeling and harmony. “Creating is the best feeling in the world,” they tell us. “Showing others the love can be just as great.” Their love goes beyond the pages of sheet music and the confines of a recording studio, as they hope to present many more live performances throughout the year, in order to band together a solid following and become more inspired to create more content. “Oddly enough, one of our favorite shows was at Ducky Waddles,” they explain. “A tiny eccentric book store off the coast highway in Encinitas. It was wild, intimate and a beautiful experience. Our dream destination is Madison Square Gardens. Not a big leap.” In order to fulfill that fantasy, they will continue to write and record, kicking their creative juices into gear with spontaneity and whimsy. “Our aesthetic is just us expressing ourselves in our childish ways,” they recall. And the path to success kicks off in their playground dreams.
speak up, be authentic STORY: AVERLY TAN PHOTOS: VIVIANA CONTRERAS
Self-discovery is an underrated topic of conversation today, especially with the growing pressures of knowing your place in the world. It is an overwhelming feeling, those pressures. Oftentimes, those who struggle with discovering who they really are, feel very alone in their internal conflict. This affects people across many different demographics, but is mostly concentrated on those who are at the turning point in their lives, where difficult decisions have to be made for the future. It could also simply be the fact that one feels out of place in their hometowns. This, is the ultimate root for the two women who are trying to combat this issue today. By chance, MEG FRAMPTON of Meg and Dia and JESS BOWEN of The Summer Set came together and set out on a tour to talk about self-discovery. This project is the Speak Up tour. The two became better acquainted with one another through their managers, and after an abundance of conversations, the project was born. This free flowing event was created to encourage the conversation. “We both agreed that this would be a project we would enjoy, sharing our stories and helping people,” Frampton shared. Set up as an intimate, panel style discussion, each of the tour dates allows the duo to connect with those in audience more closely.
“I thought it was important to create an atmosphere in which the attendees felt comfortable and had the opportunity to open up and share their stories if they so pleased,” Bowen noted. Both Frampton and Bowen have had many fans reach out to them for advice and help because of their experience, which makes them approachable and qualified to lead this movement. The two have created a dedicated following, as most listened to Frampton’s band while they were in high school and are listening to Bowen’s band currently. This allows their following to know them through their music, thus having an instant connection there already. These young women have had their fair share of stories relating to the topic, which are not the easiest to share with the public. But, they do so despite of that “so that everyone can speak up in a supportive environment.” With such a personal topic of discussion, it is almost more beneficial to individuals to speak to those they do not know to receive some unbiased opinions and advice. Frampton and Bowen recognize this, which makes their tour a promising project. ON AUSTIN WINDBREAKER, SHIRT, PANTS: ZARA MAN ON AARON SHIRT, JEANS: H&M SWEATER: IZOD CAP: AMERICAN APPAREL
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There have not been very many events that focus straight on the topic of self-discovery, so the duo made sure to fine-tune the sub topics to fit with those who are interested. They had to really think of what it is that would allow more people to relate and receive the full experience. Also, “our events are a little different in that Meg and I share our own stories and struggles instead of focusing on the broad topic of self-discovery,” Bowen adds. The future of this project is looking great, with the positive feedback it has received thus far. The duo hopes to take the tour onto the next level and expand their West Coast dates to include more of the East Coast and everywhere in between. The expansion of this project will not only benefit those who attend, but it would also spread the simple and important message to all from Bowen:
“WE HAVE TO BE AUTHENTIC WITH OURSELVES BEFORE WE CAN FIND AUTHENTIC PEOPLE TO CONNECT WITH IN OUR LIVES.”
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joksie adewale STORY: ASHLEY BULAYO PHOTOS: ROSIE MATHESON
If you’re a longtime Local Wolves reader, then you already know the people we feature on our pages are the ones who are out doing incredible, amazing things and chasing their dreams. Isn’t that what we essentially all want to do in our lives? Do something we love rather than doing something we hate? If you need another person to inspire you to do the same, allow us to introduce you to Joksie Adewale also known as the genius behind Infinitee Apparel. Never heard of Infinitee Apparel? It’s a must for all fangirls and boys. If you’ve ever found yourself amidst thousands of others screaming for Calum Hood or just boy/girl bands in general, this is your go to apparel that you’re missing out on. But first off, let’s rewind. We’re talking about Adewale here, people! Aside from being the head honcho over at Infinitee Apparel, she’s a blogger, content creator, tweeter, designer, oh and a student. UM. PAUSE. Some people can barely manage figuring out what they want to do for the next five days but Adewale is out there killing the game. With her love for pop culture, music and film running through her veins, she went out and did something using her artistic abilities. “I used to spend hours of my time just drawing and creating, often based on whatever I was loving at the time, with subjects ranging from The Hunger Games to Justin Bieber. One of my friends already had a custom clothing store, so once I’d done some in depth research on how to get designs onto clothing, I was ready to go!” said Adewale. She’s come a long way from The Hunger Games and Justin Bieber. Hop onto Infinitee Apparel’s website and you’ll see a plethora of 5 Seconds of Summer, One Direction or quirky saying tees that make you question your needs versus wants. In fact, you can still purchase her very first design: the “Believe” crop top and her second design in the same style, the “Rock Me” crop top. Thanks to the incredible help of social media, the response was incredibly positive after those designs were created and published for public opinion. She then went on to produce beanies and phone cases, many of which had designs that sold out before they were even in stock. “This really shocked me, as I didn’t think one person would want to buy any of my designs, let alone the thousands that now have,” admits Adewale. The thing that makes Infinitee Apparel truly unique is that Adewale listens to what people want. As it is for everyone, ‘creator’s block’ is a real thing that happens to her as well but that doesn’t mean she stops production altogether. She ventures out into the world of Twitter and reads what her followers have to say.
“If I’m really stuck for ideas, my customers are never short of any, and they love sharing what’s been inspiring them with us on twitter. If there’s a common theme, I’ll take that, do more research and gather ideas and then put together a phone case or top design. That’s perhaps my favorite thing about Infinitee, it’s not just a collection of items based on my likes; it represents our followers too and what they love,” she adds. Granted, there are so many up-and-coming designers out there that are still trying their best to become well known in such a competitive industry. With new designers popping up almost everyday, it’s hard to be seen as a “fresh and new” brand for everyone to check out. As for Adewale’s approach into the business, she taught herself how to become a graphic designer which didn’t necessarily require her to hire people to take images, design clothes or create graphics for social media or the actual website. She does advise others to “think about visuals, and to make sure they appeal to the people that you want to sell to.” With more and more people following the brand, requests are rolling in which range from The 1975 to the Janoskians. We may even expect something inspired by Fifth Harmony (“They are really starting to grow on me.”) She’s also looking into continuing collaborations with others such as the one she did with the band, Concept. Lastly, fingers crossed for hopes that one day celebrities such as Kylie Jenner will eventually wear Adewale’s designs! It’s her dream so let’s turn her dream into reality. Look, as mentioned before, Adewale’s juggling quite a few jobs so time management and a good head on her shoulders is essential. It took her a few tries to get to where she is today but she pushed through it all. Really! A few years ago, when Infinitee Apparel was just taking off, Adewale neglected her studies which in turn stressed her out and resulted her taking some time off of school. However, things are now back to normal in her life. “When I’ve got to run a blog, several social media accounts, a business and keep on top of my grades and social life. It’s so much easier to do when you’re in a good state of mind.” Infinitee Apparel continues to gain attention worldwide and there doesn’t seem to be an end anytime soon, “I feel lucky that something I love has become my job, and when I finally finish school this summer, I’m going to put all my efforts into blogging, YouTubing and Infinitee Apparel.” You hear that guys? The future is bright for Ms. Joksie Adewale. It’s time we all start getting used to hearing her name everywhere.
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emily vaughn questions: rachel coker PHOTOS: viviana contreras
You’re only TWENTY years old and you’re already in magazines talking about your work in the music industry! How did you get started as a singer/musician? EV: I’ve been musically inclined my entire life, I was already singing and writing songs in elementary school. I started taking piano lessons at age 7, self taught myself guitar at 13, and went to a music school after high school. I’ve literally written hundreds of songs throughout the years and I feel it won’t ever grow old to me. There’s nothing like the adrenaline I get whilst writing a song that I believe in. Music has always been a part of me and has brought me to life in so many ways. I feel incredibly blessed to have people supporting me and taking this journey with me. What’s the story behind your first single “Hollow” AND What kind of special meaning does it hold for you? EV: I wrote “Hollow” when I was transitioning out of a negative relationship. I’ve found that writing helps me verbalize my thoughts and come to terms with the reality of them. It’s a very transparent and vulnerable song about getting out of an empty relationship after finally seeing that I deserved better.
It’s definitely a very meaningful song to me because it was my first official single and it’s been so cool seeing so many different people that have been in similar situations relate to it. You grew up in small-town Florida but recently relocated to LA to promote your music, right? What has the switch to the big city been like for you? What do you love about LA? EV: These past few months have been filled with traveling back and forth from Florida to LA to work on my music. I’ve met some incredible people and worked with some amazing musicians on this journey and I’ve loved every minute of it. I think my favorite part about LA is that everyone I meet out here has such a strong drive to succeed, it’s super inspiring to meet people who are fulfilling their dreams. Who are some of your musical inspirations? EV: I have a wide variety of influences due to my deep appreciation for all different genres of music. I can’t get enough of female vocalists/pop artists such as Lorde, Banks, Taylor Swift and Tove Lo. Though my genre is alt-pop, I tend to naturally sing with indie vocal tones that add a “Broods” or “Daughter” feel.
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When have you felt the most discouraged and ready to give up on your dreams of being a musician? What made you change your mind? EV: I think all musicians have moments where they feel discouraged because there are so many of us with the same dream. I’m learning that everyone is unique and different in their own way, and another musicians talent isn’t the absence of my own. I’m definitely a dreamer, but sometimes the thought of not achieving my dreams can be scary. You’re probably not dreaming big enough if your dreams don’t scare you a little bit. When you’re not performing or working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? What are your favorite Florida or LA hangout spots? EV: I still find myself writing or working on something related to music even on my days off. I love going on adventures and capturing moments through photos, I’ve always been super fascinated by bringing memories to life through pictures (and melodies.) If I’m not doing any those things you can probably find me at the nearest beach or feeding my caffeine addiction at some local coffee shop. Describe your dream concert. Where is it, who do you invite to guest perform, and what are you wearing? EV: I feel like every artist dreams of selling out Madison Square Garden, (or even just playing it) so that’s definitely on my bucket list. There are so many amazing artists I’d be so honored to perform with, but it would be a total dream to perform or write with any of the influences that I listed above. (Lorde, Banks, Taylor Swift, Tove Lo). I love the energy they have on stage and would be so beyond stoked to perform with any of them. I see myself wearing a little black, lacy swing dress that sways to the beat of the song, and some black leather boots.
Have you had any tingling “wow I think I’m finally making it” moments yet? IF SO, What is that like? EV: This is all still very new to me, I’ve been making music for years but I am just now starting to actually release it. Everything still feels sort of surreal. Seeing such positive feedback on my first single, “Hollow” has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my entire music career thus far. I’m so excited to share these new tracks I’ve been working on so I can experience that feeling all over again. You’re so good at connecting with your fans! What social media app are you the most addicted to? EV: It’s so cool to me that I’ve received encouragement from people I’ve never met. I always try to respond and let people know how much their words mean to me. I’m super obsessed with how social media brings people together, and I’ve met so many awesome people through it. If I had to choose one, I’d probably have to say Instagram because it’s such a great little community to connect with other creative minds. What’s coming next and in the near future? EV: Yes, you absolutely can! Some things are better left unsaid but I can promise that I’m in the process of working on some dreamy new tracks that I’m super anxious to share with everyone! Fill in the blank. “People don’t realize this, but Emily Vaughn is . . .” EV: Super outgoing, but also faces moments of nervousness before playing or releasing new music. Pouring myself and my experiences into a song and releasing it for the world to hear can definitely be nerve wracking. However, it is such an amazing and rewarding feeling knowing that people can connect and relate to my lyrics.
“ Yo u’ re p ro bably not dre aming b ig e n oug h if yo ur dre ams do n’ t s ca re yo u a l ittl e bit.”
evolution of a mermaid // eff.y.bee jewelry PHOTOS: KATY VIOLA // MODEL: CAITY CAHALIN HMUA: ALICIA WHEELER // STYLING: KATIE QIAN
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On the cover, Tori Kelly // Featuring: Bryce Gilbertson, Mel Denisse, Jordan Gable, Night Riots, Emily Vaughn and loads more.
Published on Jun 5, 2015
On the cover, Tori Kelly // Featuring: Bryce Gilbertson, Mel Denisse, Jordan Gable, Night Riots, Emily Vaughn and loads more.