#DISCOVERY Let’s cut to the chase. I’m already thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and I can’t believe fall semester is almost halfway done. *Yay for college students like me!* Almost at the home stretch. Two things I’ve been obsessed with starting off with the show, Empire and if you follow me on any social media then you know how much I’ve been loving this show. The wonderful cast who are so talented and their soundtrack is currently on repeat because it’s that good, my friends. So many emotions for this show and of course, HTGAWM is giving me the chills because I’m living for the flashbacks like season one, it’s such an intense but thrilling show, I love it. Also, I’ve been digging pumpkin spice lattes more than usual and excited to announce that Local Wolves will be sharing monthly playlists on Spotify. Eeek! We can’t wait for more curated work from our staff, talents and of course, you— our readers! Speaking of our readers, this issue is all about discovery with creatives from different fields and backgrounds. Such an honor to work with the talented, Tyde Levi in this issue and overall, this season rocks so far.
Cathrine Khom founding editor-in-chief
babe @babetheband hollywood, ca
karan brar @thekaranbrar hollywood, ca
steadfast coffee @steadfastcoffee nashville, tn
beach weather @beachweather beach weather, usa
lights @lights toronto, ontario
the walk off @thewalkoffmusic boston, ma
circa waves @circawaves liverpool, uk
luca fersko @lucafersko manhattan, ny
top knot goods @topknotgoods los angeles, ca
fleurie @fleuriemusic nashville, tn
made in america @miafestival philadelphia, pa
tyde levi @tydelevi perth, australia
garrett hilliker @colorsbynet southern california
onairstreaming @onairstreaming austin, tx
wilder @wildershop nashville, tn
justin johnes @justinjohnes massapequa, ny
sin @iwearsin london, uk
william haynes @mrwilliamhaynes los angeles, ca
do it yourself
f e at u r e s 22
made in america
the walk off
top knot goods
beach weather garrett hilliker / colorbynet
tyde levi luca fersko
founder / editor-in-chief cathrine khom
is s ue t h i r t y / / o c t o be r t w e n t y fi ft e en
t yd e le vi
managing editor samai khom copy editor sophia khom playlist editor sena cheung illustrator megan kate potter maker madison bass-taylor website coordinator kristy cheung videographer jessica eu stylist katie qian hair/makeup artist jessie yarborough front cover logo fiona yeung back cover logo isabel ramos cover photo viviana contreras contributing writers kamrin baker, ashley bulayo, orion carloto, sydney clarke, rachel coker, michael grasseschi, anna hall, chloe luthringshausen, hudson luthringshausen, kaela malozewski, lydia snapper contributing photographers lexie alley, mila austin, pamela ayala, viviana contreras, rachel epstein, laura harvey, ruby james, katy johnson, rachel kober, chris lampkins, rosie matheson, danny owens, jade park, meredith sherlock, meagan sullivan, madison bass-taylor, lhoycel marie teope, melissa tilley graphic designers christine ennis, isabel manimbo, isabel ramos, nicole tillotson connect localwolvesmag.com twitter / instagram / snapchat: @localwolves facebook.com/localwolves #localwolves community physical copies magcloud.com/user/localwolvesmag general inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org press inquiries email@example.com
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.
get involved / projects firstname.lastname@example.org
coverage: sena cheung
local wolves magazine // 7
STEADFAST C OFFEE
COVERAGE: MACKENZIE MARONEY The appropriately named Steadfast Coffee is coming in very, very hot onto the Nashville coffee shop scene. The business is owned by three men who initially became excited by the prospects of joining the growing industry of specialty coffee making a few years ago. Two from the trio, Sean Stewart and Nathaniel Mehrens, spent time working together at Bongo Java before honing their skills in coffee entrepreneurship at the well-established CREMA Coffee in Nashville, TN. Meanwhile, the third owner, Jamie Cunningham, was acting as Bongo Java’s Director of Brewing and Education. When Stewart and Mehrens started making serious efforts to branch out on their own, Cunningham was brought on as a partner and they signed a lease in Germantown in 2014. They’ve been growing steadily ever since. Luckily, the coffee-centric city of Nashville, Tennessee was more than willing to embrace the unique vision and hospitality of Steadfast Coffee. This includes a very distinctive and purposeful focus on coffee minutiae; from the difference in the flavor palate of a rested drink (more on this later) to how the decor interacts with the coffee drinkers’ participation in the experience. You can see it in the way Mehrens talks about the cafe, “clean lines and simple aesthetics.”
Also, of course, historically in line with the hip coffee shop image, perhaps bringing about images of Hemingway sitting outside with his double shot staring at the mountains. Steadfast Coffee also features a healthy menu crafted by Julia Sullivan, who Mehrens met at Pinewood. To the owners of Steadfast, she was an integral part in helping elevate the customer expectations for what a coffee shop experience should be. “She really blew us out of the water. We’re very grateful to her for her hard work and for sharing her talent with us.” They work closely with local farmers to ensure product quality and the freedom to experiment, which, as Mehrens explains, is very important to the business. “We’re really interested in innovation. Coffee soda, flash chilling, rested drinks, fusing coffee and cocktail cultures, and just generally playing around.” Rested drinks, one of the unique coffee profiles being served up at Steadfast was discovered on accident by Mehrens. It’s described on their site as a new take the traditional espresso beverage. Like a fine wine, the espresso is allowed to ‘age’ where it says one will find the flavors to be more complex, ripe, full.
“I knew that sugar did a great job of stabilizing the volatile flavors of coffee and I was just experimenting with batching drinks for consistency and efficiency. I wanted to see how long it would take the flavor to deteriorate, but it turns out it sometimes gets way better! Who knew?” It’s this kind of fearless experimentation and willingness to make (albeit, happy) mistakes that has become a hallmark of Steadfast, the name represented in both their visions and actions. “It’s true that holding too tightly to a mantra can sometimes inhibit you from discovering new, possibly better ways of doing things.” Beyond this even, they also focus on the soul— the overarching thing tying everything together to create a full experience at the shop. “We definitely have lots of ideas that we have yet to get started on, but we’re very passionate about things like hospitality and customer experience in the shop,” says Mehrens. “It’s a lot easier to enjoy your drinks and food in a place that is friendly and inviting.” It’s evident that Steadfast Coffee really is changing the coffee game. Their commitment to excellence and innovation in their field is inspirational, and a perfect example of how to navigate the new age of entrepreneurship in America. When asked if he had any advice for future entrepreneurs wanting to start a business like Steadfast, Mehren replied, “Work hard, make lots of friends, be flexible and don’t get too attached to your own ideas. Everything changes, but that’s what makes it fun.”
LOCATION // CONTACT : 603 Taylor St. Nashville, TN 37208 (615) 891-7424
local wolves magazine // 9
do it yourself + C HI C KEN C HO P P ED SALAD TO G O +
IN G REDIENTS + mixed greens + chicken + jicama + manchego cheese + almonds + dried cranberries + dates + champagne vinaigrette (i kept the greens separated from the toppings in a separate jar so the greens donâ€™t wilt from the dressing on the bottom of the jar) COVERAGE: MADISON BASS-TAYLOR
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n o i r O to: Carlo
ere I am. In the same ole coffee shop, drinking the same ole $2.75 coffee, with the same thought to myself, “what the f*ck am I going to write this month?” A lot of the time this comes super easy to a gal with a lot of free time like me, but every once in a blue moon I have those days where the last thing that’s hitting me in the face is creativity. SO, that’s when I turned to you guys (and by you guys I mean my Tumblr peeps) and asked what’s something you’d like to see in P.S. Positivity. I got some pretty gnarly suggestions and some others that made me question some of you guys (yes, this one’s towards the anonymous fella that suggested I write a column titled (“A List of Things I’d Like to Do to Drake”). No I’m not going to give you all a list of sexually desirable things I’d like to do with a celebrity, but instead, this month I give you: “One Too Many List’s of Some My Favorite Things.”
“Sharing our story is an important part of healing that often is overshadowed by our fear, or our pain.” - Brit Barkholt
Black Swan Melancholia
“The two most important days of your life is the day you were born, and the day you figure out why.” - Mark Twain
Dead Poets Society Blue Valentine 500 Days of Summer AMY Corpse Bride Grease
Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet C’mon guys. This was too easy. If you follow me on any form of social media, you know that this man has my heart when it comes to literature. His work makes me SWOON. Dirty Pretty Things takes me to a whole new world filled with romance and erotica that I just simply can’t get enough of. It shows pure innocence yet is so risqué, and there’s nothing better than that balance! Poetry at its purest form. Lullabies by Lang Leav Lang Leav is such an underrated poet and this needs to change. Being the girlfriend of the darling Michael Faudet, there’s no doubt that this babe has an outstanding mind of her own. Being the writer of many poetry books, Lullabies is by far my favorite due to the deep emotion she is able to convey throughout the pages. If you’re a fan of Mr. Faudet, you’re bound to be a die hard fan for Lang too.
“Women who wear black lead colorful lives.” - Neiman Marcus “If a writer falls in love with you, you could never die.” Unknown “For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson “Go to a coffee shop. Sit by the bar with the glass windows and look out. Look at all the people running to catch a train. All the girls with one too many shopping bags. All the couples too in love to care. Then you’ll see it - a bit of yourself in everyone. And somehow, sitting alone in a coffee shop had never felt so good.” - Unknown
“Rivers and Roads” // The Head And The Heart “Berlin” // RY X “You” // Keaton Henson “Unchained Melody” // The Righteous Brothers
Bluets by Maggie Nelson This one was recommended by my good friend, Kaiti. The book shows so much beauty through the choice of words and the events in general. Throughout the book, Nelson tells a story about different events in her life that involve romance, personal conflicts, and self-exploration reflected through the color blue. She gives you the whole meaning behind her favorite color and boy, is it beautiful! My favorite part is when she mentions the Hotel Chelsea, a place on my bucket list to stay.
“Chelsea Hotel No. 2” // Lana Del Rey “Stronger Than Me” // Amy Winehouse “Jungle” // Drake “The Way You’d Love Her” // Mac Demarco “Cry Me A River” // Ella Fitzgerald
Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling Do I even NEED to give an explanation on this one? It’s a totally iconic collection. If you haven’t read any of the books, you’re a filthy muggle… And you probably don’t even know what that means. Pity, pity.
local wolves magazine // 13
pinpoint + W ILDER / @ W ILDERSHO P + STORY: LEXIE ALLEY // PHOTOGRAPHY: MACKENZIE MARONEY
Although less than a year old, WILDER has developed a loud and clear voice in the Nashville community. Started by Josh and Ivy Elrod by way of New York City, Wilder is a contemporary design shop featuring furniture, lighting, tabletops, artwork, fragrance and jewelry. Realizing how oversaturated the market was for their business plan in New York City, Josh and Ivy decided to bring their concept and vision to an area where they could be the pioneers. Nashville, with it’s huge (and growing) music and art scene seemed like the perfect place to reestablish themselves and start their entrepreneurial endeavors. “I don’t think we could have launched Wilder in the Nashville of 5 years ago— but there is a palpable energy happening here right now— not unlike what I was feeling in Williamsburg in the late 90’s.” They saw this new and growing Nashville as a perfect chemistry of opportunity to create interest in their store. Ivy and Josh both have extensive backgrounds in theater and performance, and this has played a big role in the aesthetic and blueprint of Wilder. “[In theater and film] space is manipulated, created and played with. We love changing vibe and tone— whether that be with lighting, smell, texture or sound. We liked the idea of being able to keep playing with those sensory experiences and pass them on in some way.” Wilder’s wares are divided between sit, see, use, feel, and wear. This ties in the synthetic, multi-sensory orientation that Josh and Ivy have already utilized extensively in their long running performing and art careers. To extend it to their entrepreneurial endeavors made sense. “These categories are organized by instinct (meaning in my mind!), however the system is designed to encourage thinking in a sensory way for the user— so obviously you can ‘see’ art objects, but I’ve listed them under ‘feel.’”
It’s a unusual take on organization that gives Wilder a freshness that can be hard to achieve in a niche with an already popular blueprint. Wilder offers goods from all over the world, hand-picked by Josh and Ivy. They go by instinct when picking their merchandise and rarely deliberate. With a debut of Andra Eggleston’s textile line, woven baskets from Doug Johnson of Brooklyn, and usable ceramics by Glaze Moods to name a few, one is sure to find an eclectic mix of useful and irresistible pieces in Wilder’s store. While Josh and Ivy have no previous entrepreneurial experience, that does not seem to have been a deterrent nor a huge challenge. “Being performers/artists in New York City for several decades prepares you a lot for running a small business— there’s definitely a relationship there, and we both have worn and continue to wear hundreds of hats. Fortunately, we dig hats.” When asked if they had any advice for future entrepreneurs: “Take advantage of resources— I went to a small business incubator in NYC called WIBO and I absolutely credit it as central for how we’ve approached and developed Wilder. Talk to anybody and everybody who inspires you. Start small, dream big.” Even if you do not live in Nashville, you can still purchase their unique merchandise on their website: (wilderlife.com) Just be prepared to spend money, or to stop yourself from doing so. You’ll likely be tempted with something in every category.
LOCATION // CONTACT: 1212 4th Ave North Nashville, TN 37208 (615) 679-0008
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#discovery + W OLFIE SU B MISSIONS +
QUESTION: What comes to mind when you think of selfidentity in who you are as a person and around others? // Illustration (left): Megan Potter, UK I feel like a lot of pressure comes with the thought of selfdiscovery/identity/growth. How do you know when you’ve truly found yourself and who you’re meant to be? How do you know when you’re content with this idea of yourself? What does it truly feel like to be completely comfortable in your own skin? How do you know if you’re being yourself? It’s scary because sometimes people make you feel like there’s a time limit which makes it even harder. During all this growth I want to know that I’m not pressured to find out who I am in a certain amount of time. I don’t want to feel like time is running out. I don’t want to rush. I want to take my time. I don’t want to feel the need to be in a certain category. I don’t want to be scared of what other people will think of me. Everyone’s always saying “don’t worry about what others think of you,” but self growth and discovery doesn’t solely depend on the time you spend by yourself. It includes just how well you connect with others. How much of an impact are you making on other people? You’ve got to showcase what you’re all about to the people around you. There are people out there that will completely dismiss others because of how weird or different they seem. A lot of people are scared of being different. They don’t want to jump out of their comfort zone. Weird is different from wrong. You’re not wrong for being weird or out of the ordinary. I won’t say that weird doesn’t exist because it isn’t a bad thing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. At the same time, being rude and saying/doing nasty things is not okay. Don’t use “I’m just being myself,” as an excuse to be a jerk to everyone else. Being yourself shouldn’t bring harm to anyone else or yourself. If you’re not like everyone else, that’s okay. If you love to follow the newest trends, that’s
okay. If no harm is being done, you’ll find people that are mature enough to accept you. Negative opinions shouldn’t phase you during self growth. Keep taking in those positive thoughts to help you grow. This may sound like a rambling mess but it’s how my mind works and I know it’s part of who I am. I am not always organized. My room isn’t always clean. I get super nervous and go mute when I’m in front of large groups and professional settings. I’m not always down for work but when I am, I put my all into it. These are only a few of the parts of me that I have found and accepted but I’m only 17. Don’t listen to that “life’s too short” crap because rushing won’t solve or help anything. We’ve still got so much more to discover and accept about that and ourselves should bring you excitement not pressure or discouragement. – NESA GORDAN / NEW YORK, NY To some, self-identity provides stability. It grounds them in periods of turbulence. For me though, my self-identity is an ever-changing whirlwind, blurring in and out of existence, somewhere in between dreams and sanity. Sometimes, I think I can summarize myself: writer, environmentalist, and feminist. But then I realize that I am not meant to be limited by mere words. I think of how I look when I listen to my favorite album, dazed yet blissful, how I walk with purpose, how I am often so excited I can barely speak. I am more than faded memories or generalizations. I will never be someone who slips through the cracks, who keeps a composed smile under stress, who never swears and knows just the right thing to say. I am simply me, sloppy, crass, but passionate. I ask unnecessarily personal questions. I over share. One moment I am a spark that ignites with every breath, the next I am a flame that swallows you whole. I am a writer, environmentalist, feminist, but I am also so much more. – EMILY ZHENG / THOUSAND OAKS, CA
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If you asked me who I was one year ago, I would most likely respond with an answer that characterized me as an insecure, angst-filled teenage girl. I would curse my body and my mind, with insults regarding trivial features such as the split ends of my hair, or how I had far too many belly rolls for the average chocolate consumer. Prior to my thirteenth birth-day, issues concerning my physical attributes were never an avid thought in my mind. However due to the people I was surrounded by, and the society I grew up to know, I was subjected to identifying myself in a way that was simply, sad, because of these rules and regulations the people of my generation had set, in order to be a beautiful person. The course of my self-ridicule stretched on for about a year and a half, until the first day of my summer vacation. On that sunny, warm morning, I decided that I was not the person I had been saying I was, nor was I (and ever will be) the person that others perceived me as. Today, I am a passionate, caring, and empathetic young girl. I laugh too much, and get angry too little. My hands hurt from writing in my journal, and although insisted to type instead, I cannot help but love the feeling of paper beneath my palm. I love to be scared, because I discovered that I would rather feel my heart race than to feel it stop. My friends say I am loud and crazy, but I find serenity when there is quiet, and I am alone. These are minuscule discoveries, but discoveries nonetheless. I wish I had known not to identify myself with irrelevant physical features, however I think if I was aware of the self-discovery and love I would experience not too later in life, that it wouldn’t be as much of a revelation. As much as there are places on this Earth we are yet to see, and people all around us who we still haven’t befriended, we also must take the time to discover ourselves. We are filled with ideas, opinions, and passions that we do not yet know about ourselves, all because we are occupying our minds with the rules of the misguided. Your soul is so vast and so beautiful, and you are the only individual in the entire universe that will ever be able to experience it from your perspective. – ALEXA AREVALO / AJAX, ON
As I write this, I’m listening to Fleetwood Mac and licking peanut butter off a spoon. I have no plans for today, except for lounging around in my dressing gown and dancing on chairs, singing the lyrics to “Don’t Stop” at the top of my lungs. I’m sixteen years old, and completely, utterly, and terrifically lost. My peers are discovering themselves, whilst I feel like I’m trapped. Is this abnormal, or am I voicing what all teenagers are thinking but are too afraid to question? In the Princess Diaries books (which I highly recommend no matter your age) Mia spent the entire ten books seeking ‘self actualization’: in simple terms, the person you are and the person you want to be are identical. By the time she found it, Mia realized she should have been trying to be happy rather than forcing self actualization. How can we decide— if that’s even possible— who want to be, when we can be so many different people? But what does selfdiscovery mean? Surely we know who we are since the day we are born; as our mind and body are constantly harmonizing in the orchestra that is our life? With the lure of social media, we’re all bombarded constantly with pictures of people living their lives to the full (or so it seems), and people— me especially— are wondering why I’m not as accomplished as they are. Over the past few months I’ve realized it’s because I’m not those cool kids on Instagram, and I need to stop comparing myself. How that is done, I don’t know. Yet. Rather than cloning other people, it is paramount that I unearth myself and who I am, as opposed to my body being full of what other people do, say, wear or think. I need to let time roll, and let me roll along with it. – GEORGIA FAY WILLIAMS / LONDON, ENGLAND The concept of who you are is completely dependent on perspective, whether you are the subject or not. If you think about it, what you think about someone is solely based off of observations you have made. These observations don’t necessarily capture the essence of who that person really is. In more cases than not, their statements are completely untrue. Now if you bring it back to your thoughts on others,
the same thing holds true for your perspective on them. That being said, differing perceptions can be a good thing, whether it be the way people perceive you or the way you perceive yourself— as long as you stay true to who you are. With increasing pressure to please others and be likable, many unique and incredible people give up their spark for the sake of fitting the description that is believed to be preferable. However, in order to truly capture the quintessence of your identity, you need to embrace and learn to love every aspect of yourself. How you identify yourself and who you truly are trumps what anyone else thinks or says you should be. Take time to listen to your thoughts and soul and figure it out rather than waiting for the day you hear yourself being described as a stranger. – MUMAL TUNIO / MILWAUKEE, WI During the “relationship” I had with James,* I felt like I had to speed my adolescence up to become the woman James* needed at the age of fifteen. He never directly said it to me, but I know he wanted me to change myself for him. I did it because how can you be anything but a lost puppy in your first relationship? I began dressing more promiscuously and acted like a twenty six year old whose kitchen cabinets were stocked with Jack Daniels whiskey. I wanted to fit his standards so badly, but hated the person I was becoming. I sent him photos I wasn’t comfortable taking because he told me to. I texted him things I wasn’t comfort-able saying because he told me to. I dropped friends I didn’t ever want to lose because he told me to. He controlled every inch of me, emotionally and physically. I remember waking up one day and I was just like “you know what? I’m done with this.” I told my mom everything that had happened and had to go to therapy for the next seven months because of some things that were mentioned in the blog post. I hated myself and blamed everything on my existence even after I had made the decision for myself to drop James.* It wasn’t until last month that I finally found peace within myself to move on from the situation. After I let go, it was like the big ‘I love
myself’ switch was flipped. I began embracing my body which I’ve hated for as long as I can remember, and everyday I am learning new things about myself. Although I’m still on the road to discovering myself, there is so much that I already have discovered. I discovered my style. I discovered my true friends. I discovered that I enjoy helping people, which lead me to discovering that I want to be an emergency room nurse. I am loving this process and want to share this with other wolfies who may be struggling with self-image and self-discovery. Last April I thought it would be impossible to help myself, but I proved myself wrong. – CHEYENNE CULP / SAN DIEGO, CA To some, self-identity provides stability. It grounds them in periods of turbulence. For me though, my self-identity is an ever-changing whirlwind, blurring in and out of existence, somewhere in between dreams and sanity. Sometimes, I think I can summarize myself: writer, environmentalist, and feminist. But then I realize that I am not meant to be limited by mere words. I think of how I look when I listen to my favorite album, dazed yet blissful, how I walk with purpose, how I am often so excited I can barely speak. I am more than faded memories or generalizations. I will never be someone who slips through the cracks, who keeps a composed smile under stress, who never swears and knows just the right thing to say. I am simply me, sloppy, crass, but passionate. I ask unnecessarily personal questions. I over share. One moment I am a spark that ignites with every breath, the next I am a flame that swallows you whole. I am a writer, environmentalist, feminist, but I am also so much more. – EMILY ZHENG / THOUSAND OAKS, CA + If you would like to participate in our next wolfie submissions, make sure you are following us on Twitter and Instagram - @localwolves is our social media handle. Stay updated with our upcoming themes for each issue and submit your work for a chance to be published in future Local Wolves issue.
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made in america festival STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY: RACHEL KOBER
Red, white, and blue were certainly the colors of the weekend at Budweiser’s MADE IN AMERICA FESTIVAL. University students, Philly locals, and members of the ‘Beyhive’ busted out their American flag themed attire and enjoyed their Labor Day weekend just outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. With 50 sets on 5 stages the sold out fest which expanded after selling out, allowing for the release of more tickets, drew a huge crowd of 70,000 to the shutdown Benjamin Franklin Parkway just in front the famous Rocky steps. The active stoplights changed all day be-tween green, yellow, and red while fans enjoyed the surfeit of acts in all genres. Rap and hip-hop, alternative, electronic, and rock; the Jay-Z curated lineup was enjoyed by all including Jay himself. At the end of Day 1, Hov put his sweatshirt hood up and snuck over to the Liberty Stage with Nick Jonas to enjoy Bassnectar’s set; he lit his cigar with a blowtorch, had a couple drinks, all before heading back to the Rocky main stage to sing along to Bey’s headlining performance. A little earlier in the day we caught Local Wolves alums Young Rising Sons, rising star Vic Mensa, Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt, Hoodie Allen’s tour mate G-Eazy, and everyone’s favorite Jonas: Nick. Meek Mill seemed to push past his summer Drake drama to play for his hometown; bringing his son on stage to dance and Nicki Minaj to perform their collaboration “All Eyes On You.” Death Cab for Cutie seemed to calm the crowd down after Nicki’s surprise over on the Liberty Stage with songs from their latest studio album Kintsugi. Bringing out “The Wanderer” and “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” along with old favorites “Cath...” and “Soul Meets Body.” Back over on the Rocky Stage, alternative rock group Modest Mouse became Beyonce’s most anomalous openers. The 6-piece group seemed to do well considering their audience was filled with agitated and impatient Beyonce fans who only seemed to be appeased with the performance of “Float On.” After tending to some security and safety concerns with those in the front of the enormous crowd and lining
the barricade with a police force, it was time for Beyonce’s highly anticipated return to the MIA stage. Her last performance being in 2013, Bey brought her best to shut down Day 1. Opening with the 2014 reboot of “Crazy in Love,” and some intense choreography, slipping in some Destiny’s Child classics like “Jumpin Jumpin,” “Say My Name,” and “Survivor” and playing “7/11”, live for the first time, Beyonce definitely did not disappoint. The only ones who may have been disappointed were those expecting a live Nicki Minaj duet of their song “Feelin’ Myself.” Bey baited the crowd by restarting the song not once, not twice but four times to make everyone think Nicki would come out to join her. Although it was somewhat of a let down, it’s Beyonce’s show and not even Jay was up there for his feature on “Crazy in Love.” Either way, she brought an extensive 22 song set that could not have been topped. Halsey opened up Day 2 on the Rocky Stage, drawing a big crowd for one of the earliest slots of the day. She went through most of Badlands including “Gasoline,” “Colors,” “New Americana” and “Castle.” She definitely made fans out of The Weeknd fans at the front who were waiting it out for his headlining set by bringing out her parents to thank
them. Next up on the Rocky Stage: Action Bronson incited the crowd into a frenzy walking from the stage to the sound-board, hopping on a moving dolly while performing “Actin’ Crazy,” fitting. Santigold took over the Liberty stage along with two of her dancers happily hanging in their blow up kiddie pools chilling with their bags of hot cheetos. Fan engagement was a big part of her performance as well, inviting anyone who could make their way to the stage to come dance with her for her song “Creator,” while Marian Hill drew a crowd to the Skate Stage with their eclectic electro-pop sound. Later, Big Sean hyped up the antsy Weeknd fans at the Rocky main stage as the opener-forthe-opener, J. Cole. Sean played some crowd pleasers with “Clique” (his feature on the Kanye + Jay-Z song), “Blessings,” and arguably the most popular song off of his 2015 studio album Dark Sky Paradise, “IDFWU.” At the Liberty stage, Banks took the second to last spot preceding Swedes Axwell + Ingrosso. At the one year anniversary of her first studio album GoDdess, Banks drew a crowd of, mostly, women and girls to bask in her moody aura for a well-rounded fest set. Big Sean got the crowd plenty warmed up for J. Cole who drew a rather large part of the dedicated crowd at the front of the Rocky Stage. Everyone
sang along to tracks from his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album, along with his 6 song encore of popular singles like “Crooked Smile” and closed with “Power Trip.” And to close out the weekend, The Weeknd made his MIA debut. With the release of his album Beauty Behind the Madness, Abel was not shy to include the new hits in his set list. “Losers,” “Often,” “Prisoner,” “Tell You Friends” and “The Hills” were spread throughout the performance along with a cover of Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love,” a solo rendition of his collab with Ariana Grande’s “Love Me Harder,” his contribution to Fifty Shades of Grey “Earned It,” and his smash summer hit “Can’t Feel My Face.” Even though he’s from Canada, The Weeknd was the perfect choice to close Made In America on Sunday night. In its fourth year, Budweiser and Jay-Z put together a great lineup and environment for celebrating good music, celebrating America on Labor Day weekend, and celebrating Philadelphia. LOCATION: September 5-6, 2015 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19130
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DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
YOUNG RISING SONS
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THE WALK OFF STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY: KATY JOHNSON
A three foot by five foot piece of flimsy cardboard with the words, “HOUSE SHOW, TONIGHT!” accompanied by an alien head spray painted in dripping red rests on the bushes outside a San Diego home, greeting you as you approach a cacophony of sounds. You make your way through the crowd gathered outside and step into the basement and you feel at home. The musty smell coming from years and years of collected dirt fills your nostrils. A trio of pretty clean college guys is sound checking, hitting their heads on two strings of fairy lights hung a little too low as they tune their instruments and get ready to start. If the basement of this home wasn’t sound proofed, you’d be able to hear the music from all the way down the block. As people of all ages pack into the basement, everyone is sweating as much as you are in the heat of the summer, but you can’t help but smile at how great of a time you’re having as the last band of the night begins with, “Hey, we’re THE WALK OFF from Boston Massachusetts, let’s go f*cking nuts.” Less than a year ago Eddy Allen, Carr Bonner and Jake Courlang met at Berklee School of Music and The Walk Off was born. Eddy was tired of writing songs in class and not having anyone to play with so when he met Carr he knew this was the guy he had to form a band with. In a Guitar Center, located somewhere in the general Boston area Eddy was jamming to “some obscure Red Hot Chili Peppers song like from Stadium Arcadium B-side” and Carr walked in, sat down, and started singing along.
“LET US BE THE SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR BAD DECISIONS.” The two hit it off and all that was missing was a bass player. A little while back Eddy had met a guy through mutual friends who had mentioned that he was a bassist and had stored that in the back of his mind. One day, Eddy was scrolling through Facebook when he came across a video of a “European jumping bean” playing bass. “Hey wait! I know that guy! That’s that one dude!” He said, recalling the kid from the party, “There’s this part in the video where he trips over a cable and falls on his ass and instead of looking embarrassed or self conscious, he just kept playing and i was like ‘That’s my guy.’” He contacted Jake and listed off influences such as Stevie Wonder, The 1975, Red Hot Chili Peppers, D’Angelo, and Prince and that he wanted to start a band. “The thing that was interesting about that message,” Jake recalls, “was that when Eddy listed his influences, they were not at all similar.” They didn’t fit one sound, which is a great representation of what The Walk Off is as a band. The Walk Off’s sound encompasses a large variety of sub genres under the “alternative umbrella.” Their first EP, A Likely Story blends sounds of rock and alternative pop into six upbeat anthems to “soundtrack your bad decisions.” The most prevalent influence in their sound, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, are definitely evident in the writing style and underlying beats of these songs, but what really connects them as a band is their process of writing. “Most bands when they first get together say ‘what song should we cover?’ and then they start writing, but I sent them the worst piece of sh*t demo I had ever heard,” Eddy recalls, and immediately they got to writing. It was a natural part of their music making process and writing lyrics connected them beyond instrumental music. It was a very similar process this past summer when the band all flew out to stay at Eddy’s house in San Diego; a very new experience for Carr, hailing from North Carolina and Jake who is from basically everywhere, but technically the Netherlands. This summer was full of burritos, house shows, music video shenanigans, and writing sessions. These adventures and more led to a writing style that took a whole new direction from their first EP. Songs that played with funk and syncopation that included “high-schoolish self deprecating lyrics” really marked A Likely Story, but their sophomore album will be a lot more mature and comes from a more natural place they’ve said. “Should we stop talking anytime soon?” The guys asked, laughing towards the end of our interview. Clearly they can talk passionately about their love for music for hours but Eddy decides to close with the insight that “an artist should take his art seriously, but not his or herself.” Although Eddy, Carr and Jake are three very mature young men, they really take this advice to heart. They give their image, sound, and live performances the perfect balance. The Walk Off will never bore you, everything they do from their shows to social media is put together in such a spontaneous yet professional way, creating a perfect balance that will keep you on your toes. You blast their music driving down the highway at night with your windows down, dance on the beach with your friends as the sun is setting, or at a house show show in your best friends basement and can’t help but think, “let’s go f*cking nuts.”
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top knot goods STORY: michael grasseschi PHOTOGRAPHY: Charlz Chalmers
top knot goods
“No Rest for the Rad” — it’s the motto and catchphrase of LA-based clothing designer Natalie Chalmers and her 70s-inspired clothing company: TOP KNOT GOODS. “It started as a side hobby, something I needed to do to make a little extra money,” shared Natalie. “Growing up, I was such a tomboy and could’ve cared less about fashion.” After moving to Miami from Tennessee to finish her degree in psychology, Natalie started buying used vintage tees and cropping them and selling them online. She created an Instagram account to show off her wares, all things vintage. “Every auction would completely sell out and it just kept growing so quickly.” After coming up with the name “Top Knot Goods” on somewhat of a whim, Natalie designed her first tee, the “No Rest for the Rad” tee, which has become one of her best selling designs. “I trademarked the phrase, it caught on like nothing I’ve ever seen, and the rest is history.”
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Recently, Natalie and her husband Charlie moved to Los Angeles to experience life on the west coast. “After moving around so much in the past few years, we have finally found somewhere to settle down,” Natalie said. “We have always wanted to move out to the west coast and our business has given us a reason and the push we needed.” Since the company’s designs are based on 70s graphics, being based in California made the most sense for the company. “I definitely try to bring those vibes into TKG because that’s my personal style. I dig it, so I feel like other people will too.” However, in the pursuit of her passion, it hasn’t always been easy sailing for Natalie and her husband. Starting a business from scratch always has its difficulties and trials, but the biggest of these is dedication. “Owning your own business is not a regular 9-5 job when you clock out of work and you’re done. It is constant and you can never shut it off. In order to create your brand, you have to put in the blood, sweat and tears. But it’ll all be worth it.”
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justin johnes STORY: LYDIA SNAPPER PhotoGRAPHY: RACHEL KOBER
“I’ve always had a fascination with music from when I was a little boy at the young age of 9 years old, but my story feels like one big chain reaction,” Justin Johnes says as we reminisce on his first connection with music. Although just sixteen, this exceptionally self-aware and charming musician has had a remarkable start to his career. He got his start on Team Blake during the seventh season of The Voice, an experience he describes as a period of growth. “I had never performed in front of an audience before, and overall never really questioned any of my goals as an artist,” he says. “I think the best thing I took away from the experience were the conversations with beautifully creative people (the other contestants who shared many of the same passions I did), and how much the whole experience opened my eyes up to the world of music.” Since leaving the show, Johnes has been on a mission to find his own style and get his originals out there. Finding inspiration from both Top 40 artist and unsigned talents from SoundCloud, he’s cultivated a style that he describes as ‘alternative pop.’ He explains, “My lyrics are a little more poetic than generic radio pop, and the production is a little bit more unique, but it’s still something you want to jam to in a car with a bunch of friends.” Still, it’s no secret that the music industry is one big labyrinth full of pressure and clones and it can be difficult not to fall into that trap of carbon copy pop acts. Johnes credits his ability to stay authentic to his mom, who he credits as a huge role model and someone who taught him the value in being himself. “I’ve always had a strong sense of who I am as a person,” he explains. “I was never one to conform to anything. I think now-a-days people are starting to respect artists and not people who are just pumping out music that they didn’t write. Artists like Ed Sheeran or Halsey, someone who doesn’t censor herself for anyone or anything, are smashing the iTunes charts.”
“I think I would be upset if the music I ended up putting out was anything less than a true representation of me.” With that goal in mind, Johnes reveals that he has an odd writing process— one that involves being perched on his roof in the middle of the night. While there are nights that the words seem to just flow, sometimes it’s not as easy as he’d like it to be. “As an artist, I’m always writing up things in my head, but sometimes I’ll go days without sitting down at my desk and sketching up a story,” he admits. “Sometimes I can’t put the pen down as hard as I try. Music has always been therapy for me, through releasing music I hope to show people the rawest form of me that I possibly can.” Aside from music, Johnes is a big fan of the internet— although he has had some run-ins with catfish’s pretending to be him. But still, he utilizes the web to connect with his large following through Twitter and his YouTube channel. He explains that he uses his channel with the same goal in mind; to show people the rawest version of himself. He says, “through my vlogs, I show a different less “serious” side of myself. I show a more human side and you really get to know me, not just me as an artist. I think YouTube is one of the coolest platforms to create on, because the product is something that each creator makes entirely on their own. I think what I do on YouTube is really representative of myself, and people respond to that.” A self-proclaimed ‘hermit’ Johnes is busy spending the rest of the year working towards mastering his craft and creating music that he is proud of but that people will enjoy. He says simply, “I’ve taken the criticism of others to make sure my audience gets the best of me by writing, rewriting, producing, reproducing, and sharing, so when I do tour the country, and perhaps, the world, people will get it.”
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circa waves Story: Anna Hall PhotoGRAPHY: Jade Park
It’s 4:30 p.m. in Liverpool when I call Kieran Shudal, lead singer and frontman of Circa Waves. Just days after playing the Reading and Leeds festival to a fervent crowd of indie adolescents, he’s at home writing songs and recording demos. It’s a rare moment in a summer that saw the band play at dozens of festivals everywhere from Cornwall to Japan. Shudal only has four days off, however, before heading across the pond. “I’m massively excited to get over there and do some shows,” Shudal says. Their latest single, “T-Shirt Weather” the fun, splashy guaranteed soundtrack to your summer, has just been released in the United States. “It’s such an achievement that it’s playing across the world, and we love playing it live. Whatever mood you’re in it suits, you know that everyone will kick back and have a good time.” It’s not just “T-Shirt Weather” either. Young Chasers, the band’s first studio album is stuffed full of tracks that will do exactly that. Circa Waves evoke those hot, careless high school summers, sticky nights driving nowhere, playing music in your parents’ garage. The beach, the mall, a crowded party. In “Stuck in My Teeth” Shudal bemoans, “I’m a little too young with not enough time.” In “Best Years,” he confesses that “I’m a twentysomething trying to be sure.” There’s a recurring frustration with time, a sense of growing pains and restless youth, but at the core, always, a desire to kick back and have a good time. Circa Waves recorded Young Chasers with Dan Grech (Radiohead, The Vaccines, Lana Del Rey), booking five weeks to record and finishing within ten minutes of the time they had left. “We’re a very punctual band,” Shudal jokes. “We finished it dead on time, we just smashed it out really.” On the album, Circa Waves are young and unapologetically adolescent, giving us tracks filled with frothy lyrics and bright, breezy riffs. At times they verge into the boy band sphere, but what they lack in boundary-pushing they make up for in pure, polished pop fun. Conjuring up early Strokes, Young Chasers feels like a nostalgic record you’ve dug up from your teen years.
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“There are a lot of bands who were around then that definitely inspired us, like Arcade Fire and The Maccabees, bands with a lot of energy and great melodies. It’s nice to be compared to bands like The Strokes, but they’re a lot cooler than us really. We don’t mind the comparison as long as people see us for ourselves as well,” Shudal says of early 2000’s indie rock bands. Circa Waves began with Shudal crafting demos in his bedroom alone, not far at all from what he was doing right before we spoke. Except now this is Shudal’s day job. Two years ago he was cleaning student houses to make ends meet. “It was not the most pleasant cleaning job in the world,” he jokes in a deadpan voice. “I always found undesirable things under the beds and I had to unjam hair from plug holes. I hope this band thing goes well so that I don’t have to go back to that. I don’t wake up and cry myself awake now and I’m happy.” Shudal is certainly not crying himself awake anymore. Circa Waves are now catching up to the bands that inspired them, and even opened for The Libertines in London last autumn. “I’ve become sort of accustomed to the special life we’re leading. I’m quite used to it now,
seeing yourself on TV and doing these huge gigs to 10,000 people at a time. It is good, but every now and again, you have to pinch yourself and try to not take it for granted and try to remember what it was like before this.” One thing he’ll never get used to? “Some fans sit at home and practice drawing our faces, which is quite weird. And you get big fans chasing you around a little bit. That’s still weird, every time that happens to me in the street. You’re always going to be scared if someone runs at you.” Between being chased by superfans, traveling constantly, playing massive gigs and celebrating after, Circa Waves are squeezing in time to record a follow up album. “I have sort of written about 30/40 songs and they’ll probably be the start of what’s on the record,” he reveals. “We’ll go in early next year and start up recording stuff when we find the time between touring. I write a bit on the road but there isn’t loads of time on the road. You get back late after a show and then you have to get up early to travel.” On the album, Shudal laments, “I’m a little too young with not enough time.” It seems, however, that Circa Waves are just young enough with just enough time.
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karan brar STORY: ASHLEY BULAYO PHOTOGRAPHY: JUSTIN NUNEZ
It seems as if a lot of celebrity stars get their start through Disney Channel. Zac Efron, Hilary Duff, Shia LaBeouf, just to name a few. You see what I mean? Most actors go on to be big stars in different ways so it’s always fun to guess and see where someone ends up in ten years. One actor who should be on your radar is KARAN BRAR who plays the hilarious role of Ravi Ross on Jessie and now on the spin-off Bunk’d. He doesn’t take his role for granted. He knows exactly how Disney Channel has been a huge stepping stone for so many well-known celebs, “It’s awe-some to think that I’m working where my favorite Disney stars used to!” Since Jessie’s premiere in 2011, it’s safe to say it has become one of Disney Channel’s biggest series that struck gold with its dynamic cast and storylines. We’ve literally seen the cast grow up and mature over the past four years which Brar thinks is crazy to consider, “It’s kind of like these four amazing years of my life are all capsuled in these episodes.” After the series wraps up, we’ll now see a changed up Ravi on Bunk’d. “This time around we’re going to make Ravi a little bit more mature since he has younger peers looking up to him. He’s going to step up to the plate a little bit but he’ll always be the same Ravi the audience has loved from day one.”
Granted, we will miss the beloved characters who won’t be joining the new show but as Brar puts it, “we’re just expanding our family.” Aside from playing Ravi Ross, you may remember his role as Chirag Gupta in the hit adaptation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He already has a lot on his plate but that doesn’t mean he necessarily wants to stop there. In about five to ten years, he hopes to direct and act in more movies since, after all, he did start with movies in the first place. However, this month, you’ll be able to catch Brar in Disney Channel’s newest movie Invisible Sister with his co-stars Rowan Blanchard from Girl Meets World and Paris Berelc from Disney XD’s Mighty Med! Fun fact: Brar would love to do a crossover episode with Mighty Med (now Lab Rats: Elite Force!) Let’s take a step back before Brar’s rise to fame. Back when he was still living in Seattle and hanging out in his favorite burger joint, Burger Joe. (“It’s my favorite burger place of all time!”) You know, the days where he wanted to work at Party City? “That’s actually partially true. When I was younger I thought Party City was the coolest place on earth and I wanted to work there but later on my dad kind of introduced me to acting and I fell in love with it from there!” said Brar.
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Hey, in his defense, Party City really is fun especially during Halloween time! We’re glad he turned his attention and focus towards acting at such a young age! Being in this industry is tough but he’s got a good head on his shoulders plus some words of advice that carries with him everywhere he goes: “Have fun with it.” Why? Well, just think of it with Brar’s point of view, “When you have fun with it, you find it much easier to work and you are able to advance in your craft without feeling pushed. And, at the end of the day acting is just playing pretend!” We’ve all seen celebrities in front of the camera when they were just tweens and we witnessed every single change off-camera throughout the years. It takes a while for others to get used to but it never really affected Brar. Heck, just recently, he shared the fact that he just scored his driver’s license, “The freedom of a license is awesome because I can kind of go where ever I want!” Preach, there’s nothing better than that feeling. Fingers crossed he’ll be able to go on his dream road trip to the Grand Canyon. Through his website, Instagram and Twitter, it’s easy to tell Brar is a class act. At the age of 16, he’s already making huge impacts in the industry.
Just last year, Brar was nominated for “Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program” thus only proving he’s a great role model for others to look towards. Brar aims to inspire everyone and make them feel like they can accomplish their goals just like how his role models did for him. Another reason to be part of #TeamKaran is the fact he’s an ambassador for the Thirst Project. Even if he can’t go to other countries, he does his part here in the states to help spread awareness by doing PSAs or visiting schools to educate youth. A little help goes a long way and just as he puts it, “The more people we get involved, the easier it will be to end the global water crisis.” And as an added bonus, he’s also ambassador to another organization called GenerationOn! Let’s just add that to his impressive resume.
AN ACTOR. A ROLE MODEL. AN AMBASSADOR. ANYONE ELSE EXCITED TO SEE WHAT’S IN STORE FOR HIM IN THE FUTURE?
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beach weather STORY: ANNA HALL PHOTOGRAPHY: LHOYCEL MARIE TEOPE
Emerging seemingly out of nowhere, four-piece, self-described ‘fuzzy pop’ band Beach Weather sprang onto stages and iPods everywhere. With an opening slot on The Maine’s tour and a remarkable debut EP, What A Drag, Beach Weather has made a swift and splashy entrance for themselves. Fronted by Nick Santino, the band is a new project for the former A Rocket to the Moon, musician and friends Austin Scates, Ian Holubiak, and Reeve Powers. “We’re a couple of friends who met each other through the beautiful art of music,” says Santino. “We’re from all over the US (East Coast, down south and West Coast) so we just say we’re from Beach Weather, USA.” While the band’s name suggests the EP may be full of breezy, cheery ‘beach weather’ tunes, What A Drag has a song for every playlist. Santino mixes his old A Rocket to the Moon sounds with electrifying, edgier beats and 1975-esque melodies. “My music taste is all over place,” admits Santino. “I listen to everything from One Direction to Slipknot, yeah— that diverse! Right now I would have to say I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff like Paul Simon and The Beach Boys. Also the new Kurt Vile Record is really awesome.” Influence comes from everywhere and anywhere for Santino, who also cites his parents, friends, conversations, and books as creative inspiration. “I could be reading a book and one word I like the sound of could inspire an entire song.” “Simply being a human being inspires me to continuously create,” says drummer Austin Scates, capturing the energy and excitement that Beach Weather exudes. “We have these amazingly powerful brains to dive deep into and extract ideas.”
What A Drag was born from a few writing sessions between friends on a tour bus. “I wrote it with my good friend Sean Silverman (of The Technicolors),” Santino explains. “This time I had a few extra days in Phoenix before a tour I was jumping on, so we wrote a few tunes and really liked the sound. “Wolf” was the first song we wrote and I think it helped shape the whole sound and vibe of what we wanted this project to become. We wrote it (and a couple of the other EP tracks) on a cheap bass guitar plugged into a distortion pedal into a small guitar amp. Something about writing a song on something other than a guitar usually helps let different ideas form. We kept at it and ended up writing more than we needed for an EP. We picked our favorite five and Beach Weather was born.” Beach Weather has just finished their tour with The Maine, playing the debut EP to a fresh and eager crowd. “This whole tour has been great because it’s our first tour as Beach Weather so we were able to make memories every day that we will hold onto forever,” says Santino. Scates agrees, enthusing that “it’s been a great experience learning things from The Maine guys and their crew, they operate like a well-oiled machine. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity these guys made available to us.” If you couldn’t catch the band opening for The Maine, there is sure to be plenty of other chances to see the guys live. Santino says this his main focus right now is to get the music into venues across the world, and they’ve just recently announced their first ever European and UK tour. No matter where you are, it’ll be Beach Weather for a while.
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garrett hilliker colorsbynet STORY: EMMA MATTHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY: MADISON BASS-TAYLOR
“The internet and social media have proved to be the centerfold of my development. I can share my thoughts and display my ideas via digital platforms to kids everywhere,” starts graphic designer GARRETT HILLIKER / COLORSBYNET. He’s only 19 but has already made a name for himself designing album artwork for the likes of Travis Scott, Kanye West and most recently, Halsey. “She is very, very dope and we have great chemistry together. It comes very natural with her, I think. She trusts me with all aspects of her visuals. Never questions me or sets barriers on my ideas, which is the most I can ask for as an artist.” It’s his work for Halsey’s debut record, Badlands that’s been one of his most successful projects to date. A billboard in Hollywood? Kind of a huge deal. Especially, when you’re asked to create two album covers, one for the official release and the other for an Urban Outfitters exclusive, in only three days. No sweat. So how did Hilliker start out in the industry so young? Surprisingly it all started with t-shirts. “I started designing when I was 16 during my sophomore year in high school. We started making t-shirts on my dad’s 40 pound, virus stricken, Toshiba laptop.” Using Microsoft Word and every 90s kid’s best friend, aka clip art, to put the designs together, it wasn’t long before they were selling out. “We had started something real and from nothing. It was my first taste of creating something tangible that I could share with people.” Of course, tasting success so young, only gives—
you a drive to move onto bigger and better things. Hilliker homed his craft by delving into his other passion of music. Enlisting the help of YouTube as a “mentor” it was the drive of the online community, which really helped Hilliker make the jump from being a college student to dream achiever. “Random kids from all over the internet gave me confidence to move how I wanted to.” Sure it sounds like one heck of a story, but just like most creatives there are the downsides. Particularly when you start out so young. Whether it’s being broke, dealing with the flyby trends (FYI, being a “fan of simplicity and minimalism” is a good penchant to have, liking “random filtered sh*t” not so much) or discrimination, he has faced them all. “Everyone hates 19-year-olds, even I do, but that’s okay because I am still growing and making mistakes,” he assures. “Being young is all I have in my favor right now because I have is time to progress. Above all progression and proving myself is all I care about. I only want to progress for myself and I only want to prove myself to myself. I’m my worst enemy and my biggest fan.” As for how he deals with it, it’s simple. “Disagree with things and take things to heart. That’s all good for you. Nobody knows what’s important or what’s right. If I agreed with everything people told me I’d be unhappy and colorless. Complexion is built through being selective.” You know what that means… Ctrl + Alt + Del.
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TYDE LEVI FOR MOST FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD GUYS, RELAXING WITH “MATES” AND PLAYING VIDEO GAMES IS A WEEKEND RITUAL; HOWEVER, FOR THIS GUY THINGS ARE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. ABOUT FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND MATES DIFFERENT, THAT IS.
STORY: HUDSON LUTHRINGSHAUSEN PHOTOGRAPHY: VIVIANA CONTRERAS
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TYDE LEVI is the rising star behind a hit YouTube channel and an already booming DJ career. His career began just one year ago, when Tyde uploaded his first vlog to the channel, but, as he tells me, this wasn’t his first crack at vlogging. “One day I just decided to make a YouTube video. That was back in 2012 and I never uploaded that video. I had filmed and edited it but I just never uploaded it. Then one year later I re-filmed and edited a new video. That is the one on my channel now known as “My First Vlog.” At the time, he was hopeful that working hard on his YouTube channel would reward him with friendships and the opportunity to travel the world— what he didn’t know was that in just a year he would have built such a dedicated following (reeling in hundreds of thousands of views per video) that he’d be landing DJ’ing gigs and interviews with celebrities.
“WHEN STARTING OUT I NEVER WOULD HAVE IMAGINED COMING THIS FAR. TO KNOW THAT 400,000 THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY INTERESTED IN THE 3 MINUTE VIDEOS I FILM AND EDIT IN MY BEDROOM BLOWS MY MIND. LIVING IN THE MOST ISOLATED CITY IN THE WORLD AND HAVING 400,000 PEOPLE AT MY FINGERTIPS IS AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING FEELING.”
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One of the most intriguing things about Tyde is his well roundedness. Where many channels try to fit in, Tyde does just the opposite. In addition to his blogs he has uploaded videos of himself singing, dancing, and playing the drums— all of which he have received high compliments. His most impressive venture, though, is his DJ’ing career. “I started DJing at age 13. I have always loved music and just decided one day that I wanted to start DJing,” he added. After purchasing his first DJ’ing equipment, Tyde entered into a competition at Good Life Festival, where he explains he needed 200+ votes on his mix in order to get to the finals. Things were looking great for the young newcomer when he found out his mix had placed 2nd, earning him a backstage pass to the festival and a pair of headphones but that wasn’t the end of his good fortune: “A few months later a DJ named Rojdar who works at Good Life got in touch with me and asked for my mobile number. The owner of the festival then called me and said “we were blown away how quickly you got your votes and absolutely loved your mix. Would you be keen on DJing at the next festival in Perth?” That was the most exciting day of my life. All I remember was running around the house screaming and jumping with excitement.”
With such success and a head-on attitude, I wanted to know what sort of advice he may have received— especially having been around so many successful DJ’s. The greatest piece of advice, however, came from someone close to Tyde.
“FOCUS ON THE MIX AND THE MUSIC AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR SET, AND THEN IN THE END GET INVOLVED WITH THE CROWD” is what his father told him, which he noted “is actually really important. I think that to get the crowd started you need to make sure your mix is perfect and you just need to focus on the music, but as the set goes on you get more involved with the crowd.” For now, the sky is Tyde’s limit. His focuses lie within his music, which he says he’s hoping to start producing himself. In the meantime, he’s continuing uploading videos to his YouTube channel as well as opening for Will Sparks as a part of the Good Life club tour. “Will Sparks is my biggest inspiration and I always dreamed about meeting him and DJing alongside him. Now that dream is coming true.”
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luca fersko Story: Rachel Coker PhotoGRAPHY: Alexia Adana
The average teenage male would not cite a Burberry coat as his most treasured article of clothing. But Luca Fersko is already a step above the average teenage male. While most seventeen-year-old guys were playing video games and slouching around the house in Hollister sweatshirts, Fersko was experimenting with fashion styling and documenting the journey online. Since October of 2014, he has uploaded almost fifty videos and garnered over 118,000 followers on YouTube. The videos, which range from shopping haul vlogs to street style outfits to an expired artichoke eating challenge, have inspired countless budding fashion lovers to embrace their differences and take risk with what they wear. Fersko admits that, like so many guys his age, he wasn’t always interested in fashion growing up. “I was raised wearing the same old clothing everybody else was wearing,” he remembers. “That’s probably why I started dressing differently. I was tired of being like everyone else. The minute that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried to express myself, I realized how great it felt. I enjoyed that look that people gave me when I had a well put together outfit.” He pauses. “It gave me confidence and a sense of pride.” As a teenage male paving his own way through the fashion world, Fersko had to search for inspiration outside of the usual sources of magazines and runway shows in order to define his own sense of style. Instead of citing a single person who influenced his look, he cites the hustle of cities like New York as playing a key role in developing his signature style. As far as describing that style goes, Fersko stresses simplicity above all else.
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In fact, he sums up his look in three concrete ways. “[My style is] Minimal— I have a mindset that less is more, so I implement that into my fashion. Experimental— I am always pushing the envelope and stepping outside of my comfort zone. You never know what you might like until you try it! [And it’s] Versatile— I do a lot of mixing and matching with my outfits, so I am always able to adapt to what I have around and I always seem to find a way to make it work.” Social media has played a key role in Luca’s presence as a vlogger and budding model. In addition to his 118,000 YouTube subscribers, the teen also has over 71,000 Instagram followers and almost 7,000 likes on Facebook. As a product of the touch-screen generation, Fersko acknowledges how much social media has helped him on his journey. “I cannot only showcase my modeling, but I can also share my inspiration, my personality, and my love for fashion with people from all over the world. I would definitely not be where I am without my digital presence that I have developed through hard work and expressing my personality and love for fashion.” He pauses before reaffirming his loyalty to YouTube, however, as the platform that truly made a difference.
“I would definitely not be where I am without my digital presence that I have developed through hard work, expressing my personality and love for fashion.” He pauses before reaffirming his loyalty to YouTube, however, as the platform that truly made a difference. “YouTube is definitely my favorite platform. [It] is somewhere where you can create videos of any length. You can take the time to create a lengthy piece that truly inspires people, or a piece that is short and entertaining, and everything in between.”While there are no definite reports of plans for the future, he promises many more videos and collaborations to come. As someone who uses social media as a way to document his life and inspiration, you won’t find him away from the computer for long periods of time. There are too many finds to share, tips to pass along, and eventful “days in the life” of this teenage fashion monger.
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STORY: ASHLEY BULAYO Story: Hudson Luthringshausen PHOTOGRAPHY: STEPHANIE HUANG PhotoGRAPHY: Madison Bass-Taylor
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In their own words, “BABE is a word most commonly associated with an ‘attractive’ person. It also is used to describe something/someone that you really care about; for the guys in BABE, babe is their music.” BABE’s roots go way back, all the way to kindergarten for two. And for the group, forming a band was practically inevitable. In fact Derek, Sam, and Nolan came together during high school as a Sinatra cover band gigging in restaurants and weddings. While the Sinatra gig had run its course by the time college came around, that wasn’t the end of their music-making days. “We wrote our first couple of songs without a band name,” says Derek. “Nolan saw ‘BABE’ printed on the side of a big truck on the way to practice. He suggested the name and we all liked the simplicity, so we went with it.” As for Trevor, (who had picked up the bass guitar years before to squeeze his way into the group), he joined BABE just a few months ago after the guys convinced him to move down to Los Angeles. But friendship and chemistry doesn’t guarantee hits. “Although, we’ve known each other forever, we still come from different backgrounds and have different ideas about what should be in the song. However grueling it gets, it’s that process that makes our
music what it is, so it’s worth it,” says Derek. When it comes down to sound, they fall under the indie genre. BABE calls on classic influences, like The Beatles, Tom Petty, Michael Jackson, and Led Zeppelin, with a contemporary approach— the result? “Music that sounds like this summer and all the summers before it.” Babe’s reception has been as good as any, and the guys know it: “We work really hard at making music that we enjoy, ourselves alone. We are grateful to have groovy fans jump behind our band and push it to everyone they know— it’s crazy, really.” Trevor tells me of their rapid success. These guys are a real deal. Like, a 350 thousand SoundCloud streams, 250 thousand Spotify streams, and even 2 million YouTube plays on their “Make It Real Vestige Remix” deal. Despite their short time together (they dropped their newest single in 2015— “Baby You’re Right”), and their even shorter list of tracks, they’ve been busy working on a new batch for their already growing fanbase. “Right now, we are sitting on a lot of new music. We have recorded a bunch and have written even more. We want to get it out to you guys soon,” says Sam. It’s clear BABE is creating a lot of buzz and the band is ready to do their part in keeping it up.
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lights STORY: CHLOE LUTHRINGSHAUSEN PHOTOGRAPHY: RACHEL KOBER
LIGHTS is about to brighten up your world. Her latest album, Little Machines will take you to a place free of troubles and full of endless imagination with its energetic, electronic sounds. So who really is the artist behind the dazzling name, Lights? Born in Canada, Lights spent her childhood in many different parts of the world traveling with her missionary parents. Through all this moving around, Lights found her love for music because it was the one part of her life that always stayed constant. “No matter where you are, you can create music,” says Lights. “It became really important as an outlet as I was growing up through the ups and the downs; it definitely helped me stay sane and level-headed through a lot of change.” Lights experienced a lot of change when she signed her first record deal when she was 15 years old. Being a part of the music industry at such a young age, Lights admits she learned a lot about what it takes to become a musician. “Right from the get go, I learned you need to have a ‘thing’ a sound and a vibe,” says Lights. “If you didn’t already exude your own, someone else was going to build that for you.” Lights admits that at first other people were trying to define her sound for her, tossing around ideas of her becoming a surf rock artist. After years of learning and maturing, however, she finally found her right vibe in electronic pop music. As for the name, Lights? “I found it really important to cut the gap between the artist on stage and the artist in real life,” says the electronic pop artist. “I didn’t want to feel like two different people and that was my way of making it all the same person.” With her real, genuine attitude toward music, Lights always stays true to herself and her sound, even when people try to bring her down. When her U.S. label delayed the release of her album, Siberia because they thought the album had too much of a gritty sound, Lights did not let that stop her from putting out the kind of music she believes in.
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Full of electronic pop vibes, Little Machines is inspired by the nostalgic feelings of youth. “When we were little kids, we were so energetic and endlessly imaginative. I tried to get back to that feeling,” admits Lights. “I just want people to listen and enjoy, forget about their troubles for a few minutes. That’s the purpose of art of any form I think.” Her sound on this album has a unique, modern approach— mixing synthetic, techno beats with light, electronic pop sounds. She admits finding this sound has been a long progression. “I was very inspired by taking traditional sounds and messing with them to the point of being unrecognizable,” explains Lights. “The first time I messed with them, I ran a piano through an amp with distortion and found my first synth sound. After that it was all a process of discovery and experimentation.” In this new digital world, social media plays a huge role in spreading music around the world. She conducted a 10-day countdown to the release of Little Machines. When asked whether she likes the new use of social media in the music industry, Lights admits, “Social media is a double-headed dragon. I like how immediate it all is, but I don’t necessarily like how exposed I am at this point.” However, she says she is “reminded of how powerful [her] fan base is, and what they are really capable of as a mass” due to social media.
She released the album anyway, where it received rave reviews and was nominated for a Juno Award in Canada for Best Pop Album of the Year. Lights’ confidence in herself and her music allows her to stand out in this industry. “Over the years I’m learning that there is a delicate balance between doing exactly what you want and doing what those on your team believe will work,” says Lights. When asked what advice she has for people also dealing with criticism, Lights admits, “My advice would be, know yourself but have an open mind to those you trust. People have this skewed perception of music in that if it isn’t just you in a room writing alone and depressed, it’s suddenly not authentic. Very little of music is just created by one person; it’s collaborative, it’s a meeting of minds and talent.” After releasing her successful album Siberia, Lights admits she went through what she describes as “the worst writer’s block ever.” Through a lot of trial and error, she went through a hard time trying to figure out where to take the next album. “I had to put music aside for a little while and explore other facets of my creativity to massage the muscle from a different angle,” says Lights. After two years of nonstop writing, she realized that she finally had the album, Little Machines.
With a new album out, she has been touring all over the world, including Europe, North America, and Canada. Admitting her favorite place to play was Amsterdam, she loves traveling to different places all over the world to play her music to fans. Although the exhaustion and pressure can get tough on the road, Lights says that being onstage is worth it all. “In the 75 minutes I’m onstage, all the other things about the world don’t exist,” says Lights. With so many exciting achievements in her career already, such as winning Indie and Juno Awards and hitting millions of views on YouTube, she admits one of her favorite moments so far was having an “in-game item named after [her] in World of Warcraft, check out Poxleitner’s Leggings of Lights, holy paladin legs!” Another big accomplishment in her life so far is not in her music career, but in her personal life. She recently started a family with her husband, Beau Bokan. Lights says being a new parent, “Really helped put life into perspective. I’m not as nervous as I used to be, but I have this whole slew of new fears that come with parenthood.” With a successful new album and the excitement of parenthood, she has the confidence, success, and support to continue on her journey to super stardom. “I want my next project to be the best one yet, the most far removed from my personal life, and the most surreal journey for my music,” says Lights. With this determined attitude, Lights will be lighting up music charts around the world, one song at a time.
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onairstreaming Story: Chloe Luthringshausen PORTRAIT: MADISON BASS-TAYLOR // INTERIOR: Sarah Montgomery
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With the invention of social media, musicians have been able to use a variety of different digital platforms to spread their music around the world with just the touch of a button. YouTube has been one of the most popular, with artists posting covers, acoustic songs, and music videos on the internet. With the millions of music channels on YouTube, the new challenge is finding a way to stand out on the Internet. That is just what Paul Boukadakis did with his company, OnAirStreaming. As CEO and Co-Founder, Boukadakis created a digital platform for up-and-coming artists to receive attention by uploading live music sessions and interviews to their website and on YouTube. Boukadakis came up with the original idea of OnAirstreaming in Austin, Texas, sitting in a bar on a cool summer night with his friend and co-founder, J.B. Hager. Boukadakis and Hager were brainstorming ideas about touring bands through Austin in Hager’s vintage Airstream trailer and recording interviews with the bands that they could air later on Hager’s radio show. Boukadakis decided that along with the interviews, they should capture some type of performance that could be uploaded to YouTube for fans to enjoy. With Boukadakis filming the videos and Hager booking the bands, OnAirstreaming was born. “A handshake and a shot of whiskey crystallized the deal and a few days later, we were filming our first band,” says Boukadakis. “That one band would quickly turn into two hundred.” With YouTube already emerging as a new music platform, Boukadakis felt it was the perfect time to integrate OnAirstreaming to the internet community. “We were big fans of VH1’s Storytellers and MTV’s Unplugged and had not seen anything like that surface,” says Boukadakis. “We felt a need to get the content up and across platforms where it could be seen easily on a global scale.” Social media has also played a huge role in getting their
using Facebook and Twitter to further engage fans. “YouTube, VEVO, iTunes, Spotify have all helped surface so many uncovered musicians that you might not hear otherwise,” admits Boukadakis. “These platforms have also allowed fans to engage with artists in a completely new way.”OnAirstreaming’s unique approach to spreading music really sets them apart from the other digital platforms out there. Bands record their live performance, called a ‘session’ in the Airstream trailer with a live audience, where it is then uploaded to YouTube. After the session, the band is then interviewed with a live audience. Boukadakis says that each session is “very casual and such a well-oiled machine at this point. Audience members and fans are allowed to wander around the studio, talk to the bands, talk to us. There is no pressure at all. It is such an enjoyable experience.” With bands such as The 1975, Vance Joy, and Tokyo Police Club on their track record, OnAirstreaming tries to film artists that are on the cusp of becoming mainstream. “We love to work with artists that are incredibly active on social media and have great engagement with their fans,” says Boukadakis. With his unique approach to live music, Boukadakis hopes OnAirstreaming will make sure that people are not missing out on talented artists because they are not on the top charts. “If we can serve artists up in a format that makes people take a chance on watching and listening, then we are doing our jobs correctly,” says Boukadakis. “That’s been a very special part of this whole experience, turning people on to new bands.”OnAirstreaming not only allows fans to discover new artists, but it also allows artists to express their music the way they originally wrote it— stripped down, raw, and intimate. “My favorite part is watching the satisfaction it brings musicians to play their song the way it was intended, admits Boukadakis.
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“I have witnessed many artists get emotional during the performance because of this,” he adds. There are many music videos and live performances out there on YouTube, but what makes OnAirstreaming shine is the intimacy behind the camera. Sessions allow fans, in the audience and behind the camera, to truly feel the raw emotion and personality behind the songs and artists. “I truly believe we provide one of the most intimate performances with every capture,” says Boukadakis. “It’s like you are sitting in on a therapy session with these artists, it can be uncomfortable and beautiful all at the same time.” Discovering new artists and sharing their music across the world, Boukadakis has experienced so many memorable moments throughout the whole process. One of his favorite moments was filming the OnAirstreaming session for Allen Stone, a soul musician from Washington. Playing a cover of “Sex and Candy,” Stone attracted a huge audience, hypnotizing passersby with the intimate performance. “Somebody took a wide-angle picture of that moment, and I just remember seeing that picture, the crowd, the setting, and thinking: that’s the power of what we’re doing,” says Boukadakis. With so many popular artists already under their belt and already under their belt and uncovering—
“OnAirstreaming not only allows fans to discover new artists, it also allows artists to express their music the way they originally wrote it— stripped down, raw, and intimate.” new artists every week, OnAirstreaming is taking off, becoming a popular music platform. So what’s next for OnAirstreaming? “In addition to growing musical awareness, we would love to continue teaming up with brands that want to spread their own awareness through music,” admits Boukadakis. OnAirstreaming has worked with great brands to date, including YETI Coolers. With OnAirstreaming’s unique, intimate experience for marketing music on a digital platform, Boukadakis has no plans of slowing down. “More bands. More interviews. More performances. More unique settings. More music channels, maybe an On The Road channel?” says Boukadakis. Watch out for OnAirstreaming coming to a city near you, including Los Angeles, Nashville, Memphis, and Brooklyn.
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fleurie STORY: SYDNEY CLARKE PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSE LABAUVE
Musical powerhouse Fleurie is considered to be one of the coolest up and comers in today’s music scene. The artist originally from Michigan, launched her new EP, Arrows and it’s pure gold. FLEURIE a.k.a. Lauren Strahm, has a sound that can best be described as a blend of traditional and dreamyelectronic. This is no mistake, for Strahm has spent a lot of time creating this blend. “I love exploring and experimenting— we did a lot of experimentation to find these sounds that felt like Fleurie to me,” she says.
“I WANTED TO CREATE MUSIC WITH A LOT OF HEART AND CREATIVITY AND EMOTION AND FUN!” Strahm, who is originally from Michigan, has spent time in many major cities, which all have influenced her musical style. “Sydney (where I lived for 3 years during college) has such a cool creative spirit to it, and it’s so different from America, way more so than I imagined,” she says. “That time helped me explore other cultures (I went to an international college) and see what possibilities existed. [It helped me] to find interests and creative inclinations I had no idea I had!” She also cites positives from living in Michigan and Nashville. “Growing up in Michigan gave me a lot of time to spend in my parents’ basement writing music. Living in Nashville has been a great joy and a challenge— there’s so much to do socially all the time and so many great bands to see! I’m stirred creatively but also left with little time to explore my own ideas and develop musically. I’m learning the balance!” Knowing her love of music from a young age has also helped her sound progression. As a child, Strahm spent time learning piano based on her parents, who were active in playing music at her church. She began to make her own songs, and was encouraged to continue by her piano teacher. She did not begin to sing her own music, however, until 17. Even more recently was the creation of Fleurie. “My last year of college I started daydreaming about what it might be like to be an artist, and designing my brand in my mind. I would scour magazines for name ideas via words that jumped out at me, kept a little notebook of ideas in my bag,” she says. “Nothing stuck. Lots of cool words but no real depth or meaning and that was something I found I really needed. I started to see my name as a vision, distant and blurry, but concrete and fully formed— so I focused in on it. I wanted a French name (I love the French language, how it sounds, how it looks written, how it feels in your mouth when you speak it), two syllables, poetic meaning. One day I just saw it in my mind: Fleurie— blossoming, flowering.”
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“IF YOU’RE WRITING TO GAIN THE APPROVAL OF OTHER PEOPLE OR TO MAKE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF, YOU’LL ALWAYS WRITE FROM A PLACE OF FEAR AND STRIVING INSTEAD OF JOY. YOUR ART MATTERS BECAUSE YOU MATTER!”
Now, as an accomplished songwriter, Fleurie is moving into the world on performance. Her new EP features her signature sound, moving in a more “alt-pop” direction. “I’m so excited for the world to take a peek into Fleurieland and enter my dreamscapes! You can expect lots of cinematic synth sounds and stacks of drums, a good mashup of organic and programmed layers.” Many of the songs featured on the EP still have the singer-songwriter influence, however. “Most of these songs were written at a piano and then reimagined and translated into this new sound!” she says. As far as sound and writing goes, Fleurie cites her influences as Coldplay, Bon Iver, Imogen Heap, Death Cab for Cutie, OneRepublic, Dashboard Confessional and Vanessa Carlton. Production wise, however, she is influenced by sultrier artists such as Florence and the Machine, Frank Ocean, and Lana Del Rey. This allows her to make the sound she is so know for— a blend of traditional bands and dreamy electronic. Her new single, “Fire in my Bones” is a perfect example of this blend. Released by NYLON, the song is a taste of what the her EP has to offer. “The NYLON release was so crazy cool to me! I grew up reading that magazine. This song was an interesting one— I wrote it in a church service. I was sitting there and suddenly heard the whole song in my head, so I got up and left the service and went to this piano that they had in the hallway upstairs in this church, wrote the whole thing start to finish in about 5-10 minutes, recorded it as a voice memo and went back into the service.”
The song was revisited years later, when it was recorded with producer Matt Stanfield. “[I] got to see the vision realized, [which was] so cool. On the piano it sounds more like a jazz piece. I chose it as the first single because it is bold and brave and cutting, as well as searching and vulnerable. I think that captures this moment in time for me and I thought it would be a good introduction to this record.” As for what’s next, Fleurie hopes a tour is in her future. “This fall I’ll be booking some college tours as well as trying to play shows in other venues. My vision and dream is to have a really cool setup (sound and lighting wise) that I can take anywhere— a cool coffee shop, an outdoor spot, etc. And know that it’ll sound and look awesome every time.” Fans can find her mostly in the South and Midwest, but she loves traveling and hopes to bring her show elsewhere. For budding singer-songwriters, she offers this piece of advice: “Just keep writing because it is like mining for gold, you have to have quantity to get quality. And not only that, write because you love to. Write because you have to say something, have to get it out or you’ll go crazy. Write because you love the way words strung together paint pictures and illuminate truth and make you feel alive and human. Write because it’s fun! If you’re writing to gain the approval of other people or to make something of yourself, you’ll always write from a place of fear and striving instead of joy. Your art matters because you matter!”
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william haynes Story: Chloe Luthringshausen PhotoGRAPHY: Madison Bass-Taylor
Growing up as a shy kid, William HayNes knew that comedy was not just something he wanted to do, but also something he felt he had to do. Comedy became Haynes’ way to gain confidence and feel comfortable around other kids by having the ability to make them laugh. Today, Haynes still feels like comedy is something he has to do, not because he is still that shy kid, but because comedy is what he is truly passionate about. Making thousands of people laugh everyday, Hayes now hosts his popular YouTube channel, People Be Like. Haynes first got into comedy for a way to feel comfortable among his friends, but he also credits his parents for his love of humor. “My parents left Chris Rock’s Bigger and Blacker on VHS around, and I watched it every night for months. It’s burned into my brain,” admits Haynes. Now, Haynes runs his own show as the host of successful YouTube channel, People Be Like, where he provides hilarious social commentary on pop culture and current events in the world. When asked how he came up with the idea of People Be Like, Haynes says that he wanted it to be a place where he could take up several different types of comedy all at once. “If you put all the People Be Like shows together you have what I hope is a late night talk show. Look, I just want to be Conan O’Brien, okay? Or Jon Stewart if he sometimes talked about Taylor Swift,” jokes Haynes. Taylor Swift is not the only person Haynes comments on in his videos. His content takes on a wide range of topics, from politics to Miley Cyrus’s outrageous outfits. “I like to talk about everything. I don’t believe anything should be void of criticism,” says Haynes. “There’s comedy in almost everything that happens in the world. I choose what I talk
about in videos everyday based on what I think people would like to laugh about or need to look at in a different perspective.” Haynes admits his goal with his videos is to take people out of the real world for a few minutes and make them laugh, whether it’s about a “celebrity who lost their mind or this week’s worst criminal.” Taking on serious topics can be a bit of a challenge, but Haynes’ goofy, dark humor allows him to comment on people and events with a hilarious, light-hearted voice. Haynes found his unique comedic voice when he was a shy kid, analyzing conversations around him instead of actually taking part in them. By being what he describes as a “low-key ease dropper,” Haynes learned how to create different voices and styles of humor. “As a comedian, I would describe myself as your friend who doesn’t understand life so he keeps asking you why you do things,” says Haynes. “But honestly, when I’m alone I pretend I’m Kanye if he did jokes instead of fire beats,” jokes Haynes. Haynes’ channel People Be Like is the perfect example of the new generation of comedy— one that exists on a digital platform. He admits that there are both pros and cons to performing comedy on a digital platform compared to stand-up in front of a live audience. “The cons with performing comedy on a digital platform is that jokes that you think are funny might not actually be, and you’ll never know because you were too scared to say it in front of strangers,” explains Haynes. “But maybe that’s apart of the fun of it! You can never bomb on the internet!” He also likes the fast paced environment on the internet. Instead of the weeks it takes to do stand-up, the internet takes only seconds to upload a video to an audience.
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The fast paced environment on the internet is a great way to engage with an audience, but it can also come with a lot of instant feedback, both positive and negative. Haynes admits, “when someone leaves a negative comment on my videos, I honestly do not care. Anyone who goes on the Internet to be anonymously mean sounds like an idiot-person.” With this type of strong attitude, Haynes has developed a huge following by not letting any type of criticism stop him from what he loves to do. He recently moved his channel from SourceFed to his own channel, where he is excited to start something new and exciting for his viewers. For people who also want to start something new on the internet, he suggests to “always make something that you would like to watch, stay consistent and always challenge yourself to go the extra distance. I try to always put my full effort in and see what the world thinks is worth their time.” With the start of his own channel, Haynes knows he has grown a lot as a comedian and also as a person since his first videos. So what does he think when he watches his earlier videos now? “I don’t know who he is and what he wants from me or why his hair is so short. Why do you talk like that? Why would you buy that shirt? Remember when we had that pet goldfish?” said Haynes. Laughing about it now, he has learned a lot from his starting videos. If he could give himself advice back then, he would tell himself to “stop worrying about everything, it doesn’t get you anywhere and makes my head hurt so stop, please.” Haynes admits that he does not get a lot of time off, creating videos from eight in the morning to five at night and then working on stand up or sketches until midnight. “In between there I check to see if there’s a new Drake song where he talks about being cool and women loving him. That’s about it,” explains Haynes. With a popular YouTube channel and a determined mindset, Haynes is on his way to conquering the world with his hilarious, sarcastic humor. However, he also wants to expand from YouTube and create other forms of comedy for this upcoming year. “I really want to make a comedy album. I always have. I’m currently working on one by myself right now but I have no idea when it’ll be finished,” says Haynes. “But most importantly, I want to make people laugh on every platform I can.” Watch his videos and you will soon discover why People Be Like “this guy’s hilarious.”
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sinimalist IWEARSIN FALL/WINTER 2015 PHOTOGRAPHY: KATY VIOLA MUA: MAYA PHILLIPS MODEL: CHANEL
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On the cover, Tyde Levi // Beach Weather, Circa Waves, Karan Brar, OnAirstreaming and loads more.