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mad sounds

JUNE/JULY 2017

a publication for the young and daring

suburban wonderland ISSUE NO. 24


mad sounds magazine

the

heirs 002


mad sounds a publication for the young and daring Giselle Melendres Editor-in-Chief, Creative Director, & Designer madsoundsmagazine@gmail.com Contributing Writers Emily Zheng, Lea Porcelli, Chalisa Singh, Naomi Grace, Giselle Melendres, Sydney Hildebrandt Contributing Photographers Oliver De La Cruz, Marina Williams, Madeleine Schaffner, Jordan Randall, Aidan Doyle, Ashley Seryn A Special Thanks To.... The Heirs, Ashley Seryn, Chalisa Singh, Jordan Randall, Isaiah Gripper, Albina Silchuk, & Aidan Doyle

ON THE COVER Photography by Ashley Seryn Featuring The Heirs


the young & daring

@madsoundsmag www.madsoundsmagazine.com @madsoundsmag


contents


introduction 009 a letter from the editor editorials 010 lust for life by MADELEINE SCHAFFNER 018 dream in blue by OLIVER DE LA CRUZ 030 the secret garden by MARINA WILLIAMS think pieces 040 an ode to live music by EMILY ZHENG 044 spare change by NAOMI GRACE features 046 Meet The Heirs Band/Music Artists 064 Isaiah Gripper Singer/Songwriter 082 Jordan Randall Photographer/Visual Artist 098 Albina Silchuk Blogger/Artist music 112 back to the 2000s with Jesse McCartney photography ASHLEY SERYN featuring THE HEIRS


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


NO. 24 — SUBURBAN WONDERLAND

suburban wonderland THE HEIRS

ASHLEY SERYN Welcome back to another issue of Mad Sounds! I am so excited to be releasing this issue after a couple long months of planning, creating, and finally, completing our June/July 2017 issue. We wanted to make our 24th issue particularly special, and in this issue we decided to tackle the topic of music, more specifically: the impact of music, our favorite jams, and even a special feature with one of the coolest bands out there, The Heirs.

new music, tour life, finding inspiration, and more with The Heirs.

This is our first cover that we've done with an entire band, and we could not be more thrilled to be featuring such a talented group of people as the face of our summer issue. Issue 24's title: Suburban Wonderland comes from The Heirs' upcoming single (set to release in late June) and we had the honor to talk about their

As always, we are so thankful for our readers and every artist, creative mind, and contributor who takes part in the creation of these issues. Mad Sounds has been an incredible journey and will continue to be as the years go by, and I can't wait for you all to see what's to come. Love and light, xo.

Issue 24 is also filled with some amazing talents: Albina Silchuk, a Sacramento based fashion blogger and creative, Jordan Randall, one of the kindest and most talented photographers you'll meet, and Isaiah Gripper, a singer/ songwriter whose album "Transcend" is always on repeat.

Giselle Melendres Founding Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director

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photography by MADELEINE SCHAFFNER @mado.s.photo / featuring MAIA DAVIS @maravelli makeup by ROSIE REED @rosiereedbeauty / styling TOBI GHOST @tobighost

mad sounds editorials

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lust for life photography by MADELEINE SCHAFFNER @mado.s.photo featuring MAIA DAVIS @maravelli makeup by ROSIE REED @rosiereedbeauty styling TOBI GHOST @tobighost


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photography by MADELEINE SCHAFFNER @mado.s.photo / featuring MAIA DAVIS @maravelli makeup by ROSIE REED @rosiereedbeauty / styling TOBI GHOST @tobighost

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mad sounds editorials

photography by MADELEINE SCHAFFNER @mado.s.photo featuring MAIA DAVIS @maravelli makeup by ROSIE REED @rosiereedbeauty styling TOBI GHOST @tobighost

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dream in blue photography OLIVER DE LA CRUZ @revilodlcphotography featuring CAILIN WILLIAMS @cailllllin


photography OLIVER DE LA CRUZ @revilodlcphotography featuring CAILIN WILLIAMS @cailllllin


photography by OLIVER DE LA CRUZ @revilodlcphotography featuring CAILIN WILLIAMS @cailllllin


mad sounds editorials

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the secret garden photography MARINA WILLIAMS @marinawphoto featuring MOLLY HAUER @mollykhauer


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photography MARINA WILLIAMS @marinawphoto featuring MOLLY HAUER @mollykhauer


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photography MARINA WILLIAMS @marinawphoto featuring MOLLY HAUER @mollykhauer


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mad sounds editorials

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mad sounds think pieces

an ode to live music written by EMILY ZHENG photography by JORDAN RANDALL featuring KARLEY RICHARDSON

"You're supposed to roll your hips in time / You're supposed to see your age rewind / You're supposed to pull me like the sun pulls the earth" I'm belting my heart out to "If You Didn't See Me" by JR JR. I look at my beautiful friend as we dance to the tune, smiles plastered on our faces. This is our celebration of youth, our anthem for reckless abandon. Ever since I went to my first concert two years ago, I've been addicted to the movement of live music. How it puts you in that late night vulnerability, and I always end up swapping secrets with the friends who go with me. The collective energy of the crowd shamelessly singing off-key. The timeless magic of dancing to your favorite songs in person. At my last concert, I remember my friend Claire grinning, "You don't know how much I needed this." But hearing that opening song, I realized that I did. We both sought to forget all the petty worries we normally obsess over. We wanted hair tangled, sweat sticking to our skin, boundless silliness. We wanted to dance until we were dumb. Besides forgoing all the mundane problems, concerts are about remembering. Seeing just how booming and vibrant life can be. Live music forc-

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es me to look at all the small wonders through a magnifying glass. And then, I become the girl with this big, silly smile on her face like she's fearless. Present. Things might not always be okay, but this moment is hers. No one can take that away. I'm at a Capital Cities concert. I'm screaming the lyrics and dancing with an energy usually meant for solo-dance parties in my room. A man approaches me: "Oh my god, I love your enthusiasm. You're awesome," and we high-five. I beam back at him. As I reflect on the night, I know this is what I want to be: larger than life, unapologetic, free. His words are a small token for my shamelessness, and I let myself live audaciously. I let myself take up space. When you strip back all the expectations, who we are becomes fuzzy. I'm a soon-to-be college student going to UCLA next year. A passionate writer. Asian American. But I'm also a girl who likes taking pictures of her friends, eating chili lime potato chips, and writing long emails. Die-hard romantic. Concert enthusiast. Self-proclaimed philosopher of existential questions.


We spend so much time trying to become who we should be rather than letting who we are flourish. Live music has given me the push to seek authenticity. When I'm carelessly singing to my favorite songs with my best friends, I do not have to fulfill anyone's assumptions. I'm no longer the crazy best friend. I'm just me, with all of my contradictions and idiosyncrasies. Sometimes, all you need is something as simple as live music to find yourself. I'm always going to overthink situations and obsess over details, but for this one night, for these few songs, I am electric. I'm filling the present with gorgeous melody and joy and spirit. I don't know all the answers, but that's okay, as long as I'm still asking questions. But there is something that I do know, with all the certainty in my heart: In this moment, despite all the hurt and turbulence in the world, I am happy.


"We spend so much time trying to become who we

should be rather than let-

ting who we are flourish. Live music has given me

the push to seek authenticity."

photography by JORDAN RANDALL featuring KARLEY RICHARDSON


mad sounds think pieces

spare change I come from a long line of loud opinions and soft, self-expressed musical composition. A living, breathing paradox I have learned to love immensely. I went to U2 concert recently, thirty years after their Joshua Tree album was released. I never thought I’d feel comfortable with so many forty year-old dads in denim jackets, but yet there I was. After listening to U2 and the dads, I found it quite promising to discover that just about anyone can participate in music’s ever-changing landscape. We are all just tiptoeing on the very edge of creating something more. It’s an atmosphere that keeps me good in company. It surprises me really. It can whisper to me at one of my dark hours. It finds me in the score of my favourite old films. It’s the over driven telecasters that say “I make the rules around here.” It’s the undressing of every last emotion to all the words I couldn’t say to someone’s face, yet it still has just the right amount of sustain. The six strings I play are not really deserving of an emblematic stage with spotlights and an audience, but I will continue to sink into the backbone that holds me up. My music and self-expression sit proudly on a pedestal in my life. It communicates the ever-elusive conversations in my head, and strings it together in beautiful dissonance. Self- expression is depleted when there is no brutal honesty to support it’s cause. Similar to a soul inhabiting a gypsy, music has changed me. It make me want to leave spare change for the buskers at the beach, invigorating self-expression beyond just a melodious tune that is held captive in a messy head and denim jacket.

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written by NAOMI GRACE photography by JORDAN RANDALL featuring TAYLOR BENSON


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


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the heirs written by CHALISA SINGH photography by ASHLEY SERYN

The Los Angeles based indie-pop band, The Heirs, is

The strong passion they have for their music and the

climbing up the charts with their infectious vibes and

immense love they have for their fans is something all

groovy tunes. Made up of Savannah Hudson (lead vo-

musicians should take note of — and the five undeniably

cals), Brandon Hudson (lead vocals and guitar), Alex

embody the 'young and daring' ambience with their

Flagstad (guitar), Eian McNeely (bass and keys) and

captivating sound and edgy look. Between the writing,

Brennan Benko (drums): these five know how to use their

touring, and performing, The Heirs have been incredibly

individual talents to create feel good songs that you just

busy, and tell us how they stay inspired and what they

can’t get enough of. Gaining recognition from America’s

do in their free time. We had the chance to talk with Sa-

Got Talent, being acknowledged by Teen Vogue and

vannah, Brandon, and Brennan about the band's origin

Billboard, and even touring Vans Warped Tour this past

story, life on the road, their creative processes for music,

year, The Heirs are now working on their new EP that

and their upcoming projects including their new single,

they are eager to share with the world.

“Suburban Wonderland”.

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photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


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Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today at Mad Sounds. To get things started, can you give us a brief background story of, “The Heirs”? How did the band and the name come about?

Everyone has their own unique way of “getting in the zone”. How would you describe the creative process behind making your music? How do you guys “get in the zone”?

Brandon: The Heirs was a working/writing project Savannah and I had originally created in 2015. We didn't know exactly what it was going to become at the time but we knew we definitely wanted it to blossom into a living, breathing representation of our experiences throughout our youth into our adulthood. 'The Heirs' as a title usually stands for something of superiority and inheritance but we loved the word in the context of normality. As Morrissey from The Smiths said, "I am the son and the heir of nothing in particular." We came together collectively as a band in early 2016, and have been getting it all together ever since.

Savannah: The creative process behind making our music is honestly one of my favorite things ever. It’s pretty much different every time because we are so inspired constantly by life and people and love and growing older that the process of creating always comes super naturally. We don’t normally designate a time to write, it always just sort of happens naturally. Whether it’s at 3am at our house, studio, or in the corner at a party, it’s always spontaneous and is always a new and beautiful experience. Although, these past few months we have definitely been buckling down and getting in the studio every day to write for our EP coming out soon. It never really feels like something we have to switch our brains over to or “get in the zone” for because I feel like our brains are always already there.

How would you describe your music in two words? Brandon: For sure need a few more words to answer this question, but listen while laying in your back seat. That's ideal for this. How did moving to Los Angeles affect your music style and yourselves as artists? Savannah: Brandon and I moved to LA when we were super young and it changed our lives immediately for the better. The Los Angeles atmosphere is so inspiring and artistic. For us it made us feel like we could create anything and no one would judge us for it. It also helps that within Los Angeles, like New York, there is a really hip and thriving music scene that serves like a compass to us while we are creating our debut EP as a band. For the most part, all of us as a band have been living here for a good majority of our lives. Speaking for all of us, we all love it and think it is such a fantastic place to live especially for the music we are creating.

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What are some of the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today? Savannah: As musicians and especially as a band there are constantly challenges and things that aren’t so fun that we have to go through. With that being said, I feel like we are so lucky to have each other in these situations because we are so close and know each other so well and know when and how to make a bad situation better by just being together (cheesy). There are always going to be things in life that break you down and make you feel like you can’t do something, but if everything was perfect all the time we wouldn’t appreciate anything as much. I don’t think I could choose one particular situation that changed us into who we are today...just going day by day and working as hard as we can and experiencing the ups and downs of life together is a very impactful thing in itself.


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


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What effect do you want your music to have on others? How do you want a crowd to feel after watching an “Heirs” performance? Brennan: We want people to walk away from our shows and remember it. It’s important for people to feel like our show didn’t just blend in and hopefully they will remember that show for the rest of their lives. We want to make memories. What song have you been the most proud of? Savannah: We have been working extremely hard on this new music that is yet to come out and even though it is still in rough demo stages, I think it is the most honest and personal music we have ever made and I am so excited to share it with everyone. Our new single, “Suburban Wonderland”, is something that we are so proud of and feel so lucky to be releasing. So even though all of this isn’t out yet, I feel most proud of it and I know we are all excited to get it out into the world! Who are your musical influences? Brennan: Steve Clifford, Dave Turncrantz, Stewart (The Police), and Josh Freese Savannah: Between the five of us, we share a pretty broad spectrum of musical influences. Brandon and I grew up listening to classic 70's and 80's music like Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, etc. Also, our parents were super into 80's new wave so we grew up loving it and still love it. We are super inspired by new music too especially growing up in LA the music scene here is constantly evolving and is always interesting. We are not only inspired by music though. We also grew up reading a lot of poetry and books which helped us with writing as we got older.

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What is one of your dream collaborations? Brandon: If we could somehow get Stevie Nicks and Frank Ocean on a vibe I could for sure die happy. Tour life can be quite interesting especially when you are in a band of five. Is tour life what you guys expected it to be, or were there a few curveballs you weren’t expecting? Savannah: Well I absolutely adore touring. I love traveling and being somewhere new everyday and meeting lovely people and being with my bandmates. It's all amazing for me, even the hard parts. It's definitely something you have to get used to though, the lifestyle is very hectic and hard but it starts to feel more and more like home the more you do it. It's also such an inspiring experience. Makes writing new material a very fluid process. We played Warped Tour last summer and that was a very intense tour but it was so good for us to do as a band because we got so tight and really learned how to tour. Looking forward to many many more! What was your favorite city you have toured in? Brennan: I’m a big fan of the East Coast--there’s a few distinct similarities between East and West, (New York, L.A.)--they are all such cool cities. On both ends, music and the arts are vastly appreciated, and I love the cultural diversity. People travel from everywhere to go to L.A. or New York.


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


NO. 24 — SUBURBAN WONDERLAND

Have there been any crazy fan experiences you have encountered while on tour? Savannah: All fan experiences are love experiences for us. This past September we played a headline show at The El Rey Theatre in Hollywood and all of our fans and friends brought roses and flowers and threw them up on stage for us so when we came out the entire stage was covered in these beautiful petals. It was so special. So much love for anyone who cares and supports us and loves us. Especially throughout this quiet time we've spent creating. We are eternally grateful. What are your must haves on the tour bus? Brennan: Food--microwavable food: pizza, mac and cheese, assorted nuts and trail mix, water, coffee beans, coffee grinder, and a french press. SXSW or Vans Warped Tour? Brennan: Vans Warped Tour hands down--went to it as a kid, grew up with it, love the bands there, it will always have a special place in my heart because of the fact that it’s kinda open to everyone--kids into a bunch of different type of things; it’s a melting pot, everyone can appreciate it. Even though it’s not the most prevalent festival, it’s open to everyone. It’s open to more people as well, if you enjoy music there’s something for everyone. Aside from writing music and performing, how do you guys like to spend your free time? Brennan: Food and drinks--awesome restaurants, cool food, cool coffee, finding a hip place to eat and drink. We're into the scene of finding those places and you get to meet cool, awesome people that are into the same thing as you are.

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With social media being such an efficient way to connect with your fans, how do you think it has changed the music industry? Brandon: Social media is such an important thing nowadays. Everything revolves around the screens in our palms and this can sometimes be looked at negatively for those who chose to see it that way. To me, though, it is such a tool and is extremely convenient for creativity. It has allowed me to constantly learn and listen and read and grow and educate myself to full capacity on my craft, and the best part about that is media never stops, therefore we have a never ending cycle. Breaking into the music scene at a very young age, what advice would you give to kids who want to pursue the music industry? Brandon: If I had to give any advice to a young musician/artist, it would be to consistently move forward, never take no for an answer, learn everything there is to know about your craft, and always evolve and progress. Everything moves at such a fast pace, move with everything and work with your resources to create something authentic, unique, and original to and for yourself.


We are excited to hear that you have new music coming out! What could we expect from this new single, “Suburban Wonderland�? Brandon: The new single is something extremely special to us. It was a song we sat on for over a year and a half waiting for someone on our team to appreciate and like. There was a lot of love put into it as well as a lot of thought and I really hope people think it's cool. I do. What should fans keep their eyes peeled for? Are there any upcoming projects or tours we should be on the lookout for? Brandon: This next year is looking to be very exciting, a new ep in the works, new content and videos as well as future upcoming shows to come. We cannot wait to be back on the road with our new material and we especially cannot wait to give love to everyone around the globe that cares for the creations we are making. We are blessed and privileged to have you all in our lives and can't wait to give you something very close to our hearts and homes. Keep up with The Heirs: Instagram/Twitter: @theheirsmusic www.theheirsmusic.com


photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


isaiah gripper photography JORDAN RANDALL featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER interview by LEA PORCELLI


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photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER @isaiahgripper


NO. 24 — SUBURBAN WONDERLAND

isaiah gripper interview by LEA PORCELLI photography by JORDAN RANDALL

Meet Isaiah Gripper: an artist, songwriter, and creative who has created a style that is uniquely his own. Isaiah’s latest album, Transcend, was released on Spotify and iTunes in March, and has been filling speakers and rooms with passion and a new sound that is hard to find anywhere else. With the sheer number of artists putting out projects and albums online, it can be difficult to stay inspired and push towards success. So, we brought in Isaiah to hear about how he continues to grow and change, and asked him for some advice for those struggling to do so in the music world. Read our interview with Isaiah here: Hi Isaiah! Thanks for sitting down with us here at Mad Sounds. To start off, can you give us a look into a typical day in your life--maybe when you’re recording or working on new music? Thanks for reaching out, this is a complete honor! So, when it comes to recording and writing, I find ALL of my inspiration very late at night. All of my ideas start to flow when it’s late at night, when I’ve had time to fully take in my entire day and realize that it’s finally over. When I start writing, I feel like I have to turn my mind off and shut out everything else. It allows me to be fully in tune with what I’m creating and when I reach that point, the words just start flowing. Your new album, Transcend, was released in early March. How long did you work on the album and what were some difficulties you faced in its creation? Surprisingly, it only took me only 5-6 months to

work on it. Overall, I felt like I rushed this project. I released it on a deadline that only gave me time to do only those songs on the project. One of the biggest difficulties that I faced with this project was trying to find the perfect release date. I didn’t want to release it too late and I didn’t want to release it while a few other artist-friends of mine were releasing their projects. It’s only May right now and it was like every artist-friend I have were releasing a project all at the same time, so I wanted to get mine done so I have enough time to promote my own work, and then get it out of the way so that I can promote and support my friends as well. It stressed me out to the point of cutting the project into an EP length instead of an album, which was what I was shooting for, but I’ve learned from this. How would you describe your “sound,” to someone who has never heard your music before? I honestly don’t even know. I’ve tried so many different sounds and I have so much material sit-

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photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER @isaiahgripper


NO. 24 — SUBURBAN WONDERLAND

ting around that sounds completely different than the last thing I’ve made. I guess I would say alternative-electronic. Yeah, let’s go with that! That sounds good.

just went straight to my music. Music provided something for me that acting never did. Acting is still something I pursue, but writing and creating music comes first.

What do you want your audience to feel while listening to your music? Is there a specific emotion that you try and elicit from your audience?

As a songwriter and musician, who are your inspirations? What do you admire most about them, both as artists and as people?

When people listen to my music I want them to feel a sense of freedom and peace. I purposefully write all my songs in a way that allows me to share how I’m feeling but also make room for others to either relate or interpret it in their own way. I want people to heal and feel safe when listening to my music. I always want to be vulnerable with my lyrics in an effort to inspire others to be vulnerable with themselves and what they’re going through as well.

Ahhh! Yes! I’ll just list a “few.” SZA, Willow Smith, Bibi Bourelly, Novo Amor, Bon Iver, James Arthur, Lorde, Daughter, Sia, Oh Wonder, Emily Warren, Dawn Richard, Melanie Martinez, and Troye Sivan. I’m in love with every single artist I’ve listed. I love these artists so much because they all WRITE what is genuine to themselves and what they’re going through. They allow us to see inside themselves. Another main reason why I love them is because they actually write their own songs, which not many artists do these days, especially in mainstream pop. That is what draws me to them. I love the way their music moves me and makes me feel a sense of peace when I’m going through something. That is what I hope to achieve with my music and with the songs that I write for others.

How did you get involved with music? Has it always been a passion or is it something that you discovered only in recent years? All my life my only dream was to be an actor. I had an eye for television since I was a kid. I first became involved in music when I was about 12 years old when my grandpa bought me a Macbook for my birthday and I opened up GarageBand and realized that I could record songs. Once I figured that out, I started putting random loops together and writing my own words and singing them over pop instrumentals. I did that for maybe four or five years and it became something I did every single day when I would come home from school. I wrote and recorded too many songs to even count. I thought I was a legit pop star once people started listening to my songs on Soundcloud and YouTube. It was a glimpse of a dream I never knew I had. Eventually, I started writing more serious stuff as I got older and realized that this is something that I actually wanted to do, maybe even more so than acting. Even after doing a commercial during this time, I got over that and

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Who are your favorite artists to listen to when you’re not creating your own music? When I’m not creating music, I love listening to James Arthur. I listen to his album “Back From The Edge” the most. I’m insanely obsessed. His voice. His lyrics. Everything is just unreal.


photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER @isaiahgripper


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mad sounds features

photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER @isaiahgripper

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photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER @isaiahgripper


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You collaborated with a few talented artists on the new album. How did you go about choosing who would be featured and how do they enhance the album? I have so much chemistry relationally and musically with everyone that I collaborated with on this project, so it was almost like this project chose them and I’m glad it did. All the tracks were either written by myself, or with the artist in person, or if I was writing by myself and I felt exhausted with the track, I would send it to a friend and have them write something for me and send it with something they wrote for it. I did that with two friends of mine, Nicholas Stallworth (Anagapesis) and Jake Bogaczyk (Phantasmagoria). I also had the opportunity to work with Justin Bellamy and Justin Witter, whom I’ve collaborated with on my last project and on some songs for his projects. I’ve written so many tracks with them, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to have them on Transcend. What does your writing process look like? Writing is so lonely for me. I usually write by myself. I just turn on my speakers and play the track over and over again until the words just start flowing. I have a note in my phone full of potential track titles that I want to use eventually and that is usually where I would start. I would play the track and choose a word from that list that the track draws me to and write based on that word. I’ve done it like that since I first started writing. It’s good for me because it allows me to understand the concept before I start writing so that I have a good direction of where I want to go to avoid swaying in the story that I’m trying to write. Do you experience writer’s block? If so, how do you push through it? ALL OF THE TIME. It frustrates and scares me so much. I don’t think I’ve ever publicly said this, but one of my irrational fears is running out of words

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to say for my songs. It’s completely irrational, but when I have writer’s block, I always think of that. I’m thinking like, “what if this is the day?!” But besides that, when I get stuck I either just put the song down and pick it up another day, bring it to a friend, or just throw it away all together. I do believe that sometimes there are songs that I haven’t written, finished, or released for a good reason, so I’m thankful for it at the same time. It’s a love-hate thing, I guess. Are you working on new music or any creative projects that we can expect to see in the near future? I’m working on and in the process of starting so much. I’m currently just writing everything that’s on my heart right now and everything that I am going through. I feel like I am in such a great place musically. I have a bunch of stuff written and recorded just waiting to be released, but I’m just taking my time with it and waiting for the right time. I’m working on a few other collaborative projects and writing for other people right now. I love writing for others maybe even more than writing my own stuff. I would love to completely be in the background and just write for others for a living. THAT is the dream. Do you have any advice for young musicians on how to get started, not getting discouraged, etc.? Don’t second guess this. Write what is true to YOU. Push borders with your music. Don’t let anyone try to tell you how your music “should” sound, unless you’re reaching out for help. Learn from your mistakes, and be okay with the mistakes that you have made. Don’t focus on trying to write a hit, you will lose the solely reason why you’re doing this. You will succeed if you keep pushing your pen and continue creating daily. Don’t feel restricted to stay in a certain genre. Do everything. Try everything. Dabble in every genre until you discover your own unique sound. Don’t be afraid


photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER @isaiahgripper


"I want people to heal and feel safe when listening to my music. I always want to be vulnerable with my lyrics in an effort to inspire others to be vulnerable with themselves and what they’re going through as well."


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to allow yourself to be inspired by others. Try to develop your own artistry without mimicking others, but don’t be afraid to be inspired and always give credit. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable in your music. Let it heal you and move you, because it will do the same for others. And lastly, DON’T give up just because you don’t get the amount of plays you want or super high sales, keep creating. Your music will always at least touch one person, and even with that, I think that one person may be enough. Your words matter and your words deserve to be heard. Write. How have you grown as an artist over the years? What are some important lessons that you’ve learned through trial and error? I’ve just grown so much in my songwriting ability. I’m very proud of that. I know what I want to say and I know what I want my music to sound like. Through working with certain artists over the years, I just didn’t have the chemistry I thought I would with some of them and we ended up having a falling out due to creative differences. In the place that I’m at now, I really don’t want to allow creative differences musically to affect my friendships with the artists that I work with. Now when I work with artists, we first lay out our ideas and intentions for what we’re wanting to create before we start working and that helps a lot. It became clear that you can’t work with everyone in this area, but then I also realized that sometimes creative differences can be used to make something really great. I learned how to establish that in the beginning. When you’re not working on music, do you have other creative outlets that you enjoy? Acting is definitely that other creative outlet that I go to. I grew up being involved in productions, and it wasn’t until I reached my teens where I was able to reach television. I had the opportunity to feature in a commercial for the Nickelodeon Ho-

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tel and the Hotel Transylvania film that came out around at the time. Then, a few years after that I was able to be in Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip movie, which was one of the best and scariest experiences of my entire life. Best, because it was like my childhood dream came to life, it was so unreal. Scariest, because I almost tripped Bella Thorne when she was walking past me off set and I would’ve felt extremely terrible on my first movie. How do you manage to show your passion for music through your songs/lyrics? I think I express my passion through my songs/ lyrics, by writing them for others. I use the pain and brokenness that I’ve been feeling and use it to bring healing in others. That is the main gain that I want to achieve with my music: bringing healing with my music. I really hope that shows when people listen to my music. Although, I’m sure you that would recommend the entire Transcend album (as would I), what is ONE song that you want everybody to go listen to? Why did you choose this song? Haha! Thank you so much! I guess I would choose “Don’t Change” featuring Justin Bellamy. I’ve had so many people express to me how much that song has touched them and it means everything to me that my music made an impact on someone. The song’s message is about being completely true to yourself and not allowing the voices around you to influence you to change to compare to others. Keep up with Isaiah: Instagram: @isaiahgripper Twitter: @isaiahgripper Spotify: Isaiah Gripper


photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring ISAIAH GRIPPER @isaiahgripper


jordan randall photography by JORDAN RANDALL interview by SYDNEY HILDEBRANDT featuring KARLEY RICHARDSON


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meet jordan randall written by SYDNEY HILDEBRANDT photography by JORDAN RANDALL

Jordan Randall is a young photographer who strives for honesty and hope through taking photos, rather than fame and glory. Originally from New York, Jordan now attends school in Florida while embracing all photography opportunities that come his way. Recently, Jordan released a visual diary called Keep This Close, which holds his own photography and poetic words. Jordan describes the book as a literal exhibition of his own diary – but polished for presentation. Keep This Close embodies what it’s like to realize every memory and moment you’ve ever had, and turn them into an open gallery for all to see. Among the dozens of people who Jordan has taken photos of, some notable ones include the members of Bastille, influencer Sadie Robertson, and up-and-coming musician Isaiah Gripper. To learn more about Jordan’s sources of inspiration, his definition of honesty in photography, and his ideal photo shoot, read more below! Can you describe a typical day for Jordan Randall?

What inspired you to put together Keep This Close?

Now that it’s the summer season, a typical day starts with checking Twitter. I’m really into current events and pop culture, so if something happened overnight, I want to know about it. Whether it involves congress or the casting of a new movie. From that point on, I’m either out shooting, in bed editing photos, or watching movies with my friends, with randomness in between. My days can be inconsistent in nature, but very similar in tone, in the sense that they’re all focused on art, on what’s been created and what we could create. I think that’s really cool.

I’ve always wanted to write a book of thoughts. I feel a bit pretentious calling them poems, but I guess that’s essentially what I wrote. I’ve always been somewhat of a writer, so whenever I hear a good line in a movie or a play, I go nuts. I often write lines or quotes that catch my attention down in my phone, just to remember the feeling. The powers of writing and photography have always fascinated me, because separately the two mediums are incredibly powerful. You can read four words, or stare at a picture on your phone and sit in silence, stunned and moved. But what

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photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring TAYLOR BERTRAN @taylorbertran


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if you put the two powerful mediums together? And I guess that idea, that question... that was the inspiration. I wanted to write the book I wanted to read. And so that’s what I did. Keep This Close is the kind of book I want on my bedside, and I’m proud to say I made it.

tos as we take them. If your model knows you’re liking what you’re capturing, they’ll be more confident and you’ll get your best pictures. There’s nothing worse for a model than a silent photographer who just finishes shooting a set with: “Okay, cool. Thanks.”

Keep This Close is a combination of writing and photography. How did you personally link the two creative forms together to create one whole piece?

What has been your favorite photo shoot so far, and why?

I think writing and photography go together perfectly, because words often create a picture in your head, while photographs often create words in your head. So why not try to pair the right words with the right pictures, and see what you can make people feel? Hopefully, a kind of ethereal, out-ofbody experience that you could only get from the two platforms being combined. You see this kind of principle in advertising all the time. A particular picture with a particular set of words drives home a feeling or a call-to-action, with often something to sell. The only difference is with Keep This Close, I just wanted to sell honesty, and the idea that this was literally my diary. Some of the pieces in the book have sat in my journals for years, and they didn’t look as pretty. There were some ugly thoughts with ugly feelings, and I wanted more than anything to make them to be cohesive and presentable in a way that was attractive, but also reflected the heart behind the original messy, unattractive scribbles. What do you strive for when beginning a photo shoot? I’ll usually start with some information and assurance. I’ll lay down the plan and what we’re going to do, so everybody is in the loop. Then, depending on who’s in front of the camera that day and how much experience they have, I’ll remind them that they can’t do anything wrong. Some clients or public figures need portraits but don’t spend a lot of time in front of the camera, so I just try to bring some peace to the environment. If they’re experienced in front of the camera, I’ll just make sure to remember to vocalize how much I like the pho-

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I did a shoot a couple of months ago with my friends Isaiah and Taylor at a tennis court in Lakeland, Florida. The photos that came out of that day are some of my favorites I’ve ever taken, but that was kind of a bonus. It was a beautiful day. We laughed so much, and Isaiah played music through his speaker, so we danced, took pictures, and made memories. I remember the sun started to set, and the portraits were coming out really pretty. But I had to stop so many times because I was honestly feeling so many things in the moment. The park/courts reminded me of my home back in New York, and how my friends and I grew up just hanging at the park behind our homes. Except now I was in Florida, with new friends, making new memories, and it was just a sweet moment. It reminded me that I love where I come from and I love where I’m going. What do you think makes a “good” photo? I believe it was the legendary photographer Sebastião Salgado who said, “The picture is not made by the photographer, the picture is more good or less good in function of the relationship that you have with the people you photograph.” I think these words summarize the mindset that has driven my photography since the beginning: it’s not about me. We live in this modern age of art, where photography has turned into a sport. Photographers have fans, followers, and people that keep tabs on their every move. Whereas before, photographers were the wall crawlers. They weren’t traveling with superstars and they weren’t sitting in bed worried about which time is best to post a photo. Now, I certainly believe that all artists, including photographers, deserve credit and proper compensation for their work. But that can’t


photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring KARLEY RICHARDSON (left) CHRISTINE WILSON (right)


photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring TAYLOR BENSON @tayjbenson


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be why we shoot, right? Like anyone, I want to be paid. But I don’t want to be glorified. Photography is literally about capturing the truth around us. It’s about what’s in front of the camera, not who’s behind it. Yet we cling to photographers like we do to Olympic runners. I guess what I’m saying is, at the end of my days, I would hope that my work made people cling to certain aspects of their life more tightly. Hope, family, friendship, grace, honesty, but never to me. I don’t think we should cling to artists as much as we should cling to their ideas and their inspirations. I just hope my work is an inspiration for the viewer, or an experience – maybe even a question. But never a sport.

What are you currently going to school for and why?

How would you describe your creative brand/ style? How do you integrate it into your social media?

Well, it’s cold for eight months of the year in New York, so Florida has certainly brought the sun back into my photos. And that’s no joke; Florida gives me a golden hour every night of the week. In New York, it’s a hit or miss whether you’re going to get one that night. So, Florida definitely gave me the freedom to not have to worry about the snow, the cold, or the gloominess, and just go out and experiment with photography. Florida is a good place to live if you want near-perfect shooting weather every day.

My creative brand is definitely an honest one. I’m kind of a sucker for hope, so I like to remind people it exists. But if I’m going to have honesty, then I’m going to have to embrace the dark as well as the light. So, if you follow me on Twitter, or you read my posts on Instagram, you’ll see that I’m often trying to embrace that tension, that beautiful line in life that intersects beauty and pain, light and dark. I don’t always get it right, but I’ve found that hurt and hope need each other. You can’t have one without the other. And if I’m going to spend my days on earth capturing photographs of people, I’m going to make sure I take the time to talk about the tension that we all sit in every day. What do you think makes your photography stand out among the rest? I shoot a lot of portraits, so I think if you look at my body of work in general you’ll see a common theme of faces. I’d like to think my work is very honest and intimate with viewers, and plays with light and emotion in a way that maybe you don’t see very often.

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I’m going to school for graphic design. It goes well with photography because I’m able to offer clients graphic design work on the album cover I may have shot, or the tour poster, the website, etc. I was told very early on to never go to school for photography, because it’s a huge cash-grab for things you can learn on your own. So, I avoided it and am entirely self-taught. How would you say moving from New York to Florida has affected your photography?

Can you describe your first experience of taking photos when you realized that photography is something you’d like to pursue? A few years ago, I dropped out of college and started a clothing company. Once business started to pick up, I decided I needed better photos for the website and so I used the t-shirt money to buy a camera. The same night that I had bought the camera, my friend Liam was in a performance of The Addams Family. So, I brought my camera and kind of low-key took pictures the entire night. The cast ended up wanting all of them, and everyone was sharing them everywhere online. It was a great feeling, and I had a blast doing it. Even though I haven’t really done anything like that since, it was definitely the beginning of this crazy journey of capturing people and moments.


photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring NATALIE MOLZ (left) CHRISTINE WILSON (right)


photography JORDAN RANDALL @imjordanrandall featuring TAYLOR BENSON @tayjbenson


Keep up with Jordan: Instagram: @imjordanrandall Twitter: @imjordanrandall imjordanrandall.com


What do you get out of taking photos that you don’t receive from other hobbies? Photography, to me, kind of feels like a superpower. A superpower that anyone can pick up. You get to literally capture what the human eye sees, and hold it dear forever. The concept behind that is insane to me. I get to play with and manipulate light through this tiny machine in my hands, and I’m just amazed by that in ways I’ve never felt about anything else. I can immortalize a moment. Like, what in the world? Crazy. What do you do when your inspiration is running dry? I get a lot of my inspiration through music, to be honest. It’s weird. I guess it plays back to that dynamic relationship between words and photos. I hear a song, a lyric, or a melody even, and it makes me feel some type of way. Then all I want to do is create images that give me similar feelings. So, music is a big one. Beyond that, I look through fashion mags, lookbooks, and Pinterest. Pinterest is huge. I have a big board I add to all the time called “tasty inspo”, which has a lot of weird stuff but it gets my creativity flowing. Movies are a big one, too. Ever since I started taking and editing photos, I’ve noticed color tones and composition in cinematography that catches my attention. And because there are so many movies with so many different visionaries behind them, there’s so much inspiration to be found. And if I’m running low on inspiration, I’ll take a walk. When I’m home in New York, I take three or four walks a week. They clear my head, and being where I grew up, surrounded by the homes I know and the trees that I’m familiar with, it centers me in a way that I won’t find anywhere else in the world. Can you describe your ideal photo shoot? Easy. It’s golden hour, and we’re either in a rad, exotic nature spot or in NYC, and Zendaya, Cole Sprouse, or Jaden and Willow are in front of the camera. They’re some of my dream humans to photograph for sure. I’d love to have coffee with all four, and just talk about anything and everything. That’d be a crazy day.


albina silchuk photography by AIDAN DOYLE featuring ALBINA SILCHUK styling by AIDAN DOYLE clothing SHOP OLD GOLD interview by GISELLE MELENDRES


photography/styling AIDAN DOYLE @adoyleee featuring ALBINA SILCHUK @albinasilchuk clothing SHOP OLD GOLD @shop_old_gold


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meet albina silchuk written by GISELLE MELENDRES photography by AIDAN DOYLE

Meet Albina Silchuk, an up-and-coming lifestyle and fashion blogger whose creative blog posts and unique sense of style are taking the blogosphere by storm. Based in Sacramento, California, Albina creates a platform for self-expression, combining personal musings with lookbooks, stories, playlists, and even interviews with her creative friends. While scrolling through her website, the playful fashion looks and daring photography immediately caught my attention, and I was captivated by the authentic and creative feel of the website as a whole. Today we had the opportunity to chat with Albina about how her blog got started, where she finds inspiration in both her style and for her website, and her biggest tips for creatives wanting to start a blog. Read on to learn more about Albina and her website, BeansBlog.

Hi Albina, thanks so much for chatting with us here at Mad Sounds. To start off, can you tell us about a typical day in the life for Albina Silchuk?

Let’s talk a little bit about your blog--what made you want to start a blog? When did you discover your interest in blogging?

A typical day for me would be to sadly wake up around 6:00 am and get ready for school. (Graduating in 2 days, so I’ll finally be able to get my beauty sleep!!) Next, I would usually drive to Starbucks and get the same iced coffee that I get every morning to help me survive. After that, it’s off to a lovely 6 hours of my life wasted in high school! After school, I’m usually starving so I grab a bite to eat, then head home, and from there on it’s different everyday. Sometimes I have shoots planned with friends that I have to get ready for, sometimes I go thrifting, and sometimes it’s just binge watching Law and Order episodes until I have to get ready for work!

I wanted to start a blog because I had too many creative thoughts, ideas and visions; I wanted to find an outlet that I would be able to share everything on while showing who I was as a person. I knew I was interested in blogging when I would spend hours and hours tweaking my pages, writing my content, and organizing the layout. I never got bored, and I was always motivated to create more.

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photography/styling AIDAN DOYLE @adoyleee featuring ALBINA SILCHUK @albinasilchuk clothing SHOP OLD GOLD @shop_old_gold


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Can you walk us through the different categories of your blog? What is your favorite category to create content for? My blog has a couple different sections because I wanted as much variety as I could get. I have a “people” page which is basically where I feature the individuals who I know personally that inspire me either through their art, fashion, or creativity! I have a “personal” page where I post about myself, my whereabouts, and just kind of the things that I’ve been doing. Usually these posts include details of a cool shoot I had done or a trip that I’d taken and end with lots and lots of pictures. My final category of my blog is “sick pics” which is basically exactly what it sounds like; the sick, cool pictures that either I’ve taken, my friends have, or what I saw online that caught my eye! Your lookbooks are always full of incredible photography, playful styling, and personal musings that accompany the photos. How do you come up with the ideas behind these lookbooks? All the outfits that I come up with is just me messing around with texture, color, attitude, etc. Sometimes I see an outfit on Instagram or online and then I think about how I can incorporate those similar pieces with my own twist. Also, a lot of the times the lookbooks turn out to be a complete surprise because my shoots usually don’t have a specific plan and going with the flow always ends up working out in my favor! Styling is a vital part of your lookbooks on your blog, who or what inspires your personal style? How would you describe your style? Oooh this is a hard one. My personal style is something that I can’t even really describe! It’s pretty eclectic, I love to mix old with new. Thrifting is definitely where I get most of my inspiration from. You wouldn’t believe how many different ideas I have running through my head everytime I try on something in the fitting room at a thrift store. It’s like a switch goes off and I just start thinking of ways to style, change, cut up, and reinvent a piece of clothing. As for people, I love

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Maddi Bragg’s style, as well as Amanda Steele’s and Sofia Richie’s. You’ve also done a series of interviews on your blog with fellow creatives--what types of conversations do you like to have with your interviewees and how do you select them for your blog? I select the people I interview for my blog based on their passion and how much they inspire me. All the people that I had chosen, I knew personally, so I knew their determination and crazy creativity were legitimate. I mostly just have casual conversation/questions, that asks about why they like what they do and what inspires them. I feel like everyone grows from some kind of inspiration, whether it be people, objects, or places. If there is one thing that you hope your readers take away from your website, what would that be? I want my readers to feel motivated and to not be afraid to do whatever they want. In the end, all that really matters is how happy you are. Don’t give up. I had absolutely no clue how to start a website; I had no clue how to pose in front of a camera, but I knew what I wanted, so I went for it. I just want people to know that everything you do doesn’t have to be perfect, and it really does not matter what other people think of you. Kick ass, work hard, and don’t be scared of a good challenge. What’s your biggest advice for those wanting to start a creative project like a website or blog? My biggest advice would probably be quality over quantity. Yeah, you could make a website in an hour, but will it be good and something you’re actually proud of? Sure, you can make 6 blog posts a day, but will the content be actually worth reading? I’m sort of a perfectionist when it comes to this kind of stuff so I would definitely recommend to take the time to make sure that you are happy & satisfied with what you are putting out there, because what you create is a reflection of who you are.


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photography/styling AIDAN DOYLE @adoyleee featuring ALBINA SILCHUK @albinasilchuk clothing SHOP OLD GOLD @shop_old_gold


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Keep up with Albina: Instagram: @albinasilchuk Twitter: @albina_silchuk albina-silchuk.squarespace.com


Do you have any upcoming projects for your website that you could tell us about? I have so many ideas that have been flowing though my brain for months now! But now I have even more since summer has started! I’m going to Hawaii in a week, so I definitely want to create some cool, summery lookbooks there. I’m also trying to shoot a ton over the summer, so those shoots and adventures will most likely be posted on BeansBlog. Now time for some random questions: what songs are on your current playlist? Love Galore by SZA ft. Travis Scott Biking by Frank Ocean LOVE by Kendrick Lamar Novacane by Frank Ocean 2Seater by Tyler, the Creator Girl by The Internet Self Control by Frank Ocean Who are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow? Humansofny, RoraBlue, UNIF, Maddi Bragg, Amanda Steele, sarahfuckingsnyder

What are your favorite stores? THRIFT STORES!!!! (Eco Thrift, Goodwill, CrossRoads, Freestyle, etc.). Topshop is actually what kills my wallet and bank account every month. Urban Outfitters is where I get some inspiration from for my outfits. Nordstrom BP section has super cute funky pieces, but basics as well Top three summer essentials: 1. My $16 Urban Outfitters sunglasses which have been my most used item probably in all of 2017. 2. Dry Shampoo: I think it saves my life like 3 times a week. 3. Mini backpack: holds everything comfortably and you can easily take it to the beach or just out and about, adds a little extra to your outfit too! If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which would it be? Hands down, 100% Channel Orange by Frank Ocean. His music makes me melt. How would you describe yourself in three words? Outgoing, Motivated, Spontaneous/Adventurous


mad sounds music

back to the 2000s with jesse mccartney review by CHALISA SINGH photography by CHALISA SINGH featuring JESSE MCCARTNEY

Performing in Chestertown Maryland for a Spring Concert, 2000’s heartthrob Jesse McCartney successfully brought a nostalgic night for everyone who was standing in that room. Still as dreamy as ever, Jesse gave the crowd a performance to remember. Standing in front of the barricade with my camera, I was able to feel everyone’s anticipation and excitement for Jesse to finally walk out on stage. Gazing at the crowd, I saw a few signs with his name and lyrics scribbled all over it and even a few light-up signs. As the lights started to dim, the crowd screamed with excitement as Jesse and NBC’s The Voice, Dory Lobel, ran out on stage bringing a wave of energy. Opening with his song Leavin’ from his 2008 album, Departure, Jesse got the crowd amped! Being at the front of the stage I was able to clearly hear his sweet voice that has not changed one bit. Hitting every note perfectly, Jesse did not disappoint the audience at all. In between performances, Jesse made sure to give his fans a special shout out for sticking around and for not forgetting about him. He took the time to talk to the crowd as well as acknowledge the signs that the girls made. When the beats to Body Language came on, it took everything inside of me to not drop my cam-

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era and dance along with the crowd. That song got everyone up from off of their feet. Every time he pulled out one of his sexier dance moves, the crowd went wild. He then followed with a few songs from his latest album, Technicolor, such as Back Together, Checkmate, Young Love and Superbad as well as a few from his past albums such as, How Do You Sleep, Shake, She’s No You, Just So You Know, etc. Moving into a slower song, Jesse decided it would be best to perform The Stupid Things with a lucky fan on stage. Pulling a girl from the front row, he brought her up on stage and serenaded her with his beautiful voice. Now moving towards the end of the show, I think we all know what’s coming. Yep, that’s right. Jesse sang his heart out to his most anticipated song, Beautiful Soul, as the crowd did not hesitate to belt the lyrics out as loud as they could. You bet I sang my all as well while trying to capture the moment at the same time. Can definitely now cross off seeing my middle school heartthrob off of my bucket list. I think we all need a little blast from the early 2000’s now and again.


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photography CHALISA SINGH @schalisaaa featuring JESSE MCCARTNEY

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@madsoundsmag www.madsoundsmagazine.com @madsoundsmag

photography ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn featuring THE HEIRS @theheirsmusic


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stay tuned there’s more mad sounds on the way! for information on how to submit to upcoming issues, please visit:

madsoundsmagazine.com

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mad sounds

Mad Sounds Issue 24 - The Heirs  

Mad Sounds Issue 24 - June/July 2017 - Featuring The Heirs, Albina Silchuk, Isaiah Gripper, Jordan Randall, and more!

Mad Sounds Issue 24 - The Heirs  

Mad Sounds Issue 24 - June/July 2017 - Featuring The Heirs, Albina Silchuk, Isaiah Gripper, Jordan Randall, and more!