Mad Sounds Issue 26 - Teala Dunn

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mad sounds


a publication for the young and daring

the age of influence ISSUE NO. 26

mad sounds a publication for the young and daring Giselle Melendres Editor-in-Chief, Creative Director, & Designer Contributing Writers Emily Zheng, Giselle Melendres, Sydney Hildebrandt, Lea Porcelli, Janet Garcia Contributing Photographers Riley Taylor, Stefan Trotman, Chalisa Singh, Kayla Mendez, Darrell Jackson, Giselle Keena, Riley Donahue, Ashley Seryn A Special Thanks To.... Teala Dunn, Riley Taylor, Riley Donahue, Anneliese van der Pol, & Ashley Seryn

ON THE COVER Photography by Riley Taylor Featuring Teala Dunn

the young & daring

@madsoundsmag @madsoundsmag

contents photography RILEY TAYLOR featuring TEALA DUNN

introduction 009 a letter from the editor editorials 008 high voltage by STEFAN TROTMAN 020 a study in nude by KAYLA MENDEZ 028 young & in love by GISELLE KEENA 038 the wynter effect by JAY WYNTER 048 the golden hour by DARRELL JACKSON think pieces 054 a defense of youth culture by EMILY ZHENG features 056 Teala Dunn Actress & Content Creator 066 Anneliese van der Pol Actress 082 Riley Taylor Photographer & Content Creator 098 Riley Donahue Photographer & Artist music 112 Father John Misty

photography RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring TEALA DUNN @ttlyteala


the age of influence TEALA DUNN

RILEY TAYLOR After many months of hard work, the Mad Sounds team is so excited to be releasing our 26th issue, The Age of Influence, for our fall/ winter release. Not only is this issue our last issue for the 2017 season, but is the first issue to kick off our quarterly release schedule that will be continuing through 2018 and onward. With more time to work on new issues (like this one), we’re hoping to create bigger and better issues for you all, pushing the envelope of creativity and innovation. With that said, Issue 26 - The Age of Influence is a very special issue of Mad Sounds, dedicated in particular to the power of young creators and influencers in our modern day world. We had the opportunity to sit down and chat with a range of artists, creators, and innovators that have created careers, passion projects, and other creative endeavors doing what they

love, and we are so excited to be sharing their stories with you today. We were so lucky to be able to work with Teala Dunn: our cover star of this issue who is an entirely self-made girl boss, holding the titles of actress, content creator, YouTuber, and more. We’ve also featured actress, Anneliese van der Pol, popularly known from one of my favorite childhood shows, That’s So Raven, photographer and content creator, Riley Taylor, (who actually shot the cover of this issue!), and Riley Donahue, photographer and up and coming songwriter + artist. This issue is jam packed with loads of incredible artists and creators and I hope their stories inspire you as much as they have inspired myself and my team. Hope you enjoy this special issue, and we’ll see you all in 2018!


Giselle Melendres Founder + Editor-in-Chief Mad Sounds

high voltage photography by STEFAN TROTMAN @mrcheyl featuring HALE @easy.socks



photography by STEFAN TROTMAN @mrcheyl featuring HALE @easy.socks

photography by STEFAN TROTMAN @mrcheyl featuring HALE @easy.socks



photography by STEFAN TROTMAN @mrcheyl featuring HALE @easy.socks



photography by STEFAN TROTMAN @mrcheyl featuring HALE @easy.socks



mad sounds editorials




mad sounds editorials


a study in nude photography by KAYLA MENDEZ @kaylammendez featuring AMANDA CRUZ @amandaaa_cruz styling REBECCA NUNEZ @rebecca_nunez

photography by KAYLA MENDEZ @kaylammendez featuring AMANDA CRUZ @amandaaa_cruz styling REBECCA NUNEZ @rebecca_nunez

mad sounds editorials


photography by KAYLA MENDEZ @kaylammendez featuring AMANDA CRUZ @amandaaa_cruz styling REBECCA NUNEZ @rebecca_nunez

photography by KAYLA MENDEZ @kaylammendez featuring AMANDA CRUZ @amandaaa_cruz styling REBECCA NUNEZ @rebecca_nunez



young & in love photography by GISELLE KEENA @gisellekeena featuring (left) GORDON WINARICK @gogetgordon (right) RIKKI MILLBANK @rikkimillbank, CHEY MAYA CARTY @chey_maya, JUNE DOWNS @junedowns



mad sounds editorials


photography by GISELLE KEENA @gisellekeena featuring (left) @JUNEDOWNS (right) PAULA SIMKUSE @paulsimkuse

photography by GISELLE KEENA @gisellekeena featuring (left) CHEY MAYA CARTY @chey_maya (right) GORDON WINARICK @gogetgordon

photography by GISELLE KEENA @gisellekeena featuring (left) JUNE DOWNS @junedowns, CHEY MAYA CARTY @chey_maya (right) RIKKI MILLBANK @rikkimillbank



photography by GISELLE KEENA @gisellekeena featuring GORDON WINARICK @gogetgordon



the wynter effect photography by CHALISA SINGH @schalisaaa featuring JAY WYNTER @jaywynter_

mad sounds editorials




mad sounds editorials


mad sounds editorials


the golden hour photography by DARRELL JACKSON @djacks.jpg featuring ALAYSIA @aye.alaysia​



photography by DARRELL JACKSON @djacks.jpg featuring ALAYSIA @aye.alaysia​



photography by DARRELL JACKSON @djacks.jpg featuring ALAYSIA @aye.alaysia​

a defense of youth culture written by EMILY ZHENG @xmilyz photography by STEFAN TROTMAN @mrcheyl featuring HALE @easy.socks


“You’re young. What do you know?” my friend’s mom lectures me, hands on hips, nodding off my discontent as pure ignorance. Her stance is clear: my age invalidates my experiences. This narrative of belittling bears a familiar nagging to modern youth -- that our voices cannot be complex due to our age. From criticisms of recent poetry to our reliance on technology, the anti-millennial culture disregards the latest generation as mindless consumers, not creators. They are the opponents of teenage anything. Even though we can be naive, that shouldn’t make our feelings any less real. That’s the prevailing argument against young adult novels: the characters lack sophistication and the plot shifts are too simple. Books aimed at teenagers cannot be smart. They don’t have perspective. The genre has conventions I don’t always agree with, but Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun disprove all of the claims against young adult literature. These books aren’t afraid to discuss ugly issues: mental illness, unjust police brutality, and sexual assault. These books can be fiercely complex, and they do not apologize for their depth. They aren’t reads to be ashamed of but to celebrate. Brimming with characters of intellect, of ideas that transcend social media addiction. A discussion of youth culture isn’t complete without mentioning technology -- I cannot deny that we have become reliant on it, but it has also diversified today’s creative outlets. We have brought back slam poetry and made short films. There’s youth run podcasts, online magazines, and writing blogs. Most of this artistic collaboration has been done by the current generation, Mad Sounds itself being an example. Our interconnectedness has fostered projects that

never would have existed if not for passionate teenagers and technology. The contention regarding modern youth is filled with reasons why our generation is bound for failure, but the main assertion is this: We are dependent, and we are simple. Lazy. Too arrogant for our own good. This is the reasoning that is used against all facets of our lives: what we read, how we communicate, and why we haven’t stopped our “ridiculous” behaviors. I could negate every one of these nit picky claims, but my case against them can also be expressed in a common argument. We aren’t perfect. This generation can be image-obsessed and privileged. But you cannot ignore certain aspects of modern youth -- we are politically passionate, we are changing artistic mediums through technology, and we think about important issues. The things we like make us happy, and they (and we) aren’t as one-dimensional as you may believe. Because ultimately, we are holding our fists up at the women’s march. We are interning for politicians and creating awareness for sexual assault on college campuses. We are fighting for change that previous generations weren’t able to accomplish, and we do it with conviction. Maybe we like taking pictures and communicating via the internet, but youth culture is powerful. It doesn’t lose its influence just because we like social media. To the young adults out there thinking their voices don’t matter, do something. Prove them wrong.

“...maybe we like taking pictures and communicating via the internet, but youth culture is powerful. It doesn’t lose its influence just because we like social media.”


teala dunn photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring TEALA DUNN @ttlyteala interview by GISELLE MELENDRES @gisellelisabeth

photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor / featuring TEALA DUNN @ttlyteala interview by GISELLE MELENDRES @gsiellelisabeth


teala dunn

written by GISELLE MELENDRES photography by RILEY TAYLOR

Meet Teala Dunn, a Los Angeles based actress, content creator, and YouTuber who is tak-

ing the internet by storm. Today, she’s our cover star for our 26th issue of Mad Sounds, “The Age of Influence” and we had the opportunity to chat with Teala about everything relating to the power of creative youths and influencers. From her roles in television like

Guilty Party or All Night, to her videos as a lifestyle based vlogger and content creator on YouTube, Teala has some sage advice for creative millenials and creators in the age of

influence. Read on to learn more about Teala’s rise to stardom and how she’s making an impact on this generation of influential creators. Hi Teala, thanks so much for chatting with us today here at Mad Sounds. To start off, can you tell us about a typical day in the life for Teala Dunn? A typical day for me would be a run to Dunkin Donuts, take my vitamins, check in on my viewers via dms, and tweeting something positive and inspiring. Check my work schedule and get going with a productive day. You’re currently based in Los Angeles, what’s your favorite part about living in LA? Do you have any favorite spots, stores, etc.? I enjoy living in LA. I enjoy shopping with my friends, going to the spa, and eating amazing foods. As many of our readers might already know, you’re an actress and a lifestyle based content creator on YouTube. To start off, can you tell us about how you first got into acting? I got my start working on a Sears commercial,

then moving on to tv working on Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, from there I booked Nick Jr’s “The Wonder Pets”, there after Nickelodeon’s “The Naked Brothers Band”, which led to My full time job on a sit com Called “Are We There Yet” --I played Lindsey, a lead role. You’ve had an incredible year acting for a variety of shows and movies such as Guilty Party, Action #1, and more. Can you tell us a little bit about your roles in these features? What was your experience like working on the different sets? I have had a large range of roles; I would say to date my favorite would have to be the two show I just completed “Guilty Party” where I play a Queen Bee/Fencer of the school, where I am challenged to deal with relatable issues of bullying and an eating disorder. I believe this show will help many students dealing with both issues. All Night is a role I have never done before so my viewers will be pleasantly surprised, stay tuned.


mad sounds features



What was your first acting experience like? Did you ever anticipate it would become a lasting passion for you and eventually a career? I believed acting would be a long term thing, from the tender age of 6 I knew this was something I wanted to continue. You’ve also recently started your show, Tea Time with Teala. How did the concept for the show come to be? What is your favorite part about filming this show? I had this idea on the shelf for over 3 years, I believe, in timing with every project. I am so happy Awesomeness TV believed in me and has brought my ideas to life, I believe it is a platform for the viewer to get to know their favorite actors and or social media artist on a more personal level, keeping it real (what I love doing). Stay tuned for more Tea Time with Teala! What type of roles or projects are you hoping to work on in the future? I want to get into music, building a clothing line, and book a lead role on a Freeform or CW show. What’s your number one favorite thing about acting? My favorite thing about acting is being challenged to become someone else and bringing it to life.

You’re also a YouTuber and content creator. What originally drew you to the YouTube community? How did you first start making YouTube videos? I started my YouTube channel when I was 15, and I would post jump-cut music videos, then later on I found out there was whole other community (beauty) and I did my first haul. 3.5mil viewers and counting, I’m here today! Is there a particular milestone that you feel was the most pivotal or memorable in your YouTube career? My milestone would have to be starring on All Night. It’s a must see :) As a lifestyle based channel on YouTube and an avid vlogger, what are your favorite types of videos to make? I really enjoy doing haul videos, chatting while doing my makeup, sharing my daily routine in vlogs. Having an internet presence can at times come with negativity and criticism. How do you deal with haters or critics? What is your best advice for dealing with negative forces such as those? My advice is stay positive, forgive those who hurt you, because 9 times outta 10 they are hurting more! Karma is real so spread love.


photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring TEALA DUNN @ttlyteala



“it is very important those who have a large audience use their influence for positive change and motivation.� photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring TEALA DUNN @ttlyteala


What’s your biggest piece of advice for staying motivated in a creative job or industry? My advice in staying motivated in this industry, never give up, everything happens for a reason. Opportunities will come when they are supposed to. What is your definition of ‘success’? My definition of success is loving yourself, having a great family, and being able to do what you enjoy!

Top three fall/winter essentials? Fall/Winter essentials would be a cool hat, and wool coat. Favorite guilty pleasure TV shows? Riverdale, Stranger things, Shameless Do you have any favorite YouTube channels? Shane Dawson & Trisha Paytas

This issue is all about “The Age of Influence” and the impact that creative millennials have made in the modern world. What impact do you feel that influencers, creatives, and content creators like yourself are making on our generation?

Who is one person that you’d most like to power brunch with?

This generation has a large impact on what direction the world is going; I believe it is very important those who have a large audience use their influence for positive change and motivation.

Loyal, Focused, & Flirty

Wonder Woman Describe yourself in three words:

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for? As you know I have two shows Guilty Party and All Night, both of which I am hoping for a season two fingers crossed. I continue to make content, I am working with a few brands on some up coming project in 2018 I can’t speak on at the moment. Tea Time with Teala. Stay tuned.


Keep up with Teala: Instagram/Twitter: @ttlyteala YouTube: Tealaxx2 & TTLYTEALA


van der pol photography by ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn / featuring ANNELIESE VAN DER POL @anneliesevanderpol styling DEVON NUSZER @devonnuszer / hair & makeup AARON BARRY @abhairmakeup / interview by EMILY ZHENG @xmilyz

photography by ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn / featuring ANNELIESE VAN DER POL @anneliesevanderpol styling DEVON NUSZER @devonnuszer / hair & makeup AARON BARRY @abhairmakeup /


anneliese van der pol written by EMILY ZHENG photography by ASHLEY SERYN

Meet Anneliese van der Pol, American television, film and Broadway actress. You may know her as the at times oblivious but always well-intentioned Chelsea from the childhood clas-

sic That’s So Raven or her spinoff series Raven’s Home, which revisits Chelsea as an adult. Her new show is a paradigm for girl power as she navigates daily life with her best friend

Raven, highlighting the important but often unrecognized narrative of single motherhood. With her unyielding ambition and optimism, she prevails in the often difficult field of acting

while still keeping a strong sense of self. We brought on Anneliese to discuss acting, her transition from a teen creative to an adult, and what friendship means to her.

Hi Anneliese, thanks so much for chatting with Mad Sounds today. To start off, can you tell us about a day in the life of Anneliese van der Pol? Ha! Oh gosh, nothing interesting really. It depends… when I’m working/performing in a live show or on set like with Raven’s Home I’m usually pretty slammed with that alone, and only really find time to eat and sleep and audition, if you catch my drift. But on hiatuses (for example like the one I’m on now), I like to start my day with some type of exercise. Maybe a hike at Fryman or by the observatory with one of my sisters, maybe a swim in my pool. Then usually a class or lesson involving singing or acting , as I feel it very important to be continually working on your craft no matter what level your career is at. Right now, I am coaching with a fabulous teacher for voiceovers who is having a lot of fun challenging me with boy voices and monsters! Often on the weekends I keep myself busy as a teacher with a school called Actors Giving Back. While all of this is extremely rewarding, I find deep happiness and fulfillment just going to

the local laemmle and catching a film with my sisters or boyfriend. Often I’ll catch a concert at the Hollywood Bowl or find fulfillment in simply handing out sandwiches to the homeless. Your new show Raven’s Home, the spinoff series to That’s So Raven, debuted last July. When comparing the two shows, how has your experience working on them been different? Well gosh I’d have to say completely different! A few things are the same ie. I get to hang with my good friend Ra again. Of course some of the crew is the same as Disney often hangs on to their employees in good faith. Coming to set the first day was extremely exciting because I got to see and squeeze make-up artists and producers and writers I hadn’t seen in over a decade. But other than that it’s ALL different. The cast is obviously completely different and has young 9-12 year old children of which I am essentially responsible for both on and sometimes off stage. This time around is sort of bittersweet. There are people I miss on set and things I wish I could get


photography by ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn / featuring ANNELIESE VAN DER POL @anneliesevanderpol styling DEVON NUSZER @devonnuszer / hair & makeup AARON BARRY @abhairmakeup /


away with like I used to. This time around I find the job almost too easy at times and find myself thinking of ways to entertain myself in my dressing room. I’d say this time I know what to expect in the moment and after the spinoff has come and gone. When I was younger the first time around, I think I was just a tad more bright eyed and bushy tailed than I am now. I know what to expect now and really what I mean is to expect nothing. I only hope the children of the cast learn this the easy way and not the hard way. What has been your favorite aspect of working with your co-star Raven Symoné? What do you think makes your friendship so strong? EVERYTHING! I am in love with Miss Raven Symone and try desperately on the daily to try and get those feelings reciprocated but alas the struggle is alive and well. But seriously, she is the bees knees and I am in awe of her drive, her business sense, her immense talent, and undying loyalty. While I’m ever so proud of the children we have hired and see their talent emerging on the daily, there really is nothing like working with your peer. It is a gift to work with Raven everyday and I try to give back what she gives to me 10 fold. To get carried away in her physical comedy and let it swiftly and smoothly set my sail is a boat ride and a shipwreck that I am more than interested in. It’s like a present I get to rip open again and again. I do not take that for granted. We trust each other. We respect each other. We open up to each other and open each other up. We call each other out. I imagine there is NOTHING but truth, respect, and love between the two of us and there always will be.

One thing I love about Raven’s Home is that it highlights the strength of single mothers and women supporting other women. Why do you think it’s important to show this feminist narrative to a younger audience? I’ve actually been asked this question a great deal and while I think it important to ask, at the same time, I am saddened that it essentially HAS to be asked. Because to me it seems obvious. The reason it is important to “show this feminist narrative to a younger audience” is because you yourself, have to ask that question in the first place. Studios like Disney that make television shows like Raven’s Home and others that decide to air a show about a family, has the responsibility to include and represent ALL families. It is the duty of a huge company like the Disney Channel and others of the like to depict families that make up the world we are actually living in. There are broken families all across this country, as well as foreign countries that both TSR and RH reach, and the children of these broken families need to be able to sit in front of their television screens and not feel forgotten about. As the daughter of a mother who raised us on her own through the later part of my childhood, I can’t tell you how much I needed shows like this. I remember watching Roseanne as a child and thinking, “Hey! This family is kinda poor too! COOL!” You’d think by now we would actually be a great deal further along than this. With the now large TV platform and channels in which to expose, why aren’t there more shows like ours with single mothers struggling? Is this the first? I am the absolute luckiest that I get to do this with Raven. And not some ugly fat white dude who only lets me pick up his socks and laugh at his stupid fart jokes. I think you know what networks I speak of. Boy am I glad those auditions were a bust!


photography by ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn / / featuring ANNELIESE VAN DER POL @anneliesevanderpol

styling DEVON NUSZER @devonnuszer / / hair & makeup AARON BARRY @abhairmakeup /



mad sounds features



You’ve mentioned that working on Raven’s Home feels like reliving your childhood. What specifically about your experience on set reminds you of your past? I think the only answer to that is really just my physical surroundings. I am literally on the same set at the same location with the same parking spot that I had over a decade ago when I was just a teenager working on TSR. Like Raven always says when speaking of The Cosby Show, it’s the smells and sounds. It’s the people within the company who had your back and still do today. The cameras and equipment are nearly the same as when I began working with the channel and of course the endless free Disneyland tickets… that will forever be unchanged. That’s So Raven and Raven’s Home captures Chelsea at two distinct periods of her life, as a high schooler and now as a single mother. For you, Anneliese, what was your favorite aspect of being a teenager? What is your favorite aspect of adulthood? Gosh.. I guess really my favorite part about being a teenager was probably literally booking TSR. I remember getting the phone call (really, I got a page on my wallet sized pager from my mother to come to the parking lot so she could give me the news, but don’t tell… #I’mOld). Anyways, it was then I realized I wasn’t really gonna have to go to school much anymore, so of course you see, this was a highlight in a day in the life of this tween. But more importantly, and really looking back, I think it was the “hope.” At the risk of sounding cheesy, yes HOPE and WONDER. The feeling that everything is gonna be okay and not to worry. I was so carefree and thought it was only up from there. I’m afraid I’m a bit more cynical now and worry constantly about things that are completely out of my control. But I’m working on that and

trying to find a bit more of the old “young” in me. As far as adulthood… VOTING! How has your character Chelsea grown from That’s So Raven? What about her has changed? How has she stayed the same? Well, she had her son Levi! Played by a young clever and hard working boy named Jason Maybaum. In between that some other adult stuff. I believe she learned about marriage and in turn divorce and, of course, the difficulties in that which play out. Her husband is in jail for fraud and in my head, a few other counts. So of course all these things age you and force you to problem solve and grow as a person for better or for worse. Overcoming obstacles can help you seem at least wise beyond your years… even maybe for Chelsea Daniels. But she aint that old! Blood levels ain’t thin, her heart hasn’t weakened and in fact is stronger than ever. Because at the core of Chelsea she really is all HEART. And that’s why I love her so much. You were introduced to acting at a young age. What about the art form made you continue pursuing it? What do you love most about acting? I was just reeeeeally good at it. Still am. Simple as that really. What I love most is that it is my passion and unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to have a passion. I am. But what I love most most most about acting is when all is said and done, after the auditions and rejection and hurt, are the moments on stage in a scene when it just clicks. When you don’t have to try as hard as you did the night before, or the night before that and it becomes real. Or more real than before at least. Where the lines or the moment or the other actor in the scene are so connected that it becomes genuine. The emotion whether up or down or sideways has crossed over into raw,


photography by ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn / featuring ANNELIESE VAN DER POL @anneliesevanderpol styling DEVON NUSZER @devonnuszer / hair & makeup AARON BARRY @abhairmakeup /




authentic and entrancing work. It is when in those moments, that make it all worth it. You’ve acted in films, television, and theatre. How does your experience with these mediums differ? Films are great but you better make sure you’ve got a big enough part. Otherwise you’re just waking up at 5 am to get your makeup done and to sit in a trailer for 10 hours. In the Theatre you have, what is called, 8 show weeks. Usually you have the entire day to yourself to explore NYC or whatever regional location your tour stops to about 5 times a week. The other two days of the week, usually Wednesday and Saturday you have a two show day and those days are shot. But as a whole, the theatre is brilliant! I love nearly every aspect of it, the people the most. Your show becomes your family and the stage, your safety zone to get all your feelings and emotions out. I absolutely devour the thrill of taking the last or final bow when a show is closing and have a room of thousands stand to their feet. Absolutely thrilling! And the parties, OH HOW I LOVE THE PARTIES! Lastly, TV. What can I say about TV, I mean free food all day, free studio apartment (dressing room) a not too shabby salary and oh… did I mention the FREE FOOD? What do you hope Raven’s Home will teach its viewers? As much as it can, really. This isn’t PBS over here. But I would say the normal thing to teach: to be kind, that normal isn’t normal anymore. That we need to work together and help each other. That forgiveness is essential. That it is important to think beyond yourself and your own needs. I hope it will reach children and families across this beautiful and colorful nation and make them feel included and in turn teach them to hold on to that feel-

ing. I think with two strong and familiar women at the helm, love will be the key message as the seasons play out. You once said that the worst part of acting is the rejection. How do you overcome rejection? You don’t. Not fully. You just do not. And anyone who tells you differently, is a liar and a jerk and also just way too annoying. Those are the same people who don’t know how to take direction. But you just move on… move on to the next! What aspirations do you have for the future of your acting career? Honestly, that answer changes all the time, I most usually want to lead my own sitcom with adult subject matters on an adult network. If I was allotted that opportunity, I know I would freaking kill it! I’ve written my own stuff and definitely have ideas in the nogan, but whether they will ever come into fruition to see the light of day is a different story. But on another note (pun will be intended), I still dream of belting my face off on that Broadway stage and leading a cast of fifty in a musical. The list is long but something along the lines of Funny Girl, Cabaret, Evita, Chicago, Ragtime, Parade, or Sunday in the Park with George will do just fine! If Raven and Chelsea went to the moon, how do you think they’d do? Not well. Pretty sure Chelsea would spend the whole time ripping Ra a new one for not seeing this one coming.


photography by ASHLEY SERYN @ashleyseryn / featuring ANNELIESE VAN DER POL @anneliesevanderpol styling DEVON NUSZER @devonnuszer / hair & makeup AARON BARRY @abhairmakeup /

What has been the biggest life lesson you’ve learned from acting? That it doesn’t complete you and make you whole. That you mustn’t depend on it for your absolute happiness because at the end of the day it’s still just playing make believe, and at some point you will have to take the makeup off, put up the costume and leave the stage door to enter back into reality. That you cannot measure your self worth by how good or bad you are at it. And that it always needs improving on. What advice would you give to yourself pre-That’s So Raven? To tell my mother more often how much I loved and appreciated her. In fact that’s good advice for EVERYONE, pre ANYTHING. That’s So Raven was an integral part of my childhood, and it taught me about friendship, authenticity, and self-confidence. Now, Raven’s Home has become a staple for That’s So Raven fans and kids who are watching Chelsea for the first time. You’ve impacted the emotional development of so many people--how does it feel to influence the lives of others through your work? What do you want your viewers to know? Wow, I think you give me too much credit and I guess it’s a bit difficult for me to see it in that light. I don’t think about that often, don’t know if I allow myself that pressure. But if I have in any way at all, of course I don’t take that lightly and hope I am influencing the younger generation to love their friends, to be kind to animals, and to never lose your faith in others and what they can amount to, and to never, ever give up. I think Chelsea has a real sense of wonder and her gullible side only means she trusts that ANYTHING can happen. You never know until you try! Keep up with Anneliese: Instagram: @anneliesevanderpol Twitter: @anneliesevdp

riley taylor photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring (right) EVA GUTOWSKI @mylifeaseva interview by SYDNEY HILDEBRANDT @sydneyhil



photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring EVA GUTOWSKI @mylifeaseva


riley taylor written by SYDNEY HILDEBRANDT photography by RILEY TAYLOR

Lustrous rock ‘n’ roll meets Old Hollywood. That’s what you’ll find when you go digging through Riley Taylor’s photography. His photos are playful, sexy, and youthful – a depiction of the millennial age. Resilient, relentless, and expressive of the freedom young people

should have. The ingenuity showcased in Riley’s artwork is why he is a picture-perfect example of this issue’s theme, the Age of Influence. As an art and film student, Riley’s life is con-

sumed by photography. He has worked with creatives such as Sydney and Devon Carlson

and YouTubers Eva Gutowski and Lindsey Hughes. Learn more about Riley’s outlook on the current generation’s creative upbringing, his artistic processes, and more below.

To start, what is a typical day-in-a-life for Riley Taylor? A typical day in my life would be waking up, getting coffee and going to class. I’m a freshman in college for art and film so I’m getting used to life as a college student and living in LA. After I finish my classes I will typically have a photo shoot or editing to get done. I spend a lot of my life in different Starbucks’ editing. If I don’t have a shoot, editing or homework, I hang out with friends, run/hike, or watch movies. I love movies. How did you get started in photography? What prompted you to continue in this line of work? I was first introduced to photography in high school, probably around freshman year. I had a GoPro camera and a vintage Polaroid my mom had given me, and between the two I literally took hundreds of pictures. Eventually my parents got me a digital camera, and I took a photo class in high school, and it took off from there.

I started taking pictures of my friends, mainly when we went to the beach, and eventually other people began asking me. From where do you get your inspiration? I find most of my inspiration from films or other artists and their works. My favorite directors are Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, and Tom Ford. Their movies have drastically changed my views on life and inspire a lot of my art and the artistic direction I want to move in. My favorite photographers are Slim Aarons, Neil Krug, Ren Hang, and Petra Collins. I’m really inspired by all those individuals and their work as well as their individualized messages that they convey through their art and creative direction.


photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring (left) CARLOS SINAN @carlosinan (right) EVA GUTOWSKI @mylifeaseva

photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring SYDNEY CARLSON @sydneylcarlson


How do you aim to influence others through your photography? I hope to inspire others to follow their hearts and do what they love. Photography, for me, has been my escape from the overwhelmingness (hope that’s a word) of everyday life and a way for me to relax, create, and meet new friends who all have inspired me endlessly and have changed my life in so many ways. I hope people are inspired to find their passions and follow their dreams no matter how big or small. Following the theme of this issue, “The Age of Influence,” what impact do you think creative millennials have on the current generation? I think millennials are often overlooked and underestimated. We are the future and need to make sure we take care of the world we are going to grow up in. In the new wave of young people there is a huge surge in creative drive and opportunity, especially because of how advanced technology is right now. We have the power to change a lot of issues in our world and create a more loving place for us all to live in. What do you think is important about the role creativity plays in our world? Creativity is essential to our existence and future. It’s what motivates most of us to wake up in the morning and work towards something. Creation is a really special thing and is hard work, but can be ridiculously rewarding. It makes our lives a little less bland. How do you think being a millennial influences your creative processes and outcomes? The millennial generation definitely has a

more open and accepting outlook on life. I think it’s also more common and acceptable for people to have non-standard jobs [for] a living. I just really want to make sure I love what I do for the rest of my life, and hope that my job pushes me forward to new places rather than tying me down or holding me back. What are the challenges with using social media as a primary outlet for your work? How do you overcome these challenges? I think one of my biggest challenges with using social media as my primary sharing platform for my work is getting people to take me seriously/being received the way I want to be seen. I have a really hard time articulating myself accurately and artistically on social media; a lot of time it can strip art back as you edit it to fit/work within a certain platform, so I guess that would be my struggle with social media. I’m trying to expand my outlets to other places though. How do you try to stand out from other photographers, especially on social media where there are a lot of users? It’s really difficult. I struggle with that often. I know what pictures will do well [versus] images I truly love and want to share that won’t … Sometimes it can be very discouraging, but I think it is extremely important to stay true to yourself and put out in the world the art that you are proud of and want to be representative of who you are as a person and artist. What do you think makes or breaks a photo? I think one of the most important things is confidence. If a model is comfortable and confident in a photo it always shines through. It’s also important to clearly express your messages and ideas you want to express in


mad sounds features


photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring EVA GUTOWSKI @mylifeaseva & ADAM BARTOSHESKY @captainbarto

“We are the future and need to make sure we take care of the world we are going to grow up in.”

photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring (left) CARLOS SINAN @carlosinan (right) DIAMOND WHITE @diamondkwhite

photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring SIERRA FURTADO @sierrafurtado


an image so an audience can understand you. The team behind a photo is also super important. As we evolve into a digital world, what do you think the future has in store for Creatives and Internet Influencers? Will it be beneficial? Why or why not? This is a really hard question for me. I really struggle with the effects of the digital age. Obviously growing [up] with a phone, everything is super accessible, but it’s always been an instinct of mine to go back to old ways, always know and appreciate the roots of where a practice began. I think that’s why I’ve been loving shooting on film recently; it’s very different from digital photography and gives you a sort of physicality and intimacy you don’t get with digital things. I guess what I’m trying to say is technology and digitally based art is the future, but I think it’s important for us to know and appreciate where things started. Can you describe the most memorable opportunity you have had as a photographer? Traveling to Europe. I’ve always known I wanted to travel and see the world and I think as an artist it’s so important to experience new things to shape and grow you and your art. Over the summer I received a text from a friend asking if I wanted to go to Europe with her the following week and I don’t think I had ever been more scared for anything in my life. Anxiety has always been one of my biggest set-backs and I’m really proud of myself for overcoming it and so grateful and thankful for the opportunities she has given me. (Eva, if you’re reading this – thank you for breaking me out of my shell and giving me opportunities I would have never even dreamed of. I love you.)

What are your long-term goals for your photography? I don’t know. I think that’s the magic of it. I have no idea where it will take me next and I think that’s what attracts me most about being an artist. You have no idea where life will take you next, but I know I’m ready and remarkably excited. One thing I do hope for is to travel a lot and one day have an art studio. You have also started vlogging. Can you tell us about your upcoming plans for your YouTube Channel? YouTube has always been something that I fantasized about, but always scared me. I think recently with moving out and going to university I have been very introverted and been spending a lot of time with my own thoughts. I think I gained a sort of confidence in myself that I hadn’t had before and decided to start making videos so I could express myself and put my creativity into something new. It’s been really fun and challenging. I don’t really care about having a huge following or making videos that I know will get views, but instead making videos I can look back on and remember these parts of my life, like a sort of video diary. If people enjoy my videos and want to watch them I think that’s great, but that isn’t what I’m doing it for, it’s definitely more for myself.


Keep up with Riley: Instagram: @rileytaylor Twitter: @rytayy

photography by RILEY TAYLOR @rileytaylor featuring CARO SANCHEZ @carosanchhez

mad sounds features


riley donahue photography by RILEY DONAHUE @rileyjdonahue interview by JANET GARCIA


riley donahue written by JANET GARCIA photography by RILEY DONAHUE

The name Riley Donahue might sound familiar...and it’s because his photography has seen

the cover of the Express Yourself, Modern Muse, and Don’t Play issues of Mad Sounds Magazine. Not only is his creative side displayed through photography, but he also writes music under the stage name Riley Soma. (He currently has his first single “I Know What It’s Like”

out right now!) The entrepreneur, photographer, and musician from Long Beach sat down with Mad Sounds to discuss our winter issue, The Age of Influence--read our interview with him to learn more about how his artwork has influenced our current generation.

How did idea of establishing Nordik Creative come about?

how to run a successful business though, please let me know.

Nordik Creative was an idea I had while on a peyote vision quest with my buddy Benoit; we were freshmen in college and out in the desert one fine afternoon. He was doing a bunch of really rad video work, and I was doing a lot of photography, so we decided to set up a website that had his videos and my photography just as like a portfolio to send to people who maybe wanted to pay us money for it.

What is your greatest satisfaction with helping artists with their portfolio?

Any advice when it comes to running your own business?

I love making stuff with other people, like especially people who are as stoked on random niche aesthetics and bands and stuff like that. If you tell me that you want to do a shoot that’s like inspired by a collection of photos of Jane Birkin or I dunno, write a song with a guitar part that sounds something like Nile Rogers would play… then that’s amazing and if it helps somebody’s portfolio, that’s great too.

Don’t. Your business should run itself; the most important thing is that the business does not begin to run you. In all seriousness though, I don’t really have any advice, because I really don’t know anything about running a business. If you do figure out


photography by RILEY DONAHUE @rileyjdonahue featuring MACIE ALANA @maciealana


When it comes to photography , what is your biggest inspiration? I’m kind of ADD with the art that I’m into; I like to jump around a lot. But consistently one of my biggest inspirations has been the look and style of like gritty, weird fashion film photography taken by guys like Juergen Teller. Another big one is what I would call 80s “Disco Fever”: the big fur coats, muted technicolor “Miami Vice” color schemes, disco ball and flashing lights...if that makes any sense? What started your passion for photography? Like I said, I’m really ADD about art so I just started doing it because I was bored with playing music at that particular moment. Then after I started I just didn’t want to stop. Who are some creatives that you admire and influenced your own personal work? Ooh this is a fun question. Ok some of my biggest influences would have to be Kevin Parker, Brian Wilson, Jimmy Marble, Ilse Crawford, Samuel Richard, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aldous Huxley, Connie Francis, James Dean… the list goes on. But for real, one of my biggest influences really has to be whoever it was that came up with the idea to dip pretzel bites in fondue… I truly think about that combo a lot. You are part of a world of modern influencers in today’s culture, what is your goal when you demonstrate your art to the world? I just want people to like what I make basically. I guess my goal is to not seem just like everybody else, which is pretty hard considering how much art is so readily available to people now.

How much of a role has social media played when it comes to showcasing your art and connecting to other creatives? Obviously Instagram is great for photographers to share their work with people who are looking for inspiration or just entertainment I guess. That said, I think that it takes away the power from a lot of photographs and artwork just because we experience it in passing: while on the toilet or before bed or whatever. Which kinda sucks. But hey better than just letting amazing artwork sit under your bed, Vivian Maier-style, I guess. Twitter on the other hand is amazing because it’s so informal. One of my favorite Twitter users is John Mayer, where he just posts all of his random shower thoughts and such. Amazing. Our generation has made it easier to connect with other creatives, how do you feel about modern influencers and creatives and the impact they have made on our current generation? I think there’s so many amazing, amazing artists today, many of them my age or even younger which is insane and super inspiring. The thing about how easy it is to connect though I think breeds a serious culture of what I would describe as like a sort of artistic “same-ism” where there’s a few artists with these massive, massive audiences who are kind of determining what’s “hip” art and then so many people become imitators.. which isn’t innately a bad thing but I think sometimes it’s really hard to sift through all of the average stuff to get to these nuggets of just golden artwork. This problem obviously isn’t


photography by RILEY DONAHUE @rileyjdonahue featuring (left) JAIMI NELSON @jaimi.nelson (right) CHLOE LAUGHLIN @kidzbopqueen



photography by RILEY DONAHUE @rileyjdonahue featuring (right) ASHLEY ELLIOT @ashleyvelliott



photography by RILEY DONAHUE @rileyjdonahue featuring MEGHAN @hex_o_xo


new, but I think it’s much more rampant in the age of social media. How did you come up with the stage name Riley Soma? One of my favorite books is Brave New World but Aldous Huxley, and Soma is the happy, hallucinogenic drug they all take in that book. I mostly just thought it sounded cooler than my real last name. Did you know Mac Demarco’s birth name is Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV?? You have a new single out “I Know What It’s Like”. What process do you go through when it comes to making music? I have all of my music gear just strewn about across the floor of my bedroom in my apartment, and basically I just shuffle around the room from playing guitar, to the keyboard, to the microphone, back to my shitty Ikea chair in front of my monitors to listen to it. Truthfully, most of my writing/recording process is spent messing around with the knobs on synthesizers until I think it sounds tight. Also trying to write lyrics. Lyrics are hard for me. When did you first start writing music? I think the first song I wrote was just plucking all of the open strings on a guitar, one at a time, starting from the high E and moving to the low E. I tried playing it to my parents instead of their meditation music when they were meditating one time, but they told me to go play it for my brother in the other room.

Tell us about what’s to come for your new music. Are you currently working on an album? Yeah, I guess so. I’m just spending basically all of my free time after class and work messing around with writing and recording in my room. I have a new single coming out soon, maybe by the time this interview actually comes out. I’m not sure what it’s called yet [laughs]. Eventually I’ll probably compile all of my favorite songs into an album. For your current single you used cover art from Toyko Beat in LA, Does that place hold any significance to you? That’s a great question, and I would love to answer it. The answer is simple really, but it might be funny to hear straight from the mouth of babes anyway. I mean that’s really the funny part of the whole story. It’s the album cover and it is indeed a place that I have been. Thanks for asking. Does the LA music scene play a role in your music--why or why not? Not really, I live in Long Beach right now so most of my exposure to local live music is Long Beach-based artists. LA has a crazy music scene though. I’ve seen some really amazing local bands in Echo Park recently. If anybody has some local acts that are like, must-sees, let me know though, message me on Instagram or Twitter or something.


Keep up with Riley: Instagram/Twitter: @rileyjdonahue Spotify: Riley Soma

photography by RILEY DONAHUE @rileyjdonahue featuring CAMILLA WERNER-LONGO @camilla_roseee & BRIDGET PETERSON @bridget.peterson

mad sounds music

father john misty written by EMILY ZHENG @xmilyz photography by EMILY ZHENG featuring FATHER JOHN MISTY


Deep blue lights flash Josh Tillman’s back and shaggy hair. Cue screams of excited fans. And then, the opening notes of “Pure Comedy” fill the crowd’s excitement, and the impassioned, moving performance by Father John Misty has begun. With cartoons similar to those on his website as the back screen of the stage, Tillman’s performance was one of funny tangents, gorgeous melody from his band, and unabashed singing. Although his songs can have strong political and religious themes, such as in “Total Entertainment Forever,” the combination of his sultry voice and folksy groove makes every song enchanting.

Tillman’s performance style is unapologetically his -with his occasional commentary in the instrumental parts of his songs to his hip thrust dancing (reminding you that he is a strange, sensual man), he captures the stage, and he does it with conviction. He does not apologize for the way he takes up the stage, one of the most captivating aspects of his live shows, how he inhabits the space with so much spirit. You get the impression he’s singing to his closest friends, making jokes but ultimately showing us what he’s about.

romanticism, and “Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins),” a heartfelt love song about his wife Emma. The entire concert - all 24 pieces - was magical. Although the Greek Theatre is quite large, the show still felt intimate, as if Tillman were singing to my deepest desires and secrets. That’s what attracted me so much to his music in the first place, how his songs feel as sharp and memorable as your firsts: first love, first all-nighter, first high school dance. Tillman’s music is soulful and emotional, the perfect music for creative inspiration (and crying Within his two hour set, my alone in your room). favorite songs he played were “Real Love Baby,” a The concert changed ballad about the power of moods frequently, from the


desperation in “Ballad of a Dying Man” to the rush and liveliness of “The Ideal Husband.” This flow kept the audience fully engaged, as we danced and laughed and (just maybe) cried. Tillman is an intriguing storyteller, and hearing his music live for the first time reminded me of all the moments I spent listening to his music: writing poetry, reflecting on my past, and talking to a loved one. Father John Misty’s live set is not one to experience passively. His music - raucous, beautiful, and honest - seizes your heart, and it doesn’t let go.

mad sounds music




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