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New Year’s Resolution

TRAILBLAZER Cynthia Bailey


Taylor Swift


Tips To



BEAUTY 10 Winter Skin Care Tips FASHION 13 A Fabulous and Fashionable Eyewear Collection Ivy Shades SJT SPOTLIGHT 16 Musical Prodigy Jordan Newt SJT TRAILBLAZER 24 Cynthia Bailey FITNESS/HEALTH 18 7 Tips To Start Eating Healthy BUSINESS 28 Preparing For An Unknown Job Outlook

Cover Photo: Photographer; Sarah Barlow

Image Credit: Left&Right;Ty Ashby, Model; Jacanda, Hair; India Gary


ENTERTAINMENT 8 The Next Big Thing Alabama Capital 20 New Year’s with KeKe Palmer 26 Taylor Swift 30 New Musical Group The After Party






Welcome To The SJ Teen Family SJ Teen welcomes aboard new Editor in Chief LaKesha Lorene. She is no stranger to the writing community. LaKesha is excited to begin this new journey with SJ Teen. The New Year always comes with new surprises. This New Year could come with new classes, new schools, and hopefully some fresh new boots. Change is inevitable. It’s so much easier to look at change as a deal breaker, or a disappointment, but I challenge you to embrace change. As you develop from teens to young adults do not look to change as your constant rival, begin to see change as a loyal friend. Try something new that is out of your comfort zone. Try out for a school play, get involved in a club that you have always wanted to be a part of, step out on faith and start that company you’ve always dreamed of starting. Yes, life would be much more comfortable without change. But change is what makes the impossible POSSIBLE. Embrace the New Year with a new You! Live Life FULL, Follow on Twitter @lakeshalorene




Image Credit: Right-Photographer;William Pride


LaKesha Lorene


CONTRIBUTORS PUBLISHER AND FOUNDER JANET CRUZ CO-PUBLISHER RODNEY CRUZ CEO JALA CRUZ PRESIDENT MAC SHIELDS VICE PRESIDENT MYA CRUZ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LAKESHA LORENE EDITOR-AT-LARGE DEANNA FRY LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER JALA CRUZ Hair Stylist India Gary Fashion Coordinator Jacanda Glenn Contributing Writers LaKesha Lorene, Mya Cruz, Jala Cruz, Breyanna Wilson, Joshua Zeichner Photographers Ty Ashby William Pride The views expressed by various contributors are not necessarily the views of the corporation or its owners; nor is the corporation or its owners liable for any typographical errors or omission contained herein. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without Written permission from publisher. Copyright 2012 Cruz Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved


Image Credit: Photographer; Jeff King


Move over top teen boy bands! There are new sheriffs in town. The Brother duo Alabama Capital are more than just a teen phenom, these boys are true artist. The Cincinnati bred twins have garnered an impressive following by creating a signature sound that is all their own. After being discovered as a YouTube sensation by Grammy nominated producer Shawn Campbell, the duo is beginning to see their dreams become reality. The 18 year old band mate brothers Caleb and Nathan Montgomery are on their way to the top of the charts. And it seems they have no plans in stopping.

The Next Thing!


Alabama Capital

SJT: Where does the name Alabama Capital come from? AC: Honestly, our last name is Montgomery. The capital of Alabama is Montgomery. So, we came up with “Alabama Capital.” We wish we had a cool back story behind it though. SJT: Tell us about your journey in becoming Alabama Capital. AC: Our journey has been very quick. It has also been very interesting. We are twin brothers who have been playing music for a long time. Actually, since we were 9. About a year ago we started really getting serious about it. We began putting videos on the internet and gaining a following and fan base. Sean Campbell, a producer from Los Angeles, California found us. Now, we are actually working on a deal with Justin Niebank and Nathan Chapman in Nashville. They actually were involved with production work for Taylor Swift. We are really looking forward to that. SJT: Are your parents supportive in your musical endeavor? AC: Yes, they play a huge role. They are very supportive and very thankful for them. They have made a lot of sacrifices for us. SJT: What is the process like for writing music? AC: It is great being twins, we have co-writer ability. We do write stuff all the time by ourselves. We will come up with ideas individually and take it to each other. One might present an idea and then another will finish it off. It ends up being a 50/50 thing for most songs. It is cool how it all works out. SJT: What kind of music do you guys like to listen to? Caleb: I listen to many different genres. I don’t like to limit myself to one specific style of music. I think it is a big part of who we are. Nathan: Yeah, we listen to everything. Like, when we are in the car for example. We listen to old school Motown and R&B. We will also listen to a classical station. We think that having all of those influences of the different genres is important. SJT: What is your favorite 90s R&B Song? AC: The 90s was such a great age for music! We are huge Boys II Men fans! (We like) “Water Runs Dry,” “Creep” by TLC, and“No Diggity” by Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre. SJT: What instruments can you guys play? Caleb: Nathan is actually really good at playing electric guitar and acoustic guitar. I mainly focus on guitar and piano.

SJT: How would you describe your musical sound? AC: We have a mainstream modern pop rock sound with a lot of R&B and Soul influences. As writers we can write all different kinds of genres of music. It is very important for us to have many good harmonies and unique production sound. SJT: What has been your favorite cover song performed so far? AC: Our cover of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “The Little Things” cover by One direction and also our cover of “How To Love” by Lil Wayne. For those covers I feel like we were able to take already amazing songs and make it our style. All the covers we did can be found on YouTube. SJT: How would you describe the sound of your song, “Self Made Millionaire?” AC: Well, we recorded it live at UG (The Underground Studio) in Cincinnati. It is a very authentic, emotional, acoustic sound. It’s an emotional song we wrote. It means a lot to our fans. SJT: Do you get nervous when performing live on stage? AC: Not really, there is that adrenaline rush that drives you. It pushes you to the next level though. We try not to be nervous because it is about us with the audience connecting as one. SJT: If you could work with any producer, who would it be and why? AC: Ed Sheeran, he is a great producer, artist and songwriter. It is amazing at what he has been able to accomplish. We would also like to work with Santana, Aerosmith, U2 and Boys II Men. We also admire what Taylor Swift is doing right now. We would love to work with her too. SJT: Where do you guys see yourselves in the next five years? AC: We want to have the ability (to make music) that is different, that can be the voice of the generation, rise to the top and have songs that people attach to. Having the message and bringing it to the world uniting as one and being authentic. SJT: Future Plans? AC: Recording a lot of original material and building solid production music. We also have several great projects and live shows coming up.



Image Credit: Left and Right; Images

Winter Skin Care Tips

From Joshua Zeichner, MD FAAD

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD FAAD is the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Dermatology Department, and Assistant Professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. Though Dr. Zeichner specializes in helping improve the appearance of skin cosmetically, he also has interests in medical dermatology. Dr. Zeichner treats a variety of skin conditions ranging from acne to psoriasis and skin cancer. His gifting in Cosmetic Clinical research has afforded him the opportunity to speak to international audiences. Dr. Joshua Zeichner is critically acclaimed nationally as a skin care expert.

SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE: If your skin isn’t improving, it might be time to see a dermatologist. A doctor can prescribe prescription anti-inflammatory creams to complement your daily cleansing and moisturizing routine.

HELP YOUR HANDS (AND FEET!): INVEST IN A HUMIDIFIER: Dry heat from heaters in your home can wreak havoc on your skin. Opt for a humidifier to add moisture to the skin by replacing moisture in the air. Cool-mist humidifiers are safer to use than hot steam humidifiers; especially around children.

Frequent hand washing and use of antibacterial gels during flu season can prevent a cold, but can cause dryness and irritation of the hands so try to moisturize each time after you wash. Try lathering your hands and feet in petroleum jelly then cover with white cotton gloves or socks before bed. You’ll wake up with hands that are smooth and hydrated.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE SUN: Even though it is cold outside, the sun’s rays can still cause a sunburn in the winter. Be careful in the snow because UV rays can reflect off the white surface and burn unprotected skin. Look for a facial moisturizer with SPF of 30 to protect your face and neck daily.

COOL IT WITH HOT WATER: BE GENTLE: It’s important to keep skin hydrated especially when the temperatures cool down. The easiest way is to choose a rich, yet gentle body moisturizer. Look for products containing urea and lactic acid, as well as ceramides or shea butter. Expensive does not always mean better. You can find an effective moisturizer in your local drugstore.

Nothing feels better than a super-hot shower on a cold day, but it can actually harm the skin, stripping it of essential oils and leading to skin dryness. Stick to cool or lukewarm baths and soak for only 10 minutes or less to avoid damaging the skin. Choose a hydrating body wash like Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash, which uses advanced technologies to prevent over drying. Pat (don’t rub!) and dry with a soft towel.


A Fabulous & Fashionable Eyeware Collection

Ivy Shades

By Breyanna Wilson

Who Knew that sunglasses could bling like jewelry? The owner and founder of Ivy Shades knew that accessorizing fashionable sunglass shades with one-of-a-kind designs could make for a hot commodity in the fashioh world. The eyewear market is being taken by storm by up and coming designer Stephanie “Ivy Shades” Johnson. A Los Angeles native, Stephanie moved to Houston, Texas in her pre-teens. It was in Texas at the University of Houston where she earned a degree in accounting. From there she expanded her resume to rap artist, model, aspiring actress and now designer. Her Ivy Shades collection is a modern and unconventional brand of sunglasses that was “created… for all the proud, beautiful, independent women.”


Sunglasses are a huge passion of Johnsons’. “I’ve always been into shades for a very long time and people used to call me Miss Shades,” she said. “I put the same heart, blood, sweat, and tears into both (the fashion and music career).” With the desire to express herself, Johnson was able to create a much loved fashion statement into a full-blown career. The name “Ivy Shades” comes from a change in her previous rap name “Ivy Poizen.” People laughed at Johnson at first, but she quickly proved that her name change was not a mistake. The eyewear collection all started in September 2010 when the 27-year old decided to make a pair of sunglasses for herself. Johnson, a longtime aficionado of fashion and eyewear, declared, “You know what? I’m not going to buy anymore shades.” By daring to be herself through fashion, Johnson became a trendsetter. She wore a pair of sunglasses she modified with gold chains to a video shoot with her friends.

When asked about her rapid rise to fashion fame, Johnson said “Grind + faith + God = success. If you work hard, have faith as small as a mustard seed, and keep God first in everything you do, the good outweighs the bad and that equals success.” Johnson’s latest eyewear collections are the Rock Star and B.B.O, which came out in October 2011. Both of these lines are inspired by the 1979 Australian film, “Mad Max.” These two newest lines capture how Johnson is changing the sunglass industry and taking it to a new level. Johnson’s other lines include Boss, Flawless, Retro and Envy, making a total of six eyewear collections.

Celebrities have also been wearing Ivy Shade creations. Amongst the many celebrities wearing these sunglasses are Gospel singer Yolanda Adams and reality personality Ashley Cheatham. But her eyewear is not worn only by celebrities. According to, the fashion forward shades can be found from “the hippest clubs to the most upscale boardrooms.” Sunglasses are not the only thing Johnson is interested in. She is a very ambitious, independent young entrepreneur who has branched out into many different areas. With a degree, her own eyewear company, a modeling career and a music career, there is no limit to the possibilities for Stephanie “Ivy Shades” Johnson What is next for the Ivy Shades collection? You can find the eclectic style of Ivy Shades for men and women online at and in high-end boutiquess and soon to be appearing in well-known stores near you.

Image Credit: Photographer; Divinci Rosharon with Manifest Entertainment

Johnson says that first pair of glasses became an instant hit. “A girl bought them (the sunglasses) off of my face for $350,” said Johnson. The rapper now designer ended up making another pair, and wore them to a dance club. She says another girl came up to her and bought them for $210. In a quick six months’ time, Johnson’s eyewear collection quickly spread throughout the United States and even in the international market. Johnson said she did not expect her fame to come from her shades. And yet it was the shades that put her in the spotlight.

The collection is gaining a noticeable amount of recognition. Her eyewear, along with her sprouting music career, has landed her a spot in the ‘13 Young Innovators in Business of Design, Style and fashion for 2012.’ in Black Enterprise Magazine. She was also contacted by Jet Magazine for an interview in their Designer Spot Light for an October edition. In the summer of 2011, Johnson held a model search for one lucky person to be the face of Ivy Shades Designer Eyewear. Johnson reflects, “I wanted everybody to win! “It was the people who got the most likes from their friends and family (who won the competition).”




Musical Prodigy

Jordan Newt SJT: Who inspired you to go into the music Industry? Jordan: Well it’s mainly from being around my dad and uncle who are music producers and songwriters. As far as my musical inspiration are concerned, (I’m inspired by) Kanye for his style and Drake/Jay Z for their lyrics. I would love to collaborate with those guys in the future on a project. SJT: What is your favorite song right now? Jordan: My two favorite songs right now are “I am different” by Two Chainz and “Switching Lanes” by Tyga. I like the beat and lyrical flow of both songs.

SJT: Do you think it’s important to follow your dreams? Jordan: Oh yeah, I think it’s super important! Anything you want to do, give it a chance. Don’t take no for answer – follow you dreams, just try something and work hard at it. SJT: Your current song “IPhone” – did you write it yourself? Jordan: No, I had help from my Dad and his friend Adonis, who is a producer. Also a friend of mine whose name is Anthony Lewis. I went to middle school with Anthony. He helped with the hook for the song. SJT: Did you have a particular girl in mind when singing the current hook for your single “IPhone”? Jordan: No, it was not one particular girl, but all girls. I did not have one girl in mind.


SJT: What’s your trending style? I know you like your socks! Jordan: As far as pants- (I like) straight legs and skinning leg jeans. For shoes- I like Vans, Jordans, PF Flyers, Converse, and Nike. For shirts, it depends on what day it is. My style ranges from t-shirts, long sleeve, collared shirts, and tank tops. I sport snap-backs with my jeans- that’s my style. SJT: What upcoming projects do you have? Jordan: I am working on a new single and my new album is coming out at the top of the year. SJT: Any plans of major collaborations on you new album? Jordan: You will have to wait in and see. I am planning on doing some collaboration on my next project. SJT: What do you enjoy doing outside of your music? Jordan: Playing football and basketball at my high school. Hanging out with friends, or playing video games. In addition, I am also taking acting lessons. Someday I hope to break into movies. SJT: What is your favorite candy? Jordan: Sour candy. I love sour candy it gives me a pick-me-up. SJT: Do you have a celebrity crush? Jordan: Honestly, not really. But, if I have to choose it would be Ariana Grande. Ariana seems to have a great personality. SJT: What advice do you have for people wanting to enter into the business? Jordan: I would leave them with one little phrase from a Wiz Khalifa song in which he says, “Work hard and play hard.” You must balance work, but still make time to hang out with your friends. Love what you do and work at it but have balance.

Image Credit: Photographer; Blackboard Group

SJT Spotlight

Jordan Newt is no stranger to music. In fact he may be the newest form of musical royalty. As son of veteran music hit maker Bob Newt, responsible for N’Sync’s “Celebrity” and Tyrese’s “I Like Them Girls,” among others, musical talent runs in the family. The 15 year old sensation reached over 100,000 YouTube viewers with his catchy original track, “Fresh Down to My Socks.” His tune “IPhone” proved to be even more successful with over 500,000 YouTube views. Now with a promising career on the rise, and an upcoming debut LP, Jordan Newt is out to prove he is more than just a family name.



Tips to start Eating Healthy By Breyanna Wilson

With the high speed culture we live in, it can be extremely difficult to eat the foods our body needs to stay healthy. Stress and other negative emotions can cause an extreme craving for junk food. The array of fast food restaurants makes it even harder to make the right choices. It may seem it is nearly impossible to start eating healthy; especially if junk food has been a substantial part of your diet. But eating healthy is possible, and it can be delicious too! By applying these steps you can get the empowerment and ecouragement you need to make better choices. 1. CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS! The mind is a powerful thing. To change your eating habits, you must change the way you think about food. Some studies show that eating comfort foods or running to the nearest fast food chain is linked to stress. According to research conducted in October 2011, stress increases hunger and the desire to eat fatty or sugary foods. What is the best way to beat this? First, find other ways to deal with your emotions. Try exercising more, calling a friend or taking a long bath. In turn the desire to eat these foods will go down as the emotional need for them goes down when you focus on doing activity driven things.

2. BUY LOTS OF VEGETABLES, FRUITS, WHOLE GRAINS The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruit, 3 servings of dairy and 6-11 servings of grains per day. Experts at Medicinenet. com say the total number of fruits and vegetables per day should equal nine servings (four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables). This may seem overwhelming, but if one serving of fruits and vegetables is included in every meal, reaching the required servings is achievable. Be sure to add flavor to your food by using lots of herbs and spices. Spices provide a lot of flavor without the fat that comes from butter and oils. Also, drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of water. Many people have salt cravings when they are really dehydrated according to researchers at



When you are trying to eat healthier, it is best to start off with a clean slate. Clean out all of the cabinets and secret-stash areas. It is fine to have a little treat every now and then. Keep in mind that having large amounts of junk food around would be a great temptation. It is better to have it out of sight and out of mind.

Do not eat only fruits and vegetables and do not eat only healthy carbohydrates. Not having variety can cause boredom with food and can lead to you falling off the wagon. Make sure there are fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy to keep things interesting. If you do not eat meat, it is still essential to have protein. Protein can be found in nuts, beans and Greek yogurt. Try to stary away from buying the same foods over and over again. One week buy carrots, kale and apples, and another buy blueberries, spinach and mushrooms. As the old saying goes, “variety is the spice of life.” Diversity in food selection will keep your meals exciting and fun!


According to, the average time to make a new habit stick is 66 days. The actual range was 18 days to 254 days. So, if today just happens to be a soda-cake-fries kind of day, do not feel bad. A small abount of fats and sugars are also a big part of your daily diet.

When eating healthy, it is important to try to eat the right amount of every food group. As was stated previously, the USDA recommends certain amounts of the food groups to help the body be at its peak. You can use the USDA servings above, or go online and use the USDA food plate. When using this method, it may be much easier to see the servings, instead of measuring them out.

7. TELL OTHERS!!! One thing that always helps, is letting others know about the change you are making in your eating habits. By letting your friends and family members know about your dietary change, they will be less likely to try to pressure you into eating unhealthy foods. When your loved ones see you making healthy choices, they may be inspired to do the same.


Image Credit: Left and Right; Images

Being guilt-ridden over the first mistake you make when changing your lifestyle can lead to being discouraged and possibly giving up completely. Research from Tufts University found that giving in to a craving is okay as long as there is portion control.




NewYear’s with


SJT: What new projects are you currently working on?

SJT: What is your plan for success?

Keke: I am in the studio recording new music with one of the hottest music producers in the industry today, Bangladesh. We have been working together off and on all year and I am very excited for my fans to hear all of our hard work.

Keke: I don't really have a plan. I just do the projects that provoke real emotion. If I hear a song that makes me smile, I try my best to record it. If I read a script that makes me cry, I beg to be a part of the movie! I guess, just do what you have genuine love for and you will be successful.

Keke: I just received a NAACP Award nomination for a Lifetime movie (Abducted: The Carlina White Story) I filmed in August. It is based on a true story. I am so very proud of that nomination because it is for my very first adult role. In that film I go from age 16- 23. I am also working to develop a new TV show. We are in the early stages. I am very optimistic! SJT: What is your New Year’s Resolution? Keke: Wow, that is a tough one. I guess my usual “stop biting my nails” resolution! SJT: What do you hope to accomplish in 2013? Keke: I hope to be happy; for me peace of mind is very important. In terms of my career, I really want to do projects that are a bit more indie. I started my film career doing these very intimate character driven little films, I would love to find a project where I could play a role totally different character than anything I have ever done before. That would be cool because I like to be challenged. And, of course I will continue to put out new music for my fans, for me I just love to sing, I grew up listening to my mother sing so it's in my blood!

SJT: Model, Entrepreneur and Real Housewife of Atlanta, Cynthia Bailey made the statement that "If you are confident, you are beautiful” do you feel this statement is true and why? Keke: Yes and No. Yes, I do believe that when people have healthy self-esteem and appear to be confident that can be a good thing. However, if your confidence is being perceived by the majority as arrogance then no; because that (attitude) will create negative energy. I believe that there is beauty in being humble and thankful for what you have, but there is nothing wrong with confidence it's just how you carry yourself. SJT: What advice would you give to someone to uplift and encourage them to be confident in who they are? Keke: I don't believe there is just one answer to this question, but here is my honest answer. You have to be yourself. You must accept yourself 100% first before you can expect other people to accept you. I know that sounds preachy, LOL! On a personal tip, I know that some people think they know me. They have seen me grow up right in front of them and some feel they can predict my future. But I know myself best of all, and I will not allow other people's perceptions of me to be my perception of myself; good or bad.

Just Do You!


Image Credit: Courtesy of Keke Palmer Productions

SJT: What new projects have you already accomplished thus far?


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SJT y t u a Be & the Business


Sothern belle Cynthia Bailey strutted into the hearts of millions on the very successful reality series “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” However, Cynthia is a star in her own right. The supermodel has been featured in countless editorials from Vogue, and Vanity Fair to Essence and Glamour. Many have seen her beautiful face for years in commercials for Crest, commercial billboards, and as the face of Neiman Marcus. Now owner and director of her own modeling school, Cynthia is taking the reins of the runway behind the scenes. SJ Teen caught up with Cynthia to talk about the true meaning of beauty and what life is like for her as an entrepreneur and Atlanta Housewife.

SJT: You are the Founder of The Bailey School of Fashion. What do aspiring models gain from attending The Bailey School of Fashion? Cynthia: Education and support- we really stress education at our school. You can’t be a lawyer without a law degree. It is like saying you want to be a model and you know nothing about the industry. There are many people who walk into the school and cannot name 3 top photographers or current models. At the Bailey School of Fashion, education is really the first step. After that, they need to understand the business. You will only get out of it what you put into it. You need to know what you are doing. SJT: What advice would you give to someone (young or old) interested in going into the modeling industry? Cynthia: Being realist about the specific requirements is the first step. Those specific requirements consist of height, skin, size and beauty. You do have to be beautiful. Can you be interesting or exotic? Yes, just as long as beautiful is in there somewhere. If you have that, go for it. If not, it may not be for you. I am not trying to discourage those of following their dreams. But, I think it is really sad when I see girls trying to be a model when realistically they just don’t have what it takes to do it. SJT: If you had the power to change one dynamic about the modeling industry—what would it be? Cynthia: I would ban size zero. I think being a healthy size is important. It has improved over time. A lot of the runway shows actually want girls that are healthy.


SJT: Do you think shows like “Americas Next Top Model” is helpful for girls who want to go into modeling? Cynthia: I love “Americas Next Top Model.” I think it is a great entertaining show that gives you an idea of what the business is like. You can definitely take things from it. However, there are so many educational components of modeling that one needs to know before getting into the business. SJT: What projects are you currently working on? Cynthia: Well, I just finished a campaign for Macys. It can be seen in magazines or in inside Macy’s stores. I have a hair extension line that is currently out called Hair Couture. I also want to branch out to wigs. I am the spokesperson for Pink Moscato. I am also in talks about doing my own Moscato with the company. Also, Peter and I are working on a couple’s over 40 relationship book. It will be called “Baggage Claim.” SJT: Anything you would want people to know about you that they may not see on TV? Cynthia: Yes, I am so much more than what you see on “(The) Real Housewives of Atlanta.” You only get to see snippets. I actually like that the producers let me go to New York more. I think the fans have a chance to see more of whom I really am when we shoot there. I spent my whole life there. So, New York has definitely influenced my life in so many ways. SJT: Yes, we love when “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” producers shoot in New York. It definitely showcases more of who you are. It’s a big city that is always on the go. It seems so exciting and fun!

Image Credit: Photographer; Will Sterling

SJT: Your website reads: “If you are confident, you are beautiful.” What does this phrase mean to you? Cynthia: It’s pretty self-explanatory because confidence is beauty. I love this phrase. I never pay attention to what someone physically looks like when they are totally confident. It overrides it.



Grammy Award Winner


By Breyanna Wilson

The Grammy winner revealed why she decided to call her album “Red.” “(All) the different emotions on this album (are) all pretty much about the tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships I’ve experienced in the last two years,” said Swift. “And all those emotions fanning from intense love, intense frustration, intense jealousy, confusion…all those emotions are red. There’s nothing in between, there’s nothing beige about those feelings.” The first single from the album, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” was inspired by her “lovely-ex boyfriend,” and quickly helped her album “Red” stay on the top of the Billboard 200 for 6 weeks. Even with all of her continued success, Taylor Swift is still going strong with an upcoming fourth album soon to be released. With three albums already on the market, this country-pop star is showing the public she has plenty of ideas and creativity left for her music. Her passion for writing is obvious. Swift started off with nearly 35 songs to choose from for “Red.” Swift then narrowed the album the album down to 16 songs, excluding bonus tracks. “The last two years have been really


inspirational and that’s why there are so many songs on the album,” Swift said.

pumpkin bread that I’ll be making a lot of and giving to people,” the artist said.

Swift told NBC News she decided to do something different with her songwriting with this new album. “When it came to approaching this album, I really wanted to go back to the drawing board and think about a different way to approach it,” said Swift. “I got the opportunity to work with all of my favorite people in music.”

She has also dabbled a bit into the acting scene. Swift voiced Audrey, one of the characters from the movie “Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.” In addition, the country-pop artist appeared in “Valentine’s Day” and CSI.

Instead of writing all of the new songs herself, as she did on her album “Speak Now,” the 23 year old star decided to partner up with other artists including Max Martin and Ed Sheeran. Over the past 6 years, Swift has quickly risen to fame. In that period, she has won six Grammies and was named Billboard’s Women of the Year. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Taylor Swift is one of the modern artists with many achievements and rewards to back up her talent. Last June, Rolling Stone called her “one of the few genuine rock stars we’ve got these days, with a flawless ear for what makes a song click.” Though Swift is a country-pop star, do not think that music is all that she can do. She still has a passion for baking especially around the holiday season. “[I]t’s about to be baking overdrive. There’s going to be

Even with all her fame, Swift tries not to be too preoccupied with what others are thinking about her. “I’m sure there are a few of them or a lot of them so I try not to read a lot about myself,” Swift said. “… Literally, my friends make fun of me because if I see my name somewhere I’ll just click off of it… I have no idea what the general perception is about me.” Fans are continuing to flock to her latest album “Red” since, as usual, her “great inspiration… is love.” With the many topics Swift writes about, she is undoubtedly cementing her name as this generation’s Love Song Queen. Swift supporters will be on the edge of their seats this February as the singer has 3 Grammy nominations in the 2013 Grammy Awards. Her red hot career is sure to start off 2013 with a blast!

Image Credit: Photographer; Sarah Barlow

Taylor Swift relied on the more fiery side of her latest album, “Red,” which was released in fall of 2012 to hot reviews.


Image Credit: Left and Right; Images


Preparing For an Unknown FUTURE

Job Outlook

“I’ve got a degree. Now what?”

By Christian Tombers

Today’s job market for graduates from both high school and college is not the same as it was several years ago or when our parents started their careers. In the past, having more than 1 or maybe 2 careers within a lifetime were the norm. Now it’s normal to have several careers within one’s lifetime due to the uncertainty of the current job market. Today, most employers no longer look upon someone negatively if they’ve had a lot of jobs, as long as there is a stream of continuity. This means there are not a lot of gaps in your resume and work history.

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for entry into the job market is to be pro-active and start building your resume well before your graduate. When you prepare before graduation, you won’t have to worry as much when the time comes to earn a living.

WHEN YOU BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT: • You know that you can create and start your own business • You know you can earn money without working for someone else • You can be confident going into an interview; knowing that you have more to offer than all the other candidates applying for the same position

Search the Internet for examples of teen entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs. You’ll be surprised at how little effort and time it took for them to get started in a variety of cases. You’ll discover many resources of people and organizations willing to assist and mentor young entrepreneurs. See the contact info at the end of this article to request additional information on basic sales training classes and contacts for part-time, full-time, or self-employment. Wishing you health, wealth, success and happiness! Want more details, ideas, solutions, and answers? Send your thoughts and requests to

BUILDING A RESUME TO DIFFERENTIATE YOU FROM OTHERS CAN BE DONE BY WORKING AS A(N): Part-Time employee Full-Time employee Temp Worker Intern Volunteer Self-Employed or Business Owner with your own product or service


RISE OF THE UPCOMING POP BAND The After Party By Breyanna Wilson




Who says Kansas can’t breed pop stars? We didn’t! The After Party is one of the few up and coming pop artists who can say they have made several major appearances including being on MTV, going on a Hot Topic acoustic tour, and even selling clothing inspired by the band on their website. We are giving you all you ever wanted to know about the rising pop stars from the band members themselves. Alan Bell, Andy Bell and Brandon Stewart share with SJ Teen the background story about their rise to the spotlight. “We were in a bunch of bands before and the names were really long and they were really hard to pronounce and remember,” said Stewart. “So, we wanted to make them short and catchy… We pondered over it for a while and we chose The After Party. The band began in Kansas City, Kansas in 2009 with one E.P. Now with two more albums out, most of their inspiration is found by their own experiences and their desire to make relatable music. “I want everyone to have a good time, and (to feel) good,” said Stewart. Brandon Stewart is having fun as the lead singer in the band. Stewart went to the same school as Alan Bell and Andy Bell. All three of the classmates shared a love of music and one day they decided to play together. As they continued playing together, things immediately started to click and The After Party was born.

Image Credit: Courtesy of The After Party Music

The newly minted boy band soon dropped their debut EP “All the Wrong Places,” which garnered them a great introduction into the world of music. Not long after this debut and fan following more radio opportunities emerged, new tours, and a groundbreaking appearance on MTV. They continued on the success trail with 2011’s self-titled album in which they worked with Zach Odom and fellow underground artist Kenneth Mount of whom they are still friends. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and the band took a break from touring to record their latest effort, “Kansas.” The group still regularly tours and generally enjoys life on the road. Despite driving all night to get to their shows and performing, their days are spent doing pretty normal things that most young adults do. “Usually our days start at about noon, then workout, (then) eat Chipotle,” said Stewart. Stewart advises all aspiring young artist to stay strong and never give up their dreams saying, “Just keep going for it, keep trying, and keep working hard.” The hard work shown by this talented group is sure to make them a must see band in 2013.





Image Credit: Images


SJ Teen 2013  
SJ Teen 2013  

Teen Magazine