Good luck at this year’s INDY 500!
Cover photo by Andrea Mead Cross on location in Los Angeles with rock band DEAD SARA. (left to right) Siouxsie Medley, Sean Friday and Emily Armstrong.
FIRST S Manny
SECOND dead sa
D STORY ara
THIRD S Alex
FOURTH ST papa
FifTH STO Cort
The legendary boxer and his trainer out of LA, Justin Fortune, get the 12-time world champ ready and geared up at Fortune Gym for his the upcoming fight!
The LA rock band is roaring back onto the music scene with a new album called, Ain’t it Tragic! The three member band features Emily Armstrong, lead vocals and guitar, Siouxsie Medley, lead guitar and Sean Friday, drums and programmer.
LISTEN TO YOUR WORLD
This designer is growing his craft in the sports Find out what our feature athletes and rockers world as he works with coaches and members are listening to! of the team organization to implement his design, promotion and marketing strategies.
IndyCar driver for Chip Ganassi Racing and in position for a shot at this year’s IndyCar series title knows he’s extremely fortunate for the opportunities he’s been given and continues to go for the checkered flag!
BEHIND THE SCENES
You just have to check out what’s going on behind the scenes!
He’s a former college star athlete that switched it up and headed to Nashville. He’s now a country singer with incredible talent and the heart and soul of what it takes to make the big time!
124 Thank you!
a generational talent without compare, Manny Pacquiao has developed a legacy transcending decades. As a living legend, his first fight of the decade holds the potential to augment a captivating career defined by a staggering 62 wins. Returning to the ring for his first fight since July 2019, an intense 12-round split decision win over Keith Thurman, resulting in the WBA (Super) Welterweight title, Pacquiao’s initial focus was the clash hyped as a Generational Showdown against the undefeated Errol Spence, Jr., the unified IBF and WBC Welterweight Champion, 11 years his junior. But an eye injury sidelined Spence, Jr. and the August 21st fight was updated with Yordenis Ugás from Cuba who currently holds the WBA (Super) welterweight title. With a career that has spanned four decades; the first and only boxer in history to attain the peerless pinnacle of lineal championships (defeating an undisputed champion for a world title) in five different weight classes, Pacquiao’s corner consists of a pair of familiar faces. Among them are Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, holding membership in the World Boxing Hall of Fame, along with Justin Fortune, working in the capacity of strength and conditioning coach. Worth noting, Roach and Fortune had serendipitously crossed paths, with Roach becoming his trainer in 1992.
“He’s ready to fight; he’s been off for a couple of years, so he’s ready to fight, period,” Fortune said about Pacquiao.
Originally from Perth, Australia, Fortune, first worked with Pacquiao from 2001 to 2007. A former professional heavyweight, also winning an Australian Powerlifting Championship, his most notable fight occurred in July 1995, versus Lennox Lewis in Dublin, Ireland. Evolving into a highly sought-after trainer in the aftermath of his pugilistic career, Fortune returns in the familiar role of Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, a role truly nascent in boxing during the early 2000s. Becoming an unexpected innovator, said role mushroomed throughout many sports. Undeniably, Fortune’s background as a boxer added important value. Understanding the sweat and sacrifice involved, from the gym to the glare of the ring, the result was an instant synergy between the two.
Currently the proprietor along with his wife Tamara Frapasella-Fortune, of Fortune Gym in Los Angeles, perhaps the most intriguing facet of his athletic sojourn includes a unique versatility. With a background as a trained chef, Fortune has used his knowledge of nutrition to benefit his athletes. Certainly an essential component towards refining their conditioning, it encompassed a unique aspect in Fortune’s approach.
“Manny Pacquiao is the greatest fighter in history.” --Justin Fortune
Pacquiao set to take stage against Yordenis Ugas.
Pacquiao vs Matthysse in 2018 winning by 7th round TKO.
Pacquiao, Fortune and Roach team for the next big showdown.
Coupled with the fundamental philosophy of hard work, Fortune’s strategy includes a focus on keep exercises interesting and combining upper and lower body endurance. Such essentials are poised to hold a significant influence in Pacquiao’s latest quest, looking to maintain his standing as one of the all-time greats.
Heading down to Mark Allen’s surf spot in Santa
For rockers in the know, it’s no surprise. Dead Sara has a cult following. Cited as being one of the best live bands to come out of the Los Angeles underground scene ten years ago with their high octane performances and explosiveness, lead singer, Emily Armstrong, guitarist Siouxsie Medley and drummer/producer Sean Friday have come into their own. Armstrong’s voice gives any operatic diva a run for her money. She can take a soft melodic purr and raise it to a guttural pitch and vocal fury that even Sid Vicious would admire. Fueled by such diverse musical tastes as the hardcore Swedish punk band Refused to Fleetwood Mac, Armstrong is one of the hottest rebel rockers today. She has that ineffable quality that separates the boys from the men. Those who can’t hang, run for cover. “When you’re up there it’s like you’re in a different world and that’s when I feel most like myself. I want more of the raw rock and roll, its fucking feeling. That’s what I strive for.” Early on, Armstrong’s rock and roll abandon got the attention of iconic female rock stars like Grace Slick and Courtney Love, who invited Armstrong to sing backup on Nobody‘s Daughter. Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl once proclaimed, “Dead Sara should be the next biggest rock band in the world.” In interviews, Armstrong is cool. Strong. In another life, time and place, she would have been a warrior. In 21st century Americana, she’s a rock star with hardcore integrity. Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley have been writing songs since high school. But the passion for music was there long before that. Armstrong first picked up a guitar at 12, while Medley began practicing at age 9. In mid-2005 they changed their name to Dead Sara—a reference to the Fleetwood Mac song “Sara” and its lyric “Said Sara,” which the band misheard as “Dead Sara.” After many drummer incarnations, the band’s line-up solidified in 2009 with Sean Friday on drums. Since then, the band has been in sync. Having danced with fame with performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Seth Meyers; an episode of Vampire Diaries, a Fiat commercial; accolades such as “Best New Rock Group,” Indie Artist of the Year; Close to Home Artist of the Year, defeating No Doubt in the final round, now...they’re ready. Their latest album, Ain’t it Tragic, for Warner Records releases later this year, featuring “Heroes,” a Dead Sara classic, with Medley and Friday delivering their respective guitar loops and drums while Armstrong nails the truth-searing, textured vocals with punk rock fierceness. Songs like this make you reconsider your day job.
a Cruz, California.
On location in LA with rock band DEAD SARA.
Emily: Sioux and I started playing in high school. We didn’t go to the same school but had mutual friends. It wasn’t long until our love for music turned into a two piece band in Sioux’s bedroom. We had many other players come and go, but when we met Sean it felt complete. NowVIZ: DEAD SARA is consistently cited as one of the best live bands to emerge from Los Angeles and was given a huge compliment by Dave Grohl saying “DEAD SARA should be the next biggest rock band in the world.” We heard there’s a new album coming out soon? Details please! Emily: Yes! The Third album is titled, Ain’t it Tragic. We worked tirelessly through the pandemic with our guard down, getting it to the most authentic place we knew. We pushed each other more than we could have individually. I think we will always be grateful for this album because it encapsulates a crazy time for us and the rest of the world. It was the one thing that kept us (somewhat) sane. NowVIZ: All great bands have had to endure challenges. Can you give us some insight into some of the things you have had to face in order to keep moving forward? And how has DEAD SARA grown through the process? Emily: Sticking together. Rallying when we felt completely lifeless after being manipulated and screwed by past management. Knowing we were bigger than that. Starting from scratch isn’t easy, but it’s a great learning lesson. In the end, it made us stronger. NowVIZ: What influences your writing the most and why? Emily: We love all kinds of music but usually the spark comes from something one of us starts vibing with. It’s typically spontaneous and turns into something we can all get behind. Usually we love it, then kind of hate it while we are fully invested and working out the parts. Then we absolutely love it in the end. It’s a process!
NowVIZ: Who can tell us the best story of how the three of you became DEAD SARA?
NowVIZ: What bands or musicians have made an impact on your style of music? Emily: That’s a loaded question. But if we had to choose one era that represents our band, I would say 90’s. Pop, rock, etc. NowVIZ: All three of you have worked together for more than a decade. What’s the key ingredient that keeps you playing music together? Emily: Communication. Sounds cliché but hey, it’s true. It’s a marriage. You gotta be open as much as possible. NowVIZ: Have you had a mentor or individual that has been able to guide and advise you as a band? Emily: I wish we did. We could have used some expert advice plenty of times! I was actually just thinking about this the other day and would love to help others in this regard.
Justin Fortune vs Lennox Lewis, 1995, The Point, Dublin, Ireland. (L TO R) SIOUXSIE MEDLEY, EMILY ARMSTRONG, SEAN FRIDAY
2022: January 22-27: Galveston, Costa Maya, Cozumel, ShipRocked
Photo courtesy of Steve Porter
NowVIZ: Upcoming Tour Dates 2021: September 17: Milwaukee, WI Summerfest (with The Struts) September 18: Minneapolis, MN Amsterdam Music Hall September 20: Kansas City, MO Recordbar September 22: St. Louis, MO Blueberry Hill September 24: Louisville, KY Louder Than Life Festival September 25: Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen September 27: Cleveland, OH Beachland Tavern September 28: Columbus, OH The Basement September 30: Washington DC Black Cat October 1: New York, NY Bowery Ballroom October 2: Boston, MA Sonia October 9: Los Angeles, CA Roxy November 12: Daytona, FL Welcome to Rockville
“When you’re up there it’s like you’re in a different world and that’s when I feel most like myself. I want more of the raw rock and roll, its fucking feeling. That’s what I strive for.” --EMILY ARMSTRONG
NowVIZ: We’ve been told Emily is a huge LA
Emily: I love sports! Of course I am a LA Lak Godspeed! Also, the Dodgers are my boys. L headed into football season and I couldn’t b has a proper football stadium. I go to any ga (lol). No offense LA, I just love my man Rodg
A sports fan!? Tell us more!
kers fan - a huge Kobe fan. Love them. And now we’re be more excited. LA finally ames the Packers are playing gers!
On location in Indianapolis with Alex Palou.
Alex: Yes, there was no racing history in the family. My parents were very young. They were 18 when I was born, so they didn’t have enough money to start go-karting. But there was a small go-kart track between my house and my school that I passed everyday. Seeing everybody doing laps everyday, by the time I was four I knew I wanted to try. My first try I was so small I couldn’t even reach the pedals. Because it seemed fun for all my family, on my fifth birthday they got me a go-kart. My whole family was excited. That’s how it started. It wasn’t like “Okay, This kid is a driver.” The idea was to have fun after school or during the weekends. It’s not the usual sport that you play, like playing basketball with your family or your dad on the weekend, but that’s what we did. We started when I was five and now here I am.
NowVIZ: You grew up in Sant Antoni de Vilamajor, Spain outside of Barcelona and with no family racing history, at age five you started kart racing! What compelled you to kart race and why at such a young age?
NowVIZ: In 2019 you won a Super Formula Championship race, competed at the All-Japan Formula 3 championship in 2017, recorded your first race in the Formula 3 Series in 2015, and made your debut in open-wheel racing, competing in the Euro Formula Open Championship in 2014. What ultimately led you to the IndyCar series?
Alex Palou pushing the #10.
Alex: It was a difficult path to get here. When a driver from Europe wants to come to America, it’s more difficult than if you’re starting your junior series in America. I always wanted to come here and train at the Indy Lights and start learning how to race here, but I didn’t have any sponsors. So I had to have my own racing career in Europe. So I moved to Japan, which was like taking a left turn before taking the right turn. The reason being because they have a good championship there and, of course, Honda was there. So I raced for Honda in Japan. With that relationship I was able to come to America last year! Coming to IndyCar was a big year for me. And, now, this year to have the opportunity to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing is amazing.
NowVIZ: This is your second IndyCar season and you are killing it! You won this 2021 season opener, polished off another win at Road America, have seven top five finishes and in a great position for the Series title! Give us the details! Alex: It was a dream to drive in the IndyCar series in America. I was already in a good mood, but having the opportunity to drive for the best team is amazing. So far we are having a good season. I’ve been able to learn a lot from my teammates. We’ve had two wins and six podium finishes which is quite good. But what’s really great this year is that we are being consistent. We may not always have the fastest car, but we work really hard on strategy. My team works really hard to have the car ready to go by the weekend! So yeah, it’s been fun! NowVIZ: Can you give us a run down of what it’s like to race for Chip Ganassi and what’s it like having six-time IndyCar Series Champion, Scott Dixon and seven-time NASCAR Champion, now IndyCar driver, Jimmie Johnson as teammates?!
Alex: When I got the call last year from the team it was amazing. It’s more than you can dream when you’re a kid, because they are one of the biggest and most successful teams in IndyCar. It means they’re giving you all the tools, all the mechanics, the cars, the engineers and everything you need to win. And that’s the only goal you have— to win. Everybody obviously wants to win, but you know you have the tools so you don’t have to worry if the car is going to be fast. You only have to focus on yourself and what you have to do to accomplish your goals. It’s been incredible having Scott Dixon as a teammate. I used to see Scott winning when I first started watching IndyCar, and I wasn’t even into go-karting! It’s crazy to think that I was watching him on TV, and now I’m not only racing against him, but he’s my teammate. He’s been an open book with me meaning he really tries to teach me everything he knows. He tries to help me every time. He’s a great teammate. And then, Jimmy. Jimmie Johnson— even if you don’t follow or don’t know NASCAR, you know Jimmie Johnson! It’s been super fun having him here! He’s not experienced in IndyCar, but he’s a champion, and he knows how to win championships and has that champion mentality that helps not just me but the team. It’s been amazing to learn from these guys. At the end of the day they are what I would like to become one day.
NowVIZ: Training off the track is extremely important. Could you give us an idea of what type of fitness regimen you maintain off-season vs. in-season? Alex: This year I decided to get a personal trainer because I thought I could get an extra something if I was more on top physically. I used to work at a High Performance Center in Barcelona when I was younger, so I learned a bit about training, nutrition and things like that. But I was doing everything on my own and with my dad. He was like my trainer, which was more motivating for me. I started CrossFit and train five, maybe six days a week. I train even when I have free time like now during preseason. Then, during the racing season, I take it easier. I try to keep myself in a good mood and my body working. I don’t need to be super strong to drive. I don’t need to be able to do a marathon, which would help, but I don’t need to be the best at marathons. I just need to be good overall. NowVIZ: How do you fuel your body nutritionally throughout the season? (We were also told you LOVE food). So we also need to know what foods you love to eat! Alex: Yes, I take nutrition quite seriously during the season and especially on race weekends. I don’t eat to be better at driving, but to be better at training. So that will help me be better on race day. But sometimes I may treat myself, like after a win I like to eat fried chicken! I also love sushi, probably because I spent so much time in Japan. But, usually, I don’t eat out very often.
The Ganassi crew hustling in the pit.
NowVIZ: Every athlete seems to have a mentor or someone behind the scenes that they can talk to, get advice from and have their back in any situation. Have you had that person in your life? If so, can you tell us how? Alex: My dad, and obviously all my family, but he’s been there, they’ve been with me the whole time. My mom as well, but it’s really been my dad. He’s been my mechanic when we couldn’t afford a mechanic in go-karting and he had no idea about being a mechanic. But he learned it! He was my trainer until last year; he was also my psychologist. So he’s definitely been my guy, my mentor and my inspiration. Because of all the experiences we’ve had together, like driving and living in Italy, then moving to Japan to race, he has always been there through the good and bad times. It’s been special to share those experiences with him.
NowVIZ: How did you get started in sports graphic design? Papageorgiou: As a sophomore in college, I had the opportunity to begin on this journey with the University of Michigan Athletic Department. Looking back, the in-house designers and creative director put a lot of trust in me that fostered my development as a young designer. I’ve been able to contribute to my alma mater in ways I never thought possible. Some of my projects included creating new way-finding components for the entire athletic campus and creating assets which were used to fundraise over 70 million dollars. These, and many other projects at the Michigan Athletic Department, were instrumental in developing my skills at an early age. NowVIZ: As a graphic designer for Eastern Michigan University Athletics would you describe some of the work you do and how you approach your projects? Papageorgiou: I am leading the branding for multiple sports programs. Because of the size of the athletic department, there is no in-house creative team so I also work as part of the marketing team. As a result, I’m directly interacting with coaches and other members of the organization to implement design, promotional, and marketing strategies for different sports programs. All this new found responsibility has made me learn how to clarify my ideas and fine-tune my approach to the design process. With just three employees in the marketing team, including myself, we have to rely on a lot of communication in order to expedite projects. Besides having great communication, there’s also a great sense of trust. This was key when we had to transition to remote work last March 2020. NowVIZ: You’ve had the opportunity to work with the Charlotte Hornets. What was most exciting about working with a sports team? Papageorgiou: I joined the Charlotte Hornets during the summer of 2017 as a Creative Services Intern, back when Dwight Howard and Michael Carter Jr. joined the team. I particularly enjoyed the staff meetings where franchise employees got the chance to meet new players. I got to talk to Dwight and Michael and better understand the multidisciplinary nature required to run any franchise. As the only intern, I was able to ‘steal’ some projects from the full-time designers. I had the opportunity to create the 2017-2018 locker-room name-plates. It was fun watching the Hornets’ postgame interviews live on ESPN, featuring Dwight Howard, Kemba Walker, or Nicolas Batum in front of my artwork.
NowVIZ: What do you like most about working in the sports world? Papageorgiou: Well, is there anything better than getting free tickets to sporting events and being able to experience the marketing strategies firsthand?! In addition to experiencing the in-game atmosphere and understanding how to better market a certain event, I would say that athletics, especially during the multiple COVID-19 lockdowns, gave people hope during trying times. After the initial COVID lockdown and outbreak, I was glued to the screen when athletic events restarted in the summer of 2020. Being able to provide fans with an awesome experience is an honor and a privilege.
Coloring pages that feature a different university sport team each month and given to members of the Kids Go Blue at outreach events.
NowVIZ: How do you stay inspired and creative on a daily basis? Papageorgiou: As I tend to have one foot in the professional world and one in the academic field, I like interacting with students and professionals of varying disciplines. By bouncing ideas off one another I’ve been able to understand how other people approach the same design problem. Having grown up abroad, much of my inspiration comes from travelling and understanding the architecture and design of other cultures. In 2018, I completed my study abroad in Japan and am still processing the impact that trip had on my design process. I now favor simplicity and clarity in my graphics and architectural work. In addition to travelling, I try to get out of the house for a walk or bike ride at least once a day. Living in Michigan for the last six years has allowed me to explore the different national parks up and down the coast which has brought me closer to the outdoors during the COVID lockdowns. Clearing my head allows me to revisit projects with a fresh and open mind.
As a three sport athlete in high school, Cort quarterbacked his team to state and earned a division 1 scholarship to play baseball at the University of Portland. He received All-Conference honors as a first baseman and hoped to continue his athletic career after college. But life sometimes throws you a curve ball when you expected a fast ball, it has a funny way of altering your plans for better or worse. And a car accident didn’t help. He walked away thank goodness, but his journey took a different turn. Cort began singing country music. He began with the local scene and parlayed into festivals. The feeling he felt while playing his songs and watching the connection it had on his audience eventually moved him to the other side of the country, the mecca of country music, Nashville. As a singer, songwriter and guitarist he mixes his music innovatively. It starts with his strong, deep voice that could be reminiscent of that ole’ vintage country sound, but then he incorporates influences from many different genres to grow each song into a unique blend and vibe. And while some lyrics play a more modern beat, others smolder and melt your heart. In 2017 he was awarded “Male Entertainer of the Year” from the Josie Music Awards, one of the largest independent artist awards shows globally. And in 2019, he took it on the road with the highly successful Electricity Tour, playing over 150 dates and releasing some of his most popular songs to date, “Ex ‘Em,” “Electricity,” and “Dollar Store.” And when 2020 hit and the industry shut down, Cort kept up and running streaming live shows bi-weekly. And when he’s not in the studio or touring he and his wife Kelly recently had a new baby boy, Lux, adding a whole new chapter to his life. And also to note he started the Cort Carpenter Cares Foundation, benefiting animal shelters across the country and the human homeless population in Nashville. That alone shines a light on his compassion and fighting spirit for those in need. Cort’s journey is essentially just getting started and he’s determined to make a fan out of anyone that gives him a shot. So give this guy a listen--he’s definitely worth it!
Cort: I grew up a devoted athlete. I played three sports competitively growing up (Baseball, Basketball, Football) and it was a Division 1 baseball scholarship that sent me through college. After my senior year of college baseball, I had a few opportunities with some MLB free agent workout camps. But, weeks before attending, I was in a minor car accident that hurt my back enough that baseball wasn’t in the cards anymore. Between graduating college and having to start searching for work, I began singing locally in my hometown for fun. That turned into performing in local country singing competitions, which then led to forming a band. It just took off from there. I was playing my home region, through the Pacific Northwest for about six months and then took a trip to Vegas with my buddy. That trip I met a girl at a dance club, and we hit it off. I started dating her long distance for about six months and then we both decided that it was very difficult, so I moved to California to be with her. We continued dating and then got engaged a year later. After a year of playing limited shows in Los Angeles, we decided to pack up and move to Nashville where I could dive right into the country music scene. That was in 2012. My wife Kelly and I have been together 10 years and married now for 7. We are expecting our first baby in June. NowVIZ: You were named, “Male Entertainer of the Year” at the 2017 Josie Music Awards and again a nominee in 2018 and 2019. Congrats! What drives you to play music? Cort: Yes! That is the biggest independent music awards show around, so to win that honor and be nominated in years to follow, is neat. What drives me to play music is the feeling I get when someone says “Hey, I just love your song. It got me through hard times.” Or, “We party to your music every weekend.” Those are just a few examples. When you start hearing that your song got someone through a hard time or was played at someone’s wedding/funeral/or special occasion, it hits home. It becomes bigger than you are. I’m honored that my music is bringing love to people. That’s one of the coolest things about being an artist. The other thing that drives me is the competitiveness in my blood. Growing up an athlete, I strive to be the best and to win in whatever I put my mind to. So that keeps me going every day. The Carpenter’s want to win and get it done. NowVIZ: Tell us about your process. What makes a song worth playing? Cort: If I’m going to play or record a song, it has to connect. That connection can be any mood, but if I don’t personally like the result and feel something internally from it, I won’t record or play the song. When devising my set list, even with the covers we perform, I must connect with it in some way before I will entertain the idea of putting it in our set. If a song hits just right, you’ll instantly know. With songwriting, we write tons of songs, but not all of them are “the one.” It can be a fantastic song, but when you know, you know.
NowVIZ: Tell us about yourself, how did you get into the music business? And how did you end up in Nashville?
NowVIZ: You released three radio singles in 2019, “Ex ‘Em,” “Electricity,” and “Dollar Store,” as well as a collaboration, “Safe Zone” with world-renowned country DJ, Dee Jay Silver. Can you talk about this time period? Cort: 2019 was a big year. I’m proud of what I accomplished that year. I released some of my favorite songs (“Ex ‘Em,” “Electricity,” “Dollar Store”) and collaborated with my buddy Dee Jay Silver. I felt like my creative side was on-point and things were flowing. I got the opportunity to write a song with Silver and the crew came up with a jam. He then wanted to release it on his project and asked me to sing on it which was such a very cool moment. It came out to be a badass song and showed a different side of me. Most don’t know this but I’m really into EDM/Club music. So this was a perfect mix. The other writers, Jared Sciullo, Ryan Sorestad, Dee Jay Silver are proud of this one. We were fortunate to have Sciullo produce it. He’s one of the best in Nashville hands down. To be honest, I’m hoping that the same crew can get together again and go for Round 2. Not to mention, my other releases in 2019 were big hits with my fan base. Songwriter Ryan Sorestad was a big part of those as well. Probably three of our most requested songs by listeners were written by him.
Photo courtesy of Cort Carpenter
NowVIZ: You were a 3-sport athlete at Kelso High School in Washington where you quarterbacked your football team to state and set different records in baseball and basketball. You then went on to play college baseball at the University of Portland and received All-Conference honors as a first baseman. That’s impressive! Can you tell us about you as an athlete?! Cort: When people found out I was now singing, they were so confused. Everyone knew me as the 3-sport athlete back home. Sports were my life. My parents were legendary teachers and coaches at our high school. I excelled in all three sports and had many highlights, but one thing I often dream about is our 2004 football State championship run and the team I was on. It was special for the entire community, and one for the record books. It was truly a special experience being the quarterback, my dad a long time assistant coach, my mom coaching the school’s powerhouse cheerleading program, and my older brother Rhett playing major college football at the time. It was like a damn movie script, and I was able to live it and enjoy the hell out of it. Some say “That’s way too much” or “That takes up so much time, sounds exhausting,” but for us, that was the life we loved. We absolutely cherished every moment of it. However, I was able to do some amazing things as a college baseball player too. I played for the Lower Columbia College Red Devils and set the single season wood bat home run record (10), and then went on to play Division 1 ball at the University of Portland and earned All-Conference accolades there. The life I have lived as an athlete, and now musician, is one that only the people closest to me would ever be able to comprehend. One day I hope to write a book about everything I’ve done and the magic that was involved with it all, because most wouldn’t believe it. I’m a lucky, lucky guy. NowVIZ: You have a foundation called Cort Carpenter Cares, which launched in 2015. This organization assists homeless animals and people. This is amazing. Tell us more about it. Cort: I founded this small organization because I felt I could make a difference.. I’m a very soft-hearted guy who cares about the well-being of all. Humans, animals, it doesn’t matter. My family raised me that way. They taught me to care about everyone, everything. Not just things that benefit myself or my pocketbook. That has stuck with me, and I’m proud of that. Nobody is better than the next person. My organization has raised money for animal shelters across the country, as well as helped the human homeless population in Nashville. I feel that we all go through tough times in life, and everyone could use a hand sometimes. That’s what it’s all about. You never know when you may be down on your luck and need a hand. My organization hopes to do even more in the years to come to help animals in need and people down on their luck. Donations can always be made to my foundation which will go directly to helping the next person.
NowVIZ: In 2019, your Electricity Tour was a major success. You played over 150 dates around the country. Then 2020 hit and it became very difficult for the whole industry. How did you get through this experience and how do you think it changed you as a musician? Cort: As the music was flowing in the studio, 2019 brought a big year of touring. Our Electricity Tour was one for the books. We put together a very successful tour schedule for an indie artist like me. I played two of my biggest shows to date during that tour. Watershed and the Oregon Jamboree. Things were steamrolling and then 2020 hit. It stopped the industry in its tracks, and made all artists get even more creative. Since March 2020, I have been live-streaming shows for my fans online on a bi-weekly schedule. My supporters are unlike any in the business, I can guarantee that. They showed up at each show and had our backs. It’s been incredible. I’ve also been able to do more writing and studio work during the past year which has been beneficial. It was a blessing in disguise to be able to focus on some of the things that are easy to push aside when time is limited while on tour. NowVIZ: Do you have any new music coming out soon? Are you back touring? Cort: I do. I have a brand-new single coming out called, “The Road,” which is a special song the world needs to hear. I’m dedicating the song to my future baby, but it’s written in a way that we hope the listener gets all “the feels.” It’s emotional, but inspirational. We hope people around the world will be inspired by it and will love the message. I encourage music fans to give it a listen, and hopefully you’ll fall in love with it. The people that heard it behind the scenes all teared up, so that’s a good sign. It’s hitting people the right way. When it comes to touring, we are beginning to add some shows for the Fall, and doing some spot shows here and there. We are hoping that Fall will be a good and safe time to get back in the groove.
NowVIZ: What are a couple goals you have for the years to come? Cort: I hope to have the opportunity to play the Grand Ole’ Opry and stand in that famous circle. I also hope for the opportunity to be signed by a label who believes in me and can help take it to the top. I’m ready. I would also love to be heard on SIRIUS XM The Highway. It’s been a long time goal to have one of my songs on The Highway. I have it on my vision board in my office that I look at every day. Not to mention, I’d love to have my song hit some big Spotify playlists. NowVIZ: What’s one message you have to our readers about your music? Cort: Give it a listen! I may be labeled as a country music artist, but my influences come from all genres. Listen to my entire catalog and I promise to make a fan out of you!
ALEX PALOU, INDYCAR DRIVER:
“I’m not a guy that listens to one specific band or singer. My playlist has a lot of variet upbeat and chill music depending on my mood. For example, the last time I raced Roa America, before I jumped into the car they were playing ACDC. I think it was “Highway to H So I got into that mode. Then we won that race, so now it’s the song and is even more special! So, I have songs like that.
EMILY ARMSTRONG, DEAD SARA:
I just got a couple of playlists from a friend and it’s all over the place. Some of my fave tracks are: “Black Truck” by Mereba “Otis” by The Durutti Column “This Old House is All I Have” by Against All Logic You can checkout the playlists on Spotify @ tadpulse
SIOUXSIE MEDLEY, DEAD SARA:
I’ve been listening to a lot of Bee Gees, Magic Wands, Tom Waits and Viagra Boys, Jo I recently revisited Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and of course Paul Simon.
what’s pumpin’ thru EMANUEL PAPAGEORGIOU, DESIGNER:
It’s never the same tune! I’m always trying to find the most recent release but do have s go-to playlists depending on the occasion. When I’m in the studio creating, it’s usua school hip hop. But I love Rock and Roll for almost any other occasion. I also listen to of Greek Pop and traditional music and enjoy listening to artists like Tame Impala or Unk Mortal Orchestra, which combine a number of different musical genres.
SEAN FRIDAY, DEAD SARA:
I’ve been listening to Ain’t It Tragic mixes over and over and over! But I guess, my most recent Spotify plays are Reckling and Lady Gaga.
CORT CARPENTER, SINGER:
I would say right now I’ve been listening to a lot of music from the 60’s. I grew up listening to it as my parents would always have the oldies station on in the car. I always say I wish I could have been a singer in that decade. The songs of the 60’s just make me feel good.
ty, ad Hell.”
u your headphones?
some ally old o a lot known
behind the scenes
Pacquiao and Fortune on location in LA.
Justin Fortune and Manny Pacquiao dialed in.
BEHIND SC dead sara
On location in Los Angeles with rock band, Dead Sara.
behind the scenes
behind the scenes
Alex Palou at Chip Ganassi Racing Headquarters in Indianapolis.
BEHIND SC alex
Photographer Andrea Mead Cross working with Palou.
behind the scenes
behindthe thescenes scenes behind
On location in Nashville with top country singer, Cort Carpenter.
CREDITS+THANk YOU’S This Fall issue is all about having the experience and confidence of knowing when to take the lead. Our features include, top IndyCar driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, Alex Palou, iconic boxer and trainer, Manny Pacquiao and Justin Fortune, a killer rock band from Los Angeles, Dead Sara, and Nashville country singer, Cort Carpenter. Making dreams come true and perseverance are a key mix for this group. Thank you for sharing a piece of your world with us! NowVIZ editor and writer, Hilary Stunda brings her wealth of creativity and experience to our team having worked as producer for, Outdoor Life Network, Editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Aspen, writing for Lexus, Art in America, Interview, ARTnews, just to name a few. She works this issue writing the feature athlete intro for young gun IndyCar driver Alex Palou, in the hunt for the 2021 Series and for LA hard rock band, Dead Sara who just dropped a new album, Aint’t It Tragic. She is an incredible addition to each issue and we love her vision and originality! Also joining us this issue is writer, Mark Staffieri by way of Toronto, Canada who has been with our team since its inception. Having written for Bleacher Report, Hockey Canada and Legends Football League (Canada) he continues to infuse his talent into each assignment. For this issue he writes the feature intro for the legendary 8-time divison world champion boxer, Manny Pacquiao and his long time strength and conditioning coach, Justin Fortune. We’d like to thank Kelby Krause and Amy Stock, public relations at Chip Ganassi Racing, for their always gracious hospitality and incredible opportunities. We wish everyone at Ganassi Racing the best of luck for the remainder of this 2021 season! And to Rick Gershon, VP of Media and Strategic Development at Warner Records, thank you for your vision and direction! And to photographer Andrea Mead Cross who has been essential in the continued growth and development of NowVIZ! Her vision and creativity exceed expectations and we’re excited she continues to be a part of NowVIZ! Design and layout for this issue by Kelley Kwiatkowski and team! Hope you enjoyed the ride!
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May/June 2021 ISSUE
Check out features, top IndyCar driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, Alex Palou, LA rock band, DEAD SARA, 8 division world champion boxer, Manny...