Shades of Kalopsia Coverage from
Governors Ball Hangout
Joji, BETWEEN FREINDS, ROLEMODEL, Post Malone, & More!
The (Un)Comm entary Tour, Never Planning for Moderation, & Introspective Lyricism
Volume 21 June 2022 Shades of Kalopsia Editorial
HAZZE MEDIA www.hazzemedia.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder/Editor-in-Chief Ezzah Rafique
Design Director Mohja Filfil
Press Director Orchee Sorker
Website Director Camila Camacho Contributors Stephanie Siau Maegan Grendell Andrey Lukovnikov Kristoffer Hansen Flying Solo Kayla Saliman Orchee Sorker Annie Schutz Jewel Fiorillo
Cover: Alec Benjamin photographed by Stephanie Siau
email@example.com https://kavyar.com/hazze-magazine www.hazzemedia.com/submissions
A Letter From the Editor This has got to be one of my favorite issues to put together. When Orchee told me that Alec was confirmed to be on our cover for this month's issue, I knew it was going to be a good one. We had an incredible team collaboration, two of our creative team members included, to create this energetic shoot with Alec which turned out beautiful. I'm so excited to share it with everyone, and I can tell you my jaw dropped when I saw the video that Stephanie made. Themed "Shades of Kalopsia," this issue puts an emphasis on editorial photography and fashion with the submissions we received from creatives as well!
Ezzah Rafique Founder/Editor-in-Chief
Model/Singer Alec Benjamin @alecbenjamin Director of Photography Stephanie Siau @stephaniehsiau BTS Videographer/Photographer/Journalist Maegan Grendell @maegangrendellphoto Groomer Colleen Dominique @colleendominique for Exclusive Artists (@exclusiveartists) using Ilia Beauty / Stmnt Grooming Lead Wardrobe Stylist Naomi Zinns @naomizinns Wardrobe Stylist Pariya Rahni @pariyarahni using Vintage One of One Wardrobe Stylist Cameron Hunter @camcamhunter using Lonely Ghost Editor-in-Chief Ezzah Rafique @ezzahazka Design Director Mohja Filfil @mxhja Press Director/Creative Coordinator Orchee Sorker @orchees @orchees_photos Website Director Camila Camacho
Top: 1970s Knit from Ramon’s Rags to Riches Vintage Pant: 1970s Corduroy from Ramon’s Rags to Riches Vintage Jewelry: Articles LA Shoes: Barollo Italy, Showroom: Maison Privee PR
MG: How are you? How was the photoshoot? AB: I’m great, it was awesome. I’m having a lot of fun! You guys are great. MG: How would you describe your music to those who haven't heard it yet? AB: I think there are a lot of different layers to it. I would say that it is good for casual listeners but also if there’s somebody that, you know, wants to get a little more out of it and dig a little bit deeper… I would describe my music as pretty introspective. I put a lot of emphasis and a lot of effort into my lyrics, so, I would describe it as very lyrical. But also, it doesn't have to be. If you just want to sort of listening to it more peripherally and sort of just have it on. I think the music itself without the lyrics is strong enough. But for me, I think what I try to focus the most on is the meaning. So, I would say my music is meaningful. That’s how I would describe it. It’s hard to describe music.
MG: Was there ever a moment in your career where you realized… this is it, this is going to be your job? AB: Well there was a moment where I realized this is what I was going to pursue because I didn’t really want to do anything else. And that was sort of when, you know as any high schooler does, you come to that threshold in your life where you’re like “okay, well, I have to make a decision… am I going to go to college and pursue a degree that has a path towards a graduate degree or…”. But, I don’t like school so I decided by process of elimination that music would be the thing that I would pursue professionally because it requires the least amount of school, if I’m being honest.
MG: Is there any advice that you would give to somebody who is in that same position? Someone who is in school and not really loving it? AB: I don't necessarily feel like I’m in a position to really give anybody advice, especially because the landscape of music is changing so quickly that the variables change so fast, it’s hard for me to say with any degree of certainty what somebody else should do. It’s hard for me to be aware of the intricacies of anybody's individual situation. But, my advice, or at least one thing I would say, is that it’s going to be a lot harder than you think it’s going to be. So, if you really want to do it then you really have to commit, and you have to want it more than the person next to you because if you don’t, it’s not going to work. And I feel like I learn that every single day. You have to really want it.
MG: Let’s talk about the tour! How are you feeling about the European leg coming up? AB: I feel great about it! I’m ready. I’m ready to get out and tour the album because I know what it’s like to put out a record and not be able to tour it. And I feel like the most crucial part of the record promotion process for me has been getting out and actually playing it for people. I feel like a lot of the relationships I have formed with my favorite songs records, a really crucial part of that bond that I form between those records and myself is the live experience. The first time I heard it and then what was going on in my life at the time and how I related to it and then also where I was at that specific point in my life when I was able to experience it live… I feel like it completes that feedback loop. For me at least as an artist too, making music is a means to an end. That’s my favorite part. I’m excited. And I haven't been to Europe in two and a half or three years. My music got popular in Europe first, before it started anywhere else. So, I think it’s going to be pretty awesome. I think people are going to be stoked. And they haven't had concerts in a long time, they're just opening up now. MG: Do you think COVID-19 has grown your appreciation for touring? AB: It’s definitely grown my appreciation for everything in my life. Well, not for everything. There are certain things about my daily life that I didn't miss during the pandemic. But, most things I have learned to appreciate more. I’m very grateful for the perspective the pandemic has given me, not grateful for the pandemic itself. I learned a lot from it.
Suit: 1970s Suit from Ramon’s Rags to Riches Vintage Turtleneck: Articles LA Jewelry: Articles LA Shoes: Articles LA
MG: What’s something you wish you knew when you started touring? AB: Do you want a funny answer or a real answer? This is not funny. What I was gonna say is bring underwear. You laugh, but I brought no underwear on my last tour. Like I literally wore the same two pairs of underwear inside out every day. For two weeks then I did, then I did [buy some]. The other answer is that not everything is gonna be perfect and you're gonna have to learn as you go and you can't take everything so seriously, because if you do, ultimately you're gonna burn out… the only way that you can avoid making mistakes is if you know somebody who's made those mistakes and they can enlighten you or you make the mistakes yourself and you learn from them and you don't make them the second time around. And every time I entered into something or like touring, there's so many different moving pieces that I was so worried about everything. I didn't actually get to enjoy the show. I wish I would've let go of a lot of those little things. Because at the end of the day, I'm able to adjust and move forward. And I have to enjoy the present moment. There's a lot of touring advice. A lot of touring advice. There's not enough advice in the world that could prepare somebody for a tour. Especially a van tour.
MG: How does this tour differ from previous ones? And is that something you expected going into this after COVID-19? AB: The way that it differs is that it's following a pandemic. It differs from every tour everybody's ever done, unless you toured after the Spanish flu in 1918, you know, I don't think that anybody is alive that did that. So it's different because, well, because I have a whole new album. I have a whole new body of work that I'm excited to play for people.And it's different because my show's way better because I had two years to work on it. And I'm grateful for that time and that I didn't waste it because I think our show is the best that it's ever been.
MG: You just spent your birthday in Korea, right? Happy late birthday. How was that? AB: Well for me spending my birthday in Korea was awesome because Korea is actually probably my favorite place to play. I just love it so much. I love Asia. Culturally it's awesome, the food is amazing, and the crowd is awesome. And it was my first time out of the United States since the pandemic. So, what a way to [celebrate]... I get to go to Korea, that's amazing. It was awesome.
MG: How have you noticed that tour and your career, in general, have affected your personal life? AB: Well, honestly, it's hard for me to remember because I've been touring for a long time now, even if it wasn't my own tours. Since I was 20, I was playing in people's living rooms or trying to follow other people's tours around or whatever. So honestly the pandemic impacted my personal life more than touring does. I'm used to spending days on the road. I like it that way. Yeah, I prefer it.
MG: How do you keep a good balance between work and then also your personal life? Or do you find that they're just the same? AB: I don't have a balance, but I've never had balance in my life. I don't want anything different. I feel like if I want to make the music that I want to make, then I have to give a hundred and if I want to play the shows that I want to play, I have to live my life in such a way. I never planned for moderation. It takes a lot of work.
MG: What's your dream collaboration? AB: My dream collaboration…a lot of the collaborations that I do that have been the most fulfilling for me have been the ones that were unexpected. Like getting to collaborate with you guys and [Hazze] and the people who are doing the styling and all that stuff is really cool for me. So getting to explore more stuff like doing more collaborations in the visual realm is something I'm excited about. And then for some reason, the only name that's coming into my mind is, uh, Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. Nathan (Alec’s Manager): What happened to Elon? AB: What happened to Elon Musk? Yeah, controversy. MG: Was that on the list before? AB: Yeah, it was number one. He's in some hot water… next question.
MG: Truthfully… Do you listen to your own music? I listen to my own music, not for pleasure, but because for me, I like to listen to my songs and imagine myself playing them in an arena or stadium or something. You gotta do the visualization. Or when my song is doing well, when good things are happening to it, I'll turn it on and be like, “yeah, that's a good one”. But I'm never like, “oh man, I could really go for some of my own music right now”. But I know people who do that really. We’ll be in the car and they'll put their own song on. I wouldn't do it for that purpose. But when I'm just imagining, when I'm really excited about where my career is taking me and stuff, sometimes I'll listen to my music and think about the person I was when I wrote the song and the things I was going through and be like, ‘thanks for doing that'.
I remember when I wrote, “Let Me Down Slowly”, which is the first song that I had that really sort of gave me the opportunity to go around the world… I didn't even want to go to that session, but I forced myself to go to the session because I was like, “okay, I'm gonna appreciate this later”. And then I listened to it the other day, I hadn't listened to it in a while, when I was playing in Korea and there were people in Korea who were singing that song and I was like, “good shit, bro. Good for you for going for that session”. But I'm not like, ‘man, I could just really go for a little bit of “Let Me Down Slowly” right now. That's weird to me'.
MG: How does it make you feel knowing people are singing back your songs that you wrote about yourself? AB: That's the coolest part. It's awesome. It's the best part. I'm from Arizona, and I said this on stage, I had a cactus in my yard when I was growing up, that's where I'm from. You know, I didn't imagine that I would end up on the other side of the world. I mean…, I did, I dreamt of it. And when you were actually there, you're like, “shit, like I'm here”. And one of the artists that made me want to sing was Jason Moaz and he did a performance in Korea that was super inspiring to me. And then I was like, I want to follow in the footsteps of him and John Mayer and Paul Simon and all these guys. And then I'm like, “oh, I'm doing it”. Sometimes it's hard to believe. So it's cool.
Photographer Andrey Lukovnikov @lukovnikov.photo HMUA @torina1 Model Aleksandra Shlapova @sashashlapova Stylist/Creative Director Ekaterina Lukovnikova @chicken__traveler
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Photographer Kristoffer Hansen @by.kristoffer Model/MUA/Stylist Julie Gejel @julie.gejel @by.gejel
Genevieve PHOTOGRAPHER/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kayla Saliman @ksalimancreative MODEL/ STYLIST Genevieve Hicks @gennyhicks
GOVERNORS BALL Music Festival | Photography by Annie Schutz
GOVERNORS BALL Music Festival | Photography by Annie Schutz & Jewel Fiorillo
PEACH TREE RASCALS
GOVERNORS BALL Music Festival | Photography by Annie Schutz
GOVERNORS BALL Music Festival | Photography by Annie Schutz & Jewel Fiorillo
GOVERNORS BALL Music Festival | Photography by Annie Schutz
GOVERNORS BALL Music Festival | Photography by Jewel Fiorillo
HANGOUT Music Festival | Photography & Review by Orchee Sorker Back for the first time since the pandemic, Hangout Music Festival returned in the sandy shores in Gulf Shores, Alabama on May 20-22, 2022. With over seventy artists, this year's lineup had music for every type of audience from country to pop to rap. The first day began with a slight delay due to the stormy weather which occurred in the afternoon. Fortunately, the Hangout team managed to keep the schedule on check after the rain had passed. Friday afternoon performances began with artists like Remi Wolf, Dayglow, Surfaces, and Oliver Tree; then, ended with headliners like Kane Brown, Zedd, Maren Morris, Fall Out Boy, and Post Malone. Saturday followed with an incredible lineup with artists like Rolemodel, Still Woozy, Chelsea Culter, Flo Milli, Lil Yachty, and the Band Camino. Headliners included Leon Bridges, Illenium, and Halsey. Fans awaited for Doja Cat, but unfortunately she had to drop festival appearances and her summer tour with The Weeknd due to health and recovery from surgery. In place, Griz was scheduled to perform. Sunday began again with a delayed start due to the rainy weather. It did not stop fans from coming. Fans managed to catch performances by Fletcher, Louis the Child, Phoebe Bridgers, Jack Harlow, Megan Thee Stallion, and Tame Impala. During Jack Harlow and Megan Thee Stallion's performance, the rain poured as the heavy winds approached, but the vibes from the audience were immaculate. Thousands of people waited to see these artists. Hangout is more than a music festival. It is an experience everyone should choose to attend. The festival offers activities like volleyball, slip 'n' slides, kickball, Roller Disco skating, and the Ferris wheel. Attendees can choose to go surfing in the waters, tanning on the beach, or cooling off by dipping in the ocean. Various shops and food areas are located throughout. The seating areas and mist stations were much needed while out in the heat. This is just a recap of this year. Come experience it yourself next year. Stay tuned for next year's lineup!
HANGOUT Music Festival | Photography by Orchee Sorker
HANGOUT Music Festival | Photography by Orchee Sorker
LOUIS THE CHILD
THE BAND CAMINO
JVNA Los Angeles based, dance/electronic artist JVNA sits down to talk about life as a multi-instrumentalist and her past struggles which led to debut album Hope In Chaos.
O: What is it like being a multiinstrumentalist, producer, singer, and songwriter? Where did you learn how to mix? What motivated you to become skilled in all areas? J:It's so nice. I originally wanted to pursue film scoring. That's what I went to school for. I went to a classical music school to study film scoring. When I was in school, I went to a rave, and there was electronic music. I thought it was really fun. So, I went on YouTube and started to learn how to make EDM. There was part of me where I was like, is this “good and real music” compared to classical music…but EDM is definitely a very skilled way of studying that is different from classical music. With my project, I've been combining what I've learned in that field to what I'm doing right now. So, it was a mix of the education and YouTube and just like being in a session with a friend.
O: Your debut album Hope In Chaos was released back in December. What was the meaning behind the album? Or like your thought process when creating it? J:It was an album about four to five years period of my life. From college to after college, I went through a lot of major changes…some including my dad dying and some sort of assaults in my life. It was just having the courage to want to pursue something in the creative field, coming from an Asian family, where they want you to be a doctor or a lawyer. The album was about just having hope. Even though in your young twenties, you're going through so many changes. and it's about perseverance. That's a very dominant trait. My personality is to always believe that I can accomplish something I want. I think that album was sort of like a coping mechanism for that.
ZACH HOOD Los Angeles based, Alabama born, Zach Hood talks about performing live at his hometown. After beginning to gain the attention of 3M people after posting a snippet of "Flashbacks", Hood started sharing his songs regularly. Hood has accumulated over 1.2M followers on TikTok, and chats about how TikTok is changing the music industry.
O: Being originally from Alabama, what is it like getting to perform at Hangout this year? Z:It's amazing. It's like a full circle for me. I started on TikTok, and it caught traction there. It was over the internet and everything. Two years have passed by, and now I’m back home in Alabama able to play in person. It’s surreal to play in front of people that I grew up with, my family, and my girlfriend. It's a very cool moment for me.
O: How did you get started on TikTok? How do you think it is changing the music industry? Z:First of all, I think the music industry depends on TikTok nowadays. I got started on TikTok because my ex-girlfriend told me to download it and post my singing videos on there. I did that, and it was insane. The first video that caught traction was like three lines of a song that I wrote. Everybody loved it. So, I kept doing that, and I just gained this fan base. People seem to like the stuff that I was doing. It was really cool to see that happen.
Originally from Seattle, Los Angeles based Surf Mesa sits down with Hazze Media to chat about the origin of his stage name, collaboration with Nitti Gritti on "Marching Band", success on "ily baby", and how TikTok is changing the aspects of the musical process.
O: Why did you choose your stage name Surf Mesa? S: “Surf Mesa” comes from the video game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In high school, I would play it all the time. Surf Mesa is a map in Counter-Strike that you can play on. I didn't have a stage name before. I would just release music on SoundCloud as Powell Aguirre, which is my name. It was interesting. Back then, I thought of having a stage name because I didn't want my friends in high school to think I was taking it seriously because it's like you can get a little insecure when you're releasing music. It's kind of a statement when you're saying, “Oh, go stream” when you have like 300 followers who are just like your hometown friends. “Surf Mesa” was kind of like still a gimmick while also pursuing it. It definitely grew on me, and now I like how it keeps a foundation of where I came from..like from the gaming world. I think it's here to stay.
O: Your latest single “Marching Band” with Nitti Gritti. What was the creative process behind that song and really any of your other songs? S: So, the writing process gets formed in all ways. My friends from Loud Luxury (Joe and Andrew) say it all the time about how it's like a Frankenstein process. You can have a beat first or vocal first. You can form a song around that thing. Traditionally, if I'm the studio, I have a lot of chord progressions that I saved, like mini packs. I just kind of get like a good group. I'm thankful enough to be in the room with really talented writers who have written some of the best dance songs. That's like something I don't take for granted.When it came to “Marching Band”, this writer, Lowell, sent me this crazy horn sample. Then, it had a vocal around it saying, “your love is like a marching band”. I just started to produce this chorus around it and then. They wanted it to be a DJ collab. I made a version with Medicine, Jaws, and then Integrity. So, Nitti and I have been DM-ing for a little bit. He was in town from Miami to LA, and then we got in the studio and that was one of the first ideas that I opened up. We made something of it. He and I are very proud of how it's been digested…the live reaction and what it sounds like today.
O: Congrats on all the success on “ily”! Do you think TikTok is changing the aspects of the musical process? Were there any things you did to push that song out on the platform? S: Yeah, definitely. TikTok really changes the direction of music. Obviously, there's so many songs released every week. The objective of these songs usually involves an audio piece of this track that you can create like a video too…like a transitional moment, or some sort of gimmick that can go along with a piece of content. It definitely changes the climate too. I mean if you listen to a lot of songs nowadays, you can tell. Remember, Drake's "Tootsie Slide" where it's literally a dance as the chorus. I believe that if TikTok wasn't around, there'd be less gimmicky noises and moments in songs. It's really interesting to kind of see how that takes over. I think the attention span is just so short nowadays with people just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Then, your goal is to keep the audio on a video to enjoy whatever song is playing in the background. That definitely gets affected when it comes to writing the song in the studio. People just want that moment and they want that to stick.
Originally from Toronto, renforshort is a pop-indie vibe artist. At Hangout Music Festival, she talks about her songwriting process and collaboration with Travis Barker on latest single "We'll Make It Ok". She released her debut EP Teenage Angst in March 2020.
O: Do you usually begin with lyrics or melody for the song? R: I definitely am a melody person first,. Then, I go to the lyrics. I kind of like to make fake words in my brain to the melody and then kind of fill in the blanks. For “Moshpit”, in the session, I was like, “this is what we have to write about because I'm really feeling this heavy today; so, let's get on this”. O: Your latest single is “We’ll Make This Ok” with Travis Barker. What was it like working with him? What was the creative process behind the music video? R: It was great. I got the song idea from a friend of mine, who's also an artist who I love very much. I was like, this is sick. It was more hyper poppy at the time. I just rewrote it to my style. I was in a session with Travis, and we were just like making a song. My producer, Jeff was like, “Yo, Travis can't play live drums on this. It needs to be ratified a little bit. He did a great job.” For the music video, I definitely wanted it to be more like art. I feel like a lot of my music videos just tend to be very conceptual, and I wanted to try doing something with a little bit less story-based. It’s one of my favorites. It was so quick and easy to do. It ended up being great. Very, just like chill, easy, fun.
347AIDAN Canadian alternative indie rapper, 347aidan talks about the meaning behind his name, his writing style, and viral song "Dancing in My Room".
O: What is the meaning behind 347aidan? I chose my station 347aidan because my name is Aiden and 347 is an angel number. It means “peace that comes with time” and I really loved that meaning.
O: For your songs, do you purposely have the same vibes or unconsciously have similar style? I think that I just make whatever I'm feeling at the moment. I make a lot of music. Some songs that I make are made like a couple of days apart and you know, so they're very similar. Then, some songs I have are very different from the rest. O: Congrats on your viral song “Dancing in My Room”! Were you dancing in your room when it started blowing up? What was it like for you? How did you feel? Haha, I wasn't actually dancing in my room, but I'm not sure what it was like. I was kind of expecting it to happen. So I didn't really feel any way about it.
ELOISE ALTERMAN by Orchee Sorker
Eloise Alterman talks with HAZZE MEDIA about her new EP Sad Bird, learning to live by herself from a young age, recently moving to LA from Nashville, and her upcoming personal goals.
O: You moved to Nashville at a young age, like 17 years old. What were some aspects you learned along the way by living on your own? E: I definitely learned how to be lonely because when you're 17 and you're not in college and everyone else, your age is you just have to learn how to. There's not many friends that are doing the same thing at your age.Everyone older than me was trying to start their careers. They were all out of college. I wasn't able to get into bars or anything. So, I just spent a lot of time by myself and I felt very misunderstood by people my age too. I didn't really understand them either. Being by myself is probably one of the hardest things I ever did, but it's also one of my super powers. Now, I'm really independent and I don't ever want to have to go through it again, but I'm really glad that I did.
O: Now you moved to LA, what made you move? How is the culture different in LA and Nashville especially in the music industry? E: I would say the reason I moved was because of my music. It was evolving a little into a different direction, and I spent so much time in Nashville. When I first moved to Nashville, I had so much growth and Nashville felt so big when I first moved here. I wanted those new challenges with a new city like LA. My management was there; I wanted to try writing with new songwriters, explore a new avenue, and keep finding new parts of my music. I moved there in January. I’ve had a great experience so far. In Nashville, it's less track based. It’s a guy with a guitar. People are writing the start with the hook (the last line) first. In LA, people maybe start with the chorus and loop type of hit. In pop, the title is the first line of the chorus and sometimes repetitive. In country, the title is the last line of the chorus or bridge, like the moral of the story.
O: Your debut EP Sad Bird came out May 6. What was the creative process behind the EP? How long did it take? What do you hope your audience gets from listening? E: I wrote it through the pandemic. The creative process was really just unloading my heart and trying to be vulnerable. It just all poured out. It was very easy to be as open as possible when your heart's broken. Writing was therapy for me at that time.Then all of a sudden it was born. I didn't even mean to do that. Looking back, I didn't even realize I was creating something. These songs are so sad, you know, but it kind of also makes let that part of your heart go a little bit. O:Why did you make “Her” your focus single? What was the meaning behind that song? E: I made "Her" the focus single because it is one of the more uptempo songs. I wanted to come out of the gate with something that started the story. If you listen to any of the other ones by themselves, it doesn't really give you any background yet. I needed to kind of lay down the basis of the story before coming out with all the filler of everything else. At first, it sounds like a story about another woman, but it's really about me and unraveling comparing myself to another woman and wanting so badly for someone to see me the way I think they see the person they loved before…being ghost of the woman that he loved.
O: What are you trying to focus on or improve this year? Whether it is personal or music related? E: I definitely want to be the best performer that I can be. I want to be as confident as I can be too. I want to work on my mental health and focus on me just as a person. I want to be kind to other people, empathetic, and just focus on the sweet things in life as well. I'm always very stressed out about the future instead of being present. I want to also just be in the moment, you know.
AISPOLAK FO SEDAHS
HAZZE MAGAZINE VOLUME #21 June 18th 2022 CoverPhotographed Story: Alec Benjamin by Stephanie Siau