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a note...

Welcome to Spring and welcome to our 11th issue.

Seeing our growth through each issue is easily one of the most

rewarding aspects of Luna. This is our best issue yet and I know I say it everytime - that’s the best part!

I’ve seen our amazing writers, designers and photographers we work

with to make each magazine evolve and it’s a pleasure showing their

talent. In this issue in particular, I am most proud of the photography - our photographers really snapped this time.

As for the talent and features in this issue, we’ve got a really incredible

bunch. The entire point of The Luna Colletive is to spotlight talented creatives and I really believe in each and every person in this issue.

All in all, I have been feeling very grateful lately. Grateful for Luna,

my education, my mom, my career, my friends and most importantly I’m grateful for all of the opportunites in my life. We are so lucky to be able to create and express ourselves. So thank you to each and

every one of you that support us and allow us to do such cool stuff. There’s so much on the table for us, and for you as well, and it’s really special that we get to all move forward together.

xox, Sophie


Some Tunes For You Inner Wave - Schemin

Audrey, Jack Harlow - Comic Sans

NoMBe - Prototype

MICHELLE, Sofia D’Angelo - IDEAL

KennyHoopla - Lost Cause //

Kibi James - Baby’s Gone

Drugdealer, Weyes Bloog- Suddenly

Hether - When U Loved Me

Jelani Aryeh - Decide

Jai Paul - St8 Outta Mumbai

Remi Wolf - Guy

New Edition - Can You Stand The Rain

binki - Sea Sick

Mk.gee - cz

Aries - BAD NEWS

Skin Mag - Calm Me Down

Free Nationals, Callum Connor - RENE

JAWNY - Anything You Want

Tennis - Need Your Love

Juto - Move RN

KAYTRANADA, Durand Bernarr- Freefall

Danny Dwyer - Chinatown Market

Deaton Chris Anthony - Mr. Call You Back

MyKey - Was It Something I Said

Kate Bollinger - No Other Like You

New Husband - Slowly

Jamie xx, Young Thug - I Know There’s

Zard, Psypiritual - Expensive

Gonna Be (Good Times)

Porches - rangerover

Local Natives - Dark Days




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Story By Isabella Vega | P hotos By Michael DeCristo | Design By Shayla Cunico

Kate Bollinger


IF YOUR INNER DAYDREAMS WERE A MOVIE,

KATE BOLLINGER’S MUSIC WOULD BE THE SOUNDTRACK. Bollinger has been releasing music on soundcloud since she was 16. The now 22-year-old artist has created a strong foundation for herself. Her voice, a tad angelic and raspy, layer seamlessly with her mellow melodies to paint a gazy world for the listener to jump into.

Born and raised in Virginia, Bollinger had no shortage of creative

inspiration around her, thanks to her music therapist mother and animator brother. She notes, “[My brother] was always bringing home

different cartoons and anime to watch at dinner, like The Tune (Bill Plimpton), The Triplets of Belleville, and all those Miyazaki movies.”

Her influences range from No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom to the Lizzie McGuire Soundtrack (both were gifted to her in the same year), to Feist and Gwen Stefani (“Her style and aura and her whole way of being [inspire me]”).

Her style has been described as having elements from both folk and

bedroom pop, yet Bollinger has trouble putting herself into a category, an offset of the multitude of sonic influences she had growing up. “I don’t see my songs as a clear-cut result of just one thing that inspired me. I think of myself as a folk-pop singer with a jazz band and a hip-hop

leaning producer.” She hopes to get back to writing “straight forward indie rock songs,” as she did when she was a teen.

Bollinger’s songwriting has remained the same as when she was young, beginning with a melody that transforms into a rhythm and syllables. She

somehow feels as if the songs she writes aren’t her own, but belonging to an unconscious version of herself. “It’s hard to describe, but it feels

like I didn’t even write [my songs] sometimes, like they just appeared there, which is why I always compare writing songs to dreaming.”

These dream-lyrics have led her to the creation of her newest body of

work. This project is said to blend multiple genres, as Bollinger shares, “At this point I don’t feel like putting out a strictly indie-folk project

would be representative of where I am, nor do I feel like a beat driven project would feel right to me.”

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Though it strays from what she’s released,

always liked being able to pair artwork with a

She returns to some of her earlier songs, finding

I’m excited to try to start animating my songs.”

Bollinger has created a finely woven quilt of work.

a way to fit those together with her newer works, a common theme being childhood, indecision

and finding her footing as an artist. “Some of

the songs on the upcoming project were written

She hopes to focus on making music videos this year, having previously filmed videos on Bolex and Super 8.

on my guitar then taken to the band, some were

As a young woman who has been a part of

feel, and some are different from anything I’ve

recognizes the insecurities faced by other young

written with my producer with a more electronic ever released.”

For this new chapter in her discography, she is

influenced by classic artists Joni Mitchell, Paul McCartney and Ricky Lee Jones, newer artists

like the Canadian band Loving (“every song I hear by them makes me wish I’d written it”),

and even her own mother’s work as a folk artist (“just her and her friend, when they were my age, playing guitar and singing folky vocal harmonies

to tape”). “For a while I was listening to a lot

the music industry for four years, Bollinger women who are starting. She encourages them to adopt an unabashed mindset by writing “half songs, bad and stupid songs to clear them out of your mind....I think that if you want your songs

to reach others, you need to share them and be okay with self promoting to a certain extent even though it can feel embarrassing. My mom is a

musician too, so I learned to share writing and

music from a really early age. It has always felt like the natural thing to do.”

more hip-hop and indie-R&B type stuff and I was

On the cusp of the release of her new project,

to see if I start writing more folk.”

she currently resides in Charlottesville, she

making more stuff in that vein, so I’m interested

As an artist, Bollinger believes that it is her duty

to create and allow people to connect with her melodies in whichever way they see fit. She

hopes that her listeners take whatever they want

out of her music. “I don’t like to over-explain

what I’ve written or made because I think it robs people of their own interpretation and what makes it special to them.”

Bollinger is passionate about the visual aspect of her work. “I’m really driven by visuals and have

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song. I’m taking an animation class right now so

Bollinger has a busy 2020 ahead of her. Though

plans to move to Richmond in the summer after graduating in May. She is excited about

expanding her sound by writing and touring. This summer, Bollinger is taking a roadtrip to Canada

with her friends, which in Maggie Rogers-fashion, may turn into the creation of her opus. She hopes

her fans will keep with her well into the year,

as she creates a world for them to all dream in together.


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BABY CAN’T YOU SEE THERE’S NO OTHER LIKE YOU? 11


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KIBI JAMES Story By Sloan Pecchia | P hotos By Salim Garcia| Design By Sophie Gragg COLLABORATION IS KEY IN THE EVOLUTION OF KIBI JAMES.

When making art, of any kind with other people, it is important to be in an

environment where you can fully be yourself. While this should always be the case, it especially reigns true when you’re just starting out. Whether it be learning how to paint using acrylics, shooting on film instead of on digital, or teaching yourself how to play the drums, like Kibi James’ Ariana Abebe, being in an atmosphere that fosters creativity and growth, without judgment, is a necessity.

For Ariana Abebe, Yvette Gonzalez, Miranda Corless, and Maria Gonzalez they

have found that with each other. While studying at Georgia State in Atlanta, Kibi James took form. Initially, Yvette Gonzalaz and Corless had been fiddling around

with their respective instruments when Corless had the idea to start a band. Soon after Abebe and Maria Gonzalez joined them, thus forming not only the band, but the right space for all of them to work in. “We collectively agreed to try making a

band,” Abebe says, “I think we were just so proud of ourselves for actually meeting

up and learning anything. Learning together in a safe space where we feel valued has made this project so fulfilling.”

While learning as you go may seem detering, it’s actually what motivates Kibi James

to experiment. Their sound is developing right alongside their musical abilities and that is shown in their music. Guitarist Yvette Gonzalez says, “On our EP, Azúcar, the

songs basically follow the order in which we wrote them, and so by listening in that order you get a feel for what our sound is developing into and the route it took to

get there.” She describes their sound as a “work in progress,” but says that’s what keeps it interesting. They don’t necessarily know what a song is going to sound like until they start making it, which just adds to their artistry.

Their creative process lends itself to collaboration in nearly every aspect. Coming from both Latinx and African descent, Kibi James’ cultural integration has lent itself

to music that is the culmination of each member’s background. Coming from an Ethiopian background, their drummer, Ariana Abebe enjoys listening to reggae

musicians like The Aggorvators, singers like Gigi, and international orchestras like

Bembeya Jazz National. They listen to these artists to learn new drumming patterns that they then put to use in the music they create.

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Their varied musical interests and backgrounds have led to

a plethora of elements in their sound, from charming indie instrumentals to jazzy flows that invite the listener in for an ever-changing journey. Mixing laid back dreamy melodies

with more upbeat and even tropical undertones, their music has something for everyone. Azúcar exemplifies the band’s

ability to provide a soundtrack for moseying around while

daydreaming to the sound of the sweet vocals intertwined with the overarching lo-fi tone exuding a hazy feel, with just

enough of a twist to keep you on your toes. Whether it be layering up the vocals or taking a quick melodic turn, Kibi James constantly engages the listener, leaving them unsure as to what’s next while always leaving them wanting more.

Along the same lines of collaboration some of the songs Kibi James has released have been in both English and Spanish. Being bilingual has let Maria Gonzalez and Yvette Gonzalez

to bring an interesting point of view to the table that is unique to them. “There are certain ideas that are unique to

a specific language, ideas themselves that are structured around the foundation that is that language,” Maria Gonzalez

explains, “Bilingual artists have two perspectives and stories

derived from their experiences with language, and coming to terms with themselves through them both. That itself is really

valuable.” Even more than what the music sounds like, using their platform to represent their cultures is one of the most important aspects of their artistry, “Showing people what that

means and looks like seems like one of the most important things about making music,” Corless states, “I grew up going to shows and never imagined that someone like me could be

making music and finding success in that. I want people to

look on stage, see any one of us and know that they can do it too if that’s the path they choose.”

Kibi James is aware of the platform they have and at every turn try to use it to help others have a voice. They pride themselves

in working with artists from marginalized communities. It not only strengthens their sense of collaboration within their art,

but also helps other artists gain exposure as well as a

commision, “Making money and putting it back into the

hands of queer artists and POC feels so important to me. Especially when it’s for their art!” Corless explains. Maria

Gonzalez adds, “We want to take up space and make

more room for other artists like us, we want to provide a platform where people can feel open and meet new people and even dance to sounds that are so freshly and carefully cultivated.” They’re currently working on organizing their second annual Peachfuzz event

in Atlanta, GA. It will be a day to night experience that will encompass the feeling of an inclusive and multi dimensional art, dance, and fashion space.

Representation in the arts is incredibly important, but it’s

equally as important for each member of a band to feel

represented. Corless explains that Kibi James can sometimes be grouped in with Latinx bands. In a sense this is great for

Latinx representation, but Abebe is Ethiopian and deserves just as much representation, “We have a badass Ethiopian non-binary queen at the core of everything we do. Don’t want anyone to forget that.” Abebe also exclaims, “I want

our authentic creativity to shine through our projects and want people to understand that as a non-binary, queer, first

generation African I have something I could contribute to art, and it’s a perspective that matters!” On a larger scale the members of Kibi James hope that others will see them and know that their perspective is not only valid, but welcomed in the artistic community.

Kibi James hopes to bring people together through their

musical slices of life. Focusing on love and the overlooked moments and feelings of an ordinary day is what propels them forward in their creativity. The goal for the next year as a band and individually is to learn, grow and connect with

people more than ever. They hope that by doing this they’ll

be able to be nurturing of others and each other, address systemic issues, and cultivate positivity, all through their art and community.

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Photos By Athena Merry



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DANNY COLE Story By Melissa Miller | P hotos By Jehlani Parrilla | Design By Sophie Gragg Assist & Art direction By Arielle Reeves | Styling By Amanda Lee Burkett NEVER HOLDING BACK FROM HIS ABSTRACT MIND, DANNY COLE’S ARTISTIC APPROACH IS LIKE NO OTHER. Based out of New York, Cole gleams from embracing his creative

process and the fruits that it entails. Though originally known for his creature paintings, the artist explores a multitude of outlets including

dance, music, fashion and architecture. Despite the differences each medium may bring him, Cole finds the value of each outlet and how to truly express himself through these entities.

Cole hones in on everything that goes on in his head by allowing himself to truly meditate on an idea. Oftentimes, Cole’s practice involves him

imagining himself sitting in the center in a blank, three-dimensional

space with the resemblance of an empty room, where his ideas immerse from this state of nothingness. Life and colors encompass him, adding

a sense of familiarity and comfort, thus guiding to the translation of this inspiration into a medium of art. In an attempt to make sense of his abstract mind, whatever he interprets in this creative space speaks layers through the art that he produces.

Although Cole originally believed that there was a correct or specific

way to interpret his art, due to his mindfulness in creating his pieces with an objective purpose or message, he has grown to appreciate

the subjectivity of diverse meanings that elicit from his work. Through sharing and speaking with people, he has discovered the beauty in the

different things that people take away from his work. Responding to art is a personal experience that is tied to one’s distinctive thoughts or memories. Everyone has a different perceptual set, thus implying

that everyone will have a different experience of interpreting a work

of art. The process of creating art for him became more of a reflection,

Cole sharing, “if I make art that serves a purpose for me but can serve a purpose for anyone, then it doesn’t have to be the same purpose”.

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He used this knowledge fruitfully, by consciously designing

For instance, Elliot and Teo, two members from a New

experience. His works focuses on the power of art and the

on top of a piece of paper with Cole. They sculpted a map,

art that is more open and enhances a personalized evocative nature of the emotions that it entails. “It’s not

about what the creature is doing in this painting, it’s more about how do I feel about what the creature is doing? What do I think the creature is doing? What does that say about me?” Employing whatever may feel right, Cole adapts his work

painted it and later shared ideas on what the map’s story

could be. The exchanging of ideas and the building off one

another’s perspectives gave Cole an insightful revelation. This minor instance stood out as a reminder for him to not

be too consumed with seriousness, and to rather cherish and indulge in the light heartedness.

to fit what comes to mind and heart. In his more current

Given his passion for a scope of creative entities, Cole’s

action and complexity. This evolution translates beyond

with the mediums of painting, clothing, stories, dancing,

work, he’s evolved by enriching his pieces with more just the visual aspect of his work, as the themes and

stories his pieces tell change as well. Initially, a theme of loneliness was incorporated as a reflection of his state of being, but now his work highlights the positive features of loneliness in the essence that we are all on our own

individual journey, but there’s a connectivity in something to be shared and cherished together. There’s a unity in the

thoughts and emotions that go into our experiences and our work.

Cole lives by his beliefs by demonstrating the value of

talents seem to be endless. As an artist, he is well versed music and other forms of expression. Cole has recently been exploring the piano by taking lessons to articulate how his thoughts can be translated into the keys. Although he has been playing music since the age of 5, Cole has

never released any of his music and for the time being, he keeps it as a personalized and intimate medium for himself. Recognizing the value of the listening experience, Cole would want listeners to be circled by speakers

coming from all different directions, taking a unique and lively approach of listening to music.

connectivity through Welcome Creature. The process of

Cole’s exploration with dance enables a unique relationship:

collective process which is attributed to those who makeup

The artist strives to give credit where credit is due and

when I’m making a painting, the process of actually arriving at what I’m going to paint often is almost reliant on dance because what I do through dance is bringing myself physically to that world that I speak about in my head and actually moving through it and navigating through it using my body, feeling the air between my fingers, around my body.” In order to acknowledge his existence and

done on his own. Moreover, Cole is inviting towards all,

divine interconnectedness.

creating and collaborating on art for him is oftentimes a

Welcome Creature. Cole started using the signature of “Welcome Creature” on projects that had been worked

on by many individuals, thus acknowledging their role in the creative process. Through Cole’s humble and modest spirit, it didn’t feel right for him to sign a project with just

his own name, thus implying the credit only to himself.

he’s grateful for the contributions that he couldn’t have

he isn’t selective of some and not others to be a part of

feeling comfortable with fluidness and movement. “Even

state of being, Cole taps into these mediums through a

Welcome Creature. Instead, Welcome Creature consists of

Finding joy and a stream of ideas through this

each individual’s contribution.

all that he explores. Cole hopes to continue to bring people

anyone who’s played a role, thus enhancing the value in

Creating art and hosting art shows or productions aren’t a one man job— there’s many components that involve the help and collaboration of others. Not only does Cole appreciate the collaborations of those who play a

role for a greater whole, but he also deeply values the collaborations with other creatives.

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York band, Earth Dad, silently sculpted with modeling clay

interconnectedness, Cole continues to move forward with together and showcase the beauty in connectivity, and the

sense of fulfillment collaborations can bring. Whether it

be art shows, clothing or new ways to display street art, Cole keeps up a sharp pace and won’t be slowing down anytime soon.


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Eyelash Wishes By Katie Clayton



eyelash wishes; “Everything happens for a reason.”​A motto uttered to me by my mother for as long as I can remember. She would pet my hair as I cried into her chest about my first breakup or state how karma’s a bitch to those who allow it to be. The destruction of a beautiful opportunity/event/person/etc was meant to provide means for more beauty to grow. The idea that events happen due to predetermined factors that are meant to better you and evolve your sense of self is idealistic in its root. Out of the infinite beings that make up the universe, this idea that one’s life has been crafted exquisitely by the hands of fate with their best interest at heart is selfish, to say the least.

“​There are reasons for everything happening​,” my boyfriend would counter my whimsical thoughts with a lucid sword as we spoke about our values, driving down backroads where the sun would pour from the leaves and onto the dashboard, his hand on my thigh, the windows cracked ​just ​ enough to let the air flow. In his opinion, the nature of progression and evolution is simple at its core; providing one with a sense of security in this belief is damning one to not fully reach a comprehension of human nature and moral standing as a whole. Ever since I was a girl, old superstitious values would be passed down to me, instilling beliefs in higher powers and the greater good, ​the power of wishful thinking​. If you pulled an eyelash from your cheek or a dandelion bloomed in your backyard, a swift blow from your lips and the thought of a hopeful outcome would surely mean for it to occur. Seeing a black cat was an omen for destruction and ominousness, yet a shooting star was a sporadic event that was unique in its scarcity. The idea of my life being handcrafted with utmost care and importance is what keeps me comforted. Whether or not it holds any value to reality, it has kept me going in points where I asked ​why​.

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The ability of humans to understand our place in the grand scheme of the infinite abyss we find ourselves in is a feat not truly tackled within our everyday lives. Our ideas were eloquently born from the womb of the stars, our hearts stitched together by the worn and wrinkled hands of time, our limbs conceived from atoms from every corner of this galaxy we call home. It gives me hope. If you believe in the big bang theory, it’s quite comforting, to be honest. The idea that all of our atoms and the atoms of everything we’ve ever had the blessing of experiencing were once conjoined as one is whimsical. I was once jumbled together with Venus and the magma that destroyed Pompeii and the scabs that form on the bruised knees of children at playgrounds and the bundles of cellulite grabbed at in mirrors everywhere to the worms that munch on decaying flesh six feet under the surface. From craters of the moon to the goosebumps on my forearm, from me to you. We are one. I can only hope to approach every action with this in mind, showing kindness and appreciation to the parts of me scattered amongst space. Make love to your surroundings. Be soft and secure in the fact you are gentle. We are a big, tangled mess of nerves and passion. Delve into what once was yours and appreciate.

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“There is power in meekness, a certain edge to sensitivity,

the ability to dig six feet into your surroundings.�



TENNIS

Story By Isabella Vega | P hotos By Garret Reed | Design By Olivia Boryczewski MIXING PRIME NOSTALGIA AND COSMIC VISUALS, TENNIS INVITES THEIR LISTENER FOR A GETAWAY WITH EVERY NOTE. Fresh off the release of their latest album Swimmer, the Colorado hailing couple, made up of soprano vocalist & songwriter Alaina Moore and producer & instrumentalist Patrick Riley, have welcomed a new era sonically and emotionally. This nostalgic yet fresh chapter hones

in on new experimental elements for the group with the sounds they grew up listening to. Swimmer marks the latest path in duo’s journey as artists, a journey filled with pain, passion and purpose.

At its core, the album touches on themes of soul searching and loss. Moore notes that a bulk

of inspiration behind the album came at a point in time that she describes as fragile. Back in 2018, the duo was surrounded by death and sickness, with Riley’s father passing, soon followed by the duo’s longtime mentor, Rick Swift’s, and the near-death of Riley’s mother. To add to it all, Moore was sick to the point of hospitalization while on tour.

“The year absolutely wrecked us. Making the album wasn’t particularly cathartic— it felt

more like painstaking archival work. There was no closure to be had, people we loved just vanished from our lives.” Though there were plenty of difficult moments, Moore mentions

that there was something about all of the painful chaos that just had to be recorded. “Swimmer feels like an oral history to me. I never want to let myself forget that time in our lives.”

Diving into the album itself, the writing differs from the band’s earlier work given it’s

stronger, more coherent with a sense of purpose behind each line. Moore attributes this to their time in the industry as well as recording the project at their home studio, solidifying their own space and having room to make whatever they wanted. Moore was excited to

have the opportunity to produce her own vocals, saying that “I decided what mic and vocal chain I would use (with Patrick engineering). We tailored my vocal setup to each song— which is something I’ve always wanted to do”. The attention to detail shines through on the record, with a sense of intimacy bleeding through each beat.

“Runner” kicked of this new era of Tennis, a track that began as a guitar riff from Riley while

the couple was living off-the-grid on their sailboat, and was the first song the couple wrote

for the album. “I think it set a high bar for the rest of the album,” Moore shares, adding “but each song is distinct and self-contained. After finishing ‘Runner’, we didn’t feel the need to write anything else like it.”

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“Need Your Love” followed, featuring 80s

Both Tennis and Venter have equal parts of

Moore describes it, were centered around anger,

the creative process after listening to a song.

inspired guitar and heavier bass. The lyrics, as an emotion that she tends to deny herself. When asked about how music can act as an emotional purge to her, Moore goes on to say “I was in a

boiling rage when [Riley and I] started working on [Need Your Love]. I began describing the way

I felt in the lyrics and it all just came pouring out

“For the most part our tastes and interests are

very aligned and it’s a lot of fun to work together.

I almost always style myself and decide what I want to do on camera, and I trust Luca to make something striking on a shoe-string budget.”

of me. It was actually one of the easier songs

Moore believes that one of the best parts of

To Forgive”, serves as a palette cleanser from

changing the key higher. She recalls that she

“First impressions are almost always visual. I just had a long conversation with a friend about how we both judge books by their covers. If you can’t put together a decent cover how can I trust you to do something good with the next 300 pages?” For this

but after Riley fused together the most raw and

Need Your Love and I Miss That Feeling, which

to write for the record.” The next single, “How

“Need Your Love”, in which Moore tried to wash away the anger. With a desire to truly perfect the track, “How To Forgive” ended up as one of

the more difficult ones, as Moore was constantly ended up in tears by the end of multiple takes,

emotional recordings, the two were satisfied with their work.

having a band is developing a visual aesthetic.

era, Moore’s favorite videos to film have been

both feature remote locations which Riley and Moore sailed to.

Within this new, emotionally-heightened era, the

Sailing remains an important part of what keeps

starters, they knew they wanted to pull inspiration

as a married couple that have devoted their lives

band wanted to create a new style of visuals. For from sources as varied as early Madonna to Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and all of the glory of old

Hollywood (“I grew up on that sort of thing,” quips Moore).

After enlisting the help of famed creative director

Luca Venter, the result was a spectacular visual

feast comprised of nostalgia-inducing neon colors, shots of Moore in a cosmically radiant light, and nature shots.

Moore has known Venter since the two were

children, “Both of our families homeschooled

us and we lived in the same nondescript suburb

of Denver. It wasn’t until much later that Luca

reached out to me offering to shoot photos of our band. We worked together once and got along so well we started doing everything together.”

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creative control, though it’s Venter who begins

the duo grounded. As individuals, as artists and to each other and their music, they find that

living on the water helps them be back in touch with their natural selves, one that is untied from

the live-to-work structure of our ever-common

capitalist society. Moore shares, “Sailing reminds

me that I could be happy with a much simpler life that isn’t tied to our career.” Tennis

continues

to

reinvent

their

sound,

showcasing their creativity and genuine passion

with each chapter. Moore and Riley have poured their souls and broken their fingers by creating

Swimmer, and now that they’ve started their healing process, they go back to why they started

Tennis: to share their passion with the world. “I want our music to be someone’s mood lift or shoulder to cry on. I hope a song of ours can make someone feel seen or understood. I’ve never aspired to anything much beyond that.”



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Interview By Sophie Gragg P hotos By Nikoli Partiyeli Design By Olivia Boryczewski

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FORGING AN IDENTITY ROOTED IN THEIR FRIENDSHIP AND PASSION FOR CREATING, INNER WAVE HAS BUILT THEIR FOUNDATION AND ARE READY TO TAKE OFF.

Consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Pablo Sotelo,

LUNA: Have your references and influences changed?

keyboard player Elijah Trujillo, keyboardist Chris Runners

RUNNERS: For sure - it’s been a long time.

flavor to cook up the evolving sound of Inner Wave. The

SOTELO: The early 2000s garage rock is what influenced

and haven’t seemed to slow down since. Finding value in

many different genres. Even if I might not listen to it as

bassist and vocalist Jean Pierre Narvaez, guitarist and

and drummer Luis Portillo, the members bring their own band broke onto the scene with their debut EP III in 2013

a hands on approach for all avenues of the band - from production to visuals - Inner Wave has carefully crafted

me a lot and I feel like from there I’ve branched out to so much I still know it so well - it’s ingrained.

a brand highlighting their dedication to their sound, as

I also feel like this next EP we’re putting out is the first

easily connect through authentic lyrics and their charming

synths and reflects a change too. It’s more electronic and

well as their easy going and witty personalities. Fans can online presence, creating an important fanbase for the group. Their upcoming EP wyd marks a new chapter for

time something has almost no guitar, so it’s a lot of there’s a lot more Hip-Hop influence on this.

Inner Wave, a chapter where just about everything is

LUNA: What inspired less guitar?

their roots and moving up the ladder at a fast pace, and

NARVAEZ: We’ve been listening to a lot more Pop

Chateau, a room filled with shaggy carpets and hidden

Y Moi. We’re trying to make things dancey as well. You

elevated. The band continues to find a balance between it’s going well. We sat down with the band at the Shag delights, to talk about upcoming music, getting banned on Twitter and everything in between.

LUNA: Y’all started off as a Christian Rock band and

you’ve been able to grow a lot from that. What are some of the main ways you’ve seen yourselves evolve sonically

music - Pop meaning Travis Scott, Tame Impala and Toro

can do that with guitar but this time around we wanted to try more synths.

LUNA: Are there any elements you want to explore that you haven’t yet tapped into?

and as a group?

SOTELO: I’d like to have more orchestral elements in

NARVAEZ: Sonicially, we’ve all learned different

need to know the people and we’ve been lucky to meet

instruments overtime. I only played bass and had no idea what guitar or the keyboard was like, but throughout the years I learned guitar. Chris wasn’t even in the band and didn’t play any instruments at that time besides drums. I

taught him how to play keys so when he joined the band he started playing that.

We all didn’t know how to record but now Pablo is the

producer of the band and recording is his thing. He mixes the records and molds the soundscape.

our music but the thing with orchestral stuff is you really people that are really talented string players, but it’s not so readily available like a synth or something. It takes more expensive in time and financially. LUNA: You want to do it right too. SOTELO: Exactly. So that’d be really cool to get on some like Pet Sounds shit in the future.

LUNA: Do you feel like you’re still individually bringing in different flavors or references or do you all tend to consume the same music and media?

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RUNNERS: I feel like there’s some overlap but we still strongly have the music we listen to individually. It’s nicer

when people come over and you find something that

your creative process has changed now that you can fully focus on the music?

everyone likes.

RUNNERS: I don’t know if we can just focus on the music

LUNA: Who have y’all been listening to lately?

just talking about the music and the visual stuff we still

SOTELO: Don Toliver, Baby Keem, Joey Purp. LUNA: A lot of Hip-Hop. Are any of those elements translating into new music?

NARVAEZ: Definitely. We’d like to do a lot of those

random ambient sounds during live shows. A lot of

synths are being used. Along with the live shows, Luis and I bond over Latin music - Mexico to South America.

because we still are involved in other elements. If we’re do all of that, but in terms of all the business stuff it’s been really great not having to do that.

SOTELO: I’d say it’s affected the process for sure. We’re definitely able to focus more but because we’re in this

100% there are other things that we still focus on. Like Chris said, we still do the visual side. So before that was more of a “when things are ready” situation but now because we have a team, goals and want things to come out a certain way there are deadlines.

We recently released our Live At The Fonda album and

So yes we have more time to work on things but we

definitely incorporate a lot of Latin rhythms that Luis

dropping things whenever we feel like it.

“Bower” live has a Latin version of the song. So we brings to the table when it comes for live performances.

have to be a bit more official about it. It’s not just us 5

He went to school for different drumming styles.

RUNNERS: No more “dropping this in two weeks!”

PORTILLO: I grew up on Alternative Rock like The

LUNA: It’s tricky to find that balance between pressure

Strokes, but I wanted to branch out so going to school definitely opened up that door.

LUNA: Aside from sonically, are there any references that have shaped the band nonmusically?

SOTELO: I watch a lot of movies, so I’ve noticed that some of the movies I really enjoy have shaped the way I

make music or what I gravitate towards. Blade Runner is

that helps you and pressure that can make you crumble.

SOTELO: That’s something I’ve definitely been trying to find the balance with. I was telling a friend how with this

next EP there were two songs that weren’t finished yet

and we had less time to work on them, but she pointed

out that they might be the best ones on the EP because of the pressure.

a classic movie but when I saw it I feel like I was a little

LUNA: The last EP wya went in a bit of a lighter direction,

towards more sci fi type sounds in the music and more

with this new one?

late and since then I remember feeling a bigger shift retro futuristic vibes.

A lot of Stanley Kubrick stuff also inspires me. This new EP has a lot of Jean-Luc Godard elements. So for me

watching it, processing it and then when I make stuff it subconsciously is there and affects the moods. NARVAEZ: Yayoi Kusama too. LUNA: Now that you have a team helping you and you

are there any common narratives or themes going on

SOTELO: It’s kinda a part two to the last EP. The last EP

was wya and this is wyd. With the last EP there was a narrative I was definitely working off of lyrically. It’s one

of the first times I’ve tried writing from a character point of view. It’s a rags to riches type story where an artist

makes it. I guess I’m playing off the idea of someone

that is Pop level and has “made it” and what that actually means and the pros and cons of it.

don’t have to do everything on your own, do you feel like

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I feel like the last one was kinda the bliss before the

doing together. We got buddy buddy out there and told

half where everything goes to shit. It’s darker. That’s

should listen to it if he wanted and maybe do a music

fire. So if this was a movie, this EP would be the second definitely the theme of the whole thing.

LUNA: When you’re first coming up with an idea like this, are you seeing it that big picture or overtime do you develop it?

SOTELO: Overtime I think it comes together. There’s a general idea and as the songs get made, we find what the sound is and then lyrically it comes together. I found

it harder to write from 100% my point of view. I feel like

I’ve done that for so long so it was fun to experiment

with something else. It’s just taking lines from different songs that feel like they mean something and going from

video. He really fell in love with the music and the next day came back with a whole treatment.

It took a few months for everything to come together between everyone’s schedules, but we finally linked up again and went over the treatment. It was a lot of Phillip’s

ideas. A few weeks before we started filming I got a motorcycle and I told him about it, so he incorporated that in too.

LUNA: Was that a different process than your previous videos?

that.

RUNNERS: Yes definitely. Phillip was someone we felt

It’s something that I don’t know if when people hear it

the visual stuff before involved us being really hands on,

they would know the story. The story is more in my head. LUNA: Do you want people to know the story or are you okay with them interpreting in their own way?

SOTELO: I definitely want them to interpret in their own

comfortable not being so hands on everything. A lot of so this was one of the first times we trusted someone else to lead it.

LUNA: Is the style of “oof” a direction you want to explore more?

way. For me, it’s what helps me keep things organized

SOTELO: I’m half and half.

sort of rhyme and reason to it and it’s not random, then I

RUNNERS: Having a video that’s not narrative is cool

in it is cool.

I have been talking about doing these upcoming videos

stylistically and thematically, but as long as there is some

feel like it has merit artistically and whatever people see

LUNA: Since it has such a strong narrative, do you see

and we wanna do that, but at the same time Pablo and on our own.

any of this translating to a visual project?

SOTELO: If we meet someone that we fuck with a lot

SOTELO: Definitely. Chris and I have already talked

with and let them go crazy with an idea. At the same

about trying to make videos for it but whatever we end

up doing will probably be less narrative based. I’d like to use the narrative to create imagery but keep it more abstract.

LUNA: You worked with Phillip Youmans for the “oof” music video, who you met through Danny Cole. How did you get together to make the video?

RUNNERS: That was something that Phillip and I got

together for. We met in New York when Danny flew Jean

and I out to be part of a project him and Phillip were

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him that we were coming out with music and that he

and like their work, I’d love to see what they come up

time and on the flip side, I feel like it’d be cool to do some videos where we handle it all. I think we’ve learned a lot throughout the years.

RUNNERS: We’ve kinda done that before - where we

directed and edited everything. We’re ready to do it again, but this time with years of experience.

LUNA: You’ve been able to rise from the DIY scene and

take a big step forward, how do you balance sticking to

those roots and moving forward to try and get to the next level?


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SOTELO: We’ve come up from playing at venues like The

that much in the Indie/Alternative scene. You’ve been

people say things like “oh they sold out” but I feel like

think seeing someone like yourself up on stage can have?

Smell to playing some bigger venues and I have heard as long as what we’re making has integrity and still has a

large amount of attention artistically, then it just means we’re evolving.

I don’t think any of us planned to just stay in that LA

part of the change we’ve seen, so what value do you

NARVAEZ: If I was growing up now and there were other

artists from all different backgrounds doing all different kinds of genres I would feel like it was more accessible.

circuit, that was only to start somewhere.

RUNNERS: I’ve had fans DM us or talk to us in person

LUNA: How do you think this age of accessibility in the

really excited to see that. Sometimes they’ll say they

music industry has impacted your career?

RUNNERS: I think it’s really awesome that it is so accessible. In the past there’s been a lot of musicians that were talented but weren’t able to release stuff on

about how they didn’t know we were Latin. They get

do music too and seeing us makes them think they can actually pursue music. To have someone come out to the

show, step out of their way to say it to any of us is really tight.

their own, but at the same time I think it means if you

LUNA: You’ve also been careful not to brand yourselves

really creative to stand out and be really unique.

backgrounds. What do you think about the trend to label

want to do this and you want to make it, you have to be

I think on both fronts it’s fostering better music. Yes, everyone can put music out and it’s saturated, but to stand out you gotta be good.

SOTELO: I think it’s great. There’s such easy access to

listen to things, you can be the most well known artist

but if you have a dedicated fan base you can also do a lot. I think it’s cool because you have pockets of people that are really into a certain artist and an artist can get

that support to keep making the art they want without having to compromise their style.

LUNA: Now there are a lot of artists that will have

millions of streams and followers but not necessarily the

pull for live shows. Are you trying to cover all of those bases between the different platforms?

RUNNERS: It’s always trippy to see those types of live

shows. I’ve been to an artist’s show that has a bunch

as a “Latin Band” but definitely still talk about your artists by their racial background and sexual orientation? NARVAEZ: It’s kinda lame, but it can help in the sense that if you saw someone that looked like you it would

definitely help you out and boost your self confidence

to be able to do the same thing. But I guess for us since

we’re on the other side of things, we wouldn’t want to be known as a Latin band just because it doesn’t even

really sound Latin and while we do appreciate where we come from it’s just not something that brands our sound or image.

RUNNERS: I think it’s just about finding a balance. We

don’t want to be known as the Latin Indie band, but we’re not ashamed of our culture. We’re very appreciative but I think some people don’t know how to find that balance.

LUNA: What are some of the main ways you’ve seen the scene evolve?

of followers and all that jazz and when I went to the

NARVAEZ: I remember in high school when we used to

interesting dynamic that I don’t understand and we’d

specific indie punk types of bands would play and now

show there was barely anyone there. That’s always an like to definitely cover all the bases.

LUNA: You guys have spoken a bit about how growing up you didn’t see people like yourselves represented

try to go to The Smell it was all of the Smell kids and very that’s kinda gone. Now you see a lot more of the music that comes from the Internet like Cuco, Clairo and all these different Internet people.

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LUNA: What does Internet people even mean now?

SOTELO: It depends on the festival too because

NARVAEZ: Exactly - that’s everyone now. So I

like a big ass show. But when we played the Great

guess it’s changed in the way that everyone knows each other through the Internet and having posted their music online. I guess via the Internet people

have gotten to know our personalities through what

we post and our personal Instagrams. I guess we all know each other a little bit more and see what people’s lives are like, or what they choose to share at least.

LUNA: How do you find that balance on Instagram of having fun with it and showing that personality but also still promote yourselves?

NARVAEZ: We’re still figuring that out but we definitely have rules - basic rules that everyone follows like no nudes and what not. I think we go for PG-15.

SOTELO: Our Instagram is PG but our Twitter got banned.

NARVAEZ: Twitter if you’re reading this please give us our Twitter back.

RUNNERS: At the music video shoot, our friend Jovan took a picture on my phone and posted it on our Inner Wave page saying “They can’t hurt me

from a verified account” and the next day Twitter

deverified us and logged us out. Whenever we try

to log back in it doesn’t work - it’s not even a real ban it’s a weird shadow ban. I think it’s funny! It’s

been months though now and we just can’t get back into the account.

LUNA: Now that you’ve played some festivals in addition to your normal shows, how does playing

Escape in the UK there were some people that were shouting out song names, but it was still a lot of trying to win the crowd over. That’s cool too

because I like a bit of a challenge - it makes you want to do better.

RUNNERS: I think festivals are fun because it feels like a summer camp. You go backstage and just everyone is hanging out and there’s just no rules.

NARVAEZ: I think we’re on the cusp of bettering

our shows. We just got this new mixer for tour and we have a sound guy manning that. Our whole production is us manning the sound from our in ears so this will be a new experience for us.

LUNA: Is stage production something you’re looking to expand into?

RUNNERS: Definitely - we just spent some dollars on that and we’re excited. We’re trying to really trip people out with our visuals.

LUNA: You’ve really hit the ground running this

year, so what intentions do you have for the rest of 2020?

RUNNERS: I want to play a lot more festivals. I don’t want to put a cap on what we can do because I feel like the sky is the limit.

NARVAEZ: Play better shows. SOTELO: Make people feel good and better ourselves.

festivals compare to playing your own shows?

RUNNERS: Money would be nice too!

NARVAEZ: We like playing festivals but it’s a little

SOTELO: Get our Twitter back.

really fun and really crazy. We had a really good

Inner Wave’s next EP wyd will be released early

difficult to compare. Tropicalia this past year was

timeslot and there were a lot of people there. It seemed like the crowd was literally from the stage all the way back to the entrance.

55

at Tropicalia most of the crowd knew us so it felt

April 2020, followed by a headlining national tour.


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INNER CHILD Photo By Lauren Hicks



Le Quyen Nguyen / Berlin




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Photographer: Tess Elizabeth / Los Angeles Model: Margaret Shea / Omaha Stylist: Aya Zacharias / Omaha + Tess Elizabeth



Lauren Hicks / New Orleans



Lauren Hicks / New Orleans

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I think it’s important to love your natural self. Either it’s your crazy hair, strange curves or the glowing pimples on your face – it’s all an integral part of You. Using make-up or other things to hide from yourself doesn’t solve the long-term problem of self-consciousness. No one is trying to harm you, unless you are doing it yourself. “There is a child inside all of us that wants nothing but to be loved”, a wise woman once said. When you block inner contact and torment that child, you end up being lost and unhappy. But as you begin to nourish it with love, listen to what it says and get to know it, your mind fills up with positive energy that pulls towards you all the beautiful in this world. And as your Inside harmonizes, your Outside follows. Be kind, be patient, be tolerant and honour what you have been given. You will feel the momentary change. - Kristina Asiryan / Moscow

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I MISS YOU A GREAT DEAL I FEEL FONDLY OF OUR DAYS AFTER SCHOOL SPENT AT YOUR HOME WANDERING AROUND OUTSIDE COLLECTING FLOWERS FOR THE PERFUMES WE WANTED TO MAKE LIKE LITTLE WITCHES FINDING INGREDIENTS FOR POTIONS I MISS OUR NIGHTS LYING AWAKE TALKING ABOUT THE THINGS WE WANTED OUT OF LIFE THE WAY YOUR LAUGH ECHOED IN MY HEAD AND MADE ME SMILE I LOVED THE WAY WE KNEW EACH OTHER TOO WELL COULD TELL WHAT THE OTHER WAS THINKING WITH A GLANCE YOU COULDN’T LIE TO ME AND I WOULDN’T TO YOU BUT WE GREW UP AND APART I’M HAPPY YOU’RE STILL IN MY LIFE BUT I HURT TO THINK OF THE WAY WE WERE THEN -Lillian Pricer / Woodhaven

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Veronica Wolfgang / Brooklyn



Rose Alberts / Amsterdam


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lxst / Folkestone 74


On Oak Trees When I was little I thought that growing up was a journey with a finite destination A tree you must climb to the top of. I would think, it’s hard right now Crawling up, branch by branch But eventually I’ll get there Then I can rest. Sometimes I’d pass by a pitch, oozing out sap Things would get gummy, and it’d be hard to move on for a while Red ants would come along and worm about by my side When they bit it would sting and ache But I felt that I could never relax Or take a break. I’d have to keep going Until I reached the top. At some point I realized it just keeps going up There must be Oak leaves kissing the surface of the moon. I’ve been climbing my entire life I’m tired, but I like it up here. I just wish that I’d appreciated it more When I was still at the bottom.

Isa / Los Angeles


When we were little, we would take our childhood for granted. Every little kid wishes they were a grown-up because they get to stay up late, they get to eat as much ice cream as they want, and they can drive cars! But what we never realized was that it can be absolute shit. A current moment becomes the past so quickly; we find ourselves saying, “Wow, has it been a week already?”, and then, “Wow, I can’t believe that was a month ago!”. We collect so many memories, some that we cherish and all that we can never go back to. But through so much change in our lives, we change and grow as people too. We watch everyone around us grow older and their interests and values shifting; in a way, it’s like saying goodbye to the old them. Friendships fade and new ones form, and that change is so scary. And because we can’t stop time from passing, we have to learn to cope with the changes, and currently, I’m having a pretty tough time with that. I’m 16 years old, turning 17 in March, and I don’t want to grow up. I so desperately wish I was seven again when everything was so darn easy. Back to a time when I didn’t know what beauty standards were, when I didn’t have to worry about money, and when the craziest thing happening was who Ella had a crush on. I’m not ready to say goodbye to little me, and I don’t think I ever will be. I want to freeze time where it is now because I’m good. So, to whoever is controlling time, please stop it, I don’t want to grow up.

Tiffany Cheung / Vancouver, BC

Alicia Karsonopoero / Delft, The Netherlands

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REL / Los Angeles


Valentin / Randolph




Callie Bri Keels / Astoria




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Yet Only When We Smile

Choo-choo. I hear the rumbling sound from a distance. I close my eyes for those twenty seconds that separate me from the warmth I’ll finally be surrounded with when sitting on the train. Someone’s in a rush. He shoves me. He probably thought he would have never made it in time. What he didn’t think of is that the universe can be kind too. Sometimes. I can hear his agonized breath behind me. It translates as: “I made it. I ran like crazy but I made it.” I have to think of Sliding Doors. Classic. The door stops right in front of me. I always think it’s a sign, a metaphor that new doors in life are waiting for me. I take the window seat. I always do. Is it to be present and enjoy the view or to distract myself from my obsessive and unnecessary thoughts? As the train starts its journey, I glance at the stop sign and read it out loud: Validation Station. The rhyme makes me smile. With my blankest face ever, I kill that smile in two nanoseconds. The fact I found myself smiling at that nonsense almost makes me feel guilty. I go cold turkey, as if that silly thought was the cherry on top of a slush pile of addictions I should have quit some time ago. “You’re an adult now. You can’t laugh at this, you idiot.” But the validation trip down memory lane has inexorably started. It would be an abomination to stop it, impostor. So there I am. 3-year-old me. Dad and I on our balcony. Checking out my brand new bike. We head to the park. I try to ride it but I feel out of balance. What is this feeling? Is it fear of falling? Is it fear of disappointing? “Don’t lose your focus,” I repeat to myself, even if I never heard of the word ‘focus’ before. Yes. Yes. I can do it. Look pa. I can cycle! I hear my father’s applause behind me. I cherish the moment. There it was. The first time I ever felt validated. That smile, the kind of smile I only make when indulging in nostalgia, makes another appearance on my face. Choo-choo. Suddenly, a wagon of memories is at my feet. The first time I received a good mark. The first time someone called me ‘best friend’. The first kiss.

But also.. Making my mom proud. Seeing my talent recognized. The I love yous. The thank yous. The graduation. The first day at the new jobs. Back and forth. No regular timeline. Lots of firsts, yet lots of repetitions. Take this. And that. And this. And that. This memory here. That memory there. Here. There. There. Here. AAAAAAAAAH. ENOUGH! I look for air, despite the warm breeze that comes from the open window. What is this shortness of breath? What is this sense of discomfort? I recognize it. The tip of the panic attack iceberg waves at me from the other wagon. How can an iceberg sit on a train? Did it pay for the ticket? I do what I know I should do: I breathe. Just keep breathing, honey. We got this. Everything is under control. You are who you are because of who you were. Age ain’t nothing but a number. Age. AGE? Hey, here, look at me. Focus. Have you ever noticed that it rhymes with ‘stage’? That’s what you call home. That’s where you feel most validated. Do you remember? The stages you walked. The stages you inhabited. The microphone was always on. My heart slows down. I think it skipped a beat but it’s no big deal. It worked. The breathing exercise worked. I open my eyes, whilst my right index touches that train-track-nowrail-trail on my face. It goes from the corner of my left eye to my cheekbone and it opens up every time I smile. That pretty little wrinkle of mine. I panicked. I had a panic attack and I am so fucking aware of it. But if life stopped right now, if for whatever reason I dissolved into nothing in this very moment, I would be nothing but happy to have arrived in such a beautiful destination. What a comforting thought, I think to myself. Wrinkles are there to remind us of all the lives we lived. Yet only when we smile.

Ilaria Mangiardi / Amsterdam 86


hide and seek inside my lungs are swimming pools. a child learns to levitate, to be a white cloud in the blue sea. inside my lungs are chlorine fumes. a child learns to choke, to breath less and swim more.

87

Valentin / Randolph


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Meira Bashir / Salt Lake City



Lauren Klein / Philadelphia


taste oxygen just letting it slip off of my tongue aiding growth to new parts i’ve yet to discover like innocence or a certain flavor that i’m not certain exists crossing my fingers that the bitter taste settles deep inside indifferent to the knots secured at the stomach a tendency to run from the words that i cannot form childish impulses compel me to swallow allowing phrases to softly linger on the tongue who is at fault? the food or (my inability to digest what you are trying to say) - Kari Trail / Menlo Park

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Jelani Aryeh Story By Astrid Ortega | P hotos By Nikoli Partiyeli | Design By Khristine Le REFLECTING THE SMOOTHNESS AND SIMPLICITY OF ART IN THIS GENERATION, JELANI ARYEH IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL POLLENCORE ARTIST. The 19-year-old San Diego artist’s discography has evolved from

making songs from beats found on Youtube, to growing his knowledge of music production with like-minded collaborators and finding his own

unique sound. “I think it’s more vulnerable...I know what I want now and the feelings I want to get across. It’s made with more intention,”

Jelani notes. His music is filled with emotional depth, easily grabbing

the listeners’ attention and allowing them to identify with each song. Influenced by everyday things, he mentions,“...nostalgia, fluidity, taking a lot of train rides, and being in nature,” are what shapes his sound,

and as an artist, there’s that consistent itch to try something new. Jelani hopes to explore more electronic/ambient elements to bring that sense

of movement and atmosphere to his music and other artistic endeavors moving forward.

Jelani also notes the influence of his aunt, who introduced him to the

artistic and thoughtful side of life. Seeing music as something spiritual, Jelani understands the value and impact music can have on just about anyone. He hopes that when listening to his music the listener can

truly feel his soundscape and let it be something to escape to. “I feel like music itself is spiritual, just like this life we live. It doesn’t matter

what kind of music it is, it’s the fact that it has an effect on someone’s

emotions and could make them see the world in an entirely new way. You’re shifting something in someone and that’s all I want my music to do,” he says.

94


To hone in on that powerful aspect of music, visuals

This wide spectrum of elements and various styles

music as little short films in my head, and then being

crowd. Rather than trying to sound like just one sound

serve as a key component to Jelani’s releases. “I see

able to bring that into song, then to a screen is just the best thing ever,” he mentions. Jelani, who had a

keen interest in short films before getting into music,

or one person, he draws on different subjects and genres, crafting his own sound.

hopes to explore directing in the future. If the visuals

In addition to his solo music, Jelani helms the creative

be in his future too.

creatives who want to make something fresh and new,

we’ve seen so far are any indication, an Oscar might

Like Jim Morrison and Donald Glover with the white

tee, Jelani is creating a signature look with Henleys and a nod to the fashion and interior design of the

1960s and 70s. “I find myself going back to those decades not only for music, but for the clothes people

wore and how much life was put into the outfits at the

time. I think that’s when things really started to get unorthodox with people challenging social norms and not conforming.”

collective, Raised by the Internet. Bringing together vocalists, producers, and visual artists from around

the world have joined RBTI since its 2017 inception. Pursuing their own individual projects, the collective

serves as a collaborative support team as well as

partners in the creative process. “Collaboration is super important to me. None of these songs

would’ve been made without someone on the other

side making something from their heart and having the common interest of just expressing something,” Jelani mentions.

Jelani’s catalogue is a collection of honest, thoughtful

Moving forward in 2020, Jelani is excited to release

on hardships and confronts times of suffering.

year, while honing his live performance skills playing

narratives.

His

recent

EP,

Helvetica,

touches

“Freedom, vulnerability and truth are themes that I always want to have in my work. Stoicism is definitely a big one, and the nature of the world and our reality too,” he adds. Jelani’s early sonic influences included Frank Ocean, Kevin Abstract, Toro Y Moi and Steve Lacy. These days he adds touches of Weyes Blood, Brian Eno, Love, Cream and Pink Floyd to the mix.

95

is what allows Jelani’s music to stand out from the

new music leading up to his debut album later this shows as often as possible. Jelani is expanding on his sonic palette in his new releases, drawing on psych

rock and experimental influences and writing with newfound confidence about matters of the head and

the heart. Check out his first single “Stella Brown”

on all platforms beginning April 3rd and catch Jelani Aryeh and RBTI when they’re in a city near you.


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“It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is,

it’s the fact that it has an effect on someone’s emotions” 97





AUDREY NUNA’S MUSIC WELCOMES YOU INTO HER REIMAGINED UNIVERSE. New York City is a playground of creativity that can inspire and cultivate amazing art. Lucky for us AUDREY NUNA has tapped into the city’s energy and has taken the reins. Having dropped

out of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University and signing to Arista Records under Sony, she now has

not only the time, but the environment to create as much as she possibly can.

Though NUNA has taken the last year off from school, she certainly doesn’t feel as though it was a waste. If anything it was

the jumping off board for where she is now, “It was more than [just] college, it was living in the city for a year with kids who love making things. I’ve found that outside of school now, but it

was convenient to find those people when you’re all living in one area together. Also NYU dining halls have decent sushi.” NYU definitely left an impression on NUNA, sushi and all.

NUNA seems to be the culmination of so many different things. Being a Korean-American woman pursuing rap and R&B, often

the headline is going to begin with her race at the forefront. Some artists grapple with this, as people are more than just their

race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc., while still understanding that representation in art is important. NUNA has seemed to find the balance between these things by, “not being scared of how

others perceive you.” She knows that there aren’t many people of Korean-American descent who are pursuing the same thing she is, “I don’t choose the article titles. And really I don’t

mind it. Of course my race is going to be mentioned a lot, no one who looks like me has really done it yet in the history of our country. At the end of the day the work will speak for itself.” And it does. Having only released her first song on streaming services nearly two years ago, NUNA has already accrued millions of streams

across streaming services, as well as having gotten the chance to collaborate with musicians outside of her wheelhouse. On one of her more recent releases, “Comic Sans,” features Jack Harlow.

Harlow follows more of the trap vein of music which NUNA

seems to be open to, “I’ve always wanted to make sade-trap. I love you sade.”


AUDREY NUNA

Story By Sloan Pecchia | P hotos By Sam Yi | Design By Tina Tran


NUNA

finds

great

value

in

collaboration,

It’s important to her to tap into the visual side

the box.” Putting the pieces together for what

Having a supportive team is integral in making

especially with people that may seem “outside that may sound like makes it all the more exciting,

“Out of the box collabs are so fun. It’s the mystery of what the f*ck is this going to sound like? That gets me going. Your sound is different than mine but I respect your taste enough to have you on my song. That’s beautiful.” Collaborating at times can be daunting especially if you don’t know the person well or you have two different styles, but

that a possibility, “My team, that I make videos with, is really supportive and receptive to my

ideas and vice versa. The last three videos, I’ve written the treatment & we execute. They’re my

favorite boys & they’re vegan so I eat healthy around them.” From the vegan food to the video

execution the visual, development seems to be nothing but fun.

for NUNA it, “unleashes something new.” Being

Her most recent single, “Long Night”, and

also foster art that wouldn’t necessarily have

shoot to say the least, NUNA shares, “I almost

malleable in this way can be challenging, but can been made otherwise. She thinks that she may

try new elements in her songs going forward, such as guitar, to see how it sounds.

Experimenting with new artistic elements doesn’t

just apply to her music. When it comes to her visuals and overall aesthetic, NUNA finds inspiration

accompanying video involved a unique video died of hypothermia the night of that shoot. I had to ask my sister to unbutton my pants for

me to change my fit because my fingers legit

stopped working. So yeah, go watch that video.” Thankfully, NUNA has an amazing video to show for it.

in everything, “My childhood. Cartoons. Other

With every new album NUNA puts out she hopes

looked up ‘90s fashion in Seoul’ on the internet

universe that is unique to that project. While we

music videos. Movies. Photographs. One day I

and there was this photo of three friends eating

ice cream under a blue sky & that triggered the

entire rooftop sequence idea for ‘Comic Cans.’” NUNA co-directed the music video for “Comic Sans” alongside Khufu Najee, dipping into her love for directing as well as music.

103

of her artistry, just as much as her musical side.

to create a new world of sorts. A reimagined

wait on NUNA’s debut album, she also has some other goals in mind, “Just want to keep doing

what I’m doing at a level of excellence. and travel/ tour, try new foods, practice my korean, quit Diet Coke.”








Photos By Ayathma Wickramasinghe | Shot On Pacific Dubble Film




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