Why Adam Rippon & Gus Kenworthy’s Sexual Orientation Is Important

YoursTruly

What’s up, everyone?

I have to preface this post by saying that it saddens me that this is even a discussion in 2018. The fact that members of the LGBTQ community have to “come out,” or explain anything in regards to their sexual orientation is beyond me. I mean, you do realize that all they want to do is be themselves, be happy and LOVE another person, right?

I want to share a little story with you. My niece, Briana, is about to turn fourteen. When she was 5 or 6, I was watching one of my old *NSYNC DVD’s with her. She pointed to Lance Bass and said, “Krissy, he’s cute!” I know she was young at the time, but something came over me and my immediate (nonchalant) response was, “You know, Lance is gay.” She paused the movie and asked me what that meant.

. . . SHE ASKED ME WHAT [BEING GAY] MEANT . . .

I explained to my young niece that it meant sometimes boys like boys and sometimes girls like girls. I reiterated that “the norm” in society is for boys and girls to like each other, but there are others who feel differently and that’s normal too. She responded with a simple, “Oh, ok.” and un-paused the video. From that moment on, she has accepted EVERYONE and never thought of anyone who is gay as “different.” If she ever thought they were different, it’s because she knows how fabulous they are!

Throughout this year’s’ Winter Olympics, we were graced with the presence of two GAY athletes representing the USA, Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy. Even as a straight woman, I actually felt so proud of these men for being honest and for simply being themselves . It wouldn’t have mattered to me whether they were gay or not. Being gay doesn’t mean they train less than other athletes, or that they’re weak. If anything, it makes them stronger because they deliver strong performances regardless of any negativity being directed towards them.

th[1]

Yesterday, Kenworthy posted screenshots on his Twitter page of 4 complete strangers who posted extremely hateful comments on one of his YouTube videos. These people called him names and wished that he would get AIDS and die. Let that sink in for a moment . . . . . . . . . . . . Which leads me to the reason for this post. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. It’s their lives and, if they’re happy and are able to fully love another human being, it shouldn’t matter to ANYONE ELSE whether that other human being is a man or a woman.

The ONLY reason why their sexual orientation is important is because it opens doors for conversations between parents and their children. Children are taught to hate other people. If I had responded to my niece, at 5 years old, that being gay is gross and wrong, she would’ve grown up to believe that as true.  I know that many Christians do believe that to be true, but the hate starts with you as parents, not as Christians. Don’t teach your children to hate others simply because of something you don’t understand. I grew up Catholic, I have tattoos and I’ve had pre-marital sex. Those things don’t make me a bad person. They don’t mean I’m going straight to hell. Neither does being gay. Instead, teach your children that some people love different things, but we all love the same. Teach them that just because you have a certain belief, it doesn’t give anyone the right to make hurtful comments and, more specifically, to wish for someone’s death.

Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important because it shows that being gay doesn’t define you . . . your character does. The same way that being straight doesn’t define anyone else. Being straight doesn’t mean you’re a good person. It also doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s the same with those who are gay, bi, transgender, etc. Rippon and Kenworthy are both strong AND graceful. They’re respectful. They’re hilarious. They’re kind to others. They’re using their platform to speak for that little kid who wants to lace up a pair of skates and glide gracefully across the ice, but is afraid to tell anyone. They’re speaking to that kid who is afraid that coming out as gay will make people think they’re weak and can’t nail flips on skis or snowboards. They’re speaking out to kids who don’t think that they can be themselves and still stand on an Olympic podium. They’re speaking to anyone who feels that their sexual orientation means they can’t chase their dream, regardless of what that dream is.

There are so many kids out there who are feeling things they don’t quite understand yet because their parents are afraid to actually talk to them about something that should be normalized at this point. THAT is why Rippon and Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important. Speaking to your child about homosexuality won’t make them gay. What it will do is teach them to be accepting towards others and to embrace what they might be feeling themselves. So, to the parents out there . . . do your jobs. Don’t raise bullies and closed-minded people. Raise young men and women who know who they are and who can accept those who aren’t exactly like them.

It starts with you.

Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon Light It Up in HBO Official Teaser Trailer for ‘FAHRENHEIT 451’

What’s up, movie lovers??

I must say, after watching this teaser trailer earlier today . . . I’m intrigued. I’m also a little salty that they’re BURNING BOOKS. What a waste!

FAHRENHEIT 451 is a film set for release this May on HBO. The film is also based on the 1953 dystopian novel (ironically) of the same name, written by Ray Bradbury.

IMG_2872
Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan

 

SYNOPSIS: In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl…and begins to rebel against society.

I love that Michael B. Jordan seems to be everywhere these days. What a phenomenal actor! So glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves. Hot on the heels of the successful Black Panther release in theaters, I’m excited to catch this in the next few months.

What did you think of the teaser? Did you read the novel? Let me know!

 

Australian Country Sensation MORGAN EVANS Announces UK Performances At C2C

AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY SENSATION

MORGAN EVANS

IMG_2862

ANNOUNCES UK PERFORMANCES AT
C2C FESTIVAL
9TH – 10TH MARCH

THE US HIT SINGLE ‘KISS SOMEBODY’
AND BRAND NEW TRACK: ‘I DO’
OUT NOW

JOINS JAMES BLUNT ON HIS AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Following the release of his single ‘Kiss Somebody’ and new track ‘I Do’, Australian-born country star Morgan Evans will be returning to the UK next month to perform at this year’s Country 2 Country Festival in London and Glasgow.

“I visited the UK for the first time last year and just fell in love with the country and its music fans,” says Evans. “There’s a depth of passion for music there unlike anywhere else. C2C 2018 will be my third visit and I couldn’t be more stoked to return to London and Glasgow.”

Already a bona-fide music sensation in his native Australia, and highly acclaimed by the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard in the US – both of whom have tipped him for success in 2018 – his new music is shaped by a love of artists like Ed Sheeran and Keith Urban, alongside many other Nashville greats where he now resides, having signed a global record deal with Warner Music Nashville / Warner Bros. Records.

Last year Evans released his debut US single ‘Kiss Somebody’, which he wrote with Chris DeStefano and Josh Osborne. The track has become a major radio hit in multiple countries and debuted on Spotify’s Viral Charts at #15 in the US and #26 globally, with over 19 million streams to date.

The visually impressive, one-of-a-kind accompanying video was released in December 2017 and features a nearly single-shot film in extreme slow-motion.

His newest track ‘I Do’, pays homage to loved ones and was inspired by his now wife and fellow country artist Kelsea Ballerini. As a result of these two tracks, Evans has made a huge splash in the US and in addition to Rolling Stone’s praise for his “velvety voice rasping in all the right places” he has been crowned as one of CMT’s #18for2018 artists.

The upcoming performances at C2C mark his third time back on UK soil after playing a run of headline dates last June, before returning for his acclaimed visit here in October. He’s also set to join James Blunt for three landmark shows in Australia, before heading back to the US for shows in April with Chris Young and Kane Brown.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES

Mar 1st – Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles w/ Old Dominion
Mar 9th – C2C, London
Mar 10th – C2C, Glasgow
Mar 13th – Star Event Centre, Sydney, Australia w/ James Blunt
Mar 14th – Star Event Centre, Sydney, Australia w/ James Blunt
Mar 16th – Palais Theatre, Saint Kilda, Australia w/ James Blunt

 

CONNECT WITH MORGAN EVANS AT:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

DIAMANTE Reveals Thelma And Louise Inspired Video For ‘Had Enough’

DIAMANTE

REVEALS THELMA AND LOUISE 
INSPIRED VIDEO FOR
HAD ENOUGH

IMG_2864

Made in support of the #MeToo movement with an all female team, it pays tribute to the classic female friendship road trip film

 “I think especially in today’s social climate, it’s both important and powerful to be able to tell the world ‘I’ve had enough, I’m pissed off, and it’s time for change.” – Diamante

Had Enough‘ follows Diamante’s ‘Coming In Hot‘ official video
which has now been streamed more than 1 million times

Diamante has been making a big noise. With a series of feisty, well-received singles…the anthemic ‘Had Enough’ [is] a perfectly timed cover of a song originally released by English alt-rockers Lower Than Atlantis in 2016. – Team Rock (She Rocks Campaign, 2018)

As her sultry and show-stopping video for ‘Coming In Hot‘ crosses 1 Million YouTube streams, 21-year-old Diamante shows she’s more than meets the eye in the brand new video for her female empowerment video anthem ‘Had Enough‘.

Shot on location in Palm Springs CA, Diamante enlisted an all-female team to create the ultimate gal-pal road trip video, which pays homage to the classic pissed-off-chick-flick Thelma and Louise. Taking the desert by storm alongside actress Mackenna Johnson, the video features a behind-the scenes cast including Director/Producer Sofia Lane, production crew Rose Lu and Alyssa Mordal, and camera work by Tania Espinosa Cueva. Each woman is up-and-coming in her respective field.

“It’s critical to see more women at the top of fields traditionally dominated by men,” explains Diamante on her decision to hire women for this shoot. “But in order to do that, we need to give women a chance to get their foot in the door. It was very important to me to create opportunities for other women in the making of this video”

Originally recorded by Lower Than Atlantis, Diamante decided to put her stamp on the song because the strong lyrical content struck a chord. “Something about its unapologetic honesty really captivated me. I think that level of honesty and bluntness of being able to tell the world: ‘Hey! I’m pissed off!’ is very powerful and something that music has been craving, especially in today’s climate”

Had Enough‘ is the fourth track released from her forthcoming debut record due out later this year on Better Noise Records, following ‘Haunted‘, ‘Sleepwalking‘ and the breakout track ‘Coming In Hot‘. Produced by Howard Benson [Chris Cornell, Kelly Clarkson, My Chemical Romance, Halestorm], the upcoming collection brings to light a signature sound the artist has been developing meticulously since age 13. With her edgy style, sultry vocals, pop sensibility, and unabashed swagger, the Mexican-Italian-American solo artist draws from myriad influences and calls to mind legends from a spectrum of rock icons including Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Debbie Harry, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, and Bowie.

Read Diamante’s interview with Team Rock on the making of the ‘Had Enough‘ video HERE.

IMG_2865

DIAMANTE
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Y.O.U.N.G Release Life-Hacking Video For ‘Lazy’

9a761d0a-df0f-4f73-9652-68f03e2e18ae

8425c68b-19ce-4fbf-84b7-acff2db36583

SHARE VIDEO FOR

‘LAZY’

WATCH HERE

“If it’s difficult to know where to place Y.O.U.N.G then that’s probably mission accomplished for the Manchester collective… the group fuse hip-hop beats with an outlandish pop touch” – CLASH

UK HEADLINE TOUR
STARTS THIS WEEK

Genre-blending Manchester collective Y.O.U.N.G have shared the video for their latest single ‘Lazy’, featuring their own ‘lazy hacks’. It premiered on Clash who said, “New single ‘Lazy’ is fast becoming their calling card, a tongue-in-cheek response to parents, teachers and other buzzkills”,

The youthful five-piece kick back in the new single with chilled hip-hop beats and mellow reggae guitars alongside a bleary-eyed flow, rising into an infectious chorus – all combining to create an anthem for lazy people across the world.

The group have now followed this up by revealing a video of them struggling through their daily routine, featuring a guide of hacks for lazy people, including car-based dog walking, kettle-based pasta cookery, and the inspired pizza-in-a-toaster.

Rapper Ben James said of the track, “Our whole lives people have been calling us lazy. The track plays on the idea of what we would do every day if we were as lazy as people said. It’s true everybody has lazy days, we are no exception, but overall the aim of ‘Lazy’ is to mock the idea that all we do is nothing.

“The chorus is written from the point of view of the patronising adult, whilst the rap verse gives a first hand view of what a lazy day would consist of. Even though the song is a mockery, we can’t deny that brews, candles and chilling are genuine passions of ours! Dressing gowns make an appearance in the live show, bringing the laid back bedroom vibes to the stage and adding to the tongue in cheek nature of the tune.”

The five-piece (Chez Davis – vocals/guitar, Ben James – rap, James Skehan – guitar/production, Tom Whitehead – bass and Graeme Smith – drums) have built a fervent fanbase across Europe with their cheeky genre mash-ups and extensive touring.

Y.O.U.N.G will be playing their first ever UK headline in association with Live Nation through February and March. The band will play five-dates calling at Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle, London and Manchester. Tickets are on sale now via TicketWeb.

Y.O.U.N.G UK HEADLINE TOUR DATES

28/02 – Glasgow, The Attic
01/03 – Birmingham, Institute 3
02/03 – Newcastle, Cluny 2
04/03 – London, Camden Assembly
05/03 – Manchester, Deaf Institute

 

FIND Y.O.U.N.G ON FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE

BAD WOLVES Pay Homage to Dolores O’Riordan In New ‘Zombie’ Video

BAD WOLVES

PAY HOMAGE TO DOLORES O’RIORDAN IN

NEW ‘ZOMBIE’ VIDEO

IMG_2863

Described By Dolores O’Riordan As A “Killer” Cover Version,
Bad Wolves’ ‘
Zombie’ Cover Continues To Dominate Globally

Since Its Release Four Weeks Ago:

#1 iTunes Rock Single
#1  iTunes Metal Single

3 Million Streams
#3 Shazam Searched Track
Top 20 at Active Rock
#1 Position On Spotify’s Rock Hard Playlist

Bad Wolves Donating Proceeds To O’Riordan’s Three Children

New Dates Announced With Five Finger Death Punch & Shinedown

“Bad Wolves’ interpretation of ‘Zombie’ is moody like the Cranberries’, though the instrumentation sounds clearer and more cutting.”Rolling Stone

Bad Wolves’ cover of The Cranberries’ intergenerational hit single ‘Zombie’ continues to dominate rock and metal charts around the globe, with all proceeds from track donated to lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s three children.

Today, the band reveals the official ‘Zombie’ music video, directed by Wayne Isham [Avenged Sevenfold, Megadeth, Motley Crue]. It’s a powerful testament to the Cranberries’ singer, who was set to record with the band on the day of her tragic passing. The new video features an unreachable woman fully-realized in O’Riordan’s iconic gold from the original ‘Zombie’ video. Throughout the clip, she and frontman Tommy Vext try to touch each other but cannot. She leaves golden handprints with each attempt to touch.

In an exclusive statement, O’Riordan’s UK Publicist Lindsey Holmes, provided further insight into what the Irish singer thought of Bad Wolves’ version of the track: “Dolores was excited about plans to guest vocal on a cover version of her all time classic ‘Zombie’ by American rock band Bad Wolves. Although very different in style to the original, Dolores said she thought that the cover “was killer” and she was intrigued by the simple but effective couple of lyric changes that make the cover version as relevant to current world events as the original was to the events that inspired her to write the song in the early nineties.”

“For me Dolores was the strongest female voice in Rock for the past three decades,” explains Dan Waite, Managing Director Europe for Eleven Seven Label Group and the artist’s personal friend. “I have very bittersweet feelings about the last two voice messages Dolores left me on the day she passed about recording ‘Zombie’ with Bad Wolves. She was telling me Bad Wolves version was “awesome” and she could not wait to get into the studio, however ultimately her voicemails have brought comfort to her mother Eileen and her family as they heard her messages joking and talking passionately about music, her children, and future plans.

Her plans were cut short far too soon but the relevance of ‘Zombie’ and the legacy of her music continues to span generations. Bad Wolves’ Tommy Vext explains what compelled him to cover the song; “Her lyrics, confronting the collateral damage of political unrest, capture the same sentiment we wanted to express a quarter-century later. That is a testament to the kind of enduring artist Dolores was, and will remain forever.” 

Originally released in 1994 following the IRA bombing of Warrington, The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ hit  #1 across the globe, including on the Billboard Alternative Songs charts. The song returned to the top ten on the US Rock Charts shortly after news of her passing was announced. That same week Bad Wolves released their version of ‘Zombie’ in her honour. In just four weeks, the cover has garnered over 3 Million combined streams (across YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music) and continues to climb the charts. Bad Wolves ‘Zombie’ is currently Top 20 at U.S. Rock Radio and sits atop rock and metal iTunes charts around the world.

Bad Wolves have also announced upcoming U.S. dates with Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown. Tickets here and dates listed below:

Sun May 6 – Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Tues May 8 – Rupp Arena – Lexington, KY
Thurs May 10 – BOK Center – Tulsa, OK
Fri May 11 – Westfair Amphitheatre – Council Bluffs, IA
Sat May 12 – Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI *
Mon May 14 – Salem Civic Center – Salem, VA Wed
May 16 – Legacy Arena – Birmingham, AL Thurs
May 17 – Ford Center- Evansville, IN Fri
May 18 – Mark of the Quad – Moline, IL Sun
May 20 – Alerus Center – Grand Forks, ND Wed
May 30 – Casper Events Center – Casper, WY *

* FFDP and Bad Wolves Only

IMG_2300
BAD WOLVES pictured above, left-to-right: Doc Coyle, Kyle Konkiel, Tommy Vext, Chris Cain, John Boecklin

 

Connect with BAD WOLVES:

badwolvesnation.com | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

ABOUT BAD WOLVES: Consisting of vocalist Tommy Vext (ex-Divine Heresy), drummer John Boecklin (ex-DevilDriver), guitarist Doc Coyle (Vagus Nerve, ex-God Forbid), guitarist Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead), and bassist Kyle Konkiel (ex-In This Moment), BAD WOLVES burst onto the scene in 2017 with the self-released debut single ‘Learn To Live and quickly became ones-to-watch. The Los Angeles-based five-piece recently signed to Eleven Seven Music and will release a debut album later this year. The upcoming album will feature ‘Toast To The Ghost’ and a cover of The Cranberries’ seminal single’ ‘Zombie’, released in honor of Dolores O’Riordan, who was scheduled to record guest vocals on the song the day she passed away. ‘Zombie’ quickly shot to the top of rock and metal charts around the world upon its release. All proceeds from the track will go to her three children.

DAN OWEN Releases Acoustic Piano Version of ‘Icarus’

DAN OWEN

IMG_2861

REVEALS ACOUSTIC PIANO VIDEO FOR

‘ICARUS’

WATCH HERE

JUST ANNOUNCED

LONDON HEADLINE SHOW
THE JAZZ CAFÉ – 29TH MAY
TICKETS HERE

WILDERNESS FESTIVAL
MAIN STAGE – AUGUST 3RD

TOURING EUROPE
supporting ALICE MERTON in March
supporting JOSEPH J. JONES in May

Dan Owen has revealed the video for his acoustic piano version of ‘Icarus’, the latest track to be taken from his upcoming debut album, out later this year through Atlantic Records. In this new acoustic version, the rich instrumentation of the original gives way to haunting solo piano, accentuating the raw power of Owen’s vocals and transforming the track into an intimate and atmospheric account of despair and lamentation.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Released earlier this month, ‘Icarus’ is a dark and hard-hitting tale of drug abuse. The single itself features soaring guitars and expansive orchestral elements, as well as Dan Owen’s jaw-dropping vocals, and has already gained support from Radio 2. Listen to the original single HERE.

‘Icarus’ follows Dan’s previous singles ‘Made To Love You’ and ‘Hideaway’, all of which feature on his upcoming album. ‘Made To Love You’ has amassed over 10 million streams on Spotify, while his last single ‘Hideaway’ proved a highly praised radio hit. It was featured as ‘Record Of The Week’ at both Radio 1 and Virgin Radio, and also received support from Dermot O’Leary, Zoe Ball and Jo Whiley at Radio 2.

Dan has also just announced a headline show at London’s Jazz Café on May 29th and has been announced to play the main stage at Wilderness festivals this summer.

Before this Dan will be hitting the road with Alice Merton on her nine-date European tour next month, which starts with a show at London’s Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on March 6th. Following this Dan will play a six-date European tour with Joseph J. Jones in May. Full tour dates can be found below:

DAN OWEN TOUR DATES

(w) Alice Merton
06/03 – London, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
08/03 – Brussels, Ancienne Belgique
09/03 – Cologne, Gloria
10/03 – Luxemburg, Rockhal
13/03 – Paris, Maroquinerie
14/03 – Straßburg, La Laiterie
15/03 – Lyon, Epicerie Moderne
17/03 – Freiburg, Jazzhaus
18/03 – Zürich, Plaza

(w) Joseph J. Jones
03/05 – Munich, Kranhalle
04/05 – Berlin, Frannz Club
06/05 – Hamburg, Knust
07/05 – Hannover, Lux
08/05 – Cologne, Luxor
09/05 – Frankfurt, Zoom

29/05 – Jazz Café, London (HEADLINE SHOW)

03/08 – Wilderness Festival, Cornbury

ACCLAIM FOR DAN OWEN

“One of the UK’s most promising new voices”
Metro

“Dan Owen has a voice quite beyond his years, is a versatile guitarist and an electrifying live act as well”
The Independent

“Dan Owen has the voice from a soul who has lived a million years and experienced every element of life in its fullest”
TMRW

“Unflinching soulful ballad”
Shortlist

“Owen possesses one of the most arresting singing voices we’ve heard in a long time.”
Acoustic Magazine

“Dan straddles swooning soul and throaty blues”
Blues & Soul

“Singer-songwriter with a soaring high altitude voice”
Fred Perry Subculture

X AMBASSADORS Reveal Video for ‘Don’t Stay’

X AMBASSADORS

IMG_2860

REVEAL VIDEO FOR
‘DON’T STAY’
WATCH HERE

NEW ALBUM COMING SPRING 2018
ON KIDINAKORNER/INTERSCOPE RECORDS

MARCH EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
Including Brixton Electric, London on the 19th

Multi-platinum selling rockers X Ambassadors have revealed the video for their latest single, ‘Don’t Stay’ – taken from their new album, ‘Joyful’, out this spring.

Following on from previous singles ‘Joyful’ and ‘Ahead Of Myself’, the video for ‘Don’t Stay’ is the third video of three to feature singer Sam Harris performing the vocals live. The video combines intimate close ups with lonely wide-angle shots, creating an atmospheric accompaniment to the song’s impassioned monologue.

  WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

X Ambassadors will be playing a European tour in March, with the LA based band playing Brixton Electric in London on 19th March. The band will also be playing songs from their gold certified debut album VHS which was released June 30th 2016, debuting at #7 on Billboard’s 200 chart and spawning multi-platinum singles ‘Renegades’ and ‘Unsteady’ as well as platinum single ‘Jungle’.

The band recently performed their previous single ‘Ahead Of Myself’ on Jimmy Kimmel Live – watch their incredible performance here.

EUROPEAN TOUR DATES

MARCH
19th – London, Brixton Electric
20th – Paris, Alhambra
22nd – Amsterdam, Melkweg Max
23rd – Cologne, Luxor
24th – Hamburg, Gruenspan
26th – Berlin, Columbia Theater
27th – Warsaw, Stodola
29th – Moscow, Glav Club
31st – Kiev, Carribbean Club

 

Stay Connected with X Ambassadors:

www.xambassadors.com | Twitter | FacebookInstagram

Hotly Tipped Swedish Artist, BECKY AND THE BIRDS, Releases ‘Holding On’ Video | @beckyandthebird #music #newmusic #blog

BECKY AND THE BIRDS

IMG_2797

‘HOLDING ON’ VIDEO REVEALED WATCH HERE

“This TUNE is giving me serious goosebumps” Tove Lo

“‘Holding On’ is one of the most exciting first releases for a long time… She’s cracked the code for the perfect first song” The Line Of Best Fit

“Lush, down tempo pop with plenty of soul… Imaginative, eclectic alt-pop, her mosaic of colours has a lush quality, fusing dank, trip-hop styled percussive snaps to soulful vocals” Clash

Swedish singer and producer Becky and the Birds has today released the video for her highly acclaimed debut single ‘Holding On’. The nostalgically-filmed home video footage captures intimate moments between couples in Stockholm.

Thea Gustafsson aka Becky and the Birds explains, “The video showcases my ability and desire to do things independently. By that I mean with creative control influenced by people I want to be surrounded by. It isn’t about me or my looks, since I don’t want that to be the focus of Becky and the Birds, instead it’s about holding on to something that’s meaningful to you, and what that is is up to the viewer’s discretion. I want it to be about the music and the world in and around it.

I invited friends and an amazingly talented videographer, Sandra Thorsson, because I knew they and she could help me achieve exactly what I wanted with that we were given. Out of it came a very homey DIY project that I am quite fond of. I hope you find something in it.”

‘Holding On’ has been released to widespread critical praise and even found the likes of Tove Lo tweeting about her admiration for the track. The song is a genre-spanning blend of lush electronics, with nods to trip-hop and ‘90s R&B alongside beautiful samples plucked from nature. The result is similar to the likes of SZA, Solange or even Ella Fitzgerald.

The release of ‘Holding On’ has instantly found Becky and the Birds becoming one of the most hotly-tipped new acts to come out of Sweden.

 

FURTHER INFORMAITON ON BECKY AND THE BIRDS

Becky and the Birds is the moniker of Thea Gustafsson, the 21-year-old from Örebro who writes, produces and sings all of her own music and attended the prestigious Musikmakarna Songwriters Academy of Sweden, which kickstarted the careers of LÉON and Skott.

Thea has already clocked up millions of streams as a topline vocalist in high profile collaborations, however these relentless sessions with all-male producers began to grate on her. “I always had this voice inside me—society’s voice—that was like ‘No, you can’t, ‘cos you’re a girl, that’s for the boys’” she explains.

“I was like, I can’t do this any more—having all these dudes mansplaining, sitting with their spread legs,” Thea says. “I was just so frustrated. When you have a really clear vision yourself, it’s difficult to compromise.

At one particularly bad session with a producer “I felt the whole panic that you feel when you think you’re not good enough“ – it led her to develop a whole new guise; Becky and the Birds.

Taking responsibility for production, Becky and the Birds sees Thea in full control of her work, rejecting the pop saturated sound of her native Sweden and resulting in a true-to-self, multifaceted project.

Where pop tends to value visibility, Becky and the Birds favours obscurity. Casting a new personal signature with Becky and the Birds, Thea expresses her unique, genuine experiences in a sensual new sound.

K. Flay Releases ‘Run For Your Life’ From ‘Tomb Raider’ Soundtrack

IMG_2794

RELEASES ‘RUN FOR YOUR LIFE’
FROM THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE TOMB RAIDER

IMG_2795

EUROPEAN TOUR WITH IMAGINE DRAGONS
INCLUDING TWO DATES AT LONDON’S O2 ARENA FEB 28TH & MARCH 1ST
PLUS UK HEADLINE SHOW IN BRISTOL ON MARCH 2ND

SOLD OUT NORTH AMERICAN HEADLINE TOUR RESUMES ON MARCH 12TH

  CONFIRMED TO TOUR WITH THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS
IN NORTH AMERICA THIS SUMMER

Two-time GRAMMY-nominated artist K.Flay has just released a brand new song titled ‘Run For Your Life’, from the Original Motion Picture Tomb Raider, starring Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander. ‘Run For Your Life’ was co-written by K.Flay, produced by Ricky Luna, and can be heard in the film when it hits theatres nationwide on March 16th.

LISTEN TO ‘RUN FOR YOUR LIFE’ HERE

Fresh off the first leg of her sold out Every Where Is Some Where Tour, K.Flay is currently supporting Imagine Dragons across Europe and will be playing two nights at London’s O2 arena on February 28th and March 1st. She will also play a number of headlining shows in Bristol, Berlin, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Moscow and more.

The second leg of her North American tour kicks off March 12th in Washington D.C. with YUNGBLUD providing support and K.Flay has also confirmed she will be supporting Thirty Seconds To Mars for select dates on their Monolith Tour this Summer. For a complete list of tour dates, ticket information and more, please visit: www.kflay.com

Last year K.Flay released her GRAMMY nominated, #1 Billboard Heatseekers charting debut album Every Where Is Some Where, which spawned the breakthrough hit single ‘Blood In The Cut’. The track was nominated for Best Rock Song at the Grammy Awards which hit the Top 5 at Alternative Radio and spent more than 6 months on the U.S. Billboard Alternative Songs chart, peaking at #4. The song was certified GOLD in Canada and reached #1 in the Canadian Alternative charts.

Following ‘Blood In The Cut’ is the current single ‘Giver’, which was released with an inventive new lyric video and continues to climb at radio. Watch the lyric video HERE.

Earlier this year, K.Flay revealed the special Deluxe Version of the album, including the ‘Seattle Sessions’ which sees five brand new orchestral versions of album tracks, ‘Blood In The Cut’, ‘Giver’, ‘Black Wave’, ‘High Enough’ and ‘Mean It’.

According to K.Flay, “The ‘Seattle Sessions’ are a reimagining of some of my favorite songs from the record, using live string, horn & choir sections. I worked with Budo, an old friend and an incredible producer, to bring the vision to life & I’m really excited for you guys to hear it.”

K.Flay is rapidly growing as a global star and following her relentless touring schedule, she will set to work on her highly anticipated brand new album.

K.Flay’s Every Where Is Some Where is available everywhere now.

IMG_2796

 

It’s Official! I’m A Published Poet!

 

Hey there, everyone!

I am so excited to finally be able to post about my first poem that is published in an online literary journal called Mangrove Journal. It’s the official journal put out at the University of Miami and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to be a part of it. Let me tell you how it all came about . . .

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 7.01.20 PM

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved writing. I would write letters to people that I never intended to send. It was my way of expressing my innermost thoughts. I’ve always carried a journal, I was on the yearbook staff in high school, and I had countless notebooks with friends growing up. For some reason, I ventured off into other majors rather than going straight into English, writing or journalism. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I finally admitted to myself that this was the one thing that I was really good at, and the one thing I wanted to pursue.

When I enrolled in the University of Central Florida’s English/Creative Writing program, I signed up for a creative writing class that had one module focusing on poetry. As much as I’ve always loved writing, I’d never really attempted poetry. I felt like it was important for me to step outside of my comfort zone and really try to tackle it. With the help of a fantastic professor, I did well in the poetry module and signed up for two poetry workshops and an independent study in poetry after that semester. I can’t say that I’m the greatest poet who ever lived, but I think for someone who never ventured in that direction, I do pretty well. 😜

This particular poem that was published with Mangrove Journal is one that began as an epic fail. I’d written it as an assignment for class and it earned me a ‘D.’ As a perfectionist, I was devastated and disappointed in myself. I focused on reworking the entire poem and this was the end result. It proves that you can always fix a mistake, and that even if something is awful at first, hard work and dedication can make it great!

I am so incredibly thankful to the editors and everyone involved with the journal for accepting my piece for publication.

You can view the Winter 2017 Online Edition of Mangrove Journal below:

My Thoughts | #MSDStrong #ParklandStudentsSpeak #StudentsStandUp #NeverAgain #EnoughIsEnough

YoursTruly

I’ve always wondered how a criminal defense lawyer can outwardly defend the actions of someone who is, without a doubt, guilty. Yes, some might be wrongfully accused and everyone deserves the right to a fair trial BUT if you know, with absolute certainty (fact-based) that a person is guilty of committing a crime against another person, how can you defend them and let them back on the streets? How are you able to sleep at night knowing that they can do this to another human being?

This week has been a tough one in South Florida, and around the country in general. On Valentine’s Day, 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost their lives to yet another mass shooting.

I hadn’t been catching up on the latest news that day, so when I began receiving texts from out-of-state family asking if my niece was safe, I almost went into a panic. MSD High School is about 35 miles from where we live, so luckily my niece was safe, but I can’t say the same for the 17 souls who were taken way too soon, or for the thousands of others who are terrified of GOING TO SCHOOL. Does everyone realize how awful that is?? Do you remember being afraid to go to school? I don’t.

Last year, we received an automated phone call alerting us that there was a “situation” at my niece’s school. We never got the full story, but apparently a student had a gun and threatened one of their teachers. The school went into defense mode, where students were scrambling together to hide in corners trying to avoid what could have been a devastating outcome. SWAT arrived and videos surfaced of officers armed with rifles peeking into classrooms to make sure everyone was safe. Luckily, everyone was, but no one should receive an automated phone call from their child’s school telling them that there might be an active shooter on campus.

In 1999, I was a freshman in high school. Columbine happened. It was scary to think of something like that happening, but to us it was an isolated incident and we carried on with our lives. In my senior year of high school, they began implementing drills that forced teachers to lock classroom doors, turn off the lights and everyone had to hide beneath their desks. Even the drills were enough to scare us. Still, we didn’t have that fear of going to school because there hadn’t been a lot of school shootings at the time. At least none that made headlines like Columbine did.

Since then the number of school shootings, movie theatre shootings, church shootings, shootings at music festivals, a night club, and just everyday gun violence in cities like Chicago have increased and it’s time to sit down and really think about how to control it.

I’m typically embarrassed by any news that surfaces out of Florida because we’ve become known for odd headlines, but after the tragedy at MSD High School last week, I couldn’t be more proud of the headlines that are surfacing. A generation of kids who are thought to be glued to their phones and lacking communication skills are stepping up and demanding change for all students, teachers and families. They’re not asking for all guns to be banned, they are asking for gun laws to be reformed. They are asking for semi-automatic weapons to remain in the hands of the trained MILITARY and not in the hands of civilians. They are asking for stricter gun laws, where people with mental health issues can not obtain a fire arm. If stricter gun laws have been implemented and have WORKED in other countries why can’t we do that here in what is believed to be the best country in the world?

This leads back to my original statement. How can a criminal defense lawyer defend someone who is guilty? How can politicians deny an honest conversation about stricter gun laws to save the lives of children? To prevent them from living in fear every day that they have to go to school? To prevent parents from fearing that their children won’t make it home at the end of the day? The answer to all of those questions is . . . money. Lawyers get a hefty paycheck and a notch on their belt when they win a case, and politicians receive hefty donations from the NRA for allowing anyone over the age of 18 the “right” to obtain a military-grade weapon.

This is not a Republican/Democrat issue. This is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. I don’t care if the children’s parents are Republicans or Democrats. I don’t care if the children, themselves, plan on voting for either side. I care about them being safe and being able to learn in an environment that doesn’t scare them. Arming teachers is not the solution. Teachers are teachers, not police officers. We have to spend hundreds on school supplies every year because there is not enough funding at the schools to provide students with the tools they need to LEARN. Where will the money come from to provide every teacher with a firearm? Where will the money come from to TRAIN teachers to use that firearm? I can honestly say that about 98% of the teachers I had growing up were unqualified to carry. And when you arm every teacher at every school, isn’t that increasing the chances of gun-related violence at schools? There would essentially be a gun in every single classroom. What if the one of the teachers snap one day and use the gun on their students? What if a student is stronger than the teacher and overtakes them to obtain the government-issued firearm? That is simply NOT the solution.

My niece’s school is not the picture-perfect version of a great learning environment (by any means), but no one is able to just walk onto their campus. The doors are locked and you can only get onto the campus by entering the front office when school is in session. There are security measures that can be taken at the schools, absolutely. But without changes to gun laws, we are all basically sitting ducks.

I have never been more proud of a younger generation than I am right now after seeing the speeches and activism by students around the country, led by the incredible students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School here in South Florida. I have a renewed hope for the future knowing that these intelligent, strong-minded, determined teenagers are our future leaders.

To those of you trolling social media calling these kids spoiled liberals and spreading rumors about them being crisis actors, you should be ashamed of yourselves. As I mentioned before, this is not an issue of whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. Let’s be honest . . . all politicians are full of shit anyway. This is a matter of keeping our children safe by working TOGETHER to create gun laws that work to prevent mass shootings. No one is trying to take away your precious guns. But if we have to take a driving test, maintain car insurance and renew our licenses every certain amount of years, it should be 10 times harder to obtain a gun.

Listen to what these kids are REALLY asking for. And I mean, actually LISTEN. They are not spoiled. They are kids and teenagers that want their right to LIVE to be more important than your right to carry an AR-15 that killed their friends, classmates and teachers. They want to prevent this from happening at your kids school. Don’t let money come before the lives of our future leaders of this country you love so dearly.

Students should aim to obtain their diplomas. With the way things are going with the gun laws we have now, they should also be obtaining a certificate celebrating their success at living through their school years. This is the time for change. Their lives should mean more than a paycheck. Their right to live is more important than your right to play with a gun. Just be willing to LISTEN.

@Thisfunktional Talks With Litzy AL OTRO LADO DEL MURO

@Thisfunktional Talks With Litzy AL OTRO LADO DEL MURO

Written by Jesus Figueroa

Actress Litzy talks with Jesus Figueroa, @Thisfunktional of Thisfunktional.com, about her role in the new Telemundo series “Al Otro Lado Del Muro.”

Watch the video to hear Litzy talk about getting the role, her career of strong passionate roles and whats to be expected from this new series.

Telemundo’s AL OTRO LADO DEL MURO

Premieres On Feb. 21 at 9/8 C p.m. On Telemundo

Follow and interact with Jesus:
Twitter – @Thisfunktional
Instagram – @Thisfunktional
Facebook – ThisfunktionalLA
Tumblr  Thisfunktional
AudioBoom – Thisfunktional
YouTube  Thisfunktional
Patreon – Thisfunktional

 

NETFLIX Announces the Return Of UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

image1

Season Four Launches May 30

Netflix announces the return of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

  • The first six episodes of season four launch on May 30, 2018.
  • The second half of the fourth season will launch later in 2018.
  • Show creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock are executive producers alongside Sam Means, Jeff Richmond and David Miner.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is from Universal Television in association with 3 Arts Entertainment, Little Stranger, Inc. and Bevel Gears for Netflix.

 

About Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the three-time Emmy-nominated “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” follows Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) as she continues to adjust to the 21st century and learn more about who she really is. Joining Kimmy on her journey are her best friend and roommate, Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess); her former-employer-turned-friend Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski); and landlord Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane).

Official Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt social pages:

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

2018 STARS ON ICE TOUR Will Keep the Olympic Flame Burning With Multiple Medal Hopefuls

STARSONICE LogoDev Chunk CLR v3 wLines

2018 STARS ON ICE TOUR WILL KEEP THE OLYMPIC FLAME BURNING WITH MULTIPLE MEDAL HOPEFULS

National Tour Highlighted by Performances from Nathan Chen and other U.S. National Champions as well as 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

SOI_USA2018_13x19_BradieEvery four years, the Winter Olympics not only give us a chance to celebrate and revel in our favorite athletes, but also to discover some incredible new breakout stars. Ardent fans of figure skating have become familiar with two-time and reigning National Champion Nathan Chen, but by the time the 2018 Winter Olympic Games are over, the world will be as well. Chen, the first skater to land five different quadruple jumps during a single program in competition, will be a key member of an immensely talented U.S. Figure Skating Team looking to grab Gold at the Olympics. He will also be the centerpiece of the 2018 Stars on Ice tour that will feature current National Champions, and many of the skaters vying for medals for the U.S. in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Tour will visit 22 cities nationwide beginning in Fort Myers, FL on Friday, April 6th, and wrapping up in Portland, OR on Sunday, May 20th. For a complete list of tour dates and performance times, please visit www.starsonice.com.

This year’s Stars on Ice tour will put American fans front and center to experience the best of U.S. Figure Skating. A couple of first-time faces graced the top of the podium at this year’s National Championships in San Jose. Among those National Champions, who will also compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics, then return stateside to skate in the 2018 Stars on Ice tour, will be 2018 U.S. Ladies Champion Bradie Tennell, and 2018 National Ice Dance Champions Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue.

Returning to Stars on Ice this year, are Maia & Alex Shibutani, the brother-sister two-1323356447_STARSONICEStarBNWREL[1]time National Ice Dance Champions and three-time World medalists. Other Olympic medal hopefuls rejoining the tour include; National Champion Mirai Nagasu, 2017 U.S. Ladies Champion Karen Chen, and U.S. Champion Adam Rippon. The Emmy Award-winning production will also feature U.S. Olympic royalty, Ice Dance Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White, as well as three-time National Champion and 2016 World Silver Medalist Ashley Wagner, and National Champion and huge crowd favorite, Jason Brown.

Tickets for the 2018 Stars on Ice tour are on sale now. Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.starsonice.com. Limited on-ice seating is available upon request. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more.  Please visit www.starsonice.com for the most up to date information and show announcements.

Stars on Ice continues to be a pioneer in figure skating by offering fans the rare opportunity to witness some of the world’s most creative and cherished champions performing together in both individual and ensemble routines. Founded and produced by Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, Stars on Ice is one of the premier family entertainment events in the U.S., and the only figure skating Tour in America, that has annually brought fans the greatest performances and competitors from around the globe.

STARS ON ICE – 2018 SCHEDULE  

Friday, April 6 Fort Myers, FL Germain Arena
Saturday, April 7 Orlando, FL Amway Center
Sunday, April 8 Fort Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
Saturday, April 14 Providence, RI Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Sunday, April 15 Portland, ME Cross Insurance Arena
Thursday, April 19 Allentown, PA PPL Center
Friday, April 20 Hershey, PA Giant Center
Saturday, April 21 Long Island, NY NYCB Live Nassau Coliseum
Sunday, April 22 Hartford, CT XL Center
Friday, April 27 Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena
Saturday, April 28 Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
Sunday, April 29 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
Friday, May 4 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
Saturday, May 5 Milwaukee, WI UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Sunday, May 6 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Friday, May 11 Phoenix, AZ Gila River Arena
Saturday, May 12 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Sunday, May 13 San Jose, CA SAP Center at San Jose
Wednesday, May 16 Salt Lake City, UT Maverik Center
Friday, May 18 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
Saturday, May 19 Seattle, WA KeyArena
Sunday, May 20 Portland, OR Moda Center

Bradie Tennell will not perform in Allentown and Salt Lake City

About Stars on Ice

Founded in 1986 by skating icon Scott Hamilton, the Stars on Ice Tour has performed more than 1,500 shows over the last three decades. Past Tour performers include Olympic Gold Medalists Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt, Scott Hamilton and Torvill & Dean. The Tour has won three Emmy Awards, one ACE Cable Award (Best Sports Special), and is recognized as the finest ice production in the world. Stars on Ice is produced by IMG, the global leader in sports, fashion and media. For more information about the Tour, visit www.starsonice.com. Keep in touch with Stars on Ice on Facebook: www.facebook.com/starsonice, Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/starsonice and on Twitter: @starsonice, www.twitter.com/starsonice.