#MUSICMONDAY feat. Ashley Kumah

"I'm naturally a mix of gospel & ghetto; my playlist reflects that."

Ashley is our newest #TeamHype intern! She is an aspiring PR professional with interests in editorial editing, writing, blogging & all things creative. She moved from London to Texas to attend the University of North Texas & further her experience of the world before graduating this December. Outside of class, you will find her taking pictures, editing or watching Netflix. 

Amber LaFrance
The CultureHype collective: Meet Nick Melita & Jake Ryan Hull of Cinderblock
2 resized cinderblock.jpg

EVERY FRIDAY we'll be rolling out a little something called The CultureHype Collective. What is that? One could call it a dream team, our crew of preferred vendors who are killing it in the Big D & beyond. Meet The Collective.

Cinderblock began as a creative outlet for two filmmakers, Jake Ryan Hull & Nick Melita & has grown into a full service film production agency. They've worked with  80+ artists/musicians as well as expanded their clientele to include corporate, commercial, & non profits. 

"Jake Ryan Hull and Nick Melita have mastered the art of the intimate performance." -The Dallas Observer
2cinderblock 2.jpg

What do you bring to the DFW creative scene? Why are you proud of it?

Nick: I'd like to think Cinderblock's work with musicians has helped some of them advance their careers. Even if it's as small as booking one extra show because they had a quality video. I'm proud that Cinderblock has built a reputation as music curators. One of our greatest passions is finding, promoting & collaborating with talented individuals.

Jake: My team & I at Cinderblock bring something special for musicians & music lovers. When we started in 2014, there were not any locally owned companies supporting musicians with video content as frequently as we did. We saw a need and we filled it. We built a community around us that mutually benefited all parties that chose to be a part of it. Over the last 3 years, several large companies have changed their business models to not support the artists as much while our boutique company has held steadfast doing the same thing we originally set off to do: Give our time & talents to help artists that deserve to be recognized. 

What is your favorite perk of being in the entertainment business?

Nick: Free Tickets. 


Jake: It’s great when your profession allows you to call going to concerts “work.” I never went to many shows growing up so I am making it up now by going to as many shows as possible. Networking is just a bonus. 

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Nick: Short Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake: 1. Jake. Ryan. Hull.
2. Dreamer. Neurotic. Starter. 

What is your random special talent?

Nick: I popped the buttons on three different pairs of pants this year.  

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Jake: Go The Distance from Disney’s Hercules

Tattoos?

Nick: I have three: (1) dumb tattoo. (1) John Mayer lyric. (1) video game reference. (so 3 dumb tattoos)

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

Jake: One of my 10+ suits. 

If you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Nick: Born and Raised - John Mayer

Jake: Definitely Bon Iver’s album 21, A Million . It takes me through every feeling while continuously hyping me up to take on life. 

What is unique to you about living/working in Dallas?

Nick: The cost of living in Dallas is low enough to allow young creatives to function while being just broke enough to get by when they first start out. I don't think Cinderblock would have been able to grow at the rate it did if we had gotten our start in another city. We would've had to hold at least 2 other jobs just to live.

When you find yourself in a creative rut, where do you seek inspiration?

Jake: I find inspiration in other people's success. Whether in business or creative. It sparks ideas & creativity out me like nothing else. It’s competitive but not in a mean spirited way. Competition is important for me to push myself. 

 

How did you come about being involved in the business you’re in? When did you know that’s what you wanted to do?

Nick: I was fired from a job I hated. One week later, I met a guy at a bar that produced TV commercials and asked him for a job. From there I started freelancing on TV commercials & began to learn the film business from the bottom up. In that time, Jake & I began working together and created Cinderblock Sessions because we wanted to work with other creatives. It didn't take long to realize that we could take that project and turn it into a full-time music video production company. Its been almost 3 years since the first Cinderblock Session & we're busier than ever & creating more interesting and meaningful work than ever before!

Jake: I always thought I would go to college & get a degree (get a job, get married, & then die) but soon realized that I hated school so I dropped out & found myself working in the entertainment industry for the Dallas Cowboys and then Disney in different capacities. It was those experiences that led me to having enough confidence to start working for myself & pairing up with my business partner, Nick, to start the Cinderblock Sessions. Music had become a huge part of my life after school so I found that combining a passion with work would be the easiest way to start a fun project that I could experiment with. After doing 5 or 6 sessions, I had a moment during a show that I thought, “this is could be a career.” The music and arts scene just fell in my lap after that. 

 

Amber LaFrance
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Julie McCullough
juliem.jpg
Some of these songs pull me through, some remind me of beautiful times & people in my life; some take me back. Nonetheless, all of these songs transport me, even if for just a minute.

Julie McCullough is one of Dallas' top multi-hyphenates. This badass lady is not only the mind behind Folksie, a clothing line she launched in 2011, but also The Pin Show, a one-night event combining the best up-and-coming fashion designers & music acts on the runway.

Her path to maker, fashion designer, seamstress & producer was paved with grit, determination & a dedication to thoughtful design & collaboration. She aspires to be a champion for those who enjoy the process of hand-made goods while emboldening artists & entrepreneurs with her success as a passionate, self-made creator, designer & event producer.

 

The CultureHype Collective: Meet Jayson LaFrance
xJayson+Cole+LaFrance+resized.jpg

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Creative. Technical. Analytical.

When you find yourself in a creative rut, where do you seek inspiration?

Travel really clears the mind & opens up opportunities for creative thinking.

Who is your fashion icon?

Benedict Cumberbatch. Scarves are the best male fashion accessory.

Tattoos?

None yet.

What is unique to you about Dallas?

I feel like there is still a lot of opportunity for growth & collaboration in the creative community here.

EVERY FRIDAY we'll be rolling out a little something called The CultureHype Collective. What is that? One could call it a dream team, our crew of preferred vendors who are killing it in the Big D & beyond. Meet The Collective.

Jayson is more than just a web & design specialist, he sees the big picture. His forte is creating unique & strikingly functional experiences for clients & kick-ass branding initiatives. Analytical & creative, Jayson is also the man behind the brand new Longhorn Ballroom, CultureHype & BJ Stricker websites - & a part of the LaFrance family, the owners who've renovated the historic space.

If you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Magic Sword's "Legend" EP

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Anything from N'SYNC or Backstreet Boys.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

Probably my 'Space Cat' T-shirt

Jayson LaFrance

What is your biggest goal/dream for your career? Being able to work completely remote so I can travel for extended periods

How did you come about being involved in the business you’re in?// When did you know that’s what you wanted to do? Building websites require a mixture of both creative and technical skills that I love.

 

#MUSICMONDAY feat. M33CA

“A few good songs about self preservation & love”

Photo credit: Fela Raymond

Photo credit: Fela Raymond

M33CA is one-of-a-kind, a true artist. Inspired by great hip-hop artists such as Andre 3000, Lauryn Hill, Left Eye & Prince, she strives to create a safe haven for the world through the sounds she creates with her soulful voice. An art student at UNT, M3CCA sings, performs & creates visual art with the mission to celebrate life, spread love, peace, unity & fruitful knowledge of self-awareness to her friends & fans.

“Creation & art is the light that carries the world,” & this fresh young artist is a shining light for the world to see.

Intergalactic realms she travels to & comes back bearing plenty gifts of love, empowerment & creativity. 

Catch her onstage Thursday, Nov. 2 at Deep Ellum Art Co. for her #FRUITTAPE album release party feat. Sudie & DJ Christy Ray.

The CultureHype Collective: Meet Said Abusaud
Culture Hype Collective Said Abusaud.jpg

Said Abusaud is an Arab-American photographer focusing on conceptual portraiture & fashion. The mastermind behind Afterglow Gallery, Abusaud is a visual artist, creative conceptualist, storyteller & published fashion photographer in Dallas.

What is your favorite perk of being in the photography business? 

The people. It’ll always be the people that I’ve been blessed to meet since this started back in 2013. I went to a show in Fort Worth at the end of 2014 to see the Burning Hotels perform, & by chance, Taylor Rea AKA ZHORA, was opening for them. At the end of the night, all my friends were talking about the Hotels and here I was still mesmerized by the performance of ZHORA I will always credit her beautiful soul for giving me a chance to collaborate with her, connecting me with incredible musicians/likeminded folks such as LEV, Ronnie Heart, Sudie, NITE& many more.

Tattoos?

Surprisingly, no. I’ve always wanted some and if I do ever get some, it would definitely be in Arabic text.

What is your random special talent? 

When I was younger, all I ever wanted to be was an actor. The feeling knowing you can get up there on stage & put on a performance to move people brought so much excitement in my life. It was when I watched Mrs. Doubtfire for the first time that I realized I could mimic people. 

What is unique to you about living/working in Dallas? 

I was born & raised in Dallas. Seeing its growth over the years, especially in the art scene, has definitely been moving. 

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be? 

Intelligent. Controversial. Raw

When you find yourself in a creative rut, where do you seek inspiration? 

David Bowie, The Smiths, Prince & Lenny Kravitz are the biggest inspirations in my life. The visual presentation & reinvention of these musicians, that has spanned over five decades, gives me plenty of material to get inspiration from. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 10.41.49 AM.png
jacq 500 x 500.jpg

How did you know you wanted to be a photographer?

I had just finished a long stint in the acting world. I had no idea what life my direction was going in. I knew I had the talent, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I remember seeing an ad from Best Buy offering a camera kit for $500. I had no idea how to use a camera but thought it would be cool to try it out. After practicing and studying, I decided to offer my services to people and an old friend from my past, Ashlee Gonzalez, reached out to me to work on a conceptual shoot. She’s been my art wife & makeup gal since day one. Amy Bellinger, my assistant tech has also been there as well from day one to help create the scenes & visuals. My pride & joy are my members-only team of the most talented artists in DFW including: Gezebel AliceaAmanda ArcheyMegan Visitacion, Ekaterina KouznetsovaZach BushCarine Rice, Kenneth Smith, Logan Neumann, Jacqueline Prieto & more. This is how Afterglow Gallery was created & without them, it would have never existed.

What is your biggest goal/dream for your career?

To constantly always be learning & leave people with questions. I always get people ask me “What does your work mean to you? What are you trying to say?” Art, to me, is a question. It should never have an answer. I also want to do work for Harper’s Bazaar for a little bit, travel the Middle East with my cameras to show the United States the beauty of the Middle Eastern culture (specifically that not all Arabs are terrorists) & for my team (Afterglow Gallery) to achieve their dreams.

If you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

David Bowie’s 2013 release “The Next Day” The whole album is a stunning, resonant piece of expression. I listen to it daily.

Who is your fashion icon? 

Audrey Hepburn. For those that know my work, she's everything to me. 

Culture Hype Collective Said Abusaud
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Jayson LaFrance

Jayson is more than just a web & design specialist, he sees the big picture. His forte is creating unique & strikingly functional experiences for clients & kick-ass branding initiatives. Analytical & creative, Jayson is also the man behind the brand new Longhorn Ballroom website - & a part of the LaFrance family, the owners who've renovated the historic space.

"While there was a lot of country music over the years at the Longhorn Ballroom, I wanted to show the diversity of music that was performed there!"

Click to listen to Jayson's eclectic #LonghornBallroom playlist featuring his fav artists who've performed on its legendary stage in the last 67 years. 

Introducing The CultureHype Collective: Meet Jeremy Biggers & Sam Lao
Photo credit: Glass Optical

Photo credit: Glass Optical

Starting today & EVERY FRIDAY we'll be rolling out a little something called The CultureHype Collective. What is that? One could call it a dream team, our crew of preferred vendors who are killing it in the Big D & beyond. Meet The Collective.

Jeremy Biggers & Sam Lao: Visionary and hip-hop lyricist. AKA two creative geniuses, the dynamic duo who is the epitome of #couplegoals! Together, they create beyond amazing music, videos, visual art, graphic design & more. What Sam brings to Jeremy's unreal visuals for music videos is an artistic direction behind the scenes, storyboarding and creative vision like nothing we've ever seen. 

When their powers combine, the sheer creative talent that gets put on display is borderline obnoxious.
— Central Track

What is your favorite perk of being in the music business? 

Photo credit: Jeremy Biggers

Photo credit: Jeremy Biggers

Sam: "Seeing people identify with my music & fall just as in love with it as I am. Also, the look of elation on my parents faces every time I bring them a newspaper or magazine with my name in it."

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Jeremy: "Passionate. Driven. Funny."

What is your random special talent?

Sam: "I make a killer cheesecake. Like, so good fights have broken out over it."

When you find yourself in a creative rut, where do you seek inspiration?

Jeremy: "I try not to let myself get to a point of being in a rut, but when I am, I just do a lot more research & try and learn something new in hopes it sparks something."

What is your biggest goal/dream for your career?

Sam: "Ideally I would like to take my music career as far and as high as I can go. Maybe even do a few movies."

Photo credit: Jeremy Biggers (video still)

Photo credit: Jeremy Biggers (video still)

How did you come about being involved in the business you’re in?When did you know that’s what you wanted to do?

Sam: "Depression led me to music. It started as a healing project & became something that just clicked & felt right. When I realized making music was something I couldn't go without doing or being a part of I knew it was something I was going to stick with."

What do you love most about Dallas?

Jeremy: "Dallas is an awesome place with lots of world-class talent. The cost of living makes it more manageable to live here versus East or West Coast."

Tattoos?

Sam: "I have the symbol for Mercury on my wrist. Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini & a symbol for communication & creativity."

If you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Jeremy: "Music is such a huge part of what I do on every level. I pick music based on my mood so it's really tough to say. If I had to pick though... I would probably say... Lupe Fiasco's 'Food and Liquor.'"

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

Sam: "A leather jacket with some of my lyrics hand painted on it." 

What do you bring to the DFW creative scene? Why are you proud of it?

Jeremy: "I bring a unique voice to the DFW creative scene & prove that you can do a number of things at a high level. I love that Dallas is finally embracing its creatives. We have A LONG way to go... but at least the process has begun."

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Sam: "'Something Like That' by Tim McGraw! I like singing country at karaoke not just because I enjoy it but because the look on peoples faces is priceless."

Click to watch "Grenade" by Sam Lao (directed by Jeremy Biggers).

Parker Twomey and Remy Reilly: A Soulful Duet

If you want to listen to a romantic duet to get your day going, catch this cover by Parker Twomey and Remy Reily here. You may be surprised that these soulful voices warming your heart belong to a couple of teenagers.

Photo Credit: Cinderblock

Photo Credit: Cinderblock

16 year-old Parker Twomey is not only a singer and songwriter but he also plays the guitar and piano. He was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and currently attends school at Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He recently released his debut album, “Floating,” which he recorded in Austin, Texas and can be found here on Spotify.

Remy Reilly

 

13 year-old Remy Reilly is not only a singer and songwriter but she also plays the drums and piano. Remy lives and performs in the the Dallas area and has a voice mature beyond her age. You can keep up with her music and events here.

This adorable duo will be performing a duet tonight, September 6th at Opening Bell Coffee in Dallas at 8 p.m. Join in to listen to this beautiful duet that will undoubtedly make your heart melt. For more information you can visit their event page here.

 

 

 

 

 

Amber LaFrance
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Clair Reilly-Roe
IMG_5216.JPG

As the baby of 3 in a house of British-Trinidadian-Canadians, Clair was raised on Macrobiotic Food, Transcendental Meditation, Gregorian Chants and Energization Exercises.  She spent her high school years playing basketball and pro-snowboarding, before trading her Burton for a Gibson to live in New York City. Clair took a big bite of the big Apple— from wedding singing for NYC’s social elite, bottle service waitressing in exclusive nightclubs, performing on Live with Kelli and Michael for CeeLo Green, and playing with both a psychedelic/jazz/improv trio and a kids hip hop group— she conquered the rat race just in time to hear the West Coast calling. It was a rocky road to California, but the soft sand and Prozac sun helped her see through the vapors to find herself living in the Laurel Canyon backyard Tipi of actor Jeremy Sisto.  Up next...  A live tour, playing at amazing Vintage Stores across the USA!

These songs give me an endless kaleidoscope feelings.  Some of them make me wanna dance and get high, some of them make me want to cry and hide out for days.  I think both extremes - and everything in between - are all equally important in order to live a full life and fuck shit up doing it your own way. 

Morgan Sullivan
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Brandon Callies

Brandon Callies & the American Revival is an Austin based rock n roll outfit. "Sometimes loud, sometimes quiet" describes the band pretty well, since they are just as inclined to do stripped down acoustic sets as they are to do loud rock sets. 

Each track on this list played a pivotal role in my musical journey. They all influence my writing in some way, and I may not have even started playing if it weren't for some of these bands/artists.

Things to Know When Dating a PR Girl

So you found yourself hanging out with this girl who works in public relations, but what does that even mean? She’s organized and outgoing but she can be so demanding sometimes! There are a few things you need to know before dating a girl who works in the competitive PR world. We warned you first. 

HuffPost.jpg

She is determined

Working from her laptop on the weekend or taking conference calls is part of her work. When it comes to her clients she puts in the time to get them the credit they deserve. Expect this to be one of the most challenging but rewarding relationships you will ever have.

Communication is Key

If you mix up you’re and your in texts to her. She will most definitely correct you. The way to over this communication girl is to always be up front and say what you really mean. 

She knows news

Don’t be surprised when she brings up breaking news you haven’t even heard about yet. It's her job to be on top of how her clients can utilize breaking headlines. For example, if a story about texting and driving goes viral she will craft a story for her cellphone client. She may excitedly tell you "x client can write a blog post on how to best stop teens from texting and driving". Her mind is always analyzing what people are talking about. 

She could be a lawyer

Don’t start an argument with this girl unless you have facts to back it up. Be prepared to face a strategic communicator with a sharp memory. If you only started a fight to blow off steam than you're with the wrong gal. 

She thinks about photos & social media more than most people

“Which hashtag should I use on this post?” or “What would be the best time to post this on Instagram?” are typical phrases you will hear. Along with "Can you believe Martha posted that?". If she offers advice for your social media image she's only trying to help. It's nothing personal. Oh, and don’t you DARE touch that calamari appetizer before she snaps a pic of it!

She knows EVERYONE

You could be at the grocery store near midnight on a Tuesday and she will still manage to run into someone she knows. After awhile it will just become the usual. Sorry, everyone knows everyone in the biz.

Expect to Plan Ahead

Last minute plans to visit your grandparents this weekend? Don’t think so. This girl most likely has her planner full of to-dos and meetings for weeks. This doesn’t mean she can’t have fun. But spontaneous trips can be the biggest source of anxiety… or finding out how to kindly cancel.

She finds it hard to relax

A publicist doesn't earn national media coverage for clients by sitting on the couch. Since she works so hard during the week it will probably spill over on the weekend. t’s a type A, communication, perfection obsession thing. Don’t make her explain it. Just understand it’s a thing. 

She expects the best

This girl is going to expect the best from you. In return, you will have the most thoughtful, hardworking and loyal partner. Us PR girls can be a lot to handle but there are a lot of things that make us great girlfriends. At the end of the day, what matters the most to us are relationships. Whether it's regarding our client or significant other that is what fulfills our lives. If you can win her over, that PR girl will give you her best. 

buzz2luxe.com.jpg

Image 1 courtesy of Huffington Post, Image 2 courtesy of buzz2luxe.com. 

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Silas Nello

Silas Nello hails from Dallas. Like so many other people that call Dallas home, he grew up somewhere else.

Silas Nello weaves the spirit of these conversations in the music. Half rock and roll, half folk - blending the domestic dialogue with frustration, the music is playing for you. He's been a server. He's been a bartender. He's been your confidant at the bar and shared a long conversation with you while you waited in line at the store. 

Silas is on the Hand Picked Tour Aug. 22 to Aug. 27. You can find more information about the tour here.

"These songs came to me either organically or through friends over the past year while I was working on my album and broadened my creative outlook tremendously.  I think there's something to be said about "timeless" works of art and I feel that all of these tracks fall right into that category. Enjoy."

5 Phrases to Stop Saying at Work

Think of the last conversation with the most negative co-worker. How did you feel after that conversation? Most likely you will be ignoring that person from now on instead of looking for their advice and friendship. How about a coworker you met who was extremely nice but sounded like they had no confidence? That’s probably not someone you trust to be on your team. It’s clear that none of us want to be THAT girl at the office. Here are 5 phrases to stop saying at work so you can sound like the poised, assertive and confident #GIRLBOSS that you already are. 

“Don’t worry about it” 
Not only does this demonstrate that the work you did didn’t require much effort but it also makes that person feel silly for thanking you. Instead, own up to the great work you did and acknowledge them by appreciating it. Also, this phrase is super casual and not quite professional for the office. Better yet, show gratitude by saying “you’re welcome”. You deserve to be valued! 

“I’m not an expert but…” 
By doing this you are listing flaws in your thoughts before you even share them. This is not a good way to start a sentence because it immediately primes others to think “Well, she said she’s no expert…”. This along with other negative introductory phrases disqualify your idea before it’s even acknowledged. It is most likely a sign of modesty or shyness. Definitely not a good idea for future reference.

“I feel like…” 
Guilty! This phrase is typically used to set up a phrase you feel unsure about or could be offensive. Our advice, cut it to stop sounding like a valley girl to the max. Picture telling your boss “I feel like I deserve a promotion.” That doesn’t sound very compelling, does it? The same goes for the phrase “I think…”. Instead, save time by telling people what you really mean.  

“Sorry”
I am not telling you to never apologize because that is definitely wrong. What I am saying is do not be that girl who apologizes for EVERYTHING. When her boss gives her one piece of advice, she replies “Sorry I…” or trips over a trash can and yells “Sorry!” to those around her. This are all mundane/ small situations that do not issue an apology. By constantly saying “sorry” are not only annoying others but also continually putting yourself in the wrong. If you do feel the need to apologize or address a situation please utilize other phrases like “Okay, I know not to do that next time” or “That’s a great idea! I’ll try that next time!”. That way you’re only apologizing when it’s sincere and appropriate. 

"Uhmmm" and "Just"
Even though all of us are blameworthy for saying this at one time or another doesn’t mean we can’t erase them now. Speakers who routinely say “um”, “uh” or continually sigh prevent their listeners from grasping their message. We’re all human but eliminating these unnecessary fill words will improve speeches to the nth degree. Another annoying filler you may not notice you use is “just”. It may sounds respectful but it always put you in the inferior end. Erasing this qualifier makes you sound much more confident.  

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Stocksy. 

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Raquel Talamantes

Raquel is a 2017 summer CultureHype intern! She graduates from UNT next May with a bachelor’s in journalism and a concentration in public relations. She aspires to be a music journalist or work in the music industry as a public relations professional. Outside of going to class, you can find Raquel endlessly listening to tunes, drinking tea, doing yoga and eating pho.

Follow her on Twitter @xraquelv!

This playlist is a mix of new favorites and old favorites that have stuck with me. Whether it’s the feeling of happiness, peace, nostalgia, sadness, or excitement I get when listening to these songs, they all take me back to past memories.

Listen to #TimesLikeThese down below.

How to Get More Work Done (Without Working Harder)

We all wish there were more hours in the day. Sometimes it just seems impossible to finish everything that needs to get done. Luckily, the team here at CultureHype has some tips to share for top level productivity. Read on to become the ultimate #GIRLBOSS who gets work done and has free time for brunch.

Designate optimal work time

When are you most alert? Do you find it easiest to tackle projects right after your morning coffee? Or are you a late riser who can concentrate best in late morning after reading the paper? When you designate this work time is up to you and your internal clock. This is so you can avoid those times in college when you tried to cram a late-night paper with no creativity or effort left in your bones.

Walk away – but come back!

The most productive employees are the ones who take breaks. If you feel your energy depleting grab a snack and water or watch a funny video on YouTube. Doing something you enjoy will energize you for whatever you work on next.

Make a to do list with deadlines

Even with the endless amount of list apps sometimes the best thing is a to-do list on a physical piece of paper. Put this on your desk where you will see it throughout the day. Not only will seeing it make you accountable but checking off that box is oh so fulfilling.

FOCUS

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything that needs to get done we don’t fully focus on the task at hand. This is an ugly cycle of being stressed that leads to not finishing tasks and guess what? Being more stressed! To avoid this conundrum, get rid of all distractions and clear your mind before starting a task. This way you will finish it faster and with less pressure. 

Now, go get work done! Be proud of the extra hours you’ve earned to slack off now. 

Images courtesy of Exabytes.

Girl bosses we love: BTS in entertainment

DIRECTORS

Patty Jenkins

You’ve probably heard of a little film called Wonder Woman — it’s only the highest grossing live-action film directed by a woman. But Jenkins’ career didn’t begin with the awe-inspiring Amazon. Her 2003 film Monster (produced by & starring fellow #GIRLBOSS Charlize Theron), was named one of the best films of the decade by film critic Roger Ebert. Jenkins found her ultimate success through her hustle. To raise the money to make Monster, she made many short films, wrote her own screenplay & cast a young actress named Charlize Theron, who went from being relatively unknown to winning the Oscar for Best Actress. This lady never quits & we can't wait to see what she makes next. 

Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay.jpg

If there’s any one person in the film industry to look out for right now, it’s powerhouse director Ava DuVernay. In 2012, she directed the immensely powerful historical drama Selma, becoming the first black woman to have a film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But she didn't stop breaking ground there; DuVernay is also the first woman to direct a film exceeding a budget of $100 million for her work directing Disney’s upcoming A Wrinkle in Time. Her movies aren’t the only reason we love Ava DuVernay — before jumping head-first into the film-making world, she ran her own public relations firm The DuVernay Agency. Throughout her entire career, she has never stopped helping other artists and creators. She often uses her voice to call for inclusion and empower women and people of color, both within the industry & without.

MUSIC PRODUCERS

Grimes

This. Woman. Does. It. All. Known by her stage name Grimes, Canada native Claire Boucher writes, produces, engineers, & performs music as well as editing & writing videos. The ultimate musical Renaissance woman, Grimes began her life in Canada studying neuroscience before she went on to become one of the most eclectic & forward-thinking artists out there. When she’s not spitting out ethereal experimental music or writing the next big hit, she devotes her time & resources to advocating for equal opportunities for girls in STEM fields, even doing an interview with Teen Vogue from the 2017 Apple WorldWide Developers’ Conference.

WondaGurl

WondaGurl is the the alter ego of Canadian-Nigerian Ebony Oshunrinde & she is absolutely SLAYING the scene right now. The kicker? She is only 20 years old. That’s right. Twenty. Since winning The Battle of the Beat Makers contest at 15, her career has skyrocketed. While most of her peers were graduating high school & starting college, WondaGurl was creating music with artists like Jay-Z (bringing to life the song “Crown” from his “MCHG” album), Travis Scott & Drake. This young producer has a big bright road ahead of her — & we’re happy to join her ever-expanding fan club.

EXECUTIVES 

Bozoma Saint John

Named Billboard’s  “Executive of the Year” in 2016, Bozoma Saint John is everything we aspire to be. Currently the Chief Brand Officer for Uber, Saint John cemented her legacy as one of the greatest names in music as the Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple, where she spearheaded the successful Apple Music streaming service. Saint John has come a long way from the pop-culture-obsessed 13-year-old girl who moved the U.S. from Ghana years ago, working with with huge names from Beyoncé (remember that FIRE Pepsi commercial she did back in 2002? Yeah, thank Boz for that) to the late CEO of Apple Tim Cook.

Julie Greenwald

As chairman & COO of Atlantic Records as well as the rest of her life, Julie Greenwald has proven that she not only gets the biz — she's using it to put more good into the world. Under her watch, the label saw 18 Grammy nominations & became the not simply the only label to have the RIAA certify four albums across Gold & Platinum, but the record label with the most RIAA-certified singles. With a particular interest in helping others, she pushed for a mentality at Atlantic that's more focused on great artists than just market share. We love what this #GIRLBOSS is doing at Atlantic & hope to see more powerful women at the helm of the industry.

Patty Jenkins image from Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore. Ava DuVernay photo from TheSource.com. Grimes photo from LiveNation. WondaGurl photo from Hollywood Reporter. Bozoma Saint John photo from Blavity.com. Julie Greenwald photo from Billboard.

#WWAPD (What Would A Publicist Do): 8 Local partnerships to lift your career

If you're a local musician who wants to increase your visibility we've compiled a list for you. These are partnerships you can make within your local music scene to benefit both parties. 

After all, these are give-and-take partnerships. As a musician, you have several services to offer. Here are some ideas to get your creative gears going.  

Photo of Sam Lao by D Magazine.

Photo of Sam Lao by D Magazine.

RECORD STORES

Okay, this one seems obvious but are you actually on a first-name basis with your local record store? This partnership has unlimited perks like in-store events, discounts on your record for fans & more. 

PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS

Quality photos and videos of your work are a must. It's important both parties have a clear picture (no pun intended) of what the final product should look like. Of course, there are professionals who are looking to make a living off of their creative work (just like you) so it would save resources to be on a friend basis.  

INTERNET RADIO AND PODCASTS

These are great sources of press for your music. A live studio performance will both promote their show as well as reveal you to their fans. This partnership is a great way to increase your fanbase. 

Photo by Cal Quinn for PaperCity Magazine

Photo by Cal Quinn for PaperCity Magazine

ART GALLERIES

This one may not be as obvious as the others but it still holds possibilities. Could your band perform at one of their opening receptions or gallery premieres? What if the art gallery provided a mini-exhibit at your next performance? The list is endless if you think creatively. 

INSTRUMENT AND GEAR SHOPS

Supporting these smaller shops and promoting the brand to your local musicians is a great way to lead to a partnership. If you're not already a regular at the store, start there. 

DESIGN STUDIOS

The benefits of this connection are limitless. This can include designing of t-shirts, buttons & even album artwork. This partnership could allow you to handle your own merch from start to finish. The quality of merchandise can be greatly improved with someone who is experienced at what they are doing. 

PRINT SHOPS

Regardless of how strong your social media presence is you should be posting physical copies of announcements. It may be worth contacting your local print shop for a discount with exclusive use. As a return, you could promote to your fans and the local music scene. 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST- OTHER LOCAL ARTISTS 

There are plenty of reasons to support local artists that are mentioned in our blog post Why You Should Get Involved In Your Local Music Scene. This is a great way to truly create a community of creatives. You never know what types of perks these connections will lead to. 

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Said Abusaud
said.JPG

My name is Said Abusaud and I am the photographer, visual artist, creative conceptualist and owner for a group I created called Afterglow Gallery. Afterglow Gallery is a members-only band of artists here in Dallas, TX. The team gets together every few months to create conceptual themed based photo shoots to give Dallas a new look on art. We’ve been getting together creating new ideas for over three years now and I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to help me bring my visions to life. 

As a photographer, music is such an integral part of my life. All my photography, and the quotes and songs I coincide with them, have a hidden meaning. And nobody has ever been able to figure them out. I imagine one day someone will when i'm long gone. The following musicians I've selected in the playlist called goonie, have in some capacity, inspired me to create art. They all bring something rather unique to the table, all different spirits. I respect these artists more than they know, and I credit them for making me who I am today. A world without music is a world I wouldn't want to live in. The effect is unquantifiable, yet I always know how a song will make me feel. And when you lose someone, the song will always be there. As an artist and individual, I only show one part of my life. Today, you're getting a preview of the other side. Cheers. 

Mondays suck. We can help.

Ahhh, weekends. Two days of fun, relaxation & the opportunity to take your mind off your work hustle. Unfortunately, the joy of weekends is short-lived & often immediately followed by the Monday blues.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have an adventurous weekend & still be ready to take on anything work throws your way Monday morning using these easy tips.

Mondays suck blog.jpg

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE

First things first, you need to take care of your body. Let's be honest: many twenty-somethings do a little bit of drinking over the weekend. Pair that with sleep deprivation & general exhaustion & your body will be too busy recovering Monday when you should be focusing on your hustle. Even slight dehydration can really affect your mood — & not just any drink will cut it. Chug that H2O and watch your health, your mood & your work improve like magic.

TREAT YO'SELF

If there’s any time for a mini spa day, it’s Sunday night. Grab a sparkly bath bomb, a soothing sheet mask, or a relaxing scented candle & turn up your favorite jams. Stretch out into some yoga poses or settle in for a half our of meditation. Take care of your mind as well as your body so you can be in tip-top shape come Monday morning.

SORT IT OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE

Scrambling to find your keys or those super important notes on your way out the door sets a frenetic tone for the rest of your day. Designate a spot in your house to put your keys, wallet, laptop or anything else you know you'll need & before your head hits your pillow, make sure everything is in one place. That way, when Monday morning rolls around, you won't have to frantically search your house like Gollum searching for his "Precious." Bonus: This also helps you cut down on the time it takes to get ready in the morning, which means MORE SLEEP! Speaking of which...

THE MORE YOU SNOOZE, THE LESS YOU LOSE

Look, we know it’s important to catch the newest episode of Game of Thrones to avoid internet spoilers. We also know the temptation to browse Facebook and Twitter into the wee hours of the morning is definitely not a good idea. Get a reasonable amount of sleep (7 to 8 hours) the night before work & we promise you won’t regret it. 

MOVE INTO MONDAY

When it comes to your weekend activities, you do you. But if you really want to feel great come Monday, work exercise & outdoor activities into your weekend plans. Go for a hike, swim a couple of laps, hit the gym, or just take your dog for a well-deserved walk. Spending extra time outside can improve your mood & your focus, according to the Harvard Health Letter, & performing to your fullest #GIRLBOSS potential.

Ultimately, your Monday is a product of your weekend. Practice good self-care, manage your time wisely, prepare & you'll have no problem making the most of your time at work — after all, Tuesday is just around the corner.

Image 1 by Ban.do. Images 2 & 3 by Pixabay. Image 4 by Yeg Fitness.