This playlist is just as suitable to cry to in your room or play while on a picnic with friends on a sunny day.
— Ellee McMeans

Happy Monday guys & gals & everyone outside & in between! Meet Ellee, a DFW native who is currently living it up (slaving away) at UNT as a dual major in Art History & Communication Studies. Ellee’s love for art is what got her interested in the creative & cultural scene in Dallas & what landed her right in the lap of Team Hype. Her favorite things include out of the box fashion, waking up early to cook brunch with friends, & long, romantic walks to Trader Joe’s. Growing up on bluegrass music & classic rock that was blasted in the car by her parents, Ellee’s music taste has adapted from those inspirations, after a rather unfortunate country faze in middle school, to be comprised of indie folk, alternative, & americana music. She loves any music that has a sense of nostalgia behind it, that can place you onto a Colorado mountain drive or in your favorite coffee shop from back home, with the sound of the melody.

Amber LaFrance
Happy beats to listen to with the windows down on a sunny afternoon
— Grace Yrastorza

You already know what day it is… Happy #MusicMonday music connoisseurs and madams! Grace is a senior at Baylor University but she likes it so much she’s taking a victory lap! When she’s not busy living the life of a Corporate Communications student, she loves to shop, make VSCO edits, and rewatch old Disney movies. Born in California, migrated to Nebraska, and landed in Texas, she’s sugar, spice and all things nice. She’s excited to join the #TeamHype family and learn from the best! Her entire mouth is sweet teeth, so consequently she is an avid proponent of the phrase “treat yourself.” She speaks fluent Vine, quotes Bridesmaids too often, and occasionally delivers witty one-liners. her favorite thing to do in Dallas is explore, which she does with the help of her favorite instagram accounts @thedallasyum and @dallasites101. In another life, Grace would have been a sloth (#enneagramtype9) or Ruth Kearney so she could be married to Theo James. 

Amber LaFrance
This playlist definitely represents my personality! I wake up listening to worship music. As the day goes on, I need something more relaxing to focus & be productive. By the end of the day, my upbeat songs are a must to power my drive home & workout sessions. This playlist has a little bit of everything, which is perfect for when you can’t choose a specific genre or mood.
— Estephania

The best time for new beginnings is now. Meet our first graphic design intern, Estephania Garcia. Estephania is a senior at the University of North Texas at Dallas & is thrilled to be part of #TeamHype this semester.

She’s obsessed with bold tassel earrings, tacos, horchata, & good music. Designing & working out are two of her greatest passions. Meeting new creatives & entrepreneurs is her new favorite thing to do because she enjoys learning about others’ business journeys, as she aspires to be a total #BossBabe entrepreneur one day.

On her free time, she enjoys watching scary movies & spending time with family & friends.


For this interview we talk with Houston native & Dallas-based artist, designer, & author David Morgan. We talk about David's many creative endeavors & his ability to dominate each one.

Amber LaFrance
Music is a vital part of my daily routine. My playlists are catered to the seasons I’m experiencing or the life events happening around me. Music has grown to become a constant soundtrack playing in the background of my life. There’s a song for every emotion, & when I’m in a funk, music helps me get out of that. This specific playlist is dedicated to transition between Spring & Summer. Everything is blooming & it’s time to feel refreshed, but we can’t go through it without the perfect playlist.
— Hope

Meet Hope Alvarez, our new #TeamHype Content Creator! Hope is a Photojournalism major at the University of North Texas with a minor in LGBT Studies. (Go Mean Green!) She’s passionate about visual storytelling, music, & the wonderful world of social media. She believes in the power of creativity to create meaningful connections.

When Hope isn’t taking photos, you can find her at a concert or hanging out with her cats. Chicago is her favorite city, but she prefers New York style pizza rather than Chicago deep dish. Island in the Sun by Weezer is her favorite song, but Paramore is her favorite band. Come say hi to her at an event!


Anna is a senior at UNT graduating in December with a degree in Media Arts & a minor in Public Relations. She wants to work in the film industry & move to Los Angeles after graduation. She loves going to concerts, traveling, & binge watching TV shows with friends.

She’s excited to be a part of the team & can’t wait to see what this summer has in store!

This playlist is a perfect mix of my favorite types of music. I’ll listen to anything except country & my genres are kinda all over the place. I unashamedly love pop music but also love rock & indie rock! I also love listening to movie scores, with my favorite being the Harry Potter soundtracks. It sounds weird but instrumental music low-key slaps.
— Anna
Amber LaFrance
THE UNCOMMONS: Skylar Tuggle

For this interview we catch up with Dallas-based artist Skylar Tuggle. We explore her unique use of textures, the inspiration for her work, & how she plans to impact the next generations.

Amber LaFrance
These songs are the songs that got me through the most weirdest, traumatic, & liberating times of my journey through making this upcoming project & visuals I’m releasing this next month.Some have been with me since I could listen at all, some I realized knew me & read me more then I could read myself, & some of these gave me vibes I never knew I needed.
— Loners Club

She goes by Loners Club. LC for short. She's a 22 year-old singer-songwriter/ director from Garland, Texas. She's into loud, love, color & Sailor Moon, & yes, she's the only loner in her club. LC is a first gen Cameroonian-American who makes art you can dance to in your tears while motivating you in your lone honesty. She identifies as bi-sexual goddess & her overall purpose is to redefine the word 'loner' & show the world that there’s no negativity in being alone cause learning about you is the most beautiful thing you can master. Especially when you're falling apart.

Already being a royal to 'Tha Undrwrld' she plans to take the entertainment world by storm so she can inspire other first gen-African kids to write their own story if they please instead of living the plan handed before them. She wants to teach the world that its 100 % alright to not give a f**k.

Amber LaFrance

For this interview we catch up with San-Antonio native & Dallas-based artist Keith William. We explore his sound, his evolution as an artist, & his plans for the future.

Amber LaFrance
These are my jams! I honestly listen to music from every genre & every language, but I narrowed it down to these top tracks I’ve been listening to recently.
— Adri

Adri Lavigne is a trilingual singer/songwriter in Austin, Texas. Originally from a village in the countryside of France with only 300 people, Adri moved to the U.S. at the age of 10 not speaking any English. However, after dedicating himself to learn the English language he has now become completely fluent in English, French, & Spanish. Adri uses this to his advantage in order to differentiate himself in the music industry by composing & performing songs in 3 different languages.

Discover his chill acoustic vibes as he will be releasing 12 new tracks this year, the first one being “Take Me Home”. He has been writing “Take Me Home” on and off for 10 years & it has grown to be a very personal song to him. “Take Me Home” comes out on Friday April 26th & will give you a great taste of what’s to come next!

Amber LaFrance
Cough Syrup is one song that honestly changed my life. I love when artists write about not giving a damn about anything else than just living their life. This song inspired me to start writing songs that make people feel nostalgic, & that also make everything else feel like background noise except what you’re doing in that moment.
— Sophia

Ever since writing, recording, & releasing her first EP “Runaway”, Sophia Annello’s life has changed in so many ways. She has played more & more venues around the DFW area, has done a tour of the Rustic venues, & has also recorded & released 2 more singles. Sophia has reached 4 million Facebook video & ad plays on her title track “Runaway”, 300,000 video views of her single “Falling”, 1.3 million video views of a cover video on Facebook, almost 400,000+ total spotify streams, over 1 million soundcloud streams, & many more amazing accomplishments.

Sophia is very inspired by the artists on these lists because of their amazing songwriting & vocal talents. They showcase & create art that is unique to them, & create it in such a way that makes people feel everything they say simply over a recording. It is incredible, & Sophia strives everyday to create art that impacts people in the same way. She went from playing every Monday night for tips as a high school freshman, to playing some of the biggest live music venues in the Dallas area. She is so proud to be an established singer-songwriter, & hopes to release an EP by the end of summer before she attends college.

Amber LaFrance

For the first installment of this new series we catch up with Dallas artist Zarina Karapetyan & delve deep into the meaning behind her work, how her creative journey has been thus far, & her advice for the future generations.

Amber LaFrance
THE UNCOMMONS Interview Series Annoucement
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We are pleased to announce the launch of our new interview series THE UNCOMMONS. DFW is home to so many incredibly talented individuals who are killing it in every category of creative expression, whether that be music, design, photography, cinematography, etc. In our new interview series, we’ve sought out these individuals in hopes of shining a spotlight on them & their craft. Follow these inspiring stories on our blog & social media & discover your new fav artist! We sit down one-on-one with them & give them the chance to tell their story the way they want it to be told. Here at CultureHype, we pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse of Dallas culture. This series is our way of introducing you to new artists that we admire who aren’t on our roster.

Amber LaFrance
I use imagination a lot, so this playlist helps add a filtered lense to my imagination as I work. It also serves as a cadence, & silky narrative to my flow of consciousness.
— Jeremiah

Jeremiah Onifadé is best known as the artist The Hashface. Onifadé is a Dallas based artist who is making a name for himself, creating works that explore our energies & how it best benefits our environment whether positively or negatively. His art stands somewhere between visual art as therapy & global commerce. He has used his works to raise funds for HIV/AIDS, inspire youths in community peer programs, motivate hospital patients in therapy & teach others about living positively. As a military veteran & a victim of community riot while growing up in Kaduna Nigeria, he draws from prior experience when creating his works then merges it with found knowledge on Matisse, Cézanne, Basquiat, Murakami, Modigliani, Michelangelo Lodovico, Giacometti, Kaws & Condo while employing the use of acrylic, charcoal, canvas, porcelain, concrete, fabric etc. amongst others, to pit the essence of adrenalized actions & its positive/negative impact. 

Amber LaFrance
Brigitte Mena courtesy of Ashley Highberger.jpg
This playlist contains a collection of songs that have inspired me as a songwriter the past couple of years. I included artists & bands that I have listened to for many years, & also some newer ones I discovered most recently.
— Brigitte

You won’t find many singer-songwriters channeling the work of Abraham Maslow, but Brigitte Mena is not like most artists. The North Texas native derives inspiration from the famed psychologist & his contemporaries to create driving songs equipped with haunting vocal melodies & infectious hooks. “I am constantly inspired by human behavior, & the way we think, feel, & respond to various situations & stimuli,” she says. It makes sense— before taking up music full-time, Mena studied psychology at Southern Methodist University.

Music has always been a part of Mena’s life, but the singer got serious in high school. She started crafting original work & started her first rock band during her freshman year in college. As she developed her artistry, she also developed a deep love & fascination for the study of Psychology. She soon discovered that her two passions could be easily merged & started writing music that explores a topic we can all relate to: human behavior.

Her debut album “Maslow” is an atmospheric exploration through personal hardships, told through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

“I create a story that is relatable to a wide range of listeners,” she says. “These are songs I think we can all resonate with in one way or another.”

Amber LaFrance
This track-list is ‘the inspiration’ behind “Demigod”, every song means something special to me
— 7 Tha Great

Phantom City Records is on a mission to help Dallas artists reach their maximum potential by providing & sourcing professional recording studios, & executing & implementing 360-degree branding & marketing initiatives. No one knows this more than local rapper 7 Tha Great, whose recently released sophomore album, “Demigod,” is a Phantom City production.

7 Tha Great, aka Ladarrion Burton, has worked incessantly for over a year, writing, recording & packaging the long-awaited record. “Demigod” is a follow-up to his debut mixtape “7 Days,”

“Dude’s a hip-hop thoroughbred,” says producer & Phantom City Records co-owner Chris Nicolaou. “It’s like he was born to do nothing else but fit words together in 16-bar increments to spit at the world. But it’s his determination to learn, hustle & grow that sets him aside from everyone else.

That hustle made 7, a native of the Dixon Circle neighborhood, a perfect partner for Phantom City. The rapper’s homegrown label FGMG teamed up with a then unknown Phantom City Records in 2017. Since then, 7 has jumped at every opportunity to provide support, mentorship & corporate resources to help hip hop artists thrive in Dallas. The rising star plans to help transform Dallas’ hip hop scene for good.

Partnering with artists like 7, Phantom City Records strives to help artists get their music heard without tying them down with contracts that limit creativity.

“We’re changing the culture of hip-hop in our city,” 7 says. “Period.”

Music has shaped my life for as long as I can remember. While these artists vary greatly in their style of music & sound, they all hold a special place in my heart & contribute to some of my favorite memories.
— Heather

Happy #MUSICMONDAY from our fam to yours! This week’s playlist is a special one because we have BIG news to share! CultureHype has joined forces with ICON PR, a LA-based PR agency specializing in music & entertainment. Now we’re able to offer clients national exposure in not only the LA market, but Nashville & New York as well. Today’s #MUSICMONDAY playlist is brought to you by Heather Besignano, the founder & CEO of ICON PR!

Heather is not your average girl boss. Her love for music began as young as the age of 5 when her mother brought her to the David Bowie “Glass Spider” tour. She fell in love right then and there with him & the artistry of performing on a stage. The obsession grew as her great grandmother spoiled her with front row, season tickets to Theater Under the Stars – bringing a love for Broadway performance & acting into the mix. As she graduated from concert-goer & fan-girl to a young woman, she began her role in the industry in Houston, Texas working with music artists on street teams & eventually graduating to assistant tour management & management. Yearning for a larger-scale opportunity she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career with a record label. Life had other plans & she fell into the world of public relations & was excited to utilize her passion for music & the arts to help brand artists & actors and work with their teams to shape their careers. Her highlights include working on numerous Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe & SAG Award campaigns, seeing Prince perform live at Coachella in 2008, meeting Death Cab for Cutie at Letterman & expressing her undying love for their “Transatlanticism” album, seeing Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium & working alongside the very talented Christina Grimmie transforming her career. Before opening the doors at ICON PR, Heather began her career as an assistant to the owner of Much & House Public Relations, where she ultimately became COO & helped transform the company with a re-brand in 2016 to East 2 West Collective.

Heather’s free time consists of watching any TV show that features Gordon Ramsay, re-runs of Friends, trying new restaurants, traveling & spending time with her infant daughter, husband & their 2 dogs. She could eat pasta for breakfast, lunch & dinner & fills any space she’s in with the sound of music. She has an insane (& always growing) vinyl collection that is frequently played at home and a multitude of Spotify playlists to fit every mood & situation she can encounter throughout the day. She finds inspiration in other bad-ass women in positions of power & in her daughter and is a staunch believer in ALWAYS doing the right thing & speaking up where it’s important (even if that means you aren’t well liked). She has only one regret in life – that David Bowie left this earth before she had the opportunity to meet him.

Amber LaFrance
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Randi Howard
This is my all-in-one playlist. Whether I’m driving in the car, cleaning my house, or getting ready for a night out, these are the songs that get me through the day.

New #MUSICMONDAY alert! Randi is a senior at UNT, graduating with a degree in Communication Studies & minoring in Marketing & Social Science. Though a loyal Houstonian, she hopes to find a creative marketing job in the Dallas area after graduation. Randi is one of those people that loves trying new things & balancing a full plate. She finds fulfillment from traveling, festivals, & spending quality time with the people in her life. She’s also recently tapped into her inner soccer mom & started running 5k’s & going to cycling classes.. but we’ll see how long that lasts!

This mix of alternative and indie jams mimic her chill & adaptive personality. She’s so excited to be a part of Team Hype & all that it has to offer!

Amber LaFrance
If it was possible to turn me into a playlist, it would 100% look like this one. Every single song & artist featured in this playlist means something to me. Some are throwbacks, some are new, but all in all, they’re all fire & they’re all me.

Parental Advisory Warning: these juke jams may change your life... just let it happen.
— Alyssa

Meet Alyssa, one of our PR assistants & a new member of #TeamHype!

Alyssa was born in October of 1996 #LibraGang, raised in Dallas & proudly reps her city! She plans to graduate from UNT this summer (woot woot!) as a Communications major with a double minor in Journalism & Women & Gender studies! Her long term career goal is to become a Fashion Attorney to combine her passion for fashion & law.

In her free time, you’ll find Alyssa loving her pup Mi$o, being the ultimate hype-woman to her beloved friends & family, adding items to her online shopping cart, or exploring her deep love & appreciation for traveling, food, & fashion, music, & the arts. You may catch her jammin’ out to some throwback 90’s R&B or the newest Travis Scott album, it just depends on the day!

Alyssa identifies as a proud first generation, Vietnamese-American woman who aspires to inspire girls like herself. Her life’s mission is make a difference in fashion by helping to create an inclusive, diverse & well-represented community. She describes her personal style as a mixture of street wear, a whole lot of drip & flex, with a splash of Kawaii influences inspired by her love for Japanese culture!

Amber LaFrance
Music is my favorite escape! It helps to take my mind off things when times are tough. My music style is very eclectic & it’s a reflection of all the different moods I feel. I hope these songs can be your escape too.

A new week means a new #MUSICMONDAY playlist for your ears! Meet one of our new PR assistants, My-Han Duong. My-Han is on her way to graduate this spring at the University of North Texas (UNT) & is pumped to join #TeamHype this semester.

She’s obsessed with trying new foods & traveling to new places are two of her biggest passions. A natural homebody, My-Han also loves to go out & explore what nature has to offer. Her favorite way to relax & wind down for the day is with a glass of red wine as she binges her fav shows The Office & New Girl, & hanging out with her loved ones.

Amber LaFrance