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
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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
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Dyllan Chavez
This playlist really embodies my energy! At times I can be really high energy & have a bunch of ideas rushing through my mind, but others I’m really chill & like to reflect on my life & my goals. This playlist really gets me into the right mindset no matter how I feel that day.
— Dyllan

It’s a new year so lets start it off right. Our new Content Strategist, Dyllan Chavez, is a recent graduate and Marketing guru from the University of North Texas. Originally from Mexico, Dyllan loves exploring and strengthening his creative abilities, & has done everything from DJing to spray painting. In his spare time, you can find him scarfing down tacos, diving into Tilted Towers with his fellow lads, or spending time with the people he cares about the most.

One day, Dyllan hopes to help inner city reach their creative potential by providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, & tools they need to succeed. He is always covered in “drip” (badass jewelry) & has a “cozy” but fashion-forward sense of style.

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When I listen to music, my reaction to a song on any given day is 100% unpredictable...sometimes I can’t hold back from jamming, sometimes I’m shocked to the point of jaw-dropped silence, & a time or two I’ve audibly screamed! It amazes me how lucky we are to be experiencing the sounds that we do, in addition to the sounds that have come before.
— Sierra

Meet Sierra, a Houston native who will happily respond when called anything that translates to the likes of music lover, playlist perfectionist, podcast addict, or a girl who laughs so much that it yields the soreness of an intense ab-workout. Most recently she’s test driving the title #TeamHype PR Assistant – it has a nice ring, don’t you think?

Sierra is a senior at the University of North Texas studying public relations & minoring in social sciences. #CollegeLife has been a totally beautiful whirlwind the past year – the beautiful part being the abundance of “aha!” moments & nuggets of inspo that have her 100% stoked for endless possibilities of the future. She’s hypest lately for brand strategy, experiential marketing, & developing innovative ways to story tell. Nothing will ever replace what she loves the most – music! She has big dreams of pursuing artist & tour management, with the end goal of creating her own music festival.

Outside of work, she loves thrifting, drinking strong coffee, cleaning her most faithful pair of Adidas, catching shows, & falling in loves with dogs online that she can’t adopt just yet. When you see her at upcoming events, be sure to say what’s up!

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Meredith Erikson
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Meet Meredith Erikson, one of CultureHype’s fall interns! She’s a graduate from the University of North Texas (UNT), who majored in journalism with a focus in public relations & a minor in sociology. She aspires to work for any group that values social good, diversity, & creativity, which is why she’s more than thrilled to be a part of #TeamHype.  

 She’s always on the hunt to discover something new in her city, whether it’s a restaurant, happy hour, or museum, she’s passionate about anything that expands her knowledge. In her off time, catch her vibing to some hip-hop, reading autobiographies of her favorite celebrities, or binge-watching Broad City. She loves traveling, especially to Los Angeles for its beautiful scenery, beaches, & eclectic food. After working in Thai cuisine for several years, it’s her dream to travel, & maybe even live in Thailand one day. Also, she can’t wait for the day she has a house, so she can own lots & lots of pit bulls.

I use music for every occasion in my life. From a party to cooking, to just relaxing in my bed, my best memories are always tied to a song. This playlist matches the variety of moments in my life.
— Meredith
Self-Doubt is a Bitch, These Quotes Will Help You Overcome It

Earlier this week, I kicked off a two-part blog post recapping my time in Ohio a few weeks ago for entrepreneur/podcaster Lewis HowesSummit of Greatness. My fav takeaways came in the form of moving quotes from incredible speakers from across the world. Click here to read my recap of Day 1 on the blog — chock full of #inspo from speakers like filmmaker/viral content creator/storyteller Jay Shetty & violinist/dancer/artist/author Lindsey Stirling. It’s cold & rainy outside, & it’s taking all of my strength to not stay in bed under my blanket & flip on Netflix. Read on for some inspo to get out of bed & hit the ground running! I know I need it today.

Lewis Howes, Athlete/Author/Podcaster - The School of Greatness

Lewis Howes, Athlete/Author/Podcaster - The School of Greatness

Focus on three things daily: health, heart & happiness.
Become more interesting by being interested.
You’re missing out on freedom if you’re not being vulnerable.
Shaun T., Fitness mogul/choreographer

Shaun T., Fitness mogul/choreographer

Fear = False Evidence Appearring Real.
If you prioritize you, everything else will fall into place.
Find your fight, light your fire & don’t let anyone get in your way.
Eric Thomas, “The Hip-Hop Preacher”

Eric Thomas, “The Hip-Hop Preacher”

Cut negative people out of your life & surround yourself with people who think you are great. Get in the environment of greatness.
I had average skill, but phenomenal will.
If you try to be someone else, you will fail. The only thing that changed was that I decided, ‘I belong here.’
In-Q, Poet & Speaker

In-Q, Poet & Speaker

I undefined myself to find myself.
Compassion if you don’t love yourself is incomplete.
All of my success was informed by my failures.
Dr. Tererai Trent, Scholar/Humanitarian/Author

Dr. Tererai Trent, Scholar/Humanitarian/Author

I am the mistress of my own destiny. If you believe in your dreams, they are achievable.
Your dreams in life will have greater meaning when they are tied to the greater culture.
Women & girls are going to change the world, if we like it or not.
Give yourself permission to be authentic. Come home to yourself — own who you are & own your voice.
Amy Purdy, Para-Snowboarder/Author/Actress/DWTS Finalist

Amy Purdy, Para-Snowboarder/Author/Actress/DWTS Finalist

You never know when your detour will lead to your destiny.
The stories that we are the most scared to share are the stories we should be sharing. Your story, your truth, is your purpose.
Accept what is & daydream what can be. Hardships don’t disable, they enable.

Learn more about Lewis Howes & the Summit of Greatness at the Ohio Theater. Let us know which conference you’re looking forward to, or which quote was your fav on social media!

xo, Amber aka “HBIC”

Image 1 courtesy of ShineText. All other images courtesy of individual speakers.

Stop Everything & Read These Quotes for a Dose of #Inspo
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As an entrepreneur, I often need a dose of #inspo in my life. Navigating the highs & lows of the day-to-day isn’t always easy. What do I do when I need to kick ass on a presentation or send a daunting proposal? I look for inspiration in podcasts, online articles & books. Podcaster & entrepreneur Lewis Howes & his School of Greatness podcast is one of my favs. Last year, I took the leap & attended his live podcast conference event in Columbus, Ohio. This year I returned with some huge takeaways that I wanted to share with our network. His podcast serves as a vessel of knowledge, chock-full of interviews with incredible entrepreneurs from across the globe. Read on for a few quotes that really stuck out to me from speakers at his 3-day conference.

Lewis Howes, Athlete/Author/Podcaster – The School of Greatness

Lewis Howes, Athlete/Author/Podcaster – The School of Greatness

Self-doubt is the silent killer of BIG dreams.
I’m not attached to when or how, I’m just committed to making it happen.
Go all in on your fear until it disappears
Jay Shetty, Filmmaker/Viral Content Creator/Storyteller

Jay Shetty, Filmmaker/Viral Content Creator/Storyteller

Create a life, not a resume.
You can’t be anything you want, you can be everything you are.
Make small, incremental changes consistently. Small step, BIG priority — rather than BIG step, small priority.
Lindsey Stirling, Violinist/Dancer/Artist/Author

Lindsey Stirling, Violinist/Dancer/Artist/Author

If you’re not enough without a gold medal, you won’t be with it.
Some of my most defining moments were my failures, because I didn’t let them define me.
By finding the courage to be ourselves, we gain the power to make a difference.
Dr. Mark Hyman, Physician/Medical Director/Author

Dr. Mark Hyman, Physician/Medical Director/Author

You’re the CEO of your own health, live your life on purpose.
The power of community to create health is far greater than any clinic or hospital
Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist/Author

Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist/Author

Unless you’re willing to let your old self die, you’re just a living pattern.
We’ve been raised to look outward. When we look within, we find the truth.
To be free is to trust that you are whole, abundant & worthy.

I hope these quotes inspired you as much as they inspired me! Stay tuned for my fav quotes & takeaways from Day 2 at the Summit of Greatness. Learn more about Lewis Howes & the event here.

xo, Amber aka “HBIC”

Image 1 courtesy of ShineText. All other images courtesy of individual speakers.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Joshua Fleming from the Vandoliers
I’ll start you off with our title track from our latest album. All of these songs are different & have an influence on me as a writer. They’re favorites from my friends, bands we’ve toured with, & those who inspire me. All great bands, all great writers, & different from the norm.
— Joshua Fleming

The magic for Joshua began the night he went to a Bad Religion concert with his sister, where he was inspired to create his own sound. Catch the Vandoliers onstage this weekend at Smoked Fort Worth, a BBQ showcase of the best Texas barbecue & live music. The all-day celebration will take Fort Worth by storm this Saturday, Oct. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m. in front of the Livestock Exchange Building at the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. It’s a can’t miss & the Fest’s first-annual Fort Worth event.

We’ve got a double win for everyone, on this #MUSICMONDAY! Love a bit of country music & BBQ? Well keep reading, because we’re giving you a treat. Meet Joshua Fleming, the mastermind behind the alt-country band, the Vandoliers. Joshua brought together a group of DFW musicians who felt extremely proud of their marvelous homeland. They put their own spin on Texas country & threw in a dash of punk roots to create a sound that caught Rolling Stone’s attention. This Texas lover wanted to express his love for the great Lone Star State with the new single “The Native.” One listen stirs up memories of “East Dallas dive bars, Pantego pool halls, small towns, big cities, & the rolling ribbon of bluebonnet-covered highway that stretches throughout the state”.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Grecia Gonzalez
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I love driving with my windows down & blasting this playlist. It has a little of everything I love, from old throwbacks to songs I reflect to, and my favorite… country!
— Grecia

Happy Monday, but also Happy October 1st! Spooky season is in session ladies and gentlemen. Grecia is starting off this Fall her Senior year at the University of North Texas! #GoMeanGreenCaw;) She’s an Integrative Studies major with her focuses being in Journalism, Communication, & Theatre, along with a Marketing minor. With graduation being around the corner in May, you can expect her gushing with excitement and nerves to enter the adult world. She's excited to join the #TeamHype family & start her journey here! If sunshine could be a person, Grecia would be it. Her energy and good vibes are contagious & she’s passionate about empowering & inspiring those around her. This world traveler got to adventure across 7 different countries this summer & got to eat like a queen through it all. She got to spend her 21st birthday in Paris watching the Effie Tower twinkle at midnight, a dream come true. Fun Fact: She's never visited Disney World, but catch her this Spring Break making this fairytale come true. Some of her all-time favorite things in life are turtlenecks, sunflowers, board games, & ramen. You can find her shopping for her next baby plant or eating pizza with a glass of wine.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Lauren Smola

It's Monday, so you know what that means...#MusicMonday time! We are welcoming a fresh group of interns for this Fall, one of which is our marvelous Lauren. This beach bum lover will be graduating from the University of North Texas with a BBA in Marketing this coming December. She is in the hopes of moving back to her hometown of Austin, the city she loves deeply, in pursuit of finding a job in the creative marketing industry. You will most likely find this spunky soul somewhere at a small dive bar live music show, at different coffee shops around town, or curled up with her 9-year-old dog-child watching Netflix. Lauren prefers a minimalist lifestyle over a boujee one so that she can save up for her next trip, because who doesn't love traveling. Over this past summer, she was able to go to Alaska, Miami, and North Carolina! She takes these trips with her friends or her other half, where in either case, she plans the whole thing. She is always down for a new experience that 99% of the time includes some freebies. Lauren is one of our adventure seekers, who is determined on living life to its fullest potential & enjoy every step of her journey. Watch her thrive in her last couple of months in Dallas as a part of #TeamHype!

This windows-down type of playlist pairs with my double-sided style of 70’s and sometimes indie rock looks. It’s filled till the last note with soulful, foot tapping beats, mixing some OG old-school jams with fresh new artists.
— Lauren Smola