Guest Post: GROWING UP A BOYGIRL – Part 1 by Marcus T. Graham

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of being a teenager? An awkward transition phase, outfits you wish you didn’t wear, decisions that now to this day you even question. “What were you thinking?” I definitely had all of the above, with dashes of anxiety and excitement. For a time, I lived with my mum, it wasn’t perfect but it was necessary & a moment in time I’ll always remember as a window to a deeply repressed part of myself coming to light that needed to be out.

I was scared of everything as a child. Highly sensitive because I believed in everything – to me, anything outside of ‘my world’ was frightening, which meant my mum wearing make-up & nail polish. For a time it was a real challenge, it frightened me because I wasn’t used to it, it seemed really fierce & overwhelming but overtime I started meeting people who opened me up way further into that realm and it excited and intrigued me entirely. 

In truth, I grew up kind of sheltered, very early on I was super quiet, I lived in my own little planet: my world consisted of songs I loved, video games, drawings, home movies, my friends, and books I’d write. This would carry on into my early secondary years but deep inside, I longed for something more. I decided to take on drama as an introverted kid, I was around fifteen and regretted not taking it sooner, threatened by the what-ifs but finally, I had to make a decision and I followed through.

My years in drama taught me that I was crazier than I thought and it also taught me a powerful lesson: not to care, it felt like a family, everybody was learning at the same time and suddenly my world got brighter, I was introduced to my feminine side, it was there I’d meet my best friend and be exposed to a world I didn’t know existed and had no idea I was naturally a part of. It was the first time I felt truly seen. So much so I came out in the Summer of 2018.

From there on out, my attention would quickly switch onto pop artists like Britney Spears, Rina Sawayama & Tierra Whack. They made me feel seen and heard: they were unapologetic, fearless & were rooted in self-assurance, it was like a playground for self-expression in its rawest form, one where three were no rules and you could just be unapologetically with no restrictions or barriers. To me this was freedom.  

My biggest takeaway from them was that it’s okay to be who you truly are unfiltered as scary as it seems & that freedom is the ultimate goal, I feel like I’m learning with all these new artists continuously, as we’ve all been given so much time to self-analyse in quarantine, I’ve begun to come to terms that this is an ongoing process. I used to believe there was an endpoint and a final destination but self-acceptance is a lifelong journey, my biggest takeaway is that we’re all figuring it out together day by day and I’m deeply excited to see where this stage of life takes me.And that’s where I’m at now, in an experimental phase of my life, learning and growing as I go. Painting my nails & wearing a purse when I want. Being willing to make honest mistakes, try things for size asks embrace the mystery and complex beauty of being a young person in the 2020s as the world is continuously changing I am too. 

Featured post by Marcus T. Graham (@marcustgraham)

Woodstock by Artlovetrap

Artlovetrap gets introspective on “Woodstock“.

Stream the first single “Woodstock” on Spotify and iTunes.

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Follow Artlovetrap on Instagram

Fraga – On US

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Inspired by thrill-seeking nights out, the Miami rapper Fraga charms your ears with style, flow, and charisma in his new upbeat single ‘ON US’.  Influence from Drake, Puffy and Mase in ‘97 is present on the track mix. Follow @zaddycoolseason  for what’s next in store from the self-proclaimed “Prettyboy”.

STREAM NOW-

Spotify | SoundCloud

SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram |Twitter

Music Finds: Marco McKinnis

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Courtesy of Aijani Pyne

R&B isn’t dead. Marco Mckinnis is a 17-year-old Virginia native. His voice is 1997’s Love Jones in vocal form. He premiered “My Own”, a track inspired by a past relationship, with Saint Heron in early 2016. Make room for more soulful sounds, his first project is currently being made. ‘How I Feel’, is his first single, it is available on all streaming platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

Also, listen to the track below: Nothing by Rex Orange County ft. Marco Mckinnis

 

 

Woman Wednesday: Music You Need to Listen To 

The indie music scene is full of talented female artists, here are some of my recent favorites. 

Courtesy of One Sophia

Sophia will be headlining the A3C Music Festival and Conference in Atlanta, GA. “BYOB”, from her project ‘Love So: The New Classic,’ was released earlier this year on Valentine’s Day.

Album art for Mango Season

Savannah Cristina teams up with Twelve’len on “Soulja”, Track 3 from her recent EP Mango Season.

Joyce Wrice

Joyce Wrice says “Ain’t No Need” to be shy when it comes to love. Watch the video here.

Iconika for Indecent Exposure

Iconika plays the game and flips the script in “Hit It”. The artist FKA Phlo Finister defies genres in her recent project Indecent Exposure. 

Photo by Jonathon Ibero

Chant for Mama” is an apology composed by Gaby Duran’s Vocals Only. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, we get the good and bad from our parents.

Sample Saturday: Death & Taxes by Daniel Caesar

 

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Liam MacRae

 

Daniel Caesar is a Canadian Soul/R&B singer and songwriter. He is known for his slow ballad “Get You” featuring Kali Uchis. Before releasing his debut studio album Freudian last month, Caesar released Pilgrim’s Paradise – a seven-song EP featuring my favorite track “Death & Taxes”. No matter what we go through in life we can’t avoid death and taxes. Daniel’s music has heavy religious context due to growing up Seventh Day Adventist. Within the song, Caesar accepts his sins and questions his faith. He’s not sure of what’s real but he’s sure that he will have to pay taxes until he dies. Bummer.

Ever heard the high-pitched “Yes” in the background of your favorite songs? Producers Matthew Burnett and Jordan Evans used a faint sample throughout the track. The sample comes from Reverend W.A. Donaldson’s 1959 Baptizing Scene. It is a cut from the compilation “Southern Folk Heritage Series: Sounds Of The South”, compiled and recorded by Alan Lomax, a Texan ethnomusicologist. The compilation caught every facet of life and music in the South that was never heard before in the 1950s. An actual baptizing was recorded at an Alabama baptizing pool. The sample has also been used by artists like Jay-Z, Bryson Tiller, Travis $cott, and Lil Wayne. The sampled screams and sounds of people catching the holy spirit are ironic. While Daniel questions his faith in his song, people celebrate theirs in the background.

aafleur recommendation: Listen to the sample first

 

 

Woman Wednesday: The Evolution of Kelis

Kelis Rogers is a singer, songwriter, chef, and muse from Harlem, NY. The “first girl to scream on a track” stepped onto the music scene when her raspy vocals touched the hook of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Got Your Money.  As a singer, she explores R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, and EDM. As a chef who graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, she published “My Life on a Plate: Recipes From Around the World” and debuted her sauce line ‘Bounty & Full’. As a muse, she sets trends, influenced Pharrell’s style, and steps out the box. Kelis is severely and unfairly underrated; the cons of being ahead of her time. She is a trendsetter who develops style and music before it becomes trendy. She is not afraid to be different or authentic. With each album and endeavor, she reinvents herself and her musical approach. She continues to be Kelis while setting trends that will surface in the mainstream several years later. 


Kaleidoscope (1999) 

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Wanderland (2001)

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Tasty (2003)

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Kelis Was Here (2006)

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Flesh Tone (2010)

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Food (2014)

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Check out her mini style series below:

Music: Mndsgn “Starving” (Iman Omari Remix)

ImanOmari’s remix to Mndsgn “Starving” featured on ‘Inedia’

The track contains samples of Iman Omari’s “Sun Ray (Look Of Love)” and MoRuf & Iman Omari’s “Clutch!”

The original version appears on Mndsgn’s Breatharian’

Woman Wednesday: The Female DJ

  1. The DJ industry is no longer male-dominated. As the meaning of Disc Jockey evolves, the gender behind it does the same. Here are some mixes from my favorite female DJs. There’s a mix for each mood; when you’re mellow, hype, or in between.
vashtie.pngNothing New by Vashtie x Noumenon

15578485695_df7d3d6aa3_bsunflowers & melancholy by Sasha Marie

quiFor Qyera & Junior by  Quiana Parks


dj-kitty-cashLove the Free Vol. III – The Prelude by Kitty Cash


tumblr_nkkkv7qgnk1rpdjdro1_500The Art of Listening by Brilliant Garcia


Music Finds: Khryo

 

Khyro is a French Guitarist from Paris.

This instrumental is a good find. 

Hear more from him here: Bandcamp