It is pretty much impossible for me and a lot of other people to go to the gym and not have music with you. Music, in a way, can help pump you up and keep you going towards your daily goal of whatever you are trying to achieve. So whether you are bench pressing, jogging on the treadmill, or reaching a new goal on the elliptical, chances are you have your music going. Question is, what songs really help you keep your energy up, burn calories, and keep you motivated? From Kanye West to Britney Spears, we have come up with ten bangers that will help your drive and determination while you keep your heart rate going. Check out what we think you should listen to. [Read more…] about Twenty Great Songs to Workout to At Your NYC Gym
NYC Drag Superstar Sherry Vine Launches Queer TV Network
March is going to be one drag of a month, my darlings. With the premiere of the newest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race premiering tonight on LOGO, I wanted to check in with one of my favorite New York City queens Sherry Vine, who is doing some pretty big things of her own. What are these big things? Well, launching her own Queer TV network called gaySVTVworld! The network launched about two weeks ago and people are already buzzing about this legendary queen and the fun and new ideas she has brought to the table to this fantastic concept. [Read more…] about NYC Drag Superstar Sherry Vine Launches Queer TV Network
My First Time Encounter At The Electric Zoo Festival
Guest contributor- James Teal
My first encounter with the Electric Zoo Festival was on opening night of the three day electronic music festival- Friday, September 4, 2015. The theme of this year’s zoo was “Transformation” and they really did need a transformation after the backlash the festival received from the last two years after reports of multiple drug overdoses, including one death, and last year’s shut down on day 3 because, contrary to popular belief, the cause was lightning storms, not drug use. This year saw an increase in overall security- in the crowds, by the bars, by the portable toilets, and especially at the front gate.
I was greeted by friendly people wearing their best smiles and their bright pink T-mobile shirts, one of this year’s festival sponsors. Immediately after the friendly T-Mobile smiles came the search dogs and the legion of security guards at 2 checkpoints. We stood in line for a good 15 minutes while dogs were forced to walk around us. After the awkward drug sniffing police dogs, came the harassing TSA–like pat-downs. A security guard asked if I had drugs and I responded “Nope, no drugs on me.” Then again with his finger in the air, security said “I’ll give you 1 last chance. Do you have any drugs?” This time I was more annoyed and said in a pointed tone “Do I look like I have any drugs on me!?” He gave a half frown and rolled his eyes while he patted me down and let me go. From that point on, the “Transformation” began.
We walked to the MasterCard hut (another sponsor of this year’s Electric Zoo) picked up VIP wristbands, and went straight into the hilltop arena where MasterCard holders had a VIP stage overlooking the entire arena with our own bar. The MasterCard Hilltop Arena provided the best performances I saw the entire festival.
We started with Snails, a DJ from the Skrillex label OWSLA. Snails’ set placed the performance level bar so high that the rest of the day we were looking for someone with even more energy to beat his performance. One highlight from the Snails set was when the crowd exploded into fist-pumping cheers at his Backstreet Boys remix of “Everybody”. Snails manipulated the bass hook in the original song into a 2015 dance-floor ready dubstep anthem, unquestionably one of his specialties.
After the high energy of Snails, we were ready for a drink. The Electric Zoo Festival creators were smart to make wrist bands with RFID chips that hold money which you load at specific huts marked in the festival. This year’s festival saw even more food vendors, including taco trucks and Jamaican patties (yum!). However, to buy anything you MUST exchange your US Dollars for EZ Bucks (EZB) at an exchange rate of $2.22 USD for 1 EZB. At that rate a 16 ounce can of beer costs 4.5 EZB (or $10 USD), and the tacos cost 2.5 EZB ($5.50 each). The high cost of food and drinks at music festivals is not anything new, but to the average drunk-twenty-something a taco worth 2.5 EZB looks more pleasing to the eye than a small taco for $5.5. A very tricky, and very smart way of making us spend more money at the festival, not to mention it was fun to wave my wrist in front of the machine to pay for my food and drinks. I might have to invest in one of those Apple Watches soon…
Festival highlights from the main stage included eclectic afternoon sets from Don Diablo, Slander, Audien, and the hyper-exciting high-energy 3LAU. These DJs mixed and mangled, twisted and re-tuned familiar popular music with new electronic drops, including original songs, which literally made all of our hearts jump with excitement and obviously faces melted.
Back in the Hilltop Arena, Keys N Krates left people in awe after their jaw dropping live trap music performance on stage with drums and synth/keyboard. Keys N Krates is definitely a band worth catching live if you ever have the chance. The Galantis set came right after Keys N Krates.
The one and only performance which stood out from the rest on opening night was the popular Swedish production duo Galantis. The group, famous for their hit singles Runaway (U & I), You, and Peanut Butter Jelly, is comprised of Christian “Bloodshy” Karlsson and Linus Eklow aka Style of Eye. Bloodshy is famous for his Grammy winning hits with artists like Britney Spears, JLo, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue and Madonna. And his partner, Style of Eye, co-wrote Icona Pop’s “I Love It” ft. Charlie XCX. We stood under the hot sun, in the 80 degree tent, with crowds overflowing outside of the tent (a venue too small for the duo), when the lights went down and Galantis came out to the biggest crowd the MasterCard Hilltop Arena saw all weekend. We were lucky enough to beat the crowds to get on the VIP deck and watch the action unfold before our eyes. Thirty minutes into the performance we were all dripping with sweat, and soaked! The thousands of people under the tent jumped around, danced, and watched as the Swedish duo’s performance included a pair of drum high-hats for each of them to bang on while they themselves jumped up and down and off of their turn tables. Their music transitions were less seamless and more like a pre-selected playlist strung together with awkward modulations between the sets. The awkward modulations weren’t too obvious, but enough for me to mention and for a group who will probably make even bigger hits in the future, I’m curious to see how their live sets transform after this small and intimate performance at Electric Zoo.
Most people will argue that EDM festivals are all the same and won’t matter who is on stage (because they all play the same music), but I am here to say those people are all wrong. If they’ve been to the Electric Zoo Festival – Transformed they would have seen that not all DJs are one in the same. Big-name, multi-day festivals around the world offer bigger stages and bigger crowds, while Electric Zoo focused on the smaller names, which allowed smaller stages, and in turn brought out smaller crowds. At the end of the day what every single festival does right is bring the right audience. Everyone shows excitement, dresses to impress, and shows the utmost respect for each other. The morning after opening night the intense sense of FOMO kicks in, and you absolutely must go back and experience day 2, and 3 just so you can say you saw it all. I can’t wait for the next festival.
For more info on Electric Zoo Festival, check out the official site.
2014 MTV Video Music Awards- Who Will Win
As sad as it is for me to say this, I was not invited to the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards that are happening tonight in Inglewood, California. I repped Manhattan Digest to the fullest at last year’s show when they were held at Brooklyn’s very own Barclay Center, and gave us one of the most epic performances in VMA history- Miley Cyrus. If you don’t know what happened then you have been living under a rock for the past year. Needless to say, this year’s VMA’s is sure to be unpredictable and insane as it usually is. The lineup of performances look sick, with the opening being pop divas Jessie J, Arianna Grande and hip-hop songstress Nicki Minaj doing their current top 10 single “Bang Bang”. Other noteworthy performances of the night should be Taylor Swift, who will be performing her new hit “Shake It Off” from the much anticipated new album “1989” due out October 27th. And of course, the lady of the night will be eight time nominee and already multiple VMA award winner Beyonce, who will be receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award later in the evening. This award has been bestowed on several legends in the industry, from Madonna, Janet Jackson, The Rolling Stones and most recently pop pioneers Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Should be a performance of epic madness and one that I cannot wait to see.
So let’s breakdown the other thing that people are there to see- who will win each category at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. This year’s pack is stacked with some of the biggest artists and songs of the year, and is making it tough for this journalist to choose who will win and who should win. It is still funny to me that MTV broadcasts something like this when I believe I was wearing JNCO Jeans the last time they actually aired a block of music videos, but it is the most highly anticipated award show of the season, so I can see why they keep it going each year. Let’s breakdown each category, starting with the “Artist To Watch, Presented by Taco Bell”.
Artist to Watch, Presented By Taco Bell
5 Seconds Of Summer- “She Looks So Perfect”
Fifth Harmony- “Miss Moving On”
Sam Smith- “Stay With Me”
Schoolboy Q- “Man Of The Year”
Charli XCX- “Boom Clap”
Who Will Win- 5 Seconds Of Summer, Who Should Win- Sam Smith
5 Seconds Of Summer really came out of nowhere and has won the hearts of millions of adoring teens, who are the ones voting on this particular category for the most part. They are One Direction with talent, drums and guitar for the most part, so I sure as heck see them easily winning this won as it is a fan based vote. Fifth Harmony could’ve been a heavy contender for this if 5SOS wasn’t in it, but they won’t win this one. Schoolboy Q is amazing, as well as Charli XCX’s song from “The fault In Our Stars” but not enough to garner this. If Sam Smith doesn’t win this at the VMA’s, he sure as hell will win at the 2015 Grammys and several other prestigious awards. His solo work this year on “Stay With Me” on top of his brilliant performances with other artists such as Disclosure and Naughty Boy prove what a threat this guy is to the industry, and I hope he gets some love on VMA night.
Best Rock Video-
Linkin Park- “Until I’m Gone”
Imagine Dragons- “Demons”
Black Keys- “Fever”
Arctic Monkeys- “Do I Wanna Know?”
Who Will Win- Imagine Dragons. Who Should Win- Black Keys.
Imagine Dragons have had a pretty awesome two years, and this was only the 2nd song released off of their amazing debut album. “Royals” is not a rock song, so I don’t get why it is in this category. Lorde has a better shot in other categories than this one, and sadly I don’t think Arctic Monkeys have a shot in this category either. Black Keys should win as “Fever” is an amazing video, but no doubt Imagine Dragons will be the one taking this home tonight.
Best Pop Video-
Arianna Grande Featuring Iggy Azealea- “Problem”
Iggy Azalea Featuring Chari XCX- “Fancy”
Avicii Featuring Aloe Blacc- “Wake Me Up”
Jason DeRulo Featuring 2Chainz- “Talk Dirty”
Pharrell Williams- “Happy”
Who Will Win- Arianna Grande & Iggy. Who Should Win- Pharrell.
This really has been the year for Arianna and Iggy, however I think because Arianna has a bigger tween and teen fanbase she should lock this one up. “Wake Me Up” should be more in the clubland award than this one, and “Talk Dirty” just seems too urban for this as well, as is “Fancy”. “Happy” is a freaking brilliant video that screams pop with a R&B flare, and should be the one to win in this. But expect pop ingenue Arianna Grande to be leaving with not just one but a couple of VMA night.
Best Female Video-
Arianna Grande Featuring Iggy Azalea- “Problem”
Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX- “Fancy”
Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J- “Dark Horse”
Who Will Win- “Royals”. Who Should Win- “Dark Horse/Partition”
I think “Royals”, even though it is quite simple, kept my focus a lot more than the colorful pops that Iggy and Arianne presented in each of their videos, and the song is better than both so based off that it will and maybe should win. I loved the video for “Dark Horse” as Katy keeps bringing us really unique and out there videos that she has done so well over the years. “Partition” isn’t the best video from the Beyonce album, but the look and feel of it should really make her a good contender for this category tonight.
Best Male Video-
Ed Sheeran Featuring Pharrell Williams- “Sing”
Sam Smith- “Stay With Me”
John Legend- “All Of Me”
Eminem Featuring Rihanna- “Monster”
Pharrell Williams- “Happy”
Who Will Win- Ed Sheeran. Who Should Win- All of them (Minus John Legend).
This is quite possibly the strongest category of the bunch this year, as all videos and songs are incredible in their own unique ways. John’s song is amazing and is this generation’s new wedding song, however the video was basic and more of wedding video than an actual music video. I happen to love Ed Sheeran’s vocals and video for “Sing” so that gets my vote easily. I wouldn’t mind multiple VMA winner Eminem winning this for old times sake, however I think this is Ed’s to lose.
Best Hip-Hop Video-
Childish Gambino- “3005”
Drake Featuring Majid Jordan- “Hold On (We’re Going Home)”
Kanye West- “Black Skinhead”
Wiz Khalifa- “We Dem Boyz”
Who Will Win- Drake. Who should win- All of them.
Another really amazing category. I have to say Drake will win just based off of how popular the video and song was, however Eminem might be knocking at Drake’s door for this so don’t be surprised if he pulls an upset. Kanye’s video is one of his best ever with his own social message that makes this video and song one of the standouts off of his last album. Wiz hasn’t really had the biggest success since “Black & Yellow” however “We Dem Boyz” is a great video and keeps his street hustle going in the hip-hop game. Childish Gambino deserves a lot more success than then man is given, and I am super pumped the “3005” got the nod this year.
Video Of The Year-
Pharrell Williams- “Happy”
Miley Cyrus- “Wrecking Ball”
Beyonce Featuring Jay-Z- “Drunk In Love”
Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX- “Fancy”
Who Will Win- Miley or Beyonce. Who should win- SIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Chandelier” is such an AMAZING song and video that I really just want to see Sia make a public appearance and win this. She’s like the female Daft Punk, you really never see her so I think it would make an AWESOME VMA moment if she won. I don’t get why Iggy is in this, the video is great but not at this level, she’s too new. As much as “Wrecking Ball” is a great video it is more 2013 than 2014, so I don’t think it deserves to win this. “Happy” is amazing, but I fear Pharrell may be shut out due to the younger demographic. Seeing as this is Beyonce’s night, expect her to win her second Video Of The Year trophy (done once before for “Single Ladies” back in 2009). But this is quite the unpredictable category, so you never know.
Who do YOU think will win tonight? Comment here and for a full list of nominees check out the official website for more info.
Natasha Owens, An Unconventional Look at Pop: Music Reviews
It is hard in today’s sex crazed, pop sugar type of a music world for anything not of the norm to make it big with what we have in front of us. Especially when you throw the word “Christian” in it as it tends to have its own connotation attached to it. Natasha Owens proves that you don’t have to go to extremes like the Rihanna and Britney Spears of the worlds in order to get people’s attention, you can do it in two other ways- your voice and your message. That is what she is expressing on her incredible effort, “I Made It Through”. On her official website, she explains it as “A Journey Of Healing And Restoration”, something that seems to be needed for so many people today.
In the video about the album itself, she talks about losing her father back in 2010 and the daily struggles of something as simple as getting out of bed was a task to do. She had an anger with god originally that over time quickly changed when she drew inspiration from other people’s songs about the man himself and realized that he was really looking over her all along. Now I am not much of a religious person, but I can relate exactly to how she is feeling because I lost my mother roughly ten years ago and part of what got me through was uplifting music and the spirit to go on, and that is why I think this is an album that truly should not be missed.
Two of the stand out tracks from the album itself is the title track and “The Cure”, which are both beautifully written and easy listening songs that anyone can personally relate to. She also has this to say about her music- “I strive to create music that contain songs of restoration that can help each listener with whatever trial in their life that they were facing. To let them know that they are not alone, that there is a God who loves them and will never leave them.” I couldn’t agree more. She is someone to look out for in 2014, and my hopes are that her music is heard by as many people as possible and get her message.
Natasha Owens Album Video
Check out her site for more information, and best of luck to Natasha in the future!
Pop Superstar Lady Gaga Is Failing… Here is Why
Lady Gaga… still a superstar?
A couple of years ago, Lady Gaga was truly at the top of the world when it comes to music and beyond. Adored by millions of fans, the pop superstar emerged from out of no where with her Avant Garde style not only in fashion but when it came to her music as well. She won multiple VMA’s and Grammy’s and was touted by so many people as the next Grace Jones or Madonna. Now only five short years after the release of Gaga’s first album, “The Fame”, a lot of those people have become naysayers and think that she has run out of steam in such a short time. As for Britney Spears, more to come on that.
I can say that I am still to this day a huge fan of Gaga’s, but at the same time there is a point where oversaturation comes into play, even when it is someone like her who is consistently changing her style and tune to stay with the times. There are certain artists that seem to narrowly avoid that term, such as Rihanna for instance, where she comes out with a fresh album every year yet always seems to hit the right notes of pop, R&B and even EDM hits that shoot her straight to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Yet, there are artists that can take too long of a break in between and not develop the way that a lot of them would’ve expected to. Christina Aguilera is a prime example of that. Her last two album releases have been critical and commercial flops and the only thing she seems to have going for her anymore is a gig on “The Voice” and the occasional guest appearances on other artists songs (Maroon 5, Pitbull, etc). She never seemed to have the fluidity that other pop divas have had before her in terms of transitioning herself to keep up with the times. To go from teen pop singer to dirrty girl to 50’s pinup throwback to a Gaga rip off to being a dirrty girl yet again doesn’t really equate to how you progress naturally in this industry. Justin Timberlake on the other hand, who took seven years off to focus on an acting career amongst other things, came back with a roar in 2013 with “The 20/20 Experience”, an album that shot him straight to number one and has subsequently brought him into the music game, something that he started over 15 years ago. For Lady Gaga, she tends to fit into the middle of this. Here is why.
Gaga’s latest album “ArtPop” is her first in almost three years, mainly due to a broken hip that kept her off the stage for a year. Of course, that is completely understandable. But in this ever present world of chew em up and spit em out pop culture, sometimes taking a break that long makes you lose fans and have them gravitate to a newer and fresher pop star. Although “Born This Way” was a commercial and critical success to a certain degree, many critics thought it was tacky that for the week of her release she listed the album as 99 cents as a ploy to sell more albums in its first week. Granted it worked (a million plus) but many of the songs that were released didn’t get the praise that her previous hits (Bad Romance, Poker Face) did. One critic said it sounded like “a major artist sprinting to please everyone all the time”. The album was a bit all over the place and didn’t seem to have the cohesion that her previous efforts did, added onto the fact that it was a rushed album that was made in 2 weeks which other critics called out as well.
At the same time, there is a bit of oversaturation with how Avant Garde you can truly be. Every performance or outfit is something completely different from the rest but there are people out there that think a simple LBW would shock people more than anything. “The Fame” album was a great album in that it did a lot without having to do much at all. I personally feel like she is at a stage in her life where she has to keep pushing the envelope to the point where no one will push back. There was also a big battle when she released the first song off of “ArtPop” called “Applause” when she did it the same week as Katy Perry’s “Roar”. Both pop songs with completely different messages and beats. Katy’s was a simple song about overcoming a relationship with a great pop beat, Gaga’s was ultimately about her self absorbed way of saying she lives for her plans applauding her (sorry/not sorry but that’s my opinion) to a beat that sounded like a weird throwback to the mid-80’s dance movement. Who won in that? Katy. Katy seems to take the smart approach with her music because it is approachable and easy to listen to, whereas once again Gaga tends to be a bit all over the place just to please an audience that is wanting more and more from her. Sometimes, less is more.
“Roar” ultimately hit number one where “Applause” peaked at number 4. Many artists would kill to have a number four slot on any chart but when you are a superstar like Gaga number one should be an easy get. It was also stated by many fans and people alike that the song took a while to really get into whereas “Roar” and other big anthems that have come out recently like “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus and “Royals” by Lorde were instant hits. Not at all saying that going outside the lines is wrong just to get a number one single, but at the same time it is good to conform at some point and do something simple. Her follow up to “Applause” called “Do What You Want” featuring R&B King R. Kelly (a very odd choice but a good one at that) has only hit number 13 and has been on the charts for a couple of weeks, and is presently dropping. Funny thing is this track is MUCH better than her first release, and another song off the album called “Dope” is even better. Are there just stronger showings on the Billboard charts right now? Maybe.
There are also two major artists with albums coming out that Gaga has to compete against- Eminem and Britney Spears. Both artists who over the history of their careers have done what only a handful of other artists have been able to do and reach- diamond status (10 million plus sold on one album). I believe for Gaga to rise above the pack she will have to come out with a song that truly shows why we fell in love with her in the first place and not necessarily “try so hard”. Am I a hater- absolutely not. I am just stating it like I see it and see how she has transitioned over the course of the past couple of years. Gaga is a talented woman who will be around for a long time, I just hope that we look back on it in a positive way and not a negative one, that is all. Check out Billboard for all major music news and album releases.
MTV’s Video Music Awards- Live From The Red Carpet
After doing this whole blogging thing for the past three or so years, I can honestly say that all my hard work and dedication has somewhat led up to what occurred on Sunday night. I represented Manhattan Digest at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on The Red Carpet and stood beside some of the biggest press outlets in the world, from Entertainment Tonight to Reuters to Access Hollywood to name a few. Truly, I felt honored and quite humbled to just be there and the exhilarating feeling of walking across the red carpet was something I will never really forget.
The day started with my trek to Brooklyn from Long Island. Once I got to Brooklyn, I waited in line with a ton of other press outlets who were eagerly waiting to see what was going to happen next. The amazing thing is that even six or seven hours early, there was a massive crowd outside of fans and people alike. I’m so happy that MTV decided to do this in Brooklyn as so many real music fans and performers alike were born and bred here. We were then redirected inside The Barclay Center, where we were treated to some great audio in the sense of all the VMA performers doing their rehearsals. Shortly after, we lined up and made our way to the red carpet where the night really took off.
The red carpet itself was magical in its own way, with stars from across the board showing up for quite possibly the most buzzed about and trendiest award show of the night. Early arrivals from Snooki and Kendrick Lamar got things going and the energy and excitement from the fans on the red carpet and even the ones who were hanging in the buildings adjacent from the Barclay Center was incredible as the sunlight went down and it progressed into nighttime.
We were treated to pre-VMA performances on the red carpet from Artist To Watch winner Austin Mahone and fresh-faced newbie Arianna Grande, who recently scored a top ten hit with rapper Mac Miller in her song “The Way”. Some of the biggest starts towards the end of the red carpet from the Twerking and foam finger loving Miley Cyrus to multiple winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Hollywood Legend Will Smith who memorably made the face above when seeing that Miley performance. Tee hee. The only stars that managed to not show up to the red carpet was Britney Spears (who was rumored to be in Brooklyn- DAMMIT!) and Justin Timberlake and NSYNC as they were the surprise performance of the night (that I wish would’ve lasted a little longer. Sad face indeed).
Although I didn’t go to the award show itself, it didn’t really matter to me. I was able to meet and greet people that most people only get a chance to see on the big screen. The whole experience itself was just amazing. I have said this before and will say it again and again- persistence and perseverance pays off in the long run. It always does. If you truly believe something it will happen, without a doubt. Oh and Will Smith said hey to me. The pic is above. Yeayuhhhh. For all things VMA’s and MTV, check out MTV.com
Charity, Music, and Prom; My interview with Brittany Smooch
Brittany Smooch is a young, up and coming teen pop star and Hip Hop artist. Brittany’s music is fun and catchy and her personality is similar. I had the pleasure of speaking to Brittany yesterday about her music and charity work she has participated in. On the phone, Brittany seems sweet and determined. She knows what her goals are and she is pursuing them with great success. Brittany recently did work with the WGirls for their charity Project G.L.A.M, which gives prom dresses and accessories to girls who can not afford them. You can check it out at http://www.wgirls.org/get-involved/project-glam/
As soon as Brittany answered I knew she was going to be fun to interview.
When did you get into hip-hop?
I have always been into hip-hop music. But when I started writing my own songs it just came out that way. It just sounded like a rap.
When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in music?
I have been involved in music my whole life! At 5 years old I was taking singing lessons and by 7 I was writing my own music. I have always known that this is what I wanted to do.
Who is your favorite rapper?
Oh my God! I have so many favorites. But I guess if I had to pick it would be T.I. He is amazing!
You have a unique Urban style, where do you love to shop?
I love Patricia Field. They have a store in the City and the clothes are so crazy and cool. I really like anything that has a unique feel. I also really like Betsey Johnson.
How did you become involved with the WGirls and Project G.L.A.M?
I have always been involved with charity work. I really enjoy it. I was working with the NY city charity NY Cares and when the chance to do Project G.L.A.M came along I took it. Its really an awesome charity and I love being able to help young girls.
This charity is so amazing, and it must have been cool to see the girls faces as they got their dresses, how was that?
Seeing their faces was priceless. Watching the girls try on dresses and find ones they loved was really exciting.
What did you wear to your prom?
Well, I’ve actually been to a few proms. But my favorite dress was one I wore to a Long Island prom. It was really girly and looked like a Princess dress. It was pink and lacey. Usually I don’t like really girly clothes but this dress was beautiful and really made me feel like a princess.
Do you have any advice for prom goers this year?
“Don’t fall into peer pressure.” Have fun and enjoy this time in your life but don’t think you have to do something you don’t want to. That is really important to me.
What do you have coming up?
Well, I just released my EP and now I am working on my new album. I just finished up my High School concert tour and am getting ready for my next performance. I am performing at Six Flags Boston on June 29th.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Well of course, T.I. since he’s my favorite rapper, but I also think it would be really cool to work with powerful women in music. I’d love to do something with Nicki Minaj, Fergie, or Britney Spears.
What is one lyric to describe your life right now?
It would definitely have to be the chorus of my song, “Super Turned Up.” Because that’s how everything in my life is right now, “Super Turned Up.”
You can check out Brittany Smooch on her website http://www.brittanysmooch.com/
You can also check out her interview in Vibe magazine.
Rhode Island very close towards approval of gay marriage
Rhode Island is poised to become the tenth state in our union to legalize gay marriage. The state senate approved a bill extending marriage rights by a vote of 26-12, not a landslide but a great enough margin where you can tell there was a common theme here. This has even gone so far to have independent Lincoln Chafee, who was Governor when I lived there, and the Senate Republican Caucus has all expressed unanimous support for the bill.
There are of course, the naysayers in all of this. According to CNN.com, The Rhode Island Catholic Conference said Tuesday in a statement posted on its website that it appreciated that exemptions for religious organizations had been included in the bill. “Unfortunately, the exemptions fail to protect individuals and small businesses who believe that marriage is a union of one man and one woman,” it said.
Scott Spear, an advisory board member of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Marriage, said he would have preferred the fate of the bill be decided in a public referendum rather than by the Senate. “We believe the record of marriage as has existed throughout the history of civilization stands for an empirical truth, and that truth is a marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” he said in a telephone interview.
As much as I want to say Scott Spear has a point here, he really doesn’t. Yes he can say marriage is between one man and one woman, but love is love folks. For people to deny gay men and women the right to legally marry someone when the divorce rate in this country is at an all time high and people like Britney Spears can get married for 55 hours in Vegas chapel and have it be legal all for a publicity stunt I have to call bullshit on that.
What further surprises me is why of all the New England states Rhode Island was the last one to jump on this bandwagon. When i lived there, there seemed to be more gay bars in downtown Providence than their were straight ones, and Gay Pride is a really huge event as well. To a certain degree though, Rhode Island is a very unique state in that there is a lot of cow country there and then it gets really industrial once you hit the Providence area, so it might just be the old fashioned thinking people who had a large say in this. It is also run by several Democrats so the thought of this taking so long truly has baffled me. Nevertheless, it seems to be going in the right direction.
Iowa, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Washington and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. Their combined populations, based on U.S. Census estimates for 2012, represent 15.8% of the U.S. population. Let’s keep the number of states rising everyone, if these ten states can figure it out the other forty should be able to as well. That’s all.