Monday, February 22, 2021

Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino)

 Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino)


    I have always admired the artists who are not afraid to stray from the norm and are not afraid to evolve throughout their career. It was hard to chose from just one of my many artistic inspirations to write about because there are so many influential people in the industry that constantly inspire me. I chose Donald Glover because he is someone who whether I knew it or not, I have been aware of and has influenced my life for a very long time. My first time really recognizing his work was probably when I was in 8th grade and I heard Childish Gambino's first debut album Campfire which has been one of my all time favorite albums sense then and caused me to take a closer look at this individual. Not only was I impressed by his catchy beats and smooth tone, but the rhythm and artistry of his lyrics and music caused me to analyze music in a way I had never thought to before. My obsession continued as I realized he was also an actor and voiced one of my favorite characters on an animated T.V. show my brother and I loved and so I started to follow his career, leading me to his standup-comedy career as well as his original show, Atlanta. My fondness for this man only grew as I continued to enjoy his music through his iconic Redbone era where he incorporated many unique aspects from different genres of music into a more pop oriented piece, as well as his influential statement with his song This Is America which made apparent commentary of the brutal history black Americans have endured throughout history and to this day. Mr. Glover has never ceased to impress me and educate me in a creative and constructive manor that is very unique and he has truly shaped the industry of comedy, music, and cinema.

https://www.vulture.com/2016/08/donald-glover-atlanta.html

    In this article, Glover talks about his the his wildly successful show show Atlanta which he created, produced, cowrote and stared in. His wide range of experience in comedy, music, and the television industry give him the qualifications in the field, but his more unique experience of being a predominant black man in a white dominated industry gives his work a different affect than most other shows or movies, focusing on different black experiences rather than playing into the outdated Hollywood standards of cinema.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/may/12/the-rise-of-donald-glover-childish-gambino

    This article focuses mostly on Donald Glovers musical career as "Childish Gambino", more specifically it goes into depth talking about his hit song This is America, which is a work of art as well as a political statement. The song and music video portray many literal and more abstract concepts of different experiences of black American throughout the U.S. history. The 2019 video depicting gun violence as well as a sense of soul and community in the video seems to have some powerful foreshadowing affects of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, although it is obvious to Gambino as well as anyone who looks throughout our history that is not a new issue.

https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2552172/donald-glover-cool-facts-you-might-not-know-about-the-actor-and-musician

    Donald Glovers long timeline in the spotlight and many roles in the media are highlighted in this article. It highlights his success in writing and creation of popular shows, of his standup and comedy background, and well as his stardom in both him musical profession and as a leading actor in many shows and movies. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Disney's Nine Old Men



When people think of Disney movies, old ones especially, they usually think of Walt Disney himself. My question for you today is, do you know who Disney’s “Nine Old Men” are? These nine men were the core animators who created most of the movies we grew up watching. From Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty, to The Jungle Book and Pinocchio, these men were key to creating the famous movies we all know and love today. The Nine Old Men consists of Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, and last but not least Frank Thomas. Although they have all passed on, we can still enjoy their movies and animations today. I chose to talk about Disney’s Nine Old Men because I grew up watching their creations, and I know many others did too. These movies were a big part of my childhood and always brought a smile to my face. 



http://www.thisdayindisneyhistory.com/nineoldmen.html
If your interested in learning or reading more about any of these nine men's careers, this is a great website to begin on. Titled "Walt's Nine Men" this page takes a look at each of the men individually, explaining how they got to where they did in their amazing careers. It's really interesting to see where these men began before becoming core animators for Disney.

http://www.thisdayindisneyhistory.com/nineoldmen.html
This webpage has tons of fun and interesting Disney facts, including a page on Disney's Nine Old men. This page includes nine fun facts about these men, including things like several of the Nine Old Men later became movie directors. Along with that it also explains that it also includes things like 101 Dalmatians was one of the only movies all nine of these men worked on together.

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/79702/get-know-walt-disneys-nine-old-men
Lastly, this website includes even more interesting facts about the lives of Disney's Nine Old Men. I enjoyed this article because it includes many fun stories, such as how Les Clark met Walt Disney for the first time while working at a lunch counter. Along with stories, this webpage also includes lists of different characters and movies created by these men.








Thursday, November 12, 2020

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 


I find Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie worthwhile because of her writing style, and how effortlessly she can effectively communicate a message and captivate an audience. When it comes to Adichie’s novels and short stories, they capture the beauty and burdens of life as well as introducing unique and diverse perspectives. In terms of her lectures, Adichie has this way of capturing an audience with her words and keeping them engaged through her fluidity and eloquence. She is a truly phenomenal woman as well as an impactful writer. 


Sources: 

“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Nov. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimamanda_Ngozi_Adichie.


    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author and writer. Adichie during her career has written several novels and short stories, as well as received numerous awards and recognition for her pieces. Along with all of this, Adichie has also given several lectures, including a TED Talk, on topics like race, immigration, and her personal experience as a Nigerian-American author.  


“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.” Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Inc., 11 Sept. 2020, www.britannica.com/biography/Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie.


    As a child, Adichie was infatuated with reading. One of the pieces she read as a child that was most influential was Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. This hunger would continue to grow, and she would, later on, leave Nigeria to attain a degree in creative writing and African studies here in the U.S from John Hopkins and Yale University. 


“Official Author Website.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 5 Aug. 2018, www.chimamanda.com/.


    Adichie’s work has been translated for over 30 languages and has been published in prestigious newspapers such as The New Yorker. Her TED Talk, The Dangers of a Single Story, is the most viewed TED Talk of all time. 


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

H.E.R.

 

H.E.R. (Gabby Wilson) 




Gabriella Wilson, also formally known as H.E.R. An anagram meaning "Having Everything Revealed" is an American singer and songwriter who has a soulful voice and intricate songwriting style. Her music can be described as both poetic and deeply emotional. Gabriella has gone on to win 2 Grammy's in 2019, one for best R&B performance and one for best R&B album. In 2020 she was nominated for 5 nominations including best album of the year for her most popular album, "I Used To Know H.E.R," and song of the year, "Hard Place." Gabriella was born in the San Francisco bay area and has deep California roots. She has gained support in upcoming years from many famous artists including; Rihanna, Usher, Tyrese, Alicia Keys, and Bryson Tiller, all popular names in the POP/R&B genre. Her music differs from other styles of R&B due to it's emotional highs and lows and precise lyrical flow. She is able to translate her emotions onto paper and use her expressive and creative talent seamlessly. She carries an element of mystery about her and chooses to cover her eyes with sunglasses. This is a way to protect herself from herself. The eyes are seen as windows to the soul, and she describes this need to wear shades as reflecting and seeing one's "self" in her eyes. This mirroring is deeply personal. 


https://www.elle.com/culture/music/a23305900/her-music-interview/ 

This website highlights an interview with Gabriella and talks about her rise to fame being somewhat anonymous with minimal promotion and how she got her start in 2016 releasing her Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 EP covers with just a silhouette. Gabby talks about why she created this persona and says that, "I think it has allowed me to make the music the focus, and for people not to care about the superficial things, or who I am associated with, what clique I belong too, all those things that don't matter... it's really made people focus on the music, and that's what's special about it." She explains what her inspiration behind her album was, how she channels Lauren Hill in her song, "Lost One's," and her songwriting process.  


https://wwd.com/eye/people/h-e-r-reveals-all-identity-the-bay-area-prince-lauryn-hill-1202777633/

This interview talks about Gabby's roots, how she grew up and more of her musical inspirations. She is a mixture of Filipino and African American, she grew up in a mainly Filipino home with traditional customs. She also talks about her father's side of the family and their customs eating soul food on the weekends in good company. She says that, "black culture, to me, is so important and I identify with young black women. I represent young black women, and I am proud of that." She talks about her musical influences, songwriting, and collaborations. 



https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/a30630816/who-is-her/

This article talks about H.E.R. and how she prefers to keep a low profile. She likes to remain anonymous instead of worshipped like a celebrity. She wants her music to speak for itself and it does. Gabby gets more in-depth about why she chooses to remain anonymous... "I reveal who I am and my stories and my emotions, and music is an outlet for me. But it's all revealed through my music and my message. Even though I don't show my face, and I don't show people who I am and more about me, you get to know who I am in my music." Her upcoming album is set to drop early this upcoming year, which is exciting news for her fans. She also talks about how Prince and B.B. King are some of her inspirations. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Brandon Woelfel

 


Brandon Woelfel is a freelance photographer based out of New York, well known throughout social media especially on Instagram (@brandonwoelfel) for his vibrant photos. His aesthetic includes a multitude of highly saturated photos that consist of subjects like dancers, models, and fairy and neon lights. Brandon is very compelling in the way he presents his photography. This includes not only the result of his photos, but his before and editing process. He constantly is sharing his skills and tips with aspiring photographers. His photography catches people’s eyes due to his use of color.


This website gives a little background to Brandon and how he started out as a photographer. It goes onto explaining how Brandon got into sharing his editing secrets, how he felt about it, and how he came to find his personal aesthetic. He mentions how he felt weird at first, sharing his tips because many artists don't do that. It exposes them to much more criticism because it shows the pure, unedited photo.

https://www.brandonwoelfel.com/photography-1

This is the link to Brandon’s personal photography website. It includes not only his finished work, but before and after photos, the gear he uses, recommended beginner cameras, and a place to buy his personal prints. He provides an easy way to find cheap cameras for those who want to start out.



https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkD-9tfURAMfqyf-8U5dSxw

This website is his YouTube channel which consists of behind the scenes and editing videos. Here people can see Brandon in a more personalized way. He posts mostly tips and tricks on what he uses for taking pictures as well as what editing programs work best. Other videos include how he edits and what goes through his head when doing a photoshoot.

Sunday, November 8, 2020


 Misty Copeland 


Misty Copeland is an American ballet dancer for the company American Ballet Theater (ABT) which is one of the top three leading classical ballet companies in the United States. Copeland is also the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s 75 year history. Copeland began dancing ballet at the age of 13, but quickly proved herself to be a prodigy. She quickly became an award winning dancer - winning the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award as the best dancer in Southern California at age 15. Copeland joined ABT in 2000 at 18 years old, becoming a corps de ballet dancer in 2001, and then a soloist in 2007. Copeland is hailed as one of the top 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine and has ventured into public speaking. She has published 2 autobiographical books: Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina (2014), and Firebird (2014). 

I find Misty Copeland inspirational in that she was able to break the glass ceiling as an female African American ballet dancer, and challenge the preconceived notion that a ballet dancer is fair skinned. For a long time, representation of diversity in ballet was extremely poor; seeing each forefront ballet dancer share the same light skin tone was almost always guaranteed. Having Copeland break that barrier in that company and become a forefront dancer even when the odds were against her was more that enough to spark some change in the ballet world. Having been a ballet dancer for most of my life, it’s really inspiring to see a dancer who defied all odds and persevered to become one of the best. 


This is Copeland’s official website. Here you can view her story of rising to fame as a ballet dancer as well as view videos, articles, media platforms, and images regarding Copeland and her profession. 

This website is ABT’s page dedicated to Copeland and her experiences with their company. Here you can read her biography, view her milestones and repertoires, etc. 

This website gives a detailed official background of Misty Copeland and her ballet career. You can continue to scroll to see information about the company she dances for. 


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Louis Tomlinson

 


    Louis Willam Tomlinson was born on December 24th, 1991. Louis is known as a singer, songwriter, actor, and soccer player. While in high school he was always the lead in the school play and he has started as a side character in two movies. His success in the musicals at school influenced him to audition for the X-factor.  In 2010 he auditioned for the X-factor as a solo artist. While he was successful for the first round he did not make it to the judge's houses round. Simon Cowell chose four of the boys that were sent home to make a boyband; Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik, and thus One direction was formed. The X-factor Journey for the band was successful; they kept advancing into the next round until the finale where they got third. They got third place but the success didn’t stop. Within the next year, they released their first album and tour. Five years, five albums, and six world tours later they decided to take a hiatus. While in his boyband One Direction he co-wrote hit songs like, Steal My Girl, Midnight Memories and Story Of My Life. He also wrote songs while in the band like No Control and Home. 

In 2015 when the band went on hiatus they decided to start their solo careers but Louis’ was delayed a little bit due to the passing of this mother in 2016.  Later in 2016, he released his first solo song titled Just Hold On that he collaborated with Steve Aoki. This song is about him dealing with the emotions that come with losing a close family relative. In 2019 another family tragedy happened and he lost his sister to an unknown heart condition. As a result of his sister’s and mother’s death, he wrote the song titled Two of us. While dealing with the losses of his family members he still had been writing for his debut album this also put a slight delay on the album. Louis’ album came out in January 2020 titled Walls. In interviews, he talks about the meanings of the songs. He says this album is very honest and open while he has never said what songs are about what he says some songs are about love than some are about family. The songs on the album consist of some love ballads and some songs for his fans. This album was solely written by him except for Only The Brave. 


 I resonate the most with is; Two of Us. The first verse is very emotional as it says; “It's been a minute since I called you, Just to hear the answerphone, Yeah, I know that you won't get this, But I'll leave a message so I'm not alone, This morning I woke up still dreaming, With memories playing through my head, You'll never know how much I miss you, The day that they took you, I wish it was me instead” Over the past year I have had a recent family death and I took it really hard. I understand a lot of the lyrics in the song like when he says “Just to hear the answerphone” For the longest time after when I was upset and I missed their voice I would call her phone just to hear her voice again and I would and still do play old voicemails to hear her voice again. Losing a close family member can be really rough at all times of the day so when I listen to this song I know that I'm not alone in how I feel and my feelings of being resentful, upset, and mad at them for leaving. Another lyric that stands out to me is in the second verse as it says “I know you'll be looking down, swear I'm gonna make you proud” I like to think of this as the loved ones that are no longer here with us are still looking down on us and they should be proud of how far we have come since facing the hardship of losing them.






http://www.mtv.com/news/3142989/louis-tomlinson-we-made-it-interview/

MTV interviewed Louis and they talked about his single We Made It. In this interview, they talked about the personal tragedies that he has been through like losing his sister and mom within a year. He talks about how he wanted this song to mean something and how he stopped writing songs for other people but started writing for him that's why this song is more personal than the other ones. 


https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/louis-tomlinson-decade-recap-921422/

Rollingstone interviewed Louis and he talked about how the 10’s decade was for him from auditioning for the X-factor in 2010 to becoming a solo artist in 2017. Also becoming a Father in 2016 to working with well-known artists like Steve Aoki. 



https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/louis-tomlinson-interview-one-direction-walls-album-941843/

Rollingstone interviewed Louis and he talked about how different it was writing as a solo artist. They also talk about how writing as a solo artist is more like swimming against the tide because you can bounce ideas off each other in a band and when you are solo you don’t have the option to do that as much.  He also said that he took a lot of time on writing the songs because the lyrics are important and meaningful. He also said that the song two of us is one of his proudest moments because of how important the message is.