Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Chainsmokers

When I heard the Chainsmokers' first single I loved their humor and sound. It was a song about your typical millennial woman at her favorite club and her desperate need to take a selfie. The song made me fall in love with the duo because they were able to take an annoying situation and make a very fun dance song. As they have matured as artists the DJ duo has worn their heart and insecurities on their sleeve while creating music. Most of their songs have similar melodies and structures, which has made them receptive to a lot of criticism, but looking at their music the lyrics tell stories deeper than their pop based rhythms would lead you to believe. They make me feel less alone in the emotions I have felt in my life pertaining to relationships and growing as a person. When I listen to their music I feel able to feel my emotions completely. They show their doubts in relationships, fear of being stuck in nostalgia, and their feelings surrounding the creation of their music.

This is the duo's official website, it gives a short blurb about the boys and how they got their start as well as connect you to their music.

This article explains in detail the duo's new production company. This is very important to me because their videos have been very well produced, but most importantly their first movie is going to be based off a song they wrote 'Paris' that holds a very special place in my heart because it deals with how we as people hide in nostalgia.

This article is an interview with the boys following their single 'Closer.' It focuses on how the duo came to be, what they believe their future holds, and how one of the boys, Drew, decided to start singing and move out from behind the table.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Caspar David Friedrich

Moonrise over the sea, by Caspar David Friedrich. Photo credit: Pixelsniper

Caspar David Friedrich was a German romantic painter during the 19th century. Renown for his landscapes that commonly feature silhouettes of small watchers looking on to the vast, untamed world around them and the dominance of light and shadow upon a scene. Today he is seen as a world famous painter and his art as a paragon of the German Romantic era. I am drawn to his paintings as I feel it depicts a sense of mystery and wonder at the world before him. That we are very small in a much larger world.  The sense of infinity.

Woman Before the Rising Sun, by Caspar David Friedrich. Photo credit: Pixelsniper
Biography of Caspar David Friedrich. Goes into detail on his life and sources of inspiration.
Artistic analysis of Caspar David Friedrich and well known works of art.
More Famous Works. Information about his teachers, friends, and other artists that were influenced by his work.

Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya 

Daisuke Amaya, also known as "Pixel," is an independent video game developer best known for his 2004 PC game "Cave Story." As the sole developer (artist, programmer, composer, etc) of "Cave Story," Mr. Amaya is considered an important figure in the early independent game development scene, as his critically acclaimed work has been cited as important and inspirational to other developers.

Personally, I found "Cave Story" to be extremely enjoyable to play when I discovered it some years ago, and I was impressed by its high quality. This impression was coupled with surprise and admiration as I learned of its origin as a one-man production. Although I am now aware of other video game auteurs, his story is perhaps the one that originally convinced me that high-quality video games could be produced by a single person. More importantly, experiencing his work marked the beginning of my exploration into independent games. Discovering the independent gaming scene subsequently broadened my definition of art to encompass video games. I believe I have been exposed to several enriching experiences because of that redefinition, and am inspired to create because of those experiences. I truly believe that the multi-faceted talents and artistic expression of Mr. Amaya and similar individuals should be appreciated, especially vis-à-vis the often mindlessly commercial aspects of the industry as a whole.

Some links for more information:

  1. A tribute site featuring downloads and translations of the original game.
  2. The Wikipedia page on Cave Story, useful for a general overview.
  3. An interview with Mr. Amaya on a website devoted to the video game development industry.

Post Malone

Austin Post or otherwise known as Post Malone is one of the most influential artists of this time. 
His music hits the charts just about every time he releases something and he has been climbing to the top ever since he released his first song 'White Iverson' in 2015. To many he seems overrated and overplayed but to me I think he was interesting and great enough to choose for my blog. The reason I stand behind this statement is because Post Malone challenges music more than many would think. He makes a point to never solidly stick to just one music genre. Before he was Post Malone he would upload covers on Youtube, in these you can see the real raw talent he has and his love for all genres of music. He can sing, rap, and play guitar which is the perfect recipe for music now a days, he can do just about any genre with ease. Another reason why I chose him is because of his personality and how he maintains being humble regardless of his money and success. He still talks about how much of a video game nerd he is and all his hobbies he enjoys, which a lot of famous people lack to share out of fear of embarrassment.
This article is the classic Rolling Stones interview that every famous artist gets to partake in. In this article you can see exactly just how Post lives his life, what he likes to do, what things are around his house, his girlfriend, etc. I think that this article highlights who he is outside of just his music. It also touches on his past and childhood.
This article is a really interesting twist on why Post Malone is so successful and why he is constantly on the top billboards. The article explains a little more about how Post formulates his music and how his voice influences an audience.
This article mentions a lot about his past, how he moved to Los Angeles and even how he created the name Post Malone for himself. It even gives a different perspective on why he is so successful. 

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animator, screenwriter, director, and producer. In 1985, Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli, an animated film studio. The majority of Studio Ghibli films are made with hand-drawn animation, following the style of Miyazaki's original manga designs. Miyazaki films use very little CGI, as he prefers to hand-draw and watercolor each background and character frame in the film. That means he and his team draw thousands of frames for a single movie.

Alongside his expertise in art and animation, Miyazaki is an excellent storyteller as well. Each movie takes place in a world that feels fully realized and believable. Every film directed and written by Miyazaki feels completely original and unique, each with a theme or motif that is intended to inspire viewers or provoke thoughts about the state of the world we live in today. Miyazaki is a man who cares deeply about his work, having spent countless weeks and months on each film to ensure no detail is missed. His films are unlike any other animated films, and recommend watching at least one Studio Ghibli film he has directed to get a better idea of his talent.

Short biography and filmography, including a documentary about the director.
-A short biography of him and his films with a detailed chronology of each movie he's directed and how they performed in the box office.

Interview about how he approaches film making and his attitudes towards movies.
-An interview with Miyazaki by Roger Ebert, discussing his films and how he approaches film making and how he perceives his audience reacts to movie elements.

Retrospective of Miyazaki films and the minutia of the worlds he's created.
-A detailed look at how Miyazaki carefully crafts the worlds in his movies, and how each one sets itself apart from the others.



Thomas Pentz, also commonly known as Diplo is a world renowned DJ artist. Today he's one of the highest in demand for music production. He has crafted music for Beyonce, Usher, Madonna, Snoop dog and Justin Bieber. He's the co-creator of Major lazer, a dance music project, and Mad Decent, a successful recording company. Diplo has pushed the boundary in regards to electronic music. With his unique taste, Diplo has inspired many Dj's to explore new sounds. I had the opportunity of seeing Diplo perform at one of his shows in Vancouver, Canada. This show was my first experience with electronic dance music. Diplo's skill was evident and it was from then on I fell in love with electronic dance music. Diplo resonates a sound of freedom, self expression and creativity.

Diplo has has had many successes. He currently records under five different names; Diplo, Major Lazer, Jack U, Silk City and LSD.

Diplo's number one hit in June 2015, Lean on, was named Spotify's global song of the year and was streamed an astounding 573 million plays making it the most solo successful song of all time.

The DJ has taken his recent success to Europe in which his music has spread like a wild fire.

Young Dolph


        Adolph Thornton, Jr., commonly known as Young Dolph is a Memphis-based American rapper. He is 31 years old and one of the familiar faces in the Hip-hop music industry. His debut album was ‘King of Memphis’, which peaked at number 49 on the Billboard 200 chart.Dolph was introduced to various rappers by his cousins. He was involved in a car accident in 2008. In the same year, his grandmother died of lung cancer. The death of his grandma hit Dolph hard and this motivated him to express his thoughts and feelings through music. His rap was an emotional relief for him at desperate times. His first mixtape was titled ‘Paper Route Campaign’ which was a success and it acted as a gateway for young Dolph to flourish his career in the rap world.Soon, Dolph became a local hero through series of mixtapes. Ultimately, he became a nationwide phenomenon around 2014. Young Dolph is intriguing to me because not only does he makes good music but so many record labels want to sign him but instead he continues to be an independent artist. This allows him to basically do whatever he wants and make as much money as he wants without giving a percentage to a label and my main goal in life is to work for myself so he kind of influences me on that perspective.

       Dolph heard about two Duke university barista's who got fired for playing his hit song ''Get Paid" and flew both ex-baristas to his May 11 performance at Miami’s Rolling Loud festival for a special surprise. Midway through his set, he invited Britni Brown and Kevin Simmons on stage and gifted them with $20,000.

       Although, there are certain risks in remaining independent. The benefits totally outweigh the risks. Young Dolph can make substantially more money independently. His turning down the $22 million dollar offer was pure genius. Now, Young Dolph can potentially make more than $100 million on his own.
         In 2013, Young Dolph held a free event called “A Plus Day” in south Memphis’s Lincoln Park. The concert was the culmination of Dolph’s efforts to obtain the respect of his hometown.Dolph is positioning himself to be the next great Memphis representative. Yet his scope spans much farther than the Tennessee borders.






Hippo Campus

      Hippo Campus is an indie-rock band from St. Paul, Minnesota. The five members and lyricists are Jake Luppen (lead singer),  Nathan Stocker (guitar), Zach Sutton (bass), Whistler Allen (drums), and  DeCarlo Jackson (trumpet). The five have released four Eps: "Tarzan Reject" (2013), "Bashful Creatures" (2014), "South" (2015), and "Warm Glow" (2017). Hippo Campus released their first full-length album "Landmark" in 2017; they also released a second album "Bambi" in October 2018. Hippo Campus gained recognition locally, initially getting featured on a couple of Minnesota radio stations and playing at house parties. From there, they grew, gaining an international following and going on two international tours. The "Landmark" tour concluded in early 2018 and the "Bambi" tour began on November tenth and is set to go until March 2019. Hippo Campus' lyrics set them apart from other artists. Though, instrumentally, their songs sound quite nice (though similar to much of the other indie-rock/ alternative bands out out there) poetic, yet personal and reality-based lyrics make Hippo Campus an unusual twist on the typical 'indie boy-band' trope. 

      As a brief intro to the band Hippo Campus, Ones To Watch lays out a summary of when Hippo Campus has released both of their Eps: "Bashful Creatures" and "South", as well as their debut album, "Landmark". Following the initial success of Hippo Campus' Eps, Ones to Watch documents the main venues Hippo Campus has played at, as well as the major radio stations Hippo Campus has been featured on.

     Grimy Goods interviews Hippo Campus about the lyrical content of their debut album "Landmark", primarily focusing on the social commentary made in some of the songs (Western Kids, especially) about the affects of social media on younger generations. 

      The Student Playlist outlines the progression in lyricism and sound from Hippo Campus' Eps, which were first released in 20014 and 20015, and Hippo Campus' first full-length album "Landmark". It also gives a review of the album in relation to other indie-rock/ alternative music that would be categorized as similar to "Landmark". 

Leon Bridges is a singer/songwriter who became very popular within the last year or two. He is a soul singer but also has a very bluesy sound at times. Leon is very unique, one thing that intrigues me is his love for vintage and some retro techniques.  He created an album using all vintage equipment and local singers. Leon's music is very warm and calming. His break came for the song "Coming Home"  which he recorded with Columbia record in 2014.  His music is timeless and his songs are ones that you could listen to for years on repeat. I enjoy his work because it is from the heart. A lot of music created these days just talk about sex and drugs, where his has deeper more emotional meanings. Leon Bridges is 29 years old and only at the start of his career.

This is the official site of Leon Bridges. This site is interesting because you can watch all of his latest music videos along with listen to his newest songs. It allows you to keep up date with him and where he is going next.

This is a link to a CBS news article/interview that talks about all of Leon's recent accomplishments and how he feels about them. It also talks a bit about his past and how he got to where he is today.

This article describes some of his best pieces of work in great detail. It also talks about his early life and how he was able to achieve his dreams. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Devon Terrell

Devvon Terrell is an up and coming artist that not many know.  For an artist, the goal is to create a connection with your fans or listeners.  Devvon Terrell has created a nickname for himself being called "The Living Weirdo." The purpose behind this nickname is to inspire people to be themselves and not worry about what other people think, be you.  This message is what really inspired me and created a connection between a fan and an artist.  His music tends to be a mix of Hip-Hop or R&B which can sound like your normal popular song on the radio.  However, if you listen to the lyrics you can see the positive message that he is trying to send to all his listeners.  He has gained popularity on youtube by doing short two-minute remixes of popular songs his most popular being 679 by Fetty Wap and Work by Rihanna.  What I like about these remixes is he takes a song and makes it his own. He doesn't just change the background beat he also changes the lyrics and makes the song his own and creates a whole new tempo, dynamic, and meaning behind each of his songs.  These and many other remixes have gained popularity on youtube so he has started producing albums which are quickly rising up the charts.  Devvon Terrell is a different artist than most because he doesn't sing about drugs or alcohol instead he sings to spread his vision of being yourself which is what has pulled me towards him.

As a result of Devvon Terrell being an up and coming artist, there are very little articles about him.  This, however, is an interview on why he decided to make music as well as his reason behind being called "The Living Weirdo."

This is an article describing Devvon Terrell's new single Temperature.  In this article, it asks him to describe this song and the meaning in one sentence as well as the reason he chose to make music as well as what happens on his social media accounts.

This is another article explaining what his nickname of "The Living Weirdo" actually means and why he chose it.  He describes his nickname as people just being themselves.  Once that happens you will be happy and enjoying life.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Carole King

Carole King

            Carole King is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and musician. In 1960 she wrote and recored her first number one hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow".  At the time she was only seventeen years old. Carole King continued to write hits that were performed by her and many other artists. Some of the notable songs King wrote for others include "You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)" performed by Aretha Franklin and "Chains" performed by The Beatles. My favorite songs by Carole King come from her 1971 solo album Tapestry. Her music is so pure and from the heart. If you aren't familiar with Carole King I suggest listening to "It's Too Late" and "So Far Away". I am a big fan of music from the 70's. Typically I prefer 70's rock from bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. However, Carole King's raw talent drew me in the first time I listened to one of her songs. Her pop/singer-songwriter style isn't usually the type of music I enjoy, but she has such a beautiful quality to her voice and is an amazing writer. She's inspiring because she worked hard from a young age and was able to have an extremely successful career doing what she loves. Carole King is one of my absolute favorite solo artists.

This biography of Carole King gives you a background on her life. It sequences her accomplishments from her very first number one hit in 1960 to receiving Kennedy Center Honors in 2015.

This link is to Carole King's profile on Songwriters Hall of Fame. It talks about her life growing up in Brooklyn New York, her music, and her connections to other greats in the music industry.

This RollingStone article lists famous songs that most people don't know Carole King wrote. It also provides videos of the various artists performing her songs.

Michael Jackson

I chose Michael Jackson because he is someone that I have always admired and grown up listening to. I also think that his music has a way of inspiring people in different ways. It is a very special artist that’s music touches so many people after death. He began from such a young age when he was singing with his brothers  in Jackson 5. They were the first group in pop history to have number one hits on their first four singles. Since then he has popular music his most widely known album is probably the Thriller album which was added into the Grammy Hall of Fame. He was also was known for winning eight grammys in one night. Which sounds ridiculous, even now! He acquired the nickname the “king of pop” because of all his accomplishments. The music and the beat made it nearly impossible to not move your feet. Not only is his music living on, but also in intricate dance moves, such as the moon walk. Everyone knows the moon walk and as generations come I just know that dance will move on too.

If i have to choose a favorite song by him I would have to say that mine is “black or white”. I think that the message he conveys is so important and despite all the controversy about his music i think that everyone's individual interpretation is very vital when listening to his music. A lot of people don’t understand the depth in which his lyrics go.

He was a very influential man in many different ways. This is an article that goes into depth about how he influenced contemporary art.

To end my blog post I would just like to add this Bibliography  on Michael Jackson. It shows a list from start to finish of his career and the accomplishes that he made along the way and what I believe really made him the legend that he was.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti’s music is an escape for me. The beats he chooses to use along with his flow and melody are so captivating and make me feel relaxed and relieved. I have anxiety problems sometimes and listening to his music in those moments is a form of medicine. His music is more about the atmosphere and less heavy on lyrics. I find him to be an abstract artist when it comes to music. Sometimes you might not find much apparent meaning however if you just listen to the music and accept the sound as a whole you will find such a perfect work of art. For me his song Kelly K is just that for me a work of art, along with many other songs. The lyrics in some songs however, have deep poetic meaning as well and tell a story about his life that most don’t catch. Some may say that he only raps about what every other young rapper raps about (drugs, money, and women) which is mostly true but deeper meaning is found within. Playboi Carti grew up in a rough area in Atlanta Georgia and used drugs as a way to get away from his problems as a youth and this is now portrayed in his music. 

Only website that I could  with a background beyond music about Carti. This provides insight to his life before music a little bit and also ventures into his career and work. It talks about his music along with his hobby modeling career.

Carti used sound cloud as a way to show the world his music in the early stages of his career and here you can find some of his first more notable songs when he started really taking his art seriously. It also contains some his newer songs along with samples of others.

Here you can see videos of interviews with Carti along with his music. It also showcases all the different features he's had meaning all the different artists he has had the opportunity to work with. It even has some answers to questions form fans that he has taken the time to answer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Artists have a unique opportunity to affect the viewers and listeners of their works on a deep level, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (pronounced caw-ma-caw-vee-vah-o-lay) is a musician who did just that. Known more commonly as Braddah Iz or just Iz, Israel was a native Hawaiian singer/song-writer and activist. Born in 1959 Israel was known by family and friends as a gifted musician by an early age, performing at just ten and going on to form a band—The Mahaka Sons—where he would begin his rise to fame. Iz created music that separated itself from the "Hawaiian music" created for tourists in the century after the annexation of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, going back to traditional roots and actually representing native Hawaiian culture. I decided to highlight his art because I grew up listening to his music and I feel that it represents my culture very well (and sounds beautiful).

Many may have heard his version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" but may not have heard his other work which reflected his feelings about the treatment of Hawaiians and the islands in recent time. I think that the history of Hawai'i is overlooked, that the islands are written off as a fun tropical vacation and that many of the problems that resulted from the illegal annexation and following statehood are ignored. But Iz's music, which is beautiful in its unique sound, mourns the damage, urges change, and offers a look into traditional Hawaiian culture not easily found elsewhere. I chose Iz because  of the expressive, honest feelings his music evokes, the important subject matter of his songs, and a deep personal significance his music has to me.

On his website a detailed, personal biography written by his producer offers insight into his rise to fame and includes a brief discography.

NPR's Renee Montagne published an article about Iz that includes quotes from him, remarks from close friends, and details of the end of his life (I particularly enjoy this article as it makes reference to an important concept in Hawaiian culture: the idea of 'mana').

And finally I would like to invite any readers to listen to the following pieces: his cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and his song "Hawai'i '78". In comparing the two I think it is easy to understand his feelings and how he expresses them in his music, it is also an excellent example of how he incorporated ancient Hawaiian music (in this case chanting) into his own. The phrase repeated throughout: "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Āina i ka Pono o Hawai'i" means "the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness", it is a phrase of great cultural significance that is reflective of the connection ancient Hawaiians had to their land, a phrase that Iz sings beautifully mournfully.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono


Image result for picasso

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, print maker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. There are so less words to describe his work of art. He was born in Spain and died in France. He always involved his life around his work and how he would creates so beautiful paintings without thinking. He had an unique talent to turn one image into another without putting too many thoughts into. His work of art amaze me like how he understood his work of art and took it to the next level. There is so much information regarding him and his work over the internet. One of the biography is:


This site gives majority of life journey story as where he grew up and where is learned his work of art. Also, his goals towards his dream paintings. This site is helpful and informative in learning about Picasso's life.

Second website I came across was:


This site has information on Picasso's work of art and what each means. It is basically like a art gallery where you look at different images and get amazed by it. Most interesting thing to me was it had the prices to the images which explains how important each art plays its role.

Third website that I cam across was:


This site plays its role in different ways. It had more of images which Picasso had worked on. One of the images from this website is this: 
Pablo Picasso, Mandolin and Guitar, Juan-les-Pins, 1924. Oil with sand on canvas, 55 3/8 x 78 7/8 inches (140.7 x 200.3 cm)
This image is named: Mandolin and Guitar.

After reading the title of this image, the word guitar grabbed my attention and  I look at the image right away and saw the guitar. Sometimes, when you don't understand the image but when you read the title then everything comes together. This is what is unique about Picasso and I like the work of art because it makes you think deeper into the image because you never it could be something else or another thing.

Another image: Pablo Picasso, Bird on a Tree, Dinard, August 1928. Oil on canvas, 13 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches (34.9 x 24.1 cm)
Bird on the tree

Every image of his art is so special to me. In my humanities class, I saw videos of Picasso's work where he would draw his painting from the very start. You can see the overall process of one image turning into another. He was so talented that he didn't need to think, he would just move his hands then there is an another image that you can recall.