Monday, May 18, 2020



I think Khalid is one of the most influential artists in the music industry in today's society. His music relates with so many teenagers and young adults that it is so easy to relate and connect with him through his music. He is always so positive and genuinely cares for his fans. He works hard on the music he creates and has a unique sound that you would not find in many other artists. He sings about such good vibes and the things we go through as teenagers mixed with a smooth r&b sound that is unique to his style.

Kelley, Frannie. “Khalid Is The Shooting Star Of The Playlist Era.” NPR, NPR, 23 July 2019,

In 2016, an A&R executive came across a song on SoundCloud by an artist going by his first name Khalid and connected with him over twitter, telling him he had something special. Khalid was a senior in high school at the time his first hit song "Location" blew up on all streaming services and he was a hit overnight. Since this burst of fame in 2017, he has had two successful tours for his two albums, has millions of fans and followers on social media, has been nominated for many music awards from the Grammys to the Billboards to the AMA's, has won Favorite Album, Favorite Male Artist, Best New Artist, etc., and achieved many other accolades in only a span of 4 years in his career.

Andrew, Scottie. “Khalid Felt Helpless after the El Paso Shooting. So He Raised $500,000 with a Benefit Concert.” CNN, Cable News Network, 3 Sept. 2019,

The "American Teen" from the city of El Paso has always carried his hometown roots with him no matter where he goes. He has dedicated multiple songs to the Suncity and has put the city on the map for everyone to know where he is from and what it means to him. In 2019, when he was only 21 years old, Khalid hosted a benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the El Paso shooting that took place in September. He spoke very deeply about how the tragedy affected him and the issues of gun violence around the world, and wanted to give back to his community that he says gave so much to him.

III, Ira Madison. “Khalid Is Here to Save the Soul of America.” GQ, GQ, 23 Jan. 2018,

Khalid became a star at the age of 18 when his debut "Location" was a hit around the world. He is leading the change for R&B's future and the future of the world, led by the American teens. He creates his music that makes you feel good and just makes you want to dance. He uses his feelings to create such authentic music that doesn't fit in a genre, it's just a mood and a moment which makes him so unique and unlike anyone else. 


Banksy is an anonymous British graffiti artist, and one of the most famous living artists in the world. He has been able to keep his identity unknown for over thirty years. He has produced many powerful images from London, to Utah, and several other locations. Banksy makes art that brings attention to current issues. His artwork is so compelling it leaves people wanting more. In 2013 Banksy set up a street vendor cart in Central Park and sold his pieces for $60, not letting his real identity be revealed. The next day he posted on his website letting people know it was from him. Banksy has inspired many people and he spreads messages across the world dealing with politics, art, philosophy, and more. His street art and graffiti has brought success to other artists in this media. A painting by Banksy was sold in London for $1.04 million, once sold the canvas began to pass through a shredder that was installed into the from, some people consider this the “Banksy Effect”.

This is Banksy's official website. Here you can see his artwork that is presented both inside and outside. It also gives you information where to send questions, as well as threats. This website displays shows that are being put on by people that are fake.

This website goes into detail about Banksy’s life. It gives information about the work he does and his style of work throughout the years.

This website takes you to The Walled Off Hotel. Here you can view rooms that have been customized by Banksy. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020


How SZA Beat Depression and Cracked the Top 10 With ‘Ctrl’

Morris, Alex. “How SZA Beat Depression and Cracked the Top 10 With 'Ctrl'.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 25 June 2018,

       In this 2018 Rolling Stone article, Solana Rowe (also known as SZA) explains her rise to fame as well as the trials and tribulations that led her there. Growing up as one of the few people of color in her neighborhood, SZA dealt with bullying and being ostracized by her fellow peers. Solana's father was also Muslim and she wore a hijab in her youth; it was clear she faced her fair share of uphill battles. After dropping out of college and couch surfing, she fell into a deep depression and turned to the "one thing she didn't suck at": music. SZA explains her own disposition as a "run-on-can’t-calm-down-waves-of-emotion kind of thing" and does not shy away from emotional outbursts. This is exemplified in her music: mellow, chill beats with lyrics that are far from mellow or chill. Her past traumas are huge points of inspiration in her music.

The Rebirth of SZA

Carmichael, Emma. “The Rebirth of SZA.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 5 Mar. 2020,

           This 2020 Rolling Stone article was different from any interview Solana Rowe had done; it was her first interview in a year. Since the success of her 2016 album Ctrl, many things in SZA's life has changed. For one, her grandmother (who makes different cameo appearances on many of her songs) and her aunt passed away. Many factors, such as the quick rise to fame, led Solana to a place where she was "just trying not to die". Due to the success of Ctrl, her eager fan base has been prodding her about the release of her next album. SZA's perspective is this: she needs to find herself and get well so she can accurately depict the woman she is today. For the past year, she has been immersing herself in healing practices and staying away from the spotlight. As she puts it, “You really have to choose to feel better. You have to. Because if you don’t, you just die.” Throughout all of the anxious waiting for her next album, one thing can be certain: it is definitely going to be good and real. 

   White, Ryan, and Petra Collins. “An Intimate Look inside the Mind of Sza.” I, 13 Apr. 2018,

          In this Vice interview, Solana Rowe is interviewed around two years after her first album Ctrl came out. She speaks about her new found success and the difficulty of being famous. SZA explains that coming out with an album and touring allowed her to overcome her biggest fear: being completely herself for millions of people. Solana explains her relationship with fame and the people in her life, as often the two are intertwined. In terms of her new music, she is trying to find a balance between simplicity and complexity. SZA says, "I know it’s going to get way more chaotic. I’m really excited to find the extreme moments of beauty in that. I think it’s going to become really fucking interesting..." 

          In terms of my own opinion of SZA's artwork, she has been one of the most relatable artists for me and a lot of people my age. While a large portion of her fanbase (including myself) have not experienced the things she has in her life, her music seems to speak to all hurts. As she states in multiple different interviews, she is not afraid to shy away from hard emotions; it definitely shows in her song lyrics. As she goes back and forth from embracing her sexuality to questioning her worth as a woman, she exemplifies the 20-something era of young adolescents. 


Grimes (Claire Boucher)

Grimes, Claire Boucher, is an eccentric electropop music artist who started making music in college while attending McGill University. She was studying neuroscience and electroacoustics (how the brain reacts to music). Some people may know Grimes as Elon Musk’s girlfriend and mother to their child X Æ A-12 (pronounced “Ash”). Her strange and unconventional music as well as her presentation makes her stand out not only as a musical artist but as a style icon. Grimes, although her music is mostly electropop (songs like “Oblivion” and “Artangels”) she dips into semi-acoustic music as well on her newest album, Miss Anthropocene, where songs such as “Delete Forever” have a softer sound to them. 

This first link is an interview with Grimes featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” It discusses the beginning of her music career to now, as well as her terrible stage fright. This article discusses her personally more than her music. 

This second link is Grimes speaking about her different albums and evolution of her music.

My favorite Grimes song is "Easily" from her album  (linked below)

Erik Parker and work ethic

Eric Parker

Eric Parker is an action sports photographer who works with Teton Gravity Research. Aong with being at the top of the game with action sports photography he is also at the top of the game in whitewater kayaking and skiing. This is how he gets such incredible shots. I find his work so inspiring because he goes the extra mile to get these photos, he is doing exactly what all of the professional athletes hes with are doing except he has all of his camera gear. Along with this he has to go ahead and go behind and catch up just so he can get the shot. His work is really inspiring, going places many other photographers do not.
A write up on Eric in TGR about a trip he was on last spring.
A write up TGR did on Eric about how he goes above and beyond to get the shots that he does.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami is a Japanese contemporary artist that works in both the fine arts and commercial media. He is known for adapting the traditional forms of japanese art and making that fit into popular culture. He blurs the line between high and low art through his sculpture and painting as well as his fashion, merchandise, and animation. Takashi Murakami became most famous in the early 2000’s for his superflat movement. SoFlo Superflat describes an art genre started in Miami in the 1990s. It is an urban pop art movement in South Florida that combines super bright colors and ultra flat images. Since, Murakami has designed album covers for musical artists like Kanye West and Kid Kudi, has toured in museums all over the world, and has his famous art style displayed as paintings and sculptures that he has also used in the fashion industry.

More In-depth Information
This website is a tribute website to the artist, with the most information in one place I could find. It has an in depth biography and different tabs to access his art, films, books, and even to shop. If you are looking for more information on Takashi Murakami’s background, education, or an in depth biography, I would recommend checking out this link. 

Murakami Sculpture in Versailles

Motives Behind His Work
This website has a long biography at the beginning of the page with in-depth explanations of some of Takashi Murakami’s most famous work. It explains motives behind some of his famous characters as well as what inspired him to create some of his most famous works.

Louis Vuitton Murakami
Murakami’s Art
This website is great for exploring the different types of art, both recent and older, that Takashi Murakami has made. It has everything art wise (focusing more on high art rather than his commercial work) displayed with costs and descriptions. If you’re interested to see what types of art Murakami does, I would recommend exploring this link. 

Kanye West Graduation
Album cover

Monday, May 11, 2020

Joe Hisaishi

Joe Hisaishi

Mamoru Fujisawa, though known professionally and world wide as Joe Hisaishi, is a Japanese composer and musical director known for over 100 film scores and several albums dating back to 1981. He is associated with and known for composing the film scores for animator Hayao Miyazaki (creater of films like Spirited Away, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, etc.), having composed scores for all but one of his films. He was also a student of legendary anime composer Takeo Watanabe (Cutie Honey, Candy Candy, Lone Wolf and Cub, Mobile Suit Gundam).

Joe Hisaishi's music is beautiful and known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical.

The first time I heard Joe Hisaishi's music was when I watched my first Miyazaki film: Spirited Away. My father introduced me to the various Miyazaki films (Castle in the Sky, Howl's Moving Castle, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, etc.) when I was young, and later when I wanted to just listen to the film scores from his amazing movies, I discovered Joe Hisaishi. It blew me away that the music for the majority of the Miyazaki movies that I had so come to love had been created by Joe Hisaishi. Having played the piano since I was in first grade, I knew for myself how much skill it takes to play an instrument. Therefore, it is even more amazing to me the skill and talent it takes to create music and such works of art. The sheer musical genius it must take to be able to create the music that so enhances the storylines of the Miyazaki films, it left me in awe.

Interview where Hisaishi describes his Creative Process
-An interview with Joe Hisaishi by Brian Ashfort, where Hisaishi answers some questions about himself and his creative process in creating music, and how it differs depending on what he's creating music for.

The John Williams of Japan
-An article about Joe Hisaishi, his history, and a few highlighted songs from his career.

Short biography of Joe Hisaishi's life as a Japanese composer and musician
-A short biography of Hisaishi's life over the years, his career, highlights, awards, and an extensive list of his work.

If you've never seen the Miyazaki films or heard Joe Hisaishi's music before, below is a video of Joe Hisaishi's Budokan Studio Ghibli 25 Years Concert. Watch, be amazed, and more importantly, enjoy!