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. 



Lorde

 


    Ella Marija Lani Yekich- O' Connor, known as Lorde, is a singer/ songwriter from Auckland, New Zealand. Lorde is known for her unique on stage dancing, vocals, and lyrics. Her first hit song, "Royals" released in 2013, was in the electropop genre, however her songs tend to flow between genres which she enjoys. Her lyrics are very poetic, which is taken after her mother who is a poet. This leads to the listeners interpreting lyrics in different ways, as there are a lot of poetic metaphors in her songs. Her lyrics are relatable and about her life growing up, heartbreak, and being a wild and angsty young adult. She is not afraid to be herself within her music and on stage, marking her as a unique person, however, it's just her being authentic. Many people call her weird because of this, but I believe it makes her an amazing artist who inspires many. Lorde also is not afraid to use her voice to speak up about political and worldly issues, and is not very active on her social media, which is rare for artists these days. She does have an email subscription which I along with many others have subscribed to. Lorde uses that platform to "catch up" with her fans by writing in the style of an informal letter, like she is just catching up with a friend. It has been 3 years since she last released an album, but recently posted to her Instagram story, telling her American fans to vote, saying that she has a present next year if we all vote. Many have speculated that this will be her next long awaited album. 


Today, November 7th, happens to be her birthday as well. 


https://www.lorde.co.nz/

This is Lorde's official website, which includes information about her. When you click on the website, you see several links under a photo of her. These links lead to her social medias, tour information, her subscription, and her merchandise. 


https://www.biography.com/musician/lorde

This website gives basic information about Lorde and her career. It gives a brief description of her early life, career, albums and popular songs. 


https://www.npr.org/2018/08/31/638897130/lorde-is-the-21st-centurys-author-of-adolescent-evolution

This website gives a whole story on Lorde. It includes some of her most popular songs and music videos and reviews about her music. This website really portrays her as the incredible artist she is. 



 This is the cover to her most recent album, Melodrama from 2017. It is an incredible experience and each song tells an amazing story, alongside beautiful melodies. This album has range, and if you're looking for an album to cry, dance, or belt out to, this is the one.