Five unforgettable artists you haven’t heard of yet

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New artists pop up almost daily. And although the discover category on Spotify is  e v e r y t h i n g  for staying on top of new music, it’s still hard to always keep up. Here I have five unforgettable artists that I’m dying to share. They cover the gammit of new hit music that will keep you groovin’ for days and nights to come.

 ALLAN KINGDOM

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Allan Kyariga, better known as Allan Kingdom, is a Canadian born rapper who moved to Minnesota as a young boy. Kingdom first hit the scene when after dropping his mixtape “Trucker Music” in 2011. However, his abilities didn’t make a huge debut until appearing out of nowhere in Kanye West’s hit song “All day.” The song not only puts him on the radar but lands him a spot in City Pages as best hip hop artist of 2014. Kingdom’s sound is not only refreshing, but the best part is that he actually has something to say. The rapper’s lyrics run deep and every song holds a story. Kingdom’s most recent album drop, “Northern Lights” shows how truly talented he is. This album is the next step in showing the world that he’s not one to look past. With his unique rhythm and killer beats, Allan Kingdom is one to keep a close eye on.

DYLAN DUNLAP

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Dylan Dunlap, a Los angeles based Indie rock singer, found his love for music at a young age. He grew up pursuing the industry in any and every way he could. For the past three years, Dunlap has been performing his original songs on the of streets downtown Burbank for hours at a time. Dylan first made a debut performing on season 8 of The Voice. He has gone on to open for various artists including icons like Molly Ringwald and is set to open for Phil Wickham and Howie Day. Dylan’s first major release was his single “Ella” in 2015. This release lead up to his latest album “Thoughts Become Things” which was dropped February of this year. The 20 year old singer has a passion that is almost palpable when he performs. Not to mention his distinctive tone will also have you hanging on his every last word. You’ve been fairly warned now to keep an eye out because Dylan Dunlap is taking the industry by storm.

ABRA

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Abra, the Atlanta retro r&b singer, combines vintage vibes and synthesizers to create a sound unlike anything the industry has heard in quite some time. Abra has a voice that is smooth and sultry, completely enveloping you in her music. This is probably why I find myself listening to her 2015 song “Fruit” on repeat. The hit song is one of many on her album “Rose” which released June of last year. According to Billboard Magazine the album has the idea of “loss of innocence” strewn in between the lines. Abra’s latest project, “Princess”, holds similar 80’s qualities and her hit, straight from the EP, “Cry Baby” does not disappoint. Abra not only has a knack for music but one for fashion. The artist continually makes a statement in her appearance whether she is performing or filming a music video. Abra is on the verge of becoming a sensation and is an influential woman to keep an eye out for as she is already making major waves.

AURORA

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Aurora, a 20 year old norwegian singer, is bringing a new creative light to music as we know it. Her songs are haunting and poetic with a dash of edge. Aurora first released her EP “Running With the Wolves” in May of 2015 which first captured the public and landed her an award at the Spelleman Awards in Norway. From the unique sound of her voice to her editorial music videos, it’s hard not obsess over Aurora. Her latest album “All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend”  is an absolutely magnificent work of art that entraps you in a world of what seems to be make believe. This year Aurora is on the U.S. billboards top 200 and that’s only the beginning. Expect to see a lot more of this quirky, bleach blonde, lyrical genius.

RAURY

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There are folk artists and rappers but what about a folk rapper? Well do I have something for you. Raury is a 20 year old alternative folk rapper from Stone Mountain, Georgia and to say he has talent is an under statement. Raury’s album “All We Need” is a testament to his unique style and distinct vision of music. If you know what is good for you, you will go and watch the music video for his single “Devils Whisper.” The piece has you entranced from beginning to end and will give you a new appreciation for alternative music. Raury continues to rise in notoriety and is working to make a big impact on the music industry. His idiosyncrasy and fearlessness when it comes to being different is exactly why he is on the road to success.

There you have it glamorous people, 5 new artists that we all need to keep an eye on. Comment below with any other up coming artists you feel shouldn’t be missed and let us know who we need to check out!

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Halsey: Not Gay Enough for You?

“What Does a Queer Pop Star Look Like in 2016?” This was the title of an article written by BuzzFeed, recently criticizing singer, Halsey, for her performance with the Chainsmokers at the MTV music awards. The performance featured Halsey in a sparkling white two-piece with a long brown-haired wig over her normally short, punk cut. For many of Halsey’s fans, it was yet another way that she was expressing herself- in her usual unrestrained and in-the-moment attitude. But, for critics, it was just “too straight” to accurately represent Halsey’s “gayness”.

Halsey, who has made her career on being honest and entirely open with her fans, has never been quiet about her sexuality. As an openly bisexual female, Halsey has been paving her own way through the music industry. Make no mistakes, there have been openly gay celebrities in the past. Melissa Ethridge and  Elton John being two of the most memorable. That doesn’t make Halsey’s road to success any easier, though. For someone who has promised to be her true self, discovering that ‘self’ and becoming confident with that ‘self’ can be scary. Not to mention when you have the world watching and waiting to judge every step of your journey.

All young, female pop stars are pressured to meet a certain standard to appeal to the larger audience. One could argue that Halsey’s concerts and performances with her fans are a more intimate and safe place for her to be herself. Yet, the VMAs stage is an entirely different world. Its like going to a restaurant with a dress code after years of lounging around at your local pub. The change of clothes and hair doesn’t change who you are as a person. And they certainly shouldn’t encourage people to question your sexual identity.

The beginning of the BuzzFeed article attacks Halsey’s recent VMAs performance.  Then it even questions her bisexuality because of it or at least her loyalty to portraying herself as a gay individual appropriately. Later, in the article, BuzzFeed puts the blame of her style choices on the pressure of the industry stating, “ Halsey remains an out bisexual woman, no matter what she does with her art. But she’s also working her way through the thorny tangle of an old-fashioned and male-dominated music industry, which places enormous demands on how women look and act.”

The finger pointing does nothing to take away from the ignorance of their assumptions. If anything, it only adds salt to the wound. Who is to say that Halsey didn’t make the choice in wardrobe, hair and physical interactions entirely on her own? For a singer who has been bravely honest with the world, why would she jump ships so suddenly?

An early report of the incident by Teen Vogue caught Halsey’s initial response to the BuzzFeed article via Twitter. She has since deleted the outspoken responses from her page. Maybe she decided that the article spoke for itself, or maybe she was confident enough in her own peace of mind to let to the article’s flame burn out on its own. But, the damage is already done. The bierasure has been unleashed on the unsuspecting singer, and could have a profound effect on her impressionable fans, out-bisexual individuals and curious ones, as well.

Is there such a thing as not being gay enough (not looking gay enough)? No, but BuzzFeed’s blissful ignorance and drama-seeking headlines have those of us who are openly gay, and feminine, questioning how our femininity is received, even by people in our own LGBT community.

What do you think about Buzzfeed’s response to Halsey’s outfit choice at the VMAs? Is this something that anyone should even comment on with such intensity? Even if the person is famous and in the public eye? Comment and let us know below! Or tweet at us @GlamorousPaper

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Twenty One Pilots : a Band Who Saves Their Fans

If you’ve tuned into a radio at all in the past few months, then you’ve probably heard of Twenty One Pilots. Since performing their song, “Car Radio” at the 2014 MTV Music Awards, the band has been rising in the ranks of mainstream music. For an alternative band that doesn’t fit into any one genre, making headway on the most popular song charts is something of a phenomenon in such a short time. Of course, they’re not the only, nor the first alternative band to breakout into the mainstream music world. It’s a story as old as time: the underdog breaks free from the typical restraints of the music industry and reaches a large enough fan base to make a place for themselves.

This band isn’t your ordinary, heart melting underdog tale, though. For many, Twenty One Pilots is so much more.

Twenty One Pilots was originally formed back in 2009 by three high school friends Nick Thomas, Chris Salih and Tyler Joseph in Columbus, Ohio. Back in Ohio, they built up an impressive following and a fan base to be proud of. Only two years after forming the original band, Chris Salih and Nick Thomas left the group. Tyler Joseph pushed through the change and added drummer, Josh Dun, to a –now- two-man band. Just a year later, in 2012, they signed with Fueled by Ramen, a popular record label known for producing some of the most recognizable alternative songs of our generation. It was here that they released the songs that would skyrocket their success.

Stressed Out” was released in 2015, off the Blurryface album. The song climbed all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016. Shortly after, their song “Ride” managed to hit number six on the same chart this past summer. It didn’t stop there, though. Twenty One Pilots officially became the first alternative band to have two simultaneous top ten singles when “Heathens” was released on a soundtrack for recent film, Suicide Squad.

They came, they saw, and they’re conquering.

But, what is it about this band that sets them apart from the rest? With such a dedicated fan base and an obvious passion for what they do- what makes them a band so extraordinary that they save the lives of their fans? And, no, that isn’t just a metaphor.

For many of their young followers, Twenty One Pilots represents a great deal more than what most bands offer at face-value. Their unique sound, one that is impossible to categorize into any one genre, is something to admire but it’s the story behind the songs and the lyrics that hold true significance. Take the song “Car Radio” for example. Like most of their songs, it is paired with a beat that disguises the depth of its meaning. You have to look a little deeper, listen a little harder:

 

“Sometimes quiet is violent

I find it hard to hide it

My pride is no longer inside

It’s on my sleeve

My skin will scream

Reminding me of

Who I killed inside my dream

I hate this car that I’m driving

There’s no hiding for me

I’m forced to deal with what I feel

There is no distraction to mask what is real

I could pull the steering wheel…”

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This is just one of many lyrically powerful songs written by Tyler Joseph. He’s a genius, one whom has spoken publicly about mental health issues that he faces on a daily basis. Depression doesn’t hold him back, though. It’s quite the opposite, actually. Tyler uses the dark battles within his mind to create beautiful music and connect with people all around the world that go through the same struggles.

Twenty One Pilots doesn’t claim to normalize depression or mental health issues as a whole. It doesn’t cure people of their chemical imbalances or tell them that everything is okay. For many fans, life may never be okay, but Twenty One Pilots offers comfort in not being alone. Tyler and Josh’s music reminds fans that there is purpose to life and that it is worth living.

They take it a step further than the rest. Of that much, I can be sure.

So, the next time you’re cruising down the street and singing along with “Stressed Out” or “Ride” remember that those lyrics may have reached somebody in a dark place and given them the courage to keep going. Remember that the power of music can be something magical. Maybe even life-changing.

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Meghan Trainor’s “Better”

Big hair, lots of bass’, and don’t forget that sassy grace. That is the Meghan Trainor that broke out into the mainstream music world.

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When we first saw the bubbly newcomer, she was filled to the brim with confidence in her body and in her abilities. Her journey is all the more inspiring because Meghan does not want to be your average, every day, pop star.  Her rise to success, in itself, is proof of her aptitude for breaking boundaries and overcoming social expectations.

Meghan Trainor was, and still is, a force to be reckoned with.

If you think the pop princess’s legacy revolves entirely around upbeat tunes, self-assured physical presence and catchy lyrics, (which created some of the last few years’ most buoyant, dance-worthy tunes) think again.

In Meghan’s new song, “Better,” she shows us the truth depth of her talents. It takes a dark and dramatic turn- one I never saw coming after all her feisty, hip-popping songs. “Better” reveals a side that she has never shown us.

After watching the music video, we can all now see that she’s damn good at tapping into that dark beauty. The “Better” music video, Meghan takes that beautiful darkness another step forward. Gone is the Meghan Trainor with a sassy smile and a twinkle to her eyes. In her place is a troubled young girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders.

In the beginning, the video opens at a county jail. It shows a grandfather, played by Beau Bridges , calling his granddaughter, played by Meghan Trainor, to pick him up. When we get our first look at the young hairdresser, she seems broken and distant, a stark contrast to the Meghan we all know and love.

But, it only gets more dramatic from there.

As the plot of the music video unfolds, we watch as Meghan’s grandfather continues down the path of self-destruction and alcoholism. If that weren’t enough, he is constantly bringing his loyal granddaughter down with him. She gets caught up in the constant game of rescue and recover. Meghan’s character is always there when she is needed despite her obvious frustrations and exhaustion. However, at the end of the music video we see the drama reach an all time high. Meghan’s character’s anger over her inability to cure her grandfather’s addiction overtakes her.

Finally, Meghan’s character decides to cut the ties that bind them together when her grandfather attempts to make amends. His efforts come too late to do any good when the cops show up to take him away. His granddaughter won’t be able to save him this time.

So, it’s a sad ending to a really sad story. Its not the “aw, that’s cute sad.” Rather, its that uneasy feeling of your heart dropping into your stomach and goosebumps forming on your flesh type of sad. It isn’t a song you’ll soon forget, and neither is Meghan’s remarkable performance.

If I had any doubts about Meghan’s musical diversity or her willingness to shed light on the darker corners of her mind, they’ve been laid to rest. She killed it.

Just remember, as much as we love celebrities and follow them over social media, etc. we never really know every side of them until they want us to. Maybe, we haven’t seen everything of Meghan Trainor yet. But, if what she’s still hiding is anything like “Better,” I’ll wait patiently to be amazed yet again.

Comment below and let us know how you felt about Meghan Trainor’s “Better” or another artist’s music video that exposes the dark beauty in humans. Or even tweet at us (@GlamorousPaper) artist’s music videos you’d like to see us write about! Have a glamorous day and be sure to love yourself inside and out!

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Atlanta: Review and Full Episode

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Atlanta.

No. No. That’s the name of Donald Glover’s new show on FX. Months ago, Donald Glover said; “Hey, I am coming up with a show and it’s a mixture of Twin Peaks and other stuff.” Immediately the interest sparked millions on social media ranging from Facebook to Twitter. That million included me.

You know Donald Glover… Troy from Community? Childish Gambino? The colossus of clout? Wait, no, that’s Sandlot and the Babe Ruth. But, you get the point. Donald Glover is known in the hip-hop world and in the television world. From writing and staring in Community to now creating and staring in Atlanta, Donald Glover is killing it as far as production and screen writing goes.

Atlanta premiered September 6th and started off with a bang… literally. Someone got shot in the first scene of the show. That’s not a spoiler, it was no one important to the plot, only the person that was doing the shooting was important.

Donald Glover really hyped up this show – the continuous trailers that were coming out that really did not tell much; but, what the characters were going to be about. And, every single one of the trailers ended up backwards minus maybe one. Here is one of the trailers:

These backwards trailers all led to the premiere episode that started with one scene and then flipped back to the beginning of the day of that particular scene. It showed how it went down in reverse time. I found this to be cool because you get see how it happened and what led the characters to this point. The premiere of this show was a little over an hour long and it felt like a slow motion gif. It feels like you are in the show with the crisp color and the awesome soundtrack. The dialogue is great between all the characters and you don’t get bored. Granted, this is just from the first hour long episode – it could prove to be the opposite; but, it looks promising from what was shown.

The show is focused on African American characters doing African American things in the day to day life. It is about trying to make it in your day to day life, while also taking care of your child and having a baby mother as well. The show is about dealing with living paycheck to paycheck and trying to make it in life so you can stop living paycheck to paycheck. It is about trying to make it in life when everything and everyone, even your parents, are aiming towards the opposite. Trying to make it is the hard part, and that is what Atlanta is documenting.

I don’t want to give too much away, but this show is a must see. It is a mixture of Grand Theft Auto and Twin Peaks in a very weird way. The cutoff scenes are Grand Theft Auto all the way, but the suspense is Twin Peaks. They both make the perfect combination and out came Atlanta. There is, also, continuously sneak peaks of new Childish Gambino music in the show. It is not hinted that it is “new” Gambino music, but any music that we (as fans) have not heard yet is new most definitely.

The show ended up being the total opposite of a flop. Despite what people might have thought from those confusing trailers. For Donald Glover this ended up being a hit! And, who’s to say things won’t keep getting better for the show? Only time will tell. But, for now, Atlanta is on top of the world – well, on top of FX.

As far as TV shows go, and looking for that TV show to keep you interested with a darn good soundtrack, then this is for you. Check it out, here are the trailers! And, today Donald Glover just tweeted that they have the entire episode of YouTube to watch for free. I am not sure if it is going to be every single episode, but if it is – that would be really awesome of Donald Glover to do. We have embedded Episode 1 of Atlanta below for you to watch. Let us know what you think of Atlanta on Twitter using #glamorouspaper.

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