Austin City Limits: The Coachella of Texas

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Austin City Limits is a three day music festival located in Austin, Texas. Austin is known for its amazing food, The University of Texas at Austin, live music, and hipster attitude. This year, the festival is celebrating its 15th year anniversary over two weekends. Some major artists that will be there are The Chainsmokers, Flume, Kendrick Lamar, M83, Radiohead, Mumford & Sons, and many more.  To add to the music, local favorite restaurants serve up some unique and delicious food. A few popular stops include Amy’s Ice Creams, Torchy’s Tacos, Tiff’s Treats, and Mighty Cone.

ACL 2016 lineup poster
ACL 2016 lineup poster

Since I’m originally from San Antonio, Texas, (which is about an hour south of Austin) here’s a local’s perspective. My first time going to Austin City Limits (ACL) I was a junior in high school. It was one of the best weekends of my life. I went with a giant group of friends, dressed like a typical trendy teen, and enjoyed myself for every single second of it. My favorite part was being seventh row for Kendrick Lamar. I sat on a friend’s shoulders, and looked back to see 100, 000 people behind me. This year will be my third year to go to the festival!! With the great memories I’ve already made, I’m extremely excited to be able to attend again.

Concert crowd at ACL's Honda Stage
Concert crowd at ACL’s Honda Stage

So how does ACL seem like Coachella? Being a student at the University of California at Los Angeles, I attended the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. (I’ve already bought my ticket for 2017!) Coachella and Austin City Limits have many things in common. I describe ACL as the ‘Coachella of Texas’ when telling people about it for the first time. Both festivals have similar artists playing to huge crowds on a giant field, boho styled attendees, delicious food trucks, and easygoing vibes. As a veteran of both music festivals, I can say that even though they’re inherently similar. While they’re both very similar, you need to attend both to really understand the experience of each weekend.

If you’re ever in Austin during the beginning of October, have $250 lying around, and love a good time, I highly recommend going to the Coachella of Texas, the Austin City Limits music festival.

Have any of your Glamorous people ever been to ACL? If so, comment below and tell me if you had a mind-blowing experience like I did at Kendrik Lamar! Or tweet @GlamorousPaper your favorite festivals looks from your past events!

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K-Pop, America’s Next Big Thing

K-Pop, otherwise known as Korean Pop, is a phenomenon that took Korea by storm and gave birth to some of the biggest celebrities of South Korea and China. The power of K-Pop didn’t stop there. Lately, K-Pop has sunk its unyielding grip into  younger generations all over the world, including America.

Music is different everywhere in the world. It isn’t just the difference in languages that set them all apart. It can be hard to imagine musicians, solo artists or musical groups become popular in any other way than what we’re used to. In America that means discovering talent over the web, through popular television series, talent shows, or simply by knowing the right people.

In comparison, international talent recruitment may as well be an entirely different planet. Children can be scouted for entertainment agencies like SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment as young as ten years old. Once signing with these entertainment groups, all schooling, social activities, and many aspects of life are controlled by the company. All the while, members must practice constantly in hopes of securing a spot in a group that debuts. That’s right, signing doesn’t guarantee you a place within company.

For those who successfully make it into the spotlight, the result creates a pop force to be reckoned with.

 

I was doubtful at first. Like with most new things, its best to dip your feet in the water before diving head first. Until this point, there were a handful of foreign songs I’d heard in passing. I hadn’t paid them much mind. After all, what is the point if you can’t understand the lyrics? Such is not the case with K-Pop.

Imagine the talent, popularity and allure of NSYNC  and the Back Street Boys combine. Then, pick a really large number to multiply it by. Now, you have a good idea of how large the dedicated and overzealous fan base of K-Pop is. If you thought Justin Bieber created a ripple in the water of mainstream music, K-Pop groups create a wave. One that is slowly and steadily crossing borders.

 

One of the first things to notice about K-Pop as its on its rise, is that not all of the songs are foreign in language. Therefore, not completely impossible for non-speakers of Korean to understand. Most members of K-Pop groups are actually bilingual. It’s a pretty impressive feat for an entire group to sing multiple languages. (And even more so when that group can easily reach ten or more members.)

So what is it about K-Pop that sparked its appeal in America and what is keeping their rise in popularity at such a slow pace? Interestingly enough, the same aspect that is helping them break into America’s pop culture is also forcing them to stay under that radar:

Their uniqueness.


It is as if each song is a rarity- one that cannot be copied. The members, the song, and the lyrics have a personality that set them apart from the rest. Each song in the playlist is vastly different than the next in style, sound and character. Yet, each song appeals to the same audience. If anything, the stark differences only make K-Pop that more tempting for their winning creativity. Nowadays, finding truly unique music is hard to come by, especially on the radio.

But, that very same uniqueness is also something of a downside. Culturally, K-Pop and Pop music in America are on opposite sides of the spectrum. For one, K-Pop groups or bands are gaining popularity, while in America Pop music, making headway as a musical group is a lot more difficult than making it as a solo artist. In many ways, American “boy bands” are a thing of the past, and female groups (with the exception of few) aren’t much better off.

Somehow, despite all the factors fighting against K-Pop’s popularity in America, its managed to plant its seeds in U.S. soil. But, will the love for the ever-growing genre progress and flourish, or will the expectations and demand of American’s mainstream music industry prove to be too picky for K-Pops distinct style?

Glamorous People< have you been ahead of the trend and have some K-Pop hits that you love? If so comment the youtube link, or simply song/group name below! Or tweet at us @GlamorousPaper! We love to be in the loop with all you fabulous trendsetters!

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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…”

Google Play Lyrics

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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