Artists You Need To Hear About

Artists You Need To Hear About

Here is some music you need to listen to.
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If you know me, you know that I am extremely passionate about music. I love finding artists who are not well-known and telling people about their music. I have a underground playlist of artists that I listen to that I would like to share. So without further adieu, here are some songs you may have never heard of, but should.

1. James Bay

I recently just discovered James Bays' incredible music, and I have been obsessed with it lately. I am seeing him in concert in a few weeks as well, and am looking forward to seeing him perform live. You probably have already his popular song, "Let it Go," but his other songs are fantastic as well. I highly recommend all of the songs on his most recent album, Chaos and the Calm, but a couple of my other favorite songs are "Hold Back the River," "Scars," and "Best Fake Smile."

2. Troye Sivan

You probably have heard of Troye Sivan, especially recently, as his music is growing more and more popular. I discovered him via his YouTube channel in 2013, and have been in love with him and his music ever since. I had the absolute privilege of seeing him live last spring, and he was just as incredible as I imagined he would be. His song "Youth" was pretty popular on the radio this past summer, but I adore the rest of his first album "Blue Neighborhood" as well. Some of my favorite songs on the album include "LOST BOY," "for him." and "SUBURBIA." Another one of his noteworthy songs is "The Fault in Our Stars," which includes a music video of him interacting with children with cancer in the hospital, so that's pretty cute.

3. Gabrielle Aplin

I love this woman and her music so much. All of her songs are calming and peaceful, and I often fall asleep to them. Her songwriting is something I have honestly never seen before in any other artist. All of her songs speak to me in some way, and I recommend her music to anyone and everyone. Some of my favorite songs of hers include "Home," "Please Don't Say You Love Me," "Panic Cord," and "Lying to the Mirror." Definitely listen to her music, she is one of my favorite artists for sure.

4. Grace

You may know Grace by her recent single with G-Eazy, "You Don't Own Me." But aside from that song, she is a very little known artist that has amazing. Some of my favorite songs of hers include "The Honey," "Hope You Understand," and "Church on Sunday." Her music is sassy and perfect for a drive in the car. I saw her live recently, and her voice was so powerful, you could tell she was passionate about what she was singing.

5. Birdy

I have been listening to Birdy for quite a while now, and I love all of her songs. Her lyrics are unique and different than popular music. A few of my favorites are "Wings," "People Help the People," "Light Me Up," "Words as Weapons," and "Terrible Love." If you haven't been blessed by her voice yet, definitely check her music yet.

6. Ben Rector

Ben Rector is well-known for his current hit song "Brand New," but the rest of his songs are just as wonderful. His love songs are to die for, and I love all of them so much. Some of my picks are "When a Heart Breaks," "Forever Like That," "When I'm With You," "30,000 Feet," and "I Like You." My personal favorite song by him though is "The Men That Drive Me Places." My take on it is that he is talking about his taxi drivers and their stories. It is amazing, and I honestly cry every time I listen to it.

These are some of my personal favorite artists that you may have never heard of/listened to before. And if you have heard of them, you may have only heard of their popular, "radio" songs. I definitely encourage you to look up some songs on this list that you have never of and fall in love with them like I did.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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