Being True To Your Own Music

Being True To Your Own Music

Why Kat Dahlia is such an influence for our upcoming generations music scene.

One of the best feelings in the world for lovers of music is when you find a song, album, or artist that can literally put your mind to a whole new perspective. It could be the angelic sound of their voice, the manifesting lyrics, or the rhythm you can't stop thinking about.

On an adventure to the beach with two of the craziest people I know is when I first heard a song by Kat Dahlia. My first thought after hearing her song, "I Think I'm In Love" is that she sounded like a clear mix between Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. Now I realize that was wrong of me to associate her voice with two other artists because she has her own unique sound that shouldn't be compared to anyone else. I was so impressed with her musicality and I only listened to the song one time. After this day, I was intrigued to find more of her music. Her album, My Garden, features songs that all have their own distinct sound. That makes it super easy to find at least one song that you can connect to.

The music industry is one tough place for musicians to make themselves and their work known. It's a place where life-long dreams are crushed but better yet, a place where all your dreams can come true in an instant.

Recently Kat Dahlia took a big step in her up and coming career and decided to no longer be signed to Epic Records and to become an independent artist. It's so important to recognize that being signed to a label doesn't determine your artistic abilities and clearly Kat is showing the world that. This gives her the opportunity to be free with her music and really create whatever she wants to and ultimately be happier.

I'm personally impacted by Kat's music everyday and her motivation to overcome all the negatives in the music industry. No other artist has influenced my life like she has. She helped me realize that life is an ongoing adventure that you should never take for granted and that your dreams can be fulfilled when you are genuinely happy.

I encourage any young musician that wants to pursue their career, to not get caught up in the drama of the "Hollywood scene". Make music that you feel proud of and show the world what it means to be an authentic artist. If you have the chance of being signed to a label, make sure they never try to manipulate who you really are as a person and a musician. I'm thankful that Kat realized her true self worth and that she can still make incredible music.

The only question now is, when will Kat Dahlia become the next best female artist this generation so desperately needs?

Cover Image Credit: Jason Rosewell

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The DJ Has Spoken: How 'Black Mirror' Questions Current Dating Practices

Is the current generation approaching dating in a humanistic way?

In the last couple of years, dating stopped becoming an art form of trial and error and started becoming a scientific process of matching a person with "the one." It is a sad fact to face when every person with a smartphone is now attached to dating apps such as "Coffee Meets Bagel" or "Bumble" all because it glamorizes the idea that people would be to obtain their one true love. Getting to know someone intimately and grow together in a relationship has now become a calculated risk with statistics that are produced by a binary code.

I have nothing against utilizing dating apps to meet new people or get to know someone for the first time. However, there is a fine line between using a tool to get to know the bare bones of a person and depending on technology to make a decision about our love lives. Go ahead and use an app to learn about a person's favorite food or activity, but let's remember that iPhones and Androids cannot replace plain old common sense.

Supernatural TV shows have alluded to how technology has taken over our daily lives, but "Black Mirror" pulls out all the punches and literally slaps the viewers with the realization. The anthology series with the play-on-words title (referring to the black screen of a smartphone), "Black Mirror" attempts to explain their version of what reality would be like with smart technology. Viewers are appalled and captivated by the idea that the smarter the technology becomes, the less civilized humanity becomes.

In the latest season, the show tackles the methodology of dating apps in the episode called "Hang the DJ." The main protagonists, Frank and Amy, are placed in the System with a small circular device named Coach, whose main objective to trial run different relationships. With an expiration date predetermined, these two go on their date only to part by the word of Coach. Immediately after, they are paired up with other people for a pre-specified time frame until they find the ultimate one. There is no turning around or having second thoughts; they are just with the ultimate ones for eternity.

Under the word of a device that has no face and no feelings, people are blindly set up with a stranger who they could be with for a few hours or a lifetime. The lack of opinions from the characters is startling, to say the least, but what does it really mean? Are we really a society that will throw away common sense and depend on a device that knows we are nearly 100% matched with an individual?

I'm sure dating during my parents' generation required more thought and consideration. The version of a "you up?" text was legitimately calling a person and genuinely asking how he or she is. Asking someone on a date required that leap of faith in the other person. And, most importantly, trust was necessary that a relationship could last beyond a pre-ordained expiration date.

I believe we lost trust in other individuals and think that a device has better judgment than we do. I do not blame us given how many #metoo stories and horrifying dates exist. But underlying all of that is the idea that we are avoiding the feeling of betrayal when we find out who we thought we were dating is not really the person who is standing in front of us. It is a terrifying feeling to realize that you made a relationship based on a lie. However, experiences like that shape who we are as people and help us make better decisions later on.

Life is the System that you never signed up for but don't you think it is time to take back our ability to make a decision to meet someone instead of relying on a "scientific matching score?" I'm 99.8% sure that I'll be much happier putting my own mind to work to make my own decisions about my dating life.

Cover Image Credit: magiccatwork

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Dark Water (2002) Review

What dwells beneath the surface?

I try to be careful when defining media by country of origin because essentialism is bad and there tends to be a million exceptions to each "rule" anyways. Still, I don't think I would be going too far out on a limb if I pointed out that the most defining examples of Japanese horror movies tend to put more of a focus on atmosphere than gore. Dark Water is a pretty clear example of this. As such I'll be talking about the original Japanese version of it rather than the 2005 American remake.

Directed in 2002 by the guy behind the Ring films, (Hideo Nakata) Dark Water is a slow burn. Anyone coming into this movie needs to be prepared for that. In fact, for much of the movie's hour and forty-five minute runtime, it's more of a psychologically-charged drama about a custody battle than it is an outright ghost story following a stressed-out mother struggling desperately to win the right to keep her daughter with her.

Luckily, the pay-off is more than worth it. As the run-down apartment that the protagonist and her daughter have recently moved into begins to fill with the titular dark water and the subtle sense of dread present in the dingy complex rises to a fever pitch, the movie goes from disquieting to overtly terrifying without skipping a beat.

Jump scares are scarce but they are used effectively to punctuate climactic moments, and the visual effects for the movie's supernatural bits are truly disgusting. There's a twist that comes in near the end that changes everything too, and it's possibly one of the most disturbing reveals I've ever come across.

Perhaps more important than the transition from drama to horror is how the two complement each other, though. Without spoiling anything here, the frightening tale of a haunting ties in nicely with the themes of motherly love present throughout the rest of the often distressingly somber film. Rather than feeling like two distinct movies with an abrupt switch near the end, Dark Water feels smooth and coherent even as its pacing rapidly increases near its finale.

If you've got the focus necessary to give it time to flood the deepest recesses of your mind, Dark Water will creep you out and captivate you. It's a horror movie with substance and heart that doesn't hold back on the scares. Its setting is as grimy as it is melancholy and the fates of the main mother and daughter duo will matter to you.

I give it four out of five drops of unsanitary H20.

Cover Image Credit: Movieman's Guide to the Movies

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