Seven Of My Guilty Pleasures In Music

Seven Of My Guilty Pleasures In Music

A few modern day acts that I have soft spots for and listen to from time to time.

We all have guilty pleasures, and don't even think to say that you don't because you know you do. They are things that we secretly like or love but don't bother to share and tell our friends and family about it because they might seem a little embarrassing. It can be a type of food, TV show, or even a certain hangout spot that you love to visit. However, for this list, I will be sharing seven music acts that I consider to be guilty pleasures of mine. While I might not necessarily like everything that these artists put out, I do find myself listening to them if I'm either in a certain mood, like a particular song of theirs, or because I think they are very talented at what they do. So, in no specific order, here is my list of musicians that I am secretly fond of and therefore will make me lose some of my friends. Okay, obviously I'm joking of course but if any of my friends are reading this right now, I apologize in advance if me having a soft spot for these artists changes a little bit of your perception of myself or makes you want to laugh in my face, which is all good. No harm taken!

1. Nick Jonas

I know, but it's true. I like listening to a Jonas Brother. However, through my years of having to both watch and listen to the Jonas Brothers, partly, uhhh... nope actually all thanks to my loving sister, I thought Nick had the most star potential out of the three, sorry Joe and Kevin. Sure he's a former Disney star and to some his vocals, particularly his falsetto, might sound somewhat boyish which has led to a few of his songs sounding a little out of place or awkward based on what they're about lyrically. But in all honesty, I have never had a problem with Jonas' voice and the guy has dished out some pretty great tunes ever since he started his solo career. While he's certainly no Marvin Gaye or Barry White, Jonas still has shown his ability to write and perform some very sexual and intimate slow burners and ballads so far throughout his career and I honestly don't see him stopping anytime soon with these types of songs as they have seemed to work out well for him. So, hate me if you must for being a fan of a Jonas Brother, but what can I say? I like his music.

Favorite songs: "Close" (feat. Tove Lo), "Chains," "Levels," "Wilderness," "Bom Bidi Bom" (feat. Nicki Minaj)

2. Lukas Graham

To be honest, despite being somewhat fond of this pop band out of Denmark, I don't like their song "7 Years" at all, partly due to the constant amount of airplay it has gotten on the radio, but also because the song is very bland sonically and the lyrics are both confusing and not very well written in my opinion. The same can be said about tracks like the cringe-worthy "Strip No More" and "Drunk In The Morning." However, I have enjoyed many of the other songs off of their self-titled second studio release (but debut album released in the United States and United Kingdom) such as "Take the World By Storm," "Don't You Worry 'Bout Me," and "You're Not There" which have good melodies to them and empowering lyrics, especially on "You're Not There" since it deals with the painful loss of lead singer Lukas Forchhammer's father who died of a heart attack. Lastly, I would say that Forchhammer's voice is the biggest reason why I have secretly become a fan of Lukas Graham because the tone that he creates with his vocals is relatable to my own voice since I'm more of a person who likes to sing out and show emotion when I perform, so his voice is always a great one for me to sing along to as well. I hope to continue being a fan of Lukas Graham and I'm looking forward to hear what they put out in the future years to come. Yes they may be a bit corny, but I have grown to like them and that's all that matters to me.

Favorite songs: "Take the World By Storm", "Don't You Worry 'Bout Me," "You're Not There," "Funeral"

3. Christina Aguilera

While many guys my age had a celebrity crush on the once princess of pop music, Britney Spears, back when they were younger during the early 2000s, I thought differently as mine was the one and only, Christina Aguilera. Now, I obviously haven't just liked Aguilera for her beauty and looks, although that is part of it, but her AMAZING voice is the main reason why I have always held a soft spot for her through the years. The amount of passion and power that she has and uses in her vocals is absolutely incredible and they give me goosebumps every time I hear them on any of her songs. Now, even though she's seemed to have hit a rough spot in her career over the last few years, I still think she has one of the greatest voices in pop music and has the ability to continue making impactful music in the industry today. Even at 21 years of age, I will always consider Aguilera to be my celebrity crush and I would take her over Britney any day of the week.

Favorite songs: "Dirrty", "Beautiful", "Fighter", "Candyman", "Ain't No Other Man", "Genie in a Bottle", "Reflection" (song from the Disney movie Mulan), "Your Body"

4. Christina Perri

I still have memories of seeing Christina Perri open for Jason Mraz back in 2012 for his "Tour is a Four Letter Word" tour at Blossom Music Center, having no clue who she was at all, and falling in love with her music by the end of the outstanding performance she gave. Her voice, while not as powerful or strong as someone like Christina Aguilera's (aka "the other Christina"), was still soothing, relaxing, and captivating as well at points. Immediately after I saw her put on that impressive set during that concert, I started listening to her debut album lovestrong., became instantly hooked, and have been a fan of hers ever since. Whenever I am having an off day or feel like absolute crap to the point where I begin to hate on myself, I automatically turn to Perri's music because it is so calming to me and while many of the lyrics in her songs can be depressing and heartbreaking, they remind me that I'm still here on this earth for a reason and how I can acquire the strength and determination to get to my ultimate goal in life. You can bet that I will be listening to Perri's music for as long as I live, and I'm sure as heck not embarrassed for making that statement.

Favorite songs: "only human," "Jar of Hearts," "arms," "A Thousand Years," "distance" (feat. Jason Mraz), "bang bang bang"

5. Luke Bryan

Even though I haven't been the biggest fan of much modern day country music, especially in the bro-country sub-genre, Luke Bryan has been one of the very few country artists out today that I really like. For one thing, I will say that he has the best, if not one of the best, voices in country music right now as his vocals have a nice tone to them and aren't as nasal-sounding as some other country singers, and yes I'm talking to you Jason Aldean. While most of the topics he sings about in his songs aren't anything mind-blowing or intellectual, Bryan has dished out some songs throughout his career that contain lyrics of personal thought, emotion, and meaning. Some songs that come to mind regarding this include the powerful and in some ways beautiful acoustic ballad "Drink A Beer" written as a tribute to his late brother, and "Blood Brothers." The final thing I have to say to explain why I am fond of Bryan is praising the stage presence that this guy has while performing to sellout crowds all across the country. The way he can get his fans involved during his shows is awesome in my opinion as I've seen videos of him dancing and singing along to his songs with little kids on stage to showing off his many "creative" dance moves to ladies in the front row at his shows. So long story short, if you want to go to a country concert that is worth your money, go see Bryan live as I'm pretty sure he doesn't disappoint. Overall, while I don't care for everything that he has put out, Bryan is and will continue to be an artist I will stand behind and enjoy, after all I do own his entire discography from his 2007 debut record I'll Stay Me to his most recent album Kill The Lights which was released in 2015.

Favorite songs: "Drink A Beer," "Blood Brothers," "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye," "I Don't Want This Night To End," "Baby's On The Way," "Kick The Dust Up," "Play It Again"

6. Sam Smith

Yes I like Sam Smith. Deal with it. He does have a great voice and I personally adore his falsetto especially on songs like "I'm Not The Only One" and "Lay Me Down." I realize that his music involves a lot of songs that contain lyrics regarding heartbreak, depression, and might seem a little too sappy for some people to even consider listening to, but he does a nice job at portraying the lyrics set to the songs through his passionate, raspy, and at times smooth vocal delivery. In addition, I am also a big fan of the songs that Smith has been added as a featured singer such as on Naughty Boy's track titled "La La La," and on Disclosure's hit song "Latch." While Smith has had a rough couple years ever since releasing his multiple Grammy award-winning debut album In the Lonely Hour back in 2014 by having to go through a surgical procedure on his vocal chords in 2015, and giving a somewhat awkward and mediocre performance of his song "Writing's On The Wall," which was the theme song for the 2015 James Bond film Spectre and won Smith both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Original Song, I hope he comes back strong while returning back to the music scene again and I'm looking forward to listening to the follow-up album to his hugely successful debut record. But until that happens, I will continue practicing my own falsetto to his songs, even though it's still a struggle for me to get up to his level, if I ever get there.

Favorite songs: "I'm Not The Only One," "Lay Me Down," "Like I Can," "Latch" (Disclosure song, added as featured singer), "La La La" (Naughty Boy song, added as featured singer), "Good Thing," "Writing's On The Wall"

7. Ariana Grande

Hey, how can I not like Ariana Grande? I might not actually care for her as an overall person, but I will admit that she's one hell of a singer, like seriously. She possesses a voice in which she can hit up to a whistle register and there are very few voices throughout the history of popular music who have had the ability to have as high a vocal range as Grande's. I know that many fans and critics have compared her vocals and music style to Mariah Carey's, which is a fair comparison to make, but the truth is that she is an artist that has been able to find her own sound and style thanks in part to influences like Carey. Overall, she is the real deal in pop music right now and while I wish she wouldn't come off so arrogant and self-centered in the media and press, I will always appreciate her voice and music. I mean go ahead and poke fun at me for being a fan of hers, but just listen to the songs "Problem" (feat. Iggy Azalea), "Into You," "The Way" (feat. Mac Miller), "Be Alright", and "Love Me Harder" (feat. The Weeknd) and you'll see why.

Favorite songs: "Problem" (feat. Iggy Azalea), "Into You," "The Way" (feat. Mac Miller), "Be Alright," "Love Me Harder" (feat. The Weeknd), "Baby I," "Greedy," "Moonlight," "Dangerous Woman"

Cover Image Credit: Calendariu

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18 Ways The Disney College Program Destroys You

"I can only hope we never lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse" - Walt Disney

The Disney College Program, three little words that may or may not forever change your perspective of the world. Working for Disney has been my dream since I was a little kid. That’s all I ever wanted to do with my life-- to become a part of the magic. It wasn’t just because it’s Disney World, the most magical place on Earth. It's because I truly admire everything that this company stands for. Disney is all about bringing families and friends together, creating memories that will last a lifetime and sprinkling a little pixie dust over this magical place that I’ve called home for eleven months. I knew all of this when I received that “Congratulations!” email. Excitement rushed through my veins . The world of possibilities had finally opened its door for me. What I didn’t know, was what those possibilities truly meant, until post DCP depression kicked in. It's a real thing my friends.

1. You are always going to be an extremely friendly and approachable person.

No matter where you are or who you are talking to, you can't help to smile. You always carry a welcoming vibe with you, no matter what situation you are placed in. Working for Disney taught you how to have the patience of a Saint when it comes to dealing with people. You learned that the best way to communicate is listening to everyone with an open mind, even if they’re screaming in your face about Test Track being out of FastPasses.

2. You are constantly finding hidden Mickeys in the real world.

Admit it, your mind creates hidden Mickeys out of almost every random three circle formation. You can’t help it. You have Disney on your mind all the time.

3. You are FULL of Disney Park fun facts.

Did you know that there are 11,324 triangles that make up Spaceship Earth?!

You love sharing your vast pool of knowledge of random Disney Park fun facts. Sometimes even when people don't care about it, you just have to talk about all the things you learned as a CP.

4. You also may speak ride spiel.

“We're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it"- Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

When you work for Disney, you live and breath Disney. You couldn't even count how many times you've been to the park, even just to hub grass and chill or ride the People Mover four times in a row. Those spiels were a part of your everyday life. You know when you are riding Hunted Mansion with a boatload of cast members when everyone in the stretch room whispers, "I am your host, your ghost host". Going to the park almost every day is a part of CP culture. Accidentally referring to ride spells still sometimes slips into your daily conversation. Did you really do the college program if you don't know at least one ride spiel?

5. You constantly feel the need to get down the small child's level and talk to them about their favorite Disney characters.

"Hi Princess! My, you look dashing today, what Kingdom did you travel from?!"

What you would do to get back to the days when you were paid to sit on the ground to talk to a child dressed up as Cinderella. You see a child at your real world job and you feel the need to ask them about the about their favorite Disney movie. You catch yourself accidentally referring to people as princess in the real world, but it instated of the magic it used to produce, they look at you like you’re a crazy person. *sigh*

6. If your friends hear you say, ”So this one time in Disney…" one more time they may punch you in the face.

OMG-- this reminds me of this one time in Disney when...*insert story of an amazing day you and your Disney fam had here.*

You can’t help it, every single day was filled with an adventure during your CP. You want to share your stories with everyone you encounter. It's like word vomit. The second something reminds you of your CP there is no stopping you. Your friends back home may either get really annoyed or end up learning everything you did when you had free access to Disney World.

7. Boy do you miss the days when Mondays were happy.

"We love you Mondays, we do."

For some who were into the social scene, you blankly gaze out your window on a Monday night wondering what county you would have been playing at Son On The Beach. You watch your remaining CP friends' Snapchat stories and think to yourself, "Anzacs VS. Gayllerie!? Ugh, must have been a good game." You miss the days when your only struggle was to make it out of work on time to get to Happy Mondays. Your friends back home wonder how you are so freakishly good at flip cup. It’s a CP thing.

8. 90% of your best friends are long distance.

Skype dates are essential.

You created bonds with people from all over the world during your CP. You celebrated holidays with these people. You spent every single day with them during your time in Florida. Your program would never be as magical if it wasn't for the amazing people you met here. Some of these people turn into your life long best friends-- even if they currently reside 12 hours ahead of you. There isn't a day that goes by that you don’t think about you CP BFFs. When they say you will meet the most amazing people you will ever interact with working for Disney, they were not kidding. These people are even more than friends to you, they are family. If it means staying up till 2AM to Skype with your old roommate, who now lives on the other side of the world, it doesn't even cross your mind how late it is. Catching up with them is always worth it.

9. You probably have roughly 500 "I'm Celebrating" buttons.

"Happy squad-iversary!"

You found every excuse in the book to rock an "I'm Celebrating" button when you and your squad hit the parks. "I'm celebrating ERs" was a great one to sport when you got off work early. The button days were the special days. You could probably fill an entire cork board with all of the buttons you collected over your CP. Thank goodness for that, you'll have a tangible memory of those magical days for a lifetime.

10. The clock strikes 3:00PM and you know the Festival Of Fantasy Parade is strolling out of Frontier Land.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the time has come to take your places” -The Festival Of Fantasy Parade.

You continuously catch yourself looking at the clock around 3PM and feeling a little empty inside. To all the days before work when you watched that parade with your roommates, you were the greatest. You can always spot a cast member as “dreams that glow” blur down Main Street. They are usually the ones dancing along and singing as their favorite floats pass by. What you would do to relive those days.

11. You know a lot about the world and the people it's made up of.

I’d be real keen to learn about your culture over some Maccas, eh.

You know to never tell an Australian their accent sounds like a Kiwi's or visa-versa. You can spot the difference from miles away. You’ve learned the lads from down under are some of the funniest people you’ll ever interact with, and there are in fact, no kangaroos in New Zealand— just wallabies. You know that the people from Spain and Brazil are usually down for some fun and it's always a good time to kick back with your friends from France or The Netherlands. It's true that the Italians are loud and outspoken, in the best way possible. The people from Japan are simply the some of the sweetest. You meet so many people from all over the world and learn so much about their culture. You get more of a feel for all of the greatness the world is made up of than any textbook could ever explain.

12. You could draw a map of Magic Kingdom blindfolded.

“Nearest FastPass kiosk?!” “Down the pathway to the left!

Not only is Disney World your home, but you know every square inch of it. You could still probably give someone directions to the nearest quick service restaurant of your location, from wherever you are currently sitting in the world.

13. Applying for jobs? Disney always makes you stand out.

“Wow, you worked for Disney World? Tell me more about that!”

Your resume stands out among the thousands. Potential employers want to hear about your Disney College Program experience and you are over the moon to share. You tell them about the days where you immersed guests into the theme of your location and all of the magic you made. Working for the number one entertainment company is something to be proud of.

14. You are constantly checking airline prices to reunite with your roommates and get back to the place that started it all.

There is nothing better than reuniting with your Disney family. Your most visited web pages are airlines sites. You count the days where you can rule the parks again with your favorite people by your side. You can't help but to run to them in the middle of MCO with tears in your eyes and magic in your heart, ready to create even more memories together. You know you found forever friends in them, it's never goodbye— it's see ya real soon.

15. You have a strong emotional attachment to certain rides of shows.

"The best part is, you'll never run out of wishes"- Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

There are some shows and rides that take you right back to the days where Walt Disney World was your usual hang out spot. Some of those shows have so much more meaning to you and the magic you made. You tend to get a little teary eyed watching them when you visit. Even when your CP is over, the magic lives on in your soul.

16. Disney is not just a vacation spot to you, it’s your home.

You feel at ease here. You may have even found who you are and who you aspire to be here. It’s a special place to you that holds so much magic. Going back feels familiar. You never feel like an outsider here. Walt Disney World really is your home and it welcomes you right back every time you return.

17. People who know you before your College Program say you've changed.

You're more outspoken, you are confident in yourself and you carry on with pride. Not to mention your work ethic and customer service skills are outstanding. You believe in things and the people around you. You believe in magic and that's all thanks to the Disney College Program.

18. It was the best 4 months - 1 year of your life and you would do anything to relive just one more day of being a CP.

"While no one knows for sure what we'll see or do. I do know it will be quite an adventure, an adventure that we'll take and make together. See you in the future"- Spaceship Earth.

If you were given the opportunity to put on those extreme high-waisted polyester grandpa pants and that florescent shirt that was probably eight sizes too big for you— you’d do it in a heartbeat. Despite the long hours and blazing sun, sometimes your life felt like a dream. Your time spent working for the mouse will forever be your most magical days, as the Disney College Program was the best opportunity of your entire life.

Cover Image Credit: Dana Saccoccio

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5 Ways You Can Stop Producing so Much Trash

We produce a lot more trash than you think, until you start paying attention to your actions.


One of my major goals this year is to do more to save the planet as well as animals. I have already been vegetarian for three years. and I'm plan to stay vegetarian, but I want to have a more plant based diet. As well, I want to start reducing the amount of trash I produce. Not only because I realize just how drastically our trash is affecting wildlife, but also because I think having to take out your trash twice a week is way too much trash!

1. Bring recyclables to a recycling center or reuse them around the home!


This is something I want to start doing! I always get take out food and throw away the containers, when I could be using those containers to carry my lunch everyday! Also, I want to start collecting my plastic water bottles and taking them to the recycling center on campus instead of just throwing them away

2. Invest in a reuseable water bottle


This would actually fix my water bottle problem. I need to invest in a nice, reuseable water bottle that I can refill, rather than throwing away 3-4 water bottles a day. Amazon has a lot of varieties of these bottles ranging from inexpensive to expensive, cool designs, and even one that holds snacks.

3. Reuseable Straws


This is a great addition to your new reuseable water bottle! Like trash, you don't realize how much you use (and throw away) straw, until you actually start to keep count. I thought i didn't use straws at all because I never bought them in my life, but then you go out to eat (straw), you go to Starbucks (straw). Having a glass straw is actually really useful to reduce your trash, in cases when you wish you had a straw but don't, and sanitary purposes. Those straw sitting out at Starbucks, are they really that clean?

4. Donate old/unwanted clothes


This is something I already do. I go through my drawers and closet once a year, and just put all the clothes I haven't worn all year, or just don't want into a garbage bag. I'm usually able to fill at least one (gallon) garbage bag with clothes to take to Goodwill!

5. Use actual plates instead of paper plates


This is another huge mistake of mine! I hate doing dishes, so I try to buy paper plates to make less dishes, but in the end I'm producing more and more trash! I'm convinced the reason I have to take out my trash so often is because I eat so much! It's time to be a big girl now and start washing my dishes...or start using my dish washer

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