All Posts By Nicole Ryan

Savannah Outen Talks New EP and Tour


Singer/songwriter Savannah Outen is once again making a name for herself. After finding success through YouTube in 2007, her song “Goodbyes” peaked at #5 on Radio Disney in 2008. By 2008, Outen’s YouTube channel had reached 19 million views. In 2012, Outen made it to the final six for the Billboard Battle of the Bands competition. She has continually proven that she is a resilient artist whose pop-R&B vibe is both powerful and relatable. Now, Outen is back with new music and is ready to take on the music world. She talked to us about her new music, success, and growth.

Cliché: How do you feel you have grown as an artist since our last interview?
Savannah Outen: Last time we talked, I had just released my song, “BOYS.” That was one of the first songs I wrote when I first moved out to L.A., so I was just experimenting with my sound. I had a lot of people telling me who to be and what kind of music to sing the past couple years. I was so exhausted compromising my sound that I decided to just be me and only listen to my gut. That’s exactly what my new single “Coins” is about.

You’re releasing a new EP this year. Can you tell us about that?
I am so excited to share music with all my supporters! They have been so patient with me. I’m also excited to introduce my music to people who have no idea who I am. There’s a song on the EP for everyone and every part of their life.

How would you describe your sound?
It’s Pop with rhythmic and R&B sounds. I try to make my lyrics super honest and conversational so I hope everyone can find a song that they can really relate to!

What has been the most exciting part of your success thus far?
One of my favorite moments EVER was performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That was a childhood dream of mine. Also, being able to work in the studio and create music every day is pretty exciting. I’ve dreamt of doing this since I was a little girl, so the fact that I’m living it is crazy amazing. Oh, and that one time Jodie Foster brought her kids to my show. Pretty rad.

Do you think you’ll tour following the release of your new EP?
Yes! That’s my favorite part of this whole ride. I’m so excited to start touring and performing these songs. I’m in the process of getting a band together!

Regarding your music, what are you most excited for in this upcoming year?
I’ve been holding onto some of this music for over a year. I’m SO ready to get it out there! I cannot wait to see what people think. Also, lots of exciting things are happening behind the scenes that I’m stoked to share.

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Savannah Outen Talks New EP and Tour: Photographed by Matthew Calvis

Deaf Havana Chats New Album ‘All These Countless Nights’


Deaf Havana is a UK rock group that found success in 2013 with their album Old Souls. This time, the group is back again with a new album called All These Countless Nights and they’re ready for a new year of excitement. Here, bass guitarist Lee Wilson discusses the group’s new album and their hopes for the future.

Cliché: When did Deaf Havana first form? How did you all come together?
Lee Wilson: It was around 2005 when we first formed Deaf Havana. James (Veck-Gilodi) and I played in numerous bands together throughout high school and met Tom through an ex-member he went to college with. Around 2012, we asked Matthew (James’ brother) and Max to session for the band on tour, and it wasn’t long before we asked them both to join.

What has been the biggest influence on your music?
A series of unfortunate events and a lot of alcohol.

You just released your new album
All These Countless Nights. What was the best part of making this album?
For me, it was recording the tracks live at Air Studios. It was exciting to be able to hear the structure of the songs come together.

How is this album different from your others?
This is the first album where we’ve actually done pre-production. We normally rush into the studio without knowing our parts! It’s a lot more stripped back than Old Souls, but has a lot more emotion and live energy.

Your new single “Trigger” is pretty emotional. Can you talk a little bit about what inspired this song?
“Trigger” is about James feeling alienated in his previous relationship and being too lazy to do anything, including break up with her.

Do you write your music together?
“Too many cooks” comes to mind. [Laughs] James normally writes the basis of the song, then we all come together and arrange if needed.

What has been the most exciting part of your success thus far?
The most exciting part hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully 2017 will be a good year for us.
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Deaf Havana Chats New Album ‘All These Countless Nights’. Photography by Jordan Green.

Rebirth of Vinyl


I’ve always been an old soul. I remember finding my dad’s old record collection in our basement when I was about 10 years old. Ever since then, collecting vinyl records has been one of my passions. However, when I was younger, listening to records was not the “in” thing. When I would show friends my record collection, they’d be confused as to what the albums even were. Yet, somewhere in the past few years, a shift back to vinyl has happened. There’s been a sudden mass interest in buying and collecting vinyl albums. Having a record collection is now the trendy and “in” thing.

Right now is a really exciting time for music. Not only are we able to enjoy our favorite artists through digital music, but we are also able to enjoy the music of the past the way it was originally heard. This appreciation for vinyl has helped revive the music of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s and made it relevant in the current day.
It is said that styles and trends tend to repeat themselves. Vinyl is definitely one of those trends. But why vinyl? What has made this form of music so appealing to young people again? For starters, Record Store Day, which began in 2007, really helped boost interest in vinyl and an enthusiasm for collecting music.  
Another reason why vinyl has become so appealing in a world of digital media is the authentic and personal nature of vinyl. The warm, crackling sound that vinyl albums have, as well as the ability to hold your favorite album in your hand and hear the songs the way they were originally heard, have been major contributors to a growing interest in buying and collecting vinyl albums. They provide a more raw and authentic way to listen to music that you can’t get from listening to music digitally.
These contributors are obviously not appealing to everyone. Many people still prefer digital music to the old ways of vinyl. However, for those who enjoy retro music and technology, or who are simply nostalgic for the past, the rebirth of vinyl is both fascinating and exciting. The rebirth of vinyl goes to show that no matter how outdated something may seem, times change and trends resurface. You never know, something that seems completely irrelevant today could in the next few years be the most popular trend.
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Rebirth of Vinyl. Featured image courtesy of NPR.

The 89th Academy Awards: Wait, Who Won?


The 89th Academy Awards ceremony was nothing short of entertaining. Jimmy Kimmel hosted and he brought humor and wit to carry us through the spectacular, star-studded night. There were incredible moments, like Justin Timberlake singing “Can’t Stop The Feeling” to kick-off the show. Then, there were the awkward moments, like the end of the show… Here are some of the highlights of the 2017 Oscars.

Getty Images

Viola Davis – Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis stole the show with her incredibly powerful speech. In the speech, she talked about being an artist, saying, “I became an artist, and thank god I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” This is a big win for Viola, considering this now leaves her one award away from an EGOT. She is also the first black actress to win an Emmy, Oscar, and a Tony.

Rolling Stone

Jimmy Kimmel’s Monologue and Hosting
“I’ve never been to the Oscars before. This is my first time here,” Jimmy Kimmel said in the opening of his monologue. One could only hope he would be the host of the show every year. Kimmel made everyone laugh, of course, with his opening monologue. He began by poking a little fun at Matt Damon, before turning his attention to Mel Gibson. He then saved the night when he handled the best picture mix up. Kimmel made all the right jokes that put everyone at ease, and quite honestly, added the most entertaining moments of the night.

Katherine Johnson’s Appearance
One of the most memorable moments of the night was when 98-year-old Katherine Johnson, the NASA scientist whose story is at the heart of the movie Hidden Figures, appeared on stage beside Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, and Taraji P. Henson. To see this remarkable woman and hero being honored truly made the night special.

The Wrap

Best Picture Mix Up
The most talked about moment of the night was the best picture mix up. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty somehow confused the winner, announcing La La Land as the Oscar recipient. However, Moonlight had actually won best picture. It seems as though the card announcing Emma Stone as best actress for La La Land accidentally got mixed up with the Best Picture card. In an awkward turn of events, the cast of La La Land had to cut their speeches short and head back to their seats as Moonlight was announced the actual winner. It was a bizarre series of events that left everyone confused and bewildered.
Overall, the 89th Academy Awards were nothing short of eventful. Check out the full list of winners below:
Best film: Moonlight
Best actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Best actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
Best director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best supporting actress: Viola Davis (Fences)
Best supporting actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Best original screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea)
Best adapted screenplay: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)
Best cinematography: Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
Best original score: Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
Best original song: Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land)
Best sound editing: Sylvain Bellemare (Arrival)
Best foreign language film: Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Best film editing: John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge)
Best visual effects: Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon (The Jungle Book)
Best production design: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds Wasco (La La Land)
Best sound mixing: Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace (Hacksaw Ridge)
Best documentary feature: Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow (O.J.: Made in America)
Best animated film: Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer (Zootopia)
Best animated short film: Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer (Piper)
Best documentary short subject: Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara (The White Helmets)
Best live action short film: Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy (Sing)
Best make-up: Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson (Suicide Squad)
Best costume design: Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them)
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The 89th Academy Awards: Wait, Who Won?: Featured image courtesy of Variety

The Flaming Lips Release Oczy Mlody


Veering slightly away from their typical rock style, The Flaming Lips have released their 14th studio album which features a psychedelic, space-rock vibe. The album, titled “Oczy Mlody,” is a mellow, almost hypnotic experience. The band describes it as a hallucinatory feeling, almost dream-like. The album is a mix of blissfulness and self-awareness. Here are a few of the best moments from the album.

A Collaboration with Miley Cyrus

Who could be more psychedelic than Miley Cyrus? She makes a significant appearance in the song “We a Family,” which appears at the end of the album. Cyrus and Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of The Flaming Lips, are notoriously close friends. It’s exciting to see Cyrus make an appearance on the new album.
Epic Quests
The album incorporates a great deal of mythology and magic. In the song, “One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches and Wizards to Kill” the band talks of a great quest for these mythological creatures. The intense techno beat of the song intertwined with the storytelling aspect of the lyrics make this song one of the most interesting and entertaining tunes on the album.
Captivating Instrumentals
Much of this album is instrumental which is the nature of psychedelic rock. However, there are some songs where the instrumentals are so captivating, you find yourself getting lost in the music. “Nigdy Nie (Never No)” is one of those songs. Very little singing or speaking is done in this song. It is almost entirely instrumental, and absolutely beautifully done. This song is the perfect marriage of rock, techno, and R&B. It stands out on the album as a great representation for the feeling The Flaming Lips were trying to convey.
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The Flaming Lips Release Oczy Mlody. Featured image courtesy of Bella Union.

Anna Of The North Releases Chilling Single “Oslo”


Electronic duo “Anna Of The North” has seen exciting success. The pair’s songs have been streamed over 40 million times and their single, “Sway” was also remixed by The Chainsmokers. Recently, the artists released their new single titled “Oslo.” In the song, the artists capture the feeling of being in Oslo, a city they love dearly. The song combines both electronic beats with a mellow, reflective look at Oslo. The song is a beautiful journey through the city and the experiences the artists have had there. Throughout the song, the chorus repeats saying, “I never want to leave you / I never want to go / You’re the warmth that’s in my heart / And it makes me feel at home.” The duo does a wonderful job of translating the love they have for this city into song lyrics that are both emotional and relatable, no matter where you call home.

The music video for the single is equally as well done. Focusing on the Nordic landscapes, the video is whimsical and dream-like.
The video features only Anna Lotterud, one half of Anna Of The North. The video is just her, the music, and the beautiful landscapes. Brady Daniell-Smith, the other half of Anna Of The North, describes his inspiration for the song. “I’d never been to Oslo. It seemed so untouched and really captured my imagination…I met Anna soon after and we finished it together – she brought an authenticity to it that makes it feel like a love letter to the city.” The video further helps to capture the feeling the song conveys; warmth, and the feeling of home.
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Anna Of The North Releases Chilling Single “Oslo.” Featured image courtesy of Pigeons & Planes.

Beach Weather Chat New EP, ‘Chit Chat,’ and More


Indie-pop group Beach Weather is a back with a new EP and an upcoming tour. The group found success with their first EP, What A Drag, which was released in 2015. Their upcoming EP, Chit Chat, is in a different style than the first and features six new songs. Here, we chat with Nick Santino, one of the three members of Beach Weather, about What A Drag, the band’s success, and touring.
Cliché: When did Beach Weather form and how did you all come together?
Nick Santino: I started Beach Weather in the spring of 2015 while I was still pursuing my solo project. I missed sharing the stage with bandmates and had the idea for the new project. I crossed paths with Austin and Reeve from playing music in the past and reached out to them about this new idea. We started touring late that same summer and here we are over a year later!
What would you say is the biggest influence to your music? Where do you find your inspiration?
We just like to create music, especially when it is new and refreshing. We don’t set out to sound like anyone else because that sound is already taken. Musically, we listen to a little bit of everything, really. I think our music specifically is influenced by all of that. We draw inspiration from everywhere.
Can you tell us about your new EP, Chit Chat? How is this EP different from your previous music?
Chit Chat came together a bit differently than the first one. We really sat down and jammed through these songs before recording them to ensure they are exactly how we want the songs to be played and to be heard.

We don’t set out to sound like anyone else because that sound is already taken.

You’re going to be touring soon. What do you enjoy most about touring?
We love playing for new crowds and meeting new people! This band is still a newer project so it’s always a thrill to see people getting into our music. We just got back from touring the UK and it was really special to see so many people in the crowds singing along.
Do you write your music together?
Yes, in several senses of the word. We write in numerous ways. Sometimes it is physically together in a room, and sometimes it is sending ideas via text message, vocal memos, or sharing lyric ideas. We live in different states, so we try to make that not affect our creative process in any way.
What has been the most exciting part of your success thus far?
It’s always exciting to release new music and see how people react to it. That never gets old. We can’t wait for everyone to hear this new EP!
If you could give one piece of advice to bands trying to make it in the industry, what would you say?
I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and I can say from experience: if it’s something you love doing, then don’t give up on it. Take your time. Give it your all. Take breaks. Breathe. And keep moving forward. Don’t strive for success. Let it find you wherever you are.
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Beach Weather Chat New EP, ‘Chit Chat,’ and More: Photographed by Elliott Ingham

The Evolution of Gaga


Since her first album’s debut in 2008, Lady Gaga has brought her unique style and sound to the music scene, changing it forever. In eight short years, she has accomplished more than some artists do in their entire careers. From six Grammy awards to 13 MTV Music Video awards, and a leading role on American Horror Story (which earned her a Golden Globe award for Best Actress – Miniseries Television or Film), Lady Gaga is constantly reinventing herself, pushing the boundaries, and creating incredible art.
The mark of a great artist is his or her ability to continue to reinvent themselves, changing with the times and always offering something new and exciting for his or her fans. Lady Gaga seamlessly does this. Since her first album, The Fame, Gaga has continued to bring something new to each of her albums. The Fame was Gaga’s breakout album and earned her great acclaim for songs like “Just Dance” and “Paparazzi.” However, the second album was very pop and mainstream radio. This helped her find success, but as she continues to make new albums, she veers more and more away from the mainstream, pop sound. I personally love this. I wasn’t a huge fan of her first and second albums; I found them too pop and not very interesting. It wasn’t until Gaga released the album Born This Way that she truly embraced who she is as an artist and brought a new and exciting persona and sound to her music.
Born This Way was a huge success for Gaga. The album earned her an MTV Music Video Award for Best Female Video and Best Female Video with a Social Message in 2011. What was really incredible about this album was just that. Instead of the pop music she had previously been making, this album started to tackle real issues our society faces. It was an album of inspiration and empowerment. Gaga took a stand to speak for those who may feel not good enough, unwanted, or uncomfortable in their own skin. It was a new era of Gaga. This album also brought with it an entirely new sound. Gaga veered away from the pop sound, embracing an edgier, more raw vibe. She stopped softening her voice, letting her true vibrato come out and taking on more vocally powerful songs. For many, this is when Gaga truly became a more relatable artist and began to appeal to a larger variety of people.
Lady Gaga has continued down this path, with each album bringing her true persona and artistry to the forefront of her work. Her next album, Artpop, which featured mostly electronic sounds, continued to have songs with deeper meanings evoking a more emotional response. With songs like “Do What U Want” and “G.U.Y.,” she dealt with the abuse and commodification of the female body. She also addressed her own demons by singing about her struggle with alcohol and drugs in the song “Dope.” Artpop was an album that continued to show Gaga’s artistry as she embraced herself and her eccentricities.
Gaga’s new album Joanne is, in my opinion, her best album yet. It encompasses bits and pieces of the styles of each of her albums to create a true work of art. There are songs that are pop and catchy, harking back to the early days of Gaga, while also encompassing the more raw and emotional sounds that Gaga has brought into her music throughout the years. There are songs that are very personal to her, something that always helps fans connect to her as an artist. These songs, such as “Joanne,” “Million Reasons,” and “Diamond Heart” are personal, true to Gaga’s nature. There are also songs possessing a strong social message, like “Angel Down” and “Come to Mama.” The fun pop songs include “A-YO” and “Perfect Illusion.” This album has everything a Gaga fan could want, and truly shows how much her music and artistry has evolved from her early days.
With each album, Lady Gaga continues to get better and better, further imprinting a lasting mark on the music industry. If Gaga can accomplish everything she has as a musician and artist in less than a decade, one can only imagine her achievements in the future. One thing is for sure: Lady Gaga is a master of reinvention, and as she grows as a person, her music and fans are able to grow with her.
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Featured image courtesy of Collier Schorr

Touring, Music, and More with The Regrettes


LA-based punk-rock band The Regrettes have quickly become one of the most talked about bands in the up-and-coming music scene. The band’s mix of powerful punk melodies and personal songwriting make them stand out as an electrifying force. We got the chance to talk with the band’s frontwoman, Lydia Night, about their success thus far, and what they’re excited for on their upcoming tour.
Cliché: How did The Regrettes form?
Lydia Night: We all met three years ago at School of Rock. We were all friends, but kind of lost touch afterward. I saw them again around the end of 2015. I was in a two-piece band and had just lost my drummer, so I was in need of band again. That’s when we all came together to form the band.
How long have you all been performing together?
We’ve been performing together since January, but we’ve been playing on our own since we were all 6 or 7 years old.
What has been the band’s biggest inspiration?
I think we all get inspired by other bands we play with. The bands we open up for on tour have a big influence on us. We all have similar tastes, but we’re also very different, so we each bring something different to the table. Mostly, we’re inspired by the people we’re surrounded by and by each other.
Where do you find the inspiration to write your songs?
I’m mostly inspired by my everyday life. Songs come to me from listening to other people. I like writing from other people’s perspectives, listening to them, then writing about whatever they’re going through.

I’m mostly inspired by my everyday life. Songs come to me from listening to other people.

“Hey Now” is such a great punk rock song. Are you working on any other music?
Thank you! Yes, all of the time! We’ve been starting to write as a band which is really exciting. We’re constantly coming up with new music.
What’s been the most exciting part of your success thus far?
Getting offered a record deal has definitely been one of the craziest, most exciting moments!
What about touring are you most excited for?
We’re really excited to hang out with Sleigh Bells! Also experiencing new places and new adventures, seeing new things, and meeting people that enjoy our music from all over.
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Touring, Music, and More with The Regrettes: Photographed by Jen Rosenstein

Scott Kraynak Discusses Photography Book, ‘Unconquerable Desires’


Two things you wouldn’t think of pairing together: the female body and war. That’s what artist Scott Kraynak has done with his beautiful photography book, Unconquerable Desires. The book is uniquely done, placing plastic toy soldiers enacting scenes from war on the naked female body. The images are all done in black and white and are coupled with quotes about both war and the female form.

What I found so intriguing about this book was the unique combination of the female body and war. The way in which Kraynak was able to so beautifully and tastefully display the female form in contrast to the gruesome and horrifying reality of war is a true work of art. Kraynak speaks of the contrast between love and hate, passion and pain, and the desire for flesh and the desire for power in the intro to his book. That is exactly what these images do: they’re a powerful statement, showing the contrast between ultimate beauty and ultimate destruction.
The quotes were equally as powerful as the images they were attached to. The quote that struck me the most was the quote by C.S. Lewis: “She was beautifully, delicately made, so small, so unafraid, till the bomb came. Bombs are the same, beautifully, delicately made” (Kraynak, 11). The quotes are a powerful addition to the image that really allows the book to speak to its reader.
The title of the book is equally intriguing. Unconquerable Desires is a title that speaks back to the overarching theme of glorifying the female body as opposed to glorifying war. The female body, unlike war, cannot be conquered. The female body is to be valued, loved, and appreciated. Kraynak is driving home the idea that we so easily show passion and desire for war, praising it, when we should be praising the female body.
The toy soldiers are intricately placed on the female body parts. There are soldiers marching to war, shooting their enemies, and protecting their fellow soldiers. Scene after scene, the soldiers are placed in new positions, as is the female body. The pairing of the two create such powerful images of not only the horrors of war and the beauty of the body, but also the way the female body is shamed and hidden in many aspects of our society. Kraynak speaks of how the “atrocities of war are broadcast to us 24/7 via countless news outlets” while “the female body suffers endless censorship” (Kraynak, 2). He ponders on why we are so easily able to intake news of death and destruction, yet we lack the maturity to speak about or be graced with the female body. In Unconquerable Desires, Scott Kraynak is able to present us with the two in one space, forcing the viewer to deal with both beauty and destruction simultaneously. Here, we get the artist’s thoughts.

Cliché: What inspired this book?
Scott Kraynak: Seeing what is happening in the world today in regards to wars being fought, violence against women, the continued lack of equality between men and women, and the overall decaying state of world intelligence and willingness to fight against a system controlled by money and greed inspired this book. But even more so, it seems as if we never learn from our mistakes, that we as a society keep making the same mistakes that we have made for thousands of years. That is where the idea of adding the quotes to the book came in, kind of showing how the most famous writers and most intelligent philosophers throughout time have been saying the same thing, yet nobody seems to listen. The idea of using the toy soldiers battling on female bodies just came to me one day and this fictional landscape seemed to represent all of these travesties and inequalities occurring at once.
What is the significance of having these images in black and white?
There is no significance, really. I’ve just always loved black and white photography and felt that it would portray these war scenes in a more powerful, vivid way, also giving the images a somewhat historical look—kind of like old civil war battle images.
What do you hope viewers take away from this book? Is there a particular feeling you hope to convey?
Besides showing the horrors of war, one of the main purposes of this book was to present the female body in such a way that reflects not only its life-giving beauty, but also reflects the horrors and injustices that continue to befall women today. The following is taken from the epilogue: This photography visualizes what it means for the body to become the landscape and for the land to become the female body. In a simultaneously playful and earnest way, these photographs imagine what it means to wage war over and on the bodies of women. How will our lands be free if her body still is not? How do we understand the female body as an object which men continue to battle for, over, and against? How do we understand the woman as a subject who must endure, who must pitch her own battles against the attacks of sexism, abuse, and assault?
Unconquerable Desires invokes difficult questions about war as a colonial function that dominates not only the bodies of the colonized other, but is rooted in a patriarchal system that continues to colonize and wage war on the bodies of women. But this work also evokes the affective ties between war and love, angst and desire, rage and lust. The images play on the longing for female beauty and the cultures of war that together work to define American masculinity. But this book pokes fun at it; it pokes holes into the seriousness of its façade with plastic toy soldiers and a large ferocious lizard. One cannot help but chuckle at the scene, but also ponder it deeply. How do we understand the fabrication of the scene and the landscape as indicative of the constructedness of war and gender, the ways in which we force bodies to mean something, anything worth fighting for? While at times a bit comical on the surface, these photos ask us to really dig much deeper into the human condition; they help us understand the multiple ways our bodies are always embattled.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a movie poster for a soon to be released horror film; another photography book featuring weird/creepy/macabre images; a new illustrated book with my brother taking on the ridiculous gun culture in the United States, racism, and other issues that I feel are important to be addressed; a drawing for Redwood National Park; and a piece for a Cleveland Art book I’m creating. Actually with that project, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that I need to do: get rights to old paintings, recruit artists of all mediums, find a publisher and gallery, coordinate everything, etc. It’s quite a project, but will be worth the effort in the end! Cleveland rocks!
screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-2-30-08-pmAn excerpt from Unconquerable Desires:
“We are in a moment, a seemingly never-ending moment, in which women’s bodies are under legislative attack, from attempts to bar and remove access to reproductive healthcare to the policing of which types of women (read: “real women”) may use which public restroom. War here is a metaphor, but it is felt on the bodies of women who cannot access these basic human rights. But let’s not forget the ways in which combat literally produces women as casualties, their bodies taken by soldiers—raped, pillaged. As Judith Lewis Herman writes, “the subordinate condition of women is maintained and enforced by the hidden violence of men. There is war between the sexes. Rape victims, battered women, and sexually abused children are its casualties. Hysteria is the combat neurosis of the sex war.” The so-called “war between the sexes” operates on multiple levels: Soldiers literally take the bodies of women (and other Others) in the process of waging war; and the effects of sexual violence (in the context of war or elsewhere) are felt on women’s bodies in the same ways the violence of war is felt on the bodies of those who wage it.”
For more information about Scott Kraynak, visit
The book Unconquerable Desires can be purchased on and all other major online retailers.
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Scott Kraynak Discusses Photography Book, ‘Unconquerable Desires’: Photographs courtesy of Scott Kraynak

Why Rising Artist Cailee Rae Is One to Watch


Breakout artist Cailee Rae is bursting into the music scene with full force. Rae first found fame through sharing her music on Instagram. Now at only 16 years old, the singer has released her first EP, Overthinking, as well as her first music video for her single, “Anchor.” She combines her passion for songwriting with her creative vision to make music that truly connects to people. Here, we talk with her about her passion, inspiration, and vision for the future of her music.

Cliché: When did you first know you wanted to be a singer?
Cailee Rae: I really came out to California for songwriting. Since second grade, I’ve always written music. I came to California to record music I had written, but I never thought of becoming an artist. I didn’t think it was possible. Then Instagram came out with videos. We were always jamming in the studio and one day I decided to post it. After that, everything really started growing. That’s when I discovered I wanted to be an artist. Being an artist goes beyond the connection with the songs to having the connection with the people who are able to take what you say and pass it along.
What has been the biggest inspiration for your music?
For me, it has to be what surrounds me. Growing up, I had a hard time finding where I fit in. I’ve always been called an old soul, so I always felt a little bit like an outsider. I just knew I wanted to share messages with people. I grew up listening to Taylor Swift a lot and her music always stuck out to me. I was, like her, always writing songs. I believe the best songs come from truth. You write and find what works best.
What was your favorite part of making the music video for “Anchor”?
Seeing my concepts come to life and watching everyone work together on one big vision was so beautiful. The underwater portion was a bit challenging, but so fun. I had no idea there would be scuba diving to film. It was so amazing to see! Also, seeing how much work goes into a video and all the specific details were really incredible.

Being an artist goes beyond the connection with the songs to having the connection with the people who are able to take what you say and pass it along.

Where did the idea for the music video come from?
I really don’t know. I had laryngitis and was really sick. My mom took me to World Market to get a smoothie and on the car ride home, we were listening to the song. I got so into it and I really connected to the song; then the idea just happened.
When did you first start using Instagram as a platform for your singing?
It really happened when I started posting the covers of songs. I like showing people that you don’t have to sing a song the way it originally is. I love being able to take a song and make it my own. I like putting Cailee-ism into the song, as I call it.
Are you working on any music right now?
I’m always writing new songs. Right now, I really want to make a new music video. My favorite part of the musical process is always getting to see the artist’s vision, so I’d like to do more of that.
What’s been the most exciting part of your success thus far?
Definitely sharing a connection with my fans. They’re so supportive and such a great group of people. It doesn’t matter if you have a million fans or 20—it’s all about how you share your music with them. Music is a language everyone understands and can change lives. They’ve made the music.
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Why Rising Artist Cailee Rae Is One to Watch: Photographed by Jack Newport

Highlights From the 2016 AMAs


In the spirit of award shows, the American Music Awards were jam-packed with musical performances and celebrities. Hosted by Saturday Night Live comedian Jay Pharoah and model Gigi Hadid, there were several exciting and moving moments during the show. Here are some of the top highlights from the 2016 AMAs.

©The Wrap

©The Wrap

Bruno Mars Performs “24k Magic”
Bruno Mars opened the show by performing his recent hit “24k Magic.” The upbeat song that’s been blasting out of all of our radios for the past few weeks was the perfect way to kick off the ceremony. Bruno Mars always gets everyone feeling pumped up and excited, so he was the perfect first performance. It was great to see the crowd singing and dancing along with Bruno Mars to start off the night.
Political Talk
In the wake of the recent election, tonight’s award show held no shortage of political talk. It seemed almost every new speaker who took the stage had some political remark to make. Many of the artists used the show as a chance to relay messages of hope and encouragement, which was nice to see. There were many political jokes made as well throughout the night. Although many of the comments were funny and relatable, the political talk did seem a little overdone. It, at times, seemed to take away from the actual music.
©Gossip On This

©Gossip On This

The Weeknd Performs “Starboy”
The Weeknd delivered a great performance of his hit single, “Starboy.” The performance was fascinating as it looked as though The Weeknd was standing inside a diamond while he performed.
Taylor Swift and Drake’s Apple Music Commercials
Both Taylor Swift and Drake’s Apple Music commercials were shown during the AMAs. Swifts showed her running on the treadmill while singing along to Drake before she gets too into it and goes flying off. They then showed Drake’s commercial, where he is working out lifting weights and singing along to Swift’s “Bad Blood” before he gets distracted and falls off his bench press. Both commercials were hysterical.
John Legend Performs “Love Me Now”
Introduced by his wife, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend gave a moving performance of his song, “Love Me Now.” The performance was accompanied by a montage of people embracing each other.
Honoring Prince
The award for Top Soundtrack was given to Prince’s Purple Rain. This was actually the third American Music Award the album had received. On behalf of Prince, his sister Tyka Nelson accepted the award for him. She delivered a moving speech in which she said, “He is still one of the world’s most respected and loved artists, but what he told me was he wanted to be known as the world’s most prolific songwriters, and with 984 titles to his credit and counting, he has done just that. In the words of Prince, ‘With love, honor, and respect for every living thing in the universe, separation ceases. And we all become one being, singing one song.’ On behalf of Prince, our wonderful friend, teacher and brother, I humbly accept this award.”


Selena Gomez Wins Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist
Selena Gomez hands down delivered the best acceptance speech of the night. The speech was heartbreakingly honest about the difficulties she has faced as a result of being in the public eye and how she was had to fight to overcome these. It was honest and brave. She said, “Most of you knew a lot of my life whether I liked it or not and I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside…I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here … If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken.”
Award of Merit – Sting
Sting was presented the Award of Merit tonight for his lifetime achievement in music. Introduced by Robert Downy Jr., Sting sang a medley of some of his most popular hits.


Lady Gaga Performs “Million Reasons”
Veering away from her typical over-the-top award show performances, Lady Gaga sang her hit single “Million Reasons” from her new album, Joanne. The slow tempoed song allowed Gaga to give a beautifully moving performance featuring her in a simple black, western-style dress, no shoes, and playing her guitar. It was definitely one of the best performances of the night.
Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar perform “Don’t Wanna Know”
Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar were there to close out the show his the catchy and upbeat hit “Don’t Wanna Know.” They couldn’t have chose a better song and performance to close out the show with. It was a great and exciting way to finish off the night. Both Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar delivered and incredible performance of the song.
Below is a list of all the winners of the night:
Pop Rock Duo or Group: Twenty One Pilots
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album: Drake – Views
Favorite Artist – Electronic Dance Music: The Chainsmokers
Favorite Country Song: Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind”
New Artist of the Year Un-leashed by T-Mobile: Zayn
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Drake
Best Soundtrack: Prince – Purple Rain
Favorite Country Duo or Group: Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Alternative Rock Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Award of Merit: Sting
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist: Selena Gomez
Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande
Tour of the Year: Beyonce
Video of the Year: Justin Bieber – “Sorry”
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber
Favorite Album Pop/Rock: Justin Bieber – Purpose
Favorite Song – Pop/Rock: Justin Bieber – “Love Yourself”
Favorite Male Artist – Country: Blake Shelton
Favorite Female Artist – Country: Carrie Underwood
Favorite Country Album: Carrie Underwood – Storyteller
Favorite Hip-Hop/Rap Song: Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Favorite Male Artist – Soul/R&B: Chris Brown
Favorite Album – Soul/R&B: Rihanna – Anti
Favorite Song – Soul/R&B: Rihanna feat. Drake – “Work”
Favorite Artist – Adult Contemporary: Adele
Favorite Artist – Latin: Enrique Iglesias
Favorite Artist – Contemporary Inspirational: Hillsong UNITED
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Featured image courtesy of New York Daily News