Sometimes we all need to take some time off from the busy world and close ourselves up in a dark, empty room. It’s good and refreshing to be alone. One can think freely and have no interruptions. And if getting time alone during the day is impossible, then it’s always great to look towards nighttime for relaxation. Turning off all of the lights when you’re alone in your house, closing the curtains, and locking your doors is probably an indication that it’s time for some sleep. But when you’re a singer like Meg Mac, encompassing yourself inside of a darkened room with no one around you is something that is done many times for the sake of song writing. Talking to Mike Wass at Idolator, an independent website dedicated to pop music, Mac says, “I hate the idea of anyone being able to hear me or see me, so I like being dark and in a space.” By creating wonderfully written songs over the past two years, she has quickly risen to the status of an international pop star.

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janet3As if Janet Jackson’s resume wasn’t impressive enough with her list of achievements including: singer, songwriter, actress, icon, Oscar and Golden Globe nominee, and winner of 5 Grammy’s and the NAACP Best Supporting Actor Award, recently she added record label head to the list. Jackson decided that she was going to launch her own record label, making her arguably the first African-American female to establish one, and she decided that her label was going to do things a little differently.

For her label, Rhythm Nation Records, Jackson pursued a “label-services” deal with music publishing and recording rights management BMG. Some of their services cover the entire range of rights administration and development. It is their goal to place the needs and well-being of the songwriters and artists at the center of their concerns.

BMG was honored to partner with Jackson. In a press release announcing the partnership, BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch commented, “Janet is not just a supreme artist, she is a unique cultural force whose work resonates around the world. It is an honor that she has chosen BMG to release her long-awaited new album. We look forward to collaborating with her across every platform.”
The partnership between BMG and Rhythm Nation Records allows for artists to retain ownership, costs, and revenues of their new recordings. This arrangement puts the artists in control and gives them a lot more creative freedom than other agreements. Other artists that have been working with BMG recently include: alt-J, The Smashing Pumpkins, Anastacia, Backstreet Boys, Nena, Bryan Ferry, You Me At Six, and The Charlatans.

janet2Rhythm Nation Records is looking to work with both new and already established musicians, but no names have been released yet. In the press release, posted on her website, Jackson expressed her thanks and excitement to work with BMG. Jackson said, “Thank you to the talented team at BMG, my new artistic home. The opportunity to be creative in music and every form of entertainment has great potential here.”

Jackson herself has been catching fire with all the rumors surrounding her new album and tour. It has been confirmed that Jackson will be releasing her long awaited album under Rhythm Nation Records and BMG Rights Management. She has also announced the first set of dates for the North American leg of her Unbreakable World Tour. Also, though currently unconfirmed, it is rumored that Unbreakable­ is the title of her long awaited album.

Janet Jackson definitely has the right idea with her new record label. I really respect her decision to partner with BMG because it really puts artists in control and allows them many creative freedoms while protecting their ownership rights. Jackson also practices what she preaches by releasing her new album through her own label. I can’t wait to hear her new stuff after 7 years of anticipation. With her new album, upcoming tour (that is making a stop in Atlanta on September 26th), and Rhythm Nation Records it would seem that Jackson is shaking up the music world again and changing things for the better.

~ Shannan Rivera

 

pola5Fashion can be an extension of who you are as a person. Beyond the trends and styles, you’ll find that clothes symbolize your identity, personal values, culture, and even national heritage. Fashion designer Pola Thomson, for example, emblazons her creations with virtuosity and enlightenment. Ever since she was a child growing up in Santiago, Chile, Thomson’s had a creative urge. At twelve years old, she requested a sewing machine and discovered her muse in fashion design. Now as an award-winning designer, she is sharing her talents with the world via refined wardrobe designs and jewelry.

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Photos are a great way to retain most of our past memories, but to use them as a reference for painting is quite unique. Sure, painters use people and other objects to create their work, but using pictures is something that is unheard of. By using photographs and frozen film, an artist can take a portion of someone else’s work and then produce an entirely different piece with an entirely different purpose. Paintings that bring about an emotional response through the various techniques used are works that were created by an extremely talented individual. Kai Samuels-Davis, an American-based oil painter, is the extremely talented individual who makes these authentic and distorted paintings, with amazing details, that represents a universal language that we can all relate to.

kai3Samuels-Davis is originally from New York, but he has since moved to Los Angeles to indulge in his film studies. At the Art Center College of Design, he earned a graduate degree in fine art and video. This may explain why he usually incorporates some sort of film element into the majority of his oil paintings. Studying film and its properties has given the painter several tools that has helped him create an emotional bond between the paintings and his audience. The inspirations that the artist gains from the cinematic world are put into his paintings and give the audience a sense of desire and motivation. Whether the painting is showing the viewers a life-like individual or wilted flowers, the artist somehow makes the beautiful paintings look so effortless.

Samuels-Davis pushes the boundaries of the art by creating realistic-looking images. His effortless paintings are the reason that so many people are drawn to his work. When glancing at the canvas, it looks as if someone just used a paintbrush to gently stroke the surface. The brushstrokes are shown with extreme detail, which gives the painting a natural look. The brushstrokes, while crucial to his work, are not the only apparent factor for him when creating his art. Shading is something that is of extreme importance to painters, but Samuels-Davis takes it a step further. While the majority of painters use lines and borders to create objects and shapes, Samuels-Davis uses darker and lighter shading. The shades and brushstrokes of his work create more emotion that erupts from the painting and give us something to ponder.

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Samuels-Davis’ oil paintings are an art that appeals to viewers by showing us a stop motion film depiction. Through images of fashion photography and episodes of silent films, the artist is able to show his viewers a combination of film and painting. He refers photographs of lifeless objects, as well as people, so that he has an idea of what he wants his finished product to resemble. With this, he can create an unfamiliar, yet exciting experience for his viewers. We, in turn, are drawn to the emotions that pour from these pictures and we are itching to know about the events surrounding the painting. By bringing together several arts and techniques, the painter is giving us something that is new to our taste buds, and I for one, really enjoy it.

Over the past year, the artist has been making his subjects with contorted faces. The Forgotten II, a oil painting he created last year, shows us a bearded man with blue eyes and he seems to be staring intently at something. The painting has a lot of layers of different shades and colors, which has brought me to think that this painting may be more than just a picture of a thinking man. In its previous installment, The Forgotten I, the same elements that were placed in the sequel were also placed in its original. In the first one, we are painted the picture of a woman, similar to the man, who is troubled by something, hence the way her eyes are drawn. These two images express rather a dark mood.

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The Forgotten I and The Forgotten II are the artist’s latest paintings. It’s a mystery to why he would contort the images in any way, but I feel that they are pieces that are meant to give to us something different than his hyper realistic paintings. While these paintings are amazingly detailed, my personal preference has to be his authentic-looking paintings. In The Other Field I, we are shown a person laying down in an area that has nothing present, at least from the audience’s perspective. It’s a simple painting, but the viewer is curious as to what is in this world, and why is this single person laying down. It intrigues us to the point where we want to know more about everything that’s going on here.

-Te’Ron Adams

Typically, when people think of models they envision the gold standard of beauty—they have an unblemished, picturesque look. In the fashion world, imperfections are stigmatized while flawlessness is coveted. Models are constantly in the public eye and endure grueling regimens to maintain a polished image. With such a narrow interpretation of beauty, it can be very difficult for aspiring models to break into the fashion industry, especially for someone who doesn’t fit the norm. If you don’t conform to the standard, your chances for success are virtually nonexistent. However, there are always exceptions. By shattering the mold, Winnie Harlow has defied industry standards and become one of the most popular fashion models in the world.

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