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“Every wolf ‘s and lion’s howl / Raises from Hell a human soul.”

Thursday, July 14, 2016

(Photos) No Justice No Peace Vigil - Ottawa 07.11.16

This past Monday, organizers brought together a few hundred people to hold a vigil for the victims of police violence and anti blackness at the US Embassy.

The vigil itself was moving, first starting with the acknowledgement of stolen land featuring First Nation speakers and throat singers.  Multiple black speakers then explored themes of self care, mental health within the black community, Canadian victims of police brutality, and sometimes we just sang.

I'm so happy that so many people decided to come, actively show their support, bring signs, and generally just be there.  Anti blackness and police brutality are things that need to be discussed, we cant just ignore it because it may not have immediately touched us yet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

(VIDEO) Toronto K-Pop Con

I had the opportunity to attend the Toronto K-Pop Con hosted by Pop! Goes The World last month, though it was for a different media channel.

Regardless, the event proved to be extremely well organized.  Volunteers knew what to be doing, the vendors were pretty great, and the shows  quite obviously satisfied the eager fans.  I put together a recap video to show how ~fun~ and ~exciting~ the weekend was. And it was, even for someone like me who isn't very dedicated to K-Pop, as much as some of these fans!

It was frustrating and fun to edit this video, but I'm ultimately pretty happy with how it turned out.  I pushed myself to move around for the sake of getting a diversity of shots, and though it sometimes was really hard (and resulted in security guards ruining my shots) it was really important and I'm happy I did so. I'll probably cringe while rewatching it a month and a half from now, but let's just live in the moment :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Yuna, I Love You!

The current artist dominating my playlist is young Malaysian artist Yunalis Mat Zara'ai, who simply goes by Yuna. Her soulful music is so relaxing and can easily put me in a good mood.  I’m quite thankful I was able to find her music, as it came to me at a somewhat difficult time?

Yuna’s music has a strong identity you can easily recognize just a few seconds in, in fact her music can do for me, what Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On still does for me all these years later.   Its carefree and strong!

Yuna began songwriting at the age of 14, to eventually become somewhat of a Myspace musician. She then had an appearance on a Malaysian singing reality show, after being eliminated she began to take music more seriously.  One law degree later, Yuna officially decided (thankfully for us) to officially pursue her career in music.  She’s not been left unrecognized, as she a massive following all around the world and many big name fans such as Pharrell Williams and David Foster.

Yuna has been busy, not only as a singer songwriter but also as a fashion designer, launching her (AFFORDABLE!) clothing line 14Nov which gives her the opportunity of designing beautiful clothes parallel with the modesty that is taught by Islam (that's the part that made me fall completely in love with her!)

Unfortunately, its been quite a while since Yuna has left us with any music, but as of now there seems to be enough for me to be content. Her music can make me feel so much, as there's a song for everything. I’m listening to Rescue as I type this, and I feel like I can pretty much achieve anything, just like Yuna!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Girls Like Girls Who Like Hayley Kiyoko

Currently my favourite thing in the world, is this music video by Hayley Kiyoko.

Hayley Kiyoko, who also directed the video for Girls Like Girls along with Austin S. Winchell, definitely made me a fan of her directorial skills as well as of her music.

The video has the pastel-sleepy summer feel to it, which in fact can be noticed in the rest of Kiyoko's videos as well.  It's pretty. Its bright. Its loud. Its intimate.  Where we follow two female characters coming to terms with their feelings for each other.

What makes the video perfect to me, is the portrayal of the relationship.  The nail polish scene, and how cute and innocent it was really got to me. I find that my favourite relationships to see portrayed on screen are those of women.  From applying nail polish for one another and helping each other apply makeup and being there for one another, its a beautiful and supportive and makes me HAPPY to see.

The twist I didn't expect came at the very end, I imagined that the video would end with the confessional kiss coming from both parties and there would be a fun escape from the boyfriend.  But instead, just as the music became muted and I thought we were about to get the long awaited kiss,  I got a little jump as Stefanie Scott is grabbed by the hair and thrown into a rock by the evil boyfriend. What the hell?  This isn't sweet and cute anymore! But alas, justice is served as Stefanie gets back up and does what we all wanted her to do. The execution of that scene, was perfect to me.  Seriously. I loved it so much, I originally pulled way more screencaps than that are in this post.

The song itself reminds me a lot of The Naked and The Famous' Girls Like You, which was very much one of my most played songs a few years back.  At almost 8 million views, Girls Like Girls is the perfect indication of how excited we should be about Kiyoko's future. As her sound develops and she flexes her artistry a bit more, there's going to be so much more to look forward to.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Word With TOY

South Korea has easily produced some of the greatest reality shows that are sadly unknown to most English speaking audiences (there are people who sub ya know). From Running Man and Hello Counselor to Hello Baby to Laws of The Jungle, Korea has nailed variety television, which is why its no shock that the Rap competition, Show Me The Money just finished its third season.  Reality singing shows don’t get very far in North American, many dying down after the first season so I was obviously very interested that Korea has managed to pull off a rap competition on top of many successful singing competitions.

The show had many familiar faces to anyone who is a fan of underground Korean hip-hop which was fun to see, however I was a lot more curious about a contestant who didn’t receive as much air-time.

You may have caught a glimpse of her in the first episode but by the third episode you knew she was there. Very much intrigued, I asked Toy a few questions that she generously answered.

So to start, do you mind introducing yourself?
My name is Toy. I am an American rapper based in Seoul, South Korea.

How have things been since the show ended, have things changed much? You’ve dropped some new music!
Since the show ended, I have been working on a lot more music. Im trying to put out a single soon and hopeful a mixtape as well. The only thing that has really changed since the show ended is that I have a lot more fans hahaha.

You’ve said a few times that you and Bobby got closer throughout the show, how do you feel that your teammate ended up winning?
Im happy for Bobby.  I was rooting for both Bobby and Iron . . . so im just glad that one of the two won.

Because you’re a foreigner, did you feel any stigma from the other judges or contestants?
Being the only foreigner on the show was not easy. Also, my Korean was not perfect, so i think most people didn't think I could possibly make it as far as I did. I think a lot of people thought I didn't belong there and although Im no where close to rapping as well in Korean as I can in English, I did have support from some of the judges and a few of the other contestants.
A lot of people came on the show saying they had to prove themselves, did you feel like you had anything to prove?
I only wanted to prove that "anything is possible." I wasn't able to rap in English, so I knew that I would not be able to show them even half of what i was cable of in terms of rap skills . . .. I just wanted to show that a foreigner could do well too.
After living in Korea and getting to know it, as well as participating in a show like SMTM, would you have still come to Korea with the same plan and mindset?
Ive been in Korea for 4 years now and I wouldn't change a thing. Everything happens for a reason and i like to live my life with no regrets. I wish that I was more fluent in Korean, but that comes with time.

Did you receive any advice from other rappers before you came on season 3?
Any advice . . . no hahah . .  just to do my best.

We never got to see you much on the show (and trust me, a lot of international viewers were bummed out about that) do you feel like you kind of got cheated? Was there anything you wanted viewers to know?
Yeah, it is kind of a bummer that they didn't show me much on TV. Even some of the team producers were complaining to the writers of the show that i didn't get much tv time. Most people know that the show is not a "true" rap competition. It is a bit of a popularity contest at times and there was a storyline even before the show began (as is the same with most tv shows). Basically, I wasn't a part of the storyline...hahaha so less tv time.

(I also followed up with these questions - A lot of people had previously complained about the show's editing telling very different stories from what actually took place. Did you feel like that may have happened? And finally, just...what was it like to see yourself on the show?)

As far as editing . . . im not 100% sure because i didn't watch the show . . . but i do know that some of what was said or shown on tv is not exactly how it too place in reality. Tv shows are always edited in a way to make things appear to be more dramatic than they actually are in order to grab the audiences attention.
And as i mentioned above, I did not watch the show . . . so im not sure. Usually, I don't like watching myself on TV because I always tend to think of what i could have done better.

What can we look forward to from you in the next few months, and any parting words you’d like to leave us with?
In the next few months, look forward to single and hopefully a mixtape as well. Im busy working on a lot of new music, so i hope that you will be patient with me as I work hard to make songs where i can show everything I’ve got. To my fans: Thank you so much for all the support. I didn't realized that so many people outside of Korea watched the show. It been awesome learning about how much support I have from around the world. Thank you so much!!

A big thank you to Toy who agreed to this interview, I’m excited to see her development as an artist in South Korea and will definitely be keeping an eye on her, as a fan. It was great to get to know about her experience! If you’d like to keep up with her, here are other platforms that you can use to connect with her.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Snoh Aalegra

The first few moments of Snoh Aalegra's video had me commenting on how undeniably gorgeous this woman is, but just a few seconds later I was so in love with the song, that nothing else even mattered.

"Following it’s the release of the audio last month, Snoh Aalegra returns with the official visual accompaniment to her impressive single “Burning Bridges”.
The beautiful ARTium signed Swedish singer-songwriter who has been steadily perfecting her craft under the wing of Superproducer No I.D. brings the Trakmatik and No I.D produced cut to life with the Matt Barnes-directed official video, which perfectly compliments the tone and mood of the emotive track."   - (X)

I believe in sharing good things, and though Swedish singer/songwriter Snoh Aalegra has only released just a few songs, she is something you gotta know about.

As it says on her website, Snoh had been writing music since a very young age and has been developing her unique sound. "Her music is very dark, theatrical and sometimes poetic. She writes most her music in her bed, which can be a big reason why it is very personal and intimate."

Its not hard to see how talented Snoh is, whether you're watching the beautifully produced video for Burning Bridges or are watching one of her few covers uploaded to Youtube.

The video is fluid, artistic, and beautiful. The perfect companion to such a good song.

- Horea

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

#FF: No excuses, I'm lame

Tell us about a book that you didn’t like and why we shouldn’t read it (as nicely and respectfully as possible)

I'll go with the first book that came to mind: Liar by Justine Larbalestier.

This book just had way too many, you guessed it, Lies for me to get down with it. It might be because I was pretty young when I read it, so maybe I didn't really "get" it. But I remember having very strong negative feelings about this book, so that's what I'll go with.

Props to having a woman of colour as the lead character, however! We don't see enough representation in YA...or..well..in anything, really.

I haven't been much of a book blog lately, or much of a blog in general really. But I'm excited to be finished with my first year of uni and get on with the things I actually like doing, like running this site.

Follow me however you like, bloglovin, GFC, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'll be sure to return the favour :)

I must get back to studying, happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


A young teen from Hawaii decides to share his creativity.  Urada is born.

"Its not a lengthy explanation, just a definition. I want you to think outside the shirt. I'm all about sharing an idea, an idea that we can agree on. An idea that will make you look forward to tomorrow. That's what I do. I make an idea for your tomorrow. I make shirts that speak for itself so all you have to do is be you. With clothes come responsibility.  The responsibility to be you. I trust that you do that very well. URADA promotes people to dress to live another day, but wear something better than yesterday" - URADA

Strolling down my dashboard on tumblr I saw a picture of a someone wearing an interesting shirt. Clicking through a few links to find the source of where I could find the shirt, I found Urada.

A rising cult following on tumblr and a steady slew of Instagram followers will propel the Urada brand and its creator, 19 year old Kirk, to the front lines of fashion world dominance.  Appreciated by many, and paired with apparel one would expect to be seen at a Fashion Week catwalk or maybe worn by the likes of Kanye West, with clean but gorgeous photography, Urada is steps away from taking over the Internet.

Much like other pieces available on the Urada site, the recently dropped 3M tee features a reflective 3M print that has caught the attention of the Internet, and surely anyone who sees you walking by wearing it.

I've definitely become a fan of Urada and am looking forward to seeing where it goes, I'm sure in a straight line to the top. You can purchase the newest addition to Urada's web shop, the 3M tee and much more over on the web shop. Watch out for it.