I actually did most of my training abroad! I started seriously training back in September when my semester in Madrid, Spain started. And I was lucky enough to live just 10 minutes away from a neighborhood park while I was there, so I got into the routine of running each night after classes ended. Which was really cool, because I got to experience the three seasons pretty intimately while I was there. You can actually look up pictures of the park on Google. It’s pretty beautiful. It’s called Retiro Park in Madrid Spain. Watching the leaves change each day was probably one of my favorite things about my time in Madrid. So I decided to sign up last April after having just turned 20 – also thought it would be a good way to start my 20s off right.
Anyways, back to the running stuff. So my training plan built up to a long 20 mile run after my semester ended when I returned back to the States. I actually ran two days after Christmas in San Antonio, which in hindsight, wasn’t that great of an idea considering Christmas time for my family means binge eating for about a week straight while digesting it all during our Netflix marathons. But alas, I managed to survive what was at the time the longest run I had ever done in my life.
And then in the past couple of weeks up through the end of my first week back at Rice meant turning it down a notch, carb loading, and resting up until race day. So I can’t really say that my Syllabus Week this time around was all too exciting considering I was in hibernation mode all week. But it definitely was all worth it, because being able to say I successfully ran a full marathon is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.
As much as it was a physical challenge (and this next week of limping will attest to that), I would say running a marathon is a test of one’s mental strength. And I’m not saying I’m the strongest willed person, but I can say that did gain a lot of self-respect along the way.
Like during the marathon, there were SO MANY times where I really just wanted to stop, and I tried to come up with excuses to justify why that would be a good idea. But just knowing that my friends and family were out there supporting me (even if it meant just seeing them for like a split second of the race) gave me huge inspiration to just keep going. Which I know is cheesy, but it’s the truth.
And it’s funny, because people keep asking me when the next one is gonna be, and right now that’s the last thing on my mind. But I can say that running will continue to be a huge part of my life – a lot because I think running reflects the challenges that life offers. Life’s like a marathon. It’ll give you a million reasons to wanna stop or focus on what’s going wrong in that moment. But it’s taught me that really anything is possible if you take it one step at a time.
Whenever I watch EDM music festivals, girls are everywhere. They take up just as much time on camera as the headlining DJ. I also hear a fair amount of them too-with angelic vocals being looped over and over a DJ’s newest hit (Ellie Goulding anyone?). We see them, we hear them, so why aren’t they given the chance to actually make anything?
EDM lately has been a boys club of sorts and whether or not that’s incidental, it still needs to be addressed. Many female artists have used EDM as either a basis for their newest CD or employed a DJ or two. But it’s a rarity to see a girl either playing much less headlining a major festival (like Sensation, Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland etc.) these days.
Don’t get me wrong, breaking into any industry-whether a guy or girl-is no easy feat. However, the internet has changed today’s EDM scene from its 1990’s predecessors. Outlets such as SoundCloud lets anyone-not just DJ’s signed to a label-get their music out to the public. Also, there’s no age minimum for being an EDM DJ, (i.e. Porter Robinson and Martin Garrix who catapulted to the music charts in their mid-teens) which shows you simply need the software and the skills of course.
So I’m a bit puzzled why no major female DJ has yet to take center stage. It’s not that female singers don’t use EDM-like beats in their songs. I’d argue that artists like Lady Gaga and Rihanna helped revitalize the genre for crowds beyond the rave scene. I was surprised and elated when EDM suddenly became more mainstream that it has been in the past. No more did EDM lovers have to hide in the shadows.
Here’s an article describing the 10 Top Female EDM DJ’s.
Another article discussing a female-only DJ lineup festival.
Artists such as David Guetta Calvin Harris, Avicii, Hardwell, Zedd, Knife Party, Swedish House Mafia, Deadmau5, Michael Woods, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi etc. have produced for big name female singers, and their songs have resided at the top of the charts for weeks on end. They often use lesser-known female vocals on top of their tracks too.
Why is this an issue you may ask? Because whoever controls the charts also controls the money. Singers on songs don’t make a lot of money. Writers do and producers make even more. So by restricting women to just the vocals in EDM, then they’re not getting jack squat (but kudos to Ellie for writing “I Need Your Love” with Calvin Harris-a smart, smart move).
In order to make an impact, girls can’t just sing or appeal in videos. For you future female producing hit makers, now is your time. You’ve got an awesome formula (internet + personal drive + a potential audience) to create a masterpiece.
Nervo has pretty good collabs with other EDM artists, but sadly hasn’t been a mainstay.
Moving forward, I’d encourage not just the top names, but also listeners to be more open-minded. Don’t just restrict the girls to being on-camera or the side-kicks to a few hits and then leave them by the wayside. Motivate your EDM-loving girlfriends to actually pursue their hobby, rather than sitting on your shoulders at festivals. And once they do, don’t forget to send some free tickets my way
Not sure if you’ve heard, but Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell are the newest faces of Burberry’s Spring Summer 2015 Campaign. This is a BIG DEAL.
Why might you ask? Well because it’s very rare that a black model is in a major campaign these days. Or in the center of one. Or alone in one. Or even with another black model. So having TWO black models as the central focus in a fashion campaign that has no tribal or “urban” (code for hood) references is refreshening. Also, kudos to Burberry for having Jourdan and Naomi look gorgeous without adding skin-lightening.
Jourdan and Naomi weren’t selected as a racial statement by the brand, but simply because they’re the best. Burberry’s Creative DirectorChristopher Bailey (who is just really, really awesome btw) shared, “Naomi and Jourdan – two great British icons, two strong, beautiful women and the two perfect faces for our new campaign. It is, as always, a real privilege to work with them.”
Naomi is a legend, groomed in the days of the 90’s Supermodels, while Jourdan has stomped every major runway alongside Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Chanel Iman, and well you get it.
Moving forward, it would be great if other brands took note of Burberry’s wise move. Rather than sprinkling a few racially ambiguous models on their runways, I think a bolder stance would showcase the industry’s ability to shape what’s beautiful, rather than being the object of popular opinion.
As I battled the crowded corridors of First Colony Mall a bright, almost luminous, store window stopped me in my tracks. After navigating my way around a circus of strollers and shoppers toting enough bags that I wondered how they didn’t collapse I was finally there. Friendly smiles paired with streetwear is something you don’t often see in today’s stores, and one that sets The Exclusive Tastea part.
An amicable guy suited in their unofficial uniform-think a bold sweatshirt, snapback hat, and acid wash denim jeans-approached me and asked if I needed any help. As I was taking pics for WMTM, he didn’t hesitate to tell me how The Exclusive Taste differed from other urban wear shops. These clothes are for the fearless-so fearless that I don’t think you could be a wallflower even if you tried. Think baggy sweatshirts with tongue-in-cheek pictures of Bill Clinton, “Dope” in gold lettering, and crew necks with look-at-me prints. Not ready for such a bold statement? Try layering a black leather jacket (always a good go-to) to keep your look pulled together.
Carrying an impressive span of brands from across the globe, from Australia to Htown, The Exclusive Taste aspires to bring the city up to speed. What made me stop in my tracks was the fabric-they stated how the quality justified the price-as their track pants were softer than some dresses that I own.
But girls, never fear because although the shop focused mostly on guys, the clothes aren’t just for the dudes. If you’re looking for something to relax in during those Netflix marathons, I suggest picking up a pair of Zanerobe pants.
Somewhat pricey for their younger demographic, The Exclusive Taste could definitely be a place to pick up a Christmas gift or two to ‘treat yo self.
So finals are over (AT LAST) and that means I finally have time to pour over the stacks (on stacks on stacks) of magazines that I love. And also buy more (yeah I know it’s a problem). So after picking up the Dec./Jan. issue of Nylon Mag, I checked out their “Radar” section and saw an interview with Australian rapper dubbed Tkay Maidza. Yes there are other rappers in Australia, but Tkay’s nothing like what’s hit the states before and something that the US charts desperately needs. Described as a mix between “EDM, electro-pop, and rap” (basically a musical unicorn) she definitely didn’t disappoint. Case in point: U-Huh.
-“U-Huh” by Tkay Maidza-So infectious. I’ll be playing this into the new year.
As a film major, for myself the vids are just as important as the tracks. Her music isn’t so bubblegum pink pop that it makes you want to do synchronized boy band dances, but also not so austere that you start questioning life itself. Think dancing with black balloons in abandoned warehouses, but also with bright 80’s-esque backgrounds that still makes you feel good. Also, the video centered JUST around Tkay, showing how this heavyweight can and will be able to hold her own (no background dancers necessary). And that’s no easy feat.
– Also, you should check out her interview. So adorbs.