The official start of the solstice was less than a week ago and the term summer is more than just a season these days! It’s also used as a synonym to describe a mood. A good playlist can make those longer days and shorter nights seem like moments of bliss, and one of the songs that should be added to the soundtrack of 2019 is rising country/pop crossover songstress Julia Rizik’s newest single, Love Myself.
It immediately draws you in with a heavy downbeat and sultry vocals from the young maven that hails from the state of Arizona and now resides in Los Angeles. Rizik wrote the song to appeal across the board for all genders, races, and religions and it’s about empowerment and accepting the skin you are in. The catchy hook will have you busting out impromptu concerts whether you are riding down the coast with the top down in a car full of friends or a solo concert in the shower trying to avoid soap from getting into your eyes!
“My songwriting is inspired by all sorts of things. I play both guitar and piano and mostly write songs about experiences that I am going through in my personal life. I was bullied a lot and music was the one thing that got me through.I want listeners to know that this music comes from a really personal space, and I hope that they relate to it and connect with it as much as I do,” shared Rizik.
While this is her first pop single, Julia Rizik is no stranger to the world of music. She has appeared on the festival circuit at such events as Country Thunder and Stagecoach in the last year. Her first independent country single “Medicine” (2017) which she co-wrote and co-produced got noticed by Spotify and made their New Music Nashville Playlist. Country music is where she got her start, but she is ready to trade in her boots for stilettos and kick the door of popular music in.
“I transitioned into pop music very organically. It was not a forced transition at all. I started producing my own music about six to seven months ago, and the sounds I wanted to hear when I was creating these tracks were pop. On my new song, Love Myself, my fans can expect a lot more confidence and security in my lyrics. I have written a lot of songs about heartbreak, but on this track, I wanted to send listeners a message of hope and self-love,” shared Rizik, who plans to release a full pop EP of the same name later this Summer.
If those tracks are anything like Love Myself, than we can’t wait to fall in love with this new pop princess on the rise.
Left: Leon Hendrix, Jimmy Hendrix’s younger brother and Randy Hanson
Legendary writer/photographer Belissa Cohen goes psychedelic to experience L.A.’s hidden gem of an “immersive art park,” Downtown L.A.’s Wisdome
If you haven’t yet been to downtown L.A.’s Wisdome, we suggest putting it on your nightlife bucket list, and maybe stock up on your favorite psychedelics beforehand.
Called an “immersive art park,” this enormous 35,000 sqare foot space houses a collection of five huge interconnecting domes, one of which hosts nearly continuous showings of a 360 degree short film called Samskara by innovative experimental artist Android Jones. The other domes host other immersive art installations, live music events in 10.1 surround sound, and are surrounded by a commodius grassy outdoor area for hanging out on glorious summer nights with bars, ethnic food and drink purveyors, and trinket vendors selling wares of a vaguely spiritual nature — it’s the whole enchilada in one place, with enchiladas. It’s both comfortable and hella trippy!
We experienced the Wisdome when Randy Hanson, who is considered arguably the best of the Jimi Hendrix tribute performers among those in the know about such things, did the first of his spot-on two-night performances in the largest of the Wisdomes, while psychedelic art in the form of constantly morphing mandala images were projected on the walls and ceiling of the dome, and many audience members took in the multimedia show from reclining seats. Like them, we found ourselves gazing ceiling-ward during the show, mesmerized, as the images changed organically, all the while absorbed in the expertly executed music.Randy, who is in demand all over the world for his Jimi Hendrix realness, and is, like Jimi, a Seattle native, played and sang all the hits note for note, from “Foxy Lady” to “Purple Haze” to the Bob Dylan-penned “All Along the Watchtower,” on what just so happened to be Dylan’s birthday.
As happens in L.A., we found ourselves Ubering to the Wisdome with the famous-adjacent: Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s younger brother and an edgy blues musician in his own right, who sang with Randy and his band very appropriately on “Castles Made of Sand,” a song Jimi had penned back in the day about his family’s dysfunction. Leon’s own show the very next weekend at The Mint in West L.A. was a sold out success.
The world-renowned Randy Hanson brings his Jimi extravaganza back to the Wisdome at the end of June. For all of us who missed Jimi’s legendary L.A. performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968, we now have a second chance to Be Experienced!
The second season of YouTube RED’s critically acclaimed series, “Step Up: High Water” has officially launched and the cast gathered for a private screening event to kick off the newest serving of episodes. Actor, Terrence Green, who plays “Rigo” on the show partnered with streetwear brand, Popular Demand, to host the screening at their screen room facility in Burbank, CA.
Additional cast members in attendance included, Jeremy Copeland, Marcus Emanuel Mitchell, Jade Chynoweth, Kendra Oyesanya, & Carlito Olivero. Season 2 is available now for streaming on YouTube RED Here.
Additionally, Terrence Green premiered his first musical offering to this season’s soundtrack with the track “Take the Thrown” Check out the music video below:
Gary Numan at BLUE DOT FESTIVAL UK: Photo LEANNE BOLGER LEANNEBOLGER.COM
Gary Numan – Iconic British new wave singer/songwriter/recording artist and record producer, has had a career spanning 5 decades, and he’s still going strong.
Numan recently released “Savage: Songs from a Broken World” – a new album contemplating a world devastated by climate change.
Catch him in concert during his “Savage European/US Autumn Tour”.
If you reside in Los Angeles, you can see Gary Numan perform at the Fonda Theatre on October 6th.
Visit his website for more info, or buy tickets here.
SoCal Magazine’s Niki Smart caught up with Gary Numan for a quick interview.
Dennis Morris told me that you were once detained in Russia for accidentally flying over military airspace (or something along those lines) – can you tell us a little more about that experience?
GN: It was in India actually. I was put under house arrest in India on suspicion of smuggling and spying in 1981 when flying around the world in my own little airplane. The smuggling charge was based on the fact that I was wearing two watches at the time. I did try to point out that flying my own airplane all the way to India to smuggle one cheap watch was a bit pointless, they didn’t seem to get that unfortunately. The spying charge came about because apparently we had flown over a Russian submarine base North of where we landed, which we had no idea existed until they told us. They then kept us for four days in a place on the beach (not as nice as it sounds) and the other rooms were all filled with Russian families, presumably from the base we’d supposedly been spying on. It was like being in a Keystone Cops movie but for real. They then blamed me for the rules they were following as they said they were left over from the days of the British Empire. So it was all my fault apparently
Your career has impressive longevity with numerous hit songs. Do you have a favorite—and why?
GN: Favorites change depending on mood to be honest but a song on the new Savage album called My Name Is Ruin is a big favorite because my daughter Persia sings on it with me. She joins us on stage when school allows and sings with us all over the world as well. I love that.
What’s the best thing about being Gary Numan?
GN: I get to do live my life the way I choose to for the most part, not the way I have to. If I wake up and it’s a beautiful day, I don’t have to work, it’s up to me. That freedom is very special to me.
What’s the worst thing about being Gary Numan?
GN: My touring work takes me away from my children for months at a time. That’s a real problem for me. Apart from that though there is no ‘worst’ thing. I love my life. I love living in Los Angeles, being in a band, I’ve been happily married to Gemma for 21 years and my children are all healthy. I have no complaints.
What do you have coming up that you’d like our readers to know about?
GN:I have a show at The Fonda on October 6th, which I’m very excited about, plus a special edition version of the Savage album coming out in late October
And I know this is a bit of a curve ball but…do you have any thoughts on climate change?
GN: The Savage album is all about a world devastated by climate change, so yes, I have lots of thoughts about it. I believe it’s very real, very dangerous and I could hardly believe it when Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Accord. It was a level of ignorance that was hard to fathom.
You may not have heard of Ramin Djawadi, but I’ll guarantee you’ve heard his music, because this 44-year-old, German/Iranian composer has produced over a hundred soundtracks and scores for major films and TV shows, including HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for which he recently won an Emmy.
Following the smash success of their TV series, HBO launched the ‘Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience’ with Djawadi performing his masterpieces in massive arenas throughout Europe and America. The show features a live orchestra & a 20-piece choir (all dressed for the part), giant screens with stunning visuals, pyrotechnics, changing stage design, and a plethora of unusual instruments, all serving to give the audience an immersive musical experience of all seven seasons of Game of Thrones.
On the screen, horses charge and dragons shoot out fire, while above the stage, real fire blasts out, and on the stage, musicians build to a heart-pumping climax. You can’t help but get Goosebumps all over your body. It’s a thrill, and judging by the roar of the audience, they all feel it.
The music breathes life into the characters – as Djawadi says: “The White Walkers have a mysterious, icy sound from a glass harmonica. The cello and violin for the Starks and the Lannisters. The Dothraki have the duduk – an Armenian ethnic wood wind instrument. Arya has a hammered dulcimer.” And Djawadi not only conducts his talented orchestra, but also, at various points, plays piano, the hammered dulcimer and electric guitar, each with impressive prowess. It’s as if the music has become a character of the series – I mean, what GoT fan can’t hum the theme tune?
It’s more than a performance, it really is an experience. A thrilling ride to Westeros, King’s landing, or the Wall. It’s a visit with your favorites – Jon Snow and Egret, the Starks, the Lannisters, and Daenerys, plus, half the fun is hearing the audience scream every time Jon Snow appears. Even if you are not a huge GoT fan, this show might make you one. It made me want to go home and re-watch all 7 seasons of Game of Thrones. “Music is Coming” and you should absolutely go hear it.
End note: There was a downside that had nothing to do with the show, only the venue, which was the Forum. I arrived 10 minutes early in my car, but the utter chaos that the parking created, meant it took almost 45 minutes to get into an actual parking spot. I was made to weave around several blocks, in a snail-paced, endless line that was excruciating, and was then directed to park in a dirt lot, far away from the entrance. This resulted in hiking through thick dust, missing the beginning of the show and paying $25 on top of it. I can’t find enough swear words in my vocabulary to express the annoyance I feel at the Forum’s lack of parking organization and unholy price. Shame on you Forum – Shame! Shame! Shame!
Amidst cheers and applause, British R&B singer, Seal strolled confidently on stage and, right off the bat, began charming the audience with his soulful rendition of “Luck be a Lady”. Welcome to a new side of Seal and his tenth studio album “Standards”. This is an album that Seal has always wanted to make because he grew up listening to music from the rat pack era, and for him, recording these classic tunes has been a lifelong dream. Seal said “It was a true honor to collaborate with the same musicians who performed with Frank Sinatra and so many of my favorite artists, in the very same studios where the magic was first made – it was one of the greatest days of my recording career.”
Who knew that Seal was a crooner? Well, he is, and a mighty fine one at that. His voice is rich, velvety and flawless, his style is sassy, his look debonair, and this man can handle a room – or should I say a bowl? Bending down to sing to the ladies in the front and shaking people’s hands, Seal utilized the entire stage, the catwalk strip, and even ventured off stage altogether to further flirt with the audience.
Between songs, his laid back banter made him even cooler. Listening to him, one gets the feeling that this is a man who is sincere and has a gentle, generous spirit. He jokingly told the audience, “Hello Los Angeles, well I know most of the people here, yeah, you guys all hit me up for tickets.”
Things got a little more serious when Seal talked about a recent bout of depression and recanted a day when he listened to “That’s Life” at full volume. “It helped” he quipped, and proceeded to perform the song with the magic of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra behind him, conducted by Thomas Wilkins. Seal likened playing with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to driving a Rolls Royce. He clearly loved the material he was performing and who he was performing it with.
Halfway through the show, Seal announced that a very special guest was in the house; someone who had, in part, been responsible for him being a musician. It turned out to be none other than Joni Mitchell, and as the cameras swung around to find the icon seated in the audience, Seal got everyone to sing the line: “paved paradise, put up a parking lot.”
Towards the end of his show, Seal broke out his hit songs “Kiss from a Rose”, and “Crazy”, and last but not least, invited his 8-year-old daughter up on stage to play piano for a short performance of “Superstition”. For an encore, it was “Rebel Rebel” to honor the late David Bowie. No matter what style: classics, pop, rock, ballads, covers – Seal handles them all with vibrant, powerful vocals and ebullient showmanship. Seal is the real deal.