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katy perry

Music Featured

Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of the 2010s, Ranked

December 11, 2019

(via Unsplash)

When it comes to selecting a personal “best” song, there’s so much more that goes into it than how far it charted on the Billboard Top 40. In fact, that doesn’t play a role to me at all.

What matters is how I felt about the song during its prime, if I feel the same way about the song now, if it had a legitimate “moment” in my life and if it brought some kind of unique sound or formula to the table. With each of these factors in mind, I’ve spent literally all of 2019 jotting down all my most monumental songs of the decade in a notebook as I thought of them.

With 10 years to account for, obviously a slew of songs came to mind. And while I’d have to say music basically died after 2014, the earlier years of the decade brought some of the most iconic songs of all time. Keep reading for skyelyfe’s 20 best songs of the 2010s, ranked. *Note: I left out all remixes even though some were absolutely amazing.

20. ‘Wide Awake’ – Katy Perry (2012)

While probably the last single you think of when you look back on Katy Perry’s iconic Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection album, “Wide Awake” was not only a powerful ballad from the characteristically gimmicky singer, but also one that came out during a trying time in my personal life when I felt like the world was crashing down on me and I was trying to recover from a rough patch. I found the song to be therapeutic in many ways, and I highly respect that this is a detour from much of the singer’s other work.

19. ‘Ice Tray’ – Quality Control, Quavo, Lil Yachty (2017)

This is simply the quintessential song you want to hear on a night out. I can’t tell you how many times I danced to this after-hours. The dark, pulsating track even managed to make Joe Budden relevant again for a hot sec. Had the song come out earlier in the decade, it would have made an even bigger impact, but it definitely holds a special place as one of the best of the latter years.

(via YouTube)

18. ‘I Met You’ – Anna Lunoe + Flume (2012)

2012 was such a year for electronic music. The genre expanded in so many ways, and I was absolutely obsessed with this track. I remember playing this and No. 17 interchangeably nonstop all throughout my work days that year. I very much miss this musical moment.

17. ‘All My Life’ – Gigamesh f./ Jana Nyberg (2012)

Much like the aforementioned track, this was on my Spotify rotation nonstop in 2012—so much so that the app listed it as my most listened to song of that year (not shocking!). Still when I hear it to this day, I don’t like it any less.

(via YouTube)

16. ‘The North’ – Summer Heart (2011)

Summer Heart seemingly came out of nowhere, and this song is hands down one of the most beautifully melodic tracks I’ve ever heard. Not to be fooled by the artist’s name, this song had every bit of a solemn fall vibe, accompanying the season swimmingly that year.

15. ‘Dreaming’ – The Knocks (2014)

The Knocks stole my heart in 2014, and I’ve seen them live countless times since. Their infectious energy lights up a stage, and I truly can’t think of a livelier duo. “Dreaming” is every bit the upbeat track that got me on my feet in 2014 (even when the year got me down).

(via YouTube)

14. ‘Nocturne’ – Wild Nothing (2012)

Seriously bless Wild Nothing. They were my most listened to act of 2012 on Spotify, and have truly never let me down since. They encapsulate everything I could possibly want in a band, with their light, dreamy alt. rock melodies. I can seriously listen to “Nocturne” (and its album of the same name) forever. Just thinking about it makes me happy.

13. ‘Silhouettes’ – Avicii (2012)

Avicii’s tragic death last year was by far one of the most impactful and saddening. Not only a legendary trendsetter in electronic music, the Swedish DJ didn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body (at least from what we know). On top of it all, he created some forever memorable tracks, including what I consider his most underrated, “Silhouettes.” This song takes me back to his then-signature sound when he first hit the scene with “Levels” in 2011. RIP, Avicii.

(via YouTube)

12. ‘Operate’ – ASTR (2013)

Short-lived electronic R&B duo ASTR was an act I found from my old-school favorite indie music blog BitCandy, and I instantly fell in love with them. They disbanded after 2015, but in their time together, Zoe Silverman and Adam Pallin released two insanely outstanding EPs that will forever hold a place in my heart. “Operate” was the first single they released, and therefore the most legendary. I got my entire group of friends hooked, and therefore they definitely made a large dent in my musical memories of the decade.

11. ‘L.A. Lights’ – Grum (2010)

There’s no song like this one (or like the album Heartbeats) on this list. In a shocking move, Grum (aka Graeme Shepherd) went from a retro synth sound to joining the Anjunabeats label going full-force trance. Prior to his musical transition, he released “L.A. Lights,” a beautiful melody that felt ever so fitting to my many late nights under the… L.A. lights.

10. ‘I Get the Bag’ – Gucci Mane f./ Migos (2017)

Out of what was one of the most atrocious years in hip-hop (hip-pop?) came “I Get the Bag,” the Metro Boomin-produced track that made me give Migos a fair chance (I wasn’t big on “Bad and Boujee”). As a longtime fan of Gucci, he absolutely delivers here, on what was one of the best rap songs of the latter part of the decade.

9. ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ – Ke$ha (2010)

And this is where we cue the tears! 2010 was such a magical year for music, and Ke$ha (with then-dollar sign) was a huge proponent of that. Her album Animal came out on the very first day of the decade, setting the precedent for what was probably the best year of my life. This song, album, era brings back so many memories. I know the singer’s in a much healthier, better place now, following her horrifying experience with Dr. Luke, but there’s no denying her songs from the early 2010s will never compare to anything present.

(via YouTube)

8. ‘In the Morning’ – ZHU + Kaskade (2016)

This was my No. 1 song of 2016, and there’s no doubt in my mind why. I only knew like one song by ZHU at this point, but the collab with Kaskade was perfectly executed into melodic bliss, setting the tone for not just my Coachella vibe that year, but for the year as a whole.

7. ‘Slow Love’ – MØ (2014)

I found MØ on the brink of her No Mythologies to Follow album release, and it was a game changer. The unique style of songs is solid from head to toe, and Slow Love sounds like nothing else I’ve heard from her (or any other artist for that matter). According to Spotify, it was my most listened to song of 2014, and according to my blog, the song and the album were both my No. 1 picks of that year.

6. ‘Skin’ – Rihanna (2010)

Name a sexier song of this decade—I’ll wait. Rihanna took her provocative nature to new heights with this dark, alluring melody and bold lyrics to match. While definitely one of her most underrated songs of all-time, it’s hands down one of the best (especially if you were around to improvise an accompanying music video with my group of friends).

5. ‘Loyal’ – Chris Brown f./ Lil Wayne + Tyga (2013)

This classic came out at the very end of 2013, but definitely made its mark the following year. Between the video and Nic Nac beats’ music production, this trio of artists nailed it on what became the party anthem of 2014, in an otherwise lackluster year of hip-hop.

(via YouTube)

4. ‘What’s My Name?’ – Rihanna f./ Drake (2010)

Whenever these 2010 songs come up, I get super nostalgic. I literally remember exactly where I was and how I felt at the peak of these tracks. Rihanna’s Loud album was a surefire favorite of that year, and this was without question the best song that came from it. Major fall/winter vibes I will absolutely never forget.

3. ‘Super Bass’ – Nicki Minaj (2011)

Ah, simpler times. “Super Bass” epitomizes the old-school, inspiring, happy-go-lucky vibe Nicki Minaj’s music brought the world when she first stepped on the scene. Her Pink Friday album felt so pure, and to this day, no “love song” in the hip-hop genre has topped “Super Bass.” Every bit upbeat and sweet, even in my crazy year known as 2011, this song helped keep me sane.

(via YouTube)

2. ‘Ayo’ – Chris Brown f./ Tyga (2015)

This song needs no introduction. If you’ve ever been in an Uber with me, at a house party or in my living room, then you’re no stranger to this Nic Nac beats-produced track. As my most-played song of the whole decade, it absolutely deserves this No. 2 ranking.

1. ‘Teenage Dream’ – Katy Perry (2010)

And now, for the ultimate tearjerker… talk about the good ol’ days! “Teenage Dream” epitomizes carefree bliss and everything light that pop represented early in the decade. It’s easy to forget Katy Perry released one of the best pop albums of all-time, and I think I speak for everyone reading this that no pop song (or Katy Perry song, for that matter) will ever compare to this one.

(via YouTube)

Listen to the entire playlist below (and come back next week for my top 20 honorable mentions of the decade):

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Lifestyle Music

Celebs, Swag & Sun: Photos and Details from Coachella’s Hottest (No Pun Intended) Weekend One Day Parties

April 20, 2017

One weekend down, one to go!

As any regular Coachella attendee knows, the first installment of C’chella each year is the major one, with the Empire Polo Fields and semi-neighboring parties filled from head to toe with celebs, tastemakers and pretty much everyone transplanted from L.A. for the weekend.

Well, this year was no exception, with the typical expected guests hitting the desert hotspots when they weren’t checking out their favorite acts at the festival.

Keep scrolling, because skyelyfe has the scoop on some of the hottest day soirees of Coachella season. And I’m getting exhausted just writing this—for all the right reasons, of course!

#REVOLVEfestival

Joining forces with Billboard Media Group, Revolve clothing put on another Coachella weekend party for the books! Moving locations this year to the Merv Griffin Estate, the hugely popular online retailer brought out droves of stylish stars, including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Kaia Gerber, Joe Jonas, Sofia Richie, Nicole Richie and Louis Tomlinson, among many others. Over the course of the weekend, guests took in live performances by Rick Ross and Migos, while sipping Ciroc cocktails, snagging swag from ColourPop cosmetics, Schutz shoes, Lovers & Friends apparel, Joico InstaTint hair spray and Impressions Vanity Co.—and frolicking through the incredibly spacious, picturesque space.

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

The Lucky Lounge Presents: Desert Jam Produced by BMF Media

Still fresh to live performance life, Noah Cyrus put her best foot (vocals) forward, giving guests a mini three-song show at Palm Spring’s Ingleside Inn. In between taking in the live music, partygoers (including Sia, Ashlee Simpson-Ross and hubby Evan Ross) had the option to snag free apparel from Lucky Brand, sip Heineken beer, Deep Eddy vodka and High Brew coffee and score swag from One Two Cosmetics.

Photo Credit: Vivian Killilen / Getty Images for BMF Media

Photo Credit: Vivian Killilen / Getty Images for BMF Media

Katy Perry’s Easter Sunday Funday Recovery Brunch Produced by John Terzian’s The h.wood Group

There were no kitty cats, only bunnies, for Katy Perry over the weekend during her hosted Easter boozy brunch. The pop star not only flaunted her newly shorn hair, but also debuted her footwear collection. Guests at the Thermal, Calif., estate, were treated to oxygen bars, a Cover Girl-sponsored Easter egg hunt, massages and beats by Mia Moretti, Balthazar Getty and Bobby French. And topping things off, everyone had a first chance to shop Katy’s new kicks.

Photo Credit: Rony Alwin

Photo Credit: Rony Alwin

American Express Platinum House

For partygoers seeking a healthy reprieve from the otherwise debaucherous happenings over the weekend, the American Express Platinum House went as far as offering on-site Soul Cycle classes by famed spin instructor Stacey Griffith. Spinning or not, all guests were treated to tacos, popsicles, veggie skewers, handcrafted flower crowns, a live performance by Bebe Rexha and a DJ set by Hannah Bronfman.

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perilstein, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perilstein, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perilstein, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perlstein, Getty Images

The Zoe Report’s ZOEasis

Swag and style were the name of the game at this gathering. Guests, including Kate Bosworth, Brooklyn Beckham, Olivia Culpo, Louise Roe and Rachel Zoe herself made their way through the gigantic Palm Springs space, where they took in a performance by The Aces and DJ sets by Pamela Katz, May Kwok, while walking out with hundreds of dollars in beauty products, handmade bracelets and gift cards galore.

Galore x Grindr Present Queens of the Desert

Dope performance by Charli XCX? Check! Free shoes by Melissa? Check! Slews of Grindr swag? Check! Cute, shirtless gay boys? Mega-check! Palm Springs’ Coral Sands Inn was transformed into the Galore Motel for a packed pool party that included DJ sets by Simihaze, Jordyn Woods, Alie Layus and Taryn Manning—and lots of Stillhouse Whiskey & Bourbon (yes, I drank whiskey drinks that day).

Chevrolet Bolt EV Launch at the Bootsy Bellows Estate

This party was a who’s-who of Hollywood, boasting appearances by Katy PerryNick JonasJoe Jonas, Ryan Phillippe, Kendall Jenner, Ariel WinterHailey BaldwinJeremy Scott and a slew of others. VIP guests rolled up to the Rancho Mirage-based party in the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV, while regular partygoers took in a live performance by Lil Yachty and swooped up goodies from PacSun‘s festival-inspired pop-up shop.

Photo Credit: Rick Williams

Photo Credit: Rick Williams

Photo Credit: Rick Williams

Music

Tep No, Banks, Goldroom, Hailee Steinfeld & 23 More Artists: New Music Monday

July 18, 2016

tep-no-best-crew-skyelyfeLast week was a biggie for pop music: Britney Spears and Katy Perry both released their first fresh single in years. But to my dismay, I’m not particularly in awe of either tune.

So, instead, I am focusing on some new stuff that I actually dig. I mean, if we’re going on the pop route, Hailee Steinfeld‘s cutesy, Zedd-assisted “Starving” isn’t too shabby.

In general, this week’s New Music Monday has a solid crop of mellow electro and pop, so sink your teeth in, folks.

From Tep No, Banks and Goldroom, to The Naked and Famous, Transviolet and Salt Ashes, I’ve got a whopping 27 songs to start your week off right!

Click below for the full playlist. Happy Monday!

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Music

Former ‘Rising Star’ Contestant Morgan Higgins Is ‘Confidently Flirtatious;’ Devotes Poppy New Song ‘Hey Boy’ to Her Beau!

April 7, 2016

Morgan-higgins-skyelyfeMorgan Higgins became an overnight celebrity in her small SoCal beach town of San Clemente during her stint on ABC’s former music competition show Rising Star.

The now-18-year-old brunette beauty made it to week six in the one-season, Josh Groban-hosted series (which featured Brad Paisley, Ludacris and Kesha as experts) – but it was Jesse Kinch who took home the title.

Although Higgins – known for her bold song covers – fell short of a win, she hasn’t given up on her passion for music. She updates her YouTube page regularly, and she is just about to release her new song “Hey Boy,” an empowering pop track she associates with her boyfriend and taking control of making their relationship happen.

Keep scrolling to read about what Higgins learned from her star experts, which song she’s covered with regret and why she’s “confidently flirtatious.”

skyelyfe: Are you still based in San Clemente? What have your friends and people you know from home thought of your success?

Morgan Higgins: I am still based in San Clemente, but I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles. The people around me are very excited about my success, but no one knows how hard the music industry and entertainment industry truly is. It takes a lot of work and time to “make it.” Patience is a virtue!

SL: You’re known for some amazing covers. Which cover did you find most challenging to sing and which have you received the most praise for?

MH: The hardest cover for me to sing was “The One That Got Away,” by Katy Perry. I remember wanting to enter it for some competition and then realizing that my voice was not mature enough at all to sing it. I still won’t listen to it to this day, but it still has a decent amount of views, which is nice. My favorite cover and the one people like the most is “Someone Like You,” by Adele. I’ve always loved this song and I still sing it frequently. Adele is one of my favorite artists!

SL: Which Rising Star expert did you connect with best? What was the best piece of advice they gave you?

MH: I don’t think I had a favorite expert on Rising Star. They all gave me different pieces of advice and focused on different parts of my voice/performance. I think the biggest piece of advice they gave me was to be true to yourself no matter how much people around you try to influence you or put you down. That’s been a big thing for me in my music career as well as in my life in general.

SL: If you could collaborate with any three artists, who would they be?

MH: Oh, boy, the three artists I wish I could collaborate with are Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles or Adele – or Whitney Houston if she was alive. But my favorites change by the day.

SL: Tell me about how “Hey Boy” came to be. Is it about a real person or is it just a fun song?

MH: “Hey Boy” is inspired by a real person – my boyfriend! The idea came about when I was trying to get him to date or notice me. I figured lots of other girls could relate to liking a boy who may like them back, but having them be too shy to make a move. In a way, it’s a song about empowerment. There is this traditional idea that guys have to be the ones to show interest first and make the first move. However, in today’s progressive world, women are becoming much more powerful in every way and this song is partly influenced by the mentality that girls can do anything guys can do, including being confidently flirtatious and forward!

Music Featured

Three Rising Indie-Pop Artists You Need to Listen to Right Now!

March 29, 2016

allie-x-chelsea-lankes-party-nails-skyelyfeWhen it comes to pop music, I feel like we are in dire need of some fresh talent.

There’s only so much I can take on the radio currently (missing you immensely 2010, 2011 [ie. Loud, AnimalPink Friday, Teenage DreamFemme Fatale]).

That said, I have not lost complete hope in the state of pop. Besides, the realms of Top 40 rotation aren’t where I should be looking in the first place (obviously).

So, I bring you a list (and playlist at the very bottom) of three incredible up-and-coming independently signed artists with beautiful voices, powerful lyrics and catchy melodies that don’t make me want to drill my head into a wall.

Ok then! Keep scrolling to learn about Chelsea Lankes, Allie X and Party Nails:

  • Chelsea Lankes – Don’t be fooled by this singer’s Fort Worth, Texas, upbringing. She is anything but country! The edgy sometimes-brunette has already racked up an impressive selection of tracks about love and heartbreak in her short career, with vibrant melodies to accompany her strong lyrics. For those who still have energy after Coachella week one, check out Lankes live at The Satellite in Silverlake on Monday, April 18!
  • Allie X – The 30-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter (aka Alexandra Hughes) is on the brink of making it big. Not only does she have a handful of solid synth-pop releases, but she has also notably penned multiple tracks for previous tour mate Troye Sivan, while receiving a nod of acknowledgement from Katy Perry in regards to her biggest single “Catch,” which the “Roar” singer Tweeted is a “spring jam.”
  • Party Nails – The name says it all! Fresh on the music scene with two energetic singles, New York native Elana Belle Carroll wastes no time posting manicures and other such happenings around town on her social media pages. By the electro-pop sound of the 20-something’s songs and her vibe in Cyberspace, there’s no doubt we should all want to party with Party Nails — or at least hear her songs at parties. Get one step closer to that goal by checking her out at The Satellite on Friday, April 8.

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Music Featured

Former Glee Actor-Musician Finneas O’Connell Talks About the Show’s Pop-Culture Legacy, His Adoration for Kesha and Why He Goes to ‘Desperate Measures’ for His Girlfriend

November 11, 2015

Finneas_O'Connell_skyelyfe_3At only 18 years old, actor and musician Finneas O’Connell has already lived out many lifelong dreams.

The Silverlake, Calif.-born teen had the honor of being featured on four episodes of Glee’s final season (he played Alistair), he’s been on Modern Family and in the film Bad Teacher, and his pop-rock music group The Slightlys has won several battle-of-the-bands competitions and performed at the Warped Tour and the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series. Not too shabby, right? (and side note: If you want to see him live, he and his fellow band mates Darius Dudley IIDavid Marinelli and Robby Fitzpatrick will be at The Satellite in L.A. on Dec. 3). 

To top things off, O’Connell has been in a committed relationship for four years, and admittedly goes to “desperate measures” for his ladylove, who currently lives on the other side of the country.

Thriving at such a young age, it only made sense that skyelyfe chatted with this young man to hear about everything from Glee’s audition and filming process, to growing up as an aspiring actor in L.A., to more or less worshipping Kesha as an artist.

Keep reading to learn more about this hard-working superstar on-the-rise.

skyelyfe: Tell me about your experience filming Glee.

Finneas O’Connell: It was pretty crazy. I’m 18 now, and I was 11 when Glee started. I remember at a pretty young age that Glee was such a huge show. Everyone was either watching Glee or making pop-culture references to it. It was a topical thing … It was great and super fun. It was kind of a crazy time to start. The show was wrapping up, and it was a great thing to be there and witness all of that. I was only on four episodes and it became my whole life for like two-and-a-half months. It’s such an incredibly intense show to be on. You’re doing like three-hour dance rehearsals in the morning, then you show up for a whole day, then you do a recording session at night. There were huge days and the crew was so professional and good at what they do. As a film nerd, any time I wasn’t on camera, I was standing over in video village, just watching the crew do their jobs because they were so good at it. Being on Glee was the biggest thing I’ve ever gotten to do.

SL: What was the audition process like?

FO: I auditioned for Glee for the first time when I was 16. That was in 2013. I put myself on tape and sang a song. A couple months later, I auditioned again at the casting office. That was just a singing audition. I think I sang a Bruno Mars song. And then a month later, I went back and did an on-camera audition. I didn’t get that either, and then a couple months later I went back in for another little part on the show, and that audition was really fun, but I didn’t get that part either. And the fifth time they called me to audition, I kind of wrote it off. I was just sort of like, “Why are they even calling me?” I remember singing like a Green Day song, and because of the nature of that final season, it went very quickly. I think they called me to tell me I’d gotten the part two days after I’d auditioned. And then the next day I had a wardrobe session, and the next day I started filming.

SL: Who did you especially bond with from the cast?

Finneas_O'Connell_skyelyfe1FO: I was coming on kind of as a loner, and so it was really great to have the [sixth season cast], who I think still think felt kind of new, compared to everyone who had been on the show for years. They still felt kind of like the new kids on the block. So they were sort of my gateway into the cast. Everyone on the show was so welcoming, but I think they had the same vibe that I did, and I think that’s really important.

Noah Guthrie is a really incredible songwriter. We talked about music. We talked about our favorite producers and our favorite mixing engineers and our approach to records. That was really cool. And I think Samuel Larsen is so cool. He’s so talented and he’s such a good drummer. I only got to spend like a day-and-a-half with him, but I talked to him the whole time that day and thought he was so cool. I want to play his brother in a film.

SL: You’ve been quoted saying if you could collaborate with anyone, it would be Kesha. Why is that?

FO: I started listening to Kesha when I was 13, and as a songwriter, I’ve always been really interested in people who say stuff that’s never been said before. It’s hard to do that, but whenever anyone manages to say something differently than I’ve ever heard said before, that always makes me super happy. And Kesha can say anything and make it work in a song. I’ve always been sort of interested in female-fronted pop songs. I love Kesha, Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry. That’s kind of been my M.O. since I was little. I’ve always loved Aly and AJ. Kesha’s super melodic, and her hooks are [amazing]. I love her aesthetic and her glitter-pop. I think it’s so cool.

The song “Past Lives” is all Kesha. No one co-wrote that song with her. It was just her writing, and I think that’s probably my favorite Kesha song ever. I think it’s just a cool song. I haven’t met her, but I’ve met a bunch of people who have met her, and they all confirm the stories that she’s just as interesting and eccentric and fun and nice as she is in interviews, so I hope one day I get to meet her.

The_Slightlys_skyelyfeSL: Tell me about The Slightlys’ new music

FO: We went into the studio in April to record a couple of songs. We made four songs, and they’re all kind of about a relationship set in the city of Los Angeles, and being a young adult and trying to figure out who you are as a person and who other people are. It’s a lot of self-discovery. The song we just put out, “Desperate Measures,” kind of [explores] that feeling where you fall in love with someone and it’s not a super healthy feeling because you’re kind of insane for someone. When you’re in love with someone, what could be better than spending time waiting in line and getting yelled at, at the DMV with them? You want to spend time with that person. It’s about flying across the country to visit that person.

SL: Are you in a relationship?

FO: Yeah, I’m dating a girl who goes to school in New York City, and we’ve been going out for almost four years now.

SL: So, is this song inspired by her?

FO: Oh, totally. Yeah. I remember our drummer calling me one time and he was watching his girlfriend walk down a parade this one time. And he was like, “I understand what ‘Desperate Measures’ is about!” It’s self-examination and being aware that what you’re doing is maybe ridiculous and maybe not the most practical use of time, but it’s all you really want to be doing. You wouldn’t want to be at home doing something else.

SL: Tell me a little about how your experience has been growing up in L.A.

FO: Growing up in L.A. is an interesting phenomenon. I don’t think a lot of people that end up here started here, and I think vice versa. I think a lot of people who start here travel across the country. Growing up in L.A. was helpful in a lot of ways because as an actor, especially, a lot of what being an actor is, is driving to the Westside and trying to find parking for 15 minutes, and going in and waiting for 45 minutes to do a two-page audition, and then coming out with a parking ticket, and then you sit in traffic for an hour to get home. That’s not what the billboards say acting is going to be. I don’t think that’s your idea of, “Oh yeah, I want to be an actor. I want to do that.” And rightfully so. It’s pretty boring.

My parents were both actors, and because I grew up in L.A., when I was little, I’d just go to auditions with my parents. It always seemed like fun to me. I was sort of a dummy about it. I thought even the crappy parts of being an actor seemed like fun. Growing up in L.A., I was always like, “Mom, I want to be an actor,” and she was like, “Do you really want to be an actor?” Being an actor doesn’t mean getting to be on Glee. Being an actor means working really hard and going to hundreds of auditions and not booking anything. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll get on four episodes of Glee. I’m super lucky and so grateful.

There’s a lot of opportunity to feel really lonely in L.A. because it’s a car-based city. A lot of the time, I’m just driving around kind of isolated. But it’s also a very communal city in a lot of ways. I’ve been a vegan for a few years, and wow, you can get some really good food out here. There’s a vegan donut place near me [near Eagle Rock] called Donut Friend and there are so many live music venues. As a music nerd, there’s nothing better than being able to go see any band you’ve ever heard of.

Check out “Desperate Measures” below!:

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Music Uncategorized Featured

Get Ready, Music World – Hayley Kiyoko Is Coming for You, and She’s Not Doing It Quietly!

November 14, 2014


HayleyKiyoko
If a person runs a quick IMDB search on Hayley Kiyoko, her name can easily be seen as one of the next on-screen stars-on-the-rise. Having just landed a series-regular role on CBS‘ CSI: Cyber and starring as lead character Aja Leith in 2015’s hotly anticipated Jem and the Holograms movie, the 23-year-old Los Angeles native is quickly making a name for herself on camera.

But acting for Kiyoko was “never part of my plan,” she tells skyelyfe. And apparently it still isn’t – at least not necessarily longterm.

“The acting is more of how I pay rent,” she says. “I started doing it honestly to make money to build a music studio growing up like in middle school. And things just started to progress and it’s become a platform to get my name out there. It’s crazy, I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

So, what is the ultimate plan for the part-Japanese beauty?

“Music is my number one passion,” says Kiyoko, whose second EP, This Side of Paradise, releases in February. “I love songwriting and performing on the stage. That’s what I’m really putting all of my energy into. When I finish [CSI], I’m going to be going on tour. A lot of people think that acting is my main thing, but it’s not. I think my fans know that, but people just looking me up might be like, ‘Oh, who’s this? She’s trying to do music?’ But that’s not me, I’ve always been into music. I really want to create a brand within my music with my name and I’m starting it from the ground-up.”

That said, she is by no means knocking the incredible opportunities that have come her way outside of being in the studio.

“It’s really cool,” she says of her gig playing TV’s Raven Ramirez. “I’ve never had like a steady job. I never planned on being a series regular on a show. I’m just like going with the flow. It’s been fun. I’m going to be a tech hacker and play a really smart person. My brother was like, ‘Why do you always play smart people?’ I was like, ‘Thanks a lot. Thanks, I really appreciate it.’ The cast is all really nice and the crew is so nice. It’s cool. I grew up doing plays and musical theater, so it kind of feels like being in a production like that, that never ends.”

Acting aside, the starlet reiterates, “This past year has just been focused on making good music just for myself and that I really get excited about.”

Citing Sia Furler and Metric‘s Emily Haines as two of her longtime musical influences, Kiyoko also gets into some Frank Ocean and Chris Brown.

“That’s what’s exciting about music, though,” she says. “It’s always changing and it’s always exciting and you’re never doing the same thing.”

And speaking of changing music, Kiyoko, who just released the video (see below) for her new single “This Side of Paradise,” likes this new “left-of-center pop” that is currently trending.

“I think there’s a lot of great music coming out right now,” she says. “Like with The Neighbourhood and Tove Lo and Lorde. It’s pop, but it’s not like the normal Katy Perry-type stuff. So I think that’s opening a new avenue for artists like me and other people. They’re still catchy, but not, you know, the simple pop equation. With [my upcoming EP], it’s definitely pop in the sense of melodically it sticks in your head, but it’s a lot of hip-hop and 808s and drumbeats.”

But, Kiyoko clarifies, “I don’t think there’s anything out there right now that sounds exactly like me. I take bits and pieces from other artists and mash it into my own sound. I’m hoping my sound sounds fresh to people.”

She adds: “I don’t have the Christina Aguilera voice, but I have a certain charm that I think is unique and I write and produce all my music, which really sets me apart [from some other pop artists]. I’m really involved with everything. I’m creating all the artwork and T-shirts. I produce and co-direct all my music videos. My fans know me, I always stay true to myself.”

Unfortunately, admirers hoping for an L.A. run-in with Kiyoko may be disappointed to know the chances are slim.

“I just always stick to myself,” she explains. “I’m like a homebody. I don’t go out in the Hollywood scene. I only go out if I have to. I just do stuff that I love.”

And doing just that has taken Kiyoko on the dream journey to where she is now.

“It’s kind of crazy because in this industry, you’re always going through ups and downs and highs and lows,” she says. “But my life has just been great – steadily great. I’m like, what’s going to happen? Something bad is going to happen. You can’t just be happy, [I thought], but apparently you can!”

5 FUN FACTS

Last concert you went to:

I saw MØ at the Echoplex. It was crazy. She was such an amazing performer. It’s very rare to go to a concert and actually have the artist be a good performer. She really impressed me. I’m totally rooting for her. She was crowd-surfing. She’s like the ultimate rockstar.

Last time you were embarrassed:

I get embarrassed all the time. I think probably the worst thing is when you’re walking by yourself and you trip by yourself. And you nonchalantly kind of walk out of it like you meant to chase something. I do that all the time.

Last makeup item you purchased:

I don’t really wear makeup, so I don’t really buy any. I would say maybe ChapStick.

Last time you ate junk food:

Well, right now, I’m drinking a peppermint mocha Frappuccino. But I would say the last junk food was probably an orange Kit-Kat.

Last big splurge:

I just bought an iPad. I’ve been wanting to buy one for three or four years and I finally decided that I need one. I’m really excited about my purchase. I’m finally joining the world.

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Music

Broods, Betty Who & More: New Music Monday, Week of 10.13.14

October 13, 2014

BroodsEvergreenA soothing song can make for a soothing week! Broods doesn’t fail to provide another selection of beautifully written music on their 11-track album Evergreen. I am personally most in favor of “Superstar.” For additional mellow material, I also included Dreamboys‘ “Positive Arguments” in this week’s New Music Monday.

Betty Who‘s long awaited full-length album finally came out as well! The Australian singer, best known for her hit “Somebody Loves You” (which is a favorite of mine), took some previously released tracks and combined them with some new ones, (including “Dreaming of You”) to make up Take Me When You Go. Any lover of pop music has got to be a Betty Who lover. All of her songs sound like they could have been written for Katy Perry.

For the EDM lover, Galantis‘ “Runaway (U & I)” is a fun track not to be missed. And speaking of EDM, I am pleased with David Guetta‘s “Dangerous,” featuring Sam Martin. It’s a step outside of his typical bass-heavy club sound.

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