Body Image Talks: Featuring Sam Roche

BodyTalksThumbnailBODY IMAGE TALKS is a new series that opens the discussion about the struggles of body image.

Meet Sam Roche. An grandeur soul, an open-book and an insane vocalist. Originally from New York, Sam drove across the country to kickstart her music career in Las Vegas with former band, Bitterheart. After the band split up, Sam traveled back to New York, where her story begins. Watch our interview about how Sam suffered 3rd degree burns in the most sensitive parts of her body and her journey to embrace and love her new body.

Through this collaborative project, Sam and I want to spread the message of self-love and also give love and support back to everyone out there struggling with some sort of body image issue(s). I know a lot of us are in the same boat about hating on the way our body looks–constantly comparing it to others and even comparing ourselves to our past “young” bodies.

But honestly, it’s time to say “fuck all that.” This is the year to love your body for what it is. Self-love and self-care is everything. I am learning that. Sam is learning it more and more every day. So, be gentler on yourself. Remember that you are a work-in-progress. And that’s all that matters!


💖 SAM’S PERSPECTIVE 💖

“waking up with permanent damage to most of your body is a very dissociating experience. it is hard for your brain to wrap itself around the fact that this is really happening to you, or that you’re surviving. it continues to be confusing as i watch my skin heal itself- i have been more wounded than i ever imagined AND healed more than i thought possible in the scope of a year.

sharing a photo, allowing people to react to it… helps me process everything i’m going through. it gives me others to relate to instead of being stuck in my head. it makes me feel like my scars are out in the open, instead of a secret i am carrying alone, hidden by clothes.
instead of feeling isolated by my trauma, i have found it has given me opportunities to share conversation about healing, love and acceptance.

i’ve been asked why i am posting images of my naked body online. the worst of the burns were on my vagina. i can’t show the extent of the damage without revealing more of my body than i “might usually” on the internet. i’m giving up some privacy to help myself heal by sharing my story. my hope is that i can also help others feel less alone by being open about my experience

pictures from the hospital are hard for me to look at. there’s no light in my eyes. i couldn’t move. i couldn’t take care of myself. the photos i am sharing now stand in such stark contrast to the person i see looking back on those moments. it’s hard to remember being so weak and defeated. i prefer to share images that show my healing and acceptance.

my body has become a physical symbol of strength i didn’t know i had in me.”


✨10 WAYS TO LOVE THY BODY✨

[💗] Take care of it (inside + out)
[💗] Exercise (not just to lose weight but for mental health + endorphins)
[💗] Accept your uniqueness in personality + image
[💗] Stop comparing: That means stop comparing yourself to your past self and to others.
[💗] Stop weighing yourself:  It isn’t about weight but about health.
[💗] Take the necessary steps to change it!
[💗] Set small goals and stick to them.
[💗] Make those goals realistic.
[💗] Note: Extreme dieting and exercise usually end up being a short term failure.
[💗] Listen to Sam’s “FeelGood” Playlist:


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Artist Spotlight: David.cuf

 

 


Meet Las Vegas electronic music producer, David.cuf. The freshly 21-year old found his calling to music as a means of escape from the mundaneness of life. After moving to Las Vegas, he found roots at 6th&Music–an artist development camp in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas–where he produced his latest EP, Thea. You can catch him playing around the valley with Las Vegas’ one-and-only beat collective, The Rabbit Hole.

Check out the latest episode to learn about the inner workings of this talented and truly humble artist.


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Artist Spotlight: Sonia Barcelona

Sonia Barcelona (aka Seelinger) represents Las Vegas as a musical muse who celebrates the beauty of brown skin, true friendship, and love in her lyrics. Her voice is smooth as honey and as cool as a Sade classic.

I had goosebumps listening to her performance during her April 1st video release party for her newest single “Higher.” Joining Barcelona, we’re local artists David.cuf, Elmer Albapo, and Rasar of The Lique. The collective came together to put on an amazing performance at Zet Gold’s studio (The Bakery).

During our interview, Sonia revealed that she was a late bloomer when it came to music but she always had a natural talent for it. “I played the flute and didn’t practice…but somehow I was first chair [in high school],” Sonia said with a smile and a shrugged.

Growing up, Sonia helped her mom with her shop at the Broadacre’s Swapmeet, which was one of the reasons she never committed to music in her youth. She was wearing mala beads that she wore as a lucky charm to remind her of how far she’s come in life. “I’m grateful to be playing music for what I do now,” Sonia stated. She continued, pointing to the mala beads, “I remind myself that I could be in 100-degree weather for six hours so things could be a lot worse.”

Sonia just finished touring the West Coast, stopping through San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland. Next up, Sonia makes her way to San Diego to record some new gems.


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Group Hug @ PublicUs

 

Josh Walker is the founder of a new exciting event held at PublicUs, called Group Hug. Held every second Saturday of the month,  Walker’s goal is to help fuel the art and music culture in Las Vegas. After living in Los Angeles for six years, Walker wanted to emulate the art shows and DJ performances he experienced out there. “One of my passions is to bring people together, but my biggest passion is music,” Walker said.

PublicUs helped aid in his vision after it became a staple for Walker when he moved back to Las Vegas two years ago. “I would come in every day when I lived in the area and the owners, Kimo and Lane, we’re unbelievably kind.” The idea sprung into fruition when Walker discovered a small event space adjacent to the main coffee shop. “I thought that I could raise awareness for PublicUs, because it’s an amazing local shop that everyone should know about,” Walker said.

The featured artists, Zet Gold, Angela Johnson, and Ian Racoma, brought on an electric array of art that the crowd continually circled around to observe. With Walker and Tony Comfort spinning groovy tunes throughout the evening, Group Hug was a successful night of art, music, and good vibes.


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Beach Goth Vlog

Here, I documented our little trip in California. Initially, we came for the Beach Goth music festival but after a storm came through and flooded the venue, my friends and I made fun elsewhere. Check out our adventure through the musical fun and the spontaneous activities!

Artist Spotlight with Zet Gold

Zet Gold’s art is playful, childlike, and occasionally backed by clever puns. She calls the process of creating art “birdwatching” which expresses stories made from daily observations.

Born in Saudi Arabia, Gold grew up praying in underground churches with styrofoam windows. Her father moved from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia for work, where he was also a missionary pastor. Concealing her Christian faith in a Muslim country gave Gold an interesting perspective to view the world from. After burying their Bibles in the ground, Gold and her family left Saudi Arabia for San Diego, then eventually to Las Vegas.

Gold recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a BFA in graphic design and has exhibited countless art shows.  The Bakery, is where you can find her creating most of her work—she shares the studio with her brother, Miah (fashion designer), and Jasmin (fashion photographer). She credits street graffiti as her doorway into the art world. “It kinda started off just hitting up trains with my brother, then a year after I started to take art more serious,” Gold said.

Besides “birdwatching” Gold has collaborated with various local artists, musicians and businesses—Flora Pop, Echo Stains and Chase R. McCurdy to name a few. Her next show will be a The Bakery on November 12th with musician, Sonia.

How Bad Moon Booking is changing the Las Vegas music scene

 

Tsvetelina Stefanova (Tsvet, for short) has a heap of titles under her belt and is impressive, to say the least. First, she’s a badass musician and has played with a slew of bands. Same Sex Mary is her main project which she started six years ago with her boyfriend, James Howard Adams. Furthermore, she is the entertainment director at The Dillinger, the sponsorship manager for the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City,  the director for the Life is Shit Music Festival and the founder of Bad Moon Booking.

Most major cities have thriving music scenes ingrained in their culture, but Las Vegas has been out-of-the-loop since the days of the Rat Pack and Sinatra. Five or six years ago, you couldn’t find many local or independent bands playing in Las Vegas—let alone playing for free. Maybe you could catch a few bands at The Huntridge Theatre or The Sanctuary, but those days are long gone.

As of recent, Las Vegas has cultivated solid musical talent and venues, like The Griffin and The Bunkhouse. For the past year and a half, Bad Moon Booking has organized free shows with a ton of amazing local and touring bands. From years of touring, Tsvet made countless connections throughout the South Western states and found herself frequently setting up bands with gigs in Las Vegas. Booking acts became a passion for her which led to the birth of Bad Moon Booking. This October, Bad Moon Booking is showcasing an exciting mini-series at the Plaza Casino & Hotel’s outdoor venue—equipped  with a beer garden. The shows are during the first, four Saturdays of October. So be sure to mark your calendars.

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Life is Shit Music Festival is another project Tsvet became a part of during the fest’s second year. Founder Jack Johnson created Life is Shit as a direct counter-music festival to contrast with the mainstream, Life is Beautiful Music Festival. According to Johnson, Life is Beautiful “displac[ed] another local-run festival and rubb[ed] a lot of people the wrong way.” To repair that loss, the one-day fest was created for the Las Vegas locals to enjoy for free during Life is Beautiful. “I just wanted Life is Shit to be something inclusive and organically created by locals, for locals…Life is Shit has become a product of not just a few people and a cool bar with a ridiculous festival name, but a community,” Johnson said. The fest consists of local bands with a few astounding established touring acts on the bill.

During our interview, Tsvet talks about what to expect at the festival hosted at The Dive Bar on September 23rd.

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Love at First Listen: Hidden Levels

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About Hidden Levels
The influx of amazing local bands is on the rise in Las Vegas. But the band that just recently stole my eardrums is Hidden Levels. In the Fall of 2014,  Jason Aragon (bass), Adam Grill (lead vocals and guitar), and Brian Scanlan (drums) started producing music together.  The trio decided on their band name, after going through a dozen others, when they came to realize that they shared a connection with playing old school videogames, like the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. “Hidden levels in a videogame hearken back to a nostalgic time. Our childhood and simplicity. Before the advent of social media and the internet. When you had to call a friend on your home phone and if they weren’t there you just rode your bike to their house,”Grill said.  These lads have been in the local music scene for some time, being part of various bands, including Twin Brother and Same Sex Mary.

About their sound
What would you describe their sound as? At first listen, I thought of it as a dreamy shoegaze sound, with an alternative rock presence. But after listening to their live demos over and over it became harder for me to pinpoint, which was exactly the point according to lead vocalist Adam Grill. “I try and write music that is unique. That is why I make music. So I mostly just write what I want to hear with as little influence as possible,” Grill said.

Their moody jams put you in a trance, with long distorted guitar riffs continually fading out over steady syncopated beats and melodic baselines.

Grill did say, if placed in a genre, they would fit most into the post-rock-pop genre- claiming Arcade fire, early Modest Mouse, Fugazi, Blur, and Tortoise as definite influences.

What’s up next?
The band last performed at the Griffin with Tiger Breaks and at the Bunkhouse Saloon for the We Are Love benefit, which raised money for the victims in Orlando. While the band doesn’t have any upcoming performances lined up, they are currently working on their debut album.

Listen to their live recordings on Bandcamp!

Song on rotation: Everyone Knows How

Performance @ The Griffin
Big thanks to Bad Moon Booking for introducing me to Hidden Levels. I caught one of their latest performances at the Griffin and snagged some footage of their performance. *SWOOON*

Femme Friday in DTLV

 

A growing community of female artists
Femme Friday is a radical event showcasing art, fashion, and music by women. Raw Femme originated as a blog by founder Amanda “Rawky” Lozano, to created a platform for emerging female artists to share their talent. “Raw Femme is not just a blog, but also a society that unites ambitious and innovative women from around the world. A collaborative of music, fashion, film, art and design. Women finally have a place where their artistic voices can be heard,” said Lozano. Raw Femme expanded its reaches this past First Friday by bringing together female artists, fashionistas, and musicians from Las Vegas and Los Angeles to showcase their work at their inaugural event.

The event
Femme Friday took place at a furniture store turned art space known as “the corner building”–now Metroplex Arts-located on Main Street and California Avenue. Walking in, you could hear the bass vibrating from the groovy tunes played by DJ Skye in the backroom. Fashion and jewelry vendors displayed swanky jewelry, jean jackets with custom embroidery, and sweet vintage clothing. Drinks flowed from the bar conveniently placed in the center of the room. In the warehouse-like backroom, live music was showcased and the exhibiting artists displayed photographs, paintings and digital prints. In the mist of an incoming rainstorm, many supports still came swelling through to show their love to the ladies. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the Dreaming Zebra Foundation-an organization that provides art and music supplies to under privileged children throughout the world.

What to expect next from Raw Femme
While Lozano plans to throw the Femme Friday event twice a year, she also plans to set up smaller events in between. “I’m planning to showcase fashion shows, individual art exhibits, and more” said Lozano.

For more about Raw Femme check out the website:
http://www.rawfemme.com/