Liz? Posting on a Wednesday? Yep! This post is a special one because yesterday, my favorite boys made their comeback! For any newcomers to the blog, I am a major kpop fan and my favorite group of all time is Victon, a 7-member group under IST Entertainment (although one of the members is currently enlisted in the military). Their last comeback, which I wrote about on the blog,was a year ago, so when this comeback was announced back in December 2021, Fans for the groups were excited and happy to finally see the boys together again getting ready for a new release! In this release, there are three songs on the album (that’s typically what single albums consist of) with the title track being called “Chronograph”. Like in most reviews, I will talk about each track on the album one-by-one and tell you my honest opinion on them! Yes, even though these are my boys and I love them to death, I will be honest in my thoughts and give my honest opinion about the songs.
So, without further ado, let’s start!
This title track is so funky, y’all. Like when the M/V for this song came out, it was nothing like I would expect it to be. IN all honesty, it took me a couple of listens to get into it because it was just… different. Like the beat is great and it’s so bright and colorful (which is something we haven’t seen Victon do since… well, forever) but the song can sometimes feel a little lackluster and under the radar. What I mean by that is that in the first couple of listens, I found myself not really listening to the song; like it was just playing, and then it was over. But! The song did get stuck in my head all day yesterday, and so I had to listen to it like 900 more times before I felt the groove and the funk of the song. I think this title track is definitely experimental for the group, and I’m excited that even in their styling for this comeback, it’s something we really haven’t seen Victon do since their debut. But, of course I want to be brutally honestwith this review, I do have to say this isn’t my favorite title track of theirs, nor is it my favorite on this album. She’s a bop, but I find myself being more into the b-side of this album.
2.) “Want Me”
“Want Me” is so painfully beautiful and hypnotizing; that’s not even an exaggeration. When first listening to the song, the beat sounds very “tropical” in a sense (which would make sense since they spoiled in their comeback showcase that this song was the sound that their next comeback would resemble; am I smelling a sad Summer comeback?) but the lyrics pretty much talk about how someone misses a person not in their life anymore and that they are sorry for how things ended up, but they still want that person back. Subin’s “I can fix it” and “I can be better” lines truly hit in the feels that I didn’t know I even had anymore. Also, the chorus is highly addicting, and overall this song just feels very much like a Victon song. I really hope during their promotions, they perform this b-side on a music show or a variety show or even prepare it for their Fanmeeting in February because I would love to hear some live vocals for this song. Definitely my favorite out of the two here, but like who’s surprised: Victon has some of the best b-sides ever.
3.) “Chronograph” (English Version)
Victon’s first-ever English song, you guys! Of course, it’s just the title track in English translation, but here’s the thing about kpop songs translated in English: they always tend to feel a little dirtier than the Korean translation. The English version of this song is what made me like the title track in the first place, to be quite honest. In the English translation, the song is about liking the time spent on the person you’re crushing on/in love with and that no matter what, you can’t get them out of your mind. It’s cute, but when you have Seungsik sing “I won’t hold it back, let’s slow it down” and “Cause I wanna come explore you”, my knees went weak on my way to work listening to it. It’s so good! Of course, I won’t say anything about their English pronunciation because a.) English is not even a second language they know well and b.) this is their first time singing an all-English song like I would love to see non-Korean speaking singers try to sing a whole song in Korean; kpop idols are not human, y’all. Anyway, in saying that, I do hope that their pronunciation improves throughout their career (because I think the feedback on this English version would be positive and Victon is aiming to be more internationally known anyway) because it’s hard to sometimes decipher what they were singing, but other than that, it slaps and they did so well considering it was their first English song!
But yeah! I’m so excited that our boys are back in action and performing together again after a whole year! I definitely missed the feeling of comeback and being a part of the promotion period with them and getting all this new content from our boys! Let’s hope that this promotion period, all of the boys are in good health and stay in good health and make lots of great memories.
Finally, the day has come! Victon finally made their comeback with their first full length album, VOICE: The Future is Now. I’ve been waiting for this album to drop since they first announced it back in November! They were supposed to make their comeback in the beginning of December but due to the potential exposure of COVID-19 through one of their staff members, they postponed their comeback. Since then, Alices have been patiently waiting for this monumental comeback from out favorite boys and here we are, living. Of course, like every other Victon comeback, we will sit down, listen, and discuss their new music and talk a little about it! Just a mini disclaimer: any of the translations of the lyrics may not be 100% accurate since not many translations of these songs are out yet in the time that I’m writing this!
The opening melody of this song fits so well to the majestic and magical realm that this album has. When I first heard this song on the album, I was blown away by the power that these boys project in their vocals; it reminds me a lot on how ATEEZ, another Kpop boy group, performs their tracks on their albums. “Into The Mirror” is just the beginning of Victon’s journey of making their dreams a reality, and the powerhouse vocals that Seungsik and Sejun have in this track blew me away. Such a strong opening to an amazing album!
Y’ALL. THIS TITLE TRACK. It’s definitely a sound that Victon have been preparing us in their b-sides for the last year because WOW, they executed this hip-hop/rap/pop tough ass fucking song so well! SO lyrically, the song radiates confidence, pretty much saying that anything that I say well be put into reality, again going with the theme of this album perfectly.
First of all, Hanse went the fuck off with his raps! It was rough, it was hard, and it’s something that fits Hanse’s style so well, like his parts are some of the toughest in the song. ALSO, the melody in the back… y’all. When Victon first started to tease this album and this melody was playing in their teasers, I was dying, just hoping the beat was their title track beat. It’s just so fucking tough, the stank face is permanently on my face when I listen to this song. Typically, certain members just slaughter their title tracks but honestly, they all carried this song so well and I was instantly hooked. Song of the year, yall.
“Circle” definitely carries some classic Victon energy; it’s light, it’s “feathery”, and majestic, something Victon is really good at creating as a group. This track follows that same theme of “just do what you want to do”, don’t wait for time to grant you the things you need, go and run after them. It’s a beautiful song, and the choreography really gives me “Time of Sorrow” vibes, but just so much more mature and pretty! It’s definitely one of my favorite b-sides on the album and such an easy listen.
“Chess” is so sexy! I love the instrumental on this song; it’s definitely something really unique for Victon to do, but it fits them so well at the same time? Like, it’s a real grown version of what Victon are becoming and I’m so fucking here for it. Seungsik’s chorus literally is so mesmerizing with the bass in the back of his sexy ass riffs and oof, okay Liz, calm down. Anyway, “Chess” is about being hooked and intrigued by someone; the game they play is something you’ve never encountered before and it’s just really interesting to witness. I knew Chess was going to be one of my favorites because of the breakdown of the chorus was just so sexy and so up my fucking alley, and I was not wrong.
Another classic sounding Victon song, which in all honesty, I’m so happy that even with their growing sound, they still have some elements of their classic sound on this album. “Up to You” was a song that I needed to get warmed up to, but it’s such a cute and sexy song, I couldn’t resist just smiling and possibly blushing through it. The lyrics are pretty much about always being the one to make the decision but this time around, it’s up to the person they are feeling. It’s such a catchy song and Sejun’s voice in the chorus is just so poppy and bubbly and ahhh, it’s so good!
Okay, so back in August around the time Seungwoo was preparing for his solo debut, he had played a demo of a song he was working on that everyone instantly fell in love with and questioned if that song was going to be on the upcoming solo album. Homie pretty much said that the song doesn’t fit into the style of his solo album, and that he wrote it for the intention of possibly giving it to Victon. And giving it to Victon he did. I was so excited to finally hear this song on an album after so long! This is another song that has that very classic Victon feel. the lyrics are so pretty; they pretty much talk about being with someone that makes you smile, which is just… so uwu. It’s such a simple and easy listen; it’s definitely a refreshing song on the album because it’s one of the softer tracks on this really tough album!
I knew when I first heard this song when the album came out, I was going to cry. I totally did, but cam you blame me? Seungsik is my ult, my kpop boy, my favorite of favorites, and when I found out he was coming out with a solo track on this album, I was so exicted. I was even more excited when I saw that Seungsik’s solo was written by every member of Victon besides him. It was like they all had that song in mind for Seungsik and like it’s so fucking heart-melting because like they wrote such a beautiful song for their leader to sing! Of course, this song will most likely be that song I go to when times get hard for me because the lyrics of the song is just so beautifully written and just a constant reminder that no matter what happens and no matter the direction life takes you, just keep going, carry on. It’s such a smoothing song; no crazy instruments in the back, no super-duper high notes, just a beautiful man and his beautiful vocals.
Before I say anything else about this track, I have to say that I forgot how lusty and sexy the intro to this song was! So, this song was actually performed a year ago at their first concert as a his solo stage, and I’m so glad that they got to officially release it on an album! It’s such a Chan-fitting song, his vocals are so sultry and the fact that he wrote, composed, and arranged this song on his own with the help of one other person, like we stan multi-talented idols! The lyrics are sexy and I know my best friend, Ro, was probably crying ult tears while listening to their man. Haha ^__^
Sejun’s vocals always go unappreciated and this solo track says otherwise. Sejun’s voice is unbelievably light, feathery, and soft on this song! I feel like I’m just sitting on a cloud whenever I listen to this song, but that could also just be because the song is called “Utopia”. The lyrics are just about being free with the person you love and care about and (again) it’s such a refreshing song on such a hard and tough album. It’s still one of the songs I still have to listen to and allow it to grow on me, but nevertheless, it;s a beautiful fucking song.
Hanse’s solo track is powerful, to say the least. I always liked how Hanse would rap; he has a crazy flow and a unique voice behind that flow, but he also has a very sing-song type of style on the softer songs that I always enjoyed, and this track showcases that. Another easy listen to and something I find myself thinking a lot about while listening to this. There aren’t any official lyrics out to this track yet, but I can only imagine they are more than lyrics, they are statements, because that’s just how Hanse is. It’s also another song I don’t immediately gravitate towards, but it’s still such a good song.
When the highlight medley first came out, the community kept talking about how “Unpredictable” was going to be the best song out of the album. It was sexy, it was bumpin’, and I thought I was really going to like this song. It’s not my favorite. I think the chorus is really my favorite part of the song, but the melody behind it doesn’t really vibe with me well. Again, I’m probably just being a fake ass bitch and will probably like it the more I listen to it, but as for now, she’s not my favorite.
THIS IS MY FAVORITE SONG OFF OF THE ALBUM, HANDS DOWN. If “What I Said” wasn’t on this album, I think “Flip A Coin” would’ve been the title track; it has so much potential to be one! I knew I was going to like this song as soon as I heard Seungsik singing “Flip that coin, flip it flip it”, I was in love. The lyrics of this song follow the theme of the album: we are following our dreams and whether or not we leave it to fate, we are still going to do our shit.. I would like to call this song Victon’s “cocky” song; the song that they get to brag and be confident in their successes within the last year and a half. The beat goes so fucking hard, Seungwoo and Hanse’s rap parts in this go so fucking hard – they really all went crazy on this track. I have this song stuck in my head and it will probably stay stuck for days.
This song. This song, for such a happy song, made me cry the hardest on my way to work. “We Stay” feels like a song about Alice, the Victon fandom. It’s about how they will stay with us and never leave us if we stay with them, and honestly just by following them for a year and a half and getting to know where they came from, I understand just how many hardships came with them during the first couple of years of their career. With talks of disbandment back in 2018 when they were struggling to make a scene in the very competitive Kpop community, they are doing so well for themselves and I couldn’t be more proud of them. This song, and everything this song represents, felt like a thank you to those who stayed during those hardships.
Overall, this album is possibly my favorite album of their discography, hands down. Their debut mini album will always hold a special place in my heart, but this album just speaks a different language and it’s just highkey so amazing. All 13 songs are just so unbelievably great in their own way; I don’t think there will be another album this year that will top this one, hands-fucking-down. 2021 is Victon’s year, and I’m so ready to be on this ride with them!
This “monthly favorites” is going to be quite short; I didn’t really have the time to explore new things or pick up some new hobbies during the month of May, but a lot of exciting things did happen!
So without further ado, here are some things that happened/I enjoyed in the month of May:
In a world where K-Pop boy band BTS is winning the hearts of millions all over, I found myself obsessing over a K-Pop girl group, which they call themselves Twice. Twice was formed through a survival show competition entitled Sixteen where 16 female JYP trainees were fighting for the 7 spots of JYP Entertainment’s new girl group. JYP is known for forming groups such as GOT7, 2PM, Miss A, and The Wonder Girls. After deciding to make the group 9 members, the official Twice members (according to the order on the photo) are Tzuyu, Jeongyeon, Sana, Jihyo, Nayeon, Chaeyoung, Dahyun, Mina, and Momo. I first heard of the group actually once while in the laundromat in my neighborhood, and the music video (as well as the song) were both very catchy, and I decided to look further into them. When I tell you that their fanbase is massive… it’s insane. Although they aren’t as mainstream in the U.S. as BTS, Twice is internationally known and have the potential to become just as big here as the boy band. I don’t know what it is about K-Pop groups, but they work immensely well compared to American groups. So yeah, check them out if you like cute, girly, catchy K-Pop songs!
2.) Highlight #1: Submitting my Thesis
The submission of my MA Thesis was a bittersweet one. Even weeks after doing so, it’s only until now that I feel like the piece is officially complete. Working on my thesis for two straight years is something I never did with a body of work in my academic career, and letting it go to officially submit felt like sending off my 18-year-old child to an out-of-state college. No, I don’t know how that would feel, but I can imagine it felt like the way I did when I submitted my thesis. At first, I was really determined to get honors on my thesis, but when it only passed, I was grateful that it did even that. My thesis was a controversial one, and there were professors that fit the criteria of the “type” of Professor I wrote about who had to read it. I’ve got comments back having them feel quite defensive of my words, but in the long run, I spoke my truth and now that truth will be published as a scholarly work, which is unreal to me.
3.) Highlight #2: The Graduate Research Conference.
After submitting my thesis for review, I quickly had to put a 5-minute presentation together of it and discuss it in front of an audience. It was an extremely stressful week to say the least, but I got up there and possibly did the best presentation I’ve done in my entire academic career. I was so beyond proud of myself for getting my thesis out there, and for having my thesis advisor support me while I was doing it. It was a great way to end my studies as a grad student, and it’s a moment I won’t be forgetting.
4.) Highlight #3: My Mental Health Journey
I decided to add this in here because my journey towards positive mental health played a major role in May. In early May, I got diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and I’ve been going to therapy every week. I decided to seek out professional help because I felt myself not being able to handle my anxiety by myself anymore due to the fact that my anxiety was now about long-term things I had no control over. Grad school made my anxiety a lot worse, and it’s not going to go away now that it’s over. It’s a process to overcome certain obstacles when there’s anxiety involve, and having to speak them out loud instead of having them circulate in my mind has been extremely helpful. Therapy and going to get your mental health checked isn’t always about getting meds and calling it a day. It’s about taking ownership of your own life instead of allowing your disorders or illnesses take ownership of you.
5.) Highlight #4: Graduating Grad School
I won’t speak about this in detail since there’s already a post on this, but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include the most important day of 2018 for me. Almost a week later, it still feels surreal that I’m a Masters Grad, and I’m considered a “Master in English”, and it probably won’t feel real until I get my Masters Degree in my hands but it came, it went, and I couldn’t have had for a better graduation. Despite the weather being rainy and cloudy, I have to say this graduation was a lot better than my undergraduate one. It was seriously just one to remember and cherish as my last graduation ever… that’s if I ever go and pursue my PhD, which isn’t in the picture anytime soon.
So yeah! Hopefully, there are more things to try & to do in June; I mean, I definitely have all the time in the world now. ^__^
A new month means new music that I’m currently obsessed with! Because I’m deciding to do this more frequently, I’m listening to new music more often and this post is gonna show a new side of music I actually enjoy listening to. Again, you can listen to these songs on my Spotify playlist if you’re interested in doing so! Anyway, without further ado, here is the third installation of my music favorites!
I went on a rave about this song Saturday night when I first saw the music video to Camila Cabello’s debut single, “Crying in the Club” off of her upcoming debut album, The Hurting. The Healing, The Loving. While I do enjoy the single, it lacks originality and it doesn’t feel like something she would’ve written herself. So, when I was watching the video of the song, the video starts off with another snippet of a song, “I Have Questions” by Camila Cabello. It was a song I instantly fell in love with because it speaks volumes. “I gave you all of me; my blood, my sweat, my heart, and my tears, Why don’t you care, why don’t you care? I was there, I was there when no one was; now you’re gone and I’m here.” Those lines and the emotion in her voice instantly broke me, and only a few songs in my lifetime had done that to me on the first listen. I honestly wish that she released this song as her first single instead of “Crying in the Club” because songs like “I Have Questions” hit people. It’s relatable in a way that CITC doesn’t. This song was released as a whole on May 21st, and I instantly had to put this song on my list for this month because it’s already a favorite of mine.
Another song from SweetSexySavage, “Distraction” by Kehlani. Initially, I wasn’t really crazy about this song because I felt like it was too slow for my liking. It wasn’t until I was hearing it at Obie’s house constantly on the radio that I started to dig it a lot more. I’m also really big on harmonies in songs, so she sold me as soon as she begins the song with “Do you, do you, do you, do you wanna be?” As I began to listen to the lyrics a lot more intently, I realized that the song was about vibing with someone that you really like, but they respect and knows that your passion and career comes first, so a relationship isn’t in the picture. I can honestly relate; I feel like because we are all so young and trying to put our marks into the world, relationships and all of that can wait – but it doesn’t mean that you can’t vibe and like someone and have mutual respect for one another. As long as you both know and respect each other’s feelings, there’s no problem wit leaving things where they are. I don’t think there’s another song out there that expresses that message, so I dig it.
So, it took me awhile to actually like Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like”. Bruno Mars’ album just recently came out, and his single “24k Magic” was flooding the radio. After hearing this song and watching my friends dance along to it, I still wasn’t crazy about it. Fast forward about 6 months ago and Obie’s sister-in-law gushes over the fact that she’s been obsessed with Bruno Mars’ recent album, so she played it. This song played and I actually really liked it, and now it’s honestly one of my favorite songs at the moment. I constantly make Snapchat videos with this song playing in the background, I was sing along whenever it plays on the radio at Obie’s house, and it’s just a really obsess-worthy song.
Another song that was recently added to my playlist of favorites was Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”. I’m not the biggest Selena Gomez fan, but this song is a vibe. With the subtle bass sampled from Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”, she talk-sings her lyrics perfectly to fit the aesthetic of the song. I mean, the song is typically about a girl not being able to get a boy off her mind, which is a big cliche, but it’s not a bubble-gum pop-washed version that appeals to young girls experiencing puppy love in middle school. It’s a grown up version of that, the type of thoughts you get about a person that’s sexy, and lustful. Many of her fans who dig her dance-pop music will probably not like this side of Selena, but I feel like this side of her music fits her perfectly. If most of her upcoming music gives off this same vibe, I might actually become a Selena Gomez fan!
I’ve been unapologetically obsessed with this song because it’s a guilty pleasure. My guilty pleasures are songs that I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards to for either being too explicit and sexual or something I can’t bump into, so I was shocked when I instantly added Ty Dolla $ign’s “Zaddy” to my Spotify playlist. It’s a really sexual and explicit song, yet I found myself dancing and milly rocking to it whenever it played. I mean, from a personal standpoint, I absolutely hate when girls call their man Zaddy; I just don’t understand why or how ,but I honestly understand, from this song, what makes girls replace their D’s from Z’s is completely reasonable! Anyway, yeah. This song is a guilty pleasure. Don’t read into it.
I feel like most of these songs have been obsessions of mine because of Obie, and I can honestly say yeah, they are. This song just became an obsession of mine because it reminds me of my childhood. For context: Obie teaches a dance group at a middle school, and he creates the music (or mix) that the group dances to. He’s done this for as long as I can remember, and I’ve listened to most of them since then. In this particular mix, he put in this song that sounded so familiar, and when I finally found the song, I nearly felt like I was 5-years-old again. This song was “Take Me There” from The Rugrats Movie Soundtrack. Moral of the story: it’s great to be a 90’s kid.
That’s it for what I’m currently listening to! I know that a lot of new music is going to be coming out this summer, and I’m very excited to hear it and most likely, you’ll see some on here in a month or so!
Hey, guys! Long time, no see. Welcome back to TNTH.
I decided to recycle a postthat I did all the way back in January when the blog first launched, and after re-reading that, I realized that new music has come out since then, which I will like to share with you guys! Again, if you will like to see what’s always on my playlist (minus the Hector Lavoe and 2Pac; my father’s playlist is on my account), make sure to follow me on Spotify!
Without further ado, here are some songs that I’m currently obsessing over:
The feel-good song of the season: “Beautiful” by Betty Who (feat. Superfruit)There’s a funny story behind this song. I first heard the song, I was on my way to school a couple of weeks ago and me being the tweeter I am, I tweeted how beautiful the song was and tagged them in the post. 10 minutes later, my tweet had 300+ likes and about 72 RT’s. I thought I was hacked for a quick second until I realized Superfruit (which in case you didn’t know are Scott & Mitch from the a capella group, Pentatonix), retweeted my tweet! Anyway, the song itself has a Jess Glyme vibe to it; it’s very uplifting beat with an inspiring message that expresses the fact that no matter what, you are always beautiful. It’s definitely something to make you dance after a long, stressful day.
“Chained to the Rhythm” by Katy Perryis a song that I didn’t expect to like at first because I wasn’t the biggest fan of hers in the recent years, but there’s something about this song that’s just SO GOOD. On Spotify, you get this little thing on popular songs that tell you little insights of how that song was produced, inspired, as well as gives you the lyrics while it’s playing. This particular song is a political song disguised as a catchy pop song, which is honestly what I live for. It’s like a song Lily Allen would make because of the controversial, political, and sarcastic lyrics. If you didn’t like Katy Perry before, you might actually like this song.
“Undercover” by Kehlanihas been my go-to song to listen to for the last two months. Don’t get me wrong, SweetSexySavage overall is a great album, but this song and the next one are the only songs I didn’t get sick of after 12,000 times of listening to it. Kehlani is one of those artists that can sing and rap, and this is one of the songs on the album that she mainly sings. Plus, the lyrics just describe me and how I feel: one way or another, ima love you.
Speaking of that other song on SweetSexySavage I was talking about was “In My Feelings” by Kehlani. This was the first song off the album that I gravitated towards to because of just the beginning rap. It took about 15,000 times to master the first rap verse of the song because Kehlani is just the master of not-breathing-while-rapping-for-45-seconds-straight type of rapping. You will find me milly rocking to this song all the time.
Last but certainly not least, “Lowlife” by That Poppycame onto my playlist in an interesting manner. Like everything else in life, YouTube was going crazy over this weird, young girl named Poppy, a girl with a YouTube channel who made weird videos that didn’t make sense and raised interest because of the odd behavior. People began to make conspiracy theories about her origin and the meaning behind the videos and her image. People began to link her through the Illuminati and began reversing her songs to see if any cult/satanic messages were in it (which in the line “And I get so lonely” backward sounds a lot like “Hail my Lord, Satan”). Besides all of that, she is signed to Island Records and has an EP called Bubblebath, which features Lowlife on it. It’s catchy and it’s the definition of bubblegum pop. Plus, I really enjoy the chorus and the feel of the song; it kinda goes along with the whole “reggae” vibe that popular songs have in Top 40 hits.
I’m looking forward to the new music that should be coming out in the summer because there’s nothing like a good summer song (think Drake’s “One Dance” in 2016 or Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” in 2014). Lol, hope you guys enjoyed this little music update, and see you guys in the next one!
It’s really crazy to think that 2010 was 7 years ago. People who were born in 2010 are turning 7 this year. People born this year are in the 1st grade. In 2010, I was a sophomore in high-school experiencing tons of new things and was introduced to what it was really like to be a teenager. No seriously. Before 2010, I was this innocent child that didn’t do teenage things yet. This was a different type of year.
This is 16-year old Liz. A little, naive, curious teenage girl who wanted to explore every aspect of life. Regarding school, this was my first year being a part of the vocal program’s highest-ranking choir, Performing Choir. I was one of 6 sophomores to be put into the choir during this year, and the adventures I had this year with my choir members were amazing. We traveled to many places, such as various churches all throughout the borough, we went to NYSSMA and received the first ever “Gold with Distinction” award BHSA got within all of the performing arts program, and we performed at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month.
Just notice how awkward I looked standing in the front row. This day and performance was memorable because this was the first time that I noticed just how powerful we were as a choir. 25 of us sounded like 60 people singing, and a lot of these people had soul and passion in their voice. I am still honored that I was a part of such an amazing bunch. Performing Choir ’10 wasn’t just the beginning of a tedious vocal adventure and exploration I went on, but it was solely the reason how I met my best friend, Obie.
I met Obie unofficially during my freshman year when I was in the same math class as him. Of course, I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings, so I vaguely remember him talking to me and making me laugh a lot. I was intimidated by him; he was a junior when I was a freshman and at first I wasn’t interested in making friends with the upperclassmen. Once I started my sophomore year, Obie was in my Physics class. I was in Physics as a sophomore because I was actually really good in science, so I was put in classes that most seniors took, and Obie was a senior when I was a sophomore. I still remember the first day of Physics, we were talking about what “e=mc²” stood for, and I remember answering most of the questions, and Obie said in the back of the class “Okay, Liz!” It made me smile, I can’t front. Later that day, I found out that he was also in Performing Choir, and that’s how we began to know each other. On October 9th, 2009, I gave him my AIM screen-name, and the rest is history.
Obie, now 24 with a head full of dreads and a nice scruff on his face, and he’s still my best friend. He’s actually more than just that, but he’s… how do I say this without sounding like a complete cheese-ball… honestly he’s my everything. Obie and I’s friendship isn’t your typical friendship and it didn’t stay platonic for long. As mentioned in my post The “I love you” Story, our friendship developed into something more serious and connective. He’s been there through the ups and downs, the very good and very bad, and nothing has changed since. I think back at all the times we traveled together to Performing Choir performances and back, I remember sitting next to Obie, who was yelling out of the B44 bus window after NYSSMA saying, “I got gold with distinction, I don’t need this!” I remember all the trouble we got into during that summer, and all the adventures we had during it too. We’ve had a really great first year of friendship in 2010, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.
Towards the end of 2010, I had to start my school year without my best friend being there. I managed to actually spend some time with old friends, such as my Pershing (JHS) friends during a reunion we had.
As well as hang out with some new friends from my high-school (I was even invited to my very first Sweet Sixteen party!)
All in all, 2010 was a great year because I honestly thought that I grew up as a person. I had many firsts this year, and I experienced a lot of new things that I never experienced before, and I believe this was just the start of the person that I am now, aka the girl who isn’t all uptight and close-minded about things that are “bad” and “life-altering” like sex and smoking weed.
Man, I’m glad I’m not that girl anymore. Thank you, 2010!
So, I was a junior in high-school during 2011. Although 2011 was a year of regrets and mistakes that I made as a stupid 17 year old girl, I would describe 2011 being the year that my life was mainly Performing Choir.
I was put into Performing Choir for a second year. With the major success the previous year of PC was, it became a choir that a lot of people wanted to be a part of. The previous year of Performing Choir consist of mostly seniors, and once they graduated, the question of who was going to be the next Performing Choir roamed through every single vocal major’s mind. I was grateful to be a part of such an amazing choir for another year, and I was really grateful to be more involved in the choir, whether it was helping my fellow Second-Sopranos with music, or getting minor solos in the bigger choral pieces.
If you will like to hear what Performing Choir was like in 2011, here are a few links to videos that depict just the many places that we performed and all the songs we did during this time period. (Remember, this was 2011, and video quality was still shitty…)
“Wade in the Water” performed during the Winter Concert at Brooklyn High School of the Arts.
Despite these little clips that do absolutely no justice to the real thing, we also performed at places such as Carnegie Hall, The Capital at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month, received Gold for the NYSSMA competition after singing two Level 6 songs (the highest difficulty), and at the Bronx Zoo as the musical guests for a competition.
My personal favorite throughout the entirety of 2011: the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble Competition in Bishop Loughlin High School located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Weeks prior to this day in March, we prepared for this competition. Our vocal teacher, Mr. Williams, tried rearranging various choir members in little groups of 8, singing various songs that we knew. I remember being pulled in and out of various groups and feeling slightly discouraged that I wasn’t good enough to compete. Finally, I was put into the group that was going to sing PC’s infamous song to sing, “Lift Every Voice & Sing”. To this day, I still know all of the parts of each voice present. I was selected to sing the second-soprano section of the song, and we were one of the first to actually perform. I thought we did pretty well, but I never thought that I would be sitting in the audience, thinking the ensemble I was a part of, would win first place.
When they announced that my ensemble had won the competition, I literally cried tears. I never felt like I was good enough in these group of people because they were all so much more talented than me, and to be a part of the winning ensemble, I really felt so good.
We literally walked from the high-school back to Downtown Brooklyn dancing and singing these different songs, and of course – the winning song.
Like I mentioned in my 2012 #TBT post, Performing Choir was really the only good thing I would relive high school for (besides meeting Obie in 2009). I traveled to so many different parts of NYC and rehearsed so many hours these different shows that I don’t think that I ever missed one. You would think that performing at Carnegie Hall would’ve been my favorite memory, and it’s one of them. Carnegie Hall was such an amazing experience because I know that it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience, and I got the pleasure to do it for two years in a row. To rehearse in the city, on the Carnegie Hall stage… seriously so breathtaking.
Sometimes, I feel like I took advantage of my time in PC, but I think everyone did. We all look back now and see the hard work and dedication being a part of this and what our vocal teacher put into this group and the rest of the vocal program.
A former choir member, Jade Ashley, dedicated her senior project, “In Music I Trust” towards documenting the journey that the vocal program went through in Mr. William’s guidance. I was very lucky to be a part of the interview process with my best friend where Performing Choir was the place we both officially met! Such a beautiful depiction of what our vocal teacher created in his four years in Brooklyn High School of the Arts, and I believe 2011 was the peak of its success.
Our legacy still lives on in room B25. It will forever be.
Hey guys, sorry for no #TBT related post today, I just wanted to take the time out on this special milestone to personally thank you all who have been supportive of me and this blog since it launched one month ago.
In celebration of the 1-month milestone, here are some of my favorite posts I published since the launch of TNTH:
Because of you guys, I’ve been able to showcase my writing and show you guys just how passionate I am of doing so. I’ve had many of you write to me personally, expressing your interest in certain posts (definitely the #TBT ones) and letting me know just how much my writing helps them. It truly means the absolute world to me to know that there are actual people viewing my content and reading what I have to say.
Unfortunately on my side of things, this month of TNTH has been quite an eye-opener for me.
First official month of 2017 has come to an end and what was once my birthday month, is now gone until 2018. With February around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favorite things this month.
So, here’s “10 things that exhibited some interest to me and kept me from dying of boredom this last month” list! 😀
This camera has been something that I’ve wanted for months now. I love taking pictures and capturing moments with friends and family, and I wanted a way to either keep them and put them in my journal or give them out to my friends and family to keep. It’s the one thing I wanted to make a habit in 2017, and so far it’s definitely been a good one.
A little fun fact: I was once the Ombre Queen before I decided to dye my hair all black for the past year. It was such a great change, but after a while, I did miss having some other color than black in my hair. Because of the build up of black dye I had in my hair, it was literally impossible to make my hair lighter without it instantly turning to a brassy red/orange color. It took me a while to get the somewhat desired hair color I wanted, but that’s a different post for a different day.
Ever since I started TNTH in the beginning of January, I’ve been on the blog site non-stop writing future posts and checking out the stats on published posts. In some sort of funny way, it’s becoming more of a reflex to go on my computer and check out the site, and it’s been a way to kill time during my month-long break.
So, I got my new laptop for Christmas because the one I previously had been not working anymore. I needed a new laptop before the semester started back up because these papers and thesis’ for my grad classes are nothing to joke around with. Before this became my “school” laptop, I regularly would use this everyday to watch videos and write-up blog posts. I don’t know why, but I’ve been obsessed with being on this all day, everyday. Sadly, it’s not going to be so easy to relax on it anymore because of school.
Last year, I used to carry around this big, pink journal and wrote something in it every single day for an entire year. I realized towards the end of 2016, my entries weren’t as thought out and entertaining like they once were in the beginning of the year. I still wanted to daily write, but I wanted to make it only when something was worth writing about. Lately, it’s been a book mainly for ideas and scheduling for TNTH, but it does have the occasional entry of an awesome day.
I’m forever on Spotify listening to music no matter where I’m going. I’m a Spotify Premium User, which takes care of the hassle of not being able to listen to what you want on your mobile device. I’m currently listening to A LOT of nostalgic playlists mainly because I’m not really into the mainstream music that is out unless it’s really good.
Another Christmas gift that I’m highly obsessed with. Typically, I’m not a perfume person; I just wear some body spray and call it a day. When I first sprayed this perfume on me, it literally stayed on my skin and on my clothing all day long which surprised me because nothing ever stays on me. It’s a new scent and my “beau” likes the smell of it too, so it’s a win-win situation.
This one is an oldie, but goodie. I got this at Target way back in November, and I still consider it as one of the best buys I’ve made. I still wear it in this cold weather with a lot of underneath layers, and it makes me feel like a 90’s kid all over again. This item will probably make its comeback in another monthly favorites. 😉 It’s just THAT good.
Another oldie, but goodie. I got this sweater in October, and although I can’t wear it outside that often because it’s too thick to put under a coat, I still wear it as much as I can. You can dress it up or dress it down; it still feels and looks great with whatever you pair it with. Maybe in the future I can buy myself another one in a different color, that’s how great this sweater is.
Because of my now color treated and bleached hair, I need to take extra precautions to take care of it so it doesn’t became too brittle and dry. With any type of bleach in your hair, your hair will show some damage. To keep my hair wavy and soft, I use these two products. The Quick Curls is like putting a softer, more gentle mousse in your hair. The curls don’t feel crunchy like regular mousse does, but yet a soft and moisturize texture. The Triple Moisture deep conditioner has been a holy grail of mine for years, back when I was a blonde. This stuff is amazing for both color-treated and bleached hair; it kept even the most damaged hair of mine soft and easy to manage. It’s definitely a must-buy for all my hair bleached obsessed readers!
And that’s pretty much it! Stay tune for next month’s favorites as I begin my journey to find some new favorites!
So, fun little fact about me: I’m one of those girls. When someone asks me what kind of music I listen to, I say “pretty much anything.” 99% of the time, they roll their eyes back at me. But it’s true; I’m the type of music lover that does gravitate towards a certain genre, but when I like a song, I LIKE a song (Just ask Obie; he’s the reason why I’m up to date on all of the Fabolous mix-tapes.)
When I’m not secretly partying by myself with my really loud “bops”, I’ve been going back to these specific artists/albums/playlists on my Spotify playlist a lot lately:
This 2007 hits playlist.Ever since 2017 started, I’ve been curious to see if I remembered any of the songs that were hits 10 years ago, and this playlist doesn’t disappoint. Sometimes, user-made playlists can either be really good, or extremely bias (in other words, this 2007 Hits playlist could’ve been just a playlist of heavy metal/Myspace Emo songs that came out in 2007). This one though is SO GOOD. Every song on this playlist will have you living in complete nostalgia. I know I have!
A whole lot of Fifth Harmony, especially this unreleased song.I am not going to lie and say that Camila Cabello leaving the group did not affect me because I’ve been fans of theirs ever since their X-Factor days. I mean, I wasn’t surprised that Camila left 5H (I actually didn’t like her a hell of a lot, but that’s a different story). This unreleased song was recorded back in 2013, initially for their EP, Better Together. Before the group got all big and famous, this is what Fifth Harmony sounded like: a young, bubblegum pop girl group that sang about real empowerment (Again, not saying that “Worth It” or “Work from Home” were bad songs, they were just… confusing girl-empowerment songs). What I’m saying is that this unreleased 5H song really hit me close to home because the message is pretty much what I’m planning to make 2017: fearless and the world is mine.
Speaking of 5H drama; this edited 4H version of “That’s My Girl” . I don’t know why I keep going back to this song on YouTube practically every day since I discovered it, but there’s something so satisfying about listening to a song you love without a member’s voice in the song. This edited version of “That’s My Girl” only has the voices of Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, and Dinah Jane showcased; all the parts Camila Cabello sang where edited out. Don’t get me wrong, I was listening to the real version of this song ever since 7/27 was released and I still love it, and even without Camila in this version, it’s still just as great. I’m excited to see the direction the remaining four members will take their music in 2017.
This “Punk Goes Pop” cover of “Chandelier” . I occasionally like to listen to rock or punk music, and although Sia’s original version of “Chandelier” is possibly one of my favorite songs of all time, this cover of it is almost just as amazing as the original. I always envisioned this song to be a very powerful piece, and Pvris, the band who covers it, does an amazing job heightening the power ambiance the song already has. I believe even people who aren’t into punk music like that will like that, because of the power the song carries.
This Kelly Clarkson cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”. If you’ve known me for the longest of time, you will know that I am possibly Kelly Clarkson’s biggest fan. I was that ONE GIRL who cried her eyes out at 8 years old when she won American Idol in 2002. She recently released a few of her live covers from her 2015 Piece by Piece Tour (which I went to and it was the best night of my life). Kelly, being an 80’s baby, is always covering songs that are before her time & WAY before mine, or songs that I don’t really know because, again, she’s an 80’s baby. She released the ONE SONG I actually knew from Radiohead, “Creep”. A lot of people have covered this song to this day, but I believe Kelly’s cover of it is one of the best. Prepare for instant goosebumps towards the end of the song. You won’t regret it.
Lastly, this throwback song of “The Baddest Girl” by Pentatonix.Since then, Pentatonix has come out with a full-length album for their original songs, after they gained popularity and success through YouTube making covers of Top 40 hits. “The Baddest Girl” is possibly their first original song they put on an EP; this particular one was on their first EP, PTX Vol. 1. I always looked over it because when I was introduced to them, I was only interested in their covers. Now as an all-around fan, this is now one of my favorite originals of theirs. Scott Hoying, originally the unofficial leader of the group—excuse my language—SANG HIS ASS OFF in this song. The other members, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, and Kevin Olusola are all equally has talented, and with their harmonies and backtrack of the song (oh, yeah – if you didn’t know, they are an a capella group), the song is a masterpiece on the album. Of course, their newer originals are a lot more complex in harmony and now almost all members now get a chance to shine in a track as the lead, “The Baddest Girl” is great considering this is the first original they produced and released.
I promise, my musical selection will be more diverse next time I post a music entry for Topic Tuesdays, but with the devastation of 5H’s split and nostalgia of 2007, I’ve been pretty hooked.