Why “Four” by One Direction Deserved a Grammy

Well, well, well. It has come to my attention that a lot of people don’t know about the evolution of One Direction. Their most popular hit, “What Makes You Beautiful,” was a straight bop and an all around good mood song. Because of that, a lot of people decided to write them off as just another teen sensation that would end soon. Oh, how wrong they were. Now, I won’t write about the history of One Direction or their fandom or the records they broke or why they weren’t just another teen sensation. But, I will talk about why their fourth album, “Four,” deserved at least one Grammy, if not three.

Let’s start with the quality of the album. HIT AFTER HIT! “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” “Ready to Run,” “Girl Almighty,” “Stockholm Syndrome,” “Fool’s Gold” –  I mean come on. And these were just a few of the hits from that album. The groups vocal performance was top notch too. Zayn was phenomenal as always, while Harry, Louis, Niall and Liam really came into their own on “Four.” Their vocal ranges were expanding and were really shown in this album (and were also really shown in their last album after Zayn’s departure).

Now, I don’t know the qualifications for a Grammy Nomination, but I do know that this album was the first of their albums to actually have a shot. I personally believe that One Direction was never nominated because they were still seen as the “bubblegum pop” teen sensation that they were back in 2012. But in two years time (2014), when “Four” was released, one could see and hear the growth the group went through. They wrote the majority of the songs on that album and they were impressive. It wasn’t what I was expecting, honestly.

Vocally and content wise, “Four” was the album that made a statement: One Direction demanded to be taken seriously. Even though many people still didn’t, their fans felt it. As they were growing up, so were we. Here’s to 1D! If the hiatus ever ends, may the industry take you guys as serious as a heart attack (oww!).

Discovering New EDM Sub-Genres and Artists

Exploring new Electronic Dance Music is something that I like to do during my free time. I become thrilled when I discover any new, refreshing sound that catches my attention.

Because I enjoy finding new sounds within the EDM genre, I have a whole bunch of music streaming apps such as SoundCloud, Spotify, Shazam, MixCloud and Apple Music. Usually, my whole day revolves around these apps – literally. From when I wake up all the way to when I go to sleep, I play a constant flow of refreshing tunes for my ear drums to enjoy and to add a hint of spice to my day.

When I was first introduced to this genre, which happened to be in the year 2013, I stuck to two sub-genres: trance and electro-house. I was very loyal to these two sub-genres, which feature artists such as Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Above & Beyond and W&W. I refused to listen to anything else other than sounds that were of the these categories.

This all changed right around the time when I started going to EDM festivals, because I would literally stay at these events from start to finish (the main artists that I wanted to see weren’t going to play until the very end of the shows). Although I always wound up exhausted from being on my feet, jumping and dancing for 8-12 hours, I found it to be worth it.

Experiencing the different sounds brought by all the diverse artists that fall under the EDM umbrella completely changes your perspective on their work. All of a sudden, I was exposed to new names, such as Will Sparks (melbourne bounce), Yellow Claw (trap), Eric Prydz (techno house), Oliver Heldens (deep house), Illenium (bass house) and Don Diablo (future house).

I started becoming more open and embraced their unique work. I suddenly had the desire to become more familiar with these new genres, and with artists similar to the ones that played the festivals. A more recent example of this sense of discovery happened at Escape: Psycho Circus 2017, where I became exposed to Rezz. I did not know who she was or what genre she fell under, but she blew me away with her performance. Her sound is so unique that it literally falls into it’s own sub-category.

Overall, when going to the events your choice, go at the beginning and support the openers and their work. They got booked for a reason. And who knows, maybe you too will find excitement in discovering something new.

The Drums at North Park

After listening to The Drums for a few years now, and upon hearing their newest album, “Abysmal Thoughts,” my friends and I were excited to finally get a chance to see Jonny Pierce perform live. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, we watched The Drums play a show at North Park Observatory for 20 dollars general admission. The mosh pit was fun, the music was great, as expected, and Jonny shared some wisdom with the crowd that I felt was really important.

The entire concert was very high energy and everyone around was happy and extremely excited for Jonny’s performance with The Drums. The mosh pit slowly got more and more wild as the show went on. The band played some of their more popular hits, such as“Let’s Go Surfing,” “Money,” “What You Were,” “Days” and from their latest album, “Blood Under My Belt.”

During the set, Jonny stopped to talk about his struggles with depression, anxiety and self-identity, saying that for the longest time he lived to please others, but never stopped to think about what he was doing for himself. He continued, saying that the difference between this newest record, “Abysmal Thoughts,” and his other earlier projects was that this time around he learned to love himself and make himself happy, as opposed to putting everyone else first. Jonny summed his speech up by saying that it is important to respect yourself and weed out the people that do not love you for who you are.

Overall, the concert was amazing and after I was able to snag a meet and greet wristband to meet Jonny. He was very nice and he expressed his appreciation towards me and his other fans and he signed the vinyl I purchased at the merch table. I appreciated the fact that Jonny not only played an awesome show, but also made an effort to spread a positive message. I would most definitely recommend seeing The Drums when they come to your area.

Will Meek Mill Be Freed?

On Monday, Nov. 6, Robert Williams, otherwise known as rap artist Meek Mill, was arrested and sent to prison for two to four years for violating his 2008 probation.  He was convicted in 2008 for drug and gun charges, but was released under a five year parole agreement in 2009.  In 2016, Mill failed a drug test and did not obey a court order restricting his travel, which led to him serving 90 days under house arrest.  Prosecutors explained that Mill even turned in cold water instead of urine for a drug test.

The 30-year-old headed to a Philadelphia court on Monday to deal with arrests from earlier this year.  He was involved in a fight in the St. Louis airport in March 2017 and was also arrested for recklessly driving his motorcycle in New York City in August 2017.  The charges for both of these arrests were dropped, however Philadelphia judge Genece Brinkley would not let his most recent arrests slide, since they violated his parole.

 Judge Brinkley said, “I gave you break after break, and you basically just thumbed your nose at this court,” after she originally gave Mill five years in prison for his past charges.  Mill’s attorney reported to CNN that he plans to appeal the sentence and accused judge Brinkley of taking “a personal interest in the case.”

Meek Mill’s fans are hoping that they can make a difference and get him out of the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution Camp Hill by making a petition on Change.org. They plan to send the petition (which already has 396,000 signatures) to Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf, asking him to reevaluate Mill’s sentence.

Other celebrities and rappers such as, Rick Ross, T.I. and Jay Z, have also drawn attention to Mill’s arrest, calling it unfair and unjust.  Jay Z showed his support for Meek Mill by saying, “The sentence handed down by the judge — against the recommendation of the assistant district attorney and probation officer — is unjust and heavy handed.  We will always stand by and support Meek Mill, both as he attempts to right this wrongful sentence and then in returning to his musical career,” at his Dallas show on Tuesday, Nov. 7.