Artist on the Rise: Baby Queen

With the release of two new very open and authentic singles, “Raw Thoughts” and “These Drugs,” Baby Queen is making a name for herself. 

Are you ready to discover your next favorite artist? Well look no further, because it is going to be Baby Queen. Baby Queen is a stage name for Bella Latham, 23 year old South African-born, London based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. She grew up in South Africa, started making music at the age of 10, but did not become serious about it till she was 16. At the age of 18, she decided to pack up her things and move to London to make a name for herself, and that is when she adopted the moniker Baby Queen. She immersed herself into the life of influencers and parties in London, and that is what inspires all of Baby Queen’s music, along with issues like internet addiction and mental health. She released her debut EP, Medicine, in November of 2020, that was filled with upbeat melodies and dazzling pop-hooks, with lyrics about her struggles with depression, body dysmorphia, and so much more. She describes her music as, “intelligent pop”, which I think fits perfectly for her sound. 

Even though it has only been a few months since the release of her debut EP, Baby Queen is back with two new very honest singles.

Raw Thoughts

Baby Queen started off the year strong, with her first release on January 13th, “Raw Thoughts”. Bella said that this is the only song that she wanted to start 2021 with, and I am so happy that she did. “Raw Thoughts” was inspired by the most horrendous, soul-destroying breakup that Bella went through in 2017. She felt like her world had ended, and was even more crushed when he started dating a beautiful model shortly after. Bella and her friends decided to have a night out in London, which turned out to be the wildest night of their lives. She woke up the next morning, feeling a mix of freedom and despair, and the pain of holding onto something that made her feel safe for so long, and wrote this song. The writing of “Raw Thoughts” made the weight on her shoulders disappear and she felt like she could breathe again. The lyrics are open and honest, while the sound is the polar opposite of that. The song goes through ups and downs sonically, with her intelligent pop influences still being heard throughout. The chorus is my favorite part of the song because of the progression mixed with the lyrics. The beat kicks in right at the angriest part of the song, bringing the emotions to new heights.

Photo Credit: Baby Queen Raw Thoughts Cover Art from In2une

The music video for “Raw Thoughts” is almost that of a coming of age movie that you watched as a kid, wishing one day that would be you. It has clips of Baby Queen and her friends having fun, both on a low quality camera so it feels like you are the one filming, mixed in with moments on a higher quality camera that feel more music video-esque. The whole video just feels like you are one of Bella’s friends along for the day having the time of your life. It really reminds me of my own friends and the stupid adventures we used to go on in the middle of the night because we were bored.

If I had to give a rating for the song and video, it would be a 10/10. I love songs that make you want to get up and dance, but lyrically are a lot darker. “Raw Thoughts” is the perfect name for this song, because that is exactly what the lyrics, raw thoughts. If you don’t get up and dance during the chorus of this song, then you need to re-evaluate your music taste and maybe get your ears checked.

These Drugs

I got to be on a Zoom call with Bella over a month ago, and we all got to hear “These Drugs” a few days before it was released. From the second I heard this song, I was blown away, and I absolutely fell in love with her music. She later on performed the song acoustically, which of course was even more beautiful. “These Drugs” takes a heavy topic like depression and drug abuse marrying it to a catchy song that will get stuck in your head. The verses are very calming and slower than the rest of the song, with the guitar and synths mixed in the back. The simplicity and slowness of the song allows the lyrics to be the center focus. While the chorus is very simple, it is so powerful, especially with the lyric, “Every time I take these drugs to pick me up. All I ever do is cry.” The bridge is my favorite part of the song, as she lets down her guard and completely opens up with her emotions.

This song was written when she was in a really bad place and believed she wasn’t a good person or she didn’t deserve good things. Bella said, “I think for so long, there were so many parts of myself that I was refusing to acknowledge or pay attention to, and when you ignore your own pain or refuse to face up to your mistakes, you can get yourself into a self-destructive cycle, which is ultimately what ended up happening. I think escapism is necessary, and we all find our escape in different places, but some are just healthier than others.” She felt uncomfortable with being so open and honest with her lyrics in this song, and knew she was taking a risk with releasing it, but she wanted to share this story with everyone. With this song, she wants people to know that if you can accept all parts of yourself, even the darkest ones, then you can learn to like or love yourself and you won’t feel that need to run away anymore.

Photo Credit: These Drugs Cover Art from Baby Queen

In addition to the single, she released an accompanying music video, which the idea came from the first line of the song : “I don’t wanna do drugs anymore. If you saw me through the eyes of a bathroom stall, your skin would crawl.” This is one of her favorite lyrics that she has ever written and was inspired by her obsession of only ever seeing somebody through the eyes of different bathroom stalls. She felt like she had the most euphoric moments of her life in those bathroom stalls, and wanted to recreate that. The video has four different bathroom stalls with four different energies and narratives. I don’t want to spoil too much, but one bathroom set has neon pink lighting, Barbie dolls hanging from the ceiling, and glitter and balloons covering the bathroom. You will have to watch the video to find out the rest of the beautiful sets.

I love this song so much, and even played it on my radio show, Everything But Country, in celebration of International Women’s Month. “These Drugs” is so raw, so honest, and a song I feel like I can relate to, and so can many other 20-somethings. It is about this battle you have with yourself in your head, and trying to escape that feeling by partying and taking drugs. Even though you have those euphoric moments in the bathroom stall, you still wake up the next morning with those same dark thoughts. That escape can only last so long. If I had to rate this song and video, they would both get 10/10. 

Written By: McCaeley O’Rourke

Feature Photo Source:  In2une Music

What Do I Do with a Rest and Recovery Day?

SDSU has implemented “Rest and Recovery Days” but what does that even mean?

How do we actually rest and recover knowing we have something due the next day? No worries, we are going to break all of this down.

What are the rest and recovery days?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, SDSU has implemented five rest and recovery days throughout the semester to make up for canceling Spring Break, lame, I know.

These “Rest and Recovery Days” are meant for students and staff to have the day off and not worry about any school work. Small chance that happens.

Screenshot of San Diego Sunset Surfer from Michael Aleo on Unsplash

So what do I do with a rest and recovery day?

I know it’s tough to go anywhere right now with the coronavirus pandemic because some things are still closed or you do not feel comfortable going out yet or maybe financials are tight right now. Here are some suggestions.

If you have your work life creeping in on your personal life and want to get that under control start there.

I know it isn’t much of a rest/recovery but if this is something you have been wanting to get under control, do it. This makes it an activity you want to do and this day is about you.

Maybe catching up on your professional life is not your style and actually want to do something that is relaxing or makes you feel accomplished. I got you.

Complete the one task you’ve been postponing repeatedly.

Screenshot of Todolist from Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Do you keep hitting postpone on your todo app for an item that needs to get done? Cleaning the closet, organizing your shoes, cleaning your room, deleting old files off your computer?

Take your rest/recovery day to get it done, make sure it is not school or work-related though, that can wait.

While these items may not sound fun todo, hence why you’ve been putting it off, I promise you will feel much better after you get it done.

Secure Your Digital Life

Secure iPhone from neONBRAND on Unsplash

I am a huge advocate for a secure digital life online. Privacy is a human right and not a privilege.

We should not have to give up our privacy in order to use products and if we then we should not be using digital products, so here are some products I use to remain secure on the web.

Catch up on Shows or Movies

Secure iPhone from neONBRAND on Unsplash

Noting beats sitting on the couch and catching up on some of your favorite tv shows or movies.

Maybe you want to start something new? This would be a perfect time. If you are in need of ideas, check out my article on some of my TV quarantine picks.

Try a new TikTok recipe

Screenshot of Salmon and Quinoa Dish from Ella Olsson Unsplash

One thing I love about TikTok is all the food recipes they offer. There is literally a never-ending scroll of fun and easy TikTok recipes like the Feta Pasta or my favorite, air fryer recipes.

Do Nothing

Screenshot of Coffee Cup Bedside by David Mao on Unsplash

I am serious on this one. The ultimate form of recharging your batteries is staying in bed and doing nothing but catching up on sleep.

We are in the home stretch of the semester and you have worked so hard, especially with the semester being on zoom. Take the day and catch up on some much-needed rest.

I did this last weekend and ended up sleeping 15 hours. Something I have never done before, but my body needed the rest. I pulled a lot of late nights right before midterms and did not sleep well.

Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram and let me know what you end up doing with your rest and recovery day.

Cover Photo: Screenshot of Rest from Sincerely Media on unsplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Behind the Seams with Blake: 5 Surprising Hitters of Spring Training with Regular Season Predictions

Let’s check out some of the most interesting top performers of Spring Training 2021!

Hello again readers! We are just days away from opening day of the 2021 MLB season, and I am excited to say the least. As many in the baseball world agree, spring training stats can be taken with a grain of salt in most cases. Regardless, I always love to pick out a few players not many expected to be at the top of the leaderboards and think about how these performances will impact their roles with their team for the coming season. In this post, I will discuss five players who are having great springs, including three under-the-radar sluggers on non-contending teams, one franchise great who hopes to pack a punch as a bench bat, and finally a slugger who hopes to prove doubters wrong and be an everyday player with a change of scenery. Additionally, following in the footsteps of the hosts of MLB Tonight, I’ll be giving my bold predictions of what each player’s stats will be by the end of the 2021 season.

Bobby Dalbec – 1B, Boston Red Sox

We’re starting out with a boom. As of Friday, Dalbec is tied for the MLB lead with 7 spring training homers in 42 at bats. The 2016 4th round pick has been putting up big time power numbers in the Red Sox minor league system since 2018, so it was expected that his power would transfer to big league production. That’s not to say Dalbec doesn’t have room for improvement however, as he showed some worrying strikeout tendencies along with his 8 home runs in 92 trips to the plate during the short 2020 season. He’s struck out 18 times in his 42 spring training at bats, so limiting the strikeouts remains a work in progress, but we can’t ignore the massive power potential that he has shown. The Red Sox will hope that he figures out how to keep the Ks at a minimum during a 2021 season in which they’re not expected to be a contender. If he can do so, Dalbec will surely be key to the Red Sox next World Series run.

Prediction: .260 AVG, 36 HRs, 195 strikeouts

C.J. Cron – 1B, Colorado Rockies

I’ve been excited to see what Cron can do in Coors Field since the moment I saw the signing. The former first round pick is currently hitting .372 with 4 big flies in 43 spring training at bats and looks to have won the starting first base job for the Rockies over former Yankee Greg Bird. Cron has shown plenty of pop over recent years but has had trouble sticking with one team for longer than a season since his Angels days early in his career. He will look to firmly establish his value and do damage in the middle of the order for a rebuilding Rockies team that traded superstar 3B Nolan Arenado away in the offseason. I’m going big with this prediction because I can see each of Trevor Story, C.J. Cron, and Charlie Blackmon having good seasons and making the loss of Arenado a little less painful for Rockies fans.

Prediction: .288 AVG, 41 HRs in 150+ games played

Ty France – 2B/1B/DH, Seattle Mariners

I’m happy to include former Padre and SDSU alum Ty France in this post, as he’s proving why he deserves a starting spot in the lineup for the rebuilding Mariners this season. He has posted a .364 average with 5 homers in 44 at bats this spring, keeping with his strengths of having great contact ability and sneaky power. He was drafted by the Padres in the 34th round out of San Diego State in 2015, so he’s always been a player I’ve rooted for because of that underdog storyline and the fact that we attended the same university. I’m glad that he will get the chance to be in the lineup everyday this season, even though it won’t be for the Padres, with whom he was primarily a bench bat due to the significant depth they have at the positions he plays. Will we see the 2nd coming of the Louisiana Purchase in Seattle this year? I predict the answer will be yes; the Mariners will get a lot from France this year.

Prediction: .315 AVG, 24 HRs in 550 ABs

Ryan Zimmerman – 1B, Washington Nationals

The man they call Mr. National has demolished spring training pitching this season, hitting a sky high .455 with 5 home runs through a smaller scale 22 spring at bats. There was nothing to suggest this production from Zim this year, as he’s entering his age 36 season after sitting out the 2020 season. The career-long National was the first player ever drafted by the team in 2005, and he’s stuck with them ever since. Preseason heroics aside, Zimmerman isn’t expected to play a large role for the team in 2021, as the Nats went out to make a big splash acquisition of first baseman Josh Bell during the offseason. Their desire to acquire Bell is completely understandable given the low expectations for Zim entering the season, along with Bell’s history of being a top 5 first baseman in the game as recently as 2019, and he’s looking great in spring as well. While I don’t believe Zim will continue this magical level of production through the regular season, I think he will deliver some big hits off the bench for a Nationals team that hopes to contend this season.

Prediction: .295 AVG, 12 HRs in 245 ABs

Joc Pederson – OF, Chicago Cubs

Joc signed with the Cubbies in the offseason because he wanted the chance to play every day and hit against lefties; something the Dodgers didn’t let him do very often. So far, Pederson is looking great as a Cub, as he is tied with Bobby Dalbec for the lead in spring training home runs with 7, to go along with a .366 average in 41 at bats. He and the Cubs will hope that he continues to produce above average results in the regular season as well, as the Cubs look to compete with the Cardinals and Brewers for a playoff spot this season.

Prediction: .250 AVG, 32 HRs, 500+ ABs for first time in career

Honorable Mention: Bobby Witt Jr. – SS prospect, Kansas City Royals

One of the biggest surprises of the spring was seeing the impressive tools of Royals top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. Though he’s never played above Rookie ball, the 20-year-old proved that he could hold his own against higher level competition before being sent down to the minor league camp. His crowning highlight was when he launched a 484-foot home run, leaving fans and teammates in awe. It may be a stretch to say that he’ll be called up during the 2021 season, but the future is bright for Witt and the Royals organization.

Written by: Blake Koziel @thek0zy1 on Instagram

Photo Source:

New Album: Justice – Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber does it again! A year after dropping his album “Changes” Bieber is back with his latest album “Justice”.

On Friday, March 19, 2021, the 27-year-old singer released his sixth studio album, “Justice”. Not only did we get a new album but a music video for the song peaches featuring Giveon and Daniel Caesar.

The trio in the video are cruising down in a car a night singing above love, which is on-brand on Justin Bieber and I’m not mad at it. 

The album has 12 tracks from the singer along with previously released singles “Anyone”, “Holy” feat Chance the Rapper, “Lonely” with Benny Blanco, and “Hold On”. Features on the album include Khalid, The Kid LAROI, Dominic Fike, Daniel Caesar, Giveon, BEAM, and Burna Boy.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Peaches by Justin Bieber Music Video on YouTube.

Thursday, March 18, 2021, prior to the release the pop singer tweeted that he would “support organizations that embody what justice looks like in action,”

Organizations include The Martin Luther King. Jr. Center educates nonviolence and creates a beloved community.

The Poor People’s Campaign which is “Building a movement to overcome systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Support Organizations Tweet from @JustinBieber

Towards the end of February, Bieber shared in a post on Instagram the reason behind the album. “In a time when there’s so much wrong with this broken planet we all crave healing and justice for humanity.” He continued “In creating this album my goal is to make music that will provide comfort, to make songs that people can relate to and connect to so they feel less alone.”

Justin hit the mark on this one. I felt that connection with a list of his songs throughout the album. Some of my favorites include Unstable, Hold On, Ghost, and Peaches. You can stream Justin’s new album “Justice” now on music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Let me know your favorites by hitting me up on Twitter or Instagram 

Cover Photo: Screenshot of Album Cover of Justin Bieber “Justice” from Spotify. 

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA