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Adrianna Velazquez

Adrianna is a 20-year-old college student attending Wayne State University majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Journalism. With a passion for music and photography she spends most of her time at concerts photographing and interviewing musicians. She also enjoys baseball and coffee, lots of it!

Macklemore Promises New Album

Macklemore and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis disappeared from the spotlight after the dynamic duo won Best Rap Album for their 2012 debut The Heist at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

In 2014 they appeared on “Arrows” by indie rock band Fences. Although they’ve shed away from the spotlight it won’t be much longer before Macklemore makes a return.

“We vanished purposefully. We vanished. Been in the studio. Disappeared,” he told Hot 97.

Fans have not been happy about his disappearance and one even took to Twitter and complained that Macklemore didn’t release an album in 2014 in which he responded, “You will this year. Believe that.”

It will be interesting to see how the dynamic duo top their earlier releases. Between “Can’t Hold Us” and “Thrift Shop” they quickly became the first duo to garner two singles at the top of Hot 100 chart.

Macklemore, who is known for voicing his opinion on social issues recently talked to Hot 97 about the great race debate in response to comments about Iggy Azalea made by Azealia Banks.

Check out the interview here.

Adam Sandler Most Overpaid Actor According to Forbes

Adam Sandler was exploited during the Sony hack that took place just before Christmas Day to cease the release of Sony Pictures comedy film, The Interview.

In emails leaked as a result of the hack, Sandler’s filmed were called “mundane” and “formulaic.” Additionally, in a leaked email, Sony head Amy Pascal referred to Sandler and his production company, Happy Madison as “assholes” on more than one occasion.

Aside from being a victim of the Sony hack, Sandler was recently named by number one on Forbes’ list of ‘Most Overpaid Actors.’

According to the report, Sandler brings in an average of $3.20 for every $1 he earns which is just twenty cents less than last year when he topped the list for the first time. Despite his earnings, his films Blended featuring Drew Barrymore garnered only $46 million while Men, Women & Children earned only $705,809.

Sony will be releasing Sandler’s next two blockbusters, Hotel Transylvania 2 and Pixels.

Johnny Depp and Ben Stiller also made the list of Forbes’ 2014 list of ‘Most Overpaid Actors’ with Depp returning an average of $4.10 for every $1 earned and Stiller returning an average of $4.80 for every $1 earned.

For a full list of Forbes’ Most Overpaid Actors in 2014 click here.

Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun Hint at 2015 album

Pop superstar, Justin Bieber spent 2014 under the radar but it is likely we will see more of the pop sensation in 2015 after recent Instagram posts from Bieber and longtime manager Scooter Braun were posted last week hinting at a new album.

The Biebs, who became the youngest musician to score five No. 1 albums, hasn’t released a proper album since 2012’s Believe. In 2013 he released Believe Acoustic and a compilation album titled Journals. This past year he released only a handful of featured tracks and remixes such as “Home To Mama,” a collaborative effort between the Biebs and fellow singer-songwriter Cody Simpson.

Biebs took to Instagram hinting to new music to come this year when he accommodated a photo with the caption that read, “My break is for a reason. U will soon see 🙂 thank u for your patience.” Followed by Braun’s post just two days later of a photo that read “2013 Practice, 2014 The Warm Up, 2015 Game Time” in which he tagged the Biebs to.

It’s safe to assume that Bieber will be making a musical comeback in 2015, hopefully putting his trouble with the law behind him as he moves forward both personally and professionally.

Check out “Home To Mama” by Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson here.

5 Tips to Living a Happier Life in 2015

We are faced with a new year as the chapter of 2014 has finally come to an end. I found myself reflecting on the past year and couldn’t help but feel a mix of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness. In 2014 I did things I never even dreamed of, grew personally and professionally, learned more about myself and made new friends while reconnecting with old ones. 

The most important thing I learned in 2014 is to pursue my own happiness and be selfish. I’m not talking selfish in terms of not holding the door open for people behind you or not saying please and thank you and taking what isn’t yours. But being selfish in terms of putting your happiness above anyone else because living to make others happy takes away from your own happiness and if you make your happiness a priority then you will make twice as many people happy by sharing your happiness and success with the people around you. 

Some things I’ve learned this past year that have led me to be happier than I have ever been and experience opportunities I used to dream of and be successful in doing what I love are as follows: 

1. Don’t waste your time in a job you hate. 

So many times people ask me where I work and the answer is often “nowhere.” From odd jobs I find on Craigslist, to freelance work as a writer and photographer, I refuse to spend time in a job I hate. Summer 2014 I thought it would be a good idea to go back to working like a normal college undergraduate my age. I worked in fast food, was denied time off for concerts and finally, after reevaluating my life and where my happiness lies I quit. Yes, I quit. When it comes to being held back from doing what I love and missing out on opportunities that will ultimately lead me to a career doing what I love, compromising time in a minimum wage fast food job is not the cost I’m willing to pay. If making minimum wage means putting my dreams on the back burner then forget about it because one thing I’ve learned is that it’s easy to get sucked into a routine where you hate your job but wake up every day and tend to it anyway because it’s what society expects of you. What is expected of me and what I want in life are two completely different things as they should be. You have two options: be hired to build someone else’s dreams or build your own. The choice is yours. This leads me into my next tip…
 

2. Write down your non-negotiables. 

Recently, I came across a job posting for a new coffee shop opening up. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love coffee. I responded to the posting with my resume and in the email I introduced myself and immediately listed my non-negotiables. I explained the nature of what I do– concerts, interviews, photoshoots, writing– you know, the kind of stuff that will someday make my dreams a reality. The same things that make for some availability issues. I explained that I couldn’t work weekends past 2pm and needed Fridays off. Much to my surprise I received a call back and was asked to come in for an interview. For the first time ever, a potential employer was interested in what I do and understood the importance of these things. I was offered a job on the spot, accepted and am always asked how things are going in terms of latest interviews, writing, photography, all the things I love. To work for an employer who not only respects my dreams and passions, but respects them enough to accept my non-negotiables is a big deal. Sometimes there are just things that you can’t negotiate and that’s okay, don’t back down.

3. Travel more. 

This seems to be the most popular among resolutions with each new year, but I can’t begin to explain how important this one is. Last year I took some spontaneous trips from Chicago, Indiana, New York City to a town just four hours north of home. Two friends and I packed our bags and took a Greyhound bus to New York City, didn’t have a place to stay when we got there, slept on a stools in a burger joint, on the subway, walked around New York City all day with our luggage until we finally found a place to stay. We were three teenage girls 12 hours from home just living life in the moment. That trip was the most unorganized, sometimes scary, most amazing trip I’ve ever taken. Not only did I learn that I had a good sense of direction, I bonded with friends, fought with them, explored a city I’ve never been to and longed for a place I call home. Perhaps the most rewarding thing about these trips and traveling is a renewed appreciation and love for the place we call “home.” 

4. Do what you normally wouldn’t do.

Too often I would find myself turning down opportunities or experiences because they “just weren’t my thing.” Although I still use this excuse from time to time, I learned that even thought they “aren’t my thing,” there’s a lot to appreciate about new places, people, things and experiences you have never tried. From going to my first EDM show, selling merch for an artist I met through Twitter who came to Detroit on tour to exploring abandoned buildings all of those things I did that I wouldn’t normally do became so significant. Whether it was new found appreciate for a genre I don’t typically listen to, friendships budding from selling merch or a crazy adrenaline rush from being in buildings I shouldn’t be and seeing the Detroit Skyline from the rooftop when I finally made it there, expanding beyond your comfort zone is essential to your growth. You might even learn things about yourself you wouldn’t know otherwise. 

5. Social media is more than a diary.

Many of us take to social media to complain about things or share our frustration and sometimes our happiness and excitement. If there’s anything I’ve learned about social media is that it can instantly connect you with people you don’t know. That’s a given right? Thanks to social media I’ve made friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise, so while many of us are quick to use it as a diary to vent, be aware of its other uses. Not only have I formed some amazing friendships through social media, but I’ve been able to network a lot and building business relationships with professionals in my field. 

These are just some personal tips from things I’ve learned in the past year that have led me to feel happier than I ever have and create memories that will last a lifetime all while kicking old lifestyle habits for new ones to cultivate a better, more optimistic outlook on life. I hope that sharing these tips helps cultivate your outlook going into this new year and inspires you to make some positive changes, try things you never have, make new friends and most importantly, pursue your own happiness so that you can share it with everyone around you. 

Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This winter, I fell victim to Panera and their broccoli cheddar soup. Who can deny it? It’s amazing and after spending more than $15 on soup in just one week I decided it was time to try making it at home. 

When I made it the first time, it came out good, but not “great.” The second and third time were a charm after adjusting ingredients from a recipe I found online. 

For anyone who is a fan of the broccoli cheddar soup from Panera, here’s a recipe that will cost about $15 or less at the grocery store that will feed 4-5. 

Ingredients
1 cup of butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 small onion
4 cups whole milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 head of broccoli
1 carrot (shredded)
1/2 pound of Velvetta cheese (cubed)
1 baguette

Directions
1. Cut the broccoli florets and wash, boil in 2 quarts of water until tender
2. Drain broccoli and set aside
3. Melt butter and add chopped onion and saut
é
4. Add 3/4 cup flour stirring until a paste forms
5. Slowly add 2 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of milk stirring as they are added
6. Bring to a boil until desired thickness of cream is reached
7. Add broccoli and shredded carrot
8. Stir in cubes of Velvetta cheese and heat until melted
9. Serve with baguette

Sam Smith Reveals He's Dating "Like I Can" Music Video Extra

In a recent interview with The Sun, singer-songwriter Sam Smith revealed that he’s dating a video extra from the official music video for “Like I Can.”

“He’s really sweet…he was one of 20 extras. It’s a surreal thing to be talking about because I haven’t even confirmed with him that we’re officially seeing each other,” the 22-year-old “Stay With Me” singer told The Sun, via Towleroad.

Smith came out publicly this past spring and was fast to add, “the reason I do what I do is because I’m an artist who is always going to be blue about something.”

Smith has had a successful year with six Grammy nominations, one of each in four major categories in addition to his debut album, In The Lonely Hour being certified platinum and two incredibly successful singles, “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not The Only One,” which have been dominating the charts.

Following his successful year, Smith will be embarking on his first-ever headlining tour in the new year that will span 16 cities in the United States and Canada. The tour kicks off on Jan. 9 at Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.

The tour includes headlining shows at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City as well as The Forum in Los Angeles prior to wrapping up at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Feb. 4.

For more information regarding tickets and tour dates click here.

Single Review: "Habits" by Tove Lo

Swedish singer Tove Lo has been riding radio airwaves with her hit single, “Habits.” The track smoothly blends electronic instrumentals with Tove Lo’s original melody. With heavy drums, backup vocals and her own delicate voice, the song spans an upbeat pattern with its unforgettable beat.

Tove Lo introduces a series of bad habits throughout the song as she sings about a lover that’s left her that the songstress seems to be trying to forget and will do anything to make even the memory of that lover a thing of the past.

Perhaps what makes the song so catchy isn’t its unique blend of instrumentals or even the relatable lyrics, but the use of smooth, well integrated backing vocals and the words “oh oh,” that are first introduced at the beginning of the song but carry throughout the track almost concluding each sentence. The only exception is the chorus but even so, there are light backing vocals integrated that echo the chorus itself.

While lyrics like, “spend my days locked in a haze, trying to forget you babe, I fall back down. Gotta stay high all my life to forget I’m missing you,” may suggest that the song is depressing following a love that’s fallen apart, the instrumentals make it a fun song to listen to that is sure to easily become one of the most played songs on your playlist without even thinking about it.

It’s no doubt that Tove Lo can pen a catchy chorus, she certainly proves that in “Habits,” making it a mascara-smudging pop song about breakup and a very successful, radio-friendly debut.

Martina McBride Inks Record Deal With Nash Icon

Iconic country starlet Martina McBride surprised fans with shocking news when she appeared on the Today show Tuesday morning (Dec. 23).

The shocking news came when the “Concrete Angel” singer announced that she has recently joined Reba McEntire after inking a record deal with Nash Icon, after sharing holiday plans and recipes from her new cookbook, “Around the Table,” with correspondent Jenna Bush Hager.

Nash Icon is a new label created through a partnership between Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus Media. Nash Icon is aimed towards bringing back classic country superstars in a modern marketplace.  McBride is the second classic country superstar to ink a deal with the new label that she now shares with label mate Reba McEntire.

Ronnie Dunn of the classic country duo, Brooks & Dunn has hinted that he too may be soon joining the starlets in their new ventures.

McBride took to Twitter following the show Tuesday morning to share her excitement where she tweeted, “So…yes, it’s true! I’m signed with Nash Icon and could not BE more excited! Making new music in 2015! More details to come. Thnx 4 all the luv!”

"Sons of Anarchy" Prequel Film Rumors Put To Rest

Rumors of a Sons of Anarchy prequel film starring Charlie Hunnam and Brad Pitt went viral, leading to excitement among SOA fans only to be let down after rumors were confirmed to be the product of a satirical news site, thus making the news false.

After the unfortunate season finale on Dec. 9, news of a prequel film went viral when an Empire News article cited a quote from creator Kurt Sutter who allegedly reported that a movie would begin being filmed in 2015 with an anticipated late 2016 release date to follow the conclusion of the series.

According to the article, the prequel film was reported to document the life of Jax Teller from birth to the first SOA episode revolving around the biker drama that kicked off the series back in 2008.

The fictional Empire News article quoted Sutter allegedly saying, “People absolutely loved the show, as did I, and I have put a lot of thought into the matter, and we are going forward with turning it into a feature film.”

SOA fans near and far shared the article more than 435,000 following the post that has since been flagged as a satirical news source, denying the rumors that there will be a prequel film.

Although fans’ hopes for a prequel film have fallen slain since rumors were put to rest, one thing is certain. If any expansion on the Sons of Anarchy story can occur, then it will.

Interview: G-Eazy Opens Up About His Inevitable Success As A Rapper

For Gerald Earl Gillum, better known as G-Eazy, success as a rapper was inevitable. It was a constant battle of odds versus undying confidence that in due time, things would finally fall into place the way they were meant to. The same way he knew deep within his heart that his dreams, despite how far-fetched they seemed, would evolve into his reality.

Following high school, he fled his home of Oakland, California at age 18 for New Orleans where he attended Loyola University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Industry Studies. It was in New Orleans where his dreams continued to evolve; slowly but surely becoming his reality as he continued to hone his skills along the way.

We joined G-Eazy on his tour bus where we talked about his debut album, These Things Happen, motivation to finish college as music became more distracting, his undying confidence, his songwriting formula and more.

College News: So first of all, congrats on the album. That’s impressive that it went No. 3 on Billboard, that’s exciting. How do you feel that like after so many years it skyrocketed pretty much?
G-Eazy: It just did it. That dream I had when I was 14 or 15 was validated just because I’ve always been confident that it would work even at the most foolish of times when nothing was working for me and music wasn’t that good at all. I was always sure it would happen. From the outside looking in, it wasn’t very much of a safe bet. So it kind of validates all that time spent.

CN: Was there every any point where you felt that maybe other people were right about it not working out?
G-Eazy: Nope. I mean I doubt myself all the time, it’s this crazy duality of self-loathing and unstoppable confidence. On one hand, I would wonder every day, “Am I crazy? Is this ever actually going to work? Am I even good enough to be here?” and then on the other hand, I felt like I would be a star eventually and it would all fall into place.

CN: With that said, how has the transition been from some normal guy trying to make it to suddenly, stardom after the release of your debut?
G-Eazy: I don’t know. It was just a long gradual process for so many years that I got used to it never working. Now it’s like the arch— the curve has dramatically gotten faster it’s kind of crazy but I haven’t had time to stop and think about it. I’ve basically been on tour the last 10 months it feels like. The last tour ended…it never really ended I just…once a year to twice. It’s just been nonstop. You just keep your head down and keep moving.
CN: Well, I guess that’s a good thing. Keep the momentum going.
G-Eazy: Yeah.

CN: Is anyone else in your family musically inclined?
G-Eazy: Yeah. My aunt and uncle played in sef rock band when I was kid, they’re crazy talented musicians. When I was a little kid, we all lived in my grandma’s house. Me, my mom, my brother, my aunt and uncle, my grandma and grandpa. And my aunt and uncle, their band would  rehearse in my basement and I would watch them play and I really looked up to them.

CN: So were they very supportive of you pursuing music?
G-Eazy: Yeah.

CN: Do you recall the first time that hip hop really grasped your attention? And from that point on, at what point did you decide that you wanted to pursue it as a career?
G-Eazy: When I was old enough to decide what kind of music I liked, 8 or 9 or 10, I’d listen to the radio. Dr. Dre’s 2001 was the biggest CD in the world at the time. I played it over and over again in my mom’s car.

CN: You went to New Orleans for school. How did you manage to stay motivated to stay in school and pursue music? I mean both are like a full time job.
G-Eazy: It was just that my grandma and mom had worked really hard to save and put money away for me to be able to go to college. I had a big scholarship to be there and they were helping me. It was a huge opportunity, it just didn’t feel right fucking off and messing up so I just kind of stuck with it for the bigger picture but it was definitely a big challenge. I mean, I hated school. Especially as music became more distracting.

CN: Yeah, exactly. How would you say your sound evolved between influences you had in the music scene in California and New Orleans? How did they clash?
G-Eazy: Well, I mean you can kind of split it up into the Hyphy Movement, and the local Bay Area stuff that was my world growing up and all the music that I made in high school sounded like that. Then I moved to New Orleans and someone named Lil Wayne was the biggest rapper in the world at that time. It was just before Carter III and his presence in that city was felt everywhere you went and he became a really big influence on my music.

CN: How do you think your appreciation for other music sets you apart from other artists? I notice that you sample other– not just genres, but decades of those genres. How do you think that impacts your original work?
G-Eazy: I don’t know. I have an ear for melody and I think it goes past whatever genre or time period or category that comes from. I just hear melody and I hear stories and I’m able to remove them from whatever world they came from and  kind of reinterpret them. Runaround Sue, it’s the same story that gets told in Chris Brown’s “Loyal.” It’s the same song and I hear that.  I don’t necessarily hear the exact genre or time period it comes from, it’s a great melody and it’s a great story.

CN: Who would you note as some of your top musical influences?
G-Eazy: Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, John Lennon, Johnny Cash

CN: Aside from production, you seem to be very invested in songwriting. You have some really great lyrics. Have you always been a great writer or do you feel like that’s something that’s evolved?
G-Eazy: The thing with my songwriting is it’s half soul and half technique. So like stories come from inside of you, but your technique as a writer evolves just like it would as a painter or a photographer. The first day you pick up a camera you may suck but 5 to 10 years into studying your craft you get better at it. But your perspective is something that can’t really be taught or trained so it’s half and half.

CN: Where do you find inspiration for songs you write?
G-Eazy: Life. My perspective on the world.

CN: Do you have a favorite song that you’ve ever written?
G-Eazy: Um… Yeah, it’s a brand new one. It’s not out yet. It’s something that I just made, it’s called “Sad Life.”

CN: Do you feel that These Things Happen is overall an accurate representation of your artistry and what you set out to do?
G-Eazy: Hell yeah. That was our goal is for the debut LP to be an all encompassing look at who Gerald is and what does he have to say?
CN: And does your label allow you to have that creative control?
G-Eazy: Yeah. Absolutely, that’s what we fought for.

CN: What would you say has been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced either personally or professionally since being out on this journey?
G-Eazy: The biggest obstacle? Wow. Um… I can say like one moment where we kind of put it all on the line and basically bet the house on an idea and ended up getting a breakthrough moment. Actually, exactly about a year ago, These Things Happen was maybe 80-90% done. We had ideas for three music videos. For “Been On,” for “Almost Famous” and “Far Alone.” And I had been saving all my money from Must Be Nice, like iTunes checks that would come in. We had $100,000 saved up. And we shot those music videos with that money. I believed in the album and I wanted to really make a splash and I knew we needed content and music videos were key. It was a leap of faith. I mean, $100,000 that’s a fucking fortune. That’s an obscene amount of money. Like..a down payment on a house, you could buy a house in a lot of places. But I believed in the album and I believed in the ideas we had for the music videos. And it was a huge dice roll, but I think that’s what helped us breakthrough.

CN: On the contrary, what would you say to be your biggest accomplishment? And I want to say besides the album because that’s a given.
G-Eazy: Yeah, yeah. Fox Theatre…it sold out a month ahead of time and it’s a big venue in downtown Oakland, it’s a big deal.

CN: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
G-Eazy: I like to drink tea and meditate for 30 minutes. And then I drink whiskey for the next 30 minutes before I go on stage.

CN: How do you keep each show interesting? Opposed to making it seem like you just press ‘play’ each night?
G-Eazy: That’s the magic. That’s the magic, that’s the whole trick of tour. On one hand it’s like a circus, it’s a traveling show. But a fan in Detroit hasn’t seen it 16 times already. I’ve performed it 16 times, but that doesn’t matter to them. This is their one chance to see it so you have to perform it like it’s your first time performing it. You have to kill it for them, for that person who cares who paid their money to see it.

CN: Social media has undoubtedly leveled the playing field for independent artists. What do you think about its influence in the music industry?
G-Eazy: It’s good and bad. It’s good because it’s leveled the playing field and it’s bad because it’s leveled the playing field. It lets everything in so it lets great things in that wouldn’t have been found but it also lets bullshit in.

CN: And finally, do you have advice for anyone pursuing their dreams? Even outside of music that may seem out of reach?
G-Eazy: Just a consistent work ethic, that’s what I call “the process.” And it’s important to be in love with the process and not only the return.