6/14/20 BLM Protests in LA & Music Inspo for Social Change

Today is the big day. Protests are occurring all throughout the Los Angeles area in Long Beach, Inglewood, DTLA, Hollywood, etc. to address the racial inequalities and injustices that black community struggle with a daily basis. While I feel almost guilty for not attending, I also know that I can show my support in other ways that I could identify and resonate most with.. and that’s music. It was the year 2017 when I realized the true impact music has on people to become inspired and to inspire others. It was also the same year when I picked up my pen again and began to hone in on my song writing skills. That was when I realized I could put my love for writing and music together in order to create music that express the deep emotions I felt when learning about the corruption and darkness that pervaded the world while attending my sociology courses in college. Though I may not experience racism as overtly as in the same way as the black community, I have and currently experience micro aggression that, in hindsight fortunately, has left me feeling almost lonely & outcast (which may also be contributed to my introverted & artistic tendencies). However, I was keen of the different nuances of human interaction & treatment that existed in our hierarchical society today. And while I felt the sadness of the world, it left me feeling almost powerless and overwhelmed myself. And I think the realization was a pivotal moment for me, because it led to me to resort back to music as a way of escapism but also on the same token, a way to create social change. Almost 4 years later, and my disposition has not changed. Here is to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement of 2020. Hope at least one of these songs incite or invoke some feeling and desire of change within yourselves and consequently, to the real world. Comment your favorite below!

much love x Lo

Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone (1968)
I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke (1963)
It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there above the sky
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change’s gonna come, oh, yes, it will

(click here to purchase A Change Is Gonna Come on Amazon)

Preach by John Legend (2019)
I can’t sit and hope, I
Can’t just sit and pray, that
I can find a love, when
All I see is pain
Falling to my knees
And though I do believe
I can’t just preach, baby, preach
Whoa, oh
I can’t just preach, baby, preach

(click here to purchase Preach on Amazon)

Where Is The Love? by The Black Eyed Peas (2003)
People killin’ people dyin’
Children hurtin’, I hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preachin’?
Would you turn the other cheek again?
Mama, mama, mama, tell us what the hell is goin’ on
Can’t we all just get along?
Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me, got me questioning
(Where’s the love)

(click here to purchase Where Is The Love? on Amazon)

There’s Got To Be A Way by Mariah Carey (1990)
There’s got to be a way
To connect this world today
Come together to relieve the pain
There’s got to be a way

(click here to purchase There’s Got to Be a Way on Amazon)

Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson (1988)
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

(click here to purchase Man in the Mirror on Amazon)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: Book Review

He realized: If I can learn to understand this language without words, I can learn to understand the world (Coelho 44).

I have kept this book with me for years, but never had the time, energy, and comfort to pick up a book and finish it til its last page. It wasn’t until a couple months ago when I first started the book, in hopes of finding inspiration of some sort in regards to my journey as an ‘entrepreneur & singer’. I just would like to say that this book hit home for me and contained gems that one cannot overlook. This book helped to relight a small fire I had burning in me. To provide a general summary, the book entails the journey of a shepherd boy who is sent out by the old king to meet the Alchemist in hopes of discovering treasure miles and miles away from his home. Along the way, he meets people, a sign and omen, who encourage him to never give up. The message of the book truly resonated with me as sometimes it is easy to feel discouraged and disheartened when things don’t go as planned, or when fear overtakes ambition & passion. But this book reminds you to follow you Personal Legend in spite of your fears, because in the end you will regret not pursuing your dreams more than failing. When you put your heart, soul, and tears towards your dreams, nature communicates with you in return by attracting positive things to your life to guide you in your journey. And as someone who is fighting for my dreams as well, I can relate to the boy in the story as I have felt the spirit & presence of those guiding me to achieve my dreams– for the purpose of serving the greater good. I don’t think there is a lesson more powerful than that. If you are someone who is starting out or simply find yourself looking for inspiration in your own journey, I recommend you took give this book a read. I took note of some of my favorite quotes early in the book that I would like to share with you.

The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one.. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it” (Coelho 22).

“In alchemy, it’s called the Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force” (Coelho 78).

For those who are looking for a short but powerful read, especially during this quarantine, I would recommend ya’ll to check this book out. Promise you won’t regret it.

(click here to purchase The Alchemist on Amazon)

The Help (2011): Movie Review

First off, I would like to start off by saying that I’m particularly picky about the kinds of movies I watch.
I normally watch movies that contain relevance to the culture, social issues, offer insight into theories/ phenomenons, crime, or simple entertainment such as dark humor comedies– as you can probably tell from my previous posts. And so when I saw this movie on Netflix, I was eager to share with you my thoughts & review on it.
I had been meaning to watch the movie The Help (can’t believe this movie is almost a decade old and is more relevant now than ever), and it was interesting to watch the modern take of 1960’s racism. The main cast of the movie includes Emma Stone as Eugenia Skeeter, Bryce Howard as Hilly Holdbrook, and Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson– all of whom did a brilliant job as actors to convey and deliver the message of the movie across to their viewers. While racism has improved, we do have to take note of the overt and blanket racism that existed in the 60’s produced by the Jim Crow laws that were enacted in the late 1800’s & onward. In the movie, white households hired black servants to not only watch over their children but also act as a doormat for their personal rage and frustration. You will also see how they were used as pons to boss around and show off to their fellow acquaintance. And as a person of color, this broke my heart to see. These servants not only served their ‘white masters’ but were ultimately owned by them. And this act was entirely legal & condoned. While we can say this phenomenon no longer happens in modern day to this extent, we may see this behavior present in smaller ways through daily human interaction via micro aggression, the job hiring process, etc. While I personally don’t think there is an exact blame towards anyone since it has become a practice engrained into our minds and government system.. it is our willful ignorance & lack of knowledge (and admittedly mine as well long ago) that perpetuates cycles of racial discrimination and injustice in our world. I can commend the improvement we have witnessed throughout the decades, I know there is much more we can do as human beings with integrity and a basic fundamental understanding of human rights, to make this world a much better and safe place for future generations to live in.

If ya’ll have a chance or may have piqued any of your interest (due to the current racial & political climate), I’d recommend to give The Help a go on Netflix.
While it is a much light hearted version of systemic racism & oppression, it does contain a powerful message about humanity and where we stand collectively as citizens of the law. And at that I’ll leave you with this.

“See, courage isn’t just about being brave. 
Courage is daring to do what is right in spite of the weakness of our flesh.”
— The Help

Amazon Affiliate Music Download

Hi guys, as you can probably tell from reading my previous posts, I have included links for purchase on any music mentioned on my site.

These files can be downloaded to your computer or any device and placed anywhere as desired. This is a much more safer (& legal) way of downloading and listening to music at anytime to your heart’s content. I’ve attached links to singles which vary from $1-2 & albums which vary $5 & up. As always I always look for the best prices for ya’ll.

I will also be including links to any other items I’ve tried on amazon, and that I deem worthy of suggestion.

Thank you to all my new followers for all your support & lovely feedback!

Don’t know where highsnlows will be without you all!

Til then,

Much Love x Lo

Lady Day: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday born April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959 was birthed by the name Eleanora Fagan. Holiday was an American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young. Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing.

To me and many others, Holiday was one of the many ladies who were the face to female jazz singers. Her beauty and voice moved many aspiring singers, leaving her mark in jazz history.

(click here to purchase Strange Fruit on Amazon)

(click here to purchase Summertime on Amazon)

The Beale Street Blues Boy: B.B. King

Today’s artist is B.B. King!

B.B. King, also known as Riley B. King, was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later blues electric guitar players.

He is known for his song “The Thrill Is Gone” (1970).
“The Thrill is Gone” hit number three in the R&B charts. King’s version of “The Thrill is Gone” hit number fifteen in the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. “The Thrill is Gone” is a melancholy, minor key twelve bar blues song featuring strings and excellent production. The focus of “The Thrill is Gone” is on B.B.’s soulful voice and emotional, often improvised blues guitar solos. “The Thrill is Gone” debuted on King’s 1969 album Completely Well. – (classicrockhistory). Check out his 1993 Montreux Performance.

(click here to purchase The Thrill Is Gone on Amazon)

Another one of my favorite is “Everyday I have the Blues” (1956).
An old blues standard, King’s cover of “Every Day I Have the Blues” was based on an arrangement by earlier bluesman Memphis Slim. Maxwell Davis contributed heavily to King’s new arrangement of “Every Day I Have The Blues.” “Every Day I Have The Blues” was very well received by the public hitting number eight in the R&B charts. King’s version of “Every Day I Have The Blues” won a grammy award in 2004. “Every Day I Have The Blues” first appeared on King’s very first album, 1956’s Singin’ The Blues. – (classicrockhistory)

(click here to purchase Everyday I Have the Blues on Amazon)

And lastly but not least, “How Blue Can You Get” (1963).
B.B. King’s ”How Blue Can You Get” hit ninety-seven on The Billboard Hot 100. “How Blue Can You Get” became a staple of King’s live shows for the remainder of his long career, appearing on numerous live B.B. King albums. “How Blue Can You Get?” has been covered by artists as diverse as Duke Ellington, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac. – (classicrockhistory)

(click here to purchase How Blue Can You Get on Amazon)

* Feel free to read more about Top 10 B.B. Songs here.

Self Update: covid, art, blogging, journaling, numerology

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve given ya’ll an update so I thought it was the perfect time to do so. so here it is, the update no one asked for :*. Lately, as I’m with sure with others, I have been diving deep into my own during these rough times. And by that I mean contemplating & reflecting on my life & what my purpose here is on earth & how to get more in touch with that side of me. And odd to say, I have felt support from ‘above’ which has fueled my motivation and drive during these tough times for me.. I know, I know it might sound crazy but I guess this is what it comes to.. I found it has come specifically in the form of triple numbers such as 333, 444, and 555. And though it may sound absurd to a common person, that is all the message I need to keep going. Needless to say, I have never felt this protected & safe in my life.

Anyhow, I’ve been channeling my creativity & energy into my passions/ interests– and that is the arts, books, films, music, and simple content creation. And it has been a while since I have felt that reenergized & rejuvenated emotionally & mentally. As you can probably tell from my earlier posts I have spent a lot of time thinking & exploring & doing music (which I will expand more upon another post). I have pulled out a couple journals for me to write on daily, which I am also excited to share with you guys. And of course, exploring my imagination with new books. Although I do have to admit that I have my moments of unexplained sadness & despair.. I know my lows do give way to the highs I experience as well. I have been spending this time in figuring out my values & what are the most important to me in this time of my life by delving into my passions & using external sources & such. For those interested in personal development, I would totally recommend you guys to check out this site called Numerology. And no, this is not sponsored at all! I found this site on my own & was a bit skeptical for using it, but it was entirely free to try so why not (lol). And I was astonished by the results that were for the most part accurate & insightful into my personality, character, lifestyle, and even predictions. Numerology, like Astrology you can say, is based on a number system dated back 4000 years ago to find hidden patterns & messages that can influence you to make positive choices in your life. If you’d like, you can read more about numerology here. While others may argue it is complete bogus, for me personally, it is largely dictated by where you place your belief. And that really holds true for anything in life. As Ms. Oprah Winfrey once said, “You don’t become what you are, you become what you believe”.

For others listening or might this fall on deaf ears, I think the takeaway of this post is imply to follow your heart, gut & intuition. As you develop it, it is the one thing people can not take away from you.

And for those interested in, while it may sound silly, I think it’s worth a shot for those interested. What’s there to lose? If you guys choose to try it, I’d love to know your input & if it works for you!

Much love,
x Lo

Amazon Affiliate Program & A Big Thank You

aah, it’s crazy what hard work & pure passion can get you.

When I started this blog in 2016, I initially wanted to create content & simply spread my love for music. And that is very much still the goal and has not changed since. Fast forward 4 years later, and I’ve dreamed of making my blog a full time job so that I can be here to offer you joy & happiness through the discovery of new music, arts, & simply inspiration.

Though I do not intend to be a sell out, I would love to in some way monetize my blog any way I can to pursue making this a full-time thing for you guys. So that I can continue doing what I love and that is, simply creating. Whether that means creating content, music, art, photography, promoting a happy/ healthy lifestyle. that’s what I truly want to do. And so, I have signed up with Amazon Affiliate.

For those not familiar, that means I would have to reach a quota every month to stay on the program & monetize my blog. And so I am asking if you guys would contribute by making purchases through my blog posts. I am asking if you guys make purchases only on the items that serve you and bring you joy, because that’s only what I ever want to offer on my blog here. If there is any music download, equipment, material, book, etc. whatever it is that may make a small difference in your life and somehow inspire change in your life through my blog posts, I please ask if you can make your purchase on the links provided on my posts. (They will be in parenthesis & bolded so difficult to miss as so). As a shopper myself, I ensure to find the best prices for you guys with the best deals. I only hope I get to the stage where I can provided discounts for you guys, because I don’t ever want to feel as though I am scamming or skimping you out, and I think that’s what you all deserve.

Anyhow, know that I am fully & entirely grateful for the outpour of support & loyalty shown to me on this blog that I’ve received from you all. I know I always say this, but I do mean it. My blog wouldn’t be where it is without you guys. I only felt I needed to make an proper post for this because it will be a new practice of mine on my blog. Thank you again love ya’ll & much much love!

I have left amazon links on a few my previous if you get a chance to check them out.
‘Til next time.

x Lo

Jazz Singer: Dinah Washington

So I’ve decided that because I love sharing my knowledge of music that comes from my passion of music, I thought I would start somewhat of a new ‘series’ where I will be sharing with you guys a new Jazz artist I’ve learned about every week. I have a whole list that I’ve made to hear new music & styles from these Jazz artists posted on my To-Do lists, just starting at me, waiting to be shared & passed on.

Dinah Washington

Today is going to be about Dinah Washington. Washington’s birth name was Ruth Lee Jones and she was born August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963. She was an American singer and pianist, who has been cited as “the most popular black female recording artist of the ’50s”. Some of her popular music include “What A Diff’rence A Day Made” (1959) & “Mad About The Boy” (1952) which I will share audio down below. Not sure about you, but it’s refreshing to hear new music especially when it comes from the older days. Great way to appreciate good music nowadays.

(click here to purchase The Best of Dinah Washington – 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection)

Anyhow, be sure to check em out below.

Mariah Carey Glitter Album: Spotify

Wow, this is pretty exciting news to share with ya’ll.

If you hadn’t already know, Mariah Carey recently announced that her Glitter (2001) Album is finally released on Spotify. (Yay!)
This is for any aspiring vocalists who admire Carey or simply a Lambily Stan, to reminisce and dive more into Carey’s early years in her career. The album was released on August 18, 2001 in Japan by Sony Music and worldwide on September 11, 2001 by Virgin Records.
The album comes from Mariah Carey’s movie Glitter. Been a long time coming.
Some amazing songs on there that I feel ashamed that I didn’t know about prior.
You’ll see in the album that plays with Soul, R&B, Funk and hiphop/ rap.

Below are most of the tracks on the album:
Lead the Way (did some amazing runs in there)
If We (ft. Ja Rule & Nate Dogg)
Didn’t Mean To Turn You On
Don’t Stop (A fun funk track that deviates from Carey’s usual sound)
All My Life
Reflections (Care Enough)
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (sampled from an older song)
Want You

(click here to purchase full Glitter Album on Amazon)

Pop Icon: Amy Winehouse

It’s 2 in the morning here and something got me blasting some Amy Winehouse (sorry neighbors).

Rest in peace to pop, soul & jazz singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse.

Below are my some of my favorite hits from her. If ya’ll would like to get to know the singer a little bit more feel free to read “15 Surprising Things That You Might Not Know About Amy Winehouse

What are ya’ll finding yourselves listening to during this quarantine?
Leave your responses below, I’d love to know!