A conversation with CYN

Not too long ago I had a chat with singer-songwiter and pop starlet on the rise, Cyn. Originally from just outside of Detroit, Michigan she moved to Los Angeles after being discovered by pop music royalty, Katy Perry, who subsequently signed Cyn to her label, Unsub Records. In this conversation, Cyn recounts the events that led to her first meeting with Katy and the path that led to her deal but also spills the beans on her recent arena tour in Mexico where she opened for Katy Perry herself following recent shows with the likes of Sigrid and also Borns. We learn about her upbringing in Michigan, college life in Chicago, how she sees her burgeoning career evolving and she also gets pretty candid about her fascination with art, poetry and flowers. From babysitting and recording demos straight into her laptop to working with some of the biggest names in music and fashion, her life is changing pretty drastically and at the rate of knots so to that end, I hope you enjoy this conversation and I introduce you to the wonderfully charming Cyn.

A conversation with Ricky Rebel

Ricky Rebel is a Billboard Top 40 recording artist, dancer and all round performer who was originally discovered and signed by Michael Jackson before moving to Madonna's label with Maverick. He is an ambassador for MAC cosmetics and the face of Revry.tv, an all LGBTQ streaming platform. In this conversation we dive into a whole host of subjects including Ricky's wild music videos and the unlikely reactions he's been getting from more conservative parts of the country. Ricky tells stories about his antics while hanging out on Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch and his musical evolution towards becoming Ricky Rebel. We also explore the current political divide in the country, what artists could be doing to help and the challenges facing gay performers in today's music industry.

A Conversation with Jarvis Anderson

Jarvis Anderson is a Chicago born songwriter, producer and former co-frontman of the indie rock band, Iglu & Hartly. In this episode, we discuss the trajectory of his career beginning with how he first fell in love with music to starting a band in college, hustling the Hollywood nightlife scene  and eventually playing to tens of thousands of people and engaging in a band rift with Brit boy band and royalty, Take That. Jarvis also offers a lot of candor about the environment of party excess that surrounded him at the time which eventually led to his road to sobriety. He now spends his time co-writing and producing up and coming acts (Icona Pop, Night Riots, Meen Streets) and we also learn about his latest creative endeavor, The GeoMetro Party.

A conversation with Shane Carpenter

Starting out as a photographer, Shane Carpenter quickly became a staple of LA's live music, art and nightlife scenes. Compelled by an enthusiastic curiosity for culture and the unknown, he is out event-hopping 7 nights a week and is the creator of LA Phun, a large Facebook group that thousands of Angelenos turn to for event recommendations. In tandem with his appetite for warehouse parties and cutting edge entertainment, Shane is also an actor and starred in Flying Lotus's insane film "Kuso" which saw him featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Fader among other publications.

A conversation with Ariel Beesley

Ariel Beesley is a model, actor, poet but first and foremost a songwriter and musician. She wants to write songs that do for others what her heroes did for her: The Cure, Blondie, New Order. In this conversation we discuss all things love, growing up in Los Angeles and in a Hollywood family, dealing with life's anxieties and of course her burgeoning music career.

A conversation with Kyle Nicolaides

In 2013, my former band had the chance to join the Rockstar Uproar Festival tour alongside Alice in Chains, Jane's Addiction, Coheed and Cambria among other heavyweight hard rock staples. Sharing one of the smaller outdoor stages with us was a band by the name of "Beware of Darkness". Each day, I watched in awe as Kyle, Dan & Tony displayed some of the most energetic and authentic rock 'n' roll performances one can find. More substantially, however, was the level of songwriting behind the cascading distortion. With a knack for lyrics and melody and a heavy penchant for the classics, Kyle is an old musical soul that somehow manages to exert an air of novelty in today's sonic landscape. In this DMC, we trade notes on the bizarre world that can be the LA music scene. We also discuss some of the major internal challenges and hurdles he and the band have had to face in what still would be considered a nascent stage of their careers. Finally, I learn how the time he spent on semi-hiatus led to a massive turning point, not only for the band, but for Kyle personally, allowing him to contemplate the type of environment he wanted to create for Beware of Darkness along with the series of lifestyle choices that would begin to help him finally feel comfortable in his own skin.

A conversation with Jillian Lauren

Jillian Lauren is a writer, storyteller, mum, rock-wife, and Los Angeleno, by way of New Jersey. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs "Everything You Ever Wanted", "Some Girls: My Life in a Harem" and the novel "Pretty". She writes a lot of essays and articles, some of which have been in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine, Elle, The Daily Beast and Salon, among others. Jillian also speaks and tells live stories, often with my favorite, The Moth. There’s a chance you may seen have her on The View, CNN, 60 Minutes, Joy Behar or maybe you heard her on the radio with Howard Stern or Barbara Walters. Not too long ago she did a Ted talk about identity and adoption at Chapman University. Jillian and her musician husband (Scott Shriner from the band Weezer) live with their two sons on the top of a hill in East LA where she claims to battle hipsters on daily basis to reach the Intelligentsia coffee counter.

In this DMC, we discuss the year and a half she spent, at the age of 18, as a "guest" in Prince Jefri Bolkiah’s Bruneian pleasure palace where each night she and 30-40 other girls would attend parties with the prince and his immediate entourage all competing and vying for his coveted attention. I learn how she became intimate with the prince and also about her brief sexual encounter with his brother, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, at the time the Richest man in the world and who has recently implemented Sharia Law in his country where adulterers are now stoned to death. We then proceed to discuss life after the harem and the journey she and her husband embarked on to create their family via the adoption of their first son, Tariku, from Ethiopia. Jillian is a fascinating individual who has led a rich life full of adventure and excitement but like many of us, some regret. However, she’s managed to take any level of remorse or sorrow and turn into a positive by telling her story. As always, I hope there’s something in this podcast that resonates with you on any level. You may wonder how anyone who has not led as rare a life as Jillian’s can relate at all but I think you will be surprised.