Friday, April 2, 2021

The Legal Killer: Interview with Elliot Mason


For many years, Elliot Mason was a featured and contributing writer for several websites, blogs and trade magazines. In late 2019, his first suspense thriller, "The Arlington Orders", was released too much critical acclaim. Featured on radio interviews, podcasts and television shows, Mason's work struck a chord with the public as it touched upon many of today's hot button topics, making him one of the most in demand new authors. His eagerly anticipated follow-up novel, "The Legal Killer", is set for release in the spring of 2021. It's controversial subject matter has already created a buzz among fans and critics alike, and will certainly be one of the year's most talked about suspense-thrillers. In addition, he has two more novels in the works due for release in 2022 and 2023. Mr. Mason still resides in Southern California and is currently active in writer’s workshops, book readings and signings and other appearances.

Let’s jump right into the book, “The Legal Killer”. For anyone reading this interview and have never heard of the book or is curious about the backstory, why this story? What was itching in your soul that told you that you needed to write this story? 

I have always been fascinated at how perceptions are formed about our institutions and how people accept myths or propaganda as truth without ever questioning it or the people who distribute this information. And over the course of many years, I had read an enormous amount about our federal justice system. 

Yet after reading so many stories, I realized how little I knew about the Department of Justice, how it functioned, and its impact on the country. When it became obvious how little I knew of this major part of our system, I also began to understand that most of our society was just like me when it came to their lack of knowledge as well. 

As I researched the Department of Justice and the major entities that comprise it, such as the US Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and the Bureau of Prisons, I was shocked and disgusted about how they conducted themselves. I soon came to the opinion that these people who were charged with the responsibility to protect Americans, were actually one of the greatest threats to our country’s citizenry. 

The more I learned, the greater desire I had to expose it for what I believe it is, and to dispel the misconceptions and counter the information that the DOJ distributes. They try and portray themselves as the public benefactor, and as I see it, they are anything but. 

In a nutshell, what is “The Legal Killer” about? 

The Legal Killer is the story of a young graduate student in Georgia who becomes the focus of a killer’s twisted game. The story begins with the murder of an Assistant US Attorney in California. The body is displayed in a very unusual manner. 

My main character, Des Cook, has just finished his studies at the University of Georgia when he gets a knock at his door. Two FBI agents are there and begin to question him about the young attorney who was killed in California. 

He is bewildered and asks what this has to do with him. They present him with a note which instructs the FBI to find Des and claims that “He has the answers”. Soon afterward, the killer contacts Des and gives him a series of riddles to follow. If he fails to arrive at the location the riddle designates within the given time frame, another person dies. 

As the story unfolds, Des begins to learn the motivation of the killer, the possible next targets and why he has been made the focus of such a deadly game. 

Your first novel was, “The Arlington Orders” and that was a suspenseful story about the disappearance of the Confederate Treasury. These are two totally different stories or are they? As a genre writer, are there any similarities or are they just topics that you personally enjoy? Although both have historical aspects, they are vastly different stories. The Arlington Orders was really entrenched in history, whereas The Legal Killer is a much more modern thriller that touches heavily upon one of the most discussed topics in our political discourse. 
 
All the stories I write about are topics I find fascinating. As a writer, I think writing about topics you enjoy or touch you on a deep level is a prerequisite. If a writer tries to force an interest where there is none simply because they think that others may find it interesting, that is probably the quickest way for a story to become a disaster for both writer and reader alike. 

Passion comes across in writing, so whether a topic fills you with joy, anger, sadness, or hope, as long as it’s something you feel strongly about, there is a much greater chance that the quality of the writing is going to be better. 

This is only your second novel, but there seems to be a theme, fiction combined with a touch of reality. Conspiracy perhaps? Controversy? Are portions of this story inspired by real accounts? 

I use actual truth or facts in which I build fictional stories around. I believe that most often, the best way to ensure that people will learn about a topic is if they are entertained in the process. 

I would say my books touch more upon controversy then conspiracy, especially in The Legal Killer. I try and shy away from conspiracy theories as I find the credible much more interesting. 

The problem with conspiracy theories is that they are based in beliefs usually driven by emotion or ideas created solely by a desire from their adherents to make sense of the world around them. However, conspiracy theories all have one thing in common, they lack any real research or concrete evidence, instead relying on conjecture or the loosest of ties. For the most part, they stretch the conceivable to a point where it no longer makes any sense or is so ridiculous it becomes comical or tragic. 

Even though The Legal Killer is a fictional story, all the stories surrounding the Department of Justice and its entities were inspired by real accounts. It took me four years of research to finish the book. I interviewed many people who were either currently or formerly associated with the DOJ and its many entities. These people risked not only their jobs but their safety in talking with me. 

In addition, I talked with people who were currently or once associated with other businesses and governmental departments who have firsthand knowledge of our federal justice system and the way it operates. I studied hundreds of real cases, learned the immoral and sometimes illegal tactics that the DOJ utilizes and the utter destruction they leave in their wake. 

What are some of your inspirations? Do you sometimes observe things and see what others don’t? 

I find myself inspired by people who can see through the BS and get to the heart of the matter. It seems in today’s age of social media and twenty-four-hour news cycles that have become nothing more than propaganda outlets for one point of view or another, that people have not only lost their sense of what is real, but what is important. I think this leads me to find inspiration in strange places. 

This may seem strange, but I find inspiration in comedians. I will find inspiration in people like Bill Maher, who although has a definite political leaning, is not afraid to call out people on his own side of the aisle. I find inspiration in comics like Bill Burr who says things that may not be politically correct or popular but are often rooted in common sense. To me, artist and entertainers who focus more on the art of their craft, rather than satisfying the requirements of someone else’s narrative are the most inspirational. They are the ones that that give me the strength to tackle difficult topics and not be concerned whether some may find it objectionable. 

I don’t think I’m unique. I think a lot of people see what I see on various topics, however, are frightened that if they speak up, there may be serious consequences. I do not believe I possess some special talent to see what others cannot. I think if I have any advantage whatsoever, it is having an inquisitive nature and to not be willing to settle for the answers or explanations that are given on social media or other outlets. 

How did you develop the characters in this story? Was this hard for you to develop? What was the process for you to create these characters? 

My characters tend to be a combination of people I know, or I have interviewed. I will incorporate their personalities or even aspects of myself into my characters. Ironically, I will often write parts of my personality into the villains. 

When I created my main characters for this story, I wanted them to represent certain attributes of society. My heroes are far from perfect. For instance, Des is honest but can be naïve to the point of being gullible. I wanted him to not only represent the loss of innocence, but also serve as an indictment of our foolishness. In a way, he represents American society. He is one who constantly holds onto hope and belief in certain institutions even when he has been consistently proven wrong. My villains are also never completely villainous. The old school James Bond villain who wants to take over the world and who is completely evil to the core of his being is fun, however, is not very realistic. I believe there is good and bad in each of us. When I create my villains, they will often do the wrong thing for the right reason or vise-versa. When I am writing my villains, I do so with the hope my reader will feel torn about them. 

In your opinion, what kind of person will like this book? 

I believe anyone who likes political thrillers or murder mysteries will enjoy this story. I also believe that anyone who follows the news will find them interesting as well. However, most of all, I believe anyone who likes to be challenged will enjoy this book. 

My goal with every story I write is to make my reader feel uncomfortable. If I can challenge their preconceived notions and accomplish this, then I think I have done my job. 

Obviously, you are an avid book reader, as most writers are. Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite books? 

Don Winslow is one of my favorite authors. The way he styles his stories is incredible. His book The Force, is one of my all-time favorites. I am a fan of James Elroy and his gritty style. LA Confidential and The Big Nowhere are fantastic. I am also a fan of Dan Brown, and admire his attention to detail, from a research standpoint, he is unmatched. 

It sure seems like you are on a roll or about to be on a successful one. Do you have another project already on the backburner waiting to be written and published? 

I am working on another suspense thriller that deals with the Israeli/Palestinian issue, its impact around the world and especially here in the United States. I am currently entrenched in research and have been amazed at what I have found out and some of the massive misconceptions and lack of knowledge that people have about the history of that situation and the myths that are being propagated today. 

What did you do before you became a published writer? 

Before I became a novel writer, I did a lot of freelance writing for websites, blogs and online magazines. I was also involved in special events coordination and marketing. 

Obviously, the theme of your first novel is historical suspense and this one seems to follow the Suspense genre. Is this a genre you want to continue to create in? What other genres are you exploring? 

 I feel comfortable writing suspense thrillers and feel that I can challenge people best in that genre. However, I also have an interest in writing about political issues away from the suspense format. I enjoy commentary writing and feel that writing in an op ed fashion that encourages vigorous discussion and debate is exciting and extremely important. 

I want to get people away from what I call “fragmented thinking”, which is basically thinking in 280 characters or some other truncated social media platform style. Our world is too complex for topics to be completely defined or discussed in such a limited space. Social media is great for entertainment purposes and limited perspectives about unimportant items, and in many ways, it has become necessary. But in my opinion, when it comes to using it as the format to discuss important issues, I believe when people look back at this time period in terms of the thoughtful exchange of ideas about politics and social issues, it will go down in history as something akin to the dark ages.

Follow Elliot Mason and purchase "The Arlington Orders" on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Find Elliot Mason on Instagram 
Elliot Mason official website

Monday, March 22, 2021

Mj Tom Losotros | Art that echo's uncomfortable reality

In 2003, European Visual Artist Mj Tom LosOtros established the Visual Poetry | Urban Art Group LosOtros with his alter ego Andrea Nada. 


Mj Tom lives between Berlin, Barcelona and Paris. His work has been exhibited at London, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Barcelona. His current body of work includes mixed media, collage, sculture, installation, and digital printing. Irreverent and fleeting, able to define himself as a copy machine of art, sarcastic and deliberately anonymous, he questions almost every probable fact. The veneer of normality, the history as written, the common way of understanding nature and oneself as a part of it. 

As he remarks “I don’t want much to be known about me”. I am not trying to be elusive as some people  might say. I just think what is important is the artwork, not the artist. I want you to have my work on your ...wall, not based on who I am, where I have studied or where I have exhibited my work. I don’t want to get between “You” and the “Artwork”. I want to live quietly behind it... and pass away sometime quietly,” Adding, “We are low value with high purpose. We are dedicated to non- educational activities, self-indulgent thoughts, unfinished and incomplete actions. Our work is not easily classified or marketable. This protects us from analysis, judgment or criticism. We have no direction, motivation other than a cursed reflex to purge our anonymous mental overflows in a public forum and then run away from it and hide behind our cloak of concealment. Art is simply our lifestyle.” 


There is no Reality | Until You Create One. & My Reality | Ιn Halftones 
Art is my way to conciliate with reality. In some cases, I can bring it closer to my standards. And psychoanalysis too. Both of them are hopeless. It is a try to put an order in the hectic world around and inside me. To value better what had happened and possibly what is happening, at least a part of it. It is a lost war. Before I can understand what had happened in reality, or at least what I perceive as reality, the latter flips and turns to something else. I ‘m a witness, an eye witness. I revise meticulously what it is around me. I examine, select, collect, put in order emotions. Stating what is important and what is not, what could be regarded as beautiful, or ugly, what would be funny or sad. If I can't change it, I can barely transform it, good enough in order to compromise with it. Sometimes the attempt is successful, sometimes it isn’t. I ‘m urban. I like nature but I feel comfortable only in the city. It is my battlefield. Especially, the after hours, when everybody sleeps so I can walk quietly in the streets and hear the sounds. My paints they are made for me, but in reality they refer to others. It is an attempt; to speak enough for me but not in a verbal way. What is entitled inside the frame, presuppose my aesthetic viewpoint. But what they produce is beyond my control. I exist in both of them. It is a miracle, when it happens. Unfortunately isn‘t an everyday experience. Or, I believe so. 


My Reality | Ιn Halftones.
My work is an exploration of paradoxes and contrasts which are torturous and utopian, wild and serene but definitely resilient. As my reality is in halftones, I capture fragments of life often ignored or forgotten...
 
My art echo's the unease and mixes it with the uncomfortable reality of continuous transformations of the urban environment in which I live. Faces, pseudo familiar situations, characters belonging to various walks of life... they all inject emotions with such a warm identity to characterize the experience of ordinary people, those people who would say and tell through the eyes their own existence. Ι represent ordinary people; those actors unaware of being protagonists of present days and to represent them in spite of a reality in half-tone that essentially results a kind of summary, which, in the end, is life! An arrested motion in time. 

In arresting motion there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality, so I don’t arrest motion in time. I make it. I love my subjects although I don’t know them. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never meat any of them or I don’t know them at all, yet I live through them, or I can't live without them. 

Mj Tom of LosOtros | Visual Artist 
https://losotros.eu/mj-tom/ 
https://www.instagram.com/losotros.mjtom/ 
https://www.facebook.com/LosOtrosXMjTom/ 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Vivianne Knebel's memoir: "From Rubble to Champagne: Rising from the ashes of war-torn Berlin to a life of grace, beauty and gratitude"

Born an illegitimate child in the wake of WWII in Berlin, Nazi Germany to a single mother, Vivianne 
Knebel’s options were limited and her future looked bleak. She experienced poverty, cold, and hunger, and was even driven to the point of committing suicide. To seek out a better life, Vivianne immigrated to Canada as a teenager, but her misfortunes did not end there. However, in response to a miraculous intervention, she decided to preserve her life and keep moving forward.

After this incident, Vivianne met a fellow German immigrant, Wiland, who eventually became her husband. But even more than that, he became a catalyst for change in her life. His belief in her is what helped her see the true, immeasurable value of her life. She went on to play a key role in Wiland’s business venture and together they built a better future for each other.

Since then, Vivianne has run a marathon, learned to pilot a plane, and even beat cancer. She’s found a 
greater sense of spirituality and wants to share her story with the world, to remind people that there is always a reason to keep moving forward.

Links: 
Purchase her book on Amazon
Website: https://vivianneknebel.com/ 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Vocabulary platform Beeblio launches ios app

Beeblio plans on releasing its iOS mobile app pretty soon. It currently operates through its web platform
which can be accessed by visiting web.beebl.io. The concept behind the app is simple! to help people learn words in a more fun and exciting way. The CEO and Founder of Beeblio believe that at some point in everyone's life, they may get the need to study a foreign language. He mentioned how his app was built to simplify the entire learning process. 

"If beeblio can improve the experience of even one person who embarks on the journey of learning a language, whether it be a new language or just improving their level in the native language, then we feel it will be worth it". 

Beeblio is one of the easiest ways to improve your vocabulary by helping you regularly learn new words. By expanding your knowledge and learning new words you’ll be able to speak and write more concisely and clearly for people to understand you more easily. The mobile app and web application offers a unique experience for each person that uses the app so that they can learn new words they specifically do not know. Registered users or guests can use beeblio. The founders of the app have plans of integrating upcoming features such as "vocabulary list" and "flashcards". Teachers and tutors: will be able to create groups or classes, share vocabulary lists and flashcards within those groups, and see the work of the students in their groups. Later down the road, the company in addition plans on including games and challenges in which members can utilize for entertainment as they study new words. The mobile app is set to include more features as time goes on. 

One of the advantages of using this app apart from its unique design and interface is the fact that users can get quick access to features they need when they need it. Navigating through the app is very simple, the developers/founders made sure of that. 

The online platform and mobile application offer you the ability to learn words way faster as compared to other applications. With access to more than 250,000 words to learn from, this mobile app uses some of the best dictionaries in the world to assist you pull in the best results possible. Crafted utilizing an elevated level of calculation, this mobile application provides the best insights to help you with improving your lexicon within the briefest possible time. 

Beeblio works in an interesting yet simple way, The app has helped many individuals improve upon their vocabulary. Beeblio is one of the best vocabulary apps you can find out there. When searching for an app to improve your vocabulary you need one which is fun, exciting, and flexible to use. With Beeblio, you get to study new words at your own time, wherever and whenever you want. 

How It Works 

Using the Beeblio app is very simple. You first need to download the mobile app from the ios app store or visit the web application URL at web.beebl.io. After that, you need to create an account by putting in your information and answering a few questions on the registration page. After your account has been successfully registered, You can begin using the platform. 

● You (the user) provide a text content or a public URL; you can also upload a file, to process a private content. 

● The application filters from the text all the most frequent words of the language (you decide how many of the most frequently used words should be filtered out). 

● The result is presented as a list of words with useful resources to learn more about them. You can open the dictionary definition, or you can learn, in the context of the text, how to read, spell, and say each word. Best of all: you can save the word and sentences containing it. That is how you can study and practice further at your convenience. 

Beeblio is a lifelong learning network. Their massive body of questions ends with over 217,000. They later on utilize learning science to model (and forget) how you study new words. Collating your answers to the hundreds of millions of feedback from other Beeblio users, The platform will personalize your learning knowledge in order to be able to deliver you with the best results. 

One thing that makes beeblio stand out from other vocabulary apps apart from its unique and easy to use interface is the fact that the platform was designed to keep features users will need on sight whilst keeping the features the user doesn't need away from sight till he/she needs them. 

"We like how the main interactions that the user has with the application occur in just a couple of pages with a clean and simplistic design style. One of the main design objectives was to keep everything that the user doesn't need away from the sight until the user needs it." One fascinating thing concerning this app is the fact that it can be utilized by almost every language user despite his or her level. As a vocabulary application, it is presently available in English only but at the same time, the company believes any user above the age of 10years can benefit from using beeblio. 

That being said, people that we've seen were able to take the most advantage of this product include: 

1. Schoolchildren after the 3rd grade. 
2. Language teachers or tutors of any level. 
3. Parents also fall into this case 
4. People studying English for academic purposes, or other specialized uses. 

People who can also benefit from using this app include business professionals, international students, writers, journalists, bloggers, people preparing for certifications like ESL, TOEFL, GRE, SAT, IELTS, etc... as well as anyone studying business English, and those looking to sharpen their language skills to be better in their fields. 

Today Beeblio is available as a web application that you can use from your browser by visiting web.beebl.io. You can use Beeblio from a computer, a tablet, or a phone. The application is designed in a responsive way to adapt to your screen size. The founder has announced the release of the Beeblio android app no later than February 2021. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

No Majesty is an online arts and culture magazine.

No Majesty provides alternative coverage of major news stories and in-depth topics. Relying on a network of contributors as well as staff Editors, the publication regularly publishes articles on arts, music, and film, as well as pop culture and politics. Over the years, No Majesty has grown into a platform for independent culture stories, opinion, and stories you generally won’t hear anywhere else.

Some of their articles formats have led the way in contemporary music publishing. Their Albums category has featured not only the latest reviews but also interviews with leading and up and coming figures in music. Their article ‘Taylor Swift Albums Ranked, From Best to Worst’ has garnered thousands of views and lots of feedback from around the web.

Visit No Majesty online to see the latest work from the team, and follow No Majesty on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to get their views and see the other work from the community that they share.

No Majesty – online magazine 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nomajesty/ 

Twitter https://twitter.com/nomajestyuk 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nomajestyonline/

Monday, November 30, 2020

Could JASON WILBUR be the Banksy of industrial design?

JASON WILBUR means business. He has challenged the design norms in every industry he has touched and won countless awards, fans and critics alike for the unconventional and magical approach to bringing a new design to life. From futuristic cars to musical instruments, mechanical art and emotional timepieces, JASON WILBUR has reimagined it all while breaking all the rules. 

JASON WILBUR’s career is as multifaceted as his bold design and he is creating a whole new world, all his own. He makes art through engineering and poetry through design.  

JASON WILBUR questions everything around him, leaving us with physical gems in the form of mechanical art that elevates our understanding of what is possible for the future while questioning the past. 

Top watch industry veteran Theodore Diehl Horologist at Richard Mille said: "Jason is one of the most amazing original thinkers within the world of design." His skill transcends the drawing board. He is known to engineer almost everything himself and forge his ideas in the most futuristic and inventive ways, implementing computer-aided design and tomorrow's manufacturing and engineering techniques. 

"The first time I met Jason and viewed his designs I was amazed. In my 25 years in this industry, he is the BEST I have seen" confirms Michael Pucci, Watch & Jewelry Industry guru. 

From a design perspective, JASON WILBUR’s style knows no boundaries, in one instant it is heavy and mechanical and in another, it is beautifully organic; It all depends on the subject. JASON WILBUR’s ideology is rooted in pushing limits and breaking new ground. 

When asked about his approach, JASON WILBUR tells us that “Design is about risk-taking and exploring new ideas no matter how uncomfortable it may be. If I find myself in unfamiliar territory, I know I am headed in the right direction.” 

Immerse yourself in the parallel world of WILBUR as you will not be disappointed. 

The WILBUR Launch Edition Timepiece 

10 years after the revolutionary DEVON Tread 1 nominated at the prestigious Grand Prix de Horlogerie of Geneva, JASON WILBUR is back with a new timepiece. Designing once again timepieces that are challenging the watch industry. Wilbur watches are for the self-made man who is bigger than life and for those who are individual thinkers, rule breakers, innovators and pioneers. 

"The emotional value he injects into his products is epic. Jason is revolutionary" says fellow artist and designer Matthew Tremblay. Without a doubt, JASON WILBUR will be recognized as one of the most influential industrial designers of our time. 

Interview with JASON WILBUR  

AIM: Just when you think there seems to be nothing new under the sun when it comes to watches, your designs appear to take not only functionality, but your designs appear to be the most unique concepts in the world. Where does your inspiration come from? 

JW: My inspiration comes from everything around me. I really am obsessed with machines; cars, rockets, motorcycles…The idea that machines are almost living things that are created by humans has always amazed me. So I like to say that I am inspired by “dreams of machines”. Designing future cars and vehicles for 10 years really put my mind in a place where I am now almost automatically programmed to think about “what’s next” and to create machines with soul. 

AIM: Why watches? You obviously have had a lot of success designing innovative and futuristic fuel-cell cars and you even designed an oceanic research drone. How and why did designing watches intrigue you? 

JW: Watches really started to excite me once they became “useless”. What I mean by that is watches, for the most part and until most recently, were tools to tell time. The number one job they had was to tell time and do it well. Now your phone tells better time than most watches. So now, watches have the opportunity to become sculpture, to become an art statement that you can wear daily and it shows those around you your personality, your dreams, and your way of thinking. They can become a living thing. Now that telling time (for a watch) is secondary, it’s really about making a wearable machine that is truly art and makes a unique statement. For many years, designing watches was my escape from the more serious world of car design and product design. It really allowed me to explore my more poetic side of design and it allowed me to take the biggest risks. 

AIM: What makes your watches different from what's out there? What sets your designs from all others? 

JW: The watch industry in general has become antiquated and frankly boring . They produce pretty much the same thing over and over. It’s a cult of de ja vu. I am not a member of the “traditional industry”, so that means I can make whatever I want to. The same rules do not apply to me. My watches are fun and some would say crazy, but the level of quality and craftmanship is deadly serious. So my watches are different because they are more like mechanical art than a watch. They are extremely detailed and like a diorama of the world I’d like to live in. My watches are different because they are more about art than telling time. I really like to create complex architectural forms and floating elements to give depth in the watch and draw the viewer in for a more potent experience. 

AIM: What kind of formal training have you had? Did it help or were you always naturally gifted in design and engineering? 

JW: I went to college twice. I dropped out twice as well before finally getting my degree in transportation design / industrial design from Art Center College of Design in California. Art and design were always in my blood, but formal training helps to elevate your level of how to execute your ideas, and that was essential for me. I heavily lean on my formal training and experience to execute at the level I do. 

AIM: Tell us about your upbringing. Did you grow up in a family of engineers and designers? Was there any sort of influence growing up? 

JW: My mother is a musician and songwriter, my father was in finance. Both extremely talented and different thinkers. They taught me to question everything and to explore the world around me. They always supported my artistic endeavors. I leaned to play guitar at 4 years old and was always making music and art, which my parents nurtured. My surroundings growing up were my main influence and music played a massive part in terms of creative theory and exploration.  

JW: I grew up in New York, which is super rich in style and culture. Being emersed in this from a young age had a huge impact on my creative spirit. I also spent a lot of time in the woods of Vermont when I was young. The contrast between Vermont and NY is huge. It keeps one thinking in expansive ways and makes for unique perspectives. 

AIM: Were you always building and designing things since your childhood? What kind of projects did you have growing up and did those early visions influence your current work? 

JW: I designed and made everything from guitars to sculpture and furniture. I would build tree forts and always customizing everything from my bicycle to the living room wall with crayons. I was also always drawing and painting since I was a little kid. I also loved taking things apart. I loved taking apart an old tape recorder or an old lawnmower. The mechanisms amazed me. Of course, my parents weren’t too stoked when I took all their shit apart and couldn’t put it back together. That raw engineering of functional things always inspired me and still does to this day. Exploration and creation was my way of learning and through that I developed skills to be confident in creating new things that only I could imagine. 

AIM: You aren't new to watch designs. One of your first ever designs is the award winning DEVON Tread 1 watch. If anyone is able to get their hands this original model, it surprisingly retains its original value and its functionality. How do you engineer your watches to last so long? Do you predict that these designs will last a lifetime or even beyond multiple generations?  

JW: I couldn’t do what I do without a talented team of engineers behind me. For the more complex
projects, I really get help with the nitty-gritty details of engineering when it comes down to the end-product. I’m too ADD to focus on extreme details, so the team helps to refine everything and make it function to the level I expect and demand. I expect all of my creations to be executed to the highest level of quality and I plan for them to last for years and years but you never really know until its done. That the fun part of making new things…the risk IS the reward. The most important thing when breaking rules is to execute flawlessly. The haters will always try to find flaws in those who try to do things differently.  

AIM: Do you ever take custom orders? For instance, someone is into steampunk or owns a red Ferrari and wants a watch that resembles what they drive or to compliment their attire, can you design a watch that represents someone's personal tastes and interests?  

JW: My watches are my own expression, so I don’t entertain custom orders anymore. Art is not a service. When it becomes a service it loses potency, honestly and value. I would however collaborate with other people that I share creative values with and that could lead to unique pieces. I do 1-off unique pieces now as well as ultra-limited pieces when I get crazy ideas and those usually grab the attention of an individual who is looking for a piece no one else has.  

AIM: You also play guitar, so your talent obviously has no bounds. Would you ever consider designing a guitar for a musician?  

JW: Yes! I have a great image of a guitar I designed. 

AIM: So, your wife is also a well respected and established designer in the auto industry. Does she ever help you with your design concepts?  

JW: Without my wife Michelle I would be a straight mess. We talk about design and creative ideas all day together. Most importantly, she gives me strength and confidence to take risks and supports my crazy endeavors unconditionally. Like the saying goes, behind every great success is a woman. 

AIM: What other projects are you currently working on or would like to venture getting into? 

JW: I have some limited-edition mechanical art skateboards that I will be releasing shortly and there are always watches and time-sculpture long term projects in the works. 

And, I will always be involved with cars in some way or another. 

AIM: What can we look forward to from Jason Wilbur designs in the near future? 

JW: I’m really focused on pushing the limits with my watches and mechanical art in the near future. There are a million ideas stacked in my head and I just can’t get them out fast enough. Look forward to some more rule breaking from me.   

Find more of Jason Wilbur at:

Friday, November 27, 2020

D.K. Lyons takes us on a journey with The Past (Romanticized)

Introducing The Past (Romanticized), the 2020 LP release by D.K. Lyons. The musical variety and intense
coverage allow this album to be relatable to all its listeners. 

The Past (Romanticized) really focuses on one major aspect, providing relief from a strong or repressed emotion. These songs allude to the emotional cycle that occurs looking back at past relationships, moments of loss, mental state, and growing pains. The examples become apparent with the very first song, “The Getaway.” This track displays hope even when your outlook may appear grim, making it the flagship for what's the come on the entire album. This song details self-exploration, "We're two lost souls heading straight to hell’..."brace yourself, keep your eye on the prize". These lyrics aren't there to discourage you. They're written to inspire you. 

It feels like D.K. has done a bit of growing up since his first EP, Blame My Astrology. The production and songwriter feel more mature and the stories reveal he's gone through deeper revelations. 

The two most notable tracks have to be "Long Way Home" and "Danger" includes declarations of taking chances and falling in love. 
 
D.K.’s first solo release in 2018, called Blame My Astrology, was a lovable exploration of the ideas at the core of his sound with guitar rhythms, vocals, and the ceaseless, head-spinning barrage of hooks, so if you can't get enough of D.K. Lyons, you won't have to travel far for more tunes, but to be fair, D.K. is at least honest with his music and is less concerned about conforming to what the Pop world factory is dishing out. After pumping out 17 tracks in less than two years, we can certainly expect a lot more of his thought provoking stories in the coming years. 

Regardless of what people might think of The Past (Romanticized), D.K.’s already morphed a world
around it with numerous music videos to complement each hit. D.K. clearly believes that The Past (Romanticized) is his masterpiece, and everything around the record suggests as much. While a national tour may be out of the question due to Covid, we can only hope for a barrage of live performances from his living room to yours to give D.K. Lyon fans an installation of live streams from the man himself. 

Our recommendation is to not judge the book by its cover. Instead, dive all in, not just once, but twice over in one sitting. Play both playlists from his YouTube page from beginning to end from Blame My Astrology to The Past (Romanticized) and then reverse it and you will experience all the effects of an over-the-top pop autobiographical masterpiece of D.K. Lyons. 

Find more of D.K. Lyons

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

New Release Alert: "When The Morning Star Fell" by Shadows You don’t Know About


Shadows You Don't Know About is a band that combines the dark, brooding sound of deathcore with the intensity of alternative music. They recently debuted with an EP, but went to great lengths since then, creating music that sets the bar higher and defies the usual genre limitations and cliches. 

AIM: First of all, how did you come up with the band name “Shadows You don’t Know About”? 
James: I was at a music video shoot for a band I was in previously and one of the camera guys said to another, to look out for shadows you don't know about that can mess up a shot, and i wrote it down because i thought i could use it one day. 

AIM: Tell us about the band. Who is Shadows You don’t Know About and where are you from? 
James: We are deathcore/post-hardcore band from bethlehem pa, consisting of James (myself) who played the majority of the instruments on the album and Matt our drummer and producer.  

AIM: Tell us about what led you to want to be a writer and music artist? 
James: I have always been a writer since i was a child, and growing up writing and writing music made it seem very easy to make music into something more i wanted to do in my life.  

AIM: Are you self-taught or did you have any professional music training? 
James: I am a self taught guitarist and bassist, but I took vocal lessons to improve my voice. Melissa Crosses zen of screaming is an essential for anyone trying to do harsh vocals.  

AIM: What or who were your most influential music artists as a child? 
James: A lot of rap and hip hop artists like eminem, lil wayne, Wutang clan, Snoop dogg, D12, tupac, etc all influenced me to be more lyrical or more of a storyteller when I write.  

AIM: What music artists inspire you now? 
James: I have been listening to a lot of post-hardcore classics like chiodos first album, and deathcore stuff like the mitch lucker memorial show, so many great suicide silence songs done by monsters vocally. Phil Bozemans vocals on unanswered are the gnarliest.  

AIM: What do you want your listeners to take from your music? Do you have a message that you want to convey to your listeners? 
James: I just hope people enjoy the music because I enjoy making it and won't be stopping anytime soon.  

AIM: What are your thoughts on the Corona Virus? Do you think it is a real pandemic real or do you think it is a world government takeover hoax? 
James: No comment lol  

AIM: Great answer lol 

AIM: Outside of music, what are some of your interests, like what are your favorite activities, movies, tv shows, video games, and stuff outside of music? 
James: Well career wise besides making music I am an assistant chef at a restaurant, and for fun I am an avid poker player. Video games I play are mostly Skyrim or Call of duty when I have free time.  

AIM: Who has helped you along the way? 
James: I’d like to thank our drummer Matt for the amazing production and to Jaime Irles for the album cover art. Also a big thanks to my friend and colleague Mitch Kresge of plum for doing a featured vocal part on one of our new songs, and to Chris Kennedy for photography and shooting and editing our album release promotional video.  

AIM: If you could tour and perform with anyone, past or present, who would it be? 
James: I’d love to tour with Ghostmane and have original member Chiodos as a guest on the tour!  

AIM: Tell us about your plans in the near future. What can we expect from SYDKA? (More music? Music videos? Virtual performances? Live tour? 
James: We are currently working on recording a live set to be recorded and posted to Youtube as a way of performing until shows can happen again. Also we have a cover song that will be coming out hopefully by the end of the year.

Find more of Shadows You don’t Know About
https://www.facebook.com/SYDKAband

Friday, October 30, 2020

KGUP FM Emerge Radio Announces the 2020 Artists of the Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KGUP FM Emerge Radio Announces the 2020 KGUP Artists of the Year 

LOS ANGELES – October 30, 2020 - KGUP FM Emerge Radio announces the recipients of the 2020 KGUP Artists of the Year awards. The awards recognize and honor eight local emerging music artists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in music performance, songwriting ability, and visual arts. KGUP honored the eight awardees in Los Angeles, CA.

At the start of the year, HR Cole, CEO and Founder of inDspotlight Television and Mikey Jayy, Program Director and Founder of KGUP FM Emerge Radio discussed having a festival over the Summer featuring all the top emerging artists, including hosting an Awards event in 2020, but Covid-19 upended all our ideas. An online event was considered, but without a live audience, all these ideas felt flat and uninspiring, so a single category was created to recognize the Top 8 most recognizable emerging local music artists in the industry and was named the

2020 KGUP Artists of the Year award!

These 8 finalists were based on a number of factors:

1. Artist's music overall has to be SPECTACULAR 2. Artist has to be an exceptional songwriter and story teller 3. Artist had to have at least 3 songs that exemplified both 1 and 2 4. Artist has at least 1 music video that is outstanding in production and visual appeal 5. Artist must have gone through a revelation or had overcome a life changing event 6. Artist needs to acknowledge our existence (at bare minimum, the Artist needed to say, "Thank you" when getting featured on our social media or regrammed/shared our story from a featured post, accepted our invitation to be interviewed, or had exchanged some form of dialogue to and from KGUP

Congratulations to the 2020 KGUP Artists of the Year!

JENNA LOTTI 
Genre: Pop / Singer Songwriter

KIDEYES 
Genre: Pop/Alternative Rock

JANY GREEN 
Genre: Pop/ Soul

JAGUAR JONZE 
Genre: Pop

SANTINO Genre: 
HIP HOP

Kat Leon of Holy Wars 
Genre: Pop / Alternative

CHELSEA PERKINS 
Genre: Pop / Soul

WOLVES 
Genre: Pop / Surf Trap

For more information about each of the award winners, go to: 
https://www.kgup1065.com/featuredartists

Keep on the look out for more episodes of KGUP PRESENTS and subscribe on the podcast platform of your choice, so you don't miss these great interviews, plus you can even re-listen to previous episodes! If you would like to be considered to be a guest on KGUP PRESENTS, we are currently accepting submissions from anyone with great music or anyone with a great story to share. We'd love to hear from you! We will consider any topic! Contact us at kgup1065.com/contact

KGUP FM Emerge Radio 
6843 Lennox Ave 
Los Angeles, CA 91405

Established on April 12, 2012, KGUP FM Emerge Radio is an Independent music radio station based in Los Angeles that showcases and supports local emerging artists.

 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Janel Nabong's new song "Breathe" is a much needed message

Going as far back as 11 years ago, Janel Nabong has posted dozens of cover songs ranging from Demi Lavato, Halsey, Linkin Park, Twenty One Pilots, and Billie Elish just to name a few. It wasn't until 2019 that Janel began releasing songs of her own, beginning with "Hear Me". In 2020, Janel released her first full-length 10 song EP entitled, Temperamental now available on all streaming platforms. Her most notable titles off the EP include "Hear Me", "Temperamental", "Everything", "Mr. Time", "Manic", and "Breathe".     

So, who is Janel Nabong? 

Janel Nabong is an American artist that is both diverse and determined. This multi talented artist is not only a Pop Singer Songwriter, she is a DIY. DIY as in she writes, produces, and performs all the instrumentation herself. She creates a unique pop sound with a melancholy undertone, yet she performs from the heart by invoking a way of forward-thinking as a poster child of self-discovery and songs of self-healing. Forged by her own unique sound combining synth pop, emotional lyrics, and electronica in her newest single, “Breathe”. 

"The darkest nights will end. We'll rise and rise again," she sings contentedly in the lyrics. The gentle beats sound under her soft delivery, as she casts a warm spell of love and understanding, while leaving a pop soul sound like an intimate serenade with the most gorgeous message of hope. Her vocal delivery is quite exhilarating yet infectious. Her personal message is, "All you can do is breathe and get through it and it will be okay," Janel says.

 

Janel Nabong is endorsed by top level music industry insiders, such as Brett Manning, former vocal coach of Hayley Williams from Paramore, Taylor Swift, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus, and many more. Since releasing her debut single “Hear Me” in 2019, Janel has attracted a devoted following with her music , as well as with her 'Tortuga Tavern’ live streaming shows on YouTube and Sessions: Live Music Streaming. 

Links

- website: https://janelnabongofficial.com  

- facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janelxnabong 

- instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janelnabong_ 

- twitter: https://twitter.com/janelnabong 

- youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JanelNabong