Posts tagged with "Celebrity"

Lil Baby illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Lil Baby Performing at Grammy’s

PERFORMING ON THE 63rd ANNUAL GRAMMY’S

AIRING SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT ON CBS

NOMINATED FOR TWO GRAMMY AWARDS:

BEST RAP SONG AND BEST RAP PERFORMANCE FOR THE BIGGER

The Recording Academy announced that Lil Baby will perform at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. The Awards will air on Sunday, March 14th, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS Television Network from the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA.

Lil Baby has been one of the most dominant and critically acclaimed names in rap since his first release in 2017. In February 2020, he released My Turn, which entered The Billboard 200 at #1, hovered in the Top 5 for 14 weeks, and then returned to the #1 selling album of any genre in 2020.

Lil Baby is as authentic as they come. At just 26 years old, he is unapologetically himself, speaking his truth in his lyrics and that connects him to listeners like no other. Last June as the nation protested, Lil Baby dropped a powerful record “The Bigger Picture”; articulating frustration, confusion, and a call to stand up for something much bigger than himself.

My Turn held 14 records simultaneously on The Billboard Hot 100 and Lil Baby has recently surpassed musical titans Prince and Paul McCartney among others in Billboard Hot 100 hits in his young 3-year career. To date, Baby’s catalog reached 22 billion global streams, scored 8 #1 songs at Urban Radio, won the BET Award for Best New Artist, named Vevo’s Top Performing Hip-Hop Artist of 2020, named MVP on Rap Caviar, and won the top award of Global Artist of the Year at the Apple Music Awards. The Bigger Picture was nominated for two Grammy’s (Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song). He has seen widespread critical acclaim from the likes of GQ and Vanity Fair and has graced the covers of Rolling Stone and NME. With such a rapid rise and a relentless stream of critical and commercial hits, it’s clear that Lil Baby is one of the greatest modern success stories in hip-hop.

Spotify illustration for RADAR by Heather Skovlund for 360 MAGAZINE

Spotify Announces girl in red as Its Next RADAR Artist

Today, Spotify’s global emerging artist development program, RADAR, has announced its latest artist partnership for the US: the Oslo-based pop sensation, girl in red, aka Marie Ulven.
girl in red has also just announced her debut album, if i could make it go quiet, out April 30th, and released its accompanying first single, “Serotonin.”  The result of a collaboration with FINNEAS and a huge pop anthem that speaks to Ulven’s struggles with mental health, the arena-ready tune can be heard HERE

Following her breakout single, “i wanna be your girlfriend,” which has been streamed over 150 Million times on Spotify, girl in red’s music has adorned some of Spotify’s most popular playlists including New Music Friday, LOREM, Oyster, Ultimate Indie, Out Now, and many more — 364 playlists, to be exact! Her cover of Maggie Rogers’s “Say it” for Spotify’s Studio Oyster has been beloved by media and fans around the world, as well as by Rogers herself. With 7 Million monthly listeners on Spotify, her music has also been celebrated by press outlets around the world like The New York Times, Paper Magazine, NME, DAZED, Rolling Stone, Pigeons & Planes and more. 

Today’s announcement is accompanied by new RADAR photos of girl in red located HERE and a blog post on Spotify’s For The Record newsroom blog HERE that includes a full rundown of the program, and a Q&A with the artist, which you should feel free to use for your own coverage.  
girl in red’s appointment to the RADAR program will include features in the RADAR playlist, a Spotify Singles recording, promotional support for her upcoming releases, a full suite of out-of-home advertising and on-platform marketing, and social promotion. girl in red’s RADAR campaign will also include a forthcoming mini-documentary to premiere later this year.
Says Ned Monahan, Spotify’s Head of Global Hits: “We’ve been closely watching girl in red’s steady ascent over the past few years — she’s built a tight-knit community of devoted fans in a remarkably organic way, based on her self-assured songwriting and deeply personal lyrics — all as an independent artist.  We’re beyond excited for her debut full-length, and look forward to helping with her global ascent via RADAR.”

When asked what she looks forward to about being a RADAR artist, girl in red says: “Taking over the world! That’s what I’m looking forward to. Having my music in people’s ears— that’s like the coolest thing ever. RADAR, then world domination!”

girl in red’s appointment as the fifth US RADAR artist follows the success of Spotify’s previous US RADAR artists Alaina Castillo, J.I The Prince of N.Y, The Kid LAROI, and Flo Milli, all joining 175 RADAR-affiliated emerging artists around the world. Last fall, Spotify celebrated the program’s six month anniversary with the launch of its global RADAR hub on-platform.

The program has propelled the success of artists around the globe like Rina Sawayama, Young T & Bugsey,Zoe Wees, Lous and the Yakuza, and more.

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 MAGAZINE

KRISTEN BELL × DAX SHEPARD

AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM, REDEFINE FAMILY FUN IN NEW NBC GAME SHOW ‘FAMILY GAME FIGHT’

NBC Nabs Groundbreaking Series from Ellen DeGeneres And Warner Bros. Unscripted Television 

Click here.

NBC tests brains, brawn and family bonds with a 10- episode series pick-up of the new one-hour game show “Family Game Fight,” with comedy duo and married couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard serving as both hosts and competitors.  

Marking the first time Bell and Shepard will team up for a television project, each episode of the entertaining series will see the twosome part ways and be “adopted” into a family of four as they compete in a series of insanely fun games with a big cash prize up for grabs.

“Family Game Fight” is inspired by Bell and Shepard’s antics on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” 

“For one of our first dates, I invited Dax over for a game night at my house with a bunch of friends,” Bell said. “He said he fell in love with me there because I was a very tiny person bossing everyone around. I fell in love with him too because he’s a very large person who could boss everyone around, but chooses not to. I’m so excited to host ‘Family Game Fight’ and play all day with my best friend.”

“Kristen is my favorite human to work with,” Shepard said. “She’s the most consistently funny, playful and joyful scene partner I’ve ever had. She’s also incredibly fun to look at.”

“NBC is thrilled to be the network bringing Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard together to host a game show for the first time,” said Jenny Groom, Executive Vice President of Unscripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We’ve been wanting to work with them as a duo for years. Their energy is infectious, their comedic sensibility comes so naturally, and their transparency about their relationship is what makes them so relatable and loveable. ‘Family Game Fight’ was born out of the true competitive, yet playful and loving spirit Dax and Kristen have toward each other. We’re excited to work with them as on-camera talent and side-by-side as producing partners.”  

Mike Darnell, President Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, said, “Kristen and Dax are simply magnetic when they’re on screen. They’re a spontaneously funny and loving couple that are also surprisingly competitive in this fast-moving family competition. They are pure magic together.”

“Family Game Fight” is now casting, and NBC is looking for family teams of four. To submit your story or nominate a friend, co-worker, or family member, please visit www.Venertainment.com.

The series is executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, Derek Westervelt, Noah Bonnett, Dan Norris, Joel Van Rysselberghe, Jeff Kleeman, Mike Darnell and Brooke Karzen, in addition to Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. The series is produced by A Very Good Production and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television’s Warner Horizon division, in association with Telepictures.

ABOUT WARNER BROS. UNSCRIPTED TELEVISION

Warner Bros. Unscripted Television is the leading producer of unscripted television in America with over 50 series totaling some 2,500 hours of programming annually across broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, and first-run syndication, as well as high-end documentaries. Led by Mike Darnell, President, the division produces major franchises that include the long-running, powerhouse franchise of ’The Bachelor,’ ‘The Bachelorette,’ and ‘Bachelor in Paradise’; multiple Emmy winning ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and the primetime hit ‘Ellen’s Game of Games’; the multi-Emmy winning blockbuster ’The Voice’; the Fox hit ‘The Masked Dancer’; the Emmy winning ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ returning to NBC; ’The Real Housewives of New York’; ’The Bradshaw Bunch’; ’Extra’; and ’The Real’; plus, the Greg Berlanti produced signature documentaries ’Helter Skelter’ for EPIX and ‘Equal’ for HBO Max, among others. The unscripted unit also recently announced ‘The Wheel’, BBC’s number 1 game show launch in over a decade, coming to NBC; the upcoming hybrid alternative-scripted series ‘True Story’ with Ed Helms and Randall Park; ‘Ellen’s Next Great Designer’ for HBO Max; the Ava DuVernay produced ‘Home Sweet Home’ coming to NBC; and the highly anticipated ‘Friends’ reunion coming to HBO Max.

ABOUT A VERY GOOD PRODUCTION

A Very Good Production (AVGP) is the Emmy® Award-winning television and film production company of producer/writer/actor/host Ellen DeGeneres. Based at Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) with an exclusive multiyear deal, AVGP produces the nationally syndicated daytime talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and develops television projects for all divisions of WBTVG, including scripted and unscripted primetime series for network and cable, as well as additional syndicated fare. AVGP is currently producing a wide range of television, including NBC’s fan-favorite game show “Ellen’s Game of Games,” NBC’s hit series “Little Big Shots,” “Green Eggs and Ham” for Netflix, and many more. AVGP also produced the film adaptation of “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase.” In September 2019, Ellen announced HBO Max has ordered four original series including “Ellen’s Next Great Designer,” “First Dates Hotel,” “Little Ellen,” as well as the docu-series “Finding Einstein.” Jeff Kleeman serves as President of A Very Good Production.

Five Celebrities That Own a Pickup Truck

Americans have always had a great liking for their pickup trucks, and this trend is growing by the season. In 2020 alone, a year known for being one of the worst for automotive sales due to the Corona Virus pandemic, we still saw around 11 million trucks sold throughout the USA. Conventional trucks, such as the Ford F-150, Honda Ridgeline, and Chevrolet Sierra are admired for their strapping performance, proven long-term reliability, and well-roundedness in just about every area. And these days, trucks bear those qualities alongside what people expect from modern-day vehicles, qualities such as eye-catching aesthetics, contemporary driver-aids, safety specs, and many comfort features, as well as suitable everyday practicality. Added to this is the so-called street-cred associated with such vehicles. So there’s no wonder as to why so many celebrities choose to opt for a pickup truck over any other overly extravagant car, here are just a few of the celebs rocking pickups: 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Ford F-150

Famous Hollywood actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is said to have a mighty fine collection of vehicles in his garage. One of those vehicles is the Ford F-150, one of the best selling pickup trucks of all time in the USA. Ford offers a selection of strapping V6, V8, and even hybridized engines for the F-150 along with strong transmission and drivetrain constituents. There are numerous powertrain, body, and bed length configurations offered, too, meaning the truck can be purposed for the road, the unbeaten trail, or for full-on utility. Some modifications to ‘The Rock’s’ F-150, nicknamed “The Bull”, include a custom black grille, a five-inch dual exhaust setup, and an advanced sound system.

Kid Rock – GMC Sierra

American singer-songwriter, Kid Rock, has been producing chart-topping hits for a long time. And if you’ve heard his music, which you probably have, you’d know this cowboy couldn’t not have a pickup truck in his garage. His pick: the ever-popular GMC Sierra, a half-ton cruiser proffered with many potent engine options, cab options, and cargo bed lengths. A lot different from the base model, his beast features the K2Package which includes a blacked-out front grille and custom fender flares, and a suspension lift kit that elevates the chassis six-inches off the ground for an aggressive, towering stance.

Kourtney Kardashian – Chevrolet Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado is a massive truck, but that didn’t stop 5’ 1’” Kourtney Kardashian from buying one. Yes, she does sometimes have trouble parking the behemoth and yes, she does need a step ladder to get inside, but, regardless of those mild inconveniences, it sure does have her standout from the crowd, which is the point, right? Well, the expansive array of aesthetic, feature and mechanical modifications certainly have it catching the eye of other motorists. Her sisters, Kim and Khloe, drive a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Land Rover Range Rover respectively, both premium and expensive rides. Still, a top-of-the-line Silverado can come in at anywhere over $60,000.

Amber Marshall – Dodge RAM 3500

It’s no surprise that this country music star and actor spends her daily commutes in a mammoth-in-size heavy-duty RAM 3500 Mega Cab. With its rugged exterior, high-horsepower powertrain, and lofty ground clearance, it’s also the perfect beast for her to get around her Alberta ranch with. The Mega Cab is commodious, housing comfy and supportive seats and providing more than enough room for all her human and furry friends that she tours around her ranch with. It carries a sizeable cargo bed, too, and can tow a maximum of up to 35,100 pounds, all she would need to haul about her horse trailer and bikes, and if so inclined, complete any ranch-related chores.

Rutledge Wood – Toyota Tundra

Rutledge Wood has an extensive automotive background and having been one of the presenters on the USA’s version of Top Gear, has had plenty of experience in a large variety of automobiles. His truck of choice is the Toyota Tundra built by Toyota Motorsports for the 2007 SEMA. At the helm, a monstrous 5.7-liter supercharged V8 unit does duty, the Tundra has been specced-out with 2016 TRD Pro performance parts, a Honey D wide body kit, and a 3M wrap. It’s a ferocious metallic yellow demon and highly capable family runabout.

Pickup trucks are awesome, and despite there being so many on the roads, it’s easy to get yours to stand out with how customizable and configurable they are. Not only can they be used to stick out or tower above the crowd, but they can be purposed for an array of practical daily tasks. 

remote learning illustration by Kaelen Felix

How to Make Your Pop Culture Blog Successful

Pop culture involves a range of topics, such as celebrity updates, the latest TV shows, and movies. As long as it involves popular, new information, it falls into that niche. If you are passionate about the topic, you might consider starting a pop culture blog to share your knowledge with the rest of gossip-driven interesting reads.

Growing Your Traffic

Your readers will make your break the blog. That means you’ll want to use every tactic you can to bring in traffic and retain it. That way, the site will run well. Some tactics might work better than others, but a combination of methods is often the best. Search engine optimization involves making your site easier to find online. You might optimize the site or use specific keywords so people can find your pages. If you want to grow your revenue, it is essential to use intent SEO to outrank the competition. Since you might not be familiar with the tactics used, you can review guides to great SEO writing in a few easy steps, plus tools & pro tips.

You’ll also need to create an environment that promotes growth so your readers can engage with you. That way, they will continue to comment on meaningful posts. You need to respond to their comments and engage with them, so your audience feels it is worthwhile to come back. Consider it building a community instead of merely allowing them to read passively. Social media is an excellent channel for helping you engage with the readers. That way, they can choose the platform they are most comfortable with. If the topic allows, you might have them choose what you cover now and then.

Content Created by Pop Culture Bloggers

That means you’ll need to pick a focus for the blog. There are many options, so ensure you choose something that fits your passions. Choose something that you can make your own to give your blog more influence. You don’t have to choose the focus right away. You might decide to add more focus at a later time once you have gotten more into your topic. For instance, you might enjoy current fashions, so you might begin with hair and then move on to clothing, makeup, and other style topics. 

No matter the niche, create relevant, engaging content to help your blog stand out. Make sure that your readers can get something out of their visit to your site. It might include a unique perspective that stands out from typical blogs in your niche. Give them a reason for coming back. That is often hard since there are already many pop culture blogs out there. Do your research on how you can build your audience to bring those readers to you. Give them something they want to come back to over and over again. The more your readers want to go back, the better your readership. Let them have a say in what you post to encourage engagement. Create polls or ask them to respond in the comments section.

Big Sean Detroit Pistons annpuncement illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

BIG SEAN × DETROIT PISTONS

The Detroit Pistons announced hip-hop icon and Detroit-native Big Sean will become the organization’s Creative Director of Innovation. In this role, Big Sean will provide creative counsel and strategic guidance on a variety of Pistons off-the-court initiatives, including team merchandise design, in-game experience, co-branded community, and social responsibility activation, and more.

To kick off the partnership, Big Sean has added his Don Life logo to the Pistons practice jersey. Photos of the jerseys are attached.

“Sean is an accomplished artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Having spent time with him and his family I know how deeply he cares about the city of Detroit,” said Pistons Owner Tom Gores. “We share a common desire to use the power of sports and entertainment to improve our community and make a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m excited to see what we can do working together.”

Central to the partnership, the Pistons and the Sean Anderson Foundation will work together and engage Detroiters through future community initiatives and programming. The six-time Grammy nominee will also curate music for Pistons in-game entertainment, including halftime performances and DJ playlists. Additionally, Big Sean will participate in creative sessions and spearhead collaborations with the Pistons design team to launch custom merchandise line extensions.

“It’s a dream come true and a real honor to get to work with the iconic Detroit Pistons,” said Big Sean. “I grew up in the city, which naturally made me a fan of the Bad Boys. I would later have a Grant Hill poster on my wall and then, against all odds, would watch the ’04 Pistons go on to win the Championship, inspiring the whole city of Detroit. I look forward to creatively finding new ways to contribute to their legacy and continue their dedication to the community through sports, art, and, of course, music.”

Detroit Pistons Chief Business Officer Mike Zavodsky lauded the addition of Big Sean and sees the partnership as a natural fit for the Pistons and their newly launched D-Up brand campaign.

“Big Sean embodies everything the Pistons organization and our D-Up campaign is about – creativity, hard work, and the people of Detroit,” said Zavodsky. “Big Sean and the Pistons are both a part of the fabric of Detroit, and we look forward to this partnership reflecting the culture of the city we both call home.”

FOLLOW BIG SEAN:
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | SPOTIFY

The New Blade

By: Catherine Martin

With the reboot of Marvel’s Blade expected to arrive to theaters in 2022, many fans of the original 1998 superhero movie speculate whether Wesley Snipes will reprise his role in the film. Snipes played the role of the eponymous half-vampire/half-human hybrid, Blade, who has the duties of a superhero and a vampire hunter. He played Blade throughout all three of the Blade franchise movies, yet, he is not expected to be cast in this iconic role again for the new reboot. Instead, Oscar-winning Mahershala Ali will be playing the role of this flawed hero. Keep in touch with what Ali is up to HERE.

Fans of the original Blade trilogy were uncertain about how to feel about the new casting, but Welsey Snipes has since told his fans to “chillaaxx.” Although he has told his fans to calm down, it has not stopped him from being adamant about how he is, and always will be, Blade. On January 7th he quote tweeted a message to him asking, “Wes, can you be Blade again?” and in response stated, “I AM BLADE…forever.” After spending so much time as Blade, there is no doubt that Wesley Snipes has a deep connection with this role and that it will always be a part of him.

The details of Blade are still being kept from the masses, and the only confirmed detail known, right now, is Ali’s attachment to the project. Back in 2019 Snipes made a comment about his opinion of Ali’s casting for the role of Blade:

“People are very, very sneaky. They try to make it about the actors,” Snipes told AP. “It’s not about me and him. I’m happy for him to be considered. I’m happy for them looking at him. Flattery… what do they say? Imitation is the best form of flattery. It’s something that he has acknowledged that he wanted to do and his family wanted him to do it, so I’m appreciative of him getting the love that I’ve created something that others want to carry on and make their own stamp on.”

Wesley Snipes response was not only calm and collected, but extremely supportive as well. More support can be noted in a more recent interview with Den of Geek (read more about it HERE), and we can see where the two stand in regards to each other and if they have kept in contact since the announcement of Ali’s new role as Blade. So, the suspicions people have about Snipes being upset with Ali can be erased once and for all.

“No, he hasn’t called me. We haven’t talked about characterizations or how he should play it or anything like that. I can’t imagine that call ever coming in. That would be really strange. But we did communicate about how much we appreciate each other’s work, and how I’m comfortable with saying, ‘Hey man, go rock it, baby. If you got it, do it.”

Though, Wesley Snipes will not be playing his iconic role as Blade, he will always carry the attachment and fond memories of his time with this character. In addition, his part has inspired many people, Mahershala Ali included (you can hear his thoughts on Wesley Snipes HERE), and will remain the marker and epitome of, Blade.

WESLEY SNIPES’ OTHER ENDEAVORS

There are many ways to keep up with the actor through his other endeavors. He recently played General Izzie in Coming 2 America, starring Eddie Murphy. The comedy/rom-com will be available to watch on Amazon Prime March 5, 2021. Watch the trailer HERE. Additionally, outside the realm of acting, Snipes has now coauthored a dark fantasy novel with Ray Norman, Talon of God. So, for all fans of Wesley Snipes, you can continue to keep up with the actor, film producer, martial artist and author through the multitude of content he continues to produce.

KEEP UP WITH WESLEY SNIPES

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Illustration of Larry King by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Madame Tussauds New York Honors Broadcast Legend Larry King

Madame Tussauds New York is honoring famed talk show host, Larry King, by placing his figure front and center inside the entrance of the Times Square museum following his passing on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Guests are invited to pay their respects to the New York City icon by signing a condolence book and pausing for a moment in his honor. There’s no charge to visit his figure. It’s a tradition for Madame Tussauds museums to pay tribute to celebrities and those who’ve made a significant impact on society by featuring their figures in this manner.

King’s figure was unveiled in 2000 at Madame Tussauds New York. Madame Tussauds creative team worked closely with King and took more than 250 precise measurements to create his figure. More than a decade later, in 2011, King posed for a photo with his wax figure during the Hollywood Arts Council’s 25th Annual Charlie Awards Luncheon at The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California.

King started his career as a radio interviewer in the 1950s in Miami and grew to become a house hold name as a late night television host on CNN from 1985 to 2010. Over his career as a radio and television personality King hosted over 50,000 interviews and received awards including an Emmy and two Peabodys. He is survived by his 5 children as well as his extensive acting catalog and massive impact on both Hollywood and late night television.

Malek Hanna Inside 360 MAGAZINE

“Artist To Look Out For” Malek Hanna Releases Debut Single, “Beautiful Stranger”

Watch the music video HERE.

We are delighted to publish this feature with Malek Hanna, a blue-eyed soul singer announcing his arrival on the LA music scene with the release of his debut single “Beautiful Stranger.” This is an artist to keep your eye on this year. Produced in collaboration with Camela Leierth – pop artist and co-writer for Katy Perry – “Beautiful Stranger” marks the culmination of years of growth and development for this Brooklyn born singer-songwriter, and the beginning of what will surely be his breakthrough year, having already been named “an artist to look out for” by Unique & Rare Magazine. 

A lush and contemplative ballad that draws inspiration from Hanna’s Lebanese heritage, “Beautiful Stranger” questions and examines the concept of love in its myriad forms. In the reflective music video – directed by filmmaker and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Ersi Danou and filmmaker/photographer Thouly Dosios – Hanna stars in three different roles, all walking a treacherous tightrope between fantasy and reality. The premiere coincides with the launch of Nadia’s Kids Inc., a non-profit formed by Hanna to honor his aunt and uncle, who both passed away from COVID-19 in their home of Aleppo, Syria, after having lived through the harrowing civil war of the past 10 years. 

We spoke with Malek about his upbringing in Brooklyn, how his Lebanese heritage impacts his music, and his plans for the coming year. Read on below, and look out for more music from this breaking artist soon!

1) Malek, tell us a little bit about your background and upbringing. When did you start writing music?

I’m a New Yorker and proud of it!  I was born and raised in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn –  a residential neighborhood by the Verrazano Bridge. I have fond memories living there; playing stick ball on my uncle’s stoop, grabbing a pizza slice from my favorite pizza parlor – Ninos, attending the San Gennaro street festivals, going to the park to meet up with friends on the swings – being a kid amongst a heavily Italian, Irish, and Middle Eastern community gave me the grit to handle life with vigor. I always felt as though I had a competitive edge growing up in Brooklyn. I consider myself lucky having to call New York my home. My father was from Beirut, Lebanon and mother from Aleppo, Syria so I am a 1st generation American. Due to the civil war in Lebanon, my parents moved to the US and other family members scattered to other countries such as Germany, France, UAE and other parts of the US. Growing up, it gave us an excuse to travel frequently to visit family abroad and spend summers in the Mid-East and Europe. Growing up in a multicultural household and being able to converse and understand different languages and cultures was a big blessing but when I was younger, I didn’t always see it that way. When my mom made me a hummus sandwich at school, haha, I was embarrassed and wanted to be like all the other kids, I just wanted to fit in but always felt a bit out of place. So…I  forced my mom to make me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead and I joined a lot of local sports activities like baseball, soccer, tennis and the swim team. I was pretty athletic as a kid and remember my 1st dream was to be a professional tennis player. Dreaming however, wasn’t always encouraged; being 1st generation and having relatively strict parents, there was a lot of pressure to be the best academically. They wanted me to be a doctor and quite honestly, it was the last thing I wanted to do. Since I was about 10 years old, I knew that I was a performer but felt I needed to keep it a secret because my parents wouldn’t approve. I was addicted to television and knew that I wanted to be like the people I saw on the screen performing. I would joke, play and be able to express myself more so outside of my immediate home. That time however did give me the desire to write; it was more like poetry or free write that led to creating melodies in my head and fantasizing about performing on stage. Nevertheless, my parents frequently had fun and lavish parties at the house and invited their neighborhood friends and colleagues. I remember always having to present myself properly and once asked about what I wanted to be, I would just regurgitate – I want to be a doctor, which was a complete lie. Anyhow, I digress…fast forward…my highschool years at Xavier in NYC gave me the creative outlet that I was so yearning for. It was an all boys private Jesuit school on 14th street; I remember having to wake up extra early so I can catch the subway from Brooklyn to Union Square. Those corridors in that school ignited a spark that I have till this day. I remember there were tryouts for the choir and I felt excited but also nervous; once I got there and I started to sing, it was as if nothing else mattered and I was floating on air, I felt fully alive. That was it…I was bit by the bug!  Shortly thereafter, I started soloing at the church, getting lead roles in my highschool musicals, singing in the subway on my way too and from school and knew that is what I wanted and made me the most happy. At that time, my parents did not necessarily know that I was at drama rehearsal, I told them that the subway was late or that I was at, “science club” after school. All The while, I hired a private acting and singing coach with my allowance without them knowing…they blew up when I told them. Fastforward, I agreed to double major in Theater and Political Science at Fordham University to appease my parents and got a Masters in Media and Public Communications. That not being enough ha, I enrolled in ICU and got another degree in Culinary Management. I think at that point, my parents thought I would forget about my dream of being a performer but instead, I packed up and moved to LA. Overall, growing up in NYC was fun, and if it weren’t for the obstacles, I may not have been where I am now. 

2) You have some Lebanese heritage but grew up in Brooklyn. How have those two cultures influenced your music and songwriting?

Being of Lebanese descent and growing up in Brooklyn influences my music and songwriting, as the fusion and richness of both cultures, rhythms, and sounds is something I like to create, as it truly tells my story and parallels who I am as an artist and as a person. In arabic music, there are neutral thirds while in wetserm music there are only major and minor ones. I want my music to represent me and the only way that is possible would be to incorporate and fuse these two worlds together into one. When you listen to Beautiful Stranger, you can hear the oud, for example – an ancient Arabic instrument. This instrument is reminiscent of my childhood, as my grandfather, Zaki Kneider, was a great oud player, amongst other instruments. 

3) We love “Beautiful Stranger.” Can you tell us a little bit about the message behind the song?

Thank you so much! The message behind Beautiful Stranger ultimately is all about, “the search” and the recognition that the answers are ultimately within yourself.  My intention with this song is to have people question, “this thing called love,” and its many forms. My inspiration for the song came from the need to connect, to be able to understand the power of love and all its forms.

4) You shot the music video for “Beautiful Stranger” in different locations around LA. What was the video shoot process like? Can you tell us anything about the video?

The filming process was a challenge! I had a shoe-string budget, a vision and a voice…I quickly put my producer hat on and started getting a team in place, all during Covid in Los Angeles, mind you. Nevertheless, overall, I am happy and grateful for my wonderful cast and crew. Ersi Danou and Thouly Dosios were my dynamite duo directors, Ted Hayash was a terrific DP and the cast was so supportive and encouraging. Acquiring permits, location scouting, scheduling, abiding by covid regulations etc was a lot to handle as the only producer on the project… on top of being the artist and performing. Due to Covid, locking in locations was probably the most difficult but by sheer tenacity, I was able to lock  in the iconic Santa Monica pier. I hustled everyday to get food sponsors, freebies, waivers and would not take no for an answer. Funny side-note – my directors really wanted a full body manikin for the opening scene and finally a day before shooting I was able to get one; I drove to downtown LA and spotted one in a Korean market. I spoke with the owner basically in sign language since he and his wife didn’t speak much English and managed to have them agree to letting me use the manikin for the day with a $30 deposit. I guess they just trusted me, a random stranger….I off course returned it the next day after that day of shooting. It made me believe in humanity and the kindness of strangers. We shot for 4 entire days on the weekends and basically created a short film using iconic backdrops as the SM carrousel, downtown LA, Altadena and the LA river. 

5) You’ve just released your debut single. What was the recording process like?

The recording process was fun! Working with a limited budget was a challenge but we made it work. After completing the final tweaks of the song with my writing partner, Raed Saade, I remember thinking…ok now studio time is going to be expensive, I have to find a way. I started thinking of who I can reach out too; my old roommate and friend Mikey Mike, who wrote for Rihanna and is an artist himself recommended – Steve Dresser who happened to have an in-home recording studio in his apartment in Koreatown. We met, vibed, got in the booth and layed down the vocals. I was in absolute bliss when I was in that room, despite it being 100 degrees since his AC went out and I was dripping sweat from head to toe. After laying the vocals and much deliberation with Steve and my producer, Xavier Cevrin who is based in Holland, we decided to add ancient instruments as the Oud with the acoustic and electric guitar to give a more worldly pop vibe. The writing process was a nice collaboration; prior to this song, I was not as confident with my songwriting but after encouragement from friends and industry pros, I just dove right in. Raed Saade, a fellow contestant and friend who was on the Voice with me, believed in me as a singer and supported me as a songwriter by contributing in co-writing Beautiful Stranger. We grabbed some beers, locked ourselves in my apartment and started brainstorming ideas, concepts, thoughts etc. Before I knew it, we had a nice rough draft in about an hour or so. It was all a learning experience for me, as prior to this, I performed on stage and was singing other people’s songs. I was thrilled to finally have something to sing and perform to claim my own! 

6) We were so moved to read about the story behind Nadia’s Kids Inc. What are your plans for the non-profit in the coming years?

Thank you – it was something I felt I needed to do. There are so many children out there who suffer from PTSD and they simply do not have the proper resources to cope with the challenges they face as children, which then leads to major problems in adulthood. My plans in the coming years is to have an actual facility with different workshops and art programs that caters to their needs. In the meantime, I will actively be looking for qualified counselors, volunteers and artists to help in creating this program. My aunt Nadia and uncle Andreas will be missed, but never forgotten. 

7) What can your fans expect from you this year?

I am in the process of collaborating once again with former Swedish pop star and Katy Perry collaborator, Camela Leierth on my EP that is set to be released sometime this year! While working on the EP, I have some really cool and exciting film projects and announcements in development, where I will be seen acting and singing. Stay tuned for more!!!

8) Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

I’m committed to expressing my artistry in different mediums, that I will be sharing in the coming years! 

Eminem illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

EMINEM’S MMF

EMINEM’S MARSHALL MATHERS FOUNDATION TO RELEASE EXCLUSIVE DOWNTOWN BOXING GYM COLLAB ON BLACK FRIDAY

Just in time for Black Friday, the Marshall Mathers Foundation is releasing a limited-edition line of clothing for a good cause. The designs also make a nod to “Stan” and the 20th anniversary of The Marshall Mathers LP. 

The Marshall Mathers Foundation x DBG #Stan #MMLP collab on Carhartt gear will raise funds to help the Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG Detroit) knock out COVID-19 related learning loss. DBG is a free academic and athletic program on Detroit’s east side that’s working around the clock to prevent students from falling behind during the pandemic. 

“We’re facing a crisis like we’ve never seen and we’re doing everything we can to support our kids and help them make it through,” said Khali Sweeney, DBG’s founder and CEO. “To have Eminem and the Marshall Mathers Foundation step up during this time and help raise much needed funds means the world to us. This is what we do in the D. We take care of each other. And we are truly grateful.” 

Royce Da 5’9”, Director of Community Engagement and Social Justice Initiatives for The Marshall Mathers Foundation, said: “I’ve experienced firsthand the discipline, commitment, and focus that boxing training instills in young people. I’m passionate about the sport, and I’m passionate about the role that DBG plays in our community.  We need to make sure the important work they do continues.” 

The t-shirts and hoodies sell for $30 and $60 and are available online at the Eminem Store (shop.eminem.com) while supplies last. 100% of the proceeds will support DBG’s tutoring, mentorship, enrichment programs, college and career prep, social-emotional skills building, and basic needs support like transportation, meals, and more. Learn more at dbgdetroit.org

The Marshall Mathers Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to disadvantaged and at-risk youth in Detroit, Michigan and its surrounding communities. Our mission has expanded to stand as an ally in the fight against social injustice and for racial equality nationwide.  

After being featured on ESPN’s UFC 257 creative for the last month, Eminem will debut his new music video for “Higher” during ESPN’s UFC 257 Countdown: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 at 2 p.m. ET this Saturday, January 23 on ABC. The video will also re-air on ESPN just prior to Saturday’s main event.

The song comes from the latest Eminem release, Music To Be Murdered By – Side B (Shady Records/Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records), which was released on December 18, 2020 and is the expanded edition of Music To Be Murdered By, his 11th studio album released January 17, 2020. The music video prominently features footage from ESPN’s UFC coverage and centers around Eminem inhabiting roles as both a musician and a world-class athlete, drawing allusions between the way a musician creates and prepares to perform and how an athlete trains and prepares for competition. The video, featuring cameos from Dana White and ESPN’s Michael Eaves, will revolve around Eminem’s most important battle: the one against his own demons. 

“We have always been interested in fostering the synergy between music and sports and along with ESPN we have created many great moments together,” says David Nieman, VP, Sports and Gaming for Interscope Geffen A&M. “Working together to amplify Eminem’s artistic vision in such a unique way for this highly anticipated UFC event is absolutely a high point.” 

“It’s always been amazing to be able to work with Eminem for promotional and programming content on various ESPN properties over the years,” said Kevin Wilson, ESPN music director. “To be able to work on this video together with his team – not only featuring our team’s great UFC coverage but also debuting it exclusively on ABC, is just invaluable.” 

Eminem has been featured in a number of promotional and programming content for ESPN recently, including UFC 248, UFC 246, a spot with a custom remix and the tease for this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship, featuring him narrating the introduction and more.