Today, rising Chattanooga-bred rapper Big Bratt releases “First Class,” an energetic new single powered by crushing bass, rapid-fire flexes, and irrepressible attitude. The track arrives with accompanying video, watch above or listen at all digital retailers here.
Over a minimal, speaker-rattling instrumental, Bratt serves up confident bars about her approach to romance. “Told him he can be my trick, but he can’t be my man,” she raps in her deep Southern drawl, “Every time I leave a nigga, make him go insane.” Elsewhere, she dives into some casual flexing, flaunting her knack for stacking money and detailing the life of luxury that’s resulted from her success. “I’m in first class with my feet up,” she raps on the infectious chorus.
With hard-hitting bars and a memorable hook, “First Class” is further proof that Big Bratt is well on her way to big things. This new song arrives just over a month after the Cinematic Music Group rapper’s “Paid in Full,” a song and video made in the spirit of the 2002 film of the same name. In the video, she plays her own version of the movie’s kingpin protagonist while still making time to hit up the basketball court and kick it with her crew. It’s a visual that is rooted deeply in hip-hop culture and it demands you pay attention, something plenty of new listeners are starting to do with every Big Bratt release.
This recent run of singles, which started with the reflective 2020 track “Rich Rollxn,” shows off why she’s caught the attention of critics and tastemakers — DJ BOOTH has already identified her as one of “10 rappers you should know right now.” With the fierce charisma and natural dexterity on display on songs like “First Class,” Bratt seems poised to continue making noise throughout the rest of 2021 and beyond.
About Big Bratt:
Raised on Southern hip-hop legends like Boosie and 8Ball & MJG, Bratt stepped into the studio for the first time as a little girl. During her high school years, she learned how to make beats and started sharing her remixes on social media, and soon began putting her fierce work ethic to the test. “Before I got my vehicle I was always catching the bus or getting an Uber to Nashville from three hours away,” says Bratt. “It was hard but I didn’t care what it took; I just knew I needed to get to the studio.”
Now at work on her debut project, Bratt has teamed up with producers like Bankroll Got It (Stunna 4 Vegas, Smokepurpp, Lil Pump) to further develop her sound. “The whole goal of this project is to be motivational,” she says. “I want all the females my age to know they deserve more, but they can’t be lazy or depend on anybody else to make it happen. It’s time to go get it on their own.”
Marta Klopf is graphic designer that works in web and brand design. When talking about her artwork Klopf says, “My projects focus on clear communication while highlighting the values, thoughts and stories behind a brand and translating conceptual ideas into cohesive visual worlds.” Originally from Italy, Klopf graduated from Minneapolis College of Art & Design and soon moved to New York City, quickly falling in love with the city and finding inspiration in it. She loves being able to help with change through her art and design. Klopf looks forward to getting back to creating art for local community focused organizations in the future. We had the opportunity to ask Marta Klopf about her artistic journey and what’s next for the artist:
How did you get into graphic design? Was graphic design always the direction you wanted to go?
I wasn’t one of those people who know as children what they are going to be when they grow up: for a long time I didn’t see a path that seemed right for me. I was always interested in a lot of things, and always wanted to follow new ideas and start new projects. What I did know was that I was interested in art, and that I was passionate about communicating. So I discovered design, which is at its very core visual communication. I moved to Minneapolis to pursue my BFA in graphic design and have worked in the field since. And I think it worked out, because design gives you the opportunity to be interested in a lot of things, to approach different projects with different ideas and interests.
Do you have a preference for working digitally or physically? Why?
I love working digitally: I feel like the digital world is where a lot of people today go to find information, learn things, discover brands, buy things, make connections, and therefore it is a dynamic place that is always evolving, which makes it exciting to be a part of it. I also think digital projects challenge you in a different way, because they need to make an impact while also remaining flexible and adaptable.
You stated: “New York is vibrant and makes you feel alive. You always feel like you are part of something big. It always pushes you creatively because there is always something new to inspire you.” What initially drew you to work in New York? Do you have a favorite thing in New York you always go back to for inspiration if you ever feel burnt out?
I think that, at first, what drew me to New York was the sheer quantity of creatives and creative endeavors, which gives you the opportunity to really find a path that works for you and matches your interests. But I didn’t expect to really fall for the city as much or as quickly as I did: I met a lot of inspiring designers and creatives who were pursuing their passions in so many different ways. I think the people are what always inspires me: it may be a bit cliché, but the energy that comes from surrounding yourself with other creative people can be very energizing. I also love to take long walks: you always end up somewhere new, and getting out of your usual environment and what is comfortable usually helps.
You’re a freelance graphic designer “with experience in web and brand design.” What is your favorite aspect of being a freelance artist? The most difficult?
I work for an agency and also do freelance projects, so I get the best and worst of both. I love the freedom of freelance work. You are in charge of what projects you take on, and the directness of working directly with the person who will use your work makes it empowering. The most difficult part would be that you are alone: you have to be the one who does all the organizing, the designing, the coordinating, the email writing, the zoom calls. Which I like, but can be quite a lot.
How do you begin your process of starting a new project with a brand?
The first thing I do is learn as much as I can about the project, first to determine whether it’s something I am able to take on, and then to find out what makes the project special. I would then typically meet with the client, talk about big picture things (their ideas and needs, their philosophy, and so on) as well as practical things (timeline, other people involved in the project, etc). Depending on the project I would then come up with a few ideas and see whether they will work and are well received. From there, it becomes a matter of getting more and more detailed and continuing to incorporate feedback from the client until the final product is ready.
Of the projects you’ve worked on, which is your favorite? What about it makes it so memorable/special for you?
I recently finished a website called letstech.at. It is geared towards kids 10-18 in age and is meant to be a science/engineering portal for them: get them interested in more scientific or technical subjects, present ideas through videos and blog articles, as well as show role models (especially female ones) who work in the field and be a place where they can find information about careers in engineering. I loved working on it both because it was a design challenge (trying to speak to a relatively broad age range), and because it truly is a great resource for kids: it feels great to be part of something that empowers them through learning and through highlighting female role models.
As someone who loves being able to help change the world through your artwork, which causes are you passionate about that you would want to design for in the future?
I try not to set limits on what want to do, but generally I feel strongly about projects that are of value to people: in the case of the project above, kids who want to learn, but also, for example, design for community based organizations who help women, minorities, or in any way empower people by offering them resources that may be otherwise difficult to access. As another example, I also was part of a mentoring program, where professional designers helped create logos for groups of high schoolers who wanted to pitch ideas to help their community to investors. I love being able to use my skills that way: making an impact through design.
With your artwork, what direction do you feel like you want to go in next? Is there any new pattern, style, process, person, media, etc, that you feel has grabbed your attention and inspired your work? Is there anything you’ve done in the past you want to continue with?
I feel that style changes constantly, and the more we focus on style the less longevity a project has. What matters to me the most are good ideas, and I think the time of the pandemic (having to stay home and mostly focus on work) really reinforced the idea of wanting to make work that has an impact. I always look at the work of Partner & Partners (where I used to work) and Hyperakt in New York as inspiration for beautiful work that is backed by great ideas and also makes an impact on the communities and the world we live in.
Marta Klopf is currently accepting freelance projects here.
Love—it’s one of the strongest and most universal connectors in our world. It’s also the driving force behind everything Mikey Lion does, from the music he crafts to the events he runs as the leader of Desert Hearts, to the circles he keeps. To honor this all-encompassing force, the artist today releases the full rendition of For The Love, his debut studio album, and the 100th release on Desert Hearts Records. A patchwork of nine tracks depicts Lion’s saga spanning from the day he discovered his true purpose, to the highs and lows of realizing it, and up to the present where he ponders on reaching the next chapter for himself and his community.
Before nurturing his brand and record label into the behemoth that it is today, a young Mikey Lion had been living with his parents and questioning the direction to take his life. Mesmeric album closer “Talking To The Trees” with its lush synth layers and gossamer vocals, sketches out how his path was revealed to him. During a fateful psychedelic trip, he was guided to spread love and community under the banner of House, Techno, and Love that fans know today. Desert Hearts was officially launched in 2012, and the rest is history.
Elsewhere in For The Love, Lion reminisces on the moments and feelings that reaffirmed his direction. “When I’m With You,” a breezy vocal jam crafted alongside Lubelski and Jackson Englund, pays homage to blissful times spent with loved ones in and out of the rave. The peak time ready “Spot Freak” represents cheeky dancefloor moments with the crew via off-kilter synth effects, licks of acid, and hard-hitting percussion. “Above The Clouds,” which leads For The Love with dulcet melodies, is Lion’s interpretation of house music heaven—a feeling he seeks to emulate at each Desert Hearts event.
Trial arrived in Mikey’s journey in 2020, when the pandemic brought his and Desert Hearts’ momentum to a screeching halt. Written in minor key with tense buildups and heavy synthwork, “For The Love Of What” is the label head’s expression of this doubtful time, where existential crisis set in and he was left questioning what the point of it all was, and how the mission of spreading love would continue in the absence of shows.
Luckily, reprise was found within the dedicated community he built over the years. As Mikey led Desert Hearts into the virtual world, launching a TV station on Twitch, followers swiftly hopped on for the ride. He found himself reaching even more people across the globe with DH’s message of House Techno Love, receiving donations and pledges of support from across the globe, and interacting with the DH community on a virtual dancefloor. It was an affirmation of a different sort, but no less powerful, convincing him again that love and music would sustain him, regardless if the dancefloor was digital.
For The Love is ultimately a culmination of the triumphs and tribulations Mikey Lion has faced through the years since he first set out to bring the mantra of House, Techno, Love to a global scale—and is also a marker of an artist just beginning to step into his own sonically. Its timeless influences and multifaceted, yet polished sound design point to an artist who’s put in the work to master his craft. Through painstaking detail, instrumentation, and arrangement, Mikey manages to tell years’ worth of stories in just nine compositions.
At the end of the day, the lesson remains: community comes first always, and the decisions we make should be guided by, if not entirely, For The Love.
More than 3 billion internet users now use the Google Chrome browser
Choosing what browser to use is something that every internet user has to do. There are plenty of options to pick from. When choosing, it is essential to make sure your browser has the proper security and privacy settings.
According to the recent Atlas VPN team findings, 3,258,256,887 internet users (or 41% of the population) use Google Chrome browser, making it by far the most popular browser in the world. The key reason for such browser popularity is the fact that it has been created by the tech giant Google. In addition, many people praise it for various customizable options and speed compared to other browsers.
The statistics are based on the GlobalStats browser market share percentage, which was then converted into numbers using the InternetWorldStats internet user metric to retrieve the exact numbers.
The second most popular browser is Safari, with a total of 944,576,100 internet users. iPhone or Mac device users mostly work with the Safari browser as Apple developed it. This browser offers several security features such as security indicators and malware protection.
Third on the list is the Firefox browser, with 181,435,430 people actively using it. Unlike other browsers, Firefox has placed a huge emphasis on user privacy. In March 2021, Firefox launched SmartBlock in version 87 to offer protection against cross-site tracking without breaking the websites users visit.
Microsoft Edge browser ranks fourth with 171,327,607 internet users. Edge is the only browser to natively support Windows Information Protection (WIP), which protects corporate data to help prevent accidental leaks by users on Windows 10 devices.
In fifth and sixth place goes the Samsung Internet and Opera browsers. They have 166,779,086 and 112,196,840 active users respectively.
Google Chrome seems to be the most popular browser based on user interface and ease of customization. Users can install VPNs and AdBlockers directly to the web browser. Another reason for the significant increase in popularity of Google Chrome could be the growth in popularity for Google devices such as the Chromebook, which has Google Chrome installed natively.
Browser security concerns
At this time, when cybercrime is more active than ever, safety should be one of the priorities when choosing a browser. There are a few additional tools that will help you stay secure to accompany a good browser.
Even though Chrome is the most popular browser globally, it has a history of security and privacy issues. Last year in March, hackers found a backdoor in a Google Chrome update and took advantage of it by releasing a fake Chrome update with malware. It infected more than 3000 users worldwide.
More common browser security concerns are that hackers could access your saved passwords and other information. In addition, cookies and browser cache could also be used to obtain your sensitive data.
Using software such as VPNs, antivirus, firewalls, or password managers can help you to protect your identity online and avoid malicious attacks. These applications have become essential tools when it comes to online security.
To see the data and graphs relevant to Atlas VPN’s report visit their website here.
Even after eight full seasons of Game of Thrones, fans have hardly had enough of the show. George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” is a long story full of unanswered questions. Anyone who’s read the books will agree that the TV series only scraped the surface. Not to mention, the ending left us with debates and was full of plot holes. It’s likely that they rushed to wrap things up. We are hoping the same will not happen in the upcoming spinoffs.
The GOT team is currently working on about 5 spinoffs. Among them is the much-awaited House of the Dragon, 10,000 Ships, The Tale of Dunk and Egg, Flea Bottom, and 9 Voyage. House of the Dragon is set to follow hot on the heels of GOT’s season 8. Besides some leaked stills from the set, here’s the information we have so far:
As the name suggests, House of the Dragon revolves around the Targaryen family and is based on George R. R. Martin’s book, “Fire and Blood.” It tells the story of Westeros 300 years before the events in GOT, when the Targaryens were in power. According to the book’s description, we expect the show to answer questions such as:
What happened during the dance of the dragons (the Targaryen civil war that impacted all of the seven kingdoms)?
Why Valyria was dreaded after the doom?
The life in Westeros when dragons dominated the skies
The worst actions of Meagor the Cruel
According to Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming chief, House of the Dragon is likely to start airing in 2022. Although, the precise premiere date is yet to be determined. On April 26, HBO disclosed that production had already begun, sharing a photo of the cast doing a table read in a social-distanced gathering with the caption “fire will reign” on Twitter.
A few other disclosed pictures from the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel suggest that filming is being done in the southwest coast of England. The photos show casts and crew on Holywell Bay Beach, Cornwall. If the only Game of Thrones action you have been getting so far is playing GOT video games or a GOT slots game in online casinos, you’ll be glad to know that we are soon getting hauled back to Westeros and beyond.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes are Martin and screenwriter Ryan Condal (Hercules and Colony) as co-creators. Condal will also serve as showrunner in collaboration with Miguel Sapochnik, who directed six episodes of GOT and won Emmy and DGA for “Battle of the Bastards”. He will also be writing the script alongside Sara Lee Hess, who will be working with Vince Gerardis, Martin, and Sapochnik as executive producers.
Also expected to direct are Greeta V. Patel (The Witcher and Meet the Patels), Clare Kilner (director of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness), and Greg Yaitanes (House, Banshee). The Emmy-winning Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi (Westworld) will score the series.
From the official casting announcement that we got in October 2020, we know that the following actors will be involved:
Paddy Considine (The Outsider, Peaky Blinders) is set to play King Viserys Targaryen, a warm, kind, and decent man chosen to succeed King Jahaerys Targaryen as ruler of Westeros. However, it is said that “good men do not necessarily make for great kings.”
Matt Smith (Netflix’s Juggernaut as Prince Philip) will be taking the role of Prince Daemon Targaryen, King Viserys’ younger brother and heir to the throne. He is described as an unrivaled warrior and a dragon rider with the true blood of the dragons.
Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers, Wanderlust) will be Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the King’s first-born child and a pure Valyrian born. She also is a dragon rider. You could say she came into the world with everything – except she wasn’t a man.
Steve Toussaint (Doctor Who, It’s a Sin) takes the role of Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka The Sea Snake. He is the lord of House Velaryon, an ancient Valyrian bloodline much like House Targaryen. Lord Corlys is the most reputable nautical adventurer in the Seven Kingdoms, claims the largest navy in the world, and his house is wealthier than the Lannisters.
Rhys Ifans: (Notting Hill, Enduring Love) will appear as Otto Hightower, The Hand of the King. Ser Otto is a faithful servant to both his king and the realm.
Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel, Vanity Fair) plays the role of Alicent Hightower, the most comely woman in Westeros, who was raised in the Red Keep. She has a keen judgment for politics, as well as a courtly grace.
Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) will be taking the major role of Ser Criston Cole, a Dornish common-born with no claim to lands or titles, but is an honorable swordsman.
Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina, Beauty and the Beast) will play Mysaria, who came to Westeros empty-handed and has been sold more than she can remember. Despite all these challenges, she rises to become an unlikely, trusted ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen.
How About the Other Game of Thrones Spinoffs?
The GOT team is currently working on several other spinoffs, although their production and airing timelines are not as clear. Among them is 9 Voyages, which is expected to tell the story of Corlys Velaryo (The Sea Snake) and will be starring Steve Toussant.
10,000 Ships is set 1,000 years before the events in GOT, revolving around Nymeria of House Martel, the founder of Dorne. You may recall Arya’s direwolf in GOT was called Nymeria. So was one of the sand snakes.
Another spinoff, The Tale of Dunk and Egg, tells the story of the iconic knight Ser Duncan the Tall, aka Dunk, (who later becomes king Aegon V Targaryen) and his squire Egg. It is based on Martin’s novel, “Tales of Dunk and Egg,” and is set only 90 years before the events of GOT.
Flea Bottom is another prequel reportedly under development. It is set in Flea Bottom, the slum of King’s Landing. This is where the poorest residents in the Capital of Westeros live. Davos Seaworth and Gendry are some of the GOT characters who started their lives here.
One thing is for sure–Game of Thrones has grown in our hearts to become a culture, touching aspects of life we never before imagined. For all dragon lovers out there, we can’t wait to get immersed in the heroics, politics, cunning, and plot twists involved in Martin’s stories of the Seven Kingdoms. We hope House of the Dragon will fill the air with the same hype as GOT.
Over 93 percent of Americans get paid via direct deposit.
This is super convenient for them (who want to wait in line to cash a check at the bank?). However, it can also present challenges if you don’t receive a pay stub every time you get paid.
If this is the case for you, consider generating your own pay stubs. Listed below are 5 benefits you can enjoy by doing so.
1. Rent an Apartment
Often, when you’re applying to rent an apartment, you need to provide proof of income.
If you get paid by direct deposit, you might not have this information readily available. Generating your own pay stubs ensures you have the documents you need to verify that you can afford the rent.
2. Stay on Top of Your Earnings
Generating pay stubs also makes it easier for you to manage your finances and keep track of your earnings.
When payment information is right in front of you in an easy-to-read pay stub, you’ll be able to pick up on potential issues and correct them sooner. You may also be able to budget better since you have a clearer idea of what you’re bringing in.
If you run a business, you definitely ought to consider generating pay stubs yourself. This helps you to get your employees paid faster since you can print the stubs right there in the office, rather than waiting for them to be mailed to the employees’ houses.
5. Avoid Employee Payment Errors
More than 82 million workers have experienced paycheck errors at some point in their lives.
When you use a pay stub generator that comes with an accurate pay stub calculator, you’re less likely to make errors and pay your employees an incorrect amount. This makes life simpler for everyone at the company, including you.
How to Make Your Own Pay Stubs
You get to enjoy all these benefits when you make your own pay stubs. As a bonus, it’s also easy to make pay stubs online.
There are lots of tools out there (many of them are free) that you can use to create pay stubs for any purpose. When looking for a pay stub generator, consider the following:
Ease of use
Consider whether or not the generator provides a pay stub example, too. This gives you a chance to see what the pay stub will look like and ensure it doesn’t leave out any important information.
Start Generating Pay Stubs Today
As you can see, there are lots of reasons to make pay stubs yourself. If you want to experience these benefits, follow the tips outlined above and start using a simple pay stub creator today.
Do you need more help managing your money or making plans for the future? Check out some of the other resources on our site today.
Are you new to online casinos and have no idea if they are actually worth playing at? Have you ever wondered why online casinos have become so incredibly popular when people still have access to good, old traditional casinos?
The benefits of using online casinos have been discussed at length by many people over the years. With hundreds of options to choose form, its easy to get lost in all the choices and feel quite over whelmed. It’s important to know why you should use an online casino, and what are the biggest benefits associated with them.
In recent years, the online casino industry has grown massively and it is all down to the fact that we are now living in a digital age where people are constantly online on their phones or laptops. People are not going to physical casinos as often as they used to anymore. If you want to start playing at an online casino but are not sure what the benefits might be, here are a few reasons.
A Lot of Games
One of the biggest perks of playing at an online casino is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of games available for you to play. When it comes to traditional, physical casinos, there are a limited to the number of games available due to limited space. This is not the case when it comes to online casinos. There is no constraint when it comes to space, meaning that online casinos can have many more games available to players.
Online casinos offer all the regular games that traditional casinos have, and more. An average online casino has around 400-600 games, but most of the casinos that Japan-101 recommends here have much more than that. Not only do they have many games, but also have a bunch of different themes to suite anyone. There are even casino games, similar to video games, in which you have to go on missions and complete levels. There is no chance that players will get bored with this variety.
Many Bonuses to Choose From
One of the most innovative marketing techniques to come from online casinos is the bonuses. Bonuses are essentially free gameplay that encourages players to start or continue playing at a casino. The most popular bonus at the various different casinos is the welcome bonus. This is how casinos attract masses of new players–by offering them free gameplay. Everyone loves getting things for free.
Welcome bonuses can come in the form of free spins on the slots, free rounds at tables games, free money to bet on a game of your choice, or even a combination of these. Other bonuses are available for people who are part of a more exclusive of VIP package as a way to encourage them to keep playing; or as incentive for those who are considering upgrading their casino account. These bonuses are a great way for players to play for free and discover the games they like, without having to waste their own money.
One of the best parts about playing at an online casino is how convenient it is. Going to a regular physical casino can take a lot out of your day. You have to dress up fancy, travel to the destination, wait in lines to play, and end up spending a lot of time waiting around for a few minutes of fun.
Online casinos make it so much more convenient to play all the casino games you love with just the click of a button. You can play anywhere, anytime you want because these casinos are available 24/7. All you need is to have a decent internet connection. You can play on your commute to work or even while in bed, if you are trying to pass the time.
Easy to Get Started
For those new to gambling or casino games, it can be a bit daunting trying to figure out how all of the different games work. At online casinos, all of this worry disappears as there are tutorials on how to play the different games. Online casinos sometimes even offer different tips and tricks to help you win.
If you need more help, you can easily search for solutions to any problems you may have or look up tutorials for further clarity.
Therapy can help with a huge range of mental health complaints from stress and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and more. There are many reasons to consider therapy, and with the internet now creating new avenues for accessing mental health treatment, it’s no surprise that online therapy has become a popular choice for young people who are seeking mental health support. Due to the COVID19 crisis, online therapy has become an even more popular option over the past year in order to help ensure that people who need additional support for their mental health and wellbeing are able to access it safely when needed. So, why is online therapy becoming a more popular option?
Online therapy is usually done from home, meaning that the client has the additional convenience of getting therapy from the comfort of their own place without having to go and visit the therapist at their office. This can be a better option for people who have busy lives or commitments like kids that might be difficult for them to work around when they get professional help. Online therapy can be done from your kitchen or living room, meaning that there’s no need to rush after finishing work for the day or find a sitter for your kids while you go for your appointment.
Find a Suitable Therapist:
For people who live in remote areas where the choice of therapists available is not always the best, online therapy can be an ideal alternative. Online therapy offers more choice to people who live in remote or rural areas where there are limited mental health resources available to them in the local area. It provides clients with the option of finding a therapist that might be a better fit for them without being confined to the local area only or faced with the need to travel long distances to visit a therapist on a regular basis.
Another reason why online therapy is becoming more popular among young people is that it provides more access to these services for people who have physical limitations. People who are housebound or disabled might find it difficult or even impossible to go out and visit a therapist in person, while online therapy can be done from wherever is most comfortable for them.
Going to therapy can be a huge step to take for somebody who has been struggling with mental health issues that they struggle to talk about. Often, the internet makes getting therapy easier and more accessible for people in this situation who might feel comfortable talking about physical health issues with family and friends but will struggle to open up about their mental health. Since online therapy can be done from home, or another environment that the client is comfortable and familiar with, it can be easier for clients to overcome the stigma that has long been attached to mental health issues and feel more comfortable asking for help.
Today, young people have been born into a world where the internet is used for pretty much anything. From applying for jobs to online grocery shopping, many young people are used to tapping into their phones or laptops when they want to get something done, so it’s no surprise that getting online therapy tends to come naturally to them. In a world where a lot of communication with friends and family is done online and there are more online services than ever before available, it makes sense that young people who are used to this way of doing things would prefer to get mental health support online too.
What to Consider When Choosing an Online Therapist:
There are several apps that have made finding an online therapist easier, and many therapists that will typically practice from an office or their own home have also started offering online services, many as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. If you are considering online therapy as an option for yourself, there are several things to consider before you start including:
The type of therapy that you want – do some research into different types of therapy such as CBT, DBT, and holistic therapy to find one that seems suitable for you. If you are not sure, a good therapist can help by talking through your options and providing you with more information on what might be suitable.
Insurance coverage: Bear in mind that many states don’t allow out-of-state therapists when it comes to insurance coverage, so check the location of the online therapist before you begin since they will need to be licensed in your home state.
Therapist experience: It is important to choose a therapist that is experienced in and knowledgeable about the specific issue that you are looking to get help with.
Today, online therapy has become a popular and viable way for people to access mental health services more easily and from the comfort and safety of their own home.
These days, even products that have remained largely the same at their core for decades need to explore the ways in which new technology can assist them in connecting to customers. Right now, the tech proving to be a game-changer for brands and products across several industries is live streaming.
Having been widely adopted by the general public through the likes of Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitch, companies now feel comfortable using it as a means to showcase or advance their offering. For the uninitiated, a live stream isn’t much more than a video stream, but when applied correctly, the fact that it’s live makes all of the difference.
From a new way to experience online products to luxury brands offering an innovative way to captivate potential customers, live-streamed productions look to be the way forward.
Making the experience even better
Perhaps the most profound way in which live streaming is being applied is to products that rely a great deal on the experience. When online, people can find just about anything that they want, but for an online-based product to become better, it can build into a live stream, offering real-time engagement with the brand and the product. The best way that this works is when a live stream is a two-way event, with those watching being able to influence or engage with those hosting the stream.
The furthest that live streaming has developed in this sense is in the advancement of online games, specifically online game show and table games. Take live roulette, for example; it’s played in rounds with the players wanting to bet on numbers for each spin. So, the game streams the real table and croupier to the player, with OCR technology set up to read the table while the player bets through the UI on their phone or computer. Suddenly, roulette isn’t a video-simulated online game, it’s real, live, and offers that same bricks ‘n mortar casino experience at the convenience of the users.
The same can be seen in the way that music is evolving its online presence. For decades, aspiring artists have posted their covers on video platforms like YouTube, but now there’s a surge of people staging live shows rather than just offering on-demand content. Data analysis of a popular live music platform has found that not only are viewers overwhelmingly positive about the live-streamed experience, but they’re also very likely to buy into products as a direct result of the live experience.
Building into live commerce
The idea of truly organized and direct live commerce isn’t a concept that’s overly well adopted in western markets. Sure, so-called influencers have been paid to sling promoted items over videos on social media, but in China, the likes of Taobao Live and Baidu have crafted full channels dedicated to shoppable live streams. They work similarly to the influencers, but the streams from the likes of fashion site MOGU are specifically designed to showcase products, help customers, answer questions, and more: offering shopping and entertainment all in one.
Luxury fashion brands are starting to explore the potential of live streams, too. There’s Rihanna’s Fenty Social Club on Instagram, which offered a form of escapism while also raising brand awareness, and even informal meets from Marc Jacobs to connect to consumers. As it stands, live streaming fashion shows is the primary use of the technology at the luxury end, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some fast fashion outlets explore the live streaming techniques that have been so successful in China.
There’s so much that companies can do with live streaming, from offering interactive options to live chat windows, that just about any brand can benefit from exploring the technology.
From Montreal and now residing in the highlands of Virginia, Foster’s full production, 11-piece band concert Standing Under Bright Lights was recorded live in front of a sold out Club Soda (July 2019) while Foster headlined the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The concert was named one of the top five events not to be missed by Canada’s national TV/Radio broadcaster CBC. Originally set to release October 8, 2020, which would have been his late father’s birthday, Foster decided to utilize the extra time the worldwide pandemic would give him to produce the recording and concert film.
“[Standing Under Bright Lights] captivated concert-goers every second with improv, emotions, darkness, poetry laden lyrics, spoken word vocals and experimental music that transported everyone in attendance to a different plane.” – American Songwriter
“This is the kind of live album that used to establish artists…” – Vancouver Sun
“An Intimate, Impassioned, Astonishing record.” – Metro UK
★★★★★ – “Standing Under Bright Lights is a deeply spiritual hymn to the warmth and light that burns inside us all.” – 3 Songs & Out
★★★★ 1/2 “…an avalanche of progressive alternative rock music… feverish poetry and progressive impetus which defends our spirit at each listening.” – ARP Media
“Standing Under Bright Lights is…a mesmerizing experience. …the event feels vibrant, it grips you even…”– Le Soleil
“Alex Henry Foster has earned his due and has helped transcend post-rock into a realm of prog possibilities encompassing the world where Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree meet Godspeed You! Black Emperor.” – Glide Magazine
“…this is a release of such absolute quality, such exquisite poise…It is an absolute statement piece that, if there is any justice, will place Alex Foster Henry into a place where he will be rightfully regarded amongst the creme of emerging talent on the world stage.” – Uber Rock
“…one of the most dedicated and passionate works of art from a musician in recent memory.” – Interview Under Fire
“Just like the crescendo of the song ‘The Son of Hannah,’ there is a raw, cathartic release of tension that is born of anger, but released as hope.” – Montreal Rocks
“Rarely are we presented with such raw emotion in music or performance.” – Sound Vapors
Along with lead singles “The Son of Hannah” and “Winter Is Coming In” that have received hundreds of thousands of plays across numerous playlists, Standing Under Bright Lights features every song from Foster’s debut solo album, Windows in the Sky, which hit No. 1 multiple times on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart, staying in the Top 40 on the chart for a full year after its release. The songs from this celebrated album were re-invented for the live recording as the band performed along with a movie projection produced by Foster. Almost 2 hours and 30 minutes long, the concert at which Standing Under Bright Lights was recorded is now considered among the best concerts throughout the 40 years of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Playing the new music and fan favorites on tour, Foster and his band are preparing to tour internationally with 23 dates in Europe set to begin next month, pandemic allowing.