Posts tagged with "HBO"

Labrinth Wins Emmy Award

GRAMMY NOMINATED PRODUCER, SINGER, SONGWRITER AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST LABRINTH WINS HIS FIRST EMMY AWARD FOR
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC & LYRICS FOR HIS WORK ON HBO’S EUPHORIA

Labrinth today wakes up an Emmy Award winner. Nominated for two Emmys this year as lead composer, Labrinth has won the first category for ‘Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics’ for his work on the official soundtrack for HBO’s hit series Euphoria.

The results for his second nomination for ‘Outstanding Music Composition For A Series’ will be announced on Saturday, September 19th from 8PM to 10PM EST.

For over 70 years The Emmy Awards recognize excellence in various areas of television and emerging media and are widely recognized as one of the most coveted awards of all time. The win signifies a pivotal moment in Labrinth’s career, as it celebrates his first-ever project as lead composer.

Following a year of multiple Grammy nominations (The Lion King), Labrinth says, “I came across something that read ‘are you brave enough to trust your instincts? Are you brave enough to let go of your worries’, this Emmy is a milestone for my creative expression and freedom, and I’m going to enjoy it for that. Thanks to Sam and the rest of the inspiring Euphoria universe.”

Written and recorded in close collaboration with the show’s writer Sam Levinson, Labrinth’s original compositions to ‘Euphoria’ feature prominently throughout the series as a sonic companion to the show’s angst-driven narrative. The resulting 26-track collection is a genre blending mix of gospel, soul and electronic influences, indicative both of Labrinth’s imitable style as well as the show’s deeply moving storyline.

Labrinth adds, “My experience with Euphoria has made me a better musician. It was a dream come true to give wings and add magic to the different storylines. It was a collaborative effort among Sam Levinson, the crew and the cast – I only added texture to an already phenomenal show. I hope that anyone who listens to the music embraces feeling something.”

Executive produced by Drake, along with manager Future the Prince, the ensemble cast of Euphoria includes actor and singer Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith and Sydney Sweeney.

With over 400 million streams to date, Labrinth’s award-winning album is a standalone work of art. In particular the track, ‘Still Don’t Know My Name’ which is listened to more than a million times a day, amassing over 100 million streams to date, trending on Shazam and TikTok, and is rising through the charts rapidly across the world as one of this Autumn’s key tracks to watch.

Labrinth’s recent live-streamed performance of music from ‘Euphoria’ is swiftly approaching 1.5 million views, showcasing his unique, creative and acclaimed artistry. Watch Labrinth’s performance of Euphoria Live HERE and “Still Don’t Know My Name” HERE.

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“Hard Knocks: LA” Debuts Season Finale

The season finale of “Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” debuted on HBO on Tuesday, Sept. 8th. The show, which followed the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles throughout preseason, came to an end two days before the beginning of the 2020 NFL season.

At 8:20 p.m. ET tonight, the defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Field in Kansas City, Missouri. The stands will be operating at 22% capacity.

In a preview for the finale, Tyrod Taylor, the quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers, reflects on preseason uncertainty and his readiness for the regular season during an early morning workout. 

“Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” will have encore plays Wednesday nights and will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #HardKnocks and follow @HardKnocksHBO, @NFLFilms and @RamsNFL & @Chargers for updates.

“Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” is narrated by Liev Schreiber.

Labrinth Performs Songs From ‘Euphoria’

For the first time since his Emmy nominations, Labrinth performed songs from the score and soundtrack of the hit HBO series “Euphoria.”

Presented by HBO themselves, fans of the show were treated to “forever,” “still don’t know my name,” “when I r.i.p.” and “all for us.”

Including Labrinth’s for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, “Euphoria” racked up six nominations. In her most adult-friendly role to date, Zendaya picked up a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and we can probably all guess which scene we’ll see when her name is announced as a nominee.

This video is proof that “Euphoria” isn’t leaving gorgeous colors and cinematography behind after the first season. It comes complete with everything but Labrinth wearing “Euphoria” makeup. Rich blues, purples and pinks set us up to be completely lost in the performance the way we were lost in the show.

HBO renewed “Euphoria” for a second season before the first season even ended, but because of production delays, we don’t have a release date yet.

Lovers of the show can still tune in to the 72nd Primetime Emmys on Sept. 20 to cheer for Zendaya, Labrinth and all of the other talented artists and creators responsible for “Euphoria.”

To see the entire performance, you can click right here. You can find “Euphoria” streaming now on HBO Max, and you can listen to the score right here.

Football illustration by Rita Azar

‘Hard Knocks’ – Episodes 1 & 2

HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ is back, which, if you’re an NFL fan, is really exciting. It means that football is close. Fall is coming, training camp is starting and 32 teams will clash over the course of the next five months until only one is left holding the most coveted trophy in the game.

This year, things are looking a little bit different. The three other major sports in the United States had their seasons interrupted or delayed by the pandemic. The NFL finished its season about a month before everything began to close and we stopped gathering, so the league had some time to prepare if the virus was still around come August and September. Well, here we are in the middle of August, less than two weeks away from the opening month of the football season, and the pandemic is still changing the sports world.

This year’s version of ‘Hard Knocks’ is taking advantage of a huge opportunity. In 2015, the NFL had zero teams in Los Angeles. Now, the Rams and the Chargers both call it home. The Rams beat the Chargers there, but they’ll be sharing the brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood beginning this upcoming season. If they can share a stadium, why not share a documentary series? Double the teams, double the drama.

Just two episodes in, it’s obvious that this season is different from every other season of ‘Hard Knocks,’ and I don’t just say that because of the pandemic. If you’re a fan of the NFL, there’s so much star power to lay your eyes on this season, and the first episode doesn’t miss a chance to capitalize on that. We’re getting the inside scoop on guys like Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, Jalen Ramsey, Derwin James, Keenan Allen and Joey Bosa, who inked his five-year, $135 million deal right in front of us.

I think we tend to take the contract stuff for granted when it comes to these athletes. I know signing a nine-figure deal is life-altering, but it happens so often with these huge stars that we don’t think twice about it. If we do think twice, we’re either eyeballing the amount, criticizing it for being too high, or raising our eyebrows at the amount knowing the team is walking away with a star player for less than he or she is worth.

Before watching ‘Hard Knocks,’ I saw that Bosa signed the extension, but I didn’t think about the way it changed his life. That’s what I love about this show. These guys are freak athletes, built to withstand one of the most extreme sports for our entertainment, but they’re also humans. Bosa signing that deal is the climax in a long life of hard work and sacrifice, and he’s going to be able to provide for his family for generations if he’s wise with it.

I also love things like the juxtaposition between Sean McVay’s home life and Anthony Lynn’s home life. Lynn, the head coach of the Chargers, barbecues in his backyard and uses a napkin attached to a fork by a rubber band to brush sauce onto his chicken legs. McVay, the head coach of the Rams, cracks open a bottle of rosé with his fiancé at his outdoor glass fireplace overlooking the world.

We get to see Jalen Ramsey, who’s going into his first full season as a Ram, go house hunting. So far we’ve learned a lot about Ramsey as a competitor and a person, both on and off the field. He has been front and center for a couple of my favorite moments so far. First, in a Zoom meeting with reporters, he fields a question about a contract extension, which he doesn’t have yet. While we see many players around the league holding out of football activities for financial security, Ramsey insists that he’s in LA to play football, and his agent and the front office will handle the financials.

The reporters continue to pry, which sets Ramsey off, and he walks out of the interview. He does end up returning, but I get why he’s upset. I also get why the reporters are asking the question, so it’s a two-way street. While we’ve seen players say they have no plans to hold out then proceed to hold out, I still admire Ramsey for that position. It can’t be easy to negotiate million dollar deals and play football under normal conditions let alone the conditions we’re looking at right now.

Then, of course, we see how these two teams are handling the pandemic. Immediately upon arriving for preseason meetings, all of these players get their temperatures taken. They’re asked questions that probably aren’t too different from everyone visiting an office or an on-site job every day. Do you have a fever? Do you have a sore throat? Are you coughing? Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Right in the back of my mind, I remember last season of ‘Hard Knocks’ when the Raiders had hundreds of guys in their meeting rooms. Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Raiders, would tell his team, “Knock on wood if you’re with me,” and the thunderous knocking of over 100 football players hitting their desks poured through the speakers.

These two teams can’t do that in 2020. We see team’s socially distancing and maintaining that six feet of separation everywhere they go. Team employees even use tape measures to make sure that locker hubs are six feet apart, and the teams don’t allow anyone to sit in the first four rows in meeting rooms. Everyone is masked up, including the coaches, and it seems like they’re truly doing their best to avoid the spread of the virus.

Also, as a huge baseball fan, I love that they use the Marlins as an example of how important the safety precautions are. One guy with the virus could cause an outbreak throughout the entire team and put the season on hold. It doesn’t just affect the person with the virus. It affects everyone they’ve already come in contact with and everyone they might come in contact with. One person can derail the entire season, and it’s fascinating to see such a fragile situation in the hands of men whom we normally think of as the strongest and toughest on the planet.

All of the players are also receiving tests on a regular basis. I don’t know what it was, but something about seeing Keenan Allen and Casey Hayward both act so nervous before their tests made me feel a little bit better about my outlook on the tests. To be completely honest, the fear of having the Q-tip shoved into my brain is making me more strict about my pandemic behavior. It feels good to see professional football players who are just as uneasy about the test as I am.

In the second episode, everyone in camp received a wristband, and while they don’t go too deep into how they work, I imagine they keep track of social distance. If they can figure out whose wristband has been fewer than six feet away from someone who tests positive, they might be able to shut it down quickly by quarantining those players.

They also get the option to wear face shields, which could be a very practical solution to the mask debate. In the first episode, Sean McVay makes a big deal about preferring the plastic face shield over the fabric mask, and it looks like the players will wear something really similar inside their helmets. It sounds like a simple solution to a huge problem. Teams can’t send their players onto the field in hazmat suits, but if they can avoid spitting and breathing on each other, I think that’s a huge step in the right direction.

As per usual, we get to watch all of these positional camp battles that we’d never get to be inside the locker room for without ‘Hard Knocks.’ I love that the second episode touches on Austin Ekeler, who is a star because of the preseason. He’s one of the guys who made the most of his opportunities, and now he’s a starter on a team that’s expected to compete. A lot of guys won’t have those preseason games to make an impression this year. They’ll get fewer reps in practice to show off their skillsets. While it’s not impossible to make an impression, it sure is more difficult.

I enjoyed seeing Justin Herbert work on his game. I remember when Kyler Murray first came into the league and had to learn to take snaps as a professional quarterback. He took a lot of heat for things like clapping to call for the snap, but it looks like he’s going to be just fine. I really hope Herbert can overcome that kind of criticism, which he’ll inevitably get. He has the arm talent, but we’ll get to see if he can overcome the transition.

I also loved seeing Anthony Lynn talk to his players about protests during a Zoom meeting, which launched into an entire conversation between coaches and players. Specifically, Lynn said that his main focus is football, but they can’t focus on football when injustices are taking place off the field, so Chargers players are encouraged to protest however they see fit.

The conversation continued in smaller Zoom groups. In one of those groups, Chargers long snapper Cole Mazza mentioned that he had family in the military who are very much against kneeling during the anthem. Chargers coaches and other players explained that the kneeling had nothing to do with the military and everything to do with racial injustice. I think that’s really important to see in a show like ‘Hard Knocks,’ which draws plenty of football fans on both sides of the issue. Those are the conversations that need to be had, and all players and coaches were extremely respectful of each stance.

To be completely transparent, I caught a Chargers game in Carson last season as a fan of an away team. Fans of the team I went to see probably outnumbered Chargers fans ten-to-one, and I’ve respected the Chargers since then. Their fans had good attitudes about the whole situation, and I felt bad for the players on the Chargers who didn’t play a game in front of a home crowd the entire year.

I’m pulling for them to have a better season and build a bigger fan base in their new market, so I’ll be tuning in every week for more ‘Hard Knocks.’ I’d probably be tuning in no matter which team was on the show, as we’ve been deprived of football for seven months, but I’m extra curious this year.

For anyone just as curious as I am, you can see a new episode of ‘Hard Knocks’ Tuesday on HBO at 10 p.m. EST, or you can stream the show on HBO Max. You can also catch the companion podcast on any podcast streaming platform or on YouTube and HBO Max.

Duckwrth Coming Closer visual

Duckwrth – Coming Closer

Critically acclaimed Los Angeles rapper Duckwrth releases his new track “Coming Closer” feat. G.L.A.M. and Juliana Romana today.

Listen to “Coming Closer” feat. G.L.A.M. and Juliana Romana HERE.

On the track, which is produced by LA based twins Two Fresh and G.L.A.M., Duckwrth once again instigates unpredictable and unprecedented genre alchemy. He threads together bouncy rhymes while G.L.A.M. fires back with a seductive counterpoint as their bars come together before the dancefloor-ready hook sung by Juliana Romana. This anthem glides between hip-hop and electronic only to border on unexpected pop bliss.

“Coming Closer” arrives hot on the heels of his buzzing feel-good anthem “Find A Way” feat. Alex Mali, Radio Ahlee, & Bayli. HipHopDX praised its “melodic message of perseverance,” and Brooklyn Vegan described it as “powerful.” HYPEBEAST wrote, “The single serves as an uplifting anthem during these troubling times, featuring lyrics that showcase the artist’s ability to reminisce about the past and see a way forward.” Earmilk put it best, “The single plays as a welcome beam of light during a dark time.”

Over the last five years, LA-based wunderkind Duckwrth has quickly risen up the ranks as a promising star of the future of music. His collection of critically acclaimed projects including Nowhere (2015,) I’m Uugly (2016), Xtra Uugly (2017) and The Falling Man EP (2019), have transcended streaming platforms and landed in films, TV series, and brand ad campaigns and have received critical acclaim from a vast amount of outlets including NPR, The FADER, Complex, XXL and more. This cumulation has led the rapper to become an international touring staple, headlining shows globally and performing at Austin City Limits and opening for superstars Billie Eilish and Anderson .Paak. Duckwrth’s music has appeared on shows like CW’s All American, HBO’s Insecure and Real Time with Bill Maher and his song “Start A Riot” was featured on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack. His music has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Cadillac, Microsoft, Peloton, Amazon and Apple Music, and he’s worked with fashion legacies like Levi’s, Vans and Fila, as well as high fashion men’s suit designer Paul Smith.

Follow Duckwrth: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Republic Records

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (Karol G) and Hollywood Records (Zendaya).

In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse), Lionsgate (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films during 2017 in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production is the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

DIY illustration

DIY

By Vaughn Lowery × Armon Hayes × Emmet McGeown

“Environment is your incubator to flourish; nurture growth and manifest success.” – 360 Magazine

The design story of interior designer Justin Lowery proves that the environment you’re in is as important as the company you keep. His latest renovation of a Bronx live workspace demonstrates both balance and practicality. According to Lowery, these are necessary components to any multi-functional space that exists to entertain and foster productivity. As working from home becomes more commonplace, many are motivated to effectively utilize the space of their residence. Yet doing so, especially when dealing with limited room sizes and budgets, can be challenging. Thus, many are turning to interior designers or technicians, usually found on AngelList, to inject an aura of panache and pragmatism into their homes.

You ought to begin with a purge; creating a clean slate and space enabling you to establish a clear direction and plan for your environment’s layout and purpose. This spatial cleanse is, perhaps, the most difficult part. But, it is necessary to confront your inner hoarder and to permit the creation of a new space. We all hold on to things that we no longer need which results in clutter that can weigh heavily on the energetic composition of a room.

Following this, liven your environment by making subtle yet effective changes such as swapping out dresser hardware for $5 champagne brass handles for a soft and polished finish. Continue this innovative spirit by purchasing some elegant glass bowls, plates, and wine glasses from Amazon as well as new silverware and a glossy copper pot set.

Accent pillows can be the finishing touch that tie the look of a room together. They offer comfort while incorporating different hues or a fun pattern. Throw pillows like Pillow Pops by Shani Moran serve as an easy way to change the style of your space without breaking the bank. The Pillow Pops come in a variety of designs, shades and textures, so there are options to fit anyone’s taste. These pillows are also versatile, with a hidden zip enclosure to change the pillow cover based on the occasion or season. 

When attempting to promote the entertainment aspects of a space, consider the Roku soundbar. It’s dynamic bass and crisp audio allows sound to permeate through a room. This exceptional reverberation is accentuated by the cinematic presence of a Roku 50” Westinghouse TV whose built-in voice assistant allows for an obedient and malleable audio environment. When eager to intensify the sound quality, you ought to contemplate the Altice Amplify speaker by Optimum whose curved and sleek characteristics offer a 360° immersive experience. The addition of a Roku Express streaming player attached to a versatile BENQ 32” monitor will create a smooth and versatile mood available for both entertainment and work. 

Another great addition is the Ninja Air Fryer. Getting another appliance may seem unnecessary; however, the Ninja Air Fryer is a must to make meals easier. Whether you’re air frying, air roasting, reheating or dehydrating the Ninja has got you covered.

Additionally, consider practical changes like a new coat of paint or a fresh pop of color on focal areas within your space. Benjamin Moore offers a plethora of ways to refresh things and create the illusion of larger space, making your home office inviting and open. In order to add an exciting new dimension to the room, use contrasting colors. “Black excellence” is a contrasting option to consider if protecting the natural molding details are a concern such as the outline of doors and base boards. If you have pets and young children, then this option is a no brainer.

Adding a tasteful artistic piece or a floral arrangement freshens the décor and will positively impact any space. Consider updating light fixtures and window treatments to bring your full vision to life. If your budget permits, then adding texture with a tile backsplash to your kitchen might facilitate a lighter atmosphere. Repositioning is one of the cheapest manner to renovate your space; finding new areas to move existing furniture will allow new perspectives to manifest. Make this renovation process fun – it’s a great time for bonding with friends, family, or maybe an expert. 

DIY, 360 Magazine, Pillow PopsDIY, 360 Magazine
360 Magazine, Duckwrth

Duckwrth – Find A Way

Critically acclaimed Los Angeles rapper Duckwrth releases his politically charged lyric video for “Find A Way” feat. Alex Mali, Radio Ahlee, and Bayli today.

Watch “Find A Way” feat. Alex Mali and Radio Ahlee Lyric Video: HERE

“If there was one word I would use to describe what you are about to see, it’s “resilience.” This video is a display of the resilience our people have during these times. No matter how hard they try to oppress our power, we always Find A Way. Hope you enjoy it,” says Duckwrth on the visual.

Duckwrth delivers a poignant, poetic, and politically charged statement with the lyric video. The visual threads together actual footage and photos curated and taken by Greg Noire along with Miranda McDonald, Fred Agho, Charles Reagan, Roddie Cooper, Jessica Christian, Brady Law, and Phil Silver, of recent Black Lives Matter protests for equality and justice. The song serves as the perfect soundtrack to these vignettes of a world finally on the cusp of a necessary change and revolution.

Over the last five years, LA-based wunderkind Duckwrth has quickly risen up the ranks as a promising star of the future of music. His collection of critically acclaimed projects including Nowhere (2015,) I’m Uugly (2016), Xtra Uugly (2017) and The Falling Man EP (2019), have transcended streaming platforms and landed in films, TV series, and brand ad campaigns and have received critical acclaim from a vast amount of outlets including NPR, The FADER, Complex, XXL and more. This cumulation has led the rapper to become an international touring staple, headlining shows globally, and performing at Austin City Limits and opening for superstars Billie Eilish and Anderson.Paak. Duckwrth’s music has appeared on shows like CW’s All American, HBO’s Insecure, and Real Time with Bill Maher, and his song “Start A Riot” was featured on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack. His music has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Cadillac, Microsoft, Peloton, Amazon, and Apple Music, and he’s worked with fashion legacies like Levi’s, Vans, and Fila, as well as high fashion men’s suit designer Paul Smith.

About Republic Records

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (Karol G) and Hollywood Records (Zendaya).  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse), Lionsgate (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films during 2017 in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production is the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, HBO Weight of Gold Michael Phelps

HBO – The Weight of Gold

HBO Sports has acquired North American television and streaming rights to the documentary feature film THE WEIGHT OF GOLD, a revealing and powerful documentary exploring the mental health challenges that Olympic athletes often face in deeply personal detail. The film debuts on HBO, at the same time as the 2020 Summer Games with 11,000 world class athletes in attendance were slated to be competing in Tokyo, Japan. Those athletes, like much of the world’s population, are currently at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max. THE WEIGHT OF GOLD is an HBO Sports presentation of a film by Podium Pictures in association with Octagon. Directed by Brett Rapkin; executive produced by Michael Phelps, Brett Rapkin, Peter Carlisle and Michael O’Hara Lynch; executive producers for HBO, Peter Nelson and Bentley Weiner; produced by Ellyn Vander Wyden; supervising producer, Jonathan Crystal; edited by James Pilott; narrated by Michael Phelps; music composed by Simon TaufiQue. The sale of the project was handled by Kyell Thomas, Octagon’s Managing Director of Entertainment.

In a typical year, more than 3.6 billion people globally tune in to watch the Olympic Games. What most of these viewers don’t know is that just like one in five Americans, many of these Olympic athletes similarly face serious mental health challenges and struggle to find the necessary support and resources. In THE WEIGHT OF GOLD, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of all-time, shares his account of his struggle, along with other high-profile Olympic athletes including Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, Katie Uhlaender, and, posthumously, Steven Holcomb and Jeret “Speedy” Peterson as shared by his mother, Linda Peterson.

This documentary is being released at a critical moment for the millions in society who struggle with mental health – an issue greatly exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The film spotlights Olympic athletes, a group that has long quietly battled its own mental health crisis and is now grappling with the unprecedented postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games and all its implications. The film seeks to inspire the discussion of mental health, encourage help-seeking behavior, and highlight the need for readily available help and support.

“As we all cope during this time of anxiety, Michael Phelps and the Olympic athletes of this film are courageously leading a movement for greater mental health awareness, giving a vulnerable look into the emotional costs of exceptional athleticism,” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President of HBO Sports. “When Podium Pictures and Octagon brought us this project, we quickly recognized its power along with the relatability of its theme for so many.”

“I believe I have experienced a state of depression after every Olympics I competed in,” said Phelps. “For a long time, I only saw myself as a swimmer, not a person. When I walked off the podium in Rio, I knew many of my teammates and competitors were not aware of, or prepared for – the post-Olympic transition. In sharing our stories, it is my hope that we can encourage others to open up, let them know they are not alone and that it’s ok to not be ok. For me, the opportunity to help break the stigma surrounding mental health and potentially save a life is way more meaningful than any Olympic medal.”

“Making documentaries always provides the opportunity to learn about your subject along the way,” said director Brett Rapkin. “Unfortunately, this particular project involved unexpectedly learning about a serious mental health crisis that I was not previously aware of: Post-Olympic Depression. The current global health crisis has only brought more urgency to finding ways to reduce the stigma of seeking help and provide excellent mental health resources for not only Olympians but everyone.”

For Phelps, the film is an extremely personal pursuit. When the Olympic legend came out of retirement for the 2016 Summer Olympics, it was in many ways his way of conquering the demons of post-Olympic depression that had engulfed him following his previous departure from competition. In the years since, he’s dedicated the next phase of his life to becoming an advocate for the awareness of mental health struggles.

“At the elite level, performance is everything and the narrowness of an athlete’s focus becomes easily justified, if not essential,” said Peter Carlisle, Phelps’ longtime agent and Octagon’s Managing Director of Olympics and Action Sports. “The imbalance that results often makes the transition to life outside of sport extremely difficult for many of these athletes. Their powerful stories reveal the pitfalls of pursuing success to the exclusion of all else and demonstrate the importance of mental health education and resources in sports and in everyday life.”

The film chronicles the uniqueness of the lives of Olympic athletes, beginning at very young ages, and the demands of their pursuit of the pinnacle in their sports. The rewards are no doubt tremendous, but the mental costs – in the wake of both failure and success – can also be very real, as detailed by the stories of some of the most recognizable Olympic names of the last few generations.

Follow HBO: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

phem × Alison Wonderland

PHEM X ALISON WONDERLAND DROP TIGER KING-INSPIRED NEW SINGLE “W.W.C.B.D.” 

LISTEN HERE

Following widespread acclaim from Atwood Magazine and RunTheTrap as well as 20 million-plus streams and counting, alternative pop sorceress phem and Australian superstar Alison Wonderland pose a question that has been on everybody’s mind as of late with their new single “W.W.C.B.D.”–i.e. “wut wud carole baskin do?” Get it HERE via nvr giv up/Caroline. Inspired by the cultural phenomenon and NETFLIX documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, the track fuses echo-y trap beat-craft and electronic transmissions from Wonderland with phem’s ruddy acoustic guitar and hypnotic croon. It closes out on a possible answer to this popular quarantine query as phem strains out the final crescendo, “Feed you to the tigers, but I can’t because this virus got me paralyzed again.” Check out the visualizer HERE. About “W.W.C.B.D.”, phem commented, “During this quarantine, I became obsessed with Tiger King (just like everyone else). Every day, I was searching the hashtag on Twitter to see what other people thought and how they were reacting to Carole and the mysterious death of her husband. Feeling frustrated about being stuck inside and the idea that many people are cooped up with their significant others, (many who are at their breaking point and probably wish they could end the relationship), I picked up my guitar and began playing a simple baseline. The words came out naturally. The demo was short and concise, but I wanted some extra production and had been going back and forth with Alison Wonderland for a few months about making stuff together, so I sent it to her. She loved the idea. Within a day’s time, she sent it back and made it sound so good I almost started crying. Literally, we made this shit in two days. I didn’t want to be precious about it. It feels like no rules apply right now. It was something fun and relatable, and we both wanted it out ASAP.” Immediately, the track incited widespread critical applause. NME noted, “‘W.W.C.B.D.?’ walks a fine line between the two artists’ signature styles: starting off with pronounced riffs clouded in phem’s lo-fi demeanor, before exploding into dark, moody production from Alison Wonderland.” EDM.com praised it as “short and sweet,” and YOUREDM claimed, “For ‘W.W.C.B.D. phem delivers a haunting vocal performance as Wonderland drops a dark trap beat dripping with animal print. We can always expect music eclectic in nature from phem, but with this track’s acoustic textures and eerie tones, this is AW like we’ve never heard her before. Much like the Tiger King, we feel it.” Dancing Astronaut summed it up best as, “impressive.” phem continues to make waves. Last year’s “Sorry Mama” [feat. Machine Gun Kelly] racked up over 4.5 million global streams to date and received the endorsement of OnesToWatch who promised the track, “Will have you confessing your sins.” Meanwhile, her collaboration with Gabriel Black, “Dead Yet, surpassed 4 million cumulative streams thus far and was prominently featured in an episode of HBO’s hit show, Euphoria. Conjuring a bold brew of alternative, pop, and hip-hop, Los Angeles artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist phem extracts masterful melodies from personal conflict, otherworldly darkness, and all kinds of important questions. Living and working out of a Crenshaw studio, she introduced herself with the independent Can’t Kill Me EP in 2018 followed by the VACUMHEAD EP a year later. As she captivated a growing fan base, she collaborated with everyone from G-Eazy to Lil Tracy and delivered series of buzzing singles “Sorry Mama” [feat. Machine Gun Kelly] and “Dead Yet” with Gabriel Black, churning out 20 million streams. Not to mention, she landed on the pages of PAPER, i-D Magazine, Billboard, and more.

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