Posts tagged with "pandemic"

The Best Ways to Have Family Fun During a Lockdown

By: Marie Miguel

It hasn’t been easy trying to navigate everything during the pandemic. The tragic loss of life has been difficult for many families around the world. It’s also been hard adjusting to not being able to go out and do things that you normally like to do. If you’re raising kids, then you might feel as if you’re going stir crazy being stuck inside together with your family. 

The kids want to be able to do something fun, but you’re going through another lockdown. What are your best options to keep everyone occupied and happy? Keep reading to learn about the best ways to have family fun during a lockdown. This might give you a few good ideas that will make your time spent together at home a lot more entertaining. 

Play Board Games

Have you sat down as a family to play a board game recently? This is a tried and true family activity that has helped many families bond over the years. There are a wide variety of different board games out there that you can try out. You just need to find one that the entire family can enjoy and understand. 

If you have younger children, then you might wish to pick a board game that is a bit on the easier side. If you’re playing with older kids, then you might be fine playing more complex games such as Trivial Pursuit. Whether you’re going to play Monopoly together or if you want to have a rousing game of Scrabble, it’ll be a good time. It’s a fun way to pass the time that you should take advantage of. 

Play Video Games

What if your kids aren’t quite so into old-school board games? You could always try sitting down to play video games with them. Even if you don’t play a lot of video games, it’ll be fun to interact with your kids. There are all sorts of good family-friendly titles that you can choose from. The Nintendo Switch is a particularly good console choice if you’re looking for games that will be fun for kids (and adults) of all ages. 

You can start a little family rivalry in Mario Kart. Or you can work together to try to solve puzzles in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are hundreds of games that you could choose to play, but the important thing is to enjoy your time with your kids. Games can be magical because they can help you to escape when you need to the most. 

Arts & Crafts

Sitting down and doing arts & crafts with your kids could also be a good time. Sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy and try to create something artistic as a family. There are all sorts of little art projects you could take on if you’re so inclined. Create decorations for various holidays or help to teach your kids how to paint. 

Many have rediscovered their love of art during the pandemic. This could be a good weekend activity that you can enjoy with your significant other and your kids. You’ll simply need to ensure that you have the materials for whatever art project you’re interested in. You’ll be able to admire the results of your work when you’re finished, too. 

Listen to Music

What about just relaxing in the living room as a family and listening to music? Yes, sometimes it’s hard to agree on what to listen to when everyone in the family has different tastes in music. However, it can still be fun to share your favorites with your family. Some families have decided to let each kid pick one record, and they will sit down to listen to all of them on a special music day each weekend. 

Another idea is to share your love of music by teaching your kids how to play instruments. If you’re a musician, then this could be a good time. Of course, your kids will need to be interested in music or it might not be so fun for them. Music is powerful, and it can help you have a great time even when you’re stuck inside during a lockdown. 

Watch Family-Friendly Shows

Most families will spend copious amounts of time watching shows on Netflix or Disney Plus during the pandemic. Your family might wind up being no different. That doesn’t mean that watching some great shows with your family won’t be a valuable experience. You can enjoy movies and all sorts of other entertainment media together. 

With so much great content to watch, it’ll be easy to find a new movie to enjoy with your family each weekend. Make some popcorn and sit down in the living room to watch something together. It gives you something to look forward to as a family. Turning it into a fun occasion with snacks and mood lighting should be a good time. 

Cook Together

Have you thought about cooking together? Depending on how you feel about cooking, this might sound like a great idea or a terrible one. Cooking can be a lot of fun when you approach things with the proper attitude. It can also be valuable to teach your kids how to cook early on in life. 

You can make simple dishes together, and the kids will enjoy it. If you want to make things really easy, you can have kids help you with baking. When you’re making cookies it’ll be easy to let the kids cut out the cookie shapes with cookie cutters. Family cooking time could become a staple in your household even once the lockdown is finished. 

Remember That You’re Never Alone

Remember that you’re never alone when you’re starting to feel depressed or anxious. These are trying times, and you can reach out if you feel like you need help. BetterHelp has some awesome resources on parenting, which can help you get through difficult times. Whether you need parenting advice or if you just need to talk to someone about the stress that you’re experiencing, BetterHelp can assist you in the process of putting things into perspective. 

Don’t hesitate to contact an online therapist if you’re feeling uneasy about things in life. Online therapy has helped many people to work through significant problems. It’s easy to talk to a therapist from the comfort of home, and it’s great that this therapy option is so affordable. Look into things today if you’ve been having a tough time and would like to start feeling better. 

Art by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Scientists Mapping Next Pandemic

An international team of scientists has created a powerful new resource to speed the development of vaccines and treatments to battle the next pandemic.

University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Wladek Minor, PhD, and collaborators in China and Poland have developed an Internet information system, called virusMED, that lays out all we know about the atomic structure and potential vulnerabilities of more than 800 virus strains from 75 different virus families, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, Ebola and HIV‑1. Several of the collaborators, including the lead investigator, Heping Zheng, are former students and members of Minor’s lab at UVA. 

This new panorama of the proteins of potential threats will help scientists respond quickly and effectively against the next pathogen poised to wreak havoc on humanity. Minor and his collaborators compare the resource to Google Maps, in that it organizes and annotates major points of interest on a virus that scientists can use as a roadmap in drug and vaccine development.

“The battle with COVID-19 is not over yet, but we cannot wait to start preparing for the next pandemic. VirusMED is a step towards an advanced information system that brings together researchers with diverse expertise to tackle complex biomedical challenges,” said Minor, the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at UVA. “The information contained in virusMED will help viral researchers from many disciplines, especially those working on drug design or anti-viral therapies. We provide novel structural analysis and integrate pertinent information from various resources to provide a comprehensive picture of the proteins’ most important and vulnerable regions.”

Virus Hotspots

By quickly unlocking the SARS-CoV-2 virus mechanism of action, scientists were able to develop safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19. Minor’s new database aims to put that type of critical information at scientists’ fingertips in one convenient location.

VirusMED contains extensive information on virus species and strains, hosts, viral proteins and antibodies, as well as drugs that have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, among other important scientific data. The researchers call the points of interest on a virus its “hotspots,” and these hotspots make for strong starting points for drug and vaccine development.

“One of the most promising strain-indifferent antibody therapies developed for the treatment of COVID-19 used this type of information to improve upon a unique antibody isolated from a survivor who was infected by the SARS virus back in 2003,” said David Cooper, PhD, research faculty in Minor’s lab. “People who are surprised by rapid drug and vaccine design don’t realize that researchers today are building upon decades of previous research.”

One of virusMED’s major advantages is that it brings together the extant knowledge about viruses in one location, Minor said. Previously, that data was spread across multiple resources and often “siloed” so that it was not easily accessible. With virusMED, researchers can browse the information by virus or by their hotspot of interest.

The free and accessible database can be found HERE.

“One of the goals of my lab is to make tools that other scientists can use. We look at the forest and find ways to help others focus on the trees,” Minor said. “Resource generation is not glamorous, but the ultimate goal of science is to make life better. One of the anonymous peer-reviewers of the paper claimed they instantly became an enthusiastic user of the system. We expect virusMED to really make a difference.”

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific IUCr Journal. The work will be featured on the journal’s cover. The research team consisted of HuiHui Zhang, Pei Chen, Haojie Ma, Magdalena Woinska, Dejian Liu, Cooper, Guo Peng, Yousong Peng, Lei Deng, Minor and Zheng. .

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

Her Excellency Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat addresses the inaugural Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) in Cairo, photo by AETOSWire for use by 360 Magazine

Egypt President Calls on International Community To Support Global Green Recovery

H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, called upon the international community to unite and spark a “green recovery.”

Speaking on the first day of the inaugural Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt – ICF), launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation, taking place in Cairo between 8-9 September, El-Sisi said: “No government alone can make this recovery possible. It requires the support of the international community and financial institutions to achieve the UN SDGs.”

Also at the event, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, said: “This is a unique opportunity for Egypt to reset global priorities and place sustainability at the core of economic development.”

“We launched the Egypt – ICF to provide a global platform to catalyze international cooperation as we rebuild from the pandemic. By increasing multi-stakeholder engagement and cooperation, we can pave the way for more inclusive, greener, and more resilient economies that work for everyone.”

Later at the event, during a panel on multilateralism, Solomon Quaynor, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization said: “Egypt is uniquely positioned to be a regional hub for vaccine production.”

“A successful vaccination campaign [in Africa] could help realize the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area – a single market with 1.2 billion people and $3.4 trillion in gross domestic product.”

During a panel that addressed the urgent need to unlock international development funds, Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director OECD Development Co-operation Directorate said: “It is critical to mobilize one percent of US$379 trillion. But it cannot be done without a holistic approach. It is important to emphasize the role of multilateralism.”

In a panel session dedicated to combatting climate change, Mr. Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action Panelists, described the world as being on a “climate cliff” as it gets dangerously close to not meeting the 1.5 degrees Celsius Paris Agreement goal, if “we don’t take ambitious action now.”

The Forum also heard from H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Minister of Environment, who said: “Climate change is not an environmental challenge. Climate challenge is a developmental challenge. It hits hard all development processes. It doesn’t differentiate between a rich, poor or developing country.”

Elena Brody "Rock Steady" image via Jon Bleicher for use by 360 Magazine

Elana Brody Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

Celebrating the beauty of human experience and the universality of dance, Elana Brody enchants fans with her exhilarating dance-pop music. Her most recent single, “Rock Steady,” showcases the singer’s joyous choreography and passionate songwriting ability. The “Rock Steady” music video can be viewed HERE. The bold, emotional ballad was produced by Max Martin protégé, Dominic Fallacaro. Brody spoke with 360 Magazine about the spirituality that courses through her songs, her music production process, and upcoming releases.

Your recent material was written during the pandemic. How did you manage to find inspiration during lockdown?

As a songwriter, lockdown – with all its grief and deep, life-changing themes- was a very fertile time for me. For one, I retreated from NYC to my childhood homestead in Virginia – in one of the most remote places East of the Mississippi. While there in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, with the music world at a stand-still, I found myself with very little to do but be in nature and play music. My then-partner had come with me, and we spent much of our time playing music together. I also felt called to offer musical prayer services online for those who needed inspiration and connection to Spirit. Because of this, I began by writing new prayer music – which felt right for the time. But, after my partner decided to split with me, as you can imagine – the folk songs started pouring out. This break-up, combined with being my original creative habitat, the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter uprising, the political election-year insanity, and a life far from community, took me the deepest I’ve been in my writing for a long time – especially as a lyricist. I think some of the lyrics you will hear on my upcoming EP are possibly my best yet.

What does your songwriting process look like?

It depends on the song. Sometimes snippets of lyrics, with a bit of their melody, come first. Sometimes a really awesome piano hook comes first. Over the last many years, I have found my songwriting process to be mostly a long-winded jam session where I sing out my heart for hours, creating spontaneous free-style lyrics. Many of those lyrics disappear forever, but at least a few of them make the cut! Once I get a sense of the general narrative of the song, I think about phrases that will help move the story along, and then build new lyrics around the original “spontaneous-gems” to flesh it out. Over the pandemic, lyrics were everything – and I found myself caring more about them than the music. The music could have been 3 chords, and I’d be totally okay with that, as long as the lyrics were telling the story. But, in other phases of my life as a writer, I would basically compose a piano concerto! And then, lyrics come in afterwards. I love and live music. And honestly, I don’t have to work hard to have music flow through me. I have found the best music and lyrics that I have written, have written themselves. It’s actually that simple. “Rock Steady” was a bit like that.

Are you still looking to release your EP eventually, or have you decided to shelve it in favor of tracks like “Rock Steady”?

Yes, to the EP! If all works out with piecing it together (because it was recorded in many different settings over the pandemic) then I would really like to release it in the late fall. But! Because “Rock Steady” is such a banger and I want to make more songs like that, I decided to quickly write and record a new song called “Quicksand,” which is another pop-influenced song, to release as a follow up – before I transition into my folk music.

Why did you choose Costa Rica as the location for the “Rock Steady” music video?

It chose me! My friend lives there and she invited me to come out to visit. I said I would, but under the one condition – that we film a music video! She is a great networker and knows so many people to reach out to and work with. She also happens to be an ecstatic dance facilitator and DJ and was planning a dance on the weekend of my visit. So, naturally, we organized to film the dance party at an already scheduled and high-vibe (to use a very Costa Rican term) dance party! It couldn’t have been more perfect. We also did all our beach filming at a beach called Roca Beach – aka Rock (Steady) beach!

How does your spirituality factor into the way you create music?

Once, after I auditioned for the first season of USA’s XFactor, I left the stage (a story for another time!) and was interviewed by a faceless producer speaking to me from behind a black curtain. This producer asked me, “When you sing, it seems as if you are connecting to some higher power. Is this true for you? And what is that higher power?” At the time, I wouldn’t have considered myself a prayer-leader or religious at all, but I knew the answer to that right away. I said, “Yes. God.”

God can bring up a lot for people. And for me too. Growing up in rural Virginia, the idea of “God” sometimes felt like some kind of angry, repressive, overpowering righteousness. But – in my family – and in my own experience – God was gentler than that. The spirit between things. As a youth, I was surrounded by the most beautiful, untouched nature – and witness to the seasons in their full force. With below-zero cold and windy winters, slow-to-pop springs, abundant green summers with my folks’ organic gardens in full bloom, and then the rainbows of colorful Appalachian autumns – I knew what Spirit had to offer us humans. And music had always been my human way to offer Spirit back to Spirit, if that makes sense. It’s a giving and receiving from the big, wild wonders of creation, and then music is my way to return it back. Now that I have dived into my Jewish roots, and studied the traditions, I would say that song is the modern equivalent of sending burnt offerings up to the Creator. Instead of smoke, we let our voices rise. And I don’t see prayer music and pop music as all that different. Different themes, different stories, but ultimately, what we sing or speak is all prayer. And, especially now that I am very involved in prayer-leadership, as I create more songs, I do think about that in my writing.

What do you anticipate the reaction to “Rock Steady” will be like?

A fun one! Hopefully one that makes people dance and dance some more! Because I haven’t released much of my other music yet on the bigger platforms, most people won’t know the difference. Like, how did that happen? All of a sudden, I’m a pop star! The truth is, I’ve always been a pop star. Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion were my first vocal idols, and all of the first music I ever wrote sounded like it could have been in a Disney Channel original movie. Anyhow, I had this thought that I should go about my career in the opposite way of other folk artists, a la Jewel circa “Intuition,” and drop in with the fun and danceable stuff first. I don’t see myself ever being too genre-confined, anyway. Life is too short not to write whatever you feel and whatever is coming through you! I did think, “oh, maybe I should sell this song to Rhianna or another artist who could do it amazingly.” But honestly, this route of self-producing is very fun, and maybe even better. Now I get to be heard singing like a pop star too!

What other artists, musicians, or bands serve as inspirations for your music?

It’s a long list…

Joni Mitchell is my in-utero and post-utero,songwriting teacher. I used to call her my piano teacher, because I learned to play by playing so many of her songs. Several other musicians of my parents’ 60s/70s era also come in close as primary inspirations – including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Carole King, and the Beatles. They have shaped what a well-written song could be for me.

It’s hard to decipher what is an influence now because it’s just one big, long-cooked stew or spicy mole at this point.

I have always liked lyric-forward music, with bands like Of Montreal (his candidness in writing was life-changing for me!) and Death Cab for Cutie (the simple metaphors and speaking-style of his writing) and the Decemberists (storytelling, bard-like songs.) And the orchestral and lyrical artistry of the Fleet Foxes is stellar.

I have also always liked some good classic, chunky, Rock’n’roll and music that gets ya’ dancing, like Led Zeppelin and CCR. And the blues, especially blues piano music, has played a role in my music education since early childhood.

Then, there’s the eternal list of female influences. My most listened to, other than Joni, from the beginning are Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan. Then: Jesca Hoop, My Brightest Diamond, Regina Spektor and Kate Bush. And now: artists like Gillian Welch, Brandi Carlile, Sylvan Esso, and Sarah Jarosz have taken up a lot of my listening time. Sarah Jarosz’s album World on the Ground was really powerful to listen to last year during the pandemic. I hope that I can achieve that level of presence and intelligence in the instrumentation when I go to make my full-length album next year!

I also derive a LOT of influence from pop music. I can’t help it. I definitely fell in love with Ariana Grande’s album positions this year, and right now I am going down a Dua Lipa rabbit hole. I would say Rhianna is my number one, though. And I finally fell in love with Lady Gaga after seeing A Star is Born and listening to Joanne. Her belt has inspired me a lot. And I love vocalists in general. I have spent a lot of time really listening to vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand. These days, Elvis is my number one!

I will also never not want to listen to albums of bands like Nickel Creek, the [Dixie] Chicks, Bela Fleck, Mandolin Orange/Watchhouse, or the band Solas, to bring me the feeling of my early mountain roots and make me feel good.

I am truly a world music fan. I love to listen to the magic of music across the world. I am really inspired to hear virtuosity, no matter what genre. I love vocal virtuosos and am listening right now to the artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I am curious as to when I’ll be able to imitate him. (I’m really good at imitating!) Bobby McFerrin has also been a teacher in real life. He inspires me to become more accurate in my improvisations.

I also listen to prayer music, but mostly of the Sikh or Kundalini yoga genre. Sometimes you’ll find me jamming out to Jewish artists (many of them friends of mine) or Gospel music. Anita Wilson, a modern gospel singer, has been a vocal inspiration for me because she really sings with the lows of her range.

Musical theater music is also a major influence. That Roger and Hammerstein stuff pours out of me like it were an extension of my soul! Lastly, at this point, after spending time at Berklee College of Music, I have been greatly inspired by jazz and R&B.

Besides “Rock Steady” and the EP, can fans look forward to any other releases to come in 2021-2022?

Yes! I mentioned that I am wanting to get cracking on my full-length album that will be mostly in the Americana, New Orleans blues, Rock-and-Roll, and folk pop styles. I am really, really excited about it. But I’m not sure yet who I will work with on it. An exciting unknown. I imagine it will end up feeling like a magnum opus when it is finished because I’ve been with these songs for so long. Nothing will be more amazing than when they are out in the world surrounded by strings, the right instrumentation and arrangements. I also would like to produce my song “City of Man” in a big vaudevillian, brassy style. [I want to] make a little music-video theater piece out of it. I have also been sitting on this one for a long time. It sort of harkens to the fall of capitalism…that is going on in our world and the post-Trump era– it’s due time that I get that one out. Look out for it all!

ANTHONY HAMILTON NEW ALBUM – LOVE IS THE NEW BLACK.

After teasing more music for the past year and building anticipation among fans worldwide, GRAMMY Award-winning, multiplatinum singer, songwriter, producer, and actor, Anthony Hamilton returns with his anxiously awaited tenth full-length and first album in five years, Love Is The New Black., on September, 24th 2021. Billboard made the exclusive announcement. It notably will be the flagship release under his own label My Music Box in partnership with BMG. Pre-order Love Is The New Black. – Here.

The 14-track R&B opus boasts a bevy of A-list friends and collaborators such as Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson on the powerhouse “Superstar,” rap powerhouse Rick Ross on “Real Love,” and crunk king himself Lil’ Jon on “I’m Ready.” Other standouts include the smooth “White Hennessy” where his vocals simply intoxicate, the confessional “Mercy,” and one of the most emotionally charged tunes in his storied catalog, the George Floyd-inspired finale “Mama Don’t Cry.”

Check out the full track listing below.

Hamilton literally poured blood, sweat, and tears into Love Is the New Black. After initially pursuing a more political-leaning direction, he shifted focus to speak to this hefty emotional need, while also covering the full spectrum of human emotions.

“Going through the Pandemic, we were faced with challenges, in general,” he states. “Then, we were attacked, slaughtered, and slain. In the beginning, the music was really for people who wanted to stand up in honor of Black Lives Matter. It was initially geared towards those souls, hearts, and the people we had lost. There were some really heavy and strong songs on there. As the world started to open, I wanted to lessen the heavy load and allow everyone to celebrate again. We still got a little bit of that, because it’s not going away, and we’ve gone through a lot. That side will be heard, but we’re taking from a bunch of experiences now, getting through it, and taking a turn. I feel like that’s what people need right now.”

He elaborates, “When creating this album, I wanted people to feel. I’m going into a new era and mindset expecting greatness, love, and peace. I wanted this album to feel like what was missing throughout the pandemic. This is the restoration. We’re making this thing called life, sexy, beautiful, and powerful again.”

His most recent single “You Made A Fool Of Me” has amassed more than one million streams to date. Rolling Stone called it a “pour-salt-in-the-wound ballad.” Soul Bounce called Hamilton “the modern king of churchy, soulful crooners,” and The House That Soul Built hailed the single as “crisp contemporary soul.” The Musical Hype wrote that Hamilton “can do no wrong,” adding that the track “is lushly produced, sounding idiomatic of both the neo-soul and adult contemporary vein of R&B.”

The accompanying video, directed by Terrence Crowley, premiered exclusively on BET Soul and brings back a familiar character with Charlene, reprising her role as the love interest.

It arrives on the heels of last year’s powerful and poignant “Mercy” [feat. Tamika D. Mallory], which Rated R&B praised as an “urgent soul track,” and his electrifying performance at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

Love Is The New Black. in 2021.

Track-listing:

  1. Love is the New Black.
  2. Threw It All Away
  3. Real Love feat. Rick Ross
  4. I’m Ready feat. Lil Jon
  5. White Hennessy
  6. Coming Home
  7. You Made a Fool of Me
  8. I Thought We Were in Love
  9. Superstar duet with Jennifer Hudson
  10. Pillows
  11. I’m Sorry
  12. Mercy
  13. Safe
  14. Mama Don’t Cry

KEEP UP WITH Anthony Hamilton!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Anthony Hamilton:

With over 50 million albums globally and proclaimed a “national treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, Anthony Hamilton’s voice will resonate louder than ever in 2021 with more music and performances on the horizon.

GRAMMY Award winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Anthony Hamilton has achieved global sales of over 50 million albums. The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductee notably performed for former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, cementing his place in the history books as the “narrator of love.” Introduced by way of the iconic 2003 smash “Charlene,” his raw, awe-inspiring performances garnered the attention of NPR where he starred in their Noteworthy documentary series. He made his film debut in the critically acclaimed American Gangster, and lent his vocals to the song “Freedom” from the Academy Award-nominated film Django Unchained. Hamilton now adds author and publisher to his list of accomplishments with the unveiling of his first self-published book, Cornbread, Fish ‘n Collard Greens, where he shares the inspiration for some of the iconic songs in his illustrious career and his love of southern food. Hamilton recently starred as Kyle Kirby in the feature film Carl Weber’s Influence, now streaming on BET+.

illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

TikTok’s Explosive Growth

TikTok is world’s most popular mobile video app with 660 million downloads in 2020

Despite facing competition and privacy concerns, TikTok’s 2020 growth appears to have solidified. It has now emerged as the most popular mobile video platform for the last year.

Data acquired by Finbold indicates that TikTok was the most popular mobile video app in 2020 globally, with 660.12 million downloads. Singapore’s Likee trails TikTok, accounting for 270.3 million downloads, while SnackVideo ranks third with 233.57 million downloads.

Despite strong brand support and longevity, YouTube ranks fourth with 222.7 million downloads, while TikTok Lite ranks fifth with 141.89 million downloads.

Other mobile video apps with significant downloads include Moj (93.87 million downloads), Zili (84.11 million downloads), MX TakaTak (81.7 million downloads), Josh (78.13 million downloads), and Uvideo (74.95 million downloads).

Pandemic impacts TikTok’s growth 

TikTok’s growth was accelerated early last year and the report highlights some of the driving factors. According to the research report:

“The app experienced rapid growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, especially with the emerging lockdowns. During the lockdown, many people had to stay at home with apps like TikTok keeping people engaged leading to a snowballing effect.”

The app’s growth has also emerged from factors like the ability to offer users an alternative way of sharing content online by creating short videos with music, filters, and other captivating features.

TikTok’s growth has come amid increased challenges ranging from privacy concerns in the United States that saw the app almost get banned. Notably, the app was banned in India, losing a key market.

Furthermore, the app is still facing competition from established platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Read the full story with statistics here

Image via The Chamber Group for 360 Magazine

It’s Time for Hip Hop in NYC

IN COMMEMORATION OF HIP HOP’S 48TH ANNIVERSARY THE UNIVERSAL HIP HOP MUSEUM & THE CITY OF NEW YORK PRESENTS IT’S TIME FOR HIP HOP IN NYC, A FREE CONCERT SERIES DURING NYC HOMECOMING WEEK, AUGUST 14-22

HEADLINERS INCLUDE KRS-ONE, REMY MA, TOO $HORT, SLICK RICK, BIG DADDY KANE, DESIIGNER, AND MORE! GEORGE CLINTON & THE P FUNK ALL-STARS & SPECIAL GUESTS TO CLOSE THE WEEKLONG CONCERT SERIES

Free tickets now available HERE for the It’s Time for Hip Hop in NYC concert series produced by New York City, the Universal Hip Hop Museum, and IDEKO

The Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM) and the City of New York proudly present It’s Time for Hip Hop in NYC, a series of free concerts during New York City’s Homecoming Week, August 14 – 22. In celebration of Hip Hop culture’s 48th anniversary, the UHHM is bringing the culture back to the boroughs where it all began. The concert series will make its way to each of the boroughs of NYC (The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, & Queens), kicking off in The Bronx on Monday, August 16th, and wrapping up in Queens on Friday, August 20th. 

The UHHM has tapped an array of Hip Hop and Hip Hop influenced artists (Latin freestyle, dance, techno, and funk) to grace the city’s outdoor stages, in celebration of New York City’s comeback during NYC Homecoming Week. The dynamic lineup, representing every era of Hip Hop, includes KRS One, Slick Rick, Remy Ma, Raekwon, Ghostface, Big Daddy Kane, Desiigner, Too $hort, and a much anticipated set from George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars on Friday. The free concerts will be live-streamed by Behind The Rhyme, a channel on Twitch. See the full lineup below:

Monday, August 16th, 3:00 p.m. at Orchard Beach in The Bronx – KRS One, Slick Rick, Remy Ma, Busy Bee, CL Smooth, DJ Hollywood, DJ Jazzy Joyce, DJ Kevie Kev, Fantastic Five, Furious 5 featuring Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio, Grand Wizard Theodore, Joeski Love, Kid Capri, Nice & Smooth, PopMaster Fabel, Soul Sonic Force, T La Rock, Ultra Magnetic MC’s

Tuesday, August 17th, 4:00 p.m. at Midland Beach on Staten Island – Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Crystal Waters, DJ Chuck Chillout, EMPD, Force MDs, Hakim Green, HeeSun Lee, Kool Keith, Lizzy Ashliegh, Pharoahe Monch, Rikki, Rob Base 

Thursday, August 19th, 4:00 p.m. at Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn – Big Daddy Kane, Desiigner, C&C Music Factory, DJ Mr. Cee, Elle Varner, Judy Torres, Lizzy Ashliegh, Maino, Obasi Jackson, Papoose, PopMaster Fabel, Special Ed, Stetsasonic, Sweet Sensation, Young Devyn

Friday, August 20th, 4:00 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens – George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars with Special Guests, Too $hort, DJ Hurricane, DJ Wiz, EPMD, Havoc of the Infamous Mobb Deep, Yo-Yo 

Hip Hop comes home to celebrate NYC Homecoming Week! said Rocky Bucano, Executive Director and President of the Universal Hip Hop Museum. Many of the artists performing in these shows are native New Yorkers hailing from the five boroughs. It’s their talent, creativity, and passion for the culture that spread it from the stoops, parks, and playgrounds to stages worldwide. The Universal Hip Hop Museum is proud to welcome them home, back to where it all began.

I’m excited to see this marquee event for NYC’s homecoming kick off in The Bronx. The Birthplace of Hip Hop will set the tone for the upcoming “It’s Time for Hip Hop in NYC” concerts around New York City. This will be a show you do not want to miss, said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

You don’t want to miss the local, legendary talent performing throughout NYC Homecoming Week, said Mayor Bill de Blasio. As we celebrate this Summer of New York City, we’re proud to partner with Rocky Bucano and the Universal Hip Hop Museum to bring these momentous concerts to our boroughs, free of charge. And if you get a ticket, you can go as long as you have proof of your first dose of an approved COVID vaccine.

Tickets for all NYC Homecoming Week concerts are now available and can be found HERE.

YOUNG FRANCO Photo Credit: Casey Garnsey from Ernest Dukes, Capitol Music Group for use by 360 Magazine

AUSTRALIAN COOL KID YOUNG FRANCO CREATIVE VISUAL – COME THRU

Following the release of his breakout single “Fallin’ Apart” featuring Denzel Curry Pell, Young Franco returns with a visual for his highly addictive single “Come Thru” featuring SonReal & Jalmar. As a track, ‘Come Thru’ deals in the provision of positive energy and trusting your inner confidence. Combining a glitchy synth line with laid back drums and a sexy slick bass line creates a melting pot of formidable two step and raucous energy. Watch here.

Directed by Filipino-Canadian director Khrysta Lloren (also known as NOFAC3), “Come Thru” focuses on surrealist experimentation and queer expression through multimedia art. Inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas and Radiohead’s music video for “Burn The Witch,” “Come Thru” transforms Young Franco, SonReal & Jalmar into claymation avatars in a hyper-visual world that’s not quite what it seems.

“When I was conceptualizing for Come Thru, I knew I wanted to create an absurdist fiction through the eyes of Young Franco’s clay character. From sculpting each character’s detail to decorating the set, working behind the scenes was just as surreal as the music video,” says video director Khyrsta Lloren. “Everything was scaled down to the size of my hands and you can actually see fingerprints on clay which is a reminder that it’s all handmade. Working with Young Franco and the team was so comforting during the late stages of this pandemic which kept our creative juices flowing.”

A joint effort from start to finish, the trio combine their respective sonic universes, whether established or blossoming, to meet comfortably in the middle. The Canadian raised, LA based rapper SonReal has accumulated over 165 million Global streams and 125 million video views. He has been nominated for multiple Juno Awards throughout his career and one of Son’s previous releases ‘Can I Get A Witness’ has gone on to be certified Double-Platinum in Canada. “Come Thru” is a very handy head start for the Melbourne based / Chilean born and ready to explode rapper, Jalmar, with Young Franco introducing the talent to a global platform. With more original music teased for 2021, the future is looking bright for Jalmar.

Young Franco’s project is currently sitting perched above the clouds, with career highlights being ticked off with every subsequent release. His most recent single, “Fallin Apart” featuring Denzel Curry and Pell took the already glowing artist to angelic levels, which was featured in an Emmy Nominated commercial for Apple Airpods. The single received a full add on Triple J, as well as radio spins globally, and featured on publications such as Clah Magazine, NME, Out Now Magazine, Colors, Sniffers, Happy Mag, Acclaim, Purple Sneakers, Pilerats and more. The track also featured as the soundtrack for Apple’s Airpod ‘Jump’ campaign which has garnered over 10 million views on YouTube and premiered during the Grammys broadcast.

Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

ARIANA × BIEBER – STUCK W/ U RAISES MILLIONS

STUCK WITH U” RAISES $3.5 MILLION FOR FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION 

First Responders Children’s Foundation today announced that proceeds donated from the single entitled “Stuck with U” have now surpassed $3.5 million, directly impacting thousands of first responder families all across the United States. The donation will be used to fund scholarships for children of first responders as well as provide financial support to the families and children of healthcare workers, EMTs, paramedics and firefighters serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stuck With U” was released in Spring 2020, in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and to further bolster relief efforts across the United States. It was a creative collaboration between Scooter Braun’s SB Projects, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, along with Republic Records and Def Jam Recordings, donating 100% of net profits from streams and sales to the First Responders Children’s Foundation. 

The specific areas of impact resulting from the donation include:

  • Awarding grants to first responders who have encountered financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Awarding scholarships to children whose first responder parents have died in the line of duty.
  • Providing funding for temporary housing so that first responders could self-quarantine.
  • Paying for funerals of first responders or their family members who died as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The generosity, and support that Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Scooter Braun have shown the men and women on the front lines of this ongoing pandemic has been a surreal and humbling experience for us,” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “As an organization, we have been able to help the everyday heroes who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, and their family’s immediate needs with the support that has only been made possible due to the collective effort of everyone involved, which we are thankful for.”  

“As the world was shutting down, we were looking for ways we could make a tangible impact as it has always been Scooter’s priority that SB Projects and our artists give back,” said Shauna Nep, Vice President of Philanthropy for SB Projects.  “We were so thrilled to partner with the First Responders Children’s Foundation who have been supporting those on the frontlines of the pandemic, as well as their families. Over a year later, we are so proud to see how much has been raised and what has been accomplished.  We thank the Foundation for their leadership and commitment to this work.” 

In addition to supporting the First Responders Children’s Foundation. “Stuck with U” won the award for “Best Music Video From Home” at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, and also debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100. This was Bieber’s sixth and Grande’s third U.S. number one single. 

BriaR Breathe Fire Cover Art from Nick Ponisi for use by 360 Magazine

BriaR Releases Single and Video – Breathe Fire

Rising singer, lyricist, and performer BriaR has released her debut autobiographical single “Breathe Fire” along with its intergalactic, trance-inducing music video. The first single off of her debut EP Finding BriaR out this fall. Stream “Breathe Fire” here. Press here to watch the music video. The track details BriaR reminiscing about leaving a message on her lovers answering machine, revealing her deepest secrets and expressing her fear of being misunderstood. Finding BriaR is the debut EP from the multi-talented newcomer who grew up in a family of artists, musicians and entertainers, an ambitious musical hybrid that coins a brand-new genre – psychedelic soul – combining R&B, hip-hop and dance with art-rock, punk and hooky pop. BriaR’s breathy vocals are at once sensuous and intimate, creating a vibe that seduces our ears, while stimulating the body’s instincts to get up and move.

“The song came about during the pandemic. I was going through a tough time and I felt as though I wasn’t being heard. I created ‘Breathe Fire,’ an autobiographical record, explaining who I am and what I can bring to the table,” shares BriaR. “Although the record contains personal lyrics, I still wanted this to be a groovy track that makes you want to dance, hence the bass heavy record in the background.”

The daughter of legendary rapper Mack 10 (also known as part of Westside Connection alongside Ice Cube and WC) who also has a stepmom in T-Boz of TLC, BriaR can dream big because she comes from a family that has turned their own ambitions into reality. Growing up in the environment she did helped mold BriaR’s eclectic musical tastes, which incorporate not only the vintage old-school gangsta rap – but also New Wave (“Alanis Morrissette was a big influence in middle school”), grunge (Nirvana), punk (Green Day), pop (Gwen Stefani and No Doubt), rock (Fleetwood Mac), R&B (Michael and Janet Jackson, Aaliyah was “a big influence,” Beyonce, Shakira, TLC).

BriaR wrote the lyrics for the songs on the EP, recording them at home with her younger brother, rapper District 21, very much in the style of personal favorites like Billie Eilish and Finneas or, as she notes, fellow Calabasas residents Willow and Jaden Smith. “I have been obsessed with music since I was two years old,” she says of her upbringing around Topanga and Calabasas. “I remember Ice Cube coming to the house and me wanting to sing for him on the little karaoke machine my dad bought. For my brother and I, there was no other option. This is who we are.”

With Finding BriaR rolling out its five individual tracks this fall, BriaR is ready for the next step of her rise to stardom. “Recording this was like my therapy and it still is my therapy,” says BriaR. “The EP is about discovering the different sides of this individual. These songs helped me realize everything I want.”

Follow BriaR:

Instagram / Tiktok / YouTube / Spotify / Apple Music