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October 2014

Spotlight Travels Texas

Spotlight Travels: Houston with Wes K

Knowing and appreciating the culture and music scene that Houston, Texas has to offer, I caught up with up and coming hip-hop artist Wes K. He not only gave me an inside look into his music and aspirations, but also into his great city of Houston.

Southern rooted artist , Wes K, can be considered what you would call a “one stop shop” for music. The young artist, born & raised on the southwest side of Houston, Texas, grew up on the sounds of many different types of sounds such as early 90’s rap, down south blues, and old school r&b just to name a few.

Hip-hop artist Wes K.
Hip-hop artist Wes K.
Collectively he incorporates these sounds into one which gives all listeners a musical satisfaction. Given his first effort in 2010 with his mixtape “MUSIC ON CONSIGNMENT” he was able to introduce his sound to the world. Wes K then joined forces with a relative, and long time friend to release the “TOP FLOOR” compilation, which was widely accepted under the alias “L_Avators“.

Growing as an artist, Wes K later released projects under his now owned indie label L_AVATOR MUSIK GROUP, such as “Twitter Tape” and the  90’s tribute mixtape, “1995” in 2014 , consisting of all remixes to the classical hip hop sounds he grew up listening to.

#1995
#1995 Mixtape
While having his street single, “STOP PLAYIN” in heavy rotation at surrounding colleges & numerous blog sites. With his competitive drive, and learning experiences, Wes K is taking his talents to Atlanta where he plans to study the engineering & production side of the business, as well as further his career as an artist/writer. He is also planning the release of his first official EP in 2015.

HollyDayz: What sets Houston apart from all the other major cities in Texas?
Wes K:  To me, Houston is one of the most influential cities in the country, let alone Texas. I feel most of the trends that are popular in the music industry today were influenced by Houston’s culture. Everything from screwed and chopped mixing to double white cups. Houston is everywhere and people don’t even realize it.

Double cup
Double cup
HollyDayz: What is the music scene like in Houston?

Wes K:  The Houston music scene is primarily made up of up and coming or underground artists making a name for themselves. I feel even with a lot of Houston culture thriving throughout the industry, we really haven’t had that authentic solidified representation that we deserve in a while. Besides Kirko; our last solid representation was back in the early 2000’s with Swishahouse artists such as Mike Jones, Slim Thug, Magnificent, and Paul Wall. We also had Chamillionaire, Lil Flip, Big Pokey, and Hawk to name a few. And I definitely cannot forget the late great D.J Screw. There’s a lot of serious artists on the rise that are musically inclined. Keep an eye out for Texas.

In the studio
Wes K performing at Midtown Lounge
HollyDayz:  A lot of recording artists, like Drake embrace Houston even if they aren’t from there, what do you think that does for the Houston music scene?

Wes K: Honestly I love the fact that Drake embraces the “H” like he does because with him being the hottest artist of our generation anything he likes the people will like. Just so happens H town is one of those things. Really all he is doing is exuding a city that’s been robbed for its culture and giving it the props that it deserves. With all do respect to other cities coast to coast Houston is thriving in every aspect. As a matter of fact we were one of the few cities to be least affected by the recession. Now everybody sees what we’ve been trying to bring to the forefront for years. Shout out Drizzy for that.

Performing @ Kornbreads
Wes K performing at Kornbreads

HollyDayz: There are a lot of venues in Houston, what has been your favorite to perform at? Where would you love the opportunity to perform in Houston?

Wes K:  My favorite venue that I’ve performed in probably wouldn’t be many others favorite, because it isn’t as popular, but I would have to say Midtown Lounge. It was one of the first venues where I was able to “own” the venue week after week. It is also where a lot of my day 1 fans and followers were convinced I had potential, and they’ve been rocking with me ever since. As far as venues I have to check off my list one day, of course it would be the Toyota Center. Kind of like the way Jay Z held it down at Madison Square Garden for the home team. It’s just one of those things you gotta do before it’s all said and done.

Wes K Performing @ Midtown Lounge
Wes K in the studio

Toyota Center
Toyota Center
HollyDayz: I know there are a lot of different areas of Houston, which one are you from, and how is it different from the rest of Houston?

Wes K:  Southwest side is where I reside “dubs up never down” lol.. I was born and raised on the southwest or “west” as we call it for short. Really the west consists of multiple hoods such as the Braeswood, Fondren area, SWAT , and Missouri City which makes us technically one of the larger hoods in the H. And I always say its simply more of a city vibe on the west with a bunch of high rises and 50 story office buildings. When I wake up and see a bunch of lights and buildings it motivates me like no other. Theres cranes and construction everywhere…well the entire city for the matter. Houston is getting money and I don’t see it stoppin anytime soon.

Westside High School: Where Wes K attended and graduated from.
HollyDayz: What is the most common misconception you have heard in regards to Houston that is so far from true?

Wes K:  Numero uno biggest misconception in the H is that everybody rides horses lol. Straight up I’ll never understand why people still think that… at all. Never seen 24’s on a horse bro lol.

HollyDayz:Everyone knows you can’t go to Houston and not get some great food, where are your favorite places to eat?

Wes K:  I don’t think this interview can go that long for the whole list of good eats in the city. Couple of my favorites though is Mikkys Soul Food. When I say it tastes like grandma been slavin’ in a hot kitchen all day, I mean it! The plates are so big you can eat off of them twice. Along with Frenchys, and the infamous Timmy Chans (the one off 610 though.. all the others are imposters!) Also, I’m a crab man myself so when I need that seafood and cold beer fix I hit up La Fisherman formerly known as The Boiling Crab. “ooooweee mayne!”

 Mikkys Soul Food
Mikkys Soul Food
he original Timmy Chans off of 610
The original Timmy Chans, off of 610
HollyDayz:  I know you can throw down in the kitchen, what is your favorite meal to make?

Wes K:  My favorite dish to throw down in the kitchen is “none” hoping I got somebody to whip something up for me lol. But when I do get my hands dirty I like to try different types of dishes such as Italian, Philippine, and other exotic types. I take pride in my cooking because I know women love a man of many hats that can cook, ya heard me!

HollyDayz:  When is the best time to visit Houston?

Wes K:  The best time to visit Houston hands down is in the summer when all the girls that been working out, getting tummy tucks, the whole 9 and wanna show it all off. In Texas we have a different type of heat called “hot as hell” and its that degree everyday during the summer lol. But there’s a lot of pool party’s, kick backs, and concert type events that go on then. Theres something to do everyday from noon to night

Miller outdoor theater. Outdoor concerts
Miller outdoor theater. Outdoor concerts

Pool Party
Wes K at a Pool Party
HollyDayz:  What are some things or places a person should check out when visiting Houston?

Wes K:  If you visiting the H you have to check out the Ensemble Theatre. They always have talented actors putting on plays. You for sure have to stop by Breakfast Klub… another good eating spot that Houston is known for around the country. Our art district is pretty prominent as well.

Food from the Breakfast Klub
Chicken and Waffles at Breakfast Klub
HollyDayz:  Is there a place you go to that brings out your creativity?

Wes K:  As far as being inspired to create; really it can hit me anywhere. I can be out at the club and catch chills when I see a mainstream artist move the crowd or even at home watching CNN and moved by a story. That’s the thing about being creative, it really doesn’t have an on and off switch. Once it hits you; you gotta act on it.. Otherwise you’ll just be forcing some premeditated material that’s gone hit or miss, simple as that.

HollyDayz:  Do you have any performances coming up in the near future, if so where?

Wes K:  Right now the focus is strictly on music, so no performances are even being thought up as of now. I’m in the process of revamping my whole artistry with new energy in my music, as well as speaking on subjects that I haven’t been the most comfortable with in sharing with the world. I’m real excited about it though. And im also taking my talents to ATL (Lebron voice) because as an artist I feel the ATL stage is simply a better platform for an artist such as myself to flourish.

HollyDayz:  What are some slang words used in Houston?
Wes K:  Maynnnnne hole’ up (slang) don’t get me started.. it’s too much to name. But for the most part it’s really our pronunciation of words that’s different. Ask a Houstonian where he from bet he tell you “h tine” .. But like I say though we’re a city of our own identity and I think that’s more so of the reason a lot of people got love for us.

So if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience Houston, Texas and all its rich culture and music what are you waiting for? While your there see if you can catch Wes K. In the mean time check out his music and follow him on Twitter & Instagram. Let’s help him boost his instagram followers so he can have a louder voice in the industry. You can find him @Bossup_WesK IG
@KingWesK Twitter

 

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California Fitness LifeStyle North America USA

Hiking to Eaton Canyon Falls, Pasadena, CA

Living or even visiting Los Angeles, a lot of people like to go on hikes. There are so many places to hike, you may not even know where to start. The most popular hiking trail is Runyon Canyon. Many hikes offer you the reward of great city views. Sometimes if the smog isn’t too heavy, some even offer ocean views. Hiking in Eaton Canyon, you have the opportunity of seeing a waterfall at the end of your hike.

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New York North America USA

Halloween in Sleepy Hollow

Halloween is just around the corner and there are so many activities and haunted houses to go to all around the country. With the FOX hit show Sleepy Hollow on television it prompted me to want to go there.

If you are unfamiliar with Sleepy Hollow, it is more commonly referred to as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which was a short story written by Washington Irving. There are many different versions of the legend, but they all involve the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane. Sleepy Hollow is a really small town in Westchester Country, New York.  It is 5.1 square miles. You can drive into the town and right out in a few blinks of the eye.
So with all that said it is only befitting that this would be a perfect place to go for Halloween. Many others think so as well, seeing as tickets sell out very quickly. They have many Halloween events going on and if you don’t purchase your tickets soon you could be missing out! Some of these events include The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, Horseman’s Hollow, Irving’s Legend, and The Legend Behind The Legend.

Philipsburg Manor
Philipsburg Manor

I had the opportunity to go to Horseman’s Hollow, which is held in and around Philipsburg Manor. The manor is turned into a village which has been driven mad by the Headless Horseman and all of his minions. Upon arrival they have a huge parking lot. Finding parking is not difficult, just remember what row you parked in.
After parking we had to take a walk towards the Manor which you can see lit up in blues and purples. We could hear screams coming from that direction as the signs led me down a path. The path was pretty awesome. It felt old world with the lantern lights. There were tons of people and lines everywhere. You really need to buy your tickets online, they typically don’t have any once you arrive. We stopped and got some hot chocolate. They also had vendors selling cookies, coffee, and more.
Headless Horseman ©2014 Holly Dayz
Headless Horseman ©2014 Holly Dayz

While standing online waiting for our time slot to move closer I spotted the Headless Horseman. There were also people dressed in scary costumes who were walking up on people and scaring them while standing online. I kept my eyes open in all directions. I watched as one person dressed as a scary witch chased some screaming little kids. There was also a lady in a booth playing music and giving out prizes.
Entrance to Horseman's Hollow ©2014 Holly Dayz
Entrance to Horseman’s Hollow ©2014 Holly Dayz

After waiting on the line for a while, we were able to go past the gate, and wait on another line. We were getting closer so I was getting more excited. When it was finally time to go, we had a game plan, stay close and try not to get scared. I don’t want to give things away because it would ruin the experience if you go, but it was awesome! I would certainly try to go again. Everyone was jumping, screaming, and running. You go inside and outside with mazes and such.
I walked away with a great Halloween experience. I’m  looking forward to the opportunity to return to this quaint little town with a spooky reputation. Even with Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow being published in 1820, the story still carries are a large range of popularity.
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LifeStyle Technology

App Of The Month: Viber

There are so many great travel apps. One thing that many people worry about, mainly when traveling overseas, is how to connect with those back home. Cell phones bills can get pretty high if you try calling back home. Viber helps solve these problems.
Viber is a free app that allows you to talk to other Viber users. As a user you have the ability to text, call, and even send videos and photos. Viber can be used on Wi-Fi or 3G network. If you are overseas then Wi-Fi is going to be your best bet.
I used Viber to contact my family while in Rome. I was able to get Wi-Fi in the hotel and certain restaurants. I would talk and send pictures all for free for as long as I wanted. It was great and made me feel closer to home. I had no issues, I could hear and be heard clearly. The beauty of HD calls.

Viber

Viber also allows you to call landlines and mobile numbers for a low rates for those who don’t have or can’t get the app. You also have the ability to download Viber to your computer.
Another great feature is that you don’t have to manually put contacts in. The app asks for access to your contacts already stored in your mobile phone. It allows you to see who else in your contacts has Viber so you aren’t guessing. You are also able to do a group chat and message several people at one time.
It is a very simple app to use, if you can use your cell phone, you can use Viber. If you have used Viber, how was your experience with it?

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