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Feature: Elias the Infinite

Elias the Infinite

Rapping at the age of thirteen, Elias the Infinite, previously known as Florence the Infinite, has been gracing the ears of listeners with his journey through the landscape of Inglewood, Los Angeles and the spiritual awakening that has come from discovering yourself and stepping into your true identity.

Elias the Infinite produces watery, eccentric, and soulful beats on his recent EP, BE YOU (side A), pushing listeners down a slip and slide of heartbreak, locking into your dreams, shedding the extra weight, and finding your voice to encourage others to be weird, to unapologetically be their most authentic self. BE YOU (side A) is the first half of the project that is intended to be the blueprint for chasing your wildest dreams.

Maralize Carreon sat down with Elias the Infinite to discuss the importance of paying homage to his city, what it means to be a hooligan, and how the rawness of real life can be inspirational.

Are you originally from Inglewood? It seems like in your music and even in your videos, you really pay homage to your roots. It feels like you really made the city a medium for you to express your art and have done it in a really beautiful way. What does the city mean to you? How do you feel like it’s shaped your music and your pursuit of your art?

That is a very great question. Well, I feel like the city, the city is an extension of me. So, the neighborhood I grew up in is not highlighted often. Like only the negative sides around it are. So like I come from Ladera, but Inglewood for real, but like Ladera, Blair Hills, Baldwin Hills, that section.

And it’s not talked about, but I want to say it’s kind of almost like a gray area. So it’s like that kind of comes into full circle with my artistry as well. Like I feel like I’m the gray area. I’m not really black or white. Even literally, I’m mixed too. So the whole everything from the city to how people are treated in that specific area, it’s like this gray area, kind of like you’re free to be what you want.

So as a kid, I ate that shit up with my friends. Like we was just running around and skateboarding in that area. And my mama used to be like, you know, “If you could get over there from Inglewood, you could stay over there. You can have fun as long as you get yourself back and get there, you’re good.” And she’s like, “I’m not picking you up because I’m not trying to spend gas.” So like just that pursuit of going over there all the time just to have fun, it changed my idea of travel as well as like your environment. Because my environment in Inglewood, I couldn’t do anything over there because it’s like if I go outside, it’s possible that, you know, something bad could happen. But when I crossed over just like ten minutes down the street skateboarding and I go over to my friends, I’m in this whole new world where we’re just kind of doing whatever we want as kids.

A lot of times it’d be like, hooligan stuff. That’s why I have the group called Hoolipack. We get into a lot and the environment allowed us to get into certain things that we probably wasn’t supposed to. But at the same time it’s such a nice environment. We want to protect it. There’s certain things that we won’t do, you know what I’m saying, and kind of like, that is why I wear this city like my armor, because in a sense it did cradle me. Like when I needed food or I was tired, I was bleeding, I could go into one of those stores and the owner would know me or hook me up. And you know, just little stuff like that. And it went a long way. So I just feel like I have to. If I don’t, I’m stealin’. That’s what it feels like.

You mentioned Hoolipack, your brand. It’s kind of like a music collective, correct? I can tell you touch on different forms of art, whether it’s like music or film or fashion. So where did Hoolipack start? And what does the intersection of fashion and art mean to you?

Hoolipack is crazy cause it started off as a clothing brand. So I was hella into parkour and skateboarding. My whole idea was to have a brand that people could wear and feel like they’re part of something bigger than just, you know, which we all are, we’re all connected as humans, I believe. So I just wanted something where it’s like, okay, this is my taste of human life.

That brand was kind of like, like the city, hooligans. So for the brand, it represents basically the reckless dreamer, like somebody who don’t really have all they need, but they have a dream and they go about it however. But really it just represents unique dreams inspired. So I feel like even a reckless dream, whatever dream it is, whether it’s big, it’s hard to do, it’s unique and you feel me, unique dreams inspire.

A reckless dreamer can inspire somebody who’s not as reckless, or the reckless dreamer goes through the path that nobody goes through and they trim down all the gunk and make sure the path is smooth for somebody else. I kind of wanted the brand to represent that for those people, the trailblazers, the people who don’t have a plan, but still figure it out, the people who got all, bets placed against them and they still come out on top, the underdogs, the misfits, you know. I wanted to be able to give all those people a cloak, a cloak of armor that, yeah, we matter. You know what I’m saying? The strong friend matters. And that’s kind of what Hoolipack is, it’s the strong friend. It’s the strong friend, for a dreamer.

You know, you can inspire others through your creativity. So it’s basically just to uplift others, to understand the inspiration that they have within themselves, and not throw that away for somebody else. More or less like, what’s the word I’m trying to look for? Like basically amplify your own inspiration, ability in yourself, and love yourself to the point where it’s like, OK, I’m this person, and this is what I do. And I don’t care what y’all think, because I’m going to get this about any means. So somebody who’s a Hoolipack, or somebody who’s got on a Hoolipack, is somebody who’s really dedicated to self-development and growth, as well as inspiring others through their journey.

So, I noticed this common theme in all of your multimedia content: that you have white eyes. So I just wanted to, like, you know… hear what that’s about.

I fuck with Kanye and Tyler and stuff. So it’s like when I see the way that they create, it inspires me. And what I notice is, as artists, people be scared to shed their skin. Like, you know, there’s people like Doja Cat. I think she’s nuts. But like, she’s lit though. Basically the whole idea of like, y’all can’t put me in a box. So I’m gonna put myself in this crazy ass look and I’m gonna make it make sense. And y’all gonna think it doesn’t make sense, but it does. And then that’s literally the art of manifestation creation.

So I want it to be literally the catalyst. So I’m like, all right, I’m gonna do this to myself. I’m gonna look crazy. I’m gonna look goofy as hell. ‘Cause like only the creator of something can tell you what it is. You know what I’m saying? So everyone else can have their own opinion on it. But at the end of the day, when I say, this is what it meant and this is what it is, that’s the end all be all.

So. I did it because I wanted all the naysayers, all the haters, all the judges, I wanted all those people to sit in front of, like, individuality and even if they don’t know what the fuck it is, but at least be able to, like, stop and be like, oh, like, that’s what that was.

So basically the eyes are a metaphor to look within. So I got a project called BE YOU and then what you do to BE YOU is, like, most times if you don’t know how to BE YOU, you gotta look within to start.

You gotta start thinking about yourself and thinking about things that you like, you don’t like, what you want to do, your purpose. And some people, we’re so distracted by all this shit on the outside and even just music and entertainment, that we, as individuals and civilians, we don’t pay attention to our own, like, you know, our own inner voice. We’re mostly listening to other people.

So when I did that, it was because I wanted somebody to see me and for a second, listen to their own inner voice. Like, so whenever you come to the agreement of whatever you see when you see my white eyes, that’s your inner voice.

I don’t know what they saying. It could be like, “Oh, this dude’s crazy.” “Ah this dude’s lit.” Whatever that inner voice is, is there. It’s gonna exist. That’s the first step. And then after that, when they come to ask me, what’s the eyes and I give them it, that means they’re ready. Like, it sounds crazy, but that means they’re ready to start their self journey. And it’s like, I don’t know what it’s gonna be like, because I’m not there. Of course, I’m only there for those initial moments. But at that time, I planted a seed and that seed is like, it’s dope to be your own individual. And this is what it looked like. Like this is what it looks like, the physical representation. But like this is like a way, a very exaggerated way of being yourself.

I used to draw that. I used to draw myself with no eyes. I wasn’t born that way. But I drew myself like that all the time and I never knew I could do it and something told me one day, it would be crazy if you did this. How would this make sense though? Like how do you get these people to understand that you love growing up on some Dragon Ball Z and this stuff. You look within and heal yourself.

You mentioned Dragon Ball Z, this is kind of a fun question. Like, so you obviously watch anime. What’s your favorite show?

Oh, well Dragon Ball Z off rip. I’ve watched all the Dragon Ball Z that anybody could watch in a lifetime. I watched, I’m up to date. So that says a lot. There’s a whole bunch of different variations. That’s my shit. I grew up with the action figures. I don’t know, it’s just got this nostalgic vibe. And I got a lot of lessons from it. And a close second right now, there’s One Piece. I like One Piece. It’s cool.

Getting back to music, you dropped your album earlier this year, BE YOU (side A), and the lyricism explores multiple avenues like love, soul searching, ego in friendships, and being in LA. Can you walk through the story behind the tracks and the inspiration?

So the project that everybody listening to right now ain’t the actual order. But the story is basically like, I was on the bus one day, this is literally how it happened. I was trying to come up with this album, I was on the bus and I was like, ‘bruh, I got to do more.’ So before I go to this job that I’m trying to get, my whole goal is like, ‘I’m gonna go to Melrose.’ I already do business over here. The business owners know me. I’m gonna try to figure out how to get a job. Like just to hold me over so I can make this album.

That’s how I was looking. And I was on the way, I was writing the song. And then I was like, ‘what the hell? Like, this is crazy. I’m literally writing on the bus.’ And I’m like, I”m on the way to go work. But this should be my actual job.’ That’s how I’m thinking in my head. Like, ‘why, why is this not my job?’ But I’m going on the way to get a job. It’s just, it didn’t make sense to me. So I sat down and I started writing ‘HIRED,’ the first song.

So I was having anxiety ‘cause I wanted to get the job on Melrose. But at the same time, I didn’t really want the job. So I was like really confused. And I was like, fuck you, I got this beat though. Let me just take my energy and put it on there. And I was like, maybe I can manifest the job through the song. So I’m gonna name the song ‘HIRED,’ and I’ma rap, but the first verse came off more about me getting hired in the career that I want, which is like, you know, an artist, but not hired in that sense. Like, I hired myself in that, which is crazy. I hired myself after I made that song. And I didn’t even know that, but consciously I was like going through that, like really going through that on the bus thinking that and writing that song out.

Then I didn’t get the job. So that didn’t stop me or nothing cause I still finished the project, of course, but like, after not getting the job, I sat back and I was like, damn, if I didn’t decide that I hired myself and I was going to really do this, like this job would have like threw away my album and I probably would have never made this.

So that’s when I started going in deeper and I was like the concept of going to work versus chasing the thing that you actually are. Like, how do I make that a message? How do I get that to people? And that’s how it became. And I kind of just took my exact experience of me being Elias Benefiel, like going through, you know, my main daily life, not my art side. And I was like I’ll use myself as a catalyst to show how to lock in with yourself. And I’m going to be the guinea pig because I got to lock in with myself. That’s how the project went. Like, if I don’t lock in now, like this interview, none of this would happen.

So I’m going to do a live action, self healing growth journey. And I’m going to allow all my fans to be a part of it and everybody who just is attracted to the music, to be a part of it and they can grow with me or they can watch me grow and use me as a blueprint. And every song is me slowly stepping into that.

And then like I said, after ‘HIRED,’ I didn’t get the job. So I ended up in the car with the homie smoking weed, trying to figure out how to numb the pain. And that’s how I made the song ‘HOTBOXING THE SIMPLY WHOLESOME PARKING LOT.’ And that song, that’s all about trying to stop smoking weed, cause I know it’s bad for me. But like, not bad for me in the sense, it’s bad. But in my mind, I’m like, yo, the reason why I’m not where I wanna be is cause I’m smoking all the time with these dudes running around the city when I know damn well I should be rapping. I should be damn well doing this. I’m over here fucking my time off, trying to smoke with my homies. Then after the smoke shit is done, it’s like, okay, we’re transitioning to ‘CHANGED MY STATUS,’ because it’s kind of like me basically saying like, all right, that’s about a woman, a deep relationship that happened. But it’s also going on more to the whole idea, I’ma change my status and ‘[WHEN THE] GRASS GET CUT’ because it kind of like they tie into each other. They’re both basically me shedding the unnecessary baggage that I don’t need, that is weighing me down from being able to actually pursue what I’m trying to do.

‘WHEN THE GRASS GET CUT’ is about keeping the snakes out, the fake people out of your life. So they don’t muck up what you’re trying to do new and then those people go around, usually tell their friends, and their friends usually create this idea of you. And if you’re an artist or you’re trying to be in a reputation based industry, which requires respect, it requires a certain type of face card. It’s hard when you’re dealing with people who are trying to play with your name and throw it around. So it’s like when I say “When the grass get cut, watch the snake routes / Warn all your people that the fakes out” is basically saying like pay attention to the snake routes so you have receipts, some evidence. When this person comes through trying to be a snake, you could basically pull this out and be like yo, but what about this, this, this, and that.

I went through specific situations where it’s like you’d have to go through that to know that. I was like here’s this blueprint right here of my pain, so you can get an idea of what not to dip your toe into you and if you do, at least now you got a soundtrack.

And ‘CHANGED MY STATUS’ is a break up song. I go really into deep detail with this one relationship. She was way older than me and like she put me on to a lot of game just about relationships and self-worth and knowing yourself. And if you don’t know yourself, someone will try to take advantage of [you]. I genuinely did get the lesson from that, so I didn’t want it to be like “You broke up with me. Fuck you.” I wanted it to be like, “Thank you and here’s the knowledge for whoever else needs this.”

And then ‘BLACK & BLUE’ is a continuation to ‘CHANGE MY STATUS.’ So you can kind of think of it like I just changed my status part one. It’s its own thing, this song has its own element involved, but it’s literally like a continuation of CHANGED MY STATUS.’ So ‘BLACK & BLUE’ was like pre pre-relationship. I actually wrote that before I got into the relationship, so I didn’t know it was going to be bad. I’m talking about some past relationship shit that I’m trying to shed for the new relationship. Then, ‘CHANGED MY STATUS’ is after that relationship took place. You kind of can see where my mind was before I got into the relationship and then where my mind was after I got into the relationship. And I kind of wanted to show the balance of it.

And then ‘CASH FLO’ is me talking my shit. That’s me standing back and saying like, all this is going on. But this is the main voice. This is the vision. This is like what I feel like my heart is telling me. This is what my mind is telling me. And this is the shit that I’m maneuvering and adjusting to get the life that I want.

I sat through and watched all of your music videos and every single one is just so cinematic and so creative and they all really work together. It’s like bringing your music to life and I really love that the end of ‘HIRED” flows right into ‘HOTBOXING,’ right? How do you come up with your ideas?

Real life. Like ‘HOTBOXING,’ I was in the Simply Wholesome parking lot smoking a blunt with the homie. Driving around, the blunt wasn’t rolling. It was cracking. We opened the package. They broke. So it was just irritating because we just did all this. We bought the weed, picked up the blunts, found a location where we could smoke in the neighborhood, and then the blunts just cracked. So then we go drive to another liquor store, spend 10 more dollars, for a blunt that might crack again. So that was where the idea came from, because it just sat, it was like, oh my God, like is it really this serious? Like am I even supposed to be smoking? And why am I at this establishment? Like what the fuck is going on right now?

It was just a whole realization, like damn, that song came from real life. All of them came from real life. The way I direct is me trying to literally take what I went through in my brain and physically and take exactly what the hell came from what I experienced and what I felt and make it like manifest and basically recreate it. So when I’m directing, that’s my challenge. Trauma and everything. I want you to feel the shock, the fear I feel, love, the happiness. And then I want you to see the things that I saw. And hopefully through that connection, we can have a shared experience. So that’s what I’m trying to share, my experiences with others.

So it sounds like you really have your flow down to a T, like the cadence of everything and your tracks are really diverse. You got some soulful, dream-like melodies and you have more intense, head-bopping sounds. So how did you come to find your sound, and if you could pick three artists that really influenced your music, who would they be and why?

Um, damn, that’s a good ass question. So it’s like this. I tried to rap on lofi beats because I liked how they felt. I like how they felt sonically and in my spirit, they would make me want to talk about things I was going through. They would always inspire me, even to this day. I did my homework. I studied where that came from. It was like, you know, nostalgic old school boom bap beats. I started learning about tempos. And that’s kind of like where my first sound was developed. And basically just being on the BPM, the one and the two and the three and the four just like understanding that and like being able to rap like right on that.

And that’s kind of like how I crafted my flow. But at first it sounded like a really old New York head. Because that’s how they learned, it was the same way that I went through it. And I was like, oh, like when I was rapping to the metronomes or trying to count beats, that’s exactly what these old heads were doing when they were sampling songs and trying to like put the drums over it. And I took that and I was like, okay, that’s dope. But I like lofi. I like that spin of it. I like that new era boom bap vibe. But it wasn’t giving like all of me, it was only giving like the introspective version of me, but there’s a lot more to me.

So I was like, I have energy. I got vibes. Like why I feel like I’m in a box when I rap to stuff like this. So my goal after that was to find beats that had a bounce and a feel like a West Coast beat, but also the feeling is soulful like the melodies and the synths, the noises in it are soulful. But it still got this grungy, spacey vibe like a lofi beat. So then that’s when my sound happened. Like I literally made it.

I call it West soul lofi. So West Coast, neo-soul, and lofi. And that’s my foundation. Everything comes from that. But after I’ve studied so many artists and stuff like I’m not in a box. I literally make everything. But that’s my home, where my heart is, where you’ll see my bodies of work.

And for the artists I could say that I put together in a blender, it’s probably like Kendrick, Kanye, for sure Kanye, a lot of Kanye. If you listen to Be You, after listening to Graduation, you gon hear what I’m saying. I even mixed and mastered the project similar to how he did his drums and the stuff on Graduation. And To Pimp a Butterfly is my favorite album by Kendrick. But the last artist, like the only person I can really think of is Gorillaz. But they’re not really like a rap group. They’re like a band that features artists on their stuff. So I grew up listening to the hip hop artists that they would feature on their collective projects. So I took a lot from that. A lot of the creative approach that came from that.

I know you used to go by Florence the Infinite. So where did that come from and then why did you change it to what you have now, Elias the Infinite?

Well, Florence is like a street. Like when I would pull up to my house in Inglewood, it’s a street. And it’s this big ass church, like right there it say Florence. So like every time I saw the church and saw Florence, I knew I was home. I knew I was about to be home in like two minutes, like from my mom crib. And then that street, basically I wanted everything I do to have intent.

So when I wrote the name, I was like, this shit gotta be a bar. It gotta make sense. So if you break down Florence, the nickname of Florence is “Flo” and what you do when you rap? You flow. So Flo the Infinite, like flow forever. Infinite flows, you can take it as I just didn’t want to be in a box. So I knew for sure my name got to represent that I could rap whatever I want to do and do whatever I want to do.

And then plus, Florence is an infinite street because of all the LA riots and shit. So it’s like basically Florence is infinite because of things that took place on Florence Street to help LA where it is now. It connects through all the hoods in LA damn near. So it’s like, I wanted that street just cause I knew like a lot of people knew about it.

Then I felt like I had to turn into somebody else. Like, I gotta change my name if I want to be taken seriously. But as you can see, that’s not true. I went back, I took Florence away cause there’s a little, there’s a child. There was the child version of me that’s tied into that. And I’ve done a lot of growing and developing. So I’m not afraid to have my name be known in that light. I don’t want something that’s already had a name, established for me to feed off of and then be the face of that, which is cool. I was doing that for a long time as a kid. People driving around LA, seeing Florence and then thinking of me. And that’s great marketing.

But when I changed my name, it was literally because I needed to shed that. I was going through changes as I was turning into a man. I was learning more things about myself, like elevating. I couldn’t attach myself or associate myself with that name anymore, just due to how many relationships have already gone through that name that were just kind of like, I don’t want to say stepping stones. That sounded wrong. But yeah, stepping stones, obstacles that I’ve avoided, or things that I’ve gone through that that name is tied to. And those people and things I didn’t feel like in this new chapter of my life needed to come with me, because my level of artistry is on a different tier now, on a whole different tier and aspect that’s way more personal to who I am as an individual.

So Florence was more for everybody. You know what I’m saying? That sounds crazy. Florence was more for everybody though, like in a sense of, like, I was trying to be the people’s champ. I wasn’t trying to, like, put myself first. I’m not hating on the name, I still love the name. I’m grateful that I went through all the things I did with that name and everybody who cherished the name. But it was time to show people that, yo, I’m not a kid anymore. I got this name when I was 13, I’m an adult. This is my life, this is what I’m gonna die behind. So if I have to have something on my gravestone to be an AKA, I’d rather it be my actual name. I figured like once I’m up enough, people would drop the infinite part.

Okay, so it’s kind of like the name is also just an evolution of yourself, like a visual representation of that. But so, you know, 2024 is coming up really soon. What goals do you have for next year for your music and is there anything people should be looking out for?

BE YOU (side B) for sure. That’s coming out top of next year, not January. I ain’t promising nothing in January. But definitely top of next year, first quarter. It’s going into like spring so I want to match that energy.

All my time is going into getting ready for everybody and then I’m probably gonna be pushing [my next big project] throughout the year, you know all the way through until 2025. If I feel good about what is going on or if you know, I get my accolades from it early, I might drop another project before the year is over. I already have it done. I just don’t know when to let it fly.

I want to make sure that BE YOU, the whole ensemble, both sides is out and everyone’s digested it before I feed this other project out there. But yeah, that’s what I got planned.

And oh, just like for a fun question, choose three people for your dream rotation?

Snoop Dogg for sure. Yes. Yeah. Snoop Dogg. Who would I smoke a blunt with that would be pretty rad? Oh Billie Eilish, I think that would be cool because I think it would just be so fucking weird, but like cool weird. She goofy to where it’d be a funny high, like it’d be a funny high experience. It’d be either awkward as fuck or funny. And then the last person I would want to smoke with, it’d be Kanye. I feel like he would be tweaking on me though. But yeah, those three people, Snoop Dogg, Billie Eilish, and Kanye West.

Okay, my last question, before we end, what is your song of the week this week?

My song of the week has been, I guess, ‘Not a Drill’ by Veeze. But like there’s another song by Jordan Ward called ‘DANCE MACHINE.’ I’ve been fucking with that heavy, so between those two.

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Feature: Devon Thompson

Devon Thompson

What  are  you  looking  forward  to  the  most  in  2024? 

No  bullshit.  No  bullshit  2024.  That’s  what  I’m  looking  forward  to. I’m  gonna  like  leave  all  the  negative  stuff  behind  and  like  try  and  change  my  mindset  about  certain  things.  So  I  feel  like  that’s,  and  also  work  harder  and  practice  more. Just  be  more  disciplined  within  myself,  I  think. 

Can  we  say  what  those  certain  things  are? 

Yeah,  practice  sitting  down  and  practicing  my  guitar  every  single  day  more. Because,  it  gets  hard  like  when  you  play  shows  it’s  easy  to  just  like  only  play  when  you’re  at  shows  or  during  band  practice  for  me  I  want  to  sit  down  and  be  disciplined  also  not  beat  myself  up  over  stuff  that  I  can’t  control.

A  lot  of  people  are  really  upset  with  themselves  when  they  like  especially  living  here  when  you  feel  like  and  you’re  an  artist  and  you  feel  like,  ‘God,  I  wish  I  was  doing  more.  I  wish I  could.  Why  don’t  I  have  this,  why  don’t  I  have  this,’  like  you  can’t  control  that  the  only  thing  you  can  control  is  your  personal  growth  and  what  you  put  into  it  and  like  you  know  if  if  you  got  something like  it  you’ll  get  it  out  if  you  really  work  hard.  You  can’t  just  sit  around,  you  can’t  expect  it  to  come  to  you.  You  have  to  work  for  it.  I  think  that’s  a  really  good  piece  of  advice  to  give  artists  in  general  because  you  know  we’re  in  a  new  game  social  media,  and  a  lot  of  it  is  like  creating  content  yourself,  and  I  know artists are making  a  lot  more  of  their  own  music  videos in  a  way  that  I’ve  never  seen  before,  have  you  noticed  that?  – I  have  noticed  that  because,  you  know,  TikTok  did  that.  TikTok  made  like  making  your  own  mini  music  video  a  thing.  So  I  actually  think  it’s  amazing  because  it  allows  artists  to  have  more  freedom  with  what  you  do.

I  think  that’s  really  special  and  it’s  really,  but  it’s  also  really,  really  hard to  do  that,  because  this  is  what  you  have  to  do. Every  day,  I’ve  struggled  with  that.  I  used  to  hate  it  and  now  I’ve  like  changed  my  mindset  we’re  like  no  I’m  gonna  like  do  this  and  embrace  it  and  really  show  people  like  what  I’m  about.

 I  think  everything  is  easier  when  you  have  a  team  of  people  and  people  who  just  really  like  add  to  your  circle  as  time  goes  on.  They  see  your  mission  and  your  vision.

Has  it  been  easy  for  you  to  find  your  team?

It,  surprisingly,  has  been  easy.  It’s  because  I’ve  been  putting  myself  out  there.  It’s  been  easier.  And  I  have  a  wonderful  team  that  I’m  working  with  right  now  already.

But  I’m  always  looking  for,  like,  expansion.  We  need  more  people  involved.  We  need  all  the  people  involved.  You  know,  your  fans  are  your  team.  You  know,  you  are  your  team.  Like,  everyone  a  part  of  it  is  important.

So,  like,  that  being  said,  I’m  always  looking  for  new  kingdom.  to  work  with  and  being  over  minded  So  like  I  feel  like  it’s  easier  now.

What  other  goals  do  you  have  for  the  year? 

My  goals  are  to  be  be  more  social.  I  can  easily  double  down  and  just  just  be  by  myself  and  working  on  stuff,  but  my  plan  this  year  is  to  make  more  friends  and  to  be  more  social with  my  family,  friends  and  with  new  people.  I  push  myself  further  this  year. My music  breaks  down  barriers  and  standards  for  female  guitar  players.  It’s  a  big  one,  because  we’re  still  it’s  still  really  stigmatized.

Talk  to  me  about  that  stigma  that female guitar  players  face.

So  many  women  are  scared  to  play  guitar,  and  a  lot  of  them  tell  me  they’re  like  I  am  too  scared  to  get  up  there  and  play  it  or  even  if  they  do  play  if  they’re  like,  um, ‘I’m  the  rhythm  guitar  player,’  or  whatever. You  don’t  see  a  lot  of  female  guitar  players  out  there  because  it’s  so  stigmatized.  If  they’re  not  like  an  insane  shredder  people  are  like  you  got  them  stuck  it  happens  so  much  and  i’m  a  Gibson  sponsored  artist,  so  i  they  saw  something  in  me  that  gave  me  hope  to  keep  pushing  myself  so  now  i  tend  to only  play  in  three  pieces. I’m  the  lead  guitar  player  and  lead  vocalist  this  year. That’s  what  I’m  going  to  push  on  people  because  I  have  some  really  not  that  good  like  okay  like  that’s  fine.

 It  used  to  get  to  me  and  now  I’m  like  just  use  that  to  practice  practice  and  be  disciplined  and  safe  off  it  just  do  it  you  know  that’s  what  I’m  doing. 

Do  you  think  that  female  artists  in  general  also  get  that  sort  of  stigma  and  is  it  coming  from  the  butthurt  men?
Absolutely.  Yeah,  no  totally.  It’s  the  main  the  main  thing  like  I  get  comments  online  that  are  like,  you  know  They  can  be  really  really  derogatory  and  and  it’s  you  know  what  it’s  Generally  men  or  very  jealous  women  who  don’t  like  themselves  and  hate  their  lives. And  I’m  like,  ‘why  do  girls  girls  hate  me?  Why  do  certain  men  hate  me?’

And  it’s  nothing  that  you’ve  done.  It’s  just  you  have  to  remember  that  there  are  people  that  just  love  to  hate  you  out  there.

They  love  it,  especially  because  you’re  doing  what  they  want  to  do.  They  want  to  do  what  you’re  doing.  And  you  just  have  to,  like,  you  literally  just  have  to  understand  and  recognize  the  personality  traits.  They’re  like,  no, that  is  not  a  person  who  is  cool  or,  like,  wants  to  help  or  even  knows  what  they’re  talking  about.  about,  you  know  what  I  mean?  Tell  us  a  bit  about  the  music  that  you  have  dropping  this  year  though.  Do  we  have  anything  to  look  forward  to  in  the  first  few  months?  Actually,  I  have  a  new  single  coming  out  in  like  a  week  and  a  half. And  my  goal  for  this  year  is  to  have  a  songwriter  and  I  want  to  be  a  part  of  it.  really,  really  creative  with  what  I’m  doing  this  year.  All  my  music  videos  are  like  mini  movies  type  situations, like  the  Twilight  Zone  kind  of,  and  I  like  creating…  I  really  just  want  to  pay  homage  to  the  universe  and  a  whole…  I  mean,  to  put  it  simply,  a  sort  of  vibe  on  everything.

 Like  with  my  branding,  with  my  merch,  like  this  is…  is  I  don’t  know  if  you  can  see  it  – oh  I  have  a  lot  of  teeth  in  in  like  my  merch  stuff  like  that  and  in  my  songs  just  like  really  Really  visceral  and  really  guttural, but  also  have  been  also  with  an  imperial  edge  And  I  want  my  music  videos  to  translate  that  it’s  gonna  mean  soon  So  I  want  to  be  cohesive  so  new  singles  out  and  then  we’re  gonna  have  and  I  have  a  lot  of  music  dropping  this  year.  And  I’m  playing  a  lot  of  shows  shows  and  that’s  what’s  been  happening  this  year  So  yeah  in  January  17th.

 What’s are you releasing?

It’s  called  I  love  you,  but  it  hurts  like  hell.

Who  are  some  of  your  favorite  musical  inspirations  from  Los  Angeles?

 Well,  I  don’t  don’t  sound  anything  like  her,  but  I  love  Phoebe  Bridger’s  ability  to  be  anti.  So  like  what  LA  is  not,  and  I  think  that’s  really  cool.

 So  I  like  that  she  can  do  that.  How  about  some  of  your  most  influential  artists  that  you  listen  to  growing  up  that  have  really  kicked  yourself?  Yeah,  growing  up.  Blondie  is  a  big  one  for  me.

 I  have  a  lot  of  80s  music  and  70s  music.  has  really  shaped  what  I  do.  So  Blondie  and  then  a  big  big  goth  like  inspiration  to  me,  Suzy  and  the  band  she’s  really  big  and  then  some  newer  stuff  like  or  kind  of  newer  some  like  some  deftome  stuff  some  my  bloody  Valentine  stuff  and  it’s  harder  for  me  to  find  newer  inspirations  just  because  like  I  don’t  know  it’s  just  it’s  it’s  hard  it’s  hard  for  me  and  then  uh  yeah  so

 those  are  some  of  my  inspirations  for  sure.  Dice  was  there  anything  else  that  you  want  to  grab  about  before  being  grabbed?  Yeah  I  think  that  a  lot  of  people  don’t  talk  about  again  what  I  said  before  about  how  disparaging  this  can  be  and  how  how  much  self -doubt  can  be  involved  with  this  um  and  I  have  been  my  worst  enemy  base  in  doing  this  and  um  you  know  my  I  think  a  lot  of  that  has  to  do  with  people  you surround  yourself  with.  You  can  tell  who  really  supports  you  and  who  doesn’t  and  who  are  out  to  get  you,  who  poses  your  friends,  but  they’re  not.  Make  sure  you  surround  yourself  with  loving  people  and  people  who  value  you  really.

 Some  talk  about  it  enough  here,  especially  with  people  who  aren’t  from  here  and  who  are  from  here.  It’s  just  like  both.  So  find  the  right  people  who  lift  you  up.  Both  of  you  guys  are in  a  relationship  sort  of  thing.  And  also,  just  walk  out  of  the  bullshit.  It’s  what  I’m  going  to  do  this  year  and  I’m  going  to  work  on  it.

 So  for  everyone  who’s  struggling  out  there  with,  you  know,  artist  identity,  sort  of  the  like,  “What  am  I  doing?”  You’re  here  for  a  reason,  you’re  here  for  a  reason.  And  just  believe  in  yourself.  Believe  in  yourself.

 Don’t  talk  but  thank  you  for  your  time.  Thank  you  so  much.

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Feature: Leonte


Leonte here! Tell us a little bit about the different things that you do. 

Yeah, so I mean, first and  foremost, I’m a person. And I like to be that way. I come with a lot of emotions and a lot of  ideas and feelings that I bring into my art and my work. I’m a model. I love to create very vivid images and stuff with posing and stuff like that. I’m also a creative director for a magazine called Lex Style Mag. It’s about creating a vibe between fashion and music, and really creating a home for that to collaborate and become real is something important for us.

But I also make music. I’m a singer. I make like alternative R&B, pop and rock vibes. I’m really just taking all of those and really just adding my own spice into it, adding a little bit of me and really my goal with that music is to create an environment and create an  environment where people can feel emotions that they may not you know be privy to or may not  have understanding of but you know they can empathize with the pain, empathize  with  the  joy,  empathize with the yearning, love, right? I want to create an environment that you  can experience those things safely amazing so how long have you been doing modeling yeah  so I’ve been modeling for 10 years I’ve been singing all my life I started off in my church choir  shout  out  yeah  so  for  like  most  people  that  started  off  in  the  church  like  singing  was  a big part of my life it was a big  part of my life I expressed myself. I started making my own  music physically about a year and a half, two years ago, is when I actually started that.

How has your journey in fashion really impacted your journey into music? 

Honestly, I think the fashion in the music industry is so interwoven that it was like a seamless  transition. I went from, you know, trying to figure out how to… create very vivid pictures and, you know,  how to do really crazy poses to, like, saying, “Well, how do I create a vivid sound with my voice?

If I do this type of movement while I’m singing, will the sound come out differently from this?”  Right? So everything just kind of translated differently, right? Saying like, “Okay, well, when I  do this performance, I want to wear this type of outfit  so  that  it  conveys  this  message while I’m performing this  song.”  Right?  Really  aligning  the  fashion  with  the  music  and  the  tone  with  the  environment  to  create  a  full  image  and  a  full  picture  is  kind  of  where  that  fashion  piece  really  really  locked  me  in.

As you said, you are now involved in the magazine. What has it been like going from  being the model to being the subject and actually having that creative control?

Honestly, becoming  the  creative  director  of  Lex  Style  magazine  is  one  of  my  biggest  accomplishments  today.  I  think  being  in  charge  of  the  visual  outlook  of  a  project  such  as  Lex Style  Mag has  put  a  huge  weight  on  my  shoulders  that  I’d  love  to  take  on. It’s really  giving  me  the  opportunity  to  take  my  wildest  dreams  and  put  it  out  into  a  visual  medium  and  share  it  with  the  world  is  something  that I  don’t  take  lightly.  I  think  it’s  something  that  takes  a  lot  of  time  and  effort,  it  takes  a  lot  of  attention  and  I  think  because  of  that  I’ve  been  able  to  take  all  of  my  years  of  modeling  and  understanding  what  poses  look  good  and  what  poses  don’t.

Kind  of  the  energy  behind  the  photo  and  what  clothes  will  look  good  and  what  poses.  I’ve  been  really  able  to  create  really  detailed  outlines  of  like  this  that  I  want  to  create  and  I  think  that’s  something  that  you  know  I’m  looking  to  bring  out  the  best  in  myself  for  this  magazine  and  for  others. I  also  do  freelance creative direction  for  other  brands, so  it’s  like  always  fun  to  be  able  to  express  myself  in  this  place. 

All  of  the  work  that  you  do  is  truly  so  inspirational  and  incredible. What  do  you  think  is  the  hardest  part  about  continuing  that?

Thank  you  so  much  for  joining  me.  Being  a  artist  and  how  you  feel.  I  think  the  hardest  part  about  consistently  releasing  creative  pieces  is  understanding  your  value  but  also  understanding  the  value  of  the  people  around  you.

I  think  as,  when  you’re  the  model,  everything’s  centered  around  you  and  how  you’re  feeling  and  what  you’re  getting  paid,  like  you’re,  you  know, the  experience.  you’re  getting,  but  when  you’re  really  the  creative  director,  when  you’re  really  at  the  top  of  that  situation,  it’s  more  about,  okay,  how  do  I  make  sure  these  people  that  are  helping  me  create  this  vision  that  I  have  feel  valued  and  feel, you  know,  I  see  the  best  of  our  abilities  and  feel  comforted  in  these  aspects.  I  think  that’s  one  of  the  hardest  things  because,  you  know,  obviously  in  this  world,  you  live  in  and  you  want  to  cut  down  on  costs  as  much  as  possible, but  also  it’s  like,  you  want  to  pay.  people  what  they’re  worth,  so  they  pay  for  what  they’re  worth.  I  like  saw  that,  it’s  like  trying  to  get  people  with  disabilities. 

What  has  been  like  your  biggest  inspiration,  both  in  fashion  and  music? 

I  played  football  in  college.  And  so  a  big  inspiration  in  my  fashion  sense  was  Odell Beckham  Jr.  Like,  he  was  getting  big  and  popular  in  football. His  outfits  on  and  off  the  field  were  always  the  same.  The  field  outfits  were  always  icy  and  dripped  out  with  the  signed  sneakers,  the custom likeness, you know,  how  he  used  to  do  it.

But  then  off  the  field,  it  was  also  him  showing  up  to  events drippy,  showing  his  style  off.  I  think  things  like  that  really  pushed  me  to  actually  work  towards  being  more  creative  with  my  outfits  on  and  off  the  field. In  terms  of  music,  I  think  somebody  that  really  inspired me was  Juice  Wrld,  I  think  I  will  say  “Lucid  Dreams”  came  at  a  time  that  I  needed  it.

And  I  think,  you  know,  just  that  being  his  day…  debut,  like,  hit  that  popped  off  for  him  and  that  was  the  one  that  caught  me  and  then  ever  since,  like,  I  listened  to  every  single  song  that  he  put  out  like,  that  was  someone  that  really  inspired  me  to  be  more  of  a  leader,  but  he  also  inspired  me  to  just  be  creative, I  don’t  think you  could  ever  say,  “Oh,  Juice  Wrld’s  gonna  rap  like  this  on  this  flow.”  It  was  always  something  completely  different  than  his  last  song,  something  completely,  you  know, new  but  it  had  the  same  feel,  the  same  environment  around  him,  right?  And,  you  know,  he  had  a  way  of  talking  about  like  really  hard  subjects  with  a  light  tone  that  made  him  want  to  party  while  you’re  listening  to  it, right?  Which  is  something  that  I  want  to  create,  but  also  different.  So  for  mine,  like,  I  definitely  don’t  take  as  much  of  the  drug  abuse  and  alcoholism  into  my  music. It’s complex  idealist,  you  know, abandonment. Heartfelt  pain.  The  concept  of, like,  where  you’re  supposed  to  be  and,   you  know,  like  flirting. I  want  to  do,  like,  really,  like,  take  those  archetypes  and  really  create  stories  in  my  music.  I  think  that’s  really  what  I’m  focusing  on  right  now.

I  think  that’s  really  the  beauty  of  music.  You’re  able  to  take  inspiration, and  take  ideas, while  also  interacting  with  your  own  personality,  your  own  blood, which is so  incredible  and  great  to  see  from  you. 

And  what  are  we? 

So  what  I’ll  say  right  now  is  there’s  going  to  be  an  influx  of  art, an  influx  of  modeling  and  an  influx  of  music.  Right  now  my  goal  is  in  this  2023.  year  are  to  get  three  good  releases  and  build  up  a  catalog  behind  them  so  that  I  have  a  lot  to  push  out  for  everybody, as  well  as  create  four  really  good  covers  and  magazines  to  release  out  to  the  public  and  to  collaborate  with  as  many  talented  artists  as  I  can.  Like  my  goal  is  not  to  get  up  there  by  myself, my  goal  is  to  bring  everybody  out  here  at  50  and  I  think  that  when  we  create  a  community  of  people  that  support  each  other  and  uplift  each  other  in  this  fashion  and  music  space,  that’s  when  we  really  drive, right?  Because  you’re  only  as  good  as  your  network,  and  it’s  only  as  good  as  how  many  people  you  have  with  you  in  your  team,  right?  And,  you  know,  what  they  like  to  say  is  network  federally,  don’t  network  forward.

Because  you  never  know  who  in  your  circle  is  going  to  be  the  next  one  up,  and  you’re  all  riding  together.  So  that’s  going  to  be  good.  there.  So,  it  just  supports  people  around  you,  it  supports  the  day  one,  it’s  going  to  come  the  day  zero, it’s  going  to  rock.  Well,  I  am  so  very  excited  to  see  what’s  next  for  Beyonce.  Everybody  should  be  on  the  watch  for  what’s  coming  next.  He’s  going  to  be  hitting  us  with  new  music,  have  sure  new  books, new  shoots.  So  please  be  on  the  lookout  for  him!

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Feature: Alivia Wraith

Alivia Wraith

Miss Girl. How are you doing today, love?
I’m doing wonderful. It’s a gorgeous day for being the peak of winter.

So where does your inspiration for fashion come from? Because, you know, as an artist, I feel like fashion is a really great medium to express yourself.
That’s true. You know, I, in the fifth grade, on Halloween, I spent like a month making a milk carton costume from scratch out of a water heater box. I painted the whole thing by hand. So I’ve been designing my own things, just kind of making things up since I was very little. And then my hairstyles, I kind of just get created with it the same way I do with like music, painting, and I just make stuff up. And along the way, I’ve learned what I like and what I don’t like. It really helped me formulate my style. And I do get inspiration from like, inspirations that inspire me in music, also inspire my style. I like a girl that can do both, so I’m either dressed like this, or like big t -shirt baggy jeans. Yeah, I just kind of go with whatever I’m feeling in the mirror. I just make it up. I love that. No, I think, you know, it’s good to be able to do both, to do everything, you know?

You mentioned you get a lot of inspiration from your fashion and from music. So who are your top inspirations for music right now?
Totally. I want to say for right now, because it’s always evolving. changing. My main inspiration, the girl that’s like speaking to me right now, is Melanie Martinez. Just to see how far she’s got, she’s come from the get -go. She started performing on like Hollywood Boulevard and now she’s just evolved into this whole character. Her visuals go crazy. So definitely Melanie Martinez, Billie Eilish totally. I used to get told that I sounded like her when I did more of my airy, whispery vocals. So I started listening to her music and I found that she’s definitely, she speaks to me too. It goes all the way back to the 90s. I grew up listening to like Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine. So I have like a little grungy side to me too. Mazzy Star. She was like one of the first artists that I learned how to play her music on piano. So I have like, I pull from all genres. I love music and it just, in general, like I said, it’s always, it’s always changing. But if I could pick one person that’s inspiring to the most right now would be Melanie Martinez.
I can definitely see that. I also grew up listening to Melanie Martinez and just like seeing her music videos. She was very like expressive about herself the way she dressed and like I can very much that and what you give up too so and I love that.

I love you! So you mentioned, you know, learning how to play the piano and so I know back in November you had your first performance where you did piano live. How was that experience for you? I’m sure there was some nerves. Like how did you deal with that? What was that like? Tell us about it.
Thank you so much for like… recognizing that. It was amazing because I remember like one of my first memories back I wasn’t even walking it. I don’t know how old I was. My dad got me like a one-octave toy piano. I just remember the feeling I had when I touched it and and then I got keyboards but I’ve always played in my bedroom so there’s definitely a lot of nerves involved playing live through a live session on logic on stage with my interface plugged in. It was all new to me but it felt invigorating. My hands were shaking but it was really cool. I could feel the energy gravitating towards me that people were really like kind of stunned that wow like the sounds that we’re hearing she actually plays these on the keys in her room and like really does produce this music. It was it was exhilarating and I’m excited to do it more. I have a lot more songs that I’m gonna be playing live on keyboard. I have a guitarist so I’m coming back to like the live instrumentation. I think it’s really important to keep that alive. Yeah it felt amazing. I just I remember just like my hands shaking and I had like these nails on the other day and I realized like I can’t even have my nails done because otherwise it gets in way of the keys yeah but I’m excited to be able to do that and sing at the same time. It’s a great experience.

How do you unwind after your performances? I’m sure you know they can give an adrenaline rush.
I will say I started a sober journey not long ago I’m not counting the days because it’s too much pressure but that performance you spoke of where I played the keys live was actually my first show that I’ve ever performed 100% sober and although it was nerve-wracking I didn’t feel hungover the next day so my new my new sort of ritual before the show lots of tea I enjoy throat coat room temperature water no dairy I just really take care of my vocal cords about a week before and after I am so like how do I describe this I’m answering the phone the day after I know the fucking thank you okay we get it you have a car I’m I’m a big little bear the day after my show I don’t like answering the phone even though there’s like videos being sent to me I do enjoy hibernating a lot I isolate just to like recharge my social and energetic battery I listen to more sound frequencies than like actual music of lyrics I mean I really take care of my soul after I give it on stage the night before and it used to take me like four days to do that hibernation ritual but now that I’m not drinking or doing anything before my shows that’s gonna damage me it only takes like a day and a half for me to hibernate but I definitely like to keep to myself and hide a little bit after I perform now

That’s cool and you mentioned something about me listening to frequencies and stuff so I kind of like what is that about I know music I mean frequencies can be healing you know certain decibels and things like that so what is that for you how did you get into that?
A while back, I went to this music festival in 2015 called Lightning in a Bottle and there was a portion of the festival that provided you with sound healing and you would lay down and you would close your eyes and people would have sound bowls, all different types of musical instruments that gave you vibration, no lyrics, no sort of arrangement or production, just sounds from things and it was so healing that I looked into it and there’s frequencies in everything. Music is a vibration so a sound frequency is essentially just like a vibration in a certain tone. There’s brown noise, white noise. I like the 5-8 frequency. It supposedly, I don’t know a whole lot about it, but supposedly it does bring you peace and I, it might be placebo but I know that it’s worked for me personally. Just sound frequencies help you to stay calm, collect yourself. It also works for my dogs. When I leave the house, I’ll turn on sound frequencies and they will behave. So I know there’s something in that. I really enjoy listening to it. There’s some for abundance, negative energy, leaving the room. So it’s essentially like sound vibration like the way that Sage does to a room is the same way but with sound.

I think EDM is kind of the same way. There are not many lyrics, but the bass, you feel the vibrations and it really does something to you.
I’m getting goosebumps just like when you speak about it like that. Yes, absolutely.

It really sounds like you’ve been in performing for a really long time so how long have you been performing for?
I’m still a baby. It was towards the end of 2022 but it was really inconsistent. I was still trying to figure out my sound, my image, consistency. And then just last fall, I started getting booked left and right, still going on. I’ve had to turn down shows and I’m just like, it’s amazing to see how fast you can go from one way to another. I really haven’t been performing for that long but I know that it’s in me to continue to perform consistently for honestly the rest of my life, even if it’s in my own bedroom.

In just a few words, how would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to you before?
Emotionally driven frequency. I’m just thinking about if someone has never heard my music and it’s something that they were basing it off of those three words, they’re able to connect to emotion and they know about sound frequency. I feel that that really captivates my music a lot. I am like coming out with newer sounds and a lot of it is more instrument since my keyboards, ever since I got a new keyboard, it’s become more about the sound and the lyrics don’t need to be all throughout the sound. And emotionally driven being when you’re most inspired, like the strongest records I have out came from a very hurt place or a very happy place or I was inspired by somebody that I know and always the strongest records for me at least come from a very, very, very, heartfelt place. So emotionally driven is, I mean that’s how I moved too. I love to, I always tell this to people like who come to me like stressed out or come by to me like always move with love and that’s one of my mottoes and I feel like my music really captivates that too. Emotionally driven frequency. I’m just thinking about if someone has never heard my music and it’s something that they were basing it off of those three words, they’re able to connect to emotion and they know about sound frequency. I feel that that really captivates my music a lot. I am like coming out with newer sounds and a lot of it is more instrument since my keyboards, ever since I got a new keyboard, it’s become more about the sound and the lyrics don’t need to be all throughout the sound. And emotionally driven being when you’re most inspired, like the strongest records I have out came from a very hurt place or a very happy place or I was inspired by somebody that I know and always the strongest records for me at least come from a very, very heartfelt place. So emotionally driven is, I mean that’s how I moved too. I love to, I always tell this to people like who come to me like stressed out or come by to me like always move with love and that’s one of my mottoes and I feel like my music really captivates that too.

What does 2024 have in store for you?
That’s a loaded question, but like a really good one. I have a guitarist now. I have a sound engineer, a stage person that will like set up my aesthetic. I have a manager. So with that, there’s a lot of groundwork that I’ve been doing behind closed doors and there’s a lot of new sounds coming. I don’t want to say too much, but what’s in store is bigger than life. It’s bigger than me. And I just, my goal with everything that’s gonna happen for me and that’s gonna come out and be released into the world is, it’s not that I’m here, it’s how I made you feel. And all I want to do is just touch people with my music the same way that I was touched or the same way that I felt when I wrote it. I just want to make sure that, people, it’s how they feel when I’m in the room. I have a couple singles coming out and some pretty big shows coming up too. And I’m just gonna continue to create honestly all along the way.

Where is the next performance? Where should we go see you live?
It’s actually four days away. So I don’t know, like if that’s too soon or whatever it’s just to talk about it, but it’s adult only on sunset. The aesthetic is like 80s, 90s, soft core porn. It’s very sensual. Oh, like neon lighting. Yeah, it’s like really fun. And I’m on at 9 .30 PM. So it’s nice to have like a decent hour set time. Yeah, four days away, presale tickets available. And it’s also going to be my birthday performance. So it just happened to fall two days before my birthday. So I figured, well, I’m gonna play a show and then hibernate. This might as well be my birthday party too.

Where can we find you on social media platforms and to listen to your music?
Totally. So it’s Alivia Wraith is my name. Olivia with an A. It’s gonna be A -L -I -V -I -A and then W -R -A -I -T -H.

Amazing. Y ‘all better go check her out. Thank you so much for coming to speak with us today. I’m so excited to see what 2024 has in store for you.
Thank you. I’m honored to be in your presence. I’m honored to be here. Thank you guys for listening to me!

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