Dear Teen Choice Awards,

 

Just Jared-1Do you see that everyone? ‘Slain’ singer #ChristinaGrimmie has won at tonight’s #TeenChoiceAwards! Isn’t that lovely? Though you should know, it is an absolute shame that the Teen Choice Awards couldn’t even find a way to honor Christina Grimmie during their two hour segment. It’s more than the fact the talented 22-year-old had her life cut short in June when an obsessed fan chose to open fire on her after a concert in Orlando. This is a horrible loss that still continues to send chills down everyone’s spines. It’s something that no one can seem to wrap their head around. But oh, it’s much more than that.

If you weren’t aware, Christina was no rookie when it came to Teen Choice Award nominations. This was actually her third nomination in a row for “Choice Web Star: Music.” Christina finally earned the title this evening and let me tell you, she would be over the moon to accept what would have been to her such a prestigious honor, but is it even so much as a ‘prestigious honor?’ Recently, YouTube personality, Shane Dawson shared with the public that the Teen Choice Awards are and have always been rigged, using their audience for nothing more than traffic. Traffic? You mean like this?

 

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“Retweet in honor of her memory for #ChoiceMusicWebStar.” Retweet, really? In her memory? How about creating a piece that rightfully acknowledges Christina and the mark she has made on the entertainment industry? Or, what about Christina death’s when you chose to devote time for a tearjerking tribute with the victims and relatives of gun violence victims? Each and every shooting was devastating and senseless– Christina’s included. So, why wasn’t she recognized? Not even once?

Jessica Alba held back tears from her eyes when she said “Tonight we stand together with these teens, united in our call for peace and an end to this violence. Now more than ever, we need to stop, feel and ask what’s going on.” She’s right. We absolutely do need to stop this madness and fill our hearts with love and compassion for one another. Christina’s death was no an exception to this matter. But, this gun violence also took Christina away from us all. She was a young woman with a heart of gold and a love for music as big as can be. A beautiful angel with a long life to live was robbed– because of gun violence. Nothing said about her, yet I guarantee she is still glowing down from heaven over that meaningless surfboard.

I’m really glad you also thought it was important to hold a poll on online for a “Choice President,” encouraging the audience at home to tweet for either Donald or Hillary. I’m glad you found time to announce that the teen’s favored Crooked Hilary as their nomination, using your fixed award show to persuade the youth of America that now is the time to put our faith in what would be a women milestone. Whoa, maybe it is a good thing that teens can’t actually vote. Hey Teen Choice, didn’t anyone ever tell you not to speak about politics in public? It’s a common courtesy thing, so you may be unfamiliar with this knowledge. If you do choose to throw in some political attributes, next time don’t forget to remind the public that there is a potential third party candidate. Viewers don’t have to be brainwashed by FOX’s desire for the upcoming election. Instead, try making them aware that our future doesn’t have to lie in the hands of Donald or Hillary. How you doin’, Gary Johnson?

 

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Well, at least you let us all know that when it comes to the United States and the country’s rights, our votes count. I guess we can’t really say the same about your award show, huh?Shane Dawson ytad-page-001.jpg

For anyone who doubted Shane, he hit the nail on the head. Christina’s name and fame was solely used to drive traffic to the voting process and advertise this grimy award celebration that doesn’t even have the audacity to pay a simple, yet well deserving tribute. Do not exploit an icon’s death strictly for promotion purposes, only to neglect her in the live show. Not only is it sick and heartless to the core, but it is incredibly disrespectful. Take a minute and think about Christina’s family, friends and loved ones. Did you consider that they too have all been deeply affected by gun violence? I can only imagine what it would have meant for them to accept Christina’s award in her name, even just to see a dedication or montage honoring the rising star.

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Photo courtesy of Grimmie’s official FB

I know I’m not the only one here who is incredibly pissed over the fact they wasted two hours of their life. We’re talking about two long, tasteless content-filled hours I will never get back. Producers, you had the perfect opportunity to honor the late Christina who was not only a long time nominee and fan of the TCAs, but a role model surrounded by a ray of light that never once stopped shining. You couldn’t even do that. Not to worry, with or without your shitty award show, Christina’s memory will live on through her soulful music and dedicated. Her manager, Brian Teefey announced this week that Christina’s unreleased music videos under her EP will be available on both her Facebook and YouTube pages. Teefey added “Anytime you decide to watch these videos, send a tweet with #ChristinaGrimmie let’s trend her all month.”

It’s okay, Teen Choice. You only snubbed Christina’s posthumous award from airing and broke the hearts of eager fans listening for her name while they were painfully stuck watching a performance by Flo Rida. (nothing personal Flo, merely a fan dedicated to classics that encourage questionable fashion choices like Apple Bottom jeans and boots with the fur)

I am a strong believer that the world is big enough for all of us and that each and every one of us out there can live together in peace. I stand by all of those who lost their loved ones to gun violence. Sandy Hook, Aurora, Dallas, Baton Rouge and Orlando are only a few of the tens of thousand preventable tragedies that occur due to gun violence. They are only a few of the tens of thousands victims that are innocently targeted. I stand by the families of Christina Grimmie and everyone else out there who is forced to painfully grieve their losses caused by illogical gun violence.

The victims will forever be in our hearts– a much realer place than on a soul deprived screen.

 

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Camille Peruto: South Jersey’s Rising Star

93.3 WMMR’s Jacky BamBam described her as “endless talent.” Now, it’s time for the rest of the world to fall in love with Camille Peruto‘s angelic voice.

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Photo Courtesy of Camille Peruto Music

Camille has grown up with a passion for playing guitar and writing music, her sound covering genres from pop, to folk, to rock, with even a hint of country. Now, at the age of 21, the singer songwriter is striving to make a name for herself in the business.

It was just 3 years ago when Camille’s unique cover of Fun’s Some Nights received over 23,000 views on YouTube. Little did she know, she would soon be embarking on even crazier and more life changing experiences that would better her musical endeavors.

            Check out Camille’s debut album, Sparrow on iTunes

After competing on Season 14 of American Idol and having her journey cut short in Hollywood during group rounds, Camille left the singing competition with her head high and not a single regret to her name. (But seriously, how can one even be anywhere close to regretful after receiving a standing ovation from Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr.?!)

This was clearly only the beginning of Camille’s bright future. Just as they say, when one door closes, another one opens.

Well, that door opened for Camille within a few months. It wouldn’t be long before she is opening up for Anna Nalick at the Havana Club in New Hope. Most of you are probably familiar with Nalick’s song, Breathe (2AM). Hint: If your memory is hazy, here’s one way to remember it… it’s the song that plays during the infamous bomb episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

These big breaks were only the start of Camille’s success, as she continued to perform in big name venues such as The World Café Live and Tin Angel.

Now Camille may not have won American Idol, but it wasn’t a lose-lose situation. What is most important is what she was able to take away from it all, such as newly discovered knowledge about the music industry, in addition to getting a good grasp on what it takes to make it on her own.

Camille is fully equipped with the confidence and determination to achieve greatness. After finally paying off her first album back in February, she is more than ready to begin a new project and take her music places it has never been before.

Make sure you stop and see Camille play at one of the many gigs she has lined up for the month of April. For more information, you can check out her official Facebook page or click here to view a detailed schedule of her upcoming performances.

  • Thursday, April 7thErnest & Scott Taproom, Wilmington (5:30pm – 7:30pm)
  • Friday, April 8th– Anglesea Pub, Wildwood (8:30pm-12:00am)
  • Saturday, April 9thOpening for The Art of Walking, Turnersville (7pm-8pm)
  • Monday, April 11th–  Santa Fe Mexican Grill, Wilmington ( 10:20pm-TBD)
  • Wednesday, April 13th– Telethon, TBD (7pm-8pm)
  • Thursday, April 14th– Harvest Seasonal Grille & Wine Bar, Philadelphia (7pm-10pm)
  • Friday, April 15th– Saxbys Coffee, Haddonfield (7pm-9pm)
  • Friday, April 22nd– Blue Bell Country Club, Blue Bell PA (6pm-9pm)
  • Thursday, April 28thThe Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant, Blue Bell PA (6pm-9pm)
  • Friday, April 29th-Jersey Java, Haddonfield (6pm-9pm)
  • Saturday, April 30th– Oarhouse, Millville (9pm-1am)
  • Tuesday, May 3rd– Rowan University (12:45pm-2:30pm)
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Collective Soul Shines At Margaritaville

Collective Soul certainly didn’t fail to ‘shine’ at Tuesday night’s SoJO Session. Lead vocalist, Ed Roland and lead guitarist, Jesse Triplett joined SoJO 104.9 to put on a free show at Margaritaville inside Resorts Atlantic City.

As a digital intern for SoJO 104.9, I was fortunate enough to have front row for Collective Soul’s performance. I also got the opportunity to meet both Ed and Jesse, who were absolute sweethearts.

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Your Roadtrip Will Be Incomplete Without These Jams

As Spring Break is finally here and everyone is beginning to take their cross country adventures, I have put together a list of a few songs to get you and your friends through that long, tiresome drive to your destination.

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  1. I Drove All NightCeline Dion
  2. The Great Escape– Boys Like Girls
  3. Ocean Avenue– Yellowcard
  4. Drive– Incubus
  5. Island In The Sun– Weezer
  6. Perfect Day– Hoku
  7. The Middle– Jimmy Eat World
  8. Life Is A Highway– Tom Cochrane
  9. Cruise– Florida Georgia Line
  10. Top Down– Fifth Harmony
  11. Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)– Aaron Carter
  12. Gottta Get Away– The Black Keys
  13. On Top Of The World– Imagine Dragons
  14. Road Less Traveled– Lauren Alaina
  15. Born To Run– Bruce Springteen

Have any songs that you want to add to the list? Make sure to comment below and share them with us!

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Rihanna’s Album Is Doing More Than Topping The Charts: It’s Empowering Confidence

“Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can wear.”

“Confidence breeds beauty.”

“Confidence is the secret to all beauty.”

We see quotes like these semi regularly on social media, and although I disagree that the only reason to have confidence in yourself is to be more attractive, they really do have a point. Confidence helps you in every aspect of your life. Sadly, a lot of the time respect has to be demanded and working on my self confidence has definitely helped me to demand it. Listening to Rihanna’s  album, ANTI has got me thinking about confidence and the part it plays in sexuality.

Having confidence in myself and working on developing my sense of self worth has really helped me sexually. I would honestly say that I owe a certain amount of this to pop/R&B singers like Rihanna, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj; being able to access the messages of women who preach such unabashed self love. I’m able to tell myself I am “Flawless.”

This is the reason that a lot of people will be more likely to approach sexual situations while they’re drunk, as it simulates confidence. This idea makes sense but is ultimately misguided. Alcohol also causes loss of inhibitions, which can lead to reckless and harmful decision making.

I’ve found that some people’s reaction to self confidence is to treat it as arrogance or cockiness. I agree that there is a line to be drawn, but I have never read Rihanna’s attitude as one of arrogance. All I can see is self love and self empowerment. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, if love isn’t coming from you then where is it coming from? Why should we have to rely on other people to validate us?

So, as Rihanna has helped me to channel my sexuality and self confidence, I wanted to share some of this in three sections.

SEXUAL CONFIDENCE:

“Sex With Me” is a bonus track from Rihanna’s new album, in which she speaks about sexual confidence and pleasure. This is something we’re still not quite used to. The idea of a woman owning her sexuality to this extent is still shocking to us. The knee jerk reaction might be to dismiss her saying she’s cocky. The idea of everyone enjoying and being open about enjoying sex is still taboo. This is why this song is so important. Why can’t we say sex with me is amazing? Why can’t we feel good about ourselves without being put down?

INDEPENDENCE:

While we know that we are at liberty to own our sexuality – it is wrong to assume that everything we do is sexual or romantic. It’s a shame that this assumption is made. As a woman it is still often assumed that you are just killing time until you can get married and start popping out babies. Here, Rihanna iterates something that is important for us all to remember— I am self sufficient. I am already complete.

BODY POSITIVITY:

Here, Rihanna defends the sheer crystal dress she wore to the CFDA Fashion Awards in 2015. It’s not expected that everyone should have this level of body confidence, but it’s something I think we should try to channel. I understand that it’s one thing to do this if you have a body that is widely socially accepted as ‘sexy’ as Rihanna’s is, but I definitely think it’s valuable for everyone to work on projecting this attitude no matter what body type you have.

Confidence inspires confidence, I am lucky to be surrounded in my life by beautiful, unapologetic, independent people who own their bodies and own their sexuality; however, if I didn’t listen to the message from Rihanna and women like her, then I would not be able to have the confidence that I do today.

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Songs For A Better Tomorrow

Music has been my absolute go-to for every situation I have experienced in life. A certain song or album can take me back to my childhood, provide me with the words I had been searching for when I’m in love or when my heart is broken, be my inspiration to be the best version of me I can be, help me realize that I’m not alone in what I’m feeling, make a bad day less brutal and make a good day even more extraordinary.

Music is a vital part of my life, and I am almost positive I couldn’t live without it.

I’ve never been able to quite pinpoint what my music taste is since it’s always been all over the place, but I’m excited to share a few of my favorite songs and introduce some diversity into your own, personal lives.

  1. The Mixed TapeJack’s Mannequin
  2. Somebody Else– The 1975
  3. Don’t Wait– Dashboard Confessional
  4. Bed of Lies– Nicki Minaj ft. Skylar Grey
  5. Almost Lover– A Fine Frenzy
  6. Remembering Sunday– All Time Low ft. Juliet Simms
  7. Give Me Love– Ed Sheeran
  8. Remind Me– Brad Paisley ft. Carrie Underwood
  9. XO– John Mayer
  10. Erase Me– Kid Cudi ft. Kayne West
  11. One and Only– Adele
  12. Smother Me– The Used
  13. When I Look At You– Miley Cyrus
  14. With Me– Sum 41
  15. Stop The World, I Wanna Get Off With You– Arctic Monkeys
  16. A Drop In The Ocean– Ron Pope
  17. Aftertaste– Shawn Mendes
  18. Ten Days– Missy Higgins
  19. Hard To Love– Lee Brice
  20. Ordinary People– John Legend
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Artist of the Week: MenEnd

19-year-old MenEnd was born in Madrid, Spain where he lived until he moved to California to attend college in fall of 2014. Since he was a kid, MenEnd always had a sense for writing songs and loved to sing. A couple of years ago, he caught the attention of a big label and gained a great deal of experience.

When he came to college, MenEnd gathered some studio equipment he placed in his residence room and began making music independently. Influenced mainly by R&B artists like Chris Brown, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, he started off working with a producer who was a fellow student (MaxiimusProd) After three months, MenEnd moved out and decided to produce his own songs. While he recorded his work, he uploaded several covers to his SoundCloud account, some of which got a large number of views. “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” by Chris Brown, received a personal record of 55,000 plays.

During Christmas 2014, MenEnd gave his first live performance in Madrid for friends and family. With the financial help of his mother, he created his own independent music label called All Back Records S.L. Under his new record label, his first official single was “Go Harder!” This was the first EDM song that MenEnd produced. Through the rest of the school year, he continued recording more songs and shot his first video for “GVMES”, a sexy slow R&B song which featured Yung Gogs. He shot a couple more videos after, eventually dropping a 4 song EP called “XIXCA”. In 2015, MenEnd also got a sponsorship with the brand, Rude Boy Asia.

In June of that year, he dropped his debut album “The One to Fall.” This album had 16 original songs and five features. It mixed R&B with pop, with EDM into an entire MenEnd presentation experience. MenEnd recorded his full album in California and gave three performances in Madrid. He became one of the favorite artists of the popular venue, Café la Palma.

While promoting his album, MenEnd kept working on new songs with a more mellow and acoustic, ‘poppish’ style. He dropped his first single for this project in September of last year, a romantic ballad called “Summer Love.” This song sampled voices and piano synths. After this, MenEnd dropped two more songs. “Black Hat” has gotten over 65.500 views on SoundCloud and is the #1 song on his Spotify profile. In December, the album “Blue Kingdom” finally dropped. It was presented in Café la Palma, which was also MenEnd’s very first sold out crowd.

“I have not released anything yet after Blue Kingdom, as I have been hitting the studio and perfecting my sound. I have also been building relationship with different emerging artists I am working with to create their own character and brand. I plan on releasing some videos in the next month, and a short 4 song EP after that. This process might take time, but I will unofficially release some music for all of my fans waiting patiently.” -MenEnd

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Follow MenEnd on Twitter to keep up with his latest posts!

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