What is big hair and who gets to classify what big hair is? Is big hair out of style or is it not looked at as a trend? Is big hair not professional, or does it depend upon the demographic one resides in? I tend to switch between flat ironing my hair to make it straight, flat and eventually becoming boring versus my big curly hair. The best thing about straight hair is that it slims my face tremendously. I don’t like when people say that I wear my hair “natural”. No, when my hair is curly, I’m just wearing my hair the way it is after water has hit it, the way it comes out of my scalp. I was born with my hair so therefore, there is nothing natural about it…it’s just my hair. When people say “natural” hair, I think kinky, Afrocentric, etc. I’m far from Afrocentric and my hair isn’t kinky. I’ve ran into multicultural young ladies who think my hair is “cool” or that I’m a “brave soul” to wear my hair the way I do. There is nothing brave about my hair. My hair is my hair and I like that curly hair has volume. The only time I really have problems with it, is when the wind wants to be an ass and try to fight me, because he usually wins. Other than that, I do what people with hair do, I guess. I wash my hair every day, regardless of people thoughts stating that that damages your hair. My shampoo doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate because I want as few chemicals in my hair as possible, but I don’t know if that’s even possible with the way everything is made nowadays. I condition my hair at least once every two weeks. My conditioner contains natural/earthly oils and is specifically made for curly hair. I’m not a fan of brushes; I’m more of a comb person, unless I’m trying to slick some hair back. I dry my hair with a Microfiber towel instead of a regular cotton bath towel because that brings unwanted frizz. If I want my hair to dry extremely fast, then I use a Soft Bonnet hair dryer because those give me the flexibility of not having to have a stiff neck; stiff necks sucks, extremely uncomfortable. I straighten my hair to cut my split ends at least twice a year. And when I say cut my split ends…I cut my split ends no matter how short it may make my hair. Hair can never grow back healthy if you only cut some of your split ends because you’re afraid of not having the length of hair that you want. But everyone has different hair and has to find the right products and regimen that best fits them. No one should ever be afraid of their own hair and do some much to try to change it because they’re just lazy beings. But I love my big hair. Sometimes I even comb through my curls to make them bigger and I just skip around on a sunny day like a wild child, letting my even bigger hair flow in the wind. The point of this post is that you should be comfortable with everything within/outside of you, and about you…hair isn’t excluded.
It’s still the 2006-2007 school year and I’m still in California. I changed high schools though. Started back going to school in Pasadena, CA; decided to take up choir for the last time. Mr. Douglas was my choir teacher, and boy was he amazing! I ended up not only being in choir, but I was selected as an alto for B.I.B.S. which consisted of about 15 of us. I also got to perform at the Pasadena Playhouse with Up with People, and had some solos in our yearly “Ovations” Broadway-styled musical. We went on so many musical outings and random performances as well. I joined so much stuff at that school. I remember telling my dad I didn’t want to be on movie sets all day like my younger brother, I wanted to be at school…so that’s what I did. I promised it felt like a singer’s boot camp. I learned so many vocal techniques. I learned to accept my tone, how to pronounce vows differently that better suited my voice, listen to myself better and pronounce better. I think my favorite thing was vibrato. I have to say that because of this, I became more interested in background vocals and ad-libs vs. the main vocal. I started hearing melodies more clearly. At this time I also started recognizing different songwriter’s styles. I was head over heels for any The Dream or Rock City (Planet VI) written song. I also took a liking to Ne-Yo, Dre & Vidal, Adonis Shropshire and Sean Garrett’s writing style. All of these songwriters had melodies that caught my attention; it wasn’t even about the lyrics with these guys for me. So I had the females (Amy & Maria) for the lyrics, and the guys for the melodies. I started to despise singing a little bit. It was starting to become a chore. Singing in the shower and karaoking is extremely different than having to sing for an audience. With all the techniques that I learned, singing became more of a thinking process than something you would just do. I tried to keep that stuff pushed far in the back of my mind. Pasadena was calling all the high school students in the district to try out for a talent show, so I did. I performed ♪Like A Boy♪ by Ciara. I had added my on outro at the end that I wrote, I even had it choreographed a little, had a chair for my prop. I still knew I was no Mariah Carey…I accepted Rihanna lol! I was pretty and I could perform, so who cared if I could “sang” as long as I could sing/long talk. I ended up finding out that I got a spot on the show from a friend of mines on the day of the show. My dad had took my cell phone away because of some court stuff he was going through with my mom, had to be the only reason, so he had put his number down for the contact information. My dad never checked his voicemail then so I knew it had been sitting in his voicemail. My best friend tried to offer me an outfit of hers to wear but I turned it down. It was just too last minute. When it comes to performing, I don’t feel comfortable unless everything is right…and outfit looks are a major part for me. But I got a chance to perform later on that year at something held for my school. I can’t remember what it was for but I remember performing ♪Umbrella♪ by Rihanna. Of course I had an umbrella that matched my outfit, opened it up and everything on stage lol. I love the stage; it would be a lie to say I didn’t. Summer of 2007 I came to the conclusion though that maybe I could just sing background vocals somewhere or on some album. I would just demo my own songs that I write instead of looking for the perfect singer…Diane Warren does it and she’s not even a singer, but she is a songwriting legend! I had had enough of technical singing, I missed shower singing. I turned my attention to songwriting only.
I really did move back to Texas at the drop of the dime. A couple of days before I moved I ended up vowing that I was done with my “puppy love”. He called me as soon as I got on the road and I didn’t tell him that I was leaving Cali at all. I felt that he took me for granted, so who cared. He called me again the day after I arrived in back in Dallas, and then I finally told him. I hung up with no remorse and I never looked back. What someone should of told me was that something was coming that would change my life for years to come, and shape a lot of things. I had gone up to my new school to get the new student packet and I remember this guy poked his head in the office and in my head I said, “Well I may like this school. He’s cute, and besides my best friend is here anyways. This can’t be so bad.” I hit it off with the guys instantly. School was about over for the 8th grade year anyway but there were some cuties. The first two guys I went with provided some hilarious songwriting material. Everything about that place provided some good songs for me. I finally lived in a neighborhood that I actually went outside in so it was some good inspiration to write about different topics. I ended up going with the guy that poked his head in the office. I ended up producing about 500 songs inspired by him over the course of the next 7 years (2005-2011). He ended moving away but we kept in touch as you see. August of 2005 I started high school. A lot of dating and having fun, I joined Drill Team so I was always at the games or at some type of function. A lot of fun songs and just overall a lot of random songs were written then. I became a huge fan of music videos, my CD collection was just ridiculous, and I wasn’t listening to the radio as much as I used to. Winter of 2006 I ended up moving back to Palmdale, CA to live with my dad. It was weird, all of a sudden my dad got super strict when I got to high school. I was literally going crazy because I couldn’t talk to that guy that had poked his head in the office that day. My dad wouldn’t let me talk on the phone or use the internet for a month because I was on punishment. That month seemed like years when I was in love. I know that if we didn’t live on different coasts I probably would of ran away and told him let’s get married and have a family so I’ll have to never go back to that forsaken place lol! I was truly in love. Even though I was only 14, I knew it and to this day, I haven’t experienced anything like that again. Since I couldn’t talk to him, I stayed locked up in my room with the lights out, turning a lamp on every now and then. I would only come downstairs to eat, and I wouldn’t stay long because I didn’t really want to eat. I started a journal to help my take my mind off of him. That helped a little but I knew I would just have to confront the problem head on. So I wrote, I wrote, I wrote and I wrote. It was days where I would write 3 songs and be done. Some days I couldn’t handle it as much as others so I would write 20 songs that day. The middle of February came around and I could easily write a song for you in 15 minutes: Verse 1, Verse 2, Chorus, B-Section (Pre-Hook), Bridge and occasionally Intros and Outros. I finally got to talk to him and I don’t know if that helped on hindered me. I fell in love with him even more, but I could tell that yeah he loved me, but he wasn’t in love with me, which lead to even more songs. My songs and my journals were filled with him. I couldn’t escape it even if I wanted to. I need another outlet. Every Monday night I would listen to FNF Radio which consisted of Lupe Fiasco and Bishop G. This was before Lupe even dropped his first album. I spent hours updating and organizing my iPod. I MySpaced my life away, but he was there too. I would talk on the phone with friends but even when I hated him, I still wanted to talk to him, but then I didn’t. I started finding reasons to stay after school, I started watching the channel, The N, heavy; but Degrassi reminded me of youth “love” problems. Some days I actually got tired of writing and just wanted to do something else. I can’t remember how it happened, but I found an artist by the name of Maria Mena randomly on Limewire. Yes I was a huge fan of Limewire. I still went to the store to by albums, but Limewire gave me access to Mixtapes, Unreleased tracks, Demos and artists that I didn’t have access to because they didn’t release their music in the United States. Maria Mena happened to be one of those people who didn’t release her music in the United States, she is Norwegian. Her album ♫Apparently Unaffected♫ mirrored how I felt for the guy that I was in love with, and it was scary! She wrote what I wanted to write but in a more lyrical way. To this day she is my favorite songwriter. She tells her stories unlike no other and you really have to listen closely sometimes in order to get what she is saying. She wrote from her soul. When I wrote about him, that’s where I wrote from as well, but I had never heard an artist write from their soul and it actually come across in their music. Her music was sad, pure, true…life changing. I began to lock myself in my room listening to this album over and over. Before Maria Mena came about, the end of 2005 and beginning of 2006 consisted of me listening to nothing Alternative Rock and Atlanta-based music. The summer of 2006 consisted of me having this ridiculous fantasy that I could become a part of the writing groups “The Clutch”, “The Underdogs” or “The Write House”. I started taking a liking to how blunt Lily Allen was, because it reminded me of how blunt I had become over the past year. I liked James Blunt, Corinne Baily Rae, Aaradhna, Fund*mental ’03 (FDM). Overseas music began to slowly creep in, but not as much as it did when 2007 rolled around. When I first saw the ♪You Know I’m No Good♪ video on VH1 Soul. Amy Winehouse instantly became my favorite singer. I had pushed poor Amerie, Mya and Teedra Moses to the side. If it wasn’t about Maria Mena, then it was about Amy Winehouse. I was now 15 and so different than how I was when I was 14. 15 solidified the person that I created of myself, and I am still her. I had become extremely blunt; I didn’t care about what people thought at all anymore, I became extremely open as a person. I knew my dad didn’t like it. Sometimes I would re-write my songs if they were written too sloppy. I would throw away the old copy. My dad would sometimes read them and he told me he didn’t like how I wrote. He didn’t like what I wrote about and he didn’t like my language. In my head I said, “Fuck it. Eh”. I looked at love differently at 15. I came to the realization that the guy that I was in love with would not love me the way I loved it. I accepted it, sucked it up and said that I will only let myself fall out of love with him if his actions allowed it. Every time he did something that would hurt or angered me, I shrugged it off and figuratively would take back a piece of my heart from him. Amy Winehouse’s ♫Back To Back♫ CD chronicled us then, without me being a drug addict of course. So I wrote, I wrote, I wrote and I wrote. And he kept showing me that this would be over soon, but while he was around I still loved him and so I kept writing. Amy showed me that lyrics could get to the point. Lyrics could be simple and in your face and still come from the soul. Amy Winehouse (UK) and Maria Mena (Norway) helped me realize so much about songwriting.
Skirts…what can I say? They are some challenging things. The first skirt I made was originally made for my older curvy sister. I kept trimming more and more away because it just looked too big. I shouldn’t have done that, because I ended up giving it to my no curves having younger sister (which is pictured above). Clothes look bigger when you don’t have them on. I then tried to remake another one, but that one ended up being my size. I’m not hippy, but I do have a little curve; and that is where the challenge lied. Making clothes to tailor to women’s curves are going to be a learning challenge for me. Maxi skirts are the easiest because they are just straight up and down, but I want to start making pencil skirts. With that, I have to remember to cut at an angle, and to make sure the waist part is smaller than the hip part. It would also be easier for a woman to fit into a fitted skirt if I use a zipper, instead of just an elastic band. I wouldn’t use buttons because I just don’t want to deal with that hassle. Buttons are probably easy, and I’m just making it harder than it seems…but they just look hard. You have to make the hole, and sew the button…yeah, not feeling that right now. Lol. But another challenge with skirts will be getting the inside to look as good as in the outside. I know people don’t wear skirts inside out, but I just take pride in my work. I must tackle the pencil skirt and mini skirt before I can move on to pants.
I haven’t been excited about a band in a minute. My favorite band is Vampire Weekend, but the competition is gaining. The band “The 1975” has produced 3 EP’s, and every single one has had me in awe. ♫Facedown♫, ♫Sex♫ and ♫Music For Cars♫ are totally jamming. I’m convinced that all the great music now-a-days comes out of the UK, seeing that this group of four hails from Manchester. Matthew Healy is the lead vocalist and he kills! Yes, his voice matches alternative rock, but he could do R&B too and you wouldn’t even think twice about the song. I love his background vocals. The instrumentalists in the band are crazy as well; I can ride to the instrumentals alone. Below, I have included my top three songs from them at the moment: ♪Heads.Cars.Bending♪, ♪Undo♪ and ♪Me♪. You won’t be disappointed, unless you’re super biased and can’t get with alternative rock…and if that is you, then you’re absolutely missing out.
Lupe Fiasco’s whole ♫Food & Liquor♫ album is a classic. This is not the sell-out ♫Lasers♫ album. With the ♫Food & Liquor♫ album he spoke about the realness. ♪Real♪ is one of my favorites; lyrical and truthful is what describes it. Listen…
7th grade I ended up moving back to Dallas, TX. Of course I joined the choir. My love for Amerie’s ♫All I Have♫ grew more and more every day to the point that I was looking at the credits like, “Who is responsible for this beautifully crafted music?” That CD made me start paying attention to the production of songs as well. Rich Harrison’s sound became something that I began to be familiar with. I wanted to write songs like that but I hadn’t experienced anything worthy. I had lost weight and had guys’ attention but I never was the reporter type. I’m not going to get with someone to have something to write about especially when I’m not making money off of it. Yes I had this crush that I used to write about but that wasn’t enough. Off topic: he is the only crush that I never confronted; I should have though…oh well. 2nd semester of 7th grade I ended up moving back to Pasadena, CA. I reunited back with my friends and gained a couple more. What made it the greatest thing was that we all were in choir together. If I wasn’t doing music, then I was dancing. Going to the Le Studio 3x a week taking Jazz, Flamenco and Hip-Hop influenced my music taste as well. I began paying attention to beat break downs, and learned about more genres. But it is only one singer that opened me up to something other than singing. Beyoncé showed me what performing/entertaining is. I had given up on trying being the best singer. It was not going to be possible; I didn’t and was never going to have the range of Mariah Carey and then runs of Christina Aguilera was so far-fetched for me. One thing I had was confidence, loved being on stage and I love acting/putting on a show for the crowd. I watched everything Beyoncé was on, I brought her DVDs, I taped her interviews, was front row at all her movies. It was freaking ridiculous! I didn’t want to be her, but I did want to be her best friend…so pitiful lol. Now-a-days I could care less about anyone that I don’t know personally. I had to learn how to separate the real person from the entertainer. As I digress, during the end of 7th grade at the yearly carnival I performed ♪Crazy In Love♪ by Beyoncé with two of my friends that had performed ♪Foolish♪ by Ashanti in 5th grade with me. I choreographed the whole thing. It was a mix of the ♪Crazy In Love♪ DVD dance movies with ♪Talk About Our Love♪ by Brandy. I had fun and the performance went well. Yeah my girls forgot some of the moves but who cared! 8th grade brought another realization for me. Marvin, my choir teacher brought in Jacques Apollo Bolton. I had remembered him for in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with Will went back to Philly and confronted his bully Omar. We’ll, he played Omar. We had to audition for him. If he liked us, he would invite us to a singing workshop with Patrice Rushan with Teena Marie as a guest. Teena’s daughter was in our choir so I knew she already had a spot. My good friend Alexia was the daughter of singer Aaron Hall, so automatically you knew she could blow and she had a spot. I ended up performing ♪If I Ain’t Got You♪ by Alicia Keys. I got in! I wasn’t so excited about singing, but more so about learning. There were a lot of amazing young singers at the workshop. I knew once again that I was mediocre as I performed ♪Have You Ever♪ by Brandy at the workshop. By then I had learned how to sing within my range so when they thought I was about to hit a super high soprano note, I had learned how to bring it down to just a high alto note. But one thing that I had over some of the best singers there, were my looks. I had begun to see the industry changing. The industry was starting to get sexed up and more clothes were coming off, and you couldn’t even count an ugly or fat person. I ended up leaving the workshop because I ended up moving to Palmdale, CA to this beautiful house, but it was soooo boring out there. Songwriting kept me company like no other. I fell into “Puppy Love” at 13. Boy, did I have so much to write about. He would treat me nice, then dirty, I became confused, he would disappear when I expressed how I felt, I would get angry…it was just a never ending cycle. I wrote, I wrote, I wrote. I guess you can say that that started my “relationship” styled songs. To this day I write the best relationship songs out of everything. I can tailor them any type of way: Sad, happy, angry, my fault, his fault, break-up, make-up, miss you, miss you and hate you, etc. A couple of weeks before my 14th birthday, I ended up moving back to Dallas. I no longer had interest in joining choir, because I could never stay at one school long enough to plant my feet.
I’ve been trying to sit down and sew for about 6 months, and the day finally came. I love skinny ties so I figured ties would be the easiest project to start first. I had already said that my baby nephew and godson would get the first products so I made little ties. I started with this sewing pattern I had but it just wasn’t working for me. Instead I looked at one of my ties and just thought what would be the best way to sew it for babies. I didn’t use any interfacing because I didn’t want it to be too rough and too stiff on their skin and I figured clip-on ties would be the best bet. Finding a way to knot around the tie clip was the most challenging part, but I have it down now. I have so many fabrics, because I’m obsessed with the fabric district, but I felt that denim would be so adorable on them. They could wear khakis, with a white dress shirt and the denim tie. Denim comes in so many different colors so if they had some denim pants that was the same color as the denim tie…that would be just too cute. I made them about 3 inches too big so they can “grow” into them. Lol. So yeah, one project down…so many more to go.
I fell in musical love with the B-Section (Pre-Hook). The verses are solid. Mishon’s voice on this whole track is flawless R&B-ness. Yes I made that word up. This is the best song Mishon has to date. ♪Overtime♪ is such a smooth track.
This has always been a song that I enjoyed; especially Janet’s breakdown. Today, I came to a realization. I just don’t understand why I used to admire Beyonce as an entertainer so much while I was growing up. Janet Jackson is the best female entertainer there is, in my opinion, and no one has been able to touch her. But this video along with her brother, Michael; straight classic, pure talent and true entertainment.
In 2001, a couple months before my 10th birthday, I moved to the San Fernando Valley. In Texas the only music I listened to was mostly R&B and some rap. I never in my life would turn the dial to a KIIS type station, but that all changed when I arrived in Southern California.
Aerosmith – Jaded
Madonna – Music
Faith Hill – Breathe
Christina Aguilera – What A Girl Wants
P!nk – There You Go
‘N Sync – Bye Bye Bye
Macy Gray – I Try
Shakira – Whenever, Wherever
Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did It Again
Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance
Jennifer Lopez – Waiting For Tonight
Eden’s Crush – Get Over Yourself
Dream – He Loves You Not
Dido – Thank You
CrazyTown – Butterfly
Craig David – Fill Me In
Enrique Igelsias – Hero
Creed – With Arms Wide Open
Ricky Martin & Christina Aguilera – Nobody Wants To Be Lonely
Those are some songs that I faithfully watched TRL to get a glimpse of. VH1 became my best friend around that time as well. I still went to BET’s 106 & Park to get my daily dose of Lil’ Bow Wow & Sammie. But the song that caught my attention more than anything was ♪I’m Like A Bird♪ by Nelly Furtado. Her voice was so unique and I felt the lyrics were genuine. Shakira was another person who voice I liked because of the uniqueness. I later learned that everyone doesn’t agree with you on who can sing or not and vice versa. Some people have voices so unique that I feel that these people are awesome for learning to accept it, live with it and push forward. The best part is that they get their break and end up learning that there are people that like their voice as well. I ended up moving back to Dallas, TX 2 months later and I remember being so different musically. I finally changed the dial to KIIS FM. My friends thought my musical taste became hella weird. Luckily, I moved back to Cali after the summer ended: Pasadena, CA. My 5th grade year had my friends and I going crazy over the new girl in Murder Inc., Ashanti. 3 of some of my closest friends and I ended up performing ♪Foolish♪ and won 1st place. What made it even better was getting to meet her some months later with one of the girls that was a part of the group. You know I had to let Ashanti know that we performed her song and won. She was so nice. Winning that talent show inspired me to do what I had always wanted to do: Start a girl group. My favorite girl group then and now is still Destiny’s Child, but it was 5 of us. We looked through the dictionary to find a name and we ended up calling ourselves “Ability”. There was really no lead singer, but I took it upon myself to become the songwriter for the group, after all we had to have songs to sing. We had a few practices but my dad was so not supportive of the group. He would always say, “Do you know how many girl groups want to make it?” Uh duh, I know but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give up. My 6th grade year came and we already lost three members because they decided to go to another school. My elementary was the only school in the city that still had 6th grade attached to it. I decided to recruit three new members. We ended up practicing Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J’s ♪All I Have♪ with a male friend as the rapper. It ended up causing drama because the rapper was one of the girl’s boyfriend, but the teacher over the talent show felt it would be a better performance if he rapped to me since we were around the same height and all the other girls were short. It ended up not mattering because I hit puberty. Whenever my voice decides it’s going to change, it leaves completely and that is what happened. No performance for me that year and I lost all hope on being in a girl group. But I can say that before I turn 30 I want to scout, manage and write for a multi-cultural girl group. Anyway, I never stopped songwriting. The funny part is my songs back then were always about making this boy I liked my “boo”, boo was an extremely popular word back then, and about catching my man cheating on me. Lmao! I was fat! I was getting no play…I wasn’t writing from experience, I wasn’t even writing about other people’s experiences that I knew. It took me until 8th grade to realize what makes a good song, and how writing based off experiences and other people’s experiences are the best inspirations and they make the best songs. That’s why to this day I am an extreme observer/people watcher and I pay close attention to my dreams and my imagination. Daydreaming is also important; I have a very vivid imagination.