A welter of emotions riding music of piquant beauty.
CYN just dropped the music video for "I'll Still Have Me," an exquisite pop song about emotional vulnerability after a breakup.
Now CYN releases the Aquilo remix of the tune.
According to CYN, "After realizing a break up was imminent, I wrote this song to convince myself that everything would be fine. Focusing on who I am and where I'm headed made me feel less empty and more like I would make it through this heartbreak— finding sanctuary in myself was my safest bet and sturdiest lean upon."
I'll Still Have Me (Aquilo Remix) youtu.be
The Aquilo Remix opens with soft, flowing strings, followed by sparking piano accents and CYN and Aquilo's quiet harmonizations. A buff yet gentle rhythm propels the music, as the sylph-like vocals stream overhead backed by almost transparent surfacing colors from the synths.
Tumescent with poignant melancholy and aching sensitivity, the music glows with the soft colors of intimacy. The lyrics exude an irrational optimism, one that triggers a sadness so deep that tears won't come.
"I never thought twice / 'Cause you were my number one / I put you first 'cause / You were my only thought / If I don't have you / At least I'll still have me."
Put simply, "I'll Still Have Me" is gorgeous, tender, and affecting.
Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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Before recently, Cynthia Nabonzy was a girl in Detroit writing music, consistency changed her life.
"We set a goal for ourselves, for me it was to be signed," CYN told me.
"What we don't realize in between now and being signed is that there are 20 smaller goals that need to be accomplished," CYN warns young artists. CYN has had the dream breakthrough into the industry. After seeing a Katy Perry show, CYN reached out to her supporting act DJ Skeet Skeet which lead to a collaboration. One thing led to another and CYN found herself writing music with Perry herself, an artist she grew up listening to. "Know what that benchmark or next chapter is," she advises, "set the little goals." She compared her journey to a snowball rolling down a hill. As you accomplish things, you're setting something into motion. "You're going to feel like nothing is happening," she warns but CYN herself is a testament that hard work, talent, and determination do pay off.
CYN grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and always listening to powerful female artists. Her first memory of music is of the Patsy Cline cassette tape of "Crazy" that her grandmother gave her. She says she obviously didn't understand what Patsy was singing about at the time, but "there's a certain emotion you can feel in music from the artist," and that's something she clung onto. She told me that while going through a divorce her mom listened to Jewel's first album a lot which she also connected to. Other favorites growing up included Carol King, Fleetwood Mac, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Avril Lavigne. Surprisingly, CYN also listened to a lot of hip hop, her favorites being Childish Gambino and Kid Cudi. Being from Detroit, there was also a heavy influence of Motown and soul in CYN's musical up bringing.
CYN has always journaled and sang but at some unspecific time in her childhood, she started to put the two together. At 14, she started to record herself. CYN and I, both of the same generation wondered what the music industry would be like if the internet wasn't invented. She told me that during college Steve Jobs had passed away and her professor urged them to explore how he changed their lives. CYN told me that the beginning of her recording experience involved borrowing her neighbors Macbook to record in Garage Band. It was then when she realized what a big influence tech has on her music. Before being signed, CYN said she had "no concept of [her] own live show," but would perform her sophomore and junior years in Chicago at small local shows.
Listen to Together here
CYN just released the song, "Together" under Unsub Records. She told me that she was inspired by the word itself. "I wanted to think about all of these things that go together, but aren't typical. How you need to whip the cream to make whipped cream. I don't talk about a man or a girl or anything." The song is more about the concept that anything and anybody is better with it's equal counterpart. Better together. CYN seems to often be influenced by words. Inspiration comes in many different ways. she says, "Sometimes a song can be inspired by a chord progression and suddenly I know what the song is about." Other times, she says that one sentence or phrase can give her an idea. To promote the new release, CYN recently performed at the coveted Public Arts in New York City. She said, that New York City's energy "is one [she] relates to more than LA." Warned by friends that New York City is a tough crowd, she had an amazing experience. She told me she always worries when people in the crowd don't know the words or the artist, but the audience members were respectful and engaged which meant the world to her. Performing with BORNS was another special part of the experience, having been written with similar people and being one degree of separation for about a year or two."I love his style, he's a thing out of 1970, but also so 2017," she said of Garrett Clark Borns. She said she looks up to him as an artist and loved talking to him backstage.
Having landed a dream collaboration with Katy Perry, I had to wonder who else CYN had on her list to collaborate with. "I would love to write with Charlie Puth, Daft Punk, or Pharrell," she said praising Pharrell's lyrical work. "When I open the window, I wanna hug you because you remind me of air," she exclaimed. She told me that she is inspired by lyrics that mean nothing but also everything and nature references much like that one. CYN has a lot coming. While there are no specific dates, she's working on a music video, an EP release, and one more single before then.
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