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Murjani Rawls

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Author, freelance writer, and photographer 

Email: mj@mjrawls.com

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Lollapalooza 2019: In Portraits

Journalist, Self-published author of five books, and photographer since 2014, Murjani "MJ" Rawls has been stretching his capabilities of his creativity and passions, Rawls has as a portfolio spanning through many mediums including music, television, movies, and more. Operating out of the New York area, Rawls has photographed over 200+ artists spanning many genres, written over 600 articles ranging displaying his passionate aspirations to keep evolving as his years in media continue.

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Dinosaur Pile-Up, 'Celebrity Mansions,' and re-configuring success

When we spoke with singer/guitarist of Dinosaur Pile-Up, Matt Bigland, there was a sense of excitement and newfound freedom. Being in a band for more than ten years will test every sense of resolve you have. Sometimes your dreams don’t quite unfold the way you would expect them to. From there, you have to pivot and reconfigure what you think triumph looks like. Celebrity Mansions, the band’s fourth full length record, beckons you to play it at maximum volume. Perhaps in a dangerous runaway car

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Savannah Conley on loving, losing, and relearning yourself

Love is something that always changes. Within a relationship, you can control how you can give it to yourself, but not necessarily how that flame does its dance inside another person. Sometimes that flame goes out and as you walk through the dark places, you have to light that same fire in yourself again. You have to remember the things that made you unique and rebuild the wick. Savannah Conley’s Twenty-Twenty EP, released in 2018, is three songs long, but accurately captures someone who is nav

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Rence turns long nights and hard work into a bright future

Anybody whose had a dream has had obstacles in realizing it come to pass. That’s the deal, isn’t it? For all the glory, there’s sacrifice. For all the triumphs, there’s the long nights and internal questioning and anxiety. Imagine writing one of your best songs on the back of receipts. Imagine going to college at NYU, working in various internships, and bussing tables at night to make ends meet. Even with that, releasing and creating music on your own. 21-year old Rence has always been a sort o

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Anna Wise on letting your inner compass lead the way

There’s a couple words that you can use to describe Anna Wise forthcoming debut album, due later this year. Stream of consciousness. Meditation. Spirit. The new single, “What’s Up With You,” hints at a very sultry and non-conforming structure for a song that takes you wherever Wise’s inner compass led her too. In speaking with Wise, there was a huge theme of improvisation and the inspiration of just letting go. Sometimes that’s what artistry is. It’s not overthinking and letting your mind catch

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The ever-growing, ever-evolving world of Lights

When I spoke to Lights–birth name Valerie Anne Poxleitner-Bokan–she was at a waterfall. It was a perfect setting for this interview because like a waterfall, her artistic creations can mean different things. There’s a majestic feeling to it. It’s also powerful and serene. Within it, it provides shelter. As the world changes, the art changes with it. With Lights’s Skin and Earth acoustic album, it shows an artist who keeps evolving and taking risks. It’s going down the rabbit hole of curiosity t

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Moby Rich expands their world view and has some fun in between

I’ll have to admit before I begin this piece that speaking with Los Angeles-based alternative pop duo Moby Rich (Maxwell Joseph and Connor Pledger) was very fun and seamless, just like talking to friends that you haven’t seen in a while. You say your hellos, you catch up a bit, and the next thing you know, you go into deep dives about where you are now. Their music is just as inviting to where there’s both a carefree attitude and some serious life discussions peppered in. You get the best of bot

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'Child's Play' is a modernized and satisfying take on an old horror classic

The 1988 original Child’s Play is held as a classic to many horror fans across generations. Even with a very public and messy battle with creator Don Mancini, work on the modern day version of this story continued. Granted, the most recent entry in the Child’s Play universe is 2017’s Cult of Chucky, so the original timeline is still fresh in many fans’ minds. With all this considered, a Child’s Play remake was facing an uphill battle to where you would have to find a way to modernize it without

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Chase Atlantic goes through 'Phases' and finds deeper parts of themselves

Towards the end of my conversation with Mitchel Cave, the lead singer of Chase Atlantic, I mentioned that their second album was a reintroduction. He replied, “let’s call it a reintroduction. I’m down with that. I like that.” While their first self-titled album was an accumulation of songs from EPs and took over three years to make, the process for Phases was seamless. It is a product of two short months of ideas and themes that see the Australia trio push themselves into regions of what alterna

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Suzi Wu molds the world of pop however she sees fit

There are a bunch of adjectives that you can use to describe Suzi Wu’s second EP, Error 404. Eclectic. Distinctive. Unpredictable. In many ways, the EP personifies an uneasy time period in with Wu composed the EP. An illness that afflicted both her parents and her own personal struggles created a four-track narrative that touches on genres from pop, hip-hop, and electronic music. Where pop music itself straddles the line to playing it safe, Wu chooses to extend her musical pallet and romanticize

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Noah Kahan and the Importance of revisiting your why on 'Busyhead'

Think about realizing your all-time dream. The dream exists and only the good things that you could gain from it it like possible fame, lifestyle changes for the better, or even seeing the world in a different way. Now, think of realizing that same dream and being in it, and it not being the way you wrote the storybook. With his debut album, Busyhead, singer/songwriter Noah Kahan poses that same question to himself. He signed a record deal at 18 and released a well received EP, Hurt Somebody in

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FEATURE: Welcome To The Allan Rayman Show

Allan Rayman prefers not to do many interviews. With the marketing of music that makes an emphasis on visibility, Rayman chooses mysticism. In some ways, being a mystery can be a gimmick in itself, but for the Canadian-based singer/songwriter, there’s a real authenticity in pulling back the curtain and leading with his art. No marketing ploy, just artistry. Rayman’s show at Warsaw had a sign emblazoned “The Allan Rayman Show” in the background. Like his music, the performance was more of a way

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The Beaches 'The Professional' Is Equals Parts Fun and Equals Parts Bite

The Professional, the newest four song EP from Toronto band The Beaches, is rooted in the alternative rock stylings influenced by the California setting it was recorded in. There was a particular catalyst in one of the most powerful songs from the project, ‘Snake Tongue.’ Unfortunately, in a story that’s all to familiar with women in society, lead singer/bassist Jordan Miller was catcalled on the way to a studio session. From there, the band was able to use that experience as a catalyst to crea

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Meet Love Fame Tragedy, the brainchild of Matthew "Murph" Murphy

In a conversation last year with The Wombats’s front man Matthew Murphy, he eluded to a solo project that he had been working on. It’s time to meet Love Fame Tragedy, the accumulation of many ideas from Murphy. The EP, titled I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I’m Really Good At It will be released on September 13th, but we have an introduction with the first single, “My Cheating Heart.” The song itself combines a catchy chorus with a collision of acoustic and electric guitars with synths and

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Meg Mac approaches all facets of 'Hope' with sincere, empowering results

When you press play on an album, if you listen to it under favorable conditions, it’s like starting a journey. People are in a constant stream of change. We are all molded by things from both an internal and external perspective. This is one of the delights of seeing artistry mature over time. Meg Mac’s first album, Low Blows utilized things such as raw, unedited vocals to capture what a live setting would entail. Listening to the album, you can feel every enunciation of words as if you were si

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