In the music industry, Nashville has once again become a fresh hot-bed for rising talent, which makes new music more difficult to stand out. Artists are having to find new and creative ways to promote and brand themselves in the ever changing city.
Born and raised in Nashville, country singer Mitchell Tenpenny is working on becoming a success in this booming industry.
“I think I stand out by trying to have a different sound and approach to how I present my music,” Tenpenny said. “I want every song to feel authentic and real.”
Tenpenny started playing music when he was in the 7th grade. He went to a friend’s house to play a round of golf but found several instruments to play instead. The next day, he picked up a guitar.
Growing up in Nashville influenced Tenpenny to strive for excellence – to make himself stand out.
“The music scene has changed a lot. I’ve seen what’s worked and what hasn’t. Everyone is trying new ways and techniques to make a living in this industry with streaming,” Tenpenny said. “It didn’t exist when I grew up watching songwriters have hits.”
He has seen some of his favorite songwriters and artists break through from the beginning and he said that it is one of his favorite feelings.
“I’m not trying to write music for a lunch time,” Tenpenny said. “I’m trying to write music for a life-time.”
One of his favorite aspects of the experiences the city has to offer is how it is ever changing. The moments all lead to other adventures like hearing his songs, or ones he’s written on the radio or being performed by someone, and getting to write with such talented musicians. Nothing can top those moments for him he said.
His best advice to anyone trying to “make it” in Nashville is to “be there.” Be a part of the city and the culture that is there. It is one of the “tried and true” ways to gain acceptance.
Paying your dues is also just as important. With long hours, hard work, and heartbreak, Tenpenny said a big break will come. You just have to earn it.
“I’m not trying to write music for a lunch time,” Tenpenny said. “I’m trying to write music for a life-time.”
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About the AuthorKinsey recently graduated from the University of Alabama. She enjoys music as an art form and a way of life. She can be found at a concert taking pictures or interviewing bands. She also indulges in coffee, soap operas, 90's cartoons.
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By John Massey
The highlight of the party’s platform is the desire to hold a referendum on Hong Kong’s autonomy prior to 2047. It is a revolutionary desire in the eyes of the Chinese government and many pro Chinese political figures in Hong Kong.
When RISE NEWS learned about the creation of Demosistō, we reached out to them in order to share their story.
After all, they are some of the most politically influential millennials that the world has seen.
She is also a second year student at Hong Kong Baptist University, studying politics.
Chow first became involved in Hong Kong politics in 2012, after being exposed to Scholarism via Facebook.
The group was founded in opposition to the highly controversial Moral and National Education Curriculum, which was claimed by opponents to be pro Communist Party of China (CPC) brainwashing.
One of the more compelling pieces of evidence to this claim is one of the key seven priorities of the curriculum being “National Identity“, which is to say an identity indistinct from that of mainland China.
Scholarism, and its allied groups were ultimately successful in defeating the Moral and National Education Curriculum, but also in demonstrating that a grassroots movement of millennials in Hong Kong can make political change.
However, Scholarism’s next big outing, as well as other liberal organizations, proved even larger than the opposition to the Moral and National Education Curriculum.
The Umbrella Movement was a mass protest spanning several months in Hong Kong. Thousands of protesters gathered in opposition to constitutional reform imposed by the National People’s Congress (NPCSC). These reforms give a nominating committee, with purportedly strong ties to the CPC, the authority to pre-select a handful of candidates prior to a territory wide election.
The “suffrage” presented by Beijing outraged a tremendous number of Hong Kongers, and in particular, large swaths of young people, many of whom were in secondary school.
In particular the student group Scholarism was the centerpiece of what little international media attention was put on the Umbrella Movement. It was largely out of the ranks of Scholarism that Demosistō emerged.
However, size of opposition did not prove decisive in the Umbrella Movement, as the ultimate objective of the protesters was thwarted.
When asked if the three month event was a failure, Chow told RISE in a Skype interview;
“in terms of political goals, i think it was a failure, but it also had lots of influence on people’s minds.”
Indeed, there is something to be said of the conditions being created in which a handful of university students can exercise a considerable degree of influence in politics.
To those familiar with the Occupy Movement in the United States, the idea of using the political capital gained through the Umbrella Movement to work within a broken system may seem strange or counter intuitive.
“It is difficult to fight some things through the Parliament, or through the Legislative Council, and while I can understand these kinds of feelings, because in our legislative council now half of our council is not democratically elected, because of the Functional Constituency,” Chow said. “I still believe we can enter the Legislative Council, we can do something… because our aim is to not just work within the Council.
“Through the election we want to promote our ideas to more people. What we have to do is connect the Legislative Council and the Civil Society outside.”
The intentions of Demosistō and other liberal actors within Hong Kong has not gone unnoticed.
Earlier this year, Chow brought attention to the abduction of a man selling books that criticized the Communist party, or were otherwise banned in Mainland China.
Chow has also had the shadow of the CPC come upon her as well.
Limits on withdrawals were placed on her bank account which was intended to be used to accept donations on behalf of Demosistō, as they have thus far been unable to register as a company.
This has resulted in Demosistō relying on crowdfunding via Paypal.
We are currently experiencing sudden issues concerning Agnes Chow's bank account. Latest updates at: https://t.co/AvtNfQV80u
— Demosistō 香港眾志 (@demosisto) April 11, 2016
Chow was more concerned with Demosistō’s hurdles in registering as a company. Bernie Sanders wouldn’t like this very much.
” In Hong Kong we do not have the legislation for political parties,” Chow said. “They all have to register as a company instead.”
These financial problems likely do not improve Demosistō’s opinion of the Hong Kong establishment.
” Of course the government and the companies will not support us, because we are opposing the government, and the business sectors are also always standing on the government’s side,” Chow said. “They have to cooperate with the Chinese side.”
Demosistō then will be relying on their proven ability to utilize grassroots tactics to gain wins in the Legislative Council, especially students, but not exclusively.
“We have involved a professor teaching in one of the arts schools… We believe that the new political party, because it’s not a student’ s organization anymore, and it’s important for us to involve more people from the older generations.”
She also notes that for future plans, the party will:
“Try to recruit them [volunteers], through our website, and different forums, and public locations we will try to send our message to Hong Kong People, and hope that they can join us later on.”
Spreading the message of a referendum on Hong Kong’s self determination by 2047, the year the Sino-British Joint Declaration expires, is the clear center piece of Demosistō’s platform, but is far from the only position taken.
Scholarism was deemed ill fitting for elevation to Demosistō’s status as a political party in part due to a lack of political cohesion, according to Chow.
Demosistō heavily invests in individualist language to describe their proposed policies, broken down into the ” Four Selves” :Self Initiating, Self Standing, Self Autonomy, and finally Self Determination. These are intended as steps over a ten year period.
” Self Determination does not mean dissolution of the Social Problems in Hong Kong”
” Even after self determination we still have lots of: education problems, housing problems, property hegemony, etc,” Chow said. “We still have a lot of problems to solve before the self determination of Hong Kong. Resources such as food and water heavily rely on the supply of the mainland China. No matter if it was an independent country or a city under a country, it has to have self sufficiency.”
Not only does Demosistō insist on self sufficiency for the city of Hong Kong, but also an advancement of Hong Kong’s unique identity.
” It is also important to build up the identity of Hong Kong People, so we propose a Hong Kong History subject be implemented,” Chow said in the interview. “Hong Kong people do not really know much about Hong Kong history; in our education system there are only World History and Chinese History.”
This idea of an independent Hong Kong identity seems pivotal in the dispute between Hong Kong and Beijing. As previously noted, establishing a national identity was one of the objectives of the Moral and National Education Curriculum.
Beijing specifically does not want there to be any distinction between China and Hong Kong, and may be trying to begin laying the groundwork for 2047, and end this “salutary neglect” like relationship.
Chow concluded our chat by telling us about her vision of Hong Kong’s identity, saying;
“For me, the identity of Hong Kong people, or the characteristic of Hong Kong, is diversity. We have lots of different kinds of people, who believe in different core values, who came from different countries, who are different races, etc. It’s very important to emphasize the diversity, and not to exclude the others who disagree with us.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Agnes Chow Ting/ FacebookPost Views: 29
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The world is filled with hypocrites, racism, Donald Trump tweets, and double standards.
There are a bunch of double standards in different areas of life but, guess what I’ll be focusing on?
*Ding, Ding, Ding*
The dating world!
More specifically, the first date.
Yup, a perfect follow up to my Valentine’s Day special.
“Oh my god, how can he talk about double standards in the dating world if he isn’t in a relationship? Oh no. He’s generalizing.”
First of all, hush.
Not the case, whatsoever.
I decided that I would interview a few people and see where they stand on the topic.
I made a conscious effort to search for and include singles, couples, gay, straight, brown, white, purple, Donald Trump supporters.
I think I’m going to stop dropping his name now, every time I type it I hear “Dun, Dun, DUN”.
So, after the Valentine’s Day article was published, my good friend Lamar a.k.a. Big Money Mar planted the seed in my head to write an article addressing the “Double Standard”.
I ran with it.
Actually, it gives me a great excuse to talk to all the pretty girls around campus and other universities in the area.
So, why not?
The question was “In regards to the first date, should men be expected to pick up the bill?”
Society, custom, tradition, status quo, what ever you wish to call it has deemed it a requirement for the man to pay for the first date.
It is what it is.
No way to get around it.
The man has always been expected to be chivalrous due to some old fashioned courting technique established when Shakespeare was shaking it for a shilling.
When I asked Habon, a senior at the University of Baltimore, if the man should pay for the first date?
She succinctly replied, “The man should always pay.”
What ever the first date looks like to you, the man must pay according to the rules of society unless it is communicated otherwise; which a few young ladies agreed with.
Sydney, a Towson University sophomore agreed.
“Yes, I believe that clear and understanding conversations can eliminate the double standard. I don’t think there’s a big problem with going half on the first date.”
“All depends on who asked who out” says Siobhan, a graduate student at The University of Baltimore. “I personally would pay for the first date if I asked the man out. If he asked me out, then I would expect him to pay.”
While Taylor, a senior at The University of Baltimore, strongly believes the man has to pay to have her heart. “If the man is truly interested in pursuing, he should pay on the first date. If not, I categorize him as a friend. Paying for the first meal is an act of providing for a potential lover. If he doesn’t pay, that’s not a good sign in my opinion.”
If some women believe that paying for the first date equates to showing interest, how do men discern whether a woman is interested in a relationship or interested in getting a free meal?
Think about that one.
In a society where women compete with men in all aspects of life whether it be the workplace, weight room, court room, and even the battlefield it seems hypocritical for a woman to bow out when the bill hits the table, don’t you think?
Some will avoid the conversation and brush it off with the usual rebuttal “It’s just how it is.”
But, if I’m not mistaken, not too long ago women weren’t allowed to hold the same position as a man in society and that was brushed off with “It’s just how it is.”
So how is it O.K. to want to break down walls but be selective of which bricks remain?
If you’re reading this and think to yourself “He’s making this a big issue because he’s broke”, that’s definitely not the case either and congratulations, you played yourself.
Honestly, this is a conversation that needs to be had.
Some women are holding onto this outdated custom which essentially places them in an inferior position but are steady marching around the world hoisting “Respect my Existence or Expect my Resistance” signs above their head.
I say inferior position very loosely because I am not implying that women can’t pay for the bill but, in my eyes women are surrendering their power just for an expected meal.
It’s mind-boggling to me.
I asked Jennifer R. for her position on the matter, a woman with more experience than the college girls I had interviewed.
She said: “Our society has always put pressure on a man to pay, especially with the first date. It’s expected. When I go on dates I always make sure I have money to cover the bill. I have paid for dates in the past, I want to pay for dates but the first one is the ice breaker. Let a man be a man from time to time but also give him the respect he deserves and pay.”
“It isn’t necessarily the man’s fault for the existence of the double standard” said Lamar a.k.a. Big Money Mar.
Which is true.
It isn’t our fault (or at least the Millennials)!
So where do we go from here?
How do we progress as a society if women hold onto outdated customs?
Ladies, some of y’all earn more than the male counterpart but are still expecting dinner on the first date.
Don’t allow old traditions to erase the historical and monumental progress that has been made over the years.
Out with the old, in with the new.
Pick up the bill ladies, turn the tables, and keep making history.
And always remember that this D ain’t free.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Eve Ma/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 19
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) released his first television ad of the 2016 presidential campaign yesterday.
The advertisement is titled “Real Change” and serves as a sort of greatest hits of Sanders’ life in public service starting from his activity in the Civil Rights Movement.
According to NBC News, Sanders’ campaign says that the ad buy is for $2 million and will run in the early vote states of New Hampshire and Iowa. It will start running on television on Tuesday.
WATCH: “Real Change”, Bernie Sanders’ first 2016 campaign TV ad
What do you think? Do you buy into Sanders’ vision for the country? Tell us in the comments below.
Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover Photo Credit: Bernie Sanders Campaign (Screenshot/ Youtube)Post Views: 7
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