I recently introduced you to a new Pop artist named Lenay and her song LA LA LAND. Today at The Reclusive Blogger we feature an interview with her which you can view below!

1. Quick question … Are you an Early bird? Or Night Owl?

Lenay: Definitely night, but that can count as early morning too, just whenever it’s dark!! I used to stay up until 5am and edit or work on music. Now I’m trying to reverse it and wake up at 5:30 and get the darkness before morning and I’m equally loving it, it’s just harder to do sometimes and actually get out of bed haha. But once I do, I love it, as well as the feeling that the whole world is sleeping and I have it to myself.

2. Can you tell me a bit about the songwriting and recording process for “LA LA LAND” for you?

Lenay: Sometimes I just follow my cat around all day until he starts rapping and then I steal the words for myself and that’s how “La La Land” happened. I just had coffee. And that didn’t make sense on so many levels – not just the cat one. But for real I was jamming to the instrumental track in my car (that Disco Fries made – shout out to Disco Fries!!!) and I chose it and loved so much. I started singing the “la la la la la la la la land” part (in the middle of the verses) and loved the idea and feel of the “las” extending into its own melody so much, and then just went from there!! I wrote the verses while driving as well and would have to pull over to record them on my phone to not forget haha.

3. Who has been the biggest influence on you as a musician and singer?

Lenay: A lot of different styles and artists for my music style, but definitely Lights and Selena Gomez for my vocal style. I love the way Lights enunciates her words and then dives into high parts suddenly with so much feeling. I do that a lot in songs, especially if I write them myself. And I love how Selena’s vocals are so saturated and surround you, as well as the fact that her songs have dark, moody vibes, which I love!!

4. What are your fondest musical memories?

Lenay: My first concert was for a band called Go Fish, which is a Christian-Acapella band. I used to love them so much and went to their concert I think when I was 12 and it was the best thing ever lol. Also my very first show was in Argentina last year at Club Vorterex and 800 people went!! It was SO crazy seeing my names on signs and hearing people sing songs I had written. Something I’d seen only on Taylor Swift concert DVD’s haha, I was like, “OMG OMG I have a sign”.

5. Do you have any fun rituals you do before a performance?

Lenay: Nope, haha not yet! I should though and I’m sure I will eventually. I’ve only had 4 shows so far, and right now I just adapt the rituals of whoever is around me and do what they are doing before I go up. One time, my band was stretching so I was like, “ok, I’ll stretch now”.

6. Who are your dream collaborations? They can be dead or alive.

Lenay: Taylor Swift + Ed Sheeran!! I would love to write or collab with them SO much.

7. Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? Can you describe it for me?

Lenay: I grew up playing classical piano, and reading other people’s music. But when I was little, I kind of didn’t register that someone had once created these songs … They just kind of existed for me. Then one time I sat down and was messing around and accidentally wrote a melody I liked on the piano and kept playing it once in a while. I never thought of it as me writing a song, and I stopped playing it and forgot eventually. But I wish I could remember what it was, because that was technically the first song I wrote.

8. What was the transition like of being a MTV VJ to being a Singer? Did you always want to be a Singer-Songwriter?

Lenay: I didn’t even realize I was writing songs at first or that it was even a talent! My dad would show me his songs he wrote on his guitar while he was growing up but never released anywhere or showed anyone. And my ex was in a band and was always writing songs and I started chiming in with melody ideas and eventually started writing entire songs for his project. I didn’t even realize what a big part I was playing in all of that and never asked for credit or anything, I just got excited about the ideas and melodies. Now looking back I’m like, “oh yea – I wrote that and it’s pretty darn good” haha!

9. Who was favorite guest when you were a MTV VJ?

Lenay: Macklemore, Ariana Grande, Ken Jeong, Ashley Benson + Selena Gomez. Haha, too many to count and I want to keep adding more but everyone was so nice! Ariana kept singing really cool random melodies. I could listen to her sing all day!! And I expected Macklemore to be like AAAAHH but they were super chill (which is cool to see both sides of people) and when they walked in I started rapping their song to them like, “walk into the club like what up”, and then we just kind of looked at each other for a bit and they were trying to figure me out and eventually we all started laughing. It was funny.

10. How has your life growing up and living in so many different places inspired or influenced your songwriting?

Lenay: Yea for sure! Some songs I have coming out have some Reggaeton beat influences mixed with dark pop I can’t wait for you to hear!!

11. How did the collab with Zara Bash on the song “LA LA LAND” come about?

Lenay: I actually had a bridge written at first but after a few weeks realized I didn’t like and then we were like, “hmmm … How about a rap collab? That would be so cool!!” So my manager Justin (Bieber) (jk) (hi Justin) asked a few potential people and Zara sent an idea back so quickly and it was such a PERFECT fit for the song!!

12. What artists or bands have been ‘On Repeat’ for you currently? Who have you been listening to lately?

Lenay: Well funny you ask, I just made a Spotify playlist with all of my favs!!

Lenay: Hope you enjoy!!

Stream “LA LA LAND” here: https://spoti.fi/2MzDsY0

Lenay’s Socials below:

IG: https://www.instagram.com/lenaychantelle/

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/Lenayiskindofcool

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://www.lenaychantelle.com/

Until then,
Brittney W.
– Written by Brittney Williams with additional writing from Contributor Jessica Clemente
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“This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”

At some point every photographer makes a post like this. I have been trying to avoid it realizing that maybe it’s best not to as my photography tips, tricks and editing style is definitely a bit different than most and might be of some interest. So here goes, these are my favorite and most used apps in my pursuit in the art of photography. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

CAMERA SETUP: Canon Rebel EOS T3i EF-S 18 55 IS II Lens Kit with Nifty Fifty lens & MOTO DROID TURBO 2.
My Baby!
Canon Rebel EOS T3i EF-S 18 55 IS II Lens Kit

1. Snapseed – It’s a app I use at a bare minimum and only for tiny more exact edits. I also use it more for my Concert photography than say my fine art photography work.

2. VSCO – Again, another app that most photographers use but one I that agree is essential. Great for small and big edits, fantastic filters (you can even make your own with the VSCO + feature), the ease of use is what I love best though. Definitely a fave!

3. Adobe Photoshop ExpressAdobe Lightroom CC – First off I’m not the biggest fan of Photoshop to begin with but it’s helpful when used lightly and I mean with a deft hand on my Concert or Editorial work. It can get out of hand real fast. But when I use it, I prefer to the IOS and Android app versions as it’s much easier to control. Other than that I prefer other apps.

4. Pixlr & Phonto – I grouped these together because they’re not are not my go to photography editing apps but rather I use them a lot in my artworking and graphic design projects when my photography is present. Pixlr and Phonto are just more fun and easier to use and add a bit of pizazz as well. Speaking of graphic design …

5. Canva & Desygner – These two are my favorites for more advanced design work using my photography (or not) instead of using programs like Adobe InDesign. They are also much cheaper as well. I do love Adobe InDesign so I recommend it as well but for photographers and designers who can’t afford or just don’t want to it’s a great alternate.

6. Trigraphy – You know those photos of mine that look like old style paintings and very dreamy? Well part of that process (albeit a tiny part) involves the Trigraphy app. As most of it though is just my super weird brain. And yes I repeat it starts out with a photo.

7. A Color Story & A Design Kit – Both are really fun easy tools I use in my fine art photography. Since my fine art photography leans towards nature, still life and abstract variety. A Color Story allows for perfect simple editing and saving of the steps as a recipe. The other app A Design Kit allows you to take your photos or art further adding cute and kitschy designs, lettering and other flair. Making designing for your brand or just cute designs that much easier.

8. Huji – I know it’s pretty new (at least to me) and I know all of cool kids use it. But I still love the kitschy factor to it and unpredictability you get with each photo. Since the app is minicking a disposable camera, it’s basically just fun and fits into my aesthetic quite well.

9. PRIIME & PRIIME COLLECTIONS – Another great app with the perfect filters and editing features that allow for just enough. It’s also very photographer centric. Showcasing filters you can use by other photographers and how to use them. The VSCO and A Color Story apps do that as well. Plus the app let’s you edit photos in RAW form which is always a major plus!

10. DARKROOM & FILMBORN – This my favorite app for recreating analog and black and white photos. I don’t solely use the app to achieve this look but finishing my photos I shot digitally in one of these apps makes the photos come as close to old school vintage and black and white as I can without using a film camera. I also keep my aesthetic in the process. It’s a win-win.

11. PIXELMATOR – I use this app to edit all of my photography at some point in the process. So it’s great for simple edits and even bigger ones. Also for artistic photography and more editorial or commercial imagery. I even use it for some graphic design projects. It’s a powerful tool that gets the job done.

So these are my favorite apps I use in my photography and graphic design work. I use the apps whether I shoot in RAW on my Canon or shoot on my Moto Droid Turbo 2 Android phone. I hope this article will be of use to some photogs out there. As there are different types and styles of editing and photographers out there. The key is to find your true style by finding what works best for you. I’ve included a list of the apps below and clickable links above for you to get them on iOS App store. But most (if not all) of the apps are also available on Android and the Google Play Store.

“This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”
– Brittney W. 🙂 xx

Hey kiddos, I’m back with another album review. Actually two. But the first review is the stunning record by the British Singer-Songwriter, Charlie Barnes who is also a touring band member with Bastille. The album is named “Oceanography” and aptly named as well. The entire album surrounding my ears with lush vocals and guitar tones all made to sound or correlate with the ocean I could only guess. The cover even features a circle of abstract ocean blues in the middle of a colorless nothing.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Barnes
Oceanography by Charlie Barnes

The opening track on “Oceanography” is quite a usual one appropriately titled “Intro”. The uniqueness of “Intro” fully sets in when you realize it’s all drowned out chatter, footsteps and random commotion. So … wait?! Are we in a Coffee shop Charlie? Next, we segue into the title track which is very reminiscent of Brit-Pop in the 90s with added electro elements and sweeping guitars. I even hear some classical instrumentation in the back which add to the dramatics of the song. We next launch into “Will and Testament” which also show how much touring with Bastille has influenced the Derbyshire musician. Not only are Dan Smiths’ (Bastille lead singer) vocals featured in the background. You can truly hear here the electronic production the most. On songs “Oceanography” and “Will And Testament” Charlie’s voice which is so unique and unlike most voices out there soars the most. Songs like “Bruising” and “Ruins” showcase more of Charlie’s roots as a musician with heavy melodic elements and acoustic guitar. “One Word Answers” is a fun guitar jam that’s heavy on the drums and melody. The chorus is where it truly shines through, with the lyric; “And I only give you one-word answers”. Pay attention for that high note and the bits of tambourine throughout!

“The Departure”, “Legacy”, and “Former Glories” are all slower more peaceful moments on the album that remind me of the tide rolling in. Where Charlie’s voice is at the forefront with more introspective lyrics. I even hear a bit of very early Coldplay with a slight jazzy or Bossa Nova vibe. The mood picks up slightly with “Maria” which has a slight shuffle to it beat … And a quite lovely guitar solo. The mood picks up even more with “All I have” which has a beautiful message all packed into this song. Never give up your dreams (in this case creative ones) no matter how hard it gets. You also must check out the video which I’ll post below! We end “Oceanography” with “The Weather”. A bittersweet piano-driven ballad with the most heartfelt lyrics, that features a coffee analogy in the beginning just like album’s “Intro” does.

Photo Courtesy of Charlie Barnes

Link to buy and stream: Oceanography

Charlie Barnes – All I Have (Official Video) https://youtu.be/C_oSzAHLGwc

Charlie Barnes Socials:

|Official Website|Twitter | Facebook| Instagram|YouTube|

Much love,
Brittney 🙂 xx

Twitter: @trbcreative
Instagram: @trbcreative

This a short gallery of Instagram photos I took over the years of one of my favorite subjects, Sunrises and Sunsets. They are from here and there, old and new(ish), Up in the Air and By the Sea (or River). Please enjoy! 🙂











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