Updated: Feb 16, 2020
Happy Monday! I hope you're not dreading being back in the daily grind. However, if Mondays are the kind of thing that get you down, maybe I can lighten the load by introducing you to some artists who are sure to put a smile on your face! This week, I've selected a poet, a musician and a SFX Make-Up artist whose works all share a common ability - making you feel things you never thought possible.
So, without further ado - let's get into it!
Melissa Lozada-Oliva - Poet
Melissa is a poet and educator with a strong focus on Spoken Word poetry. "What's that?" you might be asking. Spoken Word is poetry which is written to be performed to a crowd. Unlike a lot of page poetry, spoken word is crafted with the expectation that audiences will only hear the poem performed once. The imagery, no matter how surreal, must be clear and its intentions must be coherent, and whilst the message behind the piece may not be explicit, it must at least be evident.
With that cleared up.... Let's get back to why you need to know.
Melissa is a spoken word poet - one whom I have seen perform live no more than three times and yet watched online at countless opportunities. She is one of many performers whose work seems to gain gravitas when being viewed live. Her control of the crowd is next-to-none and she almost effortlessly conducted a room of hundreds of people into a tone-deaf, yet enthusiastic rendition of Kelly Clarkson's Since You Been Gone. However, unlike most performers, Lozada-Oliva has an ability to instill a sense of something grander than herself even through her performance videos.
Melissa's comedy quicksteps with her trauma until they blur upon the stage; the two become so entwined with one another that you're unable to judge one without the context of the other. Her imagery is fresh, new and gripping whilst her messages echo throughout not just singular pieces, but coherently build upon themselves throughout her career. By watching her works in chronological order, you're able to witness her growth not only as a poet, but as a person, and this openness makes her susceptible to great critique. And yet, due to her unwavering quality of both writing and soul, there is very little to criticise.
You can find Melissa in the following places:
YouTube: Melissa Lozada-Oliva (A lot of her works are also available through the Button Poetry channel)
Spotify: Melissa Lozada Oliva
Phoebe Bridgers - Musician
Phoebe Bridgers' is an American indie folk rock singer/ songwriter who released her debut album Stranger in the Alps in 2017 before going on to form the band 'boygenius' with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. I was introduced to her works by a friend of mine with the best music taste I know, and instantly fell in love with the culmination of Bridgers' poetic lyrics, calming melodies and entrancing vocals.
Like many folk musicians, Bridgers' voice lends itself beautifully to the crispness of vinyl records, and her dulcet tones leaking from my speakers are enough to lull anyone's anxiety into a stable calm. Whilst her lyrics could be criticised for being quite depressing, it is this exact description which pulls me into her work. She does not shy away from the truth, instead welcomes it into her work and her audience praises this honesty.
The poetic devises she utilises in the craft of her lyrics makes her music feel like a home away from home, and allows for me to continue reveling in my passion for the combination of stunning imagery with beautiful music. Bridgers is an artist to keep very firm eyes and ears on in the coming years, and I hope to catch her in concert soon.
You can find Phoebe in the following places:
Spotify: Phoebe Bridgers
YouTube: Phoebe Bridgers
Abigail VonClare - SFX Make-Up
Abigail VonClare is a Special Effects (SFX) Make Up artist based in Essex, UK. She manipulates the human form - most usually her own - to create coherent looks in celebration of musicians, films and themes. Whilst some of Abigail's looks are truly beautiful, she has a very strong favour for the gruesome and gothic which she makes stunning in its own right.
From one look to the next, Abigail is able to intrigue, disgust and enthrall audiences. From extra-terrestrial model to purple demon, Abigail's talents know no bounds. It is extremely rare that make-up artists are able to create looks which, despite being marvelous, are also able to terrify me. It it this manipulation of emotion that I find so captivating about Abigail VonClare's work.
She is about to launch a YouTube channel in which you will be able to watch her put some of her looks together - what better time to start following what she's up to. I believe her career is only just beginning and I cannot wait to see it continue to grow. Will you join me?
You can find Abbey in the following places:
The work of these three powerful women never fails to grasp my lungs, shake them around, and force me to figure out how to breathe again. Whilst inspiration can be found anywhere, I definitely find that a lot of mine stems from those around me, and I have often been inspired by all three of these incredible ladies. I hope that you take the time to look into their work - it truly is worth every second.
Let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to share this with your friends and family.
See you on Wednesday!
Peace and love,