Fifth Harmony's Normani Kordei.
Korean-pop sensation, BTS.
Global phenomenon, Mariah Carey.
Canadian rock band, Nickelback.
American DJ and record producer, Dillon Francis.
Grammy-nominated DJ and producer, Armin van Buuren.
Musical artist, Tom Jay Williams.
American country duo, Big & Rich.
American actor and singer, Jacob W. Young.
Previous American Idol contestant, Clark Beckham.
Singer-songwriter and producer, Maxwell.
English artist, Bronnie.
Lead guitarist of The Vamps, James McVey.
American singer and songwriter, Darius Rucker.
American country music singer and songwriter, Kacey Musgraves.
Country singer, Olivia Lane.
And now, 3300+ Climbing.
We here at 3300+ Climbing in Central Florida are not new to these terrible shootings that have shaken this country. We're horrified, sorrowful, empathetic and simply disgruntled by the heinous act committed in Las Vegas. But while it may be easy to succumb to the feeling of hopelessness that results from such a tragedy, we cannot. When an unassuming security guard fired his weapon in an Orlando nightclub last year, killing 49 innocent people, our community unified in a ways I can't even describe. Our country held hands and offered unconditional support to those who needed it most. We prayed and mourned and cried together. And this time around, things will not be any different.
Today, we stand with you, Las Vegas. No matter the religion or the race, we pray for you and send you unmeasurable amounts of love and support. Amongst floods of support messages being sent your way, our message to you is simple: 3300+ Climbing is with you and so is the rest of this country. We promise that you are not alone today, tomorrow or any day after.
On September 3, 2017, Green Day's Revolution Radio Tour rocked the Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida. Their opening band, British rock band, Catfish and the Bottlemen, energized the crowd and built the hype for what was to come. And lo-and-behold, when each member of Green Day walked on stage, a jolt of energy burst through me and the rest of the crowd. At that moment, the unanimous love for the band was undeniable.
The show itself was incredibly fan-oriented. Green Day’s setlist was made up of a mixture of old hits and songs from their new album, appealing to fans both old and new. They were only a song in when lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe brought up a 14-year-old fan to help him sing the lyrics to "Know Your Enemy". The crowd went wild with excitement and caught the little boy as he dove off the stage and into the crowd. They had also brought a fan on stage to sing with them during one of their older songs, "Longview", from their Dookie album. They also played multiple covers, including "Shout" (Otis Day and the Knights), "Satisfaction" (The Rolling Stones), "Hey Jude" (The Beatles), and "Knowledge" (Operation Ivy). During their "Knowledge" cover, Billie Joe brought up a 16-year-old girl to play guitar with him and gave her the guitar afterward. Their entire show was extremely focused on making their fans feel loved and appreciated.
Billie Joe also wasn't once afraid of voicing his beliefs on today's societal and political climate. He assured the crowd that their show was a safe space for all and that they did not tolerate racism, sexism, or hate in any form. Further into the show, Billie Joe laid on the ground with an unlit joint thrown on stage by a fan and said:
“When I think of a joint, it makes me want to punch a Nazi. Get the f*** out of here. F*** racism, it’s the 21st Century. That sh** is f***ing stupid. If the president isn’t going to f***ing say something, then I’ll f***ing say something.”
Every time Billie Joe made these comments, it earned a roar of applause and shouts of agreement from the crowd. I’ve been to many concerts, but I’ve never seen a crowd as responsive as this one. Apart from Billie Joe's speeches, there wasn't a single moment during the show that the crowd wasn’t dancing, singing, or cheering. The band had two encores for the show, the first including one of their most beloved songs, "American Idiot". They ended the concert with their song "Good Riddance" (Time of Your Life), a performance so emotional that the crowd, including myself, couldn’t help but let a few tears fall as we sang along and said goodnight to the band as the show came to an end.
The Revolution Radio Tour moves on to South America in November.
There wasn't a heart left untouched at this year's VMA Awards following singer P!NK's award acceptance speech. Upon receiving the 'Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award', she chose not to demonstrate exaggerated feelings of surprise or give a simple thank you before being escorted backstage. Instead, she decided to share a story that she felt was necessary for everyone to hear. And it was.
Read P!NK's story:
"Recently, I was driving my daughter to school and she said to me, out of the blue, 'Mama?'
I said, 'Yes, baby?'
She said, 'I'm the ugliest girl I know.' And I said, 'Huh?'
And she was like, 'Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.' And my brain went to, 'Oh my god, you're six. Why? Where is this coming from? Who said this? Can I kick a 6-year-old's ass, like what?'
But I didn't say anything. Instead, I went home and I made a Powerpoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rockstars and artists that live their truth, are probably made fun of every day of their life, and carry on, wave their flag and inspire the rest of us. And these are artists like Michael Jackson and David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and Annie Lennox and Prince and Janis Joplin and George Michael, Elton John, so many artists. Her eyes glazed over.
But then I said, 'You know, I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself.'
And she said, 'Well, I look like a boy,' and I said, 'Well, what do you think I look like?' And she said, 'Well, you're beautiful.' And I was like, 'Well, thanks. But when people make fun of me, that's what they use. They say I look like a boy or I'm too masculine or I have too many opinions, my body is too strong.'
And I said to her, 'Do you see me growing my hair?'
She said, 'No, mama.'
I said, 'Do you see me changing my body?'
'Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?'
'Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?'
'OK! So, baby girl. We don't change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.'
And to all the artists here, I'm so inspired by all of you. Thank you for being your true selves and for lighting the way for us. I'm so inspired by you guys. There's so much rad shit happening in music. And keep doing it. Keep shining for the rest of us to see.
And you, my darling girl, are beautiful, and I love you.'
And after thanking MTV and VMA host Ellen Degeneres, P!NK concluded what is arguably one of the best speeches in VMA history. It was a 3-minute speech with a message that spoke wonders - and a message that should be carried on through the music industry now and for years to come.
"There's so much rad shit happening in music. And keep doing it. Keep shining for the rest of us to see."
It doesn't matter whether you're in a car, plane or bus leaving the state or bracing in your home. If you're a Florida resident, you're feeling Hurricane Irma's looming presence as she passes over the Atlantic and heads towards our homes. Some of us are calm and ready while others may be a little more wary - which is all okay. But whether you're the former or the latter, we all could use a bit of music to feed our souls now more than ever! And we here at 3300+ Climbing have you covered!
Check out our Spotify playlist for some easy listening before, during and after Hurricane Irma, featuring local Florida artists like January May, Kasson, Yung Gordon and more!
More than anything, we here at 3300+ Climbing wish everyone the best during this time. As much as we'd like you to enjoy our playlist all hurricane long, your safety comes first. Be sure you're prepared and take plenty of care and caution over the course of the next few days. We pray for the safety of our fans, family, artists and friends in all affected areas and look forward to seeing you all safe and sound once Hurricane Irma passes.
Good luck and love to all.
Written by Anna LePetri
Photo credits to Blake 18 Photography, Heart Shaped Dreams Photography, Kristia Knowles Photography, Ayasha Brooke Photography and Bianca Jeiselle Photography
You may recognize her from Full Sail's Film Production, To Board a Flight, or from one of her local coffee shop or concert performances across Florida. Now, she's joining the 3300+ family as our newest artist!
Amanda Lyn is a singer/songwriter, actress and model with performing experience in Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and Georgia. She's performed on Orlando stages including the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BFA in Musical Theater. With 3300+, she'll be developing many aspects of her 50's & 60's-style music career, including her first EP as a follow-up to her single, "Dangerous Man".
If you love Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, or Ann-Margret, you're gonna want to keep an ear open for our work with Amanda! (Fun fact: Amanda's done tribute work for all three!). Amanda’s original music is available on CDbaby.com and iTunes under the name Amanda Lyn. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter to keep updated on her journey to stardom and her work-to-come with 3300+ Climbing!
Interviewed by: Celina Nunez
Photos approved by: Chris Martignago & R.LUM.R
Where did your name come from?
R.LUM.R is the representation of everything I am at his point. To be brief about it, it’s a combination of my first and middle name. Growing up, I was always made to be ashamed of myself about being who I wanted to be and liking what I liked, so I hid it all. It was for a multitude of reasons, and for the sake of brevity I won’t get specific, but it can mostly be boiled down to pressure to be “blacker” and the insidious effects that has on one’s psyche, but I did what I was told, and whatever I thought a person like me was supposed to do.
My middle name, Lamar, was just one I never really felt attached to. So I hid that. Getting my starts in music, I played acoustic and released and performed music as a singer-songwriter for a long time, which started basically because of my limited resources, and I kept going because of the positive ways I was affecting the world around me through that medium, but there’s always been another part of me that wanted to explore the stuff I’m exploring now, but never had the bravery or resources. So in the process of evolving into this music, I wanted to do something that pulled from my past and exposed all those things, but created a clear focus on the future.
Reggie, my first name, is in the first R, and with it being at the beginning of R.LUM.R, it’s the past, and the music I created that got me here. Though I’m evolving, I don’t want to abandon where I came from.
LUM is part of Lamar (my middle name) and represents the parts of myself I’d always hidden, and the present time. It means to me that I can take that stuff from back then and wear it proudly, turning it into positives. It’s also the center of the idea right now, so it’s fitting for it to be sitting where it is visually.
The last R is the future and the person I can be, coexisting with the person I’ve always been. Lamar ends with an “r”, and Reggie starts with an “r”, so it’s like bringing the ideas of the past and the present together, but in the future. I hope that wasn’t too convoluted.
Interviewed by: Celina Nunez
Photos approved by: Slendah
Where did your name come from?
- In 10th Grade, my friend Charlie and I were getting off the bus. I must have been talking to him about my music as we were walking back to our houses and he asked me what my artist name was. I said I was still undecided but I was using either J2A or DJ Fresh Beatz at the time lol. He then told me I should call myself “Slender,” because I’ve always been skinny. I took off the -er and added an -ah for a more Afrocentric vibe and it’s been Slendah ever since that day.
Any quotes that have mentioned you online or in an article?
- I’ll be featured in different articles very soon. For now, this is my first published appearance! We [DJ Slym and I] were just recently able to work side-by-side since I’ve moved to Orlando in February of this year, but things are moving along quite rapidly!
Tell me a little bit about yourself (a bio for example). Basic information such as:
- Slendah (born Joseph Albany Jr.) is an American hip-hop recording artist, singer-songwriter and producer from Port St Lucie, Florida. His genre can be described as “Funk-Hop,” a form of experimental hip-hop, which transcends from his abstract, yet laid back thinking. Just within this past year of seriously pursuing a music career Slendah has already opened up for Cash Money Recording artist, Caskey, and garnished the attention of The Network FLA created by Florida born music heavyweight, DJ Slym.
The now 22-year-old began taking his musical skills seriously in the ninth grade after a freestyle between some friends on Halloween. The positive feedback from his peers and the purchase of a microphone immediately put him on his musical journey. As a teenager, he went by a couple different stage names while discovering his style but ended up with “Slender,” given to him by a bus mate highlighting his slender frame. He revamped the name into “Slendah” and it has stuck ever since! Though never having finished high school, he is always willing to learn to expand himself as an artist overall. He clearly states his vision, “to make a point that I can achieve what I want to achieve even if I’ve made some mistakes”.
The emerging artist’s most recent work (unreleased) is an EP entitled “About Time”, which relates to the infinitesimal topic of life. Slendah is very much into chakras, the metaphysical self and healing crystals. These interests along with his experiences help hone his craft and turn it into music with a message, the most important being unity. On the production side, he takes influence from unlikely methods, such as sampling microwave beeps or wind chimes to create a psychedelic beat. His musical inspirations include legends such as Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and the list goes on! The influences have undoubtedly contributed to the development of his sound and fashion. Slendah can be seen wearing his statement afro paired with a funky get-up and “get-down,” whenever he performs. Currently located in Orlando, Slendah is working intensively to release more projects and spread an everlasting message throughout the world.
Written by: Celina Nunez
Photos Approved by: Alex Angelo
He is a singer/DJ/dancer/ producer and only 16 years old, Alex Angelo, born in Fort Myers Florida, raised in Cleveland and now living in Cincinnati has been putting in work since he was a child. At the age of 7 he started dancing for the Cleveland Cavs, now he makes trips to LA to study dance with famed choreographer/creative director Flii Stylz (Chris Brown, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson). Alex started DJing at 10 using his father’s iPad to then later sell his skateboard ramp so he could his new hobby from the iPad to the Technics 1200s. Alex has been featured on the Disney Channel and even hosted his self-produced radio mix show on Radio Disney for two years. He was the DJ for the broadcast of the Radio Disney Music Awards. In 2014, he released his debut EP "THIS IS THE BEGINNING" and went on two national tours with Austin Mahone, making thousands of new FANGELOS (fandom name). Alex has also opened for several musical artists including Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Carly Rae Jepsen, Hoodie Allen, and more. Alex released his latest EP called "Stay Like This" in the fall. Alex produced all the tracks and wrote/co-wrote on all the tracks on the "Stay Like This" EP.
This is a blog following the students' work at 3300+ Climbing.