LumiScope: Alan Z

Asian artists are surely taking the world by storm. Most recently, South Korean boy group BTS made a breakthrough to mainstream listeners above the massive fanbase they already held in a less known scene. While the world of KPOP is considered highkey to those already part of this domain, American audiences are still unaware of the impact Asians and Asian Americans are having on the music industry.

Among the US streets of Atlanta, Georgia, another artist has garnered his own fanbase with fans traveling to see his shows, purchase his albums, and support him in any way they can. I first came across Alan Z when he attended a smaller function in Virginia. He held a strong presence without as many words needed compared to others, and it was more than obvious that he was an artist, ready to stand out and stand up for the Asian American music scene with his original productions and hardworking image.

Alan recently released a new music video for his song “Touch and Go” – a trendy, modern tune that he produced and a video he co-directed. We were lucky to be able to catch an interview with him!

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Has your original image/vision for your music changed since you started?

Alan Z: My vision for striving to be a household name and pop sensation never changed, but my image definitely changed throughout the times. When I was younger, I had different management teams, and they pushed me towards either the “grown and sexy” suited-up look, or the preppy, teenage Justin Bieber look. I hated both of those looks for me. Then I started wearing hats and baggy pants, but unfortunately, the classic hip-hop style was out. Fast-forward to now, I got my signature wavy hair and fitted jeans. I miss the old hip-hop fashion, but unfortunately, it’s a new world we live in.

You co-directed the music video for Touch And Go; did you ever imagine you’d be covering all areas of production when you first started making music?

Alan Z: I knew I was going to be hands-on with everything, which I believe is the result of being a perfectionist. Well, that and also because I learned that you can’t depend on people for anything. The video concept for “Touch And Go” has been like three years in the making. My best friend Taaj and I first brainstormed about it in 2014 when I first recorded the song, and I finally decided to finish writing the video treatment and putting together the cast and crew this past summer. It features three love interests and our storylines are intertwined within the main narrative. Whoever is reading this that hasn’t seen “Touch And Go” yet, watch it now on YouTube so you can say that you saw it before I become too mainstream and bandwagon fans discover me way later.

Of your songs, I imagine there are some selections that you hold near and dear to you. At the moment, are there any of your songs that are more relevant than others to your life?

Alan Z: I have a song called “Discriminated” on my new EP “First Time’s The Charm”, where I open up about the discrimination I faced throughout my childhood and how it followed me into my music career, which has been an uphill battle due to racism. But in the song, I’m not just complaining; I’m fighting back against anyone that has got a problem with me. I interpolated the Eminem line “have you ever been hated or discriminated against” in the song for obvious reasons. There’s also my EP intro track “No Handouts”, which was my F-U to everyone in a higher-up position or had the funds to help me but flaked on doing anything for me. So the idea is that I will make it with or without them. No favors, no helping hand, no handouts.

When you first started making music, what did you think it was going to be like for you? Did you imagine it would be like how it is for you now?

Alan Z: When I started rapping at 12 years old, I thought all I had to do was be good and I’d get signed, and then I wouldn’t have to finish high school. I was wrong obviously. I grew up to learn this business was 90% business, 10% music. Especially nowadays talent is not enough without popularity, so I work effortlessly to build my buzz and keep my momentum going. Alan Z is going to be a household name regardless.

The term “selling out” often comes to mind as the popularity of underground artists hit mainstream media. What do you think of artists who do sell out, and do you think selling out is inevitable or it can be prevented?

Alan Z: I think selling out is subjective. For example, me making pop music isn’t selling out in my case because I have an ear for making catchy songs and I have the Midas touch with any record I’m on, meaning I can put a fire hook on a beat and turn it into a potential radio smash. My definition of selling out is doing something that you personally don’t agree with, for the sake of fame or money. I’m down with making power moves, getting endorsement deals, acting in film and commercials, and making radio songs; all of which may be considered “selling out” to some people. However, what I will NOT do is portray Asians in a negative light or drop one of my talents to be more easily pigeonholed, whether it be singing or rapping. I don’t need to sell out now for me to pack stadiums soon and sell out crowds (bars).  

Was there ever a time during your career that you considered giving up?

Alan Z: Oh of course. That thought has come to my mind, but no matter how close I come to saying “f— it”, I bounce back and go harder. I’m well-aware that many artists that could be lending a helping hand see me as a threat and just watch me from a distance, and my patience has been wearing thinner by the day by false promises and industry snakes. But my love for music, my never-ending lust for success, and passion for impacting others keep me going. No matter how crazy it may sound to some now, I’m say it here: Alan Z will be a global phenomenon.

Passion in music surpasses any other kind of determination when you start off raw, and Alan Z is a prime example of what hard work can do. Beating the odds and showing his audience that he is capable of doing what he sets out to do, he is definitely one to keep on your radar.

Support Alan Z by following him on social media and by watching his new MV for “Touch and Go”!

Follow L.A. on Instagram: http://instagram.com/ai.lumi
Is there another Asian American artist you think LumiScript should look into? Let us know by emailing LumiScriptOfficial@gmail.com!
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JJANGIE TRENDS: Beauty People Flash Fix Pearl Pigment Pact

 

Three weeks ago, I came down to KCON LA 2017 as my sixth year attending this annual All Things Hallyu convention. Every year, M Countdown hosts one of the biggest kpop concerts to be held in the US, as well as its other expansions across the world, filled with the main attraction of Korean Pop music, captivating Korean culture, and popular K-beauty trends for people to enjoy.

As foreseen, a stop I’ve mostly made this year was the Beauty Block of the convention where an assortment of different korean makeup brands such as April Skin, Innisfree, and the FaceShop can be viewed and bought at alluring sales. Knowing myself, I am not quite familiar with how the world of cosmetics work but thanks to our other author (L.A.) who attended with me this year, she has given me some insight of the basics before we came. So, for this year, I took the chance to check out one booth that caught my attention.


Beauty Block can be found on Yesstyle, their products having a distinct symbol to recognize over the rest. The one product I purchased was the Flash Fix Pearl Pigment Pact, a 1.8g shimmering eyeshadow. (L.A.) introduced me to Stila’s product that was similar,  and I immediately fell in love with its glow. However, I knew I would probably not be able to find the same exact one as her’s. As seen, it is a a small round compact of a single eyeshadow pact which comes in eight different tones like Sugar Light (pictured above). This pact’s oil base allows for excellent skin adhesion; it’s almost impossible for the product to fall off easily, leaving a long-lasting effect and a nice shiny base.


In the main description, it explains to use a small brush with the eyeshadow to gently smooth over your eyelids as instructions. Unfortunately, the brush barely grabs any of the product unless I continuously rub the brush over the surface until I’m satisfied with how much I have.


When applying directly as a base, I would recommend using your finger as it melts the product, and it would be easier to evenly blend across your eyelids. Something worth noting is that the shimmer IS NOT glitter. In fact, it more like little bits of breakable, loose flakes. Using your finger instead of a brush allows the little bits of “thin foil”  to break and become smaller, resembling more of what actual glitter looks like on skin when using this compression pact.


Like the the title says, this is a pigment pact.

 

Let me repeat that, the eyeshadow is REALLY PIGMENTED!

 

Above, I did a side by side comparison of Beauty People’s Flash Fix Pearl Pigment Pearl Pact (in the middle) with two other shimmer eyeshadows from Wet n Wild’s Au Naturel palette, and the shine is definitely something to note! I am picky with products like this, but, because of the deep pigmentation and light tone, I grew to love it even more. The amount that I used in the picture is smaller than you would think; specifically, I only pressed enough into the soft creamy eyeshadow a few times, and already there’s a sufficient amount collected. This product that also we used as a highlighter, but one needs to be careful of how much to apply onto your cheek and to evenly blending it out.

 

One note to make when removing, the shimmer will spread if you use a makeup remover wipe, but after washing with soap and water all the product will be off.  

 

Overall, I’m really happy with this eyeshadow and really recommend any one of the pacts if you’re looking for a glossy and elegant look to add to your makeup routine!

LumiLens: Andi Mack

Let me start off by saying I am entirely part of the anti Neo-Disney movement. I’m part of the early 90s generation that grew up with Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, and Phil of the Future. That was the time of my life when overly complicated jokes like the ones that grace the script of Archer didn’t really matter, and all I needed was some classic humor and sassy female leads to get my day going. That was the era of Disney that helped shape my personality (I wonder where all the wit came from?). So, again, I am 100% anti Neo-Disney.

But… I freaking adore Andi Mack.

First things first, look at how adorable Peyton Elizabeth Lee is. Her pixie cut was something I didn’t have the guts to achieve until I was a junior in high school, and here she is, just turning 13 (in the show), and she’s rocking it. IT’S THOSE CHEEKS! The cheeks, the teeth, oh goodness, I’m fangirling over her as we speak! Alongside all of those things that she was born with, towards the end of the pilot episode, she sports an aqua blue oriental style embroidered bomber jacket. If I could have a little sibling in another life, I hope it’s her. If only I had that sense of style when I was hitting puberty…

I wouldn’t have paid much attention to Andi Mack had I not seen an article come across my Facebook newsfeed about the amazing plot twist at the end of the show’s pilot. Honestly, I assumed it had something to do with the LGBT movement since the new Beauty and the Beast live action movie announced that two gay characters would be part of the storyline, and the community has been raving about the representation in recent media. This was not the case for Andi Mack.

SPOILER ALERT:

Teen pregnancy as a show hasn’t been a thing since the Secret Life of the American Teenager (of which I only saw the first episode and proceeded to mindlessly skim until I got the gist of everything that happened). It’s revealed in the later half of the pilot that Andi’s badass big sister Bex is actually not her sister – she’s her mom.

Lilan Bowden is gorgeous, and she fits the role of a big sister well. This show actually makes you think from the child’s point of view instead of the mother’s like in the Secret Life. Since Andi is already at that age when she’s starting to declare her independence, you can see it more from how she’s trying to approach the situation instead of her sister’s thoughts. Now, I think Bex’s story could start an entirely other show, but I’m guessing her backstory is going to be revealed as the season goes on.

Congratulations, Disney! I can see the direction you’re heading to. Starting with Girl Meets World, Disney Channel is reaching back to their crowd from the 1990s by approaching them through their children with real life situations. I guess you could consider that a fusion between a kids show and adult life resulting in a valuable life lesson? Teen pregnancy definitely isn’t something you’d want your five year old finding fun, but many parents these days are in their early 20s. These are the parents who grew up with Lizzie as well, and Lizzie’s creator Terri Minsky came back with a huge slap to the Millenial’s warped vision of entertainment with Andi Mack.

Remember the days when even Mom and Dad loved Disney Channel and enjoyed it with you? Maybe it’s time for those days to make a comeback.

Best of luck to the cast of Andi Mack! Looking forward to supporting you through your careers.

You can watch the first episode of Andi Mack here!

Follow Peyton Elizabeth Lee on Instagram!

Follow Lilan Bowden on Instagram!

Make sure to follow LumiScript for more reviews!

LumiLens: Midnight in Paris

Sure, I’m six years too late, but, if you’re like me, I find solace in the movies I’ve seen a hundred times. But every now and then, I get the urge to watch something new. I’d wanted to watch Midnight in Paris right when it came out, but I confess I procrastinated. So when I saw it appear on Netflix, I was ready to jump at it. Let’s dive into this film.

Have you ever heard of a soulmate? I’m sure you have. But I’ve heard one more step into that – I was told once before that if your spirit craves for a place you’ve never been to before, a place that even though you’ve only stepped foot on its soil for a couple of days, and it truly feels like home, it means your soulmate is there. It’s your soul city. It’s the sensation of being homesick for a place that you’ve never even been to.

In Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen, Gil Pender struggles with his one-sided love and passion for the city and his one-sided love for his fiancee Inez. She’s a seemingly independent woman who shows more emotion for her college crush than she does for her fiance, and Gil is a hopeless romantic author who is in love with Paris. She finds his passion for the city childish and can only see the amount of romance one might experience from seeing a black and white postcard of the Eiffel Tower. As his passion carries him forward, at the stroke of midnight, a 1920s style cab pulls up in front of him and he finds himself in the presence of the world’s most famous writers and artists. He is able to find inspiration from their company and their 20s era state of mind.

If I’m being honest, this movie wasn’t amazing. I’m not a huge fan of Owen Wilson, and unfortunately, I know too many girls like Inez that it actually made me angry to watch her character obviously disregard her fiance’s hopes and dreams.

However, this is fuel for a writer. I never take pleasure in calling myself a writer. I haven’t published anything, and I find too much embarrassment whenever someone even attempts to read my writing out loud. But I take pride in the responses I’ve received over the years from anything I’ve written. Writers hold an immense amount of power, and it’s a special type of force that can change their readers’ emotions at the drop of a hat. To conjure up enough sadness from a third person, to make them cry, to make them laugh, to make them feel what your character feels – this is a power not easily harnessed. Authors are the real rulers of the generation. Through writing, cities are moved and passion is born.

And while I confess that Midnight in Paris is not on my list of favorite movies, it inspired me. I haven’t written anything in months, and that saddens me. Sometimes the passion to write can falter because of the obstacles that one experiences in life. And I never like to put out anything that I deem subpar. The words need to be perfectly placed, and I need to be able to read it like I didn’t write it and feel the emotions I was attempting to convey.

Midnight in Paris is the perfect depiction of a modern hopeless romantic’s journey to find the words held back by the life he lived. And in the end, he let go of that seemingly idealistic facade, and found his way back to the romance through his adventures in Paris.

How beautiful.

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