A playlist for you.

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take a second & listen

 mood.

mood.

Hey. There aren't a lot of words necessary for this post however I feel that a quick shoutout is necessary. If you fall into the category of regularly posting the songs you love on your Instagram stories — THANK YOU. I appreciate you. My camera roll is filled with screenshots of your reccomendations. Over the past few weeks I've been stashing away the best of what I've found and I'm so excited to share them with anyone who desperately needs new music to vibe to. Enjoy.

M ☻ 

Artist Spotlight: Talkin' with Tenille Arts

There’s something about music… the words, the melodies, and the stories told through our favorite songs. Indie artist and songwriter Tenille Arts is a budding but blooming musician out of Nashville, and if you haven't heard her music, you ought to grab your headphones and get listening. 

A dancer at three and a singer at eight, Arts was always a performer. She first picked up a guitar at age 15 and started writing melodies that turned into songs. Those songs now live on Apple music and Spotify, and she’s slowly but surely paving the way for her career.  “Every day I wake up and I get to work with some of my best friends. It’s been quite the ride,” says Arts.

VV: What’s your approach to writing music? What types of things inspire you to write new lyrics? And what aspects of your life influence your output as an artist?

TA: I’ve always been someone who takes the time to sit down and write, and the lyrics and the melodies just come to me. It’s a gut reaction to what I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s a title or an idea, but either way I find I’m always writing in the moment. The ideas come first, followed by voice memos and a writing session. I get inspiration from the people around me—my friends, my siblings, my relationship and from my own personal experiences, and then I pick and pull pieces of my life together to work a new song. I think about the things that I feel people want to hear about and the things that are difficult to get through. Growing up, music was an outlet for me. I could listen to the music that said the things I didn’t want to say myself, and it's that experience that makes music so cool for me.

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VV: In 2017, you released your album “Rebel Child”, which debuted at #2 on iTunes Country albums. Having an album that stood next to mainstream country artists like Chris Young and Darius Rucker is so exciting for an independent, woman who's breaking through as a newer artist. What did you take away from that experience and what motivated you to get there?

TA: It was honestly the craziest thing. It was the night of the release and the album jumped to #2, and it was so surreal to see that. I have an incredible team and I fully believe in all of us, but getting to see that people are invested in your music is the coolest thing ever. Some of the songs we actually wrote before the EP came out, so some of the songs were a year old. My manager called and listened to all the songs, and thought we had enough great songs to put out a whole album. It all started from that. It was a super quick process, getting everything together and having a release ready to go in October, but it was so worth it.

VV: Any favorite songs from the album?

TA: Rebel Child was one of the first songs I wrote with Adam Wheeler. We had written it so long ago and everyone kept talking about it. And I’m really glad we did because it showed everyone who I was. Sometimes artists will have those songs that you know they’re talking about themselves and this songs is who I am. It’s my story of leaving a small town and moving to Nashville to chase my dreams. For me, the title means so much more to me than what people think. It’s about taking on your own journey and doing your own thing. There’s so many ways to approach an atypical journey in life. When you step out of that and go after your dreams, that’s a rebel child.

VV: In addition to your success in way of music… I have to say that when we first connected, I was drawn to your style. I love a girl who shares my appreciation for black, and I love the way you play with different textures + statement accessories to create a look that’s edgy and classic. How does your personal style translate in photo shoots, album artwork + music videos?

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TA: There’s just something about wearing black. I’ve always loved dark colors and I tried to fight it, but I eventually thought that if this is what makes me feel good, then I can’t step on stage without wearing what makes me feel empowered. Clothing can really make you feel like that. Over the last few years, I’ve changed my hair color and have experimented a bit, but now I’m all about keeping my look consistent because it’s what I wear in real life.

VV: Who inspires you—as a musician, as a woman, and as style icon?

TA: In the country music world, Miranda Lambert is a definite inspiration for me. She paves her own way and has done a great job of building a successful career while staying true to herself. Her music is a reflection of who she is. I also get a lot of inspiration from my mom and the people around me. There’s something about the people who are around you and constantly supporting you that translates as inspiration.

VV: It seems you’re making strides in your career as you just made your national television debut when you performed a song on last night's episode of The Bachelor during Arie and Chelsea's one-on-one. Such a cool opportunity! What was that experience like for you?

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TA: Honestly, I freaked out when I found out that this was all going to happen. The song I performed is a brand new song that wasn’t on my album. When I found out I had this opportunity, I went back through all of my songs to find a love song. I wanted to find something that felt like it really fit the show. The experience of travelling and performing for the show was so surreal. I’ve never had such a big opportunity before so I wanted it to be perfect. Seeing Arie and Chelsea together was extremely cool.

“The lyrics said, “You caught me in a moment of weakness,” and I couldn't have felt more in tune with that moment because I exposed myself in such a way that I’ve never done before and he was literally holding me and making me feel so safe. It couldn’t have got much better than that,” Chelsea said of the date.

VV: What can your new fans who follow the show and loved your segment expect to see from you in the coming months?

TA: There’s a lot to look forward to in the months ahead. We’ve been working to put together another special edition of the album, and there’s going to be some exciting things going live as early as next week that we’ll be announcing through social media.

"Moment of Weakness" and "Rebel Child" both hit the top 20 on the US iTunes Country Charts, so be sure to download the single on iTunes, Apple Music or Spotify.  Follow Tenille on Instagram to stay in the know with new music, events, releases and more!

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photo credit — www.tenillearts.com + @tenillearts

 

PUT YOUR RECORDS ON

Happy National Vinyl Record Day from the ladies of V+V! I couldn't help but make a trip to one of the coolest vinyl shops in the Portland area, none other than Jackpot Records. Located on Hawthorne Blvd on the east side of town, they're getting ready to celebrate their twentieth anniversary next month. At this rate vinyl will never go out of style (thank god).

A special thanks to the incredibly talented Joaquin Sabarots for capturing these magical photos!

SHE WORE BLUE VELVET

Lana Del Rey is the ultimate definition of a beautifully sad yet ever enchanting celebrity and style icon, portraying her endless longing for love, fashion and beauty through her music. She has the effortless ability to bring together her outward femininity with classic Hollywood style in her own unique way. Del Rey always consistently conveys the trials, tribulations and struggles of a female growing up in a world captivated by the so-called "perfect" beauty image and ideal. Though some may view her music as controversial, she integrates topics such as fashion, beauty and the idea of outward appearance in her music to explore her own emotional response to the obligations society thrusts upon women.

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I have been following Lana Del Rey for years now, and have grown to admire the way her music makes people think and feel. She leaves messages behind in her words that are extremely influential to girls growing up and feeling exactly what she is writing about. Often her illusions and references to physical beauty encompass what someone is wearing and how make-up and nail polish equates to the way these things make them feel: empowered, strong, independent, feminine, young, carefree, girlish. Del Rey frequently mentions the color red and explores characteristics inspired by it, insisting its power inspires confidence.

 h&m tank, ovs jeans, forever21 sandals, tiffany's necklace

h&m tank, ovs jeans, forever21 sandals, tiffany's necklace

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While recently wearing my favorite blue velvet tank, the first thing that came to my mind was Lana Del Rey’s rendition of the song ‘Blue Velvet’. Known for its beautiful, simple and mysterious lyrics, the infamous song was originally written by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris in the 50s, and has since been covered by a multitude of talented artists. Though Blue Velvet is known for its memorable lyrical style, Del Rey has left her mark on the music industry by sharing meaningful stories and contributing to important conversations through her music. Her willingness to use her songs to discuss fashion, beauty, self-love, acceptance, coming of age etc. leaves a bold impact on those who are willing to listen and absorb the lyrics.

FOR THE WYNNE

Sina Holwerda is disrupting the genre of hip hop in all of the best ways. This badass, "watch-me-break-the-rules" rebel is using her platform to make tremendous strides in the industry.

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What first inspired your love for hip hop music?

I played for a club soccer team when I was nine and we were tasked with making a warm up CD. I asked my older brother if he knew any good pump up songs and he introduced me to “Lose Yourself,” Em’s classic. I immediately fell in love, and being that my brother and I shared an iTunes account, I had all of his music on my little MP3. That night I went into my room and discovered Eminem, Nate Dogg, 50 Cent, Dre, etc. I was hooked.

What can you share with us about your journey as a recording artist? How did you get started, how did you progress and how did you get to where you are today?

I started rapping when I was nine just for fun. I would rap those same Eminem songs I had on my MP3 every night before I went to bed until I was 12 (this is not an exaggeration, I was painfully adamant about rapping every night before I went to bed). When I was 12 I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life and began writing lyrics everyday. I wrote a song or two everyday for two years. Granted, they were awful, but it took writing all of those terrible lyrics and trying to mimic my favorite artists for me to find who I was. It was especially hard being a young woman, not just because 0% of my friends and family believed I could pursue rap but because all of my role models were men. I wasn’t introduced to female rappers until later in high school. Because of that, it took me a long time to find my voice. I wish that I had some wonderful story where I’d hang out with my 3 best friends and we just made music in the bedroom until it took off but I didn’t have that luxury. I grew up in a suburb five minutes outside of Portland with no diversity and, therefore, had a very limited understanding and acceptance of other cultures. Nobody made hip hop and nobody understood hip hop. I was made fun of, taunted during some of my performances, and isolated because of my passion. I was different in a cookie cutter community. I grew by literally locking myself in my room and working relentlessly by myself to prove those people wrong. When I got to college I found my music people. Now I have the people I wish that I had in high school and I couldn’t be more grateful for their dedication to helping me pursue my career and their passion for music.  

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How did you come up with your stage name, Wynne?

Wynne (pronounced like win) is actually my middle name- it’s Welsh and it means fair skin and fair hair so, that's me. What better way to enter hip hop culture than calling myself what everybody sees when I grab a mic.

What inspires your lyrics? If you could share a message with the world through your music, what would it be?

Everything. I know that’s the most broad answer possible but it’s super true. It would be easy to say that my music is inspired by my life because it is, but I also want to talk about topics that I see going on in the world, politics, social issues, etc. When you’re a right brained human it’s easy to be smacked in the face with a lyric idea at any moment. Keeps the day exciting.

Man...if I only had one message to give to people? Honestly, not to be the most cliche person of the year, but just to be yourself. It has been one of the hardest lessons for me as an artist because I love making people happy and I don’t like having enemies. When I went viral in August suddenly millions of people had an opinion on me and thought they knew my life without ever having met me. What was supposed to be a celebratory moment became a “how do I handle this lifestyle” moment. The solution was knowing that no matter what anybody thought of me or what anybody thinks about what I do- it doesn’t affect who I am. Those comments can bounce off of me and they’re none of my business. You are literally the only you on this entire planet. You’re the only one there ever will be. Nobody else knows how to be you or handle your life because they aren't they and you are you. What a wonderful gift.  

Last Friday, on Inauguration Day, you released your new single "An Open Letter to Donald Trump" on iTunes and Apple Music. What can you share with us about the song and what compelled you to write it?

I had been wanting to release a song since he won the electoral vote but I didn't know where to start or what to say. I got a call from Kenny Burns just before Christmas and he encouraged me to write something from my heart in the form of an open letter. I busted out all my notes from my ethnic studies, political science, and music history classes and watched some documentaries and just began speaking. I wrote about 5 different versions – it was the hardest thing I've ever had to write. The goal was to make it intellectual enough that people couldn't listen passively and they'd have to google some of the references to really understand the history of our country. I intentionally left Mr. Trump's name out of the song and neglected to explicitly mention any of the instances that I reference so that the listener has to fill in the lines.

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What is your favorite part about recording?

I actually hate recording – well, sort of. I’m a terrible perfectionist. I will isolate syllables that I think I say weird and my engineer will look at me like "wtf?" The most fun that I have when I’m recording is when it’s a collaborative effort and I have people in the studio with me. I love talking things through and bouncing ideas off the people I trust. Bringing a bag of flaming hot cheetos and kicking it in the studio for a night with my friends and just making music is honestly the best. It’s significantly less fun when I am recording by myself because I get stuck in my own mind and will pick apart my vocals like crazy. I’ve taken 250 takes of one verse before. In reality the first one was probably fine- but how am I supposed to know that if I don’t have my friends with me to ask them if it sounded funny?

Of everything you have accomplished thus far, what achievement(s) has/have been the sweetest?

Whoa. Can I say the entire year of 2016? Life's been surreal, honestly. I would say having Snoop Dogg post my video was a pretty "holy shit" moment. I think I went numb for a few hours. My first official business trip to LA, too. I could cite that entire trip as a milestone but to be specific: I brought my friend Spencer and we flew from the tiny airport in Eugene, Oregon to LAX and I remember landing and getting in an Uber to take us to my first session with a producer in Hollywood and I just remember thinking "I did this, I got us here, I taught myself everything I know in my bedroom and I got us to Los Angeles." Getting my first record deal offer was also a milestone...getting my first plugs at concerts/shows were milestones...too many to name but definitely Snoop and my first trip to LA. It all feels big being from Oregon.

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What inspires you as an artist?

Nearly everything. To be specific to artists though, at this current moment I am heavily inspired by: Kendrick, Logic, Drake, Travis Scott, Jon Bellion, Alicia Keys – too many to name. My artist inspirations change pretty frequently. Disney is always an inspiration –detail, color, concepts, characters. Disney always has a deeper message than is perceived at first glance and I try to make my music the same way. As far as TV shows, right now I am watching Gilmore Girls and the witty banter has certainly heightened my puns. My friends are an inspiration; freestyling with them constantly and bouncing around ideas. I get inspired pretty easily by a lot of different things.

Your website features an array of incredible music videos. What can you share with us about how you produce these?

It’s pretty much me saying to someone “Hey, hold the camera right here” the day before I need to drop it. Music videos are one of my favorite aspects of music and one of the most important. Those videos have come about in different ways but generally I edit and direct all of them. I like attention so dancing around in front of a camera is pretty easy.

Where do you plan to take your music in the future?

Everywhere. There are so many rapper household names. Think about it...Nas, Eminem, 50 Cent, Jay Z, Kanye, Kendrick, Rakim, Tupac, but nobody ever lists a woman. I want them to list me.

What advice do you have for other women in the pursuit of big dreams?

I’ve never stopped to think “Hmm, I have boobs, I must have to do things different,” and neither should you, homegirl. You’re more capable than anyone will ever admit.

Where can our readers listen to more of your (amazing) music?

Either @sinawynne on Soundcloud or sinawynne.com. I’ve had to remove most of my stuff but more is on the way.