Music, Reviews

Simply Complicated Review

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I’ve never been a Demi Lovato fan. I’ve never had an interest and her music never really did anything for me. However, I’ve paid some attention to her struggles and honesty over the last few years. When I started to hear about her YouTube Documentary I knew I wanted to set time aside and check it out. I must admit I was surprised with her story. I had no idea how bad her drug use was and how young she was when it started. Yes, she abused drugs and alcohol, but she also dealt with depression and everything that comes along with it.

She starts the documentary off with a great quote. She said, “The key to being happy is to tell your truth and be okay without all the answers.” This hit me hard and is a big part of why I started this blog. I need to tell my truth. I need to, or I’ll spend my whole life avoiding it and hiding it. Being open is hard. Feeling vulnerable and exposed is hard, but it’s necessary. It helps. Being okay without all the answers can be a huge struggle, but it will bring you instant relief. She went on to say that love is necessary, and loneliness is brutal. I think she means love is necessary to get through life. We need it and we need to accept it. Brushing love off is so easy and at times is my first instinct. If you know me at all you know I don’t say those three little words often and when I do it feels extremely unnatural to me. My best friend in high school used to always yell, “Say it back!” I never would. It’s not that I don’t love the person that is saying it to me (however, if I don’t I’m for sure not saying it back) it’s that saying it back makes me feel like I’m accepting that they love me and I’m not sure I do. I’m not sure I believe it. Loneliness is brutal. It really is, and I don’t mean in the way of not having anyone in life. I mean the mental loneliness. The feeling of being in it alone. That loneliness will kill you.

She talked about her struggle with cocaine. This isn’t something I can relate to so it’s not something I’m going to talk about, but during this time and in life she dealt with depression. She talks about how she had anger issues and was difficult to be around. She slept all the time and she struggled with herself. She said it’s embarrassing to look back at the person that she was. I can relate to this 100%. Anger issues is something I don’t think a lot of people think about when it comes to depression, but it’s something I dealt with. I can 100% relate to her being embarrassed when she looks back at herself. I’m embarrassed of myself and the things I said and the way I acted and the things I did. I know now why I acted the way I did and why I reacted the way I did, but it’s still hard to look back on. She was on the verge of losing everything in life. That’s when she finally surrendered. She says, “You have to surrender because that’s when the change is going to happen.”

She went into a lot of her personal life and relationships. During the filming it was the one year anniversary of when her family lost her Great Grandma. She was crying, and her mom was crying. Obviously, I related to this. The short video she shared of her Grandma was so cute. She also went into her relationship with Wilmer Valderrama and how they mutually ended things. She knew she had issues that she needed to concur and that she wouldn’t be able to if she was relying on him to take care of her loneliness. I thought this was amazing and I thought she was incredibly strong to admit this. It’s SO easy to rely on someone else to make you whole. I can see how I easily could have done that. I believe a relationship can thrive and be so much stronger if you aren’t relying on the other person so heavily. You need to be happy and healthy on your own in many ways. If you aren’t it’s all going to bubble to the surface in some form, at some point.

Her team got her into working out and using the gym as an outlet. They said in the past she wouldn’t even agree to talk about the gym or listen to someone talk about it and now she’s there all the time. She said it really helps and she knows that she’d be in a dark place without it. I couldn’t have said this better myself. A lot of people don’t understand my commitment to the gym and this is a big part of it. Mentally I need it and mentally it works wonders for me. She talked about how it’s a form of meditation because she’s not focused on anything in her head. The time I spend at the gym is the only time of day I’m not stuck on whatever crap I’ve been obsessing over all day. I’m focused and determined. The only things I care about are getting through the workout, my form, the weight I’m lifting, the distance I’m running, etc. It is an amazing break from life.

The documentary went into how she’s on a dating app and was discussing some of the people she has been dating. This part was comical and made me laugh. One of the guys she had been seeing texted her saying, “We good?” and she texted back, “New phone who dis.” I died. Get it girl. Hahahaha She went into how she’s a confrontational person. She doesn’t like to play games and she’ll go right to you and say, “…there’s something going on here… something is up… are we?… what are we doing?… what’s going on?” Her and I are so similar here. I’m not playing games. Are we both feeling this? Yes? Okay, what does that mean? Who wants to waste time. Let’s get moving or move on.

I loved how strong of a person she is, but I don’t think her and I could ever be friends in real life. She’s very aggressive, confident, blunt, etc. We are too similar, and it would not end well. However, she goes to this monthly emo night they have in downtown LA. It’s basically a bunch of people our age that dance and sing to emo music from high school. I can get down with that every day. I did download her new album after watching this. She was recording it during the filming and there were a lot of songs I liked. I have to say I really like the album. It’s fun and sexy and makes me want to dance. I find myself fist pumping a few times in a “Yes, girl! Yes!” kind of way. If you’re going to give it a listen I recommend “Games”, “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Lonely.”

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Depression, friends, Music

Halsey: Hopeless Fountain Kingdom

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It’s rare to say you can remember the day you fell in love with an artist and their music. The exact day you dove into their first album and were instantly connected. That happened with myself and Halsey’s first album Badlands. Another reason I won’t forget that day is because my friend Nikki also came into my life with Halsey. Nikki and I had only talked a few times at work and randomly started talking about music one day (me? talk to someone about music? crazy!). I remember it was a day late in April of 2016. She asked me if I had heard the song “Colors” and I had and I told her I loved it. She suggested we both put the album on at our desk and give it a listen. I was instantly hooked. The music was fun, but the lyrics were deep and I connected with a lot of what Halsey had written. I can’t remember the last time I found a new artist or any artist where I immediately loved an album. It typically takes two or three listens and even then, I usually only like it. I remember Nikki and I messaging back and forth about each song, reading the lyrics with excitement and talking about how much we were loving everything we were hearing. I honestly don’t remember a day after that where I haven’t talked to Nikki.

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Halsey got me through that summer. I was at a point where I couldn’t listen to any of the music I had listened to from the year prior. It all reminded me of things and people and it was too hard and I couldn’t keep going down memory lane. Halsey was new and fresh and I could listen to it over and over and that is just what I did. Her lyrics were explaining everything I was feeling. It’s like she jumped in my head and wrote that album. The songs “Castle”, “Drive”, “Ghost”, “Roman Holiday”, “Strange Love”, and “Haunting” were the songs that stood out and I connected to the most. I mean lyrics like, “All we do is think about the feelings that we hide All we do is sit in silence waiting for a sign” that she sings in “Drive.” In “Roman Holiday” she sings, “Oh, all of these minutes passing, sick of feeling used If you wanna break these walls down, you’re gonna get bruised.” I could probably list lyric after lyric, but I’ll stop there. She went on tour with her Badlands album two years ago, but I didn’t make the Stage AE appearance. When her dates went live for her Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour I knew Nikki and I had to attend.

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How is it possible Halsey can be both adorable and smoking hot? Not even fair.

Nikki came into my life when I was a literal mess. We connected over music and our weight loss stories. Nikki is the kind of person that will tell you anything about herself. She doesn’t have anything to hide and she opened up to me immediately. I don’t open up as quickly, but I remember feeling honored that she trusted me (someone she barely knew) with so many of her life stories. We were instant friends and because she opened up to me about so many things I felt comfortable doing the same. I can’t believe the life Nikki has had and the things she has been through. She is one of, if not the strongest, person I know. I’m not going to even begin to tell you her stories, but I bet if you asked her she’d tell you them herself. I am in awe of her at times and her way of thinking and her positivity. She opens my mind up and challenges me to look at things in a different way. She never makes me feel silly or embarrassed and is always there for me. I truly cherish our friendship and I’m so happy we connected over music that one day. I’m so happy she saw someone who was broken down, not in a good place mentally and chose to stick around and support them. She stuck by me in my hardest days and listened to me and was there for me and she only knew me for a short time. I feel as if I’ve known her forever and I’m so happy to call her one of my best friends. I’m so glad Halsey brought us together that day. I remember our conversation before it turned to music. I think Nikki might have known I needed the distraction. I certainly know looking back that I did. Who would have guessed that an artist and a new friend would get me through some of my roughest months?

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Yep, we are wearing the same lipstick.

Fast forward almost a year and half later to us attending the Halsey: Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour together. Our seats were better than I expected and we had a blast. Halsey puts on a great show. She goes out there on her own and kills it. Her stage was awesome. It was so big and so bare, but so exciting and fun at the same time. She had a single dancer that appeared here and there throughout the show, but other than that it was just her up there doing her thing. She sounded great and played so many of my favorite songs. She even played one that she only has released on a 2014 EP called, “Is There Somewhere?” I. Love. This. Song. LOVE IT and when I saw it on her playlist before the show I was ecstatic. I might have gotten a little emotional when she performed it. It also didn’t help that she said it was for her fans and ran around the stadium hugging people with pure joy on her face. You could tell she loved performing and I loved watching her smirk at different lines in her songs. I just kept thinking, “Girl… we know, we know.” The concert was more than I expected and I’ve watched the videos I took an embarrassing amount of times already. Being able to see her live in a completely different mindset than I was that day I listened to her and with the friend I made because of her was so rewarding. I already can’t wait for her next album and for Nikki and I to attend her next show when she rolls through Pittsburgh.

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