#TMITuesday: 10 Questions With CMT’s Party Down South Star Josh Murray

One of my favourite activities with my dad was watching trashy reality TV together. My dad actually introduced me to Jersey Shore so it is no surprise he got me hooked on Party Down South.

I had the pleasure of sitting down to ask an alumni of the show about his life now, The Challenge, and the essentials for a really Southern party in this all new #TMITuesday interview.

1. I’m (obvious from my Twitter account) a huge MTV’s The Challenge fan, a show where a fellow Party Down South cast member Mattie Lynn competed on. Were you watching her last season?

 Sh*t yeah I watched Mattie Daddy on that challenge whippin’ she ass left and right! I love her Ass and was a huge supporter or hers and that particular challenge season. 


2. Speaking of reality TV, do you watch any? I’m big on 90 Day Fiancé lately. 

I honestly don’t watch much reality tv and had 0 knowledge of even what happened in it until I stumbled into Party Down South.

I do try to keep up with Floribama Shore and Jersey Shore when I can. Having the same production company, 495 Productions, I support their shows and enjoy watching with inside knowledge of what’s going on. 

3. Since today is #TMITuesday can you tell the readers something they may not already know?


There really ain’t much I haven’t talked about publicly so hmm.

When I failed the backflip into the pool and busted my head open we downplayed the injury. I’d messed up my back, jaw, nose, eye socket, and neck. I turned down pain meds from the doctors cause I couldn’t drink and take pain meds so I chose partying and was back to it the next day!

4. Do you keep in touch with any of your former cast mates?

I do still talk to my cast mates! I talk to Daddy at least once a month!


5. What can we find on your recently played songs list? (Top 5)

My top 5 right now ranges widely from Jon Langston to Amon Amarth

6. Party Down South was clearly inspired by the hit series Jersey Shore. Do you think the JS cast could handle a night in the PDS house? Could you handle a night on the Jersey Shore?

When it comes to Party Down South compared to Jersey Shore we’re vastly different as people. So I think if the casts were to meet we would flat out drink em under the table, but they would party longer than us through the night.


We’d typically drink all day everyday and go to the bars around 8 or 9 so we’d have time to fish for chicks before the lights came on at 2 am. I think that’s typically what time they go to the club!

7. How has your life changed since your time on the show?

Since the show ended it was a pretty seamless transition back into the work place I was at before I did PDS. I do miss the fun though, can’t get it going the same without everyone else!

8. Everyone has a celebrity crush so who is yours and why?


My celebrity crush is hands down Maria Brink! Singer for the band In This Moment. That woman is the top of my list being beautiful, artistic, talented, tattooed, and puts on a FANF*CKINTASTIC show!

9. Partying down South looks hard (this is coming from a Canadian). What are the essentials for a night out in the South?


So prepare for a typical night out in the south you don’t need much at all! It’s clothes optional, booze a necessity, and a mentality prepared to GET IT GOING!

10. What’s next for you?


Next for me is to finish this drink and climb into bed so I can get up at 5 am and go work on some equipment!

Stay tuned for more interviews with your favorites in reality TV, music, and pop culture this Fall on thenikkisin.com

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This Thanksgiving Weekend I Am Thankful For New Harry Styles’ Music TBH

For me there are genres of music and then there are Nikki genres. One of my favourite Nikki genres is “dance and spin in your room like a fool” and Harry Styles has blessed us all with a banger for this category. “Lights Up” questions knowing who you are when the lights are on and everyone can see you.
The video, released not even 12 hours ago, shows Styles dancing with women and men and Stan Twitter is all over this with it being Coming Out Day. It has a warm tone visually and the sound had me shuffling my shoulders all silly like.

This new track seems on par with the musical progression of the former One Direction member since his freshman solo release in 2017 (I am currently BLASTING that album and feeling all the feels.). Strangely enough Halsey (who released Hopeless Fountain Kingdom in 2017) seems to be mirroring this progression (and vice versa with Harry to Halsey) with her new album Mania. All my 2017 feels from the year and these albums appeared to have grown like these artist’s music. Poetic or human nature?

What were you listening to in 2017? What do you think of the new Harry Styles song? Let me know in the comments.

#CinemaSunday: Horror Flicks On Netflix This Month

The month of October provides many wonderful excuse to curl up with a good horror film. The crisp Fall weather, the countdown to Halloween, and Cinema Sunday makes it’s return to thenikkisin.com.


Netflix (Canadian version because I live in Drakeville) has you covered if you don’t want to make your way to the movie theatre (to spend 30+ dollars to sit in someone else’s sweat and not be able to pause the film to go get snacks). I’ve done you a favor and compiled a short list of some of the MANY spoopy flicks available on the major streaming service this month.

(No chill was harmed in the making of this list)


Fun fact: Netflix did not sponsor this post but they are more than welcome to sponsor my site tbh.

COOL LET US GET TO IT THEN SHALL WE?

Amityville: The Awakening (2017)
Contagion (2011)
The Babysitter (2017)
From Dusk Til Dawn (1996)
I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
I Spit On Your Grave 2 (2013)
Sinister Circle (2016)
Scary Movie (2000)
Scary Movie 2 (2001)
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Scary Movie Unrated (2013)
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
IT: Chapter One (2017)
District 9 (2009)
Halloween (1978)
Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Scream 1 (1996)
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 3 (2000)
Hush (2016)
Murder Party (2007)
Terrifier (2016)
Texas Chainsaw (2013)
La Influencia (2019)
Hereditary (2018)
A Quiet Place (2018)


For the kids?
Toughen them up and make them watch these. I watched tons of horror as a kid and I turned out fine I think.

Or just put on Hotel Transylvania?

Also to be noted the following films are LEAVING Netflix this month (October 20th to be exact):

Halloween (1978)
Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Scream 1 (1996)
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 3 (2000)

And TV you ask? Well you can check out Haunted S2, The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina S1 and Creeped Out S1 to start.

What are your top horror movies for the Halloween season? Let me know in the comments below!

#TMITuesday: 10 Questions with Teen Mom Star Mackenzie McKee

In a shocking plot twist after my 5+ years interviewing MTV celebrities this is my first Teen Mom chat. I was lucky enough to ask MTV’s favorite cheerleader who first met on 16 & Pregnant about her life now. We discuss her relationship with God, business and find out what she’s listening to with the kids.

1. How has your life really changed since your episode of 16 And Pregnant?

Well, I have really grown. I became a mom to two more beautiful children, I opened a business, and have learned how to take care of myself. 


2. Your story continued on Teen Mom 3/OG, how do you want your story to impact viewers?

It is very hard to be raw, open and honest on tv because people will say so many horrible things about you. But being real is the only way people can relate. I deal with real life problems and I hope people can learn from my mistakes.

3. Your recent divorce has been all over the press. How do you deal with the tabloids?

I simply do not read the tabloids or It will mess with my mental health. God knows where I belong and I truly believe he will lead me to the right person. 

4. Since today is #TMITuesday is there anything you can tell the fans about you that they may not already know?

In high school, the football players use to think I was the only cheerleader who farted because I was the only one who would do it around boys. I ain’t trying to have a stomach cramp all day to impress these boys.

5. Is there anyone in the “Teen Mom family” that you look up to? hmm, I think

All of them have an inspiring story to tell. I think Kail is a true bullet proof woman though. To see where she came from and who is is now really inspires me. 



6. Let’s talk fitness! Whats a typical routine like for you?

I wake up and work on self development because my mental health comes first. My children need me to be ok. And than I take my Great Dane on a walk and some times a short run. I come back and work on my business. Ill check emails, run my pages, do my social media stuff and teach cardio classes online from my home. And than its time to get the kids from school. I like to take a moment to help them with homework, fix supper, clean the house and than I load the kids up and go for my evening weight training. We than come home for bed time. This is my Monday-friday schedule. Saturday is for family, but I do try to sign up for races, or fitness things, or be active in some way. If for some reason I missed a workout throughout the week ill catch it up on Saturday. but I do try to leave that open for my family. And Sundays are for JESUS. My grandma cooks for the entire family and has since could remember. That is a day I just eat good food and do not stress about it.

7. Speaking of fitness, how do I get you as a trainer? I want a BodyByMac.

My website is www.bodybymac.net you can look through all of my plans. And I have some amazing support groups on facebook for those participating in my programs. Its kinda like connecting with others and me on a personal level and get the help you need for no extra charge. 

8. Baby Shark was a banger, what’s the song your kids are playing the most right now in your home?

Old Town Road for the boys and anything Jojo Siwa for my daughter. I may get judged for this, we love family dance parties and Snoop Dogg is always played haha. 



9. What advice do you have for young moms reading this?

Don’t forget to love yourself and always work on yourself. Sometimes life is too much for you as a single human to handle., Give it to God and let him carry your burdens. One day at a time sis, you got this.

10. And finally, what’s next for you?

My life has been rather crazy this year. It has taken big turns. I wake up every morning and ask God to lead me. Without him I would not even be here. Without turning to him I would have killed myself along time ago. I just want to work hard and see where life leads me. You guys will continue to see my story, my mom is rocking this thing called life, and I will continue what I have worked hard for, my business. 

The Anxiety Diaries Volume 15: The Panic Attack Comedown

Sometimes I truly cannot tell what is worse. The panic attack itself or the comedown from it. It’s the hangover of of the anxiety world really isn’t it?

Sometimes it will take me a few minutes, or a short rest to shake it off. The lingering feeling of terror, and worry remains on your skin like dirt that you can’t seem to scrub off.

Recently I had a pretty major panic attack. One of the ones that drags on for an entire day. I felt like I couldn’t escape and it was as if I couldn’t breathe. No one could help me, especially myself.
It was infuriating for me to not be able to communicate the magnitude of the horrors splashing around in my head.

I felt so trapped in my own skin and my mind was screaming for help. I could almost think of nothing better than death at that point. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully explain the terrifying thoughts I was having.

I spent the following days coming down from that manic episode. Finding I had no appetite or energy. I felt so drained and ashamed of the behavior I exhibited. But should I be ashamed of having those thoughts? Am I crazy? This is a question I continue to ask myself.

The first few hours I felt like I had an out of body experience the night before. And I didn’t feel like myself. I was in physical pain, nauseated and sore. I wanted to tell everyone who checked in that I was okay. I wasn’t but I was getting there. I felt like a burden saying anything other than “I’m doing much better”. So that is exactly what I did.

I spent the next little while forcing myself to eat substantial meals, being active, and talking about what I had experienced. I believe it’s left a bit of a mark on my psyche still, but it’s something I’m just going to have to live with.

It was hard to have the drained feeling hanging around for so long. I felt like I was enduring a hangover I didn’t deserve. And that’s the thing, no one tells you there is recovery time from panic attacks. It’s debilitating and makes me feel ashamed to have anxiety and depression. Because I know I’m stronger than that.

This is of course not my first panic attack, or manic episode. But certainly the most recent.

So, I came up with a list. The intention being a list to refer to when I’m feeling anxious or drained. I divided it into categories including: who to contact, what to eat, songs to play, places to go, exercises to do, and things to do (eg. shower). This list will be something I can go to when I start to feel panicked, or during a “comedown” like the one I recently went through. Most importantly I felt the need to remind myself not to be so hard on ‘me’. This isn’t a life I chose, I don’t want to be this way but I am. There is no overnight fix.

What do you do during your panic attack comedowns? Let me know in the comments.

Big Brother 21 Finale: And The Winner Is…

I have to admit I only keep up with Big Brother news to make sure I’m prepped for whoever makes it onto The Challenge. What I learned on Twitter is that we stan Nicole and Kemi.

The winner of the 21st season of the hit reality series was crowned last night. To the shock of no one it was some buff white dude named Jackson. Along with a huge cash prize and a showmance with the 2nd place contestant Jackson also got another thing.

Image courtesy of CBS


CALLED OUT FOR ALL HIS TERRIBLE BEHAVIOR! According to one fan I spoke to he walked somberly out and was covered in confetti knowing what America thought of him.

#TMITuesday: 10 Questions With Challenge Mania’s Scott Yager

I’ve been waiting a while to do this interview if we’re being totally honest. I asked Challenge Mania’s Scott Yager all about his plans for the podcast, his dream roster of guests and got the inside scoop on Challenge Mania Live’s upcoming shows. Lets get to ittttttt!

1. I’ve been a Challenge fan since Road Rules was shown on MTV. What was the first season of The Challenge that got you hooked?

Hard to say EXACTLY which one hooked me. But back then (when I was a teenager, when MTV used to re-run everything) it was easy to sort of just be an “MTV KID”, which I was. I remember sort of just becoming interested in The Challenge because it became an extension of The Real World / Road Rules and an opportunity to continue watching those people I liked. To me, the stunts, the crazy competitions, the cranes, the bugs etc, that was all gravy. I think when it really became about game/format and really started to hit it’s first glory period was around Battle of the Seasons / Battle of the Sexes. They worked out some kinks there with those and then from The Gauntlet through The Island, it really became appointment television while I was in college. It was rare I missed it on the night it was actually on. 

2. As a podcast host, do you listen to other podcasts?

Yes. Dozens. However, rarely other Challenge podcasts.

Nothing against them, many are great and I will occasionally check one out for a specific guest or issue…it’s just that since I have to live in it for such a large portion of the week, my podcast time is typically spent listening to anything BUT Challenge content. I am a big wrestling nerd. So I listen to a bunch of those. I am a junkie for anything about film and television, particularly put out by The Ringer or Vanity Fair. When Game of Thrones was on, I was listening to 3-4 Game of Thrones podcasts a week. Now I am really into Succession, so I listen to 2-3 of those. Then toss in the Fantasy Football advice shows I try to get in, your Bill Simmons, Joe Rogans, Marc Marons and other fantastic interviewers out there and all the RHAP stuff on Survivor and Big Brother, and my Podcasts app is almost never void of something left to consume. I almost always have an earbud in, at the gym, walking down the street, on the subway or even while I am trying to fall asleep. 

3. Since today in #TMITuesday is there anything you can tell the fans that they may not already know about you?

Hmmm…sometimes info does trickle out on the show and it’s hard to grasp what people retain and what they don’t. I have about 10 years under my belt of working behind the scenes in Reality/Docu-Series Television. My first job out of college was as a PA on America’s Next Top Model and I never looked back, working in Production in various capacities from then up until 2018, when I started this podcast venture w/ Derrick.

I am also a working Voiceover Actor. You’ve likely heard me during TV commercials and not even known. I went to Syracuse University and studied Film/Drama. Fun stuff..I proposed to my now wife in front of an Otter Exhibit at the Stamford Nature Center, since she loves otters and they have always been our thing. 

4. Is there a reality show you would like to see cast members from on a season of The Challenge? I’ve sort of been excited to see a cast member from Jersey Shore, or Teen Mom

.I have never gotten the Teen Mom thing. I know people love it. So I am not knocking it. But you already know they’re a Teen Mom and now you’re asking them to leave their kid to go to summer cramp for 2-3 months? Would might even be considered irresponsible to present them with the opportunity. I say that in jest. As for Jersey Shore, I totally appreciate how beloved those characters are and think that could be cool, even to just see them once. Those folks are paid very well so it would be a bit dicey there in regards to how they worked all that stuff out. But I could definitely see that. I love that people are coming over from Big Brother. For those of us who watch Big Brother, we see A LOT of these people over the course of the summer. The show is on 3x a week. Some people even watch the Live Feeds. So it really is the best “audition process” for The Challenge you could ask for. I also think a lot of the social game play transfers very nicely to The Challenge. I think a lot of people who do Big Brother and never truly get to show their competitive side from a physical standpoint have an opportunity to thrive even further in The Challenge environment. I think overall, that project has been a success. Paulie, Josh, Da’Vonne and Natalie have all done really well on The Challenge and all become welcome additions to that world, if you ask me. 

Survivor, selfishly, being another show of mine, could be good for that too. Cast-members end up with a lot less camera time on that show, so sometimes you really don’t get to know people too well over the course of their time on that show, but the elements and nature of the competitions is certainly similar to The Challenge in some regards. 

5. What would you say is your current ‘theme song’ is?

Our theme song for Challenge Mania was composed by Ryan Nach of Knock it Out Productions. He is a friend of the show and produces music for film and television. Our first episode had a different song and ever since episode 2, we have gone with the track that has become synonymous with our show and opens up every podcast and live show. If you meant what MY theme song is…hmmm…that’s more of a complex question. I think “Don’t Stop Me” by Queen is just the most uplifting song ever. I play it before every one of our shows, a few minutes before we start. Any time it comes on, it makes me happy. It makes you feel like you can do anything and it has this rare quality that it doesn’t ware off the second the song is over. It stays with you for a bit too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. So I guess I would go with that at the moment. But it’s a really hard question. I love music. I go to at least 10 concerts a year. I’ve probably been to over 300 or so in my life. Any song you ever hear at a Challenge Mania Live show, even if it’s during the Meet N Greet Playlist or while the room is being seated, I personally selected myself. 

6.  How do you and Derek prepare for an episode of Challenge Mania?

We figure out who we are having on, and schedule based on their and our availability. Most of the time it’s through Derrick but since I have developed relationships with people over the last 2 years too, it will often be me who sets it up. Once we have our guest, we open it up for questions from the listeners. Those tell us what people want to hear about and act as a framework for the interview. I try to get to as many as we can. Sometimes we naturally cover the subjects in conversation as well. I would say our podcasts are lighter on prep than would be the case if Derrick and I didn’t know a lot of these people well (even if not personally) and if it wasn’t such a specific subject matter (The Challenge and their life). We don’t “wing it” per say, but it’s about as close to it as you’re going to get.


7. Your Challenge Mania Live events are a fan-favorite. I’ve tweeted about wanting a Toronto event, but is there any city you’re most interested in? 

I am actually talking about Canada with someone. There are just added logistics that come with working internationally. If those hurdles aren’t too much to overcome, we will get to Canada. I really want to. Toronto is a likely stop if we do ever make it happen. But like I said, there are a few things we need to iron out first. As for MOST interested in, Toronto is up there. London would be great, especially with all the UK cast these days, however similar issues are presented there and the cost of getting there would be high. If we got a grant from some millionaire tycoon to where the costs and profit margins on these things didn’t matter…we would come to a lot more cities than we already do. Because it is our job and our business, we need to put thought and care into where we go, how much we spend and whether a specific city is likely to give us a return on that investment. It is not as easy as people think. We get a lot of requests to come to a lot of different cities. I genuinely wish we could come to all of them. We currently have 4 shows on the calendar. We are coming to Philly for the first time on Sunday, October 13th. We are returning to Chicago, Derrick’s hometown, on Saturday November 23rd. We are coming to Miami for the first time on Saturday December 21st and we already have the day before Wrestlemania booked in Tampa on Saturday, April 4th the weekend that Wrestlemania is in town in 2020. Other than that, our likely next stops are Nashville and New Orleans. I would like to eventually get to places like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, St. Louis, Syracuse even. Goal is to do around 8 shows in 2020. Two of those will likely be returns to New York and Chicago, our two strongest markets. Plus Tampa on April 4th. As I mentioned, Nashville and New Orleans will likely be getting 1 too. That leaves about 3-4 slots. This is for the big Challenge Mania Live show with multiple guests. I am also toying with an idea that would send me and Derrick for smaller shows (with a local guest when possible) that could potentially help service some of those smaller markets and give them something, maybe on a Wednesday night where we watch the episode with the crowd and do a live War Room taping after. Again, still something I am playing with. But to answer your question about Toronto, if it is feasible to pull off, we would love to. Tickets and info for all our shows is always available at http://www.ChallengeMania.Live and goes up shortly after anything is announced. Definitely a good site to bookmark. 

8. What is the best advice for rookies on this season/upcoming season?

Best advice on Season 34? Well, that’s tricky because the only rookies are on Team UK. Team US has no full-blown rookies on it. Some with little experience, but no true rookies. For the rookies on Team UK, I would say it is probably best to prove your worth to your team. It’s not a team with a ton of experience. Kyle is the defacto veteran on that team and he’s only done 3 seasons. Even guys like Joss and Theo and Bear who stand out, seem to be getting targeted early. So I look at someone like Jenny as someone who is in a good spot. Her own team fears her. She looks like a definite asset to the team in general as far as performance goes. She is a physical specimen. Even though she’s a rookie. she seems to be getting veteran-like treatment because no one wants to go against her or play without her. So although you can’t wake up tomorrow and look like her, figure out what you’re good at (swimming? puzzles?) and show your team you’re not expendable.  Now…if you mean rookies going into Season 35…my advice would be not to live out on rookie island, to form some alliances early…but maybe don’t look to do with with a Johnny or a Wes or someone who could end up being an early target. These polarizing cast-members are legends of the game for a reason. They have won, many times. They know how to manipulate the game. Sometimes, you can use that to your advantage. Look at Hunter (who wasn’t a rookie, I know), who aligned with Wes on War of the Worlds and rode it all the way to the final. But look at Morgan, last season.  She shacks up with Bananas and ends up going home very early. Other rookies, like Mattie and Georgia, who became very well liked among veteran cast-members, made it all the way to the end because they chose the right ones to cozy up to. 

9. Speaking of Challenge Mania Live, who is your dream roster of guests?

We honestly just had my dream roster of guests in San Francisco. Or close to it. It was this magical blend of past, present and future. We had Cohutta and Abram who might have their Challenge days behind them, Derrick and Darrell who are legends of the game but still very much active (we think and hope) and then Dee and Turbo who could not be more relevant to the current game on Season 34 and 35. Would have been nice to have another lady up there, to even it out a bit more. But it was a pretty jam-packed panel already. Now, don’t think I am going to dodge your question and give you an easy answer only. I will give you a hypothetical dream panel as well.  How about this…I’ll set some parameters. I will choose only from people we have not had on a live show yet. And I will keep it to five. Five is a bit high, but we’ve pulled it off, like in San Francisco. Keeping with that formula of having guests from multiple eras…I would love to have Mike “The Miz” up there, because he is definitely done playing on The Challenge but has hosted Champs vs Stars and multiple reunions lately so he is very much still plugged into the world and gets these newer cast-members very much. From Mike’s Real World season I would throw Coral up there. She hasn’t even done our PODCAST yet. She is one of our “white whales” and when you add their dynamic and history, those two would be great to have together. I would couple them with a Laurel, to bridge that gap. She is someone who still plays today and is as good as ever (just see last week’s episode) but got her start on Fresh Meat II and represents that middle era of the show as well. She is another white whale. Never done the podcast. Most blame me for that. Both she and Coral are dream guests for live shows but also just for the podcast in general. They have been evasive thus far. Mike did our podcast last year and it’s one of my favorite episodes. From there, I would toss on 2 newer cast-members. Da’Vonne is one of my favorite commentators on the show. She is so great in her interviews and all the content she puts out online. A hell of a competitor too but I would love to see her on stage talking shop with the vets. From there, I would add Josh Martinez. You would get a fun dynamic of he and Laurel up there, getting to discuss working together on blindsiding Wes and working together this season. There is that commonality there between him and Da’Vonne with Big Brother, which Josh actually won. Does this mean I wouldn’t love to see CT, Rachel Robinson, Johnny Bananas or Trishelle on our show? Absolutely, I would. Those are ALL dream guests, and guests who haven’t appeared yet but whom I hope appear sometime really soon. But I really do enjoy having guests that span generations and providing someone for both older and newer fans who come out. It would be easy to pick 5 vets. Or 10 vets. I also think the sweet spot for guests is 3-5 tops. It is a 2 hour show but the most guests there are, the less time you get with each of them. 

10. What’s next for you?

I have ideas. Sure. But for now my main goal is to see how far we can take Challenge Mania, the podcast, the brand and the live shows. In podcast terms, our show is very successful, both in the general listener-ship with the free shows and also with our subscribers/patrons who pay for that extra content each week. Those two things combined are what keep us afloat. Now, I do not say that because it is a humble brag…I say it because when you take our (still solid) numbers and compare them with the million or so viewers that The Challengegets each week, it is clear we have a very tiny sliver of the fan-base tuning in each week. Our goal is to be content that any true Challenge fan would need, if not at least enjoy. We know there are folks out there who don’t like our style, think we go off topic and ramble too much, don’t like podcasts in general, etc…sure…but there are also hundreds of thousands out there who simply haven’t discovered us yet. Almost every day I see someone comment or post “what is Challenge Mania” or “I didn’t know about this show in my city” and that tells me that we have only scratched the surface. We want Challenge Mania to be as integral a part of The Challenge fan experience as anything other than the show itself. We hope to be able to provide an outlet for that fandom to express themselves; places to go to meet other people who watch their favorite show, events where they can meet the stars of that show, a shop where they can buy cool merch to represent their favorites. All of the stuff wrestling, sports, Marvel, Star Wars etc have had for years. Nerd culture came out of the sub-culture and into the pop-culture yars ago. Reality TV has always been the outcast of the TV world. People call it “guilty pleasure” and “junk TV” but those are all just people who are jealous at how much joy we get out of it. Our goal is to come up with more ways to make those very same people jealous. They already think we’re a bunch of Maniacs. Why not prove it? Thanks for all of the questions, these were great. Rock on!

Rapper Cupcakke Breaks Down As She Announces Her Retirement From Music

The ‘Squidward Nose’ artist took to Instagram Live last night to tearfully announce her retirement from music.

Delving into her gambling addiction where she admitted to losing 700k, her Twitter feud with Camila Cabello (you know the one where she said she slept with Shawn Mendes because Cabello is a racist), and not wanting her young fans to sing her lyrics Cupcakke cried as she made the announcement.

Photo courtesy of Pitchfork

The rapper went on to explain she is tired of seeing attendees of her all ages shows singing her inappropriate lyrics. And that she wanted to go to Heaven and not Hell.

She also stated all of her music would be removed from streaming services (right now I’m listening to her on Spotify so it’s still available). If you’re a fan of Cupcakke you’re probably aware of her history with mental health issues. So, the live was hard to watch. I wish her nothing but the best.

#TMITuesday: 10 Questions With UK Electronic Music Duo Icarus

Bristol based duo Icarus have been taking over the UK electronic music scene over the last few years. I sat down to ask brothers Ian and Tom about their dream collaborations, find out who they would want to play them in a biopic, and I guess we also talk about music a bit. Let’s slide right into this all new #TMITuesday interview y’all.

1. Let’s talk about your record label “Fly Boy’. Are there any new releases, or signings you’re excited about? 

We’re always on the look out for new music for the label. It’s exciting listening to producer’s demos and hunting online for unheard tunes or artists. We’ve recently signed a duo from Russia which we’re very excited about. We’ve been playing one of their tunes in our sets for a while now and always had a great reaction so we started chatting over email and it led to us signing a release! You’ll have to wait to see who that is .

We also love developing and working with artists on a longer term basis. We’ve just put out FLYBOY020 which came from My Friend. We started working with those guys about 18 months ago now and it’s great to see how their project is developing and continuing to gain support from club and radio DJs. Plus, we have the next release coming from King & Early. Their last single ‘Moving Forward’ was a big one for our label, so we’re very keen for the world to hear what they’ve got next!

2. Since today is #TMITuesday, can you tell the fans something they may not already know about you?

Tom: When I was a kid I wanted to be a farmer.

Ian: I used to teach classical guitar. 

3. In your song ‘Flowers’, theres a mystery lyric that fans just can’t seem to figure out. It’s time to solve this mystery. Fill in the blanks. “Only your _____ could change the way I feel for you”

Happy to help! “Only a fool, would change the way I feel for you” 

4. If you could choose one song to be your ‘theme song’ what would it be, and why?

Ian: Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al. Epic Bass solo. 

Tom: Yazz – The Only Way Is Up. Just a constant reminder to be positive, isn’t it?! Sick acid bass line too. 

5. You’ve done a number of dope collabs, is there anyone you would consider to be a dream collaboration?

We’ve been lucky with who we’ve worked with so far. Collaborating with other writers and artists can be really inspiring. It’s cool to get another person’s take on ideas – you never know how someone else is going to approach things so you can learn a lot from different people. We’ve actually got some very exciting collaborations in the works at the moment! Really looking forward to unveiling them in the future. A few of dream ones would be JMSN, The Chemical Brothers and Beyonce.

Feelin Myself GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
image via Giphy.com

6. Was there a moment, an ‘ah-ha’ moment when you felt like you ‘found your sound’?

Probably not an exact moment but we do feel over the past few years we’ve gradually found our lane. We’re never going to write the same tune over and over, as we do have quite eclectic tastes when it comes to what we write, but we do think that we now have a recognisable production style. People have actually said that to us too, so we’re happy that come across in our music.  

7.I love asking this one, who or what inspires you two?

Big question, big answer. Basically everything! Musically, we have a wide array of influences. We both grew up listening to rock, pop, trance, house, drum and bass, metal, punk… And then when we both went to study music at Uni we were opened up to Jazz, Soul, Funk, all sorts! We try not to let anything directly influence us when writing, as we don’t want to reinvent the wheel but all those influences will definitely creep in. We’re also influenced by day to day life too. I think as an artist you can’t help that. Your mood, the people you’re with, even the time of day can have an impact on the sort of music you end up writing at that given moment. It’s what keeps it so exciting. 

8. Let’s say theres a biopic on Icarus, which actors would you have playing you?

Tom: David Williams

Ian: Matt Lucas 

9. In the last few years you were signed to FFRR, ran by the legendary DJ Pete Tong, what was that whole experience like for you?

We’ve been signed there almost 5 years now. Crazy how time flies! We’ve learnt so much since then. I remember back when we signed thinking we knew exactly what we wanted and what Icarus was. To a degree we did, and the vision hasn’t changed but it’s been a blessing having the experience of the team (and Pete, of course!) helping us along the way. We’re all on the same wavelength and view Icarus as a long term project which is cool. We’ve never been under pressure to write anything we don’t want to write, so having that creative freedom has been great for us. 

10. What’s next for you?

We’re working towards our largest body of work to date, which we plan to start release towards the back end of this year! So right now we’re writing a lot, whilst also DJing at club nights and festivals. We plan to take our live show on the road again too, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements on that in the future.

#MCM: Youtube Star David Dobrick

I never thought I’d admit to watching a YouTuber regularly but hey here we are. This week’s #ManCrushMonday pick is the Oprah/Ellen of the vlogger platform David Dobrick. He tends to cause some trouble but gives a car to one of his friends every like other week.

minor confession: I Googled his age, and I’m ashamed I had to.

MTV’s AYTO 8 Season Finale: Did They Secure The Bag?

The MTV hit competitive dating series ended it’s 8th season this week with it’s first sexually fluid cast.

With 6 couples left to find their perfect match fans wondered whether or not the “bad at dating” folk could pull a W.

image via TVLine

Well they did it, they secured the bag, and their perfect matches. I’m curious to see who from this cast stays together, and who finds their way to either dating other AYTO alumni, or onto The Challenge.

Who were your favorite couples?

Hi Sinners! Missing Me?

Am I famous enough that I can call my readers Sinners? I’m not but I’ll go ahead and do it anyway.

I’ve been on a month long road trip to Burning Man (yeah I’m one of them). But I’m going to hit y’all with a ton of new content in the next few weeks. Prepare yourself.

MTV’s The Challenge Season 34: Cast Revealed + Trailer

Oh dang! A new season already? War Of The Worlds 2 starts at the end of August and it’s America VS The UK.

Theres a few choice folk I’m hyped to see this season Laurel I’m looking at you girl. How will her and Cara get along…? Nany was back last season but I’m still ready to see her again.
How will Tori and Jordan’s relationship hold up? How fast can we get Paulie out and off my screen?

Team USA

Ashley Mitchell
Cara Maria Sorbello
Faith Stowers
Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio
Jordan Wiseley
Josh Martinez
Kam Williams
Laurel Stucky
Leroy Garrett
Nany Gonzalez
Paulie Calafiore
Tori Deal
Wes Bergmann
Zach Nichols

 cleanString caption

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 cast COURTESY MTV

Team U.K.

Esther Falana
Georgia Harrison
Idris Virgo
Jenny West
Joss Mooney
Kayleigh Morris
Kyle Christie
Nicole Bass
Rogan O’Connor
Sean Lineker
Stephen Bear
Theo Campbell
Tula “Big T” Fazakerley
Zahida Allen

Reinforcements

I don’t really know what they’re purpose is this season but I assume they’re like stand-ins.

Chris “C.T.” Tamburello
Dee Nguyen
“Ninja” Natalie Duran
Turabi “Turbo” Camkiran

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 premieres Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 8 p.m. on MTV. Check out the trailer:

#TMITuesday: 10 Questions With Event Creator And Artist Mariel Pauline

In my party career, yeah I can call it that sure, I meet a lot of people. None quite like this week’s feature Mariel Pauline of course. From New York, to Miami to Toronto Mariel was a hard one to sit down to chat with but we did it. Discussions of art, that thing in the desert and more fill this week’s interview. Let’s get to it shall we?

Note: This interview was completed prior to the Tarna and Heavy Meta, event’s mentioned.

1. Let’s talk about your passion project Wishing Wings, what inspired it, and what is it?

Three years ago, after the suicide and overdose of a few friends in the New York City nightlife community, I felt stuck. I wasn’t creating, wasn’t living a life I could be proud of. I began reconnecting with nature, setting intentions, and letting go. At the same time, I became infatuated with the texture of fallen wood as it dries — and from this, the Wishing Wings Project was born.

Intentions are wishes our hearts are brave enough to beat into reality.  One of the most powerful things we can do is set an intention. The Wishing Wings aim to incubate that moment of pause, reflection, and reset. 

photo by Linda Odom

At its core, the Wishing Wings are a collaborative experiential mixed media sculpture that has appeared at events and festivals in the United States and Canada, beginning with I FEEL: Summer Escape 2018. It is composed of site-specific sustainably sourced branches and other flora, which are meticulously hand-woven into 8’x10’ wings.  People are invited to write their wish on a wooden heart provided by the artist, and hang it on the piece. I collected 2018’s Wishes at the close of each event, and brought to Burning Man to be sealed in the flames of Temple Galaxia. This year, Wishes from Ontario’s regional Burn, Hyperborea, were immolated in the event’s own Temple. I am ecstatic to bring the Wishing Wings Project to a close this summer at Burning Man; Wishes from Miami’s LoveBurn, Figment NYC, and I FEEL: Summer Escape will join the entire installation to burn in the dust. 

2. Since today is #TMITuesday can you tell the readers something about you that they do not already know?

I love hiding & jumping out to scare people. Or just hiding – typically in small places, behind doors, in your dreams. 

3. You were a co-creator for Figment NYC, what was that like? 

A lot of things aligned for this one… I attended Figment NYC for 4 years prior, and their new home on Roosevelt Island is directly across from my old apartment, so bringing the Wishing Wings Project this year felt like things were coming full-circle. I loved incorporating glitter and neon paints into the materials left for the Wishing Wings so participants could leave their creative sparkle on the piece. It brought immense joy to my heart to see families engage in the art, like The Toad art car that was curated by Figment’s team. Set against the NYC skyline, it was simply magical.

4. If you could choose one song to be your ‘theme song’ what would it be and why?

People like to peg me as a “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac) type of gal, but right now I’m really leaning in to that “Norrland” (Gidge) vibe. I’m a big fan of proper horns and the entire track carries an ethereal, sunshine-forward lightness of being throughout that makes me smile every time.


5. What drew you to this traveling artist lifestyle?

I didn’t choose this crazy lifestyle, it 100% choose me.


In September 2017, I was introduced to the Heavy Meta art car family.  Shortly thereafter, I began splitting my time between Brooklyn and Toronto. New York City was feeling claustrophobic, having grown up there, so I was invigorated by the opportunity to check out Toronto’s innovative scene and collaborate on some amazing art and experiences. Y’all don’t have an ego up here, yet. It’s nice. 

Working in event production and art direction, I’m fortunate enough to be able to “follow the project”. From blinging out a throne in The Funhouse’s Underwater Ballroom, to co-creating a 10,000 person music festival on top of a ski mountain in Vermont – every day is different. I love learning from and be inspired by where each project takes me. Getting to create magic every day is a bonus.

6. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

There are so many things I want to do; most center around healing and end-of-life care. Maybe art therapy? Maybe working to bridge the education gap between traditional medicine practitioners and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonian symptoms? Definitely something that would allow for me to have a doggo, though.

7. As a contributing artist to the newly opened art maze “The Funhouse” in Toronto, how would you describe the experience? 

Holy wow, talk about dream project! All of last summer and the better part of this spring, I got to wake up and make art. Face casting alongside Paul Jackson last summer for his “Free Trial”-room collaboration with Bad Child was a huge lesson in deliberation and patience. As an emerging artist, it felt super badass to be trusted to execute this space. A few team members and I 100% ugly cried watching the Manual Arts team finish installing the fascia of the building, feeling what a gift it was to be a part of this project, and knowing what we’ve created for the city of Toronto to enjoy.  The entire Funhouse was a family effort. There’s so much love, detail, and joy in every single piece. I could not be more honoured to have been part of the team.

photo from BlogTO

8. You help create the environment and vibe for parties all over Canada, and the US. What are your must-haves at a party? 

You mean beyond free and easily accessible water, a responsible door policy, killer and well-balanced sound? I like music that allows my brain to play, and a vibe that invites people to “come as they are”- to connect without pretense. The parties where I find myself fully enjoying the experience also have an art or wellness component. Dancing for hours in a dark club is fun, but a space where there’s a collaborative mural, a rooftop, thought-provoking art, an elixir bar — most importantly, a crowd there to celebrate life? That’s a party, babe. Oh, and fire. Fire’s nice too.

9. Which event are you most excited about this year?

There are so many!  Every event is different in its own lovely way.  I’m looking forward to both the Tarna and Metaverse fundraiser parties in Toronto in July, then Burning Man to see all of the 4tress’ art cars on playa. I’m also looking forward to Burning Man because I get to torch the Wishing Wings with some friends from NYC and Amsterdam, celebrate my 2nd anniversary with my partner, and experience all the art.  I have to tip my hat to Circus Fabulae & The Cloud — so many artistically gifted friends bringing all the cool things to this Burn!

After this summer, I’m looking forward to our next Twinkle party during Halloweekend in Brooklyn. Twinkle is a collaboration between my brand, Kaphea, and Alex Daniel’s label, Playa Vibes Productions.  Together, we curate a fully immersive art-meets-music vibe with an art gallery, body painters, performances, and high octane DJs. We’re thinking this party will be Austin Powers themed. Bring on the fembots & sharks with laser beams!

Hyperborea photo by Fee Gunn

10. What’s next for you?

Right now, I’m spending some time building my wedding and corporate event decor business, and producing a few events in NYC this autumn.  My next intention is to find myself in Asia, from January – March 2020. I’d like to build some stages with woven bamboo, see some sunsets, visit some temples. I’m also interested in doing a vipassana sit while I’m there. Trying not to plan too much, and just let the Universe do her thing.

*Featured photo by Toronto’s Dead Pixel*

#CinemaSunday: Secret Obsession (2019)

I’ve been off my Cinema Sunday game for a hot minute so this is a throwback for me to write again. Netflix finally released a new original horror film after The Babysitter and I was pretty stoked to watch.

Sinopsis

GENRE: Horror/Thriller

A woman (played by Brenda Song) awakens in the hospital with a man who claims to be her husband. Rushing to bring her memory back she must figure out what is true and what is not.

FUN FACT: Brenda Song is best known as London Tipton from The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody.

Review

Trash. I skipped through most of the movie because of how boring and predictable it was. The acting was terrible and not believable in the slightest.


This is the poor man’s Misery.

Rating

3 Tipton Hotel’s out of 10

Who should watch this? 

You (so you can suffer too)
Ashley Tisdale
The cast of Riverdale
Logan Paul (because I hate him)

Trailer

Canadian Pop Punk Royalty Sum 41 Dropped A New Album

I’m sure, for most, the #1 played album this weekend will be the Beyoncè curated ‘Lion King‘ soundtrack. I’ll be honest I preferred the Black Panther OST from Kendrick Lamar.

But also released this past weekend was ‘Order In Decline‘ by Sum 41. If you’re not a 90’s baby or pop punk lover you’ll probably just know them as the soundtrack to the sexually charged American Pie films.

The Canadian band released this 10 track album with little to no hype about it online. I merely discovered it in recommended new albums on Spotify.




My personal favorite track after 3 listens of the album in it’s entirety is ’45 (a matter of time).’ Choose yours:

#TMITuesday: 10 Questions with Writer, DJ, And Digital Nomad Jesse Champagne

I could pretend I had heard the term ‘digital nomad‘ before meeting this week’s feature but I won’t lie to y’all. From being a resident Heavy Meta DJ to reminding fellow writers like me to keep working at it, Jesse Champagne has worked hard to make a name for himself. And with a name like Champagne what do you expect?

I sat down to chat with him about music, remote working life, and honestly whatever else I wanted to talk about because it’s my site. Let’s dive into this one shall we?

1. You’re often describing yourself as a ‘digital nomad’, what exactly does that mean?

A digital nomad is a person who is location independent. They work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at an office. As you’d expect, digital nomads work in industries where one doesn’t have to be in-person to do their job: marketing, writing, media, IT, tutoring/teaching, etc. Many digital nomads have multiple clients and work a combination of different jobs. Typically, the term is used to describe freelancers or telecommuters who are working abroad or travelling, but I believe being a digital nomad has more to do with having the freedom to pick where you spend your time working. Whether I’m writing on the road in the United States or in a cafe in Toronto, the point is that I chose to be there.

2. The struggle of a being writer is not something I am a stranger to, what is some advice you’d give to anyone getting their start as a wordsmith?

Getting your start as a paid writer is tough–most entry-level clients will try to grossly underpay you/overwork you. Content mills may seem appealing because of the near-limitless amount of work they have on hand, but they’ll leave you burned out and poor. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth, and don’t be afraid to make demands–you are your own boss, after all. Build up your portfolio, fine-tune your resume, and apply, apply, apply! I routinely wake up every morning to find 1-2 rejection emails in my inbox. It doesn’t matter; just keep going. 

3. What are your top 5 ‘must-haves’ as a digital nomad? 

  • Travel / Work Laptop. Obvious, I know, but you can’t be a “digital nomad” without being digital. The key here is to find a balance between size, comfort, and power. The MacBook Pro is fast, strong, lightweight, and covers all my needs as a writer. I never (OK, rarely) leave home without it. 
  • An unlocked smartphone and a good data plan. Being able to use local SIM cards and Hotspotting on the road is essential.
  • Carry-On Travel Backpack. Checking your bags at the airport is a pain in the ass. So is lugging around a massive suitcase every day. A well-organized backpack for your travel and technology gear is a gamechanger. I bought a Tortuga Air a few years ago and haven’t looked back. It’s seen better days, though, so I’m considering upgrading to the Minaal 2.0.
  • Nomad Clothing. Yes, this is a thing! I look for clothing that is easy to pack, lightweight, antibacterial, odour resistant, fast-drying, wrinkle-proof, and able to help regulate body temperature. The fewer articles of clothing, the better. /r/OneBag is a great place for clothing ideas. Watch out, though, some of it can get quite pricey (especially Merino Wool and fancy tech fabrics). Uniqlo is a great starter spot–their Airism and HeatTech gear are fantastic and make up the majority of my current wardrobe. 
  • Backup Battery / Powerbank. A dead phone is the bane of every digital nomad’s existence. Don’t be caught on-the-go without backup power.

4. I ask this question to a large number of my interview features because I’m interested to see what people from all walks of life are inspired by. So tell me, Jesse, what is it that inspires you?

Life is a series of moments. If you’re lucky you’ll get to have hundreds, even thousands of them. There will be small moments. Moments when you’re doing something so mundane you won’t even realize you’re in a moment. There will also be big moments. Life-changing ones. And all these moments are precious, because any moment may be our last. They can linger, but other times they’re fleeting. And yet, so much can be done in a moment: you can change a mind, you can save a life, and you can even fall in love. Cherish the moments you have, and don’t waste the opportunities at creating new moments. 

photo by Oscar Swinks

What inspires me, what drives me, are these magical moments. I want them, and I want those around me to have them. 

5. I anticipate your response to this one to be a good one, given that you’re a DJ; if you could choose one song as you ‘theme song’ what would it be and why?

Good question! Right now, I’m really transfixed with the sounds coming out of the melodic house scene. The mix of emotional, uplifting deep house with the moodier vibes of progressive house/techno is my bag. Artists that come to mind are Lane 8, Jeremy Olander, ARTBAT, Mononoid, Ocula, Undercatt, Monolink, Cristoph, and Oliver Koletzki, to name a few. Favourite labels include Anjunadeep, Vivrant, This Never Happened, Still Vor Talent, Last Night On Earth, and Diynamic. 

Hmmm, it looks like I sidestepped the question! I try not to get caught up on just one song for too long, but since I have to pick, right now I’m really feeling Lane 8 ft. RBBTS – Visions (Ocula Remix). It’s pure bliss, and sonically sums up how it feels when that first ray of sunshine hits your face after a long night. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true!

6. Remote work life isn’t a life meant for everyone. Walk me through a day in the life of a remote worker.

Remote life is all about self-discipline and self-dedication; if you don’t want to get work done, then the work won’t get done. It can be very easy to get distracted, and before you know it, the day is over and you haven’t accomplished anything. Having a routine and a to-do list is extremely important. I will typically have my entire week planned out in advance, everything from work, errands, social activities, and creative time. 

During the day, I spend my time working and writing for my current clients. In the afternoon I spend my time creative writing, reading, finding new music for my electronic music blog/DJ sets, and looking for new work clients. I lead an active social life and am an avid foodie/entertainment junkie, so in the evenings you’ll often find me out in the city.

7. Since today is #TMITuesday can you tell the readers something about you that they may not already know?

I landed my first paid writing gig in 2012 by randomly replying to a CraigsList ad after being fired from a restaurant. In school, I never gave serious thought to being a full-time writer. I enjoyed writing and was good at it, but I didn’t really think I could make a career out of it. Outside of writing novels and screenplays, I didn’t even know you could make a living from it. And yet here I am, nearly eight years later, still chugging along. It’s been a wild ride, to say the least. 

8. If you could collab with one artist (writing, or musically) on a project, who would it be, and what would you create?

In my opinion, the creative process is (or at least can be) a solitary one, in the sense that I want my own projects to stand on their own. For me, it’s less about collaboration than it is inspiration. Given that my inspirations and idols are all leaps and bounds ahead of me, I think learning from these talented artists and creatives would be my real dream project.

Music – Olafur Arnalds. He’s an Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer that mixes strings and piano with loops and beats to make everything from ambient/electronic to atmospheric pop. He has this incredible ability to craft songs that are both melancholic and optimistic at the same time. I’d love to sit in a recording/production sessions with him and pick his brain.

Writing – Brandon Sanderson. He’s isn’t anywhere close to being my favourite fiction author–or even my favourite Fantasy/Sci-Fi author–but he is an author that I have a huge amount of respect for. He somehow finds the time and motivation to balance putting out multiple novels a year, running a weekly writing podcast, teaching creative writing at a university, touring, and maintaining a massive, multiple-book, multiple series-wide fictional universe. All the while, he remains in constant contact with fans, providing status updates, new ideas, and answering questions. In a sense, he’s the opposite of George RR Martin. I want to sit him down and ask him, “How do you do it?! Teach me!”

9. Okay, it’s about time you create the ultimate Jesse playlist to share, what could I find on that list?

Something to make you smile, something to make you cry, something to make you fall in love, something to make you fall out of love, something to lose yourself on a dancefloor to, something to fuck to, something to sing your heart out to, something for the deepest dark of night, and something for when the sun first comes up.

10. What’s next for you Jesse?

I can’t believe we’re already more than halfway done 2019! For the rest of the year, I’m focusing my time on expanding my writing/content marketing consultancy, Champagne Consulting (shameless plug lol), finishing the first draft of my debut novel (fingers crossed!), traveling to Burning Man with Heavy Meta, DJing a few very interesting events, staying active/healthy, seeing more of the world, and exploring new opportunities, relationships, and adventures. ❤ 

Toronto Is Being Invaded By Mutant Vehicles This Weekend

Over the last two years a lot on Sterling Road in Toronto has been transformed into a smaller version of Burning Man. Cultivating all the art, culture, music, and good vibes of the thing in the desert.

This weekend, for the last time, the event returns. With more art cars and funky tunes. Described by Heavy Meta Entertainment the event will:

“Heavy Meta + The Ark Car present: Metaverse // The final Sterling Lot party. An art car and music experience.

Save the date: July 27th 2019

FEATURING:
+ Heavy Meta. The Ark Car. Tarna. The Anglerfish.
+ Art installations.
+ Fire. Lots of fire.
+ Art buses: TTZ and The Bubble Bus
+ Interactive rides.
+ A chill plounge.
+ Food vendors.

We have once more secured the massive, tree-lined outdoor space in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood for the final time. Come say goodbye to our “playa in the city” before it transforms to the next phase of its life. All is ephemeral.

MUSICAL GUESTS:
RICHARD BROOKS
BEN CORMIER
MATT VON WILDE
STEINTOLOGY
SUBTLE PLANES
TICKY TY

Where past and present collide in a fiery explosion. Where the future is shaped by lightning and steel. Where dreams are sewn with metallic threads and flames burn bright into the night. Come bear witness to the spawn of magic and machinery through the manifestation of the monolithic fire-breathing beast called Heavy Meta.

This is our final fundraiser before we set off to represent our city and country at Burning Man.

19+ Recommended / Accompanied minors allowed with a ticket.”

There are rumors of an afterparty for this insane event too. The event page on Facebook has lots of last minute tickets, outfit inspiration threads, and info about the installations.

Tickets are still available for the event, and you can use code NIKKI at checkout to save on yours.


The ‘Cats’ Trailer is Terrifying And The Internet Hates It

Have you ever wanted to unsee something? If you had to witness to the new trailer for ‘Cats’ then the answer is probably yes to that question.

Starring heavy weights like Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and James Corden you’d think the film would have some better hype. Unfortunately for me, you, and our eyes the trailer is just weird looking.

The animation is confusing and feels like a bad cat litter commercial. I had anticipated a styling like ‘The Lion King‘ but this is what I got. In case you missed it or never wanted to sleep again:

What do you think of the trailer? Let me know in the comments.

Can We Talk About Tove Lo Please?

Known as ‘Sweden’s darkest pop export’ (by Rolling Stone magazine) Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson , professionally called Tove Lo (Swedish pronunciation: [²tuːvɛ luː]lo is Swedish for lynx) is my favourite underrated artist.

Best known for her Ke$ha-type hit ‘Habits‘ (which in my opinion is her tamest song lyrically) her discography is riddled with her sexually charged tracks.

Unapologetic in not only her words but Tove Lo remains that way in her sound and visuals.

Her videos are fun, and silly but still sexy in a way.

It’s something to admire.

She falls into a similar category with Charli XCX and MÒ as a popstar who’s name you reckonize but can’t name more than one of her songs.
Which is a real shame because her sound brings you to a blissful place on the dance floor. That moment when you close your eyes and dance and just lose yourself.

Disco tits‘ will remain one of my favorite party songs that I will likely never hear at a party.

With all that in mind I felt it was important to remind you all about her existence.

You may now return to your scheduled programming.

Youtube Star Tana Mongeau Got Her Own MTV Show And It Premieres Tonight

A year or so after the disaster that was Tanacon, the controversial vlogging sensation has scored herself an MTV show. Tana Turns 21 will follow the online star and her insane life.

Image result for tana mongeau

There is sure to be a lot about her relationship with fellow Youtuber Jake Paul, whom she recently became engaged to. Yeah she got a car and a future husband for her 21st birthday and I think all I got was alcohol poisoning and my boyfriend dumping me?
Plots about her friendships, and maybe some cameos of ex-gf Bella Thorne and rapper BFF Elijah Daniel?

Will you be watching? Tana Turns 21 premieres tonight on MTV.

The Anxiety Diaries Volume 14: Sometimes,I Don’t Want To Live But I Don’t Want To Die

It’s common but not the best idea to listen to sad music when we are indeed already sad. A song I felt resonated with me in times of depression has been ‘Empty’ by Olivia O’Brien. You’ll get snippets of the lyrics throughout this volume of the writing project that helps me express this all.

That’s just reality, yeah, don’t lie to me
Yeah, I’m f*cked up, but I don’t wanna be


The other day I said to a friend “I think it would be easier if I wasn’t around sometimes“. This lead to an immediate response of “that isn’t the answer” and the red flag that maybe I would hurt myself.

Thoughts like this though are the classics of someone suffering from passive suicidal ideation. It’s not really a desire to commit suicide, more so an expression that it’s just hard to be yourself sometimes.

I don’t want to be the “sad girl” all the time, I know it’s not enjoyable for anyone (mostly me, I have to be me after all). Sometimes I just don’t want to be me. For a number of reasons, but it feels like I’m suffocating and it hurts. My mind becomes a prison I can’t seem to escape.

Sometimes I just wanna drown out
All of the thoughts in my mind, too much
Going on at the same time, I
Wish it would stop and I’ve tried, but
Life just sucks then we all die


I know that’s why I love to sleep so much, I get to escape my own reality for a bit. I don’t have to be the me in this reality. That’s why people use drugs, and alcohol to embrace an escape. That’s the romanticization of suicide, you’ll be free from this reality.

Truthfully I have been suicidal, I planned it out. And that’s so strange for me to type and admit to a bunch of strangers reading this but it’s a thing that happened. And hey, maybe someone needed to read that. However I can’t, and won’t admit why I didn’t go through it though.

Maybe I was too scared.

I wonder if I’m good enough
Or maybe I’ve had just too much
To drink, to smoke, to swallow
I’m drowning up my sorrows
There’s rules I’ll never follow
Pretend there’s no tomorrow
I wish there was no tomorrow

In the end that is really I want sometimes. But, I am not suicidal. I want an escape from my reality, the reality where I’m this person suffering from anxiety and depression. Things that I know I shouldn’t let consume me, but sometimes they do.

I don’t want to be alive, or feel alive I want out temporarily. I still have things to do in the life, stories to tell, memories to create, people to love and words to write.

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But I’m empty inside, yeah, I’m empty inside
And I don’t wanna live, but I’m too scared to die
Yeah, I’m empty inside, I just don’t feel alive
And I don’t wanna live, but I’m too scared to die


It’s f*cking okay to feel this way, I realize that now. I cannot be the only person with these ideas and aches in my heart and head. And while it may not get “better” the way I hoped for it will be okay.

Eventually.







Season 8 Of MTV’s Are You The One Premieres Tonight With It’s First Sexually Fluid Cast

Seven seasons of fights, drunken hookups, MTV’s The Challenge stars made, and some promising love connections. My favourite social experiment love show Are You The One is back tonight with an all new-cast.

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Contestants have 10 weeks to find their “perfect match”, with a chance to win $1 million dollars to split. With a sexually fluid cast the challenge to find the perfect match for these 16 singles is greater, but more fun.

Catch the season premiere at 9/8c on MTV tonight, and let’s see if this cast f*cks it up like season 5…

Toronto Is Getting A New Music Festival Next Month That Will Make Your Booty Shake

Toronto’s dance music community brightened up when Dj’s metime and Danny Thrax brought EveryBody move to Round in Kensington Market.
This Summer, the team behind the inclusive dance parties is bringing the city a new party. Check out this message from them:

“We can’t keep it a secret any longer…. WE’RE THROWING A FESTIVAL!

🎉That’s right, your favourite monthly dance party is taking EveryBody Outside for a day festival, picnic and community social in a park.

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🌈From family-friendly afternoon wiggles to sultry sunset vibes making way for a twinkling summer night, we’ll dance in the sunshine with grass between our toes, lay out picnic blankets, shop local artists and listen to sweet house music wafting across Lake Ontario.

🎈 It’s also our favourite bass witch me time‘s birthday – come help us celebrate in style!

EveryBody is by the community, for the community – and we need your support to bring this festival to life.

Click here to claim your wristband: https://igg.me/at/everybodyoutside

Ashley O Has An Official Music Video And Now We Live In A Black Mirror Episode

Arguably the best episode of the season “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” (let’s face it the other two episodes were a pile of meh) is the dark side of pop music, and fandom.

Starring Miley Cyrus, the episode follows fictional pop star Ashley O, her insane aunt, and her #1 fan who befriends a robot. Confusing? Yeah it’s Black Mirror of course it is.

Cyrus took to another pop star persona quickly (RIP Hannah Montana), changing her Twitter name, and profile picture to Ashley O. Now taking it to a new level, let’s take a look at Ashley O’s first official music video outside the Black Mirror world.

MTV’s Floribama Shore Gets A Season Renewal

Fresh off his time on season 33 of The Challenge, Gus Symrnios joins his original MTV family on a new season of Floribama Shore.

Back together again for a third season, the cast will find themselves in St.Petersburg. With rumours that Party Down South, and Challenge cast member Mattie Lynn Breux may be joining the show.

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Photo courtesy of MTV studios

The second season of the Jersey Shore style inspired series is set to premiere July 9th on MTV.

Who are you most excited to see back on your screen? Nilsa? Candice? Codi? And Do you think Mattie will be a good addition? Let me know in the comment section.

The Heavy Meta Crew Went To Elements Festival And Documented It All: See The Video Now

Elements Music Festival took place in late may with multiple incredible stages, performers, and people involved. The ‘Fire stage’ featured Canada’s Heavy Meta stage with Jamie of MixedProductions and Oscar Swinks art coming together to document their journey.

The crew, most fresh from Hyperborea, set off to the festival on Thursday and didn’t stop documenting the whole time.

Take a peak at the video here:

My Top 5 Gay Icons For Pride Month

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Courtesy of BBC.com

It’s June and that means it’s time for corporations to put rainbows on everything in a pathetic attempt to pretend they’re allies to the LGTBQ community.
Best known Pride Month! This is the perfect time for me to give my lowdown list on my favourite (current) gay icons in pop culture.

5. Halsey
A queer woman herself, Halsey makes music for EVERYONE and is never afraid to speak her mind.

4. Shawn Mendes
Not only is he Canadian and babely (he’s over 18 its cool) but he makes fun pop music.

3. Tiffany ‘New York’ Pollard
A reality TV icon that Twitter gays adore worldwide. In my top tier for GIF clapbacks/reactions too.

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2. Carly Rae Jepsen
She literally shut down Grindr during one of her shows…


1. Nikita Dragun
After her Victoria’s Secret scandal (down with VS and their lack of love for the transgender community) the Youtube star has since launched her own makeup line. Love by celebrities like Paris Hilton and Youtube BFF Bretman Rock.

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Who makes your list? Leave a comment below and tell me who you think should have been included!

I’m Back, Because It’s Okay To Take A Break Sometimes

I’ve been getting messages from friends, and readers about my lack of posts as of lately. I felt like it was maybe time to take a short break to focus on other aspects of my life. I took a few trips, and steps to feeling better and more focused.

It didn’t feel right to make a huge deal or post about the break and I’m sorry if I let anyone down about it all.

I’m ready to focus on the things that make me ‘me’ and feel good, with writing this blog being high on the list.

Thank you for your never ending support and patience.

The Anxiety Diaries Volume 13: Time And Emotion Budgeting + Balance

Many of my friends (and I should probably also be doing this) have spreadsheets of their financial budgets. With categories from food, fun to bills and the less fun life stuff. This tool is instrumental in not only the discipline of spending but in having some sort of control.
Seeing the success of keeping a simple money budget got me thinking about the way I budget my time, and emotions.

More, and more I have come to learn that you need to budget your time just as you need to budget your finances. There are 24 hours in a day, and I’m certain I COULD spend it all on my phone, and watching Brooklyn 99 on Netflix but I know I shouldn’t.

What is time budgeting and why is it important for someone surviving anxiety? It closes the gap between the “high-level” life areas of responsibility and top tier goals, and the your world of tasks and external demands. It provides a balance, and a semi-routine.

This is the same with budgeting your emotions.

I have certainly mentioned in previous posts in this series that I tend to focus on other people’s problems to avoid my own but I’ve come to realize that no one, owes anyone any time. Sometimes, when you’re having a rough day it’s okay to say “I’m sorry I can’t help you right now.” and follow up when you can.
Remember, it’s not at all selfish to tell a friend or loved one that you just don’t have it in you to help them. You cannot be of help if you’re not in the shape to even help yourself. Give your best self to others, not all of you.

The current focus is budgeting my time/emotions into the things that make me happy, and productive. Sure, I have my bad days where I find myself making for far too much time with emotions that just spiral into further depression. The spiral that leads to me pushing away people when I need them most, and pushing away my work/responsibilities. I need to remember to prioritize my feelings to learn to deal better with them, without the spiral.

My relationships and my work are effected when I’m not in the right mindset. When I am not properly budgeting my time or feelings I’m not myself, I’m playing a character to keep up.

There are of course many apps, and programs you can use to do this but they can be a tad overwhelming. Start with a to-do list with goals but nothing too big. Add in some daily routine things to round out the things you accomplish and get some confidence you’re “doing the thing!”. A simple spreadsheet is a good start too. Block the day off into hour increments, and tasks/goals.

Keep a balance, and take some time in the day to focus on something that makes you feel like YOU.

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The Anxiety Diaries Volume 12: Billie Eillish Gets Me, and She’s 13 Years Younger…

There truly are some old souls, and Billie Eillish is one of them. From the depths of my site to headlining Coachella, Eillish has flourished in the last two years.

While there is plenty of other artists out there who just ‘get it’ when it comes to anxiety and depression this Billie track is in the top 5.

Hands, hands getting cold
Losing feeling’s getting old
Was I made from a broken mold?
Hurt, I can’t shake



Ariana Grande And Blackpink Were Hanging Out And I Need To Know What That Means

Coachella came and went with many moments to reflect on for dear Ariana Grande. She performed with most of NSYNC, and Justin Bieber, she had some fruit thrown at her, but the biggest moment? She posted a photo with K Pop group Blackpink.
So now begs the question: IS THIS THE START OF A COLLAB?

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Ari & 3/4 members of Blackpink via Instagram

Let’s talk facts here. Halsey has open the North American market up to K Pop collabs with her feature on the BTS hit song “Boy With Luv”. You know the one, “OH MY OH MY OH MY OH MY”. This is what Ari was made for, this is her entire aesthetic. She’s a popstar, and Korea takes their pop seriously. Over the top performances, and videos, rap breakdowns, and adorable fashion.

This is what we need. Speak it into existence. LET IT BE HEARD.