Categories
Music

Inside the Screen: Aaron “Don” Dukes Talks to Jx.Zero

“Sorry… I can’t be your man…”

Jx.Zero has been having an incredible year, especially after the massive success of his mega-hit “Playboy.” The track has become extremely well-known, being used alongside the “griddy” dance trend.

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The trend has taken the song to an extreme, as trends tend to do, resulting in a classical version of Jx’s hit song. The remix is a mashup of “Playboy” and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” which led to an additional increase in videos made with the song.

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With this level of exposure comes a lot of responsibility. Fans are quick to label artists as “TikTok rappers,” when in reality, the only thing that separates them from a “regular” artist is their means of blowing up. Jx.Zero could’ve become well known through a variety of ways, but it just so happened TikTok was it. In 2022, that means an awful lot of exposure.

Jx.Zero / NRG

Last month, Aaron “Don” Dukes from the ONE37pm team linked up with Jx.Zero after a special all-star Fortnite invitational (April 19th) called the ‘NRG Champions Show, Featuring Fortnite,’ sponsored by Omnic Data. After Jx did a performance at the event, he had a chance to talk with Aaron and elaborate on his love for gaming, music and more. As it turns out, Jx is a gaming fanatic.

If you’re like Aaron, and you can see beyond the TikTok-driven hit, you’ve probably found Jx’s impressive catalog of two albums: ‘Hi I’m Jx‘ in 2020, and ‘In My Sins‘ in 2021 – which contains “Playboy” along with many other bangers. Each project is 7 tracks long, and tells you a lot about Jx, from his ability to musical inclinations.

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In addition to the music, this conversation between Aaron and Jx.Zero explains just about everything else that fans are wondering. They discuss his roots, getting started with music, gaming and much more. The conversation sounds like something you’d hear exchanged between close friends; if you’re looking to get to know Jx.Zero, this interview is the absolute best start.

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Jx.Zero is an artist who was blessed up with an extraordinary amount of progress in 2022. As his brand continues to scale, the artist is keeping his eyes directed forward and being himself. Jx is an artist’s artist, not a “TikTok artist.” He seems to have a bright future ahead of him, and for good reason.

Categories
Culture Music

Fivio Foreign Discusses “B.I.B.L.E” And Working With Kanye West

Since Fivio Foreign broke onto the scene with his hit single “Big Drip” three years ago, his career has been a case study of how an artist deals with sudden success. Once an artist stuck within New York City’s busy rap scene, Foreign has experienced various highs (collaborating with Drake, and Quavo) and lows (losing close friends Pop Smoke, King Von, and T Dott Woo to gun violence) but is still standing, this time bigger than ever.

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Following his stellar verse on Kanye West’s Donda via “Off The Grid” last summer, the Brooklyn, NY native has seen his star significantly rise. Alongside West becoming a frequent collaborator of his, the multi-time Grammy-winning rapper and producer is the executive producer of Foreign’s biggest project yet, B.I.B.L.E (April 8th). “Me and ‘Ye got a lot in common,” Foreign said. “We’re both spiritual people and try to make things as normal as possible.”

B.I.B.L.E, a 17-track effort that includes notable features from Quavo, Lil Yachty, and DJ Khaled, witnesses Foreign maintain his signature sound while still improving as an artist. A greater effort was exhibited in his songwriting, and experimentation with different melodies. As the conversation surrounding Foreign now turns to his newest body of work, he’s confident in what he will do next.

Last weekend at the Dreamville Festival, ONE37pm spoke with Fivio Foreign about making B.I.B.L.E, what it’s like working with Kanye and Nicki Minaj, and more.

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ONE37pm: What was your biggest lesson learned while making B.I.B.L.E?

Foreign: I learned you can’t go crazy on records before you send them to people. It’s best to send them a little something such as a hook, just so they can be comfortable with what they’re hearing and how they can perform on it.

ONE37pm: On a project that has so many features, how did it come together?

Foreign: S***, it was all love and vibes because of our relationship and how we rocked with each other. They understood the cause and the movement so, with all of those features, I’m happy because I actually look at them a certain way.

ONE37pm: You have this ongoing and positive rapport with ‘Ye who is executive producing your album. What made the two of you click?

Foreign: We relate in a lot of different ways, especially with how much we believe in God and that helped me a lot.

We initially connected because of the freestyle, I did on [Funkmaster] Flex after I came home and he loved one line for when I said “I got a question for the Reverand/if you kill a killer, do you go to heaven?” and ‘Ye said “I need bars like that on my album.” The next thing, I know I’m on the jet to Atlanta and the rest is history.

ONE37pm: To further speak about New York City, you recently collaborated with one of the city’s greatest MCs in Nicki Minaj. How important was that for you?

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Foreign: It means a lot. Salute to Nicki and everyone who is coming into the drill world and supporting it. It means a lot to us who’ve been a part of the drill community from the beginning because people forget this sound wasn’t always worldwide.

We {drill rappers} were just speaking to our communities about what was happening and how we lived. So for Nicki to come through, especially as someone from the city who is big, and do a record with me is nothing less than big.

Categories
Culture Music

ONE37pm Connects with Eladio Carrion

Eladio Carrion is a Puerto Rican-born artist who demonstrates a consistent dedication to his craft, and it shows. Mike Boyd had a chance to sit down and talk with Eladio to discuss everything from the depth of his lyrics to manifesting a song with Bobby Shmurda, J Balvin, and Daddy Yankee.

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In the interview, Eladio discusses constantly growing and developing special relationships with his fans through his music and social media. He elaborates on taking risks, choosing between being a leader or a follower, and what it means to innovate in the realm of art. Eladio has a very firm grasp on what his job is on this journey, and is very in tune with himself and his team.

Eladio Carrion also shows love to his producer, G.O. (G.O.K.B), who he credits with continuously helping him innovate. He explains how G.O. is a natural at creating vibes with multiple instruments, and is always keeping him on his toes musically. Artists who show this level of love to their producers are special, to say the least. To realize that the role of an artist is bigger than just yourself, and understanding the importance of other people in the process is crucial. Eladio comes off as a seasoned veteran in every way: musically, professionally, and in life in general. He’s got a great grip on the music world, and clearly has a deep passion for art. It’s refreshing to witness such a down-to-earth superstar like Eladio, and listening to his music is even more refreshing.

Eladio Carrion is far from your average artist. You’ve got to see this interview for yourself, it’s a gem:

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Categories
Sports Strength

Ryan Razooky Explains Basketball’s Ongoing Evolution

In 2022, basketball continues to see its boundaries get pushed to levels one couldn’t have expected before and basketball trainers like Ryan Razooky are among those doing the pushing. Based out of San Diego, California, Razooky isn’t your typical trainer who teaches the X and O’s or only cares about their social media following; instead, he’s genuinely invested in the game’s growth and how hoopers of the next generation will be prepared to handle it.

“As fun as it is to be flashy, everything comes back to consistency and efficiency,” Razooky said. “Regardless of what some people may call a ‘pro move’ or too ‘advanced’ for younger hoopers if I’m able to teach them that and they become ready for the next level, why not do it?” At his gym, The Hoop House, Razooky and his staff teach hundreds of players every week as well as some of the game’s biggest talents at any moment–namely, Mikey Williams (a five-star recruit in the Class of 2023) and NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/reel/CYPgLdbAd-Z/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/reel/CYPgLdbAd-Z/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/reel/CYPgLdbAd-Z/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Ryan Razooky (@r2bball)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

ONE37pm had the chance to connect with Razooky to discuss basketball’s latest evolution, how he built his gym, and what it takes to maintain a productive relationship with famous ballplayers.

ONE37pm: There are plenty of ways to properly invest in training players, but you were able to secure your own gym which is now known as The Hoop House. How did that happen?

Razooky: It took years to happen, but I’m blessed there was good timing involved. Before building The Hoop House, I trained people everywhere– YMCA’s, parks, and even their houses. At that time, things came together; a gentleman had reached out to me about the facility, and crazy enough, I had reached out to him about forming a partnership there three years ago.

I was on my way to Israel to train Johnny O’Bryant III (A 2014 second-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks) when that guy called me and asked if I wanted the facility. I immediately said yes, we had the paperwork drawn up, and I went on to redesign the whole place with the help of some good people.

ONE37pm: How realistic is it for a trainer to own a gym instead of renting out of different places?

Razooky: It’s realistic, but there’s a lot of challenges involved. If you want to build a gym out of a warehouse, you must ensure the ceiling is high enough for basketball action. After that, you have to be patient with exploring the market for a location and getting permission or permits from your landlord and the city.

But despite those challenges, I highly recommend every trainer to look into this. You will feel so empowered by having your gym, and the possibilities are endless for what you can do.

ONE37pm: Given who you train and what’s happening in today’s era of basketball, how do you teach players what’s necessary?

Razooky: For us at The Hoop House, it goes back to our blueprint. We want all players to be comfortable using both hands, drawing contact, and shooting the ball with good form. In my opinion, if you’re able to do those things, you can be a JV or varsity player in your freshman year of high school.

As our players get older, we want to provide them with more options to play with. Expanding a player’s move set and teaching them how to ultize the pick and roll and any other situations is essential before reaching the college and pro ranks. I say that because when they’re a college player or a pro, specialization is appropriate and makes sense.

ONE37pm: When looking back at your experiences working with known talents such as Mikey [Williams] and Jimmy [Butler], why has it been successful?

Razooky: There’s an old saying, ‘the number one quality is your availability.’ These guys are willing to work out at any time of the day, and for me to be available and consistent with my effort further enables their trust in me. Once that is established, our relationship blossoms because I’m well prepared with what I want to teach them and flexible enough to incorporate their wants and needs.

Your communication and availability will dictate your relationship with your players at the end of the day.

Categories
Sports Strength

Dennis Calvero Explains How He Designed The Arizona Coyotes’ New Collection

Over the years, fashion and design have become an increasingly big part of sports. Whether we’re discussing your favorite team’s logo, every league’s set of jerseys, or which shoes athletes are wearing, branding has always had a place in the world of sports. Accordingly, it’s not a surprise that more leagues are investing additional resources into that lane.

Across professional sports teams and leagues who are looking for ways to make their brands more popular; the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes are leading this revolution. In recent months, the Western Conference competitor has found themselves at the branding vanguard in their efforts to not only highlight their player’s fashion taste and personality on social media but make merchandise that tells the story of their home state. And for that, the Coyotes turned to no other than Dennis Calvero, the designer of their new streetwear collection.

Calvero, a proud Los Angeles, CA native, is an experienced streetwear designer who has thrived in the world of fashion, ranging between launching and selling brands such as Crooks & Castles and, at one point, was the Design Director of Mark Ecko Enterprises. Alongside being a huge sports fan, Calvero has a great understanding of how branding in sports works, and that’s regardless of a team’s success.

Dennis Calvero

ONE37pm had the chance to connect with Calvero to discuss the Coyotes’ new collection, the evolution of branding in sports, and much more!

ONE37pm: When thinking about this opportunity to design the Coyotes’ new collection, what made it unique?

Calvero: There were a couple of reasons why. After I sold Crooks & Castles, I’d been consulting for a few brands, mainly in the gaming and fashion industries. But then my guy Will Headings connected me with the Meruelo’s (ownership family of the Coyotes), and they began telling me about the properties they owned and their vision.

Working in sports is not entirely new to me as I’ve done stuff through Crooks and Castles with the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers and MLB for the [Los Angeles] Dodgers, but I had never directly worked with a team on anything solely for their brand. And at this point in my career, it made for an exciting opportunity. Plus, I’ve always liked the teams out of Arizona (smiles).

ONE37pm: As sports fans, we have a deep understanding of branding through jerseys, logos, etc. but it hasn’t resonated with us as much with the NHL. Can the league change that?

Calvero: They definitely can. Even though here in America, most sports fans aren’t used to that with the NHL, I was able to see it up close in Montreal, CA, because of my Crooks & Castles partners that were based up there and love hockey. I’ve met plenty of hockey players who embraced my brand and style of fashion, and whenever we speak more about it, they simply express their love for fashion and how they explore more of it due to their success.

When it’s all said and done, some hockey players see what NBA and NFL players can do about showing off their drip, and they love it. So this is the right time for the NHL to embrace that, and they’re beginning to all across the board.

Arizona Coyotes

ONE37pm: Outside of whatever happens on the court, field, or ice, today’s era of sports branding places a great emphasis on capturing the spirit of their hometown and state. What has inspired that change?

Calvero: It’s simply a matter of recognizing where you’re from and making the pieces everyday people could wear when they feel like it. Granted, in some instances, like with me here in Arizona, the weather is consistently the same because it’s hot [laughs], but you think beyond that. I began looking at logos and what was happening all around and found deeper meanings to things that helped me create the pieces in this collection.

ONE37pm: So along with that, is it easier these days to create those pieces regardless of the team’s success? Because some fans won’t wear any kind of merchandise if the team isn’t good [laughs].

Calvero: That’s a good question. While everything you said is true, I always focused on making the consumer attracted to the piece because of what it is. That’s the difference. If someone sees a work of mine and it looks good, there’s a chance they won’t care about that team, and their success or failure, because if it looks good to them, that’s all that matters.

The same can be said for teams that the public isn’t familiar with too. In the end, successful branding will work regardless of what happens with the players.

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Popular Streamers KittyPlays and Krystalogy Talk Mental Health In Gaming

Mental health is important, and so is self-preservation. In order to be our best selves and perform at our highest levels, we have to make sure we are taken care of mentally and emotionally. One of the ways we can do that is through gaming. A recent Microsoft study found that 84% of respondents agreed that gaming has positively impacted their mental health over the past year during the course of this pandemic.

Researchers have cited numerous mental health benefits to playing games including lessened feelings of loneliness, to further help spread positivity in the world of gaming  Bai Boost, a new plant-based, caffeinated water drink from Bai Wonderwater, has partnered with Take This, a non-profit supporting mental health in the gaming community, as well as wildly popular streamersKittyPlays and Krystalogy to continue to bring light and education on mental health awareness.

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We spoke with both KittyPlays and Krystalogy on the personal benefits of gaming and how they personally take care of themselves, while also getting advice on how to fit gaming and self-care into our busy schedules.

ONE37pm: This past Sunday was World Mental Health Day. How does gaming help to improve mental health?

KittyPlays: It helps a lot! Gaming allows me to participate and be social. It can also be very stimulating in the sense that you take on new challenges. It’s important to take care of your mental health, and gaming can be an easy way to connect with a group that has the same direction. You’re accomplishing something.

Krystalogy: I actually have a story about this. It was my freshman year of college and I was going through a rough time. I began playing Stardew Valley, and tending to my farm kept me sane rather than crying. It was soothing, calm, helped me stay focused and promoted positivity. Playing games can definitely help you stay centered and positive.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9zUkslVnk/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”14″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9zUkslVnk/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″></div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”>View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″></div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”></div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”></div></div></div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”></div></div></a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9zUkslVnk/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Krysta (@krystalogytv)</a></p></div></blockquote></div>

ONE37pm: Adult life can be super busy and sometimes we don’t have the time to play games. Any suggestions on how we can incorporate that more into our lives?

KittyPlays: It’s funny because I never thought I would be telling adults to game. I would suggest putting it as part of your nighttime ritual. Again you can join a group, explore a new world, and it can help you when you are going through something and life is getting too heavy. Also this can depend on the game you are playing as well.

Krystalogy: To add, I haven’t been playing a lot of games outside of my career lately because I have been trying to read more and decrease time. However if I were to play a game right now to relax it would probably be Valorant. I try not to record/stream every moment because there are things that I want to keep to myself, and I don’t have to worry about small things such as how I look or what facial expressions I am making.

ONE37pm: How do you take care of yourself daily to help you balance your career?

KittyPlays: I’m a huge fan of morning routines. I don’t touch my phone right away when I get up. I do yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and journal. I have my lattes, do some reading, and then I officially start my day. So I would say it’s about setting that initial foundation.

Krystalogy: I’ve been reading a lot more because so much of gaming is about storytelling, and I love games and stories. I also read to reduce my time on social media because it can really be draining sometimes—especially with the negative comments. Reading, walking, etc., has been especially helpful to my physical and mental health.

ONE37pm: Is there anything else you want gamers to know about gaming and mental health?

KittyPlays: For me, everything is about optimism and positivity. This career can come with a lot of harassment, but at the same time gaming allows me to get in tune with myself. There are a lot of people who are complimenting and trying to tear you down at the same time, so it’s about being even keel. You have to really set a foundation because there’s tons of good things as well. Gaming can help you socialize and interact with many people across the world, especially in this pandemic.

Krystalogy: Don’t brush off your mental health! It’s okay to take a break, and it’s okay to give yourself time to rest because at the same time the quality of your work also reflects your mental health. Try that game! Go for that walk! Especially since we’re kind of still stuck at home because of this pandemic.

You heard them! Make sure you always take time to take care of yourself. You can keep up with both KittyPlays and Krystalogy on Instagram. 

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Actress and Producer Akemi Look Is The Latest Call of Duty Addition

This week’s Inside The Screen hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes welcomes Akemi Look. A woman of many talents, Akemi is an actor, writer, and producer, based in Los Angeles and one of the newest additions to the Call of Duty family where gamers were officially introduced to her character KITSUNE in the latest season of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. KITSUNE embodies everything Akemi Look represents in real life: fierce, badass, and the ability to command attention. It’s always an interesting experience when you can merge your passions together, and Don caught up with Akemi aka KITSUNE to discuss the latest happenings in her career, bringing KITSUNE to life, and more during their nearly 40-minute conversation. 

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So how exactly does one end up with a role in perhaps the biggest gaming franchise in the world. Don asked Akemi the question we all wanted to know. “This was a totally random audition for me,” she says before going a little further into the audition process and how she ultimately landed the role. “I’ve auditioned for a lot of video games before, and this one was interesting. My managers called me and basically asked if I could jump on a Zoom call on the spot.

They couldn’t give me much information about it at the time, but the casting director remembered me from a previous audition. I hopped on Zoom, and the casting director told me to make all of these different facial expressions while he took pictures of each one. It was all kinds of faces from screaming to really intense looks. As an actor I was like “great.”

Pointing out that Akemi’s path into esports and gaming is one that not many generally consider, Don asks the actress if her life is now partially connected to the gaming scene since her fiance Patrick creates music for video games, and video gaming acting is a part of her resume now. “Oh yeah! My fiance does video game music and all kinds of composing. It’s funny because this is the first project that I’ve done where there’s been so much hype surrounding it. COD fans are freaking amazing! They love this character and I get really excited when I get messages from the girl gamers who tell me they play as my character all of the time. It’s so cool and badass, and all of the guys in Patrick’s squad play as KITSUNE too! “

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-permalink=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CSe-Ip5JX5R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” data-instgrm-version=”13″ style=”background:#FFF;border:0;border-radius:3px;margin: 1px;max-width:540px;min-width:326px;padding:0;width:99.375%;width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px);width:calc(100% – 2px)”><div style=”padding:16px”> <a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CSe-Ip5JX5R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”background:#FFFFFF;line-height:0;padding:0 0;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;width:100%” target=”_blank”> <div style=”flex-direction: row;align-items: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 40px;margin-right: 14px;width: 40px”><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 100px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 60px”><\/div><\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 19% 0″><\/div> <div style=”height:50px;margin:0 auto 12px;width:50px”><\/div><div style=”padding-top: 8px”> <div style=”color:#3897f0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:550;line-height:18px”> View this post on Instagram<\/div><\/div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0″><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: row;margin-bottom: 14px;align-items: center”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px;flex-grow: 0;margin-right: 14px;margin-left: 2px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;height: 12.5px;width: 12.5px”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: 8px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 50%;flex-grow: 0;height: 20px;width: 20px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 2px solid transparent;border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4;border-bottom: 2px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><div style=”margin-left: auto”> <div style=”width: 0px;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-right: 8px solid transparent”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;flex-grow: 0;height: 12px;width: 16px”><\/div> <div style=”width: 0;height: 0;border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4;border-left: 8px solid transparent”><\/div><\/div><\/div> <div style=”flex-direction: column;flex-grow: 1;justify-content: center;margin-bottom: 24px”> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;margin-bottom: 6px;width: 224px”><\/div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4;border-radius: 4px;flex-grow: 0;height: 14px;width: 144px”><\/div><\/div><\/a><p style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:17px;margin-bottom:0;margin-top:8px;overflow:hidden;padding:8px 0 7px;text-align:center”><a href=”https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/tv\/CSe-Ip5JX5R\/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading” style=”color:#c9c8cd;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;line-height:17px;text-decoration:none” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Akemi Look (@akemilook)<\/a><\/p><\/div><\/blockquote></div>

As Don and Akemi continue to chit-chat, the conversation pivots towards women in gaming, and the challenges female streamers regularly face. “That’s why I got so excited for this role because I knew it would be for all of the girl gamers out there. It goes back to the age old saying of representation and having a new face for a badass woman in combat. It’s fiction and it’s centered in this fantasy reality which I really love.  

As you can tell, Don and Akemi had a great conversation that you should check out not only if you are a gamer, but also into television and movies as well. You can continue to follow them both on Instagram.

Categories
Gaming Interviews

FaZe Simp Chops It Up With Don About ‘Call of Duty’, Esports Majors and More

This week’s Inside The Screen hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes features special guest FaZe Simp. Gaming enthusiasts already know what time it is when it comes to FaZe Simp, who has established himself as a recognizable face in esports and gaming, as a member of ATL FaZe where he took home the regular-season MVP trophy and battled with the squad for this year’s Call of Duty world championship. It takes a lot to emerge victorious as the last one standing in a pool full of talented teams, but ATL FaZe managed to do it seamlessly. Catching up with Don for a quick post-championship check-in, the two had a fun conversation that you should definitely check out if you are a Call of Duty fan. Below is a preview of their interview.

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Don: First I want to get your predictions on Rostermania. There’s a lot of great talent going into it. 

FaZe Simp: I feel like a lot of teams are going to switch up. I don’t know if it will be the players, but I do feel like a lot of the teams will switch because a big problem this year was group chemistry. If teams can stick it out through the course of the year, then they will have a shot at being pretty good. 

Don: What team shocked you the most this season?

FaZe Simp: Toronto is probably the team that shocked everyone most this season just because they weren’t really one of the top teams at the beginning of the year, but around Stage 2 or 3 they became one of the best for the year.

Don: We are getting “World at War” for the new Call of Duty: Vanguard. How do you feel about that?

FaZe Simp: From what I’ve seen it looks like Modern Warfare and World War II combined. I’m just hoping that it’s a little more polished and smooth than Modern Warfare because some of the cameras were slightly messed up. As long as they have that and more time to kill it should be fine.

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Don: You guys have won three out of the last five majors. Did you ever feel like you all hit a barrier?

FaZe Simp: If we did hit a barrier it was around Major Five where we all started stressing too much about Champs. It reflected in the trust of our teamwork because that was the series where we couldn’t win a hard point. We lost control to Minnesota, and then Seattle as well since we couldn’t win a hard point. You can’t win without getting the hard points so that’s what we messed up on. 

You can check out the full conversation above, and be sure to keep up with Don and FaZe Simp on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Gaming Interviews

ONE37pm Speaks With TSM FTX VP of Apparel Erik Marino

It’s only been a little over a month since TSM FTX VP of Apparel Erik Marino joined the company, but like everything else in his career so far, his first release with the brand was an instant success. Selling out within the first hour, the TSM FTX: Core collection is the first core program of their sportswear staples, and while TSM FTX has offered merchandise before, it has never been at this level. This collection is centered around the organization’s iconic logo, taking a clean approach in its monochromatic palette, incorporating raised embroideries, wax prints, and rubberized appliques ranging from fleece, tees, headwear, varsity jacket and bomber jackets.

TSM
 TSM FTX: Core Launch

TSM FTX continues to skyrocket as one of the most valuable esports organizations in the world, and Marino, who is the former Executive Creative Director of FaZe Clan, brings nearly two decades of experience developing high-level brands in streetwear. 

Marino has also previously partnered with hip hop legends Wu-Tang Clan, and was the co-founder of the internationally known music lifestyle brand Rocksmith, based in NYC and Tokyo. As mentioned earlier, the TSM FTX: Core Collection sold out within the first hour of its release, and we got a chance to speak with Marino following the drop to ask him about this collection, and what he has up his sleeve for TSM FTX Apparel in the coming months.

ONE37pm: First of all congratulations on TSM FTX Core selling out within the first hour! What was it about TSM FTX that attracted you to your role as VP of Apparel? It’s only been a little over a month!

Marino: Thank you. The reaction from TSM FTX fans was incredible! I joined TSM FTX because it’s a very prestigious org in esports that is globally respected. After my conversations with Walter Wang it felt like a good fit and an opportunity along with the creative freedom to build a true lifestyle and apparel component for the Org.

ONE37pm: You have an extensive resume with a long list of notable clients, how has your TSM FTX experience been different thus far?

Marino: Well, it’s just the beginning. I like that the Org is really focused on esports and winning, as opposed to companies that are fashion driven. This is refreshing to me as I have lived on the fashion industry calendar both for clients and with my own brands like Rocksmith NYC in the past.

TSM
TSM: Core Editorial

ONE37pm: What all went into designing this collection?

Marino: Really it was an objective to make a stylish but very core collection for our fans and players. This collection done in black and white, our team colors, is meant to be staple everyday wear items. We will be restocking in a matter of weeks and make this group readily available. Stay tuned for more collection drops and special projects!

ONE37pm: Obviously the demand is super high. Will there be another release of this specific capsule?

Marino: Yes, the Core collection will be restocked. Some items like tees have already been restocked, and we offer a custom jersey option that is always available.

TSM
TSM Apparel Editorial

ONE37pm: Last but not least, what do you guys have in store for the near future?

Marino: We have plans to really build out TSM FTX as an esports lifestyle brand by way of Apparel, home goods and gaming related products. We will be doing projects in collaboration, as well as expanding categories internally, with the goal to have fun in the process!

Be sure to keep up with all of TSM’s latest apparel releases via the official TSM Store

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Arcadia Is Changing The Sports and Gaming Landscape

The digital worlds of sports and gaming continue to evolve into unimaginable heights, and Arcadia is here to take things to another dimension.

Arcadia is a new sports platform that combines the athleticism of traditional sports and the limitless possibilities of the digital world through its stadium-sized video game format where players become avatars and directly control movement and progress by running, jumping, pushing, and sliding. Arcadia creates a complete athletic experience that allows 2-10 players to compete in the world’s largest, multiplayer VR arena that can be played inside or outside while encouraging users to play and compete against each other.

Later this year, Arcadia will launch a six-city tour called the Arcadia Trials, where they will search for its first-ever pro-Arcadia Athletes where both gamers and fans will be given the chance to vote for Arcadia to visit their hometown, and a shot at being crowned the Arcadia Champion.

Arcadia

Fans and viewers can tune into Arcadia.tv to participate in a competitive stream where they can watch athletes move and compete inside the virtual arena or follow the action from the athletes’ POV. Even more exciting, Arcadia has plans to launch original series, and recently partnered with Warner Bros. for a once-in-a-lifetime Space Jam game.

Additionally, Arcadia will be working with renowned brands, major film studios, and talent. It’s going to be a fun second half of the year and beyond for Arcadia, and we sat down with CEO and co-founder Chris Olimpo to get the scoop on what’s been going on in their world. 

ONE37pm: It’s so good to speak with you, Chris! Let’s first start by asking how you guys developed the concept of Arcadia.

Olimpo: So the truth is—it’s a collective idea that has been around for a while going back to things like Tron in 1982, but we have been able to bring the concept together. I had the privilege of being able to direct and produce Tom Cruise’s first VR film and having had that experience, I was able to understand VR on a deeper level by seeing the things that people can’t see. We have been able to make Arcadia a reality by bridging gaming and sports. We are creating a new sport, and it is an original idea that blends the two together while also focusing on solving specific problems to make as a visual.

Arcadia

ONE37pm: How do you see esports and Arcadia, in general, evolving as a medium in the next five years?

Olimpo: I do think Arcadia is going to be a new category that is between sports and esports. It is going to celebrate both and sit in between. Going forward, I could see esports including a sport like Arcadia, and that it will be a hit game.

ONE37pm: You guys will be going on a six city tour called Arcadia Trials later this year. What do Arcadia’s recruiting efforts entail?

Olimpo: It is going to look like a real sports tryout in a virtual dimension, and it will be broadcast on social media. We actually like to use the term “athletic gamers,” and we had tryouts in Montreal with over 1,000 players. It was interesting because we never knew who was going to win. Sometimes when it was gamers vs athletes, the gamers would crush it. Usually, the players that had a leg up were the ones that were both gamers and athletes. As far as our tryouts—you can go to Arcadia.tv/tryouts and register to vote for your city.

From there, we will have people line up, and we are going to film them, do interviews, etc. We are going to select two players from each city to fly out, and they will compete in a bracket tournament that crowns the first-ever  Arcadia champion. That will close out Stage 1 of Arcadia.tv. We are aiming for a fall start date, but it’s not confirmed yet. We may start this year, and go into the first quarter of next year.

ONE37pm: What are some of Arcadia’s proudest accomplishments thus far?

Olimpo: We are proud to have launched to the world, and we are already working on the future! We are also proud to have announced a partnership with Warner Bros and bring Space Jam: A New Legacy into our Arcadia Sports Platform. It was absolutely insane! It was one of the most fun games I have ever played, and I’m not being biased either. To have that partnership with Warner Bros. was amazing, and there is definitely a lot in store for the future.

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ONE37pm: Definitely! I’m going to take it back a little bit. Did the pandemic have an effect on you guys last year?

Olimpo: It definitely had an impact, but there were pros and cons. We were actually in the process of raising an investment round in February 2020, which was right around the time the pandemic started, and our trips to San Francisco and New York were faulted. We had to send videos to people, and they actually thought the tech was fake. They didn’t believe it was real, and it pretty much slowed us down in terms of funding.

We eventually decided to take a leap of faith and fly to San Francisco to host demos, and they were like “Wow! I can’t believe this isn’t vapourware.” From a gaming standpoint, however, it was a blessing in disguise. Sports had stopped, but there was sort of this underground movement that happened, and many of our Arcadia players wanted to still keep on playing. So they were playing in parks and parking lots, and it was cool. In a way, Covid gave us access to that underground movement and space.

ONE37pm: Final Question—Where do you see Arcadia in five years?

Olimpo: I see Arcadia being a fully legitimate sport where we have sold out stadium events. I see it being similar to the Olympics where there are a variety of games. I also envision technology being lighter for athletes, and that there will be a new status quo when it comes to sports and gaming. Fans and audiences will come to expect this as a new reality, and we will have star Arcadia athletes.

We actually predict that a professional athlete will leave their league to join Arcadia, and that it will be a young up-and-coming athlete that makes that transition. We definitely think that could happen in five years!

Be sure to follow the official Arcadia Instagram for all of their latest updates, and check out their official website here.