Girl WITH PURPLE Gucci's
ft. WORK BY
ALINA ZUM HEBEL & INES DE PEUTER
by TOBI GBILE
IT's TIME . . . TO PASS THE TIME
COVER PHOTO SHOT BY INES DE PEUTER
PICTURED: YASEMIN CAKLI
What are you going to do with yours?!
Spring 2020 has officially sprung and the challenges that have come with are nothing that we asked for, or expected. And despite all of the turmoil taking place in the world, the sun is back to shining.
I think I speak for all of us (as we distance ourselves from society on our couches) when I say that the first few months of 2020 have been maaaaaad. All of this time to reevaluate how we live our day to day lives and disconnect, in order to protect, has made us really think about what matters to each of us the most.
As corny as it sounds, it's reminded me how unpredictable and short life can really be, and how I have to make the most of each day, opportunity, and relationship. In the past, I used that same mentality to cause me to rush and chase the next big thing before I even got to enjoy (and sometimes, experience) the blessing I had in front of me.
So this spring, join me in enjoying the blessings that we have in front of us and making the most of the situations we're in, because (and sorry if this sounds grim), nothing on E-A-R-T-H lasts forever.
This season, I'm super excited to share what I've been listening to, what my friends and I have been wearing, cool pictures shot and styled by some of my talented friends, and some tips on how to deal with some adult sh*t! So without further adieu, ENJOY!
You heard it here first folks. This is a glimpse into what I'll be listening to all spring long. Standouts include TGBEAM and Don Toliver.
Shout-out: Hair twists & chrome colored nails
Pictured: Ines De Peuter
Shout-out: Giraffe print skirt
Pictured: Tobi Gbile
Shout-out: Orange statement pants & racing jacket
Pictured: Emelie Solano Dominguez
Shout-out: Sparkly chevron two-piece suit
Pictured: Yasemin Cakli
S/O: Handmade choker by Yasemin Cakli
Shout-out: self-dyed hair extensions
Y'all trust my tips/advice, which implies that there's a chance you trust my taste as well. As a super fan with protective (not possessive, contrary to popular belief) tendencies, I like to keep my new gems and obsessions to myself for some time, but now I am ready to spread the love . . .
This season, I'm writing a double feature about two artists (because we need music more than ever rn amirite): one being, the pop sensation I'll continue to stan (RAIN OR SHINE), Mr. Justin Bieber !!!!!!!!!!!!! And the other being Don Toliver, the latest homie holding it down for Houston, reppin' Cactus Jack.
As most (if not all) of you know, in February, Bieber dropped Changes, his first album since his 2015 comeback Purpose. This is the first time he's fully dove into the R&B (or R&Bieber, as some have dubbed it) sound that he was destined to own from the jump. It's a cohesive album that shows us he's all around in a better place than he has been since his career took off years ago, and shows us that he understands himself, his voice, and his musical interests more than ever. That being said, is it my favorite Bieber record? No. Nothing in the JB library tops My World 2.0 in my opinion, but do I like this album? Yes. There are a few songs that I love (a couple that the world does as well) and a sleeper track that stood out to me as one of my favorites, and I've written about them all below.
But before that--a few words about Mr. Toliver. Trust Travis Scott and Cactus Jack to be able to host rappers who will shape the sound of rap as it continues to evolve. Don Toliver is no exception. Heaven or Hell , released on March 13th, is his first solo studio album effort, and his second studio album since his collaborative work on JACKBOYS. I ate this sh*t up high-key, and so did most rap fans. This album is a steady slapper that can live in my work from home library just as well as it can in my DJ sets that are currently a MAJOR WIP.
JB, we love you, and Don Toliver, we're excited to see what you do next. In the meantime, I'm patiently waiting to see you both on tour some time post COVID-19 <3
This track takes the cake for me. I loop it when I'm brushing my teeth, doing my kickboxing workout in my room, and working from home.
The last after party song to put me in this good of a mood came from my pop princess Charli XCX. Why this song doesn't have more listens than it currently does is a MYSTERY to me.
COme AROUND ME
This track is void of a wild instrumental and a chart-topping feature, but that's what makes it a complete vibe.
JB is in his pocket on this track, making it something that was immediately easy to groove to. His falsetto is seamless and soothing to the soul. I don't care how corny that sounds, I stan.
"Starships, were meant to fly" and Spaceships were meant to SKY ROCKET. This track does just that.
He has us waiting on the edge of our seats waiting to hear if he takes off, but the contrast of the lyrics and the steady melody and verses are genius in my opinion.
There's a reason why this song got a Summer Walker remix. Yeah, yeah, I know the critics went in on Bieber after he dropped this track as the lead single from the album, but it's elementary absurdity is half of what makes it so enjoyable.
The combination of the catchy hook and chorus, repetition, and overly saturated video, makes this song an absolute feast.
Relax, no one is out here saying "Yummy" deserves a Grammy. However, it has earned a spot on almost all of my playlists this season.
This track is one of my brother's (S/O TGBEAM follow him on Spotify and Apple Music) favorite track from the album, and one of my favorites as well.
It's the 2020 rap version of "Sweater Weather". Do I need to say more?
INTENTIONS (FT. QUAVO)
Don't drag me for putting two singles on my list of favorite songs from this album. There is a reason why they were chosen as singles.
For this song, the reason is, it sounds like it's the 2020 version of "What Makes You Beautiful". I'm doubtful of it reaching the same level of success that 1D was able to achieve with their breakout single, but Justin Bieber doesn't need that at this stage of his career. BEEN.
It's a feel good song reminding whoever is listening how fly they are. Who DOESN'T want to hear that?
TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE . . .
To add to all of the craziness that is 2020, on top of starting a new job, I also decided to move into a new apartment, LOL! And this isn't just any apartment . . . this is my first time that I will be living ALONE!!! (S/O to my former roommate tho, she's a real one).
I'm 23 and it felt about that time. I found a place that I dig, and I'm so excited to go black Martha Stewart on that bish. When I was working in Shanghai spring 2019, that was the first time I had experienced living alone, even for a short period of time, and I reached a new level of independence, relaxation, and self-discovery that I realized would have a huge impact on my day-to-day if my every day life were this way. Plus, if you're also in a similar stage to me, then you probably also realize that this is the last time in our lives where we will ever get to do this. Sign me all the way up!
It's hard enough moving to a new apartment, try doing it in a country where you're still learning the language. Thankfully, I've lived in Germany for well over a year now, and have learned enough (and most importantly, who to go to for help LOL) so I'm PRAYING this move will be relatively seamless. However, life can throw all sorts of surprises, so in my true spastic nature, I've tried to plan my move to the best of my ability, months in advance.
While some of what you read below might make you giggle at how absurdly far I took this planning, I truly think it helped me be more prepared and at ease than I would have been otherwise. So if you're moving to a new place any time in the near future, and don't know where to start, how about with what I have to say below?
STEP 1: INVENTORY
After I finished my search, signed my new contract, and jumped for joy, I started to visualize myself in the apartment. In order to do so, I thought about my life in my current apartment and all the things I needed to survive in my new one.
That manifested itself in an Excel spreadsheet, with a different sheet for each room. Since furnishing a flat from scratch involves a lot of planning, I wanted to ensure that I didn't forget the little things, like oven mits and pillow cases, while I was focusing on buying the big things, like a new bed and couch.
The separating by room might sound extra, but this way, I had a checklist in front of me that showed me what I needed to buy, from where, and what things were more urgent than others.
STEP 2: DREAM BOARD
While I love to have faith and hope for the best, when it comes to ish like this, seeing really is believing. When it came to how I wanted my new apartment to look and feel, an excel sheet with some links to purchase was not going to be nearly enough to help me visualize what it would look like.
That's where my dream board (otherwise known as a slide per room PowerPoint presentation) came into play. In seventh grade, I tried to use a PowerPoint to convince my parents to buy me my first cellphone. Now, I'm using it to convince me of my (or lack thereof) interior design skills.
I'm not saying I'm Martha Stewart, but copying and pasting images of the furniture I was planning to buy against digital Pantone color swatches helped bring my vision of my life. Not only did it help me mix and match colors and materials, but it also helped me see which rooms were overdoing it furniture and decor wise, and which could use a little love. I definitely recommend visualizing your rooms after determining what you want to buy.
STEP 3: PLAN SHOPPING TRIPS
Being spontaneous can be cute when it comes to fun nights out and outfit choices. However, when it came to planning how, when, and where I was going to purchase all of my furniture and apartment necessities from, it was the LAST area of my life where spontaneity would be cute.
When you're about a month out from your move, plan your shopping trips, and when you will be ordering items online. In order to make your trips as stress free as possible (because let's face it, life is full of all sorts of surprises), it is going to take a lot more intention and consideration than just saying what day you need to hit monsters of stores like IKEA. Before you pull up at the store, make sure you have a strategic list of what you are going to buy, not a grocery store list.
Purchase what you need in order of importance/urgency. Your frame for the cool print you just ordered online shouldn't be purchased until after your bed is built and you have a pot to boil your pasta in.
STEP 4: RECRUIT A TEAM
You know when they say "it takes a village"? This is one of those scenarios. When you're prepping anything from your shopping trips, to building your wardrobe, build a team of people you trust to help in the areas where your talents are lacking and where their gifts shine. Try to diversify your team roster so that no one person has to carry the weight of your move on their back. It'll make you feel a lot less guilty for the free labor and them a lot more willing to offer their time to you. Pay them in friendship, food, and a fun AF housewarming.
STEP 5: CODE FOR DA WIFI
Start sorting out your Wifi situation EARLY. This was some of the best advice I received after signing my new lease. Especially in the times we are currently living in, it's important that we have Wifi bars for DAYSSSS. The last thing you need is to be fully moved into a new place and not be able to use any of your devices. It's a first world problem for sure, but if you're living in one like I am . . . get your ducks in a row.
STEP 6: SET SOME DATES
Once you've done all of the above, it's time to start bringing the plan to life. The move can and will be overwhelming at times, and unexpected events could occur (in me and my ex-roommates case, a worldwide pandemic) but if you keep these milestones on your check-list throughout the process, it'll help you maintain your sanity:
1. Set the move-in date to work against
2. Pick your packing days
3. Put your shopping dates on your calendar (including delivery of big items)
4. Plan which days/weeks you want to have certain rooms complete
5. The fun part--send a save the date for your housewarming !!!
Ft. items that you can find on me this spring and brands to keep on your radar!
(Don't worry, these looks will be waiting for us post-lockdown)
eBay - POLO Ralph Lauren
This is a spring given. Whether you're going powder blue or powder pink, you can't go wrong with any pastel shade this spring, and I know I won't go a week without some soft pops of color this season.
With spring in store, we no longer have to worry about wearing jackets that actually keep us warm. Now it's time to substitute sense for style--I love cropped jackets around this time of year because they go with nearly any rise/style of bottom.
Warmer weather and sunnier skies are enough to make us all get a lil playful, and fun stripe combos in bright colors are just the thing to get us in the spring mood!
This should come as no surprise since the 00's are still reigning this season. Looking for a way to spice up your going-out clothes collection? A halter top in a bold print and some baggy bottoms will do the trick.
Shoulder bags and furry accessories were at the height of nearly every accessory trend last season, and now straw (and straw inspired) items will find it's way back onto shelves and sites this spring.
Head to Toe Monochrome
If you're anything like me and love color, then this trend is for you. We BEEN on the all black wave all winter long (and for some of you, all year long), but this spring, go monochrome with me (and Dua Lipa) in spring's most beloved shades.
Shots I've taken of myself, my friends and family, and other things I like to look at around the world <3
TAKE MY COIN!
CHARLI XCX - CHARLI EUROPE TOUR
November 9th, 2019
Set list: Miss XCX blessed us with a set list comprised of every song from her latest album, self-titled Charli, fan favorites (that made for great live performances) from her 2017 mixtape Pop 2,, like "Unlock It", popular singles like "Boys", and most importantly, cult classics like the incredible, one of a kind "Vroom Vroom". However, it wouldn't be a Charli XCX concert if she didn't remind us all of how she got here, so she made sure to throw in her iconic track that skyrocketed Icona Pop to fame: "I Love It".
Performance Quality: From the moment Charli stepped on stage, two things were clear: she was born to perform, and it's easy for her to put on a great show. Her vocals, crowd involvement, and stage presence were clearly so easy breezy for her that she not only appeared effortless, but like she was performing in her sleep.
Crowd Reception: 5/5
Venue/Stage Design: 4/5
Over-all rating: 4.5/5
SHECK WES: Die Lit Tour
August 3rd, 2018
Set list: Now THIS is how you open a show. Nearly every show that I went to last fall, I skipped the opener, but I'm so happy that my brother, his friends and I decided to pull up in time to see Sheck Wes completely MURDER his set. To be honest, homeboy played maybe 4 songs, but they all delivered two things: pure hype, and energy.
Performance Quality: Through the roof. Sheck Wes proved that he not only understands the musical quality of his tracks, but how to perform them on stage. He delivered at all the right moments, and left it all on the stage. If you didn't feel like either moshing or jumping on stage during "Mo Bamba", IDK you. That performance might have changed my concert life. Honestly, mad respect to Carti, but performance wise, Wes might have outshone his main act.
Crowd Reception: 4.5/5
Venue/Stage Design: 2/5
Over-all rating: 4/5
PLAYBOI CARTI: Die Lit Tour
Set list: Pretty much a compilation of songs from his latest fire release, Die Lit, and some of his greatest hits from his debut album. No complaints here.
Performance Quality: All hype. I was gonna insert another "no complaints here", but I'm going to refrain myself, because I do believe that it is possible to deliver a balls to the wall concert and also rap your ass off, Exhibit A & B: Travis Scott and A$AP Ferg. While I commend Carti for hyping up the crowd to the point where the energy of the audience was unlike anything I have ever seen before, I would be quicker to rate the show higher had he done more than rap a few bars over his tracks and let us rap the rest.
Venue/Stage Design: 3/5
Over-all rating: 3.5/5
2 Chainz: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music Tour
August 19th, 2017
Set list: Banger after banger. While Chainz did make sure to play songs off his latest release, he made sure to pay much needed homage to all of the fan-favorites.
Performance Quality: Have to give it to Chainz for still putting on a hell of a hype show while sitting in a wheelchair, when he very well could have cancelled the remainder of his tour.
Crowd Reception: 4/5
Venue/Stage Design: 5/5
Zedd: Echo Tour
October 13th, 2017
Set list: Zedd made sure to keep the crowd dancing with smooth transitions and most of his most popular hits like "Beautiful Now" and "Clarity".
Performance Quality: In order to keep the crowd engaged, Zedd made sure to engage with the Chicago audience through short spurts of hype dialogue, turning the Aragon Ballroom into a rave.
Crowd Reception: 3/5
Over-all rating: 3/5
November 3rd, 2017
Set list: Hate to say that I was extremely disappointed with the lack of original content in Snakehips' set list. Instead of playing their original songs, the majority of the set consisted of remixes. We get it, you can remix rap tracks on your laptop, so can my 17 year old brother.
Performance Quality: I'm going to start this off by saying that only one member of the DUO that is Snakehips was present. Even though there isn't much DJ's can really do in terms of solo "performances", I don't think we should give them a free pass. This was the worst DJ performance I have seen in awhile. Sorry.
Over-all rating: 2/5
Bleachers: Gone Now Era, Pt. 2 Tour
November 11th, 2017
Set list: Easily the best set-list of the season. Not only did Bleachers seamlessly connect the storyline of their latest release Gone Now, but they also made sure to include plenty of favorites from their OG album. Couldn't have been better.
Performance Quality: I repeat: couldn't have been better. If anyone knows how to put on a show, it is Jack Antonoff. The group's energy and charisma was through the roof, and Antonoff's live vocals partnered with the plethora of instruments was literal music to the ears. It shouldn't come as a shock that I couldn't give the group anything less than perfect scores across the board.
Over-all rating: 5/5
Bishop Briggs: Gone Now Era, Pt. 2 Tour
Set list: As the opening act for Bleachers, Briggs stunned with a half hour set featuring her hit "River" and her new single "Dream".
Performance Quality: Bishop Brigg's energy is absolutely contagious, and she brought unexpected life to her dark pop songs.
Venue/Stage Design: 2.5/5
Mura Masa (Red Bull Sound Select)
November 16th, 2017
Set list: Composed entirely of tracks from Mura Masa's stand out debut album.
Performance Quality: While Mura Masa might not be the most outgoing MC on the planet, teaming up with a background singer to sing (AND rap) all of the tracks on the album raised the entertainment factor.
Venue/Stage Design: 2.5/5
Dua Lipa: The Self Titled Tour
November 26th, 201 7
Set list: Composed nearly entirely of tracks from her US debut album, and her closing number "New Rules" turned everyone in the crowd into a pop star.
Performance Quality: Although Lipa announced early in the show that she was sick, she still gave the performance her all, and her voice was of recording quality throughout.
AJR: The Night the Buzz Stole XMAS
December 16th, 2017
Set list: Even though AJR was technically an opening act, they made it near impossible to sleep on their set-list. They played fan favorites from their debut album coupled with Kansas City specific remixes that the crowd ate up .
Performance Quality: I was ready to roast the hell out of this group for their quirky demeanor, but their energy was through the roof and they performed the hell out of every song in their set.
BØRNS: The Night the Buzz Stole XMAS
Set list: I wouldn't be so sour about this if I hadn't already seen BØRNS twice before. They opened with one of the songs that people actually come to see, "Past Lives", (mistake #1) and did an acoustic version of "Seeing Stars" (mega mistake #2). But if you choose to ignore these disappointing events, the set-list was strong nonetheless.
Performance Quality: While Garrett Borns might not be the most energetic performer around, his suave demeanor and charming stage presence never fail to have the crowd under his spell.
Did I mention that I am a published author? Click the links below to purchase my first teenage fiction novel: "The Stunnerz"!
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© 2020 Tobi Gbile