I hope December 2019 has been nothing but good to you! OMG I can't believe its almost the end of the year, end of the decade! Time has for sure gone by so fast but its been an incredible year for ºF-TV and we ended our last episode of the year and of Season 3 with two wonderful, talented artists, Samantha Gottlich & Kay Wattz!
I'm a big fan of artists who create with a purpose! It not only inspires me as a fellow artist but I honestly think that our culture, our society and our world wouldn't be as fruitful or prosperous without conscious artists. These creatives use their skills and craft to create something with a message. Something that will not only uplift people but educate them, inspire them to think BIGGER and challenge them. I love ART like that! Rather it comes in a form of a song, a painting, a poem,etc., I have so much respect for artists who use various mediums to tell a story, start a positive movement or encourage us to propel forward! Both of our December guests do just that.
I had the opportunity to meet the bright and beautiful Samantha Gottlich through modeling. Whenever this soul walked into a room, she always had a Colgate smile on her face. I loved that she brought so much authentic joy and good vibes and it was always cool to connect on what creative things we were both doing outside of modeling. One day while scrolling through Facebook, I saw a status Samantha posted disclosing that she was living with Lupus and the physical and personal struggles that came along with it. I was shocked. Never would I have imagined she was living with such a serious condition, all while being a college student as well. My heart ached. However, despite the struggles, she still kept that Colgate smile on her face whenever we connected. I had to give her so much credit. It's definitely not easy.
Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. I remember growing up and watching America's Next Top Model (ANTM) and one of the models, Mercedes from Season 2, was living with Lupus. I watched as she struggled to keep a smile on her face and her energy up through every ANTM challenge. Like Samantha, her hair also fell out and also like Samantha, she still showed up to every ANTM challenge with a bubbly personality and the will to keep going. That's so admirable and truly courageous. The reality show gave me a glimpse of what its like for people living with this disease. There's currently no cure just yet. I really hope there will be one day.
Samantha was diagnosed with Lupus a few years ago. It was a very tough transition for the college student who not only had to pause on school for a bit but had to go through some very painful and serious medical procedures. Surgeries and Lupus symptoms can have a heavy effect on a person mentally too. Samantha needed an escape, so she switched from modeling to creating art, "as a way to express herself through difficult times." Thus, NROR ART was born.
NROR ART which stands for No Rhyme or Reason Art was established in 2018. Since its launch, the company has vended over 25 events all over New England! From custom buttons, beautiful jewelry and abstract paintings, NROR ART is unique, powerful and full of funk! Samantha is not a one dimensional artist AT ALL! The artist uses various painting techniques such as tooth brushes, twigs, her fingers and other random things to use as brushes. Samantha brought some of her artwork on our show!
Samantha art studio is unlike any I've heard or seen before. To create "The Women" canvas, Samantha splashed various bright colors on a canvas while jumping on a trampoline! WOW! Talk about a creative and fun idea! She shared with us that for this piece, she thought about the fun memories of jumping on the trampoline at her grandparents house and then thought to herself, "how can I use gravity and art to make something." The brilliant abstract was born.
For the "Hair on the Wall" canvas, Samantha created it with a personal story in mind. "A lot of the people I've met with Lupus, hair loss is a big symptom." This piece is personal and honest yet still has a light of hope within the layers. You can see more artwork by Samantha by visiting NROR ARTwebsite.
Samantha also discussed some of the challenges she faces as a creative professional. "The minute you say, 'I have Lupus' it becomes apart of your identity, people might think, 'oh, I don't want to hire her because she may not be able to last a day'...For me that's why I was so hesitant at first to say it out loud but the minute I did, I just felt like the world opened up to me." Being open about it has allowed Samantha to connect with so many other people and further inspired her to use her art to tell her story. "I started to paint because when you have an autoimmune disease, no one can see it. So maybe if I paint a visualization, people will get it."
The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5million Americans, and at least five million people worldwide, have a form of lupus. 90% of people living with Lupus are women, however, men, children, and teenagers can also develop Lupus. Despite the challenges, Samantha wants to encourage everyone to take control of their health and listen to their body.
"I want to empower people to advocate for their own health because you know your body." You gotta fight for your health because it takes years for Lupus to be diagnosed."
Please follow and support NROR ART by following them on social media @nrorart and visiting their website.
As an avid music listener and concert goer, I am always on the look out for new talent! Its so thrilling to see how music & our culture shifts whenever a new musical artist shares their talent with us. We need that new energy to keep the vibes going and the culture alive. This year, I was blessed to be introduced via Instagram to an up and coming Boston Hip Hop Artist, Kay Wattz.
If you're a Hip Hop fan, than there's no way you could have missed how EPIC its been for female artists this decade! From New York MC's like Young M.A., to Houston queens like Megan the Stallion, our female MC's have unapologetically put their spice and voice into hip hop and I am loving every minute of it! Kay Wattz is an up & coming Hip Hop MC who's one to watch!
Before music became a career move, Kay spent her teenage years playing basketball and like many of us, searching for her identity. "I didn't know who I wanted to be but I knew around 7th or 8th grade that I was different. I was a rebel and I didn't want to follow any rules. I wanted that to be okay." Music became the tool that allowed her to not only connect within but connect with others. During basketball games, Kay would share some of her bars with her teammates. Seeing their reactions to her lyrics filled her heart with joy and built her confidence. "Sometimes in life, you don't always feel like you can relate with everyone but when I started making music, the way I'm connecting with people, they're letting me know, I can relate more with people way more than I thought I did."
As Kay became an adult, she knew she wanted to start sharing her music beyond the basketball court but she was afraid. Transitioning full time into music would be a whole new arena she wasn't familiar with and the thought of it overwhelmed her at first. The complexities of being a female rapper in todays world is a lot of pressure. Rather its a battle of trying to look a certain way or act a certain way, female Hip Hop Artists constantly face challenges within the industry and are more glorified. Nonetheless, Kay decided to be brave, authentic and follow her dreams anyway.
"My music is my life."
Kay's music is DOPE! I love the high energy, the wise words and confidence within the music she has created thus far! One important and respected fact that I admire about Kay's music is that she's a conscious rapper. "A lot of people will say that you can't spit knowledge, it might get boring and I don't want to hear that." Kay shared with us that as a rapper, you can still make a record that has a great beat and teaches something. "You let them know that its cool to be that way."Its cool to be educated. Period. I love this message so much and feel that many other artists should take this into account. As Kay says, her mission with her music is to "Always have the swag, always keep it cool but also always know there's a lesson at the end of the day." Taking that responsibility as an artist is very commendable. I have so much respect for conscious artists; artists who create with purpose. When she's not writing or recording new music, you can find Kay in a cypher, competing with other MC's which is something she LOVES to do!
Kay performed two AMAZING tracks on our stage and you gotta see it! The energy was HYPE! 'I live for hip hop" is one of our favorite tracks now and our host even had to join in on the fun! Watch it on our Youtube Channel here featuring a cameo from her cousin and fellow artist, Wavy Wattz.
So what's next for the rising star? Well in the Spring of 2020, Kay will be releasing her first EP! She also said that she has a lot more music and announcements to share with us! Watch the FULL episode here to witness Kay Wattz on stage, hear more about her artistic journey and find out how you can support this beautiful soul.
Please be sure to follow her on Instagram @officialkaywattz and Facebook @KayWattz
Thank you ºF-TV family for all your support this year and this season! We are so grateful to all of our 2019 guests, crew and online family for making this platform strong, inspiring and growing! We have so much more in store for 2020 AND its going to be a whole new Season! Season 4 of ºFarenheight TV premieres on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 LIVE @ 8:30pm on the Boston Neighborhood Network (Comcast 23, RCN 83 & Verizon 1960).
Have a wonderful holiday season friends!
"It really is the 'mystery disease' and to be so open about it, you just learn so much."
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