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Lexington’s Breakout Artist Swavé Speaks on Mental Journey During his Hour on Hour EP

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We sat down with Lexington, Kentucky’s breakout star, Swavé for an exclusive interview on the release of his Hour on Hour EP. Growing up in a small town provided him the motivation needed to dream big and work hard towards creating his own way of life. Although he’s experienced quite a few setbacks throughout the creation of Hour on Hour, he’s thankful for the journey because of the mental strength he was able to develop.

 

How do you feel that your baby is finally out in the world right now?

It’s just a real moment because we’ve been working hard making sure everything was done right, quality wise. It just feels good because of the reviews and feedback we’ve been getting from it, it’s crazy the whole city is going wild. And it’s just you know, we expect it, but we’re remaining humble and stay working. It feels good because we’ve put so much effort into it. So it’s like to get good feedback, it’s a blessing.

What was the inspiration behind Hour on Hour?

Hour on hour was really inspired by me, just the life I was living. I was working 9-5 jobs then hustling outside of those hours.

Living in a poverty-stricken area where you know a lot of drugs is moving, a lot of illegal activities is going on, it’s easy to dab into those worlds and become a product of your environment.

And I kind of shied away from it. I worked jobs and then you know used my money from that to put into music and make sure my music was just getting better. That’s where Hour on Hour came from because I would have all my schedules like super strict. Like when I get off work, I’d be going straight to the studio. Everything was accounted for, every hour on the hour was working towards my goal.

That’s amazing! I saw it took about 3 years to develop your project, can you talk about that process?

That process was a long one because when I had started doing music I didn’t know anything about the music industry, like what was the standard and what I needed to do to make sure I had the best product. And I was just trying to do it by myself. You know, you lose and then you gain when it does happen like that. To be honest, there were times when I’ll be focused and then I wasn’t focused and then I’d be focused again. Then I’m like I’m not doing what God’s path is telling me to do. Like I’m just trying to do it on my own, my own terms and not really what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s really what took so long. I also had a lot of different people telling me they can be my manager, they can sign me to a label, they can take me to this place, you know, invest in me and none of that ever worked.

I was just kind of lost for a minute and then like a year ago I just really got super, super serious and after that I wasn’t taking no for an answer.

I started learning the business, started learning how to navigate, what I’m supposed to be doing. Like I grew a lot in one year it’s crazy, my whole mindset is different and it’s a blessing. Honestly, it just worked out for the better.

 

 

That’s really important, especially because one thing I always try to tell people is that when you have a certain passion and there’s something that you’re working on, you need to understand it’s not going to happen overnight. If it does, then great. However, more than likely it won’t happen overnight but that’s okay. Just like you showed, it’s vital for you to never give up, to never give up on your dreams and just keep pushing forward. You did that and look, you’ve created a beautiful body of music.

Thank you, I really appreciate it.

I know you said you’ve grown a lot throughout this process. How would you say you’ve changed mentally throughout this journey, especially within the past year?

Mentally, I put everything in and really humbled myself. Most importantly, I learned patience. I learned that my vulnerability and flaws are okay for me to embrace those. You know it’s okay for me not to be at one level and that me not have to catch up to other people or be in the same position they in even though I know I’m just as good.

I had to learn that everybody’s path is different and that my path might not be the same, even though I felt like I should be already there. But it’s not how it works, you understand everything happens for a reason.

I look at things way differently, I’m not worried about what people are going to think or really worry about like what society is going to try to make me. I just have to be myself and just remain who I am and everything else will play its part. I had to sit down myself look in the mirror you know read more books and pray to get close to God. That made me open my mind to a whole other different level and really put my mindset in a place for me to take advantage of the gift that I have.

 

Is there anything, in particular inspiring you lately that you think will play a part in your future projects?

I’m just inspired by people who are chasing dreams and that you know started from nothing and try to turn into something you know. I’m seeing it happen to other people, it’s beautiful. I love when it happens to others other than myself. That inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing and make my music even better. Nobody from my hometown ever made it out to do something like this big. I’m here to put my hometown on the map like it’s a small city, and I’m trying to be the one. I feel like I’m the chosen one so I’m going to take this energy and show the true colors of what we about and show the world. I’m inspired by all of that.

I can appreciate that. So one thing I usually ask every single person I interview is if they had one message to get across to a large group of people what would it be and why?

Really going back to just staying true to yourself and believing in yourself and don’t get caught up in like society’s versions of what you should be. You know with social media and all of that where you know you think that you have to look a certain way, you have to talk a certain way, that you have to you know walk a certain way. And just being yourself is really going to take you way further because what makes us all great is that we are different. You know what I’m saying, me and you are different. But it’s a good thing because we can probably learn so much from each other and that’s how I think. That’s how the world supposed to work, you know everybody shouldn’t be the same. I don’t want to be around the people that are exactly the same, you know what I’m saying. If you’re always with people who are the same as you, nobody is really going to advance, right?

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Click here to listen to Swavé’s Hour on Hour release.

For more information on Swavé, click the links below:

Instagram: _officialswave

Twitter: _officialswave

Youtube: Swavé

 

 

 

 

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Ambitious AF

Self-Love Practice Tips From 12 of My Favorite People on Instagram

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We’re now about to wrap up the first month of 2019. How are those Self-Love resolutions you had set for yourself going so far? I hope you’re still feeling the same excitement you felt right before the ball dropped at midnight on January 1st.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve recently hit kind of a weird place in my life where there were so many opportunities being thrown my way but nothing was confirmed. I felt stuck, not sure what my next move would be and because of this I could literally feel my mental demons beginning to attack me. I’ve learned that when you’re in a place of uncertainty, that’s when the feelings of self-doubt and negativity will begin to consume your thoughts at an all time high. With that being said, I knew that now more than ever I had to really practice different forms of self-love, because ya know AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR NEGATIVITY. You feel me?

I hit up a couple of my close girls that are either IRL friends or some that I just stalk on a consistent basis (they’re my besties in my head haha) because I love their content and asked each of them to share their #1 self love practice tip.

Even though I’m writing this for you, know that I high key needed this article for me too. I loved putting this together, I hope you all enjoy.

Photo by: @elenamudd

@analisacantuAnalisa Cantu, CMO + COO of Trenza

My phone is in a constant state of Do Not Disturb, and I never – NEVER answer emails from my phone. In fact, I have push notifications for my email turned off. There is no fire too big that it can’t wait for me to pull out my laptop and write out a strategic, intentional response. People in media: Let’s stop working in an unhealthy gaslit state, please. 

All this to say, I am hyper aware of the energy I intake (through foods, movement, social settings, push notifications) and the energy I exhibit *because* of what I choose to intake; this is why I create strict boundaries. Me, my ideas, my productivity (a company’s source of revenue) is a result of everything I choose to let in to my orbit. 

Millennials don’t need more unlimited PTO or fancy office snacks, we just need to be in workspaces that allow us to feel enabled to actually clock out. To sleep, to be encouraged to have a life outside of work. Eat a real meal. 

A lot of my philosophy around work was fueled by the tech scene in Austin, which admittedly can be too relaxed, but there’s an underlying understanding that Rome can’t be built *well* in a day. I’ve never seen happier employees, or had more present managers. Whereas when I made the transition to the New York tech scene, the underlying understanding was: Rome can be built in a day, but we’re going to beat that time and build it in 15 hours, k thanks. And thus, I’ve never seen more unhappy, dysfunctional teams than my time in the NYC tech scene. 

So: Take a breath. Figure out what makes you feel good. Prioritize that above all else, and I promise everything will follow suit.

Photo by: @curlderon

@astoldbyfatouFatou Berry, Founder of PRGIRLMANIFESTO & AB Media Group

My favorite way to practice self care is to honor my energy in all that I do. By stopping to ask myself how my spirit feels about a situation or person. I give myself the opportunity to make sure that I am in alignment, enabling me to tap into the best version of myself.

Photo by: @bycarolinacastro

@joyvalerieeJoy Valerie, Digital Business Operations Consultant & Host of Basic Brown Nerds Podcast

My favorite way to practice self-love is by reminding myself of what I have achieved so far. Be it that week, that day or in the last 5 years. This reminds me that the past me probably wouldn’t have even dreamed of where I am now – and future me is looking back smiling, having had achieved so much more.

This is what keeps me going on the days I want to give up and hide into a hole.

@annettecAnnette Gonzalez, Founder + CEO of Beyond The Babe

My self love ritual / tip is to show up FULLY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY as you are.  
I’ve been told I’m too passionate –  this set me back from pursing my dreams, fearful people wouldn’t accept how I show up.  I felt my light dim, thoughts of “not enough” sink in and the apologies endlessly pouring out. I held onto that shit so long that it manifested into an emergency stomach surgery.  

It took a lot of self love,  patience and mindful disconnection to recover and accept myself and my worth in it’s entirety. It wasn’t until I came across a quote from one of my favorite authors:

“You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge. Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are.” 

– Danielle Laporte


Since then I’ve grown to appreciate that I’m not for everyone. This new mindset connected me to the most aspirational, outspoken individuals who encourage me to use my voice as often as possible even if I’m scared. 
Love yourself. You are enough. Show up FULLY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY as you are & SHINE.


@ms.wilson2u – Sheneya Wilson, CPA + CEO of FolaFinancial

My favorite way to practice self-love is by no longer committing to people or things that will alter my personal happiness. I found myself in very dark places due to overexerting my energy to people who didn’t deserve or reciprocate it, or trying to fit in at a corporation whose mission didn’t align with my personality or interests. I am allowing myself to be open to a universe that is filled with abundance. Knowing that every opportunity or person isn’t for me,  I can confidently decline, allowing space for something or someone greater to come and ultimately protecting my inner happiness and peace. 

Photo by: @claudiagomezph

@candycalderon_Candy Calderon, Health & Wellness Entrepreneur + Founder of the Glow Wellness Tour

The biggest self-love tip I can give to anybody is to learn to say NO. To have the courage to say NO to anything that does not elevates you mentally, spiritually, emotionally or puts money in your bank! So many times we are guilt-tripped to saying yes to things that we don’t want to say yes to, and we end up being on the short end of the stick. Knowing your worth is super empowering —NO is a complete sentence— and I hope more of us love ourselves enough to say NO more often this year!

@kelsiwithaneyeKelsi Paden, Creator of Self Love Sunday Mixers

My favorite way to practice self-love is to challenge myself by stepping outside of my comfort zone. The self confidence I find when doing so is indescribable. I just know it’s a great feeling of accomplishment knowing that I am capable of doing whatever I put my mind to, always. I also practice self love by reflecting daily and acknowledging my accomplishments throughout the entire year. 

@ismilesometimesssHolta Tegu, Educator + Dance Fitness Instructor

My favorite way to practice self-care is by choosing to live intentionally. Two things have helped me in this never-ending journey:

  1. Clearly establishing and defining for myself my living intentions
  2. Mindfully planning to actualize those same intentions

When you’re passionate about the work you do and the people you serve, it can become a 24-7 job, which can in turn make it easy to forget yourself and your own well-being. Balance between work and rest is always something I struggled with. It wasn’t until the last two years that I realized I can’t be my best self for my students and the community I serve, if I’m not taking care of my well-being simultaneously. I knew that in the same way I planned for work, I had to start planning for me.

“Write it down, and stick to the script, Holta!”

Before I did anything else, I first had to intentionally identify what my living intentions were for myself (these have changed and I’m sure they’ll continue to change over time) – i.e. What did I regularly need to do to help me take better care of my basic needs? What would re-energize and help center me? What boundaries did I need to set?

I then planned to actualize those intentions. In the same way I plan for work-related tasks and events, I now also plan for myself (daily, weekly and monthly). Do I always stick to the plan? Absolutely not, and that’s where forgiving myself comes in. I now more than even understand that I’m human before I’m anything else – this too is an important aspect of “self-care”.

@halamaroc- Hala Maroc, Content Creator + Brand Developer. Founder of On The Block Badass Bootcamp

My favorite way to practice self-love these days is putting RIGHT NOW first. Operating on satisfaction is the easiest way to consistently be happy, healthy, and vibrating high. I tend to ask myself a lot:

“How do I feel about this?”

Committing to a workout gives my day a productive start. Turning off my notifications makes me feel in control of my time & interactions. Giving up meat has kept me light on my feet. I’m not the best at meditation but when I really need to feel good I shower with the lights off, incense or candle on, and R&B music up. Works every time. But all of these things amount to being present and living life one great moment at a time! I move on inspiration and anytime something goes left, I repeat to myself: EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING FOR ME NOT TO ME.

@arielledonce – Arielle Donce, Media Personality + Digital Strategist for BET

My favorite way to practice self love daily is positive self talk . I believe you should be a cheer squad of one and speak nice to yourself . I haven’t always practiced positive self talk but I can truly see the shift. In the words of Biggie

“I went from negative to positive and it’s all good.”

The Notorious B.I.G.

Genuinely support yourself and see how the world you view even begins to shift!
I am also a huge Oprah Supersoul Sunday fan. I suggest this as a good start to self evaluation for someone on the go. 

@supawomnsupaflyShaniece Cole, Associate Producer for Steve + Superhero

My favorite way to practice self love is following my passion. In order for us to really follow our passion we have to first believe in ourselves. People may doubt you, not encourage you, or tell you no, but as long as you keep believing in yourself, you will be able to make your passion into a profitable life. When we follow our passion, it brings us happiness and it solidifies our purpose in this world.

Photo by: @davidayllon

@bianacapeart – Bianca Peart, Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent + College Board Educator

For me, self-love is synonymous with self-awareness. It is an everlasting experience to evaluate and act on all the nooks and crannies of my entire being.  And, through trial and error, self-love has taught me the significance of structure. To rid the anxiety of “who am I?”, “do I love myself?”, or “am I worth anything?”, I express self-love using a three-themed structure.

Mind – Acquiring and retaining knowledge is very important to me. I make it a priority to read at least two long-form articles a day, one each way on the train during my commute.  The articles can be from any topic as long as I am learning something new and, as a bonus, I like to reexplain the stories with someone else.

Body – I would love to say I go to the gym everyday but that is not the reality. Instead, my face goes to the gym (hear me out). I embrace self-love by staring at myself in the mirror.  I remain present as I wash my face in the morning and evening, instead of just going through the motion. I spend at least five minutes pressing my fingers in circular motions to massage my face with a moisturizer or mask to circulate the blood, to the point where my face turns a little red.  Massaging the face is a dual benefit because it helps de-puff my face in the mornings. I typically speak aloud positive affirmations beginning with the phrase “I love…” 

Soul – Specifically at night while in bed, my mind wanders to the negative “what if” or “why don’t I have” universe.  This is where I’ve learned to flip my perspective and speak aloud about things I am grateful for. If I’m stuck, I always say to myself “could things be worse?” and although in the moment the answer feels like a “yes” it is always “no”. In the moments when I have low lows I acknowledge it. This is where I’ve groomed my self awareness. I am very familiar with the low moments and allow the negative energy to release. I get all the ugly out and immediately flip the perspective on how I can leverage the low into high, or even a medium. In that uncomfortable process, the beauty of self-love conquers.

Editor Note: Some answers have been edited and/or shortened.

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#inspiSTYLE Interview with CEO of Fashion Bomb Daily – Claire Sulmers

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