Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pheaturing Phile Alum Natania Lalwani

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Saturday. I know I said the Phile will be back Sunday but with Hurricane Irma coming I thought it'll be best if I posted today. How are you? Texas is so funny. It said, "We just had the worst hurricane in recorded history." Florida said, "Hold my beer." I don't worry until this guy is here...

What? He's here? Fuck. This just in... Publix just got in a new shipment of water. Aaaaand it's gone. You know it's real when Disney is doing this...

Let's talk about a fun story, shall we? In Disney's Frozen Kristen Bell plays the hero Anna who saves the land from an ice curse through the sheer power of her love for her sister (and also lots of climbing and traveling). And now, according to a report from The Huffington Post, Bell made her mark as a hero in real life when she saved her Frozen co-star Josh Gad's parents from Hurricane Irma. Yesterday, Bell was on-set in Orlando for her upcoming movie Like Father, when she found herself stranded because of the incoming Hurricane Irma. Rather than hole herself up in an icy castle of repressed feelings like her fictional Disney sister Elsa, Bell went the Anna route and helped others. Since she didn't have time to evacuate, Bell was forced to stay at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. When Bell realized Gad's family was also stranded, she got them rooms at the hotel. This includes his parents, brothers, sister-in-law, and niece and nephews. Unsurprisingly, Gad was deeply touched and relieved by Bell's act of kindness. They don’t make them like this girl. Thank you Kristin [sic]. You are truly an angel sent from above. And thank you @ewablueeyes for bother(ing) her when I asked you not to," Gad wrote on Instagram. Due to the potential danger of Hurricane Irma, Bell, and others in South Florida are forced to hunker down for the weekend until the storm passes. Despite the circumstances, Bell is staying positive and focusing on all the people rallying together. "Just doing our best and trying to stay positive but cautious, and trying to help those who need help prepping. Every person I passed today was assisting someone else... it was beautiful to see," Bell wrote in an Instagram post. Now fans of Bell and Frozen alike can feel joy in the fact that she's even more of a Disney star in real life.
Besides Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, many U.S. residents are also currently experiencing Hurricane Trump Administration. Since Hurricane Harvey began wreaking damage in Texas, Ivanka Trump, advisor to and daughter of Donald Trump, has been the subject of criticism for spamming Twitter feeds with tweets about tax reform and other nonsense, instead of ways to help the hurricane's victims. Additionally, it's been reported that Ivanka Trump promised to try to convince her climate change-denying father to acknowledge that climate change is real. However, her failure to accomplish that during the hurricanes (as well as during the Paris climate accord) has led her critics to start a petition entitled Change the Name of Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Ivanka. The petition appeared on the organization Care2's petition website earlier this week, and as of yesterday morning, it bears almost all 11,000 signatures it asks for. The petition explains how the Trump administration's stance on climate change will be detrimental. "Unfortunately, the Trump administration is on a fast track setting climate progress back, which will only exacerbate the effect of future storms. By packing the administration with climate change deniers, withdrawing from the Paris climate accords, dismantling a federal advisory committee on climate change, and dealing blow after blow to the scientific community, the Trump administration has shown that it is completely irresponsible when it comes to climate change." The petition then explains why it is targeting Ivanka Trump in particular. "Even Ivanka Trump, who promised to try to influence her father on certain issues like climate change, has quietly accepted the administration’s lack of action on this very serious issue. Ivanka Trump can say what she wants about climate change, but as long as she quietly stands back, she remains complicit in the destruction we all face at the hands of her father’s administration. That’s why we’re petitioning the World Meteorological Association to rename Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Ivanka. We need to put pressure on members of Trump’s administration to take real a stand for the health and safety of our world and generations to come." As explained by Live Science, the World Meteorological Association is responsible for naming hurricanes. Lists of names are predetermined and then chosen in alphabetical order from the rotation when a hurricane is brewing. So while it seems unlikely the World Meteorological Association would change Irma's name mid-hurricane, members if the association probably agree with the petition's stance on climate change... so the outcome is up in the air. We may as well get this baby to 11,000 signatures and find out. Since the petition began making waves on the Internet, Ivanka Trump has shared one tweet about Hurricane Irma.

She also retweeted a tweet of her father's...

At least Trump encourages people to take the advice of their local and state officials and not their federal officials, a.k.a. him and his administration, who clearly know nothing about climate change. Sam, this next story is for you...
Another day, another social media outrage. The culprit this time? The Atlanta Braves. According to CBS Sports, the Braves offered free tickets to their home games against the Miami Marlins to anyone who was in Atlanta escaping Hurricane Irma. Everything was going well until a certain song came over the loud speakers in between innings... "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by the Scorpions. The decision to play the song sparked backlash on social media. People accused the Braves of being insensitive to hurricane victims. The Braves have since apologized for the unfortunate song choice. According to a team official, "Rock You Like A Hurricane" is on their home playlist, and they forgot to remove it. It sounds like it was an honest mistake, but you know how the Internet loves outrage.
United Airlines pretty much tarnished its reputation forever this past April, when the airline had Department of Aviation officers violently drag passenger Dr. David Dao off an overbooked flight. Footage of the disturbing incident quickly spread on social media, and everyone responded by dragging the hell out of United Airlines. Now, five months later, we finally know the U.S. Transportation Department's decision regarding whether or not United Airlines will be prosecuted. As reported by The Associated Press by way of "Cosmopolitan," United will not be punished nor fined. A lawyer for the Transportation Department reportedly informed United of the decision in a letter in May, and the letter was just made public thanks to an advocacy group called Flyers Rights. In the letter, the Transportation Department claimed it "found no evidence that United violated David Dao's civil rights," and there was "not enough" evidence that United "violated rules regarding bumping passengers," reports The Associated Press. Um, is this not enough evidence for you?

"The Washington Post" adds that the Transportation Department did not investigate the three officers who physically dragged Dr. Dao off the plane. “We did not review the actions of the security officers of the Chicago Department of Aviation because it is not DOT’s role to investigate police conduct,” the letter said, as per the outlet. However, four airport police officers who were "involved" in the incident "were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation," adds "The Washington Post." This news shouldn't be too much of a shock, considering how every new layer of this story is just another example of injustice. For example, United did not fire anyone over the episode, and the airline's CEO Oscar Munoz said he supported Dr. Dao's violent removal.
It's inevitable that at some point, a camera will catch you from the least flattering angle possible. Perhaps there's a photo of you clutching a frisbee like a confused pterodactyl, or maybe you hang your arms like strange tassles whenever a camera is near. Whatever your personal photo journey involves, you probably don't routinely struggle in front of a camera as much as Donald Trump Jr. On Twitter, people are currently roasting Trump Jr. over a work picture of them that has one unsettling detail. As you can see, he has thoughtfully placed all the photos of his children outwards facing. Away from his view, so that others may bask in his glorious quiverful.

If he's proud enough of his spawn to keep their photos on his desk, why not look at them?! You'd think after Trump Jr's (in)famous photo in the woods he would have learned, but alas, taking bad photos seems to be as much of a casual past time as meeting with Russian lawyers.
So, are you thinking about or already cheating on your loved one? You might wanna think twice after you see this...

Ha! I have never been arrested, but if I ever do get arrested I hope I am not wearing this t-shirt...

I do follow rules pretty good I have to say. But I don't take things as literal as this guy did...

Have you ever read those Choice Adventure books? I haven't but after seeing this one I think I might wanna...

I bet it's good. I love football and Star Wars... but some people like both more than me.

Hey, he's a Giants fan! Cool! I don't cook but after seeing these stackable nest bins I might wanna learn.

Trust me, it's better than eating old Chinese food again. Plus the different colored lids make things easy to spot if you get easily flustered and scared in front of your fridge. People here in Florida sometimes get crazy clever with their license plates...

I think I get it. Haha. Alright, let's see where the forecasters think the Hurricane Irma is going...

Hmph. It's not looking good for Florida, people. Look what they posted...

Shit. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, where I wish I was right now, here is...

Top Phive Phile Hurricane Preparation Tips
5. In that unfortunate event that you lose power, look at he bright side: you no longer have to watch Al Roker.
4. For the best chance of being seen on television, don't obey evacuation orders and instead stand on the roof of your house waving your arms frantically.
3. Injuries are common during declared states of emergency. During post-storm looting be sure to take extra care by lifting with your legs, not your back.
2. Don't believe the widely accepted myth that downed power lines are dangerous. That's just something the electric company wants you to believe to discourage you from stocking up on free electricity. 
And the number one Phile hurricane safety preparation tip is...
1. Fallen trees can cause major property damage. Be sure to cut down all trees within a three block radius of your house. 

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. By the way, I took that pic. So, do you ever have deep thoughts when you are showering? I do. So, here once again is...

If no one ever told me about my brain, I wonder where I'd think my thoughts came from. 

Are you a lazy person? I bet you are not as lazy as these guys...

Hahahaha. Now for some sad news...

Troy Gentry
April 5th, 1957 — September 8th, 2017
Gone like a freight-train, gone like yesterday...

Shelley Berman 
February 3rd, 1925 — September 1st, 2017 

Richard Anderson 
August 8th, 1926 — August 31st, 2017 
He was best known as Oscar Goldman on "The Six Million Dollar Man." Right. I said BEST known.

The 36th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Gilson Lavis and this is one of his pieces...

Gilson will be the guest on the Phile next Monday. 

Okay, so in a few weeks I will be in Gainesville, Florida at Shands Hospital for some medical treatment and I thought I'll have some time to kill so why not do the Phile from there. So... 

It'll be fun. I hope.

Today's guest is a Phile Alum whose newest single "Enough" is available on iTunes. Please welcome back to the Phile, the very talented... Natania Lalwani.

Me: Hey, Natania, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?

Natania: Thank you for having me again!!! I have been great.

Me: So, with this bloody hurricane coming tomorrow I have to ask have you ever been through a hurricane?

Natania: I have not thankfully!

Me: Do you get hurricanes in India?

Natania: We don't!

Me: That's good. Didn't I recently see that you were in he hospital? What happened?

Natania: Oh yes, that! Haha! I dislocated my jaw.

Me: How the fuck did you dislocate your jaw? I bet that was painful.

Natania: Well, are you ready for this? I yawned. And yes, it was painful! But on the bright side I did wake up singing my new songs to the doctor when I was coming out of anesthesia! Music always on my mind.

Me: So, how are you feeling now?

Natania: The jaw is back to normal and I am feeling good!

Me: That's good. You were living in L.A., right? Are you still living there?

Natania: Yes! I'm still based in la la land.

Me: I read that you were in Miami doing some shows. What was that like?

Natania: I actually went there for a writing trip! It was incredible, my writing partner and I got to work with Tim Mitchell (Shakira) and Leslie Grace (Sony) while we were there!

Me: Did you get to explore Miami, or were you there for a short time?

Natania: I was just there for a few days but I did get to explore the Wynwood arts district which was so cool.

Me: You're originally from India, but have been in America for awhile now. You have been back there recently to work, am I right?

Natania: Yes, I actually just got back from an India trip, I always love going going home.

Me: When you go back is it strange, Nat? Your family must be very proud of you.

Natania: I always say it's like two different universes. Both places are home to me. I'm very lucky for my family's unlimited support. They're my biggest cheerleaders.

Me: I am sure here in the states when people here music from India they think of Bollywood. There's more to India's music scene then Bollywood though, right? What is the music scene like over there? 

Natania: There's definitely an independent English scene there that's building apart from Bollywood. There's so much talent there it's insane!

Me: Are you a fan of Bollywood?

Natania: Yes! I love it... I'm hoping to do a Bollywood song soon!

Me: In India you have been working with singer Ash King... he's big in the Bollywood scene I think. How did you get write for him, Nat?

Natania: Yes, I have! He's incredible!!! We got set up in a session and then just started working on a a lot of music together.

Me: You gave written for a bunch of people and projects... do you gave the same writing process when you write for yourself opposed to other people?

Natania: It's pretty much the same but it's always so much more personal when I'm writing for myself. It's harder digging at your own emotions than other people's but I love it.

Me: Did you start off writing for other people originally?

Natania: I started off writing for myself but slowly started collaborating and then I discovered how much I loved being a part of people's journeys and helping tell their stories! It's magical!!

Me: So, did Ash give you any outline for you or could you write what you wanted?

Natania: He always has ideas that I usually write around. Getting to know him, I've started understanding what he wants to talk about so I've also just been coming up with stuff on my own and then we go back and forth. It's always a collaboration... It's important so the songs are as authentic as possible for the artist.

Me: Your music has been in quite a few TV shows... "Late Night With Seth Myers," "Younger," and "I Am Cait," Caitlyn Jenner's reality show. How did that happen? Did they approach you to write a song for that show?

Natania: I'm signed to a few sync/licensing companies so they place my music in TV/film. They usually have briefs and then if anything I've done fits it gets pitched to the show.

Me: Did you get to meet Cait? I met Bruce Jenner when I was a kid in 1976, right after he won the gold medals at the Olympics, when he was the biggest celebrity athlete in America. I was at a celebrity function or something... mind you I was just a kid. Anyway, it was outside I remember and Bruce Jenner was a Foghat fan and wanted a pic with my dad. The photo was taken and my dad and Bruce chatted for a few minutes about music. After Bruce left my dad asked my mom, "Who was that?" Hahaha. My mom said, "Only one of the biggest celebrities in America right now." My dad wasn't into sports or anything... but then again you didn't have to be into sports to know who he was. He was on a box of Wheaties! Haha!

Natania: That's amazing!!!! Your dad was the real MVP! I did not unfortunately but that was one of my first big placements so it's a special one.

Me: Do you get a thrill when your music shows up on a TV show, Nat?

Natania: I love it so much because I grew up in India watching shows like "One Tree Hill" and "Greys Anatomy" and discovering new music so it's like little full circle moments when I hear something I wrote in a show!

Me: You also wrote the hit song "When I Was Young" for Neo Noir. Is that song about when you were young or when Neo was young? Again did you get any ideas from Neo or did you have free rein?

Natania: I actually wrote most of those lyrics four years before our session when I was going through a tough time with myself. We were feeling a darker vibe so I pulled up those lyrics and we wrote the song together... that was also another full circle moment... life is beautiful and funny isn't it?

Me: Sometimes. Alright, let's talk about your own latest single "Enough." What is the inspiration behind that song, Nat?

Natania: The inspiration was the never ending inspiration that I had writing about someone I met!

Me: It's so catchy. Did the song just come to you right away?

Natania: Thank you!! The verse and pre-chorus came to me right away but the chorus took a second. It came to me after I realized I had been writing a lot of songs and there were pieces of this person in every one.

Me: Do you like coming out with a song here and there? Are you gonna be recording a whole album?

Natania: I like releasing them here and there as singles cause I feel like right now it catches people's attention more... maybe an album down the road but for now I'm enjoying putting out my feelings one song at a time!

Me: I just realized your music is released just as Natania. Why is that, Nat?

Natania: I felt like my full name was too long and a lot people would forget it initially so I decided to simplify it with just Natania. I think it stands on its own too.

Me: Ahhh. Anyway, are you always coming up with song ideas?


Me: You got to work with Desmond Child... that's really cool. I am trying to get him on the Phile. What did you work on him with and I bet that was a lot of fun.

Natania: Oh my god... he was incredible. I was so inspired and he taught me so much in the span of three days. He is just a really special human!

Me: Is there anybody you'd love to work with?

Natania: I would love to work with Ryan Tedder... he's amazing!

Me: As well as "Enough" you have the released the song "Prisoner" this year. That song has a strong message, right?

Natania: Yes, that's a song about when I was feeling stuck and not doing everything I wanted to. I think when we give into fear we become prisoners in our own minds and bodies and it's important to remember that we always regret not doing something than doing it. What are we doing if we're not trying to live our best lives everyday... am I right or am I righttttt?

Me: You're right. So, what is next for you, Nat? Any other new music coming out?

Natania: I'm working on some new music that will hopefully be released soon!! Can't wait for you to hear it.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile once again. I love your music and you have such a great voice. Mention your sites and everything and please come back again soon. All the best.

Natania: Thank you so much for having me... you are amazing!! You can find me at @nataniamusic on all the lovely platforms.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Natania for a great interview. The Phile will be back hopefully on Wednesday with Phile Alum John Bentley from Gone Dead Train. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Be safe during the hurricane. Time to hunker down. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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