Q&A with comedian Didi Rio

Every two weeks, we interview another one of our randomly selected fabulous users. For your chance to be selected for an interview, when posting, use the hashtag #HMOq&a

  1. Give us a short bio of yourself.

    My name is Didi and I am a fifteen-year-old comedian from southern California. I make short comedy bits around the Internet and have a fast-pass comedic timing that I’d like to think is my ‘gimmick’ haha. I also do live shows and have worked with college humor, soulpancake, and snapchat inc.

  2. How’d you get into comedy?

    I didn’t even realize that I was getting into comedy was I was doing it. I started out on snapchat by making short interactive ‘time travel stories’ where I would go to the fifties & the etc. which people apparently found funny. I was always the ‘comic relief boy’ in the family since I was little so I figured that was my potential niche.

  3. Why do you enjoy being a comedian?

    I love to try to create little worlds within every joke I make, I want people to feel empathy for the “character” in the joke or to maybe think about the joke at random times later in the day, that’s really why I love doing this, because those possibilities and spreading positivity of course. That’s very important to me.

  4. What’s happening in your comedy career right now/ what’s your next move?

    Up next for me is music! lots of comedy music coming out soon, I have one I’m putting out later in the year called “bad bets” and you are the first to hear!

  5. What do you like about HearMeOut?

    I love HearMeOut because it’s got that solid authentic feel a lot of other apps don’t have, I look at everything with a creative aspect and the first time I heard of HearMeOut my mind immediately started firing with ideas, mainly because of how fun it looked, and how easy it looked!

 

Check out more of Didi and make sure to give him a follow @didi_rio!

 

HearMeOut fostering teacher-parent classroom communication

An idea was born

Playing the role of both parent and teacher can revolutionize and innovate your ideas and thoughts. Well, that was the case for high school Spanish teacher Mark Sernatinger. As a proactive and involved parent and teacher, Mark saw a gap between parent and teacher communication. Mark made it his mission to address this area, and thus, the HearMeOut experiment was born.

Let’s paint the picture

Effective communication is essential for building parent-teacher partnerships. It promotes parent involvement in the classroom and forms solid relationships between parents and teachers. In today’s classroom setting, one form of updating parents of their child’s, daily activities and overall progress is through quick messages with ‘pictures’ or ‘snaps’ of moments throughout their child’s day. As a parent, Mark welcomed the images of his pre-school aged son smiling and painting as it made him feel connected and well-informed. Mark felt he could expand on this method of connecting with parents.

How the beast was tacked…aka the problem

It is a common occurrence for parents to ask their child after a day of school,“What did you learn in school today?”. Mark felt as though this question didn’t provide insight into specific events of his child’s day. A question such as, “I heard you are learning about chromosomes in science class from Mr Smith. Tell me more about it.” is more likely to promote a more thorough response by demonstrating care and engagement. “We show parents what is happening in our classes through pictures and text via Twitter. By using HearMeOut, I am also telling parents with my own voice.” The main goal of speaking to parents is to provide them with a window into a classroom setting so that they would be able to ask their son or daughter specific questions about the content being taught.

What was the experiment?

The experiment consisted of utilising social media as a way to reach out to parents by providing them with an inside scoop into ongoing classroom daily activity….but with an added twist. His twist consisted of adding voice notes to his ongoing posts. Mark used his Twitter handle as a means of distributing his HearMeOut voice notes. The idea of sharing and using Twitter for sharing information with parents was not a novel idea, however, Mark focused on integrating voice-notes into his post. A new idea to the social media world.

The plan of attack

Below is Mark’s detailed yearly plan outlining how he aimed to connect with parents/guardians.

  • Every week or so I will send a voice-note to the parents and guardians of all my students to update them on what we are doing in class. I will also be including them in some of our homework through these voice notes. Here is a step-by-step process of how I will execute this connection:

o Parents will join my teacher twitter account: @srmarcoTHS

o I have created three hash-tags for the three classes that I teach #esp2Hths, #esp3ths, #esp4ths

o I will be using an app from the company HearMeOut (@HearMeOutApp) to create voice-notes for the parents and guardians

  • This is a free app you can find for your iPhone or for your Android and it will enable you to record42-second voice notes.
  • This app can be linked directly to your Twitter account

o I will create a voice note through the @HearMeOutApp. I will then associate that voice note with one of my 3 hash-tags by putting it in the title of the voice note, and then I will post it to my Twitter account. If you want to see how it works, go to @srmarcoTHS and click on #marksernatingerblogpost.

  • My plan is to tell parents and guardians about what we have done in our class every couple of weeks. I will also ask parents and guardians to tweet questions and comments to my account so that they feel as though we are all working together as one team. My goal is to give parents a window into our classroom and to offer parents a little bit of that same feeling that I get every time I receive a message from my son’s preschool. I will write another blog post in October to let you know how the rollout of this project is progressing.

The results… F A S C I N A T I N G

 

Read more here

 

Voice impersonators are taking over HearMeOut…Trump, Obama and Melania oh my!

Voice impersonators, comedians, and podcasters have completely taken over HearMeOut!

In this edition Trump goes bananas, Obama serves you food at your local dingy fast food joint whilst Melania Trump runs around the city asking strangers (predominantly college kids) what they think about her husband. Their answers…will shock you!

 

Melania takes to the streets to find out what the people really think about her husband – Donald Trump

 

Obama has an eloquent way of speaking that captures the hearts of his listeners. How would he sound as your waiter?

 

And why oh why is Trump so obsessed with the word banana!?…unsure

HearMeOut “Produce Me” Competition

HearMeOut recently ran the #Produceme contest for music artists; the grand prize – an opportunity to record a single with music producer Glenn Swan.

Glenn, originally from New Orleans, studied Jazz music with Ellis Marsalis. With encouragement from his father Manfred, he began playing in jazz clubs around New Orleans. By the age of 15, he could support himself with his music. After attending the famed Berklee College of Music, he moved to New York City to become a recording artist and producer. Current;y he is the Director of Music Production for Premier Studios doing all his production under his label ‘Gle“nn”

 

The winner

The winner of the competition is Joana Navarro from Barcelona, Spain. Other finalists included Noah Davies, Chloe Johnson, Thomas Geelens, Bianca Jade, and Ava Page as well as other great talents. Joanna will go on a 3-day trip to New York with $1,000 spending money and work in a professional recording studio with Glenn to produce her single.

Follow Joanna on HearMeOut to join her on her journey, and keep your ears open for our next competition, coming soon!

 

Check out a behind the scene preview of Joanas single.

Listen to some more of Joanas singles, covers, and originals.

Thomas Geelens: Hope from Maastricht

Thomas Geelens feels passionate about playing guitar and singing acoustic pop, rock and soul. He wants to portray life through his lyrics and music in a truthful way with a sense of hope. This refreshing positive view of music is welcome in our modern day. Interestingly, Thomas is from Maastricht, Netherlands but told us he plans to play his music and promote himself in the U.S.

His hometown, Maastricht, is a university town with a multicultural feel. The town is culturally and architecturally diverse from the beautiful old fortress to modern museums. Because it is close to both Belgium and Germany and has several universities and colleges, Maastricht has a large international and university age population. It also has a good, dynamic arts scene of music, performing arts, and visual arts to get involved with.

But it was Thomas’ 10 day visit to New York, USA, that inspired him to begin writing lyrics and singing more seriously. Since then he has been working to write and perform his own music. His inspiration in the music world is American singer-songwriter John Mayer because of his sound and authentic approach to music. He also likes Axl Rose of Guns N’Roses, Mark Knopfler, The Script, Don Henley of the Eagles, George Michael, and Colton Avery. Thomas is drawn to strong male vocals and soulful lyrics.

Thomas is not just a dreamer, but someone who is taking steps towards finding success. He works hard to make sure his music has the sound and feel he wants it to have. In fact, his inspiration for his lyrics comes from his own life experiences. He is also getting to know the ins and outs of the music world including finding EDM producers, setting up music venues, and getting helpful feedback on his sound. Someone who puts passion and hard work into music often has more staying power.

To date, Thomas told us he has released two tracks and is hard at work on his first EP, “Stories From the Valley. Vol 1” that he hopes to have out in June. As for performing, he is planning to travel this summer for the USA 2018 Open Mic Summer Tour. You can find more information on his website. 

Thomas is on HearMeOut and likes the idea of the app because “Our voice is something even more personal than instant messaging which means you’re on a different plane of communication.” He observes that the platform creates respect between creators and users because it’s somewhere for artists and creators to share. Check out Thomas Geelens on HearMeOut.

Bianca Jade: Miami Soul

Some people stumble onto their future careers by accident while others are lead to what they love. Bianca Jade shared with us that she was lead to a music career through listening to great female vocalists Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Sade, and Amy Winehouse as a young girl. These strong artists, who sing gospel, soul, and pop bring emotion and depth to their sound that Bianca now brings to her own vocal performances.

Bianca is a Cuban American who lives in Miami, Florida. Her mother’s love and support helped her to gain a love for music. When she was young, her mother gave her an Aretha Franklin CD as a gift. Bianca shares “I would listen to “Respect” and “Chain of Fools over and over again singing along to it.”

Aretha Franklin, in fact, is one of the best known soul singers of the 1960s along with Ella Fitzgerald. Aretha started her career traveling the gospel circuit with her preacher father, then made her way through the ups and downs of the music business. She recorded 20 #1 R&B hits during her career and was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Having musical talent and singing well are often two different things. Bianca learned to sing through singing along to her favorite artists and practicing their vocal runs. She learned to play the keyboard as well to expand her music ability. She also attended a performing arts high school in Miami where she studied jazz and classical music.

If you want to hear some solid soul music, Bianca’s favorites are Leon Bridges and Eryn Allen Kane. Kane sings blues and jazz with an emotional depth and gospel music sound that hearkens back to an early Aretha Franklin.

You can catch Bianca’s new album B-Light which debuted April 2 on all music platforms. She has a double video out on YouTube that features her songs Sleeping Naked and Blight Ballad. Her message to listeners is to love yourself and be comfortable with who you are. Bianca points out that the video was created by a mostly female cast and crew.

When looking her up on social media, you can find Bianca by searching @BiancaJadeMusic. Bianca is also excited about being part of the HearMeOut community. Give her a listen on the app which has music in a range of genres from artists around the world.

Eliza May: Making Her Way As A DJ

When you think DJ, you may think of the morning talk radio or the guy who plays music at weddings. But actually there are other kinds of DJs who put effort and hustle into the music they play. Eliza May, born in Russia, saw an advertisement at her university for DJ courses. She told us that when she signed up, she thought it was to learn about DJ for radio but instead she learned how to be a club DJ.

Currently, she has changed her hobby into a career and has 7 years experience as an open format club DJ. She wants to take her skills to the next level so she has gotten into scratching and turntablism. As a bit of background, club DJs work hard to match their musical expression to that of their listeners. A DJ has to be able to blend and mix music through matching tempo and phase (beat).

Some DJs use software to blend the music for them, while others learn the tricks and skills to beat match on their own. A talented turntablist impresses with her or his ability to adjust or fade the music tracks and creatively produce a unique sound. Since DJs usually do not write lyrics or play the music on a musical instrument (such as a guitar or piano), they rely on a DJ controller and other hardware, as well as music tracks they select.

Radio announcers as well as people who play music at weddings, dances, and parties, are also called DJs but each type of DJ has a different job. Eliza lives in Los Angeles, California home to a great music scene. She knows it’s important to know your listeners and hustle to get a good following. As a girl, she played piano as well as attended music school. But now as a DJ she has several singles out on Soundcloud and Spotify, and of course, records music to HearMeOut.

As for her inspiration, she lists DJ Qbert and DJ I-Dee. She also admires DJ Angelo, DJ Craze, A-Trak and DJ Vekked. She also likes music producers Diplo, Party Favor, and Yellow Claw. (A music producer makes the music tracks that DJs work with). You can check out Eliza at her upcoming gig on April 28 at Heat Nightclub in Anaheim, CA.

Her new single “Up in the Club” got to #8 in the Beatport’s Trap & Future Bass Top 100. She enjoys meeting other artists and DJs so HearMeOut is a great way to share music and opinions. Eliza said, “I love how many talented musicians are on the app.” Talented at self promotion, Eliza is growing her career as she looks for new opportunities. Check out DJ Eliza May on HearMeOut.

 

Joana Navarro: Soulful Spaniard

Barcelona, Spain is a bilingual city where you can hear both Spanish and Catalan spoken. It also has a strong art scene, cutting-edge fashion design, beautiful architecture, a famous monastery and interesting museums. Barcelona is also known for its nightlife. At night, locals and tourists can find exciting restaurants, theaters, and clubs.

Joana Navarro, up and coming singer, lives in beautiful Barcelona. Joana, 16, talked with us about her love for singing, the guitar, and dance. She became interested in music at 8 years old and spends most of her free time singing or dancing. If you catch her on Instagram (@sixty6sings) or her YouTube channel, you’ll hear her soulful pop sound or see her fancy footwork.

She shared with us that she would love to be an artist but is also interested in public relations or fashion design. Her family consists of her French mother, Spanish father, and one older brother. Joana projects confidence and style that will serve her well as she builds her music career.

She enjoys singing songs from her favorite artists including Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, James Arthur and Ed Sheeran. Of course, she adds her own soulful style to popular songs to give them her own twist. If you follow some popular musicians, you know that many can fall into the traps of the music business. So many come into the spotlight, then fade fast.

Writer Heather McDonald, in sharing how to safeguard your music career, warns against common pitfalls. She suggests artists build their career slowly and have a long-range plan. To reach your goals, you need to put effort daily into building your dreams. Joana clearly is intent on improving her singing and growing a fan base.

Joana likes using HearMeOut to share her passion for music with artists around the world. She is growing her music career as she grows up. HearMeOut offers an easy way to post and offer feedback.

The Owl’s Inn: Creativity and Harmony

Arielle and Isaiah love harmonizing together. Their band, “The Owl’s Inn,” offers a dynamic and unique sound with a blend of folk, rock, pop and blues.” Arielle brings her powerful and bluesy vocals while Isaiah blends in his complex vocal and instrumental melodies. Listening to them, it’s clear their biggest strength is their creative lyrics and melodies.

Both Arielle and Isaiah hail from New Jersey and currently live in New York City. They began their music career by performing at open mic nights and school concerts. Performing live is a big part of what they do, including performing in Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village, a popular place for musicians and performers. Drawing a crowd is really a lot of fun for them. And their music is interesting to listen to because the blend catches people by surprise.

Isaiah grew up listening to Raffi and other performers. In fact, he has played guitar and written songs since 2nd grade. He loves to listen to creative lyrics and different music styles and blend up to three different artists into his music. Arielle brings her own energy to their music which continues to motivate Isaiah to continue songwriting and performing. Music is a hobby for them but nevertheless they are building a fan base on Facebook and have music on Spotify, iTunes, and HearMeOut.

Isaiah and Arielle enjoy listening to The Beatles, The Head and The Heart, and Twenty One Pilots. The Beatles introduced new styles of music, concert performance, and album length at a pivotal time in American history. The 4 Beatles harmonized four distinct sounds well. Isaiah likes that the Beatles created new music patterns and “pushed the limits of creativity while staying musical.”

The pair also enjoy The Head and The Heart “because they are able to create modern sounding music while the soul and essence is classic and authentic.” As The Owl’s Inn continues to develop their music, they are sharing it online. One advantage Isaiah mentioned is HearMeOut lets you record easily without having to worry about the camera angle or the photo filter. That puts the focus on the music rather than the performance which is ideal for quick posting and direct feedback. The easy record method is “easy, simple, and authentic.”

For folk artists, authenticity and creativity are important elements in the music. Getting feedback from a performing community helps to refine the harmony or feel satisfaction that all that creative songwriting really connects with listeners. You can listen in on HearMeOut or look for their upcoming performance dates at their website.

Morgan Ashley: Country Music Texas Style

Texas is a great place for country music. And Texan Morgan Ashley plays guitar, writes lyrics, and performs her own soulful country music. Born in Columbus, Texas, and having tried Nashville she now is based out of College Station, Texas. She performs locally and for local radio stations as well as has recently put together an album, “Karma.”  We interviewed Morgan to find out more about her music career, her plans, and her favorite music artists.

During her senior year of high school, she decided she wanted to start singing. Interestingly, at 12, she was inspired to start guitar lessons when she saw two other contestants knew how to play guitar. In 2014, within months of starting to sing she was performing on stage. After graduation, she joined a friend, Sara, based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and they traveled and sang together.

Morgan and Sara got stage and air time until 2015 when Morgan decided to go on her own. She has opened for country artists Crystal Gayle, Randall King, Tejas Brothers, and John Baumann. Currently, she just put together her second album. She is a member of the Texas Country Music Association and has a song on their latest compilation CD available in local stores Cavenders, Boot Barn, and Buc-ee’s. She was even nominated for Texas Female Vocalist of the Year in 2017.

She plans to go on a US radio tour. Getting on the radio takes personality and vocal talent. A music artist develops vocal talent through working to improve his or her natural talent.

Voice experts explain that to improve an artist must develop voice control to stay on pitch and learn proper breathing techniques. It’s helpful to learn your natural singing range and stay within that range to maintain good sound. Listening to yourself as you sing helps you to keep good pitch, tone, and volume. In addition, some artists add in writing their own lyrics and music.

Morgan’s has always loved Miranda Lambert’s “Famous in a Small Town” because she has strong vocal talent. Lambert is also her biggest inspiration because of her strength as a female country artist. She also admires singer Kacey Musgraves for her songwriting and authentic lyrics.

Morgan enjoys being a part of the HearMeOut community. Having listeners all over the world listen and offer feedback is so rewarding. She shares, “There is nothing more rewarding than someone saying they got chills from a song that I’ve written.” Morgan is excited about the coming year and her music career. Find her on HearMeOut to give her a listen.

 

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