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Artist Feature: Spencer Sutherland
*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


Back in 2013, there was a guy from Ohio that wanted to stand out and create something of himself, which led him to move out to sunny Los Angeles and pursue that passion for music. His name is Spencer Sutherland, an artist that I can positively say you do not want to miss out on. His talent has proved otherwise, opening for artists like MKTO, Ariana Grande, Big Time Rush, as well as being a contestant on The X Factor UK in 2017. His powerful vocals and style has huge potential and all I’m saying is I’m waiting patiently for the day for his music to blow up around the world because he’s that good. Stage presence: phenomenal. Personality: adorable. All around human being: priceless. Currently on tour opening for popular boy band In Real Life, I had the chance to take a moment backstage before his set at his stop in Anaheim, CA, and find out a little bit more about Sutherland’s career and how the tour life has been like on his first national tour.

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Don’t be embarrassed by what you’re going through and who you are, everybody embraces that.

Me: Can you tell us where you’re from and how you would describe your sound to someone who may have not heard your music before?

Spencer: Ooh, good question. I’m from Columbus, Ohio originally, and if I had to describe my sound, I’d probably say something like left of center, pop, for all people.

M: Ah yes for all the people.

S: For all the people.

M: Very important.

S: Absolutely (Laughs)

M: How has the process been like over the years finding your sound? Do you think it’s an ever changing process, like experimenting with what you like vs what’s trending in the industry?

S: Yes, that’s an amazing question. It’s definitely an ever changing process. Every year of my life, I feel like I experience new things, and just learn more. The whole 10,000 hour thing is definitely a real thing; writing 10,000 hours of songs makes you so much more of a better writer. But it’s interesting too about the trends and stuff, because you do want to stay, you know, with what is happening kind of, but put your own spin on it. It’s definitely ever changing for sure.

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M: You’ve released a few singles this year, when can fans expect a full length album or an EP?

S: At the top of the year (2019). Another single coming later this year. And at the top of the year, I’ll be putting out a whole body of work. I’m very excited, because it’s all stuff that I’ve written in the last seven or eight months too, so none of it is old stuff. It’s all kind of where I’m at right now as a songwriter. I’m very excited, just real life stuff.

M: Speaking of “In real life” -

S: Wow, I did not even mean to do that, that was awesome (laughs)

M: So you’re currently on tour with the band In Real Life -

S: What a segway, dude -

M: (laughs) I know, it was just so natural!

S: Yes, so we’re on tour -

M: Yes, so how has the tour been, and how has the crowd reaction been like in the different cities that you’ve been to so far?

S: The tour has been incredible, this is my first national tour ever, so it’s been really cool to, you know, you start playing the first few shows, and by the time it’s the ninth or tenth show, they’re starting to sing your lyrics. It’s super cool to see that, like as an artist that’s the number one thing you want to see. That’s been really cool, and then just playing show night after night, because you know, in the past I would play two shows, and then I would play two more, but here it’s playing show after show after show after show, and it’s super special.

M: And is every show different?

S: Yes! That’s the thing, sometimes a crowd is more energetic than the next one, it doesn’t make them any better, it’s just like the setting, or the sound, or how big the venue is or whatever, and you have to be able to adapt to that. Because if you keep the same state of mind the whole time you might be disappointed by some shows, but if you take them for what they are, it’s really awesome.

M: That’s amazing. Now, I have one more question and I ask everyone this that I get to interview because I like to get different perspectives. What’s some advice that you might have for creatives and musicians to stay inspired and keep pursuing the dream?

S: Wow, I would say that my advice is…number one, to be super true, real, and transparent because everybody can tell when you’re faking it. And everybody knows when it’s not a real thing. So that’s number one, just be true - don’t be embarrassed by what you’re going through and who you are, everybody embraces that. It’s 2018, you don’t really have to worry about anything anymore. Number two, just for me, it was putting in the time every single day, but also knowing when to chill, and have that time, because it really is important. Or else you’re just going to burn yourself out, seven days a week in the studio, doing stuff that doesn’t turn out great. Lots of work, and just being real, I would say.

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A huge thank you to Spencer & his team for having myself and Samantha Baker out for his show, and make sure to follow Spencer here and here to stay up to date on the new music and everything that’s in store. In the meantime, make sure to check out his latest music video for his single Fine below:

Be sure to check out the photos from his set at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA below:

Who would you like to see me interview and shoot with next? Leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on all things photo and music related! Until next time! 


Written and photographed for Spencer Sutherland, in association with The Gypsy Shack Collective (www.tgscollective.com)


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How To: Vans Warped Tour #RIP
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Today's the day, folks. It's the first day of the final round of the legendary Vans Warped Tour, created by Kevin Lyman back in 1995. Lyman released a statement earlier this year, saying, "I have been a very lucky person to have traveled across the country and sometimes around the world as one of the founders and producers of the Vans Warped Tour. Today, with many mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour." With such an incredible history and effect this tour alone has had on not only the artists who participate and perform for the Warped tour, but also the fans; every individual who has been able to come to a show or two, and all the experiences that have transpired in the past (almost) 25 years is surely something unforgettable. "I am so grateful to have worked with more than 1,700 bands over the last 23 summers. I wish I could thank every band that has played the tour.", Lyman says. You can read the full statement here

To commemorate something that has had a major effect on me personally, and many of the friends I've met because of the music scene, here's an article for those who may be hitting up Vans Warped Tour for their first (or final) time. Not sure what to expect? Read on to find out some tips and tricks from my experience of a full day at one of the coolest tours around. 

Michael Bohn of Issues, 2016

Michael Bohn of Issues, 2016

Over the years, I've been able to photograph the Warped tour a couple times whenever it came to the town closest to me. It's been one of the wildest yet awesome experiences I've had as an artist. My first year was 2014, and I learned a lot about what to try doing for the next time, which was in 2016. Whether you're going to be shooting Warped tour at a date near you, or you're just going for fun with friends (I'm doing that this year at the Ventura, CA date), here's some advice for what to expect from what will be one of the best days of your life.

Dress appropriately. First things first; you have to wear an outfit that you will not be dying in by the end of a 10+ hour day. Depending on where you live, make sure to check how the weather is going to be the day before you go. If you're traveling far from your hometown to a certain location, pack options just in case. For instance, I have a friend who's gone to Warped tour with me that came in from Washington to California. We may be on the West coast, but the weather can be drastically different. For me, a good go-to is shorts, a tee, an extra layer (i.e. flannel or hoodie - it gets cold when the sun goes down), fanny pack or back pack, a hat, sunglasses, and the most comfortable shoes you own is the way to go. I've seen some people get super dressed up (God only knows why) and they end up looking like a complete mess by the time headliners come on to play. Customize and play around with some options; it's Warped tour, you can basically get as wild with your fashion as you want! But please keep comfort in mind. Whether you're shooting all day or just with friends and going into the mosh pits, comfort is absolutely 100% necessary.

Ryan Graham of State Champs, Warped 2016

Ryan Graham of State Champs, Warped 2016

What should I bring with me? Make a checklist of what you need to bring for the event. Water and sunscreen will become your absolute best friend. With being in the sun all day and constantly on the go, you need to stay hydrated and take care of yourself. If you're shooting, pack your gear the night before and charge everything. Lenses, filters, charger, batteries, anything you might need for a successful day to get that magic caught in camera. I would recommend bringing a mobile charger while you're at it just in case you want to post any cool content throughout your experience! PSA bring enough cash (yes, cash) to bring for your spending needs like food, drinks, and of course merch! A tip to see exactly what you can and can not bring is to check out their website to confirm different policies as every venue and date varies on what you can bring. Make sure to have a sharpie or two in hand just in case for autographs and to keep track of set times! Which brings me to my next point...

Time. Time is never on your side when it comes to festival days. I highly recommend coming to the venue one to two hours before gates open. I know that might sound crazy, but I've been to shows where fans show up the morning of a concert that doesn't start until 8 pm! Two hours gives you plenty of time to check out parking, familiarize yourself with the venue and the layout, pick up tickets or passes, and hey, you might even meet some band members while in line! Some bands take the time to come out to eager fans outside, coast the lines, and share what time their set is. It's a cool opportunity to hang and talk with different artists, (maybe even network?) and snag a photo while you're at it! 

John O' Callaghan of The Maine, Warped Tour 2016

John O' Callaghan of The Maine, Warped Tour 2016

Kennedy Brock and Pat Kirch of The Maine, promoting the lines at Warped tour 2016

Kennedy Brock and Pat Kirch of The Maine, promoting the lines at Warped tour 2016

How do I meet bands?! Something everyone wants to know. You'd be surprised how easy it can be to meet the artists and other celebrities at some point during your day. Like I mentioned earlier, it's easy to meet some band members when they're promoting their set times. They're just people; go say hi! Another great spot to look for artists is where else but their merch tents. They'll be everywhere, and usually, throughout the day they can be found meeting and selling merchandise when they're not performing. I've been able to meet and photograph people like John O'Callaghan of The Maine and Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive this way. Another example is how my sister met Tyler Posey one year, known for MTV's Teen Wolf. He's known for being a big fan of the pop-punk scene, and was there with his friends of State Champs! He was just walking around like any other person, and she managed to strike up a conversation and take a quick photo. This is the type of event where anything is possible when exploring the grounds: you never know who you can meet and connect with!

Now for the music:  Okay, you've made it inside, got your squad on backup, and you're ready to head to the stage - but wait, which one?! As soon as you get inside, it's the moment where you can find out the exact set times. Sadly, every day is different for the tour, and you don't find out when your favorite bands are playing until you get through the gates. But don't stress! There are signs everywhere stating where each stage is, who's playing where, and what time, which is where that sharpie can come into play. Sometimes they hand out actual copies of set times for the days, sometimes they don't. So if you can, try writing it down somewhere if you've got something to spare. If you try saving it in your phone and your phone ends up dying halfway through the day, you're screwed. Sadly technology isn't always our friend. When you do find the signs and figure out who's playing where and when that's when you want to plan your day out. It's good to have a schedule to stick with, and you can always switch things up if you want. I know for me personally, I've had friends where we have certain bands that we want to see but we sometimes don't want to see the same bands. Keep communication open with your group. For instance, say your friend wants to see We the Kings at 11:30 but you want to check out Beartooth at 11:25; pick a spot where you can meet up after their sets and go from there. Do whatever works for you and your friends! 

The Maine's tent, Warped 2016. Fans could easily meet members like John or Garrett here, selling merch.

The Maine's tent, Warped 2016. Fans could easily meet members like John or Garrett here, selling merch.

Let's see, am I missing anything? Outfits, necessities, friendship, bands, music...oh yeah, don't forget to open this pit up!!!

How have you gotten through a festival day? Leave a comment below of anything I might have missed, which stop you're going to, who you're most excited to see, and don't forget to sign up for my newsletter for all things photography and music related, and follow me on Instagram and Twitter while you're at it! 


Artist Feature: Jamie Campbell Bower of COUNTERFEIT.
Max Baker-Jamie Campbell Bower-Interview-Photoshoot

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


On a quiet and cool summer day in Anaheim, California, UK's very own COUNTERFEIT. arrived to play the last show of their first US tour at the Chain Reaction. With excitement and anticipation running through the room, it was almost bittersweet as the hours flew by leading up to the band's final performance. It was something you had to experience for yourself. The energy and chaos that the UK artists brought to the stage had fans to their feet, leaving them in awe and, of course, rioting their hearts out to songs like "Washed Out" and "Close To Your Chest". The interaction between the guys of COUNTERFEIT. and their adoring crowd was an amazing time to witness; with most of the band coming into the audience, singing, crowd surfing, and mosh pitting to new and old songs. It was clear that this is what they were made to do; it's their livelihood and their passion. We need to support more artists like these guys; the ones who not only do it because it's their job, but because you know they love what they're doing and wouldn't trade it for the world. But before they got out on stage to give it their all to their dedicated fans, I got to take a moment and talk with lead singer Jamie Campbell Bower about the tour life, the fans, and everything in between, as the rest of the band (Sam Bower, Tristan Marmont, Roland Johnson, Jimmy Craig) prepared for what was to come. You can watch the full interview below, or read on to see more photos and live concert shots from the evening. 

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Max Baker sits down with Counterfeit's lead singer & guitarist, Jamie Campbell Bower before their final headlining show in Anaheim, CA. Filmed & edited by Samantha Baker.

Never lose that childlike wonder.

Me: Alright, so introduce yourself, and what do you do in Counterfeit?

Jamie: Hi, my name is Miley Cyrus and I play guitar in Counterfeit.

M: (laughs) Perfect. So, for those who might not know who Counterfeit is, what's the meaning behind the band name and how did it start?

J: The meaning behind the band name is always a difficult question to answer, I wish I had a better story than what I'm about to tell you. But, we used to play, myself, Tristan, and Roland, who play in the band, we used to play in another band together, and we played our last show and put it to bed; we started writing new music and we wanted to start completely afresh. We didn't have a name, we just had the sound right, and so I'm a bit of an emo kid and I was sending emails out being like 17 or so names, and like that. I was walking in Soho in London, and the name popped up into my head and it seemed to perfectly describe, or feel in my mouth, how the music sounded in my head. And I also think there's a small sense of irony behind the name as well, and it wasn't like a conscious thought. It was born, it was just natural, and I think that's what the most important thing is about this band is that everything we do is natural, and what we're about is community, and growth through community.

M: That's awesome. So it's your first headlining tour here in the US, correct?

J: It is indeed!

M: We were curious about it, but how does it compare to shows in the UK and Europe, to here? Like is the crowd any different, is the vibe different?

J: The language barrier's not as bad obviously (laughs) I mean as far as just logistical stuff, obviously the fucking drives are crazy. Like, a six hour drive for you guys is like popping to the shops, for us it's like traveling the length and breadth of our bloody country!

M: I know, it's ridiculous!

J: It is! It's absurd! That's just sort of the main difference, I guess. What we always seem to find through (when we go and play shows), is the people that are coming to see the shows are so fucking lovely, and that's worldwide. The people are there just to cut loose and have a good time, and to make friends, and so many people that I've met, on this run in particularly, who have just gone to a show by themselves, and they've left with three other mates. So that's the same university wherever we go. But there hasn't been much of a difference. The shows are just as crazy, just as wild, just as fun. 

M: That's really cool. And it's been a little over a year since Together We Are Stronger came out-

J: That's right.

M: So what can fans expect for the future of Counterfeit, as far as new music goes, if you can even talk about that type of stuff.

J: I can, I can talk about it all you like, I can talk a little bit about that. 

M: Perfect! 

J: So yeah, like you said, we released our first album back in March of last year, and it's now come to, for us to tell the world that we are making another record. We launched a pledge campaign a month ago, announcing the new album, and on the pledge campaign we're giving people the opportunity to be more involved with the process, whereby you can actually come visit the studio, you can be in a music video, all that kind of stuff. But then also, on the pledge, we're going to be giving people content that you wouldn't necessarily see anywhere else. Behind the scenes of making the album, the writing process and what that was like. I spoke with someone after a show the other day and I said, "What is it that you want to see?", and she said to me "What I really want to see is songwriting and how songs are born and what they mean", and all that kind of stuff, so we'll be doing stuff like that up in there. But yes, a new album! We're going into the studio after this tour finishes, making a new record...

M: That's so exciting!

J: Which is very exciting, I know! The first album was very, like, naive, and I feel that we've grown so much. 

Max Baker-Jamie Campbell Bower-Interview-Photoshoot

M: I was going to ask, are you guys going in a different direction for the sound or are you going to stay true to that hardcore feel?

J: Well it's all timpanis now, that's how it is, it's all basically orchestral from now here on then, we're not going to be making any hardcore music anymore, it's strictly piano based material, from here on end. 

M: Ah yes of course!

J: But yeah we'll be remaining true to Counterfeit, I think one of the things that I always wanted to do and one of the things that I love as a songwriter is scale and grandeur, and that's something that I want to bring to the next album, and I think it's something that we've tried to bring into the writing and in the next record it's just taking what is essentially Counterfeit and hardcore and thrashy and go go go, and developing that to a slightly more mature place I think. But there's not going to be any curve balls, that's not what we're about just yet.

M: Yeah, there are some artists that change their sound every album, so you never know.

J: You know, we could end up being that band, there's nothing to say that we're not going to be that band. But, at this point in time, you know, we are so early in the stages of our musical exploration that to veer off in such a strange direction would seem, I don't know, counterproductive, almost, to what it is that we're trying to do.

Max Baker-Jamie Campbell Bower-Interview-Photoshoot

M: Totally. So, what might be some advice that you have for creatives, musicians, and artists in general to stay inspired and keep pursuing their passion and their dream? As far as creative stuff goes?

J: Never lose that childlike wonder. Never, ever lose that. It will go, and it will decrease, and you will notice it happening as you get older, but you have to try to not lose that, it's the hardest thing in the world. And as far as inspiration goes, I said to someone the other day actually, in a Q+A, they said they were asking me about the songwriting process, and I think I said something along the lines of "nothing was ever right the first time, it takes a lot of wrongs to have a good right in being creative." You know, if it's wrong, good, and if it's right, even better. So that's my main advice; don't be disheartened, even when you know it's shit. Because if you know it's shit, it means that you can do better. 


Max Baker-Jamie Campbell Bower-Interview-Photoshoot

A big thank you to COUNTERFEIT.'s team for having myself and my sister, @samanthabakerfilm, come out to the show; it was truly an unforgettable evening. Thank you to Jamie for taking the time to talk about life and the amazing piece of advice you had for fellow creatives out there that might be reading this. 

You can follow COUNTERFEIT. on their social media links by following the link here! Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of the interview, and who would you like me to interview and shoot with next? Like what you see here? Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date on all things music, photoshoots, interviews, and more!  Let me know and follow me on twitter and instagram, and thank you for taking the time to check my site out. 'Til next time! 


Written, filmed, and photographed for Counterfeit., in association with The Gypsy Shack Collective (www.tgscollective.com)


Artist Feature: Corii
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As any other Saturday morning may go, from brewing coffee and trying to recover from Friday night festivities, my friend Corii came in with her contagious energy that instantly makes you feel a bit more awake (even before a glass of coffee). I had asked her to come over, told her about how I started blogging and wanted to ask a few questions about her and her music, and all in all, just another excuse to hang out and have fun. She's one of those people you feel an instant connection with, and I can honestly say she's someone I felt as if I had known for years, even though we had only just met a few months ago from a mutual friend while at Disneyland. 

With her charm and infectious laugh, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to feature her on my site!

Who is Corii? Find out below by checking out the interview. 


Me: Alright so, for anyone who might not know you, what's your name, where are you from, and what is your favorite song at the moment?

Corii: Okay so, my name is Corii [artist name], I'm from New Jersey, and my favorite song at the moment... 

M: I know, there's so many good ones out there right now!

C: Oh my god dude, this is like asking me what my favorite potato chip is [laughs] I'm gonna say Concentrate by Demi Lovato.

M: Ugh that album is so good.

C: I'm obsessed. 

M: So how long have you been in the industry?

C: I went to music school, and then probably the first time that I released something that considers me being in the industry would probably be in 2010, I would say. I mean, I started writing and putting songs out when I was younger, that was before Spotify and stuff, so 2009. I was still working in studios, but I would say consider it more serious around 2010 or 2011. 

M: And what made you get into the music scene?

C: Well, I'm only really good at music so...

M: That's how I feel about art in general so I understand.

C:  Exactly! I have always just loved singing, I became more comfortable with songwriting when I was in my senior year of high school, that's when I really got into it. Before, I was just singing other people's songs, and then I got really into writing my own stuff. I think that's how it started, I just wanted to write my feelings because I had my first breakup, so I had to release it someway.

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Photoshoot-Interview-Corii-Max Baker.jpg

M:  What was your first concert?

C: My first concert?! So I would say my first concert was at Berkley, it was when I had a different [artist] name, but that was my first big concert, and then I got into another one and another one, and it just kinda lead from there and continued. But my biggest show was when I opened for The Weekend Riot at the Trocadero in Philly. But my first big concert where people actually came just to see me I was in college at Berkley. And then I had my own big show at the Hard Rock in Philly, and then it got bigger when I opened for the Weekend Riot.

M: So awesome! And how big was the crowd for that one?

C:  We sold it out, I couldn't tell you the exact number but I'm sure the guys would know.

M: We'll just ask Bruce next time we see him [laughs]

C: Yes exactly, but I want to say it was around 250 or something around that!

M: Awesome! If you could tour with anyone, who would it be and why? What's your dream lineup? 

C: It's hard because my dream lineup, to what I am, is different. I'm obsessed with Paramore, everyone knows that, like I would love to tour with her. I'll pick three; Paramore, Demi Lovato, and Sia. 

M: Interesting! So if you could compare your sound to anyone, who would it be? So people can get an idea of what type of music you do.

C: I'd say probably Sia, like a mix of her and Demi. More Demi vocally, and with Sia, I like to put a little dark twist on things, and belt really high. That's what both of them do, so I would saw the two of them. 

M:  They both have a sort of unique sound as far as pop music goes, because they're always changing what they do, you know?

C:  Oh definitely, Sia has one of the most distinctive voices ever; like one of the songs I'll be releasing very shortly, everyone says it sounds very much like Chandelier, so I would definitely say Sia, but Demi too, just because I love to belt really high, and both of them do that.

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Photoshoot-Interview-Corii-Max Baker.jpg
Photoshoot-Interview-Corii-Max Baker.jpg

M: What's something that most people might not know about you?

C: I'm pretty much an open book, but I guess for people who might not know me, I would say I'm really really into working out, like I was a really big runner and super into that, but I got injured so I stopped doing that, but a low-key passion of mine has been running. I did cross-country like I did it for a different college because I was going to music school. I've done a half-marathon, I still haven't done a full marathon yet, but I do love running a lot.

M: Nice. And what would you say is something you like to do to refocus, like what you do for your "me time"? Whether it be yoga, or reading, or what's something you do for you?

C: Definitely running or spinning, and I also love cooking.

M: Oh fun! What's your favorite dish to cook?

C: The best thing I've made this year is borsh soup. 

M: What the heck is that?!

C:  [laughs] It's a beet soup; I learned it at the restaurant I worked at. I'm not gonna lie, when I made it and took a bite of it I was so impressed with myself. I had never heard of it either, but I always like to try new things. Like if I try something new when I'm out somewhere, I want to try it out myself at home. It's just very comforting to get out and do food shopping, and then coming out and prepping, like cutting celery, and just being in my own zone. You don't really have to worry about other things and just be in your zone. 

M: What's some advice that you might have for when creatives get stuck in a rut?

C: Honestly, I think my biggest advice is to not compare ourselves to others. I feel like that's what we as creatives do, and whenever we see someone do something that you think is better than what you're doing, you're holding yourself back. I know for me, I'm a perfectionist, so I'm constantly fighting myself all the time, so it gets me stuck in ruts. I'm doing all these things but then I'm always like "oh my gosh, that wasn't good enough, I'm not gonna post that", when it's really your own self that's holding you back, so I always say try to not compare yourself to others and try to put things out and do things, and if people like it, then great, and if they don't, they don't, because if not, then you didn't even get the chance to show that. 

M: I completely agree. So, final question, what's one thing you want to do before you die? What's at the top fo your bucket list?

C: Top tier priority, would be to go to Ireland with my dad. We're Irish and Italian, but everyone has been to Ireland except me, because my sisters and cousins and such are 10 years older than me, so I was in 3rd grade or something, and everyone went to Ireland except me, and my parents had already done as well. They felt bad about it so they decided to take me to Disneyworld to make up for it, even though we went to Disneyworld a ton of times (I love it though, obviously). I just have this dream to take my dad to Ireland one day, just the two of us, drink beer, and see where we're from and learn the culture and whatnot. 


Corii will be releasing her first official single, Good Love, in May! Be sure to follow her at all her socials below:

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