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Breaking Down the Savior Complex with Jen Aldana

Though her life is looking a little different than what she planned, Jen’s faith spurs her on to create bold, authentic anthems of worship.

Girl with Micro Braids

DECEMBER 3, 2019

by Trinity Escobar


I spent my Wednesday night in Boston with two beautiful and talented artists - UMI and Conan Gray. Already knowing their music and being familiar with their unique energy, I had high expectations for this concert. But both completely surpassed my expectations and I spent two hours on the floor with other emotional and joyous teenagers.


Born in Seattle and now LA-based, UMI has recently gained popularity. At 20 years old, she has just wrapped up a national tour with Cuco and is now touring with Conan Gray. Her EP, Love Language, recently came out on October 30 and if you have not listened to it yet, please do yourself a favor and bless yourself with 12 minutes of pure talent.


The name ‘UMI’ comes from her middle name, which means ‘ocean’ in Japan and she embodies that perfectly when performing. Before UMI her first song of the night, she took the time to lead the audience in a meditation, setting the mood for her whole act. UMI calls her music ‘Bedroom R&B’ which I feel perfectly describes its energy. She gave a very intimate performance, to which I found myself swaying back and forth along with the rest of the crowd. Before I even realized it, UMI had made the crowd become one, channelling the same energy as her music. UMI ended her act with song, “High School”. On her command, the whole crowd began to jump up and down. Although it’s not always so fun when you’re surrounded by others who are mostly a foot taller than you, I enjoyed it!


When Conan Gray appeared on stage, I felt like I had personally known him my whole life. A 20-year-old vlogging superstar who gained popularity with his song “Idletown”, Gray is indeed a natural performer abounding with energy.. With over 250M streams and three sold-out tours, Gray shot to fame through his vlog focused on his life in a small Texas town. Dubbed as the ‘pop prince of sad internet teens’, he is simply Generation Z summed up into one individual.


Some highlights included watching him bounce around the stage with sass emerging from the countless hairflips that occurred during his singing. Gray played popular hits from his EP, Sunset Season. As I began to lose myself in his music, the sound of the crowd shouting his lyrics brought me back into the moment. Conan Gray knows how to simultaneously get you dancing and make you think topics such as an ex-lover. I cried along to “Lookalike”, witnessed an incredible performance of “Crush Culture”, and felt the massive and unexplainable energy envelop the room. He interacted with the crowd throughout the whole show, fondly naming us ‘clowns’, which was followed by the laughter of 1,000 teenage girls. The icing on the cake was his performance of a new song from his upcoming album. Expect nothing less than greatness from Conan Gray, because he delivers his sad boy pop at the highest level.


Follow UMI HERE

Follow Conan Gray HERE

UMI

CREDIT TO: COURTESY OF ARTIST

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