Tag Archives: Victory Lap

Feature: Whitney Killian

How’s it going y’all! Hope each and every one of you is doing well out there in the world. Thanks again for tuning into another feature here at the LIFESTYLE. Today, we have a super down to earth artist who has been so kind as to share a few words. There is something so charming about the simplicity of her swing. It’s as if she has invited us to dream with her, and that’s never a bad thing. Coming out of Seattle, operating through performance and staying connected through the likes of tumblr and pinterest(be sure and look her up), her writing is very expressive. The young lady is canary yellow against a clear blue sky. With that said, it’s our pleasure to present you Whitney Killian.

Whitney Killian Feature


I’ve discovered that reflection is the greatest means of self-preservation; it has helped me cope and find peace. I’m emerging from my reflection phase – ready to respond, to react.

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

WK: Born and raised in the small town of Sumner, Washington – but truly bred in the great city of Seattle, my current home. Over the years, I’ve had some pretty amazing chances to grow and express myself as a vocalist. From my high school choir room, to the jam room in Delta Upsilon at UW, to the basement of the house on 55th & Brooklyn Ave, to the stages of dive bars and the balcony at the KeyArena… with some pretty talented people to help me along the way. I currently have the pleasure of singing feature and backup vocals for Ayo Dot, a respected Seattle hip hop artist, and when I’m lucky enough, I get to jam with the amazing guys of Victory Lap, a great side project cover band we started back in September. Throw in a couple reality TV show auditions over the last few years, and there you have it. Music is important to me and my general happiness, so I always try to keep fun projects on the books.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you? How do your projects fit in with that definition?

WK: Reflection has been my best friend lately. Hardships happen, things won’t always go your way. When storms come and all seems to be lost in chaos, there also comes a unique opportunity to reflect about your response to everything that’s thrown your way. The response can’t happen without the reflection, and the reflection often doesn’t happen without the storm. The best part is that in reflection, some of the greatest and most raw work is produced. I’ve discovered that reflection is the greatest means of self-preservation; it has helped me cope and find peace. I’m emerging from my reflection phase – ready to respond, to react. I’m writing every day, humming new melodies, putting the products of my storms onto paper and into song. I’m crafting my response.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

WK: My biggest focus right now is developing my own catalogue of songs and writings. Piano has always been of interest to me, so I’m working to pick up that skill so that I can really start to stand on my own as an artist. Aside from my own writing, I’m loving the super fun and fresh work I get to do with Ayo Dot & crew. Since I joined the band in November, we’ve played a few shows and have been working on some new tracks as a band. Being a part of something new and exciting is completely refreshing, and as an artist who’s looking to establish myself and grow, working with Ayo and the guys has been a great opportunity.

Who or what inspires you?

WK: Lately, the lyrics of great female singers & songwriters have been my inspiration. Ellie Goulding, Stevie Nicks, Adele, Sara Bareilles, and more. These women are powerhouses, and I’ve found their strength to be contagious. I live for the moments when a song – or just one line – can stop me in my tracks and make me feel something, help me gain clarity, or resonate so loudly and so closely that the lyrics start to feel like they’re becoming my own. Those moments make me want to write and create things that will inspire others in similar ways. Oh, and Pinterest and Tumblr, where everyone else’s very public passions inspire me to be a better writer and better human being in general.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

WK: On the subject of the Collective… I respect the work you guys do. So much. You’ve taken the time to reflect and respond, and to cause others to do the same. It’s people like you who inspire people like me to keep working, to keep making pretty things and putting them out into the universe. Thank you for doing what you do.

Shout out to…?

WK: To my close friends and incredible family – you’ve held me together like glue, you’ve kept me laughing (mostly at myself), you are the reasons why I’m still standing, and you are the reasons why I will not just survive, but thrive. Especially my amazing life coach, Cortney – thanks for keeping your big sis in line.

“Make You Feel My Love,” by Adele, featuring Austin Silva on keyboard and Peter Muller on guitar

Untitled By Whitney Killian

you were my sunshine

my warm summer day

but it’s been coming down hard

since the night you walked away

the storm clouds in my heart

keep me crying over you

they darken my days

they’re not just passing through

you know what they say

when it rains, it pours

and it’s drowning my heart

since i’m no longer yours

Victory Lap Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/VictoryLapSEA    

Ayo Dot website: http://ayodot.com/

Whitney’s tumblr: http://whitneykaykillian.tumblr.com/

Whitney’s pintrist: http://pinterest.com/whitkay/boards/

Whitney’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/whitneykay2

-Reflection and Response

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Feature: Carlo Mejino

Greetings! The Feature Series Rolls On. Today the LIFESTYLE’s Collective heads back up to the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle, home of dope Thrift Shops, Marshawn Lynch, and Stefan Paul George. My man Carlo Mejino brings us his perspective as a young and accomplished creator. His clothing brand GAJ has a growing presence around the Seattle Streetwear scene in multiple shops, his own store, and online. Clothing is only one of his creative outlets with music and videography providing other ways for this Craftsperson to practice Reflection and Response. Peep the interview below for words from a new voice and check the links for looks on GAJ and his other projects. Peace!



Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

CM: I am from Seattle WA, born pure of 100% Filipino blood from my two parents who moved over to the U.S. in the 70’s and 80’s, respectively. I was raised in the north side where I went to Catholic school through the age of 18 until I went to the University of Washington, my first public school. Basically I grew up on lumpia, church, rain and the Seattle Supersonics.
Right now I am back in Seattle after spending a couple years in Los Angeles chasing TV and film production work after college. I started my own clothing company called GAJ that is currently available in a couple local shops as well as my website (www.GAJSeattle.com) and I am currently working on that passion project among other creative outlets such as music and video production. I play in a band with some college friends (Victory Lap) and from time to time I make videos to try and make my friends laugh. In summary, my life is clothes, Internet, music, videos and friends. Basically, I picked back up where I left off before I moved from Seattle back in ’09 haha. Old habits die hard.


What does Reflection and Response mean to you? How do GAJ and your other projects  fit in with that definition?

CM: To be honest, I haven’t had a lot of time for reflection because I am constantly on the move as I work on one project and quickly go to the next one after the last one is completed. My work is constant in that I’ll be working on, say, a new design for a shirt, then I’ll be working on an event, then a new song, then something for the website or Facebook page, and then back to working a new piece of clothing, and so on and so forth. I’ve never really been able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor, so to speak. My hands are constantly in different pots and I wear many hats, so there is always something going on.
Maybe that time for reflection is right now. 
My response? I still have more work to do. I’m never satisfied


What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

CM: Recently, I’ve slowed down on the clothing aspect as it has taken up pretty much all of my time during the past year and I believe it’s at a point that is very manageable for a one man operation (because in the beginning it was a struggle in every sense of the word) so I’ve sort of re-molded it into a side-project that I can do along with a 9 to 5er. Production of new product is a bit slower, but I really focus on doing quality releases so those that have the patience will be handsomely rewarded.
Next up for me is a new music project. After getting the ol’ band back together (minus our talented and gifted guitar player, Peter Muller) for the Victory Lap show at the KeyArena, I’ve been fiending to get back on stage and perform again. Even though we played some pretty cool shows back in college, I feel as though I’ve gotten better at performing with those years away from the stage in terms of confidence and stage presence. The problem is that I’ve realized I can’t just rely on these other guys in the band to get my jollies, playing pretend on stage since everyone has their own lives and obligations, so I’ve started recording my own tracks produced by one of my oldest collaborators, Moynilectric, along with some new producers. I’m hoping to get some sort of mixtape done by year’s end. We’ll see though because so far I’ve only finished one new track and I’m still writing for others.


Who or what inspires you?

CM: My inspiration really comes from the people around me; my friends and family. Even though we’re all in different lanes and lifestyles (mine very different than most), I look at all of their accomplishments and success and try my damnedest to reach the level that they all occupy. The best part is seeing how very happy they all are with their lives and achievements, and their strength and confidence in taking themselves to a higher level. The funny part is that we are all so proud of and support one another that it is almost sickening haha. As much as I tell all of them how I’m so proud of them and how inspiring they are to me, they never hesitate to turn it around and say the same about me, even when I don’t feel the same way about myself. I’m surrounded by people who make me want to do better! Talk about first world problems…


Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

CM: As cool as it is to do such an introspective piece and doing the inadvertent reflection & response within that I’ve never really been able to fulfill until now, I don’t believe that I deserve to do any such feature haha. It goes along with never being truly satisfied since I don’t believe I’ve earned the attention of anyone that would find any piece of my story interesting (yet), but I am very thankful that I’ve gotten the type of attention that someone believed is worth the time for a feature. It feels pretty good when someone’s paying attention. (Let me say “attention” one more time…..thanks.


Shout out to…?

S/O to Peter for asking me to do the feature because the lens should really be pointed in his direction since he’s more interesting than I am.And shout out to everyone who still enjoy my various creations and endeavors because they’re the real motivation since I tend to get tired of what I’m doing.

-Reflection and Response.

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