Est. 1941

Costa Mesa, CA • 2013 OC Fair

Friday, August 30, 2013

Date: 08-10-13
Location: 88 Fair Drive.
Photography by: Luis Valdizon
Words by: M. L. Morris & Luis Valdizon

The first Orange County Fair was held in 1890, and by stepping onto the event grounds, it's easy to tell how it could have become such a staple summer event of Southern California. This was my first fair experience in America, but it wasn't too different from what we have in Vancouver. Everything I expected to be offered was available in abundance, from the adrenaline-inducing rides, to the overpriced games, to the eyebrow-raising gastronomy--chocolate-covered, fried bacon and fried Kool-Aid bites were two particular eye-openers unique to the U.S., but we do have similar oddities in Canada. However, when I look at these photos, I realize there is something about them that I wouldn't be able to capture back home. I've always loved the colors present at fairs, but it seems like the bright tones of the OC Fair are brought out in a unique way with the SoCal weather and breeze blowing in from the shore. Most importantly, though, is the people in them and the day we had leading up to this. This was the same day as our spontaneous discovery visit to Balboa Island and it served as a great evening to Matt's birthday. Are we the target age group to attend a fair? Probably not. That's the beauty of events like this, though--as long as you're able to get into the spirit, there's no limit to the fun you can have. The only difference is, there's no reason to bring the giant plush ape home after spending $30-worth of tickets to land a plastic ring on a bottle top.

Los Angeles, CA • Jakob Owens Studios

Monday, August 26, 2013

Date: 08-01-13
Location: Los Angeles, California
Photography by: Luis Valdizon
Words by: David Morris

The importance of music videos comes second only to the music itself. I have a philosophy that a good music video should have replay value and should make the viewer like the song even more. I have been lucky enough to work and become close friends with Jakob Owens, a young filmmaker/videographer who shares these same ideals. I became acquainted with Jake about two years ago after he reached out to me asking me to check out his work. Not only was I impressed, but I saw great potential. A few weeks later, we met in Arizona to shoot the "We Don't Know" video. Since then, he's shot numerous music videos for me that range in style and theme from action-packed short film ("Flattery" and "New York Times"), to biographical road trip ("2,000 Miles"), to rap-centric and studio-set ("FaZe Clan"). Through them all, I have watched him grow as a director, cinematographer, editor and friend.

Recently, Jake made the move from Phoenix to Los Angeles, where he has set up the official JOP Studios. The beautiful loft with its wooden ceiling, massive skylight and abundant space serves as his home, studio and editing cave. It's only about a month old, but has already been host to numerous photo shoots, video shoots and interviews, including this one with me. Jake is also offering one-on-one editing sessions with aspiring videographers to help them gain knowledge and get ahead. Check out the pictures above and watch Jake's videos at Be on the lookout for new D-WHY x TCC x JOP visuals coming soon!

Vancouver, BC • Culprit Coffee Co.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Location: 2028 Vine Street Vancouver, BC V6K 3K1
Date: 10-19-12
Words and photography by: Luis Valdizon

On West 4th Avenue in the heart of the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver, BC, lies Culprit Coffee Co. With help from its welcoming decor, lush drinks made with Fernwood Coffee Company (an artisanal, award-winning roaster based out of Victoria, BC), delicious baked goods from famed Little Nest Bakery, a thoughtfully-prepared menu of gluten-free sandwiches, soups and salads plus friendly staff, the establishment has quickly managed to become a local favorite since it opened last year. Culprit's vibrant branding and dedication to locally-sourced and hand-made offerings is something to be appreciated and look forward to with every visit.

As I write this, I feel a little homesick for my old neighborhood and everything it offers, including this little gem. Thinking back, these are quite literally the first photos I ever took of David, about 10 months ago. At the time, I didn't know that this moment would be the catalyst that led me on the incredible journey I've been more than fortunate to be a part of and would result in me gaining two brothers (David and Matt). Almost a year later, I now reside in Los Angeles where our team is currently based. I'm proud of the work we've done this far and everything to come in the future. Perhaps, more than anything, I'm proud that we can release images and sentiments from a distant time knowing that the work and vision still holds true.

Portland, OR • Ace Hotel x Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Monday, August 19, 2013

Date: 07-06-13
Location: 1026 SW Stark St.
Words and photography by: Luis Valdizon

It really doesn't matter whether you have love for Stumptown Coffee Roasters or refuse to give praise where it's due. The impact that the Portland, Oregon-based company has had on American coffee culture is unquestionable. From the onset, they have lifted and exemplified standards both large chains and neighborhood coffee shops aspire to meet. From the sourcing of their beans, to the roasting of them, to the highly skilled baristas behind their coffee bars freshly grinding and pulling shots of espresso for you, your coffee experience at Stumptown is handled in-house, top-to-bottom. That in itself is something to commend.

Our team was fortunate enough to stop by their location beautifully kept and designed within Portland's Ace Hotel, a boutique hotel chain with a world-class reputation for their service and stunning interiors. Inside, we were kindly greeted by baristas who served us their Cold Brew coffee on a smouldering summer's day. After we finished our drinks, I managed to strike up a conversation with one of the gentlemen tidying up after an afternoon rush of patrons. After thanking him kindly for their service and telling him it was our first time in the city and our first Stumptown experience, he gifted me one of their bottles of cold press coffee (pictured above). I was taken aback by the gesture—more important than outstanding coffee is exceptional hospitality. It's hard to not appreciate a company that gives their employees the liberty to serve their customers the best they can within their means.

Although we haven't had the chance to visit any of the other Stumptown locations in Portland, Seattle, New York or the soon-to-be Los Angeles residence, I highly recommend you visit this particular one. Detailed design work and tasteful curation is noticeable everywhere, from the lobby of the Ace Hotel to the inside of the coffee shop. We didn't have the pleasure of staying at the Ace this time around, but I hope to rest my head in one of their lavish rooms in the near future. If the hotel is anything like what I can imagine, it is definitely a place we would like to capture in more detail for the site.

D-WHY • Don't Flatter Yourself (1 Year Anniversary)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Date: 08-15-13
Original Cover Artwork by: William Marple
Photo by: Sequoia Manuelle
Words by: David Morris

Dear Friends,

It's incredible for me to say this, but it's been exactly one year to the day since I released 'Don't Flatter Yourself.' Thank you all for making it such a special and important project. I put my heart and soul into it - it is an extension of me. Every day, people are still discovering it, still listening to it, and still getting to know me (if you don't have it yet, get it for free at The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and is more than what I had hoped for. It made all of the sleepless nights, stress and struggle worth it. I feel like it was the perfect project to lay the groundwork and open the doors for me as an artist to be ambitious, be creative and be myself.

I know you all have been waiting for a while for new music, and I promise you that it's coming very soon. I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity. I want to make music that matters and lasts. I plan on being around for quite a long time and am in no rush. I let my music speak for me, and I choose my words wisely.

What you hear on D.F.Y. is the foundation for what is next to come. The 'Young, Loved, Hated & Broke' EP is almost finished and will be yours within the next six weeks (6-8 new songs, release date announcement coming soon), followed by another full-length project sometime next year. I just wanted to take this time to write to you all to thank you, to praise you, and to tell you that this is just the beginning. I look forward to our journey ahead. Thank you for seeing, understanding, and supporting my music, my vision and my passion. I love you all.

Your friend,


Newport Beach, CA • Balboa Island

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Date: 07-10-13
Location: Marine Ave. Balboa Island, CA.
Photography by: Luis Valdizon
Words by: David Morris

You know how some siblings aren't close, rarely speak and share different interests? Well, that's not the case with my younger brother and I. Aside from my best friend and partner in crime, Matt is the mastermind behind The Cleanest Corner (an idea he had in college back in 2009) and the other half of this journey that I am on. Every song I release, video I shoot or move that I make, he is there with me. He's both my biggest fan and my hardest critic. There's a quote that says, "A brother shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams." That is exactly how I would describe our relationship.

This past weekend, we set out to celebrate his birthday with our father--fresh off the plane from West Virginia, Luis--our curator, documentarian and the man who makes this site possible, and Katrin--one of the coolest, most chic young ladies out there, who's giving Germany major style points by making her mark abroad here in the U.S. There were no plans, no schedule and no preferences. For this birthday, Matt just wanted to go. So, go, we did. We heard that this was the last weekend of the 2013 Orange County Fair, so we decided to take the hour drive down from Los Angeles to check that out (look out for a future post on our evening there). In the process, we stumbled upon the charming and beautiful Balboa Island when looking for lunch in Newport Beach, a discovery that made the spontaneous adventure well worth the trip. With beachfront houses, docks, sail boats, golf carts, vintage cars and quaint shops galore, the small area made for the perfect place to walk around and spend the afternoon. Complete with a five-minute ferry ride to and from the island and Balboa Peninsula, it's basically a mini paradise set on the shores of Southern California. My list of places to hole up in to record music in the future just got one line longer.

Chicago, IL • Play Me, I'm Yours

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Date: 07-04-13
Location: 871 N Wabash Ave
Photography by: Luis Valdizon
Words by: David Morris

Aside from performing and seeing fans, traveling is one of the main perks of touring. Seeing different places, soaking up different cities and cultures is something that i've always dreamed of. Recently while on tour we stopped in Chicago to explore. After grabbing some tea (yes, for once we chose tea over coffee), we stumbled upon a piano in a public park. It was just sitting there. One of the tea shop employees stopped to explain that the piano was part of "Street Pianos--Play Me, I'm Yours." A global art initiative to encourage artistic expression and bring music to public forums all over. I sat down to mess around. I only know a few basic chords on the piano, but began to play and hum some melodies. A few people stopped to show their appreciation. It felt good to just live in the moment and vibe out. After looking into the initiative I learned that more than 800 pianos have been installed in 34 cities across the globe. How cool of a concept is that? It's like, instead of an artist going on tour, the instrument is going on tour. Giving everyone a chance to steal the spotlight. Brilliant. That IS music. That IS art.

Whether you are pianist, musician, or just a fan of music, learn more about 'Street Pianos--Play Me, I'm Yours' by visiting the link listed above.