The Spotlight Effect

In this installment of the Self-Care Series, we address the Spotlight effect. We started the self-care series in honor of the late Mac Miller to discuss issues related to physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and The Spotlight Effect is something that none of us humans can escape. But you can better equip yourself to handle the situations when the spotlight strikes. The Spotlight Effect is a phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are noticed more than they really are. By recognizing this effect and becoming aware when it is happening to you, you can disarm it and become more free in the moment. So without further ado let’s shed that spotlight.

Why Gender Matters with Dr. Leonard Sax

For this week’s episode and the latest installment of the Self Care Series, I sat down with Dr. Leonard Sax to discuss his book Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers need to know about the science of Sex Differences. We started the Self Care series in honor of the late Mac Miller to address issues related to physical, mental, and social well-being. Understanding the differences between boys and girls, men and women, is paramount to self-care and your relationships with others. A little bit of background info on Dr. Sax: He graduated MIT at the age of 19, earned his Ph.D. and MD in psychology from University of Pennsylvania, and for 19 years he was a practicing family physician in Maryland. Dr. Sax has spoken on the issues of child and adolescent development throughout the US, Bermuda, Canada, England, and numerous other countries, and he has visited over 400 schools since 2001.

Now, what makes understanding gender differences so important? We live in a society where, according to Dr. Sax, “the lack of awareness of gender differences has had the unintended result of reinforcing gender stereotypes.” For example, did you know that for the average boy to hear you as well as the average girl, you have to speak about 8 decibels higher, which is equivalent to 3 clicks on the car radio? Or that on average, girls’ visual systems are better at picking up color, detail, and texture than boys? And boys are better at picking up on speed and direction? There are concrete differences between boys and girls, and there are millions of ways to be male and female. Gender differences do not equate to gender inequalities. We should be celebrating these differences and better understanding them, rather than pretending like they don’t exist.

Even if you have no interest in gender differences, I encourage you to listen to this conversation to broaden your perspective because these issues affect everyone, including me and you. And yes, people may disagree with some things said in this episode, and I want that. I encourage you to reach out to me and Dr. Sax with any thoughts you have on this episode. Both of our emails will be in the description of this podcast, along with a link to Dr. Sax’s book Why Gender Matters. No matter how difficult, politically incorrect, or polarizing a certain topic may be, the goal should always be to have a conversation grounded in facts.


This week, we sat down with the Seattle-based rapper Sol. During his time at the University of Washington, he was awarded the Bonderman Scholarship which allowed Sol to travel to 10 countries in 10 months. One of the requirements of this trip was that he had to go alone. At the time, Sol sat at #1 on the iTunes Hip Hop charts and #4 globally after the release of Yours Truly, then decided to drop off the map. When most would look to do anything to capitalize financially and socially on an album’s success, Sol saw it more important to find himself.

In this episode, Sol talks about the impact of this ten-month journey, how he actually started as a painter before music, his relationship with Macklemore, a pivotal conversation with his Aunt, studying under Seattle Legend Isaac Meek, and the creative process behind his most recent album that just dropped March 1st, Soon Enough. Even if you aren’t an avid listener to Sol or music in general, I highly recommend you listen through this conversation. This talk was more than music. Sol drops some unique insight on crafting the vision of an independent artist, understanding different cultures, and why your definition of success should not be defined by the mainstream. Without further ado, here is our wide-ranging conversation with Sol.


This week, we sat down with machineheart, a band based out of LA with strong ties to Tacoma, Washington. They gained popularity with covers of Katy Perry and The 1975, eventually breaking into Spotify’s Viral with their original song ‘Circles’ featuring Vancouver-based electronic artist Vanic. On the heels of their debut album, People Change, we discuss how the band came together, the toxicity of social media, Post Malone, the creative process, and more. This episode was recorded backstage during soundcheck at The Gramercy Theatre in NYC, so my apologies for any annoying guitars, drums, and clanking going on in the background. Personally, I think all of the noise adds to the aesthetic of the podcast. Definitely planned it that way.


This week, we sat down with Michael and Anthony Hannides, otherwise known as MakeYouKnowLove (@makeyouknowlove). They are brothers from the UK, multi-platinum songwriters, and practicers of martial arts. Just to give you a snapshot of their resume, Anthony and Michael co-wrote and produced Zayn’s smash hit Pillowtalk which went #1 in 75 countries, as well as many other songs on Zayn’s debut album Mind of Mine and Zayn’s follow up project Icarus Falls. They also co-wrote Kiss Me by Rita Ora which appeared on the Fifty Shades Darker Soundtrack, as well as worked with artists like Jay Sean, Alesha Dixon, Conor Maynard, and McLean.

Back in 2005, Anthony and Michael sang in the group 4-Tune which made an impressive run to the finals on X-Factor, which we will get into more later. After touring for a couple years playing 4-Tune gigs, Anthony and Michael took that money to create their own makeshift studio. At first, they made music using a cupboard with curtains as the vocal booth. Working, eating, and sleeping out of the same place, they barely made any money for the first three years in the studio. As Michael and Anthony say, “A song’s success isn’t what makes us happy - writing the song itself, that’s the happiness.”

With that mindset, the songs they’ve created have reached nearly 3 billion streams to date, and they have now released their own project called MakeYouKnowLove. I learned a lot from this conversation, including insights into fitness, meditation, and what it takes to make a living as a creator. Even if you have zero interest in music and songwriting, this conversation will broaden your perspective, and hopefully, leave you with some tools and messages that can apply to your everyday life.

Cautious Clay

On this week’s episode of Auxoro: The Voice of Music, we sat down with Cautious Clay. He released his debut EP, Blood Type, in February of 2018, but the journey started long before. Cautious Clay grew up in Cleveland and was surrounded by the jazz community. He plays the flute and saxophone among other things, a true multi-instrumentalist. At George Washington University, he started making beats and posting remixes to SoundCloud. It was there, that Finneas, Billie Eilish’s brother, saw one of these remixes and reached out to Cautious Clay. Cautious Clay, Blackbear, and Astonomyy ended up being part of the first remix package of ‘Ocean Eyes’ by Billie Eilish back in 2015.

Since then, Cautious Clay has made a lot of music, worked multiple day jobs, and recently quit those day jobs to pursue music full time. In October of 2018, NPR tapped Cautious Clay to perform for their coveted tiny desk concert series. Even if you don’t listen to Cautious Clay, or aren’t an avid music listener in general, this episode has a lot of insight into the overall process of creativity, the effect of religion on upbringing, competition, and other topics that span beyond music.

Jim Weider || The Weight Band

This week, we sat down with the legendary Jim Weider. Jim was born and raised in Woodstock, NY and from 1985-2000 he was the lead guitarist for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees The Band. His first ever show with The Band was a Crosby, Stills, and Nash reunion in Dallas Texas in front of over 30,000 people. Talk about baptism by fire. Throughout Jim’s career, he has jammed with Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, Scotty Moore of Elvis Presley’s original band, played with The Grateful Dead at Soldier field and rocked the stage at The Berlin Wall Concert in front of over 300,000. No single concert has ever been bigger in attendance.

In 2013, The Weight Band formed when two former members of The Band, Jim Weider and Randy Ciarlante, decided to continue The Band’s rich musical tradition. The Weight Band keeps the Woodstock spirit of The Band alive. In 2018, The Weight Band released an original album titled ‘World Gone Mad,’ a commentary on today’s divisive political climate and the hardship of American Life. In this conversation, Jim and I get into growing up in Woodstock, his time with The Band, jamming with Rock n Roll icons, the psychedelic culture, and more.

Kevin Hart And The State Of Comedy

In the latest episode of the Self Care Series, host Zach Grossfeld explores the recent controversy with Kevin Hart and The Oscars Committee, Hart's jokes on homosexuality, and the current state of comedy. We started the Self Care Series in honor of the late Mac Miller as a way to explore mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Comedy can be the ultimate cure for pulling through the darkest of times, and laughter combines all three aspects of Self Care: the physical, the mental, and the emotional. Should certain topics be off limits for comics? Who decides what we can and cannot find funny? How does laughter tie into morality? We are only one voice in a sea of opinions and we would love to hear your thoughts on a force that connects us all: comedy.

LVRN (Love Renaissance)

Welcome to the first installment of our Offstage Spotlight series where we speak to those in the music industry who make their living off of the main stage. These people include label executives, managers, booking agents, light technicians, and others who play essential roles in the music world.

This week, we sat down with the founders of LVRN, a label and collective located in the heart of the city of Atlanta. LVRN has developed and signed multi-platinum artists like 6lack and D.R.A.M. while staying true to their creative visions. What started as an idea between five friends at Georgia State evolved into a collective powerhouse in the birthplace of the trap. On this episode, we discuss the origins of LVRN, sleeping in Uhauls, the Anti-Tour, partnering with Interscope Records, working with artists like 6lack and D.R.A.M., and more.


On this week's episode of Auxoro: The Voice Of Music, we sat down with R.LUM.R. A man of many influences, he has explored sounds from Porter Robinson and Linkin Park to Fleet Foxes and Anita Baker. As R.LUM.R says, “No one exists who is not the sum of all of their influences.” And the journey of his artistry and influences is apparent in the music that he makes. What started on six strings has evolved into a beautiful synergy of the organic, the electronic and the soul. In this episode, we discuss the power of empathy, the cloak of genre, Super Rich Kids, the isolation of tour life, and more.


In the latest episode of our Self Care Series, we explore the XXXTENTACION's legacy. We started the Self Care Series in honor of the late Mac Miller as a way to explore mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Struggling with his own inner demons, XXXTENTACION left behind a legacy or beauty, abuse, and violence. This episode was recorded the week after XXXTENTACION's murder and dives into the question of how he should be remembered. Host Zach Grossfeld addresses the not so black and white meaning of XXXTENTACION's life, death, and legacy. This is only one perspective and it is not meant to serve as a final answer, but rather ignite a discussion on how X should, and will be memorialized.


This week, we sat down with shallou, an electronic producer located in LA, who’s originally from the Greater DC area. shallou is currently on tour until the beginning of January and puts on a show that transports you into his own creative world. His latest EP, Souls, showcases a powerful yet emotional blend of the organic and electronic. Icelandic adventures, inspiration from artists like Porter Robinson, childhood car rides with his Dad, and other elements have all shaped the world of shallou. In his own words, “I just want to make people’s lives more pleasant.” On this episode, we get into the inspiration behind Souls, the revolution of the music industry, the behind the scenes work necessary to produce a live show, and more.


On this episode of the Self-Care Series, I will walk you through a ten-minute meditation, and some of my initial experiences with the practice. We started this self-care series in honor of the late Mac Miller as an outlet for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Meditation is an area where all three come into play. Breathing normally, focusing on the breath, and just noticing the mind for a few moments every day has had a deep impact on my life. I am in no way an expert, and still in the beginning stages of honing my practice. But, I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts as a beginner, and give you a little taste of a meditative experience.


As a kid, alayna started singing alongside her father while he played the guitar. Together they performed at weddings, family gatherings, and even recorded a CD for alayna's grandparents. From releasing covers of Sam Smith to attending MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand), the now 25-year-old alayna is fresh off the release of her debut EP, Sweet Soul. For this project, she worked with renowned producers and songwriters like Stint, Finneas, and Astonomyy, and also released a live series from Roundhead Studios in New Zealand. On this episode we speak about the journey of creating the Sweet Soul EP, her skydiving exploits, the darker side of social media, and how traveling to unfamiliar places can help you find yourself.

Jess Glynne

This week, we sat down with Jess Glynne to discuss the creative process behind her most recent project, Always In Between, building confidence as a live performer, writing "100 songs," Kanye West, and much more. Thank you to Jess and the team at Atlantic Studios for allowing this interview to happen. If you haven't already, please give a listen to the album Always In Between by Jess Glynne. The project dives into the full spectrum of emotion and showcases Jess' artistry in its rawest form.

Noelle Scaggs || Fitz and The Tantrums

This week, we sat down with Noelle Scaggs, the co-lead singer of Fitz and The Tantrums. I had the pleasure of seeing Noelle sing a few weeks ago at Red Rocks and the whole performance was absolutely electrifying. In this conversation, we spoke about the realities of making money in the music industry, staying healthy and thriving on tour, the intricacies of her songwriting process, and why pop music is here to stay. Noelle just released a solo track called 'Great For You' featuring BRÅVES which you need to check out. The link for that song will be in the podcast description. Thank you for listening, and we hope you come away from this conversation with a new insight into the world of music.


In honor of the late Mac Miller, we started the Self Care Series as a place to discuss physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In this first episode, Zach Grossfeld, the founder of Auxoro, goes into his struggles with anxiety attacks the past year and a half, as well as some methods and mindsets that have helped him deal with anxiety. If you do suffer from anxiety, please get the proper help and attention that you need. You are worth it. Hopefully, this series can help at least one person feel better and let them know that they are not alone.

The Knocks

On our latest podcast episode, we sat down with James and Ben of The Knocks in their studio in Soho. We spoke about The Knocks' roots in NY, building the music community, the creative process, partying, New York Narcotic, and much more. Thank you the team over at Atlantic Records, specifically Jordan Frazes and Gabrielle Reese, for helping to set up this interview. The Knocks new album, New York Narcotic, is out today through Neon Gold/Big Beat Records. The album features Foster The People, Method Man, Big Boi, Sir Sly, Alexis Krauss, and Sofi Tukker.

Great Good Fine Ok

On this week's episode, we sat down with Jon and Luke of the Brooklyn-based duo Great Good Fine Ok. Operating procedure was pretty standard. We sipped on some whiskey as Jon and Luke dove into the inspiration behind their latest releases, the creative process, the Body Diamond, space, thrift shopping, and Elon Musk. We had a great time and left with an incredible insight into the world of Great Good Fine OK. I hope you enjoy yourselves as much as we did as you listen to this conversation. Maybe even pour up a nice glass whiskey while you're at it.


On our latest podcast, we spoke with the producer/songwriter FINNEAS who is now making waves as a solo artist. In 2018, FINNEAS has released six single thus far, treating each song with its own story and carefully crafted cover art. He has also made music with talents like Khalid, Tori Kelly, Wafia, and of course, his sister Billie Eilish. In this article, we’ve taken a few of our favorite quotes from the podcast interview and broke them down.