CityBeat “Love List” Profiles

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Alex Solin – Photo: Jesse Fox for CityBeat

Name: Alex Solin
Age: 22
Title: Lead guitarist for Archer’s Paradox
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Why we love him: For being a vital part of Cincinnati’s music scene and representing the Queen City beyond its borders via alternative Pop/Rock.

For as long as he can remember, music has always been an integral part of Alex Solin’s life. He recalls listening to Van Halen at the age of 2. “My dad played a lot of Van Halen so I was listening to that at a young age,” he says. “There are crazy home videos of me playing air guitar way before I started actually playing.”

When he first started playing guitar, it was because his brother had received one as a Christmas gift and Solin wanted to one-up him. “I was in middle school at the time,” Solin says. So he started playing his brother’s guitar and has been a guitarist ever since. That initial drive eventually led to a lifelong passion for music — one that exceeded sibling rivalry.

“Playing guitar is basically my ultimate passion,” he says. “My dream is to have a trillion-dollar career doing it.”

Solin was in a Metal band during high school called When Hope Prevails. Now he plays lead guitar in renowned local band Archer’s Paradox, which has performed at big events around town including the Bunbury Music Festival, Midpoint Music Festival and Macy’s Light Up the Square at Fountain Square. They recently played in CityBeat’s Best New Band Showcase at Bogart’s. Solin claims the performance at Bogart’s was the most fun Archer’s Paradox has had as a band in a long time.

He was also excited to be involved with CityBeat’s 17th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs). Archer’s Paradox was nominated for awards in “Indie/Alternative” and “New Artist of the Year” at the CEAs. The ceremony took place on Jan. 26 at the Madison Theater. “It’s one of the most enjoyable things as a band to be up for an award, whether it’s the city awards or the Grammy’s.”

How do you define passion? How is passion different from love? What are you most passionate about?

The difference is that passion will give you the drive to keep things going even if it is within [the context of] love. If you are with someone, the passion will keep that love going. My biggest passion is definitely music. I hear it in my head constantly, whether it’s someone else’s song or an idea I have. It keeps me going and motivated toward playing music forever.

Name someone that you love — a role model, best friend, inspiration, etc. And tell us why.

That would have to be my mom. She is freaking awesome and the strongest woman of all time. She is hardworking and loves constantly and unconditionally. She’s been there for me, my entire family and my friends. My mom is all around the best.

What is the best lesson life has taught you about love?

Probably that when you’re looking for it, you’re not going to find it. When you least expect it, it’s going to come out of nowhere.

What phrase or motto do you live your life by?

It’s one that keeps me going with a positive outlook no matter how bad times are. You have to have a really positive attitude all the time no matter what the circumstances are. I am the one who pushes myself to be happy regardless of situations.

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Jacki Jing – Photo: Jesse Fox for CityBeat

Name: Jacki Jing
Age: Perfectly aged
Title: Morning Anchor, FOX19
Hometown: Centennial, Colorado
Why we love her: For being a leading lady on our morning news and being very interactive through social media, via Twitter and Facebook.

At 6-foot-1 with a wingspan of 6-foot-4, Colorado native Jacki Jing is a little taller than your average morning news anchor. And she put her height to use in college; Jing received a full-ride volleyball scholarship to the State University of New York in Binghamton, graduating magna cum laude with degrees in political science and English.

After college, she began her carreer as a reporter in Binghamton, moving on to become a morning news anchor in Springfield, Mass., and Denver. Jing is happy to now live in Cincinnati and work as a morning anchor for FOX19. “I have a wonderful job. I get to work with great people,” she says. “I am blessed with a fantastic morning team. My bosses are both smart and sharp; they’ve created a great news station and I am honored to be a part of it.” Jing gives frequent updates about work and Cincinnati news via Twitter (@JackiJing) and Facebook (facebook.com/JackiJing).

As a reporter, Jing has covered some stories that will always stick with her, including the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting in 2012; the American Civic Association shooting in Binghamton, N.Y. in 2009; and a deadly tornado in western Massachusetts in 2011.

“I have covered some really tragic, heart-wrenching stories,” she says. “But those days really test you as a journalist. You realize how important it is to inform the public about a rapidly changing, serious situation. You know you have to step up and deliver — provide them with the coverage and details they’re looking for.” (All of her interviews, including her celebrity interviews with the likes of Tom Hanks and Bradley Cooper, are available at youtube.com/JackiJing.)

Jing also really enjoys watching anime in her spare time and used to go to Comicons. “I have cosplayed as Chun-Li, Lara Croft, Cat Woman and Lady Deathstrike,” she says. “I like old school video games. Now that I’ve gotten older, though, I guess I’ve become more focused on adult matters — bills, car payments and saving.”

What are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about my job. I am passionate about my career. I am passionate about making my morning news show the best it can be by working hard on myself and working hard with my peers. I am passionate about volleyball; sports — love watching football, hockey, soccer; reading — the news, non-fiction, fiction; staying informed; and writing.

It’s Friday night after a long week. Where would you love to be?

In bed, curled up with my cat Lao Tao, sipping on some ginger tea, reading a good book, relaxing. And then after a little rest, I love to dance. I would probably call up some of my friends around here and see if any of them wanted to tear up the dance floor somewhere! I love watching sports, too. If there’s a game — basketball, football, soccer, hockey — I enjoy kicking back a local craft beer and cheering … loudly.

Do you believe in love — love at first sight, lasting love?

I believe in love. I do believe in love at first sight. You just click with someone instantaneously — there’s some unusual connection, chemistry. Does it typically last? That’s another question. I do believe in lasting love. I have eternal love for my family and friends. I have seen people in loving, long-term relationships. It definitely exists and it’s beautiful.

What is the best lesson life has taught you about love?

That your family and true friends will love you no matter what. Whenever you face darkness, they will be your light. They will shower you with love, hope, encouragement. I am so very blessed for the loved ones in my life.

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Robert Inhuman – Photo: Jesse Fox for CityBeat

Name: Robert Inhuman
Age: “301, going on 302”
Title: Events Organizer for SoapBox Books & Zines; singer for No Slave to Tomorrow
Hometown: Cincinnati
Why we love him: For organizing SoapBox Books & Zines’ events, helping to revive Cincinnati’s DIY calendar and bringing Deathrock to Cincinnati.

Robert Inhuman is one of the main volunteers at SoapBox Books & Zines (soapboxbooks.org) in Northside, a nonhierarchical, volunteer-run, not-for-profit infoshop that distributes alternative media to promote independent and critical thinking. He has been devoting much of his time to the organization since the beginning of May, organizing key events such as the internationally celebrated June 11 “Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners,” which focuses on prisoners who are doing long-term sentences for earth liberation convictions. Last year’s event featured workshops and music to get people together to rally around the dehumanizing nature of the American prison system.

“I’m very sympathetic to [SoapBox’s] cause,” he says. “I want there to be an established outlet and nucleus for the cataloging and gathering of radically sociopolitical ideas in Cincinnati. It’s more about helping each other and living a life that’s full of sincere joy based on resistance.”

The next event he will help with is SoapBox’s Zine Day on Feb. 15. “We’re going to have some workshops on zines, including the history of zines and ‘how-to’ information,” he says.

In addition to SoapBox, Inhuman helped relaunch the Cincinnati DIY Calendar, a monthly artist-designed calendar that lists events around town related to community organizing, arts, politics and music, and also provides a directory of farmers’ markets in Cincinnati. The 2014 calendar will highlight a wide array of DIY events, listing new community resources such as SoapBox.

As an eclectic jack-of-all trades, Inhuman’s involvement in his community does not end there. “The other stuff I do is Deathrock parties, held preferably at non-bar locations,” Inhuman says. “Deathrock consists of punks playing Goth music. It appeals to peoples’ fascination with depression and the macabre. It’s dark but has a little bit of a fun quality to it.” Inhuman’s own Deathrock band, No Slave to Tomorrow, will play Chameleon in Northside on Valentine’s Day.

How do you define passion? How is passion different than love?

Passion would be the will for something that surpasses reason or doubt. Well, in my experience, love in the true sense takes a lot of hard work and energy. Passion can be beneficial in perpetuating and being a motivator to put that effort forth. Where passion is a mode of impulse, love is actually hard work.

What do you love about Cincinnati? Describe a certain place in town that you really love.

I like that in a Midwest town, culturally and sub-culturally, nothing is automatically handed to you. Whenever things are at a cultural high, you know that it’s a real sense of accomplishment. You know you and your friends did it yourself without any substantial help. It’s not like a town that has a history of exceptional culture. There is a DIY scene. My favorite place in town is Spring Grove Cemetery in the middle of the night in summer, in warm weather.

What is the best lesson life has taught you about love?

If you really care about someone or something, you cannot restrain it, otherwise it’s not sincere. If you do, it means you don’t fully care about that person or thing. True love should be autonomous.

What phrase or motto do you live your life by?

If fear is the norm, love is radical. That was a slogan we used in Realicide for a long time.

Originally written for Cincinnati CityBeat: CLICK HERE FOR THE STORIES.

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