Aimee Carrero Off-Handedly Creates Inventive Documentary Short

Not everything in Hollywood is all glitz and glam, but that’s not to say that these more ordinary and barely attention-worthy moments don’t have the potential to be equally as entertaining.

Take actress Aimee Carrero, who this Wednesday posted a short documentary ‘a face 4 radio’ to her social media accounts, chronicling her time spent recording voiceovers for her eponymous character from the animated Disney TV series Elena of Avalor. The minute-long short, filled with scraps of outtakes of a quietly focussed and self-coaching Carrero in a warmly lit recording booth, is the perfect example of creating exceptional art out of… nothing, apparently.

(more…)

IN RETROSPECT: Vanessa Carlton – “White Houses”

Vanessa Carlton is probably best known for her 2002 debut hit single “A Thousand Miles”, or its memorable feature in the 2004 film White Chicks. That iconic piano motif and those whimsical lyrics of longing won over a lot of hearts, as well as earning the American three Grammy Award nominations, with both the song and her debut album Be Not Nobody charting in several countries.

Carlton has since gone on to release more albums, albeit with less commercial success and not without some label issues, including her most recent Liberman in 2015. But shortly after her big break came her sophomore album, Harmonium (2004), named after the organ-type musical instrument. “White Houses” was the lead single and opening track, co-written and produced by Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind), and it’s a coming-of-age story of naïvety, friendships, comparison and the sensitive topic of losing one’s virginity.

(more…)

Músicos maravillosos que conocí en micrófonos abiertos

No recuerdo la última vez que fui a un micrófono abierto, pero después de darme cuenta recientemente del hecho que la mayoría de los músicos que conozco, los he conocido por consecuencia de uno, creo que voy a hacer un esfuerzo por ir a más micrófonos abiertos en el futuro. Nunca sabes lo que vas a encontrar, pero es algo muy bonito cuando conectas con otros músicos, y no sólamente por colaborar. Como alguien cuya música es literalmente su vida y su carrera, es un gran alivio conocer a gente como yo, que sencillamente lo entiende todo. El proceso creativo, la lucha contra el perfeccionismo, trabajar independientemente -todo- y así todos podemos animarnos e inspirarnos el uno al otro. Sobretodo, los artistas incluidos en este post son buenas personas, lo cual, para mí, es más importante.

Dónde sea posible, voy a intentar evitar definar los géneros; tendrás que comprobar para ti mismo. De una u otra manera he sido afortunda de poder trabajar con estos músicos y creo que tú también deberías conocerlos.

Saskia Maxwell

Desde hace tiempo, Saskia Maxwell se ha presentado a un nivel muy superior al que se esperaría para su corta edad. Ya ha sumado cientos de concertos y ha sido telonera para artistas como JP Cooper, Ralph McTell, Rae Morris y Rachel Sermanni. Es una guitarrista muy hábil, con letras ingeniosas y cautivadoras, y con una voz de ángel conmovedoramente etérea.

(more…)

Marvellous Musicians that I Met at Open Mics

I can’t tell when last I went to an open mic night, but having recently realised that most of the musicians that I’ve befriended are as a result of one, I think I’ll be making an effort to go to more of them in the future. You never know what you’re going to find, but it’s a beautiful thing when you make these connections, and not just for the sake of collaboration. As someone whose music is literally her life and career, it’s such a relief to know people like you who just get it. The creative process, the tussle with perfectionism, the independent hustle – all of it – and in that way, we are all able to encourage and inspire each other. Above all, the artists featured in this post are really nice people, which matters a smidgen more to me.

Where I can, I’m going to avoid attempting to define them by genre; you’ll just have to taste and see for yourself. In one way or another I have had the great pleasure of working with these music-makers, and so I think that you should know a little more about them too.

Saskia Maxwell

For some time, Saskia Maxwell has been a far more experienced performer than her young age would suggest. Having already racked up a gig count in the hundreds and opened for artists such as JP Cooper, Ralph McTell, Rae Morris and Rachel Sermanni, she is a very skilled guitarist, with clever, bewitching lyrics and the hauntingly ethereal voice of an angel.

(more…)

JoJo Takes Us Back To The Future With Vintage Re-Recordings

Christmas came early for pretty much every adolescent of the mid 2000s, when pop/R&B singer-songwriter Joanna “JoJo” Levesque celebrated her birthday on Friday 20th December by re-releasing her first two albums JoJo and The High Road – and to a vocal army of touched, nostalgic, and appreciative fans.

“Why?” is the obvious question. Well, the story behind it is quite remarkable and inspiring.

Most of us remember the young Bostonian singer’s big, attitude-filled arrival in 2004 with the hit “Leave (Get Out)”, which was followed up in 2006 by “Too Little Too Late” (both recorded when JoJo was just 12 and 14, respectively). But many don’t know that soon after those early successes, Levesque, now 28, began to experience many difficulties with her former label Blackground Records, which delayed the release of a third album, and kept her for over seven years in a recording contract with seemingly no way out.

(more…)

DESTACADA: Kathryn Stevens – Artista

Aparte de ser agradable o intrigante para experimentar, el arte, cuando se hace con intenciones puras y sinceras, puede ser un gran curador. A veces el alma busca algo alegre e inspirador, y otras veces te vendría bien reirte. En este caso, he encontrado algo calmante, profundo y envolvente.

Kathryn Stevens es una artista y pintadora con sede en Bristol, aunque nació y creció en Cornualles. Estudió en el Bath School of Art and Design y su especialidad es la pintura abstracta, trabajando principalmente con óleo en lienzo.

(more…)

FEATURED: Kathryn Stevens – Artist

Apart from being pleasant or intriguing to experience, art, when made with pure and sincere intentions, can be a powerful healer. Sometimes your soul is looking for something cheerful and inspiring, other times for a good laugh. In this case, I’ve found something calming, profound, and quietly encompassing.

Kathryn Stevens is a fine artist and painter, originally from Cornwall and currently based in Bristol. Having studied at Bath School of Art and Design, Stevens’ speciality is abstract painting, with her main medium being oil paint on canvas.

(more…)

REVIEW: Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’

The new Spike Lee joint is pretty bizarre and definitely amazing. John David Washington stars as Detective Ron Stallworth, the black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. True story, bro.

The film, which takes place in Colorado Springs in the 1970s, is so much of everything. There’s this comical but very serious contrast of telling the story from the perspective of the local KKK group, set against the very real struggle of black people and the Black Panthers fighting for them. Side by side.

(more…)

IN RETROSPECT: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – 20th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that an album can turn 20, when it sounds as fresh as the day it was born.

On this day, 25th August 1998, Ms. Lauryn Hill released her debut and thus far only solo studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia Records).

Following her years with hip-hop group Fugees (also featuring Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel), Hill, born and raised in New Jersey, used every ounce of her creative intelligence to curate something that would not only go on to win Grammys, or receive acclaim from critics and peers alike, but would serve as an educative tool for (but not limited to) her people – hip-hop in its truest sense, and at its most important.

(more…)

IN RETROSPECT: Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

The 2000s was an important time in popular music. There was so much quality and so much of it to choose from. Pop music could be anything, anything at all. And by anyone at all. Competition within the industry definitely existed, but overall, there was a lot more variety across the board, an abundance of artistic individuality, all combined with original, well-crafted compositions.

At that time, there was also ‘just a girl’ who exemplified the aforementioned characteristics. She also happened to be the lead singer of an already established ska/punk/rock band. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I was a huge fan while I was growing up. Yes, we’re talking about Gwen Stefani.

(more…)

DESTACADO: Kostis Grivakis – Artista

No sé si hacer el reciclaje se vuelve aburrido, o si alguna vez nos cansamos de nuestros pinturas y retratos favoritos de artistas renombrados, pero por si acaso, os presento a alguien que sabe matar dos pájaros de un tiro. (Metafóricamente hablando, claro, porque cuando se lo piensa, apedrear pájaros es bastante malo.)

Konstantinos “Kostis” Grivakis es un artista y profesor de arte griego que tiene madera para convertir cosas viejas de la casa de uso diario en… arte. ¡Y mucho! No es sólo un genio para el reciclaje, sino también para hacer collages de gente famosa con el traje regional y en escenarios de Omán, lo cual resulta o en algo bastante gracioso o en algo excepcionalmente impresionante (ver: el collage de Elizabeth Taylor). Grivakis también hace collages de obras de arte mundialmente conocido mezclado con lugares de interés en Omán.

(more…)

FEATURED: Kostis Grivakis – Artist

I don’t know if recycling ever gets boring, or if we ever fall out of love with our favourite paintings and portraits by renowned artists, but just in case, here’s someone who can kill two birds with one stone. (Metaphorically speaking of course, because when you think about it, stoning birds is quite mean.)

Konstantinos “Kostis” Grivakis is a Greek artist and art teacher who has a knack for turning everyday used household items into… art. And lots of it! Not only is he a recycling genius, but he also makes collages of famous figures in traditional Omani dress and settings, which results in something either quite amusing or exceptionally stunning (see: collage of Elizabeth Taylor). Grivakis also creates collages of world-famous works of art mixed with popular landmarks in Oman.

(more…)

Chris Brown lanza nuevo vídeo para “Hope You Do”

Cuando un artista lanza un álbum que cuenta con más de 40 pistas, puede que creyeras que puede estar satisfecho con su trabajo. Puede sacarse los zapatos que está todo acabado. No es así con Chris Brown.

Hace un par de días el cantante veterano de tan sólo 29 años de Virginia estrenó un séptimo (has leído bien, ¡séptimo!) videoclip de su último álbum Heartbreak on a Full Moon (2017). En la canción “Hope You Do” (“Espero que lo hagas”), producida por ISM y A1 (y que contiene letras explícitas), Brown habla de querer cambiar sus hábitos caprichosos y mujeriegos por una chica que realmente le gusta, ansiando su atención, mientras canta emotivamente sobre el instrumental de R&B suave y sensual.

(more…)

Chris Brown drops new music video for “Hope You Do”

When an artist releases an album with over 40 tracks, you might think that they would be satisfied with their work. They can put their feet up and stop there. Not Chris Brown.

Yesterday the veteran and 29-years-young singer from Virginia released his seventh (yes, seventh!) music video from his latest album Heartbreak on a Full Moon (2017). In the song “Hope You Do”, which was produced by ISM and A1 (and contains explicit lyrics), Brown talks of wanting to change his playful and wayward habits for a girl that he really likes, longing for her attention and engagement, while displaying a melodic and emotive vocal performance over the sultry, silky R&B/trap instrumental.

(more…)

REVIEW: Palomar Theatre – ‘Darlings’

I took a short trip to Bath with my dad and my brother yesterday to see a new theatre production about a seemingly in control young woman with an uncomfortable and unconfronted past.

Darlings tells the story of main protagonist Eve (Katie Anderson) and her casual relationship with boyfriend and “new addiction”, Gabe (Toby Robertshaw). A semi-drunken chat after a night out begins to reveal – through delicate puppetry and reverberating soundbites – a lot of previously uncovered history. All this intrigues Gabe at first, but brings out Eve’s defensive side and sets them up for an unavoidable yet necessary revelation.

(more…)

Saga and Henrik are back one last time for ‘The Bridge IIII’

There are so many TV shows to choose from these days, and while I think that’s great, I also wouldn’t be the first to say that the ratio of stellar TV dramas to subpar white noise-fillers has been quite underwhelming in recent years. Thankfully, I’ve got just the thing to make you a believer again.

(more…)

DESTACADO: Melvzxlife – Fotógrafo

¿Sabes cuando te salta algo en el feed que NO es un meme, ni un video gracioso, ni alguien nuevo de que te puedas enamorar, y sueltas un “joer”? Pues, casi nunca, cierto. Bueno, eso es lo que a mí me pasó esta semana cuando vi esto:

(more…)

DESTACADO: Aiden Harmitt-Williams – Fotógrafo

Es generalmente aceptado que la fotografía se trata de capturar momentos específicos. Para los artistas, es bastante difícil lograr presentar reflexiones fotográficas de la realidad, por no hablar de superar ese concepto de una manera tan concienzuda, pero imperceptible.

Aiden Harmitt-Williams es un fotógrafo y escritor de Bristol, Reino Unido. Mucho de su material son retratos, pero también saca edificios y paisajes, ha trabajado en varios desfiles y shootings de moda, y sus fotos han aparecido en portadas de revistas y carátulas.

(more…)

I Wish I Didn’t Quit: Music Lessons – Nathan Holder

Many of us learned instruments as children, whether it was the recorder in class, or private piano or guitar lessons after school, and a lot of us are familiar with that excitement of learning a new extra-curricular skill… But then a lot of us are also all too familiar with a particular thought as we grow up: I wish I didn’t quit.

When it comes up in conversation we talk about it, but no one has any solutions other than a simple, “You should get back into it”. But how do we prevent this from happening in the first place?

I Wish I Didn’t Quit: Music Lessons is a new book which is intended to inspire children and parents to stay motivated as they continue on their musical journey. Rather than focus on the theory of music, the book is filled with priceless advice and anecdotes from world-class musicians and music industry professionals, something music books haven’t really covered before.

(more…)

Leaks, Covers & Mixtapes: Una breve guía de las canciones no oficiales de JoJo

Apenas terminada su gira con Armed Forces Entertainment en Japón y Okinawa, Joanna “JoJo” Levesque recientemente anunció que está lista para volver de gira de forma bastante distinta. Agárraos las pelucas…

Los que conocen bien el trayecto de la cantante de R&B/pop, sabrán que después de irrumpir en la escena con su canción más conocida “Leave (Get Out) -con tan solo 13 años- y posteriormente haber lanzado dos álbumes exitosos JoJo (2004) y The High Road (2006) con Blackground Records, Levesque se encontró con un “problema pasajero” digamos, a causa de su sello discográfico, lo cual le impidió que lanzase un tercer álbum de estudio. Durante esa época, después de haber trabajado implacablemente para montar varias versiones de un LP completo, con aspiraciones de empezar la nueva etapa en su carrera musical, se mantenía productiva y sacó unos mixtapes para sacarles de apuro a sus fans leales, cantó varios covers… y, desafortunadamente, se filtraba una gran cantidad del material en el que estaba trabajando.

(more…)