In Celebration of Black History Month 2018 ‘Style in My DNA’ by Lorna Holder chronicles 70 years of Caribbean influence on British Fashion.  

 

In Celebration of Black History Month 2018 ‘Style in My DNA’ by Lorna Holder chronicles 70 years of Caribbean influence on British Fashion. 

Join Lorna Holder in-conversation with Paulette Simpson, director of The Voice Newspaper and contributors from her new book plus book reading & signing.

This October Black History Month UK celebrates the achievements and contributions, of the BME communities. Anyone seeking to understand the Caribbean migrant experience can learn a lot from striking images from the past.

This eye-catching and impressive book documents seventy years of Caribbean influence on British fashion. The book includes exclusive and never before seen fashion photography and illustrations of Caribbean people in Britain from the late forties and continues right up to the present day.

The book also includes the memoirs of Lorna Holder, a child of the Windrush generation, born in Jamaica, brought up in Nottingham. Graduating with a BA Honours in Fashion and Textiles in 1975, she was the first black graduate of fashion to qualify at Nottingham Trent University. She went on to be a very successful fashion designer, producer, writer, curator and an active figure within London’s Caribbean Community.

 “Style in My DNA is my journey as a black woman, wife, mother, fashion designer and businesswoman, ‘making it happen’ as a migrant in 20th and 21st century Britain.”Lorna Holder

For further information call Tuareg Productions 

tel: 02076922711

FAULT Magazine discuss colorism, fatherhood and new music with Ghetts

 

Ghetts X FAULT Magazine

 

Words: Trina John Charles

Watching Ghetts – or Ghetto as he was known back then, transform from rowdy, ex prison inmate into Ghetts, the most pleasant and respectful man, wonderful father and lyrical genius whose name is now often bandied about in those ‘Greatest MC of All Time’ conversations, is such a joy to behold. Ghetts, the grown man is nothing like what you would expect from his intense stage presence. He is charming, poised, attentive and a very intelligent conversationalist. Here we discuss colourism in the U.K. and raising a dark skinned daughter, the time he had to write a war dub (diss record in grime terms) on Valentines Day and the new album, ‘Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament’.

 

FAULT Magazine: Just from the roll out your new album, “Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament’ looks like a very well thought out project with a lot of time and effort put into it?

Ghetts: Two years. I’ve been recording the music since January. I just wanted to give the campaign the same thought process as I did the music and not just throw it out there. I wanted to have videos that reflected the time we spent on the music and have artwork that represented that as well.

 

FAULT Magazine: The press release is calling this, ‘7 songs to tell his story’ is that an accurate description of what to expect?

Ghetts: It gets deep at times… but then at times it’s light hearted. Everything about me that people already know is packaged in there and then I’ve grown… I am a lot more comfortable in my own skin, so I’m able to dive in deeper and talk about situations that are going on around us now. In terms of ‘gang violence’ and whatnot… not even preaching about the situation, because I understand the various perspectives that contribute to that and why its much more deep rooted than just, ‘I’m going to kill you’. I try to share all the perspectives of the people involved… the different layers.

 

FAULT Magazine: Which brings me to the single, ‘Black Rose’ which is a song about colourism. It’s very interesting and refreshing to see a grime artist talk about colourism in this way, especially in the actual music?

Ghetts: First and foremost, I needed my daughter to understand certain things and even if she doesn’t quite understand yet, I’m just trying to empower her. I guess I can do that at home – and I do that at home – but she understands that I have a platform. It started with ‘Daddy, why do people stop you all the time and take pictures’ and now, when she’s trying to be funny she’ll be like, ‘Ghetts!’ [laughs] So when I realised that was happening and she knew people were listening to me, I thought, ‘nah… I’m at a stage where I definitely have to think about what I’m doing.’ I want her to be proud throughout her life.

As a song, I battled with myself. I fought with myself as to whether I was going to release ‘Black Rose’ first or not. I’ve touched on that topic before, but I’ve never done a full song, a video… I’m thinking, ‘I know my demographic… and if this misses, it really misses’ and it will really fall on deaf ears. I could do it the other way around and get everyone’s attention by doing what I normally do and then drop Black Rose whilst I’ve got their attention, but then I thought, If I do what I normally do, I wont even be able to get back to that place.

 

FAULT Magazine: The feedback has been very positive from women, but I’m curious as to how men have digested a track like this?

Ghetts: Different rappers have seen me and been like, ‘yeah man, that was needed’. Growing up I had a bit of that… [colourist views] It all changed at some point. I don’t know when or how old I was – I’ve been in the lime light for so long – but I know dark skin men were not always thought of like that. Growing up I would never get the most girls and stuff…

 

FAULT Magazine: Do you think that was solely down to your complexion?

Ghetts: What are you trying to say that I was just dead? [laughs]

 

FAULT Magazine: No, but back in the day you were a bit wild. So maybe that put the girls off?

Ghetts: No, I used to get girls because of that. Dark skinned women definitely experience colourism differently from dark skinned men. That song was based on me arguing with my friends about this topic. I have mad arguments on this topic. People know they can’t say certain things around me.

I know that colourism starts from my daughter’s age and even before. The lack of back dolls [mentioned at the beginning of the song] are just one aspect, but we are also influenced by what we see on TV etc… We are now in a day and age where guys like me may look for what they deem as an ‘exotic’ girlfriend to have this super-race child. So if you have that way of thinking, you are going to project that kind of thinking on to my child and she has to go to school with these children – my kid – so if my kid isn’t that strong and doesn’t know where she is from, it is going to affect her.

I’m from Jamaica and when I go back home, I can see that kind of thing in my family already. So watching her [my daughter] I can already see that its a real problem for her.

 

FAULT Magazine: In terms of the journey we witness on the album, which track was the hardest to write?

Ghetts: That would be ‘Jess Song’. My friend had Osteosarcoma, bone cancer. She’s really outspoken, and one day she rang me like, ‘Yo, you p*ssyhole’ and I was just like… [laughs], because  that was so typical of her. Then she said, ‘ you know I’m dying right? no-one survives this’ and I was like, ‘come on Jess, don’t say that. If anyone is going to survive this, it’s you’ and then she was like, ‘anyway, fuck all of that… you see when I die yeah, you’re going to write a song about me, but I’m not really on that I want to hear my song now’. I was like, ‘Jess you’re mad. How can I write a song about my friend dying?’ but she was adamant, so I said I would sleep on it. I slept on it and I came up with a concept. I rang her and I took her to the studio with me and I told her I was going to write from her perspective. She told me her story from the time she found out she had cancer and I just narrated it… Unfortunately, she died last year in January.

There are a lot of deep songs on the album. Songs to make you reflect.

 

 

FAULT Magazine: What about he other side of the spectrum, do you write from that place on the album?

Ghetts: I’m still trying to work out how to write from that perspective. I don’t know how to floss on my community… I’m still trying to work that out, but there is a song called, ‘Houdini’ that is a bit like that where I’m bragging a bit.

FAULT Magazine: Why do you find it hard to do the braggadocious stuff?

Ghetts: It’s not like I have a problem with it I just don’t want it to come from me. I like listening to it, but… I don’t know, my upbringing is really different. I don’t have a big chain yet. I haven’t bought one. Not because I don’t like watches or I don’t like chains, it’s because people that I love are still not in a position where they can come out of where we’re from so it makes me feel guilty. Also, my money only started coming in (in large sums) when I got older, when I could think from a place of maturity, not when I was young.

I’ve got a thing for bikes, motocross bikes. When I’m around I let the kids sit on my bike, because I remember being young and not being able to afford anything like that. It makes me think, ‘I want to build a place for these kids to go and ride motocross bikes.’ You don’t see any young black boys in motocross. It’s a very expensive sport. I just have this thing where I keep thinking, ‘I need to do more with my platform’, I’ve been blessed with this kind of position for a reason.

FAULT Magazine: How long have you felt like this about the platform that you have?

Ghetts: Ages… for a while, still. Just seeing different things and knowing that from my opportunities, should come many other opportunities.

FAULT Magazine: You put a lot of pressure on yourself. How do you feel when you see others with the same platform not really giving things as much thought, or doing unproductive things with the same opportunities you speak about?

Ghetts: It’s one of my business. All these things used to bother me before… other people’s music used to bother me, loads of things… and one day I just let all that go. Everyone is different and no two paths are the same. Not everyone thinks like me and they don’t have to.

FAULT Magazine: There is so much peace in minding your own business…

Ghetts: Trust me! Like now, I don’t care what the next rapper is doing, I don’t care about anybody else.

FAULT Magazine:  You said when you first started to delve into music, you were rubbish. How do you evolve from being rubbish into Ghetts and being in these ‘The Greatest MC of All Time’ conversations?

Ghetts: I don’t really know… I wasn’t shit, I was just shit in comparison. There were a lot of things I had to work on. Being in prison really helped me. When I was in jail I used to read a lot. I think that’s why my style is so descriptive.

FAULT Magazine: What kind of stuff were you reading in prison?

Ghetts: Loads of different things… the Bible mostly. Do you remember that show ‘Babyfather’? I read that book in prison and obviously Lenny and George…

FAULT Magazine: Lenny and George… Do you mean ‘Of Mice and Men’?

Ghetts: That’s Lenny and George, man! George and Lenny and them man there.

I read more in prison than I did in school. I never liked school. School is dead and I even think that now and nothing can change my mind. I feel like different people excel at different things and if you keep teaching them in the same format, you’re going to get children like myself that hate school. In school, they just teach you how to be a good employee. if you follow the structure they implement is school, you’re just training to be an employee in the real world. Why are you not teaching kids about taxes, or even how to grow food? Where are the real life skills? But I’m not dissing anybody that has done well in school, because I understand that takes a certain level of brilliance also, but I left school in year 8 and I was gone.

I was mischievous, I wasn’t bad, but then I got stabbed when I was in year 7. That was a major lesson for me. That’s when I learned that life really isn’t fair. I won that fight fair and then I turned around and someone stabbed me. I would never take that lesson back, because it was a prelude to what the word really is.

FAULT Magazine: That is such a contrast, because you are also from quite a strict church background aren’t you?

Ghetts: Yeah, that’s my thing. That’s why there is ‘Ghetto Gospel’ etc.. I still go to church now. Both sides of my family are deeply involved in church.

FAULT Magazine: Bible Study and everything?

Ghetts: Bible study all now! If I go to my nan’s before 9pm… I’m in the study, whether I want to be or not. Seven Day Adventists. That’s what I was saying earlier, my upbringing is different, my thing is just different.

I walked so many paths, man. I grew up a Seventh Day Adventist, I’ve spent time in jail, I’ve been to different schools, music… there are so many things I have experienced that most people wont have.  

FAULT Magazine: What is the most common thing people say to you when they stop you in the street?

Ghetts: ‘Legend’ …or ‘You’re mad cool, you know’ people expect me to be my onstage presence, or persona, but obviously that isn’t me 24/7. That is me tapping into the emotion that comes with the music, because I mostly do grime music people see the highest level of energy, so they expect me to be gassed all the time. Some people even offer me cocaine. Now can I just say, on my mum’s life, I have never taken coke… in my life, on my mum’s life. At the same time, I can understand why some people think that, because normally people only usually hit my level of energy when they are on drugs, I just hit that level naturally.

FAULT Magazine: What is the most annoying thing people say to you?

Ghetts: When people talk about other MCs, or clashes, or the Bashy clash from years ago… I find that super annoying. Super, super, super annoying, but then I think, I did bring that on myself [laughs]. That is the worse one though, when people start with that I just turn off in my head. You have to look at the timeline, do you think you are the first person to ever say what you are saying to me now about this situation? Just allow me, man.

FAULT Magazine: I heard Nas say something similar about people always bringing up his beef with Jay Z, that beef must be 20yrs old…

Ghetts: I’ve realised clashing is a heightened energy. Anything you do whilst clashing just spreads like wildfire. Most people are surface listeners, so when they see you that is the only thing they can bring up, because they’ve only been listening via the surface. They haven’t got any albums, all they know is clash. That annoys me. My mind is so far from even wanting to play a part in that.

FAULT Magazine: Are you saying you would never clash again?

Ghetts: I’m not saying that. I’m saying, where I am now and how I think, there are so many things I want to do and (lyrically) killing an MC is not at the top of my list. I feel like it overshadows everything else.

FAULT Magazine: It is a lot of time to dedicate to one person…

Ghetts: Thats how I feel and Im’s slo glad you said that. Do you know where I was one Valentine’s Day? writing a war dub… because I had to. Do you know how I felt at that time? At that moment, I was upset. I just wanted to see my girl like everybody else.

FAULT Magazine: Were you writing that and in that space due to pressure?

Ghetts: You have to understand, you see with the war thing, sometimes your career is on the line.

FAULT Magazine: Is it really though?

Ghetts: It is, because unfortunately war is war. If you get someone of the same calibre, people want to see that battle and if you don’t take part, you may as well halve your listeners. That’s the God’s honest truth. People like to see clashes. It’s like boxing, it’s entertainment and remember these same people – the listeners – they employ you. If you are depriving them of something they want to see… it’s mad and it’s just long. It overshadows everything you’re trying to do. Then all of a sudden another man’s name is in your story. This is my story and I take the chapters seriously.

 

Lily Allen cover shoot with FAULT Magazine: FAULTs and all

Lily Allen X FAULT Magazine

FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Lily Allen cover
Photography: David Yeo
Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland
Hair: Jake Gallagher
Make-up: Georgina Ahmed
Nail Technician: Diana Drummond
Set Designer: Andrew Macgregor
Fashion Assistants: Ana Cirnu And Lupe Baeyens

 

Words: Miles Holder & Elly Watson 

 

FAULT: So obviously No Shame is amazing, congratulations! How’s the reaction been so far?
Lily Allen: The only reaction I’ve really seen is live from fans, and that’s been really amazing. I guess the other thing is reviews which have been on the whole really good. Couple of bad ones, but it is what it is…

 

It’s been four years since Sheezus and you’ve previously said you made “a record for a record company”, how did you approach No Shame differently?
Lily Allen: Well I don’t know if I’d made it for the record company, but I made it for the market. When I first started making music I didn’t think I was going to be a pop star. To be honest, I thought I’d be like Jamie T support act. Then when ‘Smile’ came out and whatever happened… It was beyond all my expectations. I don’t even know if it was really what I wanted, but it happened like that. Because it was successful it’s like you’re trying to repeat that cycle and I think that became wrong in whatever way, and that’s what culminated in Sheezus. I had to reevaluate what it was that I was doing, what it was that I liked and what it was that my fans liked about the first albums when it was going right, and not really thinking about the commercial aspect of things. Because those things aren’t really in an artists control now anyway, it’s all to do with algorithms and streaming figures.

 

Releasing a song at the right time and all of that?
Lily Allen: Not even that! I think it’s all to do with marketing. If you’re not a priority then it’s not going to happen like that and I knew that it was no longer a priority so I was like “Well, what are you doing this for then?” If it’s not to be a pop star it’s got to be for the other reasons, so it was going back to the other reasons.

 

FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Lily Allen cover
And how was it going back to those previous reasons?
Lily Allen: A relief, I think. Just having the freedom to do whatever it was I wanted and reconnecting. I think it was interesting as well that the first and second albums were very truthful and honest, but from a different perspective. I was a lot younger and I didn’t have any responsibilities – it was all about drugs and sex and the good sides of that. No Shame is the other side.

 

What made you want to explore those other sides in No Shame?
Lily Allen: Just because I was in it! That’s where I was. I’ve always written about my lived experiences and what it is I’m going through. In the first album it was all about going out and London and boys because that’s what I was! I was 19 and that’s what I was seeing. On this album I was really lonely and very isolated from my friends and my peer group, even from members of my family. I suppose maybe because I was writing a book alongside the album I became quite introspective and started thinking about myself and what’s happened more. I spent a lot of time on Twitter and seeing what other people think about the world, but it was the first time I sort of explored myself outside of therapy.

 

What made you want to write a book?
Lily Allen: Money!

 

Fair.
Lily Allen: Money and running out of it! Not seeing many avenues to make it anymore. And also, aside from that slightly facetious answer, I actually don’t have a very good memory, I get really bored of repeating myself and I think that this period, the last four years at least, have been not only really important formative years for myself but for my children as well. And they’re going to ask questions about what happened with Mummy and Daddy and I’m not going to want to go over it. Also it’ll not be accurate in 10 years time when I’m retelling the story. Lots of parents have that difficulty but most parents’ children don’t have the Daily Mail online as their point of reference to find out the truth about what happened and I just don’t want them to think that that’s what it is. So it’s my way of explaining that… and getting paid, yay!

 

And what’s the book called?
Lily Allen: My Thoughts Exactly.

 

FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Lily Allen cover

 

How about No Shame? Where did that name come from?
Lily Allen: It was called The Fourth Wall for ages because it did feel like that moment in House of Cards where Kevin Spaces turns to the camera and starts talking to the audience and saying that everything else that came before was a bit of an act really – which is true to a certain extent, but it’s slightly exaggerated. But my manager said “imagine if you’re on Graham Norton and you’re having to explain this, that makes you sound really pretentious.” Then one day I came up with No Shame and he was like “you can explain this better.” And I guess it’s just being a woman in music and being tabloid fodder for such a long period of my twenties, everything kind of came with a side dish of guilt and shame and humiliation, but it was all kind of written for me. No-one ever said “are you really embarrassed by this?” or “aren’t you really upset by this?”, it was just “she’s upset, she’s embarrassed, she’s a failure.” So I think it was me addressing all of those things that I do on the record but putting up a bit of an armour really, just saying I’m not ashamed. That’s how we move forward from these things that lots of people go through, but maybe not a lot of us talk about because we feel ashamed.

 

Obviously a lot of us don’t have our lived plastered on the front of the Daily Mail for everyone to read but especially being a young woman, is that motto of not being ashamed something you want people to take from this?
Lily Allen: I think most of of my albums have had a double entendre thing to it – except Sheezus. It’s me saying that I’ve got no shame but Daily Mail readers will listen to it and go “oh she’s got no shame that one.”  You can make it what you want to really. But then also, so often when I’ve been experiencing really great things, like album sales and playing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury or whatever, it’s like I almost don’t let myself have it. I’d be like “didn’t the band play a really great show?” or “didn’t Greg Kurstin produce a really great album?” It’s difficult I think as a woman, especially when people are being so rude about you the whole fucking time and trying to tell you that everything’s happened because of other people, we find it difficult not to feel guilty about our accomplishments in a weird way. It’s that imposter syndrome thing.

 

Like claiming the narrative for yourself and not being ashamed of it. Is that what you want people to feel when they listen to the album?
Lily Allen: I’ve come to terms with the idea now that you put something out and people will make of it what they want. That’s almost another reason why the album’s got that title, it’s like you can either hate it and think that I’ve got “no shame” or you can listen to it and be like “oh that’s good, she’s rid herself of all of that guilt and shame.”

 

And you’ve just mentioned Twitter, do you think it’s important to call out people when they’re being twats on it? Because a lot of people in the public eye get people who are mean about them online but don’t address it.
Lily Allen: I probably address 0.00001 per cent of what it is that I get. And I’ve spent a lot of time online and I think most of my peers do as well. The analogy that I tend to use now is that Twitter is the modern pub. You know? And if people would talk to me like that in real life – if someone was really drunk and lecherous and annoying, I’d probably walk away and ignore him, but if I felt what they said really crossed a line I would call them out. So that’s kind of my filter for it, I guess.

 

You also use your social media to bring up issues that are happening. Do you think it’s important for artists to do that?
Lily Allen: It depends what their goal is. If it’s to make money and get lots of brand endorsements then probably not. If what you’re striving for is something different, which I do, then yeah. I feel like you’ve got to be able to back it up, you know? And I think that’s why the tabloids and everyone hates me so much is because they can’t get me. I am a leftist, I am a socialist, I pay all my fucking tax, you know? I don’t have a company registered in the Cayman Islands and they know that. That’s why they’re so angry because they can’t… if I am being hypocritical I’ll put my hands up and say “yeah that is”, but I believe in what I say. I walk the walk and I talk the talk and that’s why they hate it so much.

 

Completely. I think you’re using the influence and followers that you have to promote important things that people need to be talking about instead of being like “oh if I bring up this issue Missguided might not give me that 10% off sample sale.” So what would you say has been the worst piece of advice you’ve gotten in the industry?
Lily Allen: Sign this record deal for £25,000 from my lawyer at the time… In all seriousness I think there’s a real issue with the legal firms that are giving advice to really young people. I signed that deal when I was 19 years old and I’m still in it. It was a five-album deal for £25,000. And I paid for the advice to sign that deal and it was not good advice.

 

FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Lily Allen cover

 

Is there any way you can get out of it?
Lily Allen: I’m working on it but I’ve only got one more album to go. But I am very concerned for other young artists for sure.

 

Yeah, it’s terrifying. Finally, what else have you got planned. There’s a big tour at the end of the year?
Lily Allen: I don’t really make plans anymore. It’s all so unpredictable. I just kind of see where the wind takes me. I’m doing this book, which is coming out in September. There’s talk about maybe people buying the rights to it and whether to make it into either a film or TV, and then I’ll take the producer credit on that and do it through my production company so I don’t know, I might really enjoy that process and decide I don’t want to make music anymore and do something else. Or I might decide to do another album.

 

Was there ever a time in those four years between Sheezus and No Shame where you were like I’d rather just…
Lily Allen: Never that I’d rather just do something else. I did do something else when I did my clothes shop with my sister and also having babies. Also having kids is choosing to go on a different tangent. So I do have those moments but I’m completely unqualified, I left school when I was fifteen, this is the only thing I know how to do and I do really enjoy it.

 

And finally, what’s your FAULT?
Lily Allen: Brexit, apparently! I dunno, everything? It’s all my fault, blame me for it. Like what’s my inner fault? What’s wrong with me? Again, the answer is just everything. I think just write everything.

 

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Calum Scott bares all for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Calum Scott X FAULT Magazine

 

PHOTOGRAPHY WILLIAM BAKER

STYLIST OZZY SHAH

WORDS AMIE PHILLIPS

 

Yorkshire lad Calum Scott shot to fame in 2016 after his goosebump-inducing cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” on Britain’s Got Talent. As well as breathing new life into the record, the rendition propelled Scott into the spotlight, landing him a record deal and changing his life in more ways than than he could ever have known.

 

Your cover of Robyn’s ‘Dancing on my own’ was the most downloaded song of the summer in 2016 after BGT and you became a household name pretty quickly. How did it feel to lose your anonymity so suddenly? 

Calum Scott : It felt incredibly surreal. I went from having a very normal life with a very normal day job and in one moment, the whole trajectory of my life completely changed. Britain’s Got Talent gave me a springboard and a platform where the audition and ultimately my single would be seen and discovered by people all over the world – had I known that going in it would have completely freaked me out. I am lucky in that I still have some anonymity, I still remain a very normal person and do what everyone else does, go to the same places.. staying grounded is very important to me.

 

Although it’s a cover, you sing it with such piercing emotion that you must have related to it quite strongly. Tell me what the song meant to you then and what it means to you now?

Calum ScottI remember hearing the original back in 2010 and was a huge fan because there is no denying, it is a smash! At that time, because of the cool pop production on it, I didn’t hear the lyrics as heartbreaking as they actually are. When I covered the song it was just me and piano.. the words literally leapt out and hit me straight in the chest. I completely relate to them as a guy who is a sucker for falling in love with the straight guys so in my cover I purposefully didn’t change the pronouns – I wanted it to be from my own perspective because I related so much. Now, the song still means the same to me but has complete new purpose. This song undoubtedly changed my life and I feel whether its Robyn’s original or my interpretation of her song, it is changing other people’s lives which is the most humbling feeling ever.

You’ve said that ‘If Our Love Is Wrong’ is effectively your coming out song. What led you to open up about your sexuality on this track?

Calum ScottGrowing up I found it really difficult to identify who I was.. I struggled when I was younger working out if I was gay or if I was just going through a phase and after putting trust in my friends at the time and talking to them about it, I was completely abandoned. That made me suppress my sexuality for the best part of my life. I came out to those closest to me but after my career took off, I had to open my private life to the world and that’s where I had to make a decision on how I was going to handle it especially because at this point, I still hadn’t told my Dad. I literally went into a songwriting session, told them the situation, cried my eyes out and ‘If Our Love Is Wrong’ was born. After we had written that song, it opened the path to my most honest songwriting and made me feel the most empowered I’ve ever felt.

 

You signed with Capitol records back in 2016 but released your debut album ‘Only Human’ this spring. What happened in that time?

Calum ScottThe biggest adventures of my life! I had such unprecedented success with ‘Dancing On My Own’ that it completely changed my world! When Capitol brought me to LA to discuss signing with them, that visit was the first time I had been to the states! Since then I began writing my own songs, travelling all over the world to perform at shows, on TV and radio, supporting incredible artists in the UK such as Jamie Lawson and Emeli Sandé, and all the while trying to record my debut album! It’s been a whirlwind adventure but I have loved every moment of it.

 

You’ve said that, after hearing your music, people have told you it’s given them the courage to come out themselves, or helped them face difficult times. How are you finding the reception of the record so far? 

Calum Scott :The record is becoming exactly what I hoped for – it is becoming a ‘medicine’ for people. I am always incredibly touched when people get in touch to tell me their stories that are/were influenced by the music on my album. To write honest music and remain relatable and approachable was always my goal but releasing this record was more about helping others through my own personal stories and struggles. My fans have been very patient waiting for this album to be released and the reaction has been unreal, it continues to be discovered beyond my fan base in all corners of the world, I couldn’t have asked for a better reception of a debut album.

Tell me about the role your family – especially your sister – has played in supporting your musical career?

Calum Scott :Without my sister I don’t think I would be sat here answering these questions! I only actually discovered my voice because of her. One day she overheard me singing in my room and took it upon herself to put me into a competition and not tell me… NOT impressed initially but with the belief from my friends and family, I took to the stage for the very first time and a passion ignited in me that I had never felt before. Ever since then I have dreamt of what I do now and it is 100% down to them that I believed in myself enough to chase it.

Who would you say your musical idols are?

Calum Scott :When my sister and I were younger, my Mum would always play her favourite artists; Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Queen, Celine Dion.. all these powerful and emotional performers and they just resonated with me! I knew even before I started singing that if I was to open my mouth and perform, it would be that style that came out. I personally still love those artists but my more current influences are artists like Adele, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, artists who for me, write and sing real music. Adele is my number one though. I admire her songwriting, her voice is unreal and she has remained the same down-to-earth girl that started out which is 100% the same footsteps I wish to follow in.

 

What is your FAULT? 

Calum Scott :Making a lot of people cry probably! I don’t mean to but with my music, it just happens! I guess, because I write from very real, sometimes painful places, people can see I am being genuine and I think that goes a long way. That’s something I will continue to be over the course of my career. That might mean more tears though… sorry in advance!

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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Greg Laswell chats all things music with FAULT Magazine

 

Greg Laswell X FAULT Magazine

Words by Alex Cooke

Photographs by Andre Niesing

Greg Laswell, who couples his buttery smooth voice and beautiful sense of songwriting with introspective and poetic lyrics, is back with his newest album, “Next Time.” It has his biggest sound yet, and it’s a wonderful sonic journey led by his storytelling and musicianship. FAULT spoke to Laswell recently to find out just what motivates this talented musician and how he crafts his memorable songs.

Can you tell me a bit about how “Next Time” came together and how your sound has evolved?

I had a break, but just kind of kept going, and then, when I came back to start another record, I wanted to make it pretty big sonically and I wanted to sing out more. I went to California for about six weeks and then came back and listened to what I had. And my perspective had changed so much that I had to throw most of it out. Starting over gave me the fortitude to actually do what I really wanted to get done with it. So, shortly thereafter, I wrote a song called “Royal Empress.” That was the first one I finished after I threw a bunch of them out, and that kind of framed the rest of the record. I was like: “this is what I want sonically. I want something as large as this, and so I just kept doing that.”

How do you approach writing lyrics these days?

I was in a hurry, because I burned a couple of months with starting over, and so, I ended up writing and recording at the same time, and it was kind of awesome actually, because usually, I’m constantly writing; the memo app on my phone is just full of ideas, and sometimes, it’s just a line or a thought that I’ll have. This record, I threw away a bunch, and so when I went back, I was recording at the same exact time as I was writing, and it was kind of a new way for me to do things.

How do you approach the process of writing and recording when you’re the one manning all the instruments? I mean obviously, you can’t lay down all the tracks at one time like you would with a band.

I’ll just keep adding kind of thoughtlessly, and then, when it comes time to produce, I’ll kind of chip away at it and take things away in the end. Kind of like how a sculptor takes away — like a painter adds and a sculptor takes away until it’s done, so I kind of throw everything at it, and then I just start taking stuff away, little by little.

I noticed a ton of nuance in the drums on this record. Was that a conscious thought or is that just how they’ve evolved naturally for you?

I mean there’re a lot of sounds on this record that aren’t even drum sounds. For one, I just stood in my bathtub. I pulled my mic, I got a long cable, pulled it through the hallway, put it in the bathroom, and then stomped on the bathtub floor with my heels, and then, that was the kick drum. I had my headphone extension on, and so I was literally in my bathroom a lot! I bet my neighbors thought I was crazy.

That’s kind of a fun process for me to go through and figure out new ways to approach it. I always loved the drum tracks because I feel like the drums kind of help form the song.

“Super Moon,” I have to say, is probably my favorite on the record. Could you tell me more about it?

I always wanted to write a song about the phenomenon of when you take a picture of the moon and when you’re there, you’re looking at it, it’s beautiful and it’s large. So naturally, you take your phone out and you take a picture of it, and the picture always looks like shit, it doesn’t look anything remotely — it couldn’t be more unimpressive, you know what I mean?

And so, I wanted to draw the parallels between that and heartbreak; like it says, there’re parts of heartbreak and significant loss that you just can’t describe to someone who hasn’t gone through it or wasn’t there. You try to take a picture of it, so to speak, and show it to someone, but it’s gonna end up looking like a picture of a super moon. They’re not gonna get it, and I feel like often times, in real significant loss, people won’t truly understand what you’re going through until they’ve gone through it themselves. That’s basically the gist of the entire song.

What’s your favorite song on the record?

I think probably either that one or “Royal Empress” — one of those two.

When you are listening to music, who are you listening to these days?

I’m listening to a lot of stuff without lyrics or words. I love Chopin; I’m listening to a lot of him. My two stations on SiriusXM are classical music and jazz music. And then it’s always just the stuff that I grew up on: Peter Gabriel and early Tori Amos, Tom Petty and always The Beatles; The Beatles are always kind of interwoven into my listening palette.

I went to the music instrument museum in Arizona and they have an exhibit about Chopin, and I got some Chopin socks. They were those art socks, so whenever I wear shorts when I golf, I pull out my Chopin socks.

So besides music, what’s inspiring you these days?

Believe it or not, I’ve always been inspired more by movies. I’m more likely to write a song after I’ve seen a really good film than I am after hearing a really good song. So, I’ve always been inspired by movies, and golf, it’s a new thing for me. I’ve been at it for three years. I found it to be like in the way that a lot of people describe meditation or yoga or whatever. I found that there’s a lot in common for how I golf.

What’s your favorite part of touring?

This last tour, I told the audience that I would wait after the show to take pictures or to sign things or whatever. And I found that it kind of turned into my favorite part of the night, especially at this point in my career, because I got to talk to and meet a lot of people who have been through a lot with me. It’s like they’ve been through a lot in their lives and they’ve got to tell me about it and how my songs played an integral part in certain chapters of their life. And many times, the way they interpreted the songs weren’t anywhere near why I wrote them in the first place, but I love that too. I love it when people take one of my songs and just completely make it their own; that’s my ultimate goal.

Do you have any advice for musicians?

You gotta be able to really want it. It’s kind of a bumper sticker thought that I keep, it’s like my mantra over the years: if you have a plan B, then go ahead and do yourself a favor and get to it. Because if you have a plan B, then part of you is planning to fail; I’ve always believed that. You have to have good friends around you that are honest with you about whether you’re good enough or not. And then you just have to really want to do it.

If you could work with anyone, past or present, who would you want to work with?

I would love to do something with Lana Del Rey, a duet. I love her voice so much. It’s one of my favorites. She’s like the new Nancy Sinatra or something. I could listen to her sing the phone book.

What is your fault?

Gosh, what is my fault? That’s a good question, I mean I have several. I think my fault is that I have to overcome my pessimism, regularly; it’s something that I have to stay on top of, like my natural… what is it, my resting face? When I’m idle, I’m pessimistic. So, I have to constantly be aware of that and find ways to overcome it.

Anything you’d like to add?

There is a happy song on this record! Greg Laswell fans will be surprised at that, I think. (laughs)

Well, I personally loved it.

I think you’ll love “Next Time” as well. It’s available on iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, and YouTube. He’ll be on tour in January 2019; check out the dates here.

 

Gabriel Kane Day Lewis Photoshoot and Interview with FAULT Magazine Preview

 

 

 

 

Art Direction & Photography: Leonardo De Angelis & Eric Francis Silverberg 

Stylist: Marc Anthony George 

Groomer: Roberto Morelli

Stylist Assistant: Evan Grotevant

Location SplashLight Studios NYC

 

 

Words: Carolyn Okomo

 

While music appears to be the emerging pop crooner’s chosen love, the Day Lewis hasn’t cast off the idea of trading a microphone for a script, though he admits he still has much to learn about the artform.

 

“I have, and I do want to act. It just has to be right. The right director, the right cast, the right screenplay.  I want to be in something noteworthy” he says. “But before I just throw myself into acting I want to take classes and learn. I feel it’s important for all artists to go through a certain learning process, regardless of talent.”

 

Day Lewis recently spoke with FAULT about his influences, regret, bullies, and forging his own unique brand of celebrity.

 

How did you discover your passion for music?

 

I wouldn’t say that I discovered music. It was a gradual thing, and it’s definitely been ingrained in me for as far back as I can remember. I’ve just always loved everything about music, and as I got older I started showing a pretty natural interest in the hands on aspect of music, and picked up the piano and guitar.

 

The first song I wrote was for my babysitter Kelly. I was five,  I think. The song was called “Pretty”, and it was basically me singing the word “pretty” over and over again to the tune of “Twinkle twinkle little star”. Wrote my first “original” song when I was eleven or twelve. I’ve been writing songs since.

 

 

Who are some artist you’d like to work with?

 

It’s hard to pinpoint, the youth is crushing pop at the moment. So many new faces, and insane amounts of talent. Everyone’s doing their thing and it’s really cool. I’d like to work with James Bay, his vibe is really what I’m about at the moment. Ed Sheeran would obviously be a dream collaboration. He just writes the most incredible songs.

 

You’ve written off your hip hop-influenced video, ‘Green Aura,’ as a misrepresentation of you as an artist. Do you feel the same way about it? How do you think you’ve grown, and what do you feel you’ve learned, since making that video — good and bad?

 

Green Auras. I used to always avoid questions about the viral music video I made when I was eighteen because it was still somewhat of a fresh wound, if you will. But now that I’ve been able to distance myself and completely come to terms with all the shade the internet threw at me back then, and look on it with some perspective from life experiences I’ve had since then.

 

I don’t really have anything I regret. If anything it was a valuable lesson and I learned it early on. The internet us a playground for bullies. In the track for that video, I made my biggest mistake by opening up about some real personal issues I hadn’t addressed back then, and people were just flat out mean about it. I was young and didn’t think the video would ever get the attention it did. I don’t care anymore, it blew over and it’s in the past now.

 

 

How did growing up in NYC influence you as an artist?

 

NYC has been just as good for my creativity, as its been stifling. What I love about the city is it’s constant flow of energy, the diversity. There’s always something to do and people to meet.  It feels so familiar to me. There’s something about the city that makes me feel on top of the world. That feeling of being unstoppable with infinite possibilities. It becomes energy that can be processed creatively. But I had to take a break from New York, it was wearing me out. I’ll be back soon.

 

What is your FAULT?

 

Hopeless romance.

 

‘OCHSENKNECHT’ Exclusive Fashion Editorial Chris Haimerl’s FAULT

 

Photo: Chris Haimerl 

Styling: Birgit Anja 

H&M: Klara Stark 

Model: Cheyenne Ochsenknecht 

Clothing: ONIMOS 

Taylor Bennett open and honest interview and photoshoot for FAULT Magazine 29

Photography Dalong Yang
Fashion Editor Chaunielle Brown
Grooming Brittan White @kate ryan
Photo assist’ Maya Lou
Fashion assist’ Carina Camacho, Francis Harris and Jennifer Laurantius
Words: Will Soer
Have you ever talked to someone you’ve just met about your sexuality? It’s a scary thing to do at 2pm. Despite the global reach of his music, Taylor Bennett talks to me alone, without intervention from his record label (whose staff includes only his father and his best friend). His older brother – Chance the Rapper – has Chicago on his shoulders, and his father worked as an aide to Obama, but Taylor is carrying a mass of inestimable size. The 22-year-old rapper represents those who resist the repression of categorisation. In 2014 Donald Glover praised Macklemore‘s on-record advocation of gay rights, whilst noting that he was able to do this because of being white. Like its home country, Hip Hop still has many barriers to break.
The title track of your new EP Be Yourself explicitly states ‘I’m an outstanding Afro-American bisexual’? Do you remember where you first performed it?
Nashville Tennessee, at a pride festival. I had never even practiced it, but I knew this project was coming out, I knew what I wanted it to stand for. As much as I love the track and you can bounce around to it, it’s a statement, and it’s often easy to leave a show on a turn-up note and forget the one thing you wanted to have said. I always get the show-tracks (which strip the main vocal) made as soon as I get songs, in case I have a moment like that. I remember performing it and it not sounding that good, with the voice control.
Aside from the sound, physically how did it feel?
Physically it felt great. Like you can go onto the stage and fucking kill it for thirty minutes, and hit everything on the right punch, but sometimes it’s those two minutes where you cut off all the music and talk about what’s going on in your life, why you want to portray this, and then your fans come back and understand it… It’s a crazy feeling, getting an energy that’s reciprocated and sent back to you.
This interview is about you not me, but I want to share where I’m coming from. The first person to play me your music was my brother, he’s three years younger and really benefited from that-
That’s what my brother tells me all the time, we went to the same school, he’d always say to my parents that I know what I shouldn’t do because I’ve seen what he’s done.
I envy you for that! We moved to England when I was eleven, and I was bullied because I sounded gay. I got more confidant, got into music, my brother and best friend both came out, and hip hop has been a big thing between us in a lot of ways. So alongside your music, I really want to explore this stuff, what’s it like to be bisexual within hip hop.
Everybody asks me that question, but that really hit me what you just said. Because in America, I’m black, and we’re all very limited, but to hear about somebody that lives overseas that’s white, that has a younger brother and a best friend that’s gay, and something that keeps you together is hip hop, like man… I won’t say that that’s not something that happens all the time in America, but I’ll tell you that that’s something you won’t hear someone say.
It’s not out in the open.
You’ve gotta ask yourself why people don’t talk about it, and that’s a big part of why I’m doing this, I believe there are people that don’t want us to explore ourselves, who want African Americans to be oppressed based off communication. There are a lot of people who have the same stories as you, but they won’t share them, because it’s not familiar. We all listen to Kanye West, but we don’t talk about how he got bullied and called a gay fish on South Park, and the whole world hated Kanye West. Same with Lil Wayne, he wore skinny jeans and everybody called him gay.
You know I’ve never thought about that aspect of Kanye’s story, it happened before I got into hip hop, when I thought rock bands were where it’s at. Before I saw how clearly human idiosyncrasies are presented in hip hop, where you’ve got all that intensity focussed into one person.
I talk about Young Thug [a cross-dressing rapper who is also featured on Be Yourself] a lot, he’s one of those people that have had to be sacrifices for education. Every time something like that happens in main hip hop culture, the whole world gets affected, and that’s the power of not just music, but like you said, hip hop, having one person who carries the weight. It is hard to be a black artist and not be a rapper, even if the aesthetics of what you do are nowhere near that. It forces people to feel as if they can’t be original, because even their personality has to be what the listener wants it to be. And that’s when things start to be regurgitated.
You recently said that, after coming out on twitter to everyone [including friends and family] on the night you turned 21, there were ten minutes when you could have backed out and claimed you’d been hacked. Did you seriously consider it? Are there certain responses that could have made it very difficult not to back out?
Yeah man. Like yes, yes, yes. I’m not superman. All artists do read their comments, some things that people say do really affect it, there’s a lot of artists that are trying to live with this perception of who people think they are. My whole thing with this project is I’m gonna do the exact opposite, I’m gonna stand up for what I believe in and bring attention to something in the world that is a major topic. Like why, when I talk about this situation, am I always combatting with the fact that hip hop doesn’t identify with gay people?
That’s the funny thing about Young Thug, I know gay people identify with him, my best friend has literally been told ‘you are to Young Thug as Jesus is to God’. We’ve had nights where we get back from a club and put on his track Safe, and we’ve jumped and screamed along to it, and it doesn’t matter that we can’t go through every lyric and say ‘yeah we agree with that’, what matters is the expressive exuberance of his voice and image.
And he’s Young Thug. His name, that’s how America… we are all products of our environment, and that’s how America is made to be. And it’s nothing shy of that. I feel a certain way when I walk down the street, when I have my hoodie on, I don’t feel safe going a lot of places, there’s a lot of things I can’t do. I was talking about cars to one of my friends, and the fact that maybe I shouldn’t get the Porsche that I could afford, because it’s dangerous.
Damn.
There’s a prison-to-school pipeline, based on the standardised testing we take and what bubbles we fill in when about our ethnicity, that’s how many prisons they build in the next 15 years. Private owned companies own and buy prisons for the government, and most of these people who get locked up, they don’t just fucking make license plates, these guys make big brand clothing, all sorts of things in America, for private owned companies.
It’s difficult to remember with this stuff going on that you can do something, rather than just focussing on achieving the chilliest form of existence possible.
I mean I was raised in a Christian household, I believe I have a relationship with God. I believe that God is just like the internet, he sends little bits of pieces of information to everybody, and that’s why we need to have conversations, because you have a piece of information that I need, and I need to transfer to you. Religion puzzles so many people because it is an unknown power, it has variables of people way older than you claiming to have seen things you haven’t seen.
That’s also a defence for hip hop, that you can’t judge the lyrics if you haven’t walked in those shoes. It’s impressive that you have embraced both Christianity and Hip Hop.
Because I’ve seen the greatness that they can bring in my life, the happiness, and I can’t shy that from my listeners, I just want you to be yourself. I don’t wanna be a leader in this thing, I can feel that’s not my purpose. The biggest thing right now that I believe on the world, something that is my purpose, is to start conversation. I’m not supposed to tell you when and where to have it, I’m just supposed to put out an opportunity to kick the door open and talk.

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

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