Meet New Yorker contrabassist Aakaash Israni, DoM.

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Qasim Naqvi, Amino Belyamani and Aakaash Israni

I remember when I first found out about them. It was during the Winter Jazz Festival 2014 in New York city at Le Poisson Rouge. I was primiraly coming to see perform my friend Keren Ann for a little hour, where I unexpectedly met the French couturier Maxime Simoens and his Press officer Tomek Kolarski. We chatted for a bit until the next band… Red stripe done, I was totally washed out and went to the exit when I got curious about three guys playing new sounds in the pitch dark room with tiny blue spots lighting their instruments. I wanted to listen more so I stayed and I got trapped into their lawless universe… I rushed to the NYC Law School, a few doors down from Le Poisson Rouge, to buy their record and I played it five times in a row before sleeping. The New York Times, NPR Music, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, BBC 3 recently raved about them and now FAULT invites you to take a minute and listen to their haunting -perverse in a good way- music. Meet New Yorker contrabassist Aakaash Israni of the promising band Dawn Of Midi.

 

FAULT : Who are you, Aakaash Israni ?

Aakaash: I was born in India and raised in California. I never felt quite right anywhere until moving to New York at age 29. I started music in 3rd grade, mesmerized by Beethoven’s 5th symphony and Paco de Lucia as a child…. I grew up in San Diego, which is 2 hours south of LA.

FAULT : How did you connect with Amino and Qasim –the pianist and the drummer of the band respectively?

Aakaash : We met at CalArts as friends before we ever thought of playing music together. Amino and Qasim were in a trio with an excellent bassist named Sam Minaie already, so instead we played tennis.

FAULT : Who were your mentor(s) at school ?

Aakaash : The great bassist and composer Mark Dresser and the Master Ghanaian drummer Alfred Ladzekpo.

FAULT : What does DoM mean ?

Aakaash : Dawn of Midi was a phrase Qasim spoke once describing the music of the classical composers of the early 1980’s. It was sort of a non-sequiter in relation to the music we were making at the time (Our debut album First), which was freely improvised and sort of avant-garde. It made no sense. We had no idea we would make an album years later (Dysnomia) that would make the band name appear deliberate.

When we started we only made completely improvised music, so obviously there was no leader. Dysnomia, which leans heavily on the knowledge of African rhythmic concepts, has shifted this dynamic a bit. The album was composed by Amino and myself. Both Amino and I studied in Paris, but at different times. He was at the conservatoire for piano before leaving for CalArts, whereas I left CalArts to go to Paris and study music composition.

FAULT : Can you share with us an anecdote when writing/composing for Dysnomia, please ?

Aakaash : There was a lot of tension, Qasim was losing his father to cancer and was being given these incredibly challenging drum parts to learn and we had about 150 rehearsals before we went to the studio. By the time the album was recorded, our girlfriends had all left us, Qasim’s father was gone, and the hard times were only just beginning!

FAULT : Why creating/performing in darkness ?

Aakaash : This began at CalArts when we first met. I’ve always enjoyed closing my eyes at concerts and have always wanted to give concerts in complete darkness. I think vision dominates our perception and removing it enhances our experience of sound so when we first began improvising together I suggested we do so in the dark.

FAULT : What kind of music do you listen to ?

Aakaash : A lot of African drumming music -from Ghana and Morocco. Also a lot of pop music. I like to try and understand what makes pop music work on the ear the way it does. It is extremely efficient, it has to make you fall in love in three minutes.

FAULT : What are your latest findings in music ?

Aakaash : Shing Kee by Carl Stone.

FAULT : What is your dream collaboration ?

Aakaash : A music video with dancer Marquese Scott directed by David Lynch.

FAULT : What is your FAULT ?

Aakaash : I care too much

 

Dysnomia

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Demi Lovato for FAULT Issue 19 – first look (issue is available to pre-order NOW!)

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - reversible cover WEB

FAULT Issue 19 reversible cover star Demi Lovato was shot by Giuliano Bekor and styled by Avo Yermagyan.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

FAULT Magazine Issue 19 – the Millions Issue will feature American pop phenomenon Demi Lovato as its reversible cover star this Fall. Eminently suitable for the issue theme, Demi has over 60million fans on Facebook and Twitter alone and is one of the most influential popular culture figures in the world today.

Demi’s feature – which includes an in-depth interview and exclusive photoshoot by photographer Giuliano Bekor and stylist Avo Yermagyan – runs over 12 pages in the print issue. Demi also covers the Beauty section inside the magazine.

The shoot, based on the issue’s theme of ‘Millions’, showcases Demi as an artist whose every move has ramifications on a globally impactful scale. As a role model to millions, her words and actions are reviewed, analysed, dissected and reflected over and over again. Under those circumstances, one can only imagine what a surreal experience it must be to come face to face with the person behind the lens…

In her interview, Demi discusses the responsibility that comes with being a role model, her collaborations with people like Cher Lloyd and the Vamps, her incipient interests in philanthropy and world affairs and, of course, her music.

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Production by Giuliano Bekor + Leah Blewitt

FAULT: You’ve spoken about how the album marked a real shift in sound for you, towards more dance-inspired tracks. Was that something that you deliberately wanted to create or was it something that happened organically?

Everything that happened on the album happened organically. Nothing was really planned in terms of “I want a dance song” or anything like that- it just kind of happened! It’s exciting to show people a different side of myself.

In terms of the collaborations (most recently with Cher Lloyd and The Vamps), how do they come into being?

Sometime you come up with a part in a song and you instantly know who you’re looking for. With ‘Really Don’t Care’, [her latest single], Cher instantly came to my mind. She’s got a lot of attitude and a lot of sass and was perfect for the song. Other times it just kind of happens- you meet someone and you write together and it turns out to be an awesome song.

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Interview by Will Ballantyne-Reid

You’ve become an inspirational figure not just for your fans but even for those unfamiliar with your music as a result of your philanthropic projects and your work with anti-bullying campaigns and mental health awareness. How do these projects shape your career and your own creative process?

Well these projects were really born out of my relationship with my fans, where they are able to look up to me no matter what they’re going through. I really like being there for them in that way. I pride myself in being a role model but I’m not perfect- I curse like a sailor and I sometimes make mistakes but at the same time I want to be what I know my little sister and that younger generation needs.

Are there any difficulties that come with being in the public eye, and especially that ‘role model’ tag?

I use to get frustrated that just because I wanted to sing, I was automatically expected to be a role model. But I had to grow up and realise that no matter what I do I’m going to be somebody’s role model. It’s true what they say- “with great power comes great responsibility”- and everybody’s career is different but for me, I had to grow up and embrace it rather than resent it, as that only made me resent my career.

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Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

Going forward with your music and your philanthropy work, what do you feel is the next step?

I take my life day by day; some day I’m really involved with one charity, and another I’m really focussed on another. In this moment, I’m really dedicated to the scholarship program that I created in order to provide mental health services to people that can’t afford it on their own.

Demi’s album, DEMI, is out now

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – The Millions Issue – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

Usher – first look at our exclusive shoot for FAULT Issue 19’s front cover

Usher cover (web)

FAULT Issue 19 front cover star Usher was shot by Sinisha Nisevic and styled by Sammy and Judy/Cloutier Remix.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

FAULT Magazine Issue 19 – the Millions Issue will feature legendary R&B recording artist Usher as its front cover feature this Fall. Having already sold nearly 23million records in the US alone, Usher is undoubtedly one of the most instantly recognisable faces in the music industry today – just as he was after the release of his first UK number one single, ‘You Make Me Wanna’, back in 1997.

Usher’s feature – which includes an in-depth interview alongside the exclusive photoshoot by photographer Sinisha Nisevic and stylists Sammy and Judy (aka renowned LA celebrity stylists The Kids) – runs over 13 pages in the print issue. Usher also covers the Men’s Fashion section inside the magazine.

The shoot, based on the issue’s theme of ‘Millions‘, is designed to showcase two distinct sides to Usher’s character. In one sense, the shoot presents the public face of a star known and loved by ‘millions’ but, juxtaposed with this, we also see a revelatory side of a sensitive, thoughtful man. The latter gives insight into the thought process of a man who has reached the point in his career where keeping his fans happy and challenging both himself and the limits of his creativity have become his most important goals.

There is an Usher who poses happily with models and plays up to the camera and also the Usher who dances in the studio as much for his own amusement as for the sake of a great photo. The great thing for Usher, one feels, is that for him– more often than not – those two worlds are intertwined.

In his interview, entitled ‘The Man Who Can Do it All’, Usher discusses his role on ‘The Voice’, his motivations and goals for producing music that he loves, regardless of commercial success, his upcoming acting role in ‘Hands of Stone’, the biopic of famed boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and, of course, the main themes of his highly anticipated new album.

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Interview by Heather Seidler

FAULT: Did you learn anything from doing ‘The Voice’ that you’ll use in your own career?

Usher: Part of the reason why I did ‘The Voice’ was so people would get a chance to see a different perception of me….The more I know about life, the more I know about people, the greater the person I am, the more understanding I have about how to make music and how to do things that will grow us as people.

[So making this album was] not about making commercial hits?

I don’t feel that I’ve got to sell out this tour, or sell crazy amounts of albums, or have the number one single. It’s great to have all those things, but that isn’t what I’m doing.

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Creative Director: Andre Bato Producers: Leah Blewitt & Bryant Robinson Special Thanks: Shoshanna Stone & Team Usher

 

Let’s talk about the movie you just finished, Hands of Stone. Tell me about your role as Sugar Ray Leonard.

The film revolves around a very compelling story in history. A lot of people want to know what happened with Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard during that infamous fight. Why did he quit? Why did he walk out of the ring? No one knows the truth. We address all of that. It’s going to be a great piece of work, because of everyone involved in telling this really significant part of boxing history.

I spent time with him [Sugar Ray Elonard] in Atlanta, and here in Los Angeles. We boxed together; we chilled. He became a great friend of mine, almost like a brother to me.

Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

Tell me about the new album you’re working on.

It’s still a work in progress. I’m at a place where I really just want to have fun and do what I feel is significant to me.These last three years have been the hardest times of my life. I’ve wanted to break down, I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel but my spirit wouldn’t allow me… The one thing the album represents is confidence. Not confidence in a cocky way, but being open about what I feel, take it or leave it. If I’m not honest about my feelings then you’ll never know how I really feel.

Who are some of the people you’ve been jamming with, who’s producing and working with you on it?

I reached out to work with people that I haven’t worked with before like Ryan Tedder, Ed Sheeran, and Skrillex. Also people who I have worked with before like Diplo…and Pharrell [Williams].

‘She Came to Give it to You’ – the new single from Usher’s upcoming album – is out on 28th September

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – The Millions Issue – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

FAULT Issue 19 – The Millions Issue – is now available to pre-order

We are pleased to announce that FAULT Issue 19 – The Millions Issue – is available to pre-order NOW.

Official release: 29/09/14

FAULT Issue 19 - Usher & Demi Lovato (both covers)

FAULT Issue 19 front cover star Usher was shot by Sinisha Nisevic and styled by Sammy and Judy/Cloutier Remix. Reversible cover star Demi Lovato was shot by Giuliano Bekor and styled by Avo Yermagyan.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

 

FAULT Magazine  – the Millions Issue – proudly presents exclusive shoots and interviews with:

Usher

Demi Lovato

Kevin Spacey & Uma Thurman – LA filmmaker feature w/ Jameson First Shot

Debby Ryan

Tyga

The Madden Brothers

Kimberley Cole

Kelly Oxford

Plus a FAULTless selection of the Film, Fashion, Music & Photography that reached and made an impact upon Millions around the world throughout the Summer of 2014. In a world characterized by globalization and the ideal of creating a message that will reach the greatest possible number of people, the values that drive the creative industries are not so much about “bigger is better” than “more is magnificent”.

FAULT Issue 19 specifically profiles artists whose global reach extends into the millions.

This is your FAULT

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – The Millions Issue – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

FAULT Favourite: The Hot Child jeans – a uniquely designed product specifically for men

 

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If jeans were people then we might have just made a new best friend. The Hot Child (or THC for short) label name comes across as a mix between a chilled out ’70s Cali groover and a dangerously trendy NY noughties chick. Suffice to say that this was love at first sight.

The jeans brand, founded by Octavio Silva this year (2014), is stylish, sophisticated and surprisingly personal in its approach. The Ft Lauderdale, Florida resident clearly cares about each individual product and the way his products fit and generally interact with each of his customers. Of course, part of that is synonymous with owning and operating a brand still in its infancy, but Octavio’s evangelising of his product and eagerness to see each set of jeans go to a happy home transcends a simple self-preservation business instinct.

It may have something to do with the founding principle of THC – the all-too obvious yet previously disregarded notion that perhaps, just perhaps, someone should design a pair of jeans with the male physique in mind. After all, we’ve all heard the horror stories about how tight-fitting and skinny jeans can affect fertility in men. When one really sits down and thinks about, it’s simply mind-boggling that no-one has previously thought about creating a product like the one that Octavio and THC have now pioneered.

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With patents pending internationally, THC are set to go big in the next 2-3 years. The brand is quirky, cool, and original. The playful, tongue-in-cheek JUNK tag complements the brand’s USP: its specially designed pouch in the front to hold a man’s…erm…manhood in perfect comfort. On top of all that, this is a company that cares. In a world were so-called ‘ethical’ brands are now two a penny, THC opts not to adopt the term as a label. They prefer to let their actions speak louder than words:

- A stylish product that celebrates individual body shape and prioritises individual comfort and health.

- A commitment to plant a tree for every product sold.

- An information email and follow-up contact for every customer served.

These are the sorts of things ‘ethical fashion labels’ talk about doing, while THC actually does them.

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THC’s first design, DANK, is already a sell-out success – although you can still purchase sets of their second product run via their website here – and, needless to say, a firm FAULT Favourite. We love everything about this product, right the way through from the unique design to its 98% cotton, 2% lycra selvage material. The buttons on the fly ‘pocket’ or ‘pouch’ are beautifully crafted – as indeed is the finishing all over. When these jeans turn heads, you know that it’s just as much because of their superlative quality as for their idiosyncratic design.

Now that we’ve had a chance to think about it, if jeans were people then THC probably wouldn’t be your best friend. They’d be your lover. Now head on over to www.thehotchild.com to get your hands on THC’s Junk!*

* N.B: If you can’t handle the homosexual connotations of this joke then these jeans probably aren’t for you – because you need to grow a pair!

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All images courtesy of THC

Zara Martin – exclusive Focus section cover shoot for FAULT Issue 18

 

Zara Martin - FAULT Magazine Issue 18 - inside Focus cover WEB

Zara Martin was shot in London by photographer Paul Whitfield and styled by Rachel Holland exclusively for the internal Focus section cover of FAULT Issue 18
Click here to order your copy of this issue!

 

FAULT Issue 18 Focus section cover star Zara Martin never misses a VIP party. In fact, she’s usually the one who keeps it going all night when she’s spinning the tunes from behind the decks for the international glitterati crowd. Zara is also a model and TV presenter and you’ll often spot her on red carpet style lists or sitting on the front row at fashion week presentations with her countless celebrity friends, including Tali Lennox, Caroline Flack and Miquita Oliver. For FAULT’s RAW issue, we looked underneath the glamour with Zara to discuss her hidden talents, charity work and what her younger self wouldn’t believe about her now.

FAULT: Which came first: your modelling or DJing?

Zara: I started doing some work for MTV back in the day when there weren’t so many girl DJs. So it was the music connection that helped with the DJing but I’ve always had a model agency. I’m not super tall so I never did any catwalk stuff, more commercial work, so all the cool opportunities came from the DJing. The shows that I do on TV are mostly fashion or music based as well.

It’s slightly strange that my first job was given to me by Al Gore. It was really random.

So you’re a model, a DJ, a TV presenter and you’re creating a line of headphones… do you have any hidden talents?

Well, I’m working on doing some acting at the moment. I went to drama school before I got into all of this but I never finished it. So in my spare time I’m taking classes and auditioning. I’ll be in LA for pilot season and I’ve just got the trailer through for a short film I worked on with Director Wayne Che Yip called Toledo. I have an American accent in it and it’s all really weird. It’s based on a Charles Bukowski poem called ‘For The Foxes’.

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Interview by Olivia Pinnock

What new music are you really pushing at the moment?

I’ve liked Angel Haze for a really long time and it seems like she’s just blowing up at the moment [Ed: FAULT Online featured her recently]. So I’m like ‘see I told you!’ I really like her, she’s just wicked.

Other than that, I love it when acts collaborate and do something a little different like the Iggy Azalea/Charli XCX track ‘Fancy’ is amazing and it kind of reminds me of old Gwen Stefani. I still love The Weeknd, he does this cover of XO by Beyoncé that’s really good!

There are so many good artists about at the moment. It’s hard to pick just one. ..

You also manage to fit in time to be an ambassador for Women for Women International

Women for Women are the most incredible organisation. I met Brita [Fernandez Schmidt], who’s the chairwoman in the UK, and I immediately vibed with her. You know when you just meet someone with such pure energy you just have to know more about them? She’s so inspirational. Every time I see her I feel like I’m not doing enough! So I wanted to get involved. At the moment we’re just working out the best way and I’m trying to get some younger people involved in the organisation and hopefully we’ll be doing some events this year. You’ll be hearing more about it soon.

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Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop messing around and do some work! I wasted a lot of time in night clubs but I have no regrets. I don’t like to live my life like that.

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 18 – THE RAW ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

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FAULT ‘Sounds of 2014′ feature in Issue 18 – Alpines and Marie Naffah

 

FAULT Magazine Issue 18 – Our Sounds of 2014 section, opened by Ella Eyre, also features the impressively talented duo Alpines and MTV’s Unsigned Artist of 2014 winner Marie Naffah.

Alpines released their debut album entitled Oasis via their own label, Untrue Records, in late May. In the midst of writing and producing Oasis, they discussed their journey so far with us at FAULT – from meeting at a wedding back in 2009, to touring with Florence and the Machine, to now releasing their own record. 

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Photography & Interview by Miles Holder
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

FAULT: As a fairly new band you’ve shot straight to touring, supporting some big names including Florence and the Machine. Was it hard to stay focussed on your own album?


Catherine:
In the last 4 years we’ve constantly been learning at a fast pace but you have to stay grounded and true to your vision to keep living in the industry.
Bob: There have been a lot of ups and downs in the last few years just getting to this point. Although it’s only our first record it feels like we’ve come such a long way.

What is your FAULT?


Bob:
I’m impatient, and I know I am but I just can’t do anything about it.
Catherine: I’m a bit of a workaholic I can’t switch off. I think that’s part of being a creative.

 

Check out Alpines brand new single – ‘Zero’ – for which the video was just unveiled today! ‘Zero’ is Alpines’ 7th single and their third from the Oasis album:

Marie Naffah is currently riding high on the success from winning MTV’s Unsigned Artist of 2014. She describes the experience as ‘surreal’ as she tries to ‘define’ her musical style. However the young musician appears grounded and has a clear strategy for progressing in the shark-tank that is the music industry so we’ll continue to watch for the remainder of 2014 and beyond…

Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18. Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 18.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

 

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Marie: I think when people meet me they expect me to be all made up and in heels but I’m not that kind of gal and it throws people off

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 18 – THE RAW ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

Ariana Grande and FAULT Issue 15 star Big Sean release new track, ‘Best Mistake’

So, FAULT Issue 15 Music cover star Big Sean is at it again! Check him out on this new track by 21 year old singing sensation Ariana Grande: ‘Best Mistake’.

 

 

Here’s the shot of the Detroit-born rapper with model Elle Evans in FAULT issue 15 that went viral as soon as it was published. Sean split from his girlfriend at the time, Naya Rivera, shortly afterwards…

 

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Big Sean was shot by Steven Gomillion & Dennis Leupold (GNL Studios) and styled by April Roomet exclusively for the Music section cover of FAULT Issue 15
To get your copy of this back issue click HERE