FAULT Music

Music and Anime Intersect in Leng Hock’s Music Video for “All The Way”

Emerging hip hop/R&B crossover artist Leng Hock is quickly becoming one of Australia’s most eclectic artists as evident by his latest release “All The Way.” The accompanying music video is the perfect marriage of music and breath taking visuals that depicts Hock’s inner turmoil about a relationship close to him.

Half of the video features real life actors, while the other half has scenes curated from Hock’s favourite anime Inu x Boku SS and Terror in Resonance and film Fallen Angels. Watch it below.

Leng Hock Socials:
Facebook
Soundcloud
Twitter

FAULT catches up with Chlöe Howl as she gears up for a new era of music

Chlöe Howl is the comeback kid. After taking some time away from the music industry, the 22-year-old singer has been burrowed away in the studio working on new music and is almost ready to unleash more of her infectious pop bangers upon the world. FAULT Magazine caught up with the musician last week to see how it’s all going…

What have you been up to since we last heard from you?

The last thing I released was officially three years ago now, which is crazy, so since then I have had some time away from it to regroup and figure out what I wanted to do. In the last six months I’ve been working with this producer called Chris Zane and we’re writing an album – I think we’re going to work completely together on that, and that’s all I’ve been doing basically.

 

On Twitter you’ve teased a track called Magnetic, what can you tell me about that?

I wrote Magnetic a little while ago with this guy called Duncan Tootill. You’ve probably had this, when you break up with somebody but you keep getting back together, and it was at the point where I think we’d almost got together about four times and to convince myself that I wasn’t just an idiot who was foolishly falling for the same person over and over again I was like, ‘Maybe it’s fate, what if the reason we keep coming back together is because it’s meant to be?’ Which is obviously bullshit, but I was trying to validate it, so this song was me the final time we almost got back together being like, ‘Maybe it’s fate, maybe it’s destiny,’ and picking it apart.

 

Do you feel like your songwriting has evolved in between when you first started and now, or do you stick to the same process?

It’s definitely evolved because I started writing when I was 16 and now I’m 22 so it’s evolved because I’ve grown, and I’ve done so much of it now that I’ve honed in my skill. I’m very selective over melodies and lyrics and now I’ve got much quicker at finding melodies that I like, so the process is a lot smoother for me now than it was before. Before it would be a bit of a struggle because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I know what I like now so therefore the writing is a lot easier and better [laughs].

 

How much of a say do you get in production, are you hands on with that too?

Chris, who I am pretty much solely working with now, and I worked together when I was 17, so we’ve known each other for five years now – he produced one of my first singles, Rumour. We’ve known each other so long and the reason we’ve kept in contact is because we have a friendship, so this whole process is nice because he’s my collaborator, it’s a team effort. We both know what kind of sounds we want to create and what we want the songs to eventually sound like, it’s all pretty hands on.

 

Have you noticed many changes in the industry since you started?

Definitely, I think now there’s a lot more people going independent which is exciting. When I first started it was all about following suit, you had to have a label, then you had to get a feature and then you had to release the usual way, but I think that was sapping the soul out of new artists because you get signed and then a corporation has a say in what they believe you should be, but the reason that you got signed in the first place was because you were yourself and that’s what the label liked. Now a lot of artists are realising the control you can have by going independent, there’s a lot of people coming out, fucking the system and doing things exactly how they want to do them and it’s working better for them than it ever has before.

 

What about online streaming, is that becoming more beneficial to you as an artist?

It’s interesting with streaming because it’s really hard for new artists to chart now because streaming is such a big part of where you chart these days, so that is always going to be the battle. Everybody thinks it’s about getting on Spotify playlists and getting those numbers up but I’ve always been more interested in how many people come to my shows or how many fans I see face to face. That for me, even when I was doing it before, was the real stamp of success. Obviously the size is all relative but if I could sell out a venue full of people who love my music then that’s good with me.

 

Will your older singles still be making an appearance in your live show?

I haven’t even thought about live yet because I’ve been focusing so hard on getting a new selection of songs, but maybe, we’ll see.

 

What’s your opinion on fashion and music working together?

It’s interesting because when you think back to icons of the sixties like Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry, all of those fashion icons, they all had their fingers in all of the pies. They were all into fashion but it was also coupled with music, and all of the artistic scenes merged together. I always think it’s good when stuff happens like that, creativity needs to look out for other creativity.

 

Has your style been influenced by music in particular?

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with characters in films. The reason that I wear Dr Martens every day is because I got massively into This Is England and then I watched Almost Famous and then Annie Hall and The Craft. I loved films like that where the fashion was at the forefront of it and I think I am an amalgamation of characters I want to be basically. Mine didn’t necessarily come from music. I guess it does in a sense because I listened to a lot of guitar music and bands growing up and then I slowly got into pop, but the way I dress isn’t super poppy and clean cut because my initial introduction to music was a little bit more Reading Festival vibes [laughs].

 

Who were your favourite bands growing up?

All the ones you would expect when you were like 16 [laughs]. I loved The Maccabees, Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines but I grew up listening to The Smiths, New Order and The Cure, just normal teenage grunge vibes.

Who are you listening to at the minute?

At the minute I really like Kehlani’s album. Whenever anyone asks me this question my mind goes blank, however I heard a song the other day called Something For Your M.I.N.D by a band called Superorganism, that’s pretty sick.

 

Do you have any hobbies outside of music?

I have had so many hobbies throughout my life but I have such a short attention span. The last hobby was rock climbing but I just give things up. At the minute I’m focusing on my pet rabbit, he is my life.

 

What’s he called?

He’s called Ziggy Sawdust and he’s a ginger Lion Head, so I don’t really go out because I have to feed him [laughs].

 

What’s your FAULT?

I’m really over-analytical, everything I do I overthink it, even with relationships or friendships, I’m always like, ‘Are we getting on as well as we used to? What if we aren’t? Does this mean it’s over?’ I can always ruin things by overthinking it and I can convince myself that somebody hates me even if they don’t, so that’s a nightmare. I’m also super lazy and a total slob so that’s a fault of mine too.

Chlöe’s comeback single ‘Magnetic’ is out today. Find it on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

Words Shannon Cotton

Photography Jack Alexander

Beauty Rachel Raffety

An afternoon with Yuna – exclusive shoot and interview

At first glance, Yuna is a Malaysian singer-songwriter who’s released three studio albums internationally. But we think it’s safe to say that she’s actually more of a creative entrepreneur whose main focus is music. Yuna’s latest album, Chapters, features Usher on its lead single, but being a recording artist is just one of Yuna’s many ventures. She’s also the founder of an online clothing store called November Culture, and on top of that, Yuna’s in the process of starting a “creative agency” to help artists promote their work online. Oh, and in March, she organized and hosted a music festival in Kuala Lumpur.

Top – 2NDDAY / Jumpsuit – Sosander / Neckless – Lola&Grace

 

FAULT: What initially brought you to L.A.?

Yuna: I moved out here about six years ago. Back home, I wrote my own stuff, and I had a band, but it felt like: Aww I really want to create music, but I just cant, you know? The only way to do it is to find another place to grow.

Not to say that if I stayed in Malaysia I wouldn’t have been able to break through to international markets, but moving out here really changed the way I work. I’m learning a lot of things about myself and the industry. I’ve worked harder, and I feel like I became another person. So yeah, I needed a change, and I just needed to be better in everything I was doing before.

Earrings – Accessorise / Jacket – Emma Charles / Dress (worn as top) – 2NDDAY / Trouser – Scotch & Soda

FAULT: What was it like working with Usher on “Crush”?

Yuna: It was really cool. I’ve been a huge fan for the longest time. I used to listen to all his music growing up in Malaysia. I’m a huge R&B fan, and Usher has always been a name I never even thought about it getting to work with. As an artist and songwriter, you’re just like: “Hmm who do you want to have on this track?”

And in my mind, when I wrote “Crush,” I was like: “Okay, let’s just go for Usher. Not sure if he’s gonna say yes, but let’s just ask him.”

I was very lucky to have him as part of the album, and it turned out really, really great.

He was super supportive as well. I felt like I was really new in the industry, and to see that kind of humility in him, working with a new artist like myself is really cool.

Turban – Gudrun Sjödén / Kimono – Gudrun Sjödén

FAULT: You felt new to the business even though it was your third album?

Yuna: Yeah, I still feel very new. I’ve done this for 10 years; I started when I was 20 or 21 back home in Malaysia. When I moved out here, it felt like going back to square one, slowly learning and growing. I feel like that was a good thing.

I’m always excited about: “Ooh, what’s gonna happen next? Let’s try something new.”

I also feel that a lot of people are still out there, still discovering my music. I’m really happy that’s happening. It’s slow, but it’s very natural and organic. It’s pretty much just me making music and people finding out about me on Spotify or whatever. So it’s cool.

FAULT: When I listen to your song “Places To Go,” and especially when I watch the video, I can’t help but think about the Muslim ban or travel ban or whatever you want to call it. What should people be doing about the political climate at this point?

Yuna: The first big focus is being positive … There’s always a constant struggle, so you always have to have that fire inside of you and always believe that things are gonna get better. And always believe that whatever happens, you’re always gonna do the right thing.

Jumper – 2NDDAY / Dress – Samsoe & Samsoe / Earrings – Accesorise

FAULT: What is Lovelifest?

Yuna: Lovelifest is a music and arts festival that focuses on Malaysian local arts. It’s actually something I wanted to do for the longest time, because of a lot of people told me: “Oh you’re gonna do a music festival? That’s kinda crazy. You’re not gonna be able to do it.”

And I did it.

It was a lot of work, but it was very successful. It’s based in Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital city of Malaysia, where I grew up. I had all my friends come to perform, and all of their fans came to the festival and enjoyed themselves. I was just really happy that I managed to put that together. I had a great team; they were all super on-point with everything, so I was lucky to have them.

FAULT: What are the challenges of creating something that big? Not too long ago, the whole world saw how badly a festival can go. What goes into creating a good one?

Yuna: The biggest challenge would have to be teamwork. The reason why I managed to do this was that everyone was on board with what we wanted to do. I never once had a disagreement or a argument with anybody, whether it was an artist who was performing, or their manager, or my team. I was really lucky because these were the people I grew up with, and I kept a lot of positive people around me. So it went pretty well, I guess, for my first festival. We didn’t lose any money, and we had fun. It was like mini Coachella, which I’m really proud of. I love music festivals, and I go to a lot of music festivals, so to be able to create a similar vibe is pretty amazing.

Coat – Samsoe & Samsoe / Top & Trouser – Scotch and Soda / Shirt – Ghost / Earrings – Whistles

FAULT: Are there going to be more editions of it? Is it going to be a yearly thing?

Yuna: We want it to be a yearly thing, but for now, I think we’re trying to focus on making it maybe once every two years, because it’s a ton of work. It took a lot of time prepping for it, so we’ll see.

FAULT: What are your plans for the near future? I understand you’re doing Wireless and Glastonbury this summer?

Yuna: Yeah, it’s pretty exciting; I’ve never performed at any music festival in the U.K., so this will be my first time. I’m really excited about Glastonbury; I’ve never been, and it’s such a huge deal for me. And I’m really excited about Wireless because a lot of my friends have performed there, so it’s kind of cool when you’re able to share the stage with some of the people you know.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Yuna: I’m always late. I think a lot of people will agree that I’m always late for something. And I always have trouble sleeping, so I always end up being really late. Maybe I drink too much coffee. I need to change that.

 

Yuna’s third studio album ‘Chapters’ is out now. She performs at Wireless and Glastonbury festivals this summer.
Listen to Yuna – Chapters on Spotify here.

Words Cody Fitzpatrick

Photos Stephanie YT

Styling Edith Walker Millwood

MUA Abbie May

Fault sits down with Hey Violet

“You know what would be goals?” exclaimed Rena, the pink-haired vocalist and soul of the band. “What if we had holograms of ourselves? And then, if we were really tired, we could just send them out!” The outburst, met with cries of derision and glee alike, perfectly defines the spirit of pop-rock band Hey Violet – just a group of five friends from California determined to play music whilst encapsulating today’s youthful vision of a band on tour.

 

For those of you who haven’t heard of 5SOS’ first signing to Capitol Records, you probably should; and if you haven’t, your little sister definitely has. The young five-piece, consisting of sisters and founding members Rena and Nia Lovelis, Miranda Miller, Casey Moreta, and Iain Shipp, have been steadily taking over Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram with a Western hemisphere dominance counter-reflective of The Beatles’ rise to fame, albeit in a social media-led fashion.

Despite opening for prestigious bands such as Foo Fighters, Steel Panthers, and Lostprophets, and featuring at festivals such as Reading and Leeds Festival, the band haven’t let fame go to their head – at all. We’re interviewing the five in a hotel just off Shoreditch High Street and, despite their massive following, this feels merely like a casual sit-down with a couple of buddies. There’s none of the pretentious charades put on by other bands, or diva requests for no recording or certain questions. There’s just five relaxed friends, laughing, joking, and enjoying their time touring and seeing fans. Read on for our rapidfire Q&A with Hey Violet’s squad. Just a quick note: the interview has been edited for clarity. There was way too much bickering and squabbling over who’s who in How I Met Your Mother.

 

So, there’s five of you. If you had to choose five characters from Friends, who would you all be?

Rena: I’d be Rachel.

Nia: I’m Monica. [points at Miranda] You’re Phoebe. And Casey’s Chandler.

Iain: Which am I?

Rena: He’s not Ross.

Nia: I feel he’s more Ross than Joey. Joey’s kinda dumb.

Iain: But Ross is so naggy. Ross is annoying.

Nia: He is. But he plays keyboards though. Ross is a fuckboy.

Iain: Alright, I guess I’ll take the L?

Rena: I feel like both of them would be Chandler, with a little bit of Ross.

Nia: Yeah, you can both be Chandler.

Iain: What, no!

Casey: We’ll both be Chandler. No Ross.

Iain: Joey’s an actor, right?

Nia: Yeah, but he’s really dumb.

Iain: But he’s an artist. Career-wise, we’re both in a similar boat.

Rena: Okay, Iann’s Joey.

Iain: I guess I’ll take Joey, taking L’s left and right.

Nia: I’d rather be Joey to be honest.

Miranda: But nobody in this band is that dumb?

 

Same question, but How I Met Your Mother instead.

Nia: Thank you! I love How I Met Your Mother. It’s so much better than Friends.

Casey: Agreed, Friends sucks. HIMYM is life.

Rena: I think that Nia is Robin.

Casey: Nia is Robin.

Nia: I feel like, in a weird way, Casey is Barney Stinson.

Rena: What?! No way. Casey is Marshall.

Casey: I’m Barney Stinson in a funny way, not the player way.

Rena: Iann’s Ted Moseby. Casey is Marshall.

Nia: Rena and Iann are definitely Lily and Marshall!

Miranda: Who am I?

Nia: I need to figure that out.

Casey: I’m like funny Barney?

Miranda: I feel like I’m Robin?

Rena: Nia’s more Robin. We could argue about this forever.

But seriously, who’s who?

Nia: Iain’s Ted, I’m Robin, Casey’s Barney, Miranda’s Marshall, and Rena’s Lily.

 

What’s playing on your Spotify?

Iain: I’ve been listening to JoJe. He’s a little producer out of New York. He’s a bit like Frank Ocean? He’s not Frank Ocean, but that’s the closest thing I can describe him to. And probably Grimez, I love Grimez.

Nia: I like looking on the Spotify new releases and finding new things. I find myself going down a pit, and listening to the same thing, and I hate it.

Miranda: I’ve been listening to Tame Impala and Kendrick Lamar.

Rena: Yaaaas gurl, new Kendrick!

Miranda: It’s so good. Daaamn, right?

Casey: Mine is Father John Misty?

Rena: Probably Dream Koala.

 

What TV series are you guys binging at the moment?

Nia: The Walking Dead. The Office US. I tried to watch the UK version, it’s too awkward.

Rena: Black Mirror.

Casey: Rick and Morty.

Iain: Mr Robot.

If you could design your dream live show, what would it be?

Iain: Mr Robot. Oh wait, live show?

Miranda: We actually have a group chat where we send each other ideas for stuff we can’t afford yet for our shows.

Iain: We literally do.

Miranda: We love, like, pinks and blues and very vibrant colours.

Nia: I think also Miranda showed us this documentary that explained this one particular stage designer’s process. Kind of rather than having a normal band set-up, she would have the stage levelled so that all the members were on platforms so that they were equal.

Miranda: She was just so out-of-the-box when she designed things that, I don’t know if it’s all of your dreams, but it’s my dream to work with somebody who thinks like that.

Rena: You know what would be goals? You know how when you get off a plane and we’re really tired? What if we had holograms of ourselves? And then, if we were really tired, we could just send them out.

Nia: I wouldn’t like that.

Miranda: Being on stage is the fun part of life.

Casey: That’s like one step away from lip-syncing – not only are you not singing, but you’re not even there. Like you could be at the hotel just like telling the tour manager what to do.

Iain: But check it out, The Gorillaz sell out stadiums and they’re like not even real.

Casey: But that’s a cultural thing. The characters aren’t people, y’know?

Miranda: But being on stage is the thing that we live for!

Rena: Well, we just want a cool show, y’know?

 

How did you choose Hey Violet as a name?

Rena: Everyone asks us that. It’s such a boring answer. We were searching through names, and going on band-generator.com and finding names, and we had terrible ones like banana pie and all that. We literally went through over 500 different names.

Nia: We counted them.

Rena: Sometimes the names that were coming up were Hey Velvet, or Violet Mouth, and those words kept on coming up. And then somebody shouted out ‘Hey Violet!’. And we just really liked the sound of it.

What’s the go-to hashtag?

Iain: #beastmode.

Rena: Oh my god.

Nia: #fromtheoutside

Casey: Two bad hashtags in a row.

Rena: I don’t know if it’s my favourite, because there’s a lot of good hashtags out there, but one of my favourite ones is when people would do selfies for Hey Violet to gain confidence.

Nia: Fans started it on Twitter. It wasn’t us, it was them doing it just for confidence really.

Rena: It was about seeing each other, and making friends. It was a very positive project, and I liked that. I really liked that. It wasn’t just about their looks, but we actually got to see the fans who loved our music. That was really cool.

 

What’s the one question you’d ask yourself?

Nia: Ooo, what do we never get asked?

Rena: You know, this one is kinda hard, but I like this one. Describe each other in one word. We’re gonna argue though.

Miranda: Can I go first? Iann: underground. Rena:…

Rena: Choose wisely.

Miranda: I’ll come back to you.Nia: Manic. Casey: cynical. Rena: You’re, uhm, hold up, what’s like a word for like you go after what you want? Focused. But not like in a way when you focus on things, because your focus isn’t that great. Driven?

Casey: Okay, uhm, Iann: indie. That’s all he gets. Hipster. I change it, he’s hipster. Rena: annoying? Nia: Also annoying. And you too Miranda.

[lots of arguing]

Rena: Iann is obscure. I’m fashionable. Nia: Very stubborn. Casey is, uhmm, hilarious? And Miranda is intelligent. How would you describe us?

[Writer’s note: I had to describe the band. Please don’t judge me too harshly HV fans, pretty please]

Fault: Am I allowed to piss off the band?

Rena: Yes. Definitely.

Nia: Please, we’ve never had this before. But be honest.

Iain: Roast us!

Nia: If anyone asks us why the band’s crying, we’ll say it’s just us.

Fault: Okay, this is going to be bad, isn’t it? Nia, definitely ‘Italian’.

Nia: Wait, did you know that? I am Italian!

Fault: Rena: ‘Tumblr’.

Rena: Am I?

Whole band: Yeah.

Iain: Roasted.

Fault: Casey would be ‘drummer’.

Casey: I get that a lot.

Nia: I’m offended by that. I’m the drummer!

Fault: Iann would probably be dark and mysterious. That’s not one word, but that’s what I’ve got.

Iain: I’ll take it.

Fault: And Miranda? I don’t know, academic?

Miranda: I do study. Like, a lot.

Iain: We asked him to roast us and he just boosted our confidence. Except from Casey.

 

Check out Hey Violet’s latest release From The Outside here.
Words Danny Judge

Snakehips: FAULT Favourites release new single

You know an act’s hot when they’re namechecked in every other feature in FAULT Magazine. That’s what people say, right?

As uncertain as that may be, it’s clear that British electro duo Snakehips (aka Oliver Lee and James Carter) have been making waves with a host of our featured artists recently: Olly Chamberlain, Vanessa White and Midnight Pool Party are all big fans.

Following the success of January single ‘Don’t Leave’ – featuring acclaimed Danish songstress – the remixers-turned-producers have returned with their latest offering ‘Right Now’.

Buy/Stream ‘Right Now’ Here

Featuring Snakehips’ customary lineup of electrifying young talent, ‘Right Now’ marries sensual club vibes with crisp hip-hop lyrics performed by Lil’ Yachty collaborator D.R.A.M. Emerging Atlanta-based singer/songwriter ELHAE and mysterious vocalist H.E.R. also feature on the track. With a back catalogue of projects with the likes of Anderson Paak, Chance The Rapper, Syd, Tory Lanez and Tinashe, it’s fair to say that Snakehips have a knack of working with the hottest breakthrough artists around. We expect to be hearing a lot more from the capitalized trio very soon.

After two major festival dates in Ireland and Spain, the duo will be touring in American throughout June (full tour schedule below). On the 8th September, the pair will return to London for what promises to be a huge homecoming gig at the 2,300 capacity O2 Forum in Kentish Town. We’ll be there – and we suggest you snap a ticket while you still can!

Tour dates:
Sat 3rd June – Forbidden Fruit, Dublin, Ireland
Sat 4th June – True Music Festival, Madrid, Spain
Sun 18th June – Firefly Festival, Dover, USA
Thur 22nd June – Flash, Washington, USA
Friday 23rd June – Paradise Rock Club, Boston, USA
Sat 24th June – Velvet Underground, Toronto, Canada
Sun 25th June – Electric Forest, Michigan, USA
Wed 28th June -Mr Smalls Theatre, Pittsburg, USA
Thur 29th June – Grog Shop, Cleveland, USA
Fri 30th June – Electric Forest, Michigan, USA
Sat 1st July – Hard Rock Live, Las Vegas, USA
Sun 2nd July – The Republik, Honolulu, Hawaii

###

Buy tickets for Snakehips at O2 Forum Kentish Town on the 8th September here:
Ticketmaster.com / Seetickets.com / Dice.fm / Ticketweb.co.uk

Dua Lipa dishes on debut album in exclusive Fault shoot and interview

FAULT first featured Dua Lipa as one of our ones to watch for 2016 back in Issue 23. Building a fiercely loyal fanbase, we all held our breath in anticipation for what would come in the future. Now it’s 2017 and Dua is a household name from her single releases alone and with the arrival of her debut album today, we caught back up with Dua to see what’s new, what’s changed and what’s still FAULTY.

It’s finally here, is it weird to know your album is finally out?

It’s exciting and I think it’ll be weird on the day. In fact, it’s the morning after that I think will be the most crazy as it’ll be out. I’ve not been able to add to it for a little while and it’s just been really exciting to see it come together.

 

You spoke to FAULT about a year ago and your mind-set was very much in the place of “I’m free to write about anything I want so I’m going to” – has your mind-set changed since then?

Now I’m really focussing on being present and mindful in everything I do, it’s all about enjoying the journey.

 

Back then you said your FAULT was that you overwork – would you say that’s changed since then?

I’m still working hard because I love what I do although I’m not overthinking anymore and that’s something I’ve consciously made a decision to do. It’s not worth dwelling over and for me, if it feels right at the time I might as well just go for it and live in the present and then move on to the next thing.

 

What’s been your favourite moment so far?

I’ve really enjoyed being on tour and I love being able to go on tour and see different places. I just came back from southeast Asia and it’s interesting to see and amazing to find that I have an audience over there. It’s been really great.

 

Are you the same Dua when you’re on stage compared to when you’re in the studio?

I’m not; when I’m in the studio I’m more contained and a lot of emotion goes into really telling my story through my vocal and my lyrics. When I’m on stage, it’s a lot about just having fun and it all goes in waves. You start dancing, then you have a cry but we always send you home dancing again and I feel like when I’m on stage and as much as I get my emotions across I also make sure my audience is having fun. I can feed off the audience more on stage also, if they’re having a good time then I’m having a good time.

 

You’ve just released your song with Miguel also – how did that come about?

He’s always been an artist that I loved and admired for his work as a songwriter so I reached out and he was lovely and got back and said “let’s do it!”. I’ve done collaborations with artists before ever meeting them but with Miguel, I was able to form that relationship with him through writing together in the studio.

 

Through much of your career music writers have described you as “the next big thing” and we’ve all been told your album “will be great” – now we draw closer to release do you feel a lot of pressure to live up to the hype placed on you?

I feel pressure; there’s always pressure that comes with people’s expectations of you but during my career I’ve been very lucky to have people put me on their ones to watch lists and it’s helped me get to where I am but also pushed me to tell myself “I have to make sure all these people are right”. I don’t want people to look back at those articles like “oh, whatever happened to Dua?”, so yes there’s pressure to work hard to prove them and myself right.

 

What’s your plan post-release?

The day the album comes out I fly to NYC for Governor’s Ball and I’ll be there for a couple days and then I play festival season until September. From October through the end of the year I’ll have my album tour and then I’m off on tour with Bruno Mars! As crazy as it sounds, I’ve already started work on the 2nd album and I’ll focus a bit on that in January.

 

Is writing still fluid?

I feel like so much has happened that I need to write about and when I get into the studio I just add those words to melody.

 

Favourite tongue twister?

Peter Piper Picked A Peck Of Pickled Peppers.

What is your FAULT?

The album not coming out in February, because it was completely my doing.

 

Was it the right decision?

Absolutely! I was upset, my fans were upset and it was entirely my FAULT but I’m really happy I did and because I released so many songs I’ve been able to put some new songs on the album and have it sounding brand new.

 

Dua Lipa’s self-titled debut album is out today.

Words Miles Holder

Photography Jack Alexander

Makeup Francesca Brazzo

Hair Anna Cofone

Bundle of Joy: Burgeoning London-based songstress Joy Crookes Releases Third Single ‘Bad Feeling’

Despite being only 18-years young, seemingly everyone from the established indie blogosphere right through to Brooklyn Beckham are sitting up and taking notice of London-based trip-hop, soul-infused singer, Joy Crookes. Having released 60’s-soul inspired, twilight hour baroque-pop ballads in Sinatra and New Manhattan last year, Crookes releases third single ‘Bad Feeling’, a musical shift towards jazz-enthused, R&B grooves showing a tongue-in-cheek side to the singer who wears a myriad of cultural influences on her sleeve.

Citing a range of genres and artists as seemingly polarising as Lauryn Hill, Nancy Sinatra, The Clash, and Van Morrison as inspirations, Crookes’ has developed a mature, multi-faceted sound which bodes well for her forthcoming debut EP release, produced by Tev’n (SBTRKT, Celeste, Lily Allen). Sold out shows last year included a packed-to-the-rafters Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, with forthcoming gigs at Bushstock Festival in London and a performance at Live Nation’s renowned Source Night on 14th July offering must-see opportunities to see a star in the making.

We recently sat down with Crookes to discuss her intriguing background and how her influences have filtered into a distinctly signature sound.

Joy Crookes Bad Feeling

 

Many people are linking your music so far to Lauryn Hill – would you say that was a fair assessment?

I love Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Grace Jones. I love artists that seem real or authentic, so I can say I love their authenticity. I wouldn’t say I was directly inspired by Lauryn Hill. I think it’s more complex than saying I’m inspired by one female artist. I think it’s more that people want to understand what you’re about before they listen to you, and sometimes you get comparisons. I never thought I’d be compared with Lauryn Hill, it’s crazy! I grew up on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, but I’m from a very eclectic background of music.

What would you say are the most prominent influences from your background?

I’m from South London, which is just a melting pot of cultures. I’m part of one of the biggest Latino communities in London, which is linked to Caribbean and West African communities, while my Dad is Irish. I’m an ethnic chic so I understand the comparisons with someone like Lauryn Hill, but when I’m making music I tend to think more of Nancy Sinatra and Eartha Kitt. I’m quite an emotional person, and I’ve had things happen with family and mental health issues so I think when you suffer experiences like that from an early age, you observe things differently and it can make you quite mature. You feel ten times more than anyone else feels at the time.

Tell us a bit more about the creative process behind your latest single ‘Bad Feeling’?

It’s very tongue in cheek and I wrote the chorus part in that vein. Eartha Kitt is incredible and she’s so cheeky, when she does her videos she looks like a lion or a tiger, so Bad Feeling was much the same in that it was a cheeky song and it was done very quickly. It’s a surface level song, you know, we’ve all been through it. It’s not about immigration or anything, it’s simple. I wrote it during a writing camp and there was a funny moment during the experience that I exaggerated and made it about myself.

You hear a lot of songs taking about relationships where the protagonist is worried the other person is going to leave them, while your take on romance on ‘Bad Feeling’ is more about not being sure of yourself.

I am such a cheeky character but I don’t think you grasp that on New Manhattan or Sinatra. New Manhattan reflects more my Irish emotional side, while Bad Feeling represents the charm and whit of my mum who moved over from Bengal when she was just sixteen. She inspired me to be memorable and I think when you meet people like that you get excited, so I wanted to reflect that side of my personality in the song, and show people that I can be funny and quite cheeky as well as being emotional.

 

Going back to previous releases such as New Manhattan and Sinatra, there seems to be a lot of dreamy, emotive, Lana Del Rey inspired imagery on those songs, was this a conscious direction in sound?

The one thing I can say about Lana is that if David Lynch made music the result would be her, with the themes of drugs and sex. I’m hugely into Massive Attack, as I grew up listening to the whole Bristol music scene. Their song ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ is a good example, where they have a soul singer with an orchestra and Latin percussion backing her. There is so much going on and so many influences in their music that I couldn’t replicate everything. New Manhattan is a commercially sounding track, but the guitar does have that Lynchian/Nancy Sinatra sound, while the drum beat is straight out of a Massive Attack song.

It’s amazing to be compared to people like Lana Del Rey because that means people are trying to understand the music from a commercial degree, but then if you look in more detail and learn the reasons behind why I added certain influences then it’s a little more complex. I’m 18 years old and a girl from South London who is sponge when it comes to life experiences, so anything my family or my boyfriend says, or even the music I listen to has an impact, so I’m as much of a melting pot as my location and cultural upbringing.

What’s the story behind New Manhattan?

It’s a place in Brussels that I visited with my boyfriend, and I just felt compelled to write an observational story about the area, which quickly developed into a love song. There was a red-light district, so that’s where the lyric ‘I took a picture with my eyes, and I’m frightened of girls in plastic heights’ came from. It hurt to be in an area like that and realise that a country home to the European Commission can also have streets that are filled with hookers and others which are family street markets in contrast, so it was quite difficult for someone who hadn’t been in an area like that before. The general idea with the song was that you can be anywhere and be comfortable as long as you have the right person next to you.

Although it’s still early days, what do you hope to achieve in music?

I would like to be known as iconic, and to feel like I’ve made a difference to people. My favourite subject at school was history, and I had this brilliant history teacher who taught me about different cultures and mental health, which was quite inspirational while growing up in Elephant and Castle at the time. The main issue I remember her talking about was American history and the misuse of power, which can happen to everyone no matter how big or small. I always wanted to write songs from the perspective of being a woman with colour and how it has shaped my life.

Words Jamie Boyd

 

Stream Joy’s new track BAD FEELING below:

Fault Magazine playlist Santino Le Saint

Today’s playlist comes courtesy of newcomer Santina Le Saint set to take the world by storm with his pioneering sound of ‘trap-rock’. Founder of London-based collective Cloud X  recently released his single 4am which is taken from his forthcoming EP. A multi-faceted musician, Santino Le Saint transcends mediums with his talent in music, film fashion and art – ready to become an inspiration for generations to follow. Listen to 4am on Spotify here and enjoy the rest of Santino Le Saint’s FAULT Magazine playlist.

Wicked Games – The Weeknd
“First song I ever put out as a cover”

Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix

“Best driving song / a song to listen to on the move ever. Made me fall in love with playing the guitar”

 

Come As You Are – Nirvana

“Hard to choose one Nirvana song but apart from ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, this song has crazy vibes”

 

Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar

“Kendrick Lamar is in my top 5 best rappers of all time, I had to pick one song so I chose this one”

 

From The Inside – Linkin Park

“Represents a heavier phase I went through, still quite light though in comparison to artists like Slipknot etc. I listened to Linkin Park a lot when I was doing band music”

The Zone ft Drake – The Weeknd

“Probably in my top 3 favourite tracks of all time”

Talking Da hardest – Giggs

“UK National Anthem”

50 Ways to Leave A Lover – Paul Simon

“One of the first songs that my dad taught me to play on guitar and I listened to Paul Simon a lot growing up. He influenced my songwriting”

She’s Out of My Life – Michael Jackson

“One of the first songs I performed as a child – mum’s influence”