FAULT Music

FAULT Reviews: Detroit rapper Danny Brown live at the Met (Pawtucket, RI)

When you attend a Danny Brown concert, expect to quickly befriend your neighbor. Or at least become accustomed to the scent of joints and Newports while you dance. Having followed the rapper’s career from afar, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. Would we encounter a charismatic wordsmith on the prowl or a vulnerable introvert with the habit of posting confessional snippets on Twitter? I suppose that I shouldn’t have underestimated Brown’s ability to navigate the balance of comedic spectacle and natural skill.

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Photo: Josh Wehle

Following a set from show-openers Tanboys, the polarizing underdog of rap was clearly the king of the court at The Met in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. From the second that he hit the stage, Brown, sporting recently dyed hair the color of a St. Patrick’s Day shamrock, controlled the eager masses with his tightly-controlled rhythm and signature voice, spitting out rhymes like a man who knew that he had nothing to lose. After all, Brown’s fans embrace his “weirdness” (he once stated that 50 Cent didn’t want to sign him to a label due to his affinity for skinny jeans), championing the rapper’s unflinching honesty about growing up in Detroit, in addition to his high-pitched wordplay. Surrounded by the energy of the Bruiser Brigade, Brown performed songs from 2011’s XXX and his current album Old. Highlights from Old included: ‘Side A (Old)’, ’25 Bucks’, ‘Handstand’, and ‘Smokin and Drinkin’. The crowd, which seemed to have a median age of twenty-two, seemed to be enraptured. The rapper’s mere presence was enough to incite mania. Unlike a Drake or even hometown rival Big Sean, Brown doesn’t need the gaudy distractions of bottle-popping club thumpers or odes to designer-duds. His power lies in his conviction, the dedication to exposing the raw and ugly truths of life. Girls decked out in skate shoes and Obey snapbacks partied next to hip-hop heads in fresh sneakers and chunky chains. Bouncing with boundless showmanship, Brown tore through song after song. He moved about the stage with ease, ending every other song with the flash of his tongue. Combined with the venue setup and the crowd demographic, I couldn’t help but feel transported back to the days of college house parties, where nearly everyone swayed to the bass while clutching a red cup.

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Brown has been adamant about sticking to the truth of his craft, rather than clamoring for radio-friendly hits. In the past, he’s said: “I think now with me and my music, it’s just something that I want to leave behind when I die.” Considering the work that Brown has already released, I doubt that his work will be forgotten. At the core of his music, Brown is a story-teller, one who captures the humanity of his community, no matter how bleak or grim (it’s no surprise that he cites Nas as one of his early influences). As long as Brown continues to have something to say, count me among the many hip-hop aficionados that will continue to listen.

 

Words: Vanessa Willoughby

FAULT Focus: Russian rockers Mumiy Troll

At a time when Russia is making global headlines for all the wrong reasons, it is important to remember that, amidst all the wide-reaching political machinations and life changing military decisions, there are still people in every country with a story to tell.

With that in mind, FAULT was privileged to be able to speak to one of the one of the most influential voices in contemporary Russian popular culture – Mumiy Troll‘s Ilya Lugutenko. Since starting the band in 1983, Ilya – raised in Russia’s Far Eastern port of Vladivostok (on the Sea of Japan) – has shaped the face of a generation. Mumiy Troll is as popular in Russia now as it has ever been. In total, they have released 16 albums over a period of almost 30 years. After initially serving in the Russian Air Navy, Lugatenko speaks Mandarin, has worked in both China and the UK, featured in the globally popular cult film ‘Night Watch’, recently started his own music festival and is an outspoken supporter for ecological conservation. Mumiy Troll were also one of the first musical acts to support the activities of PSI organization fighting AIDS in Russia.

It is a cosmopolitan story from a driven, complex and, above all, creative character. If nothing else, it is a pleasure to be able to take a step back to focus on an individual – their passions, achievements and creative spirit – rather than on the collective judgments of an entire nation.

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FAULT: In 2012, you released your very first album in English entitled Vladivostok. Could you tell us a little more about the meaning of your single ‘Love Contraband’, which also appears on that album?

ILYA: These days Russia is usually associated with vodka, spies or oil fortunes …not even ballet anymore. I guess a Russian rock band is still not a very legit term for most westerners… I have a really simple message here – we love to write and perform good songs and would love to share them with as many people as possible.

Your songs sound like a romantic declaration to the world… can you tell us from where do you draw this romanticism?

I hate to hate anything. I would love to be able to love every single thing on the planet and beyond. I know it’s not easy. I know it is almost impossible but I am still trying to be “the Poet and not a Revolutionary”. I came from a little town on the sea, which happened to be major Russian navy base on the Pacific. I never wanted to jump on the Trans Siberian train. I was more curious about what was behind the ocean’s horizon.

In 2012, you decided to release your first ever album in English [Vladivostok] – why?

I’ve never won a lottery. I’m a bad gambler. It took me quite a lot of hard work to prove to myself that my writing and performance abilities had the potential to expand beyond my hometown. We never had a major recording deal and our international touring experience grew very gradually – limited by the band’s own resources and aspirations.

This album is not really an experiment. It just shows the current state of where the band is at in this moment. It’s a mixture of our life experiences forged with a rather universal rock sound.

Our very good friend and owner of The Village Studios in Los Angeles, Jeff Greenberg, has pushed the idea of making an English language record – he once heard us recording our Russian material at his studio. After falling crazy for it he kept on us… saying, “Guys, this has to be heard in English”. It took us few years to came up with an album and finally we arrived at Vladivostok.

The album presents Mumiy Troll’s spirit to people who do not understand Russian. It is named after our home city where I and most of the band members grew up. MumiyTrollWebsite_09

How has living in Vladivostok influenced your music (if at all)?

It has influenced in many ways. All of our songs have something to do with the Ocean and being from Vladivostok. You can understand that. I have even written a song named Vladivostok Vacation. In Russian it’s called Vladivostok 2000 which has put the city on the map in Russia in a way. It has actually been quoted that this song did more for the city in terms of promotion than anything the government has ever done (which only used to be stereotyped before as a place for drunken sailors and lots of crime on every level). I always believed Vladivostok to be a place to Rock. Being almost 10 hours flight away from Moscow and 3 hours drive from China certainly affects your identity. I grew up to be an alien to my countrymen in general and to world music tastes in particular.

In your book, My Eastyou recalled that Khrushchev predicted in the year 2000, Vladivostok would become Russia’s San Francisco. Do you believe his successors succeeded in this?

That’s still only in our dreams. I have also co-written a fiction novel named Vladivostok 3000 which describes my vision of how the city could be in a totally different dimension. However, whatever the public criticism of the APEC summit, etc., I sincerely welcome and support all changes including new bridges and a new university into my hometown. My own graduation was in Chinese History and Economics and I remember discussing the futuristic visions of Vladivostok back in my student years. I never believed in the industrial revolution in the area but I was sure that it could be an Educational and Entertainment centre fed by the biggest Port on the Russian Pacific.

For a few years I was obsessed with the idea to stage a Pacific Rock Festival in Vladivostok where bands and artist from Siberia, China, Korea and the rest of Australasia would meet annually. However, the local government is still thinking of different priorities with their agendas (ed: see below – VROX Festival is now up and running).

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Where was your first performance abroad as Mumiy Troll?

North of Japan we played a festival. It felt like home as it is very similar to Vladivostok weather wise. Also, Greenland where nobody had heard of us and they never really had rock bands come over to play a gig then. It was truly a memorable experience.

Who is your greatest musical inspiration?

Characters who can make it on their own terms. It does not relate to particular music styles and they are maybe not the biggest acts on the planet – probably more of those who can explore, change, unite different cultures without compromising pop sensibility… Ryuhci Sakamoto or David Bowie for instance…

You have sung your songs in Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and English, what is next?

Good question. By the way, I also did versions of our songs in Ukrainian and Latvian, though as of yet they have never been released… It’s simply life experiments to see how it feels. I’d like to try Portuguese. Sounds funny but Portuguese and Russian have so many similar sounds which is kinda tough to pronounce for any others in the world.  

One of the things that we find most interesting is your support of AMUR (named after the Amur tiger). What is your goal with the AMUR project and why have you been so supportive of it?

The Amur tiger is a symbol of the area in the Far East that I come from. I was introduced to the head of the AMUR fund in London and was asked to help with some public awareness projects which gradually developed into quite a mission. Ten years later I [found] myself launching an idea. [It was] an international charity music/ball event, Saving the Tigers, which ended up being a part of an important International Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg – we not only had Vladimir Putin and Heads of States of the13 so-called “Tiger countries”, but also celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio. He personally donated a large sum of money to the cause and Naomi Campbell co-hosted the event with me. I compare Tigers to Independent music – rare, hard to survive, but brave and beautiful.

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What were your expectations for this year while touring in the US and the UK, and has performing there been what you anticipated?

To reach out to non-Russian speaking communities we do not have any media resources behind us. So, the only way is to physically go their and play. For me, it’s a big privilege to perform in front of people no matter where and no matter to how many. One day could see us performing to 10,000 hardcore fans in Russia and the next day in a small club in a ghost town of Pontiac to couple dozen people who just came to see us out of curiosity.

Does fashion play any role in how you wish to portray your band’s musical style?

I always thought that music and fashion should walk together. However, I’ve never paid too much attention to what happens in the fashion world. I guess, like in music, I’d prefer things which never get out of fashion… I’d prefer to set the trend unintentionally instead of follow any.

‘Flow Away’ – Mumiy Troll – March ’14

Do you have any favorite fashion designers?

My good friends from Britain – Bolongaro Trevor (who were the original designers of All Saints). Also, Arsenicum, the Russian brand by Dima Loginov who is a great example how our music really influence people to do things – standing out from the usual crowd by being very stylish and an instant classic.

And finally, as you travel from country to country, how would you define success?

By seeing results. You have to work hard for them and you have to work hard to be successful… to have genuine enthusiasm, passion and energy – and not to be so afraid of failure that it stops you trying. Because in the end, you learn from mistakes in order to keep going forward. That’s what Iv’e always done. That’s what I will continue to do. Keep moving.

What is your FAULT?

I trust people too much.

In August 2013, Ilya welcomed musicians, artists, and creative talents around the world to join him at the inaugural VROX Festival  in Ilya’s hometown of Vladivostok, Russia.

In Spring 2014, Mumiy Troll will be releasing their second ever album in English, following the release of their first English-speaking album entitled Valdivostok. While Vladivostok was recorded in Los Angeles with highly regarded producers Joe Chiccarelli and Mike Clink, the new album was recorded around the world while the group took part in a global sailing voyage and again attracted the attention of top producers: Ben Hillier (Depeche Mode) Simon Gogerly (U2) Greg Brimson (Eminem) and Keefus Ciancia (T bone Burnett).

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Upcoming Tour dates:
Liverpool, UK - Sound City Festival - May 1 
Vladivostok, Russia – V-Rox Festival - 29 August
Shanghai, China – MIDI Festival - Oct 1
 For more information, visit: mumiytroll.com

 

Creative Director / Photographer: Adrenus Craton
Interview by Adrenus Craton & Victor Savkin
Model: Charlie Melchiori – Novelmodels
Elite Hair: Michael Marenco  (sponsored by Label M)
Makeup: Cathy Widawska
Styling: Gillian Phelan
Film Director: Giovanni Fumu
Lighting Direction: Francois Dupont & Olivier Herold
Location: Chiswick House and Gardens
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Mumiy Troll Team Bolongaro Trevor London Victor Savkin Cato Music Creative Door Studios Paris Biondini Champs Élysées Givenchy Homme
MENSWEAR Bolongaro Treavor Avelon 22_4 Hommes Femmes by Stephanie Hahn Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Glenn Martens Nanthalat
WOMENSWEAR Arsenicum Cassadei Gerbe
Introduction: Nick Artsruni

FAULT Favourites Band of Skulls release third album, ‘Himalayan’

 

band of skulls himalayan

FAULT first spoke to lead singer and bassist Emma Richardson  back in 2011 to discuss the release of their breakthrough second album, Sweet Sour for FAULT Issue 10: the Legacy Issue. From their early days touring as Fleeing New York in the late noughties, we knew that this was a band to watch, one that would stand the test of time. Here’s what we wrote about them back then:

From their relatively recent incipience in 2008, the female fronted, blues heavy, old fashioned raw and ready rock outfit are perhaps rivalled only by the Black Keys, both in terms of their ‘old school’ guitar-heavy style and their similarly meteoric rise to fame. In one dazzling swoop, these groups have utterly dismissed that old (circa 2006) adage that ‘guitar music is dead’ – with Emma Richardson, Russell Marsden and Matt Hayward doing so in particularly impressive style. The Brits have been ‘cracking the US’ in such an accomplished fashion that they have drawn comparisons from some quarters to rock legends Led Zeppelin. With their pulverizing basslines and soaring – yet oddly searing – vocals, Band of Skulls are a firm FAULT Favourite.

Now, three years later, we were pleased to get a chance to catch up with drummer Matt Hayward about the highly anticipated release of their third album, the brilliantly constructed Himalayan.

 

Welcome back to FAULT! How are you feeling about the new album?

Matt: We’re really proud of the record that we’ve come up with and we’re feeling really good about it. It’s been quite frustrating because we finished it at the end of last summer so we’ve had it in our hands for quite a while now but it’s finally upon us now so we’re very excited!

How does the new album differ from your last two?

We’ve said is that it kind of takes elements from the last two albums and makes a record out of that. Whilst we were writing and recording the last two albums we isolated ourselves out in the countryside in an old farmhouse and this time we decided to go in to central London and I think that definitely rubs off on the record. There’s an energy about being in London which is great, we were going in every day and then being able to leave the studio too which gives you a lot more objectivity about things, you can listen to your demos on the train home and all these little things which we never had before so I think that played a big part in the sound of it.

Do you have any favourites or standout tracks on the new album?

It chops and changes, it always changes by night really. It’s interesting that a lot of it is down to crowd responses, it’s funny the ones that you get different reactions from and not always reactions you were expecting. At the moment, we’re just really excited to play any of it really, it’s been such a long time we’re just itching to get going.

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Band of Skulls shot by Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

When we spoke about your last album you cited The Beatles, Neil Young and Bob Dylan as influencers, are these still relevant to the new album or have you found inspiration elsewhere?

We have a pretty strong rule in the studio that we don’t play a lot of current music whilst we’re recording because we’re keen not to have anything influence us too heavily.

We listen to a bunch of different stuff, there’s definitely a glam element to this record. When we got in to the studio we hung out for a few days with our producer Nick Launay and played our favourite records, there was definitely a theme of T-Rex swagger, and everyone bringing in Prince albums.

When you’re piecing songs together, creating new music do you envisage an ideal setting in which it will be played back? Where would you like your music to be heard?

For me, my favourite time is listening to music is on aeroplanes. I get a real kick out of it, that excitement and nervousness of travelling. You’re on your way to somewhere and to have a soundtrack to that sort of emotion is quite similar to playing shows in a way, it’s exciting it’s nerve-wracking, and full of adrenaline all of those wonderful things. If I could pick a place for anyone to listen to this record it would be getting a flight somewhere.

Are you thinking about playing the album out live whilst recording and writing?

Yeah definitely but we try and keep the two things very separate. We like to thing that making a record is like taking a photograph. It’s taking a photo of where you are at and what you’ve been coming up with of. At the moment we’re at the rehearsal studios piecing together how we want to do things live and it inevitably changes quite a lot which we really like. For us, going to see a band and they just sound like the records is not so exciting, it hasn’t got that element of danger to it.

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Photography: Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

Can you see another live album in the future?

Yes, hopefully a little bit further down the road of touring so we’re a bit more warmed up. Also we recently did an acoustic show last week which we hadn’t really done before. We do quite a bit of acoustic stuff for radio but we’d never done a show before. It was just something completely new, we had a string quartet and with us having never played with any other musicians but ourselves it was really strange but there’s definitely talk of doing something like that again on a bigger scale.

Speaking of working with other musicians, how do you feel about collaborations, is there anybody you could see yourselves working with?

We’ve never really talked about collaborating with other musicians, it’s never been put in front of us so we’ve never really thought about it but I’m sure it would be really interesting. It’s not particularly on our list of things to do. But if an offer came up then yeah sure, if Prince gives us a call then by all means…

What does the rest of 2014 hold for you?

It’s just relentless touring in front of us now. Next week we’re off to America then coming back to do some UK shows and then Europe, after that it’s back to the States and then Australia… we’ll be heading back in time to hit festival season which will be really exciting. So yeah there will be a whole lot of living out of suitcases.

Final question, what is your FAULT?

There’s no way to win this one! If I don’t say anything then it sounds like we’re just perfect… I guess we’re bad sons and daughters to our parents because we don’t see them enough as we should. Yeah we’re bad kids, we’re always gallivanting…

Himalayan is out now

Interview by Louis Sheridan

Mac Miller & Dylan Reynolds: Behind the Scenes video from our exclusive FAULT Issue 17 shoot

 

 

Video courtesy of Bryant Robinson/Three Way Productions

 

Music: ‘Spanish Civil War’ by Dylan Reynolds

Mac Miller and Dylan Reynolds were shot exclusively for FAULT Issue 17 by photographer Danny Williams (Topshelf Jr), with styling by Luke Storey (School of Style). The shoot took place at Mac’s house in LA, with most of the Behind the Scenes footage above shot in Mac’s private studio. Mac Miller is one of the most popular rap/hip-hop artists in world music today, with two studio albums which reached #1 and #3 in the US charts. Dylan Reynolds is signed to Mac’s REMember label. The pair grew up together in Pittsburgh, PA.

 

mac & dylan inside 1

Mac Miller & Dylan Reynolds were shot at Mac’s private studio in LA by photographer Danny Williams (Topshelf Jr), with styling by Luke Storey (School of Style), exclusively for FAULT Issue 17
Click here to order your copy of this issue!

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 17 (WINTER 2012-13) – THE OTHER ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER HERE NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

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

FAULT Future: Broods

It was the razor-sharp electro-pop sound of “Bridges” that set the blogosphere on fire. For New Zealand’s BROODS, it took no time at all before Capital Records and Polydor came knocking on their door, least of all landing a highly coveted offer to support the second leg of Haim’s recent UK tour. Siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott continue to ignite the embers of intrigue surrounding their young band, especially when they tell us they were working café jobs some three months ago. Quite simply, they seem to have emerged, fully formed, out of nowhere.

BROODS’ highly introspective songs are as catchy as they are delicate, employing an array of synthesizers—and the production of Joel Little, the jewel in Lorde’s crown—to make confessional moments full and sometimes shake a venue. Although Georgia and Caleb stake their claim on the inspiration of such ethereal artists as Bat for Lashes and Oh Land, their meteoric rise to the top can’t help but bring to mind a burly wide receiver charging down the field. They’re taking that pigskin all the way to the end zone.

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How did music come to you?

We grew up with music all around us. Both of our parents play music and our extended family members are very musical as well. They’ve always been really supportive of anything that we did creatively. From early on, they always encouraged us to paint and play music. We have awesome parents and we’re very lucky to have that support system. But it wasn’t until we got to high school that we really took it seriously. We had a very cool music teacher who always encouraged us to write and record our own stuff.

Can you name some of the more iconic artists who have inspired you?

People like Thom Yorke and James Blake. Outside of that, Georgia’s influences are very strong, female vocalists such as Lykke Li and Natasha Kahn from Bat for Lashes. She definitely gravitates toward women vocalists who are fearless in the way that they write music and perform.

How do you divide up duties between Georgia and yourself? For instance, are you very involved in writing lyrics yourself?

With the EP, our writing process changed all the time. Sometimes we would go into the studio and write from scratch, and we would have equal input during the process. Other times, Georgia has a full written demo that she will bring into the studio that consists of vocals set to piano. She starts by recording in her bedroom and we build the track from there.

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What is it like to work so closely as siblings in a creative field?

People always ask if we fight and things like that. It’s very easy when it comes to writing music together because we understand each other’s strengths, back to front and inside out. It’s very easy to communicate our ideas to each other, so it proves to be really easy when we get into the studio. We tell each other if we don’t like something and no one gets offended. It’s a lot of fun writing as siblings.

In our past conversation, you brought up the influence of Oh Land.

I’m personally a huge fan of Oh Land and everything she does. It felt so different when she first started writing music. I was so captivated by her production and melody lines. I find her so interesting. I love a lot of Scandinavian music. I’m a big fan of anything that comes out of that part of the world.

Bridges” and “Never Gonna Change” is very much pop, but they do have this introspective, dark center to them in the lyrics especially. Where does that darkness come from?

Both of those tracks came from Georgia’s demos. She has always been more of a darker writer. I guess she feels most inspired to write songs when she feels like she needs closure about something.

How did you first meet Joel Little, a producer that you guys share with Lorde?

We first met Joel three years ago. We were doing a high school Battle of the Bands in New Zealand and Joel, along with his manager, approached us. They wanted to write a song with us and produced a song for the band that we were in at the time. I guess our relationship kept going and evolved over time from there. When that project didn’t quite work out, we decided to keep writing together. We all get along so well. It’s great to see him experiencing all this success.

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The same can be said about BROODS. How are you processing everything that’s happening right now?

It’s really crazy. Georgia and I were working in cafes just three months ago. I was at university and things like that. Now we’re traveling the world and playing these shows. People want to come to these shows and we’re selling out shows. It’s crazy to think where we were just months ago and where we are now. It’s happening very fast and something new pops up every day. It’s super exciting, man.

Does anything scare you while you’re on this journey? There’s a lot riding on the choices you make at this stage of your career.

We have no idea how things will unfold. It’s happening so fast that we have to take things day by day. I think the most important thing is to stay true to who we are. As cheesy as that sounds, we have to remain humble about the whole thing. Our parents would probably slap us in the face if we didn’t.

What is your FAULT?

I get stressed out quite easily. That’s probably my biggest fault. And it’s usually due to Georgia because she’s often in her own world.

BROODS self-titled EP is out now. The duo’s debut LP is slated for release this fall.

 

Words: Kee Chang
Photography: Victoria Stevens
Styling: Shandi Alexander
Make-Up/Hair: Kelsey Morgan

Little Mix: Exclusive Behind the Scenes video with our FAULT Issue 17 Music cover stars

 

 

Video by Julian Ruiz/Killer Pixel Films

 

Music: ‘Kids Grow Better Under the Sun’ by Anymals

 

Perry, Jesy, Jade and Leigh-Anne, who have a huge 12 page spread in the issue, were shot exclusively for FAULT by Benjamin Johnson and styled by Marika Page. The in-your-face style of the images reflect the band’s constant evolution in terms of musical style: not content to rest on their laurels after the success of their debut, DNA, the girl’s second album, Salute, has called a much wider audience to attention. Love them or hate them: Little Mix refuse to be ignored.

 

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Little Mix – as featured inside FAULT Issue 17. The girls were shot by Benjamin Johnson and styled by Marika Page.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

Angel Haze – exclusive shoot for FAULT Online

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Bomber Jacket: D’Albert
Trousers: Jean Pierre Braganza
Boots: Dr Marten
T-Shirt: This Is A Lovesong

Last week, Angel Haze took to the stage at Heaven for her headline gig and told the assembled masses that “fans of Angel Haze are fans of themselves.” Amidst the crowd of people crying, screaming and hanging on every lyric, there is no denying that Haze has forged a rare bond with her fanbase. Sitting in the make-up chair before her FAULT shoot, she explains that “people who get me, get me because they are me in some sense….they take my music and they make it what they need.” Haze has overcome unusual adversity; she grew up in a religious cult and suffered abuse throughout her childhood, before taking on the music industry with her unique brand of raw, lyrical rap. The aggression in her music is high-impact and searing, with lyrics that possess a brutal honesty and a surprising spirituality. On stage, she has a religious quality; equal parts saint, sinner, preacher and, on the harshest tracks, appearing almost exorcised mid-set.

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Jacket: Napsugar Von Bittera
Shirt: Joy Rich
Trousers: Carlotta Actis Barone

Perhaps this isn’t far-off; “I wanted to use music as catharsis…to rid myself of all my demons and all the shit I couldn’t deal with alone.” Having put her life so much in the public domain, it would be easy for her ‘story’ to become a burden, and she admits that “once people relate to you, they will run to you.” Haze seems to fear being pigeon-holed, although she is resigned to the fact that “people take your demons and run with them….they become who you are.” Taking a breath, she looks around the room before asserting that “my story isn’t the only story I have to tell.” The story Haze refers to is one of “prosperity, of becoming a better person” and it’s a story ongoing. Her latest single Battle Cry features a vocal from Sia and has already broken into the Top 20, jumping 62 places in a week.

Haze is accustomed to this rapid, viral success. “I got famous from Tumblr”, she laughs between texts on her phone, “and I’m not even as famous as I’m gonna be.” By her count, it’s taken two years to transform her life and she appears incredibly introspective (and honest) for such a rising star. When I compare her to other rappers and their declarations of status, swag and self-deification, she almost timidly confides that “the braggadocio shit doesn’t come easy to me.” Instead, her lyrics are about “being honest with myself and obsessed with love”, filtered through her honest voice and confessional verses; “there’s an immense loneliness to my life.”

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Jacket: Joy Rich
Trousers: Jean Pierre Braganza

Haze seems both born for the life she is living now, but also so clearly  conscious of where she has come from and, more importantly, what she has overcome. Over the course of our time together, boxes arrive from Chanel, messages get sent over from Karl Lagerfeld (in London for a store opening,) and at one point John Newman texts her to be his date for an event that evening. Haze is that rare thing- the humble rap superstar, with something to say that is truly her own, and a sense of self grounded in her lyrics and not in her designer labels. Amidst the chaos of the set- of publicists and hair people and rails of designer clothes- she pauses and reflects on what she refers to as her ‘process of becoming’ who she is now. “You change, you evolve, and you never want to go back.”

Words by: Will Ballantyne-Reid
Photographer: Miles Holder
Stylist: Denise Brown

Mac Miller & Dylan Reynolds – exclusive shoot for FAULT Issue 17

 

mac & dylan inside 1

Mac Miller & Dylan Reynolds were shot at Mac’s private studio in LA by photographer Danny Williams (Topshelf Jr), with styling by Luke Storey (School of Style), exclusively for FAULT Issue 17
Click here to order your copy of this issue!

Music, friendship, success and going global. Sound great? Yep, we agree.

Friends since elementary school, and now bringing their individual styles to the world at large, Mac Miller and Dylan Reynolds might represent completely different genres but they also share a passion for great composition and all-round musical ability.

While rappers traditionally talk a big game when it comes to representing their home town and their friends, it’s hard to think of any who come close to the level of loyalty and belief shown by Mac in Dylan. We caught up with the Pittsburgh-born duo at Mac’s house in LA (thanks again Mac, we had a blast). While Dylan posed in Mac’s private studio for our shoot, Mac shunned the limelight and insisted that Dylan be the focus of our piece.

This wasn’t a meaningless show of sentimentality. Mac clearly believes in Dylan’s talent – and it’s hard to argue about musical ability with a man who has garnered almost implausible levels of success in such a short time. Over the past couple of years, the facts speak for themselves: two studio albums full of hit songs, millions of fans, the launch of his own record label and an MTV show in his honour.

Listening to Dylan’s work, we can’t see why you’d want to disagree with Mac. Signed to Mac’s REMember Music label (a classic example of ‘putting your money where your mouth is’), Dylan brings a unique talent to the roster. His flawless (or should we say FAULTless?) voice is matched by the incredible emotion he brings to each of his songs. It really is a pleasure to hear an artist register the level of feeling that Dylan does while still hitting his notes so cleanly.

Speaking to the two artists, one thing became immediately and abundantly clear: both of them put great stock in their personal convictions. Neither have any intention of compromising their integrity for a quick fix of fame – that is most likely something else that has kept the pair so close for so long. They’ve kept their own styles while retaining a respect for other people’s – more than that, they’ve both openly embraced diverse genres and inspirations. It’s something that Dylan is only just beginning to show in his music that is available to the wider public (check out ‘Tightrope’) but it’s something that is definitely to be applauded.

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Singer-songwriter Dylan Reynolds – stepping into the spotlight in 2014. Grooming by Anna Branson.

FAULT: Mac – 2013: what a year for you! T.V show, tours, mix-tapes, launching your own record label, a clothing line… What’s up next for you?

Mac: If I told you that, I’d have to kill you.

What kind of talent are looking to sign to your REMember Label?

I’m looking for people who have a genuine love for music. I’m not looking for people who want a ticket to the “Big Show”. I want people who are ready to build and learn and become great. I want artists with potential and an open mind. No specifics in genre.

How would you describe Dylan’s music and what kind of impact do you see him having on the industry?

Dylan is honest. In a world where young people are manipulated and turned into consumers. Dylan is the truth. He is a young man with a story to tell. He has a passion for the art and he just wants to inspire people. He is not trying to turn his fans into consumers and become a product. His goals are far higher.

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Interview and production by Leah Blewitt. Filmed footage by Bryant Robinson. Special thanks: Hayley Cammarata

FAULT: Dylan, can you tell us more about your musical background? How long have you been writing and recording, and who/what have been the biggest influences on your sound?

Dylan: I started playing guitar and writing when as a teenager after my family moved out to a pretty isolated house in the country. So it was really out of boredom at the time, although it quickly morphed into something very different. Early on I started as a drummer.

You’ve been working on your EP – did you have an overall theme in mind for the tracks? What were some of the influences behind the singles? We’re especially curious about ‘Spanish Civil War’…

There is a definite theme to this album. It starts with a track called ‘Lifeline’ (the title track), which is about a time in a relationship when I realized I wasn’t going to die if it ended. So it’s essentially about a toxic co-dependent relationship in its final stage. The album kind of follows this trend and documents different stages of multiple relationships in different surrealistic settings.

Did you ever think in a million years, when you were growing up in Pittsburgh, that you’d ever being making music, working and touring together with Mac?

I think I always had a feeling that we were both going to be involved with music pretty early on, but I had no idea that it was going to turn into what it is. Working this closely with one of your best friends is pretty special.

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Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 17.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

What are you currently working on, Dylan, and what are you plans for 2014?

I’ve just finished my debut EP and I have a video for my single ”Young and Set” that will be coming out soon as well. I don’t know whats going to happen in 2014 but think its gonna be a big year for me in some way.

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 17 (WINTER 2013-14) – THE OTHER ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

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