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

Website

Facebook

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.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 1 WEB

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.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 2 WEB

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.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside Beauty section cover WEB

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

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

Jameson First Shot : Three filmmakers win the Opportunity of a Lifetime & Make Short Film with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey

Uma_Thurman_profile - jameson first shot (Medium)

Uma Thurman for Jameson First Shot

FAULT Magazine has just returned from a sunny trip to Santa Monica, LA, as guests of Jameson Whisky. We flew out to view the winning films of this years Jameson First Shot Competition. It’s a once in a lifetime chance for three filmmakers to direct and produce a short film starring Hollywood legend Uma Thurman and to work closely with Kevin Spacey as both the Creative Director and Producer.

The competition is fully supported by Jameson First Shot & Trigger Street Productions and allows new talent access to Hollywood filmmaking in a creative space that was never before obtainable.

The winning films were showcased at an industry party at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, before being released to millions of viewers on YouTube.           

The three new shorts THE MUNDANE GODDESS (writer/director: Henco J), THE GIFT (writer/director: Ivan Petukhov) and JUMP! (writer/director: Jessica Valentine) can be viewed below.

Keep an eye out for our interviews with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey, which will be featured in the next issue of FAULT Magazine (Issue 19).

The Mundane Goddess

 

 

JUMP

 

 

The Gift

 

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

FAULT Focus: The great Jeff Koons – and why you really shouldn’t care

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Jeff Koons employing the ‘Please ‘like’ me on Facebook/Follow me on Twitter/Join my cult!’ pose

Jeff Koons is a perverted, narcissistic genius who just won’t quit – and we love it. We can’t call his bluff and we can’t catch him out. He’s a savvy little art-hustler but, to be fair, he is also extremely consistent. In the past few months, for instance, he has collaborated with Lady Gaga, seen his Balloon Dog sell for over $58 million, launched a particularly so-so “exhibit/collection” with H&M and announced retrospectives at both the Louvre and the Pompidou next year, all whilst currently showing at the Whitney [Museum of American Art in New York]. On that basis, then, the notion of giving Jeff Koons a negative review feels futile. Is there really any point?

Jeff Koons with Lady Gaga. You're shocking - we get it!

Jeff Koons with Lady Gaga. OK, you’re shocking – we get it!

If there is one thing you can’t call Mr Koons, it’s lazy – although he does have a large factory (in both the Warholian and industrial sense) to facilitate his mass production. But the list of things he is called is almost impossible to recount. Businessman, deviant, sycophant, commodities broker, “artist”… Indeed, the latter is the most interesting for its framing within ironic punctuation. ‘Artist’ is, after all, a label loaded with its own complexities, as the collision of artist and celebrity has rendered the term to be almost an inverse signifier: the word that used to stand for someone overflowing with creative talent has come to describe one who utterly lacks it.

Warhol was among the first to fall victim to this problematic romanticizing of the role of the artist in the modern age. Something happened, or should have happened, around of the turn of the century, which allowed art to be popular and still have meaning. It’s that classic pre-teen scenario we all went through with that certain underground indie band we “discovered” who suddenly gained popularity and thus, in our eyes, lost all meaning. But ‘celebrity’ is not the antithesis of ‘integrity’. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.

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$58million for a Balloon Dog

The late art critic Robert Hughes’ lampooning of Koons (“He has the slimy assurance, the gross patter about transcendence through art, of a blow-died Baptist selling swap acres in Florida”) stands out for its attack on the gullible collectors and art market as a whole as well as the artist. Some say Koons’ work is indicative of the fall of man, but bold, laudatory statements such as these not only feed into his mythology, but in their simplicity and accessibility are just like Koons’ work.

We’re all looking for a story that convinces us of the strength and significance of art. Pollock and Picasso were both tortured souls and, somehow, that eases our anxiety about their popularity- but Koons’ character is not dissimilar. His early work is rooted in the confusion of fantasy and reality, complicated custody battles and a messy divorce. Just as seeing the chinks in the armour of the likes of Pollock and Picasso reassure us that their mass appeal is secondary to the importance and value of their message, surely these facts about Koons should serve to quieten the retaliation against his ever-growing art empire? Let’s not forget that the young Koons emerged as a fresh-faced young artist straight from the harrowing world of Wall Street, and thus his sculptural exaggerations were always likely to speak the same language as stocks and shares. Whenever has art not reflected its maker?

Jeff Koons at the H&M Flagship Fifth Avenue Store launch event in NYC

Jeff Koons at the H&M Flagship Fifth Avenue Store launch event in NYC

To dismiss Koons purely because of his background or the financially viable medium through which he presents his work is more than fallacious. It’s juvenile. It’s the act of a 17 year old flicking his fringe and blowing a smoke ring nonchalantly in the direction of a perceived suit not being able to understand his scene. More often that not, though, the more worldly recipient of that sort of slur will take it as a compliment to his relative success. It’s a testimony to how far he’s come; how well he’s played the game since he himself last rolled his eyes in anger at a previous poseur. This is a role Koons loves to play.

In some ways, then, we can think of Koons as an applied performance artist. He lives up to that very identity that we love to hate. He has carefully constructed his persona and, be it through his business nous or public identity, he himself takes on the role of an art work through his very existence. Looking at the way our public profiles are ever-increasingly curated, evaluated, researched and dissected, surely Koons has become the epitome of contemporary society? Dismal as that sounds, Koons has made it work for him, rather than the other way around. Just by talking about his work, we have all become pawns in Koons’ game – and he is winning.

Jeff Koons, Cat on a clothes line (yellow), 1994-2001 at Gagosian Gallery

This writer remembers seeing Koons’ Cat on a Clothesline (1994-2001) as part of the Gagosian stand at Frieze last year, and one particularly opinionated young boy offered his own criticism – “This is stupid. I want to touch it”. Our love and hate for Koons succinctly distilled into the vocabulary of a child – just as Koons himself boils down issues of sex and greed to childish balloon animals and toy hearts.

In writing about Koons we are playing into his game, and propagating his myth. In the time spent reading this piece Koons’ market value has probably increased significantly. But what about its artistic value? A more appropriate question might be this: “Does it really matter any more?”

 

Words: Aindrea Emelife
Edit: Nick Artsruni
All images courtesy of Jeff Koons (jeffkoons.com)

FAULT Issue 16 star Nick Jonas premieres new single, ‘Chains’

 

 

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Back in 2013, Nick Jonas appeared on the reversible cover of FAULT Issue 16 as part of ‘The Jonas Brothers’, but now he’s out on his own and has just premiered the music video for his single ‘Chains’.

Produced by Jason Evigan, the track crescendos from a soft intro into a full-fledged RnB ballad. Fit with a kick drum-led beat and high pitched ad-libbing, it’s clear that Nick is trying something completely different now he’s gone solo and, to his merit, it’s worked. Regardless of how the song is received (although currently all signs point to positive), one of the riskiest moves musicians can make when going solo is to steer clear of your previous musical direction and pray that your fans follow.

 

If this track is anything to go by, we’ll be hearing a very different Nick Jonas in the future, with the expected release of his new solo album on the way. While it has yet to be given a release date, news that it will feature a duet with Demi Lovato has already made headlines worldwide!

Nick Jonas - as featured inside FAULT Issue 16. Shot by Udo Spreitzenbarth with styling by Avo Yermagyan

Nick Jonas, as featured inside FAULT Issue 16. Shot by Udo Spreitzenbarth with styling by Avo Yermagyan.
Click here to buy a copy of this issue and have it delivered worldwide!

 

Let us know what you think about the track and look out for more of Nick’s recording partner, Demi Lovato, in FAULT this Fall!

 

#LikeforLikes – Christopher Polack’s ‘selfie’-inspired editorial for FAULT Online

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swimsuit MESKITA necklace and earrings CORNELIA WEBB

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top MILLY bikini bottom AQUARELLA SWIMWEAR bracelete CORNELIA WEBB

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top MILLY bikini MESKITA nuckle ring MAX STEINER trench KAELEN necklace LOSSELLIANI

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Sunglasses ETNIA BARCELONA top STYLIST OWN skirt MILLY shoes UNITED NUDE earrings WOUTERS & HENDRIX

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(as above)

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top MILLY bikini MESKITA nuckle ring MAX STEINER trench KAELEN necklace LOSSELLIANI

 

photographer CHRISTOPHER POLACK
stylist FAUSTINA ROSE
model OLGA VLASENKO @ MAJOR MODELS
hair and makeup JOSEFINA FERNANDEZ