SYLVIAN HYDE : NYFW INTERVIEW

 

Sylvian Hyde is the newly favorable and elevated neoclassical menswear brand to crave and desire. Birthed just last year of October 2017, Belize born Sylvian Hyde has introduced a new conversation to menswear titled with unswerving fearless confidence. A striking debut in summer’s heat, making everyone melt at every thread, much is to be expected from this evolving brand. An exuberant color palette seasoned with spark and spice and just to our explorative delights. We caught up for a little bit of chatter to learn some more about this engaging enterprise. 

FAULT: Who is Sylvian Hyde? As you are a very young brand, born just last year yes? How did it come about?

Sylvian Hyde: So yeah, I’m Sylvian Hyde, 25 years old, originally from Belize, migrated to the states in 2014. Yes, so I’ve lived there the majority of my life but I relocated here in December 2014 for political asylum. Um yea, so the brand started, like you said, last year in October. Really I just had a bunch of sketches and I always said one day I want to have my own line and then being friends with Jabari; I knew his interest in fashion, the administrative business side, and he had also interned for fashion week twice; so he shared stories with me. So one day we’re like let’s just stop talking about it – he has the business side, I have the design side, so we just started and once the ball started to roll and we saw our samples being made, and were like “Woah this really is a reality” and then every day it just got more serious and more serious till where we are today. 

How long have you been sketching? When did it start?

Sylvian Hyde: I’ve been drawing from when I was a kid. It’s like architecture, automotive design, it’s fashion. It wasn’t until I came to the states, that I really chose fashion. I really thought, growing up I would have done architecture, because where I was in Belize, a career in fashion or starting your own brand there, it’s like, “Ya you can do it but you’re not going to have the success rate to make a living off of it.” So it wasn’t until I got here I was like, “Wow, I’m living here in New York City, the fashion capital of the world. It’s possible.”

Where does your name come from? It’s so interesting and regal. Is there a backstory to it?

Sylvian Hyde: It’s the name my mom had. Interesting back story, so I changed my first name recently to Sylvian. My first name originally is Terrell which is the name my dad gave me from his best friend, and I changed it because I – it’s a whole long back story into my family background, but when I relocated here, starting over, a fresh start, I decided to take the name my mom wanted for me. I was the first child for both parents, so normally the guy gets to name his son. 

What would you say are your greatest influences for your designs and your day to day? Does Belize have an influence?

Sylvian Hyde: I feel the biggest influence coming from Belize is the depravation – the lack of opportunity. Now that I have the opportunity, it makes me want to work harder and appreciate the opportunity. In terms of influences for me my biggest is when I watch the red carpet events. When I see these distinguished men, looking like the help, I just wish men would make more fashion statements. That is my angle to make great fashion statements with men on the red carpet. Starting where I am at now, it’s to try to have guys evolve their style on a day to day basis. 

What sets Sylvian Hyde apart from other menswear designers?

Sylvian Hyde: I definitely say more use of untraditional menswear fabrics, and just doing things out of the box. For example, recently we just did some tailored suits out of athletic mesh. From the onset of designing I just really try to put my mind into the mind-frame to try to do something original. So I don’t pay attention to trends. I just do what I feel comes to me natural and is original. 

Does Sylvian Hyde function as a unisex brand?

Sylvian Hyde: When we started we didn’t think of ourselves or aspire to be a unisex brand, but however the women who have attended our shows and have seen our clothes have expressed interest and said, “Oh I would wear that.” So that definitely opened up our eyes to that possibility and it’s one that we are happy to entertain and foster. 

When and will you start thinking about venturing into a womenswear or swimwear brand?

Sylvian Hyde: I’d like to have my first womenswear collection by 2020. That’s kind of the goal. 

Aside from womenswear and considering how far and fast you have come, what other directions do you see the brand going? What else would you like to branch into with Sylvian Hyde?

Sylvian Hyde: 10 years plus I really see us becoming a real lifestyle brand. As I said I have interest in architecture, all different facets of design. I mean going way farther than interior design I mean actual architecture itself. Having a real designer home. With just details, details, details. If I could collaborate with an automator that way Victoria Beckham did with Landrover; she designed the interior for the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. That type of stuff I would love to see the brand to do in the future. 

In another year, where are you looking to be, considering how fast you have moved in less than one year?

Sylvian Hyde: I think headed in the direction where I hope for it to go, which is guys just being a little more free and expressive with their style and not as limiting. For me I hope my influence is – I admire that the industry allows women to have clothing that flatters their body. I want guys to be able to have that same opportunity without it having any type of labels or stereotype. I’d like to see menswear make that jump. And society also to make that jump. 

If you could live in any other time, period and place, where would that be and why?

Sylvian Hyde: I would like to live in the future. Because hopefully in the future, I would be that much closer to realizing my vision and just enjoying the progression of society. 

What is your FAULT?

Sylvian Hyde: My fault is I could learn to be a little more patient. To just trust the process of things. But I also feel, let me try to clarify…I feel that with my impatience, I don’t like hearing no and I don’t like limitations and I see how that has helped us to achieve so much in such a short space of time. But I need to work on knowing and identifying, the little things that you  know, some things you are supposed to put some brakes on or just let it go. I guess choose battles better I guess. Choose projects better I guess and just let it get wrought out. 

Words + Interview: Chaunielle Brown | Images: Jennifer Laurantius 

COSMO’S MIDNIGHT FAULT MAGAZINE INTERVIEW

Let’s get this out into the open straightaway: Cosmo’s Midnight is a banger addict’s dream come true. With their full-length debut, What Comes Next, producer twins Cosmo and Patrick Liney are here to enable you.

Once scrappy upstarts in Australia’s beat-making scene, Cosmo’s Midnight has since become one of its finest electronic exports. The duo’s newly-released 12-track effort is dreamy, intoxicating, and complex—with the brotherly duo enlisting both local and international features to help bring their insatiable project to life, from L.A. rapper Buddy to Swedish wunderkind Tove Styrke, and Melbourne vocalist Woodes to Sydney’s six-piece Winston Surfshirt. Libidinal R&B (“Lowkey”), heartbreak disco (“Talk To Me”), cloud rap (“Where You Been”), near-instrumentals (“Polarised”), and sultry come-ons (“History”)—their tightly curated, summery, feel-good songs are all here for the taking.

The album dropped ahead of their Australia/New Zealand tour, which kicked off in July, and the fellas are now on the Asian leg of their tour before heading off to Europe next month. FAULT caught up with Cos and Pat at their show last week in Seoul, South Korea to discuss the music, the inspirations, and their journey to her.

Interview: Kee Chang

Photography: Jordan Kirk.

What Comes Next is incredibly addictive. Did it exceed your personal, creative expectations?

Patrick Liney: I think it definitely exceeded our expectations. At the very start of the process, we just couldn’t see the end and we were finding along the way what we really wanted to do with it. Looking back now, I’m really glad we ended up where we did. Three years ago, when we were writing the first demos for the album, I don’t think we—

Cosmo Liney: It was stabbing in the dark.

Patrick: With a lot of the album, it wasn’t like we went in like, “This is exactly what we’re gonna make.” We were figuring it out over three years and piecing together all these bits. So it wasn’t an album like, “This is the concept and we’re gonna smash it out in two months.” When we finished it and looked back, it sort of made sense that it was a combination of all these different things that influenced us growing up, up until the point that we became producers and musicians.

Cosmo: We feel really lucky to have had it work out, especially with a lot of the things that happened in the process. It was very fortunate because they may not have happened. For example, when we sampled N.E.R.D./Pharrell, that could’ve not happened.

Patrick: Yeah, they might not have cleared it.

Cosmo: A lot of the features were very difficult to get and hard to maintain contacts for.

Patrick: For example, we’d get a sick verse from a rapper and you just wouldn’t hear from them for like six months. You’re like, “This demo is so sick. Let’s finish it off,” and then they hit you back like, “Here’s a finished song.”

Cosmo: We’re very used to writing songs in the studio with the person and getting the songs made that way. A lot of this album was done over the Internet.

Patrick: Yeah, just emailing back and forth with ideas and stuff.

Cosmo: We’re just really glad it came together and that it’s something we can be proud of for our first album.

Patrick: Again, with a lot of the songs, we never met who wrote on them so a lot of it feels like we have this connection with the people we haven’t met yet. We wrote that song with Jay Prince and Buddy as well.

Those guys worked independently from each other as well, right?

Patrick:  Yeah, yeah. Then there’s Boogie, Winston Surfshirt, and Tove Styrke. Panama is from Sydney so and that was good for the process. I feel like we write our best music like that.

Cosmo: It’s easier to write like that.

Patrick: It’s definitely a challenge to work over emails. You can’t be like, “Change that take,” and stuff like that because it just takes too long, whereas in the studio you can change so much in a minute.

What was it like curating what ultimately ended up on the album? Are there a lot of unused demos?

Patrick: So, so, so much. The album has 12 tracks including the interlude, but I think we had somewhere around 50-ish demos.

Cosmo: And a lot of them were good. It was about finding—

Patrick: What works. There were songs that we really liked that we kind of put on hold. They just wouldn’t have worked for the album. We’re saving them for something later, further down the line. We sort of curated the album four months out of release like, “This is the final ones,” and then we went out and finished all the tracks after that. You always have the “What if?” in your head like, “What if we did this song instead? What if I tweaked this song forever?” which is why it’s good we didn’t mix it ourselves. This is the first project we’ve not mixed ourselves. I mixed all of our previous singles up until “Get to Know.” We brought in this incredible mixing engineer, George Nicholas, on board. He’s from this band called Seekae. Sometimes when you’ve been working on a song so closely for so long, you get tunnel vision. You need someone who’s objectively looking at it like, “I know what’s best for this song.” When I mix my own stuff, I don’t know what to change: “Am I making it worse or am I making it better?”

Cosmo: You just don’t know. You kind of lose track of the entire thing.

Patrick: We often come up with ideas really quickly and take a long time to finish it because all the details take a long time.

Is there any validity to artists who say that the songs that come together fast are usually the best cuts?

Cosmo: There’s no really right or wrong way to do it, but I think you can’t argue that when you write something that quickly and something that feels so right, you’ve kind of hit a nerve in some way.

Patrick: And you can only hit it every now and then. A lot of the times, you’re banging your head like, “Come on! Come out, song!” Then sometimes it happens without you even doing much and it sort of writes itself. It’s super weird. It feels really good when it’s effortless.

You guys came to play a show in South Korea just around this time last year, right?

Patrick: We did.

You were just in Singapore and headed to Thailand tomorrow. Are the vibes glaringly different?

Patrick: Oh, it’s so vast.

Cosmo: Even in Australia, it’s so different between cities. I don’t know what that comes down to at all.

Patrick: Cultural differences and like—

Cosmo: Just how much it’s different, though.

Patrick: Yeah, it’s insane. Playing in Singapore yesterday was kind of a shock. I couldn’t believe that people came to see us play in Singapore. It was really cool. Then you have the different crowd vibes. The crowd here in Seoul—at Soap anyways—they go crazy. [Laughs] At least at our last show, it was so much fun. We’ve played in China and other places where they’re more reserved.

Cosmos: They’ll politely enjoy the show and come up to you afterwards like, “That was amazing! I had so much fun!” and you’re like, “Really?” But they really did. They just didn’t show it.

What do you prefer?

Patrick: Obviously, the instant gratification of everyone sort of jumping around is really fun. But a lot of the times, we also go and talk to people after the show to see what they thought or just to say “Hi.” Hearing what they thought of the show is where you feel good. Some people just don’t like dancing and drinking or whatever—it’s not necessarily their vibe. There are different flavors. As long as they enjoyed it, that’s all that matters to me. At the end of the day, if they have a good time, then we have a good time. If someone’s not having a good time, me and Cosmo will not have a good time and it would just spiral. If everyone’s having a good time, it spirals in the reverse way.

Cosmos: Upwards.

One of the things that seems to come up a lot when you’re asked about your early influences is your older brother Nik who really turned you onto music, as older siblings tend to do. Is he shocked by how much you took to music and how far you’ve come?

Patrick: I think so.

Cosmo: None of us were prepared for what would happen. None of us really knew that we’d be touring and playing around the world and stuff. To him, being our brother, I think it’s just more shocking because he knows us so well. To see it happening is really surprising for him.

Patrick: It’s weird. And he lives in London so he has this outsider’s perspective. Even though he’s our brother, he sees a lot of stuff through—

Cosmo: He won’t be at the shows, but he’ll see recaps or photos or something.

Patrick: We’re gonna go over to Europe next month so we’re gonna hang out and he’ll come to some of the shows. I don’t think he’s seen us play in a super long time—it’ll be cool to hang out. We’re really close, even though we don’t see each other that much. He’s only two years older than us so we’re pretty close in years as well.

What Comes Next is an interesting title for your debut album because it sounds prophetic. It seems to really set you up for what’s to come after this work.

Patrick: Yeah, it’s kind of cool because it’s acknowledging that it’s our debut effort—a launchpad for all the things that can come afterward. It’s prophetic in like a hopeful sense. It’s a prediction. At the same time, it acknowledges all the stuff that built up to this point as well. When we’re talking about our album and our process, we’re referring back to when we were kids. On the album cover, the artwork is based off a collage of all these photos of us from when we were little. We’ll be sitting in different rooms in our family house and my dad would be playing vinyls to us. They’re basically three things: Switch-On Bach, which is like a Minimoog version of all these Bach songs. Then he’d play us Jim Hall’s Undercurrent, which is this jazz-guitar album that I heard a million times. Also, a lot of disco as well. At the time, we were like, “Ugh—I hate this so much.” But then, you know, as you start getting into music, you come to appreciate it. My mom and dad would email us all this music like, “You listened to this when you were little! Don’t you remember it?” It’s like, “Holy shit. We’re really just a product of our parents.” They totally put us into this shit without us knowing. Then you’re like, “Cool.” [Laughs] I’m happy for it. That’s sort of what the album is about. It’s all these things that have coalesced and shaped us into musicians and just as people in general. We’re sort of filtering that through our experiences into a musical format. So a lot of the inspirations behind the album is super far and wide. There’s a lot of the disco stuff like Chic and Nile Rodgers. There’s some jazzy elements as well on a few tracks. Then there’s like 2000s R&B and Hip-Hop that we listen to a lot. Recently, we came back to Pharrell’s stuff and Timbaland and N.E.R.D. and The Neptunes and stuff. Then there are new inspirations—we listen to so much stuff. Lately, we’ve been listening to BadBadNotGood, The Internet, Blood Orange…

Cosmo: It’s obviously a big one. I just love Kaytranada for the fact that he can still sound like he’s got enough going on, even though he has such a specific sound.

Patrick: It’s just what’s really minimal about it that’s really full. We learned a lesson listening to all these artists we like where they do a lot with little. A lot of people will try to—us included—fill in the album’s gaps and stuff by adding more layers and details, but often, you just have to get rid of that and just make the initial sound bigger. You can write a really good, incredibly dense song with just 10 layers, whereas when we were starting out we’d do like 100+ tracks and it would just get super dense and get to be a nightmare to mix. This album was about paring back from that and going back to the fundamentals—just really focusing on the core things that make a song great to us. It’s about what we really like about the song and not over embellishing it and trying to keep it to “This is what works.” If it gets overdone, when we finally know that we’ve worked a song too hard, we can stop and pull back a bit and then send it off to George so he can just mix it. It’s good—we finally figured it out. The funnest part of writing a song is like the first day and the rest is hard, meticulous work where you’re concentrated but not necessarily creative. You’re just working at that point and it doesn’t feel fun.

What is your FAULT?

Patrick: Maybe I’m too meticulous—to a fault. I’m too overanalyzed and too self-critical and detailed.

Cosmo: My fault is that I’m the opposite of that. I don’t bring enough control to what I do. It’s too off-kilter to what we’re trying to do.

Patrick: So it kind of works out.

The yin and yang.

Cosmo: It’s totally feng shui.

Patrick: Cosmo brings the vibe and I bring the technicality to it.

For more information on COSMO’S MIDNIGHT, including tour dates, head over to www.cosmos-Midnight.com.

A special thanks to Astral People and SOAP Seoul.

SWONNE : MFW SS19 HIGHLIGHTS

Katie Golinczak is the new menswear talent to watch. After having solid exposure working for Ralph Lauren, John Varvatos, Levi’s, to name a few, Katie launched her debut collection for Swonne at NYFW Men S/S 2019. Her first collection is inspired by Mod Rockers of the 60s, and consisted of a seasonless denim collection, t-shirts, biker jackets, parkas with tailoring details. Her SW1 parka, which is one of her (and our) favorite piece, is designed, constructed and hand painted in Brooklyn, NY. Swonne’s debut collection definitely lived up to our expectations and we look forward to see what it has to offer next season!

Katie Golinczak, Designer of SWONNE

Words + Images: Jennifer Laurantius Art Design/Layout: Chaunielle Brown

 

Feeric Fashion Week 2018 in Romania

Feeric Fashion Week 2018 in Romania is the biggest fashion week in Eastern Europe. This year saw the launch of the fiercely contested Feeric33 competition for 33 breakthrough designers to win various opportunities to help launch their label to the international market. The judging panel included the likes of Diane Pernet, (founder of ASVOFF), Liana Satenstein (Senior Fashion Writer at Vogue US), Adriana di Lello (Fashion Features Director at Elle Italia) Raoul Keil (founder of Schon Magazine), Patricia Lerat (founder of PLC Consulting and curator of Designers Apartment in collaboration with Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode), Riccardo Terzo (Fashion Stylist and Contributor to VOGUE Talent), Tania Cursano (founder of IT-ELITE Showroom) and Carolina Molossi (founder of Get Book A Look Digital Showroom).

FAULT was in attendance to see Polish designer Kalina Kocemba win the grand prize: a 3 year management contract with The Secret Code of Fashion Agency and Feeric Fashion Week, worth €30,000. Other prizes for the talented finalists included a cover feature in 33 Magazine, a collaboration with V for VINTAGE trade fair platform, and a Summer Course scholarship with IED – Istituto Europeo di Design in 2019. Romanian model and Vice-President of Feeric Fashion Week Landiana also chose 3 lucky contestants and wore their looks throughout Feeric Fashion Week 2018.

Kalina Kocemba, the winner of Feeric33 @ Feeric Fashion Week 2018

Kalina Kocemba, the winner of Feeric33

Winning designer Kalina Kocemba declared nature to be the inspiration behind her first collection, one dominated by white fabric which tightly surrounds the body and gives the sensation of wearing a second skin.

Other shortlisted and noteworthy participating designers at Feeric Fashion Week 2018 included Zeta, Eliza Dobai, Lili Eva Bartha, Tara Lalic, Ariana Spin, Aigerim Kairat – along with many others.

 

 

 

 

 

For more about Feeric Fashion Week 2018 & Feeric33, please visit:

www.feeric.ro
@F33ric

Photography by Ancira Adeon

ALESSANDRO TRINCONE | MFW SS19 | HIGHLIGHTS

A modern day set whimsical romance orchestrated for pleasures play. Menswear reimagined for a possible futuristic walking strut of design, fantasy and exploration. A carefree confidence floating on air with ruffles, waves, tiers of tulle and femme delights. With imagination and disco discovery we’re presented with stapled stamped pieces of a light plush blush palette and marshmallow. Recollections of Viktor & Rolf echoed with ease; alas a fearless collection with no boundaries or limits. Ingenious strolling works of art and visionary obsessions. Tinsel streams of silver, metallics, glitters, gloves and knee highs, leaving mouths ajar for the elements of surprise. Alessandro Trincone has us kept in an excess of life’s secret garden.

Words by: Chaunielle Brown | Photographer: Jay Blum

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Self Portrait (@mrselfportrait) lace dress via The Real Real (@therealreal)
Asos (@asos) black patent leather buckled flats

 

Self Portrait (@mrselfportrait) lace dress via The Real Real (@therealreal)
Asos (@asos) black patent leather buckled flats

 

Self Portrait (@mrselfportrait) lace dress via The Real Real (@therealreal)
Asos (@asos) black patent leather buckled flats

 

Asos (@asos) white satin dress
Asos (@asos) black patent leather buckled flats
Hat is stylist’s own

 

Asos (@asos) white satin dress
Asos (@asos) black patent leather buckled flats
Hat is stylist’s own

 

Asos (@asos) white satin dress
Asos (@asos) black patent leather buckled flats
Hat is stylist’s own

 

Asos (@asos) white satin dress
Asos (@asos) black patent leather buckled flats
Hat is stylist’s own

 

Elliatt (@elliatt) floral embroidered dress via Asos (@asos)
Jeffrey Campbell (@jeffreycampbell) boots
Asos (@asos) black wasit belt

 

Elliatt (@elliatt) floral embroidered dress via Asos (@asos)
Jeffrey Campbell (@jeffreycampbell) boots
Asos (@asos) black wasit belt

 

Elliatt (@elliatt) floral embroidered dress via Asos (@asos)
Jeffrey Campbell (@jeffreycampbell) boots
Asos (@asos) black wasit belt

 

Roksanda (@roksandailincic) dress via The Real Real (@therealreal)
Jeffrey Campbell (@jeffreycampbell) boots

 

Roksanda (@roksandailincic) dress via The Real Real (@therealreal)
Jeffrey Campbell (@jeffreycampbell) boots

 

Roksanda (@roksandailincic) dress via The Real Real (@therealreal)
Jeffrey Campbell (@jeffreycampbell) boots

Photographer: Caroline Lawlesswww.carolinelawless.com
Model: Lucy Rexrode
Stylist: Melissa de Leon

Style In My DNA – An Exploration of Windrush Style and Fashion

Seventy years ago today, the SS Windrush pulled in at Tilbury dock, bringing with it the first Caribbean workforce to help rebuild Britain after the second world war. This would mark the first but not the last mass migration of peoples from the Carribean to the UK as more and more citizens of the commonwealth were encouraged to “do their part” and help rebuild the then wartorn motherland.

Lorna Holder’s ‘Style In My DNA: 70 years of British Caribbean fashion’, chronicles the ever-changing waves of Carribean fashion. The book begins with the very first men who stepped off the SS Windrush in 1948 and continues up to the present the day.

The book features a mixture of fashion photography, illustration and archival imagery to show the idea fashion and style helped bring an entire generation of peoples from outliers of society to being at the very forefront of fashion, design and beauty industry today.

Lorna Holder (centre) – Head of Young Fashion at Davis and Field (1980s)

Alongside the fashion analysis, the book also contains Lorna Holder’s own personal memoirs, giving us a first-hand account of just what was happening within the fashion industry behind closed doors. Most notably, it reveals just what a black woman in 1952 would have to face in order to gain notoriety within the worlds most exclusive industry.

1980’s Preppy look

While there is a focus on the British style, the book also take us on a journey around the world as we read Lorna climbs the ladder at New York City’s Bloomingdales, studies under the tutelage of Pauline Denyer, (wife of the well-known fashion designer, Sir Paul Smith), conducts Oman’s first televised fashion show in Oman and much more.

All in all, ‘Style In My DNA: 70 years of British Caribbean fashion’, provides a look at the fashion industry from a whole new vantage point. While both a theoretical study and autobiographic read, it reminds us that the Windrush generation and the generations that followed played a huge part in shaping the fashion industry into what it is today. To bear witness to the fundamental ways Carribean culture and fashion have shaped the UK and beyond, is to ensure that the
significant contributions made throughout the years will never be forgotten.

 

Style In My DNA is available from Foyles, Waterstones, Taureg

Join Lorna Holder as she discusses her 35-year career in the fashion industries at London V&A Museum on June 24th 2018

 

 

MNEK roars back with exclusive FAULT Magazine Photoshoot and new video ft. Hailee Steinfeld

Words & Photography: Miles Holder

Styling: Edith Walker Millwood

Grooming:Bianca Simone Scott

Styling Assistants: Leslie & Felicia

 

MNEK returns today with a brand new track from his upcoming debut album! It’s hard to imagine, but despite years of releasing hits to the world, MNEK is still only 23 years old. New track entilted ‘Colour’ also features vocals from Hailee Steinfeld. We sat down with MNEK to talk all things music, his big battles and look to what will no doubt be, an even brighter future.

 

In other interviews, you’ve mentioned never having a figure like yourself in the industry, is it harder to pen an album when you don’t have a reference to learn from? 

I think when I say that, I mean that I don’t have an artist who is like me. Just as far as being out and being an openly gay musician and I drew influence from different areas of music that I love. I always grew up loving 90’s rob, prominent voices and dance music and so it was just an amalgamation of all those things but with my spin on it. Doing it without a point of reference makes it more fun too because there aren’t any rules that I have to follow.

Colour by MNEK & Hailee Steinfeld on VEVO.

 

Your early music and all-around demeanour at the start of your career was far more muted that it is today, did you ever feel like you were being pressured to tone it down back then?

 

I think I was figuring it out. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the evolution of artists being a sudden “now I’m the real me and doing when I want” but really evolution is about the changes that lead up to that point. I can say that getting to that point 18/17 when I was releasing records, that’s who I thought I was. There were some things that I was maybe surprising, but I guess that comes from the knowledge that I have now. Now, when I’m surpessing something, I know that I’m doing it, but more importantly, I remember when to stop. When I first started putting out records, I didn’t think I was gay. So all the rudimental records stuff, was me figuring things out while growing up and being on tour and getting into the Industry and it was a lot! Now thankfully I’ve established myself as a writer-producer which has given me the comfortability to be myself and find myself

 

 

What would you say is the goal of this record?

I have a bigger goal and more of a target and what more my career can do. I think when I was putting out music, these were all songs that I loved and I’d written, but now I come with the knowledge that if I’m putting myself out there, it has to help people or for me to be the template for young artists that I didn’t have.

 

And what is the overall goal of your career in music?

To be the template, I think the main thing for me is not to be the main one, while it’s great for me to be out here saying “I’m the only openly gay pop star” what my goal is, is for me not to be the last.

 

You’ve made a point about always being yourself, but that can be a detriment to your fanbase and people who don’t agree with your choices – why not stay silent?

 

Everything happens for a reason, and I have a unique career in the way that it’s not conventional for the person I am to be making music that I’m making. I think that everything I’ve done up to this point has happened for a reason and I’m at a point where I’m doing all that I could have dreamed of.

 

It’s a great album, I was expecting because of the messaging, for it to be a more melancholic album, but it’s really uplifting!

I sometimes think when it comes down to the gay narrative, it can come across as unrequited love and sadness or that being gay is a hard knock life when in fact, being gay is jokes and so much fun. I have great friends, incredible stories to tell both mine and others and I think there are ways of singing about our experiences and still having a good time. I have ballads on there which are sad, but it’s mixed with sass and my score sting.

 

You’ve written a lot for other artists, how different is your process when writing for yourself?

It’s both different and the same. When I’m writing for another artist, I’m tailoring it for them. I’ve got to talk to them, and I ask “what are you going through” but when it’s for me, it’s the same conversation, but I’m just having it with me. The way I see the world is different to how DUA will see the world or Zara or Beyonce so I can help paint the picture but it’s got to come for them.

Is it hard putting so much of yourself into your music

No, because I started in the industry when I 14, what was I going to write about at that age. So I grew up and went through things, and that inspires what I sing about now, and I don’t have a problem with it. What’s exciting about releasing this album, is it not belonging to me anymore and it will belong to the fans.

 

What’s your biggest fear?

Failure, but that comes in different forms. I haven’t learnt to drive a car, but I’ll be damned if I have to kill someone and to be in control of my transport.

 

What is your FAULT?

I’m incredibly self-conscious which is more from a vanity point of view, as a result of being a big kid and having the weight issue. I’m working at it, and we should all work on our mental health every day and making sure we are our best selves.