FAULKNER X THE NYLON PROJECT

Eric Scullin, Lucas Asher, Dimitri Farougias, Christian Hogan

Revolutionary transcendent music with a borderless echoing frame of vibrational change, FAULT presents to you, FAULKNER. An instant draw of curiosity with an embedded foundational name, this talented mix of East and West coast four rocked statements of awareness as they joined The Nylon Project kicking off New York Fashion Week. Founded by Jordana Guimaraes, The Nylon Project refreshes and reminds us of the daily unrelenting flashes of homelessness and the pressing needs of those without on our New York City streets. The united collaboration and substantial support of fashion and celebrity influencers such as FAULKNER and Christina Milian are continuously and actively working to highlight this urgency and raise funds to donate 1,500 meals by February’s end. The leading and resonating campaign, “It Can Be You,” undoubtedly reels you in and speaks to every one of us. It plays true, cautioning us indeed, “It Can Be You” as you will find and see as we took the time to sit and chat with lead singer, guitar and songwriter Lucas Asher of FAULKNER post performance and runway show.

Educate us a bit on your origins and the band’s.

I was in Dumbo area, I’m a New Yorker but then I went to L.A. cuz I hooked up with RZA from the The Wu.

 

How did you hook up with RZA from The Wu?

I just hustled him, I hit him up like everyday for like half a year and then he finally reached out and was like, “Yo kid send me a track.” And then I sent him a joint called “New York Anthem” and he liked it and so we worked on it at Rick Rubin’s Studio and then the New York Yankees started playing it at all their home games. And then it just went from there.

 

How did you link up with the rest of the guys?

In L.A. I’m the New Yorker, they’re the L.A. guys.

 

So have you guys known each other for long?

Three years. Good chemistry though, ya.

 

What does Faulkner mean? Does it have any relation to the writer?

No, no relation to the writer. I’ve been to 30 countries and I was in Egypt and there was a shaman and he told me to name my band FAULKNER. He said it would be successful and to be honest its going pretty good so far.

 

In this journey, have you always wanted to do music? 

Always, always music. And I listen to a lot of hip hop because of the aspirational qualities to it. And that’s why I’m part of The Nylon Project, just cuz I was homeless at one point. And I’ve always just been a hustler, and just gotten stuff done. And so I always was just the kid listening to hip hop, like a hip hop madden and stuff, and now I play in a rock band, so it’s an irony.

 

What do you feel, with everything that is going on now and that we are facing, what do you hope to do with your music as far as reaching people and especially where you’ve been through and you’ve been in that position, what do you want to translate to people? 

Be an aspirational band that people can believe in. Because we came from the streets. You know And now we’re living our dreams finally, the world, working with the Wu Tang Clan. So just believe in your dreams and the aspirational of quality there’s so much negativity in the world. We just want to focus on the positive.

 

 

What are you influences as far as music aside from Wu Tang, and hip hop and specific fashion and music influences?

David Bowie, for me it’s James Dean too. I think red jackets and rebels, even Eddie Murphy had that red jacket. To me when I walk into a room and see someone in a red jacket I assume their the rebel in the room, and so that’s kinda what it represents to me, is rebellion. So ya, I love fashion, I’m always in L.A. on Melrose or in Soho looking at cool new and upcoming designers. There’s this designer in Soho called Miguel that I really love right now, he has this little shop in Soho.

 

What is he known for?

Like Mandarin collars, Asian influences. Ya, he’s dope. But I love discovering like boutique cool designers.

 

Always supporting everyone who is coming up.

Ya, ya. So musically other than hip hop, is Freddie Mercury and David Bowie probably.

 

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing on your mind before you go to sleep?

First thing, I usually meditate and get into warrior mode. Cuz everyday I see it’s just like, “Let’s get it.” I usually do a quick meditation and then get into warrior beast mode and kick it off.

 

What is your FAULT? 

I think I invest so much in people and my art. I just I pour everything I have into it and when you do that and it’s the wrong person…or something, you’ve got a lot invested in that.

 

I guess that is something that everybody in the artistic realm goes through. You’re going to end up investing in people and it is the heart you have as well.

Ya, you got to go for it all the way.

 

Do you have anything you want to add? About moving forward or this time that we’re living in?  

Oh ya, with culture. We’re trying to reflect that right now even in our music. That’s what “Revolutionary” is about. The first song we played. We shot that music video in Hawaii on the Na Pali Coast. People can go check out that video on Youtube. That’s kind of what we’re talking about in the song. Is how divisive ideologies can be and how inclusive ideologies can be. And you can see one leader that has an ideology that brings everyone together and then another leader that has an ideology that separates everyone. So obviously standing from one of those and not the other.

Very well said, thank you so much again. 

FAULKNER’s majestic movement of progress engages us to recall and retell musical sounds and encourages us to be the change we all so eagerly seek. No question that these four artistically accomplished and gifted gentleman, Eric Scullin on lead guitar, Dimitri Farougias on bass guitar, Christian Hogan jam rocking on the drums and lyricist Lucas Asher have just begun on an intended and predestined magically tuned ride.

The electrifying unit that accompanies FAULKNER is resounding. And with all they have to offer, they are led by the JV.Agency force who is also a consciously contributing factor with publicist, Jaz Valencia’s newest leather accessory introduction. This dazzling, economical and functional iPhone purse is ideal for those of us who live on the edge, non stop from coast to coast, with much to carry and not enough hands. Fit for rock and roll aligned with studs, in black leather, THE VALENCIA, designed in New York is now available to all. Cause for action while you shop, as your purchase will contribute to the distribution of meals for the homeless in NYC.

 

“WE BELIEVE A GIRL CAN NEVER BE TOO FABULOUS, TOO SMART, OR WEAR TOO MUCH LEATHER…”

FAULT would like to thank FAULKNER, Jaz Valencia of the JV. Agency and Amanda from A.FAYE PR for having us and taking the time. Apart from the gripping music and funk of fashion, the great story is that of an open heart and helping hand, to reach those without, because we can and we understand, and so we are charged and entrusted to take a stand. There’s no better moment than now to strike with a revolutionary artistic change.

Words and Photographer: Chaunielle Brown

FAULT meets rising star Fisayo Akinade

With a number of theatre accolades already under his belt, Fisayo Akinade first graced our screens in C4’s “channel-defining” series “Banana”, “Cucumber” and “Tofu.” After adding a big screen debut to his resume in “The Girl With All The Gifts,” we caught up with Fisayo to delve a little deeper into the life of this rising star.

Jacket by Levi’s

Your breakout role was in “Cucumber” and “Banana.” Can you talk a little bit about what it was like?

I had never really done screen before. I did a tiny role in “Fresh Meat,” which is a Channel 4 comedy. And so I had never really had an opportunity to do screen properly for the first time. When the audition came through for “Cucumber,” I was sort of really baffled, thinking: “I’ve never done screen; I don’t really know any of the producers.” Normally, you know somebody to get a role like that in a drama written by someone as prestigious as Russell T. Davies. I soon discovered that Russell likes to find new talent as does the casting director. And so, I just thought: “I’ll go in, I’ll do my best, and see what happens,” and then I ended up getting the role. Honestly, it changed my life. It changed my entire career path. It changed the agent I was with. It changed the work I was going up for. It was a real baptism by fire, because I had to learn very quickly how to be on a set, but luckily, we had the most wonderful, welcome cast and crew imaginable. You have Vincent Franklin leading the whole thing, and he was just so wonderful with me. Any questions I had, he answered without hesitation or without annoyance and you had Julie Hesmondhalgh; she was just wonderful. Although it was a bit of a baptism by fire, it very quickly became a joy and I was able to understand the inner workings of television drama. It was a real learning experience, but a joy, because I was surrounded by the most generous bunch of people. Also, I got to do a lot of crazy things at that job; I was very, very naked a lot of the time! Once you do that, then you can sort of do anything. It made me much bolder, I think, because you can’t half-do those things; you can’t half-do a sex scene ornude scene. You just have to do it. And so, it really emboldened me — the jobs I took afterward. It was a real eye-opener and a real formative experience for me.

 

It really kind of rerouted your career path. What were some of the best aspects of that happening?

You’re suddenly being seen for roles that you would never have in your wildest dreams considered. You’re suddenly up for a film that has Glenn Close and Paddy Considine and Gemma Arterton. “This is insane! When have I ever been afforded that opportunity?” You’re suddenly doing plays with Judi Dench and Mark Gatiss and Nina Sosanya and Hadley Fraser. You’re sort of thrust; it takes your career and not only raises it a level, but sort of shoves a rocket up its ass and fires you forward! So, I was suddenly in rooms, meeting and working with people that I never imagined I would work with.

 

That series explores 21st-century gay life. Obviously, that’s a hugely culturally important issue. How do you feel that’s impacted the prevailing culture?

The trouble with any drama that focuses on homosexuality is that because there are so few of them, all the hopes of the gay community get pinned onto this one drama, and no drama could ever hope to represent 100 percent of a particular community. And so, as true to life as I think it was and as honest a representation of certain types of gay men it was, I also feel that it couldn’t please everybody. I don’t think any show could. But for the character of Dean, I knew [people by the name of] Dean. I had met Deans. I had spoken to Deans. For me, it was very true to life, as was the character that Vincent Franklin played, Henry. I had seen them and I had heard about them and read about them or met these people in real life, so to see them represented was sort of amazing. It was odd, because we split audiences. Some audiences were going: “oh my god, it’s so true! That’s so me. That’s how I am.” And then a lot of people were going: “I’ve never met a gay person that speaks like that or talks that way in my life.” And so, it split audiences. But I think for me personally, I loved it. One, because the strength of the writing was just phenomenal: it was so raw and honest and so fully realized. The characters that were created were so real and vivid and unafraid to express their genuine feelings, whether that was “I’m really scared, but I won’t have another taste of adventure again, so I’m going to go live with a bunch of teenagers.” Or whether that was “I think my life is pretty boring, so I’m going to lie about my life.” All those sort of themes were the best things about it — those truly relatable things that people have, that they feel they are boring, so they fabricate stories, or they lack adventure, or they get intrigued by a slightly dangerous but incredibly sexy younger man, or whatever it is. The strength of the show laid in those universal truths.

 

Shirt by Natural Selection

You mentioned Glenn Close. What was it like working with her on “The Girl With All the Gifts”?

It was incredible. So, I was in my hotel room, and I got a phone call from the second assistant director. He said: “Glenn would like to run some lines, and she’s asked me. I told her it’d probably be better if she read them with an actor. Would you like to do it?” I said, “yes! Absolutely!” And so they sent the car and I went into her massive trailer and read the scene with her a couple of times, and then we just chatted. It was really lovely. And I said, “I’m so sorry; I have to talk to you about ‘Dangerous Liasions.’” And then she just told me all these stories: how much fun she had working with John Malkovich. It was incredible. The thing that I love about her is that she’s so generous, because she’s had such an extraordinary career, and she’s so generous with stories from all the films she’s worked on. She’s really wonderful in that respect and so much fun! I think you can build up an image of a person in your head, and you may think: “I hope she’s not this Hollywood diva who keeps to herself,” but she was with us the whole time, played backgammon. It was just wonderful. She was really a part of the team.

 

One thing that intrigues me when it comes to acting is the horror genre. Specifically, it produces by virtue of the genre itself some very surreal scenarios. What’s it like for you as an actor to try to put yourself realistically into these surreal scenarios and adapt to that world around you and act within it?

It’s odd! We all know the tropes of genre movies. And so when I was reading the script and I knew Gallagher is going to die, you know he’s going to die. I think everyone in the audience knows: “well, he’s going to die. He’s going off on his own in a zombie movie, of course.” And I think the thing is to get rid of that analytical part of your brain that says: “this is the bit where Gallagher goes off and dies” and just go: “no, this is the scene in which Gallagher wants to help his friends and find some food and bring it back to prove himself.” And you start to live in the mindset of the character, which then eliminates that second after-brain that’s floating above you, going “I know exactly where this is headed.” If you focus it down to what the character wants, then hopefully what you’re portraying is completely realistic and believable, even though we are adhering to the horror movie trope of “man goes out on his own and dies.” If you bring it into the mindset of the character, it eliminates that bit, and then you try to pour as much belief into the fake scenario that script-writers worked out as possible in order to make that situation hopefully set apart from all the others that have come before. There will be things that are always repeated in every genre movie, things that are staples. But what you hope is that you can put either a unique spin or an emotional spin or just a new beat in there that just slightly tweaks it, so it is the same trope or the thing we’ve seen before, but it’s slightly different. People go: “Oh, the way it happened wasn’t the way I’ve seen it happen before,” I think. I think that comes from rooting it in the reality of your mindset of the character.

 

So then, in preparing for the role, how does that differ from a normal role?

Honestly, it’s hard because I don’t think it does differ; I just think there are things you’re aware of. You’re aware that you’re in a genre movie and you’re aware that “this is the scene when,” but I think like with any role, you prepare it through the script and the character and his interactions with the other characters in the screenplay. You go: “so, he’s like this. He’s not seen the outside world for ten years and he’s sort of afraid of Melanie, but also is really intrigued by her. There’s a really nice mirror image of her discovering the world for the first time and him being discovered in the world that he’s not known for ten years. There’s a really nice mirror image there, and that could potentially bring them closer.” All that sort of stuff that is exciting less so than the shooting guns and all that stuff. It’s the character stuff that you focus on rather than the genre stuff, because that will happen anyway, but the thing that makes it interesting and the thing that will hopefully keep audiences coming back for more will be the depth at which you play the characters.

 

You’re starring in “In the Dark.” Tell me a bit about that.

So, that is a four-part drama based off two novels. They’re completely separate stories. The first two episodes are set in a country setting and have nothing to do with the following two episodes. But the thing that links them is our lead actress, played by MyAnna Buring. She’s a pregnant police officer. She’s the thing that links these two separate situations. In my two episodes, I play a young guy who has a new baby and is desperate for money and like a lot of young people, he doesn’t have a lot of options. He’s not particularly well educated, and so decides in order to get money, he will join a local gang and join in their drug operation. What happens is as part of his initiation, he has to shoot a car. That car happens to kill a police officer. Then, slowly but surely, members of the gang start being killed, and they don’t know whether it’s the police getting revenge or somebody else, and then, there’s a big mystery as to who’s killing off these young boys and why that particular car drove into that bus stop at that time, killing that police officer. So, it’s a mystery that deals with gang culture and being a female police officer in a very male-heavy world. That’s where the two characters meet, and what happens happens. It has a really cool conclusion.

Jumper and jeans by Uniqlo

I grew up in Cleveland, which has a big gun violence problem, so gun culture is always interesting and relevant to me.

I think what’s sort of amazing about it is actually the reason why you get into it. The co-director and I had a lot of conversations about why people get into it in the first place, and I think a lot of the time, it isn’t about wanting to be the big, tough guy on the street. It’s actually just about survival, and they’ve got no other options. They have seen they have no other options. Even the gang leaders, they become father figures, I think, to a lot of these boys, because a lot of the time, they don’t have fathers in their lives, and so, this guy with all this money not only gives them work and money, but also protects them. I think there can be a sort of genuine love there with those characters.

 

What are some of your hobbies when you’re not working?

I am very into comic books. I’ve just started the new Batman 52. It’s absolutely stunning. There is a myth, a Gotham myth, about a Court of Owls that have been running Gotham City for centuries. Batman doesn’t believe in it because it’s a myth. He’s never met them, and he thinks it’s just ridiculous and silly. There’s going to be a new mayor of Gotham. Bruce Wayne is helping this new mayor get into power because he thinks he’s the right guy, and they meet at one of the old Wayne buildings, and an assassin from the Court of Owls turns up, almost kills the guy who’s running for mayor and almost kills Batman. It’s incredible, and you go, “whoa! Who are these guys?” So, then they write the very next day on a wall in fire, “Bruce Wayne will die in 24 hours.” That’s before this assassin shows up and attacks Batman. So, you go: “do they know he’s Bruce Wayne?” As the comic goes on, you realize how powerful these guys are and how many people they’ve killed. They seem to always target Waynes, and so, there’s a mystery about whether they were responsible for Bruce’s parents’ deaths. It just gets more complex and complicated and dark. It’s very dark and scary, actually. There’s a point in the comic where he’s in a labyrinth. You have to turn the comic landscape, then upside-down, then the other way around. So, it sort of reflects what’s happening in Batman’s head. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s really beautifully drawn as well. It’s incredible. You have to read it. So, that’s sort of my main hobby, and I’ve started writing. I have a few writer friends, and I’ve spoken to them, and they’ve sort of given me the confidence to put pen to paper and start to write, which is really scary, actually and really daunting. But if you have an idea, I think it’s only best to follow through, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m writing a short film at the moment and I’ve got an idea for a series that I’m hoping to make eventually.

 

What’s the short film about?

The short film is about bereavement and the lengths a person will go to to achieve their desires, I suppose. I don’t want to say too much.

 

What’s it like coming from one side of the script to the other?

It’s quite daunting, but one of my friends said to me that if you watch a film and it isn’t a particularly good film and you sit with your friends and say: “oh, what they should have done is this, and they should have taken out that scene and done that” — he says what you’re already doing is editing the script. So, if you can edit a script, then you understand the story structure and narrative structures, which means that you can create your own narrative structure. And then, what it all becomes about is your voice as a writer and how you like to write, rather than whether you can or can’t, because you can, because you understand narrative structures. Then it becomes what your voice is like, how you want to present your story, your narrative to the world, your attitudes about your narrative voice. So, I think it’s quite nice and quite freeing, and it’s really nice to type three pages and see it, and go: “that’s the beginning of something.” And then you write a bit more and go: “actually, I can take out those first three pages and just start here.” And that’s really exciting. You’re building something, sort of like how a carpenter makes a table. It’s just a big hunk of wood, this really ugly thing, then it becomes this beautiful, ornate table or chair. I think it’s sort of the same thing; you just have an idea, you plop it onto the page, then you start chipping away until you’ve made a narrative you’re happy with, I think.

 

What would your dream role be?

Oh gosh! Theater-wise, I would love to play Belize in “Angels in America” or Levee in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Those are two roles that I loved when I first read them and have stuck with me ever since. And then in terms of tele and film, it’s less about roles and more about genre. I’d love to do a big blockbuster film, just because I think it would be fun — like a proper big space odyssey blockbuster would be really fun. I’d really love to also work Paul Thomas Anderson. I think he’s one of the best directors in the world and his films constantly fascinate me. He shoots in a way that is really interesting and he writes in a way that’s really interesting and really dynamic. He really gets into people’s heads and his ideas are always so well-thought. I just think he’s incredible. And then you know, everything else! They’re the sort of main things. Also, I think TV is heading in such an amazing direction; over the last couple of years, we’ve seen some of the most outstanding writing from people and on TV. That’s something I’d love to get involved with, whether it be Netflix or HBO — whomever it is. I’m really interested in complex characters and fine writing.

Shearling jacket and Jeans by Levi’s, shirt by Universal Works.

You’ve worked in stage, TV, and movies. How does it compare, what’s your favorite? Tell me about the contrasts.

It’s hard because I don’t really have a favorite. They all offer merits of their own. Theater is such a great training, and it keeps you so sharp and alert, because you have no choice but to be completely in the moment with a person, because it’s happening live. So, it’s such great training: being in the moment, being spontaneous, because anything could happen. You could forget a prop, a set could fall apart, the actors could forget their lines and instead of saying: “can we go again?”, you’ve got to just improvise something and help your fellow actor. It’s such a collaborative, wonderful thing, theater, and I really love doing it. And then you’ve got film, which again is another medium that challenges you to be honest. You can’t really lie in front of the camera, because it picks it up. As soon as you lie or have a false moment, the whole illusion is shattered, and the audience go: “huh? That was weird.” And so I think the challenge for TV and screen is to be as truthful as you can, which is often about being relaxed. It’s about being relaxed and knowing your lines. I think what you need to do is be so relaxed and confident with your lines that all you are thinking about when you’re acting is what you are doing to the other person and what they are doing to you, so you can just react. So you’re not going: “what am I saying next?” Because all the audience will get is a sort of confused, half-performance, because your brain is occupied with remembering lines rather than being in the moment with your other actor.

 

Speaking of stage, you’re starring in “Saint Joan” at the Donmar. How did you prepare for that role?

Because it’s all based off historical fact, I read as much as I could about Joan and particularly about King Charles VII. It was fascinating, and the thing is: all that research, the audience won’t see about 90 percent of it. A lot of it isn’t in the script. What it does is color certain lines. If I hadn’t done the research, I wouldn’t have known that his mother and father disowned him, and that has an effect on a person. It’s suggested in the script that he’s a coward, he can’t fight, and he’s not a soldier. He’s not a military leader in the way that a lot of kings were. He was more of a strategist. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t done the research. So, what happens is as you do more research, it props up and fills the text that is already there with another layer of complexity, which is always really interesting to play, because then, rather than just saying the lines, you’re saying the lines with a sense of the history where that line has come from and what that line means. So, when he talks about his father or talks about his great-grandfather, it has a certain weight to it that wouldn’t be there if I hadn’t done the research. Then, you just go into the script and you read it as many times as you can and get those lines in your head and make some choices and then get in the rehearsal room and genuinely just play: “I wonder if I could try it like this. And do that thing there…” And then you slowly, with the director and writers, build something that makes sense and serves the play and the story.

 

He’s historically such a complex character. I imagine that’s a really rich character to play.

It’s so lovely, because he’s incredibly funny. He’s written incredibly comically. That comes from a sense of wit, which is again George Bernard Shaw highlighting the character as much more brains than brawn, because wit is about a sort of intellectual dexterity, I suppose. So, you’re able, through his wit, to see that he has brains, and his brains ended up winning the Hundred Years War. It wasn’t him going into battle and wearing armor, it was him going: “if we make a treaty with these people, ally ourselves with these people, then we can amass these numbers and go to war with them and prepare ourselves.” He was much more a thinker. So, then at the same time, having that strategic brain, he’s a terrible coward — just likes to stay in bed and eat sweets and cakes and be looked after and not really have to do anything or have any responsibility. And so, you’ve got these two sides of him that are doing battle, I suppose, which it is his birthright that he should be king, but he’s terrified of what that means, which is really lovely and fascinating to play.

 

What do you want to do in the future then?

I’ve been very, very lucky, I think, actually. I’ve been able to work with some fine people. I mean “fine” from casts, to crews, to directors, to writers, and I just would like that to continue in whichever medium it takes, whether that be screen, stage, or TV. I’m just interested in good, complex, interesting work, work that I can stretch myself in, because sometimes, I think there can be a danger of being typecast, and so you end up playing very similar roles. I feel I’ve been quite lucky in that I’m not really too many parts too similar. I’d like to keep that trend going, because I think it stretches you as an actor and as a person, because you get to learn about a varied range of people and situations. I had no knowledge of the Hundred Years War or of Joan of Arc or of Charles VII at all until I started “Joan.” I’d like to say now I can hold my own in a conversation about them, and I think that’s a real asset. I think it’s one of the big positives of being an actor: you get to explore things you wouldn’t normally choose to look into. On an average day, I wouldn’t decide to pick up a book about Joan of Arc, but I have been — quite a few of them now — and it’s opened my mind to Joan and the Hundred Years War and all of that stuff. I think that’s the one of the best things about being an actor: you get to explore things you wouldn’t normally choose to.

Jacket and t-shirt by Natural Selection

You mentioned that you’re getting into writing. Are you looking to try your hand at anything else like directing or?

I would quite like, because I have a visual brain, to direct. I’ve done a bit of tele and a bit of film, but I don’t know the inner workings of directing yet. I’m getting there, and every time I do a job, I ask everybody: “what’s that you do? How do you do it? How does that feed into this? What’s your role? Ok cool.” And so I’m amassing a knowledge of how to direct and how one would even begin trying to. I would love to direct something, something I’ve written as well, but not star in. I don’t think I have the sort of impartiality to watch me. I think we’d end up doing my scenes for weeks on end until they were perfect. I’d give that to someone else. There are amazing people that can direct and star in their own stuff. I don’t think I could do it. I’ll hand it over to someone else.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to chat about?

The cast of “Saint Joan” are so collaborative and open. I’ve been so lucky with casts, actually. It genuinely feels fresh every night, because everybody is so on it and so focused that the tiniest little change in intonation is picked up by everyone, and sometimes, entire scenes can feel differently because one person does something slightly different, which then has an effect on everyone on stage. You can only achieve that stuff if you are working with actors that are completely and totally with you. They’re not acting for their own sense of ego, they’re acting to serve the story. So, what happens is a collective “ok, we’re moving in this direction.” It’s really, really wonderful to be a part of and to work with people that intensely connected. I just want to give shout-out to them, because they’re amazing.

 

That sounds like a wonderful experience.

I’ve been lucky. My “Cucumber” and “Banana” cast were exactly the same. It was just wonderful; it was a joy every day. And the thing is, to me personally, I have to work from a place of joy. I can’t do it otherwise, I don’t think. I think if I’m not happy or there’s just something amiss, I find it really hard to then give the best of myself. I think you’ve got to come from place of joy and warmth. I’ve been very lucky with the casts I’ve had over the years. They’ve all been wonderfully joyous. It just helps.

 

What is your fault?

I think I’m quite ambitious, which is great, because it means I work hard at the roles I get and the work I get, but it also means that when things aren’t going my way or I feel like they’re not going my way, it can really negatively affect me. I do get a bit down when an opportunity that I’m really excited about passes me by or a job that could lead me close to say my goal of working with Paul Thomas Anderson or HBO — whatever it is — slips through my fingers. I think the fact that I’m so ambitious and the fact that I want those things so badly or to experience those things so badly can sometimes make me get a bit down in the dumps about it. Me being ambitious is a double-edged sword, because it propels me to do well, but also, when things don’t go my way, it makes me a little sad.

 

“SAINT JOAN will be broadcast live to cinemas on Thursday, 16th February. For tickets go to: http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/ntlout20-saint-joan

Words – Alex Cooke

Photography – Stephanie YT

Styling – Plum O’Keeffe

Grooming – Justine Jenkins

Photography Assistant – Erica Fletcher

Styling Assistant – Natalia Schegg

5 Minutes With Tatiana Karelina

Known as “the best hair extensions in the world” by the fashion crowd and beauty experts alike, Tatiana Karelina is the go-to hair destination. With salons in London and Manchester and a Los Angeles salon on the horizon, there’s a high demand from her jet-setting clientele. We spend 5 minutes with beauty expert Tatiana Karelina…

 

 

When did your love for the beauty industry first start?
I have always been a girly girl. As a child, I remember Mom getting us all dressed up, do the hair and makeup to go out to friends for dinner. She always took the time to do my hair in spite of working full time. I always had fine hair but wanted to try different hairstyles and experiment with it. I recall back in the 90s when I was growing up in the small post-Soviet Russian town, there was no Internet. Information was very, very hard to come by. Fashion was a dream,  I would read old fashion and beauty magazines in the local library and scrutinise the photos for trends. All the models had this big voluminous glossy hair.  I guess my career in hair extensions came naturally, I wanted fuller gorgeous looking hair for myself first before it became my business and my passion.

How did that evolve into the company you have now?
I am closely involved in the company, I am at the London salon on daily basis and also visit Manchester branch regularly. My name is above the door, a lot of clients want to see me, have a word with me  get my advice. Even after a number of years being in business I really enjoy working on clients, every job is so different and that was what attracted me to hair extensions in the first place. You never get bored, it is super creative and a lot of fun as you meet so many interesting people – a lot os them become good friends.

Who is your style icon?
Tatiana Korsakova – a beautiful model, amazing mother, successful business woman and a philanthropist. She has an incredible style and I always admire her fashion and beauty choices.

 

 

What are the advantages to hair extensions?
A hairstyle can make or break your look. If you have been dreaming for long hair for quite some time now, hair extensions are the best option. Hair extensions add instant length, volume and confidence boosters. Hair extensions can also easily add an additional colour to the hair. They are so versatile meaning you can look different every day by styling them differently. Hair extensions can revive and transform thinning or damaged hair. And finally, hair extensions can be easily taken care of and thus, are easy to maintain. They can be washed and treated in the same way as your real hair.

So you’re heading to Los Angles to open your next salon. Are there any other locations that you want to target?
We are have our minds set on NYC. Dubai would also be a great place – we have a lot of clients that from there to have their hair done with us.

Visit here for more details: www.tatianakarelina.co.uk

 

 

Exclusive Fault interview with Andrew Salgado

FAULT are proud to host this exclusive interview with artist Andrew Salgado, whose paintings are large-scale works of portraiture that incorporate elements of abstraction and symbolic meaning.
1) TEN is the celebration of a decade of your art; how did it all begin at the very beginning?

 

I was always interested in painting  even as a kid. I was one of those odd, kinda girly, kinda awkward kids that would fake sick for soccer practice but was like, enrolled in pottery classes and making Tiffany lamps at 11 years old. I mean, in the end it worked out for me but I was a private kid. I had a little playroom as a child and would just spend all day drawing and painting and playing with LEGO. I think it makes sense that as an adult, Im basically doing the same thing. Realistically, it wasnt until I was in high school that I had a seminal two years with a teacher who pushed me to pursue my art further. Prior to that I had always considered art as a hobby… I mean, I come from a family of academics; you just didnt go into university for paintingthe thought that I might pursue a Fine Arts degree was pretty frowned upon at first. My parents friends would ask me what I was taking in university and then there would be this awkward conversational limbo when I had to clarify that I was taking Fine Arts and not Finance. Its just always been the most defining characteristic about me. Ive often said that without art, Im nobody. Im a non-person. Talk about co-dependency!

2) What and whom inspires you?

As a younger artist I used to think inspiration had to come from some divine fount. Like, everything had to be big, operatic, melodramatic. As I mature, inspiration comes from smaller, more intimate sources. Sometimes its a conversation; a song; a poem; a memory; or even silly thingsI did a painting called “Oh!” Which was inspired by a kids paper party hat that I found in my studio. 
 
My exhibition “The Fool Makes a Joke at Midnight” was inspired by the death of David Bowie and the resulting painting was called “Sound & Vision”. Sometimes the subject provides inspirationmy favourite subject is painter Sandro Kopp, who is also Tilda Swintons partner… I dont like the word muse because I think its overused, but he, along with model and friend Anna Cleveland, were the original sources of inspiration for my show “The Snake”That eventually evolved into something much biggerthe show discussed homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and I even painted my first transgender subject in “Chrysalis (Portrait of a Girl)”Little things can become bigger things, but “The Snake” took me to darker places that I was fully prepared to go. 
 
Lately, installation has been integral to the reading of the work. The paintings are stretching their limbs beyond their own confines. I just want to let them breathe, and take me on a journey that is more irreverent. I dont want to be so political right now. The world is ugly enough, I want to have fun and make people smile. For my next show, Im keeping my head above the water. Ive asked Australian artist Rhys Lee to make sculptures to accompany my paintings, and were doing a show called “A Room With A View of the Ocean”My assistant is currently sourcing lemon yellow furnitureif that tells you anything. Right now Im inspired by freedom. Possibility. The idea of an endless horizon. That gives me room to experiment.

3) How have you grown personally and creatively over these ten years, and how do the ten images selected for this exhibition, reflect that period?

Well it really is the Design of a Decade, hah, to quote Janet Jackson. But seriously, I’ve changed as an artist and as a person. I’ve grown into myself and so have the paintings grown into themselves. The show was curated by David Liss of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto. After he agreed to curate the show and write a foreword for the corresponding monograph of my work, also entitled TEN (available for purchase at www.andrewsalgado.com or my representing gallery Beers London), I presented him with about 35 works that I would be okay with representing various periods of my work for a survey exhibition. There was one piece that for some random reason the owner wouldn’t lend back to us, called It Is The Fear that Keeps Us Awake, so I do think that there is a slight jump in the presentation wherein that period of a deconstructed face is missing…but overall, I’m focusing on the future, not lamenting the past. The first piece selected was Schismatics, a painting of one of my closest friends from 2006. Then you see paintings that exhibit a lot of pain after I was assaulted in a hate-crime in 2008…and then, well, you see me sort of…grow out of that. Into a more confident, happier, perhaps even more spiritual place, where I am now. You see that spirituality in Afterlife / Osiris. David and I spoke and I realize that there is a real sense of optimism in the show. I guess that reflects my outlook in life as well.

4) ‘Black Dionysus’ is a particulary striking piece. One of your earlier pieces, and much darker than more recent works. Tell us about that work?

There are a few of these Dionysus paintings. Black, Green, and Pink. I love the idea of this somewhat tortured archetype of the bacchanal. He’s the opposite of Apollo – the god of Order – he represents these wild, drunk, creative but sometimes destructive ideals. I think I see that in myself. I’m definitely more aligned with that mythos than anything other. You’ve seen it before as well with Caravaggio and countless other artists. We relate to that. The Ancient Greeks, the Classicists, the Neo-Romanticists…I mean, he appears countlessly.
I think there are some beautiful hesitations in that piece. I wasn’t as confident and it shows.

5) I first became acquainted with your work, when it was featured in the Harvey Nichols windows. I assumed that it was the colours that had originally caught my attention, but later I came to realise that it had in fact been the portraits eyes. Are the eyes “windows to the souls” of your subjects?

You know I really sort of try to avoid this idea. In my previous show The Snake at Beers every subject had obstructed eyes. As an artist, you have two choices – the first: feed into your audience and give them exactly what they want, which typically is at odds with what you want, creatively, as an artist. The other option is to challenge yourself and your audience, and I prefer to take that route. None of the works offer easy answers, and so in all honesty when people say ‘I love the eyes in your paintings’ it makes me want to take a scraper and scrape it right out. In fact, a lot of the eyes I do are scribbled right over. I like the idea of making beautiful things ugly, and ugly things beautiful. No, I don’t think the eyes are the windows to the soul. The painting emits a sensation and a feeling as an autonomous whole. One part is no more or less important than the next…I mean if it were just about pretty eyes I’d just sit around painting pretty eyes all day. I want to make things more complex. If you look at a painting like Orlando, for interest, I literally scribbled right over the eyes. In Chrysalis, they are hardly both hardly painted whatsoever and then also literally stitched overtop with needle and thread.

6) Your works often portray an almost savage level of raw emotion, laying bare the layers and complexity, of each subject. How do you so successfully achieve the transference of the emotional connection, that you clearly establish with your subjects?

People bring up this notion of ’emotion’ often when talking about my work. I really don’t know. I have something important that I’m trying to say, I respect my subject, my process, my viewer, my collectors… I just believe fundamentally and fully in what I do. So with that sort of respect for the artwork, I guess something makes a connection. I don’t have a crazy high output – I think it was 24 paintings in 2016…so there is a lot of time spent considering the works and the process. They have to connect with me and the viewer and if they don’t, they will never leave the studio. I think a lot of artists cut corners, or art – or become – lazy. That doesn’t cut it…I’m always working, and trying to improve, and so far people have responded to that.

7) Love, loss, life, pain and emotion are all words that your work conjures for the viewer. I an age where many men are now coming to grips with their mental health, do you intentionally reflect this important issue in your work?

Wow I’m so happy you brought this up. Its in there, buried deeply. I suffer from overwhelming anxiety that – if not attended – means I cannot produce. So I deal with that, medically. But I think one of the first problems with mental health is that label; the second problem is how widespread and how frequently it goes undiagnosed. People are suffering, but we arent talking about it. Somehow, through my work, people open up. We share an experience together. Often, but not always, I have strangely deep connections with my subjects through the process of painting them. Then we become friends, and its like we speak in a new language together. We have connected through a bond wherein I understand them – and they understand me – on a different level. Its weird. I sound crazy. But its true.

8) You stated that often “you didn’t have faith in yourself” how did you overcome that?

I surround myself by people who support and believe in me. Its a lonely job – this artistmanship. My job is to spend 8 hours a day self-critiquing my every single goddamned mark, movement, brushstroke, and creation, so if you’re not careful, that can take you to a dark place. And if you’re an artist who isn’t doing that, well then quit. Because you’re wasting our time as much as you’re wasting your own.

9) To all those “kids from the praries” out there with pots of paint, what advice would you impart?

Work twice as hard, worry half as much. And support your peers; we’re in this together.
http://www.andrewsalgado.com/
Words: Ian Michael Turner

FAULT catches up with Joss Stone in the middle of her world tour

In March of 2014, singer Joss Stone embarked on her World Tour. Now, over two years later, she’s not even halfway done. That’s because she’s trying to hit every country. Yes, all of them. Somehow, Stone managed to find some time to talk to FAULT about the tour, geopolitics, and Stone’d Records.

Dress – Temperley London / Jewels – Joss’s own

FAULT: How did you get the idea for the Total World Tour?

Joss: Okay, I will tell you a story: I was in Japan, and I was up a mountain playing a gig called Fuji Rock, which this lovely festival. I looked around, and I thought, “Everything is so different here.” I kind of felt like I was on another planet (Of course I wasn’t; I was on Planet Earth.). But I felt that I was very, very far away from home. The culture was very different there. The people were different. Their accents were different. They looked different. Everything was different. But when you make music, you connect with these people just like you would anybody else, anywhere else. So I thought, “Well hold on a minute. If music can take us here, music can take us anywhere. Why don’t we do that? Why don’t we do a World Tour?” You know, the answer is always going to be money. That’s why people don’t do it. But anyway, I just decided that wasn’t really right, and was gonna just do a World Tour and spread as much goodness as I can through music. And you know… I’m doing it.

 

FAULT: How did you become interested in world music in the first place?

Joss: I think I’m just interested in music. I don’t think I’ve ever really had a line. I’ve never really been the type of person to say, “I’m into soul music. That’s what I’m into.” I don’t really do that. I kind of just go, “Well, I just love music, and I’m interested in hearing all different things from all different people.”

Dress – Temperley London / Jewels – Joss’s own

 

FAULT: How many countries have you done so far? 

Joss: 77, I think right now. I mean, there are about 204 total, but it really depends what you feel politically, because some places think that they’re separate countries, and they’re not. It really depends which list you go by. There’s one book that has 226, and then there are lists that say 196, and another list that says 204. But we’re trying to do as many as we can.

Dress – Free People / Jewels – Joss’s own

 

FAULT: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from all this?

Joss: People are good, aren’t they? I had that opinion anyway, so to say that I learned something on the World Tour is kind of bullshit. But I think that it’s solidified my opinion. Every time I move from one country to the next, I get this wonderful feeling of, “Ah, I knew it! I knew people were good! I know this!” But in a way, I’m trying to prove to myself that it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what culture you were brought up into. At the end of the day, we’re human beings. We all bleed red. And we all love. And we all laugh. And we all cry. You know, we are the same. We are brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers. It doesn’t bear any difference at all to where you go. So far. I’m a girl who’s only been to 77 countries. Maybe at the end of it, I might have a different opinion. I’m always open to my opinion changing, but so far, it’s not happened.

 

FAULT: What’s something about music that you think artists from English-speaking countries can learn from the rest of the world?

Joss: I think there’s a lot of different colours out there that you can incorporate into your music. There’s a lot of different timings and notes that we don’t even use. Like an Indian scale is different to our scale. There are also different techniques you can use. In certain parts of Africa—which I haven’t been to yet, but I’m hoping to go—there are these women who play the drums with the water by cupping their hands. It’s like they are using nature as an instrument. We should do that more often. We should step away from our computers and go see what sounds the woods make, or what sounds the grass makes. Listen to the birds a little bit more often. Think outside the box. If we weren’t so blessed to have all this technology, what would we do then? Because making music is part of nature.

Top – Stylist’s own

FAULT: How does it feel to go so far away and still have people singing along to your songs?

Joss: It feels amazing. It really does. It’s quite funny because to go somewhere like Botswana or Zambia and hear them seeing along, it was so cool. You really do have a moment where you’re like, “Wow, I cannot believe that they even know that.” Then when we get to a place where they don’t know it at all, and they’re totally hooked into the music that they’re hearing, that’s a whole other type of cool. Because they are listening purely for the music and not thinking, “Oh, there’s this famous girl onstage.” They don’t even know me, and I kind of like that because you don’t what you’re going to get. The reaction is very real. It’s not tainted, and no one has a preconception of you. So you get great stuff out of both seemingly opposite reactions. So far it’s been very positive, thank God.

 

FAULT: Do you think having had so much success at such a young age has maybe limited people’s perceptions of you?

Joss: Oh no, I don’t think that. I think sometimes people get stuck in one specific era. You can say that for any artist or any style of music. But some people just get stuck in a certain album. I’m absolutely guilty of doing that. I do that with many artists, where I love an album and never really move on. I like to be able to give those people a bit of joy and sing their songs as well. Because I completely get how fun that can be, to hear a song that you listened to when you were a kid or whatever. So their perception is what it is. And then you meet them and maybe it changes, who knows?

Dress – Baum Und Pferdgarten

FAULT: How has releasing via your own label, Stone’d Records, been different from going through a traditional label?

Joss: I would say that it’s more free. I can do whatever I want without having to ask for permission. It’s kind of like the difference between working for yourself and working for someone else. It’s like the difference between being a hired singer and just being a singer of the planet. I work for myself now, so when I make the music that I make, there’s no person telling me that it’s wrong, or that it won’t sell anything, or that it’s it’s not a hit. There’s no negativity surrounding it. It’s just, “Hey, you you want to come make some music?” “Okay, let’s go do that. Hi.”

 

FAULT: How was your experience at the Grenada Festival?

Joss: I loved that, actually. That was really fun. I thought it was gorgeous—really lovely people.

 

FAULT: What are you working on right now?

Joss: My hair. I’m doing I’m hair right now (laughs)… Uhm, I have a bit of a project, a six-track EP that I wrote in my garden. It’s about mother nature. It’s really fun. We’re just working on the mix right now.

Dress – Baum Und Pferdgarten

FAULT: What is your FAULT? 

Joss: Well, my bad habits include smoking, which is not good—very bad for you; eating chocolate; probably sleeping in too late; and impatience.

 

Words: Cody Fitzpatrick

Photography: Jack Alexander

Styling: Holly Ounstead @ Frank Agency

Hair and Make-Up: Louise Hall using Maria Nila @marianilastockholm and Laura Mercier

Fault gets to know pop music’s newest breakthrough act Daya

Fault recently caught up with new pop megastar Daya as she promotes her brand new album ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’ which was released on October 7th.

 

Hey Daya, how’s it going?

Hi! I’m good, how are you?

 

Not bad thanks! Are you in the UK long?

For the next 2 or 3 days.

 

Enjoying so far?

Yeah I love it here, we got into London yesterday and went to a musical, and it was good.

 

Which musical?

I went to ‘Beautiful’, the Carole King one. It was good; it was fun.

8315-v2-min

Top – Di Liboro

You’re going on a long tour soon from end of November all the way through to March?

Yeah I’m doing a lot of Jingle Ball type things around Christmas, and then after that I’ve got a bit of a break. But then I have my first headlining tour in February, which I’m really stoked for.

 

Sounds great! You even end up in your hometown of Pittsburgh?

Yeah, I think I end there; I love doing hometown shows, it’s the best.

 

It must feel quite special with your family being there?

Yeah! All my family and friends are there. It’s really the only time I get to go home because I’m just doing so much craziness. But otherwise it’s fun, everyone has supported me there from the beginning so they can see every time I come home what has changed, and how everything is growing and evolving.

 

How much has life changed since your debut album was released?

Yeah, it was only a couple of weeks ago but it’s just been insane, so incredible and the feedback I’ve received is awesome. I’m just excited for everyone to finally have it and also excited to play the songs from the album live.

 

How long has been in the making, in terms of recording?

It’s been about a year and a half because I released my EP last year and since then we got on with the album. It’s been like a year on and off, in and out of the studio. It has been a lot of fun and I love the process of it all; so I was very anxious to get it out into the world.

 

And as you mention, the response has been strong so far?

Yeah it has been amazing. I just toured in Japan for a week or two and played a lot of the songs live for the first time, so they were really well received.

 

Was it nerve-wracking playing them for the first time?

Yeah I mean it’s always scary to perform songs for the first time but I was so ready to! I’ve been performing the same 6 songs over the past year so I was just ready to move on.

7945-min

Suit – Marccain / Top – Topshop

As the new album has 14 songs on, you’ve got a large catalogue now to take from, does that help?

Yeah so much better to have 14 rather than 6, it’s pretty nice.

 

Are you planning on touring the UK at all next year?

Hopefully. I mean my biggest dream going into all this was to do a world tour so hopefully I’ll be touring Europe, South America, Asia next year or even the year after, I’m not sure yet. That’s the ultimate goal.

 

After listening to the album, is there an apparent theme or message running through it?

Yeah I think a lot of it is about self-development and empowerment. I’m so young in the industry and I haven’t had too many experiences yet with relationships, love or anything so I write about what I know. I feel the album allows you to depend on yourself for happiness, go and be passionate and also pushing you to work hard and go after your dreams.

 

Which is exactly what you have personally done?

Yeah pretty much, I hope to inspire others to do the same.

 

In terms of your collaborations with artists such as The Chainsmokers, how has the response been from that?

Yeah it’s been awesome, that was such a great one to get my foot in the door and to get introduced to a new audience too. I performed at Coachella with them and they’re obviously a lot more electronic dance leaning so I got a lot of new fans from that, which was really cool. I’m super proud of the way the songs hit with everyone, I love that song.

 

I suppose you’re both on the same journey, as you’re growing up in the industry together and entering yourselves into the mainstream chart audiences.

Yeah, and it was really fun to create with them because they’re great guys. We really connected when we first met.

8196-v3-min

Top – Jayne Pierson / Bralette – H&M / Skirt – Marcell Von Berlin

Does it feel like a quick journey since that collaboration came out?

Yeah so many things have happened over the past year but I definitely wanted to focus on my music after that feature. It was great to feature with them and everything but I definitely wanted the focus to be on the album, and on me. Just to kind of let them know; the world know who I am.

 

You’ve got new VIP packages available for fans on your upcoming tour, is that an opportunity for them to get closer to you?

Yeah I do. I kind of wanted to make that more of an experience rather than just a “hi” and “bye”. That is something that I’ve always had trouble with during meet and greets. You don’t get to interact with your fans, become friends with them or get to know them at all. Basically for the VIP thing I’m adding to this upcoming tour is to do an interactive sound check experience where they get to ask me questions and hopefully it will be a lot more fun for them too.

 

Are there any new singles fans can expect to come out soon? Or anything new that you’re recording such as a video?

Yeah I have a new single from the album that I’ll start to promote soon and it’s called ‘Words’. It is my favourite from the album and I think that people will really dig it. Its kind of got a dancey tune and sound to it and it’s really fun to perform in concert. So that’ll be the song I’ll be pushing to radio soon.

You’ve been having huge success on streaming sites such as Spotify, has that been a shock to you or has it been a long journey to get to that status on there?

Its really cool and I guess that’s kind of the direction that music is going in these days. It says a lot when songs are played a lot on streaming sites like Spotify. It’s the future and the present for music. I’ve had a lot of great feedback with the numbers from Spotify, which is awesome. I was with someone the other day and they put on the ‘Top Hits’ playlist and two of my songs came on which is amazing. I’m so grateful for the support from Spotify and from listeners everywhere.

 

Are you doing a video to support that single?

Yeah I will be, within the next month or so we’ll start filming it.

 

8049-min

Top – Topshop

Any ideas as to the location of the filming, hometown maybe?

I don’t know yet as its been so crazy. We haven’t looked at treatment or anything yet.

 

You’re travelling lots now, have you got a favourite accent?

I love the UK accent. My make-up artist was doing my glam this morning and she used the term ‘flick’ instead of ‘wing’ for eyeliner and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. [laughs] I thought “this is great”, I mean using that word ‘flick’; its so cool.

 

Have you tried impersonating the British accent?

Yes, but I’m terrible. “Terrible at it, so terrible at it” [in British accent]. [laughs]

 

The more you come over the better you’ll get.

Yeah, definitely.

8338-min

Top – Di Liboro / Trouser – Balmain / Boots – River Island

What is your FAULT?

That’s another term we really don’t use in the US. I say “like” a lot. [laughs] I’m pretty bad at doing that, especially during public speaking.

 

Ever had a problem with crowd banter on stage?

I’m really confident on stage, especially when performing on stage. It’s my favourite part of all of this. I love touring and I love performing in front of my fans.

 

It sounds like you really enjoy the full experience of being an artist.

Yeah, it’s exciting and it’s everything that I’ve wanted to do since I was like 8 years old.

 

You can catch Daya on her upcoming North American tour running from December through to March 2017. Daya’s debut album ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’ is out now. View full list of tour dates on her website: http://www.theofficialdaya.com/

 

Words Stuart Williams

Photography Jack Alexander

Styling Edith Walker Millwood

Beauty Krystle G using Bumble and Bumble

Anastacia discusses breast cancer and the road to a FAULTless recovery in FAULT Magazine Issue 24

Fashion Editor & Creative Director: Rachel Holland | Photographer: Andres De Lara | Make Up: Alex Price @ FRANK Agency | Hair Stylist: Karin Darnell @FRANK Agency | Nail Artist: Diane Drummond | Photographer’s Assistant: Stefano Della Salla | Stylist’s Assistant: Tara Theiss | Stylist’s Assistant: Lina Buckson

Fashion Editor & Creative Director: Rachel Holland | Photographer: Andres De Lara | Make Up: Alex Price @ FRANK Agency | Hair Stylist: Karin Darnell @FRANK Agency | Nail Artist: Diane Drummond | Photographer’s Assistant: Stefano Della Salla | Stylist’s Assistant: Tara Theiss | Stylist’s Assistant: Lina Buckson

 

Words: Miles Holder

 

Before we begin, I need to break FAULT’s usual editorial style guide and explain the background behind our reversible cover feature for FAULT Issue 24. It’s important to me that our readers understand Anastacia’s head space throughout our interview so that you can understand just how Anastacia is able to make light of times which read like her darkest of days.

As a musician, Anastacia is known for being the powerhouse vocalist who stormed the charts in the early 2000s with hit tracks ‘I’m Outta Love’, ‘One Day in Your Life’ and ‘Left Outside Alone’, all of which now are defining pop anthems of the decade. Despite breaking away from Sony Records (a decision Anastacia admits wasn’t the best idea for the time), Anastacia went on to release 6 studio albums, tour endlessly and sell 52 million records worldwide.

Behind the music, Anastacia has been gripped in an internal battle against illness and self-acceptance her whole life. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age 13 and fighting two bouts of breast cancer, the second of which ended with a Double Mastectomy­ in 2013, Anastacia’s has been on a mission to regain the femininity stolen by the disease.

Arriving at our interview, Anastacia greeted me wide eyed and with a tender embrace; while I wish I could say she was just excited to see me, it’s clear that after years of hiding her scars and parts of her story from the world – it was a godsend for her to finally be able to reveal her story to the world.

It’s been a long fought battle consisting of 10 procedures & 5 Surgeries but Anastacia is ready to reveal her FAULTs to the world.

Here is Anastacia’s story – FAULTs and all.

Dress (worn as Skirt) by Joe Richards

Dress (worn as Skirt) by Joe Richards

FAULT: Thanks for being so trusting with FAULT on this shoot. Prior to this, how did you feel about your scarring?

Anastacia: I resented them. I resented how large they are but I also understood why I needed to go through all the physical changes. My scars are part of my journey and a reminder of all the things I went through with my mastectomy. At this point, I feel great to be able to show them in a way that’s artistic with a respected team in fashion because it’s transformed my body’s “FAULTs” into art.
Your scars aren’t in the usual place for a mastectomy, why is that?

The surgeons had to go around my tattoo; the scars really should have been on my bra line but to graft skin, the surgeons needed to find a place that wasn’t compromised. I wasn’t expecting it to be as long but it was the only way.
How does it feel to finally show the stripped back Anastacia?

I’m so nervous to let people see them, I really am, but I want to be able to go on the beach and not have the first photographs taken of my body to be ones that I didn’t give. I want to be free and knowing that this photo-shoot will be out there and available, I can be on the beach and not worry about what people think. After today, paparazzi can take a photo of me breathing in and call it a gut or say all the things they want, that doesn’t scare me – but my scars are a part of me and I want to be the one to reveal them. If paparazzi photographed them before today, I’d feel like I was being shamed but being able to release them this way, I feel extremely empowered.

10

Silver Vest: Baserange | Jeans: Anastacia’s Own (True Religion)

When you battled cancer, you were fighting an illness that was slowly taking over your body and wrecking havoc on its path. Do you feel like you’ve finally reclaimed it back?

Absolutely! Every little thing that I’m doing, including Strictly Come Dancing, was me trying to reclaim a little piece of my femininity that cancer stole. When you have as many surgeries as I’ve had, you lose so many female sensations that you’ll never get back. Nipple sensation is something that cancer robbed from my anatomy and I’m used to it now but there is that little part of me that will always be lost. Doing Strictly and doing this shoot I feel like I’m finally becoming the woman that I was again.

How long has it taken for you to mentality repair and be ready to share your body with us?

It’s definitely been a long process. I was diagnosed January 2013 and it’s nearly 2017. It took this long but finally when people see this shoot it will be 100% back to me. I’m really grateful that this has been the journey and that you are a part of it – if I was on Strictly long enough I might have done it there but it wasn’t meant to be. Doing a shoot like this, I can be sure that the world sees my scars how I now do – as art.

 

Talk me through your first moment of discovery back in 2003.

2003, I actually went in to explore breast reduction as a preventative measure and two days before my procedure my doctor asked me to have a mammogram. I remember saying “I’m young, what are you talking about!?” and he replied “I just want to check that your tissue is pristine” and me being me I said,“Pristine, mean, clean that’s who I am when I’m on the scene!” [laughs] It was all jokes, I got my mammogram and lo and behold, they found cancer. I wasn’t so pristine, mean or clean after all…

It was a blessing because they found it so early. I spent so long learning all the information I could from that point on. When doctors ask “Is cancer in your family?”, they’re only guaranteeing that you will get it. If it’s not, it’s still a wide open field and 70% of women who get cancer, it’s not even in their family and most women will get cancer. Everything in the environment, your stress levels, what you eat – it all can be a cause of cancer. There are so many combining factors that will make you a victim which is why I decided to become an advocate for early detection.

Young women need to ask for a mammogram contribution for holiday gifts or birthdays etc. Even just £5 or £10 towards the procedure, anything will help and it’s all an investment in your long-term well-being. If you’re a young woman in your mid-twenties, just get it the test done and you can have peace of mind until you’re thirty years old. In your thirties go every two or three years depending on your doctor’s advice and then after thirty-five, it’s safest to go each year. Find it early and you’re done and it’s so much easier.

Cancer and death needn’t go hand in hand, if you catch it early you can live with it and seek treatment – it’s not spotting it early enough that’s scary.

Dress: Laura Theiss

Dress: Laura Theiss

You’re very vocal and many who have heard your story were able to learn from it and beat cancer due to their proactive detection. How does that make you feel to know you affected a life in such a drastic way?

I’ve heard it so much that I never take back any personal invasion of my privacy because it allowed my story to be told to so many people and saved so many lives.

The first news of your cancer wasn’t revealed on your terms?

The press told people I had cancer before I told people! I found out I had cancer on Friday and on Sunday World News rang to tell me they were releasing the story and if I’d like to make a statement. I didn’t have a press team at the time to do all that for me and I was still coming to terms with my diagnosis. Three days later most of my friends learnt I had cancer from the press. I couldn’t call anybody; I was trying to deal with what I thought at the time was a death sentence.

In saying that I’m not angry and what the press did – I say all the time that I’m grateful to have had cancer because it meant that I was able to save lives and that is worth every minute of surgery I’ve been through. I’m still alive and telling this story is why I’m still here and that’s why I keep talking about because there are a lot of people who don’t have the ability to raise their voice. It’s hard spiritually and mentally to tell people about your experiences and I get that. Not everybody needs to be as open as I am but as long as I’m open I can help someone who is closed get by and that’s how I look at the world that is cancer but I just look at the first three letters, C.A.N.

 

What physical trait did you hate before scarring and how insignificant does it feel now?

My boobs! [laughs] When I think back to how much I hated them, they ended up saving my life. Had I had smaller breasts I might not have seen anything and then I would have had it and not known and been hit with stage four out of the blue. My friends were telling me not to get them reduced because they were beautiful and people were paying for larger breasts and thank god I didn’t listen to them.

I say I was blessed with cancer and I was blessed with Crohn’s because it allows me to find a positive way to get through it in order to find a way around it. Having Crohn’s has made me a better communicator because to hold it in creates anxiety which makes it worst.
You’ve had bad days, in fact, you’ve had the worst of days. What lifts you back up?

I just wait for it to pass. I think you have to allow yourself to feel like crap, you’re supposed to have those feelings. You need to have emotions and it’s how you process them and how you exist and I think that for me I just tell myself “Anastacia, you’re down today and just be down.” If I have to work, then I push it aside and sometimes I can forget but if I don’t take care of letting it exist then it can come out another way. I’ve made a lot of mindful decision to get me to this place. I’ve had a lot of accomplishments but it’s the setbacks which taught me who I am and what I’m made of.

No, I haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to but it’s how you learn from what you haven’t been able to accomplish that brings success.

Trousers: Cacharel Blazer: Cacharel Bodysuit: Else

Trousers: Cacharel; Blazer: Cacharel; Bodysuit: Else

Strictly sounds like a lot of work and even more so for someone who has been through the physical changes that you have. How did you cope?

I was and now am in the best condition that I’ve been in, in a long time. I had just finished 50 dates before I started on Strictly and the injury I received wasn’t because I was unfit but because I was trying to do something that was hard for most people let alone me with my Latissimus Dorsi in front of my body! [Laughs] It was a tall order for my dance partner and me to do but I think we were both stubborn in our “we can do this” philosophy.

And then you got injured. What exactly happened?

I just thought it was a sore muscle and I just waited for it to pass but it got progressively worse and then I felt a lump which I knew couldn’t be cancer because I didn’t have any breast tissue left but it had to be something. I went to see a doctor and as it turns out it was an inflamed scar tissue. I found this out on Saturday morning and the show was filmed live on Saturday night.

We decided to continue with the performance, and we took out the lift to help me do that. By the end of the performance, I was in a lot of pain and knew I needed to see a specialist. Then I was told there was a dance off. I knew I was physically unable to perform, and I was terrified about what damage I had already done. I began to cry and said “sorry I’ll get my things and go and thanks for the opportunity” and I was ready to leave…I didn’t know they had contingencies for occurrences like that.

The press wasn’t so understanding at first.

I didn’t have the best time hearing what the press had to say because I couldn’t dance-off but once they found out why it was all “wow, how did you even dance in the first place!?” and I’m all like “Hello, I’m a fighter!” But once I felt that my arm was going to die, I just had to sit it out. I think the press thought I was being a diva and refusing to dance off which was so wrong and it was the best feeling when the truth finally came out.
If you could give any piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

I believe that I would say “be kinder to yourself and not compare yourself to other people.” Back then I never felt I was pretty enough or talented enough. I wore glasses, I wasn’t tall, I didn’t have blue eyes, I didn’t think I was pretty because I compared myself to people who looked nothing like me. I could have picked anything to not like about myself but I wish I’d been gentler and kinder to me and not been so judgemental. It’s strange because my mum always taught me to accept other people for all their differences and I always saw the beauty in others, I just couldn’t see it in myself.

What is your FAULT?

I give to my own detriment. As much as people say giving is a great gift, it’s not when you don’t know when you’re being taken advantage of. I’ve been so giving that I’ve hurt myself so much in the process.

 

 

Read Anastacia’s full story and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT 24 – available to pre-order now

Jenn Murray Discusses Fantastic Beasts and where to find them in FAULT Magazine

 

Today (Nov 19th) sees the release of J.K. Rowlings much anticipated new blockbuster, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. FAULT Magazine sat down with cast member Jenn Murray who appears as Chastity Barebone in the movie to learn more about her character, the movie and the magic goings on behind the scenes!

 

You’re going to be entering a huge, huge franchise, do you think you’re fully ready for that?

As ready as I can be!  I cannot predict the future, I just hope people enjoy the film!  I can only be grateful that David Yates saw something in me and gave me an opportunity.  The opportunity was to work with some of the most talented people in the film industry.  Every day was a playground of inspiration and creativity, you simply had to open your eyes and you would learn something.

 

Can you tell me anything about Chastity? Her background doesn’t seem to be divulged much. What can we expect from her character?

Chastity was an interesting role to play.  She is mysterious, to me and to others.  She is surrounded by big personalities and although she is curious, she is also content in her own particular way of life.  She didn’t draw attention to herself, she just got on with her work, she got on with her life.  There is something about silence that can be powerful, I learnt a lot from playing her.

 

How did you mediate the different material in order to become Chastity, such as JK Rowling’s help to the script to David Yates’ work as a director?

Simply to be in the knowledge that I was part of a story that had come from JK Rowling’s imagination was thrilling.  Whenever I play a role, I always make the choice to trust two people, I trust the director and I trust the writer.  Both David and JK tell stories with eloquence and a life force energy that you cannot but be swept away with them.  You do your homework and research because for me, preparation brings confidence.  Then, on the set, I pay attention, I listen to my scene partners and I jump in.  David knew what he wanted and so I always felt very safe.

How was it working on a film driven by so much CGI and visual effects?

Working on Fantastic Beasts was incredible.  Each day on set there were so many resources to take from to inspire your performance.  How did my coat feel on my shoulders, how did my feet sound on the wooden floor, what temperature was it outside?  CGI requires focus and commitment.  It is like playing make believe as a child, you choose to believe that whatever the special effect is that will be added later is actually in front of you now and you go for it!  Plus you are not alone, your fellow actors are taking the same leap of imagination, and it can be a lot of fun!

 

Are you scared or excited for the release of the film next month? Do you think it will live up to Harry Potter fans expectations?

I am excited.  Working on a film like Fantastic Beasts you see that every person has the same goal, to tell a great story.  I feel really lucky to be part of an ensemble cast and therefore there is not too much pressure.  You can be aware of expectations but ultimately you can only focus on your own contribution to the project.  JK said something I always think of in her Harvard commencement speech.  What we achieve on the inside effects our outer world.  So I like to remind myself that even to be in a film, and a film that has expectations, is a dream come true.

 

Words: Harley Cassidy

Read the full interview and see more exclusive photographs inside FAULT 24 – Available now