KIN: Director duo Jonathan and Josh Baker’s Sci-fi drama

If brothers Jonathan and Josh Baker, directors of the sci-fi feature film KIN, hadn’t delved into filmmaking nearly 15 years ago, you’d probably find them attempting perilous physical feats for Likes on social media.
“There’s a part of me that’s a little sad that parkour wasn’t a popular thing when we were growing up because if it was, we would have been on Instagram jumping across buildings,” says Jonathan, one half of the directing duo known as TWIN.

Photography: Gray Hamner

Instead, They set their sights on directing, moving from Sydney to New York in 2007, working on music videos and commercials. Through a decade of professional stagnation, The Brothers developed the short film “Bag Man”, a 15-minute film with a nameless cast of characters whose protagonist, a Harlem-bred African-American preteen, ventures upstate with his mysterious duffel bag to carry out an undecidedly valiant mission.

“Bag Man”, which premiered at 2015’s South by Southwest to great acclaim, quickly evolved into KIN under the joint tutelage of 21 Laps Entertainment, the production company associated with 2016 Academy Award-nominated film Arrival and the Netflix breakaway hit Stranger Things. Both KIN’s cast (James Franco, Zoe Kravitz, Dennis Quaid, Jack Reynor and emerging talent Myles Truitt as the film’s lead) and the filmmakers’ gritty, independent sensibilities, coupled with a predisposition for classic 80s sci-fi and coming-of-age cinema, are sure to attract discerning moviegoers.

How did you decide which elements of “Bag Man” to incorporate into KIN and which to leave out?

Josh: That was one of the toughest things about it. We didn’t just assume that there was a feature-length story to be told there. The short film already had a couple of things going for it: it was mostly a tone piece; it was about trying to make something feel restrained and quiet. Our lead character doesn’t say a word throughout the whole film, which is very much on purpose. And then it was about clashing that quietness with a surprise ending so the audience maybe think that they’re getting one thing, but then you give them another.
When we were putting the concept for feature together, I guess we decided we wanted some more meat on the bone with regards to the characters and where the story was going. We decided that we wanted to tell a story about family. And specifically about unconventional families. So this story is about brothers, and that was our jumping off point. Quite quickly, we realised that the unconventional structure of having an African-American lead character who has a white older brother after being adopted into a Polish family in Detroit was really interesting.

Jonathan: There’s a lot of things in the movie, in KIN, that are about acceptance, and a lot of themes about what makes a family, or what makes brothers. Is it blood, or is it something beyond that? Is it more experience and love? A lot of those things weren’t in the original short film but as soon as we started to talk about what KIN would become, it became apparent that those fraternal themes would be in there.

What are some of the challenges of working as a collaborative team?

Josh: There’s plenty of challenges. As brothers, we’ve gotta be really careful that we have a unified front when it comes to the idea of being a directing duo.
Ego is a huge part of being a director – it really is. It always has been, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. You’ve just gotta be careful of that and realize that you’ve got someone else who’s on the same level as you and who has to be a collaborative part of making decisions.

Jonathan: The good thing about having a directing partner is that you have this inbuilt level of collaboration and patience and respect – mutual respect – so I think it’s very easy for that to then affect everyone else. Everyone begins to realise that this is how these guys work, this is the kind of set I’m on. They see us as the kind of directors who listen a lot, who accept other people’s’ ideas.

Photography: Gray Hamner

Photography: Gray Hamner

What advice would you give yourself ten years ago?

Josh: I think the main thing would be trust your instincts. Having a twin brother as a director helps a lot when it comes to making decisions. I think it helps to have someone next to you so you can talk stuff out, come up with the right solutions and make the right decisions on what to do with certain things. A lot of where we are right now just comes from instinct. All a director really has is their personal sense of taste and that ability to follow their gut. We were offered films years ago, and I’m really glad, at this point, that we didn’t take them. Just because of this film that we made, KIN, is very much based on who we are and the things we love.

Jonathan: KIN is a movie that we made for us, and we genuinely believe that if you do that – if you make a film for yourselves and a movie you would want to see – then there is going to be a very strong fan base of people who agree with you. It may not be for everybody, which is not something that everybody involved in the film wants to hear or wants to say, but the truth of the matter is that you never want to make something from a false place, trying to please everybody. You want to really have it come from an authentic place and a human place.

Josh: This movie is undeniably ‘us’.

What is your FAULT?

Jonathan: I think one of our faults is caring a little bit more about art and about sophistication and about credibility than commerce. And I think that’s a very challenging dynamic to balance in what we do. Pleasing people, while pleasing yourself, is a very challenging kind of way to live, and to do.

Josh: I guess if we didn’t operate that way then we would be much richer gentlemen, and at different times of the week, I look back and say, ‘did we make the right decision based off money?’ But I think I’ll always choose something that feels honest to us over financial gain. And sometimes that feels like a fault, but hopefully, it’s not.

Jonathan: …and we hope – that KIN is an example of hope. But at the end of the day, if for some reason it doesn’t connect, we’ll feel good within ourselves as directors and as filmmakers that we made the honest choice in something that speaks to us as humans. That’s the most important thing.

KIN is out now in Cinemas everywhere. See local listings for details.

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.

Olivia Holt cover shoot for FAULT Issue 29 Screen section

Olivia Holt X FAULT Magazine

Olivia Holt - FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Screen section cover

Photography: Benjo Arwas | Styling: Courtnee Scully @lalaluxe | Make-up: Tonya Brewer | Hair: David Stanwell @thewallgroup | Post-production: Nadia Selander | Director of Photography: Scott Smith | Editor: The Pioneers | Production: Kiley Coleman | Thank You to Saksfifthavenue.com

By most standards, actress and musical performer Olivia Holt appears to be on the precipice of a career breakthrough.  With her new role as Dagger in Marvel’s latest superhero incarnation, Cloak and Dagger, alongside co-star Aubrey Joseph, the 20-year old, Mississippi-bred talent is very quickly establishing herself as an on-screen force with the talent and fortitude to portray characters substantially more complex than audiences have previously seen from her.

In addition to her new show, Holt has been working daily on writing and recording her brand of music, which she describes as pop that pays homage to her soulful, Southern roots. The success of her recent single, ‘Generous’, which gained one million views in just five days after its release in late 2017, should serve as teaser to fans of what to expect.

Holt recently took the time to talk with FAULT about the new show and her unguarded approach to her career and to life.

FAULT: Can you remember the very first performance you ever put on for an audience?
Olivia Holt: It was an audience of four as a kid: my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister. That lasted for a very long time until they were totally over me forcing them to sit down and watch me perform. But, I’d say for like a legit audience the first thing I ever did was ‘Annie,’ I think. I played an orphan and I loved every second of it.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Full shoot and interview available exclusively in FAULT Magazine Issue 29 – available to pre-order now!

How did you prepare for the role of Tandy?
Olivia Holt: Tandy has a lot of layers. She’s not just one note. She is a cynical human being. A lot has happened to her and she experienced something very traumatic as a child and is sort of living in survival mode and with that a comes lot of responsibility. She’s sort of the parent in her mother-daughter relationship. She’s having to take care of everything and everyone around her and I think that’s a lot for a teenager to deal with. So she have a lot on her plate.

I would remember being a physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of some of the days just because of some of the stuff that Tandy is dealing with, whether that be her relationship with her mother, or addiction, or sexual assault. So, preparing was not an easy thing, and I think I’m still preparing. But, I think she was learning and so I was learning too. We were sort of finding where we fit in our lives. That was that was an interesting journey to go on.

How was it like working with your co-star Aubrey Joseph?
Olivia Holt: He is a gem of a human being. He is just so down to earth, talented — a great scene partner but an even better friend and I feel so grateful to work with somebody who has this insane work ethic and who is genuinely nice and so passionate, not just about his character but  about the story that his character and my character share. I just think we have an awesome, special connection and the fact that both of us get to tell that story is so surreal, and I think we’re both forever grateful for it. But, I love working with him.

What can we expect from you musically later this year?
Holt: I’ve been in the studio almost every single day writing and recording this year. I actually feel like I’ve been able to prioritize music rather than bouncing around and trying to balance both acting and music. This year has really been focused on honing in on the music and making sure that I’m involved in putting in the work to find my sound and, lyrically, what I want to do. And, it’s been an incredible journey just exploring all of that. I have a few things coming up this year that I’m really excited for people to hear.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

How would you describe your overall sound and what are some of your influences, musically?
Holt: I’m making pop records but I grew up in the South so I’m very drawn to organic instruments. So there’s a little bit of soul, a little bit of alternative — it’s artistic and cool and it just really showcases my energy and my personality and the way I talk. They are all stories coming from my real life experiences or things that I want to experience. So it’s all very personal and vulnerable and that’s my creative outlet for my specific headspace, in hopes that people are going to be able to relate and feel things when they hear my music.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

What is your FAULT?
Olivia Holt: Acting and music are my creative outlets. It’s a way for me to escape and a way for me to be vulnerable and have that space to connect with people. But I want the projects that I work on and the music that I make to move people and make them feel alive and to keep curious and to thrive and to live so fiercely… I want to change people for the better and I want them to live a fulfilled life and hopefully I can do that through what I love to do. I want to create an environment for people to feel wanted and loved. I think that’s my fault.

~

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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Afrojack exclusive shoot for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Afrojack X FAULT Magazine

fault-magazine-afrojack-04

Full shoot and interview available exclusively in FAULT Magazine Issue 29 – available to pre-order now!

In an overly saturated music industry, there are only a few names worthy of mention as of recent times. One of the most difficult genres to break into is dance music – by far due to the increased online presence of an abundance of up and coming producers. FAULT Favourite Kygo is one of the many that have managed to break into mainstream music through Soundcloud and ever since, he’s been dominating the charts. Before the new talent outburst, however, the EDM community was held together by only a few artists who are still breaking the charts with their continuous growth in the field.

Dance veteran Afrojack is a complex character worthy of appraisal and with his busy touring schedule and hectic media time, pinning down one of the powerhouses in dance music proved itself to be a rewarding and surprising experience altogether.

fault-magazine-afrojack-01

FAULT: You’ve previously said in interviews that at clubs, you’ve got 90% of your audience who enjoy the big tracks and then you’ve got the 10% who actually know dance music. What do you do for the 10%?
Afrojack: I’ve always been that person in the club that’s enjoying the music and not there for the girls. When I DJ, that’s still my priority. I still want to make sure that everyone is having a great time, but I always make sure that I show people something new that caters to the ‘in’ crowd.

How do you approach releasing new music? You’ve got a body of work that was only yours to listen to and afterwards you have the whole world judging it. Does that make you nervous?
Afrojack: It used to, but over the last year or so it hasn’t. Beforehand, I’d feel a lot of social pressure. ‘You’re a Top 10 DJ – so that better be good!’ And now I’m more relaxed and I’ve started doing the same thing that I was doing 10 years ago. I make music, I release it and then you can do whatever you want with it.

You’re about to embark on your North American Tour. What’s in store for the fans?
Afrojack: Anytime you prepare for a new tour you try to refurbish your set. I’ve been focusing a lot on doing more club records. I premiered a few back at Ultra and the reaction was really good. Now I’m getting the chance to present the final versions of those tracks. I see my set as an opportunity to show people tracks that they already love and also tracks that are new. People say that you’re only as good as your last record, which is not true. You’re only as good as your next record.

 

Do you have a particular track or tracks that you enjoy playing live because of the reaction that you get from your audience?
Afrojack: ‘Ten Feet Tall’ always gets amazing reactions, so I always save that for the end. I have the most fun with the beats and the drops.

You recently released One More Day with Jewelz & Sparks. How did it come to life?
Afrojack: I didn’t write it, I simply co-produced it. I’ve been working with Jewelz & Sparks a lot and they played me the demo version of this song. At the time, nobody was looking after their marketing or helping them promote any of their songs. So, I simply said to them that they should come to my studio and sit down for a bit. And a few months later I signed them, and we put out this single as the first track that we worked on together. We’ve got a lot more to come.

 

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Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your production work?
Afrojack: Yes, I am, but I have a middle ground. I don’t want to completely modify a demo that made me feel something in the first place, but at the same time, I still feel that I’ve got to clean up. For example – we’re in a great hotel room right now, but if it was trash everywhere, it would be a very trashy great hotel room. That’s basically what I try to do when I work on a production. I try to make it as clean as possible. To make a song the best version of itself.

You’ve worked with an array of established artists and you’ve recently added Sia to the list as well. What was your experience of working with one of the most powerful voices in pop music right now?
Afrojack: It was great, but I never actually met her. I’ve never been in the studio with her. Everything I’ve done with Sia was through other people, whether it was mixing or producing. I’m actually working on another record with her right now and I’ve never spoken to her. It’s insane, I put out a lot of songs with a lot of people that I’ve never been in the studio with.

 

EDM is quite a close-knit community. When I look at the line-ups, it’s always the same people. Yourself, Martin Garrix, Marshmello, David Guetta. When you’re touring, do you think of them as your home away from home?
Afrojack: David and Martin are actually some of my best friends. Especially David, he’s almost like family. When we’re doing these festivals, it’s like seeing your family, but I also see them outside the festivals too. Everyone that you can imagine in this scene is in the same boat. It’s a very weird experience to go out to 10,000 people screaming your name and then go back to your hotel room and twiddle your thumbs because you haven’t got anything to do. I can’t really call anyone, I don’t know anyone there. I know there are 10,000 people who know my music, but I don’t know them and then they don’t know me! With the other DJs, we’re all in that same boat, so when we see each other at the festivals, we’ve got a subconscious connection with each other. We’re very happy to be amongst other people who know exactly how we feel.

 

Can you look back and tell us about one of your most memorable moments spent with them?
Afrojack: When I played Ultra a few years ago, they put a pool right next to the dance floor. So – you had the stage, the pool and the party. And obviously, at one point all of the DJs were in the pool with the crowd. It’s always fun when the stage is ‘artist-friendly’ and we all get to hang out together. The party actually became a part of the set.

 

What do you think is the future of dance music? How will it reinvent itself?
Afrojack: Nobody can tell the future. That’s the beautiful thing, it’s always a surprise. But I definitely feel that it’s ever-growing. Everything in the future is growing. The future is growth in itself. I would also love to know what’s happening in the future, that’s why I’m studying philosophy. I would love to be able to predict what comes next.

What’s your FAULT?
Afrojack: The more I started learning about psychology and philosophy, everything pointed to the same thing: If you want to live as free as possible, stop trying to learn and start being instead. Being implies that we should stop trying to evolve our knowledge to better predict the future. I don’t see it as a fault, but I’m very addicted to learning and growing that I keep learning more and more. And the more I learn, the more I forget about being.

 

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Words: Adina Ilie
Photo: Robert K. Baggs

FAULT 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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Bebe Rexha Exclusive Covershoot and Interview with FAULT Magazine

Bebe Rexha X FAULT Magazine

Bebe Rexha for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Photography: David Yeo | Fashion Editor – Rachel Holland | Make-Up: Brittany Lambert Paige | Hair: Rio Sreedharan | Nails: Diane Drummond | Fashion Assistant: Ana Carnu & Lupe Baeyens | Words: Aimee Phillips

 

FAULT Magazine speaks to Bebe Rexha about her debut album, Expectations, the importance of retaining creative control and still having those pinch-me moments in this exclusive FAULT Magazine issue 29 reverse cover shoot.

 

FAULT: Let’s talk about your single ‘Meant To Be’ ft. Florida Georgia Line. The country vibe is quite different from your usual style – what made you switch things up?

Bebe Rexha: It was quite unexpected but I kinda think all the best things in life are unexpected. That’s why I called my album Expectations, because you never know what’s gonna happen. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m so grateful for it. I’d never done country before so didn’t really know what to expect, and I think that was the beauty of it.

Bebe Rexha for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

FAULT Magazine Issue 29 is available to order for delivery worldwide

 

Where was your head at when you were creating the album? What were the circumstances and emotions that inspired it?

Bebe Rexha: I was thinking a lot about life and how I’ve always expected it to go a certain way but it took me on a different path. Life is better when you just go with the flow. For me, this album has been all about me trying to figure things out.

 

You’ve co-written or co-produced every song on the album – that’s quite rare. It must be extremely important to you to retain creative control?

Bebe Rexha: Yeah definitely. There were some songs that were sent to me and I was like, oh gosh, I need to have this record, it just speaks to me in such an incredible way. I would go in and make it my own, working with the producer to tweak it. Throughout the process, I’ve been involved in the production of various songs. I couldn’t see any other way. For me, writing music has been like therapy. I couldn’t imagine putting out an album or song without being

 Bebe Rexha for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

On writing “Monster” for Eminem

Bebe Rexha:  That really changed the game for me. It changed everyone’s perspective of who I was and really shone a spotlight on my songwriting, so when I transitioned into an artist, I never once had people tell me what to do. When you write the song yourself, people really connect with it on a different level.

 

You started off writing songs for other people. What journey did you have to go on in order to get where you are today?

Bebe Rexha:  I was signed to my first record deal when I was 18 or 19 but I was mainly writing pop songs for other people. Then I got into a band with Pete Wentz called Black Cards. We travelled the world for a few years and then got dropped, so that spurred me into really focusing on my songwriting and my craft. It was a blessing in disguise because it taught me a lot about the industry and perfecting what I can do. That’s when I wrote ‘The Monster’. No one really understood the song because they thought it was a little creepy or too weird, so when Eminem got it I was thrilled. That really changed the game for me. It changed everyone’s perspective of who I was and really shone a spotlight on my songwriting, so when I transitioned into an artist, I never once had people tell me what to do. When you write the song yourself, people really connect with it on a different level.

Bebe Rexha for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Do you think you’ve gotten used to all then – the success and fame?

Bebe Rexha: Not at all, I still feel like I don’t belong. It was never handed to me on a silver platter, like, here you go, you’re a star! I was always the underdog. I was a little quirky, a little different, I would write my own songs. But I’m so supportive of other females and other artists

 

What is your FAULT?

Bebe Rexha: It’s hard for me to enjoy being in the moment, I’m always thinking about the next thing.

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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FAULT Magazine Exclusive Interview With The Real Bhad Bhabie

Bhad Bhabie X FAULT Magazine

Photography – Jack Alexander

Styling – Thomas George Wulbern

Make-Up – Sophie Moore @ERA Management Using Mac

Hair – Brady Lea @ Stella Creative Artists

 

Words: Aimee Philips

Bhad Bhabie (real name Danielle Bregoli) is one of those people that you think you know all about, and it’s hard not to have presumptions. Two years ago, Bregoli became an internet sensation after appearing on an episode of Dr. Phil titled, ‘I Want To Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried To Frame Me For A Crime’. Her volatile attitude and amusing catchphrase “Cash Me Outside, Howbow Dah?” (loose translation: fight me) turned her into an internet meme.

Since then, Bregoli has, rather impressively, taken her infamy and used it to chase her dream of becoming a rapper. It seems like a natural move given her badass attitude and gift for rapid, superfluous speech. Her first single, ‘These Heaux’ was released in August 2017 and reached #77 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the youngest female rap artist ever to debut on the music chart. She’s collaborated with Lil Yachty and Ty Dolla $ign, racks up tens of millions of views on her YouTube videos, has a net worth of $2m and a following of 14.4m on Instagram alone.

The Bregoli that FAULT meets, however, is a world away from the cocky, potty-mouthed teen that she’s portrayed as. In fact, Bregoli is docile, polite, and quite mature for her 15 years… but we wouldn’t want to ruin her reputation.

FAULT: You’ve been touring recently – how’s that been going?

Bhad Bhabie : I’ve done my whole US tour and I’m in the middle of my European tour right now. I’ve been to Belgium, France, Barcelona, Germany, now I’m here [London] and I’m going to Amsterdam next. I’m going to New York for press then I’m going home [Bregoli lives in Florida]!

You were cast into the spotlight when you just 13 and became a viral meme. How did you cope with that at such a young age?

Bhad Bhabie: I’ve always been real old for my age. I just thought, OK, this is life, just do it or don’t. There’s nothing you can really do. You either wanna be famous or you don’t. I had that choice and I decided to make it.

Was rapping always your goal? You said on Dr Phil that you wanted to become a nurse…

Bhad Bhabie: Yeah, I did, then this really started pulling up and I was told, you can do anything you want. I was like, I wanna do music.

How did you make that dream into a reality?

Bhad Bhabie: I went to a studio session with a couple of people from the head of Atlantic [Records] and they said they had this song that they thought I would sound good on, called ‘Hi Bich’. I put my own shit on it. They heard it and were like, we wanna sign her.

Tell me about the album. Are you going to be putting some rumours to rest?

Bhad Bhabie: Yes, some rumours are put some rest. There are some features on there. Asian Doll…maybe some other artists. I’m not sure yet.

Who would you absolutely love to work with?

Bhad Bhabie: I really wanna work with Drake. I’m not gonna lie. After his album came out, I started listening to more of his shit. I was a really big Drake fan when I was younger and then I kinda fell off, and then I started listening to his new stuff lately and was like, this is why I listened to Drake before [laughs].

Tell me about your stage name, Bhad Bhabie. Was that a nickname you always had or did you just come up with it?

Bhad Bhabie: I’m tiny and I’ve always been the youngest out of all the people I hang out with, so I’ve always been called the baby anyway, and ‘bhad’ means ‘bin haters and doubters’ so I was like… Bhad Bhabie. Alright, cool.

You do a lot of live streams on Instagram. Is that because you love showing your fans more of your life?

Bhad Bhabie: It really just proves to people that this is really what happens. I’m doing the same shit, I just turn on the camera.

Your tracks ‘Mama Don’t Worry’ and ‘Both of Em’ reflect on your past. Did you hope that they would help people understand you better and what you’d been through?

Bhad Bhabie: Yeah, I wanted to make tracks that tell people what’s really happened and what’s really been going on, and that I’m not just some squirrel-ass girl who beats her mom and gets money. No, this is what is it and that’s not what it is.

Your music career has really has taken off. Did your success surprise you?

Bhad Bhabie: At first, I was like, oh shit, people really like me? Whaaat? Then I thought, OK, this is what I’m doing now, let’s give it my best.

What do your friends and family think of your success?

Bhad Bhabie: My friends – or the people who I thought were my friends – got really jealous and mad. They thought that they should be owed something, so I was like, you gotta go, goodbye! My family loves it; they think it’s hilarious. They love it so much [laughs].

What have you learnt since becoming famous and a rapper?

Bhad Bhabie: I’ve learnt that this industry is really shady! I just wanna be the biggest. I wanna be on top.

Who are some of the artists that inspire you?

Bhad Bhabie: I don’t really admire anyone. I wouldn’t call anyone an inspiration. In terms of people I listen to, Travis Scott, Cardi B, Tyga… people like that.

What would you say to the people who have doubted you?

Bhad Bhabie: Umm… that’s your problem!

What is your FAULT?

Bhad Bhabie: One of the things that I really don’t like is when I meet little kids and they start cursing cos they think it’s cool. It’s like… no…. please don’t do that. I grew up a certain way, you’re lucky to have someone there to tell you what’s good and what’s not good. Take that, use that, don’t be like me, I’m a different story.

So you want to set an example for younger people?

Bhad Bhabie: Yeah, I feel like it’s kinda bad but kinda good at the same time.

Brendon Urie FAULT Magazine Online Covershoot

Words: Courtney Farrell

Photography: Miles Holder

Styling: Edith Walker Millwood

Grooming: Oliver Woods

 

This weekend,  Panic! at the Disco’s ‘Pray for the Wicked’ debuted at No.1 spot on the Billboard 200 Album Charts and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re proud to present our latest FAULT Magazine Online cover star is non-other than band frontman, Brendon Urie! You can also find more images and exclusive photographs within our next print issue but for now, enjoy our very special cover feature below!

 

“Hey Look Ma, I Made It”, one of the songs from your new album, Pray For The Wicked, opens with the lines “All my life been hustling and tonight is my appraisal / because I’m a hooker selling songs and my pimp’s a record label,”  Do you often find yourself torn between celebrating your successes and battling the evils of your industry?

Brendon Urie: It’s not too far from the truth, I am a hooker that sells songs. I’m a glorified t-shirt salesman. I go out on the road and I play songs to make people happy, and to interact with them and so that we can all celebrate, but at the end of the night I’m really trying to sell clothes, right? I’m like, “buy my merch please so that I can have a great life as well and we can all support each other.” It’s a weird contradiction the way the music industry is. Luckily I do this because I have a passion for it, and the byproducts of things I get to talk about ironically a little more tongue-in-cheek, like yeah, I’m a whore that sells my own music, and my record label is a pimp that pushes me to everybody, distributes me, talks me up, and gets as much mileage as they can out of me. It’s a dark realization, it’s a dark truth, it’s a very real thing, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. This is something that I’m so passionate about that I would never want to give up, so it’s bittersweet really.

 

You reference your childhood dreams coming true, but you probably didn’t expect to become somewhat of an LGBTQ icon for your fans. Between the success of Girls/Girls/Boys and your cameo in Love, Simon, it seems that LGBTQ positivity has become a big part of your brand. How do you feel about that?

BU: It makes me so happy. Growing up and having friends who weren’t accepted in certain circles, whether they were gay, not a certain religion or creed, or whatever, it’s nice to know that now I feel a part of a family that maybe I didn’t feel an affinity to in the past.

What’s even cooler than that, is that I write songs for myself about things that I’m feeling personally about my own life, and fans can take a song and completely give it a new meaning, which makes me so happy. I wrote the song “Girls/Girls/Boys” about my first threesome, and kids grabbed onto that and took it as a universal language for like, it doesn’t matter who you are, we can all love whoever we want to. That’s a way cooler idea, and the fact that fans have the mentality and the mobility to do that just inspires me to move forward in a more generous light and try to give as much as they’ve given me.

 

That song really has taken on a life of its own, when you play it live you’re handed rainbow flags and fans light up rainbow hearts. That must be amazing.

BU: It’s my favorite. When I look out into the crowd and I see how happy they are and how liberated they seem to be, that makes it all worthwhile. That’s better than any drug, that’s better than any other experience. That right there, that interaction, I get to see the immediate happiness that they receive from that. It makes me so proud to be a part of whatever this is.

Jacket – Ben Sherman | T- shirt – Brendon’s own

Pray For The Wicked is your sixth studio album, and you’ve managed to stay active and successful for the 13 years since your first album. Do you ever consciously think about staying relevant or is it not important to you?

 

BU: Honestly, I don’t really care about that shit. It’s not that I don’t want to do things, I only do things if I have a passion for it and I can see a greater outcome, not just for me. We get offered things all the time, whether that be endorsements or shows or whatever, and I say no most of the time. My manager will send me some stuff and he’ll ask what I think, and the majority of the time I’m saying no because it doesn’t feel right to do something just for a company because they’re looking for a handout or whatever it may be. I only do things if it feels right, if it makes me proud to have done that. I never used to think that way until the last year or two, so that has changed a lot of what I do for the better. I think it’s much better to do it that way, I just want to do better all the time.

 

That ties in with a line from “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”, which is “I can’t change into a person I don’t want to be.” It’s about honesty, is staying true to yourself important for you?

 

BU: Absolutely. That’s one of the most key things I think for any human as a trait. Honesty is one of the most important qualities to have as a human being. Other people say that politeness is key, and that’s fine. It’s good to be kind and polite to other people, but at the same time don’t change change your views. Have courage behind your convictions, know who you are. You’ve got to be you. You have to be unapologetic about who you are, don’t ever apologize for that. If people get offended, they’re just looking for something to be offended by, and if not they’re just offended by it and they have a more delicate sensibility and I couldn’t give a shit, you know what I mean? That’s not to say I don’t care, but I want to make sure that honesty and directness come across as more important.

 

You almost named this album “fame is the thirst of youth,” a quote by Lord Byron, which reminded me of “Dying in LA”. Is that a direct correlation, that as time goes on the less fame means?

BU: Yeah to a certain extent, that is a pretty fair summation. When I was younger, I thought it was going to be so cool to be famous, but I didn’t think about it a lot. I was still focused on the things that I loved, like just making music, performing, making music videos, doing records, wearing funny clothes, putting on makeup. All this stuff was so fun for me to do, so I wasn’t really thinking about what I’d do when we get big. There were a couple instances over a couple years that I maybe didn’t handle fame that well. I realized that I was never searching for it. I think my goal is never to be famous. I’m never trying to not be able to leave my house because I’d be noticed all the time, that would suck.

 

When you released “High Hopes”, you tweeted that you’d “worried about how it felt to fail,” and “had to aim high and fail, fail, fail in order to keep growing.” Have there been any moments throughout the years that felt like failures you wouldn’t be able to overcome?

 

BU: For me, failure in the moment always feels like I’ll never overcome it. I have to push past a certain point and almost have faith that I’m going to get through it because it’s happened every single time fear hits me. I just have to hit a certain point and trust myself that as long as I show up and as long as I’m doing what I’m passionate about it’s going to work out in the way that I saw fit because I tried and I did the things I was passionate about, rather than hoping that people like me, hoping that I get notoriety, hoping that I get a number one album. That’s all byproduct. It’s cool if it happens, but it’s not what I’m after. I’m after making something that I’m so proud of that I can share with however many fans. That’s something better than drugs, it’s better than most things in my life. Being able to be on a stage, connect with fans, meet them and hear their stories, see their tweets, read their amazing poems, and hear their covers of our songs. They inspire me and it’s really cool to know that as long as you’re doing what you love, how can you be wrong?

 

You’ll be headlining Reading and Leeds Festival later this summer, are you looking forward to it?

BU: I’m losing my mind! I’m losing my mind because it was billed as a co-headline show with Kendrick Lamar, but I’m not treating it that way. I’m treating it the same way that I treated the Weezer tour, like we are opening for Weezer. We are the warm up band for Kendrick Lamar, and that’s how I’m going to treat it because I have such a love and respect for Kendrick Lamar as an artist and a human being. His seems like his head is in the right place, he’s so wise beyond his years, and I’m just a fan of the music. I’m going to have to stay away, they’re going to have to get extra security. He just seems like the coolest person ever so it’s an honor to be on the same bill as him, I can’t wait to watch him live.

 

What is your FAULT?

BU: I feel like everything is my fault. This whole album is my fault. I didn’t expect to have an album out, but I’m so glad that I did. I’m so glad that I felt inspired, because I was not expecting it and it was the biggest, most pleasant surprise I could have asked for.

 

FAULT speaks to Drax Project about opening for Ed Sheeran, busking, and going platinum

Words: Aimee Phillips
Photos: Jack Alexander

 

Hailing from New Zealand, Drax Project – comprised of Shaan Singh (main vocal, saxophone), Matt Beachen (drums), Sam Thomson (bass) and Ben O’Leary (guitar) – are ones to watch. Their fun, pop-jazz fusion music has already led to a platinum record in NZ with ‘Woke Up Late’, from their EP Noon.

FAULT sat down with the four-piece after their support gig for Camila Cabello in London to talk about their journey, writing bad (and good songs), and taking it all in.

 

Tell me about your journey – how did you get to where you are today?

Shaan: We started off busking, playing covers on drums and sax. Then we decided to add a bass player, Sam, and Ben on guitar. Then we started writing our own songs. We were doing shows but hardly any of the songs were originals.

 

Do you still have any of those first original songs in your set now?

All: No! No those are long gone!

Shaan: The development process for writing songs was very different then to what it is now.

Matt: We still know how to play it, I’m sure.

Sam: Song’s come and go.

Ben: We write a lot of bad songs! [laughs]

And some pretty good ones… ‘Woke Up Late’ went platinum in just four months.

Shaan: Since that song came out, stuff has really started taking off for us. We were able to start doing music full time.

Ben: We got some massive opening slots off that song.

 

You opened for Lorde and Ed Sheeran in New Zealand last year. That must have been amazing! How did it feel to play to such a huge audience?

Matt: Ed Sheeran was massive. Something like two or four percent of New Zealand was there. 120,000 people.

Sam: I think it was good for us because it was the first time we’d really had a full team. We spent a lot of time practicing to do as well as we could. It helped that we had three nights as well.

 

So by the third night the novelty had slightly worn off?

Shaan: The first night we couldn’t even comprehend it but by the last show, we were like, I never want to get off the stage.

Matt: We were pretty sad for a few days afterwards because it was such a big high and there was such a big lead up to it.

Sam: Social media went crazy after that. People knew the song but hadn’t really known who we were.

Ben: The Lorde gig was the first show we played after ‘Just Woke Up’ came out. As soon as we started playing, the crowd went wild.

 

How important do you think it is for emerging artists to busk?

Matt: I wouldn’t say it’s very important, but it definitely helped us in crafting ourselves as a live band before we became recording artists.

Ben: It definitely helped the way we approach playing a set. With busking, if people didn’t like what they were hearing, you wouldn’t get any money. People wouldn’t’ stop and listen.

Matt: For us, it’s all about the audience and we want people to have a great time dancing to us live.

 

What are you up to at the moment?

Matt: We’ve just released a five-track EP called Noon. We’re supporting Camila on tour [her Never Be The Same tour] around Europe. Then we’re gonna head back to LA and do some more writing.

Shaan: We’ve got some of our own shows and a festival in America. We’re not back in New Zealand until August.

Sam: We’ve been working towards this sort of thing for quite a long time and hoping that we would get to this point. It doesn’t feel like we’re unprepared.

 

The band was born out of jazz school. How much influence does your training have on your style now?

Shaan: Jazz is all-encompassing. I think all of us feel comfortable with our instruments. Even though we don’t play jazz or write jazz music right now, it gave us the comfort to know how to perform.

Sam: Wellington is known for having a really good music scene, though. There’s gigs going on all the time. You could walk down Cuba Street any night of the week and there would be four bands playing.

 

What are your FAULTs?

Shaan: I’d say our perfectionism is both our fault and our blessing.

Ben: Matt snores!

Sam: We argue over things that don’t matter like snare sounds.

Matt: Maybe that there’s four of us and we don’t know how to make a decision? [laughs]