Fault catches up with Louis Berry

‘Born in Liverpool to a heroin addict father and a mother desperate to keep him on the right side of the law.’ Dangerous. This extract from Louis Berry’s website seems to have been reproduced in every interview he has given.  Louis’ website goes on to describe him as ‘a confident little fucker.’

You can’t deny his winning smile. Giant white teeth take over Louis’ face when he grins and, in fact, every time he speaks. He is a gleaming, glowing, charming contrast to his black and white Hitchcock-esque press shots. I can’t imagine him knocking about on a Kirkby ‘sink’ estate, more like the pitch of premiership football club. Okay, maybe League One. He’s the kind of guy that would offer to make you a brew even though it is way below his pay-grade. He leads me down backstage corridors to small room: ‘It’s not the best but at least it’s quiet,’ he beams, pulling me a chair up. There’s that smile again.

‘I was supposed to do a radio show today and play live but my voice is going. I’m worried I’ll have to miss the next show,’ Louis frets. Apparently the cure is to drink a lot of ginger tea. And it must have worked because he made the next show and the many nights he played after that. Does he enjoy touring? ‘Home’s the back of the tour bus, y’know what I mean?’ He says. But, Louis admits on his recent visit to Nashville to record some songs, he didn’t see much of the city: ‘I was on my own without my regular band so I didn’t get to see it as much as I’d like to. I was just staying in the hotel, going to the studio, finishing up, going for like a pint on my own or something and then I’d do the same the next day.’

Credit: Tom Oxley

Although he has less time to get back to Liverpool these days, Louis tells me it is always a warm welcome: ‘There are little kids from the estate running up to the car and all that. I don’t even know the kids, but I get to know them.’ Why am I reminded of VTs from the X Factor when contestants go home and the local bakers has a giant poster of them over the window? Maybe it’s because Louis wouldn’t look at all out of place in front of the blinding LEDs of the giant X. Dressed in all black, his outfit is Yeezy inspired with a River Island finish. His short dark blonde hair is brushed to one side and is perfectly in place. After a string of shows, most bands by now would look tired, dishevelled and would probably have a beer in hand. Louis’ clothes look freshly pressed and he tells me he needs to eat something soon so he has time to properly digest it before he goes on stage. 

But Louis makes a point of being different from other musicians. His Twitter bio boldly claims that he is ‘Rock & Roll’s finest.’ His YouTube profile states that he is ‘A very lonely rebel with a very revolutionary mind.’ I ask him what it all means. ‘I’m not a lonely person but I’m lonely as a rebel in this music game. I don’t see any other rebels who make music. I see the same old people doing the same old things they’ve just got different names. They’ve got the same haircuts the same beards, same pointy shoes, same skinny type of jeans – do you know what I mean? And they just sing the same songs. Most of the songs they didn’t even write them so I feel like I’ve got to rebel against that and bring some truth back to music. If people like it they like it, if they don’t they don’t. I’m not forcing them to like it I’m just doing my thing for me.’

Defensive of his own place in the music game and quick to condemn artists like Jake Bugg not writing their own songs, I wonder is Louis has faced resentment from other bands for his quick rise to success. ‘I signed my publishing deal after my first gig and then signed a recording deal after my second gig so I kind of did everything backwards. I suppose some people might be disheartened that they’ve had to try it for longer but that’s their path in life and I’m creating my own. I don’t concern myself with other people’s opinions. I just do what I do. I believe it and I saw it in my mind when I was writing those songs in my bedroom. I saw myself standing on those big stages with people in front of me. I see it in my mind and I make that come true. So I think, you know, just having complete confidence in what you do I the key to success.’

Speaking of other people’s opinions, I want to know what Louis thinks about social media, as his channels have a corporate feel that are at odds with his personality. Does he interact with fans online? ‘I prefer not to use social media at all, I just have to use it for the music. I understand the game. The game’s got to be played to be successful but personally, you know, I’d rather have one of them Nokia 3310s to see what’s going on do you know what I mean? Just phone me.’

Credit: John Johnson

‘I believe in interaction and there’s so many people aspiring to be something that they see online that isn’t true. It’s a five second clip of what’s going on in someone’s day and then you know the rest of the time they could be living a completely different lifestyle to what’s being put out there and I don’t feel like that projects itself. Especially when people need that direction in life.’

So where does Louis find his direction? With days in different towns and different countries, I wonder what he tries to keep the same each day. ‘I always pray for a start. I’m a big believer in prayer and I pray every day and say thank you for the situation I’m in. I always exercise. I do mixed martial arts when I’m at home and when I’m on tour I just do like loads of press ups and things before I go on stage. I try to speak to my grandparents too because they were like parents for me.’

Louis doesn’t watch TV and isn’t into other bands. There aren’t any films or podcasts he would recommend. So where do the slices of free time he has take him? ‘In my free time I learn things. I learn everything: I love history, I love languages, I just like to read, things like that. Not maybe books and things like that but I’m on the internet and I’ll be reading stuff online. I won’t be on YouTube watching clips I’ll be on Wikipedia scrolling for hours and when a little bit of blue writing comes up I’ll click on that and get on to something else. I just like to always educate and better myself knowledge is power do you know what I mean.’ Also unsurprisingly, Louis could never see himself going back to formal education: ‘I think its too regimented and theres not enough room for creativity and free thinking you know. I like to be a free thinker and explore all things.’

In the crowd every accent I hear is broadly Scouse. At the bar a man sticks a ‘Total Eclipse of the Sun’ sticker to a tap, with the ’96’ Hillsborough flame burning on it. A few Indie regulars clutch their tote bags and look mildly terrified as the crowd, who range from late 40s middle aged women with pixie crops and leopard print vest tops, to young girls in tight dresses, to polo shirted men with hardened faces, fill the room with vape smoke and carry plastic cups brimming with booze past them, spilling a good 30%. The atmosphere is electric as the audience not only appreciate great musician, but one of their own making it. Pride oozes from every angle and bodies are hoisted on to shoulders from the first song. Louis struts around stage, eyes twinkling, winking at audience members and sticking his tongue over those giant teeth and throwing his head back when guitar solos hit. He seems completely mismatched to the music he is playing and the voice that comes out of his mouth through that permanent smile. Louis Berry: Unpredictable and not even close to the Rock ’n’ Roll mould. 2017 is perfect for him. 

Words: Alex Bee

JoJo is back and doing things her way in UK-Exclusive Fault Shoot and Interview

Endlessly talented and wickedly catchy, JoJo is no stranger to the spotlight, having had her first number-one single at the age of 13. Now, after a 10-year studio album hiatus caused by label issues, she’s back on the scene with “Mad Love,” a critical and commercial success that showcases her voice and songwriting – both of which are stronger than ever. FAULT had a chance to speak with her while in the midst of her four-month worldwide tour, and we uncovered just what makes that brilliant mind and talent tick.

 You have the tour coming up. What are you most looking forward to?

 I’m personally really excited to perform songs from my new album and connect with fans in places that I haven’t been to in a long time or some places that I’m going to for the first time. It’s just my favorite place to get shit out: on stage. It’s my happy place.

 

Any particular place or song you’re looking forward to performing?

 I feel like every night is different, so I don’t have any expectations; I’m just open to whatever experience is supposed to happen.

 

So it’s kind of more of an in the moment type of thing?

 Totally. That’s how I try to live.

 

I saw you brought Albert Stanaj on board. What made you think he’d be the right complement to your tour?

 I’m just a sucker for an amazing voice, and he has one of the most exciting voices that I’ve heard in a while. I’ve known him for a couple of years, and when he decided to put out music officially after he signed to Republic, I had my eye on him and thought that he might be a good fit for this tour, so I’m so excited that he’s joining in North America.

Outfit – Jovonna London

 

I totally agree; I listened to a few of his songs and was just blown away. He has an amazing voice.

 Yeah, he’s a star.

 

I saw on Instagram you took your second solo trip of the year to Arizona. What inspires you to take those independent trips?

 As a woman, I realized that I had a lot of fear about traveling by myself, not necessarily being alone with my own thoughts, but traveling by myself, and I wanted to feel empowered and self-sufficient. I also just wanted to have time to journal and think and reflect, and I think it’s been a good thing for me to do at the end of the year. I started last year after my dad passed away and I just needed some time to touch base with how I was feeling, and it’s best to do that, I think, when you’re alone. So, it’s just something that I want to do at least once a year. I’ll probably find a different place in the world or in America every year and do my solo journey.

 

I’m always interested in the feminist side of performance culture and how that’s continually evolving. Can you speak more to that?

I think we live in a really amazing time where rules don’t apply, and I feel really comfortable and empowered to do what I want to do. I think that embracing both the feminine and masculine sides of me makes me feel like myself. I think there’s no one way to be a woman, to be a young woman, to be successful. I think it’s a wonderful time to be a woman in music because there are so many different representations of what’s beautiful, what’s excellent. There’re a lot of different things going on, and I think it’s healthy.

 

What made you decide to go vegan?

 I first was interested in a plant-based diet because of my voice. I struggled with my allergies for a long time, and I wanted to try something different to combat that. I’m singing every night, and I wanted that to be easier for me. So, I cut out dairy first, and then I started talking to my vegan friend and I started to feel what they told me about how when you eat animal products, you’re ingesting fear, death, and disease. I didn’t feel good about doing that anymore. So, I just slowly made a transition. I’m by no means a perfect vegan, but I do eat plant-based. That’s how I try to eat. After reading Russell Simmons’ “Happy Vegan” and watching documentaries, I feel like it’s the choice for me.

Hoodie – Vintage / Corset Belt – Richard Wilbraham

 

How rough is the tour on your voice? What’s your daily routine?

 My daily routine when I’m on tour is typically to wake up, get my caffeination going, work out, warm up a bit while I’m on the treadmill, do some singing and breathing exercises, then I’ll soundcheck and do interviews and the show. I warm up vocally before the show and I warm down after the show. I started taking care of my voice that way because I really want to sing forever. I want to be in my 70s, singing, so I feel like if I want do that, I have to take care of my instrument, what I was given.

 

Your voice sounds fabulous; your new record has been on a lot my playlists.

 Thank you!

 

Speaking of the new record, you had a bit of a gap between the last release. What did you find was different this time around?

 My confidence. I recorded so many incarnations of the third album, and I had so many people telling me who I should be and what direction I should take, putting a lot of information out there that I attached onto. So, I feel like I was able to get my footing a bit more. Of course, there’s a big difference between when you’re recording an album at 14 versus 24. I had a lot of life experience, and I think my perspective changed. I just had more fun too! It was more pleasant.

Outfit – Thomas George Wulbern

 

I think that really comes across. I listened to it through a couple times; there’s this beautiful overall sense of, like you say, confidence and empowerment and just like you’re having fun. You had Wiz Khalifa, Alessia Cara, and Remy Ma. What made you decide to collaborate with them?

 So, when it came to “Fuck Apologies,” I wanted to keep it within the Atlantic family, which is my new label, and Wiz was one of the first people that came to mind. So, we reached out, he loved the record, and he really just embodies that sense of “this is who I am. You can take it or leave it.”

With Alessia, she’s become a friend of mine through the industry, and I love what she’s doing and the road that she’s taken for herself. Remy’s been one of my favorite rappers since she came up with Terror Squad around the time that I came up. So, when she came back on the scene, I was so hyped, so I was like: “Oh my god, it would be a dream to get Remy Ma on a record.” We sent her “FAB” after I wrote it, she got on it immediately, and I was like: “Oh my god! I can’t believe it!” So, I was hyped!

 

Speaking of writing, the lyrics have really stuck out to me on this album. Is there any sort of philosophy you have when you’re writing them?

My philosophy is: “Live your life and keep your eyes open for songs. Keep your ears open for songs.” I have found that when I was a little bit younger and dumber, I would put myself in situations or stay longer than I should have just to get as many songs as I could out of it. But now, I just try to write things down constantly and work with collaborators who bring the best out of me and who we work well together.

 

One I thing I thought was really interesting was the “Tringle.” That’s a really unique way to hype a record. What gave you that idea?

 It really came about because I couldn’t decide what songs to lead with. Well, it wasn’t that I couldn’t decide; I’m not the only person who decides, so there were conflicting opinions. So, I was like: “let’s just put out a few records. You know, it’s been so long since I’ve put out music officially and I’m with this new partnership with Atlantic, so let’s do something different.”

Outfit – Thomas George Wulbern

 

Do you have any future plans in mind after the tour musically or are you just taking it step-by-step?

 Absolutely! While I’m on the road, I want to start writing. I’m just really interested in putting out a steady stream of content. I’m feeling so creative and I’m itching to make a new body of work, so I just want to keep going and growing and keep on moving.

 

My friends who do a lot of tour work talk about how there’s this weird gap, because you record an album, and then by the time you release it and get out on tour, you can be a year or two separated from the writing of the material. Is it a little weird to be performing in one creative space while you’re trying to write in another creative space at the same time?

 This will be my first time trying to do that. So, I’ll be able to answer that better after this tour! But yeah, this will be my first time working on an album while I’m doing a tour. So, I’ll be doing material from my three albums, but I’m not sure!

 

What’s your writing process like? Are you with an instrument or a notebook?

 I’m not proficient on the keys yet, so what I do are lyrics and melody. Then, I’ll collaborate with a producer or sometimes a small group of people — three or four people — and we all bounce around ideas together. Comfort is key, to have that comfort with your collaborators so that you can throw out ideas and not feel silly and feel instead empowered. I don’t have a set process, but I do have so many journals laying around that sometimes, I’ll circle things and I’ll bring them to the studio. I have hundreds of notes on my phone, and sometimes, things will spark and I’ll start a voice note. There’s really no rhyme of reason to it. It’s just all of the vibes.

Top – Calvin Klein

 

With your new writing, do you have any sort of style in mind or collaborators? Any inspiration? Anything you’re looking to do?

I’m looking to just get better every day: be more honest, be more myself, and continue on that journey and surround myself with people who are excellent and inspiring. I do have a lot of different things that I want to achieve and a lot of inspirations, but I want to keep them to myself until I flesh them out.

 

If there was anybody in the world you could collaborate with — past, present, future — is there a special person you’d be interested in?

Bruno Mars. There’s so much amazing music and talent out there. I think Bruno is kind of the ultimate right now.

 

What is your Fault?

It’s my fault that I ruined my new tattoo! I shot a music video last night, and I ruined my tattoo when I got into a bath filled with milk and food coloring and bath bombs! That’s totally my bad!

 

MAD LOVE is out now.

Words Alex Cooke

Photography Jack Alexander

Styling Zack & Jamie (Zack Tate & Jamie McFarland)

Make-Up Kristina Theodoris using High Definition Beauty and Trish McAvoy

Hair Niki Black using @revlonprofessionaluk and @pop_pr_uk

Nails Naima Coleman using High Definition Nails

Photographer’s Assistant – Nathan Gascon-Saiz

Stylists’ Assistant – Thomas George Wulbern

Special thanks – The Kensington

FAULT MEETS ETTA BOND

Jacket – H&M / Crop Top – BooHoo / Skirt – Topshop

She’s been called the ‘Skinhead Soul Princess’, and the Guardian has mentioned her as one of the Future 50 rising stars to watch of 2017. Miss Etta Bond – hailing from London – is known and loved for her soulful vocals, self empowerment and visual creativity. Set to release her new solo EP since Emergency Room with Raf Riley, we chat to Etta to find out what she’s been working on.

Etta! Have you had a good day?

Yeah Yeah, (laughs) I’ve had a good day, I’ve not done much, been abit lazy so its been a chilled one for me.

Oh that’s good.

But to be honest I was getting ready to go to the gym before you called, so once I get off the phone, I’m gonna get a little work out in I think.

You’re too good haha. I keep putting it off to the next day, and then it gets to the end of the day and I can’t even be bothered (laughs)

Ah! it’s so easy to do that isnt it? I’ve been meaning to go to the gym all day but i keep making excuses like “oh, i’ll get ready soon” (Laughs) and then finally getting ready now and I thought, “Fuck it i’ll just wait” (laughs) I’ll go eventually!

Dress – Samsoe & Samsoe

 

(Laughs) So! We’ve not heard anything solo wise from you in a while, can you tell us anything about your new EP?

I don’t want to say too much about the EP. It’s about to start revealing itself with the release of ‘Kiss My

Girlfriend’. Chris Loco and I have been working very closely on this project for some time now. I’m so

excited to share it!

You mentioned the EP was with Chris Loco, the last was with Raf Riley – what are the similarities and differences of working with them both?

That’s like asking me to compare two lovers… The similarity is that making music in the presence of either

of them feels very natural to me, there’s a spark. I love them both.

So you’ve got some live gigs coming up, what can we expect from your set?

I’m planning a headline show which is going to be really special. I also have my set at The Secret Garden

Party coming up. I’ve never been before so that’s exciting.

Top – Fila / Trouser – Etta’s own / Boots – Dr Martens

Your new single Kiss My Girlfriend is out today! Who was it inspired by and what was the message

behind the song?

My friend, Jenay, who’s actually standing next to me in the video – she inspired the song. It’s about the

special and unique relationship that exists between women. It’s a reminder for women (myself included)

that men will do and say just about anything to get a piece. We’ve gotta look out for each other, it’s a

beautiful thing when we do.

How involved were you in the direction of the video?

The video was directed by Sophie Jones. We worked very closely together on the concept and

casting. We’ve already started discussing our next creative collaboration!

What was it like working with her?

Second nature! We’ve been friends for years now so it was a really organic process. With support from her,

Zateesha Barbour on hair, Daisy Deane on styling, Grace Vee on makeup, all of their wonderful assistants

and each and every one of the girls that took part – it was a wonderful experience that I’ll never forget. A

day that brought the song and its meaning to life.

Where do you see yourself in one year’s time?

I never tend to think like that, I just end up where I end up. It’s where I’m supposed to be, you know?

Wherever I am, I just hope the music that’s coming has reached the people it’s meant for.

Lastly, what is your fault?

Addiction.

Cape – Felder Felder

 

Words and Photography: Ashleigh Nayomi

Styling: Edith Walker Millwood

HTGAWM’s Jack Falahee discusses lessons learnt from the LGBTQ community in FAULT Issue 25

 

Photography by Joseph Sinclair
Styling by Angel Terrazas
Grooming by Mishelle Parry at Celestine Agency

Jack Falahee ‘Playing Connor | Finding Jack’

Words: Miles Holder

How To Get Away With Murder first appeared on our screens in 2014 and is to this day one of America’s most progressive and expertly written television dramas. Oscar award winning actress, Viola Davis stars as the powerful, female, African-American lawyer without a defined sexuality nor reason to explain one. As an African American female actress, she will no-doubt have faced similar prejudices to that of the character she plays; however the same can not be said for the whole cast. Enter, Jack Falahee. Despite years of training at prestigious acting schools, it was the role of a homosexual college student, Connor Walsh that would provide Jack with a clear and untilfiltered glimpse into the LGBTQ community. It’s a credit to Jack’s skills as an actor, that Connor’s character and his sometimes turbulent relationship with his HIV-positive boyfriend have created strong discussions within and outside of the LGBTQ community. With that in mind, I sat down with Jack to find out what the character that means so much to so many different people – means to him.

You’ve got an impressive resume – you’ve studied so many different acting methods, what is it about television and the screen that mean you’ve gone down that route?

When I was at NYU I was originally admitted to study musical theatre but when I started hanging out with kids who had grown up with ballet classes and vocal coaches, I quickly realised I was a bit out of my depths. If I felt that way in a class of forty students, then going to an open audition for a broadway show was going to be a nightmare; and it was and I was cut very quickly.

I went to Amsterdam and studied the experimental theatre and then Shakespeare in the States but when I got into television acting, I was really inspired by the technical side of it. I grew up enjoying movies but when I started studying it I became aware of angles, what “the shot” was and just everything that is done to make a screenplay come to life. That really fascinated me and will likely lead to me producing and directing in my future.

What period of Connor’s character resonated with you the most?

Fundamentally he and I are very competitive and also very jealous people – it’s something which I’m personally working on but I don’t think Connor is! I grew up with 3 siblings and 2 brothers who are all wildly brilliant and whilst it was a house full of love, it was also incredibly competitive so I definitely relate to Connor in that way.

When you first got the role, did you think the show would have such an impact?

Frankly, you’re not thinking about that when you’re a struggling actor; you’re thinking about getting a job so you can pay rent and survive so I never really sat down and considered I’d be spending years of my life on the project.

I’m still not over how the much of an impact the show has made and a lot of that is Connor’s character and his importance to fans. It’s emblematic of my straight privilege, but I never thought his character would be so important to the LGBTQ community. When the finale came out and Oliver proposed to Connor, seeing the Twitter reaction was so overwhelming and I was just overjoyed at how meaningful the character is to people.

What are the best lessons you’ve learnt from your fans?

100% opening my eyes to the LGBTQ struggle and I can’t stress that enough. Going into this, it was never written on the page that “Connor Walsh is a homosexual”; so when it came to the first love scene I just thought, “wow this guy is willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead” and now I know that was the heteronormativity in my mind back then that was rationalising this whole aspect of his character. It wasn’t until Pete Nowalk was like “oh no, Connor is gay” that I’ve been really trying to become a student of the history of LGBTQ rights and learning more about the struggle of those in the past and in the present day.  I asked Pete and my friends for a reading list on LGBTQ history because one of my favourite aspects about being an actor is that I’m continually having to learn about things I’ve been very uneducated on in the past. I’ve grown up with friends and family who aren’t straight white males so it was important for me  to do Connor’s character justice. The outpouring of love from the fans was so gratifying and humbling for me. Receiving messages from fans saying “Connor & Oliver helped me come out to my parents” is deeply rewarding and to be any small part of the courage needed to come out will forever be a blessing to me.

Are you comfortable with your sex symbol status?

No! Well, it depends [laughs]. I go back and forth on this, on one hand, it’s a great boost to my confidence but on the other hand, it’s a very vulnerable thing to be. Women live their lives being objectified and reduced to just their bodies every day and it is awful so I’ve been discussing it with the women close to me. I obviously can never understand how women can go through life that way but I can see a glimpse of what that experience might feel like and it’s not a nice one.

Nine times out of ten, it’s all good fun and nice things are being said but that 10% of the time when people disregard my space or my wellbeing is not okay. People tell me “that’s what you signed up for” and I really don’t think it is! I was this chubby, awkward kid and now I’m a sex symbol with the help of great makeup and lighting experts making me look a certain way on tv and magazines.

What is FAULT?

I think that there is a part of me which is always seeking validation which is very informative of why I’ve become an actor; regardless of what might happen, I think I’ll always be seeking approval.

Read Jack’s full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

Preview: Camila Cabello on the cover of FAULT Magazine Issue 25

Photography: Giuliano Bekor | Styling: Cat Wennekamp | Hair: Marcus Francis | Makeup: Allan Avendano | Nail Tec: Kim Truong

Despite still being very much within its infancy, Camila Cabello‘s solo career has already been rather unfairly mired in rumours surrounding her choice to split from her former girl group, ‘Fifth Harmony’. From the day Camila announced her departure, wild speculation and venomous allegations flew through the airwaves with no comment of ill from either party; seemingly the narrative of five bickering women proved more newsworthy than that of them respecting each other’s career choices. Nevertheless, Camila moves graciously through the attempted adumbration of negativity into the spotlight and onto our issue cover. With an AMA, VMA and countless other awards under her belt as part of Fifth Harmony and seldom mentioned co-writing credits for acclaimed artists Machine Gun Kelly and Shawn Mendes respectively, the sky is the limit for Camila Cabello. With that in mind, we sat down to find out more about the pressures and pleasures of going it alone.

Words: Miles Holder

 

Hi Camila, what’s been the scariest part of transitioning to a solo artist?

I think the scariest part about it is leaving a successful project to pursue a new dream with a path full of questions of self-discovery that only you can answer. But even when I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of my former group, expressing myself as an artist became a necessity.

 

Do you feel a lot of pressure to have to get everything perfect?

I’ve always felt pressure to get everything perfect, and I’ve never gotten there, but I think that’s what keeps me growing, and keeps me frustrated with myself and keeps me reaching. I think if you’re ever comfortable and think “wow. This is it. I’ve figured it out.” , you stop trying and you stop growing.

What should fans expect to hear from your new music?

They are going to feel who I am. They are going to get a chunk of my heart, my experiences, my fantasies and everything in between.

 

What do you have lined up musically for 2017?

We’ll be touring worldwide for the rest of the year.

 

If you could describe the sound in 3 words, what would it be?

I couldn’t possibly boil it all down to three words but it will be me in sound form.

It feels like you’ve been working non-stop for the past 5 year, where did you find the time to prepare for your solo career in that time?

I was always writing, not necessarily for myself, but just because I really wanted to be a songwriter. I think as I was writing I found my own voice as an artist and as a person, and I’m discovering more about it every day.

 

What’s been the best part of the solo journey so far?

Working with so many talented writers and producers and following my own musical vision. I love the ability to create something out of nothing altogether.

 

You’re a young artist and it’s a very tough industry, where is your happy place when it all becomes too much?

My family and movies.

If you could give any advice to you younger self, what would it be?

Everything has to happen the way it’s going to happen so that other things can occur. And also, don’t be so hard on yourself.

 

There’s a lot of pressure on young artists (female performers especially) to be forced by the media to act a certain way or become bullied into dressing a certain way. What’s something you would never apologise for?

I think it’s important to make your own decisions about what feels right to you and follow your inner voice. Never compromise if it doesn’t feel right.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Everything is temporary and life has seasons of its own. Just like flowers don’t bloom all the time, there are moments of sadness and happiness, struggle and joy, and being human means feeling all of it, even in the bad times, so that you’re that much more grateful for the good times when they come.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

I hope to release my first few songs before summer and then go from there and hopefully an album in the Fall.

 

What is your FAULT?

Overthinking, worrying about things that may not be in my control and not being present. I am sometimes too hard on myself and I get frustrated with how sensitive and emotional I can get, but I’m learning to love myself a little more during the times when I am sad or insecure, and I just remind myself that feeling those emotions is just a part of being human, and we have to love all the parts of our humanity, because they’re not there to hurt us, they’re there to make us understand ourselves a little better.

 

Read Camila Cabello’s full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

 

Kehlani: Focused, Fashionable and FAULTY in FAULT Magazine #25 Covershoot

 

Photography by Jacob Hodgkinson
Styling by Rachel Holland
Makeup by Nicky Weir
Hairstyling by Stefan Bertin
Styling assistance by Ines Oom, Tara Theiss & Stephanie – Min Hua Choo

Kehlani – ‘A Rise With Grace’

Words: Miles Holder

The rise of Kehlani hasn’t been an easy one; at every stage in her career she has been given a new cross to bear or obstacle to climb but despite all her hardships, she has always emerged triumphant. Releasing her critically acclaimed debut album ‘SweetSexySavage’ in January 2017 and currently on her highly rated world tour, while it’s been a long time coming, it would seem that Kehlani is finally seeing the fruits of her many years of hard labour. Speaking with a delicate manner but a hardened confidence far beyond her 21 years of age, we sat down to find out more about one of R&B’s most exciting artists.

Looking back, were you happy with how your album did?

I think it was really good for the time that it came out. There was a lot of negative commotion happening especially in my country with the US election so I think that something easy and positive was definitely needed at that time.

You air your personal feelings and fears out there on the album, is it hard to expose so much emotion for the world to hear?

With me, it’s all or nothing; go hard or go home. We all as know what’s really going on and people will feel it if it’s not really me on the track. I want to make people feel through my music – we all put up with fake shit all the time so I wanted to contribute something that’s the real me.

Music has always been your life and it’s something you’ve been working on for so long, did that not put a lot of pressure on you to succeed when dropping new music?

For me, the pressure doesn’t come from outside people, it’s all what I put on myself in the creative process. I’m asking myself “Could I hit that note better” or “should I shift beats differently”, but I’m not thinking about the sales-numbers because that doesn’t really matter. I just worry about making sure whatever I’m working on is a better project than the last.

How do you deal with the pressure of all the show business?

I’m doing so much that I never have time to really stop and think about it all. I don’t have the focus and it’s hard to manage but at the end of the day, it’s got to get done! Ain’t non of this shit easy for anyone.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell myself to just stay focused and get as much rest as you can because you’re about to turn up! [laughs] But seriously, I’d tell myself to learn how to prioritise myself and to learn how to protect my energy. If I had entered the industry with more knowledge on self, how to protect myself and emotional take care of my life then things would have been much easier.

Being a sensitive, open and loving person has definitely led to some downfalls but I do wish I’d learnt some emotional grounding as a kid but I don’t beat myself up about it because it’s hard and most people don’t even learn half of that until they’re old.

When you shut your eyes and you think of your perfect future, what is it?

I want to be a mum. I want to have my kids and just settle down. If I keep going as fast as I’ve been going, I’m going to be over it and it’ll be time for the quiet life one day.

What’s your message to all young people out there who might have gone through or are going through the same struggles you have?

Don’t let the world discourage you or let the things that weigh on your shoulders crush you. Know that for me, it’s really hard and as a woman especially because we’re so caring and we have large hearts which make us want to fix the unfixable and carry a weight too large to bear. I just hope everyone out there knows to just breathe through it and to take everything at their own pace. Most importantly, people should never forget to take care of themselves.

What is your FAULT?

I don’t know how to answer that because I’m so human and I never stop to imagine that I’d only ever have one fault. We all have FAULTs, being twenty-one-years-old reminds me that I’m human because I’m pretty sure I have a fuck up every single day. I can’t think of just one thing -that’s my FAULT.

Read Kehlani’s full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

FAULT Magazine Issue 25 Preview: Counterfeit. – Together We Are Stronger

 

 

Surely you remember the Counterfeit. boys fronted by our FAULT issue 22 Cover Jamie Campbell Bower. Long story short, they’re basically part of the FAULT family now. When we last caught up, the boys were only just releasing their debut EP. Well, fast-forward six months and they’ve got a brand new record out. We caught up again with the group and here’s a little teaser for what’s about to come out in our FAULT Issue 25. 

 


It’s been 6 months since we last caught up and back then you were only just releasing your EP. Look at us now, with you guys releasing your debut album! What’s the vibe in the Counterfeit. camp at the moment?

Jamie: It’s pretty good. We’ve made an album over the past six months since we saw you last. We’ve sort of been gearing up for the release ever since, while being locked away in a tiny room.

Now that you’ve got a full body of work that represents Counterfeit. if we were to listen to your EP back to back with your album, would we notice any differences?

Tristan: Yes definitely, it’s a step up from our EP. Mitch, the guy who we worked with on our album, is really talented. He’s worked with people like Rattlesnakes and the sound that he’s created for us is really raw.

Jamie: The album in comparison to the EP is a lot tighter and closer. Sonically, it’s a lot beefier and thicker than what we’ve done before. The sound that we wanted for the album compared to the EP comes from this love of a nice kick and a heavy snare rather than a roomy sound, so that’s definitely a step up in terms of how we went about it. But it’s still very much Counterfeit. It hasn’t changed. There’s room for mistakes in the record and those moments of ‘Oh what’s that?’ are really nice on an album. As opposed to, you know, something general and clean-cut from beginning to end.

 

I remember you were saying that most of your songs come from a very personal and honest place. Which one was the hardest for you to write and put out there and what’s the back-story?

Jamie: There are a few out there that are quite tough. The record opens with a song called ‘Washed Out’ and that’s a reflection of a period of my life from about 15 to 26 when my life was going in a direction and I didn’t really know which way it was going. I would actively do things that were negative that would have a negative impact on my life. Just the way that I acted or certain actions that I did, I wasn’t really ready to accept life on life’s terms. It was more about blowing everything up, because I didn’t really feel I had control. I was always trying to put a brave face on, like ‘No, I’m fine, I’m cool, I’m grand!’ But the past like two and a half years, I think all of us collectively just did some growing up. I also made some significant changes in my life, in regards to the way I behaved and the things that I did. ‘Washed Out’ was probably one of the first tracks that I wrote. It was a tough song to write. It’s hard to talk about being a mess and it’s not an easy thing to look back on.

 

What was the most difficult part of producing this record? You already had quite a solid body of work beforehand, but surely there must’ve been times when you felt stuck.

Sam: We all had moments when we went away from it for a little and when we came back we could discuss what troubles we had with the others with a clear head. We work quite well together when it comes to communicating ideas.

Jamie: There was one song – You Can’t Rely – that we’ve never played live, it was written at home and it was still very much in demo format. The chorus part needed to be changed and as soon as we got into the studio we realized that it needed some work. But it wasn’t like something that took a week to get over; we did it in like 4 hours. But the record was made quite quickly; it just took a while to find the time to do it, because we’ve all got our own things going on. But if you were to accumulate all the time that we spent together, it basically just took us 25 days to make a record. And I think that’s a really important factor in terms of what this record is. It’s frantic and struggling to survive and I think recording it over such a sort time-span contributed to those feelings.

 

Come March-April – you’re going back on the road again. Will we see anything different from Counterfeit on stage?

Jamie: I think the show this time is going to get like bigger and better. We’re getting our own technicians in to do our stuff for us. This band is very much home grown and passion grown, so it’s very important to us to have our own people with us on the road. We want to continue to take the show to bigger and better places. The way that we see it and the way that we see it in our minds is like a huge fucking rock show, and that’s what it needs to be and that’s what we have to provide for these people. We’ve done the tours already, it’s great, cool, and fun, call it whatever and we want to step it up. We want to give it the beans in terms of visuals as well. But yeah, Sam will definitely be put in danger again. I’m thinking less boat this time. I don’t know, maybe an inflatable whale.

Sam: Or just floating from above. Hang me from a cable. Sounds fun.

 

 Without getting political – but taking into account the current political climate, you come across as the kind of band who is not afraid to speak up. Now that people have something to rebel against, is this an area you’re willing to explore?

Jamie: I don’t think we are the kind of band that is afraid to speak up. We are reactive to what we experience and what we’re shown around us. Would I be afraid to take it into a political direction? No. But would I consciously make an effort to be a beacon? I don’t think I would do that either because I’m sure as shit no pillar of morality myself. Of course there are some horrifically negative people in this world and the things that are happening around us right now tare very scary. I think that maybe if we feel the desire and burning passion to make a socio-political comment on that, then we should and it would be right to do so. But I would never force us to go into that direction. It wouldn’t be a conscious thought. If we were to do it and if we had to do it, it would have to be genuine.

Roland: Another interesting thing is the fact that the album is called ‘Together We Are Stronger’ and for us, it’s like a thank you to our fans. But at the same time it’s a message of unity and coming together. We seem to just live in a world where people just cut you off and simply don’t care. Our message is basically that whoever you are, it’s all good.

Jamie: The world does feel very fractious. I definitely get the sense of fracture and isolation and I think that’s terrifying. Because I don’t come from a place where I want to live on my own and lock all my door and shut all my windows. I’m not a small-minded individual. I truly believe in acceptance, love, understanding and peace.

And on that happy note, have you guys acquired any new FAULTs over the past few months?

Sam: I’m still losing things! I’m losing fewer things though cause I’m taking less things with me.

Jamie: He’s losing less things cause he lost most things already.

Roland: I used to be very good at bowling, but last time I went I lost, so that’s a fault.

Jamie: Over the last six months, I think I’ve been under a lot of pressure and haven’t actually managed to deal with stress in a positive way. I let it get to a point where I just blew up.

Tristan: My fault was disappearing for two days while doing the album.

Jimmy: I’m perfect.

You can order Together We Are Stronger here – available NOW

In anticipation for FAULT Issue 25 – check out an exclusive behind the scenes video with Counterfeit. More to come!

 

Words: Adina Ilie

Photography: Chris Moore

Photography Assistant: Matthew Lloyd
Grooming : Fabio Vivan @ Emma Davies Agency using Bumble and bumble and grooming with Braun
SPECIAL THANKS TO TAPE LONDON – TAPE LODGE

 

John Legend X FAULT Magazine Issue 25 Covershoot

John Legend discusses La La Land, Trump’s America and family values in FAULT Magazine #25 ‘US Special’

 

 

For this special edition issue, we’ve teamed up some of the USA’s most talented migrant photographers with popular stars in entertainment who have managed to excel despite growing racist, homophobic and sexist sentiment in the land they call home.
 Check back with FAULT Magazine next week for our second reveal!

 

Casting my mind back to 2005 and the re-emergence of outlandishly dressed musicians and over-the-top performances that had to be done for a fleeting spot in the top 20; it’s humbling that one shy man and his piano have stood the test of time. Fast-forward to 2017 and John Legend is now a household name with six albums under his belt, a family and most recently starred in and executively produced the Oscar-tipped blockbuster movie ‘La La Land’. I caught up with John to discuss music, family life and fears to discover if “Legend” is more than just a name.

Words by Miles Holder

Photography Lionel Deluy @loveartistsagency | Styling by Cat Wennekamp at Celestine Agency| Grooming by Juanita Lyon using Baxter of California at Celestine Agency | Retouching by Julia Idiar | Special Thank You to US Alteration for use of their location

How do you think you’ve changed as a person since your debut all those years ago?

I’ve grown up a lot in the last twelve years and had a lot more life experiences. Getting married and having a baby have added new perspectives and depth to the subjects I sing about too. Just from living in the world and seeing more contemporary issues have added new layers to my music which weren’t there before.

 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

My life has turned out pretty well so I wouldn’t change much but I would want myself to be bolder growing up. I was shy in college and I would tell myself to be more willing to come out of my shell and dare to be confident.

 

You’re married with a baby daughter; do you think the positivity they bring to your life spreads throughout the album?

I think I’ve always been an optimistic person and I think that streak of optimism runs through each of my albums. I think there is just more depth to what I’m feeling because everything means more to me now I have a wife and daughter. Everything is more significant and I’m thinking more philosophically about things and thinking about life and death a lot more. Before what I sang about were my ambitions of making money, getting girls and having fun which was a lot more selfish but now I have better perspective and depth on what’s really important in life.

 

Raising a bi-racial daughter in Trump’s America, does that scare you?

Hopefully “Trump’s America” won’t last very long and we get him out of here within the next four years. By the time Luna is old enough to be aware of what is happening, America would have elected a far better president. Trump promised to do things which are really bad for the country and some which are good and the hope is he’ll just do the good parts but I don’t have a lot of faith in him.  I’m just hoping for the best and when we need to resist and speak out, we need to hit the streets and do it. For now, I’m more worried for the people less fortunate than my daughter, people who might lose their healthcare or get excluded because of the colour of their skin, their religion and country of origin.

 

Fans have differing ideas of what a John Legend album should sound like. Is that added pressure when it comes to releasing new music?

Not everyone is going to be happy with every album and with every song but when I put music out, I do it with the confidence that my fans will love it or at least give it a chance. The feedback from Darkness and Light has been amazing and it has been my best-reviewed album to date. When I was finishing it, a lot of my friends felt like it was my best work and I felt the same so I was more excited that nervous for people to hear it. I don’t go too much into numbers and charts, what’s important is that people love it and I’ve heard they do.

From the album title, I presumed the songs would be either extremely high octane songs or heart-wrenching ballads but listening to the lyrics, for the most part, it’s an uplifting album and I wondered if that was always your intention?

I think what the title means to me is that darkness and lightness always coexist and theirs a push and pull and it’s not really about one song being dark and one being light as you said you expected, it’s about mixing it all into one song. In Surefire I talk about a nightmare but regardless “I’m surefire” and that’s me inviting darkness and light into one song.

 

What scares John Legend?

Rats! I’m really scared of rodents.

 

La La Land has received rave reviews, how was that whole experience?

I loved it and it was really fun to be a part of it. I loved working with Ryan and I didn’t work much with Emma but she’s a wonderful actress and did great in the movie. It was a really cool experience and to be part of something so special and meaningful to so many people.

 

What is your FAULT?

I don’t like confrontation. Sometimes that’s good because I’m good at keeping the peace but when in times when you have to confront things head on I’ve never been good at that.

 

Read John Legends full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW