Preview – Fleur East Exclusive Debut on FAULT Magazine

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Words: Olivia Pinnock Photographer: Zoe Mcconnell
Fashion Editor & Art Director: Rachel Holland
Make Up Artist: Nicky Weir @ Sarah Laird using MAC
Hair Stylist: Takuya Morimoto @ Brooks and Brooks
Nail Artist: Diane Drummond @ Baptiste Agency Set Designer: Andy Macgregor
Photographer’s Assistant: Nick Graham
Styling Assistant: Emma Ellen
Photographed At Holborn Studios

 

The music industry has hit out at X Factor contestants in the past for being wannabes who take the easy route. Last year’s runner up Fleur East, certainly doesn’t fall into that category. In between her first appearance on the show in 2005 as part of fiery girl group Addictiv Ladies and her show- stopping finale performance of ‘Uptown Funk’ last year, Fleur has been chasing her dreams hard.

With nothing to apologise for, Fleur is taking the first and (arguably) the hardest steps of her career as she attempts to put X-Factor defeat behind her and reach for the stars! We caught up with Fleur in an exclusive photoshoot and interview! Pre-Orders for FAULT Magazine – The Unapologetic Issue are available here.

In the mean-time, enjoy this preview below!

 

What made you go back to X Factor a second time?

To be honest with you, I felt like I’d tried everything else. I got to the point where I’d featured on songs, I’d done backing singing for major artists, I’d done all these shows but it was always for other people. At this point I thought ‘What do I do now?’ I either go, just get a job doing something else, but that terrified me because all I know and all I love is music. My friends and family were saying to go on X Factor. I was dreading it and I didn’t really want to, I just knew how much pressure it was and how much of a risk it would be but I thought, I’ve got nothing to lose.

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What is it actually like going through the X Factor process?

It’s a lot less glamorous than it appears. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s probably the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. There’s so much pressure but I think if you really love it, if you truly love it and it’s your passion to sing, then that’s what will get through. I think if you don’t have that, you’ll realise quickly.

 

Was there are any part of you that wanted to be a runner up because in the past they’ve had more success?

A lot of people were saying that to me when I joined the process but I never really thought that because, how do I go into a competition and not want to win? That doesn’t even make sense. I was a little scared afterwards to be honest because I was thinking, ‘a contract is only guaranteed for the winner and I’ve come second, it’s not guaranteed for me.’

Is there a theme to the new album?

It’s all very positive, very uplifting. I think that music can sometimes be taken too seriously. I enjoy what I do and I want people to feel that. I’ve put a lot of time and a lot of love into it and I hope that people really get behind me and enjoy the music as much as I do.

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What do you want people’s reaction to be?

I just want people to react to it as though it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s sort of old school meets new school. It’s got a lot of old school influences, old school funk, old school hip hop, sounds that people miss. Influences like Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, proper good music that we all love.

 

Simon (Cowell) has said that with this album you ‘discovered who you wanted to be’, who is that?

I was fortunate enough that on the show, the songs that I was given represented the sort of direction that I wanted to go in. It’s basically really strong, sassy, full of attitude, really confident, vibrant and energetic.

 

What would you never apologise for?

I would never apologise for being myself and doing what I believe in. I think for years I was always like that. I was really shy. I’ve got to the point where I know, you’re not going to get anywhere if you think like that.

 

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FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey releases debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful’

 

FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey, who we featured for FAULT Online in March, will be releasing her debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ next week, on Monday 15th June (Glassnote Records.)

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

We were able to have a listen to the record before Flo releases it into the world and it is a remarkably strong statement for a debuting artist (especially one who is only 20 years old.) Her voice is haunting and unique, richly retro-inspired, and hallmarked with the influence of Kate Bush, Devendra Banhart, Bjork, and Jeff Buckley. Her lyrics have a child-like fragility, and we see her exploring the journey into adulthood (especially pertinent given that she herself is on the cusp of a similar leap into the spotlight.) ‘Pages of Gold‘ and ‘Show Me‘ are statement tracks, with pop-power and surging melodies, whilst ‘Wildflower‘ and title-track ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ are somehow both ghostly and anthemic- an unexpected and beautiful balancing act. ‘Why’ almost teeters too far into fairytale-territory, with it’s lilting melody reminiscent of the Disney score for Sleeping Beauty (perhaps this particular reference says more about me than Morrissey), but its searching vocals are intriguing and anchor the track in emotion and experience. It is impossible to ignore the force of Morrissey’s artistry, and just how enchanting her voice truly is. Full of range, story-telling character, and effortless stylistic variations, we have no doubt she will continue to captivate as this album finally reaches its eagerly-awaiting public.

Revisit our exclusive feature with Flo here, with photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

FAULT Focus: Ewa Wilczynski’s ‘THROES’, The Royal Academy of Arts

 

Stood amidst an enchanted crowd and the dramatic grandeur of the Senate Rooms at the Royal Academy of Arts, with her large-scale paintings on the walls and metallic couture by Inbar Spector cascading around her, FAULT Favourite Ewa Wilczynski made a creative declaration that she is truly one to watch.

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

As Wilczynski’s debut solo exhibition, THROES marks only three years since the artist graduated in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins (by way of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.) As a document of how her artistic practice has taken shape, the idea of transition was central to the exhibition. The title itself – taken from one of the most striking works in the show – conjures ideas of being in-between emotional and physical states, with an undercurrent of violent intensity that permeates the dramatic power of the paintings. Rendered in thick oil, and in shades of violet, red, black and blue, Wilczynski’s works depict phantasmagorical landscapes where disembodied figures turn in circles around each other, recognisable as self-portraits but with a Surrealist gesture that dislocates them from the real world.

“I think of it as a collaboration; I paint my personal myth and you, the spectator, fuse your own personal world to it. The paintings become this thin place in between where the two worlds collide and internal polarity comes to the surface.

 

The paintings are a membrane-that skin between my world and your world.”

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

The real world is something that Wilczynski shows little interest in, and her work speaks to a mysticism and personal mythology that she frames in terms of philosophy and psychoanalysis. The work in THROES was influenced by Jacques Derrida’s ‘Hymen’ theory; centred on the interplay of inside/outside, the work becomes an intersection and membrane between the artist and spectator, with the painting (the hymen) as a sort of skin.

This blurring of boundaries in the work lends a certain vulnerability to its exhibition and existence in the gallery space. The scale and intensity of the paintings is almost overwhelming, not only for the viewer but for the diminutive physical stature of Wilczynski herself. Standing against her own canvases, the collisions of figures and thunderous elements tower above her, looming over her shoulders. At THROES, the high-ceilinged rooms of the Royal Academy were heavily scented with lavender, making reference to historical exhibitions of the Sublime, and one display cabinet consciously echoed the format of the Wunderkammer in Renaissance Europe. Combined with the grandeur and decorative interior of the Senate Rooms, and the chanting beat of an electronic paean devised and DJ’d by Alexander Price, the exhibition again challenged our modern standard for white-walled exhibition display.

“all of us have our own little worlds and our personal myths … within my work, the painting is almost a way to encapsulate that, and close that gap.”

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

Ewa has said that her next body of paintings will be different in aesthetic, and THROES is the supreme example of just how quickly styles and motifs emerge across her work. She has shown that her creativity and imagination are remarkably intense, matching her determination and work ethic (in recent months she has also collaborated on projects with Lulu Guinness and spent time with David LaChapelle in Los Angeles.) Having drawn so much attention and praise for THROES, we know we are not the only ones waiting with bated breath for her next offering.

 

www.ewawilczynski.co.uk

All photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd