Current UK beat-boxing champ, Beardyman, recently kept impatient crowds entertained between sets at London’s Lovebox Weekender. We spoke to the Brighton resident about his offbeat style: ‘I’ve been doing it since I was a baby, but I never knew it was called beat-boxing. I thought it was just a habit, like biting your nails, and [...]
Sydney-based artist, James Jirat Patradoon on his career defining moment: ‘If I could trace my artistic inspiration back to one event, it would have to be the Neo Tokyo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2001. I had never seen art like that before; I didn’t know you could be so playful with [...]
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With distribution as far-reaching as Japan, Australia, Spain and the UK, bi-monthly magazine FACT has been covering the best in music and art since 2003 – and best of all, it’s free. We spoke to editor, Sean Bidder: ‘We were, and still are, in love with magazines — and looked back to two particular periods for inspiration – what we considered to be the “golden age” of magazine publishing in the 1930s, when art and lifestyle magazines were beautifully produced products, and to the thrilling, vital and independent DIY fanzine culture that first sprung up in the 1960s’.
The DVD release of Daft Punk’s film, Electroma, recently hit the UK. In an interview with The Guardian’s Guide, the guys said: ‘the film is experimental and inaccessible; however, it’s a movie that does not require your brain to function. It’s a film without dialogue, almost without actors’. Sweet.
Talented illustrator, Olivier Blanc, who recently made the move from France to the UK, describes his style as being ‘a sexy, detailed, organised mess’. So where did the initial motivation come from? ‘Drawing came naturally. The work of my dad was a great inspiration. It’s a big part of me and I think I could not live without it’.
It’s the final, sultry day of Barcelona’s experimental sound-fest, Sonar, and weary punters are gazing listlessly at an empty, smoke-filled stage. Before long, a vocalist, beatboxer and grand pianist stride on, and what follows is a startling and, at times, deeply melancholic cabaret-electronic hybrid, prompting jaws to drop and delighting the drowsy. Meet Khan of Finland: ‘I tell stories about my everyday life; they are songs about love, pain, party and spirituality. I would call it bionic blues’.
Having recently hosted a successful solo exhibition, UK photographer Poppy de Villeneuve takes time to reflect on everything from murderers to roller-discos. How did the concept behind The Strangers exhibition come about? ‘It’s a project I’ve been doing for the last three years. I visited the Louisiana State Penitentiary and was struck by the place. It’s unlike anywhere else. I talked to the men held in the prison and although most were murderers or robbers, they showed me everything but. I think photography is one of the best mediums to reveal things about people and the way we are’.
MC, producer and vocalist, Aloe Blacc, recently released his extraordinary debut, Shine Through, through respected hip-hop label, Stone’s Throw. The innovative soul-heavy sound has caused quite a stir, with Aloe being lauded as single-handedly reinventing the old-school genre. ‘When I perform, I feel it’s important to communicate with the people watching’, he says. ‘I believe [...]
Sydney-based photographer Tristan Still discusses the inspiration behind his raw and confronting images. ‘I started when I was sixteen; around the same time I started skateboarding. I loved how the camera could catch and freeze any moment in time’. What are you trying to achieve with each photo? ‘I’m almost always trying to engage the [...]
UK MC/producer Ty looks back on the making of his album Closer, the follow-up to 2003′s Mercury-nominated, Upwards. ‘Generally, everything just came together really well. Everyone’s intentions, as far as getting the music done, were great. It all came together through a constant chopping of ideas. Sometimes I would leave an idea alone for a while and we would come back to it later. And some songs just happened. For example, ‘Hustle’ just happened. It was written in New York with Rich Medina. We were kicking it and it just leapt out’.
MC Mr J Madeiros laughs heartily down the phone line. ‘Oh yeah, we are constantly having to win people over. Trust me, it takes a lot of energy to prove people wrong about us. We’re from Colorado and we’ve got a white guy in our group. It’s tough.’ ‘But’, he concludes, with more than a hint of satisfaction in his voice, ‘we’re working hard to do something original in this industry’. The boisterous Madeiros is calling from Rhode Island where The Procussions are currently on tour supporting A Tribe Called Quest. In light of Madeiros’ obvious delight, I ask how this union came about. ‘Oh wow!’ he booms down the line, ‘we were at a Brooklyn hip-hop festival – coming from Colorado to New York, to the majesty of hip-hop was amazing. We’d gone back to our tent after our set and this guy came in and started talking to us, saying how much he dug our music and wanted to tour with us. It turned out to be Ali Shaheed Muhammed [A Tribe Called Quest's DJ]. We were blown away’.
Exclusive interview with beatboxer Rahzel: ‘The scene today is phenomenal and it’s growing to huge proportions’, Rahzel exclaims animatedly. ‘It has always been a showstopper, but over the years as people’s musical tastes have changed and hip hop has become more commercial, it has grown even more so’. Previously referred to as the ‘forgotten’ fifth element of hip hop (sitting alongside the more prominent elements of breakdancing, DJ-ing, graff-ing and MC-ing), it is thanks to the likes of Rahzel that beatboxing is now recognised as a legitimate art form. Inspired at an early age by Grandmaster Flash (Rahzel’s cousin Rahim was one of the Furious Five) and others such as the Fat Boys and Doug E Fresh, the Bronx-native spent his childhood building up his proficiency as a vocal percussionist. ‘When I first got into imitating sounds, voices and instruments, I basically did it for attention’, he recalls with a laugh. ‘Developing your skills back then was based on catalogue and repertoire, listening to anything that made a sound. And of course, practice, practice, practice’.
Dengue Fever’s Senon Williams discusses the band’s sound and story. How would you describe your music? ‘A waterfall far from its source, taking in all the creeks and streams until it builds its self into a massive cascade… that you can dance to’. Can you briefly explain how Dengue Fever came together? ‘Two brothers love [...]
Roots-reggae artist Joseph Israel has been rather busy of late, wowing crowds at SXSW and releasing his debut album, ‘Gone Are The Days’. We caught up with him. Is it true you became interested in reggae music as a two year old? ‘Yeah, reggae music spoke to me at a very early age. It’s the [...]