Thursday, March 23, 2017

Alexandra Marzella

Image Courtesy Of Alexandra Marzella

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I'm in NYC, in my bed, in Bushwick in Brooklyn. I've lived here for five years.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED?
I was born and raised in Rhode Island, and attended the Rhode Island School of Design.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CITY OR HOMETOWN?
The beautiful beaches, parks, sunsets and how white trash it is.

WHAT HAS BEEN A SEMINAL EXPERIENCE?
Lately I'm thinking, have my 12- year-old nudes printed out and thrown off the third floor balcony, three years later in high school, was pretty seminal.

WHEN DID YOU START MODELLING?
Oh I'd say I've always been modeling. But professionally, for money, about five years ago.

WHY ACTOR, ARTIST AND ACTIVIST?
I'm a performer by nature, and an idealist.. Really, I'm a stoner hippy who deeply desires world peace.

WHAT THEMES DO YOU SEEK TO PURSUE TROUGH YOUR CRAFT, AND WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION?
Thematically I can go from 0 to 100 real quick. Most things inspire me. I can't say too much about my process at this time, as it's still undeveloped. Things tend to happen for me organically. I'm a combusting champagne bottle of ideas. hard to package. hard to motivate.

ARE YOU CONTROVERSIAL OR ARE YOU JUST LIVING IN A CONTROVERSIAL WORLD?
 Most definitely, both.

WHY DID YOUR INSTAGRAM GET DELETED (AGAIN)?
I'm not sure. I'm always convinced it's someone/s out to get me for no good reason other than maybe self hate? I'm just really not that offensive. I am offensive, but no that offensive.

WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Everything. Everyone. My peers. History. Imagined futures.

HOW DOES YOUR AESTHETIC TRANSLATE IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF YOUR LIFE?
My aesthetic is very small town hoarder girl grasping onto whatever she can to build a safe, warm, comfortable nest. But now realizing it's suffocating and trying to simplify.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOUR’RE WORKING?
Games.

HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED AND BALANCED?
I don't! I'm trying. I think having a semblance of a routine eventually will help me achieve some sort of balance. Balance comes in many levels and forms, so I'm not too worried.

Monday, March 20, 2017

From Mimi Mutesa In Michigan

Photo Courtesy Of Mimi Mutesa

“I was born in New York, U.S., but was raised in Uganda for the most part. I currently live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the United States. I've only lived here for a year and a half. I have previously lived in Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and Zimbabwe. Grand Rapids, MI is a really friendly town. Everyone is always willing to help you out and support you. I had a photo exhibit recently that many people I didn't even know showed up to. That's my favorite thing about Grand Rapids. It also has a great downtown artsy vibe. My favorite thing about Uganda is the weather. I always miss the sun when I'm away from there.

I had very many aspirations growing up. At various points, I wanted to be a nun, a teacher, singer, all sorts of things. As I got further into my teenage years, my aspirations started leaning more consistently towards the arts. I wanted to be a singer for quite a while. I danced for fun, then photography came around. Photography felt like the most natural thing in the world to me. I could share the things I found beautiful with as many people as I wanted, and I decided that that's what I really wanted to do. I very recently expanded that aspiration to film and video as well. I want to be able to tell powerful stories using film.

Currently, I'm a student. I very soon hope to start acting professionally as a freelancer photographer and film director. Creativity has always flown through me. I can't pin point a particular time when I first recognized my love for fashion. But as I got more and more dedicated to photography (which was about two or three years ago) I realized that fashion was an important element that represented different cultures and I wanted to be able to share that beauty of diversity with the world.

I think I'd say I've influenced myself the most from all my past mistakes. A mantra I came up with for myself is 'the more mistakes you make, the less mistakes you make.' I chose to live by that because I realized how much more I learn if I simply step out on a limb and try something new to me, because more often than not, I've made mistakes that I've then learned so much from. And that drive, that probably came from the way I was raised, continues to influence me every time I start a new project.

I often try to promote inclusivity and diversity of all different body types, walks of life, cultures, you name it. And through that, I often want to evoke a sense of appreciation from the audience that views my art. I want them to recognize how beautiful everyone and everything can be. My aesthetic is very bold and vibrant, and I think it translates very vividly in my sense of fashion and the way I interact with people. I am often unaware of this because it's simply what I'm used to but people often tell me that their perception of my confidence is a lot higher than what I actually think, so my aesthetic must be translating more accurately than I think.

I actually don't swear by any beauty routine. Six days out of the week, I'll not be wearing anything more than face lotion and lip balm. Sometimes when I have the patience to do my make up, I go for a golden shimmery eyeshadow and a winged eyeliner with lip gloss. I haven't even caught up to the eyebrow craze, so I'm pretty basic when it comes to beauty routines. If I were to swear by one thing, it would be to drink lots of water and stay moisturized! As for keeping in shape, I was simply blessed with a high metabolism rate so as long as I eat healthy enough (which isn't even all that often) I feel just fine. I am also vegetarian. That has more to do with my simple distaste for how meat tastes than my wanting to stay in shape.

I'm my spare time I love to read a good novel or watch stand up comedy. As a college student, however, I really haven't read a novel for fun in a while because once I get a break from my books, I'm not immediately looking for another one.

The most effective way I keep focused and grounded is by thinking of the future I want for myself and knowing that it won't just be handed to me; I'll have to work hard for it.”

- As told to MBF, 
March 18, 2017.

Something Mustard Coloured In Your Closet

Photographed By Mimi Mutesa

When Spring Is In The Air

Photographed By Mimi Mutesa

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Monsieur Ice

Photo Courtesy Of Monsieur Ice

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED AND WHERE DO YOU PRESENTLY LIVE?
I’m born and raised in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Today I live in Paris, France.

WHAT ARE THE TOP THINGS ABOUT YOUR TOWN?
Paris? Without hesitation, the mixture. And because of it, there’s something new every day. An exhibition, a concert, a meeting etc. There are so many different aspects of Paris, in Paris, that it's impossible to be bored.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES AND WHAT WERE YOUR INFANT ASPIRATIONS?
The afternoons playing football with friends in the streets of Yaoundé. The victories of the national football team (2000, 2002). Sundays with family.

WHAT HAS BEEN A SEMINAL EXPERIENCE?
I think it has to be the death of my younger brother. Nothing was the same after that. I learned to relativize and live without real regrets. It isn't easy to explain. But, after that you never give up because you know you have a chance at life, while others don’t.

WHY MUSIC?
I grew up in it without really realizing it. My father was a trumpeter and singer in a band in his youth (Les Têtes Brûlées). I took it more seriously in high school. I made remixes of hot songs of the moment and recorded on hip hop ejay. In life, I try to do things naturally and the music came to me and has been with me since forever. The signing of my first contract (Sony ATV) was the sign that I had to continue in this direction. There is no calculation. I think it’s a profession that matches my lifestyle and my personality most.

FIRST SONG EVER SUNG OR BARS TO A BEAT?
The first song I recorded was a featuring with my little brother and my cousin. We sang on top of "Do for Love" by Tupac. We didn’t have any music software to record, so we used the "record" option of Windows 98. It was really rough. We didn’t have the instrumental version either. While one was singing, another was doing  instrumental sounds with the mouth as we passed the microphone around. As soon as one ended his verse and sang "You tu tu tu", another acted as a beat box, and then we’d switch.

HOW WOULD YOU CLASSIFY YOUR SOUND?
I'll define my music from "vibe". These are just moods that I refer to. I’m currently working on something that speaks of confusion and emotion. It’s a rhythm of feeling happy, arrogant, sexy, lost. It’s life. Musically it blends with hip hop, RnB rhythms, afro and electro. The common point of all this, is the presence of the 808 like a heartbeat. Aggressive, sweet and so on.

WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION?
On the next project, I started from an idea, "A man who wants to kill Cupid". And from there I wrote a book first and a screenplay for a short film. Then I sort of made the book's soundtrack. Each passage and chapter illustrates an atmosphere that inspired me. Then I talk with Jo, who is a beatmaker, and we try to turn these images into songs.

DO YOU PURSUE ANY SPECIFIC THEMES THROUGH YOUR LYRICS?
I don’t have a specific theme on which I prefer to write. At this moment, I write a lot of love songs. Before it was often about ego trip. It really depends on the periods.

WHO OR WHAT HAS INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST ARTISTICALLY?
What inspires me most is what I see, my friends, my family, TV, my exes, and the beatmakers I work with. But, I also have a very cinematic and visual approach. Films, series, photos and films have a big influence on my work.

WHO ARE THE HIP HOP PIONEERS IN YOUR OPINION?
There are hip hop pioneers all the time, that's why the art doesn’t die. Afrika Bambaataa of course, who is at the genesis of the movement. Then there were Tupac and Biggie who made the rap in a new era. Jay Z and Nas. But also the new old school with Fabolous or Cam'ron who I grew up with. And finally, Lil Wayne who succeeded at bringing back a fresh freshness. Maybe the next pioneer of the next generation will be Drake.
 For every era, there’s a pioneer, and it’s so much the better for it.

IS THERE A MUSICAL PASSAGE THAT NEVER FAILS TO MOVE YOU?
"I'll Be Missing You" - Puff daddy.

My junior brother died in 2004 while playing basketball. The girls from his school sang it as a tribute. Since then, every time I hear the song, tears flow.

HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED AND MINDFUL?
It's enough to look at reality. It’s beautiful to dream but sometimes a glance in the eyes of one's mother or in the mirror, enables you put your ideas into action and get back to work.

La Glace

Friday, March 10, 2017

Constance Ejuma

Photo Courtesy Of Constance Ejuma

WHERE ARE YOUR RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I've been living in Los Angeles for the past 10 years. Prior to this, I lived in the Washington D.C. area.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED?
I was born in Cameroon, but I grew up in the suburbs of Maryland.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES?
Getting to visit Cameroon over the summer holidays and eating a lot of amazing food that I didn't have in America.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
I love to travel and don't have one specific place I like above all else. I'd enjoy getting lost in Paris for a few months though.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE THAT YOU WANTED TO WORK WITH CINEMATOGRAPHY AND BE PART OF THE FILM INDUSTRY?
When I was 16 and realized that my desire to communicate and touch people's hearts could be expressed through acting.

HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR LINE OF WORK?
I went to school at the University of Toronto and studied acting and cinema studies while I was there. Over the years, I've kept up with my training by taking acting classes.

DO YOU PURSUE ANY SPECIFIC THEMES IN THE MOVIES YOU PRODUCE?
I'm interested in telling stories that allow the audience to see the world from somebody else's shoes and be able to recognize that we're not as different as we think we are from each other.

WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS WHEN PREPARING FOR A ROLE?
I spend most of my time imagining the circumstances of the story.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I love to travel, read, and occasionally binge watch TV shows.

HOW DO YOU STAY IN SHAPE AND CENTERED?
I try to exercise when I can and keep up with my spiritual practice.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU THAT PEOPLE MAY UNAWARE OF?
One of my guilty pleasures is reading young adult novels.

Music