Saturday, September 23, 2023

Big Curvy Earrings

Photo Courtesy Of Poets Of Babylon

Friday, September 8, 2023

Nana Atta

Image Courtesy of Nana Atta

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I'm currently at home in Verulam.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND BROUGHT UP?
I was born in Stanger/KwaDukuza, but my family moved that same year I was born and settled in Verulam. That's where I grew up.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR PRESENT CITY OR HOMETOWN?
The best thing about my city is the weather and the fact that this is where my family is.

WHAT ARE SOME YOUR FONDEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES?
I remember how we'd get together with my cousins and make up silly songs out of anything and we'd sound so good. We eventually began to sing in front of people in school.

WHY MUSIC?
I can't go a day without humming or writing to some random melody. I love conceptualising and I do it best through writing song lyrics and singing. So really to your question I say, why not music?

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
Soulful and timeless.

IS THERE A MUSICAL PASSAGE OR MELODY THAT NEVER FAILS TO MOVE YOU?
There are many, but it all depends on where I'm in life really. One I can think of right now is Peter Tosh's, "Ketchy Shuby".

WHAT'S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
My creative process varies depending on the project I'm working on. Sometimes I'm inspired by the instrumental and sometimes it's an incident that I witness.

WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
 A lot of old and new people and things. To name a few, I'm influenced by reggae music (artists such as Peter Tosh, Lucky Dube and Bob Marley).

I'm also a Leta Mbulu girl since way back, Miriam Makeba, Lebo Mathosa, Brenda Fassie. All these artists share some of the qualities I bring into my art. They told stories that mattered, still do. They gave us timeless music.

WHAT MOMENT ARE YOU HAVING?
I'm witnessing a lot of females in spaces that have always been male dominated. Female record producers, directors, DJ’s I'm loving it!

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC AND HOW HAS IT EVOLVED OVER TIME?
I'd say sexy and elegant with an Afrofuturistic touch. I'm into everything futuristic and sci-fi. I like telling African stories in a way that brings light to how awesome we are and our super spirit of triumph.

WHAT BEAUTY ROUTINE DO YOU SWEAR BY?
Honestly, I believe with food, but also taking care of the spiritual self by fasting and meditating.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I'm at home with my family. Love being indoors.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
Movies/series...lots of them.

Music

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Sara Flaaen Licius

Photo Courtesy Of Sara Flaaen Licius

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
Right now I'm in Oslo, in my apartment where I live. It's been the town I call home for the past seven years or so, but I'm actually born on the West Coast of Norway (where my mom's from), and grew up way up North, in the Arctic capital of Tromsø.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND BROUGHT UP?
Specifically, I was born in Ålesund, one of the Norwegian West Coast cities, but we moved way up north within a year. So Tromsø, the capital of the North is what I call my hometown. However, at the age of 14, the whole family moved down East again, to the outskirts of a small city one hour outside of Oslo. 

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR PRESENT CITY OR HOMETOWN?
Oslo is "the smallest capital in the world" - which is a love-hate thing. It's great because there are few people, it's uninspiring and claustrophobic because there are few people. Still, Oslo is my home and I thrive here. I love that most things are within walking-distance (... well, if you like to walk) and it's actually both the cleanest and the greenest capital I've ever been to. It's not too crowded, but there's still an interesting mix of different people, and there's still that "big city" culture going on with bars and cultural happenings even though we're only like, what, a million people? Oslo is small, but not behind. Small, but not boring. Small, but constantly evolving. Thank God!

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORIES FROM GROWING UP?
Ohhhh - all of them are with my parents. I think. I was a lone child until the age of 10 when my sister spontaneously came along. My parents were and still are a match made in heaven - we've always done so many things together! I have many good memories from childhood summers in Paris, the French-Caribbean, islands of Guadeloupe, and London with family and friends. Plus, growing up in the crazy climate of the Arctic Northern Norway in Tromsø, I was blessed with so many nature experiences and spent a lot of time outdoors - be it collecting stones at a frozen beach or higher up hiking in the mountains or cleaning out fish from an ice fishing session on a lake or sleeping under the stars in frozen woods. As a teenager, I remember not even bothering to look up when the Northern Lights followed me home at night after dance class or horseback riding class - it was normal to me. I know that's an insane statement - but I'm grateful that I grew up so immersed in nature that I was able to kind of take it for granted. I think that a childhood in the Arctic is quite exceptional indeed. 

WHY MEDIA?
Well, I actually knew I wanted to be a magazine journalist already at the age of 12 years (and no, I hadn't yet seen "How To Loose A Guy In 10 Days"!). I was reading all the Norwegian magazines for my age group at the time, I knew the Editors and the most profiled journalists, and I was obsessed with fashion. I never doubted that I was going to study Journalism after High School. However, as soon as I started my studies, I knew I was going to love these three fun years, but that I didn't want to work full-time as a journalist. I guess it boils down to how the media industry has changed over the years with subscription plans and click-baits etc - and I just felt that I was "too much in love with writing to work as a journalist". But luckily for me, I've been able to do a lot of freelance writing for some of the biggest Norwegian magazines. I'm more than fulfilled and so happy! Writing and reading has always been my passions - and I guess I couldn't come to terms with writing for a people or a group of people who no longer want to read, but prefer consuming their news through some quick, entertaining Snapchat-story. I love writing too much to write for those who don't want to read, I think? Anyways, I've been so lucky to make freelance magazine writing work for the past years.

WHY MODEL?
Good question! One I've asked myself so many times. I had never even envisioned modelling until I was suddenly doing it - I was so obsessed with the editorial/journalistic/critical approach to fashion. But suddenly I was asked to do some small campaign here and there and realised that it was something I really enjoyed doing, plus also something I thought I was kind of good at. I've always been very comfortable in front of a camera, I've always loved working in a team, and I've also taken a lot of pictures myself both for work and in my leisure time. Quickly, in my early, early twenties, I realised that I had to pursue modelling as well - if not, I would regret it. With that said, I'm so happy that I so happy that I started around the age of 21-22 and not, like, 16. I don't think I would have been strong enough to thrive in the modelling industry and I think it could have torn me down and changed me quite a lot. I'm grateful that I "knew who I was" before I debuted as a model.

DO YOU STILL REMEMBER YOUR FIRST EVER SHOOT?
Well. While answering this, I'm trying to remember what was ever my first paid shoot - but I feel like I should mention that my mom took sooo many good pics of me during my childhood and upbringing and that my dad was always filming me! So I've neever been camera shy. During my High School years, my best friend was a hobby photographer (and went on to do great photography work) and he also took a lot of pictures of me. My prepping for modelling started way before I even thought about modelling, as I like to say. While I actually, seriously cannot remember what was my first paid shoot, I remember what it was like to finally sign with one of the biggest agencies in Norway, Team Models, that I had of tried to reach out to quite a lot. That was a special day indeed!

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORKDAY LOOK LIKE?
Since I'm balancing a career consisting of influencing, social media content creation, writing and modelling, I always feel quite chaotic, haha! But I love it and I feed on it and I embrace it! My days are never the same - but what they have in common is that I live in my G-mail inbox, haha! Even though working all these different things has got me working around the clock and at odd hours, I still feel that I'm very flexible. If I get a shoot, there's never a problem to clear my schedule even if it's short notice, and if I'm exhausted I can afford two extra hours of sleep - and sometimes I work half-way through the night and feel like the most inspiring night owl. It's a very different lifestyle than the people who are working 9 to 5, but I'm so in love with it!

WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOUR APPROACH TO LIFE?
MY DAD. Always and forever. I'm such a daddy's girl. I feel like he's thought me everything! And I admire him so much for so many things - the way he's always worked so hard, got through several college degrees without any funding and working a gazillion jobs at odd hours, the way he treats my mom like a queen still after 26 years, for teaching me his mother tongue French in the most impeccable way, for being so curious about life and so ridiculously self-confident and comfortable in his own skin - yet still humble and open to new things and always seeking to learn new things... He's the one I go to for courage, strenght, support, answers and for philosophical discussions. He's never treated me as a child even when I was a child! I appreciate him so so much.

HOW DO DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC?
Wow, this feels like a broad question! I like things that are genuine but a little relaxed. Fashion-wise I feel that I'm taking the best of my two worlds: effortlessly Scandi AND Parisienne chic. Loving it! I like clean and simple aesthetics, but I also like to bolden my looks a little. It cannot be too plain either - I'm always looking for the right element to make it bolder/more raw/more sexy/more playful. I like the thought of fashion being an expression of who you are OR how you feel that day. It doesn't have to be too serious either - I think fashion is SUPPOSED to be playful.

WHAT BEAUTY ROUTINE DO YOU SWEAR BY?
Ooooh, I'm a very, very natural girl. I'm a no makeup-girl. And I'm actually one of those who mean NO MAKEUP, as in none at all - not the "no makeup-makeup look". I only wear creams and some blush - no matter if I'm going to the grocery store, to a meeting or to a party. I love it - I feel like I'm one hundred percent comfortable and happy with my looks. Not because I feel that I look "so good" or anything, simply because I've long since come to term with HOW I look and I'm satisfied. This is me and I like the most natural version of me the most, I feel like myself without makeup, I don't think I "need it" and I don't think makeup is particularly fun or interesting outside of shoots! That's just how it is. With that said - I love how a makeup-less look is a super cool statement. In an industry that's highly focused on appearance and where there's a lot of body and beauty pressure, I'm only happy to be one of the people who resist it - it the way that feels the most natural to me.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOUR NOT WORKING?
Working or not, I try to squeeze as much reading, running and yoga into a day as possible. I of course prioritise this when I'm working like crazy too. But if I have a slow day or two-three in a row, you bet I will prioritise the three of them! I love them and I pretty much always have - and I really believe in their power of keeping me balanced and happy. I've also gotten it proved time and time again how the three of them are good for anxiety-chasing and stress-management.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
By reading! It will forever be my favourite "slow activity" and I've loved it since I was a child. It's stimulating, entertaining and it makes me feel safe. What more could you ask for? I read every day, and to be honest, far more than a book a week on average.

Eat Your Greens And Other Stories

Photos Courtesy Of Sara Flaaen Licius

Sara Flaaen Licius.


Monday, March 20, 2023

Astha Suri

Photo Courtesy Of Astha

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
India, yes. I have lived in Europe and USA for a fair share of my growing years. But, I am now settled in India growing my business.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND BROUGHT UP?
Lucknow, India.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR PRESENT CITY OR HOMETOWN?
The food. The perfume. The people. The culture. You name it, we have it. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES?
Running around barefoot in the rain, playing with soil. Feeling grounded.

WHY PERFUMER?
I am the fourth generation perfumer, carrying my legacy forward in the 21st century while keeping values and traditions in control. We are a youth lead business who take care of psych and mental health via our products. Expanding the growth of this is our aim at NASO.

HOW DID YOU ACQUIRE THE SKILL?
I am a BA Hons interior architect from UWE Bristol, in the UK and a Master in Fashion Styling from Istituto Marangoni, Italy. But I believe I inherited a nose. A sharp nose. I work on improving my scent memory and am a trainee in the perfumer world. My father is my teacher.

WHAT'S DEFINING FOR NASO?
A gender less modern perfumery reviving ancient traditions of perfume making and smell memory. Designed to fit a modern day palate.

WHAT'S YOUR PROCESS?
Steam distillation. Extraction of raw ingredients with our generational perfumers and farmers that help us learn about crop everyday.

WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
My father. My grandmother. My mother.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC?
Chique, minimal and smart. I like free flowing artistry. Something that has a story, a concept, a meaning behind it. An intentional piece of art.

WHAT BEAUTY ROUTINE DO YOU SWEAR BY?
Keeping my skin clean, less make up Hydration Rose water by NASO (so natural that you can drink it)

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
Travel. Dance. Enjoy with family and friends.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
Painting is my vice to unwind. I seek maximum peace when I paint.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Body Candles

Photo Courtesy Of Naso

By NASO.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Van Hunt

Photo Courtesy Of Van Hunt

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I am in Los Angeles. I have not always lived here.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND BROUGHT UP?
I was born in Dayton, Ohio (USA). I was raised there for the first 10 years of my life. then, I moved to Arlington, Texas, where I stayed until I went off to University.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR PRESENT CITY OR HOMETOWN?
The best thing about Los Angeles, to me, is that I can bend it into any shape I want. Meaning, the city is everything I need it to be, and when I need it to be quiet, riotous, benign, frightening, curated, chaotic, charming, and thoughtless.

WHAT ARE SOME YOUR FONDEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES?
It would be, either, sitting next to my father in the car as he steered with his left hand and pulled on a cigarette with his right. Or, many years later, as my mom's boyfriend ran into the store, the radio played 'When Doves Cry'. That was my first time hearing that song, and from that moment on I knew what I would do with the rest of my life.

WHY MUSIC?
I guess I needed a medium to compose all the information I was taking in from my environment - and music seemed the most robust. the most satisfying. from the first time I sat behind a drum kit at age eight - to getting my first electric keyboard at age 14 - the low notes, the high notes, there were just so many ways to speak my mind through music and sound.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
All encompassing. from the rhythms of Africa to Bach's Cello Suites to Appalachian porch shuffles to Detroit punk. I love it all. It's just in me.

IS THERE A MUSICAL PASSAGE OR MELODY THAT NEVER FAILS TO MOVE YOU?
Anything from the Bach Cello Suites and Louis Armstrong's Hot 5 recordings. 

WHAT'S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? 
I usually need a theme, a title, an itch...And then I'm off and running. If I'm inspired to pick up an instrument something useful usually comes out of me. Something that my subconscious has been chewing on.

WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
It's hard to argue against the influence of my interpersonal relationships, they've all shaped me and continue to shape me. But my biggest influence outside of those relationships has probably been the Prince catalogue between 1980-84. It gave me a foundation and an orientation, sonically. And Zora Neale Hurston, and Jacques Vallée, who gave me an intellectual grounding.

WHAT MOMENT ARE YOU HAVING?
Being a father has moved me for 20 years, and, I'm very much into my relationship with my lady and her kids and her world. I'm settled, in so far as I'm comfortable in my skin. I still have my bite. I still have my wits about me. I'm always looking for ways to sell art, and always diving into mysteries; especially ancient ones. 

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC AND HOW HAS IT EVOLVED OVER TIME? 
I have always dressed to express my insides, and that always changes and in some ways stays the same. But I'm also open to suggestions from people I trust. I can hang out in a garage or on an island. My sense of design has always remained consistent, however. My base is very much rooted in research and development. Structure and engineering. Clean lines. And then I decorate the top with melodies and words, and a wink and a smile. 

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I love my work - so I am never not working. It's way past an obsession. I find inspiration for my work in everything I do outside of working. 

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
The only way I can unwind is if I create something beautiful. Then, after, I can unwind with a glass of wine and stories and laughter.