FOUND S HA HO W R VE LO IC US M OR N IA IC US AM UL IN AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO BE SUCCESSF . MUSIC OR THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART IN MUSIC?
ALT-MU TEAM Deputy Editor
Founder / Editor
Jennifer Le Roux
Jennifer Le Roux
ISSUE CONTRIBUTORS Bex Cole, Edward Couzins-Lake Hannah Mesquitta, Kieron Pepper, Philip Milburn, Radar Creatives, Steve Young, Tuala Kiernan, Zelda Zemzare, Lizzie Cooley LOGO DESIGN: Sarah Bonner
hen you think back to the first album you bought or reminisce about your all time favourite single - do you just remember the music? Or do you also remember the album cover and the music video? If you love Kate Bush, is it just for her music? Or the controversial performance art? And when you finally get to see your favourite artist in concert, would you really be happy with a barebones performance? No lights, no sparkles... just music?
ur Summer issue is all about getting visual. We talk to musos who are passionate about the role of visual art in music and showcase the talents of musicians, music loving models, artists and photographers alike.
e still have big plans in the next year, but we will be taking a hiatus on the issues and focusing on the website and refining back issues. Don’t forget to visit us at altmu.co.uk.
jennifer le roux Founder, Editor & Creative Director
COVER PAGE Photo: Scott Chalmers Subject: Jamie Lenman Design: Jennifer Le Roux
T: @altmumagazine | www.altmu.co.uk All rights reserved © ALT-MU Magazine
FEATURES 10: FEATURED ALT-MU: JAMIE LENMAN 26: FASHION: SOPHIE COCHEVELOU 44: ARTIST FEATURE: THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART IN MUSIC BY JAMIE LENMAN 50: MAKE ART YOUR IMAGE: NOSTALGIC INSIGHT INTO VISUAL MASTERS IN MUSIC 66: ACM SHOWCASE: MEET THE ACTS AT THIS YEARS ALTERNATIVE ESCAPE
18: REEPS ONE / HARRY YEFF: BEATBOXER / MUSICIAN / ARTIST 32: LEXY LAVEY: MODEL / MUSICIANS / MUSIC MANAGER / MAKE-UP ARTIST 38: JAMES NADEN: MODEL / MUSICIAN 60: LEONID AFREMOV: MUSIC LOVING IMPRESSIONIST ARTIST
06: CAREER PATHWAYS: ILLUSTRATOR / COMIC ARTIST, DANIEL HANSEN 36: HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN MUSIC VIDEO: SAMUEL CARTER-BRAZIER 54: HOW TO SORT YOUR VISUAL SHIT: BY RADAR CREATIVES 68: JUST ONE QUESTION: HOW IMPORTANT IS VISUAL ART IN MUSIC?
16: MAKE-UP TIPS: THE POWER OF MAKE-UP, BY ZELDA ZAMZARE 42: MUSIC DOCTORâ€™S SURGERY: RESPONSES TO READERS QUESTIONS 46: LIVE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY: LIVE SHOTS FROM HANNAH MESQUITTA 58: THE WEDDING SINGER: INSIGHT FROM SESSION PLAYER, STEVE YOUNG
7 9 9 1 ONs visual
BA H n o i t a c i n commu k
of art & e t u it t s in ent
2 0 0 1 l ife goal
published in the guardian
published book jacket for Crazy by Benjamin Lembert
career change Diploma in Nurs ing at Brighton Unive rsity
MY TALENT ARTIST FATHER COULD NO LONGER DRAW S RESSION OF HIKE DUE TO THE PROG BILITY, HE AS EVDER SA DI AL IC OG OL NEUR KING IN HIS LAST N ME TO FINISH IN GROMIT CARTOO & E AC LL WA A JOB, ME CO BE D HA I STRIP. I REALISEDAND A NEUROLOGY BOTH AN ARTIST E BECAUSE OF HIM. RESEARCH NURS
ILLUSTRATOR / COMIC ARTIST / NEUROLOGY RESEARCH NURSE
MUSIC CAREER PATHWAYS THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE I WISH I HAD WAS JUST KEEP GOING, PERSISTENCE IS KEY...
In this issue we delve into the career pathway of Daniel Hansen. Illustrator / comic artist with a penchant for music and, yes you heard it right... Neurology Research Nurse. So, in your own words. How would you answer the question ‘what do you do for living?’ Well what keeps me alive is my job as Neurology Research Nurse. I run clinical trials in Motor Neurone Disease, MS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Epilepsy etc during the day; and by nights I draw. I worked as a professional illustrator for a few years, doing work a variety of different jobs from the Guardian supplement covers to book jackets. I also worked for New York based music magazine Blender for two years drawing comic strips about pop stars. However I soon found a solitary life of trying to
appease cretinous art directors didn’t really suit me. Now I just pick projects I am interested and draw for the pleasure, rather than the need to eat. Alot of our readers are musicians, what role has music played for you so far?
MUSIC HAS PLAYED EVERY ROLE IN MY LIFE, IT HAS BEEN A PARENT, A FRIEND, A TEACHER, A MUSE AND A LOVER (NOT LITERALLY).
Music goes on as soon as I get up and comes with me where ever I walk. It has inspired my artwork and the stories I tell with it, a line by Joanna Newsom or Leonard Cohen can direst the whole mood of an image.
I ALWAYS DRAW TO MUSIC AND WILL OFTEN SELECT MUSIC THAT COMPLIMENTS THE FEELING I WANT TO COME THROUGH IN MY ARTWORK.
met. Being a big Bowie fan I was very excited to hear the space references in the songs. As time went on Kev decided he’d turn the EP into an album and he asked me to illustrate the first single ‘Dark Stars’. Then he asked me to illustrate two more single covers and eventually the album cover. Kev gives me quite a lot of creative freedom and trusts I know what I am doing, which is very liberating. He sends me the first takes of the songs and I start coming up with ideas and images. It’s nice because I get excited to hear new songs and Kev gets excited to see new artwork. There will be a set of five single covers in total and the album cover and it’s been fun to make them all work visual together while working for each song..
How do you balance you differing pursuits? I’m not sure I’ve cracked that yet, there are always more ideas than there is time. I’ve learnt with artwork and creative writing there is no point pushing it. If you don’t have the energy or the inspiration its easy to get frustrated when things don’t come out quite right. You can harness despair and heartache; but it’s pretty hard to harness staying late at work or a hangover. We hear you created the visuals for a music artist recently, Kev Minney, tell us more about that? I did the photography for Kev’s EP ‘All You Need’ (you’ll have to ask Kev why he hired an illustrator to do his photography) and we really enjoyed working together. While I was putting the design together for his EP he started writing songs for a new EP and he’d play bits of them when we
I believe in and not do it just for money. When you find yourself illustration an article about Tie Rack written by Anthea Turner, its difficult to feel you’re breaking down creative boundaries. Do you have any other projects in the works at the moment? I have two more single covers to do for Kev Minney and then I’d like to focus on some of my own artwork again with the potential of making some of it marketable. What is your feelings on volunteering or doing unpaid work to build a portfolio? Is there a balance that works? I think that doing unpaid work for exposure rarely works out. If you are likely to get a lot of exposure from something then the people behind it definitely have the money to pay you! There are a lot of wealthy companies out there that will try and get away not paying artists on the promise of exposure, it is just an abuse of power. It is, however, certainly worth building a portfolio up and doing free work for people who you know don’t have the funds to pay. If there project is successful, then you’ll be remembered often. Any last insights or tips?
What advice would you give your younger self when you were starting out? I think I got it right first time, does that sound horrible smug? I got an agent when I left art college, which is a really useful way to get work when you are first trying to established yourself... They’ll take a cut but they’ll also get you more money. May be I would have told myself to only ever draw for pleasure on things
Discover more at: www.instagram.com/captaindanhansen/
I feel like I should add something motivational like “Reach for the stars!” but I feel that is only motivation to vomit. I’d just say if you do something creative professionally, make sure you still find time to do it for yourself as well. INTERVIEW BY JENNIFER LE ROUX
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INT E R VIE W WI T H
GUITARIST / SINGER / ILLUSTRATOR
amie Lenman is best known as the singer, guitarist and songwriter for underground 90’s heroes Reuben. He made his solo debut with colossal double-album Muscle Memory, which was released on Xtra Mile in 2013 to critical acclaim. He now returns with three new singles set for airplay on the BBC Radio One Rock Show ready to prove yet again that, not only is he a rather dashing chap, but also one of the most diverse artists in the UK. However, this gents hands don’t just create brutal riffs, Mr Lenman is also a professional illustrator, which is why he is our featured ALT-MU for the visual issue. Let’s dive in shall we? Tell us a bit about yourself? I got into guitar music when I was quite small, but then I’d got into drawing when I was even smaller. The two things sort of went along in tandem until my old band Reuben started touring and releasing records and the drawing took a bit of a back
seat, although it was still bubbling along. Then when that band imploded in the middle of the noughties I concentrated on the drawing for a few years until more recently I’ve started making music again and the two careers co-exist quite happily.
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I’M ALWAYS COUNTING MY LUCKY STARS THAT I’VE ENDED UP WORKING WITH SO MANY ARTISTS THAT I ADMIRE SO GREATLY.
What are your creative influences? I started with Queen and the Beatles who themselves are very diverse. Both bands run the whole gamut between music hall and heavy metal. After those I would say the biggest influence on the music I make has to be Nirvana, who laid down this template of heavy guitars with big melodies, which is still something I look for today. There aren’t that many groups who actually combine these two, you tend to get the riffs or the melody, so when you find something that does them both that’s very special and that’s usually what I’m after when I write things. Tell us more your inspiration behind the album ‘Muscle Memory’ Usually the albums I make, all the ones I did with Reuben, were quite varied in terms of style, which although satisfying, didn’t provide you with a cohesive listening experience. Sometimes it’s better to have thirty or forty minutes of music that stay within certain boundaries in the hope of making a more definite impression. Then, when I heard Foo Fighters were going to make a double album with
soft stuff on one side and heavy on the other, I thought that might be the answer. To be honest, when I finally heard it I was so disappointed that I vowed that I would do it right. They just had one soft side and one even softer side, a wasted opportunity. You’ve made many guest appearances on various artists’ material, any highlights?
I’m always counting my lucky stars that I’ve ended up working with so many artists that I admire so greatly. One highlight has to be when I saw the band Down I Go’s video for ‘Poseidon’ on youtube a few years after they’d split up, I was kicking myself that I’d discovered them too late. I got in touch with the singer about
playing some saxophone on one of my singles, we became friends, and before I knew it they’d reformed to make what is probably their best record and asked me to sing on it! Imagine that – your favourite album by your favourite band, and you’re on it! It was totally nuts.
What has been your favourite illustrationproject to date? I think my favourite was a series of children’s books I did for Bloomsbury called ‘Hardnuts of History’. I’ve always had a passion for history and I love Scholastic’s ‘Horrible Histories’ series. I was even talking to their editor at one point about contributing to the range but it fell through, so when Bloomsbury approached me about doing a similar thing but all in colour and, crucially, in my own style, it was a dream come true.
Does your musical work come hand-inhand with your illustration? In the early days they grew up together out of necessity. The band needed artwork on a regular basis – flyers, posters, album covers etc so I learned a lot as we did it. I did the artwork for our first two albums and the corresponding singles. When I did my first solo album, it was a such a huge and personal project that I wanted the artwork to reflect that. So, I set myself the challenge of creating an enormous woodcut-style tableau of all the things that are important to me.
I wanted the album cover to be as important a piece of work as the music inside. If the universe deemed you no longer able to be a musician or an illustrator, what would you do? Oh blimey. My first thought is ‘acting’, because that’s what all musicians say, but the truth is, I’m terrible at it. I would
probably end up directing – I directed a lot of my own music videos and when I took a break from music I did think that this was perhaps where my path lay but it didn’t happen in the end. I still would like to direct some things, if I could find the time. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Just that it’s a pleasure to be asked to contribute to your magazine and a treat to work with the wonderful Scott Chalmers. Keep an eye on Jamie Lenman’s social for upcoming announcements. The best is indeed yet to come. INTERVIEW BY JENNIFER LE ROUX PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT CHALMERS
I WANTED THE ALBUM COVER TO BE AS IMPORTANT A PIECE OF WORK AS THE MUSIC INSIDE.
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THE POWER OF MAKE-UP COLUMN BY ZELDA ZEMZARE For our Visual Issue our very own marketing guru, model and make-up enthusiast, Zelda Zemzare has taken a dive into the power of make-up. Taking inspiration from YouTube beauty gurus and make-up artists like Kandee Johnson and Promise Phan, Zelda explores make-up transformation
One of my earliest memories was the first time I tried my Mother’s make-up, I was only 5 and overwhelmed by the transformation. I was pretty convinced I looked like a Bratz Doll, which is cool if you didn’t know that already (shhh). Of course, I probably didn’t. It was only when I got some modelling jobs that I learned some skills and realised that make-up is in fact a powerful tool that can help you build a strong visual identity. Heck, it has been around for at least 6000 years and is present in almost every society on earth. YouTube beauty gurus and make-up artists like Kandee Johnson and Promise Phan have taken the transformation to a new level by turning themselves into different people. The talented Kandee has painted herself to look like anyone you can imagine from Marilyn Monroe to Donald Trump. Here’s some tips to help you take on your own transformation whether you want to look like your favorite celebrity or try your hand as a drag queen at the next pride march. Enjoy!
Get creepy: stalk the shit out of your subject Look at as many pictures of your target as possible to get a feel of what their style is like. Google them, check their Instagram, get stalking their facial features and signature looks. Consider what makes them stand out when it comes to fashion. What features are the most prominent? For Angelina Jolie it’s her lips or Dita Von Teese rocks a classic pin-up look. Focus on their unique characteristics so that you can include them in your look.
Struggling with these techniques? Spend some time on YouTube watching how to videos until you feel more confident. Better yet make a night of it and enjoy getting it wrong, it is bound to inspire a hilarious string of face swapping with your mates. to make the brows look natural. When it comes to those beautiful eyes, use a light skin colour shade and a contour shade to re-create the shape of your chosen subjects eyes. A white eyeliner can be used to line the rims of your eyes to make them look bigger while a black eyeliner in the rims of the eyes will create a sultry, smoldering look. Try to decide what their signature eye make-up is and go for that.
You are the canvas: slap it on and rub it in
Get lippy: shape those smackers
You need to start with a clear canvas, so the first step is to find the right foundation for you. A liquid base is recommended, particularly if you are going to be in the spotlight, if you are struggling then don’t be shy and pop in to your local department store for some demos. For an even application pour the foundation on the palm of your hand, the body heat will make it easier to blend. Don’t forget to include your neck, especially if you are using a slightly different shade than you would normally use. Then use a flat brush to apply the concealer for any areas that need extra coverage.
Go back to your photo to study your stalkee and obsess over their lips for a bit (it isn’t weird if you don’t tell anyone). Use 2 shades of lip pencil to create your desired lip shape. Generally, you want to outline the lips with the darker colour and use a lighter shade to fill our lips in. This will make it easier to alter the shape of your lips. Use a small brush to conceal around the lips to make the new shape look more natural.
Suck it in: highlight, contour and blush Contouring is great when you are trying to alter the shape of your face for greater impact. The dark contour colours will hide but the highlights will reveal. Study your targets facial features and try to recreate the same face shape. Use a colour that is two shades darker than your chosen foundation to contour your fa Highlighting has also become increasingly popular as a way to bring out your cheekbones, apply the right highlight and they will be more apparent when the light hits your beautiful face! You can use it for the inner corner of your eyes for a bright eyed, innocent look (think Zoey Deschanel) or on the brow bone for a sultry Marilyn look.
Eye eye: rims, brows and lashes Eyebrows can make a statement, while the eyes themselves are the window to your soul, so it’s important to get them right. If nothing else, just one change to your eyebrows can transform your look. What kind of vibe does your target give off? Femme fatale or a girl next door? Study their eyebrow shape and try recreating the same. Brush your brows into place and then use an angular brush and a matte eye shadow to start painting on the brows. Use short strokes
As a finishing touch now set in place by using a large powder brush to dust some powder all over your face to set your makeup in place. You don’t want your work of art to slide off. Now enjoy the transformation, but don’t lose yourself There is no shame in playing with your visual identity and it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Make-up can change the way you look and feel and transforming yourself can be liberating, not to mention great fun. Recreating your idols look can also help you to infuse the characteristics you admire into your life. That said, don’t forget to celebrate your own beauty and create your individual style by combining the things you love. Creating your own signature look is a great way to celebrate yourself! At the end of the day it will all be gone with the swipe of a make-up wipe or removed by your pillowcase, if you are being naughty. Be you and have fun being whoever you damn well want to be. We would love to see the result, pop us a tweet @altmumagazine or find us on Facebook.
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I N T E RVI E W WI T H
BEATBOXER / MUSICIAN / ARTIST
Reeps One, aka Harry Yeff, has a
unique imagination and tenacity from beatboxer and musician to abstract-expressionist, his drive to understand and master his multitude of talents has taken him on an extraordinary journey recently reaching over 50 000 0000 views on YouTube. Reeps One was voted Best Live act in The Bass Music Awards 2015, has a Harvard Residency and recently joined the judging panel for the World Beatbox Championships. Earlier this year he also opened doors to his latest exhibition ADO (Attention Deficit Order). We spoke to Reeps One to find out more about how his career and how he aims to redefine and challenge perceptions within the creative industry.
I always felt I had to leave my mark on things ... A lot of people may know you best as Reeps One the beatboxer but you’re also a brilliant artist. Can you tell us which came first? The art. I remember seeing the walls covered in my dad’s paintings growing up and I always felt I had to leave my mark on things. If I wasn’t making stuff, I didn’t feel like I was real [laughs]. My dad said he would give me a pen, turn around and I would have drawn over half of the wall! I realised then you can leave your mark on things. He said there was always something in me w anting to leave marks and impact the space around me. I’ve had a really encouraging environment to be myself and find my own way.
How did this skill develop and when did you realise it was something you really wanted to pursue?
It was always cathartic; if I was stressed, angry or happy, I’d want to get it on paper. I was always listening to myself quite obsessively trying to progress, so I could be
doing anything form a really simple, abstract line drawing to covering bigger spaces. In my school I was quite notorious for having the biggest final piece. It grew from it being like a personal catharsis, to really being my identity. I’d be inspired or learn from other people but it was always in me from the beginning that what I do has to be mine. I have to feel like I own it, otherwise I wouldn’t want to do it. Growing up in East London, would you say the graffiti scene influenced your journey as an artist? I like to try and avoid certain obvious categories like “graff” just because I get put in a box enough already.
What did appeal about graffiti was, again, leaving your mark and owning the space around you and feeling like you’re in control. It really liberated me and made me trust my own ideas. So, it sounds like art really dominated your head space. How then did beatboxing come about? When I was about fourteen I played three different instruments, but got
pissed off when I couldn’t play them, so I started speaking drum routines or singing a violin piece. I eventually realised that by humming and doing really light percussion sounds, I could do both at the same time. I felt more free with my voice than with the instruments. With the voice you can do it all the time and in any place. I was always able to make music - a massive factor in the medium. The art form costs no money, you can start making music really quickly and on your terms. That’s a freedom that you don’t have with instruments.
Did you always intend combining your art and your music? I guess they were side by side for a long time. I didn’t know or see a logical path. I’ve always said “I want to make my shows look as good as they sound” At that point, I didn’t know how it would happen so originally there was just these two very separate things that influenced each other but no direct way connecting them. That came later.
I started to think about how can I visualize my voice and I started experimenting with cymatics. I then started using technology and vibrations to create geometry and sounds; finding ways to create visuals with my voice. I started really enjoying physical phenomenon - things that I could physically manipulate with my voice. It didn’t involve a program, it all came from me. So while I was performing we had these unique, visual spectacles. I think it makes you an artist in the truest sense of the word when you’re combining all your abilities to make something unique.
Your art style incorporates the use of non-linear patterns, balance, mood, space and fluidity - I would argue that this systematic formula is also applied in your music. Is this an insight into the mind of Reeps One? Oh totally, that’s completely what I like to think is my realm - jumping between things always shifting and changing but still be consistent and tangible. I think that’s when we have
the most fun as human beings and as creatives. It’s when we develop our abilities and then they’re defined but then a point comes when you can experiment and switch things around. That’s what I like to show in my work: you can have drawings where there’s hundreds of elements interlocking and shifting or do a performance where there may be no set structure so I’ll adapt and shift depending on how the crowds reacting. My exhibition ADO (Attention Deficit Order) is a concept that I think is the underpinning of, not just me, but a lot of other creatives. When you’ve
had this impulse to change, it means you’re listening to yourself. If you have an impulse to want to move on or change something, sometimes listening to that is what keeps you really excited. Whenever I do paintings I do three at a time, if I work on a song I’ll work on three and I’ll flip between them as I progress. That’s always the way I’ve done things. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about pursuing a creative career? Listen to yourself. Be willing to fail. The best ideas are the ones you’re afraid of. Reeps One is definitely someone you want to watch for 2017. As an advocate for multi-disciplinary creativity who knows where this path may take him. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date. INTERVIEW BY TUALA KIERNAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT CHALMERS
Read the full interview on our website at altmu.co.uk
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COSTUME AND JEWELLERY DESIGNER sophiecochevelou.tictail.com
Sophie Cochevelou is a french fashion
surrounds her with colourful people.
Her flamboyant style has seen her turn
Brittany Cochevelou says she loved
designer living and working in London. quite a few heads in the fashion world and her sustainable-savviness is often the starting point of her designs.
You would find Cochevelou rummaging through boxes colourful bric-a-brac in
flea markets, car boot sales and charity shops. She tells us “I am like a sponge
absorbing all the creative vibe, so I can be inspired by anything consciously or unconsciously.” and luckily her job
From a young age growing up in
dressing up and making costumes for
fancy dress. Passion developed into skills and she eventually worked her way up to an MA at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts) in Performance design and practise. Her ethos to becoming
successful designer is “work, work, work, work” and not to be afraid of failing.
From catwalk costumes to headpieces
and jewellery, Sophie Cochevelou has something for everyone.
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Photography: Anthony Lycett Models: Toni Titties (above) Olivia Loeke Keelor (p.28-29) Liza Keane (right) & Sophie Cochevelou
[ 32 ] INTERVIEW WITH
LEXY LAVEY MODEL / MUSICIAN / MUSIC MANAGER / MAKE-UP ARTIST
“I THREW EVERYTHING I LOVE DOING IN ONE BIG POT, STIRRED AND WHAT I DO NOW IS THE RESULT …AND IT TASTES DELICIOUS!”
MUSIC MANAGER, MODEL, MAKE-UP ARTIST AND MUSICIAN, LEXY LAVEY SHARES HER WISDOM WITH ALT-MU ABOUT WORK, STUDYING AND CARVING OUT HER PATH IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY WISE WORDS FROM AN UPAND-COMING ALT-MU WITH AMBITION AND DRIVE...
HI LEXY, THANKS FOR CHATTING WITH US! SO, TELL US IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHAT MAKES YOU AN ALT-MU?
Well, I guess my heart’s just in so many places... I know my strengths and weaknesses and try to use them the best I can and I kinda just happen to be an ALT-MU that way. I’m a decent singer, and have been very passionate about music and singing since I can remember. In fact, that’s the only thing I ever really cared about and still do until this day. But I also just LOVE planning and organising stuff and being creative... I’m pretty good at it, too!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT? My main occupation right now is my job at BasementLoft Studios in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. One of the artists I’m managing at the moment, Lu-key, just shot another music video and we’re
in the middle of organizing the release, so it’s a very busy and exciting time at the studio! I also just started working with Coco Hecht, a German speaking singer. We have a lot to do right now to get her career started, including photo and video shoots and booking gigs. It’s a lot of fun! Besides that, I have to turn in an important assessment for school next week and everything is overlapping right now... When it rains, it pours, right?
YOU’RE CURRENTLY MANAGING GERMAN SINGERSONGWRITERS LU-KEY AND COCO HECHT, TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO FOR THEM?
Besides all the organisational stuff I do, I’m trying my best to support and guide them through this whirlwind of a music business. They’re both very hard workers and have a deep passion for what they do. I try to
[ 33 ] Photo: averageshots.com encourage their own creativity, dreams and thoughts and help them achieving their goals. My job is it, to remove all the obstacles that are in their way to success and always do things in their best interest when dealing with third parties.
CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH A DAY IN THE WORKING/ STUDYING LIFE OF JULIA...
Well...after I get up, walk my dog, have breakfast and get ready (not necessarily in that order), I’m on my way to the recording studio, usually around noon – perks of working in the music business! After arriving at the studio, I give everyone a big hug, turn on my laptop, make some tea and catch up with everybody. I do all the office related things and I even get to look my boss over the shoulder while he’s producing music in the studio. I really enjoy watching him and even learn a thing or two about mixing and mastering. Lu-key comes over in the afternoon for a meeting or for rehearsals with their backup musicians. Most of the time we have recording sessions at night that usually goes on until the early hours. I don’t always have to be there but it’s nice to hang out with the guys and if you love what you do, you don’t mind staying until 1 AM.
WHAT DOES BEING A MUSIC/ ARTIST MANAGER ENTAIL?
There are the more ‘dry’ things to do, like working through my e-mails, checking the artist’s social media, updating their schedule, booking their gigs, etc. But there are so many cool things I get to do as well, such as checking new song demos and video material, setting up interviews, searching the internet for cool clothing for them to wear at a gig or a shoot, doing their makeup for photo and video
Photographer: To Kuehne. Band: Blow Out shoots, listening in on recording sessions, doing a tiny bit of digital artwork, planning and organising the release parties or other events. I bet I forgot something... A lot of these things aren’t necessarily the usual tasks of a music manager but since we’re a small team with low budget, we do what we can to help out wherever possible.
TO DATE, WHAT’S THE BEST EXPERIENCE YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR? WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
Phew, that’s a tough one! I think the most outstanding ‘I can’t believe this is happening’ experience would have been when I was the tour manager assistant for the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque tour when they had a show in Frankfurt last year. In fact, my actual career goal is to become a tour manager which made that experience even more terrific. The proudest moment was definitely when Sunnie (the SG tour manager) handed me my first ever Access All Areas pass. I’ve dreamt of this moment for good six years, and I was always wondering, what gig it would be... getting my first AAA pass at a SuicideGirls show
was pretty damn cool and I will never ever forget that moment.
WHAT WAS IT THAT INITIALLY INSPIRED YOU TO TAKE ON MUSIC MANAGEMENT? Since I was a child I wanted to be an artist in the music business, actually. Unfortunately, I’ve always had bad anxiety on stage and I’m really insecure about my singing skills. It was just a constant struggle, so I decided not to be a professional singer but I still really wanted to work in the music industry. So long story short, I went to a Bullet For My Valentine concert years ago and after the support band was done, all those cool, tattooed people came on stage to change the instruments between sets and I was like: “Man, I wanna do something like that!” So I did some research and figured that tour management is exactly what I wanna do. I thought having the Bachelor of Arts for Music Management would be perfect for me. Through contacts I got my current job and everything soon fell into place. WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, ARE THE MERITS OF STUDYING MUSIC MANAGEMENT AT UNIVERSITY?
YOU DO, T A H W E V O L D N A VE “DO WHAT YOU LO NET, A L P R U O T C E P S E SE, R TRUST THE UNIVER HT NOW IG R E V A H E W E N O LY SINCE IT’S THE ON SUCK, Y L L A E R D L U O W T O S** AND TURNING IT T AND BE Y A D A E C N O T S A E L HUG AN ANIMAL AT F!” KIND TO YOURSEL It was always very important to me not to have a 9 to 5 job but to still have a degree to ensure I’m not standing there with nothing if something went wrong, you know? Studying music management seemed just perfect for that! Through uni I got the cool job, background knowledge and the degree, which is based on marketing and event management. I’m currently studying with the University of West London but my course takes place here in Germany.
WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME DURING YOUR CAREER/ STUDIES AND HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH ANY NEGATIVITY? I’m still trying to work that out, actually. I feel like miscommunication is a big factor for negativity. What always helps is not to make any assumptions. If there seems to be a problem, talk about it. Don’t assume that your client/co-worker/boss meant something a certain way. Most likely, you’re totally wrong and stressed out over nothing. YOU’RE ALSO A MODEL...WHAT’S YOUR MOST RECENT PROJECT? I just had a shoot with a crossover band from Frankfurt for their website. They were so sweet and we had so much fun shooting together! There are also plans for a music video with a band I’ve worked with before, called Blow Out. They’re the coolest guys and I would be so excited to be working with them again.
YOU HAVE RECENTLY BEEN INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION OF A MUSIC VIDEO, CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF SHOOTING A MUSIC VIDEO?
Sure! One of our producers at the studio, Chris Gold, recently shot a music video for one of his songs and asked me to be in it as an actress. He also asked me to be the stylist and makeup artist on set. That was pretty cool! I also worked behind the scenes, when Lu-key shot his music video for his song ‘Ein Licht’.
FINALLY, IN KEEPING WITH THE THEME OF THE ISSUE, HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART IS IN MUSIC? Oh, I think it’s extremely important! It also depends on the genre but especially in the mainstream scene, the visual aspect nowadays is almost more important than the music itself (unfortunately). And to be quite honest, it’s what keeps a lot of artists these days afloat, in my opinion. The attention span of the consumers is shrinking and the first impression counts. That means, that everything has to be on point, doesn’t matter if it’s about the record cover, videos, pictures or the overall artwork. That means, even if you’re a great musician, you have to pay a lot of attention to visual art. There are only a handful of artists, who can afford not to do that. The need for visual art in music is also a great opportunity for the artist, to be creative in every way. Lana Del Rey is a great example. Everything she does is art. Every music video she puts out, every promo pic, every song teaser, you name it, is wrapped up in art and has a huge visual effect. Find out more about Lexy LaVey: Facebook.com/lexylavey Instagram.com/lexylavey Facebook.com/florianbrueckelofficial Interview by Bex Cole
10 Steps to Creating Your
o youve recorded your first EP/Album and it sounds amazing. Where do you go next? How you market yourself and the quality of what you release says a whole lot about your music. Like it or not your bands music video could be the difference between making it or flaking it. Samuel Carter-Brazier is a singer songwriter for UK musical duo Percival Elliott. Who in addition to his day job of running The Suite a multimedia studio, creates music videos for up and coming artists. Here is Samuels breakdown on ten steps to creating your own music video:
DECIDE WHAT IT IS YOU WANT FIRST There are four schools of thought when creating a music video. Option A: straight up performance video ●Option B: a lyric video. Option C: a Story based music
video. Option D: a Live Audio Visual Video.
How will the location help the narrative? How easy is it to access? How will you get there? Are you and your equipment insured to shoot on this site? Once you decide where you want to shoot your video, always check with the owners and make sure you can shoot on their property. Its also important to carry out a risk
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU START
assessment and insure equipment. The good news
Make sure you understand what is already out there.
is that public liability cover is included if you have a
Find the answers to questions, like:
musicians union membership. TOP TIP: Dont always
rely on the weather. I have created a few music videos
• What are other bands releasing? • What works well for them? What doesnt work? • How have they achieved their ideas? • What equipment have they used? • Where did they shoot their video?
that required a sunset.On one occasion, we were lucky
As you go through this process the ideas for your video will start flooding in and you will also be able to come up with something that is different, but also draws on the successful factors of existing videos from artists
and the sunset was stunning. The other times the team had to return a few times to reshoot, this can put a real downer on a project.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET Do you have a budget? How big is the budget? Are people being paid for the shoot? If not, what will they get in return? Are you funding yourselves? Will you raise the money through kickstarters? Remember, even if the cast and crew are volunteering they will
WHAT'S THE PLAN STAN? This is where you start to piece your ideas together into a storyboard. Although a straight up performance video may seem simple its important that you work out which camera angles you intend to use to help tell your narrative. A good plan will help you save time on
need feeding. Food and beer as gifts after the shoot
are a common courtesy and will help you forge and retain a good working relationship.
BEG, BORROW AND STEAL The music scene for me is based on favours. Its
the day of shooting and help pitch the idea to potential
doubtful that you are going to have the budget to buy
cast, crew and financial backers.
a new studio camera for your shoot. Contact local schools, colleges and universities to see if you can rent equipment. Chances are you have a skill set that you could offer in return for the use of their equipment.
TIME TO GEAR UP The night before the shoot is just as, if not more, important than the shoot itself. This is your opportunity to check that all memory cards are formatted to your camera, all batteries are charged and that all the leads work. Pack spares of everything. Remember you can never have enough SD cards.
Music Video Kit Checklist
KEEP ROLLING, MORE IS BETTER Pre-performance and post-performance footage can sometimes produce some gems.
• DSLR ●
Its important to keep rolling and not to cut the take short. Safety shots are also a must, that is a camera that is in one position for the whole take. Nothing is more frustrating
• SPARE DSLR ●
than reviewing your footage to find the perfect shot you had at the beginning is now a close-up of the floor because the camera man got bored and decided to be arty. To save
• 4X DSLR BATTERIES
time, stick to your storyboard and experiment after you have what you need in the can.
• BATTERY CHARGERS ● TOP TIP
Fix it in the edit is not an option! Trying to fix things in post-production will often end with more issues than you started with. Fix the issue on set. If the shot is too dark, change your lighting positions. If the actors performance isnt cutting the mustard then
• 5X 32GB SD EXTREME CARDS
direct them, tell them what you are looking for. Also remember to back up your footage. There is nothing worse than a corrupt SD card. Back up on location, then back up on another drive at home
THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR Think of the editing process as a scrapbook or patchwork quilt. The first thing to do is
• 2X STUDIO LIGHTING PANELS • 2X SMALL LIGHTING PANELS • 4X LIGHTING STANDS ●
sort and name the clips then line up the pallet of takes in time with the audio. You can then scrub the clips and find the best performances of each take, popping it into your
• 2X EXTENSION CABLE
editing timeline. Hopefully after repeating this a few times you will have a complete rough draft. Its now important to step away from your edit, then view the video as a
• PORTABLE SPEAKER ●
member of the public. Again, look at other bands videos and see how they have edited their work. What post production filters and colouring have they used? TOP TIP: Adobe
• 2X AUX LEADS ●
premiere pro now has cool lumetri Presets for quick looks.
• PORTABLE HARD DRIVE
EXPORT AND UPLOAD
• GAFFA TAPE ●
Always export your videos at the highest quality possible, it may take a few hours but it will be worth it in the end. Never send a draft edit to labels or clients as people have a
• PHONE CHARGER ●
tendency of jumping the gun and using the draft. Instead send a private youtube link.
Sending the video to labels and promoters before release will help reassure them
• SPARE CHANGE FOR CAR PARK ●
that they have a new and interesting product the public hasnt seen yet. But dont forget to add a release date embargo in any emails and highlight that the link is not for the
• WATER ●
public yet. Enjoy the process.
• CHOCOLATE There you have it. Follow these ten steps and you should be one step closer to creating your music video. Most importantly though, dont forget to have fun and be creative. Music videos can be as out there and as whacky as you make them. If you have any questions for Samuel, you can email him directly at email@example.com.
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“I GREET ANY NEGATIVITY WITH A MIDDLE FINGER AND A SMILE... AND A LOT OF HEAVY METAL.”
MODEL / GUITARIST
Meet James. A musician and model who has never been a fan of the idea of a 9 to 5 life and believes firmly in doing what you love, which is why he spends his time making music, listening to music, playing video games and modelling. As he puts it “why would anyone do anything else?” WHEN AND HOW DID YOU DECIDE THAT MODELLING WAS THE CAREER FOR YOU? I didn’t, and I don’t think I ever did. I went to an open call one day and got offered a contract the next day. I love the work and just make a decision every day to continue with it. Who knows, tomorrow I may wake up and decide I want to do something different. Hasn’t happened yet though. AS A FREELANCE AND AN AGENCY MODEL, CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH A WORKING DAY FOR YOU? There are two types of days, on the job and off. The former is pretty self explanatory, on the off days they always start the same, with breakfast while doing emails in bed, making my daily social media posts and then the gym. Then I search online casting boards for new jobs being posted and at the end of the day I call my agencies to check in, and see what my
casting schedule is for the next day. TO DATE, WHAT’S THE BEST EXPERIENCE YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR? WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? Working with Georgia Jagger at London Fashion Week 2015, we were well looked after and I made some friends over the course of those four to five days that I’m still good friends with today. WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME DURING YOUR CAREER AND HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH ANY NEGATIVITY? Mainly financial insecurity, but that’s to be expected in any creative business at times. Is it too cheesy to say that I greet any negativity with a middle finger and a smile? And a lot of heavy metal. IN 2013 YOU SIGNED TO UGLY MODELS AGENCY WHAT EXACTLY IS AN UGLY MODEL? Someone with unique individuality, first with looks and then with character and skills. Someone who’s a real performer, not a mannequin.
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Iâ€™M ALWAYS PISSING PEOPLE OFF ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT WITH MY DRUMMING AND SINGING IN THE STREET OR AT TRAIN STATIONS WITH MY SINGING. PHOTOGRAPHY BY BENJAMIN NWANEAMPEH @BNWANEAMPEH
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CAN YOU GIVE US A FEW POINTERS OR PIECES OF ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN STARTING A CAREER IN MODELLING? Go to models.com, go through the agency directory and apply to all of them. Go into agency offices on days they accept walk in’s, always call, use email as a last resort and NEVER PAY ANYONE FOR ANYTHING. BASED ON YOUR OWN CAREER TO DATE, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM AGENCY TO FREELANCE IN ANY CREATIVE CAREER? As an agency model and you decide to move to freelance, make sure to network whenever the opportunity is there. You’ll need all the contacts you can get for work. AS AN EX- DRUMMER AND VOCALIST FOR THE BETH STEEL, CAN TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT THE MUSICAL SIDE OF YOURSELF? I play for fun these days or if I’m cast in a commercial role as a musician or singer, I practice all the time and I’m always pissing people off on public transport with my drumming and singing in the street or at train stations with my singing. The elderly are so complimentary!!
WOULD YOU SAY THAT MUSIC PLAYS A PART IN THE CAREER YOU HAVE TODAY? Yeah constantly! I got offered a role in a commercial today as a drummer. FINALLY, IN KEEPING WITH THE THEME OF THE ISSUE, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART IN MUSIC? There’s always the argument that you don’t need something visual to appreciate music but I disagree. Visual performance of watching musicians is massive for me, i watch a lot of musicians on YouTube. If you’re composing or even practicing, inspiration can come in the form of paintings, games, film, tv, and other mediums. Visual art inspires and creates stories born from the stories that it already tells. You can check James out on Facebook ‘James Naden’. INTERVIEW BY BEX COLE
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MUSIC DOCTOR’S SURGERY BY PHILIP MILBURN
WELCOME TO A BRAND NEW COLUMN FOR ALT-MU, WHERE MULTIINSTRUMENTALIST, COMMUNITY MUSICIAN AND MUSIC TUTOR PHILIP MILBURN WILL BE SHARING HIS KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE GAINED FROM DECADES OF TEACHING AND INSPIRING STUDENTS. IN EVERY ISSUE OUR RESIDENT MUSIC DOCTOR WILL ANSWER READERS QUESTIONS ABOUT SONGWRITING, MUSICIANSHIP AND THE PROCESS OF LEARNING MUSIC, INCLUDING DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE AND TECHNIQUE.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A BACKING SINGER, NOT BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO LEAD, BUT BECAUSE I LACK CONFIDENCE. WHAT STEPS COULD I TAKE TO INCREASE MY CONFIDENCE ON STAGE? Michelle, Singer from Truro, Cornwall UK Keep studying, practicing and gaining experience - you can never stop learning about your voice. The better you get and the more control you have, the more your confidence will grow. Look out for new opportunities that will enable you to sing lead. Make friends with the lead singer, and maybe they will let you sing more solo bits. Or suggest duets that need 2 lead singers.
TOP TIP: Tell yourself you’re doing well, even if you think you’re not. Anyone who gets up to sing on stage deserves to be congratulated – it is a scary thing to do! This way you can support yourself as you build your experience and achievements. You set the parameters and you do the congratulating. Step into your power! HOMEPLAY: Go to open mics or karaoke nights to get practice singing solo or lead. Taking small risks and succeeding will build gradually your confidence. Above all, believe in yourself and sing for your own satisfaction and pleasure, not to please others or to get a good response from an audience.
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HOMEPLAY: Immerse yourself in your local music scene - go to gigs, open mics and music industry events. Learn from musicians who are better than you by listening and watching how they do it. Be inspired by them.
HOW GOOD TO HAVE TO BE AS A MUSICIAN TO ACTUALLY START A BAND? IT IS SOMETHING I HAVE WANTED TO DO FOR A WHILE, BUT I WORRY I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH. Guitarist, Mark in London, UK Obviously, excellent bands require excellent musicians; that takes years of study and dedicated practice. Music is a journey of a lifetime and you’ll need tons of patience to be in a good band or to be paid as a musician, but there is nothing stopping you playing in a band with your mates to get that practice. You could start your own band with people who are at your level, so you can learn together. Just do what you love with people who you get on with and share a similar vision. Worrying is a huge waste of energy. Just keep playing, practicing and having fun. TOP TIP: If you are struggling to find likeminded musicians perhaps consider studying music at your local music college. Where you can hone your skills and meet others like you. Alternatively you could get a private tutor and devour tuition videos on YouTube.
original ideas. If you feel stuck in a rut, take steps to break free. Find your unique philosophy, attitude, playing style, sound and your unique perspective on music and life. Invent a new genre. Travel and meet musicians from around the world. Be inspired by jazzy rhythms, Irish pipes, Eastern European choirs or Malaysian pop music. If you want to be original, then don’t do what everyone else is doing, but blend it all together your way !
I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO WRITE MY OWN SONGS, BUT ALWAYS FEEL LIKE WHAT I COME UP WITH IS UNORIGINAL. WHAT TECHNIQUES COULD I USE TO FIND MY OWN SONGWRITING STYLE?
TOP TIP: Be spontaneous and don’t overthink or analyse what you are doing. Just let the music come out of you. Not from your mind but from your heart, soul, emotions and energy. Allow the song seeds of your music to emerge naturally and intuitively.
Singer / Keys, Sarah, Perpignan, France
HOMEPLAY: Try writing songs from new starting points. Start with a melody, some lyrics or a rhythm tapped out on your knees. Try calling, singing or chanting a riff or a bass line. Or start with the mood of a particular chord e.g. a min6, a major 7, a sus4 chord – chords have particular colours or moods that could inspire the start of a new song. Nurture your song seeds and they will grow into original songs.
Do you write your songs in the same way every time? For example, if you start with a standard chord progression such as C Am F G or E A B7, then you are likely to sound like a thousand other songs already written. Do everything you can to develop your musicianship, creativity, composition and production skills so that you have more musical tools at your disposal. Work to improve your knowledge of chords, harmony and theory. Develop technical skills on your instrument, your sense of rhythm, timing and your overall musicianship. Study rhythm independently. For example exploring Latin or African rhythms and drumming. The better your rhythm is, the better your music will sound. Then experiment, explore, break the rules, learn a new instrument, play your guitar back to front or standing on your head. Whatever it takes to generate new and
GOT A QUESTION FOR OUR MUSIC DOCTOR? TWEET THEM @ALTMUMAGAZINE #MUSICDOCTOR OR SEND THEM IN TO INFO@ ALTMUMAGAZINE.CO.UK WITH THE SUBJECT ‘MUSIC DOCTOR QUESTION’. YOU CAN FIND OUR MORE ABOUT PHILIP MILBURN ON HIS WEBSITE AT WWW.LIFEMUSIC.ORG.UK.
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THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART IN MUSIC
OUR FEATURED ALT-MU JAMIE LENMAN OFFERED TO STEP UP AND BE A JOURNALIST FOR THE DAY HERE IS HIS CONTRIBUTION COVERING HIS THOUGHTS ON THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART IN MUSIC
Imagine listening to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, or your favourite piece of piano music. Now imagine you’d never seen a piano. Or any keyed instrument. Or any instrument at all. For me it started with the bliss of youthful ignorance and the bedroom desire to be just a bit like my heroes; Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Dave Gahan and so on. Like any fan, I’d spend forever watching these guys do their thing always thinking to myself, I could that….I was young. Alongside that I started writing lyrics and poems, inspired by Jim Morrison and Lou Reed, I found a real passion for it and the moment I started singing my own words I knew I’d found my place in the world. I wasn’t bothered about fame and money really, although that would be nice, I just loved doing it. Simple.
I remember when I had my first guitar lesson When I came out of the classroom, something had changed. I’d been let in on a secret. I knew how they did it. From that point forward, the music I was listening to, The Beatles, Queen, later Nirvana et al, sounded different to me. I could no longer just sit and listen to it as a whole, enjoying it for what it was and how it made me feel. Instead I was listening specifically to the guitar parts, trying to pick out what George or Brian or Kurt were playing. Trying to see if I could visualise it and perhaps do it myself, although that is a long distant shore that I still haven’t reached. Of course, even before I started to learn to play instruments (I’ve failed at several) I knew what they looked like. I knew broadly how the sound was produced and I had seen musicians playing them. So I already had a visual reference for what I was hearing, I knew it was people with wood and metal and strings.
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But what if most people never got to see instruments or musicians? Someone told me once (and I’ve just checked it on Wikipedia) that ancient greek mathematician Pythagoras used to deliver his lectures from behind a screen, so his students would concentrate on his words rather than his face or clothes. They never saw the man, they just heard the maths.
What would it be like if, in some imagined society, we did the same thing with music? Most people would never see musicians. If you choose to learn an instrument you are solemnly inducted into the mysteries of the saxophone or the French horn, which when you consider how complex they are in design, really is miraculous. Then you become slightly apart from society. You must never tell anyone what you know, and you will never experience these sounds in the same way again. In exchange of course, you have the exquisite joy of making music. As for the rest - they have an entirely different understanding of man-made sound. They go to a concert and the artists perform
behind a screen like Pythagoras, or they buy an album but the record has no photographs on it, just a black disc and the listener’s imagination. How would they rationalise what comes out of those speakers? What bizarre shapes and vivid colours would they see in their minds when they hear a weeping violin or crashing drums, or a full orchestra? We’ll never know. It’s impossible to say. I’m sure understanding instruments hasn’t ruined music for most folks, and it certainly hasn’t for me, but I think you’d be hard pushed to find a drummer who isn’t listening harder to the
whoever’s on the kit than the rest of the band, and so on. What’s true is that this knowledge brings with it its own layer of feelings and understanding and indeed that everyone, skilled or otherwise, experiences and enjoys music in a different way. I’d never claim that I was the most gifted singer or guitarist. For me it’s always been about being able to get my songs across instead of climbing to the peak of whatever discipline, so I know just enough to get by. But sometimes, just sometimes, I half-wish I knew nothing at all
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MAKE ART YOUR IMAGE. FEATURE BY EDWARD COUZENS-LAKE
Ed Askew is an artist of some renown. .
If you don’t know who he is, has, nonetheless, declared him a then check him out. The man “New York legend”. ticks a lot of artistic boxes. Essentially, Askew is a painter, He’s Dylan without the hype. A one who honed his style whilst man who is betrothed to his he attended Yale Art School twin passions of music and art, where he resided for nearly a declaring that, “Music and Art are quarter of a century. Yet his two very different activities for canvas is broad and sweeping. me. However, the use of imagery He’s also a renowned singerlinks them and invention is songwriter who released his important for both”. first album in 1968. And a man in demand to this day, one who IMAGERY IN MUSIC. HE’S has recently collaborated with NOT WRONG. US folk and indie rock singer Sharon Van Etten. Pitchfork It’s not rocket science to look magazine, considered by many down at much of today’s music to be the digital barometer of the and declare that it’s all about the independent music scene and image, the look, the preening a publication that is, by its very and the posing. We already know. nature, not subject to hyperbole, So yes, Miley Cyrus and her peers
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are products. Products that are churned out, year after year by ruthless men and women who make more money out of that product than it ever will. Products that are discarded once the gimmick has ran out. For Cyrus, her zenith was when she took that ride on the wrecking ball. She’s not far from the bargain bin stage of her career now. A limited shelf life that has been bled dry, a candy floss image that was never going to last.
about the him. It showed in his music as well. He was the Johnny Rotten of his day, writing and performing pieces that broke all the rules of the time. His opera, Don Giovanni depicted a nobleman as a cruel person whose ultimate destination was hell. This was at a time when insulting nobility could have resulted in imprisonment or even death as a consequence. Audiences hated it, hated the implication and hated the music. So much so that they kept on coming back for more.
FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME RECKONED ANDY WARHOL. HE KNEW WHAT WAS COMING. AND HE WASN’T WRONG EITHER.
PEOPLE LOVED TO HATE HIM AND HIS MUSIC. WHILST HIS IMAGE AS A PREENING, POUTING AND CAROUSING PLAYBOY WAS DEPLORED.
Image has always been important in music. The secret is creating one that is about the music rather than the performer.
Yet he ended up becoming one of the most popular composers of all time. Because he mixed his music with an image of himself, one you could see and taste as much as hear.
Mozart cultivated a reputation as a bad boy. But it wasn’t all
And, as far as music is concerned, there really is nothing new under the sun.
TAKE PETER GABRIEL. Best known today for being the face and inspiration behind WOMAD, Gabriel was the lead singer and front man of British rock band Genesis from 1967 to 1975. His departure from the group didn’t hasten the end of Genesis as they laboured on for another three decades without him. Yet, for those who regard music and art as one and the same, Genesis was Gabriel and Gabriel was Genesis. The bands live shows were visual and spectacular extravaganzas that featured Gabriel appearing in a multitude of costumes and masks throughout. He rarely appeared as himself but would take to the microphone wearing a foxes head mask and a red dress. Or as a character he called Slipperman.
KATE BUSH Music is not all about image. Itâ€™s about knowing how to make the image promote what you are rather than who you are.
Photo by Anton Corbijn
“...your skin’s all covered in shiny lumps, with lips that slide across each chin, his twisted limbs like rubber stumps...” Gabriel was Slipperman. Tormented and tortured, he brought the character to life and lived it on the stage. He and Genesis were theatre, a visual orgy that had such an impact that, over forty years since he left the band, the clamours for the band to fully reform and for Gabriel’s extraordinary characters to walk the stage again, to be seen as well as heard. His music was theatre, his image that of the complete performer, one who was never who he really was. Image that impacted. Sitting at the other end of the image scale to the colourful and inventive Gabriel are German band Kraftwerk.
IF GABRIEL AND GENESIS SPAWNED FULL ON TECHNICOLOUR PERFORMANCE THAT ASSAULTED ALL OF THE SENSES, THEN KRAFTWERK TOOK THE OPPOSITE PATH. For them, the concept of image, at least in terms of who they are and what they look at, is so unimportant, that they have done everything possible to cultivate one where they are as anonymous and androgynous as the simple robotic dummies that can be seen at their live shows, taking their roles and representing them for large parts of the performance. Kraftwerk regard themselves as mere components of the larger machine that is their music and the industry that they perform in. Theirs are not well known
faces, nor are their names. The band has been in existence since 1969 and, like a machine, has had as many changes in personnel over that time as any piece of technology might need new parts, sixteen in all. Yet, despite their longevity, enduring popularity and the esteem with which they are held by many fellow musicians, including the likes of Ian Curtis, Siouxsie Sioux, Blondie, Bono and Franz Ferdinand, most music fans would struggle to name anyone who has been a member of the band. Clad in bland and near identical suits, Kraftwerk could be anyone. Anaemic, dull, magnolia. That image of not having one and, more importantly, being seen to not to want to have one. It works. For Kraftwerk less is, and always has been, more.
THEN THERE IS KATE BUSH. Singer, dancer, actress, poet and writer. A living work of art known for her almost supernatural voice, pre-Raphaelite looks and a haunting, almost ethereal physicality which makes it appear as if she is inhabiting a place that exists somewhere between this life and another one,a liquid space that sees her pass from one element to another.
AND JUST AS WE THINK WE ‘GET’ KATE BUSH WE REALISE THAT, IN REALITY, WE HAVEN’T AT ALL. BECAUSE HOW CAN YOU CATCH AN ENIGMA? Bush is an enigma. She rarely performs live, her first solo outing at Hammersmith Odeon in 1979 was not followed up until 2014, the latter event capturing the imagination and hearts of music, theatre, art and dance critics worldwide, many of who,
you suspect, would not have believed she’d actually be there until she took to the stage at the concerts opening. So much is known about Kate Bush. Her lyrics have been explored and re-explored a thousand times and more, every album, every word, move and gesture. Recorded, written about, analysed and discussed. Yet, for all that very public dissection, very little of known about Kate Bush, the internationally acclaimed superstar who remains, tantalisingly and frustratingly, out of reach, so much so that all we ever want from her is just a little bit more. Which is all people have wanted from her for nearly forty years. Just a little bit more Kate. A little bit more.
AN IMAGE THAT LEAVES YOU WANTING JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE. ALL OF THE TIME. Perfection. And proof, if it were needed, that music is not all about image. It’s about knowing how to make the image promote what you are rather than who you are. Because who you are doesn’t matter. And Miley Cyrus, wrecking ball and all? She doesn’t matter. But music, theatre and the imagination do. Wrap yourself in your art. And not your ego.
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HOW TO SORT YOUR VISUAL SHIT! By Radar Creatives
[ 55 ] AS AN ARTIST OR BAND WORKING IN THE 21ST CENTURY, IT IS EVITABLE THAT YOU WILL NEED A LOT OF CONTENT TO KEEP YOUR MARKETING CAMPAIGN ALIVE. LIZZIE COOLEY, PR FOR THE WORLD’S BIGGEST CREATIVE DIRECTORY FOR MUSIC VISUALS, RADAR CREATIVES, TAKES US THROUGH EVERYTHING YOU NEED VISUALLY FOR A MODERN DAY MUSIC MARKETING CAMPAIGN…
1 . photos There are many different types of photos you will need to supplement your campaign, from promo shots to live shots, to behind the scenes and interesting 360 photos, all play a different but vital part in your music marketing campaign.
2.: Promo Shots Your PR will need always need striking high res photos of you when carrying out a campaign. Think of eye-catching ideas for your concept. Music blogs receive hundreds to thousands of emails a day and having photos that stand out is often cited as the reason for why they choose to feature an act. Avoid shooting in black and white. I know it can look great, but print press ALWAYS ask for colour! Fair enough, ask your photographer for some black and white versions for your socials - but never lose your full colour options because you’ll be throwing your money down the drain and your PR will not be impressed.
3.: Live Photography Two reasons why live photography is a must in your visual arsenal: 1. Get your fans engaged! The morning after the gig they scroll through their Facebook feed and it’s the picture of your epic gig the night before that they will want to share. The more striking the photo the more likely that share will stand out in their friends feeds who in turn, will be more likely to check you out as a result. 2. PR. The decline in paid sales for our much loved music mags and the constant use of ad blockers means these iconic publications are often cut to the bone with their staffing. If you can send live photography and only need a reviewer to attend your gig, you rapidly increase your chance of gaining that all important live review.
4. interesting social material With fans being able to connect to your music 24/7 via social media, you’ll need more than a couple of promo shots of you looking edgy in a field to keep them interested. Fans engage better with visual content opposed to text only posts, so when you’re coming up to a single or an album launch, make sure to get a lot of imagery in the bag when doing your photo shoots. Two concepts which have garnered a lot of attention recently are 360 photos and cinemagraphs (where one part of the photo moves). Getting these pieces of content, particularly of you back stage or in the studio, will really help to keep your fans engaged online. Facebook’s algorhythm in particular loves 360 content, including photos - post one of those and your organic reach will rocket.
5. videos As YouTube is the top platform for streaming music, music videos, acoustic videos and covers are a must when creating the visual assets for your marketing campaign.
6 . music video A good music video is vital. If you can create something different and visually exciting, you can use this one asset in many different ways. From a premiere on a leading blog to embedding it on Facebook, you can even enter it into competitions like our own Radar Awards to get it noticed by leading industry experts. This is your central piece of content within your campaign - so probably where you should be spending your money. Get more use out of this asset by recutting footage into a short teaser video and putting out the teaser prior to release. Collaborate with the filmmaker to capture behind-the-scenes footage and stills during the shoot of this official video, either use it as teaser material prior to release, or put it out after the official music video to keep fans interested and engaged.
7. lyric video Artists and bands with a lyric video have much more opportunity to get features, as another good visual asset can significantly increase the run time of their campaigns. Blogs are often keen to premiere lyric videos, giving you two opportunities to score fantastic features for just one single. The more interesting this content is the better: get an animator involved and use your lyrics to create additional visual cues within the video.
Photo by Rob Blackham
NB: Target small blogs whilst you’re not well-known. Journalists writing for bigger blogs use small, well-curated blogs to discover new music - and which artists they might want to write about themselves.
8 . live sessions Film gigs, acoustic and full band live sessions. This content isn’t usually so useful for press if you’re not a well-known act yet, but it’s great for social media and fan engagement - especially for fans who go to your gigs.
9. cover versions Clearly, this is creative choice for you as an artist - but it’s a tried and tested way to build your fanbase. This content doesn’t need to be over engineered and a simple clean set up will more than suffice. Whether you choose to gain further blog placement or increase your likelihood of being found on YouTube with this content, either way you’ll be pushing your music to more potential fans.
10 . album / single art With vinyl now back in fashion, great album/single art is an integral part of your campaign. Not to mention, this is yet more content to drive your PR and social campaigns - so make sure to ensure great looking design.
11 . gifs A must for your social media, the humble gif. From promoting your album release to a live show, gifs are a fun way to engage with your fan-base.
OTHER VISUAL SHIT TO CONSIDER…
Whilst you might not need a VJ to make your show a success, you should consider the look of your live performance. Looking different is a great way to stand out from the crowd on a busy line up of unsigned hopefuls.
When creating album art or promo shots remember to make assets that are the correct size for your social banners, trust me it will save a lot of stress the night before your campaign launch!
With sites like Music Glue, merch can be a healthy revenue stream for artists in all stages of their careers. If you can create some cool looking t-shirts, badges or anything to be honest, you’ll have happy fans, walking billboards and cash in your pocket.
That’s all the visual shit you need to consider for your music marketing campaign, in a nutshell. Radar Creatives can help you find amazing creatives to help you create amazing content. Browse portfolios, create ‘like’ lists, post briefs and connect with creatives worldwide. It’s a free service, you set your commissioning budget and there’s no obligation to commission. Go and have look now! www.radarmusicvideos.com
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THE REAL WEDDING SINGER THE USE OF VISUAL REPRESENTATION IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN IT EVER WAS.
Photographer: Nikki Lewis
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COMPANIES HAVE BEEN USING LOGO’S FOR YEARS TO HELP PEOPLE ASSOCIATE A BRAND OR PRODUCT WITH A SIMPLE PICTURE THAT WILL
BE EASY TO REMEMBER AND JOG YOUR MEMORY.
Take a look at the screenshot
related to the lyrics of the song
above. It shows a typical
‘In My Dreams’.
search result on Spotify. There are two ‘Steve Young’ entries. Immediately you notice one is purple and one is brown. Can you see the picture? Two blokes with a guitar but the colours are
When I was in High School I was
obsessed with the album artwork
On iTunes you see a red square
of Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden.
So now my business cards need
with a white heart…
Striking, in depth images that
to use the same colour, and
would reveal something new
my Facebook profile needs to
Visual is everything, it always
every time you looked at it.
be the same. Its a type of NRP
has been, but now artists have to
programming. Purple = Steve
think like the giant corporations
Great! When your album is 30cm Young. Look at Ed Sheeran’s last
who spend millions designing
x 30cm but what about now?
3 album covers. From a distance
logos just to help people
A small square on iTunes? An
they are easily recognisable. For
remember. My logo is a face with
even smaller square on Spotify.
my last release I wanted to try
a hat. Drawn in 10 secs and free
Todays album artwork has got
and combine the two. Something but hey... it works!
to the stage where, like Esso,
logo-ish from a distance but
Microsoft, Apple, Kellogs, we
yet, for those who take the time,
need something that is instantly
detailed pictures that are directly
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Music loving modern impressionist artist
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Do a quick google for ‘music paintings’ and Leonid’s creations will flood the image results. He is an extraordinary artist who has developed his own way with a palette knife. Renowned across the world for his impressionist style and nostalgic imagery, his influences span across Marc Chagall, Claude Monet and PierreAuguste Renoir, a combination that collides in the explosive colour and texture of his paintings. As well as shimmering city scapes and autumnal tableaux, much of Afremov’s work evokes the feeling of the improvised chaos of Jazz or the melancholy sounds of a lone trumpet player and draws heavily on the visual aspect of music and sound. Using only oil paints and a palette knife, Leonid Afremov carved himself a career which has transported him to places all over the world. We caught up with Leonid who shared his story and his wisdom...
We noticed a lot of music inspired aspects to your work, tell us a bit more about the musical perspective of your art? I have loved Jazz ever since I was a teenager and also classic Rock. I have never played an instrument myself but I’m a big admirer and music lover. I especially love the concept of the improvisation and I try to communicate that in my paintings so they feel like jazz improvisation. I also listen to music while painting; If I paint a specific artist, I listen to their music while working.
How did you start out as an artist? I have painted since early childhood. It was a childhood dream of sorts. During my years in university I started shaping out as a real artist. I didn’t become a commercial artist until I was 35 and moved to Israel. Before
Photography by Maria Mochnacz
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that I was working in government decorations jobs for the Soviet Union when painting was more of a hobby.
What obstacles have you had to overcome in your career? The main obstacle was living in USSR with no artistic freedom. Then I moved to Israel where I had another obstacle: poverty. I had to work and also sell my art very cheap out of desperation to greedy galleries and even sold them door-to-door. Working with galleries in general was actually a big challenge, because they always paid me very little and sold my art for a large profit. In 2004 I started selling pieces online via Ebay and this was the beginning of a new era for me. I was able to bring my art directly to people without having to deal with galleries. Even better, I was getting real feedback for the first time.
Can you provide some tips and advice for people looking to begin a career as a selfemployed artist? Firstly, never give up and work hard everyday. Get yourself out there and use social media as much as possible. It’s always good to get feedback from people and taking constructive criticism is very important if you want to make sales. Don’t be shy to ask for help, don’t try to do everything yourself; these days I just paint and my sons deal with the commercial side of things.
How important do you think the role of visual art is in music? Visual art is part of music, they are connected. You dance to music and you listen to music while painting. You make art for CD covers by creating the artwork to represent the music. It makes you feel the music through the art. You can check out more of Leonid’s work on his website at www.afremov. com or find him on Facebook.
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ACM Showcase Curated by ACM’s Head of Artist Development and Creative Output, Kieron Pepper, the Microscope Presents ACM showcase at 2017’s Alternative Escape captured a perfect snapshot of ACM’s talented students and alumni. Kieron works with ACM students to develop all areas of their creative output; we asked him for his top tip for gaining success in today’s music industry: “My advice for maximising chances of success are: Being aware of (but not
We check out the acts behind the Microscope Presents ACM showcase at this year's Alternative Escape . . following) trends, self-belief, tenacity and resilience. Finding like-minded individuals who can help make you sound/look even better than you ever could by yourself. Understanding rules and when it’s ok to break them - feed the appetite for learning…” Filling two stages from seven until eleven at the North Laine Brewhouse at Brighton’s Alternative Escape were the following fantastic new bands, artists and producers...
Hailed as ‘probably my favourite band in the whole wide world’ from Kerrang’s Alex Baker, Bellevue Days describe themselves as ‘sludge pop’. Having just released new single ‘Secret Love’, they are looking forward to their joint tour with Patrons this August. www.facebook.com/bellevuedays
With influences from the likes of The Clash and The Ramones, the headliners of the showcase, Blackwaters are one of the most exciting bands on the scene right now. They have a busy summer planned with touring, supporting and festivals. www.facebook.com/BlackWatersUK/
Crossing the boundaries between acoustic and electric music, China Bears released their first single ‘Hydra’ on 7th April with a launch show in iconic Guildford venue, The Boileroom. With support from BBC Introducing, alongside many other radio appearances, China Bears are certainly a band to watch out for. www.acm.ac.uk/featured-china-bears/
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FOXE is rapidly becoming recognised for their blend of loud guitar based indie pop. Regulars on the London and Guildford live music scene, they have already seen support from BBC Introducing for their single ‘Bubblegum’. www.acm.ac.uk/foxe/
Music Business student at ACM London, July Jones signed her first record deal at just 14. Featuring on 1991’s track ‘Heartstrings’ which saw Radio 1 airplay, July Jones is now garnering attention for her own music. www.acm.ac.uk/july-jones/
let's swim, get swimming
ACM graduate Katy Hurt has taken the country music scene by storm, having already eclipsed the likes of Taylor Swift in the iTunes country charts, in 2016 Katy was nominated for ‘Best Song of the Year’ at the British Country Music Awards. www.acm.ac.uk/katy-hurt/
Let’s Swim Get Swimming are a mathcore trio that pack a punch when it comes to performing. Meeting at math-rock fest Arc Tangent in the summer of 2016, they got started as soon as they returned to ACM recording their debut record, ‘Islands’. www.facebook.com/letsswimgetswimming/
George Kennedy, aka Looms, caught the attention of BBC Introducing when his sleepy, thoughtful rap racked up over 100,000 listens on SoundCloud. Looms is certainly an artist to have on your radar. www.acm.ac.uk/introducing-looms/
Delivering a stand-out DJ set at ACM’s Alternative Escape showcase, MiniSalt hails from Guildford and specialises in Heavy/Riddim Dubstep. www.acm.ac.uk/minisalt/
Pronounced ‘oo-hoo-roo’ UHURU is a Swahili word which means freedom. They are an electronic production duo that combine catchy vocal melodies, guitar and synth with great hooks to create a killer dance set. As nominees for the Unsigned Music Awards ‘Best Electronic Act’ in 2016, UHURU are really making waves on the EDM scene. www.facebook.com/uhurumusic/
Alternative R&B/Soul artist Tyrell Trey’s debut single ‘How To Feel’ dropped March 2nd 2017. Since then he’s been drumming up support for his music. The Alternative Escape was Tyrell’s first ever festival performance and if that’s anything to go by we can expect to see great things from this artist in the near future.
To find out more about the Academy of Contemporary Music go to the website and book onto an open day now: www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/
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n o i t s e u q e n o just HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ROLE OF VISUAL ART IN MUSIC? Have your say @altmumagazine #visual #JOQ
Music is therapeutic and helps us to express ourselves instead of talking to one another. Visually it can help us remember songs by what we see and how we feel happy or sad.” CHARLOTTE HOWARD “Visual art in music offers a great opportunity for the artist, to be creative in every way. Lana Del Rey is a great example. Everything she does is art. Every music video she puts out, every promo pic, every song teaser, you name it, is wrapped up in art and has a huge visual effect.” LEXY LAVEY
The visual performance of watching musicians is massive for me, i watch a lot of musicians on YouTube. If you’re composing or even practicing, inspiration can come in the form of paintings, games, film, tv, and other mediums. Visual art inspires and creates stories born from the stories that it already tells.” JAMES NADEN
“Music and visuals are the perfect pairing, aren’t they? Unless you’re driving or working or doing something else, you want something to look at when you listen, and a pretty pop star or an exciting video or a vivid album cover are just perfect. For me as an illustrator with aspirations as a director they’ve always been intertwined and fed off each other, so much so that they’re practically inseparable.” JAMIE LENMAN
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â€œSound is the most persistent of the senses, and lasts the longest in our life... technically also, we cannot just close our ears in the way we can close our eyes; and so will hear things involuntarily; yet vision and therefore the visual arts are under far more voluntary control. Therefore the visual field may not be profoundly important to the perception of music. And let alone that it is thru expressing & perceiving sound that plays such a part in our relating to others. However,the visual arts does compliment music and the two channels of the senses are synergistic. But in conclusion IMO not essential at all!â€? MATTHEW JOHN KIERNAN
Photographer: Scott Chalmers. Model: Amanda Tracey
? e r o want m
When you think back to the first album you bought or reminisced about your all time favourite single - do you just remember the music? Or do...
Published on Jul 1, 2017
When you think back to the first album you bought or reminisced about your all time favourite single - do you just remember the music? Or do...