The Voice UK winner, Jermain Jackman, is ready for his debut! Page o6
Issue 24 February 2015
L’ART Issue 24 | February 2015 | lartmagazine.co.uk Features
Jermain Jackman | 06
The self-titled album is here!
Rollasole | 16 Get your style steal of the season.
London Fashion Week | 20 Get your show schedule for AW15.
Word On The Street | 22 JP Braganza talks River Island collab.
Dates For Your Diary | 26 Don’t miss these all important dates.
INSPIRED | 28 Congratulations to US talent Spike Lee!
Goodbye Ordinary Jeans! | 32 The flared jean is taking over.
INTERVIEW: Janette Manrara | 34 The professional dancer gets candid.
Woolly Trousers Trend | 40 Will you be rocking this latest style?
INTERVIEW: Boyband | 42
02 | Contents Page Number || L’ART Article | L’ART
We get an update from Mikey Ureta.
Editor’s note Hi all and welcome to the 24th issue of L’ART. As London Fashion Week (LFW) approaches, we give you the details on what lies ahead, as well as a bit more information on designer, JP Braganza’s latest collection with River Island that you’ve been waiting on. Remember Got To Dance contestants, Boyband? The boys were mentored by Ashley Banjo on the Sky 1 talent series and we talk to member, Mikey Ureta, as he fills us in on what they have been up to as a group since appearing on the show. With dance training in many different styles, the boys are always open to learning new things in their craft, and it shows. Plus, our cover star, Jermain Jackman, speaks to us about his self-titled debut album, out March 23rd! Jermain starred on the last season of The Voice UK and has been working tirelessly on his debut album. After winning the show, life changed for Jermain, but he still remains the loveable character we saw on TV. Here’s what he has to say about coming up with an album title, being in the studio, working with will.i.am and more.
Contact @LARTMagazine Twitter LARTMagazine@gmail.com Email LART Magazine Facebook LARTMagazine YouTube lartmagazine.co.uk Web Credits Daniella Jones-Ellis Writer & Editor Letisha Jones-Ellis Writer & Editor Ishmael Jackson Graphic Designer
Also, don’t miss our interview with Strictly’s Janette Manrara, a step into the world of Rollasole, our on-trend, new season fashion segments and a lot more. Enjoy! Daniella & Letisha L’ART | Contents | 03
Photo Credits: Ted Baker
Ted Baker have revealed their new SS15 collection!
“This is the beginning.... Maybe I’m the leader in that sense.” As the new season of The Voice UK returns, 2014 winner Jermain Jackman prepares to release his debut album!
ermain Jackman became a winner on Team will.i.am last year and has been busy coping with his new found role as a winning music artist ever since, describing the life changing process as ‘crazy’. “It’s been absolutely fantastic,” Jermain said on creating his debut album. “It’s been educational, in the sense where you’re working with so many talented, respected producers and songwriters from around the world. Doing a massive project like this, I wanted to make sure it was perfect.” The process has opened up doors for Jermain to work with some greats in the music business, whose work credits include Sam Smith, Jennifer Hudson, Prince and R. Kelly. Something that the young artist appreciates, as they have taken time out to create music with him. “I’ve learned so much from them.”
“I’ve learned so much from them,” Jermain shows appreciation for his songwriting and producing family.
He has also learnt from a member of his family who too knows about the pressure surrounding you when music listeners are waiting for your first big release. Keeping the words of his cousin, Eddie Grant close by, the advice to take
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his time, pace himself and not to rush the project has been fundamental at this time and has resulted in the perfect answer to any questions concerning the length of time taken to release new music, since his 2014 win. “Let’s take our time and it will all come down to the music,” he added. “Sam Smith spent
“Everyone asks me that.”
18 months writing his album. If you want something, put the right amount of care, effort and love. With something that’s going to represent you in the charts rightly, so you need to take time with it.” With the self-titled album set for a March 23rd release, following the Jermain Jackman Sessions EP (which earned number seven status in the Club Urban Charts), Jermain remains humble to the support shown. He now looks forward to having an album in the charts alongside the likes of Beyonce, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. “That’s an achievement within itself.”
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Discussing the content on the album, Jermain reveals that most song content revolves around the subject of love, including content about his mum, his love life and how he feels about growing up in society today. With an aim to create songs that will touch people, Jermain looks back on the emotional rollercoaster taken to tap into his feelings and the time taken to do so. “I’m a 20-year-old guy, why do I need to open up?” he laughed, but soon realized it was the way to go, in order to really affect people. Write from the heart and come from an honest place. “MJ’s (Michael Jackson) ‘She’s Out Of My Life’, the crack in his voice at the end [of the track], those little things that are so heart wrenching,” these are the things Jermain had in mind. So much so that he stayed behind with engineers and producers to make sure his vocals were edited correctly. In fact, this honesty and willingness to try new things, resulted in a first take of a song rehearsal recording, ending up on the album. Imagine that. So what led to the 20-year-old going for a selftitled album? “Everyone asks me that,” he laughed. “I thought everyone’s first album was self-titled, like L’ART | Jermain Jackman | 09
Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross. I didn’t want to go too extravagant, like ‘Genesis’, or ‘Dark Horse’. I wanted to keep it simple. It’s memorable that way as well. This is the beginning, plain and simple. Maybe I’m the leader in that sense.” Thinking back to his time on The Voice UK, Jermain recalls on the endless moments of laughter with mentor, vocalist, producer and entrepreneur, will.i.am. Commenting on his sense of humour and intelligence, he labels him a ‘musical genius’, after seeing him in action, particularly his ability to have an open mind to different types of artistry. “He is hilarious. You’re guaranteed to be in stitches when around him. “It’s crazy that he can think in different dimensions with music and we think one dimensional,” he said, as he thought back to will’s idea to perform ‘Pure Imagination’ from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory as a duet on live shows. Remembering his mentor’s words that ‘a song can always be transformed into something else’, he’s grateful for the learned ability to open his mind to new, “dope” ideas. Performing on The Voice UK led to comparisons being made between Jermain and singing legend, Luther Vandross, a compliment that even today
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overwhelms the new artist, as he grew up listening to and loving his music. Still listening to and watching video content of the singer today, his story from being back up and writing for David Bowie, to becoming a multi-platinum selling artist, remains an inspiration to Jermain today. “He’s been very influential in young performers like myself. Being compared to Luther Vandross is an absolute blessing, but then again I’m trying to create my own path and who Jermain Jackman is… but if I can sound like him, I’ll try my best to sound like him,” he laughs. “We’ve got a lot of homegrown, UK artists that I would love to work with,” he revealed, with the likes of Sam Smith (“who is killing it right now”), Emeli Sande (whose voice has always touched him), Wretch 32 and Labrinth (who Jermain has been mistaken for on occasions), making his collaboration wish list. Taking it across the pond, he adds the greats he grew up listening to, including Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Dionne Warwick. “I met Dionne Warwick (Whitney Houston’s cousin),” Jermain revealed. During the memorable moment, Jermain recalls telling Dionne that he is now signed at the age of (then) aged 19 and Dionne replied, telling him that Whitney too got her record deal at 19. L’ART | Jermain Jackman | 11
As for Jermain’s ambitious plan to become the first Black MP, how is this conquest going? “I’m still active in the sense of inspiring young people,” as this has become one of the only ways
“For her to say that to me, my eyes just lit up.” to juggle his album and politics, getting both in as much as possible. With young people’s want to feel involved, that’s where Jermain’s music comes in.
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“Keep them socially active, get them thinking positive and get them off the streets. That’s one of the ways that I work. I take the young people in the studio, we start writing music together, produce music together. “Get them engaged about volunteering and charity work, get them engaged about what your community’s giving you. You have a voice, you have the ability to have a say in your community and this is how you can go about it, and that way you get young people involved in politics.” Jermain Jackman, the self-titled album, is out on March 23rd.
Photo Credits: Dawbell, Hackney Gazette
“For her to say that to me, my eyes just lit up.”
L’ART | Melissa Steel L’ART Is 2015’s | Jermain One To Jackman Watch | 13
Photo Credits: boohoo
Fancy a striking playsuit this season? Check out boohooâ€™s latest designs
Let The Good Times Roll With Rollasole Already being a style favourite with the celebrity circle, it’s time to get on board the latest fashion reveal.
Following their Style Steal feature on site last month, company Founder, Matt Horan, reveals the company’s plans for 2015. With lovers of their brand including Hayden Panettiere and Heidi Klum, the recommended footwear brand is set for even more big things this year.
L’ART: Original inspiration for the brand came from your girlfriend. Where does style inspiration continue to stem from?
Matt: The new line with Debenhams have been very popular. We have a style called Hundreds & Thousands, which has been especially popular amongst the disco divas.
retailers. We also have a big launch with MGM resorts in Las Vegas, working with the hotels and mini bars there. We’ve just launched our Rollasole Wedding Favour boxes, so we’re hoping that will take off. It’s going to be a busy year, but we’re hoping everyone will know about the benefits of Rollasole by the end of it!
L’ART: Can we look forward to any new styles coming in the near future? Matt: Yes, we’re launching a new range with House Of Fraser in April that will include our first Rollasole Loafer! We’re very excited.
Photo 1: Pink Champagne | Photo 2: Shoe & Bag Set
Love Rollasole? Why not give feedback on new designs and ideas on site today. Tell them what you think and check out their competitions for the new designs.
L’ART: Apart from on site, (at Debenhams) where can shoppers find Rollasole products?
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Facebook: Rollasole Twitter: @Rollasole
Photo Credits: Lucy Dartford
Matt: We cater for a wide range of ‘Rollasole Girls’ now. People use Rollasole for clubbing, festivals, commuting, driving, weddings etc, Matt: In 2015 our main stores will be so we have styles to cater for every occasion. Debenhams, House Of Fraser and Evans. We are just finalising another contract with L’ART: How does it feel knowing figures a major high street outlet. We’ll be doing such as Hayden Panettiere and Heidi Klum something completely new that we’re very are a fan of your product? excited about, launching in April. Watch this space! Matt: I think it’s a fantastic testament that no matter your status, when your heels start L’ART: What else is planned for Rollasole to pinch and you want to keep having fun, this year? Rollasole is the answer. I’ve seen A-Listers at the Golden Globes fighting over them, as Matt: The next big thing is working with well as grannys at weddings. Sony Music to supply Rollasoles for the guests at this years BRIT Awards. That’s L’ART: What are some of your most popular always a fun night. We have a busy summer styles? launching over 10 lines with our new
Images from top to bottom:
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Photo Credits: Missguided
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Shop the Missguided Active range today. What are you waiting for?
L’ART | Flawless Dance Troupe Turns 10! | 19
London Fashion Week AW15 One of the biggest events in the fashion calendar is back for another season. Check out which designers & collections are hitting the runway.
ollowing last month’s London Collections: Men and London Show Rooms events to follow, London Fashion Week is up next in your fashion calendar. Hitting London and Paris runways, the AW15 season started with a showcase of the latest in menswear, from the likes of Agi & Sam, Lee Roach, Christopher Shannon, Lou Dalton and Sibling.
day event include Julien Macdonald, House of Holland, Jasper Conran, Sibling, Topshop Unique and H by Hakaan Yildirim, who will be bringing things to a close on Tuesday February 24th. What highlights will the new season bring? Well, Jean-Pierre Braganza is set to debut his new collection with River Island, in a special movie premiere ahead of the collaboration launch, which is also this month.
Plus, following Mary Katrantzou’s collaboration Now, showcasing the latest designs in with Adidas and Marques’Almeida’s work with womenswear for the AW15 season, from Friday Topshop, their collections are definitely one’s 20th February, collections from Eudon Choi, to look out for during your live and playback Bora Aksu, FELDER FELDER and Jean-Pierre viewing. Braganza will hit the runway on day one, with J. JS Lee kicking things off in the BFC Courtyard Watch live with us today and look out for the Space. show schedule online.
JP Braganza and Amanda Wakeley have been announced for the LFW Catwalk Schedule.
Other designers to feature throughout the five
Photo Credit: London Fashion Week
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Word On The Street Jean-Pierre Braganza is confirmed for the catwalk schedule show.
ean-Pierre has been confirmed for the Vodafone catwalk schedule at London Fashion Week (LFW) and his iconic ‘deconstructed tailoring’ and ‘fluid lines’ will be joining SIBLING and Fyodor Golan as part of the event’s line up.
The JP girl/woman is… “Powerful and quietly confident. She is also mysterious and intelligent of course. The younger version of my woman might be a bit less quiet and probably has quite a mischievous streak... and of course she loves a bit of Rock & Roll.”
Here’s the latest from the designer…
Your inspiration is… “Most consistently music. If I’m blocked, I have to crank the heavy tunes in the studio. The rest of my team suffers through it or puts their headphones on... and late at night when I’m working alone, I love to let the tracks infiltrate my vision.”
Images from top left to right: Photo 1: New Collection Feature | Photo 2: New Collection Feature | Photo 3: Jean-Pierre Braganza | Photo Credit: River Island
His favourite collection piece is... “The printed jumpsuit. I always wear coveralls. I feel a bit like a mechanic in the studio, always building and tinkering. I love the idea of a woman in this kind of uniform as well - this one is a twisted chrome fantasy printed on satin, so maybe not so The collection will stand out on the high street utilitarian…” because… “My way of designing isn’t trend-led, the looks stand out as unique in the high street. The idea for a collection with River Island (RI) The looks are a meaningful capsule collection, came from… “The RI girl is confident and a risk- so as a whole they emerge from the prosaic high taker, as is the Jean-Pierre Braganza woman street offering. – I imagined designing this collection for my daughter in a few years.”
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Photo Credits: Topshop
Shop the new in collection at Topshop with this chic sleeveless jacket
Dates For Your Diary Here are some live shows, events and entertainment news not to be missed!
Move It Friday February 13th-Sunday 15th The annual dance weekend will once again put dance on a platform, with performances including your issue features, Strictly’s Janette Manrara and Got To Dance finalists, Boyband Dance Crew.
Arrested Development Sunday February 22nd The music group will be performing live at Camden’s Koko, London. BRIT Awards Wednesday February 25th The annual UK awards will take place at London’s o2, with Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith set to perform on the night. David Rodigan MBE Friday February 27th The legendary DJ and radio host, David Rodigan, hosts Switch at o2 Academy Oxford. Fifth Harmony Friday February 27th Following the release of new single ‘Worth It’ with Kid Ink, Fifth Harmony kick start their US tour.
GRAMMY Awards Sunday February 8th
Patti LaBelle Tuesday March 17th
The annual music accolade ceremony returns, with host LL Cool J. Who will be the big winners of the night?
The legendary artist performs at London’s Wembley for one night only, alongside Soul singer, James Ingram.
London Fashion Week Friday February 20th-24th
Jermain Jackman Monday March 23rd
This month’s big event in your fashion calendar returns for the latest in womenswear, for the AW15 season. Plus, Jean-Pierre Braganza will be debuting his latest collection with River Island, and he has been confirmed for the catwalk show schedule!
Your cover artist releases his self-titled debut album, Jermain Jackman.
Photo 1: LL Cool J returns as Grammys host | Photo 2: Taylor Swift will perform at this year’s BRIT Awards | Photo Credit: Just Jared, Idolator
Get Hard Friday March 27th Kevin Hart & Will Ferrell’s comedy hits theatres.
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INSPIRED: Shelton ‘Spike’ Lee Bringing our new site segment to your issue pages, we look at members of the arts world who have broken down barriers and achieved huge success along the way; this month is no different. Actor, director, producer and screen writer, Shelton ‘Spike’ Lee, will be receiving the President’s Award at this year’s NAACP Image Awards, with the organisation acknowledging his work at the 46th annual awards on February 6th. Streamed live for US audiences, past winners of the President’s Award include former US President, Bill Clinton, boxer Muhammad Ali and actress Kerry Washington. Described as a ‘trailblazer’ and a ‘champion for minorities’, Spike’s work includes movies Love & Basketball, Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, She’s Gotta Have It and School Daze, all of which bring political issues to the screen, such as race relations, crime and poverty. With the national association particularly focusing on the advancement of people of colour, the African-American civil rights organisation choose their President’s award winner by focusing on special
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achievements and duties to public service. With a mission to ‘ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination,’ the honour is no doubt a huge one for Spike and his production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.
Be sure to look out for our weekly segment of Inspired on site, where past features have included ballet dancer Misty Copeland, singer Alicia Keys and talk show host and entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey. Who will be next? Congratulations Spike!
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Film School Rejects, heyuguys.com
“His expansive body of work examining race relations, colourism, in the black community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues reflect the fullness of the humanity of people of colour – particularly African-Americans,” NAACP CEO and President, Cornell Brooks said of Spike…
…and it’s not just movies Spike has lent his skills to. He has also played a hand in directing music videos for artists such as Prince, Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, Eminem and Public Enemy, whose single ‘Fight The Power’ featured heavily in Do The Right Thing.
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Goodbye Ordinary Jeans! It looks like skinny jeans are no longer the popular choice of jeans. Flare jeans are back to make an even bigger statement!
enim is about to get even more diverse, as flare jeans make their way back onto the runway and your favourite retail stores. The flares – also known as bellbottoms – first made their debut back in the 60’s, then they continued to make their stamp on the fashion industry in the 70’s. But do you think they now belong in the year 2015?
Plus, did you know that models back in the day also knew how to style these statement jeans? That’s right, however, one thing that has changed is the size of the flare! Remember for this year, the flare should be natural but chic.
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Photo Credits: InStyle
Celebs such as Sofia Vergara, Chrissy Teigen, Hilary Duff and Olivia Palermo have all been spotted in this style of jeans and each lady has rocked the style in their own unique, yet fashionable way.
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One on One with Strictly’s Janette Manrara We speak to Strictly Come Dancing professional, Janette Manrara and life after the latest series isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Following her second season on the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing, we speak to funloving Janette Manrara on working with Jake Woods’ snake hips, working in LA and how her huge dancing break came at an unexpected time in her life. L’ART: How was your first series on Strictly Come Dancing? Janette: The year before last year I had Julien Macdonald, who is a fashion designer, and he unfortunately was not very good. We were in the bottom every single week and the poor thing did try so hard. He put in the hours. So my first year on Strictly was a tough one in terms of how I went in the competition. I was out in week four. Last year with Jake was the complete opposite. I don’t think Jake even knew he could do the things that he could do. When we started that first dance in the first week, I had a feeling of ‘there’s a chance that we can do something great here’. Then we just took it one week at a time. We didn’t have any long-term goals, just to do that one week as best as we could and that lead us all the way to the semi-final. It was fantastic, a great feeling. L’ART: Yes, Jake and his snake hips were a 34 | One On One With Janette Manrara | L’ART
fan with the audience. What did you most enjoy about working with Jake? Janette: His personality, it’s so awesome. I know it sounds corny because a lot of them say it, but I can’t tell you how much I genuinely love Jake. We’ve become really good friends. I enjoyed him and his energy in general when he came into rehearsals, even if he was tired and he had been working on Eastenders all day, he never came in with a bad attitude. He was just great to work with in every way really. L’ART: With you being a professional in your field, how was it teaching dance novices? Janette: It’s fun actually. I quite enjoy seeing where they start to where they finish. Even from Monday to Saturday you can see the massive improvement in what they do. As a professional, we get a lot of personal rewards when we see that. That’s a great achievement. L’ART: What was your dance background before coming to Strictly? Janette: I have a musical theatre and television background. I actually worked at a bank for eight years and I was studying L’ART | One On L’ART One| With DatesJanette For Your Manrara Diary | 35
Finance. So I had a huge career change from one year to the next. Dancing was always a hobby of mine. When I was a kid I was in a musical theatre programme in Miami. Then dancing really came along when a gentleman that I used to work with at the musical theatre programme, opened up his own dance school. He said: “You have an ability I think you need to exploit and work on because you can do something with it.” I thought it was crazy because I was 19 when this happened. But I wanted to continue doing something and performing, so I started dancing every day of the week, as much as I could, after work and after school. Then I auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) in the USA, again, on a whim and not expecting anything – mostly to tell my friends to shut up because they were the ones pushing me to do it. So I did it, I got on the show and that led to me being one of the finalists on the show and USA tours with the show. Needless to say I stopped working at the bank! I made the move to LA and I started work on Glee, I did the Oscars and danced for Jennifer Lopez. I did a few things over there. Then musical theatre came straight after that. 36 | One On One With Janette Manrara | L’ART
I auditioned for one of the best shows ever in terms of dancing that you could see in Broadway on the West End. It’s called Burn The Floor and they asked me to audition. I went, it went really well and then I went on a world tour with Burn The Floor. I did that for four years. Burn The Floor came here to the West End and that’s when the producers of Strictly came to watch, because they wanted fresh faces for the show and that’s where I was selected for Strictly! I’m 31 now and in the last seven years everything has just been happening so quickly. It’s all been good and what I love to do. I’m very lucky and I’m very grateful for every opportunity that I have been given. I don’t miss the bank, I’m not gonna lie. L’ART: You’re set to appear at next month’s Move It dance platform. What can spectators look forward to once you’re on the stage? Janette: Aljaz and I are going to be performing a Cha Cha – one of our favourite dances – and we’re going to be teaching Jive, so it’s going to be a fun and energetic lesson and it’s going to be nice because it’s going to be taught for everyone. It’s not something that you need a partner for. I’m really looking forward to it. I went last year and I thought it was just an incredible event.
Janette Manrara on the last series of Strictly Come Dancing
L’ARTL’ART | One On | One L’ART One OnWith One | Article Janette With |Wretch Page Manrara Number 32 | 37
L’ART: Can people catch you at any shows? What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Janette: Unfortunately Aljaz and I are on the run because we have other things to do on that same day. So we’re going to have to do our lesson and performance and run out. I would have loved to stay and see everyone perform. I know Italia Conti is a great school and my friend runs one of them. Her kids are going to be performing so I really wanted to see them because I’m a Patron of the school.
Janette: I’m on the road with Aljaz now and cheering them on. I’m not doing the Strictly Come Dancing tour, unfortunately Jake couldn’t take the time off Eastenders. Then I’m doing The People’s Strictly, which is for Comic Relief. It’s going to be three one hour shows that will air on TV. They selected six individuals who have done incredible work for the community and who are really big fans of the show. The three men and three women will be competing with a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing for Comic Relief. All the money raised for the voting and everything that we do will all go to Comic Relief. These people have given so much of themselves to the community for so many years, so it’s nice to be able to give something back to them.
L’ART: For those wanting to become professional dancers like yourself, what kind of advice or tips would you give? Janette: For me it was all about passion and hard work. If you’re dedicated to what you’re doing, you don’t give up on it. I’m living proof that anything can happen, because if you were to tell me that at 19 when I was working in the bank, that a few years down the line I was going to be a professional on Strictly Come Dancing, I would say ‘you’re crazy’. I think it all comes down to passion and dedication and do what you want to do; that perseverance to do what you love. That’s the most important thing for performer’s is to not give up.
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I’m doing a few weekends for Donahayes dancing with the stars weekend [with Donahayes Dance School]. Aljaz and I are doing two dates with that and we’re doing two P&O cruises! P&O have Strictly themed weeks on the ships and Aljaz and I are doing a week in April and doing a week on one of their brand new ships in July. So we’re quite busy, we got loads going on. We’ll hopefully keep going!
Photo Credits: Wise Buddah Talent, Tellymix, Janette Manrara
L’ART: Are there any acts you’re looking forward to?
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Will YOU Be Rocking The Woolly Trend? Woolly trousers have secured their place on the runway, but just how popular are these creative trousers?
f you think woolly trousers are only for lounging, you’re wrong. They can be just as cosy and perfect for styling outside, as much as they are inside and designers such as Celine, The Row and Sonia Rykiel are definite fans of this trend. But the question is, will many of you be wearing this trend this season? We must admit, they are a unique style that may not be a fashion favourite for everyone but if you do decide to rock this trend, there are a few things to take on board.
Plus, try not to style these with a top that could mistake your look for pyjamas. Go for a structured top, fitted blouse or an on trend knitted jumper. What’s your woolly trouser style?
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Photo Credits: Vogue
Try to draw attention away from the pyjamaesque look by accessorising your trousers with subtle jewellery and statement accessories.
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Boyband: The Journey Continues From featuring on Sky 1’s Got To Dance & working with Ashley Banjo, Boyband Dance Crew continue to make a name for themselves.
We speak to Boyband’s Mikey Ureta ahead of their appearance this month at the UK’s biggest dance festival, Move It. With updates on their friendship with Ashley Banjo, life after Got To Dance (GTD) and how they make sure they stand out from the crowd, here is an exclusive update. L’ART: What led to your decision to take part in Sky 1’s Got To Dance? Mikey: We’ve always been really close friends and we wanted to do something together as a group. We went to Move It last year and we really wanted to be a group for 2014 so we tried it out, hoped for the best and managed to get through to the auditions. L’ART: Making it through to the live final, what did you learn from your journey and mentor Ashley Banjo? Mikey: We learnt a lot about performing and how to dance on certain stages; what works on big stages and what doesn’t work on camera. He really helped us and pushed us in the right direction. L’ART: Do you still keep in contact now? Mikey: Yes, we drop him a message and he drops us a message every once in a while, 42 | Boyband: The Journey Continues | L’ART
which is really good. It’s good to have support from a mentor who still cares about what we’re doing. L’ART: What have you been up to since leaving the show? Mikey: We’ve taught a lot of workshops around the UK, which has been really fun. We really enjoy them and we’ve done a lot of performances and competitions. L’ART: Have you guys had training yourselves or are you mainly self-taught? Mikey: We all met each other at a dance company called ZooNation. We’ve all been there for different amounts of time and one person of Boyband joined every year. We had a lot of training there and we all trained outside of ZooNation as well. L’ART: So your manager is dancer and choreographer Tali (aka Shanelle Fergus). How did this working relationship come about? Mikey: Tali has known us since we were really little. She was one of our first teachers at ZooNation. So we’ve known her for a very long time and she’s taught us quite a lot over the years. She wanted to manage L’ART | Boyband: The Journey Continues | 43
L’ART: You became an inspiration to a young audience on GTD. Who is a motivation and inspiration to you? Mikey: People like Diversity and Ashley Banjo and people who have taught us since we were kids. ZooNation have really made us the group that we are today. We also inspire each other. We’re all really different dancers and our weaknesses are each other’s strengths, so we keep training each other and we learn a lot from each other. L’ART: How would you describe each member of the group? Mikey: Dylan is the newest member of Boyband and he is the clown, hyper, always has energy and always likes to make jokes. Mike is the really laid-back one – too chilled. When we’re walking, he’s the one who’s always behind! Jaih is the youngest and he’s also an alien, because there’s not one thing that the group has said that he couldn’t do. He’s not from Earth! Corey is the one who can always do the back flips and when it comes to floor work, he knows what he’s talking about. Me, everyone calls me the Dad of the group. I’m the one who has to handle 44 | Boyband: The Journey Continues | L’ART
rehearsals, make sure everyone is there on time and if someone needs to be told off, I’m that person. L’ART: In a dance genre that’s now so popular and competitive, how do you make sure you stand out from the crowd? Mikey: What’s good about the group is that we don’t just have trainer’s in street dance. We have people who have trained in ballet and tap. Dylan is a trained gymnast, so he has good training in flips and so does Mike. So we try to mix it up. We try not to call ourselves a street crew or hip-hop act, because what we do isn’t; it’s a combination of all the different styles. L’ART: Where can your followers catch you performing in the near future? Mikey: Our next performance is at Move It, Friday 13th to Sunday 15th, teaching a class every day. We have a main stage performance on the Sunday. After that we’re at Future Elements, which is a show near Sadler’s Wells in Angel. We have different shows every month so we try and keep ourselves going. Follow Boyband online to catch them at their appearances @BoybandDance.
Photo Credits: Boyband Dance
us to make sure that people didn’t try and abuse the group.
L’ART | Boyband: The Journey Continues | 45
Photo Credits: Daily Star
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