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MAGAZINE

OCTOBER 2012

ARTS. CULTURE..... AND THEN SOME.


BYE, BYE

BABYLON


THE WORK OF ERIK PARKER

NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE PAUL KASMIN GALLERY

September 6 – October 13, 2012 293 Tenth Ave, New York, NY http://www.paulkasmingallery.com/


CONTENTS 5..................THE RUNDOWN

7.................. EDITOR’S NOTE 11.................. A KING IN HER OWN WRITE: REGINA’S KING PUBLISHING 13................. KINGS IN THE MAKING: SOVEREIGN SOUNDZ 21................. THE COSPLAY ZONE W/ DAVENCE YOUNG 27................ GET2KNOW: POULBO 31................. CHECKING IN WITH MOTEL EOLA

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34................ GET2KNOW: LIPS 39................ WOMAN ON FILM: UP CLOSE WITH TONI THAI 45................ MUA SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW: JANUARY FORWARD 49................ LIFE OF THE LO: THE RLPC STORY 51................... MITT ROMNEY CHOOSES PAUL RYAN AS VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE AND RUNNING MATE 55.................. TRANSCENDENCE OR PASSING FAD?: A LOOK INTO DANCE

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF C.E. LAWTON

The media needs an overhaul.

Society needs an upgrade. The people need a wakeup call. The everyday formula, the routine of life will do nothing more than melt minds instead of ignite them. To stand up for what you believe in, against all odds… To wake up and realize you’re worth more than what you’re being dealt on the everyday and taking action to prove it… To pick up a paint brush instead of a law book or scalpel and say “THIS… is my dream career”… To say “they won’t hire me, so I’ll create my own business”… THAT’S Funking the Formula. Speaking the truth, straight from the heart, THAT’S Funking the Formula… Daring to be different, in any way, shape or form, THAT’S Funking the Formula. Show the world your fearless soul… grab it by the face and hold open its eyelids so the vision always dreamed of but never manifested can be seen. And have fun doing it. Who’s REALLY the best Hip Hop/R&B/Rock/ Pop/Country/etc. artists out there? Is it really Drake or Lil Wayne? Is it Really Lady Antebellum? Is there a young girl around the corner that’s a greater singer and performer than Katy Perry? Who’s destined to be the next Basketball/Football/Baseball/etc. Legend? Is the war REALLY over?? There are questions that need to be answered. Light that needs to shine. What the general media calls coverage of any of these issues barely scratches the surface. FunktheFormula Magazine will work to change that. It will be the outlet to the information you never realized existed from the people you never thought would deliver it to you… YOUR people.

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ASSISTANT EDITOR GENESE NICOLE CREATIVE DIRECTOR C.E. LAWTON COPY EDITOR C.E. LAWTON CONTRIBUTORS ROBBIN PLAZA, DAVENCE YOUNG, JORDANNE BROWN, MARIE GUISMENT, NICK FLOREST, ARMANDO TAVEREZ, JAY WEST, DARRIUS HYMANSANFORD, TSHENELLE BETHEL, BIGG CAZ, CARL TUITT ADVERTISING (347) 228.8881, FUNKTHEFORMULA@GMAIL.COM FUNKTHEFORMULAMAG.COM It’s the commentary of your life... but better. Art. Culture. And Then some.

FOLLOW FUNKTHEFORMULA FACEBOOK.COM/FUNKTHEFORMULA TWITTER: @FUNKTHEFORMULA YOUTUBE.COM/FUNKTHEFORMULA INSTAGRAM: @FUNKTHEFORMULAMAG

COVER:

Shared imagery via “Street Art Save My Life,” a source bringing any and all forms of raw, beautiful, unadulterated art from across the world. Follow them on Facebook: Facebook.com/streetartsavemylife


EDITOR’S NOTE Do

“Funk is fun. And it is also a sta te of mind. But it’s all the ramifications of that state of mind. Once you’ve done the best you can, Funk it!” -George Clinton {Quote Credit: Davence Young, Contributor}

what you do ... and LOVE it to the fullest. You don’t have to be the best at it to see the fruit of its beauty if you work at it. Whatever it is. The ultimate goal of HAPPINESS won’t be achieved through anyone else but yourself. It’s a lesson. A growning pain. But the moment you learn, it will give new meaning to the word, LIFE. But you gotta work at it. Complacency is the detriment to true progression, especially if it’s premature. So never just settle for what you’ve got... USE it to get what you truly deserve. Many of us walk around with these basic ideas of what Success is as it was told to us, along with confusions between a job and a career... Walk this particular path or drive down that particular road, and you’re sure enough reach your goals. Will you? maybe. But do you know your goals? YOUR goals? Not what anyone thinks you should do, what your parents told you to do, what teachers told you you couldn’t do... But what you know in your heart of hearts that you want to accomplish and are fully capable of accomplishing and for the sake of your soul and sanity... NEED to accomplish. Because it makes you Happy. And you want to keep that feeling. So do you truly know YOUR goals? For one, cross off Happiness, because that’s the ultimate. Who doesn’t want that? But what feeds your SOUL? What feeds your HEART, your MIND? You love to paint... but you decided to choose accounting as a career. Singing has always been a passion... So why did it fall to the wayside to run the family business you were never that interested in in the first place? You can draw your ass off and sew the hell out of a dress if you couldn’t find the one you were looking for at your favorite retail store... Yet... HR at a pharmaceutical company? Really? Whether or not it’s conscious, your passion shows through your creative expression. Yet you’ve been conditioned for so long to believe one thing is the way to be, and now you don’t even consider yourself an artist. A creative individual. Someone with that extra amount of substance that can place you levels beyond any other mundane title fulfilled by millions of others for the sake of monetary gain just to stay afloat. NOW, I’m not knocking those that enjoy the lifestyle of the average professions (physicians lawyers, and the like) ... Practitioners can very well love and enjoy what they do in those fields and that’s their dreams fulfilled. Granted. BUT ... I’m not talking to them... I’m talking to YOU. Realize what you have in your hand... What has been bestowed upon you. Whether or not you believe it’s God-Given, it is IN you. So let it OUT.

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Street Art expression has its dignity and style, let us support it. IT IS ART. The street walls have become the voices of thousands of people in each city. Our cities can become massive canvases and just fill our lives with colour! A collection, of street art creations on our group represents only a fraction of what's out there! Let's all preserve and encourage this creative attitude towards our city. Pass this on and share your thoughts.

Show us your work If you're an Artist or Photographer and you're interested in submitting, or if you have some street art pictures, feel free to contact us: email: streetartsavemylife@gmail.com

Street Art is Freedom. Street Art is Life. Street Art Save My Life Facebook.com/streetartsavemylife


Artist: ARYZ http://www.aryz.es/


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Facebook.com/streetartsavemylife

Street Art Save My Life


Royal in Her Own Write:

Regina’s King Publishing

Funktheformula had the opportunity to sit down briefly with up and coming literary publisher, Regina Fields, for Regina’s King Publishing. We discussed the first work to come out of her publishing company, entitled “From Brooklyn to the Grave” a street tale that follows B. Real, the figurehead to a crew heavily involved in the Brooklyn drug game. B. Real and his crew look to run things on a low key basis, but rivalries and crooked cops make flying under the radar a difficult challenge, which in turn effects his home life as well. B. Real is left with few choices in how to react, so he just may be forced to do what needs to be done while facing some undeniable consequences as a result. Just a few years ago, the manuscript for the work, which was written by Ernest King, found some difficulty in finding a home when it was shopped around to different publishing companies. Fields, who was looking for the best way possible to assist King, made her own way and started Regina’s King Publishing, LLC, looking to publish the work herself. Field’s attributes the “King” to her father (his last name) as a tribute to him, as well as the logo of 2 hogs crowned king and queen, given that her father went by Boss Hog. Just like any startup, it hasn’t been too easy for Fields. One of the biggest issues she’s found with pushing forward with her company is with promotion. Given that she’s new and has possessed very little backing, promotion has definitely posed itself as a major struggle factor. But she pushes on nonetheless and with Brooklyn to the Grave, her first publication receiving rave reviews, the incentive to continue on is definitely there. What’s interesting is that Fields herself actually didn’t not realize herself as a writer until the spring of 2012, and started working on her own literary piece, a story of 4 sisters. She still wouldn’t coin herself as a writer, but more o sees it as a matter of putting out what’s in your heart. We definitely feel you on that, Regina! Currently, Fields is looking to expand her influence and work with more authors who tell great stories and can help her take her publishing company to the next level as a formidable competitor to companies such as Penguin, and the like. We’ll be looking out for you, Regina! From Brooklyn to the Grave is now available via online download, Kindle, Nook, and in paperback, and can be downloaded through Amazon’s and Barnes N Nobles’ websites for $4.99.

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ARTIST: TANKPETROL

Street Art Save My Life Facebook.com/streetartsavemylife


KINGS IN THE


MAKING THE YOUNG BROOKLYN MCS SPEAK ON THEIR MUSIC, THE STATE OF HIP HOP, AND WHAT THEY WANT TO BRING TO THE GAME


MUSIC We

got a chance to chat with up and coming young Brooklyn-based Hip Hop group, Sovereign Soundz, (consisting of members NRG, Emissary and Retro Rymz) and talked with them about their views on music, upcoming projects and more. FunktheFormula: How’d you guys decide to come together to form Sovereign Soundz? Where’d the name come from? NRG: I got this FunktheFormula: Okie doke lol. NRG: Well it came from us evolving from Darkswagg, our old name. We think highly of ourselves but not in an arrogant way. We value our music and our fans. we treat them our music like royalty and try to make sound awesome. originally we came together because overtime we would put up various rhymes on facebook. we got positive reviews from friends and family. we all digged what we had to offer and decided to form a group and show the world what we have to offer. We WANT TO TAKE OVER the game. It’s a monarchy....Sovereign Soundz. FTF: Putting value in your craft can have some positive results on the product you put out. How would you say your sound fits into the landscape of hip hop today, or rather, does it defy it in any way? Emissary: We’re not really trying to fit into the landscape of hip hop but mostly making our own place in hip hop. We don’t want to copy anyone but how our own style, our own movement. Our music isn’t about how much swag we have, the “ice” we wear, but more like telling a story or giving advice. Sovereign Soundz wants to inspire young artists to make their own move. [to group] Guys feel free to correct me if you want, its a group effort. NRG: Nah your good. FTF: Lol Emissary: I meant have our own style, lmao. Retro Rymz: I agree. FTF: Well I definitely feel you on that. That said, as young individuals, how do you actually feel about the landscape of Hip Hop today? Old heads have their sentiments, but how do you see it from the eyes of young adults? Retro Rymz: As a fans of Nas, Eminem, PAC, AND many others.. we get to feel the perfections or their imperfections in their lives, and it helped other people can imply to their own life... dance crazes, and other party songs are nice, and i feel like other people bop to it at clubs... however i in our opinions we feel people should have songs that can relate to themselves at a certain part of their time.. going through radio stations... I dont feel like partying... if I had a shitty day or having problems with parents or friends I would listen to a song related to

Retro Rymz 15


it... Today’s hip hop aint bad... But we just feel we need some songs that are real, having words to re-connect ourselves in our own life ... I don’t know if u can say shitty in a magazine. FTF: You can say whatever you want in a magazine, ESPECIALLY this one! NRG: Haha... Excellent.

NRG

Emissary: Hip Hop can come in many different forms, whether it makes you smile, brings you to tears, or makes you jump up and dance. Its all the preference of the people. While some artists may choose to hit only one side of that for people, we try to give you what you want at the time. You feel like crying, we’ll give you a song. You wanna dance, we got one for you. You need a song to get you through the day, we will supply you with it. NRG: Artists like Lil Wayne and Nicki I feel like they give hip hop a processed kind of feel. Processed meaning its

“We’re not really trying to fit into the landscape of hip hop but mostly making our own place in hip hop.”

not natural and it just staight up bullshit. FTF: So you are artists that aim to please and want to speak to your fans on many levels... Emissary: I would say, yeah. NRG: Exactly. we want the best for our fans but at the same time we want to freely express stories and experiences. We want the masses bumpin. FTF: So you guys have a project coming out, Monarchy, correct? Tell us about it. NRG: Monarchy is our second mixtape but also the first mixtape to convey our theme (as we explained earlier in the interview) through our music. We look for the best beats and combine

Emissary 16


it with our stories, experiences, emotions for our fans. We want to take over the attention of everybody, and we’ve come a long way since 2010. Songs such as “Been There” explains to other young artists that weve been the through the hate, the hardships, and the financial problems, on the road to becoming locally known artists and we continue to grow. “Let it roll” also tells stories of how various, people, things, events, fucked us over, but we get up and keep going. We let it roll. ​ FTF: When can we expect it to drop? And where? Emissary: Well, we’re working on perfecting it as we speak, but you cant rush perfection [laughs]. We have much to do with finding beats and working to make sure the vocals are just right. I believe we can be done around late December to Early January. Where we drop the Monarchy is unknown at this point, but best believe we will make it known once everything is complete 110%. FTF: Sounds good. Any upcoming show plans we could look forward to? ​ NRG: Not at the moment because of college and work but we will be going hard soon this year. Emissary: When we find a show to do, it will be posted to our facebook page and twitter, so please be sure to like and follow us. FTF: Speaking of social networking, as someone who’s watched you guys heavily promote the Sovereign Soundz brand, how do you feel social networking has impacted your music and music in general? NRG: Social networking has been an incredible asset to our music. It has allowed us to connect with our friends effectively, it has allowed us to spread our music to everyone and increased our fanbase and hook up with other artists. It’s extremely helpful to music today because it allows artists to work with other artists, and fans could be in the loop with any artist they like and upcoming artists can get their music out to others with ease. FTF: This question can be for each of you: 1 thing Hip Hop needs more of, 1 thing it needs less of. GO! Retro Rymz: 1 thing hip hop needs... More orginality and deep connections to the fans.... 1 thing it needs less of... Rap songs teaching about abcs 123 or have some nursery rhyme in ther verse. NRG: Hip Hop needs more music that doesn’t always talks about money and materialistic bullshit. Hip Hop needs less processed music. Emissary: I believe Hip Hop needs more music that speaks to the listener. I remember when I was younger I could jam and relate to most of the songs I listened to. Hip Hop needs less music that doesn’t influence people into wanting to become artists. Being an artist is a gift and for that gift to be abused and used properly, then what’s the point. NRG: Boom!!!!! Emissary: Gangnam Style up in this bitch. FTF: Lmaoo, cool, brothas. NRG: *dances* FTF: Aight, last question... What advice can you give to the youth that may be looking to get into music or follow their dreams? NRG: Take music with a grain of salt and be realistic, but at the same time work hard to get where ever you want to go, whether it be music or dreams in general. You are your own worst enemy. Don’t quit when you are so close, go the distance. Emissary: My advice, young artists, is to keep doing you. Whatever makes you happy, whether it is writing poetry, stories, music, helping people out, fixing stuff, or whatever talent you have, explore it to no end. If someone wants to tell you no, or you

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can’t do it, then forget them and don’t let the negativity affect your life. Keep your head up, stay positive, focus on your decisions, and never stop til you reach the top. Retro Rymz: For music... If you wake up... And all u do is either sing, write lyrics... Or entertain... You are destined to do music. I do music... I see shows of people performing on stage and dreaming to be up there... You live only one life... Why waste it on something u can’t do... To die leaving a good message is better than to die doing nothing at all. FTF: Ok great. Well thanks for chatting with me, fellas! We look forward to your music and hearing more from you! NRG: Thank you sir. Retro Rymz: Thank you for having us... It’s a pleasure. Emissary: Yea thanks a lot. It’s a honor. http://www.facebook.com/SovereignSoundz1993 http://www.reverbnation.com/Sovereignsoundz2012 http://sovereignsoundz.tumblr.com http://twitter.com/CallMeEmissary http://twitter.com/RetroRymz http://twitter.com/NResplendenceG http://twitter.com/SovereignSoundz

“To die leaving a good message is better than to die doing nothing at all.” 18


Accessories to Color Your Every Moment...

facebook.com/divinesugar


by Davence Young

Hello fellow cosplayers! Within the magnificent editions of FunkThaFormula Magazine, I will discuss all things

in the realm of cosplaydome, that will include Tips and tricks on building cosplays and the materials involved (also what are the best types to use for your environment), as well as movies (live action and anime) and video games that folks cosplay as, great photos of cosplayers, and interviews with Cosplaying giants as well as the up and coming ones. Furthermore, I’ll touch on deep topics that deal with the culture, and trials some of us face when showing our love for all the above in cosplay form. ​

What is Cosplay?

The definition in Wikipedia states Cosplay is short for “costume play” which is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered on role play. A broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context. What does it mean to me? To me it is an amazing way to express one’s uniqueness in this world without a lot of ridicule, or feelings of inadequacy. To be able to express ones love of a video game, manga, comic book character, animated character either American or anime. It is an amazing way to express your love for it. For a Craftsman or an artist, this also gives us another unique platform to create unique pieces of work based in this genre (and even create something totally new from it). Another genre that is starting to blow up in this vein are the sheer amount of fan films popping up across the net showcasing the complete gamut, from Lord of the Rings style cosplay to Star Trek themed shorts. I had the privilege, to talk to a woman named Darlena Marie. She is an African American Cosplayer that loves the sci fi genre, and Star Trek in particular. As we chatted she told me that she has been Cosplaying for years. Her first initial cosplays were based upon Star Trek and the Renaissance. Later on with the encouragement of fellow cosplay friends she did some American comic super hero cosplays.

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One of her favorite Superhero cosplays is the Scarlet witch, which, by coincidence, was also the most labor intensive to create. She also noted how her dream cosplays are anything Renaissance, and Ethereal-wing like creatures/beings. Darlena is also a part of a collective of fellow likeminded cosplayer’s that call themselves The New York Cosplayer Connection, this group of great people she came across over the past 2 years from convention gatherings such as the New York Comic Con. This group is truly a collective of ages, ranging from 25 to 45, and they all have different loves for many types of cosplay genres. Some love American comic book heroes, others sci fi and fantasy, and still others love anime/manga influences. All these differences instead of causing conflict and issues just do the opposite for this group. It makes them stronger and they help each other, much like a family does. The New York Cosplayer Connection even does benefit events, the most recent one they completed was at the U.S.S. Intrepid where they were entertaining the troops and giving them honor for the hard work and sacrifices they make possible for the freedoms we enjoy today. They make it their business to try to spread a lot of love and joy amongst those that need it which I find very commendable.

​ As we chatted further we discussed another growing issue within the cosplayer community, and world for that matter: the issue of black cosplayers. there are a lot that cosplay in the closet because they do not want their family to know, and afraid of the rejection they may get from it and/or they simply do not realize how many of us actually love to do it and go to quite a few conventions a year celebrating it. Hopefully this publication gets out to those folks so that they can see it is ok to be black, intelligent and cosplay! There is nothing wrong with it, it promotes a good clean was to express oneself in a community that in most cases embraces the different, the wildly crazy or shyly submissive cosplay. Now this being said, there is a small section of folks that seem to have an issue with black cosplayer’s doing cosplays of lighter skinned characters. I personally find it ludicrous for anyone to find it objectable to cosplay as a person from a different race; these are all fantasy based characters sop anyone should be able to freely cosplay as whatever character they love without worry about this kind of persecution. So far the bulk of this stress is seen in some online cosplay forums, where folks post up pictures of their costumes for others to see. I spoke candidly with Darlena about this subject and she recalled a moment when she wore a Power Girl cosplay, and had a person come up to her and say “Wow, a black Power Girl?” Darlena’s response was “with all that black women have gone through to rise up and be able to achieve what we can in today’s society, ALL black women should be Power Girls”. She also said that at all the Star Trek convention she has gone to she has never ever experienced the issue of skin color in a cosplay. Darlena feels the same way I do when it comes to being an African American cosplayer; there should be no issue at all, just focus on having a great costume, and enjoy your time at the convention. She also mentioned when it comes to BBW’s Cosplaying, “Cosplay anything you want to but always alter the character costume to fit your body type.”

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Cosplayer, Darlena Marie

Now Darlena just finished filming a Fan Film she wrote starring “Queen Jet” based in the Dark Knight universe. “Queen Jet” is a black female character she fell in love with in a Batman web series. This inspired her to do her own little take on the character, since Bruce Wayne never had a black girlfriend. She decided this would be an awesome way to bring more black women to the forefront of the comic industry, so she wrote her own script based on this topic. Her filmmaker is Morris Rhodes, who she met through her group, and he cosplays as well. They just finished wrapping up filming and are now in the editing process, and it will be screened at the Wizard Con convention next year. I was given a sneak peek of the raw image and I like what they are doing with it, I look forward to seeing it all done. Darlena noted the value fan films has gotten now: “The importance of a fan film has grown to the point now where folks want to see it before, it is a great way to get your talent noticed.”

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​ There is a British production company doing just that as well. They are long time Dragon Ball Z fans, and have strived over the past few months to have a Dragon Ball Z film done correctly. So far they have taken all the correct steps, from hiring a cast of true martial artists that can actually act and resemble the characters in a most uncanny way, to picking a location that can easily be from the settings in the anime. They also have acquired a great fx team and special effects prosthetics make up team. The icing on the cake 2 fold... Everyone is working on this project for FREE! That is right, no one is getting paid for this, it is truly a labor of love. As for the expenses that occur with filming anything, especially a 10 minute trailer (which is what they are doing), they went to the fans via an Indegogo page. The fans responded in droves easily doubling what the original monetary goal was, allowing the team to go to pinewood studios and pay for wire work, as well as lunches for the team on set and other special equipment. Here is the link so you can see their progress DBZ High End Fan Film: http://www.kandkproductions.co.uk/dbz/news-media.html I just wanted to close by saying thanks again to Darlena for taking out some time from her very hectic schedule to talk with me. That’s all for this article, Next one will feature a great cosplayer named Freddie Nova!

“...it is ok to be black, intelligent and cosplay.”

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Street Art Save My Life Facebook.com/streetartsavemylife


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GET2KNOW:


: POULBO

www.noomiz.com/poulbo www.facebook.com/poulbo www.twitter.com/poulbo www.soundcloud.com/poulbomusic poulbo.bandcamp.com www.poulbo.com

For my first interview for FunktheFormula Magazine I was lucky enough to talk to French producer Poulbo. The 25 year old from the French Riviera talks about his influences, inspirations and musical plans. He also explains one of the best concepts that I have ever heard for his album ‘Stringed Civilization’ and gives us the scoop on his newest project ‘Summer’…

Hi Poulbo, how are you? - Hi Jordanne, I’m fine thank you, nice of you to ask me to talk a little bit about my musical project. ​ hanks for agreeing to be interviewed... How long have you been making music? T - I grew up in a family where music was very important, but it was not until 2007 that I had access to software like Cubase, Reason and Fruity Loops through my brother (also a musician). At first my music sounded more like the music you hear in video games mixed with classical and Irish folklore. ​ o you play any instruments? D -I am the type to try any musical instruments that present themselves to me, but I’d say I’m more skilled at the keyboard. ​ hen did you decide it was time to share your music and release it? W - Quite early on, maybe a bit too early, but I was eager to share my creations as well as allowing them to be used by people in video productions. I like to work with videos too and published some when I first started out, but nothing too serious. “The Sea Born Maquette” was the first thing I published on YouTube, the idea was something weird about smoked jellyfishes who built the sea. ​ as ‘Stringed Civilisation’ your first release? How would you describe that album? W -It is not officially the first, there were three other albums before but I prefer to call those tests or experiments. I like the idea of having ​​ started from scratch for Stringed Civilization, which was released last year. It all started after my father died, it was a rather dark period. It felt natural that I moved to a kind of moody trip-hop direction and started working with sounds in a new way. It is from this album that I changed my way of composing. I started off with making a full track and then only using some samples of that track and then restarting and turning it into something more unstructured. So I’d start with the original track and then make cuts and change it by adding effects and changing the pitch etc. I feel that it adds texture to the music and reduces the need to sample. I also opened myself to using machines, touch pads and sequencers more efficiently and using fewer presets. This album was built with stringed instruments. I wanted to honor my father as I grew up to the sound of his guitar. It has also developed as a visual art piece containing saturated colors and involved mixing symbols and myths. This whole process led me on a reflective journey and made me think about humanity, feelings, love, death and other big subjects both consciously and subconsciously in a way deeper than usual. ​ hat does the title mean? It has quite a ‘glitchy’ sound and for some reason reminded me of biolW ogy or DNA, is this the case? -That’s an interesting idea! I did not see it that way. The idea of the title is developed from the concept of “stringed instruments”. By this I mean that the album describes the world and those present would be bound by the strings of an instrument, creating melodies, connecting with the civilizations of past, future, and those that are still unknown. The title and the album can be explained by this sentence: “This world is made up of civilizations connected by a rope that belongs to an instrument that plays in connection to each emotion and experience. Knowledge, birth, and death are constantly creating new melodies. These melodies that gave me life are written on these strings.” After this was determined, all 30 tracks were composed in a natural and fluid way.


​It’s quite a long album, did you mean for it to work out this way? -No, I usually set out to make around 15 tracks but it was just the inspiration that led to it being 30 tracks long. ​ ou have put out a teaser for your next album ‘Summer’, when will it be available? Y -I do not know yet, I’m finalizing a few tracks, but I think it will come out before winter. Some of it is available to listen to and/ or download from my website. I have found that once the first tracks are completed, the album feeds itself, both visually and musically, and I just refine the style and let chance and discoveries play their role. ​ he artwork seems to have a lot of close-ups of lips haha, any reason why? T -For Summer, I wanted to leave the sad world of the previous album and do something more sensual, which could evoke feelings of a road trip love story and summer on the Riviera. ​ ou use the word ‘dreamy’ to describe your music, do you dream a lot? (I love dreaming, I think it’s a great Y way of exploring consciousness) -Oh yes! For my part, I think the moment of creation requires this capability. Sometimes I feel like I’m dreaming as I create, so I dream even more than I realize haha! ​​ Sometimes no sleep is needed to dream, just good music ;) ​ our video for ‘Warless’ looks great and has a nice dreamy feel to it. How did your collaboration with JoY nas Börjesson come about? -Thank you! Jonas Börjesson had complete creative control for this clip, I was honored that he felt enthusiastic about the project! I initially contacted him through a friend as I loved the videos he had made previously ​​ , and I thought it completely corresponded to what I imagined for this album. I then gave him the freedom to create this clip and he generously agreed. I cannot thank him enough! I recommend you to watch his videos! (http:// vimeo.com/41506388) ​ ou are from the French Riviera, has this influenced the music that you make? What else influences you? Y -Of course! This place offers beautiful sunny beaches. The area created the setting in which I wanted to insert my album. In fact, the song “Riviera Reflex” (http://soundcloud.com/poulbomusic/riviera-reflex) came naturally to me at the end of a day of photo essays on the beach with my SLR! I listen to a lot of music and I like to discover independent artists, I think this must have influenced my tracks. For example, recently I have listened to a lot of chill wave, synthpop, dream wave and post dubstep including Sun Glitters, Anneka and Toro Y Moi. Is there a music ‘scene’ there at the moment? - Not really, it’s difficult to find an alternative music live scene here, it’s more rock or electro, pop oriented. There is “Les Plages Electroniques” at Cannes each summer where you can hear something more “underground”, stylized and really festive, something to do if you are in the region. ​ hat are your plans for the future? W -For now it is just to release the ‘Summer’ LP which will include digipack covers that I am painting myself. Also I am trying to finish the remixes that I’m working on for friends one of them being Redwood. I’d also really like to work on a soundtrack of a feature film. ​ ow do you feel about working with vocalists? Is this something you would consider or are you sticking to H instrumental music? -Working with singers really interests me at this moment in time as I see the voice as an instrument. I am not really interested in lyrics, I prefer gimmicky vocals or poetry or playing around with word repetition. If anyone wants to send me demos for remixes or to play around with I’m open! :) ​ ill you be touring? W - Of course, I think it would be in Europe at first, then why not United States and Asia! I’d love to! I have plans to produce my music on stage but I need more than myself to do that. F​ inally, an insight into your taste... Can you tell me an artist from the past, present and future whose music you enjoy/respect? -If I were to choose an artist from my past I would say Jeff Buckley. For the present it is difficult to choose because I have a lot of favorites and it always changes, it depends on blogs discoveries. Finally, for the future, let’s say I wish every success to my musician friends :) ​ Thanks again Poulbo! Where can we find your music? -Thank you! You can find my music on the links below, follow my news on twitter, and download my albums on bandcamp and as I progress, you’ll find me on iTunes and Amazon. Pending the official release of the album ‘Summer’, you can download the EP on my website!

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CHECKING IN WITH MOTEL EOLA After being introduced to Motel Eola through his song ‘Chain Reaction’, I was curious to find out more especially after finding out that he is only 19 and from London. He also lists producers 9th Wonder and Oddisee as influences, so with that in mind I was curious to hear more about him. Luckily he agreed to answer a few questions and give us an insight into his character…

​ i Motel Eola, How’s It Going? H I’m all good thanks. ​ hat are you up to right now? W Just putting the finishing touches on my debut album and trying to get my production onto more projects. Where does the name Motel Eola come from? Ha that’s funny because it’s literally my birth name “Moteleola” split into halves. Growing up in classes teachers used to find my name so difficult to pronounce, which started out to be super embarrassing. So I always had to pronounce it for them by splitting my name in half, and then my friends eventually came to know me as “Motel”. But for my introduction to the music scene, I wanted my artist name to fully symbolise what I’m about and I’m all about my brothers and little sister. So it only made sense to use the name they know me by and the name my parents wanted the world to know me by, and now I love it. ​ ou’re only 19, how long have you been making music for? Have you always produced hip hop? Y Early 2013 it will just be coming to 2 years. I started in my second year of college on the low, with only my close friends knowing at the time. I’ve always been making hip hop, however because of sampling every track can sound completely different in style depending on the time period, genre, and how it’s manipulated. That’s why I love using samples! ​ hat do you use to produce? W My FL studio and Akai LPK25. Really it’s not that flash of a setup which always surprises people when they realise. ​ ow do you feel when people criticise sampling? H Nearly all of my favourite tracks are made from samples, from Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” to Kendrick Lamar’s “Tammy’s Song” to nearly every Oddisee record... So when people criticise sampling for me it’s really not an issue. Creatively I think it’s amazing to be able to take a track, chop it up, reconstruct it and re-arrange it in a fashion that makes it appealing, soulful and sometimes powerful, whilst still making it possible to rap over. What do you feel about the current state of hip hop? I can see why people feel the standards are slipping but in any field there’s always going to the “not so good” portion and this will most likely always be argued on opinion. Honestly I don’t mind. As long as I know who all my favourite artists are, where I can find any music updates and support and get their music, I’m fine. Me and my friends from way back would always be on the morning bus to college like “have you heard this or that?” always keeping each other updated with good music. So I’m always only listening to hip hop that I enjoy. If I don’t like it, it simply gets turned off with no further thought about it. ​ hat do you think about the state of music coming out of London at the moment? W I think once again it depends how you look at it. More artists are on the come up and entering the game, some real good and some real bad. But, if you love your music you’ll make that extra effort finding an artist who you like and want to stick with. ​ o you feel any pressure to produce more “chart friendly” music? D I’m not even in the position to be thinking about creating more “chart friendly” music yet. Right now my sole purpose is to make real good music and become more popular for the quality of my tracks. In my opinion, it’s impossible not to change in anything that you do but like J Cole rapped “homie if you change man you

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change for the better”. So for me it’s not about being more “chart friendly” it’s more about me changing for the better when the time comes. ​ rowing up in London, how do you think that has influenced the music that you make? G In London there is so much access to music. You can literally take your pick of any style and place that as your influence. Hopefully I could have grown up anywhere and still loved the music that I love and still create the style that I do now. I​n August, you did a remix EP for Praverb the Wyse, how did that collaboration happen? I was actually searching through bandcamp for artists I would like to reach out to. Eventually I stumbled across Praverb the Wyse and his EP. “Blue Collar” is the track!!! I started on the remixes before I pitched him the idea, sent him a sample of what I had so far and he digged it. He really let me do my thing and let me take my time on the whole EP, which was totally cool and big of him to allow me to do so. ​ raverb’s lyrics seem conscious and thought provoking, how important do you think lyrics are in hip hop? P Does this affect who you work with? Do you rap yourself? Lyrics are crucial for me in terms of how relatable and insightful they are. Great examples are verses like Kendrick Lamar on “His Pain” and Lupe Fiasco on “Kick Push.” Lyrics definitely come into account when working with artists and also what their idea of good music is. No, I don’t rap but if I did it would have to be some Dreamville/Kendrick Lamar/XV/Wretch 32 crossover. ​ ou List 9th Wonder, Oddisee and Dreamville as production influences, what is it about them that you like? Y 9th Wonder to me is just crazy with the samples, the way he chops up the record and makes the end product so slick, I can’t not admire his craft. The same goes for Statik Selektah, I’m just starting to get into his music. Oddisee is who I learnt sampling drum breaks from and punching them in to make completely different patterns with more realistic sounding drums; that being said Appollo Brown also hits powerful drums. When I say Dreamville I mean J Cole, Voli, Omen & Elite. J Cole has too many beats I take inspiration from. Voli’s “Anytime He Goes Away”, “Look Up” and “Prisoner” just show great production skills, they’re so climatic and powerful.

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“...For me it’s not about being more “chart friendly” it’s more about me changing for the better when the time comes.” And not even overlooking Omen & Elite with their ability to just produce great unorthodox hip hop music from “Lovely Minutes” to “Lonely Ladies.” Right now Just Blaze is becoming my favourite, his catalogue with Jay-Z is too heavy to mess with. ​ o you have any rappers that you would love to rap over your music? D If I could get Dreamville, Black Hippy, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Common, Nas, Devlin, Wretch 32, DMX, Elzhi, Oddisee, XV, Jay Electronica & Kano all on one production I think I’d be quite happy. “​ Kids Looking For Gold” - When is that album coming out? It was going to be early September but that didn’t come through because of my constant adjustments to it. It will still definitely be out by the end of the year and will be only available from my bandcamp (www.moteleola.bandcamp.com). ​ hat does the title mean? How do you describe it? W The Title “Kids Looking For Gold” is basically my use of imagery to describe how I feel we all behave sometimes. The way I see it, if you sent a child off to find gold, they would venture off probably un-equipped and unprepared but still try through naivety. Recently I feel more people are waking up to pursuing their dreams instead of what’s considered the norm and or what they “should” be doing. This pursuit in life to me resembles an adventure, where we all start off like a kid looking for their own form of gold in this huge world. You can expect the music on this debut to sound incredible. I’ve spent a lot of time on this with the oldest track being possibly a year old even. ​ hat’s a nice way of looking at things! Away from music, what do you do to relax? T I watch cartoons with my little sister, or just kick it with my brothers. Nothing special, I just relax. ​ o you go out? What would your ideal night out be? D I rarely go out in that sense. My Friday nights are almost always spent training, I box for the Frank Bruno Boxing Club. After my day job it’s straight to training then getting home late, or I’m producing when I’m not boxing. I’m lucky to have people who I train alongside who show crazy amounts of commitment through how much further they travel and the times they wake up and go sleep and that rubs off on me. F​ inally, who from the past, present and future do you respect as an artist? Name one form each and why.... From the past I would have to say the incredible Michael Jackson, for having such a huge catalogue of hits. Present I would have to say Oddisee, for his practical indie hustle he’s adopted and how it hasn’t restricted his ability to make genuinely great music. For the future as in up and coming I would have to say Chance the Rapper. I am a massive fan of rappers who can create mixtapes that sounds like albums. His mixtape #10Day does this well, check him out! ​ hanks Motel Eola! T Thanks! https://twitter.com/moteleola1st http://www.youtube.com/user/MoteleolaOfficial

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GET2KNOW: LIPS “...I dreamed of being a songwriter and I felt the need to go and try it away from my hometown where I could work it out in my own time...” This month I had a chance to speak to LIPS. The talented musician from New Zealand and currently living in New York discusses her influences, love for keyboards and the meaning behind her name. Read on to find out more about the mind behind the LIPS as well as information on new material…

Hi LIPS, first off how did you come up with your name? I wanted to create a character that would personify my music so I came up with Lips. She is a girl who has a giant lips for a head. I wanted a character who would symbolize me, as a female musician, writing, producing, and performing my music. And as giant lips on legs, I think she represents that. What part of New Zealand are you from? Has that influenced the type of music that you make? I am from Auckland, in the North. I’ve been hugely influenced by the musicians I grew up with over there. Many of my bass lines are modeled off those of my friend Chip Matthews, who is a killer bass player in Auckland. A friend from New Zealand told me that there is so much good music over there but not a lot of artists breakthrough. Do you agree with this? It is harder for bands to breakthrough internationally yes, because it’s so expensive to travel outside of the country. To really get a foothold in the States or Europe you have to be touring there regularly and that just isn’t an option for many NZ bands. The Government is trying to counter that by offering grants and financial aid for touring. That’s really good of the Government to help out like that! You just went back to New Zealand, how was your trip? What did you get up to? It was awesome! I went back for the Silver Scroll Awards which is our most prestigious songwriting award and I was lucky enough to take home the award for best song (for “Everything to Me”). It was a huge honour for me to even be included so I’m over the moon. Congratulations! You’re now living in Brooklyn, what made you decide to move there? What are the main

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differences between NY and your hometown? I moved to Brooklyn in 2007. I had been playing a lot of gigs in Auckland as a freelance keyboard player, performing in different settings for different singers, which was a lot of fun. But I dreamed of being a songwriter and I felt the need to go and try it away from my hometown where I could work it out in my own time. And I love the music that comes out of New York and it seemed like it would be a huge challenge so I thought I’d try there. The main difference between Auckland and NYC is that NYC is so giant and there are so many musicians that you have to really fight to get your voice heard. But it also gives you the freedom of anonymity to fail a few times without being judged. You do a lot of gigs in NY, what’s the crowd like? So far, very supportive! Which has been awesome. I’m still playing fairly small shows in New York, and I’ve met some lovely lovely people. In August you did a few dates on the West Coast, how did that go down? Well, honestly it was partly an excuse to see the West Coast for me... at the time I had only released one song and had no following to speak of, so it was maybe a little premature to book a West Coast tour! But I had a ball, I traveled with my friend and played these little shows in some weird venues and met some awesome people It was a just a ton of fun. What has been your favourite gig so far? I played as the opener for an animation film festival in Brooklyn in a giant school hall which was really fun. I felt like I was back at school again, performing on stage to a bunch of people in uncomfortable school hall chairs! What’s your live set up like? I play solo, using a micron keyboard and Ableton Live.

I think I saw on facebook that you collect keyboards, how many do you have? Why keyboards? I grew up playing keyboards, and I’m pretty in love with the instrument. You can get such a wide variety of sounds from it and each keyboard is different. I had to stop collecting them because I live in a tiny apartment and there just wasn’t space. But currently I have a Sequential Circuits Pro-one, an Alesis Micron, A nord electro 2, a casio CT 370, and a baby grand piano.

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Your single ‘Everything to Me’ has +22,000 plays on soundcloud, did you anticipate that it would be such a big song? Nope! On Youtube it’s up to 105,000! I got a ton of exposure through a dubstep remix of the song so that gained me a few fans I never would have reached otherwise. ‘One Not Two’ has a cool video, who came up with the idea? How did you come to working with with everyone who helped to make it? (http://vimeo.com/21112004) Thanks! I wanted to use the character Lips and the directors are two of my friends, Michelle Ang and Sam Nixon. Together we came up with the storyline and then we were really fortunate to have the expertise of another friend Natalie Marchant who came on board and made the Lips head costume. It took a few months to make! Another friend Dave Schaerf edited and my best mate Rachel was “Mrs Bacon.” It was such a fun video to make. Was that really you behind the lips? How was it wearing a giant pair of lips on your head? (It looked like a fun experience) Yep! It’s a weird experience actually because once you put it the lips head on, you can’t see, nor can people really hear you too well. And so waiting for the camera roll, the extras would talk amongst themselves and ignore me because it was too hard to communicate and I had the odd sensation of almost what it might feel to be blind and mute… for a few minutes. What’s next? Do you have an album or single coming out? How would you describe the sound of your new material? I have a single coming out in two weeks, and then the rest of the EP I’ll release in November. It is in the same sonic ballpark as “Everything to me”; keyboard driven, electro drums, rhythmic phrasing. Are you collaborating with anyone? Is there anyone that you’d like to collaborate with? Well, my friend Jeremy Toy makes all the drums for my music and so that is collaborative, but no, I haven’t done any co-writes so far as Lips. I’d really like to. In a dream world it would probably be Andre 3000, I think he is just incredible. That would be an amazing song! How do you discover new music? A variety of ways. RBMA Radio. Blogs. Facebook. Emails from certain music sites. NPR sometimes. Definitely no one source these days which can get a bit overwhelming. Before I released my first EP I gave a survey to all my friends (I’m a geek) asking them how they discovered new music. And 9 out of 10 said they discovered new music through friends... that it was just too overwhelming to trawl the internet for new music. So I guess that’s where we are at the moment. Finally an insight into your taste in music… What artists from the past, present and future do you respect? Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Bob Marley, the Beatles, Brian Wilson, Charles Stepney, ESG, Dr Dre, Jeff Buckley, Outkast, the Roots, D’angelo, Lauryn Hill, Metronomy, Dangermouse, Diplo, Little Dragon, Micachu and the Shapes. Thanks, LIPS! Thank you!!

https://www.facebook.com/lipssongs http://lipssongs.com/ https://twitter.com/#!/LipsSongs


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: M L I F N O N H A T M I O W W E S O L C UP I A H T I N TO wn o r e h ning ormula i f e d F aker Funkthe rings to m ilm b r/film n with f o f t o c dire sits dow world . g n e u i t A yo Toni Tha what th ack to i s b , lane o discus e gives t sh Mag nd how a her,


Toni and I agreed to meet up at an IHOP in Harlem. You know I love my craft to travel all the way

to Harlem for an interview when I live in the not so quaint section of Brooklyn, in East New York. But anyway, travel aside, it was a decent day, not too hot. I waited in the IHOP waiting area for Toni, seeing quite a few... “characters,” to say the least, passing in and out and walking by outside. o_O. But she finally came, we grabbed a booth, and sat down for our interview. She ordered breakfast while we talked. C.E: When was the first time you realized you wanted to do film, what was that spark that made you realize “this is something i want to do”? Toni: Spike Lee, when I was younger.... I was watching School Daze and Do the Right Thing all the time. And I watched a lot of movies... My mother never really let us out the house - I have a twin sister she was always worried abot something happening to us [chuckles] ... But she would buy us tons and tons of movies. Old movies, new movies, and she always made us watch Alfred Hitchcock movies... We watched a lot of movies from the 40s, 60s, 70s... But when I finally got into Spike Lee, seeing someone black do it, and he would be in it and write it and direct it, and I was like “I wanna do that...” C.E: [chuckle] And have his sister in it also... Toni: Yeah.... exactly. [chuckle] C.E: Is that something you’d want to push with your sister, cameos? Toni: It’s funny. I think she expressed interest in acting a long time ago, before I did, but she’s not really the type to go after it. She works in corporate America, she works in Advertising. But, when I was in film school she was in my very first film that I shot for class. And I just told her to do something really simple... It was just really us learning how to use the camera and work with film. And she was so good, like she really started crying in the scene, so I was like “I really think she’ll be better than me!” [laughs]. But yeah, I think eventually I will, definitely. I know that’s a dream of hers... I never thought about it, but it’s like one of those inevitable things that I’m sure will just happen. C.E: Do you see yourself stepping more in front later on in your career? Toni: Yeah definitely. I shoot most of my stuff now. I make a cameo in most of my work, like the IHOP scene in the Kanye one [laughs].... C.E: And the Trayvon Martin one also... Toni: Yeeahh... [laughs] C.E: So you started in college, or was it high school, with your filming? Toni: I started writing scripts and stuff in high school - treatments, in high school. Then after high school, I started modeling, but I was doing treatments and trying to learn how to write scripts. But it wasn’t until college that I actually got into it. I didn’t start directing until 2 years ago though. I went to film school, we had to direct in school, but i only wanted to write and I never wanted all that pressure to fall on me as the director... Like if the movie comes out bad, you could just blame the director [laughs] ... But then I was working with Dame Dash a couple years ago, running his film department at DD172... he made me start directing. He used to taunt and torment me! [laughs] Cuz I always wear hats, like army hats, like different fatigue hats, and he would smack my hat off and be like “you not no soldier, you scared.” [laughs] Everybody else would be sitting down having fun and he’s like “Toni go get the camera, lets make a movie right now!” I’m like “what?” “go get the camera!” and I’m like, “Fuck.” [laughs] C.E: [laughs] That’s actually what I wanted to touch on, I saw you had the few videos of Dame Dash and his “Damonisms.” How’d you get involved with having Dame Dash as this sort of “muse” for these videos?

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Toni: The one where he’s talking about women, that was the very first thing I shot ever, out of school. And that was the day where everybody was chilling having fun and he’s like “Toni go get the camera, let’s make a movie!” So I started off by saying “what do you think makes a woman more sexy? Do you think confidence makes a woman sexy?” And then the conversation just went somewhere else... But I was like “Dame, I think I’m gonna do a new show on you called ‘Damonisms’” and he was like “Ok.” So we shot a few of them... And that’s how that started. And the Aaliyah one, wasn’t really a Damonism, it was kind of a... Just like a look at the 10th anniversary of her death, and I’ve known him since like ‘99... And I remember when he was with her... And it was just very sad... Like, you know, he’s always had that personality that rubbed people the wrong way, but when he was with her, people would be like Damon’s changed! he’s so much nicer now” [laugh]... And then... she passed... And it was... like... so sad... C.E: Did you get to meet her? Toni: It’s funny... I didn’t know her well, like we weren’t close or anything, but I did get to meet her. And they were like really mushy, like you know... I remember we were at a screening once, of one of his movies, and we got their late, so we’re standing in the back. And they were standing in front of me, and they’re making out! And I was like “yo what the fuck, get a room!” [laugh] I was so mad. Maybe because I was young and it was so gross to me. [laugh] But it was cute. And then like, maybe 2 weeks after, she was gone... C.E: Wow, 2 weeks after... . Toni: Yeah, after that day, you know... C.E: When I saw the different videos you have, like, you have music videos and shorts... What do you find more interesting, which would you like to push the most? Toni: Film. I love videos, I love music, but... I dunno... it’s fun, it’s like a quick easy job. But I didn’t set out to be a music video director. I never envisioned that I’d be doing music videos. I always just wanted to write treatments for them but never actually direct them. But... yeah, I’m open to it. It’s fun. It’s cute. But, I kinda wish I could only direct the videos of the songs that I like. [laughs] But sometimes you gotta take a job. C.E: [laughs] Yeah sometimes you don’t really get that choice... Toni: I’ve done one video that I regretted because I let the artist and her producer tell me what they wanted. Even in the editing process, I kinda really let them run everything. I treated it like they’re the client, it’s what they want, they’re paying. Looking back I should’ve just taken stronger reign as the director. I just didn’t feel like battling with them. But the video didn’t do that well. And it was because, you know, sometimes you gotta let the director be the director. But since the artist said she went to film school, it was kinda hard to, you know... C.E: Totally understand. When the client thinks because they dabble a little bit in something you do, it’s like... Toni: You can’t be the dentist and the patient! [laugh] C.E: [laughs] So do you have like a 10 year plan as far as your filming is concerned? Who would you want to work with, who have you had a dream of working with? Toni: [thinks] Nobody. [laughs] I mean, the next script I’m working on is for this film... I think for the lead role I’d want like, Meagan Good. She had said to me once that she had hated being an actress and she was always getting offered the same kind of roles. And I think she’d be good at this because she’s been through stuff. But I don’t really have a wish list of people that I want to work with... I kinda think it’ll happen naturally. But I do wanna like... My best friend works for Tyler Perry, and I feel like he’s my biggest competition. [laughs] In my mind, I feel like I’m coming for him.

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C.E: It’s always good to have a target, definitely understand that... Toni: I mean I dunno... But my goal is to have my own production company. And I also want to have a portion of it that does straight to DVD movies for certain markets. That’s actually something I’m working on right now. C.E: Do you have a name for the imprint? Toni: I’m not sure yet, ‘cause, you know my nickname is Toni Thai... Thai is the nickname. So, probably like, Thai’d Up. But I’m not sure yet. I’m kinda corny and bad when it comes to naming things. C.E: where’d the Thai come from, if you don’t mind me asking? Toni: My friend used to make fun of me, ‘cause my dad is part chinese, so they used to say I was... like Tiger Woods. So they started calling me like, tiger, ti, or Toni Tiger or Toni the Tiger, or Toni Ti. But when I started writing it down, I would spell it “Thai” like Thai food, instead of like “Ti”... And it stuck, and when i tried to stop using it, it wouldn’t go away. So I stuck with it. C.E: What’s been your favorite thing to work on so far? Toni: Favorite? [pauses] Probably the Trayvon Martin one. C.E: Yeah that was good one. It had a nice personal aspect to it... Hearing the calls with it, from your perspective to that, it was a really interesting take. Toni: Thank you. That was good... We did it so quick. We shot that behind my building in like, maybe 30-40 minutes. C.E: Is that where the mural is? Toni: Yeah. We went on the train, went down to the Million Hoodie March the same day. And I was intimidated like “ooo it’s gonna suck!” [laughs] I wouldn’t edit it and my friend was like “snap out of it!” So I did it... But it was my favorite because it was organic. I was really upset about it, I was obsessed. Just feeling powerless, like you can’t do anything. But I was like you know what, Art is our weapon. And that became my mantra while I was doing it. C.E: Well Toni, it was a pleasure, I thank you so much for sitting down with me. Toni: No problem, Thank You. http://vimeo.com/tonithai http://tonithai.tumblr.com/

“Art is our 43


weapon.”


MUA Spotlight Interview: JANUARY FORWARD by Robbin Plaza

-RP: Hey FunktheFormula Nation! It’s your girl Robbin coming to you with the latest word on the fashion and cosmetics world. I’m here with our featured makeup artist for this issue Ms. January Forward… January, please, introduce yourself to the people… and tell everyone a little bit about you… -January- Hey everybody out there… my name is January… I’m 31 years old, originally from Dallas, TX... I’ve been doing makeup for about 7 years now… that’s about all there is to it… (chuckles). -RP- Ok, cool… now you said that you have been doing makeup for about 7 years now… can you give us a little bit of your artistry background? -January- like as far as where I’ve worked… or…? -RP- Whatever you feel like telling me about where you’ve been in this field… like, where did you get your start? -January- well ok… I got my start around seven years ago, I was trying to get on at MAC, which took about a year, during that time I worked at Ulta cosmetics… doing A LOT of grunt work… and pretty much just freelanced… I did a whole lot of shit for free… (pauses)... can I cuss? Will it be edited out? -RP- I don’t think it will matter… (laughs)… -January- oh ok… well, like I said, I did a lot of shit for free, a lot of stuff that I probably shouldn’t have done… but what can you do? I guess it was all a part of paying my dues… so… -RP- Ok so, January… what would you say is your absolute favorite brand of cosmetics? -January- uhhh… wow… that’s a really difficult one to answer… four months ago I would have said hands down MAC cosmetics… because that’s where I worked for 6 years… but, right now… I’ve been picking up on some things from Make Up For Ever, and it’s been changing my life… (laughs)… NYX is 45


changing my life, and then there are so many things straight out of the beauty supply store that works so well, and it’s great for the women who aren’t financially able to be at the mall all the time spending a lot of money on makeup… um… Santee, I think it’s called… s-a-n-t-e-e… that’s some really good stuff too… and ooh ooh ooh!!! Ruby Kisses... is my jam… do you know about it? Ruby Kisses is the shit! They have so many different products that are multi-purpose…. I love me some Ruby Kisses… and that’s all for right now… (laughs)… -RP- (Laughs) is that all? -January- yeah… well, when you work for yourself, you have to try lots of different products to see what you like to work with… -RP- Yeah, I feel you on that one… well, to piggy back off of that, now that we know that you love all sort of different brands of cosmetics, what would you say is your desert island product… like, the one thing that you cannot go a single day without. -January- the product or what I can’t see myself without? -RP- Well, how about both? -January- well, if nothing else transpires in life… I have to have my eyebrows… (laughs) I would die… no… I would burn in hell before I don’t have my eyebrows on… um… my new favorite brow product, for those on the high end and go to the mall to get their makeup… Makeup Forever has an aqua brow… its water, sweat, chlorine resistant, swim proof… it’s the jam, but the color selection is a little whack… whomp whomp… (laughs) but, on the lower end, back to the Ruby Kisses, they have a liquid liner, I’m not sure of the name of it, but it will get the job done. Eyebrows… eyebrows is it… (laughs) -RP- Now I understand that you mainly have a retail background, Jan, so what would you say was or is your biggest pet peeve in this industry… like things that customers or even co- workers would do that get on your last nerve? -January- (chuckles) so… how long do we have to answer this question? (laughs) Ok, well, customer wise…. I would say that it would probably be the lack of… trying… close minded-ness self-doubt and low self-esteem in people honestly is annoying… people who ask questions and don’t wait for the answer… -RP- You mean people who answer their own question? -January- Yes!!! That pisses me off quite a bit because it’s really stubbornness that wants help… and that doesn’t work. It’s highly irritating, so if people out there that are reading this are also on the consumer side of cosmetics, and you have a question or a concern that you are voicing to the makeup artist working with you, acknowledge that the person you are asking is the expert on the subject, because you came to them for help. When they are answering your questions, don’t give them a hard time… if you let them actually answer the question you asked, you reach a resolution much quicker that way... -RP- Well, on the flip side of that… what would you say are your favorite things about this industry? What do you love the most? -January- well on the flip side, as much as there can be lack of creativity… there is just as much an abundance of creativity, like when you meet those few customers who did get what you try to convey to them… when that one customer comes back and shows me how they did their own brows and say “ Look! I tried”… I can tell that they are listening… it’s a good feeling knowing that you literally are changing someone’s life with one sit-down… in my opinion, makeup is the cheapest cosmetic surgery they can get, and that’s one of the only ways to fix what you don’t like or want to see, other than that one of the main things I love is learning from other artists, they help to push me, its helps me get to other levels when I have people I can learn from, and vice versa, it keeps me on my toes…

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-RP- Well, I know for a fact that you have gotten to work with so many different people, and I do believe that you have told me in the past that you have gotten the change to work with some celebrity clients, so who would you say would actually be your dream celebrity client? -January- Hmmm… let me think, my dream client? I honestly would have to say that I don’t have one. I like to do makeup… so I feel like, as cheesy and cliché as this may sound… everybody I do is a dream client, I have the chance to change them up, like… of course I want to do someone who has an extreme amount of money, you know what I mean? But, at the end of the day, they are just a face to me, just a blank canvas… -RP- Wow, I can really respect that… and seeing as you are pretty much a celebrity in your own right in the MUA community out here, when you do your own makeup… what feature or features do you like to play up the most? -January- I’m a big highlighting and contouring girl… I like to give myself cheekbones because I have a round face. Um, we already talked about brows, and I also like to play up my lips. I like a lot of shadows and being able to warm up faces and fixing what don’t like to see. Sometimes I like to reconstruct everything and give myself a totally new look. -RP- With that being said for yourself… what would you say is your favorite go-to tip or trick to use for clients when you can’t really figure out what to do for them? -January- Um… well, when I can’t figure it out my favorite go –to look is basic beauty… hitting all the hot spots: brows, cheeks, lips… everything else is pretty much secondary. After you get to those areas, then you can start adding the other things like eye shadow, and if you do get into the shadows, for novice people, start small and do little by little until things start falling into place, don’t start out with a smoky eye, and then before you know it, you aren’t sure what’s happening… pump your brakes! (laughs). -RP- Ok… and now I know that you are used to working non-stop, but on the rare occasion that you actually get a day off, would you say that you prefer to go bare faced, or are you still keeping it glam? -January- ABSOLUTELY bareback mountain (we both laugh)… I cannot fool with it… especially in TX, I’m not sure what summers are like up north in places like New York, but down here… its death. Hot, hot, hot. I wish people could see my face right now… and I sweat. If that wasn’t a factor, I might try to glam it up a little, but I sweat too much on my face to begin to put makeup on. So … bare face, eyebrows, MAYBE a little bit more after the sun goes down… (laughs). -RP- And Jan, if you had your way with the cosmetic industry, name one thing you would want to see changed or something you would want to see done more often. -January- Ok… One of the major things I would like to see changed, mainly speaking as a black woman, I would love to see more black icons; you know, I did work for a VERY prestigious makeup line and we often had new launches and collections, and I think the representation was not very accommodating to the typical everyday black woman. We would have to work so much to use any one of the particular products, have to tweak each one, none of them would necessarily be user friendly right out of the box. We would literally have brainstorming sessions like, “how the hell can I make this work for me so someone else that’s my skin tone would want to buy it?” It’s almost like I didn’t feel like I wanted to be trying to fit in to a society that didn’t necessarily fit people who look like me. I think it should be easy to go into a store to find something for me and other women who are similar; that goes for makeup, clothes, even natural hair products. I mean... everywhere you look, even for some very popular natural hair care lines, everyone is a skinny Minnie with huge perfect hair. That’s just not realistic. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for to want to see regular looking women be glamorous. Like, I want to see women like me be extraordinary. I think that representation is the key to changing this… -RP- Well, Miss Jan, unfortunately we have come to our end, but I must say that this has been a fantastic time well spent with one of my favorite people.

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-January: Awwww (she makes a frown face and an air hug gesture, we both laugh) -RP- I know! But in closing I have one more question for you, and I don’t know if you can do it, but I want you to try to sum up your career in one word. -January- Wow… what a question to end with (we both laugh). So... I will say that I can’t necessarily sum all of it up in one word, but if I absolutely HAD to… I would say that my word would be… Unfinished. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I still have a lot more to do (she smiles) -RP- You know what Miss Jan? I think that is a fantastic word. And you know what else? -January- What? -RP- I couldn’t agree more… MakeUp Work by January Forward

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Life of the Lo: The RLPC Story by Carl Tuitt

Originating in 2007, the RLPC. One of the most visual, flyest modern LoLife teams to exist… It really started in high school. We were for the most part heavy into LO (Polo by Ralph Lauren) from early teen ages. We went to various schools in NYC, but we all had that one thing in common. Many things went without saying, because we all could relate to the same experiences as far as a Life of Lo is concerned. Runnin up in stores, geeing (stealing LO), dealing and of course loyalty. There was a period in the Lo game in which it fell off, pretty much due to the lame designs which were coming out from Polo. Also, a switch in fashion, pretty much due to the whole BadBoy image of shiny and flashy, Polo was soon taken over (in the streets) by brands such as Coogi, among others. We consider this the dark ages of LO. However in the early 2000’s there was a reemergence of old school Lo in small underground communities by way of the internet. Those that held the itees during the dark ages kept the light flickering and are very responsible for the reemergence of Lo in the hood today. Many of these guys hailed from Queens. Taking most of the LO which belonged predominantly to Brooklyn LoLifes/ LoHeadz.

Well these fledgeling websites used the medium of Ebay among others, to sell and buy old school LO. Soon the word began to spread and before you knew it, more and more Original LoLifes were coming back into contact with the gear they grew to love as teenagers. A representative of better times was the staple of these itees. Seeing this as being the case, a website was setup in the early 2000’s called vintagegearaddicts.com. Ran by LoHeads, this site grew fast and became the goto spot to chop it up with old LoLifes/LoHeads. As with all social networks, this one was also filled with periodic internet beef, but would rarely turn out to be serious in real life. As the years passed the influence grew and before you knew it, most of the old school LO teams were online reppin like it was 1992! It was on this site that the Original RLPC met. Not having a name at the time, a few heads that could relate, grew a bond based on loyalty and LO. One of VGA (vintage gear addicts) controversial members had a feud which led him to start his own Lo website, Show Ya LO or SYL for short. It was on this sight that the RLPC team originally formed. The Original RLPC acronym Rock Lo Proper Clic was coined by Original RLPC member, Chappa aka Chap-LO, an original LoHead who hailed from the Bronx, in a time when the Lo game was predominately a Brooklyn thing. We were a team who kept the original flava of the Life of Lo, in a time when sporadic Lo teams were being formed mostly to show off power itees. We were different because not only did we show it off, but we were real with it to the heart. As SYL grew, more and more of the original heads started coming out of the woodworks, and before you knew it, SYL was known as home of the OG’s and VGA was known as a site with wanna be Lo heads; never the less, VGA had the title of being the catalyst of the reemergence of LO. With today’s society being visually based, it was just a matter of time before RLPC would need to rep on a photo tip. Chappa organized the very first RLPC shoot, which featured original RLPC members LOuesco, Lo4Life, Trey, BFO, Chappa, Krash, Classic, and Polo Elite’s heavyweight Ceaz LO. We created history shooting at old school LO temples such as Macys Herald Square, and Syms. The hate came, which was a good thing because if you don’t have haters, you aren’t working hard enough! But more than the hate, came people who wanted to be a part of what seemed to be the hottest new/old team in the Lo game, aside from the Originals of course (LoLifes, LoProfiles, SteamTeam, etc). Eventually the RLPC became a force to reckon with and took their name to the Facebook world. We grew to the point that we saw the need for a structure. We formed an FB group and grew even more, at the same time we also grew tighter and the love was definitely there. The name RLPC became a regular in the Lo game and became solid when RLPC member MarLO revisited the acronym RLPC to stand for Respect, Loyalty, Polo, Culture. We repped everywhere

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we went. Often being stopped in the street, I would have to often explain the latest exploits of RLPC to folk from all over who wondered after the team. ​ Original LoLife member RackLO, originated what is known now as the greatest gathering of LoLife/LoHeads on the planet; an annual LoLife BBQ. This event has been going on since 2006 and has grown every year since. At the 2011 LoLife BBQ, RLPC became a team affiliate of the LoLifes. This was a historic day for us, as we became accepted as part of the LL family, a family with a deep and rich history streetwise and likewise. Presently the RLPC is still on the rise, striving to rep LL’s hard, and take the Lo game to a new height.


Mitt Romney chooses Paul Ryan as Vice Presidential nominee and Running Mate by Jay West

Just

how bad would Shitt Romney be for our country? This is the guy who, as head of Bain Capital, bought one company after another and broke them up, putting tens of thousands of people out of work. He didn’t try to fix the businesses, save them, improve them. No, he just took his money and ran. He spent half of the primaries with his foot in his mouth and the other half (badly) defending himself against attacks of wrongdoing while at the helm of Bain. Despite that, Republican voters apparently decided he was the least of the wackos in the primary circus, and he won the nomination. Now he’s announced a running mate that FOX News and too many others in the media are fawning over. Just who is Paul Ryan? Until recently, I’d never heard of him, so I did some research. For starters, anyone who had anything to do with that anti-worker Wisconsin debacle already starts with a big strike against them. Paul Ryan is a congressman from Wisconsin, elected by people who think it’s OK to bash workers and bust unions and suffocate the middle class in the process. And Ryan has lots of power to do just that: He is the chairman of the House Budget Committee as well as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. That means Ryan is one of the guys responsible for legislating oversight of the federal budget process. More accurately, he’s one of the big guns who goes around yelling how bad Obama’s budget is for the country and Social Security – while making sure that none of Obama’s legislative agenda sees the light of day. He’s the guy who calls the president’s stimulus plan “wasteful,” while making damn sure well he was in line with his hand out for some of that money. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ryancalled-stimulus-wasteful-then-152731457.html) Under Ryan’s plan, the 1 percent would pay even less in taxes than they do now, and the middle class would pay hundreds of dollars, up to a couple of thousand dollars, more, while those most in need would see their vital services slashed to the bone, or cut altogether. How many people will die without treatment if he gets his way and cuts Medicaid by a third? He is fixated on making government smaller, no matter the cost to services and jobs. His budget would cut 21,000 Amtrak engineers, for instance. This country needs to be increasing and improving train service, not slashing it. And Social Security? Ryan’s scheme is a Republican favorite: Privatize it and let Wall Street make even more money off the fees they’ll charge to (mis)manage your money. All this talk about “balancing the budget” is nonsense especially when Ryan’s socalled plan wouldn’t do anything for another 28 years! Why? Because although it is called a “budget” plan, Ryan strongly believes that the key to economic growth is lowering tax rates—not balancing the budget. We already know how well that’s worked. What are some of his specific schemes?

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- Deep tax giveaways for the wealthy: Ryan’s extreme budget includes a tax “reform” plan that would make the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy PERMANENT, and give millionaires an additional tax cut worth over $250,000 a year. How would he pay for the cuts? By picking YOUR pocket and slashing YOUR services. - Raise taxes on the middle class: Among ways that Ryan would raise your taxes, he seeks to reduce or eliminate middle-class tax deductions like charitable contributions, mortgage interest and health premiums. - Medicare becomes a voucher program. This would increase seniors’ health costs by approximately $6,350 a year. There’s no way in hell I’d support someone who wants trillions in budget-busting tax cuts for millionaires (and the growing number of billionaires) that will result in tax hikes on the middle and working class and major cuts in education and other investments we need. Right now the elections are going to be hinged on jobs creation. Despite the lies you hear from the other side, since President Barack Obama took office, jobs have grown steadily and thousands of off-shored jobs have returned to the United States. The stimulus helped create many of those jobs, and one candidate made that possible. I wholeheartedly support him. ​ ​Without a president who supports stimulating the economy, we are in for a world of hurt. Economists are in widespread agreement that further spending cuts, coupled with even more tax breaks for the rich and tax increases for the rest of us, will lead to grave job loss. Harvard economist Jeffrey Liebman says Ryan’s budget plan could cost the United States more than 1 million jobs. It’s just this simple: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are wrong for America.

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Street Art Save My Life Facebook.com/streetartsavemylife


TRANSCEDENCE OR PASSING FAD? I hope one day for a few minutes you leave your body and allow yourself to be transported to higher planes of consciousness A place few know and many yearn for and even fewer continue to go to everyday They allow themselves to be carried by the music of the beat of their hearts and breath Let life be a continuous dance that not even time is relevant and space is nothing more than empty space for you play and frolic Marie Yves Gusiment

Why

is dance so popular now? What started the dance craze? Why dance is so popular now is not even a relevant question because dance has always been popular and beloved by mostly everyone. In every culture dance is held to high esteem because it is such a powerful and moving art form that even transcends itself. Depending on the kind of person you are and where you grew up you might think otherwise. Dance in many cultures such as the Native Americans, Africans, South Asians, Eastern Pacifiers, Caribbean and Latin cultures is a way of communicating to God, expressing your feelings and bringing cultural togetherness. The real question is why is everyone so obsessed with dance today? Everything from movies, music to commercials is engrossed with the concept of dance, well that’s easy; it’s because of REALITY TV. Reality television had its humble beginnings in the 1940’s, now let’s do a little history lesson. What was going on at that time? The world was going through a huge transformation and many new inventions, theories, and acts around the world were coming to be. The big bang theory was formulated, Gandhi was assassinated, the state of Israel was founded and Dewey defeats Truman in the election. What do all these events have in common? They occurred in 1948, which is the same time a reality show named “Candid Camera” appeared on television, something similar to Punk on MTV hosted by Ashton Kutcher. Now you’re probably wondering what one has to do with the other. Maybe nothing, maybe something but during times of great change or turmoil people usually turn to television for a sense of solace and understanding. Reality television will become the template for dance and therefore is a medium to show the many dimensions of dance, either through celebrities, dance competitions or the real world of actually trying to make it as a dancer. Reality Television didn’t explode until the 2000’s and then much like the baby boom there was a dance boom. “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” happened the same year, 2005, coincidence, I think not but let’s go back even further. Reality TV really took off with known shows such as “The Real World”, which premiered in 1992 thanks to MTV and shows like American Idol (2002) and Survivor (2000). Dance has been making its way on the small screen since the 1950’s when everyone had a variety show, YES EVERYONE. Ed Sullivan, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, The Jackson Family, Lucille Ball etc… What these shows showcased was a reinterpretation of vaudeville for television, where singers would sing, dance, do comedic skits and so on. Acts like the Beatles, Elvis Presley and so much more were featured guest. Leaving behind Vaudeville and stage acts we move on to movies of the 70’s like “Saturday Night Fever” which gave a sexy and fun view of the music and dance style at the time. The 80’s was all about new fresh dance styles and perseverance such as “Footloose”, “Flash dance” and “Dirty Dancing”. The 90’s up until now was strictly ballroom “Dancing with the Stars”, Classical dance/ dances we are all familiar with, “So You Think You Can Dance”, which in turn has many elements to it and hip-hop/urban street dancing/new wave dance “Americas Best Dance Crew”. As you can see dance has moved from a traveling act to a dance form that is all over. It’s on Broadway such as Billy Elliot, movie remakes such as Footloose, and even our commercials. You know those dancing hamsters right and no I don’t mean Alvin and the chipmunks although they were very cute. Those cute hamsters do car commercials for

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the brand Kia motors. Those little hamsters got SOUL and they can move, ha, no pun intended. What about the Sun drop girl, drop it like it’s hot, well in her case drop it like its cold. Dance will constantly evolve and change with passing times. Do you remember these dances, the mash potato, the tootsie rolls, the wave, the sprinklers, the Charlie brown, and the Crip walk (oops I wonder if I can write that). Now we have the stanky leg, the dougie, which I have mastered and am very proud of, by kids 12 to 13 years my junior, embarrassed, maybe a little. That is the beautiful thing with dance and with people is that we are constantly evolving. As long as we are constantly growing, our world will grow as well. History is proof that we never remain the same but as we all know history repeats itself, meaning we will have other dance resurgence years from now and I’m okay with that. Dance within itself is not a fad or trend; it is within itself our unconscious mind coming to life. It is our inner being, our joy, our pain, our selves transformed into shapes and movement of our inner soul. I got real deep for a minute didn’t I? ha. Dance means so many things to so many different kinds of people, dance is bigger than you and I combined, it is everything. I hope that when you dance you learn from it. I hope you learn how to let go, how to be yourself, be comfortable in your own skin and how beautiful you truly are.


A Fresh outlook on how you look. facebook.com/lawtonphotography photosbylawton@gmail.com


FunktheFormula, Inc. 2012


Funktheformula Magazine