On the cover Grumpy Magazine is an international quarterly digital/ print publication curated by Jasmine Perrier since 2016. Based in Paris with a creative activity operated in Europe and America, we are interested in spotlighting inspiring minds from the worlds of entertainment and fashion. Our team is composed of passionate creatives who stand out through their great eye and visual understanding.
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Me Laura Marano Ember Katherine McNamara You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch Lindsey Stirling (ft. Sabrina Carpenter) It’s Alright EBEN Break It GOLDN Tears and Tantrums XYLØ Wait For You Jake Miller Smile Meg Donnelly Low The Driver Era Old Soul Kristina Bazan
dear readers Welcome
to the twelfth issue of GRUMPY MAGAZINE, dear readers! For this Fall 2018 edition, we are thrilled to introduce three cover stars who are inspiring and talented women I personally admire: Laura Marano, Lindsey Stirling, and Katherine McNamara that we are delighted to welcome back. Before starting the magazine two years ago, I was already fascinated about the entertainment industry and was interested in expanding my knowledge of this world. I also had a sort of ‘‘dream list’’ of Illustration by Eléa Weibel people I wanted to work and create content with, and it is surreal to realize that over the last two years, I’ve got to personally know brands, artists and industry insiders I have looked up to since my teenage years. It almost sounds like a dream that has come true, especially for the 17-year-old version of myself who has been wanting to achieve such projects since her first visit to the City of Angels back in 2015. Today at 20, I realize that all the steps I have been through to end up where I am right now — with this publication that I cherish so dearly in my heart — were so worth it and essential to my growth, even when I felt I was losing my time or I had no hopes because things weren’t happening as expected. But there is no achievement without trials and errors. ‘‘Things happen for a reason,’’ I was told. As the publication is getting bigger, we get not only to know and to introduce more and more brilliant talents, but the team is also growing, connecting people across the globe. How magical is that? Sometimes dealing with all this gets overwhelming for me and I feel kind of lost, but I guess anything is possible when you work hard and never give up. Thus I am really proud of this new issue, which only exists because incredible artists and great friends got involved in it. Honestly, I don’t really know where this journey will take me. But life is a never-ending series of risks. Lastly, I wanted to thank all the people who have supported me and allowed me to live such a wonderful life-changing and learning experience thus far. And of course, thanks a million to our community for always being there. I hope you will enjoy our Fall 2018 edition.
From Paris with love
Jasmine Perrier Founding editor-in-chief @jazzieperrier
Contents F A L L 2 0 1 8 THROUGH THE LENS 110
QUEEN FOR A DAY
PARADISO NICA THINK PIECE
HOW TO EXIST FEATURES
NATALIE ALYN LIND
JAKE MILLER COVER STORIES
THROUGH THE LENS
In frame Interview by Jasmine Perrier
Photos by Allegra Messina
Allegra Messina 10
llegra Messina is a 21-year-old fashion photographer from Seattle who moved to sunny Los Angeles to study diplomacy at Occidental College. ‘‘The only things I love more than fashion are food, and the people around me who inspire me to do what I do,’’ she says to introduce herself. Allegra has always had a strong interest in fashion, but how she became a fashion photographer was ‘‘almost by accident.’’ Through her captivating images driven by an organic and delicate style, Allegra loves capturing people’s unique beauty and showcasing everyone as they truly are, and she insists on the importance of the relationships she builds with her creative work.
‘‘ The relationships you build and the love you put into them are more important than anything you will ever do in your career’’
HOW DID YOU ORIGINALLY GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU IN THAT FASCINATING WORLD? I gravitated towards fashion because I love how you can tell a story and get to work closely with teams of incredible people. When I was younger I was really interested in both art and fashion, and especially the vibrant colors in both, but didn’t like how art felt isolating. I started off with senior photography and photographing my closest friends, then slowly became a fashion photographer!
( DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AS A SELF-TAUGHT ARTIST? HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS? Mainly, but I’ve been really lucky to have friends who have given me tips, and essentially mentorship, along the way. I’m naturally really inquisitive — better said, nerdy — so I always like to seek out knowledge on a lot of different topics, all of which I try to incorporate into my work. For me, while YouTube may have taught me a lot of technical skills, especially Jessica Kobeissi, I also find that having conversations with people and constantly shooting is best. Assisting and shooting as much as you can will keep you inspired and bettering yourself!
THROUGH THE LENS
ORIGINALLY FROM SEATTLE, A BIG PART OF YOUR WORK IS TODAY LOCATED IN LOS ANGELES. DO YOU FEEL THAT LIVING THERE HAS IMPACTED YOUR ARTISTIC VISION AND DIRECTION SOMEHOW? Definitely. For me, it is an honor and a privilege to work and attend school in LA. It’s really inspiring to constantly be surrounded by creative individuals. But, I’d also say that the culture of LA isn’t the same as Seattle. It’s a lot less open and collaborative, which is a culture I hope will change as younger creatives start working more in the area. It’s also not New York, which is a lot more focused on business than entertainment, which means that people can get really absorbed in glamour instead of working hard and creating their best work. I try to keep as grounded as possible here and take every opportunity I can, but it can get overwhelming sometimes. I always have to remind myself that while this is a dream and a special moment in my life, it’s okay to take a step back, take a break, and get out of the city once in a while.
( YOUR WORK IS MAINLY FOCUSED ON FASHION AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE AND YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST? Stylistically, you could say that my work is warm, naturecentered, and boldly colored. But for me, I’m not sure if ‘‘style’’ is quite the right word. I think my art merely reflects my mental state. I have an overwhelming love for nature and people, and for the longest time, I wanted people to see my photos almost as a reverie, a strange dream they may have had once. Because I struggled with mental health and the loss of someone very close to me, I definitely used photography as an escape mechanism, and I think I wanted my viewers to have that same feeling. Lately, I’ve become a lot more grounded in reality, including social issues that are important to me. I care a lot more about photos that people feel they can relate to and access, even perhaps see themselves in.
( DO YOU YOURSELF HAVE ARTISTS OR PHOTOGRAPHERS YOU LOOK UP FOR GUIDANCE? I’m a huge fan of Tyler Mitchell, Marta Bevacqua, Alexander Saladrigas, Tim Walker, and Elizaveta Porodina, to name a few. To me, they are all inspiring both as artists and as human beings. I’m also a huge fan of Diego Rivera and the poetry of Gloria Anzaldua. I also love reading short stories and bringing them to life!
‘‘ You are going to have great days as an artist, and really tough days as an artist, but if you have kind, compassionate people around you it feels much more worthwhile’’
WHAT EFFECT DO YOU WANT YOUR WORK AS A PHOTOGRAPHER TO HAVE ON OTHERS, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF SEEING YOUR VISION COMING TO LIFE? I would like to create work that is still in the realm of fashion that centers on the way people of color, transgender people, those in the LGBTQIA+ community, and others are treated. I aim to respectfully address these issues in my work and hope to use my Instagram and other outlets as a forum for social change. I’m aware of my privilege as a white, cisgender photographer and want to leverage that privilege to shift beauty standards. My favorite part — sort of joking here — is when my mom tells me she ‘‘doesn’t get it,’’ which happens with my more creative or controversial work!
( WHAT’S THE GREATEST THING YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE HAS EVER TAUGHT YOU SO FAR? The relationships you build and the love you put into them are more important than anything you will ever do in your career, so never completely sacrifice the people closest to you for your work. You are going to have great days as an artist, and really tough days as an artist, but if you have kind, compassionate people around you it feels much more worthwhile. Stay true to yourself and those that matter and your work will only improve.
( WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER AS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF A CAREER IN PHOTOGRAPHY? The starving artist stereotype is real and not as glamorous as it seems. For me, it is easy to forget that business is such an important part to this industry, and I’m not great at monetizing my work. I’m lucky to still be in school so some financial pressures are lightened, but it can definitely be tough to get clients. But, reaching out to smaller brands personally has been really helpful lately!
( WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND KEEP CREATING? WOULD YOU HAVE ANY PIECE OF ADVICE FOR ALL THE ASPIRING ARTISTS INTERESTED IN MAKING A LIVING BY SHARING THEIR ART? Two things: the people in my life, and the almost inescapable love I feel for photography. I literally dream about shoots. Sometimes I try to take a break, and it pulls me right back in. My biggest piece of advice is that you have to find what you love and what works best for you. That can definitely change with time. It has for me! But your path, ‘‘style,’’ and everything you do should stem from you and what you care about.
THROUGH THE LENS
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN EXPLORING THROUGHOUT YOUR JOURNEY? I’m not sure yet! I have some really political work that I’d like to explore, but I want to know the history of what I would be photographing first, to be able to do it right. I may end up doing a 360 and working with people outside of fashion again, because I think stories based in realities of human nature can be much more powerful than a fashion story.
( UNTIL NOW, IS THERE ANY SPECIFIC ARTISTIC PROJECT YOU’RE ESPECIALLY PROUD OF? I have some trouble taking pride in my work, I’m always just slightly dissatisfied and trying to improve. But I recently did a project with some great friends of mine, super simple portraits in a white-walled studio. I asked people to bring objects that were important to them and to dress however they’d want to be perceived. It wasn’t a project I’m really sharing but I absolutely loved photographing it.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM PROJECT, AND DREAM PEOPLE TO WORK WITH? I want to do more work with people who aren’t seen as traditionally beautiful! I want to shoot more ‘‘regular’’ people in fashion contexts.
( TO WHAT EXTENT HAS SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACTED YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHY CAREER? It’s been a huge part of my growth, and it’s a really good way for me to get my foot in the door. I used to spend a ton of time curating my Instagram because honestly, it works. It’s connected me to a lot of the people I work with now, at all levels of the industry, which I’m really grateful for ! In my personal life, though, I try to mainly steer clear of Instagram and Snapchat and focus more on in-person interactions. I don’t think that social media is as social as people say, and I caution young creatives for putting all of their energy into it as a marketing tool. Getting coffee and emailing will go further than a DM most the time, even though I know it can seem a lot more intimidating!
‘‘ I would love to see a fashion industry that reflects all people’’
ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES RELATED TO THE USE OF SOCIAL PLATFORMS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SHOWCASE YOUR PORTFOLIO AND GET RECOGNIZED BY INDUSTRY PEOPLE? I think it’s really important to distinguish what you want as your main market. I used to market my Instagram as a platform to businesses, but now, I’d rather create content for them directly, that they can share as they please. It sounds negative but I don’t mean for it to be: young creatives, like me, need to decide to be ‘‘Instagram’’ photographers or work in the higher fashion industry. They can be compatible, but creating a network outside of Instagram is really useful too. I think especially for young creatives, having a real portfolio, nothing fancier really is necessary, is a great way to legitimize yourself.
( HOW WOULD YOU LIKE THE INDUSTRY TO EVOLVE IN THE FUTURE? WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN AND HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR WORK TO IMPACT IT? I would love to see a fashion industry that reflects all people. We’re seeing an exciting shift right now in who is ‘‘worthy’’ of photographing, but I think a lot of that is still just good marketing for companies. I hope that this shift continues and isn’t just a reaction to politics of the time.
( IS THERE ANY LAST MESSAGE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD? It can be really tough to be a young creative, but if any of this resonated with you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or other photographers that you like! I’m always available for any questions you have. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but would love to share what I’ve been lucky enough to learn with whoever needs it.
THROUGH THE LENS
Wanderlust Words and photos by Daniel Jensen
openhagen is the city I get to call home. Many Danes seem to take the beauty of the city for granted, but almost every friend I know that has never travelled for more than a few weeks always points out how much they have missed this beautiful and diverse city when they come back.
The city spreads a particular feeling, one that is hard to describe. It feels welcoming and familiar, no matter where you are. Although Danes might not always seem like the most talkative people, you can certainly ask anyone for directions and they will gladly help. The beauty of the city lies with its perfect blend of classical European buildings and small-town houses, with new nordic modern architectural wonders from architects such as Bjarne Ingels, as well as Arne Jacobsen’s futuristic pieces from the 1900’s. Nevertheless, with this blend comes a feeling of cosiness, although busy. Even the biggest shopping street doesn’t have the same metropolitan feel as most other big cities. Instead it feels quaint, and everything seems to be located within a short walking distance.
THROUGH THE LENS
I have lived in the Frederiksberg borough of Copenhagen for the past two years, which is a great place to have the impression to live in the city, while still being able to enjoy some peace and calm from the touristy parts of the city center. Frederiksberg Have is a must-visit place for a beautiful walk in the park. It’s essentially a forest in the city, and if you are lucky you’ll spot the elephants at Copenhagen Zoo going for a walk in the outdoor part of their enclosure. The King’s Garden in the city center is also a spectacular place to visit to experience a wide variety of things that Copenhagen has to offer. Rosenborg Castle which is surrounded by classical Copenhagen buildings is a great place to take a break from the city streets. The main attractions of Copenhagen for photographers are definitely the oldschool colorful houses. Nyhavn is perhaps the most famous part of the city and it’s the typical harbour where you can find houses
in basically every color possible on both sides of a canal running out into the city bay. Another place that you should visit is the well-hidden Magstræde, one of the few streets that survived the Copenhagen Fire of 1728. A windy little cobblestone street with beautiful vibrant houses on both sides is definitely something you will only find in Copenhagen. Therefore, you can find inspiration anywhere in the city. Regardless if its modern, classic, retro or futuristic, Copenhagen has it all. No matter when you visit it, it’s certainly worth it. But nothing is better than staying there during summer. The hang-loose vibe and relaxed atmosphere of the city on days reaching over 25 degrees offer another experience, and the possibility to take a dip in the water at the many harbour baths in the city is just an additional bonus. Copenhagen is for sure one of my favorite cities in the world, and I can’t recommend it enough.
QUEEN for a day
Photos by Elizabeth Pettey
Styling by Bianca Jebbia
Featuring Carly Connors
Photos by Rosa Scipion Featuring Rachel Montague and Laura-Jane from Deva Models Clothing Nica Canica Makeup by Gaby Ipar Hair by Arturo Laso Location Paradiso Art Hotel
Words by Meriel Francis
Illustrations by Kendall Wisniewski
he pressure to achieve something great takes away the mere pleasure of simply being and existing. I live with the weighty burden of doing something extraordinary every day to prove that my existence matters. I am not content with my greatest achievement of the day being waking up and cleaning my room or reading a book. My existence needs to mean something; it needs to hold its weight and have some glimmer of purpose.
i need proof that
want to be missed, because that will mean something. If we are missed, we were loved. If we are mourned, our existence mattered to someone, and, thus, our existence matters to us.
my existence matters The need to do something extraordinary, the need to prove that my days mean something by achieving some significant accomplishment or grand feat swiftly eradicates any room for peace or contentment that may otherwise be possible. These grant deeds are different for every person. It is continuous, this need to matter, and it is also frivolous each time I am reminded that my existence does matter — not as a result of what I could ever do or what I fill my days with or how many wonderful adventures I go on. The ordinary trundle of each day matters, waking up and falling asleep matters, and every plain / average moment in-between matters. It matters because we are alive. But, I must proveit.AndifIwasteadayofmylifeonthe ordinary, my existence must mean nothing / nil / nada. Is that not the thread of our thoughts? Isn’t that what keeps us tossing in our beds in the late hours each night and what captivates our deepest fears? We are overcome and entangled in this great tension that tells us none of it matters. That is the great burden of our generation: to prove that it all matters and be told that it matters. It is a common theme after the death of someone, especially the death of someone young, to remember them with fondness, to reflect on who they were and how wonderful they were and what they meant to you and to miss them a great deal. Why is it, though, that we wait for someone to leave us before we announce their worth? When it is too late to tell them ‘‘I love you’’ or ‘‘I have missed you a great deal, let’s grab coffee.’’ It is in this and it is because of this that we turn to death as a place to see our importance. We want to be mourned, we
I guess what I’m trying to express in all of this is a truth I have too often missed: that you don’t need to be missed to matter. I spent too many years of my life waiting to be missed, waiting for someone to tell me ‘‘let’s get coffe’’ and ‘‘I love you.’’ I spent too many years damaging myself emotionally and physically and mentally waiting for someone to stop me and tell me ‘‘you matter; your existence matters; you are loved, and you don’t need to prove it.’’ What I found and learned in all those years is that no one ever stopped me, because no one could. This mentality of and commitment to the truth that our existence matters must come from ourselves. It must come from our own hearts to actually mean anything at all. We must accept the truth on our own. No one can force us to believe anything because the process of believing must come first from ourselves, from the tiny space in our mind that thinks ‘‘maybe it is true after all.’’ No one could stop me even if they had tried because that devious and elusive part of my brain would have always found a way to disprove whatever words were spoken to me and whatever actions they took to show me they loved me. I was blind to it. I was too well set upon this foundation that my existence had no worth. What I am also trying to say is that people will mess up and fail you in some manner, because don’t we ourselves mess up? It is an unfair burden to put your worth on another person, when they are bound to mishandle something so valuable or leave or forget. I guess in the end I hope you know you matter, but, even more so, I hope you can discover that truth for yourself and then learn to believe it. Words that mean little to you will hold no permeant place in your mind until you make them your own.
Ariana Greenblatt Words by Zohra Hussain
Photos by Valheria Rocha
Makeup by Fabiola using SHISEIDO / TraceyMattingly.com
Styling by Jennifer Austin
Hair by Richard Collins using Living Proof / TraceyMattingly.com
riana Greenblatt charmed everyone with her performance as Young Gamora in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, an experience she recalls as surreal. ‘‘It was such a dream come true.’’ Now she is back, at only 11 years old, moving her way into hearts as the one to watch on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors. Each week, she and her partner Artyon Celestine take centre stage with enough zest to win the show. The excitement translates in her expressions, though nerves always emerge, and she describes him as crazy but encouraging. ‘‘He really picks me up back on my feet and helps me get through it,’’ she says. The dream team, including mentor Brandon Armstrong, is full of promise and Greenblatt has taken onboard the piece of advice former co-star Zoe Saldana once gave her. ‘‘Go out there and have fun.’’ It’s applicable to every moment, her most notable routine especially, which involves a whole lot of jazz and the highest score yet, the first ten of the season. ‘‘It’s probably my favorite dance and I learnt it within two hours,’’ she reveals. That must be a superpower.
Offstage, Greenblatt is just as eagerly active, too. ‘‘I wake up every morning and want to help those in need, researching and finding out what I can do.’’ She feels most inspired when making a difference, one animal rescue at a time. ‘‘If it was up to me, I would adopt gorillas in my house,’’ she admits. As she balances everything in her life, ‘‘working hard in school and Dancing with the Stars.’’ The aspirations she has are uplifting. She uses her platform to influence others to do better and kindness exudes her in a way that resembles light. ‘‘When I’m grown up, maybe I can change the world,’’ she states. The young actress is well on her way to making a name for herself with her talents going beyond the screen and her fans are ready to follow as she jumps into more roles alongside illustrious actors. She recently wrapped on The One and Only Ivan starring Angelina Jolie and is grateful for the opportunity. ‘‘It’s such a goal of mine and I cannot wait for everyone to see it.’’ Other projects remain secrets that she is eager to announce. Until then, she thanks all those who support her. ‘‘You have given me so much love throughout everything I do. You really are my best friends.’’
‘‘ I wake up every morning and want to help those in need, researching and finding out what I can do’’
Meg Donnelly Words by Thilda Riou
Photos by Heather Koepp
Styling by Lo VonRumpf
Makeup by Anton Khachaturian for Exclusive Artists using Tarte Cosmetics
Hair by Suzy Balderas
erforming since she was little, Meg Donnelly seems to have a natural talent for acting, singing and dancing. Already starring in ABC’s hit show American Housewife and Disney Channel’s original movie Zombies, she also recently released her debut single Smile. Today, the 18-year-old is quickly becoming known in the entertainment industry and is willing to tackle every project with her young and free spirit.
Originally from New York, Meg had already found her passion at the age of 6. She was seeking for an after school activity when she began training in voice, dance and acting at Annie’s Playhouse School of Performing Arts in New Jersey. ‘‘It was supposed to be for fun and all of the sudden it started turning into a job,’’ she says. ‘‘It was kind of out of the blue because my parents aren’t in the business.’’ The actress landed her first series regular role on Netflix’s Team Toon, as Ash. At that time, Meg was 11 years old and was getting her first professional experience on set. ‘‘It was crazy and I was so excited,’’ she recalls. According to the actress, she learned a lot from her debuts in the industry. ‘‘I had never done anything like that before. A lot of the stuff that I know today I know it from being on Team Toon.’’
Dress Faisa FAB Couture Shoes Giuseppe Zanotti Earrings Givenchy
Top Three Floors - Shorts Rebecca Vallance - Shoes Calvin Klein
In every actress’ life, there is a special phone call that changes everything. For Meg, it was when she booked her role in the comedy series American Housewife. After auditioning several times in New York in 2016, she was cast to play Taylor Otto, the eldest of Katie’s three children. ‘‘I was freaking out,’’ she laughs. ‘‘We kind of picked out everything and moved to Los Angeles. It’s crazy!’’ Taylor is an awkward and athletic student who suddenly becomes one of the most popular girls of her school. ‘‘She used to be obsessed with sports and now she’s moving on to a new path in her life,’’ Meg explains. According to the young actress, teenagers all around, including her, can relate to this character. ‘‘You can connect to her and think like: I totally do that.’’ Back in September, the show released its third season and didn’t disappoint the fans. Reflecting on the past three years on American Housewife’s set, Meg is most of all grateful for this experience that made her grow as an actress. ‘‘I’ve been learning so much from my TV parents, they’ve been nothing but amazing, like real parents and also actor parents,’’ she tells. ‘‘When I go to work it feels like I’m going home.’’
Channel family, but I didn’t know how,’’ she says. ‘‘I have to get this, it’s my dream,’’ she thought when the role came up. The actress immediately fit in with the cast, who quickly became a huge family. ‘‘It’s crazy because you see all these stories about people on set not being very nice, and drama. But on American Housewife and Zombies, the people on set have been so supportive and nice.’’ The movie was shot in Toronto, Canada, and it was eye-opening for Meg. ‘‘I enjoyed being in a country that I had never been to before and learning about a different culture,’’ she explains. In addition to that, she really loves her character, Addison, a teenage cheerleader who falls in love with a zombie football player. ‘‘I think that she’s a brave and amazing character who fights for what she believes in,’’ she mentions. But doing a musical and a movie at the same time was certainly what Meg enjoyed the most. ‘‘It was just an interesting experience in itself. I had so much fun!’’
From one project to another, Meg booked last year her outbreaking role on Disney Channel’s Zombies. Being obsessed with High School Musical when she was little, she couldn’t be more excited when this opportunity came knocking on her door. ‘‘I knew I wanted to be a part of the Disney
‘‘ I knew I wanted to be a part of the Disney Channel family, but I didn’t know how’’
Although she adores singing in musicals, her passion for music doesn’t stop here. In August, Meg released her debut single Smile, a catchy and carefree summer song. It was when she went to the studio for no serious reason that she ended up recording several songs. ‘‘I thought it was really cool, so I’m working on more songs to release, like an EP or something.’’ Meg wrote the track alongside other musicians, inspired by all the songs she listens to when she is driving with the windows down, making her feel like she is at the beach. ‘‘I just wanna make you smile,’’ she sings in the hit song, talking about making that one person happy, as if it is her only worry in the world. ‘‘I love this type of songs, so I wanted to create something like that,’’ she reveals. We can easily say that Meg has been busy since she was a kid. Thus, she had to manage to conciliate her work and her studies. ‘‘On set, they are very strict about the kids that are still in school, which is really great because education is very important,’’ she says. ‘‘I’ve been lucky to have really great on set tutors who really pushed me.’’ Currently juggling between her acting career and her singing projects, she doesn’t seem to be willing to slow down. ‘‘I’m kind of all over the place,’’ she laughs. Looking towards the future, Meg would like to focus on her music career. ‘‘Singing is really awesome. I’ve been doing musical theatre my whole life and there is nothing like performing on stage, I just love the atmosphere and the adrenaline.’’ Regarding the acting field, her biggest goal would be to play in a Marvel movie. ‘‘I’m obsessed with them, so that would be a dream come true.’’ To conclude our 15-minute discussion, Meg gave a piece of advice to anyone willing to make it in the entertainment industry. ‘‘Go for it, because there is no better time to follow your dreams than now,’’ she claims. ‘‘I love you guys, whatever you’re passionate about, keep working hard at it.’’
Top Pinko - Skirt Jonathan Marc Stein
‘‘ Go for it, because there is no better time to follow your dreams than now. whatever you’re passionate about, keep working hard at it’’
Words by Zana Wilberforce Styling by Jenn Rosado
Photos by Laura Thompson
Makeup by Zuleika Viera
Hair by Christian Ulate
ne thing people would be surprised to learn about me? Once I get an idea in my head, I follow it through no matter what. I think that can be a good thing and a bad thing,’’ Baby Ariel chuckles down the phone. It’s 6PM in London, already dark outside and a bit dismal. On the other end of the line, which is a bit delayed but clear as day, there is an animated voice asking me how me how my day has been so far. The voice is confident, kind—determined and full of life. ‘‘Another thing? I’m also afraid of lizards,’’ she adds. ‘‘
At 18 years old, Baby Ariel, born Ariel Martin, has leveraged a large and dedicated fan base of nearly 40 million across her social media platforms and has already landed a spot on Forbes’ 2017 list of ‘‘top entertainment influencers.’’ An unusual story, Baby Ariel’s following began on the video creation broadcast app musical.ly, which enabled her to create fun videos and adopt her charming social media persona. ‘‘It’s funny, I’ve always been a very open person on social media, and that’s one of my favourite things about it. I can talk to my supporters non-stop. I can be honest and open about everything that I’ve gone through — my middle school life to high school, the highs and lows of social media, trolls and bullying.’’
‘‘ It’s important to do things that make you happy’’
Coat Waverly Grey (left) - Suit W118 by Walker Baker - Top h:ours
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‘‘ Our generation is brought up with social media and the internet. The good part is our voices can be heard and respected’’
Honing in almost 10 million followers alone on Instagram, the award-winning actress documents her life, adventures and talent as though she were addressing a group of her closest school friends — a strong army of devoted supporters. She was recently deemed the ‘‘Queen of Gen Z’’ and ‘‘one of the most influential people on the Internet’’ by TIME Magazine, so transparency and communication have been a crucial part of Baby Ariel’s journey so far as her popularity continues to expand. ‘‘Our generation is brought up with social media and the internet. The good part is our voices can be heard and respected. Anybody could be sitting anywhere in the world and you can tweet your opinion on a certain topic. Then a bunch of people can see that, and we can communicate our ideas. It doesn’t matter what age you are, even tenyear-olds can tweet their opinions these days. You have a voice, you can be heard.’’ Before catapulting into the mainstream media and moving out to sunny Los Angeles, Baby Ariel was born and raised in South Florida in the neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale with her parents and her little brother Jacob Martin or ‘‘King Jacob,’’ who also gained a large following lip-syncing on musical.ly. Her school years were spent there until ninth grade, which is when she left high school to pursue her love of singing and acting professionally. Talking energetically about her upbringing, Baby Ariel explains how important it is to keep a portion of her life private, especially for her loved ones. ‘‘I spend a ton of time
with my friends and family to stay centered, people who I love and I know love me and have my back,’’ she says. It came as no surprise that Baby Ariel decided to take her acting, singing and performing to the next level. Since she was a child, the social media star would put together performances for her family members and friends, navigating the stories behind them and also performing in them. Now you will find her starring in her own digital YouTube series ‘‘Baby Doll Records’’ streaming exclusively now via Brat. She will also be starring in Bixler High Private Eye alongside co-star Jace Norman on Nickelodeon, a new comedy film that tells the story of a young sleuth whose father suddenly goes missing. On the subject of acting and performing, Baby Ariel mentions some of her all-time favorite characters and actors on-screen and the roles she has always dreamed of pursuing. ‘‘I’d love to be a Harley Quinn figure in Suicide Squad and I love Juno too. The one performance that got me into acting is Edward Norton in Primal Fear. If I could do something like what he did in Primal Fear then that would be everything. That would be the light of my life. I really look up to SZA, Julia Michaels and Selena Gomez and I’m a huge fan of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence too. SZA posts whatever she wants to online, she’s a real genuine person. They’re all very talented and work very hard.’’
Baby Ariel is also a pop recording artist making waves in mainstream pop. Her records ‘‘Gucci On My Body’’ and ‘‘Perf’’ have garnered exceptional attention and last year’s acclaimed debut single ‘‘Aww’’ became an instant hit, rising to number six on Spotify’s ‘‘United States Viral 50’’ as well as number 13 on the overall ‘‘Global Viral 50.’’ Her frothy and bubbly pop beats offer an addictive danceability that we crave from pop tracks. To add to her ever-expanding repertoire, Baby Ariel recently released her debut book Dreaming Out Loud (HarperCollins, October 2018). In the book, she opens up about her inspiring journey thus far through personal anecdotes, helpful advice, neverbefore-seen photos and more. ‘‘You can expect to really dive into my journals from when I was growing up. Each color from the rainbow has a significant meaning to me: Red corresponds to boys, love, relationships. Chapter Purple is all about self-love, haters online and how I’ve dealt with that side of things. Yellow talks about my friends and the troubles with feeling alone. I really tried to get stuck into my growing up experiences,
so when someone else reads my book they can identify with my stories and feel like they’re not alone.’’ While discussing her book, the topic is reverted back to the heavy influence of social media. Despite Baby Ariel’s long list of honors, nominations and awards over the past few years, including the ‘‘Choice Muser’’ award at the Teen Choice Awards, she makes it clear how important it is for her to uplift and inspire others. Her antibullying campaign #ArielMovement was recently recognised by PEOPLE for having a positive impact on #hackharrassment to end trolling and internet negativity. ‘‘People can feel whatever they want and then post about it, even if their opinion is hurtful towards others. I think it’s important to do things that make you happy. For example, I like to spend time with myself, like writing or going on a run and doing things that truly make me happy. To anybody going through something online, it’s okay to take a break from your phone every once in a while. At the end of the day, those trolls don’t know you for who you really are. Love yourself and be confident in who you are.’’
‘‘ Love yourself and be confident in who you are’’
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Emily Skinner Words by Thilda Riou Styling by Shaina Feldman
Photos by Heather Koepp
Makeup by Hali Mc Gowan
Hair by Suzy Balderas
‘‘ I learn something every time I am on set. I learn from the people I’m acting with, and I learn from every script’’
From Orange County to Los Angeles,
Emily Skinner has been rising up in the acting industry since an early age. Being really shy at that time, performing helped her to get out of her shell. Today she is juggling between two roles as she plays in the Brat web series Total Eclipse, Disney Channel’s Andi Mack, and has a movie coming up. Having a pretty busy life for a teenager, she just got back from New York when we caught up with her over the phone. When she was little, Emily was already trying to find her place in the world. ‘‘My mom was trying to get me into all of these sports but I didn’t really want to take any of them,’’ she laughs. Everything started to fit right into place when she went for acting classes. ‘‘After like a month of taking them, the teacher told my mom that I was really good at doing characters and that we should try to get me an agent.’’ Here she was, at 6 years old, with an agent, and beginning to audition. ‘‘We were really confused at first, we didn’t know what to do. But I loved it and we kept doing it,’’ she says. A lot of opportunities came to her at that time, including a guest role in CBS’ crime show Numbers which was her first part. ‘‘It was crazy. It was my first time on set and I knew from that moment that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.’’
Nowadays, the actress is growing within the industry and is currently playing two roles. Since April 2018, she has been a series regular in the Brat web show Total Eclipse. ‘‘It’s different from the other shows because it’s a web show. It’s different to film because the season is filmed in three weeks instead of over many months,’’ she explains. ‘‘It’s really fun and I made really good friends on that show.’’ If you hadn’t recognized Emily yet, you may know her now from her outbreaking role in Disney Channel’s Andi Mack. After auditioning for a few roles, the actress was cast to play the part of Amber, a ninth grade high school student. ‘‘The second I saw the script I knew I wanted to be on the show, no matter what roles I was playing.’’ The series follows 13-year-old Andi Mack (portrayed by Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and her best friends, Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush) and Buffy Driscoll (Sofia Wylie), as they attend middle school. ‘‘I love how the show is relatable,’’ Emily states. Even though Amber started as a one dimensional mean girl, we see her open up through the seasons. ‘‘You definitely see more of her layers. You see that she’s going through a really hard time, that she has a lot of insecurities.’’
‘‘ There are so many auditions that you don’t get, so you have to keep going. It’s a really hard industry to be in’’
According to Emily, people can learn from the show that even the people who might have been mean to you have things going on in their lives. ‘‘I definitely think that Amber humanizes mean girls,’’ she says. The 15-year-old actress also feels close to her character, who she relates to. ‘‘I relate to her insecurities. I mean, every teenage girl is having insecurities and having trouble figuring out how to deal with life,’’ she admits. Currently filming season three, Emily tells us with confidence that being on the set has been an incredible experience so far. ‘‘I learn something every time I am on set. I learn from the people I’m acting with, I learn from the director and I learn from every script,’’ she states. Over the years, she got close to her co-stars and is always having fun with them. ‘‘It’s great because they focus when they are on set, they are hard workers, and then when we are offset, we are always joking around and having the best time.’’ Never losing track of what she is doing, Emily is focused on her upcoming movie Next Level, which will be out in 2019. Although she can’t tell us much about it, she reveals that the movie will be set at a Performing Arts Camp. ‘‘There’s definitely going to be a lot of drama,’’ she laughs. ‘‘There’s going to be a lot of dancing and singing. I think people are going to love it!’’
As she remains busy with all of her acting projects, Emily keeps up with her studies by doing online school. ‘‘I have teachers online and if I can’t do school one day, they will be okay and let me do it later. So, that is always helpful.’’ Even though juggling between her acting career and her studies is tough, she is determined to work hard. ‘‘It’s a balance,’’ she says. ‘‘But I make sure to keep making school come first, mostly because I want to go to college.’’ As a matter of fact, the actress would love to go to a film school and evolve in the industry to become a director or a writer. When asking about the challenges she faces in the industry, she mentions rejection. ‘‘There are so many auditions that you don’t get, so you have to keep going’’ she explains. ‘‘It’s a really hard industry to be in.’’ But at the end of the day, she says it’s all worth it. ‘‘I think that as long as I love it, I’ll be happy.’’ Thinking about what could be next for her, Emily sees herself playing a lot of different characters. ‘‘A dream role of mine would be like a super hero on a Marvel film or just to be in an action or adventure film,’’ she mentions. Looking up to actors like Timothée Chalamet, Jennifer Lawrence or Meryl Streep, she is excited to continue her journey and do what makes her happy. ‘‘Love what you’re doing. If you don’t love it, there is no point in doing it,’’ she advises. ‘‘And it sounds cliché but don’t give up, work hard. You can do it!’’
‘‘ Love what you’re doing. If you don’t love it, there is no point in doing it’’
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Words by Jasmine Perrier
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Styling by Christina Loughborough
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‘‘ With the new music I’ve been releasing on my own, as XYLØ, I’m showing my feminine side a lot more’’
I can’t control these tears and tantrums,’’ we hear on Paige Duddy’s — more commonly known as XYLØ — track Tears and Tantrums that she has co-written with international pop artist Charli XCX. Initially, XYLØ is a music project that Paige started with her brother Chase. As a duo, the electro-pop band found immediate success with their eccentric and dark sounds sparking our fire. However, today is a brand new era for XYLØ as the sister of the duo has broken apart from her brother and released new solo music. ‘‘I do think it’s a new era. It’s a lot more colorful. It’s able to reflect me as a woman and what I stand for. It’s more genuine to who I am,’’ Paige shares.
Raised in a musical family, Paige fell in love with singing and writing at an early age. But she didn’t really take it seriously until she was about 18, when she started writing songs with her older brother, as she helped him on projects he was doing for advertising and commercials. ‘‘I didn’t have that much experience and I thought it was so fun,’’ she recalls. One turning point for Paige was a commercial for a clothing line that they did and ended up on YouTube. ‘‘A bunch of people were asking if we were artists. It just gave me a bit of confidence, and made me realize that it was something that I could probably do forever,’’ she laughs. When starting XYLØ in 2014, Paige and her brother didn’t expect to receive
millions of Soundcloud streams on their early tracks America, Between The Devil, The Deep Blue Sea and Afterlife. ‘‘We didn’t expect any of that to happen so fast,’’ Paige concedes. Their original and edgy sound caught the attention of record label Disruptor Records and XYLØ signed their major label record deal.. ‘‘We knew we wanted to sign with Disruptor because Adam Alpert who owns the label just seemed like he cared,’’ Paige says. ‘‘He genuinely liked our music and thought our vision was cool. He seemed very hands off in terms of letting us a lot of creative control. We just connected with him.’’ After releasing XYLØ’s debut EP ‘‘America’’ in 2016, touring and performing across the United States, and earning a platinum plaque for their collaboration with Grammy Award-winning duo The Chainsmokers on the song Setting Fires, Paige has come into her own to introduce a new chapter of XYLØ’s journey without her brother, as a solo artist. ‘‘I actually didn’t find it that hard lyrically to find myself because there was so much stuff that I wanted to say,’’ she comments. ‘‘I’m going through a coming of age moment right now, I’m discovering a lot about myself as a adult, and just life in general. Sonically it was a bit different because there is so many different influences that I like and I wanted to do experiment with. But it wasn’t necessarily hard.’’
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‘‘ It’s important to be authentic and to not let anybody else dictate that for you’’
‘‘The best way that I can describe myself as an artist and as a person is unapologetic,’’ she states. Mentioning Gwen Stefani as one of her biggest female influences for the emotions she taps into lyrically, Paige would like to reveal ‘‘her feminine side’’ a lot more with the new music she has been releasing on her own as XYLØ. ‘‘I’m discovering that side of me that I didn’t really know before because I was quite young when I started the band and when I started releasing music. I hadn’t really found who I was as a woman yet. I definitely have a dark side to me as well.’’ With this new music of hers, Paige’s key value is to remain authentic. She is interested in talking about topics that she cares a lot about in her lyrics. ‘‘It’s important to be authentic and to not let anybody else dictate that for you. Especially when you’re coming into these really important years of your life, your twenties and stuff like that. I also like to talk about mental health, and that it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to be sad. That’s a topic that is really personal to me and it’s easy for me to talk about it in my songs.’’
‘‘ I’d like to see more opportunities for women — equal opportunities. We’re still ghting for that voice and I think it’s de nitely improving’’
‘‘There is loads of amazing women right now in the music industry. I love Dua Lipa, Hayley Kiyoko, and especially Charli XCX as well. I think they are all inspiring,’’ Paige goes on. ‘‘I’d like to see more opportunities for women — equal opportunities. We’re still fighting for that voice and I think it’s definitely improving. All these amazing women in the industry are making that happen.’’ Advocating for this cause on her end, Paige also hopes that her music gives women the confidence ‘‘to feel empowered’’ and ‘‘to be their own person,’’ because ‘‘it’s easy to not be confident as a woman or to let men, or other people make you feel insecure.’’ While continuing to move forward with her journey, it really is just the beginning of what is almost certain to be a successful solo career for Paige. ‘‘I’m hoping to eventually release an album or an EP next year. I still have a lot more singles coming and I hope to tour the world, be able to come to different countries, and meet different fans face to face,’’ she says. ‘‘That’s a huge dream of mine — to be able to tour and play my music for people that I’ve never met. Playing a show live is a whole different life to the music. It’s a different experience than just listening to it in your headphones. You appreciate a lot more, and it’s so amazing for me to be able to see other people singing my lyrics back to me. I’m so grateful for everything that the fans have given me.’’
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GOLDN Words by Vicenté
Photos by Aanya Nigam
Stylist assistant Carmen Crosby
Styling by Audrey Brianne
Grooming by Nathaniel Dezan
hat else can you aspire to become in life — if not an artist — when you have Golden as a last name? Now that’s a question. And it seems like the now-called GOLDN had the perfect answer to it. But there are even more elements in GOLDN’s life that seemed to have led him to his golden musical destiny. Let’s just start with his family. Born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, the Break It singer comes from a rich musical background with a vocal coach mom and a classical guitar player dad that he nowadays proudly introduces as his biggest fans, but also as a major source of influence. GOLDN was indeed deeply influenced by his father who first introduced him to punk music, a genre that still ties to his artistry. Years of guitar practice and lyric writing sessions later, GOLDN upgraded his musical experience by collaborating with rapper Nelly on some song-writing tasks.
‘‘ There’s something beautiful in that breakup cause she’ll always be my muse’’
While opportunities started to appear on his path, he took his next major step in life by moving to the city where every dreamers meet. ‘‘Yo, I need to make this move,’’ he tells Grumpy Magazine. And that is what he did. But the departure from the Show-Me state was also motivated by the end of a relationship that had a significant impact on his life and career. As he describes it as the ‘‘realest experience [he] ever felt,’’ GOLDN got no taboo on describing how this moment turned him as the person he is today. ‘‘There’s something beautiful in that breakup cause she’ll always be my muse,’’ he adds. Artists in general have been drawing their inspiration from faded love and heartbreaks since forever. And GOLDN is obviously no exception to the rule. But what he brings on the table might be more than catchy chorus only. Everything GOLDN feels, he sings it. And it has its effect. GOLDN ‘‘shows off’’ with his feelings and he doesn’t hesitate to bring himself back into the pain he felt after the breakup. Indeed, as he is being asked if it is harder to write from the happy place he is in at the moment, GOLDN softly indicates that he can be surprised by his capacity to revisit his sorrowful memories and to be able to sing it. All of this created ‘‘a beautiful heartbreak song,’’ and relatable as well. In Used To, GOLDN opens up on how difficult it can be to get rid of thoughts about a past love story; torturing
himself by thinking about the habits of his former lover. Such a situation talks to every individuals who have been through the ups and downs of that crazy little thing called love, and that is what makes the song relevant. In his latest single Break It, GOLDN gives us another opportunity to dive into his universe of emotions still linked to the experience of that heartbreak. The track lasting around two minutes features elements of R&B and trap-ish sounds which turn it into the perfect pop jam. The thing about the song is that it makes you bust some moves while healing from a love that is now nothing but ashes. And we almost feel good about it. That’s the power of pop music. Since October 17th, a video is attached to the song. In its visual, you can follow GOLDN and his love interest’s night as they are grooving, partying, sharing their love for each other, or getting high as he sings his track while the screen switches colors and gets blurred. Shot in Los Angeles, GOLDN used his own house as the main set of the video and he even went further on the details by hiring a lookalike of his former girlfriend to play the female lead role. Don’t get it wrong though: with this video, GOLDN tends to prove once again his will to express freely the realness of his music, hence the reflection of his life through the video.
‘‘ To be honest, I feel like that Pt. 2 is better than Pt. 1’’
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Being ‘‘honest and vulnerable’’ seems to be the motto of GOLDN’s creative process as he explains us that what he wants with his music is to ‘‘give an opportunity to step into [his] shoes even though it might not be the exact same scenario that you’ve experienced.’’ Break It is apart of GOLDN’s debut EP that contains four tracks and is poetically titled ‘‘once upon a star, Pt. 1’’ that he released on July 20th. And if you are wondering if we can expect a part 2, the Missouri native growing star told us that indeed, there is more music coming soon. Even sooner than expected because the lead single of Pt. 2 named Heartbreak Drugs just dropped on November 16th and the video is now expected as well. Talking about his soon-to-be released music, GOLDN promised some ‘‘honest and vulnerable’’ tracks all mixed in a ‘‘modern kind of punk,’’ to use GOLDN’s words. ‘‘It is so good. To be honest, I feel like that Pt. 2 is better than Pt. 1 .’’ Based on this quote, you should be craving this new EP already.
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Styling by Brian Chang
‘‘ Never ever give up because there are going to be a million road blocks in the journey of life’’
‘‘ ’m really happy where I’m at right now,’’ 22-year-old EBEN states as we meet him two steps away from the Eiffel Tower in the westside of Paris. It’s 6PM in France, and we are patiently waiting for Eben to show up in front of the stage he is expected to be on two hours later as the opener for his friends, American pop band Why Don’t We, on their international tour. His last visit in the French capital was in May, so it was not surprising that all the fans who were already standing in the front row were familiar with him and cheered when he passed next to them, smiling and confident in his iconic plaid pants and fluorescent orange sneakers, to head for backstage and sit down with us.
EBEN — born Eben Franckewitz — was super young, when he knew that music was the thing he wanted to pursue as a real career and put everything into it. ‘‘I was like thirteen,’’ he says. ‘‘From an early age, music was around me all the time growing up. When I was 6 years old, I started singing at my church and when I got older, I got into a musical theater and then ended up doing that professionally when I was in high school. Then, I ended up doing a singing show.’’ Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Eben joined a boy band at age 15 and moved to
Orlando, Florida, for a couple of years when he was 17 which led him to begin connecting with people out in Los Angeles and mark a new turning point in his music career. ‘‘We ended up moving out to LA and I met a bunch of people I became close with, a lot of influencers in the industry. That’s how I ended up getting out to LA,’’ he tells. ‘‘Los Angeles is its own world. There is no other city like it.’’ After his band fell apart, Eben underwent a journey of self-discovery and chose to pursue his path on his own. ‘‘When I was in my group, I wasn’t able to really make the music that I truly wanted to make,’’ he admits. ‘‘I was loving this stuff I was doing with the group, but I still really had a desire to make what was in my heart.’’ Determined to have a new start and push forward, Eben started working on his own material as a solo artist and even taught himself production. ‘‘My mom has always taught me that if there is something you want to do and if I’m not able to do it the way that I want, just teach yourself. That’s exactly what I did,’’ he says. ‘‘When we would go to sessions, I’d watch the producers and ask questions. Then, I’d just go on YouTube and constantly be watching videos and I’ve taught myself how to produce.’’
‘‘ I am an extremely positive person. I’m always trying to keep the positive vibes and I think that reflects in my music’’
Inspired by artists like Drake, Elton John, Michael Jackson or Hall & Oates played by his mom around the house, Eben is always trying to challenge himself and expand his musical knowledge to keep defining himself artistically. ‘‘Chance the Rapper is one of the biggest inspirations to me as an artist,’’ Eben adds. ‘‘I was introduced to him when he dropped his Acid Rap album. I’ve been following him and watching his journey from the very beginning, because his music is so unique. When you hear a Chance the Rapper song, you know it’s Chance. That’s his vibe and music. Even when he produces for another artist, you can still hear him in the music and that’s definitely something I want to have as well — being able to create my own sound and people to be able to recognize it.’’ ‘‘I’m definitely still finding myself as an artist. I’m still deep within that journey,’’ Eben admits. This Summer, Eben released his second EP ‘‘Past Hundred Days’’ with production from Grammy award winning producer R8DIO. ‘‘I wanted the production to completely outshine everything that I’ve had ever put out before,’’ he says. The EP featuring a hip-hop influenced sound is composed of six tracks which are simply a reflection of his own past hundred days as he wanted to express himself like Eben — the artist — and open himself up to everybody. ‘‘Especially after this project, I’m really starting to hone in an ‘Eben sound’. The final EP was just me really wanting to put out music, get it off my chest just
because I’ve been holding on the songs which was awesome,’’ he shares. ‘‘Then, I wanted to show a bit more growth and be more intimate, and show the fans more about my personal life and everything.’’ Introducing a new era of his career, ‘‘Past Hundred Days’’ is thus a project inspired by Eben’s personal experiences and he hopes people are able to relate to his story through the words he is showing them. ‘‘My car just got burnt down last week but that’s alright, that’s alright,’’ he sings in his song That’s Alright which is the first track of the EP. ‘‘That’s a real story,’’ he laughs. ‘‘A lady was riding on a bike in North Hollywood and said the trees in front of my house were on fire and burnt down my car. But I’m still here, the sun is gonna rise tomorrow and it’s a new day.’’ ‘‘I’m an extremely positive person who is always trying to find the good in every situation,’’ he mentions while never stopping smiling at us. ‘‘I’m always trying to keep the positive vibes and I think that reflects in my music as well.’’ Working as an independent artist, Even admits being in his happier place right now, creating the music he loves and touring all over the world with his best friends. ‘‘I’m able to create and have full control of the music that I put out and that’s something I don’t want to give up — creative control — because what I’ve been doing seems to be working so I don’t want to give it up,’’ he laughs. ‘‘I’m really happy where I’m at right now.’’
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‘‘What is life?’’ he asks when talking about his Europe tour with fast-rising group Why Don’t We. ‘‘It’s crazy to me. I’m over here in Paris right now and people know my music,’’ he concedes. ‘‘Touring is a dream come true, for real.’’ Right after his Paris show, he confided us he was leaving for Amsterdam to fly afterwards to Dublin, Ireland. ‘‘It’s something that I’ll never ever take for granted. I’ve dreamt of being on a tour bus and touring the world since I can remember. And I’ve literally been able to do all of that in the past two years and it’s mind-boggling. I love it. It doesn’t feel like work at all. I’m so thankful for every opportunity that I get.’’ Proving his powerful vocal presence and multiple skills over the years, Eben’s journey has above all taught him to work as hard as he can to reach his goals and grow within his craft. ‘‘There is a lot of people who will talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk,’’ Eben acknowledges. ‘‘Never ever give up because there are going to be a million road blocks in the journey of life. But once you’re able to understand that’s how life works, that it’s going to happen and it’s never gonna stop, you just have to always
keep your mind on that end goal and what you want to do,’’ he advises. ‘‘Always keep your eyes on the prize and know that at the end of the day things are gonna be okay, and just keep pushing forward.’’ Before leaving us to get ready for his opening act, Eben mentionned ‘‘a lot of stuff coming and happening’’ as far as his next projects are concerned. As he plans on dropping another project at the end of this year, he feels too passionate about his job to stop working. ‘‘I think I would lose my mind if I stopped working,’’ he says laughing. ‘‘The next EP that I drop, I want it to be even better, because I’m always wanting to grow as an artist.’’ Excited to meet the people who were waiting for his performance and those who have supported him thus far, he left them one last message. ‘‘I just want to thank my fans, for everything that they have ever done for me because that’s the only reason that we are here right now. I’m so unbelievably thankful for them, I’m thankful for you guys for coming here. This is awesome. Let’s keep it going!’’
Natalie Alyn Lind Words by Thilda Riou Styling by Luca Kingston
Photos by Raul Romo
Makeup by Melissa Hernandez
Hair by Kiki Heitkotter
ith both of her parents already in the acting industry, Natalie Alyn Lind was almost born on a set. At 19 years old, she is living her dream and sharing it with her whole family, including her two little sisters. Natalie was in Atlanta, where Fox and Marvel’s The Gifted’s set is based, when she caught up with us over the phone to tell us everything about her show, her ambitions and her thoughts on Hollywood.
Originally from Los Angeles, Natalie was suited for the job since she was brought into the world. As far as she can remember, she was obsessed with acting and was constantly surrounded by actors and producers. ‘‘The fact that I had this experience at such a young age has definitely helped me to know who I want to be as an actress.’’ Here is a funny story: her mom was actually on a show when she was pregnant with her. ‘‘I kind of fell into it and I haven’t stopped since,’’ Natalie laughs. Being very close to her parents and her two sisters, Emily and Alyvia, helps the actress to stay motivated. ‘‘My sisters and I were all homeschooled, so we grew up extremely close,’’ Natalie says. Because there are so many ups and downs in the industry, she is grateful that she can share all of her experiences with her family. ‘‘I trust them more than anyone, so I’m very lucky to have them in my life, and especially to have them doing the same work that I’m doing.’’
‘‘ Being shut down only means that you can go back up’’
Since she was little, Natalie has played many different roles. But one of her favorite projects that she worked on as a child was her part in the TV show Flashpoint. It was the first time she played a serious character, with a lot of levels, and she really keeps a positive memory of this opportunity. ‘‘It was kind of when I fall in love with acting because I really got to play with that character and show a more experienced side of myself,’’ she recalls. After that the actress took the industry by storm with her role in The Gifted, a show taking place in the X-Men fascinating universe. As she grew up being surrounded by the X-Men movies and comics, Natalie immediately knew that she wanted to be a part of the show when she first heard of it. ‘‘When I read the script, I fell in love with it because it puts you in the place of a mutant so you can see what they are going through,’’ she explains. ‘‘The Gifted is about survival,’’ Natalie mentions. In the series, the mutants are not socially accepted and are fighting for their rights. The actress plays one of them, Lauren Strucker, who is learning to embrace and to control her powers. Lauren is the popular girl who wants to live a normal life and doesn’t want to be seen as different. ‘‘But then, she has to let everybody knows that she’s a mutant to save her brother, and her family goes underground,’’ she says.
The show tackles the issue of discrimination, and Natalie thinks that the most important message being relayed is: be yourself. ‘‘People aren’t mutants in the real world,’’ she laughs. ‘‘But I think that there are a lot of parallels. You’ll end up being so much happier if you are open with your family and your friends.’’ Currently in its second season, the series never stops challenging the actress to embody such a strong character. ‘‘Lauren grew up as a person and as a woman. Now, she has to be the adult in situations and figure out what to do.’’ On top of that, being on set is fulfilling for Natalie who is very close to her co-stars. ‘‘It’s funny because we have super intense scenes where we are crying and screaming and then, all of the sudden, we hear cut and we all start laughing,’’ she tells. As a glimpse into her future, Natalie tells us what she would love to explore in the industry. On the one hand, she hopes to get another season of The Gifted and wants to do some movie roles. ‘‘I’m a huge Tarantino fan and I especially love his female characters and how badass and cool they are,’’ she says. ‘‘So, playing in smaller independent movies, that I can get into some crazier characters, would be awesome.’’ On the other hand, the actress has been a fan of Winona Ryder since she was little and would love to do anything with her.
‘‘ People aren’t mutants in the real world. But I think that there are a lot of parallels. You’ll end up being so much happier if you are open with your family and your friends’’
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‘‘ Together, especially millenials, we can make a change in the world’’
Given her background and all the things that she has accomplished at such a young age, Natalie had to face a lot of rejection, which she thinks was the biggest challenge she had to face thus far. ‘‘When you are being shut down so many times, it is really hard to get up after a couple times,’’ she explains. ‘‘But then you have opportunities, and I’m so grateful that I am on a show right now that I love so much, and playing a character that I am obsessed with. Being shut down only means that you can go back up.’’ As a piece of advice, she mentions that by constantly playing different characters and putting yourself in their minds, you tend to forget who you are and you change yourself. ‘‘There are so many times that I’ve been told that I haven’t gotten a role because my hair was too long, I wasn’t skinny enough, I was too skinny, or my body was too developed,’’ she recalls. ‘‘So I think that you have to remind yourself who you are.’’
As a young woman in the entertainment industry, Natalie loves to see how women stand together and begin to play strong lead female characters. ‘‘People condescend you in a way, and they don’t necessarily take you seriously. So, I’m wanting to see more of that,’’ she says. ‘‘I mean, if I had a daughter, I would want her to feel comfortable in the industry and not putting herself down because she is a woman. Because I know that my daughter will be as strong as any man.’’ In addition to that, Natalie has a strong presence on social media and wants to use such a tool to express herself and be helpful. Besides being involved in an organization helping young refugee girls across the border, she believes that it is important to put information out that young people can look up, to have a better understanding of the world. ‘‘I think that together, especially millenials, we can make a change in the world and it’s a great outlet to be able to do that,’’ she concludes.
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Jake Miller Words by Parker Schug Styling by Marissa Mootley
Photos by Mallory Turner Grooming by Grace Snook
‘‘ If you’re passionate about something than anything is feasible’’ Driven
singer, songwriter, and producer, Jake Miller has been working hard to make his dreams a reality since a young age. Even as a highschooler, Jake was non-stop writing and recording music to post on YouTube. Due to his persistent efforts, Jake has become an internationally known artist, and has earned a phenomenal following on social media, millions of views on YouTube, and has had the opportunity to work with some of the most accomplished artists in the world.
Jake’s love for music began as a child in his family’s Weston, Florida home. Because of his parents immense appreciation for music, Jake was drawn to the art form. ‘‘I’ve always loved music and I’ve always had it in my blood,’’ he explained when asked about his family’s influence. But pursuing his passion from a young age wasn’t always easy. ‘‘Everyone in my school knew me as that kid that was making rap songs. Nobody really liked them.’’ However, despite the criticism Jake received from his peers, he had no intention of stopping. ‘‘I was the only kid that was brave enough to put myself out there.’’ Later on, in 2014, Jake released his breakout single, First Flight Home. This song, written during one of the more challenging times in Jake’s career proved to be a major success. ‘‘It was the first time that I really felt homesick,’’ Jake responded when asked what inspired him to write the song, As a
young adult spending a lot of his time in Los Angeles, away from his family and home, Jake wanted to encompass the emotion associated with reuniting with a loved one. ‘‘This song was just about coming home to your girlfriend, or your family, whoever it may be.’’ The influence on Jake’s music went much further than just this one situation. ‘‘My favorite musicians are John Mayer, for his lyricism. I love Drake and Kendrick, and J. Cole. But I also like people like Charlie Puth for his amazing jazz chords, and musicianship,’’ he said about his inspirations within the music industry. Jake tries to include aspects of their style into his own music. ‘‘I mix everything I listen to into one.’’ And when it comes to learning from other artists, Jake has an open mind. ‘‘I love every kind of music. If it’s a good song I appreciate it, whether it’s a country song, a ballad, or a rap song.’’ Throughout his career Jake has worked with many skilled artists such as Ariana Grande, Mac Miller, Jason Derulo, and Travie McCoy. But when asked who he enjoyed working with the most, he answered Pharrell because of how kind he was. In addition to meeting and working with many of his idols, Jake also opened for Fifth Harmony on their 7/27 tour where he performed his single Overnight as well as many other older songs of his.
Due to his hard work and determination over the years, Jake has acquired a great following, nicknamed ‘‘The Millertary.’’ Since gaining this following Jake has tried to spread positivity, and promote helping others. He has visited and sang to sick patients in hospitals, and posted about it hoping other people would use it at inspiration to do the same. ‘‘I want to focus a lot of my attention on one cause,’’ Jake exclaimed to talk about future goals for his social media platforms, suggesting spreading awareness for cancer through posts and action. He later added that he believes a lot can be done by simply, ‘‘doing whatever you love more, and making people happy by doing it.’’ One of Jake’s most compassionate acts up until this point was during the time of his friends suicide. Jake received the news that one of his old friends had committed suicide back in his hometown while Jake was making music in Los Angeles. He wanted to do something for his friend’s family, so he did what he did best and wrote a song, ‘‘I didn’t really know what to do especially being on the other side of the country. Naturally the only thing I could do was write a song about it.’’ Jake named this song, Sunshine, after his friends nickname given by their wrestling coach. After hearing this beautiful song, Jake’s friend’s parents insisted to have the song produced and recorded. Jake decided to make the music video a compilation of Dylan’s home videos, and pictures from years passed. He even included the suicide hotline at the end in case it could help anyone in the position his friend was in.
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‘‘ I was the only kid that was brave enough to put myself out there’’
Aside from how caring he is, Jake is also extremely unique. He is one of the few artists to write, produce, and record his own music. During his time signed with a record label, Jake felt like he was missing some of the creative freedom he once loved. To solve that issue, he learned how to do everything a record label would have done. ‘‘I spent that whole year doing my research, watching videos, and having people come over and give me programs and tutorials.’’ After all his hard work, Jake not only put an entire album together on his own titled 2:00 AM in LA, but he has also produced a single that came out this November named Wait For You. In Jake’s multiple years of being part of this industry, he has learned a lot but the one piece of advice he chose to share was: ‘‘If you want something done right, do it yourself.’’ This applied to producing his own music, but also all other aspects of life, meaning be your own biggest cheerleader, and work hard for what you want. He also emphasized the importance of finding your passion because, if you care about something enough, than nothing can stop you from getting where you want to go. In the words of caring, young, talented, Jake Miller, ‘‘if you’re passionate about something than anything is feasible.’’
Katherine Words by Jasmine Perrier Photos by Ryan Jerome Styling by Natalie Hoselton Makeup by Melissa Hernandez Hair by Matt Fugate
ast time we caught up with 23-year-old Katherine McNamara was more than a year ago, right after the launch of Shadowhunters’ season one. Freeform’s hit show led by Katherine since 2016 as the fierce and loving Clary Fray has been able to create a television adaption of The Mortal Instruments book series by Cassandra Clare pushing the heroes into deeper emotional spaces. According to the rising star from Kansas City, Missouri, being a part of Shadowhunters ‘‘has been such an amazing journey.’’ After wrapping up shooting the third and final season of the series last summer, she left Toronto that has been her place of employment for the past two years. Even if Katherine is now moving on to the next chapter of her life, she will definitely cherish this mind-blowing stage of her life forever.
‘‘ I can only hope to continue encouraging people to be themselves through my work and personal life’’
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‘‘ I’ve never been a part of a show where every single person in every single department cares so much about the work that they are doing’’
‘‘Godness, where to even begin?’’ Shadowhunters actress says when asking how she feels regarding everything she has been through since the beginning of her journey in Freeform’s supernatural drama that has definitely been a life-changing experience for her. ‘‘They welcomed us with so open arms,’’ she comments on the fans of Shadowhunters who have never stopped showing their love and support since day one, ‘‘making this experience too special’’ for Katherine. ‘‘The people that I’ve met, the stories that I’ve heard, everything that has happened to me and everyone else on this journey, it’s truly extraordinary and rare. I certainly won’t forget it.’’ Before joining the cast of Shadowhunters, Katherine had never been into television series. Thus putting herself in Clary Fray’s shoes was like discovering an unknown world. ‘‘I had no idea what I was doing, I was just trying to do my best,’’ she reveals. Luckily, she ended up being surrounded by ‘‘a group of incredible people’’ who became not only her co-workers, but also her ‘‘family,’’ from her co-stars to the writers and all the people involved in the making of the show. Therefore, Katherine notices a parallel journey for her and her character Clary. ‘‘Luckily she is surrounded by a group of amazing friends that became her family and helped her. That’s exactly what happened to me on Shadowhunters,’’
Katherine recalls. ‘‘They support and guide me. I’ve grown and learnt a lot. I’ve changed a lot, but I think for the better.’’ In addition to the family and friends she has made on set, Katherine got to be a part of one of the most devoted communities of fans in the world of TV shows, a community driven by the values of ‘‘love, unity, and acceptance’’ which Katherine admires. ‘‘The Shadowhunters fandom is extraordinary, truly. It’s a fandom of people from all over the world who are so diverse and so different,’’ she affirms. ‘‘Pretty much every category of human beings exists in this fandom and I think it’s wonderful because in this world, where everyone is so divided and people are constantly in conflict with each other, it’s nice to see a group of people that are so diverse.’’ Even though the show is going to wrap its ultimate chapter next February 2019 with season 3B titled ‘‘The Final Hunt’’ and a two-hour series finale event, Katherine insists that there is no reason that what they all share together as a community has to go. ‘‘It has been the biggest gift to see all the friendships that have been formed. I feel like everyone has grown together. No matter what happened to the show, this family, this community, this fandom will always be there and will only continue to grow.’’
‘‘ Pretty much every category of human beings exists in this Shadowhunters fandom and it’s wonderful’’
‘‘I always get emotional when talking about this,’’ she tells when sharing with us the greatest thing she took away from working on Shadowhunters. ‘‘It gave me some hope in the world,’’ she says. ‘‘Because there is so many negative things going on right now, and I always connect to the Shadowhunters fandom, I always connect to the show because it’s a constant source of light, love, hope, acceptance, and joy in this world — not only the fandom, everything externally.’’ Katherine considers there is a ‘‘magic that has been developed onscreen’’ thanks to the collaborative process behind Shadowhunters. ‘‘I’ve never been a part of a show where every single person in every single department cares so much about the work that they are doing, and about the story they are telling. They put so much energy and efforts, and passion into every single detail in the show, to really create the world as rich as it can be.’’ One of Katherine’s new experiences she has known through her Shadowhunters
journey remains the fan conventions, allowing her to travel all over the world to meet the fans of the series. ‘‘The conventions have been one of my favorite aspects of the series to be honest,’’ she states. ‘‘With Shadowhunters, people care and are really passionate about it. The conversations I’m able to have with people at conventions are so incredible because they know so much about the show and the characters. They know the things that we don’t even notice. So hearing everyone’s perspectives and everyone’s different takes on the story is the biggest gift.’’ Portraying Clary Fray for three seasons has probably been the role challenging the most Katherine’s acting skills until now. ‘‘Clary was this wonderful, hopeful, positive individual who believes that anything could happen, anything could be done,’’ Katherine remarks. Over the seasons, we saw Clary taking charge in much more of an authoritative way, gaining the confidence and skill to fight some of her own battles as she found her place in the Shadow World. ‘‘Clary has been such a gift
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‘‘ The strong, empowered, independent woman can be any woman. It can be any person’’ in a sense that she is a character who has constantly been changing and growing, and learning, making mistakes,’’ Katherine describes. ‘‘In a character, all you ask for, is someone imperfect. That’s exactly what Clary has been. She has always provided something new for me to learn, or to develop within her and that has been fun. I had such an amazing time playing this character.’’ When referring to her favorite aspects of Clary’s journey, Katherine goes back to Clary’s key moment at the end of season two where she killed Valentine, as she can not share too much about what is coming in 3B. ‘‘It has allowed Clary not to back down, and say: ‘You know what? No more. You’ve killed enough people.’ Her father has caused so much death, destruction, and pain to so many people that she loved. What is the beautiful irony of that was, by doing that — killing her father — she finally became a Morgensten. That beautiful irony continues in the 3B. I can’t say too much about it but Clary definitely comes to terms with her ‘Morgensteness.’ That is probably my favorite part of her journey.’’ During the time she has spent in the Shadowhunters world ‘‘that is beautifully crafted,’’ Katherine had the opportunity to learn a lot about different ways of life and perspectives that are not her own. ‘‘I have such an understanding for the difficulties that a lot of people can go through and struggles people can have with who they are, their places in the world,’’ she reports.
‘‘Through stories like this, communities like the Shadowhunters fandom, I think people grow to accept themselves, love themselves, have confidence. I can only hope to continue encouraging people to be themselves through my work and personal life, things that I do on social media and beyond.’’ Despite the unexpected end of Shadowhunters, Katherine’s career kept moving forward as she has recently been announced to star in the hit CW series Arrow. Her character called Maya is described as a fighter who grew up in a very difficult environment. ‘‘She is a product of that environment,’’ Katherine explains. ‘‘There is so much I can’t say yet in regards to Arrow. I think Maya has seen so much pain and negativity, so much of the dark side of what the world can be.’’ What Katherine supports particularly with Shadowhunters, but also with her new role in Arrow, is the presence of many empowered, independent, ‘‘badass’’ female roles on television. ‘‘Every single woman on the show [Shadowhunters], from the Seelie Queen to Clary, Maya, Isabelle, they are kick ass, they fight their own battles, they are confident, independent women, but they are also diverse women. The way they live their life, their morals, their looks, their orientations, they are all completely different,’’ Katherine mentions. ‘‘The strong, empowered, independent, badass woman is not one kind of woman, it can be any woman. It can be any person.’’
Beyond acting, Katherine has always hoped to release more music. And her expectations were fulfilled when her song ‘‘Ember’’ was featured in the season two finale of Shadowhunters. On top of that, she is working on recording her original pop songs. ‘‘In every other aspect of my work, I’m saying someone’s else words, I’m in someone’s else shoes, I’m living someone’s life basically. That’s wonderful and yes I put a large part of myself into every character I play,’’ she emphasizes. ‘‘But with my music, it’s an opportunity to really share a piece of myself, a piece of my heart and my experience. Hopefully it will help and inspire someone out there.’’
‘‘ With my music, it’s an opportunity to really share a piece of myself and my experience’’
‘‘No matter what happens to you, no matter wherever life takes you: remember who you are and remember why you started this in the first place, whatever your passion is. Remember why why you started, why you love it,’’ she says regarding the most important lesson she has learnt on her journey. ‘‘Also keep the people that are there for you, and that are truly genuine with you, who will be honest no matter what, and the people who love you for who you are, and not what you’ve become. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by some really wonderful people, and to have really discovered who my friends are. Those are the people I’d do anything for, those are the people I know would do anything for me and there is something beautiful in that. No matter what happens to us, we will always be there for each other. That’s more important than anything, really,’’ she ultimately shares.
‘‘ No matter what happened
to the show, this family, this community, this fandom will always be there and will only continue to grow’’
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Lindsey Stirling Words by ElĂŠa Weibel
Photos by Heather Koepp Styling by Brittny Moore
Makeup by Michelle Miller
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‘‘ I started this thing not to be the most successful person with the most followers. I started it because I wanted to create and make art’’
hat are your dreams? Are you brave enough to achieve them? Well, Lindsey Stirling certainly is. With her violins, at barely 30 she manages multiple lifetimes of accomplishments: two different tours including one in Europe, an autobiography, and two albums — one that received a Billboard Music Award and one that is the #1 holiday album in the country. Before going on tour again and releasing her deluxe album ‘‘Warmer in The Winter,’’ on her highway to success, she kindly took the time to speak with us here at Grumpy Magazine.
If you don’t know Lindsey Stirling, you may wonder what exactly she does as her main activity: she simply composes songs. And then she plays them expertly on her violin, while dancing. She has merely managed to create an entire new genre of music in her early twenties, willingly mixing hip hop with violin. Her inspiration sprouted from a common frustration: she couldn’t find what she wanted in traditional songs. She nearly even dropped violin and chose not to study it in school, because she didn’t want to ‘‘play what has been played for hundreds and hundreds of years, the way it had been played for hundreds of years.’’ She decided to create her new style, something she would want to do. Her first original song, Spontaneous me, came out not long after. She then uploaded song after song, ranging from covers to original music she created. About one year after it all started Crystallize came out, a song that would change her life forever.
‘‘ People weren’t just requesting covers from me anymore. And that’s when I realized that my life was probably going to change’’
Crystallize was not just new because it mixed dubstep with violin. It was new because it was a song she composed and it was doing insanely well. Today it’s sitting at 206 million views on YouTube, 6 years after it went online. In her words, ‘‘people weren’t just requesting covers from me anymore, people were like ‘play Crystallize, write more dubstep, write more electronic music for violin’ and I thought, ‘oh, people like me for what I actually love to do’. And that’s when I realized that my life was probably going to change.’’ Yet, the path to success wasn’t guaranteed. She was becoming popular, but, according to her, she knew little about how to write songs. And yet, she wrote songs anyway, and she now describes it as ‘‘something magical.’’ She declares some of her songs, like Moon Trance, don’t repeat at all like a song traditionally would, ‘‘but that only makes it more unique.’’ Still, she worked hard, and is today a ‘‘much better songwriter.’’ Nonetheless, she tries to find a balance between not knowing the rules or applying them. ‘‘It’s important to know the rules, but I think on my next album I want to go back to breaking the rules a little bit!’’ But before composing her next album, she is going on tour on the 23rd of November, until the end of the year. While she doesn’t dread touring, she did say it made her a little bit anxious. Another quality
Lindsey has is that she’s incredibly close to her fans. She goes to every meet and greet she can, and that’s what’s causing her nervousness. ‘‘Someone put really good money, that they worked up and saved for, to come to my show. And I want them to leave so happy that they got a ticket. I want them leaving inspired, and that’s what puts the pressure on.’’ And while that is happening, she is also dropping deluxe version of her holiday album ‘‘Warmer in The Winter.’’ She originally thought she wouldn’t have a lot more to add to the album, tracks like I wonder as I wander soon became her favorite song and, to her, made the album more complete. Now, how does one manage all of this, you may wonder? Well, her answer is that she doesn’t just do that, of course: she edits her YouTube videos, she edits her tour videos, she helps costume creation for her tour, she even creates and choreographs most of her tours. She told us that sometimes people question her use of her time. ‘‘Why do you still do those things, you can get people to do that for you?’’ they often ask her. ‘‘But those things, to me, are part of what I love about what I do. Why would I give up one of the things I love the most about what I do? I started this thing not to be the most successful person with the most followers, no. I started it because I wanted to create and make art and that’s what I get to continuously do.’’
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Creating and making art is often, in itself, a challenge, and artists are able to draw their creative power from many places. Even if they greatly enjoy drawing, writing or composing, artists often get inspiration from terrible events that happened to them. While some focus on pain, for Lindsey, it is rather her journey through pain, and the person she became after. ‘‘I think the album [Brave enough] grew with me, as I worked to become the kind of person I wanted to be, I wasn’t staying in a spot of grief and anger, that came out through the music.’’ And even while having faced real struggles and having lost loved ones in a period of need, the message Lindsey is trying to convey is full of light. ‘‘I think the greatest message I can share is self-love.’’ She then explained to us how self-love was the foundation of everything. To her, our actions in the world are much alike a mirror, and we hurt others because we are hurt ourselves. However, inspiration is not only fueled by our emotions, but also by others. Lindsey has often been collaborating with other creators, singers and composers alike. When she is working with other artists, she tries to find artists that bring out the best in her. ‘‘It’s just like going on a date,’’ she points out that some people simply make her show a side of her she loves a lot. Nevertheless some other creators, that are not necessarily bad people, make her show a side of her she doesn’t appreciate as much. Sometimes with those people, she even feels less creative and inspired. Thus, partnering with other artists can be like a double-edged sword. ‘‘It can be tiring but it can also be exciting when it works.’’
Finally, aside from saluting her French fans, Lindsey does have two more pieces of advice for the young and aspiring minds out there. First, don’t be like her. Yes, you read that right. — At least don’t be as reckless with your own music as she was. ‘‘I was willing to do anything to get my music heard. I was willing to sign with anyone, and sign anything in order for someone to believe in me.’’ She says these days she is glad no one wanted her, because she wouldn’t be where she is today if she had signed away the rights to her songs. Now, the second piece of advice you might be more familiar with, yet it bears repeating. ‘‘We’ve all been embarrassed, we’ve all fallen down, we’ve all thought we’re not good enough. The person that succeeds in the end, of course they have to be talented, but really, the most important thing is that they’re hard working. And don’t give up, and don’t listen when people say no.’’
‘‘ I think the greatest message I can share is self-love’’
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‘‘ It’s important to know the
rules, but I think on my next album I want to go back to breaking the rules a little bit’’
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Laura Marano Words by Jasmine Perrier Photos by Derrick Freske Styling by Seth Chernoff Makeup by Gregory Arlt at Forward Artists for MAC Hair by Giannandrea at Forward Artists for Design. ME Haircare Location Andaz West Hollywood
‘‘ I already feel overwhelmed in the best way with everything I am doing and want to accomplish’’
‘‘ ’ve never been to Paris,’’ Laura Marano says as she picks up the phone while driving in LA traffic. In a few days, the actress and singer will celebrate her 23rd birthday, and she is ready to introduce a new chapter of her life with her genuine and positive personality, clear talent, and authentic vibes — especially through her music career after deciding to go independent, and her upcoming film projects like Saving Zoe she produces with her mom Ellen and sister Vanessa.
‘‘How it happened was a kind of an accident,’’ Laura starts when telling how she ended up in the entertainment industry she has been involved in pretty much nonstop since her childhood. Growing up in Los Angeles, Laura knows there is something about performing she has always loved and she was for sure in the right city to chase her ambitions. ‘‘I can’t really imagine my life without it,’’ she admits. ‘‘It would have been so much harder, more difficult, if we weren’t in LA. I feel really lucky. But I have to say, I don’t live in Hollywood or where the business is. I grew up detached from that part. I have plenty of friends who are not into the industry at all.’’ Starting her acting career when she was in kindergarten, Laura followed in the footsteps of her older sister Vanessa when it came to appear in front of the camera. ‘‘My sister really wanted to act, and my mom owned a children theater,’’ Laura says. Knowing how tough the acting industry
could be, it took time for the Marano sisters to convince their mom, who was ‘‘so against the idea.’’ But Laura’s sister was persistent and continued begging their mom every day for two years. ‘‘So my mom looked up some agents and found the agents that turned down kids 95% of the time,’’ Laura adds. To her mother’s surprise, they wanted to take Vanessa and 5-year-old daring Laura who had followed her mom and sister around mentioned that she didn’t have an agent. ‘‘Oh honey we will take you too,’’ they answered her. ‘‘You grow up a lot faster,’’ Laura comments on her experience as a child and teenage actor. As she booked her first theatrical role at 6 alongside her sister Vanessa, she has been familiar with the film environment since her earliest age and only bettered herself in her craft. ‘‘There is a lot of awesome things about starting early. Things just become so much more natural and normal on a working standpoint,’’ she concedes. ‘‘Since I started at 5, memorizing lines and other aspects of acting are a lot easier for me to do, because I’ve been doing it for so long.’’ Although Laura’s life took a new turn, she continued to go to traditional school that has helped balance her. ‘‘That was really important for me because when you’re growing up in the business, you do lose sight of what other young kids are doing on a regular basis. Because you’re literally working with adults. So I’m lucky that I was able to keep my education and keep going to school.’’
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Laura was still in high school, when she auditioned for Disney Channel’s sitcom Austin and Ally and booked the lead role of Ally Dawson she has dedicated her life to for four seasons. ‘‘It was so awesome and so fun for me. I’m so thankful for that experience,’’ she admits. ‘‘There is so many different types of acting and different types of jobs in the TV industry and the film industry. Doing what I did on Austin and Ally was definitely challenging.’’ Since finishing the Disney show whose final episodes aired in 2016, Laura has worked on her craft and done three films, all very different. ‘‘I did two comedies because I do love laughing. I love the different kind of colors that you contain when you’re doing comedies because it can be dramatic, it can be a bunch of different things. But I also found myself drawn into doing something more serious, darker. So I think for me, choosing the projects I want to do and choosing what works to do, it’s all about how much I connect with a character one, and how much I am structuring myself on an acting standpoint.’’ Aside of her acting career, Laura has revealed herself as her own character,
the musician, and has been doing music professionally since age 16. In 2016, she signed with Taylor Swift’s label Big Machine Records and released her first single Boombox. A year later it was announced she signed to Warner Bros Records. Today as she decided to go independent as a musical artist, she is eager to start a new chapter of her life and face new challenges. ‘‘For the last two years, it was filming different movies, working on this music and kind of going in and out of two different labels. It was really frustrating. Now I’m really excited to be starting this new era of my career and see where it takes me,’’ she explains. Laura introduced Me as the first single off of her new project, and she describes this new music she is going to be releasing as ‘‘the most personal music’’ she has ever done. ‘‘It’s songs that I’ve written in the last year and a half. Half the songs are wise, and happy, and fun. Other half of the songs are a little bit more vulnerable, more emotional,’’ she reveals. ‘‘I really wanted to start out with Me because it’s such a fun song. I really wanted the production to be a little bit more minimal. Me has that and the rest of my songs that follow have that. I wrote Me a year ago when I was starting to
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fall in love again. We all have that: there is someone is our head that we cannot stop thinking about. It sounds quite narcissistic — it’s called Me but it’s really about the other person.’’ In the music video she released early October, Laura invited us to an epic and fun pool party directed by the music video director who did Boombox. ‘‘The video was so fun. We wanted to do some perspectives of that other person. We had the best time, and the reactions have been amazing.’’ While making the transition to an independent artist, Laura felt empowered by the idea to be more in charge of her destiny. When she was thinking about going on her own, ‘‘that was the right thing to do,’’ according to her. ‘‘It scared me a bit — going off of my comfortable box and going into something that I haven’t done before. That excites me as much as it scares me,’’ she tells. ‘‘For sure, there is a little bit more pressure, the stakes are a little bit higher because it’s all coming from me. But there is something I’ve learnt about: I’m such a controlholic,’’ she laughs. ‘‘I’m very excited to get to have that control, but also I get to decide how to share my artistry, and me as an artist, to my fans. When you’re working with another company, a label, you don’t really necessarily have that creative control. Of course I don’t have as much resources as I did if I were at a label, but it feels just the right thing to do.’’ On top of her busy schedule, Laura worked on a movie called Saving Zoe, both as an actress and a producer, with her mom and sister who she has very close bounds with. ‘‘Being a producer for the first time was really fun, and I want to do a lot more of it especially with my mom and sister. I think we are a really great team,’’ Laura mentions. Having her sister in the business too is ‘‘a blessing’’ for Laura as they have been able to bend into each other many times about their frustrations or bad days of work, for instance. ‘‘It’s really helpful. No one else in the world understands our lives more than we do,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s something that we’ve bounded since we started.’’
‘‘ I’m really excited to be starting this new era of my career’’ In addition to having the Marano women producing Saving Zoe together, Laura got the opportunity to act with Vanessa again and they actually played sisters. ‘‘We have this way of reading each other’s minds. We have a way of communicating, connecting,’’ Laura notifies. ‘‘I don’t want to give too much away but we actually didn’t act too much on screen together. But just working together in general was so rewarding.’’ Based on Alyson Noel‘s novel of the same name, it was recently announced that Saving Zoe has been picked up by Blue Fox Entertainment for worldwide sales rights and domestic distribution rights.
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Actress, musician, singer, producer and even student as she plans on finishing college and getting her degree, Laura Marano has a few tricks up her sleeve. When asking how she envisions the rest of her journey, she replied: ‘‘It’s funny to answer this question, because I already feel overwhelmed in the best way with everything I am doing and want to accomplish. Producing a movie was one of my favorite and most rewarding experiences that I have done in the last two years, and I definitely want to do more of that. I could potentially see myself directing one day, but I think I am years away from that. Musically, I am beyond excited to be able to make and put out music that I love, and I just want to do that for the rest of my life.’’ Grateful for the support system she has, she wanted to dedicate an ultimate message to her supporters. ‘‘Thank you to all of the people in my life who are constantly there for me. I have the most patient and incredible fans, and I see them working hard for me every single day. It’s really scary to do things that push yourself out of your comfort zone, but that’s what I’m focusing on for the next chapter of my life, and even though I’m still scared, I am so thankful to have the people in my life who are empowering me to do it.’’
‘‘ It’s really scary to do things
that push yourself out of your comfort zone, but that’s what I’m focusing on for the next chapter of my life’’