MARCH/APRIL 2011 SPRING ISSUE
Dealing With A Break Up Spring Fever Punk Fashion Weird Sports Around The World WikiLeaks Revision Tips
HOLLYOAKS WITH VICTORIA ATKIN
MASTER SHORTIE TERROR DANJAH
ARNOLD OCENG AKA SNAKEYMAN
R U O T 2 | NXGZINE
All material is copyright. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the expressed written permission of the publishers. NXGZine is part of the NXG Company Group
Editors Word. HAPPY EASTER! The days are getting longer and the nights are getting warmer. This can only mean one thing, and no I do not mean global warming, I mean spring is around the corner. I do not know about you, but I am doing the Crouch-inspired robotic dance to celebrate and, I am now thinking I should seriously stop. So back to business, it has been an extreme start to the year with all of the protests and revolutions going on. It seems that nations are finally making their voices heard and freeing themselves of dictators and governments they no longer believe in. Many wonder what may have helped set the uprisings off, and we at NXG, think that a certain website may have had a small part to play in it. Turn to our Big Issue section for a juicy piece on the internet phenomenon that is the WikiLeaks website. We hope you like the warmer look for this spring issue, just do not burn your fingers when turning over to that Trey Songz interview because it is super duper hot (Sss). A little birdy has told me that punk fashion is back and let me tell you, that is fine by me as I am always clashing my colours. Speaking of punk, young electro-punk rocker Master Shortie dropped by, be sure to check all of
the gossip he spills as well as how to get that punk look in our fashion section. We have plenty of hot interviews and loads of great advice to keep you entertained, inspired and on the go. That reminds me, would you believe us if we told you that shin kicking is officially a sport? Well, trust me it is, we found this out in our sports page where we take you through all of the weird and whacky sports you would have never heard of...until now. Anyway, that is enough talk about the shenanigans that we spend most of our time looking into. On a serious note, continue to persevere and fight for your rights. Enjoy the issue!
Editor-In-Chief ◊ YASMINE BENDJOUDI Editor ◊ EMMA KNOCK Managing Deputy Editor ◊ MAZ KHAN Art Director ◊ OSMAN TANER Online Sport Correspondent ◊ JAMES MOORE Advertising Manager ◊ TEDJERE NAKAPODIA Operations Manager ◊ MICHAEL KOSMAS Contributors ◊ Tayo Ajisebutu, Heidi Aldihisi, Rob Hewitt, Mahalia Mayne, Jasmia Robinson, Adam Spawton-Rice, Sebastian Thiel
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GADGETS/JACKETS MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: TREY SONGZ MUSIC NEWS NXG DOES: HOLLYOAKS PUNK FASHION 2011 HOW TO PUNK GET THE LOOK 2011 BEAUTY TIPS FITNESS TIPS THE DIARY OF JASMIA ROBINSON DEALING WITH BREAK UPS JEALOUS MUCH REVISION TIPS WORKPLACE GET IN 2: PRODUCING WITH TERROR BE INSPIRED: BY WOMEN YOUNG STAR OF THE ISSUE: ARNOLD OCENG UK SOUND: MASTER SHORTIE THE BIG ISSUE: WIKILEAKS SPORTS: RUGBY SPORTS: WEIRD SPORTS MUSIC REVIEWS MOVIE REVIEWS WHAT’S ON TRAVEL: SPRING FEVER QUIZ
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Tape express IF you are having a clearout and desperately trying to find some space, this little bad boy will convert your old tapes, straight on to your computer in an mp3 format. £49.99 www.iwantoneofthose.com
Emergency Phone Charger There is nothing worse than running out of battery and being hours away from home. Fear not, this tiny little phone charger will give you two hours extra battery. It is compatible with iPods too. £10 www.iwantoneofthose.com
GADGETS By Emma Knock
iPhone iFlash Probably the only thing wrong with the iPhone is its lack of flash. NXG have a solution for you. Simply attach the iFlash to your phone and voila, let there be light. £19.95 www.geniegadgets.com
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Polaroid 300 Instant Analogue Camera Love your old Polaroid camera, but gutted when they stopped making the film for it? Well now they are back with a new one. The Polaroid 300 is a modern take on the old camera and produces instant, high quality business card size photos. £79.99 www.firebox.com
Ladies baseball style bomber jacket with badges £40.00 www.topshop.co.uk
Ladies beige print ‘fallaway’ jacket £49.99 www.riverisland.com
Ladies therapy asher mac £55.00 www.houseoffraser.co.uk
YOU can feel it in the air - summer is almost here. However, until the sun graces us with its full potentency once again, you still need an on trend jacket to keep you warm, but keep you looking cool. Here are spring’s hottest looks.
Mens Nickelson Paddox Jacket £35.00 www.blueinc.co.uk
Mens crafted glenister jacket £49.99 www.republic.co.uk
Mens ‘pointelle-knit’ cardigan with elbow patches £19.99 www.hm.com NXGZINE | 7
SPOTLIGHT MUSIC SPOTLIGHT:
Trey Songz A ladies man, worldwide singing sensation and part time actor, it is safe to say that ‘Trigger Trey’ Songz has the world in his palm. His amazing fourth album Passion, Pain and Pleasure is out now and contains hits that feature some of hottest artists in the game. The US born heartthrob chats to Maz Khan about love, inspirations and touring with Ne-Yo When did you get into singing? I enjoyed singing from a very young age and I soon realised it was one of the only things that I was really good at. I started going to talent shows and then I hooked up with American producer, Troy Taylor, who was a friend of my mother’s. From there, music was all I ever wanted to do. In such a competitive industry, how did you get your name out there? When I met Troy Taylor, I sang for him and he thought I had the talent it took to make it in the industry, he was impressed. From then, we worked consistently on getting my tracks perfect. I was fortunate enough to work with an amazing producer so early on in my career. You are touring the UK with Ne-Yo this year. When is that happening? I will be coming down in March, I think. I am very excited; he has such a raw talent.
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You and Ne-Yo would sound amazing together. Any possibility of the two of you collaborating? Ne-Yo and I have always spoken about putting a record together; I can’t believe it hasn’t happened yet! It probably will be happening soon, so watch this space. You are quite the ladies man. Are you single? I love women, and I have been in serious relationships before, but for now I am single. I do put a lot of real emotions into my songs, as I gather emotion from the things that I’ve learnt in my life and from things that I hear about when I talk to my friends. I am really observant of other people’s situations and relationships that they have been in and this helps me put raw emotions into my lyrics. What can we expect from your fifth lp? I haven’t started working on it yet, but you can expect it to be all real and very musical. With every album, I plan to grow. I grow as a person as well as musically. I also try to expand my audience. You know, I want to open them up to new sounds from myself. Every album I have released has been bigger than the last, so it’s been great to accomplish that.
Have you been to the UK before? I have been to the UK a few times. I love it, it’s a beautiful place, and my fans show so much love. They appreciation for the music and the live performances is great. I love the vibe. We saw you in the 2010 film, Preachers Kid. Will you be doing any more acting in the future? I love acting and it is something that I would definitely look forward to getting into. I am very excited about the opportunities that have come forth where acting is concerned. The thing is though, I have a lot of things on my plate, right now Touring is my focus and I want to ensure that I cover everywhere musically first. Music is my first love and always will be, so I wanna make sure I’m in the place that I wanna be before I get into any new ventures. Acting takes a lot out of you, you have to be focused so I want to make sure that when I go into that field that I am very focused. Musically, what is coming up next for you? I have a few collaborations coming up, actually. I have done a duet with J Cole, who has been touring with Drake. So definitely look out for that, it is hot. I am very excited about him as an artist I think he is really dope.
How was that experience? Outside of that, my single Love Faces is doing well in America. Another song that is starting to pick up is Unusual with Drake, we have worked together several times, he is an awesome artist. As far as collaborations are concerned, I am willing to work with anybody that is talented and takes this thing seriously. I want to do a big duet, maybe for my next album, like a really big, strong R&B ballad, preferably with a powerful female singer. Have you got anyone in mind? I reckon you and Alicia Keys would sound wicked together. (Laughs) That would be GREAT! You never know... So, you’ve pretty much worked with everyone in Young Money, including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.
It was great; they are a very talented. Drake and I have been working together for a long time, so that was nothing new. Every time we get together musically, it is magical. What is your advice for up and coming artists?
Believe in yourself. There will be hardships and times when you want to give up, but if this is truly what you love, then you must never give up and work really hard at it.
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MUSIC NEWS By Yasmine Bendjoudi
Beyoncé Knowles experiments with indie sound ahead of Glastonbury headline \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
AFTER being confirmed to be following in her husband’s footsteps as a Glastonbury headliner, it seems that the biggest British music festival is not the only British staple Beyoncé Knowles has her sights set on. The Bootylicious songstress has been working with expert indie producers, Diplo and Switch as well as Derek E. Miller of Sleigh Bells, to bring a new sound to her upcoming album that is expected to drop later this summer. If all goes according to plan, we can expect to hear edgier tracks with an indie electropop sound, which hints that the chart topper’s choice to explore the genre has been inspired by her forthcoming Glasto show. Commenting on the collaboration, Diplo recently wrote on his blog: “Me and Switch was in the studio in NYC tryin’ to make tracks with Derek and Beyoncé last week after we played her team Sleigh Bells’ album...Dunno if we gonna manage to finish, but it was good times.” Diplo and long-term British partner Switch count a number of international artists, including the likes of M.I.A. and Britney Spears, in their back catalogue of work. Despite this information, the 29-year-old has remained tightlipped about her new record, but did speak about Glastonbury saying: “This really is the biggest festival in the world and I cannot wait to perform there.
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Wh a Tw t do y e NX et us ou th ink GM ? aga @ zin e!
Everyone who attends is really appreciative of music and is in such a good mood that entire weekend. I’m pumped just thinking about that huge audience and soaking up their energy.” Having accompanied Jay-Z for his 2008 headline performance, the Halo hitmaker knows exactly what to expect from the event. However, whether or not her set will turn out to be more memorable than her husband’s remains to be seen. The rapper, who was the first hip-hop act to take on a predominantly rock music crowd, faced criticism from Oasis band member Noel Gallagher, when the Brit spoke out calling it unsuitable to have a hip-hop headliner at the rock festival held in Somerset? With a historical moment that is described as the highlight of that year’s event, the 41-yearold then won over hoards of fans by coming on stage, with a guitar in hand, playing a rendition of Oasis track Wonderwall. While there is no certainty that history will be made yet again, what is sure is, that come the June 26 concert, Beyoncé will no doubt be back with an experimentally infused album that surpasses her multi-award winning I Am Sasha Fierce CD which sold a whopping 7 million copies.
Chris Brown restraining order is softened \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
as he gears up for musical comeback
Plan B’s returns to hip-hop and acting roots \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
Rihanna has backed a downgrade on Chris Brown’s restraining order after an appeal, made by Chris, stated that the order was affecting his industry career due to having to avoid several music events. The downgrade is now at a level one, which means that he is able to be within the same room and even speak to his ex-girlfriend as long as he in no way annoys, molests or harasses her. After being involved in a violent altercation with Rihanna back in 2009, The R&B singer was found guilty of physical assault and in affect sentenced to more than 1400 hours of community service, as well as five years probation. Having suffered major record sale blows, the star was recently praised by a judge for successfully completing his domestic violence classes and is said to be planning the release of his upcoming album F.A.M.E, which stands for Forgiving All My Enemies. It was believed that the first time Chris and RiRi could have been seen attending the same event would have been at the recent NBA All-Star game night, as both were scheduled for appearances. However, Chris was nowhere to be seen while Rihanna attended with Justin Bieber, who is said to have recorded a song titled Next To You with her ex-beau, shortly after. The F.A.M.E album is due for release this March, and as well as the Bieber, expect to hear tracks with Tyga, Lil Wayne and Busta Rymes.
Rapper and singer Plan B is gearing up to release both a hip-hop album entitled The Ballad Of Belmarsh and a movie called Ill Manors. Having taken on more of a pop-soul sound since his Adulthood rap days, it seems the BRIT Award winner is going back to basics. In discussing his new album, he said: “I’m going to try to finish The Ballad Of Belmarsh before May because most of it is written and demoed.” It look like the man is quite the ambitious one, as he revealed previous plans to release two albums at once, adding: “It was my ambition to put it out at the same time as The Defamation but it didn’t work like that, so this is the year to release it. It’s just been sitting there gathering dust, but it’s almost ready to go.” Interestingly enough, whilst his temporary focus is the completion of his LP, Plan B, real name Ben Drew, has revealed that he has directed and starred in a movie set on the rough streets of Forest Gate, south London. The film is a multi-character full length feature, which sees youngsters battling for respect. Discussing the project, the 27-year-old also revealed he has plans to spoil us with a movie soundtrack, saying: “I’ve got to write the soundtrack – which I’ve not even started – and have the film finished by November so we can release it in January 2012. It’s going to be a busy year. I wish there were two of me or I had a time machine.” NXGZINE | 11
Chipmunk bonds with Diddy and admits fearing Chris Brown duet
On top of his recent collaboration with Chris Brown, Chipmunk, who is said to be dating popstar Pixie Lott, has been taking tips from rap mogul Diddy ahead of release of his follow-up album. With a rap veteran giving advice to the 20-year-old, one can only imagine what the conversation was like. Thankfully we do not have to imagine too much as the young star revealed: “He
told me I should always try and make the best possible album I can and when I’m making songs, don’t ever forget about the rest of the world.”
“That’s not in terms of being a success, but he meant to think about my music being relevant around the globe.” Adding:
As the UK rapper attempts to channel out to the globe, his single Champion has received a lot of love despite his fears of it failing miserably. When talking about his previous worries, he said: “I had this fear that no one would
support it because he was on the track. That’s why I’m so ecstatic that everyone has supported it and it’s doing so well.”
Chipmunk also confessed that he instantly knew he wanted Chris’ vocals on the track. The new album, titled Transition, is due out this spring and is tipped to include some more surprise collaborations.
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Magnetic Man are NXG Mag’s dubstep ones to watch
Forming NXG’s most unusual ones to watch yet, Magnetic Man are an electro;dubstep group you will be hearing a lot more about this year. Unique in talent, the Croydon trio is made up of three producers that go by the names of Artwork, Benga and Skream. The collective take to the stage with three computers, one of which plays drum samples while the remaining two play bass and lead samples. All computers are synchronised by MIDI. A definite site to behold, their current single is an impressive collaborative effort entitled Not Going Nowhere.
featuring internationally renowned artist John Legend. With their music ever so reflective of a rough suburban London lifestyle, their videos always seem to deliver a true message that brings to light the harsh realities that are associated with the featured vocalist’s lyric. The three were signed by Columbia in February of last year and have already had a sell-out tour as well as a single titled Perfect Stranger featuring Katy B. Dubbed as the group to bring dubstep out of dark adolescent bedrooms and into mainstream light, they are set to take the nation by storm.
Here are a few major tour dates that you may not have known were happening in your town. However, these are well worth travelling for, so make sure you catch at least one of these bad boys. Act Example Justin Bieber Plan B Katy Perry The Script Nas & Damian Marley Cee Lo Green N-Dubz Devlin Olly Murs
Venue O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London Birmingham NIA O2 arena, London London, O2 Arena HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London O2 Apollo, Manchester O2 arena Wembley Arena, London Bristol Academy O2 Arena, London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London
Date March 3/11 March 4/5 March 10 March 14/16/17 March 18 March 21 March 26 March 30 March 31 April 30 May 11/30 May 24/25/26 NXGZINE | 13
NXG DOES... Maz Khan chats to 24-year-old Victoria Atkin, aka Jasmine (Jason) in Hollyoaks, about her love for acting, her on-screen gender transformation and her favourite colleagues. What are your personal favourite story lines on the show? Hi Victoria, What was the first step that you took to get into acting? I attended ballet classes at a very young age but at 14, I started Stagecoach and then I attended Songtime Theatre Arts, before taking up drama related subjects at school, college and then university. When did you get your first break? There were a lot of breaking points in my career over the years, from gaining a place at drama school, to my first paid acting job and making particular contacts. I would say that gaining my part in Hollyoaks was the biggest break I’ve had. I was fortunate enough to audition for it and get the job! What did you have to do to prepare yourself for the role of Jason? Before the audition I spent the weekend researching every avenue the character of Jasmine could take, as I was only told that I must be able to successfully play a boy and a girl. I decided that after 24 years as a girl, that part would be okay and then thought...oh...so how can I make myself convincing as a boy? After routing around in my room,
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I came up with a look for my male alter I and then spent the rest of the weekend watching male behaviour in and around London before getting in the car dressed like a boy for my audition. My dads face was a picture, I think he thought I may have gone too far, but it paid off! What public feedback have you received on your character Jason? I have had tremendous public feedback on my character. The audience has been very open and seem to have warmed to the character, which is amazing.
Wow, there have been so many great storylines...I really enjoyed working on Hollyoaks Later. I am a sucker for romance, so all the couple storylines are fabulous, I would say Jacqui and Rhys are my favourite. Which cast members do you get along with the best? Stephanie Davies, who plays Sinead, is great fun. I also love working with Johns who plays Bart. Alex Fletcher is my gym buddy and I am good friends with Rachel Shenton. Everyone is great; I also really enjoy working with the other Costellos.
How do you find it in Hollyoaks, as an adult, playing a teenager?
What is your advice for young people who wish to get into acting?
It is quite challenging at times, sometimes I feel like I am going back in time. Particularly when I used to do scenes with Helen Russell Clarke who played Jem. Being the younger sister to someone the same age as me was strange. I am also older than Rob Norbury who plays my older brother Riley, which is funny.
Keep going, get as much training as you can and stay positive.
Hollyoaks is such a popular TV show. How has life changed since you joined the cast? It has been a rollercoaster, but the most exciting rollercoaster I have ever ridden. I am so grateful to be part of it.
Where would you like to be in 2015? I would like to be an award winning actress that has seen the world a bit more, whilst still being paid to do what I love. That would keep me very happy.
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Fashion: Spring/Summer 2011
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A HOT look introduced as by legendary fashion extraordinaire, Vivienne Westwood, the punk trend now celebrates twenty years in the business. London’s Camden Town, The Sex Pistols and a notable 70s colour boom are all factors that may be synonymous with a punk profile. Balmain and Balenciaga SS11 runways have been filled with statement pieces that mark the comeback of this flamboyant but nonetheless intriguing mode. If ever you took a trip down to Camden and thought that you could never adopt segments of this vogue, think again. Ladies, think Lady Gaga, think Alice Dellal, and as for the guys, worry not, think Fall Out Boy, or if you are a real man’s man then go for David Beckham’s World Cup 2006 Mohawk. It is time to rejoice, it is time to bring it all back. This season’s punk fashion makes the style hotter than it has ever been; this year presents us with a whole new outlook, an outlook that enables the mixing and matching of a recycled style. You may not be a big fan of bright mustard locks or big heavy boots, but it is not just about that. The key to this neo-trend is to have the right balance of punk incorporated into your own look. On the subject of mastering punk fashion, ensure that whatever you do this spring, get yourself a few safety pins, a studded jacket and bag yourself some Doc Marten-inspired heavy boots.
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Fashion: Spring/Summer 2011
s k n u P
Trendy Punk If one thing is for certain, it is that this grungy fashion is not only limited to the ladies. You guys can sport the studded jackets, the big boots and the funky-coloured skinny jeans. Take a tip from these rock star fellas. Going for a pair of interestingly coloured skinnies, just like Pharrell, will make you stand out from the rest. If you are not so keen with splashing paint all over your beloved jeans, you can opt for a dark purple pair and still look equally as trendy.
Polished Punk Another factor to consider is that when shopping for a leather jacket this spring, make sure you go for the varnished texture worn by Glee actor Mark Salling. For an added shock value to an all black outfit, stick some medium-sized safety pins along the front zip line of the jacket. Mohawk Punk The Mohawk is also back as a hot statement hairstyle for the boys. In case Jared Leto’s sharp pink is a stretch too far, combine his shades with Mark Salling’s discreet Mohawk.
Pharrell-inspired Monkee Genes £50 Available at asos.com
Textile Punk Multi-textured garments are to be fully embraced as a part of this renewed trend. Kanye West’s leather and Balmain denim jacket is the perfect punk item that can be dressed up for any occasion or dressed down with a simple chequered shirt and heavy boots. There is nothing that this jacket cannot pull off. It may prove difficult to find the right multi-textured blazer on the high street. For some cost effective DIY, try cutting the arms off of any ancient jean jackets that you own, and once again attaching a few small safety pins onto the hem line. Like high fashion Mr West, make sure to wear dark sleeved tops underneath your jacket as well as some straight black jeans to avoid over doing it with blue denims.
Black Quited Gilet £56 Available from topman.com
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How To Achieve This Look
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Casual Punk If you do not consider yourself an experimentalist, keep one thing in mind – a little punk rock accessorising goes a long way. Take our pictured popstar fashionistas for instance. If you are a casual kind of girl, Avril Lavigne’s hint of punk will work for you, simply combine some black skinny jeans with a funky and colourful t-shirt, and you already have the foundation. Top the look off with some fingerless punk glam gloves and hey presto. Do ensure that the gloves – whether blue, red or black – match with your loud t-shirt.
Glam Punk You need not break the bank to achieve Christina Aguilera’s glampunk look. Punk is all about reinventing the clothes you already have in your wardrobe. If you are in possession of some black leggings and an old loose vest, now would be the time to grab a pair of scissors and a few safety pins. There are a number of YouTube videos which give guided instructions on how to DIY ripped leggings. Cutting a pattern into your leggings will create an edgy look that works well with heels and an up-do quiff. Complete your look with vixen red lips and a studded leather jacket and you will be rocking Christina’s style in no time.
Rocker Punk As Rihanna displays, any super casual look can be accessorised with a rock star headband. In sporting a high ponytail, opt for a studded headband to ensure that you embrace a key detailing for the trend. Pretty Punk When wearing punk on a night out, there is nothing better than opting for dark lips and nails like Ashley Simpson. Matching a pair of leather skinny jeans with a funky top and metal jewellery can do no wrong. Finally glam clashing colours are what punk fashion feeds of up the look with a clashing clutch bag, and off to The Electric Ballroom you go.
Avril-inspired Leather Eyelet Fingerless Gloves £20 Available at asos.com
Leopard Metallic Clutch £7.99 Available at newlook. com
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Fashion: Spring/Summer 2011
How to: PUNK
By Emma Knock and James Moore
BEING a punk is about doing things outside the norm. It is all about expressing yourself and your personality through your clothes. Punks are infamous for not following the rules and rebelling against conformity and the institution. It is all about adding their own touches and in other cases taking some away- we are thinking ripped t-shirts held together with safety pins, sleeveless jackets with patches sewn into the back, loud studded accessories and tight tartan or leather trousers with rips and zips.
Essentially it is not about what we are telling you to do, it is about using your initiative to modify and unmodify clothes to turn them into something original. There is no A-Z on how to be a punk rocker, it is not just about the clothes or the music, it is a lifestyle, but that does not mean that you cannot adapt a bit of their style.
Tartan trousers From Camden Lock From £5+
Studs and spikes www.punkrockshop. co.uk From £2.99 to £9.49
Anarchy patch www.punkrockshop.co.uk £2.99
Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett in homemade t-shirt £5- Buy a cheap white t-shirt from Primark, a can of black spray paint and a piece of cardboard to make into a stencil then just run away with it.
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Safety pin earringFor a pack of safety pins From Sainsbury’s £0.99 If you are going to put them through one of your piercings make sure you disinfect it with boiling water first.
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Get The Look spring/summer 2011.
70’s glamour, bell bottoms, stripes and Capri pants – this year is fun-filled and fashion fabulous. Take a look at the latest items we wish were in our wardrobes as we give you the low down on some major looks to conquer this spring/summer 2011.
70’s style heeled Boots Available at topshop.com £120
Oversized ‘70s Tortoise Sunglasses Available from asos.com £12
70s style Cream Daisy Flower Applique Sleeveless Dress From topshop.com £56
Selected Three Mark Flap Cargo Trousers Available at asos.com £48
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Rust Wide Leg Trouser From topshop.com £18
Moto Winona Super Wide Jeans Available at topshop.com £50
Moto Rust Wide Leg Cord Trousers Available at topshop.com £42.00
Acne Levi’s 512 Bootcut Jeans From asos.com £75 NXGZINE | 23
Jumper For Women, From cosstores.com £69
Striped T-Shirt From zara.com £9.99
Grey Structured Trousers zara.com £29.99 24 | NXGZINE
Pleated Chino Trouser Available at zara.com £25.99
l t g
A modern take at Nicholas K, SS11 From mbfashionweek.com NXGZINE | 25
HEALTH & BEAUTY
WE all want gorgeous, glowing, clear skin. Unfortunately these days, good skin products are beyond expensive. If you want to treat yourself AND keep your cash, fear not, Maz Khan is here to share some top beauty secrets that you can achieve at home with some basic domestic ingredients...
The Asprin Mask
This little wonder costs about 60p on average and amazingly, it contains similar ingredients to anti-spot creams. Make sure you have some dispersable asprin, as you will need to be able to crush it easily. Crush the asprin in a bowl with two to three teaspoons of cold water. Add one tablespoon of honey, mix and apply to your face. Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off with warm water. Say hello to smooth, oil free skin.
Oat and Banana Mask
Alternatively, if you have dry, dull skin, this is the mask for you. It will refresh, moisturise and revitalise, removing any ‘winter’ dry patches. Simply mash up one ripe banana in a bowl, mix with some fresh oatmeal and a dollop of plain yogurt. Apply a thick layer to the face, and relax, preferrably in the bath, as the steam will penetrate the goodness into your skin. Wash it off after 10 minutes and your skin will be reminiscent of velvet. Gorgeous.
Those who suffer from sensitive skin will know that winter can be a killer. This fruit mask is the perfect cheap solution. Take two handfuls of ripe strawberries, which are packed with vitamin C. Mash together with a tablespoon of single cream, the perfect skin calmer. Add one teaspoon of honey for moistursing benefits, and massage into your face for three to four minutes. Leave on for a further five minutes and wash it off. Sensitive skin? Not me.
Tomato and Avocado Salad
Not just great in a salad, these fruits are great for oily, spot ridden skin as they contain antioxidants and plenty of vitamins. Mash a quarter of an avocado and one soft tomato. If you have it at home, also add one teaspoon of coconut oil to get a creamy consistency. Apply liberally to your face and neck, and gently massage in for five minutes. You are then free to wash it off to reveal a fresh face. Although this one does not smell great, the benefits are. 26 | NXGZINE
Kitty Cat Mask
Do not be scared. This mask really WORKS for all skin types. Diane Irons, the author of several beauty books, has sworn that cat litter is made of the same ingredients as special clays found in £100 spa facials. You need a bowl of cat litter (it MUST say 100% natural clay) a few tablespoons of water and two drops of tea tree oil. Apply to your face and leave on for fifteen minutes, then give your face a two minute massage before washing off. We promise you, you will not regret it.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
NOTHING requires more willpower than getting yourself down to the gym three times a week, so Emma Knock has compiled a list of four fun ways to trim the fat.
This is fun, feisty and fairly cheap. Get down to your local gym (hiss) and sign up for a weekly kickboxing class. You should be able to get a good deal, with many classes being just £1 per lesson and though you may be in a gym, it certainly does not feel like it. A great way to get your heart pumping and adrenaline rushing, as well as toning your arms, abs and legs. Get in.
Cycling It is time to dust off that old bike of yours, or maybe even invest in a new one. Whether you want a top of the range mountain bike, a BMX or a 1970s shopper, there is a bike to suit everyone’s style. Cycling is something you can do (for free) every single day, is quicker than walking and burns more calories (and definitely burns more than driving or getting the bus). It also gets all the muscles in your legs, stomach, bum and arms moving, helping you on your way to a more toned you with every pedal.
You may not think it when you are rolling around in the mud trying to shoot your friend in the butt, but it can actually be an incredibly strenuous workout. Think about it, if you take away the paint gun, you are essentially undergoing an army training session…kind of. It amps up your adrenaline, gets you running around and it is also a great cardio workout. If only it was cheap enough to go every week.
Do it whenever and wherever you can. There are very few people in this world who do not like to dance. Not only will you have a great time doing it, but if done with enough attitude and fierceness (it will not work if you just shuffle from one foot to the other) it will help you drop those excess pounds. Do it out in the club, do it at a party with your friends, hell, do it on your own in your bedroom! If you are at a loss for choreography then you can also try workout videos such as Pussycat Dolls Workout.
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DIARY 25/01/11 I’ve gone blonde! Yep, I decided to change my look for the new season and rock this platinum blonde look for 2011. My hair dresser Korell Williams has really done me proud. I’ll let you know if blondes really do have more fun, in due course lol. 10/02/11 I finally made my debut as an artist at Flavour Live. I sang a cover of a John Holts track called Ghetto Girl, which you can find on my YouTube page along with my first single Diva Style. I felt so nervous when I saw the crowd and heard my name called, but then I realised that there was no getting out of the performance and I never let fear hold me back. I learnt a lot from the performance and during my second track. I became more relaxed and started to have fun. It’s like most things in life, the first time you do something new, you may feel unsure, but after a while it becomes second nature. I can’t wait till my next performance.
f O y r a i D e h T A I M S JA N O S N I B RO 17/01/11 DO you have va-va-voom? I do I had the pleasure of being a part of the latest Renault Clio commercial and I was very happy to be involved. It was a two day shoot with Thierry Henry and Dita Von Teese in lead roles. The filming took place in South East London and had a very early call time of 8am I was very lucky and I got to meet Thierry Henry personally as I sat with him for an hour or so whilst shooting one of the scenes. He is such a gentleman. This was a dream come true for me as I’m a huge Arsenal fan and he is a total legend! He broke the record for the most Premiership goals scored in a season, for my team. The commercial is now live, so check it out and see if you can spot me.
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I would like to say a special thank you to all my family and friends for attending Flavour Live and supporting me. I love you all so much. Also, big thanks to the Flavour team, for giving me the platform.
DIARY 14/02/11 How did you spend your Valentine’s Day? I hope you made it special for the one you love. I spent mine with one of my best friends. We’re both single at the moment and decided to spend it together! I had such a good meal as I had onion soup and grilled goats cheese for a starter and lamb wellington for my main. It was lovely. 17/02/11 I live by the phrase “Anything Is Possible” and I make an effort to prove this to myself on a daily basis. I’ve been asked to co-present Talent Rock Live 2011, which is taking place in Oxford on the 3rd and 4th June. I’m feeling very blessed as all sorts of new and exciting opportunities are being offered to me. We had a promo shoot at Kensington Roof Gardens which was great. My co-presenter Marvyn Williams (Shipwrecked) and I, had the pleasure of interviewing Mumzy Stranger (Artist), Taz (Top Producer and artist) and Graziella (Miss Frank). 23/02/11 I love London Fashion Week. I didn’t walk any of the runways this season as I have been too busy with other projects. However, I did manage to catch some shows, such as Todd Lynn, Mark Fast, Amanda Wakeley and PPQ. There is such as buzz and party atmosphere around this time, I just love it.
HOT TIPS… DIVA EYELASHES The eyes are the window to the soul and one way to enhance them is opt for eyelash extensions. I love having striking lashes and I’m not talking about unnecessary eyeweave. Remember it’s about enhancing, not overdoing. Day Lashes The key to day time lashes, is to keep it simple and natural looking. Individual lashes would work best. Focusing on the top lashes, add a few to each eye, which will create volume. Be careful to make sure you have a balanced amount on each eye.
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MUST HAVEsâ€Ś White is going to be a key colour this sea-
son. So, it would be good to invest in a key piece such as a bag or a dress. Evening Lashes For evening lashes, you can make much more of a statement by going for thicker lashes. It may be a good idea to use strips, which are very easy to apply. Allow yourself plenty of time, incase of mistakes and be sure to have good eyelash glue. Special Occasions If you want to achieve an extreme and dramatic effect, then you can add lashes to both the top and bottom. This will make the eyes the centerpiece. You can get really creative as there are different colours, lashes with feathers and much more. If you go with this option, keep the rest of your make-up low-key. Otherwise, you could risk looking over done Emma Watson wore a cute white dress to the Elle Style Awards, where she won the Style Icon Award. I love her fashion sense. Catch you next time and donâ€™t eat too many Easter eggs!
Jas x P.S. If you want to find out more about me, check out my blog www.jasmiarobinson.wordpress.com and follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/jasmiarobinson Look forward to hearing from you. 30 | NXGZINE
Dealing With… A Break Up By Maz Khan
YOUR heart permanently aches in your body, whilst life moves slowly and painfully, every minute feeling like an hour. Regardless of the location or company you are in, thoughts of The One will swarm in your body like a flesh eating virus, picking away at you until the urge to crawl into bed and sleep for eternity becomes too strong to ignore… Welcome to heartbreak. It is a given, my interpretation of what the heart feels when you lose someone is rather dramatic. Unfortunately, this feeling is not unusual. If like me, emotions are a large factor in your daily life/decision processes, we have some survival tips for you below to get you on the right path to happiness.
1. Keep yourself BUSY –
Get that diary out and start planning. Write a list of things you have always wanted to do, but never ‘had the time’ to do. Believe me, there really is no time like the present. It could be dance lessons, French lessons, or even kick boxing, particularly if you are still carrying anger from your break up. Make scheduled time to practise your chosen hobby and as you improve in it, you will find yourself feeling rather proud of your accomplishment. This can help wonders to boost self-esteem.
2. You split up for a valid reason – so let it GO
This is something that most are guilty of. A friend of mine once had boyfriend who cheated on her several times with an old ‘friend’. Understandably she was hurt, furious and feeling betrayed, which led her to end the relationship with immediate effect. Unfortunately, humans are susceptible to forgetting the immense pain that they endured once the edge wears off and time passes. A week later, she was back with her cheating boyfriend, which brings me to the moral of this point. Before you get back together with your loved one, remember WHY you split up. Are you not worth more?
3. Chase your DREAMS –
I hate to sound morbid, but people will come and go in life, but ultimately at the end of the day, you will stand alone. The phrase “look after number one” was not said by a fool and people will not take you to the destinations your heart wants to reach; only you can do that. Put your dying love aside for a moment. What do YOU want from life? Whether it is a new job, a new house, a holiday, or even a new hair-do, make it happen. Having a goal is a great distraction and once you achieve your goal, you will feel great.
4. Love yourself, inside and OUT So
like me, you may want to stay in bed for days on end, but you must fight this urge with every bone in your body. Before you decide to drown your sorrows instead, why not go for a run? Exercise produces a natural feel good high in the body, which is much more beneficial that any substances. Have a facial, take long baths, paint your nails, even have a spring clean. Eat regularly, even if it is the last thing you want to do. If you are not a great cook, check out Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver online and learn some new recipes to keep it interesting. Whatever you do, keep it productive and you feel much more positive in the long term.
5. Positivity is the KEY -
Life is just a series of events; unfortunately not all will be good. However, every experience you have is destined for you and the best way you can cope with life’s traumas is to learn from the experience and come out stronger. What did you learn from your break up? Whether it was not to give too much of yourself too fast, to be less insecure, to be monogamous, to control your temper, or even to be less of a pushover, take it on board and apply it to life. Do not resent these lessons, but embrace them and let them make you a better person. When you are at a good place with yourself, real love will follow. Promise. NXGZINE | 31
IF you are looking for a way out or just a way through, Adam Spawton-Rice has a few choice words to help you to remedy your jealousy. 32 | NXGZINE
JEALOUSY as a ‘green-eyed monster’ arrived in a popular speech from Shakespeare. In Othello the monster “which doth mock the meat it feeds upon” plays a central part in Othello’s downfall – ‘feeding’ on his insecurity and leading to the murderous chaos which defines the play. As difficult to express as it is to spot, one thing jealousy is not is objective. Happiness, anger and even frustration have both bodily and facial expression – the closest anyone ever got to defining jealousy through body language was a look in the eye. Psychologist Peter Goldie in his book The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration talks about the ‘impenetrable’ emotional state: our knee-jerk emotional reactions to things. Jealousy is not a simple knee-jerk, and we are all susceptible to it. Take it from Goldie that “an emotional capability is not the same as a character trait” and feeling jealous, 2 sides of a coin: angry, sleepy or dopey does Insecurity and appreciation for what you have are two not come from your knowlsides to the same coin. If you had no competition for your edge of it, it is something partner’s affection your partner would have no excuse to universally human. tell you stop being a slob or a nag.
Remedy to your jealousy:
Like anger or sadness, most will feel jealousy so intensely at some point that they cannot be comforted. We are all insecure about something. We have all sat up at night with a single word floating around our heads. Ergo we are all unstable, except you right?
Others are more jealous than some; some might find it difficult to allow themselves to cry. The more controlled at heart can usually keep a more ordered head, but jealousy, like grief, makes you go crazy regardless of who you are.
@TheGreenEyedMonster: The perils of social networking. T. Too suspicious W. “Where are you…why?” A. Aggressive T. Trying to catch you out?
Sometimes the monster just so happens to have green eyes; jealousy is a natural impulse (or monster/sin if you are feeling old school), designed to keep us aware of the fact that we are replaceable. Other times it comes from a dark corner of ourselves where self-esteem cannot reach.
The TWAT partner is not the girl/boyfriend eyeing up the waitress, it is not the boy/girlfriend checking your brother out – it is the partner doing just that, to whatever extent, and then taking out their insecurities on you. A bit of a rookie, as a general rule, get rid of them and let them find out for themselves how much of a TWAT they are. Next month...Trust NXGZINE | 33
R e v i s i n g revision Sometimes sitting down to revise can be about as easy as telling Jodie Marsh to keep herself covered up. Rob Hewitt lays down the law on good revision. For the visual learners, one of the ways in which you can revise is by making a mind-map of the crucial information you are going to need. If you have to remember the specific dates in a time-line for a history exam, draw the time-line with pictures to help aid your memory. In contrast to this, those who are auditory learners, try recording yourself speak, and listen to it over and over again, until you can remember most of the main points off by heart. You could always try writing down what you think you can remember, and listen back to the recording to see if you are right.
The key is to decide what needs to be revised, what does not and how to decide what is most important. The first step to a successful revision session is to make sure you have organised your “revision area”. If it is a desk, then tidy all the excess debris away, and make sure that you have everything you need. There is nothing worse than getting into the flow of revision, and then remembering that you have forgotten something.
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WE HAVE all been there, the time for exams is fast approaching, and you are being constantly reminded from parents and teachers alike that revision…is…key. Even if you have not started yet, there is no need to worry; everybody is different, especially when it comes to revision. This means that everyone has a different way in which they can remember facts and figures. Maybe you learn better by having it presented to you in a mind-map or diagram (visual learning). You might be a more “hands on” learner (kinaesthetic learning), or you might learn more effectively by listening to the information (auditory learning).
Finally, if you feel that you need to do something more practical, then for the kinaesthetic learners, you could try to recreate the information with props. Consider getting your friends involved. Assign them each a fact or figure, and ask them to give you clues as to what they are, this will make sure that the information sticks in you mind, and make revision more enjoyable. One more thing you need to do when planning a successful revision session is to set a main goal. Set a point when you can stop and take a breather. If you need to remember the main plot points of each chapter in a book for English Literature, then set yourself a realistic target. For example, you will list five main points of the first five chapters in a book in an hour, have a break, and then go back to it.
Most importantly though (and you must have heard this so many times already) do not get stressed out and upset if your revision session does not go as planned. If you have done everything you can, you will do great. You get out what you put in, and this applies to exams too.
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Life in the Workplace Whether you have just left school, college, an apprenticeship, or even if you are looking for a whole new career change, when the time comes for you to enter a new environment, it can be pretty scary. Maz Khan shares her workplace ‘do’s and don’ts’ of conducting yourself in your workplace. Pen and paper at the ready...
• Introduce yourself to everyone you meet in the office with a big smile. Be friendly, as making as many contacts as possible will expand your horizons, both professionally and socially. • Ask for help if you are unsure of anything, rather than twiddling your thumbs nervously, with a look of desperation on your face. Honestly, your employer will see you as humbled and willing to learn, rather than unproductive and nervous. • Take on as many tasks as you feel is possible. Extra responsibility looks great on your CV, helps you develop your work skills and may even get you a promotion if you keep at it. • Talk to your direct manager if you have any issues at work, rather than taking it into your own hands. Your manager will document everything that has happened and take you through the right procedures to fix the problem, so no repercussions can come back on you. • Dress appropriately. I am not saying you cannot make your own personal touches to your outfit, but you are there to work, not to express yourself. It is simple; look professional, and people will see you as a professional.
• Bring personal issues to work. People may act sympathetic, but in truth, they do not care that your other half has not called/your mum went through your stuff/you are arguing with your bessie. They are probably wondering when you are going to stop yapping and get on with some work, so get on with it. That is what you are paid for, right?
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• Be late. There is nothing worse in the workplace than the frequent latecomer. It shows you are unorganised, you do not really care about your position and you are not very reliable. Not very good traits to display to the people who are potentially forming your career.
• Be loose with your mouth. This means: no bad mouthing colleagues, no getting involved in idle gossip and even if you are close to your colleague/s, never get involved in racial/sexual banter. You do not want a discrimination case on your hands... as well as being fired. • Use your mobile phone or eat at your desk... Unless you know it is acceptable where you work. Even so, avoid using your mobile, as you have an allocated hour (yes, your lunch break) for your personal needs. Also, if are going to eat at your desk, avoid smelly foods, just because, well, it is gross. • Say no. Whether your boss asks you to do some filing, your colleague asks you for some help on their work, or someone outside of your department asks you for a work-related favour, do it. People will be more inclined to help you in the future and you may not realise it, but your superiors will notice your good deeds, which can only lead to good things.
Getting into producing with Terror Danjah
HE HAS been hailed as the UKâ€™s answer to Timbaland and worked with the likes of Tinie Tempah and Mz Bratt. Terror Danjah, the veteran grime producer, talks with Emma Knock about Nasty Crew, keeping true to yourself and working with some of the biggest names in the British music scene. NXGZINE | 37
How would you describe your style? My style is a mixture of all the music I grew up on from the 80s to now. What are the main influences? Everyday life plays a big role. Musically, people like Afrika Bambaata, Cathy Denis, Herbie Hanncock, Michael Jackson, early Bobby Brown, Eric Prydz, Roni Size, Shy Fx, all of the early dancehall stuff. How did you get into producing, and why? I was djing back in the Jungle music days and I wanted my own special. So I started to make my own specials and I started to learn how to make tunes from there. Could you briefly describe your production process? I have not really got one; I make tunes differently every time I switch on the computer. I might start with drums or might start with a melody. It depends. How have you evolved since Nasty Crew? Well yeah, I have started two record labels, Aftershock and more recently Hardrive. I put a few artists on the map like Bruza, Tinie Tempah, Sadie Ama and Mz Bratt. The list goes on! Plus I have had a string of releases on Hyperdub, Planet Mu, Butterz, Hardrive etc. Do you still keep in touch? With most of them, I regularly speak to D Double E, Bruza, Mz Bratt, Jammer, HitMan Hyper, & Marcus Nasty. How did you go about setting up Aftershock? I set it up as a label to put out tunes from myself and people around. For some mad reason- it turned into a crew. Why did you leave? My voice was getting less and less important, plus bad decisions were being made without me knowing, so I decided it was time for me to move on.
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You are often compared to Timbaland, how do you feel about that? I feel strange about it, because I do not see Timbaland money LOOOOL! What is the best collaboration you have done so far? That is a hard one; it is out of Elrae & Shola Ama. I love singing music in general. Working with them, I learn from them. What artists and producers out there do you admire? D.O.K, Swindle, Royal T, P Jam, DJ Champion, Baby face, Bruza, Mz Bratt, Elrae, Maxsta, Shola & Sadie Ama, Dream Mclean...the list can go on. Do you have any regrets or things you would have done differently? No regrets, it has got me here thus far. I would not change it for the world. What has been happening recently? I have had a new album out on Dubstep Well Respect [in association with] top club djing Kode 9’s Hyperdub. The album is entitled Undeniable. I have also started my new label Hardrive with the first release by D.O.K called Missing Step, featuring Rinse Fm’s Sir Spyro. What have you got out right now that the fans can download or buy? My album Undeniable on Hyperdub, the 8 track EP Power Grid on Planet Mu,a 3 track EP Reinforced on Dutch label Rwina and I started the year with the Bipolar EP out on Butterz. What have you got coming up? I have got a few things in the pipeline, which I cannot say yet, just keep your eyes peeled to www.twitter.com/terrordanjah or www.twitter.com/HardriveRecords
What advice can you give to any young and aspiring artists or producers? Do not listen to anyone, even me. Just keep making what you like and when it pops off, it pops off. Make sure you do it for the love and also it is important to pick a good team (manager, pr, agent, etc). How do you feel about all these young artists coming up in the game? It is all positive, I love to see new fresh faces. It is a good indication that the music is working. What has been your best experience as a grime producer? Djing around the world to thousands, and testing out new material... watching the ravers react to new & old tracks made by myself. What has been your worst experience as a grime producer? MC’s using my production for their mix CDs. They get shows and sales and I do not see a penny. How can people get in touch with you? For production, Maurice@ Soul2Streets.com, European dJ bookings Michael@CodaAgency. com and for North America email@example.com Any last words? Thanks to everyone that has been involved in my musical career. From buying an mp3, interviewing me or giving me lifts and
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Be Inspired by Women Happy Mother’s Day! In the lead up to a day in which we should all be preparing to show some gratitude to the one person who listens to our problems and – although sometimes may embarrass us – loves us unconditionally, Rob Hewitt takes a look at some pretty amazing women and mothers on the Most Influential Women list. THE UNIQUE perspective that women bring to the work place is a constant and everevolving form, and is more apparent in the arts than most other areas. They serve as role models for young, aspiring women and help others to develop J. K. Rowling their own creative force. Whether it is women as authors, artists, actresses or musicians, positive role models for young people today are in abundance and their work can sometimes be just the inspiration someone needs to pursue their chosen career in the arts. Many young women, whether a student at college, university or a graduate, already have role models, showing that the most powerful and inspirational figures can still affect many people in a number of ways. Perhaps one of the best known and widely acknowledged women in the arts at the moment would be mother-of-three and author of the Harry Potter books, J. K. Rowling. Despite being turned down many times by publishers before her work was first printed, this never let Rowling’s desire to have her work made into a book change She has been named the most influential woman in the UK by leading magazine editors nationwide, having been chosen for her writing skills and her desire to succeed. Rowling is a prime example of a woman who had a dream and did everything she could to make it come true. It shows that if you believe in your work enough, anything is possible.
19-year-old student and aspiring author, Amber Shaw, says: “I have always wanted to write and the way that J. K. Rowling has showcased her own style of writing through her books has made me even more determined to succeed. I may not be writing a novel about magic, but I will always keep in mind how well I can and will do.”
On the opposite side of the influential spectrum, mother to two sons, Dame Vivienne Westwood, has been placed at Number 10 in the Most Influential Women list. Westwood is a British fashion designer who is largely held responsible for bringing the modern punk and new wave fashion trends back into the market. Showing that her business-like attitude to her work is more influential than anyone had known, her designs were used in the 2008 Sex And The City film. Most recently however, she has managed to raise over £4000 whilst working with Reprieve, a human rights charity, by auctioning tickets for her own fashion shows.
Dame Vivienne Westwood
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Michelle Constant may not be a well-known name to the younger generations of today, yet this South African mother, journalist, radio DJ, television presenter, producer, entrepreneur and actress brings to light the idea that you don’t just have to stick to one area of the arts industry. She currently is a columnist for world-wide magazines such as GQ, Wanted and Empire. It shows that you are not limited to what you can do if you have the determination and drive to succeed.
ch as ‘M
Dame Judi Dench is an English film, stage and television multi-award winning actress that has inspired many young women to pursue an acting career. A mother to one daughter, she is probably most recognisable as “M” in the James Bond films. With a more recent co starring alongside Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman and Kate Hudson in Nine, Dame Judi Dench has shown her versatility in a variety of roles, which is probably why she is one of the most iconic female figures to grace the big screen for a number of years. These are just four women who have excelled in the arts, and have become so successful by not letting anything stand in their way. However, there are so many more that have played a huge part in our lives for so many years. Regardless of whether you wish to be an author, fashion designer, journalist or actress, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to believe that you can succeed just like the strong female figures in our lives.
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YOUNG STAR OF THE ISSUE
WITH his new track Making Moves causing serious airwaves and several new film ventures on the way, actor and singer Arnold Oceng, aka Snakeyman, is one to watch for 2011. You may have caught Arnold in the innovative British blockbusters, Adulthood and 188.8.131.52. Maz Khan chats to the young star about what we should expect from him next…
HEY ARNOLD, or should I say Snakeyman. How are you? Sup Homie! I’m all good, thanks. I am having a wicked day, the video for my new track Making Moves has just been showcased exclusively on MTV. It has a great buzz about it and there are lots of familiar faces that you should be able to recognise in the video. The track is banging, I will definitely check out the video. Thanks. Yeah, make sure you check it out! My first release of 2011, it is the start of many great tracks to come, you know.
You must get this a lot, but I have to ask what do you prefer, acting or music? I get this one a lot, yes! Acting and rapping are so different; it’s hard to put them up for comparison. I guess, ultimately, acting is what I’ve been on since I was a kid, so it was the first dream that I fulfilled. What was your first big break? Well, I had a few small gigs before I even hit secondary school. But my first real dream job was my role on Grange Hill, when I got to high school. It was weird, because Grange Hill was so big back in the day; I wasn’t used to people recognising me! It was a great gig and it really helped me with my career. Things really blew up for me when I got my role in Adulthood though. What is next for you in terms of acting? There is a lot going on this year. You will see me in a few films this year, one of them being Suicide Kids. Watch out for me and check my updates on Twitter. This is my art and it means so much to me. I want to show my diversity and I want my name to stand for more than one character. Why can’t I play a serious character, such as a lawyer or a doctor, or even Superman if I want? ‘gangster’, or I get the ‘joker’ Most of the roles I get are sort of role. I can’t wait to get my hands on some more diverse roles.
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YOUNG STAR OF THE ISSUE We hear you have your own clothing store. Yes, the store is in Chichester, where I went to university. In Chichester, there are no urban clothing stores, so we got some money together and got a lease for the store. We do not stock our own clothing yet, but as I am sponsored by a lot of brands, such as New Era and Boxfresh, we stock a lot of their stuff. We also give a platform for other UK brands to sell their clothes. The store has an amazing location; it is something I am really proud of. You also are a partner in the talent management company, ARG. It seems you are quite the multitasker… Yeah, you could say that man! ARG isn’t just music based; we have a sports player and a few DJ’s, as well as rappers. I really believe in fresh UK talent and I want to give people a platform to showcase all kinds of talents. It’s a good feeling man. I am doing a lot at the moment, but that is because, in the music game, longevity is rare. You are only the ‘in thing’ for a certain amount of time. So I want to secure my legacy. As a rapper, what is your advice for people trying to break the scene? Musically, things have changed massively. Most people are independent now, you can do it all yourself, you know. The internet really is amazing. You can upload a video and start to build your own fan base. Even making a music video is so much easier these days. I would definitely recommend setting up a Twitter and a YouTube page. You can create your OWN buzz; you don’t need to wait for someone to do it for you. You can even release your own music independently on iTunes. Keep dropping your music, keep persisting and keep interacting with people to get your fan base growing. Trust me, you will start to gain a following. What about any wannabe actors? Acting is totally different! The difference with music and acting is that you cannot really do anything independently as an actor. You know,
my friends tell me they wanna hop on the acting game, but it is not that easy! Some people I know have gone to drama school for years, but when they come out, they can’t get an agent and they don’t work. It can depend on luck. There is no direct avenue for acting, but what I will say is, you need A LOT of drive. You have to be prepared for doors to shut in your face, as that is what auditions are all about. You are not going to get every role, and you will hear the word ‘NO’ a lot. But you have to keep pushing doors and eventually a door will open and someone will say yes. If you can, go to drama school and keep working on perfecting your art. Last words? You will get people saying stuff about your acting or your music. The bottom line is you justhave to deal with it. That is life and not everyone is going to like you. But keep persisting and you will get to where you want to be, in the end. NXGZINE | 43
Hey Master Shortie, welcome to NXG. Can I call you by your real name, Theo? Ha, it’s up to you! My family and friends call me Theo. Okay Theo, so let’s get back to the beginning. When did you get into rapping? I was 13 when I started rapping with friends. I actually started where we are at now, in Deptford. There was a studio near South Bermondsey I used to hit up. As I continued with it, I decided music was what I wanted to do and I always knew what kind of music I wanted to create. You went to The BRITs school with the likes of Leona Lewis, Adele and Amy Winehouse. How did you find it? I read it wasn’t really for you..
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I gained a lot of experience there, especially social skills, in terms of being around a lot of people that had the same kind of ambition and drive. It makes you want to succeed a lot more as you have to work twice as hard because of the competition you are surrounded by. I didn’t do music there though, I did acting and musical theatre. You set up your own record label called Odd One Out. How did you go about setting it up? Well, I finished recording my album with Labrinth when I was 16 or 17. My tracks were not seen as radio friendly and commercial enough. I wanted to get my stuff out there but at the time, no labels were signing black or urban artists, it just wasn’t selling in this country. So the only option was for me to find investment in releasing myself and that’s how I beagan working on my label.
Were you doing that from home or your bedroom? Originally yeah, it was in my bedroom! Then as time went on, I got an investment. I had a partner involved with my management company and then we found another investor in central London who helped us get the label out of there. So you have quite a few people working with you? Yeah, in 2009 when I was releasing the album there was a team of about 6 or 7 people working with me.
And we hear that the label is now signed to Sony USA. How did that happen? That was mainly due to the Jive Hits Committee. There was a guy called Chris Walker, who always has his ear to the streets. A lot of people from inside the building had been following my career for a long time and were surprised that I was unsigned. When the opportunity arose they flew me out to the US and we struck a partnership deal with the label and the Jive Hits committee at the same time.
You supported Lil Wayne back in Hammersmith in 2009. What was that like? It was good man. He is so experienced and his fan base is very broad in this country. I didn’t get to meet Wayne himself but I met Baby and Slim from the Cash Money crew. I also became good friends with their tour manager. I went back to meet up with him, he is now Drake’s tour manager and we got to hook up at the dates in Europe which was good.
What would you say your greatest influence is?
greatest influence “ My is probably people in
general, my everyday life and experiences. That is what influences me the most.
When you are at a gig or meeting people, are you on the lookout for new talent for your label? Yeah, but the best thing would be to make more people aware of my sound and then when the time is right, I’ll definitely be able to sign new artists. Back in the day, you did a bit of theatre, such as playing Simba in The Lion King. Would you do any more acting in the future? Yeah, I played Simba for a couple on months in the West End when I was 12. It was pretty dope! Yeah, I would definitely do films.. dunno about theatre. The Lion King is really different to most musicals, it was more African based, more cultural.
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When your album ADHD was came out in 2009, one newspaper said it was hard to tell whether you were cool or crazy. Do you think people were not quite ready for your eclectic style? Yeah, definitely! Thankfully as time has gone on that has changed and great British artists such as Labrinth are influencing the charts now. He also produced stuff for Professor Green and Tinie Tempah which has helped dominate the charts. So I definitely think I was helped with crossing over genres .
We can not wait to hear it! What is going on now in terms of what you are doing? I’ve just been recording for the last 6 months, I have nearly 40 sick tunes. I will see if they will be used for release, or if it’s gonna be free music or a mixtape. Make sure you check out Master Shortie’s MySpace for upcoming releases….
What are your fashion influences? What makes you go ‘Yeah, I gotta have that jacket?’ Uh, I don’t even know! I haven’t got one specific fashion sense. I just wake up in the morning, I see how I feel and put stuff on, but I definitely like to mix stuff up, like street brands and high end brands.
Can we expect a new album? Yeah, definitely. Probably at the end of 2011. Before that, I will be putting out a lot of music online.
I was watching your F64 online, it was great. Are you planning to do anymore hip-hop influenced music? Yeah definitely, I’ve put together a mixtape and although it is quite commercial, there are a lot of tracks on there which show my rapping potential.
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How would you say the scenes compare from here and the US? It is very different! But when I first went out there, they were influenced a lot by European music. Tinie Tempah is played a lot of the time, along with Giggs who is doing a mixtape out there. So yeah, slowly but surely people are becoming more aware of UK Music.
Who are you feeling at the moment in music? In terms of the States, I’m feeling Mac Miller, and Wiz Khalifa, he’s about to do big things in the US and his album is coming out soon in the UK. Ed Sheeran is my boy. I’ve done a couple of tracks with Ed. He’s an extremely talented guy. So, who are your dream collaborations? Hmmm.. probably Andre 3000. He’s a dope, incredible artist. He has everything, a total package, a real artist. He influences me a lot aswell. Just to wrap up, what can we expect from the next album and the music you’re going to be releasing? I am pushing my style forward, I think my rapping ability has improved immensely, and my sound and production and has gone up again. So yeah, very similar to what Master Shortie stands for, but on an upper level.
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The Big Issue: The secrets exposed by Wikileaks ROB HEWITT INVESTIGATES... THE WikiLeaks sensation has continued to spread throughout the UK’s media since its arrival in 2006. The site that publishes private, secret and classified media sources from news sources and leaks, has been both praised and criticised. It was described by the New York City Daily List as one of the few websites “that could totally change the news”. Founded by Julian Assange and consisting of journalists, mathematicians and start-up company workers form the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa, WikiLeaks has taken the world by storm. Documents and classified information that have been released by WikiLeaks include revelations that the US State Department workers urged to collect data or “spy” on important United Nation’s officials (or “spy on” as some people may see it), insider accounts of the war in Afghanistan, and most recently, an open and brutally honest set of assessments of world leaders, deeply angering and enraging American Officials.
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Regardless of whether the founders of WikiLeaks thought that their publishing of secret documents would benefit the people, it could be seen as a double-edged sword. As a result of certain pieces of information being released, the Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was forced into exile on January 14, and the country, a popular destination for holiday-makers, had erupted into violent protests, resulting in thousands of UK tourists struggling to find a flight back home. This was after WikiLeaks published a number of damaging US diplomatic cables, but few heard of them, due to the ruthless press censorship in the country. As a result of the backlash from the WikiLeaks “scandal”, the American Government has learnt from their mistakes regarding their private documents. The individuals who have access to these documents will be guarded with a keen eye, but journalist Rob Deibert from the New York Times, has suggested that the outrage against Wikileaks must rank as “one of the biggest temper tantrums” of recent years. There may still be a positive side to the WikiLeaks dilemma. With the release of secret documents, the general public may now be able to see and understand the recent decisions that the government has made, and expose the corruption when it might otherwise have gone unoticed. This would maybe take some of the strain away, and release the tension between the different leaders of each Democratic Party. At the same time as this, WikiLeaks provides the world with a new and innovative wave of investigative journalism. Several years ago, it would have taken a journalist weeks on end to get the information that is so readily being released on the site WikiLeaks, showing that freedom of speech and expression are still going strong in modern society. The information that is now right at our fingertips can be accessed by many, poking holes in the government’s
attempt to keep knowledge from everyone that may be better off in the public eye. Some may say that the government may be mistaken in their campaign against Julian Assange, and have been slightly foolish in thinking that these â€œofficial and secretâ€? documents could have been kept out of the public eye, when they are in fact sent to and fro the 2.5 million people working for the government itself. It was just a matter of time before another member of the public had the thought and ingenuity to share what should be a secret with the media.
Although it may be a good sign that WikiLeaks has shown us information that might not have been previously known, some have said that as a generation obsessed with social networking, there may only be a brief amount of time before something else stands out more than the secret documents that have been released, and we forget all about the WikiLeaks sensation.
k? W hat do you thin Tweet us @ NXGMagazine!
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We are joined with England rugby star, 17 year old Kyle Sinckler. He is our inspiring young person of the month with good reason. As well as being as professional rugby player, Kyle knows the importance of having a good education behind him. He chats to Maz Khan about his early career and what keeps him motivated When did you start playing rugby? When I was 12. I started playing on Saturday mornings at Battersea Ironsides. Were you into any other sports? Cricket. I played that at quite a high level too which made my granddad very proud!
Where do you see yourself in 2021? Fingers crossed, being an established Harlequins player and pushing for international honours.
When did you decide that you wanted to pursue rugby professionally? There wasn’t really a ‘penny dropping’ moment. It feels like I’ve been playing forever, so it’s all just been a natural progression. How intense is the training? It depends whom I’m training with, but generally it’s always very intense. I’ve just started training with the Harlequins first team this half term, so that’s pretty hard, but I’ll learn so much.
How do you cope with the pressure of being a professional sports personality? I just put it all in perspective really. My manager always tells me that I’m a young person first and foremost, so to enjoy the benefits that my status brings. That way I take nothing for granted and stay grounded.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a professional rugby player?
What rugby players do you look up to? Carl Hayman who plays for Toulon in France. What would be your dream team to play for in the future? Harlequins, LOL!
How did you feel when you first played for an England? Very proud. It’s always an honour, but you do also feel the pressure. England games are always intense and highly competitive. How do you find time for your education rugby? Just sheer hard work. My college is very supportive of my career, so they don’t let me off , but they do support me. My family are supportive as well, mainly my mum. So hard work and my mum!
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WEIRD AND CRAZY SPORTS
EVER get bored of playing and watching the same old sports? James Moore shares his secret world of slamball, shin kicking, street luge and other weird yet wonderful sports. It was a long time ago when you paid just a couple of quid to watch your favourite football or rugby team every week, and we are even further from the time when an individual sport would have a representative that no one has heard of. So if you are getting sick and tired of seeing Wayne Rooney’s mug every other week for a public roasting from the press, or Tiger Woods making another trip back to the clinic for “treatment”, then check these sports from all around the world. Watch the videos on the web, find Eurosport on your Sky or Virgin box and tune in to these wacky treats that will have you laughing and enjoying the fundamentals of sport portrayed in the strangest ways possible.
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Slamball is a form of basketball, it is a full contact body sport played at high pace, the objective is simple, put the ball in the net. Teams consist of four players and there are four defining roles:
That is right, it is no longer a plastic plate that you throw around with your family on the beach, it is a real competitive sport these days. Invented in 1968 in New Jersey by a high school student, ultimate Frisbee is a team sport in which the goal is to catch the Frisbee in the end zone. The official rules of the game set by the Ultimate Players Association (North America) or the World Flying Disc Federation (all other locations of the world) state that there are seven players on the field from each team. Though in casual games, any amount of players can play. The movement of the disc goes as follows: a member of the offensive team throws the Frisbee to a teammate. That teammate, if running, must stop as soon as they have possession of the Frisbee. They then have 10 seconds to throw it to another teammate. This continues until they score in the end zone, or until there is a change in possession.
• Handler: This would be the primary ball handler on the team. It is his job to run the offense and organise the other members while controlling the flow of the game. Typically he would be responsible to set up the gunners to attack the basket while adding in his own offensive threat. • Gunner: The primary scorer on the team. A team’s gunner will be the player on the team that will attack the basket and finish play against the opposing teams’ stopper, comparable to a forward or wing player in soccer or hockey. • Stopper: This position is for the primary defensive player. He trails the offense only when necessary, and he protects the rim from attacking players by using himself as a shield. However, there is a slight twist to this sport, there are four trampolines at each end of the court. That’s right, this highly charged sport has up to eight trampolines thrown in, players can bounce at will, slamming the ball into the back of the hoop and charging people down in order to get there.
For mor info: http://www.discvideos.com/
SPORTS Sepak Takraw
Do not be put off by its intriguing name, Sepak Takraw is a combination of hacky sack and volleyball. A small indoor court is divided in half by a net similar to badminton or volleyball. A five inch in diameter ball is used, which is smaller than a volleyball and bigger than a hacky sack. There are two teams of three people. Two players are in the front row close to the net and one is in the back row. Essentially, it is volleyball rules, but you cannot use your hands, only your feet. If your team served and during the volley the other team fails to return the ball, it is your teams point. If the other team served and during the volley they fail to return the ball, then your team wins the serve.
Shin kicking is a sport that does not need much explanation. As absurd and aggressive as it sounds, the sport has actually been around for a long time. It was invented in the 1600s and currently an annual event in what is called the â€œCotswold Olympicsâ€?. The object of the game is pretty self-explanatory, you have to kick your opponent so that he falls down in pain. If you manage to bring him down you get a point. There are three rounds similar to most fighting sports the rounds are timed and the person with the highest amount of points per round wins. Before you consider finding the nearest opponent, make sure they actually want to play and remember to stuff your shins with hay like they do in the Cotswold Olympics.
Street Luge is a sport in which one or two people use a skateboard to ride down a very steep hill, the winner of the two or the person with the best time is the winner. Participants will usually lie on their skateboards flat on their back with their head at the top end. Only extreme daredevils would even contemplate this sport, and if you want to check the videos out, have a look. If you plan on taking part yourself, make sure you have all the correct safety gear For more info: http://www.youtube. com/results?search_ query=street+luge&aq=0
For more info: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=2iKcDNfIy7w
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SINGLE MUSIC REVIEWS By Bizu Yaregal
Olly Murs- Heart On My Sleeve CONSIDERING he did not even win X Factor, Olly Murs has done exceptionally well for himself, dominating the charts with his cheesy, yet fun-loving, pop songs. However, for his new single Olly has decided to leave his cheeky chappy persona behind and show us his softer side on new single, Heart On My Sleeve. The track is the latest release from his platinum selftitled debut album Olly Murs and is bound to
McFly- That’s The Truth We have been noticing a change in the McFly boys recently. It seems as though the guys’ music has been diversifying as they age. Gone are the days of cheesy bubblegum-rock songs as the boys, that once sang a song about the five colours in a girl’s hair, have swayed towards a more mature sound.
the song, the group have taken a step forward with their sophisticated grunge. Produced by mega hitmaker, Dallas Austin, the song is apparently about band member Dougie and his relationship with exgirlfriend Frankie Sandford from The Saturdays. Due for release March 6
New single That’s The Truth is proof of this. The song is pop music at its best. From the violins at the beginning, to Tom Fletcher’s beautiful lead vocals and the whole instrumental crescendo throughout
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appeal to an older generation of fans. The song itself sounds like a Take That or a Robbie Williams record. Needless to say, it is good to see the singer exploring his creativity and proving that he is not just a one trick pony. Although, we reckon we speak for the majority when we say we prefer an upbeat and energetic Olly. Due for release March 6
N-Dubz : ‘Morning British group N-Dubz have recently spoken out about their quest to crack America. They have announced that they will be changing their look to make a big impression and it seems they have already began ‘Americanising’ their sound with their new single Morning Star. Although the group should stay true to themselves rather than
essentially becoming clones of the US music industry, we love the sound and we reckon this track is our favourite N-Dubz anthem so far. The song is a polished and upbeat production and you would be forgiven for thinking it was something by The Black Eyed Peas. The group seem to be jumping on to the dance music bandwagon, while still managing
to stand out. Even the slightest auto-tuning on the track does nothing to diminish Tulisa’s particularly brilliant sounding vocals. We reckon they are on the right tracks and it will not be too long before the group’s chart success here, is mirrored on the other side of the Atlantic. Due for release March 14
The Black Eyed Peas: Just Can’t Get Enough The Black Eyed Peas must be all partied out from having the time of their lives considering they have mellowed things down for new single Just Can’t Get Enough. Fergie’s airy vocals take centre stage in this mid-tempo pop song about nothing other than love. The Peas show that chivalry most certainly is not dead with lines such as, “My Mind’s dirty and it don’t need cleaning” and “We L-O-L back and forth on the text line”. The best part of the song is the mega switch-up just under
three minutes in. The tempo kicks in and the song moves to a whole new level, bringing a little techno into the mix. The BEP’s seem to have gone a bit dance-crazy on new album The Beginning, however this is definitely one of the more organic tracks on the LP. It is sure to be a definite smash hit. Due for release March 6
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ALBUM MUSIC REVIEWS Lupe Fiasco: Lasers By Heidi Aldihisi
AFTER a long break, Lupe Fiasco is finally back and it is only natural to expect great things from one of hip-hop’s most inspirational contemporary artists. His first single, and one of the best tracks on the record, is The Show Goes On. It is a song with a vibrant and rare aptitude to represent negativity, positively. We are introduced to hypnotic guitar riffs, euphoric electronic beats and uplifting lyrics – creating a climax for Lupe’s high-tech verses. Lupe speaks of dishonesty and people trying to put him down, as well as his desire to remain strong and inspirational at all times. He represents freedom of speech and sends a clear message about being fearless in order to achieve your dreams. This message is reiterated throughout the album. 56 | NXGZINE
It is a radio friendly track that is poppy and enjoyable to listen to. The sound of trumpets, electric guitars and a strong hip-hop beat creates a feel good vibe that can persuade anyone to carry on, no matter how tough times are. The chorus is joyful and, much like his track Beaming, you can really feel a sense of inner light when he says, “Anybody ever wonder, when they would see the sun up, Just remember when you come up, The show goes on!” Words I Never Said featuring Skylar Grey creates quite an opposite atmosphere to The Show Goes On. It has a heavy baseline, rough electronic beats, and the plentiful sounds of modern technology. The track is an artistic representation of reality, including hard-
hitting verses with the purpose of exposing the truth about the world we live in. The track opens with Skylar Grey singing passionately about unspoken words that should have been spoken. She sets the tone for the song and creates an atmosphere that suggests a regret of staying silent, as she sings, “I can’t take back the words I never said”. Lupe then rips in to controversial topics such as the war on terrorism, the state of education budget cuts and politics in America. It is a track that brings out the issues we keep in the back of our minds when we are too wrapped up to question what really is happening around us.
REVIEWS His flow is rapid and continuous with words breaking into guarded minds. The album is well produced; however the complex music sometimes overshadows the incredible word play Lupe uses throughout his verses. It seems that Lupe is set for another successful year as his album is almost ready for people that are anxious for some real talk, real issues and real talent. Lasers is set to be one of the best rap albums to be released this 2011, and these singles are just a taste of what is to come. Due for release March 8 Chase and Status attempt to break into the mainstream with brand new album No More Idols. The electro dubstep duo rope in some heavy weights, such as Dizzee Rascal, Plan B and Tinie Tempah, to help them in their transition from the underground scene. The record begins with an enthralling introduction in the form of techno induced No Problem. An unidentified African man spits the same lyrics repeatedly throughout the song, with Chase and Status providing the heavy mix of trance, drum and base and African tribal to create one hell of an opener. Dance is a definite recurring theme throughout the LP, as it is filled with stomping, atmospheric head bangers that are made to blast out or get your groove on to on a Saturday night. The collaborations on the album provide a great variation, which allows the group, as well as the guest features, to explore different genres. Chase and Status bring out a rockier side to singer Plan B in the energetic Fool Yourself, and also work well with nonestablished or upcoming artists, like Mali, whose piercing and soulful vocals enhance
the trance in inspiring track Let Go. Heavy is one of the stand out songs of this album. The song features Dizzee Rascal who makes a return to his garage roots in a scorcher of a track, whilst Tinie Tempah shows his worth on the impressive Hits.
Chase and Status: No More Idols By Bizu Yaregal
Perhaps one of the best things about the record has to be the collaboration with American soul star Cee Lo Green. In a recent interview the duo spoke of how much they enjoyed working with the singer and you can definitely tell by listening. Brixton Briefcase flows incredibly well and has that kind of authentic and raw vibe that the pair seems to have conquered. Cee Loâ€™s bluesy and echoing vocals blend into this dark grime-inspired sound, which makes for something rather remarkable. Judging from the album overall, Chase and Status seem to have succeeded at commercialising their music without losing their unique British sound. If they were to explore their genres even more and perhaps continue with out-ofthe-box collaborations, they could just be on their way to somewhere special.
Released on January 31
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Oscar Special: The Fighter Vs Black Swan
The Fighter By Heidi Aldihisi Nominations: 7 Wins: 2 SET in Massachusetts in 1993, this documentary style film is based on the true story of talented young boxer Micky “Irish” Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his delusional older brother Dicky (Christian Bale). Micky is trying to become a champion fighter, however, he isn’t making much progress due to being managed by his mother and coached by his former boxer turned crack addict brother. Being the considerate type, he is willing to keep his family happy despite not gaining the recognition that he deserves. That is until he meets his not-so-soft spoken girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams), who pushes him to put himself first in order to achieve his dreams. And so the drama unfolds as we witness the unravelling of an unstable family, all trying to influence Micky in some way. From the director of I Heart Huckabees, David O Russell conveys a perfect whirlwind of emotion and violence. Wahlberg effectively portrays the character of Micky, a reserved gentleman who is also trying to avoid living in Dicky’s shadows. 58 | NXGZINE
A notably skinny and heavily accented Bale successfully represents the complete opposite and is presented as quirky, humorous and self-destructive. Both actors give memorable performances of two brothers who couldn’t be any more different from each other, but are still deeply connected on an emotional level. Dicky attempts his comeback through making his brother a champion fighter, but the twisted turn of events focus on the fight within their family instead. A more sympathetic version of Rocky, the family melodrama causes us to forget its typical boxing film generic. The screenplay is filled with testosterone and the fighting scenes are largely believable as we are taken through a journey fuelled by the ‘will he make it, won’t he make it?’ factor. A movie not to be missed if you love a bit of boxing–do bear in mind however, that it’s not just about sport, it’s about passion, suffering and emotional battles with the inner self.
Black Swan By Mahalia Mayne Nominations: 5 Wins:2 Gripping and intense, it’s Natalie Portman’s greatest movie to date! Prior to seeing Black Swan, I did not really know what to expect as ballet movies would not technically be classed as my cup of tea. However, while sitting down to watch this film; It soon became clear as to why it was nominated for so many Oscars as well as why critics are singing its praise. It is a psycho-melodrama that almost has you on the edge of your seat throughout every scene. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan is less of a film about ballet and more a film about obsession. At the centre of it all is young ballerina Nina Sayer (Portman), a beautiful and vulnerable dancer who asks to play her dream role of lead swan in Swan Lake. Not before long, Nina–an already perfect White Swan– slowly loses her mind when told by her theatre company director Thomas (Cassel) to explore the role’s darker more sensual side as the Black Swan. Portman effectively portrays the physical pain dancers put themselves through, by working long, hard and emotionally draining hours in the hope of finding her inner black swan.
The picture perfect image of a professional ballerina, Portman’s character soon becomes involved in a twisted friendship with a younger contender, an already fitting Black Swan named Lily (Kunis). What makes the movie brilliant is Natalie Portman’s sheer emotion when she portrays Nina as a victim of pressure. Living with her pushy and washed-up ballet dancer mother Erica (Hershey), her character continues to experience anxiety attacks, nervous breakdowns and a growing hatred towards her mother. The narrative is slow at first, but builds momentum towards the end as the question of whether or not she can cut the role is magnified. Visually, we get to see how deep and multi-dimensional Nina’s thoughts are as she battles with her conscience, and in turn her hallucinations. The cinematography is mysterious and the Manhattan scenery makes for a beautiful yet eerie setting. Aronofsky’s decision to play the Swan Lake theme tune loudly and continuously throughout the flick proves slightly deafening yet intriguing at times. It is quite mad and often scary as we experience dark claustrophobic thoughts epitomised by a scene in which Nina finds herself convinced that her reflection continues to stare back at her when she looks away from her mirror.
Different and unexpected, it is no average movie that should be overlooked based on the sole factor of it being focused on ballet.
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The London Marathon 17 April Various venues www.virginlondonmarathon.com
NBA Basketball: New Jersey Nets v Toronto Raptors 4 – 5 March The o2 www.theo2.co.uk
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St Patrick’s Day 13 - 20 March Trafalgar Square and various streets in Central London www.st-patricks-day. com
London Burlesque Week 26 – 30 April Various venues londonburlesquefest.com
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KT Tunstall 8 March HMV Forum venues.meanfiddler.com/theforum/home
Chase & Status 11 March The Roundhouse www.roundhouse.org.uk
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The Enchanted Palace 26 March – 30 June 2012 Kensington Palace www.hrp.org.uk/ kensingtonpalace
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25th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 31 March – 6 April BFI Southbank www.bfi.org.uk/llgff
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The Affordable Art Fair 10 - 13 March Battersea Evolution www.affordableartfair. com
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Sing-a-long Rocky Horror Show 11 February – 1 April Prince Charles Theatre www.princecharlescinema.com
St David’s Day 1 March All over the UK www.stdavidsdayinlondon.com
All Time Low 12 – 13 March o2 Academy Brixton www.o2academybrixton.co.uk
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fever The Easter holidays or â€˜Spring breakâ€™ as the Americans will have it, is a time for students and workers alike to hop around the country. Rob Hewitt offers you a helpful guide on where to look for a cheap weekend away.
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FOR many, the Easter holidays are always something to look forward to. Whether it be a weekend break or a weeklong getaway, the possibility of excitement and relaxation draw many to various destinations during their Easter break. Keeping in mind that not everyone is looking for the same thing when deciding on a holiday, there will always be different locations for every individual. If you are looking for a city break, or want something a bit more relaxing, maybe a weekend in the country with a few friends, or that special someone, there are hundreds of options that you can chose from to make this Easter something to remember. England’s cities have something for everyone. From the characteristic places such as Brighton or Manchester, the jaw-dropping scenery in Bath, to the back-street boutiques in York, you can guarantee that you will find a location to suit you. Locations such as these will offer you a relaxing weekend getaway that will not break the bank, and may inspire you to keep revisiting again and again. If you are stuck for ideas of where to go, help is at hand. With just a few clicks of a mouse, you have the world at your fingertips with the many different holiday websites that you can browse to your heart’s content. Websites such as enjoyengland.com offer you a variety of ideas that can suit any budget, with a wide range of destinations for you to choose from. 64 | NXGZINE
For those with a little bit more cash to splash, take a look at expedia.co.uk, where you can find package deals for you and whomever you are travelling with. For example, a weeklong trip to the Algarve in Portugal will cost you around £160, which means you can save those extra pennies for cocktails by the poolside bar. You might not be looking for a simple holiday where you can relax; maybe you are more into your extreme sports and adventure holidays. There are options for you too. The site adventuresportsholidays.com has a range of sports for you to take part in, from surfing to mountain-biking and even skiing in various locations all over the world. Just search for what you want, and the options that are available to you will become clear in seconds. You also need to take into account when planning your weekend break the exchange rate. You should be able to find a destination where you can get more for your money. But do not base your much anticipated holiday on the exchange rate; it is about as predictable as the English weather and different companies such as Marks and Spencer or the Post Office may have different exchange rates for currency, it will not vary a lot, but it would be a better idea to have a look around first. So regardless of whether you want to overindulge in shopping and fine foods, or have an action-packed adventure holiday, there will always be options open to you, to make sure that you have one of the best Easter holidays, and fingers crossed there will be many more to come.
Quiz What character would you be in a superhero film? 1) What is your ideal super power? A) Being able to fly B) Invisibility C) Teleportation
5 1 5 3 3 5
3) What is your job?
A) Tearing up the town B) Watching movies with my bestie C) Jogging and going to the gym
A) Customer service B) Retail C) Full time occupation: Bad ass
4) If you found a wallet on the floor, what would you do?
5) What is your dress sense?
A) Hand it in to the police B) Kaching! Pocket the cash and max out the cards C) Use the information to track down their address and hand deliver it
A) Casual and homely B) Flashy, sassy and tight C) Dark, mysterious and intimidating
6) Do you easily fall in love?
RESULTS! A) A) A) A) A) A)
2) What is your hobby?
B) B) B) B) B) B)
1 3 3 1 5 1
C) C) C) C) C) C)
3 5 1 5 1 3
THE SUPERHERO: You may not stand out in the crowd during your 9 to 5, but once you have clocked out of the office, people see you for the hero you are. Your only downside might be that you do not always look after number one. Superman better step up.
A) I do, but I always ending up losing the one I love B) No, why would I need love when I have got power? C) Yes, but I am holding out for my hero
The Superhero- 20+ The Victim/Love Interest- 10 - 20 The Villian- 6 – 10
THE VICTIM/LOVE INTEREST: People would describe you as a sweet person who tends to keeps themselves to themselves, however, you are renowned for being beautiful both inside and out. Mary Jane ain’t got nothing on you.
THE VILLAN: You are dangerous, unpredictable and you sure know how to hold a grudge. You put yourself before others and rarely do what most people would consider the right thing. Watch your back, Catwoman isn’t best pleased * hiss *. NXGZINE | 65