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Editors Word.

School’s out for the summer! Pat on the back for completing yet another successful year in academia; let’s ‘raise a glass for the college grads’. The Summer holidays could only mean one thing, and that is more free time to read NXG Mag, unwind and watch more movies! Speaking of movies, welcome into our July/August movie issue! Gracing the cover this issue is Suicide Kids actress, the delightfully dazzling Shanika Warren-Markland. Check out our interview with the young star and find out all about the making of the Brit flick starring Robert Sheehan aka Nathan from E4’s Misfits. I’m quite excited about the upcoming release of the last ever Harry Potter. Do you think Harry will defeat the mighty evil Voldemort? This is going to sound crazy but for some reason I do like a sad ending as it somehow makes a movie more memorable. Anyway, turn to our teen flick movie reviews to find out more. I was surfing the net the other day, and I came across some Lonely Island YouTube videos that had me in stitches. If you haven’t seen them, do look them up as Justin Timberlake can be seen dressed up as an old skool R&B star, gyrating whilst belting out some rather comedic ballads. I only mention this because the lyrics are stuck in my head as I write this. If comedy really is your

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thing though, I suggest you check out our award-winning Spoken Word poet Kat Francois in Be Inspired this issue, as her poetry performances are filled with light humour and can also be viewed on YouTube. I’m still loving the dance anthems this summer and Natalia Kills is one of the names that has me intrigued and ready to ‘break it down’. Catch up with the star in music spotlight where you can discover more about her upcoming track Free which features none other than Will.i.am. My first encounter with her music was back in 2009, when in my last year of uni I had discovered a Timbaland-produced track called They Talk Sh*t About Me sung by a great French artist called Matt Pokora, who features Natalia on the song. I immediately got hooked on the chorus and I loved the odd French words thrown in here and there. I’m thinking about joining some workshops throughout the summer to keep my creative juices flowing, I think it’s a great way to keep career and study-smart. It’s important not to lose touch of our studies or educational advancement. We list a few tips on keeping career and study-smart in our career pages so keep a look out! For those of you who are keen on getting in to politics, we have a chat with

former NUS president Aaron Porter! I love my football and although my beloved Arsenal didn’t do so great this past season (sigh), I have been catching a few glimpses of the U21 European Championship and the U20 World Cup and I must say that I’m loving the flourishing future talent for the England squad. Be sure to get your update in the sport pages! Gothic fashion is going mainstream this autumn so I’m off to get a new bottle of killer black nail varnish! But before I go, I would like to mention that it has been a year since Nxg magazine was first relaunched, making this our one year anniversary! Gee, how time flies by! I would like to cease the opportunity to thank all of the NXG Mag team, our fab writers, contributors and graphic designers, on all of their amazing work! Happy Birthday NXG Mag! We hope you enjoy the issue!

Yasmine x

Editor-In-Chief ◊ YASMINE BENDJOUDI Editor ◊ ADAM SPAWTON-RICE Managing Deputy Editor ◊ MAZ KHAN Art Director ◊ OSMAN TANER Operations Manager ◊ MICHAEL KOSMAS Contributors ◊ Emma Knock ◊ Maz Khan ◊ Heidi Aldihisi ◊ Rob Hewitt ◊ Jasmia Robinson ◊ Jeremy van Waveren, ◊ Sonia Bendjoudi ◊ Mahalia Mayne Senior Writers ◊ Emma Knock ◊ Maz Khan ◊ Adam Spawton-Rice ◊ Yasmine Bendjoudi

NXGZINE | 3


CONTENTS

GADGETS SUMMER RAIN READY YOUNG STAR: SHANIKA WARREN-MARKLAND MUSIC NEWS NXG DOES: BIG BROTHER WINNERS GET IN2: POLITICS STYLE STARS: AYISHAT & LOUIZE FASHION THE DIARY OF JASMIA ROBINSON RELATIONSHIPS CAREERS: KEEP CAREER SMART MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: NATALIA KILLS BE INSPIRED BY: SPOKEN WORD POETRY THE BIG ISSUE: A POST BIN LADEN THREAT SPORTS MUSIC REVIEWS MOVIE REVIEWS TRAVEL: EUROPEAN GETAWAYS QUIZ

6 7 8 10 12 14 21 26 32 40 45 48 50 52 54 60 66 69 71

NXGZINE | 5


GADGETS

Really Tiny Book Light – available in assorted colours

Globalbagtag metal tag

DO not be fooled by its miniscule size, this funky little light truly holds the power of a large lamp. You can clip it on oneself for handy navigation if you are stuck in the dark, or if you share a room (poor you) and you fancy reading under the covers. It also rotates so you can illuminate whatever your heart desires with ease. Batteries are included. Hurrah.

Are you travelling throughout summer? Make sure your bags stay safe. This nifty tag for your bag can be fitted on suitcases, rucksacks, laptop bags or purses, whatever you choose to carry. With a suave GPS fitted inside, if your property is lost or stolen it can be located immediately. Globaltagbag even send you an SMS with your bag’s up to the minute location. Sweet.

£6.95 www.johnlewis.com

£9.95 www.globalbagtag.com

Summer Travel Gadgets By Maz Khan

DSP Magic Coin Towels

ChicBoom Keychain Speakers

It’s 10 towels in a bag - all you have to do is add water. These miniature goodies have saved my skin, literally, on many occasions. Take them to festivals, a camping trip, on holiday, or even the gym. They expand to approximately 30cm long and wide, plus they are cheap and environmentally friendly. All round winners.

These are fantastic for when you are in the garden, on a beach or even in the bath. Attach this tiny beauty to your MP3, iPod, phone or laptop and be wowed by the amazing boombox sound effect that blares out. The 2 watt amplified speaker gives out four hours of sound on a single charge, and they look lush. Grab one.

£2.00 www.johnlewis.com

£18.51 www.chicbuds.com

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RAIN READY Womens converse ‘all star XX hi trainers £50.00 www.schuh.co.uk

Mens ASOS lace-up ‘Work Boots £50.00 www.asos.com

Mens grey button scarf snood £14.99 www.riverisland.com

WE may still be at the peak of summer, but living in Britain means rain and wind is always around the corner. Here are our favourite on-trend life savers for when the weather gets in the way of you and your summer wardrobe.

RAIN READY

Mens Don’t Hate Cotton crew neck jumper £49.00 www.dopechef.co.uk

Womens blue soft blazer £34.99 www.riverisland.com

Womens skull and rose scarf £14.00 www.missselfridge.com

NXGZINE | 7


YOUNG STAR

YOUNG

STAR

OF THE ISSUE Since featuring and starring in 4.3.2.1 and Adulthood, Shanika has been non-stop on the go. Luckily for us, she takes the time out to talk to Maz Khan to about her role in the summer’s highly anticipated film Suicide Kids, her new film Victim, touring in South Africa and life on set with Noel Clarke.

When did you decide you wanted to be an actress? IT’S SOMETHING I’ve always wanted to do. You know those baby books from when you are a kid, my mum kept one and she recorded in it, saying I wanted to be an actress when I was about 2. By the time I was 8 I wanted to be an actress in Hollywood! I started to take it more seriously when I was about 14 or 15 at school ‘cause I really enjoyed Drama. I bugged my mum about going to a drama club, and so I went to Young Blood Theatre Company. I met some really cool people, Kerry Mulligan used to go there, and a few people came up from there. I went every Saturday until I was 20, while I was still at university. What did you do at uni? Do you prefer it to drama school? I did drama at Richmond College and at uni. The course I did was quite theory based, I did enjoy learning about types of theatre and the history. But in drama school you learn more about technique. Between going to uni, drama school and being on the job, it would be drama school and the job. I think that learning on the job is the way a lot of people get through it, you really pick things up as you go along. But it can go either way, depending on what type of person you are and what you enjoy the most. But for me, it’s been about going out on a job and meeting people. Who are your inspirations? I like to look at British actresses who have done well, but who are not hugely famous, because that scares me a little bit! Actresses like Thandie Newton and Sophie Okonedo, I love her! They have done really well out in America, but they are both still very British actresses. So first you were in Adulthood, then 4.3.2.1 - How was it working with Noel Clarke? Working with Noel was a good experience. Because he’s an actor, I feel he directs from an actor’s point of view; I’ve worked with some directors who are quite technical, but Noel will show you what your character should express in terms of emotions, from an actor’s level, where some directors don’t do that. He isn’t strict, but he knows what he wants and he demands respect on set, and it’s pretty much given by everyone! He has a good eye and he knows what he wants and how to get it. In 4.3.2.1, Kerrys was quite a kick-ass character. Did you relate to her? I can stand up for myself, but Kerrys is one of those people who engages her mouth before she has fully engaged her mind sometimes! She doesn’t have fear

8 | NXGZINE


YOUNG STAR or think about consequences. It was really fun to play someone who says what they think, says how they feel, and does what they want… everyone wishes they were a bit more like that! How was it to play a bisexual character? Normally there is a stigma attached to it, so Kerry’s character was a refreshing change. I really liked the way Noel had written her in, she was like ‘this is me and I’m cool with it’. There were little subtle touches, like in her room she would have posters of girls up, not sleazy ones or anything! But she was very open about it; she got on with it and didn’t really care what anyone said. There wasn’t anyone in the film who she displayed a negative attitude towards apart from with her brother but there were issues there anyway. I thought it was really refreshing to play a bisexual or gay character and for it not be the focus of the story. It wasn’t an issue, it was cool, she had her friends, her family, her girlfriend and other things going on. She just didn’t care, and I really enjoyed that. You were also in the film Victim. When is that released? It hasn’t got a release date as yet. It is quite a small British film, but I think it is going to be quite a beautiful film, and I made loads of friends there too, so that was good. I play a character that is in the main group, the main characters have a love story going on, but my character ends up being a bit of a honey trap, so..! But it was fun to be part of the group, us girls got to get all dressed up and pretty and stuff for the club scenes, [laughs] it was really fun. How have you adapted to your fame? Well, it’s not at Angelina proportions yet! [laughs] I still think it’s funny when people come up to me. I start racking my brains, wondering how I know them, I really don’t clock until they say where they know me from, so it is still often a surprise! It is nice, it’s really nice when you go on Twitter and people have good stuff to say about a film you’ve been in. So the release of Suicide Kids has been pushed back, I can’t wait to see it! When is it due out? It will be out late August/September maybe, because the film has been picked up by a bigger distributor, so it will get a bigger release, so it is a good thing really!

The name pretty much says it all, but the film covers pretty deep subjects. How was it making the movie? It was quite intense, but not as dark as what you may imagine. There is a lot of humour in the characters and with what happens. But it does deal with emotional subjects and there are quite touching, heart breaking moments in it. I can’t give anything away, but I researched into my character and it was really intense. But it was an amazing cast to work with, everyone was young and doing their own thing in all different areas… like there was Robert Sheehan, Ashley Walters, Reggie Yates. There is so many people in it. It was so cool and really fun. We’ve all stayed friends, so it will be nice to see them again. I like working with young casts. Wow, it’s been a busy year for you... Yeah, I was on tour for my birthday this year with a theatre production, it was for a show called Crunch, we did it originally two years ago I think. It was a show we wrote ourselves, there was a bunch of young people, I think around 12 when we first started, ‘cause the theatre do a yearly summer scheme for young people. This year we got to write our own spoken word poetry and we created a performance piece. It went really well, and in 2010 we went to perform in South Africa at their arts festival. We also did it in London and Birmingham. So, yeah I have had quite a good year so far! What do you hope to do next? I definitely want to do some more over here, but I wouldn’t rule America out. I’m not saying I’m out to conquer Hollywood, but I would like to go maybe next year and see what it is about. I’d also quite like to write one day, I’ve had a few ideas but I know not everyone is a writer so I might end up writing them and not showing anyone! If I am not the writer, I would at least like to pitch some ideas to people, get some new stuff out there. What advice would you give to up and coming actresses? You have to be prepared for how competitive it is. It isn’t easy, it isn’t a piece of cake at all, and there are times when you wonder when you are going to get your next job or audition. You may even question why you are doing it! But it’s because you do love it, and you have to keep giving it another go and another go. I suppose a lot of it is how you present yourself, and the people that you meet. So you can meet people, make good contacts and they could think of you for something else. It is also about not giving up, trying to practise as much as you can, if you aren’t working, get involved in student films, or a local theatre group like I did. Keep getting experience, and keep practising.

“Believe in yourself, and if that’s all you want to do then keep that belief and carry on”

NXGZINE | 9


MUSIC NEWS

Adele works on new record with Jay-Z BRITISH singing sensation Adele is said to be working on a “massive record” with US rapper Jay-Z. In June it was reported that the two had met up for a business lunch whilst the music mogul was in town for wife Beyonce’s Glastonbury headliner on the Pyramid Stage in Somerset. The Somebody Like You singer, who has already collaborated with Brit rapper Tinie Tempah on a yet to be released track this year, is said to have really hit it off with Jigga as he was left impressed and eager to pen a hit with the young music star. According to The Sun recent reports from a source close to the Empire State Of Mind mastermind revealed at the time: “Jay-Z has been making the most of his trip over here. It’s not often he is overwhelmed by people when he meets them, but Adele was on top form as usual. She talked him under the table. He was chuckling all the way through their chat.” The source went on to add: “He’s keen to work with her, whether it’s producing or writing together. She was a huge hit in the States and he believes they could make a massive record together.” It seems the artists have struck up quite a friendship as, along with Jay, Adele was amongst the 2000 specially selected guests who attended Beyonce’s secret Gig at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, to mark the release of Bey’s new 4 album. To top things off, during his stay it is said that Adele had advised the rapper to check out Paulo Nutini���s set at Glasto, and surprise, suprise he was pictured watching on from the side of the stage. It now seems that plans for the collaboration are well into fruition as, since initial reports, insider rumours of further meetings have been flying. The news comes as no revelation as Adele has become quite the popular breakthrough artist of the year in the US, with even rock band Linkin Park performing a Rolling In The Deep cover at a recent session in Hamburg.

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Belieber alert: Justin Bieber plans comeback with partly self-produced album

Janet Jackson performs with brother Michael once again Janet Jackson performed a virtual duet with Michael Jackson at the Royal Albert Hall this July 1. Just over two years after his tragic passing, the diva icon brought the house down as she decided to include a rendition of her and her late brother’s 1995 hit song Scream. Audiences were treated to a powerful performance which included Michael’s chilling vocals. Speaking to Heart FM before she was set to embark on the three date gig, Janet voiced her feelings on including Michael saying: “It’s therapeutic, you know and it makes me smile inside. I mean the energy of the song is fierce but it makes me smile inside when I hear him, when I hear his voice.” Reminiscing on her past experience with performing at the venue she went on to joke about her wardrobe malfunction: “I performed Rhythm Nation there, in front of Her Majesty the Queen and on stage I split my pants, or trousers as you’d say! I bent over and I ripped my pants right down the middle, right in the middle of dancing but I had to finish the song. So my booty is hanging out but what can you do, it was so embarrassing.’ Thankfully the starlet had nothing to worry about this time as she got through sans (glitch) and her dark and flashy set proved to be a hit with the crowds.

Canadian music star Justin Bieber has spoken out about his plans for his upcoming partly self-produced album. The 17-year-old singer has apparently been taking up lessons on how to produce beats, telling MTV: “I will be working with a lot of other producers and stuff like that, but I’m just writing a lot, writing on tour. Writing about how I feel and producing.” With the mention of writing about his feelings, the young musician could well be hinting at the possibility of singing about his current relationship with fellow teen star Selena Gomez. In speaking about the process of creating his 2012 album he went on to say: “I’ve been producing on my laptop and on my computer. I’ve been really into it and, hopefully, this next album will be huge.” Bieber has recently been involved in marketing Chris Brown’s soon-to-be launched clothing line, named Kind Of Famous. A smart move conjured up by Brown, as contrary to his line’s brand name he has enlisted the help of a majorly famous face. Brown later tweeted a picture of himself posing alongside Bieber who sports his deadlock t-shirt design. This recent show of support also sparks further rumours of a possible Brown/Bieber collaboration for Justin’s upcoming album, as the U Smile hitmaker was featured on Chris’s F.A.M.E record earlier in the year. The two are already expected to release a video for the feature entitled Next To You in the coming weeks. Keeping tight-lipped when asked about the musical direction of his debut album follow-up, Justin insisted: “I think music is music, and genre - I mean, I know there’s country music, there’s rock music, but my music is different. My voice is not meant for any style. I just want to make music.”


MUSIC NEWS

Profes sor Green gets personal with a UK tour in preparation for mega comeback NXG Mag’s One 2 Watch is Ed Sheeran Highly-praised by SB.TV and a countless number of music journalists, unsurprisingly Ed Sheeran is a name that you may have already come across the (West) coast. His soulful yet refreshing voice is one that lingers in the back of your mind for days, after just one single listen. Set for big things, the young 20-year-old has sofa surfed to fund his music and even travelled to LA penniless last year to play gigs across the coast. His travels later resulted in him being spotted by Jamie Foxx after a performance at The Foxxhole, which in turn remarkably led to Foxx inviting him to live and record at his house for the rest of his stay. The West Yorkshire lad developed a major online fanbase in the months that followed and has since been signed by major recording label Atlantic Records this January 2011. If there is anything from this highly talented artist that you should check out, it is his SB.TV recorded acoustic version of track You Need Me I Don’t Need You, which got him noticed on YouTube and even prompted Example to invite him on his tour, back in February 2010. Artists Sheeran has already collaborated with include the likes of Devlin, Wiley and GME. His first single released under Atlantic, entitled A-Team, peaked at number 3 in June. During his Glastonbury headline on the Introducing Tent, he revealed that You Need Me I Don’t Need You is also to be his second single whilst his debut album, which is called +, is to be released on 19 September. If you haven’t done so already, you are advised to catch a glimpse of this intense live performer at one of his O2 Academy dates starting September 19.

Professor Green is playing a 14-date UK tour throughout October and November as he gears up for the release of his At Your Inconvenience LP. The UK rapper, who counts hits such as I Need You Tonight and Just Be Good To Green under his belt, is planning to release the album on August 22 - a day after he is due to make an appearance at the V Festival. Surprisingly, Green only recently put a trial against the attacker, who left him with a neck scar in a vicious bottling incident in 2009, to rest as the violent youngster received an 8 year prison sentence this January. Proving that nothing can stop him, the rapper also plans to release touching new single Read All About It, which is said to be about his dad, in the coming month. Various clips showing the artist perform the single live are also viewable on YouTube. Here are all of the future tour dates you need to take a note of.

O2 Academy Sheffield (October 15) Glasgow Barrowlands (16) HMV Picturehouse Edinburgh (17) O2 Academy Liverpool (18) O2 Academy Newcastle (20) Manchester Academy (21) Nottingham Rock City (24) Leamington Spa Assembly (25) Norwich U.E.A. (26) O2 Academy Birmingham (28) O2 Academy Bristol (30)

By Yasmine Bendjoudi

O2 Academy Bournemouth (November 1) Brighton Dome (2) London Roundhouse (3) NXGZINE | 11


NXG DOES

O R

B G I

NXG Does...Big Brother The Big Brother house once drew audiences in their millions to Channel 4’s UK format of the show, in 2009 however, Big Brother was axed by the channel due to dwindling interest, meaning low ratings for the once prime-time reality show. Much to the excitement of UK Big Brother fans, rumours emerged in January this year that Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond was writing up a deal for a new production of the Endemol favourite. According to a source at BB forum Big Brother Online, a licensing deal between Endemol UK and Five for two years, valued in excess of £100 million has been agreed follow talks between the two. The new format will start this summer with a Celebrity Big Brother show, followed by a (long-running) show featuring members of the British public. Just a few of the names touted to star in this year’s Celebrity Big Brother so far to are: Jedward, former BB star Imogen Thomas, boxer Mike Tyson, and Harrods owner Mohammed Al-Fayed. However, no official statement has yet been made, and even the presenters have yet to be announced.

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What Channel 5 needs to do to make the series a success:

HERE are our ideas about what the producers of the new Big Brother format can, and should do, to make it exciting and watchable again.

1. A shorter run

Stretching the show across the whole summer means we get sick of hearing about the show, inconvenience ourselves by staying up late to watch it, and waste our summers away doing so. The 10-year run on Channel 4 itself was too long for all but the biggest of fans.

2. Get the decorators in

Channel 4’s BB was so watchable because of some really creative interior design. Celebrity contestant Pete Burns once described the décor as “IKEA on LSD” upon entering the house, and part of the fun for many viewers was watching the contestants’ interactions with their environment throughout the different years and themes.

3. Keep it simple

In their attempts to reinvigorate the show, Channel 4 created convoluted and longwinded tricks to spice up the in-house drama. No to moles, trickery and hidden rooms please Channel 5. The ‘experimental’ nature of the first few series of the programme had been amongst the most popular, and provided un-structured hilarity. Yes to that please Channel 5.

4. Quality contestants

Although that rules out most of the hopefuls, keeping fame-hungry page 3 wannabes out of the house could be one way to ensure that the ‘quality’ of the programme doesn’t take a nose-dive. Many of the well-loved former contestants have come from different backgrounds, though it is worth noting that the producers of Big Brother on 4 were ticked off on several counts for their inclusion of housemates with a history of mental illness.


R E H

NXG DOES

Notable winners: Jade Goody

T O

One of the original stars of the Big Brother format, former dental nurse, Goody was propelled to celebrity status and quickly began to cash in on her success. Her very public fall from grace came when an international race-row erupted following comments made by Jade and Jo O’Meara about Indian actress Shilpa Shetty. After entering the Indian version of Big Brother, Goody was diagnosed with cervical cancer, which led to her death in 2009. Jade made a public appeal to women, urging them to attend their smear tests upon learning about her diagnosis, “Her legacy will be to help save lives” said a spokesperson for cancer research on the day of her funeral.

Brian Dowling

Brian won the second series of the show in 2001, as well as the Ultimate Big Brother (making him the ultimate housemate), and has been tipped for a presenting role on the new format. Brian came out to his parents just two weeks before he was due to appear on the show. Formerly a flight attendant for Ryanair, the boy from County Kildare walked away with the prize of £70,000 in 2001 and a further £100,000 prize last year in Channel 4’s final outing of the show.

Josie Gibson

One of the most lovable and lively housemates in years gone by, the brassy Bristolian was praised by many for donating £20,000 of her £100K winnings to cancer charity CLIC Sargent. In May this year Josie appeared in a TV show called There’s Something About Josie, which featured her on-screen BB beau John James and followed the ex-housemate in the style of Katie Price’s Living TV programmes.

Nadia Almada A more emotional welcome back into the world than most, when Nadia saw her mother after leaving Big Brother house it was the first time she had seen her daughter since her sex change operation, years before. The first ever transgender contestant and winner of Big Brother’s fifth series in 2004, Davina told Almada she had been her “favourite ever contestant” upon leaving the house. Nadia’s post-Big Brother media career has included fitness videos, numerous television appearances, and a Top 40 single called A Little Bit of Action.

Nikki Grahame Wannabe glamour model and definite nutshow Nikki burst into the BB house in 2006 wearing a Playboy bunny costume. Endemol were criticised by a number of experts for their inclusion of Grahame as a contestant due to her history of mental illness, with one mental health charity claiming producers were “playing fast and loose with people’s lives.” Nikki’s on-screen romance with loveable wannabe-rock-star, and winner of series (five), Pete Bennett made the pair one of the hot topics of the year. Since leaving the Big Brother house Grahame won Most Popular TV Contender at the 2006 National Television Awards and Published Dying To Be Thin, a book about her experience of the disease anorexia nervosa.

NXGZINE | 13


GET IN2 POLITICS

2 Labour MP for Lewisham and Deptford, Joan Ruddock has been an influencer in politics since the 1980s, working as one of the first ever Ministers for Women after helping Tony Blair to become PM. She was originally known as “the CND woman” because of her work towards Nuclear Disarmament in the 1970s and 80s, following David Cameron’s comments to Angela Eagle. NXG Magazine decided to sit down with Joan to discuss how to get women in 2 politics.

Who or what inspired you to become involved in politics? I began my political life before there were any laws regarding racial discrimination in the UK. The earliest campaigns I was involved with were about race discrimination at home and anti Apartheid in South Africa. I was always passionate about equality, and had an added passion for the environment as a result of my upbringing (my grandparents were market gardeners) and my time at university. So what have you been up to recently Joan? Lately in my constituency, we’ve been fighting some of the cuts imposed by central government. I’ve been helping the people who are trying to save libraries such as New Cross, but also Croft and Park library in my constituency, and helping the community to set up an alternative library. I’ve been raising the issues around EMA, campaigning to persuade ministers that in areas like mine, it can be the only way some young people can stay in education. I’ve spoken to groups of young people, to find out what they have been spending their EMA money on. Some of the things that people don’t think about, such as buying materials if they study fashion, buying recording equipment if they study media...There is no way your ‘education’ can be free if your family can’t afford these things, and if you cannot find part-time work, it is really difficult. Losing it could mean having to drop out of your course. These are the things that I‘ve been perusing now that I’m out of government, and I’m no longer a Minister. I always took up the issues of constituency, but now I’ve got much more time to focus on those issues over everything else. In your time as a Minister for Women, what changes did you see for women through politics? Well it was the first time there had ever been a Women’s Minister in government. We consulted a lot before we got into government, and we had to start from scratch.

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We wanted to know:

“What priorities

did women have?” Women told us that their priorities were things like childcare; Getting affordable childcare would make it possible for women who were, or wanted be mothers, to be able to go back into work. They wanted to work only a limited time, and they could fit that in if they could get the right childcare. In 1997 there was very little childcare available, back then it wasn’t even considered to be an important issue, and there was no policy to back it up. We developed the policy, on three fronts: One was about affordable childcare, the other was about action on violence against women, sadly there is still so much violence against women. There are many more outlets for help these days: Rape crisis centres were set up, and we encouraged women’s refuges. We changed the law, we changed it very seriously, even changing the attitude of the police. Domestic violence against women was routinely seen as a private, domestic issue, we told them that there had to be a different approach. This issue still involves lots of young women, in bad relationships, who are the direct victims of violence. In families where there is violence between the parents, the violence can be directed towards children and young people too. The third prong of our strategy was opportunities for women in public appointments. It is really important to remember - all of the public bodies to do with education, social services, to do with health - the vast majority of these positions in local government and central government, had gone to men. We set out to ensure that, when names are put forward there are always women amongst those names. Those are the things that we prioritised and worked on, and these things have been worked on continuously by the Labour government. There is still a great need to promote and encourage women, at least have rules that say you must consider women. We got Harriet Harman (Current Deputy Leader) into the leadership of the party when the norm was just men. Why are there are still so few women in politics? I think the reason is twofold. The prime reason being when it comes to parties selecting their candidates, there is still a terrific prejudice. In the Labour party we had to go to all-women shortlists, because women were never in a fair competition if they were competing with men. The presumption in most parties was that it was a man’s job, and thus men rather than women were selected. Some amazing research has been done by the Fawcett Society in the last few years, there are lots of young women in the Fawcett Society. Labour had already changed their laws, but they found there was incredibly deep-seated prejudice within other parties, where people were able to ask really loaded questions, which were clearly discriminatory against women.


GET IN2 POLITICS

For instance, would they ask a female politician about her family situation? Questions way beyond a simple “Do you have children to care for?” would be asked. Questions like “what will your husband do for sex if you’re in London all week?” That is in this day and age, a couple of years ago, the study is not that far out of date. There is still a lot of prejudice against selecting female candidates, but there was always this belief that women would do less well, that the voters didn’t like women. But it turned out when labour had its landslide victory in 1997, of the seats, which were marginal seats, female candidate polled higher on average than men in comparable seats. Tragically we lost quite a few of the young women from our 1997 intake. Coming in on a marginal seat, their chances of losing that seat were quite high. Also some of them just felt that the life [in parliament] was so bad for their families that they decided not to stand again. Have you ever heard about a man making that decision? The same effects occur on the man’s family as on the women’s family, but the men will decide “this is what I want, this is my career and I’m going to do it,” regardless of the impact on a family. Women, in some cases with young children, decided that the cost of being here was too great. Why is that? Because we have ludicrous hours, we have ludicrous rules, and the place is very very deeply un-family friendly. Women look at it if they get enough information, and say to themselves, “Do I really want to go to a place like that?”. Add to that that you’re in the public eye all of the time, and the media is brutal, particularly towards women. It doesn’t look like the most congenial job in the world.

What advice would you give to a young woman or man, not at university, with aspirations of becoming an MP such as yourself? Where should they start?

“Decide what the issues that interest you are, and which political party you identify with - its values and policies. Join that party, get involved with local campaigns, but don’t be put off by boring meetings.” If your local party isn’t any good at campaigning, join a pressure group. Make yourself useful, listen to others and don’t be afraid to voice your own opinions. Observe who is listened to, who influences others and how they do it. Learn to speak in public, few people can do this naturally - it takes practice and everyone gets nervous. Get involved in youth parliament, or maybe join a school debating society.

Ruth Kelly, once the Minister for Women herself, made that decision She decided in the end it wasn’t worth the enormous cost to her emotionally, and to her family. The average MP despite all of the media hype, you have very high expenditure. It helps if you have a partner or husband at home, who perhaps reduced his hours in order to provide extra childcare, but maybe he earns less money, there is a limit to how much help you can buy in. How has politics changed for women, since you started out and is it better? Politics has changed, it is better, partly because of the landslide which brought more women in under Labour, partly because over the years society itself has moderated its attitudes to women. It’s easier, it is still hard. But there are more women supporting women. For example at the moment I’ve been working with some of the new conservative women, looking at the sitting hours of the house, trying to work out a strategy to bring the parliamentary day forward so that we don’t start the week voting at 10 o’clock at night, which we do on Mondays and Tuesdays. We’ve struggled and struggled, the women have led the fight, to change this over the years, and we’re making progress. There is quite a number of young women who’ve just joined us and we’re supporting them to try to get more change to try to make it even better. I wouldn’t discourage people from coming. It is tough. Why is it important? It’s important because so much of what is legislated, whether its about violence, the police, education, health, whatever it is, women are affected, so they need to be here.

NXGZINE | 15


GET IN2 POLITICS

2 STUDENT POLITICS GET IN HE was the President of the National Union of Students (NUS) during the historic events of Demo 2010, and garnered more media attention than any other NUS President before him. NXG Magazine managed to catch an interview with outgoing president of the NUS, Aaron Porter, and we found out how the movers and shakers in the NUS can affect EMA, tuition fees and the future of the UK’s education system.

Hi Aaron, can you tell us a little about what you’ve Give us an example of an issue that mattered to been up to lately? you, and how you brought it to NUS with you. IT’S STILL very busy in the office of the NUS President. Lots of my time is still taken liaising with the government over their impending Higher Education White Paper which will have a profound impact on the future of the university sector. I’m also starting to tie up some loose ends in my final few weeks as President.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise, but the biggest issue that really got me involved in NUS campaigns was the ever increasing cost of university tuition. Back in 2006, I saw tuition fees treble from £1k a year to £3k. And now in 2010 and 2011, I have led our most high profile campaign in history against the government’s proposals to treble them once more up to £9k a year.

You studied English as your degree subject, what sparked your interest in working for the student’s As the outgoing president of the NUS, what are union and the numerous committees you sit on? your plans after your term finishes? My way into the students’ union was initially through clubs and societies, and also student media. In my final year as an undergrad I was editor of the student newspaper, The Ripple and also President of one of the junior committees. That was my initial route into SU democracy, and from there I got more involved in the National Union of Students.

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Firstly, I’ll need to take a few days off! It’s been a pretty non-stop year, and there were periods where I was working for 50 or 60 days straight. Even though the press attention has moved on somewhat, there is still an incredible amount to do behind the scenes. So I hope my summer won’t be too intense, I’ve got a few cricket matches lined up, and then starting to settle into new work for my post-NUS life.


GET IN2 POLITICS

What do you make of Andrew Neil’s comment (The Daily Politics) following your appearance on his BBC politics show? Do you think NUS is a good preparation for Westminster?

“I think I was listening

to a future MP there!” It’s very nice of a well respected broadcaster like Andrew Neil to predict that I’m going to have a career in Westminster, and though I am really interested in politics and have never hidden my membership of the Labour Party, I don’t think the time is quite right. Personally, I need to spend some time building a proper career, really understanding what the world of work is like, as well as staying in touch with a diverse network of people. I wouldn’t rule it out altogether, but I don’t think it’s on the horizon anytime soon. The fact that lots of past NUS Presidents notably Jack Straw, Charles Clarke, Jim Murphy and Stephen Twigg have gone onto high profile political careers does always mean that the possibility gets raised. To be successful in the world of student politics you need to have a certain amount of political drive, what else do you think any aspiring student politicians should bear in mind? Well there are lots of attributes required to be successful in NUS, and student politics more generally. Crucially, I think you need to display an understanding of the biggest issues that students are facing from fees, to the cost of living, accommodation, the quality of learning and teaching and induction. With anything that is decided by a vote, you obviously need to show to others that you can be trusted, that you have the ability to deliver on what you say you

are going to do, and confidence that you can mobilise effective campaigns. Before the recent student protests young people, particularly students had been called ‘apathetic’ when judged against their 1960s forbears, if you could pinpoint a single issue what would you say has reignited the student protest movement? I was proud to be the NUS President that led the biggest student protest in generations, and probably since the 1960s. Supported by an excellent team, we put more effort into working with students’ unions to mobilise the biggest number we could – with 50,000 people far surpassing our expectations – whilst also building record levels of press coverage in the run up to the demonstration, and an unprecedented public awareness of the issues facing young people. It’s hard to point to one factor which reignited student activism, I would argue it was largely a combination of a credible campaign strategy from NUS, and a build up of successive governments attacking students until the line was finally, truly overstepped.

NXGZINE | 17


GET IN2 POLITICS This year you debated the relationship young people have with politics as a speaker at Hansard, you spoke about EMA (the Education Maintenance Allowance), balancing your comments with the fact that the government is faced with tough decisions, just how much can NUS affect decisions about national issues like EMA? It is the NUS’ responsibility to continually liaise with government over a range of issues that effect students and young people. The proposed scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance was certainly one of those. And I am sure had it not been for NUS’ intervention, we would not have seen EMA saved and the budget made much larger than the government had wanted. Who is able to run for positions within the NUS? Any student from any affiliated students’ union. In that respect, it makes NUS’ structure one of the most democratic and open that exists of any organisation on the planet. If an individual student anywhere can build enough support from the delegates elected to attend our conference, they could become the next NUS President. So by now there are probably hundreds of interested potential NUS presidents, what’s their first step on their way to a NUS conference? Every affiliated SU is invited to send a delegation of students to our national conference, which takes place for 3 days in April every year. NUS covers the cost of accommodation, so the only cost for the SU is travel for the delegates. I’d really recommend any students that are interested in finding out more about NUS to put themselves forward for the delegate elections in their students union. Your day-to-day duties as NUS’s president open you up to a more than average level of criticism, are there any extra responsibilities that a would-be Aaron Porter should know about? You certainly need very thick skin to be NUS President. Of course when you represent as diverse a group as the 7 million students of the UK, then you won’t please everyone. My advice would be to be confident in your conviction, and stick to what you believe is right. What of your duties as NUS President will you miss? I’ve loved the opportunity to represent such an important constituency of the population. The students of today will be the people shaping society for generations to come. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the greatest amount of media coverage of any NUS President, probably in our

18 | NXGZINE

history, and I’m fortunate that I appear to perform well under the media spotlight. I’ll miss sitting on the Question Time panel, or the BBC Breakfast sofa with Bill and Sian! How important is it for ‘new blood’ to be pumped into NUS through elections and such? One of the greatest features, probably the single most important is that the leadership of student’s unions and the NUS changes year on year, or at the very most every 2 years. It’s those injections of new ideas, the need to seek a fresh mandate that makes student’s unions so vibrant and exciting. ...And with the highs must come some lows, what have you warned incoming president Liam Burns about? Well, I’m just about to kick start a handover process with Liam. It’ll be an honest assessment of how to make the most in the role, and advice particularly on dealing with a huge volume of correspondence, and striking the right balance between getting out and meeting students, and dealing with the press. Very few people get this level of stress and responsibility in their mid 20s, so it’s certainly a steep learning curve.


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20 | NXGZINE


STYLE STARS

STARTING out as humble shop assistants, Ayishat (silent ‘t’) and Louize, are tied to the recent successes of the UK’s hip-hop and grime scenes. Styling everyone, from brand new mums and grooms-to-be, to Labrinth, Cher Lloyd and Taio Cruz, these girls have been very busy in the past year. NXG Magazine’s Adam Spawton-Rice sits down with them to talk shoots, fashion and their future as stylists.

What you wear could change your life

First off thanks for interviewing with us girls!

A: Just over a year now, I graduated this time last year, it’s been pretty much ever since then.

A: We flew out to New York to style her first press shots, we worked with a couple of amazing photographers Jared Ryder and Sean Vegezzi.

L: It all started with Pass Out I think. It was released just over a year ago now, and was our first professional gig together.

L: What you will see from now on, on billboards, the single cover, the album cover we styled.

as much as we wanted it to happen, we had no idea it could. Labrinth, who Louize has kind of grown up with, was shopping around for a deal. He was walking into labels and they liked his music, but they just couldn’t really see him as an artist. We suggested that he might need a new image – almost telling a little white lie, and not really knowing what the job entailed – we were like “We can do that.” We had a meeting, we made a mood board and they loved it, so we started working with him, just like that. We got him an image and he got signed, which was wicked!

A: We were in the studio when it was being recorded, we said

How did it all start, how does one become a stylist?

So you were instrumental in him getting signed?

A: Our journey is really different: we call it a beautiful accident. An accident because

L: Hopefully that’s what Labrinth would say!

A: Thanks! A&L: It’s a pleasure! How long have you two been in business?

“Tinie, this is going straight to

number 1.”

Then when it happened, we felt so blessed to be a part of that whole movement. We didn’t realise how big it would be. So what have you girls been up to lately? We’ve heard whispers of a Cher Lloyd photoshoot?

NXGZINE | 21


STYLE STARS A: When he got signed they kept us on, and literally the first thing we did was Pass Out. Our phones haven’t stopped ringing since.

through, you’ll sweat, you’ll be tired, but you’ll get somewhere, someone will spot you slaving away, and they’ll appreciate it.

Once that artist says “thank you”, they’ve remembered you.

L: To anyone trying to be a stylist, we would tell them to do almost the opposite of what we’ve done – we’ve been very fortunate to be able to learn on the job. Read, study, harass anyone you know who works in fashion, styling, or music. Harass everybody you know, ask for jobs, beg for jobs, assist, be free. Free is the best thing you can be, even if it’s just for a little while. Eventually you’ll meet the right person, you’ll get the right job and you’ll get somewhere.

Keep on getting those ‘Thank yous’... and you never know. Assist with a stylist for a year or so, someone who’s working in the industry. Through them you’ll meet photographers, artists, people you can chuck into your contact book, and eventually you’ll have enough to go out on your own.

By free, you mean work for free?

...And don’t lose your phone!

L: Working as a stylist is nowhere near as glamorous as people think it is, sometimes you might just feel like a slave. You’ll push

A&L: Yeah!

A: Louize was wearing her Topshop uniform, from her hair and the way she used to accessorise it, I knew she was a cool girl.

black afro... When I first met Ayishat she was wearing these Hi-top Reeboks, with bowling pins all over them, her Schuh top, and jeans because she could only wear denim. I remember she had bright-blonde and black hair, it was like something from a Japanese cartoon. I’d never seen a

L: In my time working for Topshop, and I only worked there for a short period of time, I had cornrows, I had a red afro, a 22 | NXGZINE

How did you two meet? Have you been friends for a long time? A: We met at work, we bonded because of our love/hate relationship with retail. We loved a lot of the things our shops were selling, we just kind of hated being there, it just wasn’t what we wanted to do. We’d see each other on our breaks, and we’d fantasise about how good it would be to be doing this, something with clothes. A&L: Anything with clothes! A: That was about three years ago now... L: It started from sharing a lunch break, then I met her peeps, she met my peeps... Can you both remember what the other was wearing? L: Work uniforms!?

black girl with hair like that. I thought, “she looks worth talking to.”


STYLE STARS So has styling professionally changed your lives? L: Most definitely. Even just for the fact that we’ve left behind shift work, we are much happier beings! We’ve taken on so much more responsibility working for ourselves. It has definitely changed our lives, in terms of the things we’ve learned and the things we’ve seen. We were flown to New York the other day, that’s never happened to us before! It isn’t a premeditated passion for clothes, we were this way when we met each other, and we’ll be this way if we stop styling tomorrow. It’s our personality; clothes for us, are an extension of our personality. What’s going on inside, we visualise it. That’s what we like to do for everyone we style. A: The way we look at everything, everything is research, and everything is inspirational. Even here I’ve noticed what people are wearing, I’ve noticed what you are wearing. It’s really helped train our eyes. Who do you style for on a regular basis? L: Our main baby is Labrinth. He was our first baby, he’ll be our last. We’ve just started working with Cher Lloyd, and she’s been fantastic. We have non-stop laughs. It is a little bit ridiculous. A: ...Then there’s Taio Cruz. We’ve just done our first job with him, on his new video with David Guetta. Other people slot it all of the time, we don’t just style

celebrities. We are stylists. We’ll style everyone. L: As a stylist, you do the best job you can, you leave that photo shoot, but you don’t know if you’re still employed until you get that next phone call. That’s just how it goes. All I can say is, we hope they love our work, and “we’re waiting for your phone call!”

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STYLE STARS Names names! Who have you worked with?...And if you can, tell us a little about them. L: I think one of our biggest achievements was being able to work with Rankin. We worked with him on two occasions last year, a photo shoot and a video shoot for Labrinth. A: A lot of people don’t know that it was Rankin who shot the video for Let The Sun Shine. L: The photo shoot was for Labrinth’s press shots, his signature suited and booted style. We worked in Rankin’s Camden photography studio, it was this open plan huge studio, with a huge kitchen and bathroom, just for us to use. The icing on the cake was Rankin coming down in a lift from his penthouse apartment upstairs, those doors opened and he just looked like a god! A: He constantly wears black jeans and a black Fred Perry polo. L: (wistfully)...His little blue eyes, there were no airs or graces, he’s just a boy from London. Pick three artists or celebrities (male or female, alive or dead) that you’d like to style: One you’d like to develop, one you’d like to overhaul and another that you’d just be happy to have met or worked with: L: I think we would like to develop Katy B’s look, because we absolutely love her music. The spice we hear in her music, we want to be able to see that in her look. We would want to visualise what’s interesting about Katy B, the person. Our aim is always to draw out personality in style. Even if it’s just a little bit, in her hair, or her top.

L: I would love to have met, styled with, talked to, held hands with, anythingIsabella Blow. Sadly she’s passed away, but she was amazing, she had no boundaires, Gaga is her love child. For her, Fashion wasn’t about being commercially beautiful, or stick thin. It’s just style. She wasn’t conventionally beautiful, nor was she tall or stick thin. Her hat or the shoes she was wearing would’ve drawn me in, she was just amazing. You just want to be in her presence, or in her wardrobe! A: Definitely Spike Lee for me. His style back in the 80s, the films, he was a big part of urban culture. The fashion, the cinematography, the editing, everything about his work inspires me. He’s a little bit understated now, he’s grown up, he’s not as wacky as he used to be. I’d love to bring that back out of him. Name one item that our readers should go away from this interview and buy for themselves: L: For this summer, it would have to be a rucksack. They are good for your health, they really are. Boys and Girls, put your big holdall down, and get yourself a rucksack. Not only are they good for you, they work as an accessory. ASOS do some great ones, Topman, Topshop, and Urban outfitters do some nice ones too. You can get one for £20, or you can spoil yourself, go to Eastpak and get one that’ll last you until you’re 50. You can express yourself with a rucksack. Badges, studs, biro, do your thing. It’s on your back, it’s looking cool and it’s out of your way. A: The Denim shirt- Every single rail, when we’re styling someone will have certain things, there are always socks, extra underwear, a black vest, a white vest, and a denim shirt. It might not be groundbreaking but it is an essential.

A: Overhaul, it’s got to be Will.I.Am. For a few reasons.

Which is your favourite high street shop, or Designer? (Or both!)

L: ...The shapes, the angles, the hair. Maybe just not so scary!

A: My favourite high street shops are Topman or Zara, they’re neck and neck. I like the more classic stuff that Zara do, their blazers and they do a lot of preppy stuff one side of my style is quite preppy. Then my designer is Ralph Lauren, I could

A: He’s like some robo-cop type thing Bring Will.I.am back down to earth.

24 | NXGZINE

wear Ralph Lauren, all day every day. L: My favourite high street shops are the shops where you go to find second hand clothes. Anything charity, anything vintage is definitely up Louize’s street. I live in the 90s really. I wake up and it’s always ’93. My favourite designer is Moschino, their come back without space and their earlier stuff. The prints the patterns the chains, everything. 80s, 90s or 00s? A: We’re 90s babies, it has to be 90s for the style. Stussy, Corgi jumpers. L: We love the way photos were taken in the 90s, we love the way people walked and talked in the 90s. A: The supermodels of the 90s! L: We grew up with Moesha, Sister Sister, Boy Meets World, and Blossom, I even miss the TV. A: Fresh Prince! L: We have so many Fresh Prince shirts. If we’re doing anything for TV, we have to avoid wearing our Fresh Prince shirts, they’re just too bright for the camera. We did Later with Jools Holland, and I think the cameraman avoided us on purpose, we were in the audience, wearing every colour under the sun. New York, Brooklyn, we were there in spirit, but not just the US in the 90s. We loved the Spice Girls, Eternal, Atomic Kitten... Tyra Banks in the 90s, eat your heart out! If you could give one piece of style advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be? A: Mine would be: Be you. I’d always been a little bit different, but I was scared to take it up a notch. You always want to do what your friends are doing, they want the Nike trainers, you want the Nike trainers. I was scared to give all of me for not being accepted. Kids these days are so much more individual in their style than they’ve ever been. The kids that I see are way more stylish than my peers.


STYLE STARS L: I’d agree with Ayishat, I’d say “Lou, don’t try to be Avril Lavigne. Louize is pretty cool, be her.” Favourite item of clothing that you both own? L: I’m wearing mine. It’s my black jersey maxi skirt, it’s by Kookai. I found it in my house, I don’t know who it belonged to, most probably my sister. I wear it all the time, it’s so beautiful. I’ve got my chain on, got my braids, back to reality. A: I don’t know, it might be my Ralph Lauren denim shirt. It’s a basic, a denim shirt is so staple, that’s why everyone should have one. When in doubt, denim shirt. As you mentioned earlier you’ve been busy busy busy these past few months, are either of you seeing anyone, is there any time for relationships?

us. Apart from styling, we have a lot to give to young people. We’re passionate about so much, and we can teach them a few things about their appearance, it doesn’t just have to be styling to look good, but to make you feel good. We’re full of personality, we like to think, and we care a lot. L: At the moment, styling is our path, it’s the career we’ve chosen, we want to take it much further. We’re not just both female, or black, or short, we are stylists and we are creative’s. We’ve got so much more to give than just dressing people.

We feel like what you

wear can change your life, and we’d

A: It’s the same for me, I couldn’t dedicate any time to anyone special right now. Nobody actually sees me. We just don’t have the time, and if I do have a spare moment, I almost feel bad for having fun. It gets to around 1am, and “I have to say come on Ayishat...”

When are we gonna see you in Vogue?

A: We’d love to do it all, TV is definitely something we’re interested in. Doing something on TV would be amazing for

L: In the mean time, you can reach us on Twitter and Facebook, Louize Williams and Ayishat Aknabi. A: @Ayishat_Louize is our Twitter, you can check out some of the things we do on our blog too, Individualism.co.uk L: As the new slang goes, “DM me, and I’ll hit you right back!”

can happen.

A: It happened to us, what we wear changed ours, we were given this opportunity because we looked a certain way, and we were dressed a certain way.

Let’s imagine that it’s time to take it to the next level, what will your next level be?

A: Our website is in the process of being made at the moment, it isn’t up and running yet.

love to be able to impart how that

L: I’m a ghost at the moment, I’m just a figment of my friends and family’s imaginations. If I’m not working, I’m probably thinking about work, and I can’t entertain a conversation. There hasn’t been much time to connect with my friends over the last couple of months. Luckily for me I have a very understanding, supportive circle around me. I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I’m in a love affair with t-shirts and jean right now.

L: If I was with somebody, they would have to have a workload which resembles mine; even if we’re seeing each other for an hour a day, if we have that understanding, I could get down with that.

How can prospective clients get in touch?

L: We fit the part. A: ...and they believed in us because of our appearance. Taking pride in how you look and dress is definitely important for life.

A: Soon hopefully. L: ASAP! Could you be the next Trinny and Susanna?

: I can promise you that we’ll most L

definitely be the

very first Ayishat and Louize. Whether you love

them or hate them, Trinny and Susanna have done something that not many other people have done; as two females, they came together, worked together, had a TV show and built an empire off of it. NXGZINE | 25


FASHION

GLAM GOTH Fashion Autumn/Winter 2011 By Yasmine Bendjoudi

26 | NXGZINE


FASHION

Rick Owens AW11

Julien Macdonald AW11

STEP INTO THE DARK SIDE THIS autumn/winter 2011, black is the new black. If ever there was a time to have some fun with a look that you would otherwise never attempt, this would be it as high street retailers stock up on must-have Gothic fashion this fall. Lead by designers Julien Macdonald and Corrie Nielson, the Gothic trend has made its comeback in dominating London Fashion Week runways this year. Having said that, it is essential to note that gone are the days when ‘goth-ing it up’ meant digging out your old Marylin Manson t-shirts. Branded glam Goth, today’s style thrives on two main themes. The first being modern day glamour, and the second being the dreamy and whimsical visions of mourning aristocrats, such as fictional Charles Dickens character, Miss Havisham.

Ensuring a little inspiration comes from romantic Elizabethan, Victorian or Medieval periods is recommended. Black lace and lashings, corsets, veils, full skirts, fishnets, lace, sheer fabrics and velvets are all iconic pieces and key materials to explore. Also popular, for both female fashionistas and male fashionistos, are flouncy poet or pirate shirts, dark pointy boots, tight-fitting trousers, and footwear with buckles. The colour pallet for glam - and at times romantic - Goth may consist of predominantly darker colours, however, keep in mind that blacks can be coupled with off-whites, silver and pewter when accessorising. Last but not by any means least, remember that at times like these; your black pencil liner really is your best friend.

NXGZINE | 27


FASHION

Get The Look New Look Feather Cape £5

Selfridge Black PU Tee £32

H&M &Denim. Jeans £19.99

Office Make My Day Leather £66.00 28 | NXGZINE

IN RECENT months British songstress Jessie J has taken on the glam Goth style and given it her own unique twist. Whilst most of her ensemble isn’t quite as floaty as the typical romantic garments that have re-emerged on the catwalks, her glittery armour-like sequined top and layered black feather cape ooze glam Goth appeal and are reminiscent of Julien Macdonald’s feathered pieces. The style star also dons Guess Premium Power Skinny in Glamour jeans, which are fitting for the ladies who don’t quite feel the desire to push it with this trend. This fabulous outfit can be achieved by opting for some simple high street items. Not forgetting the black lippy of course.


FASHION

Asos Selected Kenicky Leather Jacket £190 Asos Ringspun Strange Double Layer T-Shirt £55

Urban Outfitters Renewal Leather Belt £12

ASOS Slim Fit Black Trousers £35

Shuh Mens Converse All Star 2 Strap Hi £61

Kanye West has flourished into quite the fashion forward gentleman. His Rick Owens-style medieval inspired ensemble turned heads when he stepped out wearing a cold grey silk top combined with a broad shifting brown belt, black skinny trousers and a butter soft leather jacket. Look fly like Kanye for less! NXGZINE | 29


FASHION

Key Goth Wardrobe Items Topshop Black Maxi Jersey £18

Never one to conform to the rules, Rihanna takes glam Goth into her own hands and makes it effortlessly casual. With her a la Morticia Adams black A.L.C Theo Ruched t-shirt dress, Riri opts for comfort instead of sky high heels when she hits the shops in black Vans and sultry red lips.

Topman Black Mesh Vest £32

Mens Self Work Carrot Top Trousers £55

Known for his experimental fashion sense, Will.i.am tries a hint of Goth with his carrot top chinos, black and metallic tee and soft leather hat. Will has long been a Rick Owens fan and was recently snapped sporting a grey leather jacket from the Rick Owens AW10 collection,.

Womens ASOS Fingerless Lace Gloves £6

Zara Pointed Toe Ankle Boot £39.99

Miss Selfridge Pearlised Sovereign £7.50

30 | NXGZINE

Office Cuff Boots £40

Asos Underground Blitz 3 Buckle Boots £94.99

Topman Mens Skull Box Wrist Chain £15

ASOS Laddered Scoop Neck Jumper £40

Office Womens Marlon Work boots £30

Urban Outfitters Shirt £65

Asos Just Access Nati Baroque Earrings £12

River Island Rosary Necklace £9.99

ASOS Spot Mesh Body £25


NXGZINE | 31


THE DIARY OF JASMIA ROBINSON 13/05/11 I RECENTLY shot this year’s SENSATIONNEL campaign, I’m so happy to be representing the brand and feel very lucky to be one of their faces for three years in a row! I love, love, love their hair and was fully pampered on the day. Keep an eye out for the new shots they are pretty cool.

29/05/11 & 30/05/11 It’s Bank holiday weekend and the only place to be is at Afro Hair and Beauty Live. This two day event showcases the very best in ethnic hair care and beauty products. You can get just about anything there! Alas I was working so I couldn’t do much shopping. s

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As you’ve most likely guessed I worked at the SENSATIONNEL stand, which drew a large crowd. It was pretty cool as it was full of entertainment! They had a presenter, dancers and live hair demonstration shows. A fellow model and I participated in these shows, which was fun , although it sounds strange, I still get a tad bit nervous when everyone starts taking pictures. But you have to get on with it. Mingling in the crowd I spotted Kojo and Rachel Williams and a few others. Such a hectic two days but worth every minute of it.

03/06/11 Off to Oxford for the first time ever, and let me tell you I didn’t realise how much musical talent there is there. I was booked to perform and present at Talent Jasmia and

other judge

s at ACS K

Jasmia at AH

ings and Q

AB 2011

www.twitter.com/jasmiarobinson

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Rocks Live 2011 and I loved every minute of it. I sang my track, Diva Style, the crowd was really energetic they seemed to love it and so did I. Two of the Miss Frank girls have reformed and now in a group called Scarlet Low. They also performed and were amazing, look out for them. My co-host Richard Lincon was lovely to work with; he had me constantly laughing backstage. It was such an amazing experience and I deffo want to do more presenting.

12/06/11 I was just one of the judges at a nationwide event called ACS Kings and Queens, I’m so happy I participated in it. I have to shout out the team who done such a good job on the event. The dancing, then the catwalk choreography were all totally on point. The models were not only marked on their looks but also on intelligence, confidence and ability to interact with the crowd. Well done to the winners King Shay of Southbank University and

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Live

Queen Leopard-Marie of Bedfordshire University. A special mention to Kelechi Kalu, what a cutie. There was also a stunning performance from Daley who simply blew everybody away. I really hope he does well.. and he’s already had the thumbs up from Jessie J.

Hot Ti ps… Doing what I do I have to change my hair a lot and one way I do this with the damage, is to wear weave. Some people can be a bit funny about this, but I wear it loud and proud and you should too! Here’s my how to: Keeping Your Weave Looking Fresh to Death.

Shiny Hair

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, shiny hair = happy hair = healthy looking hair. There is nothing worse than dull weave as it looks lifeless and unappealing. Use a good serum to liven it up, use just a drop otherwise it could end up looking greasy. If you do add too much then just blow dry it out, I find this usually does the trick.

Cover your tracks

There is nothing worse than being able to see someone’s track lines, it says a lot about the hairdresser! Use a mirror to make sure that all tracks are covered properly (before you leave the hair salon!)

Wrap it up

Never go to bed without your hair being wrapped. I made this mistake, never again. Wrapping your hair should be like brushing your teeth - a total no brainer. Wrapping your hair will make your weaves last a lot longer.

Must -Haves…

Winners

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nd Quee

ings a f ACS K

Have you seen the new Gucci sunglasses collection? Gucci’s range of colourful shades and classic designs are amazing, there are so many to choose from. I tried on nearly every pair in their shop recently! They are an investment, but are well worth the £s and will complete any summer outfit. Catch you next time

Jas x

p.s If you want to find out more about me check out my blog www.jasmiarobinson.com and follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/jasmiarobinson Look forward to hearing from you


HEALTH & BEAUTY

Nail Art Attack CRAZY colours, bold statements and bright emblems are all a part of the decorative nail styles that have taken the fashion capitals by storm. Nail art has been dubbed ‘the new accessory’, and although it has been around for a while, some of us are only just catching on. Alesha Pryce investigates what the new artistic craze is all about, as she explores the history of the trend, its leading pioneers, and talks to The Bang Bang events’ founder about their fun and totally fabulous nail art parties. LOUD designs featuring painted letters, funky patterns and animal prints are at the forefront of it all. It is a far stretch from the traditional Vietnamese salon, where the only designs available are the standard wispy line effects, and if you really want to go crazy, a change of colour. It all began in fashion hotspots, Tokyo and New York. Celebrities were quick to jump on the nail art band wagon and it seemed that only they could rock these professionally-done nails until a magical salon came to London town in 2009. WAH Nails, is the UK’s first wacky on-trend nail salon. The founder, Sharmadean Reid, is a recent graduate who became a stylist working on trend consultations and travelling the world creating look books and predicting the latest trends. Upon her travels, Sharmadean would visit nail salon favourites like Valley NYC in New York and Marie Nails in LA. She soon came to the realisation that the there was a gap in the UK market, predicting that Nail Art was going to be the next big thing she decided to set up her own salon, where you could be guaranteed to have “whatever you want painted on your nails.” The first flagship store was opened in none other than trendy hotspot Dalston, East London. WAH Nails had already developed a fanbase back in 2005 when Sharmadean and friends set up a little blog called the WAH Happenings. Dubbed the quintessence of “street smart feminism”, the blog was a celebration of music and fashion for girls into the hip-hop culture, sneakers and Prada heels. As Sharmadean and friends loved to wear the brightest nails it was only right to introduce a new salon to accompany the taste of the many girls who shared their interest. Today, WAH Nails is not just a salon where you can get your nails done, you can purchase clothes and jewellery, books and posters as well as enjoy several painting events held in the premises. Not to mention that it is also the home of BLEACHLONDON - a hairdressing phenomena, and only, THE place to get your dip dye on! If you can’t make the trek all the way to the HQ, then worry not as you can find WAH Nails and BLEACHLONDON at highstreet retailers Topshop, or if you’re ever in Ireland, pop down to Harvey Nichols in Dublin. Whilst salon prices range from £20 to £40 depending on the complexity of your design, why not opt for a cheaper DIY and purchase Smash Up WAH nail polish, which can be applied onto a base coat to create a cracking graffiti effect you can opt for. £6 www.wah-nails.com

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HEALTH & BEAUTY Sure to wow any onlooker, in recent months expert nail technicians have been hired by fashion brands to paint the latest nail art designs for London Fashion Week and magazine photo shoots for publications such as British Vogue.

Another nail artist to look out for this year is, New York based artist and manicurist, Naomi Yasuda, who has worked with the likes of Keri Hilson and Lady Gaga (as seen in the Wale feat Lady Gaga Poker Face video). Surprisingly, even Steven Tyler has been a client along with Robin Thicke, Rihanna, Jordin Sparks and brands Chanel and Fendi.

Achieving things in a similar scope, London’s very own Sophy Robson, nail luxury artist to the stars, has featured in Tatler, Marie Claire, Vogue and Elle, winning the Nail Professional of the Year award and becoming renowned for offering a fabulous beauty service at Fortnum and Mason. Sophy now has her own self-named Salon on Kings Road, Chelsea.

Since nail art has the fashion world at its fingertips, manis and pedis are now a must-have at parties. You can even get your nails done and party the night away simultaneously it seems by heading down to The Bang Bang events - the leading event where you can dance and get your nails did. I spoke with Jordan, creator of The Bang Bang events, to find out more about how we could experience it all and here’s what she had to say.

A

lesha Pryce: What is your involvement with TheBangBang?

J

ordan: I started TheBangBang a year ago with my business partner Marni.

A J

A J

A

And how popular is this event? We started with a monthly event in East London and have gone on to do events all over London, plus weekly parties too. People of all races, ages come to have a good time, that’s what we concentrate on and that’s what people like. How often does it run? All the time, just type TheBangBang into any search engine or follow us on twitter because we’ve always got something going on.

J

Depends on the night, anything from running the door, being a water balloon target or out-skanking with everyone!

A

What is the involvement with Sophy Nails?

J

Sophy is a good friend of ours, so when she wanted to open her salon on Kings Road, she asked us to do the launch party.

A

How popular are the nail designs at the events?

J

The ladies love to look good, men like the ladies to look good! So for us it’s been a good look.

A

Do you foresee this as a new trend?

J

We don’t over think things; we just plan on having a good time with as many people as possible.

What activities do you do on the night?

NXGZINE | 35


HEALTH & BEAUTY

Yasmine Bendjoudi Editor-In-Chief Nivea Visage Sunkissed Skin 50ml, £4.99, Amazon Not only does Nivea Visage Sunkissed Skin leave your skin moisturised, but it also leaves you with healthy glow that, unlike most gradual tan moisturisers, doesn’t have your body looking a completely different shade. A great product to start your mornings with, all you’ll ever need is soap and water before gently messaging this daily cream in. It contains jojoba oil which keeps your face moisturised for longer, vitamin E that contains anti-inflammatory effects and UV filter to ensure you’re protecting your delicate skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. I always have it packed away in my beauty bag when I know I’m travelling away and so should you!

36 | NXGZINE

With all of the different beauty products out there it can get a little confusing when you’re trying to choose the right essentials. Providing you with their most recommended beauty products, the NXG Magazine team have come together to give you the 411 on what is in their beauty bag. Take a look inside.

Burt’s Bees Rejuvenating Acai Berry Lip Balm 4g, £3.56, Boots Stored away in the side pocket of my beauty bag is my beloved Bert’s Bees Acai Berry flavoured lip balm. I have always suffered with sensitive lips as with extreme hot or cold weather conditions; I am prone to dry and cracked lips. If, like me, you have this problem and you have found yourself trying every lip balm under the sun then you should seriously consider getting yourself a Bert’s Bees chapstick. Unlike the standard lip therapy treatment or widely-used Vaseline, its 100% natural ingredients guarantee that your lips will be left feeling softer and more hydrated for longer. Acai Berry is also a widely known cure for any skin imperfections or lip sores. Despite it being my favourite flavour, the choices are not limited as Bert’s Bees have a range of mango, cherry and strawberry lip balms to choose from – all of which are absolutely delicious as they leave your lips smelling like Skittles. You’ll never again have to lick your lips swiftly when your other half leans in for that kiss.

Knock Emma riter W Senior

Body Shop Moringa Milk Body Lotion 25ml, £8.00, The Body Shop What’s great about Body Shop products is that firstly, none are animal tested, and secondly, they all smell gorgeous! This Moringa Milk Lotion is no exception. Its seed oil is high in vitamins A and C and has great healing properties documented by ancient cultures. Good for helping with minor cuts and bruises, it is antiseptic and easily absorbed. A perfect way to moisturise after your daily shower, you will find that one application is all you need to soften over any hard, rough or dead skin areas. With its long lasting floral scent, it will have you feeling ‘so fresh and so clean’ over the summer.

L’Oréal Crayon Kohl Jet Black Eye Liner 3g, £4.20, Boots I am not one of those girls that cannot leave the house without a full face of make-up on, the truth is, I don’t really wear a lot. That being said, there is one thing I simply could not do without L’Oréal Crayon Kohl Jet Black Eye Liner. I like my eyes heavy, so I cannot abide eyeliner that goes on lightly and comes off within minutes. If you like your eyes smoky, then this is the eyeliner for you. It goes on strong and it lasts for hours. The pencil itself keeps going for months as well, so it is really great value for money. This is the mother of all eyeliners and just what you need to give your eyes a little va va voom. It also doubles up as a handy pen, should you need to jot your number down...

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HEALTH & BEAUTY Vaseline Lip Therapy With Cocoa Butter 20g, £1.93, Superdrug

Atrixo isn’t a particularly well-known brand, but don’t let that stop you. My experience as far as hand creams are concerned is this: they smell different, but all do pretty much the same thing. This one doesn’t smell too sickly or flowery, it has a pleasing consistency, and depending on where you buy it, it isn’t too pricey. Drop it in your bag now, and avoid chapped, red hands in a few month’s time.

Vaseline is a family fave, we all use it. The latest addition to the Lip Therapy range is Cocoa butter enriched. If you buy anything on this page, buy a scented, softening lip salve, to give you extrasoft kissable lips. The smell, in this case Cocoa Butter, will make them want to eat your face. A must-have, especially on cool, windy days.

Toni & Guy Funky Gum 75ml, £7.00 Boots

Superdrug Vitamin E SPF 15 Radiance Moisture Cream 50ml, £2.99

After getting a Rihanna-inspired cut, I was thrilled with the results - until I washed my hair. A panic rose in my chest when I saw my un-styled hair had become frizzy, and undefined. Enter Funky Gum. It has a thick and creamy consistency with the strength of a good quality adhesive. Use it to spike hair, add volume, smooth frizz and to give definition, with a healthy looking shine. This gum is great value for money - I use it every day, yet I have carried the same tin in my bag for nearly 2 years. With this product, less is definitely more. Rub a pearl sized amount of the stuff between your palms to warm the product, clap your hands together to activate the ‘magic’ fibres and use it as desired.

The ultimate pick me up, this little gem follows me everywhere. The shimmering cream provides 12-hour moisturisation and contains light reflecting pigments, which never fail to give my face a lovely glow. For normal to dry skin, and though it is creamy, it isn’t greasy, which is great for t-zone sufferers like me. Loaded with antioxidant vitamin E, it also helps to protect your skin from the sun with its SPF 15. This one is the perfect alternative for those who want even looking, radiant skin without having to endure the hassle of applying foundation.

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Adam Spaw ton-Rice Editor

I carry around witch hazel gel because the liquid version usually comes in a glass bottle (heavy, smashable, gets confiscated on the way into clubs). This baby works equally well on scratches, bites, cuts, rashes and spots. Multipurpose, trusty, a definite essential. If you don’t buy it for your beauty bag, buy it for your first-aid kit.

Atrixo Regenerating Treatment Hand Cream 100ml, £5.65, Boots

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Boots Witch Hazel Gel 35ml, £1.99

Maz Khan Managing Deputy Editor

NXGZINE | 37


HEALTH & BEAUTY

5 Fitness Obstacles And

Solutions You want to be fit. You know how much you should weigh. You know your ideal dress/ waist size. You can even picture how great those skinny jeans will look. So why aren’t you living life in your ideal body? There are many complex reasons that make weight loss a challenge, reasons that go deeper than simply calories-in versus calories-out. I’m talking about the life issues that get in the way of your success. NXG Magazine Fitness Expert Nathan Carr talks 5 obstacles and solutions to unlock your best body ever.

Nathan Carr - Sports Rehabilitation Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer and NXG Magazine Fitness Expert

1. You don’t want to be bothered. IT’S IN your DNA to avoid pain and seek out pleasure. Unfortunately this works against you when trying to get fit. In your mind, it is painful (or at least uncomfortable) to deny yourself the tasty food that you crave and to exert yourself with exercise. There’s a simple way to work around this obstacle. Find something painful about being fat to motivate yourself towards healthy eating and exercise. Focus on the negative impact your current weight has on your health, self-esteem and lifestyle. Convince yourself that the pain of being out of shape is much greater than the discomfort of losing weight.

2. You don’t want to wait for the good stuff. Just as you wish to avoid pain, you are also an expert in seeking out pleasure - namely through food. This served the cavemen well, but these days it ends up as extra pounds around your waist and thighs. There’s good news; extra calories are not your only option to stimulate the pleasure centre of your brain. Find an activity or two that makes you smile and indulge in those regularly. Here are some good examples:

• • • •

A walk outside A good book A night out to the movies or theatre A spa day

You can also retrain your brain to crave the pleasure of exercise-induced endorphins. Talk about weight gain kryptonite!

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

3. You are crazy busy. Let’s face it, you work too much, commit yourself to too much and don’t even get enough sleep most of the time. The fast-paced way you live leaves you exhausted, stressed and hungry for comfort food. You even begin to feel too busy to take care of your health. It’s time to reprioritize. Let go of your perfectionist standards and remove a few commitments from your schedule so that you are able to cook healthy meals, exercise and get a good night’s sleep. Remind yourself that taking care of your health is not a luxury - it’s a necessity.

4. You don’t deserve it. I don’t agree with it, but you sure act like you don’t deserve to live the good life in the body of your dreams. Take a moment to think back on all the times you have self-sabotaged your weight loss efforts. If you don’t believe deep down that you are worthy, then you’ll never give yourself a chance at a fit body. I believe that you deserve to have a healthy body - and I urge you to dig deep down to uncover why you don’t. Once you conquer your feelings of unworthiness, getting on an exercise and healthy eating plan will be easy. Take the time to take care of yourself. You DO deserve it.

5. You are afraid. You’re afraid to start because you just might fail, and wouldn’t that be embarrassing? You’re also afraid to start because you just might succeed, and change makes you uncomfortable – even if it’s change in the right direction. When you decide to get fit you will need to go through a bushel of changes:

• • • • •

New diet New exercise routine New friends at the gym New clothes New self-image

Focus on all of the ways that losing weight will make your life better. Envision that better life everyday so that it goes from being new and scary to familiar and comfortable.

To find out more or seek Nathan Carr’s Advice visit www.nathancarr.co.uk

NXGZINE | 39


RELATIONSHIPS

Cut the crap

Think ahead

Boxes are your friends

WE all have things that we love and cherish once we find them again, it could be a collection of love letters, CDs that haven’t been played since the 90s, or an ex boyfriend’s t-shirt. When it comes to moving you have to be ruthless - this is not the time to hoard your possessions. It is easy to get caught up looking at, reminiscing and justifying holding onto every item you find. Refrain from doing this, as you will never finish your moving process. If you find being ruthless too heartbreaking, try this. For every 5 useless items you love, throw away four and just keep the one you love the most.

Your bank, employer, doctor and mobile/internet provider have no idea that you are moving home (duh!). Do not put this part of the process off, as you do not want confidential documents being sent to your old address for anybody to see.

Obvious as it may sound; you would be surprised how many people forget to stock up on supplies. Being rich in boxes, duct tape and bubble wrap will stop you from pulling your hair out. These things can be quite pricey if you leave it until the last minute. I recommend heading down to your local 24-hour supermarket at night, as this is when they are unpacking their stock, which means there are plenty of free boxes going around. You may have to make a couple of trips to get the amount of boxes you will need. You can also get your bubble wrap from there; they have heap loads in the fruit and veg section at night.

Fraudulent crimes have increased almost threefold since the beginning of the recession. Contact everyone with your new address at least a fortnight before the big move, so they have plenty of time to change your records. With notice your internet provider can transfer your connection on a day of your choice, do this to avoid incurring costs for not letting them know and the inconvenience of being without internet in your new home.

Dealing with WHETHER you are

on to campus to to your own place ranks at 7 on the list of ‘most stress your own, equally

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RELATIONSHIPS

Organisation deserves a reward!

Keep essentials close to your heart

Another handy tip is to make a list when packing every room. Note what you are packing and what room it is from, inserting it or attaching it onto each room’s box, so when it comes to unpacking, everything goes in the right room, straight away. Be specific with your notes - you may think you will remember what everything is, until you need to unpack your clothes and find you have four boxes simply called ‘bedroom’. In short, avoid having to rip through every box to find what you are after. Most importantly, (I can always find an excuse to party) give yourself the chance to say goodbye to the place that holds your memories. Having a party is a great chance to say goodbye to the place that you love, with the people that you love. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures.

...Yes, it was very organised of you to pack all of your toiletries carefully enough to avoid giving your luggage a bubble bath, but

when you get to your new home, you might want to be able to bathe yourself without a frenzied hunt through all of your boxes. Prepare a box or bag for the first couple of nights in your new home, packing essentials like pain relievers, toilet roll, an outfit or two, a blanket, utensils, plates, and whatever else you use

A flashlight is always useful, too. Keep all of your important papers on a daily basis.

on your persons at all times. This includes passports, birth certificates, driver licences and bank statements - losing any of these could cost you a lot of dosh in replacements or fraudulent activities.

h... Moving Out

o live the student life, moving to another town with the family, e, moving sful life events’. Whilst it is exciting having a fresh place to make to pack up your life and take it elsewhere.

NXGZINE | 41


RELATIONSHIPS

Whether with your other half, family or even a friend, learning how to fight right can give your happiness a boost. NXG Magazine’s Adam Spawton-Rice has been getting into arguments, discussions and confrontations for this issue – so you won’t have to. Here is NXG’s dramatic take on An Argument Worth Having, an argument in three acts.

Act I – The Rising Mist YOU’VE both been leading up to this moment, the bait has been dangled, the warning flares are off! ‘It’ hasn’t been said out loud, but the volume has just been kicked up a notch. The nature of this part of any argument is person-specific, but if you’re the oblivious type, ordinary household items, office equipment, or a silent, sideways stare will be used to communicate to you that you are about to have an argument.

“What?!” ...Isn’t what you want to open with here, as it is both irritating and suggests a lack of understanding about the situation on your part. Try

“Okay, what do you want to say?” If this is met with “Nothing!” and a silent, sideways stare then you have your hands full. Stop what you’re doing, and give them what they need: Your attention.

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RELATIONSHIPS

Act II – The Moment of Truth Once you’ve picked up on the signals for an argument’s beginning you’re set to go, or are you? Arguments should test a relationship, but they also have the potential to break one. This is your Moment of Truth, how you deal it shapes you.

Golden Rules

* Engage

in only as many arguments as you think are necessary and helpful, if they keep coming back for more it is probably worth asking yourself, “what need are they trying to fulfil?”

*

Some arguments are constructive; giving you as a family, as a couple, or as friends, the reality check we need to carry on more peacefully. If you can reach a mutual understanding through an argument it is energy well used.

* argument down.

If you can’t agree, or even agree to disagree,

put the

The energy you’re using fighting could better be used later when you’re less emotionally involved in it.

* Avoid

Stay Calm, Stay Put Resist any attempt made to wind you up, staying calm is the best way to ‘win’ an argument. Once we manage to frustrate ourselves or begin ‘losing’ an argument, many of us (myself included), have the tendency to storm off, if you’re the one on the warpath, this advice goes out to you too. Stay put.

arguments forever and too much goes unsaid, but remember that arguments that go on forever breed unhappiness, and no one wants to be shouted at, criticised or contradicted all of the time.

Act III – An argument worth having You’ve decided this argument is worth having, depending on your setting you should ideally sit or stand facing one another. A private, mutually comfortable setting will work best. Hundreds of people will try to engage you in arguments, fights or confrontations throughout your life. They might want something from you, to give you a piece of their mind, or they could simply be on the warpath.

Hands Off As irritating as it is when someone you want to have it out with refuses to engage you. Stay calm, make eye contact and avoid ‘grappling‘ with them. Keep your tone of voice in check, your volume down (even in the face of shouting, keep a normal volume) and keep hands off.

Allow each other the time to speak your minds, and acknowledge any fault which is your own. Own it.

Stay on topic: There is nothing worse than being attacked on a number of fronts at the same time.

In a confrontation, when someone is upset they will often try to upset the people around them too. Steer clear of name calling, and other purposefully hurtful behaviour. You are the referees in this situation, and both/all of you have the ability to cool the situation off and call time. Are you an Aggressor, a Pacifier or a Brick Wall? Think about an argument you had recently; Do you fall into any of these categories? Take the quiz on page 71 and find out which one you are.

Generalisations

“You always...” “You never...” If your aim in an argument is to stick the knife in, one sure-fire way to do this is with statements about the other person that stick. You’ll regret making statements like these most. Avoid them, if you can.

NXGZINE | 43


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CAREERS

Keep Career And

Over The Summer

By Sonia Bendjoudi During the long weeks of the summer holidays, admittedly it is easy for anyone to become slightly lazy and unmotivated. We know how stressful it can be to stay career or study-smart, but with these helpful tips we guarantee it’ll be a breeze.

Tip #1

Tip #3

JOIN a reading club! You’ll be surprised at how many there are in your local area. It’s a fantastic opportunity to read and discuss something you may enjoy with new friends who have similar interests. It also means you’ll have to read the book, not just borrow it from the library and have it sit by your bed for a couple of weeks. Visit www.timeout.com for more information on London’s best book clubs for all age ranges, or alternatively pop into your local library as they will always have a few reading groups.

If that doesn’t sound like it’s for you, then why not start a blog? It gets you thinking about current news issues and may widen your perspective if you take an interest in other blogs. What’s more is that, blogging also comes with the added bonus of developing your computer skills! Because let’s face it, technology is the future.

Tip #2

-

Write. Grab a notepad and just start scribbling. Make lists, write articles or note down any ideas you may have. It keeps you on point and can be quite relaxing.

To get you started, take a look at the following blogging platforms which you can join for free:

www.wordpress.com www.blogger.com www.tumblr.com www.livejournal.com www.blogster.com NXGZINE | 45


CAREERS

Tip #4 Voluntary work can give you plus points when looking for a job; it means that you gain more knowledge and experience in the desired career field you want to pursue. You are in the right position to, prepare yourself for the world of work, or acquire certain life skills which may prove priceless in the future. Voluntary directory website www.do-it.org.uk is a great site where you can search for the perfect opportunity for you.

Tip #5 Take a few summer courses or join a regular workshop to get you in the working mode. If it is fashion design you’re in to, look for a local summer school which teaches the basics of sowing. Say you have your sights set on becoming a language teacher; simply take up a short course on learning French or Spanish. There are a countless number of summer courses or workshops for whatever subject you are interested in. Visit www. summer-schools.info/free-courses/ for more information on some brilliant free summer courses and workshops across the UK.

Tip #6 Visiting museums and galleries can seem a little dull. But, not if you arrange to go with a group of friends, it’s not! Discussing what you see and interpreting the art on display can be highly enjoyable as you will find that each one of your friends will come up with different ideas. Seeing interesting objects at modern art museums or revisiting history at the natural history museum may also inspire and give meaning to your own work. Make a pact with friends to have a fun day out at a museum,

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once every two weeks, and you will develop your subconscious learning in no time. Here are a few free must-visit museums and galleries in London:

- British Library - British Museum - National Gallery - Natural History Museum - National Portrait Gallery - Science Museum - Tate Modern - The Tate Britain - Victoria and Albert Museum To search for free museums in all other British cities, go to

www.moneysavingexpert.com

Studio Booking Fees: One Hour FREE (minimum of two hour booking) £15 per hour (minimum if two hour booking) £30 for 2 hours SPECIAL: £40 for 3 hours £10 deposit required for further bookings

To take advantage of this great offer and get more details about studio bookings call our office on 0207 231 9340 Or email us at info@nxgstudios.co.uk Or visit our website at www.nxgstudios.co.uk

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MUSIC SPOTLIGHT

Music Spotlight

Natalia Kills British-born Natalia Kills is seen as one of the highly tipped immerging talents of 2011, however, unbeknownst to most, she has been around for far longer than it would seem. With tracks from upcoming album Perfectionist causing major radio waves across Europe and the United States, Yasmine Bendjoudi tells all on the soon-to-be worldwide megastar. Meet Natalia Kills, real name Natalia Cappuccini. Having appeared in Coronation Street and long-running BBC radio drama The Archers from the age of 7, the British singer-songwriter, actress and director is in no way new to the showbiz industry. And it definitely shows. After moving to London to pursue a career in dramatic arts in her teens, the now 24-year-old started to experiment with song writing and was signed by record label Adventures In Music shortly after. Kills released her debut single Don’t Play Nice in 2005 and the song peaked at #11 in the UK charts. The highs didn’t last long however, as she soon parted ways with her record company as the label filed for bankruptcy. She was eventually snapped up by Will.i.am’s Interscope/Cherrytree Records via his imprint when by chance he had heard her self-written/ self-produced Wommanequin demo EP in 2008. Now most famous for her dark and edgy Mirrors track, this time two years ago very few could count themselves familiar with Kills under her previous alias of Verbalicious, or Verse for short. Unless of course familiar with French R&B recording artist Matt Pokora, who at the time relocated to the US to work on a predominantly English produced album entitled MP3 They Talk Sh!t About Me. This album featured Natalia under the stage-name Verse. With a fascinating mix of French and English elements, it featured

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chopped-up-and-thrown-in French words - largely complimented by Kills’ sultry, smooth and effortlessly cool vocals. Fast forward a couple of years and her new label Interscope advise her to adopt a more definitive name. Having undergone a change in image and a change of name, Kills had remerged in 2010 with a more in-your-face electro-pop sound featuring dark undertones. Whilst talking about her change of name, the singer infamously recalls Will.i.am jokingly claiming Cappuccini was “ungoogle-able.” When asked about her decision to call herself Kills, she said: “we say it in England a lot - if someone gives 100 percent of their energy to something that defines them, we always say, you killed it.” Today, the singer has evolved into quite the artist - having recently accomplished chart success in a number of European countries and also major recognition in German-speaking Europe. Mirrors was largely likened to Eurythmics track Sweet Dreams and reached #10 in Germany. Follow-up single Wonderland has also since received major airplay in the lead up to the July 18 UK release date of her debut album. In past months, Kills has been support for Kelis, Robyn and most recently Bruno Mars. She has managed to impress at this year’s Wireless festival with upbeat renditions of her now universally known singles and upcoming release Free featuring her mentor Will.i.am. It seems that we can be sure to expect this British gem to be around for years to come, as she creates a new buzz on the dance scene with her multifaceted persona.


MUSIC SPOTLIGHT

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Likened to conscious rap, spoken word poetry has long been a positive form of expression and liberation for those who wish to use their poetic technique to not only voice, but also gesture their most inner thoughts. Since its emergence in the 1980s, it has brought about poetry slams, open mic nights, and perhaps most famously, the televised Def Poetry Jam show, which has included performance poetry from artists such as Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill and Kanye West. As The first winner of the 2004 BBC 3 Poetry Slam Championship and a former winner of the World Slam Championship, our very own British spoken word poetry star, Kat Francois, has been performing her energetic, humorous yet highly relatable poetry for over 10 years now. Most recently completing a Spoken Word All Stars national tour, Kat is also the host of several poetry nights in the city. Be inspired by spoken word poetry as Yasmine Bendjoudi finds out why the art form is inspiring for her, what it has allowed her to accomplish and how she has journeyed into stand up with her upcoming comedy show Kat’s Got Your Tongue.

What does poetry mean to you? POETRY is a form of expression that allows me to express my innermost thoughts, angst, happiness, and sorrow and a way for me to connect with the world and also connect with other performers and audiences. It has opened a lot of doors for me, allowed me to travel and perform in places I never would have had the chance to otherwise, for example all over Europe, Australia and Canada. How did you get involved in spoken word poetry? I had been writing, for a while and did not realise there was a spoken word scene that you could actually perform on, until I went to a night in Brixton and was blown away by the spoken word artists that I saw there. From that moment on, I was hooked and I have not looked back since. I am happy that I have made a contribution to that scene, both in terms of a performer and in terms of providing a platform for other performers. I provide a platform for other performers by running two poetry nights a month, one

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called Intimates on the first Friday of each month at The Poetry Cafe, on Betterton Street in Covent Garden and a night called WORD4WORD, which takes place in the bar at The Theatre Royal Stratford East. Word4Word is in its 7th year and Intimates is in its second year, and they are both something that I’m very proud of. What inspires you to write and perform poetry? Life, love, everyday situations, things that get on my nerves and things that inspire, motivate and bring out the best in me. I like to write about life situations, childhood memories and relationships - anything that comes to mind. I write honestly and openly, sometimes too openly. How did it feel the moment you found out you were the first winner of the BBC3 Poetry Slam competition? And was there any particular moment that was memorable or funny for you? It felt great to win such a prize. I guess I was a little shocked as well, as there were some amazing poets also competing that night, so

to walk away with the title was a very uplifting and affirming experience. I had just left my full time job that week to concentrate on performing and writing, so the win validated my decision.

“Funny moments, yes my nerves kept me in the toilet for most of that evening!” With winning the World Slam Championship in Rotterdam shortly after and going on to tour, your diverse poetry has enabled you to perform all over the world, what has been your favourite place and experience? Teaching poetry in the Outback of Australia on an Aboriginal reservation, two weeks in a tent, in the scorching heat, connecting with people who I would not have had a chance to meet other-wise and realising there were a lot more similarities than differences. It was one of the most interesting and challenging experiences I have ever had. Any crazy admirers after performances? The thing is, I get stopped at performances and shows by people and I swear I cannot remember who they are; I just act like they are a long lost friend when in reality I do not have a clue!


Your poetry is also quite witty and humorous at times, did this enable you to make an easy transition to performing stand up in your first upcoming comedy show Kat’s Got Your Tongue? Some of my poems can be quite witty and humorous, but that’s poetry for you, the great thing about it is that it can be whatever you

and re-drafting and finally it becomes something new again when you start to perform it. I guess a poem is a piece of work that is never really finished, there’s always tweaking to be done. What advice would you give to young aspiring spoken word poets? want it to be. The comedy really manifested itself in my role as host for my poetry and music night, which is held every third Sunday of the month in the bar of the Theatre Royal Stratford East. The audience can be pretty rowdy as it is a bar, so it was my way of whipping them into shape, catching their attention and setting up the stage for the poets and musicians. The comedy just developed from there, it was a very natural progression. What is Kat’s Got Your Tongue all about? My comedy show Kat’s Got Your Tongue, is part stand up, part character-based, it’s a journey through the crazy mind of Kat Francois; everything that I should not say but that I am willing to say through my comedy. I have characters such as a Grenadian Granny, who is an old school disciplinarian trying to rid the world of unruly children and a white girl called Karen who just does not understand black people. I’ve even got a performance poet character. The show brings together, my comedic, poetic, dance and acting skills into a one woman comedy extravaganza. I talk about everything from disability to domestic violence to angry vagina’s, no bars held.

Kat’s Got Your Tongue introduces the world to Kat Francois the comedian. It is the kind of show where you need to bring your inhaler if you’re asthmatic and if your bladder is weak ladies, make sure you’re wearing your Tena pants! The show takes place on the 10 and 11 July at the Theatre Royal and people can ring the box office for tickets on 0208 534 0310 or go to stratfordeast.com to book tickets online. Has there ever been a poetry line you have written that totally cracked you up? And what was it? Yes, from a poem of mine called MANNIFESTO, which is all about getting the kind of man that you want. “Sweet words and dry D**k ain’t enough to satisfy or pacify.” I love that line as it gets the audience going especially, the ladies. Every time! How long does it take you to write a poem? The idea for a poem can be forming in your mind for a long time, then just take minutes to get on paper. The hard work is the drafting

Get writing, learn your craft, take some classes, get out there on the poetry scene, hit the open mic nights, and hit them hard practise makes perfect. Find your own unique voice and unique style and finally teach don’t preach. Poetry is a very exciting art form to be involved in, with new nights and poetry groups popping up everywhere, there truly is something for everyone. Finally, why should people be inspired by spoken word? Spoken word to me fills a gap left by the starkness of conscious hip-hop; we poets are the griots of today, passing commentary on what is going on around us. We are an innovative and exciting bunch of artists who are passionate about our work and dedicated to the twin causes of writing and performing.

You can find out more about Kat by visiting: Web: www.katfrancois.com Facebook: www.facebook. com/katfrancoisartist Twitter: @katfrancois

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THE BIG : A Post Bin Laden THE BIG ISSUE

Osama Bin Laden’s death meant that all eyes were on the US, but what does it really mean for the state of international security? Rob Hewitt reports.

“WE GOT HIM”

Compound where Bin Laden was in hiding in Pakistan is revealed

President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama Bin Laden

OSAMA Bin Laden, founder of al-Qaeda was shot dead by US forces in Pakistan on May 2 2011. This is the news that was broadcasted across the world’s media, with US President Barack Obama calling it “the most significant achievement to date” in America’s efforts to defeat al-Qaeda. Crowds gathered outside the White House in Washington DC, chanted “USA, USA” after receiving the news. However, whether this was the best way to react to such an event is extremely questionable. The backlash from the US forces action’s may have such an effect on the modern world 52 | NXGZINE

Camera footage captures the moment a second aircraft struck the second of the twin towers

that we cannot start to imagine what horrors could well possibly be in store. The pain and sorrow for those who perished in the 9/11 World Trade Centre attacks is felt by all, this is without a doubt, but thinking of the long-term effects of Bin Laden’s death has to be considered. Just moments after Obama had spoken; the State Department put US embassies on alert and warned of the new possibility of antiAmerican violence. In a worldwide travel alert, the department stated that there was an “enhanced potential for anti-American violence given the recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan.”


G ISSUE n Threat

THE BIG ISSUE

Obama and his national security team watch from the White House’s situation room as Bin Laden is gunned down, while Secretary of State Hilary Clinton (second from right) holds her hand to her mouth

According to the BBC, while Obama watched live US forces said to be from the elite US Navy’s Seal Team Six (ST6) took up the operation in Abbottabad, 62 miles north-east of Islamabad, where upon reported resistance, Bin Laden was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene. Reports had also surfaced that, after identification, his body was immediately buried at sea to avoid creating a place that could be a shrine for his followers. However sudden it may have seemed, this operation to find Bin Laden had been in effect for around four years previously. Giving more details, one US government official said that intelligence had been tracking a “trusted courier” of Bin Laden for many years. His identity had been discovered four years ago, his base of operations was unravelled two years after, and last August, his place of residence was found, triggering the start of the mission. The political impact of Bin Laden’s death is becoming more apparent in Pakistan. Shortly after the raid, many Pakistani inhabitants were sceptical that the killing had actually happened. Several more around the world questioned the news as reports on the abrupt events had come

without a clear story and many demanded to see proof in the form of pictures. Although the US administration branded the images too graphic to disclose, the confirmation to end all speculation came in the form of an al Qaeda statement addressing the leader’s death on an Islamic website. While some may rejoice in his death, others may believe that this is just a ploy conducted by the US government, trying to strike fear into the heart of al-Qaeda, demoralising those who wish the Western world harm. Regardless on our views, the fact of the matter remains, Bin Laden’s apparent death has brought an unconventional joy to those who lost loved ones during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, security must be stepped up and peace talks must continue as the war on terror is still far from being over.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? TWEET US @NXGMAGAZINE!

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SPORTS

FOOTBALL FOCUS: THE NEXT GENERATION

WITH the Premier League season absent until mid August, football fans will be wondering where they can get their fill this summer. Jeremy van Waveren talks through some important facts and key players for the summer.

UEFA European Under-21 Championship and the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2011 INTERNATIONAL tournaments in Denmark and Colombia are being played out in the form of last month’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship and the upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup - set to begin in Columbia on July 29. England are taking part in both U-21 and U-20 tournaments boasting squads that include a host of talent, with certain players gaining significant first team experience over the past year in the Premier League. Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge are just a few of the names that are featuring this year. An unfortunate, exclusion from the Under-21 squad was Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere who, due to fatigue, told manager Stuart Pearce he did not want to risk injury by playing too much football over the summer having just finished a long, rigorous and demanding domestic season. Wilshere was named PFA Young Player of the Year this April. He was also included in the PFA Team of the Year and his influence and skill has been missed in the summer tournament, in which England finished in the group stages. England’s history in the U-20 World Cup has not been impressive with their highest finish being third place in 1993. In the 2009 tournament they were only able to score one goal in the dying moments of their last game against Uzbekistan. This year’s squad, however, looks strong on paper and should be giving fans reason for optimism. Also joining England and Argentina in Group F will be Mexico and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Mexico has been in excellent form leading up to the tournament, having scored in their last five qualifying games. The group is not an easy one for England to progress from, but they have the talent in their squad to do so and if they are able to, it will hopefully give them confidence to advance deep into the tournament. As for tomorrow’s England stars, players such as Nile Ranger, Sanchez Watt and Jack Rodwell are all products of established Premier League youth systems and many from the young teams have been playing regular first team football over the last 12 months in the Npower Championship and League One.

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SPORTS Key Player 1

We have a more in depth look at the key players that look set to be the future of the England squad.

Name: Jack Rodwell Age: 20 Football Club: Everton Position: Defensive Midfielder

Key Player 2

As a player who has been playing international football since 2007, coupled with commanding performances for his club team, Rodwell’s reputation is growing as one of England’s new young stars. Rodwell usually plays as a defensive midfielder and is set out in front of the back four, a crucial role in either the 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 likely formations that England will adopt during the tournament. Defensive stability will be key for this England team if they are to progress in the Under-20s World Cup, as Argentina - who are in England’s group and have won two of the last three tournaments - will have plenty of attacking options looking to expose weak links in the England back four. Rodwell’s role as defensive midfielder will be essential in stopping these attacks beginning in midfield and allowing England to have possession of the ball to control the game from that area of the pitch.

Name: Nile Ranger Age: 20 Football Club: Newcastle United Position: Striker Ranger started his career at Crystal Palace’s youth academy before moving to Newcastle’s academy in 2008. He made his first team debut for Newcastle in 2009 and has gone on to make 49 appearances for the club - scoring against Chelsea in the League Cup. He scored again against Chelsea in the last minute of a Premier League game to help Newcastle secure a 2-2 draw. His international record is impressive too, having scored six times in 12 appearances for England’s Under-19s. If Ranger can continue his international form at the Under 20s World Cup it will give England firepower at the striker position, which has been lacking in recent tournaments.

Key Player 3 Name: Nathan Delfouneso Age: 20 Football Club: Aston Villa Position: Striker A product of Aston Villa’s youth academy, Delfouneso has grown in stature as the past domestic season has gone on. As Villa faced numerous injuries early in the season, Delfouneso was handed a starting role and he was able to score four times for the Birmingham side. Sent on loan to the Championship side, the young striker from Burnley, for the final part of the season, continued his good form, scoring within five minutes of his debut. Like Ranger, Delfouneso is expected to provide goals for England in the upcoming Under-20s World Cup, having already shown an eye for goal at an international level.

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SPORTS

UK Junior Strongman Competition Could you be the next UK strongman or woman? HE’S only been competing since February but came first in the qualifying stages of the competition and is a favourite to win. We spoke to former GB shot putter Jamie Stevenson ahead of his first ever Junior UK Strongman competition. Created by five-time winner of the contest Glen Ross, UK Strongman competitions are held annually across the country, and feature a variety of grueling events leading up to the UK Strongman final, held in Belfast. On Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July the Vikingthemed Valhalla Festival in Colchester will play host to the first ever Junior Strongman competition, with an open competition held on Sunday. “Let the best man win on the day,” says a humble Stevenson, not wanting to start the competition early, he sets me straight that Strongmen events are more sporting than I had assumed (and not like boxing matches in the slightest). The Strongman trials will include a ‘clean and press’ event during which contestants lift and hold a 100Kg log, as well as the fearsome-sounding ‘Viking axe crucifix hold’ and a frame walk - holding, and surrounded by, a large 250kg frame, competitors must walk the length of the course. With a combined experience of almost 60 years in competitive sports, UK Strongman title-holders Geoff Capes and Glenn Ross will be among the panel officiating the Strongman competition. Stevenson has qualified for both England’s strongest junior competition and for England’s Elite Strongman title, held on Sept 11 this year. Having trained as an athlete before Jamie is well used to the preparation involved. Building up to competitions this year, as well as weight training

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he has had a strict diet and exercise regime, easing off the weights to maximise his strength before competing. Pitting themselves against Jamie this year will be Chris Morgan, Richard Goddard, James Richards, and Sam Chesney. Valhalla Festival will be held at the Layer Marney Tower and surrounding grounds between the 23 and 24 of July The UK strongman final will take place in Belfast this year, kicking off on August 23. By Adam Spawton-Rice


SPORTS

The Wimbledon 2011 Report Sunshine, rain and afternoon’s filled with BBC coverage of the annual Wimbledon tournament, all play a major part in shaping our British summer. It just wouldn’t be the same without them. So what exactly went down at this year’s star-studded competition? Mahalia Mayne brings you a bite size report on the Lawn Tennis tournament as the next big names in tennis claim the SW19 titles.

Wimbledon 2011 will be remembered forever, what with the Williams sisters crashing out on the same day, Swiss number one Roger Federer not reaching the final and Murray’s fancy footwork being showcased. However, there were many other unique events that contributed to the momentum of this year’s tournament.

Newlyweds Prince William and Kate’s first visit to The All England Lawn Tennis Club set the tone with the help of more sunshine, making it one of the best Wimbledon’s to date. This year was full of shocks and unpredictable results, which contributed to the excitement. For the first time in almost 25 years in the ladies’ singles, all eight remaining players were of European origin. To add to this, the title offered an extremely competitive quarter-final and semi-final. In the men’s singles, local favourite Andy Murray played extremely well to get into the semi-finals, however, he soon fell short when coming up against Rafael Nadal and popular French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who caused a major upset for tournament favourite Roger Federer. Giving the play-offs a sense of renewed excitement, first-time winners championed through both the men’s and ladies’ singles in the end.

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SPORTS

Wimbledon 2011 winners The Men - Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-4,6-1,1-6,6-3 claiming the trophy and sealing his place in the competition’s history books. The quickest player on both hard court and grass might have been ranked third coming into the tournament, but by the end of the tournament there was no doubt about who the force belonged to. Novak Djokovic claimed his first grass court title at Wimbledon in convincing style. First seed Djokovic overcame some big names on the way to the finals. In the fourth round he had a hard-fought match against Cyprian Marcos Baghdatis. In the quarter-finals Djokovic caused a major blow for wildcard 18-year-old Bernard Tomic, from Croatia. And in the semi-finals, he polished off twelfth seed Tsonga - whipping up what could be the best men’s battle of the tournament.

Now the world’s number two, Spain’s Rafael Nadal also overcame some big names and continued to thrive until reaching the final. He upset American Mardy Fish in the quarter-finals and put on a breathtaking performance in defeating Murray in the semis inevitably leaving all English fans waiting a couple of more years for a Brit to reach the finals. Djokovic saved his best for last, coasting through the first couple of sets before the Spaniard began to respond in style as he regained control of the game. However, it proved a little too late as the Serbian ran away with the sets and proved his position as the new number one soon after.

The Women - Petra Kvitova

Czech Petra Kvitova defeated Russia’s Maria Sharapova by 6-3,6-4 to win the women’s title. This was an unusual tournament that saw defending Champion Serena Williams and her sister Venus eliminated in

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the fourth round and an all-European affair in the last eight. The previously unsuspected quarter-finalists produced some of the most thrilling matches of the summer.


SPORTS

Kvitova, being the only left handed player to win the title in over 21 years, had remained pretty much unknown before winning the title. At just 21-years-old, she is likely to be a dominant force on the court for a while. She proved to be ruthless, as she powered her way through to victory in her first Grand Slam final, and didn’t let nerves get the best of her when coming up against bookies’ favourite Sharapova. Reaching the semi-final last year, over time Kvitova has proved that she has the power to hit like the American Williams sisters. With them spiralling out of the tournament this year, she has finally been able to capitalise on a well-deserved Wimbledon win, surely making her the one to beat in the coming years. Meanwhile in the men’s doubles, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan from the USA defeated Robert Lindstedt from Sweden and Horia Tecau from Romania by 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), in winning the title. The ladies’ doubles saw the victory of Kveta Peschke from the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik from Slovakia over Sabine Lisicki from Germany and her partner Samantha Stosur

from Australia as they achieved a quick and classy 6-3, 6-1 win. Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Czech Iveta Benesova defeated Mahesh Bhupathi of India and Elena Vesnina of Russia by 6-3, 6-2 in taking the mix doubles title of the tournament. A showcase of young future talent was also displayed, as Australia’s Ashleigh Barty showed much will power in her final victory in the girls singles title. Whilst some excitement was injected into the British public as a new local face to replace the Henman’s and the Murray’s of past generations, reached the boys singles final. 17-year-old Liam Broady of Great Britain showed a lot of potential as he came head to head with Australia’s Luke Saville, despite his loss - keeping the chances of a future British Wimbledon win very much alive.

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MUSIC REVIEWS

SINGLE MUSIC REVIEWS JLS feat. Dev - She Make Me Wanna

“She Make Me Wanna Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh…” DEV IS really making waves on the music scene this year, after featuring on the worldwide smash, LIKE A G6. Having teamed up with Tinie Tempah on Bass Down Low, it was only appropriate she collaborate with another big British act. JLS created the song with the 21-year-old over the internet, only meeting afterwards to shoot the video (the previews of which are looking very good), which may explain why the chemistry isn’t quite there. As two highly rated acts, I expect something much more original and dynamic. Unfortunately, She Make Me Wanna is quite a lazy piece of pop fluff with a large absence of any real substance. Although we are yet to hear Dev truly sing, her voice is so swaggerrific she could make the dictionary sound cool, making her verse my highlight of the single. It has an annoyingly hypnotic chorus that will inevitably be jammed in your memory, this summer-jam will be on heavy rotation this summer.

Released on 24 July

LMFAO – Champagne Showers ft. Natalia Kills By Adam spawton-rice

Another party banger from LMFAO, this time the Gordy family (search ‘Berry Gordy’ in Google for their pedigree) have planted themselves firmly into the dance music scene, inviting in no competition with their signature club-hopper animal print and crazy, teased hair. Champage Showers is a shrill, energetic, repeat of LMFAO’s last couple of tracks, but that wont stop you from involuntarily shuffling on the spot. Not the best feature Natalia Kills could have asked for, having checked her out (which surely many people won’t) she looks and sounds like the premature, heavily made- and styledup love-child of Nicole Sherzinger and Lady Gaga. Her vocals are hard to separate from the track, and poor Natalia has been ‘chipmunked’ to the point that it becomes difficult to tell what she’s even singing about. LMFAO make music DJs look forward to playing in clubs, because there is always an overwhelmingly positive response. I’ve seen first hand the chaos Party Rock Anthem can cause on a dance floor. This track, like the rest of theirs, is all about partying. I’d play it on my way out to a club and enjoy it in the club, but otherwise Chris Brown’s Beautiful People is my dance track of 2011.

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Released on 10 July


MUSIC REVIEWS

Nicki Minaj - Fly ft. Rihanna The Nicki Minaj attitude to success is summed up in the chorus

(“I came to win...”)

, and she isn’t one to shy away from the talking about the “burden” and the joys of her success (Moment 4 Life). Fly, featuring Rihanna, is uplifting and inspiring, but at times a little weak- the low-key contribution from ‘RiRi’ takes away from the overall power of the song and as a result it becomes repetitive. Unlike Moment 4 Life, Fly rests on Rihanna’s chorus, and does not benefit from the same bass boosted sampling of other Minaj tracks. Not a bad single to release, but it feels as though production was geared more towards Rihanna’s vocals than Nicki’s. Whereas Raining Men was a punchier, upbeat and a better pop track, Fly has a coarser message. Rihanna’s lyrics sound like a mantra for hope, whilst Minaj takes a characteristically more head-on take on survival. Directed by Sanaa Hamri, the long-awaited video to the track is an I Am Legend and Superhero inspired “freakin’ movie!” With fans having to wait since January, Fly is sure to boost Minaj’s success regardless.

Released on 10 July

Jessie J - Who’s Laughing Now?

Released on 22 August

Almost half (43%) of us experience some kind of bullying during childhood, most of us resolve not to treat others the way we were treated, but Jessie J has written a song about her experience addressing the bullies directly. The not-so-subtle beauty of Jessie’s track is that, not only will her bullies undoubtedly listen to it, but they probably know it’s them she wrote the song about. Brash and loud, in Who’s Laughing Now?, as in many of Jessie’s tracks, the music and the beat follows her voice rather than complimenting it. Not the best the album has to offer, but the message behind it justifies the decision to release it. Funky 90s beats crash around the Essex belter’s heartfelt lyrics. One of only a few artists who sounds better live, Jessie still kills it on the track. The Pain that made her raise her game is what got her where she is now. The most important line of the song “You are not alone.”

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MUSIC REVIEWS

ALBUM MUSIC REVIEWS Lady Gaga – Born This Way By Maz Khan

AFTER teasing us for months, Gaga finally drops her third album this year. On hearing the first single of the 14-track album, I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly running to pre-order the highly anticipated album. Born This Way was starting to sound too much like a cheesy ‘love thy-self’ wannabe-anthem. I was unconvinced, surely she was not born with horns!? As a long-time Gaga fan, I held out in hope for some material I really clicked with. Enter Judas. More controversial than the first single, it was punchier, the visuals and the fashion in the video were stunning. The lyrics too were ones to be lovingly deciphered, what made her so fascinating to me and many others in the first place. The track, MARRY THE NIGHT, sets the tone of the album with an up-tempo dance beat, an I-can’t-help-but-sing chorus and strong vocals from the Mother Monster. The album holds depths of diversity, with elements of opera, guitar, metal and rave music. It switches from darkness to light, from hope to selfhatred; so much so that the album takes you on a real journey of vast contrasts. I loved listening to the 60’s inspired happy song Hair, the dark Government Hooker (inspired by Marilyn Monroe) and the serene, eerie but beautiful Bloody Mary. Scheibe is one of my favourite songs on the album, with a commanding beat and the catchy ‘German’ lyrics. Her third single Edge of Glory has a real 80’s vibe which doesn’t fail to make me smile, even if it is a tad on the cheesy side - you can’t fault her vocals (or that sax). Another winner, You and I was one of the first tracks to be released from the album when the star performed it live last year. The album version has a beautiful instrumental, and sounds heavily influenced by Elton john. Another fast favourite is Americano, where this time Gaga’s affections lie with a woman, she says “we fell in love, but not in court”* making a point that the courts will not recognise the same-sex marriage. The song is heavily influenced by Madonna’s Evita phase, the guitars and Spanish lyrics make it one of the best on the LP. Miss Stefani Germanotta is certainly brave for going so far out on a whim in comparison with the previous, now rather tame sounding Paparazzi’s of her debut album, The Fame. However, her daring streak has paid off, proving how far ahead of time she really is; just like she said in Judas:

“But in the cultural sense, I just speak in future tense.”

Containing strong influences on Madonna, religious themes which have been blasted by some and talks of highway unicorns on the road to love, the album has been tainted minutely with doubt, and heavily with controversy. However you cannot fault her efforts, as Gaga has truly attempted to compose a reenactment of Pop’s very own Big-Bang theory. And she didn’t do too badly – it is a truly innovative, futuristic, beautifully orchestrated piece of heavy-electricpop. * Since this piece was submitted, the state of New York legalised same-

sex marriage with the celebrations led by Gaga. 62 | NXGZINE

Released on 23 May


MUSIC REVIEWS

Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See By Sonia Bendjoudi

On June 6 2011, Sheffield giants the Arctic Monkeys released their fourth studio album entitled Suck It And See. Surprisingly, the innuendo was completely unintended. After hitting the music industry in the mid-noughties with a bang, keeping standards high has undoubtedly been a success for the quartet. Their departure from usual themes into deeper, darker territory on third album Humbug (the black sheep album as I like to call it) has shown that they are not limited to writing about the goingson of a Northern suburb. And let’s face it; Turner’s voice has gone from hard as nails to caramel. The album begins with She’s Thunderstorms (Brianstorm, Crying Lightning and She’s Thunderstorms. Does anyone else spot a pattern here or..?). The tracks are mostly written in the major key, giving it a poppier feel in comparison to previous albums. For those who like to ‘belt it’, a variety of sing-a-long songs such as The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala and Black Treacle are simply a treat. It also seems that the Arctic’s have injected a dose of (generally) well received humour into the album. Take the unforgettable BRICK BY BRICK for example, shocking fans with its sudden unveiling and repetitive lyrics, the notorious “I wanna rock and roll!” It certainly got the

hardcore Mardy Bum crowd guessing; ‘Surely, they aren’t serious?’ Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair was selected as the first official single, a song which literally lists things that are more dangerous to do than sitting down. An odd choice of course, but when have Arctic Monkeys ever been predictable? The album is thoroughly an enjoyable listen. Gems you may want to keep an ear out for are The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala, All My Own Stunts (featuring backing vocals by infamous American rocker Joshua Homme) the fast paced nonsense-poem Library Pictures and the track that ends it all, That’s Where You’re Wrong.

Released on 6 June

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MUSIC REVIEWS

ALBUM MUSIC REVIEWS Beyonce - 4 By Heidi Aldihisi

After a break from the music scene, Beyonce is back and ready to renew her diva status with a truly wonderful fourth studio album. It encompasses all aspects of her individuality, her strengths, her passions as well as her weaknesses. It seems she is now ready to reveal her hard work to the world. Amongst the must-listen tracks of the record is first single Run the World (Girls). What starts off as something quite futuristic in sound, turns into an upbeat, tribal dance number that definitely defies any conventional values in terms of how a dance record should be produced. It is messy, heavy, musically complex, considering the myriad of different instruments and techno beats that are used, but at the same time it is catchy and demands to be heard. Indeed very different from what you would expect as a first single from Beyonce, due to its sheer shock factor, over time it becomes obvious that this single is just what was needed to bring the attention back on to the queen of pop. If ever there was a strong urge to listen to a sing-along love song, THE BEST I NEVER HAD would be the perfect choice. Here is a powerful ballad that is reminiscent of songs artists such as Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton would belt out. By using the intense power of her voice, Beyonce produces a song that shows how she has matured over the past three years since her release of I Am Sasha Fierce. A very colourful vocal and instrumental display, it is full of emotion and guarantees to draw every listener in from beginning to end. She definitely proves any doubters wrong by demonstrating just how flawless her voice truly is. Stepping away from the slowies that overrule most of the album, Countdown is one of the best, if not the best, up-tempo track featured in 4. The sounds of the Caribbean make an entrance on this dance number, making it likely that it will dominate the club scene if released. It is clear that Beyonce is expressing her strengths as the feisty energy she brings is hard to ignore. Her ability to implement some mischievous word play is also shown as she sings: “We be makin’ love in five, still the one I go to four, I’m trying to make us three, from that two, he still the one.” Clearly in love with her ‘boo’, she is happy to express how he makes her feel and encourages the ladies to do the same. Beyonce lets her voice take over along with the basic use of a guitar in 1+1, letting the sounds of her inner soul consume your being. It is a beautiful power ballad that grasps emotions so tightly that it is difficult to avoid being affected by her words as she notably sings:

“ I don’t know much about algebra but I know one plus one equals two, And it’s me and you that’s all we’ll have when the world is through.” 64 | NXGZINE

Sometimes simplicity can overwhelm complexity because of its purity and clarity, and Beyonce has combined both her pure and complex thoughts into this album, creating something both original and raw at the same time. It is a glance into the hearts of people everywhere, as everyone will be able to identify with what she reflects upon. It is fair to say that the record has the ability to touch every listener by using just with the simple sound of her voice.

Released 27 June


MUSIC REVIEWS

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MOVIE REVIEWS

MOVIE REVIEWS “It all ends now.”

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

By Rob Hewitt

TRUER words have never been spoken. The final instalment of the Harry Potter saga, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, is due to be released in the UK on July 15. It all comes to an eventful ending, drawing to a close the final days of Harry, Ron and Hermione, as they venture back to Hogwarts to find and destroy Voldemort’s final horcruxes. Starting with the first installation in 2001, the seven released films have so far made a collective £3.3 billion worldwide, with author J.K. Rowling earning £1 million every three days from her Potter-empire. At the time of its release in November 2010, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 held the record for the biggest 3-day opening in ticket sales in the UK to date. It remains to be seen whether Part 2 will break this record. Meanwhile, it is more than certain that all movie-lovers are in for some graphically awing special effects that will make finding out whether Voldemort is finally defeated by Harry, all the more thrilling. This marks the end of an era for the worldwide fanbase, who owe their fondest memories of Harry’s adventures to the genius creator and author. Her unique talent for portraying the fantasy world of Hogwarts and its pupils has captured the hearts of readers everywhere. As with any Hollywood blockbuster, special events have been organised for the die-hard fans of the films. On the 17, 18, 24 and 25 June, London’s BFI IMAX is to hold all-night screenings of the Harry Potter series to mark the release of the final instalment. Managers are splitting the films over two nights for the 20 hour marathon, and have even invited fans to dress up in costume for the occasion. For those who have been with Harry since the beginning, the small child, who lived in a cupboard under the stairs with his broken glasses and lightning scar on his forehead, has transformed into a heroic yet suffering young man. In the third instalment, Harry Potter And 66 | NXGZINE

Released on 15 July

The Prisoner Of Azkaban, the film took on a darker side, highlighting the trials and tribulations of individuals who suffer with family and isolation issues. With regards to the trials of Harry, Rowling herself has explained that: “He really is quite angry a lot of the time and I think justifiably so, look at what he has gone through. It is about time he started feeling a bit miffed at the hand life has dealt him.” With the build up from the previous films, fans nationwide will be glued to their seats whilst watching the final edition of the Harry Potter films. It may be the last part of the film, but there is no doubt that Rowling has created a character that will be remembered forever as The Boy Who Lived.


MOVIE REVIEWS

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark preview By Emma Knock

‘Don’t be afraid of the dark’ you say? I’ve been petrified of it since I saw the 1970s original Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark as a kid…the children’s TV show Are You Afraid Of The Dark? didn’t help me much either. August is my favourite time of the year for films, the releases gear up to Halloween and a whole host of new horrors emerge from the production wood work - though we were treated earlier this year to the petrifying Insidious. The story is not too dissimilar from many other horror plots, but that doesn’t mean it’s not approach fresh - and terrifying. Starring Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison and Guy Pearce, the film revolves around a young girl who is sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend. She soon discovers some new ‘friends’ in the house who wish to claim her for one of their own. The creatures in the 70s classic were (and still are) terrifying, so I for one am looking forward to seeing Guillermo del Toro and his visual effects guys’ creations on the big screen. I am not usually a fan of horror remakes, particularly when I really love the original movie. I mean, Halloween, Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elmstreet, what on Earth was the reasoning behind remaking those films, which seem just as fresh today as they did in the 70s/80s?! That being said, the original Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark is probably not very well known to those outside of the horror buff circles and I do feel like the story would benefit from a breath of fresh air.

Released on 26 August

There is one thing that shocks me about the making of this film and it is the downplaying of Guillermo del Toro’s involvement in this movie. He did co-write it af with Matthew Robbins, after all. Give him some credit guys, he is the driving force of it all. It was he who sealed the deal with Troy Nixey, the incredible director of Latchkey’s Lament. I am also hearing a lot of critics saying that they are doubtful of how Katie Holmes will fare starring in a horror movie. For those naysayers, may I remind you of a little film she was in called Disturbing Behaviour, and even to some extent, The Gift? I’ve had a soft spot for Katie, since her days as Joey Potter in Dawson’s Creek, and it will be refreshing to see her return to this sort of (in fact, any) role.

“I am positively terrified with excitement.” Release Date: August 26, 2011 NXGZINE | 67


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TRAVEL

European Getaways - The NXG Diaries Paris on a budget: Emma Knock gives you an inside look at ‘The City of Light’. This year my friend Luke and I decided to embark upon a European city break tour. Our first stop was Amsterdam and in May we decided to do four days in Paris.

Thursday

OUR Eurostar pulled in to Gare Du Nord at approximately 10am (Paris time) on Thursday morning. After a few hit or miss attempts at figuring out the Metro system we arrived in Montmartre and it couldn’t have been more perfect. As we ascended out of the station there was a woman busking with a guitar, the sunshine was beyond glorious and there were a few merchants selling watercolours on streets. After checking into our hotel, Hotel Bonsejour (a great little hotel except we were on the top floor and there was no lift, but the view made it worth it), we walked up to the Sacré-Cœur, which was only a five-minute walk away. The views there are incredible. I would recommend watching a sunrise or sunset up there. The SacréCœur itself is a piece of art. You can go inside, free of charge and you can visit the dome and crypt for €5. Next we wandered over to the Arc de Triomphe (if you’re not a walker then the Metro system is easy to decipher), which is breathtaking. After you’ve checked out the Arc in all its glory, make sure you head down the champs-élysées, which is pretty much the Oxford Street of Paris, except beautiful. Some great shops and loads of restaurants - make sure you look out for the set menus (formule menu) where you can get a really nice two-course meal for cheap. We went to Ziti on a side street and had a set meal for €17.50. I would really recommend their t-bone steak. It was a warm evening and we took a walk along the Siene before settling to watch the Tour Eiffel light show (every hour on the hour once it is dark). Hoards of people (locals and tourists) were picnicking, drinking and playing instruments on the green behind the tour. Paris is definitely an outdoors city, with a great communal feel.

Friday

The next morning we went to the Catacombes de Paris, a huge underground cemetery, full of tunnels decorated with the bones of the dead. If you’re between this ages of 16 and 24 and a EU citizen, then you’re entry is shaved down to €4. If you have an issue with stairs and confined places, then I would not recommend it, but it is a unique and truly creepy experience.

PARIS

A great way to eat cheaply in Paris is to buy food from the supermarkets. There we bought a baguette, a selection of cheeses and some salami for around €6 and ate it in the gardens of the Palais Du Luxembourg, which is stunning. Definitely a must see. The Pantheon, which is only a short walk from the Palace, is another example of Paris’ beautiful architecture. Again, as a young EU citizen, you can get in for free. No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Notre Dame de Paris, even if all you want to do is holler “sanctuary” inside. It is free to enter the main building and, if you are a 16-25 EU citizen, you can waver the €5 charge to go up to the bell tower. Again, lots of stairs, but well worth it for a photo opportunity with the gargoyles. If you are a museum lover then you must visit the Musée du Louvre. Even if you are not then you probably should go just for the Mona Lisa. Free to enter for 16 to 25-year-olds again and it is absolutely huge. Another highlight is the Venis de Milo and the Pyramid (you’ll have seen it in The Davinci Code). Just a two-minute walk from the Louvre is a gorgeous little restaurant called Le Petit Machon, which had the best salmon I have ever tasted!

Saturday

We headed down to the Seine for a river cruise (€12). It was a wonderful way to see Paris, learn a little about the history of the buildings and get a tan. After the cruise, we went up the Tour Eiffel (make sure you pick a time to go when it is not too busy otherwise they shut it off- go either early morning or late evening). We walk up to the second floor, so it was a mere €3.80 with our 16-25 discounts. It was an additional €4 to go to the top, but really a breath-taking view. Next stop - the Moulin Rouge (go at night, because it looks simply dreadful during the day). The road it’s on is busy and has plenty of bars, just make sure you do not accidentally go into a strip bar, unless of course that is what you are looking for. We ended our final night at Le Chinon on the corner of Rue Burq (in Montmartre, right by our hotel), which is happy hour at 11pm. Whatever you do, don’t have the margarita, but the omelets are first class.

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TRAVEL

AMSTERDAM Amsterdam in a Weekend: Maz Khan tells us why Amsterdam is much more than just a city of canals and coffee shops…After catching the travel bug, my bestie and I decided to book a ticket abroad to anywhere. With rebellion in mind, we thought Amsterdam would be perfect for some crazy times. However, I discovered how rich in culture the city was and how much there was to see. Welcome to my weekend.

Friday

We arrived at Schiphol airport after a smooth 45 minute flight and hopped on a double-decker train to Centraal station, just twenty minutes away. I instantly felt at home with the hustle and bustle, the clock tower, the Maccy D’s on the corner… Until I nearly got trampled on by a cyclist. I would recommend hiring a bicycle when out there, as they run the road, quite literally. It is dead easy to hire a bicycle for as cheap as €6 a day, which is cheaper than public transport. We went to our hotel, Floris France, a 4* beaut in the heart of it all with breakfast included, which we got great deals on www.opodo.co.uk. We ventured to our first coffee shop, Hill Street Blues. Dimly lit and covered in graffiti art, despite how it sounds, made it incredibly homely and cool. With large sofas, tasty but cheap drinks, pool tables, and an outdoor area, this became my favourite place. We dragged ourselves away to get the train to Zandwoort Beach. It isn’t a ‘real’ beach, but it was great to swim in and lying on the sand in the blazing sun, I certainly didn’t notice. After a blissful afternoon, we headed back to check out the night life, ending up at De Duivel, the heart of Amsterdam’s music scene, which is a buzzing, intimate club with live R&B and hip-hop acts.

Saturday

Somehow, we woke up early enough for our free buffet breakfast. After our short tram journey to Anne Frank’s Huis, we grabbed a homemade ice cream while we queued. Tickets were €8.50 which gave us a lengthy tour along with videos and artifacts, making it an emotional must see. Next door is The Pancake Bakery, also known as the best pancake house in Amsterdam - I can confirm that it is. We strolled down to Vondel Park next, the most idyllic part of the city; with fresh lemonade and sandwiches from the local supermarket. Free, fun and a great place to sunbath, read and picnic, it was made even greater when I discovered their paddling pool. I am such a child inside. Behind the park is a lush outdoor restaurant (yes, I gained a lot of weight on this holiday) and next door is Amsterdam’s

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Film and Theatre museum, which has a spectacular open air theatre, that you can experience for decent prices with English subtitles. Keep an eye out for events on www.iamsterdam.com as they also hold free ‘party in the park’ like concerts there regularly. We returned to Centraal station for a canal cruise, where you simply turn up and pay €8 to be taken on the 75 minute tour. Amsterdam has been dubbed the ‘Venice of the North’ and it certainly was a spectacular way to see the whole town. We ended the night by ‘coffee shop hopping’ – every place is so different it is like going from one adventure to the next.

Sunday

After another (too) early breakfast, we went on another tram to The Van Gogh Museum. Even if like me you are not particularly arty, just do it to hear the truth about why he cut his ear off. It is €14 but if you are 16 – 25 you can get a discount. Hurrah. A few minutes away is the Rijks Museum of Art and History, which is simply a once in a lifetime experience. Check out Amsterdam’s most sought after photo opportunity outside the Rijks Museum - the ‘IAMSTERDAM’ letters. Towering at 2 metres high and 26 metres long, we attempted to clamber on top to get our photos taken, which was entertaining to say the least! We then went to the Bibliotheek (library) for lunch. I was sceptical of how good a libraries canteen could be, but with a fresh buffet of iced mango juices, salads, pizza, cake and more, it was phenomenal, and the roof top dining area gave a stunning view of Amsterdam. There was also free internet available which was a huge saver, as the internet cafes are VERY expensive. Next door you can see the Nemo Science Museum, a funky looking building surrounded by water, which is definitely worth checking out. We spent our last night in BitterZoet, the coolest club in town, with great music and an even greater atmosphere. Amsterdam maybe a small place, but it definitely holds many, many treasures.


Are you an aggressor, a pacifier brick wall? QUIZ BY EMMA KNOCK AND ADAM SPAWTON-RICE

or a

1. Someone’s upset you. How do you let them know?

4. You spy your other half texting their ex. What do you do?

a) Glare. b) Avoid conversation and pretend everything’s fine. c) Approach them with your feelings.

a) Snatch the offending phone and kick off. b) Arrange a date with your own ex, two can play that game. c) Wait for the right moment and tell them you’re upset and a little jealous.

2. You’ve just had a shouting match that resolved nothing. What’s next? a) Try to calm down the situation. b) Get the final word over your shoulder whilst storming off. (slam!) c) Say nothing and don’t look them in the eye.

3. You’re at work and someone’s helped themselves to your lunch? a) Your next lunch will be soup a la laxative (so you can sniff out the culprit). b) Slam the fridge door. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent. c) Leave a note (“disappointed, not angry”) and request a new lunch.

RESULTS:

5. You’re upset and angry, how deep will you dig the knife? a) “I never liked you, I never will and I’m only with you because I pity you.” b) “I know you don’t mean it, but you’re being a *** *.” c) Leave the situation and ruin their favourite item of clothing with some scissors.

6. Would you ever resort to violence? a) Yes b) No c) Maybe

A) 5 B) 3 C) 1 A) 3 B) 5 C) 1 A) 5 B) 1 C) 3

A) 1 B) 5 C) 3 A) 5 B) 3 C) 1 A) 5 B) 1 C) 3

The Aggressor (25+) - You’re short tempered, easily frustrated and a damn nightmare in a fight. Remember, anger management is not just a film.

The Brick Wall (15-25) - You’re the definition of passive aggressiveness. If you’re a high brick wall (20+), then open up a bit. You’ll find it less stressful if you’re honest about your feelings.

The Pacifier (0-10) - Pacifiers aren’t just for babies and you’re living proof. Although it’s good to try and resolve conflicts, don’t be a pushover.

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NXG Zine July/August 11 issue