YOUNG BLOOD ELEPHANT REMI LOHNE KAI CHEM NARIN REPTILE YOUTH HELEN-GLORY STEFANIE NIEUWENHYSE ... AND MANY MORE
A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
OPEN YOUR HEART, AND I’LL MAKE YOU LOVE ME It
starts in your feet, continues to your stomach and ends up in one big, bright smile. Discovering a new up-andcoming act is like falling in love. The excitement of hearing a track for the first time, or leaving a comment on a picture of someone’s first collection and sharing it to all of your friends is pure joy. To follow the acts on their way to something big, knowing that you knew about them before they became public domain brings pride. You act like a parent, seeing your kids graduate. You feel honoured for being a part in this person’s amazing journey. The idea of Young Blood Magazine was formed on a sunny September day. A friend of mine and I were talking enthusiastically about this new band we had heard, but when we shared our excitement with the people around us, they had no idea about who we were talking about. “We should just make a magazine where we could feature all of them,” I said.
Easy said, easy done, and Young Blood was born. It is spring, and together with the hot weather we are given graduates. Skilled in advertising, fashion, event management, and film, they are ready to spread their wings. This first edition of Young Blood specially focuses on talented graduates from Southampton Solent University. In addition to these, you will find photographer Kai, Amelia from the band Elephant and the girls behind fashion blog Helen Glory. In their unique way they capture everything Young Blood is all about; they are young, talented and bring something new into this world. We would love for you to get to know them. Stay tuned for the next issue where we will pay special attention to Liverpool, and some of the up-andcoming acts of the city’s Institute for Performing Arts. We hope you like it! Silje xx
PRINCE CHARMING If Kai Cem Narin gets it his way, he will soon be considered a top fashion photographer. It is hard not to believe him.
would love to be the best. The new Mario Testino – the one on the top of the business.” Kai is adding three packages of sugar to his tall skinny latte. Between the bites of his panini e explains that this is the first bit of food he has ingested today and holds out his hand to demonstrate that he is shaking with adrenalin. It is 1.30pm and this 19-year-old photographer is no longer an interview-virgin. At first, Kai did not know what to do with his camera, besides that he wanted to make it a business. He sat down and started thinking about what the best thing a photographer could do. “Fashion! That was number one for me. Butterflies and flowers just did not make the cut. I was a bedroom-kid, not going to parties and stuff, so I just spent my time sending out emails to get work experience”. The nights spent emailing has definitely paid off. The last five seasons Kai has been working London Fashion Week, “running around like a mad dog” and taking, editing and sending out photos for different magazines. He was 16-years-old when he first managed to get backstage at London Fashion Week. Although he had gotten his first camera the same year, and was now falling head over heels in love with photography, capturing the vibe backstage was not the first thing on his mind. The female models walking around topless made sure of distracting him from that. “At that moment I knew that I wanted to work with photography. It was the whole vibe of being backstage at a fashion show. Some may say that people in fashion have an attitude, but some are really lovely people and it is working with these that makes me want to do fashion,” Kai explains. When speaking about fashion Kai gesticulates a lot. It seems like the only way he can really make others understand how much he cares about photography, is by waving his
hands around, changing seating position and simply just not sit still. He says “you know” a lot and flashes his charming smile every time he feels like he has to explain his statements. “The girls are the best things about this job”. The words hang in the air for a moment before he laughs an excusing laughter and continues: “I love women but it’s important to always keep my professional manner and at the end of the day get amazing and beautiful results which captivate viewers. I mainly try to make people smile and to laugh and to have a great experience; Being funny, friendly and flirty makes people feel comfortable. However, some people take it a little too far”, he says and refers to one of his biggest inspirations, photographer Terry Richardson who is known for being a notorious womanizer and extremely found of being naked at shoots. “He is the only one who can get away with that kind of behaviour. Still, everyone would lie if they said they did not want to be Terry Richardson. Every photographer wants to be like Terry. He is sleazy, but he gets away with it.” There is no denying that sex is an important part of fashion. A photo sells not only clothes, but also a lifestyle and a promise of glamour and elegance. “Terry inspires me because of his sexuality. It is always important for a photographer to have this,” Kai overlooks the long looks from the mother sitting next to us in the coffee bar and continue exploring the theme. “You have to think about who you want to watch the photo. Men, women, boys: you want them to think, “that model looks awesome! I would love to be her boyfriend, girlfriend or friend.” The girl looks great, the dress looks great and that is what draws you into fashion. Terry is just so confident in what he does, and I wish to be the same. I think that it is genius that he just strips naked. If more people would do that, we would be living in a crazy world, but I just think that sex is very important. It is what gets people excited.”
Although the girls are obviously important to Kai, it is the creative side of photography that attracts him the most. When he was younger he wanted to be an actor, and although that dream is exchanged with the one he is living now the art of directing and creating small scenes still sticks with him. Kai is struggling to find the right words when trying to explain what it is about clothes that allure him. “Yesterday I photographed this beautiful black feather dress. It was just stunning. I never would have said this some years ago, but now I honestly think fashion is beautiful.” However, sometimes it is not just about the clothes. “It can be just the girl and the expression she sends out. I don’t think you have to be skinny to be a model. It is all about the personality. As long as you are not boring as a cardboard you will do all right. It does not matter what camera you have. The camera is just a box for your inspiration. I never used to be interested in things like this, but now I am walking past a shop and thinking, “I want those shoes”, and I am not even a woman,” Kai laughs. “The thing that makes me unique as a photographer is my cheekiness and charm” Kai says and blinks while flashing that bright smile once more. The 19-year-old surely comes off older and more experienced than most of his peers. During the interview the word cheeky is recurring every time Kai describes himself. There is no denying that cheeky, a word used to describe someone who says or do something disrespectful or rude, but who says it in a cunning way, fits Kai perfectly. He has a boyish charm, the blink of the eye and says exactly what’s on his mind. “My strength is that I am confident. You have to have confidence and to take control over your team and shoot. I want to be explosive! Humour is also something I think you have to have to make it. Fashion photography does not always have to be so serious.” Indeed, it does not always have to
be. Beside of his scheduled shoot at the location of Award winning movie The King’s Speech, Kai is in London to do shoots for the already mentioned escort and of a group of transvestites’ tomorrow. “I photograph non-stop. That is the only way you can improve yourself – by making mistakes and try different things. From the moment I get up in the morning to the moment I fall asleep photography is on my mind.” Although he is afraid that his friends will soon start hating him for always talking about the next shoot he is doing or this idea he have, not doing photography isn’t an option. Kai is going to be the greatest. “I want people to be taken back and fascinated by my photographs,” he explains. During his two first years at Nottingham Trent he has learned to open his eyes to other things than just fashion. “They don’t teach you fashion photography at Trent, but that is ok because I don’t think anybody can teach you how to do fashion photography. It is up to you. If you are bad, you are bad.” The business of fashion can be harsh, sometimes even cruel. You can’t be afraid of using your elbows. “Seeing my photos published makes me proud. Not everyone is going to like what I do, but it is a good sense of achievement when someone comes up to you and say they liked your work. It makes you think, “I am good at this! I could do this for the rest of my life!” It makes me more driven.” Asking about the ultimate dream makes Kai go quiet for a second. He looks out in mid air, puts his hands under his thighs and suddenly gets a serious drag upon his face. “I want to live in New York and to be the top photographer of the business, up there with Patrick Demarchelier.” He smiles, laughs and just as fast at it came, the serious drag is gone. He takes a deep breath and says; “I just want to be on top and one day, I will do it.”
IT’S A FASHION ADVENTURE Francis Helen and Claudia Glory show off their impeccable sense of style in photo shoots on their blog “Helen Glory”, and their floral garlands have been showcased on cult TV-show Skins. Now they are ready to take the fashion world by storm. Meet the two low-key, female adventurers with a bright future ahead. Told to Silje Strommen
“We met each other at Primary School
in Camden when we were four years old. Although we lost contact for a couple of teenage years when we were at different schools, the wonders of Facebook and a mutual love for the summer festival Secret Garden Party brought us back together. Claudia, a regular at the festival, drove us down with a car packed with flower garlands. She had been wearing them for a long time, this was long before you could find horrid copies at Primark, and we got inspired to make a whole collection of them – mixing fake flowers in yellow, blue and pink with silk ribbons. We had made them to make money at the festival, and we especially connected because of how fun it was to make and sell our floral creations. We are always on the same wavelength and we share creativity and laugh all the time. We know that we can always rely on each other for help to think of new fun things to make and do. The thing about fashion that interests us is that you can be creative in a really fun way. We like how children’s style clothes are unrestrictive and are the best for playtime. Our personal style of fashion is experimental, yet classic, and we are very into the Scandinavian minimalism mixed with a 1960s kid.
Creating great art you often have to have this big vision, but in fashion you don’t need that. The ideas you have can simply be realised by putting together an outfit. Another thing that attracts us to clothes is how they in films can make the character, and that this attention to fashion can make a movie iconic. Many of our own ideas come from films we love, and sometimes we try to coincide our photo shoots with different events throughout the year, such as Halloween and 4th July. At first we wanted to start a blog to promote the garlands and headpieces we made, but then we went on to documenting things such as adventures. The blog and the photo shoots evolved from there. Our friend Katherine has been training as a make-up artist and she was keen to try out some make-up from different eras. Our first venture of this kind was a 1960s inspired shoot. We dressed up in clothes we found at home while Katherine did our hair in beehives and gave us false eyelashes in the style of Twiggy. We took photos on the steps in my apartment building. The pictures came out blurry and out of focus as we didn’t have a proper camera, but we loved how ridiculous and silly it all
was, and were keen to try out some different eras. The sixties have been our favorite decade and we went on to do two more sixties inspired shoots at later dates - one of which was an Austin Powers inspired Sixties futuristic shoot where we covered a whole wall in Frances’ garden with tin foil and used silver hairdryers as props to become Femme-bots. Now we see the blog as an excuse to meet up, have fun do something creative and have adventures. It’s nice to think that we are reaching out to people in different parts of the world. The blog is quite low-key and we don’t feel the need for fame, but recognition and positive feedback is always rewarding. The blog is never going to be a polished thing, but rather a project that evolves as we experiment with different photography and style. We both currently work in fashion and hope to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Although the fashion industry has its ups and downs there are always aspects that will draw us to it. In ten years time we will still live in London, and also have a small flat in New York, which will be the head quarter of our business venues there. We are not sure what exactly it is that we will be doing, but it will be linked to each other. To start our own business would be the ultimate dream – maybe a boutique or a styling studio?
LIKE PEOPLE SAY: CARPE DIEM, BABY!”
A SERIES OF FORTUNATE EVENTS Words Silje Strommen Photography Dave Richardson
Amelia Rivas did not know she could sing, and was determined to go into nunnery before a chance encounter at a party made her fall in love with both a guy and the stage.
Elephant is the kind of band that wow’s
you. Despite the 80’s influent synthesizer the music somehow capture contemporary pop: a little bit of electronica, a little bit of pop and a whole lot of dreamy vocals. Amelia Rivas’s hair is blowing in the wind as she crosses the street, flashes one of those big smiles and gives me a hug. “Oh, it’s you! I thought it was going to be a guy or something. I was so nervous, this is almost like a blind date!” It has been two months since we last met, at a Casiokids concert in Southampton where Elephant was the supporting act. I suggest that we should go for a coffee, but Amelia has other plans. “Coffee? I actually really want a drink. Is that bad?” Not at all. It is four o’clock on a Monday afternoon, and five minutes later we are nurseling a large glass of red wine and a bottle of beer.
“Sometimes I feel kind of bad because there are so many great bands that have been going on for years. It just feels like it has come too easy. We did not try that hard. We had two singles and one EP, and now we are making an album. It is mad”, she says and shakes her head. “I’m a bit scared really. A record is a big deal. My name is going to be on an album!”
As a kid, Amelia never really gave a career in music much thought. Becoming a nun was her biggest dream. “I am the least religious person! I think it was the outfit, I like black”, she laughs, trying to explain her childhood dream. These days, travelling the world as a food critic, or simply just laying on the beach with a cocktail in her hand has replaced the thought of going into monastery. Luckily for her, with her band Elephant she could get the chance of doing that. “The best part of being in a band is all the free stuff. Free drinks and free travelling: I am really doing it just for the free travelling now. I have no idea of how I got here.”
While slapping an imaginary bass guitar with great empathy and without caring about the rest of the bar looking, Amelia explains that the new stuff is much more funky than before. Describing their music as “dreamy, flowing and capturing”, the 80’s synthpop is definitely present. Reading previous reviews, the word French keeps popping up. “Everyone has really picked up on me being half French! I like it. The thing is, when I come to interviews people are expecting this French babe, and then I show up, being Northern and well, me. France is definitely the place to be at the moment though.” With her dad being French, Amelia definitely has the classic look of a Parisian. With dark hair (which used to be cut in a perfect bob, but now is long and wavy), piercing blue eyes surrounded by black make up and a silver nose ring she is the picture of underground cool French. Her look isn’t the only thing she has inherited from her dad’s side of the family. “My dad is really, really into music, and he has been a big influence. I can’t go a day without music. That kills me. I have no idea where my interest in music has come from. Maybe it is the French in me,” she wonders.
It is really like a fairytale. Amelia had some solo stuff she wanted to record, Christian, whom she met at a party, had a studio in his bedroom. It turned out that the studio was a pc, and that he was hitting on her. Needless to say, it worked out. “It was a love story. We went out for a year and a half, but then we split up. It was bad, but we got through it. Elephant is still standing strong ”, Amelia announces. The road from never before haven sung in public, to being singed to Mempis Industries and now releasing an album has gone by quick.
Regardless of where it came from, it came. It was pure boredom that made her and some friends start a band at school. Singing, however, was out of the question. “I am not musically talented, and I can’t read notes and stuff. In my last band I would never sing because I though I was a horrible singer. I did not even want to sing in front of Chris in the first place, but he was just “try it!” I am not that confident in singing though. I always have to have a drink before. Our first live performance was so nerve-racking. The only person I had sung for before was Chris. So, I
got really drunk and it went… ok!” Today, Amelia closes her eyes and dance around on stage. “It’s brilliant. It is so good. You can just go wild,” Amelia explains on how it feels to pour her heart out on stage. Still, a drink before is needed. “When we went to the studio to record we compared me singing sober and me singing drunk and it is completely different! It sounds like a totally different person. I basically need to be drunk to sing,” she laughs and concludes: “Which is really quite bad. But it just sounds so much better.“ Considering the fact that Amelia stands on stage and sings about highly personal stuff, you can’t really blame her for the regular drink. Most of the lyrics on the EP are based on her and Chris’s relationship, and it is not all good. “I write, and then I don’t realize what I have been writing about before I have recorded it. Chris and I are like each other’s muses. The thing is, the songs are not good. What I am writing about him is not good. He realized that the other day. “You weren’t happy about me were you?” he asked. I only write if I am quite down or worried. It is definitely a way to get things out. I only write when I am in a certain stage. At the moment, I am really happy and I struggle to write”, she sights. In addition to relationships, dreams are one of the things Amelia likes to write about. But even here things are not always good. At one point, after having a series of dreams about Hitler torturing her, she was seriously considering seeing someone about it. Being the one that write it is only natural that she gets a lot of questions about the meaning behind the tracks – something she is not always happy to give up. “The lyrics can be really hard some times. When you don’t want to write or you don’t want to explain what it is about to other people. They are not always that obvious and it is just really personal.”
Moving onto the subject of how easy it is to be an up-and-coming band in London, Amelia suddenly lights up. “I got recognized for the first time just the other day! It was awesome! I was at work and this girl was just like “are you in a band? You are the girl in Elephant!” It was so cool”. Being just herself and Christian has both benefits and negative aspects for the band. “It is easier just to be the two of us instead of a five-piece band. With writing it is so easy. He does his thing and I do mine. In my last band we were at one point seven people and it was so bad and we had so many arguments. Performing live on the other hand, can be quite hard when it is just the two off us. We have to have people with us on stage,” she explains. And it is first live the magic of Elephant’s music really comes to it’s right. “I want people to get a bit of escape when listening to our music. With the new songs I want people to dance. Nobody dances at gigs any more! I just want them to have a good time and dance!” she demonstrates with a little twirl. With free drinks, free travels, a record on it’s way and this summer – a BA from London University of the Arts Amelia pretty much has life covered. “The next step is to get people to give me clothes for free. We did a shoot for a magazine once, and we got to go to Ted Baker, choose whatever we wanted and keep the stuff. It was cool. I took this really expensive leather jacket, but I didn’t get to keep it, so I made a little hole in it hoping that they would let me keep it. Unfortunately they didn’t. That is pretty rock and roll”; Amelia laughs and gives herself a nod before taking the last sip of her glass. The interview is over and walking out of the bar Amelia enthusiastically talk about having the rest of the afternoon all to herself – without much to do. We hug, give promises of keeping in touch and then she disappears out in the cold London air, shrugs her shoulders and flits of into the tube station.
A magazine featuring up-and-coming creative acts.