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IS BREAKING THE RHYTHM mar c h 20 1 5

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10 MASTHEAD 12 CONTRIBUTORS 14 STATUS MESSAGE 

STATUSPHERE 17 THREADS 22 SETTING 23 BRICK & MORTAR 24 SCREEN 25 INK 26 BEATS 

GADGETS 27 TECH

PACK: SOUND CLOUD

Up in the airwaves.

PAINT: SHEER ELEGANCE

Trip the light fantastic.

VANITIES: ALL TIME GLOW

All things bright and beautiful.

BEAUTY BITE: TRANSCEND SPA AND NAILS

FASHION

STREET STYLE

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30 GO SEE 32 STYLE ID:

NEUTRAL TERRITORY

No need to take sides when everyone wants to be on your team.

VISION BOARD

34 SOFT

PAVEMENTS

Lace cropped tops, chiffon skirts, and cozy dresses invade the street style scene for a delicate upgrade. By Franey Miller

44 BEFORE

SUNRISE

Leather jackets and oxblood red ensembles set in a working city welcome the new rockstar vibe. By Carmen Goetz

50 SAVAGE

Slim-cut shorts

61 SUN

CONTROL

62 AIM

HIGH

Aviators

High-cut shoes

63 EPIC

SCALE

64 SOLE

PURPOSE

65 LINK

AGAIN

Micro-print shirts Cut-out brogues Chain accessories

66 GRAPHIC 67 SHADY

28 FACE

29

59 SWAG: TRUE BLUE 60 SHORT CIRCUIT

MATERIAL

Digital print skirts

BEAUTY 29

SHOPPING GUIDE

GRACE

Ornate necklaces and stacked bracelets paired with fringes and flowy fabrics exude a wild luxury. By Raen Badua

LADY

Wide brim hats

FEATURES MUSE

68 VIVRE

SA VIE

In life, Taylor LaShae is both of ‘60s old-world appeal and modern-day sensibilities. Shifting in and out of her dream world, she’s both rough and ready, perfect and practical. By Janroe Cabiles

MAESTRO

72 BREAK

THE SHACKLES

Arresting us with Gold Handcuffs is Raw Fabrics. Seaming in a love for rock & roll, their music soars from the City of Angels to the radio waves. By Kitkat Ramos

74 MUSIC

IN SPRINGTIME

Greta Morgan introduces a hunger for the new beginnings and fresh sounds of twee and pop through Springtime Carnivore.    By Carla Hutchinson

76 TREADING

ON WICKED WATER

Calling forth the gritty and raw origins of rock and blues, Benjamin Booker whips up songs that will take you back to what it’s all about. By Denise Mallabo

78 OFF

THE WALL

Tweaking your uncle’s favorite records, Tandems ‘91 forms a digital nostalgia that revives some soul and funk fit for a full-blown party. By Pola Beronilla


IS BREAKING THE RHYTHM

m ar c h 2 0 1 5

MASTERMIND

80

CLOCKWORK SPECTRUM

Playing around with colors and montages straight out of fairy tales, photographer Amanda Charchian dares us to go down the rabbit hole.

96

By Janroe Cabiles

82 STAY

TUNED

From Lil Wayne to Nicki Minaj to Rick Ross, music director Colin Tilley has found the secret formula to a million hits and clicks. By Olivia Estrada

84 OUT

TO THE JUGULAR

Who’s got the beats? Ta-ku does. Hitting the high snare not just in the music industry but as well as in other creative avenues such as fashion, photography, and even hair cutting, the Perth-based music producer wrings genres by the neck while doing everything else he’s passionate about.

80

By Kitkat Ramos

OF SIGHT

102

Photographer Gavin Thomas sees past the usual frames to capture images and moments that would otherwise fade in the blink of an eye.

RESTORATION IN PEACE

Alt-rock staple Death Cab for Cutie won’t be hiding any of their flaws with their latest album, Kintsuji. Moving forward with a fresh line-up and a new outlook for the next chapter ahead, they prove how breaking the pieces can find new ways to reconfigure.

By Olivia Estrada

86 KEEPER OF KEYS

Jigger Divina of Locked Down Entertainment has the lowdown on the next underground music acts that are going to turn the stage upside down.

By Olivia Estrada

MORE

By Olivia Estrada

HEAVY HITTER

107 DIRECTORY

88

STATUS INVADES 108 JULIA QUISUMBING

SCHOOL OF RAP

The windy streets of Chicago blew up the strong highs of Acid Rap from one of its homegrown—Chance The Rapper, building his own career without the help of any record label. This year, he makes an unforeseen move of releasing an album with a band that forms The Social Experiment.

Sun-drenched aspirations and wine-soaked wishes are in Julia Quisumbing’s sight as the waves ride high.

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THE SAX APPEAL

Blow one’s brains out with that smooth vibrato.

By Pola Beronilla

about the cover

Captured by Zoe Rain and styled by Whitney Middleton—both hailing from the Windy City—Chancelor Bennett a.k.a. Chance The Rapper stares straight and takes aim as he steps into the frame. Representing in a tee washed in acid rap, a monochromatic headband, and a red, black, and white varsity jacket, he throws it back to the East Coast team the Chicago Bulls, an homage to his hometown.

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statusmagonline.com

Blogsphere

the pulse of hip at your fingertips

go see

we’re all models off duty. smize! 

FEATURES

there’s more to what’s in print

NightVision  who’s spotted partying where

Photo Diary confessional for lensmen

Digital Magazine DOWNLOADS STATUS in pixels, not paper

free mixtapes and wallpapers


IS BREAKING THE RHYTHM March 2015

editor-in-chief managing editor

art director graphic designers

Rosario Herrera @RosarioHerrera

Denise Mallabo @denisemallabo

Nyael David @nyaels

Grace de Luna @GraceAnnD

Tiff Ko @happeetiff

Carlo Nuñez @oycaloy

features editor fashion assistant editorial assistants

Pola Beronilla @HiMyNameIsPola

Jill de Leon @orangetoenails

Janroe Cabiles @janroetheboat

Olivia Estrada @MsOliviaSylvia

Kitkat Ramos @KitKatRamos

account manager junior account executive

Dan Buenaventura @danbuenaventura

Gaby Bailon @gabybailon

contributing writers

Carla Hutchinson

contributing artists

Raen Badua, Ria Casco, Ian Castañares, Zee Clemente, Shanna Fisher, Giovanna Gaba, JC Gellidon, Carmen Goetz, Jo Hawtree. Brittany Layton, Shaira Luna, Whitney Middleton, Franey Miller, Tammi Nguyen, Hanna Pechon, Zoe Rain, Steffi Santiago, Isaac Sterling

interns

Nicole Angeles, Isabela Argosino, Dariz Kho, Kush Obusan, Matt Panes, Vin Quilop, Robert Valdellon

What’s your STATUS? tell us. editorial editorial@statusmagonline.com advertising advertise@statusmagonline.com marketing marketing@statusmagonline.com general inquiries info@statusmagonline.com read our digital magazine statusmagonline.com/digital-magazine like us facebook.com/statusmagazine follow us twitter.com/statusmagazine instagram: statusmagazine STATUS is published by STATUS Media Group. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

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c ontributors zoe rain

When we got the green light to catch up with Chance in Chi Town, we called on Zoe in a heartbeat. Be it backstage or in the front row, she’s seen it all and has kept it in her “Elastic Heart.” The photographer shares, “I love the idea of refining a strong and resilient spirit. I am constantly striving and struggling to push myself out of my comfort zone and past insecurity.”

ISAAC STERLING

carla hutchinson

Carla may be in Sydney but she still made it in time for Springtime Carnivore (74) to drop a few beats. But that wasn’t before she caught up with Julia Quisumbing for Invades (108). Looks like she’s on her way to be like multi-tasker, Gwen Stefani. “She’s a rockstar, a kickass fashion icon, a strong woman, and I’d kill for her platinum blonde hair—seriously, how does she do it?”

From early call times to midnight emails, Isaac never really clocks out, which would follow even if he was a rockstar. “The biggest thing I respect about a lot of musicians is the work ethic coupled with magnificent talent. I once saw a quote on Instagram about how we all have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyoncé.”

damian borja There’s nothing like being 21 and in New York City. Damian is up all day and night in The Big Apple snapping the beat of the city from street style to studio shoots so vivid that we could hear the soundtrack befitting of a Jeremy Scott runway show. He strut his stuff for us this month in our feature on Taylor LaShae for Muse (68).

franey miller The streets are alive in Franey’s flow, even if it’s only in her head. “I don’t really listen to music during shoots, I’m on location 98% of the time. But if I could, I’d blast D12, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and New Order.” It doesn’t really matter since the results come in loud and clear in our fashion editorial, Soft Pavements (34).

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WHITNEY MIDDLETON Chicago-based stylist Whitney is living by the words of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Make The Money.” She definitely struck gold with us styling for this month’s cover boy. “When Chance was on set, his presence blew me away. To see him interpret the wardrobe through his expressions and movements was a major moment for me in my career.”


STATUS MES S AGE

IS BREAKING THE RHYTHM

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his music issue is dedicated to the idea of a social experiment. With music being the universal language embraced by all, it’s also the platform that constantly pushes boundaries. Whether it’s testing out the lyric, beat, or emotion, we want to highlight how creativity plays out through different mediums, continents, and genres. Chance The Rapper is taking the leap with his new collective The Social Experiment. Being the first name on our minds when we thought of the new breed of rappers, he’s been redefining the traditions of a conventional rapper with the roster of artists he’s been collaborating with. We got to shoot the Chicago native in his hometown and asked him how having an unorthodox method for creating music has contributed to his success. Recently having reached 30 million plays on his SoundCloud, Ta-ku’s creativity goes beyond his beats. Normally jumping on flights to perform gigs around the world, the music producer been exploring his abilities in different avenues, from barbershops to photography. After pinning him down for an interview, he shares with us his views on his music career as well as the most memorable haircut he’s gotten. Death Cab for Cutie’s upcoming album Kintsugi marks the last record that founder, guitarist, and producer Chris Walla will be featured in. After 17 years of being in the industry, the band’s trial is not in the search for a new member but in moving forward from their old sound. In their feature, we explore what drives them towards the future and how they respond to fans who can’t let go of their past. Despite the different backgrounds, musical styles, and locations of the features in this issue, whatever reason they want to conduct with their experiments, the unifying force is their love for music.

Editor-in-chief Chance The Rapper (88)


FASHION

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Beauty

Celebrity

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take a photo of any of our print issues, use #statustribe, and we might just post your photo on our instagram account.


THREADS / setting / BRICK AND MORTAR / BEATS / SCREEN / INK MARCH 2015

personality disorder

M

inimalist and monochromatic, the man who dons AKA doesn’t have an identity crisis. Strong and sure about himself, he’s going to fit right in the bar and the boardroom with the “Luca” longsleeve shirt and the “Prince of Wales” checked trousers. Other featured pieces in their latest collection like the “Berlin City” and the “Milan City” shorts carry the same subtle sophistication that’s a must wherever he goes. thisisaka.com

cutting corners

T

ake new risks with LEMON JEWELLERY. Featuring accessories with organic shapes, pleats, bolts, chains, and offbeat stones, Filthy Hearts get down and dirty with copper and quartz. Based in Melbourne and produced in Bali, the set is inspired by flaws that make everything more unique. What more can you ask from a deep and beautiful set you can wear day and night? lemonjewellery.com

ALL ABOUT THAT BASE

I

nspired by their simple yet slick hometown in Bondi, Australia, FIRST BASE CLOTHING spearheads the backto-basics fashion revolution cutting through Sydney with new season threads. Think of your staple denim jacket, go-to stripes, and favorite lived-in hoodie infused with the chill surfer girl lifestyle and a sporty slant, that is First Base. thisisfirstbase.com

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THREADS

BRANDS TO KNOW

sheer audacity

S

ummer is arriving, and EVERLAND brings in the heat with a new collection. Using mesh fabrics, clean paneling, and refreshing pops of color, the Australian brand ups the ante with swimwear, coverups, and intimates. Everland is definitely a place you want to visit for the summer. everlandclothing.com

west coast

A

shout out to The Golden State, EPTM. presents their latest men’s wear collection, Going Back to Cali. Quilted ensembles, joggers, and shirts that adapt a bit of a ‘90s swag as seen in LL Cool J’s song of the same name, subtle colors and classic silhouettes figure in each of the pieces that embody an easy-going yet assured character befitting the true spirit of sunny California. eptmusa.com

Blue skies

B

rave the storm with CLEAR WEATHER’s offering. The Brubaker Brothers show their shoe game with three styles namely “Ninety,” “One-Ten,” and “One-on-One.” Mixing a perfect balance of vintage and futuristic, the shoe collection draws attention with fringes, luxesuedes, added tassels, and laser-cut details. From basic low-cuts to high-cuts, Clean Weather proves that there’s definitely a rainbow after the rain. clearweatherbrand.com

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THREADS

creating spectacles

M

ake a scene with what’s been seen through your specs. Tinting your perspective from clear to gray or amber, NICK CAMPBELL EYEWEAR spreads their styles of frames with the “Miki,” “Stringer,” “Chloe,” “Lorenzo,” “Mali,” and “Andy” that come in shades of black, smoke, granite, cookies and cream, tortoise, and toffee, with temples in silver and gold. nc-eye.com

the heist

A

ndrogynous cuts and dark colors boldly show in RUNWAY BANDITS’ newest collection. The dresses, shirts, and jackets from this Singapore-based brand fit the woman who is out and about town with a million things to do, and one of them is doing everything else in subdued style. runwaybandits.com

street revenge

R

un wild with out-of-this-world streetwear from ADMIRABLE CO. In shades of black, white, and gray, and covered with digital images of wolves and walruses, the collection brings out your dark side in the best possible way. Pieces like pullovers, jogger pants, sweaters, shorts, and baseball shirts adorned with prints, panels, and zipper details give you a collection impossible to ignore. admirable.co

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THREADS

BRANDS TO KNOW

out of your head

W

ho said that caps are just for the head? JEAN-LOUIS CASQUETTE proves everybody wrong with its “Caskate” cap-rings. Crazy right? It’s even crazier as every jewelry is 3D printed, mixing both fashion and technology. Put your thinking cap on, not on your head though but at your fingers, and do some serious thinking on how crazy stylish it is. jeanlouiscasquette.com

keep it cool

K

in the beginning

I

t’s a big bang of sequins, colors, and heavy patterns with DISCOUNT UNIVERSE. For their Dreams collection, technicolor meets kaleidoscopic visions with shirts, cropped tops, and accessories that are showstoppers to say the least. Shine bright with pieces like the “Evil Eye” clutch and the “Hand$ Off” basic mini dress that mask killer interntions under shiny collections. shop.discountuniverse.com.au

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Words by Isabella Argosino, Janroe Cabiles, Jill de Leon, Olivia Estrada, Matthew Panes, and Kush Obusan

eep your cool and FAZE the streets. Featuring paneled button-down shirts, snapbacks with digital prints and embroidery, as well as graphic tees and bucket hats, the San Francisco-based brand brings attitude to your everyday clothing. Fierce and fearless never looked so good. fazeapparel.com


THREADS

if the shoe fits

O

riginating from Peru, PIOLA FOOTWEAR is the lovechild of street and dress shoes. Now kicking it in France with a sleek and structured look, you can sport them from the office to the street without a problem. Leather quarters, suede vamps, ripple soles, and eyelet toecaps will get you guessing whether you’re sporting edgy oxfords or classy sneakers. piola.fr

T H E STA PL E

NIGHTBIRD CLUTCH THE NEW

FOREBEARER CREATOR

DR E SS I T U P OR PL AY I T D O W N, T H IS PY T HON L E AT H E R H A N DB AG IS T H E PE R F E C T M U LT I - F U NC T IO N A L C A R RY- A L L . WOR K I T A S A SHOU L DE R B AG , C ROSS B ODY B AG OR C LU T C H . C OM E S W I T H A L E AT H E R ST R A P A N D A N U BE R-T OUG H C H A I N SO YOU C A N M A K E I T YOU R O W N.

T H E BE LT G E TS A BR AV E N E W M A K E OV E R . E L E VAT E A N Y OU T F I T T O N E W H E IG H TS OF ST Y L E . NOT J UST A LO OK E R , T H E R E ’S RO OM FOR YOU R I PHO N E , K E YS , C A R DS , C A SH A N D G LOSS

gray areas

M

AISON 55’s got us grooving to a rhythm of contemporary menswear and sharp streetstyle. Functional sweats, tees, denim, and outerwear make up the perfect composition of today’s street scene. The brand’s monochromatic style and minimalistic aesthetic refined with sleek zipper details are today’s premium apparel. maisoncinqcinq.com

100% LEATHER & PYTHON DETACHABLE LONG LEATHER & CHAIN STRAPS 1 EXTERIOR & 3 INTERNAL POCKETS EXPANSION BODY ZIP 100% LEATHER & PYTHON ADJUSTABLE SIZE 6-12

CLICK TO SHOP

PRESS STUD FASTENING

CLICK TO SHOP

T S 3 8 0 1 NIGHT BIRD ENVELOPE CLUTCH WITH MULTIPLE CARRYOPTIONS S H O P I T

T S 3 8 0 1 NIGHTBIRD ENVELOPE CLUTCH S H O P I T

T S 3 8 0 6 FOREBEARER CREATOR POCKET BELT S H O P I T

from the SKIES

H

eaven is a place on earth now that TYRANT SAINT is here with covetable pieces from their latest collection, Spiritual Weaponry. The Sydney-based brand values a sense of luxury with their creations made of python skin and leather. Pieces like the “Forebearer Centaur” and “Lightstriker” backpack will be the next staple to your outfit and will make you fashion’s next savior. tyrantsaint.co T S 0 0 2 DIVINE LIGHT CLUTCH/CROSS-BODY BAG WITH 2 STRAPS FOR 3 CARRY OPTIONS S H O P I T

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SETTING

PLACES TO GO

suite

THE HENRY HOTEL, MANILA L

ocated in the thick of the city’s core institutions, THE HENRY HOTEL brings their own brand of luxury perfected in Cebu all the way to the northern metropolis. Exuding an oasis feel, the hotel rests on a sprawling compound of lush greenery amidst the urban jungle. The pressure of time fades in each of the hotel’s 34 rooms, balancing between old world affluence and modern comfort as antique tableaus are updated with top-of-the-line products and trending services. Take a dip in their garden pool, stroll leisurely in their IP Santos lawn, or dine in their in-house restaurant Apartment 1B, and take a break from the everyday hustle without the hassle of going too far from home. 2680 Compound F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City thehenryhotel.com

grub

BACKYARD KITCHEN + BREW, QUEZON CITY A

UP Town Center Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City facebook.com/BackyardManila

PLATE

OVER THE FENCE

BACKYARD KITCHEN + BREW recreates your favorites to remind you that the good can only get better.

BACKYARD BURGER Chuck and brisket patty in a buttered brioche bun with cheddar, arugula, tomatoes, and sriracha

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SLOW ROASTED PORK BELLY Slow roasted bbq-rubbed pork belly and papaya slaw served with rice or mac and cheese

WAFFLE BREADED FRIED CHICKEN Chicken thighs, maple butter, and kale served with either whipped bone marrow toasts or rice

KITKAT BROWNIE Baked-to-order brownie made with Kit Kat chocolate served with mantecado ice cream

Words by Olivia Estrada, GRUB and PLATE photos by Carlo Nuñez

t BACKYARD KITCHEN + BREW, there’s always room to loosen up. Kick back and while away the hours as the restaurant cooks up dishes and desserts that go the distance to serve the best of home and more. Taking cue from their farm-to-table dining approach, their specialties are familiar favorites improved upon by Chef Ed Bugia through unlikely combinations and locally-sourced produce. The Slow Roasted Pork Belly or the Backyard Burger are best paired with their home-brewed beers and their signature concoctions like the sweet and creamy Butterbeer. With backyard-inspired interiors of wood and details like DIY lamps, feel at ease whether it’s a lunch meet-up or an after hours rendezvous.


b r i c k a n d m o r t a r STORES TO SHOP

storm, denmark Store Regnegade 1, 1110 København, Denmark stormfashion.dk Dime to Drop: P5,884.51-P88,566.85 (EUR 118-EUR 1,776) Don’t leave the store without: One of their Italian calfskin handbags

L

ay off basking under the sun and march right into the STORM. Upon entering the store, located in Copenhagen, be greeted with a tempest of clean strong lines with stark white walls lined with iconic black and white photos of pop culture that contrast their colorful selections. Displaying items ranging from apparel, cosmetics, and even books, you can’t help but look through them all for a pick, and everything’s a guaranteed gem. Carrying brands like Balmain, Celine, Maison Kitsuné, Commes des Garcçons, Adam Kimmel, and Ann Demeulemeester, the shop is living proof that fun and fashion is but one and the same. So the next time a storm hits your city, you might want to stick around for a while.

SELFRIDGES & CO.

Words by Jill de Leon

H

igh fashion is now at your fingertips with SELFRIDGES & CO. Holding brands like Stella McCartney, Emilio Pucci, Diane von Furstenburg, Max Mara, Alexander McQueen, and Vivienne Westwood among other household names, their selection of dresses, coats, bags, and shoes will take you to a style frenzy.

selfridges.com

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SCREEN

SCENES TO SEE

RE M OTE CO N TRO L

T I C K ET

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (FOX) Created by and starring Will Forte, the Saturday Night Live alumni plays an ordinary man who wakes up to find the planet wiped off the entire population by an unknown event. Rather than leading a reserved life and looking for other humans, Phil Miller searches for signs of life, while enjoying what it’s like to have no one tell him what to do.

ONE BIG HAPPY (NBC) With Ellen DeGeneres on board as executive producer, the sitcom follows a bachelor (Nick Zano) and his lesbian best friend (Elisha Cuthbert) as they decide to have a baby together, when the former meets the perfect girl (Kelly Brook) and gets married within a fortnight. Trapped in a complicated situation, the three move in together and form an unconventional family.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS Following Delivery Man, director Ken Scott casts Vince Vaughn alongside Dave Franco as they play associates on a business trip to seal an important deal, but instead get a wild Euro trip.

SERENA Reuniting once again since Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence come together to play a couple dominating the timber empire in this drama.

A LITTLE CHAOS Alan Rickman directs and stars in a period romantic drama alongside Kate Winslet, who plays Sabine, a talented landscape designer chosen to build King Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION The sixth installment of the Paranormal Activity series follows a family who find supernatural occurrences when they move into their new home in Palo Alto.

THE COUP Owen Wilson and Lake Bell switch gears as they star in an action thriller, playing a family in their new home in Southeast Asia who get caught in a coup where foreigners are being executed.

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG Starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, Noah Baumbach leads the cast on a film revolving around an uptight filmmaker and his wife who get an awakening when they befriend a younger couple.

CASINO ROYALE (2006) I just love Daniel Craig as the newest Bond in the movie Casino Royale.

THE BOURNE IDENTITY (2002) This had the greatest stunt work out of the series. That counts as three though, right?

THE TERMINATOR (1984) I only have two words to describe The Terminator: classic and timeless.

IRON MAN (2008) It’s always fun to watch the amazing Robert Downey Jr. do his thing.

NATALIE DREYFUSS (Actress) @NatalieDreyfuss

THE DARK NIGHT (2008) The late Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight is incredible.

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Words by Janroe Cabiles, Natalie Dreyfuss Photo by Shanna Fisher

P L A Y BAC K


ink

Marc Bell, better known as Marky Ramone, releases a memoir regaling readers with tales of being part of a band that will forever be linked to the punk movement—the legendary Ramones. It’s a hedonistic ride, full of the drug and alcohol use you would expect from punk rock superstars, but it’s also dramatically honest; the last living Ramone wants to set the record straight.

Words by Carla Hutchinson

THE ROLLING STONES By Reuel Golden, David Dalton, Waldemar Januszczak, and Luc Sante What else would you expect from rock & roll royalty? The Stones have been around for more than fifty years; it’s only natural that their official photographic record gets a big hurrah—and in a Taschen book, no less. Featuring a foreward by former US President Bill Clinton, and photos by Cecil Beaton, Annie Leibovitz, and Helmut Newton, it’s a walk down memory lane for their most ardent fans.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? ? ? ?

PUNK ROCK BLITZKRIEG: MY LIFE AS A RAMONE By Marky Ramone with Richard Herschlag

?? ?? ?? ??

? ? ? ?

Kim Gordon is a founding member of Sonic Youth, one of the alternative bands that paved the way for the ‘90s grunge movement, ushering in the sound of Nirvana, Hole, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Kim tells the story of her life and relationships, all about being the “girl in a band”—and owning the title, coming into her own as a respected musician, fashion icon, and role model.

? ? ? ?

Girl in a band: a memoir By Kim Gordon

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BOO K M AR K

HOT O F F THE P RE S S

BOOKS TO READ

THE ART OF ASKING: OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LET PEOPLE HELP A By Amanda Palmer

rtist, musician, singer, poet, and author Amanda Palmer is also a crowdfunding master. After breaking off with her record label, she turned to Kickstarter to ask her fans to help her record a new album, release an art book, and tour with her band. She asked for $100,000. She received $1.2 million. So far, she’s turned her ongoing story into a successful album, a book, and a popular, though controversial TED Talk. As one-half of cult favorite punk-cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls and an artist in her own right, Amanda isn’t afraid of performing—and sometimes, to perform, you need to ask. In the book, she narrates the journey that her fans were able to help her with, and gives readers advice on how she managed to achieve it. Some advice? •

Effective crowdfunding is not about relying on the kindness of strangers, it’s about relying on the kindness of your crowd.

Go on, ask.

F OOT N OTE Kim Gordon has made cameo appearances (as herself and as original characters) on the shows Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, and Girls. In Girls, she played Mindy, a recovering drug addict.

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BEATS

MUSIC TO HEAR

PL AYLIS T

PANAMA WEDDING Peter Kirk (Frontman) soundcloud.com/ panamawedding

TANDEMS ’91 Ignacio Cuyegkeng soundcloud.com/ tandems-91

“True Faith” New Order Axwell written, wellrecorded song—laden with hooks that will never sound too dated, in my opinion.

“Blacktop” Helmet As heavy as it gets—punk approach applied to fierce precision. Peerless.

“Carouselambra” Led Zeppelin This song clocks in at 10:34, covering a sonic topography as diverse as Morocco.

“Chicagoland” Magic Man I’ve been gearing up for our upcoming tour by listening to some of the bands we are playing with.

“How Do I Know” Here We Go Magic Such an amazing song. So simple, too.

“Boom Clap” Charli XCX This is top 40 done right.

“Many Lives” Andrew Belle Love this record in general. So many great songs.

“Restart” Sam Smith It’s so good to listen to.

“Baby (ft. Cashmere Cat)” Ariana Grande It’s so damn catchy!

“Jealous” Nick Jonas I get jealous over how good this song is.

“Overtime” Cash Cash At least once a week, I listen to this song.

Releases

Much-missed indie darlings of MODEST MOUSE releases their first studio album after eight long years—could they be Strangers to Ourselves after all that time? Revealing the news by sending die-hard fans test pressings of the single “Lampshades on Fire” was a nice touch.

MADONNA’s still at it! This Rebel Heart is gonna make the “Devil Pray” because she’s an “Unapologetic Bitch.” The material girl partners up with Diplo, Avicii, and Kanye as producers for several songs, and Nicki Minaj features. Sounds interesting.

MUSIC NEWS

The South by Southwest music festival is set to hit Austin, Texas on March 17-22, bringing the likes of AWOLNATION, Odesza, Coasts, Dena, Sean Paul, Twin Shadow, The Ting Tings, and The Voyeurs.

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CRSSD makes its debut in San Diego, California with performances by Chromeo, Classixx, DJ Harvey, Simian Mobile Disco, MaceoPlex, STRFKR, Slow Magic, and Jamie Jones. Catch it on March 14-15.

Be on the A team and catch Ed Sheeran on his X Tour live in Manila. You won’t have to be drunk to enjoy the show on March 12—pick up the pieces, stop thinking out loud, and give him love.

Arcade Fire’s WILL BUTLER is breaking into new ground with his debut album Policy. Featuring the song “Take My Side,” and delving proudly into American music, you already know it’s going to make some waves.

Words by Carla Hutchinson, Ignacio Cuyegkeng photo by Grace de Luna

INTERPOL Daniel Kessler (Guitarist) interpolnyc.com

“Bizarre Love Triangle” New Order I remember the first time I heard this track around 1987 at a dance club that played music I was numb to.


SOUND CLOUD

T ECH PACK D O W N L OA D S

Get your head into it.

AKG N90Q HEADPHONES BY HARMAN • Developed with Quincy Jones, featuring a TruNote software for premium sound quality • Features 2 microphones in each cup to adjust frequency and filter in accordance to music genre • Capable of noise-cancelling and sound customization technology for optimum anti-distortion ability SRP: TBA

AMAZON ECHO • Voice-controlled to connect to the web, play music, and give updates on news and other information • Runs on Amazon Web Services to record user patterns and adapt to your needs • Hooks up with any music player or app via Bluetooth for seamless streaming

MUSIC MESSENGER By Music Message, Ltd. Send songs to your friends from a live stream or your playlist with customized messages.

SRP: PHP 8,768

BANG & OLUFSEN BEOSOUND MOMENT • An intelligent wireless music player that can connect to the internet and cloud storage • Features a MoodWheel: lets you pick a color to hear music that suits your current mood • Comes with PatternPlay: monitors what you like to listen to at certain times of the day SRP: TBA

LAPLACE: RESONATOR SYNTH By iceWorks, Inc. Overlap bowed string, plucked string, blown pipe, and metallic sounds with your personal mixes.

AVEGANT GLYPH • Boasts of 45° diagonal field of view, Virtual Retina Display, and 1280 x 720 per eye resolution • Connects wirelessly to any media device from a smartphone to gaming console • Delivers crisp sound quality through noise-canceling capabilities and 40mm titanium drivers SRP: PHP 21,983

CASIO TRACKFORMER XW-PD1 GROOVE CENTER • Equipped with Casio’s XW synthesizers for high-quality sound mixes • Packed with 16 velocity-sensitive pads and 4 easy knobs music manipulation • Includes preset mix patterns produced by professional beatmakers SRP: PHP 17,608

PITCHLAB GUITAR TUNER By PitchLabApp Fix the tune and pitch of your acoustic instruments handsfree with chromatic dials and tiles.

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FAC E PA IN T La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Plum Glow P3,361.09

Nars Illuminator in Laguna P1,440.47

urban decay “Chill” Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray P1,440.47

Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush P1,440.47 nars The Multiple Stick in Orgasm P1,872.61

yves saint laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain in Corail Aquatique P1,536.50

bobbi brown No Smudge Mascara P1,248.41

sheer elegance

thebalm “BalmShelter” Tinted Moisturizer SPF 18 in Light P1,200.39

Vincent longo Baby Dome Baked Eyeshadow Palette in Biscottini P1,728.56 chantecaille HD Perfecting Powder P3,457.12

charlotte tilbury “Color Chameleon” Color Morphing Eyeshadow Pencil in Amber Haze P1,296.42

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Guerlain “Meteorites” Pearls in Medium P2,880.94

Runway photo by Jeremy Scott Spring/Summer 2015

All the light reasons.


Vani t i es b r o w e ss e n t i a ls

Go from subtle to dramatic in one swoop with MAC PRO LONGWEAR BROW SET. The tinted gel gives you a natural color as it holds each strand of hair in place.

Get your shade right with the LAURA MERCIER BROW POWDER DUO. A twopan compact that comes in different tones, blend colors to get the hue that matches your skin and hair.

all time glow

Words by Jill de Leon, BEAUTY BITE photos by Kush Obusan

An angled waterproof pencil on one end and a soft-hold gel on the other, SMASHBOX BROW TECH TO GO glides through your eyebrows to perfection, while maintaining a long lasting effect.

Start the season right and look effortlessly polished with the BOBBI BROWN ILLUMINATING NUDES collection. Complete with moisture balm, CC cream, brow shaper, eyeshadows, and lipgloss in different versatile neutral colors, the set leaves you looking more flawless than ever.

Expert Advice After defining your brows, blend in with a spoolie for a more natural finish.

beauty bite

transcend spa and nails

N

o need to travel halfway around the world to get a first-rate pamper session. From a soothing space for a mani-pedi to relaxing private rooms, TRANSCEND SPA AND NAILS will take you there in no time. The spa helps you let go of all the city stress and enjoy different types of massages, nail treatments, and body scrubs. Who could ever say no to that? 600A, 6/F, 20th Drive Corporate Center, McKinley Business Park, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City thirdeyeonline.com/ph/transcend

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GO S E E Make the most out of the remaining cold days with statement cover-up pieces. Photographed by Steffi Santiago and Rosario Herrera

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S T Y LE I D The contrast between clean blacks and crisp whites are made stronger by the structure of this jacket.

Stylist Elisa Nalin adds fun to this combo with vibrant accessories.

White sneakers diminish the seriousness of corporate pieces.

These are a to do white

wide gaps fresh way black and stripes.

Resident fashionista Jesus Toctoctoc wears contrast in a relaxing way with balloon pants.

neutral territory In a time of colors and crazy prints, it’s refreshing to see the classic black and white contrast go back in style. Classy, strong, and visually stimulating as seen on the Boris Bidjan Saberi Spring/ Summer collection, this beautiful combination proves its agelessness time and again. By Jill de Leon

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Fun and chic go together in this graphic print combo.

Structured white coats transform a basic LBD into European chic in an instant.

Photos courtesy of vogue.it and lelook.eu

Give an edge to your everyday basics with a long cardigan.


FASHION

facebook.com/starstyleph

Beauty

Celebrity

@starstyleph

www.starstyle.ph

@starstyleph


SOFT Photographed by Franey Miller Styled by Brittany Layton


jacket by Autie top by Tatyana Merenyuk skirt by Ylin

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jacket by Autie dress by Erin Fetherston

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top by Equipment dress by Autie jacket by Ali Rose

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jacket by Autie dress by Erin Fetherston

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top by Ali Rose dress by Erin Fetherston duster by Autie

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top by Autie dress by Ali Rose

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crop top by Autie skirt by Sofia Arana socks by Topshop shoes by Reebok

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dress by Ali Rose sweater by Ylin vest by Autie

Model Lena of One Management

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suit by Helen Anthony

suit by Helen Anthony shirtbybyReligion Calvin Klein shirt shoes bybyBellfield necklace Atilea

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BEFORE Photographed by Carmen Goetz Styled by Jo Hawtree

SUNRISE


jacket Helen Anthony vest by Gunsmoke and Lavender pants by ASOS

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coat by Helen Anthony shirt by Calvin Klein trousers by Hugo Boss

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suit by Helen Anthony shirt by Calvin Klein shoes by Bellfield

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jacket by Helen Anthony shirt by Gunsmoke and Lavender pants by Topman Hair and Makeup Tammi Nguyen Model David of First Model Management

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coat by Vintage Christian Dior vest by Cripple Creek earrings and necklace by H&M ring by Zafiro

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SAVAGE GRACE Photographed by Raen Badua Styled by Giovanna Gaba


wool vest by Donna Karan collar by Pat Dahnke necklace by Charming Charlie bracelets by Brighton Collectibles earrings, Stylist’s own

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head scarf by Charming Charlie rings by Berger & Son Fine Jewelers

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coat by Burberry necklace (shortest) by Micha Design necklace by H&M necklace by Charming Carlie necklace by Default

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cape by Tasha Polizzi skirt (worn as headscarf) by Roberto Cavalli bracelets by Charming Charlie

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vest by Donna Karan collar by Pat Dahnke necklace by Charming Charlie bracelets by Brighton Collectibles earrings, Stylist’s own

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coat by Vintage Christian Dior vest by Cripple Creek earrings and necklace by H&M

Hair and Makeup Zee Clemente Model Danae DiGiulio

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SWAG m a r ch

20 1 5

TRUE BLUE Wash off your wardrobe blues with slim cut-shorts, aviators, high-cut sneakers, micro-print shorts, brogues, chain accessories, printed skirts, and wide brim hats. Product Photography by Ian Casta単ares jacket by H&M [P2,990]


SLIM-CUT SHORTS

SHORT CIRCUIT Cut to the chase and get yourself some slim-cut shorts.

From top to bottom: Gap [P2,450] Topman [P1,995] Old Navy [P1,250] Forever 21 [P899]

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AV I AT O R S

SUN CONTROL These aviators are worth a second look.

From top to bottom: Aeropostale [P875] Penshoppe [P249] Springfield [P699] Aeropostale [P1,750] H&M [TBA] River Island [P1,170]

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hi g h - cut sho e s

AIM HIGH

Kick the habit with high-cut shoes.

From top to bottom: Springfield [P4,250] Zalora [P1,199] Hugo Boss [P18,500] Piola [P9,990] Piola [P20,990] Springfield [P4,250]

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micro - print shirts

epic scale

Spare no detail with these micro-print shirts.

From top to bottom: River Island [P2,490] Topman [P1,965] River Island [P1,990] Penshoppe [P899] Marc Jacobs [P10,750] Armani Exchange [P4,450]

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cut - out b ro g u e s

sole purpose

Make your brogue game strong.

From left to right: Forever 21 [P1,870] Forever 21 [P1,590] Huxley [P799]

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chain acc e ssori e s

From top to bottom: Banana Republic [P2,650] Springfield [P645] Suite Blanco [P699] Antler x Pormada [P1,600]

link again

Chain accessories will toughen up your act.

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D I G I TA L P R I N T S K I R T S

graphic material Skirt the norm with digital prints.

From top to bottom: Miss Selfridge [P2,995] Suite Blanco [P1,799] Zalora [P999] River Island [P1,790]

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W I D E B R I M H AT S

SHADY LADY Be on top of your game with wide brim hats.

From top to bottom: Topshop [P2,145] H&M [P2,290] H&M [P1,190] Topshop [P1,995] Penshoppe [P399]

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M U S E

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muse

VIVRE SA VIE The kind of beauty they talk about, the kind of girl they sing about, TAYLOR LASHAE belongs to no era. A rare mix of a petite rockstar and a Parisienne muse, she fuses her style with all her quirks and idiosyncrasies without a question on her lips. By Janroe Cabiles


muse

W

ith the air of a Brooklyn baby in a black and white ‘80s rock music video, Taylor LaShae morphs into a muse stuck in the ‘60s French New Wave at a night’s veil. Being the closest thing to a real-life space cadet, it only make sense that the planets aligned for her stardom. “Since I was born, I had a camera in my face,” she says. “Literally, my birth was filmed.” Taylor was working as an agent helping models get their books prepared, when one of her clients hit her up for a job. “I asked, ‘You want me to do this music video?’ They laughed and said, ‘Duh!’ From there on out, being the talent was essential in my life,” recalls Taylor. Living out her dreams armed with her tender but resolute demeanor, she went on to work with Jawbone, adidas, Skull Candy, Pixie Market, Nylon, and has worked on a number of short films, including upcoming psychological horror film Cassette. “I’m not allowed to talk too much in detail, but I am very excited to get my scream on!” With a full fringe, puckered lips, and doe-eyes lined to perfection, Taylor haunts the streets with her achingly just-got-out-of-bed look. As sweet as she rocks and as sweet as she rolls, she adds a touch of grunge to her simple, Anna Karina style. “I tend to change my style on a daily basis. It makes me feel like I don’t even have my own anymore, because I just throw stuff on and hope I don’t look ridiculous. To see basic clothing and make it more fascinates me, to make it comfortable and classy but still fun.” On the one wardrobe essential she would choose, Taylor answers, “My Pixie Market teddy jacket. It’s probably made out of teddy bear guts.”

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muse

SPACE INVADER

Hypothetically, if I could live on another planet and survive on it, where I didn’t have lungs, didn’t need air, and wasn’t connected to the ground with gravity, I would love to be a being that lived on Neptune. If you knew anything about Neptune, you’d know it storms so much. The blue planet has always struck my fascination, and if I could somehow inhabit that planet, I would.

AFTER HOURS

I love Brooklyn. I love the area I am in. It’s really booming, or some would say “gentrifying” like it’s a bad thing. I think it’s wonderful. I enjoy the small coffee shops that pop up with barely anyone in them. Maybe because in ten years, it won’t be like this, and I’ll be one of those old Brooklyn folks that talk about how “it’s just not the same as it used to be.”

THRIFTY THING

I love thrift stores. It’s true. I like old cheap shit, but don’t get me wrong, I like great quality! I just like to get it for a steal, walking out with a trash bag of vintage Chanel shit for $50. I mean who wouldn’t? It’s a treasure hunt, for real.

MOD KARINA

I can’t describe my nostalgia for the French New Wave and Anna Karina. The feeling you get when you’re alone in your underwear, listening to old jazz, and waiting for your tea to cool down. When you feel cute but there isn’t a camera around so you just keep doing cute things. That’s what it feels like and that’s where the fascination comes from. There are no words to explain it and I like to keep it that way.

TWENTY QUESTIONS

I can flip my tongue around. I love cracking my knuckles. I am very flexible and love to stretch a lot. I don’t work out in public (or ever). My closet is organized by color.

taylorlashae.squarespace.com @taylashae

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bRE AK the

M A E S T R O

LA-based trio RAW FABRICS form a structured rock sound resulting to an EP that will ignite the embers to the dying beacon of rock & roll. By Kitkat Ramos Photographed by Isaac Sterling

I

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was writing songs for a while and I knew I wanted to form a band—I just didn’t know any good musicians,” says guitarist and vocalist Jack Franco on how it all started. “I asked around and eventually met Jon Fredrik (drums). We got along right away and were on the same page, musically.” Shortly afterwards, the two met Justus Dixon, the third and final member of the band working the bass and backup vocals. When their first single “Down the Drain” hit the radio airwaves and garnered Youtube hits on the music video’s view counter, it became a comforting reminder that rock is not dead at all. They only have a couple of music videos on their Youtube channel, but they’re all interesting— some of the images are pretty unnerving. Videos that accompany their sound appear to be an effort to stay away from convention. “It’s the normal thing for rock bands to try to be dark just because that’s safe, but that wasn’t our vision,” Jack shares. “When we started the band, we had a clear vision of how we wanted our videos to look. We wanted to make everything bright and lively as possible to emphasize what we want to say about our music.” Instead of going for a miserable and sullen theme like most rock bands, the video for “Down the Drain” goes for a more straightforward approach with a masked antagonist representing influences that kill dreams. “We were working with the


MAESTRO

“I wish people would call us a Jungle Rock Band, but I don’t know if that exists.” idea of the video for a few months before we got to film it. It’s a concept of someone trapped in fear and having outside opinions and influence trying to put out your dreams,” Jack explains. “Then, the character finally gets over the fear, so breaking free from the caution tape was really important for us to capture.” Regardless of whether this video may be representative of an actual experience they went through as a band, it is a universal human experience that they’ve portrayed well. When their EP, entitled Gold Handcuffs, came out, the path seemed to be laid out for them. When asked about how it was like recording their first release, Jon says, “It was a blast! We had been working on the songs for a while, so by the time we got into the studio, it was a

really good feeling to finish it. We tracked in a studio in London, which alone was a surreal and awesome experience.” The British capital was also a great source of inspiration to see the EP through. “We’re even more inspired by things outside of music— everyday experiences. A few songs popped into my head literally getting off an airplane. My brain works in random spurts of creativity,” Jack says. In writing Gold Handcuffs, he says they were all listening to all types of music but cites Kasabian, 2pac, and The Beatles as some of their influences. English music producer Stephen Street, responsible for the records of English rock bands The Smiths and Blur, worked with them in the making of this EP. When their manager was giving out Raw Fabrics’ demos, Stephen got his hands on them and loved them.

“We ended up going over to his studio in London to make the EP and he didn’t change things just to change them. He likes to get involved when he feels it’s necessary,” the vocalist recalls. “The biggest thing we learned from him is that less is more.” Listening to their own music and describing their sound, Jack puts it in plain words and ends with a chuckle. “We come from a rock background, but we’re open to all types of music. I don’t know, alternative? I wish people would call us a Jungle Rock Band, but I don’t know if that exists.”

rawfabricsmusic.com @Rawfabrics

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MUSIC IN SPRINGTIME Don’t be put off by labels like “twee” and “pop.” SPRINGTIME CARNIVORE, nom de tune of Greta Morgan, shows us how to give these genres new life and make them something to be proud of. This carnivore’s a force to be reckoned with. By Carla Hutchinson

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MAESTRO

The name Springtime Carnivore is really unique and descriptive, we heard there’s a very interesting story behind it. Care to share? I was doing a free-write when a coyote crossed my yard and I wrote down the phrase: “When the Springtime Carnivores come out to play.” I liked how the phrase looked, something about the combination of softness and aggression.

I

t’s poetic, it’s luminous, it’s something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Greta Morgan’s music is what daydreams and lazy days were made for. Not to say that her lyrics are too cute to be taken too seriously; in fact, the breezy beats and hazy melodies are the perfect backdrop to deliver the one-two punch of realness that she writes about. “I leave your books unread / your mouth unkissed / your bed can stay unmade / I’ve stepped too easily into possibilities / is it wrong that I want more / I wonder as I shut the door,” she croons in the critic favorite “Name on a Matchbook,” whose video features ravenous fan boys in an endearing parody of Beatlemania. She’s no newbie to the scene either. Greta started out as Greta Salpeter, lead singer for indie pop band The Hush Sound, fresh out of high school, before moving on to another indie band, Gold Motel. Before coming out as Springtime Carnivore, she released the songs anonymously before revealing herself, then set out to release her debut LP which was helped by producer Richard Swift, of The Black Keys, The Shins, and Foxygen fame. “He really encouraged me to let go and be more playful and spontaneous about the way music is recorded,” shares Greta. Swift’s influence can be felt in the echoes and reverbs, but you just know the writing and strong voice is Greta’s own. It’s familiar and new, a pleasing mix of modern and vintage, with just the right amount of unfamiliar to make you listen closely. Greta’s at the top of the food chain, and she’s not going to give it up.

What would you say is the biggest difference between performing as a solo artist and performing as part of a band? What do you miss? The best part of being a solo artist is the cross-pollination with so many other artists. For example, I’ve played with three different drummers in this project so far and each one has brought something totally different to the table. I’ve loved the experience of playing with all of them. It’s fun to have fresh blood around musically. However, the best part of a long-time band is the trust and love that grows over time.  We love how your music is: dreamy, hazy, evocative, yet ebullient, warm, and still upbeat. It’s become a sort of trademark in that there’s a certain aesthetic to your songs– was this intentional? What’s your creative process like? The creative process is usually a thing that blooms from the inside out. Most artists I know say something like, “I am going to write an indie electro album that sounds like New Order meets Depeche Mode,” or whatever, and then they take action to make it happen. They see a design and then execute. I usually do the opposite—I allow the feeling to start inside and bloom outward, then I observe what the design of that looks like.

What do you think a Springtime Carnivore song should be? What are the aspects that each song share? Each song feels like it’s checked out of the same spiritual library. They are all just these little snapshots of experiences. I’ve heard people describe poems as being “a telegram from the soul,” just a quick little jotted-off message of an experience.  What’s been the craziest moment of your time as Springtime Carnivore? Any big surprises? Opening for The Zombies was amazing, as they are one of my all-time favorites. Colin Blunstone is a living angel. He would listen to my set every night and then have something really thoughtful to say afterward. It was unreal. We really like the video for your song “Name on a Matchbook”—did you come up with the concept? The reversed Beatlemania was great. I had read this Neko Case article talking about how female musicians don›t have male groupies and had been reflecting on that internally a bit. Then, coincidentally, my friend Bryce McGuire (the director of the video) pitched a treatment to do a Beatlemania-style video, but reverse the sexes so the groupies would all be male. It was a perfectly timed event!  What’s this year going to be like for Springtime Carnivore? What are you looking forward to? I am super excited to tour with The Dodos this 2015. [I’m also] hoping to go back to Europe or Japan and maybe even Australia.

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MAESTRO

treading on wicked water New Orleans’ adopted son BENJAMIN BOOKER thrills you with his gritty, garage rock tunes, transporting you to a whole new level of livewire music. By Denise Mallabo

T

hings have moved rather quickly for me, but it’s been so much fun and I’ve had the best 2014. It can be hard to have so much at once, but the pros outweigh the cons,” shares Florida-raised musician Benjamin Booker. Last year, he already made his late night show rounds, from Letterman to Conan, promoting his self-titled debut album under ATO Records, and performed in a bunch of music festivals like ACL and Lollapalooza, which is a long leap from being a journalism student, who worked at a record store to actually have an album of his own. “Definitely having a whole store full of records to play all day was just so much fun. I found a lot of gems I probably never would have discovered,” admits Benjamin. Benjamin and his hard-hitting music proved to be a gem on their own too as he made such an impact at last year’s Lollapalooza and caught the eye of musician Jack White, who hand-picked him to open for his tour. Touring with White was somewhat a dream come true for Benjamin, since White as one of his influences. When asked about what he learned from the entire experience of touring with one half of the famed band The White Stripes, he shares, “The tour taught me to be more confident and to take risks onstage. Sometimes the risks pay off and sometimes they don’t, but it makes the whole show experience more exciting for the audience and me.” His music is a combination of rock, blues, and rockabilly, with a touch of punk. Every song in his album has the ability to take you to a dim lit hole-in-the-wall bar with people bobbing to the music while enjoying a drink or two. He sings and plays the guitar like a madman but

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MAESTRO

utterly enjoys doing both. “I don’t really mind that people think that either I’m a good singer or guitar player. I really love playing the guitar, although I’m by no means a virtuoso. Maybe it’d be nice to hear people say they enjoy the playing.” Initially, a drummer would back up Benjamin in a show, but now that they’re a three-piece band, with an addition of a bassist, they’re an unstoppable ball of force onstage. “I wanted the experience of having an energetic crowd and seeing people smiling and dancing, which is a lot easier with a band. This band is the only one I’ve ever had. I’ve thought about what it would be like to play with other people and can’t really picture it. We’ve traveled the world playing together. If my guys were available I’d choose them over the best,” shares Benjamin. His stride to promote his music is as fast and unwavering as some of his songs; although Benjamin admits that his self-titled album was fairly more of a personal project. “The best thing about this record was that I didn’t know it would be a record. I was just writing songs so there was no pressure.” We will definitely be hearing more from this talented guy seeing that his tour schedule is pretty much filled up until June this year. He is geared up to play both in the US and Europe, taking his brand of music on the road for everyone to hear. Although he has been taking all of these in stride, he has this advice to artists like him who are experiencing this newfound fame. “I would tell them to have everyone’s attention for an hour, and they can take them wherever they want to go. Connect with the audience and take them with you.”

benjaminbookermusic.com @bbookerNOLA

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MAESTRO

OFF

THE

WALL

Rendering electro-retro remixes, disco-pop trio TANDEMS ‘91 steals your uncle’s playlist and puts their art into the soul. Go on, spread the word: Funk’s not dead. By Pola Beronilla Photographed by Grace de Luna

S

tep inside the electro house of Aaron David Cruz, Ignacio Cuyegkeng, and JR Jader, collectively known as Tandems ’91, and be greeted with a solace of musical sunlight that bursts out in every hook and melody. Painting fairly cheesy tales of modern love and budding relationships, their tracks are wrapped around ‘70s-style orchestral string stabs, pops of brass, and buoyant basslines over Aaron’s tender vocals. Infusing a contemporary twist in their retro habits, this is what our parents have been waiting for: the reinvention of the golden age of funk and soul. Following the French electro trend served by the Parisan heritage including the likes of Justice, SebastIan, and Breakbot, their songs easily remind us of a quality Ed Bangers record. With influences of Giorgio Moroder, Daft Punk, and Shook, the group dug through the underground Internet scene, gaining thousands of hits on their Soundcloud. As Aaron laments, “When should we stop waiting, only time knows when / But we will not ever be this young again,” they groove through a digitalized funk, blending the youth of today to yesterday’s sound. Originally, Tandems ’91 was a solo project of Aaron. But when the time came that he was booked for a live gig, he needed a tandem to back him up. Enter Ignacio and JR. “The politically correct term is Tandems and Friends,” Aaron quips. However, as gig after gig kept flowing, their musical bond grew thicker. “At first, I gave them my tracks to study overnight,” recalls Aaron. “But eventually, they started drifting away from my original material, and it actually turned out sounding better.” This chemistry doesn’t come as a shock, considering that the three of them go way back in high school. With different forms of exposures to music during their own childhood, the three of them rekindled their interest in the art form by joining an org in their school. Who would’ve thought that their musical rapport was the result of the cultural break of the emo scene during the early 2000s? “We really had a room in our

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org where we’d have our heart-to-heart talks with one another,” JR recollects. “With the lights turned off, you’d hear emo songs playing in the room and crying sounds in the background.” From promposals to early lovelorn woes, these three grew up to create what makes up the current sound of Tandems ’91. Combining a fizzy fusion of celebratory disco and contemporary pop, sugary harmonies slide along basslines and lasers synths in songs like “All This Time (First & Last)” and “Finally.” While tracks like “First Dusk (A Similar Feeling)” and “What You Want” somehow channel some 1970s soft porn soundtracks, Aaron’s delicate falsetto falls lightly on the retro beats backed up by Ignacio and JR’s modern techniques. As they remind us of the glory days of Chic, James Brown, and Prince, they haven’t forgotten their homeland’s rich music roots, sampling a Filipino classic by VST & Company in “At Last.” Though their jams are arguably best heard in the comforts of your bedroom whilst picturing a long over due tropical retreat, their live gig is definitely the getaway you’ve been dreaming of. “The Tandems ‘91 you [hear] in Soundcloud and the Tandems ‘91 you see performing are totally different,” says JR. Bringing a whole new set of tricks every other show, we highly suggest that you see them play live.

soundcloud.com/tandems-91


MAESTRO

“Eventually, they started drifting away from my original material, and it actually turned out sounding better.�

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M A S T E R M I N D

clockwork spectrum Ceased and seized in time, AMANDA CHARCHIAN’s aesthetic tips the scale of surrealism and color as she sets her photos and sculptures free of any era.

By Janroe Cabiles

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anipulating the spectrum of color is what Amanda Charchian does best. Slaying and playing with light, the photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker reinvents reality down to a science of surreality. With clients such as Vogue España, V Magazine, Oyster, Bullet, VICE, Glamour España, Urban Outfitters, Reformation, and Wasteland, Amanda’s work has also been exhibited around the globe, including her latest show at Steven Kasher Gallery, NYC featuring her work, Pheromone Hotbox. The 23-year old Iranian artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, grew up with the pursuit of art at her fingertips. “I think my first attempts at painting, drawing, and eventually collaging was when I entered grade school,” Amanda says. “I also read a lot as a child. I think it was a form of escapism.” Later on, she enrolled herself at Otis College of Art & Design to pursue a BFA in Fine Art. “It was an immensely creative school where our artistic whims were heeded with support from the faculty. The environment was very liberal and alternative so I discovered a lot about my own individuality.” An otherworldly flash in Amanda’s mind is what preludes her creations. “That’s exactly what it is sometimes, but often, it’s a reactive or response-based action. I don’t usually contemplate on it too much before it’s being done.” Creating and awaiting the rhapsodies of her intuition in the studio, she submerses herself in her surroundings in LA. “I travel a lot, but I like to keep my home in Los Angeles as an ever-changing illusory dreamscape. Physically, its light is incomparable.” Amanda takes to nature and color and casts a surreal magic to her subjects draped around trees or on barren sands with nothing on. With an aesthetic that intertwines analog destinies to dreamlike paths, backdrops of mountains and canyons are transformed into otherworldly planets as hues of blues, purples, and greens distort the scenes. Framing stills and movements with her 35mm Canon EOS-1, 120 Fujifilm, 8mm Canon 814, and 16mm Bolex,

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she heightens visual explosions to technicolor. “I prefer a slight bit of surrealism and a moment that feels strangely off but you don’t know why.” Opting for her own blend of nature and nudity, she equips her hand to reveal her rebellious charm in posed and exposed bodies, raw and intent on transparent beauty. With this drive in play, she shoots to blur boundaries as well as to freeze time, eliminating the barriers that fashion traps in film. Playing with the issues of insecurity, arousal, and vanity, the bare consequences of naked subjects put the touch of the delicate relationship between dark and light of her aesthetic. Keen to carry this out to every medium, she retains this philosophy into her sculpture, using sunlight to cast thousands of prismatic light reflections around crystals. “I usually start with the concept and what I want the sculpture to do in the world. Then I work with my welder to cut, bend, and weld the steel rods together. After the armature is done, I add each Swarovski crystal individually.” Charging with an electric revolt to capture a moment with a crown of light, void of the logic of time, Amanda frees a sense of escape in every medium. From the drawing board to the outcome of her work, she holds a philosophy over all steps of creation. “There is a spiritual nature to my work and a fulfillment of exploring those realms on that level. It is my nature to marry sensitive perception with experience.”

amandacharchian.com @AmandaCharchian


MAstermind

“I prefer a slight bit of surrealism and a moment that feels strangely off but you don’t know why.”

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MASTERMIND

“No Games” featuring Rick Ross

S T A Y T U N E D When your work is guaranteed to be seen by millions minutes after it drops, the pressure is sky-high. Director COLIN TILLEY knows this too well, calling the shots behind the music videos of Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne to name a few. “I love the pressure,” the filmmaker shares. “It always feels nice to know that your vision is affecting and molding pop culture.” By Olivia Estrada

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am obviously a little conscious about knowing who watches the videos I create, but at the end of the day, you just can’t think too deep into it,” Colin shares to us, a little after the release of perhaps one of his most viewed videos: Nicki Minaj’s version of an Amazon woman’s paradise,“Anaconda.” The 26-year old director himself is a beast when it comes to working his behind off too. “I just make what feels right in my gut. I always have a feeling and I trust that instinct.” It’s probably the best approach as Colin is constantly called in to work on big productions with other hip-hop and rap royals. Restless energy also plays a part in Colin’s work, seeing how his videos are characterized by different techniques to create a world unique in its own visual character. He plays with the concept of insanity through lighting and film quality for Lil Wayne’s “Krazy,” merges Dr. Seuss aesthetics when Nicki’s being a ghetto Barbie in “The Boys” and “I Am Your Leader,” and knows how to showcase the high life with Jason Derulo in “Wiggle.” Colin tells us, “Every video I do is challenging for one reason or another. When you are on set with only a limited amount of time, you have to think on your toes and constantly make key decisions that might make or break the video.


MASTERMIND

“I want to shoot movies for the rest of my life. I’m obsessed with creating a feeling for people to experience.” “John” featuring Lil Wayne

Dealing with such high profile artists get a bit more complicated too. I always come out on top though. It’s just about continuing to make the right calls on set to get through the day and come out with a hot product.” Hopping from one world to another, one can tell that Colin himself isn’t a fan of stasis even in real life. He tells us how he abruptly left college and pursued his creative impulses. “I never liked a classroom setting. I need to learn by trial and error, living it, breathing it, and eventually creating.” From this decision at the age of 19, Colin closely followed the influence of Taj Stansberry, another director who has worked with various music celebrities including Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Young Jeezy. “Taj heavily influenced my style when I first started directing music videos, and crazy enough, I got to meet him in our hometown. We clicked like crazy when we met and he told me to move to Los Angeles.” Almost years after he packed his bags, Colin has earned nods from MTV and Black Entertainment Television and just shot his first film. Over thirty music videos and millions of views later, Colin still believes that there’s no space for a take five. “I am constantly getting inspired by new things, and guess what? Inspiration doesn’t come from

just being on set all the time, or spending countless hours in front of a computer, or any technological device. It’s from being out in the world living, experiencing life, meeting new people every day, and pushing my body and mind to take risks.” He continues, “I believe it’s the only way to thrive creatively and be able to jump into your mind: take control whenever you want, and put your ‘little kid imagination’ cap on.” From his thirst for life, Colin translates his zest into transmitting his energy and passion for others. As more and more music icons turn their attention to his ideas and execution, Colin’s artistry is no longer just a reflection of his beliefs in life but might as well be the driving force of our everyday influences. “I want to shoot movies for the rest of my life. I’m obsessed with creating a feeling for people to experience.”

directorcolintilley.com @ColinTilley

“Dope” featuring Tyga

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PAWS

MASTERMIND

out of sight Photographer GAVIN THOMAS relentlessly documents life through his lens. Within the borders of his stills, there’s a depth of story, a focus on character, and a saturation of passion. By Olivia Estrada Interview by Pola Beronilla

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here are two types of workaholics. The first ones are those who are unable to distinguish work from life, using the former to compensate for the lack of the latter. Eventually, these people will crash and burn, unable to find something about themselves separate from who they are during the nine-to-five. On the other hand, there are people who even resent having a title and don’t need to clock in. These people have found their passion and transformed it into a life that just so happens to have a few deadlines. Gavin is definitely of the latter kind, pursuing a high school love into a professional career that is brimming with opportunities and possibilities. “My uncle gave me an old Minolta SRT 101 when I was in high school. I used that same camera in my Introduction to Photography course.” He continues, “It wasn’t until college that I decided to take photography more seriously and work towards making it a career. I transferred to Rochester Institute of Technology and majored in Advertising Photography where I earned a BFA from the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.” It may sound a little too serious, but with his legitimate credentials, Gavin plays around with the limitless avenues of photography. He uses both analog and digital cameras and works studio shoots while managing to play around with an instant camera. All of these have contributed to a portfolio that is composed of several subjects from places to athletes to celebrities, including names like Charli XCX, John Legend, T.I., Pitbull, Flo-Rida, and Skrillex. Moreover, his photos represent a constant curiosity about life

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as he observes the mundane, captures stolen seconds, and immortalizes fleeting fame. “I try to capture personality. A laugh, a smile, a funny little moment that happens.” If you were a camera, what would it be and why?

I would be a small point-and-shoot with some dings

and scratches around the edges because I would be that workhorse that doesn’t stop until you get the shot. I would be quick, nimble, and able to fit in your pocket for easy travel. We’ve read that you have interned with Joel Meyerowitz. What was the most important lesson you’ve learned from him? The most important lesson I learned was to always be shooting. Joel was always out shooting. It’s important to shoot as much as possible anywhere and everywhere you go. Never leave home without a camera!


MASTERMIND Charli XCX

“One of the best skills to have is problem solving. Oh, and leave your ego at the door.”

Can you share with us three photographs you’ve shot that are memorable for you? Tell us what went into the making of it. Photographing 50 Cent, Bruno Mars, and Yelawolf were all quite memorable for their own reasons. Lots of emails back and forth helped shape these shoots that sometimes only last ten minutes. You really have to be quite flexible as a freelance photographer. One of the best skills to have is problem solving. Oh, and leave your ego at the door. Describe your style in photography. I developed a point-and-shoot approach over time working with celebrities and other artists who had limited time to shoot. I really enjoy shooting with a shallow depth of field and simple bright colored backgrounds or interesting environments. Who else do you consider as inspiration in your work as a photographer? There are so many great photographers out there so it’s hard to narrow it down and pick a few. Kareem Black, Amanda Jasnowski, Ike Edeani, and Noah Sahady are a few of the photographers who inspire me currently.

We’ve also hear about your work in VNDL Magazine. How did the magazine come about? VNDL (pronounced Vandal) started about two years ago with the idea to create another outlet to highlight and feature all the amazing people I was meeting and working with. I was inspired by seeing amazing photography, street artists, and painters across the web and wanted to create a publication that was dedicated to featuring new and emerging talent that talked about the creative process, as well as artists’ motivation and inspiration to create daily. Do you think that you have developed a trademark in your photos over the years of your profession? I might be able to answer that a little better, say, 20 years down the line. When it comes down to it, I’m trying to make the best image possible with the equipment I have on me at the time.

gavinthomasphoto.com @gavinthomasfoto

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mastermind

KEEPER OF KEYS Ten years and counting, Locked Down Entertainment is constantly on the hunt for the next best thing in the music scene. As it provides a platform for underground acts like Squid 9 and Cheats among many other favorites in the night life, its founder JIGGER DIVINA knows the key to making their voice ring stronger through the airwaves. By Olivia Estrada

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he lights go out, the bass drops, and so the show starts. As the crowd loses itself in the songs and the vocalist belts out the tunes of today’s troubles; there are still unsung heroes who make it all happen. Behind every gig, performance, and music festival, there’s someone carrying on an incessant conversation to make things better. “We don’t have office meetings. Ideas come from hanging out with the artists, gigs, and from sessions,” shares Jigger, music producer and the man behind Locked Down Entertainment, on how he manages some of the most exciting names in the music industry. Inspired by the likes of Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons (“I love what they did for Def Jam and hip-hop”), Jigger works around the clock to hustle in new music into the mainstream. “As much as I want to, I don’t have spare time,“ he tells us. “I always want to do something. If I have waiting time during gigs or meetings, I create music on my iPad.” “I wanted to be part of the music industry since my elementary days. I loved hip-hop when I was a kid,” recalls Jigger. “When I was in college, I went to different hip-hop gigs, especially those promoting local hip-hop acts.” His love haunted him to the point where his professional career as a banker was taking a hit from his real passion. “I had my first gig in 2002 and my attendance at work suffered as I was getting more gigs. In 2006, I quit, convinced my parents that Locked Down can be my full time job, and kept on going since then.” The gamble he took definitely paid off, seeing as Jigger is behind local favorites like Flying Ipis, Syke, and The Diegos, while looking to get more acts under his belt.

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What was your childhood like? How was it foretelling of what you’re doing right now? My parents loved to play music. That’s where I got my love for music. I play music while working, running, eating, and even when I’m sleeping. I can still remember how my mother and I would make a list of albums that she could buy whenever she would drop by a record store. Then there’s hip-hop, I loved it immediately. So of course, when I was a kid, I wanted to be rapper. But that didn’t mean I stopped listening to other kinds of music. If you could make a ten-song soundtrack about your life, who are the artists that would be in it? A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Cypress Hill, 213 (Snoop, Warren G, Nate Dogg), Jay-Z, Francis M., Mastaplann, SVC, Eraserheads, and Kris Kross. All of them inspired me to work with music and keep going on. How do you create a balance between the artistry of the acts you have with the demands of the industry? It’s easier for us right now because we can reach our niche easily through the internet. So far, our market is right there. Given all the other technologies that are changing up the traditional music scene, how do you think Filipino acts can keep up without compromising the sound or message? It’s easier to spread music right now. You don’t need to compromise your art; you can put it out there anytime you want. The problem is if you want to make a living out of it immediately, which is the same problem we had in the pre-streaming era. I will always advise musicians out there to get a job or business so you can eat, buy clothes, pay bills, and so it won’t affect your music. But don’t stop if you think it could be a career, give your 9-5 on it.

@lockeddownph


mastermind

“You don’t need to compromise your art; you can put it out there anytime you want. The problem is if you want to make a living out of it immediately” 

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After a 10-day suspension that motivated his debut mixtape, CHANCE THE RAPPER hits the right rhythm tripping on acid rap with his sophomore release. Taking a backseat from the spotlight, the young MC from Chicago joins his crew and long-time buds for a social experiment to surf a new wave in the scene. By Pola Beronilla Photographed by Zoe Rain Styled by Whitney Middleton

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LOOK AT WHAT THE WINDY CITY BLEW IN. What are the chances of a budding Chi-Town rapper fresh off high school to have his name up in lights despite having remained independent after two releases? Though he is miles away from walking along the path of rap visionaries like Yeezy and K.Dot, he is treading on the right track–but he is certainly making a trail of his own. At 21 years young, Chancelor Bennett, more commonly known as Chance The Rapper, rides on the high of his second mixtape, Acid Rap, rigorously touring and having steady stints of guest spots on songs for high-profile artists. With praises from some of the sharpest music publications and critics, the hip-hop rookie boldly wrapped his cartoonish cadence around the hallucinogenic flow of his beats in his follow-up to #10Day. Type the rapper’s name in the search bar quickly and artists like Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne, Skrillex, and Madonna will pop up. However, he remains humble on the rapport that he has built. “I don’t really like to do the whole name-dropping in an interview,” he says with ease. “For me, being so young and not necessarily having an orthodox upbringing in music or having a traditional setting for how I distribute my music, the artistic community has been super accepting. Everybody has helped me out a lot with advice and musical education.” He adds, “So far, I’ve been working with so many dope artists and I think it’s important to take as much information as possible.”

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“Being so young and n having an orthodox music, the artistic c been super accepting helped me out a lot w musical educ With all eyes–and ears–on his next step, Chance took a leap that no one saw coming. While the prophetic phrase, “Bros before hoes” is not the case in this point, he gathered his best mates to help him jump to the upper echelons of the hip-hop universe. Comprised of Chancelor Bennett (The Rapper), Peter Cottontale (Music Director/Keys), Nate Fox (Keys), Greg Landfair Jr. (Drums), and Nico Segal a.k.a. Donnie Trumpet (Trumpet/Backing vocals), The Social Experiment is a musical creative that came together organically. “We formed the band during my first tour two years ago. I’ve been doing opening slots on tours and other stuff for the past two years, but I haven’t really toured by myself yet. So I brought together this group of people who I worked with from the production on Acid Rap and #10Day, and they ended up being my band,” Chance recalls. “We started making new music on the road, but we’ve grown more and have been focused on making a dope live performances and doing the same thing on the record.” With Surf slated to hit the waves soon, the audience has been constantly teased by the tracks released on Chance’s official SoundCloud and their live performances. “From the jump, we just wanted to make dope ass music, and we started doing that together, trying to get a bigger grandiose sound and trying to kill shit for live performances. It’s been really good for our projects and everything I’ve been working for the future. The creative process is a lot more fun ‘cause we’re a little bit more mature now,” Chance relays. “We’ve gotten a lot of decent reviews for the music that we’ve performed and we’re still having pretty good shows. I’m excited for how excited the people are for the project.”


HEAVY HITTER

not necessarily x upbringing in community has g. Everybody has with advice and cation.�

longsleeve tee by WCSP shorts by Eleven Paris socks by Happy Socks sneakers by Converse by John Varvatos

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HEAVY HITTER

“Specifically for our project, we try to keep the idea of a bohemian approach to making music and releasing music; kind of making music for art rather than consumerism,�

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HEAVY HITTER

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HEAVY HITTER

jacket by Kokorokoko Vintage jeans by Mavi

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HEAVY HITTER

“It’s not necessarily an argument that music should be free or that there’s no value in music. I think that’s part of the reason why I’ve been making my music free.”

Releasing “Sunday Candy” last November via Fader was the first taste we had for this new project. Aside from diverse influences coming from each member, their motivations stir from random, yet practical, ideas: e.g. The Lion King on Broadway. “We’ve all been watching that a lot lately, and we’ve been trying to pull a lot of influences from theater.” With a very dramatic, cinematic theme to the track, Surf goes beyond what the song gives us. “There’s a wide range of ways to categorize each song from themes to style of recording. Overall, it’s a different sounding record, but they all touch on a specific vibe and have a geographic theme, a genre theme, and then an emotional theme to them, and could be broken down in different ways,” explains Chancelor. As he mentioned before with Billboard, Surf is meant to be a free listenable project. “Specifically for our project, we try to keep the idea of a bohemian approach to making music and releasing music; kind of making music for art rather than consumerism,” he explains. “It’s not necessarily an argument that music should be free or that there’s no value in music. I think that’s part of the reason why I’ve been making my music free. There’s no market price for music.” And he wants to keep it that way. “I can’t speak for everyone, but in my situation, I have it really good ‘cause I’m the seller. I’m not the consumer and I’m also not the product. I make what I make and I push it. There’s a lot of things that I get to do with the release of my music,” the rapper goes on,

“You don’t really have the same creativity as when you’re the person creating the product. There’s just this idea that I have of musical value that makes me believe that at a certain point, an artist will make music for other artists and for music lovers, and it won’t necessarily be used for advertising or anything, just to make a good song.” With the hype surrounding his projects with The Social Experiment as well as his anti-social experiment, Chance simply wraps himself around the buzz. “I think it makes us hungry to create music. I like the pressure of recording a project that everybody is waiting for. And I know after Surf drops or after whatever comes after that, there will be more of the same kind of pressure.” However, for the fans of his first two mixtapes, this new project might ring in hesitation. But he’s running the risk with a good purpose. “I know that no matter what, I can’t make any music that people expect, so it doesn’t really change the way that I make music. But it does excite me to a certain extent ‘cause I do like the feeling of knowing that I’m making something for an ear or two, or something that’s going to get listened to.” Still not fully convinced to give this young rapper a listen? Take a chance and get one right hear.

chanceraps.com @chancetherapper

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Record label owner, barbershop man, Red Bull Music Academy alumni, supporter of #TeamCozy, and clean freak are just among the many things that people in and out of Reggie Mathew’s life know him to be. But the Perth native and music producer, more known to the world under his moniker TA-KU, produces beats out of his sleeve for a life in heartache, of driving slow, and the daily grind, cutting a knife through all kinds of genres and everything else he tries to juggle. By Kitkat Ramos Interview by Janroe Cabiles


HEAVYHITTER

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HEAVYHITTER

“When I get criticism that isn’t creative or constructive, it doesn’t really bother me because you’re never going to appeal to everyone.”

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he daily grind is my thing; it’s what I do,” says Ta-ku. On top of managing Sunday Records, forming collaborations between photographers and beatmakers in Create & Explore, and running Westons Barbershop, Ta-ku stresses that music is not his only creative output. “My life consists of much more than making music. Family and God are my passions, and the relationships with people—male or female, doesn’t really matter. Just connecting with people. My life revolves around sharing love with everyone.” But of course, this doesn’t make music any less of a priority—in fact, it’s his cure from the drag of his routine. When asked to track back to when his love for music started, Ta-ku traced it to his roots within the hardcore hip-hop generation of the early 1990s, citing Nas’ Illmatic, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock, and C.L. Smooth to show his deep-seated love of his craft. His early exposure to the genre provided solid ground to what we know of his music today. “When I was a teenager, times were tough. It’s kind of cliché, but hip-hop was what I would go to and listen to. I’d blank out, remove myself, and imagine myself somewhere else.” As the LA music scene progressed from hip-hop, funk, and electronic to a posttrap fusion, with all the underlying tones of its genre predecessor, this beatmaker took it all in to create a blend of his own, delving more into the music culture he was exposed to. From this, he has made a plethora of remixes and reworks (or retwerks as he calls it), which is quite the scroll work down his SoundCloud. His repertoire is a spill of emotion and inspiration as he pulls samples from film scores, French composers, and sad tracks of fellow Aussie beatmakers, all of which have been injected with his homemade concoction of slow-burn, atmospheric, rhythm, and synths that cut across genres into his special blend of soul and heavy beats.

One of our favorite “titles” of yours is “genre killer.” Why is it important for you to make a fusion of genres in your beats? Lots of people think it’s taboo and it

shouldn’t be touched, but I didn’t care. Why should I? If you’re creative, there are different types of fields you want to get into and experiment with that will push you into being a better creative. It makes me feel like I can just make whatever I like without caring what people will think and what the current trend is.

Your views on your music career are extremely unique in the industry, because you make it a point not to make it your life, but it’s your passion. With this mindset, how do you take criticism or negative reviews?

I’m not a huge fan of the industry itself, but I don’t want people to mistake me for not being a fan of the people in the industry. When I get criticism that isn’t creative or constructive, it doesn’t really bother me because you’re never going to appeal to everyone. If you do, I think you would be the first human on Earth to [do so]. It’s important not to relish too much on your highs or your lows. There’s more to life than pleasing others. It’s more about being comfortable in your own skin. Being comfortable is what you create. I enjoy creating this, I enjoy what I’ve made. If people want to enjoy moving forward, then it’s a real bonus. It’s a blessing.

Your latest EP Songs To Break Up To was maybe the most relatable pieces you’ve released. Tell us what it means to you and how the concept arrived. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever written. My best work to date, just because it came from a really raw place. It was amazing to write music while you were going through that healing process. Everyone knows what a broken heart feels like, but to document it in a way that

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HEAVYHITTER

“the one thing I want to be known for is having a lot of love for people.”

I did was really fulfilling and helped me heal. Seeing people benefit from it was crazy. It’s something I’ll never forget.

Your philosophy surrounding fashion revolves around comfort, which is how #TeamCozy started. But as far as aesthetic goes, can you describe your style? What was on your mind when you brought #TeamCozy to life?

Basically, #TeamCozy was a joke that started because whenever I travel, I obviously like to wear something nice, tapered, and sophisticated but comfortable. I don’t like traveling in skinny jeans or anything that will make me feel mummified or restricted. At the end of the day, I think everyone just wants to be comfortable and look good at the same time. So I think my style has to be comfortable, but also a balance between sophistication and something quite sleek.

You created Sunday Records, Do What You Love, and Create & Explore. It’s obvious you have a passion for making avenues for different kinds of media. How did you start each of them and what philosophy is behind all these platforms?

These platforms have helped keep me sane. They helped me try different things in different creative fields. It’s more than just one avenue, I like seeing how much I can contribute to that community because it means a lot to me. #TeamCozy, Create & Explore, Westons Barbershop, and Do What You Love—these are all extensions of me.

Most memorable haircut you’ve ever gotten? Also, how’s the Westons Barbershop? Do you cut hair yet?

The most memorable haircut I’ve ever gotten for the wrong reason was in New Zealand. I’ve had a guy give me an okay haircut, but he trimmed my eyebrows without asking me. He told me to close my eyes and I thought he was going to brush me off and take the cape off like we were all done, but he went all number one on the eyebrows, and I have pretty thick

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eyebrows. I was pretty shocked but hey, they’ll grow back. Westons Barbershop is doing great. The two part-owners with me, Justin and James, are really holding the shop down and allowing me to do my thing with the website marketing on social media. Westons is really world-class and I feel like we could back it up with the work that we do and the cuts that we have. I’m learning to cut hair. Westons is going to have a barber school soon and I’m definitely going to be the first one to sign up. Never too late to learn new things.

It’s a big understatement of noting how humble and down-to-earth you are, but at this point of your career, can you tell yourself “you’ve made it” or are there still milestones you want to reach?

Thank you, it means a lot to be called down-to-earth. I can never tell when I’ve made it and there are no more milestones that I want to reach, just goals that pop up once I start building on things. I feel like there’s no reason to be cocky or overly-proud in this world as anything can be taken from you in a second. If everything were to be taken from me tomorrow, the one thing I want to be known for is having a lot of love for people. I never tell myself that I’ve made it because I’m an imperfect human myself. There’s always something that I need to be doing better, a goal that I need to reach. I think it’s natural for us to want to strive for more, but it’s also important for it not to take over your life. You just need to have fun with it, let things happen naturally.

takumusic.com @takubeats


HEAVYHITTER

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In an industry where taste in music and stylistic movements change faster than the next album drop, it’s hard to stay relevant in the game, especially after keeping at it for more than a decade. However, alt-rock band DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE proves that 17 is a sweet and ripe number to prepare for an awesome debut. By Olivia Estrada Photos courtesy of Warner Music Philippines


HEAVYHITTER

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HEAVYHITTER

D

ifferent bands undergo different stories. There is the sudden death of one-hit wonder acts whose sole chart-topper will be their immortalizing ode. There’s also the slow and painful public decay through intrigue. Others have proven themselves more powerful than death, evading its scythe despite the loss of bandmate after bandmate. Some succumb to only a deep slumber that is the time between their last historic release and their newest debut, proving there is nothing to fear in the silence. For alternative rock staple Death Cab for Cutie, their story is aptly summarized by the title of their latest album: Kintsugi. Upon the announcement of the band’s eighth record, die-hard fans and curious bystanders have looked up its meaning. “It's a Japanese style of art where they take fractured, broken ceramics and put them back together with very obvious, real gold. It's making the repair of an object a visual part of its history. That resonated with us as a philosophy, and it connected to a lot of what we were going through, both professionally and personally,” explains bassist Nick Harmer to Rolling Stone. It is without question that the album marks a finality to the reality that founding member, guitarist, and producer Chris Walla is taking a leave from the band. “Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it,” says Chris in his farewell note. Looking back at the career of DCFC, Kintsugi also hints at not just the most recent change the band has undergone, but at a reflective journal of their journey thus far. Chris’ departure is not the first time the band had to deal with change in the lineup. During the production of their second studio album, We Have The Facts and We’re Voting Yes, drummer Nathan Good left. His decision 104 - statusmagonline.com

proved to be the first test for the resolve of the band to follow up the success of Something About Airplanes, their first studio album that put them in the headlines of the underground scene. Chris shares with Interview, “When [Nathan] left...it was obvious that we needed to put a lot more time and effort into what we were doing if we wanted to make it work. We needed to [do] all the grunt work that indie rock bands have to do if they want to get anywhere.” One EP and another studio album later, the band released Transatlanticism, known to be one of their most celebrated albums. Met with much critical acclaim and with tracks that were sampled in zeitgeist television shows, the album solidified the cult status of the band. But the price of making it cost a major breaking point. Transatlanticism was the reward for the band nearly escaping the end. After their tour in 2002, tensions between Chris Walla and Ben Gibbard had grown so much that it pushed them to take a hiatus, which sent out the cue for the exit of drummer Michael Schorr. His replacement, Jason McGerr, had to believe that DCFC bassist and former Eureka Farm bandmate, Nick Harmer, forgot the past. Jason had asked Nick to leave Eureka Farm a few years back. It was with this casual ease that DCFC managed to piece themselves back together—but not without an ironic twist. Part of what Transatlanticism is in music history is the lyricism of Ben Gibbard that was born out of his battle with severe alcoholism. Consequence of Sound writes, “Sad mope was a color we liked


on Gibbard. His life troubles seemed to feed a beast that turned out thoughtful, introspective lyrics.” Barely making it out the heavy haze, DCFC’s breakthrough record sealed their conviction to finally step out of the indie scene. After years of talking on and off with different labels, they signed on with Atlantic Records, owning up to their growing following and being the soundtrack for the decade’s heartaches from the follies of being young (“Champagne in a Paper Cup”) to obsession (“I Will Posses Your Heart”). Listening to Death Cab for Cutie is an experience one must prepare for. Their songs serve as a heady brew of melancholia and self-scrutiny. Crafted within a rough, garage band sound is the deceptive vocals of Ben that deliver lyrics that are always haunted by desperation and urgency. These signature aesthetics became the blueprint for other alternative rock bands to follow and became the favorite soundtrack to the underlying angst of the past decades. It comes as no surprise that people have developed an attachment for every album they produced up until a turn of events lead to a change in the DCFC’s musical trajectory. In the years after Transatlanticism, Ben’s disposition transformed for the better and it was manifesting slowly in his lyrics. Their seventh album, Codes and Keys, provided a divisive junction for the band as it presents a brighter outlook and a bit of a departure from the band’s usual fare. It’s a move that none of the band members regret despite its effects to their image and fan base. “If the only

reason you listen to Death Cab for Cutie is that you like maudlin, sometimes depressing lyrics, there's no shortage of that kind of music for you to enjoy. Also, we have an entire back catalog of that shit. If that's the only reason you listen to our music, then I'm not too worried about losing you. It was the same when we signed with Atlantic. Some people were like, ‘I'll never buy their records again.’ Good, don't buy our records! If the only reason you listened to our band is that we're on an indie label, that's totally ridiculous.” tells Ben to Spin. Going back to the present, Kintsugi serves as the affirmation that the band, despite everything they have been through, has always been about the music. Nick tells Stereogum, “People have a lot of new music to listen to and there are all of these fresh bands out there who are 22 years old and hungry and offer a fresh perspective. For some people in the world, maybe owning one or two Death Cab records is more than enough, you know?” He continues, “But I’m not naïve, I know that 17 years into our career people aren’t going to love and appreciate all of our records in the same way. Still, those old records will always be there and people can always go back to them if they want. And we’ll continue to make new songs as long as we feel inspired to do so. Like I said, I feel genuinely lucky. To go out onstage and play songs that you wrote—to play ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’ or ‘A Movie Script Ending’—and see people reacting to that. I mean, how fucking great is that?”

deathcabforcutie.com @dcfc

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DIRECTORY BRANDS 10DEEP Greyone Social, Greenbelt 5, Makati City AKIRA MEN’S CHICAGO 1910 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 shopakira.com ALI ROSE alirose.com ASOS asos.com AUTIE autieautie.com BELLFIELD bellfieldclothing.com BERGER & SON FINE JEWELERS bergerandson.com BOBBI BROWN bobbibrowncosmetics.com BRIGHTON COLLECTIBLES brighton.com BURBERRY burberry.com CALVIN KLEIN calvinklein.com CHANTECAILLE chantecaille.com CHARLOTTE TILBURY charlottetilbury.com CHARMING CHARLIE charmingcharlie.com CRIPPLE CREEK cripplecreek.com DONNA KARAN donnakaran.com

EQUIPMENT equipmentfr.com ERIN FETHERSTON erinfetherston.com GUERLAIN guerlain.com GUNSMOKE AND LAVENDER gunsmokeandlavender.com H&M hm.com HELEN ANTHONY helenanthony.co.uk HUGO BOSS hugoboss.com KOKOROKOKO VINTAGE 1323 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60622 kokorokokovintage.com LA PRAIRIE laprairie.com LAURA MERCIER lauramercier.com SMASHBOX smashbox.com MAC maccosmetics.com MICHA DESIGN michadesign.com NARS narscosmetics.com PAT DAHNKE designsbypat.com REEBOK reebok.com ROBERTO CAVALLI robertocavalli.com

SHISEIDO shiseido.com SOFIA ARANA sofiaarana.com TASHA POLIZZI tashapolizzi.com TATYANA MERENYUK tatyanamerenyuk.com THEBALM thebalm.com TOPMAN topman.com TOPSHOP topshop.com URBAN DECAY urbandecay.com VINCENT LONGO vincentlongo.com VINTAGE CHRISTIAN DIOR dior.com YLIN ylin.com YVES SAINT LAURENT yslbeautyus.com ARTISTS Raen Badua (Photographer) raenbadua.com Ria Casco (Stylist) riacasco.tumblr.com Ian Castañares (Photographer) thestilllifephotographer.tumblr.com Zee Clemente (Hair and Makeup) zeestylez.net

Shanna Fisher (Photographer) shannafisher.com Giovanna Gaba (Stylist) behance.net/Giovanna_Gaba JC Gellidon (Photographer) jcgellidon.com Carmen Goetz (Photographer) carmengoetz.com Jo Hawtree (Stylist) johawtree.com Brittany Layton (Stylist) brittanylayton.com Shaira Luna (Photographer) shairaluna.com Whitney Middleton (Stylist) whitneymiddleton.com Franey Miller (Photographer) franeymiller.net Tammi Nguyen (Hair and Makeup) tamminguyen.co.uk Hanna Pechon (Makeup) hannapechonmakeup.com Zoe Rain (Photographer) zoerainphotography.com Steffi Santiago (Photographer) keiandink.tumblr.com Isaac Sterling (Photographer) isaacsterling.com


S TAT U S IN VA D E S

julia quisumbing Stokedinc. brand ambassador and model JULIA QUISUMBING is perfectly suited to the beach lifestyle: she’s got the sun-kissed skin, tousled waves, and laidback personality that’s just made for the shore. She’s constantly on-the-go, updating her Instagram with envious beach landscapes and model #selfies–this girlcrush is no summer fling.

@juliaquis Portrait photography by Shaira Luna Product photography by Ian Castañares

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Video camera

My mother used to videotape us as children, so I became very sentimental of old tapes. I started to record every memorable experience I had.

Emporio Armani perfume

Pacific Blue divebook

My parents were ocean lovers and always went scuba diving when I was a child. The moment I turned 13, my mother took me to get my diver’s license. I’ve been diving around the world ever since.

Wakeboard

I’ve always been drawn to the ocean; once I got on the board, I was hooked. Once, I landed a backflip off the kicker, which was a great accomplishment for me.

Cookbook

Food is one of my passions. I love to cook for friends and family, always learning new, creative, and innovative recipes.

Bottle of wine

I went to university in Switzerland and spent my Thursday mornings in my wine tasting class. I have found wine to be a classier and healthier way to let loose.

Gold, diamond, and pearl earrings

DSLR camera

A picture is worth a thousand words. I like to capture moments that speak for themselves.

Green pumps

My favorite color is green. I was walking down the streets of Milano during Christmas and walked into a store, found these, and fell in love.

My boyfriend Gui Adorno bought me these earrings for my birthday. He struggled to find the right gift, but these spoke perfectly to me. statusmagonline.com - 109

Makeup by Hanna Pechon, Hair by Blo Blow Dry Bar, Styled by Ria Casco

I first bought that perfume when I moved to Switzerland for college. Every time I wear it, I remember all of the beautiful memories that I cherish in Europe.



STATUS Magazine March 2015 featuring Chance The Rapper