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SPRING 2013

No. 18

THE POP ISSUE

AVAN LAVA

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LITTLE BOOTS

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No. 18

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ICONA POP


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CONTRIBUTORS FOUNDER | EDITOR IN CHIEF Le’Keisha Sims DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Moeima Dukuly INTERNATIONAL FASHION DIRECTOR Rachel Holland WEST COAST MARKET AND MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Jesse Ashton COPY EDITOR Jessica Schink

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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Sophie Pycroft Jason Sadourian Lindsey Fisette Lou Litchfield Mateuz Sitek Svenka Pitz Darren Black

Jane & Jane Tereza Hasprunarova Peter Cryer Jesse Ashton Sam Evans-Butler Zeko Eon

GRAPHIC DESIGN Emma Joyce SPECIAL THANKS Ernest Estimè Ian Pai Spanish Moss Anthony Franco Cherry Box Studios

CONTACT: Infoxomag@gmail.com SUBMISSIONS: Rachel@xomagazineonline.com FOR ALL ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIP INQUIRIES Moeima@xomagazineonline.com WEB/SOCIAL MEDIA Xomagazineonline.com TWITTER: @we_are_xo INSTAGRAM: @we_are_xo FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/xomagazine

CONTENTS 5: 6: 8: 20: 26: 36: 40: 44: 54: 62: 72: 82.

EDITOR’S LETTER MUSIC | DIAMOND RINGS SXSW TOUR DIARY FASHION | POP YA COLOUR FASHION | SANGRAR FASHION | WORK IT MUSIC | KND: KIDS NEXT DOOR KICKIN’ IT: YAZ ALI & CULTFEVER FASHION | FAST LANE FASHION | HOT LIKE WOW FASHION | MRS. LAWSON FASHION | STILL LIGHT STROKES OF FASHION MANNY CASTRO X TARINA TARANTINO

90: 92: 106: 112:

A PREVIEW: ANTHONY FRANCO

120: 126: 134: 138: 142: 146: 148:

FASHION | LOST IN SHADOWS

FASHION | ODE TO MODERATION BEAUTY | ROSE FASHION | DATE WITH A NIGHT

DANCE ♥ FASHION MUSIC | LITTLE BOOTS, WALKING ON A DREAM MUSIC | I DREAM OF ICONA POP MUSIC | THE POP MAFIA : AVAN LAVA XO LISTEN WE HEART


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EDITOR’S LETTER What do you think of when you think of POP music? Do images of boy bands, manufactured “American Dream” teen idols and skimpy bubblegum pink outfits pop in your head? Or, perhaps you think of what’s popular on the top 40 now - #YOLO type lyrics dripping with EDM beats, featuring a splash of Pitbull? Well, for us at XO, ‘POP’ is more than just the preconceived notion, all the things that are wrong with the music industry, there is no “Josie and the Pussycats (circa 2002)” type conspiracy for us when it comes to this genre. For us POP is fun, its real and its certainly thriving in 2013. Meet our cover stars: Avan Lava, Icona Pop and Little Boots who are snatching up the genre and redefining what it means to be a ‘pop artist’ and turning it on its head. Below, is personally edited playlist that will get you in the mood for the issue! Along with the playlist below, over at XO Digital (our website) we will be highlighting our favourite new pop acts online, showcasing exclusive mixes and more! So cozy up, plug in your head phones and enjoy the issue!

1. Ready For the Weekend - Icona Pop 2. Recover - Chvrches 3. Broken Record- Little Boots 4. Tear It Down - Avan Lava 5. Closer - Tegan & Sara 6. Hustler - Josef Salvat 7. Laura Palmer - Bastille 8. Animals - Cultfever 9. Live For the Weekend - Silver Medallion 10. Grown Woman - Beyonce Visit xomagazineonline.com/popissue to keep up with our POP playlists, happenings and where to find our lovely issue!

Le’Keisha ‘Baby Reckless’ Sims Editor in Chief, XO Magazine

For, Nick


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DIAMOND RINGS’ SXSW TOUR DIARY 2

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DIAMOND RINGS’ SXSW TOUR DIARY

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Trust me, I’m a Doctor. Hanging out at the beats by Dre VIP Lounge. Adding some E.V.O.O. to my DJ mix at the Rachael Ray BBQ. Tuning up showcase.

before

my

Waterloo

Records

Strung out with my bandmate Graham Van Pelt of Miracle Fortress fame. Backstage at Spotify House in my new green headphones. Taking a peace break with Creative Director Lisa Howard at Spotify House. Practicing my acoustic set for the VEVO TV lounge. Posing up with Yo! Majesty after my DJ gig at Spider House Lounge.


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POP YA COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHER & STYLING: SOPHIE PYCROFT HAIR & MAKE-UP: SARAH TERRY

MODEL: NAKEISHA SHEPPARD FOR FUTURE MODEL MANAGEMENT & VIVA MODELS

COAT: KAREN MILLEN SCARF: H&M SHOES: VAGABOND


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POP YA COLOUR

COAT: KAREN MILLEN SCARF: H&M SHOES: VAGABOND


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JUMPER: TOPSHOP SKIRT: TOPSHOP

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JACKET: H&M T-SHIRT: H&M BAG: H&M GLOVES: H&M


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DRESS: H&M

JUMPER: H&M TROUSERS: H&M SHOES: CONVERSE


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POP YA COLOUR


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TOP: H&M SKIRT: H&M GLOVES: SERMONETA GLOVES HAT: H&M

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PHOTOGRAPHER: EMY LOU STYLING: LISA FIFER HAIR: STEVEN BISHOP

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MAKE-UP: KATHERINE LOUISE AND TRUDE BOSENCE PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: LINDSEY DITCHBURN

Span.,Portug v., to bleed

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SANGRAR

BIKINI TOP: RIVER ISLAND SKIRT: FEVER ACCESSORIES: STYLISTS OWN


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SANGRAR

SUIT: LYME BAY VINTAGE SUNGLASSES & SHOES: STYLISTS OWN HAND BAG: HELEN ROCHFORT


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SANGRAR

COAT: AFTERMATH SHIRT: COEUR TROUSERS: OBSCURE COUTURE SHOES: STYLISTS OWN


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PHOTOGRAPHER: JASON SADOURIAN STYLING: ASHLEE HILL HAIR & MAKE-UP: CASEY HILL PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: DAMIEN FLACK


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WORK IT

JACKET: G STAR LEGGINGS: H&M SWEATER: ASHISH NECKLACE (WORN AS VISOR): H&M SHOES: TOPSHOP


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JACKET: TOPSHOP TOP: AMERICAN APPAREL BRALET: TOPSHOP SHORTS: AMERICAN APPAREL BRACELETS: H&M BAG: COUNTRY ROAD SNEAKERS: WILLIAM RICHARD GREEN RINGS: STYLISTS OWN

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WORK IT

BODYSUIT: BEYOND RETRO BELT: WONE HUNDRED SHOES: TOPSHOP BACKPACK: TOPSHOP JACKET: STYLISTS OWN RINGS: STYLISTS OWN


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TOP: THREE FLOOR LEGGINGS: AMERICAN APPAREL NECKLACE: H&M SHOES: TOPSHOP BAG: TOPSHOP WRIST WRAPS: LONSDALE


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WORK IT


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JACKET: WILLIAM RICHARD GREEN JACKET: H&M TOP: ASHISH SHORTS; AMERICAN APPAREL NECKLACE: H&M SHOES: TOPSHOP

WORK IT


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SWIMSUIT: ROKIT JACKET: G STAR BUMBAG: STYLISTS OWN SHOES: TOPSHOP NECKLACE: H&M HAT: H&M RINGS: SYLISTS OWN

WORK IT

SWIMSUIT: AMERICAN APPAREL JACKET: G STAR TOP: AMERICAN APPAREL SUNGLASSES: LE SPECS SUNGLASSES CHAIN: GOGO PHILIP


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KIDS NEXT

DOOR

WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY: MOEIMA DUKULY

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KND It’s funny when something goes from fringe to mainstream -- when an experience that was once so foreign goes from being on the outside of what is ‘known’ to being everywhere and within your space. That ‘thing’ is rap. In one form or another, rap infiltrated society and its roots have grown so deep that its appearance in pop culture boasts a prevalence and longevity that makes you wonder at the quality of life beforehand.But here it is again. This time, it’s blaring from Albuquerque, New Mexico – a small, dusty city in the southwestern United States. The music is accompanied by the usual suspects: velvety instrumentals, choice samples, beats that move your head, and, of course, a heavy dose of shit-talking, weed, the homies, collars popped, the glory of getting girls, and the constant party of life – even the hangover that comes afterward.


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KND: KIDS NEXT DOOR


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No one really thinks of it that way here...as far as the skin. But its always a little bit of a thing


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Nick Nuvo and Benz Shelton, both currently 19, met through a mutual friend and created a song together in one night. “We met through a mutual friend, since the first day we met we’ve been best friends; we’ve been inseparable,” says Benz. He continues, “We’ve always been KND. Always.” KND stands for Kids Next Door – the latest and greatest new hiphop duo on the indie scene – who just happen to be white. KND are like many other indie musicians: committed to the dream that one day their music and the confines of ‘their world’ could be appreciated on a much larger level, and addicted to the raw emotion that music brings with it. They released their first mixtape, FAHRELLY, on datpiff.com in late March 2012 and later released the video for “Children of the Night” on YouTube, all of which they did themselves. “I film Nick during his parts and he films me. We do all the editing ourselves: we mix, master, engineer, record, edit – EVERYTHING.” Their most recent mixtape, Neighbors, also released on datpiff.com in December 2012, features producers like the legendary Jazzy Jeff, Chuck English, and Saukrates. The boys are incredibly hands-on in every aspect of their music development and are tirelessly dedicated to improving the quality and content of their music in order to put themselves and their city on the map. “We don’t wanna go west coast, we don’t wanna go east coast. We wanna be like, ‘Here we are…you’ve never even heard of us…even the [actual] city.’ We wanna do what Wiz [Khalifa] and Mac [Miller] did for Pittsburgh, we wanna do what Jay did for New York… we wanna make Albuquerque our city.”

And what about race? It goes without saying that rap can be harsh, and KND may or may not catch flack at first –-the term white rapper raises more than just the occasional doubtful eyebrow. On the topic of race, [being white] explains, “We’ve always just tried to brush it off. No one really thinks of it that way here….as far as the skin. But its always a little bit of a thing.” Their flow is real, the beats are solid, and music always will speak for itself. As for the subject matter, I respect it. The boys spit about what they know about: life according to them. They don’t pretend to bust glocks nightly or pop bottles in the club, but instead they hilariously proclaim, “I have absolutely no money at all” at the beginning of the ultimate round-the-way track, “O.G.,” and it’s inherently clear that their art is their lives and vice versa. “From like, Never Shout Never to Panic to the Disco all the way to Biggie and Tupac..alot of indie…Kimbra is [a] huge influence. And we get a lot of inspiration from our everyday life. Neighbors, the last mixtape we put out, was completely inspired by our lifestyle in the past year.” Clearly the road that has led rap to the mainstream world is a two-way street, and influence is powerfully generated on both ends. From where I’m sitting, the end of the road is nowhere in sight.

KND: KIDS NEXT DOOR


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KICKIN’ IT: YAZ ALI & CULTFEVER WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY: YASMIN ALI

Yaz: How has SXSW been so far? Is this your first time? Joe: It is our first time, and it has been insane

and so much fun. [We’ve] just been bumping into a lot of people we know and a lot [of] people we should’ve known – like meeting people from Brooklyn and they’re like, ‘Oh my god, you’re from Brooklyn too? Or New York?’ and making a lot of new contacts and, you know, just hanging out all day long.

Tamara: It’s been fun playing our showcases

and [the venue?] told them to stop, so they shortened it, pulled up a song and played one more, but it was beautiful. And then that same night we got to see Joy Formidable, Frightened Rabbit and Alt-J. It was just a phenomenal night.

Tamara: The night before we had seen Tegan

& Sara. It was kind of wild getting to do that at nights and then playing shows as well and getting to see a lot of our friends from Brooklyn kinda killing it. It’s been really exciting. It’s been a really good first time.

Yaz: You guys self-produced the album – was that an intentional thing going in? Joe: So we self-produce, we self-record, we

mix the music. We do it because it’s the way we work and we like it that way because it allows us to record while we’re writing. And it give us more options to hear things out, flesh them out and see if it’s not right, go back and revise. The song “Animals” was a song we had in different versions and we had it completely different. We just let it sit…

and checking out the bands and we both got to see [the] Flaming Lips, which was like a life bucket list and they played the entirety of Yoshimi. I wept like a baby.

Joe: And everyone’s in such a great mood! Like, everyone is just so supportive and there is no attitude. Everyone’s just pulling for each other. It’s so wonderful!

Joe: I could not believe it; we did not know

Tamara: It’s kind of like summer camp! Like,

Yaz: Did they play it back to back? Joe: Yeah, they played it straight

what kids must have felt like when they went to summer camp and they talk about this alternate universe where…

was two years in the making and it was a song that we always enjoyed messing around with but had never pursued until recently we wanted to experiment with a different style. Also, I think [for] so much of the finished product, the production value is tied into the way we imagined the song from the beginning. So it’s kind of all intertwined and as Joe was saying, we see it all as connected.

Joe:

Joe: And the aesthetic, how it feels, like the

that was going to happen. I know there was a rumor that they were going to play the album and they did it and I was blown away. through and then they were actually strapped for time

Where are the juice boxes? I want the juice boxes!

Tamara: My fucking nap time and crackers!

Tamara: It

texture of the piece itself, we build it overtime and make the song feel like something. We often say movie – a vision – of each piece as


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a vignette. It’s just fun to create that way and have those tools in front of you. We’re lucky to have them available so we don’t have to be renting out studio space or anything like that. We just kind of work in that space because we have it.

Yaz: Would you ever consider working with a producer? Tamara: Absolutely. That’s the other thing, we

would totally…it’s a matter of the right person. We love collaborating. We’ve collaborated so far with other bands on small, one-off projects and collaborated with other artists, allow them to use our music for their film and visual pieces. Working with a producer would be an organic next step but it would have to be…

Joe: They

would have to get us and the way we work. We wouldn’t rush into it just for anything.

Tamara: They’d have to understand that we’re very difficult to work with. (in sarcastic tone)

Joe: Yeah, we’re a pain in the ass.

Tamara: We talk back and they’d also have to litigate inter-band feuding.

Joe: Oh, so much of that! Yeah, just smacking battles.

Tamara: And physical violence. No, everything will be really healthy when we finally do it, find a producer.

Joe: We basically need a mediator. Tamara: We need a therapist more that…

than

Joe: We need our parents! Yaz: How is it working together and your relationship? Joe: I don’t know how it works, but it works! Drama free!

Tamara: He

thinks it works, I’m over here thinking it’s terrible! No, we met each other in Nights and became really good friends. We moved in, we both needed a place to live. And we were kind of coy and kind of um…shy.

Joe: Just not like openly saying, ‘Oh, maybe we should work together on something.’ I had a bunch of equipment. I’m an engineer and mixer, so I had a lot of equipment and we needed a place to put it. We’re living in the same space and in the mornings we’re all of

a sudden working on music and in a month into living together we have three songs in the works and we’re looking at each other and saying, ‘maybe this is something.’ So it was very – I would say organic – but weird… I don’t know. It’s strange how it all works.

Tamara: No,

to be honest – not to be dismissive of the process of it, you know – we have to communicate because… when you’re tired or when something is stressful for the band as a whole… it comes down to be stressful on us individuals. And we’re both conscious of that… so when we’re in those places we’re honest with each other about our feelings and we’re communicative.

Joe: Because it could drive you crazy living in

your studio space where you work and there’s never, like, the opportunity to separate, but we do that well. Or, at least, we feel we do that well because we just keep it light. And, like Tamara was saying, when things are a mess we just communicate like, ‘Hey I can’t do this right now,’ or ‘we gotta just put it off’ and we’ll schedule to do this another time and maybe we just need to throw in a movie and throw it on the projector and have fun.

Tamara: Keeping it light has actually been – I think that we’ve both been matured through that. And also, I’ve learned to do my dishes in the meantime. So many of us are growing in different ways.

KICKIN’ IT: YAZ ALI & CULTFEVER

we write something or put something together in a night [and] come back, we’ll give it a little space and come back to it.

Yaz: Is there a genre of music unlike your style that you would consider exploring? Joe: Unlike our style? Jazz, yeah. Tamara: Arabic.

Joe: Well, we have the conscious side of our little side project.

Tamara: Yeah,

we work on folk songs together on the side. Bluegrass and folk music. I mean, we’re both very musically eclectic in our taste so we don’t… Cultfever does work on these sort of more cinematic pieces, but we explore everything. We’ve written things that we haven’t released that are totally different.

Joe: Like “Animals,” we released that because

that song doesn’t really fit into another album as we release the next one. We’re working on the new album that will eventually come out and it wasn’t gonna fit on that. So we wanted it to get out there for people and then be able to focus on the other album. The amount that we write and record and the amount that eventually comes out, you know, it’s like ‘Oh this is awesome, but it’s not for this’.

Tamara: I

feel like Joe is shy about the question. I can see you doing like being into conducting an orchestra.

Yaz: Is there a process of the songwriting? How do you get inspired? Do you write the Joe: Yeah! I really want to get the BBC Orchestra in my hands! Well when Elbow beats first, or lyrics? played with the BBC Orchestra, it killed me! So beautiful, right? Just tears of joy! If we Joe: There is no set way of it happening. ever got the possibility to do something with We’ll both be inspired by something, have a conversation, share it, send it back and forth, all of a sudden its growing. [We] restructure it, we change it, let it sit, we bring it back… or sometimes we write a song and we record it in one night, who knows?

Tamara: And most [of the time], I’d say there’s definitely a gestation time for pieces. We rarely settle on a first draft the night of. We have, though, but we’ll still poke at the piece and see if there’s anything left we want to do with it and go back and forth. Sometimes it’s months.

Joe: We recorded one song in one night and

then [spent] forever mixing it to sound right. Craziness sometimes. But the letting it sit is very, very helpful. And then you’re like, ‘why is that sound there?’ (Laughs.)

Tamara: I think

we both feel comfortable in our decisions given a little perspective, so if

an orchestra… I feel like Cultfever and an orchestra together could take what we do and bring it up. I would just probably cry if that ever happened. Even with a small orchestra or a quartet. Would love that, yes, you’re right.

Tamara: So yeah, we’re open to all sorts of

collaborations. So as far as our tastes they range, so… writing in different ways is not…

Joe: Yeah, where is Macklemore? Tamara: Hip Hop, yeah! I’d be into a rap-rock collaboration!

Joe: Really anything, yeah, people just hit us up! We love talking to people; we’ll see what kind of music we create.


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TAMARA:

There were days where people just give you their shit. And as a small band and an up and coming band you get so much attitude and there is so much ego in a way that I haven’t experienced in our personal lives or any other walk. You do rub up against that, it’s really disheartening because our priorities are about making our art.

Yaz: Do you guys have any major influences? Or even any underlying influences that people would not suspect? Joe: Interesting point, something people would not suspect.

Tamara: I mean, I’m of Iraqi origin, so I grew

up listening to Arabic music and even the way the language flows influences me, the imagery. Different Arabic poems or songwriting styles are things that I do think about sometimes and I do think both of us are conscious of the fact that when you put out a piece of music or any sort of piece of artistic work some of what you’re doing is also preserving a story. You’re choosing stories that you want to keep around. So as far as the influences we draw from a lot from our life experiences, so that’s not necessarily…[what] one would expect.

Joe: For me, you would not expect – well, you

might be able to – films. And not just the scores of film or TV shows, but the sound effects, because the way that I produce, I put a lot of sound effects that become sounds that you wouldn’t necessarily know what that is. Like, ‘that’s a boot stomping on the ground…’ so I listen to a lot of movies to get ideas for sound and even on “Chicken,” the prayer calls.

Tamara: We live near a mosque actually, in

Brooklyn. And I think we’ve been watching a lot of Homeland and we’ve been hearing the sound of the 5 o’clock prayer and we’ve been hearing that a lot and Joe – I was out of town or something and I come back – and Joe put in a sound in “Chicken” that… sounded like a swelling bass at a surprising moment that I thought was exciting. And I turn to Joe and ask him, ‘What is that? That’s amazing.’ He told me the source of the inspiration was the call to prayer which is cool and unexpected.

Joe: There, we found it! We found what was unexpected!


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Yaz: I have a special question, actually from Ian from Avan Lava. It’s a two-part question: What makes you want to quit? And what makes you keep going? Tamara: Ian, you bastard! Joe: What makes us want to quit? I don’t want to answer that one first – or should we, and get that out of the way?

Tamara: Yeah, let’s start bad and end well. Right? Or start well and end bad?

Joe: I think when – at least for me – when

people have really bad attitudes and [that] affects things negatively in the music industry alone or just on projects. At the end of the day – and maybe not in the whole scheme of life – would make you want to walk away and quit something just because that negative energy is just not really, I don’t know…And like we were saying, down here you don’t have it. Everyone is so positive, so you wouldn’t want to come here and want to quit.

Tamara: There were days where people just

give you their shit. And as a small band, and an up-and-coming band, you get so much attitude and there is so much ego in a way that I haven’t experienced in our personal lives or any other walk. You do rub up against that; it’s really disheartening because our priorities are about making our art. We want to make our music, and we’re not naive to the business end of it, but we also want to surround ourselves with good people and that is harder. I think that might be harder in general, in life, than one thinks it will be.

Joe: And the question’s creator [AVAN LAVA’s

Ian] is one of those very positive people who makes it worth continuing and going because you know that support is amazing.

Tamara: Because you get into music and you

do it and no one comes in like, ‘Yeah, I wanna be a shitty asshole band.’ Some people’s goal is to be famous or something, and that’s its own thing, but for us, our goal is to make music and do what we can to continue to do that. As far as what keeps us going…I also sometimes get intimidated, not to defer the

last question. Sometimes I wonder about our contribution: is our specific contribution – is it impactful – does it matter? We’re in a festival with a million amazing bands. Everyone here is so talented, and is our particular way that we’re making a contribution meaningful? And that is a question that also, you know, at the end of the day, you have to answer ‘yes’ to it to keep doing what you’re doing. And what I think makes us not want to quit… there [are] so many things.

Joe:

I mean, we’re still growing; we’re still getting out there. People are still learning about us. I mean, what makes us want to keep going? We just opened up for Avan Lava at Music Hall of Williamsburg; that was amazing!

Tamara: It was a dream come true to a sold

out night at a venue that when we released the new album that was as good as I could imagine it getting, you know?

Joe:

Being on that stage that night and just hanging out with everybody was just incredible. So, those moments: those times where you’re just very grateful to be where you are and be around people who care about our art and they find something interesting in it like what they hear and are kind enough just to give us their ears.

Tamara: I know the response from fans has

been surprising. I know we’ve spoken about this before, but in this age of Google analytics you can kind of get a sense of what people are listening to and what’s been surprising to us is that we’re reaching an audience that we never thought we’d imagine reaching. People in Algeria, people in Israel, people in Malaysia, South Africa – you know – you see that stuff and you feel connected in a way as individuals.

Joe: You never think that when you’re working

on a piece of music like, ‘Oh yeah, people are going to listen to this all over the world.’ That never crosses your mind, especially as a younger band. Why would we think someone in South Africa is listening to our music? And how did they get it?

Tamara: And the last thing – and I think you’ll

agree with this on a personal level – something about there [being] a lot of uncertainty and…

KICKIN’ IT: YAZ ALI & CULTFEVER

a lot of having to sit with things that are uncomfortable. And I think having to do that and having to respect the process of that and doing it with somebody and keeping that relationship healthy and trying to build a community around all of that in the midst of uncertainty, has been, for personal growth, a pretty remarkable experience and I don’t think we would have gotten it any other way. So I am grateful for that.

Joe:

Yeah, the team around us. We have attracted, or been invited into, a group of very supportive, lovely people. And yeah, that will keep you going no matter what if they’re there to support you. That’s all you need.

Tamara: And

we should shout out to AVAN LAVA because you meet people like, we played a show with them and it was all love in the back room and it’s such a community. We sent them an email after to nod to this that we were so impressed. They’re obviously brilliant performers; they’re obviously very talented musicians. The thing that people wouldn’t know about them is that they have somehow managed to put themselves around in such an amazing group of people.

Joe: Someone just recently asked us, ‘What are they like? What’s AVAN LAVA like?’ and we’re like, ‘No really, what they seem like on stage, and they’re like, ‘smile and positive energy,’ that’s how they are on and off the stage!’

Tamara: They’re

pretty fierce and sexy onstage and I have to say… there isn’t a member of that band I wouldn’t like a minute with. No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding!

Joe: She

really wants to get into that raft! Crowd surfing!

Tamara: Tom is such a babe. Um, but that’s for another [time]… but no, we see people who are doing it right and that’s really exciting. It can be everything you want it to be, and you have control over those things and not settling for less.


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MODEL: SONJA HANSON FOR WILHELMINA MODELS WARDROBE: VINTAGE


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VEST: YEAR ZERO LONDON TUTU: BEYOND RETRO SHOES: IRREGULAR CHOICE SOCKS: FALKE NECKLACE & RING: AN OUTFIT

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PHOTOGRAPHER: LIAM COX STYLING: LOU LITCHFIELD HAIR & MAKE-UP: MOLLIE-ANNE GRIFFITHS MODEL: SOPHIE H FOR PROFILE


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TOP: WILDFOX NECKLACE & EARRINGS: FUNKY BLING LEGGINGS: WE ARE HANDSOME SHOES: SPY LOVE BUY RINGS ON LEFT HAND: STYLISTS OWN RINGS ON RIGHT HAND: AN OUTFIT

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HOT LIKE WOW

JUMPER: WILDFOX NECKLACE: FUNKY BLING JEANS: BEYOND RETRO RING: AN OUTFIT


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BEANIE: FUNKY BLING DRESS: VOODOO GIRL BRA: PLAYFUL PROMISES RING: AN OUTFIT

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COAT: YEAR ZERO LONDON NECKLACE: AN OUTFIT SWIMSUIT: WE ARE HANDSOME

BRA & PANTS: PLAYFUL PROMISES


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MRS. LAWSON

MRS.LAWSON PHOTOGRAPHER: MATEUSZ SITEK STYLING: SHENNELLE MCLUNE MAKE-UP: TABBY CASTO

MODEL: APRIL KOSKY FOR PROFILE MODELS


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MRS. LAWSON

DRESS: ASOS SUNGLASSES: LONG LIVE LONDON


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MRS. LAWSON


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PHOTOGRAPHER: SVENJA PITZ STYLING: IANI ISKOWIK HAIR & MAKE-UP: ANNABELL JANKOWSKI MODEL: HANNES CARSTEN FOR MODELWORK

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JACKET: ZARA SHIRT: ZARA HAREM PANTS: HORACE BELTS & BRACELETS: STYLISTS OWN ANKLE BOOTS: H&M JERSEY NECKLACE: IANI ISKOWIK

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STROKES OF FASHION MANNY CASTRO X TARINA TARANTINO

STROKES OF FASHION MANNY CASTRO TARINA TARANTINO Color. Fashion. Pop! As an homage to the bold style of the pop era and colorful collection sketches of the past, I recently paired two of my favorites in the industry for a collaboration exclusively for XO! Meet LA based artist Manny Castro and accessory designer Tarina Tarantino. Their similar use of bright color palettes and evocative design styles made this pairing a match made in heaven. Feast your eyes on this little fashion mash-up.

PAINTINGS: MANNY CASTRO ACCESSORIES: TARINA TARANTINO CREATIVE DIRECTION AND WORDS: JESSE ASHTON RHODUS ADDITIONAL REPORTING: LE’KEISHA SIMS


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MANNY CASTRO

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Can you tell us a bit about your creative process and what inspires you? Usually I yell “GO!” out loud and the rest is a blur, until a painting shows up at the end.

What did you love about collaborating with Tarina? I love that her jewelry is very colorful, like Skittles.

What future projects do you have in the works? I’ve got a few things cooking but if I take the lid off the pot it won’t boil.

What has currently been stuck on repeat for you? And what is one thing you can’t be caught without? I never leave the house without my lucky green fedora. When I’m in “The Incubator” a.k.a. my studio, Icona Pop’s song “I love it” is on repeat. I’m currently obsessed with hairdos from the 60’s.


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Can you tell us a bit about your creative process and what inspires you? Getting inspired is the most important part of what I do. As a designer you have to call on inspiration even when you are not feeling inspired so I am constantly snapping photos of anything that is interesting to me, jotting things down in my notebook, or making moodboards (I love the Moodboard app) with all of the photos I take. From my boards I dream up a story and base my collections around that; I also make music playlists to go along with each collection. Surrounding yourself with things you love, from knick knacks to vintage books all of these things provide great inspiration. But our most important inspirational muscle is our brain, and just sitting back with headphones imagining worlds that don’t exist, can be the best inspiration of all.

What future projects do you have in the works? A big one, my first book! It is called The Sparkle Factory and will be available this July. I have been working on it for over a year so I am really excited that it is finally finished. It’s all about our story and how to make and wear fashion jewelry. I take the reader on a journey into my world, into The Sparkle Factory and teach many of my

STROKES OF FASHION MANNY CASTRO X TARINA TARANTINO

design techniques that I have developed over the years. I also share my shortcuts and secrets for making, wearing and displaying jewelry. There is a whole chapter on inspiration, design and techniques. I loved the process of writing this book so much that I am already working on the next one!

What did you love about your collaboration with Manny Castro? Manny’s paintings provide a voyeuristic experience for the viewer. They are windows into a colorfully explosive world. The people in his paintings reveal their secrets through the his use off color and his vivid technique. I think what we do compliments each other so I am thrilled to see my pieces interpreted through his incredible artistry.

Whats currently been stuck on repeat for you? And what is your must have for Spring 2013? Playing to death on my itunes right now is “To The Sky” by The Cure. it was my favorite b-side in the 80’s and I just rediscoverd it after all these years. My must have accessory at the moment is a bowtie choker. I have an obsession with Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.


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PHOTO CREDIT: GREGORY METCALF

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A PREVIEW: ANTHONY FRANCO

A PREVIEW : ANTHONY FRANCO

WRITTEN BY: JESSE ASHTON RHODUS

In the Los Angeles fashion world, Anthony Franco is a name everyone knows. From his work with artists like Panic at the Disco and Jessie J, to national campaigns and celebrity red carpet appearances, Anthony has become a highly sought-after wardrobe stylist and designer. He’s the man behind the impeccably styled COTTON campaigns, beautiful menswear in ‘Catch Me If You Can’, and your favorite editorials with Outkast, Fall Out Boy, and even the cast of ‘Friends’. His eye for well-tailored, stylish clothing led him to design his own line of menswear and womenswear, which quickly became popular among stylists and celebrities alike. Anthony invited me to come to a recent in-house lookbook shoot for his newest menswear line, and, ladies and gentlemen, it’s good. For fall 2013, Anthony Franco has brought us another collection that is not only stylish and chic, but one that is even more wearable. It incorporates nicely tailored suits with more casual hoodies and t-shirts featuring original prints by Anthony. Boldly patterned jackets featuring stylish finishes like leather lapels and pocket openings are paired with matching pants and shorts. There are hand-painted belts, custom neck-ties, and tailor-made shirts. Franco explains, “Because of my work as a stylist, I knew what kind of clothes people wanted to wear. I created my line to provide the kinds of pieces that I always wanted for clients, but knew I couldn’t find. With this new line, I’ve created my higher end pieces like the suits and jackets, but have also added some more casual pieces; things that people can wear on a more day-to-day basis.” The launch of this new line has brought exciting new endeavors for Franco. Starting soon, Anthony will have pieces from his men’s collection on sale at various retailers in Los Angeles, including Traffic Men’s at the Beverly Center.

PHOTO CREDIT: JESSE ASHTON http://anthonyfrancodesigns.squarespace.com/ http://stylingbyanthonyfranco.com/


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Ode to MODeration PHOTOGRAPHER: DARREN BLACK STYLING: SARA DARLING HAIR: NIKKI BLACK MAKE-UP: COSMETICS A LA CARTE BY LARA LOUISE NAILS: KIKO MAKE-UP MODEL: CHRISTIE FOR NEVS PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: MAGIK STYLING ASSISTANTS: SLIKHA SIDHU, KATHERYN BOM & DANIELLA


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JUMPSUIT: TRAMP IN DISGUISE PERSPEX SHOES: LD TUTTLE


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BLOUSE: SHAO YEN NECKLACE: ADA ZANDITON RING: IMOGEN BELFIELD

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TOP: CC KUO TROUSERS: CHRISTIAN LACROIX @ NINES VINTAGE SHOES: UNITED NUDE CARDIGAN: M MISSONI CUFF: MATTHEW CAMPBELL LAURENZA LEATHER CUFF: BLACK & BROWN LONDON

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BLOUSE: BEAUTIFUL SOUL SKIRT: QUILT SHOES: KAT MACONIE RINGS: LOLA ROSE SUNGLASSES: VINTAGE VERSACE @ NINES VINTAGE

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DRESS: BERNARD CHANDRAN CUFFS: JULIA BURNESS SHOES: JULIAN HAWKES BELT: BLACK & BROWN

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TROUSER SUIT: GOAT TOP: MARYLING SHOES: PINUCCI BAG: KAREN K RING: LOLA ROSE

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TROUSER SUIT: ANDREW MAJTENCI SUNGLASSES: HARDY AMIES BLACK & GOLD CUFF: MATHHEW CAMPBELL LAURENZA

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TOP: FASHION UNION MINI SKIRT: AMERICAN RETRO RINGS: IMOGEN BELFIELD NUDE HEELS: RUBY ROCKS

MAXI DRESS: PAUL & JOE CUFF: LOLA ROSE BANGLES: FOLLI FOLIE SHOES: PRETTY BALLERINA


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DRESS: COTE VEST: ELEANOR AMOROSO GLASSES: LINDBERG SILVER BRACELET: MILENA KOVANOVIC CUFF: IMOGEN BELFIELD

TOP: LUISA BECCARIA TURBAN: SHOPFLOOR WHORE


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DRESS: ASHLEY ISHAM BOOTS: BEBO HEADBAND: ANGELICA LONDON BELT: BLACK & BROWN LONDON

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ROSE SPRING

PHOTOGRAPHER: JANE & JANE STYLING: LOU LITCHFIELD HAIR: BUMBLE AND BUMBLE BY ERIN HEATHER MAKE-UP: MAC COSMETICS BY ERIN HEATHER MODEL: ZANANA FOR ELITE

ALL JEWELRY KARA ROSS COURTESY OF KELLY CLAMAN COMPANY


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DATE WITH A NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER: TEREZA HASZPRUNAROVÁ : COCO-ROCOCO.COM STYLING: DREY MARK HAIR: JACK FITZPATRICK MAKE-UP: DERMALOGICA SKINCARE & A LA CARTE COSEMTICS BY VIOLET ZENG MODEL: SOPHIE FOR BOOKINGS MODELS & MILA FOR OXYGEN MODELS

SHIRT: TOPSHOP SHORTS: 2DD2 LONDON NECKLACE: PEBBLE LONDON SHOES: TOPSHOP


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PARADISE HUNTERS


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METALLIC DRESS: NECKLACE: PEBBLE LONDON GLASSES: CUTLER & GROSS EARRINGS & RING: JOLITA JEWELLERY


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JUMPER: MATALAN SHORTS: FOREVER21 NECKLACES: PEBBLE LONDON & JOLITA JEWELERRY

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TROUSERS: ANDREW MAJTENYI WHITE BODY: STYLES COLLECTION NECKLACE: MWAI LONDON BRACELET: JOLITA JEWELLERY GLASSES: EMMANUEL KATSAROS


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GOLD SEQUIN DRESS: MATALAN EARRINGS: MAWI LONDON SHOES: MODELS OWN

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LOST IN SHADOWS

PHOTOGRAPHER: PETER CRYER STYLING: LISA FIFER HAIR: BOBBIE MURRAY MAKE-UP: KATHERINE LOUISE MALE MODEL: RIVER FOR NEVS FEMALE MODEL: ISIS FOR NEVS PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: HARRY RILEY FASHION PRINT DESIGNER: LAURA MATTHEWS

BLAZER: JENNY SCHWARZ


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ISIS WEARS TOP: TOPSHOP RIVER WEARS SHIRT: JENNY SCHWARZ

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TOP: DOROTHY PERKINS JEANS: NEXT

JUMPER: MISS SELFRIDGE


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DANCE SPRING

FASHION THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FASHION AND DANCE STYLE, AND THE TRENDSETTERS WE’RE FOLLOWING.

CONCEPT & IMAGES: JESSE ASHTON www.jesseashton.com HAIR & MAKE-UP: CHERRY PETENBRINK WARDROBE STYLIST: TONY ELLIOTT


127 How long have you been dancing and what has served as a inspiration for your dancing? I’ve been dancing since 2005. Movies inspire me so much. I love the surreal aspect of them and that’s how I feel about dance; It should take you away from your life, even if only for a brief moment.

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KYLE HANAGAMI, DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER

How did you happen to get into dance? I started dancing in college at UC Berkeley. I had some friends dancing on a team and I thought, “That looks like fun!”

What has been your favourite, or craziest dance moment? I was teaching in Singapore and when I was at the airport ready to leave to go back to LA, all of the students who took my classes had a flash mob at the airport and had staged all of my choreography! It was the greatest!

Can you tell us some of your current projects you are working on? Right now I’m just teaching abroad a lot. This year I’ll be in Tokyo, Austria, Germany, Poland, Korea, London, Sweden, Paris, Italy and many more!

Who are some of your favourite artists right now making music? I’m obsessed with Ed Sheeran and Macklemore. They are both a lot like me in that they don’t let music limit themselves. They are true artists.

Dance is obviously a huge part of your life, how do you think it connects to your personal style or conveys your personal point of view? To me dance is all about self expression. It’s about putting my point of view into the world. It’s about taking things that aren’t necessarily popular, but making people go “ohhhhh” and having them like it. That’s just like my personal style. I won’t always necessarily wear what’s cool. But it’s me, and hopefully people like it! KYLE WEARS: OWN WARDROBE


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NIKA KLJUN, AMBASSADOR OF DANCE FOR SLOVENIA How long have you been dancing? I danced before I could even walk. My parents, who are ballroom dancers, own a studio in Slovenia called Bolero, so I used to always watch them teach. They were my biggest inspiration.

What inspires you to dance? My parents, music, people around me, relationships, my students, different emotions that go thru me…and so much more. It’s beautiful how dancing puts you in your own world for that moment, where it’s just you, your emotions and body movements. Expressing yourself through movement is magical and it can be very healing; it’s a wonderful way of meditating.

How did you get into dance? As my parents were instructors and I was around it so early, I had my first on-camera appearance at the age of 3. At the age of 4 I remember watching a jazz performance where the dancers did a cool move like one Michael Jackson would have done and I was so inspired. I immediately went home and went to my parents to tell them that I wanted to join the dance team...with dancers who were all much older than me. And I did!

What has been your craziest or favourite dance experience?

Every moment and every achievement in my career is close to my heart and I value every opportunity I have! I had the honor of being named the solo girls hip hop world champion in 2005 and it turned

my life upside down! What was even more amazing though was getting to see my own students go on to win titles and championships just a few years later; it was truly special for me as a dance coach/ instructor. I so enjoy getting to watch my students grow and learn, and often feel like they’re my little babies; I try to share my knowledge of dance with them in class and am there to support them when they need me as a friend. Moving to LA was a big decision for me and really changed my life. Shortly after arriving, I had the honor of dancing for some major artists who truly inspire me, including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, and my teenage idol Britney Spears! Other jobs that are close to my heart include the Macy’s Fashion Tour and X Factor US, where I got to work/train under one of my dance idols, Brian Friedman. Over the past years I’ve had the pleasure to do 2 teaching tours through South America and parts of Asia. I’ve been able to teach in over 15 countries and in every place I go, the students express such a deep love for dance and willingness to learn. It’s so beautiful.

What are some of the current projects you are working on at the moment? Right now I’m working as a choreographer with 2 artists: Lena Katina from T.A.T.U., and Kaya Jones of the Pussycat Dolls

Music is a obvious influence for you as a dancer, can you tell us who some of your favourite artists are at the moment? It depends on my mood, but overall I like songs with faster beats. Also, I love Latin music. Samba, Rumba, Cha Cha, Pasa Doble, Jive...I love to do it all.


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JEREMY HUDSON DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER

How long have you been dancing? I have been dancing for 14 years., 8 of which have been professionally.

What inspires you to dance? I’m inspired by anyone who is passionate and driven by what they do. I’m obviously drawn to the art world but anyone who finds love in a hobby or a job, inspires me to not to give up on what i love. I’m so grateful to have found the opportunity to make my passion my work. GENE KELLY and DONALD O’CONNAR in “Singing the Rain” still blows me away.

How did you get into dance?

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I grew up in South Carolina and 90 percent of my family lived in a 20 mile radius from each other. We would get together a lot and most of time we would end up dancing. I would copy my sister’s dance and cheerleading moves but she pushed me into trying a class. I found a studio close to home that had so many amazing male dancers. I was terrified but decided to try a class and haven’t stopped dancing since.

What has been your favourite or craziest dance moment? I’ve been blessed with some incredible work and dance opportunities. I loved working on the disney movie “The Princess and the Frog”. It’s awesome being able to see an animated character come to life off of your movement, expression, and dance! Also working with Lady Gaga for the past couple of years has been a incredible experience!

Whats currently stuck on repeat for you? FREAKING LOVE Ellie Goulding, but I also love the oldies! :)

How does dance connect to your personal style?

JEREMY WEARS: LIME SEERSUCKER SUIT BY ANTHONY FRANCO AND OWN WARDROBE

Dance evolves and changes just as much as fashion. I like to mix classic button downs and bow ties with a bold color or fun pattern. Being a dancer I like to play with everything I wear but also always keep it classy.


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GINA STARBUCK, DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER How long have you been dancing? I have been dancing, creating and putting on shows since I can remember. I was the 3 year old that created whole productions for my family to watch at holiday parties! I took dance classes on and off throughout my young childhood, but got serious about training when I was about 12 years old. I was doing professional gigs around my home town and teaching by the time I was 15 and I have never stopped!

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What inspires you to dance? Movement is like breathing for me. I just don’t understand what life would be like without it. It’s therapeutic, a great work out, and a way to communicate about love, life, heartbreak, romance... life’s experiences in general. It truly is the universal language. There are things that can be said in movement, that no person could ever find words for! Professionally, lots and lots of hard work, hustling, being rejected and when you keep going and persevere. It takes time too build a name and a reputation that makes people want to work with you. Now, the work is non-stop! What a blessing!

What has been your favourite/craziest dance experience? Wow! Soooooo many of those! It’s really hard to say. I’ve enjoyed teaching dance all over the world and connecting with dancers in other countries. I loved being in Wicked. Dancing for Prince in a music video when I first started was pretty major! Being in Japan with Adam Lambert and all the screaming fans! The first time a fan of my own cried when they met me. That was so humbling... and the list goes on!

Music is definitely a big part of your life! Can you tell us some of your favourite songs or artists you have stuck on repeat? Hmmmmm. Loaded question! I LOVE all types of music! Since I am a choreographer who does a lot of different styles depending on the gig, it’s always something different! I adore ALL of the music that my friend Mateo makes! (Check him out! He’s about to blow with Interscope!) SBTRKT is my other favorite. The entire album is genius! And all so different! I can’t get enough of Rihanna’s “Stay” right now. I love Otis Redding... The whole Dirty Dan cing soundtrack. Anything by Prince, old school Justin Timberlake, 90s R&B, 70s rock, Aerosmith, John Legend, John West, Kid Cudi, Mateo, A Tribe Called Quest, anything sexy jazz or blues like... I could be here for years!

How does dance effect your personal style?Are they intertwined? My dance style is a fusion of many many different styles. Pulling inspiration from all over. And my fashion style is absolutely, a reflection of that. As is, my personality! I love mixing vintage with new, hard and soft. Some days I’m more funky hipster, and other days high fashion, sometimes casual and cute. Just depends on my mood! I have my own clothing line called Starbeat, sold at threaderstyle. com and even I have a makeup palette developed exclusively for me, sold on my website! You can catch up with all of the latest on Gina at Ginastarbuck.com

Can you tell us about the current projects you’re working on? Currently I’m getting close to ending out an 18 city tour teaching for Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention. Gearing up to choreograph on another season of “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition”. (I choreographed for 5 episodes on season one) Working on my music here and there... Please check out my songs on iTunes! I have 5! I’ve also got my urban dance wear line, and I am continuing to expand that. I’d love to one day have an actually full line of ready to wear clothing!

GINA WEARS KSUBI CARINA SUNGLASSES COURTESY OF SPANISH MOSS, AND OWN WARDROBE


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LITTLE BOOTS, WALKING ON A DREAM

LITTLE BOOTS, WALKING ON A DREAM

WORDS: DARREN BONAPARTE PHOTOGRAPHER: DARREN BLACK MAKE-UP: NATASHA BLOOM AT MANDY COAKLEY HAIR: NIKI BLACK FOR PAUL MITCHELL


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136 It’s more work than I anticipated. Obviously, I’ve got complete creative control. I can put music out whenever I want. I could find other artists and put them out. The possibilities are endless. And it was a scary move and I took it with faith.” But Hesketh believes it’s the wave of the future, best shown by other creative musicians who took control of their song-based destinies.

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“I look at people like Robyn. Before anyone else was doing it, she went and started her own label and completely killed it. People like that are an inspiration,” she said. Little Boots doesn’t just find her inspiration in other people, though. Her muses for Nocturnes were a little closer to home. She was inspired by everything that has happened to her over the past few years. Good things come to those who wait and Little Boots has been waiting years. The U.K.-based songstress rose to notoriety with her singles “New in Town” and “Remedy” on her debut album Hands and is awaiting the drop of her second album, Nocturnes, after a near four year gap. The second album is a decidedly darker, smoother pop album, crafted through personal experience and smart business acumen. Little Boots shares her journey into crafting the anxiously awaited mid-May album and what’s she’s doing in the meantime. Now that the album is produced and ready for launch, Little Boots (stage name for Victoria Christina Hesketh) seems like she should be taking a rest. “I’m working a lot on the new show.” Hesketh said. “Getting that up and running. I’ve got a couple of launch shows.” And all this while just getting back from Berlin and flying off to wherever life as a musician leads her, namely Tokyo and Rio De Janeiro. “I’m going to be focusing on that, but I’m going to keep writing. I really don’t want to stop. Last time, the touring and the promotion just consumed me and there wasn’t any room for anything else. I think ultimately that was quite detrimental,” Hesketh said. This time around, Little Boots has made some serious changes in how she runs her business. Nocturnes is a completely different period than Hands and nothing better typifies that than Hesketh’s foundation of her own record label. “Over the last few years, I’ve been writing the record and going through a lot of trial and error. I’ve been through a lot of changes,” Hesketh said in regards to her paradigm shift involving the new self-run record label. “It’s really exciting and tiring. It’s a lot of work.

“I went from playing songs in my mom’s garage to touring the world and being on TV shows and doing all this crazy stuff,” Hesketh said, reflecting on her debut album’s rise to fame and subsequent touring. “That was a huge thing to come down from. And when I finally got home I stopped and went, ‘well, better write some songs, then.’ It’s a very strange experience, taking it all in.” And writing those songs left her with a sophomore album she is proud to show off to the world in just a few weeks. Nocturnes can be expected to be a different trip into the world of pop, one that isn’t so -- as Hesketh describes it -- “derivative.” “I hate pop albums nowadays. They have three singles, and then seven songs that try to be singles. But pop albums that I love have album tracks that could only ever be album tracks,” Hesketh said, noting that her album is anything but derivative, a fact she knows because of how much work she has placed in it. “There are a lot of songs [I wrote] that aren’t on the album, and it’s not that I wish they could be, because I’m really happy with the album.” So what comes next for Little Boots? “Some of the songs that didn’t get used, I still want to record, maybe do on an EP later in the year. Like there’s one song that wasn’t on Hands, called Echoes, that I wrote during the end of that period, and it’s still a really great song but I haven’t been able to record it in the way that I want, so it didn’t go on this record, either, but it’s really great to perform and I don’t want to lose it.” But even with a gap of a few years, it looks like the fresh, exciting sound of Little Boots won’t be lost at all.


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LITTLE BOOTS, WALKING ON A DREAM

DRESS: ARTISTS OWN

“

I can put music out whenever I want. I could find other artists and put them out. The possibilities are endless


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I DREAM OF ICONA POP WORDS, INTERVIEW & ART DIRECTION BY: MOEIMA DUKULY PHOTOGRAPHER: ZEKO EON STYLIST: SARAH PERILLO MAKE-UP: ERIN HENDLEY HAIR: CHRISTINA MERCUIRO ILLUSTRATION: MARINE MARBLEINDEX

I DREAM OF ICONA POP


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[On Sweden]….You have to win the crowd. People

are VERY picky. They want to see what you have to give. And what you’ve got. They won’t dance, if they’re not blown away

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I DREAM OF ICONA POP Moeima: We love having you here. So. You’re best friends. How did you meet and how did you manage to start making music together? Aino: We met about 4 years ago, and we met at Caroline’s party. A friend forced me to get out of bed and go a party and…it was Caroline’s party.

Caroline:

I

While on tour through the bowels of America, two lovely Swedish girls: Aino, 26 and Caroline, 25 together create the boldly titled, Icona Pop. The girls carved some time out for us while on the road to talk friendship, parties, and Sweden. Moeima: Hey ladies, how are you?! Where are you? Icona Pop: We’re fantastic. We’re in the car, on our way to Cleveland. We came from LA, and then Rochester, and now Cleveland.

Moeima: How’s the tour with Passion Pit and Matt and Kim? Aino: I love the mix up between the music. It really makes it interesting. You can tell the audience really appreciates it.

Moeima: Can you tell us what its been like seeing America? Aino: I mean America, we noticed that it’s a

AINO: FULL LOOK: APC JUMPSUIT SHOES: MINI MARKET JEWELRY: MARIA BLACK CAROLINE: TOP: NOMIA PANT SUIT: MINI MARKET SHOES: MINI MARKET

HUGE country. So big. And it’s more than LA and New York. And all the small diners… and you just go for miles and see the same kind of nature. And suddenly, it becomes something totally different. Also the people! Friendly. Very friendly.

Caroline:

Its been a dream for us to come over here, and to tour. Since we were kids. To be able do that now, and to be able to do that with your best friend, I mean….its really a dream come true. Then we also have our fans over here…so great. So devoted. It’s amazing for us to be here, really.

I had a lot of amazing parties at that time, at my apartment. And, everybody was there. All my friends had keys to my apartment. There was so much love. I was kinda down. Frustrated with everything. Nothing was working out, with anything. So I threw parties! Aino came to one of my parties and it was love at first sight. We felt like we shouldn’t let this go. We should do something together. The day after, I was kinda nervous that it was just the wine talking. Sometimes it will feel so right during the nighttime, and you wake up like..nahhhhh, I don’t know. But something still told me, this is still right. Then, she called me and was like, I’m on my way to your apartment. We wrote our first song and since that day we’ve been a band.

Moeima: I love that your cure for depression is having parties! IP: YES! Surround yourself with friends. Moeima: Tell me about Sweden, could you describe what its like to move within the [music] scene. Aino: When it comes to the music scene,

because of the fact that Sweden, isn’t a very big country, if you’re good at something and you fight hard…then you will get a chance to show that. And people start talking and you will be collaborating with other good people. ….You have to win the crowd. People are VERY picky. They want to see what you have to give. And what you’ve got. They won’t dance, if they’re not blown away.

Caroline:

It’s a long way for an artist go from Sweden…to here. I mean, its not just something you do. You play a lot of shows. And you put yourself out there…after a while you really create your identity, and you get kind of secure in what you are doing. … That’s something we’ve learned. You meet people that will try and change you…or people that have been in the business for a long time. Of course you are going to listen to what they have to say. Doesn’t mean that it’s always right. You really have to listen to your body, and what feels right for you. To be able to do it good. That’s one of the main things we’ve been learning about., about being an artist.


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Clockwise from top left: Andrew, Tom (TC), Drew, Ian, Jo and Mike (Le Chev)

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ANDREW JACKET: TOP MAN SWEATER: TOP MAN SHORTS: TOP MAN TOM SHIRT-:TOPMAN SHORTS: TOPMAN BLAZER: TED BAKER LONDON NECKLACE: ARTIST’S OWN DREW DRESS: ELLIOTT GOLD JACKET: THIS IS A LOVE SONG NECKLACE: IOSSELLIANI EARRINGS: IOSSELLIANI TIGHTS: STYLISTS OWN SHOES: SOL SANA BRACELET: ARIST’S OWN IAN SHIRT: TOP MAN SHORTS: TED BAKER LONDON BOOTS: ARTISTS OWN JO DRESS: MAURIE AND EVE PANTS: MAURIE AND EVE TIGHTS: STYLISTS OWN BLAZER: TED BAKER LONDON BELT: FRIEND OF MINE RING: PUSHMATAAHA EARRINGS: IOSSELLIANI NECKLACE: WXYZ JEWELRY SHOES: SOL SANA LE CHEV BOMBER JACKET: TOPMAN SWEATER: TOP MAN SHORTS: TOP MAN CHAIN NECKLACES: ARTIST’S OWN NAME PLATE NECKLACE: TATTY DEVINE SHOES: TOPMAN HAT: PAISLEE

THE POP MAFIA

THE POP MAFIA WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY: MOEIMA DUKULY PHOTOGRAPHER: SAM EVANS-BUTLER HAIR: JULIE KIM STYLING: HEATHER BREEN STYLING ASSISTANTS: JOSH TESSER & MAYA GOLDBERG CREATIVE ASSISTANT: JESSICA SCHINK

AVAN LAVA (ah-van lah-vah) n. pl 1. The freshest Super-Pop act since Madonna. 2. a mini orchestra of insanity 3. motherfuckin’ gamechangers of the 21st century. Might we be able to have our cake and eat it too? Perhaps. So many bands get their POP merit badge, later in their careers. They start off in a specific genre, be it hiphop, alt rock, r&b – whatever - and boom, suddenly their sound is appreciated by all. Suddenly, it makes an appearance everywhere, in the store where you shop, on the latest top 40. Suddenly it’s playing above your head at a bar. But what happens when you start off, as a pop act is a completely different story. As a band, your mission is different, less convoluted, the vision is wider and biggest question to answer is: How do we turn people on? I was lucky enough to shoot the shit and sit with Mike (Le Chev), Tom (TC), Jo and Ian after their adventures at SXSW to talk AVAN LAVA and what POP means to them.


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ON SXSW Moeima: Tell me about your experiences with Austin and SXSW. Le Chev: Totally great, actually! Ian: Well, this is like our first “real” time. Last year, we decided like

the day before [to go]. And that was because, Chev and I, were going down with Frankie Rose. So that was kind of…it was like a taste. This time…we knew what to expect. But at the same time, we just had fun. I know a lot of bands have a hard time with it.

Moeima: What is it they have a hard time with? I imagine it’s a shitshow. a lot of energy coming at you from everywhere. Ian: Yeah. We didn’t try too hard to do everything. We just knew

a lot of stuff was going to come to us. And that made things super easy. I mean, we still got tired. We still stayed out way too late. We still ate way too much…probably drank too much.

the band, at least when we first started it, is completely different. Because when we first started, you can hear the first EP- it was kind of mellow. We started performing it and it was kinda boring. And then we had one song on the first EP, ‘The Easy Way” , and that song went OFF. We only did a couple shows, and that song went off so much harder than any other song. And we were like psssh. This is what we gotta do.

TC: Its so funny, because that song wasn’t even meant to happen. It was the last thing to come on that EP. We were recording it at like 4 am. I think I was high. We were just like yeaaaaaah. It was the one that was getting the most positive reaction from everyone.

Moeima: You guys are like a mini orchestra of insanity. How do you do that? How do you pull all of that together to create the sound that you make? TC: I think now, its like we have these senses. I really felt it at the

last Music Hall show. Where its like, we really are in the same rhythm. We don’t have to look at each other and be like – START! I don’t think there is one leader…I think we all have different roles.

Moeima: Tell me about your favorite experience or performance you had. Ian: we all kind of have our [own] thing. And then we all kind of Le Chev: I think it was the one on 6th St. The Bond [showcase] was have our thing – together. Of course, we have to work at some SPRING

the best one.

things. But I’ve never been in a band that’s been this…organic.

TC: It was the one that wasn’t even apart of the festival, officially, I think. The Gay x Gay Gay.

Jo: That was incredible. Ian: A lot of them were good though. One of the best ones was

On POP

one where we played 4 songs.

Ian:

On AVAN LAVA, beginnings

TC: Every single time we play a live show, there’s always like a handful of people that make sure to come up and are sure to let me know, off the bat: “I don’t like pop music!. I don’t like dance music…..I like your show!” And I’m like….awesome!

TC: at the Deli. Ian: We definitely gave them everything. Jo: It was like our punk show. CRAZY energy.

Moeima: Let’s talk about the before. What happened? How did you guys come together? What was the feeling behind it? Did you have a vision in mind? Ian: I think it was a little bit of everything. Cheever [Mike] and I

had been working together on a bunch of stuff. We were trying to find the right situation for us, and we kind of had a couple things going on. I saw Tom singing in a show, a friend of our produced, I’d been thinking about a vocalist for a while and when I heard his voice, I was like – that’s it! I must work with him. Jo was actually also in the show, as was Drew. We started working together on a couple different things. I went away on tour, and Cheever and Tom started doing a bunch of stuff and that was how the first EP came about. I kind of quickly settled into this group of 6, of us.

Le Chev:

First group had about 12 people. I think the vision of

We get such a wide range [of fans], across all age groups. That’s the one thing that’s been consistent. Our music…a lot of it is a bout a feeling. A lot of it is about wanting to get up and move. There’s something universal about that. Its funny to me, see more hipster-type people at our shows. They’re the same people that go to super sad indie rock shows. But they love to come to our shows. You know… sometimes you wanna go to show because you wanna cry, sometimes you wanna go to a show to dance. Even like, my parents… my parents don’t like anything. They love our band.

Ian:

A lot of the big indie bands, they write pop songs – disguised as indie songs. They have big choruses, they have traditional song structures, traditional subject matter – still about people getting together, people breaking apart, people being sad, people getting drunk, or whatever it is. Same stuff! Its just one’s got a jangly guitar…and one…

Le Chev: One has a ton of reefer, one doesn’t have any reefer!

AVAN LAVA, a band of major proportions. Organically grown. Amazing, as separate entities or as a whole, but most importantly - they are the blueprint for a new generation of pop acts that need not be ashamed of their pop moniker, but instead wear it like a badge of honor.


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JO DRESS: MAURIE AND EVE BLAZER: TED BAKER LONDON EARRINGS: IOSSELLIANI NECKLACE: WXYZ JEWELRY DREW: DRESS: ELLIOTT GOLD JACKET: THIS IS A LOVE SONG NECKLACE: IOSSELLIANI EARRINGS: IOSSELLIANI

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Our music…a lot of it is a bout a feeling. A lot of it is about wanting to get up and move. There’s something universal about that


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LISTEN

The Neighbourhood: I Love You

Phoenix: Bankrupt

Sister Crayon: Cynic

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Mosquito

Chvrches: Recover EP

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Charli XCX: True Romance


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WE HEART

WE HEART [1]

[2]

[3]

[4]

[ 1 ] 109 Gallery, Brooklyn. 10h9.com [ 2 ] The New Musuem’s 1993 Exhibit,

[5]

newmuseum.org

[ 3 ] It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow,

goop.com

[ 4 ] Gimme the Loot,

gimmethelootmovie.com

[ 5 ] Jennifer Venditti/JV8’s tumblr,

humankinds.tumblr.com

[ 6 ] Hofesh Shechter Company at

[6]

Sadler’s Wells Theatre, sadlerwells.com


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The POP Issue  

XO presents issue No. 18, the POP issue featuring Icona Pop, AVAN LAVA, and Little Boots