Friday, September 28, 2012

San Zhi: Ice Light

Not much is known about this duo, other than it's a boy (Peter) and a girl (Suraya) what met at music college in London a couple of years back and started making music.

And how lovely and delicate it is too - but with a nice big fat drum underneath meaning it strays nowhere near the timed and boring. It feels a bit like watching a really beautifully directed film in soft focus and amazing light and a gorgeous couple getting together and breaking up and being happysad.

Already loved by the NME and such, they're working with Sam Get Cape, Wear Cape and Guilliame Briere of The Shoes.

To borrow from Oliver, yeah, we'd like some more of this please. Lovely stuff.

Check San Zhi

Listen San Zhi

Follow San Zhi

Jeremy Scott: Silver Wings

Jeremy Scott revisits his adidas wings series, this time by tainting them silver.

Get yours for around £200 from here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Azealia Banks: Luxury

New one from Ms. Banks, directed by Clarence Fuller.

Uptown. Swanky.

Pharrell: Heartbreaker

This is apparently taken from a full-length film starring Skateboard P called Heartbreak. The film apparently sees P trying to win back an ex girl.

But does it not seem like a campaign for BBC clothing?

Anyway, perhaps more will be revealed when the film drops.

Angel Haze Vs. Jamie XX: New York

Give this at least two listens.


Rihanna: Diamonds

Now, we waited to rush to post this up yesterday for reason.

Sometimes, you need to let things marinate. Everyone's always in a rush to hit play and pronounce immediate opinion.

So we just chilled. Plus, on first listen, we figured it would get better with repeated play.

And oohhh we were right.

Such a slow burner, Diamonds, written by Sia (Titanium) insidiously creeps into your ears, sinking deep into your veins until it's embedded inside and refuses to leave. We also love it because it sounds like it could have come from Rated R.

We'd like to buy it now please. Thanks.

Frank Ocean: Blue Whale

In which Frank raps (RAPS) about having kids and stuff.

Novocaine flow.

Dee & Ricky X PONY

G-Shock collaborators Dee & Ricky, known for their Lego-based accessories, recently teamed up with PONY on a new range for the sporting brand's big 4-Oh.

If you want to reintroduce your line to fans old and new, this is pretty much the way to do it. Love the colours, the design and (judging by the photo's at least), the fit.

With prices ranging from E39 to E200, snap yourself a nice Autumn wardrobe from here.

Mercedes Benz SLS ALG Coupe

One for the petrolheads among you and also anyone with a spare half a milly to spare.

Mercedes have unveiled their second electric car, due to hit streets in July 2013.

With 0 to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, it's hardly a Smart car is is!

If you got the spare cash, do you bit for the environment and look massively cool while you're at it.

True Tiger Ft. Maiday: Big Love

Taken from True Tiger's Eye Of The Tiger: 2, singer/ songwriter Maiday recently joined the boys for this live rendition. Ohh wee girl got some pipes. Love the emo bass of this track. And lyrics like 'Sometime the search can mean so much more than the stuff you find.'

Download the mixtape for free from here.

Cheryl Ft. Wretch 32: Screw You (Lyric Video)

Eek, HI Ashley Cole.

A woman scorned and all that...

Love this HyGrade produced tune from our Chezza.

No Doubt Ft. Busy Signal: Push And Shove

Now THIS is what we're talking about.

LOVE this Major Lazer produced follow-up single from No Doubt. The first single was cool, but this is megamegamega. The tempo twist up on the bridge? Yowzerz!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jaden Smith: The Coolest

Live and direct from one of the world's most overachiving families, Jaden joins his sister and ad's footsteps by dipping his Jordan's into music.

Jaden will release a mixtape, cooltape, soon.

He's so like his dad it's bizarre.

The song, sonically at least, is much more mature than we expected. Young Un's dug in the crates and delivered a Pete Rock school of hip hop.


18 Years Of Rinse: Slimzee

This seminal radio station has had a hand in the career of everyone from Wiley to Dizzee, Tinie, Magnetic Man and Katy B.

Some wise person recently went to talk to some of Rinse's key players, including Sarah Lockheart and Geeneus, who founded the station with Slimzee after the pair got kicked off Pressure.

The chat with Slimzee, the first man to get an ASBO for pirate radio, is my favourite. This is history here people. The amount of people that have been spotted and nurtered by the now-legal station is incredible. And they faced tough times in the early days.

I would like someone to collate all the best bits into a documentary. There are some incredible stories from the likes of Plasticman about the station's pre-legal days involving lots of stairs, lots of scares and stealing of aerials.

Watch the rest of the interviews here.

Naughty Boy: Hotel Cabana Trailer

If this doesn't get you excited  for Naughty Boy's forthcoming debut, you must be one hard person to please.

As well as Emeli Sande, Pro Green and Tinie Tempah, NB has called upon the incredible Gabrielle, and introduces the fantastic George The Poet to a mainstream audience.

Directed by Naughty himself, this trailer features all of the above and gives a taster of what we might expect from the conceptual album.

Says Naughty: "Hotel Cabana is a place that’s as much a metaphor as it is a geographical location, as much a state of mind as a tangible space filled with people creating and sharing the experience.  Yet not everything here is always as it seems.

The doorway’s the same, but the entrance can exist anywhere. Every doorway leads you back to the same place, this place, The Hotel Cabana - with some invisible force pulling the strings in this tarnished paradise.

You can check in, but you can never check out..."

Oxjam Shoreditch Presents...

Next month sees a charity night for Oxfam featuring some of the finest names in Grime and Dancehall.

On 18th October, Kiss's eponymous Logan Sama (pic) will be joined by Mark Radford, Mike Delinquent, Brummie MC C4, Living Proof and Heatwave's Gabriel for a night of live music and lolz you won't forget in a hurry.

Tickets are a mere £5 in advance or £8 on the door. We suggest getting now, this isn't a night you'll want to miss. All proceeds go to Oxfam. Rave for a reason!

Tickets available here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wiz Khalifa Ft. The Weeknd: Remember You

Loving the pink suit Wiz. For realz.

This is the first track to be taken from the Pittsburg rhymers forthcoming album O.N.I.F.I.C album. We give this a large thumbs up. A LARGE one.

G-Shock Awards: Spirit Of Toughness Nominees

Good luck to the people having to pick the 'Spirit of Toughness' from one of four inspiring men.

With a £5000 cash prize to be had, it'll be tough having to choose between Richard (pic), Sam, Chris and Alex, given they're all obviously worthy contenders. These guys have battled abuse, ruptured spleens, caring for seriously ill parents and blindness yet are achieving incredible feats in their fields of art, photography, swimming and filmmaking.

Good luck to all and regardless of the outcome, you're all amazing!

To read each incredible story, head over to Dazed, where you can also vote.

A*M*E: Play The Game

Dolls, mermaids and K-Pop (she's been a fan forever) all feature in the ace new video for ace new pop star-in-waiting A*M*E. 

The single is out (remember remember the) 5th November and we G-Shocks will most certainly be buying it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Trimbal: Confidence

One of our favourite British MC's (that voice!) borrows James Blake's (aka Harmonimix) beat for this eerie, odd and rather ace track. Trimbal encourages us all to 'strike a pose' and feel good.

Considering the weather today, we're going to take his wise advice. Excellent visuals from Rollo Jackson also. Buy from here now.

Prince X Mary J Blige: Live

We're dead right now.

Two favourite artists ever. Onstage. Together.


Nothing Compares To You.

Don't mind us, just having a quiet little cry.

Maison Martin Margiela: Wellies

The chosen brand of everyone from Kanye To Jay-Z, MMG is seriously, seriously swagalacious.

The brand has decide to drop these beautiful Quilter Fur Trunk Boots ('wellie' probably underplays it a bit). You've got fur on the foot, soft leather lining, suede side panels and a slight stack on the sole. On the back is the Maison Martin top stitch.

To. Die. For.

Which a price tag of £643 you might not want to wear these in the show. Or rain. Or, indeed anywhere. Maybe it's about putting them in a galss case and admiring them at home.

To get yours, head to the amazing LN-CC in Dalston. Visits by appointment only, so make sure you call first.

ASOS X Puma: Os Pixadores

They fear what we have to say. So we speak.

Directed by Ben Newman (the man behind videos for Wiley amongst many others), ASOS, Puma and Newman headed to Sao Paulo to discover the graffiti that is making its mark in the favelas.

Known as Pixadores, the 'pixas' risk life and limb (you might have to close your eyes at some of the death-defying shots), to give their voice to a community that is increasingly ignored. Whether scaling skyscrapers, speeding trains, or in the volatile favelas, the eponymous graf can be spotted in (usually high) spots all over Sao Paolo.

"The only way to push things forward is to risk something," remarks one pixas, explaining why they go to such lengths to be seen and heard.

It takes less than five minutes to watch this beautifully made film. So, like, watch it!

"When you create something you give it life. You can't control what it does or where it goes." 

LCD Soundsystem: Last Show Live (Fabric)

For all you James Murphy fans, no doubt you've highly enjoyed/ are looking forward to Shut Up & Play The Hits, featuring LCD Soundsystem's last concert ever, as well as accompanying docu.

For those wanting to experience their finale in its full stereo glory, Fabric are playing the Madison Square Garden show through their custom Martin Audio soundsystem on a very, very big screen in Room One. It'll be like you're actually there. In New York. Except you'll be in Farringdon. But, that's basically the same thing.

The film is being screened at 8.30pm on Oct 4. Tickets, £12.50, from here. There will of course be lots of dancing lolz after, with Horsemeat Disco's Jim Stanton

Friday, September 21, 2012

Slim Thug X Paul Wall: Still Tippin Live

Ok, the sound quality isn't the best, but for fans of Swishahouse this is a must-watch.

Dropping in on Big K.R.I.T.s New York show, Thuggs drops Pimp C's (RIP) verse from International Playa's anthem, before being joined by Wall for Still Tippin'. Those violins still sound so great.

Oh man, we miss those syzurp sippin' days of old! Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! Etc.


BAPE Store London has teamed with UNDEFEATED on a new collection of T's.

Available in-store from tomorrow, head down to Upper James St, London, W1F 9DG to pick up yours.

PSY: Gangnam Style

Sorry, this is actually SO remis of us not to have upped this yet.

Stepping slightly outside of the gloss and sheen of your average K-Pop style, PSY is of a 'larger' build and an 'older' age than normal. Signed to Scooter 'Justin Bieber' Braun and with a mere 227, 450,000 views on YouTube, it looks like Gangnam might be K-Pop's first international hit, taking it outside of the style press and chin-stroking of the broadsheets.

Go K-Pop, Go! And Go PSY, GO!

Calvin Harris Ft. Florence Welch: Sweet Nothing

Do you think this was pitched to Florence like 'It'll be the Titanium of Autumn 2012. Think: Sia. Think: Guetta. Think: Calvin. Think: Florence.'

I just certainly never saw this coming. But there you go.

Naughty Boy Ft. Emeli Sande: Wonder

A creative pairing on parallel with a Missy/ Tim or Alicia/ Krucial, it's no wonder Naughty Boy hollered at his homegirl Emeli Sande for his debut album.

The man behind hits for eveyone from Wiley to Chipmunk and album cuts with Cheryl Cole and SuBo (lolz) is prepping his debut, Hotel Cabana, which will star a host of A-List urban acts.

Warming us all up is this uplifting single, Wonder, Ft. of course Ms. Sande.

We look forward to hearing more from NB over the coming months.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kanye Talks Cruel Summer

Here, Yeezy talks about what inspires him artistically (getting a bit angry basics), the importance of music relating to the artwork and the process of putting together an album that features (approx) 4000 different artists. "A snapshot of what's happening in our world right now, 2012," says the Chicago rapper, producer and Kim Kardashian's beau.

With guest appearances by everyone from Jay-Z to Pusha T to Ghostface, D'Banj, Chief Keef, Mr. Hudson, Marsha Ambrosius and 2 Chainz, this is, says Kanye, "Music that you can listen to on the way to work so you can deal with your boss. Music that you listen to cos you the boss so you can deal with your employees."

"We take it real serious but we light with it too. We just want to have fun."

He also makes up a word. 'Festivalise.'

You gotta love Kanye. This is a person in love with art. Good man.

Goodhood Pop Up Store: Shoreditch

Shoreditch dwellers and fashion fans have a new spot to check out, albeit briefly.

The Goodhood pop-up store is open now until the 24th October, residing in the spot adjacent to its flagship shop. Stocking Antipodium, R. Newbold, Norse Projects and Bag N Noun, the store opened to celebrate Kyle Stewart and Jo Sindle's 5th anniversary of the original shop.

Congrats Goodhood! Check the collection here or head down to Coronet Street in Shoreditch for a perusal.

Lil B: California Boy

In which The Based God channels his inner N.E.R.D and does a Pharrell like transformation from rap superstar to rock(ish) God.

Thumbs up from us.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Trailer: Stand Up Guys

Al Pacino is back in particularly gravely voiced form in this new OAP on the run flick.

Released from prison after 60 years hard time, he's greeted by his best friend (Christopher Walken). Slight downer though, is Walken has to kill his buddy - by  10am the following morning. Good job he had that deadline, so that the pair can get up to plently of lolz before Pacino's time is up.

Will Walken be able to do it? Will Pacino talk his way out of it? Will artritus strike befor Walken has to pull the trigger? Will either/ both of them bed an inappropriately young woman along the way (I'd reckon this is a given)?

Who knows, but we're involved. Unfortunately we'll have to wait until next year to find out what happens. (We guessing they team up and take out the real bad baddies, but that's just our guess).

Stand Up Guys is out in 2013.

Jeremy Scott x New Era

Low-key isn't a word that you associate with Jeremy Scott, is it?

Known for his outlandish and amazing collaborations with adidas worn by everyone from Lil Wayne to Rihanna, the US designer recently teamed up with the headwear giants for a series of head-turning 59Fifty's.

No word yet as to when these will drop, but keep an eye on New Era for more info.

Snoop For Fifa 13

For the FIFA fans among you, then 13 is on its way.

The people of Fifa gathered together Snoop Lion as we now must call him, and A$AP Rocky, for this promo to get you all excited and stuff.

The game is out 25 September.

Maxsta: Pop Off

If Meek's new single has the Lollipop feel, then UK newcomer Maxsta delivers on a Dizzee level.

Hinting back to Grime's roots with a heavy West Indian refrain, the South London born, East London raised rapper is signed to Sony RCA and has co-sign's from Charlie Sloth and Zane Lowe.

Produced by Show N Prove (Wretch, Benny Banks), we are loving both the track and its accompanying video, directed by Luke Biggins.

“I feel Pop Off is an electrifying futuristic grime/hiphop floor filler with a boisterous chorus that’s sure to catch your attention," said the man born Ian Koromah.

Pop Off is out Oct 22

Follow Maxsta

Meek Mill Ft. Kirko Bangz: Young & Getting It

Alongside 2 Chainz, A$AP and Chief Keef, Meek Mill is this year's Hip Hop Great Hope. Signed to Rick Ross' MMG and managed by Jay-Z's Roc Nation, the Philly MC's mixtape series, Dreamchasers 1&2, received over 2m downloads in one day. Mariah Carey chose the young gun to feature on her recent single Triumphant, while his I'm A Boss single saw everyone from T.I. to Lil Wayne jump on the remix.

Finally readying his official debut, this is the first single to be taken from Dreams & Nightmares. Featuring Texan rymer Kirko Bangz, the heavily autotuned cut has a real ring of the Lollipop's about it.

Expect to see a flurry of remixes from your favourite rapper's favourite rapper any day now.

Follow Meek

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Missy Ft. Timbaland: 9th Inning

So the one like Miss E is back, back again.

9th Inning is the first single, closely followed by Triple Threat (video of sorts below).

Thoughts? There have been some mixed reactions to this song so far, but we are giving it a rather large thumbs up. The only thing is that Missy is, unusually, making a bit more sense in her raps than normal. I mean, who ever really understood what she was on about? In a good way obvs. But wait, what's this; Missy's second verse is a bit more brilliant. 'Dumb dumb and python and Left Eye and Netflix' all get a mention in a random  Missy-esqe way.

But it's Triple Threat which truly sees Missy back to the brilliant stream-of-consciousness that suits her so well. Triple Threat, with its chopped and screwed-esqe Paul Wall/ Mike Jones strings is by far the best of the two tunes.

In conclusion, I like the creepy drama of 9th Inning and I LOVE the syrupy swaggerloo of Triple Threat. Thank you Missy. Thank you Tim. Well done everyone.

Jessie Ware: Night Light

It's arrived....

The video for the amazing Night Life. It's one of those tastefully arty black and white numbers that features The Ware in a right nice silhouette and two dancer types acting out troubled love and stuff.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cat Power: Cherokee

The lauded Cat Power took a little break from music, before returning recently with a brand new album, Sun, that has been veh well recived by critc types.

Well, if the album is as great as this track, we can only agree with said critics. Love the video for Cherokee too, dorected by Ms. Power herself. Talented woman indeed, so she is.

Jessie Ware: Night Light (Perseus remix)

Annie Mac is a kind soul.

Seeing as it's Monday, she's released this little gem for free. Perseus remixes the brilliant Night Light, creating a minimal, sensual, stripped back effect that lends the track a gorgeous new dimension.

If you don't have Ware's Mercury nominated album, then you are LOSING right now.

Click above to get your copy for freeeeeee.

Lincoln: Trailer

In true Daniel 'Method' Day Lewis form, the actor apparently spent months preparing to play Abe Lincoln. There was talks of hiding himself in a cupboard for months and all sorts. DDL didn't even want his ACTUAL name on the call sheet and refused to speak in his own accent for the duration.

Hopefully it'll be worth it.

Directed by Steven Speilberg and co-starring Sally Field and Tommy Lee-Jones, the biopic hits cinema's this November.

Frank Ocean: Pyramids

There's no radio edit to be had here. This is the video for the full 8 minute song from Franky Boy's official debut.

Directed by Nabil (Novocaine), this is reliably sexy and stylish ending up in a strip club with a guitar solo from John Mayer; just what we've come to expect from The Ocean.


Wu Tang x G-Shock

You know when you actually swoon upon seeing something you love so much, you just have to have it?

Well, this Wu collab might be US only, but we're prepared to do anything we have to, to get our wrists on this.

In Wu's eponymous yellow and black colourway with the Shaolin's crew's symbol on the face, which lights up when you press it (could it get any more mega?), the DW-6900 is a must-have for anyone with even the slightest sense of style! Celebrating 20 years of the revolutionary hip hop crew, this collab is a fittingly brilliant homage to the Wu.

Due for release in select North American stores on Oct 15, is it over the top to just book a flight now?

All together now: Wu! Tang! Wu! Tang! Wu! Tang!

(Don't forget to check the trailer for RZA's forthcoming directorial debut here).

Calling All Collectors...

With our 30th anniversary coming up, we're looking for G-Shock collectors to potentially feature in a specially commissioned, limited edition book.

Are you G-Shock crazy? Do you have over 10 in your collection?

Then we want to hear from you.

Drop us a line and a Twitpic of your killer collections over on Twitterz and we'll be in touch.

Child Of Lov: More Mystery Afoot

As previously written about on this here blog, we are definite fans of mysterious newcomer Child of Lov.

The shadowy soulster just dropped this equally intriguing film to announce the album's imminence in London. We're not really sure what it means, but we're excited.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A$AP Rocky: A$VP C4

A$AP ROCKY: A$VP C4 from Luke Monaghan on Vimeo.

All round good guy Luke Monaghan teamed up with his buddy, Harlem's A$AP and his A$AP crew, inc. Yams, to direct a 10 minute documentary covering hte life and times of the crew. From the hard times to the high times, this access-all-area's viral is a must-have for fans and newcomers of the A$AP movement.

Pusha T, Raekwon & Joell Ortiz: Tick Tock

Produced by the almighty RZA, this is a track taken from the Shaolin Swordsman forthcoming directorial debut, Man With The Iron Fists. 'Presented' (?) by Quentin Tarantino and starring RZA, Russell Crowe and Lucy Lui, the film is out in the US on November 2nd, airing here, presumably, some time soon after. It looks somewhat slick; particularly the bit towards the end where the eyeball flies out. Nice.

Anyway, back to the tune.

It's RZA doing understated 'Ard. Like the little Wild West theme, ticking clock, and Pusha's verse. The soundtrack also features the Wu, as well as Kanye, Wiz Khalifa and the UK's own Corinne Bailey Rae.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Puma X Hussein Chalayan

These kicks are something kind of special, right? Featuring a Chalayan-esqe back that represents the speed at which we live our lives, these sneaks are also available in Grey.

From here and Puma stockists around the country.

Steve Jobs: iPhone5

He might be gone, but Steve Jobs is certainly not forgotten.

Bought back to life by hologram, Jobs returns as a Tupac-esqe rapper. We're not ENTIRELY sure how tasteful this is but, yeah, well...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vince Kidd Ft. Lady Leshurr: Sick Love

Fresh from the Voice and signed to Island, Jessie J's mentee (is that even a word?) is readying an EP to drop in November.

To get us warmed up, the Kidd has dropped this Leshurr featuring tune Sick Love.

Thoughts? We think we rather like.

The EP will feature this, as well as another track, Taboo and remixes with Scorcher, EXO, Shystie, Metis and Benny Banks.

The EP is out 4 November.

Follow Vince.

Cloud Atlas: Trailer

Well, we don't know abotu anyone else, but we're confused.

From the Wachowski brothers and starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant (to name but a few), this is like Pay It Forward meets Bladerunner meets The Truman Show meets The Time Travellers Wife meets The Matrix.

See, told you it was confusing.

Out soon. See it if you are prepared to risk serious brain frazzle...

Red Bull Culture Clash about Red Bull's forthcoming Culture Clash.

Seems we're not the only ones looking forward t'it. Diplo, Artwork, Gemma Cairney and last year's winners Channel One talk to RWD and explain what we can expect when the Clash hits Wembley on 7 November.

Get your tix here.

Missy Elliott Ft. Timbaland: 9th Inning

Missy Elliott - 9th Inning with Timbaland

She's BACK!

Here's a snippet of the well brills new single from Missy featuring her hombre Timbaland.

Missy's new album, Block Party, after a looooong hiatus (5005!), is due in October.

Oh we are looking forward to it. She's going to really bring it wethinks.

Follow Miss. E

Conor Maynard Ft. Neyo: Turn Around

Despite the fact that a) they're aren't really many lyrics in this song (basically 'turn around no one can stop us now') and b) I don't get the video (what's with the floating phone box?) we ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS SONG.

Thank you Conor Maynard. Thank you Ne-Yo.

Well done everybody.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chris Martin X G-Shock

With an audience of around 800 billion (or thereabouts), Coldplay finished off a fantastic summer at the Olympic's closing ceremony last night. Joined by Rihanna and Jay-Z and his lovely blue G-Shock, Chris was in great voice, with the band the perfect ending to an incredible event.

Stooshe X G-Shock

Karis Stoose made sure her wrists were just right for Bestival over the weekend.

Disclosure Ft. Sam Smith: Latch

Yeah, this is nice. Real nice.

The brothers Disclosure just announced their signign to PMR (Jessie Ware etc).

So very good.

Plan B Ft. Chip, Ed Sheeran & Devlin: Deepest Shame (Remix)

Plan B (read our interview with the rapper/ writer/ director and actor here), has teamed up with three of the UK's finest for a remix of his Deepest Shame. Chip's verse is especially impressive.

New Machine also add their own ravey take on Plan B's new single.

True Tiger: Eye of the Tiger Volume 2

One of the best ever mixtape's from Grime's 2006 Golden Era (Ny, Plan B, Wiley etc), True Tiger return with an Eye of the Tiger: Volume 2.

The free download features Scrufizzer, Maxsta, Newham Generals, P Money, Dot Rotten, Maiday and Mic Righteous

To get your free download, just click here.

A$AP & Diplo X Alexander Wang

Pretty much one of our favourite designers, Alexander Wang enlists A$AP, Diplo and actor Penn Badgley to talk through their respective creative processes.

Rather than screaming 'WANG' you'll have to search this subtle film to see the new season. We like this approach. A lot.

Lady Gaga: Born This Way Ball (Twickenham)

There aren't many people we'd schlep to Twickenham on a Saturday night for. Especially when we have friends making fish taco's and margarita's in the 'Indian Summer' evening.

But not even a boozy Mexfest could stop us jumping on 8 trains and walking 4 hours just to see the greatest pop star off all time eva!

Having first seen Gagz at a tiny club in LA called The Abbey about four years ago, it was pretty amazing to see how far she's come in so short a time.

That first time we saw the Born This Way singer she had a leotard, four dancers and one (what looked suspiciously like a homemade) disco stick. >>FF to today and there's a lifesize castle, an actual horse, a motorbike, 15 odd dancers, a number of costume changes, and a full band poking out of turrets and the like.

Instagrammed Twickenham to make it look more 'arty'.
There was some sort of concept involved, but lets not worry too much about that. It was to do with Aliens and Goats and stuff.

The most important thing here is how massively ace stadium rock she is, how brilliantly she sings and plays and how Gagz WILLINGLY brings up mental looking fans onstage. She was so ace, we even liked her cover of Imagine (admittedly, we might have been in the minority there). There were hits (Born This Way, Just Dance, Bad Romance, Telephone, You & I), and new tunes (Princess Die about, well Di and Amy. It was odd but good), and amazing album tracks (Hair).

"I was told by one of my executives when I first played Born This Way that it was too niche. Well, this is a big f**king niche," she laughed, surveying her 60,000 'monsters'. "I like our stadium niche.'

Well, we liked it too. A lot. It was really well brills. An amazingly entertaining night put on by a really ace performer. And given how expansive the set was, one she's unlikely to be making her billions off. Oh Gagaz, you really do do it for the love of art.

If you get chance to see the show in Manchester tomorrow, DO IT!

Bare hands in the air

BIGkids: Heart Sing

When he's not busy making records for Kanye and Jay-Z, Birmingham's Mr. Hudson apparently holes himself up in a studio with new bandmate Rosie Bones and amazing songwriters like Cathy 'Kylie' Dennis, Eg 'Adele' White and Ed 'Ed Harcourt' Harcourt.

Over the summer, BIGkids as the duo are called, created an album, that sounds presumably like this bight and bubbly number, above, Heart Sing.

So, is this a new direction from Mr. Hudson? Will there be no more solo stuff afoot?

"I don't know what we're going to do, but we're going to do it," says Ben.

Glad that's that one cleared up.

You can buy the song above from here or else wait till 8 October and get the whole album Never Grow Up then.

Listen to BIGkids
Follow BIGkids

Friday, September 7, 2012

Time For: Tyler James

"I nearly died, I'm very lucky to be alive..."

Here's the video for Tyler James' ace new single, Single Tear. What a saucefest! It should be renamed Lipsin' Ting!

We defy you not to listen to this just once and be singing 'I haven't cried a single tear' all year' in your best falsetto voice. Serious epic sing-it-in-the-show business. LOVE!

We met up with Tyler last week to talk about his incredible journey through the industry of show. From being signed to Simon Fuller, to losing a record deal with Island and sinking into alcoholism and depression, to, of course, losing his best friend, he's had to weather a fair few storms.

But he's pulled himself back from the brink and is making brilliant music to boot. Far from the shy persona we saw on The Voice, Tyler in person is funny, engaging and more than a bit endearing. And what a handsome face he has too.

We had a chat about sobriety, songwriting and being mummy's little soldier...!

The Voice showcased your falsetto. Did that drive the direction the album took?
No. I mean, from a record company's perspective they would have been gutted if I hadn't used the falsetto at all, but, for me, it's always been my strongest point anyway. When I did my other stuff, back in the day, I did use it pretty much on every track, but it wasn't everywhere. I had never really thought about singing the lead like that. But, for me, it's the most comfortable place that I sing. It's not on everything, but it is there cos that's my voice.

"It's for anyone who's ever been hurt or who has ever lost someone..."

Why did you choose Single Tear as the first single to lead with?
Well, this album was really written in the last few months. Before the show, I hadn't really written anything for about four or so years, apart from odd ideas here and there. So everything that came out is stuff that has happened in the last four or five years that I hadn't really addressed. There's things that happened four years ago that I've written about and some of them are quite specific events. When I normally write a song, I tend to make it quite vague so that anyone can relate to it, but with this particular song, it's one of my favourites and one I'm most proud of.

Also in terms of where it's at lyrically, like, sometimes I write a song and afterwards I'm like 'What the f**k is that about'? (laughs). Seriously! Sometimes I sit there and I plan to write about something and other times it just comes out and I have to figure out what I mean. With Single Tear, them lyrics just came out. There wasn't much thought behind it. I was like 'Actually, this is how I feel about the last year and half of my life'. It's a culmination of that. It's for anyone who's ever been hurt or who's ever lost someone. You know when you break up with someone, it's so painful that you basically block it out, you don't engage in it. You block it out but you can't block shit out forever. Then all of a sudden it hits you all at once. That's what I realised when I wrote it. 'I haven't cried a single tear all year/ But now they come faster, it feels like disaster.' I may as well have actually dealt with that shit at the time but I didn't and when it hits you all at once it's epic. Breakdown type shit (laughs). So that's what it's about and that's why I chose it because that song, lyrically, encapsulates where my head is at. I've had a very dramatic year and a half. The last year and a half of my life, I can't believe it's happened. It's too much. I mean, good and bad. If you'd have told me a year a half ago 'By the way, this is going to happen and then this and then that' I'd have been like 'F**k off'. There's no way all that could happen in a year and a half.' But it has and that's what the song's about and that's why I wanted it to be epic and dramatic with the production. Because that's what the last year has been like. 

"Being a successful artist who gets to go out and tour and have people listen to your music, that's everything I've ever wanted since I was 3 years-old. And I might be on the brink of that. If I think about it too much it blows my mind."

Who knows what might happen in the next year or so?
I know. I think about that all the time. I'm excited but I'm also apprehensive, as anyone would be. I talk about it all the time with my mates. I'm in one of those positions in life where, hopefully, everything is about to change. It's a weird position to be in. If you can imagine, being a successful artist who gets to go out and tour and have people listen to your music, that's everything I've ever wanted since I was 3 years-old. And I might be on the brink of that. That's a weird place to be. If I think about it too much it blows my f**king mind. It's scary (laughs).

Did you have those expectations with your first deal, and how did you cope when it didn't work out?
I didn't cope really at all. I was in rehab four years later. And it wasn't just because of that. When I first signed to Island, I'd been going even a long time before then. I already knew then that the record industry is the kind of place where you can get promised things that won't happen. When I was 17, I was managed by Simon Fuller - at that time one of the biggest managers in the world. He only looked after me, S Club 7 and Annie Lennox. I was literally promised to be the 'male Britney Spears' - when I was 16 that sounded quite cool to me! So I was used to that type of shit and then ironically, what happened around that time was the reality TV shows took off so Simon - and Simon Cowell - did Pop Stars or Pop Idol or whatever it was. So all that happened but ultimately that worked in my favour. Even though I was 19 and felt massively shafted by the whole thing, it allowed me to go off and find myself more. Cos you don't know who you are at 17 as an artist. Maybe some people do, but I didn't. And that's when I got more into my jazz, ska and reggae and that's a lot of what my last album was like. But that was a phase too really. I'm proud of that album but when I sat there three years later, I saw that I had been in such a specific type of music at the time. Now, I'm more broad in what I want to do. If people ask me now what my album is, I can say it's a soul album, it's a pop album. I love pop music, I love great songs, I admire songwriters and the craft of writing a song and that's why I feel so lucky to have gotten to work with Fraser T Smith. I've wanted to work with Fraser for years. I happen to know he's just a wa**er now, like me (laughs)! When I first heard Set Fire to the Rain - and I know that's not the first thing he did but I love Adele - to me it was perfect. In terms of songwriting and craft. I think about songs mathematically and that song is perfect; it's such a classy pop record.

Who else have you written with?
There's Fraser and Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams) and Nina Woodford, who's a friend I met in Sweden when I was 18. She was unknown then, but she's really successful now. She wrote Broken Strings for James Morrison. We've written a lot of stuff together and it's wicked cos she knows me really well. We've written a song called Brave, which is all about me going for the Voice. She actually came up with the concept, and she was saying how when I went for it, considering how messed up I was at the time, it was a brave thing to do. So we wrote a song about that and it's a really epic, positive track. 

"I never gave up but I sat around thinking a lot, and you can sit around and think about things forever can't you? [You can have] this dream in your head that 'one day' it'll happen. Well it won't if you don't get off your arse and do it."

There was a point where most of my songs were proper heart-wrenching but now there's some more positive 'Go out there people and grab life by the balls' because that's the thing that the Voice changed for me. That was one of the first times in years that I made the decision to be a bit brave. That sounds really corny but… Like, I never gave up but I sat around thinking a lot, and you can sit around and think about things forever can't you? It's much more comforting in your head to sit there, even with nothing going on, with this dream in your head that 'one day' it'll happen. Well it won't if you don't get off your arse and do it. It's a lot less scary to not try, cos then you haven't failed have you? That's one of the biggest things for me, emotionally, is that I've tried and I'm about to find out soon the results of that. There is a part of me that feels properly vulnerable cos I've really put myself out there. It's all happened so fast that I haven't really thought about it. I was talking about it last night to my brother and I was like 'I can't believe I'm putting myself out there again. I could get shut down again.' But then I decided not to think about it and just go with it.

Do you feel more prepared this time, emotionally and musically? 
Yeah I'm definitely in a stronger position than I was in before, cos of being on a TV show that went out to millions of people. I know there's an awareness of me. I walk down the street every day so I know people know me. But my whole thing is, knowing how the record industry works, all those millions of people that know me is all good but what they need to know is that I've got a song coming out. That's the difference, innit. The record label are sat there, guns blazing, full of confidence because in their eyes I've written a good song. That's all they could possible want for my first single - a hit. But it's the gap between all that; what radio stations are going to play it, what TV stations are going to play it. The video's great, it's really cinematic, it's exactly right for what I wanted. Doing the video was amazing too. All of those girls...! I felt like a don. (Pauses). It's a mental time. If I think about it too much then I revert back to myself and I get scared and I hide away. But it's not about doing that anymore. It's just not.

"There's only two things in my life that could happen, as far as I'm concerned, and when they happen I won't be here anymore. It's like 'goodbye world'. And that's my mum dying or my Amy dying. And, again, that happened and it f**king destroyed me, but I'm still here." 

What are the differences between the new Tyler versus the old Tyler?
Oh, I've just been through so much since then and learnt so much. Like, I wasn't bright eyed and bushy tailed at 20 years-old anyway, I've never really been like that. I've always been a person that can lean towards my emotional and  depressed side. I mean, I probably knew at 17 years-old that I'd end up in rehab one day cos I knew what I was like and I didn't give a f**k. There was a point where I was drinking and stuff where I didn't give a f**k about what happened to me. I just didn't care. That was just what I did - in my world anyway. That's just what me and my mates did; we got f**ked up. At first, we had a laugh, we had a great time. Taking drugs and drinking is great fun. For me now, cos I did get to the very end of that - I mean, I nearly died, I'm very lucky to be alive - I haven't drunk for four years and you couldn't pay me a hundred million pounds to drink a sip of vodka. I'd dash it in the road. That particular experience in my life, which I really didn't think I could ever cope with, completely changed me.  So I found a different level of strength. I'm sure there's other experiences that people go through in life that are utterly terrible, and they have to delve deep to survive. When you're the weakest person you can be, paradoxically, you have to then be the strongest person that you can be all at the same time. It's so hard. But once you find it, what else are you going to be scared of? So I do have a different attitude to life. 

You know, I'm sure you could sit there and be like 'What's my worst nightmare'? There's only two things in my life that could happen, as far as I'm concerned, and when they happen I won't be here anymore. It's like 'goodbye world'. And that's my mum dying or my Amy dying. And, again, that happened and it f**king destroyed me, but I'm still here. Again, I found a different level of strength. There's all these things where I think 'If this happens, I'm going to curl up and die' but you just don't. You just have to get on with it. In a way, the reason I'm different now is that I'm stronger, I'm more resilient than I used to be and that's because I've been through a load of shit. But that's life innit. That's part of growing up. You deal with things cos you have to. I still sit here and think 'How am I dealing with alcoholism or losing Amy' but you just do. When you're 20 years-old, it's all gravy really. When I was 20, I had a deal, money, great friends around me, I was going out and having a great life. So I'm different in the sense that I'm older and I've been through a lot of stuff.

"Hopefully this is my time to be the person I've always wanted to be. I want to be an artist. I love it."

It's been really mental, the last year and a half. I can't believe I've got a record deal again, I can't believe I've got an album coming out again. But it's amazing. I feel really lucky. As much as I've made choices and decisions that led to that, it's also luck. I can look back at the Voice and think 'What are the chances I'd end up in the last three people'. There were 20,000 people that applied and I was one of the last three. What were the chances? I hope that what happens in the future will prove the same thing -  it's just my time. I really hope and I believe. Otherwise God, or whoever, is f**king with me! Hopefully this is my time to be the person I've always wanted to be. I want to be an artist. I love it. I get stressed out - I do, I'm such a stress head. I suffer from anxiety, so if you see me on a daily basis, like filming the video, I'll have little moments where I'm losing the plot, but ultimately, I love it. I really do. I love getting up onstage and singing. There's little things I don't like doing. On Saturday I had to do one of my songs to backing track and I f**king hate that. Where's my band? But I think any person out there who wanted to be an artist - not famous cos there's a difference - who wanted to go to the studio and write their music, and go onstage and perform in front of people and know there's a huge amount of people that love your music... I think those people are so, so lucky. I want to be that person.

"I'm used to getting up and doing a turn, having a sing and that, but girls screaming? It's really weird. I get a bit shy I guess. I don't want to be shy. I'd love to be confident."

Meeting you today, you seem much more confident than you did on the Voice.
Really? That's what that show did for me. Don't worry, I'm still an insecure little f**k (laughs), but it gave me so much confidence. It got me back to the performer that I used to be. My mates used to watch the show and they'd say how shy I came across. But I felt so scared and nervous in that environment, that's how I was. Even when I go onstage, it's not like I get up there like a cocky f**ker. That's just not me. I get embarrassed. Like, I did this thing in Windsor and all these girls are like 'Tyler, Tyler' all screaming. I just laughed like 'What are they doing'? It's weird! I'm used to getting up and doing a turn, having a sing and that, but girls screaming? It's really weird. I get a bit shy I guess. I don't want to be shy. I'd love to be confident. I'd love to have a lot more confidence. When I started that show I had none and now I have more and I needed that. Before, I wouldn't have been able to go into a studio and write. Cos when you get knocked down you lose your self-esteem. You lose a bit of belief in yourself. But people voting for me? I can't tell you what a nice feeling that was. Based on the performance you did, they voted. It's really wanky but it's like 'They like me!' It's such a nice feeling. When I lost my first deal I felt like life had taken the biggest shit on me. It was so nice for me to know that people were like 'Go on'! It's so nice that people are backing you. It's such a nice feeling.

"When I lost my first deal I felt like life had taken the biggest shit on me." 

Is working with you on the album?
Yeah, we've started a few ideas. I don't know what songs will be on the album as yet, but either way, he's executive producing. There's 18 tracks done, but we haven't chosen the final 12 or whatever. 

Do you have an album title yet?
A Place I Go. I think that's what it is. That's what I want it to be called. The label want lots of suggestions, but I've just got that one!

You're a stylish gentleman. Where do you shop?
I love Fred Perry more than any place in the world, . They're just perfect. They have this thing, it's very London, very blokey and very smart. I love that. I get their shirts and get them tapered so that it makes me look like I've got a good body. Which I don't! You don't need to go to the gym, just get your shirts tapered! Some stylists are really passionate about clothes, cos that's what they do, whereas I'm like 'It's just clothes'. I like to look nice but they get really passionate about it, like I get passionate about music, so I do respect that. But it's just clothes. I have had to say before I'm not a fashion experiment'. I've messaged my stylist before a shoot saying I just want a nice suit that fits and looks nice. I don't want anything loud and mental!

But this is just how I dress. When I get to a certain age I'll rock a suit everyday I reckon. I've always admired my Granddad for that. It's an east London thing. Even if he's just popping round to the pub, he's got a nice suit on. I love that. My mum and my Nan instilled that in me. If I went round my Nan's and my shirt was dirty, she'd literally take it off my back, make me something to eat, and I wouldn't be allowed to leave till she'd washed and ironed it. In east london, the thinking is, if you're a bloke you can't possibly exist without a woman. Which is true. I don't know what I'd do without my mum. I'm still her little soldier. She actually calls me her little soldier (laughs). I love it.

Single Tear is out 14 October.

Oh and here's the SX remix of Tyler's new single.

RWD 11th Birthday

I may be biased, but when RWD throws a party, they throws a PAAAAAARTYYYYY.

JME, Skepta, Shorty and Maximum (aka Boy Better Know) will join Semtex, Fonti and Bushkin, Logan Sama, Target, Marcus Nasty, Mark Radford, Lady T, Emily Rawson and many more for a night of Hip Hop, Grime, Dubstep, House Funky and brilliant-ness. (Yeah, just made that word up).

'The Legacy Continues' on 13 October at Fire in Vauxhall, from 10pm.

Price is £20 on the door, or £15 in advance, (£12.50 for students). Get your tickets by calling +44 (0) 203 242 0040 or click here.

Emy Meets Tulisa

This is my favourite interview of the week.

'What's Fazer like? Is he as annoying as Dappy?'

Big up Emy.

Opening Ceremony: A Fairytale

Seminal New York clothing store Opening Ceremony has gone from strength to strength over the years. I remember buying my first pair of Cheap Mondays in the original New York store in around 2005, swooning at their choice of designers like Acne and APC in 2008, and now they have branches in London, LA, another in New York and so on as well as designing their own line for Kenzo.

Founded by uni pals Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, their collaborations with Spike Lee and Chloe Sevingny have been met with huge acclaim (and reams of press).

To celebrate not only their incredible success but their love and passion for fashion, art, music and film, the pair have teamed with Rizzoli for a new book, out now.

Check the video above for a pretttty cute history into their humble beginnings.

If you want your bank manager to be angry at you, then you might as well click here for the Opening Ceremony online store.

Trailer: Luv

This new film from director Sheldon Candis was very well received at this year's Sundance.

Starring Common and newcomer Michael Rainey Jr., the film focusses on a day off school as 'Vincent' (Common) takes his nephew Woody (Rainey Jr.) on a tour of Baltimore. Trying to teach him how to be a man and how to survive, the day inevitably takes a dark turn as Common's no-good ways return to haunt them both.

This looks beautifully acted and shot. Look forward to November when Luv is released.

G.O.O.D Friday: Clique

Kanye teams up with Jay-Z and Big Sean on this Hit-Boy produced minimalist drum-led track. The tune has already become renowned for Kanye's reference to Kim K's Ray J sex tape from a few years ago.

'Eat breakfast at Gucci. My girl a superstar all from a home movie.' Saucy.

Can we also talk about the Jay Kelis diss? Um, OUCH!

'Yeah I'm talking Yay, Yeah I'm talking Ri, Yeah I'm talking Be, Yeah I'm talking me, I'm talking bawse, I ain't talking Kelis/ Your money too short you can't be talking to me.'

The G.O.O.D music crew are currently holed up with Mr. Hudson, Malik Yusef and Ghostface preparing their collaboration album Cold Summer.

Here's the tracklist:

1."To The World" feat. Kanye West & R. Kelly
2. "Clique" feat. Kanye West, Jay-Z, & Big Sean
3. "Mercy" feat. Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
4. "New God Flow" feat. Kanye West, Pusha T & Ghostface Killah
5. "The Morning" feat. Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, CyHi Da Prynce, Kid Cudi & D’Banj
6. "Cold" feat. DJ Khaled
7. "Higher" feat. The-Dream, Pusha T & Ma$e
8. "Sin City" feat. John Legend, Travi$ Scott, Teyana Taylor, CyHi Da Prynce & Malik Yusef
9. "The One" feat. Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz & Marsha Ambrosius
10. "Creepers" feat. Kid Cudi
11. "Bliss" feat. John Legend & Teyana Taylor
12. Don’t Like. Feat. Kanye West, Chief Keef, Pusha T, Big Sean & Jadakiss

Skrillex X Damien Marley: Make It Bun Dem

Finally a video for this AMAZING tune. And a great video it is too.

I'm literally going to buy this right now.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

BAPE X Street Fighter

Funnily enough, I used to be amazing at Street Fighter. Not through any joystick style tactics, I just used to hit all the buttons at once.

It worked.

Anyway, to celebrate 25 years of the game, BAPE and Street Fighter have joined up on a series of limited edition t's.

Hot stuff.

Available from the BAPE store in Kyoto, the Dover Street market, or online here.

A$AP Ft Flatbush Zombies: Bath Salt

Weird. In a word.

Mike Delinquent Ft. Lady Leshurr: Step In The Dance

New one from Mike D featuring the Brummie brilliance of Ms. Leshurrrrrrr.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trailer: Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters

The only reason I'm giving this very strange looking film the time of day is because it has the amazing Jeremy Renner in it. Mr. Bourne delivers a new take on Hansel and Gretel as he and his psycho sister hunt down heavily CGI'd witches with rather massive guns.


Well, lets wait for the film to come out and take it from there, shall we?

New Era X Haze

Oh HELLO lovely hat.

We like a bit of you.

New Era have teamed up with graffiti artist and designer Eric Haze, known for his iconic logos for the likes of EPMD, Tommy Boy, Cooking Vinyl and album artwork for Public Enemy, LL as well as the writing on the Beastie Boys' Check Your Head cover.

The New Yorker recently got to work on a fitted that expresses his own logo as well as a nod to the streets of NYC. There are three colourways, to be launched at the New Era store in New York (4thStreet)  from Friday.

Follow Haze

Ellie Goulding: Anything Can Happen

Well done Ellie Goulding. The Hereford singer what dates Skrillex is blowing up massivebig in the old US of A right now.

While it's her first album that they're loving (a little late Amerikee, but better late than never, eh), Ellie is preparing to unleash her second album over here.

Due in October, here's the 'bloody' great (you have to watch it to see that wasn't a gratuitous swear) video for the first single, the Jim Elliot produced Anything Can Happen.

Loves it.

G FrSH: Daily Duppy

"Now I'm too cold for a week off (weak cough)"

Now, it takes a pretty great freestyle to warrant a repost right?

Well this one from G FrSH is certainly derving of that.

Not only a nuts flow in parts, the double-entrendres and punchlines are actually off the scale. You need to listen to this at least four times to really appreciate properly. WORDPLAY FOR DAYS!

"Now I understand why they say money can't make you happy/ Cos I'm P'd Off'...
"Holla at Nike told 'em I did it/ My life's one big holiday I'm too cold for a week off...
"Paid for private education/ For my daughter cos she's amazing/ Wrote her a hymn to sing her praises/ "She ain't never sad cos iIm happy/ I'm too fly and flashy/ So she don't call me daddy/ She calls me paparazzi.
"When I'm dead burn me, so at least in death I earn (urn)"

Signed to Tinie and his manager Dumi's, Distrubing London label, G-FrSH is one of the UK's most unsung MC's.

Keep your eye on this guy.

Follow G
Like G
Listen G

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

the XX: CoExist

Their album isn't out for a week yet, but the notoriously shy xx have upped a stream of the follow-up to their self-titled debut.

It's what you might expect from the Young Turks signed trio. Gentle, quiet, lots of space, a bit beautiful in places.

Good work everybody!

Stream at NPR.

Doctor P: Galaxies And Stars

Not only a BRILLIANT tune but a GREAT song too.

Ohh, I would have LOVED to hear this at Carnival last week.

This mammoth track features the one like Ce'Cile.

Alicia Keys For Reebok

Hooked up by her hubby Swizz Beats, Alicia Keys is releasing these Freestyle Hi's for newly invigorated Reebok.

The $80 sneaks feature piano keys (shewhatshedidthere?) and some interesting tribal patterned detail.

Unfortunately they're only available Stateside at the moment, so you better get yourself a flight or ask a kind American person to go get em for you.

In other news, AK recently teamed up with La Minaj for this track, Girl On Fire, taken from Keys' forthcoming album of the same name.

Lil Wayne: The Dedication 4

Do you remember how blown away you were by The Dedication 1? And, to a slightly lesser extent, 2? 3, well, lets not worry about that one.

So, now, finally to D4. The thing that gives me hope is that this is a mixtape, and not some rubbish Cash Money sanctioned album.

Come on Weezy, be brilliant again. Drake is notcieably absent, but Nicki Minaj, J. Cole and Birdman are all onboard.

Review to follow. First though, quality time will be spent with D4 and I...

Download here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Face of JD

Fancy being a model but unsure if you have the traditional model looks?

Lucky for you then that JD are looking for people with style and swagger rather than the more obvious requirements of height/ look/ race.

Now in its second year, the competition has been a great success. One of last year's winners has gone on to model for Vogue and another two are signed to model agencies. All winners were paid to feature in a JD advertising campaign throughout the year.

This year, JD are once again looking for new, young faces, with the winners receiving a paid modelling opportunity - not to mention gaining life skills and confidence in the mix.

The comp is open now and it's simple to apply. Upload a picture of yourself right here and encourage your family and friends to vote.

The team are also out scouring the streets. This weekend it was Bluewater, check JD's Facebook and Twitter to see where they will be this week and next weekend.

The 20 most-voted for applicants will attend a casting in September. There's one in London on Sept 22 and Manchester on 29 Sept. Judges will then select the winners and the following day, the winners will be whisked off to a professional JD photoshoot, which will appear in JD's next advertising campaign.

Watch Out For... Child Of Lov

I honestly know nothing about this person/ people other than that I am LOVING this track.

People working with the mysterious and purported lover of chicken are DOOM (woo), Damon Albarn (woo hoo) and Thundercat of Erykah Badu fame (light me a josstick).

Channeling some Prince, some Outkast and a whole lot of understated psychedelic oddity (in a great way), it's no surprise that THe Child of Lov was discovered by Trey Reames who introduced Cee-Lo to Dangermouse. Reames. That guy knows what it is.

Download from here.

Here's what TCOL has to say by way of introduction:

"This is a really long trip we’re on here, sugars and sugarettes. But it’s not about the destination. No need to get an ironic tattoo, wear lavender oil or a Stepford smile if that ain’t you. Just be your bad self. Don’t worry ’bout your birthday. You only have one anyway. And as a wise man once said, time is no linear thing. You, me, us, we love our bodies, and that’s a good thing, but let’s not forget that Father Time’s hourglass figure makes him a sexy mug too. Let’s give him some lov. And while we’re at it, let’s feed that fine ass Mother Nature some honey as well. Remember, we’re all Children of Lov. So let’s make our parents proud. Let’s sing ourselves back to the Mother’s hip. Let’s turn back to the cosmic cantaloupes and draw deep. Let’s travel through the deep south, pass through the lov canal, and immerse ourselves in the voluptuous body of water ahead. As the Scripture hath said, the ocean is our catwalk. The time is ripe for music made of lov n’ haight. Let’s jump off this money tree. Together."

Time For: James Pearson Howes

"I did some research and found there were a lot of extreme, obscure traditions outside of the Morris Dancers, the Maypole and cheese rolling and all of that..."

One of the greats working in UK photography, JPH has shot for Vice, RWD, i-D, Dazed, The NME and many, many more.

I've worked with James on a few shoots and I love how understated he is; both in person and through his photography. He's super-cool. He turns up with his beard, takes some pictures, makes people laugh and then gets on his way.

This week, James is launching a new book; British Folk is the second part of a trilogy looking at the weird and very weird strange traditions carried on in this county. We had a chat just hours after he'd taken a tumble from his bike. Poor JPH.

Tell us about the book and your interest in folk? 
It's about folk traditions carried out within the UK, and it's the second book of a trilogy that I'm doing.
I wanted to cover obscure traditions within the UK. Initially, I found a group of Morris Dancers called Hunters Moon. There are a pagan group who were 'tatter' costumes and paint their faces black. They were a bit obscure and extreme, to say the least! It wasn't my pre-conditioned ideas of what I though folk was. I did some research and found there were a lot of extreme, obscure traditions outside of the maypole, cheese rolling and all that.

How long has the project been going for?
I've been shooting it over the past five years now. The problem is, if you miss one, you have to wait a whole year for another to come round. The events are generally in May, because they're pagan related and therefore all to do with seasons.

What has the reaction been from the folk community?
There hasn't been a reaction really. I haven't put the books out to the folk community. I wanted to shoot it the way I shoot and put it out to people of my age and who I hang round with. It's vibrant, not stuffy, old or twee. Despite the fact that up to 10,000 people can attend these events, not many people have ever seen many of these events. Lots of people in London will never have seen or heard about them.

What was the toughest thing about shooting the folk people?
Some of them are very guarded about their traditions. The 'Obby 'Oss in Cornwall is a tradion that is very much for the townspeople, and really not the tourists. I wanted to photograph them in the room where they get ready, but you're only allowed in if you're a local. I got in eventually after a lot of sweet-talking and smiling and I stood out a mile. I was dressed in jeans but as part of that tradition you're supposed to dress in white with a blue neckerchief. It's very 'us and who cares about the rest of them'. I like that.
Most people though were more than happy to help out though. I usually send them prints or photo's and they seem happy enough. I went to photograph The Burry Man in Scotland, who gets covered in hops and paraded around the town. I sent him the images, he loved them. It's nice to get that feedback and feel like you're archiving things that go unnoticed by the majority of people.

What's the most shocking shoot you've done?
I guess when I did the Flaming Tar Barrels in Devon. It's pretty dangerous. If you want to get your hair burnt off or singed, that'll do it. That was pretty audacious and shocking to shoot. You could smell burnt hair everywhere.

James launches the book on Thursday 6th September at the International Picture House, 29 Wadeson St, E2 9DR from 7pm

Find out more right here