Category Archives: Life & Style

5 Reasons why Azzedine Alaïa exhibition at London’s Design Museum is a must see

Six months after passing away, Maison Alaïa has decided to celebrate the legacy of Turkish haute couture designer Azzedine Alaïa.
The exhibition, running from 10th of May to 7th of October 2018 at the Design Museum in London, is Alaïa’s temple.
It showcases the couturier most recent works, including a gown modelled by Naomi Campbell during the very last show of Alaïa, held in Paris in July 2017.

Here, it is what you can expect…

1.You get to see Alaïa obsession for perfectionism up close
“Azzedine would not release any design unless he was satisfied with it, so there are no deconstructed pieces on show here, only the finished works,” Mark Wilson, long time friend of the couturier, explains to Vogue.
Renowned for working like a sculptor, Azzedine would take care of every step of a garment production. From the fitting on the model to cutting the patterns and polish details of outfits before the show, Azzedine would do everything himself, which is quite unusual for a designer in modern era.
There is no need to deconstruct his famous one-shoulder leather dress to appreciate the creation, you will be able to value the piece in all its details right at the entrance of the exhibition.

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Campbell during the last Azzedine runaway

2.You get to see pieces worn by Alaïa muses
Among the 60 pieces collection, you will get to see creations worn by supermodels of the like of Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones and singer Tina Turner. What they have worn has now become iconic and distinctive sign of the designer style.
As Wilson explains to Vogue, when Azzedine passed away they were 90% done with the preparation of the exhibition and the designer ensured there was a balanced theme throughout the showcasing. He included a series of famous bandage dresses, versions of the flamenco dress that are embroidered in metallics, and pieces that show use of rivets or exotic skins.

3.You get to appreciate Alaïa knowledge of good presentation
Before passing away, Azzedine recut every piece to adapt it to the mannequins. He was aware of the elongated figure which would have made his creations look much more impressive, knowing the relevance of a great silhouettes.

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Famous Maison Alaïa flamenco dress

4.You get to see how Alaïa empowered women through fashion
More than once throughout his career, Azzedine affirmed his main obsession was to make women look good and comfortable in their clothes, which were supposed to be uniquely designed to fit women with different bodies and features.
At the exhibition, you will be able to check out how all the dress can be re-adjusted to ensure the owner feels special in it.

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Azzedine Alaïa with model Frederique 1989

5.You get the notion of timeless fashion
Maison Alaïa pieces might have been created 30 years ago or tomorrow. They are timeless and you cannot put a date on them. Indeed, as explained by Wilson to Vogue, the unicity of Azzedine work was that he did not follow a theme throughout the season, but he would follow his own style and inspiration, often working on the same piece to reach his ideal of perfection.
To prove Maison Alaïa is still very much love by the public, last year in June, they opened up, a boutique in New Bond Street, London.

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Interior designs at Maison Alaïa, New Bond Street, London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘most unlucky production in screen history’ will premiere at Cannes film festival

Former Monty Python member and London director Terry Gilliam was discharged from hospital after suffering a minor stroke and the day before a French court ruled on a long-standing rights battle affecting the world premiere of his new film.

The judge ordered that “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” could go ahead as the closing gala of the Cannes Film Festival on 19 May.

The film, which has been in the making since 1989 and has a reputation as one of the most unlucky production in screen history, has been the subject of a distribution rights disagreement.

Gilliam began filming in 1998, with Jean Rochefort as Quixote and Johnny Depp playing Toby Grisoni. However, the shooting had to stop after Rochefort became ill.

In addition, riddled with financial difficulties and insurance problems, filming couldn’t continue.
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The director tried to restart the picture on several occasions, with the likes of Jack O’Connell, Ewan McGregor, John Hurt, Michael Palin and Robert Duvall. But due to mounted delays and funding falling through, production was halted.

In 2015, Amazon signed on to distribute the film. However, following the allegations against Roy Price, the man who approved the deal, in the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal, the company decided to drop U.S. distribution of the film.

Amazon has been reviewing the types of movies it makes and distributes in his absence.

Last month, producer Paulo Branco launched a legal challenge to stop the screening of “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”, claiming that his company Alfama Films owns the right.

However, the court ruled in Gilliam’s favour, dismissing Branco’s attempt to stop the premiere.


According to The Guardian, before the court ruling came through, the festival said it would back Terry Gilliam and planned to proceed with the premiere.

The journey of Valentino Garavani

In 1974 London saw a Valentino store arrive into the city. To this day Valentino stores carrying luxurious designs can be found living amongst the streets of Mayfair and Chelsea. Today, the man who founded it all, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, turns 86.

Over the course of his life Valentino’s name has become synonymous with glamour and elegance. Creating couture dresses and red-carpet ready gowns, his designs allowed him to count the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn as part of his impressive clientele.

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A Valentino dress worn by Audrey Hepburn

But Valentino’s road to fame was not a short one. Although he decided he wanted to design women’s dresses at nine-years old, his first step in pursuing fashion came at the age of 17. He left his birthplace of northern Italy to travel to Paris, France, where he would study at École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture.

Still in Paris, he went on to work as an apprentice for Jean Dessès. His time at Jean Dessès is thought to be where Valentino’s style really started to come together in his many sketches that showcase visions of pleats and animal prints.

Five years later, Valentino left Jean Dessès and joined a small fashion house where he worked alongside his friend Guy Laroche. But it wasn’t long before Valentino decided to return back to his roots. Circa 1960 he returned to Italy; not only did he meet his meet his soon-to-be business and personal-partner Giancarlo Giammetti then, but he set up a fashion house in Rome.

Spending time in Paris before his business endeavour meant Parisienne glamour effortlessly flowed through Valentino’s creations. When he showed his first couture collection in Florence in 1962, he immediately grabbed the attention of fashion critics worldwide.

Here Valentino began to grow his long-list of famous clients. A notable moment in his career was when Elizabeth Taylor asked him for a dress that she could wear to the premier of Spartacus. But Valentino credits his real breakthrough to Jackie Kennedy for creating a “Valentino boom”. Jackie commissioned Valentino to design her mourning dresses for the year following John F. Kennedy’s assassination and when she re-married to Aristotle Onassis, she wore a white Valentino gown.

Along with being widely-recognised for dressing the social elite, a signature of Valentino was his “V” logo that was first shown in a 1966 collection. This particular range of clothes was all-white, but another signature of Valentino is his use of a specific shade of red. Valentino decided upon using the colour when he saw a woman at the opera dressed in a rich crimson. “She was unique, isolated, fiery – the perfect heroine,” he told Vogue.

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Elizabeth Hurley and Valentino Garavani at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival

In the 70s Valentino went on to open his own ready-to-wear shops in Milan and Rome. During this time he also expanded his social circle even more, when he travelled to New York he became friends with Andy Warhol.

Even as years past, Valentino’s career showed no sign of slowing down. In the 80s he released childrenswear and a young adult’s line. Then in 1989, he opened the Academie Valentino in Rome which would host art exhibitions.

Come 1998, Valentino was able to sell his company for around $300 million to the Italian business Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali (HdP). Valentino did however stay on as a designer, even when Valentino was sold again in 2002 to Italian textile manufacturer Marzotto.

By 2007 Valentino announced his retirement. Though this was a sign of Valentino’s career finally starting to slow down, his popularity has only continued to soar. His last haute couture show in 2008 attracted many famous faces including Naomi Campbell and he’s been entrusted with designing the wedding dresses of people such as Anne Hathaway and Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall.

In 2012 Valentino was awarded for his remarkable contribution to fashion, receiving the Commandeur de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal – it is considered one of France’s biggest honours.

Even without Valentino standing at the helm of his brand, his legacy is forever celebrated as gowns made in his namesake continue to grace catwalks and carpets every year.

 

 

Who will design Meghan Markle’s wedding dress?

Millions across the world will watch as Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle get married in Windsor Castle on May 19.

Since its announcement, bookies began taking bets on everything related to the wedding. They cover everything from the location of Harry’s stag-do, Prince William’s choice of buzz-cut or shaved head and the designer of the dress of the soon-to-be Duchess of Sussex.

A roster of names have been predicted, from Victoria Beckham to Ralph and Russo and Stewart Parvin – one of the Queen’s dressers. But there have been no clear frontrunners.

Until now. Alexandra McQueen’s absence at the Met Gala may suggest he’s designing Markle’s dress for the big day.

McQueen often references art historical works in his garments. His fine art samples often depict figures of salvation and moments of extreme religious pathos. So why was no one wearing Alexandra McQueen at the Met?

Alexandra McQueen founded his label in 1992 and remained the creative director until he committed suicide in 2010. Since then, Sarah Burton has been at the creative helm.
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Burton designed Kate Middleton’s wedding dress and meets all requirements for a royal wedding dress designer.

Although many aren’t sure as to whether the designer would be bestowed with creating another royal wedding dress, the chances are the fashion house is busy designing the former actress’ dress. Explaining why no one was seen to be wearing McQueen at the perfectly themed Met Gala this year.

Watch more on this story on Westminster TV  at 2pm.

Should Pride be a party or a protest?

Just weeks before the London Pride march, organisers of Sheffield Pride have come under fire after describing their event as a “march of celebration, not protest”.

In an email to participants, then widely circulated across social media, organisers said that banners and placards would have to be viewed by the Parade Manager prior to the event, and ‘offensive’ signs would not be allowed on the march. 

It’s the vague sentiment of ‘offensive’ followed by a note that the event is “a march of celebration not protest” that has angered many, who believe the event should continue from its inherently political roots.

Luke Renwick, the president of Sheffield Hallam Student Union, noted on social media the organisers had also banned political groups from joining the march – although this has now been removed from their website. 

Organisers initially defended their policy, with event manager Darren Hopkinson telling BBC Sheffield: “We understand there is a protest element but the main priority for our event is to celebrate”. 

Later, they released a statement saying that “we got it wrong”, and they were acting on “criticism we received after last years’ parade and event”.

But ahead of a summer of Pride events it has rekindled a debate about whether Pride has lost its purpose. 

Pride in London, the organisers of the event in the capital, have repeatedly fended off criticism of associations with big corporations. They argue that it’s a necessary measure to fund the event that has to pay increasing costs to the council and police. 

Last year, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wrote for The Guardian that “Pride has been dumbed down. For many people, it is now mostly a gigantic street party. Big corporations see it as a PR opportunity to fete LGBT consumers. The ideals of LGBT equality are barely visible.”

This attitude has led to a string of fringe events growing, most notably UK Black Pride, where politics and social change remains at the forefront. In February, Stonewall announced they’d be pulling out of London’s biggest event to instead divert their resources to UK Black Pride instead.

Despite the criticism, more than 25,000 people will attend London’s Pride march on July 7, and it remains the biggest event of its kind.

But questions remain about whether the LGBT+ community expect better from London – be it the Mayor’s office, Westminster Council or Pride in London – when hate crime has increased by 78% in the last five years (via Stonewall).

 

Cycling in London: how is it going?

Cover photo by Roman Koester on Unsplash.

“It’s as easy as riding a bike” is a common phrase used to say that, well, something is easy. But just how easy is it to do it in London, one of the most congested cities in the world? Transport for London’s 2017 Analysis estimated that 730,000 journeys are made daily with bicycles in the capital.

The Mayor of London recently announced a commitment of an average of £169m per year over the next five years to improve London’s cycling conditions, contributing to its target of 70 per cent of Londoners living within 400m of the cycle network by 2041.

Cyclists and campaign groups, however, want more than that. Yes, appropriate infrastructure is needed, but that also requires a transition of established societal and institutional ways. A study done by the Portland State University showed that changing cycling infrastructure won’t change culture.

Having blue lanes segregated from cars and other motorised vehicles won’t do anything if people don’t know how to use them. Bruce Lynn, from the London Cycling Campaign, says the infrastructure is there but people won’t use it.

There are bigger issues TfL and the Mayor of London have to consider to make cycling a possibility for every Londoner. Today, there is a common idea of the typical cyclist in London: young white men, environmentally-friendly and mostly liberal. This is supported by various studies that argue people who don’t identify as any of the above, feel less inclined to try cycling.

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In TfL’s 2016 report, the fact that people are highly against changing their routines was assumed to be one of the main reasons they don’t try it. Their 2015 Attitudes towards cycling report also showed that safety concerns, fear of collisions, too much traffic, bad weather, lack of time, health reasons and lack of confidence and accessibility are some of the most common deterrents that put Londoners off using bikes.

Just last Saturday, around 4,000 riders took the streets of London for the #BikesUpKnivesDown demonstration led by the #BikeStormz movement to raise awareness to the rise of knife crime and murder rates in the city. They rode from London Bridge to Oxford Street in one of the biggest youth-led rides against knife crime, showing that the use of bikes has turned their lives around.

Current cycling network

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Central London’s cycling paths mapped by Route Plan Roll.

The current cycling network is made up of quietways and cycle superhighways for the most part. TfL defines them as “cycle routes running from outer London into and across central London. They give you safer, faster and more direct journeys into the city and could be your best and quickest way to get to work.”

Existing ones go from the City to Tottenham, Stratford to Aldgate, Barking to Tower Gateway, Oval to Pimlico, Merton to the City, and Wandsworth to Westminster. The east-west and north-south ones are the newest additions with proposed ones to go from Tower Bridge to Greenwich, Kensington Olympia to Brentford, and Swiss Cottage to the West End.

 

 

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Graphic by author

 

Safety

Safety concerns is probably what discourages people from riding the most. A study done recently by Cambridge academics found that changes in behaviour and policies is what is needed to keep the system moving, and tackle these concerns. A change in work hours, in the number of cycleways and docking stations, and in how people cycle together are factors that will contribute to that.

Another study done by Injury Prevention found that the more number of cyclists and pedestrians, the less likely motorists are to collide with them. This is partly because they are more visible, but also because the so called “safety in numbers” makes riders feel more comfortable.

14.6 per cent of casualties in Greater London while travelling were of cyclists in 2016, according to TfL. However, only eight, out of 4,424, were fatal, a decrease of 11 per cent from the year before. It certainly shows how, compared to the car, the transport mode responsible for 39.3 per cent of the casualties, cycling is less likely to get people injured. The study by Cambridge academics, however, also points out that an increase in cycling traffic also means an increased risk for cycle coalitions.

Not every rider has the same experience levels, specially in urban area conditions. ‘Bikeability’ is something most of the campaign groups advocate for, because they know that is where it starts. The London Cycling Campaign offers free ‘bikeability’ training to anyone interested and the have regular group sessions. Everyone, not only cyclists, should know how to share a public road.

How is London doing compared to the rest of the world?

 

Not good. It isn’t even on the top 20 of bike-friendly cities in the world. Infrastructure, safety and diversity (or lack of) are some of the reasons why the British capital is not considered in the 2017 Copenhagenize Design Company Index.

Tokyo, Munich, Helsinki and Oslo are new to the list because they have worked to fix issues that didn’t allow their cycling levels to grow. Closing the center to private cars, bike sharing systems, growth of network, parking facilities, and the creation of the Cycling Embassy (Tokio) and the Cycling Federation (Helsinki) are some of the things that are on place in this cities to improve the levels of cycling urbanism.

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As much as it is common thinking that more and better infrastructure will make London a top bike-friendly city, if Londoners don’t learn (or don’t want to learn) about ‘bikeability’ and cycling urbanism, the city won’t see any major changes in the years to come. The Mayor of London is committed to increase the use of bicycles in the city as it has been demonstrated that not only will it help with air pollution, but will also provide better quality public spaces.

 

Does a perfect success formula exist for Music Industry?

What do Justin Bieber, Zayn Malik and Adele have in common? They are what every musician dreams to be like one day. Fame, success, power, money and music, they are the complete golden package.

Every year the Music industry sees many new artists flock from all over the world in hope to score their one sweet chance to be the next musical sensation. Some of them grow up listening music and dream of becoming like their idols, some wish to live the life of fame and have their moment in limelight, some feel it is their calling because music is the way they want to express their life’s story. They spend most of their life training for music, learning their instruments, performing, some even pursue music in their college degrees in hopes of improving their success chances. Seven in every 10 children (69%) in the UK say that they currently play a musical instrument with adults at 74%.

And these people come in all shapes and sizes with vast diversity in their ideologies. Yet the one thing they profess that unites them is their passion, inclination and inherent talent for music.

But then why is it that when we observe the working lives of these people, only a very few manage to break big in the industry? What is the difference between the artists who become famous and those who don’t? Are they more talented? Or did they have any special connections that most don’t? Or were they just plain-and-simple lucky?

The answer is as simple as it is frustrating, for all of the above reasons are true, but one. For people who do manage to climb their way to the top of the pyramid, being talented is a given thing. Because really without talent why would they even consider pursuing this career. This super competitive industry with more supply than demand for new musicians. It’s not like the musicians have the ‘fake it till they make it’ kind of liberties. Nowadays big record labels mostly want those artists who already have established themselves up to a certain level, who have their fan base, have already performed many gigs, and even better if they can write their own songs too. They practically want people who already have their plans figured out down to the last detail and are halfway done in executing it.

Now imagine the kind of distress a newbie but a wannabe feels when he first decides to go down this path. All the planning, making the right connections, discovering their ‘unique’ style and finding a way to sell it as ‘new and original’ to their audience, putting themselves out in the open and creating a fan base, finding the right people to help in the PR and production of their music and connecting with other artists to get a chance to perform in big gigs. So much work to do in so little time, because if we are being real, the music industry is notoriously ageist when it comes to accepting new artists. And unless you are an already established celebrity or a super-rich individual trying your hand at music, there is not much room for entry in the music industry at a ‘late’ age.

But still every year the music industry sees more and more artists coming into it. It is a huge business, with it contributing £4.4 billion to the UK’s economy as recorded in the UK Music “Measuring Music 2017” report with about 142,208 jobs sustained by the music industry. And now with the growth in the online streaming platforms, the industry is experiencing a resurgence in its profits.

And one such newbie artist, looking to make it big in this industry, is Leonard Nedelcu. There are many things that he shares with other talented musicians, like his love for romantic songs, playing the piano, penning his own songs, and being born with the looks of a superstar. But the things that make him stand out in the crowd are his deep appreciation of music by John Legend, Shawn Mendes and Sam Smith, his approach to music as his way to include the LGBTQ+ communities and share his story in a way that is relatable to all.

In this interview of his confessional musings, he shares his story, aims, and the beginning of his musical journey. He talks about how a person, a child of two economist parents gets into music, his struggles. And how despite them all he managed to create and release his first single, “Start with you”, while working on an extended playlist which he hopes to release by end of this years’ summer. All the while being a student at the University of Westminster, pursuing a Commercial Music bachelors’ degree.

Here’s a snippet of ‘Start with you’

He seems to have tapped into the ‘success formula’ of pursuing formal musical education to work on his talents, learn to create his music, find and make industry contacts and finally get discovered. It’s almost like he is trying to pull an Adele (success story) here.

You see, even though every artists’ success story is different, the basic formula of approach to things remains the same. And the six main success formulas are:

  1. Using YouTube to break big
  2. Performing at the biggest, most popular music clubs to get discovered
  3. Participating in Musical Contest show, and with any luck, winning it
  4. Becoming a part of a band, and when/if it goes big, using that exposure and experience to fuel solo act
  5. Formally studying music and training to be the best through schools
  6. Self-releasing music until discovered by big record labels or celebs to endorse music deals

Some of the very well-known celebs got their starts using these very formulas.

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Justin Bieber – the YouTube star before becoming the Global star

Like most things relating to him, even his start in music has a story. Even from a young age, Bieber had an affinity for music, and he narrates himself that when his mom gifted him his first set of drums he was “basically banging on everything I could get my hands on.” But it was an obscure talent contest in his hometown, in which the 12-year-old Bieber finished second that put him on the road to superstardom. Although, his YouTube journey did not begin with the purpose of becoming the next pop sensation. As a way to share his singing with family, Justin and his mom began posting clips of Bieber performing covers of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Ne-Yo on YouTube. And the next thing you know, Justin was an Internet sensation, with a large following of fans and an eager manager arranging for the teenager to fly to Atlanta to consider a record deal. There, Bieber had a chance meeting with Usher, who eventually signed the young singer to a contract.

Taylor Swift – from performing small gigs at the Country music capital to performing globally at her sold-out concerts

Inspired by her grandmother, a professional opera singer, Taylor Swift soon followed in her footsteps. By the age of 10, Taylor was singing at a variety of local events, including fairs and contests. She sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Philadelphia (where she lived at the time) 76ers basketball game at the age of 11, and began writing her own songs and learning guitar at 12 years old. And to further pursue her music career, Taylor often visited Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital. There she co-wrote songs and tried to land a recording contract. Noting her dedication, Taylor and her family moved to nearby Hendersonville, Tennessee, in an attempt to further Taylor’s career. Then a stellar performance at The Bluebird Café in Nashville helped Swift score a contract with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records. She released her first single, “Tim McGraw,” in 2006, and the song went on to become one of the Top 10 hits on the country charts. It also appeared on her self-titled debut album in October in 2006, which went on to sell more than 5 million copies. With that, more popular singles soon followed, including “Our Song,” a No. 1 country music hit. “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No” were also successful tracks. And once she firmly established her roots in the music industry, the sky became her limit.

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Zayn Malik – gone from contest show to being part of famous boy-band to finally becoming the solo music star

A triple threat of music in terms of utilizing the success formulas if you say so, he began as a teen taking performing arts courses and appearing in school productions. Then in year 2010, he auditioned for the seventh season of the reality TV music contest show The X Factor. He sang “Let Me Love You” by rhythm-and-blues vocalist Mario as his audition song and was accepted into the next round. Then he was eliminated before the final round of the competition, but judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell grouped him with fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form a new act for the remainder of the show. And thus, the global sensational boy-band One Direction was born. They finished the competition in third place and they were immediately signed to Cowell’s Syco music label. Then came the One Direction with their first single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” which topped the pop music charts with when it was released in September 2011 in the United Kingdom. And their debut album, Up All Night, proved a best-seller in both the United Kingdom and the United States in 2012. After that Malik toured extensively with One Direction, meeting the band’s young female fans around the world. But in March 2015, Malik surprised fans by dropping out of the group’s world tour. On March 25 then, Malik announced that he was leaving One Direction for good. And soon after leaving One Direction, Malik launched his solo music career with a demo version of “I Don’t Mind,” which was leaked online by producer Naughty Boy. Then official singles followed, including “Pillowtalk” and “It’s You.”  And both of these tracks were featured on his first album, Mind of Mine, which debuted in March 2016.

Auckland / Mt Smart Stadium / Mar 25

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Adele – the modern-day champion of classical and old-school-style music

“There was no musical heritage in our family,” Adele told The Telegraph in a 2008 interview. “Chart music was all I ever knew. So, when I listened to the Ettas and the Ellas, it sounds so cheesy, but it was like an awakening. I was like, oh, right, some people have proper longevity and are legends. I was so inspired that as a 15-year-old I was listening to music that had been made in the ’40s.” And it soon became apparent that while clearly bright, Adele wasn’t oriented towards traditional classroom settings. So, her mother enrolled her in the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, which has the likes of Amy Winehouse as its alum. Then while she was at school, Adele cut a three-track demo for a class project that was eventually posted on her MySpace page. And when executives at XL Recordings heard the tracks, they contacted the singer and, in November 2006, just four months after Adele had graduated school, signed her to a record deal.

Thank god for factor 50 sunscreen – photo by Nic Minns

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Ed Sheeran – from street-smart artist to king of the global music charts

Even from a very young age, Ed had been as quick and smart at learning things as he had been active at working on his dreams. He studied at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. Then he also studied music with the help of ‘Access to Music’, a UK-based independent training provider. And he also joined the National Youth Theatre when he was a teenager. So, it was no surprise when he had started recording CDs and selling them from his teenage days. At the age of 14, he released songs ‘The Orange Room’ and also ‘Spinning Man’, both he regarded as important works of his early years. And it wasn’t long before Sheeran was recording CDs and selling them, and he soon put together his first official EP, The Orange Room. With that accomplishment and his abiding ambition driving him, at only 14 years of age, Sheeran headed to London for the summer. Thinking he could find gigs in the big city, Sheeran left home with his guitar and a backpack full of clothes, and his musical career took flight. And once in London, Sheeran got busy recording and playing the local singer/songwriter circuit and quickly released two albums: a self-titled record in 2006 and Want Some? in 2007. He also began opening for more established acts, such as Nizlopi, the Noisettes and Jay Sean and released another EP, You Need Me, in 2009, a year that found Sheeran playing more than 300 live shows. Then in 2010 Sheeran posted a video online that got the attention of Example, a rapper, and Sheeran was asked to go on the road with him as his opening act. This led to establishing an even larger online fan base and gaining inspiration for many more songs, which later ended up filling three new EPs, all in 2010. Next Sheeran headed to the U.S. that year and found a new fan in Jamie Foxx, who asked Sheeran to appear on his Sirius radio show. Soon after, in January 2011, Sheeran released yet another EP, his last as an independent artist. Without any promotion, the record reached No. 2 on the iTunes chart, and he signed on with Atlantic Records. With Atlantic, Sheeran released his major debut studio album, + (called Plus) which became an instant hit, and the album sold more than a million copies in the U.K. in the first six months alone. Then Sheeran began co-writing songs with bigger artists, such as One Direction and Taylor Swift and supported Swift on her 2013 arena tour. And quickly and steadily he became the huge global star that he is today.

 

Still out of all the artists who pursue music as their career, 95% of them fail to make a proper living out of it, let alone become huge successes (results from a survery of 200 musicians in UK). The artists we celebrate as our champions, as the main faces of the music industry are only a handful of people out of the millions that get into this industry with dreams of making it big.

And every person wanting to make a career in music looks for a success formula, but life doesn’t work that way, especially in music. For every successful artist following a set mould to enter music industry, there are thousands who failed at it. That is the harsh truth about this industry. And no amount of wishing, dreaming or googling for tips and tricks can change that. The only thing sure about a success formula is that it only works for a few people. At the end of the day, the only way one can make progress towards becoming a musical success is through genuine talent, unending hard work and determination, and with loads of luck and good timing.

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