Saturday, May 28, 2016

Yendry Fiorentino

Photo Courtesy Of Yendry Fiorentino

WHERE ARE YOU PRESENTLY LOCATED AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I was born in the Dominican Republic but I moved here, to Italy, when I was four years old. Since that moment I've been living in Italy.

WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED IN MUSIC?
I found out that singing makes me feel good when I was nine; I would spend my days listening to R’n’B, Lauryn Hill, TLC, Destiny’s Child, and singing. It was at the age of 19 that I started to make music and sing professionally. In 2012 I took part in a TV talent show called “X Factor” and then I realized I really wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

FIRST SONG EVER SUNG?
Well, the first one I remember was "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James. And it's still one of my favorite songs.

WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
Melodies or lyrics come to me when I’m doing the most ordinary things in life. I try to put them together by recording something with my phone. When I meet my band "Materianera" in the studio, I try to explain the mood for the song and then together we find out the sound. I can't define our sound because every part of the creative process is organic and improvised.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE ARTISTS FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT?
Otis Redding, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, James Blake, Frank Ocean, Dillon, Beyoncè, Benjamin Clementine...

IS THERE A TUNEFUL PASSAGE OUT THERE THAT NEVER FAILS TO MOVE YOU EMOTIONALLY?
Yes. "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell. I cry every time I hear that song.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO IN YOU SPARE TIME?
I love listening to music and doing nothing else but focusing on sounds and lyrics. In my spare time I read books and I paint pieces of furniture in my house.

HOW DO WE GET YOUR LOOK?
I'm not a fan of trends. I wear what I like and I never brush my hair to keep it wild. I'm in love with black clothes, I like wearing different shades of black together. I hardly use makeup and when I have to put it on for a show or an event, mascara and eyeliner are the only things I use.

IF YOU COULD BLINK YOUR EYES AND GO ANYWHERE WHERE WOULD THAT PLACE BE?
My home. The land where I was born: Dominican Republic. I have a huge connection with that place even if I grew up in Italy. I’ve promised myself to visit more often.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

From Zeemuffin's Playlist


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Liha Okunniwa & Abi Oyepitan

Photo Courtesy Of Líha Beauty

OKAY LADIES, WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
(Abi) I live in Hackney in East London, I’ve been living here for the last four years. I’m a total Londoner, I was born and bred in NW London.

(Lahi) I’m in Cheltenham right now looking out at the hills. I love London but I need a slower pace of life to think straight. I’m a country girl at heart.

HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
We met at University – in those days when you saw another girl rocking an afro it said something about their tastes and sensibilities, it was quite unusual back then to see girls with natural hair.

(Lahi) I always thought Abi was so cool because she was on the England athletics team. I ran for Gloucestershire but then discovered boys and parties at 16 and started slacking off. She would always come knocking on my door when she had some time off and wanted to turn up!

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY?
It’s funny to say/think we are in the beauty industry – it wasn’t really by design, we were just making products for ourselves and our friends and family, and then decided to take the plunge and go for it. I would always be asking Abi to bring me the good Nigerian Shea and be adding oils and things to it. We have been really humbled by how well we’ve been received. We launched at Port Eliot festival just as a test to see how the products would be received, and ended up selling out everything and meeting the head buyer for Anthropologie.

WHAT ARE YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUNDS AND HOW DID YOU AQCUIRE THE TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW TO MANUFACTURE COSMETIC PRODUCTS?
We are very intuitive - it's what we learnt from over 15years of making products for ourselves. Liha grew up with a herbalist/ aromatherapist mum, so its like second nature for her. It’s starts with an idea for a products and whatever new ingredients we are playing around with. As all our products are natural in ingredients, it’s not like we need to worry about any super serious reactions so we can get creative. We test everything on ourselves first and gives samples to our friends and family, once we are happy with it we then send it to our chemist for EU testing.

WHAT SKIN CARE AND HEALTH ROUTINES DO YOU SWEAR BY, AND WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS IN YOUR LINE?
The key ingredients in our range at the moment are Shea butter and coconut oil. We wanted to start with the African beauty secret classics, and then start adding more diverse things, like plantain ash and moringa, which you can find in our black soap. At the moment were obsessing over Yam extract and dong in depth research on Nigerian botany.

(Lahi) I swear by a good double cleanse every night and I like multi-masking at the moment. Health wise I cant live without Hatha Yoga which I’ve been doing for 20 years. Abi is more simplistic and tends to use all natural oils like sweet almond and jojoba oil.

WHAT IS THE DIVISION OF LABOUR WITHIN LÍHA AND WHAT VISION DO YOU INDIVUALLY BRING?
We both play a hand in formulating the products and as we are both quite creative with packaging and anything to do with how our brand looks and is portrayed. Abi is way more technical so she deals with more of the technical stuff like the website, graphics, spread sheets, newsletters, whereas I write a lot of the copy. We both have the same vision for the brand and that what makes us work so well, also I have never met anyone more impatient than me until I met Abi, so we definitely push each other to stay on the grind!

HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK WITH OTHER PERSONAL COMMITMENTS?
It’s been very, very difficult, we both still have our day jobs albeit we both are self-employed but it’s always a challenge balancing everything to ensure we aren’t neglecting any areas.

ANY HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF WORK?
(Abi) For me, having hobbies has been very difficult, as well as doing all my various jobs I’m also trying to finish my Pilates qualifications as a teacher, so there isn’t much time for hobbies at the moment.

(Lahi) Same here, between running two businesses and home educating my 11 year old, not too much time! I try and squeeze in time to make music for myself and write once in a while, or else I would lose it completely.

WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES AND STYLE INSPIRATIONS?
When it comes to our brand our influences has definitely been the rich history of Nigeria and the diaspora. Just the whole culture and how it has travelled is a huge inspiration for us, whether its Santería in Cuba or Cantomble in Brazil, Hoodoo in New Orleans, there is such a wealth of knowledge about working with the earth and respecting nature.

(Abi) My style inspiration is forever changing, back in the day women like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu were everything, not only with the styles they rocked but the way they empowered and spoke to women of my generation. Now women like Amanda Lastenberg and have taken over the mantel-women who aren’t afraid to speak about the political and social climate. Artists on Instagram really inspire us daily. On Instagram, Currentlyelise and Yesladyphoenix are favourites.

(Lahi) I’m really inspired by the past in a lot of ways. My parents are a constant style inspiration for me. I grew up in their shops, living above them, and it was a natural mix of Nigerian and African styles. Furniture, jewellery, books, oils. My dad hitchhiked around the world in the late 50’s/early 1960’s and nearly settled in Sweden. He became obsessed with the minimal Scandinavian design, and you can see this Afro-Scandic influence in our design which came from looking at old photos.

WHICH ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS TO HANG OUT IN LONDON?
(Abi) I love going to Hatch in Homerton for a coffee and it’s also a great co-working workspace. The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch is a good spot to catch a cocktail and Oslo bar in Hackney central you can always hear a good live band.

(Lahi) I love the British Library, they always have great exhibitions and I love the fact that every book ever published is there. I like just hanging out inn there, geeking out on things I’m interested in. Wandering around Liberty has always been a way to unwind. It’s still so surreal to see our product on the shelves.

Beauty

Photo Courtesy of Líha Beauty

 Shea Butter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Florence Kasumba

Photo Courtesy Of Marvel Entertainment

YOU’RE A THIRD CULTURE KID, BORN INTO A UGANDAN FAMILY, RAISED IN GERMANY AND CURRENTLY WORKING ALL OVER THE PLACE. HOW HAS YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE SHAPED YOU?
I grew up in a Ugandan household, but since my mom came to Germany as a teenager, she knew it was important for her children to learn the language at a native level. Though we grew up speaking German, my parents never held back with stories about Uganda. Still, they both lived international lives starting as young adults. I continued that tradition by studying acting, dancing, and singing in the Netherlands. After that, my work took me to many international locations. In my life, I've changed continents and countries. I've been able to work in three languages. Those experiences make up who I am, and I wouldn't trade that freedom for anything.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN ACTOR?
I was 12 and on a school trip to see the musical, “Starlight Express”. I was blown away by what the performers did on stage. I thought then and there, “I can do that. I want to do that.” Singing, dancing, and acting all together - that was it.

WHAT DO YOU PREFER, THE STAGE OR SCREEN?
There is no preference. I fell in love with stage early on, but my first screen experience came, while I was studying. It was a romantic role, which was filmed on location in France. It doesn't get better than that! Though I film mostly, I have never left stage work.

WITHOUT GIVING AWAY ANY SPOILERS, WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE DORA MILAJE (THE ADORED ONES) IN “CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR” THAT CAPTIVATES THE AUDIENCE?
When I did my research on the Black Panther, I was extremely fascinated by the strong women surrounding T'Challa in his comic book stories. I think that modern audiences are more open than ever to seeing strong, confident, yet feminine women, who show what they are capable of.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE STARRING OPPOSITE SCARLETT JOHANSSON AND CHADWICK BOSEMAN AND HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE ROLE?
When I did the casting for this project, I had no idea what the film was or with whom I would be working. Sitting in the makeup trailer, it was great to finally meet Scarlett. When I finished, I was driven to the set and as I got out of the car, I saw Chadwick. The thing Is... a few months before that, I had filmed a series in Capetown and I ended up sitting next to him at a dinner hosted by one of the series' producers. It was nice to see him again. Both of them are true professionals. After I got the job, I started researching the characters involved in the Civil War comics.

YOU’RE PROBABLY SWORN TO SECRECY, BUT WILL THE CHARACTER MAKE AN APPEARANCE IN THE UPCOMING BLACK PANTHER MOVIE (BLINK IF THIS IS THE CASE)?
Yes... I am sworn to secrecy.

YOU’RE CURRENTLY SHOOTING “EMERALD CITY” FOR NBC, WHAT CAN YOU SHARE ABOUT THIS PROJECT AND ARE YOU A FAN OF “THE WIZARD OF OZ”, BOOK AND FIRST MOVIE?
Of course I am a fan of “The Wizard of Oz”. It is also a big part of musical theatre. Being a part of this project and cast has been the experience of a lifetime. I'm excited to see the reactions of fans worldwide!

WITH YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE, HOW DO YOU ENTERTAIN YOURSELF RECREATIONALLY?
 In my free time, I love watching my favorite series (“Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones”, “Empire”, and “Scandal”) and working out.

HOW DO YOU STAY FIT?
While I'm home, I train in Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chen, Tai Chi Yang, and Qi Gong, almost daily. When I am on the road, I spend time in the hotel fitness room doing cardio.

WHAT OTHER HIDDEN TALENTS DO YOU HAVE?
I played tenor saxophone and was in a symphonic band for many years.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mid-Month Convention

Photographed By Ellinor Forje

Monday, May 9, 2016

Erotic City

Photographed By Ellinor Forje 

EXTERIOR. VIRGIN MEGASTORE, NEW YORK - NIGHT.

"It's late, I know. But I need to pick up a CD."

"We're Closed."

"It's Prince!"

"Be quick. And you guys will come back and see me right?"

 FADE OUT.