Anne-Marie on life as a solo artist outside of the Rudimental bubble

Today Anne-Marie has released the first single from her upcoming album and so to celebrate, we’re sharing some excerpts and images from our feature with the young star in FAULT #22.

Anne-Marie has been spending the past two years touring the world with Rudimental and now she’s progressing to pop’s waiting list after the release of her debut EP ‘Karate’. She’s clearly no rookie to the music industry and has her eye on the prize.

Suit jacket: Filippa K Slim trousers: Filippa K Cross kiss ring: Meghan Farrell Jewellery Single beat ring: Meghan Farrell Jewellery Single beat cuff: Meghan Farrell Jewellery Rose gold jawz earrings: Meghan Farrell Jewellery

You're first and foremost known as Rudimental’s Anne Marie. Can you talk us through your history with them? How did it all come about?
I had a writing session with them about three years ago and that was before I had any music out, so we just became friends basically. And we stayed friends until they needed someone to go on tour with them and that’s when they chose me.

Do you remember what your first show with them was like?
It was quite scary. I remember just being on stage and being stiff and quite overwhelmed. It was quite a lot to take in. It was a big show as well, it was at a festival in Wales. I ended up getting used to it though. I’m a little bit better now but back then it was a bit scary.

Floorwork Cream Top: Antipodium Taylor Denim Skirt: Pepe Jeans Black Leather Jacket: Filippa K Abbott Stud Black Boots: Rebecca Minkoff Cross Kiss Ring: Meghan Farrell Jewellery Single Beat Ring: Meghan Farrell Jewellery

Now you’re coming into your own and releasing your own music as well. What do you feel is the main difference between yourself as an artist and yourself as a featured artist? How do you plan on differentiating yourself?
Well, apart from the obvious outcome of being a featured artist where all you do is sing other people’s music, which I love doing nonetheless, as my own artist, I can write my own stuff, I can put across something that I want out there. I always write about personal experiences or experiences that other people who are close to me have been through. So, it’s finally fine to sing about something that is important to me, which I’m really looking forward to. Obviously when you’re singing other people’s music, it’s still important to have a connection with it, but it’s not the same as it is with your own writing.

Pink Embroidered Faux-Suede Jacket: Fyodor Golan

What’s your FAULT?
My biggest fault is that I’m really impatient. And I need to learn how to be patient; it’s becoming a problem.

Ryan Tedder returns to FAULT Magazine Cover ahead of new OneRepublic Album

Ryan Tedder is a very busy man these days. Having worked alongside the biggest talents in the industry, he’s now taken time to focus on OneRepublic’s 4th album due to be released in early October. Some have accused Tedder of handing out his greatest hits to other musicians, but the band’s upcoming album is bound to prove everyone wrong. Appropriately entitled Oh My My, the album unmasks Tedder’s incredible versatility and vocal range, as you’ve never heard it before. In short, it’s safe to say that Oh My My is a revelation and the beginning of a new era for OneRepublic. An era where Tedder fully showcases a modern day genius whose talent falls beyond comprehension. After writing for the likes of Beyonce, Adele, Ed Sheeran and many more, he’s comprised all of it in the form of Oh My My. From first listen onwards, you shortly realize that you can find Ryan Tedder in Ellie Goulding’s Burn, Beyoncé’s Halo and Adele’s Turning Tables – as opposed to the other way around. Tedder is undoubtedly the music industry’s secret weapon and the mind that makes it all go round. We spoke to Ryan ahead of the album release and here’s his take on it all.

You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry– Beyoncé, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Taylor Swift – just to name a few. Aside from that, you’ve also got OneRepublic. That’s a lot to put on anyone’s plate. Do you have a particular routine that you stick to in order to be more efficient?

You just get really good at multitasking. There are a lot of hours in the day, there’s a lot of time that people waste and you basically figure out how not to waste that much time. So there’s no routine basically – every day is different. I’ve got a different routine when I’m on tour as opposed to when I’m not. But it all comes down to not wasting time and being as efficient as you can.

Oh My My – your next album – is coming out in October. After Native, how far did you go with this one?

With this album, I pushed the envelope as far as it could go and on some songs we probably pushed it too far. But then again, that’s how you figure out how far you can go within your own world.

What qualifies as ‘too far’ for OneRepublic?

There will be some songs that people hear and go ‘Oh, they shouldn’t be doing that’. Because people have their own perception of whom you are. Like ‘Oh, you look amazing! You shouldn’t be wearing that jacket though.” Or if you dye your hair black – there’s always going to be that one person who’s going to say that you look better blonde. I’m sure that there are going to be some people that feel that some songs are too far, but it’s a very honest record. The songs are crazy; they’re all over the place. It’s like a playlist. And that’s how people listen to music nowadays anyway. You listen to five artists; you don’t listen to just one artist. I work with 100 artists, so our music is reflective of that. You’ll hear little moments of Adele, little moments of EDM. You won’t hear a song that sounds like it, you’ll hear like a second. You can hear the influences, but the album feels very honest. Our last album did better than we thought, so we have a lot of pressure of doing something that’s better than that.

Do you ever get overwhelmed?

Yes, but that’s normal.

What’s your process of differentiating the material that you’re going to use for yourself as opposed to what you’re going to give away?

It’s pretty easy. If you’re a chef and you own a Japanese restaurant, you can go cook with your friends at different restaurants anytime you want. But one friend of yours might have an Italian restaurant or a hamburger shop and your other friend might have a dessert pastry shop. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to go back to your Japanese restaurant and make pizza.

In short – it’s a question of being aware of your own identity.

Yeah and I know myself very well. Even the hit records that I give away to other people – I give them away because they’re inauthentic. If I put out a record that’s a hit and it’s inauthentic to me – guess what happens – it’s not a hit. It doesn’t connect because people won’t believe it.

So the core of OneRepublic’s sound lies very much in the humanity that you put in it. Is that what you feel that draws people to your music?

That’s exactly what I feel. If I did Katy Perry’s record, people would be like “What the hell is he doing?” Or if I released Taylor Swift’s 1989. Can you imagine that? It would’ve been pretty inauthentic, to say the least. Even Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. People go like ‘Oh, I can see you doing that’ – but no. If we actually did it, people wouldn’t believe it coming from me. It wouldn’t be real coming from me.

Speaking of Taylor and Ed, how do you usually go about picking the artists that you’re going to work with?

You’ve got limited time in a day and you have to choose the ones that move you the most. You can’t just chase the ones that you think you’re going to have a hit with. You go for the ones that you know you’ll bring out the best in and that they’ll bring out the best in you. There are a handful of really big pop stars that I haven’t worked with and that’s not an accident. It’s no offence to them – it’s just that what they do isn’t a brand of clothing that I wear. I can look at Fendi all day long and admire the hell out of it, but I’m not going to wear it. There are some brands that you just don’t wear.

Having worked with Taylor and winning a Grammy for her 1989 album– is there something that you’d like to put out there – especially now in times of turmoil – about her that you feel the public needs to know?

She is pound for pound the most talented writer of any artist I’ve ever worked with. Taylor is the only artist that I’ve worked with that has the complete skillset. If she weren’t an artist, she’d be the number one songwriter in the world. If she weren’t a songwriter, she’d be the number one artist in the world. She can write songs with the technical understanding of a master of songwriting, but she still taps into the emotional and personal side of the artist that she is and writes from that place. To do both at the same time is incredibly rare and I haven’t met many other people that do it. And Taylor has known what she wanted to do ever since she was 12, so there’s that. She’s a bit of a prodigy. And as long as I’ve known her, she’s been nothing but kind to me and thoughtful and generous. I’ve read a lot of stuff and heard a lot of stuff and obviously, she’s caught up in some drama right now and it’s a sticky situation – but personally I’ve had nothing but awesome experiences with her from day one.

Having shared the studio with so many talents, is there a specific moment in your songwriting career that has stuck with you to this day?

Stevie Wonder. I did a song for a movie with him a couple of weeks ago. He and I were sitting in a room, going back and forth over lyrics and I had a moment where I was sat there and I wished there was a camera filming – because I was writing a song with Stevie Wonder. And it was just like – this is the coolest day I’ve ever had. I’ve been to a lot of places, I’ve seen a lot of things – but the evening with Stevie – I remember literally every hour of it. Up until 3am. I remember everything that happened. Which you can’t really control, your brain just prioritizes memories without you thinking about it. That was probably my favourite moment. I have so many though, it’s hard to choose.

For the sake of amusement, you must have quite an interesting bundle of stories under your belt. Care to share one of them?

I accidentally stood up Peter Gabriel. Twice. I’ve obviously got random tour stories and stuff like that, but I think my most embarrassing story is my Peter Gabriel story. He’s one of my favourite recording artists and this happened last summer. It was during Ed Sheeran’s Wembley Stadium shows and I connected with Peter through a mutual friend. One day, I got an email from my manager who had talked to his manager and said that Peter wanted to have coffee and get to know me. I went to Peter Gabriel’s place in Notting Hill and I worship him so I was like ‘This is incredible’. I hung out with him all night, we had dinner, listened to music and then it ended. And at the end of the night, I was like ‘Okay, that was amazing, let’s get together again soon.’ What I didn’t know was that there was a miscommunication between his manager and my manager – so his people thought that I had booked to write with him Saturday and Sunday. The way it was explained to me was that we were only meeting up for coffee. So I hung out with him on Friday, had a great night, and Saturday – without knowing – I stood him up. He came into the studio at 10am and waited for me until 2pm and I never showed up. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be there. And the next day – I was also booked. The message that I stood him up on Saturday never got to me, so I didn’t know. And then Sunday – AGAIN. As I was driving to the airport to leave, I get a phone call from Peter. He had been in the studio again for the second day for 2 hours. And he was less than happy with me. So I was on the phone with him for 20 minutes just apologizing while emailing my manager telling him that I stood up Peter 2 days in a row. I was completely mortified and upset. That was my favourite recording artist and I just completely blew him off 2 days in a row. And we made up – after I continuously sent him emails and phone calls cause I was horrified that he was going to hate me – and well, it took two months to make up, but he eventually agreed to work together and now he’s featured on our album. And it’s one of the best songs on the album. It all worked well, but that’s my worst story. My idol is Peter Gabriel and I blew him off two days in a row. It’s the single worst thing that’s happened to my career so far.

Do you currently have your eyes set on any newcomers that you’d like to work with?

James Bay would be great to work with. Someone connected us and we plan on writing together at the beginning of 2017, around January. But yeah, James is my favourite newcomer. I’m sure there are more, but I’ve been so busy with the album that I literally didn’t have time to pay attention. I normally know everything that’s coming out.

What’s your FAULT?

Over commitment. I’m overly ambitious and I over commit, which inevitably leads to letting someone down.

OneRepublic’s new album Oh My My is available for pre-order now via iTunes and is due to be released on October 7th on Interscope Records.

The Vamps appear on FAULT Magazine’s Online Cover

After spending the year touring the world, The Vamps are ready to go back into the studio and start working on their third studio album. Currently just back from India, the band sat down to chat upcoming single All Night, relationships and what makes them tick. It’s been a full year for the boys and they keep going on strong. They’re releasing a book next week, working on a third album and also managing their own record label. Busy times ahead, but nothing short of exciting. FAULT chatted to Brad, the band’s singer, ahead of The Vamps upcoming release All Night featuring Matoma, and here’s his take on it all.

You’ve just finished a world tour and have travelled all around the globe over the past year. What were your highlights?

We recently did a show in Poland and we never ever played a show there. We initially put the show on an 800 capacity venue which we thought was enough and then it went up to a 3000 capacity venue. And we actually sold that out. I think going to a new place and having no idea how you’re going to be perceived by an audience to then go and sell out a crowd that big – that was just an incredible moment for us. That was one of the highlights of the whole year and it was such a good gig.

Word on the street is that you’ve got quite some interesting pre-show rituals. Care to talk me through them?

We do. We have ‘the chin’. So basically, before every show, we do like a little speech and in the speech, everyone has an object in their hand and nobody can have the same object – so maybe like a cereal box, an orange – and then we rub our chins together. The amount of seconds that we rub our chins together is equivalent to the date that we’re playing the show.

 That’s not something you hear every day. How did it come about?

I don’t really know! It started with the chin definitely. That was the first part of the ritual. It started at our first gig; we wanted to do something before every gig. So we started to rub our chins together.

Chins aside, you’ve just announced a new single – All Night featuring Matoma. This is the first new material that we get from you guys in a while. How does it relate to what’s going to come next?

It’s the first song off of our third album. The album is going to be released in a format that it hasn’t been before, so that’s something that’s exciting for us. But All Night is the first piece of new music off of our next body of work. It’s quite representative of everything else that’s about to come. It’s an atmospheric song. In terms of development of music as a band, it’s very different in the sense that it’s unlike anything we’ve ever done. But lyrically – it’s probably the most mature and self-representative song we’ve written.

In terms of new material, you’re currently working on your third studio album – Do you have any other collaborations in mind for the new one?

Not as of yet, we haven’t got anything confirmed. We’ll usually go into the studio, write the songs and then have a look back and think what songs would be fit for collaboration. You don’t want to go in and just do collabs for the sake of doing them, if it didn’t benefit the song. So there are a few songs I’d imagine to have features on, but we haven’t got anything else confirmed.

Have you shifted gears in terms of sound in any way?

I think we have done that, we definitely have. I think it’s just the nature of musicians really. You get quite stuck in a rut if you keep doing the same thing. So pushing yourself and challenging yourself to do different things is part of not getting bored. So yeah, we’ve definitely changed sonically. Not exactly changed, but we have developed. The album sounds a bit more current. Obviously the whole music industry has shifted a bit. So it’s a bit more current in the sense that it’s a bit more dancy, a bit more Justin Bieber –Skrillex kind of sound. So we’ve taken influence from that but kind of put our print on it.

You set up your own record label as well. What drove you towards it?

I think we’ve always been interested as a band in working in the music industry. You’ve got these people there who are heavily involved with your project and your band and they get to experience the whole journey with you as well. They’re just as invested as you are. If you’ve got the right team around that is. They want to see the final project as much as you do. If you find a group or a musician and help develop them and see them grow – and basically the whole process – it’s a very nice and rewarding process.

You’ve also got a book coming out next week – can you share with us like your favourite bits and bobs?

You get to see a side of The Vamps that nobody has ever seen before, which is a good thing. People have their own perception of you because of the things that they read and I think it’s nice that they will get to see our take on things, in our own words. There are a few stories, a few drunken night stories in there, we chat about stuff that goes on behind the scenes, relationships and all that.

After spending so much time touring, you must have quite a few stories under your belt. What’s one the most ridiculous things that’s ever happened to you lot while traveling?

Somehow – I don’t even know how – we ended up in a leopard printed limousine. I don’t even know how it really happened to be honest. We just went for dinner and next thing we knew, there was a leopard print limousine outside. That’s probably the most rock star thing we’ve ever done.

What’s your FAULT?

I’ve got a few to be honest. I’m late to a thing quite often, that’s a big fault. And I’m terrible at texting back.

Social anxiety and carving a niche: Love, Simon actor Keiynan Lonsdale opens up - Interview

Keiynan Lonsdale has come a long way since his early days as a VJ for MTV in Australia. The actor made his Hollywood entry in 2015 after scoring the role of Uriah in Insurgent, the sequel in the young-adult Divergent franchise, and has since appeared in the third blockbuster chapter Allegiantand Craig Gillespie’s disaster-at-sea drama The Finest Hours. Right now, he’s gearing up for the release of his most recent project, Love, Simon, a story about a young boy struggling with defining his sexuality.

We caught up with Keiynan ahead of the movie release to talk Love, Simon, finding your niche and coping with social anxiety on set.

Adina Ilie: You sing, you dance and you’re also an actor – how did you jump from one another?
Keiynan Lonsdale: I was exploring a lot of areas when I first started in the industry. I took on acting classes at school. But after graduating from school, I found myself needing to survive. In Australia, it’s very hard to just be a dancer or to just be an actor or a songwriter. I didn’t want to work a normal job because it wasn’t very inspiring. I knew I wanted to be creative in whatever job I was doing. So I decided to be very open and explore a lot of different options. I did a musical and that encompassed acting, singing, and dancing, so I was pursuing all of them at the same time.

AI: So you had quite a wide spectrum to choose from if you wanted to specialise?
KL: Exactly. Plus, I got a lot of good advice from people who told me that I should go into the direction that I was best at. I didn’t want to be a jack-of-all-trades my whole life.

AI: Can you pinpoint a defining moment when you realised that acting was your thing?
KL: When I booked Insurgent. That was the moment that defined the rest of my career. I had to choose acting because it was blowing up into something bigger than I ever imagined. I didn’t think that I would be working in that capacity as an actor – but it happened.

Still, 'The Flash' (2016)

AI: You star in Love, Simon, which is out this month. How did you get involved in the film?
KL: It’s directed by Greg Berlanti, who I worked with on The Flash, so I knew that the project would be told in a really honest way. It was an incredible project to get involved in, and at that time I was going through a lot of anxiety, I was scared to step on to a new set. But from the first interaction I had with them they all made me feel like I was part of the family. That allows you to feel safe and to know that you can do a good job. And it’s also a really important film considering the subject matter.

AI: Is there anything in particular that you looked for in the script?
KL: It had to be a combination of storyline, role, and director. And with Love, Simon, it was obvious that it wasn’t made with the pure need to make money, it’s an essential subject matter for the world and I could trust that it was going to be delivered in an appropriate manner. My character was someone that I could relate to as well. The movie fits me like a glove.

AI: What do you hope people will take from Love, Simon after watching it?
KL: I hope that people will have a better understanding of love and of the fact that everyone is worthy of love. So many people suffer from self-hate because they don’t feel that they are worthy – in spite of the fact that their outside egos project that they’re comfortable in their skin. I feel like this movie shows that we’re all worthy. And I hope people take that with them into their lives.

Still, 'Love, Simon' 2018

“I felt more exposed during general human interaction than I did in front of a crowd.”

AI: You’ve mentioned in several interviews that you’ve struggled with social anxiety as a child. How did you manage to become a performer in spite of it all?
KL: I’ve been on stage ever since I was five years old. I was okay with people watching me perform, but I didn’t feel safe once I got off the stage. Of course, it doesn’t seem like it makes sense. My mum was very confused, she said, “You can’t even look people in the eye and yet you want to perform in front of hundreds of people?” So I guess I was able to separate the two – it was like stepping into two different worlds. I felt more exposed during general human interaction than I did in front of a crowd.

AI: Is this something that has continued through your adulthood?
KL: It has subsidised, but I still found it difficult interacting with people on set. I didn’t quite know how to be myself and be comfortable.

AI: How do you overcome it?
KL: My first job in America was the Divergent series and after my first day I called my mum and one of my best friends and I was crying. I kept saying that I didn’t want to do it and that I couldn’t do it. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there, I didn’t know how to be around anyone. But I got used to constantly being uncomfortable and it became easier each time. At the beginning of last year, I started struggling with a lot of anxiety and panic attacks and at the peak of it I made a choice to explore myself and see where it came from. I put myself in big crowds at music festivals, I started being more adventurous with my friends and focused on my life outside of my career. I finally felt what it was like not to be afraid.

AI: That must’ve been extremely liberating.
KL: I’d been like that all my life and that shift completely changed my life for the better. It happened at the same time that I came out publicly too, there were a lot of good things changing in my life. It was time not to get in my own way anymore.

AI: Do you have any advice for young actors struggling to make it into the industry because of stage fright and social anxiety?
KL: I suppose that most actors work really hard because they know it takes a lot of dedication to truly honour your craft. But at the same time, I don’t think those artists know how important it is to enjoy life. For me, once I finally let go of the pressure of being perfect, it made my life and my work better. Your work comes from you and if you’re not in check, you often don’t feel brave enough to make bold choices with your creativity. So I would say that once you let go – a little bit or a lot – you’ll actually find that your inspiration has been waiting for you. Open your arms a bit.

AI: What are your next steps?
KL: I’m mostly going to be focused a lot of my music now. It feels like it’s time and that I’m ready and I finally know myself as an artist – as much as one can.

Love, Simon is out now across the US.

Harry Styles brings London to its knees for a second night in a row at the Apollo - Review

As much as you brace yourself for the sheer excitement of 5000 young girls yearning for a glimpse of Harry Styles, nothing can prepare you for the caliber of high octane screams that occur when his figure appears anything but shyly from behind his eponymous pink curtain.

Outside the venue, the sight is awe-inducing. Thousands of girls had camped overnight – you can spot under the scaffoldings hundreds of mattresses and sleeping bags piled one on top of the other.

Harry’s seen as a safe haven by his millions of fans. In a way – he is a refuge. Inside the venue, thousands of people show up with rainbow flags and Black Lives Matter posters are spotted all across the front row of the venue. Hundreds of girls and boys alike proudly strut the hallways of the Apollo wearing his pink merchandise.  Treat People With Kindness it says. If their idol wears his heart on his sleeve, then so should his fans.

You wonder whether Styles is an activist or an artist. Is this a concert or a rally? It’s a bit of both. Harry’s idols would not turn their concerts into safe places – but Harry’s carving his own path. His platform is our youth – our future doctors, future politicians and future parents. If this is his way of educating the masses, then it’s a way that we should all stand behind.

As the lights go down and Styles makes his appearance, there’s a secret yearning for earplugs as you shield yourself from the deafening screams. It’s all in good spirit though.

As he jumps from song to song with the flair of a performer with three decades under his belt, it’s obvious to the naked eye that Harry Styles was in his element in One Direction as much as he is on his own. It’s his versatility that’s catchy. He’s at ease and in good spirits. His vocals silence the room with the rendition of Ariana Grande’s Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart. Fan favourite Kiwi is clearly Styles’ favourite to perform though. His inner Mick Jagger shows up as Harry glides and kneels and prances, much to the joy and arousal of his audience. He’s a teaser.

“Feel free to be whatever you want and whoever you want in this room,” Harry chants to the audience. That’s what they’re here for, after all. “I wouldn’t get to do this if it hadn’t been for you” he carries on with the grateful innocence of a child. And a child he is – one that might not even be aware of what even greater of a journey lies ahead of him. “He’s a Bowie in the making,” I hear shyly from an eager fan sat behind me. He’s not – He’s Harry Styles in the making.

Coverage: Adina Ilie

Taylor Swift at Wembley - Swift delivers impeccable performance of powerhouse calibre in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium


Her Swifties are definitely not swiftly moving on. Welcome to the Reputation Tour.

Pop phenomenon Taylor Swift conquered Wembley Stadium tonight with a Cirque du Soleil like performance. Swift’s latest Reputation tour is the embodiment of pop impeccability.

Swift is a star that knows how to please everyone. The show comes together through a unique blend of dancers, lasers, fireworks, flame-throwers and a flying cage that whisks her away from stage to stage.

Her fans are in celebratory spirits. Going to a Taylor Swift show is an experience of belongingness for her fans as opposed to merely a high-octane spectacle. For an artist who has continuously published her personal journals, the stadium show feels strangely powerful and intimate at the same time. It’s a heart to heart in a high-octane show. Swift is a musician who doesn’t hide behind her lyrics. Stadiums can often strip the biggest stars of their presence, but Swift stands tall, undiminished by the flames, the fireworks, and the big-budget hydraulics.

With an all-inclusive playlist that features both songs from her previous albums and latest releases, Swift’s performance blends them all together into a cohesive version – reflective of her genuine self. The old songs are rendered in a new formula that makes them blend effortlessly into the high-octane setlist.

The show kicks off with criticism towards tabloid media who have torn the star to shreds previously and carry on doing so to present day. She’s taking in all in stride though. At the end of the day, it’s the fans that matter the most. Swift is a performer that never sought to make the same album twice. And her fans have stuck with her from her country days to her pop-infused 1989 up until present day with her EDM-reminiscent Reputation album. Ultimately, it’s their continuous support that sky-rocketed Taylor to household calibre and encouraged her to evolve and experiment.

The innocence of ‘You Belong With Me’ gave way to the vitriol of ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ as the imagery of snakes flooded the stage (a nod to the label Swift was given after a feud with Kanye West). Taylor Swift is an artist that appeals to both the little girl inside a woman and the woman inside a little girl.

And Wembley stadium is the perfect home for her latest album. Reputation is designed to be performed on a large scale. It’s perfectly curated for that particular high-caliber level of sound and light. It’s the definition of stadium-curated pop sensation. Throughout her set, Swift’s voice never falters, hitting all the high notes that are carefully timed in order to make a long-lasting impact. Her performance is inch-perfect and Swift sounds poised and potent.

The most impressive part of Taylor’s show lies within the stage design and overall outrageously perfect production, from her microphones to an arch designed in the shape of a cobra.

Infused with timeless pop references from George Michael’s 2006 stage – along with Coldplay’s concept of giving out wristbands that flicker to the beat, Swift quickly turns her fans into fireflies for the evening.

People might have strong opinions about Swift, but the singer-songwriter is clearly in her imperial phase. With 13 years in pop music, long may her reign continue. In a couple of decades, we will see this emblematic day at Wembley Stadium as the pinnacle moment of when Taylor Swift’s became a legacy name to rival Michael Jackson.

BAFTA EE Presents The Costume Series in partnership with Swarovski

Each year, the BAFTA Awards showcase an incredible array of talent in the most poignant cinematic categories.

This weekend, The Sessions held at BAFTA HQ shone a light on the makers of the most incredible films to grace the screen in 2017. From Production Design to Hair and Makeup, along with talks from this year’s EE Rising Star Nominees, the panels offered an exclusive in-depth look at the work and passion that is put behind each film and each talent nominated for this year’s awards.

As part of the Costume Sessions, we had an exclusive opportunity to see what actually went into the makings of the incredible dressings from BAFTA Nominated films The Shape of Water and I, Tonya.

The process that goes into the making of a costume is intrinsically fascinating and complex. Speaking to the crowd, Jennifer Johnson, the costume designer behind I, Tonya’s iconic looks has delved in depth into what actually goes into the garment-making of an iconic biographical film.

Photo: Neon

`’It’s a magical time when an actor feels incredibly wholesome with the costume” she says while reflecting on working with Margot Robbie. Robbie’s costumes were made from scratch – there was no particular insight into Tonya’s actual outfits that she wore during the Olympics. By studying significant amounts of documentary series on Tonya’s performances along with VHS footage and very old poor quality photographs, Johnson only had 5 weeks of pre-production time to be able to put together all of Robbie’s outfits. Challenging yet rewarding at the same time, the team behind I, Tonya acted as a very nurturing environment for Johnson to work in. Margot Robbie acted as a title character as well as a producer alongside her husband who was a screenwriter. We’d call it a family affair. It was very important for Johnson to get a good grasp of Margot’s character at first. Speaking to FAULT of her experience, she recalls that the moment Robbie became one with the costume was a wholesome process. “The body warms up, they accept the costume and they become one with it. If the actor doesn’t accept the costume in their sphere and their comfort, then that’s when difficulties occur.”

The second panelist of the evening was Luis Sequeira, the designer behind the iconic period looks of The Shape of Water who is currently being nominated in 13 different categories.

Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo by Kerry Hayes. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

When working with Guillermo Del Toro, Luis explains that it’s a very particular and intense experience. On a production of the scale of The Shape of Water, it was very important to keep all the details in check from start to finish. A fabric that looks a certain way in the palm of your hards takes entirely different dimensions when put in front of a camera. The second part of the film was shot entirely underwater, which added an extra element of difficulty when addressing the costumes. For the final scene, Sequiera explains that he chose to use a different type of fabric that would accurately reflect the movements of Sally. When speaking of his experience of working alongside her, he explains that there’s “always a magical melding of actually creating characters with Sally and that forms a healthy balance.” In perspective, the cast is at their most vulnerable with the costume designers and they believe in that a strong blend of trust and friendship needs to exist. Although Sequeira insists that a boundary still needs to exist. Even though he’s close to Sally, he explains that ‘close friends don’t tie her shoelaces’ – which inevitably creates a division in between a working relationship and an actual friendship. Not to say that one can’t be formed, but what’s most important on a film set is a level of professional trust in between designers and cast members.

The question on everyone’s lips is ‘Who’s going to win Best Picture at the awards this weekend?’ Reluctant to answer, Sequeira believes it’s quite likely ‘Guillerom del Torro’s turn this year’. We tend to agree, yet the answer to the question shall be revealed this evening.

The EE British Academy Film Awards is broadcast on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 18th February. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds working in film, games and television,

Ida Mae on packing up their lives and moving to Nashville for total freedom

When husband and wife duo Stephanie Jane and Chris Turpin relocated from Bath to Nashville it was a gamble. Having been through trialling times after their initial project faded, the couple headed West to find inspiration within a city deep-rooted in music history.

Here, the pair’s renewed sense of freedom and passion translated into an invigorated new sound and debut record, Chasing Lights. A journey through Americana, the thirteen-track long-play guides us through one couple’s journey to find a new home: amongst country grooves and desert balladry, in the meeting point between Stevie Knicks, PJ Harvey and Alison Mosshart, this pair have found their sonic refuge.

From Nashville, we connected with the pair for a chat and share the exclusive video premiere of their latest track, Love is Still a Long Road. “[It] has this sort of Bonnie and Clyde thing,” the duo tells us about the meaning behind the track. “We moved on the other side of the earth completely broke to do this record, so that song kind of embodies our experience as well.”

Adina Ilie: Talk to me about Chasing Lights, the title track of the album and one of your most emotional ones to date. What’s the story?
Chris Turpin: That particular song only took two or three takes to record. We very quickly realised that the song became something unexpected so we started treating it with a kind of reverence. It embodies a lot of the record. It’s a love song about heartfelt longing but also we thought that the metaphor of it was beautiful, especially in this industry: chasing lights kind of embodied our journey as well.

AI: You’ve put your own house on the line just to make this album successful. During those trialling eighteen months of recording, what were your most challenging times?
Stephanie Jane: I think wrestling our way into the industry was always quite challenging. It’s the creative time that we enjoy and in a lot of instances, you’re just fighting for the right to make music. That was the hardest part for us. It’s one thing to work and be busy – which now, to be honest, we’re wishing for a day off – and another thing to be held back.
CT: It’s very difficult to trust your gut when you’re being pushed in so many different directions by the record companies. On this record, we didn’t make any compromises. We’re satisfied with the reaction that we’ve received so far, but during those eighteen months, it was all about trusting our gut.

“It’s a very special thing as a musician to stand in front of a crowd and share something so simple that can transcend any economic and political factors. “

AI: What did you take away from working with Ethan Johns (Laura Marling, Kings of Leon) on your debut album?
SJ: He’s someone that does go with his gut and because of his track record, he can get away with it. If we said to a record label that we were gonna go and record live on our own, they would’ve been like, “Absolutely not, that sounds terrifying.” Whereas if you go, “Ethan Johns is going to lead us” they’re much more trusting. We were allowed to do a lot more than we wanted to do in the first place.
CT: He was also reacting to everything on an emotional level. He wasn’t an A&R man trying to figure out if it was going to get radio plays or not. He didn’t care if technically it was perfect, he only cared about his emotional response and that’s how he’s always worked. He never second-guessed anything.

AI: And what sort of feeling did you want to convey through the record, was it that authenticity?
CT: I think in a very general sense, we were just plain honest and sincere. We were very careful that our album became its own world: a body of work that you had to listen to repeatedly and dive into. You spend your 40 minutes in the room with us and try to feel human. At the end of the day, we wanted to make something that people would be able to resonate with.

AI: Can you talk us through the meaning behind Love is Still a Long Road?
CT: It’s one of the earliest ones we wrote while living in Bath. I had a bedsit above this nasty club and I could hear screaming and vomiting right on my doorstep until four or five in the morning. I wanted to write a love song about it because I know that most people went in there trying to find the love of their lives [laughs]. But in fact, they were mainly drinking cheap beer and vomiting. So, I wrote that song with that city in mind. It also has this sort of Bonnie and Clyde thing. We moved on the other side of the earth completely broke to do this record, so that song kind of embodies our experience as well.

AI: And how has that move from Bath to Nashville influenced your sound?
SJ: I think the next record is going to be completely different. Nashville has so many musicians and there’s a real community for us. It’s a lot less competitive than the UK where it’s quite easy to be boxed in, in Nashville it seems to be different respect for players and music. And even if you’re not doing well but you’re having a go, people respect that. There’s very little negativity surrounding it. I think the environment in itself and the fact that we are now independent has given us more creative freedom.
CT: Also the experiences that we’ve had this year have been vastly different to everything that we’ve had in our lives. That’s going to have a huge impact on the writing of the new record.

AI: You’ve known each other since you were in university and then you got married. What’s it like sharing the stage with your other half?
SJ: We’ve been playing music even before we were a couple, so that’s something that comes very naturally. We’re very lucky that, aside from the fact that we’re married and we’re a couple, we’ve always had chemistry playing together. Our voices go really well together, sometimes we can’t tell which one of us is singing on the record. We’re very lucky and we try not to think too much about that side of things because we don’t want to jinx it. We love it and we get to travel the world together. If one of us was at home working, this would be a very tough way to live. We keep each other going and I think it makes it easier.

AI: And what’s the most important aspect for you when working on a new track?
SJ: Chris likes to get the lyrics perfect before we even start working on the music so we’re constantly scribbling in notebooks. The music comes pretty fast. I think our main aim is to keep our records so that they’re meant to be played live. There’s something about recording live that you simply can’t fake, sounds bleed into one another.

Ida Mae’s record, Chasing Lights, is out now.