What’s On Your Playlist, Hozier?

HOZIER has just released the EP ‘Nina Cried Power’ – which precedes his acclaimed self-titled debut album. The Irish musician also recently announced a massive UK and Ireland tour which he will embark on towards the end of the year. But before he begins travelling, we wanted to catch up with Hozier after listening to his new release. Alongside our full interview, we asked Hozier for his five go-to tunes – which we’ve turned into a Spotify Playlist. 





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Adam Crookes: Pop Culture & My Magazine

It’s not just about knowing what is popular, it’s also about understanding why.

CROOKES Magazine is now almost three years old and it continues to morph and change its form to keep up with pop culture.

For me, it’s not just about knowing what is popular, it’s also about understanding why. If there is a television show that I don’t like – that doesn’t mean I can just ignore it and pretend its not relevant. I guess it’s just about taking notice – if someone is listening to Travis Scott’s new album, I want to understand why.

I wouldn’t naturally be a Post Malone or Troye Sivan fan – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to their music. I do. They’re two incredibly influential artists right now. But unlike a fan, I focus on understanding what makes them popular whilst I’m listening. At the moment, I’m really interested in what Drake is doing. As an artist, he is managing to turn each of his releases into a cultural event – tapping into the zeitgeist of any moment.

The fringes of pop culture are also just as interesting. When Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ hit cinemas last February, another film called ‘Phantom Thread’ also began screening. The 1950s-set period drama from Paul Thomas Anderson centered around an Oscar-nominated final performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as a obsessive and controlling fashion designer. I was blown away by the film.

Then a month later, whilst Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ swept the box office – I saw Lynne Ramsay’s gritty-thriller ‘You Were Never Really Here’ starring the chameleon-like Joaquin Phoenix. I honestly think Joaquin Phoenix is the best actor working today.

In late-March, I saw Alex Garland’s new film ‘Annihilation’ on Netflix. By the third act of the sci-fi thriller, I was feeling pretty uneasy. I couldn’t turn it off because I was watching it with other people – so I stuck with it. As the credits began to roll, I was completely freaked out – it felt like a mini-existential crisis.

Sometimes I’ll completely disagree with what is considered popular in culture. In May, British rock band Arctic Monkeys – fronted by masterful lyricist Alex Turner – released their fifth studio album ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’. The release marked a drastic departure from the pulsing baselines of their acclaimed fourth album ‘AM’, swapped with piano-driven lounge music. Contrary to the general consensus among die-hard fans, I found the album bloody impressive. It was exactly what I was looking for in that moment, even though I wasn’t expecting it to sound like it did or be what it was. Though unfortunately for the Monkeys, this sudden change wasn’t what everyone was looking for. Unlike its predecessor, the album can’t really be considered a hit – when taking into account its reception. People don’t really like change. Especially when an artist makes art that resonates with people in a unique way. That’s what Arctic Monkeys did with ‘AM’ – there has never been another record like it, they tapped into the zeitgeist of the moment.

Andy Warhol – who pioneered the Pop Art movement of the 1950s once said: “In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”. It’s a quote that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. We’re in the future, so what does he mean? I started looking into the ideology of the Pop Art movement. The artists wanted to make art for the masses, having felt that earlier art was elitist. Commercial items and cultural icons were often incorporated into the pieces. Back then, this artwork could be seen by thousands if it were included in an exhibition. But now with social media, anyone can post their own art online and have it potentially seen by thousands, maybe even millions. Pop Art is about making art for the masses – so in 2018, this includes Instagram posts, Snapchat stories, memes and GIFs. Also, Warhol opted to use printing techniques that were used for mass production with his art. Similarly, applications like Photoshop or Instagram and Snapchat are being used to mass produce art right now.

In a way, maybe CROOKES Magazine could be considered as Pop Art – the covers are designed to be seen and shared by the masses. That’s ultimately what the magazine is for, what any magazine is for.

When it started to snow across England back in February, I began working on an art project – a collection of work that I’ll put on the magazine website, almost like a mini-online exhibition. I dug out my family’s old VHS camcorder, that had been untouched for almost twenty years. It’s pretty special. You can almost create a timeless look to the imagery – with what your shooting neither looking old or new. From the stuff that I’ve been creating so far, its fair to say that I like abstract work. The idea that an image can be interpreted in dozens of ways, without being at all conclusive.

I want even the most die-hard fan to learn something new about their idol in the magazine.

Since the beginning, I’ve always felt that CROOKES Magazine and pop culture are heavily aligned. From the styles of photography to the questions that are asked in interviews. In the interviews, I want even the most die-hard fan to learn something new about their idol when they’re reading the article. You never want an interview to be too serious either, it’s got to be fun and have a few bizarre questions in there. One of my favourite questions to ask is “what’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?” – I remember Emmett Scanlan saying “egg and rice krispies” and Jack Maynard saying “chips dipped in chocolate milkshakes”. With the photoshoots, I want fans to see their star in a completely new light – literally. What’s the point in commissioning a photoshoot that presents the star in the same way they’ve always been seen in? And why ask a ton of questions that they’ve already been asked before?

At the end of the day, the sole purpose of talent being featured in the magazine is to promote their new work – whether that be a film, a TV show, a new song or all three. As long as the feature helps to promote the new release, it can be presented in a lot of different forms. I’ve been playing around with a few different ideas and testing a few different things. One idea I tried out recently was a Print Edition with Cameron Boyce – ultimately I’ve decided to not pursue making any further Print Editions because I feel there’s no growth in print at this time.

I’ve always been prepared to fight for every reader that I get.

In the same way that vinyl records have been revived, I think in a few decades time we’ll be seeing a return in print magazines. Print magazines are still selling – but any editor in the printing game knows that the clock is ticking. The people running these print magazines are far from stuck in a bubble though – they’re bulking up their online presence whilst sapping the remaining dollars left from the newsstands. CROOKES Magazine could be doing this, but I’d rather get the website in a really strong position to contend with each outlet as they head to online one-by-one. I’m going to be spending a lot of time soon researching why exactly vinyl has made a comeback (beyond the obvious reasons of nostalgia), so that I can see how this translates to the return of print. That’s a whole other article.

I always try to make sure that the variety of talent featured in the magazine is as wide as possible. If a new season ‘Riverdale’ or ‘Stranger Things’ is about to start airing – why don’t we have one of the actors talking to us? Even if they’re not a ‘lead’, I’ve learnt to never underestimate the power of a show’s fanbase. One share on social media from a TV show ‘fan account’ can light the spark to hundreds of readers – that happens a lot.

If I see someone listening to an artist on their Spotify, I’m going to try and get that artist featured in the magazine. I’ve always been prepared to fight for every reader that I get, and so I should. I have to give people as many reasons as possible to visit this website – and simply giving them the address isn’t enough. That may be enough if I want them to visit once, but I aim to be able to get my readers to visit at least once a week to see what’s new.

Adam Crookes


Interview: Mark Gatiss – The Prolific Character Reinventor

Interview: Ralph Ineson on the freedoms of motion capture and his role in ‘Ready Player One’

Interview: The Magnetism of Billy Magnussen – ‘Black Mirror’ & ‘Game Night’

Interview: Jess Glynne – The Return Of A Chart-Topping Powerhouse

Interview: Tom Odell – The Songwriter Finding Home Again

Interview: Harlea – The Songwriter Pushing Against The Trends

HARLEA is pushing against the current trends of rock’n’roll – carving out her own style with a fusion of contemporary and raw songwriting with an edge.

Birmingham born and London raised songwriter made quite the entrance last year with her debut tracks ‘Miss Me’ and ‘You Don’t Get It’. Now the passionate lyricist returns with her brand-new single ‘Beautiful Mess’ – a hook filled, future classic written with American super producers Rock Mafia.

We had a chat with Harlea about how she found her style and her songwriting process.

AC: You used to be a model, how did you manage to breakthrough with your music career? Was music always at the forefront of your mind?

HARLEA: I have always loved music and it has always been a part of who I am. I really enjoyed modelling but music was always my number one passion so I decided to focus on that completely a few years ago.

I feel like your guitar music goes beyond the current trends, was that a conscious decision?

It was. Everyone I spoke to always went on and on about how you don’t get music like you use to these days, and you had to go back in time for the good stuff. That was all the music I was listening to, so I thought, why not make a modern day version!

How do you feel about the state of guitar music at the moment?

I think that there are some really great bands out there at the moment. Guitar music gets a bad rep and everyone thinks it’s having a tough time, but there are brilliant bands and artists breaking through.

Who do you think is staying true to classic rock’n’roll?

I think there are many bands out there staying true. The Foo Fighters for instance!

Guitar music seems to be really popular in LA right now. What was it like working with American producers on your new material?

I love America and spend a lot of time in Los Angeles. It felt like a natural fit to work with Rock Mafia and they were really fun to work with. I have worked with a lot of British producers too though and there are some great talented people on both sides of the Atlantic.

When did you buy your first guitar?

I bought my first acoustic guitar about seven years ago and unfortunately learning how to play it didn’t work out so well for me, so it’s been hung up for now. Hopefully one day I will master it.

So, what about songwriting – how long does it take you to write a song?

It really depends on the day, who I am writing with, what’s inspiring me that day etc. Sometimes I have ideas and they quickly turn into a song, and other times there’s a lot of back and forth. My new single Beautiful Mess was written by Rock Mafia. When I first heard it, I knew I loved it, but we had to adapt it a bit until it felt perfect.

Who would you like to collaborate with in the near future?

I think that is hard one to answer. There are so many great talents out there that I would love to collaborate with but to pick a few to name just seems too hard!


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Interview: Mark Gatiss – The Prolific Character Reinventor

Interview: Tom Odell – The Songwriter Finding Home Again

Interview: Alex Lawther & Jessica Barden are teen-misfits in ‘The End Of The F***ing World’ on Netflix

Interview: The Magnetism of Billy Magnussen – ‘Black Mirror’ & ‘Game Night’

Interview: Wallis Day has landed on ‘Krypton’

Interview: Ray Panthaki on ‘Marcella’ Season 2 & being a BAFTA Breathrough Brit

Interview: Blossoms on directing their music videos and their new album

Interview: Hayley Law is taking over your screens on ‘Riverdale’ & ‘Altered Carbon’

Interview: Violett Beane plays Truth Or Dare and shares her App Idea

Interview: Ralph Ineson on the freedoms of motion capture and his role in ‘Ready Player One’

Interview: Tommy Bastow on his role in ABC’s ‘The Crossing’

Interview: Jack Maynard on moving forward & balancing YouTube, TV & Touring

Interview: Disney’s Meg Donnelly talks ‘Zombies’ & ‘American Housewife’

Interview: Milo Manheim on role in Disney’s ‘Zombies’

Fashion Editorial: MTV Star – Business & Pleasure by Jason Schlosberg

After competing in MTV’s first season of “Are You The One?” breakout reality star ADAM KUHN continues to model and even competed on the follow up “Battle of the Exes II.” Now living in Austin and working as a sales rep for a software security firm, he’s finding his way in the Real World. Photographer Jason Schlosberg wanted to capture Adam in his transitional phase from MTV star to businessman by suiting him up against a backdrop of graffiti and his gaming console. Despite the crazy world around him, Adam continues to stand out and looks positively into the future.



Buy: Lizzy Greene – Summer 2018 Print Edition


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Front Cover: LIZZY GREENE by Mario Barberio

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FROM THE EDITOR: After nearly three years of being solely digital, CROOKES MAGAZINE is now printing quarterly editions alongside our continued digital content. This 60-page Summer Edition features exclusive unseen interviews with a few of your favorite young actors and music artists from both sides of the Atlantic. The Magazine is printed on A5 paperback with a matte finish.

(Adam Crookes – Editor)

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LIZZY GREENE / EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – talking about her time working at Nickelodeon so far on ‘Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn’.

JESS GLYNNE / EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – the Grammy Winning Artist chats about her new single ‘I’ll Be There’, as well as talking about the underlying sense of optimism in her music and where that came from.

CAMERON BOYCE / EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – on moving away from Disney and taking about his new role in ABC’s ‘Steps’.

CROOKES MAGAZINE recently had access-all-areas passes at the highly-regarded GRADUATE FASHION WEEK in London during the first week of June. We share with you some of the best snaps of the event.





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