Interview: Luna Blaise on Music, ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ & ‘American Horror Story’


Luna Blaise Photoshoot 2018
Photography by Dawn Kingston

LUNA BLAISE has been immersed in the acting world for the past decade, having began at the age of just six. Since 2014, Luna has been in a recurring role on ABC’s  ‘Fresh Off The Boat‘ – in which she has recently been given a storyline about her character’s sexuality that created much buzz and conversation. Alongside the long working hours of an actress in a sitcom, Blaise released her debut single ‘Over You’ in 2017. Now over year later, Luna released her second single ‘Camera Roll’ back in February. We catch up with her about her ambitions as an actress, what it’s like working in a recording studio and the show she really wants to guest star on.

AC: You were given the challenge of portraying a character with a storyline and sexuality in ‘Fresh Off The Boat’, how much pressure did you feel and what kind of responses did you get?

LUNA BLAISE: Honestly I didn’t feel any pressure. When the producers explained Nicole’s arc for season four and would I be comfortable with the storyline I didn’t hesitate at all. I was honored that Nanatchka Khan our show-runner and the writers trusted me to bring Nicole’s coming out story to life. I will forever be grateful that they gave me this incredible opportunity. The response was positive and I feel so lucky that I grew up in a home where love has no labels. 

What TV Show would you really like to guest star on?

American Horror Story. I want to work with Ryan Murphy.

Photography by Strange Nature

I really wanted to dive into writing. For me delivering a record has to mean something. 

Which actresses do you look up to?

This is such a tough question, there are so many great actresses in the community. Meryl Streep!

Talk us through a typical day on set, how does the day start?

A typical day usually means an early call time. I always try my best to arrive early then settle in my trailer before heading off to hair and makeup, followed by rehearsals and then we shoot. A typical day for me runs about twelve to fourteen hours. Often it is dark when I leave for set and dark when I get home. I love it! 

Having released your first song almost a year ago and now having just released your second song, has the kind of music you want to make slightly changed?

Yes, I think that I am evolving as a person so organically the sound of the music is transforming with me.

Why has there been a year’s gap?

Honestly I really wanted to dive into writing. For me delivering a record has to mean something. 

Your fans seem to really like ‘Camera Roll’, when did you start working on the song?

I actually wrote the song in like forty-five minutes back in November 2017. 

What’s it like hanging out in a recording studio?

It’s so fun hanging in studio but it’s also for me a working environment as well. 

How many songs have you written?

I have been in so many sessions and I really don’t count. 

What will be the next single and when can we expect to see it?

I am gonna be putting out tons of music this year. I think a new single is just around the corner. 

How much fun is shooting music videos?

For me it’s taking some adjustment because I am so used to being mic’d when we are recording sync. But with music videos typically they are non-sync. 

What are your ambitions for your music?

I want to write chart-smashing hit songs. I also see myself writing for other artists. 

Who would be the dream person to star in one of your music video?

A music video starring Timothée Chalamet.

Do you have any other upcoming projects to tell our readers about? 

I have an indie film that is premiering at Tribeca Film Festival called Surviving Theater 9 – the film follows the aftermath of the mass shooting that took place inside a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora Colorado in 2012. Unfortunately there have been too many innocent lives lost to mass shootings since that fateful night. I also just finished filming a new pilot called “Manifest” for NBC. It’s a one hour mystery thriller episodic with crazy and unexpected twists and turns. People are gonna love it.

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH LUNA BLAISE

 

Last movie you watched?

Fault In Our Stars

Best show to binge-watch?

13 Reasons Why 

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?

Spaghetti with Chili 

Advice to your younger self?

Be present and don’t forget to look up. 

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

I am excited to hopefully one day get married and have children.

A sport you wish you could play?

Golf

What was the last book you read?

I have dyslexia, so reading for long periods of time can be challenging, instead I watch tons of films. 

Would you rather be at a mountain hideaway or a beach house?

Beach House…I am a water baby. 

What is the farthest you have been from home?

London, England 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAWN KINGSTON & STRANGE NATURE

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Interview: Emery Kelly on Netflix’s ‘Alexa & Katie’ & Forever In Your Mind


Emery Kelly Photoshoot 2018Joining Netflix this month is original sitcom series ‘Alexa & Katie’ – which follows two best friends who can’t wait for their first year of high school, even though Alexa is dealing with a secret with Katie by her side. Alongside the titular characters is EMERY KELLY – best known for being one third of Forever In Your Mind (a pop boy band that formed five years ago while appearing on the show ‘The X Factor’). They recently released their latest single “Rabbit Hole”, performing it on MTV’s ‘TRL’ and NBC’s ‘The Today Show.’ At beginning of the year, Forever In Your Mind released their EP “Euphoric”.

How did your role in Netflix’s ‘Alexa & Katie’ come about?

I saw my amazing cast mate and loving friend Paris Berelc book ‘Alexa & Katie’ last year and wanted to see if there was a brother role, and lucky enough there was!

Did you audition?

Yes, I don’t remember how many, I think it was two or three times before I booked the role.

You’ve worked on a few shows now, what are the unique challenges to acting in a sitcom?

The unique challenge for me would sometimes be timing. But thanks to working on ‘Alexa & Katie’, I was able to overcome that obstacle.

How do you spend your time between takes?

Chilling with Paris [Berelc], Jack [Griffo], Isabel [May], and Finn [Carr].

Tell us about your role in ‘Alexa & Katie’…

My role is Lucas Mendoza, Alexa’s older brother. He’s really chill, plays basketball, loves his family and has an obsession with his hair (in real life I don’t really have that much of an “obsession” like Lucas has).

Emery Kelly Photoshoot 2018

Did your passion for music come before acting?

I feel like they both came in at the same time, it was organic beccause of growing up around musical theater kids.

If you weren’t called ‘Forever In Your Mind’, what would your name be?

We’ve had a couple names but I honestly think we couldn’t change the name. It’s been with us forever, why change it?

Disney started developing a series starring the three of you – ‘Forever Boys’, do you think that it could still one day happen?

Honestly, no I don’t think so, due to the demographic they’re going for, but, I will always have love and appreciation for the mouse family.

Have there been any other ideas thrown around about how the three of you could star in something together?

Not since Forever Boys…but you never know!

How long do you guys see yourselves being a group for?

It could maybe be forever or maybe a few more years

Have you considered a solo career at all?

In the future, absolutely.

Emery Kelly Photoshoot 2018

Do you have plans to go on tour this year?

Yes we do! We can’t wait to see our fans.

In the world of acting, who do you look up to?

Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Seth Macfarlane.

Who would your dream co-star be?

Anyone I mentioned earlier from ‘Alex & Katie’. Also anyone from the casts of ’13 Reasons Why’, ‘Riverdale’, ‘Everything Sucks’, ‘On My Block’. Love those shows!

You haven’t uploaded to YouTube in a year, why did you stop?

Emery Kelly Photoshoot 2018Yeah it’s been a while, honestly I stopped because I’m focused more on acting, music, producing music, reading, and eating healthy. I still film all my adventures with my friends, band, and family. I just haven’t posted any of it.

Is it something you want to come back to?

I don’t know yet. If I were to upload videos again, they would be cinematic films featuring music I produce and the way I see the world.

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH EMERY KELLY

Last movie you watched? Annihilation

Best show to binge-watch? Friends

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had? Chicken and Apple Slices

What’s on your music playlist at the moment? Bazzi, IRL, Daniel Caesar

Best store to visit in a shopping mall? Food court [laughs]

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours? Can’t tell you!

Advice to your younger self? Keep doing your thing kid, you be you.

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future? Alexa & Katie

A sport you wish you could play? Soccer

Worst joke you’ve ever heard? Can’t remember

What was the last book you read? House of Leaves

Would you rather be at a mountain hideaway or a beach house? Mountain hideaway

What is the farthest you have been from home? Everywhere is my home.

Netflix’s ‘Alexa & Katie’ starring Emery Kelly is now streaming globally

Photographer: Leo Deveney

Interview: Adam Crookes

Styling: Aisha Rae

Makeup: Heather Rae Cheszek

Hair: Darine Sengseevong

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Jack Maynard Photoshoot 2018

A YouTube Vlogger, a Music Artist, a Reality TV Contestant, a Presenter and an ex-Personal Trainer – JACK MAYNARD has been doing it all, whilst gradually amassing millions of followers on social media.

For Jack Maynard, 2017 didn’t end quite how he expected, leaving the jungle-set reality TV-show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ weeks early after a past controversy unexpectedly came to light. Now three months into 2018, Jack Maynard has successfully moved past the controversy whilst reflecting on his actions and the way he sees social media.

After the incident with ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’, do you see social media in a different way at all?
Definitely, it has made me realise how careful you have to be with everything you put online, and the impact of the words you say can have on people. Regardless of your number of followers, everything you put online will leave such a massive footprint which can come back to haunt you – it is so vital just to simply take a second to think about what you’re going to say.

It has happened to so many celebrities recently, so now I can only hope that our younger fans will learn from the mistakes we’ve made online and not make the same. Even with everything that has happened, it certainly hasn’t made me look at social media in a negative way. The internet is so important, impactful and it has given me so many incredible opportunities, we’re all very lucky to have it.

Are you interested in potentially taking part in the show this year?




Who knows! But I think I would be silly not to! I was having such a great experience in the time I was on the show, to then turn it down would be a huge waste! I do think I’d have to seriously prove myself in there, as last year I didn’t really see the worst the show had to offer. Although, I do remember waking up every morning thinking to myself “What am I still doing here?!”

Do you think your experience on YouTube has prepared you for something like that?
I don’t think anything could prepare you for something like that, I think anyone who has been on the show would agree with me. One think I would say is, YouTube and vlogging certainly made it easier for me than maybe some of the others, I’m used to having camera’s following me around!



Jack Maynard Photoshoot 2018


Looking back, what’s the best vlog you’ve made?
I recently took a trip to Cape Town with Conor, Caspar, Joe & Josh for new years where I filmed a bunch of vlogs. I think those vlogs together are certainly some of my favourites. It was just me and my friends partying… A lot.

Do you think that clickbait is a problem on the site?
I think it certainly used to be a problem, but now it seems everyone is so used to it. I don’t think you can make a video or even click on a video without there being clickbait involved. I feel that these days it’s a competition for the best title and thumbnail which I personally don’t like, the video content should be considered too.

What’s the next YouTube challenge your considering doing?



Trends change so fast on YouTube, it’s hard to say what I’ll be doing next. I don’t tend to plan too far ahead with what kind of video I’ll be filming, I just usually just go with what I know my audience will enjoy the most.

You’ve regularly got Caspar Lee, Joe Sugg and your brother Conor dipping in and out of your vlogs. Who is the dream team right now?
Well obviously for me, we are the dream team! [laughs]. But people like KSI and the Sidemen are really running YouTube at the moment which is so amazing to see. They’re all very smart guys, especially KSI himself. The YouTube boxing match has really taken him up a level.

Lots of YouTubers have daily/weekly vlogs, how do you decide when you want to put a vlog out? Are you thinking weeks ahead about content or just a day at a time?
If I know I’ve got a very busy week ahead, or I’m going to be going on holiday, I do tend to think about the content in advance like who’s going to be there with me, what we’re doing each day, am I going to be pranking anyone? Just simple things like that. But I mostly just take each day as it comes.

With all the projects you have going on, do you ever get any time off?
Luckily with what I do, I kind of get to work from wherever and whenever I like. But I’m certainly very busy!

Jack Maynard Photoshoot 2018


The audience you get on YouTube is arguably almost as big as what you would get on TV, does TV still feel like a step up?
The main difference is when I’m filming for TV I’m not always in full creative and editorial control, I am being told what to do. Whereas for my YouTube channel, I am in total control from the creative concept, the edit and the promotion around it – I can do whatever I like. So yes, there is a lot more process in TV, however the two combine when I am producing longer form content for my channel, I sometimes need a production team around me to deliver bigger videos (GOAT music videos for example).

You’ve just been on a freshers tour, was there a stand out crowd? How do you prepare for a gig?
I’d have to say Bath was maybe the best one for me, mainly because it was such a huge crowd! When I’m preparing for a show, I tend to just have the perfect mix of what I enjoy and what I know the crowd will enjoy. I try to just make it as fun as possible. So finding songs that are hot right now, and of course throwing in some classics!

If you weren’t called GOAT, what would you be called? Whose idea was it?
The name was just very random, it wasn’t exactly something we had planned or thought about for a long time. We were just brainstorming ideas and I think Conor said something about GOAT and it just clicked! If not GOAT, I’m not entirely sure what we’d go for… Conor would most likely have us called “Conor Maynard and his brother”

What can we expect from GOAT in 2018?
You can expect even BIGGER music and even BIGGER videos! We’re aiming for hopefully another 3 singles this year and one is being released very soon! We’re trying to just make the videos huge and hilarious, so we’re working so hard to get them all out as quick as we can.

When you were younger, did you enjoy school?
I really didn’t mind school If I’m honest! My mum might tell you I enjoyed it a little too much…!

10 Quick Questions with Jack Maynard:

Biggest pet peeve?
People eating with their mouth open/poor manners in general.

Last movie you watched?
Game Night (it was hilarious)

Best show to binge-watch?
Narcos

What’s the strangest food combo you’ve ever had?
Chips dipped in chocolate milkshake (very odd, but amazing)

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?
Enjoying Tory Lanez new album, Loving James Bay’s new stuff and Swae Lee’s solo music.

Every has a cool app idea, what’s yours?
‘JackTube’ – It’s like YouTube, but you can only watch my videos!

Advice to your younger self?
Be patient

Do you have a hidden talent?
I always get asked this, and I really don’t have a hidden talent! It used to be DJ’ing, but now I’m showcasing it as best I can

Is there one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?
Just seeing where my YouTube and social platforms can take me. It’s given me so many amazing opportunities already over the past two years, I’m going to keep working hard so that doesn’t stop!

A sport you wish you could play?
I wish I was really good at skateboarding!

Jack Maynard is going on his debut tour ‘The Headlines’ in October 2018, tickets are on sale now.

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