Interview: Zara Martin on Modelling, DJing and creating products with brands

Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018
PHOTOGRAPHY: SIMON WISBEY
It seems increasingly clear that in order to survive in the creative industries like modelling and DJing, you have to run your career like a business. ZARA MARTIN is proof that this works – collaborating with major brands and creating products.

 

In collaboration with the London based fashion brand Skinnydip, Zara designed and launched her own line of headphones – which are now one of the most successful in the world. It was Zara’s mission to get them sold throughout the world for female DJs – being heavily involved in talking to factories, buyers and manufacturers about the product, as well as the design process.

 

After the vast international success of the collaboration, Zara has been approached by a number of other audio companies to work with her, and she hopes to bring her own audio line out soon – the first female to do so.

 

Zara has DJed for brands like Dior and Tom Ford, whilst shooting with fashion bibles Vogue, Vogue Italia, L’officiel and Nylon.

 

I spoke to Zara Martin about her career so far, her plans for the future and the recent charity work for women.

 

AC: Which came first modelling or DJing?

 

ZM: TV presenting! I really wanted to be a presenter. Now, I really don’t –  it’s awful.

 

How do you think your two professions compliment each other?

 

I love fashion and I love music so it’s kind of ideal really, especially now with a “fashion DJ” being a thing. 

 

Would I be right in saying that modelling is taking up most of your time at the moment?

 

Yeah I would say so, and other projects that are a blend of the two. Like the headphones I designed for Skinnydip – it’s super time consuming and you work on it for ages before anyone else knows about it – but they are my favourite types of projects!

 

Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018Tell us about what you’ve been working on recently…

 

So much is happening in the world that makes what I do for a living seem inconsequential. At the moment I’m really focused on working with Women For Women International, an incredible charity I’m an ambassador for. As an organisation, WFWI have helped over half a million women in conflict-affected countries rebuild their lives. In light of recent events in Syria, I feel their work needs to be highlighted as there is much more to be done. To help raise awareness and funds I’ve just designed a capsule collection with Delores Daywear in aid of Women for Women, which launches in May.

 

Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018
Do you have plans to continue your charity work beyond that?

 

Definitely. I would love to try and incorporate it in all aspects of my work. Working with Women for Women has taught me so much about what ‘female empowerment’ really means. Not the Insta version! [laughs] And, especially now – with the #TimesUp movement – there is a real possibility to make lasting change for equality. 

 

What were some of the challenges of breaking into DJing?

 

Not having one-million Instagram followers.

 

Zara Martin 2018 Photoshoot
Is it true that you trained with Trevor Nelson?

 

Yeah, sort of. God, I forgot about that. [laughs] You must have delved deep into Google for that info! It was a long time ago, when MTV Base (and the aforementioned desire to be on TV) still existed. 

 

What are your plans for the future as both a model and a DJ? 

 

Really to just work with brands I love and do projects I genuinely enjoy and am passionate about.

 


Zara Martin Photoshoot 2018

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH ZARA MARTIN

 

Best show to binge-watch?

 

I’m a serial box-set binge watcher – ‘Homeland’, ‘Fargo’, ‘This is Us’, ‘Billions’.

 

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

 

A salty cafe latte, I mistook the salt for sugar. It was early. And yes, I eat sugar. Sue me! 

 

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

 

Cardi B, Mabel, Jorja Smith, Whinnie Williams, Kali Uchis, Kelela… and Justin Timberlake

 

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

 

As if I would tell you, someone could make millions stealing my idea!

 

Starstruck moment?

 

 

A sport you wish you could play?

 

I wish I had the coordination to be a really good dancer.

 

Worst joke you’ve ever heard?

 

Any joke from a Christmas cracker! Like ‘Does anyone need an ark? I Noah guy!’, ‘How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it’. 

 

What’s going to be this summer’s fashion trend?

 

From what I can tell from social media: Skinny sunglasses and lip fillers! [laughs]

 

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

 

What is the farthest you have been from home? 

 

Geography, my strong suit! (It’s not my strong suit) Um, I live in London so, Hawaii or South America or India?  Seychelles? South Africa?

 

And what’s one thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

 

Going to New Zealand. Or China.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: SIMON WISBEY
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES
MAKEUP: ABBI ROSE

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Interview: Eline Powell – an actress at the height of her powers with ‘Siren’


Eline Powell Photoshoot 2018 by Chad Rook
Photography: Chad Rook / Styling: Jason Pillay / Hair & Makeup: Shayna Coumont

ELINE POWELL is at the height of her powers – with her first ever leading role in television – starring as a young mermaid with a dark secret in the fantasy drama ‘Siren’.

Before getting to this milestone in her career, the Belgium born actress has had past success on both the big and small screen – with roles in films like ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword‘ and TV shows such as ‘Game Of Thrones’.

AC: Did you have to spend a lot of time in the makeup trailer for the prosthetics in this role?

EP: Only in the pilot was the process quite long. It took six or seven hours to apply all of the prosthetics. The tail in particular was magnificent, it looked amazing and it gave me such power underwater. It was heavy though and I needed three people to “dump” me in the tank! So they revised the process for the rest of the season and we wore just monofins and they did the skin in post. It was quite freeing and we could have a longer sleep before the shoot.

What did you do to pass the time?

They need all of your body so the only option was to chat or zone out and listen to music. Bear in mind it was very early in the morning we had to start so it took a few green teas before I was “present”.

How did you decide on the physicality of how a mermaid would move?

I had such a blast trying to create her physicality. I watched a lot of Blue Planet and looked at different predators, particularly mammals in the sea AND on land. I just played around and picked what I thought would work best.

Were the underwater scenes done in a water tank?

Yes, a huge warm water tank (the warm water is crucial if you’re going to spend all day in it – I’m very grateful for that). However if you see any of the characters going into the ocean that was all real.

What’s the funniest or most bizarre director’s note about your performance that you received whilst working on ‘Siren’?

“Be less weird”. But maybe it’s actually a very sound comment considering the character.

Eline Powell Photoshoots 2018 Chad Rook

How are we going to see your character develop throughout the rest of the series?

Ryn will learn more language and become more open minded about humans, but she will never lose her essence of raw primal spirit.

Do you think this show also has an environmental message?

It definitely has undertones of it as it such a huge reason why these mermaids are coming on land now and even how it contributes to the tension between mermaids and humans. The things we do the ocean in real life are featured in the show.

With your Belgium heritage, when were you first exposed to acting?

In primary school you had to perform a little poem for your class every week. I loved it so much and would spend hours practicing and even bringing props. I didn’t know it at the time but it was my first “acting school”.

How do you this experience of a different culture – compared to other actors – has served you so far?

Sometimes I was at a disadvantage because I had to do a lot of catching up on certain American/British pop culture but sometimes my humour or certain accents can bring something new.

Eline Powell Photoshoot 2018 Chad Rook

You also had a role in ‘Game Of Thrones’ a few years ago, do you think that helped prepare you for the pace of working on episodic television?

Game Of Thrones is unique, they are the biggest and I dare say most successful show of our decade. The set is so smooth running and they have a big budget so being on that set feels like being part of the holy grail. I loved it and learned a lot. Siren was equally amazing but very different because we are a new show so we were creating something from scratch and finding our rhythm, building comradery and trust as we went along. Which we did, we are now officially a siren family and all of the cast and crew got very close.

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH ELINE POWELL

Last mermaid movie you watched?

Splash

Best show to binge-watch?

Stranger things

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

Miso soup and then 20 seconds later a snickers (don’t do it- let your tastebuds neutralise first!)

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

Queen

Everyone has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

Review app on best chocolate.

Advice to your younger self?

Keep swimming

Starstruck moment?

I sat next to Maggie Smith in the make up chair once.

A sport you wish you could play?

Anything involving a ball.

Worst joke you’ve ever heard?

Why did the mermaid cross the sea? To get to the other tide!

Dream dinner-party guests?

Frida Khalo, Audrey Hepburn, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Keanu Reeves, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Last book you read?

Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran.

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

Beach house

What is the farthest you have been from home?

Bali?

One thing in particular that you’re really excited about for the future?

Who wins the Iron Throne?

‘Siren’ is currently airing on Freeform

PHOTOGRAPHY: CHAD ROOK

STYLING: JASON PILLAY

HAIR & MAKEUP: SHAYNA COUMONT

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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

Blossoms Crookes Magazine

After multiple extended plays, BLOSSOMS released their self-titled chart-topping album two years ago. Since then the Stockport born five-piece band have toured the UK, playing headline shows and making onto the ‘BBC Sound Of’ shortlist, as well as being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

Now they’re gearing up for the launch of the second album and there’s definitely been some development in their sound. ‘Cool Like You’ embraces more electronic, synth aspects compared to their previous work – as they delve into pushing their sound as a band even further into incomparable territory.

After listening to the album in it’s entirety, it’s clear that there has been a lyrical progression from Tom Ogden’s songwriting, crawling even further into emotional depths than before. Tom had a quick chat with us about the new album.

AC: What was it like directing yourselves for the music video of ‘I Can’t Stand It’?

Tom: I’ve always had a keen interest in making films. We used to make all our own music videos when we started the band. We also made the Honey Sweet Video, so it was great to be able to direct I Can’t Stand It with a production team around us to help make our idea come to life.

There were loads of props, did you make some yourselves?

We came up with the ideas for the props, but Chief Productions made them at their studios.

Going forward, do you guys plan to be directing all of your future videos?

I think because of our busy schedule, it’s quite difficult to always direct the videos. I’m sure we’ll dip in and out and have creative control, even if we aren’t directing.

Blossoms Crookes Magazine

Where you nervous at how people would react to the mockumentary you release earlier this year? How did your families react?

Not at all, we knew we’d made something really great, and everyone we’d shown it to laughed a lot, so we couldn’t wait to release it.

With your second album ‘Cool Like You’, were you feeling pressure to out-do the first?

I wouldn’t say ‘out-do’. It’s more of a natural evolution and progression as a band and as a songwriter. You’re always trying to better yourself and evolve, which I think we definitely have done on this record.

On your new album, a lot of the synths make it feel nostalgic, what kind of music were you listening to that inspired the sound?

A lot of things. Obviously, Spotify playlists play a big part these days and there’s some great ones on there. Also, the Grand Theft Auto Vice City Soundtrack, various synth pop playlists, the Stranger Things soundtrack, Abba, The Style Council.

Were there any kinds of guitars that you experimented with that didn’t make it on to the album?

Not really. We had a clear vision quite early on of how we wanted the album to sound. The guitars were being layered in to create a wall of sound of rhythm. There’s still lots of guitars on the record.

Which song on the album was the hardest to make?

It was a relatively easy album to make and we did the whole thing in 2 days. I’d probably go with Stranger Still as we took a different approach in terms of building the drums. We wanted it to sound like a Kate Bush track.

Which ones are you particularly looking forward to performing?

‘Between The Eyes’ is going to be great live.

The New Album ‘Cool Like You’ from Blossoms, will be released 27 April

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES0

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Interview: Charles Babalola on ‘Mary Magdalene’ and filming in Italy

 

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018CHARLES BABALOLA has been riding a huge wave of success over the past four years, starring in a mix of high-profile theatre, television and film projects since graduating from London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art back in 2014.

Charles has most recently been seen in Garth Davis‘ biblical drama film ‘Mary Magdalene’ – opposite Rooney Mara as the titular figure and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ. The film tells the biography of Mary Magdalene, one of the followers of Jesus, the founder of Christianity.

Whilst cementing a firm presence on the screen with roles in Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’, ITV’s ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Bancroft’ – Babalola has been performing alongside Bryan Cranston in the stage adaptation of the classic Oscar winning film ‘Network’.

In 2015, Charles received the Alan Bates Award, which was endowed to commemorate the late patron’s inspirational work on behalf of the Actors Centre and will is awarded annually to an actor of exceptional talent. I spoke to Charles Babalola about his roles in ‘Network’ and ‘Mary Magdalene’.

AC: ‘Network’ has been met with some rave reviews. In rehearsals, could you tell that this was going to be something special? 

CB: Well firstly the film is such a cult classic, which meant bringing this piece to the stage was a risk in itself, but the story is so poignant that we felt it has the potential to be something special. You can never tell how an audience is going to receive a production until the opening night, but because the sheer spectacle of this show, we knew it would definitely leave people asking questions which is one part of our job.

The set is really impressive, what surprised you about the production?

Definitely how immersive the director, Ivo Van Hove, made this production. I think that most people who watched it felt like they really engaged with something real. Even if you don’t like theatre, it’s a real immersive-theatrical and media driven show amalgamated in to two hours.

With the large screen showing everything captured on the cameras live on stage, how did that change the experience of it for you? 

Honestly, I didn’t really think about it too much. There are some scenes where I am on the screen but we had been working with the screens from day one in rehearsals so they became part of the makeup of the set from a very early stage. Of course, there are moments when you notice yourself on the screen out of the corner of your eye, but it wasn’t really a distraction.

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018

Did it challenge you more?

Well the fact that one minute we are performing live theatre, and then the next you have to tone it down for the camera was definitely a challenge. It’s not something I thought too much about, but it’s inevitable you become very aware when 900 people are watching your huge face on a screen an even bigger screen at the back of the stage.

Tell us about your role in ‘Network’…

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018I play Harry Hunter who is the associate producer of the fictional news network ‘UBS’. He can be extremely straight laced and doesn’t care about anything other than getting the job done. He also has an interesting relationship with Bryan’s character Howard Beale; they fail to see eye to eye on a lot of work related issues
which leads to quite a few heated exchanges.

‘Mary Magdalene’ has received some polarizing reviews as did ‘The Passion Of The Christ’, why do you think this is?

Well, when making this film I was fully aware that biblical films are not everyone’s cup of tea, because everyone has an opinion on what really happened. This can be a difficult element in telling these stories especially to people who are religious, or of the specific denomination. I think all you can do as an actor is do the detailed research and be as truthful in the portrayal of the character and the story. But all together really happy with this one!




What does the film mean to you?
This is a story of a woman who was forbidden to be around men but fought for what she believed in. For me this is a story of hope and never giving up on what you truly believe in.

With the film being shot in Italy, what did you think of the locations?

This was one of the best parts of shooting this film. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and we had the opportunity to shoot in Sicily, Matera, Martina Franca and Naples – mainly in the south of Italy. All beautiful locations which served the film perfectly. Naples was my favourite because of the amazing pizza, the beautiful people and the vibrancy of the city.

So what kind of projects are you working on for the rest of the year?

Hopefully some good film and TV projects. I’m reading and meeting for a lot of things now so let’s see what the future holds.

Charles Babalola Photoshoot 2018

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH CHARLES BABALOLA

Last movie you watched?

‘You Were Never Really Here’ (amazing!).

Best show to binge-watch?

‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘The Night Of’.

What’s on your music playlist at the moment?

Tribe Called Quest, the Black Panther soundtrack and Daniel Caesar.

Best store to visit in a shopping mall?

Footlocker 

Advice to your younger self?

Enjoy every moment and don’t care what other people think. 

Starstruck moment?

Meeting Oprah Winfrey, she came to see the play.

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

Travelling and seeing the world.

A sport you wish you could play?

Tennis

Dream dinner-party guests?

P Diddy, David Beckham, Dave Chappelle, Ian Wright.

What was the last book you read?

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

‘Mary Magdalene’ is in cinemas now

PHOTOGRAPHY: BARTEK SZYMIGULSKI

STYLING: KRISHAN PARMAR

GROOMING: CHARLOTTE YEOMANS

INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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

Tommy Bastow Photoshoot 2018

TOMMY BASTOW is perhaps best known for his role in the iconic British comedy ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’. Now a decade later, Tommy has a leading role in one of ABC’s most-highly anticipated flagship ships ‘The Crossing’.

The series follows desperate refugees from a war-torn country who start showing up to seek asylum in an American town – the shocking truth that the country these people are from is actually America and the war they are fleeing is 250 years in the future, starts to devastate the local community. Tommy Bastow stars alongside Steve Zahn and Natalie Martinez. We spoke to him about about the upcoming role.

AC: What role does your character play in the story?

TB: Marshall is a kid whose had a tough upbringing. He lives in a trailer and does what he can to get by. However, as the series continues, you realise he is so much more. I can’t really say much more than that!

Having starred in a few American shows recently, does the production process feel different?

Since graduating, I’ve mainly done American TV so it’s difficult to compare. American networks look after you very well and, in my case, give you a lot of down time to explore the beautiful cities you film in.

Was the show all shot in that one town?

The show was shot all over Vancouver. We even got to go to Vancouver island for the pilot which was a real treat. We used various different locations and, of course, soundstages too.

Would it be fair to say that the location is similar to ‘Broadchurch’, with it being a coastal town?

Yes I guess you could say that. Although, coastal towns in the states and in Britain are pretty different and the people who live there are vastly different too.  

Tommy Bastow Photoshoot 2018

What other TV shows do you think it will be compared with?

It has a ‘Lost’ feel to it for sure.

Who did you really enjoy working with on the cast?

I had a lot of scenes with Rick Gomez. In the show he becomes almost like a dad to Marshall and I think that crossed over into real life a bit too. He would sometimes drive me to set and give me advice and life lessons, which were extremely valuable to hear as a young actor. I also lived with Grant who plays Roy, so we became best mates over the four months of filming.

Do you think there will be scope for a second season?

Definitely, there is a whole world of possibility that opens up at the end of the first season. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and hope the public engage with it and allow us to continue telling this story.

How would you say that your BA in Acting has prepared you for the roles that you have gone on to do? What did it not prepare you for?

Nothing can really prepare you for when you arrive on set. Drama school for me more than anything gave me a great work ethic and drive to become a better artist. Drama school is still primarily stage training, so when you arrive on set you have to unlearn some things. All in all though, having three years practice puts you in a position where you are freer in your body and voice, so maybe you’re able to relax more. Who knows.

Tommy Bastow Photoshoot 2018

Growing up, was it your ambition to be a musician, actor or both?

As a kid, I wanted to do it all.

Is there less time now to do music because of the acting? Are you looking to try and find more time in the future for music?

Well, here’s the thing. When you’re not working you have a lot of free time. I spend a lot of time making music still. I have a whole catalogue of songs I’ve written with an old friend of mine. It’s a hobby that brings me an immense amount of joy and, who knows, one day maybe we’ll gig them. I’m in no rush to make it in the music business though, just happy to have another creative outlet.

QUICK QUESTIONS WITH TOMMY BASTOW

What’s your number one auditioning tip?

Like a boxer going into a ring, I think it’s important to have hype music. Play something that makes you feel confident before entering an audition room. You’ll be amazed how it changes your state.

Can you describe ‘The Crossing’ in three words?

No one’s safe.

Last movie you watched?

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Best show to binge-watch?

The End of the F*cking World

Favorite band?

It’s got to be The Beatles.

Favorite song?

That’s a really tough one. At the moment ‘Something So Right’ by Paul Simon gives me all the feels. It’s truly a beautiful piece of music.

Every has a cool app idea, what’s yours?

I actually can’t say because one day I may make it.

Advice to your younger self?

Buy some Bitcoin.

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

It’s a long way off, but having kids one day.

A sport you wish you could play?

I’d love to be able to skateboard again, and be as fearless about it as I was when I was a kid.

What was the last book you read?

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. Boy was that a trip. I’m currently geeking out to ready player one.

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

Mountain hideaway

What is the farthest you have been from home?

Japan or Vancouver.

Do you have an aim or a target for the year ahead?

Stay happy and stay humble.

‘The Crossing’ starring Tommy Bastow premieres April 2 on ABC 

 PHOTOGRAPHY: JOSEPH SINCLAIR
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES

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