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MAY AND THE BEAUTY OF BALLERINO

Since Adele I don’t believe I have heard the depth of a voice like that of May. She brings an ambience of darkness – light and the feeling that something really amazing is about to happen. It has been a blessing to work with her since meeting in New York and we are so pleased to bring you her latest offering ‘Ballerino’

Thank you May – it ‘s beautiful.

M A Y 

Ballerino is filled with Parisian undertones – please share how this resonates within you

Firstly, I love French music. The romance and melancholy of artists like Edith Piaf and Jacque Brel resonates with me… I have always found inspiration in music with great depth and beauty like theirs.

For this song in particular – A few years ago I lived in Paris and this past July I returned for the first time. The visit brought back many memories and took my mind back to a time when I was younger and more naive. It was during this reflection that I was inspired to begin writing ‘Ballerino.’

With similarities to both the works of Nina Simone and Leonard Cohen can you tell us about these influences

Leonard Cohen is my favorite artist. I listen to his records constantly and was introduced to his music by my mother. Alongside his beautiful music, I admire his lyrics and poetry.

Whilst recording ‘Ballerino’, (which was live) I took myself to a place where I imagined Nina Simone would be back in the day – In an underground, smoke filled jazz club. I wanted the song to sound heartfelt and authentic.

With 2016 holding some heavy moments for all – did it have an affect on your song writing

2016 was a very emotional year for so many of us worldwide, and also personally for me as I very sadly lost my father in November. I wanted to enter into 2017 with a message of love, acceptance and hope.

Regarding my songwriting, I am inspired by life and whether that be something that brings me joy or complete despair, I find great comfort in putting my emotions into song.

a may music

What can you tell us about the making of this beautiful video Ballerino

I originally had the idea to film a more abstract and lyrical piece with a music box ballerina twirling in slow-motion. Then I met with my friend, director Meredith Truax, who quite literally brought my idea to life and introduced me to the wonderful dancer, Shay Bares. Shay was incredibly moved by the song, and choreographed his dance especially for the video. His performance was exquisite and from the moment he stepped into the spotlight and in front of the camera I knew it was going to be something special. I am so thankful for the finished product, and to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such talented people.

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Sicario – Welcome to Juarez

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Nothing will make sense to your American ears…  but in the end you will understand. – Alejandro Gillick

Directed by Denis Vileneuve, Sicario is a thrilling cinematic experience that leaves you feeling grateful to go home to your abode of safe, peaceful slumber. Co stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and the riveting Benicio Del Toro deliver strong performances in this Oscar contender. Much adoration for the musical composition by Johann Johannsson who set an ambience forever memorable in soundtrack history.

Sicario opens with a nightmarish look at the battle between U.S. law enforcement and the Mexican drug cartels along the Arizona border. While tracking leads in a kidnapping case, FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) and her team make the horrific discovery of a mundane Arizona home that has been serving as a cartel graveyard. The trauma of that event stokes agent Macer’s burning need for justice, making it easy for a gleeful and mysterious middleman named Matt (Josh Brolin) to recruit her onto his covert anti-cartel task force.

Long before Kate even knows what’s what, she finds herself sitting beside an even more mysterious veteran named Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) and hustled onto a plane bound for the bowels of Juarez, Mexico, to hold her own with some of the cartel’s scariest men. As soon as the plane touches down in Juarez, Kate watches as the rules of law, order and justice so common to us all, melt away before her very eyes. Men like Matt and Alejandro know how dirty the hands must get in order to stop the cartel, but Kate can not truly accept or believe this world really exists, never mind being thrown into the middle of it.

In time Kate sees things she should never have seen becoming  a victim of circumstance and situation she has no power over. It leaves us all wondering where it all might end here, there and everywhere. Sicario opts to raise awareness about the very real war being fought along the US southern borderlands, and forces the frightening consideration of all casualties  left in its wake. At a glance one tangible plot about a Juarez family, seems vague at first, but by the end of the movie, they bring it back around to the main plot line to create a final scene that has nothing to do with our main characters, but speaks volumes about what the themes of their journey and conflicts mean to a real world situation.

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Interview: Adam Cohen at Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh, Scotland

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Kristina-Marie Ross 3

By: Kristina Marie Ross

I can’t say I’ve ever gone into an interview process feeling natural or at an advantage of ease. Most of the time, I find myself more nervous than that of when I’m being interviewed by a prospective employer. To interview a person, based on themselves as a person or themselves as an artist, is a lot more intimidating than most would think. When you’re an artist, you know who you are and you know what you want to deliver in speech (or at least some other creative medium) All you truly have to do is answer questions you should already know the answer to.

So this time around, it felt unusual not to feel nerves as I entered the double doors belonging to Edinburgh’s backstreet Voodoo Rooms. Along the cobbled streets dusted with snow and the strange hispanic man who followed me for the last block there, I removed my winter coat and took my seat at the bar. Again, this sensation of calm was strange to me. I didn’t understand why after such a hiatus of not interviewing anyone, I didn’t feel an ounce of doubt. This isn’t to say I felt any particular or new found confidence, perhaps it just hadn’t sunk in that I was actually about to meet with a man of such prominence and creative respect. 

I guess I’d better get myself started and write about Adam Cohen. Well, it’s fairly obvious that Adam’s surname may well ring a bell with most of you. Yes, his father is Leonard Cohen. Yes, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winning Leonard Cohen. Adam is the offspring of this lyrically gifted man. But allow me to make one thing very clear about the article which I am about to write – I am not here to talk about Leonard Cohen. No. I am here to talk about Adam. You see, Adam is also a musician and I believe it’s only fair that this fully grown, well established man should have an article dedicated to the consecrated nature of his own career and not the novelty of his exquisitely talented parent. In fact, that was probably the one thing I was nervous about; Accidentally mentioning his father in a way which implied I was only interested in his last name. In fact, only a mere few hours before my own interview with Adam was he on a radio show in London. The person speaking to him immediately resorted to a question about his father on first approach, Adam’s response was by calling it ‘shabby journalism’. So perhaps, on further reflection of such events, I was a little nervous after all. 

Adam Cohen

I was welcomed into the main room, busy with set ups and lighting effects. Out emerged Adam from a back door, dressed in a beanie and frayed blazer. The man had been awake for goodness knows how long, and still found time to piece together an outfit. He walked straight over and grabbed my hand 

“Do you want to smell something really bad?”

I didn’t really know how to respond to this. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what I said. But before I could say more, Adam, still grasping my hand with sincerity pointed over toward the back door and began to tell me about the smell of fish and chips emanating from the street. I laughed, he was so genuinely passionate about this encounter with Scottish street food. It was weird. It was great. It put me at an immediate ease as we were led to a private bar behind the sound desk. A regal room with literary charm and a wall full of whiskey, Adam and I took a seat. 

Voodoo Rooms

Adam has a great amount of sincerity and intensity in his persona, never releasing himself from eye contact and having no confidence issues in complimenting my choice of outfit. He’s a man interested in everyone just as much as he is interested in himself. Questions fired at me and my own life before I had even lifted my laptop, and through moments of banter we directed ourselves toward the formality that comes with a casual Fresh Independence interview. 

Kristina – I read that you scrapped your initial album and- Wait, did you write an album before? And then you just scrapped it and started again?

Adam – I did, is this recording?

Suddenly Adams eyes darted toward my laptop sitting on the nearby dining table.

Kristina – Is that okay?

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The Rising Few – Montreal, Canada

 If you can groove, it will open it’s arms to you. – Karim Terouzian 

 

  Introduce The Rising Few…

We are The Rising Few,  a new local Montreal group of guys that blend Folk, Rock, Pop and Blues to leave you with an experience exclusive to Montreal and it’s youth.

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2. How did your band come to be?

I left Cairo at the age of 25 looking for some privacy and tons of answers. My journey into self discovery ultimately lead me to start what I always wanted to do, music. I went to every open mic possible trying out my songs and getting to know who were the local musicians, where they hang, what do they sound like.  I met Hubert Tremblay. I took Hubert’s business card…aaand lift off!

3. Describe your musical style…

Stay with me for  this one… Springsteen and Cat Stevens had a baby, that baby got lost in the plateau area of Montreal. It ended up being adopted by Leonard Cohen… Leonard Cohen depressingly abandoned that baby in a Dave Mathews Band concert at Park Jean Drapeau. It was last seen intoxicated wearing a Tragically Hip T-shirt on St-Laurent street slurring out loud: ”OOHHH (hick-up) WE’RE HALFF WAY THEEEREE..”

a rise style

4. Okay who got the crush on the beautiful bar maid at the Rouge nightclub, whom is the inspiration for your song ‘I Want You Now’ ?

I did (Karim) was humming/voicing the melody on my way down St-Laurent street to ROUGE (this is how excited I was about getting there !!) Then I was writing the words sitting at her bar, went back home, arranged it then passed out.

5. How did it come to pass that she is the actress in the video?

It was a shot in the dark. I approached her about the project, she found it to be cool. It ended up adding the right kind of authenticity to the video… it’s actually her!

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