Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Raury's Revolution

Originally published at Honi Soit - read it here

Sophie Gallagher talks about the impending music revolution with it's self-styled leader, hip-hop upstart Raury.

Raury is a one-man revolution, or hopes to be. The 18-year-old only released his first single, ‘God’s Whisper’ in early 2014, but has since scored a place on the BBC’s competitive Sound of 2015 list and opened for OutKast’s homecoming festival. His multi-genre sound, clearly present in his first album Indigo Child, draws on everything from Bon Iver to KiD CuDi, weaving acoustic guitar within indie electronica and hip-hop. Indeed, a driving force behind his soaring popularity has been the Anti-Tour. Raury would play guerrilla gigs out the front of high profile concerts, stealing fans from more established artists. Here, it's his confidence and determination which has him convinced of not only eventual success, but that his music will transform the industry completely. This may just be the year Raury steps into the spotlight. 

When did you begin making music? What brought you into it?

I was three and at a very impressionable age, I would imitate everything that I saw. I imitated Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, and I even started singing my own little songs. I never really took it serious; it was just something I was doing. But I would consider that I was getting into my musicianship for real when I was around 11, and I finally got a guitar and haven’t put it down since. So I began writing my own songs when I was 14, and I’ve just been sharpening that craft ever since. I could say I’ve been a serious musician since I was 11.

You released Indigo Child last year. What were you trying to say with this record?

I was trying to say that my generation isn’t hopeless. I was trying to speak to my generation, and let them know that you are just like me and that you can accomplish something also. That’s why I included the arguments between my mum and I on the record, because that would probably happen to every kid today. I was trying to shed light on my generation in a very positive way because there’s enough negative material out here in the world. I’m not that kind of artist, I want to make stuff that makes people happy; I don’t want to make people sad and hate their life, I want to inspire people to become better versions of themselves. Not just ‘Indigo Children’, but anybody that hears the music. It’s a literal embodiment of my soul and who I am as a person. Not only did I tell my Mumma that I wanted to be a musician and not go to college when I was 15, but I also told her I wanted to be a revolutionary leader. Indigo Child was to spark the revolution that will continue.

What revolution is this?

The revolution of good music and amazing high frequency music, kind of at the top of the food chain, top of the industry. It literally needs to become what is the coolest, not like what’s cool, or what’s accepting, or what’s dope. It’s universally known that this type of music is the best music because it actually does something for your spirit, makes you feel good about yourself, rather than just being self-absorbed and self-glorifying music that is making people and kids like me hate ourselves whether we’re conscious of it or not. Like this stuff is planting the wrong seeds in our mind. That is the revolution, you know? It’s literally taking back good music and bringing it to the top. I definitely feel like that is happening. I’m just here to feed the fire.

Is this the reason why your music doesn’t feed any genre? It seems to try to encapsulate many.

That’s another aspect of the revolution. Due to all these other amazing artists, from ‘Ye to Cudi, from Michael Jackson to Bob Dylan; all these other amazing people demonstrated that artists like me can be accepted by the world. I don’t feel like I would have been able to come out in 2000 or the 90s, because the world wasn’t ready if they hadn’t heard these other amazing artists. So I feel like by me coming out, I’m going to open the door for millions more multi-genre artists to come out and be themselves and do what they want. They will stop worrying about what is profitable, or what is good business-wise, and just be themselves. That’s what’s going to keep this revolution going – music written for the soul, not music written for profit, not music written to play in the club for people to get drunk to because that’s what they think the best music is. It’s not this type of music that will be at the top, but more genuine music will be released just simply by me existing. That’s how I look at things.

Let’s get to touring. You created the Anti-Tour – will elements of these performances appear in your Sydney shows? What do you have planned?

The Anti-Tour is really tied to my brand, as far as being rebellious and revolutionary, and a part of it is what rock and roll is, you know? I’m not just a rapper or a hip-hop artist, but I’m also a rock star and all about rock and roll so this show will be a complete, absolutely flat-out rock show. It’s not just what you’re expecting to hear from the album, it’s also got aspects of the Anti-Tour. We’re definitely going to bring the rock and roll to the show. The whole thing about [the Anti-Tour] was we were doing that whole thing without permission; we had to run from the cops at the end of the thing so I don’t know if we can do that, but the fire will be brought.

You’ve been making music for a while. If you could go back in time and tell yourself something, what would it be?

Practice your guitar more. The more I expand and my own stuff grows, the better music I’ve started making. I would never have made ‘God’s Whisper’ or anything like that, had I not learnt to produce. I’ve been playing guitar for seven years, but I’m self-taught - there’s a million things I still don’t know. After touring and with a lot of the free time I’ve had, I’ve been practicing guitar a lot more and I’m a lot more familiar with my instrument and coming closer to terms of mastering it. Like, I should be at the level of Hendrix or like Slash, or even close. I can solo, I can shred off, but I’m not there yet. That’s the only thing I would tell myself, there’s not a thing I would regret.

Do you feel that your work can be misunderstood?

Definitely. Define confusion? Define anger? It’s the fact that I do so many different genres. There is power, so when you don’t know what something is, you tend to go against it just because it’s not familiar to you. Your knowledge or your power is not what you thought it was, and you just deny whatever it is. I feel a lot of people can’t just truly appreciate the music that I’m making. I feel like they want to make me one thing, but that will never happen.

Another thing, [there’s confusion] as far as how truly genuine and authentic our movement truly is. Our manager is just as young as me, he’s 22, and we did this on our own coming up here, so a lot of people may think that I’m some rich kid or something like that. Like they think I get people to write these songs for me, or that there’s no way an 18 year old boy could of written it, but I did. So there’s a lot of things people try to do to take away or discredit from what has happened. But I know that those are problems within them, and this never fazes me.

What do you have planned for the future?

We’re working on this next project and releasing one of the most classic albums, literally flipping not just hip hop upside down, but how music is looked at. I’ll be taking the world by the horns and showing them what type of artist I am, and what I’m here to do. It’s going to be quite a ride this year.

Raury is performing at Laneway Festival across Australia, playing at 4:25pm on the Future Classic Stage in Sydney. He will also headline at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on Monday, February 2nd.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Into The Gloss

Have you heard the gloss?

It's fun, fierce and focuses on the base rather than the layers. Glossier is the go-to for skin essentials, and focuses on the ability to look good with little rather than a lot. Face moisturisers, skin salves and tints are in perfect pink wrapping, and come packaged with fabulous stickers that demand to be stuck on every surface. They don't ship to Australia so I have to live vicariously through ~insta snaps~ which is the ~worst~, but the photos are fabulous so they're definitely worth a repost here.

Hurry up and get here Glossier, I need you in my life gurl.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Duke of Burgundy

New year, new films. Sizzling and sleek, The Duke of Burgundy is one to look forward to. 

With the start of another year, it's time to get excited about new films. The Duke of Burgundy, with it's regal title and sleek exposition, is definitely near the top of my list.

Described by one critic as, "Visually ravishing...Kinky as a coiled rope", the film seems to personify warm, tense and electric sensuality. 

With only a trailer and a tantalising 2-minute clip released so far, it's hard to say what the film will be like. But with a soundtrack by Cat's Eyes, vivid colour and director Peter Strickland's allusion to the world of 1970s softcore films, it can only be good.

It's a world of women and power. Shades of love, lust, jealousy and psychological thrills seem to weave amongst scenes of satin and lace that wash over the viewer. Textures glow and run through your fingers. Eras of time that have inspired the picture seem to morph together, almost making it timeless. This is a film to be excited for.

A visual achievement, bettered by an all-female cast make this film one of the best to look forward to. It premiered overseas today, so lets hope for a Sydney season soon.

Have a look below

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Girl on Fire - Ollie Henderson for Broadsheet

Originally published on Broadsheet - read it here

Spot a group of models wearing political slogans across their chests last fashion week? We chat to creator of House of Riot, model Ollie Henderson.

By Sophie Gallagher

While walking through Eveleigh during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week last year, a statuesque off-duty model strode past. It was her T-shirt that stood out first. The statement, “Reject Racism”, blared from the front of it in black, hand-painted letters. As the day wore on there were more. The slogans “Abort Abbott”, “Welfare over Wealth”, and “Keep Tassie’s Bush, I Keep Mine” sashayed around the complex and through the streets, impossible to miss.
It was intriguing, and Sydney rippled with discussion and opinion. Feeling helpless in the face of Australia’s political climate at the time, the Start The Riot T-shirt collection was the work of Ollie Henderson; model and activist. Since that first run of 100 shirts was made for her friends and colleagues, she’s been making more and more.
“The aim was to encourage young people to become politically aware and involved. Obviously it’s sharing the message that’s on the shirt, but it was more about encouraging other people to do these kinds of things – wearing a T-shirt that says a message you care about,” says Henderson. “You may not be the one to change the world, but someone might see that T-shirt and feel inspired.”

Standing in her Chippendale studio, with American hip-hop duo Run the Jewels’ record 2 contributing to the scene, Henderson shows us her new collection: Freedom. It’s a mixture of denim, leather and safety pins that screams punk and rebellion. Jackets, shorts and more are a change from her original T-shirt range, but the idea of clothing delivering a message is still clear.
“In this collection we wanted to talk about ideas of imprisonment beyond incarceration, like economic imprisonment, and we’re using the apparel to express our ideas through fashion,” she says.
Fashion’s role in the history of protest – such as women wearing trousers before it was socially acceptable to do so – is well documented. They are moments that have shocked others into action. This has been Henderson’s aim; giving those who wouldn’t normally follow traditional activist routes access to an easier, but still blaring, form of protest and expression.
“We want to give this group of people the opportunity to express themselves, because for some, protests are really unappealing,” she says.
It’s in this vein that Henderson has extended beyond political fashion and is combining art, design and music to spread a message. House of Riot, the broad moniker for Henderson’s movement, is currently building a music and arts festival in collaboration with Oxfam. It’s scheduled to hit Sydney at the end of the year. The festival will address eight issues – from sexism and refugees, to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef – in atypical ways. House of Riot wants to engage the youth through what interests them most: art, music and festival culture.
“The idea for the festival is to build this space that is really exciting and engaging for young people, but also allows them to discover more about issues in their community and globally,” says Henderson.
From protest-based performance art this April for the Save the Reef cause, to helping to curate readings of The Hunger Games in public spaces, the House of Riot is bringing progressive and imaginative protest to Sydney.
At the heart of Henderson’s work, however, is a punk ethos. “The thing I really love about the punk movement is that it involves anyone and everyone; it’s not exclusive. You could be some kid on the street and still have your voice and shout it,” says Henderson. It is clear that for her, this is only the start of the riot.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Perimeter Joins With PRESS

Originally published on Broadsheet - read it here

Two backers of independent publishing will join forces for a weekend residency, showcasing an unprecedented range of books from across the world.

By Sophie Gallagher

The independent publishing scene will be booming in Sydney this weekend when renowned Melbourne publisher and distributor, Perimeter Books, moves into Chippendale’s new kid on the block, PRESS, for a weekend residency.
The event allows punters exclusive access to some of the world’s stand-out art-and-design publishers by curating an unprecedented range of books from across the world.
Dan Rule, director of Perimeter Books, says the residency will provide a window into the global zeitgeist of independent publishing, showcasing the rare and leading titles of the moment.
“We’re trying to create a real snapshot of what’s happening in Europe, what’s happening in the US, and I guess fragments of what is happening here, but condensing it into a nice little survey that Sydney wouldn’t really get to see in one place otherwise.”
The weekend residency will include publications from a range of leading publishers such as the eccentric Spector Books in Leipzig, signed and rare-find editions from MACK Books in London and the experimental and lo-fi works of Kodoji Press from Baden and Nieves Books in Zurich.
The publishers on sale blur the lines between art and traditional books. Authors and artists are now showcasing their bodies of work in their publications, rather than simply creating books about art. This renaissance and new era of the art book has developed over the past few years and has democratised collectible work.
Perimeter Books represents 40 global distributors and from its inception has aimed to build a communal, accessible space for independent publishing. For Rule, working with a like-minded group such as PRESS – which offers Sydney access to publishers they may not usually encounter or otherwise have – is perfect. “To work with these guys, who have the perfect attitude and this fantastic enthusiasm for it is really exciting,” Rule says.
With a free barbeque and drinks from lunchtime to celebrate on Saturday, combined with an unparalleled range of titles, this hub of independent books, zines and art out of PRESS’ niche gallery garage is a must see.
PRESS x Perimeter Books will run from Saturday December 6 until Sunday December 7 from 10.30am until 6pm.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Harrolds to open Luxury Women's Boutique

Originally published on Broadsheet - read it here

Fashion straight off the runway will be hitting a Sydney department store early next year.

By Sophie Gallagher

The Harrolds luxury department store has always been the place for men to find their favourite designers. But from February 2015, women will also be able to access the world’s most in-demand designers, when Harrolds opens its first store for women.
Set to revolutionise luxury retail in Australia, Sydney’s new purveyors of womenswear will stock the minimalist chic of Saint Laurent Paris, esteemed racks of Balenciaga and Balmain, looks from the eccentrically stunning Alexander McQueen and the always on-point Acne Studios, Lanvin, Kenzo, J.W. Anderson and Thom Browne.
Following in the footsteps of its menswear counterpart, it will also be the only Australian retailer to exclusively stock Tom Ford, due to the store’s special relationship with the internationally renowned brand.
The family-owned business is currently positioned as one of the top 30 innovative menswear retailers in the world and is catering to the demand for luxury fashion and classic craftwork for Australian women.
With the decor of the men’s boutique resembling a French apartment, with dark and brooding timber, Harrolds women’s department store will surely impress when built nearby in Sydney CBD’s Westfield shopping centre. Start saving now; you’ll need it come February.
Harrolds’ women’s departments store will open at Westfield Sydney, on Pitt Street, in February, 2015.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Paris Street Style

Don't we all wish we could be Gisele wandering down the Parisian streets, past the Seine and glowing bistros, wearing nothing but Yves Saint Laurent? There's something magical about Paris at night, the street lights reflecting off the cobble stones, and the history breathing through ancient cracks in the walls. Gisele Bündchen in the Yves Saint Laurent F/W 2007 campaign by Inez and Vinoodh, with its vintage sheen and subtle radiance, encapsulates everything that's beautiful about Paris. The travel bug has been piqued - take me back to Europe!

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