About Melanie Moran

I am a Comparative Literature and Film Studies student at Queen Mary, University of London. What I enjoy about my degree is pushing myself to work hard and immersing myself in writing, literature and exploring the rich cinematic world. Some of my favourite novels include, To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Great Gatsby. Cinematically, I love the works of Wes Anderson, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Ingmar Bergman (with Wild Strawberries being one of my favourite films). I am originally from Melbourne, Australia. I moved to Cambridge when I was twelve years old, and London when I was eighteen. I love living in one of the world’s greatest cities, and utilising all London has to offer. I can explore and enrich my passion for the theatre, cinema, literature, art, photography, architecture, fashion and music in London. London is the cultural capital, which has allowed creative individuals like myself to be inspired and thrive. I am extremely excited to showcase the vast and extensive talent the Swinging City has to offer. I know there are amazing unsigned talented individuals from seeing these gifted individuals with my own two eyes, and also from working with the Roundhouse Rising Festival. I worked alongside the Roundhouse in Camden, to showcase an amazing line-up of emerging music. I saw just how many brilliantly creative and talented people there are in London and across Britain. Alongside with ‘Born in Britain’, I want to help unearth some amazing talent London has to offer.

Dornik

Dornik is a brand-spanking-new electronic musician/ singer-songwriter/ producer from London. Dornik is the new kid on the block, but his sound will take you musically back to the 1980s, to a time when MJ was in his peak.

In June Dornik released himself onto the music scene with the release of his debut single ‘Something About You’, from his forthcoming album with PMR Records. Dornik undoubtedly has got himself singed to a fantastically cool record company, who are home to Jessie Ware (who Dornik used to drum for), Julio Bashmore, Javeon McCarthy, and Disclosure among few. Disclosure publicly announced their love for their PMR brother’s sound, commenting on Twitter “Future/Michael Jackson/r’n b/soul/step? Think that covers it”.

In my opinion Dornik is a British version of Frank Ocean, Drake and the Weekend, with the modern soul and R&B feel. Arguably British R&B has not been concurred as well as the American have done, until now – so if you love R&B, then you’ll love Dornik. Dornik’s debut single has already caused a large stir of online attention. The Guardian have already named ‘Something About You’ as their New Band of the Day, also commenting that Dornik’s sound is Michael Jackson mixed with Disclosure- which is a perfect description of Dornik’s music. Carrie Battan has name ‘Something About You’ as the Best New Track, believing that the tune is a nod “toward West Coast luxury– gold watches, pools, neon lights, Boogie Nights, Sunset Boulevard, come to mind– without seeming tacky or kitschy. That’s mostly thanks to Dornik’s weightless-but-rich vocal arrangement, seemingly sprung from the ashes of the Jackson 5. This is how you make an entrance.”

For someone who is a newborn to the heavy populated music world, Dornik’s entrance hints for a promising future. I’m so excited to see this new British artist flourish.

 

Go and check out Dornik’s great new sound and single. Head to;

Dornik’s Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dornik

Dornik’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dornikmusic

Ben Garfield

Let me introduce you all to one talented film director, Mr Ben Garfield. Ben Garfield is a London based award-winning freelance film director, writer, cameraman and editor. It is safe to say Ben is more than a triple threat. After studying Drama and Screen Studies at university, it is clear that Ben understands the language of the cinema, and how to make an enchanting film.

After recently working at Sundance film festival in London, I discovered one of Ben’s videos ‘Homey’ on their website. I needed to view more of Ben’s work. I went onto his website, and soon I found myself addicted to Ben’s short and sweet narratives http://vimeo.com/bengarfield. I wanted to share with you guys two of my favourite films by Ben; Homey and Modern Conversation.

Modern Conversation is a hilarious short film, about how the iPhone generation cannot have a conversation without checking into Facebook, live tweeting about your convo, Instergramming, liking, hashtagging, tagging and Snapchatting pictures to your friend who is sitting right next to you. I am one hundred per cent sure every person can relate to these two brilliant characters.

Homey had me glued to my seat for the films three minuet length, following a tense game of British Bulldog. I found myself biting my nails in hope that the 8-year-old young boy Bertie would make it to the other side of the playground safe and sound. Ben’s creativity and amusing short films have not gone unnoticed. Homey has been chosen as part of the Official Selections at the BFI Future Film Festival 2013, Sundance London’s 2013 Short Film Competition, the St Albans Film Festival 2013 and British Shorts Berlin 2013.

 

I got the chance to ask Ben a few questions about his career, love for film, and plans for the future.

So you studied Drama and Screen Studies at The University of Manchester. You clearly knew from a young age that you wanted to get involved in the film industry. Where has this love and passion for filmmaking stemmed from?

I always loved film but it was only on the course that I actually developed any serious ambitions to become a writer/director. I had a couple of very inspiring tutors – David Butler and Johannes Sjoberg – and around that time I started dating a girl who really loved her cinema too. Their passion rubbed off on me and I started to see film in a new light.

I actually only ended up on the screen studies course in a roundabout way – I switched from philosophy after my first year at Manchester as I wanted to do something more creative, so I took a punt on it. I’m pleased I did!

How did you come up with the narrative of Modern Conversation? From your frustrated experience of modern technology?

I didn’t actually come up with the narrative. It was written and performed by the wonderful Mixed Doubles, a London based comedy sketch group (you can find out more about them at http://www.mixed-doubles.co.uk/media). I did all the film stuff for it – produced, directed, shot, edited etc.

I agree it’s a very poignant sketch. Modern technology seems to allow you to be everywhere and with everyone at the same time – before long that can lead to an overload. It’s an easy trap to fall into! Ironically the sketch itself led us to spend an unhealthy amount of time online. We entered it into The Dave Leicester Comedy Shorts competition, where there was a prize for the most views on YouTube. Consequently we pretty much turned into those characters promoting it like mad on Twitter and Facebook!

What made you want to create ‘Homey’?

 I remember the inspiration for it coming one day as I was crossing the Holloway Road in London. It’s a busy road and, although I wasn’t actually in any real danger, as I got to the island in the middle I got a rush, a feeling of “I’m safe! I made it!” The sensation triggered a memory of playing British bulldog in the school playground and the relief of getting to the other side. I got to thinking it could work well as a film and be something others could relate to.

Is the game of British bulldog an allegory?

I think you can look at the narrative whichever way you like really. I wanted to capture something of the goldfish bowl mentality of it, and show how seriously we all took games when we were younger. I based a lot of the shots on the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. To the kids, it’s a war.

I think you can apply that to grown-ups too. It raises interesting questions for me about how seriously we regard the events in our everyday lives.

What does it feel like as a filmmaker to have your work not only noticed, but also nominated for awards by massive institutions such as BFI and Sundance London?

Homey got on the official selection shortlists for those though it didn’t win the awards unfortunately! It’s great to get noticed by those institutions. Having your film screened at the BFI in front of a packed cinema is always exciting.

What tips would you give young people trying to break into the film industry? 

I think the best thing you can do if you want to start making films is to not be afraid to make that first step and get a project underway. For my first short film the cast and crew were recruited entirely through Internet networking sites, none of whom I’d previously met. Before that I felt like I’d been waiting around for things to fall into place too long, like I’d do a job as a runner and I’d meet the perfect producer, then at the next job I’d meet a brilliant cinematographer. When that didn’t happen I decided to just do it off my own back and with sites like Casting Call Pro and Shooting People it’s all possible.

So my advice is to believe in your project and go for it.

What have you got planned for the future?

 A few things. I’ve shot some more sketches with Mixed Doubles which will be out soon. You can like their Facebook page to stay in the loop about those: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mixed-Doubles/390702900983297?ref=ts&fref=ts

I’ve also directed a music video for Hypeman Sage and Subculture Sounds, which we’re editing at the moment. It’s an exciting one, there’s a great team behind the project and the rushes have come out well. I’m looking forward to getting it out there!

Short film-wise I’ve just finished the script for my next film. It’s the longest to date and will probably come in around the 15 minute mark. Now I’ve got to start thinking about getting it off the ground…

Just like the two amazing ladies in Modern Conversation would do, go and tweet, share, like and retweet Ben’s brilliance.

http://www.bengarfield.com/

John J Presley

John J Presley’s musical talent lives up to his famous last name- in a mysterious rock, alt noir kind of way. To summaries the sound of this unique Brummy and his band, I would say his rock/ blues/ folk noir is similar to the infamous Jack White, mixed with The Kills, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. John J Presley adds something enticing and intriguing to the music world, through his distinct guitar, bass lines, use of a Fender Rhodes, and his husky and somewhat dark vocals. The mood of Presley’s singing, combined with his lyrics in his song ‘Sweet Sister’ takes me into an enchanting dark atmosphere, where I feel like I should be in Nashville sipping a whisky on ice. I thought I would get the man himself to answer what he thinks his great sound is like ; “This is always such a hard question to answer; you spend years perfecting your sound, through many different influences. It makes it hard to think outside the box. The music industry likes to pigeon hole, it makes things easier for them. But with my arm twisted, I would say Nick Cave meets Josh T Pearson with a bit of Duke Garwood….”

It always interests me as to why people try to enter such a competitive and over-populated industry. I wanted to know what made Mr Presley  want to make music. I asked John, if there a pinnacle moment in his life where he knew he wanted to make music? “I might sound a bit cliché but the moment I picked up an instrument. I found it the most amazing thing to create sound, I was very uninterested in playing the music of other people, I just wanted to make my own sounds. I wasn’t interested in the right technique. I find there is no wrong way to play an instrument, as long as it sounds good to you. Theory is a complete sponge for a creative mind. There is no wrong answer.”   

2012 and 2013 have been two very busy years for John J Presley and his band. During last couple of years Presley & Co. have been establishing their name in the music industry with tours and lives shows. Having been on the road touring with The Jim Jones Revue, and performing at shows with Band of Skulls, Joe Gideon & The Shark, and The Brute Chorus, Mr. Presley has been flat out. Not only has Presley been touring his socks off, but Presley and his band have also been in the studio recording their debut album over the past few months. Presley comments, “we are putting the final touches to our album. It’s up to the big guns as to when it will be released. As for now we have a summer of festivals to play, which I’m looking forward to.” [I can safely say, we too are looking forward to your festival performances!]

John J Presley has not gone unnoticed in the rock world, with Karrang! Radio host Alex Baker calling Presley as “without [a] doubt one of the most interesting, talented musicians out there at the moment.” It’s MusicNTing’s blog that really captures the sound and talent of Presley and his band; “The vocals remind you of Tom Waits or Johnny Cash, while the guitars have the same drive, as Jack White’s or the Black Keys do, only much dirtier. Plus there is a very strong folk element to it, which makes it just that much more intriguing and a bit poetic, whilst never losing its energy.”

This summer you will find this man playing at the main stage at 2000 Trees, on July 12th, and appearing at Tramlines Festival 2013, on July 21st. Go check this talented man out and see him live;

http://www.johnjpresley.com 

https://soundcloud.com/john-j-presley

Eliza and the Bear

Eliza and the Bear consist of no lady called Eliza, and sadly no bear. But it does consist of five very talented young men from London. Eliza and the Bear are a folk pop group who bring something new to indie pop world, with their catchy and upbeat tunes and stage presents. What makes this band stand out is the close friendship these boys genuinely have. Paul Lester wrote in his Guardian feature of the band, that this band is “boisterous, cacophonous indie made by enthusiastic young men who want to communicate their excitement at being alive”.

Their popular song ‘Upon the North’ is one of my favourite songs, and it will no doubt put you in a happy summer dancing mood. Sounding similar to The Lumineers and their hit song Ho Hey, Eliza and the Bear share the similar husky folk vocals, great guitar and happy overall melody. They also share a similar sound to Dry the River, which is unsurprising as they have worked with the acclaimed music producer Peter Miles, who has worked with the likes of Dry the River, The King Blues, The Skints, We Are the Ocean and so many more. Eliza and the bears have just released their new song ‘Friends’, adding yet another great song to their musical repertoire. ‘Friends’ stays true to the music Eliza and the Bear create, being upbeat and jubilant. Yet again these boys have created another great summery happy tune, which will accompany your swaying body and your beating foot perfectly in the garden with a nice cold cider in your hand.

Make sure you catch this rising band at their September tour! For more info, head to:

http://elizaandthebear.com/

https://soundcloud.com/elizaandthebear

https://www.facebook.com/elizaandthebear

Now you have no excuse not to see these boys live.

Death at Sea

Great music never fails to come out of Liverpool, and Death at Sea is no exception. Death at Sea is a new rock, pop and alt band, consisting of five talented Liverpudlians. Describing themselves as the “new noise from Liverpool”, their sound is similar to Sonic Youth, mixed with The Strokes, mixed with the Pixies, mixed with The Clash ( i.e. a great concoction). Coming from the monumental musical city, Death at Sea uniquely draws influence from lofi 80’s and 90’s guitar bands. Their songs are heavily dominated with great guitar solos, and you can clearly hear the guitar influence of bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr.- producing some great and modern rock ‘n’ roll.

This band has only been around for a year, kicking their musical career off in January 2012. Although they are new, they have already toured with the likes of the Palma Violets, Savages, Splashh, and the indie-pop trio of sisters HAIM (accompanying them at their sold out concerts across the UK and Germany). Death at Sea has also caught the music world’s attention, with the likes of NME and Zane Lowe praising the boys for their guitar sound. Mr Lowe has already named their song ‘Drag’ as his ‘hottest record in the world’. This is especially impressive when you hear that these talents wrote the single in their living room, and recorded the hit then and there. This DIY band have also produced a limited edition cassette and vinyl of their rock song ‘Drag’, taking it back to their 80s and 90s roots, (although they admit that the cassette tape idea was so that they could play it in their old-school car).

Go and check out this hot up-and-coming band! Head to;

Their official website: http://www.deathatseaofficial.com/

Their SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/death-at-sea

And their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DEATHATSEA

Nereus London Clothing

Nereus London is an independent East London based fashion line, which produce some amazing 90s influenced clothing and prints. Run by two sisters, who pride their collection on versatility, their clothing has caught the attention of the monumental online clothing store ASOS. This is a brand that truly understands what every girl wants; clothing that is adaptable and can be worn in numerous ways. Nereus has solved the Saturday night dilemma of what to wear when you are going out, but you don’t know whether to go casual or smart, sexy or modest, hipster or grunge, funky or conservative – it truly is an awful situation to be in. Nereus London has finally solved fashion dilemmas, and is the ideal fashion collection for every woman.

I got to ask these two sisters a few questions about their fab prints and boutique.

How did you two sisters get into the fashion industry?

We’re a two part design team over here at Nereus London, and starting our own fashion brand was something that we always knew we were going to do. After leaving education and holding down other jobs for a few years, we were finally in a place where we were able to start up our own brand. We first began by setting up a stall over at Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch, East London, which is pretty much our second home! We grew up visiting the market every Sunday back when it was just an antiques market and nowhere near as fancy as it is now! We traded there for the summer and then moved onto selling online through Asos Marketplace where we have, thankfully, been well received. We’re now starting to branch out onto various other online platforms and will be back in good old east trading again this summer!

How would you describe your style to someone who has never seen your collection?

Bohemian street style with a whole bunch of vintage influences! We’re affordable clothing and easy to wear, branching from versatile pieces to statement numbers. We like to make clothing that is comfortable for girls of all body types, and like to draw inspiration particularly from the 90s, It was the best era after all! We’re big lovers of street style, and feel as though that’s what we happily fall into! Our tag line ‘Let’s Get Spiritual’ embodies us perfectly as we like to use a lot of spiritual symbolism in our more graphic pieces ranging from Astrology to Ancient Egypt. We find the empowering, relatable and personal connotations pushed through such symbols are very appealing (and always nostalgic!) for both us and our customers!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

We’re hugely inspired by the 90’s and LA street style, both of which are something we naturally emulate throughout our design process. We’re OBSESSED with anything bohemian and find ourselves drawn to it as we feel it’s the epitome of femininity – without the pink and frills! So, to round it up, we’d say the 90s, LA and modern bohemia!

What would your advice be for someone who is looking to breaking into the fashion world of design?

When we were growing up we were always told the only way to get into the fashion industry was to work your way up, through finding an internship, working for years under a designer, learning the ropes and then branching off. Thankfully, we are now in the times where, thanks to the internet, everything and anything is possible. Our advice would be to do it the way we did; save up some money, get yourself some stock, and jump online. With so many places to start you have no excuses! No matter what online platform you choose, the important thing is just to get it going. The biggest thing we’ve learnt is don’t stress out so much about the next step, don’t start and then drive yourself into a frenzy about how you are going to be as big as that other brand, take everything step by step and everything else will fall into place. Don’t worry so much about every little move you have to make to progress, a lot of the time opportunities will find you rather than you finding them. Take note of what sells, understand why and then branch from it. Advertise as much as you can and get creative! Know what makes you stand out and push it. Most importantly, under no circumstances neglect social media! Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. are godsends for small businesses and are by far the most important tool any small business must utilise. With all of this at your fingertips, it’s nowhere near as difficult as it used to be, have a little faith in yourself and just go for it!

 

To buy some of Nereus London’s awesome clothes, go to https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/nereus-london, and follow their news and collection on twitter: @NereusLondon.

Gabriella Jones

Now you may have come across Gabriella Jones recently in the media, as her music has caught the attention of some pretty famous singers, shall we say. Gabriella is not the usual teenager, who is up all night trying to score tickets to see Beyoncé live, she does the next best thing; she supports Beyoncé on her Mrs. Carter world tour.

Gabriella Jones is an eighteen-year-old Blues/Pop/Rock Brummy singer songwriter. Currently studying an English and Philosophy degree at Birmingham University, Gabriella somehow manages to juggle recording amazing tunes, and being on a world tour, with my musical heroine Beyoncé. Gabriella unsurprisingly has caught the attention of musical legends because of her unique style and tone. Gabriella has worked with some of the ‘greats’, such as the guitar genius John McLaughlin, to create some amazing music. Her voice has a husky Rock and Blues feel, with a sound similar to Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Joan Jett. You can hear Gabriella’s musical influences of Led Zeppelin, Paul Rodgers, and Etta James in her voice, taking these influences to create a new sound. As the song ‘Blue Hills and Purple Butterflies’ exemplifies, Gabriella’s lyrics are powerful poetry. To hear this beautiful blues song click here: https://soundcloud.com/gabriellajonesmusic/blue-hills-and-purple.

This lady has already kicked off her career in a way that will make anyone feel inadequate. Gabriella has not only played at festivals such as Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park, the Isle of Wight Festival and the Wireless Festival, she has supported the likes of Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, The Killers, Slash, and has opened for the legend that is Jay-Z. Gabriella is clearly an extremely musically talented young lady and I’m sure we will be hearing more from her in the days to come.

To check out this eighteen-year-old prodigy go to,

http://www.myspace.com/gabriellajonesmusic

https://soundcloud.com/gabriellajonesmusic

Samantha Chong

When I received my student loan, I decided to treat myself through dangerously scrolling through the ASOS marketplace for some summer ‘must-haves’. Thank God I did, because I came across one great Liverpudlian designer Samantha Chong, and her versatile range of women’s clothing, jewellery and accessories.

Samantha Chong began her clothing line in 2009, and ever since she has watched her fashion career grow and grow. Currently working as a freelance wardrobe stylist for MTV, Samantha began her career trading vintage clothing and modernising vintage clothing. This experience in fashion and trading led Samantha to create her very own trendy fashion line. Through Samantha’s collections you can see that she has a fantastic knowledge of vintage clothing and of the fashion industry. Samantha has naturally received acclaimed recognition due to her alternative take on current fashion and jewellery trends. Although Samantha’s boutique does have everything from swimwear to nightwear, I personally think that Samantha’s line excels with her individual and versatile jewellery. You can clearly see that Samantha’s jewellery has not come from a huge factory in the middle of nowhere, and has been handmade and British-made. Samantha is not afraid to use bold colours, chunky jewels and call upon vintage and Aztec inspiration.  Samantha’s is defiantly one young designer to watch, and I’m sure in no time we will see her clothes and jewels on Hollywood red carpets.

To check out and to buy Samantha’s great clothes, head to;

The ASOS market place,

https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/samantha-chong

Or to the Samantha Chong official website,

http://www.samanthachong.co.uk

Or check out Samantha Chong’s Facebook,

https://www.facebook.com/samanthachongfashion

Jing Jing Cao

Jing Jing Cao is a London based jeweller, who caught my attention with her BA collection. Jing Jing attended the famous arts and design college Central Saint Martins, and this artistic background and degree has clearly served her well. In every collection and piece of Jing Jing’s jewellery you can clearly see the artist craftsmanship and talent that has gone into every piece. Jing Jing’s romantic jewellery is delicately designed, and the balance of light and shadows highlights the beautiful detailing.

Jing Jing’s BA collection draws inspiration from death, burial plots and monuments that we build to commemorate loved ones lost. Although her inspiration is a little bit morbid, Jing Jing’s collection has elements of spectacle, modernity and deathliness, which creates a unique and regal jewellery line. The statement pieces are reminiscent of something that you would imagine Anne Boleyn wearing, with the extravagant and feminine headpieces and gems.

Jing Jing’s jewellery caught critical attention in 2009 with the release of her collection, MiCHELE. The MiCHELE collection won the Harold Hobbs Memorial Process Award and in 2010 the Cultural Activities Committee of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) chose the collection for their exhibition, “The Real and the Virtual”. I caught up with Jing Jing to ask her about her jewellery and what its like to be an independent jewellery designer working in the creative industry.

 

How would you describe your style to someone who has never seen your jewellery collection before?

For my overall style I would say its coquettish jewellery that contains esoteric concepts, and carries out romantic prowess. For my BA collection, I would say it is a sculptural jewellery with an obsession with Victoriana, which steer well clear of any vintage aesthetic.

Where do you get your inspiration? 

I am inspired by the huge collection of Victorian masterpieces in the V&A, and how Victorian art bring in the effect of light and shadow. I have created my BA jewellery collection to interpret Memento Mori in a different way through reflecting the interdependent relation between life and death. As the life and the death reunite, the two main pieces of the collection can be worn together as one piece.

 Do you think your artistic background has helped you career?

All the artistic experiences and knowledge gained from my past has all contributed to my current fashion and jewellery career, especially during my days in Central Saint Martins. At Central Saint Martins I got to understood different directions and backgrounds of Jewellery and Accessories through research, and I got to establish my individual style and the ability to visualise images three-dimensionally.

 What would your advice be for someone who is looking to break into the fashion world? 

Be prepared to develop and explore new methods of production and to create fashion that challenges and pushes boundaries in fashion and lifestyle products. And also try to open up the mind of design into a new level to the fullest, and to attain as many zestful experiences as possible.

For more information about Jing Jing’s collections visit www.jingjing.co.uk or contact michelle_caojingjing@hotmail.com.

Ralph Masri

Ralph Masri is a Beirut born, but London based jeweller, who specialises in rich and bold statement pieces. Ralph has had one heck of an international upbringing, having lived between Lebanon, Canada, France and Britain. At the age of 18 Ralph moved to London to study a BA in Jewellery design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Ralph tells me, “I had always been drawn to art and design since childhood, and it was actually during my foundation year at college (Central Saint Martins in London) that I discovered my passion for jewellery, so that’s what I specialised in, and it’s what I’ve been doing ever since.”

After graduating from Saint Martins Ralph established his own jewellery line, which has been hugely successful. Ralph’s debut collection, A Trace of Lace, is inspired by beauty, intricacy and the sensuality of lace. Ralph comments, “my first collection was inspired by, as the name suggests, lace and floral patterns. My next collection, launching this summer, is inspired by Arabesque and Islamic architecture. So my inspiration really comes from anything.” Ralph’s collection uses vibrant colours and shapes, and clearly shows Ralph’s love for lace. Ralph’s necklaces and rings really caught my attention, with being bright and eye-catching because of their delicate, handcrafted design. The majority of Ralph’s pieces are centred with a beautiful colourful stone, such as amethyst or garnet, which really makes his jewellery stand out from the crowd.

Ralph clearly knows the intrinsic craftsmanship behind jewellery, creating regal, daring and simply gorgeous pieces. Although Ralph’s jewels are extremely rich and expensive, Ralph’s pieces can be worn both day and night. Ralph’s tip for all budding jewelers is, “you have something to have something that stands out. The competition is insane in this field and you really need to be able to have a unique identity that grabs people’s attention.” This is something that Ralph’s work clearly embodies. Ralph’s bold jewellery collection has not gone unnoticed, and he’s only 24-years-old! Ralph’s jewellery has been exhibited during London Jewellery Week, and whilst Ralph was only 20-years-old (and during his second year at Saint Martins), Ralph’s jewels were nominated for the UK Jewellery Award, making Ralph one of the youngest nominated! Although Ralph is the young new-boy on the jewellery block, he is clearly not one to be messed with. I am excited to see what Ralph’s career has installed for the future. Ralph is one to watch.

Go and check out Ralph’s beautiful jewellery at http://www.ralphmasri.com/ or head to his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ralphmasri. And to buy some of Ralph’s beautiful jewellery, head to Wolf & Badger in Notting Hill, and on their website wolfandbadger.com.

 

From the Sea to the Land Beyond

My love for the cinema led me to be given the amazing opportunity of working at Sundance Film Festival in London. I got to see some amazing films as one of the great perks of the job. Whilst working I was lucky enough to witness the unusual collaboration of director Penny Woolcock’s and the Brighton-based sextet British Sea Power’s film From the Sea to the Land Beyond.

As I took my seat in the Indio music venue at the o2 arena, I was not sure what to expect- a screening or a gig? When the lights darkened, and the crowd chatter softened, out walked six silhouettes. The mysterious silhouettes took their seats next to their instruments on the front of the stage. The band began to slowly introduce soft seaside sounds, and the silent film began to play. British Sea Power brought to life the silent narrative and From the Sea to the Land Beyond took my imagination back to what I image the early cinema to be like- watching a silent visual, accompanied by a live orchestral score. This feeling of being in the early 1900s was also visually enhanced by the footage Woolcock edited together.

From the Sea to the Land Beyond is a film/ documentary about the British coast, which depicts our British love for the seaside. Woolcock made and edited the film through sourcing one-hundred years of film heritage and footage stored in the British Film Institute. Woolcock weaves together the BFI’s footage of the coastline, transforming audiences into experience World War I and II, and allowing audiences to witness the end of Empire and a decline in industry. Woolcock also takes audiences to across the country from Blackpool to Brighton, and to beauty pageants and to beachside parades. Woolcock documents the rich history Britain, the British coastline and British cinema has. These rare visuals are not something that you see everyday, and were reminiscent of some of Sergei Eisenstein’s films I have watched, such as Battleship Potemkin– except not nearly as harrowing, nor full of dark tones, but being more reminiscent due to Woolcock’s use of montage. Woolcock accompanies these images with the musical score by British Sea Power. British Sea Power’s musical skills brings the footage alive through the combination of a musical soundtrack and natural soundtrack such as the sound of wind, seagulls, and ships, allowing for audiences to escape into the British seaside.

It is unsurprising that this film has naturally gone down well with crowds and critics, such as Catlin Moran in The Times, [I] fell down a dream. From the Sea to the Land Beyond really was something else”. This is a film not to be missed.

For more info on this unusual film, check out;

The official website:

http://www.landbeyond.co.uk/

Watch the live launch:

http://thespace.org/items/e00016c4?t=cmbx7

To buy and watch the film:

http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_24996.html

Ryan Keen

When I walked into a bar in Camden on a Wednesday night, and heard this amazing folk voice playing a cover of ‘Stay’ by Mikky Ekko and Rihanna, myself (and the whole crowd) was captivated by this talented voice.

Ryan Keen is an English folk/acoustic/pop singer, all the way from South Devon. When hearing Ryan’s voice live, his voice reminded me of Ryan Adams- and no, its not just because they share the same first name- with the husky voice and folk feel. Not only is his voice superb, but also Ryan’s guitar rhythm and skills are insane. Ryan’s love for music and the guitar started at a young age, picking up his first guitar at the age of eight. Naturally, Ryan’s talent has not gone unnoticed, with already having toured with Lucy Rose, Ben Howard, Delilah, Newton Faulkner, and toured twice with his pal Ed Sheeran. You can see that these musical geniuses have rubbed off on Ryan’s music, and vice-versa.

Ryan’s brilliant tunes, such as ‘Focus’, has been played on both Fearne Cotton’s and Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 shows, with Zane Lowe placing ‘Focus’ on his ‘Next Big Hype’ track.‘Focus’ is not only a great song, but it is an amazing animated video. With joining forces with one of the country’s best stop-motion animators Andy Shackleford, Ryan creates a sweet and creative video, which also won Limelight Award for Best Music Video.

This year you will find Ryan, not only touring round Britain and Europe, but at festivals such as Wakestock, Redfest, Boardmasters, Secret Garden Party, Camp Bestival, Kendall Calling, and Bestival.

So to hear more of Ryan’s music, go to https://soundcloud.com/ryan-keen. And, to book tickets to see Ryan live and more info, go to http://www.ryankeen.co.uk/.