Interview With Renowned Chinese New York Photographer


Q: Gloria, I am glad you are here today for the interview. In the past few months, you have created series of very unique fashion photographs, can you tell me what distinguishes you from other New York fashion photographers conceptually or aesthetically?

A: When we talk about the concept and aesthetic, these are really big questions. Basically, I think the biggest difference between mine and others is that I pay more attention to the beauty of the models themselves rather than the clothing. I think clothing displayed by different people can show different tonality and produce completely different effects. So how to use the beauty of ordinary people who are far away from mainstream beauty in order to show the clothing is what I pay more attention to. Eventually, it’s the people wearing the clothes, not the other way around.

Q: We found that in your artworks, most of your models do not meet the general standard of beauty. There are maybe some elderly people and children. They may have various body shapes. Can you explain why you prefer to work with them?

A: As I mentioned before, I prefer to focus on “people” themselves. There really isn’t anybody who is more beautiful or uglier than anyone else. It’s just the way we were trained to see ordinary people in a different way from the mainstream “beauty”. So I would love to see how unique those models are when I abandon those “beauty rules”. I don’t think beauty has a simple standard. It should be diverse. For example, in my photos, the smiling faces of these slightly fat children are extremely beautiful. When they put on clothes designed for adults, you may feel that they show a unique feeling in their outfit. The displacement of the clothing and people is intriguing. I believe shooting with ordinary people helps me to explore the complicated relationship between fashion and people, which has always been my mind since I started shopping at 14.

Q: In your artworks, you usually ignore the models’ body shapes. Or let’s say that you blend the fashion style with their natural body very well so the audience don’t realize they are “not beautiful”, how did you achieve that?

A: I’m not that kind of person who only focuses on the traditional standard of beauty. There are too many beauties being chosen for photography. Personally, I prefer recording bodies that naturally change over time, such as elders. They may have wrinkles and their body shapes are not slim anymore, but they have natural changes over the years. I feel like there is a charm of time surrounding them. I think the word “beauty” is constantly changing, especially in the fashion field. In my own definition, my kind of beauty is so much about being genuine. I like people who are genuine about their looks, who accept their age and body shape genuinely. And I think maybe the reason why the fashion and models blend together well is the fact that I was also being very genuine with people participated in my projects , so they return me with their genuineness. 

Q: Can you explain a little more about the process of choosing a model?

A: It takes a relatively long time for me to find the best fit models for my projects, but I think it deserves that. I am always in a “casting director” mode, whenever I am walking on the street, taking subway… I would walk up to strangers on the street and ask for their numbers and just save a bunch of contacts, waiting for the right project to come up. Since the pandemic, it became extremely difficult to cast people on the street because everyone is wearing masks and nobody wants to talk with a random strange woman like me. So I went online to look for amatuer actors/actresses who are available for shootings. When I meet them, I like to talk with them so that I could learn about their experience, their understanding of the concept and their feelings about the clothing. Most of them have very different understandings towards fashion from mine. For example, in order to finish the shoot for King Kong magazine, I had conversation with 60 older models, including those who are not professional models. And then I  finalized several models that I was very satisfied with. Fortunately, the preparation process finally gave us a wonderful result. Even though they don’t post like professional models, their own body language and personality bring out something very genuine and unique. 

Q: There are many models from minorities in your artworks. Can you tell us the reason? And how is your work related to the discussion of racial representation in the fashion industry right now?

A: Yes it is. As a Chinese woman, I realize how hard it was growing up in China as a chubby girl. In order to escape the “thin and white” beauty standard which is very popular among Chinese women, I like to dig deeper on other culture to see what the alternatives are. Ever since then, I can’t take my eyes off minorities. They just have very interesting and unique concept for beauty, while the western media is constantly filled up with the same thing: tall, slim, glamorous. I think it’s my duty to bring diversity to the beauty industry through my lens, because I know it would encourage other young girls with different cultural backgrounds to look at themselves in a more understanding way instead of pursuing the one “true” beauty. I mean, girls would do anything to look more like the “standard beauty”, they would go on unhealthy diet, expensive surgery…

The western beauty standard is taking over many local culture, and is changing the way people from different culture look at themselves. There has been a loss of diversity in the fashion industry, and I try my best to present something culturally irreplaceable.

Q: What’s your opinion about the differences between the aesthetic of beauty in the U.S. and the standard in China?

A: At the first glance, there is a huge difference (laughs). Like I said, the aesthetic of beauty from China, or even Asia, are those white and thinner girls; while here in the U.S., people prefer those wheatish skin and plump girls. But if we look closer, they are essentially not much different from one another, because both of them are promoting a very limited understanding of beauty, and people are encouraged to spend endless amount of money on it. Ironically, Chinese woman would collect a full drawer of skin whitening products while the Americans like to visit tanning salons. Although I started my photography career first fighting against the Chinese standard of beauty, now I am actually fighting against any form of beauty representation that refuse to open up for more interpretation.

Read more fashion and photography articles at Cliché
Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay & Creative Commons

Producer Amber Palson About Extreme Photo Shoots in the Most Remote and Dangerous Places


For over 15 years, Amber Palson has been behind the orchestration of some of the top fashion projects in both magazine editorials and major brand advertising. 

You may recognize projects that she’s master-minded in the likes of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Instyle Magazines. 

« Orchestrating » and « master-minding » are two words that define well the role of a producer. 

Today, let’s talk about Amber Palson’s journey to producing some of the most extreme and technical photoshoots.

Early career

Amber Palson worked with the most talented photographers in the world, including Mark Seliger, who was the first to notice her talent. Working in his team for 3 years raised Amber through the ranks to become one of the studio’s top producers.

As a renowned producer, many talents, celebrities such as Amy Schumer, Dwayne Johnson, and brands such as Urban Outfitters, Madewell, Athleta, Air Canada, and Aerie (American Eagle), can’t envision a shooting without her expertise.

She pursued her career as an executive producer in Hawaii, where she produced for Oprah Winfrey on 5 magazine covers.  Although she knew she had accomplished her dream career, something was missing in Amber’s life. As a proud Canadian and an adventurer at heart, she needed more action. !

Amber Palson, a woman and producer of action

“When I’m on a job, I give my everything. My client gets my full attention and devotion to the success of their project. On my days off I live for surfing, snowboarding and keeping my body and mind healthy. All of the aspects of my schedule support each other for life success.” —she says

By 2018, Amber was an established producer in the industry, confident and strong with her successful range of experiences ; but  she didn’t feel complete. 

« I like the seeing my clients’ creative vision and translating that into what’s necessary for locations, crew and logistics to make it happen. Every day is different, every challenge is unique. » – says Amber Palson 

Being a producer involves getting places, convincing people of a creative project, and negotiating with them to secure the best places, the best talents and being surrounded by the best in the industry.

« My job is all about relationships. I need the support of the hotel booker, modeling agencies and a location owner…it’s all walks of life and if I can establish genuine respect and rapport with my negotiations, I can give my clients more options to achieve success in their production. Being a good human is key to any long-term business project. » —she says.

Taking production to the extreme

That’s how she developed her niche and became independent : In 2019, she launched Blue Amber Production, a full service production company based in Vancouver, Canada, in order to take care of her clients wanting to shoot epic high-end city locations, stunning Whistler glaciers and world renowned Canadian Rockies. Once you have two nice photos have make you a nice cornhole board set with them.

Blue Amber Production represents everything that she loves, doing what she’s the best at.  All of her passions took her on an exciting professional path, and that’s Amber’s unique journey to success.

We asked Amber Palson about her latest projects and about her unique production work, in remote places. Here’s the interview:

What do you call “Backcountry Production » ? Is it a generic term for productions in remote places?

Yes, you got it! Really it just describes the nature of location of the shoot. Other shoots are either in-studio, city, or residential/interior environments. Shooting in Hawaii and Canada, often I will be taking a large crew to a remote volcano, jungle, waterfall or secret beach (Hawaii) or a glacier, snow town, mountain top with expansive views (Canada). Production on these is a unique animal and it’s my specialty (and my passion!!).

Why is it different?

– Often there isn’t road access and I’m handling logistics on boats, helicopters, snowmobiles, snowcats, seaplanes, off-road vehicles, anything to get large numbers of crew and equipment somewhere cool. I love a good 4×4 adventure!

– Accomodation closest to a remote area requires unique relationship-building with Concierges and hotel staff. Rapport is everything! If you take care of them, they will go that extra mile for your crew. It makes all the difference in a shoot when things go smoothly.

– The majority of brands coming to Canada to shoot are seeking snow.  And the typical timing for the shoot is in Summer!! So the trick is to get crew and equipment up a mountain high enough for there to be snow in the summer, while having an infrastructure for as close to high-end crew accomodations and healthy meals available.

– Often in active wear shoots, shooting in nature, we are using athletes, which requires experience working with non-model agencies, PR and management representations.

– There’s bears! and mosquitos! I have to anticipate nature! It’s a fun challenge to foresee how the natural elements will affect the shoot and my crew, and put in place safeties and comfort such that everyone is able to put their best work forward.


Could you tell us about the Eddie Bauer set and production? We heard it was epic!

We shot in August 2020, on the Whistler backcountry glacier, with helicopter access for full crew (hair, makeup, camera crew, props, manicurist, clothing stylist, + all of our assistants) and equipment. And we flew in a portapotty!! We had to hire a mountain safety guide.

As an active outdoor brand, the location was a pinnacle component to the overall success of the shoot. They wanted epic backdrops to engage their customer. The location was aspirational and featured landscapes that were unique to the region and are specific to an activity. Models were casted to reflect diversity, health and life enjoyment.

Did you encounter any difficulty ?  

Mosquitoes!! We were all wearing nets! Also, we were shooting during a pandemic, so transportation logistics as well as writing and strictly following our Blue Amber Production Safety Protocols was key to keep everyone safe! The other thing related to the pandemic was that the client was unable to travel to Canada at that time. Having systems in place such that the client feels a part of the process, and that the department heads can get direct feedback easily, was an important part of this shoot.

The shoot was epic!! And the shoot made the cover of their catalogue! The shots looked amazing!


How about the Urban Outfitters shoot ?

We shot this one in the fall of 2019, in the Canadian Arctic (Churchill, MB) + The Rockies, at a remote backcountry heli-ski lodge.

For the men’s shoot they wanted a small town feel with snow, and for the women’s shoot they wanted a fashion story combining skiing and snow play.

The morning we were scheduled to leave the back country it was snowing so hard, we weren’t even sure we’d be able to fly out! We almost got snowed in. But we were having so much fun that we all secretly wanted to stay.

Meghan Eng, Urban Outfitter’s in-house producer said on Instagram, “This was one of my favorite shoots of all time. Thanks to an awesome team we survived the Arctic cold & the polar bears and had a lot of fun making it happen.”

This shoot was memorable and we were in the “polar bear capital of the world’!! So I had to hire a bear security guard. He watched for bears and kept us safe!

Discover Amber Palson’s complete work : 

on Instagram

Read more celebrity interviews at Cliché
Images provided by Mike Seehagel and Matteo Montanari

Interview With Isabelle LN Lindbergh: A Prominent Luxury Brand Photographer


Isabelle LN Lindbergh, whose real name is Isabelle Lemoine is the photographer that luxury brands and artists are raving about right now. And if her name means anything to you, it’s because her grandfather was none other than Charles Lindbergh, the first aviator to have flown New York to Paris non-stop in 1927. Almost a century later, his granddaughter, in turn, serves as an avant-garde in combining technology, conceptual work and risk taking in another field and  art of her own, photography. This is evidenced by her recent collaboration with Swarovski, a true work of goldsmith for which patience and technical mastery have been the pillars of her success.

Isabelle Lemoine

The talent of a photographer is to make a subject or object appear in dazzling simplicity. They are measured by the way in which they erase the complexity of work in the development of their shot. One has only to look at the photographs of Isabelle LN Lindbergh to realize this.

People don’t realize the amount of work behind each photo. With Swarovski I have to capture very small gems, and it is extremely complex to photograph them, while respecting a certain color code and the unique image the brand conveys.” Isabelle says.

Do you have a particular technique to bring fine stones and jewelry to life through your photographs?

“First, you have to be uncompromising about the light; reflections must be avoided for each of the shots. My technique is then to superimpose several photos so that we really understand the stone as we can see it in reality. Then, photographing each of the stones represents several hours of work, and a photoshoot for Swarovski can sometimes last more than twenty hours..”

How are the photo shoots going with the brand in general?

“The client is very often present on the day of the shooting, and he is very demanding. The work of a photographer goes beyond clichés. He has to listen, adapt, and be extremely rigorous. The client and his communication team are there to select the photos and validate the artistic direction.”

Has the pandemic changed the way you work with Swarovski?

“Beyond the measures taken such as wearing a mask and safety distances during shootings, I work even more regularly with the brand. Indeed, their storefront having become virtual, Swarovski needs much more content than before, in order to feed their website and Instagram account. Social networks have become an essential part of their communication.”

What material do you prefer to use for this kind of shooting?

“For those kinds of photos I use the Canon 5D Sr and work with flash. I love Broncolor flashes because they are powerful, fast and quality. The siro L are very practical, its light power is sufficient to obtain the necessary shots.

Discover her work on Instagram :@isabellelindbergh @isabellelnmusique  

Read more photography articles at Cliché
Images provided by Swarovski and Isabelle Lemoine

The Influence of Color on Photos


The influence of color on photos is extremely important.  Color is an integral artistic component of any photo. Anyone who stands behind the camera knows that color correction is a complex science that can completely change the viewer’s perception of the image. Would you like to master this skill? Read on to learn all about the emotional connotations of all the colors of the rainbow.

The Influence of Color on Photos

pratikshawave / Pixabay


This color has a long-standing association with such strong emotions as passion, excitement and even danger. Red is very rare in nature, so it’s considered valuable to photographers. The first example that comes to your mind is a sunset that appears once a day in perfect weather. Fall forest is also something that can be captured in just a few months of the year. Red shades can also be found in the landscape, for example, canyons or rocks.

Red can also be used during portraiture. But remember that this color is very attractive and takes away almost all the attention. The red eyes of a person or animal also look charming.

The Influence of Color on Photos

ilabyckov61223 / Pixabay


Shades of orange are not uncommon. You can find brown everywhere as it is the color of the earth and trees. Bright orange is often found among vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin and orange. But what do people feel when they see this color? The heat envelops the viewer and, unlike red, does not cause aggressive associations. Orange objects cannot be called passive in the photo, especially when they are in a cold environment.


From childhood, we associate yellow with the warmth and positive of the sun. In nature, we often find its shades mixed with orange and green, such as sunset or fresh grass. But it’s “pure” yellow that has the strongest effect. Sand, fall leaves, and even the sun at certain times of the day work well in photographs. If you want to create a joyful positive image during portrait shooting, use yellow fabrics and objects.

The Influence of Color on Photos

Couleur / Pixabay


This color is associated with grass, young leaves, and nature in general. Green means life and peace. It can also be used to show youth and inexperience. Green is called the warmest of the coldest colors. Its shades in any quantity in the photo can capture all our attention since our visual systems recognize green more than any other color.


Goethe in his “Theory of Colors” of 1810, said that the blue “pulls us along.” And this expression perfectly describes the essence of this color. After all, it is directly related to distance in the real world. Blue immense sky and deep waters seem inaccessible for people.

An interesting fact, a study by Instagram shows that blue images get more likes than photos with warmer colors. This is due to the fact that the shades of red and orange don’t look well on the smaller screen, but blue isn’t so distracting.

It’s important to note that dark blue and light blue represent slightly different emotions. Dark shades are often associated with bad premonition, while light blue is softer and much more optimistic. Despite this, both of them are not dangerous, but rather speak of a calm time, when the storm hasn’t yet arrived or is already behind.

Purple Hair

sabinemondestin / Pixabay


Purple is a rarity in natural landscapes and often appears among flowers. Sometimes you can meet it in small quantities in the form of a mixture with blue, forming a bluish-purple hue of the sky or sea. This color has historical roots and is often associated with royal wealth and power. Its shades can fill the photo with calmness.

How to work with color while editing

The main rule of photo post-processing is not to go far from the original but only to emphasize its advantages. Speaking of color, you can brighten the primary color to increase its effect on the image. Playing with contrast and its settings you create a big difference between light and dark shades and you can also emphasize warm objects in a cold environment and vice versa. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

The main difficulty in working with colors is to make them harmonize with each other and look natural. This is the hardest to achieve when working with a portrait since the colors should look perfect with the skin tone of a model. The best solution is to edit the skin. You can make it with effects and layers in Photoshop or change skin color online quickly and without experience in this field. There are special applications for working with color and other characteristics of the photo. photo app  has many features including skin editing set. So, you can change its tone as well as remove the imperfections. This auto skin retouch app was created by professional editors, so the result always looks perfect. Retouchme is considered one of the best of its kind and is popular among photographers.

The sense of color and the ability to choose the right shades are important qualities for a photographer. So, you can influence the emotions of people who look at your photos. Studying theoretical aspects is important but you must also rely on your own taste and feelings. You can take pictures in one color scheme, or switch from cold to warm shades in each work. The main thing is not to underestimate the power of color.

Read more fashion articles at Cliché
Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay


NKD Mag May Be Coming To An End, But Catherine Powell Continues To Capture This Industry One Photo At A Time


For the last eight years, Catherine Powell has been the Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of NKD Mag, an online music and pop culture magazine featuring some of the biggest names in young Hollywood. Straight out of Nashville, Tennessee, Catherine has always had a eye for photography since she was a teenager. In addition to NKD Mag, she is touring with Dan + Shay and Kacey Musgraves plus four of her photos made it to the Country Music Hall of Fame this year. As NKD Mag reaches the end to it’s final issue, Cliché Magazine chatted with Catherine Powell about the end and what’s next for her future. 

Cliché :  When did you know that you wanted to be in the industry?

Very young. I started going to shows when I was 13, and about a year and a half later started shooting at a local all ages venue. I was beyond obsessed with music and just wanted to be a part of it.

Where did the inspiration behind NKD Mag come from?

Truthfully, it started because I was 17, had been shooting for over three years, and no one would hire me because I was so young. So, my friend Ariella Mastroianni (who was 19 at the time) and I started it so we could shoot and write about the artists we loved, and go a little more in depth than a lot of the publications we were reading at the time.

What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?

As an editor in chief, I think taking the magazine to 100 issues is something incredible. It’s such a massive body of work to be able to look back on.
As a photographer, I spent my entire college career being told that photographing music wouldn’t get me in galleries or museums. So, this summer when four of my photos went up in the Country Music Hall of Fame, it felt like an extra special win.

 Did you ever think that NKD Mag would become such a huge success?

Not in the slightest. I think Ariella and I both had high hopes for it, but nothing like what it’s become. It’s truly the greatest thing I’ll ever do and I’m so proud of it. We’ve been able to reach over 50 million eyes in over 190 countries and that was just (and still is) unimaginable to think about.

Once the final issue of NKD Mag comes out, what is next for you?

I’ve been touring in the country world for the past year and will continue to do that for the foreseeable future. I’ll be out with Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Dan + Shay and Miranda Lambert this fall, and there’s some fun stuff on the calendar for next year that I’m very excited about.

What advice can you give young adults about trying to start their business in photography?

The business of photography is much more than you see on Instagram. More than anything, you need to build a network of other photographers that you can go to for advice, referrals and inspiration. It doesn’t need to be the competitive industry so many people make it out to be.

Who has been your favorite artist to photograph?

I’ve been having a blast with Kacey Musgraves this year. She’s incredibly creative and a true visionary, so it’s fun to bounce ideas around and create moments both on and off stage.

If you could say one thing to your readers who have been with you for the last 8 years, what would it be?

Thank you for sticking with us for so long, and letting NKD be a part of your fandoms. This magazine has been my entire life, for a third of my life, and it’s really fulfilling to know it meant something to so many people.





Picturesque Potential – 7 Tips For Getting the Most Out of a Photo Booth Experience


Are you someone who is considering hiring a photo booth in Sydney?
If so, you may have a few queries or may be scratching your head about how to make the most of your photo booth experience. Hiring a photo booth for any event you are hosting is truly an amazing way to provide your guests with some extra entertainment on the day of your party.

On top of that, it is also a great way to capture awesome shots of all the people who came to your special event. Read on to find out out 7 tips for getting the most out of a photo booth experience!

  1. Get Decorating!

photo booth decorations
Nothing is worse than a boring looking photo booth – this is why customizing and decorating your booth is so crucial. Your aim is to really capture the attention of your guests, and decorating is a fantastic way to achieve this goal.  Always ensure that your photo booth is decorated in sync with the theme or colors that are used for your party or event.  You can even go all out and get props for your photo booth that your guests can have fun with!

  1. The Right Backdrop Is Crucial

photo booth back dropWhat is the point of awesome photos with a dull backdrop?
The right backdrop for photos is an absolute essential and is an integral step towards making the most out of your photo booth experience.  Depending on the occasion, you may want to go for deep, bold colors or really rock out with gold sequins, rainbows and clouds. The choice is yours, so feel free to show off your creativity on the day of your special event.

  1. Collect Photos In A Book

To really get guests engaged, you may want to consider providing a guest book or box for your guests to put their photos in. There is nothing better than sitting back at the end of an event and looking through your happy guests photos. Top tip: provide a pair of scissors and a few marker pens so that your guests can cut some photos out to bring home with them and write a message on the images they choose to paste in your guest book!

  1. Creativity Is Completely Free!

Creativity doesn’t have to end at decorations, props and guest books. It is key that one injects some creativity into the photos themselves!  The best photos are the ones that come out of pure, candid creativity. Pull a funny face, pick people up or make bunny ears behind your best friends head.  Leave all inhibitions at home and have a great time!

  1. Don’t Forget The Hashtags

hash tags photo

Photo by danielmoyle

It seems that the hashtag has become as ubiquitous as sliced bread.
Everywhere you go, every event you attend, people seem to have a dedicated hashtag for their special day. A unified hashtag allows all your guests to share their photos as well as view it on social media platforms such as Instagram. Furthermore, this helps create some social media buzz which in turn promotes your event, costing you absolutely nothing! Get crazy with the hashtags!

  1. Time It Right

The cost for renting or hiring a photo booth usually depends on how long you hire it for, so consider the best time to have your booth set up. Ideal times are mid event, when everyone is still around and having a blast, or after dinner when most guests have had a chance to mingle and get to know each other.

  1. Lastly, Don’t Leave Yourself Out

We know that you are busy prepping, hosting and getting all things perfect for your event – but hey, don’t leave yourself out when it comes to the photo booth fun. After all that hard work, you deserve to relax, let loose and have a dozen or so goofy photos of yourself as a reward for all the time and effort you have spent creating a fantastic event!

With these 7 excellent tips on getting the most out of a photo booth experience, we are sure that your next event and its photo booth will be an absolute hit with your guests!
Find more photos and event articles at
Images provided by Flickr CC License and

A Look At So What Music Festival


This year, So What Music Festival turns 10, and it’s only the beginning. Three days, numerous stages, a variety of bands, and thousands of fans later, SWMF was an experience like no other.

Earlier this year, we spoke with the founder of the festival, Mike Ziemer, about his journey to one of the most anticipated music festivals in Dallas, Texas and he explained to us that the goal of this festival was to fit as many cool bands as possible into one show with four stages and he did it. When some think of “cool bands,” they think of the biggest names they can see from miles away. When we at Cliché think of cool bands, we think of the ones that are newer to the scene and are getting bigger by the minute.
Something I loved about this year’s So What Music Festival was the large range of artists; from bands that had never played before to bands that were 10 years running. Here, we chat with some of the bands about the iconic festival.

Invent, Animate

“So What Music Festival is a big deal to us,” explains Ben English of the Texas Native band, Invent, Animate. “Being our favorite Texas festival, it is an honor playing such a huge event for the third time. Every single year we get to see not only the festival’s growth, but our growth as a band overall. Seeing the crowd’s reactions and people going crazy drives us to continue pushing towards everything we want to be.”

The Happy Alright

“I think it’s really special that Dallas, Texas has this music festival. We get to watch some of our favorite bands play and then play ourselves,” said Mason Steeger from another Texas native band, The Happy Alright, that took the So What stage for the first time along with his bandmates.
“It’s cool and inspiring to be playing something as big as this and to experience it this way. It’s one thing just going to the festival, but it’s another thing to actually play it. I’m blown away that we’re even playing here,” Jonathan Ballew from The Happy Alright explained.

It’s cool and inspiring to be playing something as big as this and to experience it this way.

“What’s cool about this festival is that they book local acts and it’s a great opportunity for those bands to get to play to people that might not have seen them,” Sterling Gavinski said. “It’s awesome that the reason why these bands get picked is because the people that put on this fest notice that they work really hard.”
When asked what advice they’d give to those starting out and wanting to get involved in the festival, Gavinski said, “Work hard, be polite, and just do it. Those are the big three rules.”

Something More

“Honestly, it’s surreal to play here and play songs that we really feel passionate about, that represent who we are, and what we’re trying to do,” Tim Jagielski from the Baltimore, Maryland band Something More said after the band took the stage for the first time.
“Being here and being included in this festival to share our music with all these random people that have never heard of us before is just really mind-blowing. This has been the best weekend of our lives,” Nate Swartz expressed.
“This is one of those stepping-stone moments for us,” Phil Rasinski added.
It’s safe to say that this festival means a lot to not only the fans that attend, but to the artists that are a part of it. This is a look at So What Music Festival.

Read more Music news on
A Look At So What Music Festival: Photographed by Imani Givertz

The Maine talks ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ Album and Tour


One of the best and well-crafted albums of 2017 so far dropped this April by one of our Cliché favorites, The Maine. Lovely Little Lonely, The Maine’s sixth full-length album, is infused with beautiful melodies and heart-stretching lyrics to follow. As if the album wasn’t good enough, the lovely five-piece band embarked on their headlining world tour this spring. We sat down with guitarist Jared Monaco to discuss the new record, the recording process, the Lovely Little Lonely Tour, and everything that makes it what it is.

Cliché: Can you elaborate on the writing process of Lovely Little Lonely? What was the inspiration behind your favorite lyrics on this record?
Jared Monaco: Over the years, our band has certainly gone through many changes, but one thing that remains the same is our process for writing songs. The only difference this time was the quality of our demos. We spent more time mapping everything out, and by the time we got to the studio, we had full skeletons for every single song. Usually we aren’t quite that prepared. I don’t write lyrics, so for me it’s hard to pick a specific line on the album. I really like the way “The Sound of Reverie” turned out.
What are some challenges you faced while making Lovely Little Lonely and what did you learn from them?
For this record, we rented a house in northern California, so we had to pack our entire studio into a box truck to move all the gear. The house was about three hours from the nearest music store, so we were really hoping everything arrived in one piece and turned on. Luckily, it was mostly fine, but the hard part was definitely turning a vacation house into a professional studio space. In the end, it was well worth it, but it took some creativity to get everything sounding the way we wanted it to.
How did this record stretch you guys individually and collectively?
For me, the goal was to have every single guitar track be absolutely necessary. I didn’t want to overdub things just because I could. The hardest part was to not overthink things. I’m a perfectionist so it’s hard for me to just step back and say, “Okay, it’s good. Move on.” For John, he wrote most of the vocal melodies without lyrics so it was certainly a battle trying to fit the right words to the melodies. In the end, it all came together, but there were certainly some days spent banging our heads on the wall.

How is this record different from any of your other records and how is it similar?
LLL has a very specific mood to it. I think that is one of the benefits of setting up a studio in a new place. We were taking in all of our surroundings and using them to augment the music we were making. The record flows from front to back, with tracks connecting to tracks and certain undertones carrying over. It’s the first time we took a step back and thought about how everything fits together as a whole. It’s similar to previous albums in the sense that we wrote it ourselves the way we write anything else. I think long-time fans will be able to hear our entire discography in some way through these songs.
What was it like for you guys when you heard the final songs for the first time?
That was a pretty big moment because when we finished recording in California, the vocals still weren’t finished. John had to fly out to Nashville to finish them so we were all at home waiting to hear the first rough mixes with vocals on them. The first time we heard them, we were all together at our manager Tim’s house. I was blown away. I have always trusted John and I think that’s why we work so well together, but after seeing him frustrated before Nashville, I was uncertain about which direction he was going to take the songs. I felt relieved, proud, and immediately optimistic when I heard the final mixes.
If there was one thing you could do differently, what would it be and why?
To be honest, for doing everything ourselves and seeing the results we did, I don’t have any regrets on this album. There was one song that didn’t make the album, but we didn’t cut it until pretty late in the process. I guess I wish we would have thrown it out sooner. Still, things happened how they did, and I’m happy with where we are now.

Visually, we have created quite a stage scene and I feel that it represents the mood of the new album quite well.

After creating music for so long, how do you keep a fresh mindset and attitude going into recording a new record?
Like I said, we have been using the idea of scenery to influence our mindset, so having something like AirBnB to find an amazing house to record in certainly helps. We were on the side of a cliff looking out at the Pacific Ocean every day. If you can’t feel fresh waking up to that every day, you’re probably doing something wrong.
How are you feeling about the LLL Tour?
So far, things have been amazing. Visually, we have created quite a stage scene and I feel that it represents the mood of the new album quite well.
What’s next?
We will be touring as much as possible this year. We’re just getting started, and like every other album we have released, the mantra is that we can sleep when we’re dead. Even though we plan on working as hard as possible, it’s important to take time to look back and see how far we have come. That kind of reflection usually happens after a really great show.
What has come out of that time of reflection?
We’ve been a band for over 10 years now. In that time, we have met so many amazing friends and fans and seen so many incredible places. To be here in 2017 releasing our sixth full length record is sometimes unbelievable. We wouldn’t have any of this if it weren’t for those who care so deeply about the music we are releasing. For that, we are eternally grateful.
What do you hope this album conveys for listeners?
I want listeners to attach their own meaning to these songs, but for me, it’s a nod to how sometimes being alone can be terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a beautiful thing, too.

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The Maine talks ‘Lovely Little Lonely’ Album and Tour, Written and Photographed by Imani Givertz

How Civil Youth Plan On Taking Over 2017


I love surprises and the feeling of pure joy that dances in the pit of your stomach when you’re being pleasantly surprised, and let me tell you, I was amazed after discovering the Philly trio that is Civil Youth. From their offstage brotherhood to their onstage unity, together they are, without a doubt, going to be some of the biggest rising stars of 2017.

With their energy on stage and soul-driven and captivating lyrics, Civil Youth is about to shake up this next year, and once you hear them, you won’t want to miss out on anything that they are doing. We caught up with the Civil Youth guys at their show in Orlando, FL on their Behind The Echoes Tour and got to know them a little better.
Cliché: Tell us about yourselves. Who are the artists behind Civil Youth?
Michael Kepko: Civil Youth is Michael Kepko (vocals), Daniel Chapman (guitar), and Evan Seeberger (drums).
How did you form your band?
Civil Youth formed in Boston, Massachusetts by myself and then I brought the music and idea back down to Philly when it didn’t pan out up there. I had known Dan since high school, and Evan had produced the second album. We all knew what this band was about. We all understood what we were trying to do and didn’t want another option in life other than music.
How would you describe your sound to people that have yet to hear your music?
We can be described as Alternative. We grab so much from so many genres, I think that sums it up in a vague manner.
How has your sound developed since you started?
In the beginning, the music was undeveloped. Now, we are a lot heavier, and also more defined with the genres we strive towards.
Your live set is pretty epic. What is the thought process behind how you create such an experience for fans?
People have told us we have an energetic set, which is great to hear because when we play live, it’s our way of releasing stress. It lets us be the people we are comfortable being, so when we get up, we just give it all we have. I think people can relate to the honesty behind what we do, which is what we want.
You guys have been worked on your new album this past year. What was the writing process like for you guys?
The writing process for this newest album was different than what it always has been. This time, Evan wrote a lot of the music with me, and we had a lot of defined writing moments as opposed to sporadic thought.
Do you all play a part in writing the lyrics, or does each member have his own specific role?
I write all the lyrics and music except with the newest album, where Evan wrote half the music.
What should we be most excited about when it comes to your new album?
I think the best part of this album is that it truly is the sound of Civil Youth. It’s unique yet so catchy.
In 2017, what are some goals you have set individually and collectively as a band?
Our personal lives are really this band, so the goals for the band are getting onto a booking agent’s roster and touring with some big bands.
Where would you like to tour this upcoming year?
The UK, hands down.

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How Civil Youth Plan On Taking Over 2017: Photographed by Imani Givertz

Photo Gallery: Brand New Live in Miami, FL


Braving the way for harmonious melodies and chilling lyrics since 2000, Brand New is one band that we will always thank for giving us songs for every emotion. There is nothing that can properly articulate the feeling and rawness of a Brand New show; from the creative elements to the perfect lighting, it is an experience you need to have at least once in your life.

With that being said, we recommend that you see them on their next tour this year. We don’t know for certain, but the last thing we saw before the end of their show was 2000 – 2018, and we have a feeling that it could be your last chance to see them (though we all hope they stay together forever). Here is a photo gallery and a small glimpse of Brand New’s massive show in Miami, FL this past summer.
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Photo Gallery: Brand New Live in Miami, FL: Photographed by Imani Givertz

Why The 1975 Was the Most Creative Band of 2016


It’s not a joke when we say that The 1975 took over 2016. It all started back in June 2015 when they almost broke the Internet and fan’s hearts by deleting their social media accounts, causing everyone to break out into speculations that the musical geniuses were calling it quits. Luckily, our hearts only hit snooze for 24 hours when the band reactivated their social media, replacing their iconic Black and White photos to White and Pink. It was only up from there.

The band released their singles “Love Me” and “UGH” before the end of the year. 2016 looked promising when they released three more singles before the release of the anticipated new album. “The Sound,” “Somebody Else,” and “A Change Of Heart” were on playlists around the world before their second full-length album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it dropped in February.
From there, the touring continued, and the frenzy for The 1975 went rapid. The band sold out almost every show around the world, and it wasn’t just because of their soul-gripping lyrics or their one-of-kind sound, but their impeccable creative set. From their LED screens to the lights, The 1975 created an environment for everyone to not only be wooed through their ears, but through their eyes.
We don’t doubt that they’ll only continue to top their creativity in 2017, and we know we don’t want to miss it. Shows are already selling out fast, so get your tickets pronto. Here is a photo gallery from one of The 1975’s legendary concerts in Miami, FL.

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Why The 1975 Was the Most Creative Band of 2016: Photographed by Imani Givertz

Hands Like Houses photographed at The Kelsey Theater in Lake Park, FL


There’s no doubt that after anyone experiences a set as energetic, interactive, and as expressive as Hands Like Houses’, they will be listening to their entire discography on repeat trying to relive those moments over and over again.

Hailing from Canberra, Australia, HLH co-headlined their way to South Florida with Our Last Night, The Color Morale, and Out Came The Wolves this November on the Face To Face Tour.
They gave everything they had and poured out their souls to a standing room full of fans that received them so well and poured out their hearts right back by singing along to every song at the top of their lungs.  
These are moments that I am honored to capture. This is a photo gallery from Hands Like Houses on the Face To Face Tour at The Kelsey Theater in Lake Park, FL.

Hands Like Houses photographed at The Kelsey Theater in Lake Park, FL 11.12.16
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