Tag Archives musician

Hayley Sales and Sharon Stone announce their Debut Single “Never Before”

by

WORLDSOUND/ INGROOVES/ UMG is proud to announce the first single and collaboration between bold singer/songwriter Hayley Sales and multi-talented Hollywood icon Sharon Stone. – “Never Before” out now.

Entitled “Never Before”, the romantically cinematic ballad highlights Sales’ breathtakingly impassioned vocals combined with Sharon Stone’s timeless, sincere and captivating storytelling. 

The duo effortlessly wrote “Never Before” after bonding over their shared experiences of love, loss and vintage music. The result is a timeless song that oozes soul, jazz and classic pop influences with a contemporary reimagined twist. 

“I showed up at her house with a handful of nerves and excitement…I’d never done a co-write before and had no idea what to expect or how to even go about it. The second she walked into the room, all that went away. She was so warm and gracious, so absolutely unpretentious and open. Sharon asked me, if one song could explain you to the world, what would it be? At first, I didn’t know. Then I realized …Romance. Romance moves me. Not just in that typical fall in love type of romance, but romance as a way of life…A way of walking, heart all messy and exposed, into everything. With that, we began to write.” – Hayley Sales 

“What a pleasure it has been to work with HAYLEY, she is a true artist. She cares more about getting the truth of her art right than anything else. I cannot wait to be there to see her sing this on stage. Maybe even more than hearing on the radio. She is gorgeous, pure, true: the real deal.” – Sharon Stone

Photo by: Dove Shore

Listen On Spotify Here  

Watch On Youtube Here 

Hearing her classic voice for the first time, you can tell she has paved her own way; through the velvety hints of Motown and the bold romance of early jazz, the music of Hayley Sales reimagines the vintage sounds of the 1950s and 60s. A true artist, she has had to take the long way; carefully crafting her songs to match the unabashed honesty of a born performer. It’s as if you’re peering into the most intimate corners of her heart, unguarded. There’s a romantic elegance to her that is hard to come by in 2021. 

Sales was born into an incredibly artistic family in the heart of Washington D.C. Her father, Richard Sales (The Ramones/ Grateful Dead/ Miles Davis) owned and operated GlassWing Studios in the basement of their run-down Victorian house. Sales would sit for hours on the mixer, letting the R&B beats and soul melodies rock her to sleep. At five, a childhood friend played her an old recording of Judy Garland and the flame burned even more fervently. It was love at first listen as an already alighted yearning to perform became her torch.  If Sales wasn’t rehearsing for a theatrical production, she was sitting at the upright piano practicing Gershwin, Queen or Prince. Before the age of sixteen, Sales had toured the UK as a backup vocalist for a Hindu Saint from India, interviewed the Dalai Lama, performed at the WWII Ace Pilots convention at the Pentagon and lied about her age to land the lead role in a university production of Romeo and Juliet for Oxford scholars. At sixteen, Sales graduated with honors from a private performing arts school (NWA) and reluctantly followed her parents to an organic blueberry farm on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. 

Sales dove into the recording studio and by the age of seventeen produced her first demo album, ‘First Flight.’ Following its completion, Sales moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music and acting career, raising the money by shoveling sawdust onto 670 blueberry bushes. After a series of close encounters with success, an eating stole Sales’ voice, forcing her to move back to the blueberry farm.  One year later, with her vocal cords still on the mend, she returned to the studio and completed a fifteen-song debut album, ‘Drifter,’ a record that ultimately led to her first major label deal.  While on tour, Sales caught the attention of Universal Canada Music and signed with them, making two Top 40 LPs (‘Sunseed’, ‘When the Bird Became A Book’).

When it came to her third record, Sales wanted to re-introduce her boldly passionate, piano-based songs, but Island/Def Jam disagreed. She decided to go independent and produce her next record. After working on it for four years, Sales signed with Verve Music Group. Unfortunately, a week after she finished and delivered the masters, her label experienced an untimely turnover. The ironically named ‘Misadventures’ was never released, and years later remains entangled in label politics. 

After a rather luxurious bout of legal bills and a healthy helping of heartache, Sales got back to work, spending every hour of the day recording, producing and editing her latest studio album; a compilation of twenty new and original tunes called ‘Ricochet.’ ‘Ricochet’ is a fleet of songs that carried Sales through the storm; a body of work that resonates with resilience, vulnerability and romance. “When you throw a ricochet, it comes back and sometimes it come back with more power,” she says. “After decades of being told to find my voice, to change this or that about myself, I finally realized that I didn’t have to change anything,” she says. If you need the inspiration to never surrender, ‘Ricochet’ is the record to do it, one crafted out of the ashes of setbacks. It is a masterful record because of that adversity. “Music has kept me alive,” she says.

Sharon Stone’s “The Beauty of Living Twice” is a book for the wounded and a book for the survivors; it’s a celebration of women’s strength and resilience, a reckoning, and a call to activism. It is proof that it’s never too late to raise your voice and speak out. The book will be released by Knopf on March 30, 2021. 

Sharon Stone : Instagram | Twitter
Haley Sales: Website | Instagram| Facebook | Twitter
Read more Music Articles at Clichémag.com
Images provided by: Dove Shore

Jackie Tohn: Powerhouse of Talent

by

Jackie Tohn is a powerhouse of talent. An actress, writer, comedienne, and musician, her projects reflect the range she possesses from the pained Melrose in GLOW to creating, producing, and writing music for the children’s show DO RE & MI. She has recently become the host of the new Netflix cooking show Best Leftovers Ever. Learn about the different projects of Tohn and get to know her better as all her grandness and simply a person. 

Being a foodie, I’m so excited for your new show Best Leftovers Ever! Could you give the readers a quick pitch? What can they expect from the show?

Best Leftovers Ever! is a wild cooking competition show. In each episode, three cooks take last night’s Leftovers and turn them into high-end cuisine, competing for the chance to win 10 thousand dollars! It’s like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse meets Chopped. 

People can expect to have (maybe too much) fun watching the show. Also, it’s genuinely funny. I’ve never had the chance to say this about anything I’ve been in before, but it is truly fun for the whole family. You can also expect to learn! In every episode, we share tips and tricks for turning your leftovers at home into totally new dishes. This is also exciting because using what you have in the fridge reduces food waste. Wins across the board! 

I have to say, I picked up GLOW during this quarantine break and I regret not doing so any earlier! Melanie Rosen particularly speaks to me through her Jewish representation which I don’t see all that often in the media. How does it feel knowing that you contribute to a more open discussion as well as a representation for the Jewish community?

This is such an important question to me. After the camping episode of Glow aired (Season 3 Episode 6), the response was overwhelming. So many people came out of the woodwork to tell me how much it meant to them. Our writers created this super powerful episode of television connecting two of the characters through their unfortunate common bond of inherited trauma. Jenny’s family survived the Cambodian Genocide and Melrose’s family survived the Holocaust. What’s wild, is that that storyline was based on our actual histories. Ellen Wong is the daughter of Cambodian Genocide survivors and I am the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. We got to memorialize our family’s history through the characters we played on TV. It was so so special.

Photographed by Sela Shiloni

On that same note, what was it like working with an all-female crew?

It was unreal to work on a show with mostly women. Over the course of my entire career, I had never worked with even CLOSE to that many women. Usually, there’s room for one or two women in the cast. One or two in the writer’s room. Maybe a female director pops in for an episode. And on Glow, our writers were all women but one. Our directors were all women but two. Our cast was 14 hilarious, deep, brilliant women and three (depending on the season) incredible men. And because the show was run by women, they encouraged us to be who we are. They never asked us to change our bodies. They just wanted us strong and safe (because we did all our own wrestling.) I never had a sister growing up, and now I have 13. 

What was it like working on GLOW? How did this experience set you up for your other projects?

I had been acting since I was nine and Glow was my first big break – in my mid-thirties. And for a show, this rare to be my first consistent gig was an absolute dream come true. We did extensive wrestling training for a month before every season under the guidance of multi-Emmy winning stunt coordinator Shauna Duggins and wrestling royalty, Chavo Guerrero. Being on Glow and using my body the way I did really helped me rewrite the stories and false narratives I had been living my whole life – that I wasn’t athletic or strong. Glow changed how I feel about myself and what I now know I’m capable of. 

On the other hand, how was your experience working on The Boys?

The Boys was a blast! I shot for three weeks in Toronto and had no idea what to expect going into it. When you’re a guest star on the first season of a show, you only get to read the episode you’re in and since the show isn’t out yet, you can’t watch it to get a grasp of the tone. So you’re sort of going in blind. I was reading the script thinking, “who is Mothers Milk, and what in the hell is going on here?!” Ha. I had an incredible time on what I now know is an AMAZING show that I am super proud to be a small part of. I’m looking forward to going back for Season three!

I imagine acting is hard enough but creating, executive producing, AND creating music for a show seems impossible. How did you manage on Do Re & Mi?

HA! Quite the opposite of impossible. I’m at my best when I’m doing 100 things at once. My brain pretty much fires on all cylinders at all times, so when I’m not busy it makes up stuff to worry about. Michael Scharf and I created Do Re & Mi way back in 2014! My BFF Kristen Bell came on board in 2015. That’s when my co-songwriter David Schuler and I started working on the music. We partnered with our dream production company, Gaumont in 2016 and started really developing the show. Amazon got on board in 2017 and green-lit us in 2018 with a massive fifty episode first season pickup! At that point, the scripts were coming in once a week and Dave and I were writing our butts off. It wasn’t till 2019 when I started doing all the jobs at once. Voice recording (I play Re the hummingbird) twice a week, songwriting twice a week, producing and giving notes on scripts and art the other days. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having a full-time job. Do Re & Mi finally comes out in the spring of this year and I truly cannot wait for everyone to see it. 

Photographed by Sela Shiloni

Starting stand-up comedy at just fourteen, you prove to be a comedic veteran. How has comedy contributed to your other works, if at all?

More than a contributing factor, I would say that comedy is the major reason I got any of those jobs in the first place. I love standup and musical comedy. I toured the country for years doing schtick and I loved it. Being funny has been my currency my whole life. 

Am I allowed to ask what your favorite project, small or large, has been so far? 

It’s hard to say which has been my favorite because I wished and worked for so long to have ANY job and now I just feel incredibly grateful to be part of all the incredible projects I’m working on.  

Are there any future projects you hope to work on? 

My writing partner and I just finished writing our musical comedy feature film – so I wanna make that! One day I’ll write my Broadway show. I just want to keep creating. I can’t not. 

Any particular people?

I’d love to do some sort of mother-daughter comedy with Bette Midler – maybe that would have a musical element too. Now you got me thinking…

Lastly, I have a quick “favorites” for you to fill out to know you as a fully-fleshed person. Feel free to comment!

Favorite food: hot pretzels or pizza. I eat like a toddler. 

Favorite animal: my dog Glen 

Favorite hobby/past-time: singing, playing the guitar, and writing music. 

Favorite person: (people) My parents. 

Is there any else you would like to include for our readers? Follow me on Instagram @jackietohn

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Read more celebrity articles at Clichemag.com

Isabella Blake-Thomas: Star, Activist, & Producer

by

Isabella Blake-Thomas is a young actress with an impressive resumé. Most recently featured in the upcoming Disney program, “Secret Society of Second-Born Royals”, Isabella plays the Princess January. “Secret Society of Second-Born Royals” premieres September 25th on Disney+. 

Cliché- Isabella, how does it feel to be so heavily involved in the entertainment industry at such a young age? 

Isabella Blake-ThomasI feel incredibly blessed. It’s an industry that I love and so to be in-front and behind the camera on all levels is very unique. Being able to experience all aspects allows me to be a better and more considerate actress. I really enjoy the writing and the pre-production of projects. It’s incredible to have an idea and then see it fully blossom into a finished project. Running a production company with my Mom and her team means that I can also learn from the ground up and so I can help and mentor others who want to be involved from a young age. 

Cliché- Does it ever feel hard to balance music, acting, producing, writing, and activism while also maintaining a life outside of these things? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas: They all flow very well into each other. I enjoy writing, this can be scripts or for my music. I find a subject matter that can make a difference and so I create a role that I can play which is related to a cause I’m passionate about. The music is necessary for the film and is a good outlet to be able to make even more noise around an important issue. The project becomes my life. The rest of the time I get to read, write create and just be. Giving me the space to then get ready for the next project. It’s true what they say that if you do what you love then you don’t work a day in your life. 

Cliché- As a young woman with a voice in the media, which you have used to speak about about mental health recently, what would you say drives you to use that voice for good? Do you have any inspirations that make you passionate about particular causes? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas: I am the ambassador for suicide awareness with an incredible non-profit called Awareness ties. Mental health is such an important thing to talk about because so many people struggle with it. I have had 5 people close to me in the past few years who have taken their own life so I am very passionate about helping people who are struggling, to see that it’s okay to not be okay. 

Cliché- Is working with Disney something you are excited about? If so, was there anything in particular that was exciting to you about the process? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas: Disney is an iconic family and one that everyone, whether you’re in the film industry or not, wants to be a part of. We all grew up with Disney movies and so to suddenly be in one is quite literally, a dream come true. One of the things that excited me were the costumes. Disney princesses are known for their gorgeous wardrobes so when I got to try on incredible clothes and handmade gowns, I felt like I was living in a fairytale. 

Cliché- What was it like working on a Disney set? What was your favorite part of filming? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas: It was magical. We filmed in Toronto for two months so the cast and crew all became like family. We would hang out after work and on the weekends and we made so many great memories. My favorite part of filming would be the stunts. We all went through training to make sure we were prepared for any stunts we had to do. We did have stunt doubles for some of the major things but a lot of the free running stunts and the ones where we had close ups, was all us. 

Cliché- You play Princess January in Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, did you find it easy to step into this role? Do you have anything in common with your character? What qualities, if any, do you see in yourself and in her? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas: It was easy to become January because I essentially got to create her from scratch. I was able to create a backstory, mannerisms, reactions and little things that made her really come to life. One of my favorite things to do was create a family tree for her so in my mind, I had full awareness of who she was and where she came from . January and I share lots of things. First of all, we look identical… *wink wink* second of all, we are both extroverted. January and I were both home-schooled and we love being happy and smiling, in fact we are known for it. 

Cliché- Your previous work includes a diverse list of television productions, including Shameless and Doctor Who. Is there anything different about working in a production more geared towards a younger audience? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas: Definitely. The way people work is different. If the subject matter is for an older audience then as a young actress, the producers really protect you. Often there’s someone on set to make sure the actors are comfortable with the scenes they are doing, regardless of their age. However, if you’re part of a project that anyone could watch then you get to see all aspects. Also your acting styles are different. For a younger audience it’s slightly bigger and there’s more movement because it’s what attracts a child to watch. When you’re acting for adults, your movement is smaller and less noticeable because adults like not being distracted from the story. I was lucky with Secret Society because it was a combination of both. I was able to have the comical moments and beats but I was equally able to stay real and honest to my character and her journey. 

Cliché- As a rising star, what do you hope to do in the future? Do you have any dream roles that you aspire to play, or upcoming projects that you are excited about? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas: I’m always excited about the future. I have some wonderful projects that I’m working on including a children’s TV show called “Captain Jemma and The Space Pirates.” I love working and so I’m always thinking about my next roles. A superhero would be brilliant, I also enjoy playing iconic characters from History. I would love to be directed by Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino. 

Cliché- You are part of a production company, Mother & Daughter Entertainment, that focuses on making “content that matters”. What are some of the responsibilities that come with being a founding member of a production company with so many outlets, such as a podcast, music, and publishing? 

Isabella Blake-Thomas:I oversee a lot of our projects “from script to screen” as they say. I’m also responsible for creating new projects and I’m heavily involved in the ideas. We want them to be something that can make a difference in the world. It’s important that all our voices are heard and we take that as a huge responsibility. I’m very proud to be part of such a forward thinking female led company.

Read more Celebrity News at Clichemag.com

Makeup and Hair Credits to Andrew Toma

Styling Credits to Lisa Cera & Tyler McDaniel

Crosby Carter Mgmt

Image Credits to Dean Foreman

‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Jen Lilley Discusses Her Debut Single “King of Hearts” and More

by

Jen Lilley is more than just an actress and musician. As a foster mom, she is a huge advocate of children’s rights and supports charities that focus on protecting children against physical and sexual abuse as well as human trafficking. Her debut single, “King of Hearts”, was released in October, but is only the beginning, as she is set to release an album in February. We chatted with the actress and singer Jen Lilley about the creative process working on “King of Hearts,” the message of the song and her support for child abuse and treatment organizations.

Cliché: What were some of the signs in your life that proved you were destined to become an actress and singer?

Jen Lilley: When I was younger my dad had retired as a judge and he was always extremely animated. I just remember being at dinner for the conversations at the dinner table and one day he acted out all of the parts that happened in the courtroom. My family is very animated and they always loved storytelling. I also love storytelling. One of the signs in my life was when I was 7 or 8 years old I would get all my stuffed animals and I would put on these horrible plays that I wrote and I would force my parents to come down to the basement and watch this play. I think storytelling is obviously a huge part of singing and songwriting. Another sign in my life was when I was 4 years old my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I was older. They told me that you can be anything you want to be when you grow up. I said, “Anything?” They replied, “Oh yes, you can be anything.” I remember pausing and then saying, “I am going to be a bird.” They said, “No, you can’t be a bird.”

The main signs in my life that proved I was destined to become an actress and singer were my family’s history of storytelling and the horrible plays that I put on and the fact that I wanted to be a bird so that I can sing all day when I was 4.

What was the creative process like when working on “King of Hearts”? Can you describe the emotions and feelings that you got after completing your debut single?

I started working with Adrian Gurvitz in February 2016 and the whole process came about when we would sit around his grand piano while drinking tea in the living room and he would play a little bit from the piano. One day around the piano Adrian and I were playing music stuff and he said, “You know who you remind me of?” I was like, “No!” He replied, “You remind me of Dusty Springfield.” I was like, “Oh wow, that’s amazing.” Then we started taking a 60’s approach and then with “King of Hearts,” it just came in line with being in a song that is uplifting and fun but is also about empowerment and relationship.

We finished the entire album. We didn’t do the single first. After we finished the entire album, we have been strategically planning single releases for the debut album. It launches in February.

I felt so overwhelmed. Even though I am a singer and a songwriter on all of the songs, it took me through a journey and it was such a unique experience when listening to the song for the first time.

What’s the message of the song and what do you hope listeners take away when listening to the lyrics of the song? How does the song reflect your own personal experience?

I am pro boy and I am pro girl. The song is about a girl who has been played by a guy who says that he is going to be with her forever and that you’re the one. Then she finds out that he has been basically playing her and collecting other girls numbers. She comes to a point in her life where she realizes that she has worth and value and that she is better off alone than a relationship that is half middle. The message that I want my fans to take away is that each and every one of them is born on purpose and with a purpose and everyone deserves to be in a relationship where they feel valued. If they are not then they better off being alone because they’re amazing.

Everyone has been played by someone. Luckily, mine wasn’t too late in life. But I was definitely played by a guy in college so it reflects that story and I also think success is one of the best forms of revenge.

Can you describe your relationship with producer Adrian Gurvitz?

I love Adrian. He is amazing and he is a legendary rock star and he makes sure that everyone is aware that he is a legend. I am so delighted that I got to work with him. He is really funny and has a dry sense of humor. He was touring by the time he was 14 years old and he worked with Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston. It has been amazing working with him. When I started working with him, he would tell me that I am so embryonic because I had this amazing voice. The whole two-year journey was him teaching me not only the art of singing but also storytelling.

In 2001, you received the National Educators Award for your work in Guatemala performing in concerts for underprivileged Guatemalan youth. How much did winning that award mean to you? What was your initial reaction once you received that award?

Winning that award was so surprising to me. We weren’t expecting that at all. It meant a lot to me. Once I received that award, it was mind-blowing to me and it felt so underserved.

My initial reaction once I received the award was shock, humbled and honored. We didn’t even know that award existed.

You are very active in charities and you are a celebrity ambassador for the child abuse and treatment organization like Childhelp, ECPAT, and The Dave Thomas Foundation. Can you describe your overall relationship with these organizations? Why was it important for you to take a stand on helping out children who have been abused?

With Childhelp, I am one of the main ambassadors but I am also a mentor for the program like Big Brothers Big Sisters. The program is called Special Friends. I am also in the process of adopting my 2 ½ year old who I have had since he was four months old. I am also fostering his little brother who is eight months old. 100 percent of my share profits from my albums and singles will go to helping children and children’s foster care.

It was important for me to take a stand on helping out children who have been abused because as cliché as this sounds, children are our future. I was blessed with an overall amazing childhood and I think that all children deserve their innocence and so many children in this country and around the world have been robbed of their innocence at such a young age. I find that to be such a travesty.

What was the best advice about the music industry that you’ve received and who was it from?

It was from Adrian Gurvitz. He told me that the best singers are not the ones who can hit notes, they are the ones who can tell a story and make the audience experience the story as they are listening to it. He would often use Bob Dylan as an example. Bob Dylan was definitely not the best singer who ever lived but he could definitely tell a story.

At this point in your life, who was the person who helped guide you to get you to where you are now?

A lot of people. But I would also say my faith in general and my ambitions to leave the world a better place than I found it has really helped guide all of my decisions.

What’s next for you?

My album is coming out in February. With that, I suspect quite a bit will come with that. Hopefully, there will be a lot of awards shows next year and then I am also continuing my work with the Hallmark channel. I am hoping to continue with the acting, singing and I am also hoping to executive produce more in 2019.

 

Read more Entertainment articles at ClicheMag.com

‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Jen Lilley Discusses Her Debut Single “King of Hearts” and More. Image Credits: Brandon Kaipo

Lance Reddick Gives us his Experience as an Artist

by

Lance Reddick, is the man who can do anything. He’s been in a range of acting positions from comedic roles like the hilarious yet tyrannical Christian DeVille from Comedy Central’s Corporate to dramatic roles as commanding officer Irvin Irving on the crime television series, Bosch. His smooth distinctive voice has made many appearances in video games, animated shows, and of course his classical music. In this interview Lance gives us insight as to what it’s like to be an artist involved with acting and music. Despite his setbacks, Lance is a man dedicated to his craft and a wonderful talented human being. 

Cliché: What has your experience been like working on Bosch and Corporate?
Lance Reddick: It’s been great on both accounts. Obviously they are different experiences because the genre, style and characters are so different. But it’s been great to go from playing Irving, who is so understated, and Christian, who is such a maniac.

How do you handle the switches from working on a drama to a comedy?
Well, in some ways it’s more about the character and the tone of the show than the genre per say. It’s all about finding the truth of who the person is physically, psychologically and rhythmically. Part of what makes Christian so funny is he takes himself so seriously, and he’s fearless in his extreme point of view. In his mind, he is never wrong. Being wrong is for other people.

What have been some of your favorite experiences in your career? Who’s been your favorite character to play?
My favorite experiences have always been working with great people when everybody is committed to doing the best work possible, supporting everyone else to do their best work, as opposed to egos addicted to being the center of attention. Highlights for me have been The Wire, Bosch, John Wick, American Horror Story, and Corporate.

As far as my favorite character to play, I don’t have one. I’ve loved too many of them – although I must say Papa Legba in American Horror Story was so completely different from anything I’ve ever done that it was fantastic, and getting to work with Angela Bassett, Jessica Lange, and Kathy Bates (one of my idols) feels like a once in a lifetime kind of experience – almost surreal.

Image Credit: Comedy Central

Before getting into acting you studied music, and you released an album back in 2007. Do you still try to focus on music in your life?
Off and on. It has been on my mind a lot lately. I was trying to make more time to write and compose after we wrapped season four of BOSCH, but my acting plate has been so full this year, it’s been very difficult to make the time. But it’s still a major part of who I feel I am, and it’s an outlet for my creativity that acting will never satisfy.

How did you get involved with voice acting? What’s that experience like compared to acting on screen?
Well, I think that voice acting for me really started with doing commercials, and then moved into video games and then story form animation. For me the biggest difference between voice acting and on screen acting is how much more input you expect and need from the director to guide your performance in voice acting, particularly in video games.

What is the most important thing you’ve taken away from your career so far?
If by that question you mean what have I learned about life or myself, I would have to say that consistent hard work pays off. But, it’s has to be the right kind of hard work, and it has to be on two levels at once – artistic and business. The business part was the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around, and took a very long time, because I just didn’t want to think about it. I just wanted to create and let other people worry about that other stuff. But realizing that the buck stops with me if I don’t want to be a victim of other people’s actions and choices means a constant battle with yourself about the standards for both the quality of the work you do and the quality of the work you are able to have to do, which often means holding other people accountable to their commitments to you as well. For artists, that’s really hard because we want to be liked and we want to focus 100% on our art.

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge hands down has been race. Spending so much time waiting around for the “black” or “ethnic” roles, so there were just rarely leads to even audition for. And then as the 90’s and early 2000’s progressed watching rappers and stand up comedians being pushed ahead of the line in front of trained actors of color, it was really disgusting and disheartening. And then of course the next trend was to promote train theatre actors from England, instead of those here, claiming it’s because they are better trained after spending so much time not giving a damn how well trained American actors of color were…well… Anyway, that’s my experience.

Is there anything left that you haven’t done in your career that you still want to try?
Plenty. Don’t get me wrong, I have been really fortunate, and almost can’t believe how great my career is right at this moment.

But since you ask, my bucket list left to achieve would be to star on Broadway, to be the lead of my own television series, to win an Oscar, and to do a movie with Meryl Streep.

(Oh, and to cure cancer and be the first man on Mars… 😉 )

 

Read more Celebrity Interveiws at ClicheMag.com
Lance Reddick Gives us his Experience as an Artist: Featured Image Credit: Storm Santos, Groomer: Blondie for Exclusive Artists Using MAC Cosmetics

The Wild Wild Talks Inspiration & His Single, “Alright”

by

Sometimes when everything seems too overwhelming or confusing, there is a side of us with faith, telling ourselves everything is going to be alright in the end. In 2017, Benjamin Dunn of The Wild Wild continues forming this belief with the single “Alright,” a synth-pop sound for enjoyment and nostalgia. With a new partnership with Descendant Records, The Wild Wild emerged a few years ago, a different sound from Dunn’s other project, Animal Orchestra. Dunn hopes The Wild Wild becomes a signal for listeners to enjoy themselves.

“I take inspiration from musicians and artists everywhere, and when you listen, you can hear that,” he says. “I think there is something for everyone in my music.”
Inspiration is an experience musicians funnel through, crafting other experiences and memories for a listener. So, if C.S. Lewis could imagine a simple wardrobe beyond its wood to an entire universe, then a musician does likewise, turning other things or experiences into potential song ideas without picking or choosing.
“[I’m inspired by] everything and anything. I’m inspired by a lot of books I read. I’m a big fan of C.S. Lewis,” Dunn says. “I’m inspired by the people I meet, places I go, friends and family, other musicians. I take inspiration from life.”
In 2016, The Wild Wild signed with Descendant Records and Sony Entertainment, releasing the extended play Kids. The major release set the stage for a pad of modern and retro sound. It’s appropriate and appealing for long drives and opportunities for self-exploration, or something bigger. The Wild Wild’s Benjamin Dunn says his self-exploration in lyric-writing was a sudden one, looking to fictional heroes.
“I have been writing songs since I can remember. I think the first song I wrote was when I was a young boy. It was about Superman—or maybe Superwoman, actually,” he says. When asked on the benefits of songwriting alone or with others, Dunn speaks highly of it. “It’s a great creative outlet to put down what you’re feeling or thinking into a song,” he says. “Collaborating with people is icing on the cake. It’s great to work together and jam and create a piece of magic.”

I take inspiration from musicians and artists everywhere, and when you listen, you can hear that.

Song creation for The Wild Wild is as spontaneous as the name. “I sing it, grab the closest instrument, and start to play the melodies that I’m hearing in my head and work through it,” Dunn explains. The closest instruments are ideally ones Dunn can work with, such as the guitar, ukulele, banjo, any string instrument, and the reliable piano. Moving the rough draft to that special gem requires additional work, but it’s a time for Dunn’s own self-exploration into the song itself and the tools he’ll use during a recording session. “[It’s usually] me alone, late at night, surrounded by the synths and just getting lost and putting in the work,” he says.
The Wild Wild opened 2017 with the single “Alright,” which Dunn created to be more than just a song, but a lyrical hero for the soul, with lyrics: “Let me take the world off your shoulders, let me take the weight off your chest / You know when I’m around, everything’s gonna be alright.”
“I think I wrote it as some sort of folk hero anthem to myself,” he admits. “It’s a common theme that everyone has in his or her heart—the ability to put one foot in front of the other and to keep going, just knowing that everything will be okay.”
He hopes the song serves as a reminder to keep on going no matter how crazy the world seems to get. “You can walk away from the song with a happy vibe,” he says. “It’s a nice feeling. I think with everything going on right now in today’s current climate, it’s a great reminder to keep going and that there will be a silver lining.”
With The Wild Wild, new listeners can expect more music, more releases, and its frontman to keep going with an additional goal of his own: no more smoking.
The Wild Wild’s “Alright” is available on iTunes and Spotify. For more artist information, follow The Wild Wild on Twitter and Facebook.

Read more on Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
The Wild Wild Talks Inspiration & His Single, “Alright.” Photographed by Katie Ulrich.

Malynda Hale Interview

by

Malynda Hale is no stranger to show business. Not only does she host the Stream.TV for The Vampire Diaries and Walking Dead After Show, but she also co-owns and runs an entertainment company and indie label. To top off Hale’s busy schedule, on October 20 she released her new album, Pieces of Me. After hearing Hale’s song “Pieces of Me,” I was interested in knowing more about where she finds the inspiration to write her songs and how she came up with the title for her album. Hale was more than willing to chat with Cliché about all that and more.
Cliché: Congratulations on your recent album release! How does it feel to have released something you worked so hard on?
Malynda Hale: Thank you! It feels liberating. I feel free. But now is actually where the hard work comes in. Creating music, recording, and planning the release are the most fun for me. Now the focus is on getting the album heard and in the right listeners’ hands. That being said, being able to work with so many incredible musicians and producers to help bring my songs to life is an unbelievably rewarding feeling.
Out of all the songs on your album, which one is your favorite?
I’m proud of so many of them, but I would definitely say that the title track “Pieces of Me” is my favorite. It’s special to me. I wrote that song when my husband and I were moving back to LA from Chicago and I was scared to come back home. I moved to Chicago to be with my husband, and I had nothing and knew no one. After two years of being in Chicago, though, I’d built a huge community and fan base, so it was incredibly difficult to leave even though technically I was moving back home. “Pieces of Me” is a reflection of those feelings—the fear, excitement, and doubt. It’s a glimpse into my heart.
How did you come up with the name of your album? Does it have a significant meaning to you?
Even though I named the album after the most important song to me on the album, I thought the title was appropriate because the album is filled with songs from so many different experiences. Also, I wanted to pay homage to all of the people and things in my life that have helped me get to this point in my career. I’m truly grateful for all of the love and support I’ve received.
Where did you draw the inspiration to write your songs?
I drew a lot of inspiration from personal experiences, but also from things I’ve seen that have made an impact on me. For example, the song “Falling” is a song I wrote in response to the tragic story of Leelah Alcorn, who was a transgender girl who took her life last year. That story touched me since one of my best friends is a transgender girl, and I was moved to write a song about that. I wrote another song titled “Here I Am” for a friend’s wedding, and it was really based on their relationship. Other songs are based on my experience in the industry. There’s a wide variety of sources of inspiration for each song that, taken together, help make the album complete.
If you had the chance to collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
There are so many artists I would love to work with, but all of my friends, family, and fans know that the one person I want to work with is Gavin DeGraw. I admire him and his music so much. He’s unbelievably talented and underrated. I love how he functions more like an indie artist even though he is a major label artist, and I also respect his musicianship so much. His voice is unreal, and I think I write in a very similar style to him. It would be a good fit. I also would love to collaborate with Sara Bareilles or Colbie Caillat; they are artists I see myself meshing with very well. But, Gavin, if you’re reading this… [laughs]
Aside from your music career, is there anything else you’re working on?
I’m always working on entirely too many things! I love being busy and staying active. I do a lot of acting as well in commercials and film. I also host for the Stream.TV for The Vampire Diaries and Walking Dead After Show. Additionally, my husband and I co-own and run an entertainment company and indie label together. He’s my partner in everything I do. It’s great having him by my side. I’m also the spokesperson for a terrific vegan makeup company called Valana Minerals. It’s an incredible company with incredible products that I’m really proud to be a part of. And lastly, about a year ago, I founded an organization called the meTOO! campaign that promotes and supports the love between interracial and same sex relationships. It’s been great to meet so many amazing couples over the last year and hear their stories.
To keep in spirit with our holiday issue, what will you be doing this Christmas?
My wedding anniversary is on December 22, so my husband and I will most likely get away for a few days! I’ll be able to see my family as well, and I’ll also perform for Santa Barbara’s Unity Telethon early in December. I love the Christmas season—it’s a great time to give back and surround yourself with people you love.
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Malynda Hale Interview: Photographed by Lisa Konczal

Bruno Major Interview

by

Bruno Major has a voice filled with such a raw intensity that you can’t help but stop and listen. The London-based musician started as a session guitar player and has since transformed into a recording artist in his own right. He was featured in a Burberry Acoustic session where he performed his song “The First Thing You See,” released his first EP (live, nonetheless) on January 21 with Virgin Records, and is working on his debut album. You don’t want to miss what he’s coming out with.

Cliché: From your first EP to working in the studio on your full-length album to announcing more performance dates, how is 2014 treating you so far?
Bruno Major: 2013 was a total whirlwind, and 2014 is shaping up to be even better. At the moment I am ensconced in the studio making my debut album. I can’t wait to start playing it live.

What made you first get involved with music?
I first started playing music because my dad played guitar, and I wanted to be like him.

What made you decide to release a live EP as your first EP?
The live EP was really a representation of my live performances. I’ve been doing a lot of shows just me and my guitar. It gives me a certain freedom to play whatever I feel at the time.

How’s the process going for your full length album?
Recording my album has been the most intoxicating, wonderful, intense, and life-changing experience. It’s just so important to me, to have, on record, an honest representation of where I am musically at this time in my life. It is sounding beautiful, and I couldn’t be happier.

How different is the process for recording live compared to not?
Most of the album has been recorded live. It was a question of getting the best musicians in a room together, and capturing a special performance. I hope you will hear an honest, heartfelt collection of songs.

Where do you draw inspiration?
I draw inspiration from everyday life—things I see, hear, certain sentences people say, experiences I go through every day.

If you could record with one artist (or band) who would you pick and why?
I would love to have recorded with Louis Armstrong. I don’t think there has ever been a more musical person.

Photo: Meeno Peluce
Bruno Major Interview “Major Music” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s June/July 2014 issue.