Tag Archives Netflix

South Asian Pop Star Nikitaa Releases Latest Single, “DITK”

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Mumbai-LA-based singer-songwriter, Nikitaa, has released her latest single, “DITK” (Dancing In The Kitchen). After a series of releases, Nikitaa comes to terms with a journey of processing emotions from an abusive experience. “DITK” is a more upbeat pop/RnB-style song than her previous releases. Nikitaa goes back to her childhood, remembering how reverting to dance in uneasy times. 

Born out of an abusive experience, “DITK” depicts the aftermath of the outing of her abuser by another woman. The fast, pop percussion and electric melodies of the song make it impossible to be still. Making the song upbeat, wanting listeners to dance were two purposeful decisions Nikitaa made. She wants listeners to welcome the same relief she was experiencing when physically shaking off unprocessed feelings.

The song came to Nikitaa while wandering into her kitchen, in search of a midnight snack after everyone else had fallen asleep. Flooded with emotions, memories of her abuse, tied to her childhood home, were beginning to resurface. Remembering feelings of loss and worthlessness that once overcame her in that same kitchen, Nikitaa comes to a sudden realization that she is only just now beginning the phases of grieving and understanding these traumatic events, but she knew that with time could, and would overcome all of it.

Nikitaa on her single, “DITK”: “Freedom is confusing when you experience it for the first time on a whole new level. And so, to represent those mixed emotions, I chose for DITK to be upbeat and very dancer/choreographer friendly, while the lyrics and vocals speak to my discomfort and pain. This song is all bass, drums, and percussion, with some guitars thrown in. I took on every possible role I could when creating this song– producer, writter and preformer.”

Born and raised in Mumbai, singer-songwriter Nikitaa, has spent her recent years in LA mastering her art. She is poised to be a breakthrough star on the independent music scene, creating a witty blend of sassy melodies, partnered with powerful lyrics that give added depth to each of her compositions. Nikitaa combines ethereal Pop/RnB with a subtle nod to the South-Asian soundscape bringing a new genre she calls “Goddess Pop.”

Her 2021 release, “Boomerang” made it onto two charts on iTunes in India placing #24 and #155, the first being the Top 200 Pop and the second, Top 200 All Genres. In 2020, the transcontinental singer has put out more than 4 singles – “Tum Aur Main,” “Universe,” “Goddess,” and “Clutch” and sang for a Netflix film Masaba Masaba and she promises not to stop.

Nikitaa is a born entertainer, with the ability to transcend language, culture, and ethnicity. She is on a self-proclaimed mission as an artist is to break down barriers, shatter stereotypes and bring people together under the universal language of music.

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August Maturo Launches Onto the Big Screen

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As an actor, being able to successfully shift between dramatic and comedic roles can take years. However, a vast emotional acting range is something 13-year-old actor August Maturo developed early in his life. Since the age of 3, Maturo has been captivating audiences and casting directors with his ability to bring a story to life. Starring in renowned and beloved films and television shows of various genres, Maturo has become a star in his own right. 

Audiences in the United States would recognize Maturo for his role as Auggie Matthews on the hit Disney Channel Original Series Girl Meets World. He also starred in the wildly successful horror movie The Nun as Daniel. Critics worldwide have taken notice of his incredible acting range. Maturo’s latest film Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog is set to release in select US Theaters this Memorial Day Weekend! Based on the novel The Jewish Dog by Asher Kravitz and written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Lynn Roth, the film follows Kaleb, a beloved German Shepherd, who is separated from his original master ‘Joshua’ (Maturo) and his Jewish family when the Nuremberg Laws are enacted in World War II Berlin. 

Later this year, Maturo is set to star as the lead in the upcoming horror/thriller Slapface. Slapface follows the story of a young boy Lucas (Maturo), who deals with the death of his parents and the physical and emotional abuse of being bullied by creating a dangerous relationship with a monster. The film recently premiered at Cinequest Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Thriller/Horror. As he continues to make his mark on the film industry, we chatted with August Maturo to discuss his blossoming career, upcoming projects, and much more! 

Cliché: What made you want to become an actor? 

Maturo: When I was very little everyone that would meet me would tell my mom “your kid should be an actor.” She didn’t think much about it until I was 3 years old, and I was in a church play. When it was over, and I had to get off the stage I got really upset and told my mom I wanted to be back up there. She decided then to get me an agent and I started working right away. I guess it was meant to be!

What is a special memory you have from your time playing Auggie Matthews on Girl Meets World

My favorite memories were filming in front of a live audience. Those nights were so exciting. It’s so cool to hear an immediate reaction to your performance as you do it. That’s the great thing about filming live. It’s instant gratification as a performer. 

Tell us about your film Shepherd: The Story of a Jewish Dog.

Shepherd is about a young boy named Joshua and his dog Kaleb during the Holocaust. I play Joshua. I filmed Shepherd shortly after I finished Girl Meets World. It was my first film role. I was 10 years old at the time and I had to travel to Budapest to film it. It’s finally releasing in the US this Memorial Day weekend in select theaters, and I can’t wait for people to see it! It was supposed to be released last year but got postponed because of Covid. I’m so glad theaters are opening back up and people can see it on the big screen the way it was meant to be seen. If you love history and you love dogs, you’ll love this film! And don’t worry, the boy and the dog don’t die!

August MaturoYou’ve starred in some very intense and dramatic films in your career. What draws you to those kinds of roles?

I love them because it challenges me as an actor. I always want to try difficult things. The longer you are an actor, the more you want to push yourself to see what you can do. Most people know me as the character ‘Auggie’ from Girl Meets World. I’m really excited for people to get to know me as different characters now.

Another film you have coming out this year is Slapface. What can you tell us about the film and your character Lucas?

I am so proud of Slapface! Ever since my role, playing Daniel in The Nun, I’ve been obsessed with horror. It was my dream to play a lead role in one, so when I got the offer for Slapface I was so excited. The film is about a boy named Lucas who is abused and bullied by everyone around him, so he ends up befriending a monster that lives in the woods. The monster becomes obsessed with him, so as you can imagine things start to get a little crazy. Slapface will be out this fall, and the plan is to be in theaters. You just never know how things are going to go because of Covid.

Is there a role or film genre you would love to play? 

Since I love to try new things, I’d love to be in an action film. That would be exciting. But I think my dream role would be to mix my background in comedy and horror and do a horror/comedy, like the movie Shaun of the Dead or the show What We Do in the Shadows.

When you aren’t working, what are some things you do to relax and have fun?

Over quarantine, I started to ride my bike a lot. I created a small pod of friends that I like to hang out with, and we love to ride together. I also draw, A LOT. If I’m not doing school work, I’m probably drawing. I’ve also recently gotten back into Pokémon Go again and love to ride my bike around and catch them.

What can fans expect next from you?

I do have something exciting in the works, but I can’t talk about it just yet. In the meantime, I hope that everyone goes to watch Shepherd & Slapface and enjoys them as much as I did making them. As an actor, that’s all you could hope for! 

 

Read more Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Images Provided by Matt Kallish

A Conversation with Virgin River Star, Jenny Cooper

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If you are a fan of great television, specifically, shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and 24, then Jenny Cooper is a familiar face. The Canadian-born actress continues to grow her impressive resumé as she stars in the hit Netflix series, Virgin River.   

Based on the novels by Robyn Carr, Virgin River follows Melinda ‘Mel’  Monroe, a woman who answers an ad to work as a midwife and nurse practitioner in the remote California town of Virgin River. While she hopes it will be the perfect place to start fresh, she soon discovers that small-town living isn’t quite as simple as she expected. She must learn to heal herself before she can truly make Virgin River her home. Jenny Cooper plays Mel’s cautious older sister, Joey Barnes. Joey is weary of Mel’s move to Virgin River and makes every attempt to convince her to return to Los Angeles. 

The critically acclaimed series has made its mark in Netflix streaming history. The season 2 premiere was given a coveted 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes while racking in nearly 1.8 billion views in November and December of 2020. Following the news of Virgin River being picked up for a third season, we caught up with Jenny Cooper to chat about her admirable career and of course, Virgin River

 

Jenny Cooper

Cliché: What drew you to acting? How did you get your start in the business?

Jenny Cooper: My parents were huge movie and theatre buffs. So, I grew up really appreciating the arts, both visual and performing. At some point, when the lights would dim before a performance or a movie, I started to have a sense of belonging. That led to studying acting, which was extremely fulfilling, and finding “my people.” I had done a few commercials when I was little so had my SAG card when I came out to LA. My career kind of started backwards with a couple of series regular roles (Jake and the Kid, a Canadian series) and Fast Track (Showtime). They both filmed in Canada and lasted one season each. When I came back to LA, I had to start back at square one. I had to build my resume with guest star roles and take every acting class I could fit into my schedule.

 

What entices you about joining a project, the people involved, the overall script or the character you are reading for? 

All of the above! Definitely the people involved. The longer I am in this business, the more I want to be surrounded by like minded people I can trust and grow with. And of course the script and relationships depicted are key. I love it when a theme or role mirrors an experience I have had or grown from, something I can recognize. That’s part of what I love about playing Joey on Virgin River. My own sister lives in NYC so we have, for the most part, a long distance phone relationship. But we are so close that it always feels like we are in each other’s living rooms. And no one knows me better than she does. No one shares your life experiences quite like a sibling does…

 

You’ve been on so many successful shows with such incredible followings like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and now Virgin River. How does having such dedicated fans inspire and motivate you on set?

So, it’s an interesting relationship. Of course, we’re not really thinking about pleasing the fans when we’re on set doing the actual work. The writers come up with the storylines they feel work best, a million things go on behind the scenes to help realize those storylines and lastly, the actors (and director and crew!) come in and do their best to bring them to life. But I have often found there is no rhyme or reason to shows that do amazingly well and some that just don’t find their way. Virgin River definitely seems to have found a robust and international audience. It is very exciting, and I find our fans to be incredibly loving and generous, both to the show and, personally, to the cast. Social media really allows you to hear from everyone, for better or worse, and the support has been extraordinary.

Tell us about your character Joey on Virgin River.

I would love to! Joey is a mother of three. She’s recently separated from her husband, Bill and is heading into unchartered territory. Joey is used to being on top of everything; a multi-tasker who manages to take care of her busy life with effortless style. However, all of that comes crumbling down when her marriage falls apart and she has to figure out what to do next. Mel relies on Joey for her big sister advice, but Joey leans on Mel too for comfort and support. And I think that’s why she has such a hard time accepting the fact that Mel is really happy somewhere else.

Congratulations on Virgin River being renewed for a third season! Is there anything you can tell us about the upcoming season?

Thank you. I can’t really say much other than you’ll get to see more of Joey’s awesome house!

You’ve played some amazing roles in your career. Is there a dream role you’d like to play?

I would love to do something totally different, like a period piece or play a vampire. Just a fun 180 of some sort.

What’s next for you? 

I am working on a couple of projects that I am writing and producing, which are my other passions. And sending my children back to school in April, which is very exciting!

Read more Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Images Provided by Dean Foreman, Hair – Matilde Campos, Makeup – Ashley Donovan 

Jackie Tohn: Powerhouse of Talent

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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

The Prom- A Heart-Warming, Definite Watch

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The Prom is an upcoming musical comedy and is a cinematic adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name. Boasting a star-studded cast, including the likes of Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, and Andrew Rannells, it is set to be released on December 11, 2020, on Netflix. Set mostly in Indiana, the story follows a bunch of failed Broadway actors as they take up a cause far greater than themselves. Featuring a blend of comedy, drama, great music, and above all, an underlying social message- Ryan Murphy’s The Prom is shaping up to be a heart-warming, definite watch if musicals are your thing. 

The Broadway play follows Indiana high-school student Emma who is at standstill with a crisis. All she wants is a regular prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa. Despite initial support, the PTA head- who is also Alyssa’s mother, bans them from attending. What follows is a potpourri of emotions and extravagance. The Broadway stars eventually let go of their egos and devote themselves to organizing a memorable prom for all of Indiana.

The story and what it tells us

The Broadway play is fun and extravagant- but more importantly, it has something to say, something to stand for. It is a story that we, in many ways, need to hear. Queer representation of all kinds is of paramount importance. Queer-ness, just like most other identities, is not a “one size fits all”. To see oneself represented in a queer narrative can be a milestone in coming to terms with one’s identity. Above all, societal issues linked to gender and sexuality are often perceived to be concepts far too mature to be discussed with kids.

On the contrary, normalizing a spectrum of identities from the get-go is the only path to an inclusive world. And, that is precisely what the play does. By bringing high school kids and their stories into the picture, this queer coming-of-age story aims for two birds with one stone. Firstly, it creates a narrative that queer youth, closeted and open alike, can identify by.

Secondly, by showcasing the innocence of young love, it encourages conversation around acceptance and normalization. Perhaps, the hallmark of it all is the joy that is inbuilt into the arc- the joy of being able to help out and the joy of being able to be one’s authentic self. And, that is precisely why The Prom is a truly heart-warming, definite watch. My favorite track from the play says it all- music blares and no one cares who your unruly heart loves…

Images provided by- @promnetflix.
Read more entertainment articles on Cliché.

The Boys In The Band- A Brilliant, Must-Watch Film

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I don’t understand any of it. I never did. Michael, played by Jim Parsons, utters these words towards the end of the film. In many ways, the entirety of The Boys in the Band hinges upon this statement. The film lays bare the tensions between the desire to live authentically and the need to conform to societal norms and it does so, by weaving vulnerable stories of love and anguish together. All in all, The Boys in the Band is a brilliant and must-watch film to understand queer identity and struggle pre-Stonewall. 

Set in 1968, the cinematic adaptation of Mart Crowley’s play is an unfolding story of a birthday party that eventually goes awry. Each of the leading eight characters is forced to confront twisted truths about their pasts and who they are because of it.  While some feel the pangs of unrequited love, others struggle with their inner demons. Tears, pain, and insults hang heavy in the air as the characters fight against the brutal strain of social rejection.

Performing a heterosexual identity:

Donald, Larry, Hank, Bernard, Emory, and Harold meet at Michael’s to celebrate Harold’s birthday. Cowboy, a sex-worker and Harold’s gift from Emory, arrives as well. All is fine and well initially. All the ingredients to a good party- music, food, alcohol, dancing, and gifts are present. However, an unwelcome visitor turns the party topsy-turvy. Alan is Michael’s old roommate from college. He represents precisely how the society at large felt about homosexuality at that time. He states that he doesn’t have an issue with people’s personal lives as long as they don’t make things public.

A few hours before the party is set to take place, Alan, crying on the phone to Michael, asks to speak with him urgently. Michael turns him down politely as he does not want to put Alan in an uncomfortable position. For the most part, he does this to make sure that the party remains a safe space for their authentic selves. However, it is apparent that his discomfort also stems from his personal dissatisfaction with being homosexual. 

When Alan shows up despite saying he is busy, one after another, things go askew.  Initially, Michael asks everyone to “cool it” and try to not betray that they aren’t straight. In retrospect, it is because he is embarrassed by who he truly is. Alan insults Emory’s flamboyance and ends up punching him after the two engage in a squabble. Michael does everything possible to control the mess. He gets embarrassed when any of his friends display stereotypical homosexual traits in Alan’s presence and tries to subdue them. He even sends Emory, the most effeminate of them, to the kitchen. Essentially, he tiptoes around Alan because he hasn’t come to terms with his homosexuality himself.

Self-hate and internalized homophobia:

Eventually, however, Michael starts drinking and Harold and him trade insults rooted in deep insecurities. Harold delivers eloquent yet casual jabs at Micheal about his age and debt-ridden lifestyle. The back and forth goes on for a while and with each passing minute, Michael gets more and more hostile. Michael stops Alan from leaving and forces him to play a party game. Each of them needs to call someone they truly loved and confess to earn points. He is the catalyst for most of the hatred that runs rampant as they start playing.

Bernard and Emory are brought to tears when they are forced to confront, yet again after years, that their love wasn’t returned. Hank and Larry makeup after a fight as Larry calls Hank to confess his love. Before ending the game, Michael confronts Alan about his ambiguous sexuality and brings up his relationship with a college friend- Justin. While Alan denies that he is a homosexual, Michael continues to taunt him. Since Michael’s insults towards his friends were based on truth, his taunts towards Alan take on new meanings. At that moment, Alan and Michael are quite like each other. Both struggle to deal with their sexuality and are homophobic, albeit in different ways.

As the film draws to a close, Michael sobs in Donald’s arms and asks him who was it that said- Show me a happy homosexual, and I’ll show you a gay corpse. Much of who Michael is revolves around this statement. The more he attempts to seek refuge in God, alcohol, and therapy, the more he ends up having to confront his demons. Not being able to bear the brunt of societal shaming, he has internalized homophobia and hates himself for it.

Why the film moves us today as well:

The film is a window to how queer people in the past paved the way for the current generation. Much of the struggle that they underwent and fought against, especially through movements like Stonewall, changed the course of history. The film is akin to a time-capsule that captures the dissonances between society and sexuality pre-Stonewall. Not only does it do that, but it also portrays the tensions between self and sexuality and that is precisely why The Boys in the band is a brilliant, must-watch film.

The incessant spewing of hate and casual racist remarks towards Bernard, the only Black character, might be highly displeasing to today’s viewers. However, addressing matters of racism, homophobia and ultimately, intersectionality is still just as relevant. A raw and real approach helps to look back authentically while shedding light on today’s problems. All in all, the film paints pride and pain in many different hues ranging from anger to hatred- some bygone and others, more relevant than ever.

Read more celebrities at Cliché.
Featured image provided by @netflixfilm

Herizen Lets Out Her Demons

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The dynamic and rising star Herizen is back with her latest EP Demon, out now! Following on from her 2018 well-received debut EP Come over to My House, she shares the exceptionally fierce Demon EP with the world.

Self-penned and co-produced by Herizen – the four-track EP introduces her now-signature grunge, rock-pop sound. The Cuban-Jamaican musician’s enchanting, raw vocal resonates throughout Demon EP. This includes her tenacious latest release ‘Range Rover,’ which is a charged-up industrial alt-pop soundscape. As well as the fiery, heavy bass trap-rock track ‘Hellboy’. Herizen also unveils two new tracks that are the haunting, slow burner ‘Demon’ and the mesmerizing acoustic guitar led ‘Flower’. 

On Demon EP, Herizen shares that, “Each song is a memory and a story about a certain situation. The name ‘Demon’ comes from feeling like I almost had a doppelgänger as a partner. In a sense, we were so much alike, but he was bringing out my demon. It’s about me allowing this crazy, wild side out.”

Check out the video for Demon below! 

When it comes to making music, Herizen says “I want to be more than myself every year. I don’t want to stop making music. I’m not hiding from pain. I’m a human, and this is how I express myself. I hope it can get people through similar situations. Go into love blindly, trust it, and don’t be scared of how it’s going to end up. The message I want to send is it’s good to get hurt. You’re stronger afterwards.”

Herizen

Herizen has received support from the likes of Wonderland, i-D, Vogue, Grazia, Interview Magazine, Elle UK, Complex, Nylon, Paper Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, and Refinery 29. Inspired by her reggae musician father, the twenty three-year-old has been featured on numerous musical projects, including Absofacto’s ‘Thousand Peaces’ EP and the official soundtrack for the Major Lazer’s documentary ‘Give Me Future’. Herizen has toured with Oliver Tree and performed at SXSW.

In addition to her musical achievements, west coast-based Herizen has seen huge accomplishments in the acting world. This includes the leading role of Mylene Cruz on  the ground-breaking Netflix series ‘The Get Down’, where she also delivered the soundtrack. She is also currently playing the lead in USA Network’s ‘Dare Me’ which is co-produced by Netflix.

Herizen is one of the most exciting, fearless pop newcomers emerging. With her eyes firmly set for another trailblazing 2021, keep your eyes and ear open for the electric star in the making, Herizen.

Read more Music Press Releases at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Zunai Guardiola

Mia Challis, Actress Extraordinaire

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If you haven’t heard the name Mia Challis, we recommend you get very familiar with her. The Australian-born actress is solidifying her place as a worldwide acting superstar. Her latest Netflix series, ‘Clickbait’ , has her working alongside the likes of Zoe Kazan, Betty Gabriel and Adrien Grenier, to name a few. However, this isn’t uncharted territory for the Australian starlet. 

Mia Challis got her start in the highly acclaimed film ‘Two Fists One Heart.’ Challis has dazzled the screen many times thereafter and has many more highly anticipated projects awaiting. She will be the first Macedonian-Australian actress to lead a Netflix series. Keep up with the actress through her Instagram or IMDB Page. We were able to catch up with Mia Challis before she returns back to set to resume filming for ‘Clickbait.’ We talked quarantine, ‘Clickbait’, and so much more! 

How have you been spending your time while quarantined?

We are super fortunate here in Perth, Australia with now zero COVID-19 cases, so stay at home orders have been almost completely lifted. At the beginning of the pandemic when things weren’t so great, I pretty much did what the rest of the world did. I baked some banana bread and binge-watched Netflix shows until I had nothing else to watch. Oh and lots and lots of puzzles. Luckily, I managed to creep out of my quarantine hole and refocus and try to use my time effectively. 

During lockdown you also became an Ambassador for ’The Education Collaborative’ – you’re in good company as they only invite established actors. How was that experience?

Yes! I’m super excited about it. The organization focuses on breaking down socioeconomic barriers, especially in the arts. Every month I create an acting lesson and then have a zoom call with underprivileged kids from all around Australia. Each month I have a guest actor who leads the class with me. Next month I have Marianly Tejada joining me, who is the series lead on the new show ‘One of Us Is Lying’. 

Tell us about your upcoming Netflix series, ‘Clickbait’. I understand shooting was paused due to the pandemic, are you excited to get back on set?

Mia Challis

Clickbait’ is an eight-episode character based thriller. It explores the ways in which our most dangerous and uncontrolled impulses are fuelled in the age of social media. Each episode is told through a different character’s perspective. This makes solving the crime that much more exciting. I’m really excited to get back on set – although the break has been a nice change of pace. I’m just really itching to start working again.

I know this isn’t your first rodeo but what’s it like working alongside actors such as Zoe Kazan and Betty Gabriel?

I’m a really big fan of Zoe and Betty’s work so getting the opportunity to work with them was super cool. To be amongst strong, talented and like minded women is pretty much the perfect work environment. They have been in the industry longer than me, so being able to just watch them do their thing and take on their advice was such an awesome experience. 

You have been acting since such a young age. Your first role was in ‘Two Fists One Heart’ when you were just 10 years old! What drew you to become an actor?

When I was growing up, I changed my mind on what I wanted to ‘be’ almost everyday. There is one specific moment, I remember, when I was coming off stage after a school play and even then was filled with so much adrenaline and happiness. I remember saying ‘I want to do this for the rest of my life.’  I honestly haven’t looked back!

What was it like working on the comedy series ‘Raindance’? 

Raindance’ was such an awesome project to be in. It was actually shot in the southern wheat belt of Western Australia. So being in my home country and sharing a story about real life Aussie people was awesome. The series was written and produced by Bec Bignell whose series ‘600 Bottles of Wine’ has just hit NETFLIX in Australia. Her writing had me in stitches so when she offered me the part I was so excited. It’s definitely a change of pace from the more dramatic roles I’ve done in the past but I loved it. I played a very uptight office worker named ‘Sharni’ who takes her title as the ‘Office Fire Warden’ a little too seriously. The role involved heaps of physical comedy work, which was pretty new to me. In one scene I did the ‘Stop! Drop! And Roll!’ technique in 6 inch stiletto high heels. I’ll definitely be adding that skill to my resume. 

What do you look for when considering a new role? It is the story line or the character that sticks out to you first?

The character. I’m all about choosing characters that challenge me. The movies I love the most are all character-focused. That is definitely what draws me to sign on to a project. I find whenever I wrap a film, the character I play next is almost the complete opposite of the previous one! I think that comes from my need to always be exploring new things. 

What’s next for you?

Clickbait’ is looking to restart shooting next month in Melbourne, which I’m super excited for! Straight after that I’ll be hitting The Gold Coast in Queensland to shoot a feature film called ‘Light Warriors.’ It’s an adventure film where a group of teenagers have to save the world. After Queensland I’ll be saying goodbye to Australia for a while and will be heading back to the United States.  I’ll be filming a feature film, and then a TV series called ‘Free’, which has a really important storyline about sex-trafficking. An Emmy-nominated team is producing it, so I’m excited about that one. 

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Images Provided by Stef King

“The Baby-Sitters Club” star Malia Baker shines as Mary Anne Spier

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If you are craving a little nostalgia in your life, then we know just what you’ll love. Everyone is bingeing the Netflix remake of the iconic book series The Baby-Sitters Club!Mary Anne Spier, Kristy Thomas, Stacey McGill, Dawn Schaffer, and Claudia Kishi come together in this revamped classic to form a babysitting business in their town of Stoneybrooke, Connecticut. 

Check out the trailer for “The Baby-Sitters Club!”

A true shining light in this new series is actress Malia Baker who plays Mary Anne Spier. Viewers follow Mary Anne’s journey as she learns to identify her place in the world and grow into the young woman she is after losing her mother at a young age. Forming the club brings Mary Anne purpose and community. As these young ladies experience heartache and solve problems collectively, Mary Anne finds her voice and confidence as she develops into her own.

We caught up with Malia to discuss the show, her dream role and her thoughts on a potential second season of “The Baby-Sitters Club.”

Tell us about your new Netflix series “The Baby-Sitters Club!”

The show is about five best friends who come together and form The Baby-Sitters Club, and it becomes quite a business. The girls face challenges as a group and as individuals, but they always face those obstacles together. Throughout the series they find themselves as the young entrepreneur feminists that they are!

What was it like taking on the iconic role of Mary-Anne Spier?Malia Baker

Taking on the role of Mary Anne was incredible. The whole thing felt surreal! I read the books growing up and related to Mary Anne as the shy kid, so it was so cool being able to portray this character that I already know so well!

Did you do any research, like reading the book series, prior to filming?

I re-read a lot of the books while preparing for this role. I also journaled as Mary Anne and created Pinterest boards to really be the character haha!

Do you feel there are any similarities between yourself and Mary-Anne?

Mary Anne and I are similar in more ways than one. We are both funny without knowing we are, smart, sensitive, leaders in our own way, accepting and have an endless love for our friends!

What do you hope viewers get from the series?

I hope viewers of the series get a sense of comfort, understanding on how to support and stand up for each other, and that the younger people watching the show will get their own “great idea,” just like Kristy! The people that grew up with these books will have a nostalgic feeling and something to share with their kids! This series is truly relatable, and hope that kids watching the series will know that they are not alone because their favorite characters are going through the same thing.

We know plans for season 2 haven’t been announced, but what do you hope to further explore with Mary Anne?

There are just too many amazing story lines from the books! I am sure whatever the writers choose will be perfect. I think it would be cool to have Mary Anne discover more about her mom’s side of the family, for Dawn and Mary Anne to become step- sisters, and of course to have any one of the super specials!

Is there a dream role you hope to take on in the future?

It has always been on my bucket list to have a role in a horror/thriller movie, but I love all genres and look forward to diving into roles that challenge me!

What’s next for you?

What is next for me is to keep acting and using my voice for what I’m passionate about! I look forward to being a part of projects that reflect our global world. This is just the beginning and I can’t wait for what the future holds.

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Images Provided by Britney Gill

A Conversation With a Rising Star, Shiloh Nelson

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Shiloh Nelson is an up and coming starlet, most recently featured in Netflix’s original film, “Feel The Beat”.

Cliché: How does it feel to be the star of a hit Netflix movie at such a young age? Is it exciting to know that you will be having such a large role in the movie?

Shiloh:It feels so amazing to be in a Netflix movie! Seeing myself on the poster was such a surreal moment. It had been a goal of mine to be in a Netflix original for a while. I recently said on Instagram that this was my first time being on Netflix and a fan corrected me that two of my movies were on Netflix which I’m glad he did! But it’s a big career move for me to be in a Netflix original.

Shiloh Nelson, image credit to Deidhra Fahey

Cliché: Did you get to work with anyone that you look up to? If so, was it interesting to get to know them personally on set?  

Shiloh: “I had really looked up to Sofia Carson before doing this movie. I had watched her in all of her Descendants movies and her A Cinderella Story film so getting to work with her was such a dream. I learned so much from her and had the best time on set. One time we were doing lines off-camera for one of the girls and the camera separated us and we started singing her song ‘Space Between’ that she sang with Dove Cameron in her Descendants 2 film. I’ve loved that song for forever so that was so much fun! Getting to know her on set I saw what a genuine, kind person she really was which was so special.

Cliché: How does working on a Netflix show differ from working on a movie like “Annabelle” or, “Tomorrowland”?

Shiloh: “Annabelle was a much smaller set due to it being a horror film. This set was definitely much bigger! This was also the longest I’ve ever worked on a film due to the month of dance training before filming which was so much fun!” 

Cliché: Being prominent on TikTok is a really good way to get your name out there and develop a good fan base, do you enjoy having a large TikTok following? And do you feel that it brings you closer to your fans in a fun and interactive way?  

Shiloh: “Absolutely. One of my favorite things is watching the duets that my fans make on Tik Tok. Being able to see their faces watch my videos and see their reactions is priceless. They’ve been making their own Tik Toks acting Ruby’s lines from the movie and tagging me in them which has been so special. As an actor, I make films and videos for the audience so being able to have that interaction with them and that closeness is absolutely incredible.

Cliché: Was it overwhelming to handle all of the opportunities you have been involved with since your role in

Shiloh Nelson, image credit to Deidhra Fahey

“Mom’s Night Out”? And if so, how have you learned to handle the stress that comes with balancing all of your projects, such as youtube and tiktok, and also finding time for fun? 

Shiloh: “It’s really important for me to take one day off over the weekend. Even if I have a lot to do on Monday or a big audition, I still take a day off because it’s so important for me. I have a lot of fun playing computer games with my brothers and friends and baking and making crafts!

Cliché: Did working with Sofia Carson teach you anything new about being an actress? 

Shiloh: “Sofia taught me to always bring my mom to set even when I’m 18 and don’t have to. You always need your mom, even when you’re older. And Sofia brought her mom to set!

Cliché: Is there anything about your character Ruby that you see yourself in? Do you two have anything in common? 

Shiloh: “I so respect how Ruby knows who she is and knows what she isn’t which I wish was a skill I had more of. We’re both optimistic which I love!” 

Cliché: What was your favorite part of the movie to film?

Shiloh: “The really bad dance at the beginning! Before Sofia’s character April teaches the girls how to dance, we go to a competition and the dance is so bad. It was fun because they let us add our quirks and mess-ups and it was so much fun to just be bad and the dance turned out so hilarious.

Read more celebrity articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Deidhra Fahey

Top 5 Binge-Worthy Shows to Get You Through Quarantine

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For most of us, the last few weeks have consisted of adjusting to the new normal of social distancing and quarantine. While staying informed by the news is important, it can be easy to succumb to the 24-hour news cycle and allow it to drain us. We all need a good distraction, now more than ever. With all live sports and movie theaters on pause, entertainment streaming services have become our new best friend. We’ve compiled a list of our Top 5 Binge-Worthy shows to Get You Through Quarantine. 

#1. Starting off the list we have the most talked about series right now, Netflix’s Tiger King. Whether you are sick of hearing your friends talk about it or have it saved to your must watch list, Tiger King is the ultimate quarantine binge. It gives a wild look into the dangerously competitive nature of big cat breeding and introduces the world to some of the most eccentric characters you could possibly imagine. We can assure you that you will experience almost every emotion while watching the 7 episodes of Tiger King and we know you won’t regret it. Happy watching, all you cool cats and kittens!

#2 Another Netflix favorite that we must include is Love is Blind. If you enjoy shows like The Bachelor or any reality television for that matter you will be obsessed with Love is Blind. This show tries to answer the age old question of whether or not love truly is blind through a social experiment. Single men and women must try and find their true love, and get engaged before ever seeing each other. They must solely rely on the emotional connection they form through ‘blind dates’. We follow the couples right up to their wedding day and get to see whether the experiment worked or failed. Trust us, this is a must-watch! You will fall in love with some of these couples! This show is perfect for some laughs, some happy tears, and some absolute WTF moments. Enjoy!

 

 

#3. Coming in our third spot we have an oldie but a goodie. If you need a show to watch with your parents or siblings that will boost your mood and give you a laugh, we recommend Gilmore Girls on Netflix. The story of our favorite mother-daughter duo, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, and all of their lovable family and friends is the best kind of escape from the day. If you haven’t seen this show yet, be prepared to want to hug your friends and family, but remember, we still need to be socially distant!! Enjoy your trip to Stars Hollow!

 

#4. In our fourth spot we have an ultimate favorite, Fleabag. This show may not be one to watch with Mom and Dad but if you need a good laugh or a serious pick-me-up this is your show. From the brilliant mind of Phoebe Waller-Bridge we are introduced to a flawed but self-aware woman who navigates the struggles of owning a small business, maintaining her awkward familial relationships while also having quite a colorful personal life. The unfiltered and raunchy comedy is unlike any other. Use that Amazon Prime membership and binge this show, you won’t regret it!

#5. Finishing out our list we have one of Hulu’s best, Ramy. This show is one of the most unique stories being told. A story not often told of a first-generation Egyptian-American guy from New Jersey named Ramy who is finding his way in life through his own spiritual journey. This show is hilarious but also present and grounded in a reality that so many people go through. Discovering yourself through your faith while also being an average American millennial is a combination that describes many people. Ramy tells his story through an honest, realistic, and comedic lens. This show will teach you a new perspective on life that you may be unfamiliar with and will make you laugh in the process. Enjoy! 

Read more entertainment articles at ClichéMag.com
Images Provided by Netflix

Jacob Hopkins is Building His Own Dragon Army on “Dragons: Rescue Riders”

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Having already made his mark in the voice acting world as Gumball Watterson in The Amazing World of Gumball, Jacob Hopkins was ready for his next animated adventure. He now plays Axel Finke in Dragons: Rescue Riders, which follows the Rescue Riders, a group of humans and dragons who work together to protect the town of Huttsgalor. Axel has less than good intentions, coming from a family of dragon haters, and hopes to one day control his own dragon army. You can stream Dragons: Rescue Riders now on Netflix. 
 

Cliché: How did you first realize you had a talent for voice acting?
Jacob Hopkins: Like every other kid growing up in the early 2000’s, Cartoon Network was a staple in my childhood, so I became wired around cartoons and nurtured a love for them.  I would impersonate every character! So, I wanted to give it a shot and Gumball was my first audition. In all the vocal cord exercising for Gumball Watterson, I may have stumbled upon my voice acting skills!

Do you prefer voice acting or on camera roles? How do the experiences differ?
I honestly don’t have a preference: I’ve made homes in both realities. The fact that they’re two separate worlds and require different sets of skills is why I like them both so much. On camera acting requires a sense of yourself: your body language, reactions, and relationships with the other characters. However, in voice acting, all of the prior listed skills have to be portrayed solely through your voice. This requires what I like to call a “colorful” vocal range (“color” meaning different emotions, voices, and tones).

Including on-screen and voiceover work, what has been your favorite role to play?
My all-time favorite role so far is Gumball Watterson. I really got a chance to truly develop and mold a character as my own. By expressing my interests and likes on set, I got to incorporate my own personal loves into the character (anime/video game references, singing, improvised lines that they actually animated into the show, etc.). I’ll always cherish what I’ve accomplished and learned in those three years.

You also play Chad, a proud geek, on The Goldbergs. Would you consider yourself a geek?
Well, I’m very active 24/7 (Taekwondo, hiking, bike riding, swimming, lifting).  I also play drums and have a complete drum set…it’s a secret passion of mine, which by the way is something the real Chad Kremp has done all his life!  I like to spend some of my down time drawing, reading, watching cartoons, anime, playing mainly Nintendo video games, and listening to 80’s music. 

Talk about your new show Dragons: Rescue Riders.
In the land of Huttsgalor live the Rescue Riders, a group of humans and dragons alike who are the town’s heroes. The show is aimed for preschool and kindergarten audiences but are also for families as well. It teaches morals on teamwork, friendship, courage, and how to be an everyday hero.

How does your character, Axel Finke, fit into the show’s universe?
The Rescue Riders are always at odds with evil Slinkwings, rescue missions, underwater excavations, and yours truly, Axel Finke. As the nephew of the town’s famous Magnus Finke, notorious dragon hater, Axel has his own agenda: to take control of his own dragon army. How he’ll approach said task, you never know. Is he going to turn over a new leaf and join the Rescue Runts? Or will he raise his own dragon blaze against them?

What’s Axel up to in season 2?
Axel arrives in Huttsgalor as a stow away in search of his long lost uncle, Magnus Finke. As a skilled conman, Axel’s true motive is never quite revealed to the audience (or the other characters), but it seems he has two agendas: to prove himself to his uncle by becoming the pilot of Magnus’ most powerful weapon and to earn the Rescue Rider’s trust. Axel can appeal to both his evil uncle and the heroes of Huttsgalor, which makes him incredibly unpredictable and fun to voice! 

Dragons: Rescue Riders is about twins raised by dragons. If you could be raised by a wild animal, what would it be and why?
Obviously a dragon! If you manage to befriend one, they’ll protect and love you as their own, hunt for you, fly you around, and breath intense flames at your mortal rivals. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then watch Dragons: Rescue Riders Season 2 Episode 1 on Netflix right now. You’ll see what I mean.

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Jacob Hopkins is Building His Own Dragon Army on “Dragons: Rescue Riders.” Photo Credit: Tim Schaeffer at Cellar Door Studios @cellardoorstudios.la.