Naughty Boy, aka Shahid Khan, is the man behind one of the songs of the year (yes, it’s a big claim) ‘La La La’ featuring the vocal talents of Sam Smith. The 27 year old producer, briefly a Business and Marketing student, turned his back on university and chose to focus on music. He entered to appear on Deal or No Deal and used his winnings to equip himself with a studio. From there, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Hard to believe Katy B is still only one album in such is her presence on the British music scene. Last year’s ‘Danger’ EP showed a more grown up Katy and the smooth dark dance beats of her collab with Jessie Ware on the acclaimed ‘Aaliyah’ has trickled over into her new offering ‘What Love Is Made Of’.
Who HASN’T been waiting for this collaboration since the dawn of music? It’s beyond us how they managed to avoid falling into a studio together from the outset, except, well, maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. Robbie, who has produced entirely forgettable material since ‘Rock DJ’, has actually managed to find a chorus worth 79p and as such he’s milking this hook up for all it’s worth.
New York’s MS MR are Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow and they’re about to let loose their debut album ‘Secondhand Rapture’ on an audience that has trailed them through the duo’s enforced anonymity, ploughed through the hype as the “US answer to Florence and the Machine”, and waded out to the other side to the sweetened darkness of their music and the accompanying visuals.
‘Hurricane’ and ‘Fantasy’ have caught the eyes and ears of critics and audience alike; swathes of atmospheric electronica and Lizzy’s teasing haunting vocals accompany glitter-vomiting cheerleaders and blue body paint. Welcome to eye opening world of MS MR… bizarre tumblr images, wild weather and all.
Dizzee Rascal seems to have been away for a really long time but his fifth studio album – (imaginatively) entitled ‘The Fifth’ – is just around the corner for a summer release. The debut track, ‘H-Town’, can be heard (but not yet seen) below, featuring hip hop legend and godfather of the dirty South, Bun-B and Houston’s king of the streets Trae The Truth.
Sometimes the journey is as interesting as the outcome and MONSTA definitely fill that ideology. As a trio – comprising of vocalist Skaar, and producers Rocky and Rufio – they have come to prominence only recently as signings to Skrillex’s OWSLA label (and now a joint deal between OWSLA and Interscope), and the insanely huge, magnificent barrage of soul and dubstep that is ‘Holdin’ On’.
All photography by Toshinao Kumakura / Interview by Vincent Nord
To see more of Toshi’s work, visit the website: toshinaokumakura.com
My name is Toshinao Kumakura’s own words: My name is Toshi, a Japanese photographer, working on film. I love cartoon, Techno music, yoghurt. to shooting with natural light. I used to work as an assistant at a photographic studio in Tokyo. moved to London to start own career as a photographer in 2010.
Photography by Matthew Priestley / Interview by Elliott Morgan
For more information visit Matthew’s website: matthewpriestley.com
In Matthew’s own words: I grew up in a few spots around the US, mostly in Florida where I went to high school and started University. Sometime when I was pretty young, my parents bought me a book on how to draw the human face.
Photography by Vincenzo Laera / Interview by Vincent Nord
For more information on Vincenzo Laera: Website – enzolaera.com
Photographer Vincenzo Laera was born in Milan, Italy in 1966. He studied art and photography before moving to New York City in his early twenties, where he started to collaborate with photographers such as Helmut Newton, Albert Watson, Irving Penn, Brigitte Lacombe, Deborah Tuberville, Bert Stern, Koto Bolofo, Miles Aldrige and Annie Leibowitz.