All posts by Corinne Stevie

Corinne Stevie Francilus is an artist, and emcee originally from Miami, FL. She lives in Atlanta. She is currently recording her third album "Amalgam."

The Aspernaut, Curron Kal El Gajadhar On Art & His Angels

Curron Kal El Gajadhar has always had a very anthropological perspective of life, often resonating with the identity of an astronaut, alien, landlocked surfer or a weary, reincarnated, old soul. Corinne Stevie sits down the artist to talk about art, inspiration and the search for god, meaning and relativity in our modern times.

 

Art Nouveau Magazine: Who are you?

Curron Kal El Gajadhar: Sonder-tripper, part time solipsist, full time creator, introvert trying to fight my own typecast. Trini. A not so human being with obstinate ambitions to be a renaissance man in every sense of the word. I’m learning how to take part in this thing called civilization but I am in fact a landlocked surfer.

 

AN: Where are you from?

CG: Trinidad and Tobago.

 

AN: Is Curron Kal El Gajadhar your real name?

CG: The ‘Kal El’ turns my head when people say it but it is not recognized by the government lol. I latched on to the Smallville series that came out in the early 2000’s. At that time in my life it mirrored a lot of the confusion I was feeling about my humanness. To think that such strength and ability could lie under all that angst the character had of his own identity spoke to me of my own potential yet to be seen and my priority to wrap my head around larger existential challenging thoughts that I had no mentor ship for. Several aspects of alienation that were present in his depiction was the only relevance that I found for myself in anything. Beyond family, religion, and friends I identified more with this comic book character, waiting to see my equal and learn from his struggle every Wednesday at 9pm. I took his original name in recent years to remind me of the proof; even in a fictional character I have a sympathizer.

AN: When did you know you were an artist?

CG: I drew and built things out of cardboard throughout my childhood but at that time I was keener towards a career in industrial design. It wasn’t until high school and a good push from a great teacher that I felt pulled towards a more traditional sense of art for art’s sake.

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AN: What themes do you focus on in your work?

CG: Awe, allurement, glorification, and the relationship between man the beast yearning towards his transcendence.

In my work I focus on the relationship between the eponymous character the Aspernaut, and his angels. It’s a persona I coined to act out the part of me that is trying to make sense of his present incarnation, placement in time, and life journey. He’s trying to make sense of his urges of curiosity towards a sensation of familiarity with the paranormal that he doesn’t quite understand yet. Because his yearning hasn’t been met with the epitome of a confrontation or audience with god or actual spiritual beings, he creates works personifying the movements in his peripheral visions with deities that rise out of the content of the urban landscape, like a protrusion that takes a shape of a beautiful escort to the unknown. He does this repeatedly to invoke further interactions with who he doesn’t see but knows is in his presence.

Dramatizing my own story in this way leaves a doorstep to the experience and world that I am trying to build a relationship with. Our existences are somewhat of a performance that gives a grand drama to be followed by the origins. There is a distance between the main dichotomy of myself concept, and an almost enslaved version of myself that carries out his life, responds to stimuli, eats, defecates, has a job, looks for love, has preferences goals, friends, family, an idea of a mission, fears and a somewhat ridiculous notion of self preservation . On the other hand there is just an observer that sits in the space between his temples watching his life play out in a reactive fashion.

I’m trying to pull these intelligences together through mimicry and dramatizing the experiences of the viewer, (that is the higher mind or witness) by making physical artifacts for the lower mind to gain the ability to empathize with that version of self observation. This leads him to question the bottle necked nature of his existence and by default an urge in him to find his way out. It’s a joint effort of two points of perception to me. Returned to the base of existence I have been cast from as a proverbial scout. To encourage suspicion in my own existence provides the catalyst for a searching and yearning behavior that will eventually lead me back to this higher dimension if I obey it. It’s a hodgepodge of existentialism really. To put it simply I’m trying to prove to myself that I am in a fishbowl, not leave it necessarily. The truth of my life’s plot and what I can do from that stance to benefit everyone in this place is my goal.

The deities are other individuals that have already gone through this inquisitive process and have become self realized. Their alluring natures and sexuality are employed as a driving force to my search. Sexual energy is the strongest of the urges that we experience but when given the appropriate attention sourced from a learned maturity you realize that the allurement is a tool to draw people together for other purposes. That compilation is simply the most effective way to hold your attention. The viewer is drawn to some of my works for just that, the most basic of reasons; because these women are beautiful you look at them and you get a taste of how my ritual affects me. Since I began this process I have fallen deeper and deeper into a monk like approach of servitude to my process and my artworks. The allurement serves me as a encouraging factor in my consistency and I care less and less about anything that has no direct benefit to the process of me creating more and more of it in a rapid succession. These are love letters to my sonder.

 

AN: Throughout art history the female figure has always been the muse to the painter. What else inspires you?

CG: I practice parkour seasonally, typically during the warmer months. Learning how to control my body’s movements throughout the urban landscape allows me to pulse along over and through most structures barriers and lines of demarcation of any urban areas grid like blueprint of physical organization. I can be organic within the grey finding my way around where it is proposed that most do not have the physical competence to tread. In this way I am free. The ability to roam this way gives me a perspective of the city that makes the whole piece conceptualization into a full on ritual that includes mp3’s and Ardens garden fuel walkabouts. I can scout new clashings of intersections, road paint markings, old signs and pathways to bring elements of it into my mind, back to the studio and thrust it in my work. I subconsciously think of myself as a reincarnated hunter gatherer that goes about his business throughout the day hunting (Kroger and fast food) gathering (taking pictures) running half mile sprints in-between that cut across streets into parking decks down into ramps behind bushy knots and so on back home. And at night I paint what I have seen through the day my wilderness/city, and what has sustained me, my angels. I understand that my relationship with these imaginary figures is very much a placebo, but they sustain me. I create art about my little cult and I don’t harm anyone else. I figure I’m doing a lot better than most that have picked up more damning habits.

 

DSC_0080AN: If you could pick the brain of any artist or musician dead or alive who would it be?

CG: No one really stands out, artist wise; I don’t think any of the safe greats that most people choose knows that much more than the other. I think what really gave most prolific artists their renown is their stubborn consistency, the self determinism, and the realization that they are very much a vessel and you have to let “it” all just come through. I’d have to go with Tesla.

 

AN: When I chatted with you on Facebook you mentioned dropping out of art school. In what ways did dropping out of art school affect your art and life?

CG: I finally had time to make art! It was a blessing in disguise. I dropped out for financial reasons against my will at the time so it curdled in my soul for a good year, pining over the fact had to leave prematurely. That’s what happens when you’ve had it pushed into yourself concept from every angle that life’s track can only succeed through one mandatory assembly line. People are the biggest spokespersons for this thing called culture. Their ideas, priorities, and totems of fulfillment have been taught to them and we continue to pass it on through generations or between associates. Leaving school was a way for me to fall out of that “grand design”. I had time to stop schooling and start learning. I said to myself “hey I make art, I’m a dropout, I have a job and I’m pursuing a goal that there is no designated, insured, and guaranteed 10 year projection for. What do you know? There is life to be had here too”.

I realized in the middle of my anthropology class that in many subtle ways the structure of school does not benefit the advancement of the individual. By advancement I mean your own uncultured aims; goals that you would foster for yourself that has nothing to do or relevance the functions of your current culture. A lot of what we do we do is because we have to or it has been taught to us that this thing or another has to be held at a certain priority and level of importance ‘or else’. We comply to what a lot of people speak of as “just the way things are” because there is 3rd party reward system that is connected to our physical survival and the ability to trade our compliance for a skill or our skills for money all of which allow us the ability to collect objects and experiences that we desire. You still get an education you are still exposed to resources. The education that you receive is only self fulfilling as a secondary effect. Outside of what will prove to be relevant for society or version of executing our creativity and intelligence that are waiting to be filled. Don’t get me wrong because this perspective is usually summarized as “down with the system!” when brought up in conversation. Education has value and so do the institutions that provide it, but I’m sure we can all agree its format is long overdue for an upgrade. The world finds a way. For example the crash of 08’ brought on a wave of new entrepreneurs and a generation under my own that is learning the value of understanding your personal brand and its value. Lectures migrated online for free, sites and services like skillshare, thumbtack, skillpages and incentive systems like adsense from Google started popping up to support the new crowd sourced infrastructure that is on the rise. Now those that understand this new cultural dynamic are the most sought after. I see all this change all this flux…and I take notes.

 

AN: How has social media helped or harmed you as an artist?

CG: I don’t get around as much as I’d like to, to all the events mixers; functions etc, so social media helps supplement a lot of that in-between. Even if I’m not there but my work is seen in a space there’s been this trickledown effect in conversation of my very specific aesthetic. I started an [Instagram] last year and it’s been doing pretty well. In a strange way its limitations make it a better module to express my personality. I want people to see that I don’t just make things to sell and I am very much human and my work is very close to my heart. You get to see my workflow; muses, fitness, and experimentation with other forms of expression that my friends are very kind to me about (singing) even my laziness at times. I like it, it has helped a lot. It’s nice to walk around at an event feeling sheepish because you know no one and hear “Aspernaut?”

 

AN: What do you like to listen to when you’re in your art studio?

CG: SOULECTION. I wanted it give them this space by themselves but there are far too many local acts that have become my soundtrack to my late nights. There’s a producer named Ethereal that makes this sound that makes me feel like I’m speeding throughout the different connecting highways in Atlanta on a jet powered long board; because there are such things in whatever dimension he gets his inspiration from. If you listen to the releases from beginning to end it creates a setting, and atmosphere. Red lights from his collab with Merian Meeraba makes me evaporate and I can’t help but play it on repeat. It sucks because I might be sick of it after a month of doing so, but I’m the type to get high off of a song. I have to put myself in a inspired trance like fertile atmosphere, otherwise I’m just pushing paint. If I’m not feeling it I have to walk away, so music is an essential part of my creative process.

 

AN: Motto you live by.

CG: There is a way there is always a way.

 

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AN: What’s next for you?

CG: I’m under new management so having someone to take care of everything else that is not the hand to canvas part of my work. With this room and help I can get my work farther further and more frequent from my studio and that will create opportunities for me to do the same. I really want to travel to a larger metropolis and work there for a while letting that urban landscape seep into me to create something based on that city. Eventually I want to make the release of certain collections into a suite; an experience that carries the same anticipation of an album release. I won’t go into the details, don’t want to give away any of my secrets but you’ll know it when you see it. Once I have the art machine well oiled I’ll start moving on to sharpen my other interests and talents. This rain dance had to come first.

To stay connected with Curron Kal EL Gajadhar  check out the links below

 IG: Aspernaut

 

Peep Ka’ra Kersey’s Progress

A couple things I love about having a blog is that I get to share music and talk about the sh*t that interest me. I definitely wanted to take the time  to post this new music from the indie  Bay Area Queen and rising star Ka’ra Kersey. I’ve been a fan for a while and I love exposing people to her soulful eclectic sound. The young goddess has been hard a work self recording and completing her EP, raising her baby boy, organizing with artists in her community and singing to plants. Peep her progress and check out her “HIDDEN BEAUTY” EP which was released online on April 20th. Here’s the link thank me now!

Telekinetic Walrus – Cristal on the Moon

A wise person once said good things come to those who wait and I believe it to be true. Back in 2009 when I was living in Atlanta I started working with a talented producer with a unique style by the name of Y Diz. I shared my self-recorded demo with Y Diz and he shared his spaced out funky bass tracks with me. There was one track in particular that struck a chord in me called “Cristal On The Moon.” As Y Diz proceeded to play his track “Cristal On The Moon” I felt so inspired by what I was hearing that I started to write the lyrics “All I really wanna do is sip cristal on the moon.” This was the first song Y Diz and I had collaborated on. I was super excited. The track reminded me of something familiar but yet so fresh. It was exactly what I was looking for in terms of music production; It was a new musical direction for me.

This track was a sign of growth in my rapping style and ideas. After sharing the track with so many people over the years and continuously working on it, “Cristal On The Moon” is finally ready to be shared with the interwebs and beyond. I present to you “Cristal On The Moon”. This song features verses from Miami based Beatboxer/Mc/Dancer Komakozie and myself. Production by Y DIZ, Guitar from Buffalo Brown and mastered by Adam Schechter (Warp-9). I sincerely appreciate everyone who has supported the song and given me feedback and hope. Listen and Enjoy!

A Kilo’s Worth: Kilo Kish on the K+ principle

I always find it a pleasure to speak to creative people about art, life, and music. This time around, I was given the opportunity to do a phone interview with the uniquely creative Kilo Kish. Kilo Kish is a vocalist, songwriter, visual artist, textile designer and pretty much has the ability to do whatever she wants. She is a modern female artist who creates visuals with music and paintings alike, with all of her work telling an intricate story of the girl behind the name Kilo Kish.

I heard her song “Navy” playing on someone’s Tumblr page last summer.  But In order to better prepare to speak to the artist I listened to both of Kilo Kish’s albums while working on my little wooden art pieces. I was inspired and excited to speak to another artist who seemed to be flourishing in the creative world in major way.

First, I prepared my questions, set up my microphone and opened up Garageband to get ready for the recording of the interview. I sent Kilo’s manager Justin a text message to confirm the interview and, to my surprise, received a text from Kilo Kish herself: “Hey Corrine [sic] this is Kish I am actually at Eames house may I call you when I leave here?” Once Kilo Kish settled in at her L.A. home, I conducted a bi-coastal phone interview from Miami.

AN: How are you?

KK: I’m good. I went to Eames house. Me and my boyfriend we are really into their design work so we took a trip up there today. It’s really not that far from our house. It was really cool to see where they lived and worked and stuff and get inspiration.

AN: Where are you currently based?

KK: Right now I live in Laurel Canyon. It is in Hollywood. It’s been pretty fun so far. We have this cottage style house with wood paneling so it’s a 70’s kind of vibe. It’s cool, I like it.

AN: How did get your start in music/art?

KK: As far as music goes. I moved to New York to go to design school. At first when I moved to New York I thought I was going to do illustration or industrial design. Then I ended up transferring schools and I really enjoyed the textile aspect of design more so I went to FIT for textile design. During that time while I was in college I took a year off where I was in New York working downtown in Soho. During that time I didn’t really have much money. I was a broke college student and I used that time to start a new hobby which was music. So I really never tried to do music before 20 years old.

I would just be in my house and my roommate at the time Smash Simmons had a little home studio set up. We would just screw around in there and make random songs. I mean I had no idea of what I was doing. I still don’t really have a clear cut plan of what I want to do or what I want to become with music. We just would fool around, until one day I met a friend of my other roommate J.scott and He was Matt Martians from the Internet. He came and stayed at our house. I was like “I wanna play you some of the little dumb songs I made” and he was like “well you should come to L.A. You should come for a week and just try to make something more complete”. I had never been to L.A. at the time.

That summer he flew me out and I went there. That’s something I would have never done on my own so I really have to thank him for giving me the push, you know. Because I’ve had a million hobbies growing up, but they never materialize into anything until somebody puts the fire under me to work on it. So that’s kinda how that came about. We worked on it in L.A. Then I went back to school at FIT. I took a year, I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was doing random screening printing stuff. Finally we were like “hey we should put that thing out we’re working on”. I was like, “you know let’s just put it out”. So we put out “Home school”. It kinda became its own thing and took off a lot more than we expected it to. So from there we just moved forward. 

AN: When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?

KK: Um, I feel like I have to give myself a title for other people more than anything.  It’s just easier to say I’m an artist. As oppose to saying I’m a singer, or I’m a rapper or I’m a textile designer. You’d be having 10 million things to your name and that’s kinda cheesy too sometimes. I just say artist because it encompasses everything really. Like most people who design things or create things I’m self conscious about what I do. I look at all the great artists around and it’s like have not done nothing to that caliber yet. So it feels weird to be like yes I’m this artist, I’m this entity. It just seems weird. I’m more self conscious about giving myself any title really.

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AN: Who/What are some of your influences?

KK: I’m influenced by living and life. I wouldn’t say that I have specific people that I’m super into. I know what influences me for different things. For painting I really like Egon Schiele. He influences my painting stuff but I don’t know that necessarily influences my music. Music is kind of a weird one. I don’t really listen to that much music at home. But I know my favorite genre of music or favorite style is Marvin Gaye era, old soul music. That’s just what I personally like. I kinda listen to everything but not that much really. So for music I have no clue. For music I’m influenced by life and different situations.

I’m influenced visually a lot for my music. Like if I’m in a random bar, then I try to explain that feeling. Or the way that it feels to be in there. I try to equate that musically through my lyrics I guess. I kinda go crazy in mind thinking about what they do when they go home? Where they go? What kind of relationships do they have? What does that mean for any of us? That’s the kind of stuff that I just like to go through in my music. Which cannot really make much sense for the grand scheme of things but it makes sense to me so I guess that’s the only thing that matters.

AN: How did you meet odd future and become a member?

KK:  I wouldn’t say that I’m a member of Odd Future at all. I mean I know them. They were just around. Matt and Syd happen to just be the ones to really help me with that first project “Home school”. Through that and through them, and just being really good friends with them. And them taking me under their wing that first go round. I got to meet other people. I don’t really know all the members of Odd Future very well. I know some more than others. I’ve hung out with Earl a lot more then I’ve even seen Tyler. Everybody’s busy just doing their own thing really.

The first time I went to the studio ever. It was at the end of a session that Tyler was doing. I didn’t know anyone there. They spoke to me but it wasn’t really like BFF’s. So that was my first time ever going to the studio. I think the way I felt then was I was really impressed that such young people are really making it happen. Through my interactions with Odd Future they’re “go do it” kind of people so that’s always impressive and always inspiring to witness.

AN: Your song “Navy” had a huge buzz on the internet. When did you write the song? What inspired it?

KK: When I wrote Navy I feel like it was the winter time. It got released before the tape came out. We we’re in Brookyln at this studio brewery I believe. Me and Matt we were just chilling there. It’s one of the only songs I wrote on the spot. I personally hate writing songs in the studio. I feel like I say this in every interview but I hate being in the studio more than a lot of things. I wrote that song there. I remember that my friend Sobe was there. It took me way longer to write it then usually it takes me to write songs because in studio I just can’t think of things on the spot. My friend Sobe was like you should say something like: “starlight, star bright”. I was like oh ok. We just went with that one. Let’s go down that road. It’s another one of things, trying to describe a space. It’s super descriptive. It was a cool song to write.

AN: How did you feel when you realized your fan base was growing?

KK: You have to understand I didn’t expect anything, nothing. So everything is always like a blessing. Everything is good. Everything feels good. I’m little bit private. I don’t know if the word would be private. I just kinda like stick to myself and do my own thing all the time. I don’t like to be phony or fake. I don’t like to feel like the outsider or the insider aren’t the same. At first it always feels good. Like when you step back and think about it like wow people actually connected to this. What more can you ask for anything that you make. That people respond to it in a good or bad way. They just respond you know. That’s the only thing you can ask for when you make something.  Everything on top of that is the icing on top. I was super excited to know I have fans. 

It made it so much easier to do all the music related things that come with it that I wasn’t prepared for. I wasn’t prepared for performing; I wasn’t prepared for just all the extra stuff. When I made music to begin with, I just thought I was gonna make music and there was gonna be nothing else that I would to have to do. I never even thought pass actually making the project, to what if people actually like it and you have to go around to perform. I didn’t even think about. Knowing that people we’re there and seeing people say the words with me it gave a comfort. Actually its okay, I’m okay here, it’s a comfortable space. I’m safe, everything’s good, we’re all here together. That’s my favorite part about fans. Because it’s not a ego thing for me it’s not like oh you guys are all here to watch me. It’s like we’re all here to be together and experience this together. It helps me just as much; I hope that my music does something for you as it does something for me especially in performance.

Process of making the albums

AN: Where did you record your albums?

KK: “Home school” ep was recorded a little bit of everywhere. It was recorded mostly in L.A. “Navy” was recorded in New York. “You’re Right” was recorded in my house in my room. “K+” was recorded in New York at my really good friend Nick Hook’s studio. He has a beautiful studio where it’s super open. It’s actually a studio I enjoyed being at because it’s just sunlight coming in the room and your just there all day. It feels really homey and comfortable. It’s kind of like nontraditional folksy looking studio. I was in to that. With all my projects I don’t like to leave all the nuances up to the studio. I try to figure as best as I can at home first. So that means I write everything at home and I record it multiple times at home before I go in to the studio. That’s what I did for the “K+”. For “Home school” it was just get in there and do it kind of thing. A lot of the songs were done in 1-2 takes.

AN: I noticed there’s a theme on both albums regarding school? Do you think that you will continue with this theme with future projects?

KK:  I don’t know. I might I’m sure. I kinda just go with it. I know that this next project doesn’t really fit that theme so much. It kinda has its own theme and it kinda might break there. I feel like I’m gonna always take a student approach to doing any of this type of thing because it’s gonna be new for a really long time for me. Even in 5 years it’ll be new compared to a lot of people who have been doing music for 10 odd years.

This next project that I’m working on is an ep. This is the first one that I’ve ever done for sale. It’s called “Across”. It’s with one producer, which is different from both those last projects. Its one producer, its one sound, just me, there’s no one else. It’s just the way that I feel about my life right now. Whereas, the other two projects I wouldn’t say that they reflect the way that I really feel in life. The last two projects are just kind of like, me exploring, me exploring other people and me exploring other spaces. But I’ve never taken the time in music to explore myself. I’ve never done this. This one means a lot more to me because it feels a lot more real than the last two because it’s about me. That’s why this one is super different from then the last two projects. It’s different content wise.

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AN: The K+ album has a lot of rappers featured on it. Who was your favorite artist to work with?

KK:  I’d say that my favorite artist to work with on “K+” and he’s barely on it, is Nick Hooks the executive producer. He helped me to feel very comfortable at tackling a project like this on my own. I love everybody featured on it.

AN: Did everyone just email verses to your engineer? Or we’re in the studio with a lot of your contributors?

KK: For the most part we we’re all in the same place. We’re all in the same building.

AN: Do you consider yourself to be a rapper, poet or singer?

KK: Neither. In reality I don’t consider myself any of those things.

AN: How would you describe your musical style?

KK: I would just say Kish. Me. Like that’s it. I don’t want to put it into one word really. I don’t think that things are summed up into a word. It’s hard to put your whole life into one word. Personal. It’s just creative.

AN: How important is self image?

KK: It’s important that the outside matches the inside so that you’re not confirming for a public. That’s important to me. A lot of times as anybody that makes music or art or has to deal with any public opinion. Sometimes you have to change a little bit to fit somewhere or make money. Kanye rants about this every single day. I feel that I like the two to match. I don’t want to feel uncomfortable ever. So about self image I just want people to know who I am. And know that it may not necessarily fit into every single box and that’s fine. Sometimes I’m gonna fit into a box and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I’m gonna say things and sometimes I’m gonna contradict myself. That’s just the nature of people. That’s natural. It’s unnatural to fit completely perfectly into a mold to me.

K+ The Book

illustration by Corinne Stevie
illustration by Corinne Stevie

AN: Let’s talk about your visual art book entitled “K+” The Book. I know you are also a visual artist as well. Do you think that being a visual artist helps strengthen you as an artist overall?

KK: Yeah as an artist overall. I think that it helps to have a visual eye for anything. Musicians are doing so much stuff that’s like none music related now. In general for you to know what you want your set to look like it would help. If you really knew what you were doing all that helps. Or the way you want your album artwork to look like. It’s so much easier when you can actually draw for somebody to understand. The most frustrating thing I think for anyone is to have ideas in your head that you can’t make happen. Either you don’t have the talent or you don’t have the knowledge or you don’t have the know how to make it happen you know. That’s probably the most frustrating thing about life. It helps to have that foundation.

”K+” the mixtape that people know about started off as a concept. I’m doing music now, I have a chance to do it on own. I’ve been around such incredible people. How can I explore the way that people make things happen? How can I explore different peoples artistic process. I know what I do. But what do they do? How can I measure the amount of work that’s put into something not that for my own sake not for like “oh look hard I worked on this”. It’s more so just like an experiment. How can I measure how many people are involved in putting something together. All the background all the trials before you actually come up with a finished product. So that was my whole idea behind “K+” was taking demo’s, taking all the sound material, taking all the little things that people usually discard for a final album and just bringing them to the forefront. The actual album had a lot of the demos on it. It was hidden beneath beneath beneath other vocal tracks. I had alot of the conversations between the different artists. I saved all the correspondence, I saved videos. I took pictures. I just collected everything.

Then I had an installation which was the point to begin with. The mixtape was a byproduct of my concept. I took a lot of emails and all my notes. Then I hung them in a school house, which kind of goes with the home school thing. It was a way to see physically see how many emails did we send. I wish I could’ve had the real amount because it would have been insane. If you print out each one of your emails that you send everyday and you put it in a physical space its insane. I did it on a smaller scale. I feel like I might try it again at some other point and time. I think it just goes unnoticed really and so I wanted to explore that. Through the book there are a few more of those materials where you can actually look. During the installation you could go around and read the little different emails between my P.R. person. You could read things; all my million sticky notes and you could listen to the music. The e book is kind of little bit more of the same thing. We didn’t do a physical book because so much of it was music base. People know me for my music so an e book is easier because then you could have the videos and multimedia things. That’s why we did an e book. It goes with our times anyway.

AN: I’m a fan of good song lyrics. I love the lyrics from your song “Navy” when you say “the stars, they don’t just shine for you, they don’t just shine for me, they are celestial beings, we are the stars”.

AN: Do you have a favorite song or favorite lyrics you’ve written?

KK:  I don’t really have a favorite song. I don’t have a favorite one. I like the stuff I’ve been making recently a lot more.

AN: What are you listening to?

KK: The question is really what does my boyfriend listen to because that’s what I have to hear all day. He usually plays it loud. We usually listen to 22 tracks or something, or like those little blogs that have music on it. I listen to different soundclouds. French express, just super good working music. My boyfriend is like right here and he’s like “tell them about that station”. We listen to this French internet radio station that has all this multi-cultural music. It sounds amazing at our house because when we listen to it we open up all windows and everything. It’s sunny and nice and it’s some Spanish guitar music and it’s perfect. We listen to a lot of random stuff.

AN: Who are some of your dream collaborations?

KK: I like a lot of people’s music. But I know that I’m not one of those people to be the one to make something happen with someone; Maybe different producers.

AN: Where do you see yourself in a year?

KK: Probably living in L.A. still. I feel like music isn’t the only thing I have to give or I have in me to do. Once this project is done I’ll definitely start working on a full length album. But I would also like to get back into drawing and painting and working on other mediums of art. It’s just fun to use different parts of your brain. I do a lot of stuff at home. I think now I’m ready to get out there and make things that people can actually have. I’m excited to start that. Hopefully I’ll be able to have physical things in the world that I like that I’ve made other than music.

AN: What are some words you live by?

KK: I think I heard something one time that I was super into. I don’t remember who said it but they said that “Creativity never improves.” It makes you go like what? But at the same time I believe it to be true because it just changes form. I feel like it’s something that I always want to live by. I want to change form. I want to do music and I want to do everything make everything.

AN: Do you have any advice for artists who are aspiring to do what you’re doing?

KK: Not everybody comes into music with the kind of mindset that I have I’ve noticed. But I think if you’ve never done music before and you try to do it. It’s a lot different than you think it is. Just do whatever makes you happy. Do whatever feels good for you when it stops feeling good just stop doing it.

 

Jack Preston is on “Replay”

Jack Preston is an Atlanta based emcee who has consistently been sharing his creative gifts with the Interwebs/world for a while now. He recently dropped his latest single called “Replay” on his soundcloud page so I decided it would be a great time to pick his brain and find out more about the man and art.

 

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Art Nouveau Magazine: Who is Jack Preston?
Jack Preston: An Atlanta based emcee, producer, musician, graphic designer and visual artist.

AN: I’ve seen you around in the Atlanta scene before I knew who you were and you seem to stick out because you have a distinct style. How important is style to you?
JP: Style is important in the context of creativity and communication. Style to me is much like an element. If you thought of the elements of creativity like a periodic table of elements, style would be one of the most important elements on the table to me. I enjoy utilizing style to personalize my art and daily expression.

AN: The first time I’ve saw you perform was at the Haiti benefit concert early 2010. How long have you been performing live?
JP: I’ve been performing live since 2004. My first performance felt pretty natural, and it’s been nothing but fun since. The Haiti benefit show was actually the first performance with my band The Dojo in Atlanta.

AN: How do you stay inspired?
JP: Life within itself is inspiring to me. I appreciate dynamics, the highs and lows, and I’m always inspired by the human experience. That’s what most of my art is about.

AN: I know that you are a modern day renaissance man. So when it comes to creating what usually comes first. The art? Lyrics? Or the instrumentation?
JP: It all comes at different times and different rates. I can choose to focus on one craft or another to maximize productivity, but when creativity is in it’s rawest form, I can’t control what comes first. At the end of the day, it’s coming from the same source, so I look at each discipline as different tools in which to help communicate with others.

jack2AN: I consider you to be an independent artist who books your own gigs and creates independently. What do you think is the best part about being indie?
JP: The best part is having control of your image and art. A lot of times, the trade off for having outside support is that you have to surrender control of yourself to them. I enjoy having my full integrity intact as well as being able to get all of the return from my efforts.

AN: What are you currently working on?
JP: I’m releasing a record that I’ve been working on for the past year called End Of The Future which is produced by fellow Dojo homie Jon Bom. I’m also working with The Dojo on an EP follow up to In The Land Of Wanderers. I’m also prepping some instrumental projects and my first mixtape.

AN: Where do you see yourself in five years?
JP: I see myself sustaining an evolving music career, and growing as a person and artist.

AN: A motto you live by?
JP: I’ve always liked the golden rule, treat others like you’d like to be treated. I do my best to adhere to that.

AN: Final thoughts?
JP: Thank you for inviting me for the interview. S/O to all the party people of the world. Much love to you all. You can catch my work at www.jackpres.com and www.thedojocollective.com

“Soak it all up, it’s apart of life’s game”

“Beauty is a form of genius – is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.” – Oscar Wilde

Oakland bred experimental soul singer Ka’ra Kersey has recently dropped her latest visuals. The track is called “HIDDEN BEAUTY” and surprisingly enough I did the beat production. This song was written by Ka’ra and the video is a follow up to her Junkyard Mixtape Vol.1 release that hit the interwebs this past summer. I think she’s on a roll so it’s time to ride the Dreamy Wave.

#WatchThisSpace and soak it all up, it’s apart of life’s game

Dive Into Y-Diz’s Musical Landscapes

Y-DIZ is a Miami based producer and one part creative brain behind the band Telekinetic Walrus. He recently dropped his latest EP called “Oscipurpillate.” His experimental BASS gets under your skin and touches your soul in infinite ways. I encourage you to experience Y DIZ playing his music at a live show if you get the chance. If not, watch your mind and body melt into the musical landscapes he creates. Dive in!

Ka’ra Kersey is a True Gem in this JUNKyard World

I can imagine Ka’ra Kersey as a bluejay or hummingbird flying over the beautiful California landscape and landing in the gritty streets of Oakland. I could see her perched on a power line looking out and toward through the city.

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Ka’ra Kersey is woman of many talents. She’s a skilled songstress that she could write you a song that uplifts your soul or take you on trip down the bluesy queen lane. As an artist myself I am happy to have crossed paths and collaborated with Ka’ra Kersey. She is true gem in this JUNKYard World. I present to you Ka’Ra Kersey’s Junkyard Mixtape Vol.1. The album art was illustrated by yours truly Corinne S. Francilus

Tokio Aoyama’s latest exhibition “The Loop” opens Aug 1 at Cre8 Gallery

Japanese born painter Tokio Aoyama is back this summer with 2nd solo art exhibition entitled The Loop. “The Loop” will showcase Aoyama’s latest surreal psychedelic paintings from his 2013 art series “Dogu.” Through his paintings he creates a mystical landscape that explores music, color, birth, life, transformation, the spiritual world and ancient Japanese mythology. The exhibition is being presented by Cre8 Gallery and Earth Tone arts at London based Hoxton Gallery. The exhibition will open August 1, 2013 from 6-9pm. Come prepared to party and enjoy some mind blowing visual art.

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Brown Dollaz’s latest EP rides like a G

Brown Dollaz is a Miami native rapper who has over paid his dues and now he’s ready to collect. Check out his latest EP Est. 1981 which serves sorta like an demo. He decided to take the Indie route and recorded the project on a smaller scale where he had more control over it. It pays off, because the EP rides like a G. The EP features all production by Miami native twin producers Urban Noize. Check it out!

I guarantee Yukon Snakes will make a listener out of you

Yukon Snakes also know as Timeshare has recently released a four song EP called Horse and the Hound. If you followed my blog you would know that I love his evolving new sound. This EP is really just an appetizer so get ready for the full course meal November 11. 2012. I guarantee Yukon Snakes will make a listener out of you.

“Just to give a little background” by Corinne Stevie

In this entry of our Poptimism series, Miami based artist Corinne Stevie tells a story to her self four years ago.

I wanted to take the time out to break down the philosophy behind my latest EP D.I.M. D.I.M is short for “Did it Myself.” I decided to go with this as the title because it really represents where I’m at and how far I’ve come with everything I’m doing in my life art, music, relationships, jobs and whatever.

Just to give a little background. I dropped my first ever solo EP in 2008. This was around the time I was still in college and I was living in my little studio in the ATL. My first EP called The Oddity was something that happened organically. I had just bought a myself a new computer, microphone and everything else I needed to build my little studio. But I did not know that the material I was recording would later be stringed to together to make my first EP. I thought I was just recording for enjoyment.

Prior to that, while I was in high school in the early 2000’s I started to record myself and my other rapping buddies for fun in my mom’s living room. From there me and my friends recorded a couple of mixtapes and we just shared them online, in school, and wherever else we could. Since then I’ve always had a serious interest in the process of writing, recording,and editing music.

So to fast forward back to the future. I’ve always took it upon myself to do what I wanted to do. Somewhere in my gut I always knew that if I wanted to do art, music, or designing, I was going to have to get it done myself. Of course along the way I’ve had people encourage me and be really supportive but I still had to be my first fan and be my first source of motivation to keep going.

With that being said the “D.I.M” EP was a project that came together almost the same way my first EP did,very organically. With each song I recorded my intentions were to have fun and work on my craft of recording and writing. As I continued to work on the art and music things fell into place.

Looking Back to Move Forward–15 Minutes with Tokio Aoyama on the Ancient Future

I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to interview the very talented painter Tokio Aoyama. His latest exhibition, the aptly titled “Ancient Future” will opens later this month at the Hoxton Gallery in London. Check out the interview with Tokio below…

 

Art Nouveau: Hello Tokio Aoyama. I am a fan of your work so it is an honor to be conducting this interview with you.

Tokio Aoyama: Thank you so much!

 

AN: I initially discovered your work through Georgia Anne Muldrow’s music. You did album covers for both her and Dudley Perkins. How did you get that opportunity?

TA: Michael Tolle from Mello Music Group contacted me on Myspace, and he introduced Georgia and Dudley. They are into my art and we started working together. I love their music and their message. They are wonderful people.

 

 

AN: Are you a self taught artist or did you receive any training?

TA: Actually both, I didn’t finish but I studied graphic design at The Art Institute of Seattle. I took a life drawing class but I was not taught how to paint. I learned painting by myself.

 

AN: I’ve noticed you do a lot paintings of musicians. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you’re working on your paintings?

TA: I do listen to all kinds of music when I paint. It depends on what mood I am in. Sometimes I prefer silence. When I work on someone’s album cover, I listen to their music. Currently, I am working on an album cover for Australian artist Electric Egypt. His cosmic sound is giving me inspiration. He is one of my favorites right now.

 

AN: How long have you been painting?

TA: I started painting when I was little but I started painting on canvas with acrylic paints when I was 20.

 

AN: What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

TA: It’s a very simple thing. Expressing what I am thinking in my head with brushes and paint is really fun.

 

AN: What is a motto you live by?

TA: Be Humble.

 

AN: Is there anything else you would like to add?

TA: Please come to see my art at Hoxton Gallery London (22nd -29th August 2012).

 

All good things gone come my way

All good things gone come my way….

I wanted to write a drawn out explanation but I’m not going to. I share my music with the internet world because this is another way I exist. I tell my own unique story through my art and music and it makes me feel alive.

Enjoy my latest track “Come My Way” produced by GREATeclectic and get ready for the full project D.I.M (Did It Myself) Album coming Aug 31st.

 

 

#DIM

By The Numbers: Corinne Stevie Creates Four New Illustrations For Jessie Davis’ Second Album

Atlanta based musician Jessie Davis approached me a couple months back about doing art work that represented a song on her new album Him and I Gemini. Jessie expressed to me that she wanted to have a piece of art that represented each song that she would release online and I thought this was a pretty cool concept so I was down to do the work. Originally it was suppose to be four artists doing four different pieces of work for the songs but the way everything worked out I ended up becoming the leading artist for the project which was really exciting. Here are four illustrations that go along with the 4 released singles from Jessie Davis’s second album Him and I Gemini.

Continue reading By The Numbers: Corinne Stevie Creates Four New Illustrations For Jessie Davis’ Second Album

Download Corinne Stevie’s “Diary of a Mad Black Stevie”

Diary of a Mad Black Stevie is an audio diary of everything I’ve been thinking about listening to and experimenting with for the past couple months. This project gives you a look into the mind of a young black woman who has the ability to travel through other dimensions

Continue reading Download Corinne Stevie’s “Diary of a Mad Black Stevie”

Transformers: Corinne Stevie Remixes Bilal’s “Robots”


I started working on this remix of Bilal’s song “Robots” earlier this year for a contest and then I decided to not enter it because I just wanted to do it for fun without the extra pressure. Working on this track really allowed me to brush up on my mixing and production skills.

Continue reading Transformers: Corinne Stevie Remixes Bilal’s “Robots”

The Psychedelic Painter That Wasn’t On Psychedelics

I discovered Mati Klarwein’s work 3 years ago while I was surfin’ the interwebs lookin for visual inspiration.I felt like I struck gold when i discovered his beautiful paintings. I decided to finally make a post about him because I’ve been noticing a lot of people posting his images on tumblrs and fbook but i don’t think they have a clue as to who the artist is.

Continue reading The Psychedelic Painter That Wasn’t On Psychedelics