The ABC’s Of Making It As A Musician In 2016 & Beyond

 

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Alongside being a sports star, becoming a professional singer or musician is one of the most popular dreams among young children. But while the former ambition usually dies before high school, the latter is one that thousands try to pursue. However, only a small percentage will make it a reality.

The music industry is arguably tougher than ever, especially as there are far greater expectations than ever. Meanwhile, a number of elements have killed music sales to further crank up the difficulty.

So what does an artist need to make it in the modern industry? Well, aside from a stroke of luck, here are three of the key features.

Artistry

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Above all else, a modern music artist needs to be a master of their trade. OK, there are the odd exceptions (Gangnam Style anyone?) but 99.9% are talented artists. You might not like their music, but it’s hard to deny that most stars are good at what they do.

As with any art, practice makes perfect. It’s true that you need a little God-given talent to thrive. Nevertheless, earning your stripes on the stage or in the recording studio is key. Even the supposed overnight success stories have often waited years before getting their big breaks.

Lacking talent doesn’t mean you can’t still gain a lot of enjoyment from music. However, it’s important to be realistic. If your music isn’t worth buying, it’s not the career path for you.

Branding

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Music is an important part of modern culture. As such, the best artists need to offer far more than catchy tunes alone. Quite frankly, marketability is key.

Even artists of past generations were cultural icons. Nowadays, the impact of social media means that musicians need greater branding and media training than ever. This is especially true on the way up, but it also imperative once you’ve made it too. After all, one negative episode could have a truly damaging impact.

Ultimately, a professional artist is a business. Music is the product, but the packaging of a great personal persona is equally vital to selling items.

Creativity

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Creating music is more accessible than ever. Video sharing platforms make it easy to spread the word. Meanwhile, professional disc replication is easier and more affordable than ever. In fact, many artists are capable of making it on their own without the external help of PR companies. However, the biggest challenge facing modern artists is becoming original.

It’s a crowded marketplace. Without a unique voice, both literally and characteristically, you will get lost in the crowd. Beyonce, Lady Gaga, One Direction, Adele, and co. have all mastered their individual charms.

In many ways, it’s a combination of the first two aspects of artistry and business. Ultimately, it boils down to finding an audience and finding creative ways to build it. Collaborations are a great way to borrow fans from demographics you wouldn’t usually hit. Rihanna and Coldplay stand out as particularly impressive duets in recent times. Finding ways to break the mould is key. Without it, you’re destined to become just another commercially unviable act.

Editorial Design for La Forma by Koln Studio“Concept, edition…

Editorial Design for La Forma by Koln Studio

“Concept, edition and design direction for the editorial piece “La Forma Bruta” by the photographer Martín Bollati. In this piece, Martín questioned himself about the historian’s figure and representation of history throughout his photography. This Project focuses on the representation of museums, relating to the object, questioning the exhibition system and the observer’s point of view. It seeks to reimagine and reinterpret history throughout his images.”

Founded at the end of 2014, Koln Studio fronts all types of projects, seeking for unique solutions for every costumer and working hand in hand. They work for institutions, businesses and private costumers in projects on different scales. Their aim is to offer global and lasting outcomes, working from the initial idea up to the final production, looking for original and solid concepts that provide a “design thinking” in the project’s strategy, enriching it and adding the values. 

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of Gambling

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Where do you stand on gambling? As everyone knows, the United States is notorious for being restrictive on the activity. And, despite the fact that cities like Las Vegas are world gambling epicentres, the federal impositions are pretty strong compared to other Western countries.

But recent news that sports betting might be legalized could signal that things are changing. It seems that some of the biggest federal gambling laws are open for discussion. And that means that we are all going to have to take gambling a lot more seriously in the future.

There are pros and cons to every argument, of course. So, we thought we would take some time today to explore the good, bad, and ugly of gambling. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know.

The good

If you are a sensible person, gambling is nothing more than a controllable pastime. You have money, pout a little aside, and always keep within your budget. It has to be money you can afford to lose, of course – because you will lose it more often than not. But when that big win comes in? Well, it’s money you can use to prop up your vacation fund, pay for a renovation, or just have some fun. Gambling is accessible, too. As we pointed out in out post awhile back, if you live in the north west you are only ever 25 miles away from a casino. And, as http://www.offshorebettingsites.net/ point out, there are offshore gambling opportuities, too. So, despite the restrictions, it’s clear that many people enjoy gambling regardless.

The Bad

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The bad

The house always wins, of course. Unless you are incredibly lucky or are a statistical genius, the odds of beating the system are slim. You might enjoy the odd big payout. But in the vast majority of cases you will leave a casino or table a lot less wealthy than when you walked in. And if you pick up a few wins on the trot, or get too successful, you’ll get your marching orders pretty fast. It’s also worth stating that gambling isn’t always the nice and friendly activity you hear being promoted. Scratch beneath the surface of a casino, and there might be all kinds of dark dealings go on behind the scenes. The truth is you can never tell who owns that roulette wheel, and who is taking your money.

The ugly

When you boil everything down to the basics, gambling is addictive. While it should be an enjoyable experience and just a bit of fun, an alarming number of people lose control. According to https://www.scientificamerican.com/, it’s not a hard process to develop addiction. It becomes a big issue,both in financial and personal terms. And, there are no shortage of stories about people who have had their lives ruined by gambling. Anyone who enters a casino should have those stories burned into their minds. And, if you are ever tempted to take out more cash than you budgeted for, always think twice. It could be the first step into an horrendous spiral of addiction.

We’re keen to hear your ideas on gambling in America – post your thoughts below…

The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

Male grooming is an absolute minefield these days, there’s just so much to remember. What moisturiser should you use? What’s the done thing when it comes to venturing south with the ol’ razor? Should you get a back, sack and crack? Well let’s stop right there and say that no, you probably shouldn’t. However, we’ll do our utmost to answer your other queries and then some. Just make sure you’re not committing any of these cardinal grooming sins and you’ll be golden.

The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

Unkempt facial hair 

A bit of facial hair is great but all too often we see guys who are just failing to keep theirs in check. If you’re sporting a bit of stubble then be sure to keep it nice and trimmed, or if you’re busy growing a beard then keep it tidy by trimming any stray hairs in the mirror with a pair of scissors. It really does make all the difference.


The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

Too much fragrance 

This mistake is possibly the most common on the list but if you’re guilty of it then you really are shooting yourself in the foot… twice. Why twice? Well, it’s because your aftershave is going to run out faster, which is going to cost you more money, and also because you’re going around smelling like the inside of Laurence Llewelyn Bowen’s handbag. Never a good vibe to give off.


The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

Below the belt 

If you expect your other half to be nicely trimmed down below then it stands to reason that they should be able to expect the same from you. Now we’re not suggesting that you should book yourself in for a brazilian or anything mad like that but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a little tidy up with the scissors and a body groomer – just be careful.


The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

Not moisturising 

If you’re not used to buying moisturisers then it can be a nightmare trying to pick out the right one. A lot of people will tell you that men’s and women’s moisturisers are exactly the same but it’s not true. Men’s skin is thicker than women’s skin and our moisturisers are designed to cope with that. Basically, just stick to anything with ‘MEN’ written on the packaging and you can’t go too far wrong.


The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

Unkempt nose and ear hair 

You cut the hair on your head and we’ve established that you’re going to trim your beard and tidy up below the belt. So if that’s the case then why treat your nose and ear hair any differently? You don’t need to fork out on a trimmer, just keep it under control with a pair of scissors if need be. We’re pretty sure that there can’t be many things more off-putting for your date than sitting across the table from a guy who’s sprouting a jungle out of sixty percent of the holes on his face.


The Most Common Grooming Mistakes to Avoid

Going overboard 

At completely the opposite end of the spectrum is the most metrosexual of all the grooming errors – going overboard when it comes to body hair removal. The aim should be to keep everything nice and neat. The aim should not be to take a bath in a vat of hair removal cream and then book yourself into a salon to have your eyebrows shaped. A little bit of hair is good. It’s all about balance.

Article by Menswear Style

Cafe Du Cycliste Launch AW16

Cafe Du Cycliste Launch AW16

Shorter days bring cooler weather and Café Du Cycliste’s new autumn/winter 2016 collection is built to ride through whatever conditions are found out on the roads. While always staying true to their modern French style, AW16 adds another step in performance innovation with the further use of brand new fabrics, ideas, designs and detailing.

Cafe Du Cycliste Launch AW16

The new cycling range continues to expand season by season with new items added for both men and women as well as the re-imagining of some signature pieces. The palette is inspired by the season in large part with frequent bursts of colour to break up the classic blue, green and grey hues.

Cafe Du Cycliste Launch AW16

The collection was shot across Europe, from Scotland in the north to the French and Italian Alps further south. The backdrops are varied, the weather equally so but each piece of apparel on show is linked by the common threads of technical excellence and unique Café du Cycliste style. The collection also includes a full range of accessories from gloves, neck warmers and shoe covers to base layers, musettes and caps.

Cafe Du Cycliste Launch AW16

Collection Highlights 

Rainwear: a top to toe selection in three interchangeable colourways. Including the Josette jersey, the Charlotte jacket, the Jeanne bib shorts and the Loulou arm and legwarmers. Everything you need for wet weather riding. 

Jacqueline Audax: the first piece in their new Audax long distance collection. A mid-weight packable gilet which fits into a jersey pocket but provides heavy weight protection if conditions turn. Styled with a very modern take on ‘Fluro Yellow’, it is available for both men and women.

Cafe Du Cycliste Launch AW16

Long Sleeve Merino: the workhorse of autumn/winter 2016, combining the warmth needed on colder days with superb performance across a wide range of conditions. Their signature Yolande and Claudette jerseys are back with new colours and new detailing. 

All Weather Jackets: whether there’s heavy rain, blowing wind or numbing chill their selection of jackets have it covered. From cold weather Heidi to wet weather Charlotte or worst weather Regine, they’re designed to handle any type of conditions.

Article by Menswear Style

NPeal Launch AW16 Collection

NPeal Launch AW16 Collection

N.Peal’s AW16 luxury cashmere collection is now available in all their London stores and online. This season they have a stylish and sophisticated range of new styles, textures and seasonal colours for you to choose from. There’s enough to add something to every gentleman’s wardrobe this Autumn.
From the brand’s men’s collection this season, our favourites include the perfect blazer with the Milano Knitted Cashmere Jacket in Navy.

NPeal Launch AW16 Collection

Alongside this, is a range of fantastic chunky knits which will be perfect for the colder months ahead. If, however, you’re not quite ready for a full on coat, try their gilets and waistcoats which can offer you an extra layer of cashmere that will look amazing and keep you feeling warm as the sun rises later and sets earlier each day.

NPeal Launch AW16 Collection

N.Peal’s classic collection is awash with Autumn shades including Mulberry Red, Flint Grey and Pumpkin Orange. The Burlington V Neck is available in an impressive 22 colours – so you’re bound to find a new shade to add to your wardrobe. Also added for AW16 is a touch of Purple Heather – a brand new shade of the famous Mock Turtle Neck Sweater, as worn by Daniel Craig on the poster for SPECTRE last year. This is still available in the classic Dark Charcoal and Lapis Blue (as seen in the film) both of which still continue their popularity even a year later.

NPeal Launch AW16 Collection

When it comes to accessories N.Peal has a wide array to choose from and once again in a range of colours from subtle to bold. Their Classic Woven Scarves are available in 20 different shades and make the perfect gift for him or her. Co-ordinate these with their cashmere gloves and hats for the full set, or for added warmth (and luxury) the brand’s Fur Neck Warmers are just perfect.

NPeal Launch AW16 Collection

With Christmas on the horizon, why not give the gift of luxury with perfect pieces to suit all budgets from N.Peal’s iconic women’s collection and lust-worthy homewear range where you’ll find some exciting new textures and knitted designs. These include cosy roll necks and fabulous oversize pieces as well as a fabulous range of cashmere capes to complete that elegant look. You’ll also find lots of treats, and this year is the year of the pom! Available as a keyring, a brooch or to clip onto their classic cashmere hats.

Article by Menswear Style

Top 5 Online Destinations for Menswear Basics

Top 5 Online Destinations for Menswear Basics

As any man who has stepped foot onto a city centre high street on a Saturday will no doubt testify, it really is not a pleasant experience. Luckily there are ways to avoid the dreaded trek into town to pick up some plain T-shirts and battle your way down Oxford Street through the swathes of tourists, thereby losing the best part of the best day of the week. So forget about hopping on the tube and instead simply make yourself a brew, get comfy and get your basics from one of these great online destinations instead.

Top 5 Online Destinations for Menswear Basics

Folk 

Folk are a London based outfitters who create, as they put it “quietly elegant clothing enriched by subtle details: style without drama.” And that’s exactly what it is. Folk offers a great alternative to high street chains when it comes to stocking up on basics, and although their price point is higher you’re getting superior quality and fit for your money.


Top 5 Online Destinations for Menswear Basics

American Apparel  

Although they struggled for a few years the L.A based clothing label American Apparel are now back on the up and they’re the perfect go-to for quality wardrobe staples which won’t shrink on the first couple of washes. Although they do have brick and mortar stores in most cities there’s no reason for you to leave your armchair if you head to their website.


Top 5 Online Destinations for Menswear Basics

Carhartt WiP 

When it comes to high quality wardrobe essentials at a decent price then American workwear giants Carhartt WiP should definitely be considered. Their signature pocket t-shirts are a timeless classic and they even produce selvedge denim now too at very modest prices.


Top 5 Online Destinations for Menswear Basics

Uniqlo 

If you haven’t already discovered Uniqlo (we know they still don’t exist in a lot of UK cities) then you’re seriously missing out. Uniqlo make some of the best Oxford shirts around, and their t-shirts are well fitted and long lasting and their jeans are the best you’ll get for under £100 anywhere.


Top 5 Online Destinations for Menswear Basics

James Perse 

At the more expensive end of the scale is James Perse, an Los Angeles based clothing label specialising in the highest quality wardrobe basics around. Granted 60 quid is rather pricey for a plain t-shirt, but when it boils down to it, you get what you pay for. So if you’re looking for simple, clean designs made with premium materials and free of obnoxious branding then look no further.

Article by Menswear Style

Mike Dean Talks About Pioneering Houston Rap in the ’90s With Nardwuar

Legendary producer and engineer, Mike Dean recently had the opportunity to catch up with Nardwuar during a Saint Pablo tour-stop in Vancouver. Conducted in the back of Dean’s hybrid studio/tour bus, where he worked on Travis Scott’s Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, the two take a trip down memory lane discussing Dean’s earliest memories in regards to pioneering Houston rap music during the ’90s.

As always, Nardwuar brought along some classic artifacts to help revisit Dean’s early work with Rap-A-Lot groups and others like Odd Squad, 5th Ward Boyz, 5th Ward Juveniles, Def IV, Def Squad, and of course Geto Boys. Dean even went on to say Geto Boys are “the base of Houston music, the base of really all southern music.”

He also described the differences between making music in the ’90s and now in 2016, saying “we got better computers, better equipment. The weed is better. We know more about what we’re doing so we don’t have to be in the studio so long.”

For another great Nardwuar interview be sure to check out his recent chat with an uncooperative Eric Andre below.

Feast Your Eyes On the Sneaker Heat From Tokyo Fashion Week SS17

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With Tokyo Fashion Week in full swing, Highsnobiety‘s globe-trotting squad of photographers drops a set of street style from the Japanese capital. Rather than focus on the outfits on show, though, this set is all about the sneakers.

Unsurprisingly, Tokyo’s fashionistas stepped out in a next-level array of kicks, with coveted adidas releases sitting alongside rare Nikes and some head-turning high fashion joints.

For more street style antics, check out parts one and two of our report from Seoul Fashion Week.

Watch London Artist Azekel Test Drive the New Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 in “Urban Lights”

Lyricists have penned their most beloved lines everywhere from cozy cafes to prison cells; a songwriter’s surroundings often become an important part of a song’s character. Perhaps this is why—writing from his East London flat, dreaming of new horizons—Azekel’s music takes you to another place while remaining so unmistakably British.

Being so familiar with London’s vibrations, the artist was the perfect candidate to help us match RPM with BPM on the city’s streets, as we partnered with Mercedes-Benz to combine the sounds of the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43* with music. Driving a powerful car and listening to music can produce similar emotional responses, an engine’s roar equivalent to a bassline drop or guitar solo. Captured in our latest video, Azekel proved he’s the car’s musical equal.

The model boasts 367-horsepower and 520 Nm of torque, catapulting the car to 0-62.5mph in just 4.7 seconds. By layering rich vocals over a downtempo beat, his raw sound contrasts the Mercedes’ high-octane performance, which he put to the test during a dark summer’s night.

The British singer-songwriter, musician, and producer first made his mark in 2014 with the track “New Romance” — the Om Unit remix features in the video. To his surprise, the song was tweeted by his childhood hero Prince and hailed by BBC Radio DJ Lauren Laverne as one of her tracks of the year; the artist’s momentum didn’t stop there.

Since then, he’s performed live at Glastonbury Festival on the BBC Introducing Stage, played live sessions at BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, and been playlisted by radio stations across the UK and internationally. This year has been equally critical, Azekel released his third EP, Raw, Vol. 2, and featured on Massive Attack’s “Ritual Spirit,” performing with the band during their UK and European tour.

Watch the video above before exploring more of Azekel’s music via the link below. Don’t forget to check out Azekel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as Om Unit on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more, check out the brand new Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster.

*Combined fuel consumption: 7.8l/100km; combined CO² emissions: 178g/km