Canadian songstress Louise Burns on New Orleans soul and Helmut Lang

It was her video for “Emeralds Shatter” that clinched it for us. We have a total girl crush on Louise Burns. That hazy ’70s aesthetic and the plunging neckline, not to mention the dreamy retro tune, are just a few of the things made us fall for the Canadian singer-songwriter. Originally from northern British Columbia, she came onto the scene as a bassist and singer with the beloved Canadian girl group Lillix. She released her first solo album in 2011. Louise has been on tour ever since: hitting the Squamish Music Festival up next, followed by a tour of Asia later this month. We love everything about her melancholy synth pop and constantly find outfit inspiration in her stage style. So we asked and she answered.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO MAKE MUSIC FOR A LIVING? I was fortunate enough to luck out at an early age and start my career at 15 when my first band Lillix was signed to a major label. I’ve dreamt of being a songwriter from the age of 9 when I started composing shitty-cute songs on piano, and have really never looked back. Occasionally I have the existential doubt of what I’m doing with my life, but then I remind myself that I get to be what is essentially an adult teenager and live an incredibly weird and unique life.

WHO ARE YOUR MUSIC IDOLS? Kate Bush, Nick Cave, Cass McCombs, David Bowie, Angelo Badalementi.

WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU RIGHT NOW? I really dig Sharon Van Etten’s new record. I’ve been listening to a lot of New Orleans soul lately – Irma Thomas especially. My boyfriend bought an excellent compilation when we were there last year. Not sure that influence will rub off but, hey, a girl can dream. I’m also on a perpetual Cass McCombs back catalogue kick: he is the shit. Lee Hazlewood 24/7 – he is one of my all-time favorite songwriters.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT GOING ON TOUR? I’ve been touring since I was 15, so I’m used to always moving forward. I have a very hard time staying in one place for more than a few weeks! It’s kind of a problem. I move every year it seems, or at least if I’m not touring, because I love the stress of constantly being on the go. A new day, a new city. There’s nothing quite like it. I love seeing my friends in other cities and making new friends in the music communities outside my hometown. Playing music every day is pretty great too. And it’s always interesting to see how different cities and geographical regions respond to my music. I’m a travel junkie.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STYLE. I dislike wearing color; it looks awful on me. I’m a Helmut Lang groupie and love all things flowy, black and silky. Being on stage so much, black is the most flattering, and if you play with different textures you can create a nice look without looking like a Hot Topic employee reject. I opt for black most of the time, with the occasional smattering of neutral. Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks and Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger are my style icons. I also read Japanese and Chinese fashion magazines occasionally. They have mastered the oversized sweater, tights, interesting accessory combo!

louiseburns.bandpage.com

Candids and Instagram with photographer Jonathan Nafarrete

Named one of the “Top Instagram Users that Advertisers are Dying to Work With” by Business Insider, Jonathan Nafarrete has seriously mastered the art of the candid. Follow him now. Based in Los Angeles, he works in digital advertising by day and takes to the streets with a camera during his down time. His photojournalistic style was honed shooting for publications like The Guardian, Daily Mail and LA Times newspapers. But we had to know how he manages to find all of these incredible moments off the job. So we asked, and he answered.

YOU CAPTURE CANDID MOMENTS. DO THEY NATURALLY HAPPEN LIVING IN SUCH A BUSY CITY OR DO YOU GO OUT IN SEARCH OF THEM?

I walk the beaches and streets of Los Angeles almost on a daily basis and always choose to shoot film. Never with any real intent, only just to see what may appear during these walks. I pace slowly with my headphones on, music blaring. The headphones keep people from bothering me, asking me for change, inquiring about directions. It is then that I can focus visually and also helps push me through the often monotonous times of seeing very little and capturing even less.

For me, shooting on the street has always fed my perpetual need to collect things. I have collected furniture, art, vintage clothing, domain names, cameras… you name it. I am in a constant state of searching and finding the items that are discarded or thrown out. In the case of street photography, these are the moments that are overlooked and happen in the blink of an eye.

Every photographer needs to do it for themselves. Discover what the world looks like to them and disregard all the emphasis placed on celebrity, sex and violence by the media on a daily basis. I have shot some very violent situations as a photojournalist in the past but what I love about shooting on the street is the order I can make of my reality. It often feels like I am directing a movie and I can visually see street actors in my mind moving into their places. I slowly watch as the scene unfolds, “Places everyone.” And at that moment – instead of yelling “Action!” – I press the shutter and freeze the scene.

jonathan360.com

Stage style and inspiration with musical group Star Captains

With their mix of 70s soul, infectious beats and hypnotic vocals, Star Captains are exactly
what we need to smooth out a manic Monday. The 7-piece band from Vancouver, B.C. has
been running at a mile a minute with music festival season (Jazz Fest and Keloha) up next and opening up their own recording studio, but we managed to catch up with the gorgeous lead singer NaRai Dawn to find out what inspires her music and her style.

WHAT DO YOU CHANNEL WHEN YOU’RE WRITING MUSIC? Openness, spirit, and
whatever moves me at the time. I often feel as though someone is literally whispering or
singing the melodies and words to me, sometimes even yelling them! Lol! Other times I’m an
interpreter or detective trying to piece together the story. That’s why I always keep my
recorder or Pro Tools close so I can hit record before the pieces fly away to the next open
window.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE SONG THAT YOU’VE EVER WRITTEN. I would have to say
“Love Is”. (link: http://vimeo.com/34500324) It was the first song that brought Star Captains together and it came out effortlessly, as if it were already written. I still remember the look Max gave to Jim when we played it for the first time… it was pure magic.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? I think style is a form of art,
free without borders, censorship or limitations. The more I experience and grow, the more
my taste and senses evolve aesthetically, artistically and intuitively. I wear what feels good, expresses my inner visions and or inspires that spark that makes you feel something, think or move. We’re very fortunate to live in a place where we can openly express who we are as individuals. I guess you can say my style is a reflection of where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going – all underneath a big hat!

starcaptains.com

Behind the turntables with DJ Hedspin

Hedspin is easily the brightest rising star among Canada’s DJ ranks. You’d know this if you’ve ever been to one of his sets. You’re not from Canada? No excuse. This guy performs around the globe (New York, Germany, Norway, Japan to name a few). Winning the Stylus Award as Vancouver DJ of the year and the Red Bull Thre3Style in 2011 were accomplishments that catapulted him into the mainstream consciousness while further cementing his standing among his peers. So we had to ask him:

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT PERFORMING?

Not many people know the amount of time and work DJ’s put into their craft outside of the club. This has been my full-time job and I’ve been constantly on the road for about 7-8 years now. Before every performance I take the time to prepare by doing research and figuring out the demographics of the venue I’m about to perform at which helps me gage what direction I want to take musically. I work on constantly coming up with new routines and tricks and try to put together and manipulate songs in the most creative and original way possible.

With all of the technology nowadays anyone can play music off a laptop and call themselves a DJ. But it’s what you do with the music that separates you from the masses. I spend a lot of time working on original production and remixes because nothing is more gratifying to me than having people react to my own music.

By the time I finally get to the club, the best thing about performing is the energy the crowd gives back to me in the form of throwing their hands in the air and waving them like they just don’t care. Then it’s on to the next show…

Click here if you wanna dance… eerrr… watch him in action.

djhedspin.com