Posts Tagged ‘aspiration’

Glow Like This and Time Machine

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010


Where did you grow up? How did you come to live in LA? What do you like about it?

JS: I was born in Providence, RI and my mother and I moved to Miami when I was 5. I moved to LA with the other guys in Time Machine in 2003, because we were previously living in separate cities and all agreed that we needed to be in the same place to give our music the attention it needed. We had been to California to do a few shows, and we liked the way LA felt.

I like that LA, more than maybe any other place I’ve ever been, is truly what you make it. You can live a very private secluded life, or you can be out and around people all the time. It’s still the Wild West in the sense that anything goes. People complain about LA being full of phony people, but I think those who say that are just surrounding themselves with the wrong folks. There are good and bad people anywhere you go.

How did you first get into hip hop? What about it grabbed you?

JS: Just being around older kids in the apartments where I grew up in Miami. Miami is basically New York south – a lot of Caribbean people, West Indians, Jews – and the music reflected it. In the late 80s and early 90s it was old school hip hop and all of that. And of course there was more local music. It was all just really exciting to me from a young age.

I was an only child and creatively inclined, so around 6th grade I started writing my own songs. My mom took me to some big pop and rock tours in Miami when I was real young, and then the first hip hop show I went to was in December 1991 when I was 13. I still have the ticket stub.

How’d you come up with the name Time Machine? Is it a conscious nod to being retro?

JS: Um, I think at first it was a combo of being a nod to older music that influenced us, and also a reference to a pattern that we noticed that a lot of our songs were about the concept of “time” itself.

What are some of Time Machine’s influences? Non-musical influences?

JS: I guess it would be Hip Hop of the 80s and early 90s. All kinds of Soul, Jazz and electronic music are in there too. And drums are foremost. DRUMS all day. Non-musically… girls, travel, attitude, physics, loss, honesty, discovery, and so much more; just the parts of life that make us stop, take notice, and comment.

How do you feel about all the lo-fi hip hop groups that are making music right now? Where did that trend come from?

JS: I assume you mean groups with real simple 808 drum beats, real rhythmic, not much melody? I think there’s room for all that and everything else. I like a lot of it. The beauty of music, and all art forms for that matter is, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to pay attention to it. I’m not sure exactly where the movement you’re asking about comes from, but it’s definitely a retro thing that comes from the same place as a lot of the fashion trends we’ve seen in the past few years.

Is it tricky to switch back-and-forth between making music and the practicalities of running a label? What do you look for in potential groups to work with?

JS: We figured out running a record label as we went along. For a while it really felt like my calling. I have entrepreneurial tendencies, and most importantly, it allowed us to make, release and market our music however we wanted. There were times when the business and the music conflicted, but more often than that, I think it created opportunities for us. After a while, the label stopped feeling like my calling and started feeling like a pain. Now that the label is alive but less active, it feels pretty good again, and we’re doing pretty well with having our songs used in TV shows and commercials.

When we were signing new artists it wasn’t about anything at all but loving their music. Panacea and The Project were completely unknown outside of their local scenes, and it was important to me to get as much attention as possible for music that I thought was so good. Going forward, we’ll probably only put out music by Time Machine.

As a record label, how do you feel about the prevalence of online downloads? I noticed you put some free downloads on your blog.

JS: It seemed really problematic for us at first. You have to keep in mind that for a label of our size, anything that sells 5 figures of units is considered a big success. So when the whole world woke up one morning and decided to stop buying CDs and records, the forecast was grim. The plant where we had our vinyl pressed went out of business. Now we do a decent amount of business every month with paid downloads online. Not having to manufacture, store or ship anything is a beautiful thing. We like putting up free music now and then on our site… old and new mixes by DJ Mekalek, lost songs that never saw the light of day, promo tracks, etc.

You’ve done some fun music videos. Are there any stories you’d like to tell me about the making of a video?

JS: We were really resourceful (and lucky) when it came to music videos. For a group with basically no financial backing, we have some really creative and compelling videos. A few times we were hit up by people out of the blue, like, “Hey, I make videos and I like your music. Wanna work together?” That’s how “The Unfortunate Twist” video came about… it’s like a top-notch animated video by a guy from England named David Whittle. He just hooked it up. All we could do in return was promote the video as best we could and take him out to dinner when we were on tour in the UK.

The video “Night Lights” from our first album Slow Your Roll was directed by my ex-girlfriend, and we still had to work together on the post-production immediately after we broke up. The video for “The Groove That Just Won’t Stop” was the only one that I directed myself. The whole thing was made of thousands of still photos animated in a rapid-fire slide show, and brought together with cartoon-y segues by our friend Evan Guidera (who saved our ass a number of times). Making videos was a lot of fun, although really stressful at times, and we were really lucky to have some good people in our corner.

What’s next for Time Machine? What’s coming up that you’re excited about?

JS: Time Machine is working on new songs now. I’m not sure what shape it’s going to take… if we’ll put together a whole album, a series of singles, or what. Whatever it is, it’ll be on several paid download sites.

We are also releasing some old music for the first time digitally. The album Hot Air that I was talking about earlier from 1999 will be in wide release for the first time this year, and so will a 2-song 7″ vinyl-only release I did around 2001 or 2002 called “Apple Pie”. Both are under the artist name Jaysonic.

I’m also doing a photo site called calledleisurecult. It’s all from my phone, and it’s about the things that I see that make me stop and take notice; not about me being a photographer.

For more, visit and

Dave Sutton: Summer Heat

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010


Our last go around ended in the stars, and now here we are with a unique opportunity to double dip, only this time with our eyes aimed at the sun. Style needn’t be overtly seasonal to fit this batch though. Summer jams hit partly out of timing. We’re naturally shifting that way, and sort of retrofit context to occasion. And then yeah, other times it really is a summer-encrypted mp3 with clear intentions. Your call. Let’s start off with some fire:

Dom: Ten seconds into Sun Bronzed Greek Gods we’re shot out of a canon, soaring over a montage of fluffy national iconography (or maybe I’m just thinking of the music video). “Living In America” is indeed an outrageous anthem destined for July 4th fireworks and maybe even a victorious lap through pop culture, but it’s also in good company. The debut EP from Worcester, Massachusetts’ Dom (lead by an interesting dude named Dom) is a sugar rush of guitar pop that opens at full speed and opts to drive off a cliff rather than let anyone crash. From the surreal gaze of “Burn Bridges” to the tambourine surf stabs of “Rude As Jude”, it’s clean hooks that keep this unidentified object from overheating.

Teen Daze: Down from the heavens (of Vancouver) with coastline on the mind, Teen Daze arrived in April bearing tailored euphoria. For me, hints of that aforementioned shift beamed out with one blissful glimpse of “Shine On, You Crazy White Cap” – a track drenched in such positivity, I wanted to grab people by the shoulders and play it for them (or more likely, post something immediately). That gem and the handful of tracks tumbling in from the forthcoming Four More Years EP, are built with popular tools in these ever washed-out days, but they capture a certain spirit unique to a brand already in place, to impressive extent. These are easy colors to see. And hearing the phrase “gone for the summer” echoed off a wall of synth is pretty much the next best thing to actually doing just that.

Cults: On Monday, March 1st, 2010, Cults basically went viral (via gorillavsbear). I’ve never really seen anything like it; that much love, that instant. For them as well it was “kind of a surprise as we are just a couple of 21 year old NYC kids who put this stuff up on the internet last week” (quoted from our random email exchange). So why/how did this happen? Some alignment of energy I suppose. The world must have been waiting for “Go Outside” – an infectious mantra, part flower child, part sock-hop, and it simply resonated universally. The swooping xylophone alone could do the trick and then Madeline Follin comes in with “I really want to go outside and stop to see your day” and we’re officially transported to a brighter place. If you haven’t yet, go grab that and two more cutesy tracks from the duo’s bandcamp. And a full-length release is said to be on the horizon.

We’ll stop for now. Maybe jump in a shower, or an ocean if you got one.

Photo by Victoria Masters


Thursday, May 20th, 2010


When did you guys start playing your respective instruments? Are your parents musical?

My brothers Jake and Matt are only 13 months apart in age, and started playing music when they were very young. They played garage rock in venues around our hometown before they were in high school. Matt was like 3 feet tall. I’m the youngest and was an artsy kid. The band needed a drummer, so I filled that spot when I was 13. My low- tops were perfect for drumming, because of the flat sole. The guys were cool enough to let me sing and play original songs.

Our father is very musical, although he practices law for a living. Our parents first met at one of his gigs when they were teenagers. They owned a DJ company together as a young married couple. We grew up with guitars in the basement and lots of vinyl albums.

That’s awesome having supportive parents, how much of a difference did that make in your musical journey?

It’s made all the difference, really. We couldn’t ask for more supportive people in our lives. Our younger sister Rose is amazing, too. She’s the first person I play new songs to- she’s fifteen and has a great ear. We also have many family friends that are musicians and have totally inspired us.

How vibrant a music scene does Minneapolis have? Is it a good place for a young band?

Minneapolis is an excellent place to grow up, both as a human being and as a band. The city is great, because young musicians can get on stages here and get support. There are many encouraging musicians, and Minnesotans are just nice.


What brought you guys to The Grammy Camp? How did that experience affect you musically and beyond?

A family friend encouraged us to audition for Grammy Camp. The camp was in its first year and was new and exciting for everyone there. Teenagers from all over the U.S. went to Los Angeles to experience many aspects of the music industry. We were in the singer/songwriter and instrumentalist groups, so we recorded in a great studio, were loaned amazing instruments and stayed up until 2 a.m. jamming every night. It was heaven. We left inspired and empowered to pursue music.

Did you guys play in bands before you played as a group together?

Jake and Matt have always played music together in one form or another. When I was nine two friends and I were a girl group for a day or two. I think we were going for TLC meets the Spice Girls.

How is it playing in a band with your brothers and sisters? I’m sure you get asked it all the time, but how does that shape your music?

How being siblings shapes our music- that’s a great question. The band’s sound is definitely a mix of our three different personalities. Matt is influenced by alternative rock, especially from the late 90s… Jake is really into singer/songwriters… I’m all over the map. We don’t sugar coat opinions with one another- we can be brutally honest as siblings.


That’s a really mature way of approaching a notoriously difficult business for people so young. Do you guys write the parts together or split them up?

Oftentimes I’ll play the others a song that’s almost done, and we finish it together. Once you play a new song for the rest of the band, it opens the box to everyone’s input. Sometimes Matt plays a guitar riff and we start jamming on drums and bass and creating a song around it- that’s really fun. Matt likes to point out that the lyrics about young men are all mine.

What are our plans for the immediate future? Are you touring and recording?

Yes and yes! We are heading on a national tour this summer. We’ve written many new songs since releasing our album “Field Day” in 2009, and hopefully will record this summer.

Any advice for younger musicians trying to get started?

I think that great songwriting is at the heart of great music, so go for it. Also, just play a lot!

To see and hear from Lynhurst, check out their Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube page.

Photos by Collin Hughes and Lee Cherry

Noveller Diary: Part Two

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


Noveller Tour week 2: More friends, long drives, and shooting stars.

Day 8: Austin: Elaine Joins Us Finally!

Our friend Chris lost his wallet in Houston, and despite our truly best efforts, we could not find it. Chris ended up back at the Police Department until nearly 5am, where he was challenged by the on-duty-officer on why his lost wallet was her problem. In spite of this, she took it upon herself to go back to the venue to search for it and ended up finding it. The whole situation really solidified our collective trust in humanity and we spent a good few minutes being floored before realizing we were very hungry and had to search for a specific hotdog stand on the very, very busy streets of Austin. We had our friend Elaine with us finally, who would be accompanying us on the remainder of the tour. We tried to psych ourselves up for a 15-hour drive from Austin to Tempe.

Day 9: Somewhere in Texas: Many Weird Ghost Towns

It was a Sunday. We had no idea where we were beyond “somewhere in Texas.” Every restaurant we found on the Internet turned out to be boarded up and closed, and probably had been for months, if not years. Plus, we had just sprung forward and then lost an hour with the going-west thing and none of us knew exactly what time it was. We found a bodega-looking place advertising burritos, but when Chris inquired about them he was told, “no burritos on Sunday.” We found a sandwich shop and then kept driving. It was Elaine’s first shift, and she ran over a curb pulling out of the parking lot.

We had given ourselves a 2am cut-off for driving and figured we’d just try to find a motel when we got tired. I was doing the late-night driving shift, and pretty much as soon as I got behind the wheel I saw a big, bright shooting star very close to the horizon. The sky is completely black in that part of the country. I was also kind of delirious and got really confused at a border checkpoint. I very nearly ran us off the road. I pulled it together enough to get us to a tiny town somewhere in New Mexico, where we found the last motel on earth and had to smuggle Elaine in.


Day 11: Tucson: Crushed Coins and Haunted Hotels

There were train tracks behind the venue, so Chris and Angela from Xiu Xiu put many coins on them. Trains came through twice during Sarah’s set, and afterwards, they found their smashed money. I got jealous and put some out as we were leaving, but no trains came then. I vowed to come back in the morning to look for them.

Also, it was Sarah’s birthday! We stayed at the Hotel Congress, which is haunted! Elaine was convinced that if she kept her computer on all night with the mic on, she would hear some heavy breathing or electromagnetic frequencies or something, but really all she heard was the sound of me waking up at 4am to the bright light of the screen and sleep-yelling at her to turn off her computer. Also, I did go back to the tracks and I found my quarter and even someone else’s quarter. Maybe it belonged to a ghost.

Day 13: Los Angeles: I Liked it This Time

We stayed at Sarah’s friend Carla’s house, which was incredibly beautiful. It’s a Spanish craftsman in a really cute neighborhood, the sort of place you walk into and immediately feel cared-for. Carla told us amazing stories about her cat, Runaway, who is basically the very definition of nine lives.

The show was at the Echo, and it was packed. Afterwards Carla took us to a taco stand in a supermarket parking lot and I ate the best $1.75 taco I’ve ever had in my life. My sleeping nook was a tiny wood-paneled room with a tiny bed which enveloped me in cozy warmth. I decided I could handle LA, if it was Carla-shaped.


Day 15: San Francisco: The End

How can I express our sadness that tour was almost over? Let me count the ways: Sarah and Elaine were driving straight back to LA after the SF show so Sarah could play a show with Carla, and then they had to hightail it back to Austin so Elaine could catch a flight back to NYC. Chris and I stayed behind in San Francisco, where I would stay for another day and Chris would be for another 2 days. And Xiu Xiu would head north and then back across country to finish their tour, so we tearfully bequeathed them our beloved goodluck and godspeed talisman, Neighveller. She is keeping them out of trouble, I’m sure.


Hanging out with Drew Brophy

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010


So Drew what’s your story? Where are you from? Where have you lived in/traveled to? What drew you to art in the first place?

I grew up surfing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Though being an artist was not a profession that was encouraged, I was lucky to have the support of the surfing community as an outlet for my artwork. I created t-shirts and airbrushed surfboards as a teenager.

When I was in high school, about to graduate, I met with the guidance counselor for a little direction on what to do next. He said “Drew, you can’t just paint and surf your whole life! You’re going to have to figure something else out.” I was so angry that I stood up and said “Surfing and painting – that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

When people ask how I found success as an artist, this is my answer: I made the decision early on that I wanted a certain kind of life that involved surfing big waves, traveling the world and eventually marrying and having a family. There was no Plan B – I was committed to designing this life. I had to make it work.

My dream of surfing big waves took me to Hawaii at 20 years old. I left my hometown and moved to the North Shore where I painted production surfboards for the best surfers and companies at the time.

About three years later I moved to San Clemente, California where I started painting surfboards for a company named Lost… Our painted surfboards blew up and went global, so I had the fortune of being able to travel to many countries painting surfboards and surfing waves all over the globe. I went to more places than I had ever dreamed of.

During that time period, I was also painting designs for many other companies. I’ve always said that my job is to make things look cool. Now I work with over thirty different companies that use my art and my name to sell their products, including skateboards, surfboards, skins, screensavers, apparel, balance boards, etc.

What drew me to art? It was the only thing I was good at, and I loved surfing, so I combined the two and made a career for myself.

Where do you draw inspiration from? How do these inspiring moments/events affect your art?
I’m inspired by nature and all my travels. Rick Griffin was a big influence for me, and of course the classic surrealists. But now that my art has been out there awhile, it’s come full circle for me. I’ve been inspired by some of the young artists who have been inspired by me, and now their art is blowing up. It makes me feel really good.

What is it about the surf community and art that seem to go hand in hand so well?
I like to create art that can translate the joy of surfing to someone who doesn’t surf. Most people love the idea of the surf lifestyle and art brings it to life for them. Surfing is a beautiful sport that takes you to exotic locations. The idea of dancing on the water or riding in the tube is fascinating.

What are your favorite other objects to create art with/customize?
I paint just about everything. Lately I’ve been spray painting Escape Camper vans for a company that rents them out in Los Angeles. It’s a great canvas and the camper vans are traveling all over the U.S. inspiring people.

Can you tell us a little more about your new book?
The book is called How To Draw With Drew Brophy and is published by Walter Foster. I realized the importance of the book when one of my art director friends called and asked me to refer someone who can draw. He said that all the kids these days know computer programs but not many can actually draw art. So I wanted to inspire kids to draw and have fun and show them that they can create things themselves. It’s a simple book, but it’s just what kids need. The funny thing is, most of the people who buy this book are adults. I didn’t expect that!

Why do you use the pens you do? Anything beyond functionality?
I use a lot of different mediums, but I’m known for using water-based Uni Posca paint pens. They allow me to paint quickly, and with just a dozen pens, I can do anything. I’ve painted guitars, motorcycles, cars, murals, everything, with these pens.

Drew – why Converse?
Before there were all these fancy surf and skate shoes out there, there was Converse. Memories of my childhood come to mind, sitting in class drawing waves along the bottom of my Chucks. Converse is cool. It always has been and always will be.

What does life consist of away from surfing and art?
Surfing, traveling and art is what I do. And my family is always right there with me. My wife, Maria, is my manager and with our eight year old son Dylan, we travel the world surfing and working together. It’s all intertwined. I designed it that way.

What advice would you give to young artists?
Don’t be scared to go for it. Decide that you want to be an artist, paint every day, and wake up every morning and ask yourself “How am I going to make money today doing what I love?” Be committed. Design your life the way you want it to be. Envision it and live it.

Chatting with John Fischer

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Early this year, my friend John Fischer cashed in his New York minutes for the more leisurely Mexican epochs, setting strict novel-writing deadlines for himself and sending me numerous photos of quaint villages and idyllic beaches. Out of envy and intrigue, I interviewed for him


Francesca: So, Mexico. Why Mexico?

John Fischer: It was by accident, really. When I decided to take some time off, I emailed all my friends to see if they knew of places where I could crash for free. It turns out a friend of mine is originally from Mexico and has family there.
It was between there and Singapore and I’d never been to Mexico before, so I booked a flight, forgetting for the moment that I didn’t speak any Spanish.

Francesca: Why’d you want to quit New York?

John Fischer: It was partially an economic decision. I said: I’d like to write something. I probably can’t commit the necessary time to that with a full time job, so I’ll be broke and that probably means going somewhere where I’m not tempted to spend four bucks on a cup of coffee. But it was also less utilitarian than all that. I think New York is a great place for cultural enrichment; it’s not such an awesome place if you want to hide out and focus on a single craft for a while. Plus, trying to write in my apartment is like trying to sing karaoke sober.

Francesca: Did you set any sort of writing goals for yourself? What’s your overarching plan?

John Fischer: Yeah, that was actually the part that made the project feel the most tangible. I figured I’d need at least four hours of uninterrupted time every day to write, so from there I figured I could probably produce the first draft of a novel and a bunch of short stories. I started clocking myself at 2000 words a day, then I figured, at the end of three or four months I would probably have a lot of crap and a little bit of useable material. The plan has, of course, (d)evolved since I’ve gotten into it. What I’m hoping to do is produce a handful of short stories that I can start publishing more immediately and the draft of a novel that’s been sitting on the back-burner of my life for a few years.


Francesca: Those sound like totally achievable goals. Do you have any stories that feel finished?

John Fischer: Definitely. After a month I’d say I’ve got three or four that are ready to go out the door, and another few that are getting close. It’s hard to know when to stop working on one. I think I could tinker indefinitely. Fortunately, what seems to happen is that I’ll get sucked into a new one at about the point when the old one is ready to take a break. For example, I’m finishing up one now about an elderly astronaut who is coming to terms with his own mortality, and I’ve got one foot out the door for a new draft of a story about a couple that falls in love while sleepwalking. Hopefully they’ll balance each other out. I’m hoping to hand-bind a few of them into a book when I get back.

Francesca: Where in Mexico are you living? Are you getting to travel?

John Fischer: I’m living in a city called Leon, which is in the northern central highlands. It’s equidistant from Mexico City and Guadalajara. It’s also the seat of Mexico’s leather industry, which lends the city an interesting smell. I’ve traveled less than I would have liked to, but again, it’s that “work and goals” thing: Do I travel or do I stick to the plan to write every day for four hours?

That said, I’ve recently been to the neighboring city of Guanajuato which is the capital of the state, and a beautiful, historic, colonial-style city. I also just got back from a few days in San Miguel de Allende which is like a cruise for awesome retired American hippies, if that cruise were a city. But San Miguel also has a really vibrant arts community, so it was nice to hang there for a little while with lots of writers and photographers and painters.


Francesca: How much longer do you have there?

John Fischer: I leave on Saturday, then LA for a week. Then I head to Cape Cod for six weeks of house-sitting. After that, I’m not sure, it depends on how the checking account is holding up.

Francesca: So you’ll continue the plan in Cape Cod?

John Fischer: That’s the goal. It’ll be interesting because I don’t know anyone who lives there and I will be in a house all by myself, tending to a cat and a garden.

Francesca: Well, that sounds idyllic. So when will we see something in print?

John Fischer: Who knows. That’s a bit out of my control but I would say the plan is for the short stories to be in print in some form or another within the year and then to have a finished draft of the novel done and ready to submit to literary agents by the end of the year.

Francesca: That seems totally reasonable. So tell me, have you been partaking of the mezcal?

John Fischer: Shhh…

John is blogging his trip at

Jason Lewis’ Sensory Pleasures: Smell with Kaya Sorhaindo

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I met Kaya Sorhaindo for the first time in Tokyo a few days before Halloween last year. I was in Shibuya with a close mutual friend while he and his comrades were busy traveling the world introducing the Series Two product launch for his company Six Scents. We were all ready for adventure, and Kaya went above and beyond to facilitate that.


I couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining guy, in addition to being “good people” Kaya was an overseas conduit to great food, new and interesting friends and some pretty wild parties. It wasn’t difficult to imagine him in his work element, collaborating with visionaries and enabling new and exciting projects.

Kaya Sorhaindo is the Founder & Creative Director of The Metaproject, a creative agency based in New York City. By working collaboratively through an international network of artists, designers, curators, writers, architects, and scholars, Metaproject operates as a creative mediator between brands and artists, inventing new models of communications through its work.

In 2008 Kaya (Metaproject) and Seven New York’s Joseph Quartana introduced a series of six limited edition fragrances by a distinct group of six designers and perfumers. Through the designers’ concepts and the perfumers’ knowledge of fine fragrance, two artistic disciplines were interwoven to explore new perfume compositions. The collection represents a global gamut of contemporary views on creativity, culture, consciousness and collectivity.

Kaya and Six Scents have continued into 2009/10 with six additional designers. Kaya’s collaborator Aramique described their partnership: “Exploring the idea of nature as muse, we created Series Two as a multimedia and multi-sensory collection to spread environmental awareness and preservation through experiences of nature as a symbol and source of all creativity.” Each fragrance will be offered in a limited quantity of 2,000 bottles and a percentage of the net proceeds will go toward Pro-Natura in support of their environmental sustainability programs.

I spent some time with Kaya at Metaprojects’ new offices last week to get some shots and discuss his latest endeavor.


Why perfume?

KS: The art of perfumery is a creative discipline that I was always fascinated and inspired by, with my first introduction to the perfumer Serge Lutens. I loved the way that he approached perfume and before Six Scents I was in touch with him in regards to developing a multi-sensory exhibition that captured the experience behind his fragrance but in a curated museum space. I was first drawn towards exploring ways in which a perfume could be presented in a gallery/museum context and in collaboration with artists, but after working on the i-Dentity exhibition and conversations with Symrise for Series One, I began to investigate the idea of applying this approach to creating an actual fragrance collection.

What’s the story behind Six Scents? How did you end up with your other collaborators?

KS: I developed the concept of Six Scents initially as a marketing and Research/Development program for a client that is a global fragrance producer responsible for many of the fragrance products you see on the market today. The idea was to develop a collection of fragrances that would be released annually that worked totally opposite of their commercial / client fragrance projects and to give young designers who normally would not have an opportunity to create a fragrance a chance to apply their ideas to a totally different artistic realm. This means, putting the fragrance in the spot light alongside the designer, positioning the fragrance closer to the arts than fashion and beauty, producing small quantities as a opposed to developing a product for the masses, creating an environment where the perfumer and designer would work one-on-one to realize a fragrance concept and giving part of the proceeds to charity. The ultimate goal was to inspire the perfumers, present a project that occupied a very unique space in the fragrance market that my client could own, present fragrances in places where people do not normally engage with perfume, educate the average person that is not connected to the perfume industry about the cliet, gather data that they can present and eventually apply to their client commercial projects and challenge the ways in which people perceive, interpret and engage with fragrance.

The loved the concept, but did not have the budget to produce the entire project and pay my agency creative fees, so we decided that we would own Six Scents and just asked Symrise to become an in-kind sponsor where they provide us with the best perfumers and produce the fragrances. I than asked my friend Joseph from Seven New York to come on board as a partner to handle the curation of the designers for Six Scents.

Who and/or what inspires you? Does the fact that you’re originally from Antigua inspire anything you do?

KS: I am inspired by a wide range of people. I guess the thing that these individuals have in common for me is the way in which they respectively approached their different artistic disciplines… with emphasis on interdisciplinary collaborations, interaction or viewer engagement /participation and posing questions with their work that ultimately transferred the fields in which they worked in.

As for Antigua, I never give this much that (smile) thought. I traditionally like black and white, simply because of the power of the opposition of both colors, but Antigua is very colorful. I appreciate color. Small bursts of it when put alongside things that are very dark. As for my work, maybe with the way I like to make things more communal and collaborative. Will have to give this some more thought.

What’s next for Six Scents?

KS: We are launching Series Three in October 2010 with a new group of designers and artists.


What scent evokes happiness for you?

KS: Hmm…my mother’s fragrance (I know, such a mommy’s boy) or the smell of fresh mint makes me happy and a wide range of spices (Anise Seed, Rosemary, etc.)

What scent makes you sad?

KS: when you are unable to experience scent or smell at all. Or gutters in a small village.

What other projects are you involved in? Future projects?

KS: My agency metaproject is working with the Scope Art Fair to develop a show within the fair that is called ‘Markt’. It is a collaboration with Diane Pernet that presents unique fashion objects alongside contemporary art pieces. I am in the process of working on a new performance art / dance project with a prominent choreographer, and we also have a sound project in the works this year that is quite interesting. In February 2010, we release a project called Relics of the Now Forgotten ‘Transgressions Redemption’. I am collaborating with my friend from the V Group on a annual book project called ‘00’, Volume One to be released in September. Aside from that a mix of client and installation projects, and we will bring on two new Niche Perfume clients to mange their creative positioning and marketing. Six Scents Parfums as a company (outside of the annual collection) will begin to work with designers directly in developing their own perfume.


Is there a Kaya Sorhaindo theme song?
Probably this tune.

How did I smell last time we hung out?

KS: Haha. Hard at work. But in a good way.

Check out more of Jay’s photo’s, thoughts, and blog posts.

Kari Cruz: Prom

Monday, April 5th, 2010

In my senior year of high school I diagnosed myself with a little something I like to call F.M.S. It stands for ‘Fear of Missing Something.’ Yeah, I made it up- but, let me explain.

It started during my winter break when I (very un-glamorously) fractured my ankle while walking down a flight of stairs. For 4 months after the incident I was confined to a cast and then a hideous grey boot. I still have nightmares about that boot. Not only was it my first major injury, but it also happened during the week my parents planned on leaving town & my high school basketball team made it to the championships. To top it all off- I also risked having to wear it during my senior trip and prom.

Luckily, the doctor gave me the green light to remove the boot days before my prom! But, I still had one problem- an older boyfriend that wanted nothing to do with prom. Agh, the anxiety of it all. So I’d say to myself ‘Play it cool, Cruz. It’s ONLY prom!’ But, that wasn’t completely true. Prom was the day most young girls looked forward to since they were even aware of the word! I mean, people make movies about this kind of stuff. Prom is a big deal; it’s the time to shine- right? I didn’t want to be stuck wondering ‘what if I had gone…’

Still, I avoided the topic. So when everyone was dress shopping and picking couples to share limos with- I sat back and watched. Secretly, I was the biggest prom geek in my crew and the only dateless one. Go figure! So I looked at my options- sulk or do something about it. I didn’t want to regret not knowing what prom was like, so I forced my best friend into being my counterpart. Up until that day I needed a crutch (literally & figuratively), so it felt good to finally take action on my own.

In less than 2 weeks I found a hot dress, killer red heels, ditched the limo and did prom my own way. I didn’t know what to expect but in my mind, I was still thinking this would be the biggest day of my life. Once I got there, I watched the couples trickle in and looked at all the gorgeous dresses in the room. And slowly, people were just grouping around me! In fact, my friends that were there with dates were equally as awkward. Prom actually wasn’t that different from a normal day in the cafeteria- except we were all in expensive dresses and lots of makeup. These were people I had known forever and I felt so silly having worried about it until that point. In fact, my expectations were too high. Once I got over that, I was able to just chill out, have fun with my friends and leave my anxiety at the door. I didn’t even care about the ‘final dance’ at the end of the night because the truth is- you are thinking about getting out of those heels & heading to the afterparty anyway.

You see, my F.M.S wasn’t about giving into the prom hype- but more about have the courage to do things I’d been too shy to admit. Why not challenge tradition? Why not do it my own way? What’s the worse thing that could happen? And if you’re still wondering about the boyfriend, he didn’t work out for the long-term either. All for the better!

How are your preparations going? Leave us a comment, and don’t forget to check Kari’s blog. Enjoy!

Kari Cruz: Getting After It

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Music Television consumed a major part of my youth (you know, when people actually played music videos). It feels like such a long time ago. That is, the pre-reality TV and video streaming era or anything before 1997. A time when having cable television was a luxury that very few had. I personally didn’t have cable for a long time, so we’d all gather at the neighbor’s house in anticipation of the next great music video. We would congregate around the TV and stare at the celebrity fashions and within seconds of viewing the videos, we’d try to recreate entire dance routines. Even the VJ’s would fascinate me! How did they manage to get such awesome jobs and work with celebrities? Something about it all just seemed so unique and glamorous.

Well, the allure never escaped me. It started with the childhood days of singing in the mirror, then a number of dance classes and eventually theatre in Middle School. I think it was High School when I finally admitted that I’d never be a singer and that I couldn’t make it very far on Broadway without some vocal prowess. But, there was still the gift of gab and I sure do love talking! So, what could I do that gave me the thrill of performing without necessarily having to sing and dance all the time? College was creeping up on me and I knew that I would never be happy as a lawyer or doctor. It helped that my parents never pressured me into a career either. But, I wasn’t sure what I could do that catered to both my passion and personality.

It was in college that I finally remembered where it all started, television! From production to development, the possibilities were endless. So I quickly pursued a gig in Music Television. It wasn’t looking like I’d be a VJ anytime soon, so I managed to score an in-house gig with fuse TV’s Public Relations team. But somehow, my seating arrangements had me placed in the production pit!

Madness does not even describe the experience; there were footballs flying above my desk on the first day and I was still hung up on having a TV on my desk. I was also sitting amongst some of the funniest television producers and writers in the business. Let me tell you, writers are a different breed. Imagine having to be a guinea pig for jokes and creativity all day every day. However, amongst the chaos was this charming world of ‘Behind The Scenes’ television that I quickly fell in love with. It was a creative space where the most insane ideas and stunts had the potential of becoming skits on a show and a place where creativity and wit was always encouraged (if not mandatory). Never dull, the studios beamed with raw and explosive talent daily. And although I had once wanted to be in front of the camera, this new world was becoming even more appealing.

Just think, you have the ability to influence millions of people with words. Your creative direction can shape the format of a television program. You have an ability to create content that will in turn, entertain (or in fuse’s case, often disgust) millions. And while not everything was that deep or symbolic, that was the personal journey Fuse took me on. It also didn’t hurt that I got to see all my favorite celebrity crushes up close and personal!

Check out Kari’s musings and thoughts at her blog

Noveller Diary: Part One

Friday, March 26th, 2010


I really love rock tours. I can’t play a lick of any instrument, so I live vicariously though friends who can by taking copious pictures or doing merch or sort of knowing what time load-in is, or at the very least providing navigational assistance. So when Sarah Lipstate asked me to accompany her on a mostly-Southern cross-country Noveller tour opening for Xiu Xiu, I was really beside myself with excitement. Sarah left Brooklyn rock band Parts and Labor in mid-2009 to concentrate on Noveller and has been doing some incredible things since. I relish any opportunity to see an amazing musician play a show every night, so I knew this tour was going to be awesome.

Day 1: Atlanta; or, cookie overdose.

We arrived a day early and met up with our friend Chris at the airport, who would also be joining us on the tour. The first thing I noticed upon disembarking the plane into Atlanta was a smoking room. Sarah’s mother had driven up from Louisiana to loan us her car for the tour and we were staying at the luxurious DoubleTree Inn. Have you ever had one of those cookies? They are warm and ridiculous and delicious. I think I ate 3 the first day.

Day 2: Atlanta; or, the day West Egg moved.

Our Atlanta tour guide offered to drive us to breakfast at a place called West Egg and, while visions of Nick Carraway danced in my head, he pointed out some of Atlanta’s greatest sights for us.

“This is the NEW Waffle House, this one is really modern and up to date!”

“This is some traffic.” (There was a lot of traffic.)

West Egg wasn’t where it was supposed to be. It had moved a block and was unmarked. At least it was on the same side of the street, and seemed a bit fancier than the former West Egg, so it was likely to maintain its locational integrity.

Noveller’s first show was at the Drunken Unicorn. It was in a strip mall, next to a pizza place. As can be expected, it had amazing artwork on the walls that you have to see to believe. There we met tourmates Xiu Xiu and Girl In A Coma, and once back at the hotel I ate more cookies. I don’t even like chocolate chip cookies. I vowed to eat nary a cookie the whole rest of tour.

Day 3: Birmingham; or, crickets and guided meditation.


At the Bottletree you get a whole Airstream trailer to yourself! It’s my childhood fantasy to live in an Airstream, so when Sarah told us about it I figured I could finally get it over with. We arrived super early and the club was closed, so we napped in our car, aided by a cricket mp3 on Sarah’s phone and a droning, hypnotic meditation mp3 on Chris’ phone. I think it worked.

It was a TV bonanza Sunday so the crowd was thin, but friends from New York and California who now live in Alabama came to the show. We stayed in Tuscaloosa with my old friend Ally and we spent most of the morning lying in the sun in her backyard.


Day 5: Norman; or, I think I love Oklahoma.

We were all bummed by a bad motel experience in Little Rock, but were able to boost team morale by going bowling. I somehow accidentally won, though Chris is a far superior bowler. The show in Norman was well attended and I very randomly ran into an old acquaintance from New York who was visiting friends. In the morning we got lost looking for the Earth, an amazing organic café, before heading to Dallas.

Day 6: Dallas; or, Shirley is really losing it.

Our navigational system, which we dubbed Shirley, had been having a really hard time acquiring satellites for the past few days, and more than once we’d had to turn her off and follow directions I got using my phone instead. Despite this, we made it to Dallas, narrowly avoiding an oil spill on the highway, and had time to go record shopping before the show. It was our second-to-last date with Girl In A Coma, and in between songs, Jenn from Girl In A Coma gave a shoutout:

“Thanks to Noveller for playing these shows. She’s got a really great voice…when you talk to her.”

All Photos by Francesca Tallone
To hear some tracks by Noveller, hit up her Myspace