A Conversation with Bobby Lo and Kara Lane of K.i.D

K.i.D. or alternatively, Kids in Despair, is a garage-pop band from Mississauga who is making waves with their detail-oriented production design and relatable lyrics. The band is a two person ensemble made up of Bobby Lo and Kara Lane.

They recently opened for Prozzäk at the Danforth Music Hall with a powerful live sound and nostalgic visuals. I was lucky enough to catch them in action and was enthralled by how they made some of my favourite records come to life and how they paired it with a simple, yet effective stage production. Kara Lane’s melancholy vocals flowed smoothly over pink and blue backdrops, along with pictures of inhalers, fried eggs, and Judge Judy.

Anyone who has grown up in a suburban setting can relate to the rather repetitive and mundane day-to-day activities associated with this environment. K.i.D. directly captures this feeling through their music and creates a lyrical storyboard for anyone tired of living in their parent’s basement.

We had the chance to chat with Bobby and Kara about their roots, their music videos, and where they’re most likely to be on a Saturday night.

Photo Courtesy of K.i.D.

Kimberley Drapack: How did you meet?

Bobby & Kara: We don’t remember, some medications we’re on cause memory loss.

K: What was it like growing up in the Toronto music scene?

B&K: It was a good place to figure our shit out. Toronto is an eclectic city artistically so we never felt afraid to try anything there. 

K: You describe your sound as “garage pop.” What does this reference mean to you and how does it describe the content of your music?

B&K: Our songs are very pop structurally but our subject matter is kind of sorrowful and we have bad personal hygiene, so we think our “garage” band roots always shine through.

K: Your single, Errors, has an amazing music video. What was it like working with Nadia Lee Cohen? How did this collaboration begin?

B&K: She’s a genius. We were huge fans of her films so we decided to reach out on Instagram. Still can’t believe we worked with her to be honest. She’s a goddess.

K: Along with Errors, your latest single, Taker has a really unique design. What was it like shooting the video? Where did you draw your inspiration from for the storyline?

B&K: It was fun shooting the video. It’s just inspired by our lives, we’re big into video games and not getting off the couch.

K: What is your experience signing a record contract? Would you recommend it to those currently entering the industry?

B&K: We’re lucky we found a label that gets us and embraces our vision. Labels are right for some artists and less right for others, we always aimed to sign with a major label.

Photo Courtesy of K.i.D.

K: Your music directly relates to many anxieties young people relate to everywhere. Rather than producing unrealistic narratives about luxury items or an opulent lifestyle, you share a very honest story of your life and your direct experiences. What does this mean to you?

B&K: We would just rather write about our actual lives, so we form genuine connections with people. Maybe one day our lives will be fancy and the lyrics will change but for now we just need to be honest about the fact that our days are comprised mostly of chronic self-doubt and excess porn consumption.

K: What was it like working with Mike Crossey? Will you collaborate again in the future?

B&K: He’s the best. We hope to work with him again. We already have our second album written.

Photo by Kimberley Drapack

K: Can you tell us the story of your first live performance?

B&K: We opened for a drag queen and we sucked ass.

K: Where would we find you on an average Saturday night?

B&K: In bed with someone’s father.

Photo Courtesy of K.i.D.
Photo Courtesy of K.i.D.

Check out K.i.D.’s latest EP Poster Child on Spotify and continue following our arts & culture coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Alice Ivy Makes Her Toronto Debut

Alice Ivy is a 23-year-old producer and artist hailing from Melbourne who will be taking the stage during the upcoming Canadian Music Week. While Alice is a newcomer to the Canadian scene, she is a touring veteran by any standard whose sound is often compared to the likes of The Avalanches and Mark Ronson. After completing two Australian tours as well as shows in the US and Singapore, Alice is making her way across the globe and sharing her music with those lucky enough to experience it.

Alice’s single, Almost Here, has collected 900,000 plays on Spotify combined with her smash hit, Touch.

With Canadian Music Week quickly approaching, one can easily be overwhelmed with the list of international artists gracing this year’s stage. This is one you don’t want to miss out on. We had the opportunity to chat with Alice about her upcoming performance, her musical influences, and her tour experience.

 Shot by @shotbyletans

Kimberley Drapack:  Welcome to Toronto! Have you been to Canada before?

Alice Ivy: Thank you, no! I’m super excited because this will be my first time.

K: Are you excited to play Canadian Music Week?

AI: I’m super nervous actually. Showcasing is a pretty hard thing to do. I am super excited to see a bunch of cool music, hang out with some like-minded people, and get to know the scene in Canada.

K: You are known to be quite active onstage during your concerts. What is your favourite part of live performance?

AI: I put 100% into my live shows. I really believe that a live performance is just as important as a recording, so I keep my shows pretty energetic and exciting. My favourite part of a live performance is being on the same level as the audience. I’m having a good time, they are having a good time.

K: How did you first get involved with music and creating music?

AI: I have always grown up with music, but the first involvement I had with creating music was when I picked up a guitar at 12. I used to play in lots of bands and never really had my own solo project going. When I began a music course at university, I started to produce and write my own beats. I love the freedom and control I get from doing it all by myself from a laptop, but sharing it with others in collaborations and live performance is the best.

 

K: Who would you say are your musical influences?

AI: I am a massive soul and motown fan. I grew up listening to a lot of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, and Curtis Mayfield. Now, I listen to a lot of Kaytranada, Anderson Paak, J. Cole, Kendrick, Onra, Gramatik, Gold Panda — a whole bunch of music really.

K: There is something about your music that sounds amazing when paired with a rap verse. Would you describe your sound as being influenced by hip-hop and soul?

AI: I love the mixture of hip hop and soul-based beats. Especially when performed live, it’s music that is exciting and made to feel good. That’s what I really aim for in my music.

K: In late November of 2016 you played at the Queenscliff Music Festival and the Paradise Music Festival, but afterwards you were taken to the hospital because you had broken your leg. Even though you had injured yourself, you still powered through and played your sets. What was this experience like?

AI: I’ve been healthy my whole life, so for a broken leg to stop me and cause me to take a step back was super hard. I spent a lot of time at home writing, which was awesome, but the break gave me a lot to think about when approaching my live set. I generally jumped around a lot on stage so I worked out a way of still doing that on one leg — a set of crutches and a stool, haha. It was a pretty crazy experience but I’m so glad it all worked out because I really didn’t want to cancel any shows.

Shot by Dom Schmarsel 

K:  You have been touring for some time now.  Do you enjoy it? Do you ever get homesick?

AI: I love travelling, I haven’t reached that point yet of being homesick on tour. The broken leg, however, has made me really appreciate the couch, so I’ll check back with you in a couple of months.

K: Almost Here (feat. RaRa) is my go-to anthem. How did this collaboration begin?

AI: I had been sitting on this track for so long. I recorded the vocals in London, the drums in Hobart, Tasmania, and the beat in my studio in Melbourne. I really wanted some rap verses on it and I have always loved RaRa, so I reached out to them. We then finished it off in the studio.

K: Your music seems to hold a nostalgia to it with a throwback sort of feel. What does this mean to you?

AI: I think just growing up and playing soul/Motown and listening to it everyday along with the memories associated with that type of music have given me a real passion for creating it. I just want people to have a good time listening to my music and watching a show.

K:  Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?

AI: Missy Elliott, Little Dragon, or Anderson Paak.

K: What is next for you? When will you be releasing new music?

AI: I’m about to go on a really big Australian tour with Urthboy and then I’ll jump on a plane to Canada. I will release some music in between 😉

Check out Alice’s latest single, Get Me A Drink, and keep a lookout for her debut album coming later this year. Catch her set at Canadian Music Week on April 21st at Longboat Hall and continue following our fashion & lifestyle coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Recap: S/S ’17 Men’s Accessories Trend Report

Well, it’s official: spring is here. For those who don’t live in the “Great White North” you may wonder what this strange season entails. For those who live in Toronto, we often find ourselves buried under snow with unforgivable temperatures, straight to scorching summers that will wrap you in humidity. We’ve pretty much seen it all.

At Novella, we’ve compiled a list of noteworthy spring/summer accessories for men that range from the early transition days of spring, to days under the relentless summer sun. So take out a pen and jot down your favourites in order to reach your full potential and make waves this coming season.

BACKPACKS

Photo: L to R Prada by Marcus Tondo, Lanvin by Luca Tombolini

We are often on-the-go and in order to get from point A to B, we require some assistance carrying around that extra baggage. Whether its school books, files from work, or your ex, we all have something we’re holding onto. For this spring/summer, we look to Prada who has inspired the traveler in all of us with their featured backpacks.

OVERSIZE SCARVES

Photo Credit: Lto R Assembly New York, Stella McCartney

With spring, we are transitioning from our colder days and sometimes need a little help to stay warm on a particularly windy day. Toronto, we love you, but sometimes we need the extra protection from your cold touch. Designers like Stella McCartney and Assembly New York show us that we can be fashionable, while keeping warm.

BELTS

Photo Credit: Lanvin by Luca Tombolini

We often find comfort in belts as a fashion staple because of its practicality and easy adaptation. The belt is a hallmark of anyone’s closet and the ways to style it are endless. Lanvin demonstrated this promptly — with shoelace belts, statement belts, and belts with beautiful details. We couldn’t help take note and hope to see more of this in our spring/summer fashion choices.

BUCKET HATS

PhotoCredit: L to R Prada by Marcus Tondo Givenchy by Luca Tombolini

Reminiscent of our favorite 90’s era hip-hop artists, the bucket hat has resurfaced in all its glory. We can’t help but support Riccardo Tisci with his play on the bucket hat for this year’s spring/summer looks. Givenchy was not the only line to take note, as Prada, Gucci, and others adapted their own take on this trend.

STATEMENT NECKLACES

Photo Credit: L to R Balmain by Monica Feudi, Palm Angels

Most of our favourite designers detail their models with dexterity and a delicate touch. On the runway for spring/summer, we took note of many designers including longer necklaces on their models. Most menswear shows produced their own adaptation of the necklace trend, and some were more pronounced than others. Balmain offered a stand-out array of necklaces to accompany their models for their spring/summer show, while other designers such as Palm Angels offer a much simpler design. However you decide to dress it up, this accessory adds a great touch to any look.

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Greg MacArthur on Turning Life Experience Into Art

For those fortunate enough to have spent some time living in Montreal, there is almost an indescribable quality that artists feel while living there. It’s almost as if a certain inspiration can be breathed in, and likeminded creatives loom on every corner. From cramped jam sessions in a plateau apartment, to an over-crowded gallery opening in the Mile End, there is something imaginative at play. Greg MacArthur creates an ode to Montreal titled in A City and hopes to eternalize his time spent living there through the play. A City, produced as a gallery installation, is an immersive piece of art that hopes to interact with its audience through a shared experience.

We had the opportunity to discuss A City with Greg and better understand the inspiration behind it.

Kimberley Drapack: What inspired you to write A City?

Greg MacArthur: In a word: Montreal. I had been living in that city — after moving there from T.O. — for a dozen or so years. It was a life-changing time for me. I fell in love with Montreal — my life, my friends, the physical space. When I knew my time was coming to an end, I wanted to immortalize the city somehow. The result is this play. 

K: A City is said to be presented as a gallery installation or tableau vivant. Has the play been adapted for this format, or is it specified within the script?

GM: I always intended this work to be presented outside of a traditional theatre space. My works of the last few years have been playing with the conflation of live performance, text, sculpture, and installation. I am interested in using alternative spaces and venues for my work to see how it affects the viewing experience.

K: What does this set-up offer an audience as opposed to a more traditionally staged play?

GM: I think ideally it will make an audience feel more immersed in the work. It will challenge their notions of what live theatre — narrative representational work — can be. By placing this work in a new or different context, hopefully the audience will relate to it in different, or surprising ways.

K: In what ways does verbatim theatre allow the script to come alive?

GM: There is a level of casualness, of authenticity, of failure in a verbatim text. People do not speak in well-constructed paragraphs or complete thoughts. We are a changeable, messy, conflicting species. A verbatim text allows for all the strangeness and absurdities of humanity to shine through, unpolished, unedited. That being said, most of this script has been written, re-written, reworked, invented. It is meant to replicate true speech, verbatim speech. It is not truly a verbatim piece of work.

K: You stated that A City is reflective of your time spent in Montréal. Why is that?

GM: Again, the city had a profound effect on me. The script is a mash-up of my experiences, friends, hang outs, dive bars, street corners, mythologies, walks, dinner parties, strip clubs, etc. It represents a very specific time in my life. It is reminiscent of a diary for me.

K: What does a type of theatre that strips away the fourth wall offer to its audience?

GM: A more authentic, present, inclusive experience. There is no attempt at illusion or representation. There are only live bodies in space. The performers, the audience all share in the experience, together, equally, being in the here and now. No walls, no fences, no barriers.

K: It was noted that this story is meant to “explore that time in your life when you’re young, bold, feeling like the world belongs to you and your future is guaranteed, and then it inevitably comes apart.” What does this mean to you?

GM: I think everyone has a place, a time, where everything felt, if even for a brief time, perfect. Your age, your friends, your space, everything. You couldn’t imagine ever leaving, or wanting to leave. But you do. You have to. Montreal was like that to me. A crazy lover, a mysterious stranger, an intoxicating late night random encounter.

K: When writing A City, you had a large amount of source material to work with. How did you decide on what you were going to use and what you were going to save for a rainy day?

GM: Anything goes…as long as it doesn’t give away where the bodies are buried. Or get anyone arrested.

K: What lessons can we learn from A City?

GM: I don’t think there’s any lessons. I hope, rather, it jars, for members of the audience, memories —  of people, of places, of times of joy and loss and love and youth.

K: A City is a piece within a trilogy of plays you have written. How do the other two stories relate to one another? Are there certain themes that crossover? What can we learn when comparing the three?

GM: All three pieces — A City, A Man Vanishes, and The Golden Suicides — are focused on the intersection of life and art, of truth and fiction, and of performance and installation. They all share a unique creative aesthetic: They are meant to be staged environmentally, as installations rather than traditional theatre pieces. The scripts are a conflation of verbatim/found text, fictional writings, and confessional musings. These works are a departure for me. They allow me to move away from a more traditional theatre aesthetic and to explore a more multi- (or inter-) disciplinary practice.

K: What can an audience member expect from A CITY?

GM: A genuine experience.  A picture. A memory. Dried chickpeas. And Vitamin Water.

Don’t miss out on seeing A City at Artscape Sandbox from March 14th to April 2nd. Bring a friend, bring your high school gym teacher, or bring your grandma, and don’t miss out on the fun. Continue following our arts & culture coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Recap: Fashion Week Beauty Trends

Fashion Weeks have come and gone, but we often forget the ingenuity of many designers within the presentation of their lines. A lot of work goes into presenting a product, with specific hair and make-up designs to accompany each model. We have pieced together some of our favourite beauty trends from New York, London, Paris, and Milan Fashion Weeks to inspire you through the coming months and set you on the right track.

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

                  

COLORFUL CAT-EYE

Perhaps the most talked about beauty trend from NYFW, Prabal Gurung’s monochromatic cat-eye left us reminiscing on the days when we first attempted to recreate scenic visions of model makeup from the catwalk. While Diane Kendal has more precision with her styling, we reminisce on the early days we once spent in front of the mirror, playing with bold colours and patterns, hoping to copy the handiwork of industry professionals. Not only are we obsessed with the shape of this look, we are consumed by hues of sky blue, green, and orange. The models wore sleeked back hairstyles to accentuate this beauty trend. Gurung’s line was inspired by powerful women within his life and emphasized messages such as “We will not be silenced.” Not only did Gurung manage to present an ethereal physical beauty within his Fall 2017 line, he also inspired an inclusiveness and empowerment for women everywhere.                  

 

BOBS, BUZZ, & BOYCUTS

A major trend of New York Fashion week was found through shorter hairstyles ranging from precise bobs to buzz cuts. Alexander Wang beautifully displayed this trend and proved that women can rock boy cuts better than men. This display brought a nostalgia for the early 90’s and proved its timelessness. While long, luxurious hair has certainly been a desired trend for women everywhere, we often forget the power behind a bold, short haircut. For all those inspired to finally take their scissors and complete their long-awaited desire for a shorter do’ — we salute you.

LONDON FASHION WEEK

                   

SMUDGED LIPS

For all the times you have unsuccessfully or incorrectly applied your lipstick, you can now think of it as a style choice, rather than an unfortunate run-in with your applicator. For those who have spent a long night out on the town and caught a glimpse of yourself in the window of the McDonalds you often frequent in the early morning, this is for you. For women who are on-the-go and have daringly applied dark shades of lipstick on a moving subway car, or quickly in the back of a cab before a “chance” run in with your ex and his new boo, this is for you. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi makes “accidental make-up” a way of the future and celebrates cherry red lips with an indirect application.          

BLACK VELVET RIBBON

Emily Wickstead artistically reinvents the black ribbon within a half-up, half-down hair style. Also seen during Marchesa, the black velvet ribbon is a 2017 style trend that we can get behind. A staple to any collection, the ribbon brings a sophistication to a quick and easy hairstyle choice. The ribbon can be used as a ponytail, or, alternatively, it can be restyled as a choker.

PARIS FASHION WEEK

                 

HAIR HEADBANDS

At Issey Miyake, hair is multidimensional, and once you add temporary hair-dye, greatness is achieved through it. Taking inspiration from the Northern Lights, Pecis created a hair headband on his models by adding blue, purple and green hues. This style choice reflects different colours when the model walks the runway as the colour will shift in the light. Our childhood fantasies of having bright, shimmery hair have been envisioned into a precise hairstyle that is as beautiful as it is bold. For those looking for an edge this year, or if you are simply looking for a way to keep your hair out of your eyes, take note.               

FRESH FACE

A major trend throughout all fashion weeks was found in the “no-makeup, make-up look.” MUAs, designers, and models ditched their plentiful products and sought out a more natural, minimalistic canvas on their faces. Lanvin took note of this trend and brilliantly executed a fresh-faced design to his runway. While there are times in which we find solace in our layers of foundation, concealer, contour, and highlight, the “no make-up” trend is telling us to love the skin we are in.

MILAN FASHION WEEK

            

GLITTER LIPS

Gucci inspired an unexpected beauty trend that reinvents the way we see lipstick. Shying away from a staple red or pink lip, Gucci took a step in the right direction by inspiring a dark lip that compliments its Fall 2017 line. With an exaggerated cupid’s bow and an edge of glitter, Gucci makes our gothic dreams to a beautiful reality.

DEEP SIDE PART

Designers like Bottega Veneta and Salvatore Ferragamo took inspiration from a deep side part. Within Veneta’s collection, models were layered with jeweled hair pieces to accompany their perfectly styled hair. This classic hairstyle goes a long way with subtle accessories. Whether you decide to dress it up with an accessory or keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with this hairstyle.

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