This holiday season we had fun catching up with Gianluca Vacchi, business magnate, producer, global DJ and Instagram star. Like many, we have been fans of his after seeing his infamous yacht dancing and stylish travel clips dubbed #GVLifestyle. In our chat, we learn about his business background and how he is enjoying his second life to the fullest each day. He dishes about how he started his music career, working with music labels, and his practice of healthy eating and daily workouts. Quickly in, we recognized this is also a man to learn from, and we're fortunate to share his message to be diligent to earn success, feed curiosity and enjoy.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How do you define the #GVLifestyle?
GIANLUCA VACCHI: The world is my playground, enjoy life, every minute of it.
AM: You caught the world’s eye about a year and a half ago dancing on your yacht – you attribute your passion to dancing due to your abuela who was in Argentina – where do you attribute your ability to produce and DJ?
GV: Music runs in my family, that definitely helps. I followed piano lessons when I grew up in Bologna. My close cousin grew up to be a contemporary composer, so this also influenced me when I was younger.
J Balvin reached out to me via Instagram, that’s how we became friends and he, together with my other close friend Luis Fonsi, began to offer me advice to start a new career in music. And that’s what I did!
AM: Prior to being an entertainer, DJ and social media star – you enjoyed a successful career in business. How did you transition from the corporate world to one that allows you to showcase your fun style?
GV: When I was 45, I was still a financial guy, an entrepreneur. I still am. By that time, I had joined twelve different sectors with many different companies – travel, video games, machinery production, plastic watches, among others. But after a certain point, that kind of life just didn’t move my curiosity any more. I am not driven by an accumulation of money. It was important to me when I was 20, because most young men want to accomplish something. Though it may not be a sole target, it can be a reflection of and a result of things done well.
AM: Via your Instagram, we know that you are all about enjoying life which is also the title of your book - #ENJOY how important is it to have this concept within your life?
GV: I’m now enjoying my second life and it’s an amazing experience. When I was 45 I realized I had achieved everything I wanted, it was time to find other ways to spend the rest of my life. The world is my playground and I live life to the fullest, I enjoy life every day.
AM: We love that you never refuse impromptu advice to people and that definitely makes you a role model in our book. About your view that life is a loan and people need to dream more – what are some tips that you have about achieving goals, staying curious and not just surviving?
GV: To answer this, I need to start by speaking about my philosophy on life. It’s very important, because it’s the foundation upon which I base how to live. I consider myself a guest of my own life. It’s like it was borrowed, or it’s a loan. I'm going to give it back; I just don’t know when. Every time I feel myself starting to get tired or bored, I try to change something. Life is a huge privilege. I believe in respecting others, but first I need to respect my desire, my dreams, and myself.
GV: It’s very important to work with a label that supports you, especially when you’re a beginning artist like me. Universal is a major label who can help me develop myself as a producer. I’m very happy to be working with them.
AM: What is it about latin music and reggaeton that inspires your work?
GV: Latin music is amongst one of my favorite music genres. The rhythm of the songs are really catchy, music you can really dance to. And you know I really love to dance.
AM: You travel frequently, what are 3 must have items that are always in your bag regardless of the city that you are in?
GV: I travel so much, I actually only get to spend about 60 days a year now in Italy. The constant change is keeping me alive. When I travel, I never leave without my headphones, glasses and phone!
AM: With 2019 around the corner, what festivals and/or residencies are on your calendar that we should keep an eye out for?
GV: There are so many good things coming in 2019, I can’t wait to share with all of you. We will kick-off in January with gigs in NY and Miami and of course I can’t wait for the summer season to start again. For the future I really plan on further perfecting my skills as a DJ and producer. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but there are definitely some great things coming up.
AM: You have collaborated with Luis Fonsi and have had producers such as Andres Torres and Mauricio Rengifo who have worked on your music. Who else will you be working with that we should keep an eye out for?
GV: In one of my videos you see me dancing with MC Fioti, that’s all I can say for now...
AM: With the year coming to a close, what are the good things that took place this year that you enjoyed, what are items that you felt would be taken care of this year but will be tackled next year due to time and what items will be released next year that you can share with us that we should keep an eye out for?
GV: I look back at 2018 with a big smile on my face. So many good things, like my own party Vibra! At Amnesia in Ibiza and releasing Sigamos Bailando and Love with Sebastian Yatra. Every year I try to improve myself and work on further perfecting my skills as a DJ and producer to DJ and produce even better in 2019. So many good things to come in 2019, stay tuned!
AM: We know that you spend a lot of your time in Miami – where would we find you grabbing a drink/meal, shopping and working out?
GV: I love Miami and I love being here during the winter in Europe. It is very hard for me to pick a favorite place to eat, drink and shop, since there are a lot of good places in Miami! But a new hotspot I really love is restaurant Swan! Great restaurant with a modern cuisine. There are so many good gyms in Miami and sometimes I go for a run at the beach.
AM: What is a typical day like for you when you know that you will be playing a set?
GV: Every day I work out, so also on the days I have a performance. Afterwards I prepare my set and go through all my music. I still practice a lot, since my goal is to get better and better. Before the show I like to have dinner with my crew, so I have enough energy for my performance.
AM: What workouts and eating choices do you to maintain such a great body?
GV: I maintain a very healthy lifestyle, I love to work-out and try to do this daily. From time to time I share some work-out video’s on my Instagram account to share the type of work-outs I like to do with my followers. Being fit gives you a great feeling of power and strength.
AM: How many tattoos do you have and how do you decide what will be the next work of art that will appear on your body?
GV: I have more than a 100 tattoos and they are all connected to my personal life. I got my first tattoo when I was 33, now you see people getting tattoos at the age of 15, but you first need to experience life and translate that experience in a tattoo.
AM: Your pajama and swim trunk game is pretty strong, describe some of your favorites in your collection.
GV: Fashion is important in my life. I’m Italian so we do take our time when it comes to fashion. I own like 40 different tuxedos and I have 100 different hats. I guess you can say that these items belong to my favorites.
AM: We hear that you are becoming an actor, can’t wait to see that happen – do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us and who are you looking forward to working with?
GV: I am always open to new things and challenges. Keep an eye open for 2019, new and big things are coming!
Season 1; Debuts 12.21.18
This classic novel created by William Thackeray comes to Prime Original as a 7-part miniseries that focuses on an orphan girl that climbs the social ladder of English society in the Georgian era.
Her mobility takes place in a post Napoleonic defeat. Becky Sharp is focused on rising above her station regardless of the consequences and social implications that may take place in doing so.
Every movement that drives her forward creates an entrance into King George IV's court as she breaks the hearts and fortunes of those that happen to fall between her and her ultimate ascension.
REMASTERED WHO KILLED JAM MASTER JAY
Netflix; Debuts 12.07.18
Musically speaking, there are a number of mysteries involving the deaths of great artists, musicians and performers. In 2002 at the age of 37, Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC) was added to this list. Friends and family of this artist have toiled over the DJ's unsolved murder. In Netflix's docu-series, ReMastered, each episode analyzes these deaths and in the latest installment (the first episode looks at Bob Marley's attempted assassination and the second looks at the political evolution of Johnny Cash) they investigate, "Who Killed Jam Master Jay?"
This show looks at his rise in the music industry in the 80s with Run-DMC along with interviews of those who were impressed and inspired by his work. But it all comes to a head when the series focuses on his murder when his individuals were buzzed into his Queens recording studio and moments later, they opened fire killing the hip-hop legend.
Theories of how this happened includes, looking at witnesses that were intimidated, security cameras that were tampered and more. As someone that was known as a peaceful force in the industry, the idea of having so many unanswered questions that have resulted in a lack of justice for his friends and family and no convictions is perplexing.
The Boston Globe's Spotlight Team sits down and investigates football's Aaron Hernandez as he climbed the ladder from high school sports in Bristol to playing with the New England Patriots and hitting the stage of the Super Bowl. But as quickly as he moved closer to his epic dream, he found himself a convicted murderer years later.
The investigative team looks at the story of Anthony Hernandez's life through the crimes he committed and how football via brain damage may have contributed to his violent behavior. Were his sexual interests in a masculine football culture also an element to how he approached his life? Did elite coach interests trump his needs when he wasn't ready to participate as a mature adult despite his skills? The podcast shares new documents as well as audio about his life, death and what has taken place since.
It’s the last issue of the year and we are excited to have Entrepreneur, EDM DJ and Instagram Star - Universal Music Latin America’s, Gianluca Vacchi for this month’s cover! In addition, we have interviews with La La Anthony of STARZ’s Power, Parveen Kaur of NBC’s hit show Manifest, Poppy Jamie of Happy Not Perfect, Sarah Potempa - Celebrity Hairstylist and founder of Beachwaver Co and more. We also have brought back our annual, NEW YEAR N3W YOU as well. Read the full issue here.
Who’s excited for the 61st Grammy Awards which airs on Feb 10th? The nominees came out earlier today and as always we picked out who we think we would win. We can’t wait for the show.
BOLD | Athleisure Mag’s Prediction
BOLD ITALICS | Winners predicted correctly by Athleisure Mag
ITALICS | Winners that we didn’t predict
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
H.E.R. - H.E.R.
Brandi Carlile - By the Way, I Forgive You
Drake - Scorpion
Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album
Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy
Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
RECORD OF THE YEAR
Cardi B - I Like It
Brandi Carlile - The Joke
Childish Gambino - This Is America
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Drake - God's Plan
Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
Post Malone & 21 Savage - Rockstar
Zedd & Maren Morris - The Middle
SONG OF THE YEAR
Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
Ella Mai - Boo'd Up
Drake - God's Plan
Shawn Mendes - In My Blood
Brandi Carlile - The Joke
Zedd & Maren Morris - The Middle
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Childish Gambino - This Is America
BEST NEW ARTIST
Chloe x Halle
Greta Van Fleet
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Beck - Colors
Camila Cabello - Havana (Live)
Ariana Grande - God Is a Woman
Lady Gaga - Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?)
Post Malone - Better Now
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Christina Aguilera ft. Demi Lovato - Fall In Line
Backstreet Boys - Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B - Girls Like You
Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton - Say Something
Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey - The Middle
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Camila Cabello - Camila
Kelly Clarkson - Meaning of Life
Ariana Grande - Sweetener
Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes
Pink - Beautiful Trauma
Taylor Swift - Reputation
BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
Tony Bennett & Diana Krall - Love Is Here to Stay
Willie Nelson - My Way
Gregory Porter - Nat "King" Cole & Me
Seal - Standards (Deluxe)
Barbra Streisand - The Music... The Mem'ries... The Magic!
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
Cardi B - Be Careful
Drake - Nice for What
Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, & James Blake - King’s Dead
Anderson .Paak - Bubblin
Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, & Swae Lee - Sicko Mode
BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
Christina Aguilera ft. Goldlink - Like I Do
6LACK ft. J. Cole - Pretty Little Fears
Childish Gambino - This Is America
Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage - Rockstar
BEST RAP SONG
Drake - God’s Plan
Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future, & James Blake - King’s Dead
Eminem - Lucky You
Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk, & Swae Lee - Sicko Mode
Jay Rock ft. Kendrick Lamar - Win
BEST RAP ALBUM
Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy
Mac Miller- Swimming
Nipsey Hussle - Victory Lap
Pusha-T - Daytona
Travis Scott - Astroworld
BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE
Arctic Monkeys - Four Out of Five
Chris Cornell - When Bad Does Good
THE FEVER 333 - Made An America
Greta Van Fleet - Highway Tune
Halestorm - Uncomfortable
BEST METAL PERFORMANCE
Between the Buried and Me - Condemned to the Gallows
Deafheaven - Honeycomb
High on Fire - Electric Messiah
Trivium - Betrayer
Underoath - On My Teeth
BEST ROCK SONG
Greta Van Fleet - Black Smoke Rising
Twenty One Pilots - Jumpsuit
Bring Me the Horizon - MANTRA
St. Vincent - Masseduction
Ghost - Rats
BEST ROCK ALBUM
Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog
Fall Out Boy - M A N I A
Ghost - Prequelle
Greta Van Fleet - From the Fires
Weezer - Pacific Daydream
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Beck - Colors
Björk - Utopia
David Byrne - American Utopia
St. Vincent - Masseduction
BEST R&B PERFORMANCE
Toni Braxton - Long As I Live
The Carters - Summer
Lalah Hathaway - Y O Y
H.E.R. - Best Part [ft. Daniel Caesar]
PJ Morton - First Began
BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE
Leon Bridges - Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand
Betty LaVette - Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight
MAJOR. - Honest
PJ Morton - How Deep Is Your Love [ft. Yebba]
Charlie Wilson - Made for Love [ft. Lalah Hathaway]
BEST R&B SONG
Ella Mai - Boo’d Up
Miguel - Come Through and Chill [ft. J. Cole and Salaam Remi]
Childish Gambino - Feels Like Summer
H.E.R. - Focus
Toni Braxton - Long As I Live
BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
The Carters - Everything Is Love
Chloe x Halle - The Kids Are Alright
Chris Dave and the Drumhedz - Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
Miguel - War & Leisure
Meshell Ndegeocello - Ventriloquism
BEST R&B ALBUM
Toni Braxton - Sex & Cigarettes
Leon Bridges - Good Thing
Lalah Hathaway - Honestly
H.E.R. - H.E.R.
PJ Morton - Gumbo Unplugged (Live)
BEST DANCE RECORDING
Above & Beyond - Northern Soul [ft. Richard Bedford]
Disclosure - Ultimatum [ft. Fatoumata Diawara]
Fisher - Losing It
Silk City & Dua Lipa - Electricity [ft. Diplo and Mark Ronson]
Virtual Self - Ghost Voices
BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM
Jon Hopkins - Singularity
Justice - Woman
Sofi Tukker - Treehouse
SOPHIE - Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
TOKiMONSTA - Lune Rouge
BEST COMEDY ALBUM
Patton Oswalt - Annihilation
Dave Chappelle - Equanimity & the Bird Revelation
Jim Gaffigan - Noble Ape
Fred Armisen - Standup for Drummers
Chris Rock - Tamborine
BEST REMIXED RECORDING
Labrinth, Sia & Diplo present LSD - Audio (CID Remix Official Dance Remix)
Charlie Puth - How Long (EDX's Dubai Skyline Remix)
Gabriel & Dresden feat. Sub Teal - Only Road (Cosmic Gate Remix)
Kygo, Justin Jesso - Stargazing [ft. Justin Jesso] (Kaskade Remix)
HAIM - Walking Away (Mura Masa remix)
MUSIC FOR VISUAL MEDIA
BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Call Me by Your Name
The Greatest Showman
BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Ludwig Göransson - Black Panther
Benjamin Wallfisch & Hans Zimmer - Blade Runner 2049
Michael Giacchino - Coco
Alexandre Desplat - The Shape of Water
John Williams - Star Wars: The Last Jedi
BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
Sufjan Stevens - Mystery of Love
Miguel - Remember Me [ft. Natalia Lafourcade]
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper - Shallow
Keala Settle & the Greatest Showman Ensemble - This Is Me
BEST RECORDING PACKAGE
Mitski - Be the Cowboy
BTS - Love Yourself: Tear
St. Vincent - Masseduction
The Chairman - The Offering
Foxhole - Well Kept Thing
BEST BOXED OR SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE
Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction (Locked N' Loaded)
The Decemberists - I’ll Be Your Girl
Grateful Dead - Pacific Northwest '73-74': The Complete Recordings
“Weird” Al Yankovic - Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic
Sarah Dodds and Shauna Dodds - Too Many Bad Habits
BEST ALBUM NOTES
Various Artists - Alpine Dreaming: The Helvetia Records Story, 1920-1924 (James P. Leary)
Charles A. Asbury - 4 Banjo Songs, 1891-1897: Foundational Recordings Of America’s Iconic Instrument (Richard Martin & Ted Olson)
Sonny Clark Trio - The 1960 Time Sessions (Ben Ratliff)
Various Artists - The Product Of Our Souls: The Sound And Sway Of James Reese Europe's Society Orchestra (David Gilbert)
Bob Dylan - Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Deluxe Edition) (Amanda Petrusich)
Various Artists - Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris (David Evans)
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
The Carters - Apes***
Childish Gambino - This Is America
Joyner Lucas - I’m Not Racist
Janelle Monáe - PYNK
Tierra Whack - MUMBO JUMBO
BEST MUSIC FILM
Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars
Elvis Presley: The King
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag
When you think about R&B you always come to Boyz II Men who had one hit after another with their cool sound, great sense of style and music videos that you remember when thinking about their songs. Although they are a phenomenal music group, we had the chance to hear about a project one of the founding members and Grammy winning artist, Nathan Morris is doing with the DIY Network in his new show, a four part series premiering on Oct 6th – Hit Properties with Nathan Morris. We had a moment to chat with him while he talked about the legacy of his group, his interest in real estate, how this show differs from a number of flipping programs and what we can find him doing when he is not touring and flipping houses!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Before we get into your new show on DIY Network, we know you kicked off this year’s NFL season with Boyz II Men at Lincoln Financial Field. We’ve been a fan of the group since Cooleyhighharmony. How have you guys continued to be an amazing group that has produced a number of hits, videos and more?
NATHAN MORRIS: I just feel that we are truly blessed to still be able to do what we love, to see our fans and for them to still find that after 27 years, our music is still relevant to them. Our fans are from all over the world and they give us so much love. When you hear fans say that the first song they slow danced to was, “I’ll Make Love to You” or they had a Boyz II Men baby – to know that we have been a part of people’s important moments is crazy!
AM: You guys have a residency at The Mirage in Las Vegas – how is it to prepare for these shows and is there a place that you have yet to perform that you would still like to do?
NM: We love that our fans know that 22 weekends out of the year, they can come see us at The Mirage – we have done this for the past 3 years. We know a number of our fans who have really enjoyed our music over the years may have never seen us in concert - so this is the venue to do it! We just signed an additional 3 years there.
I’d love to see us performing throughout South America and we’d love to be able to have the chance to go to the Middle East and to perform in Duabi. We’d also love to go to Africa as well.
AM: Clearly, we know you’ve been a powerhouse in the music business but how did this translate to real estate?
NM: I’ve had the pleasure of investing in some serious real estate deals on the business side and on the personal side, I’ve done some construction, renovation and designing.
AM: Tell us about your new show Hit Properties with Nathan Morris?
NM: I’m really excited about this show. I know that there are a lot of shows about flipping houses, but we really go in there to show you what it’s like. I take this old mansion in Orlando and I Nate-a-cize it – I love luxurious upgrades and I really like smart home upgrades, remote controlled toilettes and WiFi enabled lighting. In addition to showing the work of taking this 8,200 sq feet mansion from a decrepit place to a glamourous one, we also have humor in this show and you see my right hand man, Bryant Gipson working right along side with me as he has done in other projects that we have partnered on together.
AM: Why did you focus on Orlando?
NM: Mainly, the weather is ideal there as you can pretty much work year around and it just made sense to do it there.
AM: What do people who want to get into the flipping industry need to know about the business?
NM: If you’re a person who can’t be flexible and only has a plan if everything goes right – then this is not for you! You also have to remember that when you're flipping a house, you're not building it for you. You want to put finishes and touches that someone buying it could see for themselves. If you make it with amenities that you personally want, you may find that they are too much to your taste and not universal.
AM: What are areas that you suggest a flipper should focus on when doing a home?
NM: I believe that the kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are essential. I spend the most time in these areas of my home after my bedroom. These are areas where you want to be able to relax. I don’t like small spaces so you’ll see in the show that I increased one of the rooms by 15 to 20 feet in order to be more spacious and inviting.
Make sure to check out this season this season of Hit Properties with Nathan Morris on DIY Network which debuts on Oct 6th at 10:30pm EST.
Listen to our conversation with Boyz II Men's Nathan Morris, on an upcoming episode of #TribeGoals on Athleisure Studio, our multimedia podcast network.
When you're listening to a number of your favorite anime shows, you're probably hearing the music that has been created by Tetsuro Oda - composer, artist, producer, and guitarist. In addition to his love of anime and being a soloist, he is also a huge fan of J-Pop and created a group to continue playing this genre of music and how Rock & Roll is an endangered species in Japan. We took a moment to chat about all of this prior to his tour with his band, Roll B Dinosaur.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you get into music and how has your journey been in becoming an artist, composer and producer?
TESTURO ODA: I was like kid who played any instruments like toys. I had been listening to music from radio every day.
AM: How did you become an anime composer and why do you like creating music for this genre?
TO: I think, I've been blessed with opportunities. As a result of taking the offers inspiring me, I have created numbers of anime songs.
I feel motivation to join in anime, because giving me a precious opportunity to compel people to enlarge their joys, excitements and memories with my songs.
AM: What has been your favorite anime show that you have composed?
TO: The theme song of SLAMDUNK: “Sekai ga owarumade ha - Until the world ends”.
AM: You have composed for a number of J-Pop bands, how is this different than creating music for anime shows?
TO: There are basically 2 cases when I am offered for composing anime songs. One is to create songs along the views of anime, another is to create songs upon the characters of singers.
I prioritize, how my songs can complement the anime when I originally compose new songs for anime programs.
AM: How would you describe J-Pop?
TO: J-Pop, to me is like “Makunouchi Bento”, which is Japanese tradition style lunch box containing rice and a variety of side dishes.
It seems deliciously decollated genre featuring “Tasty dishes” regardless of either western foods or Japanese one.
AM: Tell us about Roll B Dinosaur - how did this group come together, are you working on a new album and will you be touring?
TO: Rock’n Roll is now sort of “endangered spices” in Japan. So this “Roll-B Dinosaur” is preservation activity of “Rock’n Roll”. “It’s only rock’n’roll but I like it!” My initial dates for our upcoming shows are Billboard Osaka (Jan 18, 2019) and Nagoya Bluenote (Jan 19, 2019).
AM: When you're not performing or making music, where do you enjoy eating lunch or dinner, do you work out and if so - where and where do you enjoy shopping for clothes?
TO: I mainly enjoy eating dishes in Shibuya, Tokyo near my own studio. I do daily exercise after waking up. Currently, shopping either in Shibuya, or at Amazon.
HIP HOP SAVED MY LIFE ROMESH RANGANATHAM
We became obsessed with Romesh Ranganatham when we binged his Showtime TV Show, 'Just Another Immigrant' which covers this UK based comic who comes to America to do a show at the famed Greek Theater. Throughout the season (which you can watch On Demand), we see Romesh trying to promote his show with his family and various comedic luminaries. In one of the episodes, he actually records his podcast Hip Hop Saved My Life (which focuses on hip hop) and in another he has Lupe Fiasco in the TV show which is the inspiration for the name of his podcast. We highly suggest watching the show as well as checking out his star studded podcast!
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
Season 6; July 27th
It's season 6 of one of our favorite Netflix shows, Orange is the New Black! Avid readers know that we have had 2 actresses - Vicky Jeudy and Alysia Reiner on our covers. We continue the journey of the female inmates of the Litchfield crew as the season ended with the 3 day riot that took place at the prison.
Season 6 begins with our favorites in a new environment in maximum security. Although there will be a few new faces to be sure, we will also see how a number of characters post the riot are continuing on. Will they continue to be connected with one another, will there be new alliances or will this be a new beginning in a completely different direction?
ESPN 30 FOR 30 | BIKRAM
In the third season of 30 For 30, ESPN's podcast focuses on Bikram yoga for five episodes available now. The show focuses on the intricate world of Bikram yoga, its rise and fall debuts and how the community is dealing with it since the sexual assault allegations that were made against its founder, Bikram Choudhury.
The series shares how a young Indian yogi used his relationships with celebrities to launch a hot yoga empire that changed this sector in America forever. As Choudhury made money in the fitness industry, the Speedo and Rolex-wearing guru utilized healing powers of his yoga revolution and hid other activities that included allegedly bilking business partners, verbally
harassing students, and ultimately sexually assaulting several followers. Curently, there is a warrant for Choudhury’s arrest and he has filed for bankruptcy and left the country.
A day in the life of Team Athleisure Mag can be in the studio for a session, on set for a shoot, and checking out new brands/products coming to market. Earlier this month we spent the day at Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival here in NYC at the Seaport District (the next stop is Chicago on Aug. 11th) for an entire day of workouts, sessions and we took some time to chat with celebrity fitness trainers and personalities in between workouts.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We’ve enjoyed seeing you over the past two seasons on E! Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian – how did you get involved in that show?
HARLEY PASTERNAK: I have been good friends with Kanye for about 15 years. So I’m inherited into the family. I’m good friends with Kim and Kanye, and with Kris, Khloe and the whole family. So when they were doing the show, Khloe reached out – I said let’s go!
AM: How long have you been with Propel and what was it that made you want to connect with the brand?
HP: That’s a good question. My background was originally in performance nutrition so I ran the performance lab/nutrition lab for the military for a number of years and most of the information on performance – a lot of it came from years ago from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. That was the go to place for us as scientists to get our information to use with the soldiers. So the importance of functional foods and functional beverages has always been a big part of what I do and I really have had an issue with sometimes the sugar content of some of these beverages, and I met the Propel team through some mutual friends and I learned more about what Propel was doing. It reminded me so much of what Gatorade did back in the day and establishing itself as the definitive sports performance information source. Propel has really done the same with fitness and it’s not about the beverage, it’s about the lifestyle, the networking, the fitness community sharing with one another and celebrating together. Then they started explaining to me about Propel Co:Labs and it was really about the future and the present. I got so excited that I became a terrible negotiator because I said, “I’m in”.
The Co:Labs have been really great. As a fitness professional, it's often very individual and almost a very lonely experience. Everyone is so competitive with one another – so competitive but they have created these environments where people are sharing ideas and thoughts and celebrating moving together. They're bringing in pop stars and giving the due and professional attention to the fitness industry that most brands haven’t even come close to.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Gunnar, can you tell us about your background?
GUNNAR PETERSON: I’ve been a personal trainer in Beverly Hills for 29 years. I started working with the LA Lakers last year as the Director of Strength and Endurance and am reprising my role this year – should be a new challenge and a lot of fun. And I’ve been working with Propel for a number of years because I think that they do it better than anybody in bringing fitness and sports together by collaborating versus all the people that kind of horde information and don’t share and feel that their way is better. I think that Propel opens it up and makes it the way that it should be.
AM: What’s your method or the way that you like to work and train people?
GP: I do different workouts with people because everyone is different as they have different goals, perceptions weaknesses, injury histories, likes and dislikes – although that doesn’t play that much of a part. I'm strength based and I do a lot of cardio intervals to it, movement, mobility etc it’s pretty comprehensive. The one group that we don’t cater to or get asked to do something is body builders or those that are looking to put mass on – that’s not what we do.
AM: A lot of our readers loved seeing you in Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body on E! and wanted to know how you got involved in that!
GP: Well I’ve known Kris and the clan – I’ve known those guys for 20 years. I worked with Kris and Kim so when Khloe came to me to make a big change in her life, we got after it. She puts the work in like any athlete that I have worked with and she had her moment. She made huge changes into her body and I wrote the passage on fitness in her book and she created the show and asked me to be on it and there was no way that I was going to miss out on that opportunity to share a small part of what she did with other people and to put it out there for everyone to see. I mean I have had text messages from a lot of people that have had huge takeaways from this.
AM: So how excited are you to be here today for this event?
GP: This is terrific. I have done a number of these with Propel and they have exceeded expectations and they keep going above and beyond. I mean, every venue is great and this one with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background and this giant rooftop with no space constraints – this is going to be a great day today!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Rachel aka Yoga Girl, tell us about what you're doing at the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival.
YOGA GIRL: I just taught a class on a rooftop overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s kind of insane. We have 300-400 people here, and it’s been super, super fun. I taught a class [at Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival] in L.A. and then taught a class here, and it’s been so community building and so great.
AM: What is the best way to get started in yoga practice?
YG: I always give the recommendation to go find a studio and go take an actual class. There’s so many things you can do online. There’s YouTube and there’s online yoga. But, having a teacher who you can ask questions to, especially if you’re a beginner, is great so you can learn the poses correctly and have someone to align you if you need help. It’s good to start off with a teacher and then transition a little bit more to home.
AM: What are several yoga postures you would recommend for stress relief?
YG: Anything forward folding or forward bending, especially seated, is really nurturing. Legs up the wall pose is a super distressing pose. A forward bend, legs up the wall, child’s pose and reclined bound angle are good poses.
AM: How do you maintain balance with your busy schedule?
YG: I try to find pockets of rest in my day. If I have a really busy day full of meetings and things, I’ll make sure that I have a whole hour to eat lunch and not do multiple things at the same time all day. I’ll take a bath with my baby in the morning, always. I keep that a super serious thing, and I rest in between all the hectic stuff. And then I find it’s easy to keep the energy up all day.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us what Akin’s Army is?
AKIN AKMAN: Well Akin’s Army is a mindset really. I like to say that it’s a higher standard with everyone that trains with me. The mindset is constant process. It’s a workout obviously but intended initially to tap into the athletes that didn’t have kind of training anymore. But then eventually it became more of a mindset.
AM: Can you tell us a little more about your fitness background?
AA: I grew up playing tennis and I went to IMG Academy which was known as Bollettieri when I went there at age 7. It was everyday except for Sundays which I had off haha. But now I train all day everyday – 7 days a week. So I started there and I got hurt around 16/17 and I was already coaching tennis at the time there too and was looking at playing pro and then when I got injured, I was out for a year and then in that time, I decided to go to college instead of trying to play tournaments. I thought that I would just go back to that when I fully healed. And then, it was tough to heal and when I came back and I was coaching at IMG, at 18, but I got hurt on my right wrist with bruising of the bone – so I moved on from playing tennis as much and started coaching. But it took me awhile before I started making coaching my everything.
I started coaching at Crunch Fitness in South Beach first in 2009. I was already teaching tennis at Flamingo Park in South Beach as well. Then I moved to NYC at the end of 2009/2010 and started teaching at Crunch here and then went onto SoulCycle in 2012 and then I really made it my everything and started teaching 40 classes a week.
AM: We have a number of friends who swear by your SoulCycle classes. How did you get connected with Propel and how did you get connected to Propel Co:Labs?
AA: Now you have to come! For Propel, I did a bootcamp with them awhile back through my sister who had a connection.
We did a roofdeck bootcamp around Chelsea – I don’t even remember the building! I met some of the head people that were putting this kind of a thing together – it was amazing and so much fun! Then we didn’t do anything until this year when they asked me to come back and we did LA and this – it’s been incredible!
AM: What are you doing today as we know you’re on the schedule of events?
AA: My class today is again, it’s a full body workout. The way that I teach, it’s tough but you do as much as you can and it’s more about the perspective and the approach that you come to with it. Staying positive and being in that mindset. I try to keep the people hyped up and just full of energy and to do whatever they can and to give everything that they have got! That’s the point of what today is about!
ATHLEISURE MAG: You train a number of celebs and have been on a number of tours! Can you give us a quick rundown on your background?
NICOLE WINHOFFER: I studied Kinesiology, Alexander Technique, collusive body, Eastern Philosophy of well being and after that, I went on tour with Madonna and started training her dancers. She had an audition after I met her at that, she asked me to be her trainer full time and I worked with her for 5 years and I was the head trainer on her MDNA World Tour and her Sticky and Sweet World Tour, and then after those tours, I started teaching underground classes in NY in the basement of my apartment building in 2013 and we moved to the Standard Hotel on the 3rd floor of the Highline and I started to train trainers under me. I signed with Adidas by Stella McCartney as the first Global Brand Ambassador in 2014 and I partnered with Propel for the first time in 2016 when they did their first festival. Now we’re on our 3rd year and it has been such a great partnership!
and actresses, fashion designers and wealthy/affluent men and women) to bring my knowledge to people across all demographics across America and to be able to give them results and to instill in them that they have the power in them to achieve what they want. I really liked that process of being able to work with people in that way with those that didn’t really think that it was possible and were never felt to believe that way.
AM: How cool was it to be able to do your session at Propel Co:Labs in LA with Ludacris performing on stage with you?
NW: It was amazing! I call myself a Fitness Artist because I believe in self expression and music and moving your body as there is no correct way. And when Propel told me that the artist that I was going to share the stage with was going to be Ludacris, I thought – wow! It was so exciting and amazing. We worked with the Ludacris team for 6 weeks to figure out the playlist, timing, and they were so great and we had a soundcheck and the Propel team was so supportive. There were a lot of fun moments – there was one moment on stage where I grabbed the Propel bottle and like landed on a split in the floor and Ludacris looked around like, “what is happening” and I was like “yeah that’s right – this is happening right now”. The crowd loved it because they were all sweating and they didn’t feel like a work out because it was so much fun!
AM: So what is the NW Method?
NW: The NW Method is a 55 minute experience that I take you through in order to free your spirit and to move deeper into your body and accentuate your curves. It’s a type of somatic training – there’s breath work, kundalini and it’s a bit more physical exertion like physical meditation – 20 songs that I match up the BPMs and I play songs that wake up your internal organs. Then it moves people past their brains to their bodies
AM: We saw you on Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian – what was the process like for you being on that show and what have you gotten from being a part of it?
NW: They found me on Instagram! The casting director told me that my moves were cool and different and how I encompass eastern movement and dance. So I flew to LA for the audition and got the job. I loved that the show took my message (which I train a lot of A-List actors so they can feel themselves and move into their personal truth.
AM: Why do you like working with Propel?
NW: They are a collaborative brand, they listen to my ideas, they support my ideas and they are always looking to stand behind myself and the other artists that they have. Their innovation and willingness to try something new is amazing. The first Propel festival was 3 years ago in LA and it was really different because it was the first time that different fitness people came together and they provided this great experience. The last thing is music – they did a song with Jessie J. last year and the first year they did this song that incorporated a music festival and I built my brand around music. They just really support music in general and it makes it really easy for me to work with them.
AM: We love the bodysuits and the cool legwear that you have – what are your favorite fitness items that you love wearing?
NW: Oooo I’m a dancer so I love wearing Capezio and Danskin. I have friends that are seamstresses and they make me personal outfits so that’s always fun. I love my unitards and wearing bathing suits and anything that’s just not too fitnessy.
AM: You had this really cool look on your Instagram that was like chaps and a bikini bottom and embellished but it looked very cool!
NW: Yeah, yeah, yeah – that was from Patricia Field for the Propel festival. My friend who is a stylist came over and he sent them over for me to try, but they were way too heavy for me to dance in them haha!
AM: How do you give of your time?
NW: I am part of Girls Inc. which supports young girls in urban markets that don't have access to dance so I teach with them on tour and locally. I work with this group called Core Energetics which is a type of cognitive therapy and I work with some mental patients that don’t have things that healthy humans have through dance and time. I also volunteer once a week at an elderly hospital jut spending time, delivering food and playing games.
AM: Since music is so important to you and is so integral to your brand. What’s on your playlist right now?
NW: Well J Cole for sure – he’s my favorite he has a song called, Kevin’s Heart, I just downloaded the Carter’s album and I went ape shit! I love Rihanna – Needed Me, Ciara – Overdose, Disclosure's Latch featuring Sam Smith, those are my faves right now!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We're fans of Icona Pop as it's on a few of our playlists. You guys have a new album that you are working on – is there anything that you can tell us about that would be amazing!
CAROLINE HJELT: We’ve been writing on this album for quite a long time and we were just talking about it the other day saying, “how could it have taken us this long?” It’s just because we’re so bad at saying no to stuff! Like we love what we do and when we get fun things – we’re like, let’s squeeze it in and then we begin to go touring again. So it’s been taking a long time but we’re almost there and it feels amazing. I would say that I’m just as excited about this album as I am on the first one. It feels like when you're born. We've been working on it for so long and sharing situations and we’re very proud of it.
AM: That’s so exciting and your faces really show how much you’re pumped for this. Is there a drop date.
AINO JAWO: We don’t have a date, but the album will be done at the end of this year. It will be out earlier next year.
AM: So are you guys doing festivals right now?
AJ: Yes we’re doing a lot of festivals in Europe and a couple of shows as well here in the states. I think this is the last one here right?
CH: Yeah and then we move onto Europe.
AM: Did the Coppenhagen festival already happen – Soleima who is also on Big Beat was telling us about it.
CH: Oh yes, you're talking about Roskilde.
AJ: Yes Rosklide, we did that last year it was so AMAZING! We have big shows all over the place.
CH: It’s a lot of traveling but we love that!
AJ: We also just got a house in LA where we will have our studio in there as well.
AM: Do you guys also live together?
ICONA POP: YES!!!
AM: How cute is that?
AJ: It’s a big house so you get your space and we’re going to build everything – from a fitness center to a studio.
CH: So we’ll never have to leave and you’ll never see us again! But we’ll have everything that we’ll need haha.
AM: It’s like a glam compound – love it. So what workouts do you guys typically do or what are you building into your home to do?
CH: Well we bought our first thing – the Assault Bike, the first one an all retro one! It’s great for us to have all of those things. I think we’re also planning on putting in a mat so we can do different kinds of workouts.
AJ: Yeah like yoga and my boyfriend is our personal trainer – so he is taking care of all the lifting weights stuff there.
CH: We also love working outside so this gym will be outside. We spend so much time in our studios so it’s great to get that fresh air and to hang out with your friends outside. Meanwhile, we’re working out. We also love working out together and like sometimes you have a longer time and other times your schedule is crazy so it’s important to get it in when you can.
AJ: I like circuit training and that’s a good way to get strong with different types. We always say lift weights with cardio as a lot of women don’t lift weights and that’s stupid.
CH: Yeah and also you realize that it’s a thing that you slowly and slowly get better and that’s when you feel your body start to change. Your posture, you have so much more in your muscles.
AM: So how excited are you guys to be here today with Propel Co:Labs – how did that happen?
CH: I think that they reached out to us and we got super excited because we do work out so much and that’s a huge part of who we are and for us it’s important for us to jump on stage for 1.5 – 2 hours and not gasp for breath! We want to deliver to our fans and be in really good shape and that’s why we were so happy to be a part of this.
AJ: I think that a lot of times, we do a lot of parties and people see us do shots on stage, but that's just a portion of what we do. There is another part!
CH: Yes, it’s just a part as we’re healthy and a lot of our fans say that they work out to our music. It lets them get over the hump and take their workout to the next level.
AJ: When you’re at the gym it just gives you that energy to say – yes! Sometimes I’m at the gym and I’m like “oh my gosh” this is us and I get a little embarrassed and then I sing along haha.
AM: What keeps you guys inspired when you’re making your music?
CH: I think traveling, hanging out with our friends which is so important to us but also what we’re trying to do right now is that every place we go to, we say what can we do here – what can we see? We really want to work on what we can see and to enjoy, experiencing etc. You can travel all over the world and just see a hotel room. But when you can go and taste the food that is special to that place or to meet the people from that region – that is really inspiring.
AJ: Then I feel like sometimes you need to get bored to like let things sink in. So take a little pause, get bored and then say hmm this is what I want to write. It works very well for us.
AM: Love that, it’s kind of like our belief in disconnecting to connect. So when you guys aren’t working, how do you relax and take time for yourself.
AJ: Mmmm Nature
CH: Yeah! It’s one of those things that’s so easy and sometimes you need a couple of days to say ok I can now breath and I’m not thinking about work too much. But when you come to nature, it happens instantly. Because you can look at water for hours and not feel stressed. You can look at the forest and animals and not feel stressed. This way you can connect with your body immediately as opposed to waiting to 5 days to come down.
AJ: I feel like a lot of times you don’t have that many days off. So we try to do mindfulness – just a couple of minutes a day and that usually helps a lot. It’s also about eating good food.
CH: Yeah just enjoying and appreciating eating really good food with people that you like. That’s also a luxury for me.
AJ: And exercise again. I mean you get so much endorphins from doing that. I don’t even see the workout as work as it’s just part of my routine. When I have a day off, I can do it longer and not be stressed about going someplace else. The worst thing is to be stressed in the gym as it breaks my heart.
AM: How do guys prepare before you hit the stage?
AJ: We drink coffee and listen to music.
CH: We usually, put on great music and get ready together as we have to be in sync. We talk about what we are going to focus on during the performance ….
AJ: Andwho we’re going to be on stage.
CH: Yeah like different personalities
AJ: Sometimes it’s David Bowie, sometimes it’s Prince, Michael Jackson – you name it and sometimes it’s just me haha!
PHOTOS COURTESY | Katie June Burton + Stephanie Noritz
Readers of this magazine know that we love Reality shows and BRAVO is a personal favorite of our Co-Founder and Style Director. Any show that involves the Real Housewives franchise and their spin-offs is always a winner in our studio. Lala Kent is a fan favorite on Vanderpump Rules which showcases the lives of hostesses, servers, bartenders and DJs that work at SUR with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Lisa Vanderpump. In addition to watching this self assured hostess, Lala has a passion for music and this past season we see her perform, and she has also launched a beauty line which we included in a number of looks within her editorial.
From the time Lala came to our set for this shoot, we realized that she is just as stunning, witty and as personable as she is on the show. This girl’s girl talks about how she became a part of this show, where we can find her in LA and more about her beauty line, Give Them Lala. Of course we had a great time incorporating some must have summer looks that are chic with a twist!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We've been fans of yours since you first appeared on Vanderpump Rules. What were you doing prior to this show and how did you end up connecting with the show and what was the audition process like?
LALA KENT: Before the show, I was going on casting, auditions, and fit modeling was paying my bills. Vanderpump Rules came to me when I was eating at Sur. Lisa saw how I interacted with some of the people that worked there and offered me a job as a hostess. With that came a position on the show!
AM: Throughout the seasons that you have been on, we have seen you join the cast, feel out the cast, make bonds, adjust and in this past season it seems like you really came into your own - how has being on the show allowed you to grow and what are you proud of after all these seasons?
LK: Being on the show has been amazing. I think being able to look back and reflect on my actions has helped tremendously. I’ve been able to see when I stand up for myself and when I’m acting like a fool! Everyone that is part of the show has brought a lot to my life and continues to help me evolve.
AM: Can we assume that you will be back for another season?
LK: Yes! I will be Giving Them Lala for another season.
AM: You and Lisa have such a great relationship and seems like the ultimate mentor and life coach rolled into one - what is it about Lisa that makes you comfortable to hear her feedback and to take her advice?
LK: Lisa has such a kind heart and offers such motherly love and advice. That, on top of seeing that she is a successful woman, you can’t help but go “I need to listen to her because she’s got it figured out”.
AM: We know that Stassi is a fan of the goat cheese balls at SUR. What are you fave dishes and/or cocktails that you enjoy there?
LK: Oooh I love the goat cheese balls too! They are insane. I also love Joe’s pasta and the Penne Sicilienne...and the dumpling. The sauce is epic.
AM: This season we actually see you perform! How long have you been interested in music, what were the elements that came together to make you embrace performing and what can we expect next within this portion of your career?
LK: I grew up in the arts. From choir to plays to musicals, I was just obsessed with it all. Once you leave high school and it’s no longer something you have the luxury of just doing everyday, you slowly lose the confidence you worked so hard for. James really reminded me of my roots and what I love to do. From here, I just hope to keep making music. It is extremely therapeutic for me.
AM: Tell us about BOY - what inspired you to make this song, how is it doing and what's the next single? When does your album drop?
LK: My song BOY just hit number 1 on iTunes in the Electronic genre. That is amazing to me. I was inspired by how it was so EDM but also trap. It gave me creative freedom to think of myself in a different setting, which was very “club”. That’s out of the box for me. I have another single out called “4 U” on iTunes and Spotify. It is a completely different feel than “BOY”. We also just finished recording a song called “What’s it For”. That will be out within the month. As far as an album goes... my schedule is crazy. I think an EP is going to be my next venture. I can’t wait.
AM: We're living in a time of women taking things to the next level and creating a strong community of support - this season you were embracing this belief and really rallying the cast as a whole and especially the woman on the show to do the same. How important is women's empowerment?
LK: I’ve always been a girl’s girl. I know that women get the job done and that there is nothing more powerful than a gang of females. We all have our differences- for me it’s about embracing one another and realizing we are stronger together than we are apart. This is an outlook that’s evolved as I get older. The things that used to make me insecure or second guess myself, are suddenly things I’m thankful for.
AM: We knew you were stunning, you came to set this way and then of course, we created amazing looks for you - so it was not a surprise to us that you have a cosmetic line coming out. Tell us me about the line from the thought behind it, what is currently available, what will be available down the line and where we can get it!
LK: #Give Them Lala Beauty has grown so much in such a short period of time. I started with only 6 lip colors and now have over 50 products. For lips we now have mattes, glosses, and liquid lipsticks. We also expanded into highlighters, eye shadow, eyeliner, and are still growing! My brand is my baby and she is growing up so beautifully. I’m extremely proud.
AM: We were sad to hear about your father passing last month and we remember that your mom was with us on set - how important is it for you to ensure that in addition to all of the amazing opportunities that you have enjoyed that you also spend time with family for the balance that we all need?
LK: Family will always come first. That’s how it has always been and it will always be. If an opportunity comes my way that is meant to be, it will never take away from my family time.
AM: What are 3 skincare products that you swear by?
LK: My Clarisonic, Lancer Skin Polish, Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizer, and let’s add one more... I die for Desert Essence Original Face Wash. Pair that with your Clarisonic and all your skin dreams will come true.
AM: Since you're in LA, where is your favorite place to eat and grab drinks, where do you workout and what's your studio of choice to work out?
LK: Oooh, this is tough. Obviously, I love me some Sur. I love Mr. Chow, but I’m always a sucker for the Polo Lounge. I go crazy for caviar. I have a gym where I live. It’s got great equipment and everyone is familiar with everyone- we all know each other’s routine so no one is ever fighting or waiting over a machine.
AM: You have a great body, what are 3 workouts that you do that keep you looking summer ready?
LK: I owe the bod to my trainer, Jenna Willis. She is amazing. I love my food and I love my drink. Somehow she puts together routines that kick my butt into great shape even with my undisciplined diet. I love my sumo squats, side planks help my tummy get firm, and the rowing machine is a great warm-up!
AM: How do you give of your time or give back from a philanthropic standpoint?
LK: My family and I are very into animals. My mom works for the humane society. I contribute my time and money to the Humane Society of Utah. I’m also an advocate for our whales- I’ve teamed up with PETA for Empty The Tanks. That is the cause I am most passionate about.
AM: Feel free to tell us anything that you haven't been able to or would like us to know!
LK: I have a really hard time walking in heels unless I’m slightly drunk.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Harmony Program, an organization that brings free instrumental music education into under-served communities across New York City and Long Island. Over the past ten years, the Harmony Program has provided over 1,000 children with free instruments and over 350,000 hours of music instruction.
The Harmony Program was created in 2003 by Anne Fitzgibbon as a pilot program within the New York City Mayor's office. Anne was later awarded a year long. Fulbright Fellowship in 2007 to study El Sisterma, Venezuela's world-renowned national youth orchestra program, and adapted tenets of that successful model to meet the needs of children and families in New York.
Harmony Program's 10th Anniversary Benefit Concert celebrated Harmony Program's decade-long deliverance of quality music education directly into communities who need it most, providing students with free instruments, intensive music instruction, orchestral training, and a variety of transformational cultural experiences. Year after year, their students emerge from the program with life-long friendships, increased self-confidence, and improved academic achievement - all from a shared love of music.
Harmony Program hosted their 10th anniversary gala and benefit concert this month with students as they play alongside Grammy-award winning violinist Joshua Bell, Grammy-award nominated producer and curista Jorge Glem, New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, string trio Time for Three, and soprano Larisa Martinez, to name just a few.
Warner Musi Group was the lead sponsor of the gala and has supported the work of Harmony Program in the past, most recently with its inaugural Warner Music Prize, which seeks to foster the talents of promising young musicians. Warner is committed to strengthening the relationship between the two organizations.
Tribeca Film Festival is back for its 17th year for another full season of parties panels and films that span documentaries, thrillers, romances, sci-fi and more. We kicked off our time at the festival by heading to PUBLIC Arts at the PUBLIC Hotel in the LES for MCM's debut of the first global teaser for The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion Documentary.
The exclusive viewing party paid homage to hip hop. The documentary honored the cultural influence of stylists such as Misa Hylton who defined ’90s hip hop fashion by creating some of the most iconic looks with top artists such as Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliot. The film's producer, Lisa Cortes and director Farah X talked about the upcoming documentary which will debut in full, this fall.
The night's emcee and TV personality, Bevy Smith welcomed a number of performers who hit stage wearing styles for the upcoming MCM X PUMA collaboration that has yet to be released. Paula Weinstein of Tribeca Film Festival said a few words about the importance of the film and providing recognition to the efforts of those featured in the film. DJ Olivia Dope and 9th Wonder spun throughout the night along with hip hop dancers that hit the stage. The night culminated in two performances with this years 2 time Grammy nominated rapper, Rapsody and one of hip hop's founding father's Big Daddy Kane - all rocking the upcoming collaboration.
Additional attendees at the event included: Stefano Tonchi (Editor, W Magazine) Rich The Kid (Rapper), Naturi Naughton (STARZ's Power), Ryan Leslie (Recording Artist + Producer), Casanova (Rapper), Sheldon Bailey (Actor), Young Paris (Rapper), DJ Trauma, T-Barz (Rapper), Vickatrillion (Model + DJ), Talia Coles (R&B/Soul), Luann de Lesseps (BRAVO's RHONY), Gillian Hearst Simonds (Contributing Editor to Towne & Country), Hailey Laine (Wilhelmina Model) and Makalea Reve Heard (Wilhelmina Model).
THE PERFECT CAKE
The Editors of America's Test Kitchen
Penguin Random House
Creating the perfect cake is not a bad skill to have under your belt (or you may have a friend who wants to showcase his/her skills). The Editor's of America's Test Kitchen have created the ultimate guide to classical, modern and whimsical cakes. These creations are definitely those that are Instagram worthy and
perfect for whatever brunch you might be thinking of hosting when friends come over.
In addition to a dizzying array of cakes that are available - cupcakes are included! Cake education also introduces you to topics that incorporate mix-and-match layer cakes, frostings, and fillings. Essentially, whatever cake you have been dreaming of creating and/or eating can be found in this book.
With Spring Holidays as well as functions with friends and family that are particular to your group, you'll find that this cookbook is an essential for all of your baking needs.
LED ZEPPELIN: ALL THE ALBUMS, ALL THE SONGS
This coffee table book focusing on all things Led Zeppelin, breaks down their music track-by-track, album-by album with all the details and secrets that fans of the band will truly enjoy.
Enthusiasts will enjoy hearing the roots of the band's creation which was formed with two London studio musicians at the top of their game and two bar-band musicians that would ultimately create the legendary group that would also set the formula for modern rock 'n' roll bands as we know it today.
The four members created 9 studio albums with 81 tracks that were a complex mix of blues, psychedelia, rock, folk, and country.
Martin Popoff, a respected veteran music journalist takes us on an indepth look at the band from their creation, the recording process, historical context and an introductory essay into each song that explores the intricacies of each song.
Fans will enjoy learning about song details that include running time, instruments played, engineers and studios.
THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
Random House LLC
One night can change your life and Chris Bohjalian's novel focuses on a flight attendant who wakes up in the wrong hotel,
in the wrong bed with a dead man and she has no clue what happened and how she got there!
We're introduced to flight attendant, Cassandra Bowden who has had a number of hangovers and blackout moments. When she wakes up in Dubai next to a man that she finds to be dead, she doesn't know what to do but try to go back to her life as if it didn't happen.
Cassandra lies and joins her team to get back to the airport, lies to her team as they continue to travel to Paris and again when she arrived in NYC with the FBI inquiring about what happened. With so many lies, Cassandra can't come clean with the truth and begins to wonder what really happened. Did she kill him or did someone else?
The thriller focuses on life at forty thousand feet and focuses on memory, alcohol, the consequences of addiction and ultimately murder far from home.
We kicked off the month by heading uptown to a listening party for electropop Big Beat Records' artist, Soleima whose music is the perfect way to get you ready for Spring with a hip-hop and world infusion. This Danish artist chatted with us prior to her party to talk about her entry into music, her love of the collaborative scene and Copenhagen and the Scandanavian festivals that she'll be at this year!
ATHLEISURE MAG: How long have you been in music?
SOLEIMA: I kind of just grew up with music. I had been doing it forever. We had a piano and I grew up doing it with my mom as a child, since she played as well. I also played – she always took me to these music clubs where I was taught music and I grew up in an East African music environment.
AM: We’ve been listening to your music and including it in our workouts. It has this mix of hip-hop and that tribal feel to it – we are definitely fans.
S: Yes! That’s what I was introduced to and I never learned the theory behind music. It was an acoustic way of learning music and for me it was the best way to learn it. So somehow, it’s always been in my life – some sort of music.
AM: When did you realize that this was something that you wanted to do?
S: Actually, I have been doing it as a hobby for most of my life! But then last year, I got signed and I started working on this EP with friends and we thought about putting it on SoundCloud and then we thought, let’s try to get it released. We sent it to some Danish labels and one of them wanted to release it and this was nice, but I never thought of it as a direct career opportunity. But then everything went pretty fast! I guess when an opportunity like that shows itself, you just jump on it. So I feel like it was meant to be somehow?
AM: What inspires you when you’re performing, making your videos and writing your music?
S: I guess I’m very inspired by many different things. I get super inspired by other musicians. I think there are so many great ones out there right now. People doing amazing stuff. Right now in Copenhagen – where I’m from in Denmark, the music scene is very interesting. We are a very small industry and somehow we are all friends and know each other! We work together. People have a lot of stuff going on that is really interesting. Right now, we’re inspiring and motivating each other. When someone does an amazing song or has a great project going on, we’re like – “Oh that’s so good – that’s amazing. Let’s do something together!” We just make each other better in a positive way.
I’ve always heard people talk about how in this industry when someone has something good going on that there is a feeling that there isn’t room for someone else. I’ve just never realized that in our environment in Denmark, which I think is a very healthy thing.
AM: So are you currently working on other music as well?
S: I’m working on an EP as well right now. It’s going to come out shortly.
AM: Are you doing any touring or any festival dates?
S: Yes. I am writing a lot. I was in LA for a month writing recently and I do it all the time. I have quite a few festivals. I am playing in Scandanavia, in the UK. In the UK, there will be a few shows in the Spring – a number of clubs and then over the summer, a very booked festival tour. In the fall, I am doing my own shows which is really exciting.
AM: Exciting! What’s that like concepting your own shows?
S: Actually, I will have my first 2 headlining shows in Dec. I never tried to play my own shows before. We have played quite a lot together but it’s been showcases out and about. So now, that’s such an overwhelming feeling. Because now, people are there and they bought a ticket with real fucking money and like they know the songs!
AM: So how do you keep your balance and check in with yourself through all of this?
S: That’s such a good question! How do I stay sane? Can you teach me please?
I think definitely because this is all so new, I am still in the process of learning that. With being in music, there aren’t too many in-between feelings. There are extreme highs and there are a lot of extreme lows. So one day you’re like, “wow this happened and I like it – you’re so high and then literally the day after you get some kind of boring mail and you’re like, “no – that didn’t happen anyway” and now I have to go back to life.
You know what I mean? So, it’s like a good and a bad thing – it’s very addictive and you become addicted to going into these highs and lows. It can be a bad thing because you kind of need a balance where you’re neither super excited or super depressed. So I am still learning that, but I can say that I am addicted to it already. I think it would be difficult to not be that way as well. Regarding the zen, I think I should start meditating – can you teach me!
AM: It’s a work in progress for sure. The best ones for us are meditations that are led by someone and we can sit down and start going through the process. But sometimes when we quiet our mind, those things that were really sticking out there wanting to be thought about pop in and it can be tough to push them to the side!
S: Exactly! It’s like when you go to sleep and then those thoughts pop in and it’s like – argh!
AM: We’re working on meditation, but in terms of fitness or activities in general – what do you do?
S: I’m a runner. I run a lot and I am really addicted to it – I love to do it! I listen to audiobooks and listening to them makes me so excited that I’m like, “I have to run more”.
AM: We have to try that as we’re obsessed with podcasts and that could give us the kick that we need to run.
S: Oooo I love This American Life, it’s my favorite!
AM: Yes and then Serial – love!
S: Ohhh but then S-Town that was AMAZING!
AM: Yes, so obsessed with that!
S: I was in London away from home and I was so emotional and the story was so insane. I was like how can this be real? I would run and listen to these shows and it just makes me run. If I didn’t have them, I would be bored. It’s the perfect way and it’s like free time where I can listen and do this. I’m not working out and it becomes a treat. It’s a really good trick.
AM: Absolutely. So, tonight, you have a listening party – are you excited?
S: I’m so excited and a little nervous maybe. Because I feel very honored and humble about people coming here. It's my first time doing it and I have never seen it done in Scandanavia, but I think that it is a really really good way to present an artist.
AM: So what else – what are you up to this summer even outside of music?
S: Yeah. I’m going to play a lot, which means I am going to be in Scandanavia because of the festivals. You may play Thurs and Sun then you have a few days off and then you have Fri and Sat and then 3 days off. So it’s not like you have to work everyday, but you have a couple of months where you have to stay in the same area. That’s actually nice because I have been away from Denmark a lot this year.
AM: What do you like to do in Denmark?
S: Mainly I write. That’s also where my friends are and I really really like to hang out with the when I am home. We do lots of good stuff. I deeply recommend Copenhagen as it’s a fun town.
AM: We may do a shoot there!
S: You should come during the summer as it has really good festivals. We have this festival called Rosklide. It’s like the second biggest in Europe and it’s amazing. Come for that and then stay and have a small week in Copenhagen to see stuff. Hit me up and I will give you tips!
AM: Do you prescribe to hygge?
S: I don’t know what that it is – tell me.
AM: Last year, we interviewed Meik Wiking who wrote a book about being and living a hyggelig lifestyle. Essentially, the concept is that you create an atmosphere and experience which creates a sense of comfort, well-being and togetherness. He outlines ways that one can bring it into their homes, work environment and to share with friends in order to create an optimized lifestyle. It’s about being cozy, spending time with close friends and family and
checking in with yourself.
S: I had not heard of that, but that seems like something that I would love! Send me info on this as I’d love to check it out!
PHOTO CREDITS | Dennis Morton/Big Beat Records |
We love chatting with those that have a few plates spinning while they take on the world, but remember to keep family first as well! Singer, Model and Actress, Kayla Brianna talks about how entertainment was a family affair (her father is Kenny Smith, who not only played in the NBA but is a sports analyst and Emmy Award winner for Inside the NBA on TNT), what it's like for her to be on tour right now, what she's focused on or 2018 and how she balances her time.
ATHLEISURE MAG: It seems like being in entertainment is a part of the family business. Tell us more about your family and how you got into performing?
KAYLA BRIANNA: Growing up music was always in my family. My grandfather, Gerry Goffin is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and my grandmother sang background for Ray Charles. I started off in girls groups and eventually went solo and landed a deal with Interscope Records.
AM: You have collaborated with a number of artists, what is it like and who would you like to work with?
KB: Each song is different. Working with London On Da Track, we recorded in Atlanta until around 3 a.m. each night. Just being in a creative space is a great feeling. I’d love to work with Drake, 6lack, Sabrina, Claudio Pharrell and H.E.R.
AM: How's touring and what do you do prior to and after performances?
KB: Tour life is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of hours driving and you kind of just sleep when you can. Usually we have a performance and then in the morning drive to the next city and do it all over again. Before each performance I'll say a prayer to calm me down and then after, we celebrate!
AM: Will we see you on the stage during festival season?
KB: Hopefully I’ll be performing at some of the parties at Coachella. I performed at the Galore party last year.
AM: Tell us about your style for your shows versus how we would see you running errands or going out to brunch.
KB: For my shows, I’m SUPER full out and doing the most and then when I’m at home you can usually see me in leggings and Nike’s and oversized sweaters, lol.
AM: When you're home, where do you go out and eat, shop and work out?
KB: When I want to go out and eat I love Catch, COD, and of course, In-N-Out. I love to shop at the Americana and when I want to get an intense workout in, I’ll either do Barry’s Bootcamp or Pilates.
AM: What are you focused on in 2018?
KB: I’m excited to release my EP this year and get more into my acting career. I booked a role on This Is Us this season so I’m excited to keep it going.
AM: Tell us about your upcoming album!
KB: My EP will release this year, London On Da Track produced it and I’m just excited for people to get more of an idea what my sound is.
AM: How do you give of your time?
KB: Every year I work with Feed the Children during All-Star Weekend. My family and I host an event and giveaway food, clothes and toiletries.
AM: How can we find out what you're up to?
PHOTO CREDIT | Marcus Ezell
Check out this trailer that we're pretty excited about. Netflix Films just dropped the trailer of Roxanne Roxanne that will be out on March 23. We're taken back to the 80s when MC battles in Queens. This biopic covers the journey of 14 year old Lolita "Roxanne Shanté" Gooden was beginning to climb her way up to being a hip-hop legend. In addition to navigating the world of Queensbridge Projects in NYC, we get a glimpse of how one makes it to the top.
The cast includes: Chanté Adams, Nia Long, Mahershala Ali, Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips, Shenell Edmonds and Adam Horovitz.
Read more the Jan Issue of Athleisure Mag
L-R | Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, 2018 Grammys nominee Rapsody, 6LACK, TI and Jamie Foxx
The Grammys made their way back to NYC for its 60th anniversary. Artists were gifted and have been seen rocking MCM's collab - MCM x WizPak. The exclusive wearable music smart backpack boasts a breakthrough market technology and fabulous sound quality and made its debut this past weekend. The tech-savvy accessory includes high-quality sound from a 40w 2.1 stereo speaker system with 3D surround-sound technology built inside the backpack and is removable and can connect to any media player through a wireless Bluetooth connection. It has 3-charging ports for up to 14-hours of charge to any smartphone or tablet. In addition to its technology forward abilities, the bag itself embraces the luxury brand's heritage Stark Visetos backpack.
As seen above on Jamie Foxx, Grammy’s Breakout Star Rapsody (only the fifth female nominee for Best Rap Album ever in the 23-year history of the category), two time nominee 6LACK. Others included Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, and TI.
Read more from the Jan Issue.