Posts tagged with "tv"

Marcel Spears Q×A

360 Magazine is always looking for up and coming creators just about to make the breakthrough to total stardom. We think actor Marcel Spears, who’s best known for his time on The Neighborhood, is just about to make that breakthrough. We we’re lucky enough to speak to Spears about his work and what’s to come for the up and coming actor.

How much have you enjoyed your time on The Neighborhood? 

I can’t really quantify just how much joy this show has brought me. I get to wake up every day and do what I love, with people that I genuinely have fun working with. I’m having the best time.

What’s it been like working with Cedric the Entertainer

Working with Cedric really has matured me as an artist and as a businessman. The benefit of working with someone of Cedric’s caliber is you can’t help but bring your best. He’s a teacher, a jokester, a leader, and a mentor all in one. It’s exactly what I would have dreamed it would be like.

How has New Orleans and New York shaped you as an artist and performer?   

When I was in grad school at Columbia University My mentor Brandon Dirden told me “Don’t let them train your grannie out of you…” which essentially meant not to forget my roots as I grow as an artist. New Orleans is my base; my Roux. It’s where all my raw materials as an actor are rooted. My deepest joys, tragedy’s and triumphs are there. Growing up in a city with so much life will always be evident in my work. I get my flavor from NOLA. New York gave me a place to prove myself. It is a hard city as it’s reputation has warned so many artists before me. But you really can make it anywhere if you can make it there. New York is where I cut my teeth. I’m grateful for my time in both places.

If you could work alongside any actor/actress dead or alive who would it be? 

I have a very long hit list of artists I want to work with; But I’ll give you just a few: Wendell Pierce, Viola Davis, Aunjanue Ellis, Anthony Mackie, Billy Porter, Daniel Radcliffe, Sara Paulson, Brian Tyree Henry, it’s a very long list but I do hope to slowly check people off as I go on.

How important do you think it is for shows like The Neighborhood to address social issues like systemic racism? Does it make you proud to be on a show that addresses these issues?

Nina Simone said “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times…” and I have kept that in the back of my mind in every job I have ever done. Whether I’m working on a completely ridiculous comedy or when I get the chance to do heavy dramatic roles I always ask myself “what is this role saying about us right now?” I’m so incredibly proud to be on a show that has the ability to bring both laughter and unpack really challenging issues. I think all great sitcoms have been able to do that and I’m honored to be a part of a show that holds a mirror up to our audience in the hope that we see each other a little more clearly each episode.

What’s next for Marcel Spears?

Everything. I want to do so much. I’m writing, I want to direct, I want to produce, I’m pursuing more dramatic roles so I can flex that muscle as an artist. I’m so inspired by all of my peers, all of the work im seeing; Im ready to take on more projects, and really show what I can do.

Emma Norton Q×A

In preparation for Halloween, 360 Magazine has been searching for mysterious creatives. TikTok sensation Emma Norton brings that feeling with her extravagant horror inspired makeup looks. Last week we got to ask her some questions. We were dying to know the answers to. Below is our conversation with Ms. Emma Norton.

  1. When creating a makeup look, where do you draw inspiration from?

First, I want to thank 360 Magazine for your interest in talking with me! It means a lot. I draw inspiration from stories, movies, pop culture, and life experiences. There is also a lot of talented TikTok’ers that inspire me. To be honest, I conjure up most of my ideas from my own imagination. The hard part is making a decision about which idea to execute.

  1. How long does it take to create a makeup look from start to finish?

For some videos, once I make a decision on an idea, I can turn on the sound and camera and film in 1-2 takes. On the other hand, my more complicated make-up looks (my blue tiger and pop art look are two examples) can take as much as 6-7 hours to complete! I typically do all the production work myself in my makeshift home studio.

  1. Do you have a particular makeup and costume look prepared for Halloween?

Halloween is hands-down my favorite holiday. Like last year, I come up with multiple Halloween costumes and make-up looks I use for different events or for special videos. I prefer not to say just yet what this year’s costume will be – but I promise it will be show-stopping!

  1. How does the pressure of having so many followers affect your process of putting together the perfect look?

The fact there are no controls over my creative process or my content is a big deal to me. Sure – at times I feel pressure to increase my followers or maximize views and likes. Some of the looks I’m most proud of don’t receive the love I hope for. But in the end, I’m committed to being a “creative” – and as long as I feel positive about my content, I say bring on the pressure!

  1. Do you feel your following has impacted your creativity?

I do receive lots of requests – to reprise a character people love (like Harley Quinn), to create a character I’ve never done, or even to livestream a tutorial for a particular make-up technique. I’m grateful for the engagement and suggestions from my followers. But I’m always thinking about new characters and looks! That creative challenge is what gives me the greatest satisfaction.

  1. What sorts of products do you use?

This question is actually hard to answer! I have so many favorite make-up and clean-up products. I really like Morphe’s Avani Collab and use it all the time. I also love Patrick Starrr’s lashes and IT Cosmetics CC Cream. You can get my clean-up favorites from any supermarket or drugstore. If I have heavy make-up on, I spread coconut oil all over my face to loosen the make-up before using baby wipes for sensitive skin to remove the make-up. For occasional skin flare-ups, I like Clean & Clear Spot Treatment.

  1. What’s Next for Emma Norton?

As far as future projects, several months ago I relocated from my home in Denver to Los Angeles, and I’m 100% focused on pursuing my dream of becoming a film/TV actor. Acting is my first love. Besides acting, I’m working on a few partnerships with brands that I believe in and look forward to promoting.

I hope to leverage my platform to bring greater awareness to two wonderful organizations. Lollipop Theater is an organization dedicated to bringing entertainment (like me) to children confined to hospitals nationwide. I also support charity: water’s mission of providing clean water to communities worldwide that don’t have access to this basic human necessity.

Award illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

PCA Nomination Voting has Begun

The countdown is on to the 2021 People’s Choice Awards

In order to kick things off, the PCAs is calling for fan nominations. What movies have you obsessed over this past year? Which TV shows had you planted on the couch for an hours-long binge session? Who are the celebrities you just can’t get enough of? Which albums have you been playing on a loop since the day they were released?

Submit your top picks in TV, movies, music and pop culture during the fan favorite nomination phase starting today, Tuesday, Oct. 12 through Thursday, Oct. 14.

This means you’ll get to nominate your favorites before official voting even begins! Each day during this special phase, you’ll be able to submit up to 25 nominations per category, per platform—AKA the official PCAs voting site, Twitter or Facebook.

Participating is the perfect way to increase the likelihood that your pop culture picks make the cut, landing a spot on the PCAs ballot when official voting for the 40 award categories begins on Oct. 27.

Then, before you know it, the 2021 PCAs will be here on Tuesday, Dec. 7!

This year is particularly exciting as the PCAs will air simultaneously on E! and NBC. While the 2021 ceremony marks the fourth consecutive year the show has been broadcast on E!, this year will be the first time ever that the show will also be on NBC. 

Head to the PCAs voting site now to help the artists, movies, TV shows and pop culture moments you love get that much closer to the ballot!

To learn more, click HERE.

About the People’s Choice Awards

The People’s Choice Awards is an awards show currently run by E! News, recognizing people in the entertainment industry since 1975. Unlike other awards shows, anyone can vote for their favorite celebrity/entertainer.

Women is Losers x Latino International Film Festival for use by 360 Magazine

Marcel Spears × The Neighboorhood

Marcel Spears stars as Cedric the Entertainer’s son “Marty” in the CBS hit-comedy The Neighborhood. The popular series is currently in production for season 4, and will return on September 20th.

The Neighborhood continues to use its platform to address systemic racism in the U.S., beginning this season by confronting the federal government’s promise to give reparations to its oppressed citizens. The show gives audiences a feeling of community but also addresses these heavier, sometimes uncomfortable, topics, with a creative delivery utilizing comic relief to provoke discourse in people’s homes. Marcel’s character “Marty” will return home this season with a variety of circumstances that audiences are excited to unpack.

In addition to The Neighborhood, you may have seen Marcel as the scene-stealing “T.K. Clifton” on the ABC comedy The Mayor and co-starring in the BET film Always a Bridesmaid, on Netflix.

Marcel was forced out of his hometown of New Orleans by the devastation Hurricane Katrina brought to his beloved city. To this day, his strong affinity for New Orleans remains along with his second home, New York City, where he attended and received a Master of Fine Arts in acting at Columbia University. Marcel spent many years delving into meaty theater roles, including the title role of the Classic Stage Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Othello,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Tyne Rafaeli, for which he was awarded the Rosemarie Tichler Fund Grant for his performance, and a prominent role in an adaptation of August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’.

Tracy Sugarman’s Works Offered at Auction

“AND ALL THAT JAZZ”! WORKS BY TRACY SUGARMAN – ARTIST TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION

September 2021. Artworks by the American illustrator, Tracy Sugarman (1921-2013), who documented some of the most momentous events in American history, such as Mississippi’s Freedom Summer of 1964 (a milestone in the civil rights movement in America) and images of World War II, will be offered in Dreweatts Modern and Contemporary Art sale on October 12, 2021.

As well as encapsulating historical moments in a unique way, Sugarman illustrated hundreds of books and record covers in a career spanning 50 years. The group of works coming up for auction spotlights Sugarman’s work for the music industry. Between 1954 and 1959 he produced more than a hundred album covers for the record labels Grand Award and Waldorf Music Hall Records. These were later reissued on CDS.

His illustrations were published in hundreds of magazines and books, as well being shown as on TV (PBS, ABC TV, NBC TV, and CBS TV). He was in high demand as a multi-talented artist, scriptwriter, producer, and author and won numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Art Directors Club in Washington, D.C. He was also a civil rights activist, something he also captured in his artworks.

While carrying out his commissions for the music industry he was given complete artistic freedom to create the works as he wished. Commenting he said: “I had been able to explore every medium from scratch-board to oils, from pastels to watercolors and seen them reproduced. I had captured Mahalia Jackson singing gospel and Knuckles O’Toole playing ragtime piano.” A work in 2007 marked the beginning of a lifelong love affair with jazz and the works in this sale show how he creatively captures the spirit and energy of Jazz.

In the Studio (lot 301) in its bright red hues, communicates the passion and vibrancy of Jazz and music in general. Dark lines contrast the colour, creating the shapes of the figures, resulting in a simple, but powerful piece. It carries an estimate of £400-£600. Portrait of a Trumpet Player (lot 299) by Tracy Sugarman captures a trumpet player in full flow. Created in wax crayon, the raw image brings the paper to life. It is estimated to fetch £400-£600. The Thinker (Lot 300) in wax crayon and watercolor shows the creative process and thinking behind the creation of music. In rough strokes Sugarman conveys all of this in a minimal way, creating the impact by its very simplicity.  The work is estimated to fetch £400-£600.

More works by Sugarman can be seen in the online catalogue, follow the link here

Lexus Retreats In Motion image by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

CREATIVE SPARKS FLY IN NEW LEXUS CAMPAIGN

Lexus collaborates with a dynamic group of artists on original song, music video 

In its new marketing campaign, “Emotional Sparks,” Lexus celebrates its commitment to engineering vehicles that deliver the freedom, excitement and inspiration drivers need to spark their creative visions. To bring the campaign to life, Lexus partnered with a group of musical artists who gain first-hand experience with innovations like Lexus Teammate™ Advanced Drive Technology found in the new LS500h, Remote Park and Plug-In Hybrid Electric technology on the all-new NX and the exhilarating 5.0L, naturally-aspirated V8 engine performance of the first-ever IS 500. Motivated by their in-vehicle experiences, the artists collaborate (for the first time) to create an original music track inspired by innovation and performance.

Titled “No Ceiling,” the track was created by three-time Grammy nominated, American record producers and songwriting duo Nova Wav, Korean-American R&B artist Audrey Nuna and Argentinian freestyle rapper Ecko, and is available on major streaming platforms. For the music video, renowned dancer and choreographer Zak Ryan Schlegel brought the song to life. Both the song and music video are live now at www.lexus.com/sparks.

“‘No Ceiling’ captures that limitless feeling you have when you’re driving and your favorite song comes on,” said Nova Wav, Warner Chappell Music songwriters. “We loved producing this track with Audrey and Ecko and seeing Zak’s moves. The energy of our collaboration comes through in the video and the commercials.”

“At Lexus, our inspiration comes from our guests, and this campaign beautifully showcases the very best of Lexus’ guest passions, energy and excitement,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus marketing. “Prioritizing how our guests feel while driving and owning a Lexus is critical and provides the spark for us to develop cutting-edge features like our all-new multimedia system called Lexus Interface and Teammate™ Advanced Drive technology.”

While the “No Ceiling” music video provides an overall look at the collaboration, four :30 TV spots focus on the individual artists and songwriters. Each spot features an excerpt of “No Ceiling” and its inspiration:

  • Plug In, Play Loud” – Nova Wav listens to Audrey Nuna’s vocals while navigating city streets on electric power in the new 2022 NX plug-in hybrid vehicle.
  • Hands To The Sky” – Audrey Nuna’s lyrics take shape as she gets behind the wheel of the 2022 LS 500h, activating the all-new Lexus Teammate™ Advanced Drive technology.
  • La Via Rapida” – Warner Chappell Music’s Ecko is invigorated by the performance of the IS 500, crafting his verses as he pushes the throttle.
  • The Asphalt Stage” – Zak Ryan Schlegel brings a dancer’s perspective as he performs movements inspired by the NX 350h’s Remote Park, a function of Advanced Park.

The “Emotional Sparks” TV spots will air during primetime, late night and sports, including the NFL, college football, NHL and Premier League. The campaign also includes advanced TV, digital, social, print and out of home.

A variety of media partnerships will provide content celebrating innovative creative processes. In partnership with Playbill, The Times Square Alliance and The Broadway League, Lexus will be the Auto Presenting Sponsor of Curtain Up!, a three-day celebration marking the return of Broadway to the heart of Times Square. Additional media partnerships will roll out over the coming months.

For additional details, visit www.lexus.com/sparks.

tech illustration by sara davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Speech AI Company Sonantic Gives Val Kilmer His Voice Back

Revolutionary advancements in AI voice technology give Kilmer the ability to perform again after suffering side effects from throat cancer.

Sonantic, a UK-based startup leading the charge on emotional text-to-speech technology, has created a voice model for actor Val Kilmer, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015 and has since undergone a tracheotomy procedure. The award-winning actor, whose Hollywood career has spanned nearly four decades, has difficulty communicating in a voice that is easily recognized or understood by fans. The AI-generated voice model, which was developed by utilizing clips of Kilmer’s voice prior to his illness, can be heard in a demo video that was created in close collaboration with the actor.

“I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible,” said Val Kilmer, adding, “As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the side effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me. The chance to narrate my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.”

Founded in 2018, Sonantic has built a cutting edge platform that creates hyper-realistic, emotionally expressive, and controllable artificial voices. Sonantic has mastered this with its proprietary Voice Engine, which captures the nuances of the human voice such as accents, emotions and delivery styles. This process typically requires actors to record various lines of dialogue in a studio, but only historical footage could be used to create Kilmer’s voice model. After cleaning up the audio samples, Sonantic was left with 10x less data than typically needed. This led to the creation of new algorithms, techniques and models that have since been incorporated back into the Voice Engine, strengthening its ability to handle difficult voice content. These breakthrough advancements in the technology — which allowed for the creation of 40 different options before finalizing Kilmer’s prototype — have further enhanced Sonantic’s capabilities and will benefit all future voice projects.

This announcement comes on the heels of Amazon Studios’ release of Kilmer’s autobiographical documentary, Val, which touches upon the actor’s cancer battle and the physical and emotional toll it has taken on him. During the development of the documentary, Sonantic was introduced to Kilmer’s team which ultimately led to the creation of his voice model. By turning the written word into lifelike audio, Kilmer will be able to use the model  in both his professional and personal life. On the work front, Kilmer can take part in TV or film productions that require voice overs or replacement dialogue that will be created by Sonantic’s easy-to-use computer app. In terms of day-to-day living, Kilmer’s voice model can serve as a personalized replacement to robotic speech generating devices.

Sonantic’s co-founders Zeena Qureshi, CEO and John Flynn, CTO said in a joint statement: “It was an honor to create a voice model for Val Kilmer, whose courage and creativity is truly inspiring. This was an emotional project that demonstrates how Sonantic’s AI generated voice models can have a positive impact on the acting community at large. We’re proud to help Val continue his craft in a way that wasn’t feasible before, and we look forward to seeing what he takes on next.”

This groundbreaking advancement in speech and sound production is revolutionizing the film and gaming industries. Sonantic’s immersive voice acting on-demand allows its top tier B2B clients — including Amazon Studios, XBox Game Studios’ Obsidian Entertainment and Remedy Games — to significantly expedite timelines, streamline processes and lower production costs. Actors play a critical role in crafting voice models, which are scalable assets that generate passive income and create new job opportunities without the commitment of time and travel. Considered the CGI of voice for the industry, actors have embraced this hybrid approach that enables them to take on both traditional, real-life acting jobs as well as innovative, AI voice model work.

Stephen Gilles image via Daphne Diluce at Roar Creative Media for use by 360 Magazine

Stephen Gillen Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

Stephen Gillen is an bestselling author and established entrepreneur who has gained success with his biopic “The Monkey Puzzle Tree,” alongside various business, media, and film projects. Looking towards the future, Gillen is soon to release his highly-anticipated book, “In Justice, Love, & Honour.” He also recently signed a worldwide TV deal with Film Volt, in which his The Stephen Gillen Crime Files channel will be broadcast on all major platforms. 360 Magazine sat down with the author to discuss the creation of his latest text and other upcoming projects.

What has working with someone so closely related to in the historic incident, namely Joseph Loney?

It was great working with Joseph to get a real human feel behind this story of what the real-life fallout and struggles translated to for everyone involved. It can be the small or big things, it’s all relevant in such a massive, emotional, historic and trauma-driven story. I want to know, feel and understand what it was really like, and to pinpoint the details and exclusive parts of the story not known or perhaps published. That [way] I can not [only] do justice to everyone involved and the victims, but [also] translate it authentically and with the right information and emotion for my readers. For me, having a real expert experience of what it is to live lives like this and what these characters would have been feeling, was a fascinating expose of everything that went on. I understood the ‘humanness, challenges and fears’ of the people behind this unbelievable story. It was always a great privilege and each had an amazing story in their own right.

Did you always have an interest in history, or did something about the incident concerning Fredrick Sewell and his band of robbers particularly pique your interest in the subject?

The story actually came to me through Joseph Loney, who contacted me because of his great love of the story I wrote about my life, “The Monkey Puzzle Tree.” We started talking over time and the more I understood about his journey and his father’s journey linked with Fredrick Sewell and the history surrounding it, I began to see what a massive narrative it was. Not just because of the historic angle and what actually happened, but [also] how the journeys of the main characters were incredibly linked in paradoxical and emotional ways. There were unbelievable links in this story – like Fredrick Sewell, Joseph Loney Senior, and Gerald Richardson (the policeman killed) were all the same age, but [each] ended up in a way you would never imagine. Fact really is stranger than fiction, and as I crafted this story, I cared very much about [what] all the characters went through and how they all ended up. This is one of the many elements that makes it an un-put-down-able read, which at the moment is being highly desired by the world’s top publishers.

What has it been like signing with Global Aggregate Film Volt for your channel?

It was a great moment. We have always worked so hard, and I have such wonderful people around me, like Daphne, my partner, and the rest of the team. It was good to then be invited in to do the awesome work … together at Film Volt. Mark is a cool guy, well respected, and very influential in the industry. He has a very strong and talented work ethic. We’re very similar in ways, so for all of us involved in the partnership with such a connected and influential worldwide distributor, it offers us great opportunities for the future to do the fantastic work we are all focused on together.

I have a very unique history, skill set and experience/profile, so [I] am [an] individual in this space and for what we are shaping on the Crime Channel. My crime channel, called ‘The Stephen Gillen Crime Files,’ is now in the process of being on all major TV platforms around the world. We aim to consistently deliver raw, highly produced and coveted content that will really add value and make the difference to audiences and people’s lives around the world. We have a world class team behind us now to make that happen and [are] committed to really raising the bar in content creation. With such a massive reach to such vast audiences, the future is very exciting.

What do you plan to discuss on your worldwide crime channel? Are there any specific cases you want to shed more light on?

We have many great and riveting formats under development, [that are] really out of this world and well-formatted. I’ll be continuing interviewing my YouTube model ‘The Big Shift,’ which interviews big name global crimes [and] many high-ranking organized crime figures and mobsters. But, we have other out of the box enthralling shows [too]. They are being released very soon so can’t say too much. But what I can say is [that] they are very professional throughout and crafted to entertain a wide scope of audiences in the genre, [the show is] very gripping and appealing to all. Most are really emotionally charged, which will really pull in, shock, and excite audiences. Other are focused on redemption and atonement, real hard-hitting, true stories that are amazing. [These stories] aim to be targeted, [and] to bring light, learning, closure and information to people so [that] these awful events may not happen again and there is improvement [for the] next generations. Other formats will be cliff hangers and work with viewers ‘outside the box,’ in the way this genre usually works. We want to thrill, shock, inform, improve and entertain as much as possible, focusing on the unbelievable stories that people really want to watch and hear about. It’s going to be content not to miss, I promise you.

How long did the process of researching for “In Justice, Love & Honour” take?

Research for ‘In Justice, Love & Honour’ took around six months to research, but possibly longer as even when I was writing, there was other important bits of information I needed. It was a real emotional journey… My family tell[s] me [that] when I’m writing not only do they not see me, but [also they] can’t talk to me I’m just so immersed in the characters, story arcs, plots and narrative. It’s how I write and why the writing is always so powerful, it’s a[n] emotion process that is finely woven and really burned, translated and detailed in a masterful and human way on the page. I also feel a lot of responsibility, and really work tirelessly for it to be as cleverly-crafted as possible for my audience and readers.

What do you anticipate reader’s reaction to “In Justice, Love & Honour” will be like?

I know they’ll be blown away by the detail of the characters, the emotion, the masterful weaving and moving plots, the descriptive and well written writing structures and the burning humaneness carv[ing] right through it. It is not just a massively historic, true story, but an amazing and riveting character study as you are emotionally gripped by these unbelievable characters that jump from the page. Part of the allure and uniqueness of this book is, of course, I live deep in this world and [have] travelled through most of the things these characters did from a very deep angle. So, I have great value as experience [in] the internal things going on as a person goes through these unbelievably crazy and breathtaking events. It certainly is a path less trodden and my main goal was to go to the heart of it in a way no other author could as we can only go as deep as we have been before. This certainly adds a massive uniqueness to everything in this unbelievable story. The world’s top publishers seem to think so too, as they are excited and pushing hard for the chance to be the one to publish and bring it to mass audiences. It is a great privilege to do it and I’m sure it will be a roller-coaster ride for all.

Find out more about Stephen’s story and the opportunity to get a signed copy of his book HERE.

*Photos and book cover design: Daphne Diluce

Fritz Michel "Look Out (Botticelli Girl)" artwork via Jon Bleicher at Prospect PR for use by 360 Magazine

Fritz Michel Q×A

Originally from France and currently based in New York City, Fritz Michel is a sensational, international star and storyteller. Michel has previously worked in film, television, and the stage, but is currently taking the music industry by storm. He recently released the highly anticipated single and music video for “Look Out (Botticelli Girl),” which can be viewed HERE. 360 Magazine spoke with Michel about his creative song writing process, the true meaning behind “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)”’s lyrics, and his upcoming debut EP release.

What has the reaction to the release of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” been like?

One really great thing to come out of the release of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” has been the opportunity to reconnect with artists that I have not had the chance to work with. I just shot a music video for the song in Oregon with a longtime filmmaking colleague. We used analog special effects, like puppets and slide projections, to create a visual story. I feel fortunate that my music is helping me tap into a whole new creative language. The streaming platforms allow you much more global reach as an artist. I’ve made personal connections with listeners and music writers all over the world over the past year, and that’s been amazing.

You’ve described “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” as a meditation and contemplation of amazing works of art and human history. Have any artists or pieces of art, besides Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus,’ inspired your music?

I look for musical inspiration everywhere. I borrowed the image of Ulysses lashed to the mast in Homer’s “The Odyssey” in my song “Stardust”. I use some snaky guitar steel there to speak of my homeward journey across the sprawl of Los Angeles from Hollywood to the PCH and beyond, while pining for my New York roots. 

What was the song writing process for “Look out (Botticelli Girl)” like?

“Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” came to me very fast after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art one afternoon last fall, right after the museum had reopened. I find that the galleries calm me emotionally and transport me creatively. I thought about that tension between permanence and impermanence that I experience [while] looking at a great painting and standing in awe of the flow of history. I also thought about capturing little human moments in music [in] the [same] way a painting does. You see that in the verses. I also thought “Botticelli Girl” had a catchy ring to it and would make a good lyric!

How has the pandemic affected your music creation process?

I really started exploring songwriting out of necessity when the pandemic exploded and put the brakes on performing live with my bands. My world changed on a dime, and that prompted a lot of introspection along with observation. I spent a great deal of time alone in my NYC apartment with my guitar. Fortunately, I discovered the space to learn the basics of music production and found the motivation to reach farther with the process. That’s the been a silver lining to the disruption and tragedy of the last year.

In three words, how would you describe the sound of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)?”

Atmospheric, reflective, acoustic.

You are multi-talented artist, having shared your skills through music, film, TV, and the stage. Looking ahead, which of these creative avenues are you looking to focus on the most?

I’m very fortunate to have worked in music, film, TV, and stage. Music is a lot like putting on a play in my experience. You have to find or write a script and bring your own colors, sounds, and perspectives to the story. Rehearsal is required and technical elements need to come together. Then, you hope that somewhere there’s an audience that’s interested in what you have to say. Looking ahead, I plan to focus my creative process wherever I find willing collaborators and a game audience that’s open to the story. I’m making videos to go with my other releases (“Darker Now,” “Stardust,” and “King of Corona”).

I’m also thinking about writing a musical set in a family [of] architects with a longtime theater colleague, Oren Safdie. We collaborated closely on the premieres his trilogy of plays about architecture. One of my first acting gigs was performing in Oren’s spoof of “Fiddler on the Roof,” set in modern-day Montreal at La Mama, ETC on East 4th Street. So, in that way, I think I’ll be exploring all those avenues in the year ahead. 

What is something about you or the release of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” that fans may not guess or suspect?

I doubt many people who listen to my music would guess that I was born and spent my childhood in France. We’ve also talked about Botticelli a lot in this interview, but much of “Look Out” comes from personal reflection on my own history. Termini’s is an old Italian pastry shop we used to frequent in South Philadelphia. I lived in Tribeca during 9/11 when the towers fell. When I refer to cherubs, I was really thinking of my own daughters there, less than the ones in “Birth of Venus”! Someone might pick up on those details on a closer listen to the song.

Do you have any more releases to come in 2021 that you can tell us about?

I’m finishing up a couple so I can put out my first EP this fall. I want to get back to performing, too. So much of what I know about music, I learned playing bass in a jazz quartet– so I hope we get that going again. For me, music is a good way to tap into our need for bliss, storytelling, and myth in life. I think it’s all about that conversation and listening to one another.

Jordan E Cooper image provided by Shannon Atran and The Chamber Group for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Jordan E Cooper × The Ms. Pat Show

OBIE Award-winning, 26-year-old trailblazing creative Jordan E. Cooper serves as the showrunner, creator and executive producer for the highly anticipated BET sitcom “The Ms. Pat Show.” The 10-episode series will debut August 12 on BET+.

The R-rated sitcom is filmed in front of a live audience and based on Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams’ stand-up comedy and memoir. Created & executive produced by Jordan E. Cooper and Ms. Pat, this grown folks comedy follows a former convicted felon turned suburban mom as she tries her best to navigate family, her comedy career, and a new all-white neighborhood.

Recently chosen to be one of OUT Magazine’s “Entertainer of the Year,” Cooper starred in a sold out run of his play Ain’t No Mo’ which was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Last year, Cooper created a pandemic centered short film Mama Got A Cough, which was featured in National Geographic and named ‘Best Of 2020’ by The New York Times.  He was also featured on the final season of FX’s critically acclaimed, award-winning television series POSE as “MC Tyrone.” Cooper also founded his own production company Cookout Entertainment- a platform for television and film work that centers community, conversation, celebration, and liberation.