“When I met M.I.A… I told her, “Just photograph yourself in front of the mixing desk in the studio, and people will go, ‘Oh, OK! A woman with a tool, like a man with a guitar.’”I remember seeing a photo of Missy Elliott at the mixing desk in the studio and being like, a-ha!”
-Bjork, interviewed by Jessica Hopper for the winter 2015 issue of The Pitchfork Review
Bjork continues on to say that while creating music, she doesn’t want to be photographed, because of how solitary and sometimes manic the experience is. She’s focused and can’t be bothered with appearances, but the lack of photographic evidence of her in the studio has lead people to question whether she actually wrote her music or if a man did.
While Bjork, or any woman, shouldn’t have to prove that they’re responsible for their own work, photographs of women working are empowering and help demystify the process for those interested in making music themselves. So, this is a photo of me, in my room, doing my thing. What do you look like when you’re working?
The FULL GAMUT of images from my shoot for The Pitchfork Review of the captivating, exquisite, charming, Esperanza Spalding…
Our connection is symbiotic. She is a badass accomplished female artist musician in her own right, marching the flag for jazz, redefining it into her own sound with her latest album D+Evolution. Spalding is a prodigy; age 5 playing the violin for the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, winning 4 Grammies, and being the first jazz artist to be awarded for Best New Artist. She’s a force of nature; there is no doubt about it. On top of all of her prowess, she is a lovely kind human being. We had a GREAT time playing around in my studio, making dynamic energetic portraits for The Pitchfork Review.
Thank you to a awesome crew!! Stylist: Anna Su, Hair: Joseph Henry, Makeup: David Josie; Assistants: Vedant Gupta & Evan O’Brien!
As with Drake and masculinity, Minaj’s music has long centered around the performance of femininity. On her first two albums, that performance centered around femininity as a spectacle: the elaborate costumes, the affinity for lurid Barbie pink, the cartoonishly exaggerated “SIGH” on “Super Bass”. For an artist repeatedly defined by her gender in an art form historically biased against it, the preoccupation made sense. But on The Pinkprint, Minaj addresses a different performance: that of the “strong woman,” the self-sufficient bad bitch role model who works twice as hard as her male peers and looks good doing it (in other words, the performance of the “only rap bitch on the Forbes list”). This, Minaj declares, is what the weight of your expectations has wrought, as she emerges from underneath them for the first time, as a heartbroken 32-year old who has sacrificed having a family to become the best rapper alive.
KIDS casting call flier distributed at the legendary NYC night club NASA. Featured in the article Rave New World Revisited By Matt Diehl in issue 4 of The Pitchfork Review. Subscribe to The Pitchfork Review
Björk rush-released her album Vulnicura on Tuesday 20 January and it’s been breaking our hearts all day (read pop writer Michael Cragg’s thoughts on it here).
In an emotional double-whammy, Pitchfork published a short version of a Q&A they’re running in their quarterly print publication, the Pitchfork Review. Read it here, and have tissues at the ready if you’ve either recently been through a break-up or just easily take on other people’s sadness.
This was announced last week, but to reiterate: I’ll be contributing comics to the newly announced magazine The Pitchfork Review. Here’s the title panel… (It’s a comic about my decade+ in bands, and all the feelings that ran through those times.)
Billboard has reported that Reflection debuts on the Hot 200 charts at #5 with 80k units sold, 62k of those as actual album sales.
Achieving a #5 chart position with a debut album is something definitely noteworthy! Congratulations, Fifth Harmony!
(Don’t forget to keep on streaming and promoting the album!)
Pitchfork, a website known for its indie tastes and critical stance on pop music, has reviewed Reflection! Reflection garnered a 7.2/10 rating from the website! The review is something you wouldn’t want to miss out on reading!
“But in fact, the group presents a more genuine and compelling face of millennial girl power than anything else currently on the radio, filling the last decade’s depressing void of viable girl groups.”
“It’s an album of fun, feminist pop that is simultaneously wise beyond its years (four of its five members are still in their teens) and refreshingly age-appropriate—and it effortlessly embodies the ideals grasped at by the girl power think piece wave, with a sharp, nuanced perspective that can only come from lived experience.”
“But where the abundance of buzzy slang terms and sung hashtags might come off as irredeemably corny in less capable (or less age-appropriate) hands, Fifth Harmony make these moments feel natural. This isn’t some jaded 20-something trying to get @DennysDiner more retweets, these are proud, honest snapshots of what makes girlhood fun in 2015.”
“Reflection is what girl power really sounds like in 2015: a group of young women of color raised under the guiding principles of Destiny’s Child, TLC, the Spice Girls, and their moms, imparting that wisdom upon a new generation.” - Meaghan Garvey of Pitchfork. (@meaghan_garvey on Twitter)
Pridesource gave Reflection a B+ in its review of the album! Check it out HERE.
Australian Harmonizers! There’s a lot of chances for you to get up close with the girls!
Dolly Magazine is having a contest where you can hang out with Fifth Harmony during their photoshoot for the magazine.
Take 40 is also offering a chance for 10 lucky Harmonizers to attend an exclusive Take 40 event, featuring a fan Q&A and a performance from the girls! This will be on February 20th.
MEDIA and INTERVIEWS
Billboard has posted the video of Fifth Harmony featuring in the 5th episode of “So You Know You Can’t Dance” with Billboard’s Pop Shop editor, Jason Lipshutz. The girls teach him the choreography to ‘Sledgehammer’! View the hilarious video HERE.
Guess who tweeted about Reflection today? It’s none other than the mastermind behind Fifth Harmony, Simon Cowell!
The top 3 album chart position Simon is referring to is Reflection reaching #3 in pure album sales alone, not counting streams.
Right on midnight today, Access Hollywood posted an interview they did with Ally, Camila, Dinah, and Normani during their album release party at Lucky Strike LA. Needless to say, the girls were blown away by the overwhelming response from the album!
BestFan has posted an interview Dinah did with them! The girls will be on their way to Australia this Valentine’s Day weekend.
Stefanie: Valentine’s Day is coming up, do you have any special plans? Dinah: Yeah we’re going to be on a plane going to Australia. We were talking about it yesterday and they were telling us our schedule and they were like “Yeah so you guys know you’ll be flying out on Thursday to New York and on Friday you’re flying out to Australia.” So on Valentine’s we’ll all be on a plane. We’re like, “Guys its gonna be cool we’re all gonna spend Valentine’s Day together!!”
Stefanie: Exactly, all you need is the girls right? Dinah: Girl, of course thats all I need. Well, I hate Valentine’s Day, I actually don’t like Valentine’s Day.
4Music has uploaded another bit of their time with the girls during the UK visit! They talk about each other in this video.