Chit Chatting with the Singers of New Hope Club

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I got to interview up and coming band, New Hope Club. If you have not heard anything about them, you will soon! They are currently on tour with singer-songwriter and actress Sabrina Carpenter, and their brand new single “Fixed” is climbing the charts. Read on and find out how they got their group name and where you can find their music.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start singing.

George: When I was around eleven years old, my dad was watching the “Concert For George” on TV and the song “My Sweet Lord” started playing. I immediately fell in love and, until like 1 am that morning, we stayed up trying to learn all the guitar parts for the song. From then I started learning guitar and started singing a few years later.

Blake: I had a very musical upbringing. At the age of six, I started learning guitar. From that moment, I never stopped playing–it became my main passion. I can remember always bringing in new songs for my guitar teacher to teach me and then going home and spending hours and hours practicing. I loved the feeling of mastering a song and being able to play it for all my family. I started watching videos of the Beatles online, and saw a band called McFly in concert, and it made me really start to want to be in a band.

Reece: Well, my dad was a drummer, which meant there was a drum kit in my house, so I started playing them at the age of three. After playing them for around seven years, I started playing guitar because I wanted to be more out front instead of being at the back. That’s also when I started singing. I got told by a few people that I was good, so I kept going and started busking and doing pub gigs. Now I’m here.

 

R: How did you all meet?

N: George was posting covers and original songs on YouTube when a potential manager messaged him. He put George in touch with a few people, but they never really clicked. That’s when he met Blake and they hit it off really well. They were writing for a few months, and then saw Reece on X Factor: UK and thought he had a really cool voice and would be a really good fit for the band. We tried out Reece and had the best weekend ever at George’s house, writing songs and jamming to bands we all love such as Oasis, The Beatles, and Catfish and the Bottlemen.

 

R: How did you come up with the name New Hope Club?

N: We had a longs list of names, such as The Trees and Shaker Bay, which thinking back on it now would have been an interesting choice. On this long list of names was New Hope. and something ending with Club, so one of our friends was looking through the list and thought it would be cool if we joined them together. Also, we love the idea of a club and that everyone can join together and be a part of something!

 

R: Tell us about Welcome to the Club EP and your single “Fixed.”

N: Our Welcome To The Club EP is our first release of music. It’s a different side to us that you wouldn’t have heard before. We had a lot of fun making this EP, and we hope it comes across in the final product. Our single “Fixed” is all about being fixed on someone that you can’t get enough of, and all you want is to spend every day with them.

 

R: Where can people hear or get your music?

N: You can hear our music on Spotify if you just type in “New Hope Club.” You will be able to listen to our EP Welcome To The Club. Same with iTunes and any music stream app. You can also watch the “Fixed” music video over on YouTube or on our VEVO channel if you just type in “New Hope Club, Fixed.”

 

R: You get to tour with Sabrina Carpenter. Have you met her? If so, tell us about it.

N: Yes, we are very excited to go on tour with Sabrina. We met her couple of months ago because she supported The Vamps on their UK tour with us. She is really lovely, very kind, and funny. It was her birthday during The Vamps tour, and for her birthday we got her a penny board and we all went skating around the arenas in the UK. We can’t wait to see her again and get started on this tour.

 

R: Tell us a few of the upcoming tour dates.

N: The Sabrina tour just started. The first date was in Vancouver on the 6th of July! We were super excited because we have never been to Canada before. On July 21st we are playing at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, and The Arthur Ash Stadium in New York City on August 26!

 

R: What is the best thing about touring and performing on stage?

N: The best part of touring for us would have to be meeting new fans and seeing loads of new places. We really love to go around the places we are playing and learn more about them. Also, we love performing in front the crowd every night, because it’s always different and it’s a lot of fun on stage.

 

R: How would you describe your bandmates?

N: I’d say we are very supportive bandmates. We are always here for each other, and we have a lot of fun as well. We are always joking around and having a good time–we are just three normal lads living their dream. For us to be able to do what we do is very rare, and we are loving every moment.

 

R: What are your future goals?

N: In the future, we would love to be able to do our own tour both here in the US and back home in the UK. That would be awesome! We would also love to bring out an album of music that we all love and had great fun making. Also, meeting all of our fans around the world would have to be one of our goals in the future.

 

R: Do any of you have a girlfriend? What do you like in one?

N: No, none of us have girlfriends–we are all single. I’d say we all like girls that are kind and polite, have good manners, a good taste in music, and have the confidence to talk to us because, unfortunately, we are too shy to go up and talk to girls.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

N:

  • We were going to be called The Tress instead of New Hope Club
  • We all share one hotel room wherever we go–we all hate being alone.
  • We are more night people than morning people (but isn’t everyone?)
  • We like to put on songs that our Uber drivers know and sing with them. You can watch this on our Instagram stories.
  • Blake can speak ten different languages

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

N: The weirdest question we have ever been asked would probably have to be, “If you could teleport, where would you go?” I guess it’s not really that weird, but we don’t get asked many weird questions.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

N: You can check us out on all social media sites by just searching @NewHopeClub. In Musical.ly, however, we are @NewHopeClubBand. We also have VIP tickets on sale for the Sabrina tour at www.newhopeclubvip.com, so you can check that out if you want to come and meet us on tour.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

N: We would just like to say a massive thanks to all of our fans for the amazing support you have given us and the great response from our EP Welcome To The Club. There will be more new music soon! We love you all.

 

R: New Hope Club, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

N: Thank you for letting us answer your questions! It was a lot of fun.

 

Picture credit: Dean Sherwood

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Nicola Posener

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Actress Nicola Posener has an impressive resume that dates back to about 2005. Besides what she mentions in this interview, she has also made guest appearances on Lab Rats and House of Anubis. Read on about this London native and find out about her upcoming projects and discover five things you may not know about her.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

N: Hey, Relate Mag readers! My name is Nicola, I am a London-born actress and voice-over artist, and I have been living in Los Angeles for the past two years. I have been pursuing acting my whole life, and began training at an early age. It began mostly as a hobby, but naturally turned into a career. I’ve been passionate about pursuing it ever since–it was when I was seventeen or eighteen years old, after I left school, that I began to work professionally, gaining representation. My first television role was in the children’s BBC show Mysti, followed by a series regular role in the UK Disney Channel Sketch Show Life Bites.

 

R: Tell us about your TV show Age of the Living Dead and about your character, Yvonne.

N: Age of The Living Dead is a 6-part mini-series set in the near future, where America has been quarantined by the rest of the world and divided into two halves – vampires on the East Coast and humans on the West. A “no man’s land” keeps the two sides apart and a fragile peace exists, but both sides have plans to break the truce and destroy the other. While the other world superpowers debate intervening, a small group of humans grant refuge to Yvonne (my character), who may be the key to their survival…or their destruction. Yvonne is the 17-year-old daughter and heir to the highest family in the vampire hierarchy. She is not like the others, and expresses herself in a more human-like manner. The vampires fear the potential chaos of her human tendencies and the humans fear her birthright and vampire species. She is very much alone, but with the intention of a better existence and creating peace between the two warring enemies.

 

R: Is your movie Living Dead connected to your show? Tell us about the movie.

N: It certainly is! The movie Living Dead is, in fact, the television series formatted into a feature-length film to reach a larger audience who may not have access to the series. We are expected to begin principle photography for Season 2 within the coming months.

 

R: Tell us about the movie End of Term and about your character. What was the audition process like?

N: End of Term is a movie where art meets horror at the renowned Ford Barrington Art School, as a group of graduates are tormented by the lingering menace of Garth Stroman, an artist who had a disturbing vision fifty years prior. Myself and the fellow students discover that true art can only be achieved through suffering and pain. The climax of the film sees graduation celebrations turn into a twisted confrontation with medieval torture…all in the name of art. Without giving too much away, I play one of the leading roles, Ashley, who is a villainous character of sorts. I actually auditioned for this film via self-tape whilst in Los Angeles. The film was shooting in Yorkshire, and they were seeing various British actors for the role. I was absolutely delighted to have heard that my audition made an impact. They flew me out the following month to begin filming.

 

R: You have an impressive resume. Tell us about some of your other upcoming projects.

N: Thank you. I’m currently working on a feature film called Angels Fallen. It’s an action/adventure movie where I play the leading role of Hannah, ex-demon hunter. We shot the majority of the film on location in Macedonia, which was a brilliant experience. The film involves fire, water, stunts–a great amount of fun! I can also be seen in the upcoming pilot for Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, playing an MI5 spy and potential love interest. It’s rare that I get to use my British accent in films! I worked with the most fantastic team and cannot wait to see how it turns out.

R: You are in the Mythica movies. What was it like working with Kevin Sorbo and Melanie Stone?

N: Mythica has been such a treat. It was a series of five separate feature films that we shot back to back. Kevin Sorbo was fantastic throughout. Most of my scenes were with Melanie Stone, Jake Stormoen, and Adam Johnson. We play a team of four unlikely heroes trying to rid the land of an undead plague, fighting a multitude of creatures in the process. We’re all great friends, having worked together over the past three years. It was such a fun adventure shooting a fantasy series, and I had so much fun everyday on set. They became like family to me.

 

R: What is the best thing about acting? What are some of the hardest parts about it?

N: I’d say the best thing has to be when you receive the phone call from your agent finding out you’ve booked the role! I remember I was in London handing out flyers about Disney’s High School Musical Tour when I got the phone call from my agent saying that I landed the series regular role in Disney Channel’s brand new television series Life Bites. It was my biggest break yet and I could not get over the irony of what I was doing at that exact moment in time. Definitely a moment to treasure. The hardest part is to not allow yourself to be a perfectionist, to trust in your performance and not be hard on yourself once the scene is complete. It’s always so difficult watching it, but you must remain confident that the character choices and decisions on set were right at that moment in time. There is no place for insecurity in the industry.

 

R: Do you have any charities or causes that are close to your heart?  s so, tell us about them.

N: A relative of mine suffers from Crohn’s disease. It doesn’t have great awareness, but it’s an incredibly debilitating disease and with no cure yet, it’s a case of managing day to day life. Both my sister and I have been involved in the 10K charity run through London for Crohn’s. There are many wonderful charities out there searching for cures that would all be worthy of small donations. Even the tiniest amount can make a big difference.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

N: Good question. I’m being super honest in revealing this one, but I’m actually really terrified of fish, an unusual phobia but a real phobia nonetheless. Another thing is that I love to sing–I originally trained in musical theatre and have a strong soprano belt (which I tend to keep to myself). My favorite animals switch between dolphins and pigs, because they’re both incredibly smart! I used to train in martial arts and I’m extremely rusty, but hey, I can defend myself if need be. The last thing is that I used to play electric guitar and play in a band when I was fifteen and sixteen years old. Great memories from my more musical days!

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them?

N: Ah yes, definitely not easy. The most important thing is to remain confident in yourself–no doubts. Teenage years are tricky, and there are so many comparisons to others and insecurities that can pop up along the way. The most important thing to remember is that YOU are wonderful, smart, talented, and not to let anything make you believe otherwise.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

N: Oh gosh, I’ve been asked many and none of them are coming to mind. We have a fantastic fan group created by the Mythica fans themselves, the Mythies in which I regularly tune in to the online Q&A’s with rather unusual questions. Pop by the Facebook page Mythica Musings…no doubt you’ll spot a few unusual (but fun) questions!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website?

N: Absolutely. I can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I love to hear from fans so don’t be shy! Reach out and I’ll be sure to say hello!

www.twitter.com/NicolaPosener

www.instagram.com/NicolaPosener

www.facebook.com/ActressNicolaPosener

www.nicolaposener.com

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

N: Yes, a great big thank you for all the support! It always makes my day when I’m sent a link to a fan video or a piece of artwork, even poetry. It amazes me how creative the gestures are and I truly love to hear from everyone.

 

R: Nicola, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

N: It’s been a pleasure, thank you.

 

Picture credit: Age of The Living, Nightmare Wedding Lifetime Network, Life Bites Disney Channel, Mythica

 

Eleanor Bennett: Inspiring Us With Photos

Eleanor Bennett: Inspiring Us With Photos

eleanor-bennett self portraitEleanor Leonne Bennett is a 15 year old photographer and artist who has won contests with National Geographic, The Woodland Trust, The World Photography Organization, Winstons Wish, Papworth Trust, Mencap, Big Issue, Wrexham science, Fennel and Fern and Nature’s Best Photography. She has had her photographs published in exhibitions and magazines across the world including the Guardian, RSPB Birds, RSPB Bird Life, Dot Dot Dash ,Alabama Coast, Alabama Seaport and NG Kids Magazine (the most popular kids magazine in the world). She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.Only visual artist published in the Taj Mahal Review June 2011. Youngest artist to be displayed in Charnwood Art’s Vision 09 Exhibition and New Mill’s Artlounge Dark Colours Exhibition.

We chatted with Eleanor to learn more about how someone so young is accomplishing such amazing things. What an inspiration!

1. Your photography is beautiful! When I checked out your site it seemed like you either photographed nature or people. Are these the two things you focus on? How would you describe your work/style?

I used to solidly focus on just nature and landscape photography. Now I am more varied and I concentrate on a lot of people and street photography. I also enjoy abstract photography and images of very old subjects. I like battered and rusting objects. I find them more interesting than something too clean and perfect.

2. How did you learn about photography and at what age did you start? How did you get inspired?

I started taking photos for a natural journal for a competition on biodiversity. Unfortunately I lost I was around 12 when I first started photography. It was a kodak easyshare camera and it cost me a small fortune to buy batteries for. I enjoyed doing nature photography but I much prefer something that involves me being more artistic.

3. How did you get involved in photography/art contests? Is this something that you knew about and decided to enter or did people see your work and encourage you to participate in their contests?

I started entering contests as soon as I was taking pictures. Before then I had already won two art competitions first place and a few hundred quid in books in prize draws. I enjoy winning very much.

4. How have the contests and awards you have won effected you, both as a photographer and personally? What achievement are you most proud of?

I am most pleased with the National Geographic UK Kids photography competition 2010 and the Visual Voice Under 18 award in Japan. I feel very happy to be winning contests around the globe. I feel much more focused than when I was a kid and used to become bored often. I have been winning since I was around 10 but entered competitions for anything from the age of 7. I’ve won a lot more relying on a craft and my vision.

5. Is it difficult at all to juggle your photography and school and any other hobbies you have? Is photography going to be a hobby for you or a career?

I want it to be a career. Which sometimes I feel is difficult I don’t have an agent so all my promotion work is my own and I am very hectic double checking and proofreading everything. I have many hobbies and I make time for them , I work out for around 2 hours most days and I enjoy Karate. Photography has brought me towards a lot of things. I read more poetry seeing as my work is often published in literary magazines.

6. Do you have a favorite photo shoot or photography experience? Any moments that just amazed you? Do you have a favorite photo?

When I went to London and met Reza Deghati. That was amazing. I felt like my photography could actually take me to great places. The image I took of him became a front cover of two American print magazines and those were my first front covers , I’ve have 70+ in 6 months. Its been hard work but it is like a starring role. My art advertizing a book someone wants to read.

7. I think a lot of your fellow teens see someone like you and admire what you have accomplished and maybe even feel like there is no way they could achieve such success. What advice do you have for other teens on believing in yourself and following your dreams?

Concentration and never listen to naysayers. NO ONE starts out being brilliant at something. Everything takes time and you are going to make many mistakes. That good actor went to acting school , that singer was trained too. The best thing for an artist is to get rejected but only by people that know what they are saying. from those people you learn how to construct portfolios, have stronger themes, stick to guidelines and how to communicate with editors. Never listen to people who don’t know what they are talking about , they are often overly opinionated and negative.

8. What do you think is the secret to advancing yourself to the next level? How do you take a skill or a passion and make yourself stand out from the crowd and put yourself in a position to be successful?

Talking to other people in your field and making connections and having a good third person bio. Let other people talk about your work and don’t hide your achievements away.

9. I’m sure some people like to say that it’s all about luck and/or knowing the right people, etc. What do you think of this?

Everyone I know has a camera, on their phone, on their computer on their apple product ect . To really make a stand out image takes a lot. I’m always trying to do it repeatedly. You could say I’m lucky myself, last year I was in the Environmental photographer of the year book with over 10,000 entrants I probably didn’t stand much of a chance but it happened and I’ve been entering for three years beforehand. Luck and effort are probably key. There are 7 billion humans-how do any of us stand a change in being noticed amongst the rest? I know myself I wake up at 4am and go to bed at 11pm every single day. I don’t get breaks so I have to open doors all by myself, no one has approached me for no good reason, I talk to many other artists and renew interest often.

10. What has photography and your success taught you about yourself? Do you think it makes you different from other teens? If so, how?

I’ve always felt I should work hard, I enjoy to be challenged.  I’m out to prove someone starting with zero artistic contacts can be a globally exhibited and critically acclaimed artist. I always feel different from other teens but mainly British teens I tend to feel I have a lot more in common with people from the states. My U.S pals are competitive, ambitious and all of them draw , play an instrument of some kind or have some plan to become someone awesome. I don’t have any friends younger than me , I’m naturally drawn to people who are focused or at least know themselves. I feel a lot of teens are encouraged to be aimless , my rewards might take time but I think it will be worth the hard work.

11. How have family and/or friends helped and supported you? Have you met any key/important people along the way that have provided support? If so, in what ways have these people helped you?

Hundreds of friends. Everyone who has ever published my work as a front cover or featured artist. I have a list of everywhere I am published. You read that you will know how many people I have thankfulness in my heart towards. Many people have shown great kindness to the fact I am a young artist trying to make it. I love those people and they are a help in breaking down the notion of wealth to create art.

12. Is there anything else you want to tell us about you, your photography, your future or life in general?

I hope to become a cover artist of much work especially albums and eventually I would love to create art with up and coming musicians. I am very approachable and I am happy to work on many projects.

13. Is there anything that Relate readers can do to support you and your work? Can we find you on social media sites?

I have a facebook page under eleanor leonne bennett art and my main site is eleanorleonnebennett.zenfolio.com. From there you can contact me directly to buy a signed print of any of my public pieces.

Celebrate Halloween?

Celebrate Halloween?

It was lunchtime in my primary Catholic school in Argentina, when I received a slit of paper from a teacher stating “All Colegio Inmaculada students are prohibited from celebrating and affiliating themselves with Halloween.” I was extremely confused. How could candy apples, costumes, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns be harmful?

That is when I decided to do some research.

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween owes its exotic traditions to the ancient European and British Celtics. The Celtics were pagan Druids whose major celebrations were marked by the seasons. From October 31 to November 2, they celebrated the final harvest, the onset of winter, and death in what was called the “Samhain” festival. They believed that during this day, both the harmful and harmless spirits of the “Otherworld” were allowed to roam around the living. In order to avoid harm, many Celtics carried lanterns made of vegetables, and disguised themselves as harmful spirits with costumes and masks, a tradition that is prominent in our society today.

The Christian effort to replace the pagan tradition has been alive since early times. In the 9th century, Pope Gregory IV moved the Christian celebration of All Hallows to November 1, right in the middle of Samhain. Yet, as time went by, All Hallows Eve and Samhain mixed, becoming “Halloween”.

Even in 2010, there are many Christians who try substituting Halloween with their own festivals. Many churches hold “Harvest Festivals” and “Reformation Festivals”, where the kids dress up as Bible characters, or Reformation heroes, and have treats for needy families. Others try to avoid Halloween completely; they don’t want their children to be part of activities that could compromise their spiritual safety, such as trick-or-treating, or carving pumpkins.

Halloween

Halloween

Over this topic, I have to side with those who celebrate the healthy side of Halloween. Ever since Halloween spread to America in the 19th century, it has become more of a secular tradition. As long as its pagan roots are not being celebrated, Halloween is just a day for people to be creative, have fun, and embrace the famous holiday that America is known for. And for those Christians who feel guilty about celebrating Halloween, you should know that there are many important Christian figures, such as Father Gabriele Amorth, himself a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, who have said, “if English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that.”

Pictures:

http://images.elfwood.com/art/j/a/jadegoblin/samhain_elfwood.jpg

http://www.catholichomeandgarden.com/images/pumpkin%20with%20cross.jpg