Quick 6 with Gracias

Quick 6 features the answers to six very craft focused questions. Next in the series is Finland based rapper, Gracias. 

The Dream Stalker: Your rap name means ‘Thanks’ in Spanish. Is there any relation? Could you tell us how you got the name?
Gracias: My grandma had this vision before I was born, so I got this very uncommon Congolese first name “Deogracias”, which means “Thank you Lord/Praise God” in Latin.

TDS: How does a Congolese Finnish boy get into rap?
G: Mom, Dad and I moved to Finland from Congo as refugees when I was four. I spent my childhood in the northeast of Helsinki, Malmi. A lot of immigrant kids with different ethnic backgrounds and 90’s rap music was the most common thing that we shared alongside breakdancing, graffiti etc.

TDS: Elengi, the new record, tell us a bit about it. What were some themes you tackled or set out to tackle, some important stories you feel you told and what influenced or inspired the album?
G: I consider myself as a big fan of music so I was overly inspired by the people that were working on the album with me. That’s the main reason why I wanted to work with them in the first place, they do dope shit. The likes of Desto, MD$, YSI, ALEXALFONS, Young Husky, Femme En Fourrure & World Mood Program


a Conversation with Established Models, Emil and Sam

a Conversation is a feature series which documents conversations between various individuals and The Dream Stalker. It is also a sub-section of our ongoing Lost Voices series. This particular conversation is a London Collections: Men special.

Somehow on the eve of London Collections: Men, as if a Lost in Talent tradition, I am sat opposite two models; Sam Alexander (who's pictured on top of the phone box) and Emil Andersson from Established Models. Both described as "quirky" by their booker, the boys live up to the description as we talk and they drink their caramel lattes (which Sam is very excited about).
Below is an edited transcript of our conversation (that Sam helped conduct) and photographs taken during and after the interview.


a Conversation with The White Hinderland

a Conversation is a feature which documents conversations between various individuals and The Dream Stalker. It is also a sub-section of our ongoing Lost Voices series. 

15th May 2014 --I was having the worst day of my year thus far, the kind where you don't want to see anyone, let alone talk to a stranger. I was so tempted to cancel my interview with American singer/songwriter, Casey Dienel, better known as, White Hinterland. Somehow, however, I managed to stop wallowing in self pity long enough to head to the Manchester art gallery.

I arrive having just missed her set, headliner, East Indian Youth is on stage as I enter. Settled into the white walled perfectly soundproofed room, we talk. On first meeting, the self assigned description "timid"comes to mind -she speaks very quietly, is relatively small but makes no attempt to make herself appear bigger and her side parted blonde hair (which falls just shy of her left eye) she plays in often throughout the interview. Her overall demeanour makes the revelation that in high school she was bullied unsurprising, she seems easy pickings -the "gawky" kid "more interested in playing piano than fitting in."

She found her path more easily than most; by twelve she knew she was going to do music, although in what capacity she wasn't certain. Forward seventeen years, five music releases and a name change later and she's living what she'd always thought. (With many interesting twists and turns).

I had originally written this as a Lost Voices feature, however following weeks -months of sitting on it, I thought it best to allow Casey Dienel's words speak for themselves. Here is an edited transcript of our conservation at the Manchester Art Gallery.


Lost at Blissfields

Festival season is fun (and funny). For the last three years I'd been at Parklife, this year, I wanted to experience something new, something different from the city no camping festival, so I opted for Blissfields Festival. It's a tiny festival held at Vicarage Farm -literally in the middle of nowhere -that hosts promising emerging artists, think Bastille, Chloe Howl and London Grammar (all previous performers).  This year, the headliners were Sleigh Bells and 2ManyDJs. 

Going from Parklife, or maybe it was coming from London, Blissfields felt very slow. There was no rush to and from stages or tents, and there was more than enough time to participate in things outside of staring at musicians sing. It's great for anyone who wants a relaxed atmosphere at festivals, ideal for families and teenagers (which is, infact, the Blissfields demographic -my initial thought on arrival was something along the line of 'Jesus, there are a lot of kids in here'.) It works, especially with numerous reports of deaths at bigger festivals, Blissfields is a good place to go or let your kids go without too many worries. 

As for the music, depending on what you like, Blissfields is likely to have something or someone you'll enjoy. And if not, you can always just roll your own candy floss or hoopla for the two days -they are just as fun as live music. 

Artists we enjoyed at Blissfields: Nick Mulvey, Dan Croll, Ry X, Kyan and Jake G.
Early bird tickets for Blissfields 2015 are available here