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» cinema

It’s all about HER: Interview with Veva

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Cinema, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

You can’t do an iconic teen movie without a punchy soundtrack. And Darren Stein got it right with the ‘GBF’ – just like he did 15 years ago with the ‘Jawbreaker’ OST. One of the highlights of the ‘GBF’ soundtrack is Veva’s ‘HER’ – delicious electro pop number with a killer chorus: ‘H, my hips, E, emotion, R, the rhythm’ (spelling and pop music always blend very well). I chatted with the girl behind the hips, emotions and the rhythm. Meet Florida-based singer Veva and get to know her story.  

Who is Veva and what’s her story?

Well, that’s a long story, and it kinda incorporates two questions. I grew up in Toledo, a small industrial town in Northwest Ohio, where my best friend and now music partner Matthew Paul only lived blocks away. We eventually met and it was over from there. His mom used to tell him that his twin was here when I arrived at his house. He noticed my pipes when I was about 14, and always encouraged me to pursue singing. Growing up in a poor family it was a struggle. But at my 6th grade recognition people started to notice my talent when I performed ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey. Fast forward to middle school, and I was in choir, and then in high school I was in the gospel choir. After the death of my sister in the early 2000′s I decided to take the bull by the horns: Matthew and I pow wowed how we would get to the ‘American Idol’. I went but didn’t quite make the cut, so we started researching and after a long drawn out conversation I packed and took off to sunny Florida. We placed Craigslist adds and networked for a producer. Justin Diggs answered the call and that’s how “HER” was born. After that we buckled down in the studio and recorded many other tracks, but it wasn’t until ‘GBF’ that we finally had something.

What’s the story behind ‘HER’ and how did the song end up on the ‘GBF’ soundtrack?

Justin Diggs approached Matthew and me with the demo for ‘HER’ in early 2011 which had a hook but no verses and bridge at the time. I was like ‘Wow, this is a really great track! It has massive potential’. So we did an informal writing session which turned into ‘HER’. And we had many difficulties in the studio: I do believe at one point we lost a bunch of files. It really was an adventure. We then contacted Tom Baker for mastering and once we got it back, we just KNEW! I had the strangest feeling. Matthew has always been fan of ‘Jawbreaker’ so it didn’t surprise me while networking that he would run into the famous ‘Jawbreaker’ director Darren Stein. Matthew made the connection, he met Darren Stein and they became professional friends. Darren at the time was looking for new music for his movie ‘GBF’. Matthew sent him a few of our songs and Darren fell in love with ‘HER’ which alongside ‘Love Gun’ made its way into the film. ‘HER’ plays during the sexy slow motion strut scene and again in the credits and Love Gun plays in a hilar scene with Megan Mullally (Mrs. Van Camp), Michael Willet (Tanner) and Paul Iacono (Brent). ‘HER’ also made its way onto the ‘GBF’ soundtrack!

Do you have a GBF?

LOL Yes: Matthew Paul.

 Is ‘She’s a monster’ line anyhow connected to Lady Gaga?

As much as I Love Lady GaGa, that’s a no. ‘She’s a monster’ just means ‘she’s fierce, she’s on fire, she’s out of her shell’. We had no intent on that at all. Honestly I didn’t know anything about the connection until after the fact.

Are you a party girl? If so (and even if you’re not!) – share your wildest party experience with me. No holding back!

Well, there have been so many!!! Haha, but I would have to say that anytime Matthew Paul and Veva get together…Enough said!

What’s next for you?

Sky’s the limit! I’m working on a plethora of projects right now including a few music videos and more music. So I’m geared up and ready to take on the world! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for myself and Team Veva! Get your fangs out!

You can get ‘GBF’ soundtrack on iTunes.

Top 10 movies of 2013

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Cinema | Leave a comment

Spring Breakers

Swag-tastic trip to the Disneyland for the YOLO generation : think #neonnightmare or a #dubstepfairytail. I’m pretty certain that’s exactly what ‘Tumblr: The movie’ would look like. And being a part of the ADD generation, I can’t help but love all the crazy imagery, rave-friendly soundtrack and Disney-stars-gone-rogue cast.

Bling Ring

Another dreamy trip into the lives of the media-savvy youth of the 00s. Sophia Coppola keeps her poker face and never makes it clear what we’re getting here: a satire about Young Hollywood or a spin-off of ‘MTV Cribs’. One thing for sure: being a celebrity thief in LA surely looks like a hell lot of job – you’re like totally have to look, like, hot and stuff.

Much Ado About Nothing

Joss Whedon never shied away from Shakespearean themes in work but this time he went as far as making his own version of the classic story about two stubborn lovers with big hearts and sharp tongues. His modernized version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ (which keeps the original dialogs) is all charm – it’s a house literally filled with Whedonverse darlings spitting tongue-twisting retorts with the same passion they used to fight forces of darkness before.

Her

The movie based on a satirical idea of a man falling in love with an OC (which does have a ridiculously sexy voice) turned out to be one of the most heartfelt and thoughtful love stories of the recent years. This tech-romance requires zero upgrades: it’s perfect just the way it is.

Dallas Buyers Club

True heroes rarely look heroic. They also rarely look like Matthew McConaughey, but if anything the movie proves there’s more to this guy than his romcom past. Much more. It takes a lot of talent to take away attention from Jared Leto playing a transgender women and Matthew pulls it off in a heartbeat. It’s a top-notch performance that screams Academy Award.

Wolf of Wall Street

3-hour-long roller coaster ride down the greedy and hilarious lives of Wall Street’s colorful baddies. Leo bares all of his talents here (often – literally) and wins big: it’s by far his most masterful and diverse performance.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Being a folk singer is never easy. Especially if you have a pretty shitty personality. The titular character of Coen’s vintage drama is hardly a nice guy but any creative person can easily relate to at least some of his struggles while enjoying a fantastic supporting cast.

It’s a Disaster

Here’s a movie about LA residents dealing with the Apocalypse which does not feature James Franco or a rape scene with the Devil. This indie flick tells a story of a ‘couples brunch’ that took an expected turn after the guests realized that the End of the world may prevent them from enjoying the main course. Best part: that’s probably how people would behave to the unexpected Apocalypse in real life. It’s always sad to hear that your favorite organic coffee shop was destroyed by a nuclear explosion.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Just when it looked like we’d never get a decent teen franchise again, we got ‘Hunger Games’ – stylish and brutal story about rebelling against the government machine, which pays much more attention to the actual uprising rather than teen love (thank God!). The sequel surpasses the original on almost every level and leaves you begging for more.

Anchorman 2

Simply the most hilarious comedy in the past several years. Never vulgar and always playful, it follows one simple rule: ‘the random is God’. And when the execution is that good, it’s hard to argue that it really is a winning formula. Other lesson learned: never trust a shark names Dobby.

Much Ado About Whedon

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Cinema | Leave a comment

Limited releases are tricky to catch, but so far I’ve been lucky: last year I got to New York just in time to see ‘Detention’ and on my recent second trip to London I managed to see Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Being a big Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse fan, I knew that’s one film I’ll love right away. And I did. So much that I had to write a review.

What do you do when you just directed a movie that’s destined to be the T-Rex of movie history with $1,5 billion gross? You sign up for a sequel. But if you’re Joss Whedon, you also find time in your superhero-filled schedule to shoot a painfully independent black-and-white modern version of Willian Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ using original text and his own house as location. And there’s never really any doubt that any of these is going to work. It’s Joss Whedon. He knows his stuff.

Whedon is no stranger when it comes to pushing the dialogs boundaries (see Buffy’s silent episode ‘Hush’ or a neurotic/epic musical one ‘Once more with feeling’), so making a good use of Shakespearean enunciation is hardly an impossible task for him. Most of the film’s sarcastic punch comes from its quirky interpretation of the play’s language as well as its leads natural likability. The true power of Whedon’s shows was usually in its secondary characters, so it was a smart move to put the beloved ‘supporters’ in the spotlight this time while leaving the Big Ones out. And given her ability to switch from romantic to dramatic to fragile in a blink of an eye, Amy Acker never fails to create a pleasantly sassy and touchingly stubborn incarnation of Beatrice who’s always just one step away from falling in love.

Her on-screen partner is a perfect match, too. Despite only dating on-screen for a handful of episodes, it was Aker’s Fred and Alexis Denisof’s Wesley clumsy relationships that became ‘Angel’ (and arguably Whedonverse’s in general) most heartfelt romance thanks to actors’ geeky charm and plot’s tragic twists. And with ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ they effortlessly prove that true chemistry can easily survive a 10-years-old hiatus.
Whedon became famous by masterfully exploring the themes of love, death and love to/between the undeads, so it’s only natural that at some point he’d turn directly to the most dramatic writer in history. After two decades of dealing with the slayers, vampires and superheroes, Whedon easily turn a seemingly-normal story into a fairytale with its dreamy cinematography and airy vibe. And he surely enjoys depicting countless layers of the ever-fascinating subject of romance. At the end of the day, the vampire can be slayed and the world can be saved, but is there really a proper resolution when it comes to love?

The biggest shocker here is Whedon’s decision to abstain from any tragedy. The world Whedon has created here is so intimate and peaceful, that even a tiny hint of danger sends a massive shiver down our spines. And for good reason: it’s hard to think of a single couple that would leave any of Joss’ previous stories undamaged. This time around Whedon isn’t trying to break any ‘happily ever after’ clichés, so it looks like we’re witnessing (spoiler-but-not-really) the first ever happy ending in his work. It also serves as a genuinely touching send off to his past as he’s getting ready to dedicate most of his time to the agents of Shield while prepping another mission for the big bucks-making team of invisible worldsavers. It took us almost a decade but we finally got to see Fred, Wesley and Topher all getting their happily-ever-after’s, but it was worth the wait. If only Tara (Amber Benson) was there as well… But there’s enough Shakespearean legacy to make this gone-but-never-forgotten witch happy, too, right?

Although it may seem lightheaded at first, Whedon’s first (and hopefully not last) Shakespearean offering is stuffed with charming nuances and joyful comedic moments. You always know when the movie was fun to make, and this one was obviously all about having a good time in friends’ company. It’s nice to see that even with the big booms and big baddies away, Whedon can still craft a vivid world filled with instantly likable characters who are as caricature as relatable. This is surely one of the year’s most delightful projects, which is worth hunting for around indie theatres. Not convinced yet? Did I mention you get to see Amy Acker’s killer legs a lot?