Luxury Nightlife hub, Silver Fox Nigeria, is set to rock Lagos this September with the launch of its exclusive indoor pool/lounge. Silver Fox partners with Scotch Whiskey, Glenfiddich, to bring the most exclusive and exotic pool party to the city.
Commenting on the idea, Silver Fox CEO, Big Slim said; “The Silver Fox entertainment hub has something for everybody. We’ve got rotating seats around the pool area to allow every guest good views. The Tony Montana area of the lounge is a vibe of its own and the pool itself which is the main attraction is state-of-the-art and ready for the most erotic performances.”
With multiple projects in the works since the grand opening of the Silver Fox Entertainment Hub, the brand partners Speyside single malt Scotch Whiskey, Glenfiddich, for the exotic pool party. It will feature top-notch entertainers from Africa and abroad, including Nigerian Afro-house music songstress, Niniola, Ghanaian Actresses Moesha Boduong and Efia Odo, Lingerie Model Bliss Bev, among others.
Silver Fox Media spokesperson, Demola Lawal added; “The pool party is not going to be your regular kind, it’s like something out of a billionaire movie. I dare say it would be the most exotic pool party in the history of Lagos.”
The Silver Fox/Glenfiddich Pool Party which holds September 28, 2019, promises to be all shades of exciting, a mind-blowing combination of premium brands. The two brands are set to take entertainment to a whole new level with the best whiskey and the most exotic dancers from around Africa and beyond; a total break from the norm in Nigeria.
“Wow, you’re going to the launch of the new Face magazine? I’m so jealous!”
That was the response of my dad when I told him what I was doing for work, and it totally took me by surprise.
His face lit up as he told me about buying The Face for the first time in May 1980, and he even had the first 10 editions on hand to show me.
But as someone in their 20s, the magazine really doesn’t mean much to me – it went out of print in 2004 when I was 10 years old.
In its heyday, The Face came out every month and would feature interviews with the biggest artists in the UK and US, along with showcasing fashion trends, club culture and cutting-edge photography.
Cover stars included everyone from David Bowie, Duran Duran and Oasis to actor Luke Perry and Naomi Campbell.
An unknown Kate Moss appeared on the cover in 1990 in a move that has been widely seen as the one that launched her career as a supermodel.
So as the magazine relaunches this month, will it succeed in capturing a whole new generation of pop culture and fashion lovers?
“The time felt right for a magazine that offered a certain amount of curation when the internet offers endless scrolling and endless information,” The Face’s deputy editor, Matthew Whitehouse, tells Newsbeat.
“Hopefully everybody will want to read it, ideally you want teenagers to want to buy it and at the same time you want it to be interesting to people who aren’t teenagers,” he says.
The newly launched magazine, which came out on Friday and will be published every quarter, has four cover stars – Harry Styles, Tyler the Creator, Dua Lipa and Rosalia.
They all have fairly millennial followings, as do England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Liam Gallagher, whose interviews also feature amongst the 300 pages of content.
One of the big questions for Matthew is how inclusive this magazine is going to be and whether it will have an appeal that reaches beyond London.
“I’m from the northwest of England and working class,” he says.
“Something I’m incredibly proud of about this magazine is that it features not one London-based musician in it.”
It’s a good claim – but slightly ignores the fact that one of the cover stars, Dua Lipa, has spent most of her life in London.
He says none of the editorial team at The Face are from London and that means everyone is “conscious of appealing to people outside of the capital”.
“I remember being 15 and reading these trendy magazines and thinking not how do I get my foot in the door, but where even is the door, so it’s very important to me to have those voices in there.”
So with that in mind, and for everything positive he had to say, the launch party felt more high fashion than high street.
It was in collaboration with designer shoe brand Louboutin and London Fashion Week, taking place in an exclusive Soho location.
People were queuing down the street just to get in, and once inside, the packed basement was filled with outfits that looked fresh off the catwalk.
It felt removed from the magazine’s “something for everyone” vibe and more like a party where your name wasn’t on the list.
For former magazine editor and Goldsmith’s Uni lecturer Kathryn Blundell, she has a different perspective, and worries whether The Face will actually attract young people.
“It’s interesting that The Face has chosen to pitch itself to a younger audience given that its original readers – now in their 40s and 50s – are more established magazine buyers,” she tells Newsbeat.
“The Face as a brand doesn’t mean anything to people in their 20s, even when you take into account renewed interest in all things 90s.
“And nearly £10 an issue is a big ask for young people, especially given it’s a crowded market with brands like Dazed that are well established.”
It’s difficult to ignore what’s happening in the wider publishing industry in the UK too – last week Marie Claire announced it was closing its print edition, following in the footsteps of NME and Glamour.
“What this launch signals to me is that print still adds kudos to a brand,” she says.
“When magazine brands have gone digital only, they don’t last long. People forget about them and the brands feels less relevant and old fashioned.
“Whether younger people feel the same way is another matter though.
“Most aren’t in the habit of buying magazines now, and things like social media and apps that curate content fill a gap that magazines used to occupy. “
Kathryn does say though that from looking at The Face’s content, it seems “accessible” to a wide audience and doesn’t look “overly artsy”, which could help to draw in a larger audience.
“What I often find when I’m looking at magazines in this market is that they focus on ‘new’ people, underground names and subcultures, so you have to be really in the know to get it.
“No one wants to think they haven’t got their fingers on the pulse. I think The Face has navigated this well – it’s got the big names that sell magazines and everything presented in an accessible style.”
“If you don’t mind, I’m just gonna take a breath.”
Muna’s lead singer, Katie Gavin, is speaking to a packed audience at London’s Village Underground to request a time out.
It’s not because she’s got jet-lag (although she has); or because she’s exhausted from leaping around the stage (she is). Instead, she’s recognised the looming symptoms of an anxiety attack.
Her bandmates Naomi McPherson and Josette Maskin rally around and, for the next 60 seconds, they slowly inhale and exhale under the spotlights. The audience joins in, too, transforming the gig into a sort of mass yoga session.
“It felt really good,” Gavin tells the BBC a day later. “I’m glad we did it – breathing is something that’s helped me with my anxiety around singing.”
Her vocal insecurities began when Muna toured their first album, About U, two years ago. Gavin developed “obsessive thinking,” fixating on unconscious mechanisms like breathing and swallowing as panic took hold.
Relaxation techniques helped her tackle the problem – hence the pause in Monday night’s show.
“It felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, except the issue is I don’t want to be out of my body, I want to be there, and breathing is something that helps me re-centre,” she explains.
McPherson, the band’s producer and musical polymath, suggests breathing exercises should henceforth become compulsory at all their gigs.
“I think it’s hard for everyone to stay in the moment at a rock show, especially now with social media and stuff, because you’re filming a lot of it. Taking a breath is like taking a moment to be present,” she says.
“I mean, music is cool, but have you tried breathing?”
The band dissolve into laughter. They laugh a lot, especially when the conversation threatens to get too earnest. But they’re also in stitches as they discuss cult comedy Derry Girls (McPherson does a terrible impersonation of the accent), and Maskin’s morbid fear of zombies.
“I absolutely hate them,” she protests. “I think about when I used to play tag or hide and seek: When the other kids came to get me, I would freeze. So if the zombies came to get me, I’d be rooted to the ground.”
“So you’re actually thinking about your own reflexes,” McPherson teases, “and that’s what scares you the most!”
‘Solidarity in difference’
That self-deprecating humour is present in the title of their second album, Muna Saves The World – simultaneously embracing their role as a queer-identifying, politically-progressive band, while recognising the inherent absurdity of that.
Gavin’s lyrics don’t serve up recipes for world peace, either. Instead she navigates weighty topics like addiction, alienation, romantic desolation and cycles of abusive behaviour.
“It’s called Muna Saves The World but it’s really about saving yourself,” she explains.
Released last week, the album has received rave reviews across the board.
“Muna’s music wonders what pop might sound like if it was made by punks, and what relatability could feel like to people who have always felt different,” wrote NPR’s Catherine Whelan. “It soars and sinks, questions and answers. Like the band who makes it, the music itself seems to find solidarity in difference.”
But the album almost never happened.
The band were still students at the University of Southern California in 2014 when they made their debut album – 12 tracks of empathetic, sinuous synth-pop that eventually caught the ear of floral trouser enthusiast Harry Styles.
The former One Direction star invited Muna to tour Europe with him, amplifying and echoing their messages of tolerance and queer acceptance at every show.
When the tour ended in Milan, Styles gave them Gucci shoes, and they hung around in Italy to take cookery classes before heading back to LA to start their second record. And that’s when things started to go wrong.
Gavin fell into a long post-tour depression, while her bandmates were forced to move back into Maskin’s parents’ house. The songs weren’t coming together, either. A planned concept album about Joseph Campbell’s concept of The Hero’s Journey, was eventually abandoned.
“It was very emotionally challenging,” remembers McPherson. “I cried a lot.”
“It was hard, really frickin’ hard,” Maskin agrees. “There were points when we thought, ‘Can we do this at all?'”
Eventually, the trio realised they’d rushed into the studio too soon. The first album had changed their lives and they’d formed an inseparable bond but, emotionally, they were the same teenage students who’d recorded About U in McPherson’s bedroom. It was time to grow up.
“It was like a second adolescence kicking in,” says McPherson. “In your mid-20s you have to go through the icky growing pains all over again.”
“I think we all had to separate from each other, so we could better understand ourselves and our position in the group,” adds Maskin.
Gavin sums it up best: “It’s like, if you’ve been in a long-term relationship, eventually you realise that other person can’t be the solution to all your problems.
“You’re like, ‘I’m in love but I still hate myself – what’s up there? I’ve got to go and fix that’. So you’ve still gotta stick up for you, and then show up in the studio with love to give.”
Six months in, a break-through. Driving through California, Gavin came up with a fantastically deadpan lyric: “So I heard the bad news/Nobody likes me and I’m gonna die alone in my bedroom/Looking at strangers on my telephone.”
It became the opening verse of Number One Fan, a throbbing, Robyn-esque dance track, that’s really about battling those destructive inner voices and loving yourself. It is the story of Muna’s crisis of confidence distilled into three minutes.
The rest of the album is just as raw. Stayaway finds Gavin locked in her bedroom, avoiding anything – friends, music, drink – that might tempt her back into the arms of an ex (“every moment is a fork in the road and every road leads back to you,” she sighs).
On Taken, she’s furious with herself for tempting someone into an affair, then furious with them for agreeing to it – because it reminds her of how her father cheated on her mum: “I hate you ’cause you’re just like him.”
The idea of the hero’s journey hasn’t been completely abandoned, either. Gavin opens the album singing: “I want to grow up/I want to put away my childish things/I think that I’m ready”. By the closing track, she’s reached some sort of resolution.
Over six minutes of percolating synths, she documents her life so far – flirting with casual sex and communism, smoking cigarettes, cutting off her hair, having suicidal thoughts, forming and nearly losing a band – before looking in the mirror and declaring: “It’s gonna be ok, baby“.
“You cut so close to the bone on this record,” marvels Maskin.
Gavin prefers to recall another piece of feedback, from McPherson’s mother: “This album has a lot less pretence”.
“I think about that a lot,” laughs the singer.
“I didn’t know there was stuff I was leaving off the page on the first record. Like, I don’t think I was necessarily aware of the mask I had on.
“I think that’s part of your journey as an artist, you’re just consistently sloughing off layers. And that was the hope, making this record, that I’d be able to be more honest than I was before.”
Will it save the world? Probably not. But Muna’s willingness to gouge out those deep, unwanted emotions and insist on self-preservation gives hope to anyone who, like them, has felt alone and aimless.
“I’m not the kind of person to believe in fate, but I do believe that some things are supposed to exist,” says Maskin, “and I’ve always felt that way about Muna specifically: Everything we’ve done, we were supposed to do.”
“I just wanted to be one of The Strokes,” croons Alex Turner in the opening line of the Arctic Monkeys’ latest album.
He wasn’t the only one.
The skinny-jeaned New Yorkers spearheaded the last big-selling local music scene (only London grime has come close since) as themselves and bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol and LCD Soundsystem transported their early noughties sound from Manhattan dive bars to arenas and record shops around the world.
Now a new art installation is bringing the influential and scene back to life, in all its filthy glory.
Meet Me in the Bathroom: The Art Show is based on Lizzy Goodman’s 2017 book of the same name, which contained first-hand and often contradictory accounts of the frenetic post-punk revival during a period of great social upheaval for the city.
Goodman, a friend of Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi since their teens, talks the BBC through the show and why the era still means so much to so many.
‘Freedom to misbehave’
The exhibition is located in The Hole gallery in the Bowery district of Manhattan, fittingly opposite where the famous CBGB punk club once stood.
Its aim is to replicate “a disgusting super gnarly dive bar on Second Avenue, with famously foul toilets,” where the city’s young bands, artists and creative types would hang out.
The celebration of these “outposts for strangeness” and “safe spaces for pursuing debauchery” was integral to the project.
“I think capturing that is the essence of what we’re trying to do here,” says Goodman, “Creating a space where you can recall the freedom to really misbehave, for better or for worse, in an oddly safe place.”
The Strokes and their contemporaries built their reputations playing such venues at a time when music download technology was still in its infancy and social media was barely a glint in Tom from Myspace’s eye.
Looking back on it now, the journalist-turned-curator believes they were unwittingly part of the last generation of young people free from the “eternally documenting eye in the sky.”
“There wasn’t this sense of being seen all the time and I think that’s part of the reason the show connects,” she adds.
“A lot of those bands had a lot of ambition but not a whole lot of expectation and were then catapulted to this level of underground fame. No-one became The Rolling Stones or Coldplay but they did very well and that was unexpected.
“But there’s also the second layer of this, which is now everyone’s being watched all the time. We’re watching ourselves – I tell a story about my day every day on Instagram – and this was an era when that was so far from the realm of possibility that there was a special kind of freedom that existed.”
Goodman is interested in seeing how kids in bands today are “incorporating that sense of cultural, big brother into the work that they make,” to similarly document their own era.
‘The power of ugliness’
After film director and curator Hala Matar had persuaded Goodman to turn her words into art, the main object of her heart’s desire was to acquire the What’s Eating Karen O Dress, designed by Christian Joy for the eccentric Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman.
The acid green “reformed prom dress” is, according to Goodman, “pretty hideous in this really extraordinary arresting way,” and symbolic of the fresh defiance of the city, which for years had been told punk was long gone.
“There’s this sense of the power of ugliness, fear, darkness and discomfort being heralded as on a par with all the other flavours of power you’re seeking when you’re making art,” she explains.
“One flavour of power is beauty and one is strength. Like Beyonce’s hair blowing in a stage fan is a sort of expression of power and it’s beautiful because it feels strong and it’s arresting.
“But that’s only part of the palette of what you’re supposed to paint with, and challenging what we expect to see on stage with your physical appearance – showing sadness, ugliness and discomfort – those are also really important tools towards the end goal of making people feel something.”
Goodman remembers witnessing Karen O douse herself in oil and spit beer all over the Mercury Lounge stage in front of just a handful of people, en route to “inventing a persona that would then connect with millions.”
“The idea of a young female rock star with her equally talented young female friend [Joy] pursuing ugliness intentionally as part of the platform of what they’re getting at is just really cool to me.”
A sense of urgency brought on by 9/11
The Strokes’ seminal debut album, Is This It, arrived just months before the 9/11 attacks which killed thousands of people and would go on to shape the narrative of 21st century world politics.
The event provided a “violent, destructive and traumatic” backdrop to all that followed.
“These are bands formed by kids in one era, and then in the beginning of their early youth realised in a very dramatic fashion that they were going to die and that everyone around them was going to die and their city could be smouldering,” notes Goodman.
“It was kind of inspiring in its sense of destruction… ‘I’m going to go out seven nights a week, not five nights a week’ and also in the sense of ‘I don’t have as much time as I thought so I’m not going to sit around for the next five years, half-ass playing in my band and working at the coffee shop. I’m going to stay up until dawn every single night with my friends trying to make this record.'”
“‘And I’m also going to go to Bar 13 and dance and drink, as Karen O says in the book, like, 20 cosmopolitans and do knee slides on the bar all night because why not?'”
She hopes to adapt the show, made possible with the help of UTA Artist Space, and bring it to the UK and beyond soon.
“The idea is how do we put this energy in a bottle and bring it to other places, so that it feels authentic to those places?”
US comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live has dropped a new cast member after videos surfaced online of him making slurs about Chinese people.
Shane Gillis, 31, came under fire soon after his casting was announced, when footage of a podcast showed the comic using derogatory language.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” said a SNL spokesman.
Mr Gillis wrote on Twitter that he respected the show’s decision.
“Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction,” he said, just a week after it was announced he would join the NBC show.
The SNL spokesman said in Monday’s statement that the decision to fire Mr Gillis – less than one week after his casting was announced – followed a discussion with the comic.
“We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL.
“We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable.
“We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”
Mr Gillis’ casting came under scrutiny just hours after SNL announced he would be one of three new hires for the show’s 45th season.
A podcast resurfaced from September 2018 in which Mr Gillis mocked Chinese people, describing his remarks as “nice racism”.
In another episode from the same month, Mr Gillis was heard using homophobic slurs to describe Hollywood producer Judd Apatow and comedian Chris Gethard.
Mr Gillis defended the comments on Twitter saying he is a comedian “who pushes boundaries”.
He continued: “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”
Shortly after the recordings circulated, Good Good Comedy Theatre in Philadelphia, Mr Gillis’ hometown, said on Twitter the club had “deliberately chosen not to work” with him because of his “overt racism, sexism, homophobia – expressed both on and off stage”.
We, like many, were very quickly disgusted by Shane Gillis’ overt racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia – expressed both on and off stage – upon working with him years ago. We’ve deliberately chosen not to work with him in the years since.