Interviews « Emily Koopman


 

INTERVIEW: Kurtis Wiebe


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Kurtis Wiebe is a Vancouver, Canada based author who’s been established in the world of comic writing since 2009. For his contribution to the critically acclaimed Green Wake, Kurtis was presented with the Outstanding Comic Book Writer Shuster Award.

Never satisfied with a specific style of writing, Kurtis has branched out to novels, videogames and screenplays. He spends his days at home, writing about the mad things that float around his brain, and occasionally escapes to various cities around North America to promote his projects.

He’s best known as the co-creator of the comic book series, “Rat Queens”.

By Emily, on May 4th, 2017, under Interviews, Kurtis Wiebe, Writers // Comments Off on INTERVIEW: Kurtis Wiebe


INTERVIEW: Rosy Edwards


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About Rosy:

Rosy Edwards was born in Greenwich in a decade when A-Ha were still scoring Number Ones. Upon graduating from Durham University, Rosy found her way back to London, to a flat-share with friends and a job as a Junior Executive in a media PR firm. With a relationship coming to an end, Rosie threw herself into London life – she even went to the roller disco at Vauxhall – and got back into running, Pilates and vintage Kate Bush. In 2013 she joined Tinder.

About Confessions of a Tinderella:

Rosy Edwards is the epitome of a contradictory twenty-something year old. She’s frugal when it comes to food shopping, but is willing to splash out on shampoo. She’s career minded, she just doesn’t know which career to have in mind right now. And although she’s happy being single, a part of her kind of wants a boyfriend.

So after a few unsuccessful dates with friends of friends (read: being forced to date their shortest/dullest/oddest acquaintance), she put herself on Tinder, the app that has transformed the world of online dating. And she soon learns the unspoken rules the hard way: always reject a guy with black and white profile pics (he is ginger and/or ugly); is wearing a hat (bald); has a shot of his torso (moron) or is not standing beside anything scaleable (5”8 and under).

And then there are the dates themselves. From a sky-high dinner date to a borderline drug bust in Chelsea, Rosy has experienced it all, swinging through her love life on the trapeze of Tinder. She falls for the wrong guys, ditches the nice ones, but can she finally find her happy ending.

Brilliantly honest and hilariously funny, Rosy’s story shows us all that the key to a successful love life could just be a swipe away.

*This interview does contain spoilers, so make sure you pick up a copy of Confessions before reading!
*Bio and synopsis thanks to Penguin UK

My friend Brianna also wrote a lil (very good) review of the book on her blog, which you can visit by clicking here.

By Emily, on April 1st, 2017, under Interviews, Rosy Edwards, Writers // Comments Off on INTERVIEW: Rosy Edwards


6 MINUTES WITH: Honey and Jude


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Motown loving, spicy-food-eating, duet singing, hair champions, pop duo Honey and Jude are bringing something that’s ‘twice as nice’ to the musical world of teens, pre-teens, and excitable soccer moms.

Born and raised in Southern California, Honey and Jude are so LA, it’s silly. Like something right out of Grease, their Danny and Sandy- esque charm keeps things fun and fresh at their LA-area shows.

The title of their first single, “My Stupid Songs,” (2015) says it all.

“It’s that whole ‘I love you’ and ‘I hate you’ thing,” they said. “It’s stupid, and you feel stupid for being that way, but we all do it.”

The release of their debut EP, Summer Fling: Don’t Mean a Thing (2015) has been well received, gaining attention most notably from Music Connection Magazine, who named Honey and Jude in their “Top 100 Unsigned Artists of 2015.”

“There’s a definite commercial appeal to this duo, who exhibit well- trained vocal mechanics,” says Music Connection Magazine. “These performers have great energy, solid song craft and it is clear they’ve got musical theater in their veins.”

The repertoire ranges from bittersweet ballads that nod towards a 50’s era sound in “Not Worth a Song” and the dramatic “I Need You” to edgier songs that make being bad feel right in “Wrong.” And it wouldn’t be Honey and Jude without the over-the-top popalicious anthems like “The Lucky One” and “My Stupid Songs.”

Honey and Jude have collectively played several notable venues such as Hard Rock Cafe, House of Blues, The Foundation Room, and more.

By Emily, on March 28th, 2017, under 6 Minutes With, Honey and Jude // Comments Off on 6 MINUTES WITH: Honey and Jude


INTERVIEW: Jenna Rose Simon


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After struggling with an eating disorder for ten years, Jenna Rose Simon began treatment in 2014. Last year, Jenna began to draw concepts that she felt people weren’t understanding in her therapy, starting with her first self-portrait. It was then that Jenna discovered, with the help of her therapist, that drawing would help her and potentially others. Jenna’s sketch depicting verbal abuse went viral and was shared more than 300K times on Facebook. Simon continues to impact others through her Instagram account @gentletouchofart where she shares many of her sketches, including concept art and celebrity pieces.

Born in New Jersey, Jenna Rose Simon grew up as an avid dancer with dreams of going professional. When an injury took her dream away, the self-taught artist Jenna decided to put a portfolio together for submission into a fine arts program. Jenna was quickly accepted at Parsons and Arcadia University, and she attended the latter as a fine arts/art therapy major, before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Along with her passion for the arts, Simon discovered her love for acting and booked various commercials, including her first voice-over commercial “The Littlest Pet Shop.” She has also lent her voice to many characters on audio plays, and recorded “All Your Nightmares,” “Just Jenna Simon Stories” and “Fun Stories with Jenna Simon,” in which she acted, wrote and directed. In addition, Jenna has appeared in the role of ‘Donna’ on the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum” and was cast in the “Art of Confession,” playing the dual roles of ‘Arla’ and ‘Lucy.’

By Emily, on March 21st, 2017, under Interviews // Comments Off on INTERVIEW: Jenna Rose Simon


6 MINUTES WITH: Desert Tundra


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Desert Tundra is the Alt-Rock alter ego of Virginia native, now Los Angeles based, singer and guitarist Janet Jelena. Bringing together a strong sense of pop, coupled with rock and roll bravado, Desert Tundra doesn’t let the genre define her content. Setting out to confront the anomalies that go with living in the moment her songs span the range of human emotion from unrequited love to hope, anger and loneliness, in addition to issues not usually broached in the genre like body image. On the surface, her songs may seem like your standard rock anthems but at their core they mirror real life closer than they appear.

Jelena grew up in the small town of Herndon, VA, a northern suburb of Washington, DC. As a child of the 90’s she turned to rock, punk, and Riot Grrrl icons like Hole, Bikini Kill, and Le Tigre for their message and passion. From a purely guttural and emotional standpoint both Metallica and Megadeth resonated with her as a teen due to their speed and anger. Her love of music continued to grow and at the age of 15 she picked up her first guitar, a used Fender Stratocaster that her mother bought for her. Soon after that, realizing her daughter’s passion should continue to be encouraged and refined, her mother enrolled her in vocal lessons.

“I told my mom that I wanted to be a rockstar, and she told me “maybe you should start out as a pebble.” It took me years to understand what that really meant,” Jelena recalled.

After various starts and stops, Jelena settled on the path to becoming a solo performer, taking on the moniker of Desert Tundra and forming a backing band of local players. A chance encounter led her to meeting Dan Reynolds and Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons before playing a show in DC where she took this opportunity to discuss with them what it takes to be a band on the brink. She would take many things to heart from that conversation including the notion that the right producer could help make all the difference. She immediately started researching producers in the area and found Jim Ebert, who would go on to produce her first three EP’s and become not only a mentor but a kind of father figure to her. After the release of the third Desert Tundra EP, Jelena started plotting her to move to California, which at the time was against the wishes of her main supporter, her mother. But Ebert told her that that if she truly wanted to be a rockstar, then Los Angeles was be the place to be. So her mind was set, and with only a little bit of money saved in her bank account the cross country journey began.

Sleeping in her car and staying in sketchy hotels to save money, Jelena hit the ground running when she arrived in Los Angeles, quickly putting together a band of SoCal players using the site Bandmix. When her mother found out that she was living in a small one-bedroom apartment with three guys she decided to once again help her daughter pursue her calling. “This was a huge turning point for me,” Jelena says, “She told me that “if this is really what you want to do then I’ll help you.” She is my number one fan, and I will always be grateful to her for that.”

Now with a little more breathing room, a solid backing band and nothing in her way to stop her, Jelena is able to completely focus her time and creativity on Desert Tundra and plans on taking it to the next level and beyond. For the future of Desert Tundra, Jelena sees only limitless potential. “I can take Desert Tundra and go as far as I want,” she says, “This is only the beginning, and the best is yet to come.”

By Emily, on March 7th, 2017, under 6 Minutes With, Bands, Desert Tundra // Comments Off on 6 MINUTES WITH: Desert Tundra