They say that re-invention can be beneficial for both body and mind. If that’s the case, then it’s probably safe to say that Dimidiae is feeling pretty good about himself right now. Having first established himself as an artist under the name Gabs Marco, the past few months have seen the 21-year-old re-emerge under a new name, and with a new song that packs quite an emotional punch. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Dimidiae to find out all about his new name, his musical tribute to a dear friend called  “By My Side” and what the coming year has in store.

TITL: Please introduce yourself.

Dimidiae: I’m a 21-year-old solo rock artist lost in time without an affirmed origin or knowledge of my creator. I produce phonographic interpretations of human emotions to help listeners feel some of their most underlying feelings.

TITL: Have you always wanted to be a musician or did you have other ambitions growing up?

D: When I was exactly 4 years old, I told my 3-year-old cousin that one day I would become a famous rock singer, have tattoos all over and own a helicopter. So it’s definitely been my only career focus ever since I became a conscious being.

TITL: Which bands and artists have most influenced you over the years? Is there one in particular you might say you sound most similar to?

D: The first record ever given to me was one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Ever since, I’ve been an immense fan of their works. They are one band who, in my opinion, only craft masterpieces. I have also dabbled in other bands along the scenes of grunge like Pearl Jam, Creed, Alice in Chains – but I’d like to think my sound is still unfamiliar.

TITL: What would you say is your unique selling point as an artist?

D: I identify myself as an emotional machine. I function like one. Like a machine, I am able to constantly reproduce work of a high standard and simultaneously improve. And with the emotional side, I am able to play with words to gently sweep my listeners into an array of goose-bumps and take them deep into the forbidden grounds of their inner-most emotions. So if consistency in quality and attention grabbing material is what the industry is after, they’ve got nothing to lose.

I tend to write songs that come to me in full, in my sleep. I am more open to energies in musical form as I also am one of the few musicians out there that faces a disorder known as Depersonalization Disorder which makes me feel like I’m always floating in a dream, with no grasp to my life’s timeline. I also am self-sufficient in the sense that I have picked up the skills of 2D animation for music videos and social media, and graphic designing for album covers/logos and so on.

TITL: You’ve recently reinvented yourself as Dimidiae, but prior to that you had a 7 year career under the name Gabs Marco. What did those years teach you about yourself and the industry, were there any standout moments, and why did you feel that now was the right time to start again, so to speak?

D: Yes, that’s correct – Dimidiæ meaning ‘Half’ in Latin, which to me represents my feeling of only being half human – referring to my depersonalization disorder – and is also represented by my left eye being whited-out for a clear view of inner nothingness, inexistent. Gabs Marco, on the other hand, was completely different. In those 7 years, it was all about preparing myself for this higher level of myself: Dimidiæ.

I participated in initial line-ups of some bands that are signed and touring today, like Savage Messiah (Metal) and Vambo (Classic Rock). I had the pleasure of getting offered recordings at the same studio Adele recorded her album 21. Overall having an insight of everything it takes, all the stresses, depression, euphoria, strain and happiness that came with this career that was assigned to me at birth.

I don’t see Dimidiæ as a new start, as much as I view it as a continuation to my musical energy, like a mother doesn’t get a new start by giving birth to her son. She gets to continue her bloodline, let that continue to live and spread around the world.

TITL: You lost a close friend in October and your upcoming single is your dedication to him. What can you tell me about the track and just how hard was it for you to write?

D: The order of the song being written was very odd to me. I randomly entered a very steep moment of sadness at night and got the urge to write a song. Within 5 minutes I had the full song written on guitar. Following 5 minutes the lyrics flew into my head, and I instantly got worried that something was wrong as the lyrics sounded like they were speaking to me from someone who had passed. As if they were requesting I write those things. I wasn’t in control whatsoever. Within hours I found out about the death of my great friend Alexander. I initially didn’t think it would be appropriate to release the song. However, after showing it to his widow – she told me that this song has to be spread and heard; it’s what’s left of him along with his son.

TITL: Would you agree that making music has helped ease the pain of losing your friend? Has it been and is it a form of therapy for you, as it is for many others?

D: This track, especially in the outro, I feel has been able to adequately represent a rite of passage. It softly embraces his soul into the peace he deserves. Once I shared to a few people what this song means to me, a lot of people said this song actually helped them deal with thoughts towards their lost loved ones. Alex’s widow actually thanked me, crying on the phone – telling me how this track was a key to letting her feel what she tried not to feel. Getting it out and dealt with so she can continue to take care of their child. This is what music means to me, not a quick buck – it’s to get people to fill their voids. Feel more than ever. I owe it to the planet I share with all of you.

TITL: Have you started work on an EP or album yet?

D: I have invested a lot in past recordings as Gabs Marco, and this is my only release as Dimidiæ, so this time – instead of over releasing content without any set marketing strategy, I’m hoping to grab as much attention as possible with this track, before recording an EP. I also believe that for independent, unsigned artists there is no point recording full albums anymore as people are more captivated by singles and EP’s due to their release frequency. I am also contacting a select few relevant labels to see what I could get going for a more impactful future release.

TITL: Are there any bands or artists you’d like to write or collaborate musically with, or are you happier just doing your own thing?

D: I would absolutely love to write a track someday with Eddie Vedder, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Birdy as I really like her vocal tone and deep lyrics. Before his death, it was my dream to write with David Bowie. I have always wanted things to work out as a full band, but as that hasn’t been the case, I’m quite happy continuing a solo career with some collaborations here and there.

TITL: Given that you’ve already had a seven year career in the industry, which it can be argued is longer than many of your counterparts, do you ever feel any pressure to do as well, if not better, this time around?

D: I entered Dimidiæ at the time he was needed. Dimidiæ has a handful of better music waiting to be blessed and spread by the right hands. The pressure is huge at this stage, but not so much because of the 7 years. To me the 7 years was like being in school, learning so that one day I’d be prepared for the adult life. However, the 7 years have included higher pressure due to the fact that I now have a son.

TITL: How do you feel about social media and how important to you is it that you’re able to connect with music fans and followers on a more personal level rather than just via a song for instance?

D: Social media has helped me immensely in many ways. It’s great to know that some artists don’t even need to be gigging anymore to be discovered. A simple video online can get you up the hard and splintered ladder of success. I love connecting to fans although I also feel social media is definitely the hardest part of the business to keep going for me.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone looking to launch a music career? Is there any advice you were ever given that you still look back on and think about today?

D: Unfortunately, I’ve never had anyone around me, or a musician in the family to give me advice in this field. Either way, I know for sure that anyone wanting to follow this path, firstly should try to understand if it’s a hobby or if it’s your driving force. David Ackbert once wrote an article that stuck with me for life, he said how musicians face more rejection on a daily basis than most people in a lifetime. Whilst your friends are out there reaching the life milestones of settling down with a family, a stable job, house and a dream car, most of the time you’ll be somewhere in between – stuck and feeling under-achieved.

However, the feeling you get of pouring your soul to your audience, connecting to humans in such a captivating and deep way is worth a thousand lifetimes. So make sure you know if this is the life you want, and that you love this more than your own life – because it will be a hell of a roller-coaster.

TITL: Finally then, what does 2018 have in store for you? Where would you like to see yourself a year from now?

D: 2018 holds plenty of new written material. 2018 will be a year where I will make sure people from Europe and the Americas will start to recognise the name Dimidiæ. I plan to get in as many featured articles as physically possible, release an official music video for the “By My Side” single and start touring. Get myself heard on radios and get the streaming numbers going up. Now, I’d like to thank everyone who’s had the patience to read about the journey of my career and my different ways of viewing life.

You can check out “By My Side” below and to keep up to date with Dimidiae, you can follow him on Twitter.

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With The Big Bang Theory having proven to be a global hit since its very first episode, it should come as no surprise to learn that its spin-off, a look at the childhood and early years of Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper, aptly titled Young Sheldon, has also become a phenomenon. With the show about to air its debut season finale, and with season 2 already greenlit, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Danielle Pinnock, who plays Ms. Ingram in the show, to find out about her very first audition, her role as a body activist and how she feels about the reaction to and her being part of the smash-hit series that is Young Sheldon.

TITL: At what age did you first realize you wanted to pursue acting as a career? Was there one particular show/actor you watched that made you think ‘I’d like to do that’?

Danielle Pinnock: When I was 19 I was in a production at Temple University called In Conflict. It was a documentary play about war veterans returning home from serving overseas. The show was so incredible. We were even pulled out of school for a year to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Off-Broadway in New York.  All of the vets we portrayed were real people, based on interviews done by journalist Yvonne Latty. The veteran I played, Sgt. Lisa Haynes, was the only one we were unable to get a response from during run of the show. I heard that during her initial interview, her PTSD was so severe once returning home that she may have “fallen off the map.” I didn’t want to accept this, so I took it upon myself to find Sgt. Haynes. I called every VA hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she was from, and was able to locate her and her family. During the run of the show,  I flew down to Tulsa and met Sgt. Haynes and her family. When I returned back to New York, I was determined to have Sgt. Haynes see the final Off-Broadway performance. So in the final two weeks of the run I managed to raise $10,000 to get Sgt. Haynes and her family members up to New York to see In Conflict’s last show. It was THAT show that made me want to act for the rest of my life.

TITL: Can you recall your very first audition? 

DP: Yes! Ha! My very first audition was for the middle school production of Aladdin. I played Halima, Jafar’s evil sister. It was like pulling teeth to get me to audition for this role. I never wanted to be an actor growing up, and was super shy as a child. My audition song was “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill.

TITL: Which auditions, looking back on them, do you feel went really well or that you struggled with? 

DP: The reason I ended up in Los Angeles is because I auditioned for a production at the Geffen Playhouse called Barbecue by Robert O’Hara. At the time of the auditions, I was still living in Chicago and actually flew up to L.A. to be seen for the project. It was a risky decision and I would not recommend actors doing that, but I knew I had to be on point! I also knew if I was going to move to Los Angeles, I needed a job! Barbecue was one of my best auditions in L.A. Recently, I ran into Colman Domingo and he said: Danielle, you just walked in with your blue dress and commanded our attention. Working with Colman and the cast members was a dream realized. It was an honor to be included in that production.

My most memorable audition that I struggled with also happened in Los Angeles. I was going in for the role of a nurse on a sitcom. A lot of auditions in L.A. happen in “bungalows” which are really just trailers on the studio lots. I only bring this up, because the walls in most audition rooms are extremely thin so you can hear another actors’ entire audition. There was a young woman who went in before me, and her audition was so fantastic that the casting director actually booked her for the project IN THE ROOM! The entire waiting room, full of actors, heard the casting director call this woman’s agent to say the actor had booked it. However, in the waiting room, chaos ensued. People began to leave the audition and I had no clue what to do because I was NEXT! As soon as the actor left the audition room all I heard was: “Danielle Pinnock come on in.”  It was my worst audition to date. I forgot all of the lines and was just unmotivated to even give my all because I knew there was no chance of me getting booked on that project.

TITL: How did you hear about the role of Ms. Ingram for Young Sheldon? What was/is it about the character that made you want to audition for the role?

DP: Funny enough, this was a same-day audition. My manager called me on a Thursday morning and I had three-hours to prepare the sides for an Untitled project. I initially went in for the music-teacher and then Nikki Valko, the casting director, asked me to read for a brand new character they created that week “Ms. Ingram.” It was refreshing to see that casting was considering me, a plus-sized African American woman to play the mathematics teacher. Ms. Ingram is one of my favorite characters to play because she is so quirky, hilarious and extremely no-nonsense.

TITL: The show has proven to be a HUGE success in the US and is also popular here in the UK. Did you or your fellow cast members ever expect the show to get the response and reaction it has? 

DP: It’s surreal! This show is a hit internationally and I’ve never, in my entire career, been a part of such a phenomenon. Chuck Lorre is a genius and absolutely has the Midas touch when it comes to creating successful television! Working with the creators Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro has been a dream come true. My mom and I were in the grocery store and someone stopped us and said “That’s Ms. Ingram, Oh My God!” In the pilot, my character Ms. Ingram talks about attending Oral Roberts University and the school sent me a gift! I went to graduate school at Birmingham School of Acting UK, now known as the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, so it’s really cool for my friends, family and professors to see it overseas as well!

Aside from it’s obvious TBBT connection, what do you think it is about Young Sheldon that has attracted so many people to watch, and keep watching, it?

DP: The show is hilarious and the main cast give masterful performances. Iain Armitage who plays Sheldon Cooper is a brilliant young performer and is such a joy to work alongside. His portrayal of Sheldon Cooper is honest and relatable.

TITL: You’ve also appeared in Scandal and This Is Us. How important to you is it that you’re able to take on a variety of roles that really put your abilities to the test, and with that in mind, what’s your dream role? Which show would you most like to appear in and why?

DP: Working on those two shows was incredible. I was able to work on Scandal with the genius Kerry Washington; the legendary Viola Davis was the cherry on an already delicious sundae! I’ve had the opportunity to play some fantastic roles both in theatre and on-screen. To be honest, I don’t know what my dream role would be. There are so many great shows out right now. My favorites at the moment: Good Girls, Atlanta, How To Get Away With Murder and SMILF. 

TITL: The entertainment industry is cut throat and competitive, so what advice would you give to anyone looking to make their mark on it? Is there any one piece of advice you were once given that you still look back on?

DP: A colleague of mine once said: “In this industry, you must learn to be plural.” In this industry, especially nowadays, you have to be multi-faceted. This is why there is an uprising of artists creating their own content now.

TITL: Away from TV, you’re an accomplished writer/playwright, and are passionate about creating productions that address life, living and the many issues that come with it. Does your work in that field ever cross over into your acting work and vice-versa?

DP: Absolutely. I’m actually developing an improvised Instagram series with my friend, LaNisa Frederick called Hashtag Booked. Hashtag Booked is a hilarious, raw, and shocking portrayal of what happens during the short period of time in the audition waiting room.  These “characters” are based on real-life experiences.

TITL: How are you finding your role as a vocal activist for body positivity impacting both yourself and those around you? How did you first get involved and would you like to see more individuals, especially those in the public eye, using their status to speak out about important matters as you are?

DP: The first play I ever wrote was a solo show called Body/Courage. Body/Courage was created from over 300 interviews I conducted worldwide, and it was an exploration on body acceptance. This project changed my life. The show is about my journey to find my own beauty through the voices of others. The cool thing about the show is that it introduced a constellation of characters grappling with diverse body issues including weight, illness, disability, skin color, aging, and gender transition. It was this show that got me involved in the body positivity movement. Body/Courage, allowed me to find a courage in myself that I didn’t know I possessed. The body positivity movement already has some fierce voices and it can always use more so I would encourage others to speak out.

TITL: Are there any other plans or projects in the pipeline you can tell me about?

DP: This summer, I’ll be releasing an interview-style podcast called SHOOK discussing true stories of mental health in the industry. I’ve also been asked to be a guest contributor for Shondaland, so check out my essay I’ll be writing for them in the next few weeks.

TITL: Finally then, given that the industry is ever changing, sometimes at a pace even fans can’t keep up with, where do you think the business will go and be 5-10 years from now? What would you like to see happen and do you think that such things will? 

DP: My hope for the industry in 5-10 years is that we can begin to bring more stories by women of color to the forefront. I want to see more women of color on set, I want to see more women of color in the writers room, I want to see more women of color as producers and directors. I want to see women of color win in this industry now and in the future.

Young Sheldon is currently airing on E4 in the UK on Wednesdays at 8.30PM. You can keep up to date with Danielle Pinnock via her Twitter. Header photo credit: Joe Mazza.


Five years in the making, Thirty Seconds To Mars’ new album ‘America’, which Jared promoted this week by hitch-hiking his way across his home country as part of an event called #MarsAcrossAmerica, is most certainly a considerable shift away from what members of the Echelon have heard from the trio (though current duo) over the years. But is this said shift good or bad?

Beginning with “Walk On Water” which introduced both old and new fans alike to the bands’ new rather electro-edged sound, ‘America’ starts off well, especially given that the rather radio friendly “Dangerous Night” follows on from it.

“Rescue Me” ups the tempo somewhat, and with its toe-tapping, body swaying rhythm, combined with Jared’s rough edged vocal, it’s just over three and a half minutes of enjoyable considerably upbeat rock, and the simplistic chorus in particular will work well when – or if – its performed on their current Monolith tour.

Prior to the release of the album, the band gave a sneak peak of one of the album’s collaborations, with A$AP Rocky. Having watched said sneak peak, this reviewer personally felt his involvement was random and pointless. Fortunately however, and for reasons unknown, he doesn’t feature on my (likely all UK albums) version and with the song performed for the most part in a breathy, almost dream-like manner, it would most likely have been completely ruined with Rocky’s inclusion.

The “Monolith” instrumental, AKA track 5, doesn’t really serve any purpose, however it does lead into the album’s one collaboration that REALLY does work – that of Jared and Halsey on “Love Is Madness” – one of the darker tracks, but not the darkest, on the album. She compliments Jared perfectly, enhancing the song and its sultry mood/feel to the point where it easily stands out as a highlight of the collection.

“Great Wide Open” is an inspiring track, and one that’s perfect to listen to when you’re out discovering yourself or exploring this world we live in, or most likely, doing both at the same time. It’s the type of song you can see playing behind a montage of a person’s life, as their friends and family pay tribute to or celebrate them in some form or another, and with that in mind, it’s one of the album’s strongest, and most emotive, pieces.

Mixing simple electronic hooks, plenty of synth and a chorus which, it could be argued, is rather understated, “Hail To The Victor” almost flashes back to the ‘Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams’ era of the band, perhaps included to draw that chapter to an undeniable close. The darkest, deepest number on the album comes in the form of “Dawn Will Rise.” With lyrics including “Come and hit me, strike me while I’m down” and “Fortunes fade in time, I must change or die.”, it’s certainly not a track to listen to if you are in a good mood, as its sombre, almost depressing tone, matched by Jared’s almost defeated vocal performance, will soon shatter said mood to pieces.

If there’s any real surprise on the album, it’s Shannon’s Leto’s vocal on “Remedy.” It’s raw and stripped back in comparison to any track that has come before and comes after it. There’s an organic feel to the song, and Shannon’s performance, although different, is so in a phenomenally good way, and he’s no doubt going to find himself requested to play it live.

The chorus of “Oh Oh Oh”, on “Live Like A Dream”, in a nice touch from the band, was recorded at one of their Camp Mars events, and serves as an audible reminder for those who were there of the project they were involved in (though it’s unlikely they knew what it was for at the time) and the fun they had, while for other members of the Echelon, it’s a nice throwback to the ‘This Is War’ era when many of them featured on that album, having participated in ‘summits’ around the world.

“Rider” has so far proved to be quite a strong, albeit new, inclusion to the band’s tour setlist, and with its rising crescendo as the piece nears its end, it’s quite stirring and powerful. Meanwhile, on the deluxe edition of the album, the acoustic, choir-inclusive version of “Walk On Water” might lack the energy of the original, but with the electronics removed, it brings Jared’s genuine vocal ability to the forefront again, and such has been considerably lacking up to this point.

With remixes growing in popularity, it’s not that surprising to find the band have included 2, the first being a R3hab remix of “Walk On Water.” For those who like a more dance-like and continued electro-feel to their songs, it’s not a bad version by any means, but it’s not the best remix ever made either, and the Cheat Codes remix of “Dangerous Night” doesn’t fare that much better.

Despite the new sound and styles with which the band have experimented on this collection, ‘America’ is still at its heart, very much a Thirty Seconds To Mars album, and if the social media reaction is anything to go by, it’s proving a hit with their huge following. Yes there are tracks on the album that don’t quite work as well as they should, like the remixes, but for the majority, lyrically and instrumentally, it’s a considerably solid piece of work that fans hopefully won’t have to wait another five years for in order to hear its follow-up.