INTRODUCING POP-ROCK & SOCIAL CAUSE SUPERSTARS GIRL POW-R 0 262

Already championed by the likes of Tiger Beat and Cashbox Magazine, Girl Pow-R are a girl-band with a difference. Aged from 10 to 17, this hugely talented sextet sing, dance, write their own music and more importantly, share a very important message – or several – with the world through their lyrics, many of which are aimed at women and young girls around the world encouraging and reminding them, among other things,that it’s absolutely okay to be themselves. With their debut album due out later this year, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with the girls to discuss musical influences, upcoming performances and their big career ambitions.

TITL: Please introduce yourselves if you would.

Kalista: Hi! I’m Kalista Wilson, I’m a 14 year old singer from Toronto, Ontario! I think as we’re growing more, we’re realizing that life isn’t just about having fun all day and having a good old time. We’ve realized that there are pressures and issues that everyone goes through, but nobody really talks about. I would say “keep doing you”. People are always going to bring you down, but it’s your job to ignore the haters and to love yourself no matter what.

Ava: We are Girl Pow-R! Girl Pow-R is an all-girl pop rock group from ages 10 to 17 who are out to inspire all youth around the world to pursue anything that they are passionate about, and to never give up. Each girl in Girl Pow-R has a social cause such as: mental health awareness, youth homelessness, better education, and children’s hospitals. Girl Pow-R strives to be a role model, not just for girls, but all young people, and we want everyone to know that as long as you believe in yourself and your dreams, anything is possible.

TITL: How did you all come together and what would you say you each bring to the band?

Krisalyn: We came together through rounds of auditions. I would say all of the girls have great personalities and tons of talent that we each bring to the band, because we are all so different and unique!

Bella: We are a group of girls from different backgrounds. I would say many like studio recording. There’s the excitement of new material, and assigning solos, and performing as a team. We work well as a team, so we manage to take on the task at hand with speed and accuracy. Some of the girls are stage-oriented, loving the instant feedback and the gratification that comes from live performing.

TITL: What made you feel that Girl Pow-R was a fitting group name?

Milana: Girl Pow-R is a fitting group name because girls are at times taken advantage of and are not taken seriously.  It’s important for girls to know that they have the power and strength to achieve anything they put their minds towards.

Carina: I feel that Girl Pow-R is a fitting name for our band because we are a strong group of girls who want to empower not only girls, but youth all over the world. We want to inspire others through the lyrics in our songs, and through the messages in our social causes.

TITL: Which bands and artists are you each most inspired and influenced by and how do those influences impact the music you make?

Kalista: Our music is inspired by Taylor Swift, Spice Girls, Little Mix and many other girl bands and solo artists.

A: A band that inspires us that we look up to are the Spice Girls because they are also all about spreading girl power and making girls feel powerful, strong and confident with themselves.

TITL: It could be argued that over the years, the music industry has often largely favoured male groups and artists, however in the last few years, the likes of Little Mix have shown that female groups can and do have the impact and staying power of their male counterparts. How important and significant has seeing the likes of LM succeed on the scale that they have since forming been to you as you look to your own futures and how far you want to go?

Krisalyn: We one day hope to be like Little Mix, but we are still young. We work super hard so that one day we can be like them! Seeing their success makes us believe that anything is possible!

B: Girl Pow-R’s sound is uplifting, confident, captivating. Our job as a group is to inspire our generation to better themselves, become role models in their respective communities, and promote positivity through our music and social causes. And it’s important for girls and women to lead the way in this area. Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change: Michael Jackson.

TITL: You were nominated in the Best New Group category at the Niagara Music Awards last year. How did it feel to be nominated and what do you feel your chances are in terms of winning this year?

C: It’s such a pleasure and an honor for us to have been nominated for Best New Group at the Niagara Music Awards. This was such a great opportunity and we were also super thankful that we got to perform two of our original songs during the awards ceremony. This was a great reminder to us that hard work will get you far! Hoping for another chance in 2019!

M: Being nominated for the Niagara Music Awards was such an honour and an amazing feeling as I also live in Niagara Falls, therefore representing my region was important to me.  I believe we were nominated because our song “Krisi” has a great message and many young people, girls and boys, can relate to the song. Also, the members of Girl Pow-R are so talented with singing, dancing and playing instruments, it made the judges and voters interested in our band and the potential we have to offer in the music industry.

TITL: Do you care much about accolades and nominations or are you more generally concerned about what your fans think on a wider, grander scale?

Kalista: I’d rather have a following that listens to all of our songs and watches all of our music videos, awards could then follow.

Krisalyn: Probably both because it’s amazing to be nominated for awards, but it’s also amazing having awesome fans to connect with and who love following our journey!

A: I think we care mostly about our fans, of course, because they are what brought us here, and they are who listen to our music and watch our videos. We want to continue to make music for them to enjoy, as well as to perform and entertain them.

TITL: All of your 2018 releases surpassed 191,000 plays and streams on the likes of YouTube and Spotify. To what extent have sites like that, and social media in general, impacted your career and do you believe you’d have the support and following you do without them?

Krisalyn: I feel like nowadays social media is a big help and it really gets our name out there! I myself pay most attention to my Instagram account, but as a band we are on many different social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Musical.ly, Twitter and YouTube. Anytime a fan messages me, I always respond back as soon as I can, and I appreciate all comments, as I know the other band members do as well. We all try to message and speak with our fans and meet them/take pictures, especially at live shows. We appreciate the support and it means a lot to us

B: In today’s age, social media and music streaming services are very important to help us spread our message. Girl Pow-R is unique in its presentation of popular music, along with a deep sense of responsibility to support social causes in society. The determination that our band members have to spread the word about empowering girls and women to better themselves, and being charitable, is exceptional. By doing so, the boys and men in society see what is important to us and how we can best work together to support each other and have common goals of peace, harmony, equality and humanity.

TITL: You were also named the Canadian Ambassadors for the 2018 Toronto Youth Day – what did and does that mean to you? How important is it that you can use your careers and the platform you have to benefit the wider community/world around you?

C: Youth Day 2018 was so much fun! We had an amazing time performing as Featured Artists and talking about each of our social causes as Canadian Ambassadors. It is very important to us that we can use our careers and songs as a platform with opportunities like Youth Day, to promote positive messages and give young audiences a good role model to look up to.  It is also super awesome that we can empower others while singing and dancing, which is what we do best!

M: Being named Canadian Ambassadors for the 2018 Toronto Youth Day was such a great honor. Singing and performing is something that I love doing, so being able to do all of that and being role models for the youth in our community, and the world, just makes it even better and more gratifying. Music is a universal language and knowing that we are affecting the youth all over the world makes me want to perform and share our music even more!

TITL: Are there any tour/performance plans coming up you can tell me about?

Kalista: We always have a lot on the go and shows to perform. Definitely check out our website for times and locations!

A: We have a huge, Toronto-area competition beginning on the 8th of February where we compete against bands from all over Ontario, in all genres, so stay tuned!

TITL: What do you have planned for the year ahead?

Krisalyn: Our first album is coming out this year! We’ve already released a bunch of songs, but 2019 should be filled with more performances, covers, and more originals!

B: We started our originals with two songs: “Krisi” and “Stronger Than Yesterday”. “Stronger Than Yesterday” has similarities to our first single “Krisi” in that it addresses challenges girls face in everyday life. Through our music we try to give direction and support to empower girls to better themselves. “Krisi” is about rising above bullying, whereas “Stronger Than Yesterday” is a personal journey to find the strength and confidence to overcome challenges, while recognizing it can be an arduous journey, but progress is made by being stronger than yesterday. We’re looking forward to launching our first album early this year with even more originals!

TITL: Finally then, despite being a fairly new band, it’s evident you’re very ambitious and determined to succeed, so with that in mind, where would you like to see yourselves 5 years from now and looking further ahead, whose career would you most like to emulate? At what point would you be able to look at each other and say: “We made it girls”?

M: In five years from now, I would love to see our band being known nationwide in Canada and, if dreams come true, I would love to have the career and impact that the Spice Girls had on young girls in the 90’s. They had the same message as we do today. Girls can achieve anything if we believe in the power to do it. I can’t wait for that feeling of gratification in knowing that we made it in the music business when, we get that blue checkmark on Instagram, when I need to wear sunglasses out in public, and selling out our concerts. Most of all it would be an even greater feeling to receive messages from our fans telling us how our songs changed their lives and gave them the ‘Girl Pow-R’ to succeed.

C: With hard work and dedication, I believe that we can emulate a career like the Spice Girls or Little Mix. Within the next 5 years, I see us touring internationally and spreading our messages through music to those all around the world. When we have touched the lives of young people, and positively impacted kids all over the world, then we can say that we’ve made it. We are not driven by fame or success, but by how we influence youth.

Check out Girl Pow-R’s new single “Never Let Go” below and for more information on the band, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

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JAMIE BERNADETTE CHATS NEW FILM “THE FURNACE”, HER FIRST AUDITION & FUTURE PROJECTS 0 69

With a considerably impressive and varied resume of work to her name, Jamie Bernadette really loves what she does and that passion comes across in every project she takes on. Her latest film The Furnace, out on October 15th, will strike a chord with anyone who has experienced a loss in their life and ahead of its release later this month, Jamie spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about how she prepared for such a demanding, emotional role, her upcoming projects and her advice for aspiring actors and actresses.

TITL: You’ve been a part of the industry now for well over a decade, but was there any point in your younger years when you considered taking a different career path, or has it always been about acting for you? 

Jamie Bernadette: I grew up in a small town where the thing that most everyone did was get a 9-5 job and get married and have children. So, this definitely impacted me quite a bit and I found myself very confused about what I wanted to do with my life. I was about to get engaged and told the man I was dating not to buy the ring and left for Los Angeles four days later. So I was just about to enter into that life that most everyone in my town lived. I thought about being a dental hygienist, an airline stewardess, an editor at a publishing company. But, it was that day when my boyfriend and I drove back from the jewelry store where he almost bought that engagement ring that it all became very clear to me. I sat in his truck and thought that I would rather die than live this life. And that’s when I knew that something was very wrong about what I was doing. I have never regretted the choice that I made – leaving that all behind to act. He and I remain really good friends to this day.   

TITL: Can you remember the first thing you auditioned for?

JB: I am not really sure but it may have been a silent student film at The New York Film Academy which I booked. 

TITL: How do you find the audition process? Would you say you still feel nervous when making tapes and applying for roles?

JB: I used to be very nervous when I first started auditioning. Now I really sometimes only feel my nerves when it is for something that is very, very big like a series regular role on a TV show.

TITL: Your latest project The Furnace, is out this month. What is it about the premise/story of this film that drew you to the project and how does it differ from the many other works you’ve been a part of?

JB: This is the first faith-based drama that I have ever done. I loved that it was inspirational and does mention God but it doesn’t shove the concept down your throat. It is so well-written in such a way that all people can relate to the story, whether they believe in God or not. I also loved that it was a survival film, which is one of my favorite sub-genres. I love stories about people who are struggling to survive in nature.   

TITL: What preparations did you make for taking on such an emotionally demanding role?

JB: The preparation for emotionally demanding roles is life-long. I pull from my life experiences a lot of times to pull out that emotion when I’m acting. Regarding the physical aspect of this role, I did a lot of research about those who live with only one working lung and also looked into ultra-marathons and studied up on those. I normally run and work out but I began running longer distances when I booked this role to prepare myself for it. 

TITL: How did you find working with Oscar nominated director Darrell Roodt on the film? Was there much collaboration between the two of you? 

JB: Darrell is kind, warm, funny, down-to-earth, honest, and truthful. He is truly one of my most favorite people in the world. He is a very giving director and he really pays attention to the acting. He also is very energetic and enthusiastic. He really knows how to lead the crew. Darrell knows exactly what he wants and has a clear vision.  He knows when he has the shot he wants and moves on rather than doing take after take unnecessarily. Darrell was definitely open to collaboration and listened to my ideas.      

TITL: Do you have any particular standout memories or moments from the shoot? 

JB: Oh, there are so many. Shooting in this film was one of the best experiences of my life. I remember when we shot the end of the film, a lot of the crew were crying their eyes out and standing up and applauding as well. There were a lot of emotional days like that on this set. I think the film touches anyone who has experienced any type of heavy loss in their life, which is most people. 

TITL: If you had to sell this film to an audience in a few words – give them one reason to go and see it – what would you say? 

JB: If you have ever suffered from any type of heartache in your life and felt that it was difficult to go on, see this film. 

TITL: You’ve got several projects in the pipeline for the coming year or so, is there anything you can share about a couple of them?

JB: I’m attached to about nineteen films as an actress and I am also producing three feature films that I haven’t announced or spoken of publicly. One is a true story, a military drama. The second one is an abuse story. The third is a psychological horror.

TITL: The life of an actor/actress can be extremely demanding, so what do you do to unwind after a hectic period of filming? 

JB: Sleep, sit in the sun with my dog, and eat popcorn if I am at home. Sometimes I take a trip, usually to tropical destinations.  Travelling and photography are two of my hobbies. 

TITL: What advice would you give for actors and actresses just starting out? Have you ever been given a piece of advice that you still reflect on, and which three traits might you say someone needs to make it in such a cut-throat and demanding business? 

JB: Don’t believe the negativity that you hear and do not make that your reality. Do not go into agreement with it.  This is very, very important. You create your own reality. I had a seasoned actress, Alisha Seaton, tell me early on in my career that there is a fine line between over-acting and under-acting and that you have to find that fine line in between those two. I still think about that one and believe it is true. The three traits someone needs to make it in this business are hard-working, persistent, and brave. And I do want to make a comment about kindness. Kindness goes a long way. No one likes a diva.    

TITL: Finally then, with a decade + in the industry behind you already, what would you like to see happen for you in the next ten years? What goals and ambitions do you want to achieve and, many years from now, what would you most like people to say when looking back on your work and what you brought to the entertainment world?

JB: I would like to be a series regular on a TV show and book work at that level and on the level of big films on a regular basis. I would love if I am able to give performances that move people and tell stories that change people’s lives. I also want to have several poetry books released in the next ten years. 

Check out the trailer for The Furnace below and to keep up to date with Jamie, you can follow her on Twitter.

MTV EMAS 2019: NOMINATIONS REVEALED 0 29

The 2019 MTV EMA nominations are finally here and the competition is hot! Ariana Grande is once again a top contender with nods in a whopping 7 categories (7 nominations? “7 Rings”? This might be her lucky number!). We also have some new faces leading the nominations this year: Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish. These two did not come to play at their first EMAs, each with 6 nominations. Mendes Army, fear not: seasoned EMA veteran Shawn Mendes is right up there with them, also having 6 nominations!

As always, the awards will go to the artists who get the most votes and it’s up to the fans to vote for their favourites on mtvema.com and through social media!

We’ll find out who the EMA winners are one month from now! The 2019 MTV EMA will be broadcasted live around the globe on 3 November from the FIBES Conference and Exhibition Center in Seville.

Check out the full list of nominees below!

BEST US ACT
Ariana Grande
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Taylor Swift

BEST CANADIAN ACT
Alessia Cara
Avril Lavigne
Carly Rae Jepsen
Johnny Orlando
Shawn Mendes

BEST SONG
Ariana Grande – 7 rings
Billie Eilish – bad guy
Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (Remix) ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
Post Malone & Swae Lee – Sunflower
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita

BEST ARTIST
Ariana Grande
J Balvin
Miley Cyrus
Shawn Mendes
Taylor Swift

BEST VIDEO
Ariana Grande – thank u, next
Billie Eilish – bad guy
Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (Remix) ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
ROSALÍA & J Balvin – Con Altura ft. El Guincho
Taylor Swift – ME! ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco

BEST COLLABORATION
BTS & Halsey – Boy With Luv
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Remix)
Mark Ronson ft. Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like a Heart
ROSALÍA & J Balvin – Con Altura ft. El Guincho
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita
The Chainsmokers & Bebe Rexha – Call You Mine

BEST NEW
Ava Max
Billie Eilish
Lewis Capaldi
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Mabel

BEST POP
Ariana Grande
Becky G
Camila Cabello
Halsey
Jonas Brothers
Shawn Mendes

BEST LIVE
Ariana Grande
BTS
Ed Sheeran
P!NK
Travis Scott

BEST ROCK
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
Liam Gallagher
Panic! At The Disco
The 1975

BEST HIP-HOP
21 Savage
Cardi B
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj
Travis Scott

BEST ALTERNATIVE
FKA Twigs
Lana Del Rey
Solange
twenty one pilots
Vampire Weekend

BEST ELECTRONIC
Calvin Harris
DJ Snake
Marshmello
Martin Garrix
The Chainsmokers

BEST LOOK
Halsey
J Balvin
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
ROSALÍA

BIGGEST FANS
Ariana Grande
Billie Eilish
BTS
Shawn Mendes
Taylor Swift

BEST PUSH
Ava Max
Billie Eilish
CNCO
H.E.R.
Jade Bird
Juice WRLD
Kiana Ledé
Lauv
Lewis Capaldi
Lizzo
Mabel
ROSALÍA

BEST WORLD STAGE
Bebe Rexha – Isle of MTV Malta 2019
Hailee Steinfeld – Isle of MTV Malta 2018
Muse – Bilbao, Spain 2018
The 1975 – Lollapalooza Paris Festival 2019
twenty one pilots – Lollapalooza Paris Festival 2019