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.

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Following her studies at the Eastman School of Music, Dani DiCiaccio, aka KYOSi began producing music and adding her vocal talents to a band in Ithaca, NY, before embarking on a solo career in 2011. Several years on, she’s grown in confidence, both as an individual and as an artist, and earned herself growing attention from both fans and critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Having recently released her EP Negative Space, KYOSi spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about song-writing inspiration, the country she’d most love to perform in and where she’d like to see the music industry go in years to come.

TITL: At what age did you first think you wanted to make music your career, and have you ever had any other career plans or ideas since then? 

KYOSi: Nah it was always about music. I think it was in middle school, so about 14. 

TITL: The music industry is packed with an array of talent from around the world, so what makes you stand out? If you had to sell yourself and your music to a fan or critic in a sentence or two, what would you say?

K: I would say that I’m not trying to sell myself to you, and I hope you find whatever artist speaks to you without having to jump through hoops.

TITL: Which bands and artists are you most influenced by and how do they impact the music you make? 

K: I love The Invisible, Arca, Beck, Lizzo, Lotic, Sophie, Sevdaliza, JPEGmafia. Everybody is just killing it. I’m so inspired by the artists of this time and feel pushed to be my best.

TITL: Tell me a little about your EP Negative Space. Where’d the idea for the title come from? 

K: The title is about loss of self, loss of love and the search that persists after which you’ve lost a part of yourself. 

TITL: The EP explores class politics and race/gender issues among other topics – was that an intentional decision or just something that emerged while you were writing?

K: Pretty much everything I think about these days leads back to class and the “invisible” power dynamics that exist between people with different access to money. So it wasn’t conscious but I’m not trying to hide anything.

TITL: Which track on the EP might you say you’re most proud of and why? 

K: Aw man I’m proud of all of them. “Boo Radley” is the one I wanted most to reach people, and it has so I’m happy.

TITL: In terms of your lyrics and general song-writing from who or from where do you find most of your inspiration?

K: NYC. The subway. I love how the haves & have-nots are crammed into the same places. Endlessly inspiring to me.

TITL: How easy or hard do you find the song-writing process? Can it depend on the subject you’re wanting to write about or your frame of mind at the time? 

K: The latter. I try not to approach it in thinking it’s easy or hard. It’s something I do and I have to work at it. The thing that varies is inspiration. Sometimes ideas are there and sometimes not but either way I need to work at it and be there for them when they decide to show up. 

TITL: Your music has so far been praised/championed by the likes of EARMILK and Impose Magazine, but do you care much as to what critics think or are you more concerned about the views and thoughts of your fans? What’s the nicest thing anyone has written/said about you? 

K: Love from organizations I care about is so humbling but of course, ultimately I care about what fans think. I think the nicest thing someone said to me once is that she felt like it was music that helped him bridge the conversational gap between themselves and their dad. I guess his dad is an old school jazz head so they were able to find common ground in my music. 

TITL: You’ve performed on both sides of the Atlantic but if you could play one venue anywhere in the world, which would it be and why? Are there any tour plans in the works?

K: That’s such a tough question! I’d love to play somewhere in Japan, like an intimate venue. I have a number of listeners in Tokyo so as of now that would be my dream gig. No tour plans in the works but will do some local shows in 2020.

TITL: Are you a fan of social media and is it something you’ve found helpful or a hindrance in terms of being able to connect with/grow your fan-base and potential audience? 

K: 98% hinderance. 2% helpful tool to connect with people around the world.

TITL: Are there any other plans in the pipeline for the rest of the year or are you looking ahead to 2020? 

K: The music video for “Boo Radley” is coming out September 19th! Then I’m taking some time to work on other projects and become a human again. 

TITL: Lastly, where do you see the industry going in the years and decades to come? What would you like to see happen in terms how the industry grows and is shaped by both the emerging and established artists who bring so much pleasure to fans around the world?

K: I’d like to see more chances taken on artists who don’t have huge social media followings. I’d like to see a true return to eccentricity for artists. I see more AI producing music, like it or not.

Give Negative Space a listen below and for more information on KYOSi, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.


Having been singing since she was five, it’s perhaps no surprise to find Dakota now making waves in the music world. As a contestant on the most recent season of American Idol, she reached a huge audience and earned herself an army of fans, while her debut single “No-One” quickly racked up thousands upon thousands of streams on Spotify. Her new single “Addicted” is out later this month and ahead of its release, Dakota spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about her favourite memory from her time on AI, the artists she’s most inspired by and her message for those who support her.

TITL: Let’s go back to the beginning. When did you first realise you had an interest in/passion for music?

Dakota: I have always loved music since I was little. My parents were constantly playing songs in the car and I always sang along. I gravitated towards music because it was something that brought people together and I was able to connect to it at a very young age.

TITL: Which one artist growing up made you think “I want to follow in their footsteps?”

D: Stevie Wonder.

TITL: You’re also a multi-instrumentalist. Of the six you play, do you have a favourite or do they each hold something special to and for you?

D: They are all very important to me but at the moment, my current favorite is keys.

TITL: What would you say is your unique selling point as an artist? What one thing makes you stand out from your many artistic counterparts? 

D: I am a DIY artist. I have never had anyone just hand me opportunities. I always have to work hard for everything I do because I want to be a successful artist. Because of my drive and work ethic I stand out as an artist. I also write my own music which is something that a lot of others don’t. I am 100% a part of every aspect of my career and leading my path through hard work and dedication to my craft.

TITL: Which bands and artists have most influenced you over the course of your career and how do those influences impact the music you make?

D: Some artists that have impacted my music are Jessie J, Bruno Mars, Demi Lovato, Stevie Wonder, and Teena Marie. All of these artists have soul and messages that includes everyone. Their uplifting spirit in their music inspires me to be better and to inspire others to be better.

TITL: You reached a huge audience and have earned yourself an army of fans thanks to your appearances on American Idol. Looking back, did you ever think the show would give you the platform that it has and that so many people would get behind and support you like they did and continue to do? 

D: I would just say that I am so, so, so, so, so grateful for all the support and love I recurved from everyone who had been following my journey. I never thought that I would gain so much encouragement this quickly.

TITL: What was it that made you put yourself forward and audition for the show?

D: I didn’t initially want to audition for the show because of some of the horror stories I’ve heard, but I don’t turn down opportunities. So, when Idol approached me to audition for the show I figured that I would only gain experience for myself as a musician and as a person

TITL: Any particularly memorable moments or highlights from your time on the show?

D: I absolutely loved singing at the Disney Aulani. It was so cool to sing on the beach in front of such a dynamic crowd. The love I got when I was singing was incredible and I will never forget that day.

TITL: A lot of music shows, such as American Idol, sometimes can and do get a bad reputation if those who feature on the shows and in particular make the semi-finals and such other milestones in the show, don’t go on to do that well. Do you think that’s fair, or are such shows unfairly criticised given that those who make it through the show are, in the case of AI, voted for by the public? 

D: I believe that everyone on these shows whether they are featured or not has the opportunity to continue their music career regardless of what the show does for them. Their music doesn’t end when their season ends so I believe that it’s the artist’s responsibility to continue that momentum to grow their audience and put out more music for their fans.

TITL: Is there a story behind your new single “Addicted?”

D: My new single “Addicted” was written about how love can be so strong that it feels like you’re addicted to that person. This love is so powerful that it takes over your life in that you can never get that person out of your head and you can’t hide it.

TITL: Who or what most inspires your creativity when it comes to song-writing? Which song might you say is the greatest ever written and why?

D: My songs are written out of personal experience or from stories people have told me. One of the best songs ever written is “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King.

TITL: If you could put together your dream show with four bands or artists, living or dead, who would you choose and where would you play? 

D: Queen, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse and Teena Marie at Madison Square Garden.

TITL: Do you have any performances/tour dates lined up? Where can music fans next check you out?

D: I don’t have any shows to announce yet, but my music is on all platforms such as Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, etc.  I have a new release coming out on September 27. I’m super excited!!! Please download and stream my song “Addicted.” 

TITL: What are your thoughts on social media and is being part of the technology-obsessed society we all seem to be a part of something you like/enjoy or something you prefer to stay away from? 

D: I definitely am caught up in social media as it is a huge part of the music industry but I do think it should be used in moderation. As younger generations rely on their phones to communicate and interact with people, they’re not going to develop in the way older generations have. I just think it – social media and phones – should be used in small dosages.

TITL: Are you working on an EP or an album? 

D: I am always writing and recording music so I will continue to do so, but I am not sure whether that will turn into a full piece album or EP just yet.

TITL: Finally then, as a fairly new artist in what is a very competitive and cutthroat industry, what are your long-term aspirations?  Whose career success and longevity would you most like to emulate and ultimately, what message do you want your music to leave on the world? 

D: I want to be a successful touring artist making a career doing something I love which is performing. I have so much respect for Taylor Swift’s work ethic and career choices as she has changed her sound so many times to fit her life but she has always stayed true to herself and to her fans. I admire and aspire to be like her. One thing I would tell my fans to always do is to be yourself. Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t because you can.

Check out “Addicted” below and to keep up to date with Dakota, follow her on Twitter and Instagram.