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May 25, 2016

Q&A Interview with Award-Winning British Actor Kevin Leslie

 
Each one of us has a story to tell and everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. This section “The Q & A Interview with inspiring people” is dedicated to exceptional personalities, who either have something to educate us or to inspire us.
Today I want you to meet Award-Winning British Actor Kevin Leslie. Kevin has been involved with various British Film, TV and Theatre projects. His film credits are from small roles in features to the leading role in internationally shot feature, Pearls of Africa.

Kevin was recently crowned the Best Actor 2015 at the prestigious Marbella International Film Festival and received an award for his portrayal of Reggie Kray.

Since Kevin’s most recent role as a Kray twin he has been catapulted into the lime light. Kevin’s work reveals that he honor’s each project (big or small) with the same raw talent and commitment that drives his career to success.


“When I started pushing myself/taking risks and going first that's when I really started to achieve bigger things.” Kevin Leslie
 
Kevin I have discovered you through Social media and I must say I love the quote on your Twitter account which says: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” So hand on heart how many times did you try and fail in Life?

Hand on heart its been one of the most challenging things I've had to discover. As I've always been someone that has tried to be the best, succeed and achieve big. So learning that taking risks and perhaps not getting it right is okay as you learn from those experiences. The time when I was truly discovering this was in training, as when we were asked to get up and try out an exercise or technique I would always go around third or fourth to demonstrate because I'd have learnt from the first couple, seen where they went wrong. So when I got up, I did it correctly but it meant I wasn’t learning for myself and I was just performing things okay but when I started pushing myself/ taking risks and going first that's when I really started to achieve bigger things.

When and why did you feel that acting is your passion and determination? Did any specific film or actor inspire you?

To be honest I kind of just fell into acting. I was very sporty as a kid but got involved in school shows, which I really enjoyed. When it came to making a choice about whether to study BTEC Sport or BTEC Performing arts I went with my heart and chose to study what I was enjoying doing.
 
You have a BA in Acting from the Arts University College Bournemouth. What would you say was the most interesting lesson during your study and why?

I'd say for me the most interesting moment was in my second year. I was studying Shakespeare and Greek tragedy simultaneously this was the moment I had a real breakthrough as an actor. It was the moment I realised I was good enough to do this as a career. I discovered my vocal tone and style as an actor.

I imagine being an actor can be emotionally and physically extremely difficult, depending on the role that you’re playing. You have to be able to switch on and off your feelings, emotions, Life struggles and worries regardless of how you feel privately. What has been so far the most challenging character for you to play and why?
Firstly, that is the skill of the actor – you can't allow your own current circumstances to influence your portrayal, i.e. if you are having a bad day but your character is happy, you still need to portray happiness. Dracula is probably my most challenging character as it was both mentally and physically draining, with the added challenge of an accent. I made a decision to portray that character in a very animalistic way, seeing all beings as sustenance or sex objects.


 
You have been working in several short movies, TV series and Films. What has been so far the most emotionally touching experience for you during a film production and why?

It has to be shooting a feature in Kenya, where I grew not only as an actor but as a person due to experiencing many fascinating moments from animals in the wild to people happily living with nothing. This aptly brings me to my point, which was when filming I joined a group of young boys playing football with a homemade ball of plastic bags. We played for hours. I won't ever forget the smiles, enjoyment on their faces. I wanted to do something as it saddened me to see they didn’t even have a real ball to play with, something I took for granted growing up, so I went and bought them a real football.
 

I personally love movies that touch my heart. As I write in my monthly movie Review #Lilywood, I love movies that are either funny, romantic, inspiring, entertaining, historical or educational. But most of all films that are based on true stories. What kind of movie genres do you watch? And what is your favourite film of all time and why?

I like all genres of movies as I like to have a diverse knowledge, but I agree that ones which have a really good story stand out most for me. Trying to focus my answer more directly to your question is difficult as I cannot choose one favourite movie of all time. My favourite movie for its story would be a film called 'Pay it Forward'; a young boy comes up with a beautiful concept for a school project, and if people followed it we would live in a much more peaceful world.

I wonder can you as an actor ever watch a film and relax. Or do you look at every scene and every detail from the professional point of view? Which I imagine must be really annoying. :-)

Haha, it is indeed. As soon as you're trained in this art form I don't think you can take a film completely at face value. I think you are always going to look at it and notice a good shot and wonder how they filmed it, or admire the score or filmmaker's work.

Dead or alive, who is your favourite actor/actress off all time and why?
Wow, hard question – how long have you got? The female is easy – it has to be the one and only Meryl Streep purely because she is a genius performer; you never see 'Meryl' in the role, you always see the character. For male, I will go with Leonardo DiCaprio as I have always thought he is a phenomenal actor and underrated.
P.S. Shout out to Denzel Washington as he's up there.

 
I have to ask you this question since you’re a British actor. Can you imagine ever playing James Bond? And who is your favourite James Bond and why?
Way to make me feel like a cliché lol, as yes, James Bond is my dream role. But it looks like Tom Hiddleston is going to pip me to the post this time.


What I admire about inspiring people like you is your selfless support for people in need. You’re currently using your popularity and supporting “Haven House Children's Hospice” @HavenHouseCH, which provides care for children with life-limited and life-threatened conditions. How come that you have decided to support this specific charity?

I was introduced to Haven House as they are local to me and it only took me minutes to fall in love with and admire the work that the real people are doing to help these children. Since then, I have done what little I can and hope to continue to do more in the future. It is these real people that offer support, care and raise money 365 days a year – they are the real heroes; the people that should get the accolade for the work they are doing.

Do you have any desire to ever work on a film project in America or are you happy to be successful in United Kingdom?
I was always advised to crack the UK first and the transition to America would become easier i.e. green card, visas etc., but it is something on my radar. I do want to get involved in the bigger blockbuster movies while also still staying involved with British independent film.


Everything seems to go very well for you right now. But if I was an Angel and would ask you right now and right here, what is your biggest professional dream, desire, goal or wish. What would it be?

Seeing as James Bond has gone for now :), I would love to be a lead regular in a drama series like Game of Thrones, Narcos, Peaky Blinders. Away from that, I would also love to be cast as a lead in a timeless classic like Gladiator, Goodfellas etc.

Ever since I’m working on my book “Definition of Love”, I ask my inspirational interview partners these two questions. What is your definition of Love in three words? What is your definition of Love in one sentence? 
Love conquers all.
Love knows no boundaries; It's the only thing that makes this life worth living.

Kevin it was a pleasure to do this “Q&A Interview” with you. I have a feeling that you will make it BIG in the international film industry and I wish you the best of luck! Some of your answers really touched my heart and inspired me. Keep up the good work and don’t let the movie industry change your caring, loving and down-to-earth personality. Because THIS will be the KEY to your success! My best wishes & God bless. Lily Amis

 
 

 
Pictures from behind the scene:
 
 

 
 
 
  Behind the scene:
 



If you want to find out more about Kevin Leslie follow him on:
Twitter: @TheKevinLeslie
Instagram: iamkevinleslie
Visit his official Website: www.kevinleslie.co.uk
Kevin Leslie on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3690698/
Kevin Leslie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevinLeslieActor


 
If you like to find out more about the Haven House Children's Hospice and support this great charity, please visit the official website: www.havenhouse.org.uk or follow them on twitter @HavenHouseCH.
 
Source Pictures: Thx @ Kevin Leslie.

May 18, 2016

Q&A Interview with British Pianist & Singer James Sayer

 
Each one of us has a story to tell and everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. This section “The Q & A Interview with inspiring people” is dedicated to exceptional personalities, who either have something to educate us or to inspire us.
 
Today I want you to meet James Sayer. A multi-talented musician. He’s pianist, singer and songwriter from Birmingham today based in London.

James Sayers new single “Taking Back My Love” from his upcoming album will be out  on 20 May 2016 and available on iTunes. I had the chance to ask James some questions about his love for music and his recent experience on Tour in USA. Remember his name, because I have no doubt that he will become an international Star!


“Not everyone respects live music but you do usually always
find one person that will appreciate what you’re doing!
It’s that one person that keeps me going and on to the next gig!”
James Sayer
 
James you are one of those talents that I have luckily discovered on Twitter. According to your biography you have studied music. Jazz on saxophone and Contemporary piano. Maybe I’m clueless, but isn’t it exceptional to play these two completely different instruments?

Originally I started playing on Drums as a kid but it was the piano I really became fascinated with, listening to Elton John made me really want to play! My grandad was a Jazz saxophone player and I now use his alto saxophone. I have always enjoyed playing both instruments and they are so different, you have to use your brain in a totally different way!


James as a Baby with his dad
James as a kid
 


As if playing instruments is not admirable enough, you also write your own songs and on top of that you are gifted with a recognizable voice. In other words you are the full package! But nobody is perfect. So where is James’ weakness? :-)

Haha that’s very kind of you to say! I’m pretty obsessed with music, all I want to do is write, record and play live! I do have weaknesses and there are things about my music I don’t like but I think most artists think like that! Maybe my weakness is not practicing scales on the piano, enough! I’m more of a rock n roll kind a musician, I like doing stuff by ear and jamm in on the piano.

Tell me, who is James Sayer? If your family, friends and people who know you and work with you had to describe James to my Blog visitors, what do you think would they say about your personality? For example are you more the introverted and reflective guy or the extroverted and spontaneous? Are you more the serious kind of person or goofy?

I’m definitely the spontaneous kind of person! I think that’s why I love live music – it gives you that instant buzz! But then again, I do love thinking about writing a song, recording it and then hearing it finished – that is a process that takes a while. I guess I’m a pretty simple guy, I love my home comforts! I’m a bit of an ice cream addict (not very rock n roll, I know!). Being on the road is fun but I do love the UK – London really is a magical city and a place that is so great for live music! But I’m also a bit goofy – I get obsessed with TV programs like ‘Only Fools and Horses’, I watch episodes over and over again! But I am pretty normal, I promise! Haha.


James today

James you have relocated to London from Birmingham in 2012. How was it at first? Did London, the most exciting city in Europe welcome you with open arms? Or where there times where you questioned your decision and regret doing this big step?


It was really tough moving here at first – It’s a very expensive place to live, especially as a gigging musician! There have been times in the past where I’ve questioned if I can continue living here. But I know in the back of my mind, this is the place I want to be and it’s so great for meeting musical and creative people! It was extremely tough to start with but I’ve been lucky to find some great places to play.


Life as a musician is not always easy. I can imagine that playing live-music in pubs, clubs and piano bars where you share your songs, your lyrics and you soul with an audience, who’s not always paying full attention and showing the respect that an artist deserves can be frustrating. What keeps you continuing your work anyway and motivates you to what you do for living?

It can be tough at times but I feel I’ve been pretty lucky playing in some incredible venues in London. One of the places I’ve played at for a while is called ‘Players Bar’. It is such a wonderful place and the crowd are always amazing! I find playing live in any venue or situation is just such a great experience. I learnt my craft singing and playing in pubs and clubs and continue to do so. I do go through gigs where it’s hard to keep your head up, not everyone respects live music but you do usually always find one person that will appreciate what you’re doing! It’s that one person that keeps me going and on to the next gig!
Your new and first single from your upcoming debut Album is called “Taking Back My Love”. As a lyricist myself, I like to know how you come up with the Lyrics for your songs? What inspires you? Where do you get ideas for new songs?
I’ve always been inspired by old skool music. I love old Rhythm and blues, Rock n Roll and Soul music. I just think it’s such cool music! Elton John, Stevie Wonder and bands like The Doobie Brothers really inspire me so much. Sometimes I just get an idea for a song and then the melody/lyrics seem to flow! I also write a lot of my songs with a producer called Alan Glass. Alan is a brilliant songwriter and we always have so much fun writing together – we wrote ‘Taking Back My Love’. I wrote the demo at home and then we got together and messed around with it a bit. The internet is so great, I’m discovering new songs every day but usually songs that were written 40/50/60 years ago, that I’ve never heard before! They all keep me really inspired!
 
 
James Sayer - Taking Back My Love (Live @ Wax Recording Studio, London)

 
I read in one of your interviews, that you usually write the melody first and the lyric comes at the end. The best songs written are mostly based on personal issues and creative people seem to be more productive, when they are emotionally crushed by someone or something. What can we expect from your debut Album? What songs will we hear? Will you only write about personal experiences or also songs that reflect our society and address global issues?
 
A lot of my songs are about love and my past experiences but there’s one particular song that I’m really proud of – I wrote it about the Paris terror attacks in 2015. The song is called ‘Feeling Your Pain’, I wrote the song with my good friend Alan Glass and Bex. I felt a need to write something about it, basically saying ‘I know what you’re going through, I’m feeling your pain from all these miles away’. I like writing from my heart, I feel so much more connected to the song when I record it.
James Sayer with Ruen Brothers and band

James Sayer & George Ezra

2015 was a big year for you. You were not only on an US Tour for a month with the British band Ruen Brothers and British singer George Ezra, you even did a live recording session with the legendary producer Rick Rubin at Shangri La Studios in Los Angeles, where big names such as Mick Jagger, Ed Sheeran and Adele record their albums. How was the American dream in real? What was the most exciting experience during your entire stay in America and why?
The whole trip was so great from start to finish! The highlight was recording at Shangri La with Rick Rubin but there were so many other amazing moments, too! We played at Coachella festival in California. That whole experience was mind blowing and playing on the stage there was incredible! We did spend so many hours on a tour bus – this was fun hanging with the band but also after about ten hours it was tough going – America is such a big country! I loved all the American food – Milkshakes!!! The crowds in America are so great – they love to cheer and dance. I can’t wait to get back there to do some more live gigs!
James everything seems to go very well for you right now. But if I was an Angel and would ask you right now and right here what is your biggest professional dream, desire, goal or wish. What would it be?
I just want to make music and perform live for the rest of my life. I’ve never really had any aspirations of being famous but I do want to make music that people can enjoy, so I just hope my music will continue to find more and more people!
As a musician you must be very romantic, sensitive and sentimental. So my last question is what is your definition of Love in three words? What is your definition of Love in one sentence? 
Hmmm interesting question! In 3 words… ‘Beauty, Friendship, Contentment’.
 
In one sentence… ‘To find the one person you can’t think of life without’.

 
James it was a pleasure to do this interview with you. Your song "Taking back my Love" is available from Friday 20th May 2016 on Itunes! Me personally, I love the song, the groove and of course your voice. I wish you the best of luck for your professional and personal future. I have a feeling that your name will become BIG in the music industry and look very much forward to see you performing live in London.
Lily Amis

Check out James single “Taking Back My Love” on Soundcloud

Download #‎TakingBackMyLove on iTunes - Friday 20th May 2016


Follow James Sayer on Twitter @JamesSayerMusic
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jamessayermusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamessayermusic/
Official website: www.jamessayermusic.com 
  



Source Pictures: Many thx at James Sayer

May 11, 2016

Q&A Interview with James Kennedy front man of the Welsh alternative music band Kyshera


Each one of us has a story to tell and everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. This section “The Q & A Interview with inspiring people” is dedicated to exceptional personalities, who either have something to educate us or to inspire us.
 
Today I want you to meet James Kennedy, Label Owner, singer and front man of the Welsh alternative music band Kyshera.

James is one of the few international artists that expressed his feelings and empathy for the refugees in summer 2015 publicly.

Apart from that James Kennedy is not afraid of using his voice when it comes to his political views and opinion which is rare and applaudable these days where our superficial society is more self-centered and selfish than ever before.
 
Kyshera (pronounced K-eye-she-ra) The Alternative Rock band is an example of the great alternative rock coming out of the UK. The Welsh rockers Kyshera consists of vocalist/guitarist James Kennedy, bassist Matt Warr, and drummer Glyn Bateman.


Track listing for the Album “Circle” 

01. Napoleon
02. Behind These Lies
03. Demon
04. Gone
05. The Wrong Size
06. Break This
07. Endgame
08. Coma
09. Inertia
10. Helen
11. Full Circle
12. The End





My Q & A Interview with James Kennedy

“I would personally welcome as many Immigrants & Asylum seekers in to my home town as we could physically accommodate!”
James Kennedy

James, you are one of those talented artists that I have discovered through Socialmedia (Twitter). What is your opinion about the Socialmedia as an artist? Do you think it is a blessing or a curse because people expect you to be online 24/7?
 
I LOVE Social Media! And I love how modern technology has empowered all of us to bypass the traditional means of operation. I am a very passionate ambassador for Social Media & the DiY independent ethic across the board. Where the money comes from though is a different issue...


When did you know that Music (especially Rock Music) is your passion and decided to do it professionally?
I've always known really. As a child I was always obsessively recording things from the Radio, making my own albums that way and drawing my own inlay cards and stuff! There was never any question really that I would end up doing music! In terms of doing it professionally, that just kind of happened gradually over time. It started out as fun & then inevitably over the years turned into 'business' so I try to keep my focus on the important part, which is the music!  

How come that you are not a signed Solo artist or band by a major British record company and have decided to establish your own record company Konic Records?
Well when I first started out I was actually approached by most of the Major Record Labels, including Sony & Warner Bros so my initiation into the mindless beaurocracy of the music business started pretty much right away. Since then I have signed with labels and its never worked out well - we always ended up getting better results by ourselves, so I decided that in order to stay active as an artist (and not just be a great idea 'on the shelf') that going Independent was the best avenue for myself & the band. Konic Records is now a global company with partner companies in almost every country worldwide!

Does your Label Konic Records sign other talented and aspiring artists too? If so, how do you discover new talents?
We do! But as a Publisher, not as a label because I really don’t think that artists need a label anymore until they're at a certain level. In terms of discovering artists, we get sent submissions regularly and I am also a Band camp addict, so I've discovered a great amount of talent on there, some of whom we've worked with to great result.

As the front man of the music band Kyshera you travel the world and meet allot of different people from all kinds of nationalities, cultures, religions and mentalities. What was the most exciting experience you had on tour? Which city was your favourite place and why?
 
Ah there's so many! I love seeing different cultures. In Europe the contrast between countries is so stark because you can be in 2 different countries in one day, so you get an immediate comparison. I think one of our best records of ours was having breakfast in Italy, doing a show in Switzerland & having evening beers in Germany all in the same day ha ha!

You are one of the few artists that expressed his feelings and empathy for the refugees in summer 2015 publicly via Twitter @JamesKennedyUK, for which I’m very grateful for.  As a British artist living in Cardiff what is your opinion about the refugees, who have the desire and wish to leave war behind and start a new Life in safety in Europe?
My opinion on that is simple - everybody seeking Asylum or fleeing poverty, war, torture or disaster, should have free & assisted movement to a safer country without question. It's what I would want if I was in that situation, I would want to flee to somewhere safer with my family as fast as I could. Immigration causes NO harm of ANY kind to the host country, infact it has been proven an endless amount of times that Immigration actually has a large net benefit to the host countries’ economy & culture.

The leaders of all nations know that Capitalism isn't a durable system without a steady influx of borderline slave labour, which is why Immigration is allowed to continue but they also use the issue to gain the added perk of spreading fear, division & confusion among their population so that we focus our anger on the poor & desperate and not on the powerful. I would personally welcome as many Immigrants & Asylum seekers in to my home town as we could physically accommodate! Anyone believing the opposite should then stop mindlessly supporting policies which exacerbate war & poverty around the world so that people wouldn't have the need to flee in the first place.

For me music is the universal language that not only brings joy and happiness but also reunites all kinds of people around the world, while Politics and Religion divides us. What is your goal as a performer except entertaining people with your voice and music?

I totally agree. For me, I've always used whatever platform I may have to try and speak for those who don't have a platform - and also to share information and a perspective that's not given by the mainstream media. However, lately I've been more engaged in exploring more personal, emotional & spiritual issues, such as on the last Kyshera album 'Circle' and that's probably something which will continue for the next album. 

The 61. Eurovision Song Contest (for me THE musical highlight every year, because it reunites EUROPE) will take place from May 10,- May 14, 2016 in Stockholm with the slogan: "Come Together". Will you watch the show and what is your favourite Eurovision Song of all time and why?
Ha ha I've never watched an entire Eurovision Song Contest, it's not really for me. I've seen bits of it but to be honest, I don't really consume any mainstream culture at all - I don't read the newspapers and I have never owned a Television in my life. It's highly doubtful that I will watch the Eurovision song Contest this year, unless I'm locked in a hotel room somewhere  & there's alcohol ha ha. As for a favourite song on there, I couldn't name a single song, let alone a favourite! I appreciate that it's good fun for people that like it though, so I'm not knocking it, it's just not for me.
 

Do you see yourself as a solo artist or with your band Kyshera ever participating in an international contest like the ESC or the Songwriting Contest? If yes, when? If NO, why?
Nah, I can't see that ever happening for us ha ha! We exist outside of the mainstream spectrum - thats where we like it & thats the demographic that we speak for.

You have financed your previous album 'Circle' in March 2015 exclusively through Crowd Funding. How was that experience? What are you working on right now? When can your fans see you and your band members Glyn Bateman and Matt Warr live on stage?
We did! And we're still so thankful to everyone who Pledged so generously and made the 'Circle' album possible! It was a great experience, having no label interference and just a direct trust between ourselves & our fanbase - another great testament to Social Media and the new model for artists. At the moment we're working on new material and there's a few other things in the works too - videos and some other cool things - as for touring, we've got a European tour as well as potential dates in the USA and Japan still being organised but things are never an exact science in this business so at the moment, timeframes etc are changing frequently so we're reluctant to say too much yet incase it changes again! But there will definitely be a lot of shows far & wide soon! ;)

One last question. What is your Definition of Love in three words and in one sentence?
Love is Empathy, Acceptance & Thankfulness
And Love is ultimately the only thing that will save us all.

James thank you very much for taking the time to answer my ten questions. I hope your courage for having the voice for people in need will be an inspiration for many other musicians to speak out and use their voice for the voiceless.  I wish you as a solo-Artist as well as with your band Kyshera the best of luck for the future. I hope I can see you live on stage on your next tour. :-) Keep up the good work. God bless you and your loved ones..

 

Follow James Kennedy
On Twitter  @JamesKennedyUK
Facebook James:
www.facebook.com/james.kennedy.5686 
Facebook the band: www.facebook.com/kyshera
Web: www.Kyshera.com
 
If you know any inspiring personality like James, who should be discovered and promoted on my BLOG, please contact me and I will decide whether I will do a “Question and Answer Interview” and promote their work or not! Many thanks in advance and God bless. Lily

Pictures sources: Thanks @ James Kennedy