So most of you know Ashleigh Ashley 'does Music'...and more of you still know that making music is an expensive business unless you're spending someone elses money lol! Anyway to pay the bills and fund my crazy music making schemes I work in video production and a recent job saw me working for Black Dog (a music video divsion of Tony/Ridley Scotts production company RSA Films) on a production for the Gossip.
We shot in an old disused boarding school OFF of endz lol, an enchanting/labyrinth-like building that looked liked it belonged in the Hogwarts. I would have explored the entire place if hadn't of been for the "Beware Asbestos" barriers lol. My main job for the day was making sure the band and the dancers got to and from set when they needed to (a 2nd AD of sorts) so of course I adopted my best American accent and 'chilled' with team Ditto and the Glam Sqaud lol!
Working with a band that have essentially done all the things that I'd like to achieve in my music career was enlightening...and for a second it was easy to visualize what my life could be like if I keep on my grind! Seeing shoots come together has always amazed me and I felt the dancers/costumes and location completely nailed the spirit of the song. Well done to Director Price James for getting it just right hehe, I only just got round to seeing the results...
There's more to the day of course...but if you want to know about that you're gona have to check out the Gossip's behind the scenes video *slow smile* HERE
Between Roofhopping, one/two commercials and the ants in my pants I've not had time to fill ya'll in on my recent adventures :o So starting with the Street Dance 2 premiere at the O2, I thought I'd fill ya'll in on the madness over the next couple of posts! Having been invited by my mate Hedgehog I was WELL excited to be
attending my first premiere! Walking up the red carpet to camera's
flashing left, right and centre was exhilarating!...and a figment of my
imagination lol! It was actually a short uneventful walk, so much so that we thought we'd missed something?!
Having not seen the first installment of Street Dance I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this movie (IN 3D of course)..and after waiting 30mins for it to start I was already beginning to hate it! 20mins in and I still wasn't convinced...was this going to be yet another cheesy teen flick?? Well...yes...in short lol! But something magical happened when the latino TWIST kicked in, I suddenly found myself laughing and crying with the lead protaganists (albeit inside), and even looked forward to the inevitable happy ending!!
At the after-party we smoozed amongst the cast and crew, busted some new moves (you know what I'm talking bout Hedgehog hehe), I got a snap with lil dancer boi Akai, and stuffed my face with mini-burgers...in fact theres some lurking in the background!
My FaVE bit of the evening though was when, true to form, the dancers from the film put on their very own dance battle! Flawless tore up the dancefloor and even Delphine Nguyen who was clad in a dashing evening gown was body popping all over the shop lol!
Nuff respect to Maykel Fonts, the don choreographer who did an amazing job crafting the Lantino dance scenes, and in real life set the dance floor on FIRE!! It was a pleasure to witness such passion and energy! I still feel warm and fuzzy from the experience lol.
So...back to the film! The script was average, the lead chica Sofia Boutella is smoking HOT (I'll admit to memorising a few of her moves for the
next time I writh around half naked :D) the soundtrack was fantastic and
the bad-ass dance moves from Flawless and co. had me thoroughly
entertained! In short...Street Dance 2 is a must see if you're into music/dance...I'd give it a generous 7/10!
I have to start off this post by telling you guys that I met Beatfox for the first time 30mins before we recorded this performance lool! I was unsure as to if he was even going to show, but when he did it was a pleasure to meet him and you can see he fit right in with me and Gibbs and delivered a flawless freestyle performance!! Secondly...what a way to end the Roofhop day!! We were blessed with the perfect sky, that looks something like a studio backdrop...only REAL and dynamic! - notice the sun going down throughout?
The song SOMETIMES has significant meaning to me and a collective of young producers/writers/directors called Braver Darker! It was written for the as short film project we worked on back in 2010! "Flow and Affect" is a story about Jordan Knight, a young man from a broken home who is struggling not to fall onto the wrong path in a society that is seeming forcing him into a life of violence and crime! SOMETIMES is written from the perspective of his girlfriend...the two are a very much in love...and as is a woman's nature she continuously tries to love him in the right direction! But the star-crossed lovers know not what lies ahead...and SOMETIMES life just can't be controlled! Check out the studio recording here:
I feel a bit sad to say goodbye to the RoofHop Series! Big Up all the artists that took part...and of course massive thanx to the crew and the producers that helped make it happen! BUT...if you enjoyed it I may have a little treat in store for you guys mwahahhaaaaaa!!
ROOFHOP No.2 is Officially LIVE people hehe!
Shot on the roof of The Macbeth in Shoreditch this video sees me and my screen lover - (singer/songwriter Jay Auburn) - argue it out Jeremy Kyle musical stylee hehe! Who's been Cheating on who I wonder...will love prevail?? Dramatics over it was actually a really fun job...as you'll probably tell by us kooking out at the end of the video lol!
The original track was produced by amazing duo 43 and The Wizard! Check out the EXTENDED studio version here...
It was mad hot that day, so I couldn't even rock my Choolips Storm Jacket :( But look out for it in following posts! Gaga eat your heart out lool! For info on the crew, the "Roofhop Series" and to see the very first Roofhop - BROWSE HERE! If you've liked what you've seen so far you'll piss your pants for the next installment. Even nature is on our side.... hahahaaaa
Ok, so you guys have heard about Choolips contribution to the Roofhop Series ahead of the release of the 2nd Roofhop video - I want to tell you a little bit about the team behind it :D
Gibbi Bettini on guitar:
I've worked with Gibbs for a little while now...you'll see him in all of my live videos and despite his age this boi's got SwaG lol. He's also wracking up a bit of a rep amongst his piers, strumming for upcomers like Amy Love and J-Sol! Now I don't know much about playing guitar, but as an artist I think Gibbi's musical style/sensibility is second to none, and it's been a pleasure watching his talent grow! Check out his website HERE!!
Arash Khoshnazar / Pat @ GEEproductionLondon on camera:
One big AA ethos is to bring people together and this duo are no exception! Having met both guys in different media circles I wasn't sure how they'd get along having met on the day, but like true professionals these boys pulled it out the bag lol - kit and ALL! Throughout the RoofHop Series you'll see this temporary duo have an amazing eye for space/composition...despite the little time we had on each roof they really captured the spirit of the project!!
Jay @ Gray Cars was also a blessing! Massive thanx to him for driving the 6 of us around for the day! We felt like proper little rockstars for the day lol!
Thanx to the 6 rooftops:
Helana @ The White Lion - Streatham
Mikey @ The Bussey Building - Peckham
Mark @ The Macbeth, Shoreditch
Ms Karen Fox for her roof - Notting Hill
Miss Manal Shaker for her roof - Notting Hill
Ahmed for his roof and - Shepherd Bush
And special mention to documentary director Mark Goldie for capturing the day from behind the scenes! Looking forward to seeing a crazy cut of that lol - hopefully without the expletives lol!
So "Getaway" has gone live - 1 of 3 Roofhop video's I'll be sharing with you guys over the next couple of weeks! Welcome to The Bussey Building, a HUGE building in Peckham let out for various commercial and community uses (ie. CLF Art Cafe). From workshop to ware-space BB is topped by one of the best panoramic views in South East London...
"Getaway" was penned to the instrumental playing us in on the intro - a format you'll see over all the Roofhop videos. It was produced by mad talent Manikz from Auckland (NZ) who saw me on that Must Be the Music madness when it was broadcast over there :o RANDOM. We all know that music brings people together...even those on opposite sides of the world in this case lol! If you like the stripped version and you want to check out the studio recording - you can download it here:
BB was the second roof of that beautiful day! I'd like to say a massive thanx to the team of course (more about them in the next post), Choolips for another amazing outfit and Mickey Smith my location contact who took the time out that random Tuesday to let us have some fun!
Enjoy this one...Roofhop No.2 will be along soon enough where I'll be joined by a very special guest :D
You guys KNOW I LovE my 'crazy-sexy-cool' clobber...especially when I'm performing (flashback to face covered in glitter lol)! But when it came to choosing costumes for the Roofhop Series I needed a simple look. Something to compliment the raw nature of the acoustic performances...yet retain the kooky character that defines AA!! Thank god I smelt the roses...or should I say Choolips lol?! Of all the clothes/designers I've ever worn I found in Choolips the ultimate solution to looking 'different' with minimal effort!! Just PUT IT ON lol!
Annegret Affoldabach (designer and founder of Choolips) has weathered many a storm as she strives to bring stylish and ETHICAL clothing to the fashion/retail world! All of Annegret's garments are lovingly designed in her London Studio, before being hand made/printed using traditional Batik techniques, on the Gold Coast of Ghana. And did I mention that it's all ethical? Thats right...Choolips works on a genius Fairtrade system which sees entrepreneurial Ghanaian trailblazers, local batikers, tailors and seamstresses earn more than fair wages for their work. *Two fingers Primark!*
By working closely with African communities (and with a network of other collectives on side) CHOOLIPS has introduced new technology and print design to sustain this ancient Batik technique. And looking at the results it's easy to see why retailers such TOPSHOP and online fashion giants ASOS have jumped at the chance to stock Choolips' hand-perfected designs!! Annegret really has 'put the sunshine back into the high street' and as a budding fashionista myself it's impossible not to love her work!
Thanks soo much to Annegret for letting me wear the SS11 collection for my Roofhop Series. There still maybe some bits left in stock?! so if you want a whiff of Choolips check out the website or click HERE - for SS12/AW12 collections...you'll be sitting pretty all summer :D - Scarves and all!!