Chic Talk with Jhené Aiko!

JA2July 24th my partner-in-Chic Michele Gates and I became the envy of all R&B, and all around music aficionados, far and wide when we announced that we had just interviewed the inspiring (and young, oh SO young and already SO accomplished!) Jhené Aiko!

Why the Pop Tarts silliness? Why this chance for the interview? What was Jhené doing in San Francisco? How come we got to interview her (other than the fact that we are so cool and interviewing her was a must. DUH!)? We’ll let Billboard do the explaining. You see…

For the past four years, Kellogg’s Pop Tarts has relied on free concerts featuring young pop acts to reach tweens, starting with Carly Rae Jepsen in 2012 and continuing with Demi Lovato and Austin Mahone in 2013 and 2014, among others.

But for 2015, the breakfast staple decided to take its pop-music connections one step further by tapping three artists — Jessie J, Jhene Aiko and Rixton — for an original song. The result, “Sorry to Interrupt,” quietly debuted on SoundCloud in late May before a lyric video was posted to the brand’s YouTube channel on June 10. To date, the song has received more than 40,000 SoundCloud streams and 100,000 YouTube plays. The song will be serviced to pop radio, digital retailers and streaming services at the end of July….

The three artists, booked in partnership with Universal Music Group’s brand partnerships team, [re-teamed] for a free, live concert for Pop Tarts’ Crazy Good Summer program [on] Friday, July 24, at San Francisco’s Nob Hill Masonic center….

Aiko, who had never met or worked with Jessie J or Rixton prior to “Sorry to Interrupt,” [told] Billboard of the collaboration, “They were all so fun to work with and had lots of positive energy. I think I added a bit of my style to this song. I’m usually laid back and that is reflected in the music I make. Both Jessie and Rixton are high energy, so I think I balanced it out by adding some chill.”

JA1To say that we were impressed by Jhené would be an understatement. Having gotten her start in music in her early teens, nay, as a tween (!!!), Jhené, at the tender age of 27, has not only built quite the name for herself but she already boasts collaborations with B2K, Drake, Gucci Mane, Kanye West, Big Sean, Childish Gambino and many more!

It was a pleasure to meet Jhené. Whether her music speaks to you or not, the woman behind the music, her definite chill vibe and soul searching ways will, no doubt, take you in and make you thirst for more!

Michele and I wanted to know what drove her. What made Jhené tick? What inspired her? How did she keep a level head and juggle double duty as a mother in such a fast moving, and male-centric, industry? For answers to these questions, and much more, kick back, watch, and enjoy!


Chic Talk with Nigel Barker!

May 27th we, The Chics, interviewed former model and celebrity photographer Mr. Nigel Barker, of America’s Next Top Model fame, as he made a stop at Macy’s San Francisco to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and to promote his latest book, Models of Influence!

Here’s where I have a confession to make. Up until Michele informed me that we’d be interviewing Nigel, I had no idea who he was! The closest I’ve gotten to watching reality TV, is HGTV as I’m drawn to anything and everything real estate, design and remodeling. Yes, this means that I have never watched America’s Next Top Model… nor have I ever watched The Face… or any reality TV show for that matter, aside from Betsey Johnson’s short-lived reality TV stint on the now-defunct Style Channel because DUH, anything and everything Betsey Johnson is a MUST! But I digress.

So, a few days pre-interview I had to google Nigel’s name to see what I had missed out on and to say that I was blown away by the man is an understatement. His prolific body of work and his contagious passion and zest for life speak for themselves but, being the romantic geek that I am, what truly moved me was Nigel’s deep love for his wife and children, and for their family and friends. I was, and still am, particularly taken in by Nigel’s Instagram page. Seriously, check it out. Nigel has a unique way of viewing the world. He turns even the most casual of outings into picturesque moments of inspired existence where he takes the time to share his thoughts and to wax poetic on life, on his experiences and, more frequently, on his deep appreciation for what he has manifested and what he is living. There we are privy to his travels both alone and with his family, their latest adventures and discoveries, the deep bond his wife shares with her twin sister, the deep love and appreciation that Nigel has for said bond, and so much more, all captured ever so artistically and shared with the world at large.

So yes, we met Nigel Barker, THE Nigel Barker, the celebrity you all know and love. But more substantially, we also met Nigel Barker the man, the kind, sweet, charming, intelligent, polite, handsome-inside-and-out lovely human being that he is and THAT is what thrilled me the most.

And so without further ado, here you go, a motha of a post because not only do we have one video of Nigel, we have THREE! Delve on in, watch, love and share! Here we are with Nigel in our latest installment of Chic Talk!

After our interview, Nigel was ready for his Macy’s San Francisco talk and Q&A and we caught it all on tape for your viewing pleasure, thanks to our lovely Team Chic videographer Nancy Ericsson! Enjoy!

And last, but definitely not least, here’s a little side chat I had with Nigel, dedicated to my high school Sri Lankan friend Sasha, filmed both by Nancy and by me.

How’s that for some Nigel Barker fabulosity? Good? You’re welcome!