Indigo Charlie Indigo Charlie

Vixen Chat: Indigo Charlie Dishes On Darkest Relationship, Style Risks + Today's Fashion Icons

Soon-to-be graduate and rising songstress Indigo Charlie is a wave of fresh sounds and quirky chic style. The 20-year-old FIDM student is on the brink of breaking into a soulful lane all of her own creation and climbing the ladder, simultaneously, in the fashion world. Having an equal love for timeless threads and music (oh, and cookies made her Ruthless Records exec mom), this beautiful, natural-haired delight is definitely a Vixen you should know. First getting a major buzz from "Never Change" then tapping into a new, easy single, "Cool Love," she has a bright future and a relatable pen game that'll have any girl shouting affirmations. We grabbed the eclectic Cali girl to talk about everything from her dream collaborations and darkest moment in love to the Olsen twins and her beauty must-haves. Get into her now and thank us later -Niki McGloster [Photo: Benjamin Godfre, Clothing: Alexander Kosztowny]

Let’s talk a little bit about what sparked your love for singing.
Before my dad passed away, he owned a record label and my mom has been in the music industry for almost 20 years. I’ve really experienced being that three or four-year-old kid running around the record label and wanting to sneak into the listening sessions. It would be a new Outkast song [playing], and I’ll be like, Oh that’s dope! That’s where my love for it really started. At a young age, I was really exposed to the business side of it. Even though both of my parents worked in more of the hip hop mainstream realm of music, both of them listened to a really eclectic mix of things. At home, music was a really big thing at our house, and I would just sing and sing. I am able to hear a song once and know all the lyrics by the end of the song, from the breath to the ad libs. So the older I got, I started to get into the school plays, school chorus, things like that, and the first time I was on stage in front of people, I thought, This is what I want to do.

How is juggling FIDM as a visual communication major and gaining traction in your music career?
I was actively pursuing fashion because it was my every day. Fashion was my every day thing, and I would be in the studio here and there. Once I put out my first song “Never Change,” it all changed. From the response that it got and how I felt, it changed everything. Music is my A plan and I would say fashion is probably my B plan. It’s giving me a safety net because the music industry can be so up and down. The road can sometimes be really long, and it’s just not good to put all your marbles in one basket.

What was the inspiration behind "Never Change"? Was it a personal situation?
“Never Change,” for me, was definitely a personal story but not necessarily about one person. It was kind of taking all of the relationships I had been in. I’ve taken those pains and things like that and combined them into one. I was like, okay, eff him, eff him and eff him. [Laughs]

[Laughs] There a sadness and darkness to that record a bit too. Is that the sound you love to play with?
I really do love to play with that sound. People will describe me as really smiley, really happy, really chatty and social. That part of me that’s a little bit darker come from my dad's death and some of the hurt I’ve had from friendship. I don’t necessarily put those feelings on other people. I’m a true Virgo to the sense that I’m very private in those matters of my life and how I express them, so when you’re listening to “Never Change” or “On The Edge,” you’re really listening to the truest form of my personality and the conversations that I would have with my mom. I know it's kind of ironic because now it’s on the Internet and the world can hear my private thoughts, but it’s a sense of therapy for me.

What inspiration do you take from other artists?
The biggest influence on me would be Lykke Li. I feel like she writes about some of the saddest things when you break down the lyrics, but she’s not being so obvious. She’s talking about really relatable stuff, but it’s really sad. Sometimes she’s putting it over some of the most incredible beats that’s going to make you dance. I was inspired by that the most. I’ve met her and she’s super super sweet. Like, the awkwardness of her being, I think, is so pleasant and interesting.

Would you say that’s your personality as well? A little bit quirky, a little bit eclectic and a little awkward?
I’ve had some people say that I was a weirdo in the best way, in the most positive way. I like interesting things, things that are off the straight line. I’m inspired by the strangest things, like I’ll see the prettiest situation in the ugliest setting.

Well something that can be ugly sometimes is a relationship. What has been your darkest moment?
My darkest moment in a relationship? I would have to say it was when I was a little bit younger, and I was dating an older boy who I just thought was like bees knees of life! 'Oh he’s so crazy! He’s on the football team! He’s so cute!' It was probably the first time I thought I was in love with somebody and he ended up being around the way with a girl I use to be friends with. And you know you have this moment where you’re like giving [him] rope. I gave the rope, and for lack of a better word, he hung himself. Four years later, they’re still together.

Oh my gosh! Are you dating anyone now?
I’m super focused. That doesn’t mean I’m not looking because there are really cute guys in LA, but I am really focused. I think God will bring somebody to me when the journey is right. When somebody is ready to stand next to me and be support, then they’re ready for the journey. Until then, it’s all to the back.

It’s all about you right now! As far as style, it seems like you take risks similar to your music. How does your personality match your look?
I was a drag queen with a stripper best friend in my past life because I have this fascination with drama and beauty. Something about strippers I don’t know what it is, it’s just fascinating to me. [Laughs] I think there’s something about those shoes clanking that just makes me melt, so I’m definitely taking that and putting that in my personal style. I’m definitely on the 1940s dresses all the way and stripper heels. That’s it. I take the old soul of my personality, I put it on the top, then I put a little bit of the risk with the fascination and put it on the bottom. It makes a nice balance; it’s classic and risky.

I love it! Now, if you could work at any fashion label, who would it be for?
Giorgio Armani! I love what the brand stands for as a whole. The lines and the cuts of the menswear and the level of pure attention to detail that comes in with the couture pieces. It’s a classic and timeless brand, and I’m bias because I work there as an intern at the company. I’ve wanted to work there since I was a junior in high school.

Which celebrity closet would you raid and why?
The celebrity’s closet I would raid in a heartbeat would be Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Hands down, the fashion icons of my generation. I don’t think you could give the fashion icon to truly anyone else. They pioneered hobo chic, in my opinion. They were really the first [young] people to be really into fashion as a whole and more than just being dressed by a designer. They were part of the culture that is fashion, and I just think that every single decision that they make in fashion is brilliant. They don’t just take the garment for what it is and wear it off the runway. Even if they take the garment off the runway, it will be amazing. But to take something that’s already amazing and put your stamp on it and make it ten times more than it was on the runway, there’s only a handful of people who I know that can do that. That’s amazing to me.

Wow. On the beauty side, what are some beauty products you have to have with you at all times?
I carry MAC Studio Fix, because even though I wear liquid makeup out of the house, I have the Studio Fix to keep it not oily during the day. Then I have a red MAC [lipstick] that I always keep in my bag. I think red lips are a cure to all! I just got introduced to Lime Crime. They sent me some of the most amazing lipstick and eye shadow that I have ever seen in my entire life. They sent me the perfect [nude color]; it's more brown.

Oh, you're definitely a glam girl! What is next for you?
I have actually been religiously  in the studio at 11am every Monday and Friday. I have been finishing the new song and in the process to looking for a director to shoot the next video which will probably drop early November. That’s the biggest thing I’m working on right now and finishing up the EP. We’re up to four songs and we’re trying to get to about seven or eight, so we’re pretty close.

Lastly, what would be your definition of a Vixen?
Somebody who is fly and confident and carries themselves like a lady. She looks at another woman with appreciation for her fly. I think that’s the perfect Vixen! If you can be fly and have appreciation for somebody else’s fly, you’re the ultimate Vixen.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET!

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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