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Spahh Day: Boardwalk Empire's Margot Bingham Talks Breakout Role and Music Career

Margot Bingham Spa Day

You can't avoid a love/hate relationship with Margot Bingham's character, Daughter Maitland, on Boardwalk Empire, but off camera--her warm spirit and zealous personality draws you in. "Whoever created Post-Its-- I want to introduce myself and say, 'Can I please be the spokesperson for Post-Its,'" she hilariously quipped during our "Spahh Day" at the Guerlain Spa in NYC's Wardolf Astoria.

Margot was pampered with a massage and luxury mani/pedi as we talked about her breakout role, family  (“My parents have been together for 32 years–very much in love, best friends, stronger everyday,") and music ("I’m trying not to rush it, I’m just trying to let it happen.").

Spend your afternoon getting to know this sassy Vixen!

*We officially 'Vixen Verify' the Guerlain Spa for their hospitality. Visit their full site–www.guerlainspas.com–to book your spa treatment today!

Photo Credits: Stacy-Ann Ellis

Margot Bingham Spa Day

VIBE Vixen: Which do you love more--acting or singing?

I think both work hand and hand to me. When I’m preparing for an acting role or stage role, music helps me get to where I need to be. When I’m singing becoming somebody else or putting myself or imagining myself in another role helps me overcome my fears on stage. They’ve always helped both for me and I never wanted to choose ever so with Boardwalk [Empire] I lucked out.

Margot: If you had to choose, which would it be?

I don’t know--music I feel like you can never live without. Music helps everybody with everything. If you’re going through loss, relationship issues, job transformation, you're excited, want to celebrate or you want to wake up--it’s music that you choose. It's harder to think about becoming somebody different. All you have to do is press the on button and you become somebody different.

Is there a song that takes you to an important time in your life?

The Mariah Carey ‘Hero’ song. I was in the car with my mom and we were in the driveway and she started singing it and I asked what was the song. She said, "this song reminds me of your grandfather," who I’ve never met because he passed away right before my parents' wedding. She started teaching me the song and it was the first song that she taught me all the words. I still remember the song and learning the words. And it’ll put me back to our garage every time I hear it.

Margot Bingham Spa Day

Do you have a character or show that made you want to be an actor?

I don’t really have a TV show that did that. I guess acting always fed me. When I was a freshman in high school, my acting coach now--it was his first day when it was my first day. It was like a charter performing arts high school and I was in the musical theatre department–singing, dancing, acting–and I really just took it because of singing and dancing; I really hated acting.

He was going around the room and introducing himself to all the new students and he was like, "well, why are you here?," and I was like, "it’s the only program that has singing and dancing." He was like, "Okay, we’ll see, we’ll talk again in 4 years." Sure enough, after 4 years acting, it was the biggest bite of all and I loved it more than anything. To this day, he’s still my acting coach and he’s who I go to for every project and every job.

Margot Bingham Spa Day

How do you feel about your Boardwalk Empire character being in love with a married man?

I mean morally that’s not okay. My parents have been together for 32 years–very much in love, best friends, stronger everyday–and I don’t believe in adultery in any way. But it made it a little easier that in real life, the girl who plays Chalky’s wife is my best friend. It’s weird out of a city full of actors, the one show I do--she’s the wife of the person I’m cheating with.

It’s all pretend, so I had to make sure in my mind I thought it was okay. When you play a character like that, you have to find the justice in it. My reason to believe in the cheating was I just fell in love with Michael [Williams] as a person and as a friend. I tried to not think about the cheating part because to me, we were really in love.

Why do you think the world roots for them?

I think because everybody saw they were so sad and they had similar souls and out of that sadness they came together. They were really one of a kind together--they just fit like a puzzle. It was something very special and different than a normal love affair. It was two lost souls that finally found each other. People can’t help but relate to that.

What’s the best thing  you enjoy about the show being set in the 1920's?

The name and definition of diva is so skewed today from what it was. Sexy in the 1920s was women that were so empowered and knew their sexuality and could seduce you in a turtle neck. They didn’t have to show skin to be seductive and show sex appeal. It was what they had to offer, their different gifts and their smarts. But today, we give so much away because we think that’s sex or sexy, but everybody’s used to it now.

In the '20s it was beautiful and now I can live vicariously through these women who made this mold of sex appeal. I started dressing a little bit differently because you found the beauty in something else and unfortunately, we don’t really have that figure in today’s generation to really look up to. 

Margot Bingham Spa Day

How far along are you with your new music?

I’m working right now on new music, so I’m working with a couple different producers. I’m trying not to rush it--I’m just trying to let it happen. There's a couple of things in the oven for acting, so hopefully you guys will be hearing stuff soon. Acting is buying me time with music which is nice because for the first time, I can take my time.

How would you describe your sound?

I would say if Joss Stone and Lauryn Hill had a baby in Amy Winehouse’s backyard, it would definitely pop out my music.

Top 5 dream collaborators, dead or alive?

Jo Strafford would be one. I really want this because he’s a friend of mine. I want to collab with Seal--that would be dope. James Blake—I’d freak out. Prince, somehow on something, even if it was creating a fun song with just a hook.  And Iron and Wine.

Flip the page to check out the rest of our "Spahh Day!"

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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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Mike Windle/Getty Images for McWraps

Tatyana Ali Shares She’s Pregnant With Second Child

A new bundle of joy is on the way for actress Tatyana Ali and her husband Dr. Vaughn Rasberry. On Saturday (April 13), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star shared the news on Instagram, posting a picture of her baby bump and an excited caption.

“I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump,” she wrote. “We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed.”

 

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I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump. We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed. #BabyRasberry

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 13, 2019 at 7:52am PDT

 

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“Who are you calling?” I asked. He said, “the baby in Mama’s tummy”- Already in cahoots.

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 14, 2019 at 6:47am PDT

In 2017, Ali and Rasberry had their first child, Edward, who arrived a year after the pair wed in July 2016. In an interview with Parents, Ali described her method to parenting, which she picked up from her mother and father.

“I’m more laid-back than I thought I’d be,” Ali said. “My dad was like this with me and my two sisters. While my mom was stricter, he said, ‘If you teach them everything they need to know, they’ll be prepared and figure things out.’”

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Actor Michael B. Jordan backstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
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Michael B. Jordan Would Like To Be Considered For B2K's Millennium Tour

Michael B. Jordan loves nostalgia. From the 90s and beyond, the actor has always shown love to those who helped create our favorite music memories. Now, Jordan is looking to throw his hat in the running for B2K's Millenium Tour.

The actor shared a hilarious video of himself, Terrance J and Ridiculousness' Steelo Brim jamming to Diddy's "I Need A Girl Remix" this week on Twitter with the caption, "Is there any more room on the Millennium Tour?" Fans of the 2000s hip-hip/R&B era are aware the jam was released in 2002 from Diddy's LP, We Invented The Remix.

https://twitter.com/michaelb4jordan/status/1116092812787953665

We're sure B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and the rest of the family wouldn't mind having Killmonger on the road with them. Meanwhile, the guys have brought out several special guests on the Millennium Tour. So far, surprise performances have included Ashanti, Ja Rule, Bow Wow and B5.

Enjoy "I Need A Girl Part 2" below.

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