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Vixen Chat: Rainy Milo Plays 'Cootie Catcher Confessions'

Rainy Milo

Gorgeous newcomer Rainy Milo sure has the Tumblr girl look down with her oh-so-trendy platinum blonde locks, flawless beige skin and Topshop-esque style. Getting her unique looks from her Guyanese mother and British father, Rainy has already been seen in spreads for Miss Vogue, Wonderland, Company magazine. Image wise, she definitely has what it takes to get far within the superficial world of music. Yet it isn't until you listen to her music that you're in for the real surprise—damn, this girl can actually sing!

With a voice reminiscent of the late Amy Winehouse, it's easy to see why the London-born singer is being touted as the next big thing to come out of the British music scene. Listening to her new track, "Don't Regret Me," a grittily honest urban love song (taken from her acclaimed 2012 mixtape, Limey) penned by Rainy herself, it's clear to see that the teenager is not just a pretty face. Her eclectic taste in music and her love of poetry comes through with every line.

So when we caught up with Rainy, we were more than excited to know more about the talented and (social media) picture perfect girl who we'll no doubt be seeing (and hearing) a lot more of in the coming months. Not only that, but at just 18 years old Rainy's maturity, poise and great sense of humor were just as unexpected. Read on for the interview with the lady herself.

(P.S. If you still don't believe us, find out for yourself how amazing her voice is here)

Photo Credit: Jason Chandler

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Q: You started singing with local musicians and arts collectives when you were just 14. How did that happen?
Rainy Milo: I mostly found everyone via Facebook, being from South Norwood all my mates were guys and they started their grime scene but I wasn’t really into that. So I started looking on Facebook finding people that sort of dressed similar to me and then finding out who they hang out with and then via that I got into hanging out with music collectives from South East London.

So it was all done on social media. Do you find you are using that to connect to people?
Definitely. I feel like I’m on Tumblr every day and that’s how it started. I say that I first put my song out and expected no one to hear it but of course, now I think about it, because I had the Tumblr for about 2 years before ever releasing music I already had my own sort of miniature platform. Obviously it’s grown a lot now, but I had at least something to start from.

You’ve said in an interview that you grew up in an area “which gave little hope to anyone, it's almost like they were told that they had a crappy fate and were willing to just go along with it.” Why do you think you didn’t go along that path yourself?
I feel like my mum always really drilled it into me and my brother and sister just not to become a product of our environment, like why can’t you be ghetto but kinda graceful, too? So I was determined to not just stay where we were. I wanted to see other things, hence why I was always hanging out in Central London and trying to be as far away as possible. I wanted to see it all.

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You also mentioned that growing up your mum “never played only one genre in the house” and that this rubbed off on you - what type of music did she listen to?
It's crazy, she went from Jim Reeves to Ella Fitzgerald, while my sister would be playing 2Pac in the house so literally I wasn't starved of different styles of music, I think that's why my music is so eclectic now, as I've pinched pieces that were played and made it my own.

You have a reggae DJ grandfather. Tell us more about that, did he influence you to get into music?
He was big around Brixton (an area of South London with a big Caribbean community) and me and my cousins would be there with him buying vinyls and, again, it was more music I was being around. I would be at my grandmother's house on the weekends and there would be different music there, too, in my own house. So it was always following me.

What type of things inspire you to write music?
Just real life scenarios. I feel like I was just making music selfishly just for me, really. It was all my own personal self-healing doing that. So rather than talking about things, I would just write. I feel like that's where it comes from.

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Your music reminds me a lot of Amy Winehouse. Was she an influence? What other artists have had an effect on your music?
Definitely. Amy, Corinne Bailey Rae and N.E.R.D were the top three. Literally, I would come home from school every day and that's all I would play. I always admired Amy and Corinne for how raw and honest they were.

What music do you listen to yourself in your down time?
Literally the same [as mentioned]! It takes so long for me to get into listening to new music so if I like something I just stick with it. But at the moment I really like Miguel, The Weekend and Frank Ocean.

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What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
I never used to like the cinema as I'd get really fidgety but recently I went to the Imax and I watched something in 3D and now I'm obsessed! I'm there like every other weekend watching movies!

What’s next for Rainy Milo? Where will we see you?
I am back again in October for a tour, a single dropping at the end of the year and in early 2015, the album.

Where do you see yourself in the next five/ten years?
Often when you're a new artist everybody says, "You sound like the next…" or, "You remind me of this person." (NOTE: Guilty as charged.) I'd like in 10 years time, a new artist to be told, "You remind me of Rainy Milo."

 

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COOTIE CATCHER CONFESSIONS

What’s the one thing you had to see in NYC?
I haven’t seen it yet but really want to see the Empire State Building because when I first came I came home with a bunch of pictures of the Chrysler Building and everybody was like, "You idiot, that's not what it is!" I felt so dumb, it was just a waste of my first trip!

What do you wear to bed?
I always wear one of my cropped vests the ribbed ones, just the typical wife beater, and boxers.

Snog, marry, kill - Pharrell Williams, Johnny Depp and Chris Brown?
Kill Chris Brown ("Straight up!"), marry Pharrell, and snog Johnny.

Should you remain friends with your ex?
Hell, no. Print that in bold!

Sneakers or heels?
Sneaker or Tims

Who was your idol growing up?
I can't even lie I loved Gwen Stefani and Britney [Spears]. I feel like that's why I'm blonde now because I just wanted to be blonde like them.

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Do you have any embarrassing songs on your phone/iPod?
No, I'm proud of everything on there!

Who is your #WCW?
There is a girl named Briana Shanee on Instagram, she's really cute. She just moved from Texas to New York to model and I thought that was neat that she made such a big jump.

Would you ever do something like that?
Would I ever move far? I left London when I was 16 to go to the Bay to record my first mixtape and I was away for like 3 months and I'd never done that before so I felt like that was kind of my big jump.

Were you scared to come over to the U.S this time around?
Not so much this time, the scariest thing was getting on the plane. I always used to cry when saying goodbye to everyone and now I'm like "I just want to go now!"

 

Rainy's official debut album, This Thing Of Ours, is out now in the UK, with an official release date for the US coming soon.

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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! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #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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