Actress, singer, entrepreneur and reality TV star, Christina Milian first tore up the charts in the early 2000s with songs like like “AM to PM” and “Dip it Low”. But in 2016, she wears many hats.
Today, the “mom” hat takes precedence. She’ll have to drop off her daughter Violet’s homework at school because they forgot it at home, she says, over the phone from L.A. It’s a gorgeous March day and Milian’s enjoying this brief home stint between rehearsing and shooting in Toronto for Kenny Ortega’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in which she plays Magenta, a domestic. Ortega threw his net wide for his cast, finding performers from Britain, the U.S. and Canada.
“I guess they couldn’t find a Magenta,” says Milian. “The dancers suggested to him that he should check me out. From there, I got a phone call asking if I would even be interested – I’ve always been a fan of Rocky Horror. After that, it was just talking about getting into this character, but [Ortega] was just really free about it and creative, and I got to come right on-board and start working on it directly. It’s been fun learning my character along the way because I was really hopping from one project to the next.”
In fact, just days before flying to Toronto, she wrapped up the first season of Fox’s Grandfathered – a John Stamos sitcom in which she plays the mother of the grand-daughter Stamos just learned he had. At least that show – which she calls “super sweet and quirky” – films in Los Angeles.
So does her reality show – Christina Milian Turned Up – which, co-starring her mother and two sisters, allows for some unlikely quality family time. “It’s actually cool because it forces us to spend more time together,” says Milian. “We’re a really tight family. As women, we endure a lot and are able to overcome a lot. I think there’s that understanding we can learn through each other or be there for each other and no matter what, we care about each other.”
But Milian’s first and enduring love is music. And an era that places less emphasis on complete albums, and allows for artists to express themselves through EPs and singles at their leisure, is perfect for a renaissance woman’s schedule. Her latest EP, 4U, was released in December, and features Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg.
“I love putting out music and it really doesn’t have to be a giant body of work. There are no rules these days,” she says. “Like, let’s express ourselves! Let’s get creative! There are too many creative people in the world. If you’re creative, you don’t want to be bored. You will do anything to give out your creative flow and eventually, if you believe it, it will become something.”
Milian more than practices what she preaches. A couple of things she believes in? Her women’s and kids’ clothing line, We Are Pop Culture, which has grown from t-shirts to full collections and a store on Melrose (“Now we’re hiring designers, I’m hiring marketing people, it’s more than three people running the company,” she says); and a wine company, Viva Diva Wines, which she bought a year and a half ago (“I’m rebranding it and I’m going to give it a whole new look and let it emulate my lifestyle a lot more.”).
But aside from a glass of Viva Diva’s Moscato, which Milian says is doing particularly well, how does one stay sane while multi-tasking at such a high level?
“Actually, it’s a lot of fun. It’s not stressful,” she says, with breezy (and convincing) conviction.
“The only thing that I stress out about is, how am I going to make sure that I balance out my time for motherhood? How am I going to make this work? Because my daughter – that time means everything to her and to us. She’s all I got. We could work really hard but we could watch time fly, you know? Tomorrow’s not promised.”
A few years ago, Danielle McTaggart was ready to throw in the towel on her music career. Now she and her husband, Drew, make up the powerhouse duo known as Dear Rouge and have two full-length albums and a Juno to their name. Known for their hook-driven tracks—and being “the nicest couple in Canadian music”—Dear Rouge just dropped their sophomore LP, Phases. The record recounts a season of emotional extremes for the couple, including winning the 2016 Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, and losing a loved one. We caught up with Danielle over the phone to talk about finding joy in music again, and the personal and public significance of Phases. G—On your website, you describe your style as “sinewy, hook-driven indie rock”. Where did that particular style evolve from? DM—I was always very into hook-y music with beautiful melodies. I grew up listening to The Carpenters and they have beautiful melodic parts, but I also always loved harder music and really rock-driven music. Bands like Metric or Yeah Yeah Yeahs or St. Vincent were hugely motivating for me, and I loved that these frontwomen were powerhouses. They’re very confident and trying to push the boundaries while
What do you get when you combine the start of a worldwide tour and the release of a highly-anticipated album on the same day? Ask Lord Huron’s founder and frontman, Ben Schneider, and he’ll say a pretty damn exciting journey ahead. The band’s third album, Vide Noir, released April 20, is already receiving accolades for its raw, lyrical storytelling from songs like “Wait by the River” and “When the Night is Over”. To engage fans at a deeper level, the band plans on creating immersive experiences that elevate the album’s narratives. Lord Huron’s tour includes a stop at Toronto’s Sony Centre on July 25, and at Osheaga in Montreal on August 4. Schneider spoke to us about his love of storytelling, Raymond Chandler influences, and what it was like working with Flaming Lips’ producer David Fridmann. G—You grew up in Michigan. Is that where your interest in music began? BS—There was always music on at our house, and I remember imagining the people the songs were about. The storytelling of songs is what’s always captured me most. As time went on, I was able to convince my parents to let me play bass in the orchestra, which led to me
Morgan Saint was born into a creative life. Upon growing up in Mattituck, NY with a family of musicians on her mother’s side and parents who worked in interior design, Saint graduated from Parsons School of Design in Manhattan, where she has lived for the past six years. With a major in illustration and a focus on photography and graphic design, Saint has executed a clear vision of her musical artistry. In 2017, at the age of 23, Saint released her debut EP, 17 Hero, on Epic Records. She is a storyteller at heart, combining all of her talents to reveal her narrative as truthfully as possible, one vignette at a time, as seen in all three of the EP’s videos, “Glass House”, “You”, and “Just Friends”. She co-produced each glossy, beautifully choreographed, and high-definition clip with Nathan Crooker, but the lyrics are all hers. They come from personal places yet are vague enough to be relatable. Her electronic pop is lo-fi, but you’ll most likely find yourself snapping your fingers to it. As Saint prepared for a sold-out show supporting Missio in Austin, Texas, Georgie connected with her to discuss coming into her own as a songwriter and