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Giulia Millanta - New Album Now!

Giulia Millanta Photo Front Page AThe album Tomorrow is a Bird by Giulia Millanta will be released on October 16 (2020) and for those of you who enjoy music that invites you to both sing along with it, as well as causes you to be reflective, you are going to love this record. As a songwriter Giullia Millanta, lyrically can easily be mentioned in the same breath as artists such as, Paula Cole and Shawn Colvin. Originally from Florence, Italy, the singer, songwriter, musician has made Austin, Texas her home for the past eight years. As a build up the album dropping this month there singles were release on consecutive months, “Sugar Home,” in July, the title track “Tomorrow is a Bird” (August) and Castle in the Clouds (September), and each has been greeted with an enthusiasitc response from listeners. You can order the album and her book Between the Strings here and receive signed copies of both.  

During our recent conversation, Giulia Millanta talked about her title track, “Tomorrow is a Bird,” “I wrote the song completely by accident (she laughs lightly). It is one of those songs that I really didn’t sit down to write. I was in Colordo housesitting for a friend of mine in February of 2019 and I was having breakfast. It was one of those blissful moments when you don’t think, you don’t intend to and you are not trying to, but it just happened. I took my guitar and I opened my notebook and I just started writing. I didn’t even know what I was writing about. It happens sometimes. I have had multiple conversations with other songwriters (and it happens to them). Afterwards, perhaps in a couple of days or even a couple of years later, I think oh that’s what it was! (more laughter)

Maybe it sounds weird, but that is what happened with the song. I was writing it and it just happened. I let it go. I played it for a friend who is the co-producer (Gabriel Rhodes) and he said oh my gosh I love it. He said he wished he had written it with me. I never thought about it again and I never played it live. Usually, I try out my new songs just to feel the temperature of the room and to see what the reaction is. Then a few months later I started looking at the songs that I had when I started thinking about a new record and this one jumped at me. When I put the songs together, I realized they all matched. There was a common Read More

Cecilia Krull - My Life is Going On

Cecilia Krull Photo Front PageOne should not be surprised that the team of composer Manel Santisteban and lyricist / singer Cecilia Krull from Spain have another hit song, but nobody could have anticipated the enormous success of “My Life is Going On,” the theme song for La casa de papel (Money Heist) (Editor’s note: In Spanish all of the words in a title do not always appear in capitals) which is directly linked to the second most watched Netflix show in the world. This is not the first time that Cecilia Krull has made a big splash on the movie, television and Netflix scenes, as she collaborated with Mala Rodríguez on “Agnus Dei,” for the Netflix series Vis a Vis (2015 - 2019). Other collaborations with Manel Santisteban include, “La Verdad,” for the television series El Accidente (2018), “Something’s Triggered,” for the film Trés metros sobre el cielo and “All My Fears,” for the film Fuga de cérebros.  In addition, Cecilia Krull is a highly respected solo artist, known for writing, recording and performing songs that blur the genre lines between Jazz, light Pop and Adult contemporary themes. She will also soon be releasing her first album.

Cecilia Krull was gracious enough to take a few minutes and visit with us at Riveting Riffs Magazine earlier this month.

As for the success of her song “My Life is Going On,” from La casa de papel Cecilia Krull says, “It is a dream come true! I never expected that success and worldwide. It’s crazy. All of my life I have been a singer and I grew up in a musicians’ family, so this is a very huge thing. It is like the difference before and after La casa de papel. I am not famous, but the song is famous. I am traveling all around the world. Many people in many countries know about me, because of the song. Personally, I am the same. I am a mother, I am a sister, I am a daughter, I am a friend, and I am a lover. I am the same person as I was when I wrote the lyrics and when I (recorded) the song.”

She uses the same words as the actors from the series often use in describing the effect that La casa de papel has had on their lives, “It is a gift, absolutely. It doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve it. When the song started to become big  Read More

Dress Designed by Alice Berry Atelier

Alice Berry Photo A 

Alice Berry Atelier Website

This Is Paris - Film Interview

This Is Paris Front Page PhotoWhere to begin? One hears that there is a documentary film about to be released concerning the life of Paris Hilton and one does not know quite what to expect, because yes, it is that Paris Hilton! If you were a teenager or perhaps a bit older twenty-some odd years ago you were probably living in a pretty insulated life if you did not know who Paris Hilton was. Her picture was in front of you everywhere, tabloids, television programs, and more often in one way or the other on the internet, where she became an icon. Those images were not always her best moments. Just prior to the September 14 (2020) release of This Is Paris, director, writer and executive producer Alexandra Dean, a trusted friend of Riveting Riffs Magazine sat down with us to talk about when she was asked to do a documentary about Paris Hilton, why she decided to say yes and how it affected her deeply.

The documentary film This Is Paris is not the story most of us were anticipating and while it begins with some of what we already know about her life, it does so not for shock value, but to provide context for the side of Paris Hilton’s life that has never been told before. For those of you would quickly conclude, before watching the film that is merely a publicity stunt by Paris Hilton or an attempt to capture notoriety in 1:45:12 seconds consider this, Alexandra Dean is an Emmy Award winner, as well as being the recipient of numerous other awards and accolades for her documentary work. Make know mistake about it, people already know who she is.

She also has a message for those who are quick to judge Paris Hilton’s motives, “Anybody who wants to judge her for doing this film and  Read More

Alice Berry - French Fashion Designer

Alice Berry Atelier Photo Front PageWhen it comes to the world of fashion, whether you are talking about couture or made to fit (custom fit) clothing for women, there are really two options trendy, cutting edge or classic designs. With the former what was in style last year is no longer fashionable this year and you have to replace those clothes, which means you need to have a big clothing budget and it contributes to the amount of waste that ends up in landfill sites and in turn that contributes to damaging our environment further. With the more classic designs, they are timeless, which means for quality you can afford to pay a bit more, because you do not have to replace your wardrobe every year or every second year. It therefore follows that those clothes are more sustainable in environmental terminology. Even if the original owner decides to one day part ways with quality classic designs, there are plenty of eager buyers in the women’s consignment market.

Recently, Riveting Riffs Magazine sat down with fashion designer Alice Berry of Alice Berry Atelier from Paris, France to talk about her timeless clothing designs for women and the importance she places on her collections being sustainable.

“I think timeless dresses are a better choice, because for example in ten years my customers can always wear them. On the contrary if the dresses are on the cutting edge of fashion in one year or two, they will no longer be able to wear them. The fashion changes very quickly and I think too quickly. I would rather (create) slow fashion rather than fast fashion.

I choose sustainable fabrics and materials. Above all I (emphasize) the sewing technique.  Read More

Cina Samuelson Has a New Album

Cina Samuelson 2020 Front Page PhotoIn a quiet, confident voice, Swedish Country music singer and songwriter Cina Samuelson says, “Everyone likes to listen to songs about life,” and that pretty well sums up what her current album Sing with Your Heart and Soul is about. Marking her twentieth year as a solo artist (she performed earlier in her career in other bands), she has put together a collection of songs that in many instances are deeply personal. This is also an album where her husband Johnny once again joined her as one of the musicians, this time playing the baritone tic-tac guitar, her daughter Malin and Johnny sing background vocals and her other daughter Emilie was the photographer.

Cina Samuelson says it was special to have her entire family participate on the creation of this album.

“I love it when I can have them with me. Johnny doesn’t work so much with music these days. It is very nice to do this with my family. Malin has been touring with me for nine years now. She is great with harmony singing and playing guitar on stage, so it is very nice to have her voice on the record with mine. I think my voice fits very good together with Malin and Johnny. I love to sing together with them. My other daughter Emelie sings wonderfully, but she can’t sing harmony, but she said she could do other things. She said she could take the photos and I love that she can also be a part of it,” she says.

Cina Samuelson wrote all of the songs for this album.

“I wrote some of the songs a year ago and some of them I wrote just a couple of  Read More

Heidi Newfield -- New Album!

Heidi Newfield Photo Front PageMusic fans have been waiting a long time for another album from Heidi Newfield, the northern California (now living in Nashville) Country singer, songwriter and musician with the Bluesy feel or as she takes occasion on The Barfly Sessions to demonstrate the Blues artist with the Country twang. Just when fans were excited about her new album’s release last spring the COVID-19 virus dashed those plans, but she is forging ahead now with an August 28 th (2020) release.

She explains why, “The light is still on and those of us who are still here, are still looking for great music. Regardless of if I get to tour it or not, I feel it is my duty to put (The Barfly Sessions) out.

Putting a record out like this has been such a labor of love, with so much time and effort by a multitude of people, not just myself. To make a record like this and without having put music out for a while and then boom you go okay I am going to jump. I am going to put this thing out and then this happens.

I had to search my heart and ask am I prepared for what may or may not happen when you put a record out and you cannot tour around it? That is a whole new world for all of us when we are putting music out. It is like stepping off a cliff and you don’t know if you are going to fly or not. I pray that is the case. I hope that is the case. I hope it catches on and if it is a slow burn that is fantastic. If it catches on fire that is great too. The world of uncertainty that we live in right now is very difficult. We are calling it the year that never happened.”

We pointed out to Heidi Newfield there have been many Country music artists who Read More

Actor Miquel Garcia Borda

Miquel Garcia Borda Photo Front PageRecently, Miquel Garcia Borda, an actor, director, producer, and writer who splits his time between Barcelona and Madrid was our guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine. You have seen him TV 3 the Catalan television station in series such as If I Hadn’t Met You and in the Vancouver Media / Atres Media production of the popular television, now Netflix series Money Heist, which first aired on Antena 3 in Spain. You can also catch him in the current production Hache, also on Netflix. He is directing, producing, and starring in the feature film Pregunta Por Mí Mañana opposite actress Paula Moncada. Earlier in his career he also directed music videos for two better known Spanish bands, Sol Lagarto and Pastora, as well as two other films.  

We quickly learned about Miquel Garcia Borda even prior to the interview that is he is a very gracious man, who does not take his opportunities and accomplishments for granted, who seems to understand that who he is as an artist is the sum of his life experiences and the people from whom he has learned along the way.

“When I was in college and I was nineteen we were doing a play The Philanderer by George Bernard Shaw and I was playing the main character. The instructor, Juame Melendres said to me are you allowed to go out at night? You are too young to do that. (He laughs) I said I get it. I will try harder. You must have lived. You have to live a lot to use it for your characters,” says Miquel Garcia Borda.  

Although, attending Institut Del Teatre in Barcelona, helped prepare Miquel Garcia Borda for his acting career, like a lot of actors there  Read More

Silvia Marsó and Felipe Ansola

Silvia Marso and Felipe Ansola Front Page PhotoIn May of this year (2020) when Riveting Riffs Magazine interviewed actress, singer and producer Silvia Marsó and film, television and theater actor Felipe Ansola COVID-19 had brought every live performance in the arts and culture world of Spain to a standstill, including the theatrical musical production of 24 Horas en la Vida de una Mujer. The musical produced by Silvia Marsó and which also stars her and Felipe Ansola had been presented to audiences for three years in Spain. In 2018 the musical was awarded a Broadway World Award for Best Small Format Music Show, in 2018 Silvia Marsó was nominated for Best Leading Actress for the Premios Teatro Musical (Musical Theater Awards) and in 2019 Ms. Marsó was again nominated this time for a Valle Inclan Award. The other cast member is Germán (first name) Torres, who acts in the capacity of what Felipe Ansola describes as a master of ceremony, similar to a narrator, but with more direct influence upon the play and the characters.

The accomplishments of both Ms. Marsó and Felipe Ansola speak for themselves. Silvia Marsó is one of Spain’s and in fact the countries that comprise the Spanish speaking world’s most celebrated and widely respected actresses. Silvia Marsó just completed the ninth and final season of the daily series or soap opera El Secreto de Puente Viejo (The Secret of the Old Bridge). Time and space here does not permit us to list all of her accomplishments, but we will list a few, in recent years she appeared in the critically acclaimed television series Gran Hotel (as Adriana) and Velvet (as Julia Lagasca), both of which cannot be viewed on Netflix. She was Elvira Prieto in Gran Reserva. El Origen Noelia for three years in Read More

Press On with Peter Himmelman

Peter Himmelman 2020 Photo Front PagePeter Himmelman is a lot of things, singer, songwriter, someone who has scored countless musical scores for films and well-known television programs. He is also part philosopher, a sometimes imagineer, a provactive author and he would probably disagree with being described as a motivational speaker, so instead let us instead say that he is someone who encourages people to think outside of the usual boundaries of time, space and social norms to discover and realize their potential. That theme is continued with his current album Press On, which was released during the summer.

The second song on the album, “This is How it Ends,” is cut in a typical Peter Himmelman style with lyrics that provoke much deep and introspective thought, but seldom comment of focus on a specific event or social issue, allowing the listener to personalize the music and to apply it to their own lives.

“I am not trying to put ideas into the listeners’ heads, because their ideas are probably going to be superior to my own. My songs come from a nonintellectual place. They just appear to me. There is some analysis that needs to take place in terms of the construction of the song ultimately.

With “This is How it Ends,” I sat at the piano one day and I popped out that little ostinato riff. I started playing and singing and words came to me. The thing that I probably had going through my mind and it was way before all of this COVID stuff was going on, it seemed to me to be more of a relationship song and not mirroring Read More

Andra Cora - Fashion Interview

Andra Cora Front Page PhotoIn recent years Riveting Riffs Magazine has been highlight independent fashion designers from different countries and our guest recently was Andra Cora from Valencia, Spain, an autonomous region of the country and whose three largest cities are Valencia, Alicante and Castellón and the region’s population is approximately two million people.

Andra Cora talks about the influences that are reflected in the women’s clothing that she designs, “I like the romantic drama of the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries and the structural silhouettes of the 1940s and ‘50s. The silhouettes and construction lines inspire me, but also the social (implications) within the historical context.

I incorporate the past into the present to create the future Nowadays making an impression is increasingly complicated, especially if your work is focused more on handmade, as mine is and not focused on technology.”

There is an elegant charm about Andra Cora’s clothing that appeals to the feminine side of women and yet the designs also have a boldness and strength about them.

It is therefore fitting to here her describe her clothing as appealing to, “women with clear ideas who have powerful personalities. She is a woman who is curious and has professional interests in art, culture and architecture.”  Read More

         Fashion Design by Dominnico

   Fashion by Dominnico Front Page

Photo Protected by copyright ©  - Getty Images

Sharon & Bram and Friends

Sharon and Randi Hampson Photo Front PageIn 2019 Sharon & Bram and  Friends, recorded the song “Talk About Peace,” written by Sharon’s late husband and Randi Hampson's father Joe Hampson of the iconic Canadian Folk group The Travellers. Earlier this year, with COVID-19 ravaging much of the world the now duo of Sharon and Randi decided to enlist the help of some friends and created a music video of the song (performed as Sharon & Bram and Friends). Sharon you may recall is the lone active member of Sharon, Lois & Bram, the popular children’s entertainers for four decades. Lois Lilienstein passed away a few years ago and Bram Morrison retired in 2019.

For the purposes of this interview we are going to depart from traditional journalism style and just use first names.

“Bram is my neighbor, so I went to his house and filmed him. I filmed my mom (Sharon) and I filmed my kids and me. Then I sent the recording to the rest of the people that you saw in the video and they filmed themselves in their homes,” says Randi.

To which Sharon adds, “By then everyone was in quarantine. We had recorded this song last year and some of the musicians in the video were on the recording and they had toured with us, so they were familiar with “Talk About Peace,” but other than the ones that Randi mentioned everyone else participated from home, while in quarantine or with their families. I think that is incredible.”

“The pretty brunette singing in the video is Jacy Dawn Valeras and she assembled all of the pieces. She tried to give everyone their little moment to shine and she tried to find the best vocal representations for each part of the song. I think it sounds really good.  

Jacy lives in Nashville and she was a singer, songwriter, and performer for many years. She is also a friend who first connected with us through writing a fan letter to Lois when Lois was dying. She didn’t know that Lois was sick, and she just reached out and she  Read More

Poco - Rusty Young

Poco Rusty Young Photo Front Page“I really am pleased (with that album). It was a neat experience. I had never done a solo record. I had always focused on Poco records and in 2013 and 2014 I was thinking about retiring and just doing things that I enjoyed, fun shows with friends and that kind of stuff. Jimmy Messina called me, and he said I have five or six shows on the west coast, and it would be great if you came out and played with me. We did old Poco songs and it was a fun thing to do.

We were doing a show in California and this guy Kirk Pasich came up to me afterwards and he said have you ever thought of doing a solo record? I said not really. The opportunity has never presented itself. He said, I have a label Blue Élan and we would love to have you make a record for us. I thought about how everybody who has ever been in Poco have done solo records, Paul Cotton and Richie Furay, Timothy B Schmit and Randy Meisner. I thought it might be an interesting thing for me to do at the end of my career. It was the best way for me to illustrate my part in the sound of Poco. If you listen to Richie Furay’s records you can hear what he contributed to the band and the same with Paul Cotton (and the others). They all have their style and their songs. It was a chance for me to show what I brought to the scene. I thought it was a really good challenge at that point in my life.”

Continuing to talk about the album he says, “The first song that I wrote was “Waiting for the Sun.” After I wrote it, I called Kirk and I said listen let’s do this record.

We live in a cabin or a log home in Missouri in the Mark Twain National Forest and it was the perfect environment to start writing songs and to make an album that I could be proud of.

We have a beautiful place that overlooks the park and the river. I get up at five in Read More

Fiona Joy Hawkins -- New Album!

Fiona Joy Hawkins 2020 Photo Front PageAustralian composer and pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins who has toured internationally numerous times including several performances at the infamous Carnegie Hall in the United States, joined us recently from her home on top of a hill in Kendall. A home she describes as, “You can kind of see the edge of the village everywhere. It is lovely here.”

She joined us to talk about her new album Moving Through Worlds, a collection of fourteen songs that she composed (with the exception of Prelude in E Minor) and describes on the album’s cover as, “A Piano Journey that Finds Joy.” Fans of Fiona Joy Hawkins will be familiar with the names of some of the team that she assembled for this album, as they have been a part of that musical journey for several years now. Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton and Rebecca Daniel is back playing violin and she also did the violin arrangements. Tom Eaton also mixed and mastered the record.

The album is released on Hawkins’ own label Little Hartley Music. The album jacket is stylish with artwork and graphics created by Alicia Moodley and Junior Massive, with photography by Liz Linder and Rob Smith.

Fiona Joy Hawkins takes a few moments to give us a peek inside her songwriting process.

“Songs come to me in different ways. Sometimes I may just be singing in the shower and I will come across something really pretty. I will think, okay while I have it in my head I will go to the piano and experiment with that. How that will evolve will depend on my mood of the day. Other times I will hear something, feel something or I will have an emotion and I will sit down at the piano specifically to write it out. A lot of things will evolve out of improvisation and yet they are not improvisations. This album was the first time that I sat down and did that with those two Aqua improvisations. It is not something I would normally do. I am not a big fan of people just sitting down and  Read More

                    French Designer: Alice Berry Atelier

Alice Berry Atelier Photo C 

                         Alice Berry Atelier Website



Actress - Kika Child

Kika Child Photo Front Page Recently Riveting Riffs Magazine sat down with Colombian film, television and theater actress Kika Child, very popular in Colombia, but who for the last (never ask a woman her age!) has made New York City her home. To describe Kika Child as a peaceful human rights activist would be more than accurate. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and during the unrest that has enveloped much of the United States she has been translating the Governor’s and the mayor’s press conferences from English into Spanish.

Kika Child, we should point out, in addition to being a wonderful actress is also a trained translator.

“When the pandemic hit in March I was already working in the courts, with attorneys, physicians, within the medical and entertainment (fields). Mostly though, I was focused on writing my television series. I also was cast to star in a play in Washington, but when the pandemic hit everyone stopped working and the courts closed.

I couldn’t travel to Colombia to go and be of service, which is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be there for my parents. Colombia has stricter rules right now than the U.S., but they don’t have the financial help that people in the U.S. receive.

Because I stayed in New York I was wondering what to do with my life. Everyone was hit with shock and (experienced) trauma. I was praying and meditating, asking what should I do with my life?

One day when I woke up, I went in front of the computer and I started recording Governor Cuomo’s briefing. I have a producer here, because of the television show that we are developing and I was telling him how the story that I am writing did not make sense, because the world (living through) a tragedy right now. We came up with the idea to translate the briefings and I have someone in Colombia who edits the videos.  Read More

All written material, all photographs and all designs are protected by copyright © and patents by the writers, photographers, editors, designers, musicians, songwriters musicians and filmmakers who contribute to Riveting Riffs Magazine. None of the material contained in this magazine may be redistributed, posted on any website or transferred through any electronic means without the written consent of Riveting Riffs Magazine. Any attempt to profit from the material in Riveting Riffs Magazine will be prosecuted, as will the infringement of copyright. All Rights are reserved.