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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 thinking she was doing it for publicity or for another stab at fame, I would ask them to question themselves, would you let someone come into your life and film you when you have no editorial control? Paris had enormous trust in me, and I am not surprised that the first couple of times she watched the film that it was difficult for her to watch. She did come around and she has been extremely brave. She does like the film now. I think it was hard, but I think it paid off for her.”

This is a story of a survivor, a damaged survivor of abuse as a teenager and then as happens with many victims of abuse, as an adult through relationships that often become violent. While much of the focus in this film is on one particular girls boarding school where the abuse occurred for Paris Hilton, other teenage girls and in 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 were many other stops along the way.

“I worked in a lot of places to pay for my time in college and before I started my career. I was a tennis instructor and a gymnastic instructor. I was a motorcycle courier, I worked with children and I worked in bars and restaurants. I think it helps a lot. When you are in your twenties you are a young actor and you have potential. It is like when Leonardo DiCaprio was twenty, he was amazing, but he was not the immense actor that he is now. I think an actor, or an actress must live, before he or she becomes a great actor or actress. I think the more that you live, the more that it will help you,” he says.  

Fast forward to 2020 and his film Pergunta Por Mí Mañana, in which Garcia Borda plays the much older lover / guitarist / songwriter to Paula Moncada’s mid-twenties singer. Read More

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Cindy Morawetz Fashion Photo June 8 2020 

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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   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 embarked on their careers without ever having set foot. 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 any particular one, but pieces of feelings that I have seen or experienced. When I think about  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 Manos a la obra and in 2019 as Esther in Merlí Sapere Aude. She has also appeared in numerous Read More

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  Read More

Doug Clifford's Magic Window

Doug Cosmo Clifford Photo Front PageDoug “Cosmo” Clifford the drummer for Creedence Clearwater Revival and the drummer and co-founder of Creedence Clearwater Revisited (with Stu Cook) took time to sit down with Riveting Riffs Magazine recently to discuss his new / old album Magic Window. The record is old in the sense it was first recorded in the mid 1980s and he seems to recall 1985 as the year, was forgotten about (we will get to that in a minute) and then digitized when it was rediscovered by Clifford. We need to be honest here, before getting into the album and tell you we were equally fascinated by his alternate life and career in forestry and fire management, which unfortunately for this article we only have time to touch upon briefly.

“The mid-eighties is when I was most active as a songwriter and when I had material that I thought would be an album’s worth and then I started working on my vocals. I am not really known for either one of those things and it is kind of fun. I have been getting really good reviews (and you can add Riveting Riffs Magazine to the list of good reviewers Doug!). It makes you feel good, because at the time you put your heart and soul into it,” he says.

He goes on to talk about why the record is only seeing the light of day now, “We were in a huge drought situation up at Lake Tahoe. I had a biological background and I had a firefighting background, minimal, but enough. I put together a program that would deal with fuels and what to do with a forest to try to get it back to a normal environment. Fire is a culling factor in a forest, but when you put the fires out the fuels  Read More

Katie Ferrara - Break Free

Katie Ferrara for Front Page 2020Katie Ferrara has been a friend of Riveting Riffs Magazine for more than a decade and it fair to say that we have watched her grow as a songwriter, her voice become richer and fuller as a singer and her musicianship as a guitarist has continued to compliment both well. During the course of relating this interview / conversation we are going to break with typical journalistic style and instead of referring to her by just her last name, we will often just call her Katie. You will want to pay close attention during the course of this conversation however, as she recounts an interesting story about her surname.

It had been more than three years since we last sat down to chat and this time the nature of our conversation focused on Katie Ferrara’s current album Break Free, her tours in Europe in recent years and whatever happened to that cute little dog from a previous music video, and finally where does she find all those cute guys that are now appearing in her videos.

Break Free is an album amply populated with love songs, but not the kind of mushy Pop songs that substitute hooks for substance, but rather missives that cause you to reflect on relationships you may have experienced in your own life. We wondered if perhaps we had forgotten love songs she had previously written.

“I did write some love songs before (she laughs lightly), but they weren’t romantic songs,” she replies. 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 Read More

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A Little Magic from Belfast, Ireland

Nikola Arkane Photo Front PageWe suppose the place to begin when interviewing someone with a bit of mystique, a lot of charm and with heavy doses of magic is to talk about her name and that is where we started with Nikola Arkane, a magician from Belfast, Ireland. Within the first few minutes of the conversation she draws you in with her wit, her easy laughter and the passion that she so obviously has for her chosen profession.

“My birth name was Nicola and that is the way my mum spelled it. It is quite a controversial name in Ireland, because it can be spelled Nichola, so a lot of people here in Ireland try to spell it that way and I don’t like that. When I was coming up with my stage name, I wanted to keep it as Nicola, because it is an unusual name and not very many people have it. My mum also gave me the name Nicola, because I was a December baby born on December 21st. My mum named me Nicola after Saint Nicholas.

Arkane came about in a strange way too. I needed to have a stage name and I wanted my name to represent storytelling, because I’m Irish (Oh and we can tell you this lady can weave a story and pull you in waiting to find out what happens next!). I wanted something like Irish folklore or something archaic. My boyfriend who is also a magician is into comics and one day we were talking about comics and he told me about Swamp Thing, which is one of his favorite comics. There is a character in there called Dr. Arcane. I thought it was a really interesting name and so I wrote my name as Nikola Arcane. I thought if I was changing my name Nicola to Nikola, I thought I would change Arcane to Arkane. It just fit together. That is the story behind my current stage name. Perhaps one day once I get everything sorted it will be my proper name,” she explains.

As for the family she grew up she says, “There was just me and an older sister Lisa. We were quite a compact family. My parents were in a mixed marriage. My dad was brought up in a Protestant family and my mum was brought up in a Catholic / Protestant family.

My mum and dad decided against christening my sister and I, because back in the sixties and  Read More

Chicago Band - The Claudettes

The Claudettes Photo Front PageRiveting Riffs Magazine has over the past sixteen years interviewed artists from various backgrounds and genres and we are proud to say that recently we interviewed an Iguana, Johnny Iguana to be exact. Johnny Iguana, a stage moniker that he adopted when he was sixteen years old when he joined his first Blues band called Stevie Lizard and his All Reptile Orchestra is the songwriter, pianist, bandleader and co-founder of The Claudettes (co-founded with drummer Michael Caskey). The Chicago based band released their fifth album, High Times in the Dark, this spring.

The new album is not a theme or concept album.

Johnny Iguana explains, “I am always writing and I got on a really good streak. I read a really great quote once in this book called Listen to the Stories by Nat Hentoff who was a great Jazz critic. There is a quote attributed to Duke Ellington and when he was asked how he managed to write all of those chart hits he said, I just always looked around me and at what particular musicians I had in the band at that time then I asked what can these guys do well. I think that is really smart. A lot of people just write and they have types of songs they want to do and whoever happens to be in their band right then is charged with playing them.  I always try to zero in on people whose ships have crossed my path and at that time in life and ask what do they really do well? Where do they really shine?  

The more you work with someone you get a (better) sense for that. I got in a really good zone for the songs that I could write well for Berit (Ulseth, the singer). She brought a couple of cover songs to the band when we first met. I could see why she brought them and how they were up her alley to sing. I figured out what kinds of notes they were on the piano and what kinds of phrases.

Berit is my favorite singer. This is the second album we have recorded with her. She Read More


Eva Maria Milara from Barcelona

Eva Maria Milara Front Page PhotoRecently, film, television and theater director, screenwriter, actress and producer Eva María Milara from Barcelona, Spain was our guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine. Ms. Milara took time out from filming two films in which she acts, directed and wrote, including the short comedy film, Open Citation, which will be entered in a film festival. Right now, the film is in the post-production stage. Other films which she has directed include Tengo sitio, El Yerno Perfecto and Obsesíon and she acted in the film Jóvenes inocentes., directed by and based on the novel by David Gonzalez.   

Eva Maria Milara’s story is not the fairytale of the little girl who grows up dreaming of being an actress someday and she then realizes her dream. Her story is quite the contrary.

She explains, “We were like nomads living in different places in the countryside. I was born in Puertollano in the province if Ciudad Real and we lived in rural towns like Extremadura and Castilla la Mancha Cabañas de la Sagra in the province of Toledo, before moving to live in San Feliu de Llobregat (located in Catalunya (Catalonia), not far from Barcelona).

I was more involved with music than I was with film and television, but when we moved to the Barcelona area, we had more access to the television and film. In the countryside we only had one television channel. Now I took a greater interest in film and television. The first time that I went to the cinema was when I was sixteen or seventeen years of age.

The first movie I saw was Rocky, with Sylvester Stallone and I thought it was really violent. It was like living in an unreal world. (The cinema) was like a big TV screen and I felt like I was living in those moments in the film.  

The first ime I saw something presented on stage in the theater I was eighteen and I was shocked, because everyone was naked on the  Read More

            By Swedish Designer  

         Charlott Axenström

Charlott Axenstrom Swedish Designer

                         Swedish television personality Kattis Ahlström



Electronic Firefly from Spain

Electronic Firefly Photo Front PageElectronic Firefly combines the extraordinary talents of violinist Silvia Carbajal, cellist Carlos Perez-Íñigo, and keyboardist Rebeca Nayla who all now live in Madrid, Spain, but at one time lived in different parts of the country. Recently, Carlos who prefers to be called Charlie and Silvia sat down with Riveting Riffs Magazine over a Skype call during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain and talked about their careers, the formation of Electronic Firefly and the future. For the purposes of this interview, as we often do we are going to dispense for the most part with referring to them by their last names and stick to first names.

The pandemic and for almost three months having to stay inside their homes, put the debut Electronic Firefly album on pause. Sylvia and Charlie have recorded music together aside from Electronic Firefly.  

Silvia begins by talking about their music, “We do different types of music and some covers, because people want to hear something that they know like electronica, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and AC / DC are our favorite types of music. This music is for events and concerts, because people want to hear something that they know. We also do our own compositions. We work with a pianist (Rebeca Nayla) and we do a mix of electronic music and music for films. We are doing our first album and it will be an album with our songs.”

Charlie continues, “We have quite a lot of songs recorded, but this project with the electronica is new. There are three of us in the group and it is completely different than anything we have done before.  We have recorded five or six songs already.” 

Silvia says, “With this quarantine we went out to do some filming for one of the new songs that we composed with Rebeca Nayla but we haven’t been able to edit everything, because we have to meet with the cameraman and when this thing finishes (the quarantine) we are going to show them to the world (Editor’s Note: As we publish the interview, most of Spain is entering the final stages of returning to a more normal state).”  Read More

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