Josefine, sat in a cafe with her laptop open, talking on Skype.
She spoke in Swedish. How did I know? I had been to Sweden many time, had friends living there, flown to Stockholm with American Airlines, connecting through Chicago.
Chicago is where Prince began a series of Chicago concerts Sept. 24 at the United Center in support of Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream organization.
Rebuild the Dream offers entrepreneurs tools that individuals and communities can use to create a fairer economic future for all.
As Josefine spoke into her headset, I felt I was watching a scene from the film Girl Who Played with Fire directed by Daniel Alfredson and, starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist. So I decided to leave. As I walked out of the coffee shop, I paused, and thought. I could walk over to Magpie fashion down the street, see what they where making for Prince, or Andy Allo, as both where heading off to Australia for the Welcome 2 Australia Tour, or I could go back and, wait till she finished her Skype call. I went back in.
When Josefine had gotten off the phone I said to her “so where in Sweden are you from?”, she was stunned, and yet pleasantly surprised. We became friends.
Josefine who is a student, mathematician, cook, astrologer, and model.
During the summer Josefine was in Sweden visiting family, and I sent her an email. I was going to be helping the Toronto International Film Festival, with their first fund-raising gala.
The gala was based on a James Bond 007 theme (as it was James Bonds 007 50th anniversary), and called ‘Night That Never Ends’. Having been asked to be the Chair of VIP talent I wanted her to meet with the organizers to be one of the Bond girls.
When Josefine returned from Sweden, she met with the organizers, went to a fitting for the Bond girls. Josefine was not selected to be a Bond girl. She was selected to be the girl of Magpie fashion.
When Josefine went in for her fitting, everyone at Magpie were busy getting outfits ready for Prince, those that he has been rocking on-stage in Chicago.
As the festival opened Josefine sitting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto wearing Magpie, posed for a photograph with a Jarrell guitar. The girl from Sweden, linked to Prince and Andy Allo not with a thread or fabric, but also a guitar. She had gone, from a coffee shop, to the red-carpet wearing Magpie with one-degree of separation between Prince, Andy Allo and herself.
Magic is real and dreams come true. Now let’s rock Chicago.
Prince was in town in Toronto. I needed to see him live. I had never seen him perform live. Each time an opportunity came up I could not make it. I was on my bicycle, needing a desperate fix of caffeine. It was Thanksgiving weekend in the United States and everyone who I knew who could get me to the show was on holidays. I was not about to disturb anyone over Prince, Welcome2Canada, not when they are with families. I know how big Thanksgiving is in the United States, hell, one of my director friends Gurinder Chadha discovered at the Toronto International Film Festival years ago even made a film about it, Thanksgiving Weekend. I was just gonna go with the flow. An Idea, thumped into my brain as if Thor himself had hammered it in. My neural senses went on full alert. No I was not going to go to Clafouti to get my cafe first. I was going to go see two ladies, at Magpie fashion and she what they had that Prince or Andy Allo could rock on stage. I had my weapon of choice that would allow me to distribute my findings to the world. I had my iPhone. My office.
Walking into Magpie, the energy flowing through me was at new heights. I was playing what Mark Zuckerberg calls the hacking game. You are constantly evolving your plan, your path, as things emerge, you adjust, you experiment.
Cathy and Angela, partners, owners and designers of Magpie on Toronto’s Queen Street West, were busy doing what they do, designing and stitching. Both dressed in black, looked at me and Angela with her high energy greeted me with, “hello Timothy”, while Cathy calmly smiled her way of saying hello. I explained to the girls I was on a mission and I had this idea why don’t they give a shout-out to Prince, show him a few things that he or Andy Allo could wear, I am headed over to Air Canada building, and perhaps I can show it to him, (if I run into him), nevertheless I was going to YouTube it. Quickly the girls assembled a rolling rack, and I was recording the result you can watch here.
Having beamed the video onto YouTube while having my coffee, it was time to get back on the bike and negotiate the streets of Toronto, pot holes, tram tracks, taxi’s and within a matter of time I was at Air Canada Center at the security entrance. I chatted with a few security people various people came to talk to me, but no one really could help. A car pulled up. It was at this time the security told me if anyone could help me it was that man. That man was Sammy Wong.
Sammy Wong and and I talked he looked at a few emails that I had sent to some people in Los Angeles, that had come back with a respond, ‘on holidays will not be picking up emails’. I explained to Sammy, that I was not going to call anyone on the cell phone on a long weekend.
In the conversation finding out that Sammy had been a photographer on tour with the Rolling Stones, I knew the Rolling Stones, and Sammy said “what do you need”, “tickets”, I told him. Sammy took my business card, took out his iPhone, started tapping the keys on his screen, looked at me and said, “they will be at the will call window”. I was going to see my first live performance of Prince in my hometown to which I had returned from Los Angeles, knowing virtually no-one. The show, seven encores later, was out of this world.
A day later, I was again riding my bike having stopped for a coffee at another cafe. My cell phone rang, it was the girls of Magpie (correction it was Angela), “Prince’s assistant called she told us he saw your video, and wants us to send clothes to him in Montreal for the show”, “You’re screwing with me right?”, I said. Angela let me know it was for real. I jumped on my bike and raced over.
Arriving at the Magpie, (magical kingdom) as I like to call it, Angela gave me the number of Prince’s, assistant to call. Angela had already told Prince’s assistant about me, and how I know various bands. I called, and Prince’s assistant and I spoke, no this was no prank, it was real, she told me Prince saw the video, and if I could bring up some cloths to Montreal for Prince, and Andy Allo, she gave me the information where to take them, we exchanged contact information. I was going to personally transport them for Prince.
After the Montreal show, I was sitting with friends at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, bar drinking wine, Prince, Andy Allo, and his assistant were off to the after-party jamming session. The iPhone sitting on the bar, rang, I apologized to my friends, told them I was working. The voice on the other end was that of Prince’s assistant, “Tim, can you text me the telephone number of your designer friends, Prince loves everything, he wants to call them personally”.
This my friends is a story of magic, of going with the flow, of the hacking game of experimentation that through social media with social interaction can lead to potentially, unleashing the forces that create magic in this world.
Angela and Cathy of Magpie, ended up designing for Andy Allo, who now is out performing in Chicago her ‘Superconductor’album produced by Prince as well as the King himself, the master of funk, Prince.
These are the things that happen in life that makes it all worthwhile.
So…. last weekend I hung out my friend Prince and he introduced me to the beautiful songbird, Andy Allo. I had the honor of hearing songs from her new album “Superconductor” produced by Prince. After 8 bars of the first song, “People Pleaser” which features the legendary Maceo Parker and my New Orleans brother Trombone Shorty, I realized I had stopped breathing for a minute.(laughing) That track was so funky my neck hurt afterwards from bobbing so hard.As I listened to more songs it began to hit me that I could not take this home and I began to beg for an advance copy.(laughing)Nothing worked so I have to wait like everyone else. Andy’s songwriting is refreshing and so needed in music. Her voice sweet, sultry with an edge. Vocally she does just enough gently gliding through melodies and her lyrics say it all. Her heart is all over her guitar. I can hear where Prince enhanced what’s already there.This collaboration is divine. The musicianship on this project reminds me why I fell in love with music. September 20th “Superconductor
-Ledisi Anibade Young
I consider myself very fortunate to be blessed by the magical powers of the universe that bestow upon me the talents of so many, especially but not limited to music. Music, those notes, riffs and lyrics that blend like a fine rich tapestry in tone.
To watch Andy Allo play that guitar on stage with Prince in the Welcome to Canada tour was altogether one of the highlights of 2011. The magic was ever present on stage.
Prince and Andy Allo had some of their cloth’s designed by my designer friends in Toronto and Magpie located in the vortex of magic on Queen Street West. Andy Allo herself came in one day and cleaned out the story before retiring to the sanctuary of the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Andy Allo did not tour with Price on his Welcome to Australia Tour as she was working on her album. So what did I do? I picked up the phone called her attorney in Los Angeles and invited Andy Allo to Toronto to come and play a gig to help some of my friends who run a wonderful organization called Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF. All I can say what, (Oh yes baby, what an album launch that would have been) as the world of media and entertainment converges and changes the cultural landscape of the city of Toronto.
But alas the dates don’t work, but still if I was her manager I’d say give the world a tease in Toronto, Andy Allo, but then again I am not her manager, no the man who produced her album has a lot of say in this and he is the master of music, the legendary Prince.
My man Prince reflect on this my brother you lived here you know it well, a song a tune can change so much and turn the lives of so many. There is still time to come, you are invited.
Change the world through the creative power of imagination and talent of music and film.
In less the twenty four hours Lady Gaga will kick off her global tour ‘Born This Way Ball’. The passion of her fans is undisputed, and her fans are some very talented people.
Lady Gaga had her birthday few weeks ago and got herself a sweet ride the Audi R8 GT. So the chef at Clafouti in Toronto decided to make Lady Gaga a dessert. Something light, and sweet, that would still let you dance, and dance with the sweetness of the Tiramisu.
To document the event a photo shoot was organized bringing together the ‘girl power’ of the photographer, make-up artist, and the hair stylist each contributing their talents to make this happen for the Lady Gaga ‘Tiramisu’ Born This Way Ball Tour.
The shoot was done with the fashion of Magpie who have designed for the King of funk Prince, as well as Andy Allo.
The photo shoot was done in the kitchen of Clafouti to reinforce that pop star’s do eat, and no matter how big a pop star you become, or what ever dreams you have, some of the best times are in a kitchen where you share the love for food with family. These girls like all of us are just ‘Born This Way’ to share with love. In the style and manner of Lady Gaga, who leaves it all on the stage.
Gigi Presentey – Photographer:
“When I first saw Lady Gaga perform, I believe it was in some television or movie awards ceremony. I immediately took a liking to her weird space-age pop punk apparel and her catchy tune (just dance). Her attitude on stage and her backup dancers were something new to my eyes.”
Tamar Yohannes – Stylist: Is a very talented artist. Tamar not only has the eye for styling hair, she has the eye for the look of how a shoot could turn out it’s a natural that she shared for the shoot.
“I love anything to do with hair, makeup and art in general….I’m self taught in all my beauty skills. I come from a family of artists. So Its in my blood. One love”
Safia Chatoo – Make-up Artist: Safia is a Lady Gaga fan with a flare. Like any make-up artist Safia wanted to know what was going to be the look for the shoot, she would require a full hour to prepare the model for this shoot.
Would Safia like to work with Lady Gaga and her crew. Hell Ya!
“Just killed back to back spin classes. Eating a salad dreaming of a cheeseburger #PopSingersDontEat #IWasBornThisWay,”
the 26-year-old “Born This Way” singer posted.
Immediately the backlash started rolling in from the Twitter community, accusing the pop star of supporting eating disorders.
“I’m gonna say this about girls: The dieting wars have got to stop. Everyone just knock it off,” Gaga said at the conference held in Los Angeles and hosted by former California First Lady Maria Shriver.
The singer also has been an outspoken advocate for empowering youth who feel like outsiders, and the irony between what the singer has said in the past and her tweet was not lost on her more than 22.7 million followers in the Twitterverse.
Hey all this right after Clafouti in Toronto created The Lady Gaga Tiramisu.
So what gives? Lady Gaga should take care what she tweets as what she may have been saying is “I am so busy working out for the tour don’t have time to eat.”
Great care was taken to make The Lady Gaga Tiramisu, which is a light dessert, so it will not weigh you down if your dancing on stage if you are a “Pop Singer”.
Lady Gaga loves her Audi R8 GT and it was used to bring singer, songwriter, dancer, actor Jasmine to try the sweet dessert. She loved it and could not stop eating it. While some prefer to use a model for a shoot, it was done with Jasmine a real girl, who keeps it real, loves food and likes to eat all in keeping with Lady Gaga and the philosophy of empowering young girls.
The action is always in the kitchen and Lady Gaga loves to eat as well, and the Lady Gaga Tiramisu made in the kitchen has Jasmine having a ball in the kitchen.
The Gold Coast of Australia was a great time for me. It was in Australia that my sponsored Indy Car Racing team of American Spirit came in first and second. So for me it will be a great time to return to Australia looking at the people and talking to them about the artist and performer who gave us magic in Canada. Prince.
After a not-so-cryptic hint yesterday, one of the greatest entertainers of our era has finally announced his return to Australia.
His name is Prince, and he is set to bring a 360 degree arena spectacular to Australia this May.
Arguably the definitive pop artist of the past three decades, Prince has steadfastly played by his own rules – continuing to release quality material through a variety of unconventional methods.
His live performance is stuff of legend, rocking through an immaculate canon of certified classics – including Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy, Kiss and countless more.
Prince performs at Rod Laver Arena on Monday May 14.
The best place to start the Prince tour to Australia for me, was not far form the design center for Prince on Queen Street West of Magpie. Nearby I found Mark Fosco who has a band called Rad Habits sitting with his guitar chilling. Mark told me he can do that as he has no girl-friend. I did manage to tell him that it is a good thing, leaves us time to do what we want to do, and it really is not a good idea if you are gonna be a rocker.
So here we go, from Toronto where Prince began his Welcome 2 Canada Tour with comments from Mark Fosco of the band Rad Habits, views on Prince and why everyone will be ecstatic to see his live show.