Welcome to The New Dynasty

new-dynasty

Warning: This post is long, so grab a cup of tea or a snack and settle down to read!

Saturday nights are usually what people look forward to all week and for me, it was no different. Except instead of putting my glad rags on and heading to the clubs or flopping out on the sofa to watch ‘The X Factor’ (the latter is usually the norm for me) I was heading into Cardiff with my friend, Alysha, to be reunited with my other friend, Camryn.

“Have you got questions prepared?” Alysha asked me as we greeted each other.
“Of course. We’re testing her knowledge on the UK.”
“Cool. So, shall we go get the food now or later?”

You see, instead of meeting up with Camryn to go shopping on Queen Street or grabbing a bite to eat, we’d be interviewing her. Wait, backtrack… who interviews their friends? That’s kind of weird, Jazz. Right? Except Camryn is a singer. Scratch that. She’s a teen pop-rock star living out the dream of millions of musicians even up to double her age.

Stop the tape and rewind to a few years ago, when I was some plucky teen fangirl with a passion for the Disney Channel stars of 2008 such as Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers, I used to regularly check a website called ‘Cambio’. I was flicking through the articles when I saw one about an 11-year-old musician and naturally since she wasn’t much younger than me, I decided to check her out. That’s when I came across Camryn. She was promoting one of her earlier singles, ‘Wait and See’. After giving it a listen and watching the video, I definitely found myself into her music. Click, click, click – I followed her social media. She’d pop up on my Twitter timeline regularly with various posts on things she was working on, including touring with teen pop sensations Cody Simpson and Greyson Chance. A few years later I was reading a magazine and a familiar face with blonde hair with a glistening smile – it was Camryn. It talked about how she was touring with One Direction in the states along with an interview with her. I hadn’t seen anything about her in the UK yet so I snapped a picture and tweeted it to her only for her to thank me and share it on her socials. I’d tweet her now and then and she’d normally reply which was always nice.

One day, she announced something pretty big and exciting – she was the opening act for One Direction’s UK & European leg of their world arena tour. And guess what? It included Cardiff. I was beyond excited. Of course, I loved One Direction but I’d been supporting Camryn for so long that I had to see her or just be able to say hi outside the arena. I checked Ticketmaster. SOLD OUT. Dammit. Oh well, if I can’t be there, I should at least message her to congratulate her and recommend places to check out if she had the time in between shows, right? I messaged her Facebook page where we ended up talking. I told her about how I wanted to be a pop culture journalist and it was on my bucket list to interview her for the youth website I was writing for. To my surprise, she was totally up for meeting in Cardiff for me to do just that and gave me the details of her publicist. After working with the editor of CLIConline (R.I.P) alongside her publicist, we sorted out a time and place for the interview, which I was extremely nervous for. This was my first proper interview in person. Sure, I’d done bits and pieces for the site before, but this was huge for me. Needless to say it went pretty well; I met Camryn – who was lovely as expected – and she and her manager even hooked me up with tickets to the show. It was incredible and was where I discovered my love for 5 Seconds of Summer. To Camryn, that was one of many interviews she’s done in her career, but for me it was something big. It helped me realise this was something I wanted to do as a career. It’s ultimately what helped me decide I wanted to take pop journalism seriously. And I did. If you know me, you’ll be well aware of some of the crazy experiences I’ve had and interviews I’ve done – from YouTube phenomenon Tyler Oakley and even Oscar award winners from Disney’s Big Hero 6. It’s insane and I’d like to think that little interview with Camryn in 2013 had a big impact on that.

When we first met in 2013
When we first met in 2013

A little over three years later and Camryn was back in town and this time supporting American girl band, Fifth Harmony. We had both grown over time; me being newly-turned 21 and her now 17 and back with a brand new EP and total maturity in her sound. Of course, we’ve kept in touch over the years and I even befriended some of her band and team. I asked United By Pop kindly if they could help me arrange an interview with Camryn for their site to which they happily agreed to. After some sorting out, we had arranged to meet at the venue. Alysha, who played my the role of my right hand woman and camera operator for the day (as well as great company) and I met up with Camryn and her manager, Lesley and greeted each other before heading to the tour bus which would act as our studio for the interview. We had a lot of bags with us and all for Camryn and her crew – which they loved. My lovely friend Lily had hooked us up with some amazing LUSH products for both Camryn and her crew and we bought a tin of chocolates to say thank you to them all (it was thanks to her drummer, Justin, that we had 3 free tickets on the guest list for that night’s show – so it would be crazy not to thank him and the band for meeting us as well as Camryn and her manager for setting up this opportunity) They were delighted with the gifts and we had a chat about the last time Camryn and I had met as well as the support account Alysha and I ran to help promote her. After a few minutes of nattering, we began to film. We decided to do two segments – one where I’d quiz Camryn on knowledge on the UK and another where she’d try some well known British snacks, both proving to be a lot of fun.

Reunited x
Reunited x

We must have spent almost two hours on the bus. In between working on content for United By Pop, we took some short videos and pictures for the fansite as well as some Instax photos for competitions. Camryn even threw in some signed flyers and one personalised one each for myself and Alysha as a token of gratitude for supporting her. We even got to take a picture for my scrapbook which I’m filling for my year as 21.

 

Alysha, Camryn and I on the tour bus
Alysha, Camryn and I on the tour bus

 

Something to remember the day by
Something to remember the day by

We soon said our “see you laters” as we agreed to bring Lily, who was the proud third guest we’d be bringing along to the show, to meet Camryn and the band to introduce her as the girl behind the amazing gifts we had previously given them. She would have come along to the interview, but unfortunately had to work.

After a few hours in Cardiff to grab a bite to eat and meet up with Lily, we returned to the venue to pick up our tickets from the guest list. There seemed to be a problem and we began to get nervous, so we messaged Justin who along with Lesley managed to sort things out and we were given the tickets for the show. We weren’t expecting seats as amazing as we were given – we would have been happy with seats at the back, since this show was Fifth Harmony’s headliner and we were just guests, but we managed to be seated in the fifth row from the front in the middle – a perfect view of the stage and to catch the eye of Camryn and the band when they performed their set.

In the crowd waiting for the show to begin
In the crowd waiting for the show to begin

Of course, my girl rocked the stage and it was overwhelming to see how many people wanted to meet her before the main act graced the arena with their performance. We hung around until the end to make sure all fans had their chance to meet Camryn so we stood with Lesley and talked for a little while. To see at least a hundred fans wanting to meet the girl I’d been supporting and friends with since day one was incredible, especially in Wales as she wasn’t as well known on her first visit. It melted my heart to hear parents talk to their daughters and asking if they wanted to dye their hair the same as Camryn’s bold blue and their skip step back to their seats with excitement in their eyes after meeting the teen rocker moments before. Cam then came over to join us and meet Lily before grabbing a picture with her and signing an autograph. Everyone thanked her for the presents and, let’s be honest, everyone LOVES Lush products. We talked for a little while before Camryn had to leave to do some college work and we arranged to meet with the band before leaving after the show.

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Rocking the stage! –  Image credit to Lily

 

It was emotional but exciting to see her perform again
It was emotional but exciting to see her perform again – Image credit to Lily

Now, I know Harmonizers will be kinda mad at me, but I’m not the biggest Fifth Harmony fan. I appreciate them and their music, but they’re just not my go-to artists to listen to. However, I will say that their performance on Saturday was pretty fricking awesome and myself, Alysha and Lily definitely enjoyed ourselves. Except the inflatable balls they kicked about where practically every single ball in the room decided to land on my head (which, by the way, I was slowly getting a headache following a long day). In my line of work, Fifth Harmony are known as a ‘priority act’ thanks to their huge popularity among fans across the world, so it was nice to finally see them live and be able to gain a new found respect for them and their music.

Fifth Harmony
Cardiff gave Fifth Harmony a warm welcome to Wales – Image credit to Lily

We left the show a little early as Alysha had to be ready to catch her train home and we wanted to say hey to the band whom we have known for a while but never got to meet in person. It was great to finally talk face to face and get some pictures as well as talk about the show and our general interest in music as a whole.

Finally meeting Justin (with Austin and Alysha photobombing :P)
Finally meeting Justin (with Austin and Alysha photobombing :P)

 

Austin (guitarist) and I
Austin (guitarist) and I

 

Ronnie (bassist) and I
Ronnie (bassist) and I

Before we knew it, it was time to go – Camryn was still doing college work and our lifts were on their way. We said our goodbyes and agreed to meet up again the next time they’re back in the UK, this time hopefully a lot sooner than three years. I have a lot of faith in Camryn, especially for gaining a European fanbase on this tour with Fifth Harmony.

It was an amazing day overall and I had so much fun seeing Camryn again as well as finding a love for Fifth Harmony’s music and of course spending time with my friends Alysha and Lily.

A massive thank you to Lesley for arranging everything and being so nice, the band for just being awesome (especially Justin for the tickets) and of course my girl, Camryn, who I am so beyond proud of. Seeing her go from a little girl from Denver, Colorado with some cute pop songs to touring with some of Pop’s biggest acts of our generation and evolving as an artist overall is just so overwhelming in the best way possible. I cannot wait to see what’s next for her. By the way, you can listen to her EP,New Dynasty,right here and follow our fan support account @CamrynWales.

Alos a huge thank you to Alysha for acting as assistant for me with the interview process and running the fan account and of course Lily for coming along and providing the lovely gifts. Lily also blogs, which you can check out here. 🙂

 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

PREVIEW: Interview with The Janoskians!

Since I’ve been talking so much about my interviews, I thought I would share with you wonderful people some previews of my interviews I’ve been doing. Last week I had the amazing opportunity to chat with The Janoskians! Check it out here:

Janoskians 1

Hey guys! You’ve been to the UK a few times now – what’s your favourite thing about visiting?

The vibes of the UK are amazing! They’re different to Australia and America and all the fans there every time we go to the UK are crazy, we’re so excited for Janofest! It’s gonna be so sick because people are flying from around the world to see it, we’re so excited!

We have to admit – we have a HUGE style crush on you! Who would you consider your style influence?

We wear whatever we find on our bedroom floor! We don’t really have much style.

Have you got any favourite brands?

Probably Dirty Pig. That’s a pretty cool brand.

Want to read more? Check out the full interview on Maximum POP!

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Interviews and Grocery Shopping

Hello!

I haven’t done a typical life post in… well… ever? I feel like after some of the crazy things I’ve been up to lately, it’s time to share some of it with you. So, grab yourself a cuppa, sit back and let’s chat.

“Would you like to interview The Janoskians?” One of the questions I was asked about a week ago. My mind was blown. Me? Interview The Janoskians? What is life?! For those of you who aren’t aware of who The Janoskians are, they are a group of five kids from Melbourne, Australia who post videos on YouTube. They’ve basically shot to fame through social media and winning the hearts of many teenagers and young adults across the world. I may not be their number one fan, but my friends go crazy over them. I can’t go a day on Twitter without seeing the words “Jai Brooks” or “Janofest” on my timeline. So, when Maximum POP!  offered me the chance to do a phone interview with them, there was no hesitation when it came to the answer. “YES. Yes, a thousand times yes.”

I’ve interviewed a few known faces from my time with CLIConline such as X Factor’s Matt Cardle, TV Chef Gino D’acampo and One Direction’s support act, Camryn, to name a few. I’ve been doing this since I was 15 but now it feels more real and like bigger doors are opening for me. In the space of a month I’ve interviewed two YouTubers, The Janoskians (Who are YouTubers but also do other stuff now, like music…), the director of Big Hero 6, the voice of Baymax from the film and a a member of the band Rixton. How crazy is that? When I tell people what I’ve done, they tend to think I live some lavish luxurious life and have money coming out of my earholes.

Image Credit: http://images.dailystar-uk.co.uk/
Image Credit: http://images.dailystar-uk.co.uk/

“Jazz, shopping is here, can you unpack it please?” Sigh. Back to reality. I’m no fancy pants journalist with a posh car and rich mansion (although the work my mother and stepdad have done on the house is amazing. I’ll have to do a house tour post one day…) I’m a 19 year old who still lives with her parents and visits my dad on a regular basis. I’m a fangirl, I’m no model or born with the beauty you’d see on the cover of Vogue. I don’t even have an office to do my work in. It’s just me, my laptop and wherever I feel like sitting (although the new sofa isn’t one to lounge on, so I’ve been banned from flopping out on there to work.)

In between doing these interviews and writing articles, I’ve been looking after my dad. I’m not his carer and he doesn’t need one. Well, not really. You see, he’s been ill since October. Nothing fatal, thankfully, but just some complications and it’s given us all quite a scare. He was very ill for a good few months and Christmas was not the same with him in hospital. But, he’s recently been released and just needs a helping hand to get back on his feet again, so that’s where I stepped in to stay a few nights to make sure he settled okay. He’s not fit enough to go bouncing about the place or anything, but he’s much better than he was. He still needs a bit of help and so I’ve been doing a lot of running around to make sure he has everything he needs. It can be hard, sometimes. Seeing a parent who used to do things for you not being well enough to do what they want and the tables have turned so now you’re doing things for them sometimes hits you and makes you feel emotional, but I’m not complaining. My dad (as well as my mother and the rest of my family) are my world and wherever I can help, I will. Even if it means having to delay interviews to put the ASDA shop away.

My dad and I on set of a photoshoot I had about two years ago for a newspaper article about me :D I thought this was a cute photo to include...
My dad and I on set of a photoshoot I had about two years ago for a newspaper article about me 😀 I thought this was a cute photo to include… although I don’t look much like this anymore

This year looking as though it’s going to be a pretty exciting one. After going to see The X Factor about two weeks ago, it’s got me super excited for the other concerts coming up. I’ll be seeing Olly Murs in just over a week’s time followed by two One Direction concerts and 5 Seconds of Summer in three consecutive days. Not to mention my best friend, Courtney, will be coming from England to visit for a few days. She’s just started blogging and I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug so we’ve got lots planned  do together while she’s here! I’ll also be seeing Disney on Ice in May with my family, so that’s another review to expect in the near future.

Life’s pretty crazy, if you ask me. One minute I’m doing something that not many would ever expect to do – especially at my age – and the next, I’m moping about the house in my PJs grumbling at the sun getting in my eyes and the time of day I’m awake. But, despite some flaws, I don’t think I’d change this life for the world. *cue Hannah Montana*

Anyway, expect to see more from me this year as I’m trying to maintain this blog and make it the best it can be, so there also may be a few changes going on now and then. I can’t really categorise myself as any specific blog other than lifestyle, because I cover anything and everything. But, whatever you see me as, I hope you’ll enjoy my upcoming posts and join in on the rollercoaster with me because I plan on sharing everything with you! Let’s be best buddies, yeah?

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.