Tag Archives: Music Video

Maria Akpan ‘intoxicates’ audiences with dancing talents

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Maria Akpan

Moving to music is an instinct for Maria Akpan. She always felt the need to dance, and her inspirations as a child were always those who were known around the world for their dancing abilities. Akpan is now recognized for her talent, and is one of Britain’s best dancers. She does not just follow a beat, she uses her body to tell a story. Her delivery captivates audiences, and there is little doubt why she is in such high demand.

The highlight of Akpan’s career came when honoring her idol Michael Jackson. As the lead dancer in Thriller Live, Akpan took audiences through the iconic artist’s childhood, career, and life journey. Her skillset enhanced the show, and she was pivotal to its success, as she was in every single number.

Tribute shows are now a familiar experience for the dancer. She was not only the lead dancer, but also the choreographer for Prince’s Revelation Tribute Show. Working with the popular singer Mark Anthony, she choreographed the entire performance. Dancing was the true visual essence of the show, and Akpan made that happen.

Not only does Akpan dance, but she also can cheerlead. She had a main role with the group The London Cheerleaders, always front and centre in their routines and promotional videos. Her talent and commitment to every project she takes on make her extremely sought after in the industry. She was the choreographer and lead dancer in the Funky Twinz featuring N. Kay music video “Entertain You”, and she even worked with Shirlene Quigly, a former dancer for both Beyonce and Rihanna.

“Dance allows me to express myself in ways that conversations never do. Dance is something the makes me happy even at some of my saddest moments. It really does bring joy and freedom into my life,” said Akpan.

In JayEss’ “Intoxicated” music video, Akpan was once again featured doing what she does best: dancing. She was a lead dancer in the video, and had a charismatic solo piece. The dancing brought the storyline of the song to life. The video features different groups battling and then eventually coming together as a whole.

“What was it liked about working on this project was it got me to be creatively experimental, which is great when your hired as just a soloist on a gig, as it gets you to think on your feet and be more original,” said Akpan.

Originally, Jayess had heard of Akpan’s esteemed reputation and knew he wanted her on his video. At the time, he did not know how to get in touch with her, and spent a lot of time searching. After giving up, he eventually spotted Akpan at a talent search. He was ecstatic to finally find her. Akpan did not even have to audition. The entire team was impressed with her from the beginning.

“Maria is such a hard-working talent, she never settles for anything average and always wants more than 100 per cent. Her passion for arts and dance is like no other that I have ever seen before, and her hard work shows through in her work. Working with her, I know my vision of my song and music video was in the best and right hands. Maria is definitely unique, I would have her work for me again in no time,” said Jablil Saheeb, also known as Jayess.

Akpan was a large part of the video’s success, which has over 40,000 views on YouTube alone. Akpan was consistently approached about her dancing in the video, and she felt proud to be in such a project. She brought Jayess’ version to life, as he wanted much more than just a normal music video. Akpan came up with original choreography on the spot, and danced completely alone for a part of the video.

Each dancer was given a different trait to embody in the video, and Akpan was given “peace”. With every move she made, she exudes that trait in a peaceful and powerful way. There was no rehearsal time, so Akpan just did what came naturally. The results are inspiring.

“After hearing the concept of the music video, I knew I am wanted to be apart. Two groups one driven by negativity and the other driven by positivity. The two groups battling each other than overcoming their differences for the better, completely pulled me in,” concluded Akpan.

Akpan is now fresh off many projects. She danced for Skepta at the 02 in London. She also was a part of Global 12 Festival, dancing for new soloist Kiara Marzella. In addition, she is taking her successful London dance class “#LinesNsaucewithmimi” international.

“I plan to take this class all over the world and inspire young women to believe in themselves, to achieve what they dream of, and to then succeed,” she said.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Akpan is the “Intoxicated” video here.

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Makeup artist Jen Tioseco works with singer Dani LeRose on new music video

Jen Tioseco is a strong and passionate individual, and this has always translated into her work. From the time she was just eleven years old, growing up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, she always had a job. She started with a paper route, then became a cashier, and then a retail associate. She then decided life wasn’t about simply working, it was about doing what you love. That is when she became a makeup artist. It is her drive and determination that has gotten her to where she is today, as an internationally successful makeup artist, and nothing will ever stop her from continuing to live her dream. For Tioseco, anything is possible, and if you can dream it, you can do it.

Tioseco is truly extraordinary at what she does. She enhances natural beauty, and takes her clients favorite features and brightens them in a way where they still feel done up, but also like themselves. That is no easy task. In a world full of young girls making makeup tutorials on YouTube and Instagram, Tioseco aims to show the world that it doesn’t have to be that challenging to feel beautiful

“I would say my style is ‘Glam Chic’. With the social media makeup artist being so trendy right now, girls have forgotten that we don’t need to wear ten layers of makeup,” she said.

Tioseco manages to do just that when working on two recent music videos for alternative-pop singer Dani LeRose. She worked with LeRose’s ideas and then looped in with the stylist to ensure everything tied together in the end. Tioseco’s input was vital to the videos’ success. Given her background in fashion, she was actually able to make suggestions to the stylist that she ended up incorporating into the videos.  These little additions, whether it was a scarf or a jacket, really helped the makeup pop.

“Dani has such trust in me as an artist. She was able to convey what she wanted for each look, knowing I could execute each one with ease.  She was also very open to color on the lips and eyes, so I had a blast playing with her face,” said Tioseco.

Tioseco had worked on LeRose previously for a concert. The singer absolutely loved her makeup and asked Tioseco to come on board for her videos from that point forward, refusing to work with anyone else. LeRose recognized Tioseco was the best instantly, and since that time, the two have worked on two music videos, the first of which, Love U More premiered in November of last year.

“There were scenes in Love U More where Dani needed to appear as though she was crying or ‘worn out’. As Dani was not able to cry on que, I was able to use makeup to create the illusion she had.  It really set the mood for the different scenes,” Tioseco described.

The Love U More video was featured on Much Music’s emerging new artist category after its release. After Tioseco met LeRose and Director Chad Rook, she fell in love with their concept for the shoot. The video is shot in the middle of a sand dune with a drone filming from above, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the makeup artist.

“It was amazing, not only is Dani beautiful and talented, Chad Rook the director was incredible.  Chad is actually an actor as well, he can be seen as one of the top billed cast members in the upcoming Planet of the Apes.  His experience as an actor made the attention to detail in each video phenomenal.  From a simple shot beside a radiator to an explosively emotional fight in a hotel room, you are hooked from beginning to end of each video,” said Tioseco.

The second video, I’ve Told Lies, has been an instant success since its premiere earlier this month, with lots of media attention and tens of thousands of views. It was shot in a historic motel, one of Tioseco’s favorite locations to date. LeRose’s look, and therefore Tioseco’s work, was pivotal to the video’s success.

“Jen is a true professional. Her positivity makes her a great addition to any set I’ve had her on. Jens Attention to detail made working with her so easy.  I didn’t have to do any cosmetic adjustments post-production, saving me so much time on the back end,” said Chad Rook.

Working on music videos with singers is a slice of what Tioseco looks to continue doing with her esteemed career. She enjoys working with celebrities, creating a natural but enhanced look.

“I love to travel on press events, glam for the red carpet, and do magazine editorials,” said Tioseco.

Another exciting step for the makeup artist? She is in the process of designing a makeup tool that will eventually expand into her own entire makeup line. We can definitely continue to expect exciting things from her.