What's new in the music world this week?
The coronavirus seems to be affecting every area of our lives including music at the moment, so we've decided to give it its own section in our Weekly Music Highlights. Along with the Nashville tornado disaster and Riz Ahmed's Brexit truths, we hope music will be a way to bring us together in these tough times.
The home of country music, Nashville, Tennessee, was struck by four tornadoes on Tuesday (March 3rd) killing 25 people and destroying numerous buildings and homes. Today a benefit gig under the name 'To Nashville, With Love' will take place at the Marathon Music Works, with acts such as Soccer Mommy, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, Dan Auerbach and more set to perform. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift has donated $1million to a relief fund and expressed her own devastation over the damage of the city she calls home, and a number of guitar companies such as Gibson, Heritage and Harmony are also offering their support to any musicians who may have lost equipment in the disaster with new replacement schemes.
The Long Goodbye is the scariest thing you'll watch this year.
It might feel a little early to say at this point, but we have no doubt that Riz Ahmed's spoken word/rap album The Long Goodbye is one of the most important releases of 2020. It's one that every person in the UK needs to listen to, regardless of their position on Brexit, because if we continue to let dangerous Islamophobic and racist attitudes spread, Britain faces a very bleak future indeed.
Riz Ahmed - The Long Goodbye
The musician and actor described the record as "a breakup album - but with your country", and you can get the full picture from the first track The Breakup. It's clever and crude, with historical references that show that this is an album from someone who knows only too well the extent of hypocrisy and bitterness that Brexit has brought to the UK, largely because the community in which he grew up have been treated like outsiders for as long as he can remember. Attitudes have only worsened in recent years.
Ahmed is possibly set to play Carnage in the Marvel/Sony project alongside Tom Hardy.
Riz Ahmed’s career looks like it’s continuing to go from strength to strength, with reports that the British star is in talks with Sony to star in the Spider-Man spin-off movie Venom, alongside fellow Brit Tom Hardy.
Ever since he broke through to the wider industry’s consciousness with a memorable supporting role in 2014's Nightcrawler, the 34 year old British-Pakistani actor has landed starring roles in Jason Bourne, Star Wars spin-off Rogue One and TV series ‘The OA’ and ‘Girls’.
However, Variety reports on Thursday (August 10th) that the actor is now in talks with Sony studios to star in Marvel Comics’ Venom – a film NOT related to the recent Spider-Man: Homecoming, confusingly – possibly as the extremely popular character Carnage.
Continue reading: Riz Ahmed Reportedly In Talks With Sony For 'Venom' Role
'The Late Late Show' saw James Corden face-off against Riz Ahmed in a rap battle segment.
There was certainly a lot of beef in the room when James Corden and Riz Ahmed went against each other for the exciting 'Drop The Mic' segment of 'The Late Late Show' this week. It's safe to say, Riz MC killed it.
James Corden pictured on the red carpet
With 'more bars than Willy Wonka', according to QuestLove, James Corden is introduced onto the stage to face-off against 'Rogue One' star Riz Ahmed, who happens to also be a rapper in the hip-hop collective Swet Shop Boys.
Continue reading: James Corden Dropped The Mic With Riz Ahmed... And Lost
Riz Ahmed has vowed to dedicate the entire month of April to ''music time'', as he release an EP and tour with other bands.
Riz Ahmed has vowed to dedicate the entire month of April to ''music time''.
The 34-year-old actor and rapper - who is also known as Riz MC - has revealed he is putting his acting career to one side for the upcoming weeks so he can focus on making music and touring with artists Hermes and Swet Shop boys.
Speaking to the Metro newspaper, the dark-haired hunk said: ''Now what we do is bursts of activity. I've been doping a lot of promo over the last several months and then this year I've been writing scripts.
Continue reading: Riz Ahmed Will Dedicate April To 'music Time'
After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex noir mystery set in multiracial London. It's a stylishly made film, anchored by another superbly involving performance by Riz Ahmed. But its low budget shows in the way it strains to obscure secrets in blurry flashbacks, using intriguing characters to create a lot of atmosphere while neglecting to properly tell the story.
It's set in London's northwest inner-suburbs, where Tommy (Ahmed) grew up. He lives with his feisty but ill father (Roshan Seth) and works as a private detective. His latest client is the high-class hooker Melody (Cush Jumbo), who is concerned because one of her colleagues has gone missing. As he looks for her, Tommy discovers the dead body of a prominent businessman who has a link to his childhood friend Haafiz (James Floyd), now a high-flying property developer. And things are getting increasingly messy, with American spies prowling around and a local Muslim brotherhood entangled in the case. Tommy hires a sparky neighbour (Damson Idris) to help him, and then he runs into his childhood sweetheart Shelley (Billie Piper), who brings up emotions he thought he'd left behind.
All of this is intercut with blurred flashbacks of Tommy, Haafiz and Shelley when they were 17 years old. This stirs in some intriguing emotions, even if the scenes feel like a distraction since they take so long to reveal their secrets and never quite connect with the central mystery. Travis keeps the tone warm and dense, with dark colours, emotive faces and Tommy's probing voiceover, all of which creates a vivid sense of atmosphere. On the other hand, the plot merely gets more knotted as it goes along, bringing in more people and themes. So even if the story never quite ties up all of its lose ends, at least it's a fascinating portrayal of the ethnic mix in most London neighbourhoods.
Continue reading: City Of Tiny Lights Review
Not the easiest of errors to look past for the fashion house.
Twitter users have reacted with shock and anger after Burberry's official account posted a photo of Riz Ahmed and mistakenly named him as BAFTA winner Dev Patel. The mistake has since been corrected, but not before it was screenshot multiple times for the world to see.
Dev Patel wins the award for Best Supporting Actor
In one of the most cringeworthy gaffes the designer label has ever made, the British fashion house Tweeted their support of 'Lion' star Dev Patel by referencing his navy blue red carpet suit but not putting the right picture in. 'Celebrating the #EEBAFTAs in London this evening, Best Actor in a Supporting Role Winner #DevPatel wears a Burberry custom made navy tuxedo', they wrote, alongside a picture of... Riz Ahmed.
Continue reading: Burberry Slammed After Confusing Dev Patel With Riz Ahmed
2016 was a huge career boost, but he's not stopping there.
Riz Ahmed returns after perhaps the most incredible year of his career with a brand new mystery thriller entitled 'City of Tiny Lights'. True to form, it sees him back in his home city of London, playing a private detective with a history that's haunting him.
Riz Ahmed stars in 'City of Tiny Lights'
The 'Four Lions' star will appear alongside 'Penny Dreadful' actress Billie Piper in the forthcoming crime flick, which has been adapted by Patrick Neate from his novel of the same name which he published in 2005. The award-winning Pete Travis ('Dredd', 'Endgame', 'Vantage Point') is at the helm, and it has all the makings of being one of Britain's most memorable outputs of the year.
Tommy Akhtar (Riz Ahmed) is an experienced private detective living in London, whose past comes rushing back with the return of his long-lost girlfriend Shelley (Billie Piper). But that's the least of his troubles. He's called in by an escort named Melody (Cush Jumbo) following the disappearance of her Russian flatmate after the latter had left for an appointment with a client. She's willing to pay whatever cost Tommy has in mind to get her friend back, a friend who was last seen in CCTV footage arriving at a hotel in Paddington. So where better to start looking? He also enlists the help of an unlikely friend to go undercover. However, it soon becomes clear that this is a lot bigger than he first thought; he's being threatened by suits as he gets closer to uncovering the dark underworld of London's social politics. There's a disturbing religious undertone to this case, which leads Tommy unwittingly into a world of violence and terrorism.
Continue: A City Of Tiny Lights Trailer
Riz Ahmed at the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story UK Premiere held at Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 13th December 2016
A gently comical undertone makes this thriller even creepier than expected, bolstered by sharp writing and directing from Dan Giloy and an especially clever performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. Comparisons to Taxi Driver have been obvious, as the lead character is a potentially dangerous sociopath on a very personal quest. And the film also taps into the current zeitgeist: how the media panders to a public that increasingly screams for blood. It's a thoroughly unnerving film that often feels more like a very grim satire than a proper thriller.
Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a loner who is desperate to make his mark on the world. Searching for something to do, he stumbles across the people who prowl the city streets after dark in search of an event they can film and sell on to a TV news outlet. Learning from a veteran (Bill Paxton), Lou gets his own camera and a police scanner and starts chasing car crashes, house fires and violent crimes all over Los Angeles. And when he finds that TV news director Nina (Rene Russo) wants to buy his footage, he hires Rick (Riz Ahmed) as an assistant, getting even more aggressive about arriving on the scene before the competition. But Lou isn't willing to settle for that, and starts manipulating the news to get even better stories.
Where this goes from here is pretty unimaginable, as Lou reveals himself to be utterly unencumbered by any hint of a moral compass. Of course, this is a central theme of the movie, as it explores the way audiences clamour for more explosive footage, which pretty much eliminates any sense of human decency in the way events are covered. Gyllenhaal portrays Lou as gaunt and hungry, but with an eerie charm that lets him get away with each audacious manoeuvre. Watching him snap at anyone who crosses him is truly terrifying. Although the way he quietly manipulates situations is even scarier.
Continue reading: Nightcrawler Review
Date of birth
1st December, 1982
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