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Interviews Work

Maz Chats to Amy Childs

Amy Childs is only 21, yet after her rise to fame in The Only Way Is Essex, she became a highly-powered business woman in her own right.

Juggling a beauty salon, clothing line, TV shows and her new fitness DVD among other projects, Amy manages to stay down-to-earth, telling Flavour that she is still “a normal girl” – although she still maintains her crown as the ‘Vajazzling’ queen. Flavour’s Maz Khan speaks to the reality star-turned-entrepreneur to find out about her latest ventures…

Hey Amy! So, tell us about your new fitness DVD ?

Hey hun! Well, so many girls tweet me asking ‘Amy, how do you stay in shape?’

I’ve always been into fitness, going to the gym and for runs, and I eat sensibly. I won’t lie to you, I do eat sh*t food, but I balance it out. But I had so many women asking me what my routine was; I just thought I had to bring out a DVD.

What makes it stand out from the others?

I wanted to make it very different, not the same as the normal fitness DVD’s. It is really hard, but once you get into it, you really enjoy it. It gets you working hard. I’ve tried other DVD’s and I thought they were too easy. Mine is easy, but it gets harder. That’s what I wanted; something where you are actually working the body and you actually see the difference.

I’ve also put a bit of Essex in there as well, all the catch phrases, I’ve made it entertaining! What I like about the DVD is that even I struggle to do it. I watched it the other day, and yes it is hard, but you feel really good after you’ve completed it. I noticed a difference in my arms after a week.

Out of all of the cast members on TOWIE, you gained the most success. Why do you think that is?

I hate saying this because I don’t want to be horrible, but in TOWIE I was totally myself, I never put on an act, the banter was real. I never bitched about anyone, that’s not me. You know, it’s also about who is managing you.

I left TOWIE in season 2 and everyone was like ‘Amy, it’s the worst thing you can do’ but when I went on Big Brother I got loads of endorsements. My manager Claire told me that once I left, I was offered so much more work than what I did when I was in TOWIE. I’ve always been normal and I’m still a normal girl now. But all of the other cast members have done so well, not just me. It is probably because I left first… who knows.

Do you ever think of returning to TOWIE?

I would maybe like to return to TOWIE in 5 years’ time, the best thing I ever did was leaving. There was a lot of things they stopped us from doing, like I was asked to present ‘This Morning’, but I wasn’t allowed. But the show made me and I will never forget what it did for me, I still love TOWIE and I still watch it. I just think that it was my time to go.

Your new fashion line is amazing. Have you always been so glamorous?

You can ask all my friends, before TOWIE I was a beautician. Even if I have a hangover, I would always put my make up on! I’ve always, always, always been glam. I just do it to feel good about myself. Every morning, I can’t wait to get up and glam myself up. It might sound weird, but I love the eyelashes, the lipstick… it’s just about feeling good about yourself. Even if I am sitting indoors on my own, I have to put my make up on. People say to me ‘OMG Amy, you’ve lost the plot!’

Who or what inspired your fashion line?

I’ve always loved fashion and I’ve always liked to look different. I’m girly, sometimes sophisticated, I like to try a bit of everything.  I love Victoria Beckham, her dresses are amazing and she inspired my long, fitted dresses. I would love to send her one of my dresses. I think she would like them because they are very her. There are some really fun, girly bits, like sparkly playsuits. There are items you could wear to Ascot, a wedding, a festival… so there is variety.

I heard you are in talks about a new TV show, is that true?

It is true, yeah, there is a lot going on. I can’t mention a lot, but me and Harry [her cousin] have got a project coming soon which we are so excited about and there may be another show with me and Harry. There is a lot happening with me and Harry because they see the banter – when we were in TOWIE, everyone loved me and Harrys’ energy, it was entertaining. So we are in talks about what kind of show we want to do, but we are not sure which channel to pick as yet.

So we should look out for you on our screens around summertime?

Definitely! Maybe a bit later, as I launch my perfume in September, so there is quite a lot coming up!

How do you cope with your personal life being splashed in the papers?

[Laughs] I’m still a normal girl. Even though the paparazzi are always waiting for me, in London, outside my house, I still do normal things. I still go out for dinner with my family, you know? Sometimes I want to go to the cinema on a Saturday night but you can’t… but look, I’ve got some lovely fans and I have a lovely life, I’m still really close to my family. They say you change when your life is under the public eye but I haven’t changed one bit.

Do you read what is written about you?

When I first came under the spotlight, things I read really made me laugh, like ‘Amy is going out with Peter Andre’ – I was associated with everybody! You just gotta laugh. I was constantly reading ‘Amy was caught with blah blah’ and it’s like ‘what?’ I was indoors last night! In this life, you just gotta get on with it. If you can’t laugh about it, it will just tear you apart.

You are only 21, where would you like to be when you are 25?

I’d love to just be doing what I am doing. The clothing line… I love beauty so I’d love to have salons across the country. I’d also love to launch a beauty training academy, as I’m so into my beauty.

How is the salon going?

OMG the salon is lovely hun! I literally have an 8 week waiting list so it’s really mental!

Is vajazzling still popular?

OMG on a Saturday, no joke, we have a girl in and she is the vajazzle QUEEN! We open 9 – 6 and she vajazzles throughout the whole day. It’s a big thing still; people come down from everywhere to get it done. It’s still mental! I am the vajazzle queen, I am!

Since you have so much going on, where can we find out what you’re up to?

Check out Amy Childs Official to see what I’m up to, or say hello on twitter.

Amy’s DVD, ‘Fit In 30 Days’, is out now on Amazon.

 

 

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Interviews Work

Maz Chats to TOWIE’s Jess Wright…

In the autumn of 2010, a ‘dramality’ (reality-drama for those unaware) began on ITV1, based in Essex. Most (or just I) would assume that if a reality drama like that was to happen it would be in London; after all, Essex is just a dreary county near Greater London. Or maybe not.

The show picked up a BAFTA and the Daily Mirror called it “Britain’s answer to The Hills and Jersey Shore.” I hate being wrong, so it was to my dismay that now, quite literally, The Only Way Is Essex. But what makes the characters so watchable, so addictive and so entertaining?

As I put this across to Jess, she says “it’s because we’re real people with real goals. We don’t live our lives just for the cameras.”

As a star on a reality show, I find this quite a funny statement; but I know what she means. The cast are true to who they are; they aren’t stuck up, pretentious or fake about their intentions and desires. And they certainly haven’t forgotten where they came from. Jess’s Essex charm is still very present in our conversation; she is effortlessly easy to talk to, bubbly – but with a business head.

The 26-year-old brunette isn’t just a lingerie lover, she actually a degree in business and marketing. The reality star left her office job to pursue her career in singing, when she was in a girl band called Lola. Although the band didn’t work out, Jess sounds content with the idea of now going it alone. “I’m enjoying being a solo artist. I’m writing my own music now, so yeah, I wanna be on my own for now… I think.”

Jess also recently led the vocals on the TOWIE Christmas track, a cover of Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’…

“I’m really flattered that I got to sing the Christmas TOWIE single. People thought I was miming but of course I wasn’t! It was great to have the chance to sing it. We’ve shot the video and it was really fun.”

Holding onto fame with both hands, Jess also saw her opportunity to build a business when she got her TOWIE pay cheque and purchased a lingerie store called ‘With Love, Jessica xx’.

“My lingerie shop is going so, so well. I’m so pleased. We have loads of amazing underwear, accessories and swimwear. It’s a really cute shop, very pink and girly.”

She also revealed that she will be back for the fourth series of TOWIE in 2012. The show has received almost as many negative reviews as it has positive, making it TV marmite. The brunette star admits the show wasn’t what she expected initially…

“When I watched TOWIE back for the first time, it wasn’t exactly what I expected. It was so candid and I found watching myself back quite mortifying. I did think ‘what have I got myself into?!’ But I got used to the exposure and seeing myself on screen. It really is an amazing show and I’ve loved every minute.”

We went on to talk about the pros and cons of fame. It must have been hard, the transition from a normal civilian to a nationwide talking point.

“Being under the spotlight… I’ve always enjoyed performing; I liked dancing, from ballet to tap; as well as singing of course. Because of that I experienced a lot behind the scenes before-hand, so I thought I’d have an idea of what it would be like. Of course when I was under the spotlight myself it was totally different…”

Many TV producers have tried to emulate the magic of TOWIE, bringing us shows focusing on places like Chelsea and Liverpool. However, they haven’t managed to emulate the ground breaking success that TOWIE has enjoyed. Jess doesn’t seem bothered by the ‘rival’ shows; she hasn’t even watched them.

“I haven’t watched them, just because I haven’t had time. I’m sure they are good in their own different ways, but I’ve heard they are quite different to TOWIE.”

So what is it about Essex?

“I think it is relatable to a bigger audience. We are real, but the girls are glamorous. The audience seem to find the way we dress, the way we look and the way we talk fascinating. Not only that, but it really does shows real life; real life situations are always the most entertaining to watch.”

Jess sounds excited when we discuss what she has planned for next year. “In 2012, you’ll see more TOWIE of course; it is always fun to film. I will continue to promote my lingerie store; I have considered opening more of them, one day. I will also be working on my singing career; that has always been my ultimate goal.”

Get the latest on Jess by following her on Twitter.

Categories
Interviews Work

Maz Meets Chipmunk

 

My colleague Cat and I went to London’s South Bank on behalf of Flavour Magazine to see Chipmunk perform a secret gig. The 20-year-old platinum selling rapper and songwriter hailing from Tottenham took time out to chat to us about his taste in ladies, future plans and getting mobbed…

Cat: So what’s going down in South Bank today?

We have some competition winners here; they’ve come to see me perform. The gig is in conjunction with Adidas and Footlocker. They picked me to be the face of their new campaign to help appeal to the ‘kids like me.’ [laughs]

Maz: A lot has happened in your career over the last four years. What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Honestly? Working with Chris Brown. Yeah, man. When I started music, he was already THAT guy. There are other moments, but I would say working with Chris because that was when I thought ‘Rah, this was what I dreamed of and its reality now.’

Cat: Were you star struck when you met him?

Na! I never get star struck. I think with artists you don’t get star struck because you’re all under the umbrella of music. Everyone has many different talents. He [Chris Brown] looked at me like ‘woah this guy is a sick writer’ and I looked at him like ’you’re some alien, the way you’re singing and dancing!’ It’s a lot, still.

Maz: How are received in America? Do they ‘get’ your music?

I haven’t put out any music in America you know. Everything I have done with American artists has been for my fans here who are also fans of Chris Brown and Trey Songz. I think a lot of people forget, but amongst the artists there is a high respect for me as an English rapper that they can actually understand me and I sound English! But swag wise, I’m just like them… We’re into the same things.

Cat: Have you got any plans to release any material out there?

I got plans to get a name in the US, you know. But everyone forgets that you can’t skip stages; I came from the BOTTOM. Unless you don’t mind having a song that is bigger than you, you have to start from the bottom. I don’t wanna go over there and have a big song and people know my song but I can still go to the mall, you know. I wanna do it properly.

Cat: So you wanna be mobbed, do you?!

[Laughs] Na, it’s not that I wanna be mobbed, but I never wanna have a song where people are like ‘who are you…? Oh, you’re him!’ Na. It’s gotta happen at the same time, I wanna do it from the ground up, just bars and gain the respect.  The respect is coming from the artists, you know. Tinie is doing well, but I don’t know another UK MC that has had the love simultaneously from so many different artists at once.

Maz: That being said, who are YOU feeling in the UK scene this year?

Umm… If I took myself out, as a fan, I think the best rapper word for word; forget about making a hit… I would have to say Wretch32.  He’s a sick rapper. I think the best all-rounder in terms of singing, delivery, character… it would be Dappy. I think N-Dubz splitting up has allowed him to gain the credibility that he has been dying for.  It’s amazing man. I like Dappy.

Maz: I didn’t know they had officially split up, I thought they were just on a break. But I guess you know them so you would know…

Yeah I know them… [Silence]

Cat: We’re gonna do some quick fire questions. Ready?

Always.

Cat: Kelly or Beyonce?

[laughs] BE-YON-CE; you mad!

Maz: Blondes or Brunettes? [the rooms is full of brunettes]

I just like pretty girl’s man, you could be bald!

Cat: In 3 words, what is your ideal girl?

Beautiful inside out. But if you’re talking looks, I do have a type.

Maz: Which is…

Pretty! No discrimination here…

Cat: Chips or Munks?

I’d have to say Chips.

Maz: Only Way is Essex or Made in Chelsea?

I don’t watch either of them! But if I had to watch one I would say The Only Way is Essex because a few of them have got their names out there. That’s when you know you are doing well, when you subconsciously be hearing their name. I respect that, that’s what I call hustling.

Maz: You’ve had many international collaborations. Are there any more we can expect?

There’s some coming. There are some certified ones that are gonna happen, but ones that I wanna make happen are with Wayne and Drake. That’s the two collabos that I want.

Cat: So what else is next for Chipmunk?

I’ve got my new free mix tape coming out, Spazz.com. It is gonna drop in the next three weeks. It’s just me MCing with my peers. Wretch 32 is on there, so is Tinie Tempah and Sneakbo, he’s doing well for himself. So yeah… Spazz.com. Then I wanna live some more and then start working on my third album.

Cat: You’ve dominated the music scene. What about TV, any plans for you being on a reality show?

Nah, my music is for the public, I try and keep my personal life personal. I think that’s when people start falling off when they do them sort of things. I’m not really on that.

Maz: What direction are you planning to take on your next album? Are you gonna be hopping on the bassline thing like many other artists are doing at the moment?

I’m not even about to jump on the bassline! I like Ms Dynamite ‘Neva Soft’, but to me that sounds more like bashment anyway. It’s got a Caribbean flavour to it. If something like that comes up, I’m in. Otherwise, I’m not really that head banger kind of guy, it’s not really me man. I’m gonna stick to what I know but I am gonna try and branch out and do different stuff as well. But that Dynamite tune is my favourite song right now… it’s crazy!

 

* This article was originally published at Flavour Magazine *