Blog | now or never
- Posted on 07/09/2011 by Lisa
Are you watching the Degrassi marathon on TeenNick this weekend? Degrassi: Now or Never is getting sooo close. Take our How 'Now or Never' Are You? quiz, featuring a few new pictures of the cast.
I think that's pretty true. I have brave moments and cautious moments, so I fall right in the middle. I wonder if the new eps of Degrassi will bring out my "Now or Never" side...
What did you get?
- Posted on 07/04/2011 by Mary
Happy 4th of July...
Two more weeks 'til new Degrassi.
Dave from Degrassi, lighting up the night.
- Posted on 06/24/2011 by Lisa
You have to wait until July 18th to see the new episodes, but you can watch the new intro RIGHT NOW. The new theme song was recorded by singer-songwriter Alexz Johnson, and it's pretty much amazing:
Alexz is in NYC this week, but she had a time for a quick chat with me. After I fangirled out for a minute about being on Skype with Alexz Johnson, we got down to business:
I just watched the new Degrassi opening, and I love it! How did that come about?
It came up very naturally; it wasn't planned. I was sent the track, and they said "Can you do anything with this?" Demo Castellon was producing it, and he remixed my indie Voodoo album, and so I think I was just in the right place. They asked if I'd put a vocal on it, and then they liked it the best.
The latest promo for Degrassi: Now or Never is really intense, and I know some of the fans are worried about what's going to happen to their favorite characters -- but when I listen to your version of the theme song, I'm like, "They will make it through! I believe everyone will get through all this drama somehow."
That's so funny you say that, because that's what the feeling behind it was. I've been through my own hell on the career and music end, when it comes to major labels, and my own ups and downs, feeling like "Can you do it anymore?" I really pulled from my own experiences as I sang it, and it's like... "Screw it! You can do anything!" I wanted people to feel that when they heard the vocal. I really wanted it to be strong and powerful.
So we know Degrassi's going to have a crazy-intense summer. What about you? What do you have planned?
I'm working. I just released an album called Voodoo: Reloaded, which is really exciting. When I get back to Toronto, I play The Drake on the 27th, go to Nashville to do some songwriting, and then I'm back in Toronto to do a music video for "Look at Those Eyes," which is my next single. I'm expanding my reach to the States this summer. Being located in Canada can sometimes be difficult, but I'm hoping to do a U.S. tour and either open for someone or be a co-headliner.
I'm also working on my next record, and I have maybe 40 songs that are done. I have some songs with Bruno Mars, Mike Elizondo, and Toby Gad... some pretty strong writers, so I'm excited. I'm excited to put them all together and see where my head is at, and the kind of record I want to make. Being indie and being Canadian, I'm trying to really expand my reach. It's so exciting to be doing the Degrassi theme. I'm just finding a way to get my music out to people.
I know a lot of TeenNick fans were excited to see you trending on Twitter a few months back. What was that like?
It was crazy! I have some pretty awesomely loyal fans. I just did an online show yesterday, and it was really cool. I'm trying to find innovative ways to reach my fanbase, which is all over the world -- but being on an indie label, I can't just pack up my band and fly us to Europe to do a tour. I'm trying to find a way to do it all, but sticking true to my sound.
I love that you can perform live shows online, and that we can talk on Skype and see each other, even though we're a country apart. It seems like a cool time to be an indie artist. Yay, the Internet!
I have some friends who are filmographers, so I've also been making a lot of videos and putting them online, just hanging out and singing songs. It's one of those things where like... you come to terms with the fact that you don't know if you're going to make a living. You don't know how things are going to unfold, but you do it because you love it, and there's nothing else you can do. I'm at a point in my life where there is no alternative. I'm just going to keep doing music. I'm not as hard on myself as I used to be, and the last couple years have just been so much fun and creative. It's been great.
Alexz, thanks so much for talking to me. I can't wait for the fans to see the new open!
I'm so excited. This really happened out of nowhere and I'm so excited to be a part of it.
So... what do you think of the new open?
- Posted on 06/20/2011 by Lisa
Our latest promo gives you a tiny taste of all the drama headed your way this summer on Degrassi: Now or Never.
"I have chills... chills!" - Fiona
We do, too, Fiona!
Are you ready for a summer FULL of Degrassi? New episodes will premiere Monday to Thursday, at 9 pm ET, from Monday, July 18, through Thursday, September 1. The first episode is an hour long, to kick things off in style. :)
Say hi to a few of the people you'll meet on Degrassi this summer:
Hello, new girl in a stripey hoodie.
Hello, new girl in a scarf.
Hello, new boy on the stairs.
Hello, Keke Palmer.
- Posted on 06/10/2011 by Mary
We have a new Ryan this summer (everyone should have a Ryan -- they're very good to have around) and he took some of the behind-the-scenes footage from the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser shoot (aka: the fireworks promo) and put this together for you.
Wasn't that thoughtful of him?
I like it. Particularly watching Munro, Jahmil, and Ray doing their little bonfire dance.
Oh, summer. I hope you have lots of bonfires in you this year, because I want to set off bottle rockets with my friends and feel nice nice like in the video.
Behind the scenes at the Degrassi fireworks promo shoot
- Posted on 06/01/2011 by Mary
Hi all. The lady in that picture is Olivia Bee. She's a professional photographer who's still in high school -- she's 17 -- and she took all of the gorgeous still photos at the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser shoot with all the fireworks and whatnot. We like her very much. Especially after talking to her. (Btw, most of this interview is about the life of a teenage professional photographer, but if you just want to skip to the part about the Degrassi shoot, click here.)
So, first of all, how did you start getting paid to do photography while you're still in high school?
Well, my freshman year in high school I got a bunch of emails from VSA Partners, and I kind of disregarded them because I was like, "That's probably spam, whatever." And then I got an email from Converse directly and they were like, "Hey, we'd love to have you take some photos on a shoot, kind of a mentoring process and we'll pay you, and it'll be really fun," blah blah blah, so I got to skip school and go on a shoot in Portland for Converse. And I just got to experiment and see what it was all about, take some photos, and then everything just kind of followed. They took a chance on me and now, this is happening.
That's amazing. How did they find you, Flickr?
Wow. Did you already have a ton of contacts on Flickr before that?
Yeah, I had a lot of followers, and that came with the popularity I guess. It was all pretty much by luck.
Were you nervous at all? Does any of this faze you? It sounds like it could be really intense.
It is intense. Before I worked with Converse I was so nervous. I didn't even want to go, I was so scared. I was like, "What are they gonna think of me? I'm totally not gonna be able to take pictures once I get there because that's just what'll totally happen to me." But it was fine. I'm always a little nervous right before, if things aren't working out, or if there's no schedule, or the shoot is disorganized. But if I'm just taking pictures then I'm totally fine.
New Degrassi guy alert: Jake, played by Justin Kelly
I would imagine there's a huge difference between taking pictures of your friends in a relaxed atmosphere and like "Well, we're on a deadline, and these people are only here for four hours, and you need to get the shot."
It's really different. It's like I have to be an adult, I have to transfer from being this stupid kid who just hangs out with her friends all the time and I have to be a professional, and I have to deliver. There's a lot of pressure, actually. But as long as I'm still taking pictures I can deal with it, because that's what I do for fun anyway.
Has anybody ever been snotty to you because you're 17? Or underestimated you?
Yes. All the time. I get so much snottiness. People just think I'm like a little kid, and 'why are they paying her to do what all these other people can do; why would they ever hire someone who's that old; she's never gone to college."
You just brush 'em off?
I'm just kinda like F.U.
Haha, word! So how did you fall in love with photography in the first place? Well, I took a darkroom class in 6th grade because I went to an arts-based middle school. And I really was really bad at it at first. I took a lot of pictures of Christmas ornaments and stuffed animals, things it wouldn't be embarrassing to take pictures of. And then I just started spending extra time in the darkroom -- I don't know, it was kind of an accidental, found love. But now I can't live without it.
How do your friends feel about being photographed all the time?
I think they like it? I guess some people are annoyed like "Aw, why do you have that camera again" but it's just playful, not pissed or anything. Most of the time, they really like it. It's kinda cool, they're like the characters of my life and I think they realize that. And no one takes family photos anymore so the moms like it, too.
I have friends who are videographers or photographers who always have a camera at any event, and they've told me how people are sometimes like "Oh God, put down the camera and just experience this" but the next day, everyone's SO psyched that the pictures and video exist.
TOTALLY. Totally. The whole "Time" thing. [By this I assume she means like capturing time, time being linear. You know. The whole Time thing.] Plus, I feel like, people can say that to me, but it's like "No, this is MY way of experiencing it. This is how I want to experience everything." It's not their deal, it's mine.
What is awesome about photography?
There are a million moments you could capture, but capturing that one that's perfect... it's pretty amazing. You can make a whole other world with things you already have. It's... it's like real life on paper. Or fake life on paper, depending on how you look at it.
Does having a camera ever help you meet people?
Oh yeah, all the time. It's mostly short little conversations, but I like short little conversations.
So. This Degrassi shoot. What was that like?
It was crazy. 'Cause I'd never been on a TV set before. Usually still production [as in still photography, vs. video] is: a producer, you have your assistants, you have your gaffer, the stylist, the make-up artist, and then I'll have a studio teacher. But with this there were like 150 people and they all had different jobs and that was just crazy for me.
A studio teacher -- so even if it's a one-day shoot you have to have a studio teacher because you're a minor?
It depends on what state, but yeah. California, definitely.
Were you already a Degrassi fan?
We actually watch it in Health class at school. Usually episodes about STDs or relationships, violence... because Degrassi covers a lot of teen health things like that. Usually we had a separate episode for each lesson but sometimes we would just watch it, just 'cause.
Your health teacher sounds awesome.
What do you remember from that day?
Well, it was freezing. It was going from like 7pm to 5am, which, I'd never done that before! I had a 4:20 am call time a couple weeks ago but this was like ridiculous.
Oh, and it was actually pretty funny... when they were filming the scene where Sav was standing on the lifeguard chair swinging his jacket around and there were all these fireworks going on, and since they weren't filming for sound, he was just kind of yelling things because it was supposed to look like he's yelling. And he was just like "[BAD WORD] DEGRASSI! THESE KIDS SUCK!"
Hahahaha. I love that guy. Did you have favorite characters or favorite episodes before?
Now I've met them and I can't pick favorites! I like 'em all, they were really sweet in person, too. It was really nice to know that they weren't stuck-up or anything.
- Posted on 05/30/2011 by Mary
Well, wait, one very important comment... these pictures were taken by our new friend Olivia Bee, who is 17, and who kicks copious amounts of ass, and ok, no more comments.
Oh wait one more: I interviewed Olivia about her experience at the shoot and life in general; I'll post it here soon.
OK shutting up now. Here.
Ray Ablack aka Sav at the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser shoot. Olivia has a funny story about this moment. Coming soon.
New character Imogen and Eli at the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser shoot
Drew, new character Katie, Marisol, and the back of Holly J at the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser shoot.
Why not... another gorgeous picture of Clare from the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser shoot.
More pics to come! Promise!
And don't forget, the video will be shown during Bring It On tonight at 9p et. Which of your friends has the biggest TV? Go there and watch.
- Posted on 05/27/2011 by Mary
Even though it'll be playing in big, gorgeous, full-tv-sized wondrousness Monday night during Bring It On on TeenNick (9p et!)...
You don't have to wait 'til Monday night to see the Degrassi teaser!
You can cheat and watch it now, over on EW.com. Click here to see!
And here's a little something extra to tide you over for the holiday weekend (True Jackson, VP marathon this weekend, btw!).
Aislinn Paul, aka Clare Edwards, sparkles in the Degrassi: Now or Never teaser
More pics to come on Monday!