Ateriet Chef Q&A with Roger Mooking

You may have heard of Roger Mooking from his restaurant Twist by Roger Mooking. Or maybe you’ve seen him as the host of the cooking show Man Fire Food or Everyday Exotic. Or you’ve listened to his music or cooked from one of his cookbooks. Either way I think we can agree that Roger Mooking is keeping himself busy. We got the chance to ask Roger Mooking a few questions about food memories, his style of cooking and how he combines his love of music and food. Keep reading.

Roger Mooking

Roger Mooking was born into a food and music loving family in Trinidad & Tobago and was raised in Edmonton, Canada. When Roger was 15 years old he got his first job in a kitchen. Around the same time Roger started to pursue his love of music and all of a sudden he was moving back and forth between a career as a Chef and a career in music. After trying to manage these two parallel careers for a while Roger figured out that music and restaurants are all just entertainment. There is no need to chose, I’m in the entertainment industry. Since then Roger Mooking have been going full speed in all his projects, no matter if it was music or food.

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Alessia Cara Explains It All To W Magazine

Alessia Cara Explains It All

The rising pop star on her highly anticipated debut record.


Rare is the first single that seems to tell you everything about a pop star. It happened with “Royals,” Lorde’s anti-bling anthem that revealed a thoughtful irony. And it may have also happened earlier this year with “Here,” Alessia Cara’s ode to the teens who feel more comfortable in the margins. In the smooth, soulful song, which is the hit single on Know-It-All, her debut LP out November 13, Cara is at a house party, and she hates it: “I’m sorry if I seem uninterested/Or I’m not listenin’/Or I’m indifferent,” she tells us, adding, “Yo, I’ll be over here.”

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Francesco Interview with Confront Magazine

19-year old Francesco Yates has been taking the music world by storm lately. The Toronto native’s single “Better To Be Loved” is sitting pretty on multiple charts, his music is currently featured in Coca Cola’s glass bottle 100th year anniversary, and his debut EP is set for release this year.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he has earned the praises of Pharrell Williams who says “He’s absolutely going to be just a huge, huge, huge pop star”.

We got the chance to speak with Francesco recently about what fans can expect from his debut EP, his reaction to Pharrell’s words, and what place in Toronto people absolutely have to visit.


Confront: Your debut EP is set for release this spring – what can fans expect?

Francesco: I think people can expect a full rounded body of tunes that can stand alone, but are unified in sound when they come together. It’s definitely something but it pulls out all types of emotions. I don’t know what people’s expectations of me or my music might be at this time but it’s something I can stand behind and I genuinely think people will be able to move to and hopefully be moved by.

Confront: Where do you draw the most inspiration from in your music?

Francesco: Generally speaking, inspiration for my music can come from anywhere. I really open myself up to experiences and let the music write itself, drawing from something I’ve seen or heard, to other music I may have heard in passing or consciously sat and listened to. Nothing is necessarily off limits with my music but it’s not something I overthink. If something isn’t coming to me lyrically, it’s not meant to be. There is an authenticity in my lyrics and music and that is consequently what I’m inspired by in other music. Genuine lyrics, relatability and authenticity is key.

Confront: Which song did you most enjoy watching come to life in the studio?

Francesco: For me, that’s like picking a favourite child. It’s hard to say because each song was birthed in a different way. There were all sorts of special moments that took place, between hitting a particular note or feeling the vibe and writing a perfect lyric to a beat. I will admit that the night that ‘Better To Be Loved’ was written, something special was happening in the studio. Something magical.

Confront: What has it been like to work with Pharrell and Robin Hannibal?

Francesco: What I learned from Pharrell was not to let my perfectionism get the best of me and trust in my initial gut instinct when it comes to making my music. He also helped encourage the idea of bringing my love of the electric guitar back into my music. I played guitar when I was younger and it’s something I had stepped away from for a while. I’m very thankful he asked me about it and I was able to include that rock sound that I grew up on. With Robin Hannibal on the other hand, I learned to have a strict work ethic and never to lose focus, to be totally in the moment of making the song. I became a stronger writer and was definitely a student of the craft when working with Robin. Him and I worked on most of the album together.

Confront: What’s one important thing you’ve learned from them?

Francesco: I’m actually quite happy and honored to have been given the opportunity to work with them on this album. Both of them have a very strong vision and are forward thinking producers that don’t chase any trends, and that I appreciate more than ever.

Confront: How did you react when you heard the high praise you received from Pharrell?

Francesco: It freaks me out that I was able to have been in the same room with him, hear his philosophies of life, and most importantly, see that he is a genuine human being. Any praise I get from him I really do think is great! I admire and respect him on a musical and personal level.

Confront: Can you talk to us a little bit about the new Coca Cola campaign that you’re a part of? How did you find out your song would be behind the campaign?

Francesco: The new Coca-Cola campaign is a great thing for me because I got to be a part of the rich music legacy that brand has built in our time. I was finishing up my album in Los Angeles late last year and I got a meeting with my management and was presented with the opportunity to sing the song for their 100th year anniversary of the iconic glass bottle shape. I feel like the song ‘Nobody Like You’ was a great blend of old school and new school feel and its what I’m about as an artist myself! So it fit perfectly for me and I think that’s why our relationship made great sense.

Confront: Do you find that Toronto and/or Canadian music has played any significant part in your musical growth?

Francesco: There is a distinct sound in Toronto, musically. Most notably a lot of music from The Weeknd and that OVO sound has rubbed off on me and I believe it’s influenced music in the past few years. There is a Toronto soundscape that the folks at OVO have created that I think is brilliant.

Confront: As a Torontonian, is there one thing or place you’d absolutely recommend to anyone visiting?

Francesco: I would say Kensington Market is a place I’d recommend visiting. It’s like walking through a time machine back to the 60s or 70s. In the summer there are people with flowers in their hair walking around playing acoustic guitar, singing to themselves! It’s a very open community! Great food and just great vibes all around.

Confront: What’s one thing fans may not know about you?

Francesco: One thing people may not know about me is I’ve never had a hamburger in my life, and I can’t explain why!

Confront: Which 3 songs (not your own!) do you currently have on repeat?

Francesco: Three songs I am loving are ‘The Knowing’ by The Weeknd, Led Zeppelin’s ‘What is and What Should Never Be’, and ‘Another Star’ by Stevie Wonder all of which have a haunting spirituality about them that I’m drawn to.

Confront: What can fans expect for the remainder of 2015?

Francesco: I plan to release my debut EP in the summer time and I have a couple of headlining shows I’m doing here in Canada which is really special for me. Summer festivals and shows across the country. The last thing I can say is something different is coming soon – really soon!

Watch “Better to Be Loved”

Learn more about Francesco Yates:

Francesco Yates Speaks with #NoFilter in AndPop Interview

Francesco Yates has the kind of talent that makes you want to jump five years into the future to see what he does next.

Because underneath his round babyface and wild curly hair, this 19-year-old Toronto-native is brimming with the kind of curious energy that lends itself to self-improvement and attracts all the right kinds of people—one of them being super-producer Pharrell Williams. In fact, the “Happy” singer was so impressed by Francesco’s talents (he can sing and play the guitar, piano, bass, drums and harmonica) that Pharrell invited him to play the guitar on his Daft Punk-assisted track “Gust of Wind” and will even co-produce Francesco’s upcoming debut album. We know, we know: what have we been doing with our lives?

ANDPOP’s Simon Mohos sits down with Francesco Yates and picks Francesco’s brain as they scroll through his Instagram photos. The two talk about Toronto’s unique musicality, working with Pharrell and his crazy hair game.

So what are you waiting for? Hit that play button for all that and more!


Francesco Yates on Canadian TV

This week Francesco will be making several television appearances in support of his debut Canadian single “Better To Be Loved” via 21 Music / Warner Music Canada. See Francesco performing and chatting throughout the week on the following programs.


Canada AM Interview & Performance – Tuesday, March 31st Watch during the 8:00AM EST block
ETALK airs weeknights at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO and 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Two and CTV GO (check local listings).
Tune in to Global’s The Morning Show for an acoustic performance of Francesco Yates’ hit single ‘Better To Be Loved’ during the 9:00am (EST) block.
The Social is live Monday through Friday at 1:00 PM on CTV with new episodes airing at 2:00 PM on CTV2 and 6:00 PM on M3.


Miami Herald Interviews Kat Dahlia

kat dahlia miami herald

Kat Dahlia could have been just another party girl on the alluring treadmill of quick-cash waitressing jobs and alcohol and substance-fueled club nights, with a junkie boyfriend thrown in to keep things interesting. But the 24-year-old Miami-raised singer and songwriter had three qualities to lift her out of that dead-end cycle: a vivid musical imagination, a singularly soulful voice and a combination of grit and naivete.

Which have brought her to the exceedingly rare position of being maybe-the-next-hot-thing, an original artist who has come out of nowhere (i.e. no TV reality shows) with a major label album, My Garden, released last month and popping on the iTunes charts; videos with millions of Youtube views; performances on the Today Show, a Super Bowl event, and the upcoming SXSW; and salutes from NPR, Entertainment Weekly and Latina Magazinefor her sultry, defiant and emotionally fraught songs and gutsy, bluesy voice.

“I think it was all the bad stuff that happened to me, some good stuff had to happen to me too,” Dahlia said recently over an espresso at the Buena Vista Deli, near the Design District. “Songwriting for me is always like a movie, but based on true [stuff]. Maybe my life became so dramatic because I always imagined life in a dramatic way. I love relationships. I love love. I love hate.”

Her life has had its share of drama. Dahlia, whose real name is Katriana Huguet, grew up in Miami with six siblings, from her Cuban exile parents’ marriage to each other and from other relationships. After the couple divorced, Dahlia’s father started spending much of his time in casinos, while the kids lived with Dahlia’s mother, moving annually as the couple’s successful moving business failed. During the Elian Gonzalez controversy, they sold Cuban flags on the street. “Yeah, we were that family,” Dahlia says, rolling her eyes.

She got into music in part because she and her siblings were always home, making up raps to entertain themselves in lieu of watching cable TV the family couldn’t afford. But Dahlia was obsessed with music, starting with Britney Spears and Disney soundtracks, moving on to classic rock — Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Ramones; and from there to jazz and blues. As Dahlia became a rebellious, black-clad teenager, she began writing songs and shutting herself up with her music, often because her infuriated mother had grounded her for sneaking out to South Beach music clubs like Jazid and Purdy Lounge.

“I’d sit in my room and let my mind go — listen to B.B. King for hours, over and over, just lay in bed and imagine things and sing it out,” she says. “I had a lot of angst.” Miami Beach Senior High School was a major source. “I hated school — I just thought ‘what is the purpose?’ Learn this so you can pass this test, so you can go to college, get a piece of paper, get a job. I’d say ‘when does it end?’ And the teachers would be like ‘just learn this chapter!’”

She was still in school when she started waitressing at high-end South Beach hotels and getting deeper into nightlife. But after getting fired twice, she jumped off the merry-go-round. “It’s a really fun lifestyle — and I was young and making money,” Dahlia says. “But you’re just treading water: paying your rent, going out partying, going to the beach, going to work, partying again. It’s a never-ending cycle.”

A month after losing her job Dahlia, 20, was off to North Bergen, New Jersey, where she could crash with her father’s relatives and live just across the Hudson River from New York music fantasies. But she was soon floundering in a toxic, abusive relationship with a boyfriend addicted to cocaine and alcohol. She managed to leave after a year, then struggled, waiting tables and trying to make music.

Her frustration overflowed a day after fighting with her manager about working yet another double shift. She sat down at the restaurant’s bar and wrote Gangsta, a throbbing, soulful blues-hip-hop hybrid where Dahlia veers between confessional despair over hard times and her desolate family history to a defiant chorus of “I do it all myself, I don’t get no help.” She recorded it in one take in a session she paid for with the tips from all those double shifts; the video, with Dahlia slinking through Little Havana, has now gotten more than 17 million Youtube views.

Writing songs became an emotional outlet — a way to process her past and present. I Think I’m in Love tells of her fear of being trapped by love. “I’m falling for this guy and I’m terrified, and when I’m terrified I tend to push people away and put on this tough exterior,” she says. “But really I’m going crazy, like I’m hallucinating. It has those moments where I hate that I’m falling for you, because I don’t want to get hurt again.”

Dahlia says she was clueless about the music business. “I didn’t know anyone or anything,” she says. “But I started realizing there are so many artists inspiring me and people who actually do this. So I started to ask, ‘How do you do this? How does this work?” She began fumbling her way, paying for studio time and an engineer to record some of her songs, throwing her own celebration of the EP she recorded in a single day. She was at a party at a New York recording studio when her music came on and Dahlia saw a woman eyeing her with peculiar intensity.

“She’s staring me down, and I’m thinking does she want to [have sex with] me or fight me? I’m like what the [hell] is wrong with this [girl]?” Dahlia says. But the woman turned out to be a representative for a new label, Vested in Culture, a subsidiary of Epic Records. Both are headed by Sylvia Rhone, a legendary veteran music executive who has headed several major labels and overseen the careers of a host of major artists, including En Vogue, Missy Elliot, Natalie Merchant, Erykah Badu, Jason Mraz and India.Arie. Rhone was so struck by Dahlia’s music that she met the singer and began the process of signing her the next day.

“I felt she was one of a kind,” Rhone says. “You could hear she had artistic integrity, a great voice, soul to that voice and emotion in her songs. She was one of the most authentic and original artists I had heard in a long time.”

Rhone thinks Dahlia’s outspoken personality and gritty background will help her stand out in a world of media-groomed video vixens.

“Look at Amy Winehouse and Adele — they didn’t fit into any cookie-cutter pop formula,” Rhone says. “I’ve been in the business a while and signed a lot of different artists. I’m always attracted to people who have a story and are honest about who they are and can engage emotionally. Kat has lived a life, and it has informed her art.”

(Though VIC is promoting Dahlia as a Latin artist, My Garden has only one song in Spanish, Tumbao, a hip-hop homage to Celia Cruz’s La Negra Tiene Tumbao. Dahlia, who idolizes Cruz and the Spanish flamenco-soul singer Buika, says her next album will focus on Latin and Cuban music.)

Despite her lack of performing experience, she loves being on stage. She has done one short tour, with another slated this spring. In concert she can bring the audience into the emotional fantasies of her teenage room, expanding the soul-baring relief she gets from songwriting.

“Someone suggested that I should tell my story through the songs,” she says. “I was like omigod this could be like a one woman show, but musical. I connect all the songs and it becomes a story.

“Ironically, the more honest I am about myself with people, the more comfortable I get on stage. … It’s always about bringing them into that world and bringing them into that room, getting people immersed in the music and the story.”

Duina del Mar Featured in El Especial

Duina del Mar … Magic and wise


The Colombian singer’s songs blend Caribbean charm and urban rhythms. Despite his youth, is very clear what he wants for his musical future.

Salvatore Laudicina | 12/29/2014, 24:44
Duina del Mar ... Magic and wise

The Colombian Duina del Mar | DR

Duina the Sea does not appear in this century. His voice, slow and tenuous recalls the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez. Their answers reveal a deep woman ahead of her years.

Although it could afford to sing jazz or blues, has a wide musical culture, she decided to go for the fusion of Caribbean and urban. Do not do it for marketing.

Since I started singing, was clear that no one would impose sounds to rock your letters or a way to interpret.

“I’m not interested in becoming a commercial boom. I want to build a solid career. Music is my passion, my oxygen. I would not feel right playing a letter just to sell, “said the Colombian.

During his recent visit to Miami to promote the theme “As you dance,” The Especialito spoke with this young talent of his influences, reggaeton and filming the video for the song in his native country.

The Especialito: Musically How Duina del Mar defined?

Duina del Mar: It’s a difficult question, yet I could not respondérmela. I am a mixture of many genres and styles. I keep on exploring my music and sound.

Maybe that’s why I took to prepare my record. I will be out in 2015. I’m very quiet. Every song has my personal seal.

At this point in my life, I could say that my style is an urban caribeño- pop, with lyrics that sing of love, heartbreak and the everyday things of life.

The Especialito: What are your musical influences?

Duina del Mar: There are many. I studied Jazz. I love Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. I’m also a fan of Aretha Franklin, Caetano Veloso and Caribbean sounds.

Honestly, I have never tied to a particular musical style. I think it is risky for the growth of an artist.

Read the full interview in the paper editions of The Especialito in New York, New Jersey or Miami. For more information call us at 201-348-1959