Why are you here? You may have thought about that question before, and been asked it a few times, but I want you to really stop and think about it right now. If you knew for a fact, that the world was going to somehow end in just 48 hours, would you be satisfied with what you have accomplished? If not, then what is stopping you right now from doing the things you dream of?
If you knew the world would end in just 90 days, what you do right now? Who would you see? Where would you go? What would matter most to you? If you would do and see these things and people with this awareness, what is stopping you from doing them right now? Today?
No one ever guaranteed us a tomorrow.
To live a full, satisfied, meaningful life, you have to seize the day. Make each moment count. Follow your dreams, and imagine that one day it will all be over. Because it will. At least in these bodies on this planet.
Would you rather drift by in a life of mediocrity and mundane displeasure, spiritless, without passion, without hope or purpose of your highest dreams and goals, following the masses and having a safe and “comfortable career” to a fast or slow inevitable demise? Or would you rather wake up excited, on the edge, not sure perhaps of some things, but sure with every fragment of your soul that you are alive, that you are following your bliss, your spirit, the reason you want to be alive, with a burning desire, and fire that cannot go out–lest your life itself be no more?
This passion, this purpose is the life of a true artist. And that art can apply to any field, in any academic area or even any skill of trade. It matters not what you do for you career, as long as you do it for yourself, because it makes you happy.
To some, happiness is seen as a sign of guilt.
Some shame those who are happy, or successful. Tell me; would you rather spend time with an angry man, or a happy one? There is nothing good about anger, or about selling one’s dreams short for the expectations of others. The more people on the planet pursued and achieved their dreams and goals, the less frustration, anger, hatred, hostility, and violence there would be.
Figure out now, why are you here? What do you dream of? What is your top most dream to achieve in your life before you are gone? Next, find a way to achieve it. If you don’t know, start anyway, and learn as you go.
Did you get a manual for life when you were born or reached a certain age?
No. But that didn’t stop you from living. Decide now to find your passion if you have not, and follow it, and achieve it–till death do it’s part. You owe this to yourself. But not only to yourself, you owe it to the world. Greatness isn’t something you rent or buy. Greatness is something you MAKE. Make greatness for yourself starting today, in this lifetime. Who knows? You just might be at the top of your dreams in 2020 or soon thereafter and the world may notice. And I may be right there, saying, “See” I told you so!”
-We hope you enjoy the new issue, including our special on Alita: Battle Angel and Dua Lipa in our Backstage Hollywood and Music’s Greatest pages via the Table of Contents. Explore all our pages and be sure to check back soon for our unique coverage of the Academy Awards.
A double Grammy nominee and four-time 2019 BRIT award nominee; Dua Lipa is not merely another beautiful pop star. With infectious songs blending all from pop, dance, electronic, and more, and a dynamic, searing voice and technique quite unlike any other, Dua Lipa is a phenomenal talent, and one of the greatest new artists of our time.
October 19th 2018 marked the release of Dua Lipa – Complete Edition– a new extended version of her debut album that includes her collaboration with Silk City (Mark Ronson and Diplo) “Electricity”, the global hit “One Kiss” with Calvin Harris, her previous collaborations with Martin Garrix and Sean Paul, fan favorites from her live show “Want To” and “Running”, and the brand new song “Kiss and Make Up” with K-pop stars BLACKPINK.
After a year of #1 hit singles, sold out shows and record-breaking streaming figures, Dua Lipa has become the biggest breakout artist in the world. Dua is the #1 most streamed female artist on Spotify, and is the first and only female artist in history to have 4 lead songs with over 500 Million Spotify streams. This summer she spent 8 weeks at #1 in the UK with her million plus selling hit “One Kiss” – the most weeks at number one for a female artist this century. Dua is also the youngest solo female artist to ever reach 1 billion views on YouTube for her smash hit single “New Rules”, which spent a record breaking 45 weeks on the U.S. pop songs chart.
Already collecting major accolades last year at the top of 2018, Dua scooped up two BRIT Awards after being nominated in five categories, the most nominations for a female performer in the history of the BRITS, performed to 85 million people at the UEFA ChampionsLeague final and has sold over 3 million albums (with more than 1 million albums sold in the U.S.) and 32 million singles worldwide.
Late last month the world saw the release of “Swan Song,” the latest track from in 2019 from Dua. The track and accompanying video precede the Twentieth Century Fox February 14th theatrical film release of ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, the epic action-adventure from producers James Cameron and Jon Landau (AVATAR) and director Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY).
The video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, places Lipa on the treacherous streets of Iron City in the middle of Alita’s world. Floria said of the video “While in the film Alita is quite literally on a journey to discover who she is, her story serves as a really powerful allegory for any girl who doesn’t yet know her own power. I wanted to play with that same profound notion by dropping Dua into a facet of Alita’s world and allowing Alita to serve as a surrogate that leads her on a journey to discover she’s stronger than she ever could have imagined.”
The song, co-written by Dua Lipa along with Justin Tranter, Kennedi Lykken, Mattias Larsson, Robin Fredriksson, and Tom Holkenborg, follows a whirlwind year of breaking records for Lipa. For the majority of 2018 Dua was the most streamed female in the world on Spotify. Her power anthem and worldwide hit “New Rules” broke the long-standing record for consecutive weeks on the Billboard Pop Songs chart. The Track “One Kiss,” her collaboration with Calvin Harris, became the biggest selling UK single of 2018. She made BRIT Award history by becoming the first woman artist to pick up five nominations last year, taking home the awards for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist. Dua has sold over 40 million singles and over 3.4 million albums worldwide.
Alita was always about recombining contrasts—the battle and the angel, the real and the digital, and also the styles of Rodriguez and Cameron. For one of the stars of the film; Jennifer Connelly, the final film is a union of both filmmakers’ sensibilities. “You have the epic scale of fantasy that we all associate with Jim but also the playfulness, sense of fun and a little bit of the subversiveness and dark humor of Robert,” she says.
Upon viewing the finished print of Alita: Battle Angel, its originator, Yukito Kushiro, could not have been more effusive. “I wanted to become a movie director and make fantastic films when I was a child. Though I was not able to realize that dream, I was able to pursue a career as a manga artist. So now seeing my manga series turning into this brilliant film, Alita: Battle Angel, is a dream-come-true for me. The visuals, the characters, the storytelling – all the factors that make this film are fantastic! I can see the passion, love and respect for my work in the film. It makes me feel that I would actually want to live in the Iron City! And I would very much love to see more Motorball scenes!”
Comments About Dua Lipa
“From the moment we saw her video for ‘New Rules,’ we knew that Dua Lipa would be the perfect artist to do a song for ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL,” commented Producer Jon Landau. “She has the (…) strength, power and attitude in her performances that Alita embodies in the movie. Jim, Robert and I are thrilled to have her onboard and are confident she will make ‘Swan Song’ the perfect inspiring and empowering anthem for our film.”
Dua Lipa On Alita: Battle Angel
One of the last layers of creation added was the music, including the brand new single “Swan Song,” co-written and performed by double Grammy® nominee Dua Lipa.
Regarding how Alita inspired her, Dua Lipa states; “I am intrigued at both Alita herself, and the amazing team of creators that came together to make this movie possible. I see a little of myself in her, in both her (tough) spirit and our shared haircut. Alita is all about empowerment and standing up for who you are, which are two things that resonate with me.”
This content is copyright 2019, with kind courtesy of the office of publicity for Dua Lipa and Warner Bros., all rights reserved.
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (Avatar) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), comes Alita: Battle Angel, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment, based upon the Manga graphic novel series by Yukito Kishiro.
When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyberphysician who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg core is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories.
But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city, headed by Vector (Mahershala Ali), come after Ido and Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities ingrained in her that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she has grown to love.
“You see this story through Alita’s eyes, eyes that have an innocence to them and see the beauty in things,” director Rodriguez says. “We set out to create something that feels very tactile, that’s immersive, that has unexpected moments, all the things you anticipate in a Jim Cameron movie. What’s amazing is that Jim has been working on Alita since 1999, but even now, nobody has made anything like it. Making it finally happen has been an incredible process of collaboration.”
Rodriguez adds, “The fervor, risk-taking and fusing of mind and machine, that drove the making of Alita echo what Alita discovers about pouring your all into what you do. At its core, this is the story of a girl who gets a second chance at life, and decides this time it will be about following her heart.”
About the Star; Rosa Salazar:
Rosa Salazar (Alita) was recently seen alongside Sandra Bullock in Netflix’s Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier, which premiered on December 21st and was watched by 45,037,125 accounts in the first week, the best first seven days a Netflix film has received.
In 2019 she will star in Undone, Amazon’s first primetime animated series from the BoJack Horseman team.
Her past films include The Kindergarten Teacher for Netflix, Maze Runner: The Death Cure for Twentieth Century Fox, CHiPS for Warner Bros., Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials for Twentieth Century Fox, The Divergent Series: Insurgent for Summit, Search Party for Focus and Night Owls for Orion among others.
Her past television work includes Big Mouth for Netflix, Man Seeking Woman for FXX and Parenthood for NBC among others. Her directorial debut, the short film Good Crazy, premiered in competition at Sundance in 2017.
Producer James Cameron recalls: “It’s almost impossible to quantify just how big the reaction was that Robert and I had to Rosa. She brought such heart and vitality to every moment. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Adds Director Robert Rodriguez: “It’s like a dream when someone walks in the door and you see that thing you were looking for that you couldn’t even describe. That’s what happened with Rosa. It was magic.”
Rosa Salazar knew she’d be walking a tightrope in the role—so she thrived on the safety net provided by Cameron and Rodriguez. “Jim explained all the nut-and-bolts of Alita to me, but also, Jim has such tenderness towards Alita and that gave me a lot of insight. And with Robert I felt an immediate artistic and human connection,” she says. “He’s so energetic and always creating, yet his demeanor is calm. When he listens to you, he really hears you. I always felt my words had weight with him.”
Martial Arts Training
Months before production began, Rosa leapt into intensive training, studying the demanding arts of Wushu, Muay Thai and Kung Fu, and honing her inline skating repertoire as well. “The training almost killed me,” she admits. “I had to get my endurance way up, build lots of strength and start to think like a regimented warrior. A lot of it was learning the forms, harnessing that energy and rhythm.”
Though Salazar did some of her own stunt work, the overwhelming complexity of the shoot necessitated having up to nine different “stunt Alitas” in play, including world-class gymnasts and contortionists. “Alita kicks a lot of (butt) and she kicks the (butts) of huge, enhanced cyborgs,” Rosa Salazar explains. “What I like about her fierceness is that I think it gives girls permission to realize you can be both soft and brave, you can express your emotions but also be determined never to let evil win.”
Rosa was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Greenbelt, Maryland.
About James Cameron:
James Cameron (Screenplay, Producer) is an acclaimed film-maker and explorer. As director, writer and producer he is responsible for some of the most memorable films of the past three decades: The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, Titanic, and Avatar.
Avatar is the highest grossing film in history with over $2.7 billion in global box office, beating the previous record holder, Cameron’s own film Titanic, which held that record for 12 years. Cameron’s films have also earned numerous nominations and awards, most notably Titanic’s 14 Academy Award nominations (a record) and 11 Oscars (also a record), including Cameron’s own 3 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Editing. Both Titanic and Avatar won the Golden Globe for Best Director and Best Picture. Avatar was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 3 Academy Awards.
Technology and Exploration
Over the last 17 years Cameron developed cutting edge 3D camera systems for movies and documentaries, as well as for broadcast sports and special events. He was at the vanguard of the 3D renaissance that has transformed the movie industry in recent years. He also developed unprecedented deep ocean exploration vehicles, lighting and 3D camera equipment. Most recently, Cameron led his eighth deep ocean expedition to some of the deepest trenches in the world. On March 26, 2012, he set the world’s solo deep diving record of 35,787’ in the Challenger Deep in a vehicle of his own design.
Cameron is a National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and recipient of their most prestigious award, the Hubbard Medal, as well as the Explorer’s Club medal for Explorer of the Year.
Cameron is also passionately involved in sustainability issues, having founded the Avatar Alliance Foundation to take action on climate change, energy policy, deforestation, indigenous rights, ocean conservation and sustainable agriculture. His production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, installed a 1-megawatt solar array on the roofs of their soundstages at Manhattan Beach Studios, to generate all the power for the Avatar sequels. James and Suzy Amis Cameron, both environmental vegans, founded the Plant Power Taskforce to promote awareness of the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and climate. He is currently in production on Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5.