“Latineando” with Sebastian Litmanovich

By Sandra Porto

The musician/producer and graphic artist from Madrid is navigating the pandemic through the power of music.

If you’re aware of your surroundings and the people occupying them, you’ve probably noticed that we all pulsate to different vibrations. That invisible but undeniable wavelength linked to someone’s being and what we call their energy, their vibe.

Sebastian Litmanovich pulsates to a wonderful vibration – the rare mix of sensitivity, talent, instinct and simplicity. Seldom do we come across someone as complete and yet so relatable, grounded. Soft-spoken, with dark curly hair and a demeanour that is both disarming and enticing, the musician is better known by his alias ‘Cineplexx’ and has composed and produced an eclectic body of work.

In a more personal level, Sebastian doesn’t shy away from life’s struggles. Acknowledging the current difficulties is something that most of us are obliged to do, but he has gone a step further in an inspiring dichotomy where, just like a balanced universe, struggles coexist with life’s beautiful pleasures, discoveries and hope for the future.

It is in this vibe that he spoke to us from his apartment in Madrid.

We’ve known you as a musician and DJ but have since discovered that you’re also a talented visual artist…

Yes, I started as a visual artist in Buenos Aires where I studied the subject – music was a bit more intuitive and self-taught. But over time, I learned that I was studying music on my own, making time for it with discipline – the exact same process I would do in a university.

I studied Graphic Design & Audiovisual Media, and finished my education in New York at the Parsons School and School of Visual Arts. I love everything visual or musical.

What was life like back then?

University was a very busy time… I was simultaneously training as a kind of professional tennis player and working in a factory to pay for my studies. It is crazy to think about it now: I’d work, then go training and attend lessons later in the day. I didn’t have a moment of quiet or relaxation.

Back then, I was still living with my family and wanted to be busy, doing stuff. My family is very hardworking and that lifestyle was all I knew. It was also a very optimistic environment, with lots of plans and always looking forward to the future. It was inspiring.

With so much going on, we wonder how did you get into music? Did you even have the time?

I always wonder about this because there were no musicians in my family… My grandmother was a piano teacher but I never saw her playing. As soon as she got married, she stopped playing as if to say: “That’s it. I’m married now – I don’t need to teach piano anymore.”(Laughs)

I think my influence comes from my father exposing me to music. I was born in the 1970s and later in the decade, I started listening to music more consciously. My grandfather introduced me to ABBA and Kenny Rogers and I’ve studied that music since I was five or six years old. I’d take a tape, go to my father’s car and listen to music – it was also a place for myself, an escape too.

I tried to understand what was going on in there that excited me so much. I wanted to understand the (music’s) secret. I never got bored and it still is my way to understand music – to listen obsessively to the same track.

That is one life-changing influence… Which other personal experiences stand out for you?

There’s a mindset that I learned when I was around 12 years old. I went to therapy to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life! There was an exercise that really helped me and it was this: imagine that you are at a dinner party, surrounded by people you like. Suddenly, people start leaving. Which one do you wish would be the last to leave and just stay with you and no one else?

This exercise still helps me when I’m confused and ask: what do you really want to do? It has helped me to focus on music because I do it regardless of my circumstances and I find more comfort in it. I understand the sound of the music more than anything else.

When you look at your career and body of work, is there anything that is closer to your heart?

This is not easy for me to answer…  When I’m working on something I really feel that’s the best I’ve done until that date because I’m evolving all the time.

Because I’m an independent musician, it means I don’t need to compromise; each work is a natural evolution. And so, I feel my latest album ‘Solo Olas’ (meaning ‘Just Waves’) is probably the best thing I have done – I learned a lot and realised many things I dreamed about such as collaborations and working with a production company for the video and a great label. I’m happy with the result.

What changed for you with Covid-19?

It’s a pity because we were ready to go on a tour with ‘Solo Olas’ and about to play at festivals. Covid-19 came and changed everything. I still hope to go out there and play with a new band I’m working with; I feel great playing with them – professional, nice people. I’m very happy with it and I hope to start over again and put the concert out. Having said that, I’m already working on a new album…

I’m used to being alone and working at home in my flat here in Madrid. It’s nothing new to me but the pandemic affected me emotionally, I’m more aware and worry about my family and friends. But I know we’re all living this.

Something that changed for me and I miss is that I used to go out every morning to have coffee, write a couple of pages in my diary and make illustrations.

I’d have this routine every day and only did it at bars, not at home. Since lockdown started, I’ve stopped writing and drawing – I lost my inspiration to do those things. I also miss the night, the music events and social activity, which is where I get my information from and inspiration too.

I also have a radio slot here in Radio 3, the most popular in Spain. I love it – I want to live in the radio! The radio segment, called “Latineando with Cineplexx”, is an informal chat about 1960s and 1970s musicians form Latin America. I talk about their stories; curiosities and play one of the songs live. I learn and get inspired by it.

I’m most active in the night but I have to wake up at 7am for this show so, sometimes I don’t event sleep… and my voice is better in the afternoon… It’s crazy but I love it.

What else are you doing to keep motivated and inspired during this time?

I suffer from insomnia and watching the sky is very relaxing to me – I even caught the Starlink train twice, which, at first, I thought were UFOs! But I have since developed this habit of spotting them. I’m also watching a lot of comedies.

Watch the full interview:

To learn more about Sebastian’s work, visit > cineplexx.net
To listen to Latineando with Cineplexx visit the YouTube channel here.

Feature image credit > Ana Montiel.


The reality behind the screens in times of lockdown

By Cláudia Falcão

Partly, this journalistic project The File Style is to be the voice for creative professionals in sharing their experiences in this period of lockdown. 

On an honest video-call-conversation, Belgian Robbie Thielemans talks about his passion for sound and vision-innovation systems. He reveals his fashion choices and his thoughts about how Covid-19 pandemic killed the means for creativity.  

Robbie and I are connections on LinkedIn. He reached out to thank me for a reaction on the DetaiLED Solutions post. More than ever, this network is the source, not to mention a call out for sharing of inspiring information and the best way to engage with creative professionals in such difficult times.

So, I asked straight away: How is it going with your creations in this time of lockdown? 

Honestly, he answers: Very tough! Corona did not kill creativity, but it killed the means for it. Soon after, I arranged an interview to know more insights.

Robbie Thielemans is a creative professional working in the display industry for over 26 years. Electronics and technology were his most interesting subjects. His admiration for inventors and their ability to create new things boosted his mindset to become one, but after some years he realised there’s nothing magical about it, only hard work and lots of brainstorming. “The process is not magical, but the result can be magic!” – Robbie’s quote.

In 1998 when the first LED screens changed the world of entertainment, Robbie and his team were the creative mastermind behind it. 

For years, he worked on projects and displays for the tours of famous artists such as U2, Robbie Williams and many others. As a high-tech visionary some of his creations we’ve seen on iconic events, like the Oscars.

Deeply frustrated about the governmental approach on the pandemic, he speaks his mind out: “Maybe, I’m too mathematical in my thinking, but the full approach on how it all happened was completely wrong and unbalanced. It hurts, the people and the economy!”

Creativity has no boundaries apart from financial means. “It’s very difficult now, without the financial means, to explain to people what the real idea is!” “Corona didn’t kill creativity but the means for it”.

Working as a creative consultant for the LED industry for almost three decades led him to have a strong reputation. He is recognised for his strength in turning ideas into a spectacle display with no delays. From his studio in Belgium, sometimes engaging family members in the assembling work, he develops teasers in an attempt to show his customers a prototype so that they make a budget for the project.  

Robbie converses so spontaneously and deeply about his proud achievements and what is the reality for the professionals in the creative industry affected by the lockdown. 

After such a deep conversation about the reality behind the screens in the present situation, to my surprise, the conversation turned to fashion by which he reveals his disappointment: “Men’s fashion is dull and not elegant, unlike female clothing. Wolford brand, for instance, “has a minimalist beauty in the design”, he says.

Intrinsically, he is proud of his designs and he has the same approach regarding his style. He wears brands that represent who he is, casual, sophisticated and minimalist. 

As for the logo of his consultancy company, Stereyo, it also has a profound combination: the letters of his two sons and also the transition of the wings into a butterfly.

Behind the screens, Robbie Thielemans lights up a spectacle, his identity, outspoken views and feelings, and his concerns about the reality of professionals and businesses in the creative industry. 

Music and inspiration in lockdown

By Sandra Porto

Singer Andria Antoniou has transformed the way she works. From performing virtual gigs and recording at home to launching a music video, we found out how she keeps creative and inspired during lockdown.

The first time I saw Andria Antoniou on stage, I was in awe. Emerging powerfully and yet delicately form a unsuspecting setting, her silk-like voice embraced us all in the small and intimate venue, making it an unforgettable experience – it felt like being inside a sensual musical bubble, if you can ever picture one.

The memory remained firmly secured in my mind and, as soon as we started The File Style project to document creatives during lockdown and discuss identity, inspiration and style, Andria was top of the list.

Born of a Cypriot father and Finnish/Swedish mother, the singer, musician and vocal coach grew up in a musical family – her sister and brother are also musicians. Starting with piano lessons at the age of six, she had a classical training and then gradually transitioned into modern styles of music.

Relocating to London a decade ago to study, Andria has made the Capital her home. It was in the UK that she further widened her styles taking up jazz and Latin: one occasion led to another and Andria is now a present artist in the Latin-jazz and Greek music scenes in London.

Andria Antoniou.

Diversity is a trademark in Andria’s work and she performs different styles in various languages including Spanish and Portuguese, which we can personally attest, she executes flawlessly. Intrigued by the story behind this rich repertoire, we discussed one of her creative experiences during a work trip to Cuba: “Cuba was a fascination of mine since I was a little girl. The Salsa dancing, the music, the cars, the cigars, the music… Everything… Going there and experiencing it in real life was perhaps the most memorable experience I’ve had in my life so far. It was amazing.”

The trip was part of a collaboration with Classico Latino, a project to record their album ‘Havana Classic’. There, Andria also worked with local Cuban musicians, which was the highlight of the trip: “Just seeing how they experience music, how they perform with their whole bodies – they’re so joyful when they play. They breathe in life and breath out all the struggles, the poverty and the difficulties that you can see in Cuba – it’s really apparent and you can see it. When I saw them performing, it became really clear to me that music was a way for them to survive. It’s their safety haven. Music was in every corner, people were dancing; and the architecture and colours brings this feeling of sweet nostalgia… It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Whilst the experience was woven into Andria’s tapestry, she moved on to form other collaborations and has since launched an album herself. “Encuentro”, a partnership with musician Roman Gomez, is every inch the sensual musical trip that we experienced live in that cosy London venue.

Of course, things are very different now and we can no longer enjoy live experiences for the time being. Bringing the topic to a reality now affecting all of us with the pandemic, we asked Andria how it has affected her work: “It has affected us in every possible way… All concerts are cancelled since March but, luckily, I’m able to teach online and have done so with the majority of my students.”

She has also innovated to deliver virtual concerts. Her very first was a pre-recorded performance exclusively broadcast to residents of a care home in London and there are a couple more in the pipeline. Making the most of her free time, Andria has expanded the ways in which to be creative: “Creatively, it has been a really active and productive period. There’s more time to do things.”

This includes finishing her very first music video for the song ‘La Negra’, part of the ‘Encuentro’ album. Filming took place in February, just before lockdown started: “We were so lucky we got that filmed then. With our creative team spread in different parts of the world – in Greece, the UK and Cyprus – we managed to make it happen. It was a completely new experience to me and I’m very happy with the result. It’s our first video clip and it happened under quarantine!”

Andria and music partner Roman Gomez.

Delving into research and acquiring new skills are now incorporated into Andria’s ‘new normal’: “To me, it was playing the guitar: I didn’t have the time before and I’m now working on it. Learning how to record at home is also something I’m learning with the help of one of my collaborators Pavlos Carvalho. We started doing some home recordings, released one and will release another in the next few weeks.”

Discussing the effects the pandemic has had in all of us and how she keeps herself motivated and inspired, Andria acknowledges that there are moments of ups and downs but she actively seeks elements that energise and inspire her: “For me what keeps me inspired is being close to nature, noticing the beauty around me. Beauty is perhaps the most important thing, though we may interpret it differently. It can be a beautiful painting or a beautiful song, a beautiful tree…

“Lately, I have become obsessed with vinyls. It’s a beautiful experience because you’re just sitting down, you don’t skip any track and listen to full albums from beginning to end, immersing in the mind of the artist. You don’t have the need to react to it as we do in the social media… You just sit there with your senses and enjoy the music. That’s really inspiring.

“I also believe in keeping yourself active, growing and learning are very important elements to being inspired. I believe identity and inspiration are connected. One feeds the other. So I think the more time we spend with ourselves, trying to be inspired, trying to understand what we feel we need as human beings, as artists, that leads us to being truer to ourselves and closer to our needs and our identity.”

Andria’s latest album ‘Encuentro’, in collaboration with Roman Gomez is now available to stream, download or buy. For more information and links, visit > andriaantoniou.com

Watch interview:

Style and identity

by Cláudia Falcão

As we ZOOM in, the image of a black-haired and enthusiastic woman appears on the screen.

Broadcasting was the start point of Sandra’s career in journalism, but fashion called because it was in her DNA. Her father was a tailor, her mother is very creative, and her sister is a fashion designer. Naturally, her career in fashion journalism started from 2006 onwards.

Writing for the creative industry within design, architecture, art, and fashion brought a broad insight into Sandra. She visited amazing venues. When we asked her to describe one place, she named Somerset House, her milestone of covering London Fashion Week. “It’s the place close to my heart”, she describes.  She brought us into her head for memories of that day. When describing her experience at this event, she says: “It is all about being immersed in that environment and identity”.


Sandra is very careful with labels. Everyone can be an artist, a dancer or a fashionista if they have the opportunity. There is more than trends and collections, there is identity, and likes or dislikes. 


(photos from Sandra’s archive)


After doing a disclaimer of this life-changing moment for the world and a time of reflection for herself. She says: “I’m more accepting and appreciative of who I am”.

Style lessons from the lockdown

by Sandra Porto

Journalist Claudia Falcao tells The File Style how lockdown has brought identity home.

Like fingerprints, features are distinctive and unique marks that together form our identity. It’s far from judging a book by its cover but experiences, choices and environment are inevitably part of our tapestry.

Claudia is in soul what she looks in the exterior: vibrant, gregarious and creative.

The first things you’ll notice about her are abundant bouncy locks and a huge smile. There will always be a statement accessory and a posture that screams for a stage: “I love showing off my sensuality”, she says with a single movement to her head and the bouncy locks following in harmony.

The File Style talked to Claudia from the comfort of her home, as part of a project to document and explore how is the lockdown affecting our generation living under the “new normal” with a focus on identity and style.

Style lessons from lockdown: Claudia revisit some of her most memorable styles, each with its own story to tell...
Style lessons from lockdown: Claudia revisit some of her most memorable styles, each with its own story to tell...

Claudia, a Brazilian expat living in Europe for more than 20 years, is now settled in Holland. There, she found love and a lovely home that she treasures and cultivates with her partner, surrounded by nature and arts. From there, she tells her story: “I was born in Brazil, in a small town in the mid-west of the country called Aquidauana in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, an incredibly rich place in fauna and flora.

“I come from a very big family. I was adopted and had a very difficult childhood but I had someone in my life that always pushed me forward and helped me to be strong and true to my personality. That was my grandmother… She is no longer with us but she still is my icon.”

Claudia’s grandmother was more than a loving force propelling her through life. She was the fashion designer and guide helping Claudia to find inner femininity and teaching how to be a rose among thorns. She’d often make feminine dresses and Claudia was sometimes bullied because of her bespoke outfits. Growing up in a hyper-consumerist society where the latest trends and big brands were all that mattered, Claudia’s style was very much against the current. She was different and her grandmother helped her to find her identity and be proud of it.

“I wasn’t always allowed to show my personality and be free to be myself but my grandmother would encourage me and allow me to be myself and to feel beautiful. She still is my icon”, says Claudia.

Style lessons from lockdown: revisiting old memories, Claudia found a rare photograph of herself as a teenager, styled by her grandmother.

When did you find freedom to express your style?

“That was when I went to university to study Journalism. I was then free to work, to pay for my own things and go anywhere I wanted. That also meant I was free to explore and play with my style, to visit the shops and get inspired by the trends. But the interesting thing was that I always went back to the very feminine pieces that my grandmother instilled on me, for example, floral and floaty dresses, an extravagant corsage or oversized earrings…”

The time of exploration did not stop at university. It was just the liberation and beginning of a life-long love affair with experimentation and discovery. Claudia now collects valuable pieces from all over her life, friends, travels and places she lived. Clothes and objects that tell a story.

When we ask her to show a style that still brings inspiration, she proudly presents a long-sleeved black dress: “This is an Ossie Clarke dress from his first-ever collection, straight from the Swinging Sixties. Who doesn’t like that time?” she says.

Style lessons from lockdown: sitting alongside her original Ossie Clarke dress, a creation inspired by her grandmother.

She also pulls out some very special shoes, a pink and silky pair from Rayne Shoes, the shoemakers for the Queen: “I got this pair from a friend over 4pm tea in London. She said ‘I’ll give you something that I’m sure just you would appreciate the story and would wear it – and it’s actually your favourite colour.’”

When we ask if she actually wears them, she replies: “Yes, of course! I even have to fix the heels now! Though, I don’t wear them as much anymore as they are quite delicate.”

Living under lockdown now, opportunities to wear these outside are not as plentiful, to say the least. But, as we have been discovering, the lockdown has also brought many opportunities for self-discovery or reconnecting with distant worlds and realities.

What else has she discovered during the lockdown so far?

“I have discovered that I still have a unique style and still true to my personality. I value inspiration from books, good sources and other influences… I can revisit them whenever I want for inspiration. At this time of lockdowm, this is my world to which I can always go back to. They are true and inspirational.

In this time, I can still have a moment just for myself. Unfortunately, we are going through a terrible time in the world but I have used this time to rediscover my feelings and the past, which made me who I am now. It’s a moment of rediscovery.”

Watch Claudia talking about her experiences:

Lessons from lockdown: Claudia immersed in memories and self-discovery – styles that tell stories from her life.
Lessons from lockdown: Claudia immersed in memories and self-discovery – styles that tell stories from her life.

Images: Claudia Falcao’s personal archive used with permission.

#lessonsfromlockdown #style #fashion #people

Keeping it creative in times of lockdown

Covid-19 pandemic took over our everyday life since March 2020. Uncertainty then loomed in all sectors. Health worries for the elderly. Children can’t go to school. Social contact and entertainment are almost non-existent. Fashion trends are suddenly unimportant, but the face mask became the must-have accessory.

How are we going to adapt to this ‘new normal? How are we going to thrive during this time? This is what we all ask.

Meanwhile, we at The File Style…

So, what are two journalists to do with a fashion project in a time of #coronavirus, #lockdown? Well, we keep going online! We want to listen and share how creatives are approaching this time of limitation and thriving in the process…