The Floor Mag ISSUE 005

Page 1

04 The Editor’s Note

20 Rebecca Winter touches on her journey through features, family & Afrofusion

06 KADIATA on the perfect blend between production and artistry

39 Rebecca Winter touches on her journey through features, family & Afrofusion

28 Tobi Kyeremateng: in conversation with a theatre producer

48 JB Scofield tells us why repping Leicester and making it from outside of London is so important

E D I T O R ’ S

Happy 2020 to returning readers and welcome to the new ones. I think I speak for everyone when I say the beginning of the year hasn’t gone to plan. So many plans and ideas have become obsolete in the face of something that was entirely out of everyone’s control and so we did the only thing we could- adapt. We adjusted and altered on an individual level but more so as a team, and one idea we collectively agreed on was to move forward and help others in the process. In that respect, not much has changed. We started this publication to highlight creative and talented people in a way that mainstream media failed to, and that objective hasn’t changed from the first issue to where we are now. With the outbreak of the pandemic, our mission to help people expanded by supporting freelance creative workers through this period and helping on a wider scale by donating the proceeds of ISSUE 005 to the Trussell Trust. On a lighter note, this issue feels like a turning point for The Floor Magazine. From design to the overall reception, it feels that the work we’ve done collectively behind the scenes has put us on the starting line. Describing the feeling as a lightbulb moment almost eclipses what it truly means to the team, but seeing visible progress whilst being able to make a difference in the industries we love and respect so much is truly rewarding.


With that being said, it’s about time you explored the features we have in store for you. We pride ourselves in displaying groundbreaking, up-and-coming people and ISSUE 005 is no exception. Everyone listed is brimming with potential, promise and drive and that is precisely why we chose to share their stories. If there is one thing that you take from the thoughts I’m sharing, it’s that the inevitability of change will win the fight every time, but you can choose which corner you choose to support. Keep reading and writing, Ope


Photos by narcography Interviewed by Ope Oduwole

“I feel like I am the Quentin Tarantino of music” Your personality certainly shows through in your music, and that makes it unique. If you had to define your music style how would you?

in the studio with an artist making something and I’ll think, “ah I could have had this one.” But I rarely send people beats over email.

I feel like I go through stages. In terms of who i am as an artist, it always comes from a very fun place, its always lighthearted. I might cover some themes that are a little bit deep or whatever but I will still do it in a lighthearted way. I never really want to preach. Like I would turn everything into a joke if I could. In terms of production, I just make anything that sounds good, anything that evokes an emotion, no matter what emotion that is.

So you’re more of a hands-on kind of producer?

Yeah when I’m producing, I’ll look into people’s eyes and see how they react and if you’re not responding the way I want then I’ll scrap that idea. That’s why I feel like I bring the best out of people because I’m proper watching out for what they want, rather than just creating what I want. I feel like as an independent artist you get to make whatever the fuck you like, but you need a balance as well, sometimes Lets talk about production. You have a you miss the target if you just make long list of people that you’ve worked whatever you want so you need a with from TianaMajor9, Sam Wise, balance. Bonkaz, Knucks, some of my favorite artists. Is there a process to deciding What’s the biggest strength to being what you produce for others and what an independent artist? and what’s the you keep for yourself? downside? The only time that I’ll make music for The strengths are that you are free another artist is if I’m in the studio to make whatever you want. You can with them. So yeah sometimes I’ll be make a banger that’s a completely

different direction from the last one you made. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last how many years. So I’ll drop Art Hoes and then I’ll drop On Tap immediately after and they’re in two completely different worlds. You can make something fucking sick no matter where, no matter what direction. And you don’t have like anybody breathing down your neck. Talking about “ah we need a song for these people” because I feel like when you create with an agenda, part of it stops becoming real. You’re not co-creating with the universe anymore. But again, like I said you gotta find a balance between creating whatever the fuck you like and hitting the target. Which one would you say you lean towards? Right now, I lean more towards doing whatever the fuck I like. There’s times when I’m like “aight cool lets hit the target” which is like On Tap, or When the Sun Comes Out, do you get what I mean? And then there’s songs like Art Hoes which is not directly hitting the target but its one of the most artistic songs you have ever heard in your life. Like what genre is that even? Its got that ratchet stuff but then its like psychedelic at the same time, you can’t fit it in any type of box. So I guess I’m always just trying to find a balance. Which one do you prefer between being on a track and producing a track? I don’t know, there are some songs I’m like this needed me on there. No one could have done what I did on this, do you get me? On Tap is a perfect example of that. Them bars, like if you just hear the beat alone you can’t hear no other bars on that but “fuck a [redacted] ting...” [laughs] That’s a quotable by the way. [laughs] Yeah, do you get me? So there’s certain times I needed to be on there, but then there’s other times I’m like no I shouldn’t be on this at all. But that’s why I’m saying whenever I create I have the artist in mind at every single point. So I don’t know if I can really say what I prefer.

It’s nice to be able to step back and actually see where you fit into music though. I don’t think a lot of people can do that. How do you think your culture plays a part in your music? I’m very much a part of this London culture and obviously Angolan, and I speak Portuguese I would never let anything that is external define me. Obviously I’m a part of certain things, and I grew up a certain way but the only thing that can define me is my energy Yeah, so more of an extension rather than a defining factor? Yeah, so like some songs I’ll have Portuguese in there but not every song needs to have that. Speaking of, what is it that you say at the end in “onda” in Portuguese? [laughs] “yes papi?” [laughs] what is it that I actually say? If I’m completely honest, I’m not saying a whole lot, I’m literally just chatting shit. Like I say “yo babes come here let me chat to you.” So, normal lotioning? Yeah, you know. At some point I say “go get me some water yeah?” and she just responds “yes papi” see I’m not really saying much. Tell me a little about your upcoming project what we can expect? So, I’ve taken the concept of skits in an album, and blended it with film stuff. The project starts with me drawing out a girl and the conversation evolves throughout every song. You learn so much about who I am, you get to experience London culture through me chatting to a girl.

Photo by narcography

With a radiant smile and infectious presence that lingers even after she exits the stage, Rebecca Winter is a name that you’re unlikely to forget and with good reason. The ‘Pree Me’ singer currently riding the wave of her latest release ‘Rare’, which reached number 1 in the ‘World Albums’ chart on iTunes. An afro-fusion singer with an impressive list of accolades to match her glowing personality, Rebecca Winter has toured with the likes of Burna Boy, opened for Davido and Wande Coal and even picked up the award for Female Artist of the Year at the Legacy Nation Awards in 2019. Here’s what happened when she sat down with The Floor to talk about her journey so far...

Photos by narcography Interviewed by Ray Sang


RAY: As an artist with Nigerian heritage making there’s an obvious connection between that and the Afro influences in your music, but where does the Caribbean flavour seen on tracks like ‘Pree Me’ come from?

doesn’t love Sean Paul? He’s worked with everyone - he’s work with Beyoncé! As long as you’ve worked with Beyoncé that’s it for me. He’s a legend, so I felt so motivated, I felt so uplifted. I felt like I’m actually making it. Even my mum knows who Sean Paul is, so that REBECCA: Growing up in the era I grew was legendary. up in (I’m a 90’s baby), Afrobeats wasn’t popping when I was younger. RAY: Okay, so let’s move into your EP. It would only be Vybz Kartel, Spice, On Rare you seem to you with the idea Movado that we would listen to. Fuse of companionship without actually ODG would come on maybe once committing to anything... in the rave but that would be it and then you’re back to Bashment. I can’t REBECCA: (screams jokingly) lie I loved Bashment. For that reason, it goes hand in hand with my music. RAY: What’s the story behind the EP? When I’m in the studio it just comes to me naturally, so I always feel like I REBECCA: Men are trash... No, okay. want a dancehall element in my music. Whenever people come to the studio with me they’re like Rebecca you’re a RAY: Given the impact, Caribbean fraud. I’m this girl where my alter ego music has had on you, what was going is a bit of a tease, but I’m not down through your mind when Sean Paul for sh*t. (laughs). So I kind of live gave you a shoutout? vicariously through my music, with what my alter ego would actually do REBECCA: Listen...I don’t think you... and how she would act in a situation. words cannot even describe...I was But best believe in real life I’m just shaking. I was like “wait...did he just sitting here like...hi. I feel like my say my name or am I pretending he music allows me to really go there. said my name?” It’s Sean Paul, who

“ I still worked in a law firm for two years after graduating but I was doing music with it”

Growing up in a Nigerian household it’s very hard for you to express yourself. Like I’ve never told my mum I had a boyfriend. It’s only now that she may overhear me talking to guys on the phone or see a guy in a music video. My music allows me to be free a little bit. So I’ll say some things are kind of free occasionally (laughs). I feel like you should have a time for living your best life and expressing yourself but be safe and sensible with it. RAY: Staying on that actually, as a black woman in the music industry how do you view sexuality and the way you portray it in your music? REBECCA: I always like to show people you are independent, and you can be yourself without a guy. Which is why whenever I do write love songs that are to do with guys, I like to show a side of the girl who has overcome that, or who is still the sh*t without the guy. It’s never really been a situation where I’ve let my audience feel like they can’t live without a guy or that they need a guy. It’s kind of hard because growing up all I saw was women being sexualized in the industry. As you’re moving through the industry you start to be told if you don’t look a certain way or dress a certain way people aren’t going to listen to your music. It’s sad because that’s what the audience likes, but you don’t have to completely give in and lose yourself. If that’s who you are and you are that person that likes to show everything off then cool. But if you’re not, you shouldn’t feel like you have to. I feel like there should be a balance. And that’s what I try to do, portray the balance. RAY: Is this something you would ever shy away from to avoid being hyper-sexualised? REBECCA: Um...yeah. There are certain situations I’ve been asked to be put in. like I’ve never been a video girl. Not because I don’t feel like it’s good title, it’s great. But as an artist, I like to have a bit more pride in myself that you can’t just use me in your videos. It’s like I’m trying to give myself my own worth. If that’s my job title then cool, but as an artist, I really don’t like to just be in guys videos. I feel like it creates a lot of familiarity and disrespect. Yeah, your worth just gets knocked down a little bit, which is so sad but it is what it is. So I try not to feed into it. I’ve been asked to wear certain things for shoots and said no pastor might just come across it and die because he’s so shocked. Again I don’t want to show people a side that’s not me.

TOB Ky m

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18 the 24-year-old producer ed the award-winning ve Black Ticket Project, which to working class black young , some of whom will be the starting the work’ now. Despite dd troll once in a while, Tobi ms that the response has mostly positive. She continues; “I’ve s talked about this project being hing that should be temporary ould exist in the foundation of ntre instead of being a thing e side.” On theatre venues houldering the responsibility: nk that people have a way manticizing things to absolve

themselves of any accountability. So, as a way of saying ‘Oh I could never do this, I’m glad that you are doing it’ and it’s like no you could, and you should.” Currently, Tobi splits her time between producing, running Black Ticket Project and embarking on the “mammoth journey” as she describes it, of writing a book. Expected to be published in 2021, Theatre Sh*t, will see Tobi, among many other young black writers, making her debut as an author. Her book will be part of the A Quick Ting On non-fiction series created by 24-year-old publisher Magdalene Abraha with Jacaranda books.

Photos by narcography Interviewed by Karen Chalamilla

As she tells me about how Magdalene reached out to her for the opportunity, I’m surprised to hear what her initial response was, “I was like No, like why am I writing a book, I’m a producer I don’t write for a living.” I understand the sentiment as much as it beguiles me. On one hand, with contributions in gal-dem, Black Ballad and HowlRound among others, Tobi writing resumé is impressive. On the other hand, there is a novel daunt that comes with a book that likely does not compare to articles.

““I don’t want us to limit the way that we see theatre and I think it is in how gatekeepers keep defining what theatre is. I’m not really interested in that.”

“But then we just had lots of conversations about if I did want to write about something what would that look like,” she says when I ask her what changed her mind. “Anything black related is just really hard to archive, like authentic, genuine archived material is a little hard to find. The things that we do find I feel like don’t reflect my lifetime, and as much it’s important to know the history, if I made something that existed while I was alive what would that look like and how would it compare to the history. And so that’s why I was like ok cool, I’ll try to make something just to have that.” Archiving our realities and experiences is important, even if only for the mere confirmation of one’s existence. With theatre being a bit male centric, however, I wonder how Tobi’s black womanhood will affect the work she produces; “I really want to make sure that I’m talking about people that are not being talked about. I feel like when people talk about black theatre pioneers you kind of go to like the same kind of names, which is absolutely deserved, like Sharon D. Clarke and Roy Williams, but there are like other people that I feel like sit on the sidelines a little bit that did a lot to impact the evolution of Black British theatre. So, I’m trying to do a lot of research outside of my personal bubble, like going to Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland and other cities in England just to understand different perspectives on Black Britishness.

I definitely want to bring especially those black women to the forefront. A big one is Bernadine Evaristo, who is getting her accolades now, but she has been doing the work. She set up so many spaces for black makers back in the day to just like create work and people don’t talk about her in that kind of way. And Bernadine is a poet, and an author and all these other things, so the sectors are clearly malleable, and we shouldn’t necessary box theatre into this kind of one area. It needs to spread across lots of different platforms. So yeah, I really want to bring everything together in that kind of way to make sure those people are amplified more.” Lastly I ask her to talk me through what an ideal future for theatre would look like for her: “I’d be really intrigued to see a physical space that is run in a different way to like the physical spaces that we have now. I feel like a lot of the buildings that we have do have a certain hierarchy, like you have your artistic director and then you have an exec and then you have your producers and id be intrigued to see a physical space that sort of abandons that. Companies are so much better at being more malleable and working in more flexible ways, but they usually start off with not needing hierarchies to do the work and creating community and once they move to a physical space all that goes out the window. And I haven’t seen any justifications as to why all the hierarchy is needed and so I’d really love to see a space that abandons that and feels like a real civic space as well. Now, possibly more than ever it’s really important that these physical spaces are working towards the tangible needs of the community and it’s not just about putting on shows and the art. It’s about essentially mitigating the fact that these youth clubs are closing down and all these other community hubs that people attended, people are being displaced because they don’t exist anymore. Where do people go to have breakfast, or to read books or to see work? Do you know what I mean, like where do people go? And I feel like some of these spaces need to evolve with the times and do that, as well as create work to a high-quality standard because I feel like people think you can’t do both. I don’t know if that will ever happen though.”


First thing I want to talk about is how your music career began. I think it started when I was about 13. I would just post videos on YouTube and found that people were feeling them. I stopped after a while but then I went to Nigeria and obviously got influenced by lots of different artists. And my dad was like, you might as well start making music properly. So I started making actual tracks over there, came back to the UK and continued.

Photos by narcography Interviewed by Ope Oduwole

“But I just want to bring something completely new to the scene. Not just the UK but everywhere” So you spoke a bit about inspiration together into an EP and drop them that you picked up in Nigeria, which or just release a single. This year was artists and what kind of sounds? literally me, my producer- we just dropped whenever we felt like. There Pretty much all of them to be honest, was no plan and I feel like that is what everyone comes with something I’m going to do next year and just go different. And when you listen to them, by how people are receiving the music. especially like the instruments, the melodies, I was like nah, this is crazy Let’s talk about your single Vicious so I picked it up. Cycle in particular. What inspired it? And how do you feel about the great If you had to pick out three actual reception it’s gotten? artists from Nigeria whose sound you picked up, which are you picking? So when I start making music I think about situations that people don’t At the time when I was there, really talk about so I thought this is Patoranking was doing a lot so him. something I’d love to talk about. And Burna Boy and Wizkid definitely. the song is about a woman driven to do something crazy by a guy that she Let’s talk about projects then, you’ve is with. she’s put in a sticky situation had a very busy year. Do you want to and she’s had to do a madness. And tell me a bit about them? I feel like it happens everyday, like women everywhere love their partners Do you know what it is, how I make so much they do almost anything and music is that I go off vibes and feeling sometimes it’s bad do you know what so if I feel I’ve made this amount of I mean. So that was basically the vibe. songs this month then I’ll put them

To be honest I just want to create a different wave for other artists to be able to express themselves through their music. I feel like in the UK there is a certain sound that everyone tries to go for because it’s a way to enter the scene and I feel like it doesn’t always have to be like that. Everyone is coming with something new and I just want everyone to be able to express that. By 2025 I hope that the UK scene has different sounds that everyone can appreciate.

It’s still really early in your career but everyone has goals and achievements they want to hit, so what do you hope to have achieved with your music in the last 5 years?

JB Scof Photos by narcography Interviewed by Ope Oduwole

B fielD

Yeah exactly. a lot of my songs, I think everyone actually, has at least one football reference somehow, and it’s not even intentional, but mainly because I love it so much - it’s a big part of my life and my friends’ lives too. Not only football, but there are other things that we find ourselves surrounded by or involved in, which then manifests in the music. Speaking of your music, I love how you can really see the growth in regards to your sound. Your project Scoseason is quite different from the sound that you’re making now Yeah definitely. With Scoseason, I was heavily inspired by Travis Scott and similar artists at the time - I love his sound, hence that album is very similar in vibes, with the auto tune and stuff. With my current singles, I still listen to those artists of course, but I felt like I needed to get try my normal rap out there more, and now, the UK scene has transcended so much that that style of music has become really popular, much more than it was in 2017 when I dropped Scoseason. I felt like it didn’t connect as much then, which is what propelled me to start rapping, and that was the point where I feel like

I started gaining recognition and people were tuning into my music. As a result of that, I continued that style; like my song “OK,OK,” for example, it’s definitely a rap song, but you can hear melodies and harmonies in the back that allude to the sound I had back then.

“The music scene been a part of our culture”

It’s clear you’re a football fan as you make quite a few references in your music, do you purposefully try to incorporate outside topics or does it just happen?

So do you think you’ll return back to that sound or clocking that they liked my music, and then former just implement it in bits? fans receiving confirmation from the masses that this is cold, and it’s a good sound. I’m just happy I’m just free flowing to be honest - I’m up for anything and grateful for all of the recognition. really. I do try and listen to where my team is at and what’s working for me sonically at the moment and I want to touch on Stretch it. The music video really go from there basically. captures the vibe, how did that come about? Even from Scoseason, you’ve worked with some pretty big artists; Yxng Bane featured on your remix. What do you think made 2019 such a big year for you? I feel like a lot of people knew of my name, but it’s like, it does take something of magnitude for you to gain mass recognition. I had a few people who were into my music, and they probably did try and draw attention but I wasn’t as widely known. After “Stretch It”, it was a case of people hearing me and

When we did the preview for Stretch it, it sort of blew up on twitter beyond expectations, so we had to think quickly on our feet for the visuals. We really wanted it to be good quality, so the director, my manager and I just brainstormed what would look fun but also not too flashy, which led to us meeting up at the Athena movie theatre in Leicester. Even when we were filming, there were people walking past who were interested and wanted to get involved, which mirrors the whole mood of the song, the way I’m rapping. Seeing the joy on people’s faces, the smiles

and the bopping made people interested in the song. now; Coventry, Nottingham, and Leicester are being put on the map. The fact that we can collaborate How did the dance come about? as artists as well means that we can bring more attention and opportunities, so it’s not that big of an It was my guy Ray. We were in the studio and we had obstacle. Just being a part of it is a madness in itself. finished recording the single when he just started bopping, and I remember thinking that we should If we fast forward into 2025, where do you see hold on to it because it might be something. It just fit yourself? What you liked to achieve by then? with the track so well, and it just caught on. I’m not sure; I just want to be a well-established A lot of the UK music scene is predominantly based artist, being able to provide for my family and those in London and Birmingham, Manchester. how do who are important to me. I would like to chart as you feel, being an artist from a place that isn’t as well, reach platinum possibly - that’s been a dream represented within the UK? of mine. I save goals on my phone of things I would like to achieve, and though I’ve ticked off a few, I It’s a double edge sword situation to be honest. You always have new targets and there’s always more don’t get the advantages as those other cities, like that I feel like I can be doing, even in 2025 I’ll still London which has so many opportunities, however probably making new goals - the sky’s the limit, the Midlands is receiving a lot of recognition right there’s always something to do.



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