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23 | THE VOICE JUNE 28 - JULY 4, 2012


Brandy announces London date


Russell Simmons called an ‘Uncle Tom’

Femi Oyeniran In the driving seat

24 ! THE VOICE AUGUST 22 - 28, 2013


With the MTV Video Music Awards around the corner, we look at the stars hoping to add some bling to their cabinets 1

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE Video of the year - Mirrors Best male video - Mirrors Best pop video - Mirrors Best editing - Mirrors Best collaboration - Suit & Tie feat. Jay Z Best direction - Suit & Tie feat. Jay Z


ROBIN THICKE Video of the year - Blurred Lines feat. T.I. and Pharrell Williams Best male video - Blurred Lines feat. T.I. and Pharrell Williams Best collaboration - Blurred Lines feat. T.I. and Pharrell Williams




DRAKE Best direction - Started From The Bottom

CIARA Best choreography - Body Party

KENDRICK LAMAR Best hip-hop video Swimming Pools Best male video - Swimming Pools

RIHANNA Best female video - Stay feat. Mikky Ekko




BEYONCÉ Best video with a social message - I Was Here



THE WEEKND Artist to watch - Wicked Games Best visual effects - Wicked Games



SNOOP LION Best video with a social message - No Guns Allowed

BRUNO MARS Video of the year - Locked Out of Heaven Best male video - Locked Out of Heaven Best pop video - Locked Out of Heaven Best choreography -Treasure


MIGUEL Best video with a social message - Candles in the Sun

A$AP ROCKY Best hip-hop video - F--kin' Problems feat. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar


CHRIS BROWN Best choreography - Fine China


Andrew Ejemai WILL.I.AM Best choreography #thatPOWER feat. Justin Bieber

JANELLE MONAE Best art direction Q.U.E.E.N feat. Erykah Badu

A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD boy celebrated achieving the top grade in maths in his A-level results. Andrew Ejemai, from Brentwood School, got a phenomenal A* grade for his paper, making him the youngest student in the school’’s history to pass the qualification. The youngster, in his second year at the school, said he had a natural aptitude for maths but he ““still had to do a bit of work!””

He had been hoping for the A* but had not been sure he would get it. He added: ““I enjoy maths. It’’s fun to do maths problems.”” Headmaster Ian Davies added: ““Andrew is an extraordinary mathematician and we are very proud of his achievement. "The school is fortunate to have a cohort of exceptional mathematics teachers who are more than able to teach to Oxbridge level.””


J. COLE Best hip-hop video - Power Trip feat. Miguel


JENNIFER LOPEZ Best choreography - Live It Up feat. Pitbull



AUGUST 22 - 28, 2013 THE VOICE ! 25

UK actor Femi Oyeniran talks to YV’s Dionne Grant about his directorial debut It’s A Lot, surviving the industry and helping put black British films on the map


N 2006, actor Femi Oyeniran and fellow cast members Aml Ameen and Adam Deacon rose to prominence in UK Brit flick Kidulthood. Not only did the film, written by fellow actor Noel Clarke, put UK urban films on the map, it thrust the trio firmly into the spotlight. Aml went on to take Hollywood by storm, Adam directed 2011 hit film Anuvahood and landed a ‘rising star’ BAFTA award for his efforts, while Femi, who recently wrapped filming upcoming blockbuster Taking Stock alongside actress Kelly Brook, is gearing up for the release of his directorial debut, It’s A Lot. Not bad for three teenagers brought together by an open audition and life-changing script. “When I was with Aml and Adam, that was the most fun I’ve ever had on set,” he recalls.

“Everyone thinks we were friends before, but we just had such a good a natural bond, we just became really close. We still are.” “I’m actually meeting up with Aml after this interview,” he adds. Femi, who played the character of socially awkward Moony in the film, was studying for his A-levels when he landed the part that would kick-start his career in the movies. But far be it for the young actor to leave his studies and fully immerse himself in the promise of fame and fortune. Instead, he fused the two, using quiet moments on set to fit in studying time. Well, almost. “When I was by myself, I studied. When I was with the boys, I didn’t,” he admits. “I did four A-levels at college, I was quite smart actually. I found school quite easy and was always going to go to university,” the 26-year-old boasts.

So his traditional Nigerian parents had nothing to do with his decision to forgo a full-time career in film at the time? Femi, who moved from Nigeria to the UK when he was 10, laughs. “No, my mum was quite supportive of my decision to juggle the two. I got good grades. What can you really say to a child who films Kidulthood for a month, has an exam the following week and gets an A when everyone else fails?” “Gifted,” is my response. He is unable to hide his amusement. “I guess there’s that, but in all honesty this industry is so unreliable. Imagine I had put my life on hold to pursue acting. You can be working one minute and the next you’re not. When you have a family, you can’t let life happen to you. You need to take hold of life,”

says the married father-of-two. Femi admits that after the overwhelming success of Kidulthood and its sequel Adulthood, things were relatively quiet on the acting front. By now, he had successfully obtained a law degree and had just been cast in Adam Deacon’s Anuvahood when he decided to take matters into his own hands and start work on developing the script of his own. This would later become his ‘baby’, It’s A Lot. The UK comedy, which stars a host of names from the black comedy and acting scene, including Eddie Kadi, Kojo, Slim and former Kidulthood cast mate Red Madrell, centres around the character of Shawn, played by Femi, who finds himself in all sorts of trouble when his parents go on holiday, leaving him in charge of the family mansion. “It’s a good cast,” he says. “These people have a massive following, and more than that, they are extremely talented,” he says. “What’s funny though, is that to prospective film distributors, it doesn’t appear like I have big names in my film because the mainstream only have one or two black actors on their radar. But this cast have sold out arenas and venues all around the world.” He recalls: “During one of the screenings for It’s A Lot, the head of com-

missioning at a major channel came to see it and said he hadn’t heard of any of the actors before. He said he was embarrassed that his station had failed to give these names a platform and asked me to email him the cast list. “For me, it’s important to do something that leaves a strong legacy and brings people through,” he says. The actor, who is currently working on five other scripts, says his decision to cast himself in lead role also boiled down to the mainstream’s inability to fully explore black talent. “I had to be the lead in It’s A Lot because that was the next big move in my career. It would never have happened otherwise. No one was going to give me the lead in a film,” he explains.

“I’ve auditioned for a lot of things and I haven’t got them. Unlike America, there aren’t infrastructures over here for you to put out black films and be rich. Look at (American film mogul) Tyler Perry, he has made billions from the black film industry. You can’t do that here. The UK is way behind even though the market is there. I don’t want to blame the industry, but it’s disappointing to know that if I wasn’t writing and was waiting for acting opportunities, I’d have a long wait ahead of me.” He adds: “Lesson to aspiring actors, get writing!” It’s A Lot is out on October 25. Four per cent of the film’s net profit will go to the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT). For more information, follow @ITSALOTMOVIE and @Femioyeniran on Twitter



The R&B singer announced that she is to headline a show at east London’’s IndigO2 on Sept 24

The controversial singer was cleared of all charges relating to an alleged hit-and-run incident


Dear Kat

I recently broke up with my boyfriend, but I can’t stop thinking about him. I was the one who decided to call it a day, but now I’m regretting my decision. He has a new girlfriend, but he still texts me and says he misses me. I don’t know if I find him more attractive now because he has a new girl in his life, but I kind of miss him too. What should I do? Anon


The music mogul was labelled an ‘‘Uncle Tom’’ for posting a spoof ‘‘sex tape’’ of legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman

Hi Anon, it!

Ok, time for some real talk! You only want your ex because he has moved on. There, I said

You didn’t want him when he was available, and now, because another woman has taken your place, he’s suddenly looking like Idris Elba. Leave him alone. It’s not fair on him, his new relationship, or his feelings. He obviously still loves you, hence the text messages, but I don’t think you feel the same. So in effect, you’re leading him on until something better comes along. You broke up with him for a reason, don’t get blindsided by thoughts of what could be, when you know how they were – not to your liking! Not everyone that comes into our lives are meant to stay. Be grateful for the time you two had together and move on. There’s someone out there who will make you so happy, but you won’t find him until you let your ex go.




ry, cute, chic


: Sexy, stylish, simple


The father of actress Lindsay Lohan called the New York rapper an ‘‘idiot’’ for dissing his daughter in a verse


““Any studios open yet?”” )DERORXV


26 ! THE VOICE AUGUST 22 - 28, 2013



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Young voices femi oyeniran edition  
Young voices femi oyeniran edition  

UK actor Femi Oyeniran talks to Young Voice's Dionne Grant about his directorial debut It’s A Lot, surviving the industry and helping put bl...