H E R E
P R O F E S S IO N A L IS M
M E E T S
P L E A S U R E
IS S U E
M ORE LI FE
A IS H A B Y
O R E
A H U M A H
O G U N B IY I
W here pro fessio nalism m eets pleasure
C R E D ITS
Th e U K â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s F irst Yo u th C u ltu re M ag azin e. Th is is a p u b lication d ed icated to in terview in g su ccessfu l you n g p eop le from a variety of in d u stries. Th e ere are m illion s of you n g p eop le w ith in th e U K , each w ith th eir ow n in terests an d stories yet to u n fold . W e h op e th at th e you th featu red in th is m ag azin e can h elp to u n ravel th e p ath for th ose com in g a er th em . Listen to th em . Lea rn from th em . A n d u se th eir jo u rn eys to sh ap e an d g u id e you r ow n p ath s to su ccess. T h is is M o re Life M a g a zin e .
M A R R IA M
6 LETTER FR O M ED ITO R
1 4 A ISH A
JO N A H
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c o ntents
ART EX H IB IT
TO N I
V IM B A I
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JA D A
TRAI NI NG,TRAI N
I nconver sat i onwi t hAi sha Ahumah,dancer , chor eogr apherand War wi ckLaw gr aduat eon herexper i encei nt he i ndust ryhavi ngwor ked wi t hSt ormzy,TheBr i t s, Ni ke,St ef f l onDon& many mor e.
A ISHA A HUM A H
I NI NG,TRAI NI NG what advi ce would you gi ve to somebody who' s tryi ng to enter the dance i ndustry? Soci almedi ai snott he be al land end al l .I t ' snoti ndi cat i ve ofyourt al entbecause ri ghtnow I ' m seei ng a l otofyoung peopl e ent eri ng t he i ndust ry,and t hey t hi nk t hati fIdon’ t10k f ol l owerson I nst agram t hen I ’ m notgood enough ort hatIcan’ tcharge a cert ai n amountbutt hat ’ snott he case.Focuson yourcraf t .Trai n,t rai n,t rai n,because wi t h dance,i tal lst art sup here i n your mi nd.I fyou’ re t rai ni ng you’ l lst artt ot hi nk ofyoursel fasa bet t erdancert hen you wi l lpi t ch yoursel fwi t h conf i dence.Buti fyou’ re nott rai ni ng orworki ng hard t hen i t ’ sgoi ng t o af f ectwhat you t hi nk and at t ract . So,f orsomeone comi ng i n,see soci almedi a asa port f ol i o ofwhatyou showcase butwhatyou do behi nd t he scenesi swhatreal l y mat t ers.
w hat' s been your m ost di ffi cult m om ent as a dancer? Asa danceryou al wayshave di f f i cul tmoment s.And t hat ' sone t hi ng t hatyou don' tsee on dancers’soci almedi asbutwe have some hard t i mesouthere -l i ke somet i meswe’ re i nt he wi l derness.It hi nk one ofourbi ggestobst acl esi st he money aspect .The f actt hat you coul d have real l y greatperi odsand you can have real l y qui etperi odsespeci al l y duri ng Corona ri ghtnow.Al so,bei ng t aken f orgrant ed,l i ke t ot hi sday,t here are art i st swho wi l lapproach you and nothave a budget .And i t ' sf ai renough we al lst art f rom somewhere buti t ' sso i rri t at i ng when t hey t ry t ot ake advant age ofyou.
w hat i s the dance i ndustry li ke?
I t ’ sl arge enough t o notsee everyone butsmal lenough t o know what ’ shappeni ng.One oft he prosi st hatnobody i si naccessi bl e.I fyou everneed hel p and you j ump i nt o someone’ sDMs,9t i mesoutof10,t hey wi l lrepl yt o you.Everyone i sready t o hel p, especi al l yt he guysatHomeFam.The i ndust ry i sj ustgood vi besand because Af ro has gone f rom t hi sunderground st yl et o somet hi ng commerci al ,more dancersare covered i nt ermsofmaki ng sure t hatt hey gett hei rmoney,and t hatt hey’ re okay et cwhi ch i sa bi g shi f tf rom when Ist art ed.
w hat has contri buted the m ost to your success? Trai ni ng.Maki ng sure t hatyou' re al wayson t op ofyourgame,and not sl acki ng.Forexampl e,goi ng t o HomeFam t rai ni ng every week and get t i ng your3/4hour' swort h oft rai ni ng i n butt hen al so t rai ni ng by yoursel fat home. I t ’ sal lwel land good goi ng t o what everworkshop t hatyou go t o,butyou need t o be presentwhen you’ re t here so you can real l y underst and what youri nst ruct orwant sf rom you and t he t echni quest hatt hey' re passi ng down.Thi sway you can t hen t ake t hose t echni queshome and be l i ke, ‘ okay,how can Iappl yt hi st ot he way Idance?How can Iappl yi tt o my personal i t y?How can Iappl yi tt o my dance st yl e?’ And t hen al so t rai ni ng yourmi ndset ,because l i ke Isai d,i tst art si nt he mi nd,i fyou t hi nk you' re si ck,you' re goi ng t o perf orm wel l .I fyou t hi nk you’ re noteven t hatgreat ,i t ' snotgonna bang,and i t ' snotbecause you' re nota greatdancerbutbecause oft he way you t hi nk ofyoursel f .
I f your li fe was a poem ,w hat would be the nam e and w hy? Ful lCi rcl e.A l otoft hi ngst hathave happened have come f ul lci rcl e.Bef ore I wentt o uni ,Iwasworki ng att he o2arena asa st eward and Iwoul d go i n and j ustwat ch endl essconcert s.Iappreci at ed t he artofi tbutIhat ed t he j ob i t sel fand Icoul dn’ twai tf ort he day t hatImi ghtbe abl et o grace t he st age.We used t o do securi t yf ort he Bri t s.And now I ' ve gott o perf orm at t he Bri t s.Even wi t h my recentvi sual .Igrew up i n New cross.And Ibrought t hatvi sualback t o New Crossand f i l med t here so yeah,def i ni t el yf ul lci rcl e.
I s the i ndustry abroad any di fferent to the uk afro dance scene? They’ re pret t y si mi l arf rom whatI ’ ve seen. I ' ve t ravel l ed and seen t he Pari sscene and t he onl y di f f erence t here,i st he danci ng st yl es.Fori nst ance,because al otofpeopl ei n Pari scome f rom Francophone Af ri ca, t he i nf l uence on t hei rdanci ng i sdi f f erent . When Iwentt o Ghana,If ound si mi l ari t i es as wel lbutt he maj or di f f erence i st hatt he danci ng t here i s very raw.I t s energy,i t ’ s100mph. I nt ermsofmoney,It hi nkt heyaremaki ng waymoret hanwe are because i t ’ s di f f erent .Everyone want st hei r own st yl e. You can’ tgett he aut hent i c raw nat ure up here so t hey wi l l al ways pay someone t here. I t hi nk t hey’ ve bui l t a sol i d market ,especi al l y wi t h DWP,DanceGod Ll oyd,Af robeast t hey’ ve bui l ta very st rong and sol i d marketoutt here. And t he same t hi ng goeswi t ht he Ni geri answi t h West si de Li f est yl e and I kenna.
I s there a benefi t to bei ng i n a group and/or collaborati ng wi th people? I t ' sgood t o be i n a group. Buti t ' sbet t ert o be i nt he ri ghtgroup. Bei ng i n HomeFam hasbeen a bl essi ng because i t ’ snotyourt ypi cal dance group.We’ re act ual l ya f ami l y.And wi t ht he l eaders,TC and Curt i s,t hey are pi oneersi nt he Af ro scene.They were abl et ot rai n us wi t h qual i t i esf rom Boy Bl ue Ent ert ai nment . From bei ng di sci pl i ned,maki ng sure t hatyou' re consi st ent l y t rai ni ng,how t ot rai n,how t o bui l daf reest yl e,how t o bui l d choreo. I ’ ve l earntso much asa dancer,and asa busi nesswoman,t hatI don' tt hi nk Iwoul d have everbeen abl et o gett hatknowl edge anywhere el se.And even t hough Iconcent rat ed on Af ro dance,by t rai ni ng wi t h HomeFam Ican ent era hi p-hop cl assand notbe l ost . I ’ ve been abl et ot rai n cert ai n el ement s,t hatIdon’ tt hi nk Iwoul d have i fIwasanywhere el se orj ustdoi ng i tby mysel f .So i t ' sal lgood doi ng i tby yoursel fbutIbel i eve i ni ron sharpensi ron. I ’ m notsayi ng everyone shoul d now go and ent era dance group butbe f ri endl y and bui l d yournet work.Col l aborat e wi t h peopl e and push yoursel ft hrough t hose col l aborat i ons.
w hat' s next for ai sha? I ' m sl owl y movi ng i nt o choreography and creat i ve di rect i on because t hat ' swhatIwant ed t o do when If i rstst art ed. Recent l y,Ichoreographed and di d creat i ve di rect ori ng f or I AMDDB and I l lBl u.And bef ore t hat ,Igott o choreograph f orSt ef f l on Don.So what ’ snextf orme i sprobabl y more choreography,more creat i ve di rect i on and more vi bes.
TO NIFO LA -A LA DE I N CONVERSATI ON W I TH G20 YOUTH SUM M I T DELEGATE TONIW HO,HAVI NG GRADUATED W I TH A FI RST CLASS FROM CAM BRI DGE UNI VERSI TY,HAS GONE ON TO CREATE ROOKI E M EDI A AND A TECHNOLOGY START-UP W HI CH HAS SECURED I TS FI RST-ROUND OF VENTURE-BACKED FUNDI NG.
l ance al e to bal How w ere you abl ng tm ents and havi of your com m i fun?
It hi nkhumansr eal l yunder est i mat ewhat we' r ecapabl eofand t hatsel f l i mi t i ng bel i ef ,keepsusf r om oper at i ng atourbest . That ' ssomet hi ng Ir eal l yhad t oover comeaf earoff ai l i ng. ThewayIt hi nkabouti tnow i st hatt her e ar epeopl ei nt hi swor l d,whet heri tbe Mi chaelJor danorBi l lGat es,event hel ocal CEOsofsmal land medi um si zed hathaveﬁgur ed outawayt o busi nesses,t getal evelofout putt hatI ' m cur r ent l ynot put t i ng out .And t hey' r enotgeni uses,so f orme,Ihad t or ef r amemymi ndsett ounder st and t hatwhatI ' mt r yi ng t odoher ei s noti mpossi bl e,t her ear epeopl ewhoar e bal anci ng f arbi ggert hi ngs.Sof oranyone whowant st odowel li nuniand havebal ance-youhavet ochanget hewayyousee your sel fort hewayyouseel i f eand what ' s i mpor t antt oyou
W hat shoul d a young person aspi ri ng to have an i m pact on pol i cy, on a nati onaland i nternati onal scal e,do now to prepare them sel ves?
he dot obe‘ ng t ustgoi sj heansweri nkt hi It . k’ wor y l eal onand r eaofpassi stﬁnd yourar r Fi e.Once edgeabl ng knowl obecomi tt commi ma or e,youcanf edgeabl eknowl r you' ng ng onpushi ki ewor r hatyou' ew t dvi l wor ocalcomoughyourl hr hatt and youcandot ouhr onort i sat gani ousor gi i el y,yourr t muni y. t si ver ghyouruni o tt ar k,asyoust hewor Thenasyoudot og,onyouruni esonyourownbl cl i t ear t i wr c. am pageet agr nst oanI e,t t swebsi y' t si ver y l al nespeci nkedI ce.Li ogetavoi tt ar youst he ng outt i t ustbeput oj acet eatpl sagr i om r .And f eabout onat epassi r ngsyou' hi t sed or ecogni ogetr tt ar e,youcanst her t t ar ch,onceyoust ywhi t i hor becomeanaut e r hatyou' ssuet hei ound t sar oevent ogot t psyoumeet ,hel eabout onat ypassi l eal r k wor d yournet l obui st t ar sst e.Thi peopl ebecauseyou uabl yval l eal chbecomesr whi o tgett ybody.Youcan' tknow ever can' hekey sonbutwhenyouknow t yper ever oryou. erf keasi hewor tmakest s,i eader l edge,once heknowl So,onceyouhavet vegot k,and onceyou' hewor vedonet you' t ar ost ert oteasi sal ’ t ps,i onshi i at el eatr gr ont r nf ei r cybecausewhenyou' i ng pol shapi hatyour ,youknow t er st ni netmi ofacabi med. or nf li swel oni ni opi o500young hem,Ispoket lt el And youcant s si hi d me,t ol heyt swhatt si hi e,and t peopl o ned t i ncl ei r hey' asays,and t hedat whatt y t i l bi edi oyoubecauseyouhavecr ent st i l nd you. behi
W hat characteri sti c do you thi nk has contri buted the m ost to your success?
It hi nki t ' sj ustbei ng ar i skt akeror i ni t i at or . Ir eal l yl ovet hepr ocessofst ar t i ng new t hi ngs,maybet omydet r i ment otofpeopl eneverget somet i mes.A l st ar t ed.It hi nkf orme,I ' veal waysbeen mad cur i ousaboutst uf f .SoIal ways wantt ohearwhatt heoppor t uni t yi s. Ial wayswantt ogett oknow i tand I ' m notaf r ai dt oj ump i nand expl or ei t .My eyesar eal waysopenscanni ng f or oppor t uni t i es,i st her eanot herpl ayt o bemadeher e?And t henal so,wher eI seepr obl ems,It end t oseet hem as oppor t uni t i es. Whent hi ngsar egoi ng wr ong,Idon’ t seei tas‘ ahht hi si sst r ess. ’Iseei tas ‘ how do weﬁxt hat ?’‘ I st her ea r ewar df orﬁxi ng t hat ?’
W hat do you thi nk i si m portant to creati ng a successful start-up?
Theﬁr stt hi ng i st ohaveachal l enge t hatyou' r egenui nel ypassi onat eabout sol vi ng -ami ssi ont hat ' sgoi ng t odr i ve your company,t hati sgoi ng t ogeti nvest or s exci t ed,t hati sgoi ng t ogetyour empl oyeesand yourt eam whoar e bui l di ng t hepr oductexci t ed t ocomet o wor kever yday. Numbert woi shavi ng t her i ghtt eam t o execut et hatmi ssi on.Theﬁr stt woor t hr eepeopl ei nt hatt eam ar et hemost i mpor t ant .And youneed st r ong l eader shi p,youneed t odeci dewhi ch r ol esar epeopl egoi ng t of al li nt oand youcan' teverhaveanyegoorbad f eel i ngsaboutwho' si nwhatr ol e. Ever yoneneedst oknow t hei rr ol e,l i ke t hei rr ol e,and j ustexecut ei t . Thi r di sﬁgur i ng outhow ar eyougoi ng t ocr af tt hest or yt oei t hergetyourﬁr st cust omer ssot hatyoucangor ai se i nvest ment ?Ori fyoudoi tt heot her wayar ound,how ar eyougoi ng t oget i nvest mentsoyoucangogr ab yourcust omer s?
W hat’ s next i n the story of ToniFol a-Al ade?
Bui l di ng myt echcompanyhast obe numberone.Ihaveobl i gat i onst omy cof ounder sand ouri nvest or s.We' r e maki ng ourﬁr sthi r es,sosoonI ’ l lhave anobl i gat i ont omyempl oyeest obe f ocused and oncewehavecust omer si n t henextcoupl eofmont hs,I ’ l lhavean obl i gat i ont ot hem t obef ocused on bui l di ng t hebusi ness. Secondar yi sRooki eSeason.Real l y bui l di ng t hatbr and,put t i ng outal lof t hecont entand f or mal i si ng i t .Ri ght now,t heﬁr stpr oducti sst udycheat codes,whi chi sabouthow youcanst udy asef ﬁci ent l yaspossi bl esoyoucango and haveasmuchf unordowhat ever el seyouwantt odo. Thet hi r dt hi ng i sj ustmor epol i cy advi sor yst uf f .I ’ vegotacoupl et hi ngs comi ng up overt henextcoupl eof mont hs,whi chIcan' tspeakaboutyet . Soyeah,j ustdoi ng mor eoft hatand hopi ng t omakeani mpactvi at he gover nmentr out e.
W ho w oul d you w ant to pl ay Toni i n your Netﬂi x Ori gi nalM ovi e?
uuya. elKal obeDani thast I s,butI or eatact oadsofgr el ear Ther ng about hi ustsomet sj e' her nkt hi t s uuya-maybebecausehe' elKal Dani s hewayheact ustt soj sh,butal i t i Br m and i oQueenand Sl om GetOutt r f on ed Hampt snew Fr hi ht t evenwi o ovet ustl dj ’ sdone–I ehe’ movi hat ft lof d pul seehow he’ m ever ’ fI mance,i or f per ng one. hyofhavi t wor
M A RRIA M A A M IR
YOU HAVE TO ESCAPE THE CLASSROOM MINDSET In co n versa tio n w ith screen w riter a n d scrip tw riter, M a rria m A a m ir w h o sh a res h er exp erien ce w o rk in g o n sh o o ts, d irectin g , p ro d u cin g a n d w ritin g scrip ts a t th e Yo u n g A cto rs’ Film C o m p a n y.
What inspires your writing? So far, I have written m ostly about culture, identity, and race. These topics are im portant to m e, being an ethnic m inority. Also, being new to creative writing; it was m uch easier for m e to write about topics that I could conﬁdently speak about. I’ve no noticed that with a lot of the big m ovem ents that are happening today, scripts that look at race, culture and identity are m ore in dem and. People are getting tired of watching white superheroes with all this privilege, whose struggles are ﬁctional. That is why m y colleagues and directors at the ﬁlm com pany told m e to subm it m y produced scripts to ﬁlm festivals - because of the im portance of its m essage.
Did you ever think that your talent would be screenwriting? I never knew I would start writing because I never had an instinct or knack for it, at all! It was when I was given the freedom to write what I wanted, that I really cam e into m y own. The ﬁlm com pany where I now work is where I ﬁrst started creative writing. But that tim e I spent experim enting, really helped.
Have you always had an interest in film?
I have always been creative, but I never really knew what m y creative outlet would be. I did a lot of creative experim entation. Growing up in Am erica, I would m ake trailers and short ﬁlm s with m y sister, using iM ovie. It was only when I was 13, that I becam e m ore passionate about ﬁlm . I would teach m yself how to use these com plicated editing program s and software. I realised that I wanted to get into ﬁlm , I just needed to ﬁgure out m y niche.
How did you get into the industry?
I consider m yself so lucky to live som ewhere that is well connected, so I think I was very proactive by m aking sure I was in that environm ent. I had to do hours of searching online and sending em ails. It’s tiring and that’s why conﬁdence and m otivation are so im portant because you have to prepare for those m om ents when you feel defeated.
What is it like breaking into the industry at a young age? At ﬁrst, it’s diﬃ cult to ‘get out of the classroom ’. I struggled to shake the m entality that these people were ‘m y teachers’, but later I started to feel likethey were m y colleagues. I was treated like an adult from the m om ent I started. I was responsible for m y punctuality, m y behaviour on set and things like that. You don’t really notice age that m uch when you are really focused on the job and the art.
What has been a big challenge so far? Directing. O h God, when I was directing for the ﬁrst tim e, it went horribly. I couldn’t gain control; I couldn’t tell these people who were older or m ore experienced than m e that they were doing som ething wrong, or to do som ething for m e. I do think that’s also about conﬁdence because honestly som etim es it’s just the im poster syndrom e that will hold you back. You really have to ﬁght your self-doubt and not let it hinder you.
What other industries interest you as future prospects? Currently I study Physics, M aths and Com puter Science for A-Level. I want to break into the STEM industry and pursue engineering. I don’t feel like I need to choose between them . All I care about is that I have a passion for both.
for you in the film industry?
Docum entaries have always been interesting to m e so I think I m ight explore that genre of ﬁlm . M y focus right now is to get on set and shoot m y script, which I want to subm it to ﬁlm festivals. It is all just fun for m e; I am not asking for an O scar. But if they are trying to give m e one, I won’t stop them .
What advice do you have for other young people who have similar aspirations?
It is im portant to rem ain conﬁdent and trying everything until you ﬁnd what suits you and if nothing suits you, then you m ust ultim ately try harder. It’s a long process and rem aining m otivated and driven will see you through. You really have to ﬁght your self-doubt because it can hinder you m assively and you will m iss out on opportunities. Networking is ultim ately how you m ove up in that industry and any industry, so don’t neglect that too.
[ who i nspi res you musi cally,what were/are your favouri te genres?] Earl y m usi cali nf l uencesare def i ni t el y Erykah Badu,Lauryn Hi l l ,Am y W i nehouse, Sade,J i l lScot t .Li ke t he Neo Soulera.RnB.Obvi ousl y m y dad aswel land reggae i nf l uences.Current l y,i t ’ sAriLennox,Gi veon,BrentFai yaz.There’ sa l otofcoolart i st s outatt he m om entand even ol d schoolRnB l i ke Aal i yah and Ashant i .
[ your dad has a hi story i n musi c,how does hi s musi ci nfluence you?] So m y dad act ual l y m ade reggae m usi ci nt he l at e 80searl y 90swi t h hi sband cal l ed ‘ Transi tCrew’ .Then he convert ed t o bei ng a Chri st i an butdi dn' twantt ol eave t he reggae sound because i thad i nf l uenced hi m so m uch.So,he m ade hi sown l i t t l e genre of‘ reggae gospelm usi c’l i ke gospeldri l lorwhat ever.Il ove reggae m usi ca l ot ,I woul dl ove t o hop on a reggae beat ,cari bbean cul t ure i n generalbutdef o ol d school reggae.Ieven wantt o sam pl e one ofhi ssongsand si ng overi tsoon.
[ what’ s your wri ti ng process?] My wri t i ng processhaschanged overt i m e,bef ore Iwoul d getpen and paperand si t t here and be l i ke cool ,l et ’ sgetwri t i ng.Now,I ' l lputa beaton,f reest yl et hrough t he whol e beat ,m um bl et oi t ,record i ton m y phone and t hen j ustpi ece i tt oget her.I ’ l lsee whatm el odi esIl i ke,Idon' tl i ke,see whatI ' l lkeep buti ti svery m uch j usta f reest yl e processbecause If eell i ke what everi son m y m i nd Ican geti taut hent i cal l y wi t houtm e si t t i ng and t hi nki ng.
[ when i t comes to preformi ng,i s there anythi ng you do to get ready for stage?] Notreal l y,al lIact ual l y do i spray bef ore,i t ’ sj usta necessi t y.Iuse nervesf orm ot i vat i on t o gett hrough butonce I ' m t here i t ' sf un.Ienj oy perf orm i ng so i t ’ sdef o one ofm y f avouri t et hi ngs.
[ who would you love to work wi th i n the future?]
[ what keeps you moti vated?] Soundsso cl i ché butm y m um ,100%,Iact ual l yj ustcan’ tf ai l .If eell i ke I ' m notgood atanyt hi ng el se l i ke t hati n m y opi ni on,l i ke Iknow whatI ' m doi ng when i tcom est o m usi c and I have a passi on f ori taswel l .There' sbeen so m any t i m eswhere I ' ve been l i ke,you know what ,m aybe i t ’ sj ustnotf orm e,noteveryone i sm eantt o be a m usi ci an,m aybe Ishoul d keep i ton t he si de.Butt he f actt hatIdi dn' tgo t o uni versi t y because Ideci ded t o be i nt hi s 100% and t hatm y m um hashel di tdown f orm e -Ihave t o wi nf orher.Iact ual l y can’ tf l op ot herwi se i t ’ sgonna be l i ke… wel l .
[ what do you do to get ready for a studi o sessi on?]
W hen I ' m i nt he st udi oI ' m atm y happi estbecause Ij ustf i nd i tf un.Mostt i m es,Igo i nt here and Ial ready have a song done and wri t t en because Il i ke goi ng i nt here prepared but som et i m esIm i ghtcreat eal i t t l e som et hi ng i nt he st udi o.Idon' tdo t oo m uch bef ore because t hen i tf eel sl i ke I ' m goi ng t o work.Ij ustwanna go i nt here and cat ch a good vi be.Idef i ni t el y l i ke goi ng bum m y,Idon' tl i ke anyt hi ng f eel i ng l i ke a chore because If i nd i tf un so t he m ore f ree and com f y Ican be,t he bet t eri ti sf orm e.
[ any advi ce you would gi ve upcomi ng arti sts?] Don’ tcom prom i se yoursound orst yl e because peopl e wi l lsee t hrough t hatso be yoursel f and do whatm akesyou f eelcom f ort abl e.You don' twanti tt of eell i ke a chore,so bei ng yoursel fi sbestbecause atl eastt he peopl e who don’ tl i ke you,t hey don' tl i ke you f oryou, notwho you’ re pret endi ng t o be.The ri ghtpeopl e wi l lgravi t at et owardsyou f orbei ng you and st i cki ng t o yoursound.St i ck t o whatyou wantt o do butatt he sam e t i m e don' tbe af rai d t o swi t ch t hi ngsup,i t ’ sj ustt ri aland errorand experi m ent i ng.
[ who i nfluences your style?] My f ashi on i n generali si nspi red by t he 90sand 2000s.Ij ustl ove t hatera.Li ke Aal i yah,I ' ve got t o drop hernam e agai n,TLC,even t he guysaswel ll i ke t he whol e ol d-schoolAm eri can st yl e. Mi ssy El l i ot taswel l ,j ustanyone who' sdi f f erent .Peopl ej ustbei ng t hem sel ves,f ree,t he col oured hai r,t he whol et hi ng,Il ove i tal l .
[ what do you want to have achi eved i n 5 years?] Touri ng.Iwanna have an al bum outby t hen.I ' m nothavi ng an al bum unt i lm y nam e hol ds wei ghtbecause Iknow t hatearswi l lhave t ol i st en l i ke i t ' l lbe seri ous.Iwantt o be f i nanci al l y st abl e,doi ng whatIl ove and j ustatpeace.Overeveryt hi ng I ’ ve sai d,j ustat peace.
[ any last words?] Peace overeveryt hi ng,chasi ng t he bag i sl ovel y butdon’ tl eti tki l lyou.Don’ tl etsoci al sm ake you t hi nk you’ re m ovi ng t oo sl ow ort hatyou’ re notwhere you shoul d be.Keep doi ng you, God’ st i mi ng i st he ri ghtt i mi ng.
VIM BA I-RO SE
Ok cool ,3 l adi es,Erykah Badu,Lauryn Hi l land Sade aswel lm an,t hatwoul d be si ck.And f or guys,Bruno Mars,Masego and BrentFai yaz.
EVERYONE IS M EANT TO BE A M USICIAN ...”
I sa t d o w n w ith sin g e r/so n g w rite r V im b a i-R o se to d iscu ss h e r jo u rn ey in th e m u sic in d u stry, h e r in flu e n ce s, c re a tive style, fu tu re p ro sp e cts a n d w h a t ke e p s h e r m o tiva te d in a fie ld th a t ca n b e d ra in in g a n d u n p re d icta b le.
VIM BA I-RO SE
A S A M O D EL, H O W IM P O R TA N T IS IT TO C H O O SE TH E R IG H T JO B S O R SH O U LD YO U TA K E A LL O P P O R TU N ITIES? It depends on w hat stage your career is at. N ow , I’ m selective w ith w hat I do because I' m trying to keep up w ith a certain look but w hen you' re younger and just starting out, I w ould say do everything. Som etim es you’ ve gotta do everything to discover your bag and know w hat w orks for you. I w as doing sm aller streetw ear stuﬀ and then gradually I got up to Kenzo and the bigger jobs but starting out I did anything I could because I w as hungry for this and didn' t really have space to be selective. B ut if you' re com ing up and you' re attracting m ore high-end brands then deﬁnitely be selective because they' re not going to pick you up again a er you' ve just done som e sm aller streetw ear brand.
H OW W O U LD YO U C H A R A C TER ISE TH E IN D U STR Y ? It can be cruel at tim es, but you really got to like suck it up. I don' t go to open castings anym ore. Especially in London, because from m y personal experiences I' ve been treated so poorly. And it took a toll on m y m ental health. I’ ll only do a job if the brand has said w e w ant him and w e' re in terested in him . Also, from the outside, a lot of people look at m odels and think they’ re som eone big in the industry, but a lot of us aren’ t, there' s only a couple that are like really big. M ajority of the tim e you' re just a coat hanger. And that' s w hat you have to know going in. You can' t go in there thinking that you' re som eone special or that you’ re set apart from everyone, because these people really don’ t give a f***. They just w ant som eone to look good in their pieces. And that' s that.
W H AT YO U W O U LD YO U A D V ISE TO SO M EB O D Y TR Y IN G TO EN TER TH E IN D U STR Y ?
G o to as m any agencies and casting directors as possible. R esearch w ho' s doing the casting for these brands. I spent years thinking about doing Yeezy and the num ber one question in m y head w as ‘ w ho does the casting?’It took m e like less than 5m inutes to ﬁnd out w ho had done the casting for every single show since they started. Literally, G oogle London based agencies casting directors and speak to as m any people directly as possible. If you haven' t taken any photos before then take som e Polaroids, get all your m easurem ents dow n, and go straight to as m any agencies as possible, even if it' s like 50 - literally all of them .
W O U LD YO U D ESC R IB E YO U R D R ESS SEN SE?
AU TH EN TIC , VIN TAG E AN D C O O L
IM P O R TA N T W A S IT FO R YO U TO FIN D YO U R LO O K A N D H O W D ID YO U FIN D IT?
The w ay you dress is an expression and how you’ re feeling is projected outw ards - in the w ay that you dress, the w ay that you talk, w ith everything you do. It’ s all connected. There w as a tim e w here I looked very sim ilar to a lot of C roydon boys m y age and it didn' t feel right for a w hile. I w as scared because I didn' t w ant people to look at m e funny or diss m e on road because of m y outﬁt. B ut it got to a point w here one sum m er I just said f*** it - I' m gonna w ear these trousers today and it w as just a brow n pair of D ickies trousers. I slapped them on, rolled them up w ith som e vans and a w hite tee, and bounced out of the crib. s house and he opened the door and said ‘ w hat I rem em ber going to m y friend D arren' the f*** are you w earing?’B ut for the ﬁrst tim e in a w hile, w hen I le m y crib I felt like I had stepped out fresh. W hen I did it, m y inspiration w as actually from Jaden Sm ith because he used to w ear skinny bottom s w ith big on the top. So slim jeans, cuﬀed and rolled up w ith kicks and a baggy sw eatshirt w as the uniform for a w hile. Then very quickly, everything w as just baggy and I w as com fy in it. I just liked it.
FAV O U R ITE PA IR O F K IC K S TO W EA R G O IN G O U T?
Yeezy desert boots oil colourw ay
FAV O U R ITE B R A N D ? I w ould say Yeezy is m y favourite but Kanye hasn’ t done m ensw ear in a m inute so I’ ll say C arhartt.
W H AT B R A N D S W O U LD YO U LO V E TO W O R K W ITH N EX T? D ickie’ s and Yeezy
N EX T P U R C H A SE O F K IC K S YO U C O U LD B U Y R IG H T N O W ? R ed and black Tn 3s
A N Y LA ST B IT O F A D V IC E?
3 things It’ s crazy im portant to be authentic. Just the w ay people see you, speak about you, respect you and stuﬀ like that. It' s so im portant to be yourself. Even w hen s*** hits the fan, at least can look in the m irror and say, you know w hat, I am m e and that' s never gonna change. If you w ant to be a m odel, you gotta have som ething else that you can do. N ow adays, the jobs and cam paigns w ith the big bags are not going to people that are just m odels. They w ant people that do m usic, that dance or that w rite poetry so see how far your creativity can stretch. D on' t just lim it yourself to being a coat hanger. D on' t be afraid of other people' s opinions. B e courageous and be bold in everything that you do. Som etim es you really gotta block out the noise from people that don’ t m atter and just do exactly w hat' s on your m ind.
Jo na h Da no thm a n
“A U TH EN TIC , V IN TA G E & C O O L” In con versa tion w ith C royd on ’s very ow n Jon a h – a Fa sh ion m od el w h o ta lks a b ou t h is exp erien ce in th e in d u stry in clu d in g w ork w ith S kep ta , B a len cia g a , V etem en ts, K en zo a n d oth ers.
“THROW THAT SHYNESS I N THE BI N!” The story of m y life so far?
l n Croydon,South London,al ved i i ve l ’ I sualArts & fe.Iused to do Vi i ofmy l ng .And duri T school gn atthe BRI Desi T schoolIcreated a n BRI astyeari my l .Istarted angphabet’ Sl ed ‘ l book cal se Imade tand othermerchandi ng i i l sel s around London and l atmarketstal obs have come cj sti nce then,more arti si ve been ’ e,I my way. Forexampl on ustrati l l oned to produce i ssi commi n das,Pengui ents such as Adi i eces cl pi Books,Schuh,and M erky Books.Over board l l ockdown Iwon the Tate bi l ce Thatx s Ni t’ on and the I ti competi m ’ on.Now,I ti Converse competi nt ng my ﬁnalyearatCentralSai shi ﬁni ng. anci e freel l ns whi M arti
If you w ere to pick one factor that has contributed the m ost to your success w hat w ould it be? Getti ng overbei ng shy and soci al l y anxi ous,l i ke that’ s compl etel y changed me.As soon as you have those i nner-cri ti c thoughts,you j ust have to try and ﬁnd ways to rel ax i t, si l ence i tand when you l earn ways to do that,you become strongeri n the way you thi nk.Ithi nk thatthi s has deﬁni tel y hel ped me to achi eve a l ot even when worki ng wi th other compani es who setreal l y ti ght,stressfuldeadl i nes.
So in regards to m onetisation w hat advice can you give? fto see how many hours me yoursel Ti ece and then use the a pi o t n i t you pu mum wage to see how much you ni mi so, mum.Al ni d as a mi d be pai shoul ence you nk abouthow much experi thi deographer st,vi i st,styl have as an arti n nvested i fyou i nstance,i etc.Fori on ng fashi ty and studyi versi ng to uni goi e nvestmentand the peopl – thatwas an i ng ri ng outto you are hi who are reachi edge and whatyou you foryourknowl e. bl a t e h t o t g n i can br e ace forexampl ntern ata pl fyou i I lyour Condé NastorVogue,then al y adds furtherto your ence onl experi ue and how much you can charge. val e what Do you research and ask peopl ves ng to compare yoursel they are chargi nto th then and forthose who are i wi s a toolfrom the on,there’ ustrati l l i ves you tgi on -i strati u l l I of on i t a i oc Ass ng d be chargi a quote on whatyou shoul ty ori s a toolthatmaj ch i ece whi fora pi . e s u y oda t s e i n ompa c l a on ofprofessi
? Slangphabet’ W hat is ‘ angphabet’as partofa school Sl Icreated ‘ me where I fe cri otofkni ect.There was a l pr p oj ng to schooland atthe ki d be wal grew up.Iwoul e my age or s ofpeopl al d see memori me,Iwoul ti fthe ng i ed and Iwas wonderi youngerwho had di f d everend.Ithoughtto mysel ngs woul stabbi fe?’From i s type ofl nto thi li e fal how do peopl ‘ mportant yi l y real l s actual t’ sed thati i there,Ireal uded. nstead ofexcl uded i ncl e to feeli forpeopl tuse sh GCSE makes us study books thatdon’ i Engl tabout anguage thatwe use and thataren’ the l ture we have.I ve orthe cul i ves thatwe l i the l e that atabl ng rel d create somethi fIcoul thought,i d tcoul oy,i augh atand enj dl e my age coul peopl nvest e to i bl s possi ti se thati i p them real so hel al ng the same and maybe even make money me doi ti nstead. s way i thi
s been your favourite W hat’ collaboration?
das Superd be the Adi e one woul y memorabl l A real s to l a n gi i Or s da Adi of r i pa a n e v gi s wa I s r a t s n the se and then they were puton show i customi twas a n Oxford Street.I p store i das ﬂagshi Adi y etel ence to see the eventcompl surrealexperi ctures of ng pi ete strangers taki th compl packed wi ness cards. ng forbusi my work and aski
For a young person trying to get into the creative industry, w hat advice w ould you give them ? s the ne presence because that’ i Try to have an onl e to see what e way forpeopl bl y accessi l mosteasi e to do and who you are re abl re about,whatyou' you' o and try to do i talportfol gi as a person.M ake a di s good to have t' e because i bl thatas soon as possi ustsend the ace so you can j n one pl li yourwork al e. nk to peopl i l e go foryou,foryour ndustry peopl ve i n the creati I s tude i e you are and whatyouratti abl i e,how rel styl mportant si th a team so that’ ng wi ke when worki i l th too.So make sure thatyou are on good terms wi ng I lbe returned. One thi l e and thatenergy wi peopl ng yourworth. d be knowi sh Iknew,woul wi mes e someti y when you are young,peopl arl cul Parti ng you th notchargi nk thatthey can getaway wi thi d. whatthey shoul ng on re worki ook athow many hours you' Justl s person s thi f:“i ng and then ask yoursel somethi me and energy?” ng yourti ui val
do you overcom e creative block?
re me and they take me outof nspi es i s stori e’ Peopl ve -so rspace and perspecti nto thei my own head and i k ustgetoutand tal ock Ij ve bl to getoutofthe creati n nature.Iknow ks i ong wal e orgo outon l to peopl n fi ustputmysel tcheesy butyeah,Ij thatsounds a bi entspace. l a si
If your life w as a book w hat w ould the caption be called? n! n the bi t-Throw thatshyness i li y cal d probabl ’ I
â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are no rul es.That i s how art i s born,how breakthroughs happen. Go agai nst the rul es or i gnore the rul es. That i s what i nventi on i s aboutâ&#x20AC;?- Hel en Frankenthal er
Sharon Adebi siwas born i n London,Engl and i n 1996.As a sel f -t aughtf reel ance art i st ,she uses herpai nt i ngs t o capt ure hert hought s and experi ences as she t ravel st hrough her t went i es and at t empt st o navi gat e adul t hood.W hi l stheracryl i c-on-canvas based pi eces are creat ed more f orsel f -ref l ect i on and rel ease,a wel comed by-producti s ot hers bei ng abl et o rel at et ot hei rsubj ect ,orbe posi t i vel yi nf l uenced by hert houghtprocesses. Hermostrecentworks expl ore t he i dent i t yi ssues she f aces as a Bri t i sh-Af ri can hybri d, and t he conf l i ctbet ween embraci ng herAf ri can root s yetassi mi l at i ng t o herBri t i sh cul t ure. Herl at estseri es ' The Ghana Seri es'j ournal st he emot i ons she encount ered upon vi si t i ng t he â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; mot herl andâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Af ri ca f ort he f i rstt i me. Sharon' s work has been exhi bi t ed i n vari ous l ocat i ons i n London,i nc l udi ng The BunkerTheat re, Roundhouse,and t he Hoxt on Arches.
Name ofpi ece:The Forei gner Dat e ofcreat i on:Feb,2020 Medi um:Acryl i c on canvas Si ze:61 x 75cm
Thi s pi ece i st he 1stpai nt i ng ofmy l at estseri es ‘ The Ghana Seri es’ ;a col l ect i on ofpai nt i ngs expl ori ng t he real i t i es ofbei ng a Bri t i sh Af ri can hybri d wi t h an uncert ai nt y ofwhere t ol abelas ‘ home’ . Bef ore Iundert ook my f i rstevert ri pt o Af ri ca earl i eron t hi s year ,Iwas undergoi ng a barrage ofemot i ons.Exci t ed, yetnervous.Drunk i n ant i ci pat i on,yetparal yzed by f ear .W oul d Ibe accept ed,even t hough Icoul dn' tspeak Twi ? W oul d Ibe abl et of i ti n? The bl ue f i gure i nt he pai nt i ng depi ct s me unwi l l i ngl y st i cki ng outl i ke a sore t humb yet t ryi ng t o hi de mysel fi nt he background,whi l stt he Kumasinat i ves i n Asant e at t i re conf i dent l y st ri de f orwards.
Name ofpi ece:The Overwhel med Forei gner Dat e ofcreat i on:Apri l ,2020 Medi um:Acryl i c on canvas Si ze:61 x 75cm
Thi s pai nt i ng i st he 2nd pai nt i ng ofmy l at estseri es â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; The Ghana Seri esâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; . Arri vi ng i n Ghana f ort he f i rstevert i me,was an exhi l arat i ng experi ence.Yet overwhel mi ng.Iwasn' tused t ot he overpoweri ng col ours,smel l s,noi ses and i ni t i al l yI f ound i thard t o adj ust .Thi s' overwhel med'st age ofmy experi ence i s whati s depi ct ed i n t hi s pai nt i ng vi a a chaot i c bl end ofcol ours and a packed,busy envi ronment .
Name ofpi ece:The Overwhel med Forei gner2. 0 Dat e ofcreat i on:August ,2020 Medi um:Acryl i c on canvas Si ze:61 x 75cm
Thi s pai nt i ng i st he 3rd pai nt i ng ofmy l at estseri es ‘ The Ghana Seri es’ . Here i s anot herpai nt i ng ofa di f f erentGhanai an marketIvi si t ed.The descri pt i on i st he same as ‘ The Overwhel med Forei gner’above.
Name ofpi ece:The Accl i mat i sed Forei gner Dat e ofcreat i on:Apri l ,2020 Medi um:Acryl i c on canvas Si ze:61 x 75cm
Thi s pai nt i ng i st he 4t h pai nt i ng ofmy l at estseri es ‘ The Ghana Seri es’ . Bei ng i n Ghana and l i vi ng wi t h a hostf ami l y was i ni t i al l ya l otf orme,and atf i rstIst ruggl ed t o adj ustt o whatseemed l i ke a chaot i c envi ronment . Howeveras t i me wenton,Ist art ed t o getused t ot he vi brantcol ours,t he harmoni es ofchi l dren’ sl aught erand gospelmusi c,and t he sweetsmel lofmangoes f rom t he sel l ers i nt he market s.Goi ng on a t rot ro al one wasn’ tso t erri f yi ng anymore.The eveni ng el ect ri ci t y bl ackout sf aci l i t at ed good conversat i ons wi t h my f ri ends as we gazed att he st ars.The sun no l ongerf el tl i ke a scorchi ng bal loff i re. Iwas becomi ng accl i mat i sed t o my envi ronment .W hi ch expl ai ns why I ’ m port rayed i nt he mi ddl e oft he pai nt i ng,weari ng a dress made f rom t radi t i onalf abri c as Iseaml essl y go aboutmy day t o day act i vi t i es i n a pl ace t hatnow f el tl i ke home.
Name ofpi ece:Homecomi ng Dat e ofcreat i on:May,2020 Medi um:Acryl i c on canvas Si ze:100 x 150cm
Thi s pai nt i ng i st he 5t h and f i nalpai nt i ng ofmy l at estseri es ‘ The Ghana Seri es’ . Af t erspendi ng a mont hi n Ghana,Iret urned back t ot he count ry Iresi de i n;t he UK.Ref l ect i ng on my experi ence,Inow know f ora f actt hatret urni ng t o Ghana/ Ni geri a/ anywhere i n Af ri ca i s a MUST GO at l eastevery 5 years.Ican’ tbel i eve i tt ook me 23 years t o gett here.However ,Iwi l lt each my f ut ure chi l dren t o embrace t hei rroot s wi t h pri de.Iwi l lt ake t hem back home as of t en as Ican. Al t hough we l i ve t housands ofmi l es away f rom ourroot s,we mustkeep ourcul t ure al i ve.
10. 01. 21
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