EDITOR IN CHIEF Derrick Odafi DIRECTOR OF FASHION
Danika Magdelena Meeka Tamia NOSA Caleb DeSouza Diego Martinez Checon Tami Omotilewa Yemi Alade Elena Cremona Elise Michely Farris Ashraf Cherell Mukena Charles Owusu Lauretta Afful Oliver James Jack Risbridger
CURATION New Wave Studios WRITERS Harry Cruttenden Ade ‘XuestLove’ Yusuf Derrick Odafi Eleanor Evans Shante Collier-McDermott Shenead Poroosotum Matilda Sandi Yianina Smalls Levi Wilson PHOTOGRAPHY Farris Ashraf Derrick Odafi Amin Mcdonald Nadia Correia Daniel Kulakov Nadine Petzke Manu Pillai Adria Goula Duncan Loudon
FEATURED MODELS Baptiste Nguyen-Van-Nghiem Junayd Khan Tue Ann Nguyen Liam Homstien Miles Narukami Nathaniel Williams Che Jones Haruna Jabek Juliette Mello Edie Townsend Daniela Contreiras Lava La Rue Lean Alexamder-Caine Juan Wood Kimberly Ngabirano Dior Sow Karima Ahmed FEATURED ARTISTS Emmanuel Odumade Talut Kareem
FEATURED STYLISTS Roisin O’Hara Vwaganji Mulwanda Ugo Anyamele Leila Violet Bailey Cherell Mukena Lashay Brown Isabelle Landicho-Redman Lea Federmann Clea Broques COVER Cover Star - Pi’erre Bourne Creative Direction - Derrick Odafi & Farris Ashraf Photographer(s) - Farris Ashraf Styling - Sophia Alonge Assistant Stylist - Palesa Dlamini Visual Direction - Bijoux Chima, Derrick Odafi CREATIVE WRITING Yianina Smalls SPECIAL THANKS Fatima Sheekhuna Bijoux Chima John Serungoji Blessing Kambanga Blessing Borode Daniel Kulakov Jordan Hurrell Frank Rodriguez Ugo Anyamele ADS PRSNL HB Aissata Ibrahima Shakkar Shades
CONTACTS firstname.lastname@example.org London, United Kingdom SOCIALS Instagram: @nwavemagazine Twitter:@nwmagazine Facebook: New Wave Magazine Spotify: Newwavemag Soundcloud: Newwavemusic1 WEBSITE newwavemagazine.com
Louise Mandumbwa is a Francistown, Botswana born artist based in Arkansas that celebrates the beauty and tenacity of everyday people through fine art. Mandumbwa’s elegant and sophisticated style provides a beautiful touch to her paintings. Her aesthetic of hyperrealist digital paintings with an unfinished look make her paintings seem as though the viewer is getting an insight into the process of the piece and a peek into the skeleton of how the piece came to be, even in it’s completed stage. Madumbwa creates intimate snapshots that provoke ideas of individual identity, and the human condition is explored. Mandumbwa has previously stated “I strive to humanize my subjects, people who all too often are represented as a sum of their tragedies and victims of circumstances. Having grown up in a developing nation, I often found myself in the company of resilient driven personalities, qualities that now inform the ways in which I present the subjects in my portraits.” She is an artist that has been featured in multiple solo exhibitions across America, from the XXI Prime, Hearne Fine Art in Little Rock Arkansas to the Prizm Art Fair, concurrent to Miami Art Week in 2017 and recently in 2019 in Miami, Florida. She has also been able to execute her first solo exhibition titled ‘With Feeling’ at Hearne Fine Art Gallery in Little Rock Arkansas, a great amount of progression since her introduction to the arts by watching her father, an artist and educator, painting in her early years. One of her main goals is to create work that brings attention to African subjects and African culture as this is something that impacted her as an individual growing up. We spoke to the amazing artist in a detailed interview about her journey, from her upbringing to what may be on the horizon.
There are heavy cultural influences in your early work, what did you aim to convey? I grew up with two educators for parents, and at their insistence watched international news often. I was struck by the lack of specificity I saw in stories covering people on the African continent. Similarly in cinema, or comedy there was a similar broad-brush stroke approach used in telling stories about African people or communities; there was a lack of specificity in speaking about different tribes, or languages or communities and certainly a lack of acknowledgment in how the norms, traditions or cultures of people may differ depending on those parameters. I felt like those details mattered, like there was some dignity to be had in people caring enough about the details to know and name them. Several of my earlier works were a concerted effort to celebrate being African, and were often titled after the tribe of the subject, or the region they were from. What impact does where you are from have on your work? ‘Where I am from’ has ultimately shaped my world view, and growing up around other expatriate families and exposure to cultural experiences that straddled an array of borders has really offered me the gift of perspective. My work locates me as a young African woman working as a visual artist, but my experiences have made me deeply empathetic to themes that can be appreciated universally. The African humanist ideology of Ubuntu. Investigating African identity in the context of the (millennial generation) and the desire to take up space and be seen as an ‘other’. Portraits are an important part of your work, what have you learned about the human facial structure through creating? Rendering anything anatomically correct can be challenging, I actually used to check out medical textbooks from the local library to better understand the muscle and bones beneath the planes of the face and practiced drawing them to; but in rendering the face an understanding of skin as a surface, colour and value is just as important In your studies of the human face.
What feature do you believe most defines an individual? An artist I deeply respect and admire, once said “it’s not about technique, it’s about emotion”. Having an understanding of the facial and human anatomy is important, but in my experience the magic seems to lie in being able capture something of the subject’s emotion and fixing it into the work. When people ask about work they seem to be most drawn to the pieces that I worked on emotively. What is striking about a face varies from one person to the next; it could a transfixing, deep set gaze on one person or prominent cheekbones on another. What people connect with, over and over is emotion. Who are some artists that motivate you and your artistry? Past or present I find myself endlessly enamoured with work from a range of talents; from figurative artists such as Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Toyin Ojih-Odutola, Benon Luutaya, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Charles White to photographer Kudzanai Chiurai and multimedia artists such as Mark Bradford and El Anatsui.
Danika Magdelena, otherwise known as â€˜Sirius Filmâ€™, has excelled in photography for several years and acquired an ample following in the process. Having studied the subject at A-level and at London College of Fashion, Danika has wholly immersed herself into the world of photography and truly made her mark as a unique, refreshing talent. At present day, Danika continues to work on many exciting projects with a soaring ambition. A number of years ago, Danika initially became interested in photography while amidst social settings. At various parties and events, she would enjoy taking photographs of her friends and capturing great moments for memories. Furthermore, the final shots would turn out extremely well and garner much praise from her peers who would encourage and support her evident abilities. Having recently discovered film cameras, Danikaâ€™s passion intensified and she began to implement a more methodical approach to her photography, offering guidance and styling tips when shooting her friends as subjects. She went on to arrange, plan and direct her own photoshoots as she gained confidence and expertise, alongside submitting works to blogs for additional exposure. Eventually, Danika secured her first commercial job with Nike as a behind the scenes photographer, which was certainly an eye opening experience. This enabled her to ground herself in the art and truly understand how photoshoots operate and the systems that take place. As more opportunities presented themselves, Danika took them on in full stride, eager to learn more and enhance her skills. She was soon able to invest in higher quality film, resulting in heightened colour and clarity of her shots. Currently, Danika works with high profile clients and perseveres in building upon her already fantastic portfolio.
Creative Director: Derrick Odafi Photographer: Daniel Gravis Stylist: Roisin Oâ€™Hara Asst. Stylist: Micah Gabriel Models: Nathaniel Williams. Che Jones Grooming: Blessing Kambanga Visual Director Harry Cruttenden
PHOTOGRAPHY MANU PILLAI HAIR AFI ATTIPOE / SELASIE AMETEWEE MODELS RONALD DADEY / SHARKKANA
MAKEUP GRACE MACARTNEY
Eastwood Danso Is a talented young designer of Ghanaian descent, born in Germany. Before beginning the journey of cultivating his eponymous brand in 2016 fashion was not Eastwoodâ€™s first love, in his early youth athletics were Dansoâ€™s focus during his time in Germany due to the influences of his peers. As he developed in his personal identity, Eastwood gravitated to art, graphic design and even drama during his adolescence.
Eastwood’s self-titled brand was not his first attempt at fashion design, ‘Rattle Apparel’ was the Name of Eastwood’s fashion project as a youth, however this was shut down very quickly. This didn’t stop Danso’s urge to create within the fashion space as his subsequent brands called ‘Paisley Saints’ and ‘East Creation’ followed right after. Unfortunately, the creatively stifling process of GCSE exams were the burial ground for these ideas. As an enthusiastic young creative mind, Danso was ready to align himself within the culture and new beginnings of exciting projects happening within the London Fashion industry. Modelling was something that Eastwood began to indulge in from the perspective of being a fly on the wall of the processes within the structure of the fashion world. During a rising era of social media, Danso was able to get in touch with someone he sees as a mentor currently. A simple direct message got Eastwood Danso in touch with A-Cold-Wall Founder and Designer Samuel Ross and Danso became one of the lead models for Ross’ 2016 Collection titled ‘SUMMARY’. Danso continued to model for A-Cold-Wall as he developed his own brand whilst studying for his A-Levels. His designs comment on heritage, politics and the economy. Since its inception, Danso had the opportunity to work with Nike who used pieces from his debut collection in their 2017 lookbook. Danso also sites GEO Designs as one of his mentors, as well as Rens Van Mack from Converse, a brand that Danso has a good relationship with, evident in his 1970 Chuck Taylor repurposed sneakers and other experimental silhouettes.
Fast forward to his SS20 presentation titled â€œFamilia Quantum Leapâ€?. Danso began setting the mood for his presentation by releasing some personal photos of his family online, therefore, to showcase how personal the collection is to him. His designs are purposeful, experimental and have a deep rooting into his background in fashion and his background as a man of African heritage. Familia Quantum Leap is a title representing his growth from his last collection till now. at the turn of the second decade of this century, Danso is growing in his consideration of his clothing and creating unique pieces that inspires his audience. He is a designer with a self-sufficient mentality that applies symbolism into his garments in a subtle fashion. The Installation during Fashion Week was an immersive experience with an eerie feel. The models stood still on platforms as they showcased the latest pieces from the collection while being surrounded by an artistic representation of nature, some of the models were surrounded by a shallow pool of water making for an excellent show with spectacular sound design. We spoke to Danso after the show.
Creative Director, Yemi Alade collaborated with New Wave Magazine to create an editorial inspired by the theme of Transcendence, fusing together Ancient Greek Mythology and Afrofuturism. The aim was to create a concept representing Transcendence, and what better way to do so than merging the past and the future, drawing from two time periods and cultures that would not normally be associated with one another. ‘Combining two worlds together is always a good recipe for creating something great.’ - Yemi Alade. ‘Transcendence’ is generally described as: The existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level. We asked Yemi to tell us what Transcendence means to her in order to gage why she felt this concept was the perfect means of translating this theme through imagery.
‘Transcendence to me means being able to defy expectations and limitations that are cast upon you. In terms of this editorial, it was being able to reimagine and take a different approach to a classicin particular, The Three Graces, which falls into the era of Greek Mythology, and fusing it with elements of Afrofuturism’. The basis of Afrofuturism is reimagining a future full of technology, the arts, and science, imagined through a black lens. The term was coined by white Author, Mark Dery, who wrote an essay titled ‘Black to The Future’, in which he explores hypothetical fiction within the dispersion of Africans. Historically, when looking at Sci-Fi movies and anything that reimagines the future, it is rarely based on black people, and Yemi explains that this may be down to the ideology that black people are behind the white man, unable to catch up with how quickly the world is moving. Technology and science are constantly advancing, and it is important to depict people of color when visualising the future, where technology, science, and arts will be at a level that has never been seen before.
Aglaia, The Grace of Beauty
The Graces were the daughters of Zeus, known as the King of the gods and the Oceanid Eurydome in Greek Mythology. Legend has it that these women were the pillars of their society at the time, inspiring the people, as they were deemed the panicles of art, each symbolising a positive entity. It is said that those who needed inspiration for their art and creativity would turn to The Three Graces.
Euphrosyne, The Grace of Delight
The fact that these three women were cherished and deemed supreme in the world of arts, historically dominated by men, was positively significant. Having a female figure held so highly, let alone on a god-level, is rare and unheard of in modern day, so to see such thing prevalent in ancient society is momentous and symbolic of how future society is imagined.
Yemi expresses, ‘Both Greek Mythology and Afrofuturism show equally powerful representations of women. Most representations of women in the future, for example, in films such as Black Panther, are really strong and heavily based on leadership and overall power. In Greek mythology, women have an exceptional amount of power also. They were the deciders of what women did, so both past and future represent women as powerful- whereas everything in between doesn’t really depict that’, hence the combination of the two elements.
Creative Director: Yemi Alade Photographer: Nadia Correia Asst. Photograher: Gabriel Gayle Designer: Yvonne Gyamfi Set Designer: Jade Adeyemi Asst. Set Designer: Blessing Ogaga Models: Kimberly Ngabirano, Dior Sow, Karima Ahmed MUA: Yolanda Dohr Hairstylist(s): Timi Adedipe, Mary Lasile, Serephine Aganga Retoucher; Jayd Burrell Production Manager(s); Derrick Odafi, Matilda Sandi
The editorial consists of three black models, posing elegantly and gracefully, representing The Three Graces, with Afro hairstyles aligning with the theme of Afrofuturism, inspired by Singer, Janelle Monae, who is known for incorporating Afrofuturism in her music, visuals, and style. Afro-textured hair extensions were used to create the look of natural braided afro-hair, and although the origin of braids can be traced back 5000 years in African culture, used not only as a style, but a form of art, hairstyles from the ancient Greek era also consisted of braiding hair and fixing it to the head, accompanied with flowers, headbands, ribbons, and pieces of metal. The different styles were a means of identifying the origin of aristocratic women in ancient Greece, very similar to African culture, in which historically, people were able to identify which tribe women belonged to through braid patterns.
Garments were designed and fitted by Yvonne Gyamfi, who took the approach of drawing from traditional ancient Greek attire, consisting of drapery and weighted reflective linens, of which she wrapped and pinned to create three individual looks. The metallic look of the linens added texture and reflection which aligned with and complimented the futuristic theme, intensified by the set design, executed by Jade Adeyemi, through Yemi’s vision. The well-thought-out combination of three black models styled and presented in such a way, to combine Greek mythology and Afrofuturism, two entities that, upon first thought, may seem unrelatable, was indeed the perfect recipe in achieving a visual representation of ‘Transcendence’, an existence beyond the norm. Words by Matilda Sandi
The illusive make up was executed in such a way to make the skin of the models appear glistened, reflective and metallic, which is typical of the visual themes in many Sci-Fi/ futuristic films, as well as accentuating beauty and purity, which are associated with The Three Graces.
In the current state of our ecosystem, our relationship with our environment is without a doubt more and more crucial as to how we live to build and sustain. At the turn of a new decade, it is important we share concepts and ideas on how this can be implemented in how we live and architecture is one of the foundations of guiding us in the right direction. A firm that seems to be doing this exceptionally well, especially in the example we have chosen to feature, in Sabadell, Barcelona based firm HARQUITECTES, an architecture studio established in 2000. HARQUITECTES is managed by four partner architects; David Lorente Ibáñez, Josep Ricart Ulldemolins, Xavier Ros Majó, and Roger Tudó Galí. These 4 individuals are key figures in the direction of the firm and their projects, one of them being House 1413. Before the completion of the House 1413 project, a stone wall marked out the boundaries of the estate, this wall went around the whole site, revealing just the top of the trees inside. An important discussion during the development process of this building was to maintain the tones and ecology of the surroundings. Instead of placing the house in the middle of the garden, the project proposes surrounding it: a house that functions as a fence. The materiality and the irregularity of the geometry of the wall endowed it with a special character and presence, but the current regulations made it compulsory to extend the width of the street, so preserving the wall was impossible.
Without the existing wall, the first and main challenge the project had to face was that of re-contextualizing the plot, building a new house able to offer a coherent, different, and honest response to its surroundings. A house-wall permits recovering the urban continuity and also experimenting with a new, very elongated type, everything in one level, adapted to the topography and to the new geometry of the street. A design detail that illustrates this is the staggering wall that maintains a similar wall height as the topography slopes down. The house follows the material and constructive logic of the original wallfence but adapting them to current requirements. It is built entirely with load-bearing walls, this improves the sustainability of the building from an economic and environmental perspective. This structure is built in a smooth and minimalist way, with essential living at the forefront. The builtin beds and wardrobes are planned out precisely, however other spaces in the structure are very changeable and mix-use.
The wallâ€™s thicknesses vary, and in many cases, its depth will allow accommodating the houseâ€™s more static spaces, or those that require greater privacy such as bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry area, pantry, closets, toilet. HARQUITECTES also reuse the stones from the old wall, mixing them with aggregate from the plot along with limestone and cement. And to this traditional mortar base, small insulating particles of recycled expanded glass will be added. Instead of stacking, the wall will be coffered and lifted with a mixed technique between the adobe and cyclopean wall. The outer layers facing the street will be chipped to let the stone resurface, while the interior will show the formwork finish.
In an almost fractal relationship, the different scales of the project are gradually solved by relating and linking larger spaces until the whole plot is enclosed. This produces a sequence between the more domestic spaces and the â€˜wilder,â€™ more exterior areas. A beautiful feature in this building is the functionality of the walls opening up to its surroundings, this is great for ventilation in such as the warm and relatively consistent environment in terms of weather. The linear relationships are addressed before the more static program, attached to the wall, creating a long sequence of corridors that absorb solar radiation during winter, and that can be opened entirely as porches connected to the garden. The transition between the different climates in the building evolves constantly throughout the year. House 1413 is a spectacular example of ingenuity, minimalism, and sustainable design. The cool texture of the building adds to its wonderful aesthetic and environmental fit.
Locked Out - Extract Overwhelmed with this abundance of emotion, Ruben began to desire an escape. The ability to terminate his state of mind, at least for a brief amount of time. While some individuals might choose to drown their sorrows, Ruben had never been one to drink alcohol. Though it may momentarily obscure his reality, he knew the aftermath would be horribly unpleasant. He recalled the anecdote Moe had relayed to him earlier and smirked at the sheer absurdity of the concept. Nonetheless, the story had indeed captivated him. Albeit ridiculous, he was rather intrigued â€“ perhaps even fascinated by the idea of being able to depart from his physical body and travel in solitude. With his current destructive psyche threatening his very sanity, he could think of nothing more uplifting than that. Ruben scoffed at himself truly contemplating this; after all, he was ultimately certain it would not be feasible. Finally, he reached the decision that a simple Google search couldnâ€™t hurt. Within approximately fifteen minutes, Ruben was seated cross-legged on his bedroom floor. His internet search had only amplified his curiosity further, providing him with a multitude of information on the subject. From people sharing their miraculous personal experiences, to instructions that were remarkably simple to follow, he had now found himself convinced. Initially sceptical of the legitimacy of this practice, Ruben had allowed his enthrallment to get the better of him. His eyes closed gently as he began to commence the process, yearning to flee from his imprisoning corporal existence. He began by regulating his breathing, as the internet article had instructed. All thoughts and distractions must be banished from the mind, heâ€™d read, and a state of total relaxation must be sustained. Allegedly, astral projection may be achieved when one is at the brink of consciousness and unconsciousness; fundamentally, falling asleep while simultaneously maintaining awareness. Ruben felt his chest expand and deflate with each breath, as he revelled in his freedom from thought. It was as if he were in a vast cave, devoid of stimulus of any kind. At this point, his perception of time had been warped beyond what felt credible; the duration of time spent was now inconceivable. Ruben inhaled sharply as he felt a numbness begin to encompass his body. Now he knew that he must be doing something right, as the article had presaged this sensation (or lack thereof). Keen to advance, he allowed the numbness to intensify until he felt entirely unware of his body. The numbness was accompanied by subtle vibrations and a low humming sound. Ruben was now at the final stage of the process and as per the instructions, began to visualise parts of his body moving without physically doing so. He began with one index finger, focusing immensely. It seemed he could successfully envision this motion, but due to the complete numbness of his body, he could not decipher whether it was actually moving or not.
Still determined, he implemented this same action on his entire hand, up to his forearm, arm, and so on. When he felt he had mastered this ability, Ruben put this to the test and slowly raised himself from his seated position- still applying the technique he had so quickly learnt. Eyes still closed, Ruben was now standing upright in his bedroom, arms by his side. Although extremely relaxed, he was discouraged to realise he felt no different than usual. His eyes peeled open before adjusting to the dim light of the room. ‘Well, that was a waste of time’ he thought to himself, turning around to return to his bed. In that very moment, Ruben caught sight of something that made his heart leap. In the precise location where he had just been seated, sat none other than himself – eyes closed, legs crossed, illuminated by the moonlight. Ruben staggered backwards in bewilderment, his mouth agape. His heart thudded in his chest as he gradually began to grasp the actuality of his circumstance. He had done it. Ruben stood staring at himself for what seemed like an eternity, absorbing the experience in its totality. It was unimaginably surreal, to be separate from his physical body and able to perceive this externally. He cautiously leaned forward to study his own face, beads of sweat forming at his brow. The expression conveyed a state of serenity and Ruben found himself admiring how peaceful he looked. He continued to examine his physical self, sat eerily still as if frozen to the spot.
- Written by Yianina Small
Poetry is a beautiful art form that breeds introspective thought without distraction. Talented wordsmith that structure these words are important commentators on the world around us and their personal perspectives that many can relate to. Not many others have transcended this craft into various opportunities and platforms like London based performance poet Suli Breaks. His opinions and perspective have been a strong voice in UK culture since his viral spoken piece titled Why I Hate School but Love Education, garnering over 9 million views over the past 7 years. This exposure of his talent has allowed Breaks to collaborate and spread his message alongside Blue-chip brands such as NASA, Microsoft, and Samsung. Breaks connected more to the street-level aesthetic of spoken words than he did to the straitjacket requisites of an academic setting. He is a strong believer in learning through experience and breaking the mold of what it means to learn and receive information. He does not aim to be the leader of an educational revolution but to simply level the playing field and provide a new direction for young people mentally streamlined into the direction that has been fed to us for decades and generations. Breaks has not only made his impact in spoken word but he has also penned a record on Kasabianâ€™s fifth studio album, 48.13. Breaks has also had the privilege of going on tour with one of his favorite artists of all time Kano. As an individual of Ghanaian descent, his heritage is also a big part of his craft, especially with his involvement with one of the biggest Ghanaian artists in the world Kwesi Arthur. We caught up with Suli Breaks for some insight into him and his current perspective.
Pi’erre Bourne When you think of the new era of rap in terms of production, you’d often think about bumping 808s sitting under spacey melodies – this is quite largely down to the unmistakeable influence of one artist, Jordan Timothy Jenks, better known as Pi’erre Bourne. Ever since his major breakthrough producing for Playboi Carti in 2017 on his breakout hit single ‘Magnolia’, Pi’erre has inspired a whole generation of producers, with his influence seemingly everywhere in the rap game; from 808 patterns to hi-hats and replica Pi’erre Bourne sound packs, which have helped create a whole new wave of rap production. Pi’erre Bourne is a Belizean-American that spent most of his formative years growing up in Durham, North Carolina to a military family from Queens, New York. He would often visit Queens New York see his grandmother during the summer breaks, his surroundings during his time in New York lead to his interest in East Coast hip hop artists such as Dipset and G-Unit. Music is an artform that is not foregin to Pi’erre’s lineage beacuse from a young age he was inspired by his uncle Dwight who was a rapper and graphic artist. Pi’erre first began making beats when he was in elementary school, using FL Studio on his uncle’s computer. Pi’erre also followed his uncle’s footsteps by studying graphic design for a year before dropping out at 18. At this point his love for music became more than a pass time as his uncle encouraged him to pursue his career in music. Pi’erre moved to Atlanta to study sound engineering at the SAE Institute. Pi’erre’s journey in the music industry began as a sound engineer for Epic Records in 2015. A year later he came into contact with artists such as Young Nudy and Trippie Redd after leaving Epic to cultivate his career on his own terms. Not only is he one of the most accomplished producers in the game, having produced for Playboi Carti, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert and Kanye West, but he has also been a huge success as a solo artist, with huge tracks such as ‘Poof’ surpassing millions of streams and a string of solo projects from 2016 until now. The transcendence from being seen as solely as a producer, to being renowned as a solo recording artist has been huge, with Bourne being able to tour worldwide now off the back of his super successful 2019 project TLOP 4. You can’t help but think this is just the start for Pi’erre. We sat down with him during our shoot to discuss everything from the come up, to discussing what 2020 has in store.
WORDS LEVI WILSON PHOTOGRAPHY FARRIS ASHRAF
Music didn’t work out for me until I moved to Atlanta... Down south, in the states, the way of life is slower so you don’t really see things progress without you.
NW: So Pi’erre, We understand you spent most of your time growing up in between Columbia, South Carolina and Queens, New York, what were the main differences growing up? Pierre: New York in general has more things to do, it’s easier to travel - public transport isn’t frowned upon, you’re not lame for being on the bus or train, but down south in Columbia, getting a license is like.. the thing. So you can drive, pick up your friends, go to parties and go get food and stuff like that. That was the difference, in Columbia everyone was stressed about getting their license… immediately, so you had some sense of freedom. In New York, you have freedom with your two feet. Just walk and go do stuff, so I preferred staying in New York because of that. NW: It was probably a better musical environment as well right? Pi’erre: Not even, music didn’t work out for me until I moved to Atlanta. As far as just opening my mind and seeing that the world doesn’t stop for you - that’s what New York showed me. Down south, in the states, the way of life is slower so you don’t really see things progress without you. In New York you see everybody is on their way to something. In South Carolina it’s like, a lot of people wait a bit longer than someone else from up north. NW: So in your come up, how did you stay motivated? Did it ever get super difficult? Pi’erre: I’d say it was difficult several times. I think prayers - I pray a lot, I have a lot of faith in God, that’s what got me through. NW: Last year, you released Slim’erre with Young Nudy - how did that come about? Pi’erre: We were supposed to do Slim’erre before Savage Mode. They used to call me that. ‘Slim’erre’, I was like that’s not me, but if we worked together, you can call it some Slim’erre shit.
NW: You also had the big leak last year of ‘Pissy Pamper/Kid Cudi’, were there any positives from that? Pi’erre: That was supposed to be on Slim’erre. NW: It was a sample clearance issue right? Pi’erre: Yeah, that’s why it wasn’t on Slim’erre. It’ll never come out. It’s not us, it’s the people we sampled. They’re obviously not gonna change their mind, a lot of artists you sample hate rap music. As soon as they find out a rapper sampled their song, they’re like ‘Oh no, don’t sabotage my art, my masterpiece’. I’d feel the same type of way if someone sampled something from TLOP 4. I would definitely be like ‘No, you can’t.’ NW: What’s your chemistry with Carti like? Pi’erre: That’s my brother man, it’s deeper than music at this point. We changed both of our lives together, it’s us against the world man. NW: You also worked closely with Young Thug on So Much Fun in 2019, what’s it like working with him? Pi’erre: Thug is a very hard worker. His work ethic is one of the best out of anybody I’ve been around. NW: We heard he has thousand of songs right? Pi’erre: Man, he records everything. Any beat I show him, he records to. I like that because being an artist is cool because you don’t have to depend on somebody getting on your beat, but as a producer, you’re kinda skeptical… like, does he like them? Is he gonna rap on them? So, to see him pull up one by one and keep going in. I’d never feel some type of way about coming to a Young Thug session and handing him beats, because I know he’s gonna go crazy. He’s proved it to me so many times. I gave him 300 beats. It was an accident, I copied the whole folder. I was like, ‘whoa, guess I gotta make a lot more beats’ because they were supposed to go to this person and to this person, I was gonna split it up. I ended up having 6 on So Much Fun including the deluxe, but we got a lot more songs with me.
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Sometimes just give everybody else time to wake up...” NW: Obviously Carti has given recognition to some artists over here in the UK, do you know anything about the UK scene? Do you mess with anyone over here? Pi’erre: My bro Slowthai and Skepta. That’s about it as far as UK artists that I talk to. I guess nobody has hit me up, I met them through Rocky and Carti. NW: Away from producing for other people, you dropped TLOP 4 and that boosted your solo reputation and you released a collaboration with Jelly from your label, what can we expect from you in 2020? Pi’erre: More projects with my artists on SossHouse. That’s like my biggest focus, getting that music out and seeing what people say. Getting them on the road and getting some fire under their legs. I’ve already seen enough myself to where I’m like, ‘I’m gonna attack it this way’, I kinda know what I wanna do. My artists are fresh, everything’s still new to them. I don’t want them to just do whatever, but at the same time I want them to do whatever. We just gotta be smart and I’m really just looking forward to putting that music out. I get to mix it, produce it, engineer it, not just give someone some beats and go home. People are liking Jelly’s project - it’s the first of many through SossHouse, so, we got a good thing going. NW: How many artists are on SossHouse? Pi’erre: I have 6 right now that I’ve been working with for about 2 and a half years, but I’ve known just about everybody, except like one before I was famous and stuff. It’s a different kinda relationship, opposed to artists I work with now - I don’t know them from a can of paint for real. It feels better when I see them getting accolades, when people are like ‘You’re stuff is hard’, it feels good to see the response. NW: The theme of the new New Wave issue is Transcendence, what’s your relation to that word, as someone who has transcended from a producer to someone who is a whole lot more than that now? Pi’erre: Sometimes just give everybody else time to wake up, I’ve been doing the same thing for years, people who pay attention to me, might just pay attention to one thing. Where as people who take a liking to me see that he does this and that. It’s a process, but it’s not something that discourages me, people are starting to gravitate towards that.
NW: You also worked with Kanye West on Jesus Is King, what was that experience like? Pi’erre: Damn. I mean, it’s like any process of working with any other artist - I go play my beats and hope for the best... that’s about it. Everybody on the internet made it seem like it was a weird time, that’s probably the easiest album I was able to work on because we all were on the same page, we’re making an album for Jesus. That was something I never got to do before. That was cool. NW: Did you learn anything from him during that time? Pi’erre: I talk to Kanye all the time. It ain’t about just working on that project. It ain’t got nothing to do with the music. I get advice from him, whatever. That’s like my big bro. It’s deeper than music now, once he understood me as a person he sees himself, that’s why he really be tryna helping me out. NW: What’s one thing that he said that has stuck with you over time? Pi’erre: Shit, he said I’m the one. That stuck with me, but that wasn’t when we did Jesus Is King - that was when we were in Wyoming the first time for the Ye album.
Creative Director: Derrick Odafi & Farris Ashraf Photographer: Farris Ashraf Stylist: Sophia Alonge Assistant Stylist: Palesa Dlamini Viual Director(s): Bijoux Chima & Derrick Odafi
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After taking some time out, rebranding and debuting her first singles ‘Romeo’ and ‘Don’t Phone’ via Moonshyne, British songstress Tamera has been working hard to not only be one of the most captivating singers on the London scene right now, but she’s also someone who knows exactly what she wants. Having collectively over 300,000 streams on Spotify and over 100,000 views on YouTube and counting, these tracks have planted her right in the neo-soul scene where she can flourish into being the dreamy soul singer that once she looked up to as a child. With creative direction from India Rose and Saffron Guiness for her first music visual for ‘Romeo’ which was released in August 2019, both the video and track were described as having gentle jazz, R&B with lo-fi 70s effects. Written about an ex-lover, Tamera sings about how he had enabled her to see the bigger picture in life but wasn’t romantic at all, the first lyric reads “You’re no Romeo but I like it better because you inspire thought” whilst the chorus reads “Now I know how far I’d go for you”, fortifying the idea of space age visuals in a bubblegum-pink suit and air helmet. Shot in Wales, she wanders around the copper coloured rocks reflecting on this time in her life. With her being blasted into space for the ‘Romeo’ visuals, it perfectly symbolises how Tamera is going to be reaching new heights in the forthcoming years. Tamera has always been singing since she was young. Encouraged by her grandma who is a church minister, she would always call her out to sing and take part. Being able to explore harmonising and sing within a group of people was what paved a way for her career in the future and as she grew up. Tamera draws inspiration from a variety of artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, James Brown and Usher, whom she was a huge fan of. As she got older, she started to listen to artists such as Sammy Davis Jr and Sarah Vaughan from the traditional Pop and Jazz genres. This introduced her to a more technical side of music as well as hearing classic soul. From singing in church choirs to eventually writing her own lyrics in the studio, Tamera absorbs inspiration from absolutely anything she can get her hands on. Whether it’s a new artist she discovers, scrolling through Pinterest or watching a movie, there is always something she can utilise to make herself get more creative within her song writing. She nurtures her creative genius whilst simultaneously listening to powerful female artists that she feels like she can relate to. Albums that meant the most to her in the last decade include Rihanna’s ‘R8’, SZA’s ‘CTRL’ and Teyana Taylor’s ‘K.T.S.E’. Although her debut track ‘Romeo’ has been described to be neo-soul or R&B, Tamera doesn’t think she has a sound. As she changes and grows as a person she thinks she will adapt as her life goes on through different experiences she has. It is clear that she is evolving and will continue to as it shows with her second single; the summery and beat consistent track ‘Don’t Phone’ which was released in November 2019. She now explores more sounds like subtle afrobeats and draws inspiration from Hip Hop. From having this dream since she was young, there’s no stopping Tamera from trying to achieve what she was born to do.
Creative Director: Derrick Odafi Photographer: Nadie Petsek Stylist: Leila Violet Bailey MUA: Sam Lascelle Hairstylist: Lauraine Bailey at Cahoona’s London using Sam McKnight Viual Director: Jordan Hurrell Retoucher: Derrick Odafi Project Manager: Matilda Sandi Studio: Captured Studios
With the industry being condensed, Tamera believes that the most important way to stand out is for her to be truthful to herself. As she tries to view the world through multiple perspectives and connect with people, she thinks deeper into things and shows that she cares about people and the world around her. She injects that feeling of authenticity within her writing and wants anyone who listens to her to feel like they can relate. In terms of competitiveness, Tamera believes that UK artists should stand together more in solidarity. Much like artists in the US who love to feature and collaborate with each other, she wishes of seeing a bigger sense of community that would bring everyone closer together as a family who are all striving for success but not trying to be on top of another. Tamera loves to collaborate as she feels that it can sometimes bring out something new that she wouldn’t necessarily find on her own. Alongside this, Tamera has dreams of one day collaborating with Missy Elliott; it’s apparent that Tamera means business. Hard work pays and it’s important to our songstress to knuckle down and grind to get what you want. In a materialistic world, it’s easy to get lost and caught up in the glittering things the industry has to offer as well as clout-chasing to get 15 minutes of fame. Tamera knows that it could all be gone in a heartbeat and strives to perfect her craft for as long as takes. It may just be the start of perfecting herself, but this artiste is finding her feet and letting us feast on her art whilst she does so. By already producing two finely tuned tracks it’s clear that Tamera is going to be one to watch by spreading a bona fide sense of authenticity, love and positivity through her music.
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Spiritually awakened, musing and powerful are the three phrases I would chose to describe the feeling you receive whilst listening to Obongjayar. Born and raised in Calabar, Nigeria, by his grandmother, Steven Umoh grew up to the limited exposure of bootleg rap. At a time when the genre was thriving worldwide, a young Obongjayar was captivated to the likes of Nelly, Eminem, Usher and Snoop Dogg - to be more precise a Nelly vs Usher mashup disc and CD’s by both Eminem and Ciara that his mother would send over to him from the U.K. At the age of 17, he fled the nest and followed his mother’s steps, moving to the suburbs of London in Ashford. Keeping himself involved with the music scene back at home in Nigeria, he was recording raps that from time received press from Nigerian based blogs. Soon after moving to England, he moved too Norwich to study a Graphic Design Degree at University. To him, this was a way to escape. A way for him to become his own person. Putting a band together, he played various small shows and realised that singing was his calling rather than rapping. As a young boy he always had a dream of wanting to become a rapper. It suddenly hit him one day when he realised that he was rapping in an American tone - which would make sense, due to the music he was exposed to from a young age. However, after some deep thought Obongjayar realised he wasn’t being him true self. Who was he really trying to reach? It took manier year for him to realise that his raw and authentic Nigerian vocal tone was meant for him musically. Obongjayar released his debut-EP back in 2016 entitled ‘Home’. Made up of 5 tracks, this EP was him unleashing his artistry into the world. Covering social aspects, spoken word and more, ’Home’ was a bold statement of what Obongjayar had to offer musically. In 2017, he dropped his sophomore project ‘Bassey’ this time made up of 4 tracks. One of which is his most prominent yet - ‘Endless’. Speaking on legacy, this track explores the celebration of life within death. How we live through our effects on the people around us and the environment we surround ourselves with. Obongjayar highlights the fact that we never really die in this almost hypnotic and tribal track. Built upon fleeting grooves and chanting vocals ‘Endless’ transports you into an unworldly place that makes study what Obongjayar really has to say. In tracks like ‘Set Alight’, Obongjayar talks about racism and how black people are portrayed in the news as well as how members of the community treat their own. In 2018, he released two singles that were presented to the public throughout out the year entitled ‘Adjacent Heart’ and ‘Never Change’. The first single, ‘Adjacent Heart’ is more of a reflective track, expressing nothing but gratitude towards loved ones. ‘Never Change’ followed up from ‘Adjacent Heart’ and took more of a haunting and fragmented sound.
Reflecting on life back in Calabar, he speaks from a different perspective after moving away and seeing life through a different lens. Focusing on the negativity and corruptions that everyday life can often have on us and how we can often hold onto the innocence of childhood. Visually Obongjayar is as creative as he is both sonically and lyrically, the editing that goes into each visual has just as much thought and meaning. The visuals for ‘Never Change’ see Obongjayar coated in a layer of dust and covered in cellophane. A lot of Obongjayar’s music is a reflection of him finding himself, a search for his own identity. Through moving from his native home in Nigeria to London, earlier this year he released a brand new single entitled ‘Frens’. This particular track is based around the people that help us to know who we are whether this be through where we are going, understanding ourselves or even where we have come from. The concept is formed around showing reciprocation of love and people coming together. Produced by Obongjayar himself alongside the likes of Barney Lister, Obongjayar’s vocals almost feel cleansing over the swelling bass and frantic clapping drums. Obongjayar’s growth and progression in music is a beautiful sigh to see, a trailblazer of his own independent and authentic sound inspiring individuals to obtain self confidence and self-awareness. Obongjayar is preparing for a European tour taking him to cities such as Paris, Amsterdam and Manchester. From his appearances on the latest Danny Brown album to the announcement of his latest project, we are excited to see where his music takes him.
‘Post-Black’ art is a recent and loosely coined term, attributable to Thelma Golden in 2001 as the curator of the Studio museum in Harlem. It has taken on various meanings according to various aesthetic concerns. However, the celebration of a hybrid, fluid, cultural mulattoesque sense of black identity (Ashe, 2007), and to challenge ‘blackness’ in what it is and what it can be have remained core constants of this artistic movement. Contemporary black urban consciousness with it’s dominant, highly visual and phantasmagoric aesthetic trajectories of hip-hop and R&B/soul invoke intense encounters with black bodies, and thus have become key domains for the manifestation of ‘PostBlack’ impulse and dialogue. Black bodies have long been met with what Harvey Young (2010) describes as ‘compulsory visibility’, constituted by discourses constructed outside black bodies themselves. They have been objectifying and homogeneous, and resultantly have contributed today to the staging of ‘blackness’ with criminality within contemporary law enforcement and judicial systems. I think it is in response to this compulsory visibility that the Black Lives Matter movement took on such an important aesthetic dimension – in regaining control of black representation acting to rupture dominant sensibilities of ‘blackness’ seen in mainstream media that are often characterized by an internalized racism (Schneider, 2017). This is aesthetic politics. This dimension of political practice is about extricating sensibilities from their dominant representation, creating dissensus, or disagreement within an ontological texture of externally imposed possibilities and capabilities (Ranciere, 2004). Within aesthetic political philosophy the ‘Post-Black’ visual paradigm provides possibility in redefining black bodies in unhinged potentiality - as Solange does in the alternate, transgressive cultural worlds created in the short film. They move away from externally imposed discourses to reclaim ‘blackness’ from dominant regimes of sensibility, to reconfigure the relationship between black bodies and what is see-able, say-able and possible in the objectifying mediatized worlds and somewhat restrictive cultural landscapes ‘blackness’ finds itself within. I believe the ‘Post-Black’ impulse channelled through a contemporary black urban consciousness acts politically, by providing an artistic encounter to this emancipatory disconnection from the social and political contexts through which black bodies have disadvantageously emerged.
Solange’s self-directed film When I Get Home (2019) nurtures a strong ‘Post-Black’ impulse. An unwavering proclamation of black faith and beauty is contrasted with visual transgressions made possible by a heterogeneous aestheticization of various - traditionally ‘white’ domains of cultural signification. Escaping confinement, ‘blackness’ here manoeuvres itself through the continuously exchanging dialogues presented in the film, appearing not in defiance, but in liberatory fashion. Solange does this in the beautiful synergism produced through a ‘black’ re-contextualization (or perhaps, intertextuality) of the form and control denoted by the inhuman monotony of modernist architecture in the form of the capitalist office block - and the specific demographic of which these structures have overwhelmingly benefited; through the adoption of the somewhat imperial branding of the American Southwest; and in a certain humanism maintained within the ideals of a specifically Western conception of technological progress and utopianism - of which I will now discuss in turn all historically and affectively distorted with the presentation of a surrealist and feminine ‘blackness’ that is unapologetic in its celebration of a new black identity. One that is not fixated in a genre or form. Rather, one that dances across the ‘schizophrenic’ relationships of the postmodern (Jameson, 1997), in a weakening historicism, on an emotional ground where new intensities of transgression and rupture have emerged.
Throughout the course of the film, Solange places herself and her host of black performers, often dancing, or seemingly in spiritual, or ritual possession within architectural spaces of modernity. This direct tension proposed by the rhythmic and other-worldly bodies against these large monotonous objects of late-capitalism acts as a subversion to the subjective and ethnically tainted social conditions associated with the rise of capitalism itself. In a scene where black bodies weave and cut through multiple and perfectly aligned cars in a way that is at once ritualistic and possessive, Solange simultaneously references black spirituality with hyper-capitalist ideals, whereby the black body acts to subvert the inhuman nature of capitalist workings through it’s metaphysical presentation - renegotiating its’s relation to these unfairly ethnically structured and institutionalized hierarchies. White reflectivity displays itself literally and figuratively on the stage(s) of capitalist order and control, which is absorbed and re-signified in the sensual repetition of black faith cast in the lyrics and aesthetics throughout the film.
The repeating lines of ‘Black braids, black waves, black skin...’ heard in Almeda seem to eclipse the spirit and body - but it is the black bodies presence in these spaces of pre-dominant ‘whiteness’ that allows a flight from pre-established and restrictive narratives. Allowing a brief, yet ethereal ascension towards the totality of a black consciousness unhinged from external demands that have perhaps restricted this expression culturally. Thus, this re-appropriation extends beyond a transgressive cultural signification, acting to grant black subjectivity with the possibility of an identity-free future away from the essentialist rhetoric tied to rigid notions of black authenticity.
The adoption of a ‘neo-Western’ aesthetic displayed through the film’s various references to horseback riding and cowboy attire posit ‘blackness’ as operating in a somewhat metaphysical space, for the American Southwest’s brand is certainly that of ‘free land’ and ‘opportunity’. This time, however, radically reworked in our escape from regimes of representation. Historically, this aesthetic has been almost entirely reserved for the white male subject, so how are we to see the cast of black performers ride on horseback through these modernist architectural surroundings - stylistic heterogeneity? But more deeply, attuning to a synonymous ‘free land’ here the bodily, spatial, and temporal dimensions of ‘blackness’ (Beverly, 2012) are expanded onto a metaphysical plane of cultural surreality. In this move, we are forced to encounter the intensities of ‘blackness’ outside the insufficient representational model, as procreated, fluid and liberated forces unrestricted by the aestheticizing of colour towards the “realization of a common humanity still only existing as an idea” (Ranciere, 2004: 27). Altering the very aesthetic-political field of possibility (Ranciere, 2004), Solange escapes signifying codes of aesthetic wholeness, fragmenting and letting free ‘blackness’ to engage dialectically across cultural genres and their political preoccupations.
Solange suggests identities both embodied and disembodied, human and post-human with the recruitment of technology and inherent ‘Afro-futurist’ stance. Emphasising digital, and somewhat cosmic subjectivities, in Can I Hold the Mic (interlude) she displays a post-human figure that seems to have merged artificial with human intelligence. She speaks of herself in excess of corporeality, escaping delimitation of both time and space, dissolved from the humanist category - with its, albeit under attack, hegemonic assertion of enlightenment ideals for the liberal white male (David, 2007). The hermeneutic shift in ‘Post-Black’ visual culture reveals itself, no longer do bodies represent ideas, experiences, and history, but bodies and their excesses of desire and imagination shape vision and experience (Beverly, 2012). Solange is thus using ‘blackness’ as a visual relation, becoming conceptualised only at the moment of fixation (Raengo, 2013), a malleable complex category that she has taken full sovereign over in expressing that which escapes the immediate reality of black bodies both materially and subjectively - through post-human and artificial realms. The final section of the film addresses black issues of visibility and objectivity in a surrealist digital landscape. Performers are seen dancing in a field of plants within a coliseum type venue, putting on a technologically enhanced show of ecstatic resonance. Solange here presents a radical black subjectivity, going so far as to reference slavery through a surrealist, almost utopian lens, promoting a fluid, multiple and unmediated reading of black bodies away from currents of objectification. I can’t be a singular expression of myself, theres too many parts too many spaces, too many manifestations, too many lines, too many curves, too many troubles, too many journeys, too many mountains, too many rivers so many...
References Ashe, B. (2007) ‘These—Are—the Breaks: A Roundtable Discussion on Teaching the Post- Soul Aesthetic’, African American Review, 41(4), 787-803. Beverly, M.P. (2012) Phenomenal bodies: the metaphysical possibilities of post black film and visual culture. Dissertation. Georgia State University David, M. (2007) ‘Afrofuturism and Post-Soul Possibility in Black Popular Music’, African American Review, 41(4), 695-707. Jameson, F. (1997) Postmodernism: or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. North Carolina: Duke University Press. Raengo, A. (2013) On the Sleeve of the Visual: Race as Face Value. London: University Press of New England. Rancière, J. (2004) The Politics of Aesthetics. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. Schneider, N.A. (2017) ‘Black Protest on the Streets: Visual Activism and the Aesthetic Politics of Black Lives Matter’, Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, 18(1), 1-27. Young, H. (2010). Embodying Black experience: Stillness, critical memory, and the Black Body. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. aesthetic holds vast potential for artists to reframe the relation between bodies and the world in which they live. Post-Black to the future.
Can I Hold the Mic (interlude) The ‘Post-Black’ artistic paradigm works with ‘blackness’ as a productive force engendering re- signification and dissensus, and thus, a re-configuration in the sensible fabric of aesthetic communities in our image-saturated mediatized worlds. By unearthing the complexity of black subjectivity and black experience through cultural heterogeneity and crossreferenced cultural genres in surreal and futurist landscapes, Solange disrupts what is possible to conceive, a disconnection to representation in intensities of ‘blackness’ that redistribute the capacities and incapacities held in the ‘ethos’ of the black social body (Ranciere, 2004). Politics exists everywhere if we are to consider it the disruption, or partition of sensibility in our lived communities. Expanding our notions of ‘blackness’, the ‘Post-Black’ aesthetic holds vast potential for artists to reframe the relation between bodies and the world in which they live. Post-Black to the future.
Charlie Di Placido, an accomplished West London native that has been there, done that and created stunning visual productions that tell beautifully sleek and admirable stories. With family ties to southern Italy and raised in Paddington, London, Di Placido is a Director that creates almost romantic visuals in his application of dance, movement and long-standing shots that give his work a cinematic feel. Di Placidoâ€™s rich and vibrant tones, with subtle messaging that resonates with his intended audience. As the Creative Director of his production company JFC Worldwide, Founded alongside his brother, his over 10 years of experience has seen him work with amazing talents such as Jungle, Kojey Radical and Little Simz. Since his beginnings in the industry, Di Placido has strived to produce iconic, groundbreaking and important work that reflects the times. We sat down with the visual mastermind for his first-ever interview.
Hi Charlie, how are you today? I’m very well thank you, happy to sit down with you guys. We know of your Italian heritage, where exactly in Italy are you from? My mother’s family is originally from a place called Monte Casino, which is in the south of Italy. But I’m born and raised in Paddington, around there. I’ve lived here my whole life. Genetically half Italian or something like that, just with pale skin and the ginger hair [laughs] What was your upbringing like and how does that play a part in what you do now? Not much to be honest with you. I’m a middle-class white boy so I got sent away to school at a young age, was supposed to go Kings College London but I didn’t manage long there. I started running for a production company maybe 15 years ago? Just working my way up. I worked as an in-house editor for 5 years and then started producing some videos for a band called Jungle. I did their first few videos and then I started my production company, JFC Worldwide which is Jungle’s sister company. I’d worked 12 years in production before that. What does JFC Worldwide stand for? Some people say it stands for Jungle Film Club, some say it stands for Jungle Football Club, because we have a 5 a side football team, but basically that’s how that started. We focus on making visuals with interesting young British talent. What are some of your earlier memories in your career that stands out? Very early on when I was first starting to produce my own videos, Harry Uzoka, my flatmate, showed me Koj’s work [Kojey Radical]. He showed me a video called ‘Bambu’, which was directed by TheRest. Two days later I signed Koj and then TheRest as a result and from there it’s been years of working together in some form or other. In your time as a runner were you already interested in film and looking for a way in? or was it just a Job at the time. At the time it was just a job, but as a kid, I was always into films. One of the guys I grew up with, kind of like my ‘road big brother’, he was a massive film head and I used to run a security firm with him. Late Nights we were always watching endless films. If someone would ask me what I wanted to do I’d say something to do with film but it was never a part of my process, I was just out here being a crazy kid and needed to get a job and luckily got one as a runner.
You spoke on loving films as a kid, what were your favourite films when you were younger? A lot of my one-take style is based on my love for Paolo Sorrentino who is an Italian film director. There’s a film called ‘La Grande Bellezza’, which won Best Foreign Film at the Oscars a few years ago. He also has a film called ‘The Consequences of Love’. He just loves long takes and I think a lot of people have ADHD in the way they cut – everything needs to be like boom boom boom [quick]. A lot of times with labels I will do long take videos and they’d tell me to cut to keep people’s attention. That’s not what I’m going for. Josh, who’s one half of Jungle, is also my business partner and we direct all the Jungle videos together, it’s like our vision. We’ve always loved the idea that if you hold on one scene, it’s a much better way of capturing people’s attention. Everyone is so used to chopping but I feel like if you film something right, set it upright and have the right characters, you don’t need to cut. Actually, it’s a lot more engaging to keep people focused on one thing. With those extended shots, what do you think that says to the audience? It’s a weird one because it was a style that I and Josh stumbled upon in the early days. When we did the first Jungle videos, we were working in a very free and off the cuff way. That was the style we gravitated towards. I think the reason I gravitated to the style is that it’s something that captures people’s attention, it makes it a lot more filmic. All great film making and music videos allow people to think for themselves about how it makes them feel, the more you give them a single scene to look at – the more they can read into the messages. You’ve been doing this for a long time and started from the ground up. What were the most difficult times before getting to where you’re at now? Without being too arrogant about it, I feel like people like TheRest, our Kojey videos, some of the stuff I’ve done and some of the stuff they do with SlowThai, for a long time we were making crazy work and no-one was hiring us. A lot of people I know work in other production companies, and we are some of the most referenced directors ever. We’re on everybody’s mood boards. You might have seen some memes that say ‘take me off your mood board and f****g employ me’. For a long time that was a big thing, I think The Rest now are getting the recognition they deserve and we’re (myself and Josh) getting a lot of work as well so it’s about getting to the tipping point, but for a long time you’re making really cool stuff and you’re not getting the recognition.
How about the business side of your creative endeavours? In terms of starting and running the business, I have to hold my hands up and say it’s been a lot easier for me because of my situation. My investors, my brother and his business partner Mikey have always supported me and given me the time to get to that tipping point, whereas someone coming from a different background may not have the 3 years to get their company started. For a long time, you’re doing a lot of videos for very little profit and that’s difficult if you don’t have people behind you to back you up. You’ve spoken about TheRest a lot andThose are my guys! They’re tattooed on my skin
We know they are frequent collaborators of yours, they were featured on Issue VII as one of our Top 5 visual Auteurs. Number 1! Number 1 for me. They used to be signed to my production company JFC Worldwide, they now do their own thing because they’re in their own lane. Lewis and Alex are like two of my best friends in the whole world. Whenever I make something, I’ll send it to them, Nines and Josh. If Lewis and Alex say it bangs....it bangs [Laughs], They are very honest as well. That whole scene up in Northampton, they are doing crazy stuff. The SlowThai campaign is a work of absolute F*****g art. To make an album called Nothing Great About Britain, stagger that marketing campaign as it was and have it released on the day Theresa May resigns from office...There are record labels with floors and floors of people working on campaigns that couldn’t do what these kids from Northampton did. Got nothing but love and respect for those guys man.
Why is that so difficult to create a feature-length film for those that are unaware? Long-form is difficult. Difficult getting into the funding aspect of it, to get enough money to make it. The most difficult thing is deciding what to make a film about for yourself. A lot of the times I bounce around ideas with the artist I’m working with, a lot of the creative material comes from them and you work with them to make it into what you see. With a film, it’s like a blank piece of paper. Maybe the dialog as well? Yeah, for me that’s what I want to work on the most myself because that is where it can get corny really quick. I think there’s a lot of things on tv and in our culture which has dialogue that I think is played out. Are they any other creative ventures you’re pursuing in the creative industry outside of film and videos? I’m a workaholic mate. All I do is work [Laughs] Other than work and being bantered by Nina about football, it’s all I really do man...Tattoos, I like tattoos. Who are some artists that you want to work with in the future? Alewya, she was on the Shy FX stage at [Notting Hill] Carnival. I think she’s hard. There could be some cool stuff to come from her. Materpeace - absolute fire. There could be some cool stuff to come from him. There will be more in my Insta save but those two for now. Do you have any dvice for vreatives going through touch times cutting through? I was talking to an actor friend of mine the other day. I think he’s struggling thinking it’s not going to happen. It’s about just holding out there and if you believe in what you’re doing and that’s what you want to do, you’re going to have to struggle for a bit – probably not going to happen the way you want it to happen. Don’t buy into Instagram, everyone looks successful on Instagram. I look way more successful on Instagram than I actually am [Laughs]. Don’t buy into that, If you believe in what you’re doing just keep doing it. Keep chipping away and if you’re talented it will eventually happen for you.
EDITORS LETTER Since June 2019, I and the team have been hard at work to bring you our best issue yet. Along the way we have created new bonds, made old ones stronger and learned lessons that will help us reach our goals of sharing our learning experiences with you, the reader. This issue’s theme is based on Transcendence, a word that we believe we are synonymous with at this current stage of growth. New Wave as a publication and community organization has grown leaps and bounds since our last release, from the level of quality we provide to the vast amount of creative talents we come across on each project. This editor’s letter is a thank you to each and everyone involved in the process of making this possible through the ups and downs. For this issue, our amazing cover stars, Pip Millet (print) and Pierre Bourne (Digital) have transcended in different ways. Pip is at the cusp of being a world-renowned artist for her amazing vocals and emotive songwriting and Pierre has proven that he is more than a producer with sold-out shows in Europe and a plethora of projects under his belt with great success, we told their stories to give an insight on their thoughts on the concept of transcendence and how far they have come in their individual journeys. on this issue we also spoke to amazing artists such as Louis Mandumbwa and poet Suli Breaks, allowing us a view into how they transcend beyond their crafts and look towards a greater purpose for people around them and beyond. Our conversations with young designer Eastwood Danso are similar, in our discussion based on his SS20 collection “Familia Quantum Leap” – taking big steps forward in his craft and the messaging he chooses to disseminate through fashion. We also had the pleasure of a conversation with Charlie Di Placido, a brilliant director and co-founder of JFC Worldwide, a spectacular production house responsible for visuals for acts such as Jungle, Kojey Radical and more. These conversations and stories each have layers of overcoming, development and reaching new plateaus of creative excellence and we hope it inspires you to do the same. Derrick Odafi Editor In Chief