Spring / Summer 2010
Class of 2010 / Idris Elba / I Voted BNP Mastodon / Hostel Life / Making It In Music Staycations / Facebook Stalkers
ON THE COVER Photography by Eva Pentel (outside cover) and Yasmine Akim (inside cover) Styling by Denise Brown Make-up by Analisa Sarno and Gabriella Ciullo Hair by Holly Speeding
Photographer: Yasmine Akim
A Note from the Editor If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen our cover. As my old buddy Jay-Z once asked, “What more can I say?!” We wanted to get the hottest new talent around, handpicked from our Class of 2010, together at the Roundhouse for the shoot, and boy did we pull it off. Everyone from man-of-the-moment Tinie Tempah (who since shooting our cover scored a chart-topping smash with Pass Out) to comedian Eddie Kadi, about to make the step-up to the O2 Arena, passed through our spot to grace the cover and adorn our inside pages. Major moves. If you were smart enough to pick up the last issue of Redtop then you’re in luck - you’ll already know what we’re about. Last time around we featured soul-sensation Jazmine Sullivan early, and tipped Jay Sean for his unprecedented success way before it happened. We’re just as fresh (and just as free) this time, but in 2010 we’re doing it bigger and better. We’ve got more features for you to sink your teeth into (that Class of 2010 cover feature is pretty prophetic, just wait and see) plus you can check us out online (www.roundhouse. org.uk/redtop) where you can feast your eyes on some exclusive content, including a sneaky behind-the-scenes look at our star-studded cover shoot. And to top it all off, we’ve hooked up with street wear brand Boxfresh, which means you’ll be able to find us in some of the places you can find them. So to our French readers, if you’re out there, Guten Tag. Word to RosettaStone. Our passport game is tight, my foreign language skills… not so much. Anyway, that’s enough of me, enjoy the issue! Oh, and drop us an email (email@example.com). Until next time… Editor
Redtop Project Co-ordinator Bea Hankey Managing Editor Lawrence Lartey Editor Dayalan Kulendran Deputy Editor Samiat Pedro Sub Editor & Director of Photography Lyn Connolly Junior Designer Annabellle Afful Photography Advisor Simon Rowe Staff Writers Liz Amadi Tamara Bello Taku Dimwasha Sonita Dowd Kate Lamble Chinwe Ojielo Zaba Parviainen Beatriz Salamanca Nahel Tzegai Photographers Yasmine Akim Paria Kamyab Chioma Okpara Eva Pentel Creative Design Catch 22 Design Agency Contact Roundhouse Studios Chalk Farm Road London NW1 8EH E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.roundhouse.org.uk/redtop www.roundhouse.org.uk/radio
Top L-R: Lesley Sackey, Eliza Doolittle, Dudley O’ Shaughnessy Middle L-R: Eddie Kadi, Rox, Kevin J, Semhal Zemikael Bottom L-R: Tinie Tempah, Mz Bratt
All material © Roundhouse 2010. All rights reserved. Redtop magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of the publishers. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which neither Redtop nor the Roundhouse accept any responsibility. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Roundhouse.
THE DREAM TEAM We’re looking to the future here at Redtop, but we respect the past. 2010 is a new decade and we’re excited about music, sport and the arts. But what was the classic moment of the past ten years? Here the Redtop team tell you theirs. Photographer: Yasmine Akim
Dayalan Kulendran Editor Drake - So Far Gone: Rejuvenated the tired mixtape format, generating the biggest buzz of the decade for an unsigned artist. Everybody got a deal, he did it without one.
Samiat Pedro Deputy Editor Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, a true modern classic from an inspirational writer and the TV drama didn’t disappoint either.
Lyn Connolly Sub Editor & Director of Photography System of a Down’s Toxicity and Satyricon’s Volcano: the two albums I have to thank for my heavy metal awakening.
Annabelle Afful Junior Designer Sudoku. Ah, this 9x9 square feet of numbers has boggled and bamboozled many. It’s got me through whilst travelling on the death trap that is public transport, through the wailing of children, people’s bad B.O and mind-numbing conservations.
Liz Amadi Staff Writer It has to be seeing Prince and James Brown live, which enabled me to get a first-hand taste of a real musical legend. Pure quality (although I sadly didn’t get to see precious MJ - R.I.P!). Also the recycle of the soul/jazz/ hip-hop fuelled live music scene. I can’t forget Lost, I don’t care what anyone says; Lost is the one!
Tamara Bello Staff Writer African prints have made a comeback in the fashion industry. Inspired by this craze, I too have incorporated this social wear into my own collection. Everybody watch out for ‘Don’t Touch Clothing’, launching later on this year.
Taku Dimwasha Staff Writer The noughties brought us social networking. Gone are the days of going out and meeting people; now you can form a mini army of friends online and with the invention of Facebook, stalking is no longer limited to the weird and perverted.
Sonita Dowd Staff Writer For me, the noughties was all about the re-introduction of retro trainers. Mixing up a windrunner, blue jeans coupled with a fresh new pair of kicks; Jordans, Dunks, Reebok Pump, Air Max 87s. Old shoes with hundreds of new colourways!
Chinwe Ojielo Staff Writer Dubstep. I’d been mourning the death of UK garage for so long and was happy when I finally discovered this brilliant sub-genre in 2006. Long may it reign!
Zaba Parviainen Staff Writer The 2005 film Crash, directed by Paul Haggis is without a doubt a classic. It transcends time and culture, looking at how socially constructed reality affects human relations, following the lives of different people in different economic and social settings.
Beatriz Salamanca Staff Writer Terry Gilliam’s 2006 masterpiece Tideland, which is undoubtedly going to become a classic. It’s a film unlike any other, taking you into the world of a little girl’s mind. Her charm lies in her innocence, strength and bravery, presented from a very unique perspective.
Nahel Tzegai Staff Writer It would have to be Dizzee Rascal’s Boy in Da Corner.This is one my favourite albums of all time and every time I listen to it, it takes me back to my teenage years. It really captures the essence of its time and thoroughly deserved to win the Mercury Prize.
Kate Lamble Staff Writer My favourite event over the past decade has been the advent of On-Demand TV - never before has it been easier to waste your time on Being Human or Don’t Tell the Bride or Glee or...
Lawrence Lartey Managing Editor Season four, Episode three of The Wire. If you don’t know it, get to know it. Classic TV.
Upfront 6 REDTOP RECOMMENDS…
All your Spring/Summer must sees & dos
Current Affairs 8 WOULD YOU PASS THE ‘LIFE IN THE UK’ TEST? It’s not as easy as you’d think...
Discussion 18 ROUNDTABLE
What’s it really like to live in a London hostel?
Fashion and Beauty 22 THE BIG FRIZZ
How to rock your natural curls
24 I WEAR MY OWN GARMS
The designers Tee-ing it to the top
Get the Rihanna look for less
28 BACK TO BLACK
Forget florals, we show you Spring’s new look
Cover Feature 32 CLASS OF 2010
Our pick of the ones to watch this year! Actors, designers, future chart toppers, we’ve got them all…
The film clichés that never get old…
40 MAN... UNITED?
World Cup fever- does it really unite the masses?
46 STILL MISBEHAVING
20 HOSTEL LIFE
39 DÉJÀ VU?
16 WHO’S FOLLOWING YOU?
Five guys talk…Independent Women
We wave goodbye to Big Brother and its take on ‘real’ life
42 NO HOOKY STREET
The darker side of social networking…
38 FICTIONAL REALITY
10 I VOTED BNP 12 WAR ON DRUGS 14 EUREKA!
Make the recession work for you and get those great ideas off the ground…
Arts and Culture
Bag yourself a bargain at London’s best markets, you won’t find a dodgy Delboy in sight.
44 HOLIDAY AT HOME
Take a staycation, you deserve it…
Music 49 ROCK N’ ROLLER LOVES DIPLOMAS
Kano talks Goverment, Gorillaz and grime
50 REDTOP’S GUIDE TO MAKING IT IN MUSIC 52 DRIIS: FROM STRINGER TO SINGER The other side of Idris Elba 54 CALL OF THE MASTODON We catch up with the guys as they prepare to rock the (Round)house
56 SOUL BROTHER
Introducing rising soul singer Nathan Watson
57 A CLASSIC ALBUM: DIZZEE RASCAL - BOY IN DA CORNER
Take a trip down memory lane to the days of Dizzee’s classic debut album
UPFRONT Redtop Recommends… Iron Man 2 30 April Released more than a week before the U.S (remember the days when we had to wait months for new releases?), Robert Downey Jr is back as the Iron clad superhero.This time he’s up against just about everyone as he attempts to resist pressure from the military to share his groundbreaking technology. Robin Hood 14 May Director Ridley Scott once again teams up with Russell Crowe in this dark retelling of the legend that is Robin Hood. We all know the story but now we can enjoy its full-on Hollywood makeover – they used over 800 people, running about on a beach in Wales, to recreate the main battle scene. Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time 28 May On paper a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kinglsey and Gemma Arterton sounds pretty serious – not so much when Gyllenhaal is actually a Persian prince (with a British accent, it is pretty good though) and Kingsley’s dressed like he’s in the middle of a panto. However, CGI’d to within an inch of its life, it looks impressive. 184.108.40.206 4 June ‘4 Girls, 3 Days, 2 Cities, 1 Chance.’ Noel Clarke’s third film follows four girls as they find themselves involved in a robbery. Based in London and New York, it looks set to launch Clarke as an international talent. A Team 30 July In what seems to be the year of the remake,The A Team movie is one of the most anticipated. Let’s hope treasured childhood memories will not be ruined – we’re still recovering from that rubbish first Hulk remake (Bana not Norton). Don’t even get us started on the ‘new’ Gladiators… Step Up 3D 6 August Showing off a brand new cast (with the exception of breakdancing techy, Moose), this dance-rom franchise goes global as they take on the world’s best breakers in Digital 3D! Wonder if they’ve come up with an excuse for Channing Tatum to pop by again and show off some moves…
Four Lions courtesy of Optimum Releasing
Brighton Festival Various venues 1 - 23 May Over 240 performances crammed into just three weeks; there’s everything from dance, theatre, books and debates, premieres, commissions and exclusive shows. Pack your sunnies and head down to the coolest of the UK’s seaside towns. www.brightonfestival.org NEXT in concert The Pigalle Club 29 April R&B group Next perform alongside top UK supporting acts, hosted by Cherri V. After party with top DJs. Limited tickets at £15 (or more on the door), £5 after party only. www.ticketweb.co.uk
Prince of Persia courtesy of Disney Enterprises and Jerry Bruckheimer
Sex and The City 2 28th May Our favourite fashionistas are back, and this time they’re heading out of NYC and abroad for an adventure. Soap Riverside Studios Until Apr 25th Eight acrobats perform extraordinary feats on, in and around bathtubs in this surreal cabaret-circus comedy from Markus Pabst, creator of La Clique’s Bathboy act. www.riversidestudios.co.uk Counted: A documentary–play about British democracy County Hall 15 April – 22 May Staged in the former Debating Chamber at County Hall - whose walls echo with political history and windows look across the river to the Houses of Parliament - This Roundhouse co-production sheds light on why, in a world at war over democracy, we’re not voting. www.roundhouse.org.uk
Gaymers Camden Crawl Various venues 1 - 2 May Running over the May Bank Holiday this year, the UK’s original inner-city fest will set up camp across Camden Town’s two mile stretch of high street for the 6th consecutive year. This year features a truly eclectic lineup and tasters from the forthcoming Camden Fringe. www.thecamdencrawl.com Wireless Festival Hyde Park 2 - 4 July With superstars ranging from Jay-Z to Pink, by way of Lily Allen, Mr Hudson, Drake, Bluey Robinson, Missy Elliot and The Ting Tings, this three day festival in London’s most famous park is always an unmissable highlight of the Summer. Pray for sunshine and trust hip-hop legend Jay-Z (headlining the final night) will take care of the rest. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk Global Gathering Stratford-Upon-Avon 30 - 31 July Dizzee Rascal and Faithless headline the epic dance music The A Team courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Vine Frith Street Gallery Until Apr 30th Seven Folds in Time, a multi-screen installation exploring the relationship between music and image. Even better, it’s free.
festival this year. With more acts soon to be announced, Global Gathering is famed for its spectacular light show and great vibes. We went last year and can attest to its awesomeness. www.globalgathering.com When You’re Strange In cinemas 2nd July This music biopic featuring The Doors is set to be a hit this Summer, with previously unseen footage shot between their formation in ‘65 and Jim Morrison’s untimely death. Oh, and it’s narrated by Johnny Depp. Sonisphere Festival Knebworth 30 July - 1 August The UK’s newest rock fest returns to Knebworth this year with a killer lineup including The Cult, Motley Crue, Slayer, Alice in Chains and some exclusive appearances from the likes of Rammstein. uk.sonispherefestivals.com Turning Point Festival Roundhouse 17 - 19 September Young people take over the Roundhouse and present three days of live music, circus, comedy, cabaret and more.There’s some exciting stuff going on - check out the Roundhouse website soon for more info. www.roundhouse.org.uk Maison Martin Margiela ‘20’ The Exhibition Somerset House 3 June – 5 September Somerset House hosts an exhibition celebrating twenty years of Maison Martin Margiela with installations, film, video and photography - a journey through the iconic brand’s history and philosophy.There’ll also be limited edition items from the designer on sale throughout the exhibition. A unique opportunity to delve into the workings of this influential fashion house. www.somersethouse.org.uk
Bad Film Club The Barbican Monthly So bad it’s good! Nicko & Joe’s infamous Bad Film Club returns monthly with comedians pitting their wits against cinematic catastrophes such as Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Sucker Punch Royal Court Theatre 11 June – 24 July Two former friends step into the ring and face up to who they are. Roy Williams’ new play Sucker Punch looks back on what it was like to be young and black in the ‘80s and asks if the right battles have been fought, let alone won. royalcourttheatre.com
Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Roundhouse - Camden Crawl © Andy Wilsher
Also look out for… FOUR LIONS Comedy about would-be suicide bombers in Britain with Riz Ahmed CHATROOM A thriller with a twist starring Aaron Johnson, Ophelia Lovibond and Daniel Kaluuya REPO MEN See Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in action man mode AMERICAN:THE BILL HICKS STORY A unique insight into the life of the classic comedian
Would you pass the
‘Life in the UK’
24 questions, 45 minutes. Simple enough, right? After all, if you’re planning on living life in a new society it’s only fair you know enough about it.
Samiat Pedro gets to grips with
I first looked at the Life in the UK test guide book, delightfully titled Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship, whilst at the library, having decided to flick through as a healthy distraction from work. Oh and by ‘flick through’ I really mean ‘see how fast I can answer all the mock exam questions and feel quite smug’. Being an English Literature graduate and a Londoner, a test on life in the UK would be a doddle, right? Wrong!
the test on UK life and finds out why it’s not as easy as it seems…
Whoa! I thought it was a test about life in the UK, not an A-level history exam. As someone who was born and bred in England, it’s pretty embarrassing that there are questions I couldn’t even begin to answer. Photographer: Chioma Okpara Illustration: Ben Jennings
thinking, how many of us born in Britain would be able to pass the test? ‘Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship’… what a journey it is. If you’ve managed to cram in all the revision and somehow managed to deal with the tricky questions and pass, I salute you.The majority of those applying, members of society that have family in the UK, or are looking to make a better standard of life for themselves in Britain, want to be able to work hard, achieve and be useful and significant members of society - after all Britain is a nation, that throughout history, has been built on migrants sowing into society - take the Huguenots for example. Who? I hear you cry. They’re also in the test study guide.
“Really I just wanted to see how fast I could answer all the questions - being an English Literature graduate and a Londoner, a test on life in the UK would be a doddle, right? Wrong!”
I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a means by which to gauge people’s appreciation and level of knowledge about a society before becoming a part of it; if you’re willing to give up your original nationality to become British, then having an appreciation for the society is necessary. But to expect would-be British citizens to pass a test that those born in the UK may struggle to pass, is this really fair?
I vaguely remember being taught about the Suffragettes in year 7, aged 11.That’s not to make light of what they achieved, I am simply being honest; I am proud of what they achieved and make use of my liberty which they fought for on my behalf, but how many of us can recall the date they first achieved the vote - without the help of Google? 1908, 1918, 1928, 1938? Oh, and they’re not referring to the date that is commonly celebrated, you know, the one you wished your teacher would stop drumming into your head and then forgot about the minute the summer sun crept through the exam hall window and they yelled out “pens down”. No, what they actually wanted was the year in which women over 30 were lawfully allowed to vote, which was 1918, but of course we all knew that. Like how we all know what a Quango is, or how many parliamentary constituencies exist. It got me
So, would you pass the test or would you be sent packing? Ok, so no one really gets the boot for failing the test, you actually get to take it as many times as you like for £34 a pop. And what is it you really need to know to survive living in the UK?
We hit the streets of Camden and spoke to a load of shoppers – including one who’d taken the UK test to find out.
“I didn’t get that question. I don’t know”
“I don’t think my parents would even be able to answer that”
“Sounds like a band made for a 90s television show”
Look at it another way. Say you wanted to move to Spain, for example, but before you were allowed to live there permanently you had to take a test on life in Spain, in Spanish, but that’s not all - you have to answer questions about the Spanish Civil War beginning in 1936… which wasn’t actually in 1936, but on a cold morning in 1930 when the Spanish dictator was first forced from his throne. Do you think you’d have a hope in passing? “A group of people…from maybe 100 years ago?”
“Were they German?”
In the words of the Home Office UK Border Agency, “Becoming settled in the UK is…an achievement.” You can certainly say that again.
To take Redtop’s very own UK Life Quiz (and to find out who the Huguenots were) check out the Redtop website.
“I don’t know”
of poverty addressed.” Going back to the Caribbean once she finishes her studies is her main priority. She’s hoping that with her politics degree she’ll be able to help her country solve its issues.
As far as Jennifer is concerned, the BNP offer the best deal available in the current political market, with their iron-fist policies on crime and immigration, and pledge to
alleviate poverty. In the last European elections, the BNP took 6.2% of total votes. How many of those constituted of ethnic minorities is unknown - it will be interesting to see how the party performs in the upcoming elections. Will people stick to what they know, or will they take the risk of lifting the ‘fascist party’ to the pedestal? Only time will tell.
Zaba Parviainen talks to African-Caribbean politics student Jennifer Brown to find out why. Illustration: Ben Jennings Voting is an opportunity for citizens to secure their political interest for the next elected term. But how does one explain why an ethnic minority would vote for a party such as the British National Party (BNP) that poses a conflict of interest? Or does it? In the next few weeks, Britain will hold its next General Election. For the mainstream parties, elections are a time of uncertainty; a period when they compete for support and power. For smaller parties, however, elections present an opportunity to make their mark.This year, the BNP has already provoked immense media coverage by winning its first two seats in the European Parliament. According to a membership list leaked in 2009, the party’s popularity is concentrated in the East Midlands and Leicestershire; however, a lot of its supporters are non-members. As much as the media has ridiculed the party, labelling it as fascist and racist, one ought to acknowledge that the BNP’s popularity is on the rise, attracting voters from many different backgrounds. Jennifer Brown, an AfricanCaribbean politics student, was one from a minority that voted for the party. What was it that enticed her to vote for the BNP? “The hard-line politics of the BNP, firm policy on the limitation of immigration into Britain, firm sentences, deportation of criminals and sending ethnic minorities home is what this country needs and [also] developing countries. Sending ethnic minorities back will force them to rebuild their countries,” says the outspoken 22 year old. Regardless of her support for the BNP, she describes herself as a left-wing who believes in supporting people in disadvantaged circumstances such as single parents and the poor. A former member of the Labour Party, she left due to their soft grip on immigration. “It is
overcrowded. People should go back to their country of ethnic origin- including those who are the second and third generation to be here,” she confidently affirms. She goes on to add that “Britain needs stricter crime laws and harsh sentences. For example, I believe there should be severe punishment for rape crimes.” It is not surprising that a young lady like her, living in an impoverished neighbourhood, would have such views given that crime mostly impacts on people from a poor background. Having been born and raised in Britain, and treated as a second class citizen all her life, the media coverage labelling the BNP as a racist party does not shake her. Jennifer believes all political parties are racist and the fact that the BNP is open about it doesn’t put her off. “Looking out for your own people shouldn’t be condemned; in fact, developing countries should learn from parties such as the BNP. Ethnic minorities, particularly black people, need more national pride and willingness to take care of their own kind.” As a second year politics student, Jennifer is aware of, and concerned by, the impact of poverty around the world. It’s a general consensus that we live in an increasingly unequal global village where poverty is on the rise. According to the BNP website, the party “will first ensure that poverty and deprivation are eradicated in Britain before any consideration can be given to foreign aid of any sort” and as a young African-Caribbean lady, Jennifer stands by this statement. She strongly believes that the deportation of ethnic minorities could play a major part in solving poverty in the developing countries. “Moving back would be a start for greater things. By going back, people will be forced to address issues faced by their surroundings. For example, more jobs would have to be created and issues
The UK Drug Prohibition:
the Fuel of a Conflict in a Distant Land Beatriz Salamanca gets to grips with the drug war taking place on the streets of Columbia. Illustration: Ash Spurr As we are reminded daily by tabloids and news programs, drug use amongst young people is of great concern to the British authorities.The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction estimates that 5.6% of 15 to 24 year olds in the UK have used cocaine at least once in their life, 9.9% in the last year. Supporting the Americans in their crusade for a drug-free world, the British are targeting countries known for drug production. Among these is one in which I happen to have spent most of my life: Colombia, located in the North West corner of Latin America. According to the United Nations’ latest World Drug Report, it is estimated that 845 tonnes of cocaine were produced in 2008, with Colombia accounting for 51% of this production.Whereas it is widely known that the US has poured more than four billion US Dollars into the Plan Colombia counter-narcotics offensive, the amount that the British Government has provided for this cause has been kept secret. In a recent interview with Liam Craig-Best, director of the British NGO Justice for Colombia, he pointed out the UK program for military aid to Colombia is worrying and extensive, especially in relation to counter-narcotics training. It has become the greatest matter of concern, because the Colombian army (trained by the British) has been found to be deeply implicated in human rights abuse. As Liam reports:
that some parts of the Colombian army are involved in drug trafficking. It appears that Britain has no idea who they’re training or who they’re working with. Many of the units that the British have trained have also been involved in extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, killing of trade unionists, torture and many other things. Some MPs are being asked how much money this is costing, how much of the tax payers´ money is being used in Colombia for this purpose, and their response is: it’s a secret. How can they train an army with one of the worst human rights records in the world and then not pay any attention to what these people do later on?”
crop eradication, seizures and the deprivation of liberty of those who are found cultivating, trafficking or even consuming drugs.This leads us to question the efficacy of locking people up for drug trafficking. In a paradoxical way, the more the Government seizes drugs and fights traffickers, the more expensive the drugs become, and the more profitable the black market business becomes. Those who support the prohibition of drugs argue that this is what keeps them out of the reach of potential addicts; however, this is precisely what leads to fierce competition for control of the biggest piece of the market. The streets become battlefields of butchery and the victims are often innocent people.
“The military units trained by Britain are involved in very serious human rights abuses.There’s also strong evidence
What makes Colombia such a particular case is the size of the gangs that fund themselves through drug trafficking. Firstly there is the Guerrilla, an insurgent group created more than forty years ago as a result of the predominant evils. After failing to achieve political power and spread their left-wing ideas, they resorted to military power, said to be funded by the drug business. Now they demonstrate their opposition to the establishment through kidnapping and terrorist attacks that make no distinction between political targets and civilians. Secondly there are the Paramilitaries, vigilantes who had the support of the Government in their attempt to tackle the guerrilla, but soon became cocaine traffickers themselves. Under the Government’s indifference, they have been committing all sorts of human rights abuses. Finally, there is the Government itself. Since they adopted their current
“The streets become battlefields of butchery and the victims are often innocent people”
“Many of the units that the British have trained have also been involved in extrajudicial executions...”
The war on drugs has a wide variety of targets.These include the above mentioned military training, illegal
counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics position, their power has gone beyond limits, and corruption cases are commonplace at all levels. In countries like Colombia, the money made out of the drug business is making criminals more evil and powerful every day.The victims of this war advocate the decriminalisation of drugs. Of course, drugs would remain a medical problem, but the crime involved in the black market would be greatly diminished. It’s a complex issue, but to round up drugs and the drug trade are a business. Therefore from street level to the Government many are involved, all in the pursuit of money. Next time you read about the cocaine problem in the UK, think about how it arrived here in the first place.
Chinwe Ojielo explores the upside to unemployment and how ideas can spark inventions. Illustration: Tico Best
So the figures are in; the UK economy has grown by 0.1%.We’re out of the recession, but only just.While this is good news, let’s not pretend that unemployment will disappear overnight. For some, it’ll still feel like we’re in a financial slump, but I’m here to say that great things can and have come out of it - take the Dyson brand, for example. James Dyson started his company during the last recession, so why not see the current economic climate as a catalyst to get your creative ideas flowing? Inspiration can come anytime.When you’re not working 9 to 5, in between filling out those application forms, you have the free time to think and innovate; you have a better chance of coming up with an idea with a clear head, than when you’re stressing over a work presentation or a rude customer. So when you’ve got your idea for an invention, how do you know that people will be willing to pay for it? “There’s no use inventing something when there’s no need for it; we could all do that. I think that the mark of a good invention is something that is going to improve people’s lives somehow.” - Jeff Woolf OBE, two-time winner of the British Inventor of the Year award and Business Link in London Advisor.
Maybe you’ve always been interested in design and technology. If so, this is the time to put your design skills to work. If drawing isn’t one of your skills however, you can always enlist someone else to do that for you. At this early stage it’s natural to want to tell your family and friends about your idea; after all, you want to make sure that the idea is marketable, but doing this could prove to be the death of all your hard work.Why? Well firstly, because they’re close to you, family and friends will tell you that your idea is a good one even if secretly they think it isn’t, because they don’t want to upset you. Secondly, if you have come up with an interesting innovation, you shouldn’t really tell anyone for the obvious reason that they could steal it. If you must tell someone, make sure you have a patent application in place first.
“Really at heart we’ve all got a little bit of invention in us.”
“It doesn’t cost anything, but if you’re not going to tell a soul, then you won’t need a patent application”. - Bill Currie, winner of British Inventor of the Year 2008. Once a design is in place for your idea, the next step is to allocate sources of funding to turn that design, and your idea, into a working prototype. “If we take an example of a basic design idea, we would first sit down with our in-house expert on that type of product or material and undertake a quick feasibility study to check that said product would be viable for mass production manufacturing in China.” - Mark Clayton, China2West. Bringing an idea to fruition will be challenging and it definitely goes without saying that you may or may not be successful, but you’ll never know until you try. “Sometimes I think, God I thought of that myself 5 years ago but I never did anything with it. I think a lot of people notice that in their lives, because really at heart we’ve all got a little bit of invention in us.” – Jeff Woolf OBE.
“One of the first things I’d say to anybody, and certainly to a 1624 year-old out of work, is that if you have an idea go and see Business Link because you’ll get an impartial view. I’ll help them change their idea from just an idea, into hopefully a profitable business.” Jeff Woolf OBE
For more information check out the following websites: Intellectual Property Office: www.ipo.gov.uk Business Link: www.businesslink.gov.uk
Jeff Woolf OBE
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At first it was quite addictive. I was going out raving a lot and before I knew it, 300 friends had become 800. All of this was great up until a few months ago when the harassment started. I began receiving random texts from numbers that I didn’t recognise which made it clear that the sender knew of my whereabouts; for instance things such as “I know you’re at Wimbledon tonight”, which was where I worked at the time.That really shocked me because I didn’t know how this person knew those things, but because of my status updates and profile information I guessed that they must have pieced all the details together. Initially I thought it was a friend playing a prank, so I replied to the texts asking the sender to reveal themselves and to grow up, but this resulted in a barrage of daily insults relating to my status updates. So I then decided to get in touch with the police because I was beginning to get paranoid, but they couldn’t do anything at that stage because I hadn’t been threatened, so I just left it. A couple of months later, I received a text from another number that I didn’t recognise regarding the night out that I had just had saying, “you were great last night”, “you know how to satisfy a woman.” This was all very flattering but I wasn’t with anyone. I texted back explaining that they had the wrong person, but they replied saying “no Daniel, it was you” and proceeded to reveal private details about my life which
set off my paranoia again. I wouldn’t ever pick up their phone calls; in fact during that time I went a week without picking up anybody’s calls because I got so stressed out by it all. This sort of situation has happened to me about four or five times now. It’s probably someone I’ve met through social groups or maybe someone’s angry at me and passed my number on to someone else, I don’t know. Using social networking sites has meant that people are able to look at my photos and look at who I’m hanging out with, giving the impression that I’m quite sociable and possibly arrogant, which is not the case. Someone else who may not be having as good a time as me, or is having a better time than me but they haven’t put the photos up to show it, might get a bit angry or jealous. It has subsided now but I got another text a few weeks ago, a different number as always, but I just ignored it. I was advised by the police that it was the best thing to do because if you show anger, you are giving them the thrill that they want, whereas if you don’t do anything, they don’t know if you’ve changed your number. “Don’t ever call the person back”, they said, “it fuels it so just leave it.” They said that’s how stalkers work. “They’ll keep on trying to get a reaction from you, whether that’s a good reaction or a bad reaction. If you give them no reaction, then they’ll eventually stop.” Now I only pick up the phone if it’s a number that I recognise.
“I replied to the texts asking the sender to reveal themselves and to grow up, but this resulted in a barrage of daily insults relating to my status updates” More Ads
In some way, this whole experience has made me more self-aware. Perhaps I haven’t been giving some of my friends the attention that they deserve and since I’ve been reflecting on the way that I treat others, I’ve been having less and less problems with stalking. How my life is working now, I make social networking sites work with me. I’m not a slave to Facebook like some people are. about an hour ago . Comment . Like
hat defines an independent woman? Liz Amadi seeks out five men to try and get a definition. It isn’t everyday you’re given a VIP pass into the minds of young menand when I say VIP, I’m talking about the best seat in the house, exclusive viewing, up close and personal!
Photographer: Liz Amadi We invited five opinionated males from the entertainment industry to share their views about what an independent woman is: acclaimed comedian Eddie Kadi; musical entrepreneur and founding member of So Solid Crew Mega Man; musician and member of The Streets Kevin Mark Trail; Redtop Editor Dayalan Kulendran and actor and comedian Jamie Howard. I must say, if men really are from Mars and women are from Venus, then these men must have a season ticket to travel, because they seemed very in touch. Read on!
Rating female celebs
The guys were asked to place 5 well known leading celebrity females - Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Jodie Marsh, Britney Spears and Victoria Beckham - on a dependence map. Dependence was placed at the top and independence at the bottom. Results were quite interesting and elicited some interesting views. After much debate, Britney Spears and Beyonce were positioned equally in
What is an independent woman?
As anticipated everybody had their own answer, although they were not far off from each other.They even got as deep as talking about respectable women, intellectual women and the not so intellectual. According to Eddie,“Stupidity has nothing to do with it.” Heather Mills was put out there by Dayalan as potentially being independent for getting one over on Paul McCartney, although Jamie argued that point. “Without divorcing him and with all the media profile that she got, would she still be able to be a person of power?” Jamie: I don’t think there is such a thing as an independent woman, there is a difference between being independent and being self sufficient. No-one is independent, because everyone at some point is dependent on someone else. Eddie: An independent woman is one who can make a decision and deal with the responsibility afterwards.
Independent women in relationships
After the heated debate on celebrity women, it was time
the independent field but not completely at the top of the chart. Jodie Marsh was unanimously positioned way past the dependent line, so much so that Dayalan asked if she could be put on the ceiling! Victoria Beckham was comfortably placed just above the half way mark towards dependent and alongside Michelle Obama; all agreed that both are carried by their famous husbands, but still stand strong by themselves.
their own life outside of your life, can sustain their own interests and isn’t needy. Mega Man: Women motivate the world! [This statement made me smile – we can vibe Mega]
Traditional versus modern women
Things started to get a little deep at this stage, discussing the dramas of EastEnders, the media’s influence on society and culture, children bringing up children and modern mothers exposing their kids to the real world very early and so on (I know you’re thinking how did we get here, well these brothers are serious!). And no surprise that there was also some interesting chit chat, some of it a little inappropriate for print... Jamie: I want a happy medium. If I need her to borrow me 10 pounds she can give me 10 pounds, if I want her to marinate my lamb she needs to be able to marinate my lamb! Mega Man: I want a modern woman because most modern women don’t have a boundary. A modern woman says reach for the stars, the cloud is too close.
What do women want?
I was really looking forward to this question! Especially discovering what guys think they know and what they don’t know - that they need to get to know! Well the general consensus was that women want quality time and that they value balance.What do you say ladies... give them a 10/10 for this conclusion?
Jamie: Women want a man to hug them Monday to Fridays and slap them around a little bit on the weekends. Kevin: Some women don’t want a strong man; they want a man they can control.That they can tell what to do and when to do it, and if they don’t they’re not having it! Eddie: Women want security and Robocop.
Funniest or most awkward encounter with a woman
Given that the talk was quite intense, I hoped for some hilarious and light hearted anecdotes at this point, but the guys kept it relevant and on a serious note. It appears that most of these guys are yet to find the right woman who can handle their careers – hence why all but one of them are currently single. Hey ladies... Jamie: A girl said ‘it’s either comedy or me’; well we’re not together any more init!
“Women want security and Robocop” Eddie Kadi Catch the full discussion online at the Redtop website
to bring it back to personal grounds and find out how, or if, independent women fit into average relationships.They talked about modern role reversals, metro-sexual men and all sorts, including a question as to whether Beyonce was more independent when she sung Independent Women, or now. Good stuff! Kevin: An independent woman is someone who has
rom the outside looking in, living in a hostel must look like a sweet deal for a young Londoner. I mean, you get your rent paid by the local council, and have no bills; you can come and go as you like and you even get pocket money from the Department for Work and Pensions.You have all the free time in the world to do what you want, no parents to tell you what to do and you can chill out with your hostel mates. Right? Wrong.
I had my own bed, albeit in a room smaller than a prison cell (I measured it), a sink, desk and a view out onto another brick wall.The hostel had 300 beds and shared kitchens, showers and bathrooms; it also had a ‘communal area’ and ‘function room’.The front desk was monitored by what seemed to be a nice ‘friendly team’ and I was even allocated a ‘support worker’. It seemed to be very well run with a supportive atmosphere. Demographics of a hostel this size are very different to more common
Sonita Dowd on Living the Dream: Sex, Drugs and on the Dole
“A few weeks had passed, and my rose tinted spectacles had well and truly cracked”
Photographer: Paria Kamyab
food stolen from my fridge, and the ‘out of service’ sign now a seemingly permanent fixture on the lift shaft. My support worker informed me she would be leaving and somebody else would be taking over my case. Months went by and I found myself staying with friends a lot, as there was a no-guest policy and a chuck out time of 12pm during the week and 2am at weekends. I fell behind on my rent because a mistake was made by housing benefits and I was ordered to sign a promise to pay stating that I would pay the outstanding balance or face eviction – even though it was totally out of my control. Later that year I got a part-time job but, by the time I had paid the adjusted rent, I was only a little better off financially and had little hope of personal development. I wasn’t progressing, so I decided to study, but had to juggle and jump through hoops at the Jobcentre, just to further myself. I was forced to follow a back-to-work course rather than get an education. Having lived at the hostel for over two years, I was now no longer under a license agreement - meaning they could serve me with an eviction notice any day, asking me to leave within one month. I was removed from a re-housing scheme without my consent and faced homelessness. One year on and I’m very lucky to have got my own place. However, things aren’t perfect; the Department for Work and Pensions refuse to support me because I apparently didn’t face an ‘unsettled way of life’, so I still don’t have the basic things such as a cooker. Sound unsettling? Well this is the life for me, and many others up and down the country.
smaller hostels and can often feel extremely impersonal, although there were small communities of international students from Spain, China, Somalia and India, and the supported residents (I was in this group). On the most part, these groups stuck to themselves, with the exception of a few stragglers. Having sorted out my room with bedding, I was then briefed on the importance of paying my rent on time, wherever it came from. Being unemployed at the time, I headed down to the town hall to sort out housing and council tax benefits, a simple process of handing over a copy of my license agreement.They would then pay the money direct to me, and I would pay it on to the hostel. I didn’t have any money for basics such as pots, pans,TV, radio and so on. So, I intended to make use of the ‘communal area’, finding that it was in fact sparse and impractical: 3 dilapidated sofas (for 300 people) and a television that only received 4 channels with sporadic reception. So a few weeks had passed, and my rose tinted spectacles had well and truly cracked after a sequence of events that included finding faeces in the shower one morning, having
The Big Frizz
It’s a natural thing Words: Liz Amadi Photographer: Liz Amadi Illustration: Brendan Keeley
air has always been the number one priority for women, regardless of their financial situation.Women are spending more and more on their hair, even with no real sign of the recession shifting. Instead of just working with what you’ve got, D.I.Y styling sessions have moved into the bedroom in a desperate attempt to keep up with the hot hair trends of 2010, avoiding breaking the bank and looking like you’ve been styled by the big depression.There is a minority who usually spend even more time and money on their hair care regime - those with the hard to reach tresses or strands at risk of social exclusion - the frizz minority groups, afro puffs, frizz balls and bush wacked curls! Looking at some of the current and past trends, there are plenty of up-do’s, long styles, bobs, bangs, messy, short styles, curls and colour options but there aren’t really any really good tips or style ideas for everyday bushy hair, only SOS advice which is directed to a salon trip or options for weaves.When frizzy hair is showcased, it’s for dramatic effect on the runway, or to illustrate debuts from the fashion police, or falling in with sub cultures. But who said hair has to be taxing? Just because Vogue says what is fashionable, when it’s fashionable, with a lame excuse for why it’s fashionable - many a fashion faux pas has hypocritically become the next trend (bed-head hair, punky and so on). So it all depends on how you look at it; you have to love your natural hair. I mean, just imagine the worst case scenario - what if the individual allowance of electricity was restricted to the bare necessity, or even more insanely, there was a major drought in human hair weaves. Life will still go on! Beyonce can still stay hot
“What if the individual allowance of electricity was restricted to the bare necessity, or even more insanely, there was a major drought in human hair weaves!”
“I just get up and go really. I can’t be bothered to spend hours on it” Yasmine Akim - Student / Photographer
“My hair can never be too big. I love it” Lainey Richardson - Works in the film industry
““I rarely brush or wash my hair, I only really do anything to it when it’s absolutely necessary and apart from that I have no control!” Eva Pentel - Student / Photographer
“Some people say my hair looks like noodles. I say it’s natural” Chloe Williams – Model / Recruitment Consultant
without super weaves; Shakira can still rock it with her wild curls and Michelle Obama could sport an afro (well that’s questionable, that may shake up the world even more than US having its first ever black president!) but that’s a whole new subject...
“I love my fro because it’s mine. I enjoy looking in the mirror and seeing someone who is completely me!”
There are some women who don’t need a world crisis to get them to fall in love with their natural hair. I came across some everyday females who love their hair and are showing us how to rock the D.I.Y frizzball with freedom and confidence, because as L’Oreal says they and their natural hair are “worth it”!
Nik Are - Drama Tutor
T Magic T Magic’s designs are based on a philosophy of “creating something out of nothing”. His calling card is the use of thought-provoking slogans (such as “Art Is My Hustle”, “Passion Is My Crime” and “Respect Is My Product”) emblazoned across his fashions. An exhibiting artist as well as a designer, he states “I’m predominately influenced by my surroundings and experiences. I’m naturally a student of art, so artists such as Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons influence my work.”
i wear my own garms
The likes of Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Dizzee Rascal and Kano have all visited his exhibitions. He cultivates this A-List image by producing his popular designs in limited print runs, which are almost guaranteed to sell out within hours of going on sale. He states “I want my message mass-produced, not my product”. Unsurprisingly, when asked about the future of T Magic, he responds: “The future is to expand my product line, create monumental art exhibitions all over the globe and most importantly, to help inspire positive change.” Based on the popularity of his socially aware slogans, this progress seems inevitable.
Dayalan Kulendran profiles three of London’s hottest independent designers Images courtesy of Toney, T Magic and Terratag
ot many independent designers can boast of putting together pieces for Jon B, Kelly Rowland, Tinchy Stryder and Ginuwine, to name but a few high-profile customers. Toney the T-shirt Jeweller first came to the public’s attention when R&B legend Jon B wore one of his creations on stage at a London concert. “Just before I was due to start my second semester at university, my girlfriend went to a Jon B concert at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. I had the idea of making something for him, as I grew up on his music. My girlfriend talked to his manager and he let her give the T-shirt to him personally. It just so happened he had been unsuccessfully looking for a T-shirt in Camden. He loved it, took off the T-shirt he was wearing, put mine on and wore it on stage for his performance.”
As his name might suggest, Toney’s calling card is the use of jewels (specifically rhinestones) in his work. “In the early days I used transfers to make my designs. Then it occurred to me that no one was using rhinestones; before I even bought my first pack of crystals I had an idea of how I wanted to use and apply them.” Toney also feels that he has evolved as a designer since the early days of shifting tees on eBay. “The designs in the early days were quite simple, but as I became more confident with my methods they have gotten more complex and intricate. I also sourced other materials to create my designs with materials that give a different finish and effect and also enable me to tackle certain requests in a better way than just using the crystals alone.”
He states that his personal favourite is a T-shirt he recently designed for G-Unit’s Tony Yayo, while a design featuring a letter of the buyer’s choice topped with a crown is the most popular. Eager not to alienate those to whom the ostentatious crystalladen designs might not appeal, he has also recently expanded his range to include printed t-shirts, featuring detailed and eyecatching prints. Toney believes the future is bright for independent designers such as him. “People today are looking for more unique and less mass-produced clothing. Every designer comes with an individual take on what is hot and creates variety. The internet has changed the game in terms of how viable it is to start up a business; you no longer need a 10,000 pound loan from the bank. Financially I feel many used to be stifled, but these barriers are being broken down.”
Terratag “takes elements from Eastern and Western culture to create a remix of manga, pop, street art and graffiti.” Designer Paul Nicholson cites a “love of Japanese popular culture” as his inspiration, stating that “through education and professional life, the influence of Japan has permeated much of the artwork I create - taking the energy, vibrancy and colour of Japanese style and transplanting it within a western context. Everybody has their thing, and mine is Japan. From an early age I loved imagery and concepts of the future. Japan, more than anywhere else, epitomises that love of futurism. Nothing better symbolises my future love more than the robot. Robots rock!” Terratag designs are notable for the use of bright colourways. “If you take design in its broadest sense, my influences go right back to when I was a kid. Things that excited me then still inspire me now.That is plain to see in my work.
I am consistently an advocate of modernity and popular culture - my graphics being big, bold and brash, the colours retina-burningly bright.”
“People today are looking for more unique and less mass-produced clothing. Every designer comes with an individual take on what is hot and creates variety .” Toney
Spotted on celebrities from Calvin Harris to Giggs,Terratag’s fusion of constantlycool Japanese imagery with futuristic perspective has made it a trendy brand amongst those in the know, especially across the capital.
Head to the Redtop website for a chance to win a “Toney T- shirt”
Denim grey blazer £19
Black leather jacket £17
Black and gold neckless £2.50 White vest top £7.99
Sequin dress £20
Ever wondered how to get celebrity style without a celebrity budget? Taking style icon Rihanna’s current look as inspiration, Tamara Bello puts her fashion knowledge to the test to create looks that can be achieved by everyday women at a reasonable price. Photographer: Junior Watson Stylist: Tamara Bello Model: Alma Jackson Davis
Black trousers £15
Faux fur gilet £20 Black shorts £3
Boot shoes £17
Studded black boots £19
SPOTLIGHT STYLE ICON - RIHANNA 26
Studded gladiator boots £19
All items sourced from Primark, except white vest top (above) from H&M.
Dress by Lucy Bryan, bracelet by Butler & Wilson
BA CK TO BLA CK Soft florals move aside - thereâ€™s a new strong and structured look emerging. The Glamothic (Glam meets Gothic) look, championed by the likes of Rihanna and Cheryl Cole, is here to shake up Spring. We like, a lot!
Photographer: Daniel Thomas Stylist: Denise Brown Model: Lucie Nontha Hair: Carl Campbell Make Up: Hila Karmand
Jacket by Shadiye, gloves Stylistâ€™s own, shoes by Steve Madden
Jacket by Tanique Coburn, stockings Stylistâ€™s own, shoes by Topshop, ring from Butler & Wilson
Jacket by Katie Huxley
Lucy Bryan Butler & Wilson Shadiye Katie Huxley Steve Madden Tanique Coburn Topshop
email@example.com butlerandwilson.co.uk shadiye.co.uk / 020876073448 07879404491 02074287428 firstname.lastname@example.org topshop.com
Shot in both London and New York, the BAFTA winner is set to make his mark stateside with new film 220.127.116.11. Even rapper Eve gets in on the action.
Idris Elba Actor/Musician
It’s safe to say that Daniel had a great year in 2009, keeping busy writing episodes of Skins and appearing in Dr Who and Psychoville. 2010 is set to see him shine on the silver screen in dark thriller Chatroom.
The British actor with Hollywood credentials (look out for upcoming film The Losers) yet not out of place heading up various other projects such as The Wire and new BBC drama Luther; versatile should be his middle name.
Courtesy of Uzo Oleh
Daniel Kaluuya Actor/Writer
Ophelia Lovibond Actress
Riz Ahmed Actor/MC/Writer
Who? You certainly won’t be thinking that by the time 2010 is through.This talented actress will be all over the big screen in upcoming films 18.104.22.168, Chatroom and London Boulevard with Collin Farrell.
Riz continues to shake things up in the worlds of music (his new album is out now) and film, starring in the upcoming ‘jihadist comedy’ and Sundance Festival hit Four Lions, and proving why he is one of Britan’s most exciting talents.
Courtesy of Metrodome
Courtesy of Brigitte Jouxtel
Courtesy of Freud
Courtesy of Public Eye
This Irish star in the making has a very busy year ahead. He leads alongside Rupert Grint in Cherrybomb, makes his Hollywood debut in The Season of the Witch, and finally gets to put his new found superpowers to the test in the brand new series of Misfits.
Aaron already has his fair share of fans, after playing doe eyed school boy Robbie in Angus,Thongs and Perfect Snogging almost two years ago. Following his superb turn in Nowhere Boy, upcoming roles in comic book flick Kick Ass and Brit thriller Chatroom confirm he’s becoming quite the leading man.
Baruch - Angela Knowles
Fashion Designer Rapidly winning over fans with her gorgeous stand-out designs, 2010 sees the launch of her new collection as well as an eagerly anticipated menswear collection. Get Baruch-ed at www.baruch.me.uk.
Manjit Deu Fashion Designer
La Diosa – Semhal Zemikael Jewellery Designer “La Diosa stands for empowerment,” says Semhal Zemikael, one half of the award winning duo behind the brand.Their beautifully bold jewellery has won approval from some of the world’s most influential women, including a certain PM’s wife - Mrs Brown was spotted wearing their ‘Destina’ necklace during the G20 Summit. With the opening of their Hatton Garden showroom these two women, both 23, have managed to turn their dream into a reality.
Courtesy of Blow PR
>Film and TV
Fresh from winning the London College of Fashion Collection of the Year Award in 2009 (Florence & the Machine and Little Boots are big fans), Deu’s fun and sophisticated Spring/Summer 2010 collection hits the high street - well, Harrods this year.
Comedian/Actor/Writer Courtesy of Cuong Dang
Music category compiled by DJ DeeKay
Courtesy of Public Eye
Feature compiled by Samiat Pedro
Best known for her recurring role as Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, and Harry’s developing love interest, the next two films in the series will see her take on a lead role. At 18 she’s now become quite the fashionista too.
Courtesy of Eva Pentel
Here’s our pick of established and emerging talent in the fields of Film and TV, Music, Fashion, Entertainment, Sports and Politics. 2010 is their year, and remember, you heard it here first!
Courtesy of Public Eye
Class of 2010
Spoofs Black Boys and Too Many Weave made him a YouTube hit. His sketch show The Jason Lewis Experience, as seen on MTV Base, is now destined for the BBC with an online pilot coming this year that features Noel Clarke and Paul Whitehouse. Need we say more?
Courtesy of Liz Amadi
Tweets were flying all over the place…
Eddie Kadi Comedian
Courtesy of Eva Pentel
Already a household name on the UK comedy scene, Kadi has six (yes six!) sold out shows under his belt. Bigger things beckon in 2010, however, as Eddie takes on the mammoth main stage at the 02 Arena.You get the feeling that no matter how big he gets (which is huge) he always will be that humble, funny guy, Ed-die!
Rox On my way to do a shoot with redtop mag...should be fun! Tinie Tempah Off 2 a shoot..They told me 2 bring 3 COLOURFUL things that describe what I do. My MAC’s SILVER, My MIC’s’ BLACK & My CAMERA’s BLACK.. #FAIL Kevin J Was great seeing @TinieTempah and @eddiekadi plus many other talented ppl @ Roundhouse! “A class of 2010” Tine Tempah @KevinJComedian Looool! Safe G Kevin J @TinieTempah all good fam, its a banger!! Caught my mumzie shaking a leg to it the other day! #Thefanbasegrows LOL!! Eddie Kadi “Class of 2010”...real good!! Lesley Sackey Wicked photoshoot at roundhouse Camden today big up eddie kadi, mz bratt and all the rest… Mz Bratt Finished the shoot. Went well! Rox @TinieTempah nice to meet ya ;-) Eliza Doolittle Just back home after a long day, did a photoshoot for redtop magazine which is the Roundhouse’s mag then had long hard rehearsal with my boys
>Politics/Comunity Kevin J Comedian
Political Blogger Visit stilettoed-socialist. blogspot.com to hear the much sought after opinions of this passionate Londoner. Ellie insists the youth of today ‘are very much involved in politics.They just might not know it.’
>SPORT Aron Jervis - IDHTH International Spokesperson Eliza Ribeiro - Lives Not Knives Campaigner
Already responsible for helping to produce powerful TV, print and online campaigns this year, they are both part of the It Doesn’t Have To Happen (IDHTH) youth taskforce. With first-hand experience of knife crime they’ve developed the IDHTH Bebo site and also produced the funky track Don’t Shank Just Skank. (You can catch Aron skanking out in the video).When Aron’s not skanking he’s busy talking to politicians, most recently representing the UK at this year’s One Young World Summit speaking to Desmond Tutu and Kofi Annan. As part of an anti-knife campaign, Eliza launched a competition inviting people to creatively express their views of knife crime through poetry, lyrics, stories and artwork, with winning entries published in a mini-book. Plans are well under way to continue the work this year. See how you can get involved and show your support for the campaign at bebo.com/itdoesnthavetohappen.
Courtesy of Yasmine Akim
Want to see more backstage gold? Go to the Redtop website for exclusive vids, full interviews and sneaky pics behind the scenes at the Class of 2010 shoot. Courtesy of Eva Pentel
Recently picking up Best Newcomer at the first ever Black Tie Comedy Awards, Kevin J is set for big things - very big things.Watching Kevin dancing to African beats has to be one of the funniest things on YouTube (he even had comedian Eddie Kadi on the floor with laughter). Catch him at Kevin J presents... I Love Comedy, his monthly show featuring the new kids on the urban comedy block.
Aaron Ramsey Football 19 year old Welshman and midfielder for Arsenal, touted by pundits and fans as the new Fabregas - and if rumors of the Fab One’s departure are true (this time) – this can only be a (very) good thing.
Lesley Sackey Boxing Literally championing the UK sporting phenomenon that is women’s boxing, Lesley first took up the sport to keep fit. Now she is the Amateur Boxing Association national welterweight women’s champion, and a European Championships gold medallist. Oh and did you check her out on the BBC Three series Last Women Standing? You did Redtop proud Les!
Courtesy of AFC
The stand up comedian is making his way onto a TV screen near you, in a new BBC sketch show with fellow comedian Steven K Amos. Jamie’s also hitting the big screen this year in Brit film The Kid with Ioan Grufford.
Courtesy of Eva Pentel
Courtesy of Fotonayphotography
Whilst going to print Aaron sustained an injury ending his season.We look forward to seeing him fighting fit and back to what he does best. Get well soon from all at Redtop.
Having won the Critic’s Choice Brit Award and worked with Mark Ronson, Frankmusik and Starsmith on her debut album Lights, Ellie is the girl everyone will want to be (and see) this year.
Courtesy of Eva Pentel
Courtesy of U Music
Table Tennis Single handedly making table tennis cool (those bats are pretty small), the under-21 national champion is a serious contender for the Olympics - so much so that he was flown out to Beijing to soak up the atmosphere in preparation for the London games.
Courtesy of ETTA
Courtesy of Yasmine Akim
Dudley O’ Shaughnessy
This East London native is a London Olympic boxing hopeful with a twist – he also has a bourgeoning modelling career, having starred in campaigns and catwalks for some of sport and fashion’s biggest brands.
Courtesy of Samara Morris
Singer/Songwriter Recently signed to Sony Music, this soulful singer made his name with YouTube videos of him singing to the public on the world’s underground systems. Having blessed London, Paris and New York, he’s now readying his debut album for release later on this year and plays the Redtop recommended Wireless Festival in July.
With her infectious tunes My Baby Left Me, I Don’t Believe (as heard in the Rimmel ads) and the haunting Sad Eyes, her debut album is destined to make a mark on the charts. Catch her first headline shows before she blows up big!
Charlie Sloth Music Entrepreneur More than a mere rapper, Charlie Sloth revolutionised the game, becoming one of the first artists to harness the power of YouTube and the viral video with the creation of his online series Being Charlie Sloth.This year, the star has a slew of mixtapes lined up for release as well as his debut album.
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
Courtesy of Eva Pentel
Courtesy of AFC
In 2007 his track Broken amassed 20 million plays across YouTube and MySpace. My Name hit the top 10 earlier this year, the future is looking bright.
Courtesy of Yasmine Akim
Now a part of the legendary Island Music roster and touted as the ‘British Eminem’, this grime MC hailing from Dagenham burst into public consciousness last year with anthem London City. He followed this up with the socially aware Community Outcast and HipHop themed Giant – no one trick pony.
Currently on loan to Premier League side Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal’s youngest ever league player has gone on to establish himself as a promising young hopeful for the English game.
Courtesy of Yasmine Akim
Courtesy of Devlin
Courtesy of Yasmine Akim
2010 sees Eliza unleashing her brand of melodic pop on the world.We defy you to listen to Eliza’s new single Skinny Genes and not to break into a smile! It’s a catchy slice of good old sing along pop, with a hint of soul.
Tinie released one of the biggest singles of the year in March, storming to the top of the charts in style, and looks set to follow up that achievementwith a fire second single and highly-anticipated major label debut album. He’s the man-of-the-moment that everybody wants a verse from.
Having supported Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz on tour in 2009, this female MC has the killer combination of talent and image, plus the canny ability to craft catchy bangers. Bold and independent, she’s a role model to the girls and is gawped at by the guys, and her aforementioned stints touring with urban-pop superstars have gained her a legion of loyal supporters.
Listen to exclusive interviews with Eddie Kadi and Kevin J, Eliza Doolittle, Tinie Tempah, Rox and many more of Redtop’s Class of 2010 at the Redtop website.
Illustration: Rory J Murphy
Illustration: Tico Best
With Big Brother coming to an end this summer, Annabelle Afful takes a look at the reality television bubble and wonders if it’s about to burst. The time is nigh. After 10 years of appearing regularly on our screens, Big Brother is ending. Throughout its highs and lows, we have watched in anticipation, disgust, laughter and shock as disproportioned misfit housemates lived together in a house for three months, whilst cameras watched their every move. Does this mean the end of mind-numbing
“We live in a mass media culture where everything is accessible” reality television? Reality television has become ever more popular over the past decade, from talent shows such as X Factor to the extreme I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Although the audience numbers for the recent series of Celebrity Big Brother were down on previous years, there’s still money to be made for the broadcasters. In this recession, such shows are relatively cheap to produce. There seems to be an influx of reality shows using unknown people and creating caricatures; filming these unknown people over a period
of time, supposedly reflecting ‘real life’.The most recent trend is the celebrity versions of these shows, showing the private lives of celebrities (usually a D or Z list) coping with new situations, where the lines are blurred between what’s real and fake. The ‘reality’ of these shows is often a contradiction in terms; when producers of the show create conflicts where there aren’t any to be had. It seems that making liars honest and portraying less reputable personalities as heroes to fit the narrative will boost the ratings, and of course the show will become a hit. We live in a mass media culture where everything is accessible. Reality shows fit perfectly into this; they can still can be the hot topic and make headlines, even if it’s a worthless event that has happened. Despite the demise of Big Brother, there will be countless other reality shows ready to take its place. There is an argument against reality television, which says it exploits and humiliates the participants for our own amusement as viewers. On the other hand, if you believe in the freedom and free speech of television then this genre is part of it, showing an expression of reality that we are not forced to watch or take part in. Love it or loathe it, for 10 years Big Brother was escapism from the norm. Many would disagree with this, especially the intellects that seem to look down on those who don’t share the same interest for their ‘highbrow’ productions. Big Brother was in fact never intended to be clever or elitist, but to provide mindless entertainment for the summer months, and it did just that.
Can’t wait to see this year’s big Holloywood blockbuster? Annabelle Afful saves you the effort.
Another year has come, bringing more overblown blockbusters, eye-goring horrors and sweet for nothing Rom-Coms. Love them or hate them, you will still go and spend your hard earned cash to watch them, throughout which you might feel a experience of déjà vu, and a little cheated. So here’s a list of overused and overdone films clichés coming to you on the big screen in 2010. Action: Explosion after explosion after explosion; a couple of crazy car chase scenes, gymnastics somersaults in slow motion before crashing into oblivion.. oh and the hero always miraculously survives, no matter what happens to them, and never needs a toilet break in between these death-defying feats. Watch out for this in any film with Jean Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone. Natural disasters: You know how they always start as a ‘normal’ day then bam! Before you know it there is an earthquake, or unexplainable weather phenomenon. There’s the family with recently divorced parents where the son usually resents his father, who by the end of the film he starts respecting.The disaster usually starts in America and destroys famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty (has it not been done enough!). All animals and the homeless population have a sixth sense for when the disaster is about to happen. Rom-Coms: Boy has girl. He then loses girl, then tries to win her back. All is lost until the final moment when they run into each other’s arms in a public place, often an airport or across town.Whether the ending is good or bad, there’s always a song and dance at the end and a real feel-good factor. Comedies: Always expect grown men doing gross-out
scenes, sometimes involving nudity - a classic example of this being the American Pie movies and those starring Will Ferrell. Horror: Here’s the key question: why would you run upstairs knowing full well there’s then no way to flee from the stalker/serial killer/vampire/bogeyman? Later on, the victim will unexpectedly run into a quiet open road only to be hit by a car. When running from the killer, they will probably twist their ankle or endure some injury that makes them limp. It seems that the evil-doer possesses super human strength and speed, but not intelligence when revealing their plans at the last minute. Oh and there’s always bad phone reception, wherever you are. Old age pensioners, priests and children always warn everyone else of a supernatural threat, but no one believes them. Sci-Fi: Sometimes I wish I was an alien. It seems that these days, they can grasp technology and any language in the world with ease, wearing nifty tight fitted lycra suits. When there’s a spaceship, there’s always one guy on the team who is a real idiot and gets into fights- they’re usually the first person to die (not that we’ll miss them much), or he’ll be the last, and only because he’s decided to buddy up with the dark side in an attempt to survive. Coming of age dramas: Seemingly, the protagonist of these films is always the outcast, with a dodgy perm or facial predicament. During the film, we follow their journey to find a place in world and finally be accepted.They will go through the transformation from a social misfit to respected, agreeable human with a whole new wardrobe and a Gok Wan style makeover.With their montage scenes and cheesy soundtracks, these movies appear to be heavily inspired by NME magazine.
Man... United? Nahel Tzegai looks at football and the feel-good factor. Illustration: Ben Jennings
y love affair with the beautiful game began in ‘95 when I watched a man called Dennis Bergkamp create magic on the football pitch. From that point onwards, I was enthralled and began to learn that it wasn’t just a football being kicked around; it was psychological, physical and tactical as well as technical and most importantly, it brought people together. Going to a match is almost like a religious experience; when you engage in the ritual of attending a game, you feel the same energy and the camaraderie as the communal experience of going to church; the stands allude to a choir, singing with their voices raised. As an Arsenal fan, I’m aware of our reputation as the reserved fans in the Premiership - statements like ‘Highbury library,’ spring to mind.Yes, we’re not exactly the Liverpool Kop, but if you’ve been keeping up with the Premier League this season, you’ll know that they’re not exactly ‘singing anymore’ (They might not even make the top 4). The question is this - could that essence of unity in the UK domestic game carry across to the international stage? In 1998, the world enjoyed one of the most memorable World Cups in recent times. Held in France, it was widely believed that the then champions Brazil would win the tournament with their aesthetically pleasing style of football. France, if you’ll excuse my French, didn’t seem like they had a chance in hell. But as the tournament progressed, the world watched as the power of the 12th man propelled France to the final, to play against favorites Brazil. France were the
underdogs and I remember quietly rooting for them, even though I had proclaimed to everyone around me that it was Brazil (and Ronaldo) I had hoped would win. It was a truly exhilarating final and created the drama and suspense that a good underdog film affords.The Stade de France came alive that night as the French were crowned world champions; their team reflected the ethnic diversity of its population, with players whose roots lay elsewhere - Lillian Thuram (Guadeloupe), Patrick Viera (Senegal), Marcel Dessaily (Ghana),Youri Djorkaeff (Armenia) and Zinedine Zidane (Algeria).That night, floods of people descended onto the streets of Paris and lined the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to celebrate. Images of the celebrations around the world were broadcast and reflected diversity in the vast number of different races joining together in the euphoric atmosphere. It seems as though the World Cup celebrations had served as a spiritual aid that healed the longstanding tension within the different race relations of the country. Zidane, after the ‘98 World Cup, came to be regarded as the figurehead of French football and one of the most revered players of the modern game. Zidane’s powerful enigmatic quality and technical ability, executed in the most elegant of manners, with passion yes, the same passion that got him sent off during the ‘06 World Cup final - captured the nation and the audience. In his autobiography Marcel Desailly writes, “I never imagined it could grow to such proportions... I asked myself if one human being could withstand such passion.”
Algerian born, it seemed that he would be key to easing tense French-Algerian relations. Race relations came to the forefront of French politics in 2005, when immigrant riots took place in the French cities. At that point, I realised that the euphoria of the ‘98 World Cup had died out
In an ideal world, the historical divides of a country would be wiped out in the space of four weeks by the experience of a football tournament. In reality, it would be naive to believe that such an ideal could ever be realised. I believe that the magic of the World Cup is evident in
“During a World Cup Summer, you can’t walk down the street or sit in a café without hearing people discuss how well a team played...” and all that was left was a memory of a dream. Although the French still regard Zidane highly, it must be noted that the same regard is not always held for Algerians or French born Algerians, who are sometimes still referred to using derogatory terms. With this in mind and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa approaching, I consider what implications it will have on the South African consciousness, still scarred by its apartheid history.
that even people who are unenthusiastic about football engage in a momentary infatuation with the game. During a World Cup Summer, you can’t walk down the street or sit in a café without hearing people discuss how well a team played, or the latest match news, and it’s this enthusiasm that creates the special atmosphere that I have long associated with the tournament. Perhaps the World Cup will bring some of the French feel-good factor of ‘98 to the UK via South Africa in July?
Portobello Market: A trip to Portobello Market is a whole day out, with so much to see.The market stretches all the way down Portobello Road, with an amazing array of produce on sale, and something for everyone’s budget.The market is most famous for its antiques section selling binoculars, furniture, china sets and everything in between. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s a huge choice of tasty food including puddings, falafel, fresh bread and cheeses and the usual coffee shops. Check out Mau Mau bar, where you can grab a drink and take your market food in to snack on. Many of the side streets have smaller, more pricey boutiques where you can pick up something a little more unusual if you’ve got a little more to spend. Under Westway you’ll find more arts and crafts creations and small brick-a-brac stalls.
“...hideous horse type labyrinth made up of dark and gloomy archways”
No Hooky Street
London has a massive offering of markets, selling everything you’ve ever wanted and a whole lot of stuff you didn’t even know you needed. Sonita Dowd gives us a rundown of the best of the bunch.
Broadway Market Broadway Market is a Mecca stomping ground for all Dalston and Shoreditch lovelies to grab some hand-picked, not-so-cheap vintage items along the Saturday market. It also offers a huge range of lovely organic grub coupled with gorgeous craft stalls, hand-made cosmetics, quaint coffee shops and flower stalls. Dress up for a new take on the market come Sunday best catwalk. Brixton Market Brixton Market’s Electric Avenue, made famous by Eddie Grant in ’83, is still electric with a bustling mix of stalls.There’s a range of fresh food and vegetables, Caribbean and Asian foods and general groceries, amongst other stalls selling items such as leather clothes and toys.This market is for local people and for a real cultural experience, as it immerses itself in the cultural mix that surrounds it.
Do you have a favourite London marketplace? Share your views with us on the Redtop website.
Photographer: Paria Kamyab Camden Market: Camden Market has had a total revamp over the last 2-3 years and, sadly, has lost much of its original character and charm. Stables Market has been transformed into a hideous horse type labyrinth made up of dark and gloomy archways and glass clad cubby holes. However, much of the same style of goods and nic-nacs are still on sale here, as are second-hand golden oldie items such as leather jackets, trilbys, blazers and selvedge Levi 501’s. There are lots of things to see and a huge amount of food stalls to choose from. Since the fire in 2008 along the lock side market, there’s been a total renovation. It’s got more of an open air shopping centre feel about it now and haggling is not as easy, but still manageable.The goods here are of high quality and have a constant level of good workmanship. The indoor market is still crammed packed full of unique gifts ideas and jewellery.
It turns out that it’s beautiful. Set in a newly redeveloped park, it’s one of those pieces of engineering that you’re surprised anyone even thought about trying to make attractive, let alone succeed in doing so.
If the recession means you can’t scrape together the cost of a Ryanair return, don’t worry! Kate Lamble looks at making the most of the ‘staycation’ experience. Photographer: Steve Lamble
nventing new words has become very fashionable over the last ten years. Twitterati, unfriend, metrosexual - the list goes on. One of the ‘noughties’ greatest linguistic successes has been the staycation, a holiday where you stay in the same country; a concept pleasing to climate change protesters and Butlins staff alike. Of course, politicians need to show they’re in touch with normal people and apart from declaring your love for The Killers or another nondescript chart success, holidays are a good way of demonstrating this. In recent years we’ve seen David Cameron summering in Cornwall and Gordon Brown sunning himself in Suffolk. Realising that forking up the dough for a country cottage would set me back the price of an Easyjet flight to the Cayman Islands, I wondered if I could have a staycation in the truest sense of the word: holidaying without going anywhere. I planned a holiday in London, for someone who has lived here their entire life.
On my previous visits to London I’d seen most of the guidebooks’ top five sights, but undeterred I headed out to see the Thames Barrier. London’s flood defence system
My final task for the holiday was to track down some traditional London food.The jellied eels were calling but instead I headed out to New Malden, a suburb of Greater London that, bizarrely, is home to some of the best Korean restaurants in the UK. Bibimbap and Kimchi may not sound like traditional London food, but in such a diverse city nothing could have rounded off the trip more appropriately. You might be reading this thinking these are things you might do on a lazy weekend, but the difference lies in expectation. On holiday we expect our time and the territory to be unfamiliar; we become more open to new experiences, more relaxed about things going wrong and less bothered about the cost. So maybe I didn’t need the suntan lotion and my pictures don’t look as impressive on Facebook as Jemima’s trip to the Yucatan peninsular, but staycations, real staycations, are possible - not only possible, but enjoyable. Next year: Farringdon?
Eager to see more, I headed to the Sir John Soane museum in Holborn. An architect with a passion for collecting everything and anything, his house is preserved from the 1800’s.There are no cases or labels. One room is filled with Greek antiquities, the next with architectural
So I packed my bags for the capital; my camera and all the essentials; even suntan lotion, because you have to be an optimist at the start of any holiday.The torrential rain, lost car keys and allergic reactions were all saved for later. Luckily, I have friends in London so I arranged to stay with them. Waking up in an unfamiliar place is one of the highlights of any trip.Those hazy moments as your brain tries to recall your surroundings, until you finally realise it’s 5am, you’ve slept on a rooftop somewhere south of the river and the call to prayer is rising in surround sound from the nearby mosque. A sofa bed on an ex-council estate may not be quite as exotic, but after a few seconds I realise I’m on holiday and start mentally sketching out my day, rather than rolling over for my Saturday morning lie-in.
“Real staycations are possible - not only possible, but enjoyable”
Holiday at Home
drawings. More intimate than most museums, you do feel like you’ve broken in, but you get a feeling for the man and his passion - collecting what he loves. It’s a bit like London. There’s no plan to the city, none of New York’s grids, just a mess of streets that makes you wonder what other gems it might be hiding.
Wish you we re here
may not sound that exciting, but it is a major landmark and most importantly it’s one I haven’t seen.Well, apart from in the opening shot of The Apprentice.To me, it’s one of those alarmingly familiar places that once in a while, like the Pentagon or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, someone needs to check actually exists.
Charming, fun and fearless, Miss Behave is a woman of many talents. From street performance to comedy and cabaret, she's done it all, including a run of performances in the London hit La Clique. Lyn Connolly spoke to her to find out where it all began.
ften referred to as ‘Britain’s best sword swallower’, is an accolade that’s not without merit. Having set a new Guinness World Record in ‘99, she beat it two years later by swallowing an unbelievable six swords at once. Just where did it all start for Miss Behave? “I happened upon a bookshop in Camden which is sadly now gone, the Compendium, which was amazing, had all these weird books in it and I found a book on sword swallowing called Memoirs of a Sword Swallower. I read it and thought, ‘yep, that’s what I’m going to do’ and taught myself sword swallowing on the back of that. It took me about three years to learn. Doctors teach medical students to treat the oesophagus like a wet tissue, so imagine how stupid it is to put a sword down there!” But surely such a dangerous profession must be rife with injury. “I had one serious injury,” she admits, “when I was doing an opera at Saddler’s Wells. And if you could find an industry where they value their throats more highly... the opera singers found it so alarming to be around me anyway and then I went and hurt myself. I lost most of my blood and it was quite a shock to the system!” she tells me, casually pouring a cup of tea. So, how exactly do you go about incorporating such a hardcore skill into a more friendly form of entertainment? For Miss Behave, it’s all about knowing your audience. “What I did was question, ‘how do you soften the fact you swallow a sword?’ I found a way of actually making that entertaining, light and bouncy, not too gross. Street performing taught me a lot about that, because you have to be able to play to families, children, and old ladies. Old ladies are the least shockable people in the world.” Her story is a delightfully absorbing one. “From learning sword swallowing I started busking in bars. I stapled a note to my forehead that said, ‘broke- all major credit cards gratefully accepted.’ Bill Hicks always was a massive
“I want to produce the funniest show in the world” hero of mine. So comedy and street performing, I just fell in love with it, with really great performers and with the history of comedy.That sort of led me to entertainment and variety- discovering the history of variety, of vaudeville, burlesque and the classic era of nightclub entertainers. My book collection is hilarious now!”
© Amanda Farah 2008 (MissB Live)
There’s one place that holds particularly fond memories for her- the famous travelling Spiegeltent. “Years back, at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, I discovered the Spiegeltent and fell head-over-heels in love with it; from the venue,
‘‘ I stapled a note to my forehead that said, ‘brokeall major credit cards gratefully accepted’ ’’ the beautiful old wooden mirrored tent that Marlene Dietrich brought in, through to the operation.They really understood what they were doing, how to treat their audience. It was fabulous and aesthetic, but also the content was there- in London, it’s sometimes a little bit style over content. So they delivered on every front. Eventually, they approached me when putting together a burlesque show and I made it clear that I would sacrifice a limb to make sure I was in it.That was the show La Clique. It felt like one big fantastic party where we’d get together and name the places we’d most want to go to, so you name it, we’ve gone there now and every time the atmosphere has just been amazing.” And it must have been a big step from performing with La Clique to hosting her own show, the acclaimed Variety Nighty. “Massive step, it was terrifying. The Roundhouse show was the first one and it was a lot of work. It was a first for me; up until that point, if you’d organised it, you’d organised it and if you were performing, you were performing but there the two met and it was great, but very hard.” Although a fan of spectacle-based shows, her true love is comedy and classic stand-up. “I’m best as a madam,” she explains. “The Roundhouse was a gift from the Gods; Verity [MacArthur, Programming Director] just went, ‘Hey, do you fancy a month’s run in the Roundhouse?’ ‘Yes please!’ I said. ‘Thanks very much, didn’t get you anything.’ It was fantastic, although still spectacle-based. I feel that in Blackpool, the theatre allowed for comedy a bit more. At the Roundhouse it would have been weird with just comedy, ignoring the amazing venue; here you have a venue that’s a bit more made for it, so I put a lot more comedy into the bill. It was very interesting and exciting.” So what inspires her? “I think the inspiration is that I’ve worked with so many different genres, often inappropriately. I’ve done a bit of variety in Germany. Rich Germans eating a cordon bleu meal don’t want to see a sword swallower put out a cigar on their tongue; yet I’ve
done it, for four months, and found a way that the audience and I can work together with the material. I have a very good eye for when it’s good. I’m a massive fan of the great and good that came out of vaudeville and burlesque in America. I love Burns and Allen and I’m a huge fan of Dean Martin. I would love to unlock their legacy of great comedic entertainment, purely because of the style; I’d love to tap into that somehow. It’s bringing back the fact that there are truly great entertainers, and giving truly great entertainers the space to be, and that’s it.Then we’ll see what happens after that.” So what’s next? “I want to produce the funniest show in the world,” she reveals. “I want to produce a show where people literally have a stomach ache and sore face when they leave. It would be comedy variety - it’s going to be comedy, basically, but utilising the fact that comedy can be verbal, physical, skills based, musical, improvisational, and incorporating all of these things. It’s me knowing so many different people like that- I’ve been lucky to travel around the world for ten years, met such amazing performers in all different genres, and I know that if you take this one from here and that one from there then you end up with true variety. I would like to change the face of comedy in this country; that would be my goal, because I think there’s a massive audience that’s up for not settling for always the same thing.” And to the audience, she adds: “you have the right to a cheap ticket, drinks and a great time, and there should be no compromise on that. So if you don’t like it, tell us!” This year, Miss Behave returns to the Adelaide Fringe with the wonderfully titled variety show Misbehaving at Midnight, and to the Roundhouse on May 10th to introduce the classic film Funny Bones as part of Roundhouse CircusFest.
ROCK N’ ROLLER LOVES DIPLOMAS Dayalan Kulendran speaks to Kano about the Government, Gorillaz and guys in clothes. DK:Tell us about the diplomas campaign that you’re involved in? K: They approached me to make a song for the advert. They told me what they were trying to do, and I was really feeling it. It’s about kids who aren’t always academically strong, but here’s a lesson that mixes theory with practical. I would’ve loved something like that when I was younger and maybe I would have loved someone I looked up to nudging me in the right direction. DK: How did you end up working on the new Gorillaz album? K: Damon [Albarn] asked me to be on it.We’ve worked together before, and we’ve been friends ever since- we went to Ethiopia together, I went to Nigeria with him and we’ve done some shows together.They were making an album and he said he wanted me to be on it; that was a no-brainer, I had to do it.The track’s called White Flag, me and Bashy are rapping on it. It’s not the standard arrangement, the structure is a bit crazy and it’s got a Syrian orchestra on it. It’s different to what I’d ever recorded over. It’s a standout track for me in terms of my career. I hope people love it and I can’t wait to perform it. DK:You’ve just become the new face of Boxfresh – how did that come about? K: I think they recognised how Boxfresh I was - I was just so fresh it was ridiculous. Nah, they approached me and showed me what they were about. I was already feeling what they were doing. It just made sense and we just struck up a good relationship. DK: Tell us about your forthcoming album Method to the Maadness? K: It’s taken a while but it has to be right for me. Essentially it’s going to be a traditional Kano album: I experiment, I don’t just do the one thing. I’ve worked with Radioclit, Hot Chip, Damon Albarn, Ghetts, Chase and Status. It’s shaping up well, and I’m going to Jamaica soon to record out there, so hopefully it’s just going to get better. DK: It’s been a great few years for homegrown talent - why now? K: A lot of people used to say radio didn’t play our music before, but I think it was just the wrong music for them. Now a lot of people are making straight pop which is the right music for radio. It’s getting that support, and major record labels are churning out these artists - it’s easy init. There’s nothing more to it, it’s just pop music and a guy, in some clothes…
Courtesy of Spring PR
Courtesy of Eskimo PR
Check out the Redtop website for the unabridged interview in full. 48
Redtop’s guide to Making It in Music
As most music is now purchased digitally, many of the production and distribution costs will lessen. These savings should then be passed onto consumer - or the artist. Well that’s the theory at least.
Taku Dzimwasha gives you a brief guide to making it in music with the help of three industry insiders. Here’s the good news first- for all budding musicians, producers, and indie label owners, there has never been a more exciting and better time to be involved in making music. The dawn of the digital age has created a ‘renaissance’ where it has never been easier or cheaper for new artists to produce, promote and even distribute their music. The internet has transformed the industry from one reliant on unpredictable psychical sales and expensive marketing and promotional campaigns to a sleeker, more efficient DIY system where anyone, theoretically, can get their music heard, enjoy greater exposure and even sometimes tap into the mainstream.
been in the business for longer than you (and the DIY approach) and therefore their knowledge is priceless. You also need to learn how to promote yourself; if you don’t know your press release from your biography, then the DIY model is probably not for you. The key for any artist who signs with a label is to hold on to your publishing rights. Publishing royalties are how you get paid if someone covers, samples, or uses your song for a movie or commercial.
The Producer The Producer’s role has not really changed that much in the digital age. Sure, it is now easier, depending on what software you use to produce music. Niche scenes like dubstep have managed to blossom thanks to digital technology. Its producers and DJ’s have now become stars in their own rights, many of whom used the DIY approach. Aaron Harry, Basstone Music MD and formerly of EMI and Noise Pump, believes that the changes are good for music because it is now accessible to the pro’s and semipro’s alike. Technology has provided musicians with better showcasing tools; no longer are they so dependent on a record company discovering them. Producers can create, promote and even distribute their own content now, but the problem is collecting the rights.
The Label “It has always been tough for indies,” states Ellroy Powell aka Spoonface, who had a number 1 hit single and now runs Faada records (check out www. faada.co.uk for more info). “Major labels have an 80% share of the business and if you consider the number of independent labels out there, then you start to get the picture!” The competition is immense for indie labels, and most labels fold within their first year of existence. “The ability to adapt is crucial. Some labels failed to do so and they went under, the ones that have changed according to the changes in the market are still relevant now. In order for a label to be successful, it is crucial they not only embrace digital but they also discover new ways to maximise its potential. Simply put, “It’s difficult to predict how things will change. If you’re open minded and willing to adapt to the circumstances it’s a good starting place.” © Abram Goglanian
Inevitably, there’s also bad news. Music sales have been in decline for over a decade; we are now bombarded with media, games, TV, the internet, to name but a few. Music has become highly disposable and there is no longer a high demand for it. The market itself has shrunk, making it even harder to make a living from music. Now before you pack up your decks or guitar and dust off your suit and look for a ‘real’ job, don’t despair- there are still musical careers to be had.We spoke to 3 industry insiders and got some tips on what it takes to secure one. Artist In terms of artists, the returns they are getting now will never match those from the past. Gone are the days of the Supergroups and extremely rich musicians; the best most new artists can hope for is simply to make a living. “The cash cow has been slaughtered; artists don’t make anything from record sales anymore” says Jamie Murphy. Jamie is a former member of the band Space, with whom he had seven top 20 singles, and is now playing with new band Dust (check out www.myspace.com/ vincenthagen for more info). Artists now have to explore different avenues of revenue like touring. There are also lots of bands out there releasing their own songs, setting up their own labels; Enter Shikari’s label, Ambush Reality, is run solely by the band and releases all of their material. They have become a success, playing sell-out shows in London and overseas. This is a great opportunity for artists, as producing and releasing their own content gives them greater control over their careers. DIY will become the mantra of the industry; however, it’s worth remembering that the record labels have
Courtesy of Uzo Oleh
DRIIS: FROM STRINGER TO SINGER
Idris Elba, the actor perhaps best known for his gripping portrayal of Stringer Bell in critically lauded series The Wire, talks exclusively to Dayalan Kulendran about his musical aspirations. Few job titles invite scorn like ‘actor-turned-musician’. Perhaps the ‘singer-slash-actor’ label (invoking flashbacks of Britney, Madonna and Tyrese) is more ridiculous, but the eyebrow-raised cynicism that greets thespians attempting to pick up a mic is enough to discourage even the most determined guitar-wielding movie star. Idris Elba is far from ignorant about this. “I’m hugely aware of that stigma,” he admits. “It shapes the way I put it out completely - you won’t see me doing big collaborations just to get my name out, but you will see me with a small band in a small venue, working it out.” Even his choice of stage name reflects this. “I just don’t think it’s right to try and piggyback on my acting. I don’t call myself Idris Elba as a musician, I say Driis.That way, people who see the album cover and go ‘who the f*ck is Driis?’ - I’ve won them based on their curiosity. I can get Jay-Z to open the album for me, and I might get a thousand more hits, but you’re only there to see Jay-Z, you’re thinking ‘I wonder why Jay-Z co-signed him’, and I don’t want that.”
The problem is perhaps compounded by the fact that the character for which Elba is revered, Stringer Bell from Hit US show The Wire, is a drug kingpin. A smooth and intelligent one, sure, but nonetheless, still a tough-talking gangster. Elba’s music on the other hand “lies in the roots of soul, R&B and maybe jazz, but there’s also a reggae element to it”. Quizzed on the public’s reaction to his music, and whether people found his on-screen image difficult to reconcile with his lovers rock crooning, he pleaded unawareness. “It’s weird because I haven’t been around the reaction as much as I’ve just been around my music.When I meet a journalist, I’ll ask them ‘what do you think?’ because I don’t know. I suspect that you’re sitting here because you like it, or I suspect that it was a nice surprise. One of the things I’ve learnt about my career is not to read my own press, because it starts to mould who you’re going to become.” He claims that his present fame means nothing in terms of his music career. “As an actor, my success is so different. If I walked into a venue and tried to sell tickets for my music, I’ve still got as many struggles as any other artist. There’s so many actors that do it and often the results aren’t that fly.” His recent EP, High Class Problems Volume One, does sound like the work of an artist who benefits from a certain freedom of expression. He collaborates with highlyrespected underground Hip-Hop producers like Pete Rock and 9th Wonder (Elba describes them as “specialists who have had some success but have never had to water down their sound”) on music that ranges sonically from reggae to soul, to semi-improvised performance poetry on Extraordinary Love, the highlight of the EP. There’s no question of being strong-armed into trend-hopping here. Despite now living in the US, Elba is conscious of the recent success of artists like Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder back home. “As much as I don’t listen to it, I’m aware that England has seen a huge surge in talent coming up. I think we’ve had more urban number ones in the last two years than ever? It’s a great time to be a musician in England, because people are buying the music and people are really proud of the sound. Any musical country that continues to churn out genres is a musical leader.”
“I’ve still got as many struggles as any other artist.”
Although keen to focus on his forthcoming music ventures, he is willing to comment on the much-belated recent success of The Wire in the UK. “In the States it did lukewarm - people were fanatical about it, but it didn’t do numbers. If it did numbers it would’ve been in England a lot sooner because they would’ve been like ‘you need to get this, this is the hot sh*t’. Now we’ve got a smarter audience who can get anything they want on the internet.” High Class Problems Volume One EP is available for digital download now.
CALL OF THE MASTODON
TS: Well, we’re still touring for that album. We’re really pleased with it, we wanted to share as much of it as possible, and the set allows for that. LC:You’ve been quoted as saying it’s the ‘album of your lives’; a lot has happened to you as a band since the last release in 2006. What’s really changed for you between now and then? TS: Sonically, I think we’ve changed a lot. Writing the new material took us in a different direction.
On the cusp of what could be their most exciting UK tour to date, Lyn Connolly talks to bassist Troy Sanders about the Mastodon experience, both on and off stage.
LC: On the first track Oblivion, drummer Brawn also provides vocals- do you find that taking on different roles within the band pushes and challenges you, musically or personally? TS: Well, we always knew that Brawn has a great voice. We like to invent, experiment, and challenge ourselves. LC: You’ve just released the new album, toured for it, laid down some tracks for a movie soundtrack (the comic book adaptation Jonah Hex) - what’s next? TS: The tour continues; then we’re heading home, for some time off, around a month or so. We’ll work a bit more on the soundtrack. When we say ‘time off’ we don’t mean stop working, but just taking that time to replenish and recharge the batteries. We tour until we’re exhausted so we really need that. LC: What do you enjoy most about the downtime? TS: I really enjoy listening to music at home; I don’t do that so much on tour, but when I get home I love to pull out a 12-inch record, a medley of really old hits, and just chill out. LC: More recently, what was the last record you bought? TS: The last record I bought was the new Priestess album Prior to the Fire. Well actually I didn’t buy it, I stole it from their merch booth - well not stole it, I got given a copy. They’re a really good rock and roll band. But the last record I actually bought would have to be High on Fire’s Snakes for the Divine.
Courtesy of James Minchin
LC: Hi Troy, how are you doing? TS: I’m excellent. LC: Now the tour has started are you happy to be on the road? TS: It’s glorious. LC: And how’s the tour going so far? TS: It is long, it’s beautiful and dangerous. Kind of like a serpent that you’ll find in the Nile. LC: Do you find that the crowd is different every night? TS: Yes, definitely. We came [to the UK] straight from Germany, we got a really positive response there, played in Wolverhampton and Bristol the last two nights and the fans there have been great. It’s a nice feeling.
LC: You’re playing larger venues this time, so that must be an interesting challenge as well. TS: It is. We’re confused on how it keeps getting a little bigger and better. LC: What do you like most about the UK? TS: Well, we always look forward to non-stop consumption of Indian food, and that’s it! Oh, and of course the shows... the UK has been wonderful and very kind to us over the years. LC: Would it be fair to say you have a special relationship with the UK fans? TS: I think so. They’ve given us so much love and appreciation that we can only hope to return in the performance. This is the 21st time we’ve been here, and
in a way we grow together; that’s why we wanted to end this tour with a great show in London. LC: For anyone who hasn’t seen you live before, what can they expect? TS: They can expect to see four hairball Neanderthals attempting to play instruments. I always say, if you keep your expectations low, you’ll get more out of the experience.
LC: Mastodon are lined up to play the Sonisphere Festivals again this summer, this time on the European dates - are you looking forward to that? TS: We are. Sonisphere is a great gig, and festivals are always such a big experience. We see a lot of familiar faces out there now; we’ve toured with Rise Against, seven times with Slayer, twice with Metallica and once before with Anthrax.
LC: Would you say that principle applies to all aspects of your life? TS: I guess... But I have high hopes. I’m an optimist.
LC: There’s been talk of a Crack the Skye movie - have you got an update on that? TS: It’s done. It’s ready to be put out there, but the problem is finding someone who’s willing to invest, put some money behind it.
LC: This tour you’re playing the new album Crack the Skye in its entirety. What was behind that decision?
LC: Finally, good luck for the rest of the tour. TS: Thank you. It’s gonna be awesome, we’re gonna rock the [UK] so hard...
Rising star Nathan Watson talks Chinwe Ojielo through his brand of soul, with a funky twist. CO: For the benefit of readers who might not have heard of you yet, can you tell us a bit about your background? NW: I’m a singer-songwriter from Hertfordshire and I do funky soul, folky-soul on the vibes of Maxwell and Sly and The Family Stone.
A CLASSIC ALBUM: DIZZEE RASCAL - BOY IN DA CORNER
Taku Dzimwasha gives us the low-down on one of his favourite classic albums and speaks to Emma Warren about that infamous Mercury Prize win.
CO:Who inspires you? Any people that we wouldn’t expect? NW: Beethoven. I like a lot of classical and Spanish guitar music.
Every once in a while, there comes an album which perfectly captures and articulates the attitudes of the time. In the sweltering summer of 2003, Dizzee Rascal released Boy In Da Corner and set a new standard for UK rap music that would go on to influence future rappers such as Tinchy Stryder and Chipmunk.With its dark, disaffected lyrics and innovative, disjointed beats, Boy In Da Corner did for UK rap what Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols did for punk; both ingrained themselves into the consciousness of the mainstream without compromising their angst-ridden sound.
CO: Back in the day, you used to be a rapper.Who inspired you then? NW: Yeah, I used to rap (laughs).Those that inspired me were conscious rappers like Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
The album quickly achieved gold status in the UK and become the first rap album to win the Mercury Prize, all within its first year of release.We spoke to Emma Warren, Senior Editorial Mentor for Live magazine and member of the Mercury Prize judging panel from 2000-2003.
CO: So what made you switch to singing? NW: It was my manager, co-writer and producer Steve Salvari, who suggested I try singing the chorus to one of my rap songs called Runaway. It worked quite well so I decided to stick with it.
What were your first thoughts when you heard Boy In Da Corner? “I thought it was the most exciting thing I’d heard in a long time. I thought that Dizzee was a major talent and I thought he’d created something genuinely groundbreaking. I also thought it was too long- it would have been massively improved by being 11 tracks not 16! it was an individual, honest and highly intelligent body of work.
CO:You recently performed at Camden’s Jazz Café, opening for Leela James and Jazmine Sullivan.What was that like? NW: Amazing. I was really honoured to do that and they are both nice people as well. I don’t listen to a lot of radio, and at the time I’d not heard of Jazmine Sullivan, so I did my research and I was like ‘Man!’ I really love her voice. CO:What can we expect from your new album Student of Life? NW: Expect a lot of funk, soul and a lot of feeling, because I write about my experiences. CO:Which track off the album would you say is your favourite? NW: I like Caught up in a Lie because it’s funky.
Why do you consider it to be a classic? There’s the power of Dizzee’s vocal and lyrical talent and that stripped back, brutal production as well as the fact that he conjured up an entirely believable evocation of his world and his own ultra-clear perspective of his life.
“I’ll probably be doing this, probably forever” Dizzee Rascal, Fix Up, Look Sharp
What are your two favourite tracks on the album and why? “Fix Up, Look Sharp, simply because it’s a classic and Sitting Here because I love the way he sets the scene for the rest of the album. It’s the sound of the street beamed directly onto the record. And I love that line, ‘I’ll probably be doing this, probably forever.’ It summed up some of the things I liked and respected about Dizzee: his vulnerability and his self-belief.” © XL Recordings/ Dirty Stank Records 2003
Courtesy of Judy Totton
CO:Where can we find out more about you? NW: You can find me online at www.nathanwatson.biz or on MySpace at www.myspace.com/nathanwatsonpage.
To listen to Nathan Watson perform tracks from his new album, including an exclusive performance of ‘All Gone Wrong’, visit the Roundhouse Radio website.
The Redtop team would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people... TAK
Thanks to Donna Capper, Aaron Harry, Jamie Murphy, Emma Warren, Ellroy Powell aka Spoonface, plus Lawrence for support.
TRIZ BEA Thanks
to Liam Craig-Best.
ITA SONI want to say a big thank you to Lawrence
for all his support and encouragement and of course to the rest of the Redtop crew, without whom this issue could not have come together. Thanks to Bea and to Catch 22 for the design skills.
N ALA to Lawrence DAYLartey,Shout Bea Hankey, Saj Ismael,
Idris Elba, Kano, Charlie Sloth, Toney, T Magic, Paul, Ayesha Martin and Boxfresh, and the always amazing Redtop team!
ELLE B A Thanks to ANN
Lawrence Lartey and Bea Hankey for the support, the team of talented writers on the magazine,Tokunbo and Rashpal from Catch 22 magazine.
Thanks to the Redtop team for all your creativity and talent, go team! Thank you to all of our amazing Class of 2010 – it’s your year; enjoy seeing you have a very good one! Special thanks to Denise Brown, Analisa Sarno, Gabriella Ciullo, Holly Speeding, Eva Pentel, Yasmine Akim, Simon Rowe, Janet Choudry, Roxy Walton, Chris Latham, Shaurav Dsilva, Emma Macorison and Ayesha Martin;Vanessa, Courtney, Kiran and Josh (the unsung heros).Thanks to Joe Myerscough, Longwa Yosem, Olivia Humphreys, Chioma Okpara, Emma and Kate at Public Eye, David Lazenby, Andrew Braidford, Laura Pettitt, Alex Carle, Caroline Reason, Eliza Barrett, Andrew Owen, David Price at Arsenal PR. Many thanks to Lawrence, Bea and the Roundhouse for the continued support.
E NW CHI Thank you to Bill Currie,
Jeff Woolf OBE, Mark Clayton, Daniel, Steve Salvari and Nathan Watson.
A ZAB Thank you to the Round-
house, especially Lawrence and Bea for the support.Thanks to Jennifer Brown, who made the article possible, it was such a privilege to interview you and I wish you all the best.
LYNMany thanks to Lawrence Lartey and Bea Hankey for
your help, guidance and the opportunities for and beyond Redtop; to Simon Rowe, for helping me to make friends with my camera; as always thanks to the talented Redtop team, and to Chioma, Paria,Yasmine and Eva; thanks to Amy Saunders, Saj Ismael, Emma Van Duyts at Public City PR,Troy Sanders (and Mastodon).
Much love and thanks to everyone who worked with me at any point. Special thanks to Eddie Kadi, Kevin Mark Trail, Mega Man + James Fern (ASM Damage), Jamie Howard, the lovely hair models Chloe Williams, Eva Pentel,Yasmine Akim, Nik Are and Lainey Richardson. Last but not least an even bigger thank you to Bea Hankey, Conor Roche, Redtop team,The Three Hot Wings and my camera!
KATE Thanks to
Joe Myerscough and Steve Lamble for trekking around London with me.
L NAHEThank you
to Bea Hankey, Liz Amadi and the technical staff at the Roundhouse.
E NC RE LAW Thanks to all the Redtop
team for pushing journalistic boundaries and being creative- roll on issue 3! Thanks to Catch 22 for the design input.
ARA M A T Thank you to Primark! A big thank
you to those who have supported me during this stressful time in producing the second issue of Redtop. I want to give a special thank you to Junior Watson, Alma Davis-Jackson and Marina Angelova. All three of you made my styling shoot a success. I give praise to my God for pushing me this year, keeping me focused and motivated.With you anything is possible.
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Three days of live music, circus, comedy, cabareT and more. “The roundhouse hands over its keys to a group of bright young things with the vision and fresh-faced swagger required to curate a three-day festival.” Time Out on Turning Point 2009 Turning Point – organised by a team aged 25 and under – is part of the roundhouse’s commitment to offering young people creative opportunities. Sign-up for email alerts: www.roundhouse.org.uk Add us on MySpace: www.myspace.com/turningpointfestival
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