The Remix Issue Book of Spells Palladiums New music with Envy, Skerrit Bwoy, Buraka Som Sistema, Jason Derulo,VHS Head, Iyaz,The Arcade Liz Johnson Artur VHS Head Digital Vs Analogue? World Cup Fever
Includes the Number 1 single featuring N-Dubz Plus Take Me back feat Taio Cruz and Never Leave You feat Amelle
INTRODUCING – 14–19 Collective; Urban Lawyer; Quason; Lady Leshurr; Jo Fuertes Knight; Ay Squeezy; Jason Lewis
THIS IS REAL LIFE – A Fresher With Sickle Cell: Question Time; The Big Debate; Child’s Play; The New Face of The BNP: What Do They Really Stand For?
She said… For this issue we’ve been channelling the experimentalism of the remix to bring you artists, collectives and individuals who are turning the status quo on its head. From documentary photographer Liz Artur Johnson to Urban Lawyer Tunde Okewale to the revolutionary Architecture For Everyone campaign- we look at the true remixologists, idealists and pioneers in youth culture. Crack up with comic genius Ay Squeezy and girls put on your weave to welcome big new talent Jason Lewis. We’ve got fairytale fashion gone sinister with Book of Spells, Superfertile’s stunning jewellery and virtuoso Manc MC Envy. Read more from the issue at www. cutnewspaper.com/blog.
He said… Recently we’ve noticed the creative spirit of the remix seeping into in all aspects of culture in London right now. But it’s not a re-hash, its a reinvention! Check out our guide to The Best and Worst of Re-invention, anyone fancy swapping their Nikes for some Palladiums?.We’ve also got WORLDWIDE chart toppers from Jason Derulo to Tinie Tempah to Iyaz covered for you to enjoy. What’s better, Digital or Analogue? and this wasn’t the only debate we were having this issue, we were rinsing the Pringles whilst chatting politics, asking the people where they stood on the BNP’s new change of face. From the arts section to sport to photography, we hope this issue’s gonna give you some remixing ideas of your own.
FEATURES – Tinie Tempah; Reinvention; Digital vs Analogue; Architecture For Everyone; Shank; World Cup; Lianne Sanderson
FASHION – Book of Spells; Secret Style Histories: Androgyny; Superfertile Jewellery; Straight Up Distribution
MUSIC – Envy; Bluey Roinson; Iyaz; The Arcade; Jason Derulo; New Boyz; Skerrit Bwoy; VHS Head; Buraka Som Sistema
Published by Hardcore Is More Than Music
Cover photography by
Ltd. This project is a partnership between
258 Harrow Road
Akwasi Tawia-Poku and Jemil Saka
Hardcore Is More Than Music and Paddington
London W2 5ES
Styling by Shamz Le Roc
Development Trust Funded by Westminster City Council as part of the Youth Enterprise Hub.
Contact us at
Paper supplied with thanks to Stora and Southern
Print Ltd. The Remix Issue was funded with
Follow us at
additional support from The Big Lottery Fund.
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YO! Bite This BBC Hold up... you know how we’re all generous and all about the positive here at Cut HQ well it don’t mean the BIG guy can eat all the LITTLE guy’s Nandos and take the LITTLE GUY’S Nandos card and put it in the BIG GUY’S wallet [ alright, alright, it’s a metaphor!]... So we brung out The Cut Magazine two years ago and it’s all about young people and our lives and then last year the BBC is bringing out it’s own programme called...wait for it... The Cut. All about young people except, it ain’t. It’s all about some dude in a bad pair of jeans biting our style...SHAME!!!
inb Eddie Kadi Empire Builder September seems like a long time away, but don’t forget to get your tickets for the 02 Arena show for funny man of the moment Eddi Kadi. If you can’t wait till then for some Kadiness, head down to Black Grape, the new music venue and bar he co-owns with the rest of the Black Grape production team. www.blackgrapelive.com www.eddiekadi.com
The Dickin Medal The Dickin medal is the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross. It is a medal awarded to animals for bravery and outstanding contribution in times of war. Recently labrador Treo was awarded the medal in a star studded ceremony for his service as a bomb detection dog in Afghanistan. The medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949, to 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses, gloworms and the only cat to receive the award, Able Seacat Simon.
Blood, Sweat & Tears Blood, Sweat & Fears is a ‘live magazine’ taking place on Carnaby Street (March 17-21st) - in association with Art Against Knives. Expect interactive photoshoots, music performances, installation art, cake parties & much more. Who says creativity can’t prosper in economic adversity? Look out for the results of it all, a publication due out in May. www.bloodsweatandfears.co.uk
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SBTV Known and loved for their F64’s with everyone from Talib Kweli to Tinchy Stryder, in just under a year SBTV founder Jamal Edwards has built up the channel into an online music TV powerhouse. Don’t forget to tune in. www.sbtv.co.uk
box Chiddy Bang Imagine uploading a mixtape and within the first month receiving a whopping 80,000 downloads. Well that’s exactly what happened to Philadelphian rap group Chiddy Bang after releasing ‘The Swelly Express.’ The duo are set for big things in 2010. www.myspace.com/chiddybang
Work It Work It! has become the go-to rave for London’s friendliest creatives and hippest ‘90s enthusiasts. With a music policy ranging from strictly 90s rnb, hip hop and new jack swing to all the slow jams you could wish for, you are as likely to meet a fashion designer or film star as the local Hackney playas soaking up the evening rays at Visions Video, 588 Kingsland Road. Celebrating their 2nd birthday on Saturday 17th April with cake, party games and chat up lines galore, get there early for room to grind on the dance floor. www.youworkit.co.uk
Birdcore French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot creates works by drawing on the rhythms of daily life to produce sound in unexpected ways. He has created a walk-though aviary for a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other instruments and objects. As the birds go about their routine activities, perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, they create their own music.
Save Plastic People Plastic People, one of the most important clubs in London and home to FWD, is under threat of closure. Help keep it alive by signing the petition. www.PetitionOnline.com/PP2010/ petition.html
http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=89Kz8Nxb-Bg Running at the Barbican until the 23rd May, www.barbican.org.uk
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introducing 14â€“19 COLLECTIVE
This page from top: Olivia Crawford and Tom Chudley Opposite page; Ben Norgate
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“…it’s also about finding your niche, as well as having the talent in the first place.”
Why did you decide to set up the site? As young photographers ourselves, Lewis Chaplin and I realised that there is an abundance of young people taking great photographs. We thought the best way to celebrate this would be to set up a site, with ambitions to put on a physical show. The site acts as a scrapbook in which we feature the best work we see on any given day.
With the relative ease of setting up a blog or website today, it’s inspiring to see the amount of young creatives starting up their own collectives to take control of getting their work into the world. When The Cut stumbled across the Fourteen-Nineteen Photography Project, we were impressed by their ethos and the global ambition of their site, which reaches out to photographers at the start of their careers. We caught up with co-founder Alex F Webb to talk film, Flickr and future fanzines.
You seem like film fans. What is it about shooting on film that you like? The nature of film requires more thought from you as the photographer so you learn a whole lot more about how photography works. One of the most important reasons why I shoot on film is the fact that there are so many different types of film cameras to play with, whereas with digital you are restricted to either an SLR or point and shoot, which pretty much produce exactly the same types of image. With film there is a much broader spectrum. Do you remember life before Flickr? It’s hard to say really because for long as I have been taking photographs
from an artistic point of view, Flickr has pretty much always been there. It serves as a useful tool for getting your work shown somewhere. There is also a strong community aspect to it, as that is how me and Lewis discovered each others’ work. It is nice to have a place where everyone’s work is shown in the same way and it makes it easy to navigate and find great pictures. Do you think you have to be more ambitious younger these days to make your mark? I think you need to set your stall out early, as it only gets harder - or so I’ve been told. I think ambition does come into it but it’s also about finding your niche, as well as having the talent in the first place. Can you tell us more about the exhibition you’re planning? We are aiming at putting on a show in London this spring, which will feature forty pictures from young photographers. We always wanted to put on a show and if the first is successful we hope to tour around London a bit to different venues, before hopefully taking it abroad to the US.
Photography critic Susan Sontag said ‘A photograph is not an opinion. Or is it?’ What do you think? A photograph is a viewpoint and a photographer captures something because he believes it holds some kind of relevance. A photograph therefore is an opinion of sorts but it is not necessarily a black and white statement. Five photographers that inspire you? Joel Sternfeld, Robert Frank,Garry Winogrand, Chris Killip, Ed Ruscha. Five photo–sites you rate? Mossless.tumblr.com futurelovesyou.blogspot.com triangletriangle.com holyghostzine.blogspot.com instantdes.com How can other young photographers get involved with 14-19 to get their stuff on the site? You can either submit to us via email: hello@ fourteen-nineteen.com or chuck stuff in our flickr group. www.fourteen-nineteen.com www.flickr.com/groups/ fourteen-nineteen Text by Nina Manandhar
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introducing URBAN LAWYER
“…how can I be a better person than yesterday. One of things that help’s me be a better person is that I help others.”
This confident and determined young man has founded five youth organisations and is currently launching a new clothing line.
o go from Hackney’s Cardinal Pole school to becoming a barrister at the Inns of Court by the age of 26 is an accomplishment in itself, but Tunde Okewale’s achievements don’t stop there. This confident and determined young man has founded five youth organisations and is currently launching a new clothing line. Somehow, The Cut managed to fit an interview into Tunde’s busy schedule. Praise for all the projects you do have running out there. I’ve noticed that the majority are based on helping and motivating young men, what’s the reason for this? A mixture of different things. I am interested in being the best man I can be, so everyday I ask myself how can I be a better person than yesterday. One of things that helps me be a better person is that I help others. I am also motivated by the fact that I can run organisations that I didn’t have, or wasn’t aware of being around, when I was growing up. It’s all about starting over, planting seeds and seeing them flourish. Urban Lawyer caters to the needs of young
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people between the ages of 15 and 25 years old, making sure the information they are getting about the law is in a format that they understand and feel they can engage with. Although I am concerned about the issues that affect women I’m drawn to projects I can relate to and, as a man, I relate more to what young men go through. Boyhood to Manhood is a charity that works with young men from south London in relation to their personal growth. You also hold a networking meeting on every last Sunday of the month..? Yes, it’s for positive young black men to discuss a range of issues, so that includes doctors, lawyers, business men and entrepreneurs. We have dinner and get guest speakers including historians to come down and talk to and inspire us. It’s open for people who are trying to make
something of themselves but don’t necessarily have role models to help them.
business or thinking about it, just guiding them and helping them develop.
If you could say something to people who are tempted to make money illegally what would it be? The thing I would say is, don’t rush anything. Anything you don’t earn by merit and obtain prematurely will go the same way. To be able to work for something and see the growth is where it really lies. Doing x, y and z for fast money won’t work and in this life there are no quick fixes. Anything you want to last you have to put the work in and be patient.
At The Cut we are doing a feature on the BNP and a debate on why teenagers should vote. Votes always matter. If young people don’t vote they lose the power to change anything. Things can change if they get involved and if they don’t they give authority to organisations such as the BNP and enable them to get into power. Young people fail to realise how powerful they are. They also need to realise that although they are young now they won’t be young forever: you need to take steps to secure your future or live with the consequences.
What makes you successful? My confidence: attitude is more important than aptitude. What is in the pipeline for the coming year? I’m starting to do consultancy work with young people who are starting their own
www.urbanlawyer.co.uk www.upshot.com Text by Bianca Clark and Photography by Rasharna Hylton and Shannara Hylton
introducing jason lewis
others are going to have to let their positive actions be seen in order for the kids to pay attention. That’s just my view.
“I remember what I’ve come from, working part time in retail and having to pay for my own production team…”
If you don’t already recognise him from cult spoof virals Too Many Weave and Black Boys then where have you been all these months?
ere at The Cut we are inspired by the fierce Do It Yourself attitude of comedian and actor Jason Lewis, whose hard work and independent projects have been rewarded with his very own MTV show ‘The Jason Lewis Experience’, all at the tender age of 24. If you don’t already recognise him from cult spoof virals Too Many Weave and Black Boys then where have you been all these months? We command you go to youtube now! Well, after you’ve read this… You’re a trained actor who hadn’t planned to become a comedian as well. So how did that come about ? Comedy was another path into an industry that I wanted more than anything. I wasn’t getting any decent acting parts, so I
decided if the industry wasn’t going to give me a chance then I was going to create my own opportunity. I was always funny to many people and I knew that my advantage was when I spoke people listened. How does it feel to have worked with the mainstream channels like the BBC and MTV? Having my very own TV show with my name in the title on a channel like MTV was nice but very humbling! Because I remember what I’ve come from, working part time in retail and having to pay for my own production team to shoot online sketches on a shoe string budget. I tend not to look back at what I’ve done. I’m so driven towards achieving my goals and becoming better at my craft I don’t really have the time to look
back and pat myself on the back. I’m too busy in the lab working on the next project. In your sketches you address the current issues that affect young people, like gangs and police harassment, in a humorous way, but what do you think of these issues on a serious note? I think we definitely have a problem. These young kids don’t have positive people to look up to. So they look to the street corner for their inspiration, and there is nothing but the negativity. I’ve grown up around that. In my opinion these kids don’t want to hear people preaching at them they want to SEE the actions of the positive examples. For this to change the parents, community, government and
From all the projects you have worked on so far, which one has been your favourite and why? My MTV show was my favourite because it’s my pet project. It’s the first thing I ever created. I was able to involve my entire production team, who had been with me from day one. To be able to give my production crew a TV credit on their CV meant more to me than my name being in the title. You have to understand in the TV industry there’s lots of red tape, so to be able to have a young, under 24 diverse production crew like mine come together and love what we do was a blessing. Your spoof videos of Bashy’s Black Boys and BBK’S Too Many Man have had a massive hit on Youtube. Did you think the response would be that big? Nope. Black Boys was the weirdest one because I was so naive as to what the reaction would be. I thought we’d get a few hundred views tops. But as soon as the video hit Youtube it exploded. The next week I was being talked about on Choice FM and the week after I was in The Voice Newspaper. With Too Many Weave once again I didn’t anticipate it would be even bigger than Black boys. It was everywhere. The song plays in raves/ clubs and even at Carnival When this all happened I thought Wow all of this hype from a sketch? Unbelievable! I still pinch myself. To date you have worked on a variety of different projects but what would you say would be you ultimate achievement? To have my very own sitcom and sketch show on terrestrial TV stations, like BBC 1 or 2 and CH4. Finally, in one sentence how would you describe the Jason Lewis Experience so far? A dose of comedy straight with no chaser.
www.iamjasonlewis.com Text by Ronnie Grebenyuk Image courtesy of the artist
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This is an encouraging tale, as he is clearly an ambitious yet altruistic young man who knows what he wants in life and isn’t waiting for it to be handed to him on a plate.
uason Matthews is a precocious and intelligent young man who has single handedly taught himself the art of film directing and professional editing which has led on to him beginning his professional career at the age of 17. Aside from filming music videos, promos, adverts and expertise in special effects Quason has begun work on setting up a company based in North London where he hopes to get other young people who would otherwise be on the streets, involved in directing. This is an encouraging tale, as he is clearly an ambitious yet altruistic young man who knows what he wants in life and isn’t waiting for it to be handed to him on a plate. I recently met up with him on the set of Dot Rotten’s latest video to not only catch him at work but also to see if I could get a quick interview with him on his lunch break!
began to do my research and learnt about different editing programs, cameras etc.
How I Got Into Video Production? I always had an interest in videos, I would watch movies and wondered how it was all put together and how the special effects were created. I had a standard digital camera that i would use to take photos but it also had a video function on it. I used it to record free promotional videos for my friends that were into music, eventually other people saw my work and contacted me to do normal videos and music vids for them, that’s when I realised that I could should take it more seriously, so I
Biggest Achievement To Date? I recently created a personal youtube account only a few days ago, I then uploaded a few simple videos not longer than a minute to show off the different video effects I could create. Within a few hours I realised youtube had ranked me as the ‘’87th most viewed director of the day’’ I was surprised considering the mass of people that use youtube and I was ranked in the top 100 most viewed that day. That gave me a lot of encouragement and showed that people were interested in my videos.
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Inspirations? I’m inspired by everything around me, sometimes I could be walking down the road and a random idea just pops into my head that would make a great video. Anything creative or out of the norm inspires and motivated me to create cool videos. My main inspiration
“Anything creative or out of the norm inspires and motivated me to create cool videos.”
is a movie calle ‘’300’’ I love the special effects and the whole look of the film, I’ve even attempted to recreate some parts of the movie. After speaking to Quason and seeing how he directs a crowd and team of people I am even more impressed by his work, his ideas are innovative and his temperament is calm yet focused, its hard to remember that Mr Matthews is just 17!! Watch this space!
twitter.com/quasonmatthews Text by Chloe Forde Photography by Kevin King
introducing JO FUERTES KNIGHT
“I know that I deliberately write provocative stuff because I want a reaction.”
writing from day so props where they’re due! Have you had a look at the new Cut blog? I love it! It’s nice to see a slick online zine that’s properly funded. Journalism has a severe problem with nepotism so any community based projects like The Cut that actively involve young writers who aren’t necessarily from a rich or privileged background should be commended. Fight the power! Twitter or Facebook? Twitter! It’s the good girl’s ultimate stalking tool. Facebook is like twitter’s boring try hard cousin but I couldn’t live without either to be honest.
The Cut couldn’t wait any longer to introduce Miss Fuertes-Knight’s witty and controversial writing to our readers…
ith so many blogs floating around in the online world these days, it’s getting harder to determine which ones are actually worth reading. It still didn’t take long for My Fucking Redundancy, the sidesplitting brainchild of young writer Jo FuertesKnight, to shine through. The Cut couldn’t wait any longer to introduce Miss Fuertes-Knight’s witty and controversial writing to our readers and ask her what’s really good about Twitter, Blackberries and er, camel hooves.
Waddup Jo! Can you introduce yourself to The Cut massive? I’m 23 and I’m a writer. I have limited social skills and have propelled myself to minor blog success by swearing.
iPhone or Crackberry? I hate my Blackberry so much. When I eventually defect to iPhone my Berry is going in the canal and I’m throwing a party. How would you describe your blog to those who aren’t familiar with it? It started as a romp through unemployment. After I was laid off from Front magazine, my first posts were just about how much I’d cried or eaten that day. Nowadays it’s become more of a random diary of things I love and hate, as well as my successes and screwups in being a career girl. Do you care if you offend people? No. If you can see the blog has “fucking” in the title you know it’s not going to read like Cosmo - that should be a good forewarning! I know that I deliberately write provocative stuff because I want a reaction. I want to hear what people have to say in response, good or bad. Do the haters ever get to you? At first they did, yes. I
find it odd the lengths people have gone to, to remain anonymous. Someone set up a Twitter account to call me something unprintable, which I thought was quite creative. Other than that I’ve had a few Single White Female sociopath situations where people who’ve silently been watching me suddenly try to befriend me. I cut ‘em loose before I ended hacked up in various suitcases round London! Which other blogs do you rate? Camel Hoof! It looks like a collection of childish vagina-based puns but if you look closely there’s some very talented ladies involved. It’s like a magic eye of camel toes. I also love Platform and Styleslut just because they have really distinct writing styles. Also - although it’s not strictly a blog - my homegirl Chloe’s mighty e-zine Le Cool. She’s supported my
Finally, any advice for aspiring bloggers? If you’re a writer a blog should be a platform to greater things. Up your game: develop a personal style, write every single chance you get and don’t get disheartened by criticism. It’s a really strange world to become involved in. I’ve met so many talented, boss bitches - and if a door opens for me they’re coming with - but on the flip-side there’s a lot of disingenuous arse-kissers. If you know you got something special it’s important to keep your guard up and keep working - as they say, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
myfuckingredundency.blogspot.com Text by Shona Harvey Image courtesy of the artist
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introducing AY Squeezy
“Well basically from a young age I always wanted to get in front of the camera and make people laugh.”
ecently The Cut hasn’t been able to put in an appearence at a celebrity party [we get invited to all the A-List stuff, what can I say] without getting elbowed out the way by this CRAZY, crips-styled reporter. His name is Ay Squeezy, we don’t know much about him apart from that he’s got a new show on AKA and listen this guy is forward with the ladiesand the security- beyond the normal boundaries, I seen it with my own eyes. Whether he’s offering Egypt chips, burglarising Channel 4 or trying to pimp out his homegirls to Iyaz, no one even knows how many girlfriends this guy has. We’ve even seen him telling Ashley Cole that “Chelsea are rubbish” and ticking off 50 cent on the red carpet for having such a low monetary value as his name. Determined to know more, we ventured into Ay Squeezy’s layer; a room full of fruit, cheese and 59 DVD players that all said property of BBC 1 on the side. Our reporter was lead there blindfolded by an entourage of bikini clad chinese dwarves. Tell us about your show? The show is called Be Easy with Ay Squeezy a weekly show on Channel AKA. The show is basically like a Documentary where I interview celebrities. You gotta watch it to understand. www.channelaka. tv/videos/aysqueezy How did you get involved in presenting? Well basically from a young age I always wanted to get in front of the camera and make people laugh. When I was 16 I linked up with an online channel called www.linkuptv.com as a presenter...that got me exposure and Channel AKA
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The Cut hasn’t been able to put in an appearence at a celebrity party without getting elbowed out the way by this CRAZY, crips-styled reporter.
liked the show and liked how I was in front of the camera and decided to give me a chance.
hosting, cameos in videos. I’m just gonna do all I can to get my face more out there.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? By then I hope to be on the red carpet presenting a big tv programme for a big tv station known all over. I hope to be a mainstream figure. I look up to people like Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and people who started at a young age and now are household names.
Who would you like to interview if you could pick anyone? I would love to interview Kid Cudi because I like his music and what he does. Ricky Gervais because he’s done a lot, he started off doing Stand Up, got his own show (The Office), he’s been in films, written his own films and that’s the kind of thing I want to do.
What’s in the pipeline for you? Do you know what? I’m just gonna try and get bookings, try and do uni tours to show people what I can do, album/mixtape
Can you tell us your trick for getting ladies? That’s a mad one you know good girls love bad boys but then again girls love a guy with money. I cant even give you an answer
you gotta ask your girl that question [the girls in bikinis are fanning Ay Squeezy at this point and feeding him grapes]. Rumour has it that you’re pretty young but no-one seems to know what age you actually are can you tell us? I can be stupid and tell you or I can be smart and not tell you and let the girls find out for themselves. If I tell you that’s gonna ruin my chances of getting older girls *wink wink* www.channelaka.tv/ videos/aysqueezy www.twitter.com/aysqueezy Photography by Elliot Listenbol Wright Text by Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky Interview by Drew Mark
introducing LADY LESHURR
The Cut spoke to the actress/ MC/dancer about making the transition from growing a fanbase in her home town in Birmingham to wowing London crowds.
humble and just do what I’m doing and talk about what happens in my life. Collaboration wise you’ve worked with P Money, Tinie Tempah and Black The Ripper to name a few, are there any more UK artists you would like to work with? On the album I worked with Mz Bratt and Lioness, which was a dream come true. I’d like to work with N-Dubz, Chipmunk, and Tinchy because they’re just hot at the moment and I know their grind is just immense; I love the way that they are going on. Where do you see yourself and the grime scene in a few years time? I can’t ask for anything
“…people from the UK are giving females more attention now to see who is stepping up their game.”
‘Every Little Counts’ album? I’ll be releasing the album as an EP, a lot of CD’s coming out each month, different genres of music. The ‘Unleshurr’mix– tape is going to be Hip Hop then I’m going to do Grime, Pop and Bashment. I’m just going to try and hit every single genre.
You’ve been busy promoting your ‘Unleshurr’ mixtape, but what can we expect from the
Emerging from Birmingham, you’re becoming a wellknown name outside of your hometown, how has the London Grime scene taken to you? It’s surprising because I didn’t think they would take to me as quickly as they have. The majority of people from
f you caught the street classic ‘1 Day’ earlier this year you ‘ll probably recognise the multitalented Melesha O’ggaro AKA Lady Leshurr. The Cut spoke to the actress/ MC / dancer about making the transition from growing a fanbase in her home town in Birmingham to wowing London crowds.
London are only just getting to know me now, which is a challenge but it’s good as my name is getting mentioned amongst the best females, so I cant ask for more. There seems to be a lack of exposure of female MC’s within the scene, why do you think this is? Males look at us like we can’t do it better than them, they don’t want to give us a chance. There is a sexist element to the scene, but it depends on how you carry yourself. That’s why I try to keep everything real, keep myself to myself, stay
more than to be successful in what I do no matter what genre of music it is, I don’t want people saying that I have sold out, if I do start doing Pop, that is the type of music I would like to get involved in anyway. Grime can only go so far, it’s not dying out though, it’s still here and it’s going strong. I would just like to see it expand more, so the whole world knows about it.
www.twitter.com/LadyLeshurr www.youtube.com/itsladyleshurr Photography and text by Kiran Nijjar
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doctors without the suppoort of her family. ‘It was definitely an experience but I knew a day like this might come eventually so I was fully aware of what I would have to go through. I just wish I was able to get home to a hospital that knew me as opposed to going to an unfamiliar hospital that only had one doctor who specialised in sickle cell.’ Things are under control at the moment and Danica is trying to study whilst still maintaining some sort of social life. ‘I pace myself. Some of my friends will be raving everyday but I may go out once or twice a week. If I’m feeling particularly tired I take a break for a week or so. I don’t drink much at all nowadays and if I do that will be on a full stomach with lots of water taken that day. And it is a compromise I make because I can’t take my tablets in conjunction with alcohol.
ineteen year old Danica Clarke has just started her second term studying Psychology and Counselling at Luton University aiming to live life to the full, both academically and socially. However what marks Danica out from the rest of her peers is that while for most the effects of late nights can be wiped out by a good lie-in, the consequences for her are much more severe. Danica is one of the ten thousand people across the UK thought to be living with sickle-cell disease or sickle-cell anemia, a genetic life-long blood disorder characterized by red blood cells that assume an abnormal, rigid shape known as ‘sickling’. Sickling decreases the cells’ flexibility, blocking small blood vessels in the bones and resulting in painful episodes that can vary from mild to severe, and may come on suddenly.
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In an attempt to stabilise her condition Danica often takes 13 tablets every day and adopts a rigid routine to keep her as healthy as possible - but the illness impacts on every aspect of her life. ‘Wow, where do I start? The pain is so bad sometimes and when the time comes for me to get in to a new relationship, I am faced with the question - do I tell him straight away and risk rejection? As a Christian it affects my relationship with Christ: I think why does he do this to
me and why has he given me so much troubles in life?’ ‘It has a major effect on my immediate family. My mum is a working woman and there have been many times where she would stay up all night standing over my hospital bed because no seats where provided. And that’s just one example.’ Danica’s most recent crisis was particularly difficult as it happened on campus: she had to call the ambulance herself and deal with the
‘Every sufferer is different and you have to be aware of how you are affected and adapt. It may be a good idea if you have moved to a new environment to inform the local GP and hospital of your condition and how to treat you. Inform your tutors and the university because they need to be aware of any special treatment you may require. And last but not least still try to act like a ‘normal’ human being every once in a while. You only live once and it’s a testimony to the fact that you are stronger than this.’ Living with sickle cell can be tough but, with support, most sufferers are able to control their condition. The Sickle Cell Society works hard to raise funds for research into the disease and also runs a volunteering programme. To find out more, visit their website at www.sicklecellsociety.org Text by Bianca Clarke
or many young people politics feels distant and irrelevant, even when we’re talking about flagship TV shows like Question Time. A quick ask around revealed that while most of The Cut’s friends and peers had heard of the programme, few spent their Thursday evenings watching it. To see if we could unearth its value to young people two members of the team spent an evening as runners on the show, which offered a bird’s eye view over its content and production. Hosted by the charismatic David Dimbleby, Question Time has always been the stomping ground for wellstructured debates boasting a wide range of well known panelists from across the political spectrum. On arrival at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith we were showed around the studio. In fact, the entire production team was made up of ten people, most of whom were located in an impressive mobile media van. Every part of the production was controlled from inside the van and it was from here that we were able to view the recording of the pre-broadcast trailer. It struck us just how regimented the production was, with every last detail and camera angle controlled by the team, despite a few minor hitches that were covered up by Dimbleby’s astoundingly dry sense of humor. The sound check offered a surreal experience: we were placed around the hall as if we were members of the audience and took part in a mock Question Time debate with Dimbleby. This offered
another great example of his unique sense of humour. Almost every point that came from the handful of ‘audience’ members was cleverly picked apart by the 71 year old host, who still manages to assert such a profound sense of authority 15 years after taking control of the show. While all of this was going on, sound engineers worked frantically around us to make sure they had everything just right quite a job when you consider the high standards set in place by the BBC. Soon it was time for the real audience to take their places in front of the cameras. The audience is pre-selected to make sure that there is a balance across all ages and social, racial, and political groups. The essence of the show is one of fairness and equality, so a well balanced audience is crucial in allowing a fair debate to take place. Once the audience had submitted their questions to the show’s editor to be approved before recording, all were seated inside the studio. What followed was
surprising. To gauge how well each microphone and camera was working, five members of the audience were placed on the stage alongside the show’s Floor Manager. The audience members then took part in their own Question Time discussion for around 45 minutes. At times it was hard to remember that this was just the warm up, as a number of audience members became rather animated by the nature of the debate and some of the topics being discussed. Once this had finished Dimbleby and the rest of the Question Time panelists entered the studio to a wellreceived round of applause. The lineup included former Foreign Secretary and Labour MP Margaret Beckett, shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury spokesman Vince Cable MP, writer Clive Anderson and TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp. Question Time is a prerecorded show, but there is no editing of what is filmed, demonstrating again just how well Dimbleby controls the show within its one hour time
slot. All the while cameramen and sound engineers worked busily to make sure every question and answer was covered perfectly for the viewers at home. Topics discussed varied from the continuation of British troop deployment in Afghanistan to the saga surrounding Tiger Woods’ private life. For us the evening was a perfect example of how debates should be open for all to be involved in. Question Time allows essential topics to be addressed without elements of class or status getting in the way and can enable young people to gain a true perspective of today’s politics, which is so important with an election coming up this year.
Text by Tom Mullett
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With a general election on the horizon many young people across the capital will have the first chance to cast their vote for the political party they want to run the country for the next five years. If previous voting patterns are repeated the number of young people taking the opportunity to vote will be relatively low despite the range of issues at stake from education to crime to employment. Many political commentators blame apathy and lack of interest among young people for the low voting turn out at elections. We at The Cut aren’t so sure and believe that young people are interested in politics but not necessarily in those that seek to represent them. Our latest debate set out to find out just what we think of the political process and whether voting ever changed anything?
Cutting straight to the chase we asked what would make young people vote in greater numbers?
What is the most important issue that politicians should be dealing with in relation to young people?
Meesha I think young people would vote if they had a voice and someone that represents what they say. With regards to the politicians we see and hear we don’t want their input we need people we can relate to.
Jessica Definitely employment opportunities. Because it’s a recession young people will be hit the hardest which is unfair. If we are offered any jobs they will be low paid so politicians should work hard at offering us opportunities for well paid jobs and proper careers.
Shona I agree it is important for someone for our age, culture and background to represent us. Politicians need to be people we can relate to who would represent us properly because they understand and share our issues. Glen I think politics should come at things from a different way through things that young people can relate to. Music for example can have a positive influence and could encourage young people to vote.
Olivia For me it is about making sure education at uni and colleges do not cost us too much. Fees and cost of living will put some young people off from going to higher education which is unfair. Leon Stop the media blaming young people for everything that goes wrong like crime and anti social behaviour!! It really knocks young people’s confidence when they are being put down all the time. Shiv More play and leisure facilities and centres that are safe and interesting. They blame us for hanging around or sitting in front of the TV but where is there for us to go?
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Education is obviously a very important issue for all young people, what are your views on how politicians make changes for the better? Tunde Politicians want to make changes, but never consult the people it’s going to affect. I think they should always take the views of student’s and pupils. Politicians should take the opinions from young people instead of just making the rules for them. This way they can make education relevant and useful. Meesha It is true politicians should be consulting us young people about changes on education. We are the people it will affect. I think they judge from a birds eye point of view, on what they think should happen. Drew To be fair Gordon Brown is committed to education because he puts money into it.
Do you think celebrities have an influence on people voting for Barack Obama? Hazel I think that celebrities can make voting seem more appealing, it depends on who they are of course. Barack Obama’s campaign was supported by lots of icons who young people could relate to like Beyonce, Jay Z and Oprah Winfrey. Because of this people took an interest in what they were supporting and what he was saying. This made more young people interested in voting. Davina It was also about his policies that related to young people. As well as the celebrities Barack Obama represented change and that anything is possible, he was a positive inspiration to everyone. Along side this celebrities voting for Obama made the election more appealing to young people and made them show more of an interest in what’s going on in the world. It was not only young people but people of all ages.
You will have heard a lot about the BNP and we tried to interview them for this issue but they wouldn’t do it. What are your views of them? Drew The BNP are always changing their targets in terms of race, first they targeted African Caribbean’s now they have moved onto Muslims. They are always looking to blame. Tom If we followed their thinking and were to shut our country off from the rest of the world we would be screwed in terms of imports. It doesn’t make sense. Olivia I hate what they stand for. They try and blame immigration for this countries problems which is not the case but lots of people will believe them as it’s an easy answer particularly when times are hard. Text by Glenroy Ranger and Davina Charles Photography by Ricardo Nunes
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o you care? Within the next few months, votes will be cast to decide how the country is run over the next five years. This affects you. But do you care? Young people can claim not to, but this is a misunderstanding of what ‘political’ really is. When young people talk, for all their disillusionment with Gordon Brown, or ‘whoever that wrinkled fella on tv is’, young people still talk & debate the issues that matter to them. Knife crime. War. The local five-a-side pitches. Young people do care. And that is politics. You might not think your government does, but here are 6 organisations who definitely do care what you think – challenging your hunger for changing the wrongs of your world. If you like what you see, get involved. Text by Charlie Vance
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The Teen’s Speech Children’s charity Barnardo’s teamed up with Speech Debelle in October to give young people a voice on the issues that affect them. The result: 60 days of topical polls, blogs, debate and dialogue, and an alternative to the Queen’s Speech aired online on Christmas Day already watched by almost 100,000 people. ‘Most of us are brushed aside when discussing serious topics, like war and climate change, however we are the future generation and these issues are important to us. This is a great way to deal with a breakdown of stereotypes of today’s young people.’ www.theteensspeech.org.uk
Voicebox Voicebox is a big online community, asking young people all manner of questions and then collecting the data afterwards – it’s a massive dialogue between young people and the rest of the world. It’s so people can take this data and better understand young people, finding out what it is young people think, and do, and want. With a robot situated in Parliament as well, streaming live the questions that you type, young people are finally being heard. ‘Journalists, politicians, academics, police and parents all have a point of view on what the ‘kids of today’ are like. But has anyone ever asked the young people themselves?’
The Young Mayor and Youth Council of Newham The Young Mayor and Youth Council work closely together to promote the needs of the borough’s young people, speaking on behalf of their generation to The Mayor, councillors, businesses, the media… The scheme is all about democracy and getting young people involved with local decision-making. With the youngest population in the country, that’s especially important in Newham. ‘I think a lot of young people think that their actions won’t count. But here in Newham the Youth Council has influence over more than £8 million – to spend on local parks, leisure facilities, and raising environmental awareness.’ www.newham.gov.uk/YoungMayor
Climate Camp Climate Camp is a direct action organisation, gathering and learning together to tackle climate change, from action in personal lives to internationally-infamous bouts of civil disobedience. If you want to get involved, it’s easy. Open to any person, young or old, whether you’d prefer to pitch up marquees or liaise with international media, you can hone your talents where you like. ‘The best part of being involved is to suddenly find yourself part of a large, like-minded but diverse, and caring community - and one that acts exactly as it preaches!’
UK Youth Parliment UKYP is the official voice of the young, and with its ties to the Government, has scope for real influence behind the scenes of Britain power-houses. Made up of 500 members, the UK Youth Parliament is elected annually by anyone aged between 11 and 18 in the UK, and in the past has coordinated campaigns for a reduction in the voting age to 16, and for a scrapping of university tuition fees. ‘Change doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you are passionate about making it happen, then it will happen, provided you are willing to see it through – and believe me, the result is worth it.’
Battlefront Battlefront gives young people the platform to make a stand on issues that matter to them. Each year twenty 14-21 year olds are gifted expert advice, top mentors, a website and even their own Channel 4 TV series. And their collective goal: to make a difference in the world. Whether it be campaigning against knife crime, or encouraging random acts of kindness... ‘Everyone can use their talents to do some good in the world.’ www.battlefront.co.uk
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f you were to ask most young Londoners who are able to vote in London what they thought of the BNP, the answer for most would contain a high level of contempt and anger towards the attitudes of a party that is firmly associated with bigotry and hatred. With similar measures being taken by the English Defence League to stir up the ethnic stability with the UK, it seems that the concept of ‘Britishness’ is one that has captured the support of a small pocket of the British public.
elections which saw two members take their place in the European parliament.
However, as the faith in the traditional parties that hold power within the country continues to collapse there has been a surge in popularity for the party that claims to hold the real solution to the anxieties of the ‘true’ British voter. Under the leadership of Nick Griffin the BNP has transformed itself into a seemingly acceptable organisation that is slowly but surely climbing the ladder of British politics. This was evidenced in its successes at last years European
In a time where multi-culturalism and understanding the differences of other cultures has allowed London and other parts of the UK to become such a vibrant and interesting place to live, the sentiment taken from such an approach appears rather obtuse. However, this is where we are clearly able to see the deceitful nature of the party. On a quick glance, who isn’t going to warm to an idea that claims to have the best interest of the country at heart? But if people were to
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In the run up to the General Elections a number of London’s young people will find themselves voting for the first time. We at The Cut feel that it is only fair that young voters should gain a truthful perspective of all parties especially one that challenges the multi cultural lifestyle that many of us enjoy. It must be noted that we did invite Mr Griffin to take part in an interview, however he declined.
take the time to understand the language used by Griffin and his followers, the impression is very much different. The clearest example of this can be found when looking at Griffin’s approach towards immigration where he states, ‘We will abolish the “positive discrimination” schemes that have made white Britons second-class citizens.’ Hold on a second, white British people? It seems Mr Griffin has forgotten the estimated 10% of non-white British citizens that make up a large proportion of the country’s population. Where do they stand in his argument? Is he simply choosing to leave out the rights of non-white citizens in comparison to the ‘ordinary’ he always talks about, or was this just poor writing skills on behalf of the BNP’s website editor? I’ll leave that for you to decide. One group that has offered a direct relief to the two-faced politics of the BNP can be found when looking at the Hope Not Hate campaign that continues to fight tirelessly against the bigoted group of ‘politicians’.
Darren They disgust me, they have such a horrible attitude. I don’t understand why people vote for them.” Chantelle I would never vote for them, but it’s kinda worrying that people do. I really hope they never get into power, London would never be the same again!”
A YouGov survey released last summer into the attitudes of BNP voters produced some interesting revelations: • Men are twice as likely to support the BNP as women, • 44% of BNP voters are aged 35 to 54 • One third of BNP voters read The Sun or the Daily Star, whereas only 13% read the Daily Mirror and those reading The Guardian and The Independent are statistically insignificant. One fifth claim to be members of trade unions or trade associations and 36% identify themselves as skilled or semi-skilled manual workers. • More BNP supporters regard immigration as one of the key issues facing the country at the moment – 87% compared to 49% among all voters. Again unsurprisingly, 94% of BNP supporters believed that all further immigration should be halted. This compares with 87% of UK Independence Party voters, 68% of Conservative voters, 46% of Labour voters, 43% of Lib Dem voters and even 37% of Green voters. • Only 4% of BNP voters believed that recent immigration had benefited the country. • 44% (compared to 12% of all voters) disagreed with the statement: “nonwhite British citizens who were born in this country are just as ‘British’ as white citizens born in this country”. In a contrast to the widespread demonstrations, Hope Not Hate take a much more controlled approach to contesting the BNP by informing local communities of the disastrous effect of the BNP’s unrealistic policies. By allowing each voter to feel that they have control of their own fate, Co-ordinator Sam Tarry, and the rest of the Hope Not Hate team have successfully managed to instill a sense of faith in democracy within a number of surrounding communities. This has led to the realization that extremism is not the solution to people’s problems. ‘We like to bring communities back together, that way everyone will have a better understanding of how to improve things in their local area’, stated Sam. In a time where many people are feeling discontent towards the way this country is being run, extremism and extremist views are slowing creeping in the forefront of British politics. Unfortunately, the naivety of a handful of the British public has allowed such views to become a legitimate
and a recognizable constituent within the make up of our society. It is important with politics, especially with regards to the BNP, to not only to listen to what politicians are saying, but to continue that process by thinking about what they really mean when they say such things. The success of the BNP has been largely down to the shrewd approach taken by Griffin to play to the ignorance of the discontented. By exhibiting himself as someone who cares about nothing more than the welfare of Britain, Griffin’s true attitudes towards race and culture are often left unscrutinized. As crunch time draws closer in British politics, we can only hope that individuals take the time to understand what they are really voting for. At least this way the enlightened can prevail over the ignorant. Truley Terrifying: Nick Griffen re–invented as a Halloween Pumpkin. Artwork by Statusfrustration Text by Tom Mullett Photography by Jack Notley
• Among BNP voters 21% strongly disagreed with the statement compared to just 1% of Greens and Lib Dems and 2% of Labour and 3% of Conservative voters. • 31% of BNP voters believed there was a difference in inte ligence between the average black Briton and the average white Briton. • Over half of BNP voters felt the financial situation of their household would worsen over the next 12 months. In contrast only 29% of Labour voters agreed and 27% thought it would get better. • Again, more BNP voters thought someone in their family would lose their job in the current recession than supporters of other parties. • One third of BNP voters completely or partially agreed with the statement that ‘there is a major international conspiracy led by Jews and Communists to undermine traditional Christian values in Britain.’
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“Its so inspiring to be at a place with a good British history. I just want to continue that.”
Since being signed
to Parlophone late last year, Tinie Tempah’s already recorded what must be a contender for the anthem of 2010 with his single Pass Out. He dropped by The Cut to talk about experiences spanning from Stockholm to Scunthorpe, and a whole lot in between. Despite all the current hype around Tinie Tempah, the man himself needs no reminding about how the fans who caught onto his back catalogue have helped him reach the stage he is at today. ‘Songs like Wifey helped create a fan base who were supporting me. The record labels took note and started getting in touch and that’s why we are where we are.’ Tinie reflects, ‘For an artist like myself, doing the whole underground DIY thing and setting the foundations before you get signed to a record label is good because you build your own fan base that is already nationwide - and that’s what it did.’ With a steady following to rival many other unsigned acts, Tinie quickly set up his own Disturbing London label with his cousin, and released mix CD Hood Economics Room 147: The 80 Minute Course. ‘I guess we were trying to emulate the majors. We we never felt like we needed to be signed to a major label back then: we felt like we were going to be a major label outselves one day. That’s what we were working towards, trying to do everything a major label does for ourselves.’ Flash forward to 2010 and we’re on the brink of The Disc-Overy, Tinie’s keenly-awaited new album - and it’s being released on a major with one of the most impressive rosters in British pop music. I wonder about the inspiration behind the title, ‘That whole concept of being a big British discovery is something that I always wanted to come out with on my debut. I’m signed to a label that has the likes of Coldplay, Lily Allen and The Beatles. Those in my opinion were amazing discoveries.’ The forthcoming release has given Tinie the scope to make some grand discoveries of his own and he has fond memories of visiting Stockholm, where the album was recorded - and not
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all for work related reasons... ‘The city was amazing! A lot of people have said that Stockholm is crazy and it’s a very multicultural place, all the women are mixed up and gorgeous.’ What can we say? Boys will be boys! But it wasn’t all partying, ‘Obviously the main aim was to work and a lot of the main producers are from Sweden, like Stargate and Red Ones.’ The Disc-Overy also boasts a collaboration with B2k’s former front man Omarion on a track called Rich & Famous. That title has a nice ring to it now, not least because it’s a song Tinie originally recorded way before he got signed. ‘When Omarion came down he chilled with a friend of mine, so I met up with him and he was like “You got a really nice shape-up.” I was like “safe man!” We did a photo shoot and before he left to go back to the US we got him in the studio.’ No doubt he will be sharing that anecdote with his grandchildren one day - that’s if he settles down. For now he insists, ‘I don’t have a wifey at the moment, to be honest I’m just concentrating on what’s in front of me. So if someone happens to jump in front of me, take is as it comes.’ Tinie made it clear in Pass Out that he has never been to Scunthorpe, and I think we all want to know if he has any plans to pay the seaside town a visit soon. ‘Well, it’s funny cause the Scunthorpe tourist board got in contact! I always say that it might be the first date on my official tour. Other than that I was just gonna drive up there one day and film the whole thing: Scunthorpe watch out - Tinie’s coming!’ The success of artists Tinchy Stryder and Chipmunk have been a real boost to theUK music scene, and inevitably comparisons have been made between
“The core and the belief of what I want out of this will always be the same.”
artists pigeonholed as part of the Bratpack - but Tinie is confident that his music will shine through any classification. ‘To be honest with you, I’m just going to be myself. People will always try and put us in the same box but there are very obvious differences. I’m just going to keep doing my thing and making music for the public to enjoy.’ We have all heard that some people aren’t too happy about the type of music grime artists make once getting signed. Tinie denies that there’s going to be a major shift of gear between Hood Economics and The Disc-Overy, though: ‘If you really listen to Hood Economics there’s many different types of music in it, from a left field track which is a little indie, to the Lily Allen one which is a bit more scat, to grime tracks. I have always made it a prominent thing to be a product of my environment. In that environment I listen to Jay-Z and I listen to Coldplay and I appreciate both types of albums the same. I’ve always made music I love: Wifey and Pass Out are two different things.’ Throughout the interview Tinie’s love for music shines through. His excitement to be at a record label that has such an impressive history of great British acts only spurs him on to achieve more. ‘I’ve been into the offices and seen plaques and held awards, like the MTV one with the gong thingy, its so inspiring to be at a place with a good British history. I just want to continue that.’ Since Tinie Tempah has one of the biggest buzzes around him this year, how important is it for him to stay true to himself? ‘My mum will make me stay true to myself! At the end
of the day I’ve been doing this for a very long time: you have a little bit of the limelight and if you’re walking down your high street and feel a bit famous then you get carried away, but then it dips down. The whole thing has been a learning curve,’ Tinie pauses for a moment, like he has something to confide. ‘The core and the belief of what I want out of this will always be the same. I don’t think I will change, but if I do you will be the first to let me know.’ As we wrap, I promise to tell Tinie if he turns out to be a diva with all his new found success and he promises us that he has more in store for us in 2010 and beyond. ‘I’ve put a lot of work into this, so whether or not, you look out for me I’m going to be there and be in your face, so you might as well acknowledge it and embrace it, rather then it coming and waking you up like a nightmare. Discover it now!’ Words by Damian Malontie Photography by Akwasi Tawia-Poku and Jemil Saka Styling by Shamz Le Roc White Vest by Topshop; green shorts by Mishka; Trainers by size?; Jacket by Levi’s Vintage; Jeans and T Shirt models own.
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People say that there’s no such thing as an original idea anymore, but the truth is that culture without reinvention doesn’t really exist. Recently we’ve noticed the spirit of reinvention all around, in fashion, music and TV alike. Perhaps it’s the growth of digital technologies which enable people to download, remix and remaster music and media at the drop of a hat which has put ‘reinvention’ high on the agenda. Or maybe we are forever nostalgic for things we were too young to experience the first time round? Whatever the reason may be, here’s our guide to the best and worst of reinvention culture right now. Text by Shona Harvey
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Tesco Does Deadstock
Saved By The Bell
Even Tesco, the Super-Super Market that everyone loves to hate, is getting in on the reinvention action, and getting double green points while it’s at it. Their new ‘From Somewhere’ collection which is being designed by ethical fashion label Florence and Fred will be made entirely from stock which would otherwise be consigned landfill.With prices at just £16 a pop, ethical- reinvention, or ‘upcycling’ as its often called, is really going mainstream.
This goes out to all the 90s kids: ‘When I wake up in the morning and the ‘larm gives out a warning, I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time!’ If you don’t recognise these lyrics, then you should be ashamed of yourself! OK, that’s a bit harsh but anyways, I’m sure you all remember Zach, Kelly, Lisa, Jesse, Slater and little Screech from the hit TV series Saved By The Bell. The show, which followed the exploits of several students and their principal at the fictional Bayside High School, was actually a retooled version of the 1988 series Good Morning, Miss Bliss. As a result of SBTB’s popularity, two more shows were given the green light to follow, namely The College Years and The New Class, the latter being the spin-off that nobody cared about. Let’s all start campaigning for a reunion!
The Crystal Maze
Tinchy Stryder – You’re Not Alone
The Prisoner, created by Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein, is a cult British TV series that ran in the 60s and is about to make a comeback on our TV screens early this year. The show is about a former British secret agent who unwillingly finds himself held captive in a village by mysterious authorities who want to know why has resigned from his position. It’s been confirmed that Jim Caviezal and Ian McKellen will star in the reinvented 2010 series.
The Crystal Maze was a popular cult game show that ran on Channel 4 from 1990 to 1995. The set of the show was divided into four zones: Aztec, Futuristic, Medieval and Industrial, along with the Crystal Dome at the centre of the maze. This is where contestants would play their final challenge in the hope of cracking the Crystal Maze. The first four series were presented by Richard O’Brien and remaining two by Edward Tudor-Pole. Rumour has it that Amanda Holden (yes, really) is being lined up to host the remake, and that this time around, celebrities will be participating in the challenges rather than the general public. To be honest though, if they don’t get the bald guy back to present it, then they just shouldn’t even bother. And they better not even think about changing the theme tune.
Just like Dizzee, Tinchy also decided to have a go at re-working another 90s dance floor filler – this time with the heavily sampled You’re Not Alone, originally a hit for Olive in 1996. This version doesn’t actually differ too much from its predecessor, as Tinchy plays it safe with an almost identical production alongside his trademark simple bars and flow. Uninspiring and unimaginative perhaps, but overall not such a bad record really.
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Dizzee Rascal – Dirtee Cash
What the – fanny packs are back?! Friggin’ fanny packs?!! Hehehehe (ahem, sorry). Seriously, this ongoing 80s/90s revival has provided some much welcomed fashion revivals but come on, let’s be real now. Some things just need to be left in the past – FOR GOOD. And that rule definitely applies to fanny packs. Yes, we saw the pictures of Rihanna rocking her Louis Vuitton bumbag, but ‘tourist chic’ is not the kind of look that we should be trying to achieve. Are they convenient? Yes. Are they comfortable? Yes. Are they cool? No! Never! If Rihanna can’t convince us, then no one can.
Having carved a niche for himself as the master of grime/dance crossover music, Dizzee churned out yet another chart hit at the end of last year with Dirtee Cash, sampling Stevie V’s 90s classic in the process. In between the almost untouched original choruses, Mr Mills spits about ordinary folk these days aimlessly and shamelessly spending money like the famous and constantly ‘paper chasing’. Some critics have argued that we’ve heard better from Dizzee, but this banger still gets two thumbs up from The Cut.
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Dr Who This ongoing British cult classic TV series first appeared on our screens back on 23rd November 1963. The show is hugely successful, and the Guinness Book of Records has listed it as the longestrunning sci-fi television show in the world. It follows the adventures of a humanoid alien ‘Doctor’ and his companions as he travels through time and space. The concept of reinvention is integral to the series as the plotline revolves around the regular introduction of a new Doctor through regeneration. Every Doctor takes on a new body and, to some extent, a new personality. There have been eleven Doctors in total, including Tom Baker, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.
Palladium boots That’s right peeps, Palladium boots are making a comeback. The footwear worn by the French Foreign Legion back in the late 1940s and by Winona Ryder in the 90s have been revamped and relaunched for 2010. The original design is still intact, including the trademark rubber toecaps, but you can now buy the boots in three heights (low-cut oxford, high-cut oxford and loose fold-over oxford) and in three materials (canvas, leather, suede). Ladies, to achieve the ultimate grungey yet girly look, team a pair of Palladium’s with a floral baby doll dress or your best skinny jeans and a flannel shirt.
Florence And The Machine – You’ve Got The Love
Jedward – Under Pressure
The track that cemented Florence Welsh as one of the voices of 2010. Once a disco hit in the 80s and then a dance hit in the 90s, Florence and co. gave us their quirky indie-pop re-work in the late noughties. Surprisingly, this number made a journey from b-side to digital download to bonus track before finally (and deservedly) being re-leased as a physical single in November 2009. The complete change of genre and Florence’s distinguishably haunting vocals make it just as pleasurable and anthemic as the previous versions.
No thanks to the almighty power of Simon Cowell and the X Factor franchise, everyone’s favourite novelty act Jedward were permitted to release a cover of Robert Van Winkle’s 90s rap… err, classic (?!) after their long-awaited exit on the popular reality TV show. The track is a mash up of Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure and Ice Ice Baby, with a cameo by Vanilla Ice himself. Best described as a crime against humanity and a contender for possibly the worst cover ever in music history. The joke’s gone too far people – stop it. Stop it now.
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There is still time to get involved in a revolutionary new campaign fronted by JME and run by The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and RMJM Architects, and supported by Size? and Channel 4. Architecture for Everyone is a national campaign and workshop programme aiming to revitalise the urban design world and to encourage more young people to try a taster of a career in urban design and architecture. 125 young
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people from Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, London, Birmingham and Glasgow will have the chance to take part in design workshops with some of the top names in the industry. No previous experience is necessary. “When I was younger I used to live in Meridian Estate and it was a new build and there was nowhere for kids to play”. JME, CEO of Boy Better Know is talking about his passion for design and architecture,
“Then they decided they were gonna build a park there and redevelop it. They went around to all the residents asking us what we wanted, so in the we were able to shape our own area, which got me interested.” As well as his groundbreaking work in music, not a lot of people know that JME went to uni for design. “When I was at college, I did graphic design. I’ve always really liked artdrawing things in different perspectives, so I did a 3-D
digital design course, which was a mixture of architecture, graphic design and 3-D modelling. Urban design had played a part in my life without me even knowing it.” “There’s nothing that can launch you into a life in architecture and design in school. In school, you get taught English, maths and sciences ....and we’re not all mathematicians and scientists. This is an exciting way of life-it’s cool”.
The series of cutting edge urban design workshops will take place in cities across the UK until the summer of 2010. It will give you the opportunity to work in broadcasting, computer design, photography, graphics and 3-D modelling. There is no other opportunity like this in the UK to network with professionals from the architecture world, who are at the top of their game. You are given the chance to take back control of how your area looks and feels by creating
art works and designs. You also can get a qualification, should you want to. There are even opportunities to take it to the next level for those young people who are interested with exhibitions, bursaries and support to get into the world of Urban Design. The launch night for the campaign was held recently at Channel 4. Celebrities and press turned out in their droves to encourage young talent to get involved. Eddie Kadi, who
was the hosting the night, even battled with JME on the theme of architecture much to the crowd’s amusement. JME confided in us later that he was suspicious that this was one Eddie had prepared a lot earlier, judge for yourself:
I build cinemas, I build kitchens, I build everything. Architecture for Everyone. You can catch me on the A46, IKEA is the journey,Wembley is where I might buy some bricks.. Do they sell bricks in IKEA? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
Eddie Everybody wanna know, what Architecture For Everyone is?, Everbody wanna know! JME Can you stop clapping? You’re putting me off. I build houses, I build castles,
www.architectureforeveryone. org.uk/blog www.facebook.com/a4euk www.myspace.com/ architectureforeveryone Text by The Cut Photography by Tim & Barry
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he scene is set in post apocalyptic London 2015. Poverty has become the norm and authority no longer exists. The government have lost control of society, the police couldn’t care less and knife crime is inevitable on a daily basis. In this world, believe it or not, food is the motivation. Don’t think you’re getting your hands on an apple for less than £350 and, if you fancy a cheap takeaway, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Kentucky Fried Pigeon. Shocked? Yep, you will be when you watch Shank, the impressive directorial debut of grime scene extraordinaire Mo Ali. Shank tells the story of 14 year old Junior (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and his non-violent gang the Paper Chaserz, who find themselves in major beef with a rival crew after a tip off about a priceless food delivery goes wrong and the two groups clash. As a result, Junior’s gang number decreases from five to four. Following this astonishing tragedy, Junior is overtaken with rage and has to make a life-changing decision whether to stick with the respected, more peaceful morals of the Paper Chaserz or seek the ultimate revenge – with a shank. But before Junior and co. can start a war, they first need to find the hush-hush whereabouts of arch enemy Tugz (Jerome Holder) and his people - and needless to say, that piece of information is going to cost them big time… The film pulls no punches and certainly lives up to its title. During the opening scenes we see shots of a forthright topless woman and a tramp defecating in the middle of the street amidst fellow members of the community ruthlessly fighting and stealing off each other. The setting of a derelict and soon to be demolished south London council estate does wonders to depict the massive gap between the rich and the poor and manages to give a realistic portrayal of innercity life for the neglected and discontented youth. In his own words, Mo describes the movie as a ‘satirical look at what life could be like if the government continue to ignore the issues affecting young people today, forcing the next generation to live in a concrete jungle with no real hope.’
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Knowing that Shank comes from the same distributor as Kidulthood, its easy to expect a feeling of déjà vu and a lack of originality, but pleasingly, the two films are actually not that similar and arguably, Shank delivers on a higher scale than its predecessor. Ali affectionately gives a nod towards the 2006 hit film that paved the way for his own work through a couple of cheeky blink-and-you’llmiss-it references: notably by giving the audience a glimpse of a Kidulthood promotional poster in the Paper Chaserz’s residence, and through a brief comical encounter between Adam Deacon and old cast mate Aml Ameen, who experience a “do I know you from somewhere?” moment. The film is brilliantly directed and produced, and is apparently the first of its kind to combine animation, computer graphics and live action. As expected, UK grime, hip hop and dubstep provide the perfect soundtrack, including big tracks from one of its stars Bashy as well as Mz Bratt, Boy Better Know and Giggs. One of the stand-out scenes of the film is the rave sequence featuring unmissable performances by Tempah T and D Double E. Mo Ali has surpassed expectations with his debut film direction, and audiences will be eagerly anticipating a sequel of some sort or follow up. The Cut can assure you that Shank is one of the films of 2010 and cannot be missed – get me? Text by Shona Harvey
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BOOK OF SPELLS
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Previous page Claudia wears shawl by New Look; dress by Primark; socks by Primark. This page from top Claudia wears shoes stylist’s own; ring model’s own; dress by New Look. Alyona wears top by French Connection. Claudia wears leather jacket by New Look; top by New Look. Opposite page Alyona wears top by New Look; bra by Primark; trousers by Primark; Earrings by Freedom at Topshop.
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This page Alyona wears necklace by Freedom at Topshop; jacket by Sam Greenburg; dress by Primark; belt by Primark; shoes by Primark. Claudia wears faux fur by Primark; dress by Sam Greenburg; socks by Primark; shoes by Office.
Photography by Kiran Nijjar Styling by Chloe Forde and Laura Rocco Alfonso Make up by Polly Avison Models Alyona and Claudia at Premier
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Style Secret Histories Girls who are boys, who like boys to be girls… Androgyny in fashion is nothing new. In fact, it’s the oldest look in the look-book, both on and off the catwalk. With it back in vogue of late we thought it was time for a bit of a cultural history lesson Cut stylee. As ever fashion reflects wider social attitudes, but just what does the mainstreaming of the androgynous look say about the current state of play?
high hair Ok, you got us, so high tops are not really androgynous – but they are cool.
Real Men Wear Pearls? Although women have been swapping their skirts for suits for the whole of the past century, it’s only recently that it’s become more acceptable in the mainstream for men to raid their mothers’ wardrobes’ in a bid to look cool. But are pearls, traditionally thought of as the most feminine accessory, a step too far? Suprisingly 10% of all purchases of pearl jewellery from PearlParadise.com are for men. Cultural theorists reckon that the growth of men adorning themselves with jewellery says a lot about the changes in society. As women become more independent, self sufficient and picky men need to compete in a more Darwinian fashion, just like peacocks.
Styling by Chloe Forde Photography by Kiran Nijjar and Rasharna Hylton Models: Ella and Calvin Make Up by Polly Avison
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Skinnys Skinny jeans, it seems, are here to stay. History shows that although they might disappear and reappear, fom The Clash right through to the New Boyz the idea that ‘skinnys’ are for women is done. Ray A Smith at The Wall Street Journal actually did a survey on the effects of skinny jeans on men, and what was evident is that for the first time in history men are feeling the discomfort associated with fashion that women have had to endure forever. These days men are more likely to have to suffer for beauty too, under more pressure to diet and exercise to fit into those skinnies without having to zip them up lying down on the bed!
HIGH NECKED HEROINES This season its all about the work shirt, buttoned up right to the very top, no cleavage in sight.You could say this look dates right back to the 1920’s when the ‘Flapper Garcon’ look was all the rage. Marlene Deitrich wore it with a bow tie, but you don’t have to go back that far. Patti Smith wore her workshirt with attitude on the cover of her Horses album back in the seventies and in the nineties tom-boy grunge girls donned the big shapeless shirts with their DMs.
POP ANDROGYNY It’s stating the obvious to say pop stars have always led the way when it comes to experimental fashion. Today La Roux is famous for her gender-bending electronic steez, but she comes from a long line of androgynous icons. Check out Annie Lennox circa ‘Sweet Dreams’ and of course David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust for some of her cues. In fact when David Bowie first appeared draped across a chaise longues wearing ‘a man’s dress’ for the album The Man Who Sold the World, it was considered to be too risqué for America and so a new album image was ordered.
suits you miss Boyfriend trousers never did quite catch on, with their knack for making anyone without longer than average stick legs look slightly fat. But when it comes to suit blazers, which are so in at the moment, it’s a totally different story. Don’t forget to roll up those sleeves. If you’re brave enough for the whole suit then go for it. Back in the 60s, Yves Siant Laurent created the famous ‘Le Smoking’ pantsuit, which was basically a tuxedo for women. It sounds crazy now, but in fact this was one of the key moves in fashion which made it more culturally acceptable for women to wear trousers. So thankyou Mr YSL, you secret style liberator you.
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fashion STRAIGHT UP DISTRibution
“I may be stressing, I may be moaning sometimes but I wouldn’t have it any other way .” Everyone wants to have their own T shirt company or fashion label, but how do you go from selling your stuff online to actually getting your brand into shops, and - most importantly - the right shop? We went down to Straight Up distribution to interview Charlie and Kish, two of the biggest British distributors of clothing labels such as 10 Deep, Mishka, A.I.N.T, Double Goose, Staple and Trainerspotter to get some tips. Kish, you’re not like a sneaker collector you’re more like a sneaker junkie! I’m more like a ‘Sir’. It’s like wine: when people get a cellar, they store the wine and you have people like that who collect sneakers and don’t wear them. Some people invest on that sort of tip and get a lot of money for selling their kicks, but we are like Sirs because we like to rock our stuff.
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A lot of people want to work for themselves. But how much hard work is it running your own company? It’s really hard work 24 hours a day. I get e-mails from China early in the morning and then we are all up late in the night talking to Americans. It really is a commitment, because if you are working for someone else the worst you are going to get is the sack, but when you work for yourself and you are financially in it you could lose your place. I may be stressing, I may be moaning sometimes but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have worked for other people and the maddest thing is when you leave the company you’re like ‘bye’ and that’s it, that’s all you get for helping build this company from nothing. But without that experience I couldn’t do what I’m doing now.
With groups like The Cool Kids bringing the retro scene back, a lot of artists are being sponsored by the clothing lines to do mixtapes... Yes, but it’s a double edged sword, because then you can pigeonhole the label for just being a hip hop label, which it isn’t. 10 Deep has a hip hop feeling but it also translates to skate and they have their own skate team. Ralph Lauren is the ultimate business model because you never see somebody wear the same Ralphy even though it sells millions. That’s what Nigo wants to do for Bape, what Shawn Stussy wants to do.
Tell us about Mishka, which is a fairly new import to the UK? There is no other label like it, it is completely mental in a wicked way because of the way they approach everything. Mishka (which is Russian for bear cub) is bringing European and American influences and mixing and smashing them together. That’s why you have people like Kasper, Rosco, Martelo, DubPolice, Major Lazer who all want it and are coming up here to Straight Up Distribution. Can you give us five tip offs for spring/summer styles in street wear? Clean and back to basics: short sleeve shirts, shorts, swimming trunks, towel and a cold beer. Text by Ricardo Nunes and Silas Osei Photography by Jemil Saka
fashion super fertile
For her last collection Superfertile’s Kali Arulpragasam wowed us with the Real Superheroes, which sought to immortalise the worlds great pioneers, inventors and social activists as the real heroes of our time in shiny brass and copper. You can’t really deny her credit for doing something different in a climate of fashion-sameness. Where else do you see Nils Bohlin, the guy who created the 3 point seat-belt, and computer legend Steve Jobs worn round the neck as fashion pin ups?
“Cra$h asks us to question both the state of our debtridden society and purpose of luxury jewellery design itself.”
This season the queen of subverted bling is back, turning her attention to the global financial crisis for her new collection Cra$h. Her pieces function as portable works of art, more walking statements of social commentary than mere accessories for a Friday night on the town. This time round, as Marshall Mcluhan famously said the medium really is the message. With slogans like ‘3 Million Unemployed and Rising’ and ‘Mortgage Debts Greater than The Value of Homes’ set in diamante, Cra$h asks us to question both the state of our debt-ridden society and purpose of luxury jewellery
design itself. This message is magnified by the striking campaign images which feature everyone from your local homeless guy to a high street discount dolly modelling the work, also giving the whole project a distinctly British feel. It comes as no surprise to find out that Arulpragasam has a background in advertising, as so much of her work is about communicating a message in a clever way, turning her primary means of communication jewellery - on its head. The body becomes a billboard for cultural concerns.
about the conversations that the campaigns generate. And that’s not to say that it’s all hollow conversation and no action either. In fact Superfertile donated 7% of the profits of the 2008 Hunger Collection to Oxfam, and similarly with the Endangered Species collection the brand donated a necklace to each country’s corresponding national museum. Arulpragasam concedes that ‘This is small compared to what’s going on, but hopefully it will have an impact.’ So is this Radical Fashion or just Conscious Bling? Call it what you want, but it’s guaranteed that it made you look but that it made you think as well and that’s enough for me www.superfertile.com Available from Selfridges, London,
At their current price tag it’s arguably far less about everyday people buying and wearing this stuff, than it is
and The Convenience Store Photography by Akwasi Tawia Poku and Jemil Saka
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music bluey robinson
“I feel like it takes the mundane and normal things in life and makes them into something beautiful.”
Since the release of the single I Know, 20 year old Bluey Robinson is a very busy bee. When The Cut eventually tracked him down at a gig in Shoreditch, we found him celebrating his signing to a major label and the potential release of his debut album. Bluey has been singing since the age of three, largely inspired by growing up listening to his parents’ extensive vinyl collection, although he wouldn’t describe himself as being from a musical family: ‘I am the only one that does music, we just had a lot of vinyl in our house, like everybody has records lying around their house.’ After many years of graft in the music industry he really created a buzz when I Know got major airplay from Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Bluey doesn’t hide how much respect he has for Labyrinth, the tracks producer: ‘I would come down the studio and be like - this guy is sick! When my manager asked if I knew producers that I wanted to work with, I knew exactly who I wanted to start the foundations of this album with and who understands what I am about.’ As well as working with new talent like Labyrinth, Bluey is also working with some more familiar names on the new album, including TMS and Steve Booker who worked on Mercy for Duffy. The video for I Know is quite impressive, and Bluey gave us the low down on the concept behind it all: ‘It’s supposed to be like the girl is in a state of flux, going through some tough time and she needs someone to hold her back and say it’s okay.’ I Know also boasts some interesting footage of Bluey treating the commuters of the Parisian and New York underground. It was performing on the London underground which kicked
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everything off and inspired him to try the same thing further afield for the video ‘We got a very laid back reaction from the London commuters and that sparked it all off. I would do it again, for sure.’ Last year was definitely a year for fresh, new sounding music from UK artists, but I wonder what kind of music can we expect to hear from Bluey’s debut album? ‘I want to bring a bit of old songs, disco and funk kind of elements, mixed with a more current sound. I don’t want to sound too old, I want to sound old but new, like 2011 sounding.’ As well as planning to define what genre of music we’ll all be listening to next year,
Bluey also has an acting career - and, if you’ve seen the Lion King or Eastenders, then that is probably where you remember him from. But for the moment music is his priority: ‘Singing will definitely always be my main focus. I do take acting seriously but I never really got the same buzz or feeling as music has given me. I would love to get back into it eventually, though.’ It’s hard not to have the feeling that Bluey won’t be back on Eastenders any time soon. ‘I think I have passed that stage of my life. It’s a bit of a tricky balance. Eastenders is a massive show anyway, but people will be calling me by my character name and not my real name, which is knd of confusing.’
Something that will definitely not confuse people is why Bluey Robinson is going to be a big hit this year. He has the potential to be great for UK music: he’s humble, extremely talented and I’m sure he will be popular with the females. His first task is to release his debut album and single later on this year and something tells me, he is on course for big things in 2010.
www.blueyrobinson.com www.facebook.com/ blueyrobinsonofficial www.myspace.com/blueyrobinson Text: Damian Malontie Image: Akwasi Tawia Poku
music buraka som sistema
Buraka Som Sistema have enjoyed a spectacular rise in the past few years, and have just joined the prestigious list of artists to record a full length set for the Fabric Live series. The Portuguese trio came together in 2006, immediately grabbing the attention of music lovers around the world with their unique combination of carnival drums and deep, funky basslines. The Cut caught up with Rui Pité aka DJ Riot of Buraka Som Sistema, to see exactly what he thought about the music scene in the UK. The Fabric Live series has featured some of the biggest names in underground dance music, how did you feel when you were asked to record the latest release? To be honest, we were very nervous. Fabric Live is notorious for having such great mixes from great artists, so we knew we were going to have our work cut out to get everything just how we want it. Fabric Live is huge! The track listing includes producers like Skream and Major Lazer, who will be very familiar to a UK audience, together with artists who will be completely new.
How did you find the balance? That was really hard, and the Fabric Live you hear on the CD was nothing like what we started with. We love a great deal of music, particularly a lot of the underground music from other countries such as Angola which has a really exciting scene. It was difficult and getting the perfect balance took a long time, but we are very happy with the finished product. You include a great deal of carnival sounds from Kuduro. Why do you think that a sound typically found in Angola and Portugal has become so popular across the underground music world? I know - it’s strange isn’t it? I think people are constantly looking for the next big thing in music and Kuduro is generally very upbeat and exciting to listen to, particularly the drum
patterns which really give the music a sense of life. It’s just really energetic and good to dance to so people can’t help but like it. When we use Kuduro influences in our own tracks it gives the funky sound we want. So many artists are pushing their own style of music within the UK: what is your view of the underground scene? The UK scene is fantastic: dubstep, drum and bass, electro... they’re all doing so well, and all of it is so exciting to listen to. UK music has always played such a big part in creating our sound. Before we were together as Buraka, two of us were drum and bass DJs, so of course we were always listening to the stuff coming out of the UK. Honestly I think its the best scene in the world as its so fast moving, the progression within genres is fantastic.
“UK music has always played such a big part in creating our sound.”
Are there any artists in the UK scene that really impress you at the moment? There are so many! Rusko, Stenchman, Skream, Chase & Status - just to name a few. The UK scene is full of great music, though, so it’s not necessarily the individual artists that impress us, it’s the combination of all of them together! Fabric Live 49 by Buraka Som Sistema is available now. Text by Tom Mullett Image courtesy of artist
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music set yourself on fire Envy Releases The Record of The Decade.
“I know that whatever you want you can get if you work for it, that’s what got me where I am today.”
Set Yourself On Fire, the virtuoso debut album by Manchester MC Envy is one of the most important and atmospheric albums of the past 10 years. Not since Dizzee’s debut Boy in Da Corner has an MC or an album captured the mood of young people in Britain with such brilliance and truthfulness. Everyone in the public and in the press needs to be given this record by the government because this is the LP that will stand for the humour, resilience and imagination of young people in the UK. Envy is 22 year old Mancunian, Nicki Varley. Like Eminem at the beginning, Envy came up in her city’s club scene where she established a reputation for her razor sharp battle skills. When the City is Ours mixtape dropped suddenly the world took notice. Most significantly her producer Medasyn discovered her. ‘One day Medasyn was trawling
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myspace for new artists to work with and he came across mine. We really hit it off and had great chemistry in the studio andbefore we knew it we had like 8 tracks.’ The vibe of the album is filmic and poignant with the synth melodies from Nadine and Set Yourself On Fire staying in your head for hours after you listen. There is something very Missyish about Envy; perhaps the way she creates a whole world you can step into through the record. With a vibe this strong, it isn’t surprising that a lot of the recording took place at night, ‘I used to always record at night because we had no choice, my boy Dego who was producing for me had a friend who engineered at the Dairy (a big professional studio in Brixton) and as a favour this guy used to sneak a few of us in after hours and let us record for free ‘cause we couldn’t afford to pay for studio time
in them days! When we were recording the album me and Medasyn would see the sun go from one side of Bethnal Green to the other out of the big studio window. Medasyn’s studio is kinda gritty, its raw, he likes all the old skool equipment and there’s bits and bobs always around - it’s like a little treasure box. Last time I was there there was some weird African box thing that smelt like a corpse... It’s a cool environment to work in though.’ Envy’s lyrics are printed in the sleeve notes and you get the feeling she could easily turn her hand to writing as a career, much as how Roxane Shante became a psychologist. The intelligence and articulacy of the ideas take your breath away at times, so how did she arrive at the album title? ‘The quote that inspired the title “Success is not a result of spontaneous combustion, you must set yourself on fire” really
impacted on me, it sums up my mentality and the mantra that has been drilled into me from a kid. I was brought with an older sister up by a single mum who worked three jobs to keep us with everything we needed. As soon as I could I had two paper rounds myself and then at 16 I got a part time job. I know that whatever you want you can get if you work for it, that’s what got me where I am today. I’m jus’ tryna put that inspiration into the next generation.’ You have to really take your hat off to Envy that there is a positive drive behind her message. You won’t find her dwelling on her backgroundwhich has undoubtedly been hard, losing her Dad and grafting by day to make her music by night. I’m interested to know why it is, she thinks, that young people aren’t achieving their dreams - after all she is a very rare and
real success story? ‘There are a million answers to that question but realtalk the biggest reason is probably because a lot of young people can’t be bothered. I hear excuses all the time as to why people aren’t helping themselves, everyone wants a favour, everyone wants a leg up or a shortcut but at the end of the day no-one did that for me, I had to do this myself. The way society is these days its easy to be spoon-fed... My mum raised me and my sister to believe that we could be whatever we wanted to be and we have both proved that. Music is my life, its something I live everyday whether I made money from it or not, so its certainly something I don’t find hard to get out of bed for in the morning! And did she ever feel despairing that she wouldn’t get to the position she finds herself in today? ‘Yeah! All the time! I still do, everybody has ups and
downs, days where you feel on top of the world and days where you feel at the bottom. I’d say I probably have more than most of both polarities. Sometimes I have to stop and rain check, I remind myself of where I used to be and look where I am now. I have come a long way, it’s just now I have my sights on the next goal! There’s always a next goal.” There’s a comic genius in Friday Night which is as classic as Afrikan Boy’s cult track One Day I Went To Lidl. ‘People always tell me they can relate to that song!’ she jokes about Friday Night - the lyrics are really funny but in the context of the rest of the album it also makes Envy seem poised and pithy. ‘Why are you looking so good? / Yesterday you was butters / nah I’m thinking like a nutter man I’m drunk / cause you’re starting to look hot / but you’re not EURGH!” No other MC at the moment has
this much dynamism in their writing - you’d have to look to the Wu-tang or Gravediggaz to get even close. With this much talent and unique vision in an artist you wonder if the industry will get to her when she starts notching up the hits as it seems inevitable that she will. Dizzee started off with lyrics that were totally powerful and deep and now with hits like Bonkers and with his collaboration with Lily Allen it seems like he’s traded up what once made him unique. Would Envy ever collaborate with Peter Andre or go commercial under pressure to make the advance back? ‘My identity shines through my music and always will. If I was ever signed to a major I wouldn’t compromise my sound.
I will never change my music for ANYBODY never mind some suits throwin’ money at me. Never, and you can quote me on that!’. With dreams of working with Will.i.am, Dr.Dre Chase & Status and maybe Wiley too, these producers will undoubtedly be jonesing to work with her when they hear this record. It will be exciting to see them getting excited by this record.
www.iluvenvy.com/ www.myspace.com/envy06 http://twitter.com/envysays Set Yourself on Fire out now on Stop/Start Records. Special thanks to Glyn Mcadam
My music has developed a lot since I first started 5/6years ago and I’m sure I will continue to grow and change as an artist in the future. But I swear
at Skullsnap Records and Aoife Kitt at Anorak Text by Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky Photos by Jahmal Williams–Thomas
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music “We didn’t know exactly that our song was gonna blow up the dance but we definitely had faith in it.”
busy travelling and stuff that no one can hold our interest right now and were not really looking for relationships. So what you’re saying is you get a lot of groupie love? Ben J – Haha. Urmmmm, well, it’s whatever… Haha. Skinny Jeans and a Mic out in stores now, who’s on the album? Ben J- We got a couple collaborations like Tyga and Ray J, he was dope, he’s like a big brother to us now. But other than that we really wanted to make it about ourselves, to show the world we don’t need anyone to help make us famous. We’re doing this on our own, that’s why we didn’t do too much collaborations on the album.
So there’s a new dance craze in your area. You make a song to it and upload it to Myspace and receive over a million plays. How would that feel? Ask Ben J and Legacy aka The New Boyz. They taking the world by storm and intend to jerk it till the wheels fall off. I caught up with Ben J, half of the duo to have a chat about their story so far. You’re a Jerk has over 2 million views on Youtube, how did the movement start? Ben J- The whole movement started in LA At first it was just a little inner city dance that
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us teenagers were doing. Me and Legacy started doing it, then we realised that it had potential to be something bigger than what it was, so we put it in a song. We didn’t know exactly that our song was gonna blow up the dance but we definitely had faith in it. We put it up on our Myspace and it started moving, it blew up! What was it like the first time you heard your song on the radio? Ben J – We got a video on our Youtube of that actually. It felt like a blessing. It was like wow. I cried actually. It’s like, our song was old but once it came on the radio it was brand new.
Did you feel slightly under pressure from the success of the single? Was you scared of becoming what they call a ‘one hit wonder’? Ben J – In a way we did because it was so successful. But at the same time we were making songs way before You’re A Jerk came out. Your second single Tie Me Down, is that about roaming free not being in a relationship? Ben J- That song is basically about us travelling the world, we meet so many girls and they catch feelings really fast. It’s like, it can’t be like that. You can’t tie me down. We’re so
Now you’re signed to Asylum/Warner records. Are you still in creative control of your projects? Honestly, we’re in control right now. Not to be cocky, but we’re hot right now. When we think of something, they’re always really supportive. We love working with Asylum and Warner, shouts out to them. What’s the third single? We just shot a video for a song called Crickets featuring Tyga off our album. We’re also thinking of releasing New Girl, so it’s definitely between the two. We also have a mix tape dropping late December/January. We’re just doing the music, hoping the fans will like it because this is our place to be. The album Skinny Jeans and a Mic out in stores now! www.twitter.com/benjnewboyz www.twitter.com/THALEGACY Text by Shamz Le Roc Image courtesy of artist
music JASON DERULO
Jason Derulo blasted onto the scene with Watcha Say. The 20 year old pop sensation from Miami has follow up single In My Head out now and The Cut caught up with him to talk music, Michael Jackson and tea. Yes, tea… What were you doing before you got signed? I started writing songs at eight years old but got my first placement professionally at 16. Since then I’ve written for Diddy, Lil Wayne, Cassie, Danity Kane and Sean Kingston. I was still a senior in high school when I got my first placement but once I graduated I went straight to college to study musical theatre, although I did pursue my music career simultaneously. What would you say to a person who wants to pursue a
music career rather than go to university? It really depends on the situation. I’ve been working towards this since I was five years old so there was no other path for me. Education is important, though, and I would say do both at the same time. I’m usually an all or nothing kind of guy but I can’t recommend that because it can be really dangerous.
and suddenly I was getting all these texts and calls because everyone knew that he was my idol. It was rough for me but I knew that he would live on through his music.
Who are your inspirations? Definitely Michael Jackson - when I was 5 years old I told my mum I wanted to be just like him. Growing up I listened to all different kinds of music: Justin Timberlake, Usher... Madonna was played a lot in my household and I’m also influenced by Prince.
So it’s your first time in London... People are definitely different here, more wellmannered. The scenery is also very different, it looks just like the Bourne Identity. It definitely feels like a different world.
Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson passed away? I was sleeping
Whats your favorite MJ song of all time? Dirty Diana, it’s just really passionate. He put everything into that song and I love the rock vibe of it.
When you’re not ‘mmm what cha-saying’ what are you doing? I like to play basketball. I’m also an actor - I got a film coming out in the US called Top Of The Year.
Lets talk about tea. I’ve been abroad and sampled the tea out there and I feel like there’s a difference in the taste. Do you drink tea? I drink tea all the time. I don’t think most Americans do though. Have you noticed the difference in taste? Nope… I think English tea tastes stronger... Yeah, I can agree with that. I had a cup earlier and I was like, who left the bag in my tea for this long, its like - whoa! - strong!
www.twitter.com/jasonderulo Words by Shamz Le Roc Photography by Akwasi Tawia Poku
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music Skerrit Bwoy
was a juvenile delinquency center in my country, Antigua. I was always wild and rude. Throwing rocks at other kids, stealing pigs, chickens, mangos and staying out late. The neighbours used to say, “That boy is so bad he needs to go Skerrit”, so it eventually got to ‘Skerrit Bwoy’.
With daggering being brought to the forefront of the dancing world, there is only one man to be held responsible: Major Lazer’s front man Skerrit Bwoy. This Antiguan born host has daggered his way through many continents sweet plain ol’ Winston from Jamaica could only dream of. He breaks it down for us on how it all started. Skerrit, what exactly does that mean? In 2010 it means an explosion of energy! But when I was a kid it wasn’t such a happy word. Skerrit
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You’ve been described as the daggering king. Can you break down a step to step guide of how one daggers? You put your right foot in, you take your left foot out, you dry hump a little and you shake the pum pum out! Then you jump off a ladder and run the girl through the crowd. That’s what its all about, basically! Daggering is like fighting, it’s got to be in you. The whole daggering thing is based off the concept of domestic violence with both men and women throwing blows. It works off the energy the other person is willing to submit to you. The best daggering is when partners take turns humping, lifting, jumping, slamming, swinging, punching and inflicting love on
each other. I have left many parties dripping with mine or someone else’s blood. It’s definitely not for everyone. How did the partnership with Major Lazer come about? I did reggae music in the Bronx for Ghetto Life Sound. We got big around 2004, Diplo called me and said, “Hey lets do a song”. I said, “No thanks, I’m not an artist”. He then suggested I could host their shows instead. The rest is history. In your shows you do crazy things such as jump of ladders and swing from the ceiling. Are you scared of anything? I’m afraid of being bored, it’s the worst feeling ever. So when people come see me, I want to make sure I give them something to wake them the f*ck up! People who miss my shows often inflict injury upon themselves after they hear their friends talk about what a mind blowing time they had. Whats your biggest fear? Being poor. I was born and raised in Antigua. I’m from a place they call ‘Mud’, which
is in Gray’s Farm. I only had shoes to go church for the first few years of my life. Then when I migrated to New York, there were 8 of us in a 1 bedroom apartment on 183rd & Creston Ave aka Skunk City. Being poor was fun and taught me how to grind hard but it’s not something I want my kids to experience. What’s next for Skerrit? Everything. Tell me what there is to do and I’ll make it crazy! For 2010, with the help of Diplo and Switch I’m going to develop my studio voice and work on becoming an artist. I always get hit up to do tracks but I just wasn’t ready. I don’t want my music to get lost in the waste land. My live shows are retarded and my songs are off the hook but for some reason my voice don’t translate well in the studio booth. I guess I need screaming young ladies in front of me at all times in order to perform at my full potential. Ha! www.twitter.com/skerritbwoy Text by Shamz Le Roc Photography by Marlon Clark
Iyaz flew onto the scene early January with his hit first single Stuck on Replay. At the age of 22 he received his first number one in the UK. We have a quick chat about the journey so far. Word has it you was discovered by Sean Kingston? Sean Kingston hit me up like, ‘I love your stuff I wanna work with you.’ I didn’t think it was really him so I just kept deleting the messages over and over. I did that for like a week straight. Then I finally gave him a chance, messaged him my number and he flies me out to meet him the next day. Between then and a few months later I was already in the studio working with J.R. Although at the time we was working on getting Sean’s stuff out of the way but it all went good. There was mad musical chemistry in the studio.
Who are your inspirations? Besides my mum and Dad it would be Bob Marley, Kirk Franklin, Tina Turner, The Jackson 5, it goes way back. Then you have the new age; Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Maroon 5. All those bands are from genres of music that I like to listen to. Green Day? Could we expect any indie tracks on your album? Well, I’m definitely trying to get Green Day on my album, we’re both on Warner Brothers so I’m definitely trying to make that happen. Stuck On Replay, tells the story of a girl you cant get out of your head. Was this written from experience? Yes, it was also co-written with Jason Derulo. It was about a girl I was with at that point in time and the different stuff that went on in the relationship. She was like a melody in my head that I couldn’t get out.
It has a strong reggae feel to it, will there be more of this on the album? I’m trying to create my own genre called island pop. It’s a little bit of reggae, pop, RnB, soul, calypso. You know, everything mixed in one. There’s no label on it unless you say island pop, so it doesn’t limit me to do one type of music. Island is like different cultures coming together, so that’s exactly what I’m trying to create. When’s the album dropping? The album should be dropping in the US in May, I’m not too sure about the UK. But I’ll definitely come back and do a lil’ tour out here. I see how the UK guys and girls like to party. So I’m planning on coming back and doing a few performances in the clubs.
If you could pick one person, alive or deceased to collaborate with who would it be? It would have to be two people, either Michael Jackson or Bob Marley. You talk about being stuck in you’re song. So The Cut wants to know; would you rather be stuck in a barrel of pigs feet or amputated camel humps? Hrmmm, I’d take the feet. No, actually I’d take the humps because there’s definitely less camel humps in a barrel then there is pigs feet in a barrel. There would be about 2 – 3 humps in the barrel but there would be loads more pig feet. Well, it actually does depend on how big your barrel is…
www.twitter.com/IYAZLIVE Text by Shamz Le Roc Photography by Akwasi Tawia Poku
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music The arcade
“We truly believe that we are some of a few people that still make good music.”
After a number of near misses The Cut finally managed to grab some time with The Arcade, thought by many to be the hottest up and coming music producers in the UK. The Arcade consists of three producers, K9, Origmoz and Joey and songwriter V, a lively, engaging and ambitious group of young Londoners.
more than happy to point out that Origmoz, in their words the star of The Arcade, was more than capable of talking on Joey’s behalf. The London based crew began in 2008 when cousins V and K9 decided to make some music together, a lot of sense given that one is a songwriter and the other makes beats.
Before the interview began it was clear that there was something wrong, as Joey, whose name the others refused to say, was unable to make it. However they were
Origmoz explained what happened. “The whole thing originated when the member that we won’t even mention and K met and K was like come and join the crew.”
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Their success really kicked off when K9 was working in Subway and regularly bumped into a certain celebrity by the name of Mr Cruz. K9 remembers their meetings very well. “Taio used to come in every Sunday and buy three oatmeal cookies. I was like ‘I am a producer can I send you some stuff?’ and he was like ‘cool’. Done that and didn’t hear nothing for 3 months. Then I got a phone call and we been sending him tracks ever since.” Since that profitable encounter with Taio, The Arcade have
been working to get their music out to as wide an audience as possible while there is still a buzz about their work. He is not the only artist that they plan to work with in the near future and for our benefit they decided to name drop a few more names that they will be working with soon. Tinchy Stryder, Benny Blanco and Neon Hitch all got a mention. K9 was quick to point out that with a line up like that; “we can make The Cut! I been practising that by the way.” However, despite wanting to work with other UK artists,
things turned tense when we asked what they think of the negative view Americans have of the UK music scene. Origmoz’ eyes turned red with frustration. “I ain’t going to dwell on this, I got so much to say. From when I used to watch Channel U there were some good guys and some bad guys. We got a few that are good, like Tinchy who actually got number ones. He ain’t just in the charts, he’s making hits right! There’s this big thing about the music they are making now
compared to the music they use to make. I don’t mind about that! Music is music!” After hearing The Arcade’s thoughts on the music industry, it was only right that with an election around the corner that we asked the crew what their main policies would be if they formed a political party. V led the debate by insisting on two things, music and food. Like a real political journalist, I then queried him about public housing. V nobly responded “no housing, unless we talking penthouse!”
However, just to prove that they would still remain humble despite becoming a household name - or should I say penthouse name - the team revealed that they would know they had reached the top, not by album sales or working with big US artists, but by getting a Nando’s card! V explained; “You go there and get free Nando’s, JLS have got it! We doing music to get that Nando’s card. Then we have made it.” It is only fair that I leave the last words to the star of The Arcade, Origmoz. In his own
words this is why we should pay close attention to The Arcade in 2010. “We truly believe that we are some of a few people that still make good music. As producers there are a few that are actually good, hence why I am in the arcade. You won’t be disappointed by what you hear.” www.thearcadechronicles. blogspot.com www.myspace.com/ thearcademachine Text by Damian Malontie Photography by Jemil Saka
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music VHS head
There used to be an anonymous artist who would take videos out of Blockbuster, stick their own short film over the video trailers before the main feature and put it back in the shop. Unsuspecting couples and and slushy movie fans would get treated to a unique short film, knowing they had been selected for their private viewing experience based on
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nothing more than a shared passion for Tom Hanks or The Simpsons. Blackpool musician VHS Head makes his genius, cut-up sample soundscapes in much the same spirit. The music is a collage of vocals, stuttering guitars and drum hits taken from a vast amount of ex-rental videos teleporting the listener back to the golden era of the VHS format. The CD album comes in a glossy black jewel case, containing a video club membership card to a secret Lynchian video shop.
The album Video Club has found a Mancunian home on clandestine cult label Skam records. Speculation has been rife that VHS Head is Boards of Canada or Aphex Twin in disguise, so advanced is the production. But this is all just rumours, VHS Head really is his own guy. Earpopping tracks inspired by B-Movies captivating fans from Mary Anne Hobbs to Autechre to the internet forums who have hailed him as the great new electronic hope .
Top 5 Video Shops in Blackpool: 1. Chipsworld 2. Global Video 3. Shard Bridge Video 4. Movie Magic 5. The Saints Video www.myspace.com/vhshead To buy Video Club go to www. boomkat.com/artist.cfm?a=33700 www.skam.co.uk Text by Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky Illustration by SAR
music DIGITAL VS ANALOGUE
Within the world of music, there has always been the age old argument between using digital and analogue devices, and it seems in recent years, this debate has extended to DJing, With a wide range of hardware available to the average enthusiastic turn-tablist, a clear divide has come to light between disc-jockeys. With technology evolving at an insurmountable pace, many of the latest jockeys have chosen newer, more software orientated methods of DJing, a process which has angered a vast community of vinyl purists. With this in mind, we at The Cut want to show you both sides of this dispute, so that you can make up your own mind....
Buraka Som Sistema: “For DJ’ing we are all about analogue, it sounds better and is so much nicer to work with.” Rusko: “I now use digitial for my live perfomances, it allows me to be a bit more diverse with track selection.” Dark Sky: “We use CD decks, but to be honest, this is just because it is easier and cheaper than having vinyl pressed. However more of our stuff is being pressed now, so we are hoping to mix it up and use a bit of both.”
Vinyl has a unique sound that allows listers to gain the full experience of a well produced track, as well as providing a sense of ownership and exclusivity to each tune that is played. Vinyl collections can easily be worth a great deal of money as until very recently, a great deal of releases could only be bought on record. This has led to a sense of culture developing amongst most vinyl-heads, as many see it as easier to work with, with an added sense of craftsmanship being perceived by those that use it.
Vinyl can often become scratched or damaged, and over time, can easily become worn out and useless. Records are also rather heavy in large numbers, a problem that is lost by the luxury of a USB stick full of the latest MP3s.
CD Decks Serato Scratch Traktor (Laptop DJ’ing)
As mentioned before, by using only MP3s or CDs, a DJ can easily transport a whole library of tunes from club to club with the upmost ease. Producers are able to upload their own music at their own convenience, allowing them to play their tracks without the worry of having to pay for it to be pressed on to a record. It is harder to damage MP3s in comparison to records, once you own that song, unless you’re computer explodes, it’s yours to play for the rest of your life.
MP3 has a much more degraded sound quality when compared to vinyl. The crisp, warming flow of a tune being played from a record is no longer present in the compressed overtones of digital sound. As well as this, people often see nonrecord DJing as cheating because of the comfort of a digitally controlled operating system, which leads to lack of awe and anticipation when listening to music being DJed straight from a laptop.
Text by Tom Mullet
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Photography BACK in the DAYZ Three Punks with Mohicans,
News from the year 1983
Kings Road, London, 1983
THE YEAR 1983
THE BIRTH OF BREAKFAST TV The country wakes up to its first ever helping of Breakfast Time on the BBC, beating ITV’s TV-AM to air by about two weeks.
PRINCE RELEASES 1999 Looking forward into the milllenium already, the king of androgynous purple style Prince releases 1999.
Anthropologist, Photographer and author of Streetstyle Ted Polhemus takes us back to the Kings Road in 1983. I didn’t get a proper camera until about 1979, and this image was taken in 1983. In London, punk actually began back in 1976. Punks used to do what I would call visual busking and make money by having tourists take their picture, or by having me take their picture. I can remember arranging for television crews to come down and take pictures and I’d be negotiating on the punks’ behalf. They’d get a crate of beer and I’d get 20 quid for managing the operation. It was a very exciting period from ‘76 onwards but I always think the importance of Malcolm Mclaren and Vivienne Westwood is overdone. The accepted history doesn’t give credit to all the wonderful people like the three ladies in the picture who couldn’t have
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afforded to shop at SEX and probably wouldn’t have been interested anyway, because they were too individualistic and too personally creative. Years later, this image got used for the Streetstyles exhibition at the V & A Museum, which opened in 1994. It was on giant billboards, on the tube everywhere - and I remember feeling a bit sad because I didn’t have any means of contacting the girls in the photo. At the opening party, which was a very glorious affair if I do say so myself, punks were mingling with the patrons of the V & A; Prince Buster was playing live, and there was a great push to get inside. At the door a girl had showed up without a ticket. She told the doormen, ‘I don’t have a ticket but I’m that girl there in the picture,’ I was really pleased about that. Today I spend a lot of my time writing about the difference between fashion and style. I don’t think fashion really
exists anymore. You don’t let yourself be dictated to by fashion journalists who say, ‘next year everybody’s going to wear this’, which is what used to happen. Today you don’t walk into one shop and then walk out head to toe in everything from there, you sample and mix: something masculine with something feminine with something you inherited from your great aunt Matilda... You sling all this stuff together and the creativity is in how eclectic and unlikely it is. My point is that way of putting your appearance together, the fact that it’s an amateur rather than a professional creativity, is absolutely and quintessentially punk. Just as punk fanzines famously told their readers to learn three chords and form a band, that movement was also saying, you can dress yourself. These three girls in the picture and their predecessors started all that and we take that pretty much for granted now. People often ask me why think so much exciting street style
RED RAIN Red rain falls in the UK, caused by sand from the Sahara Desert.
has come from Britain. I think this country has a great deal of visual colour, but today I don’t think London is the world capital of street style. There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in Japan and all over the world. My prediction is that in the future there will be no one place where everything cool happens: if you look up street style Helsinki you’ll find unique stuff, and there’s even a street photography website from as far afield as Tehran. The re-issued digital Streetstyle by Ted Polhemus is out in June exclusive to the PYMCA website. www.pymca.com Interview and text by Nina Manandhar Image courtesy of PYMCA
Illustration SENIOR BLANCO
Senor Blanco aka Eric White is a 23 year old graphic designer from Dallas Texas. He’s sick with the mouse! I would’ve said pen but since we’re talking about graphics… Yes anyway, his creations are dope. He tells me, ‘I’m inspired by things that stand out, dope shit, fly shit, weird shit.’ Like many young artists, it was the good old self portrait exercise that really got him hooked on creating graphics, ‘My first graphic
was a Senior Blanco self portrait, I had just purchased a wacom tablet, and I had no idea how to use it, but thanks to Unkommon Kolor’s Jeremy Biggers, I created something pretty dope.’ But Senor doesn’t even need a fancy tablet to create his visions, and he even namechecks Microsoft Paint (remember that bad boy?) in his list of favourite programs, alongside Photoshop and Illustrator of course.
Currently working alongside brand Unkommon Kolor there’s definitely more to come from him in 2010 so keep your eyes peeled for more of his larger than life colourful graphics on Tees and Garms, And you don’t have to be from Dallas to rock one, bring a bit of Texan steez into your London-world. www.twitter.com/seniorblanco www.unkommonkolor.com Text by Shamz Le Roc Image courtesy of the artist
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Photography liz johnson artur
Liz Johnson-Artur was hooked on photography from the moment she saw a friend process film in a dark room for the first time. Now internationally acclaimed, Liz has been documenting London’s street and club subcultures for the past 18 years. The Cut caught up with her at her recent exhibition at Brixton’s 198 Gallery, where some of the best of her unique images were on display and Liz talks in her own words about how she got here. I’m half Ghanaian and half Russian but I happened to grow up in Germany, travelling to see my relatives in Russia until I was about 16 or 17. The first time I went to New York was actually the first time I saw any black neighbourhoods. I started out in photography when I arrived in the UK and I think what got me into it was
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pure naivete, because when I first came here I didn’t know much about London. I lived in Dulwich for the first six months I was here and had to come through Brixton in order to go to work. In Brixton, I found a level to London that I didn’t know at all before. I started out by just going to places and, if people didn’t mind me taking pictures, I took them. One of the first shoots I did was at a wedding at Elephant and Castle - I just went there and took photos. I prefer using film to digital purely because that’s my tool: that’s how I started and I like the quality of film more. At the earlier stages of my career I used a Leica M3, which I still have, and later I moved on to a Mamiya 7. I’m not a technical photographer, but over the years I’ve learnt how to get the pictures that I want, so changing to
digital doesn’t really make sense to me. Besides, what I really like about film is that there’s a certain limitation you don’t have with digital photography. You can’t just shoot 500 pictures, so over the years I’ve learnt to shoot quite economically. The limitations film imposes make me really choose the pictures that I want to take. Everyone’s got their mobile phones now, but I like the way that film doesn’t let you digest things immediately. It’s a great thing that I’ve taken all these photos, but it’s not just the fact that I’ve taken them, but that I’ve gone out to all these places to meet people. It’s just a different thing to ask a stranger if you can take their picture - not that I always approach people, but I try to give them a chance to see me. I wouldn’t just go out with a
long lens and shoot somebody without them knowing. I don’t always want to ask people because that could kill the moment, but as long as they see what I’m doing, then there’s enough time for them to say no if they don’t like it. Street photography is a very broad thing. It’s about whatever you want it to be and I’ve never called myself a ‘street photographer’. I used to work a lot as a freelance photographer for magazines - I went to Jamaica to shoot ‘Reggae Boys’, for example - but if I get a job to travel I make sure I can take my own pictures as well. Being a street photographer doesn’t say much unless you put your own thing into it and you take your own type of pictures: that’s something I would recommend to anyone trying to get into street photography.
There’s a lot of photographers whose work I like, but I don’t think of them when I’m taking my own photos. I think the motivation that gets you to take pictures is what determines the pictures you take. I have a collection of books and pictures, but they’re more based on themes than on individual photographers. One photographer I find really good as a point of reference, though, is Walker Evans he is definitely someone you can refer to in terms of documentary photography. I think he has style and I like that kind of photography - the message is irrelevant to me. For me, photography should be primarily a visual thing.
www.lizjohnsonartur.com Text by Jemil Saka Images courtesy of the artist
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reviews c l ub s
BLOC WEEKENDER If you were to ask your average festival-goer what their one wish would be, most would scream at you for a festival where sleeping in a wet tent is not an issue. Bloc Weekend has the answer to this. Celebrating its fourth year, festival organizers have ingeniously combined the raw flavors of rave culture, with the comforting and somewhat nostalgic atmosphere of Butlins holiday park. In complete contrast to the spectrum of UK festivals, Bloc Weekend lavishes ravers with a warm bed to crash in after a frantic night of partying inside the resort’s complex, a miraculous combination that has inspired the formerly rain-soaked festival goers of past times. This year’s Bloc proudly boasts one of the most impressive lineups so far, with a wide range of electronic music that is certain to satisfy the pallets of all that are lucky enough to attend. Dubstep maestros, Skream and Benga, are poised to continue where they left off last year with another epic performance that is sure to get the subs rattling, and the dance-floor moving. To add to this, other big names such as Salt-N-Pepa, Ms Dynamite and Flying Lotus are set to bring their own unique styles of performing to Minehead, a clear indication of the infinite amount of fun
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that is in store this month. However, the beauty of Bloc’s diverse lineup can be demonstrated by the inclusion of a number of experimental producers. Warp Record legends, Autechre, return to the live circuit alongside the release of Oversteps, their highly anticipated new studio album, as well as the inclusion of Loops Haunt, who is sure to impress all with his dark, unrelenting sound-scapes. A number of tickets are still available for this year’s event, however if previous years’ form are anything to go by, they won’t be available for much longer. TM www.blocweekend.com
CHRIS OFILI, HIP HOP IN SPIRIT AT TATE BRITAIN Chris Ofili the artist reknowned for his Elephant Dung paintings had a major retrospective at Tate Britain the The Cut could not miss, especially since tickets were (and still are) only a fiver if you’re under 25. Although I don’t usually find myself in the Tate Gallery as it is so full of Italian Tourists, the Ofili show was worth braving the the crowds for. Although it was interesting to see his new stuff, I have to say my favourites are still the glittery old ones which are jam packed with collages of funk and hip hop icons, they look amazing in the flesh. The exhibition also highlights the cue Ofilis takes from hip hop as a source for inspiration for his work, ‘I like (hip-hop’s) cut-and-paste attitude. You can often hear where one joint ends and another
begins…Hip-Hop takes existing beats, restructures them, and injects the individual in the form of a rap. You might not understand the lyrics but you always recognise the voice of a particular rapper.’ Definitely worth a visit. AH www.tate.org.uk/britain
Reviews byTom Mullett, Ricardo Nunes, Amanda Harina, Akwasi Tawia Poku.
DARK SKY In recent months Dubstep has exploded onto the electronic music scene. With producers from all different backgrounds creating a diverse and vibrant selection of music, this has led to a whole range of sounds being brought to the table. Black Acre newcomers Dark Sky are a prime example of this progression of sound. Their debut release sees two tracks that are sure to be hammered out in the next few months. A side track, Something to Lose, is a perfect blend of the rave culture that established such music, combined with the atmospheric, liquid sounds of modern day Dubstep. The AA side demonstrates a much more experimental approach taken by the London based trio. Taking heavy influence from the Grime scene, Ghost Notes provides unrelenting baselines in conjunction with a perfect construction of varied 2-step drum patterns. Clearly a name to listen out for in 2010. TM www.myspace.com/darkskyuk. “Something to lose” and “Ghost Notes” is forth coming
g a me s/ d v d s
on Black Acre records: www.myspace.com/ blackacrerecords
CYPRESS HILL/RISE UP Well Cypress Hill are back from their 6 year hiatus, their 8th studio album is set to be released on April 6, 2010. It’s called ‘Rise Up’, and ‘It doesn’t matter what you think’ because ‘It Ain’t Nothin’ is set to be the theme song for the WWE Elimination Chamber 2010. RN http://www.cypresshill.com/
ASSASSINS CREED From start to finish this game has a secret which can only be discovered by playing it. It’s a continuation from the first volume Assassins Creed but the second sequel Assassins Creed 2 will allow you to continue to solve the secrets, puzzles and history. Last but not least, you will be left with a nail-biting cliff hanger that you won’t be able to solve until the last installment of the game comes out in March 2011. So a very long time indeed! Get your fingers clicking but you might want to play in slow motion as you got a lot of time to kill until March 2011. RN
be dancing in the club you should check this out. This really is one of the first basketball movies in the UK but it’s got a twist. Freestyle is out now on DVD. RN Freestyle is out on DVD now
FREESTYLE Freestyle this, freestyle that. It must be about Basketball right? What else could it possibly mean? Well it does mean something else... With romance that unravels, and dancing how you should
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SPORTS WORLD CUP
From June no-one will be able to avoid the biggest sporting event on earth - the football World Cup in South Africa, the first time that the competition will be held on the continent. London with its myriad of nationalities is home to supporters from every participating country so The Cut set out to talk to those young Londoners who hope that the country of their birth, their parent’s country or simply their favourite international team will go all the way in the competition. Whilst the majority of young people we talked to were following England many had other allegiances.
World Cup history – Never got past Group Stage in Two previous World Cup appearances. For Ayande, 17, a student from Peckham the host country is her obvious choice. “It is such a big occasion, for my family here and in South Africa, its brilliant. Of course I want them to win and I know they are not favourites but they have everyone behind them, including me, we deserve something good to happen”.
World Cup history – Quarter Finals in 1970 & 1986 Usually Marcus, 20, has eyes only for England but as his girlfriend Sara has Mexican grandparents they will also get his support. “To be honest I pray England will win but since I met Sara’s grandparents last summer when they came to visit then I have a soft spot for them. Plus if I want to get a holiday out there I should do the right thing!”
World Cup history – Winners in 1998 Rocheline, 24, a student from Westminster backs the team no-one in Ireland will want to progress. “My parents are from Congo and we speak French and after our own country we all support France. Henry’s handball does not put me off, it happened, things like this do in football”.
Text by Drew Mark and Shona Harvey
World Cup history – Semi-Finals in 1930 Linda, 21, has spent the last year working in London as photographer and plans to spend her final month watching the World Cup and soaking up the UK’s passion for football. “It will be great if the USA do well, they have some good players who play over here so who knows? England are my next favourites as so many friends support them and have been to matches here and the atmosphere is amazing. It should be a great tournament”.
World Cup history – Made their first appearance in 2006 World Cup Leon, 17, a student and youth worker from Croydon is optimistic his parent’s country will do well in June. “I support Ghana because it is where my parents are from and I love the passion and skill of the players and the Black Star symbol. Not sure they will win it.”
World Cup history – Last 16 in 2006 and this will be there 3rd World Cup Appearance. Sam, 20, is travelling the world and working in London for a year living with friends. “We don’t expect Australia to win and we are more into the cricket but we will have a few parties in June and hopefully a few victories to celebrate! My family here are all Scottish so for them it’s anyone but England!”
World Cup history – Group 2006 As Togo haven’t qualified Cynthia, a 23 year old community worker from South Norwood looks to the country next door to her home team; “I will support Cote d’Ivoire as they are West African and because Didier Drogba is a big favourite of mine”.
World Cup history – Fourth Place in 1950 Emmanuel, 17, student and youth worker from Croydon supports the Spanish as they play his favourite player. “I am a fan of Torres and will support Spain because of that. I like how they play; they are well organised and skilful and of course have Torres to score the goals”.
World Cup history – Five time World Cup and 19th Consecutive World Cup. Olivia, 16, a student and part time youth worker from south London says “If Jamaica or Grenada aren’t there it has to be Brazil. All my family support them so I have grown up with them in my house”.
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World Cup history – Winners in 1978 & 1986 Student and restaurant worker Alberta, 19, who lives in Bow is confident that despite having a maverick manager in Diego Maradonna, the famous Argentina spirit and skill will see them go far “Everyone talks about Maradonna’s antics but we have some of the very best players in the World and can beat anyone if we get our act together. It is such a social occasion”.
World Cup history – Second round in 1994 & 1998 Law student Vic, 19, is hoping the pain of losing out in the final of the African Cup of Nations will be wiped out by a good World Cup campaign. “I was born in south London but all my family are Nigerian and I visit almost every year so I am very, very proud of the team. I won’t mind if England win but in my heart there is only one team!”
World Cup history – Winners in 1966 Bank worker Kris, 21, from Hayes is not getting carried away but has every confidence that England will come good this summer. “It has to be England for me; it’s about time that they won for once. I know we get carried away but we do have a great manager and some really good players so this time it could be our turn. A guess a lot depends on how well the players behave between now and June, just stay out of the papers!”
World Cup history – Three times winners in 1954, 1974 and 1990 Thomas, 20, an IT technician from Hillingdon aims to follow in his fathers footsteps. “I was brought up on stories of Germany’s former world cup winning teams from my Dad and although I can’t remember those games I was taken to watch the Euro championship final in 1996 which they won. They have been my team ever since”.
World Cup history – Group Stages Vannessa,18, student from Crystal Palace would be happy for England to win but has a soft spot for Cameroon. “My Mum is from Cameroon and we went on holiday to visit family last year. It would mean so much to people if Cameroon did well and they love their football. They are favourites for me”.
World Cup history – Current holders and four time winners 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006. Football coach Angelo, 21, from Streatham follows the current holders. “It would have been a toss up between Ireland and Italy if Ireland hadn’t been cheated as I have large families from both countries due to my parents. Now the choice is easier. There are so many Italians in London that every match will like a home game!”
World Cup history – Came second in 1974 & 1978 Lisa, 21, loves her football and whilst she will be travelling home to Amsterdam for some of the World Cup and spending the rest in London. “We have a good team with good players and should be among the favourites but we always manage to get things wrong at the last minute, any way
World Cup history – Last 16 in 2002 Student teacher, 23, Akane from central London doesn’t usually take an interest in football but makes an exception for the World Cup particularly where Japan are concerned. “My Mum is Japanese and I heard from family and friends how excited they were at the world cup being held there. Ever since then I have taken an interest in how Japan were doing at football and am looking forward to watching this summer”.
World Cup history – Third Place in 2006 Brixton based Paulo, 20, is hoping that Ronaldo and co can go further than ever before and lift the cup although he remains a little cautious. “We are always very hopeful and optimistic before World Cups or European championships. However we always fall short which is really disappointing. It might be the same this year”.
World Cup history – Never passed the Group Stage A level student Alex, 17, is backing England but as his Mum is Algerian he knows he will have family backing them and so shares their allegiance. “It was brilliant when they qualified by beating Egypt it meant so much to them. Not sure how well they will do but as long as they go with a positive approach they should give a great account of themselves – who knows?”
World Cup history – Finished 3rd in 1962 Brixton based student Carlo, 22, has no doubts that his team will do well in the tournament and put some of the bigger south American teams in the shade. “We have a good team and it will help because others will underestimate us. It is my first World Cup in London”.
World Cup history – Group Stage 1994 Nicolas, a student from west London remembers the Greek teams’ victory in the European Championships in 2004 and is hoping that they go far in June. “It was fantastic lots of my family went to the final in Portugal, I was too young, but I remember the excitement. Realistically we won’t go that far in the World Cup but there should be some great moments”.
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Sport LiANNE SANDERSON
It went virtually unnoticed, but England’s women’s football team reached the final of European Championships in Finland last summer. Germany may have emerged as champions, but England’s journey showed just how much the women’s game has progressed in this country. The Cut sought out one of the squad’s brightest prospects, Chelsea’s Lianne Sanderson. Lianne’s love affair with football started at the age of six when she played for her local boys’ team. By the age of nine, she was already being scouted by all the leading names and, after a successful first trial with Arsenal, began an eleven year stint with the club that included winning the FA Cup and Premier League. A prolific goalscorer, she scored 40 goals in 41 appearances for Arsenal, only to beat her own record last season when, as a Chelsea player, she scored an amazing 51 goals in 36 appearances. She already has 24 caps and five goals for England under her belt: “I loved playing for Arsenal and Chelsea but playing for your country is something you can’t describe. When you pull on that shirt and start singing the national anthem it’s the biggest honour you can have. My favourite memories probably come from playing in the World Cup and in the European Championship final.” Despite not gaining that European title, Lianne is clear that women’s football has a bright future. “With a 6-2 loss
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people are going to look at the result but you have to remember this is the first time ever we’ve made it to a European Championship final and I think we can take encouragement from that. The next time we get that opportunity we want to win it. I’m confident we can do something in the World Cup in 2011”. Women’s football is growing in this country, but still seems to suffer from a lack of coverage: “I think it’s because there aren’t enough people out there that are fighting our corner. There are only two live games a
year on the BBC, one of them being the FA Cup Final, and if I play in that the amount of recognition I get is amazing. If there were games on TV every week our profile would grow.” With women’s football in England not yet enjoying professional status, many players leave to play abroad. This includes Lianne who has been drafted to play for the Philadelphia Independence, something she is extremely excited about. “They could have chosen anybody and the fact that they
chose me meant a lot. They believe I can go there and do well and score goals. For them to have so much confidence in me means I cant wait to go over there and show what I can do on the biggest stage.” With her international career on the up and a new challenge in the US to tackle, the coming year looks exciting for Lianne: The Cut wishes her well.
Text by Drew Mark Photography by Akwasi Tawia Poku
Sport 50/50 CIRCUS
Katherine: Have you ever thought of doing circus skills before? No, I hadn’t. In all honesty, I didn’t even know you could do this kind of thing unless you were really serious about it. What attracted you? I heard about it from a mate, and `I was curious as to what it was all about. From the information I was told it looked like fun, so I thought it was worth giving a go. You never know what you’re going to like!
activities that you are not used to doing is quite demanding, but none the less, was great fun! Highlights and lowlights My highlight of the day was swinging about on the trapeze. Once you get over the initial fear of stepping of the ledge and relying on your own strength to keep you from falling, it’s wicked. I had a brilliant time swinging about, even though the photos may tell a different story! It would be unfair to say I didn’t enjoy everything I did, but if I had to pick one, I would say tight rope walking was my least favourite. I wasn’t good at it all, so the novelty wore off rather quickly.
It has to be said that when planning the perfect way to fill a Saturday afternoon in October the thought of swinging through the air was not something our team ever pictured themselves doing. However, on a bleak Halloween afternoon Tom and Katherine took themselves down to the Circus Space in Shoreditch, east London to clown around with a handful of other eager participants and find out exactly what draws people to be trained in the weird and wonderful arts of the circus skills.
Tom: Have you ever thought of doing circle skills before? Honestly, never in my life. I didn’t even know this kind of thing was there to be tried. It’s amazing what you find to do in London if you look hard enough. What attracted you? I think it has to be pure curiosity. Like I said, I didn’t even know you could do this kind of thing, so when I was offered the chance to do it, I thought why not?! You never know if you’re going to like something unless you give it a go. So yeah, why not?!
Do you think it would be attractive to other young people? Is it value for money? That’s a hard question to answer. I really enjoyed my time doing all those things, however the price for a three hour session is £60, so I couldn’t say it’s the best value overall. However, if you are up for trying something completely different to what you’re used to, and you can afford it, I would definitely recommend people to give it a go, as it was a lot of fun.
Over the course of the session, they took part in a range of activities ranging from juggling to swinging on a trapeze, a very different afternoon when compared to their usual Saturday routine!
How did you find the session overall? I had loads of fun! I love trying new things, and this certainly was new to me. Physically, it was much harder than I thought it would be. 3 hours of constant physical
Will see you in the big tent in the future? I don’t think so, I had a wicked time, but to be honest I don’t think this is my calling in life. Saying that, I guess it’s good to have a back up if university doesn’t go the way I want!
How did you find the session overall? Yeah, it was really good fun, despite being extremely random! I was surprised how tiring it was as well. Apparently being in the circus isn’t just about having a big red nose and face paint! Highlights and lowlights? I loved the trapeze! It was such good fun, especially as before I was worried about the height, but once you’re up there, you forget all about it. The low-light was probably the juggling. I have really bad hand-eye coordination, so to put it politely, it wasn’t my strong point, and I was rather embarrassed at the skill (or lack of) that I showed. Do you think it would be attractive to other young people? Is it value for money? I think so, yeah. It makes a real change from just going to the cinema or lazing about at home. You get to have fun and exercise, what more could you ask for?! However, I guess it’s whether you can afford to do it. If you have the money to spare, then I would most definitely recommend giving it a shot. Will see you in the big tent in the future? Hmmmm, I don’t think so. I’m going to come back and do it again because I’ve had a lot of fun, so you never know, but to be honest, I just enjoyed doing something different and having a laugh.
Text by Tom Mullett
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Contributors Issue 05
Executive Editors and Publishers Nina Manandhar and Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky Photography Mentors Adrian Wood and Derek Wiafe Journalism Mentor Paul Macey Design Sara El Dabi
Executive Editors of The Cut Nina Manandhar and Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky are directors of Hardcore Is More Than Music, a Social Enterprise specialising in youth consultancy and arts collaborations. The Cut is a non profit project which is part funded by work for clients including The Stephen Lawrence Centre, The Tate, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Exposure PR, Dr Martens, The British Youth Council, Blue Rubicon PR and Westminster Council.
Nicholas Asamoah Journalist
Ronnie Grebenyuk Senior Editor
Chloe Forde Fashion Editor
Shona Harvey Senior Editor
Damian Malontie Journalist
Shamz Le Roc Music Editor
Alpha Gougsa Journalist
Tom Mullett Political Editor
Warsan Nur Journalist
Drew Mark Journalist
Kevin Ralph Hardy Akpobi Journalist
Roxanne Swan Journalist
Jemil Saka Photographer
Ricardo Nunes Photographer
Silas Osei Photographer
Rasharna Hylton Photo Desk Editor
Kiran Nijjar Photo Desk Editor
Edward Kagatuzi Photographer
Patrick Owalbi Photographer
Akwasi Tawia Poku Photo Desk Editor
Shannara Hylton Photographer
Kevin King Photographer
Jahmal WilliamsThomas Photographer
Charlie Vance Journalist
Hardcore Is More Than Music is in The Observer’s Top 100 Creative Business’ in the UK / Courvoisier Future 500 for 2009. Contributors Kirby Howell-Baptiste Hollie V Robson Davina Charles Glenroy Ranger Dammy Angel Laoye Adrianne Mckenzie Ibrahim Fazal Amit Cholera Jennifer Payne McDonald Damian Malontie Meesha Lewis Brooke Harte McCrorie For information on our activities please visit www.thecutnewspaper.com www.hardcoreismorethanmusic.com
GET INVOLVED! Are you an aspiring journalist, photographer, blogger, stylist? Or are you just full of ideas and looking for a place to put them? We are looking for new contributors aged 21 or under to get involved in production of The Cut. Get in touch! email@example.com www.thecutnewspaper.com www.thecutnewspaper.com/blog www.facebook.com/thecutonline