JANET TE BECKMAN MAD E IN T HE UK
A RTO S A A R I TH E F INNIS H DES TR OY ER
VA N E S S A P R A G E R D R AW S YO U I N
S I N GAP O RE T H E JE W E L O F S O U T HE AST ASI A
SUPERLATIVE CONSPIRACY T IMBUKT U SHOT BY FRE D RIK ET OALL
WORDS FROM ABOVE
One of the cornerstones for WeSC is punk mentality. Another one, is that it doesn’t matter where you’re from - country, religion, financial background, interest or other - we’re all alike and should be treated that way. Thirdly we strongly believe in good people doing great things together - and as number four we could perhaps proclaim ourselves and the people with and around us to be intellectual slackers. The Superlative Conspiracy Magazine #7 - The Summer Issue - feels like it’s got all these elements and ways of thinking embedded and blended onto these following 128 pages. We highlight the things we like, are inspired by, ideas by our friends and WeActivists, tell you stories with and from people you might be familiar with or if not, should be. We live in a world and time where things happen at an extreme pace but where one of the most important things is to remain true to your ideas and values and do good things with that. That’ll take you wherever you want to go. On the cover we feature our WeActivist Timbuktu - musician and amazing human being who not only has a career as one of Scandinavia’s most successful musicians throughout time, but who’s also strongly involved in charitable work, has built a music studio in Senegal and a whole lot more. We talk to The Prodigy and get insight into their work, life and also a hint of our upcoming collaboration with the group. We welcome legend Arto Saari to the WeActivist crew - not only because he’s one of the best skateboarders out there but also an incredible photographer [and person]! We sit down with Petter and discuss not compromising on his art and staying relevant. Janette Beckman takes us back to London and the punk scene in a sick story, Alessandro Simonetti has documented the Wu Tang Clan’s reunion concert in Rome, WeActivist Sarah Muerle skates an empty New York City during Hurricane Sandy, Vanessa Prager shows her incredible art, Steed Lord hops on trains to show you the Summer Collection - and Fredrik Etoall shot this issues cover with WeActivist Tmbuktu in LA! We are happy with this issue - as it includes the people and ideas we are proud to stand for and represent. Happy Summer!
CONT RIBUT ORS
C OV ER TIMB U K TU
CURRENT R E S P E C T M Y H U S T LE
S K AT E A RT O S A A R I
M USI C P RO D I GY
MUSIC P ETT ER ALE XIS
MU S IC TH E F U TU R E S OU ND OF MZA NS I
A RT VA N E S S A P R A G E R
FA S H I O N STEED XPRESS
FASHI O N S ID E ST RE E T
WeACT IVIST SARAH ME URLE
L IF ES TY L E A L ES S A NDR O S IMONETTI
LI FE S T YLE JANETTE BECKMAN
V O I CE N o. 1 K E E FE BUT LE R
VO ICE No.2 SL O BOD AN ZIVIC
V OIC E No . 3 MU R DOC K
I N S P I R AT I O N T H E G O O D LI FE !
CITY GUIDE SINGAPORE
L O CAT I O N S B R E A D & BUT T E R BE RLI N
LOCATION S WeSC KUNGSGATAN
R EL EA S E We S C FA L L 2013
R E LE A S E C YM B A L
R E LE A S E K O R VLO VE R
I N STAGRAM S
KEEFE BUTLER - Born on a floating house in St. Augustine, raised with good manners in the South and educated in New York, Keefe likes to spend time making good things and good spaces with good people. He founded the design-build practice Studio BA+D in 2006 for this purpose. Whether dreaming up and hammering away on a sauna on an upstate farm, some cabinas in tropical paradise, or shops, homes, shows, hidden spaces, and furniture in NYC, and other cities, he is intent on thinking, representing, and building a better world, hand crafting it with digital tools, or a sawzall as necessary. studio-bad.com buildingartsanddesign.com Designing and building spaces throughout NYC for over the past decade, Keefe definitely has something to say. You can read Keefe’s VOICE on page 106.
SLOBODAN ZIVIC - Stockholm based graphic designer & art/video director. Slobodan got a Swedish Grammy nomination for best music video in 2012: for that he got credits from guys like Kanye West and a Staff Picked Badge from the Vimeo-staff. He’s contributed with work for clients like Universal, Warner, Mercury, great swedish and international artists like Kate Boy, Swedish House Mafia, Icona Pop, Poliça, Sebastian Ingrosso, Oskar Linnros, Markus Krunegård, Ansiktet, Lune and more! For the moment he’s now located in Stockholm in an art gallery managed by Jonas Kleerupwhere he just started the studio/office space along with Jonas and cinematographer Daniel Takacs. slobodanzivic.com vimeo.com/slobodanzivic Instagram- slobodan_zivic Facebook- Slobodan Zivic Creative / Twitter- @Slobodan_Zivic Slobodan is a creative and has been since day 1 - which he writes about in this issue. We’re happy to finally get to include him in the Superlative Conspiracy Magazine and you can read his VOICE on page 108. MURDOCK - Murdock is a man of many trades... Belgium’s no 1 bass music DJ. Promoter of RAMPAGE, Europe’s biggest drum’n bass and dubstep event. Producer. Label owner, Radar records. Radio host. facebook.com/murdock.radar Twitter- @murdock_radar The art and profession of being a DJ has changed drastically - something Murdock addresses in his VOICE on page 110.
VANESSA PRAGER - Self taught artist Vanessa Prager was born and raised in the bohemian L.A. neighborhood of Los Feliz. Prager imbues a laid back sensibility with vivid color palettes or simple Bic ballpoint pen drawings drafted on vintage music sheets. Combined with her tendency for heightened drama and slightly offbeat situations, Prager’s work naturally draws in the audience and leaves them feeling eerily connected to her beautifully disquieting world. vprager.com vanessaprager.tumblr.com Twitter- @vanessaprager Artist and WeActivist Vanessa has been a WeActivist for years - and her style, art and work has remained incredible this whole time, whether it’s been her ball point, oil or acrylic work! See her works on page 032.
JANETTE BECKMAN - Londoner Janette Beckman began her career at the dawn of punk rock working for The Face and Melody Maker. She shot bands from The Clash to Boy George as well as 3 Police album covers. Her portraits of the British Punk, Mod and 2 Tone scenes are collected in ‘Made in the UK: The Music of Attitude, 1977-1982’ PowerHouse Books 2005. Moving to New York in 1982, she was drawn to the underground Hip Hop scene. Her photographs of pioneers Afrika Bambaata, Run DMC, Salt’n’Pepa, Grandmaster Flash and 1980’s style are collected in “The Breaks, Stylin and Profilin 1982-1990” PowerHouse Books 2007. Her latest book documenting the East LA Hoyo Maravilla gang was published by Dashwood Books in 2011. Janette’s photographs have recently been exhibited at Morrison Hotel Gallery NYC, Tower Records Tokyo, Proud London, Collette Paris, Blender Gallery Sydney, Ono Arte Bolgna and Arkitip Los Angeles. Janette lives and works in New York City. Clients include Kangol. Schott, Doc Marten, Ben Sherman, editorial and record companies et al. janettebeckman.com janettebeckman.com/blog janettebeckman.com/jb.rocks We’re honored to feature the works of legendary photographer Janette Beckman in this issue see it all on page 088. ALESSANDRO SIMONETTI - Simonetti started shooting in italy in the early 90’s. For over a decade, his use of avant-garde methods of photography, while capturing the layers of cultural nuance beneath the surface, has placed him in the rare category of a boundary-pushing pioneer. zuekphotography.com WeSC are happy to get to include the works of friend Alessandro from the Wu Tang Clans reunion concert in Rome on page 078.
FREDRIK ETOALL - Fredrik Etoall is the man behind the mask. The camera is ‘Fredrik’s Penis Extension.’ Not only does every photo he take reflect who he is, it reminds him of the fortunate life he has created for himself. For the past 16 years, Fredrik has dedicated his life to taking photos, which have appeared in Harpers Bazaar, Interview Magazine, Playboy and a variety of album covers. This year, directing videos has also become his passion. At the moment he’s just flying around with his camera meeting beautiful, happy, crazy people worldwide... what he loves. etoall.se Instagram- etoall Facebook- etoall.se Twitter- @etoall Every issue we get to include the works of photographer, friend and incredible talent Fredrik Etoall is a great issue! He here shot the COVER story with Timbuktu in LA which you can read on page 006. GEOFF MOORE - Los Angeles born and based photographer / director Geoff Moore creates classic imagery with contemporary innovation. He has left his indelible cinematic mark on the pages of major magazines, hit MTV videos, international print and TV ad campaigns, photography books, and on the walls of many galleries. He has shot for everyone from Coach to Diesel, ELLE mag to British GQ, Dita Von Teese to Heidi Klum, WeSC to The Red Hot Chili Peppers. His videos have been honored by the MTV VMAs and Billboard Awards, receiving two director of the year nominations by age 25. He began his visual career as the youngster director among such visionaries as Gore Verbinsky and Jean-Baptiste Mondino, followed by several years directing for Ridley Scott’s company RSA. Moore’s innovative artistry invites an even more exciting future as he continues his photographic and directorial journey. geoffmoorestudio.com Instagram- thegeoffmoore Geoff Moore and Steed Lord joined forces for the STEED EXPRESS story on page 042 - and we’re happy to include Geoff again after him shooting the stories Jimi’s House and Flying High for Spring 2013.
RYAN ALLAN - Ryan Allan is a photographer of mutants based in Los Angeles, CA. ryanallan.com busylivin.com WeSC friend Ryan Allen has for this issue shot our newest WeActivist Arto Saari - page 020.
ALANA PATTERSON - Alana Paterson is photographer hailing from the moist and unstable region of the Pacific North West. She loves her truck and her camera. She loves them the most when they are all together. She shoots film and travels. These two things also work well together for her. She works seasonally on a farm in the Canadian gulf islands and travels the other half of the year. She loves list and charts. Her favourite top ten cities are as follows (in no particular order) : 1) Vancouver, 2) Portland, 3) Copenhagen, 4) Barcelona, 5) Berlin, 6) SF, 7) New York , 8) Berkshire county, 9) Bangkok, 10) Stockholm. alanapaterson.com Alana and Sarah Muerle were in New York when Hurricane Sandy hit - which resulted in the dope pictures of Sarah skating the empty streets of NYC, page 070.
SARAH CLAIRE - My name means Princess. I am far from a Princess. Rather a master of spontaneity who strives to find flamboyancy in simple things. I believe that with humility, integrity and hard work, you can achieve what ever you want to. Things which make me smile are my family, my friends, meeting new people, open minds and the world at large. I am an editor who just wants to write. sarahclairep.tumblr.com Instagram- SarahClaireP
South African Sarah is an asset in everything WeSC does down there - and we’re glad to feature her story on Spoek Mathambo and the South African music scene! Page 028.
ANTON RENBORG - I grew up in Örebro, a small town on the flatland of Sweden. My parents were both hard working people, but very different. My mother was all about ballet and horses, talking about movement and grace, while my dad reached for his guitar, good times and a drink, whenever the chance was there. I guess I became a mix of all that. My life has been a rollercoaster but with necessary stops for reflection and personal work: recordings and touring with bands, traveling with my boards, walking down runways to pay my bills, writing stories from various scenes of the world, being behind the camera, being in front of the camera, studies - always a little bit of “everything”. For the past ten years, I’ve been able to title myself as a photographer. And in the recent years I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really interesting characters and brands. Working with the WeActivists and their wide range of knowledge, understanding and each individual’s distinctive sense of the moment, has been a pleasure, one of a kind... antonrenborg.se / bloodandco.com Anton has been a part of WeSC and the work we do for years - and his story on page 056 takes us all on some urban camping outside Stockholm. Summer as we know it.
TIMBUKTU... LIVING LIFE
WORDS BY DANIELLE KRASSE PHOTOS [COVER & STORY] BY FREDRIK ETOALL
Timbuktu is one of Scandinavia’s most beloved and successful artists. He not only affects people with his music and onstage persona, but with his work offstage as well. His charities, his music studio in Senegal for young talents, and his political involvement, prove that this issue’s cover, Timbuktu, is nothing less than greatness.
DANIELLE: How did you get started with music in the first place? TIMBUKTU: I got started by falling in love with hip-hop when one of my cousins from Brooklyn moved to Sweden to live with us in 1987. I remember that he brought along a bunch of tapes - and he played me stuff like Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim - I remember just thinking it sounded like the coolest music in the world. I had heard hip-hop before when my dad brought a record home from the States and then one year later he brought an album. The first track he brought home with him was Grandmaster and Melle Mel’s track ‘Jesse Jackson’ and when he brought the album in ’85 it was Grandmaster Flash - it was an old Grandmaster Flash album. When my cousin moved over he was a few years older than I was and he was a really cool guy – and I was really impressed by him and the music he played. From ’87 I just started falling more and more in love with the music; I was heavily into skateboarding at the time but around 1991 I quit skateboarding to devote myself to rapping, to emceeing, as often as I could. And I guess I wrote my first rhymes in ’89. They weren’t particularly good but somehow it didn’t matter to me that it sucked [laughs]. I just thought it was a lot of fun so I kept on going with it. You’ve made music with more people than we can list here – but who would you count as your ‘inner circle’ of friends or musicians to work with, your crew? I’ve made music with a lot of people, I think my closest circle of people that I work with today is definitely Chords, my brother, Damn! – one of, if not THE best live bands in Scandinavia, Collén - a dude I like to work with a lot! Måns Asplund is another guy I’ve worked with for many years. That’s on the creative side, production and stuff like that but it takes a lot more people to make the wheels spin. I work with Bad Taste and OBA Management, they do a fantastic job and make sure that I can keep my head into making music and performing, in the music business everything is about having a good team around you and OBA really hooks me up with that.
The music scene in Scandinavia in general is so colorful and fantastic: there’s lots of people I want to work but haven’t worked with yet. Lots of Norwegian groups, Erlend Öye, Jarle Bernhoft, people I’ve been talking to for many years about working with but haven’t had a chance to do it with yet. You’re also famous for your live gigs: their energy, vibe and general good feeling. How many gigs do you do per year and how long do you plan to keep it up? I think I do about a hundred live gigs per year, give or take and I hope to be able to keep it up as long as it feels like a lot of fun. Today I don’t know anything that gives me that type of energy boost like being on stage in front of a good crowd does. And playing really good music with the band, it’s like being close to God, - I’m not religious but performing on stage, maybe that’s like a religion in itself… I don’t know. It’s definitely brought me closer to God in some sense. I feel like when you’re on stage and the band is cooking and the crowd is alive, time and space kind of cease to exist for a moment, and you just become one with the vibe, with the crowd, with the music, with the rhythm, the band, and you forget where you are, you forget if you’re tired. You forget if you’re hot, or thirsty, or whatever it may be. You just disappear into the music. And I’m totally hooked on that feeling. Last year you celebrated your 10 Year Anniversary with Damn! 10 years is a long time - how did this meeting between you come about? The meeting between me and Damn! came about that we both lived in the same town: Lund, Sweden. They were really famous in Lund and Malmö and Skåne at the time: for being the best musicians that had the best clubs, played the best music, basically just the coolest dudes in town. In 2001 or 2002, I was asked by Swedish Television to do a live performance and I felt like I wanted to do something more than the regular stuff, which was to play with a DJ so at the time Måns Block, who was both the drummer in Damn! and who was also my booking agent, we started talked about it and decided it would be cool to do a Timbuktu concert where
WAYNE MEN’S S/S SWEATSHIRT
ERIC S/S MEN’S COMFORT FIT SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT, CONWAY MEN’S 5-POCKET SHORTS
Damn! played the songs instead of me using a vinyl player. We just said fuck it, let’s do it! We were in the rehearsal studio for about two months rehearsing and the gig went really well. For me it was like a whole new door and dimension of music opening up and it felt like ‘Man… this is something I wanna do more of’. So that New Year’s, 2002/3, we did our second performance and after that I just felt like ‘Man, we’ve gotta go on tour with this constellation of Timbuktu and Damn! and Chords!’ We then did a short tour in the Spring that went really well and that Summer we went on a long tour and had our first big breakthrough in Sweden. So that was that!
“I FEEL LIKE WHEN YOU’RE ON STAGE AND THE BAND IS COOKING AND THE CROWD IS LIVE, TIME AND SPACE KIND OF CEASE TO EXIST FOR A MOMENT, AND YOU JUST BECOME ONE WITH THE VIBE, WITH THE CROWD, WITH THE MUSIC, WITH THE RHYTHM, THE BAND, AND YOU FORGET WHERE YOU ARE... YOU JUST DISAPPEAR INTO THE MUSIC. AND I’M TOTALLY HOOKED ON THAT FEELING.” You and Damn! also won a Grammy last month. Congratulations! However, you did seem keen on giving the award away to someone else… Why? We won a Grammy last year and this year I wasn’t really ready for winning the Grammy because I’d won the same Grammy the year before. I’ve won a lot of Grammies during the years and I just felt kind of humbled by the fact that there’s a lot of people making hip-hop music in Sweden - and as I had won it the year before I felt like maybe the spotlight should be put on someone else who would need the attention. But, of course, I was very grateful and happy that we won, very grateful to the band and everyone that worked on the record. And I love the record so, why not? Besides music you’re also involved in a lot of other projects - one of them being Musikhjälpen! [Musikhjälpen – The Music Help – is a Swedish project hosted by Swedish Public Radio that each year collects money for a selected charitable cause: girls rights to education, clean water for children in underdeveloped countries, etc. This year they broke the record by raising over 24 million SEK – meaning every inhabitant in Sweden contributed with almost 3 SEK per person, if you want to make an average.] Musikhjälpen is definitely one of the most exciting side projects that I’m involved in. It’s kind of a charity drive, a six day and night live broadcast. We broadcast live from Monday 5 o’clock until Sunday 5 o’clock. The three people that host the shows, we work in shifts, we sleep very little and we don’t eat anything. It’s just lots of live music - and to raise money, people [the listeners] send textmessages to request songs and that costs 50 kronor. We get so many requests for songs that last year it added up to about 24 million kronor, which is about 4 million dollars. It’s just a fantastic radio show: it’s a lot of love, a lot of generosity that we see from people around the country, people who are very young, people who don’t have a lot of money, we have a lot of musicians that come by and
play and it’s just fantastic. It gives me this feeling, like being on stage that is very unique, that I can’t get anywhere else. There’s a feeling of being involved in something which is bigger than myself and it just fulfills me in ways that I can’t see or do in any other aspects of my work or my life. What do you think people should do in order to help more - on a daily basis for things like this? I guess just basically try to empathize with the world around you. I try to just be humble about who I am and my life. I know I’ve proven so many times that I’m way less than perfect and I think it’s humbled me. When I was around 17 I was really cocky and kind of arrogant, and now I’m 38 and life whipped me into shape and drove my head through a lot of walls. There’s been a lot of pain, some blood, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears and a lot of laughter. I’m really happy about how it ended up. I would think that I have a more nuanced picture of how the world is today and how the world around me is. I think people should be more considerate about other people’s feelings. I try to be, I’m not always but I try to think about other people before myself as often as I can. And then just follow your heart. If your heart tells you to do something for somebody else then go and do it. And if it doesn’t, then be happy and do what you do.
“THIS SUMMER I DEFINITELY PLAN TO GET BACK ON MY SKATEBOARD AGAIN AS I HAVEN’T BEEN SKATING FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AND THAT WAS MY FIRST BIG LOVE IN MY LIFE...” Apart from Musikhjälpen you’re also involved in a lot of other projects - like Studio Timbuktu! I’m involved in a couple of other non-profit and charity projects, for example, I just built a studio in Senegal called Studio Timbuktu. I did that together with a Norwegian NGO called Plan and I got the idea from my years just being in love with hip-hop music. I’ve heard a lot of good hiphop music from Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and I knew Senegal was a stronghold for African hip-hop. I’ve always been very drawn to Africa because on my father’s side, that’s where my family comes from, originally through the trans-atlantic slave trade and musically it’s an inspiring place. Not only is it where mankind originates from but popular music as we know it - blues, rock, jazz, hip-hop - all these forms of music that I love so much, their roots are in Africa. So, I was talking to this Norwegian NGO a few years ago and we talked about building this studio as a project to use aid money for something more dynamic. If one country is always used to giving money and another country is always used to receiving it, that becomes a static relationship of a giver and a receiver whereas in this case we’ve built a studio to create a more dynamic and interesting project. There are so many talents around in Dakar and the studio is mainly for young kids who haven’t really developed their talents and skills yet but who need somewhere to practice doing that – and then they need to find out if they want to keep making music on a more serious level. Just seeing these kids when they’re recording their stuff is great: I think it empowers them! It’s also great for us when we see a great talent: we have a young girl named Antoinette, who’s 17 years old. She’s such an incredible rapper and I’m incredibly impressed by her and dig her music! And immediately I’ve become the receiver and she’s the giver, so already the
relationship has changed – and I think this is a more interesting dynamic than the regular aid situation. Of course it involves education on the level of teaching the young kids to write songs about the things they feel and it’s all very hands on, working with computers to make beats and record rappers and singers and record live instruments and so forth. It’s very educational for me and the people I’ve brought down there from Sweden and Norway to just be around these kids and to be in Senegal, which is an extremely energetic and vibrant culture and country. It’s just like an education in life basically… and the Senegalese music is just ‘off the wall’! There seems to be a different kind of energy in the music scene in this region? I’ve traveled in East Africa, South Africa, West Africa, and wherever I go, African music doesn’t exist without dancing and the relationship between these two forms of expression - in both the playing and the dancing - is something that to me is a release. It’s a lot of power and energy in that celebration of life and I think we have a lot to learn. A lot of times you go to a concert in Sweden and somebody’s singing a depressing song about whoever they love left them or doesn’t love them enough and everybody stands still in the crowd and listens to it. But if you go to a concert in Senegal everybody just goes bananas and they’re dancing, and it’s just something else. For me it’s a very invigorating and inspiring to be around. What’s the plans for the kids/youth who are a part of this project? As of today our plans for the kids who are part of the project are to, hopefully in October, bring a few of them over to do lectures and concerts in Norway. Because I think they have a lot to teach young kids in Scandinavia, just to inspire and tell them their stories. It’s interesting, when I talk to these young people in Senegal - who are of course way more poor than young people are in Sweden or Norway -but a lot of their dreams and what they see as the obstacles in the way of realizing their dreams are kind of the same as young kids in Norway and Sweden – especially the musical and creative side of things. These kids don’t really know how to go about getting a chance to record in a studio or getting a record contract or getting live performances, yet they’re still incredibly talented. And I think the talent itself will inspire kids in Norway and Sweden. If these Senegalese youth that we work with, if they can do it, and they can pursue their dreams having as little as they have compared to the kids in Norway and Sweden then I think hopefully kids in Norway and Sweden will think, ‘if they can do it then I can definitely do it also!’ This sounds incredible… So what’s next for you, what’s the plan? Right now I’m about heading to Los Angeles to start recording my new album together with Chords, who’s going to produce it. And that’s basically what I’ll be doing for the rest of the year, recording my album and hopefully go to Africa and do some recording there, do a couple of live performances, continue writing and working with Studio Timbuktu, writing on a few other projects and living life and enjoying life. This summer I definitely plan to get back on my skateboard again as I haven’t been skating for a couple of years and that was my first big love in my life and so I hope to get back on the board this year!
--For more on Timbuktu visit: wesc.com/weactivist/timbuktu www.timbuk.nu/
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RESPECT MY HUSTLE
WORDS BY DANIELLE KRASSE PHOTOS BY THOMAS KARL JOHAN GUNNARSSON & BABAK AZARMI & ISABELLE MINOU [RESPECTIVELY]
Place a random selection of people - from all ages, backgrounds, countries and upbringings - in a room and see what happens. They’ll form groups and act according to behavioral principles that they have been taught, not born, with. Much like Pavlov and his dogs (google it, ‘cause it’s interesting) where it is planned actions that trigger wanted outcomes and reactions in animals or human beings who are unaware of this being all mapped out: people and humans tend to act the same way. Hence: It’s, for want of a better word or way to put it, refreshing, when you encounter people who do the opposite: who talk, interact, create and behave in the only way they feel appropriate: they way they want to. Introducing: Respect My Hustle.
Respect My Hustle wanted this to be about integration and we agreed. The term integration is often used above and beyond and it’s getting, if not worn out, then misused. As integration isn’t just limited to its most common use, i.e. religion and race, but also in culture and subcultures - and where it trickles through all this into the most common social situations, i.e everyday life. Integration on a daily level can be as simple as trying something you haven’t done before without the fear of being rejected by the older hands in that specific field. Respect My Hustle is just that: it’s a group/collective/crew/company that uses this phrase “integration” how they see fit - where they want it to be. Thomas Karl-Johan Gunnarsson and Babak Azarmi are the two driving forces of Respect My Hustle, or in short, RMH. Founded in 2006, it’s started out as a loose constellation of people who did their own thing within music, arts, visual art and more. With a strong foundation in hip hop as well as graffiti, RMH first started working with Adam Tensta as their main signed artist. Still working With Adam as well as with Dida (Michel Dida), Eboi, Black Madonna and Badin they act as management for these guys, but management that covers everything from recordings to distribution and marketing of their work, anything from mixes to videos, digital campaigns and gigs. Showing and proving that it works with learning by doing and by working with a high pace, Babak and Thomas seem to be taking things where they want to at short notice. But it’s not only about management and working with talent but the foundation of RMH seems to be the idea behind it, where you can take things to and how you can work to integrate personality and beliefs into popular culture. DANIELLE: What do you do besides the music and integration part of RMH? BABAK AZARMI: We recently launched the RMHSweden.com page. That, right now, is just a big playground for Thomas and me. It brings back focus on us developing our crafts in filming, managing events, photography and design. Besides that, I´m involved in a clothing brand, a new club concept and a live music platform for Swedish artists. And we recently started to sign some new acts. We are taking a different approach with them. It´s like we are going back to the artist development process again, musically and creatively. THOMAS KARL JOHAN GUNNARSSON: I’m focusing most of my time on building a website regarding tags - not graffiti, but tags - so I’ve been traveling around the world photographing tags in cities like San Sebastian, Stockholm, Berlin, New York, Copenhagen, Barcelona and Puerto Rico… It’s a part of graffiti but most of the time when people think of graffiti they think of artworks, colors and all that “pretty stuff” but I’ve focused on the “ugly” aspect of it which is my favorite part, the tags. All those things that people consider to be the “nice” things wouldn’t be there if it didn’t come from somewhere - which are the tags - how graffiti
started. People think graffiti bombing is about creating a beautiful piece but what it’s all about is that you have a name that you want to make famous by writing it on as many spots as possible. That’s where graffiti has its roots. B: I think what you said about TagsAndThrows, that the ugly must be there in order for the nice things to be apparent and visible - that’s what we’ve been doing with RMH. Not ugly in the sense of unattractive but ugly as revolting. Refuse to obey the constraints imposed by others.
“...WE WERE FORCED AND PUSHED INTO A SITUATION WHERE WE HAD TO TAKE THINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL. WE HAD TO GO ON THESE TOURS, HAD TO START A LABEL, GET INTO PUBLISHING AND... WE JUST DID IT, WITHOUT THINKING TOO MUCH. LEARNING BY DOING.” So what’s the ugly part of it then? B: It’s very fluent, loose, right now - I think people are waiting for us to smarten up [laughs]. T: That’s the thing: people are so interested in what we’re doing but no one can really grasp what we’re up to - we can’t even do that ourselves. We do so much stuff - we’re doing things left right and center and the things we do impress people, but no one can really put a finger on what it is we’re actually doing. We focus on doing things that we enjoy doing. When we started everything I had absolutely no idea of what promotion, marketing, a rider, stage monitors or publishing meant, and then suddenly we were forced and pushed into a situation where we had to take things to the next level. We had to go on these tours, had to start a label, get into publishing and... We just did it, without thinking too much. Learning by doing. And that was with Adam and around the time he released “My Cool”? B: Yes, that’s when things changed for us. We never planned any step of that change, so when we started to book Adam 4-5 shows every week. We had to come up with multiple tasking solutions. We embraced the DIY ethic before the breakthrough - working 15 hours a day was just something we felt like we needed to do at that time.
THOMAS KARL FREDRIK HJELMQVIST, JOHAN GUNNARSON CEO AND FOUNDER OF PAUSE ONE OF SCANDINAVIA’S PREMIUM AUDIO STORES - AS THE HUMAN JUKEBOX IN THE AD FOR THE GUT POD
A year ago the track Tystas Ner [Being Silenced] by Stress with Adam Tensta, touching on topics like integration, racism and the definition of a Swede was released - causing a lot of controversy in Sweden and Scandinavia. This was also due to a political party opposing immigration into Sweden had become increasingly popular, and this track put words and melody on something that was very current. The track was later released as a remix featuring a lineup with Sweden’s hip hop elite with further controversial/open lyrics to it, and was hence banned from radio. Always a good thing, when talking controversy. How and why was it banned from radio? T: It got reported by so many people for being threatening and violent that it got banned from radio a few weeks after the release. But to be honest - I don’t think the song pulled people to either side of the ongoing discussion: it’s not like it made people switch camps, it was more that it sparked a discussion. B: We got to perform Tystas Ner on Nyhetsmorgon TV4 where we had suited up actors with pig masks walking ‘round the stage. I think we initially wanted real pigs walking ‘round on the set. That also contributed to the increased discussion about it. Discussions are always good so we welcomed it. T: Maybe I’m over analyzing things here, but I think it’s interesting that people got so mad about the pig thing. That’s racism itself... against pigs. The “media image” of pigs is not the most positive and therefore pigs can be used as a negative metaphor for a human being. It would’ve not been the same if we dressed the guys up as pelicans or buffalos. Hopefully we inspired people, especially young people, to have an opinion and to think. To get more interested in politics and the society they live in. To let them know that they can fight for their opinions in their own way and fight for their right to exist. B: Everything we do always has some political agenda to it. It doesn’t have to be party politics. We’re actually trying to stay away from that as much as we can and take our own stance. T: In today’s society, people fight a lot to fit in instead of fighting for who they are. That removes the diversity. Racism, to me, is not just between immigrants and “Swedes”, but in terms of everything, about everything in general: there’s a lot of people who seem to forget to reflect and to think about what they feel, what they believe in - and then stand up for that cause. A lot of people try to be someone else instead of being themselves. B: You go into this way of viewing and considering people - like when you first meet someone and have already made your mind up about who they are depending on pre-conceived ideas and opinions. That way of looking at things messes shit up. T: People don’t spend time on taking care of other people. They don’t allow themselves to be sad. A lot of the time people are trying to be this persona that other people should admire and look up to - the person that’s perfect. Which is fucked up, and which fucks up a lot of people since there’s no one on this planet that is perfect. Kids grow up thinking more about being perfect than being who they are. B: When we got back from India and I started hanging out with Dida - he’d gotten into this whole Stureplan-world [Stureplan = posh area in Stockholm, famous for its clubs/nightlife/exclusive image], a world that I’d never fully experienced before. And all that Thomas mentioned, the falseness, is very apparent there. It’s visible in other places too, but there’s something about the people who are always striving towards being someone else, the emptiness. It´s like a pursuit of being someone else but yourself, and later on that same people makes that perfection shit look desirable. We are not intended to be clones, look alike, smell alike, dress alike, etc... T: On our way here we talked about this, that when people talk about integration or racism, it often turns into a very separated or separating
discussion. Racism can exist between Somalians and Turks or Iranians and Italians - not only white or dark people. It’s this ignorance that creates racism and segregation. People don’t like techno, cause they haven’t gotten into it. People who haven’t tried sushi be like - “hell no, I don’t eat no raw fish”. And then suddenly, they’ve downed a few brews ending up at a techno party in Berlin, eating sushi at a high end Japanese restaurant - and love it. A lot of people are not open and perceptive to new things. They are not curious about new things. If you’ve lost your interest and curiosity, you’re missing out on learning to love new things. And life is all about love right? . Things that people don’t know about, they tend to be against. A lot of people are interested in being interested in what they already know. Isn’t it partly because people are afraid of being let into these new things, of meeting resistance and feeling dumb about it? T: If that’s the case, that person got low self esteem. And low self esteem seems to be at an all time high right now. There’s no point in being scared of anything. And you can actually do things that are fun, just cause they are fun, even though you might suck at it. A lot of people think that they have to be very good at things to do it. Very elitist thinking. I’m into the whole - figure-out-what-you-think-is-fun-and-fucking-do-it approach. B: That’s like us entering the music scene: we released 5 boom bap/hiphop mixtapes and then we released one with rap on an electro beat, and suddenly we and our artists were considered to be electro artists. People immediately wanted to label us as one thing only, but it was impossible.
“MAYBE I’M OVER ANALYZING THINGS HERE, BUT I THINK IT’S INTERESTING THAT PEOPLE GOT SO MAD ABOUT THE PIG THING. THAT’S RACISM ITSELF... AGAINST PIGS.” How did you approach the hip hop scene at that time? B: We tried something completely different. Hip hop was pretty much stagnant and needed a revival. T: There was an attitude that we felt was missing, and we decided way before having any type of success at all: that if we get any recognition, we’re going to help other people within the hip hop community. That’s basically where our work with integration started - on the hip hop scene. At that time, you could ask someone in the business for the number to another person established in the business - and they’d dodge the question. And everyone considered the rest of the rappers around them to make shitty music. Everything except myself and my music is useless. And that attitude is something we’ve hated since day 1. The biggest reason to why hip hop in Sweden is feeling better than ever before, is that people got rid of that way of approaching other fellow artists. People hate less now, and try to collaborate and help each other out instead. B: It came from us not getting any help or being accepted into this scene. T: Exactly. So instead of rejecting people, we did the opposite. When Adam got big, we invited all these people to join. We tried to do as much as we could to get people involved and give back to the community. That’s where our integration work started. It did not start with anything related to race or color. Through Adam’s success, we got the chance to travel a lot and meet a lot of interesting people. That opened up our world. Instead of shutting people out we tried to get people involved. Like when we started hanging out with Frej and Herbert from Maskinen. B: Our friends were like “you’re hanging out with people named Frej and
Herbert, what kind of names are they even?” [laughs] T: Yeah, we forced our friends to hang out with our other friends and as it turned out everyone liked each other. It was good to mix people and to introduce people to things they hadn’t met or seen before. And that’s the thing: I’m so sick of this whole racism thing, it’s not reasonable to me. It should all be about knowing more, knowing more people, knowing more things, being more curious. Not only white people being more curious about black people and vice versa, but people being more curious about things in general. I feel like I’m working with integration with my site about tags too - explaining to people what it’s all about, where they have previously only seen dirt. Have you read what it says? Have you separated one piece of art from the other? Have you seen that here is a “Honey & Gimp” tag here and also over here. Explaining and educating people about stuff. Which is the key to integration of any kind, education and understanding. B: That’s the solution to it in a sense: if the schools would educate about integration and be open from the beginning; that kids would be able to move and mix between schools and areas more than it is today - instead of grades determining where kids go to school, things would look different. It’s about schooling people and putting them in a situation where they’re not in their own comfort zone. Like, move Berghs School of Communication to the suburbs. Let us communicate integration that way. T: We’re never taught in school that it’s interesting with knowledge. The schools never explain why you should know things. They don’t teach that it’s interesting to put yourself in to new situations or surroundings. They don’t teach you to try new food, listen to new music, talk to new people or learn something new: if you don’t teach people that it’s vital for you to learn new things, that it makes you a stronger and better person - people won’t figure that out themselves. At least not until they get older or somehow end up in an environment that supports that kind of thinking. What’s up next for Respect My Hustle? B: We’re releasing a series of portraits on hoodies that has to do with basically everything we’ve talked about today [Babak pointing to his sweatshirt that he’s wearing, with a photo of a woman wearing a niqab and with the tagline “SWEDEN” under the photo]. T: First of all, it’s a good looking hoodie! But it’s also not a clear message - people react to that. It’s confusing. It doesn’t really matter to us if people like it or not, as long as they react. It’s a woman in a veil and it says Sweden, and that’s something that some people might not be used to see next to each other on a hoodie. Still, we’re not telling people what to think about it - we’re just telling them to think. B: I’ve been wearing this hoodie a lot, everywhere I get the chance to show it basically, and the reactions I get kind of shows me how people are, gives me some insight about what they think about integration, how they consider other people than themselves or the group they roam in. I went to the Grammys in this sweatshirt and one of the most powerful business/entrepreneur women in Sweden approached me about it, being pissed and telling me that it was wrong, but we sat down and talked about it for over an hour - and after that hour of her opposing it and me, us talking about integration among other things, I told her - “I got an hour of your time by wearing this hoodie - which I never would have gotten otherwise” - and her response to that comment was “that’s perfect - keep doing what you’re doing.” --RMHSweden.com Instagram.com/RMHSweden TagsAndThrows.com Instagram.com/TagsAndThrows
CAROLINE IS WEARING MESSAGE SC T-SHIRT, LIZZY 5-POCKET JEAN HF BLACK AINO IS WEARING CAITLIN SLEEVELESS DRESS, HOUSE OF FLORA SHIRT
THE FINNISH DESTROYER
WORDS BY CHRIS PASTRAS PHOTOS BY RYAN ALLAN
The Global skateboarding world’s collective first memory of Arto Saari, is him blowing minds at the Muenster, Germany contest in 1998. This was the biggest contest of its time, and I remember everyone coming back raving about “this lanky Finnish kid that can frontboard any rail!”. He was one of the first skaters we saw who could calmly sit on a handrail, in almost any trick, for what seemed like miles and miles. From that contest, and without speaking a lick of English at first, Arto went on to dominate the scene in the states, and found his longtime home at Flip Skateboards. While at Flip, Arto filmed his epic video parts in their “Sorry” and “Really Sorry” videos, a groundbreaking part in Es’ shoes “Menikmati”, and won Thrasher’s “Skater of the Year” in 2001. Years later he filmed an amazing part for Alien Workshops “Mindfield” video that outdid his past, and finally… landed back home at Flip with longtime friend Geoff Rowley. His career truly has lasted the test of time.
Fast forward to a few months back, and I get an invite through fellow WeActivist and Arto’s teammate on Flip Oscar Meza, to go check out Arto’s bowl in Hollywood. Even though Arto is a skateboard generation or two younger than me, I definitely consider him a true skateboarding legend, and I was slightly nervous I was going to meet and skate with one of my current day heroes. Arto wound up being very humble, uber cool, an instant homie, and also something new I learned that day, a very talented photographer. I love when your heroes don’t disappoint you. It’s truly an honor to welcome Arto Saari to the WeActivist Family. CHRIS PASTRAS: I know you’re in Australia right now, what’s going on out there? ARTO SAARI: I just got back. I was there shooting Eric koston, Ryan Scheckler, Rune Glifberg and Curren Caples for Oakley. Some truly epic skateboarding went down. Are you traveling for your photography as much as your skating these days? This Oz trip was my first international photo trip for a company that i am not sponsored by. I must admit it was a bit nerve racking at first few days but everyone on the team is so rad to work with that it made my job a lot easier. I would say I still travel more for skating but this photo thing is starting to work out too, they both go hand in hand.
How did you find your passion for photography? I’ve always had an passion for documenting my friends skateboarding etc. I had the coolest art teacher in 7th grade who would let me and my friends go out with school cameras and shoot and skate. We started messing around in the darkroom in school. It was years later when my passion for photography grew stronger, once I bought a Nikon Fm-2 from Skin Phillips on a skateboarding trip to Miami. I started documenting my travels in B&W with that camera and it wasn’t long till I started obsessing over cameras and what you can do with ‘em.
“...I STILL TRAVEL MORE FOR SKATING BUT THIS PHOTO THING IS STARTING TO WORK OUT TOO, THEY BOTH GO HAND IN HAND.” Any major influences with it? Skin Phillips, Richard Avedon, Oliver Barton, Ryan Allan, Jon Humphries, Atiba Jefferson, Anthony Acosta, Antton Miettinen, Hedi Slimane, James Nacthwey, Michael Muller and Don McCullin What or who has been your favorite subject to shoot? I love shooting skateboarding, landcsapes and portraits- so far David Gonzalez, John Cardiel, Steve Olson, Lance Mountain, Tom K., Curren Caples, Greyson, Rune, Shecks and all the Flip and NB dudes, I mean the list goes on and on... I’ve come across so many epic humans already. Why do you think so many skaters are creative? Many find music, art, or photography... how, or why? I think most skateboarders need another creative outlet beside skating for sure. I don’t know if creative people are drawn to skating or if skating makes you more creative, I am not sure, but either way skateboarders are freaks of nature for sure and it is an art form as much as it is physically demanding. A lot of it depends on your mentality too. Skating is pretty insane. I wonder how many people would keep painting if every time you messed up a brush stroke you would get hit in the shins with a thin piece of sharp plywood. That pretty much equals to messing up a tre flip on flat. Skateboarding creates a certain feeling of serenity and I think you will always look for it in other areas in life too, and it usually comes in different forms of art. Tell us about growing up as a young skater in Finland… how does the scene differ over there? Well one of the most dramatic things is the weather. Cali is sunshine all
CLASSIC ARTO FORM ON THIS BLUNTSLIDE
DITCH DAYS REVERSE MIDDLE FINGER
year around, and up in northern parts of Europe you get 6-8 months of snow on the ground + rainy days so there is not much time to skate, but the time you have usually is epic. There are a lot more indoor parks now in Finland that makes it easier to keep skating all year around. The scene is still quite a bit smaller but it has been growing steadily over the years and theres a lot of good rippers coming up. How much media did you guys get from the US? Back in the day before the internet, you would have to wait a year for the new videos to hit, and mags would come 3 months later. We were getting a lot of stuff with a decent delay. Everything was heavily influenced by the stuff that was coming out of America, and still is. When did you first realize you had potential to pursue skateboarding professionally? I think the thought sank in that there is a possibility when Danny and Mose sent me a plane ticket via fedex. Starting my 2nd year in College didn’t sound as inviting as a free trip across Canada and a month’s stay in California. I basically just stayed on that trip. I first heard about you from a Munster contest, everyone came back ranting about this kid who could nosegrind and frontside boardslide any rail… were you aware you’d have that much impact on the industry at the time? I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I was promised a plane ticket in Munster after I got 2nd but I thought it was just all talk and didn’t think anyone would really care. I just thought I was just some random kid that placed pretty good in a contest. I didn’t think anything of it before the plane ticket actually showed up.That’s when I shat my pants. I couldn’t really speak English at the time. I was 17 and I had to fly to North America with a note from my mom that it was ok to get across the border. I am glad I got on that flight. Take us back to that event for you... That event was super fun. I got to skate with all my heroes, somehow snuck in to the contest, and got to skate. I met Mccrank, Moses, Danny and Colin a few days prior and they took me under their wing and became friends with ‘em. On that train ride from Marseille to Munster I decided to ride Platinum boards. I was hanging with some of the best dudes so i didn’t feel that much pressure anymore. Mccrank is so rad to skate with. He was my skate buddy in that comp. He has such a rad outlook on skating and he rips, so it made the contest super fun. And now does it feel to join your fellow Scandinavians at WeSC? Does it feel a bit like coming home? Yes, I still feel very strongly about my roots and where I came from. I am super stoked to represent WeSC ‘cause of how rad the clothes are and the quality is top notch and obviously the good people behind it and rad vibrations all around, and for me it rounds out the whole vibe that WeSC is from Scandinavia.Yes, it does feel like i am closer to home now. You’ve been all over the world with skating and now even with photography, where have been your favorite places? The Baja Mexico trip was really fun. I had the blessing of doing some diving in Palau which is pinny, Hawaii is epic! I love going there. Spain is
one of my favorites for sure. Japan is rad. Australia... I really want to get to Africa and South America some time, and Tahiti. And now you’re based in Hollywood, with an amazing backyard pool...when did you first get the idea for that? I was on a trip to Hawaii with Mark Oblow and I was talking about building a miniramp. We were skating Cholos at the time. He looked at me funny and said, ‘why don’t you just build an epic pool instead.’ That was it, that was enough for me. Came home and called Lance Mountain and asked him what to do. He said I’ll be at yours tomorrow to do some sketches and rest is history.
“I COULDN’T REALLY SPEAK ENGLISH AT THE TIME. I WAS 17 AND I HAD TO FLY TO NORTH AMERICA WITH A NOTE FROM MY MOM THAT IT WAS OK TO GET ACROSS THE BORDER. I AM GLAD I GOT ON THAT FLIGHT.” Any epic stories or moments you can share? Well this last Oz trip that I went on I witnessed some pure epicness all around! Ryan Scheckler is one of the gnarliest skateboarders right now. I saw him try to gap back lip this gap to rail with a broken foot. I love that kinda determination. What’s the dream session for your pool? My mind has been blown many times by the dudes that have showed up. Lance Mountain amazes me every time. Hosoi and Cab shredding for few hours solo while 100 people watch. It has been great to see Cardiel rip around on this thing. Greyson Fletcher, Louie Lopez, Curren Caples and David kill this thing. The Millers went nuts over here. It was such a treat to see those guys skate. Dressen’s high speed salad grinds. Jason Jessee has gotten involved a few times. Scot Oster rules! Steve Olson kills it. Charno and Buddy are frequent visitors and of course Rune destroys this thing. My imagination is not wild enough anymore, I’ve been blessed with so much radness that I just kinda wait and see what happens next and who shows up. Speaking of dream sessions, what do you have planned for this Summer? Planning on few trips. Might stop by Chigago with CCS for a bit. We have a Flip Europe tour planned for July and Canada in August. We are working on few New Balance videos for the year so there will be some good vibes coming out. I just signed with Home watches so I am trying to get to Switzerland for a quick visit and hopefully make it to Scando land to visit WeSC headquarters too. There’s a few plans and a lot of loose ideas at the moment but by the looks of it my year is filling up fast. Thanks man, honored to have your on board with the WeSC Fam. Thank you, Chris! You are a legend!
THE SKUNK, THE BAND AND THE HOODY A FEW WORDS WITH THE PRODIGY
WORDS BY PETER TURVEY PHOTO BY RAHUL SINGH
The Prodigy have been a part of my musical life for more time than I can remember, well that’s not strictly true but almost defiantly all of my adult life. They first arrived on the scene in the early 90’s when dance music was still in its infancy, some 20 years later the dance music scene has defiantly reached its full potential with dance music acts being some of, if not the biggest selling acts of current times. The Prodigy are one of the biggest names within that scene and one of only a handful of acts that has stood the test of time from the early days through to its current position. Five studio albums later and upwards of 25 million albums sold they show no signs of slowing down. The last few years have been huge for the band with the release of their 5th studio album ‘Invaders must die” and a string of high profile gigs in the form of Warriors dance festivals held in Japan, UK, Serbia and Australia. 2013 will be another big year for the band with lots of projects on the boil including a collaboration with WeSC. Off the back of three sell out gigs in London and on the eve of a sell out mini tour of Australia we caught up with band member Maxim.
PETER TURVEY: You recently played 3 nights at London’s Brixton Academy, in the band’s own words ‘your second home’, how did it feel returning to such a prominent venue in the band’s career? MAXIM: We love playing Brixton. There’s something deep in playing in your home country, and Brixton has a vibe like no other place. The size of the venue is perfect - the acoustics of the room is spot on, and the closeness of the crowd makes it very intimate - so we get fired up for that every time. You are about to embark on a six date tour of Australia, can you tell us something about that? It’s important to keep our fans worldwide up to date with tunes and what we are currently doing. As you know, we are a live band and touring is what we do. We want our fans to see us play live - it’s the only true way to feel the Prodigy vibe. Will you and the other band members be working on new material whilst you are on your travels? We are always working on new ideas. The live shows fuel the music and vice versa - that’s how it works.
Our current collaboration came about after WeSC supported your art show ‘Lepidop Terror”, how did that go and do you have any further plans with your artwork? Yeah, WeSC supported me on that show, and as you know we did some limited edition skate decks with my work on, which were very well received. The exhibition went really well and I got a lot of positive feedback. I’ve just come back from L.A. where I have an exhibition on out there at the moment, in MK Gallery - so the art is still flowing.
“AS YOU KNOW, WE ARE A LIVE BAND AND TOURING IS WHAT WE DO. WE WANT OUR FANS TO SEE US PLAY LIVE - IT’S THE ONLY TRUE WAY TO FEEL THE PRODIGY VIBE.” WeSC have worked with you on a collaboration hoody due out anytime now, can you tell us the story of the original item that lead to this collaboration? Well, it’s funny, I’ve always tried to create things with an edge, and I had a coat many years ago that reminded me of a skunk - Why a skunk you ask? I like the fact that people have a fear for them and the white stripe is a sign of danger! Everyone knows it, even though the majority of people haven’t even seen a skunk before. Anyway, I had an idea of making a stage coat out of fake fur in a skunk form, which led me to the idea that maybe I could get one made as everyday wear - and expanding on that, maybe the fans would like it also. I had never seen a hoody like that, so as you know, I brought the idea to WeSC and they liked it. What are you and the band’s plans for 2013? Music, gigs, music, gigs - that’s what we do. And new music and more gigs - so watch this space! As for me personally, I’m planning on doing a few DJ gigs this year. This is something that started from me doing it in the dressing room after gigs, so now i’m taking it to the streets. I’m also planning another art exhibition in London September 2013...... I will stop creating when I’m dead! --www.theprodigy.com [The Prodigy Hooded Sweatshirt (LEFT), available exclusively at WeSC Concept Stores and WeSC.com].
MAXIM ROCKIN THE CROWD AND THE SKUNK HOODY BRIXTON ACADEMY, DEC 21 2012
PETTER. MUSIC AND LIFE.
WORDS BY DANIELLE KRASSE PHOTO BY ADAM FALK
Petter is, without exaggeration, one of the most established and celebrated artists in Sweden and Scandinavia. Celebrating his 15th anniversary as an artist in 2013, we thought it was time to catch up with him about his journey, his words, obstacles and what inspires him today. It’s not always easy staying on top.
DANIELLE KRASSE: You’re a veteran in the music industry and on the music scene, celebrating your 15th year as an artist. How do you think, personally, that you’ve managed to stay relevant in your genre and style? PETTER: I first of all think that I’ve managed to stay relevant as I’ve been consequent in creating from where I’m at in life at the time. My lyrics and songs when I released my first album were about being an unemployed 24 year old with bad self confidence, working as a busboy and cleaner. Through my eyes my own future didn’t look too bright so the first album, “Mitt Sjätte Sinne” [My Sixth Sense] was about that dark emotion. Today I’m 38 and write about things that mean a lot to me now. How to keep a family together, having a career, how I’ve got time to be a father of three whilst being an artist and all the other thousand things I’m involved in simultaneously.
“I LOVE THE MARKETING PROCESS BUT WILL NEVER COMPROMISE ON MY ART.” If I would try to put on the image and suit I was wearing as a 24 year old today it would only be ridiculous and not very genuine or real, not that trustworthy. I think it’s important to write about where you’re at in life, what’s happening now and never be ashamed of who you are and what you stand for. I’m extremely confident in my identity as a rapper and I really don’t mind breaking down some pre-conceived ideas and barriers of stereotypes and norms - and that’s exactly what I think hip hop sometimes lacks. You’re not only involved in music but also seem to have a great commitment and engagement in other matters. I wasn’t that outspoken about or engaged in politics earlier (98/00) but that was also due to the fact that I don’t like making statements about things that I’m not that involved in, that I feel I don’t have enough knowledge about. A lot of people can sound so sure about things, whilst in fact is more about rhetoric than knowledge about the things they’re actually talking about. Today I definitely feel that I am more engaged - especially in issues concerning youth and society; I’ve got three kids and if there’s any way for me to positively impact society in a positive way I’ll do it. That’s one of the reasons for me taking up studies again - a degree in “Social Science of Education for Youth” - which has given me insight into young peoples problems and issues and what things we need to fight to get rid of racism, addictions and alienation. We have to add, your music career is one of the most successful ones in Swedish history… To hear that I’ve been successful as an artist is absolutely flattering but
my career has definitely been a bit of a roller coaster. But when I was 22 I realized that I was good at writing texts and communicating feelings in a way that was pretty rare within my genre, so I decided that this was gonna be my sign and my miracle. I think everybody has some sort of talent and when you figure out what that is it’s just about focusing on that specific one. I decided back then to focus all my energy on that talent and to never lose it - never mess it up, party it all away or just fuck it up. I channel all my energy into my work and as it turns out that’s worked for me. I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2010 and when I found out I didn’t think it was anything strange; it was more an explanation to my sometimes strange behavior. It was a relief to get explained why I as a kid hadn’t always fit in to certain groups or activities - I’d felt inferior, academically stupid and unfocused but with the diagnosis in 2010 it was kind of a receipt that no, I wasn’t dumb or wrong. With that in mind it’s important to me that schools today teach kids that we’re all individuals and unique - something that isn’t easy when everyone who’s 12 years old is being graded and judged in the exact same way. These past years you’ve been out doing lectures and talks to people, what’ve they been about? I’ve got two different “talks” or lectures that I do: The first one is about this journey that I’ve been through: my upbringing and road to hip hop and music, and how important it is with a passion for young person if you want to be able to manage and maintain a stabile life where school doesn’t work out or isn’t enough. It’s about everything from how I learnt how to spell when I was an adult to releasing my first album that whole journey wasn’t obvious or very straight at all. The second one is about marketing and being an artist - how I’ve managed to remain consequent and and actually have managed to deliver since 1998. I’m celebrating my 15th year as a musician and artist this year and time really has gone by quickly for me. I talk a lot about thinking outside the box and creating spin off effects on things happening during a launch. I was one of the first artists in Sweden to do collaborations with brands - something I had to take a lot of shit for in the beginning of but which now most artists are depending on and has also changed Sweden’s attitude towards advertising and the industry. I love the marketing around a launch and I get an outlet for my creativity when an album is released - and all this marketing probably relates back to my upbringing a lot, becoming my revolt. I love the marketing process but will never compromise on my writing, music or art. Thank you for sharing - all great things... Any final words? Today I’m most proud to be able to still do what I love whilst being grateful and humble about the fact that people like it. Without that I wouldn’t be here today. www.petter.nu / wesc.com/weactivist/petter-2
PETTER IN THE STUDIO RECORDING HIS EIGHTH ALBUM “BÖRJAN PÅ ALLT”
FUTURE SOUND OF MZANSI: THE APARTHEID AFTERPARTY
WORDS BY SARAH CLAIRE PHOTO BY MELCHIOR ABEILLE
In January 2013, a dream of #WeActivist Spoek Mathambo’s (Nthato Mokgata) came true: he got to travel around South Africa with his musical family of singers, rappers, instrumentalists, producers and DJs in order to explore the future sound of his home country - Mzansi. Spoek Mathambo, working with Lebogang Rasethaba, is releasing a documentary titled after his first-ever compilation album, Future Sounds of Mzansi, which was released via Sony Music Africa in November 2012. In the trailer for the documentary, we hear a candid and revolutionary voice...
‘There is definitely change in the air and a new generation of musicians is on the rise - unafraid to be proudly South African, proudly weird, proud pranksters, proud party-rocking, international stake raisers, hell raisers, chance takers - the future looks AWESOME. We experience our country as blindly beautiful - bursting at the seams with youth, energy and talent. It’s a brighter focus energy, making the maddest sounds... There’s a party going on - an Apartheid after party. Still a country steeped in poverty, crime and injustice, we party like our lives depend on it. The groove is thick and infectious and we give ourselves to it. My mission is simple: to meet up with some of my heroes, colleagues, competition and co-conspirators, an ever-potent gang of electronic music pioneers doing great things at home, shaking things up as well as putting Mzansi on the intellectual music map. From the sounds of deep house, glitch-hop, dainty melodic electronica, dub step, township tech, Pretori house, Durban qhum, super-fast khauleza and Shangaan electro... hmm -- we got it all! Despite Mzansi’s tormented past and difficult present, South Africa has always been rich with colourful and energetic musical ideas, cultures and styles. This time, when so much of our existence revolves around technology and communication, Mzansi electronic music is on the cusp of this technological wave and has become an influential factor in studios and dance floors the world over. But not all is happy-clappy in the scene, the music reflects the tensions in our society and in our documentary we ask the artists to address their country and its crazy dynamics. We met up with brilliant artists from various backgrounds and cities - all with unique stories on how they are sculpting the future sound of Mzansi’ We caught up with Spoek Mathambo while he was back for a short visit in his hometown Jozi to find out more about the Future Sound of Mzansi... SARAH CLAIRE: South Africa has nine provinces and 11 official languages - would you say each province has a sound specific to its socio-economic climate? Did you try explore this in the documentary - did you visit all the provinces? SPOEK MATHAMBO: I don’t know about how sounds relate to the socio economic climate per region, but there are definitely different cultures who express themselves quite differently even within the medium of electronic music, which was the focus of our documentary. We didn’t visit all 9 provinces... we went to Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg and interviewed people from all over. We did try to explore the sounds from a number of different cities/regions and language groups, Tswana, Pedi, Shangaan, Zulu, Xhosa, Venda... Afrikaans, I mean the thing is that I am from very cosmopolitan cities where I’ve worked
with many Afrikaans people who don’t necessarily make Afrikaans music, and I am half Xhosa half Ndebele but don’t necessarily always communicate in those languages. Named after your first-ever compilation album - The Future Sound of Mzansi - would you say this documentary is an extension of the album? / Did you have this in mind when you were working on the album? Absolutely, the documentary started as a tour documentary, following our trip through South Africa trying to introduce my music to some of my heroes that I’d never met. It turned out to be an expression of all the great people I was going to meet and work with, The Future Sound of Mzansi. A format where totally disparate groups of people and scenes collide, through me being a fan of all of them.
“THE DOCUMENTARY STARTED AS A TOUR DOCUMENTARY, FOLLOWING OUR TRIP THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA TRYING TO INTRODUCE MY MUSIC TO SOME OF MY HEROES THAT I’D NEVER MET. IT TURNED OUT TO BE AN EXPRESSION OF ALL THE GREAT PEOPLE I WAS GOING TO MEET AND WORK WITH.” You worked with Lebo too - what was his role and what was yours or did you guys just team and up and tackle it all together? Lebogang Rasethaba and I have long been friends and creative partners, this was mainly my initiative, and I brought him in for his expertise in documentary film making and shooting... but as time went on he’s really taken the project on as his own and this is a full on collaboration between me and Unlanded Films, which is his company. Some of the difficulties you have come across in terms of making this happen? Funding is always an issue, but we made this quite DIY... I’ve wanted this to happen for the last four years, so it was really a passion project. A difficulty was convincing some people to take us seriously, as we don’t have production company or TV company behind us... some artists, not knowing me or Lebo who worked with me, were just like ‘Stop taking chances, chief!’ We persevered with the important ones. Out of all the artists you speak to - there are only two females - do
SCREEN GRABS FROM THE FUTURE SOUND RAYMZANSI OF FLIPPING DOCUMENTARY, THROUGH RECORDS TAKEN BY AT AMOEBARASETHABA LEBOGANG IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
you think in a few years the future of Mzansi will be one with a stronger female presence? There already is a strong female presence in the electronic music scene in SA, with exciting initiatives such as DJ Zinhle’s all-female DJ school there will be even more. Although there are definitely fewer females making electronic music in SA than males, there are phenomenal ones such as The Frown, CNDO, DJ Zinhle, Inge Beckmann, Moonchild and many others who are incredible, boundary-breaking artists irrespective of gender. I am working to catch The Frown and Moonchild for interviews before we conclude shooting. From DJ Majuva to Felix Laband --- the artists you are featuring are extremely prolific and diverse. Was there a common theme that formed out of the conversations with these artists - despite their different backgrounds and variations in style? There were a lot of common themes that came out of the conversations as most of the musicians were from the same/similar generation groups... and have experienced SA in similar ways. Regionally what was interesting was that a lot of the people hadn’t really heard of the other people, as in, there isn’t much cross-scene pollination. Mujava was most ubiquitous because of his international success with ‘Township Funk’.
“THIS DOCUMENTARY IS AN ACTIVE ATTEMPT TO EXPRESS AND REFLECT THE VIBRANCY OF THESE DIFFERENT SCENES, THAT DON’T ENJOY MAINSTREAM COVERAGE... TO GIVE THEM A PLATFORM TO SHINE AS BRILLIANTLY AS THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW AND ENJOY THEM.” You spoke to Cape Town kwaito group, The Ruffest, who are originally from the township Nyanga - did you hook up with them there or visit any other townships during the making of the documentary? I’ve been in contact with them for quite a long time now and have been following their music as a fan, before the documentary came up. I have always been interested in speaking to them about how they are one of the only groups that really cross the racial and class divides in Cape Town and play both in the townships and to more affluent (read: white) town crowds. Townships we visited included Atteridgeville, Tembisa , uMlazi, Soweto, Nyanga, Langa, Mitchells Plain.
Nozinja, DJ Mujava, Petite Noir, DJ Spoko... and myself. This documentary is an active attempt to express and reflect the vibrancy of these different scenes, that don’t enjoy mainstream coverage... to give them a platform to shine as brilliantly as they always have to the people who know and enjoy them. In the trailer you mention that ‘the music reflects the tensions in our society’ -- do you think the music you are covering is not only a reflection but also maybe a catalyst for change in our society? Have you experienced a change? I have always been excited for electronic music to be the one unifying factor in SA life...where all other music fails, I find that house is big with all the racial and cultural groups, and look forward to a time when people can all party, socialise and eventually live together without needing ‘white house’ or ‘zulu house’ etc. Acts such as Ruffest who are working hard to break down barriers by collaborating with a wide range of artists, and performing in a variety of communities are breaking down barriers and being agents of change everyday simply by doing what they do. This inspires me to do the same, and hopefully many more people. Some new things you have learnt about yourself / South Africa after this experience? South Africans are even more beautiful and talented than I’d ever imagined. Where / When can we watch it? We are working to finish the documentary by mid-May and are working on a launch plan. There is already interest from some broadcasters and possibly festivals, so we are excited. So now I’m asking you - What do you think the future sound of Mzansi will be? I think all the people who I have interviewed and covered in the doccie, who are now underdogs will start seeing the prominence and respect that they deserve.
The documentary features: Zaki Ibrahim, Panyaza, Bar/Pub, Rock Silver, The Ruffest, Richard The Third, Sibot, Spoek Mathambo, DJ Spoko, DJ Majuva, Markus Wormstorm, Mastercash, Mix & Blend, Jakob Snake, Machepies, Mash O, Black Belt Jones, Felix Laband, Gnucci, Jumping Back Slash, Big Fuckn Gun, Ayobah, Big Space, & Aero Manyelo ---
Can you describe the atmosphere of a Shisa nyama for those of us that aren’t familiar with the word? Basically a BBQ spot that is also a club or party spot. So you can eat, drink and dance! What do you hope to achieve with the documentary - have there been any new collaborations formed? A big goal of mine was to expose the whole world, and people in SA as well, to the wealth of talent that lies underground... there is a commercial house and electronic music scene, but I was more interested in the phenomenal artists who barely get any credit in South Africa, but are beginning to enjoy renown and prominence all over the world i.e. Sibot,
More information on when the documentary will be released via wesc.com, @WeSC1999, @WeSC_SA and @SPOEK_MATHMABO(Twitter)! spoekmathambo.com soundcloud.com/spoekmathambo facebook.com/spoekmathambo
GODSPEED - A FEW WORDS ON VANESSA PRAGER WORDS BY ADAM CHRISTIAN CLARK PHOTO BY GEOFF MOORE
It was an evening in the mid-two-thousands when I first discovered the art of Vanessa Prager. I was fortunate enough to have randomly stumbled into a pop-up gallery on a sidestreet off Hollywood Boulevard. I don’t remember much except for that among all the young clutter, there was one really, really good drawing. It was authentic, technically gifted, and restrained. As a collector of young art, I had on occasion lucked upon one of these three qualities. But this was the first, and still to this day only time I have ever seen all three together at this stage of an artist’s career. It was that night that I acquired my first piece by Vanessa. I was early, but nowhere near the first to find her; and today it’s easy to understand why collecting Vanessa’s art has become an obsession for so many. Albeit subjective and an oxymoron, the recurrent quality I cherish most in her work is that of modern nostalgia. She has a way of finding purity we love but have relinquished to the past. And then taking it and presenting it to us not through the eyes of our grandparents, but on the street just around the corner. I don’t believe this is a quality one learns, or even acquires without great tribulation. Though in meeting Vanessa one can’t help but notice, it’s just who she is. She smiles, though her eyes. Laughs often, and unapologetically. She radiates a good pride, the unselfish graceful contagious kind. You’ll notice people stand a little straighter when they’re next to Vanessa. You see this and it all kind of clicks. It’s not a piece of nostalgia she’s presenting, it’s a piece of herself. Vanessa Prager, you make the world more beautiful. And for that I wish you Godspeed.
--Adam Christian Clark is an American filmmaker living in Los Angeles.
ARTIST IN STUDIO GLENDALE CALIFORNIA 2013
WILD DREAMS BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
BLACK TIE BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
HEART OF DARKNESS BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
PLEASE BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
THE KING BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
HIGHWAY BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
NEVER THERE BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
PEPPER BALLPOINT PEN ON PAPER 2012
STEED XPRESS WHERE BETTER TO SHOOT THE DYNAMIC ICELANDIC GROUP THAT IS WeACTIVISTS STEED LORD, THAN BY THE TRACKS IN DOWNTOWN LA? THE STEEDS ARE ON THE TRACK TO GREATER THINGS THAN MOST - AS YOU CAN SEE IN THIS STORY FEATURING THE WeSC SUMMER COLLECTION.
PHOTOS BY GEOFF MOORE HAIR BY JOHNNY STUNTZ FOR CROSBY CARTER MGMT. MAKEUP BY ANNA BRANSON FOR THE REX AGENCY
[OPENING SPREAD] MEGA:MOOSE HAVANA-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, OVERLAY MEN’S TANK TOP, ALESSANDRO DENIM. SVALA:NOI LADIES TOP & HENNY LONG SKIRT. EDDIE:MOOSE MATTE BLACK-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, OVERLAY MEN’S S/S T-SHIRT, ALESSANDRO DENIM. [THIS PAGE] MOOSE MATTE BLACK-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, OVERLAY MEN’S S/S T-SHIRT. [OPPOSITE] NOI LADIES TOP, HENNY LONG SKIRT.
NOI LADIES TOP, HENNY LONG SKIRT. [OPPOSITE] MOOSE HAVANA-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, FLORA L/S SHIRT.
MEGA:MOOSE HAVANA-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, WESC ZIP HOODED SWEATSHIRT, OVERLAY MEN’S TANK TOP, ALESSANDRO DENIM. SVALA:CAITLIN SLEEVELESS DRESS. EDDIE:MOOSE MATTE BLACK-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, ON FIELD W SINGLET, ALESSANDRO DENIM.
WESC ZIP HOODED SWEATSHIRT, MOOSE HAVANAUNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, CHAMBERS BY RZA STREET HEADPHONES SUPER, OVERLAY MEN’S S/S T-SHIRT, ALESSANDRO DENIM. [OPPOSITE] CAITLIN SLEEVELESS DRESS
CORINNA SLEEVELESS DRESS [OPPOSITE] MOOSE MATTE BLACK-UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, ON FIELD W SINGLET, ALESSANDRO DENIM
CHAMBERS BY RZA PREMIUM HEADPHONES, ALESSANDRO DENIM, BONE ICON SINGLET, GILLIAM MID TOP LEATHER SHOES
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SIDE STREET AN ABANDONED HIGHWAY OUTSIDE OF STOCKHOLM IS THE PERFECT SETTING FOR AN NICE DAY OUT - URBAN CAMPING AT ITS BEST. FOLLOW OUR LEAD AND BRING A TENT, BEERS AND FRIENDS AND DO WHAT YOU CAN TO ENJOY YOURSELVES.
PHOTOS BY ANTON RENBORG STYLED BY BILLIE JOSEPHSON
MANDY RAW CLEAN LADIES’ 5-POCKET JEAN, WESC SCRIPT LOGO LADIES’ S/S T-SHIRT [OPPOSITE] THYRA LADIES’ JACKET, CANDICE LADIES’ TANK TOP, MANDY HF BLACK LADIES’ 5-POCKET JEAN, CLOPTON LOW TOP SHOE
SUPERLATIVE SCRIPT SNAPBACK, 59FIFTY W BASEBALL CAP, PALM TREE 5 PANEL BASEBALL CAP, SUPERLATIVE LAGER BASEBALL CAP
ERIC S/S MEN’S COMFORT FIT SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT [OPPOSITTE TOP] PAW S/S RAGLAN T-SHIRT, BASS SUPERLATIVE UNISEX DJ HEADPHONE [OPPOSITTE BOTTOM] ERIC S/S MEN’S COMFORT FIT SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT, CONWAY MEN’S 5-POCKET SHORT, EDMOND LOW TOP, ERIC S/S MEN’S COMFORT FIT SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT, EDDY MEN’S 5-POCKET DENIM, CLOPTON LOW TOP
SUPERLATIVE LAGER SNAPBACK UNISEX BASEBALL CAP, MATHIS MEN’S JACKET, SANTE MEN’S S/S REGULAR FIT SHIRT, [OPPOSITTE] WEEDS AOP LADIES’ SINGLET
MOOSE HAVANA - UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER, VILLY MEN’S L/S REGULAR FIT SHIRT, EDDY HF BLACK 5-POCKET JEAN, EDMOND LOW TOP [OPPOSITTE] MOOSE HAVANA - UNISEX WESC SUNGLASSES BY SUPER
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SARAH MEURLE SARAH AND I ARRIVED IN NEW YORK A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE “SUPER” STORM SANDY HIT. AS SOON AS IT WAS REGARDED AS SAFE TO LEAVE THE HOUSE WE START ROAMING AROUND A BLACKED OUT BADLY BEATEN BUT NOT BROKEN NEW YORK. NATURALLY THE FIRST THING ON THE LIST… RIGHT BEHIND CALLING OUR PARENTS TO TELL THEM WE WERE ALIVE WAS TO FIND SKATE SPOTS THAT HAD EITHER BEEN CREATED BY THE STORM OR THAT YOU NORMALLY COULDN’T SKATE BECAUSE OF PEOPLE, SECURITY, ELECTRICITY, THE AVAILABILITY OF GAS, FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES... WHATEVER. AND AS WE WENT ABOUT THE 6 OR 7 DAYS OF TOTAL SOCIO ECONOMIC AND INFRASTRUCTURAL BREAK DOWN, RIDING BIKES AROUND MANHATTAN AND MAKING SURE TO GET OUT BEFORE DARK, WE RAN INTO VARIOUS OTHER GROUPS OF SKATERS LOOKING FOR THE SAME THINGS. IT WAS PRETTY INTERESTING TO THINK EVERYONE WAS STAYING HOME AND HIDING WHILE THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT COULD MAKE USE OF THE CHAOS OR EVEN WANTED TO GO OUTSIDE WERE SKATEBOARDERS… AND OTHER VARIOUS PETTY CRIMINALS AND PICKERS. AND CALL MY IMAGINATION OVER ACTIVE BUT WITH THE TOTAL LACK OF OTHER HUMANS AND VEHICLES IN ONE OF THE BUSIEST CITIES ON THE PLANET AND RUNNING INTO GROUPS OF FIVE TO TEN SKATES MULTIPLE TIMES IN A DAY IT COULDN’T BE HELPED BUT TO THINK OF NEW YORK AS A POST APOCALYPTIC STRONG HOLD HELD BY ROVING PACKS OF RIVAL AND ALLIED SKATE GANGS LOOKING FOR SPOTS… AND SUSTENANCE. AS NEW YORK CAME BACK ONLINE IT BECAME APPARENT I WASN’T GOING TO HAVE TO WALK BACK TO CANADA, START FASHIONING MY CLOTHES OUT OF TREE BARK OR FIND A FERREL DOG FOR PROTECTION AND COMPANIONSHIP. WE HAD SURVIVED!! AND WHEN WE LOOKED BACK AT THE FILM WE REALIZED SARAH HAD LOOKED PRETTY GOOD DOING IT SO WE THOUGHT WE MIGHT SHARE IT WITH ALL THE PALS OVER AT WESC AND THE WORLD SO YOU COULD SEE HOW A FEMALE SKATE GANG IN A POST APOCALYPTIC SETTING MIGHT ROLL.
OPENING WORDS BY ALANA PATERSON PHOTOS BY ALANA PATERSON
IL CLAN DEL WU THE WU TANG CLAN REUNION CONCERT - ROME 2010 PHOTOS & WORDS BY ALESSANDRO SIMONETTI
Even though I fought for so long to now be based in NYC, I still make sure I travel back home as much as possible. On one of my summer trips to Rome, the city I grew up in, Wu Tang was scheduled to perform. The day I landed I made my way from Venice to the capital, armed with a bag of 1600 ISO BW rolls of film, and no other agenda than to shoot the group I had most connected with growing up, both culturally and musically. Since I knew the guy who was promoting them out in Europe (through some NYC friends), I was able to get full access. Backstage was full of Italian ‘fly girls’ with pink baggy jumpsuits, backward Yankees hats and crazy braids. The Clan was super cool, and there was champagne, Cheetos and weed for everyone... just like a birthday party. I had the chance to shoot, on stage, for their entire live performance (normally it would just be the first two songs). I was able to relax and collect over 50 images, with the idea of putting together a zine (a FAN-zine) the whole time. I edited, designed the layout, chose the paper stock, and was on press for the printing... a total do-it-yourself project, like I was 17 years old and it was the early 90’s again. Killer bees on the swarm...
UK MADE LONDON IN THE MID 1970’S WAS DREARY, HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL INEQUITY, THE THREE DAY WORK WEEK. IT WAS DEFINITELY TIME FOR A NEW ORDER. BRITISH STREET STYLE WAS BORN FROM THE STREETS, THE KIDS WITH ‘NO FUTURE’ MAKING IT UP AS THEY WENT ALONG. PUNKS, MODS, SKINS, TEDS, SKA AND 2 TONE, FOR BRITISH WORKING CLASS YOUTH TRYING TO FIND AN IDENTITY, CLOTHES, FASHION AND MUSIC WENT HAND IN HAND.
PHOTOS & WORDS BY JANETTE BECKMAN
[OPENING SPREAD] PUNKS GATHERING FOR THE SID VICIOUS MEMORIAL MARCH IN LONDON 1979 [OPPOSITE PAGE] JOHN LYDON AKA JOHNNY ROTTEN AT HIS HOME IN LADBROKE GROVE LONDON 1979 [THIS PAGE] TOP: PHIL FROM THE POLECATS WITH FRIENDS AT THE CAISTER ROCKABILLY WEEKEND BY THE SEA 1980 BOTTOM: THE ISLINGTON TWINS, CHUKA AND DUBEM, IN THE SCHOOLYARD LONDON 1979
[PREVIOUS SPREAD] TENPOLE TUDOR ON THE SON OF STIFF TOUR IN DUBLIN 1980 [THIS PAGE] TOP: MODS AT A FESTIVAL IN LOCH LOMOND SCOTLAND 1980. BOTTOM: MOD GIRL ON THE STREET IN STREATHAM, LONDON 1976 [OPPOSITE PAGE] THE CLASH IN THEIR UNDERGROUND DRESSING ROOM AT A BICYCLE STADIUM IN MILAN 1981
JAY MALDONADO I REMEMBER ON THE 4TH OF JULY, THE FDR USED TO HAVE IT’S OWN FIREWORK DISPLAY. I’M SURE WHEN THESE KIDS GROW UP THEY WILL SAY, “I REMEMBER WHEN ___________...”
JOSÉ PARLÁ IN FEBRUARY OF 2012, I QUIETLY OBSERVED A DOMINO GAME FROM ABOVE, IN THE ENTRANCE OF AN APARTMENT BUILDING IN HAVANA’S CENTRAL NEIGHBORHOOD IN CUBA. THE GAME OF DOMINOES IS CUBA’S NATIONAL GAME. CUBAN DOMINOES CONSISTS OF TWO TEAMS OF TWO PLAYERS, IT’S USUALLY 150 POINTS A SET, AND THE BEST OF THREE SETS WINS THE MATCH.
EMILIA BERGMARK-JIMÉNEZ THIS IS A PORTRAIT OF ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS, THE GENIUS AND ARTIST MALIN GABRIELLA NORDIN. DECEMBER 2012
SCOTT A. SANT’ANGELO VERNAZZA IS A TOWN AND COMMUNE LOCATED IN THE PROVINCE OF LA SPEZIA, LIGURIA, NORTHWESTERN ITALY. IT IS ONE OF THE FIVE TOWNS THAT MAKE UP THE CINQUE TERRE REGION. VERNAZZA IS THE FOURTH TOWN HEADING NORTH, HAS NO CAR TRAFFIC AND REMAINS ONE OF THE TRUEST “FISHING VILLAGES” ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA. [SAVEVERNAZZA.COM]
BIGZ DRIVING FROM SHANGHAI TO TIBET. THIS TRIP TOOK 2.5 WEEKS IN TOTAL. WE SAW ALL 4 SEASONS THROUGHOUT THE TRIP. TOOK THIS ONE IN TIBET AT THE BREAK OF DAWN.
ARTO SAARI STEVE OLSON HOLLYWOOD, FEB 2013
GUI MACHADO THIS WAS LOOLOO SKATING THE WESC LOGO IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL.
ERIKBYERIK BADOU JACK [THE RIPPER]. SHOT IN A SMALL STOCKHOLM GYM IN FALL OF 2012, RIGHT BEFORE HE SIGNED A MAJOR DEAL WITH FLOYD MAYWEATHER ‘THE MONEY TEAM.’
CURTIS KULIG I LOVE THIS GIRI LOVE THIS GIRL LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRL LOVE THIS GIRL I LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRLI LOVE THIS GIRL I LOVE THIS GIRL LOVE THIS GIRL LOVE THIS GIRL LOVE THIS GIRL
TONY ARCABASCIO HERE’S RICKY POWELL TAKING A SEC (IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR MEETING) TO CHECK SOME TEXT MESSAGES FROM HIS FLIP PHONE, USING A PHOTO LOUPE, WHILE HIS TRANSISTOR RADIO IS PLAYING SOME JAZZ TUNES IN THE BACKGROUND. THAT’S HOW OLD SCHOOL NYC ROLLS...
HOW NYC LED ME TO ARCHITECTURE PHOTO BY KEEFE BUTLER
em Koolhaas launched his illustrious architectural career writing on Manhattan, theorizing in part that the city’s grid was an invention that itself generated delirious invention –skyscrapers, Coney Island, etc. I have learned it is also New York’s delirious grind that creates invention, and offers a view on how to build. A friend once said something in passing that I have found axiomatic in my life and work, “It’s all about longevity.” Almost everyone I know and nearly every project I have worked on came, directly or indirectly, through just intently being there over the years, seeing people “around”, working until the sun comes up. I am usually happy to rant about the profession of architecture to whomever will listen, how it seems almost intentionally structured to devour its young. However, I find solace in the promise that the practice of Architecture is a long money game. I never really planned on becoming an architect, but if I was telling the story of how I did, I would recall it starting early as a kid fascinated with taking things apart (every toy I ever had), seeing what was inside and how they worked. I grew into putting things together and building things up –tree houses, sets for school plays, floats for the homecoming parade. I heard Thom Mayne describe his own experience the same way once, and then he too spoke for longevity: “you really don’t know how to make a good building until you’re in your fifties.” Our man Oscar Neimeyer stayed building until his recent retirement to that great design studio in the sky, aged 104. I came to Manhattan for college at 18, did that, and then found good people around me offering chances to build. Eventually I had to choose to push either the designing or the constructing, so I dove into a 3-year Masters degree in Architecture. I worried a little, with all the clichés about
“I NEVER REALLY PLANNED ON BECOMING AN ARCHITECT, BUT IF I WAS TELLING THE STORY OF HOW I DID, I WOULD RECALL IT STARTING EARLY AS A KID FASCINATED WITH TAKING THINGS APART, SEEING WHAT WAS INSIDE AND HOW THEY WORKED.”
architects being mostly underpaid, overworked, and unsung, that I might be doomed to a life of redrawing bathrooms 7 days a week. But, I figured I would be smart focusing on design at a NYC program, with some built projects and a downtown education under my belt; I was, but I was also impressed by how much I had to learn about this architecture thing. I learned to think and communicate through drawing and modeling in 2 and 3 and 4 dimensions, learned a rigorous process and working method, soaked up some history and theory, and survived regular beatings from a jury of professional critics. Only at the end, really, do you learn about the grind of the profession you have now devoted yourself to. Basically, you walk with a costly degree and expect, if you can win a position in a shrinking market with a whimsical sense of job stability, to work regular 60 hour weeks sans overtime with average salary less than a starting teacher’s, logging hours and paying dues as an “intern” for a minimum of 3 years, before sitting for a battery of exams with low passing rates to qualify for a license, when you might then scrape together enough work to start an office and exploit your own interns for meager profit and a little shine if you invest in PR. Certainly a rigorous process is important when property and life safety are at stake, and these prospects might have been more bearable was I not already breaking 30 and had a good taste of independently getting things built. I kept running jobs outside of my courses, but decided I should double down and go the prescribed path of my newly chosen profession after graduating. Then the offer for a position at a firm I had interned with evaporated, interviews elsewhere led to unaffordable low offers, and I went in and out of a few firms, part and full-time, finding no taste for the corporate office place. Being so deeply concerned with design, architecture has a fraught relationship between the creative in-
dividuals who practice it and the rigid doctrines and formal structure of the licensed profession. Offices might command collective centuries of experience, but struggle with relevance, and there is a general pretense of professionalism that ends up being not just unpersonable, but actually unprofessional. The profession also in many ways chains the practice to the same status quo system of corporate greed, concentration of wealth and power, and environmental degradation that it rails against in theory. The point of my rant is to illustrate how conventional models for career seem antiquated. Many emerging architects and designers making noise have not followed the orthodox route through the profession (neither did the great Frank Loyd Wright). They often have only a few small projects built, yet run a resilient, satisfying practice, and present solid ideas. When commissions do arrive, a flexible and persistent NY state of mind is key to managing the harrowing process of building here or elsewhere. I’ve now returned to putting together work with friends, primarily by word of mouth, equipped with an expanded set of tools and ideas, to patiently build a practice. Sometimes I look around and feel panic –about crises we as a species face on all scales, about problems in the city and looming disasters, or even just about the state of a project, career choices, or all the amazing things, in architecture or otherwise, that I haven’t experienced yet or kept up with- but then I pause in the calm of what I have learned so far from NYC and all the delirious people in it: keep a steady grind and work at longevity. I am not foolish enough to think architecture or design will “save the world”. However, saving it requires a shift in thought that I believe relates to how we think about form and function and meaning, the primary colors of architecture, and it’s the long view that can inform that shift and provide higher resolution for the bigger picture.
HUMBLENESS, CURIOSITY AND HARD WORK PHOTO BY DANIEL TAKACS
did my very first piece 1991. It was a dark and gloomy tunnel in the center of Norrköping, Sweden. I was about fourteen years old and I didn’t imagine Graffiti would get me to where I am today.
I decided to quit school after two years in high school. My grades were horrible and I felt school wouldn’t take me anywhere in life. My aim and ambition was to make my living on something that I was good at - and at that point it was the “aerosol art” better known as Graffiti. In all honesty, I might never have really been good at it, but I felt something - I felt strength in it and through it. It gave me self-confidence; the art form gave me fuel in the same way that skateboarding had given me attitude a few years earlier. I started a Graffiti school project in town that was approved by the city council. They gave us money for managing the project if we could guarantee a decrease of what they called “sabotaging” the city by tagging and most importantly, we got lot of legal walls to work on. As a result, we started one of northern Europe’s most important legal locations down in the harbor of Norrköping. Just couple of years later every important name worked on and painted the wall (at that time called) ”The Hall of Fame”. Shortly after we started up developing a culture center, the new center project was a natural extension from the Graffiti project, and now based on the Hip-Hop culture’s four elements. The centre was a three storey house in the heart of the city. We started a coffeeshop and got all kinds of events and courses like breakdancing, studio/music, DJ-ing and graffiti. We also arranged a lot of parties and showcases. After several years of diverse non-profitable art projects and developing the center, in 1999 I decided to move to Stockholm. I got fed up with the past years diverse non-profitable hard
“I DECIDED TO QUIT SCHOOL AFTER TWO YEARS IN HIGH SCHOOL. MY GRADES WERE HORRIBLE AND I FELT SCHOOL WOULDN’T TAKE ME ANYWHERE IN LIFE.”
work. I was hungry and urged to run a profitable business based on my previous experiences. So, me and a partner started a design agency, our area and approach was totally different than a more traditional design firm. We worked with graphic design in interior spaces. It worked out quite good. We got lot of attention from magazines worldwide and most importantly from clients and architects. We also developed an online print collection of wallpapers, t-sthirts and artworks. We worked years with larger and smaller brands and corporations, on the way I started to feel limited only working with rooms and spaces, I was more interested in working with all media and I was far too curious of other creative worlds. About three years ago i started my “solo” design career and that is so far the best thing yet. Total uncompromising freedom in choosing projects. I now play on my own terms. I got a great network of people that I collaborate with and it works out just fine. I’m now working with all media as i strived for, and shifting assignment from art direction, graphic design, film direction with some interior and identity design. Now quite some time has gone by since that dark tunnel in the early nineties and I have done well for myself, without a “proper” education. In fact, dropping out of school was probably the best thing that could ever happen to me. I don’t think school is for everyone. Sometimes you search for magic, for a vision. I strongly believe some of us are ahead of our time. For good and for worse, that can mean we need to find something new, something never done before and even if it has all already been done, we will make our own collage of the past and re-new it. That’s perhaps not something you will find in an education plan. I have seen many examples where creativity can’t be taught. I do
believe however that there are places such as Central Saint Martins, Parsons, Konstfack, RISD and other great design schools and institutes that can be guiding future stars and help you find that vision, take you to places you never explored before. Within being creative sometimes comes criticism of your work, there would always be matters of taste, opinion and perspectives. I felt there were times when I did care about what people were thinking of my work and it resulted in misleading me many times. At these moments it happened that I criticized myself and my own work and questioned my position as a freelancing artist. I often remind myself that self-realization and to only be able to pay my bills - and most of all the freedom and pride by being my own boss and earn my own living on something I’ve created from “scratch” – that alone is the goal and meaning. I have witnessed many cases, when people got in people’s faces about the matter of art and commercialism. I believe many of them are in it for the “coolness” where they try hard to be “arty” and they take a lot of shortcuts by using other people to get to their goal. There is seldom durability in that kind of thinking and reasoning. I’ve seen a lot of them ending up from being too cool to not being able to keep that particular condition of life, resulting in them giving up their lifestyle and in the end being forced to choose a hard grind that has nothing to do with what they used to stand for and what they used to do. Still: humbleness, curiosity, hard work and finding your own voice is an essential thing in life and making for a successful career. That was exactly what I did - I found my inner voice and that I think is my key ingredient and an asset in a successful and sane career.
KRIGET, SUBMISSION “OFFICIAL VIDEO” (SWEDISH GRAMMY 2012 NOMINATED.)
DJING AS WE KNOW IT PHOTO BY D-LUX PHOTOGRAPHY
very time I go and play at this club in Gent, I think it’s amazing how such a thing can exist. This club is open pretty much every day of the week, and has been so, for as long as anyone cares to remember. And every night, it’s packed. It’s home to Belgium’s longest running dancehall night (Tuesdays), it hosts bi-weekly drum&bass and dubstep nights (Wedsnesday), draws in the students on Thursdays and pleases proper party animals on the weekend days. And even if it’s open every day, they still manage to keep the floor shaking ‘til way past dawn, on a daily basis. The owner is always there, and he’s always smiling. Some day, you will find the job of a lifetime. True that. And then there are the dj’s… First of all, few djs will ever have the opportunity to really know how to control a crowd, build a set and keep a vibe going for hours and hours, especially in this day and age of ten djs per night, and rockstar-attitudes aplenty. The djs at this club get that opportunity. Boy, do they! For one thing, there’s the legacy. This one dj reportedly played a set of 26 hours without stoppping (and he went on to become one of the most soughtafter superstars djs on the international electro scene – here’s a hint: you won’t see him on the decks unless he’s wearing his green mask, he’s some kind of physician, and he loves electro), and this other dj has been in the business (and part of the resident team) for over two decades, and still devotes every tuesday night to an all-nighter at Decadance. And then, there are the youngsters, the guys that get behind the decks pretty much every night, and are forced to keep playing because the crowd keeps dancing. You can put them on a deep house line-up and they’ll do well, you can add them to a drum&bass bill and they will perform, or make them do a straight hiphop-set and they will deliver. How many djs you know, can do that? Well, I used to know quite a few, but they are a
“YESTERDAY IS HISTORY, TODAY IS A GIFT AND TOMORROW IS THE END OF DJING AS WE KNOW IT.”
dying breed these days. Not the case at Gent, where cats like Duub, Coolman, Black Frank, Rakesh devote their every waking hour to playing tunes to sweaty crowds. Yesterday is history, today is a gift and tomorrow is the end of djing as we know it. You have probably seen a dj wearing a t-shirt, saying ‘I am not a jukebox’. Well, they are usually the ones playing the same old worn out songs and doing the same routines, night after night after night. Not all of them of course, but you get the idea. In any case, watching three overpaid, drugabusing, champagne-spraying, big-headed actors jump around behind the decks has become the most revered experience for audiences at dance events worldwide. Numerous pictures and videos of djing without connected mixer, or with mixerfaders all down, have not been able to stop the career of a certain French superstar dj, and yet another one has managed to stuff his one-hour ‘dj-set’ with so many sideshow routines you hardly notice there’s music being played. Kudos. If you had told me 15 years ago that would one day be the case, I would probably have told you to go see a shrink. Back to the club. I play there once every so often and I get to play completely different music than I play at most other places. Depending on what kind of crowd turns up, or how strong the promotion for that particular night was, it can turn into a sweaty rave or a laid back club session. The other day, I was one of the djs at their 24-hours party. That in itself is a crazy notion, especially when their main crowd is a musicloving one and not so much drug-induced. And of course people come and go, but the party does kick off at noon the one day, and doesn’t stop until noon the next. When I reflect on the other clubs in that city, one cannot help but
think there must be something special going on, because quite a few of their colleagueclubs put nights on throughout the week and weekend as well, and tend to keep going past the moment the sun comes up with resident djs that are able to play all-nighters. I wish for every budding dj to get the opportunity to experience such a bootcamp, and for clubs like those to linger on forever. Basically what I’m saying is this: where most young dj’s these days take an example from cats that act like rockstars on stage, only ever play short one-hour sets and flagrantly neglect mixing skills, they should do everything in their power to get behind the decks of a club that repeatedly allows them to play for hours on end, to different types of crowds. That is what every budding dj should aspire to do. Not be the next David Guetta, Swedish House Maffia or Steve Aoki. Anyway, that’s just how I feel.
THEGOODLIFE! WORDS BY TIM BRODHAGEN [CO-FOUNDER] PHOTO BY CRAIG WETHERBY [CO-FOUNDER]
You can’t live TheGoodLife! alone. “Family Dinner” lets us take our favorite restaurants (right now it’s The Cardinal NYC) and turn them into our own private clubhouse for a night of friends, food, music, drink and of course dominoes. You’d be surprised how much creativity seeps in between the shit talking making every dinner a launch pad for collaboration amongst members of TheGoodLife! fam. [Our new custom domino table and sets release this spring... wearethegoodlife.com]
SINGAPORE WORDS BY LU YAWEN
SINGAPORE - The cosmopolitan jewel of Southeast Asia, Singapore is frequently known as paradise for the modern traveler with its plethora of shopping and dining outlets. A shopping lifestyle for the well-heeled to discerning style mavens, this tiny island’s offering of established luxury brands along the heart of Orchard Road to pockets of independent stores makes sure no one goes home empty-handed.
City landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands add to the impressive skyline, especially at sunset, and it is in the coolness of the night that you experience the nightlife pulsating along to deep rich bass reverberations all over Singapore. Respected nightlife veterans at Zouk Club even introduced their own rave festival, named Zouk Out, inviting DJs like Armin Van Buuren and Avicii to satisfy party-hungry crowds till six next morning.
The country’s enthusiasm for fun is matched with an equally vibrant food culture (traditional open air hawkers are the best way to enjoy a plate of stingray fried in chili paste after a night of alcohol-driven debauchery) and people passionate for their craft. Boutiques and restaurants that have proven themselves to be of exceptional quality and substance, just as WeSC is, make it to our handpicked list.
RESTAURANTS Coq&Balls 6 Kim Tian Road Singapore 169246 6276-6609 Blu Jaz Café 12 Bali Lane Singapore 189848 6292-3800 1 Altitude 1-Altitude Singapore 048616 6438-0410 Long beach 25 Dempsey road Singapore 249670 6323-22221
Mink 7 Raffles Boulevard Pan Pacific Singapore Singapore 039595 6734-0205
Cumulus 501 Orchard Road Wheelock Place, #02-14 Singapore 238880 6733-3486
Front Row Raffles Hotel Arcade 328 North Bridge Road, #02-09 Singapore 188719 6224-5501
WeSC Store 112 Katong 112 East Coast Road, #02-19 Singapore 428802 6694-8810 Tangs Playlab 310 Orchard Road Singapore 2388645
Surrender Raffles Hotel Arcade 328 North Bridge Road, #02-31 Singapore 188719 6733-2130
Vol.ta Marque 2 Handy Road #02-09 The Cathay 6836-5718
Red dot design shop 28 Maxwell Road Singapore 069120 6225-5950
Leftfoot 8 Grange Road Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, #02-07A Singapore 239695 6736-3227
CULTURE [+ EVENTS]
Twobros Velocity 230 Thomson Road Novena Square, #02-35/36 Singapore 307683 6353-3183
Chomp Chomp Serangoon Gardens 20 Kensington Park Rd Singapore 557269
NIGHTTIME The Butter Factory 1 Fullerton Road Singapore 049213 6333-8243 Zouk 17 Jiak Kim Street Singapore 169420 6738-2988 Home Club 20 Upper Circular Road Singapore 058416 6538-2928
Newton circus 500 Clemenceau Ave North Singapore 229495
Sup Clothing 34 Haji Lane Singapore 189227 6297-9384
Merlion Park One Fullerton Fullerton Road Singapore 049213 Singapore (Downtown Core) 65 6736-6622
TOP TO BOTTOM: RED DOT, TANGS PLAYLAB, MINK
TOP TO BOTTOM: THE BUTTER FACTORY, COQ&BALLS, MERILION PARK
TOP TO BOTTOM: SUP CLOTHING
At BREAD & BUTTER BERLIN on January 20th we introduced the DANIJEL “JUGGA” STANKOVIC X WeSC KORVLOVER / WeSC SAUSAGE PARTY PROJECT! The kit, including a limited edition T-Shirt, tote bag, toppluva [traditional Swedish beanie] as well as sticker packs, was well received to say the least - and #Korvlovers from all over the world came together and untied in their love for hotdogs [korv]. [photos: JOHAN UNDÉN (top) / #wescsausageparty & #korvlover (bottom)]
LOCATIONS FOLLOW US: facebook.com/superlativeconspiracy twitter.com/WeSC1999 instagram: @juggaboltz
Martin Schmetzer is a Stockholm based designer with a main focus on hand-drawn typography and a high level of detail and diligence. He started his own business a year ago with a strong growing demand. Thanks to the Internet, designer blogs have helped post and spread his work throughout and he will be able to commit full time on his letters in May with representation from Popill Agency in Scandinavia and Red Ape in Australia/Asia. Heâ€™s been hand lettering his whole life but became really dedicated when he discovered graffiti as a 12 year old. Martin aims for symmetry in his letters and finds inspiration everywhere, from graffiti tags to food labels. The process of his work is very valuable to him and he always starts with a pen and paper before turning to the computer. Martin has now teamed with WeSC KUNGSGATAN in Sweden to make a one of kind limited edition tee available only at the store. [photos: NIKLAS SKOGLUND]
LOCATIONS FOR MORE INFO ON THE COLLABORATION: wesc.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.martinschmetzer.com
BABY MAKER MEN’S LEATHER/WOOL JACKET [OPPOSITE] CHAMBERS BY RZA STREET HEADPHONE, MILIAN UNISEX BACK PACK, GUSTEN UNISEX LEATHER CHAIN WALLET, RESON MEN’S SUEDE GLOVES, WELAND CAMO SNAPBACK BASEBALL CAP
WeSC FALL 2013 H COMING
CYMBAL NEW HEADPHONE FROM WeSC
MUSIC SHARING FUNCTION
3 TOUCH HANDSFREE WITH MICROPHONE & REMOTE CONTROLS
COMPACT FOLDING DESIGN FOR EASY CARRYING AND STORAGE
CYMBAL ON EAR HEADPHONES
[PHOTO: JONAS ADOLFSON]
We’re still addicted to Instagram and will be for a while - and so are our WeActivists, it seems. Here’s a selection of their images, showing what they’ve been up to the past months! Follow them and show some love - plus be inspired by what they do, where they go and what they see. Don’t forget to follow @WeSC1999 and tag your pictures with #WeSC!
@IMILK [SIGNE SIEMSEN]
@ARTOFOTO [ARTO SAARI]
@SMEURLE [SARAH MEURLE]
@JONASOLAWIEHAGER [JONAS WIEHAGER]
@KIMKA_ISIS [KIM MATULOVA]
@AKADUNE [CHRIS PASTRAS]
@JUSSI_OKSANEN [JUSSI OKSANEN]
The name We Are The Superlative Conspiracy [WeSC] comes from the sense of unity that has always been exceptional in the skateboarding community - the creativity, the attitude and the people is what laid the foundation of WeSC. Founded by five guys with a background in skate- and snowboarding, WeSC set out to be a brand that would be a mix of streetwear and fashion; where elements of cultures such as skateboarding, art and music would be combined with fashionable design to create products that caters to the streetfashion consumer. The cornerstones of WeSC are punk mentality, creativity, community and having fun - it’s about going your own way, being proud of that and be creative. This is something that has been WeSC’s mission since day one and which is applied to all parts of the brand: the staff, the people, the stores, the design and the way we are. With activities in arts, skateboarding, snowboarding, music, acting, producing and more on a daily basis, we are proud to say that we live our brand - the WeSC way: it’s not a brand that makes clothing, it’s a lifestyle that we all enjoy and with/for causes that we support. Creativity at its’ finest.
© 2013 We International AB All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner in any media, or transmitted by any means whatsoever, electronic or mechanical (including photocopy, film or video recording, internet posting or any other information storage and retrieval system) without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Made in Sweden by WeSC Karlavägen 108, Stockholm, Sweden tel. +46 8 46 50 50 00 www.wesc.com facebook.com/superlativeconspiracy twitter.com/WeSC1999 instagram: WeSC1999
CEO: GREGER HAGELIN GLOBAL BRAND DIRECTOR: THOMAS FLINN GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGER: HANNA LUNDGREN GLOBAL PR & WEB MANAGER: DANIELLE KRASSE EXECUTIVE ART DIRECTOR: TONY ARCABASCIO ART DIRECTOR: SIMON MÅRTELIUS DOWNLOADABLE APP BY
WeSC, www.wesc.com, WeAretheSuperlativeConspiracy AND ‘THE ICON’ ARE REGISTRATED TRADEMARKS OF WE INTERNATIONAL AB®
WE A R E T HE S U PE R L AT I V E C O N S PI R A C Y www. we s c. co m