Another truly inspiring individual, check out Ryan Leslie here creating the track Addicted. Leslie's mastery of a vivacious variety of instruments and his diverse range of tumultuous talents display just how broadly brilliant you've got to be to crack the mayhem that is the creative, yet ever increasingly corporate and commercial, music industry. Leslie is diverse – as a melodic maverick, he has mastery over a myriad medley of musical equipment - and thus he can create a diverse sound, something picked up upon by one of my melodiously motivated mates. A true inspiration and a musical genius, expect to see more from the talented Mr Leslie in the near future. Image unceremoniously stolen from here.
The NikeiD London team has decided to throw a party to commemorate their first party (albeit unofficially). With the wide spread appeal of NikeiD now far reaching, and prizes for the best dressed, expect an energetically eclectic, charged crowd to turn up to the secret (hush hush) venue this Saturday. Try get down if you possibly can; more information here.
I was involved in a very interesting meeting today with representatives of the anti-knife crime campaign 'it doesn't have to happen'. Though I began the encounter skeptically (naturally), I was more than impressed by the motivation and drive of those involved. Surprisingly it is one of the most genuine campaigns I have come across - those involved deeply care about the issues affecting the youth, and there are real kids involved in the campaign at every single level (it has transpired, in fact, that two of my good friends are the two main representatives of ‘the youth’ behind the campaign). Check out the Bebo page here...
As Barack Obama battles vigilantly, vehemently and victoriously towards world domination, the many subsidiaries of brand Obama are kicking off in similar fashion - from social networking sites to clothing to conducive, clever collaborations with cool, creative critters. One of said collaborations is brand Obama’s own t-shirt (as shown above). Powerful and provoking, the renown street artist and designer Obey has created a line of trim and trendy t’s with a clear, concise message, that have taken brand Obama to new heady heights. Check out the designs here and, though it is pretty damn hard, try get your hands on one of these ever so exclusive t-shirts.
Anyone got a clue what's going on? Pasta Hut? Pizza Hut? The Hut? The restaurant chain is one of the largest in the world, it's obscene that I don't even know what the flipping things called anymore? Sort it out.
I recently watched this short clip of the enigmatic Alex Nash customising a pair of Nike Jordans and have since been truly inspired. Though I have been privy to his wonderful works beforehand, it was not until I had the opportunity to willfully witness how he created his custom sneakers, that I was truly blown away by a combination of the mastery, patience and creative drive of the man. His message is clear, yet quite inspirational. We can all create. This video has inspired me to not only flex my creative muscles, but to try out new forms of creativity. I’ve never wanted to learn how to sew so much in my life; cutting up trainers and clothes has never been more appealing.
Nash’s work unintentionally lends itself to the failings in the schooling system. A system that seems dead in the water in terms of innovative approaches to teaching. Imagine how much more involved an unruly school kid would be, had he known that the creative skills he picked up in sewing class could lead to him creating his own, exclusive sneaker. Or that the transferrable skills learnt in art could lead to designing your own clothes, making them look the way you want them to look. It is never made clear what these creative tools can do for your future.
What kids need is inspiration, yet not of the usual, insipidly uninteresting academic fashion. Something that instills the enthusiasm, energy and drive that leaves kids with something that they can be proud of; something that they can hold in their hands and show off to their peers. It takes for the enrapturing inspiration of innovators, like Alex Nash, to not only make kids aspire to be inspiring but, just as importantly, to begininspiring kids to aspire in the first place.
This is an extension of an article I was involved with for the Guardian on new forms of advertising. The published version missed out a bit and I think it's only fair that I blog the original interview in full:
"The ads for all the new Japanese phones are amazing, with their flashing lights, holograms and a whole range of terrific technology. They make the phones look brilliant, if a bit ‘back to the future’, however, the really clever adverts are the ones incorporated into games, particularly, in my case, Pro Evolution Soccer. If you look at the pitch, there are real-life ads on the hoardings for real-life brands. I play these games on my PlayStation or whatever, and they immediately grab my attention, but in a deft, delicately discrete way. I always remember them because, though I don't go looking for them, I end up bumping into them.I love the ads on games because you are forced to go and explore them - something especially apparent in games like Grand Theft Auto and, to an extent, Pro Evo. They are subtle. Net advertising is often ostentatiously over the outrageous top and gruesomely garish.I don't need everything shoved in my face or ads that get in the way of what I am doing. We're kids. We are busy people.We don't need things slowing us down." Sorry image plundered from here.
Black History Month dawns upon us once again - the annual turgid affair that the schools, or the government, or both, willy nilly drape over October (in, what I have always seen as, an audacious attempt to generate some positive PR). Having spent the past seven years (well, five - my last school celebrated Black History Month by taking a picture of all the black kids congregated together in the playground...) whimsically acknowledged the month long event over my school life, generally through the mediums of ‘special assemblies’ and the consumption of Caribbean cuisine, I have grown somewhat disenfranchised by the whole experience. I have always found Black History Month to be ostentatious, overbearing and ‘shouty’ ('LOOK WE CELEBRATE BLACK CULTURE' – The caps is what makes it all ‘shouty’ you see), if not wholly unfulfilling. Yet it needn’t be this way. The celebration, and the consumption of, culture is something that should be brought to the forefront in an exciting yet educational way. What invariably happens during October is that the academic territory is surpassed and the opportunity to enlighten and to education, superseded by a mass produced lamb Pattie and a look at the life of Martin Luther King Jnr. (for the fifth year in a row!). Black History Month has little significance, little relevance and very little meaning to millions of schoolchildren.
We deserve better. We deserve to be educated properly on an issue that is supposed to bring communities together. We deserve to be correctly taught about how different cultures have impacted upon both the world and society in general. We deserve to actually celebrate black history and culture. Black History Month has this opportunity to encourage learning and to connect the youth in a fun, intuitive way. I don't like seeing it go to waste.
I go by the pseudonym of Whathehelle Fontenelle and consider myself an alternative to the so called 'feral youth' of today (let's get this right from the giddy get go - fuck the randy redtops, feral youths indeed...) as, though there is no such thing as feral youths (people don't seem to realise that a bunch of kids in hoods don't inherently belong to a marauding gang of cut-throat buccaneers, carry a knife/fork/harpoon, or plunder old women for their slightly pungent, if quality leather, handbags), I find it increasingly funny that anybody could put kids in the same category as wild animals. That being the case, I have yet to lend myself to the whims of active failure and have no intention of doing so any time soon - Not falling victim to my surroundings is, and shall always be, my greatest achievement.
This blog, as I began to explain earlier, was originally created because I realised I could, and I wanted to enter the myth that is the 'bloggersphere' to see if 'it worked'. Now that I am here I shall actively update myself, as much as you - the readers, of what is occurring within my caustic cranium. I am a member of the Ruby Pseudo dream team and, though I write for the company blog, 'Swagger & Swoon' shall be my portal to post all thing non-brand related.