Peace Is In Staying The Course

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Wow, weird how life turns out. One moment you’re trying to figure out what the hell happened, the next your forget whatever injustice occurred in the past whilst frantically trying to understand how you got here so quickly.

Not to toot my own horn or anything but I was a huge part of the Dalston scene a few years ago, I used to organise parties for friends, sometimes i’d even pluck up the courage to DJ at some of these parties and generally spend most weeks walking up and down “the strip” in search of fun! But all good things must come to an end and after 5 years of non-stop everything got really quiet. No more random emails for promoters or bar owners requesting my services. Mostly due to my reluctance to adapt to the changing environment and partly due to other factors outside of my control, I was out, banished from “scene”. I’d be lying if i said my ego didn’t take a dent, but I had to accept that my time was up, the new kids coming into scene needed to write their own history and I never wanted to be the old guy in the club trying to be down with the kidz, that’s gross!

During that time I realised that I actually enjoyed DJing, I wasn’t just in it for the clout, I loved everything about the culture that surrounded it, from the design of club themselves to the politics of programming parties, it’s all really fascinating and I would very much like to participate regardless of where it was or how many cool points it would earn me. This lead me down an interesting path where I’m now DJing every Friday in a local pub and once a month in a cool little bar not to far from where I live either. I get to play music I love for a small but enjoyable audience and they pay me for it, wild! And because of the good reputation I’ve built up for myself DJing away from the hipster crowds, it’s all come back full circle and I’ve been approached to DJ a couple times next month at The Three Compasses in Dalston, ha! Full circle…

I’m not sure what lessons can be gleamed from this but I think it might have something to do with patience and genuinely not caring what people think. If you have both and you truly love what you do you’ll get there, trust me!

Or you can listen to Gary Vee explain it better than I can.

The Mexican Godfather

I’m sure you’re aware but incase you’re not, Narcos season 4 is out now on Netflix and it’s just as good as season 1 if not better. It focuses on Mexico and the rise of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo aka The Godfather. It’s an amazing series, I don’t know how they do but somehow the writers of this make you root for the bad guy instead of the brave detective hell bent on stopping on “El Padrion”Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena.

I Want to Die An Optimist

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“These were DJ gigs that a lot of people would probably say, ‘Oh, that’s a shit DJ gig,'” she said. “But for me, it was really my school. In some of the pubs I would have to set up the PA myself. So I learned all these different things. I fine-tuned my mixing to a point where I was mixing all these different styles, and being able to do that was such a school to me. I value it so much.” – Violet

I value Violet so much too. This interview she did with Resident Advisor is incredibly honest and full of optimism, it’s super refreshing to hear someone of her stature talk so positively about the most mundane things and how it impacted her career. You can read the interview in full here.

And if you want to hear a DJ currently going through “school” playing in a local pub and loving every single minute of it, come hear me play at Tapped! this Friday more here.

Creating Opportunities for Women

A lot has been said about female representation within the underground electronic scene. I’m not sure what my opinion is on the whole matter but I don’t tip my hat to the industrious women out there trying to rectify the situation in any way they can. From zines aimed at inspiring a new generation of DJs and promoters (Pink Noise Zine) to women led programming online radio stations, it appears as if things are changing for the better. A great illustration of this is the above short film by Jasmine Higgins looking into the burgeoning scene across Australia. It’s a great watch and reminds me why I feel in love with the electronic music!

Kids See Ghost

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Say what you like about Kanye West politics, after his performance with Kid Cudi under the ‘Kids See Ghosts’ moniker it’s fair to say he’s the greatest artist of his generation. When you account for the timeless music, cultural impact and his exploits in fashion, Kanye’s talent is obvious. I’m a huge Kanye fan and I’ve accepted I’m never going to agree with everything he’s going to say and more important outside of the “arts” I don’t care what he has to say. I don’t go to him for my political hot-takes. As long as he’s able to provide awe inspiring moments of beauty such below at Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival I’m good!

Public Personal Life

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Not a lot of people that I was actually born in Paris. My Dad had a job that required a lot of traveling, during that time my mum was pregnant with me and unable to fly directly to London from Angola, we stopped off in Paris and boom my massive popped out! We eventually moved to London when I was around five or six years old. I spoke fluent French too but in an effort learn English to stave off the bullies at school I completely forgot it, bummer! I went back to Paris for the first time a couple years ago, primarily to attend Virgil Abloh first men’s runway show for Off-White. I was only in town for a couple of days but I really enjoyed my time there. There’s something about the serene nature of Parisian streets that instantly make you feel at ease, one after particular afternoon without realising I ended up walking around Paris trying to get lost for more 2 hours. It’s undoubtedly one of the best walking cities in the world! And according to this story on GQ Style there’s a brand new scene bubbling up, you can check out the rest of the feature here.

Sneakerheads Make Up Your Minds!

asphaltgold-sneakerstore-adidas-yeezy-boost-350-raffle_811When Kanye West announced his intentions to make YEEZYs more readily available initially everyone was happy. You only have to scour the streets of a metropolitan city during the weekend to see that YEEZY is one of the most popular sneaker brands in the world, which probably helped its billion dollars valuation. Sneaker head culture is bigger than ever, back when I first started collecting shoes it was a fringe obsession you could never quite justify to your friends let alone your mum. Nowadays sneaker heads have turned themselves into self professed celebrities within their own little niche and it’s thriving. It’s a billion dollar industry but for some reason brands can get away with manufactured scarcity under the premise of “more hype, less shoes” but finally it feels like we’re reaching breaking point, hallelujah! You only have to observe StockX growing influence on the scene to realise there’s a huge market for fairly priced hyped sneakers.

The older you get and the more disposable income you have, the less likely you’ll be willing to spend whatever little free time you do have queueing outside of a store. The only other option you have is to enter a raffle for the opportunity to purchase. Some raffles are pretty straightforward, you click a button or two and bang in you’re in, others require you to like, comment, retweet and donate blood to increase your chances of success, fuck that! It’s not worth the headache and more likely than not you’ll receive a big fat L in your inbox on release day. Personally I think the ‘limited edition’ release model has devalued itself, it’s mostly the fault of brands who oversaturate the market with model after model of the same shoe in different colour ways, think Jordan 1 retros, do we really need to see another one? I would much rather see 80% of the so called limited edition shoes be made more readily available with less frequency, the remaining 20% should be reserved for the truly “special” sneaker projects think; Tom Sachs, Matthew Williams, *A COLD WALL, Fear of God, Off-White, Fragment more. This way brands will be able to provide the general and hardcore consumer with specific product without the fuss and ultimately without devaluing the final product. But what do I know…

Response to recent article ‘YEEZYs Are Finally For Everyone and No One Care’.