I first came across the incredible stillness and power of Yaa Gyasi's writing early last year when reading a short story penned by the Ghanaian-born author in Guernica Magazine. Inscape, narrated from a daughter's perspective, told the tale of a woman and her Ghanaian mother, weaving between themes of religion, culture and mental illness with… Continue reading What An Evening With Yaa Gyasi Taught Me About Inspiration
I'll admit it, I've been a busy bee the last few weeks - rewrites of a manuscript I'm working on that needed sending to my agent asap, photography and videography work at a live hip hop event the weekend before last, video editing work every evening since, not to mention the day job etc. -… Continue reading Meeting RnB/Hip Hop Group, Blvck Diamond
So you may recall that I'd mentioned interviewing Samm Henshaw a while back for The Nubian Times, which, on a personal level, was a very fun experience. I mean, the guy's arguably the most talented soul artist to emerge from these shores in the last two decades. Not only that, he was a seriously fascinating… Continue reading A Belated Interview With UK Soul Artist, Samm Henshaw
"Here in Manchester... If we'd support each other, like London does, then we'd be up there. But [instead] it's like every man for himself." Pretty startling comment isn't it. It belongs to JE, a member of Manchester-based rap group, TTS. I had the pleasure of filming an interview with them (see below) last night ahead… Continue reading Does Manchester Have a Unity Problem?
The funny thing is I'm used to asking the questions, not answering them. I mean, I've conducted a fair few interviews at this point, delving into the motivations and inspirations of artists, creatives, community leaders etc. - people who are passionate about what they do. But I've never been on the other side of the… Continue reading On Writing: An Interview with… Myself?
I'm told public speaking is consistently ranked as many people's greatest fear... yeah, that's right - above heights, spiders, snakes, clowns (I still don't get why anyone likes clowns) etc. In fact, in many surveys public speaking is even ranked above the fear of death. Which, in my opinion, is all the more reason for… Continue reading The Future is Bright, The Future is… Social Media?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give the reader a story worth reading in 500 words or less… So said the email I received requesting I submit a piece of flash fiction for inclusion in an anthology to be published by Crocus Books. And so, never one to shirk a challenge,… Continue reading Elevator Fiction
If American hip-hop – along with dancehall and garage music – are the parents, grime has since emerged from their shadow as the rebellious adolescent ready to forge its own path, becoming the voice of choice for British millenials tired of hearing tales of streetlife narrated from across the Atlantic. It's for this reason I've… Continue reading Grime, Hip Hop and the City
Originally a rapper, and then a poet, for the last year Tom Bishop has been occupying that loose sliding space that lingers between the two, the stripped down art known as spoken word. After connecting with him during one of his live performances last month at Sandbar's grime and hip hop night, Mic Check, I… Continue reading There’s Nothing New About The News
I think covering the Black Lives Matter rally in Manchester earlier this week is an experience I won't be forgetting anytime soon. Seeing people of every colour and from a range of communities gathered under one cause was both sobering and inspiring, as was listening to a range of speakers including community leaders, activists and… Continue reading Thoughts and Images from the Manchester #BlackLivesMatter Rally