Author: Stamatina Hasiotis

Across the USA

New York City “Wanted: Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28-yr-old male. See media for pic. Call 9-1-1 if seen.” At 8:57am, the first morning in New York, my phone buzzed with a gentle siren-like sound, but it wasn’t my alarm, so curious I turned to my side and rubbed my eyes to focus on the short text that was on the screen. This wasn’t exactly the welcome I was expecting, nevertheless, I groaned and forced myself to get up. Me and two friends that I’ve known since school were in the United States for a holiday. I’ve always had a keen eye on New York mainly because of Seinfeld, so I had some pretty big expectations, from the accents to the attitudes. It delivered straight alway as our taxi driver frantically wove through dense New York City traffic, beeping and yelling out the window the entire 40 minute ride to Harlem from JFK. It was everything that I had hoped for: rushed and angry, lively and cultural, and, well, funny. It was dark and wet, and very muggy, my hair was so matted, …

Slum Village on Legacy and the Future | fluoro

Detroit 1997. Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 the debut record by Slum Village was released. Recorded in the late J Dilla’s basement in 1996/1997, the album immediately rose to critical acclaim, making its journey to the hands of A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and on to the ears of the 90s hip hop elite. A few years later Slum Village landed their first record deal and released their first official album Fantastic, Vol. 2 in 2000. Slum Village is almost ever evolving. The group has seen six members come and go due to illness and mismatched perspectives, but still their sound and need to continue the Slum Village and Dilla legacy drives their future and continues the creation of original hip hop. Today they are touring Europe to promote last year’s release Yes! their eighth studio album posthumously produced by Dilla, Young RJ and Black Milk, after Miss Yancey, Dilla’s mother found cutoffs and forgotten recordings from Dilla’s studio. One half of Slum Village’s current lineup, Young RJ, who was Dilla’s protégé, said that Miss Yancey, found Dilla’s storage van in 2014, eight years after her son’s …

Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate | fluoro

At home on a London summer’s day, Michael Kiwanuka spoke to us ahead of the release of his highly-anticipated second album, Love & Hate. We wanted Kiwanuka to tell us who he was, setting the tone for what was to come as we dove further into the expressive universe of Kiwanuka. “I’m Michael Kiwanuka, from London,” he says. “I’m a singer, songwriter and musician and I guess I create music, and it’s soul music, just music for the heart.” But when Kiwanuka was exploring his musical identity, he didn’t think anyone was calling him anything. “They didn’t know who I was. When I was around doing stuff, I was playing open mics, little acoustic nights, so I guess people didn’t know about me. In the early days I was an acoustic singer/songwriter. I think now it’s the same, but with this new album it’s changed to soul singer…a troubadour singer/songwriter.” Of Ugandan descent, Kiwanuka was born and raised on North London’s Muswell Hill. While the former has possibly subconsciously impacted his work, the latter is the main source of his inspiration and …

A Million Smiles: From war torn wreckage to bustling metropolises, Mike Worsman searches for a smile

The Mills Longitudinal Study at UC Berkeley was a 50 year investigation of the wellbeing and social development of a group of women since graduating from the college. The initial study examined the smiles from photos of 20-something year old women in their college yearbook in order to measure any favourable outcomes in their lives many years later. Only the Duchenne Smile was considered as it sees the corners of the mouth and cheeks raised, and crow’s feet formed at our brow. Essentially the Duchenne Smile is our physiological expression of true happiness. What the study posited was that emotional tendencies are believed to shape personality and the life course of their influence on cognitive, behavioral and social processes. 30 years later, the study found that positive emotional expression in their college yearbook photos related to stable aspects of personality change in certain traits over time, observers’ judgement of the women’s personalities and their responses to those women, and life outcomes measured up to 30 years later. In fact, over time, those who expressed more …

The Non-Existent Problem of Ageing

When Associate Professor Hans Meij would go to Africa, he would shave his head. Years later when he visited Africa again for a short visit, he le his hair untouched. A local woman who had seen him before expressed her curiosity. “Dr Hans,” she asked, “do you have grey hair?” He replied yes. “You are so stupid! Why do you shave off your hair?” Dr Meij explained that cropping the hair on his head ensured that the scorching African sun wouldn’t a ect him as adversely as it could. “Now you lose respect since grey hair signifies ageing, and to be aged is respect,” she said. Like any researcher, he stopped to ponder the concept and realised that the moral of the story was two-fold: age is esteem and deserves respect, but in some cultures age is a sign of the outdated. “That’s when I learned to look at ageing in a completely different way – ageing is merit, as something earned, and something to be proud of,” he said. Dr Hans Meij is the …