All posts filed under: Interviews

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 …

Notes From a Diplomat | In Conversation with Haris Dafaranos, ex Greek Ambassador to Australia

“A diplomat is by de nition a generalist. He or she has to know a lot about many dimensions of life,” says His Excellency Mr Haris Dafaranos, Ambassador of Greece to Australia. “I would say that Law, Economics, History, Diplomatic History, International Relations, Literature and Philosophy are subjects one should master, together with foreign languages. A good critical mind is also necessary, with the ability of synthesis and analysis as well,” he adds. Good judgement, he explains, is also part of this equation, but it comes with time and experience. Add to this being a good listener and multiply it by being an everyday avid reader and you have some of the essential qualities of a quali ed diplomat. Born in Athens, Greece, Ambassador Dafaranos had a certain penchant for languages, studying French, English and Italian in high school. He continued his interest in languages, studying English Literature and Law at university, where he realised that he wanted to follow a professional career which would give him experiences from a global perspective. So in 1980 …

Interview with Jay Shogo | fluoro

On a building wall in Tokyo’s Shibuya district is a mural, spanning more than three floors. It was created for the weeklong art event POW! WOW! Japan, and was painted by eight different street artists including Japan based street artist, designer and illustrator Jay Shogo. Jay Shogo is making his mark in the street art world, for his bold pieces and he is renowned for his exclusive use of the Sharpie marker. The marker’s practical focus: “it’s sold everywhere, readily available, and all you need to do is take the cap off” is one of the reasons why this is a material of choice for Shogo. “I used a marker “Mckee” in Japan, but now use Sharpie”, said Shogo, but now also uses a range of other materials. There is a certain entrepreneurial spirit that Shogo embodies, perhaps like most creators, which has seen Shogo charter additional artistic territories, including apparel, of which he is certainly not a stranger to the world of fashion. Shogo once worked in a select shop in Tokyo as a shop …

Jamie xx

Interview with Jamie xx | fluoro

Here’s a recent interview that I wrote for fluoro. Please note that the interview was not done by me. We spoke to Jamie xx about his new album In Colour, journey as a producer and his work as a solo artist. Jaime Smith, better known as Jamie xx never thought he’d get to live his dream. “I definitely never expected to be on this pathway although I grew up making music, and even just like making stuff up on the piano when I was very small, but I never thought that I would actually be able to do this as a career,” he said calling through for a quick chat from LAX airport as he waited to board his flight back home to London. “I never thought that I would be able to, like, get up on stage on my own…it just was not a desire of mine to capture attention, but it’s taken some time to get used to it. Now I really enjoy it,” he said. Jamie xx rose to prominence with The xx, alongside Romy Madley …

Professor Profiles: Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann

From the age of four and throughout his youth, Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann was considered a mathematical prodigy, but always felt that it did not have the soul, social interaction and emotional intelligence that languages have. “I might be wrong but I was certain,” said Professor Zuckermann from his Adelaide University office. He has always been interested in languages, both Language (with a capital L) and languages, and has always been ludic and playful with words. He used to write palindromic stories and bilingual homophonous poems, which are now widely found on the Internet. “Children’s writer Russell Hoban described language as an ‘archaeological vehicle’, full of the remnants of dead and living pasts, lost and buried civilisations and technologies. The language we speak is a whole palimpsest of human effort and history,” quoted Professor Zuckermann by heart. He shifted in his chair, gesticulating gently, and explained that palimpsest is a beautiful metaphor for language.Coming from Greek,it means ‘scraped again’, ‘re-scratched,’ referring to a text written on top of another text. “A language is multi-layered, it encodes …

We Three Club

Almost every time I’m on the net, I find myself lost in a deep intricate web of clicks. One link to another, one page to another and one post to another. But it always proves fruitful. Enter We Three Club. Based in the UK, We Three Club presents a range of psychedelic band posters, apparel and stationary, and other similarly wild ephemera by illustrators Alex and Chris. The duo have designed works for a wide array of clients from Passion Pit, Blood Red Shoes, Queens of the Stoneage to Chelsea Football Club and Duxford Imperial War Museum. Their work has even led to numerous exhibitions in the UK, US and Europe. With such an impressive résumé, and a collection of purely cool creative works, We Three Club were the perfect team to talk through their creative process. Here’s a Q&A with Alex. Tell us a bit about how you got to where you are. Chris and I both led parallel lives promoting gigs in the places we lived – me in Cambridge and Chris in …