All posts tagged: interview

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 …

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 Alex Chinneck | fluoro

You probably wouldn’t believe that a building could melt, be built upside down, or be split into two with its top half somehow levitating. An electricity pylon couldn’t just fall from the sky, and 312 windows could never be identically smashed. The thing is, they can, and have. They’ve been brought to life by London-based artist Alex Chinneck. Chinneck’s work is renowned for its ambitious scale and illusory nature. They are largely cross-disciplinary and cross-technical – architectural processes intertwining with sculptural processes, and engineering with art. The results are nothing short from magnificent. His piece From the Knees of my Nose to the Belly of my Toes, or the ‘sliding house’, as it’s more commonly known, saw the façade of a home in Margate replaced with a brick front. It gave the impression that it was somehow sliding into the front garden. The detached four-storey house had been derelict for 11 years, had fallen into ruin, and Chinneck’s project was a kind of cultural or artistic rejuvenation not only of the building, but the area itself. The …

Hearts and Minds: Friendship and Beautiful Books for Child Detainees

On the Befriend a Child in Detention community project “When the child detainees realised there were letters inside the books, there were tears all round. They said that they were not forgotten and that Australians don’t all hate us,” says Dr June Factor, convenor and founder of the Befriend a Child in Detention project. “In July we sent four boxes of beautiful new children’s books to the children in the detention centre on Nauru, and every book included a letter – a greeting and encouragement of friendship. There were also stamped addressed envelopes, in the hope that some asylum seeker children might write back. Some of the letters and envelopes were from adults and many were from children. We know that a number of people – including 17 children from one school – have received letters from the children detained on Nauru.” Since then, says Dr Factor, more books and letters have gone to Nauru, and to every asylum seeker detention centre on the Australian mainland. Befriend a Child in Detention is a community project which aims …

This Week In Things of Note

Blank on Blank archives interviews by Leonard Lopate, who has been the host of The Leonard Lopate Show for almost 30 years. Their raison d’être is simple: to preserve the art of the interview and showcase the soundbites of history. You will find interview from Grace Kelly to Jane Goodall, and this pick from David Foster Wallace. Here’s David talking about ambition: If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in— It’s actually kind of tragic because it means you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is.   A recent survey has surfaced the decline of the signature. While years ago, a generation of youngsters were purchasing coloured gel pens and practicing their signatures, from the survey, 30% of 18-34 year olds admitted to having a “flexible signature”. That is, they don’t have one single calligraphic identity — one signature may be a squiggle, another an initial, or another just their first name. 64% stated it was because of the great amount of …