The most memorable thing I’ve done so far was probably my first GQ shoot, and I was involved in a piece with Juergen Teller.

“I’m in full time modelling. I live over in Sweden now, and I’m back down for Fashion Week.

It wasn’t something I ever thought of doing – but once when I was out with my mum and someone came over and asked me if I’d ever considered modelling. I was 6ft 2 at the age of 15, so there was a lot of potential opportunities for me. So I kind of just fell into it. I’m 17 now, and the last two years have been incredible – my life changed like you can’t imagine. I had to leave school, because there was no way I could do both, with travelling to different countries on shoots, I was busy every day of the week. The most memorable thing I’ve done so far was probably my first GQ shoot, and I was involved in a piece with Juergen Teller. There were 4 of us, and we were flown over to Greenland where we had to pose without any clothes on, outside in the snow. Yeh, that was crazy, and of course, because it’s Jurgen Teller, you do it and know it’s also going to be an important art work that will be published.

I’ll probably do this until 24/25 I think, but I’m enjoying it, and will figure out later what I’ll do next. I’m quite chill with it. It’s what I advise other people too – stay chill and go for what you want, things will work themselves out along the way.”

The music always helps me to express my emotions, pain and anger about this world imperfections

“I became an animal welfare activist about a year ago. I have my own cat, who I adore, but I love all animals in general. I became a vegetarian too as I can’t say that I care for animals but then go around eating them. Nothing against the taste or health, but I couldn’t support it with my love for all creatures. So I help charities to market their causes; and even though I cannot go along to these places a lot, I give my financial and online support where I can.

Outside of my job I’m also in two music bands – the music always helps me to express my emotions, pain and anger about the world’s imperfections and the more people know me and my views the more they could possibly understand and start thinking in more compassionate direction.”

Check out Atashi Tada’s Instagram pages for more on her music:
 @dicepeople and @elysiandivide

My Dream… Find the next Nigerian Spike Lee and make films with him all over Africa

“I am camera technician. I work in the film industry. I am from Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean. I spent the last few years working between the Caribbean, Paris and London but I needed to settle somewhere. That’s how I ended up in London.

At home, in Guadeloupe, we have a small film industry who is growing very fast but we don’t have the opportunities yet to do a proper career in the camera department. I came to London to grow and become a Director of Photography. I am here to get experience, learn as much as possible. Living oversea is a great life experience.

My Dream is to reach my goal, travel the world to make films, settle in a hot country and have a family….Find the next Nigerian Spike Lee and make films with him all over Africa, or something like that 🙂

My turning point was my high school diploma. I passed my exam, turned 18 and moved to Paris the following week. I remember my mom asking me confirmation on my plans for Uni. At that point, I think that she understood that I was determined, so my uncle took me ticket to Paris. I became independent. When you are 18, it’s feels like having two wings growing on your back.

My parents would prefer me to stay in the Caribbeans and become an accountant or a doctor, but they trusted me enough to let me go and follow my dreams. I think it’s important that parents trust their children vision. It build their confidence and ambition. The society need confident and ambitious people and the world will always need storytellers.”

The key thing I’ve experienced and learned is that there’s ups and downs, a lot of them.

“London has the music vibe. It’s the big music scene, for any type you’re into. So I always  knew that’s what I wanted to do, and that I needed to come here if I wanted to seriously get somewhere with it. The key thing I’ve experienced and learned is that there’s ups and downs, a lot of them. And when I hit the downs it really makes me think about if I want to be here much longer. But somehow I find my way to the Up, and then I stay and keep working on it. Im a guitarist and a singer too – so would I like to make it big? Yeh man.”

“This melancholy London — I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually.”
W.B. Yeats

 

POST OF THE WEEK: At the time I was engaged to a girl for four years… she saw things differently after her depression

“Once I finished law school, I worked as a junior lawyer back in Romania. I had shorter hair then.
But after that I got a project, in art – I wrote scenarios for theatre places and also played as an actor in a remake of Oscar Wilde’s book. We did an adaptation on his play, a Portrait of Dorian Grey – read the book if you haven’t done so. We adapted it to our day, with a modern version of the character. It’s a very psychological story, about religion, and power… and what happens to him once he takes his Uncle’s fortunes.
I chose to quit my both jobs – as a junior lawyer and as a manager in a big company involved in real estate construction. At that time I was engaged to a girl for four years, who was a judge. She fell in depression for a long time… and she saw things differently after her depression. You know, she studied a lot and didn’t go out anymore. After a long period of this, she didn’t have any more energy, any more power to fight against any of the difficulties. And you have to provide a happiness to your soul so you can keep good balance. She is now in a hospital for people with mental issues. So she came one day and said “I don’t love you anymore, I don’t want to be together”. And really I was doing both the jobs for her because I wanted to be able to provide her the comfort. As a man I do not need that many things, she needed more the make up, the clothes… I was just wanting to share the feelings with someone and have what I need, nothing luxurious.
After this I decided I can’t stay anymore in my country, everywhere I went we had a memory ‘we went there for the first time to eat’ or ‘we met at that corner’ and so on. So I knew I had to change places and start a new life. Then I got this project from a friend of mine, I met her in Milano when I was playing soccer for Inter Milan. She was a Director from the United States. So I showed her Milan and Italy, and we made friends. She knew I was writing poetry and other things, and she proposed me ‘you have talent, you should focus on this… look I have a good opportunity for you – we are going with a private theatre in the US. It is mostly with a charity but they are paying well, and you can help to write the scenarios with us’.
I accepted and started to work with them… and then they thought it was a good idea for me to also try as an actor. They gave me some training, and I started to let my hair grow, because it was for the role. Now the project has finished but I have decided to keep the hair.”

“It is difficult to speak adequately or justly of London. It is not a pleasant place; it is not agreeable, or cheerful, or easy, or exempt from reproach. It is only magnificent.”  ― Henry James

Music is my life, my theme of life

“I came here first with the idea to stay for one year; that was 7 years ago. Back home in South of France, there’s beaches, weather is good, food is good and… that is it, nothing else to do.

Music is my life, my theme of life – I’m a DJ, producer, I do events, parties, record music, radio shows, it is all I do and it’s what I have. And over all these years I have seen that with music, it really does change lives, it can open people up and reveal their inner thoughts and desires to them”.

I hope that we will travel to refugee camps to do the performance

“It’s funny you ask how we know each other, because we all just met today. They are from Holland, and I came over from France. But we’ve all come here to work for Jason Mabana.

It’s with the Condoco Dance Company. We’ve been chosen to work on a dance project, which we had to audition for back home. So it really was a big moment when I found out I had been chosen.

The project will be about Aleppo. Not in a sad, tragic way – but more to tell the story of it, in a creative style. And there are plans, I hope, that we will travel to refugee camps to do the performance, which will be so nice; but we are not sure yet when this will happen. For now, it is already confirmed that we will be at the Sadler’s Wells theatre, which should be great. We have one month here to work on this, and then again in end of April before performing.

The dance centre is not far from here, but I made a big mistake – we were told that it was in Edgware, and I when I looked at the map I thought it was Edgware Road! So I am staying quite far from here right now!

Wennah, Naima & Raoul

“The world is changing….

… you only need to look at the skyline and see how quickly its changed, because day by day, you see less of the sky and more of new buildings.

I was born in Hull but I’ve been living in London for a long time now and I can honestly say that I have been all the way up in the skies and down in the ground too. I’ve seen it all change but always tried to make sure I’ve stayed the same  – they way I behave, the way I treat people and think about the things I do. I really enjoy what I do now; it doesn’t give me a lot of money, but I get to see and talk to all types of people all day long; and sometimes I will end up in a long conversation with very friendly people. Some who you wouldn’t expect to be so nice. This is what London offers, and if you are willing to speak to people, then there is so much you can learn”.