Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sye Elaine Spence

Photographed By Alex D Rogers

WHERE DO YOU LIVE AND WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I live in NYC. I grew up here and just moved back from living in Atlanta for about four years.

WHY MUSIC?
I've always been drawn to writing poetry when I was young. It felt like a really natural way to express myself. I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, and it was then that I began experimenting with melodies and songwriting. I loved how melodies could bring words to life and it was really like a second language for me, that I was always intent on mastering and exploring.

WHO WERE YOUR FIRST MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS AND WHAT YOU LISTEN TO NOW?
So many as far as artists and styles. I think mainly, I was heavily influenced by the female lyricist. Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Kate Bush, among others. Right now, I am very much into Alt-J. I've had them on repeat for about a month.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU CREATIVELY?
Everything. People would be surprised how simply I live and create. I really just collect all of my experiences, as a human, a woman, a mother, a friend, and express them through song. I don't seek, I find. Nature, a smile, a tear, I try to see and understand the source of all those things and connect with that. That is what I think it’s all about. Trying to understand and interpret, this strange and beautiful thing, humanity.

HOW YOU DECIDE ON YOUR ARTISTIC DIRECTION? 
It is the same approach as finding inspiration. I really get visions, or revelations of a story that I have inside of me that I haven't told yet. Its a slow uncovering of some truth that I need to share, and most times, the feelings, the visuals, the words, the melodies, all come to my mind, and I just capture it through the writing, recording processes. I have been also really lucky to have a community of creatives that I collaborate with that kind of vibrate on a similar frequency, and pieces we've done so far, just seem to unfold really organically.

HOW DOES YOUR ARTISTRY MANIFEST ITSELF IN OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?
I think my art is my life. Everything I do is an expression of who I am inside. So my style reflects that, my home does as well, my relationships. Everything.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU GET UP TO? 
I live the quiet life. When I am not recording, or touring, I'm more than likely, at home, reading, cooking, or curling up with my little one.

HAVE YOU WATCHED ANY GOOD MOVIES RECENTLY?
 Yes, I recently saw “Room” after some friends recommended it. I read the book last year.

IN 2016 YOU’RE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Finishing up a new record.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Music

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Laëtitia Kandolo

Photo Courtesy Of Laëtitia Kandolo

WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN FRANCE?
In Paris.

CAN YOU GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF EVERYTHING YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOURSELF BEFORE UCHAWI HAPPENED?
I was a young woman full of creativity, maybe no ready to use it all, thinking that it might be too much for people. And one day she realized how many time she had lost, and how much she wanted to conquer the world through her designs and vision.

WHAT IS UCHAWIWORLD?
Uchawi (meaning “magic” in Swahili) is the place where my label and I fuse. It’s everything, from the way I dress, to my state of mind, art and tranquility. I am really peaceful, sorta like a hippie. Uchawi is more of a lifestyle than a brand. I think I’ve always lived in this world. I just never named it because it was part of my daily routine. And I realized that people would say things like “I need your magic” around me. When you see the look book, it’s not only about clothes.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
I studied at two Parisian fashion schools, Mod’Art and Esmod. During my first year, at 19, I met Sarah Diouf. I was an intern at People’s Revolution’s press office. She owned a publication, and when my internship ended she offered me a position at “Ghubar Magazine”. The same year I was the assistant of the assistant costume designer of Black Eyed Peas’, The End Tour. Since then I’ve been worked for several other artists like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Sting, Beyoncé, Madonna and B. Åkerlund, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West and many of Condé Nast’s publishing outlets.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU LOOK UP TO?
Most of them are dead. I’m not inspired by one or two people, it depends on my mood. It can be Albert Elbaz today and Sinatra tomorrow. But honestly, I don’t want do something that’s already been done. I would say no one.

FROM WHENCE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION?
Everything. Photography. Music dominates. Contemporary art, geometry and travel. I usually work from a mood board that defines my thoughts. It’s not organized. It’s just me and my brain selecting a set of pictures. If I like an image, I do a screenshot, cut the paper or whatever and save it. I don’t know why and I am not asking myself why. With time I start reading where I’m going. The colors, the chi are linked.

HOW DO YOU SELECT WHAT MATERIAL TO WORK WITH?
Every material or fabric is the image of something I want to reinterpret, a feeling, a tribute to an artist by using a similar print that could look like a painting. I apply the same system with colours.

WHAT MOMENT ARE YOU HAVING?
My first love story: Pastel Colors. Ricardo Legorreta. And the Dogon Tribe in Mali. Three different things. Random.

HOW DO YOU OCCUPY YOUR TIME OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I spend time with my family and my few friends. Or chilling on Spotify and Soundcloud. Or just sleeping. I’m usually surrounded by a lot of people all the time because of my work, so I do love being alone to refresh myself and enjoy the silence.

DO YOU SPEAK LINGALA? HOW DO YOU SAY “LOVE” IN YOUR LANGUAGE?
Bolingo.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kanye West

Photo Courtesy Of Laëtitia Kandolo

"Last winter Kanye decided to do few charity shows in Europe, including London and Paris during Fashion Week. He wanted to evoke a military vibe with vintage items. We did a lot of research to arrive at a perfect shade of nude because khaki green would have been too predictable. Kanye’s latest collection with Adidas portrays the same spirit. By the way, in the picture he’s wearing the Yeezy 950 Boost. They were still a prototype at the time," Laëtitia Kandolo said.

Pull Up To The Bomber Baby

Photo Courtesy Of Laëtitia Kandolo 

"This jacket (see post below) is from our Masusa Line. I remember working on it being on, 'On the Run Tour', and everybody was like ‘What are you doing with your fabric?’ It’s actually my favorite piece because it was the first prototype of Uchawi Collection N.0. It required several hours of work - a mix between a traditional technic and some modern cuts which is Uchawi’s essence. Every item is made by hand. Usually it takes several days to arrive at the final product," said Laëtitia Kandolo.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

RDC Redux

Photo Courtesy Of Laëtitia Kandolo