We’re all about discovering and telling the stories of those who have taken a passion and made it a life investment. We’re passionate about London, and welcome the challenge to tell the stories of those making waves within our city. New Amsterdam Vodka proudly laments its versatile ability to transform any social scene and encourages those within it to embrace the new spirit of their town. To coincide with this, we’ve met with a couple of influential young people within London who’ve witnessed or played a part in the transformation of its current social scene and sat down for a conversation with them to find out how they embrace their city, and to tell us a little more about their passions and lifestyles. First up was Raymond and his brand Happy Chap Clothing, this time around is DJ and founder of London nightlife brand ‘NANG’, Ralph Hardy.
We can all agree clothing has always been something that has an impact on two key things – how you look, and how you feel. But how often do we think about that second element? The fashion and trend scene in London is fast-paced and can be a chore to keep up with, especially as trends come with that limitation of ‘not everyone can pull it off’. What if a brand can remove that limitation and include anyone who just seeks a particular feeling from what they’re wearing? A level of comfort and happiness. A good friend of Y&Y is creating just that. As part of New Amsterdam Vodka’s #ItsYourTown campaign, we sat down with London local Raymond Mfon to hear about Happy Chap Clothing, his love for the city and how it’s impacted his brand and his lifestyle.
After having Bespoke on repeat for a while, and impressed with his performance in support of George The Poet, we had to sit down and meet this London local. When we first approached Barney at Barbican Station, he was helping a lost out-of-towner find her way to St. Paul’s, a few minutes later he was helping a mother down the tube steps with a pram. It was almost as if things were being set up to make him seem like the nicest, most approachable, London rapper on the scene. As conversation immediately flowed we realised that there was no set up, he may genuinely be just that. But how did he end up supporting George? And what made him combine the sounds of grime and jazz? Find out as we sit down for a chat.
A couple of weeks a go I had the pleasure of meeting Florence Otedola AKA DJ Cuppy. I met with her and her manager Liz for breakfast at the Serpentine Sackler on what was supposed to be a sunny Saturday morning… but then the sun disappeared and we were subjected to the London’s usual grey skies. Florence or Cuppy as she calls herself is only 21, she’s studying music business at the NYU and she’s been DJ’ing and producing for the last 2 years. Today we chat about her journey so far, Dj’ing as a craft and the challenges faced being a female DJ on the rise.
Not far from the busy weekend streets of Brick Lane, with its determined shoppers and queues for cereal, we found a wonderland. The location, which will remain secret at the request of Brit, was filled with wonders from years gone by. Magnificent tattered chairs, large wooden tables and a variety of antiques sat below a mist of incense. A musical duo performed in the background and an interesting chap repeatedly entered and exited to light his cigarette on the candles. The scene was set to delve into the mind of a curious illustrator with a knack for poetic one liners.
To me, storytelling is the highest form of artistry. Every form of creative expression should, in some way, tell us a story. As a writer, being able to see the story in a piece of work is so fundamental to me that if I don’t, it doesn’t resonate with me. True poetry is the ultimate storytelling performance art; every stanza, verse, chorus (yes, songs are poetry) encapsulates us with a tale that goes far beyond the words and settles somewhere deep within us.
When it comes to influencer activations and events, I rarely bother attending any more. It’s always the same forgettable experience with bunch of new product and folks talking monotonous PR scripts. Once in a while when I know it’s going to be good, I’ll crawl out of my batcave to attend and Nike+ FuelBand SE launch was definitely one of those. Taking the attendees out of their comfort zones was a key part of the day which I tried to embrace to the fullest, starting with cycling to skipping and much more. A half-day full of activities to help us interpret the day to day lifestyle usage of the FuelBand and it’s plethora of new features. It’s not just about the early morning gym session – it’s about maintaining activity throughout your day. Shocking fact: only 2% of us move for more than 5 minutes every hour. I’ve also got an interview with the man pictured above, Stefan Olander so head on over to the flip side.