Benjamin Zephaniah interview by Joshua Cooper
Kix Mag: Veganism, what are the benefits?
Benjamin Zephaniah: You really want to start with all of the benefits for yourself. You have low cholesterol and you don't have all the animal fats so obviously when it comes to controlling your weight you won't have all those fatty deposits clogging up your arteries and your heart. Your head feels a lot clearer and your skin feels a lot better. You've got to be a healthy vegan because you can be an unhealthy vegan as well. Then there's the benefits to the animals, it's much simpler. They're not killed. Then there's the way you help the environment. Why put a cow in a field? A cow has all that space to move around in, then you grow all these crops in another field to feed the cow. Then you kill and eat the cow when you could have used the field that the cow was once moving around in to grow food.
I mean it's uneconomical. The only reason we do that is because of big business. To be a vegan is a win win. There are no losers in veganism. For the animals, for the environment, and for you.
Kix Mag: Poetry. What is it?
B Z: Poetry simply is putting words together. Giving words meaning and put them together in a way that is original. And that's it. Some people think that some really strange obscure stuff is poetry and other people want their poetry to make sense. It's all poetry. The point is, it's not prose. If you're walking, your just walking from one place to another. That's prose. Poetry is to prose what dancing is to walking.
Kix Mag: Government. What's wrong and right with the system?
B Z: Hundreds of things are wrong with the system. Personally I don't trust politicians. I think that if you give them the power to control us you will always feel the need to be controlled. I think that people should understand that they should be responsible for running their own communities and organising themselves in ways that benefit each other. It's a strange concept. It's only strange though because for so long we've gotten into this system where we kind of trust politicians. We give them our vote and we say we hate the government?
We think that's the only way to go. It's not the only way to go. It's just the way we've gotten used to over the years. The problem with government is that it's run by politicians and politicians have big egos.
The kind of people that should run government are exactly the kind of people that won't run government because they haven't got big egos. Because they don't seek power. So we're in a very strange position where the caring, the really compassionate people, are not the people that can seek power and the people that do seem to seek power are not really caring or compassionate.
That's the main thing that's wrong with government and with the political systems that we have all over the world. They are dominated by men in suits, or women that are trying to be better than the men in suits. They mark their progress by how powerful they are and how much money they have in the bank. Not how many people they've healed. Not how many people they've fed. Not how enlightened people are.
Kix Mag: Do you think that their education, with a lot of them coming from private schooling has an impact?
B Z: Well yes. By definition they're out of touch and they think of themselves as elite. They stay out of touch as they move forward through the education process and then they get in power. Then they're constantly trying to tell us that they are 'one of the people.' They have to work harder doing that. They have their prisons camps and go to Notting Hill carnival to show that they're down with the youths. They really have to work hard at it because they're so remote in every sense of the word.
Kix Mag: Barack Obama. Who is He?
B Z: He's a politician. The president of America. I think too many people had too many big hopes for him. Black people thought he was going to be great, women thought that he was going to be great, gay people, straight people and Hispanic people thought he was going to be great. Everybody thought that Barack Obama was going to be great. He can't. He's just one person and
he's got faults.
The greatest speech I've ever heard Barack Obama make was when he said that he was going to close down Guantanamo Bay. Now he's had two terms in government and he still hasn't closed it down. That's a promise he made to the world and it's still not closed down. I mean that's the saddest legacy of his. But he's a politician. We've got to understand that. It's not the politician that has the power. It's all the people behind him that are manipulating him that have the power.
Barack Obama when he ran during the elections, he used social media in a different way to everybody else. He got funding from ethical people and companies. I remember thinking though about how long it would last. Because when he's in power he'll be dealing with arms companies.
Kix Mag: Poverty vs. wealth. How is it divided?
B Z: Well that is the division in a way. People who are wealthy hang on to their wealth and people who are poor seem to be getting poorer. Now, there are opportunities for some people to cross the line but not everybody can do that. There are some people that are going to stay poor because of the side
of town they're born on, the school they go to, the kind of general
environment they live in. They are not going to make it. Although it's possible it's not representative of everybody. Even somebody like me who's not wealthy but has been successful in what I do. Sometimes people say, look at Benjamin Zephaniah, he's come from a poor background, been to prison and then made it successful.
I know a lot of people that have as much talent as me and their still in prison. Not everybody can make it and I think that as long as wealth is strictly about the money in your pocket, you're always going to have this big divide with the haves and haves not. The people that have it will hang on to it come rain or shine and they know how to invest it. Money follows money. What we've got to do is build societies where the amount of money that you have is really not that important.
How quickly can you get to the hospital? Are the people there going to look after you? Do you have to pull out a credit card? Are you going to get free treatment? Those are the things that are important.
Kix Mag: Hip hop culture. Violent or empowering?
B Z: Like a lot of music you have a positive side and a negative side. The problem with hip hop culture is the problem with the media. They always show the negative. The record companies and the big broadcasters will always want to show hip hop as the big guy with the big car, the girl with the big boobs. They don't really want to show conscious hip hop. I mean most of the conscious artists put their work out but you've got to search
it out, you've got to know where to find it. It's not in their, record
labels, interest. Imagine a group of women or men going into a record company saying that they want to make hip hop that kind of challenges the status quo, that brings white and black people together, that's thinks about the kind of capitalist system that we live in. The record company is going to look at them like they're crazy.
If I'm standing in front of you saying that I've got these beats and these raps that big me up and big up my posse, rhyming about this and that girl and Adidas and Nike can sponsor me because I'm wearing their gear. You're more likely to get a record deal.
Kix Mag: Tell me about art.
B Z: Since the dawn of mankind, we have had needed to eat, to drink, to sleep. It seems that we've need companionship. Let's call that love. It's seems also that since the dawn of mankind, we've started telling stories to each other. We've started painting things on the walls. Representations of ourselves and our animals and our surroundings. We need art. It's just a way of making life a bit more beautiful. It's another way of telling your story. Whatever art form people like, there may be stuff that you and I don't like, but people somewhere will like it. It makes life more interesting, it makes us reflect on life in a different way. Art is beautiful. Art can be ugly, but even ugly art can be good.
Kix Mag: What frustrates you?
B Z: Knowing that before I die I'm not going to see real justice. That's frustrating. When I was a kid I would fight against racism and other things and I thought that by the time I got older it would be over. So I look now, I look at organisations like the English Defence League and UKIP and I just think we're going backwards. We fought against all those organisations, The National front and the BNP in the seventies and eighties. I knew there was going to be a new party that rolled up in Britain but I just thought it was
going to be a party of love, bringing the people together. I thought it would be the complete opposite to what UKIP is doing.
Kix Mag: I would like to know your reaction to the senate's commemoration of the First World War that is now going on and whether it adequately represents the contribution of black and Asian troops from the common wealth?
B Z: I think that if you just look at it you can see that it doesn't really represent black and Asian people. They have the token one every now and again. You have people that work in Black history month and those areas that have to kind of big up the black contribution. But I don't give a damn. Black or white, war is a bad thing. The interesting thing about the way they commemorate war is that they don't say let's try to not make this happen again. When we talk about peace they call us wishy washy. They wear
the red poppy. I wear the white one. They say what's the white one for? I say, "the white one is the red one but saying something extra. Peace." The people that wear the red one just commemorate then they keep on fighting.
Commemoration for me means very little. I don't want to put down the soldiers and the working class people that go out there but I believe that some of them are misguided. The government said, 'This was the war to end all wars.' That's how it was sold. It's a very important thing. How many years later did we then have the Second World War? That shows you that this is no way to peace. Peace is the way. You can bomb the road to pieces but you can't bomb it into peace.
Politicians have got to realise that this is no way to solving our
disputes. If you make a mistake, you've done something wrong, there's nothing wrong with that. But you've got to learn from your mistakes. The bad thing is not learning from your mistakes. Yet you have politicians year after year that are just not learning from their mistakes. I mean that's outrageous. If we were in a primary school together and we had a fight the teacher would turn up and say you shouldn't fight, this is no way to solve your problems. If we have fight in this university, staff are going to come, security is going to come and say, that's no way to deal with your problems. If you have a fight on the street people would come and say that
this is no way to solve your argument. Find another way of doing it.
When politicians have a dispute they send us to fight. Could you imagine me and you having an argument right now and saying stop. "John" and "Peter" you can fight on our behalf. It sounds crazy. They build up the argument and then when it comes for the time to throw the punch they send off some other people to go and do it. Those lessons are not being learnt. I'm really not impressed by the remembrance of war because we're not dealing
with the real problem if politicians keep dealing in war.
Kix Mag: Prison. Private or state?
B Z: State. I mean I’ve been in prison as a prisoner and I've performed in American prisons as a poet. It depends on who owns it. In some prisons it's a case of where your locked and chained up for twenty four hours a day more or less and I've been to other prisons in America where they've got a rock stadium in the prison. People and bands come in because those prisons are
owned by organisations where the bosses like rock music.
The state sends them to prison so I think that the state should be
responsible for running the prison service. Giving the prisoners books and thinking about how to rehabilitate the prisoners not just lock them up.
They need to make a system that ensures that when they come out they are better human beings. How to get back on the straight and narrow.
Most people in prisons are there because of crimes of poverty. Seventy percent of prisoners are dyslexic. Most women in prisons are there because they've been mislead by a man. The prison system we have now, both private and public, are just kind of holding places really, even for a short time, then they just let them out.
Kix Mag: I've been reading a book about prisons. It states that when a private company owns a prison it's primarily because of capital profit. So they want to keep people incarcerated and want people out there committing crimes. It also talks about the basic services that prisoners aren't receiving like medical treatments etc.
B Z: If you own a prison and you've spent millions of pounds building a prison the point is you've got to have people in it. If you've got a thousand prisoners and then you've got nine hundred and then you have eight hundred and then suddenly you've got one hundred and then fifty, you need more.
Otherwise our investments gone. Even if you have a regular amount of people in the prison, you don't want to spent too much on their education. It's like a company. You've got to look at how many diaries and water you're giving them. I think private prisons are completely wrong.
Kix Mag: Tell me about what it is you teach here?
B Z: Well teaching is the wrong word really. I give lectures and devise the university module called Writing Poetry for Performers. I concentrate on the spoken word. Students get graded by their performance not on what they've written down. How they can perform the poem, how they can bring it to life. That's the important thing in my module. I love doing it. I have someone that does the day to day teaching and I come in every now and then
to do a lecture and watch how they're getting on. I've done it for four years now and it's been really successful. I've also done some guest lecturing, like what I'm going to do in a moment. I talk about my experience in primary school on poetry and how it's affected me. It's better then most positions. Most professors are here because of their academic background, I'm here because of my experience.
Kix Mag: What are your favourite books?
B Z: Red Shelly. It's by somebody called Paul Foot about Shelly the poet. Shelly was a revolutionary poet. First I just thought of him as another dead white poet. But when I read Shelly I realised that this guy was a revolutionary, he was really fascinating. Also the philosophies and opinions by Marcus Garvey. That made me realise that black people can walk with pride. His thing was that after slavery if we're not careful we just go from physical slavery and chains to the mental slavery of the brain. That was quite
Thank you for your time and good luck in the future - Kix Mag
Words by Joshua Cooper
Michael X Interview with Bill Levy
Kix Mag: Welcome to KIX Magazine
Bill Levy: Yes; I am delighted and privileged to be interviewed in the same mag as Tupac’s sister and the uncle of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. - not forgetting all those hot hat designers. I love hats. What do Tupac and I have in common? His name backwards – Caput – pronounced phonetically is Kaputt, a German word meaning broken-down, bust, knackered, ruined, done for, demolished. If something is Kaputt, it doesn’t work anymore. My name - Bill Levy. Backwards it is Yvel Llib, pronounced phonetically it becomes Evil Lib.
Kix Mag: Who was Michael X?
Bill Levy: 1934 – Born Trinidad. Black mother, Portuguese father a St Kitts merchant who didn’t live with family. Brought up in grandmother’s house in Belmont, on outskirts of Port of Spain. Not allowed to play with black children as half-white. Shunned by white children as black. Catholic schooling.
1948 – Sent by mother to work in father’s rum shop. Went back to Trinidad after arguments with father over women.”Two of my lady friends were old friends of his.” Back in Trinidad. Gets first sailing job on Norwegian freighter going to Canada. Barred from English ships because of being black. Sails on Norwegian boats to ports all over the world.
1953 – Went to Africa and smoked first marijuana.
1959 – Left the sea. Met and married Desiree, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. De Souza.
1960-1964 – Earns living by social work, poncing, gambling, post office robbery, and rent collecting for slum landlord. Apprenticed to best con-men in United Kingdom including Peter Rachman, Charles de Silva and Robert Jacobs. Resistance to white thugs. Speaks at funeral of Kelso Cochrane, young boy killed in Notting Hill race riots.
1965 – Becomes member of literary group centering on drug addict Alex Trocchi. Opens avant-garde record and bookshop, gambling hall. Contributes to Sigma Project run by writers Trocchi and William Burroughs. Organizes fashion show at Hilton. Official Trinidad representative at Commonwealth Poetry Conference, Cardiff. Tours England with Malcolm X. Sunday Times touts Michael as England’s black leader, associates him with worst aspects of the Movement, then turns on him. The history of Michael’s involvement with the Sunday Times is instructive. The Sunday Times needed a local figure corresponding to Malcolm X in the United States. Having been chosen for the part, Michael found himself beset West Indians in need of assistance, visiting black gangsters in need of entertainment, white liberals in search of reassurance and other journalists investigating aspects of racism. From that time he was under continued police surveillance.
1966 – Takes first acid trip. Has vision of the Holy City to be created in Notting Hill the “perfect balance of complimentary elements.” Founds and lectures at Notting Hill Free School. Founds RAAS, Racial Adjustment Action Society. Suggests that Queen has black baby. Attacked by press and Parliament and by friends. Develops feeling of persecution. Early contributor to underground newspaper IT. With Colin MacInnes founds Defense, a black civil liberties organization. Converted from Judaism to Islam. Changes name from de Freitas to Abdul Malik.
1967 – Continues literary and social activities. Speaker at Dialectics of Liberation (Roundhouse, London), sharing platform with Stokely Carmichael. Refuses invitation to join Moral Rearmament on religious grounds. Gives speech in Reading where he calls a Fleet Street journalist a “white monkey.” Charged under Racial Relation Act with inciting racial violence. William Burroughs offers to act as Michael’s interpreter to the court. Michael sentenced to one year imprisonment.
1968 – Publishes autobiography From Michael de Freitas to Michael Abdul Malik (Andre Deutsch). Serves nine months in Oxford, Brixton, Bristol, Stafford and Swansea Gaols. Released from gaol in August, Michael joins Black Eagles as Minister without Portfolio. Edits Black Eagle magazine – five numbers – “an attempt to transcend the barrier from oral to written tradition.”
1969 – Devotes full time and energies to founding and running Community Project “Black House” on Holloway Road, north London, together with soul-sick youthful millionaire Nigel Samuel. Charged with possession of cannabis. Removes typewriters from cowering radicals in IT office as part payment for his contributions – “A bad scene, man!” says IT business manager.
1970 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono give Michael their shorn hair for auction, proceeds going to Black House Project. Charged with demanding money with menaces from dry cleaner. Trips by hired jet airliner in company of Nigel Samuel and official chronicler Alex Trocchi (inoperative) to various black dictators in West Africa and Arabia. Samuel trying to set up Michael as a Third World Aneurin (Nye) Bevan. Also trips by hired train with similar company plus freeloaders to Cornwall and beyond.
1971- In January leaves England: “I managed to extricate myself from what was clear to me to be a long term imprisonment, I escaped to Trinidad where I was born and settled in on a little land in Arima where I am now building a home…planting for all our needs. There are seeds and soil.” (from letter to John Michell, March 17, 1971).Social and Agricultural Programmes with gifts of money by John Lennon, Sammy Davis Jr., Muhammad Ali etc. Sends for family. House invaded by black and white cause seekers among them demented publicist Hakim Jamal and doting English ex-MP’s daughter, Mrs. Gail Benson.
1972 – Leaves Trinidad to visit wife’s family in Guyana. In his absence house burnt down, body of local barber, Skerret, found buried in garden. Mrs. Benson’s body found buried in Jamal’s garden. Jamal flees for U.S. where he is murdered by a “black power group.” Michael extradited by Trinidad government to answer for bodies discovered in garden. Convicted of murder of Skerret on sole evidence of self-confessed killers who claimed they were acting under Michael’s influence. Sentenced to death by hanging subject to confirmation by Privy Council.
1972-1973 – On Death Row, Royal Gaol, Port of Spain, Trinidad. November 26, 1973 refused application to appeal to Privy Council. Michael’s lawyer says on TV, “It’s hopeless. He’ll certainly hang.”
1975 –On the 16th of May Michael was executed by hanging.
Further Notes: Three tomes of race-wresting fantasy were based on the life and times of Michael de Freitas/Michael X/Michael Abdul Malik. A proudly anti-Negro novel Guerrillas (1975) by the respected Trinidadian sentimentalist V.S. Naipul and the fabulist False Messiah: The Story of Michael X (1977), a tabloid style in-house cover up by the Sunday Times journalists Derek Humphry and David Tindall. Derek Humphrey went on to write the 1991 best-seller Final Exit and become the founder of Hemlock Society, a right-to-die group. The NY Times called Naipul’s Guerrillas “probably the best novel of 1975.” Back in Britain, however, Elaine Feinstein, the eminent poet, novelist and translator from the Russian, choose Guerrillas as the Worst Book of the Year because of the author’s undisguised fear of, and disgust for, women’s desiring body. Then there’s Diana “Jungle Fever” Athill’s ironic oooh-my-remarkable-affair memoir Make Believe: A True Story (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1993).
Your are better off, however, seeing : Souvenir Programme for the Official Lynching of Michael Abdul Malik with Poems, Stories, Saying by the Condemned – Fully Illustrated, edited (by Michael’s friends) William Levy and John Michell (Cambridge: The Cokaygne Press, 1973).
The film Levy on Michell (10 min. 2012) makes reference to Michael, and this site also includes selections from the above book.
Though over politicized, there is the definitive and compassionate biography, Michael X: A Life in Black and White by John L. Williams (London: Century/Random House, 2008). My review of this volume can be accessed at:
Michael X the eponymous title of a play about politics in the Sixties by Vanessa Walters (whose novels include Rude Girls) was performed for six nights during November 2008 at the Tabernacle Centre, Powis Square, W11, London. Directed by Dawn Walton, the hour-long monologue was presented by Clint Dyer. According to John Michell (1933-2009) in an epistle to me about this theatrical event, he wrote:
“I went with Jenny, Michael’s daughter, and Desiree [his wife] and two other daughters and a smattering of grandchildren to a play at the Tabernacle about Michael. It was a recitation by an actor in an Afro of pieces written by Michael in the early days, showing him as a radical, ranting leader of black liberation, and fitting him into that popular academic study, Black History. There was a surprising number of young black people there, and I guess they were students of BH. They were shown images of disobliging white landlords, persecution and race riots, with nothing about the sympathies and cultural similarities between us that made the West Indian immigration the happiest one we’ve had. The young blacks at the Tab cheered in the right places but were good-natured, and I did not think they took the grievances imposed upon them by their BH teachers too seriously. There was nothing about Michael’s later friendships, his acid experiences or the universal idealism he developed. To depict him simply in BH terms is a travesty. He needs to be reclaimed as the white man his father was.”
Kix Mag: What is your connection with
Bill Levy: When I was newly editor of the underground newspaper IT (International Times1967-1968) Michael handed me an article he had written. Immediately I saw that what he was saying about race and class in Britain at that time made sense. But more, his writing was drawing pictures of sound. And sound is tactile. I could actually hear, feel, his writing based on an oral culture. It had a dulcet calypso resonance. I published it, and others he wrote. From that point an alliance grew…We became fellow conspirators in life and literature. As they say – We passed the spliff!
Kix Mag: From the urban clay ghettos to
the silk cigar rooms of the aristocracy, Michael was astride with them both?
Bill Levy: In spite of all the disapproval, mainly from smarmy lower middle-class white university graduates angling to become tenured professors of bla bla bla, and edgy black socialists trying to create a global revolution leading to their world domination - by integrating Franz Fanon with Thelonious Monk, Michael himself was comfortable with almost anyone, and could make anyone comfortable, a natural aristocrat. He was welcome in Hampstead as well as in All Saints Road.
Just take at look who signed the final, albeit failed, petition to then Home Secretary Roy Jenkins asking for mercy and to stop his execution. Michael’s karmic pallbearers included (alphabetically): Marion Boyars, William Burroughs, John Calder, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithful, Jim Haynes, Kit Lambert, John Lennon, Bill Levy, John Michell, Yoko Ono, Alice Ormsby-Gore, Cedric Price, the Hon. Michael Portman, Dan Richter, Nigel Samuel, Feliks Topolski and Alexander Trocchi.
And he was, as well, of course a principal among his Caribbean peers in the Grove, in Reading.
Kix Mag: What is your relationship to
the arts and literature?
Bill Levy: My interest is in practitioners of art and literature who become seditious. That’s why I’ve written about, and published books on, Michael X as well as the poet Ezra Pound, indicted for treason for radio speeches made from Italy during World War II and confined to a lunatic asylum for over a dozen years, the Vienna Action Artist Otto Muehl marinated seven years in a max security prison for organizing and directing an art centered free sex commune, and Dutch author Jacob Israel de Haan, shot dead in Jerusalem (1924) earning the dubious fame of being the first political murder in the history of Zionism. Wasn’t it Antonin Artaud who said: “All writing is pigshit.”
Kix Mag: Michael was
cultivated was he not?
Bill Levy: I would rate Michael as warm and primal rather than arid and cultivated. Instinctive not bookish.
More a stealthy cat than a barking dog.
Kix Mag: Where can people discover more
of your work?
Bill Levy: Someone wrote a Wikipedia page about me (I wonder who?) It’s only partially true or full.
Yet it does have a short list of links to a variety of my writings. Alert: I am listed under William Levy author. My Google-ganger, the other William Levy (actor) is a young and beautiful Cuban hunkerooney, eye candy deluxe. That one is not me. At any rate, something not Wiki-listed but recently published can be found in RealityStudio, a site dedicated to the work of William Burroughs.
Click this link:
Also check out:
William Levy: Beyond Criticism (40 min.) is a biopic from British director Malcolm Hart premiered at London’s Portobello Film Festival in 2006 - been knocking around since then. Now it’s finally available on YouTube:
Dr. Doowop (15 min.), directed by Michiel Brongers, about me, as the man behind the DJ voice of a exceedingly well-received weekly radio show in Amsterdam for twenty years (1987 – 2007), with over 800 live performances, on free (i.e. illegal) stations . A critic called it “one of the most eccentric and stimulating radio shows anywhere, Sartre, De Sade, Doo-wop and music from the gonads.” This flic has been screened in art house cinemas in England, Holland and Germany, selected for the Dutch National Film Festival (2009), and in the same year awarded “Best Film” prize at a festival in Szeged, Hungary.
Here it is:
Kix Mag: Any up and coming
Bill Levy: My advice to everyone is… Do not get old: it is not for the fainthearted.
Kix Mag: What would you like to say
about Michael X
Bill Levy: Actually the only trenchant and febrile thing I have to add to the cacophony of things written and whispered about Michael is this quote from the most popular novel of one of my favorite writers - the late-Victorian author George Gissing. In New Grub Street(1891) he wrote:
“A man who comes to be hanged… has the satisfaction of knowing that he has brought society to its last resource. He is a man of such fatal importance that nothing will serve against him but the supreme effort of law. In a way, you know, that is success.”
Kix Mag: How do you get your KIX?
(Pleasures in life)
Bill Levy: I get my KIX from Route 666. Rama Lama Ding Dong Forever…
Interview by Joshua Cooper
D-Jukes talks to Paul Brown about his involvement at Hoops Aid 2013 and 2015
US rapper D-Jukes is swapping the studio for the hardwood to help Hoops Aid this
The Brooklyn native, who teamed up with Lateysha Grace in Series 3 of The Valleys to record the single "You Beautiful", is a massive basketball fan.
And he'll be lacing them up to play at London's O2 Arena in the Hoops Aid All-Star Game on May 10 to help support the Sports Traider charity.
Jukes, who has worked with IceT, G-Unit, Peter Gunz, Kool G Rap, Steve O, Ne-yo, Latesha (The Valleys) Wretch32, is currently working on his New York City Trafficking album.
But he can't wait to take time out and hit the hardwood at the star-studded UK event, which will feature the likes of Steve O from Jackass, Flawless and Hollywood actor Colin Salmon, and serves as pre-match entertainment for the BBL Final.
Jukes said: "I played at Hoops Aid in 2013 and we had a great time. It's a worthy cause."
"It opened my eyes to what basketball can do for the local community and for kids with nowhere else to go."
"Basketball takes kids off the streets and out of gangs and gives them something more positive to focus on."
"It also keeps you fit and healthy - I'm already practicing for the game at my local gym."
"I'm a point guard or shooting guard but I can do a lot of the dirty stuff under the basket too. I played small forward last time so I'm versatile. It's going to be a blast."
For more info on Hoops Aid 2015, follow @hoopsaid and @lancehaggith - or visit http://bit.ly/1DOONDf to buy tickets.
by Paul Brown
The Rise of Tierz!
Kix Mag: Welcome to Kix Mag, introduce yourself to our readers!
Tierz: Hi my name is Tierz i’m a solo artist performing all over the country, I live in Kent and have done since the age of 7. Growing up I have had alot of experiences and that’s how my interest in music started. I was told to write how I feel in a letter then destroy it to help to release the negativity I had going on growing up but that ended up being created into rap and so the story began there.
Kix Mag: What made you want to get into music? Is it to do with other rappers like
Biggie / Tupac etc or do did you just have a love for music?
Tierz: I first heard my first ever Eminem song from my cousin and from there I fell in love with the art of writing music and the art of rapping which led me into performing. I think that music is an art that can affect many people in different ways and so with that I try to create music people can feel. Music has helped me through a lot of bad and good times and I hope that my music can do the same which is why I love what I do so much.
Kix Mag: Tell us a little bit more about your background. In music and real life.
Tierz: My life has been crazy, I was born in Sutton Surrey and lived there for about 7 years, whilst at school I was bullied hard and didn’t have much luck with making friends (Guess I was the idiot kid at school, whilst living there my parents argued a lot which led onto a lot of bad things happening and seeing a lot at a young age. I burnt myself from a kettle at the age of two and nearly died which led me being one of the first children in the country to have plastic surgery at such a young age (claim to fame lol), I later moved to Sutton with my parents and two younger sisters, this is where I learned to play golf and later went on to gain a golf scholarship in Guildford College. The Golf took a turn for the worst and so I became a chef working in a top restaurant, with all of what I have mentioned I was and am working hard on my music career, being signed to a small label in 2011 and being accepted to tour with Dappy have been two of many highlights of my career so far and I look foward to plenty more.
Kix Mag: Who have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
Tierz: I have been fortunate enough to have worked along side Benny Banks, Paigie Cakey, Dappy, Xibit, Mobb Deep, Baby Blue, English Frank and John Peppard. John Peppard and I released an EP in early 2014 called 110 and it was a great feat with people that purchased the EP. I would love to work with Professor Green he has such a great style about him and comes across as a really humble person, i’d also like to work with G FrSH he is a great artist and is doing big things this year :).
Kix Mag: Whats your plans for the foreseable future?
Tierz: I’m planning an ep which will be released later this year, amogst that I am planning shows festivals, radio interviews and a possible tour with an American artist. I have recently signed to Sekret Soundz Management and so I am looking foward to the future of working closely with them this year.
Kix Mag: Where have you performed? Do you have any performances coming up?
Tierz: I have performed all over the country in venues such as Brixton Jamm, 02, Bar Rumba, Hootananny and more. I performed in Scotland last year 2013 in the venue green room in Fife, and also in Ireland Voodoo Bar. I will be performing at shows across London and Kent in the upcoming months, all shows can be found on my website http://www.Musicglue.Com/tierz/
Kix Mag: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Tierz: In my spare time I like to write music, listen to music, cook and go on walks with my dogs, I enjoy meeting freinds for drinks. I enjoy a social life which is a big plus for me being in the industry i am in.
Kix Mag: What’s your latest project. Tell us about it and when your releasing it.
Tierz: My latest project is a music video release, the video will be for a track called Hero, it’s a track that I wrote with John. It’s about a superhero fighting off vilans which could be portrayed as an artist fighting off the industry lol. I am looking foward to shooting the video as we have allot of great ideas and will be fun to shoot, the release will be summer 2015 and will be uploaded to my site.
Kix Mag: How can people find you on social networks, facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat etc
Tierz: To find me on social media search for @Tierzofficial on twitter, Tierz on facebook and Tierz official on Instagram, i’m always happy when new fans follow me.
Kix Mag: And our golden question...How do you get you kix? (Excitement in life)
Tierz: The best excitement I have is when I perform infront of crowds, every show is different and no matter how well rehearsed or experienced an artist is you can never tell what’s going to happen during the show. So the leadup to performing all the way from rehearsing a set list is an exciting time. Thats how I get my kix!
Kix Mag: Thanks for this interview always a pleasure to expose new artists to my readers. Good luck in everything you do.
Words by Trevor Small
The Other Guys On New Album W/ Von Pea, Inspirations & Much More
HipNott Records is more than a record label putting out material for the next buck with a plethora of mediocre artists. The talent they offer as a collective, and their hard-working owner Kevin Nottingham, is how I stumbled upon [The Other Guys] a while back. What does the duo (Mighty Joe & Isaiah “Insanate” Mensah) bring to the table? Raw, soulful and honest Hip-Hop packed with scattered samples, multiple artists stomping on their canvas and a very clear passion felt through their wizard-like production. Be sure to grab their new album ‘To: You’ with Tanya Morgan’s very own Von Pea. It’s certainly one for your collection.
Before we begin I just want to thank both of you guys for your time and rocking this interview. Can you touch on the early days for The Other Guys and how you guys came about as a Hip-Hop duo? From my understanding you guys are cousins as well; is this true?
Mighty Joe: I started making beats around 2005 or so. Isaiah was doing his thing rapping in New York City and I reached out to him to help me with beats because he was also a real dope producer. He helped me a lot with my drums at the time. Fast forwarding a little bit to 2007; we formed The Other Guys as a production duo and we would shop our beats to various underground artists in the New York area. We eventually got tired of that method basically and around 2011 we started recording all our own music still under The Other Guys moniker with Isaiah emceeing. It’s been working out ever since.
So, you guys came up in the New York City Hip-Hop scene?
Mighty Joe: Yeah. Isaiah was in Brooklyn, NY and I was in Virginia Beach for a while. So, we would use a lot of his connections with fellow emcees and producers in New York City. Most of the connections and work developed out of New York City for sure. This was around the time when the internet didn’t fully take over yet, so you you had to be around to really build with other artists which was all beautiful.
Inspiration can be drawn from many things inside and outside of the Hip-Hop scene. But, keeping this strictly about the music, who were some of The Other Guys’ influences coming onto the scene early on? Who did you guys grow up on?
Isaiah: I always say this, man; we grew up on what everybody else grew up on you know? Some specifics that we are heavily influenced by are A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan and Jay-Z (still). Overall it’s probably a list that everybody would say, but we try our best in general to get inspired by all musicians and go as far as The Doors and Portishead. We try our best to be as diverse as possible. So, if we listen to a wide variety of music than our product is bound to be directly influenced by that and be diverse as well.
Around this time last year (2013) you guys released ‘The Week Instrumental EP’ which is when I first heard of The Other Guys. I instantly fell in love with your sound and also really enjoyed the Monday through Sunday theme. Can you talk a little bit about this project? What kind of responses were you guys getting after the release?
Isaiah & Mighty Joe: We started to really hone in on how we wanted our sound to come out and how we put out projects. That EP came about because we basically just wanted to release an instrumental project. We had already done a previous instrumental project titled ‘The Other Instrumentals’ which did pretty well too, and that one was more or less leftover material we put together. But, ‘The Week Instrumental EP’ was actually planned and put together by us in total. It definitely worked out.
What is one of The Other Guys’ highlight moments thus far over your whole music career? Any moments that come to mind right away that you care to share?
Mighty Joe: If I had to name two things off the top of my head I would say signing to HipNott Records, and the recording of this new Von Pea album. We have a vision and we are excited to see where it goes.
HipNott Records is certainly one of the dopest names to be running alongside currently as far as Hip-Hop goes. That leads me into my next question; can you talk about signing with HipNott and what this experience has been like so far for The Other Guys?
Isaiah: Oh yeah, of course. Signing to HipNott is very exciting for us. As we are trying to grow they are trying to grow as a label as well. So, it all makes sense. They allow us to grow artistically and have free range to do what we want to do as artists, which is beautiful.
Mighty Joe: Timing is everything, man. We had already done business with Kevin Nottingham previously before signing with them. Our relationship with them kind of grew overtime while pushing our stuff on his website (www.kevinnottingham.com). Long story short; we reached out to Kevin and made moves. I couldn’t imagine us anywhere else.
As a production duo I am very curious what your process looks like when you guys are cooking up. With two people I am sure this gets interesting. Can you talk about The Other Guys’ process a little bit?
Isaiah: When it comes to drums I primarily will sit and program tons and tons of weird, awkward breakbeats. Once they’re done I will send them over to Joe. Literally a folder with like 30+ drum beats; breaks and stuff. What do you after you get the folder, Joe? (laughing)
Mighty Joe: After I get them we generally pick out samples. This usually happens together actually. So, I will go into our sample folders or samples that I picked up off records. I’ll then start constructing beats with the basic frames that he made. I also play the keyboard so that’s generally all me. So yeah, overall it is an amazing collaborative effort that works out. This time around we do just about everything together in the lab. Also, we shoot/film our own music. We stay busy.
What should the world be expecting from this upcoming Von Pea and The Other Guys album ‘To: You’? Everything that has been released is stellar and the responses seem to be amazing.
Mighty Joe: This is probably our most cohesive piece of work hands down. What you should be expecting is crazy lyrics and cohesive production. Von Pea is nuts. I mixed most of the songs on the album and I’m still catching up to his lyrics. It is definitely an album you do not want to miss. Also, we will have multiple visuals available from the album. Be sure to grab this on November 25th.
We are real excited to see what the album has to offer for sure. That’s very dope. To wrap this interview up, what is The Other Guys’ five year plan? Or, overall, what should the world be expecting from you guys from here on out aside from the new album?
Mighty Joe: Right now we are really focusing on our production value and always have something going on. You can expect a shorter EP coming with Substantial. That will probably be out by the summer of 2015, give or take. And, definitely another full instrumental project sometime soon for sure.
Isaiah: Oh, and don’t be surprised if you hear about a HipNott tour! Kevin has big things in the works considering the roster has grown substantially. Huge shout out to Kevin Nottingham, the homie Von Pea, Substantial, everybody on HipNott and all the fans supporting us.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQZU4iLpow3B739apyFpuCA HipNott Records YouTube Channel.
Interview by Dread Solo Journalist
Kid Vishis Interview 2014
Kix Mag journalist Pedro Shippuden caught up with an up and coming US rapper from Detroit called 'Kid Vishis' who also happens to be the younger brother of Hip Hop Veteran 'Royce Da 59'. Despite technical issues almost causing the interview not to go ahead, here's how it went down..
Kix Mag: Hi Kid Vishis.. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Kid Vishis: Thanx for having me sir. Sorry for the mishaps.
Kix Mag: No problem these things happen. Our first question which you probably get asked all the time is, whats it like being Royce Da 59's brother? lol..
Kid Vishis: I’m used to it lol! Born and raised with the guy but he is my best friend and mentor. He motivates me all the time to do better and become a better person. It just so happens that he is a legend in hip hop. That's just a plus for me but, I've always looked up to Royce even as kids.
Kix Mag: So would you say that you're now a rapper because of him or because of his influence?
Kid Vishis: He taught me how to rap. We already sound a like naturally but I study the best out there and he is my example first hand. I don’t think I have his style but we are similar.
Kix Mag: I did a bit of research earlier and you both recently released a CD together.. Was it a mixtape or an album?
Kid Vishis: Album.
Kix Mag: How was that for you?
Kid Vishis: Exciting! Its my debut album and the beginning of my mission to make my print in hiphop.
Kix Mag: When exactly was it released?
Kid Vishis: July 22.
Kix Mag: Ok so not long ago then. So with you doing a solo project like 'Timing Is Everything', do you ever worry that your always gonna be in his shadow due to people seeing you as Royce's younger brother rather than as a up and coming rapper from Detroit called 'Kid Vishis'?
Kid Vishis: Im only gonna get put in a shadow by people who want me in his shadow. I don’t record to compete with Royce or out do Royce on every record, I just do me. I think consistency will be my strong point and some people will group me with Royce forever but its never been a concern of mine about what other people think.
Kix Mag: So how would you describe your style?
Kid Vishis: Unorthodox.
Kix Mag: In what way?
Kid Vishis: I don’t do the same blueprints and styles as other rappers.
Kix Mag: Different is usually good. Can you fill us in on your plans for the rest of the year?
Kid Vishis: September to December I plan to tour as much as possible, keep recording and putting out visuals. I'm thinking of putting out another EP this year.
Kix Mag: Where about’s will you be touring and do you plan on coming to the UK?
Kid Vishis: Europe, UK, Canada and the states. I would LOVE to come to the UK man! One of my favourite places in the world.
Kix Mag: So you are coming to the UK?
Kid Vishis: Yes! We're working out the tour schedule now.
Kix Mag: When you do let us know. We'll help make sure things go smoothly for you over here.
Kid Vishis: I wanna link with more artists from over there! You gotta put me up on game!
Kix Mag: Yeah don't worry we're good at that. ;)
Kid Vishis: I need that bro!
Kix Mag: Where can people check you out?
Kid Vishis: Search for '@Kidvishis' on Twitter and Instagram, and 'Marcus Kid Vishis Montgomery' on Facebook. I'm working on a new site called Sickem.com which will be up in a few weeks. I'm on iTunes and amazon with the album. XXL, The Source, Hiphopdx, 2dopeboyz, Allhiphop.com all rocked with the album and posted joints, interviews and reviews.
Kix Mag: Ok so of all the famous rappers that most people dream of meeting that you've probably met, who would you say was the most down to earth one to the point that it shocked you?
Kid Vishis: Eminem hands down… I forgot he was a great legend while around him! He silly as hell and down to earth.
Kix Mag: Lol.. Which brings us to our last question. How do you get your Kix?
Kid Vishis: Outside of rap or while rapping?
Kix Mag: Just in general.
Kid Vishis: Smoking, boxing, basketball, smoking, writing bars, recording, and smoking! lol..
Kix Mag: Lol.. I think that's a first. Very honest of you. True say though it’s pretty much legal over there in the States lol..
Kid Vishis: Lol ;)
Kix Mag: Thanks for talking to us bro and wish you all the best in the future. Kix Mag signing out..
Timing is Everything is out now on Seven 13 Entertainment via iTunes http://geni.us/4BcJ
Words by Pedro Shippunden
Massari Interview of the back off his latest release with French Montana
Massari is a Lebanese Canadian R&B, Pop, and hip hop singer. His music combines Middle Eastern melodies with western culture. Massari is currently touring in selected places throughout the UK & Kix Magazine had an opportunity to interview him, before jetting off!
Kix: Describe your self Kix Magazine in 3 words…
Massari: Passionate, (Full of Love – Woops those are 3 words), Focused, Big Heart
Kix: What brings you to the UK?
Massari: I have been touring in the UK, taking part on ‘Shisha Run’ tour at different venues from Manchester to London, paying a visit to the UK promoting the new single ‘Shisha’ feat French Montana – at small intimate venues being close with the fans.
“My Fans are beautiful, they are reflection of me, full of life and inspires me to my Music”
Kix: How did your brand name ‘Massari’ come about?
Massari: When I was at the age of 14, I found my self in the era of my time where people in the media & music scene, a lot of them where changing their names to fit into western culture to be accepted to move forward. Then I came along representing ‘I am who I am’. Everyone out their has a God given right to be who they are, who their mother and father are, their culture, religion, etc… I am proud of who I am , using the universal language of love, through Music.
Massari quotes ‘Massari comes from Arbabic terminology meaning ‘Money’ & Massari real name is Sari Abboud (Arabic: ساري عبّود)
Kix: Tell me about your experience working in the Middle East and any barriers you had to face…
Massari: I was very lucky to be received with open arms to the Middle East. They were proud of supporting a Lebanese, Canadian artist to succeed in North America, as I was the first of my kind and the Middle East embraced me and the music I offered.
I stay true to my routes, through the Melody & Name and songs such as ‘Inta Hayati’ became a success, as I Middle Eastern myself and speak fluent Arabic they felt very close to me and they met me half way and given me their support
But, in Canada when I came out no one knew what background I came from, so I let everyone in the public eye run with what they heard about me and who I am and let them hear the Music First - as Canda is a Multi Cultural city and they were proud of me and supported and the dreams I had
Prior to my first single ‘Be Easy’ & ‘Real Love’ their was a negative atttiute toward me and the label, so the response to the public ‘Cool, you go on your way, but we will do us!’ and that’s what we did. Since the success now those same people changed their perception how I describe it as ‘when you are different the world will not understand you, but when you believe in yourself you fel it, its is the light that keeps you going – and that’s your destiny & you will cross pathes and reach your goals’
Kix: How did the track ‘Be Easy’ come about as your first single?
Massari: ‘Be easy’ is still one of my favourite tracks even till now, that and ‘Shsha’ (his recent single), I have a big love for Arabic Music & Regga Music as they are just so close Music Wise, a snear, a two beat removed from a beat I see the music melodically in my mind. The way it made you move so when I heard the beat – I fell in Love with the melody and within 15 minutes I composed the whole song from beginning to end started to work on the arrangement and sound.
So I sat with another artist from the label (CP Records) Belly to write to the single he just saw the track way ahead of time and also came up with the name ‘Be Easy’ and it went viral
The reaction we got from the record – was amazing & allowed me to Release more music …
Kix: How did the single ‘Shisha’ & collaboration with French Montana come about?
Massari: Working with some one like French that I am big fan of is amazing, he has jokes all day no stress no worries.
I envy his free spirit, he lets life be, and that’s great for him and when we done the record and was doing the video, he bought me to side this is amazing track so we toured together all over Canada and the track was doing extremely well, and we both spoke Shisha, both from Middle East Backgrounds – it all fit perfectly!
Kix: Tell me about your relationship with CP Records & Universal Music
Massari: CP Records is the family that I started with, when I say family I literary mean the word, my Manager Manny I knew since I was 13 years old, when I first started my journey we were already friends and now that’s my manger, same goes for Belly (Artist on the same label) we went to high school together, we all come together as a unit and progressed further together and climbed mountains that we didn’t even knew exist – I am very extremely proud!
Universal is the label that does CP Records distribution– every independent has to be tied into something or some one its good that they are involved with the push of our label
What I like about CP Records is that they take the artists that they have, and put a lot of time, sometimes I feel the major labels don’t do that, it simply who’s hot at the moment is getting played on radio and everyone else is on the back burner – I wouldn’t be confortable if I was in that situation like that
Kix: How do you get you Kix?
Massari: Ergh ‘My Shoes’ – Aww I get it (Massari stares with a blank face) – “Being able to step on the stage and completely exceed peoples expectations as far as energy, performance, love, passion and delivery – and when people meet me in person – I feel that my mum raised me right, a lot of people become successful and it changes them, I am don’t know how to change even if I wanted too this is always been who I am – I love the facet I was given this gift, it’s a reponsibitlity to carry – and take it to the next level In Music
Check out Massari;
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Celebrity Portrait Photographer, Music & Fashion Creative Video Specialist!
Catching up with Sober
Catching up with Sober, he’s been working on his commercial EP due for release summer 2014, collaborating with various artists to bring that new, authentic, raw, fresh sound to the surface titled 'Progress' so keep an eye out for that.
He has just released debut mixtape from his independent label/movement HNZ called 'Levels Up' consisting of covers/remixes/and original songs from the team featuring Peckz, Yungz, Bianca, with some productions from Marvelous & Vince Morgia, there’s alot coming from this talented, power driven artist so stay in the know by following him via links below. #SoberSouljas
Notrelle Vs SuperStylers "Body" pt2
Take one of the hottest dance producer SuperStylers, mix with singer songwriter Notrelle’s smooth R&B pop vocals and you have the UK club and regional radio DJ supporting this track "BODY"... more so, that it charted in the Music Week pop commercial chart which indicates we’re onto a winner … hence the official national release.
This track is a firm favorite for many Club DJs and is proving to be a solid track that holds the dance floor really well each time it drops. With comparison to Ne-Yo, Taio Cruz and Usher. Notrelle is easy going yet driven to succeed and latest his effort proves that he has the genuine ability to stand head to head "musically" with establish artist.
Notrelle is currently putting together a promotional club PA tour up and down the UK and is currently in the studio finishing of this debut album "SPEECHLESS". We’re keeping our fingers cross for this "Independent" artist to have his first national chart position to happen very soon!!!
NotrelleVevo Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/NotrelleVEVO
Clare Louise English Interview
Welcome to KIX Magazine!
Kix Mag: Your playing a character called Masha. Describe her personality?
Clare English: She's kind of the clown of the piece really. She always tries to help and always gets it wrong. She's the middle sister so she sort of has that Middle child thing.
Kix: Tell me about Hot Coals Theatre Ensemble?
Clare: We are a theatre company that formed out of Margot Courtemanche , myself, and Jo Sargeant. We trained at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) on MA Theatre Lab. We spent a year together there and when we graduated we wanted to work in the same kind of way the school was devising/creating work, so we formed Hot Coals to carry on that work, and it’s been a year to year and half since to this point.
Kix: Art, poetry, drama, film and literature. What, from each, is your favorite piece of work?
Clare: My favorite film would be “Withnail and I” starring Richard E Grant and Paul McGann, that's sort of the first one that springs to mind. Art, I would have to say, classic favorite artist is Grayson Perry. Literature, I might go with Shakespeare. And drama, well, “Storm and a Teacup”.
Kix: What is your process that you go through when you are learning a script?
Clare: There's no real quick way of learning a script. It can be a bit tedious having to read over and over. I like to record lines and listen to them when I'm at home or out walking. I also ask friends to constantly test me on them. There's no easy way around it. With this project, “Storm in a Teacup”, we don't have a script because there's really no dialogue in it all. It wasn't a traditional; writers sit down, write a script, then, actors learn their lines. We actually created the whole play from scratch, together as the ensemble. But it's physical theater rather than script learnt.
Kix: What is your favorite Subject away from drama, i.e - politics, philosophy, history etc..?
Clare: I quite like history and the Tudor period.
Kix: Do you frequently go to any particular galleries, museums, coffee houses, theaters etc?
Clare: I go to the theatre a lot. I go to all sorts of theaters. I go to the National Theatre, I go to the West End. As an actor I think that you should go to the theatre a lot. So when I'm not working, I tend to go once a week or so.
Galleries, I go to Gallery Different, The Victoria Miro, and the Proud Archivist, which is close to my flat, and always has really cool exhibitions on. I also visit all the usual's, e.g. The National Portrait Gallery etc. If there's something on I like anywhere else, I'll go. I have a lot of friends who are artists so I always try to see their work wherever they are showing.
Kix: What books do you recommend reading?
Clare: I like Philippa Gregory, I know that's a very popular choice, but I'm really into that period in history. I also read a lot of plays and I also read a lot of practitioner books by people who have worked in the arts and written books about that. At the moment I'm reading Peter O'Toole's biography.
Kix: What does an actor/actress need around them the most to make a career? Is it their manager or agent, or is it something else much more personal?
Clare: I think they need really good friends and, or, a supportive partner. It's a really hard industry and I think you need people that keep you grounded and that can pick you up when your feeling down. It's very much a roller coaster - one minute you've got an audition, your preparing and its very exciting, and when the auditions over, you have a sort of come down.
Especially, after a show. To have someone to go home to or friends who get that, all helps.
Kix: What is Storm in a Teacup about?
Clare: “Storm in a Teacup” is about three elderly sisters. They're all in their 80's. It's about how they fight the system to keep they're independence. They're living together in one room and are all on top of each other, but it’s about they're relationship and how they are co-dependent on one another. And then how the system, the institution, is trying to push them out of their home and into a care home but they don't want to go, and so are fighting against it.
The characters of the three sisters we play are based on the three sisters of Chekhov's, “Three Sisters”, which is a Russian play. In that play there in their 20's and 30"s, and we've imagined what they would be like in their 80's.
Kix: Website's, diary dates, what to look out for the year?
Clare: Follow us on Twitter @HotCoalsTheatre, follow me on Twitter @ClareLEnglish,
I'm doing a new play called Absent by Tim Cook which will be on in April, and then we, Hot Coals, will be performing Storm in a Teacup at Brighton Festival 3rd, 4th and 5th May!
Kix: How do you get your Kix?
Clare: Walking my dogs. I've got 2 little Whipet puppies. Going to the theater. And making work!
Words by Joshua Cooper
D'Banj interview 2014
Kix Mag: Introduce your self in 3 words…
D’Banj: Entertainer, businessman & entrepreneur.
Kix: What brings you to the UK?
D’Banj: I am here to introduce the UK Market to my new song ‘Bother You’. A soundtrack from an upcoming film ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ (This film takes place in Nigeria during the Nigerian-Biafran War in 1967-1970. The effect of the war is shown through the dynamic relationships of four people’s lives ranging from high-ranking political figures, a professor, a British citizen, and a houseboy.)
Kix: How did the video from the song come about?
D’Banj: This year is my 10th Anniversary of my music career. I started in 2004… as a performance artist – ‘Bother You’ for me is a serious song showcasing clips of the film within the music video, as it’s not one of my original songs it’s a soundtrack to a movie - so I wanted to play it down and produce a mature visual and also it’s an inspiring song about ‘Love’ it’s taken from a best seller book – Half of a Yellow Sun is a novel by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
When I watched the film by the executive producer, what inspired to do the song is the love story within the film – as this kind of love ‘does it still exist’? – the kind of love you have forever – originally the song is an evergreen song by Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ reproduced & reconstructed by film makers and D’Banj. It was confirmation that this was the next big hit.
Kix: How did your name artist name D’banj come about?
D’Banj: My Name is a combination of my real name, with a quirky style as my first name is Dapo Daniel and my fathers family name is Oyebanjo – so I put them together to creative D’Banj full name is Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo. Also I have another name called ‘Koko Master’ this came from one of my earlier songs, where I branded this name – as it means ‘something you do to drive pleasure’ and I am the master of that!
Kix: How did your family take apart in your music career?
D’Banj: I have two brothers originally, my younger brother K-Switch who co-wrote the ‘Bother You’ single with me and my elder brother who died in a plane crash when I was 14 – he used to play the harmonica. When I saw his items on the bed I picked it up and a week later at school I started to mimic his music and it came apart of my image and brand – overall my sisters and parents had great influence in my music career.
Kix: Who has been you current and past music influences and why?
D’Banj: We have to write a book about that, as I have been inspired by everyone and everything. But Kanye West has been a great influence, as he is just like me as we have the same star sign, he was born June 8th and I was born June 9th. For all things in music but in business I am a mixture of Jay z and P Diddy. When you look at them I feel I am like them, mix them together you’re the greatest! (He laughs)
Kix: When we have a look at your music, its very humorous. Why?
D’Banj: My character overall is charismatic and funny and I push my music on how I feel and the delivery. I put all this in making my song to performance. Believe you me the world is too serious right now, so I am brining a little bit of D’Banj to their lives. The way the world (people) is through laughter (when he mentioned this the reporter (@shaziyaramji) said also ‘food’ – and made D’Banj even more hungry – as he was placing his food order with this manager in the background).
D’Banj has explored the sights of India as he lived and performed out there, for about a year just outside of Mumbai (as he was speaking hindi, cracking jokes) – he know a number of different languages & also visited Dubai before the release of ‘Oliver Twist’ and this is where he met ‘Kayne West’ before working together.
Kix: Tell me about your genre of music?
D’Banj: When the release of ‘Oliver Twist’ came out, I didn’t want people to compare me to ‘Fela’ which was Afro Beats – so I made a collaboration of a new genre called ‘Afro-Pop’ which blew in the earlier days of ‘Oliver Twist’ defining me in the music scene, soon there is going to be other cross genres for example Afro Jazz which will be heard in the clubs – as Afro Music is hear to stay especially in the UK – I must thank Kanye West for the release soon I might drop my colabo with Kanye (I don’t know when? Ssssh).
“Late this year, D’Banj will be releasing this album called ‘I am D’Banj’”
Kix: Tell me about your Record Label DB Records?
D’Banj: My label is a independent label based in East and West Africa and also out here in the UK where I just signed an artist called ‘Two Chis’ – we develop talented, songwriters and producers and work alongside existing distribution labels and have our own Management team called DKM Media (that also does events, where we have brought a number of successful artists to Nigeria to perform) – also I get involved in development and bring D’Banj style and brand to their tracks by giving them that platform they need in music.
Kix: How did the song ‘Oliver Twist’ come about. From song to video concept?
D’Banj: We where just in New York wrapping up the deal with Kanye West and he mentioned my music has a humorous aspects to it and is very real. What inspired this track was the ‘Why Me?’ single so I jumped in the studio with my producer and took a very simple
hook-line and related it to music all over the world (in specific America). As it started as a joke
Ref Beyonce, Nikki and Rihanna and it became a track in it’s self, and now its ‘Bother You’, my latest single.
Kix: How do you get your Kix?
D’Banj: Beautiful Girls (He laughs), serious though to represent the continent that I am from Nigeria. Nigeria has not been that much on the map in the music industry. I do best by bringing good music to the fans and change that impression to other countries (as we are still a developing country). I am proud to fight till the end in what I do, as there is a lot of good music coming from the UK representing Nigeria. Afro Music is hear to stay.
Photography by Brian Would @BrianWouldphtographer & Shydo Islam @Shydo_MDP
Takerra Allen (Tupac's sister) interview
Kix Mag: What inspired you to be an author?
Takerra Allen: It’s weird, I was never inspired to be an author. I’m inspired every day to write, to stay an author, however, and that is by so much – music, people, life, art, everything.
But I truly feel like being an author is as natural to me as being a woman or being black. It’s in my bones. I’ve been writing everything since I was a little girl –stories, songs, poems, a diary. I just love to write.
Kix: Your brother, 2Pac, was also heavily into literature. Do you both share similar tastes in the books you read?
Takerra: Some. Pac was a deep reader. We both read ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’ and ‘Art of War’, and classics like ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’ and ‘Catcher in the Rye’…but I also enjoy romance and novels about love for entertainment, similar to what I write. I don’t think Pac was big onromance novels. : )
Kix: What is your favorite book?
Takerra: Tough question. I have ones from different genres but I would say ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison, ‘Salem’s Lot’ by Stephen King, ‘White Lines’ by Tracy Brown, and ‘Dutch’ by Kwame Teague. I can’t pick one. Oh, and ‘The Bible’ of course. Oh, and the one I haven’t written yet. : )
Kix: What’s the process of writing a book? e.g writing drafts all the way to the publishing and promotion?
Takerra: Writing a book for me starts with an emotion I want to create, usually it’s there when I wake up from a dream. I’ve dreamt lots of my novels. I sit down at the computer and I just write. I probably get a good half way through a book before I decide to write an outline to add some type of structure, otherwise I will just go on and on. I wake up out of my sleep and take notes. I think fresh out of my sleep is when I’m most creative. After that, publishing, promotion, I have a great business partner Sandra Mobley who helps me with that. We do it all on our own – printing, marketing, traveling, book fairs, vendors, everything. We have a terrific fan base and so far they have remained loyal. My biggest promotion is staying connected with the fans.
Kix: Describe what love is?
Takerra: Love is everything. It’s what motivates us, it’s what drives us, it’s what scares us, it’s what makes this world go around. People wake up every morning and go to work to provide for their children – that’s love.
Soldiers risk their lives at war for their country – that’s love. People mold themselves into who they want to be for acceptance, ultimately searching for love. True love is everything – it’s like air. It’s happiness, it’s joy, it’s sacrifice, it’s painful at times, it’s loyalty, it’s patience, it’s understanding. When I say love is everything I mean it is EVERYTHING.
Kix: Do you write poetry?
Takerra: I haven’t written poetry in a long time. Well, I did write a poem for a dear friend that passed a little while ago, but no one saw that. I may put it in one of my books and pass it off as a character’s work.
I always wrote poetry for therapy and thought I was just mediocre at it,
allthough I’ve been told it was pretty good.
Kix: Tell me about your latest book you’ve just completed?
Takerra: It’s a sequel. The first novel was Restricted, and it was a soap opera on paper so to speak. Two couples intertwined with lots of scandal, love, and lust. The sequel was requested by the readers so I obliged. I also sort of left the book on a cliffhanger so it was only fair I gave it to them. The sequel is so different than the original. It still has the love and the lust but it’s darker. It has action, suspense; it’s more of a love thriller so to speak. This couple, this happy couple, had their lives turned upside down when a jealous ex tried to kill the girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. So the sequel is all about a cat and mouse chase, revenge, payback. But it has some twists in there. I’m anxious to see what the readers think of it because a lot of it was new for me. It’s almost 400 pages of pure drama!
Kix: What can we look forward to next from you?
Takerra: More novels, lots more novels as well as a few other surprises. The way that my brother had his hands into different aspects of the arts, I’d love to branch out as well. My business partner and I have been lucky to have been offered lots of new opportunities, we’ve made some new connections in different industries, so things are about to become very busy for us.
Kix: Websites, instagram and Twitter please?
Takerra: Updates about my books are always at hiue.blogspot.com I am on Twitter
@TAKERRA_ALLEN and instagram @bytakerraallen. I’m also on Facebook and
active on all three social media sites. Come reach out to me.
Kix: How do you get your KIX? (Pleasures in life)
Takerra: This is cute. I get my KIX from writing, definitely. I also get my KIX from being in the presence of those I love and enjoying life with them, from watching a movie, to enjoying a meal, to traveling. I just had a baby, so the best KIX I get is from seeing my daughter smile. And God… as long as I know through him all of this is possible, I get my KIX from him, too.
Thank you. Takerra Allen-Taylor.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Mishael Morgan interview
Kix Mag: You starred in and shared a scene in "Total Recall" opposite Collin Farrell. What was that experience like?
Mishael Morgan: It was amazing! I loved working with him. Farrell was so real, and down to earth, it was inspiring. It was a pleasure to work with such a humble and giving actor. I hope I get the opportunity to work with him again!
Kix: Do you think Recall technology will ever exist in the same way as it does in the film?
Mishael: Considering how far technology has come in just the past 10 years, I think it’s only a matter of time. That is why I love movies; they inspire our creativity and can challenge our beliefs of what’s possible. Although somethings in "Total Recall" are a little out there like the instant face changing technology, other things seem quite possible. I think the massive tunnel thing called, “the Fall” and even the sliding cars can be scene in our future. Even the glowing tattoo, that they had on my back, seems like something that can exist any day now.
Kix: Talk to me about your role in “Backpackers”?
Mishael: My role on “Backpackers” was so much fun. I played the free spirited Maya. She decided to take a break from life and fly around the world for a year. Maya is very much a modern-day hippy who leads with her heart and lives each day to its fullest. I loved playing such a wild and adventurous character because I feel like the complete opposite some times.
Kix: You also played a character named Maya in "You got Served". Do you know what the Hindus interpretation of Maya is?
Mishael: I didn’t before but after doing some research, it seems to be a very controversial word in the Hindu culture. I’m still a bit confused lol.
Kix: Do you have a favourite chocolate?
Mishael: My favourite chocolate is Lindt and Ferrero Rocher!
Kix: What’s your favourite fashion label?
Mishael: I love shoes, right now I am obsessed with my new pair of Jimmy Choo’s.
Kix: What projects do you have planned for this year?
Mishael: I currently spend most of my time working on my role, Hilary Curtis for “The Young & The Restless”. You can catch me daily on the Y&R at 12:30 est on CBS.
Kix: Where can people keep up to date with your work?
Mishael: Website: mishaelmorgan.workbooklive.com or MishaelMorgan1 on Twitter or Mishael Morgan on Facebook and Instagram.
Kix: How do your KIX?
Mishael: I get my KIX from good food, exotic travel, movies and my family & friends!
Words by Joshua Cooper
Images by Tj Scott and Ace Hicks
SNiPER interview...The Party Don't Stop!
Kix Mag: How have you been since we last meet up again in your home town Ayia Napa?
SNiPER: Very good, as you know 2013 was a tough year because basically the bank system crashed and pretty much innocent people had to suffer, but we have been fighting ever since, the setback surely hasn't changed the momentum and the fighting spirit is certainly at an all time high right now. Just looking forward to the new year!
Kix: Anyone who's been to Ayia Napa all know about Club Ice, Black and White and Water World. Is there any news developments / ventures to look out for, for 2014 / 2015?
SNiPER: Of course, those who know me, knoooow me! And you know me so that is why you have written down this question in the first place! As always the #THEPARTYDONTSTOP and we are always thinking of new ideas, every year as everyone can see we constantly come with new things, and 2014/2015 will surely be no different, actually we're just getting started to be honest.
Kix: What are your top 3 moments of 2013 and why? What would you say your biggest achievement this year was?
SNiPER: That's a tough one, the first show of summer 2014 with Charlie Sloth was epic in Club Ice, as you know I bypass all bookings until my first world tour, so if anyone wants to see me live they need to come to my venues for now, maybe that is why I will purchase some winter spots so i can have an excuse to do shows all year round, haha. It was the one where you unleash that energy pilled up for the first show, it was epic, I will be posting highlights for my live shows in 2014 just to prepare everyone for the madness next summer and you will see what I mean.
My Waterpark featuring on CNN as one of the best Waterparks in the world is like a, "ok I'm going to bed now, goodnight, wake me up when you get your biz on CNN! Haaaa" That moment was epic too, the grind never stops (It's 4.30am been up since 6.00am yesterday and my mac is on 20% working till the last % that's A.M.) and outside of the music seeing the companies do well
and taking the group up a level is always a pleasure.
Another great moment was Sway, and Jaguar skills who is really one of my fav DJ's of all time, what a ninja nutter! Of course there was my Kandi shows, where you get to see me almost every week on the beach with the band, that was special, and 2014 the show is so much bigger, all the beach parties on the beach were dope, like Fire On The Beach etcŠ Getting to see the homie Giggs as he didn't come for a hot minute, the Wiley drama was interesting Wretch 32 is always bless, and of course the Tinie Tempah challenge. Having to do a show to 5,000 people who came just to see Tinie was a challenge, and it was great, we killed it, I have been enjoying the live shows so much over the past couple of years, me and the crowd are working on a huge conspiracy theory and it is a good one!
Kix: We've noticed that you've been hibernating for a while before you popped up with new hit "The Party Doesn't Stop".. How long does it usually take you to write a song?
SNiPER: Sometimes 5 minutes sometimes 5hours, sometimes 5 days, but who's counting, I make records that will stay, I never hibernate, I just had to make sure after the set backs that in 2014 you will be getting A LOT MORE OF MUSIC, because good music is needed.
Kix: Tell us about the album?
SNiPER: What album? My debut one or the follow up? I never hibernate. Hahaha. Just keep an eye out for the SNiPER on the rooftop in 2014.
Kix: So what should we expect to see from you in 2014?
SNiPER: Nothing, expectations are for acts that have a fan base in the millions, I'm an artist not an act, I will be happy if I gain a new supporter a day and I would rather they stick with me till the end, that's priceless, other than that there is music coming and I also started producing for others again as I had to hold that back whilst I was working on my own stuff.
Kix: Any plans of you coming to the UK in the near future?
SNiPER: I'm always there.
Kix: Kix Mag are excited to be doing business with you mid 2014. Could you tell our fans what they can expect from 3fifty7?
SNiPER: Are we? Hahaha, I think everyone should give credit to Kix for the upcoming project because we are providing what we have always provided, Kix is just giving it their own touch, and I truly hope you find success and I wish you best of luck, we wouldn't work with you if we felt you didn't have what it takes.
Kix: Last but not least, can you please remind us how you get your Kix?
SNiPER: Honesty, Hardwork and Loyalty. When the smoke clears that's what stays standing, too much of that complex web in this business, so I am happy to be out of it, in away and observe from a distance. Like a SNiPER.
Words by Pedro Shippuden
Kix Mag: Welcome to Kix Mag. Blue Caprice and
Mother of George. Two independent films that each carry their own particular voice. From your perspective, what is it that each voice is saying?
Ron Simmons: If you're referring to moral of the story, we don't burden the audience with moral message. Each film is an exploration. Mother of George, for instance, explores the family dynamic of a particular subculture and the depths to which a person will go to realize a dream even if the actions diverge from the direction of her moral compass. It also explores the basic human desire to please (family) and adhere to a cultural norm. Blue Caprice, by contrast, explores the issue of violence and begs the question: is a killer born or made and, if made, what factors may contribute to that genesis.
Kix Mag: Mother of George has a wonderful chemistry of colours. Why are the colours so important in telling its story?
Ron: For me the colors do two things. First they immerse immediately into the world of Nigerian culture. Secondly, they also mirror the very storytelling that it underscores. For example the opening scene is a celebration of marriage. Later we see the use of reds and blues and the story becomes more charged with drama (red) and the cooling of the relations of the characters in the film (blue). I think the use of color was chosen by the two gifted artists who's vision is realized on the screen: the extraordinary talent of our DP Bradford Young and our director who is gifted to have an extensive and lauded experience as photographer, Andrew Dusumou.
Kix Mag: What was the experience like working with Isaiah Washington in Blue Caprice and Isaach De Bankolé <http://m.imdb.com/name/nm0207218/> in Mother of George?
Ron: I had more experience in working with Isaiah as we shared a scene in the film. With reflect to Isaach, I found him to be an Actor's actor - which is to say, talented and gracious/giving. Isaiah is a professional. His commitment to character development and truth in EVERY frame of the film is inspiring. His is both committed to his art yet open to discussion and interpretation. The latter would be a great question to ask of our director Alexandre Moors.
Kix Mag: What is the role of a film Producer?
Ron: Well there are different kinds of producers. I fancy myself a creative producer. My co-career as actor allows me the benefit of appreciation for, and recognition of, good story telling. I'm the producer who will give writers script notes if the character arc is muddied or unclear. I like to suss out the theme, clarity and pacing of the story. My business background affords me the opportunity to exercise my business analysis skills and my skills of managing interpersonal and group dynamics. There are other producers who are technical and whose main focus is to deliver the film on time and on budget. Pay them and they deliver that service
Kix Mag: If you were stuck on a desert island with only one books, which would it be?
Ron: The Bible
Kix Mag: What's your opinion on Obama?
Ron: Glad he's our President.
Kix Mag: websites, twitter, Instagram etc and up and coming projects?
Ron: Newest project is the documentary 25 to Life.
Kix Mag: How do you get your KIX?
Ron: Travel, reading, time with my dog and, of course, movies and plays.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Ethan Lipton interview
Kix Mag: Can you tell us a bit about your
Ethan: “NO PLACE TO GO” is a music-theatre piece about a man who learns that the company where he’s worked for 10 years is relocating to Mars. It’s about that Wile E. Coyote moment when you run off the edge of the Grand Canyon and make the mistake of looking down. It’s heartfelt, political and funny, and I perform it with my band, which has been playing music in NYC since 2005.
Kix Mag: Can you describe the creative process behind this play?
Ethan: Shanta Thake, Director of Joe’s Pub – one of the great music venues in the States – aske me to write a narrative evening of music for a series she was creating called New York Voices. I spent nine months writing the songs, then arranged them with my band mates (Eben Levy, Ian Riggs and Vito Dieterle), all the while working on the text. The Director Leigh Silverman helped us shape it into a show, and the public decided to produce a theatrical run in spring of 2012, where it won an Obie Award.
Kix Mag: Why is theatre important?
Ethan: We need to hear stories, and we need to hear them some of them live while sitting in the same room as other human beings. It makes us more human.
Kix Mag: Is there a particular chapter in the history of theatre that you enjoy the most?
Ethan: I’ve always admired the Absurdists, whenever they arrive.
Kix Mag: How does an aspiring playwright get his big break?
Ethan: Either your get lucky and keep at it, or you keep at it and get lucky. I think most of us would prefer the formal path, but I can say there are surprising rewards for hanging in long enough to take the latter.
Kix Mag: Auditioning cast members? Chore of choir?
Ethan: This piece is cast entirely of guys I play music with, so that was easy. In general, I enjoy casting plays. I guess if you don’t enjoy casting, you could always start a band.
Kix Mag: What's your favourite architectural landmark?
Ethan: There is a Mexican restaurant near where I grew up called Mission Burrito. I don’t think another building has inspired me more.
Kix Mag: Self motivation - what's your personal definition of it?
Ethan: If you want a career as an artist, you have to treat it like a job. You don’t have to treat it like a bad job —you don’t have to be a total jerk as your own boss —but you have to know that if you don’t do the work, no one will. I’m still terrified to face the blank page, but it no longer seems like a choice. I don’t need motivation to work anymore; I need motivation for turning off the computer so I can exercise or – perish the thought – relax.
Kix Mag: What's the best theatre character and movie character you've seen portrayed?
Ethan: I have endless affection for George and Martha of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?,” and it’s hard to beat Bill Murray in anything.
Kix Mag: Websites, twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc?
Kix Mag: HOW DO YOU GET YOUR KIX?
Ethan: Walking the dogs.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Apollo interview 2013
Kix Mag: Welcome to Kix Mag Apollo.
Introduce yourself to the world, tell them who you are and what you do.
Apollo: My name is Apollo and I am a Hip hop Artist from the West Midlands. I also write and produce my own material.
Kix Mag: You have been signed to Souled Records for a while now how is everything going for you?
Apollo: It's been hard work, but enjoyable bringing my life's work together for the world to hear.
Kix Mag: This summer was a very eventful
summer for Kix, did you get up to anything exciting?
Apollo: I checked out some festivals which I will be performing at next year and released my Debut EP. I also featured in the International Radio Festival in Zurich, some TV and radio appearances alongside promotion.
Kix Mag: You released your first single this year how did it go?
Apollo: It was a surreal moment for me especially hearing my single played on the radio for the first time. Also, being recognised for the first time in public is crazy!!
Kix Mag: Susan, your manager
is always backwards and forwards between NY and London. Are there any plans on you hitting US shores any time soon?
Apollo: Hopefully, as I have a Worldwide audience, and the US would be my ideal first port of call. I have grown up listening to a lot if US Artists and I would love to get involved in the music scene over there, and all it's madness.
Kix Mag: Do you have any exclusive news/info our readers need to know about?
Apollo: Yes, I can exclusively reveal that my debut album is due to be released in December 2013. It's gonna be eye opening!! So make sure you guys at Kix are ready!!!
Kix Mag: What's your next project and who are you working with?
Apollo: Just in the final stages of completing my debut album, which will be a mixture of emotions and situations, covering various events in general life. This album is written and produced by myself although I have a few secret collabs in the pipeline with some amazing people in the new year. Which is gonna be exciting!! Can't say too much yet but it's gonna be huge.
Kix Mag: How can people find out more about you ie Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc?
Apollo: Everyone can follow me on http: www.souled.co.uk Twitter @apollotherapper, Instagram: apollo_classa and check out my Facebook page Apollo!!
Kix Mag: And our golden question how do
you get your kix?
Apollo: The biggest Kix I have is when I am on stage performing in front of a live audience. There is no greater feeling as an artist than a crowd singing your track back to you!! Thanks for taking time to talk with me.
Kix Mag: Thank you for doing this interview and shout out to Susan at Souled Records for everything.
Words Trevor Small
Colman Domingo interview 2013
Kix Mag: Your rehearsing for a play due to begin in September. Talk to me about it?
Colman Domingo: The plays called a "Boy and a Soul". Instead of a love story about growing up in inner city Philidelphia in the late 70's and early 80's its really about this guys journey when he starts cleaning out his parents home, his childhood home, and putting some memories away as he's trying to look towards the future. His parents are suffering from different illnesses. It's autobiographical based strongly on my life and what I was going through at the time but it's also about soul music, music of the catalysts, music that stayed with me. Some of the music is inspired by the story and some of the story is inspired by the music. (Playing at the Tricycle Theatre in London on Saturday 21st September 2013 www.tricycle.co.uk)
Kix: Do you prefer acting on stage or acting infront of the camera?
Colman: I prefer both. One supports the other. I love working in television and film, I've been working and doing a lot of films lately and I really enjoy that work. Stage work sort of like fits like a glove. I've been acting on stage for about 22 years, its something I sort of know like the back of my hand in a way. TV and film is nice financially, it help supports my theater work.
Kix: Butler is one of the new movies your in. What's it about?
Colman: Butler is a beautiful script. It's directed by Lee Daniel's, who directed Shadow Lands. It's a true story about a White House butler who's in the White House for 40 years from the Eisenhower administration in 1957 to president Obama, so its really examining the United States through the eyes of this Butler. It stars Forest Whiticker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Cuban Gooding JR, Howard Rickman, everyone, Robin Williams, I also happen to be in it. I play the head of the butler staff, I play the boss of Cuban Gooding JR, Lenny Kravitz etc.
Kix: How difficult is it to learn a script for a play?
Colman: It all depends on the script. It seems that I never get easy scripts. I might get a 5 page monologue. Even my own show which is a 90 minute show, I always think, why would I do this to myself but its just a sort of discipline you learn, a challenge, and you know that people are going to pay for tickets to come and see your show so you'll figure out how to memorize it. I have a lot of different things that I'll use, sometimes I'll write out my script on butcher-blot paper and will tape them all over my bedroom and so before I go to sleep im looking over lines, when I wake up I'm looking over lines. So its constantly going into my mind.
Kix: What's your favorite spot in London?
Colman: So far my favorite place has been Rosa's kitchen which is a Tai place in Soho. So far that's been the best Tai food I have ever had.
Kix: Who's the coolest Hollywood actor?
Colman: My coolest Hollywood actor is actually a Brit, Daniel Day Lewis. He's the coolest. He's a professional through and through. He's kind, he's generous. I was just been in the opening with him for Lincoln and he was really one of the kindest people I've ever met. He's very respectful to everyone on set. He's a master of what he does and he gets everybody else rising to the occasion.
Kix: What other projects are you working on?
Colman: I have a few movies coming out. One is called Newlyweeds. It's about a pot head couple and I play this guy who gets in the way and puts the moves on this girl. I really play a crazy dude in this movie. Then I'll be staying in London a little while longer. I'll be doing a show called Scottsboro Boys which was on Broadway about 3 years ago that'll premier at the Young Vic www.youngvic.org
Kix: What's your process before you go onto stage?
Colman: I really have to get myself in good physical shape and mental shape. Also I have to warm up my voice and my body. I'm one of those actors about 4 hrs before show time I cut down all communication, so that whatever state I need to be in, it's as if I'm almost protecting that energy. I don't answer phone calls, I don't speak to anyone it's a winding down process because I have to restore a lot of energy for the performance. Lunch around 3 pm, hour or so later, warm up with stretching or yoga, but I don't talk to anyone during that period to get my mind focused.
Kix: How can people keep up to date with you?
Colman: You can follow me on Twitter, its Colman Domingo, I have my fan page on Facebook and I have a website which is www.colmandomingo.com
Kix: How do you get your KIX?
Colman: I get my KIX from good friends, a good cocktail, and lots of laughter.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Hussan Fatal from Outlawz EXCLUSIVE interview
Kix mag: Welcome to Kix Mgazine Hussein Fatal. What's the definition of Thug Life?
Hussan Fatal: To me thug life is the life of anyone in a struggle no matter what colour you are. In other words they used to label us thugs as a bad thing, we just switched it around and made it a cool thing. Just Like the word N!gg*! Anyone on the street tryna eat that's Thuglife. Anyone in a relationship with problems, running the streets doing drugs to run from their problems that's Thuglife. That dumb ass show Love & Hip-Hop that's Thuglife, that's not Love & Hip Hop. See when we show them Thuglife in the streets they hate it, or say they do, then you turn on the T.V and their broadcasting Thuglife with made up characters lol.
Kix: Made N!gg*z is a classic song of the Gang-Related soundtrack. What was it like working on the set with Tupac for the music video?
Hussan: It was very energetic working with Tupac. Wasn't a dull moment and I enjoyed it.
Kix: Many people have said that Tupac was a workaholic and an obsessive book reader. What was his routine like and what were his favourite books?
Hussan: Don't know about his favourite books but I know he was a fan of classical sh!t that made sense. Routine was 5am movie set whether it was for “Gridlock” or the other one with the Roth guy and that beautiful friend lady, the baddest cr*ckhead I ever seen in my life. Yes 5am Movie set - I was with him all the time - photoshoots, interviews in movie trailer by 4pm, studio by 12-1pm, then club, 3am home and 5am same sh!t again.
Kix: Why the name 'The Outlawz’?
Hussan: Well every Outlaw member besides me wanted their group name to be the Little Homies. When I got back from Jersey PAC came into the kitchen and told me our group name would be Lil Homies. I nipped that in the bud and said no it’s not, our name is the Outlawz. You gotta remember Tupac had a group already Dramacydle, that was him, Big Malcom, K-Dawg, Young Cap who was Kadafi & Mutah. All of them were Dramacydle. When Kadafi pulled me in, sh!t changed, dramatically. Then it became two groups Kadafi, PAC & I were the Outlawz, but PAC and the rest of them were Dramacydle. We had two groups in one, but anyway I chose the Outlawz because that title best described my lifestyle then & now, I mean sh!t picture us now 14 years later talking bout we the Lil Homies, lol
Kix: Lol very true. What projects are you currently working on?
Hussan: I just finished the "Interview" an all audio and no video album. I'm working on me & Young Nobles second album. I also just wrapped up my Book.
Kix: What's your feelings toward the music industry?
Hussan: What music industry? There isn't one anymore. Hip-Hop was a black thing. Obliviously black dummies have opinions that count on some sh!t they know nothing about, some sh!t that's not theirs. Industry is done as far as we knew it. It’s watered down. Mainstream radio only spin African American artist, that's gonna dumb down our community. They don't want our people teaching the hood real life things. We went from Thuglife to Swagg. From 2pac to 2chains from Micheal Jackson to Robin Thicke. I love Robin’s music but come on where did he get that soul from?. In other words Hip-Hop is being dumbed down in the black community but in the suburbs you guys have Macklemore who speaks more of the Thuglife (struggle) more than any of these rap n!gg*s. They talking about Molly, talking about Versace, throwing millions on naked b!tch*s in video’s. Where's the Message? There isn't one and if they had a message they wouldn't get spins on the radio. So to all you mainstream rap n!gg*s, good job, you work for them now, your dumbing down the race & culture thanks.. Shout outs to Macklemore.
Kix: What is your message to anyone who is trying to get into the music industry?
Hussan: My message to anyone trying to get in the music industry is don't! Stay home read a Book and in 5 years there will be no industry and n!gg*s is gonna have to either play sports or be smart as f*(k.
Kix: What books do you read?
Hussan: I read all types of books when I feel like it, but these days if I want a good story I just read the Essex county section in the Star Ledger.
Kix: Do you have a website/YouTube/Twitter?
Hussan: Instagram: Fatalvelli , Twitter: Fatalvelli Facebook Hussein Fatal.
Kix: How do you get your Kix?
Hussan: I get my Kix going fishing and chilling with my kids, schooling them on their uncles Kadafi, Tupac & Outlawz.
Kix: We feel privilege to do this interview, thank you very much and stay in touch with us. Your welcome back anytime.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Kimberly Zanni interview July 2013
Exclusive Kix Magazine’s first UK interview with Kimberly Zanni, President of Gelato Di Babbo Icecream and the Zani corporation.
Kix Mag: Welcome to KIX MAGAZINE, I really love the brand presentation of Gelato Di Babbo ice cream. Talk to me about the process involved in designing
Kimberly Zanni: I have gone through four packaging designs over the last 6 years. At first I used to design everything and run labels off my laser printer, then hand wrap each pint... next I went to a company who designed my new logo…the packaging was pretty cookie cutter like with my logo. Each flavour had a different colour. It was very bold and bright. At that point labels were coming in on big rolls and we were still hand wrapping them. A little over a year ago I started a new packaging design, with a line in the background for each flavour, I decided I wanted each flavour in English and Italian to keep with the "Authentic" theme. My story of how I started from a cart 6
years ago on the main street of my small town is printed on each pint.
These cups were now printed on five colour, printed plastic on the lids and pints... no one else does that here. They are printing on plastic maybe one colour... or full on paper. I didn’t like the way my product tasted in cardboard. So I bit the bullet to take less profit to serve my product in a better container. The first run of 35,000 of each cup there were slight defects and I made the plastic company throw away 35000 containers of each flavour. They weren't very happy to say the least with me... after eating the costs. Yes, I am really that hardcore!
Kix: Why did you decide to name it Gelato di Babbo™?
Kimberly Zanni: I was vacuum cleaning one day, trying to figure out what would go with "Gelato". and I heard my ex husband call my son "Babbo". which means daddy as a term of endearment. At that moment it just stuck!
Kix: Gelato di Babbo™ has become one of the largest manufacturers of Artisan Gelati and Sorbetti in Pennsylvania – and its national distribution has grown from 20 stores to over 200 in 15 states all within 5 years. How much of a task has it been to accomplish this?
Kimberly Zanni: I did it all alone, working 20 hours a day for several years. Many days I would break down and wonder if I was really meant to be doing this.
Kix: In the Gelato Di Babbo™ advertising campaigns you are the face to Gelato di Babbo™ Why is it important to you to be the face to your own product?
Kimberly Zanni: A lot of people in food on Fb has become the face of their products. Once people can see who they are supporting they can relate to that person. I am not sure why I started using myself as the face of my product. I started getting a lot of press and people were like "You are that girl I read about or saw on TV" A lot of times people will come out to events just to see me then I noticed the more I started playing the part of being a strong Italian women and looking sexy it started to peek more interest. Sex sells what can I say?
Kix: Any plans to stock Gelato di Babbo™ ice cream here in the United Kingdom or is it a worldwide vision you have for your Gelato di Babbo™ brand?
Kimberly Zanni: I would love to go worldwide, I have enough production to be able to produce it. My biggest problem is getting people to stay away from national and international brands that they are already buying now to try mine here in the US. I think it will be a while before I am able to find a reason to export.
Kix: Does icecream have sex appeal?
Kimberly Zanni: Sure it does, if you play it right and almost everything Italian has sex appeal.
Kix: Which flavor of Gelato di Babbo™ do you personally love and eat the most?
Kimberly Zanni: My Pistachio is a favourite. I went all the way to Bronte Italy and walked on the volcanic rock of Mt Etna to get the best pistachio in the world which I import under my other company Zanni Foods Inc and use in my gelato.
Kix: What type of music do you listen to?
Kimberly Zanni: I love house music, electronic, 90's rap music, Trance, I grew up during the "rave scene." Many times when I am making gelato I am shaking my ass to some kind of dance music but I always have music on all day and all night.
Kix: What's your web site, Facebook group, Twitter information?
Kimberly Zanni:www.zannifoods.com I am adding gelato di babbo site soon. Gelato Di Babbo on Fb and Same on Twitter
Kix: Exclusive Question: what's the name of the newest icecream you have scheduled to be released?
Kimberly Zanni: I have no plans for any new flavours at the moment, ok, well the next one is a super high protein product. I am all about healthy living.
Kix: How do you get your KIX?
Kimberly Zanni: I love to dance, travel, fashion, and being social.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Jean Francois Dor interview June 2013
Kix Mag: Thank you for doing this interview. We're sitting in the Russell Sq hotel and it’s a beautiful choice. I just want to ask why
this particular hotel to do our interview?
Jean Francois Dor: Just for convenience as I just had a meeting here and then I have to go to the Foundling Museum around the corner for an event.
Kix: What is it you love most about the work that you do?
Jean: The diversity as I do so many different things. I am concerned about people, arts and life.
Kix: What do you remember about the very first event you put on?
Jean: The smiles of people. That's actually what always I find fulfilling.
Kix: What companies or persons have you organized events for?
Jean: There's a list on my website. www.jfdor.co.uk although not exhaustive it includes American Express, Belgium Tourist Office, the Embassies of Belgium, France, Chile, Cuba, Peru, Tunisia and Spain, The Bank of Scotland, IBM,
Shell, Ministry of Defence, Galleries Lafayette, Eurostar, Ericsson and various other companies and private clients.
Kix: You hold high positions in a lot of influential clubs where you seem to be either the chairman or the vice chairman. How have you accomplished this?
Jean: When I arrived in London in 1987 my progression was very fast, I became manager within two years and general manager within three.
I used to manage restaurants and hotels and when your in a high powered job people invite you to things and ask if you may like to join their committees and boards. At the moment I'm saying no to everyone as I am trying to leave some of these boards and committees to concentrate on my passions. I also want to paint more.
Kix: I acknowledge your high connections, years of experience and the willingness to always offer me mentoring. You are humble and down to earth. What keeps you grounded?
Jean: I don't know if I'm grounded at all. Sometimes I behave erratically like everybody else. Perhaps, I'm very grounded because I try to be natural and just be myself.
Kix: Do you have a favourite poet?
Jean: No. I'm re-reading Rimbaud and Verlaine at the moment. I skip from one poet to the other. I do like French poetry and have written a few myself many years ago.
Kix: How do you determine potential in someone when you meet them?
Jean: How well prepared they are. I am told that the first five second of an interview is when you first decide to hire someone.
I have just interviewed someone for an internship who was so ill prepared and didn't know anything about me. I had interviewed people on skype first of all as some come from far away and its easier for all parties. You can decide pretty quickly what their levels of English are. One guy was really lovely but he was asking me questions that showed me he didn't actually know anything about me. Had he just looked at my website he would have known a little bit more about me.
Kix: You are also a painter and are involved in the arts world. I have bought along to this interview a budding artist to meet you, her name is Francine Seaton whom I feel is a very talented painter. What advice can you offer her on being a successful and publicly noted painter?
Jean: Just ring all the bells, that's really what you have to do literally just go around with your portfolio and try and sell. You can be a good artist but you have to sell, that's what it’s all about. If you have to sell your
work for £20 a head at the start go for it and sell it because it will inspire you to do more and create more. Otherwise you will end up with a huge accumulation of paintings.
Kix: How do you get your KIX?
Jean: Champagne and friends, lot of it!
Words by Joshua Cooper
J Saurus interview June 2013
Kix Mag: Nice to interview young talent for a change, we recently interviewed another young talented Rapper from the US called Chi Chi aged 10 check her out sometime! How long have you been rapping for?
J Saurus: I will definitely, I've been rapping for quite a while now. I remember being in the playground like at 8 years of age rapping. However I
wasn't taking it too seriously until last year.
Kix: Your very talented with your art form, which rappers have inspired you?
J Saurus: Thanks a lot, I've had influences from all round but the rappers that influenced me the most are the likes of Ludacris, Busta Rhymes and recently I've been listening to alot of Ab-Soul.
Kix: Where did the idea of Jurassic Park apart from the obvious?
J Saurus: Well other than it correlating with my stage name, the subtitle 'Survived Extinction' represents the journey I’m looking to embark on. I feel that rap has changed in the recent years but with me J.Saurus survivng extinction I can bring back the realness and passion to the art.
Kix: Whats your views on the state of the UK rap scene today?
J saurus: My views on the UK rap scene is mixed, I feel it’s healthy in terms of the amount of acts coming through, however I feel not enough are making it through into the mainstream market.
Kix: Your choice of beats are very laid back and have an oldskool feel to them. What make you want to use them?
J saurus: I like old skool beats the most when it comes to rap to be honest. Also, I feel the beats I use are seasonal, they reflect the mood I'm in a lot of the time. The instrumentals that were used for the mixtape showed a story within itself, they showed passion and emotion and that’s exactly what I hoped to project through lyrics.
Kix: Tell me a little bit about you! College, what your studying, like and dis-likes etc?
J Saurus: Well I just finished college so finally I'm on my summer break. I like a lot of things, as you know; music, women, I like comedy, eating food, I even enjoy wildlife. *laughs*
Kix: Who is your producer, tell me about him, as they never really get the shine they deserve?
J Saurus: That's great you asked about him, because not many do get recognition. My main producer is Delboy of DSDEnt. You can follow him on twitter @DelsMuzik. He’s a young producer full of creativity and work rate and like me, he’s looking to progress and further his career in music.
Kix: Whats your next moves and plans? For the next 3 years?
J Saurus: I've got a few plans, in 3 years I’m hoping we can take over the world but it’s a bit too ambitious. Right now I’m just focusing on the short term aims. That’s just really to push this mixtape as much as possible, perform at shows, gain a solid and supportive fan base while hoping to release a single by the end of summer.
Kix: How can people get in contact with you?
J Saurus: You can find me on twitter @sorawsaurs , Facebook at Soraw Saurus even Instagram @sorawsaurus . I handle all these accounts so it will be easy to get in contact with me.
Kix: How do you get your kix? (Pleasures in life, excitement etc)?
J Saurus: I get my kix through the simple things in life, the small things we often don't notice. I feel the littlest things are sometimes the most important and effective.
Kix: Thanks for the interview good luck in everything you do and stay tuned to Kix Mag.
Words by Trevor Small
Jeff Mayweather interview (Floyd Mayweather uncle)
Floyd Mayweather Jr is the highest paid athlete's in the world of sports entertainment. He is also boxings undefeated champion. Mr Paperview. KIX Magazine talk to Floyd Jr 's uncle Jeff Mayweather in his 3rd ever interview he has ever given to the UK press.
Kix Mag: Welcome to KIX Magazine. You are a direct descendant from a family of warriors. Your nephew Floyd is the highest paid athlete in sports. Is it
genetics that make the Mayweathers so great?
Jeff Mayweather: I won’t really say it's all genetics or we all would have done as well as Floyd Jr. I think hard work is a part of our DNA. Floyd Jr was almost a creation of what his dad started pretty much from the day he was born,
working on what the whole world is witnessing now.
Kix: To a young kid reading this interview, has his/her whole life in front of
them and aspires towards greatness. What advice can you offer them about
life and how to accomplish it?
Jeff: First of all you have to seek out something you have a sincere passion about, something that you can embrace and it makes you feel good by just being a part of what it is you chose in life. To you it's not work, it's making a difference in the world we live in, no matter how big or how small. Most important part is you look forward to it.
Kix: Training is a huge word in the boxing vernacular. Why is training such a
complicated part to a fighter’s lifestyle and why do so many fighter’s have
an issue dedicating themselves to it?
Jeff: Well I think that Boxing is a sport in which an individual chooses for themselves. You are not drafted into boxing. With that being said that it is a choice - you set the standard as well as the criteria of success - not meaning winning Championships that's something that has to dwell deep within. Then you have to find that special person that you can bond with and really trust your life witch will allow them to help you to fullfill your quest and pull that Champion out of you that dwells deep inside, slowly it will rise to the surface with patience hard work game plan and perseverance.
Kix: What's the best boxing match you've watched?
Jeff: Live, I would say Brandon Rios versus Mike Alvarado on television George Foreman versus Ron Lyle.
Kix: What's your fondest moment in your nephew Floyd's career?
Jeff: Him winning his first World Title. I cried like a baby plus all of the brothers entered the ring that night. We all had a part in getting him there.
Kix: Floyd is incredibly bright. Does he read many books?
Jeff: Your under the assumption that because Floyd intelligence in the ring equates to being smart by reading, this is the School of Hard Knocks. You learn that from years of repetitious training trying to master and perfect your craft the two don't have to coincide at all. Floyd has a flair about him that kind of prepared him for being in the spotlight. Being so good at so young, it became normal to have a microphone in your face. Far as reading books, I have no idea but his intelligence in the ring I know exactly where that comes from. He says it every training camp "Hard Work Dedication "
is the motto Floyd Mayweather Jr lives by and always has when it comes to boxing.
Kix: Are there any fighters that we should keep an eye out for?
Jeff: Of course, there is Adrian Broner I think is a future superstar when Floyd exits boxing for good , Triple G is one to watch as well and Adnonis Steveson and Errol Spence, Quiet Killer certainly one to watch.
Kix: Why do you love boxing?
Jeff: I was inherited by boxing. My brother Roger followed Floyd Sr, I followed Roger. Never cared about boxing loved Basketball was pretty good in my High School days. Always thought I would be in the NBA but 130 lbs 5'8 reality sit in. So after graduating from Western Michigan University I was faced with a real choice, Job or giving myself a chance to live out my dream as a professional Athlete, I took option number two because I didn't want to lie to myself about what I would have and could have done as a professional Boxer so I threw myself into the moment did okay won a minor world title fought some Hall of Fame fighters then retired on my own terms at the young age of 32.
Kix: Any websites, fight dates or any news you'd like to share with us Jeff?
Jeff: If you get a chance take a look at my website www.proboxinginsider.com and www.mmainsider.com they are an adjoined site covering hot topics in boxing and in mix martial arts , I have so many fight dates can't list them all but the one's that are televised June 15th in Winnipeg Canada. I have Roy "Big Country" Nelson in the U.F.C and 4 days later return of King Mo on Spike TV in Bellator June 19th.
Kix: How do you get your KIX?
Jeff: Watching a movie, chilling out listen to a nice mellow C.D or go out and challenge my fighters either in a game of pool or get killed by them in a game of Bowling.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Chi Chi Monet interview (10 year old rapper)
Kix Mag: Chi Chi Monet welcome to Kix Magazine. Why is music such a powerful tool in delivering a good or bad message to people and why are people so heavily
influenced by music?
Chi Chi Monet: People are heavily influenced by the music because there are all different types of music for all different types of moods. If a person is sad, he/she may want to listen to some sad songs or they may want to hear happy songs to cheer them up. That's what makes music so great and influential. I choose to use my music to deliver good messages and I enjoy the reaction from my fans.
Kix: You recently answered Michelle Obama's obesity challenge with your song titled 'Move. How affective has the song been?
Chi Chi: It's very affective, my new single 'MOVE' encourages kids to stay in shape, eat healthy, and encourage kids to try out new sports and/or activities. Because of the song, we attracted other brands who have partnered with me to create an initiative called Get Kids Movin' (getkidsmovin.com) which is a series of interactive fitness tours for kids. Childhood Obesity is a serious problem and I'm happy to do my part in helping raise awareness of the issue.
Kix: Why is education important to people and what obstacles do people face in getting a good education?
Chi Chi: Education should be important to everyone because it can get you far in life, but some obstacles people may face in getting a good education is lack of money, a lack of good parenting, and a lack of motivation to learn.
Kix: Are you inspired by anybody in particular?
Chi Chi: I'm inspired by my father because he encourages me to stay confident and to never give up in anything I want to do. I am musically influenced by Drake, Adele, Beyonce, Marroon 5, and Chris Brown to name a few.
Kix: What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2013 and what do you hope to begin in 2014?
Chi Chi: I hope to meet The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and perform for her with my sister by the end of the year, and in 2014 I hope to have my clothing line launched.
Kix: I think that you have a universal message. Are you planning on touring?
Chi Chi: Yes, I would love to have an international tour in the near future. Currently, I am touring for the Summer with my "GET KIDS MOVIN" initiative in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. www.getkidsmovin.comand various other events.
Kix: How were you discovered?
Chi Chi: My dad discovered me when I was six years old. I was in the first grade and I wanted to make a song for my class. I asked him to help me because he has a studio. On our ride home from school, we came up with my very first song "I LIKE TO LEARN;" 45 minutes later we had the lyrics completed. He helped me record it and we even made a video and everyone loved it! I've been rapping and singing ever since.
Kix: Do you enjoy your celebrity status?
Chi Chi: Yes I enjoy the celebrity status, I really enjoy rocking out on stage and it feels good when the crowd sings along with my songs.
Kix: What's Chi Chi Monet's message to the youth? Chi Chi: I have many messages, but my main message to the youth is to always work for your dreams and never wait for them and it's better to try and fail than to never try at all.
Kix: What's Chi Chi Monet's message to the adults?
Chi Chi: My message to adults is to be the best parents to their kids that they can be and the next generation is watching so lead by example.
Kix: Chi Chi, at times you might feel as if the world isn't adjusting as quickly or as positively as you'd like it to. You're going to remain strong and positive and keep doing what you're doing won't you?
Chi Chi: Yes, I am going to continue my music career with positive messages and influences and I will continue to do well in school because I plan to be a heart surgeon one day.
Kix: How do you get your KIX? (Pleasures in life).
Chi Chi: I like to kick back and play outside, tumble, jump on my trampoline, dance, cheer, read and look at movies.
Kix Mag: Thanks for doing your first ever UK interview with us, we feel privelige to interview such a young, articulate, bright and talented young person. Good luck in everything you do.
Words by Joshua Cooper
Leila Steinbergs (Tupacs former manager) interview
2pac and Leila Steinberg and cool books
Kix Mag: Looking back over Tupac's life you played an important role in his
development. Tell me about your relationship with 2pac and why you think he
became as iconic as he has?
Leila Steinbergs: He played a very important role in my development. Ones violence is
equivalent to ones pain and ones reach is also equivalent to ones vision.
He had an enormous heart and so it is for this reason that he touched so many
hearts. I love and miss him always.
Kix: There is a clip in the “Thug Angel” documentary where you discuss some of
the literature Tupac read. They are very in-depth books. How did Tupac
manage to read so much yet be able to accomplish the huge amount's of work
L.S: The more you do, the more you will get done.
Kix: You also have a passion for reading Leila. What or whom inspired you to
be a reader?
L.S: Escaping to the library in elementary school. Peggy Shackleton in 7th
grade who helped me to know the world was in my hands through the stories
of its inhabitants and that I could travel the globe falling in love with
it’s writers. I love words and the carving and scripting of language. Tupac
was the ultimate language artist.
Kix: Take us back to the moment you and Tupac first met. What was it about
him that stood out?
L.S: His eyes and his laugh are still as glorious and vivid as my grandsons smiling at me right now.
Kix: The Hip Hop scene in London is blowing up at the moment. New stars are
being born and the industries infrastructure is beginning to bring about
financial rewards for those stars and the home grown urban media companies
that have helped push them into the mainstream. Some look at this as a
natural state of affairs but I see corporate interest. What do you think?
L.S: Not all corporations are bad. Consumers have the power and can change
the face of corps by guiding artists to rep healthier ones. There is no
separation from the artist who wants success and build corporation.
Commerce means you turn your art into lifestyle and success. We must not
run from success. We need to create a new model for what it is to incorporate.
Kix: Do you listen to any UK artists?
L.S: To many to name. I have listened to UK artists since I was a child
from King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Genesis Peter Gabriel to the multitude
now. The UK has given us voices un-paralleled
Kix: You currently run some music projects. Tell us about them?
L.S: Currently I manage Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future and many others I am
developing and managing.
Kix: How did you become involved with the music industry to begin with?
L.S: I was born in a musical arts family. Then I became a parent and needed
to business with my passion to survive.
Kix: Do you have a favorite flower?
L.S: Not a favourite but I love night blooming Jasmine outside my window when I
sleep. Roses in vases and Gardenias in the flower pot.
Kix: What's the last movie you watched?
L.S: Death of a shadow.
Kix: Mozart, Bach or Beethoven. Who's your favorite?
L.S: All the above at different times.
Kix: Share any websites, events etc?
L.S: Leila Steinberg on Pheed for all my updates.
Kix: Leila, how do you get your KIX?
L.S: The greatest pleasure is my family and parenthood, music, good books,
dramatic movies, beautiful places, travelling, art, the ocean, sports, yoga,
eating, dancing, and on and on I love my life and thankful to still be here
after losing so many.
Words by Joshua Cooper
SNiPER interview 2013
Kix Mag: Yo SNiPER what's good?
SNiPER: I'm cool thanks bro...
Kix: Thanks for taking the time out to chat to me.
SNiPER: Come on man it's not the first or the last.
Kix: Yeah done know...I'm looking forward to July. Gonna be over there for the Summer Love Beach Festival.
SNiPER: Yeah I know, have got some big things planned for it.
Kix: Yeah I can imagine... In fact it's very big for you right about now even though things did kinda go a bit pear shaped on your side but you still holding it together and doing it big. How is it that your managing to keep it that way?
SNiPER: Well, to be honest with you the idea to keep pushing on and putting records out has always been there. Regardless of what happens around the world, like say, banks crashing or volcano's erupting for example.
Through the madness, the idea is to make and put out records has always been on the agenda and it's not gonna stop. When you do this music thing and actually do the damn thing, you pretty much do it as long as you live and breath. You can't stop doing it because it's who you are regardless of budgets or whatever. You can't not do it.
Kix: Yeah most definitely.
SNiPER: Ok at the moment we're a couple bags down or what not and can say that I was in a better position this time last year compared to this one. Me and you knew each other back then anyway, so I think you'd agree when I say that at present we are not where not where we want to be but that's life and you deal with it. You slap a smile back on your face and get cracking, because you have the ability to get cracking in a way that others don't.. It's bless, it's a blessed moment within the darkness.
Kix: Yeah I hear that bro and I must say that since we first met I've always liked your attitude. Trust me bro keep it moving because it's big, it's very big
and it's getting bigger. The first time I watched your 'It's Big' video I thought " he's going in ou know." How did you come up with the concept?
SNiPER: Well, obviously you where there when I put the '11' Ep out and, excluding the 'Ayia Napa Freestyle' and the 'Black and White Freetyle' all my official releases have all be quite serious and somewhat had an anger to them. With this one I kept saying how shallow and materialistic the industry has become. I thought since I've already done the angry thing, let me be sarcastic with this one. In reality you know who I am as a real person. You know that I don't go out and brag about what I got or what I don't got. Main reason why I don't understand why all these likkle rappers that walk around the scene like "look I got this, I got that.." because i'm just like, really? Do you really want me to start talking about this stuff? Because I won't end.
Kix: LOL "I got a house on my wrist, got a car on my wrist, got a boat on my wrist.." LOOL you went in!
SNiPER: LOL see that's the thing. Even when I'm down I'm still at a level that many people dream of being at and I'm not saying that to be arrogant, I'm saying that I don't over exaggerate what I do and never been one to be too boastful.
You've heard my stuff I've never been the type of artist to waltz out there like I got this, or I got that. So, with this record I decided to be quite sarcastis. Ok so you got a rolex on your wrist, well I got a car on my wrist.. I got a boat, I got a house. I didn't even mention jet or spaceship or any of them type of things because obviously, you could have a Richard Branson remix one day where Jigga (Jay Z) is in the big ship to appeal to the more famous people.
In reality, anyone that looks into what I'm about will realise that everything I talked about on that track is all real. I didn't do it to be condescending. I did it in a way as if to say stop constantly talking about bling, lowe talking about all the stuff you got. So what if you got it? I feel like if I actually really started talking about all that stuff I'd probably make rappers wanna stop rapping. When people start talking about certain things i'm just like "Ok, good good.. So what has that got to do with the tune? Where as with this one, I done it but I took something iconic which was a kettle (fancy watch), and made it even more relevant by relating to what I'm doing. Now people will say that I've got a kettle. What's your kettle status? Its a fact that I'm happy with.
If I was at a more advanced stage of my career or had a bigger fan base at this point, obviously that track would have been even greater because you can't knock the
track. I just know that some people may take it the wrong way when they see me rolling in a Ferrari or whatever not realising that i've done been having these things from about 10 years ago and not
last month. So, it's all old news to me which is why i'm being sarcastic.
Get to know me init and understand what I'm being with that record. I'm not being shallow, I'm actually taking a hit at everybody who's pretending to have all these things. These times all they're video cars are rented, wearing fake watches pretending to be all that. Then with the video, the director was like.. "Since your going so nuts on the track and having fun, I want the video come across the same way..", which is why we kinda got a circus thing going. Like proper mad the way we thought of so many different types of characters. We got Zoolu Chiefs, Red Indian's, Captains, NFL players, etc.. The other side of SNiPER that you've seen is the side of SNiPER that I couldn't get I'm my music in the past. So it's good as I'm working towards the album for people to see a different sides of who I am. No one can be judged on just one tune, or even five tunes in reality if you think about it. Kix: Yeah I hear that because the greats have always put out at least 2-12 albums that have made a major impact in the music industry. SNiPER: Yh that's what I mean.
Kix: So what's your next move within the UK scene as you've already had a number one over here? You got any new collabs coming up? Any new names we should look out for?
SNiPER: The next step is to start hitting up tours.
Kix: You got any specific time periods that your thinking about?
SNiPER: No its not the right time yet.
Kix: Lol. When you perform it's a madness!
SNiPER: Lol.. Wait till you see what I got in store this year. Taking it to a next level.
Kix: Yeah bro look forward to it. So you said that your working on mixing down the album, have you got any release dates yet?
SNiPER: No we haven't got a release date for '1AM' yet, but we do have a few other single we're thinking about. As soon as 'itsBig' comes out we're thinking the next single should be 'Knowhere' which is more aimed towards the radio rather than it being a club banger. Because alot of people know that when it comes to club bangers I come strong and within the past few years I've put out things that are good proof of that. This year the 'itsBig' track is going off over here (Ayia Napa). I'm just looking forward to building many new relationships with dj's this year, as I always I salute my brother Charlie Sloth, Cameo, Mista Jam and Dj Target for jumping on the record, and obviously just expanding relationships with so many people, can't forget Logan Sama from kiss; who's on that. Its just a blessing to have so many people with their brands stamped on music. Alot of artists feed off the back of one stamp of these people and for me to have them all slowly getting on board day by day, its truly inspirational. I can only come stronger, it can only get bigger.
Kix: Yeah that should be the next one; 'It Can Only Get Bigger'! Get me? Anyway, so if people want to check you out they can go to the sniper webiste, its sniper music, right?
SNiPER: Yeah you got it: snipermusic.com and all social networks are related to the site, so my twitter is called Snipermusic, my facebook is called Snipermusic. I'm getting a lot of love on facebook, although its a new page, I've got 1500 people there, but the way they interact with me is insane. I post something up there and I get like 800 likes! They're on the case and I really love that because alot of people have got boosted numbers. My twitter is doing what it does supported by a solid fan base. SniperMusicTV is my youtube page and am planning on having a VEVO launch soon because having a SNiPERMUSIC VEVO would be great as having a VEVO channel is seen as a more prestigious way of presenting your music to the world. Both my instagram and Keek are also sniper music. I've been told about this new thing called Snap Chat but not to sure what it is.
Kix: Honestly I think that it's all just a bit to much.
SNiPER: Lol. Yeah I think it's always gonna be like that because technology is the new thing so it's going to always be changing and evolving.
Kix: Yeah I hear that.. Buy yeah, thanks for taking the time out to chat to me. Looking forward to the 'It's Big' release and will see you in July.
SNiPER: Yeah was no probs, make sure 'It's Big' is your first purchase of the summer. It will make your summer big! Lol.
Kix: A.M. SNiPER "IT'S BiG" (The Kettle On My Wrist) out 2nd June 2013
Pre-Order on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/its...
Text 'AKA + 3073' to 81025 to see the video on Channel AKA (SKY 385)
Tweet @FlavaTV and request #ItsBIG
Follow A.M. SNiPER on Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/snipermusic @snipermusic
Become a fan of A.M. SNiPER on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/snipermusic
Official Website: http://www.snipermusic.com
Interview and words by Pedro Shippuden
Lethal Bizzle interview
Kix Magazine and team Kix had the opportunity to interview a legend of Grime and we jumped at it. Born and raised in East London. Off his latest release with Wiley, you guessed it, guys… it’s the one and only Lethal Bizzle.
Reporter Shaziya Ramji on the scene asked a number of questions to Lethal Bizzle *remember to watch the highlighted video on Kix Magazine Youtube Channel.
Lethal Bizzle came up with his name back at secondary school as everyone had a nickname and he wanted one too, as he was very naughty in his schooling years, he was a good football player and that’s how Lethal B came about as he was Lethal with the ball.
Lethal’s first record as a collective was ‘Oi’ which broke Lethal Bizzle into the scene in music. Then created a Record Label and elected a known video director Harry (Sona Family aka Trail blazers) to shoot the music video to ‘Oi’, Lethal was very nervous on set as it was his very first video Shoot.
Later he came out with his own solo album, with a single release ‘O Oh’, as he wanted to incorporate ‘Oi’ into the track, and at that time the scene went underground and alot of people in music went missing, media was not supporting so he linked the two together and that’s when people realized that Lethal Bizzle was back on the music scene.
Shortly after, Lethal took part with a known American artist Twista on a Kray Twinz colaboration, Bizzle was a well known name on the streets of music, Kray Twinz found him through Sticky, an Old Skool Garage producer requested Lethal to feature on the track with Twista. Lethal didn’t believe it but Kray Twinz sent the beat over. Lethal heard Twista’s verse in the studio and Gappy Ranks did his verse. The next minute Lethal Bizzle was out in the USA shooting the video alongside Twista in LA, a surreal moment in Bizzle's music career. Twista gave personal comments that his verses made the whole track come alive and from this Lethal Bizzle performed at more Asian Music Events.
Lethal mentions that East London's scene at that time, was amazing in regards to music, memorable and fun time, no pressure and politics, doing own events, Wiley mentioned to me at that time that Grime was Going to be huge and Lethal Bizzle and him are going to be stars, and his was right.
Leathal & Wiley's relationship was friendly a competition but the audience, the people got quite confused on our relationship… it was always friendly and we had respect for one another musically.
The track sets an example to all of the music Grime scene. ‘They Got It Wrong’ is all about people following their dream, you may get criticism it's all about living your destiny, and the track was made to inspire people *watch the video now - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iebOn8nF7HA
“Lethal Bizzle buzz is all about performing to his Fans”
Lethal Bizzle's ‘Pow’ Evolution grew quick as there was nothing going out at that time, and a lot of music artists were lost or confused to where the grime scene was going. He made a song that he liked and enjoyed it wasn’t made for the people of fans it was made for his enjoyment, just made the song put all of his favourite MC's and put it out there, and the rest was history
He is looking into acting after getting a feature on BBC in Bad Education but music is his main focus and launching his clothing label ‘Stay Dench' are his main two focuses.
Stay Dench is a street wear brand and Dench is a common word that was thrown about between him and his cousin and slowly fans started to request clothing and he started doing tee shirts and now its evolved into a 100 stores across the UK.
Lethal gets his Kix by making money, knowing that he can create something and make money off it and another Kix is cars as his girlfriend will always come second best to it as he spends to much money on cars.
Thank you Lethal for the wonderful interview, good luck in everything you do.
Interview with Jesse Chao founder of Vittorio J Neckties
Kix Mag: My first and most obvious question for you my friend is to ask you how all the building work and furnishing is going at your home?
Jesse Chao: After 9 long months, my home is almost ready to move in! It has been one of the most stressful but rewarding times in my life. We bought a 80 year old colonial and renovated almost every part to our exact taste while maintaining the original character of the home. My experience as a necktie designer really helped because of the attention to detail needed during the entire process.
One of the most exciting part of the renovations is converting the entire attic into a custom closet. My wife and I have an extensive shoe collection and we cannot wait to move our babies into the new home.
We also added over 12 chandeliers in the home giving each room a statement-making focal point that is elegant and classy. I cannot wait to finally move in and spend the rest of my life building memories in this home.
Kix Mag: You are the founder and designer of what is becoming the most popular tie company in the world. Your ties have been sported publicly by NFL players and presenters during conference and TV slots. Russell Simmons is also a big fan and a whole host of other noticeable A listers. What is the attraction to Vittorio J?
Jesse Chao: I feel blessed that I have a strong celebrity following. I believe the biggest draw to the Vittorio J brand is the attention to detail and exclusivity of our pieces. Both the VJNY and Vittorio J Exclusives Collection ties are limited in quantity and only a handful of my original designs make it into production. Celebrities have access to any brand in the world so they want something that is unique and special.
Kix Mag: Where did you come up with the concept?
Jesse Chao: I came up with the Vittorio J concept in college. I went to Montclair State University, NJ where I supported myself financially by selling baseball cards on eBay, (my first business venture). I was able to save $20,000 dollars, which I used to start Vittorio J. With no retail experience or knowledge, I had to learn everything new through trial - designing, sampling, marketing, etc. I had learn about branding, social media marketing, shipping and furthermore, how to build
relationships with press/media bloggers to promote the brand/company. The internet was vital for Vittorio J growth.
Kix Mag: What is the most memorable place you have traveled to?
Jesse Chao: Arenal in Costa Rica was definitely memorable. Staying in a hotel next to an active volcano and going natural hot springs for a whole week was so much fun and relaxing. I felt like I really bonded with mother nature.
Kix Mag: Share the philosophy behind Vittorio J?
Jesse Chao: All the items from our collections are based on our slogan and mantra.
Our foundation product is the "TIE" which is a CLASSIC item in fashion.
Secondly, our signature/main color for the brand/company is purple, which personifies "ROYAL".
So that's it, Vittorio J is a quality accessory brand which produces "Classic | Royal | Goods".
Kix Mag: Where can your Vittorio be purchased?
Jesse Chao: Easiest place to purchase our ties is the store section of www.vittorioj.com
Kix Mag: Can any buyer who buys a Vittorio J product via KIX Mag receive a exclusive signed edition?
Jesse Chao: Definitely!
Kix Mag: Want to give any shout outs?
Jesse Chao: I want to thank everyone that has supported me throughout this entire process. Being an independent fashion designer is very challenging and there is no way I would have gotten this far without the help of people that truly care about VJ's success. I especially want to thank my wife who has been so patient and who never stopped believing in me.
Kix Mag: How do you get your KIX (pleasures in life)
Jesse Chao: Vittorio J is my life and the challenge of making the brand grow, truly makes me happy.
Kix Mag: How does it feel to see the president of the United States, Obama, wearing your tie Vittorio J?
Jesse Chao: Same feeling when Lebron James won the NBA championship - pure happiness.
For more info visit: www.vittorioj.com
Interview by Joshua Cooper
Carl Hancock Rux interview
Carl Hancock Rux was born in New York city in 1975. Though he had a troubled start in the world he has managed to blossom into a budding writer, essayist, artist & poet. He is the author of 3 books; Pagan Operetta, Talk & Asphalt. He lectures at various universities & has been the head of the MFA writing for performance programme at the California Institute of the Arts. Carl was named by the New York Times magazine as one of the "Thirty Artists Under Thirty" predicted to make an impact on American culture.
Kix Mag: At what point did you discover your love for culture & what were your first early influences into that world?
Carl Hancock Rux: I was raised in foster care. My biological mother was paranoid schizophrenic. I wasn't adopted until I was 15, so art and culture was an escape for me from very early on. It began with drawing, writing stories, and reading and expanded from there. My earliest literary influences were probably James Baldwin, John Steinbeck, Julio Cortazar, Lorca, Marquez, and Zora Neale Hurston. As far as music is concerned, I loved everything from jazz to hip-hop.
Kix Mag: Poet, Author, Playwright, Essayist, Recording artist. Five notable crafts you have a mastery in. I asked you recently what advice you would offer me to improve my own discipline in writing poetry and you responded "reading." Why is reading important?
Carl Hancock Rux: You only begin to know how to write once you begin to know how to read.
Kix Mag: What are your favorite books?
Carl Hancock Rux: Too many to mention but I would say "The Yellow Rain" by Julio Llamazares, and "Song for Night" by Chris Abani.
Kix Mag: I understand you appreciate dance. What type of dance and who's your favourite choreographer?
Carl Hancock Rux: I like many kinds of dance, urban, social and formal. I've primarily worked with modern choreographers like Marlies Yearby, Ron Brown, Urban Bush Women, Alvin Ailey, etc.
Kix Mag: You lecture at Universities. Can you give me a breakdown on what it is you teach and the methods you use to connect with the students?
Carl Hancock Rux: I teach modern literature (American and European novels, plays, poetry, essays) as well as 20th century philosophical movements Fauvism. German Expressionism. Italian Futurism. Agitrop Theater. Harlem Renaissance. Beat poetry. Black Power Theater of the 1960s. Women's literature, and how they impact race, sex and culture. I connect to students by not just entering the room to teach but by leaving myself open to learn. It's an exchange.
Kix Mag: One of your favorite quotes is by Anton Chekhov and it reads, "If an artist decides to declare he understands nothing of what he sees—this in itself constitutes clarity in the realm of thought, a great step forward." Why is this quote by Chekhov one of your favorites?
Carl Hancock Rux: The less we know about our art, the more available we are to allow our art to lead us in the process of creation. I'm sometimes to aware of what I think I know...especially about myself as an artist. Then something happens...a chance friendship, a new influence, a sound, a color, an ideology, and suddenly I realize I am not who I thought I was...that I am evolving.
Kix Mag: Add only a second sentence to complete this poem. 'Paris is winter snowfall....
Carl Hancock Rux: An abutment of constant unfurling.
Kix Mag: Tell me about your new project Pledge & how's it linked to your newest record Homeostasis.
Carl Hancock Rux: I've recorded a new record inspired by the art of Emilio Cruz and the concept of balance, both in the world and within one's self. I'm also raising money for Razia's Ray of Hope, an organization dedicated to educating young girls in war torn Afghanistan. For me, balance is rooted in art, and the gift of education.
Kix Mag: Homeostasis is a Greek term. Can you explain what it means?
Carl Hancock Rux: In Greek, "homios" means "similar", and "stasis" means stability, so Homeostasis is about unified strength...
Kix Mag: Share with us any websites, events, special mentions & anything else you'd like to say.
Carl Hancock Rux: My website is carlhancockrux.com.
The website where people can pledge for my "Homeostasis" project is http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/carlhancockrux
I'll be in Paris in Feb. with the band Burnt Sugar at Sons D'hiver. http://www. sonsdhiver.org
My record release party/concert will be at the world famous Apollo theater in NYC in March 2013.
My opera about Haiti, "Makandal", inspired by the art of Edouard Duval Carrie (music by Yosvaney Terry) will have its premiere at Harlem Stage/The Gate House in the fall of 2013
Big up, thank you, much love to all the people in the world who care about all the people in the world.
Monday 17th September 2012
Bizzy Crook first UK interview
Kix Mag: Welcome to KIX Magazine Bizzy. This is your first British interview and It's an
honor to feature you. Introduce yourself properly for the UK.
Bizzy Crook: Thank you for featuring me. My name is Bizzy Crook and basically I'm
just a kid from Miami trying to win a grammy...or a few, haha.
Kix Mag: Busta Rhymes said in a live interview that he felt you to be the most bankable
emerging prospect in hip hop. How does it feel to have Busta Rhymes say this?
Bizzy: Its definitely surreal you know, Busta's a legend, like we use to want dreads
just like his. 10 Years ago I was doing choures at home so I can run to the
store and get his albums, and now this guys co-signing me. Crazy.
Kix: Do you feel any pressure as more focus is being placed on you?
Bizzy: Absolutely. I work better under pressure though. It pushes me those extra
miles. Makes things funner.
Kix: Your latest track 'Ferraris And Goddesses' is a very powerful track. When I listen
to it I get a sense of how great you can be. Your rap technique and lyrics are
at a peak. Where were you when you wrote it, and do you feel that you can keep
delivering at that level?
Bizzy: I wrote that record while I was living in Harlem, NY. I was actually walking to
the barbershop. Walking down East Harlem you see a lot of things. You see a
retired Vet on a wheelchair begging for change, then he rolls down the block to
buy crack. You see a grandmother walking her Grandchildren 15 blocks to Church.
Then you can see a guy driving what a lawyer drives, but he got it a different
way. So if you listen to Ferraris & Goddesses you can actually see those
people speaking those lyrics. I'm kind of set on direction as soon as I listen
to a beat, but all that just filled in the verses. I'm just getting started, I
feel like I can only get better from here on.
Kix: Describe your average studio session. Are you in the booth till sunrise?
Bizzy: My sessions are live! haha. I get a bunch of people and we all just have a good
time. I like having a lot of people in the studio for company. I'm inspired by
anything. We have a bunch of random conversations then I start getting ideas.
Their having their own discussions, laughing, drinking. Mean while I'm in another world pacing back and forth
writing. Then when its time to go in the booth its all eyes on me. Our sessions
are normally 12 hours at a time so we end up getting out around 6am every
Kix: You said recently that a new deal is about to be announced and I quote "
Ni**as really gon be mad off my next deal." Wanna give KIX Magazine that exclusive?
Bizzy: Haha I was just quoting Jay-Z on "On To The Next One". That song is
like story of my life, my motto song. Anything that doesn't work out I move on
to the next one. But you know I'm getting to that place where a bunch of people
start reaching out wanting to do things. Lets wait see what happens haha.
Kix: Education. How important is it and why?
Bizzy: Education opens more doors and opportunities. Knowledge is power. Nobody can
disrespect you when your educated. You can talk amongst anyone when your
educated, even if you don't have the degree, or house they have.
Kix: Life in Miami. How has that shaped you?
Bizzy: I love Miami. Miami is a lifestyle, an American Dream city. Like I said I'm
inspired by a lot of things. Driving down South Beach and seeing the cribs on
star island, and the Yacht's, just gives the fuel to go in the studio and say
"Im going to have that".
Kix: Website drops, shoutouts, special mentions?
Bizzy: Shout out to KIX Magazine for featuring me. Shout out to all the blogs who been
showing love, and all the people who been supporting me. I need everyone to
call, tweet, etc, one of their friends right now and tell them to listen to
"Ferraris & Goddesses". P.S. I'm Sorry 2, drops Sept 25th!
Kix: How do you get your KIX?
Bizzy: I get my KIX by doing shows, creating new things, and just being able to inspire
Words by Joshua Cooper
Saturday 8th September 2012
We quiz Nabil Elouahabi on his latest projects
Kix Mag: Welcome to Kix Mag. Can you introduce yourself please?
Nabile Elouhabi: My name is Nabile Elouhabi. That’s me.
Kix Mag: Tower Block had its premier screening just the other day. What was that like and tell us about the film?
Nabile: It closed the Fright Fest festival in Leister Sq which is obviously a huge privilege to be part of. I was invited down with several of the other actors and it was an amazing experience. The film itself is a psychological thriller. It’s a directorial debut by Ronnie Thompson and James Nunn who were great to work with. I play the sidekick to another character played by Kane Robinson AKA Kano and we’re basically a pair of little scoundrels up to no good and unfortunately we cause a lot of crap to start happening. We just cause mayhem.
Kix Mag: Where did you grow up and at what point did your discover your love for acting?
Nabile: I’m a west Londoner born and bred, Harrow Rd. Born in 73. I started acting around my GCSE years. I picked it up then and then suddenly it was the one class I didn’t want to be late for. I just loved it. It gave me the opportunity to look at behaviour, different human behaviour, in a safe way. It was a lot of fun.
Kix Mag: You have acted alongside the likes of Morgan Freeman and Ben Afleck, Harvey Keitel and Tim Robins yet you have remained much grounded and very humble. How, with that much obvious success, have you managed this?
Nabile: Firstly that was kind. These projects I worked on I have been very fortunate and privileged to work on and with some fantastic actors. I think the main thing is that I have never been one of those leading man types. I’ve never had the pressure of having to hold everything together. I really like being part of the team. I have an ego, like everyone else but never to the point where I’ve wanted to be the main attraction.
Kix Mag: Is there a particular subject that interests you?
Nabile: Things that interest me are history and I’m really fascinated by human behaviour. Why do we do the things that we do, why are we here, what we want, and what drives human behaviour. I mean, we all have the same similar fundamental desires, we want to be loved, we want to respected, we all want security, financial comfort, we all want all of these and how do we navigate to get there. I’m kind of a fan of the liberal sciences.
Kix Mag: You mentioned to me before that your working on some production, I know your keeping heavy lids on it but can you share a few details for an exclusive?
Nabile: First things first, I’m really fortunate at the moment I’m working with a writer, Roy Williams. He’s an award winning writer, as well as a director, Alesha Duffy, and she’s an award winning director. Both these professionals are people I’ve had a long association with personally. They are both personal friends of mine. I came across a really interesting piece of material. It’s about a corrupt policeman in the early 70’s. It’s a true story. I wont tell you much more on that but basically what we’re working on at the minute is crafting a 3 part drama set in South East London in 1971, so what we’re talking about here is a piece of social history.
Kix Mag: HOW DO YOU GET YOUR KIX?
Nabile: I get my KIX by loving my family and my beautiful girlfriend.
Words by Joshua Cooper
25th May 2012
Our interview with Ted Sabat
When I was working in London for a few months, my mates used to call me “ The richest man in Lambeth” as I was controlling 17,000 acres of land in Guyana. I would like make the point that anyone, male or female, could aim to live a life of Adventure, in Guyana for example. A 9 till 5 job is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are many countries that one can go to and use the simple skills that you have, and one of them is –to speak English- and lead a very good life. I used 1/ English. 2/ Auto machanic. 3/Self taught photography. 4/ Self taugt Gold & Diamond prospecting. 5/ Maybe most importantly –The power of READING. 6/ As I was a tourist, I started the first Eco-tourism company in Guyana. If any reader of this article is interested or has a desire to go to Guyana please get in contact with me and I will point you in the right direction. If any readers would like to invest in mining, I could also assist them.
Rainbow River Safari (Guyana) Ltd. Also trading as Rainbow River Marshall Falls in the U.K. GUYANA: Mrs Louraine SABAT. Director >> >> Lot 6 Best Road. >> >> Best Village. West Coast Demerara E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com >> >> E-Mail:Ellerslie59@aol.com >> >> —AN INDEPENDENT TOUR Company
A chapter of a life lived by Ted Sabat
Guryana is an English speaking country in South America, the size of the UK but has less than one million people. They live on the 15 mile wide coastal strip and the remainder of the country is ”Amazon Jungle." I had my colour, spoke English, my skills and my girl. Go for it. So in 1971 I came to Guyana, ( a country of six races) for a four-week vacation, just to look around, and stayed for 35 years. At first I put down on a house, and worked on the Coast in the capital Georgetown, at the Technical Institute, then had the opportunity to travel twice a month, more into the interior to the Bauxite mining town of Linden (Formally Mackenzie). Here the starting salary was lower than mine in Georgetown but the prospects were better, so I applied and secure a teaching job at their Trade School. Technical teaching in Guyana is far more hands —on, and practical than in the UK and they use City and Guilds of London exams. Linden is the gateway to the vast uninhabited interior, where the few people there are Gold and Diamond miners timber cutters and fishermen on the rivers who live on the hundreds of fresh water islands with white sand beaches. I heard the fantastic stories all the time of the massive gold “Shouts” and I saw some of the diamonds. I was just forty miles away from these places, so one long weekend I asked a friend if I could have a taste of this adventure to see for myself if all these fantastic stories are true. In exchange I would repair any vehicle that broke down (as they frequently do) on the way. Boots n All, this is the real thing, this is the life, just bring a spade, a gold pan and a sieve.
After that weekend I was hooked, the ”Gold bug” got me, it’s a little bug that does not bite under your skin, but eats into your brain, and is fed by other people’s “Shouts”.
Look up the records and you will see that Guyana is way down near the bottom of the tables for minerals such as Gold and diamonds, that is because most of the finds are never declared or recorded and smuggled out. Well what do I do now, you will be asking? Rainbow River at Marshall Falls Guyana where when I have the time I relax in my hammock on my 17,000 acre Conservation area. The moral to this tale is:- don’t let the opportunities that ‘Boots n All’ gives you to travel the world meeting members go to waste. Don’t treat it as just a year off work, but a foundation for your future.
My resort is the only Eco-tour resort in the Amazon rain Forest in Guyana.
I Spoke to CITES, in Guyana and London to stop illegal wildlife export.
Advised the B.B.C. Ch 4, as to the contents of Guyana Holiday programmes.
First person to start the Tourism Association of Guyana as requested by the High Commission in London.
First person to bring Package Tours from UK and Sweden. 1988 onwards.
Plus, many more achievements and adventures that shall be in the book I'm writing.
Word by Joshua Cooper