Wray and Nephew have launched a new range of apparel, inspired by the colours and vibe of Jamaica. We partnered with them and called upon some of London's finest female creatives, to find out what they've been doing... STRAIGHT FROM YARD.
I’ve always wanted to tell stories, for as long as I can remember. My mother was a librarian and I struggled to make friends in primary school, so my greatest influence and comfort was losing myself in the worlds of books. This inspired me to start writing my own stories. I wrote picture books, prose, terrible angsty teen poetry, comics, plays, and finally landed on screenwriting a few years ago. Pairing writing with visuals always came naturally, which led me to try my hand at film-making- so that I could bring my ideas to life, to the screen, and create the kind of stories I wish I’d seen growing up.
I grew up in South London, so I’ve always been around Caribbean culture – my love for the music began with artists, such as Sizzla and Capleton. From there I got heavily into Dancehall which has been a massive inspiration for me. I’ve always been a creative person but never intended on being a designer – it all progressed really naturally. I studied Photography & Styling at uni and went on to work in Fashion PR promoting both start-up and global brands – so without even realising it I had a lot of knowledge to start something of my own.
In my household, it was my mum, big sister and I. My mum ,a story-teller and poet, would always be telling me stories about mythical African characters such as Anansi, or Duppy stories from her childhood in Jamaica. My big sister, Rudi, was always doing something creative- she was a huge inspiration for me and still is.
I think having all those different outlets of creativity growing up made it easy for me to feel that anything was possible. Being able to express yourself in different ways is something I’ve come to strive for. Fashion and Music is one of the best things for that, as both have that escapism quality and real sense of freedom that I love!
I have always been a strong believer that your success should be determined by your happiness. If you truly want to be successful in life you must be happy with what you are doing and the people you surround yourself with. I love to DJ and make music - nothing makes me happier then watching a room full of people having an amazing time while I play for them.
I’ve always had an affinity with people and their stories, and writing for the stage has consistently been the medium that has come naturally to explore that. However, in addition to writing, I have recently found a new passion in capturing the depth and essence of a person through portraiture.
Growing up in Barbados as a 3rd Generation Black British queer girl meant that I was forced to navigate the multiplicities of my identity on a daily basis; making it easier to understand and write about the many identities that others may be comprised of. I have had four women encourage my pursuit of expression in this way, all of whom have left a mark during very distinct pivotal stages in my life. My mum, an English teacher, university lecturer and mentor have all encouraged me to constantly critically question and respond to the world around me, using my written voice as a tool to do so. I aim to use these same teachings when approaching my newfound love of photography.
I knew I wanted to work in the music industry the very first time I saw the video for 'The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)' by Missy Elliott. The sound, the visuals, Missy's confidence...I was absolutely blown away (like jaw-drop blown away lol) and following that, I started building my own CD collection with the help of my parents. I had no idea what I wanted to be exactly, but music was just something I couldn't live without. My parents had me in their very early 20s, and they were in their 'prime' in the 90s, meaning that our house was blaring SWV, Wu-Tang, Bad Boy Records, Death Row Records, etc. 24/7. I began learning and understanding the structure/beats of songs from a very young age, which has definitely been beneficial to my current DJ career. I think that is also why I love to mix the old with the new so much; bridging the gaps between my childhood, adolescent and current music collection. My sets cross all generations of urban sounds. Fundamentally, I have always been amazed by music. It has always made me so happy. I think that's what really led to me to being a DJ- wanting to pass that same feeling and energy onto others.
Photography: Bernice Mulenga