What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I’m dyslexic, so I’ve always questioned how we communicate and what is “real”. Growing up close to Camden Market in London, I’d regularly go to the Cyberdog store and have my mind totally blown; it was a doorway into a completely different world. Creating that kind of visceral alternative reality is something I’m making across all my work.
How would you describe your work?
My practice has been really varied. After finishing my degree in graphic design at Central Saint Martins, I made zines, designed swimwear and co-founded a GIF art gallery. I also made digital art and worked as the creative director for a magazine about sustainable fashion, as well as DJing and putting on parties. Underlining all of this has been a desire to create realities that inspire us to change the world we live in.
Directing has become the space where I get to bring all these skills and experiences together. It’s a living ecosystem where I can collaborate with people who inspire me, and hold up a mirror to the present.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated to make new realities and use filmmaking as a model for what they might be.
You’ve made music videos for the likes of Shygirl and Delilah Montagu – both strong, independent young women. How was it working with them, and what was the collaborative process like?
I love working with musicians and using their personas as a way to explore identity. Status quos around gender, sexuality and power are shaped by pop culture. Music videos can act as important spaces to push boundaries and travel in new directions.
You made a film about legendary record label Motown. We take it you’re a fan. What’s it about, and how did it come about?
Yes, I’m a big Motown fan. And the city of Detroit and its amazing community! I made Showing up Showing Out in collaboration with Imani Mixon, a brilliant writer from Detroit. The documentary is a love letter to the city’s inter-generational creativity. It was commissioned by Dazed & Confused magazine in partnership with Carhartt WIP to commemorate 60 years since the founding of the label by Berry Gordy.
What are you working on at the moment, and what’s next?
My main focus is not getting Covid, and keeping myself and those around me mentally well! Pandemic aside, I’ve teamed up with producer Naim Naïf. We are working on a documentary about a group of Dabka dancers based in Brooklyn. I’m also putting together a short film exploring anger and creativity for London-based singer Delilah Holliday’s forthcoming EP. Being in London for the last few months has given me the opportunity to collaborate with the creative community here, which has been so special. I’m so grateful for – and inspired by – all the amazing people I get to create with on this journey.
YMC is 25 years old this year. And to help us celebrate, we’d love you to complete the phrase “You Must Create …”.