Jean-Michael Basquiat was an expressionist in every sense of the word. Born and raised in New York, he became known for his graffiti work as the lyrical Samo. He played the clarinet in the band Gray, made films with friends in downtown Manhattan but it’s his brilliant paintings that saw him rise to international fame.

In the documentary below, Radiant Child, we get to see Basquiat paint, party long into the night with friends and hear him speak about his life in rare interview footage. His humble beginnings living on the streets of New York and meteoric rise to become one of the most distinctive painters of his generation was sadly short-lived. The radiant child never really grew up but his work lives on.

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Yo! It’s Day 6 of the BFI London Film Festival! Things are really heating up onscreen in London Town to distract us all from the piercing gusts that signal the start of winter. We’ve already had the charismatic French siren Marion Cotillard’s screen talk about her upcoming  romance, Rust and Bone and there is more to come.

Tickets are still available to some events and there are amazing exhibitions all about film at the BFI. Shane Meadow’s This Is England will be screened for the first time with with a live score from composer Ludovico Einaudi and musician Gavin Clark. One not to miss if you can!

If you weren’t able to secure the more exclusive tickets to the Festival, don’t despair! Here is a list of all the amazing films that are on show during this time and if you click on the name, there’s info on where you can watch them. So find yourself a warm cinema, lots of popcorn and a lucky friend- there are good films ahead!

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In 2007, when they met Agustin in Honduras, producers and directors Tyler Bastian, Trevor Hill and Tim Skousen knew they wanted to make a film about him. Disabled by polio from birth and living in poverty has not deterred Agustin from his dream of one day taking flight.

For more than fifty years, he has been building a helicopter from wood, bicycle parts and metal scraps. His long journey to complete this complicated machine with no schooling  has many locals questioning his sanity and has made him a celebrity. But it is his spirit and determination to one day take to the skies that makes this short film incredible.

You can sponsor Agustin here, to help him finish building his helicopter!

As the young child struggling to fall asleep knows, stories as important. They have the power to inspire, make us laugh and tell us something true. TED is known for its events and talks from some of the world’s most reputable speakers. In one of the most memorable TED talks, one of my my favourite Nigerian authors Chimamanda Adichie  spoke on the danger of a single story. She eloquently explains how the perspective and insight a story provides is woefully underrated.

On Friday the 21st of September, TED comes to Ealing! This event is all about story. You can hear from speaker Seema Anand about what story means to us, be inspired by word and graphic artist Inua Ellams and many more!

Get your TEDxEaling tickets here.

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The days are getting shorter and after an intense summer of sun, singing and lots of fun, it’s time to get down to business! I have missed you guys and I have so much to share so get snuggled in because i’m baaaaack!

Here is a band that you have to hear to believe it. From left to right, Ahmad Dayes, Kareem Dayes, Yussef Dayes and Wayne Francis are United Vibrations. On their debut album Galaxies Not Ghettos they created a hip swaying mix of ska, jazz and funk. They put on an insane show, that you really have to see to believe it! With Fela Kuti and and Bob Marley being but two of their influences musically and socially, this creative foursome do more than your average band. They are on their way to building sustainable, carbon-negative housing in London.

It was a pleasure having a chat with them before they recently performed at the New Cross Inn.

The Wonder– so how did you all meet?

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I had a blast checking out the new art work by students from the Camberwell College of Arts. It’s so exciting seeing the graphic design, illustrations, photography, painting, sculpture 3D designs AND ceramics of graduates. From that list you can tell there was a lot of art!

I stayed pretty much in the Graphic Design area because I was there to support a friend, Michael Makonnen but I did wander to soak in what I could. Below is some of the work I wish I could touch, but alas there are rules. You can have a look at more art work from the show here. Some of this bunch may very well be familiar names in the near future.

Better yet, go to the show yourself! It’s open to the public until tomorrow! 


In the second of the What Keeps Me series. I had the pleasure of interviewing the London spoken word and poetry collective, Elephant. I am very excited to share this with you and hope you like it as much as I do!

Enjoy!

For more information on Elephant as well as when you can see their next performance, hit them up on their Facebook page. If you missed it, here is the first video of the series

Gideon Conn, my favourite troubadour, made my week when he sent me his new album Take It All in the post. I was excited to hear where Gideon would take his music after the gem of  his debut New Bop Sounds in 2010.

The first single off the album is Fall Under Tokyo. A futuristic tune of layered synths mixed with Gideon’s crooning is a fun start for the album. I Need You in My Life is already a favourite of mine with Gideon at his best-  a sweet song with his characteristic  folk hop or rapping and singing.

Colours should be the next single off this great album. Fellow Mancunian artist Josephine lends her divine voice to this beautiful track and is sure to be one I repeat often. They need to do more songs together, the contrast of Josephine’s deep sweeping vocals and Gideon’s melodic guitar is just great to listen to. Rounding off the album, the title track Take It All is a triumphant anthem that secures Gideon as one of the best Manchester has to offer.

Get your mittens on Gideon’s Take It All by heading over to Itunes. See the troubadour live on 20 June at the Bedroom Bar in Shoreditch. Remember when I had the pleasure of interviewing Gideon after the release of his first album? Here it is if you’d like a refresher.