From creating sustainable design solutions to a school of rock for girls, this is what some of the capital’s Dazed 100 nominees would do with the Converse x Dazed grantConverse
Taken from the spring/summer 2020 issue of Dazed. You can buy a copy of our latest issue here
This year’s Dazed 100 list reflects a world that has completely changed: in London, as with so many other cities around the world, young creatives are facing unprecedented challenges to making and sharing their work. But the city has always been known for bouncing back, for making room for change even when the odds are stacked. This year, the Dazed 100 has partnered with Converse on an Ideas Fund: a £50,000 pot from which we’ll award grants to help turn the burgeoning ideas of the nominees into reality.
In the spring/summer issue of Dazed, we spotlighted some of the London-based musicians, photographers, writers, and collectives to get to know now – read on for their manifestoes for what they would hope to make happen with money from this year’s Ideas Fund.
6 FIGURE GANG, DJ COLLECTIVE
6 Figure Gang: 6 Figure Gang is about pushing boundaries through unity and bringing fun back to club culture. We’re proud of our ability to be fearlessly ourselves and not compromise our sound. It’s important, because each of us has been told that what we’re doing isn’t going to work – but because we stood our ground and stayed true to ourselves, we have been able to take what we do to places that we didn’t think (were) possible.
As part of a traditional UK tour, we’d like to put on workshops with the grant, with local labels, collectives, and promoters, as well as artists, to inspire the next batch of creatives who will be shaping dancefloors across the world.
Vote for 6 Figure Gang’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
Beabadoobee: I make music about my experiences growing up, in the hope that other people can relate to it and it will help them. It helps a lot with my mental health, and it helps me to organise my thoughts. Space Cadet is the EP I’m most proud of, because I made it during a time when I finally accepted who I am. Eventually, I want to write songs for sick movies. (And) I want to be happy, living in a house in St John’s Wood with two dogs, a cat, and my boyfriend!”
With the grant, I’d do a songwriting school of rock for girls – strictly girls. Help girls to come out of their shells and be badass as fuck. It’d be an opportunity to give something back to kids. Music and art really helped me get through school and some dark times, and it’s important for kids to have a safe space where they can express themselves and be with likeminded people.
Vote for Beabadoobee’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
ARLO PARKS, POET AND SINGER
Arlo Parks: I believe that young people are the future, so I would like to inspire and encourage them to express themselves freely, boldly, and unapologetically: I want them to understand that having empathy, caring about things, and being sensitive is a gift. Through my poetry and music, I would like to contribute to a future where people never feel like islands, and they are able to connect more openly with themselves and each other.
With the fund, I want to print and publish a poetry book about the visceral emotions of adolescence. I would also like to organise a book launch night that would involve spoken word pieces from young, local, queer artists, in order to champion representation and create a safe, creative space for young people that may feel marginalised. Furthermore, I would love to tie the night in with a mental health charity in order to increase awareness. This project would help me start my journey of helping young people who may feel like they don’t have a space where they can exist comfortably in the world of the arts
Vote for Arlo Parks’ idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
ANA TAKAHASHI, MAKE-UP ARTIST
Ana Takahashi: I hope I can influence young creatives to understand that they don’t always need to go to university to get to where they want to be. I did my first cover story within the same year of dropping out of uni. It was a great ‘told you so’ moment from me to my parents, who weren’t on board with my decision in the beginning. (Still love ’em lots, though!).
I’d donate the money to an animal shelter. Not enough people care about the wellbeing of helpless animals. Donating money to them would at least ensure they receive more care and hopefully re-homing.
Vote for Ana Tak’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
TORI WEST, WRITER AND EDITOR OF BRICKS MAGAZINE
Tori West: As a queer, working-class woman whose first language isn’t English, I never felt confident working for mainstream publications. I felt extremely out of place and self-conscious because I had to constantly prove I was credible and capable of doing my job. So instead of finding a space I felt comfortable working in, I made one. BRICKS is a publication that supports the ideas of other queer, working-class creatives, and it belongs to everyone that needs it.
After living in London for four years, I’ve realised there’s a desperate need for affordable space for young creatives to make editorial work. I want to continue to help marginalised communities find more support in the creative industry. Through the BRICKS network, I’d like to open up a non-profit, queer-led, photography studio and workspace. I come across so many incredible photographers and editorial makers that just don’t have the resources to bring their ideas to life. Working-class and queer creatives can send us their pitches and could have access to space, and use the equipment and resources for free to help create their ideas, whether for their porfolio, BRICKS or beyond.
I've always been really vocal about the importance of alternative education methods, during Covid-19, we'd love to set up a brand new accessible tab on the website where members of our queer and working-class creative community and network can earn while providing tutorials, how-to-guides and lectures for creatives who would like to learn new skills during isolation or need help with their existing small business.
Vote for Tori West’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
MASTER PEACE, RAPPER
Master Peace: I started in music after watching Straight Outta Compton – I decided I wanted to be like Eazy-E. I bet my friend if we both made a song and dropped it on the same day, I could get more SoundCloud listens, so we did, and I won – that was when I realised, yep, I absolutely want to do this. I make my music for all the other weird kids who need help finding their voice and their confidence.
My plan would be to rent a studio for a year where artists can come in and create free of charge. It’s really important to me that everyone can have the chance to be creative, experiment, and record their music after this crazy hard time we are all going through.
Vote for Master Peace’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
ANCUTA SARCA, DESIGNER
Ancuta Sarca: I transform trainers that people don’t want to wear anymore into heels. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world and as a designer I need to be responsible. I prefer to work with products that exist already in the world and remake them in such ways that people will want to wear them again, so they don’t go to waste. Through my work, I try to represent this era, the present moment – what’s happening around us.
I want to fully dedicate my practice to finding new solutions of creating sustainable collections. My next collection would be made entirely of repurposed materials and reclaimed products. There are so many products out there that people don’t want to use anymore and I think it’s my responsibility as a designer to re-think them and give them a second chance to be used again. Winning the Dazed 100 grant would also allow me to hire assistants and so I would be able to offer jobs to people. At the moment, I do most of the work by myself because of financial reasons, and that caused me lots of issues with production and the way I develop my business, so being able to pay people to help me and rent a space to work would make a huge change in my career.
Vote for Ancuta Sarca’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
PA SALIEU, RAPPER
Pa Salieu: Everything in my life has been a part of a story that I want to tell: I know it may sound hypocritical, as my lyrics describe what I’ve been through with violence, but there has to be a change in the (fact that) people from my background are dying over dumb shit. I believe I’m gonna change it.
The grant would allow me to buy the land in Gambia where I want to build a school, to allow the kids there to get their education. It’s my generation’s responsibility. I really believe that. You know like that!
Vote for Pa Salieu’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
Aidan Zamiri: The first music video I ever made, a band asked me if I could film something with them and I was like, ‘Me? Lol.’ But they trusted me, and it kinda worked. It took a long time for me to believe in my own work, but I started to realise I had a point of view that people were interested in, and I had a lot of things I wanted to make. It’s funny that you can have a job where all you do is try to make stuff that looks cool, or makes someone laugh, or tells a story… and I can’t believe that’s my job.
I’ve had this short film idea on the back burner for a long time so I’d love to finally be able to make it. It’d be funny, clever, and really authentic to me. I wish I could give more away – but honestly, it’s a secret.
Vote for Aidan Zamiri’s idea on the 2020 Dazed 100 here.
Hair Ryuta Saiga at Julian Watson Agency using L’Oréal Professionnel, make-up Ana Takahashi using M.A.C, talent Sherelle, Dobby, LCY, Jossy Mitsu, Yazzus, Fauzia, Pa Salieu, Master Peace, Beabadoobee, Aidan Zamiri, Arlo Parks, Ancuţa Sarca, Tori West, Ana Takahashi, set design Afra Zamara at East, movement director Simon Donnellon, photography assistants Nathan Perkins, Laura Heckford, styling assistants Federica Murgia, Rebecca Goddard, hair assistants Wei Jun Lou, Kanae Kikuchi, make-up assistant Leandra Kiss, production Millie Yoxen at Object Animal, production assistant Ivan Stoyanov at Object Animal