WHAT’S UP LONDON

Photographer: Kate Bellm
Stylist: Lucy Greene
Hair: Elvire Roux
Make Up: Grace Sinnott using CULT51
Interviews: Tish Weinstock

Cosmo Pyke, 20, singer/songwriter, Peckham

What is it that you do and why do you do it?
I do music as a documentation of my life and youth, I probably won’t remember it in 20 years! So it’s similar to photography.
How do you think your background has shaped who you are today?
All I can say is my parents moved to Peckham 20 years ago and had me and my older brother. Since then my area has changed for the worse. There are estate agents and unnecessary coffee shops popping up everywhere right now. I guess my background, being English and Jamaican, has made me aware of the dying multiculturalism I love and see in my South London town.
How long have you been singing/songwriting?
About two years. Every weekend I’ve been performing in shit pubs. Only now it’s picking up, im doing festivals this summer, I’m signed to a booking agency and I’ve just done my first headline tour. It’s so fun man, people paying to come and see you, everyone’s on your side.
What is about writing songs that appeals to you?
It’s like writing poetry. It’s like an outlet for my expression. I could just say it, but I think music makes it more resonant.
Who or what inspires you?!
My family, my friends, this life and everything in it.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Pretty carefree I guess. It’s a mixture between jazz, blues and indie. There are loads of different elements from different genres. I guess it’s like my own genre.
Do you want to be famous?
Yeah, I guess I do.
What do you wanna do with your platform?
I wanna help the kids in the area I grew up in do things I’ve been lucky enough to do. I’d love to build a skate park and help teach them how to skate.
Apart from music, what do you enjoy doing?
I love spray painting and art. Been doing it for four years now and I’m getting pretty good at it.
If someone was to make a movie of your life, who would play you?
Dunno, I guess any mixed race actor. Or maybe someone that isn’t an actor. I like films that are street cast.
What would you be reincarnated as?
Probably a fucking raccoon. When I was younger this girl used to call me a raccoon.
How do you feel about the state of the creative industries today?
Today I feel the creative industries are pretty fucked in the way they relate to the youth. We ain’t all Instagram heads. There are young acts are breaking through like myself, but there’s so many people in my team and in south east London who haven’t got a voice just because they’re not out there networking at stupid fashion parties. So shout out to Elliott Long, Ezra Lloyd Jackson, Tara Lily Barua and so many others…
What’s the bravest thing you can do as a young person?
Sort of what I’m doing, man. Just being your own person and not really giving a fuck. Originality is a pretty brave thing.
How would you describe your generation in four words?
Iconic, understanding, emotional and misunderstood.
What’s next?
Next up, something completely different.
What are your hopes for the future?
To become a successful singer songwriter. And to go places I never thought possible.

Jim Longden, 17, designer, London

Tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
Raised in the crazy lands.
How has your background shaped who you are as a person?
Now I’m 40 in a 17-year-old’s body, seem to feel like Tony Soprano but act like Montana.
What is it you do and why do you do it? At the moment, I’m creating clothes and starting to get into filmography and photography, I do it to get away from the place I’m supposed to be.
Who or what inspires you?
There’s many inspirations, my final dream of where I plan and want to be keeps me inspired, also Skepta, not music-wise (as I don’t make it) but just the decisions and moves he makes, he’s CAPO.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
The ‘growing up’ stage is still on-going, LE MONDE ET A NOUS.
What do you stand for as an artist?
‘Steal like an Artist’ – Austin Kleon.
Why is creativity now more important than ever?
Because the world is a mean and boring place, stay creatively sane.
What’s the last dream that you can remember having?
The reaction from people when they see my first film.
What would you most like to change about the world?
For there to be a meaning.
Do you meditate?
No, I want to though.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Tony Montana.
What did you do on your last day off?
‘Used to look forward to the weekend, Now Everyday is like Saturday’
What do you talk about when you get your hair cut?
My True Religion tracksuit.
What would you like to be reincarnated as?
A human.
If you could do anything without fear of repercussion, what would you do?
People wouldn’t fuck with me if I told you.
Describe yourself in four words.
Too weird to live.
What was the last lie you told?
‘I’m 19’.
What are you working on at the moment?
Many projects in the works, a lot is being kept quiet at the moment, but one I’ve already spoken about it my first cut n sew collection ‘CAPO’, which will be on sale exclusively on my website and at Dover Street Market.
What’s the best thing about being a young creative today?
No boundaries.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Clear mind and more time.

Angelina Jesson, 21, artist, London

What do you do and why do you do it?
I’m a visual and performance artist, born in London, but raised between New York and California. I graduated from Central Saint Martin’s sixth months ago.
I make what can best be described as sci-fi films, in which my creative partner, Jaron Hill and I dress up as these bald, androgynous of Adam and
Eve figures from nature. We used to work only in VR but now we’re about making reality into a virtual space, making the mundane surreal.
Why Adam and Eve?
It’s in an ironic way. We’re actually genderless. The characters we play are really beautiful but they’re also disgusting and grotesque and they wear
diapers.
How did you get into art in the first place?
I used to study acting and I remember always hating playing the woman, I didn’t like the stereotypical damsel in distress characters, so I always like
playing the men. When I got into performance art, I felt so empowered playing these different characters. I met Jaron at university; we started off in my room
making Christmas cards for our parents. We’d rent out a green screen and take photos, it started out as a bit of fun but then turned into something more
series.
Where do you see it all going?
As much as I love art, I think there are things like music and film, which hit you more instantly. Where art can make you feel detached, film can move you. I’d
like to make more art films with a view to infiltrating the film industry. I watched Women Without Men, the other day. It’s fucking incredible that’s the kind of film that’s visually beautiful and metaphorical that I want to create.
Aside from art what else are you into?
I love travelling. Every other week I go to a different place in the countryside and go for a walk. I love not knowing where I’m going and ending up in really
weird places. I’m really interested in technology too, and it’s ecologic effects. I went to a lecture the other day, which spoke about how plants have their own
language, which, once connected to certain software, humans can decode. They’ve also found a way to create electricity out of roses!
If you could change jobs with someone for a day, who would it be?
I’d be an anthropologist, or maybe a politician.
Who would play you on the movie of your life?
I don’t know, I’m a very awkward person, I talk way too much and I’m a bit of a nerd.
What would you theme tune be?
I’m always feeling myself when I’m listening to Erykah Badu or D’Angelo. But maybe that’s the same as everybody else?
What would you look like if you were an alien?
Well in my films I’m bald, so probably bald, I’d want really high cheekbones and be genderless. Or maybe I’d have massive tits and a massive ass.
What would you be reincarnated as?
I have this image of how I’d be reincarnated, so I’d be eaten by a whale and I’d come out of its spout and would do a backflip and become this really
gorgeous mermaid with really long hair. Completely naked.
What’s the bravest thing you can do as a young person?
Being yourself and not sticking to a certain box, not feeling constrained by anything or anyone. Also being active, we’re a very lazy generation we talk so
much but we don’t do anything, so I think putting words into action and doing what you believe in is really brave.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
World peace ha-ha. Carrying on making art, carrying on modelling, and getting into film.

Sonny Hall, 18, Creative

Tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
South west London
How has your background shaped who you are as a person?
Organised Chaos
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Billie Joe Armstrong or summin like that.
Who or what inspires you?
Elaborate writers that include grit, love and poetry. All of my mates!
What do you stand for as an artist?
No superficial shit, things/people that are real. That could be anything.
Why is creativity now more important than ever?
Its not, its always beeen important.
What’s the last dream that you can remember having?
About my poision.
What would you most like to change about the world?
War
Do you meditate?
Yea in thailand right now and been doing it couple times a week ..
What would you look like if you were an alien?
People used to call me an alien back at school cos I looked weird and I have a weird curve on the back of my head, so me.
What do you talk about when you get your hair cut?
Fuck all
What would you like to be reincarnated as?
The white headed capuchin monkey
What are you working on at the moment?
myself
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
To shine like the sun I am instead of fuck about


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