BRENT LOCKED IN

BRENT LOCKED IN: Paterson Joseph
46:07

BRENT LOCKED IN: Paterson Joseph

BRENT LOCKED IN How have Brent’s legends been coping during the ongoing pandemic, and what might it mean for their work and practice? In this new video series, guest hosts from the Blueprint Collective will be catching up – in a socially distanced way, of course – with legendary musicians, artists, athletes and activists from across the borough and finding out how they’ve been affected and perhaps even inspired by the COVID-19 crisis. Along the way, we will be digging deeper into our guests’ connections to Brent, discovering what they’ve been reading, watching, hearing and absorbing during this strange and frightening time – and hearing more about how they’re responding. EPISODE 10: PATERSON JOSEPH Born in Willesden, actor and playwright and Noughts + Crosses star Paterson Joseph trained at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) after a council grant from Brent. His acting career now spans over 30 years and has appeared on stage, film and TV, playing leading roles in major productions. “I wrote about 40 letters and I got 40 rejections, and then finally Brent listened to my appeal and they gave me the grant. So I would have never gone to LAMDA. I might have become an actor, but I probably wouldn’t have done.” This week two Blueprint Collective Members (Mehaira Abdelhamid and Kamiah Chae) talk to Paterson about doing rolly pollies in Willesden with his 5 siblings, attending an almost entirely Irish infant school and opening the door for younger Black actors coming up. “That’s all I ever wanted and I still want that, is that each generation just bursts up that ‘glass ceiling’ even further so that more can come through.” Paterson rubbishes the idea that, in dramatisations of the past, there are characters that have to be played by white actors. He shows how a fascination with history, a hunger for knowledge and his willingness to immerse himself in his character’s circumstances are what really matters. ”The history of things, normal things, it’s fascinating. Let alone the history of people, of migration, of why that person went there, why that city is bigger than that city.”
BRENT LOCKED IN: Ekow Eshun
34:24

BRENT LOCKED IN: Ekow Eshun

BRENT LOCKED IN How have Brent’s legends been coping during the ongoing pandemic, and what might it mean for their work and practice? In this new video series, guest hosts from the Blueprint Collective will be catching up – in a socially distanced way, of course – with legendary musicians, artists, athletes and activists from across the borough and finding out how they’ve been affected and perhaps even inspired by the COVID-19 crisis. Along the way, we will be digging deeper into our guests’ connections to Brent, discovering what they’ve been reading, watching, hearing and absorbing during this strange and frightening time – and hearing more about how they’re responding. BRENT LOCKED IN: Ekow Eshun Born in Wembley, British-Ghanaian writer and curator Ekow Eshun has a dizzying list of contemporary art names on his CV. He is one of the only people from Brent who has written extensively about their experiences growing up in the borough. “Brent is intensely multicultural and it taught me, from the get go, this is how it’s supposed to be. This is how it is. That Brent isn’t owned by any single set of people. Brent is about all of us. For better or for worse.” Ekow talks to Blueprint Collective Member Kes Eccleston, diving into growing up in 70s Britain, struggling to find a way not to be defined by other’s expectation and prejudice and putting Black visual culture at the heart of his art exhibitions. “The ordinary, every day struggle for me was to find a way to be me and a way not to be defined by the experience, expectation or prejudice of all these other people around me.” “I try and find ways to bring together work by Black artists and to offer a context for them that hopefully allows more people to look at each piece of work and understand it or engage with it for itself. And also engage with it in a larger way of looking at the world.” Former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Ekow takes us back to his realisation at Brent Town Hall Library that personal identity could be a bridge to understanding the world in a more sophisticated and profound way. “It genuinely blew my mind because it seemed to sum up everything I’d experienced before and put that in the context of a much longer historical analysis, but also an analysis of cultural identity with a level of depth, insight and critical rigour that I’d never experienced.”
BRENT LOCKED IN: Ben Smith aka 'Doc Brown'
26:24

BRENT LOCKED IN: Ben Smith aka 'Doc Brown'

BRENT LOCKED IN How have Brent’s legends been coping during the ongoing pandemic, and what might it mean for their work and practice? In this new video series, guest hosts from the Blueprint Collective will be catching up – in a socially distanced way, of course – with legendary musicians, artists, athletes and activists from across the borough and finding out how they’ve been affected and perhaps even inspired by the COVID-19 crisis. Along the way, we will be digging deeper into our guests’ connections to Brent, discovering what they’ve been reading, watching, hearing and absorbing during this strange and frightening time – and hearing more about how they’re responding. BRENT LOCKED IN: Ben Smith aka 'Doc Brown' Rapper, comedian, actor and milk chocolate lover Ben Smith aka 'Doc Brown' speaks to Brent 2020’s Blueprint Collective Member Tyrique Tagoe Wyse about what influenced his music, his first experience of rapping and tips for getting into the music industry. “With rapping, comedy and acting, there’s so much pressure on how you present yourself and keeping that consistency of personality going. Whereas, when you’re doing voice overs, you can really experiment and do crazy stuff.” Smith started as a youth worker during his holidays at Uni. Spending his nights pursuing his music by doing battles, DJs and open mics; often influenced by his family’s music taste, a mixture of Prince, jazz, rare grooves and Nirvana. However, it was working on a Lenny Henry show that led to his career as a successful comedian, and later on, voiceovers. “There’s no perfect happy ending when you’re an artist. It’s just a series of ups and downs. And the beautiful part is throughout all of those ups and downs, you’re still an artist. If you can do that, you’ve already won.” This forms part of Brent 2020 Unlocked.
BRENT LOCKED IN: Ian Duhig
29:42

BRENT LOCKED IN: Ian Duhig

BRENT LOCKED IN How have Brent’s legends been coping during the ongoing pandemic, and what might it mean for their work and practice? In this new video series, guest hosts from the Blueprint Collective will be catching up – in a socially distanced way, of course – with legendary musicians, artists, athletes and activists from across the borough and finding out how they’ve been affected and perhaps even inspired by the COVID-19 crisis. Along the way, we will be digging deeper into our guests’ connections to Brent, discovering what they’ve been reading, watching, hearing and absorbing during this strange and frightening time – and hearing more about how they’re responding. BRENT LOCKED IN: Ian Duhig Born in Kilburn to Irish parents, poet Ian Duhig grew up with 10 siblings in a strong Irish community, working alongside some incredible characters that have inspired his work. Retelling a story from a Kilburn pub, Ian worked at in 1968, “He [Landlord, Butty Sugrue] persuaded one of his barmen, called Mick Meaney, to be buried alive. This was for the world record. It was like 65 or 66 days underground, and there was a big procession to a builder’s yard with Mick in his coffin.” Named ‘the most original poet of his generation' by Carol-Ann Duffy and having won the National Poetry Competition twice, Ian gives advice to Blueprint Collective member Savannah Mullings-Johnson for emerging poets. “Take yourself seriously as a poet, and a poet in a larger world and enjoy it. Allow it to enrich your life. It does. If you allow it to enrich your life, you will end up writing the sort of poetry that enriches other peoples’ lives and they will want to read that.”
BRENT LOCKED IN: Bilal Harry Khan
35:18

BRENT LOCKED IN: Bilal Harry Khan

BRENT LOCKED IN How have Brent’s legends been coping during the ongoing pandemic, and what might it mean for their work and practice? In this new video series, guest hosts from the Blueprint Collective will be catching up – in a socially distanced way, of course – with legendary musicians, artists, athletes and activists from across the borough and finding out how they’ve been affected and perhaps even inspired by the COVID-19 crisis. Along the way, we will be digging deeper into our guests’ connections to Brent, discovering what they’ve been reading, watching, hearing and absorbing during this strange and frightening time – and hearing more about how they’re responding. EPISODE 8: Bilal Harry Khan This week, Blueprint Collective Member Kamiah Chae speaks to life-long youth worker and Cambridge graduate Bilal Harry Khan - a leading voice on issues of race, masculinities and social justice. "I didn’t want to go. That was not my plan. My real plan was I wanted to be a bus driver like my dad. That was my actual plan." With over 16k followers on Twitter and co-host of an award-winning podcast “Over The Bridge”, Neasden-born Bilal discusses the culture shock of going to Cambridge University, his career influences, what it was like growing up in Brent in the 90s and how lockdown has given him perspective. "[Growing up in Brent ] you’re exposed to more traditions, cultures and celebrations. Which only makes you more appreciative of culture as you grow up." "Change is measured by hearts and mind in this work. So if one person goes ‘I now see something I didn’t see before. I’m now aware of privilege, racism, whereas I wasn’t before’ that means I’ve done a good job."