FAULT Magazine go from Adulthood to Brotherhood with Arnold Oceng

London street kid, refugee, boxer and grime MC. Arnold Oceng has played them all (except grime MC, that was real). As one of Britain’s greatest emerging talents, with two international blockbusters soon to be under his belt, we caught up with him ahead of the release of his latest movie Brotherhood. The final instalment in the Noel Clarke trilogy, which many of us grew up with, sees Arnold‘s character ‘Henry’ in a whole new light.

FAULT: We are so excited about Brotherhood…
It’s awesome. It’s awesome, man. I can’t express it anymore. If you’ve seen the trailer, or any of the other films, you’ll know what to expect. Henry, my character, comes back bigger and better from when he got bricked in the head [before]. He’s grown into a mature man. He has a wife, children, he’s not on that way of life anymore. He’s a working man.

FAULT: The clips we’ve seen seem to be a lot more comical and a lot less gritty. Is that the tone, or is that just the clips we’ve seen?

I think that’s just the clips you’ve seen, but there is… As I’ve said before, my character, Henry, he does bring the comedy element to the film. As I said, he’s not on the violent stuff, even though he gets pulled into it. So through all the violence and stuff, he is funny and he makes the funniest scenes out of real serious situations.

FAULT: Brotherhood is also being shown at The Toronto Film Festival…
Yeah! I think that’s next month. To be selected for TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) is… I’m sure you know, is like a major, big, deal. I went there for the first time last year for another movie that I did and so I’ve experienced the Toronto film festival before and it is amazing. The amount and the calibre of films that are there, that are selected… The actors, the celebrities that are there, that attend… It’s one of the biggest film festivals in the world, so for BrOTHERHOOD… This London film that started off so indie and so small, for that to be accepted and to be amongst such huge films, it’s a blessing. It’s a massive achievement for us.

 


FAULT: It will be interesting to see how Brotherhood is received, because the urban street culture in Toronto is quite similar to ours, here in London…
Yes! It’s so funny that you said that, because – I’m going off topic now, but it’s cool. I got a Whatsapp message from a friend of mine and he was like, ‘yo, you’ve got to  check out the Vlogger on YouTube’ his name is something like That Dude McFly or something like that. He’s got thousands of followers on Instagram and Twitter, he’s huge. He’s from Toronto and he’s a big advocate for grime music. He plays grime on his vlogs all the time and he’s getting known over here just for supporting the movement. So anyway, I clicked on the link, expecting him to talk about grime again and he was talking about how everyone thinks Toronto stole London’s ‘swag’, in the way they talk and act etc… But they’ve been taking like that for a while etc… But he said he got introduced to our street culture, like a lot of them did over there, by watching KiDULTHOOD and AdULTHOOD. He said those were the films that he got a lot of London slang from and because he heard grime on the soundtrack, that is what made him get involved and seek out grime music. He tweeted me the other day – which is so crazy – saying how much he loves the trilogy and can’t wait for BrOTHERHOOD. So I understand the culture over there. They really are engrossed in what’s happening over here.

FAULT: Speaking of Canada and London street culture… you were in CH4’s ‘Top Boy’ how much can you tell us about Drake making another series?
[laughs] ahh I knew you were going to ask me that. I know you are going to think I’m lying, but I honestly don’t know. I’m very close with Ashley Walters, I speak to him all the time and he’s expressed how much he wants it to come back. I want it to come back as well. The whole thing with Drake being onboard… I think he’s expressed how much he wants to be involved. I think it’s just down to sorting out finances, which we are not involved in at all. So I don’t know much, sorry.


FAULT: So it is a real rumour?
It’s a real rumour. We’ve all been talking about it. So, erm… Yeah. It is a real rumour.

FAULT: We don’t want to typecast you in this interview, so please tell us about your next film ‘A United Kingdom’ which is out in November.

‘A United Kingdom’ will be my second international film. It’s an amazing, amazing, script. It’s directed by Amma Asante. If you’re not familiar with her work, her last film was ‘Belle’. So this is like, her next project to come out, so it’s highly anticipated. As I said, it’s an amazing script. It stars David Oyelowo
and Rosamund Pike and it’s a true story about love. It’s a period drama set in the 1940’s I believe. David and Rosamund fall in love in a time where interracial relationships were still very much frowned upon, but against all odds and against everyone trying to separate them, true love prevails and they fight for love.

FAULT: That’s two, major, international films. Are you now officially a ‘big deal’ in the acting world?

[laughs] It has been a very good 2/3 years for me. I’m just very humble. I’m just taking it all in to be honest.

FAULT: Your first international film ‘The Good Lie’ where you worked opposite Reese Witherspoon must have been a huge learning curve. How do you remain humble?

I learnt so much from that film. Like… yes, good things are happening, but take it slow, don’t shout from the rooftops just yet. So that’s my thought process right now, with the United Kingdom or with any project I’ve got coming up. You never know if a film will do well or not, so just let your work do the talking, if you know what I mean?


FAULT: The feedback was really good too, highly critically acclaimed…

The feedback was amazing. I’ve never been in a movie that has had feedback the way that that film has had feedback. Up until this day I get tweets from all over the world saying how much they love the film and how much they love my character. I think it’s because of the storyline. Refugees are pretty current to what is going on today, so I think it resonated with a lot of people. So many people have told me it’s their best film of this year, or their best film of all time… It means a lot to hear that stuff.

Your character in ‘The Good Lie’ has a heavy Sudanese accent. Sometimes, actors use one blanket accent for the whole of Africa…

Yes, like you said, not all African accents are the same and to the untrained ear it’s just one accent, which it really isn’t.

FAULT: I find English actors are better at accents. Do you think that is true and why?

In my honest opinion British accents are the best accents in the world. Even my agent says it. It’s just instilled in us. When you think of thespians, Shakespeare etc…

Would you make the move over to states given how well you are doing at the moment?

I am back and forth at the moment, but I’ll just see where the route takes me. I wouldn’t want to leave England or London, that’s my home. The way things are at the moment, you don’t necessarily have to live there. You can send an audition tape in via email… Living there, you don’t really have to do that anymore… But it can be beneficial.


So is Snakeyman, your grime MC alter ego dead, will we ever hear you on a track again?

[laughs] you are insane… Just bringing  things out of the woodworks like this! I like that… No he’s not, but when I do come back, I’m not going to come back as Snakeyman, just because I’ve outgrown him. I’ll just come back as Arnie, but I’ve got some really, really good music there. It’s been sitting there for a long time. I’ve been so lucky these past couple of years with acting, I just haven’t had time to release stuff and do music videos, I’ve just been busy. If I ever get a window of free time I will definitely do that. My mindset has changed from before. I don’t want to make music to get signed or anything it’s just therapeutic for me and I like it. So in the future, if I just want to put something out I will and whether or not it gets a response, I don’t really care, because I’m doing it for me now.


 You’re working on a film at the moment where you play a boxer. How much preparation did you have to do for that?

Yes, It’s a Danish movie. You’re a real detective [laughs]. I speak in English, then there are some parts where it’s in Danish.
Oh, it was mad. I had to put on weight. They gave me a personal trainer, they gave me a nutritionalist. I was training everyday, in the gym everyday… It was very hard work.
The film is called ‘The Greatest Man’ and I’ve literally just finished filming it. It’s another true story about this boxer who comes over from Uganda to Denmark because he’s been offered a title fight and that’s my character. Then he goes over there, because it’s set in the late 70’s/early 80’s he faces a lot of racism, banana peels are thrown at him, when he gets into the ring there are monkey chants…

No spoilers, but he has to win the title after all of that …or it would be a pretty depressing movie?

Oh yes, of course – but only in the ring. The Danish people were just unsure of him at first, slightly ignorant, but he wins them over by how humble and down to earth he is and the fact that he never retaliated. The only time he is aggressive is in the ring.

 

 

Foals Exclusive Photoshoot and Interview With FAULT Magazine Online

 

 

Foals is one of the few bands these days that has reached the top on their own terms. The past year has been the result of nearly a decade of sweat and hard work: Wembley gigs, a Brit Award nomination for Best Group and now – a headline spot at this weekend’s Reading and Leeds. At this pace, we trust that the guys are still going to be hitting it hard in another decade to come. We caught up with the bands just moments ahead of their monumental headline show at Reading and Leeds and here’s what the boys make of it all – before you see it all unfold on stage.

 

You’re just about to headline Reading and Leeds. What’s going through your heads right now?

 

We’re like a mixture of quietly confident that it’s going to be good and fun, but we’re also a little bit terrified. Whenever there’s a big show, there’s a big build-up towards it. You just want to get it done after a while. But it’s okay, everyone is in good form. That’s the thing with these things – it’s the sense of occasion that makes it a success. I like to think that we’ve sort of won anyways and if we just play through the songs, we should be okay.


You’ve been in the music industry for over a decade now. Let’s do an overview of how things were back in the day and what they’re like now -when you’re just about to do one of the biggest shows of your careers. What’s changed and what’s stayed the same?

 

The thing that stayed the same is definitely our attitudes toward playing live and how we operate as a band. We’ve definitely gotten used to more comfort, we travel a bit more, there’s more luxury now and all that stuff that just comes with being a bigger band I suppose. But what has definitely changed was the way we made music over the years. We figured out really early on, after our first record, that if we were going to have any kind of longevity as a band and success in the industry, then we needed to keep our fans and ourselves kind of on their toes. And basically change up everything we do, but still be true to ourselves. We haven’t done it perfectly, but we managed to do it.  I feel the lifespan of the band would have been dramatically shorter if we were just going over the same ground and putting out the same record.

 

The charts were never a point of reference for you, as a band, and now you’ve become a household name. Do you feel that the music industry in the UK has a tendency of sieving out the unnecessary in time? 

 

We consider ourselves lucky with the fact that we didn’t have this great success with anything that was like a one time hit. I really don’t envy bands these days that are in that situation because it’s almost impossible to follow up.  If you can’t keep it up, you’re done. I think we’ve done well to avoid that.  And I like to think that we’ve become a decent name amongst other bands.

 

I like how you’ve used the phrase ‘decent band’ when you’re just about to headline Reading and Leeds.

 

Well, the moment you think you’re really good – then you’re in trouble. We know we can be good but we also know that we cannot be that good. That kind of human element, cause we give it a lot of energy and a lot of effort , is also a part of our success right now.

 

Do you feel that there can be downsides to your increased popularity?

 

Straight off the top of my head, one of the downsides is that sometimes we do feel the pressure a little bit when the shows get bigger. Sometimes you feel like you can lose a little bit of the element of control. More and more people get involved. They’ve all been brilliant – the team that’s around us is incredible and we’ve been really lucky to have the help that we’ve had from our management and label. But there’s just no way you can keep control of everything and I think that element of sometimes losing control is a little bit of a downside to increased popularity.

 

What’s your take on your band’s current lofty position on the British rock landscape?

I like to think that we’re up there with the big boys. There’s a certain group of bands that are around at the moment – some of them are quite bigger than us – like, say, the Arctic Monkeys who’ve done considerably bigger shows and have more achievements than us, but I like to think that because of our longevity, we’re up there with many of those bands. I like to think that we’re going to leave some kind of mark on the British music scene.

 

Final words: what can we expect from your set at Reading and Leeds in the weekend ahead?

 

We’re treating it like a celebration of 4 records. So, we’re trying to do a little bit of everything, but we don’t have that much time to try and fit everything in. We’ve been trying to work out a set that’s kind of comfortable for us and we don’t miss too many things out. We’ve got some production, we’ve got some little bells and whistles and things that should probably make it fun and make it a celebratory upbeat thing. We’re in a good place. I hope it works out, otherwise…

 

What’s your FAULT? 

I think it’s letting go of decision and trusting other people. I think we’re quite untrusting as a band and sometimes we need to realize that people do know what’s best for us.

 

Short film “The Wait” follows wildlife photographer on the trail of wild Bison

In 2014, at just 22 years of age, the Belgian wildlife photographer Michel D’Oultremont made his name on the international scene by winning the ‘Rising Star’ award at the National History Museum’s annual ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ exhibition.

bison2

London based film director David Hayes and producer Hannah Salvanes Mclean were part of the crowd admiring his work and subsequently decided to follow him on his next adventure.

bison

Their new documentary ‘The Wait’, produced with film production company Contra Agency, is a beautiful and honest insight into the process, passion and patience of an incredible young talent.

 

‘The Wait’ takes the viewer on a journey from Michel’s hometown in Belgium to the remote mountains of Romania. On the trail of wild bison, Michel tracks the movement of the animals and then waits for the perfect moment; a process that can take up to a week to capture one shot.

 

You can catch the film when it’s featured at festivals across Europe – starting with The Smalls Film Festival in London from 2nd-7th September 2016.

 

Get in touch with the team: David Hayes & Hannah Salvanes Mclean.

FAULT Magazine Attends Full Moon Fest: Photo Gallery

 

Under the magic of a waning late-summer moon, the sixth-annual Full Moon Festival found its rhythm this weekend on the north shore of New York’s Governors Island. A lineup of electronic and hip-hop heavyweights from SBTRKT and Marcus Marr to Santigold and Pusha T filled the harbor with enough summer vibes to last at least until the leaves start turning.

And in our era where a sense of style define your social status, the crowd was dotted with 20-somethings who looked fresh off the set of a sepia-toned lookbook. Through wet heat and a wetter rain, the fashion at Full Moon took street style to its limits and left the rest of us with some residual closet envy.

 

Photography: Nate Cover

Rudimental launch their Bench AW16 campaign – exclusive interview

As part of their ongoing #LoveMyHood campaign, iconic menswear brand Bench have partnered with the equally iconic Hackney lads Rudimental, as their new brand ambassadors. We had a brief chat about the AW16 collection …and some other random things.

160810-BENCHXRUDI_9654

FAULT Magazine: What do you think you’ve learned about the fashion world whilst partnering with Bench?

Piers: I learned that sometimes I can fit into a 34, when I was always a 36…

Kesi: I learned about Piers’ love for shirts. I think he has now discovered a love for shirts.

Piers: Yes. I learned about my love for shirts too.

Locksmith: What I’ve learned… Is that fashion and music actually go hand in hand.

FAULT: How so?

Locksmith: Well if you think about it… In the past… I’ve been asked questions like this… and I’ve been able to answer [everyone laughs]

Amir: …they are both forms of expression. We are the masters of one form, so we thought we’d collaborate with the masters of the other.

DJ Locksmith: Seriously, fashion and music do go hand in hand… Bench came to us kind of with a spiel and we were very wary of that, because we’re not the face of our music. We let the music do the talking. When you get approached by a clothing company, you often think ‘they’re going to want us at the front’ …we still like doing our shopping without being noticed, but Bench came to us from another approach. They were kind of sold by our music and the reach of our music, so because of the way they sold it to us, or approached us, we were like, ‘you know what? Fashion and music do go hand in hand’ we were able to target their fans and they were able to target the fans that were similar to their fans and go forward.

Another thing I liked was they said that they didn’t just want to do a normal photoshoot with us wearing their big logo, they wanted to do something where they find out about Rudimental… a 24hr video shoot if you like, and we did that with them in Central Park, New York, where they got to come behind the scenes of a gig we were doing on Summer Stage. They got to see us getting ready and they found out about our individual characters, fashion sense and fashion styles. It was a really cool concept.

FAULT: How do you describe your individual style, because you’re quite diverse? – do you know that you are every colour emoji? That is so cool. You should use that somehow…

Piers: Nobody is yellow though.

Kesi: I am a bit…

DJ Locksmith: That is true… We should do a DJ act, in front of loads of people and just wear emoji hats, because it represents – That’s a sick idea! – And call it EMOJI. If you guys don’t do it, I’ll get some other guys to do it. That’s sick!

FAULT: Back to your individual styles…

DJ Locksmith: Me and Kesi and more T-shirt and shirt guys, Amir is more the smart/swagger guy, then Piers whose into his shirts… Which we all found out along the way. These are all things we never really paid attention to. We just knew what we liked and we cracked on with it.

Amir: It’s beautiful that they caught us in our reality. That’s basically how that whole photoshoot happened. They followed us with their cameras and got a lot of nice, natural shots with us.

FAULT: In a world where A$AP Rocky and Rihanna are fronting Dior, which is great too, this collaboration feels very organic and home grown…

Amir: I always thought of Bench as Brit pop, I always thought of it as proper British culture, so yes, it was a great match.

FAULT: Given what you said earlier about privacy and being sceptical at first, after this experience do you see yourselves ever fronting a high fashion campaign?

DJ Locksmith: Damn! If the money is right, girl, I’m down!  [laughs]

Kesi: If it somehow worked with Rudimental and what Rudimental are about as a movement, why not? It all depends on the ethos. We can’t change ourselves to fit something else.

FAULT: The AW16 was unveiled on Snapchat, which is quite a cool and current idea…

DJ Locksmith: See! Snapchat. We’re down.

FAULT: Do you manage your own social media or does it belong to your management?

[In Unison]: It’s ours!

Amir: Some of us are better at it than others.

Piers: I did a Snapchat once.

FAULT: Well done. What was that one Snapchat?

Piers: It was me half naked…

You can read more about the Rudimental X Bench campaign here, and can follow the boys on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Words Trina John-Charles

Jonathan Holmes discusses working on Stephen Spielberg’s BFG with FAULT Magazine

 

Veteran actor Jonathan Holmes plays a ferocious giant called Childchewer in Disney’s The BFG, the cinematic brainchild of figurative giants Roald Dahl and Stephen Spielberg.  In this interview, Holmes tells of his time as a giant among men.

 

FAULT: In playing a character from such a beloved book, did you feel any extra pressure or responsibility?

Jonathan: I think we all felt a huge sense of responsibility. But knowing we were in the hands of such an extraordinary creative team certainly gave us confidence.

 

FAULT: In The BFG, how were you guys able to shoot the interactions between giants and regular-sized people without relying on CGI characters?

Jonathan: Many of the scenes had to be shot in three different scales. And consequently shot three times. Giant scale, BFG scale (he’s half the size of the other giants), and human scale. So we would have various balls, poles, etc. to make sure our eyelines were correct. It was quite the operation!

 

FAULT: How much makeup did it take to turn you into such a convincing giant? Or were the effects added in editing?

Jonathan: All giants were shot using ‘performance capture’ technology. We had to wear tight suits with dots on them and dots all over our faces that picked up every nuance of our performance. The animators then animated to that.

FAULT: How did you approach playing such an unconventional character?

Jonathan: We were very fortunate to have a month or so of rehearsal to get used to the technology and to create these characters. Terry Notary, one of the pioneers of performance capture from the acting perspective, helped hugely in finding the physicality of these creatures. We spent a good deal of time improvising.

 

FAULT: How did your experience working with Steven Spielberg differ from your experiences working with other directors?

Jonathan: The main difference was the technology we used. Because the cameras would only pick up those of us who were ‘dotted’, Steven could direct us whilst actually being physically in the scene. Which, as you can imagine, was a huge thrill for all of us.

 

FAULT: What makes your character happy (besides eating children)?

Jonathan: A good hair day!

 

FAULT: Is there any food in the real world that you think tastes worse than a snozzcumber?

Jonathan: Overcooked vegetables. And marzipan.

 

FAULT: Is there anything else we can look forward to seeing you in?

Jonathan: I’m working on an animation series and a video game – but sadly I’m not able to tell you much more…

 

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Jonathan: I have a ten year old daughter who would tell you most things are my FAULT.

 

Words: Cody Fitzpatrick