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Say You Swear

Author: Daniel Soprano

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43 Episodes
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Episode 43 is with editor, writer, and researcher Isabel Flower!Isabel's work across editorial and advertising is (usually) about art, style, and consumer culture. Her writing has appeared in places such as Kaleidoscope, Cultured, The Wall Street Journal, Garage, Double, Artforum, and Bookforum, and these days she’s executive editor of Deem Journal. With her best friend and longtime collaborator Marcel Rosa-Salas, she is co-author of the “The Nameplate: Jewelry, Culture, and Identity” which was published by Penguin Random House this past summer and began as the open-call archiving project Documenting the Nameplate. The two of them also cohost the Top Rank Podcast.We discuss culture journalism in the digital age, life as a new (working) mom, running podcasts, nepotism, etc etc etc !
Episode 42 is with Queens native, Peter Sidlauskas of Bronze 56k!We discuss Peter's skate origin story, the significance of his block in Queens, and his early influences at the time. He explained that he always loved video cameras, making edits from a young age, and editing videos on two vcrs. He shared about his life-long relationship with his friend Pat, the many iterations of companies they were going to start together, and then finally the process of starting Bronze together. I definitely asked a bunch about his unique editing style, as I feel Bronze editing is the most unique in skateboarding. UTZ chips. America Online. The curation of the "clips-between-the-clips" is unmatched and shows a true level of attention to detail in Peter's psyche that's humbling.There's more ofc. 2 hours here. Blah blah blah!
Episode 41 is with London-based skateboard videographer, Will Miles!Recently coming off of filming and editing Nike's full Length 7-Ball; this episode is a deep dive into Will's journey. From shit like giving up playing football at around 12 for skating, Ben Raemers selling him his first camera for the cheap, and his first day out with the camera Kyron asking him if he wanted to spend the next couple months filming a part!Will began to film edits that would end up on free skate mag and grey skate mag. These grey edits would partner with Nike in order to bring together and showcase the Nike London team. Over time, Will was getting his personal style down for his own future classic videos on Vimeo such as Billy Trick and Lambrusco. There's a lot I am skipping here obviously, but Nike decided to give him the reigns for 18-months both filming and editing for 7-Ball! No small feat!We go quite in depth with the videos and Will teases a future Nike project on the way!Much love XD
Q&A With Aya Brown

Q&A With Aya Brown

2023-07-1353:34

Episode 40 is with visual artist, Brooklyn's very own, Aya Brown!Beginning to make art at a young age, she developed her style over years personal experimentation and time at Cooper Union. Aya consistently taps into the deep roots of her family, sexual identity, blackness, and community to illuminate an honest and beautiful depiction of her lived experience. We discuss the intricacies of growing up in the church, her dad being somewhat of an influence on her style (hehe), her unequivocal passionate love for Spiderman, and Gush!Aya sheds much light on the importance of having positive representations for black lesbian love and relationships, how brands can truly support communities, and the lovely environment and family of Telfar. We've been tryna get together to do this for almost 2 years, sheeeesh. Hope you enjoy XD
Episode 39 is with Bradley Carbone, who works in the space of brand strategy and management. Bradley has a keen ability to utilize his genuine connection with creatives in their spaces, his years of business/corporate expertise, and bridge the two. This allows both extremes to form more symbiotic relationships for their futures. Bradley has worked on SNEEZE magazine for the past 13 years, alongside founder Nic Fensom.  In recent years, he has been working closely with Born x Raised, based in LA, and Andrew, based in Miami. We discuss honing your craft, relationships, overcoming trauma, and a bunch of other lovely things! Bradley is not a businessman, he's a business, man...jay voice. XD
Episode 38 is with my Parisian brother, Greg Cuadrado! We start by discussing Greg's roots in skating, manuals, the inception/creation of Les Blobys, and the route to going pro in 2018 for National Skate Co. The interview then moves into discussing Greg's transitioning role in the skate world. He talks about the importance of Pussy Gangster, the Supreme store opening in Paris, and beginning to work for the company. Now Greg is Supreme's European TM and he talks about the intricacies of this position! Working on the Stallion video during lockdown in Italy, wearing Vans to a LV x Sup shoot while still on Cons, James Cruickshank's SENSIBLES video, and a bunch of other shit sprinkled in therrr. Merci beacoup mfers <3
Ketchup With CHITO

Ketchup With CHITO

2023-02-2557:38

Episode 37 is with the artist CHITO.CHITO’s early work went from airbrushing on blank tees and moved into using the airbrush to highlight the structure in garments to emphasize the craftsmanship. In the recent years, he has worked to “remove the line in the sand” of what he can and can not do in order to feel true artistic freedom.“Fuck the boundaries, fuck the limitations”Honored to have had the ability to bring you this spoken interview. Enjoy ! 
Episode 36 is with journalist and pop music critic, for the New York Times, Jon Caramanica. Long time interview extraordinaire, for publications such as XXL and Vibe, Jon offers insight into interviews he’s conducted over the years. From the likes of Pimp C to Taylor Swift, we talk about what it takes to give a good interview and many of the aspects that come along with it. Jon pivoted from a degree at Harvard with teaching aspirations, writing hip-hop articles on the side, to strong-arming his way into a nationally syndicated publication. We also chat about his years actively working on a book about Ye, journalistic integrity, how hip-hop journalism has changed, and more.I literally only needed to make 3 cuts in this whole recording...natural talkers over here XDEnjoy 
Q&A With Grant Dawson

Q&A With Grant Dawson

2023-01-2631:54

Episode 35 is with London based videographer Grant Dawson!From a small rural town near Oxford, Grant moved to London for college as a teenager and in 2017 got deeply into filming skateboarding. Dropping out of art school after a year, moving in with his eventual girlfriend of 10 years, and then starting to work at Supreme...Grant notes that he didn't have a plan after stopping University rather that things just naturally started to pan out. Manifestations! Additionally we discuss filming for Yardsale and Supreme, developing his personal filming/video style, pushing to showcase more London skating, being obsessive with music, and more :)Uh yea, little QnA for ya. XD
Episode 34 is with videographer Naquan Rollings and, a special appearance from, Father Bop.Naquan spoke about his sister introducing him to skateboarding, being grateful to grow up in NYC, getting really into improv acting, linking up with thrasher, and why people in Philly don't eat food.Once Bop got the mic, the two discussed going out culture in NY, worst trends in skating, the significance of LES growing up, and their love for niche rappers. Much love to Kevin Bradley for texting in questions during the interview lol and to Bop for hosting!I know y'all will love this one. Pce!
For Episode 33 I am joined by Grammy-award winning engineer, Texas's very own, Vic Wainstein. Vic has worked with several different types of musical artists, in the form of engineering and production, over the last two decades. We speak at length about the importance of putting your ego aside, his love for not being a front-facing artist, and the joy he gets from helping out new up-and-coming artists. Being specifically close with both Tyler, The Creator and Mac Miller during this time had a profound effect on Vic's confidence to make music due to how they defied the odds. They all worked on projects together where people doubted their ability to redefine their sound. They had been boxed in to sole identities. Tyler and Malcom's ability to confidently take professional risks and be successful proved that you can do whatever you want as long as you do it well and with consistency. The rewards for trusting yourself can be immense."We did shit that we had no business doing and it worked. In a business built off of temporary come ups, it's good to see something slow burn. It's good to see someone doubt something that worked because nobody's opinion is god."
For EPISODE 32, I sat down with artist and supremely talented designer Nick Atkins.Creating under the pseudonym label of ELECTROMAGNETIC STUDIOS, Nick’s works take the form of anything from painting and sculpture to garment design and jewelry. Nick expressed the level of importance in separating the physical-being and the art itself. That his goal is not to be the center of focus, rather the creations themselves, and let them do the talking.While I was walking home and reflecting on the interview, I realized that this was my favorite interview I had recorded to date. Sure we discuss specific works and some of the usual parts that come with an SYS interview. However, this episode delves deep into the trials and tribulations of Nick as a person in hopes of offering potential insight that could be illuminating for another. 
Episode 31, you already know what it is!Filmmaker, photographer, cyclist, chef, and all around vegan stud XDThank you so much to Johnny for trusting me with his first interview on wax!Normally, I over explain these. Yes we discuss the Supreme vid lolEnjoy <3
For Episode 30, I was joined by photographer/videographer David "Shadi" Perez. Bronx native, Shadi, spoke about coming up in the borough and his early influences of the time. As a young teen in the 80's rollerskating, hip-hop, skating, graffiti, and breakdancing scenes; he explained always being immersed in street culture. His father shot photos and through this Shadi began to stay with a camera and document his experiences. We spoke about him starting to work for early Stussy, forming a relationship with James Jebbia, and beginning to help out at Supreme at its inception. Meeting Sue Kwon, he explains what a powerhouse she was in the industry and how his relationship to her deeply shaped the people he'd meet. Eventually, Shadi ventured into working in videography and directed several music videos for the likes of The Beastie Boys, Big Pun, Onyx, Fat Joe, etc. There are a ton of stories in this one! Going to Miami in '91 to shoot some crazy rap party and shooting photos of Tupac. Riding around on the back of David Blaine's motorcycle to go photograph him doing magic for Bill Clinton. You know, Shadi kept saying I was dating him with my questions lol, but the dream is to get older and have lived that much life! (Also he's like 50 or some shit which ain't even old) Shit some day imma say "Back in 2022" and kids are gonna look at me with the screw face, but I hope I have this many stories to tell when I look back!Much love and respect to Mr. Perez for trusting me and allowing me into his home to chop it up. God I hate that phrase lol. Is the conversation an onion? Yo, Link n build bro, link n build! I know that normally I write these out, but Shadi has just worked with too many people, Ye level name dropping was going on, and I have other papers to write! This is a fun one ;) Enjoy!
Episode 29 is with Anatoly Kirichenko, the creator/founder of Whaam! Gallery and Whaam! Bookclub. Born in Ukraine, Anatoly immigrated to the US with his parents and grew up in Brooklyn. We talked about his upbringing, having an immigrant mentality, and his early influences. Spending formative time downtown, getting into streetwear and art cultures, he spoke about having a deep admiration for NYC. After graduating from NYU, Anatoly began to work in streetwear. First working out in LA for Supreme, he later moved back to NY to work for Adam Kimmel. During his time at Adam Kimmel was where Anatoly was first curating pop-up art shows. Leaving AK, he then moved to work with CDG/DSM, and then to run Stussy's New York flagship location in 2016. Being given the reins at 26 years old, I was perplexed that Stussy would give him the position at the age I am now. He explained that he always followed his heart and was not afraid to be honest with the brands he worked for. This allowed him to form the beneficial skills and relationships that would shape his career. He spoke about really connecting with Stussy on their values and principles as a brand.At Stussy was where Whaam! Bookclub was first formed, in 2017, and eventually the conception for Whaam! Gallery was created. Anatoly expressed the ideology of the gallery as one that doesn't show "classically" trained fine artists, explained the significance of the location, how he curates, and what the gallery has become in 2022. Whaam! gives artists the ability to see their vision come alive and creates an atmosphere to meet new people. He elaborated on the joy he receives in taking chances and that he doesn't need Whaam! to fit the profile/constraints of a traditional gallery. "Art is whatever an artist creates." he said! Enjoy <3 
Episode 28 is with Onyedi of Motherlan. Currently residing in London, Onyedi and I got to sit down for an interview on a recent trip he, and his friends, took out to NYC. Growing up with an Australian mother and a Nigerian father, Onyedi lived in Australia til he was 12 and would go back and forth to Nigeria. We spoke about the culture shock he had eventually moving to Lagos. Growing up in an almost solely white population and then moving to an almost solely black population.  Having family all over, he discovered skateboarding on a trip he took to California and brought a board back to Lagos. Eventually he was made aware of what is known as the first ever skate shop in West Africa, WAFFLESNCREAM, and became a regular. Onyedi then worked at the shop, became close with the founder Jomi, and met the crew that would eventually form Motherlan together. In 2018, they started Motherlan when the cult moved out to the UK. Onyedi broke down the process of discovering what they wanted to do with the brand. Initially, he was still in Nigeria while most of the group was out in London, but eventually he made the move out there and started really pushing the brand. He spoke about the brand growing, working on delegating roles, finding structure for the brand, and transitioning into the head role as Creative Director. Onyedi, and Motherlan, are quite multifaceted and this has much to do with his extremely eclectic understanding of culture. He enlightened me on how gnarly Nigeria can be, knowing how to move properly in places full of corruption, and the importance of sticking with people you trust. Family in the US, growing up in Australia, moving to Nigeria at 12, moving to the UK alone at a young age. I was super impressed when I was thinking about my own personal experience of living in the same state my whole life.After the interview, Xavier helped me realize how fucking young Onyedi is and that shit humbled me. When I was his age I was not even close to that seasoned! Respect!We also talk about filming, writing graff, collabs, etc! My fingers are cramping and I'm in class! Pce!!
Episode 27 is with artist, designer, and filmmaker Jack Greer!Jack is the owner/creator of the fashion brand IGGYMaking art since a child, Jack speaks about the art he creates, his experience at art school, and his years of pursuing the fine art world. Learning that it was not the place for him, he decided to step away. Jack notes the muddy waters of fine art, being pigeon-holed to one medium, and that being a catalyst for creating a full-length documentary about Tompkins and starting his brand IGGY. As a fellow cynic, I loved Jack's critical honesty about his crafts and running a brand by himself. No sugar coating in this episode, he reveals the perks but also the immense sole responsibility he experiences to make sure IGGY operates as you see it. He spoke with conviction throughout the interview of how imperative it is to be yourself. IGGY is truly just an extension of himself transferred into a physical world through design! At his apartment, I saw binders and binders of perfectly archived graphics he had drawn. I loved learning that all the designs for IGGY are hand-drawn by Jack and then rendered.Oh also! Jack's pup, Iggy, makes a couple cameos in the interview...it's only fitting :) 
#26 is with Detroit's very own Mr. Caleb Barnett aka lil tut!Recently going pro for Hockey, we talk all that good skate shit you wanna hear. I asked Caleb about filming for recent videos like "Hockey X" and James Cruickshank's "SENSIBLES". Living out in Paris a lot to be with his girl, he talks about his love for Paris, filming out there, and living abroad.Knowing he had a love for it, I asked him about how he got into boxing. We discussed his origins with it as a kid, his father being a boxer, and training in it as an adult. He talked about his intensive workout routines, sparring, favorite fights, and learning discipline from the sport. I have to say my man had me dying in this interview! The stories he told about getting into it with assholes who tried him were hilarious. I appreciated him saying that he's never looking for a problem, but that he's not going to let people get away with violating/disrespecting him or his friends.A large part of the back half of the interview discusses Caleb's music career as "lil tut". Tut talked about getting into making music, always loving writing raps, and how moving in with Genny causing him to start to take music more seriously. Buying beats, sitting in the studio all day making song after song; tut knows the discipline of practice well! He spoke about not being afraid to be himself in the music, singing and rapping on songs, and his love for R&B. Check out lil tut on soundcloud and his videos on YouTube!Tut will be releasing his first project "Josiah" on August 27th!!Thank you Caleb and check this shit out!
Episode 25 features artist, art director, photographer, and (of course) skateboarder Jerry Hsu.This episode is an extra special one for me due to my personal fandom of Jerry's work. From watching his Stay Gold b-sides nearly 100 times, wearing his Sci-Fi Fantasy label, owning his The Beautiful Flower Is The World photo-book; I have found myself immersed in Jerry's creative world since I was a teenager. This interview was months in the making and an absolute dream come true that I was able to create a platform that would invite such a personal hero :)Throughout the interview we touch on several different subject matters from reflecting on his years of professional skating, his photo work, love of book making, running Sci-Fi, and even family. It was eye opening for me to hear about the immense pressure that skating can bring at that level and how psychologically tolling it can be.It's too daunting for me to write out all that we discussed, but I will expound slightly on a part I did not expect...but really enjoyed. Jerry spoke about his wonderful relationship with his wife and how impactful/inspiring she has been in not only his life, but also his creative outlets. He explained how crucial it is to find a partner in life that can challenge you to be a better version of yourself. That having "yes" people around you can be detrimental to personal growth and that he supremely values how critical his wife can be. This is what I do this for! Humbled that this worked out and that it went so well. So so excited for everyone to hear this one. Much love 
For this episode, I sent it to Brooklyn to record with Genesis and play a couple hours of smash!Genny's early YouTube videos, Lurknyc parts, and tricks in Johnny Wilson edits had such a huge influence on me coming up in skating. In high school, pre-917, Genny's videos and personal skating showed me that skateboarding is truly about having fun with your friends and doing what comes natural!Upon arriving to him and Caleb's home, I gained a profound new appreciation of Genesis's creative world. I walked into a house full of music, plushies, in-progress paintings, Caleb at their table recording a song, and their friend Marcus cutting out and sewing letters onto a polo. I quickly learned that skating is just one of many tools in Genny's bag!He said something that has since stuck with me because it was a feeling I've had, but I've never quite put into words.  As a kid, he thought that art/music were things someone was naturally good at and that it was like a superpower; you either had it or you didn't. He noted that this ideology is one that deters people from trying new things. However, sometimes you suck at new things but that doesn't mean you should stop or that you can't be great at it!We speak in-depth about Genny's love/ear for music, deep musical roots, Blair, and venturing out into a solo career as genny!. This episode coincides with his first solo album release 8 SONGS, as Genny spoke at length about his creative process and work for this album. Go check that out!!! Oh and, as always, hope y'all enjoy :)
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