On my radar: Nilüfer Yanya’s cultural highlights | Culture

Singer-songwriter Nilüfer Yanya was born in 1995 in west London to artist mother and father of Irish-Barbadian and Turkish heritage. She began out enjoying classical piano at secondary faculty earlier than falling in love with the electrical guitar after being taught by Dave Okumu of the Invisible at Saturday faculty. Impressed by artists corresponding to Nina Simone, Invoice Withers and the Treatment, she started releasing demos on SoundCloud in 2014, adopted by her first EP, Small Crimes/Keep on Calling, in 2016. She was longlisted for the BBC Sound of 2018 and her debut album, Miss Universe, got here out in 2019. Her newest EP, Feeling Lucky, was launched final December to important acclaim.

1. Comedy

Mo the Comic

Mo Gilligan
‘He went to the identical faculty as me!’: Mo Gilligan. {Photograph}: Suki Dhanda/The Observer

I’ve watched all of Mo Gilligan’s exhibits, however my favorite factor in lockdown was the quarantine games that he did on Instagram Reside. It was so humorous – he simply completely improvised. The characters that he has are simply the most effective. My favorite is Kavani, the little boy. I’ve met Mo as soon as, briefly. I used to be doing this round-table factor for Radio 4 and I didn’t know he was additionally doing it. I used to be so starstruck. He additionally went to the identical faculty as me!

2. Music



My drummer is a giant fan of Wu-Lu and did a couple of exhibits with him. I assume some may describe his music as a mixture between hip-hop and punk, however for me it seems like actually, actually cool guitar music. I wouldn’t wish to put it right into a style. He’s received a brand new single out known as South. It’s about gentrification and what’s taking place to some elements of London. The refrain is filled with screaming, which I really like. His music is angsty, however he hasn’t achieved that earlier than, so once I first heard it I assumed: “Whoah, that is good.”

3. Podcast

Song Exploder

Singer-songwriter Solange.
Singer-songwriter Solange. {Photograph}: Rick Kern/WireImage

Completely different artists choose one in all their songs and break down how they wrote it, how they made it, and the story behind it. I found this podcast just lately, and it actually helped me to really feel impressed and motivated once more. I really like the Solange one – she talks about Cranes in the Sky. The one with [hip-hop duo] Mobb Deep takes place on the anniversary of their hit single Shook Ones Pt II. The story of how they composed it and their friendship is de facto heartwarming: Prodigy died a couple of years in the past; he battled with sickle-cell anaemia. Havoc talks about how he’d all the time thought that’s the place Prodigy’s vitality was coming from in his lyrics and his verses. He was utilizing that ache.

4. Literature

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith.
Zadie Smith. {Photograph}: NurPhoto by way of Getty Photos

I’ve been making my means by way of my Zadie Smith assortment. I began with Swing Time after which started studying NW early this yr. Her current ebook of essays, Intimations, is de facto attention-grabbing. She wrote it throughout lockdown and it precisely describes what’s occurring: the category divide and the pandemic. She additionally talks about college students fairly a bit. There’s an attention-grabbing essay the place she goes to see her masseuse and imagines what his life is like. I really like how her work is about London, politics, race and multiculturalism.

5. Artwork

Home by Ronan Mckenzie

WATA, Further Explorations – an exhibition at Home, north London, bringing together new works from Ronan Mckenzie and Joy Yamusangie.
WATA, Additional Explorations – an exhibition at Residence, north London, bringing collectively new works from Ronan Mckenzie and Pleasure Yamusangie. {Photograph}: Andy Commons/Residence

It is a multifunctional artistic house in London, set as much as be a communal house/group workshop, in addition to a spot to indicate artists’ work. It was based by Ronan Mckenzie, who has a style pictures background. It’s black-owned and artist-led, which could be very uncommon in London – it’s a direct response to the shortage of range within the artwork world and the shortage of group. I went to the opening exhibition [by Mckenzie and Joy Yamusangie] simply earlier than the final lockdown. It was actually cool.

6. Web site


An iPhone showing the ebay website rests on a plain wooden table.
{Photograph}: Alamy

My brother has turn out to be very knowledgable about secondhand jewelry, so we place bids on issues collectively. I’m into rings in the meanwhile. I received a couple of birthday presents on there too, together with a tiny, cute gold rabbit. The factor I like about eBay is that it is dependent upon your funds, however you possibly can all the time get what you need. It’s like a recreation, however then it arrives within the submit and it’s actually enjoyable. I’m additionally actually into retro Wallpaper city guides. I used to typically choose them up in charity outlets. You suppose: “That is so 90s, I guess this membership doesn’t exist any extra.”

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