music | 24 August 2017
In our latest feature we catch up with Alex bradshaw, a sydney based director who shoots hip hop docos. WE GET THE LOW DOWN ON HOW this form of musical expression GIVES PEOPLE A VOICE TO TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM PICKING UP GIRLS TO PickING UP ASSault rifles.
video + photographs: alex bradshaw
words: mitch alison
Describing their sound as “guitarless guitar music”, Wax Chattels make music that is caustic, dynamic and fragmented.
"It breeds a lot of rage. it breeds a lot of hopelessness. And you'll see a lot of anger in the youth of kashmir because they are the ones that take the brunt of it."
"For me, I'm a rapper first and foremost that happens to be a trans woman of colour" Introducing Miss Blanks."
Where are you from in NZ?
Waikato te iwi! I was born in Australia but moved to Hamilton when I was in primary school. I moved back to Sydney 6 years ago.
When did you first pick up a video camera?
Quite late actually. In my 3rd year of uni, I switched my degree to film. It was the first time I'd been exposed to anything creative.
What’s the earliest thing you remember shooting?
Besides the horrible student projects I shot, I used to go Auckland, borrow a friend's Betacam SP and go to the Auckland domain and film birds. It was a good way to learn how to pan, focus and zoom.
What was your first paying gig behind a camera?
First paying gig behind the camera was doing B camera on a show about gardening. It was scary because the viewfinder was black and white so I didn't know what the final picture was going to look like. It worked out ok in the end.
In your experience how does Hip Hop culture differ around the world?
In my experience hip hop culture mirrors the environment where it is being made. People who are in the most need lean on hip hop the most, as a way to protest or shine a light on inequality.
This was evident in Kashmir India, the most militarized zone in the world, where youth make songs to protest their friend's being killed, raped and imprisoned. They lean on hip hop to try and bring about change, and in return hip hop gives them an alternative to militancy and terrorism.
This is vastly different to Berlin, where the youth I filmed spend their time making music, graffitiing, drinking and smoking weed. Berlin provides a supportive environment for young artists to flourish. It's party music. Hip hop is used to bring people together to have fun.
Australia is a little different because of racism. A lot of the young African, Australian kids have to regularly deal with racism growing up. Hip hop gives them positive black role models in a place where they are culturally isolated.
I just love learning about people around the world. Actually, my next overseas hip hop doco will be in New Zealand!
Wax Chattels: @waxchattles
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