It really is, good to talk...
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
This photo is from the first time I visited the VANS Europe HQ back in early 2017. I’d been asked to write a spoken word piece on the history of legendary hiphop group a Tribe Called Quest!
I was flown out to the Switzerland headquarter to perform it on stage in-front of the whole VANS HQ team. I couldn’t tell anyone (not even my team at VANS) or share what I was doing as the shoe wouldn’t be released until the following year.
I put a lot of time, research and mental energy into the pice as I really wanted it to be perfect. I had three weeks to create it and I really think I didn’t listen, read or watch anything that wasn’t ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ related for that whole time.
I remember getting super stressed out when creating the piece and after a couple of weeks working on it and a few sleepless nights in a fit of desperation I rang my friend Nick @retailwhore on instagram (who also worked at VANS). I told him what I was doing and that I needed to read him the piece and get his opinion or my head might explode! I knew he’d give me an honest answer whether I liked it or not. When I’d finished he said in typical Nick fashion “It’s fucking amazing!” and I new I was on the right track.
The actual day of course went really well and despite all the sleepless nights, anxiety and nerves I got a standing ovation which i will never forget. The photos are from after the performance when I could finally relax and have a well deserved beer. Sometimes when everything feels too much or your head feels like it might explode, pick up the phone, it really is - good to talk.
PS. Here's a video of a live performance I did in London of the piece when the collection finally launched - Beats Rhymes and Phife Live in London