17.03.2016

The Urban Nomads

An Instagrammer and an electronic music artist interpret adidas Originals NMD

Generation NMD is a multimedia celebration of the urban nomads contributing to street culture. And nobody represents the spirit of this better than Instagram photographers, shooting iconic inner-city environments that reflect their urban landscapes. 21-year-old photographer Alex Kibble teamed up with 27-year-old electronic music producer and DJ, Jazzuelle, for a story that explores the past, shapes the future and explores the now. 

We spoke to the dynamic duo about the story they produced for The Way of Us.

First up, Jazzuelle.

What does the term “urban nomad” mean to you?
A new generation of travellers who transplant themselves into new cities across the globe following the next big career opportunity. Those who are continuously searching for inspiration and pushing boundaries in their respective fields.

Where can we regularly find you and what is it that you love about these places?
I love to hang out where art meets music, places like the Maboneng Precinct. My bar of choice would be Kitchener's in Braamfontein, I’ve met some of the most creative and opened minded people there. For me it’s a place that gives artists a platform to be themselves in a very chilled environment, which is why most of the time you will find me there.

What’s the best part of inner city living?
The people, the vibe, the rawness… The realest people I’ve met in Johannesburg are those hustling and fighting for their future. The guys who never sleep and are always trying to put food on the table. The ambitious ones who try and find opportunities everywhere. Those are my kind of people and the reason why I live where I do.

What are you working on right now and what’s in the pipeline?
Well, right now I’m working on quite a lot, the biggest of which is my first album on German label Get Physical Music. I also have quite a lot of remixes coming out, one of which I am doing with house legend Kerri Chandler for American-based artist Marissa Guzmann. Then I’ll also be playing my first Boiler Room in Cape Town next week and am very excited for that.

Let’s talk about the NMD sneakers by adidas Originals. Why are they such a game changer?
Two words: pushing boundaries. There is no sneaker doing what it’s doing right now and I have to give props to adidas for coming out with something as fresh and daring as this. My whole career has been based on taking chances, so the concept of this resonates with me on all levels.

And how would you style them and incorporate them into your lifestyle?
They already fit in with everything that I wear, you know. I don’t have to add or subtract anything. I’ve been wearing them since the day I got them and they are perfect for all the dark clothing that I wear.

And then some insights from Alex.

What can you tell us about working on this collaborative project?
This was an exciting project for me as it allowed me to gain new experience photographing sneakers at a professional level. I am always looking to expand my skill-set so this was a fantastic opportunity to do so, as well as interact with such amazing creative people.

How has Instagram changed the publishing/celebrity game?
Instagram has played a massive role for independent photographers in the past few years. Before photographers were merely behind the lens and often received little recognition for their abilities. To have any kind of following as a photographer you would need to be published and incredibly well known, shooting for large brands etc. But now Instagram has made it possible for any independent creative, not even necessarily a photographer, to have an audience that interacts and appreciates their work.

What were the best and worst decisions you made in getting you to where you are today?
The best decision I made was to start posting my photographs to Instagram. It has exponentially expanded my skill-sets as a photographer and driven me to photograph on a much regular basis. It has allowed me to meet so many interesting and creative people all over the world, as well as be inspired by countless more. I don't like to look back on the worst decisions I have made, rather learn from them and keep moving forward.

And there you have it, two young dudes at the top of their game, doing things there way and getting noticed. Give them both a follow on @diaryofalex and Jazzuelle and be sure to follow the rest of the adidas #NMD story, too.