new york


My name’s Hannah Sider, I was born in Malawi, Africa. I’m 25 years old and I'm a photographer. Five years ago I was living in Toronto. I was pretty comfortable… I was finishing my last year of school for fashion communications. I didn’t have to think too much about the future and I was interested in photography but I wasn’t sure if I could turn that into a career. Prior to university I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I was interested in fashion, so the communications program appealed to me because I could study so many different aspects of art, like illustration and design and photography and journalism. And now everyone is just a jack-of-all-trades, especially in New York.

Photography began as a hobby, I had a camera with me all the time and then I started to take more of a fashion focus when I studied fashion. But both of them are related…

fashion is very visual and I think that having that creative eye, is more important

than learning the technical skills of photography because you can always pick those up. But understanding fashion and design, the principles of design, I think that’s really helpful when I’m taking a photograph. So I don’t have an education within photography, I taught myself.

I picked up a lot by trial and error…

every once in a while I’ll be like shit! I’ve been doing this wrong for the last couple of years. And you learn from other people as well.

I definitely feel like a freshman in my field, in the sense that I still have so much to learn and so much more growth. But it’s cool because I left Toronto and now I’m kind of seen as an established photographer because I’m working in New York. So by Toronto’s industry standards, they would probably not say I’m a freshman. But my aesthetic has changed so much in the last two years that I’ve moved to New York, I wouldn’t have experienced those same challenges. Here, you do something that’s out there and everyone’s like cool, but can you push it further than that? because it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before! So that really challenges me to go beyond what is normal and safe. And you don’t stay stagnant at all here.

I’ve been experimenting with film and other things a lot in the last year and instead of staying with what I know and developing that, I’ve really tried to just do everything different.

I never want to stop experimenting.

A lot of photographers have this thing against event photography. They have this… just, disdain for it and I feel like I kind of did and then I was like you know what, I go to all these really cool fashion parties, I see all these really fucking awesome people that have crazy style and I’m just gonna start carrying my camera around everywhere and start shooting them!


And I think that having that attitude of not being too good to do certain jobs… like I’ve done a lot of favors, shot stuff that a lot of photographers felt above and wouldn’t do, unpaid. But those favors have really paid off. If it’s somebody in the industry whose work I really respect and we work well together, I trust that if there’s an opportunity they’ll come back to me. I think that just not being stuck up about things has really gotten me a long way. Plus, I’m having a lot of fun shooting at parties and odd places, and it’s really just taken my style on a different direction.

Right now I’m just inspired by really interesting people.

I keep thinking about those interesting people that aren’t necessarily "somebody". I saw a guy the other night who had tattoos all over his face and lighters through his ears. And I’m just like you are such a character and I have to take a photograph of you. And I did. Obviously there’s tons of famous people that I would love to shoot and having those people in your portfolio elevates your level as a photographer. But they aren’t necessarily as interesting to me as that guy with the lighters in his ears.

And honestly, networking has been so much of a benefit to me; just being able to go to different events and talk to different people. I don’t think that you have to network, there’s a lot of artists that are very introverted who do great things. But especially in a place like New York, I go out and talk to people and we’re genuinely excited about what everyone is doing and there’s this kind of energy. You don’t have to see it as networking, where you have to approach this person and give them a business card.

I don’t think it needs to be something really formal.

It should be inspiring and creative!

FF- Who’s one person’s brain I should pick?
HS- One of my friends who is insanely talented, an amazing photographer and does these pod casts and he’s also just crazy and hilarious, I really enjoy talking to him… is Michael Donavan. I would love to know how his brain works.

Also Michael Jordan! He’s an inspiration. I want to know if he’s thought about our future together at all and if he’s still gambling (laughs).

you can check out Hannah's photographs on her website, her tumblr and her instagram.
as told to: Olivia Seally // photos: Olivia Seally


Ian Isiah is my name, 26 is my game and Brooklyn is where I am here to stay.
FF - Five years ago what were you doing?
II - Five years ago I was singing and starting a career in something that I didn't think I'd be starting a career in… being an ambassador / creative team member for designing stuff with Shayne from Hood By Air. I never went to school for art or fashion so it was cool growing up with Shayne and watching him really, really do his thing and it pushed me to learn that process. And him being my best friend for all these years we kind of think alike so

it was just easy to create ideas, it was easy talking to him about concepts. And the results of all those concepts were crazy

so something is going right for all of these things to go how it's going. And it's just a great experience, it's basically like I'm learning without paying for it. So it's a blessing.

FF - You're learning from life?
II - I am actually learning from life. So five years ago I quit my job working in retail, at a retail store which is where I met most of my friends that I still know today because they're all still around… but anyway I quit my job and took control of myself and took control of my passion and decided to go out and start doing what I wanted to do, which is singing and writing.

FF - How did your musical interests begin? In choir right?
II - It started in the choir! Brooklyn, New York… two, three years old, I'm in the kitchen… actually it may have started in the kitchen! I wanted to be a drummer first, I'm three years old, I'm in the kitchen, I'm making a drum set out of pots. I was learning the theory of music really young because

by five years old I'm singing in the choir and playing the organ so I developed this thing for music when I was really young.

By junior high school it couldn't get away from me at all, I went to private school where I didn't do anything but sing and play basketball a little bit, from like kindergarten to eighth grade… still singing, creating glee clubs just so I can sing with other people, a bunch of gospel music, R&B music all at the same time. I feel like I listened to that whole thing come together because obviously gospel music is an influence for every genre but in the 90s there was some sort of weird connection where it got even deeper and you really couldn't tell the difference and it was also during the age that I was growing up. Then, in Brooklyn at that time dancehall went insane… dancehall changed the game, it changed life for me, for fashion, style, music, attitude… dancehall basically changed my life in high school. So I started dancing and within me dancing I got a little comfortable with being flamboyant in public, around my normal people, being myself. I met a few people who helped me get started or just helped me realize that it's time and I have to put something out. Not that I wasn't ready and didn't want to do it, I just didn't want to rush anything. So I waited and met a few people I felt confident in as far as producing and co-producing and I made a mixtape called 'Love Champion' last year, which was great.

FF - What was your first project 'Love Champion' about?
II - It's about… the new generation needs to not only be lost in the hook and the lyric, they need to also be lost in the affection of the music, the chord progression and how that intertwines and fucks each other to create a beautiful track. That was kind of the inspiration for the video 'Mind Fuck' because the whole video I'm basically fucking Boy Child, who is an amazing person and amazing performance artist herself.

But basically we fucked the whole video, it was like a soft porn that was immediately taken off of YouTube, because they couldn't handle it.

When I put it out I hosted it on YouTube and YouTube was like get the fuck out of here, basically… I don't know what both of you are, I can't tell if you're a girl, I can't tell if she's a girl, I can't tell if you're a boy, I can't tell if he's a boy… basically being like this is too much for YouTube. So Vimeo tweeted me and was like this video is awesome, everyone check it out. So I put it on Vimeo, I felt like I kinda started a war between YouTube and Vimeo!

FF - Good! As you should! Stir it up…

II - Yeah! The response was really good, a lot of people enjoyed that video and from that I started doing the 'Love Champion' mixtape, which is the first mixtape I actually put out into the world. It's full of a bunch of love songs with a futuristic touch to it. There's a lot of auto tune… because I'm used to singing live, I wasn't used to doing so much studio time and when I saw all this fun auto tune equipment I was like this is fab! It's fun to use auto tune when you can actually sing, because it's actually an instrument.

FF - Tell us about your writing process.
II - I learned to respect that I was also a writer, I learned that if it's corny it's only because I said it was corny. And once I learned to do that is when I actually started writing things down, keeping them and nurturing that. It's a process… I'm still trying to learn how to write better. My process for writing, honestly right now is just like if I have an idea instead of me writing it down I tweet it and if somebody likes it then someone likes that lyric.

FF - Any upcoming projects?
II - I've been writing a lot and working on some brand new music, working with brand new people. I put 'Love Champion' out with Uno Records and I'm now working with new people as well as Uno Records. I'm really excited about it…

there's no titles to anything right now but it's really beautiful music.

I have so many songs already… I have like 50 songs in iTunes already done and recorded, which can possibly be sold, I'm in that process too of learning how to sell my songs and working with other artists and writing for them and stuff like that, it's going quite well.

FF - If your life was a movie what would be on its soundtrack?
II - If my life was a movie I don't know if it'd be a soundtrack, it'd actually be a link to like a 48 hour Spotify situation where you're able to have like twenty playlists that would involve my whole life. Playlist's full of like Brandy 'Full Moon', Beyonce… all of them!, Jasmine Sullivan, Ella Fitzgerald… these are my people I listen to daily. Uh… Jodeci, John Legend, so many people I can't even name… I would just have a playlist of everything I cried to, smoked to, fucked to, laughed to. And Sizzla Kalonji! Everything!

FF - What are the qualities of a life well lived?
II - (1) Love for yourself. (2) Understanding that the answer to a relationship equation is 50% on both parties. And (3) accepting learning, accepting failing, accepting obstacles.

FF - What is your message?
II - The message is to activate, that's my message that I believe in. Like you talk a lot of game bro… but it's not going to come to pass unless you activate it. I understand activating might be hard, it's a process, but you have to… I think that's my message to the youth. Also, nothing is new under the sun, everything that we're doing now has been done before on different terms, you can modify or update something but honestly the sun did not change… it goes up, it comes down, people die, people were born and the mind just elevates, it's about elevating your mind.

Nothing is new under the sun, we're all creative people but it's about the force that you put behind your creativity and how you activate it that is going to make it different from someone else who might have that same talent or same gift that you have and have done nothing with it.

You don't want to be that person, you want to be the person that activates that. And then you'll reap the harvest and the benefit of that. All these great, creative people that I appreciate and learned from, like McQueen and all these other great people that really can't handle it in their mind so they commit suicide… no! I'm not doing that. I do believe in destiny, I do believe in living it out, I do believe in reaping the harvest that I put in. It's your gift, respect your gift! And activate it! Boom! Once you activate that gift you lit! That's it!

you can listen to Ian here and follow him here.
as told to: Olivia Seally // video: Olivia Seally


There’s something truly admirable about a person who has let their passions in life lead them in all the right directions. For Brooklyn-based DJ Jasmine Solano, a.k.a. JSMN, her love of music has taken her all around the world and back to spin for high profile brands (DKNY, Apple, Nike and Topshop, just to name a few), and celebrities (including a little artist known as Beyoncé…) alike.

But it’s not just her incredibly diverse taste in music that’s impressive; the Philadelphia-native and one half of the DJ party duo Electric Punanny has the kind of work ethic and intelligence that would make any workaholic jealous. While in college, Solano created her own major, “music activism quest,” which was basically a triple major in music production, marketing and socio-politics. Then later on in life, she was inspired by her non-stop work schedule to create and host MTV Iggy’s Scratch The Surface. The show documented her efforts to discover something new and interesting in every city she finds herself in because, for her, music is anthropology.

TR: How did you first encounter music?

JS: My first encounter was through my mother playing strictly classic soul in the house. I was 5 years old listening to James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. Classic soul connected me to music. With that being the first genre I was ever introduced to, it set my standards pretty high. My musical taste varies, but it always has to have soul.

TR:  What are your go-to tunes for:

– Getting out of bed and seizing the day?

JS:  Aretha Franklin “Groovin’”.

– Hitting the gym/spin class/going for a run?

JS:  Gappy Ranks “Baddest”.

– Hyping up as you get ready for a night out?

JS: JamieXX ft. Popcaan “Good Times”.

for the full article head to the Rhapsody.

Words: Portia Baladad / Photos: Olivia Seally



My name is Corey Washington, I'm 21 years old and I'm from Baltimore, Maryland.

FF - Five years ago what were you doing?

CW- I definitely saw myself modeling... my high school was kind of like college, we had majors and mine was culinary. So I was cooking, cleaning, learning how to do catering events, actually going to other schools and serving what we cooked for thanksgiving. But that's low key something I want to do, I want to be involved in that and have something with my recipes, maybe even a food truck, something I can just come back to. That came from high school, but when I was in high school I didn't really want to cook actually, I just loved to eat (laughs). I really just wanted to model, like even my chef knew what I wanted to do. So as soon as I turned 18 I started going to New York.

FF - Was there one specific opportunity you feel broke you out or was it just coming to New York?

CW - It was just coming to New York honestly because opportunities happened one after the other. I wouldn't say that there was one specific thing that put me on the map. But there have been a lot of great opportunities that I wouldn't have got had I not moved up here, definitely.

FF - What's your favorite project or shoot you've worked on so far?

CW - That would be my art exhibit two years ago, it was my first time showing my artwork ever. People didn't even know that I paint because I've never shown any work on Instagram or Twitter or anything. I just released the flyer and it was a really great turn out! I was so nervous, I didn't really know what I was doing (laughs). It was cool.

FF - And what do you do now?

CW - So now modelling isn't something I really want to do full time but it's something that has been happening more frequently. But I really love to paint, and create and make art, draw, sketch every day. I like to paint on furniture too!

FF - Did you grow up in a creative household?

CW - Both of my parents are painters. My mom is more of a perfectionist and always teaches me how to erase and go back and fix stuff. And my Dad is more of an abstract painter, so both of them I got that from when I was young.

And photography... my brother used to shoot videos and do photography, so I learned that from him. And then cooking came from high school, I spent four years doing that. So all of these things I have years of knowledge in but I'm still learning it. So I don't really like to think of myself as someone who's a pro at it, but I know my shit.

FF - So would you consider yourself more of a sophomore / junior?

CW - Yeah I'm like sophomore / junior, you know. Still learning, even though I'm not in college doesn't mean I'm not reading books every day or I'm not like watching documentaries or reading articles online. I look that stuff all the time.

FF - What is the goal?

CW - The goal is just to learn more so I can be able to expand. I just want to evolve, that's really the goal. There's pin points and things I want to do but I don't like to put like deadlines because I can say I want to do something and plan it out key by key but it's not going to go that way. I'm not in a rush, I just want everything to happen naturally. And I'm already making a lot of work now that people don't know about so we'll see...

FF - Do you have a specific dream creative project?

CW - Yeah, to build and design my own house. I want it really rustic, really like this actually (looks around room), like minimal but big plants. My mom always had big plants in the house and she always has a garden around the entire house, she still does. Tomatoes on the side, I want to grow my own vegetables...

FF - What's stopping you from that?

CW - Um, to get there... I just need my money to work for me.

FF - Who are your personal inspirations?

CW - One person that definitely inspires me is Michelle Patterson because she just moved to Los Angeles, got a job in the field that she's studying, in a different state. And then she gets to come back and get treated like a queen in her hometown. And that's a really great feeling, to come back to where you started and where you were raised but be at this level and be like wow, I've worked so hard and it's paid off whereas I can relax for a month and not have to stay with a friend or family. That's not a bad thing, of course you'll see family. But you know, it feels good to be upgraded at home. You don't really expect that to happen so soon. Another person that inspires me... definitely Melo-X, not even just because that's my boo (laughs) even when we were just friends, like when I first met him, he's always been doing something positive, just always working and always busy. And that's a great thing because what else are you supposed to be doing if you want something bad enough? I see the rewards that come from hard work, from him.

FF - What are the qualities of a life well lived for you?

CW - If you've traveled, found happiness and if you've found love and if you've found a home. Those are the four things... travel, happy, love, home. I pretty much have all four right now... yeah, I have a home, I have love, I have happiness and I've traveled. I can travel a lot more, there's always room for improvement. I think it's important to find those things as soon as you can.

you can follow Corey here.
as told to: Olivia Seally // photos: Olivia Seally