The women who shape grime - Culture - Mixmag

The women who shape grime

Focusing on the DJs, broadcasters, photographers and filmmakers pushing things forward

  • Words: Kamila Rymajo | Images: Vicky Grout
  • 9 November 2016
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Rianna Tamara

“You can showcase anything as long as you have a place to do it and people to come along,” says Rianna Tamara. The 23-year-old videographer from North London is talking about what comes next after the Photo Pit exhibition she curated in May, featuring the work of grime documentarians such as Vicky Grout, Isaac Cambridge, Courtney Francis and Ashley Verse. Keen to explore digital painting in upcoming exhibitions, Tamara’s multidisciplinary vision is driven by narrative, with her Behind The Music project “trying to give fans an insight into [artists’] lives as a way to connect with them on a personal level,” – no mean feat in a culture rife with bravado.

People told me you can’t make a living from shooting in music - Rianna Tamara

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Rianna grew up with grime via Channel U, and began documenting it as a photography intern at an urban news and gossip site four years ago. Her career really took off when she was hired for videography projects at labels like Motown and Universal. “People told me you can’t make a living from shooting in music – but this showed it wasn’t true,” she says. She now works closely with Splurgeboys PAP, and wants to find new ways to “celebrate the people behind the scenes – and help push grime that extra bit forward.”

Clothes: H&M

Vicky Grout

Procrastination is a concept 20-year-old Vicky Grout isn’t familiar with. She doesn’t even drink because a day hungover is a day wasted. Combine this dedication with her talent and in the space of three years she’s gone from fan girl to leading grime photographer with a wildly successful solo exhibition (AAA, at the Hoxton Gallery back in August) and more coming soon, such as the Hattie Collins curated ‘An Eye on Grime’ with Red Bull. Polish-born Grout’s most iconic photo is the Skepta ‘Shutdown’ cover image, but she says her proudest moment isn’t a specific shoot; “more the fact that I have been able to go full-time doing what I love most.”

I have been able to go full-time doing what I love most - Vicky Grout

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While fashion is another mainstay of her portfolio, Grout also documents the issues affecting London’s youth, from the closure of fabric to Black Lives Matter protests – and she can be found at most festivals where grime acts are booked. With AJ Tracey, Faze Miyake and Spooky as close friends, she’s both of the culture and shaping it from the inside, which sets her apart from the documentarians of grime’s first wave and gives her photos a unique intimacy.

Clothes: The Basement

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