If you got to meet an artist who had obviously worked a lot of magic to become successful–say Janelle Monae–wouldn’t you want to learn about more than her favorite producer? I know plenty of women, like Iman Milner, who want to see more than the same media interviewers asking the same celebrities the same simple questions. Women of color, I think, have a special appreciation for the fact that if you want things to go in a different direction, you’ll often have to clear the path yourself. Iman, collaborated with friends, Camara Mathis and Ashley Nguyen, to create a project that would take us from the surface to the edge.
EDGE Magazine was created to showcase the diverse experiences and perspectives of young artists of color. The magazine features kindred creative and entrepreneurial spirits talking about topics like world affairs, vulnerability, and destiny, always with an exciting and youthful flavor–not the conventional features for people of color that mainly focus on sports, entertainment and gossip.
Talking to Iman about EDGE Magazine’s development, immortalizing black women’s beauty and living unchained was like a breath of fresh air–I guess everything’s just crisper on the edge…
We shot this music video entirely on an HTC Evo. We are both big fans of Lauryn Hill and got the inspiration for making this short after hearing Lauryn Hill’s “Repercussions.” Moments later, Miriam said: “We have to make this movie tonight!” So we did.
We shot this in about 2 hours and pulled an all-nighter editing it–once we got into it, we couldn’t stop working, laughing at ourselves and having fun.
Miriam introduced me to Lauryn Hill’s repercussions last night. Afterwards, I said: “I liked the song, but I’m not sure I would want to be driving in my car saying to myself: Repercussions! Repercussions! Repercussions!
Then, we bounced ideas off of each other about examples of repercussions. Your credit card gets declined–repercussions. Your car gets towed–repercussions. Your phone gets stolen–repercussions.
We also wanted to poke fun at bad music videos with some of the effects.
Fun is powerful.
We know this project isn’t perfect, but it wasn’t meant to be. “Repercussions” was fun to make, that’s why we made it.
This project showed us the importance of not taking yourself to seriously and appreciating inspiration when it comes.
Live Unchained is grateful for the opportunity to speak with artist M, also known as Mem Nahadr and Madwoman.
Possessing a six octave range, her voice is as powerful as her spirit–both are demonstrated here, in her performance of “Stay.” I heard this song and felt like it was holding me in its arms…
M has various passions and pursues them as a composer, performance artist, musician, actress, dancer, author, producer, audio engineer, filmmaker, graphic artist and philosopher. “What ‘drew’ me to all of these things,” M says, “was simply the continuous desire to expand and explore art form…and inevitably needing to express my feelings. It is only natural to gravitate to or resonate with that which you are. I am an artist. I express.”
The song “Stay” is included in Madwoman: A Contemporary Opera, which M wrote and performs in. The opera addresses many issues including difference, authority and the search for self in a world that encourages conformity and the supposed security it affords. The audience is encouraged to reflect on their personal and collective identities as the production calls for active audience participation. This unique performance with elaborate visual and audio works is achieved with innovative and experimental technology. “Supported by a Master team of Artists and Technicians, this presentation includes state of the art customized surround sound created by James P. Nichols, Broadway, Jazz and Grammy Award Winning Producer/Engineer with Dolby Laboratories; as well as Creative – Stage Direction by Claude E. Sloan, Jr., of the LOEB Drama Center Experimental Theater at Harvard, and the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Public Theater.”
Here M discusses Madwoman, race, albinism and her interest in Live Unchained.