INTRODUCING JAMAL GERALD…

Posted on 08 May 2018

INTRODUCING JAMAL GERALD…

Over the next year we’re going to be collaborating with the next wave of Leeds based artists, cooking up brand new projects to premiere at our next festival. We’re excited to introduce you to the bold and brilliant artists who you’ll be hearing lots more from in the lead-up to Transform 19. First up, meet Jamal Gerald, a performance artists creating work that is conversational, socially conscious, and a celebration of individuality.

Find out a little more about Jamal in the Q&A below…

Break Line

INTRODUCE YOURSELF...

My name is Jamal Gerald and I am a performance artist based in Leeds.

TELL US WHAT DRIVES YOU...

If I’m honest, I would probably say my high school bullies drive me. I feel the need to prove them wrong and continue to prove myself right. My experience of being bullied is still repeating in my mind. Therefore, I use these negative experiences to help create positive ones. It may sound quite odd, but it’s something that works for me. The importance of black representation in the arts is another thing. During my degree, the majority of the artists I studied were white. I want to help change that by continuing to make as much work as possible. I feel like I have a lot to say, so I want to make sure I continue to say it through my work. My art is my activism.

TELL US WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT...

I’m never present. I’m always thinking about the future. Someone could be talking to me, but my mind will be elsewhere. It’s most likely my anxiety that keeps me awake at night. I overthink everything.

TELL US WHAT YOU'RE LISTENING TO...

Well, my taste in music is very wide. I listen to anything dependent on my mood. For example, when I want to dance, I’ll listen to some Soca or Bashment. If I want to feel amazing, I’ll listen to some Queen, Prince or Beyoncé. Whenever I’m just chilling out, I’ll listen to different types of hip hop, everything from gangsta rap, trap to conscious rap. That includes, Kendrick Lamar (who makes me really happy!), Cardi B, Lil Kim, Biggie, and many others. I would say that I use music as more of an inspiration than any other art form. Music is a powerful thing. I’m currently loving and replaying Janelle Monáe’s ‘Dirty Computer’ and J. Cole’s ‘KOD’.

TELL US ABOUT A PIECE OF LIVE PERFORMANCE THAT HAS ROCKED YOUR WORLD AND WHY...

salt. by Selina Thompson rocked my world! It was inspiring to hear her story of retracing one the routes for the Transatlantic Slave Triangle, going from the UK to Ghana to Jamaica, and back. She is a such a strong person for going on that journey, to come back and share what she experienced. Showcasing how the impact of slavery and colonialism is still manifesting within today’s society. Selina is also an incredible writer and performer. I left the theatre balling my eyes out because her performance touched me so much. There’s not many artists whose work does that to me. Selina is an artist whose practice I truly admire.

TELL US WHERE IN THE WORLD YOU MOST WANT TO VISIT AND WHY...

I really want to visit Montserrat. All of my family are from this island, therefore I have a connection to it. I want to learn more about the island, so I have to go as soon as possible.

TELL US WHERE YOU THINK THE NEXT YEAR MIGHT TAKE YOU...

I think next year might take me to completing my most ambitious project to date. No, it will!

TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO EXPECT FROM YOU AT TRANSFORM 19...

You can expect a performance with a lot of references to race and popular culture.

IMAGE – BOKEHGO

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON TWITTER LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON TWITTER