The Cultural Exposé http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk A blog from a lifestyle journo covering culture, food and style in London and beyond. Sun, 01 Oct 2017 11:00:12 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/cropped-logo_2017-32x32.jpg The Cultural Exposé http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk 32 32 Five Dope Tracks is a curation of dope music, five tracks at a time. Check out the monthly playlist each month on Spotify. The Cultural Exposé clean episodic The Cultural Exposé megerecooper@gmail.com megerecooper@gmail.com (The Cultural Exposé) The Five Dope Tracks music podcast The Cultural Exposé http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/five_dope_tracks_podcast_cover.jpg http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk Five Dope Tracks – The October 2017 Edit + podcast http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-the-october-2017-edit-podcast/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-the-october-2017-edit-podcast/#respond Sun, 01 Oct 2017 11:00:12 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12398 During my recent ‘fun-employment’ (aka freedom from the 9-5), I decided to do something I’ve wanted to do for ages: record a podcast.  Well, tada! You can now check out the very first Five Dope Tracks podcast, featuring my friends Justin Onyeka and Rasheed Dauda .It’s all about Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope album, which turns the […]

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During my recent ‘fun-employment’ (aka freedom from the 9-5), I decided to do something I’ve wanted to do for ages: record a podcast.  Well, tada! You can now check out the very first Five Dope Tracks podcast, featuring my friends Justin Onyeka and Rasheed Dauda .It’s all about Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope album, which turns the grand age of 20 on October 7th. Admittedly, it’s a little weird this record – but that made it all the more fun, getting reacquainted with it and identifying its Five Dope Tracks (which you can listen to just below). The podcast is on Mixcloud (although unavailable in the US, sorry – copyright rules!).

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Three wonderful things you should check out this autumn http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/three-wonderful-things-check-autumn/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/three-wonderful-things-check-autumn/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 07:30:58 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12389 I’m here for all of this awesome: A post shared by Matilda (@megerecooper) on Aug 12, 2017 at 5:07am PDT Billy Smokes at The Institute of Light Apparently, an Indian summer is on the way this month. If that doesn’t turn out to be fake news, pencil in brunch at the latest Billy Smokes residency. […]

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I’m here for all of this awesome:

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Billy Smokes at The Institute of Light

Apparently, an Indian summer is on the way this month. If that doesn’t turn out to be fake news, pencil in brunch at the latest Billy Smokes residency. The grown-up BBQ experts have been serving up finger lickin’ charred meats at the mega cool The Institute of London since July. While the weather’s good, bag an outdoor seat and try their slow smoked Texas-meets-Brit specialties. billy-smokes.com

Basquiat: Boom For Real

I’ve been counting down the days until this incredible retrospective of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work finally arrived in London. Well, it’s only a few more weeks to go before we can delve into the world of the multi-talented artist from September 21st. For those unfamiliar with the name, Basquiat rolled with Warhol and took the 80s downtown New York art scene by storm until his untimely death in 1988, aged 27. Beloved by everyone from Jay-Z to Leonardo diCaprio, one of his pieces recently sold at auction for a record $110 million. barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2017/event/basquiat-boom-for-real

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Ayok’a

This new online platform gives emerging and established black artists a chance to share their work with the world. Founded by Alice Gbelia – who hails from the Ivory Coast -Ayok’a features gorgeous wall art, tees and accessories you can get your paws on when it opens for business in October. In the meantime, join the mailing list: ayokadeco.com

What are you looking forward to this autumn? Let me know in the comments! 

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Five Dope Tracks – The September 2017 Edit http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-september-2017-edit/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-september-2017-edit/#respond Sun, 03 Sep 2017 19:35:03 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12386 So… I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do for this month’s Five Dope Tracks (as I’m actually looking forward to the October Edit which may or may not be a podcast!?!? Waaaahhhh….We’ll see). Anyway, I knew I wanted to make this month’s more artist focused. Jill Scott popped into my head as I […]

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So…
I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do for this month’s Five Dope Tracks (as I’m actually looking forward to the October Edit which may or may not be a podcast!?!? Waaaahhhh….We’ll see).
Anyway, I knew I wanted to make this month’s more artist focused. Jill Scott popped into my head as I haven’t heard from her in a minute – and it turns out her third album The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3  is officially 10 years old (!) on September 25th. Sure, it didn’t match the mega success of her first two projects, but it’s just as musically accomplished – so I’ve rounded up some of the album’s dopest moments for a mellow Sunday eve, and a couple of her other tunes for good measure.
ENJOY

(You can read about why I started this little music project  here. And feel free to follow me on Twitter here)

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Birthdays abroad: a little city break to Arenys de Mar, Spain http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/travel/birthdays-abroad-little-city-break-arenys-de-mar-spain/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/travel/birthdays-abroad-little-city-break-arenys-de-mar-spain/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 09:54:02 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12368 I’ve wanted to go away for my birthday for years. Like, since forever. And I wanted it to be one of those occasions that felt like a benchmark, so by the time I came back from said holiday, I’d somehow feel ready to conquer the world. That kind of birthday. I’m not getting any younger […]

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I’ve wanted to go away for my birthday for years. Like, since forever. And I wanted it to be one of those occasions that felt like a benchmark, so by the time I came back from said holiday, I’d somehow feel ready to conquer the world. That kind of birthday. I’m not getting any younger so we gotta make ’em special, you know?

Well, mission accomplished. On August 14th, I hopped on a British Airways flight by myself to a destination I’d never heard of before in my life (not Spain obvs but Arenys de Mar – a Spanish fishing town with a name I embarrassingly still can’t pronounce properly). It was one of those Lastminute.com flight and hotel deals and I believed them when they said it was a family-friendly destination. In other words, I wouldn’t come across any lager louts on their stag do or naive uni grads committed to misdemeanors and poor life choices. Don’t they just love Spain!?

Anywho, second mission accomplished. I had a relaxing, enjoyable two-night stay for the most part at the beautiful, 4 star Sa Voga hotel. Sure, there was a lively, local village festival going on until like 1am  and I somehow managed to not get even a whiff of my beloved paella – but the beach delivered, the sangria flowed and I had a really happy birthday. That’s all I could ask for.

And here are a few lessons I learned from travelling solo:

  • If you’re arriving late (like I did) to a foreign destination take the hit and pay for a proper taxi transfer from the airport. I organised this a day before, mind you, and while I hated how much I had to spend, it was better to be safe than sorry.
  • Keep the friends and family aware of your movements via social media, at least. Trust me, I planned for my insta to be LIT this week.
  • Pack light so you don’t have to check in your luggage and can breeze through the arrivals and get to where you need to be. It also makes it less obvious you’re travelling alone (no one – and by that I mean weird people who hang around airports – needs to know).

Check out pics from my trip below:

Arenys De Mar

Have you been on holiday for your birthday? Or travelled solo? Let me know in the comments!

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Five Dope Tracks – The August 2017 Edit http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-august-2017-edit/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-august-2017-edit/#comments Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:30:46 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12354 It’s August! My birthday month! And I’m excited! Can’t you tell? So without further ado, here’s the latest edition of Five Dope Tracks, inspired by the year of my birth ;-) Check out the playlist below – it’s currently on Spotify  and if you like what you hear, spread the word, follow Five Dope Tracks on Twitter, send […]

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It’s August! My birthday month! And I’m excited! Can’t you tell? So without further ado, here’s the latest edition of Five Dope Tracks, inspired by the year of my birth ;-)

Check out the playlist below – it’s currently on Spotify  and if you like what you hear, spread the word, follow Five Dope Tracks on Twitter, send me a message, or leave a comment below!

(PS – I did two playlists this month because the music made me do it (lol). Here’s part 2.)

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Five Dope Tracks – The July 2017 Edit http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-july-2017-edit/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/five-dope-tracks-july-2017-edit/#respond Sat, 01 Jul 2017 08:00:14 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12339 Happy July everybody! You good? Everything straight? Your people okay? Nice. I’m FINE although I’m not satisfied with the few hours of summer we’ve had – and the little that came and went absolutely nuked the grass in the communal garden. Not cool.  It doesn’t help that I always consider July as the start of the steady descent to autumn […]

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Happy July everybody! You good? Everything straight? Your people okay? Nice. I’m FINE although I’m not satisfied with the few hours of summer we’ve had – and the little that came and went absolutely nuked the grass in the communal garden. Not cool.  It doesn’t help that I always consider July as the start of the steady descent to autumn – so I’m already thinking about what boots I’d like to rock soon (I’m thinking a suede Chelsea in maroon could be a cute look).

BUT –  as it’s supposedly still summer, I’ve gone for a late, balmy night at a rootop party vibe for the second edition of Five Dope Tracks. The theme I had mind was ‘nostalgia’, thanks to this brilliant artist from LA I recently came across called MarcLo. His throwback Neptunes style gets the playlist started this month, followed by the original R&B It girl Kelis, the inimitable Janet Jackson and Canada’s underrated neo-soul star Slakah the Beatchild. Q-Tip brings things home with a song from Kamaal the Abstract – the album he released in 2009 that nobody could quite get their heads around. But hey, I liked it.

Check out the playlist below – it’s currently on Spotify and Google Play – and if you like what you hear, feel free to share it, follow Five Dope Tracks on Twitter, send me a message, or leave a comment below!

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Three things I can’t wait to do in Rotterdam next month http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/travel/three-things-i-cant-wait-rotterdam-next-month/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/travel/three-things-i-cant-wait-rotterdam-next-month/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:55:12 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12334 Vacay season is well and truly here, so to kick off my summer of 2017 I’m off to Rotterdam next month: South Holland’s gorgeous metropolis for food, culture, architecture and MUSIC (I’ve got tickets for the North Sea Jazz festival y’all!!!!). But while I’m looking forward to swaying along to the likes of Jamiroquai, Erykah […]

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Vacay season is well and truly here, so to kick off my summer of 2017 I’m off to Rotterdam next month: South Holland’s gorgeous metropolis for food, culture, architecture and MUSIC (I’ve got tickets for the North Sea Jazz festival y’all!!!!).

But while I’m looking forward to swaying along to the likes of Jamiroquai, Erykah Badu, Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper Experiment, I’ve set aside plenty of time over the weekend for a bit of exploring. Here are at least three things on my itinerary:

Jog through the city on a ‘running tour’

I love cycling (as do the Dutch, obvs), and my original plan was the go on a cycle tour. But all the good ones are booked up or don’t work with my timings, so what’s the next best thing? Running. Rotterdam Sight Running Tours offer a 7km run around all the modern and historical bits of the city.  Fingers crossed we’ll get to jog past those infamous cube homes (for the ‘gram!)

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Pig out at Tante Nel 

I’m committed to shamelessly devouring everything on this trip, so one of my foodie stops will be Tante Nel. This popular fast food joint is known for their incredible chips served with lavish, mouth-watering toppings. I hear the milkshakes are divine too (see why I’m on that running tour?)

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Wander around the Kunsthal Museum 

You gotta love a modern museum and since 1992, the Kunsthal has developed a rep for presenting fun and innovative exhibitions around art, design, photography and fashion. Current shows include a tribute to Prince and a large-scale retrospective of the work of influential 20th-century photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

Have you been to Rotterdam? Got any tips? Let me know in the comments! 

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That time I discovered high culture on my doorstep: Investec Opera Holland Park London http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/time-i-discovered-high-culture-doorstep-investec-opera-holland-park-london/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/time-i-discovered-high-culture-doorstep-investec-opera-holland-park-london/#respond Sun, 04 Jun 2017 19:52:31 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12324 A funny thing happened last year. I was at home, minding my own business, when I received an out of the blue e-mail inviting me to get involved with a local project in my old neighbourhood.  Can’t say I’d been one for extra-curricular activities in Kensington, but it turns out, the ‘local project’ was Opera Holland […]

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A funny thing happened last year. I was at home, minding my own business, when I received an out of the blue e-mail inviting me to get involved with a local project in my old neighbourhood.  Can’t say I’d been one for extra-curricular activities in Kensington, but it turns out, the ‘local project’ was Opera Holland Park – an annual season of affordable outdoor productions in one of the loveliest parks in west London. Seriously: if you haven’t hung out in Holland Park yet – home to wandering peacocks, a giant chess board and an idyllic Japanese garden – you should get that on the bucket list, stat.

I ended up seeing a performance of a 19th-century Russian opera called Queen of Spades, and as morbid as it was, watching it under a canopy on a mild summer eve was one for the best night outs I’d had in a while. And I’m not even into opera!

The 2017 season just kicked off and runs until 29th July – so if you’re looking for something different to do this summer, this is a great shout. Check out my experience of last year’s event below:

 

The Performance

Behind The Scenes

Find out more about Investec Opera Holland Park.

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Introducing Five Dope Tracks http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/music/introducing-five-dope-tracks/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/music/introducing-five-dope-tracks/#comments Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:09:25 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12314 Before I was a lifestyle journalist I was what you’d call a “music critic”. This meant that for at least a decade, my career typically involved: getting new music in the post rating – or slating – that new music attending “album playbacks”, sometimes with the artist in attendance interviewing artists (new and old, promising […]

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Before I was a lifestyle journalist I was what you’d call a “music critic”. This meant that for at least a decade, my career typically involved:

  • getting new music in the post
  • rating – or slating – that new music
  • attending “album playbacks”, sometimes with the artist in attendance
  • interviewing artists (new and old, promising and legendary), sometimes on the phone, occasionally in another country
  • going to those musicians’ shows – sometimes in this country, sometimes in another city

It was a charmed life – a poorly paid one, mind you, but I had fun. Eventually, the love for the game died and I realised I preferred scrutinising starters at restaurants and hanging out in art galleries than waiting for the music industry to produce artists I could get excited about – like really excited about, not “you’ve flown me halfway across the world to listen to a wack album but I’m gonna pretend to like it because free flight and hotel innit” excited. Trust me, it’s happened.

Anywho, to prevent this becoming unnecessarily ranty, I officially like music again. Dare I say, I even love it. I started flirting with Apple Music, eventually put a ring on it (aka £9.99 a month) and it’s opened me up to a whole new world of music in the way my favourite mags did back in the day (Vibe, The Source, XXL, Black Beat, Blues & Soul, Trace, Touch, Tense, Undercover the lot).

It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve been covering gigs for The Evening Standard since the beginning of the year which means going to a lot of shows – some fab, others a bit meh – and remembering why I fell for music in the first place.

So to consolidate my new-found appreciation of it all, I’ve launched a little something-something called Five Dope Tracks. It’s a regular round-up of the tunes I’ve either come across recently or back in the day and reckon you might like – five tracks at a time. It’s short, sharp and sweet.

The June 2017 Edit is kicking it all off, featuring Mr Jukes (London, stand up!), Ohmega Watts (a conscious rapper from Brooklyn I’ve been loving off for years), Beleaf (a ‘dad’ rapper from Baltimore who’s got a hilarious YouTube channel starring his wife and kids), Rob Araujo (a very cool jazz man from LA) and Pool Cosby (an indie-ish group from NY who’ve done this nice summery collabo with man like Raekwon – who’d have thunk it?)

Check out the playlist below – it’s currently on Spotify – and if you like what you hear, feel free to share it, follow Five Dope Tracks on Twitter, send me a message, or leave a comment below!

 

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Home life: meet my little workspace http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/home-life-meet-little-workspace/ http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/home-life-meet-little-workspace/#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 17:08:06 +0000 http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/?p=12301 I posted a snap of my living room on Instagram a few months back and the feedback was insane: loads of people really liked my space! Thanks y’all! I haven’t shared much about it since, but the guys at Hubble – a start-up that helps SME’s find their perfect office space – got in touch recently to […]

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I posted a snap of my living room on Instagram a few months back and the feedback was insane: loads of people really liked my space! Thanks y’all! I haven’t shared much about it since, but the guys at Hubble – a start-up that helps SME’s find their perfect office space – got in touch recently to let me know about their #itsmyspace competition. It sounded brill –  it’d be a chance to explain my inspiration and why I love where I work when I’m not at the day job.

When I moved flat, I wanted to create an area that could double up as a chill zone and a functional home office where I could blog, work from home or do the life admin. It had to be light and airy (#noclutter) but bits of visual inspiration here and there was all good. I love black and white photography (in this case, the work of late Malian photographer Malick Sidibe) and of course, I love London – hence all the books! Here are few more tips I followed:

Go grey

 I fell in love with grey walls after visiting my brother’s revamped flat (thanks to my design savvy sister-in-law). I also stayed in this gorgeous room at The Laslett hotel in Notting Hill that had a thing for grey too. It’s totally the new white and not only is it a solid neutral basis, but it suggests sophistication and calm  (my modus operandi if I say so myself ).

Get plants

There’s something about greenery in a space that just gives it life, right? I plan to get a few more succulents, but in the mean time my plants keep my space feeling vibrant, and this helps me get into work mode when I need to.

Have an ‘optional desk’

I’ve got a “lampstand” in the corner of my room – but technically, it’s a sweet little laptop table from Ikea. I usually work spread out on the couch with Macbook on my thighs, but sometimes having the table helps me to be a bit more focused (and not doze off on the sofa when I’m working late).

Finally, I turned to brands like Made, Ikea, H&M to make it all happen. Who says you’ve gotta splash serious cash to have a nice space?

 

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