J.Erika interviews Artist friends.

Who are you? Ruel Smith from SouthEast London.

What is your Art Hustle? My art hustle is Music, Words, and expression through these.

Who/What are your Inspirations? My inspirations are Lauryn Hill, Tarrus Riley, Wretch 32, Damien 'Junior Gong' Marley, Amede & the Soundsmith.

How do you feel about Music and Words as a whole? I think that music and expression can be one, and after listening to certain artists I realised sometimes merely "teaching a lesson over a beat" can be as heartfelt as a deep emotional love song.

Are you interested in film? Films like 500 days of Summer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are also inspirations as they help to see things as deeper than originally noted, as well as pushing the imagination to its limits while considering what makes us human.

How do you think about Music within films? Songs like "Us" by Regina Spektor and "Where the lights never go out" by The Smiths are excellent songs to include in films because the piano, acoustic guitar and violins in any song are always what drive the film to its peak. Also, "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Dragon Heart" have excellent soundtracks, the music fits the films brilliantly. BUT above all, the music featured in the "Dark Knight" was on point, I think that is one of the best theme music I have heard to a film, because orchestras always have a very strong effect on a film and the audience, and the music to this film finished off the whole film in its entirety.

Are there any music videos/videos that come to mind that appeal to you? When it comes to good videos I like videos that either tell a story that matches the lyrics or express an opinion that can be read through word styling. I love Kate Nash's video to "Foundations", the symbolism of the moving inanimate objects and the scene changes are perfectly directed and timed. Also, Def Poetry's "Shihan" with his poem "This type love" is beautifully spoken and his purposefully awkwardly extended sentences double the depth in explaining his perception of the complexities of love and how it can bring almost pure madness, perfect understanding and a state of euphoria simultaneously.

So what have you been up to? What have you been working on?I have been writing philosophies and poetry to live by in order to expand my understanding of God, love and those around me. I more so recently am focused on us as youth in a darkening society where doing the right thing is harder due to increasing pressure from our current financial position. I figure strengthening from within must come before even attempting to grow. I focus on the perception of ourselves changing, allowing us to grow, rather than trying to change the perception of others towards us. While working in the studio alongside an engineer seeing young people come in and recite things that in many cases made no sense to me, but meant the world to them is the best thing. When sitting in an environment where everybody has something to put on the plate it can be magical. In addition when it comes to music, EVERYONE has an opinion and taking these in is always intriguing.

Birth of Man
They called us dumb
so we learnt to talk with our hands,
said: stay on task
but some of us made other plans,
and now I laugh
SMart 'til proven dumb I am
..recognize the birth of a man.

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