Is It News: The Video Interview Series For Disenfranchised Creatives

IS IT NEWS is a video interview and podcast series aiming to dissect contemporary cultural issues, motivated by the disconnection and disenchantment felt by the team towards the mainstream media and its narrative.

In each interview host Tafari Hinds questions the selected creatives about their impact on pop culture and society, allowing space for these conversations to develop and draw attention to particular issues close to their heart.

The first interview is to singer Rina Sawayama, who shares her experiences growing up in London, discusses Asian representation in the music industry and being an artist during the pandemic.

The second - featuring Luca Benini - takes us through the his rare streetwear archive with over 10000 pieces of clothing whilst discussing the history of streetwear and his own collection.

The last episode, which is yet to be released, will feature Punk fashion icon Vivienne Westwood.

We caught up with Tafari to learn more about IS IT NEWS.

What inspired you to start Is It News?

The dishonest mainstream media that is manipulating the truth and narrative. We believe that IS IT NEWS already differentiates itself from other media outlets established pre-pandemic, even simply because it was born in these trying times. Many people have started being more conscious of the world around them as COVID erupted, pushing the media industry to re-evaluate and reinvent the ways they bring communities together.

What do you feel IS IT NEWS brings to the table that sets it apart from other interview series?

When it comes to mainstream media, the narrative is always managed or controlled, and ISN is aware of this. It took someone to share the video footage of the George Floyd tragedy to allow us all to be more aware of what is happening to other communities. This wouldn’t have been possible if it was up to the mainstream media alone. Social media and the internet are not perfect, but they give us an opportunity to question the narrative. This is why our aim is to disrupt the outdated media contexts by giving our featured talents a space to highlight the issues that they deeply care about, which they may not be able to freely express in mainstream media.

What was the biggest challenge in filming and what motivated you to do this project during such stressful times?

Our biggest challenge was actually filming in the pandemic. Making sure everyone on set was Covid free. Being a new platform with no extra support behind the scenes can be very scary. However, thanks to our team, no one was ill or caught the virus.

Our motivation comes from the disconnection and disenchantment we feel towards the mainstream media and its narrative. It took someone to share a video last summer to suddenly make everyone aware of what was happening and spark a global movement. It was not the mainstream media who did that, the narrative would have been controlled. So sharing with other what’s happening around us and being aware of it, is a powerful tool. This is what motivated us to start this project.

How did you select your featured creatives?

We wanted to create a community that is more aware of the world and shares new knowledge with others. For the first episode, we chose to interview Rina Sawayama, because as a young pop star herself she also felt that things need to change. We also thought it was important to talk to her as we saw the rise in Asian hate crimes, caused by the hate mainstream media has instilled in people when talking about the origins of the pandemic.

What advice would you give to those looking to pursue their passions in the pandemic?

To discover your passions is to discover who you are.

Never give up or give in, and if you fail the first time or the second time, it’s okay. You will only get stronger and better at discovering the real you.

What’re the next steps for Is It News?

To build a young community that collaborate and challenge the mainstream narrative. To be a digital space where people and talents can feel free to share and be more aware of the world around them. We are on the way to produce more content, expand our network and explore the various digital realms.

Anyone willing to join and contribute, get in touch! We are always looking for young talents with interesting perspectives and backgrounds to move the creative industry forward.

Make sure you follow IS IT NEWS and Tafari on Instagram and YouTube!