boy.brother.friend is a new zine paying tribute to young creative black men
Stylist KK Obi, photographer Mehdi Lacoste and Nataal teamed up to shoot some of London’s most inspiring creatives.
From DJs Akinola Davis Jr and Larry B, to image-makers Ibrahim Kamara and Campbell Addy, NTS Radio's Femi Adeyemi and the Royal Ballet's Eric Underwood, there's a generation of young black men in London shaping the capital's creative scene. They are, as the title of a new zine by KK Obi, Mehdi Lacoste and Nataal suggests, Boys, Brothers and Friends. "The title is literal," KK explains. "All these young men are friends, some of them like brothers to me, with whom I have shared a lot and have shaped and inspired me in a lot of ways."
KK had been working with Helen Jennings, the founder of Nataal (a new platform celebrating contemporary African culture) since 2009. They had often talked about working together on something. "I thought, well I have all these amazing friends and collaborators in my life, why not bring them all together, photograph and dress them in a way that represented what they were about," KK says. Out of this came boy.brother.friend, a beautiful tribute to a generation of incredibly talented youth. "This really was a family project, everyone came together in such a special way, being on set with all these young men was a truly magical moment. Something I will never forget. When it arrived back from the printers, it was very emotional."
Alongside Mehdi, KK worked with Mischa Notcutt and Troy Fearn on the casting, Virginie Morriera as hair stylist, and Louis Gibson created the magnificent, painterly sets. What does KK hope we take away from the zine? "Celebrate your community, friends and family, and to celebrate masculinity in all its forms."
boy.brother.friend is available to buy at LN-CC.