Riz Ahmed Discusses 'The Road Less Travelled' With Belstaff And Reggie Yates
British fashion brand Belstaff has released the second season of their podcast series ‘The Road Less Travelled.’ Hosted by presenter and filmmaker Reggie Yates, the series celebrates the people who choose unfamiliar paths, and questions, how you define a life less ordinary?
Founded in 1924, the heritage outerwear brand has held a long-time, deep affiliation with the bold and determined. Dressing historical revolutionaries from Che Guevara to Amelia Earhart and T.E. Lawrence, the brand has consistently cast a light on those unafraid to step off the beaten path.
Examining the road less travelled in a modern world, Yates looks to explore an idea of individuality and non-conformity in the digital age. The second season sees Yates chatting to Emmy Award winning actor and rapper, Riz Ahmed, Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie, and actors James Norton, Holliday Grainger and Mark Strong.
The first guest of the season, Riz Ahmed discusses his creative path from a Pakistani household in North London to worldwide acclaim and success as a creator. Sharing his insights on diversity and inclusion in art, Ahmed explores what it means to be an artist and an activist in today’s climate. The pair discuss what it means to be political and personal in art, challenges faced by artists of colour and what his work means for the next generation.
Riz on inclusivity:
"So you start to internalise this messaging that maybe you don't belong, maybe this isn't for you, maybe you should keep one foot in, one foot out, maybe you should have aside hustle, you know? I think it takes a long time to kind of push against that. I also think that culturally where we're at now as a society in the arts is that we've engaged with those issues a bit more head on. We haven't fixed them, but we're able to talk about them, so you feel less alone in this feeling, so you feel less alone in trying to push back against this feeling, you're feeling bold in saying actually, no, um I do belong here and I'm, you know, I'm gonna jump in.”
On being an activist and talking about his music:
"In terms of the extent to which you think, the extent to which I bring politics into my music, again, for me, it's not politics, it's just my reality, it's just what's on my mind, it's just what's in my heart. And those are sometimes things that people might class as political. But it's just my reality."
On his music:
"I'll just continue to express the things that are in my head and in my heart and just the reality happens that any honest excavation of those thoughts and those feelings will include things that some people class as political, but for me, are very personal. Music is a way of expressing my thoughts, getting my thoughts off my chest and acting is a way of expressing my emotions, and getting all those emotions of my chest. And I felt like there was stuff that needed to be said that people weren't saying, or at least they weren't saying the way I wanted to say it. And that's why I kind of started doing music. That's why I continue to do it, you know, it's a kind of therapy, it's a kind of catharsis."
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