Cultural Life: Emmanuel Jal, musician
Friday 06 June 2008
Books: I am reading Marley Legend: An Illustrated Life of Bob Marley by James Henke. It is about the early years when he was trying to make a band, and includes interviews with Marley's family. I am also reading Slave: My True Story, about the Sudanese girl Mende Nazer's lost childhood after she was sold into slavery, until she managed to escape in 2000. I have been reading a few books about child soldiers. I just finished writing about my own experience, so I didn't want my book to sound similar. Somebody gave me Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. It follows the story of a 10-year-old Irish boy and is written in a way that copies the way a boy would speak.
Music: When I want spiritual input, I listen to gospel music. For fun I listen to country music, African Lingala and reggae. At the moment I am listening to a lot of hip-hop; I want to understand what is behind this genre. On my list of artists right now are The Roots, a band from Philadelphia, Talib Kweli, a rapper from Brooklyn, and hip-hop artist Nas. I really like his remix of "Thugz Mansion".
Film: I was recently at the Cannes Film Festival performing. There was also a private screening of my documentary, Warchild. I didn't see any films while at Cannes and I didn't really like it there. I last went to see I Am Legend. The best clip is Will Smith jogging on an exercise machine. He is sweating so much that it made me wonder. He must have put so much energy into that scene to make it look so real. I recently saw a DVD, August Rush, directed by Kirsten Sheridan, about a boy who lives in an orphanage, who believes his parents are still alive, and finally meets them.
Theatre/opera: I went to see Into the Hoods – an urban fairy tale and dance show about two children lost in the hood after playing truant from school. It is set to a soundtrack of music by artists including Kanye West, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Basement Jaxx. Have I been to the opera? To be honest, no.
Emmanuel Jal performs at the 46664 concert honouring Nelson Mandela, in Hyde Park, London W1 ( www.46664.com) on 27 June
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain