'The Goddess Complex' Mix →
Songs in the key of love, running the emotional gamut from jubilation to sexual bliss to heartbreak and eventual happiness - all to a sexy, soulful beat. Artists include Jazmine Sullivan, a rare Sade/ Fela Kuti mashup, D’Angelo, Janelle Monae and vintage Aaliyah.
'WRITING AS ATHLETIC DISCIPLINE'
BY DIRIYE OSMAN Writing fiction is an athletic discipline. Regardless of the genre that you’re working in – whether it is romance, thrillers, literary novels or prose poems – you need to harness an extreme degree of focus, drive as well as physical and emotional resilience. When performed with rigour and passion, writing fiction is a form of mental calisthenics.
'FRANK & FIONA'
What makes Frank Ocean’s ‘Channel ORANGE’ and Fiona Apple’s ‘The Idler Wheel’ so compelling? BY DIRIYE OSMAN I first heard Frank Ocean’s ‘Nostalgia, ULTRA’ mixtape in the summer of 2011. I was in the throes of banal 90’s nostalgia (think Brandy laced with MC Lyte blabbing on about being wetter than the waters of Kalamazoo – an icksome statement that somehow conjures up images of fish and all...
'THE MYSTERY OF SADE'
BY DIRIYE OSMAN Many things have been written about Sade. The fact that her reclusive nature makes Kate Bush, Alice Munro and D’Angelo look like a congregation of grablicious attention-seekers. Much has been made of her sparse output (her and her band, which also goes by the same name, have put out two albums in eighteen years). Shocked by the fact that she stills looks and dresses like she did...
Photo © Isabel Snyder (Originally published in ‘Bedford Square 5’ Anthology). NDAMBI BY DIRIYE OSMAN Haram My sister tells me I’m living in sin. ‘Tis true. But she doesn’t conk that this is my sin. She tells me it is haram for a woman to love another woman. ‘Tis also true. But I don’t need to hear it from her. She calls me on a regular to scope the situation, to sniff traces of melancholy and...
This story was originally published in Kwani? Magazine. Photo copyright © Sally Mann. EARTHLING BY DIRIYE OSMAN After being discharged from the Maudsley Mental Hospital, Zeytun went to her local internet café to spy on her sister Hamdi’s Facebook profile. The café was located at the bottom of Peckham Rye. A bad paint job meant that the walls looked like they had been plastered with puke. The...
Photo © François Rousseau (Originally published in ‘Attitude’ Magazine, November 2011). SHOGA BY DIRIYE OSMAN My grandmother worked my roots with the vigour of a woman who meant business. She dug her fingernails into my ‘fro and when she discovered dandruff she pulled out her clippers and said, ‘Waryaa, fix up! Hadiikale, I shall shave you cleaner than a baby’s ass.’ ‘Ayeeyo, I want...
'THE ART OF LAURYN HILL'
BY DIRIYE OSMAN In the summer of 1998, I was a gawky, 14-year-old with oversized ambitions and a lackadaisical approach to study. Instead of preparing for exams, I would spend hours with my bootleg stereo and cassettes nearby, ready to record my favourite songs on the radio. My favourite station was Capital FM because they broadcast an American R&B show called ‘The Countdown with Walt Baby...