Welcome to Interviewed, a series of chats and discussions with creators of all kinds.
Today we’re joined by one of my personal favourite bloggers, Laila of Tapeparade! I’ve followed Laila for a long time and I’m really happy to have had this opportunity to speak with her, she’s such an interesting + eloquent person!
D: Who are you and what do you do on the internet?
L: My name is Laila Woozeer and I write a blog at www.tapeparade.com.
D: What do you do in your offline life?
L: I work as a musician, but have increasingly been looking for opportunities to do more writing.
Most of my hobbies are connected to my work; practising, performing, writing and so on! Blogging is also a big hobby! Aside from that, I love going to exhibitions and trekking around in London to find vegan cakes…
D: You’re a big traveller, where has been your favourite if you can choose one?
L: I really love Japan! It’s somewhere I find endlessly fascinating. I’ve been twice now and I can’t wait to return for a third time!
D: I really love how outspoken you are on your blog, you really take a stance for what you believe in and I respect that a lot. How did you end up writing about these topics?
L: It’s funny because I don’t really think I am that outspoken. I think also, what I believe in at the end of the day is equality, and that humans should be all treated with respect, paid a fair wage, not discriminated against and so on. It’s not exactly ground-breaking.
I didn’t make a conscious decision to address certain issues on my blog or anything. I suppose the main reason I write about it is that I grew up in white spaces, which was hard in a lot of ways but also has given me a lot of reach. I’m able to speak directly to white people; the majority of my blog audience is white. That’s incredibly rare for a WoC and I’m grateful and aware of that privilege. With most of my blogs I’m trying to start a conversation – it takes all perspectives to reach a point of understanding. I can only offer one limited perspective.
D: Have you got a certain post of your’s that you believe we all should read/ a topic we should all be educated on?
I would love to learn more about how everything is linked: like how economy intersects with our societal issues. Most people I’ve met in the blog world want to do the right thing, but don’t necessarily make the link between that and their actions; what celebrity they support, what shops they buy from, what websites they visit. To me, following my morals isn’t just a set of abstract aspirational thing to “do better” but something that informs my behaviour every day. I include myself in the pile of people who would like to be further educated in that topic because it’s such a huge thing to start unpicking.
One thing that would be nice if we could get like a blog-wide primer on would be cultural appropriation, because the blogosphere has a MASSIVE problem with that. I have a board on Pinterest all about it. I genuinely would like to think most people don’t want to offend others, but maybe aren’t sure how to better educate themselves more about issues.
Post-wise: Whichever posts seem valuable to you because they all come from the same place on my end, even if the topics seem varied.
D: Recently I loved your post on fast fashion and ethical shopping, I had no idea at all that 70% of clothes in high street stores end up in the rubbish. I really want to take a different outlook to clothing now. Are there any independent retailers that you’d shout out?
L: Thank you so much! Two brands I really love are Miss Patina (based in London) and Family Affairs (based in New York). They’re both expensive but really good quality and gorgeous clothes.
D: As creators, do you think there’s any ‘obligation’ on creators to use platforms for good/change? This seems to come up a bit and I find it an interesting discussion!
L: In some ways, I guess. I don’t think any of us should feel obligated to do anything. And I don’t think there should be an obligation to create work around a certain issue or whatever unless you’ve actually researched it, because putting out something ignorant or misleading is harmful. But in terms of how you use your platform – yeah, I think there should be some obligation if not to use the platform for good or change, then at least not to use it for whatever the opposite of good/change is; i.e. hate, trolling. But I don’t think we just need to sit there making blandly educational posts and cutting out everything else. That would be awful.
D: Now to spread some love, who are some of your favourite creators?
Internationally, two of my favourite bloggers are Audrey who writes Brunch at Audreys, and Jane who writes deluminators. I also want to shout out Priya because not only do I love her blog, but in five years she is quite literally the only other mixed race person I’ve come across. Come THROUGH white mum brown dad crew! Party of two. Non-blogs: The Read.
On the UK scene I love Sade (In My Sunday Best), Holly (Witch Cake), Beth (What She Did), Penny (a Penny For Them), Vix (Vix Meldrew), Laura (Life by Laura), Beth (Beth Eveline), Grace (Almost Amazing Grace), Lauren (The Devil Wears Tartan), Jess (Foxxtailz), Kim (the Colour Chronicles), Lucie (Call Me Dumpling), Ria (thoroughly Modern Millenial), Yossy (With Love Yossy), Supal (Chevrons Eclairs), Steph (PlantxBasic – she just rebranded!), Lima (Fashionicide), Lauren (Lauren Evie), Cherie (delicately), Tajinder (Music Geek Online), Jennie (sailboat, although she’s on hiatus), Lizz (ethical evolution). Lizz also runs a company called The Ethical Box which is basically the perfect thing for people trying to make a switch to a more ethical lifestyle. Those are just a few blogs I love.
I’m also obligated to mention my fiance’s instagram account @CaNineteenDogs. It is literally just dogs.
D: Do you have any creative goals/endeavours for 2018?
L: Oh my gosh, so many! I’d like to start performing a bit more as I had a self-imposed break last year. I’m also trying to do a bit more with my writing.
D: Finally the three questions I ask everybody:
Can you pick a favourite band or artist?
L: Christ. No! That’s impossible. I can’t pick. I will say I tend to prefer solo artists, and also my tastes are very much stuck in the 1948-1978 period.
D: Have you got a favourite movie?
L: Oh my gosh, so many! I am a massive film lover. My favourite directors are Damien Odoul and Todd Solondz I think. Probably John Waters as well. I don’t know if I can pick an actual favourite film! Can you narrow the genre down? My favourite Disney film is A Goofy Movie. There’s a brilliant article by Jordan Calhoun on Black Nerd Problems about A Goofy Movie and it’s one of my favourite articles ever.
D: What’s your Hogwarts House?
L: Pottermore put me in Gryffindor the first time and Ravenclaw the second time. I have a rescue snake so you know I’m gonna chat the hat up and ask for Slytherin. Damn straight I’m heading down to the Chamber for some chill time.
Big up Laila for joining us today, you can find her everywhere:
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