Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Culture Club

When Matilda Egere-Cooper announced that she was launching a new blog called The Cultural Expose' I was intrigued. I follow about a zillion blogs, all of which are fantastic so I was curious to see what this one would be about. The Cultural Expose basically follows Matilda's life from a cultural perspective; art exhibition, film releases, TV programmes, music, food, travel - it is all here on this blog. Matilda is an established music journalist who has written for publications such as The Independent, i-D, Blues and Soul, Dazed and Confused and the BBC. On top of that she also works as photographer and covers portraits, events, documentary and human interest stories. I caught up with Matilda to find out to find out about life as a blogger, photographer and journalist and to find out where she finds the time to do it all. 

What made you start blogging?
I started my first blog, Waltzing Matilda, in 2004 as a sort of online portfolio for all my music journalism work.  I recently launched a new blog on April 1st called The Cultural Exposé.

Describe the concept behind The Cultural Exposé.
I have quite an active social life when I'm not working, and I've always been the go-to person among my friends in terms of knowing about different things to do or places to go. So I started the blog as a document of my own "urban adventures", but also as a guide for people who might be into arts, culture, activities and travel and want to know what's going on.  Saying that, there's A LOT I haven't done in London yet, so I'm trying to rectify that while I still live here - and I'm all for inspiring and sharing the love, so if I'm getting hook-ups, I want people to get hooked-up too and try something new.

You recently changed your blog over to The Cultural Exposé. What were the reasons for this?
I've recently developed myself as a photographer - and I wanted to do something where I could combine writing and my photography that was distinctive in its own right.  If you check out my older archives on Waltzing Matilda, all you'll see is music coverage, but it started to lose it's focus a bit.  It still exists though.

Over the last year bloggers have really made their mark in the media, how do you think they will continue to push the boundaries over the next few years?
I think bloggers will start to define themselves by producing more original content, one particular blogger I respect for this is Jamal Edwards at sbtv.  This kid (he's only 19) has created his own hip-hop & grime entertainment channel and produces all the videos himself.  Understandably, he's one of the most popular sites out there at the moment in his field. Similarly is The Sartorialist - a fashion blog consisting of street photography created by the site's author, Scott Schuman.  Eventually, these types of bloggers (if they wanted to) can license their content to interested parties because the value will be second-to-none, really.

How do you get your ideas for your blog?
Well, it all started with Speed Dating.  I organised a night out with some friends and when I blogged about it, I was quite surprised by the number of people who were surprised that I did it.  So it had me thinking - what are the things that people a) have never considered doing b) would do only if someone else did it first c) have never heard of d) never had the time to do but would make time for it? With this in mind, I started getting ideas through conversations, reading newspapers (you'd be surprised what you come across in the classifieds LOL) and magazines. 

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I'm a freelance journalist, photographer and journalism tutor. 

Describe a typical day in the life of Matilda Egere-Cooper.
Ha ha!  Never a typical day with me, unfortunately.  But a week tends to be a combination of researching, writing, teaching and mentoring, lesson planning, managing my blog and social networks, doing my 365 photography project, eating good food and going somewhere. I'm also doing an evening French class at the moment, so I "try to" study every morning lol.

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
British Journal of Photography, Rolling Stones, Photo Pro Magazine and Essence

Name five blogs that you read religiously?

How do you see The Cultural Exposé evolving over the next two years?
The photography and travel focus will grow and I'm already working on a project which will be developed later this year.  I'm also keen to develop a community so hopefully that will be established in a couple years time too. 

You can read Matilda's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

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