All-in-ones: The slashers re-inventing the work-life balance

Continuing our collaborative series of interviews with Rémy Martin, we keep investigating how some of the country’s relentless multi-taskers really manage it all. Here, we speak time-management tips and tricks with a former party photographer turned beatmaker, creative director and label co-owner, as well as a multidisciplinary artist with a taste for social engagement.

Photographer Thomas Ost (c)

SHAYTO BADJOKO

I’m a drawer, tattoo artist, painter and printmaker who also occasionally works as a graphic designer and calligrapher. On top of that, I’m part of the African American Gospel Academy, a member of the feminist collective Collecti.e.f 8 maars, and the co-pilot of Vices & Versailles – a writers’ collective publishing satirical biographies of public figures such as Nadine Morano, Bernard Tapie and the flamboyant Dutch singer Dave. I grew up in a very creative home, so it was natural for me to enroll in the Institut Saint-Luc’s visual arts programme at the age of 13. This is where I learned all the fundamental basics and developed an interest for observational drawing and typography. I can recall how I always wanted to be a part of the graffiti scene, but I was too scared of getting in trouble. Badass level: zero. So instead, I studied printmaking at Le Septantecinq, an experimental and fairly new course made up of four main disciplines: linocuts, etchings, bookbinding and myreal love, silkscreen printing.

After graduating, a close relative of mine visited a fortune-teller who had a vision of me tattooing. Being more superstitious than I dare to admit even to myself, I concluded that this was what fate had next in store for me. What started out as a joke became my favourite activity of these last two years. The plurality of all my activities gives me the opportunity to build bridges between them and work with eclectic profiles. The best part is that I never get bored since I really hold on to this work-slash-play approach while doing my utmost best in each discipline. Creativity is a lifelong process. I still have so much more to learn; new things to pick up or even suck at. I wish I could channel more of my energy into supporting local initiatives like Toestand, which I genuinely admire. There’s still so much I’d like to do, the possibilities are endless.

Given more time, Shayto (1990) would learn Portuguese and how to play the piano, get a master’s degree in political sciences and travel around Europe in a converted Sprinter van.
instagram.com/shayto_badjoko

NICO BELLAGIO

I’m a creative director, beatmaker, DJ and co-founder of the record label Just Woke Up. I started out as a photographer back in 2010, mostly shooting parties. As I had to retouch my photos, I also taught myself to use Photoshop at the same time, which eventually led me to designing logos and visuals for various projects and brands, too. Two years later, I started DJing at my place and house parties, until some friends working as party promoters asked if I’d be interested in playing at their clubs as well. One thing led to another, and I eventually became the local rapper Hamza’s DJ in 2015. And as he always welcomed my ideas and vision as a stylist, video director and graphic designer, I became his creative director too. After countless sleepless nights spent in the studio observing two of the most talented producers I’ve ever come across – Hamza and Ponko – I recently got into beat-making myself.

Today, Hamza and I run our own record label Just Woke Up, which we launched last year in order to make the most out of his music career. I must say that my work-life balance is hard to evaluate because I can never fully detach myself from my work, and I’m constantly inspired by my everyday life. As I’m self-employed, I have the unfettered freedom to organize my different activities any way I like – so I guess the key is to make the most out of the 24 hours in a day. The most time-consuming activities are running the record label (because some paperwork just can’t wait) and looking for inspiration – because I simply cannot get enough of it. The great thing, however, is that I can jump from one project to another whenever I get bored or don’t feel stimulated anymore and diverting my attention to something else always helps me find new ideas for the previous ventures. It’s exciting to always stay on my toes.

Given more time, Nicolas (1992) would love to help artists develop their music and image alongside Hamza.
instagram.com/nicobellagio