It was when Lee told me that he was working for State Magazine that I decided to do this interview. Not because of State Magazine, but my own curiosity. How does a stylist become editor in chief for an online Hip Hop Magazine? (Lee says "THE online hiphop magazine!")
I met Lee a few years ago when we were attending an album release party of The Opposites. My first impression of him was that he was a stuck up guy, but throughout the years bumping into him, I found that Lee is actually a sweet, very creative person. He's just doing his thing. And during this interview I really got to know a little bit more about him and the funny part is, we have some resemblance. So here you go.... I give you a little bit of Lee Stuart:
haven't seen much, but Amsterdam during summertime and San Fransisco
Olive & Cookie
Kenzo - Power, Polo Black, Aqua di Parma.....but also the smell of tropical rain
Löfel & Burke
5 things can't live without:
friends, hiphop ( culture ), water, music in general, alternation.
Give me a quote:
.....good busy. (Cocaine makes people ugly, don't do it)
The NewSh*t: How was your weekend?
Lee Stuart: Well let me think...what did I do...uhhmmm Friday...uuhhmmm let me think. God why can't I remember this?..............Oh I remember again! Friday had a meeting with De Grote Prijs van NL, then opening of Freshcotton.com's offline store, I had to report the event, but unfortunately it was cancelled and at last a birthday. Saturday first a meeting, then went to Amersfoort for the release party of Jiggy Djé's newest album 'Ark de Triomf', then off to Rotterdam, just partied, danced all by myself, in a natural high state of mind, took the train 7 o'clock in the morning heading home. And because of that I was too late for my lunch date on Sunday, further on hooked up with a rapper, went to Reverse ( producer ), hooked up again with a rapper and saw another producer.
What are you wearing?
Are you serious? Anyway....Filippa K cable sweater, American Apparel T, Vintage jeans, as in with holes, fixed a 1000 times, (but the jeans looks HOT!), Nike Blazers 1 color and Oakley sunglasses.
Where did you grow up?
In Leiden, a city of students. It's small and boring and I'm used to travel from city to city. I needed to explore other cities and other clubs. I always knew that I wanted to go to Amsterdam. More things happen here, more companies etc, more than in Rotterdam. Therefore my choice.
How did you go from there ending up here in Amsterdam?
I was 22 when I moved to Amsterdam. I studied CMV back then, but I found the level was too low for me. Instead of the teacher teaching me something, I had to constantly amend her. Meanwhile I worked at this big event called Sail (2005). We had our own stage, for the youth and did everything from scratch. Fundraising, programming, production, press, everything. So after that I didn't really consider school anymore and just started working. Doing some odd jobs and social/cultural work. At the same time I started this party called theDirtyDirtyDirty with my good friends The Flexican, the guys from Enter Dexter and Sef And then I thought Fuck it! I just wanna do things that I like, fun things.
I know you as a stylist, how did you start getting deals?
I met Joey Elgersma and I became a Clubkid. While doing that and the flyers for theDirtyDirtyDirty I discovered I like styling people. So my first solo assignment was doing the video clip of Pete Philly & Perquisite, Time Flies. Couple of weeks later I did Dom, Lomp and Famous for The Opposites. From then on I did a lot of commercials and other music videos. I also started a blog, called WillStyleForFood.blogspot.com, which helped get jobs and was ok to do, but I didn’t really have the time to update frequently.
So from a stylist to work for Statemagazine.com? How come?
I was always looking for new music. And I used to send it to Malvin Wix and Kees de Koning for their radio show. Kees is also the founding father of State and I got to know him that way. When the old editor-in-chief left and State found a new home in BNN he asked me to fill the position. I had written for State before but nothing this big so I thought of it as a challenge to take. A next level for me, a chance to grow professionally. I did feel it's natural for me. You see, everything that I do involves Hip hop in some kind of way. It's a culture of samples. You can always bring it back to Hip Hop.
What do you think of the Hip Hop scene in Holland?
Holland never really had a Hip Hop culture of itself. The one we sort of had suggested nothing of our own, just rehashing what we saw from the US. Since Opgezwolle we've really started to develop one. Of course we've had exceptions and people did accomplish stuff but since Zwolle came through we're at a respectable level. But I do feel we have to be more open. Embrace different artists and not just the ones we’re used to. I find Jeugd van Tegenwoordig one of the best acts worldwide, their style and sound is so refreshing. Too bad they rap in Dutch, they could be huge, but on the other hand if they would rap in English they would lose their magic. You simply cannot translate what they rap about, it wouldn’t be the same.
What are your most memorable moments as a stylist/editor?
At State I have the privilege of giving new artists an actual brake. It's always good when the artists actually follow it up and build a real career after that. I've experienced a couple times and that's really gratifying work. In general, Sef, my best friend. I see him as my brother. For styling, Anouk. That was a huge thing for me. And also Dom lomp & famous, I liked that too. Not just for the styling, but the whole thing: going to Paris with good friends, shooting the video, feeling you're creating magic, simply having a great time with everybody.
What would you like to achieve more in this life?
The thing with me is: I have a global idea but really I don't know what I want. I want it all... Mainly being acknowledged for what I do, give people advice in music, clothes. Make things hotter. Being paid for my vision. I'm able to hook up people with whatever they need; I just bring the flavor. But also, I want to build a nice family, raise a couple of kids (raise them WELL at that).
Where would you live if it's not Holland?
For a while I thought San Francisco but honestly I have to travel more to answer that question, I haven't seen much of the world yet.
What makes you happy?
Spacekees! I Love that guy!.........Small things and nice people.
Do you have a muse?
Anyone who is groundbreaking.
Lee Stuart is an enthusiastic, pigheaded, open, structure-free, hardworking, lazy guy, but with a lot of sense.
Thank you Lee for doing this interview! Keep up the creative work that you've started or going to start! Wish you all the best!