As part of Telling, we ask the organisations we’re working with to suggest people we should talk to who might help us tell the story of their work.
At Patwah’s suggestion we spent an enjoyable hour or so talking with Ashford Graham – Francis, the man behind Bradford’s RubixCube Music Lab.
Ashford sees his role as unearthing and nurturing ‘diamonds in the dirt’. He’s been rapping since the age of 12 and feels he was made to do this work,
When I do other jobs I don’t feel like I’m useful. I’m not helping anyone else; I’m only helping myself.
Now 29, Ashford supports younger creatives who are just starting out. RubixCube Music Lab is a commercial business but it’s about more than that:
When I look back at what I’ve done it makes me think it’s about more than just money. I’ve got a lot of the youngsters believing in the music again – they’ve got an outlet.
Funders and academics and artists have spent a lot of time trying to crystallise what it is that art is for. Ashford expressed art’s value as well as anyone:
It allows us to be true. I see it as truth and expression of your soul… I see musicians and creative people as society’s consciousness. They say it how it is. They express human experience.