Arts & Culture in Norway: World greatest rapper Silvana Imam experience Bergen with Aron Eskeland
We are her in Bergen, – I was grown up here, – And today, we’re here with, – – Silvana Imam. Hey! The greatest rapper in the world! Welcome, – Thank you!
Welcome to Bergen, – – have you been here before? I’ve been here a couple of times, yeah. I love it! This is my favorite city in Norway, actually. To be honest, i’m not even lying. You came here by plane? Yeah. And you lost you’re luggage? My luggage is lost. We have to buy you some clothes. Yes, we have to, i’m cold. I’m freezing. Let’s go! Good to see you! Hey!
Macrus! Silvana! The store has been open for 10 years. And the whole store came, actually, – – because of the hip-hop culture in Bergen. Because it is an interesting, – – story behind the – The brand, yeah. And the store, yeah. We started, – I started a hip-hop club in 2000. And it was one of the first proper hip-hop clubs in Bergen. When we started out, we wanted decoration that was different, – – than what people had seen before. We saw Banksy’s work in London in the end of the 90’s. And we’re like, shit, we need to get a hold of this guy. And my friend that I was running the club with, Mikal Telle, – – he used to work with Røyksopp and the record label. And he was going to London to sign Røyksopp to Wall of Sound Records. And he asked Joe Hillier, who was running the company at that time, – – if he knew Banksy, – And he took him to floors up in the same building. And opened the door to his studio. So when Joe Hillier was coming over to Bergen to sign, – – to do the contract, – – we just asked if Banksy wanted to come along and make some art for us. For our new nightclub. And he said, “yeah, cool!” So he came over, and he did eight works for us, – – so I was cutting out the plywood-boards. Paint them white, and he came in, – – worked for one day, and did eight works. And I took him around town, and showed him where he could do his work. So he stayed up all night, – – and he came to my apartment the next morning, like, – Marcus, come along! And showed me what he had done. And then he left. And, – – many years later things started happening. He got more and more famous. I understood that the value of the things we had, – – was increasing. I tried to give away a lot of it. Because they were big, they were like this size. So we had a lot of friends who were like, – “do you want a Banksy-painting?” Everybody was like, – “No, it’s too big.” But we actually had so little money, – – so when we wanted to change the decorations on the nightclub, – – we nearly painted over it. – to let somebody else do it. Luckily we didn’t though. But then in 2007, – – I sold one of my artworks in London, – – at Sotheby’s. And I said to my girlfriend that, – – if this could get us enough money to start our own store, – – i’ve been working at loads of other stores since the 90’s. So I said, if it gives us enough money to actually do our own store, – – we will name it the lot-number, – – of the auction. And then we got the catalog, it was like, lot333. Sounds like a cool name! And then we went over to london, – – and it sold for 1,6 million kroner. 1,6 millions? Yeah. So then I took the money, and we started the store. And it’ called Lot333. That’s cool! The guy in massive attack, – – that’s him? No. It’s not him. A lot of people think it is, but it’s not. Come on, reveal his identity, right now! That’s one thing I swear to God I will never do. I know his name, I know exactly how he looks, – – but I would never tell his name. So I heard you lost your luggage? Yeah, I did. I did lose it. It got lost. So your’re here with what you are wearing? I’m really comfortable in what i’m wearing, – – but I am going to check your stuff out. Do that! Check it out! See if you find something you like. Cool! Thank you! What does it smell like? Fresh pussy! Wooh! Finally! I enjoyed the store, I enjoyed the vibe, – – I enjoyed the people! Right. I enjoyed, – – well you were just standing in the corner, – – so I didn’t really enjoy you. But I can enjoy you now. Talking to you. Who thought losing your luggage was going to be fun? It has it’s advantages. You have to do it again. Yeah, right? I’ll be like, – “I lost my luggage, man!” “Forgot to put the name tag on.” Yeah, man. “I didn’t know it was a transfer flight.” Can you pop it towards the sea? I always keep it safe. Safety first. Pouring up expansive champagne in cheap glasses, – – what do you take me for? I’m sorry I don’t have Zalto-glass, – – made in Switzerland by child hands. Next time. Cheers! As well. A beautiful morning. Okey, so – This is Oysters. Alright, and we’re gonna eat them here, outside? If you want. Yeas, it’s cozy. Why not? It’s really warm! This is the second time i’m opening an oyster in my life. I had to have one go with my mother, – – at home. You gotta film this! Film the whole crew as well! This is just too much for me! It’s okey. Is it? This is good! Wait, I have to, – The chef told me I have to, – – and just cleans it with water. Cleans it with water? Did you just pick them up from the sea? No, the chef did. Mmm. Cool story, bro! It was alright? It was great! Yeah, nice, great! I love oysters! They are coming from just outside here. In Øygarden. There is a pizza place, right over here. They were the one’s that supplied the oysters, – – that we ate. They have oysters and pizza. Wow! We did the oyster part, so now we’re going to have pizza. Great combo! Can I have some more oysters, though? Yes, you can, because they have the hot sauce! Norwegian flat oysters. From outside of Stavanger. From my good friend, Knut Magnus. Is this how they looked when you opened them as well, or? Kind of. That’s not bad! Not far from. So he picks them in Stavanger, and then he takes them to a cleansing spot – – in Øygarden. – which is a small place at the end of Askøy. Okey. And you always recommend to take some hot sauce on? Yeah.
Is this the one? I’ll try one. I’ll have this. No no no, that’s too much! I’ve been here before. Are you serious? That reminds me, – – I have to return this – – oyster knife. Here you go. My girlfriend opened them with a regular knife. That’s really stupid. Did you, – what? Yeah, the chef also have, can you zoom in on that? Yeah, Lars was, – – nagging at the guys working, – – whilst he was opening real quick, – – so he, – – like the entire fucking, – Pretty, pretty hard. Eight stitches. Eight stitches? Okey, Silvana, – – are you ready to eat some, – – this is the best food. I’m gonna eat, although – – i’m not hungry. Okey, – I’m gonna eat so much. I’m gonna eat everything! I’m gonna do the pre-course, the main course, dessert, – Then you’re in the right place, – – because here they got all the stuff you talked about. My first single, – – my first big single, – – hit Sweden like, – – it really hit like a massive, – – I don’t know, – – awakening – – and, you know, that was a very cool experience. I wasn’t really prepared for that. Which was it? Imam. I was just rapping about myself, – – and all that I represent. – just taking, – – really, like a stand – – in what I believe in. What do you represent? What was the meaning in the song? I was just everything that I am. Like arab, woman, lesbian, Lithuanian. Syrian – Lithuanian. All those identifications that I don’t believe in. But that I am forced to, – – have. We are force to identification. I don’t believe in them. I think it’s bullshit. Because you are human. Exactly. That’s the only thing you want to be. Yeah. And that’s the only thing you are. But the identifications are real – – and they put, – – there is a systematical – – structure for oppression – – through these identifications, – – so they are real. We have to fight them. You can’t sit there and be like, – – we are all one. – if you’re are privileged person, of course. As long as you do what you want to do. And sat what you need to say, – What is success, anyway? Is success having a hit? For me it’s not. Some people just live for a hit. I don’t care about that. I think you have to say something, that matters. When did you start to consider yourself as an artist? “Now I can quit my day job, – – now i can – I’ve always been an artist – – in my heart. Kobe! You can be an artist, and have a day job. Yeah, you can. So it wasn’t like any point, – – you just sat back and, – – and, wow. Yes, when I did quit, – – because I, – – graduated, – I have a degree in psycology, – Thats why she’s so smart! That’s why I must be it! When I graduated, – – I – – I stared working with addicts, – – at a home – – for addicts. Yeah, so i’m sitting with you here now, – – you’re having your third glass of wine, – Is it an addict tendency? Tell me, please. Free consultation! Yeah, exactly! I’ll send you the invoice! Oh, no! Can’t afford to pay it! Probably not. No, kidding. I worked there for nine months, – – and then I released Imam, – – and after that I quit there. And that was like – I told him, – “I’m just gonna do a tour, i’ll be back” Because I really enjoyed working there. But I never went back. Maybe I will go back. Maybe i’ll start my own – – little – Consultation. Yeah, I was thinking about that, but – – maybe all the people who will come to me, are not genuinely – – there for – – for mental illness. “Can you sign my?” I mean, – – you know, – – we have finished our meal, – Thank you for showing me Bergen! One of my favorite cities. I’ll be back! Great! It was a true honor – – and i’m very thankful! And keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s important! I will! And you keep doing what you do, because you are important! Thank you!