On the 29th of September 2016, Paris Groovescooter interviewed Grammy Award winning Jazz Vocalist Mr.Gregory Porter at Sydney’s best kept secret, The PLAYBAR, Surry Hills. Mr.Porter was in Australia promoting his new album “Take Me To The Alley“, released on Blue Note Records and distributed by Universal. We had only started photographing three months earlier. It has been a difficult hustle and we certainly were not prepared for what the music industry found common place protocols and antics. The only way we adequately describe our initial impression is to employ a phraseology commonly used in the world of hiphop; namely, “…cats be frontin'”.
Luckily, we found refuge very early on at a beautiful venue named “The PLAYBAR”, which is owned and operated by Daniel Robertson and Sarah Vuong. They were one of the first to help me ‘hold it down’ ( another phrase from the hiphop universe ) and showed me much love. Providence would have it that I would meet Paris Groovescooter at this very same venue, thanks to the owners who recommended me to him. Paris asked if I would be willing to photograph, and quite frankly, the rest is history.
No matter how much passion, drive and talent one thinks they may have, there is no sidestepping or bypassing fate. Once the interview with Mr.Porter had come to an end, Paris Groovescooter came up to me to apologise for not being able to spend more time with me. He looked at his watch and said, “Rizwan… do you like Spearhead? I have my name at the door at the Metro Theatre. I am extremely tired and the show is probably about to finish. Do you want to go down and check it out for yourself?”. I grabbed my gear, said goodbye to Mr.Porter and rushed down to The Metro, only to catch the last 15 minutes of Michael Franti’s show. Within those 15 minutes, I snapped some of the most important photographs I have taken thus far. Two of photographs I later submitted to Rolling Stones Magazine. They still haven’t replied back. “Whatever was meant for you will always land on your lap, and whatever was not meant for you could and will ever reach you” – Jalal ad-Din Rumi
// Peace, always. And onto your family be Peace.
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