Joshua Osborne’s latest project is a documentary featuring Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes that you won’t want to end
The film titled What Kinda Music, named after their collaborative album, compliments the soundtrack and tells the story of its making.
- 7 May 2020
- Ruby Boddington
- Reading Time
- 3 minutes
A director and photographer born and bred in south London, Joshua Osborne’s work has unknowingly developed over the years to look at the theme of family, he tells us. It’s something he’s only recently picked up on, from “hearing other people’s opinions,” but it makes sense he continues: “I was brought up in a very close-knit family so it makes sense that it would have an influence on my work, it feels like a subconscious approach that I have developed over the years.”
It’s been a little while since we wrote about Joshua, the last time is when he released his massively successful project Habanaboy, a documentation of the male subcultures of modern-day Havana. Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength; he signed with Radical Media who represent his filmmaking practice, and is now sponsored by Leica with whom he “shot a long-form photo series titled Mr & Mrs H last April. I spent one month living with a bodybuilding married couple and their three children where I documented the lead up to a national championship,” he says on the matter.
Joshua’s most recent work saw him connecting with two other creatives, also born and raised south of the river. Titled What Kinda Music, it’s a short documentary with Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes to celebrate the release of their album of the same name. The idea was to offer fans (like us) insight into how the record came together, whilst exploring the collaborative process between the artists on this “very special and original project”, released on Blue Note Records.
“Fortunately, I was given full creative control which I realise is a rarity so I felt very lucky to be involved in this project,” Joshua tells us. “I listened to the album and came away buzzing – the sound was so cinematic. To create an informative film that would compliment the music and their story was my intention.” The result is an abstract work that celebrates the project and its music as the main focus, “with scenes that flow naturally together as selected tracks from the album play out.” It’s a real treat for anyone who’s into either Tom or Yussef’s music, as, not only does it delve into their stories, but it provides the rare opportunity to learn more about a unique creative process. It’s one of those films which truly captures your attention, and leaves you wishing it was longer after you get lost in its soundtrack and well-paced dialogue.
Throughout the film, several styles are combined into one short. With flowing, single-take-style scenes which cut to more narrative-led sections. With the shared connection of growing up in south London, Joshua also saw an opportunity to pay homage to the location during the closing of the film. So What Kinda Music ends with a photo montage, cut to the beat of the outro track, which highlights several locations relevant to Tom or Yussef, and also features portraits that Joshua had taken over the years. It was the first time Joshua got the opportunity to shoot moving image on film with him telling us, “it felt like a long time coming and an experience that I will treasure.”
Anyone from south London will be familiar with Pauli, a local icon, who also features in the film, something Joshua describes as a real highlight. “I grew up admiring for his unique taste in fashion. For as long as I can remember he has worn one tone of colour every day and for this film he went for baby pink,” he says. “It was a pleasure to have him on set and it made the film all that more special.”
Having produced a documentary which feels so inherently led by its story, it’s no surprise to hear that Joshua’s next project is writing and directing his first narrative short. “I’ve worked a lot in documentary over the years and now feels like the right time to push myself in another field. During the lockdown, I have been developing the script and so hopefully, at some point, I’ll get the opportunity to make it,” he concludes. Describing himself as someone who “get[s] a lot of inspiration from real people,” meaning the “projects that allows me to work alongside everyday characters are by far my favourite to work on,” we’ll hazard a guess that this may form the basis of whatever Joshua’s currently working on.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.