“I was doing a lot of commercial work and I just fell out of love with it,” says Hayley Louisa Brown as she reflects on the past few years. “I got to a point where I didn’t feel like myself anymore.” Taking a break from her career as a photographer Hayley turned her talents to launching hip hop magazine Brick, an idea that she had been developing and working on since late 2012 when she left her role as hip hop editor at Clash magazine. Issue one landed in March and contained a whopping 246 pages, magnificently laid out by Ric Bell of Delivered By Post. “It started as something that was going to be like a punk zine with hip hop content,” she says laughing. “The idea just grew. The idea went from being 90% photography and 10% writing to what we have now.”
2016 will see a number of personal projects complete, as well as the much anticipated issues two and three of Brick. “My focus for the first part of the year is getting the mag out,” she says. “It’s the ‘difficult second album.’ The first issue had such a great response, issue two just has to be better. People now expect something.” Alongside the second issue, Brick will also launch online. “The website will be 100% original content,” says Hayley. “I am looking to produce a whole load of video with artists and a documentary.”
A trip to LA at the beginning of last year saw Hayley fall back in love with photography. “I took an old Nikon and just started shooting anything,” she recalls. “I got the contact sheets back and really liked the pictures.” Off the back of that, this year will see the publication of two photography projects that have been self-initiated.
The first is a book called You Should Pay Rent in My Mind containing images of ‘cute boys’ that Hayley has coaxed in front of the lens. “I will never get bored of people’s faces,” she says. “I’m forever taking phots of cute boys. I only just realised it had been an ongoing project of sorts.” The second is Pictures I wish I took on my real camera and not on my iPhone, a zine that will present the images that Hayley has captured when she betrayed film for digital. “It’s images I am pissed off I didn’t take properly. The title and the concept are delivered in the same sentence.”
Later in 2016 Hayley hopes to return to LA and carry on shooting. As Brick gathers momentum she is unsure what her next personal project might be after the zine and book. “It could be Photos I Wish I had Archived Instead of Letting Pile Up in My Office,” she says with a smile.