So we headed down to Peckham one sunny afternoon and had the pleasure of chatting with the vibrant entrepreneurs who run an innovative magazine spread called ‘GUAP Magazine’.
The world’s first video magazine is something that we haven’t heard of, so it’d only be right to meet up with the founders, the guys who make it happen; Ibrahim Kamara & Jide Adetunji.
Tell us about your background?
IK: I personally was well known for my music, also studied accounts and finance at the University of Kent.
JA: 22, from Bermondsey. Went to SFX where I met Ibrahim. Played football at a semi-professional level. Operated an online music blog which I ran at college, I had an entrepreneurial spirit selling drinks at school.
What does ‘GUAP’ mean and how did you come up with a video magazine?
IK: ‘Great understanding and Power’ is what GUAP means. A video magazine based online, interviewing inspirational and entertaining individuals in local communities. In an attempt to show young people there are role models in our communities and could relate to rather than the well-established business men, such as Richard Branson who we couldn’t quite relate well with.
JA: We formed an Investment group with 5 mutual friends with the belief that we could create the first African hall party for young people; the event was a good learning curve, which gave us an idea of a newsletter to keep people update with our projects and this is how the idea for GUAP emerged.
How do you play a part in the music culture?
JT: We have created a unique platform for the culture that has not necessarily been documented, more so, for those behind the scenes such as the managers, the agents, journalist and companies like Proptar and Urban Development. We have provided people who don’t usually have a platform to become mini-celebrities within the culture and we hope this filters down to the young people and showcasing that it’s not all about being in the spotlight and there are other roles within the creative industry. There’s a whole team behind the scenes that are equally paid. We have created a lot of opportunities, such as ‘GUAP Boxpark‘, we have created young and new scene for young people to express their talent and themselves.
IK: We have established a platform anyone can be on. We are not just a music platform. Many UK platforms are just music; we can put a business person in the same magazine and still make it relevant. We can put someone from the ends next to a Hollywood star, I don’t see that anywhere else, we are trying to create something different.
Why do you feel you need to push emerging talent?
IK: A lot of labels and A&R don’t find talent, they tend to go for people who popular and push them. We need to push emerging talent because they need help to develop their work and talent.
Who has inspired you guys on your journey?
JA: The people around inspire me, Ibrahim also inspires me to be more competitive. I remember being in university and my colleagues had set up a food company, that motivated me. Going to an event and watching a nervous young person absolutely smashing it on stage also inspires me.
IK: Seeing where other UK platforms started and where they are now. Some platforms have taken 7-8 years to fully develop, and seeing our progress in the short spaces of time. There’s no doubt if you give us the same amount of time as these other magazine companies, we’ll be up there with them and the rest. My family and friends also inspire.
What challenges did you face when setting up your business?
IK: Time, because when we started I was doing my final year exams. So we worked religiously to launch the magazine for May 1st. JA and I were never in the same location because we both studied at different universities, so to do all the filming I had to travel to London from Kent, so we only had 8 days a month to film for a full episode.
JA: We initially wanted to start with an app, however, we were shocked when we were quoted £40,000 for an app development. We lacked a support system and didn’t have the luxury of a mentor, so we heavily depended on the will of us two to keep us going.
What makes your partnership work so well?
JA: From the beginning, we had a very deep mutual understanding and how we wanted to achieve it. That immediately set the foundation for the greater cause. As Ibrahim said we were at university, however, we were always in communication, that is key. Sometimes he will have an idea and I might have the same idea. We are very in sync with the business. With socials, emails and we operate a collective brain called ‘Jidhim’. God is in control of that brain because we operate as a vessel. The passion at which we chase our goals is all done as one, the collective contributions of ‘Jidhim’, contributes hugely to the success of GUAP.
IK: Having a mutual understanding and having the go-getter attitude. Understanding this is business, so if we don’t agree on things, the work still needs to get done. Even if we are not where we want to be, the end goal is much larger than where we are at now. So we must keep going. The way we provide constructive criticism without the rise of any conflicts and the underlying factor is that we are friends and this a friendly relationship between us.
What does the future hold from GUAP Magazine?
JA: We always wanted to work as a conglomerate, we always wanted to have different dimension to the business. We have the events, magazine and production company behind the scenes. We are looking to work with a lot more brands, producing more content with others, influencers and put out more content. We would like to have a say as a culture politically and get more young people more involved in those conversations. We would like to be known all around London and internationally. We would like GUAP to be the creative face of the young people in the UK.
@GUAPMAG | @JMXNEY_ | @IBRAHIMKAMARA_ | @PROPTAR