Black Girls Rock: Part One.
Photography: Derrick Kakembo
Words: Rochelle Thomas
Cartèlea and Honour are black girls who rock. Based in London and working as a model and artist, respectively, they speak to Reform The Funk about their style, dreams and walking in faith.
Reform The Funk: How would you describe your style?
Honour: I would say my style is not of this world as it’s so abstract because of my way of thinking. I'm always looking for something different when it comes to my fashion, music and visual art.
RTF: Tell us a bit about yourself
Cartèlea: I am a vibrant, cool kid from Bristol originally, [I] moved to London to fully immerse myself in the many opportunities London has to offer, [including] modelling [which is] one of my passions. I am so happy I moved [to London], I have always wanted to from the age of about 16 and I finally made it happen and just took a leap of faith. Sometimes you have to go with your gut instincts and do it. I know I am going to look back and be like "I've made it, I made the right decision".
RTF: Talk us through your current hairstyle? What inspired it?
C: I decided to cut my hair and dye it as when I was about 17 and I got so much compliments and was told the short look suited me a lot. I was nervous but I think I am going to rock with this hairstyle for a while...
RTF: How did you get into music?
Honour: I've always loved music and my parents would play music all day and night when I was with them. I think I only realised how much I loved it was when I became a born-again Christian [and] my passion for it really kicked in. I wanted to inspire people with my story and I wanted to be a positive influence [to] my generation.
RTF: Top five female rappers and why?
C: Tink, Lauryn Hill, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim and Charli Baltimore because they are just naturally talented and they’ve got the sauce. You know those kinds of artists and they don't even need to try really hard to be lit? Yeah, that's them - bad and boujie with it! Their flows are just impeccable plus not to mention, they are all black and beautiful queens!
RTF: Who are your biggest influences?
C: The late Aaliyah has always been a big influence to me because she had a beautiful aura and she achieved so much with so much style and grace. I would also say that I am my biggest influence, for the simple fact there’s a lot of things I have overcome; yet still I rise.
H: Jesus. I'm a Christian [so] I look to his works and character to inspire me to be a person that this world needs. Tanya Aquaa [who] is a mother and mentor to me. She is a youth worker who has always inspired me to be who I am and more, she is forever helping people to be the best them and supporting them. My immediate family inspire me to live past all [that] I've [been] through and to provide a better future for them as well as myself. I love them dearly.
RTF: Is empowering young girls important to you?
H: Yes, very much so. I want to show girls and women to embrace being you and not what people tell you to be.
C: I have a little sister who looks up to me and is enlightened and empowered already. In past youth mentoring I have done, I have helped young girls feel better within themselves by just giving advice and being myself.
RTF: Is having a strong female network important to you?
H: Yep, and I have one also. TIA (The Inner Attitude) is an organisation that mentors girls and young women to strive for emotional wholeness [and find] their purpose. TIA also hosts creative projects that help build self-esteem, worth, respect, confidence, aspirations belief’s and identity. I definitely say having good women around me to learn from is powerful.
C: I think having a strong team, whether that be male or female, is important as everyone needs a boost or a group of friends that believe in them and want to see them win and vice versa. But I would definitely say quality over quantity.
RTF: Which black girls do you love to follow on Instagram?
C: I love the Slumflowers account as she is just being herself and her pictures are always vibrant and tells a story, which is inspiring.