No Balls, No Glory; A Polaroid Story

(all for) NOTHING

Posted in N.E.R.D, Polaroids by Ouni on June 21, 2010

Amsterdam, 20/06/10

Inhale.

Exhale.

This one is as fucking unbelievable for me as it probably might be for you…

Here is the A to the Z story. (with LOTS of pictures)

While going home with the train, I was checking Twitter on my Iphone when I noticed this Tweet directed at me:

Honestly? I raised my eyebrows and replied:

so he replied:

He had a point…it ìs Nalden

Ok, for the ones who don’t know NALDEN let me do a quick introduction…

Nalden simply is thé Blog-Gurru and Web-Entrepreneur in the world today. Starting out blogging about the simple things he liked in life, Nalden proved the world that ‘blogging’ does matter and that ‘contextual value’ is key. Nalden’s blog became bigger than life with brands like NIKE, VODAPHONE, APPLE eagerly standing in line to advertise on his blog, what eventually led to NALDEN transforming into a brand instead of ‘just another blogger’.

Besides that, he is the inventer of WETRANSFER, the online transfer system to send large files to one another. You can compare it with yousendit.com but than tastefull, dead simple to use and very easy on the eye.

Short version = Nalden is MASTER in the 2.0 hemisphere.

I thought by myself I had nothing to lose but a Tweet so decided to send him the following:

In the meantime another Amsterdam trooper/reader and editor in chief of STATE MAGAZINE (online Dutch hiphop magazine)  send this little tweet in the back:

(@Nalden: Take Ouni with you. She deserves it) #tweettranslation

Which ultimately resultated to my total unbelieve yet heavy excitement in this remarkable Tweet:

WTF.

I still could not believe this.

After àll the madness and trouble I went through trying to get a Polaroid picture I was now invited to come and listen to their new album NOTHING with some cookies and tea while they pushed play???

What are the odds??!

I started out this little blog after I experienced for myself how hard it was to take these pictures after tons of people telling me this was a mission impossible right from the start, for even dreaming of wanting an upclose and personal Polaroid picture of N.E.R.D.

Well, guess I proved them all wrong right…?

Now, after experiencing how difficult it is to take that Polaroid picture (read story here)  I decided to dedicate a whole blog around hunting for an instant  musical moment, dedicating it to 2 of the things I really love in life (amongst others) : MUSIC and POLAROIDS with the hidden philosophy that nothing is impossible, the sky is the limit and you can achieve anything you want, as long as if you are ready to go all the way for it.

Since that very first moment I tried to re-do a NERD Polaroid – by the rules that is – so, against a nice wall, voluntary posing for my camera, and the chance of explaining my blog to the artist. No blurry on stage first-timer pictures.

As you all probably know by now, this resulted in not 1 not 2 but 3 complete disaster stories….

We tried to persuade with chocolate, monkey’s and Belgian top-notch beer:

We voluntarily waited hours frontline with a DIY – (INSANE) cardboard while being sandwiched by a 1000 hardcore fans.

We exposed ourselves on national TV while wearing oversized XXL BBC/ICECREAM hoodies looking like Hooligans.

and I personally got jumped by 4 security dudes treating me like I was an insane terrorist stalker with explosives and got attacked/chased by fanatic fans trying to get in a venue first.

all that. for NOTHING.

Then again.

Nothing you do is for nothing…It always leads to something.

An invitation from Nalden to an exclusive NERD listening session for their new album NOTHING is not something you decline, so last sunday (as in yesterday) I travelled, still not believing this was actually happening to Amsterdam with my P.I.C Jules.

important detail.

Jules was not invited. Since the invitation was only for me, I was not allowed to take anyone with me. A understandable decision, however, that sucked big time. Jules was there from the very beginning and it just did not feel right that she could not come along.

After I told her that devastating news, I said:

“Look, just come along. We are used to going to places you are not supposed to be anyway. What’s the difference now? Just come with me, try to get in, and who knows. What’s the worst that could happen? If you end up getting refused, take a walk in Amsterdam, have a latte.”

Jules looked very concerned, hesitated for a moment and said:

“Fuck this, you are right. I hate Sundays anyway. I’ll just come with you.

And so it was.

When we arrived in Holland the whole city was breathing World Cup fever.

Exhibits:

When we arrived at the PARADISO venue which is an old church at 16h00 where N.E.R.D was scheduled to perform a sold out concert at 20h00 that night, we quickly had the company of the 2 first N.E.R.D. fans waiting to get in and be the first doing that.

Exhibit:

After 10 minutes waiting, Nalden finally arrived with a small group of other invitees and me and Jules carefully tagged along.

Once at the door, everyone was checked name by name on the guest list leaving Jules all alone outside.

Nalden and the woman who handled the guest list looked at her and then at me and I said: ‘She’s my assistant, and she drove me all the way from Belgium to Amsterdam (NOT=no license=train) and she helps me from day one with my blog.

The woman looked at a Goofy eyed Jules, ready to start pouting her lip, and said: “Ok then….you can come in.”

That’s what you get from just doing something and just bother to try it.

You might get what you want.

So we went in waiting in little ballroom for Pharrell and Shae. The room was filled with approximately 15 to 20 people and I am so proud to say that I was the only Belgian that got in. :-)

We were told to take it easy with taking pictures, recording audio was strictly prohibited and that Pharrell Williams and Shae would introduce 7 songs of the NOTHING album in person.

Shit doesn’t get more exclusive than this me thinks…

Exhibits:

After 15 minutes Shae and Pharrell walked in the room and the private listen session was a fact.

They were very relaxed and they tried to break the semi-tensed, over-polite-reception vibe that was hanging in the room.

I saw some familiar faces in the back of the room. Pharrell Williams personal assistant Mick (let’s say we met a couple of times ;) and back-up on stage Fam-Lay.

And when I looked behind me I could see bodyguard Big Ben protecting the N.E.R.D. perimeter while killing time with the much wanted I-PAD.

I noticed FULL CREATE, one of Hollands’ finest music producer amongst the other people Nalden invited.

It was a joy to see how Pharrell explains his music with a huge smile, heavy body gestures, and a warm enthusiasm. It really feels good to see an artist that still has so much love and passion for what he does. After all, I’m observing a man who’s being titled Producer Of the Decade together with fellow N.E.R.D bandmember Chad Hugo.

Now, you are probably very curious about the listening session…

Personally, for me, I felt this album is a bit more relax and smooth and less raw than I’m used to in comparison to the former 3 albums. Pharrell described the album as : ” hippie-esk, Spaghetti-Western inspired , with a more soulful approach with a 70’s vibe with a subtitle Jim Morrison touch.  I think he described that just perfect.

However, It felt more mellow and  a bit less progressive to me. Don’t get me wrong,  I’m a N.E.R.D day one fan,  but I do think the new and young generation fans will love this album more than the first generation.

2 songs from the album stood out for me, one called ‘The Man’ with an earthy, jungle  vibe to it and ‘Help Me’ with a 70’s tangible flow.

For some reason while listening to the songs, It made me think that N.E.R.D members are in a happy time in their lives and that kind off translates in the music. Both Pharrell, Shae and Chad are fathers now and maybe that translates into songs about girls that are picked on in highschool (‘Nothing On You’)  the feeling of ‘Victory’ and being at the verge of getting what you worked so hard for : ‘I want it, Victory I can smell it.’ (tell me about it!)

Pharrell Williams finished: “It’s a socially love orientated album, with a 70’s vibe. But not the hairy armpit hippie 70’s though, I’m talking flowers and Ferrari’s here.

After playing the last track and the first single of the album with Nelly Furtado -Hot’n’Fun- it was announced that Pharrell and Shae were now ready for ‘The Walk Around’.

The whut?

Jules and Me were both very new to this.

‘A Walk Around’ (sounds like a walking device for older people)  is the moment were the artist politely shakes hands with the invites and do a little chit-chat.

By all means, this was too good to be true.

This was my moment to finally explain my blog to the boys and ask them personally – for my Polaroid picture.

Not while chasing blinded cars, not while trying to sneak behind a huge bodyguards (Big Ben) neck or convincing  a very tough PA (Mick) not while getting elbow kicks in the head from screaming chicks.

No. Just calm and simple.  On a chair with additional shaking hands.

Unbelievable.

But true.

Shae was the first to arrive at our little table. I took a deep breath and tried to pitch my blog, the concept and the philosophy as good as possible. He was completely amazed by my story, looked at all the artists I captured so far and said: ‘Your quest is over girl, you’ll get your picture today’.

Exhibits:

And then it was time to do the exact same thing with Pharrell Williams…

Exhibit:

While doing my explanation I saw Nalden cheering me from behind, with both his thumbs up.

So fun to see that he was as stoked as me. :-)

I admit it.

Pharrell Williams makes me dead nervous. True, he might not be very tall, but believe me, when he is in front of you, he feels larger than life. I admire the man for his producing skills, his passionate love for music, his business sense, his successful BBC/ICECREAM clothing line, and simply for living out all his ideas. From designing jewelery for Louis Vuitton and designing chairs to launching KIDULT. This man lives his life based on his ideas and he lives it the to fullest.

He gave his agreement on me taking a Polaroid picture and said: “Let’s go, let’s do this”, puts his arm around me and said with a boy-ish voice  “I like your MCM bag.” and smiled at me.

For a 37 year old man, this one was playing like a 27 year old freshmen and he was killing me softly while doing it.

(I knèw that vintage bag was money well spend! #score )

I kept myself together, didn’t blink one eye and placed him against a perfect white wall, while cautiously observed by Big Ben.

I asked him to give me two different expressions and did my countdown.

3.2.1. Flashing. Lights. Bingo.

Exhibits:

And another one:

Exhibit:

Then it was time to snap Shae on Polaroid.

Unfortunately I don’t have any exhibits from that moment, because while I was capturing Shae on Polaroid, Pharrell went straight to my precious Jules, grabbed her by the shoulder, took the camera and said: “Let’s take a picture together!!”

Exhibit:

I don’t really have to emphasize how happy Jules was that she made the decision to come with me to Amsterdam? ;-)

I thanked the boys a million times, gave them my card, shook their hands and off they went, ready to continue their rehearsal for that night’s concert.

That left us some time to bond with Big Ben and Mick.

Mick was wearing some fly MCM glasses and he  liked my MCM bag so I think we are friends now. Things can be very simply in life.

Big Ben told me he read my stories. He even knew I posted the Rotterdam story the day after and that my chocolate and beer was given back to me. I was amazed. He really did read my stories.

When I asked him to pose for a picture he insisted on taking one wìth Jules.

You don’t say no to Big Ben.

Exhibit:

And that was it. End of story.

And what a story it was.

I thanked my new favorite person in the whole wide world for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to write this story you are all reading today.

NALDEN = MY HERO

Obviously we had to exchange kisses.

Exhibit:

Realise…all of this would not have happened if it wouldn’t be for Twitter. How crazy is this?! (very 2.0 if you ask me)

Don’t ask what you can do for Twitter but what Twitter can do for you!! ( so catch up and follow me people!)

We finished the day, very appropriate in a hazy coffee shop.

After all. We were in Amsterdam. ;-)

Exhibit:

Moral of the story?

Nothing is a waste. Every attempt you make to try to achieve what you want is important.

All the times that you fail while pursuing a dream or a goal is another experience you learn and grow from and hopefully look back at it with a smile.

If you have an idea. Do it.

If you want something. Go for it.

It probably won’t come easily for most of you. The silver platter is only for the happy few. But nothing or nobody should stop you to get that damn silver platter yourself.

Don’t listen to people doubting the things you do. If YOU believe in it, that’s all that matters. And work your ass off.

You live only once. What’s the harm in trying?

I try to avoid What-If’s. All I want to do, Is do.

Look, exhale,

caus You Can Do It Too

Now…Glad that we finally got this one covered…

So.

Where’s Kanye hanging these days….?

(much) Love

Ouni.

Follow N.E.R.D. on Twitter and catch up on the album release and upcoming tour on their blog.

PS: special thanks to troopers Wafflez.be,  KNOTORYUS and LEE STUART for the Tweet back-ups. ❤❤!!

Summer Of Bonkers

Posted in Dizzee Rascal, N.E.R.D, Polaroids by Ouni on September 17, 2009

dizzee

How was your Summer?  Did it have all the perfect ingredients for it to be an ever lasting memory?

Sun and sand, cocktails and a crush to top it all off? Good for you!

If you are enjoying the last strokes of an indian summer, I’d have to admit that I am jealous.

I don’t know where you guys live, but in Belgium it seems like God turned off the summer light and switched it on to winter.

Anyhow, here is my Summer recap, or how this other Knotoryus blogger spelled out so well: My festival-a-thon.

For the ones that like short stories with a lot of pictures and a happy ending?

Please click forward.

This summer was all about the festivals and my first to combine that with a Polaroid hunt. Let me tell  you something. I am not very in to festivals. I prefer sand and sea before grass and mud. A deserted beach before a moch pit. A cabane before a tent.

But, anything for the blog, so I went hunting with Jules in my tail.

First stop:

EPMD at Dour Festival.

Dour is one of Belgiums most notorious festivals. Not. For. Pussies. The last time I went to Dour I couldn’t  remember my own name, multiply that with a 140.000 visitors and you might get the not so pretty picture.

I almost decided not to go, since I knew the festival and estimated my chances of getting backstage very low. I was extremely tired and sick ànd I didn’t have any tickets. Since Dour is a 3 hours train travel we had to sleep there, since there were no trains back and I STILL don’t have my drivers licence.

I always feel guilty If I decide not to go to aim for a possible positive Polaroid, so the moment I finally had peace with my decision, a last minute mail confirmed 2 free tickets. Jules convinced me to go and off we went. With a tent. O God.

I mean, free tickets.

Would be stupid not to go right…?

After 3 hours of travel we arrived at the Dour Festival. We quickly realised that finding a place for our little tent was going to be a challenge to say the least. We managed to negotiate a spot right next to the security camping. Read. The local Hell’s Angels crew. If we weren’t safe there, we weren’t nowhere. The boys even agreed to help us put up the tent.

What?

Dour was Jules’ first festival, and me? I don’t do tents.

We went straight to business. I had no connections what so ever. None. Come to think of it, it was doomed from the very beginning. When we entered the venue where EPMD was supposed to play the tent was empty beside  multiple dirty dozens of men, trying to make ‘music’ with various objects by hitting, smashing and knocking it the to big iron construction that keeps the venue nice and steady.

You know, like STOMP! but in a drunk and drugged up kind of way? They were very enthusiastic, they kept it going for a whole hour even. I tried to understand them, they were obviously in a very creative state of mind and after 3 days nonstop decibel injections, the ears needed a fix.

Think of a 25 toddlers hitting silver spoons on the back of your grandmothers giant tin pots.

It drove me MAD. Arriving at a festival at 20h00 is just never a good idea if you were not planning on drinking.

EPMD was late. EPMD left quick. That’s all I can say about that. Impossible to get backstage without a connection.

This was the first time I actually considered to date a DJ.

I felt stupid. 3 hours travel for nothing. When we left the venue. It started raining. Perfect.

We immediately left the festival and went straight to our tent. There was nothing left to be said, just sleeping was on our mind.

I can describe the night in our tent as following:

- Jules being scared to death when it started poring cats and dogs, since, so she said, she was afraid that the tent would float away and we would suffocate in a  mud stream.

Uhu.

- Nonstop pounding beats on the left side combined with screaming guitars on the right side and finishing it off with non stop  chearing people yelling their throats out.

- A leak on Jules tent-side, making her couchin soaking wet instead of her dreams.

Needless to say that we were gone before the break of dawn to catch the first train home right.

When we arrived at the station we stumbled up on a scary drunk who screamed, yelled and threatened us to death because we safely ignored the dude.

Dour.

Nothing but great memories.

Second Stop:

NERD at PukkelPop festival.

Did I mention that I tried NERD before. I sure have. Did you read about our little meeting in Rotterdam? You should.

For the Pukkelpop festival the best I could get, in preparation for my Polaroid was a VIP ticket. Don’t get too jealous.

VIP in a festival means: a chair to sit on in a relaxed atmosphere.  A bar where you are served very fast. A clean toilet wìth a toilet lady. (my favorite)

When we arrived at the festival we quickly found out that the artists were transported in vans and immediately dropped off in the artist village.

Jules and I went through all our options and we decided that there was nothing else to do, than proceeding with plan Z.

Getting Frontrow.

At Pukkelpop this means that you have to start waiting 3 headliners before the actual act. Translated in to time this means approximately 4 hours of waiting in the blistering sun.

Not my favorite thing to do on a saturday. But. All for the Polaroid, right…?

To be honest, I was kinda pissed off that day. Since the blog, I have numerous people contacting me, suggesting me their help. This was the final stop for NERD in Europe for some time now. They have been touring with the Seeing Sounds album for a year, so this was my final chance to might achieve a better result.

My final chance and my fourth attempt.

Yes. Fourth.

(Some people confuse me with a hardcore fan and offer to send me their old BBC caps)

So If people keep telling you that they réally – like – REALLY can help you, or they will attempt to do so on the day self, it is very hard to accept for me that they don’t do that when push comes to shove. At the end, Jules and I realised that we can’t count on nobody, only on ourselves. But it still is a hard one to take to see people walking by with that special all access bracelet you need and they have no more business to hang around there than you do.

That was the time I considered dating a rock star.

I swallowed my pride and went to my final act of despair.

Signs.

The times that fans wrote ‘ I love You ‘ on a carton board are definitely over. This is the Pussycat Doll generation.

They make very clear what is on their minds:

One Night With You Pharrell followed by “Please”

“Lick My LollyPop”

Take me to your candyshop

“Take me backstage” (you see, I am not alone in this one…)

Lapdance 4 Free”

I felt almost threatened by not having a sign. So after quickly weighing pro’s and contra’s I decided to make one myself.

I asked the security to rip off a piece of a carton box that was standing there.

When I hunt, I always come fully equipped so ofcourse I had a black marker with me.

I wasn’t sure if my sign would stand out next to the others, but since I hate what-if’s I went for:

“PUSSY FOR POLAROID”

(Exhibit)

IMG00028-20090822-2045

IMG00029-20090822-2045

Yah. I know. I mean. I had to compete with “Lick My HoneyPot. What else could I write…?

There I was, standing front row with Jules with my “Pussy For Polaroid” sign, an XL Billionaire Boys Club hoodie, hoping, praying, that we would stand out, and picked out to backstage with NERD and take a my Perfect Polaroid Picture.

(Exhibit)

_DSC5791

Which, of course, did NOT happen. They picked out some bikini girls to go on stage.

(With all do respect, but I’m not even considering wearing a bikini to get my Polaroid picture. This is Belgium, it is cold at night)

So the minute the concert was over, ( a pretty good one btw) we ran to the VIP entrance where the artists pass by in their vans when they leave the festival.

I looked with my biggest bambi eyes in to the  black tinted windows of the vans when they drove us by,  but they did not stop.

So, again, No Polaroid.

After hours of waiting front row, wearing BBC sweaters that don’t look good on me because they are way to big, making profanity signs to stand out, and being filmed numerous times in close-up for all the above reasons displayed on big screen for 50.000 people to see.  No Polaroid.

Needless to say, that we felt both sad as stupid.

Needless to say, that when pictures popped out the next day of a relaxed Pharrell posing on backstage pictures I had a little tantrum and felt even more stupid.

What a bracelet can do for you.

I still get asked if it  “is possible that we saw you on big screen, with a…. hoodie on…?  with a sign with ‘pussy’ on it…?”

I think I smoked 3 joints to calm me down.

Last but not least, the TOP-NOTCH of hardcore failure  was:

Dizzee Rascal @ Polsslag Hasselt.

Now, Dizzee scored big time with Bonkers.

Bonkers did for summer, what Crookers did for winter.  An overdose.

The song was everywhere. In the supermarket, the elevator, in commercials, in your local night shop, hell even your grandmother knows the goddamn song.

I decided I wanted Dizzee Rascal in my series, since I always thought he stands out from the rest  with his heavy, almost aggressive rhymes and cockney accent  and I’ve always like his out of the ordinary music.

Now, the hardest part of this one, was the traveling.

We did all the things we normally did. Standing Front row. Eye contact. Talking to Entourage. Explaining Project.

At the end of the concert we waited. and waited. and waited. But nobody came back to take us backstage.

And there we were. To late to take the train home. At a mostly electronic festival with to many ravers.

For me and Jules this equals: HELL.

After hanging, sitting, hanging and sitting some more we decided to take the first bus to the station.

The station was already packed with sleeping kiddy’s all over on the floor:

(Exhibit)

03-05-09_0544

So we entered the only bar still left open.

With our final euros we ordered some tea and waited the night out in a bar with a pole and a busty blond behind the bar singing

to Kim Wilde’s ‘If I can’t have you, I don’t want nobody baby’.

How appropriate.

When we finally went back to the station to get our train, the station was flooded with a tsunami of people.

When I entered the wagon, all departments were already packed with people and I found a little spot in between 2 wagons, on the steps of the entrance doors of the train.

This train ride did not feel like Hasselt – Oostende, it felt more like Kuala Lumpur – India.

Because I was sitting on iron steps, my ass cooled down my whole body and when I finally arrived in Ostend after a 4 hours

train ride in between departments with 100 people squeezed next to another  at 10h00 in the morning, I asked myself:

Is all this really worth it?

Is all this really worth to spend my only free time on?

I hate failure. I hate it. It’s hard for me to take. If I fail, I want to crawl in my bed and cry crocodile tears of frustration.

Jules is pretty good with failure. She always calms me down and motivates me to keep going and tells me there is always a next time.

I come home, my brain starts going over things, wondering if there was something I did not do or see, maybe my preparation

wasn’t perfect, I go over every little detail untill I find the peace that there was just nothing to do about it.

Unfortunately, sometimes I depend on other people who can help me, but most of them don’t when the time arrives.

True, it frustrates me, but that’s part of the game I suppose, at the end, you can only count on yourself to make thing happen.

(And Jules of course)

I try to learn from the mistakes and take my experiences to the next hunt.

But sometimes, sometimes, it is just not meant to be.

It took me some time to write this story. It means thinking of all the failure, and putting it down in letters, words and sentences.

Because at the end of it all, failure is part of this little blog.

But, since you guys have been reading this story to the final letter, I might have a little surprise to put of some weight off this heavy story.

My Polaroid Summer might have been Bonkers, but there would not have been any Bonkers without….

The one and only:

Armand

;-)

Love

Ouni.

Please check my favorite Dizzee Rascal song:


N.E.R.D: The SagAaaaaargh!!!! continues.

Posted in N.E.R.D, Polaroids by Ouni on July 5, 2009

Rotterdam

Erasmus

I have a shit load of artists  that need to be posted asap, but this happened just yesterday and I REALLY need to get this of my chest.

The more the blog evolves the more people ask me:

“Why do you do this?”    “Are you paid, to do this?”  “But, really, why do you put so much work and effort in this?”  “Why don’t you just take digital pictures, I mean, that is like sooo much better and easier?’

There is no real answer to those questions.

A year ago, august 7th , my birthday, I made a vow to myself, to carry out every  idea that sticks to long in my head. What happens if you JUST DO IT?

The blog is the first idea I made a reality. Yes, its a lot of work. Yes its exhausting.

And sometimes I ask myself If it’s all worth the effort, preparation and liturary the blood, sweat & tears.

Just like yesterday.

N.E.R.D. was scheduled to perform at the TMF AWARDS in Rotterdam, Holland. Since I am not happy with my NERD Polaroids I decided a while ago to try and get another, better, sharper one.

I was wondering if I could spend a whole free weekend for that goal, instead of chillin at the beach in my hometown. After weighing the pros and contras I decided to go.

The Pros:

1. I’ve never been to Rotterdam and its only a 2hours trip with the train.

2. Via via Jules was able to get us VIP-tickets to go to the event. This meant, that we could save on dispenses like  the entrance fee, food and drinks          for the day.

3. The weather predictions were pretty good and considering Rotterdam is a huge port city this a surplus.

4. You never know, what can happen?

So, we went.

This is what you need to know:

N.E.R.D. was scheduled for a fast 15 minutes performance at 20H00.

This meant that we had to be quick, sufficient and extremely focused, since we did not know the location nor the people.

So we decided to take it to another level: Bribing.

Packed with 3 bars of Belgians finest chocolate, 1 Duvel beer and a little monkey with a message around its neck we arrived in Rotterdam.

Exhibit I:SL380145

(I know, this is completely disturbing, insane and quite frankly ridiculous, but my options are running out here.)

I decided to use these props as ammunition, to trigger the artist and entourage in some strange bizarre way. Use the bait, come home with the fish.

First stop in Rotterdam was The Westin Hotel. This is the most luxurious and only 5 star hotel in the city. Logically thinking, this hotel was a realistic option for N.E.R.D. to stay in.

Westin

I was dressed properly and with my heart throbbing in my throat I walked straight in to the hotel lobby. I quickly showed my card  (discount card for the supermarket actually) and told the receptionist that I was ordered to deliver this small package for N.E.R.D. (I KNOW!! This is psycho)

Now, this was a wild guess. We had no idea what so ever, if the band was actually there, but I guessed that we would quickly find out, reading the reaction of the receptionist.

So, just in case they were nòt, I had my unprofessional little cellphone and not an Iphone or Blackberry in my hand, ready to make ‘ a surprised phone call’, wondering ‘why I was giving these wrong directions?’

The receptionist scanned me for 1 second and politely replied:

“Of course, we will make sure this will be delivered to them asap.”

I smiled and gave her one ‘Cote D’Or’ chocolate bar with hazelnuts (my favorite) with inside, a little card with the message if I could take a Polaroid picture after or before the award, signed with my name.

Just before I left, I asked the receptionist, if I could count on the fact that It would be delivered, because ‘I rèally have to go to the event.’ Like I was so very important and stuff.

She nodded affirmative and told me that the package would be delivered as we speak.

I couldn’t get any faster out of that lobby. I felt like a crazy stalker in a sleazy B-movie.

Second stop was the event. The TMF AWARDS were held outside next to the famous ‘Erasmus’ bridge and on the beautiful Welhelmina Kade.         The location was àmazing. The architecture of the bridge in combination with the water and all the boats was just breath taking. The sun was out, shining full force on the hundreds of people at the event.

Without losing focus we cleared out the perimeter. We quickly found out that there was a ‘dead zone’ between the artist-area and the VIP area. Basically the artists and VIP had the same entrance area. The artists were brought in, in black  blinded cars and dropped off at the end of that ‘small street’. When they were due to perform, little golf cars exported them to the artist -and stage entrance.

This was the only chance for me and Jules to try and reach contact with our subject. So the fact that we had the right bracelets that authorized us to be there, was a gift from heaven.

We could not use our usual technique of trying to get on stage or get noticed because there were so many people already there that trying to get front row would be the equivalent of trying to reach the eye of a tornado. You might get hurt in the process.

Also, depending on our ‘good looks’ was soooo not an option because the place was stuffed with the most beautiful women in the most sexy outfits. Rotter-Dajmn!

If you consider that Holland has a huge colonial history with places like Trinidad, Aruba, The West-Indies, Latin-America etc, you might get an idea of the beautiful mixture this can result in.

The funny thing is, this goes both ways. I have never seen a place with so much eye-candy in one day. ;-)

Anyhow, this didn’t make us lose our focus.

We chose a strategic spot in the shadow right next the stage area and waited. and waited. ànd waited.

At 19h00 a black blinded van passed us by. Was it the band?

The clock was ticking and we started to get nervous. Is this the right area? Are we on the wrong place? We went through our plan for the last time,  when I saw a first entourage member walking by. They are very easy to recognise since they have only one dress code:

Billionaire Boys Club or ICE CREAM gear.

This meant that the show was on!

I ran up to the guy and gave him the monkey with the message around his neck, politely asking him, if he could please deliver this to Mr Pharrell Williams. He replied kindly that he would do his best to give the item to him. He continued to walk and when he walked into the entrance I saw him checking out the little monkey.

2 bars of chocolate and 1 Duvel beer to go.

Again. We waited. My nerves were killing me. I was hoping the little gifts with messages would trigger his attention or flatter him in on way or another and made it more easy to approach him, asking him for that crucial Polaroid.

And then we saw them. 2 little golf cars heading our direction.

‘It’s on, I whispered to Jules. With another chocolate bar in one hand (I was hoping he or somebody would recognize the bar since it was -hopefully- delivered at their hotel room) and my Polaroid in the other I picked myself off the floor and walked straight in their direction.

Jules brought her BBC hoodie, just in case. It was not really the time to wear the thing since we were melting like an ice cream so she just hold it, in her hands.

The first golf car with only Pharrell Williams and Mr Mean Bodyguard again, stopped just next to me and while the security were opening the gates of the entrance I slowly walked s in his direction. I said ‘Hello and  made the gentile gesture that I would like to give the chocolate bar to him. He had his sun glaces on, but I know he was looking straight at me, probably wondering were this chick came from all of a sudden and what the hell her intentions were?

‘Hi, I said, I would like to give this to you.’ He looked confused and didn’t really respond.

All of sudden éverybody around me started to yell.

‘Mr Williams, Mr Williams, DO NOT TAKE THE PACKAGE, DO NOT TAKE THE PACKAGE….!

Everybody started to yell and got all winded up and I was so shocked about this reaction that I could only stumble:

“But it’s just chocolate….”

I felt strong arms around me, grabbing me, and pulling me away from the golfcar.

Pharrell Williams just repeatedly asked, ‘But what is it? What is it? But what is it?’

Jezus, Mary, Mother of God, this was too much for me.

I was com-ple-te-ly shocked. I mean, do I have a stamp on my forehead with big screaming letters: AL QAIDA?

As if I was; òr trying to bomb the man, òr attempting to poison the poor soul?

I was so shocked and I felt a wave of disappointment coming over me so I just froze and could not say another word.

Jules was standing there, completely shocked as well, still holding that BBC-sweater in her hands.

Right before the gates closed he saw that we were together and noticed the BBC- sweater.

He called out to wait and pointed out his finger directed to us and asked us to come closer.

Like two electrocuted  zombies we approached him.

He smiled and while shaking our hands he said to give all messages/stuff to his assistant and that he would do his best to help us out. He smiled again, said that it was really nice to meet us both and left.

The BBC sweater saved us. It is known that he is very grate full towards the buyers of his brand.

We planned this with perfection. everything went according to plan. But we made a crucial mistake. Worse, we made a beginners mistake:

I did NOT show him my I-touch with the other artists, I did NOT open my mouth to ask him a Polaroid picture. Jules did NOT make her spontaneous introduction to present the blog when I am in lost for words. We just stood their, looked at him, nodded and let him go. His presence weighs on people like a container boat.

His assistant was the same guy (Mike) I already approached twice (in vain) the two former times. He was busy with his Blackberry when I approached him with the following words:

“Hello there, it’s ME àgain, the Polaroid-chick from Belgium. Since last two times did not work, we decided to bribe you to get closer to a Polaroid”, while handing him another Cote D’Or chocolate bar and a bottle of one of Belgium’s most notorious’ beers: Duvel.

Why the Duvel, you might ask? Well, on the www.bbcicecream.com/blog it is often mentioned to buy the entourage or the assistants a beer to reward them for their hard work for keeping the blog so up to date.

I was happy to see that he was at least slightly happily surprised by my intro and smiled, showing off what appears to be a brand new diamond studded grill. Shiny, I must say.

So, big was my surprise when he walked away with his exquisite Belgian merchandise for ‘connoisseurs,’ the gates re-opened and the security pushed the bar and beer bottle kindly back in my hands.

Ok then…..Belgiums ‘Delicatesse’ was clearly not appreciated.

Unfortunately there was no time to waist, so we ran back to the concert-area and fought our way in the crowd with our last desperate attempt to get that DAMN Polaroid.

We started to realise that we made a huge mistake in our approach and that the main goal was not clearly explained to the artist.

So in an effort to right-en our wrongs Jules pulled out a white paper and in the middle of the crowd I wrote the following message with a metalic green make-up eye pencil.

‘POLAROID PLEASE’?  (the paper was to small,to write more in large letters)

The performance was very short. The crowd with mostly hysteric girls were screaming and pulling and pushing. I could barely manage to breath and hold the paper in the air at the same time. Jules was still holding that damn sweater in the air to draw attention and girls responded on it like a bull on the colour red. They got furious, tearing the sweater down, threating us that they would KICK OUR ASS(es) if we dàred to put it up again. It was terrible.

And then  it hit me like a hammer.

What the fuck was I doing to myself to get this stupid picture trying to grab a 1 second moment in a lifetime of a star to high to   reach?

I quickly pushed the thought away and while the girls were pulled up on stage during ‘All The Girls Standing In The Line Of The Bathroom, we pushed and kicked our way out of the hysteric crowd. All of a sudden, Jules yelled my name and pointed at the ground.

There it was, my precious Polaroid on the floor, only seconds away to be crushed by a million hysterical women’s feet.

I grabbed the Polaroid from the floor and did not even dàred to think what might have happened and cursed my way out of the hysteria.

The girls were standing in the line alright. No doubt about thàt.

We ran back to the ‘dead zone’ waiting for them to come out.

We saw one golf car speeding us by with Pharrell Williams and a white towel over his head  and a very protective bodyguard with eyes ready to kill. The fact that he was hiding his face was enough to realise that it was over.

It’s a clear statement that he did not wanted to be disturbed or spoken at by ànyone. Which is his right, of course, and there was no way I was planning on disrespecting that.

I knew it was over.

The assistant passed me by and in a final attempt I approached him, showing the Q-Tip Polaroid but he just kept looking at his blackberry and told me that ‘it was up to P’.” Ok, I said, I totally respect that, but I did not even have the change to properly ask him the question, any question what so ever!” He pulled his shoulder and looked at me like there was nothing he could do.

I made him promise to, àt least , let him know my request, thanked him and said goodbye.

We failed. We took every opportunity, we took every moment, we had all the necessary props, but still, we failed.

While recapitulating the moments we realised that we made the following mistake:

WE DID NOT EVEN MENTION THE WORD -POLAROID- and counted to much on the fact that he would remember us.

The combination: realising that ‘the trigger gifts’ obviously did not work with all the bodyguards, security and the yelling made us complety numb.

We had our 2 minute moment, and while Pharrell Williams was speaking, we just listened and nodded, and we just let that moment walk away, while instead, we had to ask this simple question:

“Can I please take a Polaroid picture?”

Take that question away and look at it from the other side. You see one girl with a package in her hands, walking straight up to you and another girl holding a sweater in the air with your company brand signed on it, as an artist, I suppose you can only come to one conclusion: Crazy Fans?

And is thàt now èverything that we were working so hard for, making sure we were never considered that way…?

We watched them leave in the black blinded vans. Another failure.

I realised how lucky I got that day, the 7th of august 2008, when I managed to get on stage and took that N.E.R.D. picture in the middle of their performance.

It does make you wonder why you do what you do.

I does make you ask your self, if it’s worth all the effort.

But there we were, on this beautiful location, watching the sun go down, with that impressive Erasmus-Bridge looking down at us  and all though we were very disappointed we realised that we would never be on this beautiful location if it wasn’t for the blog.  And I’m a fighter, not a quitter. Another time, another place, another story.

But I’m honest, I want that picture asap because I’m tired of chasing Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D. what so ever.

This girl is no longer standing in the line.

We threw ourselves on the free food and drinks and danced the night away.

It’s like the ‘ The Monty Hall Problem': Even with conditional probability you àlways have to consider the variable change.

This time the variable change is that what some people call starstruck.

And for the skeptics amongst you guys, still wondering why I do, what I do?

“There is you, there is me and there is between. If you remove the between you see me achieving and you dream.” (Show you how to hustle by P.W.)

Love

Ouni

PS: I’m wondering what happened to that monkey… did it reach its destination or is it lying all alone, in a corner, somewhere?

Please check:

http://www.bbcicecream.com/

http://www.duvel.be/

http://www.cotedor.com/

http://www.tmfawards.nl/


NERD vs JVT -> Holland 10 Points.

Posted in JVT, N.E.R.D, Polaroids by Ouni on March 14, 2009

NERD vs JVT : Ancienne Belgique

jvt

2 of my favorite ‘boys-bands’ in the same room. Haha. Just kidding.

N.E.R.D. in the AB?
I bought my tickets faster than a Busta Rhymes song.
The concert was sold out in a blink of an eye. Blink!

My raincheck on NERD. Finally. With the experience I had so far, I was hoping for a successful mission impossible. N.E.R.D. @ Lokerste Feesten was pretty ok, but I knew they would kill it in a venue like the Ancienne Belgique.Dark, intimate, sweaty and me front row. So I hoped. Now, the only thing I was worried about, was the fact that there would possibly be a very young teenage, hysteric public. Pharrell Williams you know…

For the rest I had good hopes, since there aren’t many fools with a polaroid these days, so I was counting on the fact that he would remember me..? You never know…

Anyhow, my P.I.C (partner in crime) Jules was coming along for the ride to have my back:
jules

So a couple of days before the concert I was sitting on the train, when I received the following text-message.

JULES : Yo, Ouni. Just talked with Pharrell. Polaroids on thuesday will be A OK.

WTF?

How on earth could she possibly be sharing words in the same room with Pharrell Williams?

I picked up the phone and called her. This is what happened. NERD was touring in Europe and while they were here, they visited the only store in Holland were you can buy the BBC/ICECREAM clothing line, the Gorilli Concept Store in Rotterdam. It was a very private visit with only a few people aloud. Apparently Jules decided to go with a friend who is a journalist and she managed to get in. Good girl. So while she was standing there, dressed in her BBC – hoodie and her ALIFE sneakers (Yes she is fly) she caught Pharrell’s eye. He actually walked straight up to her introduced him and gave her props for both her style as thanking her for buying his brand. Good looking ànd polite.

So I told (or yelled) her by the phone that ìf she had the chance she MUST talk about the polaroid project and me. She promised she would do her best. And so she did.

He was standing behind a velvet rope, posing for a dozen photographers. She crawled underneath the rope and carefully stood next to him. (See exhibit I )

gorilli
(Copyright Billionair Boys Club)


He kept focusing on the camera and while he was posing she rapidly said:

“Uhm, do you happen to remember the polaroid girl from Belgium?” She took a picture of you on stage?”

He immediately turned his head away from the cameras and looked at Jules. “Yeah, yeah, I remember!”

“Wel,” Jules continued, “She will be there again with me frontrow in Belgium

thuesday.”

“Ok, deal” Pharrell replied. And that was that.

Talking about a true soldier, right? How much preparation can one do? This was a done deal. Click Click.

For all my internationals here, let me introduce you to DE JEUGD VAN TEGENWOORDIG or JVT. Although they are a Dutch band and you might not understand a word they are saying, they still rock the house. They have fat beats, slick rhymes, a lòt of attitude and they always garanty a great party.

I mean, If Snoop Dogg loves them, why shouldn’t you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VufJyR6QGi4&feature=related

The day of concert. I was thinking about my dresscode. I knew the competion would be fierce. Hot girls everywhere. I needed the stand out, ìf that was even possible. So I decided to put some old with the new and chose a Prince Purple Rain tshirt with a gentlemans’ shorts ( = hotpants with class) combined with stockings and flat boots. I mean, Pharrell is not that big so heels were not an option. :-)

I had to leave straight after work so I had no time to change since I was guessing the line of people waiting would be pretty long and I needed to be there first.

Basically that meant that I had to go to work in hot pants ànd I had a meeting that
day. So when I arrived at the office, I can tell you, I wanted to dig a hole and lay in it.

The day finished and I rushed to the concert hall. Jules was already there. Thank God.
The line was very very long. About 500 meters. Jules was standing 2 meters from the closed doors. I joined her and we waited. I looked around me. Girls, Girls, Girls. I felt like I was IN the Jay-Z video. It scared the shit out of me. This meant only one thing.
When the door opens, we had to run! I figured we wouldn’t even have the time to
get rid of our jackets.
Time was running.
Girls were pushing.
I was nervous as hell.

I noticed two other girls noticing me.
I noticed they were not really fond of the fact that I was there.
I was being watched.

A guy approaches the door.
I felt like a professional runner ready for the gunshot to go off.
The door opens and….

MADNESS.

Girls were pushing, screaming, yelling. I ran into the entrance. The entrance was as usual divided in two sections where people needed to give their ticket and show their bags. Jules went right, I went left. The moment I try to give my ticket, the girl in front of me pushes me away, trying to pull hèr girlfriend that was standing behind me, so she could go before me. While she was doing that, the other was kicking me in the back of my knees. WTFFFFF?

While I was being pushed and pulled at the same time I yelled to the very scary girls dressed fully in BBC clothing as if they were soldiers: “THIS IS SO NOT NECESSARY, SINCE WE WERE THE FIRST ANYHOW? and that there were a 1000 girls standing behind them ready to fight if they really wanted to. Me? I’m all about peace love and understanding.

These were clearly no girls to be messed with. I swear, even the dude that checked the tickets was so shocked he didn’t interfere. They let go of me and start running to the venue. And so I did. I could not believe I was doing this. I felt like those girls on tv you see screaming and camping 2 days before a BON JOVI concert.

But. It sure paid off… I arrived in an empty silent venue. I immediately chose the right spot front row. Jules came 3 minutes later. It was on baby.

Jules came prepared to say the least. She had Capri-Suns with her. A drink she saw Pharrell drinking the last time he was in Belgium. And she had some papers with notes on for the JVT to draw their attention. Jules is obsessed with Dutch hip hop. She is your true ‘connaisseur’ in that field. She goes to Holland from time to time and she will not miss any performance of JVT. Is she a fan? Probably. Is she a crazy fan? Nope. She’s a trooper, that’s all.

Last time I was in the Ancienne Belgique it was pretty chill. Barely any girls. Now I was almost having an asthma attack from the amount of weight from girls pushing in my back. I even had to focus on my breathing. I started to understand why there were so many girls fainting at concerts. I even had to tell some girls behind me to chill and stop pushing since it was impossible to get any closer anyway. Chill. Relax. Chill. RELAX. Jesus!

The Jeugd van Tegenwoordig starts their set. The thing is, the concert is in Brussels. In Belgium we speak two languages. Dutch & French. The JVT rhymes in Dutch. It might be a tough job to please the French part. And so it was. But still, the JVT delivered.Willie Wartaal, Fabergé and Vieze Fur made us all sweat. Faberge dressed appropriately in his ‘Belgium’ t-shirt. I loved it. I risked taking a picture on stage and clever as he is, he got down, looked straight into my camera and posed. That a boy!

blog1

They rapped up their set and we were getting ready for the real deal. N.E.R.D. pt II.

Jules was wearing her glow in the dark hoodie so when the venue turned of all lights
she was shining like a star from outer space.

The music starts. Anti-Matter begins. Pharrell Williams comes up. And I swear he first greated my little Jules. I could NOT believe it. She must’ve done a great job in Rotterdam. The public was going nuts. I felt like a squeezed orange. I felt the fences pushing hard against my chest. I feel and see like 20 hands reaching for Pharrell Willams. Damn, it must be good to be him…

The concerts starts and he quickly came towards Jules. He got down, and sang for her.
I kid u not. My mouth fell open. I was so shocked, about him being so close and I must have been a bit star struck, since I made the biggest mistake ever….

I decided to enjoy the concert and his (very close) presence, and figured that taking a polaroid was a done deal, since we would be able to get in backstage very easily now.
He was more than once only 50 cm in front of my face and I did not take ONE damn picture. What on earth was I thinking! I noticed the bass player checking me out from time to time, but I was not sure, since he could be checking out the girl breathing in my neck behind me as well. Anyhow, I was waiting for the part that they pull girls on stage. The plan was, to get on stage, stay in the back while being on stage and not try to rip NERD members their clothes off, since other girls would do that for us, so when the concert ends, we could just follow the band direct to the backstage. Simple. I’ve pulled it off once, right? No, this was gonna’ be E-Z.

Well, I was wrong. Again.

NERD left the stage. I was sticky and sweaty, and blew my hair away from my head.
Pharrell noticed and looked at me like: “Yeah that’s what we do, baby,” and got of stage. I blushed and smiled. Damn, I felt so stupid that a total stranger could make  me feel like I had a high school crush on the leader of the football team. Ok. This was a sign. He noticed me for sure now. This was a done deal. Ouni was getting in.

They returned to the stage. The drums of “She wants to move” are pounding. girls were pulled on stage. I set tight. Stay Frosty Ouni, I told myself.

This is when things fell apart.

Girls were going nuts. It was like the whole venue tried to get on stage. I however , was waiting for an invitation, I guess? I already ran to get front row. I didn’t think climbing on other peoples shoulder would be necessary. I saw legs and bodies passing over me. I even had to protect my head from kicking sneakers in the air. It was lethal out there.

The thing is, Pharrell Willams was on the wrong side. Meaning. NOT MINE. Jules got pulled on stage by FAM-LAY who recognized her from her visit to Holland. She immediately asked him to pull me as well, but the stage was already packed and nobody could get up anymore. He looked me like; “ I know you want to get on stage, but so does the rest of fucking venue….”

Bummer in a cold summer.

I’m telling you guys. My world fell apart. Jules did her job. She was standing on the right side. Ready to go when concert
finished. I was desperate. I planned on getting backstage so hard, I didn’t
even take enough pictures of the JVT. And there I was, standing there, with
all these crazy females throwing their numbers, panties and whatever on stage
with NOTHING.

Shit, Damn, Mothafucker!! (Excuse my French)

The concert finished. Pharrell left with at least 20 women. Jules in his tail.
and again…I was not one of them. Jules left her jacket and bag behind.

I was standing there, desperate in an already empty venue when I noticed Mick.
Or is it Mike? He was the guy from the entourage, I met the first time with
the severe oriental look.

I went straight to him and told him, slightly desperate:

“Hey, it’s me again, the Polaroid Girl…? Look, my friend is in there, backstage,
and I’m still doing this project, could you please, please, get me backstage?”
I showed him quickly the artists I had on my Ipod Touch but he remained cold.

He said, “If your girl is in there, she got lucky and you didn’t, she should
try to get you in. And even ìf I helped you, by the time you get backstage,
they are already gone.”
He wanted to get rid of me. Clearly. He was doing his job.
And I knew he was not going to give in.
If I was him, I probably wouldn’t eether.

“Oh well.” I sighed and walked away. Disappointed.

I was sitting on the floor waiting for Jules to call me. Then my phone rang. Jules!
She said it was impossible to reach him. The girls that were there were pretty vicious and she said she was in a cafetaria waiting with the rest of the girls supervised by a bodyguard.

“It’s almost like visiting the doctor,” she said, “It’s so bizar, you get escorted 5 by 5
to see him. It’s so stupid, like visiting the pope or something.”

When she finally got in he was surrounded by girls and she felt to intimidated to come
to him and tell him about me. She just looked around and said the atmosphere sucked big time. Nothing in compare with the layed back atmosphere in Rotterdam.

I begged her to go up to him but she told me he was listening to some music a girl
gave him and had his headphones up while some other girls were sitting on his lap.
Ok. I as well, would be intimidated. I’m not a ‘sit on a lap type’ of girl.
I think. Should I, Would I, Could I for a Polaroid….?

I gave up. I went to the bar. Ordered a beer and sighed.
All of sudden Jules calls me. Apparantely the NERD folks realized there were too many girls backstage.(DUH!) and they wanted to get rid of them asap.
Everybody needed to leave the backstage area right now.

She told me to wait by the exit door next to the bar.
The door opens and Jules came out. Wìth the Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig.
That’s my girl…!
She worked her charm so good, she convinced them to come with her to have their
polaroid taken. She even briefed their manager. Crazy woman.

So when she noticed me, she quickly introduced me.
I told them fast what the idea was and while I was doing that I saw Vieze Fur
checking out my very colourful Essentiel bird sweater.
Apparently he loved it because I quickly felt his hands on my back checking for the brand. Crazy Boys.

They listened carefully, with a slight concern but still, they were so nice to give me what I wanted. (See Exhibit II):

awelik-neem-dus-polaroidsblablabla

They posed in tree-some (Exhibit III):

blog-1

ànd each separately. Good Boys.

The evening ended with me, Jules and Elke, and JVT eating some good old
Belgian Fries, in a empty restaurant in Brussels. I felt the boys were tired.
They were silent and Faberge (aka Pepijn, the Blond one) his normally very blue
eyes were teared red.
I could imagine touring was wearing them out.
We said our goodbye’s and they left in their van up to the next concert I guess.

Yes, I was bummed by the fact that I failed –again- with NERD bùt I was pretty
happy with the JVT polaroids as well.

I learned a valuable lesson:

Count your blessings, but don’t count on them. Stay Frosty.

Maybe NERD was just not meant to be.

Third time a charm?

Love

Ouni

http://www.myspace.com/jeugdvantegenwoordig

http://www.bbcicecream.com

http://www.gorilli.com

My first time – N.E.R.D

Posted in N.E.R.D, Polaroids by Ouni on March 12, 2009

 

August 7 – Lokerse Feesten:


nerd011nerd02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day of my birthday ànd the day I decided to begin this project. I was nervous. I waited while hanging backstage. I managed to get a backstage pass through a friend of mine. But only for me. My other friends had to wait for me in the crowd. I clearly felt out of my place. When are they coming? Will I succeed? I try to focus and convince myself, that they are just normal people, they eat, shit en breath just like we do?

A van pulls up and I can literally feel the backstage area gasping for air. You could hear a needle drop on the floor. They are here.

First the posse/entourage leaves the car, and then Pharrell Williams appears. He mùst be aware about the fact that everybody is staring like zombies. He seems relaxed, checking his blackberry and walks straight into the artist-village. So far nothing but a glimpse.

The minute I saw somebody from the entourage leaving the artist village, I took all my courage and walked up to him. I stuttered nervously while introducing myself and asked the guy what my chances were to catch Pharrell Williams & Shae on polaroid. He looked at me funny,and said: “There is no way I can let you in the village, so I advice you, to catch him on the run” and he left, doing what he is supposed to be doing.

Catch him ‘on the run’? How am I supposed to do thàt? Stalk him? 

Suddenly I see the bandmembers taking another road to the frontstage. They left the artist-village from the back, not from the front, where all backstage members where waiting to see Pharrell Williams walk by.

I started running to the spot I guessed they would pop out, and yessssur there he was. The ground was muddy and dirty and he smoothly manouvered his way towards the stairs that lead him to his stage, since he had clean spotless shoes on, he clearly did not want to stain them.

My voice trembled while I hear myself asking: “Mr Williams, could you plèase pose for my polaroid…”  He looks up while screening me fastly and then his gigantic mean bodyguard yelled at me the following “NO POLAROIDS, HE’S GOT TO GO ON STAGE RIGHT NOW”!!!!  He looked at me like: “can’t argue with that, now can we?” and got on stage.

Damn! No polaroid.

I started running to the front stage. Fuckkkk. The festival was pàcked. Impòssible to get to the frontrow. I decided to go backstage again and found a little corner between the stage and the public area were I could stay hoping they would see me, with my polaroid. I made a deal with the security, explaining them I needed to be as close as possible, since a polaroid camera can’t zoom, and a digital one can. They understood, and let me be at my safe spot.

 

All of a sudden, Pharrell starts pulling people on stage…! Girls, boys, kids, he picked them out, to join the band with the rest of the song line-up and maybe join him for a dance while he was singing that he was ‘ a dirty dog ‘ just for you. Tempting.

I started waiving with my polaroids. Felt kinda stupid, since nobody noticed. I pulled my leopard hoodie over my head and started waving the polaroid towards Shae. Halleluja, he noticed me, gives an OK-sign to the security and voilà I see myself taking the stairs from the frontstage.

Once I arrived on the stage, I froze. I noticed a sea of humans screaming & yelling. I saw the bandmembers doing there thing only inches away from me. So what do I do now?

 

The boy from the entourage, I was talking to earlier knodded and said: Well done! “Now go and take your picture” He said. I was in aw by his response and replied: “What now? In the middle of the gig?”

So I see myself walking on the middle of that gigantic stage, walking straigt up to Pharrell Williams and making him clear to ‘strike a pose’ please…and he did, while the entire public was watching. I see myself jumping up and down like a 15 year old girl that got hir first kiss. Embarrassing.

I couldn’t believe I actually pulled it off…! But, while I see the colours of the picture coming through, I noticed it was blurry and well, I wasn’t happy with result.

The show came towards an end, and all the girls on stage were hugging, kissing, taking pictures from Pharrell Williams, most of them all on the same time. I waited politely, but I quickly noticed that politeness doesnt really help as much. I asked him a second time, while he was busy giving attention to all those girls, but he was done posing, and wanted to get of stage. He told me: “Sorry baby, gotta go!” and off he went, in his tail at least 8 girls, bandmembers, crewmembers, and the entourage guy again who was looking at me with a concerned ‘You again!’ face. There I was, Dazed & Confused. ‘Baby’?

 

I was kind off intimidated. You know; girls, backstage, clichés. But, I had to continue my quest,since I was not happy with the results. I finally managed to get in the artist village through Baloji, a Belgian artist that I promised to take pictures from him & his band.

While I was taking the pictures I could see the N.E.R.D. trailer. Honest? I was to intimidated by seeing all the girls, and I chickened out to enter the trailer and ask for a third time. Also, I àlready felt like a stalker, didnt plan on feading that feeling, and he said no, the second time remember?

Suddenly, Pharrell leaves the trailer. He slowly watches me while I’m taking the final polaroids for Baloji’s band. He knoddes politely and said: “Well, bye…” and walked towards the exit. I managed to squeeze a small ‘bye’ out of my throat while I froze. Again. Damn, Is this what people call ‘starstruck’? My thoughts were racing in my mind. Dare I to ask him a third time?

But, it was allready to late. He had reached the exit from the village where a nervous crowd was allready waiting and snapping pictures and screaming his name. I did notice how chill and polite he reacted to all the hysteria. I was impressed. He seems…nice.

I learned, that taking a digital fan picture, while kissing the artist, is clearly much easier than making the artist pose -alone- for a polaroid.

 

 

Oh well, I did succeed. Just not really how I wanted to. I’ll take a raincheck on N.E.R.D.

Untill the next polaroid. I hope. 

 

 

Love,

 

Ouni

www.myspace.com/nerdofficial

http://bbcicecream.com/blog/

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