Branding take over, Alternative Art-of -facts?.

Diggers is the clothing apparel for all those who are passionate about vinyl founded by Pritt Kalsi a vinyl collector and film maker, who’s spent his life uncovering stories offering insightful look at peoples passion for vinyl and sampling.

Founded in 2013 Diggers was the re-brand and king of the beats clothing make over.  Times had changed and no longer was the generic fruit of the loom T-shirt the cut that people wanted to spend their money on.  The Chinese market as it is right now has given birth and enabled new young and enterprising designers to try make their mark with their creations and visions.  10 years ago Trying to get something manufactured in China was expensive and almost impossible for a new independently ran brand as minimum orders started off at the 10,000 unit mark.  thanks to sites like Alibaba it has allowed brandS like mine to have new life.

So back in 2013 I going was going through a difficult phase in my life, my marriage came to an end and in order to try save it, one of the things i did was give all my clothes to charity as one of things my ex moaned about was the way i dressed.  i was in that bubble.  It was here in this time i discovered and started to fully appreciate stores like TK MAX.  Just like digging for records i would dig for clothes.  I kept a strict code that I could not  spend more than £10 for a T-shirt £20 for a Shirt and the same about for Jeans.

Slowly i got addicted to the store, going in from every week to a point almost daily digging for garments.  I would take the shirts back and wonder how is it the materials were so different and affordable.  I guess this is when i realized that times had changed.  This is where my brand needs to be, using this modern type of t-shirt garments.  Armed with a bunch of shirts i sat with the guys from AM Screenprint  and we sourced the suppliers.

Looking to re-brand going by the name Diggers that fits the ethos, fully representing my passions and my work me and Chris Malbon my long time partner in design and childhood friend created the new logo and designs for our first line.

This moment in time i started to hang around my parents home, they stood by me like a rock throughout this divorce.  I started to take notice of my mother and her passion for textiles.  Growing up this was something i took for granted.  Her generation of Indian woman this is normal I’m ashamed that i did not pay closer attention to her craft from when i was younger.  I guess I’m older now and look at the world differently.  She loves and enjoys creating things, she had this new sewing machine which she was embroidering designs from a digital source.  I asked if i got my design can i try sewing my logo?.  We joined forces and together a lot of the items like the shirts i would bring back from TK Max were unbranded.  I started to brand them, so that when i went out i would be going out wearing fresh one off pieces that represented the culture i was so passionate about.  Reminding me of how in the early days of Hip Hop people would modify there outfits and footwear.

This kick started me re-branding boots picking out one of pieces and modifying them.  Those that follow my instagram would be totally up on them boots.

Although the brand represents lovers of vinyl irrespective of what genre of music, its roots comes from Hip hop and my passion and understanding of the culture.  i started out as a graffiti artist and b-boy in the 80s.  A big part of the culture was tagging and bombin, I had flash backs to the adrenaline rush i would have running round with my friends.  Those that know me that living alone here i have to keep active and my nature is that I can not stop creating.  This led me to start planting modified items i purchased back in the stores across the country.  For years nobody noticed what I was doing, for me it was for kicks and fun and held true to the idea of discovering a gem, just like my movie looking for the perfect beat.

I am creating art, and not for arts sake, these are pieces created by a person with a long deep history in this culture.  Blood sweat, tears and lot of soul went into these pieces.  Only last year i had people start to hit me up within the culture who followed my work that started to search out my pieces.  This is the reason i decided to shoot this piece, before some Biter takes my work and claims it there own.  Like my mothers creations or my fathers paintings, my work or even the artists I work with in the music, art should never be taken for granted or on face value.

Face Value has means nothing to me, if you are going to spend some money on Art look and take your time to find out about the artist and its brand.  Diggers is about finding that gem and turning it into something else. Done before by the kids of NYC back in the 70s and 80s in those early days of hip hop.  I appreciate if you took the time to read and view the video.

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Jazzy Jay & Diggers – Walk in the Park Episode 1

From way back when, long before this thing was called Hip Hop back in the very early 70’s this thing called DJing took a turn that changed the way DJs play music forever.

It birthed the Turntablists, DJ’s who manipulated the soundscape and arrangements of the recorded piece changing the way we were meant to hear the music. It became something else. Dj’s all over New York went crazy looking for sounds to manipulate, it birthed the Breakbeat DJs. One of the greatest of all time is the man featured here Jazzy Jay.

From Bronx River Jazzy Jay like Charlie Chase, Grand Wizard Theodore and DXT was of a generation that went all out on this from not just buying and searching for records but becoming exceptional Skilled on the turntables. Their tapes and performances have influenced millions of people across the globe. Held in High regard I’ve seen it my self people still be asking him what was this track you played at this event or this track on this tape.

It’s these DJs that inspired the members of DITC to coin the term Diggin in the Crates. I’ve known Jazzy for many years now and we have shot many videos together, he never fails to surprise me. When you see me and Jazzy put something together you better believe it’s going to be special and honest.

Recently I got to tour along side Diamond D and Large Pro doing the 45s sets, these men them selves Diamond especially will tell you that we was all mentored by Jazzy. Diamond you can see where he is at when he cuts 45s. the way he cuts them. Its not easy at all, but h makes it look easy as he came from a time and place where that is all it was and the only way to do it, it was competitive as almost every block had DJs that were all working/ practicing hard to make a name, to be hailed as one of the best.

I was in NYC for 4 nights to work with Large Pro and Main Source documenting the 25 year Anniversary of Breaking Atoms. One of the greatest Records ever made across all genres of music. I took one day off to be with Jazzy to see him and his family. On the Friday joined by Large Pro and King of Chill we got into the spirit of creativity and few beers leading me onto persuade Jazzy to cut some 45s for me and let me shoot. This was not rehearsed or prepared, but you can see here what we captured, a man who cutting up 45s is a walk in the park.

 Jazzy Jay is available for shows. Info on the video.

 

You got to have style and be original..yes thats me

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Aside from my passion for film and music I have always been involved in making garments for myself. At School I would hand paint t-shirts at collage I would create images that could be heat pressed onto shirts.

At 17 years old I was introduced to the world of screen printing and got to meet Tony from AM SCREENPRINT. He still runs the company based in Redditch. I started creating some designs which he printed and brought to life. To this day I still use his company.

Over the years I created lots of designs of shirts that I would sell amongst friends or at events, there was a time me and legendary artist A.Dee also known as the Artful Dodger would put stuff out together. Everything we did was aimed at the hip hop market. Going back into the 90s era we very influenced by Star Wars in a lot of our creations.

These were the days that I really didn’t pay too much attention to the way I personally dressed I was more interested in the creating rather than paying attention to fashion.

Its only when I got divorced that things took a turn. One thing my ex commented on that was she didn’t really like the way I dressed most of the time. Thinking that if that meant so much to her I through all my clothes away in a effort to save my marriage. That made no difference at all. So I was left without a wardrobe.

Entering that dark space most people go through I just went about re-inventing myself. I would head over to TK Max and dig for clothes. Amongst my close friends we set some rules. I could not spend more that £10 on a shirt or £20 on pair of jeans, this made things very interesting for me. I started to pick out stuff, but at the same time started to notice how the styles of shirts have changed. The days of Fruit of the loom shirts are over, there are better quality garments being offered at affordable price now.

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Another thing was that I was spending a lot more time round my parents now, seeing them and hanging around. For the first time in my life I started to notice the textile work my mother had been doing and was so passionate about long before I was born. These are the things we often don’t notice and take for granted. She has this embroidery machine that she is into that she would make clothing for the grandchildren. It’s a digital machine driven by a USB stick. I had already been getting king of the beats and Diggers hats / jackets being embroided by AM Screen Print.

I just wondered if it would be possible to put my logo onto one off pieces for my self using her machine. Like I said times have changed and my tastes and dress changed. I still want to have a connection to the music and culture I love but I just want to appear a bit smarter and well dressed to how I used to be.

I would dig for garments shirts / boots in stores like TK Max that were unbranded and customize them making them my own. I now have a wardrobe full of out fits that Ive created and personalized. This went pretty far to a point where I started to create pieces for Diamond D, Break Beat Lou, Jazzy Jay, Tha 4orce and Large Pro. I didn’t do this alone, I would do these with the help of my mother.

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Now that my parents are getting on, My mother in her 70’s this has brought us together, It keeps her mind active keeps her creative, plus she become somewhat of celebrity among my hip hop friends. It made her very proud to see artists wearing her creations, items she hand made for them. You can see the Biker style jackets we created inspired by the pre Hip Hop gangs of New York on my Instagram.

I have been doing this for some years now, and the reason I wanted to write this article was that in this day and age where there not as many outlets supporting creatives as there used to be, I feel like I have to document my own journey as if I don’t then no one will.

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Ive offered on my site before the service of custom pieces to the public, it bothers me that people that within this scene there is such little support for this type of creativity. I can only thank the likes of Diamond D, Jazzy, Breakbeat Lou and those artists that are up on it and embrace this.

As graffiti artist and coming from the 80s I was involved in the tagging scene and putting my name all over. As an artist your always thinking about how to take things and push your ideas further. My latest creating in ‘GrandGarm Bombing’. Where I have been putting my customized items into the market place. By purchasing items, customizing them then returning them to the stores. Now some lucky person may not be even into this hip hop thing has purchased a dope shirt that infact was created by me. Now that is tagging at another level. So if you do find one my pieces consider your self one lucky DIGGER

You read it first here. `

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