East London Lines went to Lewisham to interview the team behind “Mandem On The Wall”, featured in the E4 series Youngers.
Youngers, a Peckham-based comedy drama series, which finished broadcasting on E4 in May 2013, follows the story of two sixteen year olds aiming to become the next big thing in urban music.
The series, created by Benjamin Kuffuor and Levi David Addai, is inspired by the mainstream success of British urban music. The popularity of London based artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah became inspiration and models for Youngers lead characters Jay and Yemi.
Viewers of the show will also be familiar with the three local boys who sit on the estate wall in each episode, and animatedly discuss Jay and Yemi’s latest news.
The three were not cast together by chance. After establishing and developing the Brockley-based YouTube series Mandem On The Wall, they were suggested for the show by Addai, after he had watched and followed the online series.
The ten episode long Mandem On The Wall web series revolves around the lives of the three young men and the wall in Vulcan Road, Brockley, where they meet. The episodes also see the group taken away from the safety of their wall, and follows them into a number of strange adventures.
Dee Kartier plays wildcard Yungah Baker, Joivan Wade takes the role of ringleader Failia and Percelle Ascott plays sweetheart Yungah Baby Tinie Winie.
Releasing their first online episode on December 24, 2011 the series has proved popular with young viewers with an increasing viewership alongside the E4 broadcast.
The channel has already amassed over 30,000 subscribers and their videos have had over 2.5 million views.
The web series has also branched its own video spin offs on the MOTW YouTube channel, including music videos to short comedy skits, which are set to be released soon.
The interview coincided with the release of the Mandem On The Wall App -now available on iPhone and Android, which aims to keep fans updated with the latest content and news from the MOTW team.
Mandem On The Wall also shared their successes and their plans for the future, including the possibility of one day owning a Wayans Brothers-style media empire.
There’s no denying the entrepreneurial and creative spirit in this team. Wade, Ascott and Kartier have also branched out to found entertainment company JPD3 Entertainment, first formed in September 2012.
For those who want to follow in the footsteps of Mandem On The Wall, Wade suggests: “Don’t shy away from having a team, because you will get to a certain point where you cannot do it yourself and you need people around you.”
The three guys are certain there is nothing they would rather be doing.
“There’s something that we say as a team, and it can sound quite extreme but it’s what we believe in. If we’re not doing what we love every day it feels like we’re dying.”
“It’s that painful, sickening sort of feeling – I’m drowning if I can’t do what I love” – said Ascott.
Director Freddie Osborne is the man responsible for bringing together the finished product. He is also an independent film-maker with his own company, Fredeo Films.
Osborne delivers wise words to those striving for success: “Grab hold of your goal and don’t let go, I think that’s the best piece of advice I’ve been given really. Just when you feel like you can’t hold on any more, hold it tighter.”
Listen here for the audio of the East London Lines interview with the team involved with Mandem On The Wall.