An Interview with Bill Tut Jr.
Bill Tut Jr. (20) From Bury, Manchester.
"I'm a self-taught photographer who utilises the art to capture emotive moments which cannot be expressed by words."
Background, originally from and what’s made you the person you are today from your background?
History provides guidance, knowledge and a sense of belonging, however, as a diverse individual, I never thought I belonged anywhere. My roots are unconventional. My parents are from South Sudan, I was born in Ethiopia but Raised in Kenya. So, I’m South Sudanese, part Ethiopian however consider myself mostly Kenyan as I was brought up there. That’s where I know the history, geography, people, culture and language. I have zero clue about the other two sadly!
Coming from my background and culture, sports is second nature.
From a very young age I’ve always wanted to be a professional Athlete (which boy hasn’t dreamt of that) I could tell how gifted I was compared to people in my age group. I ran faster than most, was physically more dominant. I was always the first and last to leave the field. Football was my first love, then came basketball because I thought LeBron James and Dwayne were cool in Miami, so for a long time I played basketball.
To contrast, one of my lifelong friends Emmanuel Mutahi, introduced me to Poetry, Art and American football. After watching Odell and Julio Jones two of the best wide receivers, I wanted to be as good as them! Or at least work for my dreams as hard as they do! Something about Odell and Julio has always stood out to me, their work ethic and desire to keep getting better! To to be honest I don’t think I’ll ever be as good as them, but they will always be people I look up to. To answer the question, I am the man I am today because of the people gathered around me and those involved within my life from the start and most importantly because of poetry. There’s one poem in particular, “Desiderata”, I first read it when I was 14, I’ve not been the same since!
What attracted you to Photography?
Photography came naturally, I instantly fell in love with the concept, photography allows you to capture the beauty inside of a person that not everyone can find, capture or cause its revelation. Images have impact on emotions, values and beliefs. When I was little, I struggled with low self-esteem, confidence in myself was really low. I never thought I was handsome enough and was insecure about my skin colour. So, I used photography as a tool to see the beauty in those that were in the same shoe as myself (not comfortable with their identity). what people say about you is their opinion, sometimes it’s distorted, sometimes it’s inspired by jealousy, most times, if negative its just incorrect. Taking an image and freezing a moment reveals how rich reality truly is. Above all, Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving!
Where do you see yourself after university?
I am currently studying at MMU (Manchester Metropolitan university). In terms of long goals after university I have not yet looked that far ahead to be fair, but I’m hoping to be big in photography and impact my community, city and the world positively through my lenses!
Nonetheless, when it’s all said and done, I want to be remembered as a winner; ordinary, simple, God loving and a people’s person! I want to be remembered for my belief, that no man is greater than the other, we might be a little different, different kind of skin, different kind of eyes and hair, but none is better than the other, in the words of my favourite rapper, J Cole, “We ain't picture perfect but we worth the picture still".
Lastly, what do you do you think of Saint Aaspire, is it a brand that can last in the market?
Oh boy, where do I even start? Saint Aaspire is a brand that I believe one day will saturate the market with good quality gear to meet every need! People always ask me why I believe in it so much, and my answer has always been the same “Saint Aaspire, is DIFFERENT!” - Bill Tut Jr.