Q&A with Shaz Did This


Q&A with Shaz Did This


I hate talking about myself as I don’t like being the centre of attention but if you are going to support my work, then you deserve to know me at least a little bit. I’m Shaz, though you may know me as SHAZDIDTHIS. I just turned 25 in January, I’m a British Bangladeshi born and raised in the city of Sunderland to two amazing parents who are from Bangladesh. I’m a huge music, football, MMA and film/tv show fan. I find as I get older, I get more comfortable being myself and being more open with what I like and not fear judgement. You’ll be surprised how many people feel more comfortable around you when you’re not afraid to be yourself around them.


If you could describe your collection in 3 words what would they be?
Ethereal, Honest, Me.


What does a day in the life look like for you?
I always start my day off with listening to music. These days I play a lot of music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Artists who make music from their soul. From Prince, to Michael Jackson, to Marvin Gaye, to Luther Vandross, to Stevie Wonder. Magical artists that make me feel good just by listening to their voice. Mix it with music from today from Nas, to Beyonce, to Dilla, to Kendrick, to Drake, to SiR, to Future etc and I feel great. I always see my parents, my siblings and my nephews and nieces who I love spoiling. They’re such great kids. My oldest nephews, currently 14 and 15 years old, I struggle to spoil them because they don’t let me but I always win in the end, ha. I make sure they know I’m always there and they always feel comfortable returning the love I give them. I just try make sure emotionally they’re always good. If I’m not creating, I’m gaming, if I’m not gaming, I’m with my friends just kicking it. I usually create though, I need to. I don’t come from a rich family so I can’t really afford to stand still for too long. I live for them, family over everything.


What’s a fun fact about you that you think would surprise people?
I used to go on rap forums in my teenage years and write raps and also battle rap online too. I never lost. I even won some money once from doing that. You will never know what my rap name was hahaha. I still write verses to this day, I usually take lines I write and put it into the art you see.


What’s your favourite design from the collection and why?
You can only be free if you’re not afraid to lose your mind. Or ‘My evolution will be beautiful.’ They both represent two sides to me. The first one, representing a darker side. A more thought provoking, challenging side while the other represents a more hopeful, energetic, inspirational, bright and colourful side. I find I attract a wide demographic who relate to certain styles I do. It’s so interesting to see people who usually hate hopeful art follow me because they love the darker, more ‘masculine’ art I make.

What’s on your bucket list?
I’m a big dreamer so I have so many things on my bucket list. I’d love to design merch for my favourite music artists, I’d love to work with fashion brands and make clothes using my art style. I also just want access to Beyonce’s bank account. That would be nice. I paid £300 for some VIP tickets for the upcoming Renaissance tour. That's one thing on my bucket list ticked off right there. I’m making it a goal for the rest of my life to see my favourite artists perform every year. Give them their flowers while they’re still here.


What’s been your favourite part of working with us?
The trust and genuine excitement to work with one another. It means the world to me to have such a big brand reach out to me in order to work with me. I’m used to brands stealing my art then removing it after public backlash on the timeline without an apology. So I was very surprised but thankful when Skinnydip reached out to me to work. It also feels good to laugh thinking about those who laughed at me when I was a much smaller artist. Hard work and an immense amount of self belief can take you so far. A healthy, sometimes unhealthy amount of delusion too.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Communicate. So many problems can be either avoided or resolved just by the power of communication. Put the ego aside, even if you have to be the one to do it first. Don’t lose out on happiness because you’re too stubborn to fix something deep down you’re willing to fix. If it doesn’t work, at least you can tell yourself that you tried. Also, stop worrying about problems that only exist in your head. Too often do we create our own sadness.


Tell us a bit about how the design process worked? What was key for you with regards to the final designs?
Ha, through communication. It was so easy to get things right in the first attempt as we communicated very clearly about the designs and I love how you guys managed to translate my art to look visually appealing as a custom phone case. The quality and colour matching of the case to flow perfectly with my art is what makes me happiest. You guys are so easy going to speak with that I’m very confident we have something great here.


And lastly, and very importantly. What’s your death row meal?
Coco rocks cereal. My little sister and I loved that cereal growing up. Just the way the chocolate melted and popped in your mouth with the warm milk, just thinking about it makes me miss my childhood. Why we wanted to be grownups as children I’ll never know. Anyways, I believe they were either discontinued or they made changes. I found some a couple years ago and it did not taste the same. It’s not nostalgia that’s blinding me, I am 100% certain it’s different to how it was like 10+ years ago. In addition to that, my year 10 English teacher would be so happy I used that to start my sentence, my mother’s homemade food. Back when she could use salt and spices and not worry about high blood pressure etc of course.

I want to end this by saying thank you mum and dad. You will never read this because you don’t understand the internet besides your recent newfound interest in YouTube but I still want to thank you anyway. Dad, you came to England in 1970 as a 12 year old without your father. Didn’t speak a word of English but you learned and started working the worst low paying jobs at 12 while trying to survive poverty, racial attacks and abuse. You had holes in your shoes, repeating outfits, went back to Bangladesh in the early 80s, met my mother, married her, had my big brother and moved back to England in either 84 or 85.

You always work for us, you don’t understand the concept of taking a rest. All you ever did and still do is provide for us and I can never thank you enough. Sorry for all the fights we had growing up, you aren’t perfect but I’d never trade you for anyone else. I can only hope to become half the man you are. You’re the kind of man who stops people in the streets to see how they are and ask if they need help, regardless of who they are. I guess I’m doing the same thing you did but also through my art. I am who I am as a man thanks to you.

To my mother, you are an angel. I wish I spoke Bangla a lot better so I can profess my love to you in the way you deserve to hear it. You and dad never buy anything for yourselves. Everything you ever had, you gave to us. I’m sorry for being embarrassed as a kid when we would go shopping and you would dig into your purse to scrape together the one and two pence coins you had saved to pay for things. The wait was unbearable as I could feel the stares from the cashier to the customers but you never cared. As long as we were okay, you were okay. I wish I had more so I can give you and dad the life you deserve. You guys are old now, so I will dedicate the rest of my life to make sure you see out the rest of your days to live like you deserve.

My socials are @shazdidthis on Instagram and my website is shazdidthistoo.com/

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