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Front row with Abdula Skink of FALSE

Photography by @lost_soul_siso

Front row with Abdula Skink of FALSE

My next interviewee for the FRM Blog is a succinct example of the raw, unfiltered and unique energy which Jozi is known for. Abdula Skink is a multidisciplinary creative, an artist and event curator born and bred in Johannesburg. His work also leans into comedy a lot – which I find pretty evident when I look at archive graphics they've worked on, as well as comedic skits which he has written and produced.

And it's his most recent endeavour – 'FALSE' – which actually caught my attention a few months ago.

Photography by @lost_soul_siso

So, what exactly is FALSE? After this conversation with Abdula – I think it's finally crystal clear. FALSE is a movement. It's a communal binding of youth & humanity; one which is emancipated of background, class and stigma. And punk rock is merely the medium which he uses to pool this community together. I absolutely love how Abdula describes it here:

"FALSE is individuality in its rawest state, being unapologetically yourself, it’s freedom through expression. I’m creating a new world hence the art direction with all the different characters you see in the FALSE universe; each one represents a different niche and each of them have their own story to tell just like us humans. We’re a family, a FALSE family."

Photography by @lost_soul_siso

And they're only just getting started...

On 10 December 2022, FALSE will be hosting their second event of the year, 'Noise Addicts', at Smoking Kills in Melville, JHB. It's pretty clear what to expect: "real debauchery & chaos amongst like-minded people who just want to let loose." With an exciting lineup of local punk & alternative acts, including Club Valley, Smokey Merlce, Shameless and TCIYF, accompanied by some DJs playing after the performances, this upcoming event is sure to be one to remember.

And for those of you whose interest is piqued, here's an expertly-curated punk rock playlist curated by Abdula himself – 'Noise Addiction'.

Photography by @lost_soul_siso

So, from explaining how his roots in Joburg inspired him to get into the creative industry, to describing FALSE's upcoming plans & more – I had the absolute pleasure of virtually engaging Abdula about the future of punk in South Africa, local punk bands he really likes, and more.

Would you mind introducing yourself and telling us a bit about how 'FALSE' came to fruition?

Abdula: My name is Abdula Skink. I’m an artist and event curator born and bred in Jozi. I love creating things and just indulging myself in all types of creative endeavours – ranging from writing and producing skits, painting, photography and most recently show planning. It’s been a new passion for me because I love seeing the beauty in the strangest mediums of art and creativity. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making cool shit.

'FALSE' started out as an idea between myself and a long time friend of mine, Khabane Moloi, when we were about 16. We initially wanted to create a platform for us to just create rad stuff and give others the opportunity to do so alongside us. Instinctively we started out printing t-shirts, each with its own unique story, and we performed raunchy self-written comedy skits for each shirt that we wore. We wanted to do more with FALSE and that’s when I made the decision to start curating a new pop culture movement though music shows that brought people together to celebrate creativity and music. The first show we had was an art exhibition called “The Not So Fine Art Show”, which summarises FALSE perfectly for me. It was a free show and we had a bunch of our friends who are painters, make prints and sculptures. They came through and showcased their work along with some live music from local bands. That’s when I really got a taste for the type of community I was creating – and I fell in love with that feeling.

Photography by @kahlo.greed

For those hearing of FALSE for the first time, how would you describe what the event is?

Abdula: FALSE to me isn’t just an event – I see it as a movement. It empowers through its creative community. It is individuality in its rawest state, being unapologetically yourself, it’s freedom through expression. I’m creating a new world hence the art direction with all the different characters you see in the FALSE universe; each one represents a different niche and each of them have their own story to tell just like us humans. We’re a family, a FALSE family.

Regarding the show, I would describe it as a cesspool of real raw culture with people of all ages and demographics connected by one thing: which is rocking out and having fun without caring about the next day. You’re able to meet so many individuals from all walks of life, all while listening to some real dope local punk rock.

Photography by @lost_soul_siso

According to you, what is the future of punk in South Africa?

Abdula: The future of the punk scene in South Africa is a bright one. For a long time people had the misconception that punk is only meant for a specific group of people. But nowadays you are seeing more people attending punk shows and opening themselves up to the culture, even if it’s something they’re not familiar with. Giving people a space to get out of their comfort zone and not feel judged by anyone. If you don’t judge you become more open minded and if you’re more open minded, you’re able to learn and that eliminates the ignorance about the entire movement. It’s more than music – Punk is an attitude. It’s the ability to persevere through adversity and hate by giving it your all and being your realest self.

One of my favourite bands from New York, 'Bad Brains', have this motto that I've chosen to live by, which is “PMA” – Positive Mental Attitude. People from Johannesburg are the most punk cats you’ll ever meet. We’re from a grimy city of opportunity and we try to make the best of it with what we have available to us. So I have a lot of faith for the growth of the scene in Johannesburg since we’re all punks at heart. There are so many amazing Black musicians and bands in Jozi that are making beautiful art and there’s more emerging and creating innovative art everyday. Have you ever seen Shameless live? AMAZING energy with a completely different sound we haven’t heard in rock n roll before – and only South Africans can really relate to it. All I know is that new bands, punk or not, will always have a slot at FALSE shows.

Photography by @lost_soul_siso

So, on 10 December it's your 'Noise Addicts' event at Smoking Kills in Melville, JHB. How are you feeling about the event? What have you got in store this time for attendees?

Abdula: Yes, the Noise Addicts will rock out on the 10th of December. I'm super stoked about it – it’s my second and last show for the year. There was so much love from the previous show that I had to do another one. It's going to be a night to remember for sure, just real debauchery amongst like-minded people who just want to let loose. The mosh is going to be nothing less than utter CHAOS. Bring some bandages and stay hydrated. TCIYF is also playing and they haven’t had a show in a while so that is going to be such a treat. They were the first cats in Johannesburg to really do amazing things through punk rock and skateboarding. There will also be some rad DJs playing after the bands performance.

And then finally – aside from your upcoming event, what is next for FALSE in 2022 moving beyond? And how best can the audience support the work which you do?

Abdula: I have some big plans for FALSE in the coming years, ranging from shows all over the country to eventually producing movies and releasing fashion pieces, to establish FALSE as a big creative player in the scene. I want to spearhead alt music into South African culture and give people a taste of the beautiful energy of Alternative music that they’re missing out on. The main goal is to one day have festival – with the biggest names in the industry, from local to international artists. The best support comes from just attending shows and giving love online and giving props to the artistic youth that keeps this culture growing. Merch will be available soon and supporting the movement & the FALSE team will really help get the word out about the community we are creating.

Photography by @lost_soul_siso


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