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24:00:00
With Lytt Founder & CEO,
Edwin Seah

Lytt Labs is the brainchild of two founders and friends who conceived the idea in 2014, over a night of karting and drinks. Unrestricted by the rules of classic watchmaking, the founders set forth with a clear and simple vision – to ensure that each timepiece is both thought provoking and a conversation starter. 

We caught up with lead founder and CEO, Edwin Seah for a short discourse on his journey into horology and what makes him tick.

Tell us about your background and role at Lytt Labs.  

In my previous life, I was a lawyer. After many years, I left the legal profession to join some friends to venture into the business world, manufacturing parts for the electronic industry. Over the following years, my interest and passion for watches led to the founding of Lytt Labs. My experience in the manufacturing industry contributes to the high standards we set ourselves at Lytt Labs. One of the lessons learnt, over more than 24 years in both the legal and manufacturing industries, is that “Good enough should never be enough”.

At Lytt Labs, I oversee and coordinate a small but dedicated international team. As we are a relatively small outfit, I’m involved in all aspects of the business. From design and prototyping to production and planning, from social media to sales and marketing. Our team consists of specialists from Singapore, USA, Holland, UK, China and Japan. This means having to deal with issues across several time zones.

Talk us through a day in your shoes at Lytt Labs, what do you get involved in?

My main job is to look 6/12/24 months down the road, to map out the strategy for our upcoming models as well as to ensure that prototyping and production is smooth and on schedule. Mornings are usually dedicated to the sales and production teams, and afternoons are usually focused on social media and planning. Evenings and nights are then set aside for discussions with the design team that is located overseas.

Why did you decide to go into the watchmaking business?


Sometime in 2013/14, a couple of old friends were karting together and over drinks that evening, we spoke about venturing into business together. Our common interests were cars, karting and watches. Casual talk morphed into serious discussions, serious discussions developed into actual action. Watches was simply the most sensible option as we were all passionate about creating and developing our own brand. At first, we explored the possibility of manufacturing movements as my manufacturing experience allowed me to be able to set up automated assembly lines etc. However, over many meetings and brainstorming sessions, we hit upon a revolutionary idea and would be unique and distinct in the watchmaking world. This would form the basis of our brand “Lytt” and our strategies moving forward.

You are an extremely busy man with other business interest outside of Lytt Labs. What’s your secret to managing time effectively?

Cliched as it may sound, enjoying work doesn’t make it “work”. Consequently, I could be dealing with multiple issues over multiple platforms in multiple countries in multiple time zones, but addressing each concern in a sensible and appropriately timely manner is important. Sometimes, the odd procrastination does happen (I’m only human… ha ha…), but nothing that is time sensitive or urgent.
 Being flexible and understanding is also crucial to time management.

Share with us your philosophy for establishing and building business relationships

“Do unto others”. I strongly believe in taking serious and deliberate consideration of the “other sides” concerns and positions, to step into others’ shoes. I believe risk and rewards should be shared and balanced. I believe that my word is my bond, and I deliver on anything that I promise. The key is finding counterparts that have the same beliefs – not easy.

What does Lytt Labs stand for and who does it speak to?

Lytt (as I pronounce it “Light”) Labs is meant to be a beacon to an industry awash with the mundane. Innovation within the watch industry has stagnated and left to a handful of people. I guess the mainstream demographic of watch buyers contribute to this. Hopefully, with our upcoming models, we can rekindle the spark of ideas and designs. We are in the midst of our roll-out plans for 2 more models within the next 6-12 months.

Lytt Labs is not just a micro-brand which is trying to be different. People who are inherently attracted to us are people with individuality, with a sense of “Me”, who value intrinsic design value and quality.

How did your penchant for collecting watches begin?

My first “valuable” watch was given to me by grandmother. It was an Omega Seamaster. I still have it today. This gift started me on a journey of over 30 years. Over time, I was fascinated by watch design and the technical aspects of the movements and complications, and later intrigued by value and branding.

Do you collect watches to keep or to wear?  

(Laughs…) I hardly ever wear any of my watches. I’m eccentric that way. They are kept in my safe, only to be taken out to wind and listen to the movement, and to admire. Safe Queens FTW!

What was the creative inspiration for the Inception watches and their design?

When we were first deciding on the design direction, our first major decision was “round or not round”. We obviously settled on “not round” as we wanted to develop our own design distinctiveness. As it stands, the case shape is instantly recognisable as unique. The multiple angled surfaces of the face/dial is also our take on the reflection of light. The entire face of Inception reflects light such that it looks different from different angles.

In a future model, you’ll see an advancement of our technical know-how relating to light.

Minute and second hands work fine, why reinvent the wheel?

This was our first foray into the watch industry. There was nothing like the Inception when we first launched. There were some brands that used a disk to display the time, but we were at the forefront of exposing the entire disk. This was an immense technical challenge, from the weight of the disks (as compared to the much lighter traditional hands), to the balance and flatness. I think the general public doesn’t appreciate the difficulties of using such a method.

Another example is the material we used for our time indicator arrows is commonly avoided by the industry. They are made of aluminium which is incredibly soft and malleable, making it a nightmare material to work with. We used aluminium because only through anodisation of aluminium could we achieve the colour we wanted. To produce the shape and thickness of the indicators in aluminium was also extremely difficult.

We took on these challenges to show our technical expertise and innovation aspirations.

Will you ever change the time telling method?

Yes. As the market and industry demands change, we too, need to be at the front of these changes. The current time telling method will not be abandoned, as we develop our next phase of products.

Our upcoming model will be more technical and engineering focused. Stay Tuned!

In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a great watch?

From a design perspective, a balance of subtlety and eye-catching worthiness. Oxymoron I know. That’s why there aren’t many watches out there that I would consider a “great watch” from a design perspective. Of course, from a mechanical or technical standpoint, the finesse and finishing of the movement and complication is a huge factor. For example, I’m completely mesmerised by the concept of the minute repeater.

Which style icon would you love to see rocking an Inception watch? 

Ouch, I’m not cool enough or young enough to answer this question without seeming like a dinosaur. RDJ?

What do you enjoy doing in your down time?

Nowadays, hanging with my wife, eating ice cream and watching re-runs of Marvel movies and GoT.

Favourite books of all time? 

George’s 1984.

We hear that you are a gourmand of sorts. Share with us your most memorable meals around the world.

Ah… another pet topic, and too many experiences to list. There’s a small restaurant in Como, (Swiss side – Ristorante Da Candida) that serves the most sublime foie gras. The owner has his own farm, and in turn, makes his own variations of terrines and mousses.

During my latest trip to Sicily, we were on the ferry back to the mainland and we bumped into a friendly police officer. He recommended a small out-of-the-way restaurant near his home town of Campoli Appennino, an hour from Rome. It’s called “The Truffle” and they serve home-cooked style pasta and meat. The setting was in the mountains with only locals patronising the place. Kind of like “The Godfather” style. The food was really tasty but the locale made the meal.

Tipple of choice and favourite bar?

Depends on the mood. In the old days, my friends and I would start the night with a One-to-Fiver, meaning depending on how we wanted the night to go, we would do one to five shots of Patron Silver – at one go. Needless to say, most were 5 shot nighters…

There’s a very interesting cocktail bar in Shanghai where there are 3 levels and a secret room.  If you patronise all three levels, you will be given access to the secret room, wherein you will be served a cocktail which reflects your previous drinks. Cool concept at the time, can’t remember the name right now.

What’s on your playlist?

Oldies from the 80s and 90s, and EDM like Kygo, Steve Aoki, Avicii.

What are your plans for Lytt Labs and what can fans of the brand expect next? 

We want to bring light to the world. Over the next phase of our plans, we hope to unveil our vision. I can’t say too much, but be prepared for something innovative and remarkable.

Complete this sentence: Take time to…

Make time – for your passion, for your family, for yourself.

Photography by Samaya Lawal

Growing up in humble beginnings, Tazar Sancho (Shadez The Misfit), was faced with defining decision making moments in his younger life. Rather than continuing down likely darker paths, Shadez found his light. Through music, design, business and much more, he is on a determined journey to cement an original legacy of his own. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I am Tazar Sancho professionally known as to most as Shadez The Misfit. I am a Music Artist, Creative, Business owner and Humanitarian, but I always say ” I am not what I do…what I do is an extension of who I am”

How did young Tazar’s experience shape ShadezTM?

My young experience was a lot different to what it is now but fundamentally shaped me into what I feel is an unstoppable force.

I was very much involved in gang culture from a young age being the cool gangster like Benny from City of God, for me understanding that it was a mentality based on hyper-masculinity, confinement and ego but in addition not wanting to carry that over in myself and showcasing that to my potential family as I get older. The process of learning, unlearning, dealing with multiple trauma past and present, but also knowing that I have a drive, hustle and creativity that is unmatched unless you go through these events. It reminded me that the world is bigger than a postcode or gang name let alone reputation but to also pay homage and be grateful by what that path has made me into now, knowing my worth and value and appreciating ultimately the journey in everything.

Give us a typical day in the life of ShadezTM…

No day is the same for me and I embrace the fact that each day is a chance to change my life or get a step closer to goals set. It always ranges from a packed day filled with intense meetings (which includes a lot of food) to designing collections to even studio recording music, to attending cool events or just spending time with friends and family.

Clothes, music, business investments… sounds busy. How do you manage your time? Are you a free spirit or an organised planner of time?

Honestly, I am both a free spirit and organised. I personally feel you have to be organised when reaching your goals and tracking progress yet adaptable knowing that life and what it comes with is never to plan. Having faith in your ability and skill set to trust in free spirit especially when it gets to the early stages of creating then honing in further becoming organised to bring it to life.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I am working mainly on the Shadez Experience online and offline with music as the main melting pot. What I love about music is that I’m able to convey my thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences in a captivating way and synergising multiple skill sets to add value; such as creative directing, graphic design for artwork, directing music videos to even creating the clothing around it. Not to give much away but letting you know that what I’m working on is bigger than myself…

Describe your style of music and influences… who inspired you?

My style of music, I aim to not box it or put it into categories, but it is mainly hip hop, experimental and alternative hip hop influenced by life experiences, perspectives and truths…these things inspire me, being able to convey thoughts and feelings to say something or express emotions musically that when people hear it, they have always felt that way but didn’t know how to express it.

Musically I’m inspired by Andre 3000, Pharrell, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Nipsey Hussle, James Blake, Sampha, Tyler The Creator and more – not just as artists but how they conduct themselves in business, their drive, their creativity through product.

Who would you most like to perform with?

I would love to perform with The Roots, Robert Glasper, Sampha, James Blake, Tyler The Creator, FKJ, KING just knowing they add an amazing element to the performance and the overall experience visually and via audio.

Watches… what do you wear and why?

When wearing a watch I feel it’s wearing an extension of not just time but your taste as an individual. For day to day, I’m always wearing my G-Shock as it represents toughness..persistence and perseverance over time. On special occasions and notable achievements, I wear Lytt Labs as a statement piece. I love how unorthodox it is and always has people talking.

Fashion and your style… how would you describe it and what brands do you wear?

I always have to remind myself that fashion and style are two completely different things ..as much as I love fashion and experiencing the trends that come with it like a revolving door, I cannot let it dictate me and my day to day. Style for me, doesn’t just show my personality and taste but it creates those healthy boundaries of knowing what suits me, my taste palette, my silhouette and more.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Honestly, my biggest accomplishment is yet to come. Currently if I had to say anything I would say freedom… that to me is my biggest achievement. The power to be myself unapologetically, and create freely through the things I love whilst inspiring others daily.

Time to spare (if ever)… how do you spend it?

I always make time for friends and family spending time with my partner and just meditating ..focusing on gratitude and my own peace of mind.

What are some of your favourite hangout spots in London… that isn’t a Vapiano? 😜

Vapianos for me is my second home so I never forsake such an amazing restaurant with quality food. Other hangout spots for me would be the studio, or just going to exhibitions for further creative inspiration. It’s nice to enjoy days to understand the creative minds of others to take a step back appreciate the concepts and processes behind their work.

What will the next 5 years look like for The Misfit?

I’m not mystic meg but from the hard work and preparation – it’s about being global and being placed in opportunities that surpass the local mindset but pays homage to the culture and local references regarding where I’m from.

From the music endeavours, more releases in the form of offline and online experiences that connect. Creativity that allows me to further spread my message, ethos and values via brands big and small, luxury and more. Even building my own businesses and services that extend my portfolio and make real differences to communities and consumers.

What does the concept of time mean to you? 

I always base the concept of time on keywords, a moment, an experience and the priorities that come with time as well as the freedom. Time is what you make it, you either use your time usefully or waste it …personally, it’s a form of currency worth so much and once used can’t be bought back. So for me, gratitude has a huge part to play and like any currency, spending it wisely.

Complete this sentence. Take time to…

Be your best self, enacting who you’re meant to be unapologetically.

Shadez The Misfit’s Summer Playlist.

 

Known simply as TheWatchDesigner on Instagram, Jason Sarkoyan’s Instagram handle could just as easily have been YoungestWatchDesigner. Jason’s fascination with watches began at age 8. By 13, he was sketching watch designs and by 17 working on actual design projects for watch brands. Now just shy of 25, he’s an accomplished Watch Designer with a none too shabby client list.

Jason is also the Creative behind the new custom brand font and dial design of the Inception V1.1 and is working on the upcoming V2.0 and V3.0 models launching this year. 

Lytt Labs dives into the mind of Jason Sarkoyan to suss out what makes him tick.

You got your start in the watch industry at a really young age. Tell us about yourself, and your journey into the world of horology.
As a child, I was a very curious kid (laughs). I became passionate about many things like music, architecture, submarines and spaceships at a very young age. My parents are very artistic and design-driven individuals. My mother is a designer and my father is a mechanical engineer. I used to witness my father design and build beautiful buildings growing up, so I naturally fell in love designing things and I loved anything that was mechanical.

During my youth, I spent a lot of time sketching buildings, spaceships, or what was around my environment when I was at school, at the skatepark or making music with my friends. I just really enjoyed sketching but most importantly being creative. I was also playing the drums and made beats on my MPC with my friends growing up, so still to this day, I produce beats as a hobby to clear my mind.

Prior to actually making it a career as a watch designer for watch brands, I was collecting watches as a child and young adult. My love for watches began at the age of 8 when I discovered Marty Mcfly in Back To The Future wearing a Casio CA53W.

The day I fell in love with mechanical watches was when my cousin who is a watchmaker showed me a mechanical watch at the age of 12 or so. That’s what ultimately got me deep into horology (watches/micromechanics).

During the end of my middle school years entering into high school, I was determined and on a mission to be a full-time industrial designer but more specifically a watch designer (laughs). While others were goofing around during high school like most teenagers do I was working on my computer design skills in photoshop and illustrator, so that when I graduated high school I had some design strengths to start pursuing watch companies with my designs. I invested in myself at a very young age because of the influence of my parents and their business mindset.

Fast forward to today, I’ve had the pleasure of designing watches for some cool brands, gone through may trials and tribulations, and I have had the pleasure of having some amazing mentors like Ariel Adams and Gerald Genta and several more people who educated me with many priceless skills and supported my creative journey.

Spill the tea on what a typical 24 hour day is really like for you?
Every day is different of course, but most days I start my day off by getting ready and in the process, I watch CNBC for daily stock market info because I have investments in the marketplace. I also try to watch hilarious Instagram memes that are watch industry and non-watch industry related (laughs). Nothing beats starting the day with a few good laughs. I then proceed to some morning meetings if I have any and I eventually make my way to my office to work on designs from various brands I’m designing for at the moment. Minus the watch projects I’m working on currently, I try to design at least 2-5 watches per day. As an industrial designer first I enjoy designing other things and have involvement in other design projects not related to watches beyond the world of Horology.

After I finish my day at the office I head back to my house and continue to work on more designs because I am a workaholic or hit up the recording studio with close producer/artist friends. Making music is my getaway from the watch business so that when I come back to the drawing board I have a clearer mind to execute my vision. I love keeping creative energy flowing around me, it’s a sensation that helps fuel my creativity. I have a huge imagination so I am naturally an all-around creative individual, so I try to remain in a specific zone. I try to stay in a 2pac/Elon Musk/Jeff Bezos state of mind at all times (laughs).

What’s your favourite time of the day and why?
I would have to say when the sun sets or rises. There is something beautiful about the transition from day to night or from night to day.

How have your watch designs evolved through the years and what’s your design philosophy?
I have several design philosophies, but the most important one to me is aiming to achieve creative originality no matter what you design. I always encourage future designers to create their own design language because there are so many people creating a better version of what already exists (sigh).

There is nothing necessarily wrong with re-designing or innovating something that already exists because we all do it from time to time for fun, but there is something special about an original idea. Unfortunately, many times I meet designers who constantly copy other designers or make improvements to products that already exist. I firmly believe there is beauty in creating something that has never been seen by a naked eye until you have developed it. From my experience and humble opinion, over saturation of any product, design, or style is what kills any market in any business for everyone involved in it. In my opinion, it’s a selfish act when I see people who call themselves designers but everything they designed is a re-design or an improvement of an existing product. I wonder where originality has gone (laughs).

My designs have evolved over the years into different genres of design and more mechanically complex ideas through consistently practising and learning from different mentors. I spend at least 10+ hours a day working on watch designs no matter what. Even when I’m in a meeting or on a business call I’m working on designs. I live, eat, and breathe what I do.

Do you have a favourite watch that you designed? What’s its significance?
I would have to say, a favourite watch I designed was for my brand Genusis Design. I know it sounds cliche but it’s pretty much the first watch I designed with no creative boundaries. No one was above my shoulders being critical and telling me what to design. Unfortunately, a majority of the watch brands in the industry are afraid or lazy and don’t want to develop new cases, dials, and create new ideas (sigh).

Most of the time as a freelance designer, I’m directed to make adjustments to existing models. Don’t get me wrong it’s rewarding being able to make changes to iconic watches that have stood the test of time but it’s frustrating when brands lack the understanding that they need to consistently create to remain relevant. So it is great to come across brands like Lytt Labs that allow designers like myself to have more creative freedom than usual.

You are about to turn 25, yet seem completely grounded while living this extraordinary life.
What do you attribute this to?
Business savvy and wise parents, wise mentors, and wise friends are what I attribute it to. It’s so important to keep wise and successful people around you that have passion and ambition. To say the least, I grew up in a unique environment with parents that taught me basic business skills, discipline, how to network, and that the relationships I build are my biggest asset. In this life, success in most cases has never been about what you know even if you know it, it’s about who you know. Having a basic understanding of all the things I mentioned above at a young age is what I feel has kept me grounded and focused.

What I’m about to say is free game for those who don’t know. I did everything in my power to surround myself with people who were business minded, had common sense, and that uplifted me into new horizons. At a young age, I took initiative to strategically surrounded myself and build relationships with people that had passion and were ambitious. I have spent many years keeping my ear to the ground and networking with the watch community and entertainment community around the world. I love building relationships with people and connecting like-minded with each other.

How did designing for Lytt Labs come about?
A good friend and colleague of mine named Phil introduced me to a few of the team members, and a unique synergy was formed. I had the chance to observe the Inception model in my hands and the brand resonated with me right away. I felt like I was talking to people that truly had a passion to make a cool product with quality at an affordable level. A lot of brands talk and act like they are making quality products at affordable prices, but Lytt Labs was really doing it, and with their first watch, not their 10th watch if you know what I mean (laughs). I respect people who put heart and soul into what they are doing. So after building a foundation relationship we began exploring different design ideas for a new model and the rest is history!

What are you currently working on?
I can’t speak about designs I’m currently working on, but I am currently working on projects for several brands in the world of fast fashion and the luxury segment. I’ve expanded my mindset over the past few years to work with newer brands instead of always working with established brands.

Sometimes it’s hard working with brands that are established because they are not as flexible when it comes to creativity. Might I add, a lot of established brands feel they are Gods, so in their minds, stealing ideas from designers like myself is a daily excess for them that’s pure pleasure. It’s a constant battle fighting for my creative rights and freedom. I’ve recently been asking myself “is juice worth the squeeze” before I work with any brand. When I was younger I used to design for anyone, now I’m very selective.

What’s on your playlist?
I am a big fan of Rap and Jazz music but I also like R&B and Alternative Rock. My favorite artists are 2Pac, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Weezer, Dre Dre, Outkast, The Pharcyde, Green Day, Gorillaz, Sublime, The Fray, Oscar Peterson, Kid Cudi, Travis Scott, John Coltrane, Scott Storch, Ella Fitzgerald, DMX, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Coldplay, Fall Out Boy, Migos, Kodak Black, Gunna, Playboi Carti, Young Thug, Nav, Sheck Wes, Saint JHN, and Hlvf Sound.

How would you describe your personal style?
Well, I mainly grew up in Southern California and Hawaii. So my style of clothing is more urban streetwear and what they call luxury streetwear today (laughs). I also enjoy acquiring rare vintage merch. Although I do wear custom suits from time to time, I grew up wearing brands such as Supreme, Vans, Nike, Stussy, Bape, Billionaire Boys Club, World Industries, and DGK. Nowadays I still wear the same clothing brands but in addition to Off-White, Mad Happy, Fear Of God, Awake and many more.

Apart from work and creating, what else are you passionate about in life?
I’m really passionate about our space industry in the united states. It’s an interesting time to be alive. It’s exciting to be able to witness some of the amazing space missions our space industry has accomplished in the past few years. Not to mention the unique spaceships that have been designed by Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic. NASA is like most watch brands, they created amazing things but still small innovations.

Complete this sentence: Take time to  __________________
Take time to find a passion that brings you purpose in life, because there is nothing more fulfilling than finding something you would do whether you got paid to do it or not.

British based artist Koby Martin is a proud export of Ghana. His talent and God-given gift was nurtured in his motherland and polished in the United Kingdom. These worlds merge together in Koby’s art where his African descent and background can be seen as a consistent influence.

Throughout his career, Koby has been responsible for various creative content for global artists, including the debut album cover for Krept & Konan, Nico & Vinz and Jessie J.

Koby has also worked with multiple brands on various projects including Google, Motorola Bacardi, Adidas, Universal Music, Virgin Records, Marley, Def Jam, Vype Pebble, AFIE (African Footballers In Europe), and Mercedes Benz. The latter of which featured Koby’s artwork painted on a limited edition fleet of Mercedes Smart Cars. 

As the in-house designer for Disturbing London, he has worked on projects for the likes of Wizkid, Tinie Tempah, G-Frsh, Yungen, A2 and more. His artwork and various commissions can be purchased and viewed at Kobmart.co.uk.

Lytt Labs caught up with Koby Martin to find out what makes him tick.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Koby Martin. I’m an illustrator, animator & painter.

Take us through a typical day in your life.
I’m a very spontaneous individual so…I sort of go according to how I feel. On a regular day, I wake up, brush my teeth, take a shower, check my emails; all the normal stuff. Then go through my mood boards and straight to the canvas, picking up where I left off from the previous days/nights. If I’ve got meetings then I’ll go but I’m mostly indoors working on pieces and paintings that I have to complete.

What’s your time management style like?
My time management style is very disciplined. I don’t usually go out unless necessary. Obviously, every now and then I take breaks init, like meet friends, socialise and what not, but it’s rare because as an artist you’ve got to be disciplined. You set a goal for yourself in the year and there are so many things you want to tick off. There’s a number of bodies of work that you have to accomplish or have to create for a show/a gallery. It’s just discipline you know, when you’re disciplined you manage your time properly, so it’s just something that comes with it.

Apart from work and creating, what other pursuits do you enjoy?
Sometimes hang with my friends as I said. If I’m by myself and taking a break I’m simple… (laughs) I’ve got my PlayStation 4 console, I play Fifa. It actually helps me strategise and think – it’s funny! It’s not like just a game, I don’t just see it as a game anyway. The break gives you clarity on the things you need to do. I quite like adventure games as well, I got a few series of them.

Why did you decide to become an artist?
I don’t think I decided to become an artist.… it chose me. You know I realised it was something I couldn’t stop doing or something I was always itching to do. It’s like an itch you can’t scratch, like an itch on your back. You’re trying to reach for it but you can’t scratch it. You’re gonna keep trying to scratch it. I just want to work and create because I have so much in me. It’s not like one moment I decided oh I’m going to become an artist. It just happened. I wouldn’t… OK! I wouldn’t say it just happened but it’s something that’s always been within you know. I realised I wanted to become an artist at the age of 12 and from that point on. I realised it had always been something that’s within me and it started to come out at that age. That I realised OK, this is what I want to do. So you know what I mean? It was more a realisation than a decision. Does that make sense?

How would you describe your art style and how it has evolved?
There’s no description or way I describe the work bro. Maybe I can say it’s spontaneous but, I wouldn’t like to box it or give it a word or a title… you know what I mean? Most of the things I create come from… emotions. Emotions are spontaneous you know, one minute you’re on the high one minute you’re on the low and the next minute you’re in between so, you can’t really control that. It just happens bro.

Do you have a favourite art piece?
It’s hard to choose man, it’s hard to choose because… like I said they come from emotions. I don’t think I can choose what art piece I like or love, it’s just every body of work has a significance and you know it would be really hard to choose (exhales). My thing as an artist is to tell the story and express what I’m trying to say through the gift I’ve been blessed with. I don’t think ‘it’s up to him’ or up to the artist to choose what his favourite is. It’s not up to us, it’s really up to the audience.

How did the Lytt Labs collaboration come about?
I think we both have something significant about what we do. Myself as an artist and Lytt Labs being contemporary and forward thinking. With Lytt I felt like my work would be a good addition to the watch. You know the watch is an outstanding piece in itself and my work you know… being pretty striking itself. Both of them coming together, for us to make this collection is amazing. Yeah man, I’m excited.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on (apart from the upcoming project with Lytt Labs), my solo exhibition. To be honest that’s all I can say for now. The solo exhibition that I’m looking to launch in September… it’s like my seventh I think. So yeah that’s coming up later in the year.

Read any good books lately?
(Laughs) I haven’t really picked up a book properly in a long time, I have a quite short attention span naturally – hate to believe that but it seems that way. I can’t just… I’m a very hands-on person. I can’t just sit still for long. I mean I know picking up a book is good, I’d like to advise everyone to do that, but for me, I can’t sit still for long. Man you know I find it hard. I have to be active and doing something. Even watching a movie I get distracted… it’s a bad habit. I did start reading The 50th Law, written by 50 cent and a famous author I’ve forgotten his name. It’s a book about being fearless in ambitions and chasing your goals.

What’s on your playlist?
Ah man! A lot of Travis Scott. Right now I’m listening to a lot of old school Kano, Giggs, Skepta – Old school Skepta, you know some new Skepta too. Kanye, Krept & Konan. Yeah, we mix it up with just… a whole load of stuff (laughs) just mix it up.

How do you find creative inspiration?
Life man!!

Life! That’s the best way I can put it you know. There’s always something to, to write about. There’s always something to, to draw inspiration from. You know nature, architecture, music… life man you know! That’s where; that’s how people get inspired to make movies and… that’s where all these ideas come from. True life. Movies based on true stories. So for me being an artist and having the ability to paint, it comes from my life you know. I’ve been through a lot and yeah that’s where the inspiration comes from, going through the motions and… (laughs) the punches life throws at you. I’ve been able to deal with and I always bounce back and created something out of it so. Yeah, life is inspiration.

What does the future hold for Koby Martin?
In the next 5-10 years, I see myself all around the world. I see my work being shown all over the world, and I see myself having a gallery of my own; exhibiting my work and you know, up and coming young artists as well. I see myself collaborating with more top brands. I’d like to have exhibitions from Dubai to Japan to Korea to America, everywhere in the world bro! That’s the dream… that’s what life looks like man.

What does the concept of time mean to you?
I think everybody is a total sum of how they use their time. So you know time is the most expensive currency. You can never get it back and your life, time is a measure of your life, so to spend time doing something or creating something, that’s a part of your life you’re spending. Yeah, time is valuable as much as we say it, but time is expensive too… it’s not refundable (laughs). It’s expensive but it’s not refundable, you can spend it but it’s not refundable.

Complete this sentence: Take time to______________

CREATE! Take time to create whatever it is that you want, whatever you set your heart out to do/to accomplish. Take time to… don’t rush the process but trust the process, believe in what you’re doing even though it may not look like it’s going your way. A lot of people will give up on you, a lot will question you, a lot will see the vision… but you can’t force vision on the blind. Take time to create man, take time to create whatever dream, ambition whatever goals you set for yourself… and work on it, man!