I feel like I should introduce myself. I’m Niloo, and this is the first issue of Bido Lito! I’ve worked on as Features Editor. Nice to meet you. This issue represents a lot of firsts for me – this is my first real job since graduating from uni, and my first foray into journalism after a long spell of disillusionment with the medium. As I’m sure you can imagine, this made it an equally exciting and daunting prospect. I questioned the limits of my abilities and ideas: what would we cover? Is it possible to produce content that is both entertaining and necessary?
Content production can be a cynical business – complex lives and issues are reduced to a passing moment of fascination designed to relieve a reader whose primary quality is boredom. Whether it be fashion journalism or political journalism, market pressures drive writers to rearrange reality to produce a colourful image, simple enough to capture the childlike attention of the masses. This dynamic tends to strip content of significance: it trivialises the reader, the writer and above all the subject matter. This reality has made me slowly more jaded over the years – when I started at Bido Lito! I hadn’t published an article for six months. It sounds dramatic, but before Chris, Craig and Sam welcomed me into the fold, I was grappling with the ontological value of entertainment journalism itself. That made putting this issue together worrisome on a personal level – would I be able to stifle this disquiet and dive straight back in?
After my first week, though, I saw my worries to be unfounded. The Bido team’s open-minded attitude is refreshing among content providers. They put Liverpool first, and their process of discernment always comes back to this love of and belief for the city. It’s not about clickbait, kissing arses or even satisfying their own personal taste. This made it easy for me, because I love Liverpool too – I’m invested in its fate as a whole, and the lives of the creatives I know personally, or support from afar. We deserve only the best. For me, the best entertainment journalism puts individuals first; it is transparent about its own status as a personal artefact. Objectivity is just what institutions call their own biases after they’ve stuck around long enough, anyway. So, I’ll be transparent: this issue owes itself to the amazing people I know. Zee of Queen Zee told us her personal experience at this year’s Pride festival; my frequent collaborator, MC Nelson, brought his characteristic mix of musical and political expertise to the table to conduct an incredible interview with Ash Sarkar, spanning grime and politics; my primary school classmate Daniel Fell’s interview with The Night Café (his long-time friends) is as charming and incisive as he is himself; Leighton Ramsdale agreed to turn his electrifying poetry night into an electrifying compilation of the city’s most freewheeling, youthful poetic talents; my best friend and housemate, Caitlin Whittle, lent us her artistic talent to perfectly illustrate my scathing investigation into Liverpool’s 70s boys and ket wigs.
Further, ROOT-ed zine’s article is two friends telling their own personal story of underrepresentation, which culminated in something everyone can enjoy. And when I met with Sonic Yootha over a beer I learned how a group of friends having a party in a kitchen turned into Liverpool’s most successful alternative gay night. That feels like a metaphor for Bido Lito!’s ethos. Content follows from real people, their needs and desires, their friendships and personalities. What I’m trying to say is, in a publication founded upon true affection for a city’s creative scene, the job feels less fake.