This week on the show I speak with Rory Charles Graham, aka Rag'n’Bone Man and actress Dominique Fishback fills us in on her new movie the Oscar-tipped Judas and The Black Messiah.

"We did loads of stupid stuff, like build water slides in the garden."

The rise of the coronavirus pandemic shuffled a lot of music releases but for Rag’N’Bone Man it went even further, stealing two weeks away from the production of his second record.

Early last year he flew to Nashville to lay the record down but because of newly introduced restrictions, he was forced to self-isolate for the majority of his stay.

"We had like three weeks out there two of which were self-isolated and then only one week to record the whole album which was kind of messed up. But it was amazing."

Rag'n'Bone Man

Graham rose to fame back in 2017 with the release of his debut album Human. The title track off the album has been streamed over 600 million times on Spotify and over one billion times on YouTube. It went to number one in 20 countries and was even awarded Best British Single at the Brit Awards.

In the midst of all that success, Graham welcomed his first child, Reuben, into the world. While the shutdown of touring in 2020 meant that his schedule was wiped clean, he saw it as a positive because he got to spend more time with his son.

"I got to spend the whole summer with my boy. He's at the age where he's not at school yet. So he has a couple of days at nursery, but then we just got to hang out all the time, in the sunshine, we did loads of stupid stuff, like build water slides in the garden."

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You can really see Graham’s face light up when he talks about his son, so it’s no surprise that on his forthcoming album, Life By Misadventure, there are a few songs written about him.

Talking about the influence fatherhood has had on his sound and writing he said: "It definitely made for a much brighter, happier album this time around, you know, I didn't go into it being like I'm going to make a happy record, but there's a common theme about growing up and being responsible and just that feeling of a love that you haven't really experienced before. 

"There are definitely three or four songs on the record that are mostly about my son and that part of my life."

Having said that though, the responsibility of being a father hasn’t stopped him from getting in trouble. His lockdown life was interrupted recently when the police showed up at his door suspecting that he and his housemate were up to no good after a complaint was made by someone in their area, but it ended up being a complete misunderstanding.

"I think one of my neighbours grassed us up. I think they thought we were having a party. Chris, my housemate, opened the front door, and I'm singing karaoke. I’m singing Boy Meets Girl's Waiting for a Star To Fall. And they come in, and they just looked really embarrassed cause they were like, 'Oh, I'm really sorry that we had to come round to your house and disturb this moment.'"

Life By Misadventure is out April 23rd and Rag'n'Bone Man's brand new single All You Ever Wanted is available to stream now.

Dominique Fishback with Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and The Black Messiah

"I was just really like, wow, who is this? Who is this guy?

While we have music to keep us busy, cinemas still remain closed but that hasn’t stopped award shows from going ahead. Last week’s Golden Globes gave us fashion, comedy and a good old snoop into the homes of Hollywood’s finest.

While there were a few unpredicted winners on the night, it was no surprise to see Daniel Kaluuya pick up the Best Actor award for Judas and The Black Messiah.

This weekend on the show we catch up with his co-star and on-screen partner Dominique Fishback to talk all about the film.

Judas and the Black Messiah tells the story of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton (Kaluuya) and FBI informant Bill O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) in the events that led up to Hampton's death in a raid by the FBI.

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Fishback plays Fred’s girlfriend Deborah, who becomes pregnant during the events of the film. Speaking about her knowledge of the story before becoming involved in the project Fishback said she only knew the basics.

"I was in the black student union and, I heard Tim and Fred's speech. And I was just really like, wow, who is this? Who is this guy? And I learned that he was 21 years old and that, his fiancée was in a bed with him nine months pregnant the day he was assassinated.

"That was all but I knew I wanted to go deeper into it."

The love between Fred and Deborah on screen feels real and romantic. Kaluuya and Fishback make it very difficult to imagine anyone else in the roles. Speaking of how they built their relationship off-screen, Fishback lit up.

"During the times where we would go to the movies as a cast, I would make sure that I was sitting next to Daniel, just so I could get a little bit more of like what it would be like if Deb and Fred got to go to these movies, watching him take up space and how that influenced how we act and flow together.

"Even when we went to Chicago. I had the wrong jacket on for the weather and he was like, here take mine. I'm walking into the real house with his jacket on and I felt like, that organically sort of happened that I was wrapped in something that belonged to him."

With so much history attached to the project, there was pressure on set to get it right. On top of that, a number of people who were involved in the real-life events are still alive including Deborah Johnson, now known as Akua Njeri.

When I asked Fishback what the toughest part of the production was, she went straight to the film’s climax.

"It was traumatic. I couldn't sleep with my stomach. My body was aching. And I just kept having this overwhelming feeling that something bad was going to happen. And I was like, what is going on. I realised that my body couldn't really tell a difference between the film and real life.

Judas and The Black Messiah will be available on digital platforms from March 11th.