Meet the next-gen of HUNGRY talent

In our regular HUNGRY series, we meet the next-gen talent ready to reinvigorate the creative world. Their sights are firmly set on breaking boundaries and making it big – expect to see them making regular appearances on your feeds soon. 
Navinder wears clothing, necklace and trainers Navinder’s own and hat by MITHRIDATE.


Spend a few minutes in the presence of the 27-year-old street artist Navinder Nangla and you’ll feel like you can conquer the world. Nangla has always known he would be an artist. “It was my dream because I love leaving my mark everywhere I go. It’s a powerful weapon,” he says. And he has already left his mark at what is just the beginning of his journey. After moving from Leeds to Northampton at an early age, Nangla found himself isolated due to his accent and cultural background, as well as struggling educationally due to dyslexia. “I became really alienated,” he says. So art became a key form of expression: Nangla went on to study fashion design at Manchester Metropolitan University. But it was at Paris Fashion Week last year that he got his big break. “I went on the streets and I started writing ‘fassion is my pashion’ with a red squiggly line underneath for autocorrect,” he says. “After ten seconds, someone started recording me and I knew I had it in the bag.” After that he began seeing his work all over social media – and it wasn’t long before big brands wanted in on his self-proclaimed “organised chaos”. Now Nangla is part of Converse’s Create Next, a showcase of 20 emerging talents, and has been part of a collaborative project between Gucci and Hypebeast. “It just shows you can do whatever the fuck you want – don’t let anyone shit on you just because they don’t see your vision,” Nangla says. Despite the new-found fame, one touching pursuit drives him more than anything: “My main goal is to get my mum out of working at McDonald’s, that’s the dream.”

Felix wears jacket by LA MASKARADE, vest by SAMSØE SAMSØE and trousers and nose ring, necklace and ring Felix’s own.


“One thing I’ve recognised is that people can read through the bullshit, especially in the UK,” warns 21-year-old artist FelixThe1st, who believes authenticity is the key to success. The west London- born, face paint wearing musician (which was inspired by his love of WWE) is known for his genre-bending sound, taking inspiration from everything from trap and indie to R&B. It was never the plan to become a rapper, though. In fact, Felix had already made a name for himself in the dancing world, supporting the likes of Stormzy and the Spice Girls. But he would freestyle with his friends, who were impressed with what they heard and thankfully urged him to take music seriously. “I used to take the piss with it until I felt like I was a bit better than the rest of them, then I just went for it,” he says. Then in 2021 he released his second single, the viral hit ‘Own Brand (Baddie)’ – featuring Dréya Mac and Finch Fetti – which put Felix’s name on the map and scored him a MOBO for Song of the Year. “It was the perfect ending to a great chapter and it’s a great way to put that song to bed,” he says of the win. Of course, cultivating a fan base after a viral hit song is never easy – but Felix’s plethora of talents and his dedication to his art leads us to believe it’s more than achievable. After all, the artist only has one goal: “To be undeniable.”

Etta wears coat by FILIPPA K, dress by COACH 1941 and boots Etta’s own.


There’s a certain space within music – a genre defined by melancholic, mellifluous tones and hard-hitting, authentic lyrics that deconstruct love, life and everything in between – that garners quite the cult following. Think Phoebe Bridgers or The 1975. And that’s something that 21-year-old, Brixton-raised Etta Marcus is already experiencing. “After my first EP [last] January, I was getting people asking for an album as soon as it came out,” she says. Her candid dissections of relationships, loss and change are rooted firmly in her inspirations, which span the likes of Jeff Buckley, Mazzy Star and PJ Harvey. It’s music to cry to, but also to dance to and to sit on a bus to while you listen with longing – her tracks ‘A View from the Bridge’ and ‘Salt Lake City’ take on a voice of their own despite those sound-heavy influences. “I grew up with a lot of jazz music. I know my sonic identity, but I never know where it’s going to go. If someone tells me I’m one thing, I’ll do the exact opposite. So I just say it’s ‘alternative’.” Polydor Records caught wind of her work in 2022 and now she’s planning to shift from crooning about relationships to writing a protest song that will bring her even more attention.

Ronke wears jacket and jeans by DELA, top by HARDWARE LDN, bandanna and nose ring Ronke’s own and shoes by GIABORGHINI


Ronke Adékoluejo, 31, is an actor and writer on a mission to bring communication to the forefront of her work – and not in a conventional manner. “The more I become in tune or engaged with humanness, I need to tell stories.” In 2018, she played Yvonne, the free-spirited best friend of protagonist Simone, played by Michaela Coel, in the musical film Been So Long, and has been Jack Starbright in the Amazon Prime thriller series Alex Rider since 2020. Adékoluejo’s dedication to her characters’ backstories has now led her to write her own film. “I grew up around men,” she says, adding that her “brother is so special, but on the world stage that’s not how I see him. That’s not how my brother is represented.” Her realisation in wanting to show the stratified lives of Black men has led her to write a script following a group “finding a way to communicate with each other and finding a language that might not be verbal. The main character is deaf – he signs and he can lipread, but with that [hearing] element completely removed… with just being vulnerable, we can communicate what we need to each other.”

Kieron wears shirt by FILIPPA K and necklace and rings Kieron’s own.


After spending most of his younger years boxing competitively, at the age of 21, Kieron Moore decided to do a 180 and began to pursue his burning passion for acting. “I said to myself, ‘You’ve always wanted it, so just try it and give it everything.’” The pep talk did the trick. After a few appearances in short films and TV – including a stint on Sex Education – the Mancunian, now 26, landed his breakthrough role in Peacock’s Vampire Academy, the wildly popular TV adaptation of the young adult book series, in which he plays Dimitri. “He was held in high prestige in the books and cherished by fans, so having that pressure was quite exhilarating but terrifying at the same time,” he says of the role. “I feel like I’ve reaped the rewards and it’s given me the confidence to be on set and be a leading man.” Despite the clear sense of accomplishment that comes with taking on such a part, the most gratifying takeaway for Moore is what his performance can do for others. “It’s crazy that I get to make someone’s day without actually interacting with them,” he says gleefully. Further down the line, the actor wants to explore other avenues of the film industry, such as writing, due to his love of poetry – but he still has one primary goal in mind as an actor. “I’d be lying if I sat here and said I didn’t want to be one of the best actors of my generation,” he exclaims confidently. “I’m a working-class boy and I just want to be respected for what I do and inspire kids who are like me and show them it’s possible.”

Jessie wears jacket by MITHRIDATE, nose ring and earring Jessie’s own, socks stylist’s own and shoes by FILIPPA K.


Most people will likely be acquainted with Jessie Mei Li thanks to her breakout role in Netflix’s Shadow and Bone – a series that quickly caught the attention of fantasy-drama fans. After dropping out of university, the 27-year-old’s segue from her language degree into acting, which included working as a teacher and a waitress, was carried in part by her interest in other people and figuring out what makes them tick. “A lot of people in my family are neurodivergent and we’ve discussed how to understand other people a lot,” she says. Through her empathetic nature she has taught herself her craft through pulling apart what she has learnt about others, which allows her to slip seamlessly into the skin of her characters. “In some bizarre way, I always kind of knew that I was going to have an abnormal life. I just felt it. When I was working as a teacher and a waitress, I was thinking that this isn’t it, it’s going to happen eventually. In a strange way it was almost vindication – when I started working, it felt like this is where I’m meant to be.”

Shola wears clothing and accessories Shola’s own.


The London-based jewellery designer Shola Branson sees his art heading in a new direction: “I think it’s an interesting time at the moment for the jewellery industry. You’re seeing a bit more diversity coming through and different voices that haven’t been in the space before.” The minimalist designs of Branson’s eponymous brand combine influences of ancient jewellery with futuristic architecture using sustainably sourced precious stones and recycled metals. His pieces have been showcased in a Sotheby’s selling exhibition as well as snapped up by famous fans. “I have made a few bits and pieces for a few celebrities, but I’m in the infant stage of my brand. My dream client would probably be Pharrell. He’s probably my top pick of someone that I’d like to do something for.”

FROM LEFT: JJ wears clothing and accessories JJ’s own. James wears clothing and shoes James’s own. Louis wears jacket by FILIPPA K and shirt, trousers and shoes Louis’s own. Jim wears clothing and accessories Jim’s own. Nick wears jacket by SAMSØE SAMSØE and shirt, trousers, rings, necklace and shoes Nick’s own.


If you were thinking that it’s about time another charming band came along for everyone to fall in love with, then look no further. Made up of four brothers – Nick, James, Louis and Jimi – and their friend JJ, east London-based Boy Bleach are taking everything you thought you knew about the conventional all-male five-piece and giving it a good lick of eyeliner and accountability. “We’re under no illusion – we know we are privileged, that we are men, that we’re white, but growing up where we did, we saw the hardship that our friends and family went through. It was important for us to speak up about that, even if it’s not through first-person experiences,” Louis says. Sporting nail varnish and eyeshadow, the band draw on their varied influences of Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd and more, and wrap it up in a group that knows their purpose beyond the music. “I don’t really like to define masculinity. It feels like it has been defined for so long that it’s time to loosen it. We resist the toxicity of the idea that masculinity has to be macho,” Jimi says. And Boy Bleach’s dedication to bringing topical questions into their music has brought them notable attention from big names in the industry renowned for speaking their minds – last year they toured with Yungblud, just one of their first major coups, we’re sure.

Lara wears jacket, earrings and necklace Lara’s own and dress by BY MALENE BIRGER


For 24-year-old Lara Peake, acting has always been a source of happiness. She earned a spot on the long-list for the Most Promising Newcomer award at the British Independent Film Awards in 2015 for her first role, as Helen in Bypass, and since then has graced the small screen in Born to Kill, Brave New World and Mood. In that last series she took on the role of Carly, exploring sex work in the modern age. “I feel like each job is like a bit of a crash course in life,” she says, discussing the challenges of her work when the characters are far removed from who she is. “I think the scripts are so powerful and the message being put out is really kind of progressive.” But it is her own work in film and writing that she is most excited about: “I’ve written and directed a short film, it’s set in the Seventies. It’s a kind of a merging of my mum’s coming-of-age story with my own. It tackles abusive power, punk, class and LGBTQ rights.”

Marcus wears clothing and rings Marcus’s own.


“It feels surreal, sometimes I feel like I’m on a ship in the middle of the ocean during a storm and things are flying off, but I just have to keep going,” says the 25-year-old artist Marcus Nelson, whose poignant and introspective works show a level of maturity beyond his years. Lost Boys, his standout solo exhibition held in London last spring, showed what Nelson does best: unnerving explorations of isolation and vulnerability – as seen in paintings such as My Shadow and Under a Bruised Sky. Given his captivating work, you may be surprised to learn that Nelson wasn’t initially set on a career in the arts. “I ended up falling into art because I couldn’t really do anything else,” he admits. He was also inspired by a teacher who the artist grew incredibly close to before she sadly died from cancer. “Her name was George Dowell and she really nurtured my artistic career. I painted her recovery while she was going through chemotherapy,” he says. Nelson’s career has since flourished, with many of his works focusing on the struggles that come with masculinity and mental health issues. However, he expresses there is also a much broader theme at play: “I see my work really being about humans, life and death and the discomfort that we all feel.” It’s this willingness to explore the dark corners of the human psyche that separates Nelson from the crowd and cements his reputation for being an undeniably talented and intriguing artist.

Tamara wears sleeveless jacket and trousers by AHLUWALIA, nose ring, earrings and necklaces Tamara’s own.


“If you have self-acceptance and good people around you, then you are more successful than a lot of the people you might see on TV,” says the 29-year-old actress Tamara Lawrance. The northwest London-raised star, whose dreams of being on the silver screen began at the age of three, recently starred in her biggest and most important production to date, The Silent Twins. “We came away from it feeling that we were part of something we can be proud of,” Lawrance says. In the film (which is based on a true story) she gives a poignant and breathtaking performance as one half of the Gibbons twins, a pair of siblings from the only Black family in the small Welsh town they relocated to in the Seventies. Bullied and ostracised by their community, the twins chose to only speak to each other and after a bout of petty crime in their late-teenage years were sent to a psychiatric hospital. “I feel like the story has stirred up a lot of empathy for the story of those girls, which I think is the most important thing,” Lawrance says. Thanks to her chemistry with Black Panther star Letitia Wright – who plays her on-screen twin – the duo were awarded the Best Joint Lead Performance gong at the British Independent Film Awards. As Lawrance’s stock inevitably grows, the humble actor isn’t letting any of her success go to her head, though: “There is an allure to get caught up in the clout that comes with this profession, but to save your mind and soul is so much better.”

Taken from HUNGER Issue 27: Call to Action. Available to buy here.

WritersElla Chadwick, Ry Gavin, Chris Saunders
StylistLucy Parker
Beauty EditorMarco Antonio
Hair EditorNick Irwin using SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL Session Label and WAHL professional styling tools
Photography AssistantsOlly Dundas, Bethan Evans, Alex Heron, Marcus Lister, Chelsea Nawanga
Fashion AssistantEmily Gleeson
Hair AssistantsMax Andreas, Tia Feels PRODUCER Sarah Stanbury
Digital ArtworkTrue Black Studio