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Shooting The Breeze: With Raphael Jeroma-Williams

The following is a piece based around an email chain discussion between myself and Raph Jeroma-Williams. I've stylized it in such a way that it takes on a conversational tone as opposed to a back and forth Q&A. I hope you like it. 

Before we go on, I just wanted to highlight that working on something like this makes me feel super grateful. Raph is someone I've always looked up to, and continue to do so. Raph is... effortless. He continues to improve his biker skills, appears to not have slowed down since I've known him for over a decade, takes life in his stride not becoming perturbed by that within his influence or otherwise. He's the kind of guy that says alot without saying much, literally and metaphorically. I think this is a cool ass trait in a world obsessed with extracting and shouting opinions, being the loudest and zaniest to 'stand out'. 

From a LUXBMX perspective, we couldn't be more stoked to have Raph representing us, he understands BMX, lives it, breathes it and is totally open to sharing his BMX experience with young and old, professional and amateur. 

All photos in this piece are taken and provided by madness man Jerry V. Cheers boys. 

Raph and long-time associate Jerry Vandervalk have been busy chipping away on a shared project based entirely around transition and bank spots. I asked Raph to offer a bit of insight into the projects conception and how it's been going so far. 

I would have to say we have been filming for about a year and a half so far, working on a split part based around transition spots as opposed to the tricks. Man, it’s getting harder and harder to find more haha. We have been scoping out pools too but they are a tricky one. We found a lot of empty ones but the household is not so empty haha! The search continues.

We have had a few run in’s with security at this Southbank spot, been there nearly 5 times now. We want to hit it at night but it’s a bit of a hot spot for loved up couples enjoying the lights and tranquil sounds, but hopefully we can get a chance to film soon. I mean we have filmed there during the day but at night it would look that much better. 

Raph at an incredible spot, something that comes along once in a blue moon. Can't wait to see this clip

While the split part project will be shot on Raph's durable as hell Sony VX warriors, the dude mentioned that he is also branching out to incorporate a HD rig (Panasonic HPX250) as part of his setup. It's funny to think that not that long ago, all the dope filmers had these and now its rapidly progressed to the point that you barely see them now. I checked in with Raph about what this might mean for the VX setup. 

Yeah man when you think about it, the HPX 250 is also an old camera these days. It’s so hard to keep up with all the new technology that's coming out. I got a good deal on one and thought I would slowly go HD. And no I’m not phasing out the VX. I’ve been thinking about going HD for a while now, so when this came up I jumped on it. I do wish Sony would bring out an updated version of the VX that was HD but the same camera same look just crispy and no tapes haha. It won’t happen, but would be sick. 

Yeah I feel ya on the seizing up factor, I feel like the heads get dry and it gets super glitchy when they have been sitting around too long. They just need a bit of love from time to time.

In chatting about cameras/projects, Raph mentioned plans to film with Harrison Fuller - the latest TMPRD recruit. Despite not having met the bloke myself, what better way to link up then to work on a video project together. 

Pretty keen to get started on this. We have been talking about this for a little while with Chris Harrison at Triple 6. But I’m waiting to get this new camera first. Harrison's a rad dude, bumped into him a few times around the place, should be fun watching him roast trails and bowls!

Above and below - what is quickly becoming an infamous Brisbane DIY spot, Raph leaving his mark on the joint

For those who don't know, Raph is a qualified electrician, has been for some time. I always find it interesting to understand the other sides of dudes lives, seeing as the majority of one's week is not BMX. How's the work side of things going for you lately? 

Ah work is ok, just started with a new company a few months ago and it's at a pretty busy stage at the moment. All in all, it’s going good. Pays the bills.

Can you give a little insight into how you've been finding working on some LUX projects, in particular the current video with Big Salad? Any particular clips that you're psyched on? 

I love working on any BMX project, especially when it’s with LUX mainly because all I have to do is just ride or what ever haha. The LUX guys have a vision for what they want, it’s always of high quality, gets me stoked and fuels the inspiration for ideas. With Bigs, I feel we have a good relationship when it comes to the filming side of things. We both know how we want it to look and what needs to be achieved to get the clip. We have both been on either side of the camera and I feel like it gives you a better awareness of what needs to be done. Also we both nerd out on the latest skate videos and camera stuff.

To be honest I can’t really remember too many of the clips, I feel like we have kinda just started. But what I’m stoked on is that most of the clips are on unusual spots or places no one has really touched too much. I’ve got a lot of spots in mind that I wanna tick off the list, we'll see if I can get around to them.

I also have a VX edit pretty much done with all the clips I filmed while Fabi (Fabian Bader) was in town. But as you know, you always want more stuff but I don’t think I have that in me with all the other projects, so might just have to settle with it haha.

Pandemic graffiti spot, haven't seen this pipe before

Completely different spot to the above, with Raph assuming a very similar position with the graf background. Northside dam overflow

Damn dude, you have a bunch of projects on the go. I could never handle more than one, I wasn't able to produce enough to do multiple videos and I loved to hyper focus my efforts into one project. I tend to do that in life haha.

I definitely have a few projects on the go. I'm still hoping to film some more clips with Bigs soon and keep that project going. It definitely feels good not having to worry about the filming side of it and just let Bigs work his magic.

Guess that’s why I’m a jack of all trades and master of none haha.

Raph and I share a love for music, coming from a similar place in having a taste shaped by early 2000s BMX videos and of course, skating which is an evergreen influence. He is also a dude I think of when I hear something that fits the Raph aesthetic, then taking the step of sharing - which is something that brings me great satisfaction. I asked Raph about what he has been listening to lately, any new finds? 

Music wise I've been all over the shop from classic stoner doom to 70’s/80’s rock, then dark-wave stuff to lo-fi techno beats haha. I just let the Spotify algorithm feed me until It comes time to finding a song then I start searching deep. It takes sooo much time as you would know!

While you tide yourself over in receipt of the forthcoming Raph videos, let's take a look at some classics - through to contemporary hits.