An Interview with Eunice Olumide MBE

Find out what supermodel Eunice Olumide MBE is watching on Marquee TV.

Eunice Olumide MBE is a real-life creative superhero. Not only is she an international supermodel, she’s an art curator, filmmaker, actress, presenter, environmentalist, activist, and a champion for Black voices in the arts. For her, there is little separation between her work as a creative and her work as an activist.

Born in Scotland to Nigerian parents, Eunice’s journey from growing up in a council state to an international supermodel has given her a unique perspective on art and success. “I really believe that human beings often innovate out of necessity… I do think that if you’re in a situation where it’s sink or swim, you’re more likely to push yourself to innovate and create.” Her unique perspective on art and experience as a multitalented creative have made her a sought-after curator in the art world. We asked Eunice to share her unique perspective by curating a collection of titles on Marquee TV.

“This particular collection of work has a sense of warmth, texture, and gravity that touches the spirit and uplifts the soul. Each title has a remarkable ability to bring a transformative feeling of emotion and groundedness, which I feel is incredibly important, particularly at a time of great instability.”

Julian Joseph Plays Gershwin


“What instantly grabs you is the beauty of the first note as the orchestra tunes their instruments; the room is instantly electrified as the conductor walks onto the stage.”

Julian Joseph OBE, is a London-born jazz musician who has earned a reputation as one of the great jazz musicians outside of the U.S. But his living legacy goes far beyond serenading audiences with his masterful melodies and innovative rhythms. He is a passionate musical ambassador, cultural advocate, and founder of the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy – an organization that offers young musicians and vocalists the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading jazz musicians.

In this beautiful concert, Julian Joseph joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra for a jazz-inspired program featuring Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue.

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From the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, Julian Joseph Plays Gershwin 

Something that stood out to Eunice was his free-spirited improvisation. “Although perfect, there is a free-flowing movement about his execution which causes the listener to feel as if it is something organic and spontaneous. The feeling of the music being written is lost and you become completely submerged in the moment, as he begins to play even more emphatically there is a true passion and true emotion. ”

Ella Fitzgerald: Best of the BBC Vaults


“From the opening scene until the end, each appearance in this archival concert is bound together by the magnificence and grace of Ella Fitzgerald.”

Ella Fitzgerald’s story is famously one of hardship and injustice. She faced constant racial discrimination while on tour, despite being a beloved household voice for many. In one blatant instance, she was arrested in her dressing room after a concert in 1955; when she arrived at the police station, the officers asked for her autograph.

For Eunice, Ella’s story strikes a chord, “I see that a lot of the time, there is a big omission of women, particularly Black women… When I think about Ella Fitzgerald and all those artists of the time, I feel a lot of pain and suffering. Most of the time, they didn’t get the treatment they deserved or fair payment, but their music was so inspirational.”

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From Ella Fitzgerald: Best of the BBC Vaults 

This collection of concerts opens with two shows from 1965 and ends with a 1974 performance at London’s famous Ronnie Scott’s. “The sheer brilliance of her vocals and utter commitment to the work is always breathtaking. She frequently changes gear to keep the audience engaged. Sometimes you see the glint of something sad but truly visceral, so much so that you become lost in her huge ballads. Her music is a journey of emotions and feelings, happiness, and sadness. It’s a vibration. And what I love most about it, is her commitment to leaving the audience feeling happy as she moves through blues into swing. ‘’

Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music


“Perhaps my favorite thing about this documentary is the opening scene- a modern cosmopolitan montage of images that, to me, represents the organic, free, style that Gregory Porter is known for. It demonstrates his genius as an artist and performer – it’s all about the dance between himself and his band and using that to create the musical sound.”

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From the documentary Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music 

If you aren’t already familiar with Gregory Porter – the Grammy award-winning American jazz and blues singer, with a voice of gold and a heart to match- today is your lucky day. Gregory began singing in childhood but didn’t achieve commercial success until his 40s. Notoriously gracious, soft-spoken, and kind, Gregory’s early life was one of adversity and resilience. Today, Gregory is celebrated as one of America’s greatest jazz musicians. This heartwarming portrait of the singer is told by Gregory and the artists, producers, and family members who know and love him best. For Eunice, this window into Gregory’s early life stuck with her.

“He describes his home life – a truly intimate look into his reality. The impact of the physical and mental racial abuse he endured as one of two Black families in the area. They were constantly attacked; people would do things such as throw bottles of urine through their windows, and his brother was murdered on his way back from work. It’s his mother’s unwavering commitment and dedication to them, her total and utter washing away of pain and suffering using love… she instilled in them, that they were so much more.

As the documentary unfolds, you get a window into the heart of Gregory as an artist. It was very clear that he was an artist who really had to work hard for his place and history to be respected, and to be able to do what he was clearly born to do.

With Gregory Porter, you don’t think that this kind of thing still happens, you know. People look at the media and see what they think is diversity and representation, but diversity and representation are not a Black face in front of the camera; it’s a difference of ideas. I can identify with that because I’ve faced the same challenges in my own life.”

Kusama Infinity


“One of the things that is so brilliant about Kusama as an artist, and about this particular documentary, is this concept of infinity. As an art curator, I see that many artists strive for their work to live beyond – or indeed outlive them – to be noted in history and to make their mark.”

Yayoi Kusama fought for her work to be recognized. Born in 1930s Japan, Kusama always wanted to be an artist. For her, art was not only a therapeutic release from her psychological struggles but also a way to understand and connect with the world around her. Despite the odds, Kusama’s unfailing belief in her art has led her to become one of the most successful artists of the 21st century. You can learn more about Kusama’s story in our article, 4 Artists Who Shook Up the Art World.

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From the documentary Kusama: Infinity 

This documentary gives a fascinating insight into Kusama’s inspiring path to success, overcoming the disadvantages she faced as a woman in a patriarchal society, as an immigrant, and as someone who struggles openly with her psychological health.

“True pioneers… are othered and excluded, and at the same time their ideas, their work, and what they bring, are so unique that it’s often imitated by those in possession of power, space, and a platform. This documentary does an incredible job of highlighting just how visceral and painful her journey was, how she fought and dedicated her entire life to the arts, while only experiencing rejection.”

Amy Winehouse


“This is a unique and specific portrait of what is often unseen and what lies beneath the facade of fame and fortune.”

Amy Winehouse’s life was marked by personal turmoil.  Blending concert footage with exclusive interviews, this fascinating documentary/performance looks back at a unique appearance Amy made at Ireland’s annual Other Voices Festival, painting an intimate portrait of the singer.

“In her interviews with John Kelly, she pays homage to a variety of Black artists including Mahalia Jackson, Carleen Anderson, Minnie Riperton, and Thelonious Monk. She goes into detail about her influences, grounded largely in Afro-centric gospel, and jazz, and shares how much of the Black female singers’ music was so ‘pure’ because it was about worship rather than performing or commercial success.”

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From the documentary Amy Winehouse: Other Voices

This film celebrates Amy as more than just the troubled person the media often portrays her to be. She was a student of jazz and a kind spirit, who graciously paid tribute to those who came before her, using her fame to refocus the spotlight on the Greats.

Frida Kahlo


“This in-depth documentary attempts to negotiate the intense, and private, life and works of the illustrious Frida Kahlo.”

Frida Kahlo is one of the most revered artists of the 20th century. Her surrealist art and feminist messages continue to inspire today, but like so many innovative artists, she didn’t receive the recognition and respect she deserved in her lifetime. Frida’s story of tragedy and heartbreak is almost as famous as her art. Suffering debilitating illnesses and injuries throughout her life left Kahlo to reflect deeply on themes of life, womanhood, identity, and death. Themes which she would channel into her beautiful artwork. Her tumultuous relationship with artist Diego Rivera not only filled her life with heartbreak, but his fame overshadowed Kahlo’s own brilliant work. She remained largely unknown until the 1970s, nearly two decades after her death.

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From the documentary Frida Kahlo 

This film takes a close look at some of Frida’s most famous pieces, including The Two Fridas, Henry Ford Hospital, and of course her famous portraits, and unearths the artist’s letters, to give insight into the life and legacy of the artist. “This particular documentary gives viewers the opportunity to understand, and indeed appreciate, a more rounded arc of Frida’s experience as an artist, with a fascinating focus on her love life and her as a woman…It is truly a thing of passion, vibration, and color and to a certain extent a critique, an exploration into the wild nature of her fiercely intense representation of womanhood.”

In a world where diversity and representation are still challenges, Eunice’s advocacy, both as an artist and an activist, reminds us of the transformative power of art and the importance of amplifying diverse voices in the creative industry.  Watch all of Eunice’s inspiring selections, and so much more, on Marquee TV.  

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