Interview: Laila Woozeer on Tape Parade, Quizcats, and Wonderful Female Writers

12:00 pm



Laila's blog, Tape Parade, is another of those that came into my radar when I first discovered the blogging world. Her images and words pulled me in, and I found myself constantly checking her page for new posts to appear...she even had her own bookmark! All of these years on, she's still doing wonderful things: writing about politics, the environment, vegan life, and women's rights, as well as making music and performing with Quizcats. Keep reading to find out more about her writing inspirations and live band karaoke nights!

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Laila! First of all for any readers who don’t know your background, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are today?

Laila Woozeer:
Hi! No problem, thanks for asking me! Of course. I live in London, and my background is in music, although my work today is a combination of writing, performing, organising events, and lots of other bits and pieces. I’ve been freelance for about six years and I live in North London with four boys, various dogs, a rescue snake, a gecko, and a giant snail.

Magic & Musings:
When did you first get into blogging? Was there something that drove you to write?

Laila Woozeer:
Weirdly, I actually started blogging to try and improve my photography - writing wasn’t part of the decision at all. I didn’t read many blogs, so I assumed all blogs were fashion blogs and photo-heavy. This seems so bizarre to me now as the photography is the least commented-on part of my blog!


Magic & Musings:
If you could describe your blog in three words, what would they be?

Laila Woozeer:
Varied, honest…. erm…. possibly low-key?! Content-wise I’d say green, travel and life.

Magic & Musings:
Did you have to overcome any self-confidence barriers in order to get to that place where you could share your words?

Laila Woozeer:
No, not at all. I’ve been writing since I was very young, and I have a lot of confidence in myself as a writer.


Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female-identifying or non-binary artists and their work. Which writers and bloggers, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look at when you need a spark of inspiration?

Laila Woozeer:
With writing, I find I can only take inspiration from other art forms, or else I end up either in a comparison spiral or just blatantly copying and sort of blandly regurgitating somebody else’s style. I find that sort of mentality is particularly prevalent in the blog world where a certain type of post will become a trend, and then 9/10 versions are written in the exact same tone. It can be hard not to get caught up in that, especially given the eternal race for views and whatever!

I read a lot and I do think the more you read, the better you write. My favourite writers include Zadie Smith, Melissa Nathan, Angela Carter, Donna Tartt, Tove Jansson, Toni Morrison, Karen Joy Fowler, Maya Angelou, Wendy Cope, Doris Lessing. All the usual suspects! Off the top of my head, UK bloggers that I feel have a very distinct tone would be Vix Meldrew and Jennie from Sailboat, both of whom I love.


Magic & Musings:
Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done, like a milky cup of tea or a particular playlist you listen to?

Laila Woozeer:
Not really - it’s more just mindset for me. Although tea is welcome at all times!

Magic & Musings:
Moving on a little, tell me about Quizcats! What is it and how did it come about?

Laila Woozeer:
Quizcats are a band who perform live band karaoke nights, crossed with a pub quiz. There’s normally a theme, such as animated films, 90s, or musicals. It started in 2014 - the first concert was really slapdash compared to how tight we are now, but people seemed to really enjoy it! It’s just grown from there really - we perform occasional public nights as well as for private events. It’s really fun, and the group of musicians we have are all mates, so I love being able to have the opportunity to work with them. I started it as I saw a gap in the market for that kind of event.


Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively? Are there any books on writing and creativity you would recommend to others?

Laila Woozeer:
For me, it’s more of a mindset issue - the ideas are constant and the 'stuck in a rut' bit is more a motivational block rather than a creative one. I’d recommend reading essay collections; authors commenting on other authors is a great way to help you analyse writing. Similarly, writers in conversation with other writers is always fascinating.

Magic & Musings:
How would you describe your relationship with social media?

Laila Woozeer:
Twitter is great. I love how multi-faceted it is and how simple it is to connect. Pinterest I’ve started to use more and I find it helpful for planning trips or collecting photography inspiration. Everything else I basically avoid! I absolutely detest Facebook, I just do not see the point of it at all. I’ve given up with Instagram and just accepted I will never be the person with 100k followers on a trip to the Bahamas. I’d rather sacrifice my chances of being a 'mainstream' blogger than have to spend 45 minutes constructing a flatlay and ordering my feed each week. I tried that, and I so resented using my time that way. I admire people that use Instagram; I think it’s great that it’s inspired people to be more creative, but at the same time… I’m happy to leave it for them.

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out blogging?

Laila Woozeer:
Promote your posts! Mine were just lingering around in cyberspace for about three years.

Magic & Musings:
Onto a fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you’ve enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Laila Woozeer:
I just finished re-reading The Passion Of New Eve by Angela Carter, which is a very progressive book considering it came out in the seventies. Angela Carter in general is a writer everybody needs to engage with at least once; she’s incomparable. Music-wise I’ve been listening to Solange’s 2009 release lately; I love charting the progression of an artist - it's inspiring!

Magic & Musings:
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work? What’s on the horizon for you in the next few months?

Laila Woozeer:
I’m on Twitter and Facebook as @tapeparade for blog stuff, or Facebook page Laila Woozeer for everything else. You can also follow Quizcats on social media, or at www.quizcats.com where we have a mailing list! I’ve also just launched my first ever professional website. Thank you so much!

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