Support the Artist: Kihmberlie

SUPPORT THE ARTIST

Meet Kihmberlie

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The girl in front & behind the camera” -Kihmberlie’s bio.

& she’s not lying. She gives precise & detailed descriptions on how she comes up with most of her looks.

So how did we discover this creative genius?

As with most superstars that we bring to you; browsing the internet.

Kihberlie is an unsigned model…for now & if you ask us, any fashion house would be lucky to scoop this creative genuis up.

Fenty, what’s up?

So what make’s Kihberlie so special?

…So special, so special, so special. LOL

Not only does she make her own set; gathering props from anything in her grandfather’s closet to random household knicknacks. Kihmberlie also takes most of her pictures, relying on the help of a self timer & ladders when neccesary. With this, & a whole lot of creativity, she creates magical imagery.

The shoot below was inspired by a long saved Pinterest photo. But unlike the rest of us Kihmberlie actually followed through & executed it. She was able to get those angles by tapping her phone to the ceiling, & setting a automatic timer.

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This other look down below, was inspired by Kihmberlie’s desire to look like a plant in a Terrarium.

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Rocking her savagexfenty, she was able to achieve this look through the help of flowers from Michaels, a pool ball from Walmart, her mum & power inverter with some major hiccups you can read more about on her instagram post. What was important was she didn’t give up. Else, we would have never been able to witness this art.

Don’t give up on yourself.

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Kihmberlie is based in California.

You can book her by contacting her at Kihm.berlie@gmail.com. Kihmberlie inspires us because she takes initiative to follow her dreams & actively shows us, sometimes, you just need a little imagination.

WE TOLD YOU

Sure, you’re mainstream but we want you in the know!

Support the Artist: Steve Lacy

SUPPORT THE ARTIST

Meet Steve Lacy 

shot by Tyler Mitchel for i-d

Steve Lacy is definitely a gem & if you’ve been sleeping on him; you’re just in luck! On time to put yourself on because his official debut album is out in 9 days!!!

Literally.

Next week Friday.

Now, you may already know him for being the youngest member of music band; The Internet but Steve Lacy is a multi-faceted king.

Gabby – The Internet ft. Janelle Monae was a beat made by this young king with his iPhone 7 & GarageBand

Palace/Curse – The Internet ft. Steve Lacy & Tyler The Creator is another one of Steve’s iPhone 7.

Steve Lacy is brillant; & he has a TED Talk on how he used the bare minimum; his iPhone 7 & some simple instruments to get into rooms with equipment he intially couldn’t afford.

Through beats made on Steve‘s iPhone 7 he became a 16-year-old grammy nominated artist. Beats made off of Steve‘s iPhone got him on the likes of J-cole, Kendrick Lamar & Solange‘s radar.

He calls it “the bare maximum”. & although he has access to all the high tech equipment he could ever need, Steve Lacy still produced  some songs on his 2017 Ep titled Steve Lacy’s Demo; on an iPhone, in the studio with his guitar under a candlelight.

Talk about setting the mood!

Looks – Steve Lacy is the first song off his demo. & it gives very Daft Punk-esque vibes mix up with all the Funk. Throw on Ryd – Steve Lacy ; perfect soundtrack for a long drive… & all other riding purposes alike.

Steve Lacy makes music for lovers. Dark Red – Steve Lacy is him professing his love a girl as he is about to be a victim of unrequited love. He voice is a beautiful soulful low register. & you can hear the simplicity in some of Steve Lacy’s beats as you get engulfed in his voice.

Fun fact: Steve Lacy is a Gemini. Not sure what this means for his music but on Haterlovin – Steve Lacy he repeats this lyric “just as much as I love you, I hate you” -on brand- over & over again to the strum of his guitar, making what sounds like a low tempo early 2000’s boy band rock group.
The good stuff.

One listen to Some – Steve Lacy would show the listener this man’s an old soul. So funkadelic; makes you want to go in a picnic date with the love of your life. At very end Steve show’s his vocal ability, belting high pitched note reminiscent of Robin Thicke.

Steve Lacy‘s Demo was a concise, solid body of work & all the songs could be married with one another due to its seamless transitions.

This could be why the California-native only made one visual to depict RYD/Dark Red; which by the way, he also produced using Garage band.

Heavy on the Gemini energy! Steve Lacy categorized his Demo as R&B/Soul.

He recently dropped a single titled; N-Side – Steve Lacy

this song sounds like milk

his melodies can impregnate a man

some feedback chosen at random.

Lyrics like “don’t need no approval girl you valid” assure the listener Steve Lacy would take anyone’s significant other with smooth lines & the perfect strums of his guitar.

Think we’re kidding?

Put it on replay. We dare you.

Steve Lacy has been slept on since his 2015 single; C U Girl – Steve Lacy. He proved his range & vocal ability; giving the listener 90s R&B & longing lyrics that would have the listener reminscing about their nonexistent belle or beau.

You’ll love to hear it.

Stream his debut album; Apollo XXI next week!

Support the artist.

Just remember #WhoToldYou

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Apollo XXI coming May 24!!!!! here’s the cover(s)

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WE TOLD YOU

Sure, you’re mainstream but we want you in the know!

Tech Talk: Everette Taylor X ArtX

This week we will be introducing you to an African-American entrepreneur called a “millennial marketing genius” by Forbes & a marketing maven by Fortune magazine. Only the beginning of his accolades.

Everette Taylors’s career began at the young and tender age of 19. After starting an event marketing software company; a company he eventually sold 2 years later.

#FirstExit

After this success, Taylor took a leave of absence from Virginia Tech and relocated to Los Angeles, California, to serve as vice president of marketing at since acquired software company Qualaroo.

He was just getting started!

Since then Everette, has founded: GrowthHackers; an online growth hacking community with a mission to help companies ignite sustainable growth. Millisense; a marketing firm using data driven digital marketing to grow companies and brands. PopSocial; social media software company founded in 2016, with over $2 million in revenue within its first year.

Everette Taylor has been recruited by many heavy hitting companies in technology, from being named Marketing Officer at online printing giant Stickermule, to doing growth strategy work for Microsoft, as well as serving as Chief Marketing Officer for on-demand car rental delivery company Skurt; since acquired by Fair. Taylor’s time and attention is in demand.

Aside from being termed a  “visionary businessman” by The Huffington Post, & “an innovator changing the consumer marketing game” by Black Enterprise. Everette has also secured his place on the Forbes 30 under 30. No brakes on this machine, Everette also sits on The Root 100 most influential African Americans list.

Now let’s dive into Taylor’s latest endeavor: ArtX.

ArtX is positioned to disrupt the art world. Why does the art world need disruption you ask? With headlines like: High-end art is one of the most manipulated markets in the world; & Do You Have to Be Rich to Make It as an Artist?, it is clear what’s been going on for quite some time in the art world. In an industry where artists are constantly being forced to justify their existence, social prejudice is hard at work as another layer of opposition.

How the art game works:

  • An Artist will usually spend massive amounts of time working with a medium of choice; water colors, charcoal, acrylic, clay, recycled plastics or even animals preserved in formaldehyde. After the artist has gained a mastery for the medium, said artist may create a piece or collection of pieces to then share with the public.
  • Traditionally this is when the artist will link up with a curator. A good creator has developed relationships with gallery/ display spaces & a rolodex of clientele & knowledge of their specific taste.
  • This is more or less the go to market strategy for many Artists.
  • Artists produce the product; Curators sell the product; Galleries/ display spaces serve as the physical location for these transactions to take place.

Now let’s review this process with a bit more realism.

  • An Artist will have to create time in an already fast paced world to develop and refine their art. Said artist will also have to purchase or acquire whatever materials needed in the creation of their art. Limited funds = Limited materials = limits
  • After creating a piece or collection of pieces, the artist will usually contact a curator to assist them in showcasing their work. Curators charge a percentage for every piece of art sold. This means, an artist success often depends on the quality of Curator they have access to. The better the Curator the better the access -to gallery spaces and art collectors-, the better the access, the more a curator can charge for every sale.

It’s not what you create, it’s who displays is, & where its displayed. 

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. 

We can easily project how things may work for an artist with affluent means. They usually have easier access to supplies, curators, & galleries. A look at any institutional art gallery will show the names accredited to the creation of these pieces are those of extremely wealthy producers.

Where does that leave creatives living in other varieties of circumstance? Thankfully there is now:

ArtX

ArtX is composed of three branches: Media Platform, Software/ Technology Solutions, & Community Development.

Media Platform

As a media platform, Artx.net; will serve as a virtual gallery space for artist to share their creations, connect or collaborate with other artist, meet curators and collectors. Artx.net is also positioned to destroy the “exclusive” connotation the art world currently holds so dearly. Making art inclusive is a pillar to the vision Everette has for Artx & the culture as a whole.

Software/ Technology Solutions

The ability to easily scale from 10 users to 10,000 users is what makes the software as a service so valuable to our society. There are often conversations in the tech world about how an app, or program has made tools exclusive to the rich accessible to anyone with a computer and internet connection. The whole; “you have a computer in your pocket more powerful than the computers first used to send astronauts into orbit” sort of thing. ArtX is proud to offer paid and free software tools created specifically for artist, in such a disenfranchised space. Through ArtX Amplify artist and creators alike are given access to the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This tool will allow artist to promote their work like never before. A virtual curator of sorts that will help artist find their niche, grow social followings, & better target collectors.

Community

“I see it as a community first above everything. We want to give back to the art community, rather than taking from it”

Everette Taylor

The community branch of ArtX will assist artist financially. Scholarships launching soon will give artist much need support for studio space, art supplies, or travel to art related events around the globe. The goal is to create an ecosystem of local art events, exposing people to various art collections while providing space for artist to showcase and sell their work.

“I want people, specifically the black community, to realize how important it is to invest back into our creativity and artistry,” he said.

Everette Taylor

Talk about a solution!

We wish Everette Taylor, and ArtX much success in their journey to disrupt institutional art. This ends today’s Tech Talk. We leave you with this quote from Taylor:

People have to understand that art isn’t only something you can love and appreciate, but a way to invest and build generational wealth. Many people from marginalized and underrepresented communities haven’t had the opportunity to be educated. ArtX is going to change that. This is only Phase I of a much bigger plan,” 

Everette Taylor

Remember, #wetoldyou

Support the Artist: Lady Donli

SUPPORT THE ARTIST

Meet Lady Donli 

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Are you ready to fall into a trance?

A pleasant musical one that is.

Okay… let’s be real.

She was slept on; actively.

& you hate to see it.

Sometimes even the best ears fail the listener. One listen to Lady Donli – Cash will put things into correct perspective.

The listener falls into a blissful musical retreat.

If you so allow yourself.

Lady Donli has been up to it for a while. Having made waves in the Nigerian music industry like most #WhoToldYou artist, you could say she’s somewhat of renaissance woman. Signed to her own record label, writing her music for herself & others.

Lady Donli – Kashi Ni She classifies her music as Neo-Soul. However because her sound is so new & fresh, we would like to propose further even highlife vibes.

Some West-African seasoning if you will.

Quick Side Note

  • Highlife is a music genre originating from West Africa, present day Ghana.; in the early 20th century.
  • It spread to Nigeria; here mixed with the Yoruba people’s asymmetrical drum rhythms from traditional drumming practises & displaced-accent guitar melodies, transformed further.
  • The earliest form of highlife was performed by brass bands. In the early 20th century singing was incorporated, western instruments (western imperialism), local music styles & jazz. Highlife is said to be a cool combination of African, African-American & some European musical styles. So basically blackity black!

Phew!

Lady Donli says she has always been musically inclined; writing poetry since she can remember.

Oh!

& she also has a Law Degree!

Like most Nigerians –that can afford it-, fulfilling all righteousness to her parents first before chasing her own passions.

Fun fact!

She’s the 6th child out of 6 siblings in her household.

Lady Donli – Games (feat.GJtheCaesar) is another example of her versatility.

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Get ready to bop your head to the beat.

Her voice so distinctive, She sings with depth; almost like going under.

Don’t expect her to sing over predictable beats either cause she can flow on Techno/House -esque beats.

Lady Donli‘s instrumentals are never overpowering or over-saturated. You can follow every beat; not sure if this is intentional but however, it does make for an enjoyable listen. Ice Cream – Lady Donli Ft Tomi Thomas is one example.

We love her vibe & are so happy to have caught on.  Lady Donli is very on brand with her message of self acceptance. When you listen, you get the sense that she’s doing it for the thrill of it.

Lady Donli has released 2 EPs thus far; Wallflower (2016) & Letters To Her (2017). Fall into her vibe.

Lady Donli is that girl & she should know it, as she does describes herself as an “all-round creative human being” on her official website.

PeriodT

Support the artist by purchasing some merch!

P.S: She has an extremely cute bucket hat on there.

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An artist with a sense of humour?

We love to see it.

Another fun-personal fact; her birthname is Zainab.

Lady Donli‘s official debut album is titled ‘Enjoy Your Life’; cause that’s how she’s feeling.

& we love her vibe, & can’t wait.

just remember;

WhoToldYou.

remember,

WE TOLD YOU

Sure, you’re mainstream but we want you in the know!

Support the Artist: (H)afrocentric

SUPPORT THE ARTIST

Meet Naima Pepper 

(H)afrocentric
Photo : (H)afrocentric

Not to be dramatic but, this it probably the coolest thing you would find on the internet today! & albeit a collective effort; it was spearheaded by Juliana “Jewels” Smith.

You see Naima Pepper is a fictional character created by writer, cultural worker & educator Juliana Smith. Smith, who earned her B.A in Sociology from UC Riverside & M.A in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego, created (H)afrocentric as a way of connecting with her students (& all readers of the world) to challenge their preconceived notions on race, class, gender & sexuality. This is achieved through the dialogue between the characters in each comic strips.

If you want to know more about Juliana “Jewels” Smith & all the other awesome stuff she does click this link to her personal website! She has an online course you can take to teach you how to start & write your very own comic.

Now back to (H)afrocentric! Smith describes her comic as a feminist version of the popular & brutally honest show dear to our hearts; The Boondocks.

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Photo: (H) Afrocentic

(H)afrocentic follows the life of a disgruntled undergraduate students as they navigate Oakland’s Ronald Reagan University; which is fictional of course.

Naima Pepper is a self-proclaimed radical feminist who idolizes Angela Davis, one of her sheros. She has a white mother & a soapbox is her weapon of choice; she constantly imagines herself giving speeches.

Smith said she chose a soapbox for Naima Pepper as a lighthearted dig at activists like herself who can sometimes lean on to self-righteousness.

LOL ! We love anyone who can make a joke about themselves!

Oh & did we mention Naima Pepper has a fairy godmother who bears a striking resemblance to Fannie Lou Hamer.

The other characters inn the comic are Miles Pepper -Naima’s brother- , Kwame & Rahsaan, & Elizondo “El” Ramirez. Click this link for some in dept information on each character’s description.

“I wanted to create a world where black women were smart & thoughtful, but still given space to have contradiction” – Juliana “Jewels” Smith

As mentioned earlier (H)afrocentric is a joint effort.

So meet Ronald Nelson; the illustrator.

Robert Nelson –in his exact words– is responsible for creating the environment.

He creates the lightning, the background, the drawings on papers that help bring the story to life.

Particular about his work Robert Nelson says he prefers polished & clean looks. He purposefully portrays that in every comic strip. He works on each strip for 10 hours, spending 20 hours per page!

Robert Nelson put his personal signature & design in (H)afrocentic  through the very specific way he draws the hair on each of the characters. He achieves this look by giving their Afros unique shapes & presenting the textures in a distinctive way that fans would immediately know it’s an (H)afrocentric comic strip.

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Photo : (H)afrocentric

(H) afrocentric is informative, woke, funny & witty! With current cultural references & old educational ones you should know.

In 2016 they won the Glph award for (H)afrocentic Volume 4; which followed Naima Peppers trials & tribulations as an undergraduate student on the job hunt. One read & you’ll laugh, but understand exactly why this brilliant piece deserved an award.

Mike Hampton, a seasoned self-published comic book artist & writer, is responsible for the color & lettering.

You can sign up for weekly comic strips & view more comics on (H)afrocentric‘s Instagram page.

(H)afrocentric has been featured on popular publications like the HuffPost & Blavity. You can click this link to find more press on (H)afrocentric.

On hafrocentic.com you can purchase some collectors items of the comic strip, order physical copies & download digital ones. Smith said the execution of (H)afrocentric took six years!

Never give up on your dreams & follow your passion wisely.

because it’s hard being Afrocentic in an Eurocentic world

Make sure you purchase something from their store!

They even have cute tote bags, just in time for the summer!

Support the artist!

Just remeber #WhoToldYou

because;

WE TOLD YOU

Sure, you’re mainstream but we want you in the know!

Support the Artist: Dapo Adeola

SUPPORT THE ARTIST

Meet Dapo Adeola 

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Dapo Adeola know by many as; Dapsdraws is a self-taught Nigerian illustrator based in London.

In 2005, Dapo Adeola was finishing up his college pursuit of a degree in Graphic Design & Advertising. To his dismay, he discovered he wouldn’t be acing his dissertation; he needed to pass this in order to obtain his degree. The reason offered? His project was considered too much of an illustration & not graphic design. Discouraged, Dapo Adeola dropped out of college, he later found his way back to his passion for drawing by way of a couple online classes.

This was how he began his journey; uploading his illustrations onto the world-wide web.

Through this he met writer & actor; Nathan Bryon in 2010, working with him on a commissioned piece. Sorry, Dapsdraws no longer does commissions! However, Nathan & Dapo did keep in contact.

In 2015 Nathan –who already had an agent & management team-approached Dapo with an offer he couldn’t refuse; illustrating a book. The main character was initially written for a white boy but Dapo Adeola inspired by his boisterous nieces made some adjustments.

The main character was modeled after Sarah, his niece. Who Dapo describes as a bold, brave, curious & confident girl. Dapo focused on portraying these wonderful traits in the character instead of trying to figure out how the character would fit in the space predominately meant for white boys. & Rocket says “Look Up” was born.

A well-designed & fleshed out character can be put into near enough any situation”

Together, Dapo & Nathan got offers from nearly 14 major publishing companies.

They finally choose to settle in with the legendary Penguin Random House, with whom they signed a 3-book deal!

So what makes Dapo Adeola even more unbelievably cool?

He literally documented his step-by-step process in the endevour; he says most of his draft work was done using pencil & paper on his lightbox. He also includes his trails & tribulations like falling 5 months behind on deadlines!

Dapo never hid the fact that he was learning on the job but was thankful he seldom had to make huge changes when he received feedback from the designer & editor.

You cann directly read from him how he did it! Dapo Adeola made the knowledge readily available for anyone who cares to learn.

Dapo Adeola has now illustrated 2 books. His first, being The Last Last-Day-Of-Summer written by Lamar Giles.

He also has another on the way with author Tracey Baptiste in 2021. Dapsdraws has been featured on Buzzfeed & continues to be a gem necessary for the culture because representation matters. Most times what you see determines whether you truly have agency  to dream unfiltered & unabashedly freely.

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Hey guys, The new prints are in the house! 😁 A few people have already done this but this is just a quick one to let everyone know to preorder the artwork they want before the show if possible, as aside from preordered prints, I’ll only be carrying a few extra prints for sale with me on the night. If I sell out of what you want on the night, it’s still possible to order it online, you’ll just have to have it delivered to you instead of taking it home on the night. 😅 Go to 👉🏿👉🏿 www.dapsdraws.bigcartel.com 👈🏿👈🏿 to see the updated online store and make your orders. 🤓 Thanks in advance, look forward to seeing your faces on Tuesday. 😊🙌🏿 #dapsdrawsevents

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#WhoToldYou because;

remember,

WE TOLD YOU

Sure, you’re mainstream but we want you in the know!

Support the Artist: Marjory Yeko Jewitt

SUPPORT THE ARTIST

Meet Marjory Jewitt 

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According to Marjory, she has always had a knack for creativity. An Arts & Psychology major in college, she fell full on into the arts by simply; doodling in her spare time.

I have always been creative, or rather always had an eye for textures, color. During my degree I just started doodling & the doodles turned into these pieces I now do!”

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YEKO 2017

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Marjory stands out to us because although, this “afrocentric” style of drawing has become increasingly mainstream, she stays authentic & true to herself by studying directly from the sources of her inspiration.

Marjory is from Uganda –but based in London– she’s heavily influenced by her culture & it is expressed in her art. She also uses her culture as fuel to continue to learn & evolve in her creative style.

Yeko. Creative was born from Marjory’s bravery to explore her passion.

A lot of her pieces are in black & white;

Although she does add minimal color to projects.

The real awe & beauty is in the intricacy in each stroke of her lines.

Yeko Art is uplifting to the soul through the eyes. Any observer can see it’s intention of celebrating black women & black art.

I create as a form of self care, it is hugely carthartic to me. I don’t really plan when I draw, just sit and create.. what ever comes, comes.

& she pretty much utilizes any material as a canvas, panels, including the human body;

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Cowries. YEKO 2017.

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Yeko Art was invited to do just that; use the human body for a canvas, at the provocatively named Nyegenyege Fest.

Hosted by MTN, Nyegenyege Fest is considered the biggest international  music festival in Eastern Africa. The 4-day long camping festival located in Junga, Uganda is a one of a kind curation known for its unique afropolitan party vibe.

To support Yeko Art & Marjory Jewitt, you can purchase some cool merch.

What’s even better?

If there’s a specific piece of art you want on an item she could possibly make it happen.

She can also commission your tattoo art;

How cool is that?

Marjory Jewitt documents her journey in art on @yeko.creative ‘s instagram account.

In the highlights you can watch her verstility as an artist & have a peek into her creative process.

Support Yeko Art.

remember,

WE TOLD YOU

Sure, you’re mainstream but we want you in the know!