My story isn’t much different from a lot of people in this world and I take pride in that. I enjoy having similarities and talking about commonalities and where I’ve learned to create differences allow me to excel as a creative in 2016. In all, I’m all for acceptance, building, and self-love.
I am from Los Angeles, California with family in Florida, Jamaica, and Belize. I was raised in a Christian household and we stayed grounded by the love of my Grandmother Gwendolyn Flagg. I have many family members and extended family that have been supportive of me since I was young.
I graduated from Arizona State with a B.A in English Creative Writing (Poetry) and a minor Philosophy in 2014. I’ve been into writing since I was about 12 or 13. I began to take writing poetry seriously during my freshman year of high school. From there I just tried to find ways to mesh my love for writing and my appreciation for music. I am currently in Audio Engineering School in Mesa, Ariz. I own and operate a lifestyle brand by the name of I Am Root Co, and it is a collective of individuals with the mission to inspire all of mankind by restoring often-omitted traditions copyright 2015. We look to connect and build our communities through events, workshops, and productions. In my spare time I do freelance photography, I enjoy making short films, or reading some good non-fiction books.
With all of the introductory stuff out of the way, the biggest challenge that I am facing is occurring at this very moment. It is something that I wake up to every morning and it’s there for bed. My battle essentially is being able to understand who I am, who God wants me to be, and how that person fits in to the reality of the situations that I’ve created for myself today. This exists in my social life, artistic career, and professional endeavors.Where is the value in the way that I differ as an artist or even as person?
It has been a very long journey for me and I know that I have a ways to go in my craft.I may not fully understand the magnitude of the impact that I want to have in this world. But I am willing to continue to learn and build with other people that I share space and time with.I’ve been into music since I was about ten, originally just making beats on some basic DAWs, then it was drum lessons at 13 or 14, took a few failed jabs at piano at 16. I wanted to rap for an extended period of time, picked up guitar in college, and then started to perform my poetry. My love for art stems from my childhood, inspired by all of the greats (the list never ends). At times I am very hard on myself, because the way I rehearse in my bedroom or in the shower, is not always the way the pieces come out on stage.
I feel like this is an area of concern that many of us have, in terms of just understanding and appreciating our individuality and having confidence behind who we are as individuals. Like the example I used for me, in private or among close family I can be more open and vulnerable, but in a room full of people, I may lack the emotional intensity or passion needed to get my point across successfully (at times). Amid our everyday lone battles, we may not have the answers to restrain our frustrations, but we can learn from each other because as humans we share a lot of the same kinds of issues. I learn from other artists who have been where I am now and ones who are in the fight with me. Having that creative energy around is definitely a positive thing. I believe that the answers I need will come in time, with experience, a solid work ethic, and a lot of prayer. Living in accordance to God’s plan and timing will allow my life and the important parts of it to become much more easy to access as I grow.
Currently, I am still learning to love myself fully and appreciate my worth as a person and as an artist. I know that just continuing to put time in and finding ways to deliver works that provoke thought and field connection will bring me closer to working through my flaws. I never want to feel like I am just spinning my wheels artistically, I aspire to take everything to the next level: in my life, in the lives of my friends, family, and anyone willing to be uplifted.
Photos by Bryann Fraser