Airial Clark: Sex Positive Parent, Educator

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Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Airial: I’m originally from Sacramento, and have lived in the Bay for 7 years.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Airial: Three years ago I decided to focus my writing on sex, sexuality, parenting and societal norms. I’m in the second year of my MA in Sexuality Studies at SF State. I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve always been an advocate for healthy and safe explorations in sexuality, it just wasn’t until I turned 30 and my sons’ hit the tweens that I combined them.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Airial: From other parents mostly. I spend a lot of time listening for what folks are afraid to say to their children. I see how easy it is for us to transfer our own anxieties to our kids. I want everyone to be protected, educated and supported in their sexual development, so that starts with parents being empowered in their role as the primary sex educator in their child’s life.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Airial: I bought two albums at Tower records for my 7th birthday: Tina Turner’s Private Dancer and Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Airial: “The strict dichotomies of mind and body, soul and matter, free will and nature – polarities so precious to Western philosophy and theology—have been exposed as conveniences for the repression of desire and the slander of the body.” –Rex Weil

http://airial.wordpress.com/

Angelina Quasha: HipHop Historian

Angelphoto by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Angel: I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Been living here in the bay area for 10 years now.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Angel: I feel like I have always been on my own creative path. I just do what makes me happy. Thats the true formula. Nurture your skills.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Angel: I find my inspiration in life. Hip Hop. Everyday triumphs & struggles.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Angel: The first record I ever purchased was Spandau Ballet “True” 😉;)

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Angel: “In this journey you’re the journal I’m the journalist Am I eternal or an eternalist?” -RAKIM

Jern Eye: HipHop MC, 1/3 of Lunar Heights

Jern Eyephoto by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Jern: I grew up in L.A., but have lived in Oakland since November 99′. It’s definitely become my home, and I’ve been blessed that folks in the town have accepted me as one of it’s own. I can foresee spending the rest of my life here, less I move to some place cool like Paris or Tokyo.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Jern: I started rapping in 91′ but didn’t take it serious until High School. Then in my senior year in 96′ I met Sizwe, whom I started Lunar Heights with. He was a big reason I made my move to Oakland in 99′. During that time there was a huge creative movement between us, a few painters, poets, and this Hip-Hop band named Mission: who are now known as Crown City Rockers. Making rap songs with real musicians really helped with developing my musicality, and being efficient in the studio.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Jern: Inspiration changes all the time. I’d like to think my music reflects where I am in life, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I haven’t had much output in the last few years since my 09′ release “Vision”, but I’ve been really enjoying doing other things like riding and racing my bicycle, writing short poems, cooking, and hiking. I’ve found the more detached I am from music, the more I have to offer when it comes down to creating it. I’m not too worried about having high output like most artists are, because I’m happy with the quality of songs I’m writing at this time.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Jern: The very first Hip Hop record I purchased on my own was RUN D.M.C. “Raising Hell”. I still have that too. Prior to that there were a few records that were handed down to me from older DJ friends, and eventually started digging on my own.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Jern: To everyone who’s supported my music, whether it was Lunar Heights or solo shit, thank you! I’ve met and worked with some amazing people, and have done some pretty cool shit up to this point, so I’m grateful to the Universe for it. I could only strive to be the best me, and hope folks connect with that frequency. Forward ever.

www.twitter.com/jerneye
http://bmxboyz.tumblr.com/
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/vision/id332417227

Afele Ulualofaiga Coleman: DJ Activist

photo by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Afele: I consider myself a Bay Area Native because I lived most of my Life here.. pretty much since I was a baby, mostly in SF, Bayshore and Geneva all day.. but I was born in Torrance,CA.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Afele: I feel like I was set on this path since birth. As far as really finding my voice and using my words/music/other kinds of art to express myself (and to express my gratitude for the Growth I have found within my Life) I am really just beginning.. with new eyes and a new found fearlessness that only comes from overcoming certain trials and tribulations. Love is the foundation.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Afele: It could be in my baby nieces smile or a quiet conversation with one of my closest aunties; in my Polynesian Roots, nature, struggles or within my Sisters and Brothers; it could be a night out with my cousins, at family gatherings or a spontaneous conversation with a stranger… The Bay Area! Meeting and connecting with people such as yourself is always a Blessing and very inspirational.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Afele: hmmm… wow! Its been a long time since then, dang I can’t even remember and I don’t have too much of a vinyl collection but the first record I ended up scratching the hell out of as a kid, on my regular ass turntables,was my Uncles copy of the “Do The Right Thing” soundtrack. lol!! I used to try my best to cut that thang up and emulate what I heard on the radio.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Afele: I Love all of my Family! I Love that God never gave up on me and has set me on a path that I am still getting used to. I am truly grateful for all the wonderful people that I have been meeting and connecting with, and for the opportunities for Growth that come with that. I wasn’t always so unafraid to express myself but I hope that whoever reads this will find their voice and the courage to express themselves from their Heart. My ultimate goal in Life is to buy my Mom a house… yup, not rent. Its time to connect and be a positive influence on each other… encourage each other to grow and progress and let Love and compassion be the foundation. Together, We can! One last thing: I want to share an old Samoan proverb that has become one of my favorites, “We are moved by Love but never driven by intimidation.” OneLove!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Samoan-Solutions/131322913600154?sk=info

Mike Tyau: Muralist, Photographer, Graphic Designer

BAMphoto by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Bam: I was born & raised in Honolulu, Hawaii but moved to SF after high school to go to art school. I lived temporarily in LA for 2 years to hook up with my wife, but I’ve lived in the Yay Area for 23 years. Trip out that it’s been over half my life in the beautiful Bay Area!

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Bam: Many friends of mine have told me that I was born to be an artist & have the innate ability to do art (draw & paint anything the eye can see or apply the aesthetics of good design). I went to the Academy of Art with Estria. He majored in Illustration & I majored in Graphic Design in the 80’s. I stopped doing graffiti back in the early 90’s to “grow up” and work in the videogame industry. However, after becoming a project manager & working a desk job for 6 years, Estria brought me back to the game in ’06 to help me back on my true love for painting graffiti art. Since then, every free moment I have, I paint.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Bam: Besides sharing graffiti art with my graffiti fraternity brothers, I’m inspired by everyday life. A ladybug crawling up my sleeve, a bird soaring across the sky, talking to female friends about what their favorite colors are. The dance of Malia Movement! After doing computer graphics for 10 years, I am inspired by good lighting and color…because with out light, we are all in the darkness. It was not until I met a bunch of friends from Pixar and started doing photography that I understood that controlling light in my art sets the tone of how people feel. Besides the content of what you paint, it helps to know a lot about lighting & color.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Bam: I think my first piece of vinyl was either the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, Mantronix Needle to the Groove or Rap Raplinger’s Poi Dog (Hawaiian comedian). Kids out there have to understand the background that when we were young, we all didn’t have our own individual iPods or Walkmans. My brother, sister & I had to share a record player & 1 cassettle player. Since I am the youngest of 3 siblings, my oldest brother had dibs on what was played on a record player 1st. He listened to the Beatles, Led Zepplin, Johnny Cash & the Eagles and introduced me to “Classic Rock.” My sister was next, so she played disco records of Andy Gibb, the BeeGees and Shawn Cassidy. Later in the evening was when I got to play my records of “New Wave” music, heavy metal & comedy.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Bam: You know a person is from Hawaii when the interview is over and they say “all pau!” Mahalo for the interview!

http://miketyau.com

Mini Interview with DJ Toks

toksToks Ajike: Reggae/House DJ, shown here with DJ Henroc

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Toks: I’m not from the Bay Area, though I’ve been here for 20 years. I grew up in Nigeria.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Toks: at age 12 , when I would go pick records with my Dad, from Ojays to Bob Marley.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Toks: from creative minds, selfless and like minded humble people.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Toks: good question, hmmmmm, I believe it was a Donny Hathaway record.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Toks: be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity- Horace Mann

Franklin Cartagena: Artist, Educator, Screen Printer

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Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Franklin: Bay Area born and raised. I was born in San Francisco and moved to West Oakland a few months after the 89′ Earthquake. Been in the same neighborhood since.

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Franklin:  I started in 2001, I was in high school and hanging out with the wrong crowd. My friends father figured i needed some guidance referred and me to a gang prevention/youth entrepreneurship program in the Mission, it was called Estudio Oillin. I started off learning how to make jewelry and to be a silver smith. A few months into it they built a silk screen studio in the back, the idea of printing shirts and poster piqued my interest and I transitioned into Screen Printing …. it was written from there on out. I also had dope ass instructors that made me want to come back. I ended up getting hired there and started to help teach classes to the younger knuckleheads in the program.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Franklin:  I find my inspiration in my neighborhood/City. West Oakland Inspires me so much, the history, the people, the music, the struggle, the community. Home inspires me!

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Franklin: My first Piece of Vinyl ever purchased was Cymande’s self Titled album.The wasn’t my first vinyl though lol. My first vinyl ever was given to me and it was Lateef The Truth Speakers single The Wreckoning. His manager used to rent the apartment below us and had a box of them and he was gonna throw them away, I hella swooped on it.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Franklin: We are taking Oakland back!