Khalid Livingston speaks on Afropunk, Wellness, Tastemakers, and Music for Maren Journal.

 
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Words by

Khalid Livingston

Name: Khalid

Current City: Brooklyn, New York

Hometown: Clinton, Maryland

Currently Reading: Brother to Brother edited by Essex Hemphill

On Identity and Work: 

"I identify as a black queer first-generation Jamaican-American from the DMV area. Professionally I’m a project manager and social-entrepreneur. My job is to define goals, identify resources and execute strategies for select business to consumer industries. I have done work for music festivals, chefs, artists, musicians, snack brands, non-profits, and startups."

"To this date, the biggest project I’ve worked on that changed my life and perception of my industry has been AFROPUNK. When I first started working for them in 2012, I was 21-years-old managing their street team, volunteer program and social media platforms. When I left in 2014, I was still doing that for them in addition to event production, booking talent, sales management, writing content and program development for various partnerships. It was one of those jobs were I became completely emotionally and physically invested into the work, but even more into the people who experienced it. And because I was privileged enough to work closely with the owners, I was given direct insight into the many nuances of running a community-driven business. I really challenged myself there, and it opened up others doors for me. The biggest lesson I learned while there was the importance of self-care, not balance. You accept that the work is never done and build your avenues of wellness within it."

 

On His Start:

"I spent my summers interning at global television networks and private institutions while pursuing my degree in public relations and psychology from Hampton University. I thought I wanted to work in advertising. But after taking on various roles of interest, I learned that my most transferable skill is organizing. I see the bigger picture and thrive in multidisciplinary environments."

 


On Tastemakers:

"There are definitely people and things that inspire me, but I’m very self-assured in the decisions I make for my life. Without being morbid, my relationship with death is what motivates me the most. Everything ends and starts at death. And because I do not know when that moment will be for anyone, I genuinely try to be honest with others and myself about all aspects of my time here. Life is too precious for the bullshit, and I value my mental health."

/ A curated list :

1. Kimberly Drew, the social media manager of the MET and founder of the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art

I’m a stan for Kim. She’s a wellness-warrior, and her work within the digital and art space is critical.

2. Shantell Martin, contemporary artist and collaborator

Shantell is an entity, and one of the hardest working people I have ever worked with. Her work is a self-reflective meditation of lines.

3. Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker and Co. Brands

Tristan inspired me to pursue social-entrepreneurship within the tech world. His visibility changed the trajectory of my life.

4. Pheonix RuachShaddai. curator, traveler and tech-enthusiast

Pheonix is one of my closest friends. Her outlook is inspiring and her work is thoughtful.

5. Venus X, DJ and founder of GHE20G0TH1K

Venus X was my introduction to the sub-cultures of new york city nightlife. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her work and identity.

On Music:

I’ve been following these artists since the early starts of their public career. Some of them are good friends of mine. Their music has set a tone throughout my life for years.

1.     Cakes Da Killa – Keep It Goin’

2.     Goldlink – Palm Trees

3.     KAMAU – Mint

4.     Kevin Abstract – Echo

5.     Serpentwithfeet – four ethers

 

 

 

shot by Levi Walton for Maren Journal

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