6 West Coast Creatives You Need To Know Right Now
In the words of the expressive poet, screenwriter, dancer, and countless other things, Maya Angelou, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Here at BEINGSINOUTERSPACE, we are firm believers that everyone is born a creator but some of us put this gift to use more than others. Just the sheer thought of a singer losing their ability to sing or a painter losing their ability to paint is enough to induce an anxiety attack. We would not be able to function as human beings without the power to create. For what is life without art, music, fashion, literature? Our lives would be lifeless. Without creativity, we would be void of the very thing we have been put on this planet to do.
So in our effort to celebrate creativity, we rounded up six individuals who not only have their hands in our culture but who are also establishing themselves as ambassadors of all things cool.
Vocalist, World Traveler, Community Builder, Entrepreneur, and, last but not least, DJ extraordinaire. Lady Ryan is all of these things and more. Closing in on 15 years as a professional DJ, the multifaceted Lady Ryan continues to represent hard for the ladies in a heavily male-dominated industry. With her effortless ability to mix soul, hip-hop, afrobeats, deep house, you name it, Ryan draws crowds as diverse as her musical taste. A trusted authority in the queer community, she is one of the founding members of the groundbreaking Soulovely who focus on building an energetic and safe space for LGBTQ folks to socialize in the name of positivity and solidarity right in her home turf of Oakland, California. She is also a part of the Peaches crew, an all-woman lineup of DJs who are extremely gifted in their own right.
Lady Ryan’s vibrant style and gift for tapping into the latest cultural movements have led her to share the stage with the likes of the legendary king of funk George Clinton, the genre-bending Anderson. Paak, and the rebellious Princess Nokia just to mention a few. She has also collaborated with big-name brands including NIKE, Facebook, and Red Bull. In addition to being a featured headliner at SF Pride since 2012.
Ryan is a champion at fostering community and represents the truest meaning of diversity and inclusion in a world where division is more profitable than unity. Her love for music, life, and people enlightens every space she enters and her future is brighter than ever.
Lady Ryan’s essence is a vibe all its own. Do yourself a favor and catch it.
When it comes to starting a fashion brand from scratch there is arguably no one better to equip you with everything you need to know as you embark on your mission than the Clothing Brand Mentor himself, Jon Phenom. A student of the streetwear game since its heydays in the mid-90s, Jon has spent part of his 20-year career in the industry lending his creative director talents to street and skate mainstays by the likes of BLVD Supply, Matix, and Ezekiel, as well as curating merch offerings for both artists and festivals.
Reporting live from his home turf in Southern California, the versatile veteran Jon Phenom breaks down the ins and outs of the fashion industry by providing up-to-date strategies and techniques through his personalized online design and marketing courses on Clothing Brand Academy. As one of the premier authorities on the subject of fashion, Jon has amassed a substantial following on his YouTube channel where he takes us behind the scenes as he works with some of the most impressive creatives in the space giving viewers even further insight into what it takes to push your brand from an idea to quite possibly becoming the next Supreme. And if this isn’t impressive already, his resume also includes being invited as a featured speaker on the topic at Google, DesignerCon, and many other platforms.
With all this free game at your fingertips, we think it’s a good idea for you to grab pen and paper to take notes.
We first encountered the Los Angeles bred Artist/DJ/Designer The Plush One back in 2016 on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Downtown Oakland at one of our go-to spots for music. Lucky for us, Plush just happened to be one of the 3 featured DJs that day. She instantly intrigued us with the ease of her jammin’ out an hour-long set of old-school grooves and classic hip-hop bops. Did we mention that her set was all vinyl, reminiscent of DJ sets in the 80s and 90s and a rarity in today’s music scene?
Right after her jam session was complete she immediately hopped off the decks to set up her pop-up shop where she sold unique handcrafted pieces of art, jewelry, and merch to the attendees.
Whether The Plush One is behind the DJ booth or the merch booth her presence exudes a down-to-earth soulfulness that follows whether she shares her gifts in LA or The Bay. Her community-first mindset has led her to curate workshops and showcase regional talents on various platforms including Queens Block, a monthly video expose for artists, DJs, emcees, and more. Doing her part to focus on giving women of color and black and brown LGBTQ community their flowers.
For The Plush One it’s evident that it’s not about doing it yourself it’s about doing it together. A motto we all need to live by.
Beats By The Pond
If DJ Mr. Lucky’s name sounds familiar, it’s because this sought-after Bay Area DJ has been putting on for the West Coast for close to two decades with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. As a founding member of the flavorful Sazon Libre and the I&I Vibration crews, Mr. Lucky delivers his gift of blending different genres of music from old school RnB and hip-hop to trap and soca without missing a beat (pun intended).
Falling in love with music at a young age, Lucky channeled his passion for the medium as a singer and musician into his twenties. His calling would eventually lead him to become not only a renowned DJ but also a music producer and event promoter. And did you know when DJ Mr. Lucky is not rocking crowds he is the Music Curator for Pandora Media’s Reggae and Caribbean music division? He works alongside some of today’s top stars such as Koffee, Mr. Eazi, Estelle, and Afro B.
However, I think one of the most inspiring things about DJ Mr. Lucky is how he connects cultures and breaks down boundaries with the power of music, whether he is on the 1s and 2s at one of his jammed-packed residencies or calling the plays from his boardroom chair. Isn’t that what a DJ is supposed to do?
Sidebar: If you are ever in the Oakland area make sure to catch him at Au Lounge. Trust us, you won’t regret it. Just google Sean Paul video 2000s to give you a good idea of what to expect.
Swiss Army Knife
Jason Robinson, also known as Distinguis’d Jason, is arguably one of the most underrated people in the fashion game today. The Entrepreneur, Fashion Designer, Stylist, and Model with roots in both Northern and Southern California represents everything that is uniquely cool about street culture and street fashion in particular. The man behind the vivid Los Angeles media and lifestyle brand Distinguis’d Minds is the embodiment of Jason’s style and personality and has been a featured brand at popular events among the streetwear scene including Trapxart, Complexcon, and Agenda.
Distinguish’d Jason illustrates the present and the future. A space and time in which folks have decided they will no longer be confined to one homogenous box and are determined to free themselves from the grasp of the status quo and flip off what is considered acceptable in the world of fashion and design. We are all multifaceted individuals at the core, so why can’t we be both a business owner and an influencer? Or a creative director and a designer?
As Distinguish’d Jason continues to grow in popularity alongside his lifestyle brand, his mere existence will break down the traditional mold in the fashion space. In turn, he brings with him more black creativity and more diversity and for that we are grateful.
Distinguish’d Jason is exactly what the fashion game’s been missing.
Lights, Camera, Action
It must be something in this West Coast air because we keep getting blessed with these triple and quadruple threats. Allow me to introduce someone who you should be paying close attention to if you haven’t been already, the multidimensional Kiddwithacamera (aka biggkiddlittleworld). Now, don’t let the name fool you. At only 20 something years old this Photographer/Model/Event Curator/DJ has tapped into the fearlessness and independence of today’s generation which is depicted not just when he is in front or behind the camera but also behind the booth. His ability to embrace and push all aspects of his artistic expression seamlessly is probably his greatest asset.
Honing his skills in San Francisco for the past few years eventually led him to LA to further his multiple professions. As Kidd’s name continues to ring in these West Coast streets he is opening new doors for members of the Black Queer and Trans community in art, music, and fashion which are often shunned by the mainstream and passed over for their Caucasian counterparts.
In response to the inequity, Kidd established Reunion, a monthly party started in San Francisco to provide the aforementioned groups a space to congregate and connect in the name of love and freedom while showcasing some of today’s well-known and up and coming DJs and performers. This event’s growing popularity has led to a second residency opening up in the Los Angeles area this summer. Reunion is Kidd’s way of giving back to the people that inspire him.
With everything Kiddwithacamera has going for him it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Showing our support to African American, Latinx and Asian creatives in our communities is vital not just right now but always. From Fashion Designers to DJs, Photographers, and Promoters these creatives use their love for arts and culture to help heal and unite the masses through their respective platforms. Make sure you return the love by supporting each of their movements and keep up to date with what they have going on via their Instagram.
We hope you are inspired by the list of creatives on our side of the globe that inspire us. One last thing we want to leave you with…never stop creating.
Let’s take a look at the book Powernomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America by Dr. Claud Anderson who emphasizes the importance of education, politics, resources, and economics to rebuild and uplift the Black community.
St. Patrick’s Day 2020 marked the last time I stepped into my cubicle in Berkeley, California, shared a meal with a co-worker, or cracked jokes about our day as we walked to our cars after our shift was over. And, the honest truth is, I don’t miss it.
It’s been 3 years since the idea of starting a blog aimed at sharing my love of street culture, music, and fashion in addition to detailing my entrepreneurship journey popped into my head. Has it been worth it?