You're from NYC. What brought you out to live in LA?
I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Rockaway Beach, Queens. I made my way to the City of Angels nine years ago. I moved to LA originally for the movies but I stayed because there was so much to discover about myself and I feel the West Coast embraced my energy in a way that I would never want to leave.
What inspired your art as a youth and does your inspiration often change?
When I was younger my mom took me to all the museums in New York City. The Natural History Museum and the MoMA had a great impact. She is a cool mom and says such poetic, cool things to me, like, "Where do you think you got the colors from?” [Laughs].
How do you get the opportunities to be working with high-fashion brands like Saint Laurent and Mercedes Benz and then working with Stance, and what advice would you give to a young artist who is up and coming today?
Do the work. Do it everyday and share it! I go to the studio on the daily and make something. Sometimes it resonates with everyone. Sometimes it only makes sense to me. Both kinds are the good kind. Make a list of the people you want to work with and put it into action. Reach out to them, come up with new ideas and do not stop imagining. It also helps to have family who believe in you and with more believers, comes more power in the dream. My manager, Lisa Falcone, manifests strong. And my homie Neran knew I would be a perfect fit for STANCE, no pun intended.
You are going to find a certain kind of happiness in not looking at the hours, but looking at what is in front of your face. Always pour yourself into your work. No one can be you. You have lived things no one has. Play your instrument your style. Tell us about it in a way we will never forget. Stay in the light; let a hater love you. Don’t think twice. Just keep creating
JAY-Z or Nas?
That might just be the hardest question ever. [Laughs]. I will say that it was so dope that I got the chance to paint with Nas at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston for Rolling Stone and Benz, and he is the truth! Whenever I put on my Mets hat I think of him. But right now JAY-Z is all that I’m bumping in the studio and on my drives through the city right now. He reminds me to be GREAT and do GREAT things.