Julius Stukes Jr. Speaks on Being Multi-Talented, Current Creative Inspirations, His Series ‘Hello, White People’, The Growth of Visual Content and More.

Having a variety of different talents can be a handful and time-consuming. When you combine that with the fast pace social media era it feels like you’re constantly working and trying to find another way to entice your following. Sometimes it’s not as fun as it seems but Julius has been able to make it work and as always, he is keeping his fans intrigued and entertained. It seems like there’s nothing he can’t do. From podcasting to acting to directing to even creating widespread memes, Mr. Stukes is solidifying his name in pretty much any lane he can maneuver himself into.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Julius to talk about his creative inspirations, the success of his viral memes, his newly launched Hello, White People series, and much more in our interview below.

1 – You wear a lot of hats such as comedian, photographer, film editor, director, podcaster, actor and so on. What inspired you to be this creative?

I get bored. I love challenging myself to do different things I see as fun and interesting. I also love having power and I believe that the more power you have as a creative, the more you are valued as a creative.

2 – How did you get your start in the industry?

I did everything for free. People love free. I started out shooting live events and music videos for my best friend, ReQ Cartier, but then I fell into a depression because I didn’t like my work so I stopped. I then started creating graphics, picked photography back up, started hosting events, creating events and so on and so on.

3 – Did you always see yourself being multi-talented and having your hand in everything?

NOPE. I left NYC to attend college, Shaw University, in Raleigh, NC to pursue a degree in Education. Even when I was a photographer in school, I only saw photography as my only talent.

4 – You do involve yourself in a lot so I know it’s probably hard to focus on one thing. Which one of your talents are you looking to expand for this year?

I would love to expand my writing. Everybody knows me as the guy for visuals, events, and memes. I have a fear being boxed in.

5 – I know it may be hard for people to focus on the brand of Julius being that it’s so extensive. How would you explain the brand?

Fun and for the people.

6 – You recently started a series called Hello, White People. How did you manage to come up with that?

White people have been embarrassing us black folk on TV since the beginning of the thought of TV. I want to fix that. My goal is to embarrass every white person in America and then the world, while they do my job for me. They created blackface; I have created Hello, White People.

7 – You’re about to start a new series in May called Rappity Rap Raps. Without giving too much away, explain what the basics of this series is about?

Rappers showing off.

8 – In your opinion, why do you think visual content has become so important today?

People love seeing things, more than hearing about it. To see it is to believe it. Listening to your favorite rapper give an interview is cool, but seeing them on a visual screen is even cooler. That is why The Breakfast Club is doing so well.

 

9 – What is your creative process like when putting together a new series or shooting something like your previous 31 Days of Appreciation series? In other words, what’s that initial first step?

Everyone is different. Me? I thrive off of recreating things from white folk, but I add seasoning to it. I come up with a title while doing the graphics and then I use my resources. I learned a lot of the cultural appropriators. To be as rich as the enemy, you must learn from the enemy.

10 – A lot of the memes that you created went viral on social media and we still see people using them today. Which meme went viral first and which one is your personal favorite?

The meme of me in the grey sweatsuit with my hands on my hips went viral first. It was very funny because prior to it going viral, I had that pic for a year. I have a favorite but it will be released later this year. I don’t want to say too much.

11 – In a world where visual content is constantly flowing, how do you manage to stay inspired? Where are you currently drawing your inspiration from?

I am inspired by Elvis, Gucci, Urban Outfitters, Kardashians, Miley Cyrus, White gays and other white folk/organizations that have stolen from my culture. The difference between me and them? I add seasoning to it, with my own original style. The real inspiration comes from Jameer Pond, Cleverly Chloe, Combat Jack, DJ Miss Milan, Issa Rae, Junae Brown and much more!

12 – You mentioned the part of your brand that you’ll be expanding for 2018 but which one these talents do you actually enjoy doing the most. Why?

Every year is different. Last year, I loved creating events and hosting them. This year, I love producing content. It’s a big power thrill. I love power. “Unlimited power” – Emperor  Palpatine.

13 – What were some struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to really get your name out there as this multi-talented person?

People believing in me and giving me a chance. Nobody wanted to work with me or give me a chance. Even to this day. People would know who I am but not what I do. They would say “I am proud of you” and “keep grinding”. They don’t even know what I do. They can SMD (I’ll keep it PG). That “keep grinding” sh*t is annoying.

14 – You’ve been a part of so many different projects. Which one would you say is your favorite? Why? What did you learn from it?

So far this year, it’s been #ReekRants. I have an opportunity to give someone a platform. Someone not popular and someone not named me. My net worth lies in my network. People would rather move up the ladder with a big name rather the person who supports you. I hate them *insert very bad word*.

15 – What’s the biggest piece of advice anyone has given to you about life or your craft?

“It’s bigger than you”

16 – Any big plans for 2018?

Not be depressed.

 

 

Christian Royce Speaks on Photography/Videography Inspirations, Working and Touring with Dej Loaf, The Launch of His New Brand ‘JETLAG’D’ and More.

It takes a lot of work to be a photographer, videographer, and/or director. Not only can it be it be extremely time consuming but you also have to have an amazing eye for capturing moments. Although every photographer, videographer, and/or director have their own way of capturing moments, the quality of the visual has to have a distinct meaning behind it. Like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Using his family, work ethic, and a strong connection to one of music’s dopest acts as his inspiration, Christian Royce has been able to expand his talents in the visual department and grow his name to become one of the best-emerging visualizers in the tri-state area.

I caught up with Christian to talk about his grind in becoming one of the best at what he does, the pros and cons of being in the industry, connecting and traveling with Dej Loaf, the launch of his new company and more.

1 – How did you get into doing photography/videography?

I got into photography and videography at a very young age because of my grandfather. He taught me the ins and outs of cameras and how to work them. Ever since then I combined my love of photography and videography with my love for music and it’s been history ever since.

2 – Growing up, what did you use as your source of inspiration?

My source of inspiration comes from my father. He always seemed to make something out of nothing. Growing up and seeing that showed me that anything we want in life is obtainable and nothing is impossible. I took that lesson and used it in my creative process, I feel any vision a creative has can come to fruition through hard work and self-discipline.

3 – At what point did you realize that doing photography/videography is something you wanted to pursue?

I always knew from the first time I picked up a camera it would be a hobby of mine for the rest of my life. But it was my freshman year of college at Central Connecticut State University that I realized I wanted it to be more than just a hobby. I met somebody who I would call a mentor named Anthony Valentine and he basically told me “if your going to do something then do it, but just don’t do it because you like it. Do it to be the best that ever did it.” From that point on I started taking my craft very seriously and come my sophomore year I dropped out of college to pursue my career as a director and videographer.

4 – What was the first paid photography/videography gig you did?

My first paid job was in high school I’ll never forget it. I made $150 for a music video. To me at the time, it was the best thing ever. Now, I’m making fairly way more but to always think that’s where I started always humbles me and makes me thankful for the road I’ve taken to get to where I am now.

5 – I did an interview with Brea Simone recently. She mentioned that getting ahead of the curve on social media is was helped her get her name out there despite the misconception of Connecticut. What was your strategy in the early stages of building your name?

I always felt like people connect better with someone’s work when they can connect to the person as an individual. So I made sure I always showed my personality through social media because when people see the real you, it builds their interest and makes somebody that more excited to want to see the work you put out.

6 – For someone like yourself who constantly has to provide visual content, did you think it was challenging to stay ahead of the photography curve as far as emerging photographers in the tri-state?

To be honest, I always believed in quality over quantity. So I never felt the need to flood my page with any kind of content to make sure I posted every day. I more so made sure I was at the right events capturing the right people and giving people something to look at that they wouldn’t necessarily see every day.

7 – In your opinion, what are some pros and cons of doing photography? What about directing and videography?

When it comes to photography the only con I can say is that when you’re upcoming, if you haven’t built your name up or you don’t have a relationship with the person your working with it’s sometimes hard to receive credit on your own work. As for videography and directing it’s easier to get your credit but sometimes depending on the work you produce or the field you are in, it is harder to get jobs.

8 – Over the course of 2017 you did a lot of traveling and catching shots of everyone and everything while on the road. One person that comes to mind is Def Loaf. How did that link up happen?

So I met Dej Loaf at an event in Connecticut called HOT JAM, hosted by our local radio station Hot 93.7. I was there working with a very talented artist named ANoyd who was an opener that day for the concert and I had noticed Dej did not have a cameraman. So, me being the outgoing person I am haha I just went up to her road manager showed him some of my work and was like do you mind if I shoot a recap video for Dej Loaf, and he said: “yeah go for it.” So after the show, I went home edited her recap video and sent it in that night. Then about 2 weeks later they asked me to film her in NYC at a genius event, remind you all of this was last minute but when u want something in life you gotta go get it because life waits on no one. But all I can say is I went to NYC did my thing and then next thing I know I’m catching flights state to state traveling in sprinters day to day doing what I love and getting paid for it.

9 – What was the experience like of being on the road and traveling with a mainstream artist?

The experience at first is definitely surreal, it’s a different lifestyle something I wish everyone could experience at some point in their lives.  It’s very fast pace but relaxed at the same time, you really don’t have to worry about much and the vibes are amazing. I tend to stay to myself even on the road because I hate the spotlight but it almost seems like you have a small portion of the world in the palm of your hands. The only thing is that it does get very tiring with the traveling and all but it’s worth it for sure.

10 – You recently launched your media platform, Jet Lag’d. You stated on your Instagram post that you came up with the name because you travel and work a lot. Explain some of the basics of the brand. What are you looking to achieve with it?

I’m not gonna really go into detail on my brand JETLAG’D just because I’m still building it up, but I eventually want to be able to break new musical artist and other creatives through this platform and build a team of dope visionaries around it. I also want to provide dope content all done in house by the JETLAG’D team.

11 – You’ve done so much over the course of the last 12 months. Which project and/or person did you enjoy working with the most? What did you learn from it?

Dej has really played a huge role in my life as far as showing me how the industry works. But I’ve also been working with a lot of upcoming artist like Leeky Bandz, Rayla, Deeno Ape, Trauma, David Lee and others, and they are my favorite to work with. I know a lot of people would love to work with a mainstream artist but being able to work with an upcoming artist who you truly believe in and help them build their brand and image is one of the best feelings I could ever feel.

12 – What’s next for Christian Royce?

The world will have to wait and see! Just be ready and know I won’t disappoint.

I Told You Tour – Irving Plaza, NYC

Irving Plaza was a madhouse Friday Dec 9th for the I Told You Tour. Fans lined up to see Jacquees and Tory Lanez, the versatile artist who brings more than enough energy and enthusiasm to his performances. I got a chance to kick it backstage with Jacquees before he came out for his set. I was able to snap a few pictures of him solo and one with Shaggy. Shortly after, he hit the stage to perform some of his well know records such as “B.E.D.”, “Bounce”, “Hot Girl” , “New Wave” and “Body Right”. He kept the crowd entertained with his singing and dancing and then concluded his set with “Persian Rugs” and “Set It Off”

Tory Lanez then made his way to the stage and opened up his set with “Makaveli”, his intro from his mixtape The New Toronto. The rapper/singer continued to showcase an intense level of energy by jumping over the front bannister and crowd surfing. His set played on as he performed his “Controlla” remix, “Say It” which is the first single from his debut album and “Lord Knows.” In true Tory Lanez fashion, he climbed up the balcony bannister and entertained the crowd while hanging upside down. He used this to close out his show in which he performed “Diego” and “Litty.”

This was my first time ever seeing Tory Lanez perform. He performed at Made In America but i missed him. He performed too early, i think me and my girl were still be sleep. I can say that he is extremely energetic and enthusiastic. He was on 100 his entire set and that right there is always a plus. His crowd involvement as far as the crowd surfing and climbing up the balcony is insane. I’ve seen a lot of great shows and performers/performances this year and i think Tory Lanez is definitely up there on my list as far as great shows go.

Check out some of the pictures and videos below.

Video cred : @IrvingPlaza and @Tati_Kalaha

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Who needs a stage, tbh? @torylanez

A post shared by Irving Plaza (@irvingplaza) on

Todd Patrick : Sip & Shop NYC

Last night in NYC Desyree Nicole, creative director of the luxury menswear line Todd Patrick, put together an amazing Sip & Shop event for the new influencers and those who love fashion. It was my first time ever meeting Desyree and from what I saw she’s a very energetic and enthusiastic person. She seems to feed off of great vibes and conversational people. More importantly she’s in love with fashion. It shows in her work. I had the opportunity to briefly speak with Desyree and I asked her how did she come up with the name Todd Patrick. She answered by saying “Todd Patrick is my little brothers name. The brand is inspired by him.”

Those who attended this Sip & Shop event had the pleasure of enjoying an open bar, a great crowd and a few racks where the new Todd Patrick collection hung. All of the attendees also had the opportunity to purchase any of the products from the new Todd Patrick collection. This collection consisted of some great contemporary Fall/Winter pieces. Fall really came faster than we thought and after last nights weather, Todd Patrick’s new bomber coats, hoodies and denim jackets will definitely be worth a pick up!

Congrats to Desyree and the entire Todd Patrick team! May you continue to flourish.

Check out the Todd Patrick website and make sure to pick up some pieces! ToddPatrick.us

 

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SET L.E.S

For the past few months my girlfriend and I have been trying to use Sunday’s as our day to research new places to have brunch. That’s when I came across an interesting post via Twitter. It was a picture of a waffle and chicken skewer. It was screen shot picture from Instagram and whoever took the pic put the location on so you were able to see where they were. The location said SET L.E.S. That waffle and chicken skewer looked delicious so I had to look this place up! The menu looked amazing and the location seemed as if it was very chill. If you’ve ever been to the Lower East Side then you know what I mean. That particular area of the city is very laid back with a good variety of clubs for having fun. It also has this slight artsy side to it. SET L.E.S is right in the middle of that off the F/M train on Ludlow.

The first thing we noticed the moment we got there is the “suicide windows”. For those who don’t know what I mean just think of a Rolls Royce and how the doors open outward opposite each other. The ambiance of the restaurant was calm with dim lighting and the playlist consisted of nothing but Future and Drake. When 1PM came around that’s when you noticed the change. SET L.E.S. then became an environment for raving fantasy football fans.

After I ordered my Corona and my girl ordered her mimosa, we decided it was time to eat. Their specials menu included some great choices of food. She ordered the Aged Angus Sliders with Bacon and Caramelized Onions and a side of Waffle Fries. I ordered the Breakfast Tacos with Scrambled Eggs, Italian Sausage, Bacon Bits, Tater Tots, Cheese and Chipotle Mayo. Those breakfast tacos were honestly the best breakfast tacos I’ve ever had considering the fact that this was my first time actually eating a breakfast taco (haha).

All in all, everything about SET L.E.S. was amazing. I’ll definitely recommend this spot to anyone who considers themselves a foodie.

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Saint Pablo Tour : MSG Night 2

If you’ve never been to a Kanye West show then you are definitely missing out! Last night in NYC at Madison Square Garden which was night 2 of his MSG show, he did one hell of a job. This was my first time seeing him in concert and after all of the tours he had in the past, I’m highly upset that I have never been to one. The Saint Pablo Tour was one of the most if not the most entertaining show I’ve seen from any artist in music today. As simple as it may have seemed from videos and pictures, it was very original and of course very “Kanye” like.

He harnesses himself to a mini stage as it hangs and hovers above the crowd of fans. The stage also moves back and forth above the crowd with a dozen flashing lights underneath it looking like some sort of UFO. If you are not a Kanye fan then this show definitely wasn’t for you. There were no guest appearances and no breaks. Just Kanye rocking out for 1 hour and 30mins straight. The energy was at a ridiculously high level. Aside from other celebs like Drake and Future who obviously have a firm chokehold on the music industry, Kanye has and still will continue to prove that he has this generation of hypebeasts by the reins.

Check out some of my pics below.

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