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.

DJ Nolita Speaks on Building Her Brand, Tips for Being a Great DJ, Rolling Loud Festival, Touring with Bali Baby and More.

There are a lot of difficult professions when it comes to being a part of the music industry or being involved in event curation. The one position that is never overlooked though is being a DJ. When you think about it, pretty much every emerging or well-established artist has their personal DJ. Any music-related event you go to has multiple DJ’s who spin for a period of time. Although this may look like someone who’s just spinning records and shuffling a few songs on their Macbook, being a DJ actually takes a lot of talent and a wide range of music knowledge.

I had the chance to chop it up with DJ Nolita about her inspiration in becoming a DJ, some key factors in being a great DJ, staying consistent with social media, the pros and cons of being on the road and more in our interview below.

1 – What got you into DJ’ing?

I have an extensive branch of musicians in my family. I was going to school for fashion design and immediately realized I wanted to wear the garments and not make them. So I graduated high school with a fashion major and taught myself how to produce music and DJ in the process of preparing for my senior year graduation.

2 – Being a DJ obviously means you have a love for music. Was that always the case for you growing up?

Yes! Not to toot my own horn but I always felt like I had a good ear for music. I’d always play a song and just know and feel it in my heart that the audience I was playing for would enjoy whatever I pressed play on. In growing up with many musicians in my family I was introduced to music and the industry extremely early on. Spice Girls was my favorite movie growing up, around the time I could remember I lived in Queens with my mom who wasn’t around very often due to career choices and whoever came to visit myself and my babysitter at the time was subjected to watching spice girls at least 4 times before they left. I was 6.

3 – When were you able to get your first set of DJ equipment?

Luckily, my mom made sure I had all the equipment I needed as soon as I brought to her attention that DJing was something I seriously wanted to do. But my mother was always extremely supportive in anything I wanted to do, so any hobbies I ever told her I wanted to participate in or get into she would always make sure I had the proper materials to get myself started.

4 – Did you always see yourself pursuing this as a career? In other words, did you see this as something long-term or did you look at it as a hobby?

I did not. I thought I was going to be going to F.I.T or NYU obsessing over college papers and deadlines. I feel like I have a lot of balls kind of just going for my dreams and winging it because that’s a big risk, sort of like a gamble. Things are going pretty smooth though. Once I confirmed with myself that I loved the exploration of music, what I can do and how I can create my own to make people experience any emotion, I started to see it as more of something I could do long term.

5 – What was the first DJ gig you got? How did it happen?

I honestly don’t even remember. I do remember it being in the Lower East Side Manhattan, and my equipment at that time was really heavy.

6 – The road to recognition as far as being a DJ is a bit more different than most creative professions. How were you able to build your name up and get the looks you deserved?

I think a lot of the recognition I get as a DJ comes from not only my style, taste, aesthetic and respect for the arts but as well as the respect I was getting before I was a DJ. When I was a lot younger I was always like the lil hood princess or the little girl that everyone looked out for because they knew my family or people my family affiliated with. More on a creative side I think a lot of the recognition I get just comes from how I’ve grown my brand from dirt, how dedicated I am, driven and bossy. Everything has to go a certain way or be of a certain stature or I won’t attach my name to it and I take pride in enforcing that with any project I endure, any event I DJ etc.

7 – In your opinion, what are some key factors that make a great DJ?

Main key factor or little rule I try to stay on top of is to consistently, visually remind the people that I’m for them. It’s so many different aspects to being a DJ that I feel like often people get stuck in one realm and they forget that there are one million other categories that contribute to this one thing. What a lot of people don’t notice is that me specifically I’m doing 50 jobs at once to make sure whatever artist I’m on is going to get picked up by whomever we discussed. I’m playing A&R, I’m doing artist development, I’m setting up radio placement for artists, blog placement, making sure their music is getting promoted etc. A lot of DJ’s want to be the star. And that’s not our job. Like Yeah! it’s totally cool to be seen but what are you doing to contribute to good music getting where it needs to be? What can you do for an artist aside from getting them on one radio station or just putting their music in your mix? The most important factor is to make the music the star and the star the music.

8 – What are some things you struggled with in regards to building your name and craft?

I struggled mainly with getting the attention of the bigger brands I wanted to work with but realized that’s something that does happen with time. I learned pretty fast how to produce and DJ, and at the moment I felt comfortable I was jumping on the idea of working with corporate brands, not considering the fact that I still had to keep working on this new craft and it would all come in due time.

9 – You’re about to head out to Miami in May for the Rolling Loud Festival and do a set with Bali Baby as well as a full-blown tour with her. How did you manage to link up with her?

Yes! I’m extremely excited about the #PlayGirlWorldTour Bali and I linked through an A&R that wanted us to meet and catch a vibe because she needed a DJ. We immediately clicked and from that point on it was just like “come be my DJ for A3C.”

10 – You’re also about to DJ an upcoming event with the music publication Daily Chiefers on 4/20. How did you manage to link up with the site and make that happen?

I have no idea. They contacted my team and we made it happen. I’m extremely excited though. Myself, Smokers Club and Daily Chiefers have all been following each other for a minute now so it was only a matter of time before we set up the big link up ting.

11 – In your opinion, what do you think is a better experience – being a DJ and playing at a variety of different events or being on the road with a particular person and/or group? Why?

Definitely, love touring with a particular group/person but I would have to choose being a DJ and playing at a variety of different events simply because I started DJing for myself and not for anyone in particular. And tour gets tiring usually towards the end just being away from home so long and constantly being on the road in comparison to spinning at a variety of different events. I get to rage out and show people what I feel like pure genuine fun and happiness is like.

12 – Social media is crucial to building any name or brand. Although DJ’s offer a different type of service than most, how do you think a rising DJ should go about utilizing social media? What are some key tips?

I’m horrible at social media so I’m gonna give tips on what I think we should all do including myself. I would say stay extremely active and consistent with posts, and if you’re gonna go for it, go for it and don’t hold back. People often feel like they have to have X amount of numbers to achieve something and make it great and that’s not the case all, just be consistent and if this is your goal from jump stick with that goal. Be respectful and organized, communicate with people that may look up to you, be kind, mind your business always, don’t trip too much and if you have to think twice about posting it you probably shouldn’t post it.

13 – As a DJ, what has been the most important piece of advice anyone has given you?

Tuck all my cords so no one knocks my power out.

14 – What can DJ Nolita fans expect from you in this second quarter of 2018?

More new Music, more opportunities for artists to be heard, DJ Nolita Merchandise will be dropping soon, and the rest you’ll just have to get watch out for.

Henny Palooza : Coney Island 2016

What a great way to close out this summer! The traveling Henny Palooza squad came through with an outstanding list of special guests and presented Coney Island with a well needed turn up. This was my first Henny Palooza ever! If i ever wanted to go to a party so bad it was definitely a Henny Palooza one. I’ve heard so many great things about it from people who’ve attended before. They also threw one the weekend of Made In America in Philly. Of course I was looking forward to coming to the one in my home state of NY. It’s more than just a party though. It’s great vibes all around.

This particular Henny Palooza party was deemed to be the “best one yet”. I figured maybe it was because of the sick line up that they have been promoting on social media for weeks. They had Austin Millz spinning alongside legendary DJ and NY’s own Mister Cee and noted industry producer Just Blaze. How can you go wrong with this line up of DJ’s and some free Hennessy right? Well it gets better! Joe Budden popped up and hit the crowd with his old school classic “Pump It Up”. And if you follow music and pay attention to who’s on the rise right now, you should know one of the hottest songs out at the moment comes from an artist who reps Brooklyn hard. Young MA came through and closed out the show with her new single “Summer Story” and of course the smash that everyone knows “OOOUUU”. If you missed this Henny Palooza event you missed out on a great one.

Head over to their website HennyPalooza.com to check for upcoming events.

Also, check out some of the pics from Henny Palooza Coney Island taken by none other than Ravie B (@RavieB).

img_2240 img_2242img_2247img_2248img_2246img_2239img_2241img_2244img_2245