Posts tagged with "creative direction"

Page Kennedy illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Q×A with Page Kennedy

ACTOR & RAPPER PAGE KENNEDY JOINS 360 MAGAZINE FOR SOME Q&A

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

Page Kennedy is well known as a rapper and actor within our entertainment industry. Kennedy’s recent acting skills brought him to play “Duck” on Netflix’s “The Upshaws”, one of their newest series to hit streaming platforms starring alongside Kim Fields (Regina Upshaw), Mike Epps (Bennie Upshaw), and Wanda Skyes (Lucretia). He is also known for his roles in “Blue Mountain State”, “Weeds” and his comedic genius skits shared on Instagram and TikTok.

Kennedy’s self-titled album ‘Page’ was released in February 2021 featuring heavyweight rappers Xzibit and Method Man is available now on all streaming platforms – make sure you go check it out!

360 Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Page Kennedy where we discussed “The Upshaws”, his character ‘Duck’, music, and his fitness journey. We had an amazing conversation about his media roles, the love for Eminem, and also found out that we both favor Cardi B because of the way she represents herself: “Cardi B makes me feel like I know her”, said Kennedy.

Read on to hear about our conversation with Page!

Your Netflix series, “The Upshaws”, came out today- how do you feel about working with it?

PK: I love it, you know I was a part of it, and I still watch the series multiple times. I can’t get tired of it. I can just go to any episode and watch it- it has so many great jokes and the characters are diverse, and they bring their own style, energy and creativity. I think it’s the funniest show on TV.

How is it working with the cast?

PK: Working with the cast is great. You know, you got legends there. You’ve got Kim Fields, the ultimate foremost legend, Mike Epps who is a comic genius, Wanda Skyes- comic genius. They are good people, and everybody is happy to be here, so it makes it fun.

Do you feel that you have any similar traits to your character Duck within yourself?

PK: I’ve been asked that question and, let me see, I look at Duck as a different character than what I typically play. The only similarity that I see between me and Duck is his loyalty. He is loyal to a fault. You know, he spent 7-10 years in jail where he could have gotten less time where he could have ratted out his friend who could have been his co-defendant, but he just took it. I think I have a loyalty like Duck. Other than that, he’s a little different than me.

Let’s talk about your latest album. How did you feel about the creative direction within the videos for “Fear” and “Safe”? How did you work through the process of such a real and raw album?

PK: I wanted to make use of all of my talents to create an art- that was my goal. My goal was to take the amalgamation of talents that I have to coalesce to create art that could be ubiquitous forever. You know, that’s what I feel I accomplished because things are great 20 years from now and it’s still going to be great. You can still listen to Biggie because it’s incredible, it’s timeless and that’s what I wanted to do. I feel like I accomplished that.

Can you tell us about the song “Shine”?

PK: I think that the album needed some respite because it’s very heavy and after you listen to Fear and Safe, it’s so cumbersome that you need some respite. And so that’s what Shine provides. It still takes a look at how difficult 2019 was personally for me and then 2020 was for everyone. The face of darkness, there is light after, and I wanted to show that the Devil will not take that light away. We will shine.

Can you tell us about your album cover?

PK: The cover of the album is confluence of tragic incident of black Americans who have had their lives taken from them at the hands of police brutality. That confluence is to show that they are me. You know, they all make up me; I am the same as them and so I wanted to, through me, show them. Wait until you get to the song “Flowers”, that is my favorite song on the album.

At the end of some of your videos, there is mention of voting- what are you trying to show viewers?

PK: So, creating Fear was so I could galvanize the troops to go vote because we can’t just yell from the rafters “We are being disrespected”, “We are being overlooked”. We have to actually get in the dirt and, you know, do things that cause change. Our biggest voice was our vote. The virality of those videos was to have the embolism of to vote throughout the video. To help people want to get out and vote after they see the deleterious effects of what fear can do on both sides so that’s why you see that throughout the videos.

Let’s talk about your fitness journey. What motivated you to get started?

PK: I got tired of looking at myself in movies and TV fat as hell and I was more attractive in my head than I was externally, so I wanted to match that.

So, there’s a lot of excuses that I think many people use such as “I can’t afford to go to the gym” or “I hurt too much to do this”. How did you push past your own excuses?

PK: I have an additive personality so once I get into something, I’m locked in and I got my mind right and ready. I had help, a tool to help me out with the point of why I was overweight which was my addiction to food. And so, I got gastro sleeve surgery which made my stomach smaller so that I couldn’t overeat. That helped. That was like the catalyst to help me and the working out thing- I already had that down. I had challenges where I would workout 100 straight days and another challenge where I went a straight year of working out without missing any days. My mind was already set to go to the gym, I just needed to get the food stuff right.

Do you still workout consistently?

PK: Yep, I’m still in it. Even when the gyms were closed, I found a way to get the workout in.

What advice would you offer somebody as far as starting out on their journey? If they were with you and undecided about their journey because of lack of motivation.

PK: I would say to make it something that is a part of your daily life that you don’t have a choice of. You don’t have a choice if you need to go to the bathroom or not, you don’t have a choice whether you like eating or not. These are things that must happen regardless of what you want or not. So, if you make the gym or workout a part of that, you take the lack of motivation away. We can have things taken away for us and see how resilient we could be. If you’re in jail or in a weight loss camp or anywhere that caused your free will to be taken away and you are forced to do something, you can do it because you have to. So why have to be in a situation where some other exterior force forces you to when you have a mind and brain that is going to be the thing to make you do it anyway.

Do you have a specific meal plan?

PK: Sometimes, yes. I go in spurts. Some weeks I have no carbs and no sugar. Then some weeks I am a little looser. I just try to be moderate because I could easily go really far one way or really far the other way. It’s not until I’m actually preparing for something that I go super crazy. Other than that, I just try and stay in striking range.

Do you allow yourself to have treats?

PK: Yep, probably more than I should.

What kind of workouts do you do?

PK: Well, when I get off the phone with you, I have a trainer, so I am going to the gym. Wednesday is leg day, which sucks. I work out with a trainer 3-4 days a week and then two other days I have an Oculus virtual reality thing that I do a supernatural workout on or I ride my bike for 20 miles to the beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Is there anything else that you’d like to talk about or anything that you’d like to share with our readers?

PK: I just want them to the importance of the album “Page” and how it’s important to everyone in the world right to be aware of everything that happening right now and everything that’s going on. And that if this album was released by a bigger artist, it would be a Grammy-nominated type of album – that’s how important this album is. I just implore everyone to continue to listen to it and check it out because I think it’s necessary. That’s the main thing that I want- and watch “The Upshaws” on Netflix streaming now.

Calvyn Cass illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Calvyn Cass

Q & A with Calvyn Cass

Singer-songwriter, Calvyn Cass, has begun dominating the music song with lyrical tunes to the beat of self-love and acceptance.  The hit single, “Me, Myself, & I”, explores complicated relationships and self-acceptance winning over insecurities.

Here at 360 Magazine, we had the chance to have a Q&A with Calvyn. Read on to learn more about Calvyn Cass and his upcoming new music, WHITE FLAG.

Q- Could you tell us about the creative direction behind ME, Myself & I?

CC- ME, MYSELF & I was one of the first few songs; the third to be exact. It starts with the hook, but it definitely brought up old feelings. I started writing about feeling hurt by someone I loved, and it ended in being def reflection story. The video shows that with me performing to myself in all my different layers. It’s probably the fastest I ever wrote and recorded a song. From starting to put pen to paper with the first line to finishing recording the demo was probably an hour.

Q- What would you like fans to take away from ME, Myself & I along with the video?

CC-I think the main narrative is that is ok to embrace all feelings but not let them define you. You can look at yourself and be like, “it’s not all about you” and own the way you were but move on from it. On the flip side my new song coming out April 28th is WHITE FLAG and that’s about identifying navigating how to be there for others in the way they need you. It’s a song about someone I love having an internal battle that made them reactive to me. In that moment I felt that I could either be reactive myself in response or step back, realize this is not about me and just give love. Sometimes it’s hard to watch someone you love to behave in a destructive way, but you can’t force someone to see something they aren’t ready to see. You just gotta let them know you come in peace and that you’re there when they are ready to let you in.

Q- Who was your biggest musical inspiration in writing ME, Myself & I?

CC- I have to admit I struggled with this in the beginning. I have always had this immense pressure to associate myself with other artists in order to justify my music. When I wrote that record, I kept thinking of Beyoncé and her record from her first album. I have always been a Destiny’s Child fan and I loved her record, but I know it’s been done. More than trying to find inspiration I found myself avoiding doing what’s been done. She’s an icon and I think what got her there is doing her thing and owning it. I think I look to artists like Bey who have paved their own musical lane as career inspiration. I’m just gonna keep doing my thing. Some people will love it, but others won’t, and I’m cool with that now.

Q- Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

CC- So many artists for so many different reasons. I love Lil Nas X because he represents what I am hoping to achieve as an artist. I think we would make insane music together. Miley is a powerhouse and if I could be on a record with her, it would be a wet dream. Demi is having this journey unfold before us all. There are so many parts of that journey that are familiar in one way or another and the message is something I would be honored to be a part of. Olly Alexander who recently starred in “It’s A Sin” is seemingly embarking on the next chapter of his career embracing his identity more. If I could be apart of any of these artistic moments that I believe will help change and shape the world I would count myself lucky as hell.

Q- Did your move from South Africa to Canada influence your music at all?

CC- I see the cultural shift I experienced at a young age as a stage in my life that shaped me. It was probably my least favorite time of my life. I was this small, effeminate boy when I moved. In South Africa I struggled fitting in with the hyper masculine molding boys are expected to be. In Canada I saw it as a chance to start over without anyone knowing my past struggles. That didn’t go as planned because I was then the weird immigrant who spoke differently and had a very different perception of the world. In each circumstance I tried fitting in and when it didn’t work out, I had to step back and try figure out why. I didn’t when I was young, but I see it now. It complex to break down in a short interview but now every time I write and record, I tap into the cultural difference and similarities. I want to be able to speak to as many people and be as relatable as possible. Everyone is navigating this complicated journey called life. The best we can do is try being empathetic and honest.

Q- What advice could you offer others as far as embracing the true way they see themselves?

CC- It’s no one else’s job to make you comfortable in your own skin. You will definitely feel like a victim of persecution because that’s a part of life; others will always try cut you down, so they stand taller. Appeasing others by changing who you are to make them comfortable will only hinder you on your path. It’s terrifying to stand in your truth and face scrutiny because it might cut deeper but I promise you, it did the opposite for me. When I let go of trying to impress everyone else was the first time, I felt like I could truly breathe. I released the vizard and accepted myself to find the pressure put on me was put on me by myself. I set the insane standards for myself from what I thought the people around me would feel more comfortable with. Here I am in my adult life realizing that if I had honored myself, I would have avoided a lot of sadness.

Q- Who are your musical inspirations?

CC- I’m inspired less by artists and more by the songs themselves. I love finding out who wrote a song and who produced it. Of course, the voice on a record can give me chills and bring me to tears. The way that voice shines come from all these other peoples’ talents and contributions to the music. That’s what inspires me. Paying attention to how sounds were created, layered and pieced together.

Q- You are co-founder of BRUSH Salon – do you plan to continue to pursue your career as a master stylist alongside your music career?

CC- I am. When I was in high school, I fully intended to pursue music. The world was different then and I let the people around me tell me that a gay boy with feminine features would never succeed in music. I always loved playing with my sisters hair when we watched movies. She hated it but let me anyways because it meant she could choose the movie. So, I am now at the top and have achieved so many of my goals in hair. I love it but I’ve felt like this part of me has been stuck in limbo. I can’t ignore it anymore and I want to pursue music. The world allows people to be more than one thing and I’m going to ride that wave.

Q- Outside of music and styling, what are your passions?

CC- Depends on the season. I love being outside in spring and summer. I’m one those dog lovers that sees my boys as my children, so I dedicate a lot of time to them. I love cooking and find it therapeutic to cook for my family and friends. I love being active, but my ultimate reset is to just spend a winter day in bed with snack watching movies or maybe an entire series… haha

Q- Looking ahead, what plans do you have in store for the remainder of 2021?

CC- Lots of music. I want to bring new music as much as it possible. I want to perform when I’m allowed to and introduce my music to more and more people. I’d love to collaborate with other artists when we are restricted from doing so.

Kali Uchis illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Kali Uchis Virtual Concert

Grammy-winning artist Kali Uchis and 1800 Cristalino Tequila host Sin Miedo: La Experiencia

Virtual Concert Premiere Via YouTube

Watch the performance here!

Here at 360 Magazine, we had the pleasure of viewing the premiere of Sin Miedo: La Experiencia. Leading up to the virtual concert, there was a creatively animated two-minute countdown introducing the virtual concert. Kali Uchis appears in a beautifully nude colored bodice with delicate sheer fabric flowing down the length of her legs. Surrounded by cacti, beautiful sky background and sultry lighting, Kali began her performance.

The creative direction had a heavenly yet playful vibe as Kali beautifully shifted between songs with her soft, sultry, siren-like voice. 1800 Christalino Tequila was seen strategically placed throughout the premiere and Kali poured a glass at the end of the performances as she thanked her fans for watching.

1800 Cristalino Tequila and Kali paired up to benefit the Human Rights Initiative, which is Kali’s preferred charity that provides free legal and social protections for immigrant communities in need. 50% of the proceeds from each 1800 Cristalino x Kali Uchis Cocktail Kit sold will benefit the charity.

1800 Cristalino Presents: Kali Uchis “Sin Miedo La Experiencia”

0:06 La Luna Enamorada

1:53 Fue Mejor

5:07 Aguardiente y Limón

7:48 Te Pongo Mal

9:49 An Intro for Telepatía

1800 Por Vida

  • 1.5 oz. 1800 Cristalino Tequila 
  • 1 tsp. light agave nectar
  • 2 dashes of grapefruit bitters
  • 4 oz. citrus tonic 

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a Collins glass with ice and stir. Top with tonic, stir gently to combine. Garnish with half grapefruit wheel and rosemary sprig. 

1800 Cristalino x Kali Uchis cocktail kit

5 Essential Skills of a Graphic Designer

Are you thinking of pursuing a career in graphic design? Be sure to master these essential skills of a graphic designer.

If you have a passion for art and would like to earn money from it, look no further.

Graphic design is something that many businesses invest in because it allows them to create customized advertisements. Aside from that, they can use graphic design for logos, essentially helping them make a name for themselves as a brand.

Most of the job skills of a graphic designer aren’t that hard to obtain, but they require a lot of patience and determination. Graphic design is an art, so you’ll have to spend time practicing before you’re ready to sell your work.

Keep on reading to learn about 5 essential graphic designer skills!

1. Creativity

One of the most important skills a graphic designer must have is creativity. As a graphic designer, you must be able to come up with new ideas on the fly. No graphic designer works with one client and all projects are unique.

When working with multiple clients, you’ll need to give them ideas that will help them achieve whatever their goals are. While it’s acceptable to have a certain style, you don’t want one client’s designs to look similar to another’s. This can create branding problems because consumers might confuse one client for another.

With creativity comes the ability to draw sketches, brainstorm, balance artistry with technique, and pay attention to detail. If you’re not a creative person, you’ll have a hard time coming up with ideas and helping clients see through theirs.

2. Communication

Communication is the most important skill after creativity. Graphic designers don’t pay themselves. Instead, they work with clients that pay them to complete projects. When working with clients, a graphic designer must be able to portray their ideas and give visual representations of what a client wants.

Graphic design skills revolve around being able to multi-task and work with a team, and communication will play a role in almost every task. Any time you make something, you’ll need to communicate it to your client.

Whenever a client makes a request, you must be able to fill in the gaps to understand what exactly they want.

This skill is especially important if you’re working remotely because it’s much harder to work with a client when you can’t see them in person. When working remotely, most of your communication will take place over video chats.

Without being able to quickly sketch something for a client, you need to know how to explain what you’re thinking about.

3. Time Management

Most graphic designers work with multiple clients at once because the work usually doesn’t take up an entire day. Because of this, a graphic designer must be able to effectively manage their time if they’d like to earn a decent income.

This line of work revolves around completing projects within a set period. When working with multiple clients, you must keep track of when projects are due. Most designers will allot certain hours to a client so that they can stay consistent while working.

Knowing when to prioritize a project is also important. For example, a project that has a deadline in 2 weeks should be focused on more than a project that’s due in 2 months. However, you can’t neglect anything as you must ensure that all projects are steadily progressing.

4. Technology

Understanding how to use technology is necessary when becoming a graphic designer because most of your work will take place on the computer across various programs.

You’ll need to know how to make something on a program and transfer it to another location while preserving its quality.

The most important thing to focus on is learning how to use the programs that you’ll be designing on. Programs like Photoshop provide users with a plethora of tools and features that allow them to manipulate their projects to their liking.

You’ll also need to know how your computer functions because Windows and Mac have many differences. For example, knowing how to remove icons from top bar Mac will give you more space to work on projects, something that many people are unaware of.

Tech skills will come in handy when working with clients remotely. You’ll have a better understanding of what kind of things you can get done and what will require in-person exchanges. You can then provide clients with this information so that they understand what needs to be done.

5. Typography

Typography is the skill of making text look visually appealing. This is often done with copywriting and it has a major role in graphic design. Typography skills typically come with creativity, but they’re something that most people should focus on because many clients will want text in their designs.

Keep in mind that most people looking for graphic designers are trying to create ads and build a brand. When you come up with a good font, your client can build off that and start getting recognized more often.
Now You Know the Skills of a Graphic Designer

Graphic design skills revolve around being artistic and knowing how to associate with clients. After obtaining the skills of a graphic designer, you can start working for clients and earn a decent income. Graphic design is something that will never go away, so you can get started whenever you’re comfortable.

We encourage you to start brushing up on your art skills. If you can’t draw but know how to design things on the computer, start focusing on that. When you’re ready to start taking clients, you simply need to find them on a job board or you can apply to companies.

Browse our articles to learn more about a variety of topics!

JONTA’ + JAMISON HARRIS

Story: Vaughn Lowery 

Photos: CE Photography

Our #MCM badasses Jonta’ Harris and Jamison Harris are identical twin brothers whom hail from Asheboro, North Carolina. During their teen years, the twins had a passion for the arts. Subsequently in their college years, swiftly passed, the dynamic duo decided to redefine themselves as the Official Harris Twins (OHT). 

In 2016, they relocated to Washington, D.C. in hopes of seeking opportunities within the fashion/retail industry.
In Spring 2017, OHT launched their lifestyle website. As their social channels began to prosper, they were invited to curate content for various notable brands: Live Nation (on behalf of Lids), Red Bull and Bud Light. 

Their insatiable appetite for style has led them to become ace of the most sought-after twin culture bloggers of 2017. 
As of late, OHT has been tapped as 360 MAGAZINE‘s Fashion Mavens

“As twins, we will continue to endure and thrive alongside of one another – nothing is impossible!” – Jonta’ & Jamison Harris