Khalid Livingston speaks on Afropunk, Wellness, Tastemakers, and Music for Maren Journal.
Current City: Brooklyn, New York
Hometown: Clinton, Maryland
Currently Reading: Brother to Brother edited by Essex Hemphill
On Identity and Work:
"I identify as a black queer first-generation Jamaican-American from the DMV area. Professionally I’m a project manager and social-entrepreneur. My job is to define goals, identify resources and execute strategies for select business to consumer industries. I have done work for music festivals, chefs, artists, musicians, snack brands, non-profits, and startups."
"To this date, the biggest project I’ve worked on that changed my life and perception of my industry has been AFROPUNK. When I first started working for them in 2012, I was 21-years-old managing their street team, volunteer program and social media platforms. When I left in 2014, I was still doing that for them in addition to event production, booking talent, sales management, writing content and program development for various partnerships. It was one of those jobs were I became completely emotionally and physically invested into the work, but even more into the people who experienced it. And because I was privileged enough to work closely with the owners, I was given direct insight into the many nuances of running a community-driven business. I really challenged myself there, and it opened up others doors for me. The biggest lesson I learned while there was the importance of self-care, not balance. You accept that the work is never done and build your avenues of wellness within it."
On His Start:
"I spent my summers interning at global television networks and private institutions while pursuing my degree in public relations and psychology from Hampton University. I thought I wanted to work in advertising. But after taking on various roles of interest, I learned that my most transferable skill is organizing. I see the bigger picture and thrive in multidisciplinary environments."
"There are definitely people and things that inspire me, but I’m very self-assured in the decisions I make for my life. Without being morbid, my relationship with death is what motivates me the most. Everything ends and starts at death. And because I do not know when that moment will be for anyone, I genuinely try to be honest with others and myself about all aspects of my time here. Life is too precious for the bullshit, and I value my mental health."
/ A curated list :
1. Kimberly Drew, the social media manager of the MET and founder of the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art
I’m a stan for Kim. She’s a wellness-warrior, and her work within the digital and art space is critical.
2. Shantell Martin, contemporary artist and collaborator
Shantell is an entity, and one of the hardest working people I have ever worked with. Her work is a self-reflective meditation of lines.
3. Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker and Co. Brands
Tristan inspired me to pursue social-entrepreneurship within the tech world. His visibility changed the trajectory of my life.
4. Pheonix RuachShaddai. curator, traveler and tech-enthusiast
Pheonix is one of my closest friends. Her outlook is inspiring and her work is thoughtful.
5. Venus X, DJ and founder of GHE20G0TH1K
Venus X was my introduction to the sub-cultures of new york city nightlife. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her work and identity.
I’ve been following these artists since the early starts of their public career. Some of them are good friends of mine. Their music has set a tone throughout my life for years.
1. Cakes Da Killa – Keep It Goin’
2. Goldlink – Palm Trees
3. KAMAU – Mint
4. Kevin Abstract – Echo
5. Serpentwithfeet – four ethers
shot by Levi Walton for Maren Journal