Interview with Jadein Black, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Jadein Black is a performing Drag Queen, as well as founder and producer of the Boylesque Drag Show in Ypsilanti, Michigan. In addition to performing locally, she has been on multiple tours around the United States and Canada, from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has made top-ten at the prestigious Nation Entertainer of the Year competition. In addition to her performance at venues and shows including Boylesque, she also hosts and performs at many universities around the country, private parties, as well as at local Drag Show and Storytime events. The events she produces and performs in with Boylseque Drag Show regularly raise money for various causes ranging from at-risk LGBTQ youth to the Black Lives Matter movement. Boylesque Drag Show features local drag performers such as Maxi Chanel, Hershae Chocolatae, Izaya Cole, and Ani Briated.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 09/04/2020.

Interview with Sophiyah E., Detroit, Michigan

Sophiyah E. is a producer, singer, and songwriter based in Detroit, Michigan. Her work with piano and technology explores genres that include house, electronic music, and jazz. In the fall of 2017, she began an ongoing multi-media social awareness exhibition highlighting artists and Black culture, which gave birth to her first musical production series Alignment, an introspective narrative comprised of interviews and musical arrangements. She has performed in venues such as Detroit’s Music Hall Jazz Café, Cultivate Coffee and Tap House, and the SXSW music festival. Additionally, she does music production and film scoring. Sophiyah E. is founder of Afro Moone, a Detroit-based resource furnishing event production services, content strategy, and accessible aid for healthy living. Sophiyha E. is also the Director of Artist Relations and Chief Strategist/Curator of DCIPHER, a Detroit based organization dedicated to advancing the community and music economy.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 10/06/2020.

Interview with Babar Harrie, Troy, Michigan

Hailing from an American-Pakistani background, artist Babar Harrie combines his identity and experiences with his passion for music. Born in Lansing, Michigan, and raised in Metro Detroit, Babar first began rapping and freestyling at the age of 16. In the fall of 2010, Babar released his first mixtape, Just Let Me, which garnered him increased recognition. Following the mixtape, he released a number of music videos which gained hundreds of thousands of views through different viewing platforms. Releasing two more mixtapes over the course of two years, November and OCD: Opening Closed Doors respectively, Babar began performing at a variety of local venues. In 2013, he started working alongside Takeover Music Group (TOMG) with MTV artists like Trigg da Kidd and Fuco Bunkin. After taking time off and making a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca in 2014, Babar’s music started to further incorporate his culture and religion in order to reach audiences worldwide.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 10/06/2020.

Interview with Lu Fuki and Tazeen Ayub, Detroit, Michigan

Lu Fuki and Tazeen Ayub are performing artists and community organizers based in Detroit, Michigan. Lu Fuki is a guitar player and composer, as well as a director at Dream of Detroit, a nonprofit organization in the Westside of Detroit that focuses on fairness and equity in economics and housing. Tazeen is a composer, instrumentalist, and vocalist, as well a professor of Arabic. They have performed in a wide range of venues including the St. John Coltrane Church in San Francisco and the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. Together, they are founders and members of the collective Lu Fuki & Divine Providence, which comprises dancers, visual artists, and poets, as well as an Afro-Jazz Spirit band. They are also co-directors of GAMA Detroit, the local chapter for Gather All Muslim Artists, a national non-profit organization that seeks to create a platform that nurtures Muslim artists in the United States.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 09/15/2020.

Interview with Nique Love Rhodes, Detroit, Michigan

Nique Love Rhodes is a hip-hop artist and organizer/activist from Detroit, Michigan. As a performer, Nique leads a multi-faceted ensemble of musicians known as the NLR Experience, playing interactive shows that fuse hip-hop music with jazz and rock. Nique has performed at festivals and headlined venues including the South by Southwest Music Festival (Texas), the North by Northeast Music Festival (Toronto), Dally in the Alley (Detroit), and the Nuyorican Poets Café (New York City). Nique has independently released studio albums including Against All Odds (2019) and The NLR Experience (2018). Nique is also involved in initiatives that are rooted in community and culture. She launched the nonprofit Rise Up Higher, which aims to use music as a tool for social good, and is also the co-founder of D.Cipher, a music mastermind collective dedicated to advancing the Detroit music economy through collaboration and partnerships.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 10/06/2020.