There’s a power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s a grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
— Michelle Obama
We curate stories of the Black experience through the voices and art of Black creatives. Through collaboration and our collective of artists, ABS grants each Featured Artist one wish that will fast-track their career goals. It is our hope that these carefully curated stories will not only give Black creatives the support they need but will also spark meaningful conversations around race and preserve the rich legacy of Black Americans’ contribution to the world.
Ever the butcher, baker and candlestick maker Jyvonne has held project management roles in the engineering, legal, education, indie filmmaking, entertainment and music industries over the course of her ADHD-riddled career. But no matter how varied the interests, Jyvonne ensures that music making was always present. From a Hollywood Bowl debut singing “Pinball Wizard” with Roger Daltrey to the EDM stage of Coachella, Jyvonne is currently melding many of her heart goals as a Founding Partner of GreyLoc Entertainment and singing broadly within LA’s choir community.
One might be hard-pressed to believe that this two-time Director’s Guild of America Award Winner, and Student Academy Award winning Director once considered a career as a medical illustrator. Thankfully Jennifer switched gears, completed her MFA in Film and Television at USC and became the multi-hyphenate creator she’s known for today. From Sesame Street to music video content for Eve, Gwen Stefani, Maya, Angie Stone and Wyclef, Jennifer is currently directing the post-Katrina New Orleans themed film The Preservation of Roux Lee, and growing her professional videography and photography company, Pixel Prose Images.
In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the chancel is where Ronnie spent most of his young days singing and strengthening his vocal shed. With his gaze laser focused on music, Ronnie transitioned his decade-long, banking executive career into a growing musical enterprise. A gifted singer-songwriter performing under the moniker Ohannon, Ronnie is a Founding Partner of GreyLoc Entertainment and can be found on many a stage, including touring with international pop star Andy Grammer.
What About Bob quote in 3, 2, - No, he won’t get out but he will be the recording engineer for Oscar-winning film Get Out’s notoriously creepy theme song. Andrew cut his teeth in Boston recording, producing and mixing the first two albums for rock band Godsmack before heading to L.A. and opening his Highland Park studio, The Hobby Shop West. A premiere go-to for prominent artists like Avenged Sevenfold, Riverboat Gamblers, and Kristin Hersh, Andrew has also cultivated The Hobby Shop West as an accessible haven for East LA’s burgeoning music scene.
One day she found herself arriving at LAX with two black travel bags and zero English ability to accomplish her dream of becoming a designer. In Japan, she was a website director, and after years of disciplined training in Pasadena, she transformed into a communication designer specializing in branding. Her workshop method of branding is so powerful that corporate and individual clients it’s better than therapy. This little Japanese woman is passionate, precise, and cares about the essence of a brand. When she is not working, you can find her hoarding craft chocolates from local shops or staring at her growing collection of succulents.
With over 20 years of experience in apparel and design industries, Sokoni has thrived working with a variety of both licensed and generic themed products for a wide range of target audiences. Taking on challenges and using his creative talents to reach people and entertain is his passion, whether it be in the area of apparel graphic design or the branding and presentation of a license. Working with a team toward a common goal of making an impact, or creating art to effectively reach an audience is what motivates Sokoni.
Dario is a Photographer/Videographer, and general connoisseur of sorts who hails from Los Angeles. He photographs people primarily because of the unique stories they convey through expression. When not shooting you can find Dario playing guitar, cooking, skating around the city, or playing beer league hockey.
Nikki is a freelance web developer. She spent the last four years working as a Park Ranger at different National Parks across the country. Before that she taught environmental education to students across LA County. When not creating projects online you can find her hiking, camping, and spending time with friends.
Machiko is a developer at Tofugu. A former newspaper journalist, she now spends her time wrangling code and practicing Japanese. She lives next to the forest of Los Angeles, where you can often find her riding her bike, reading library books or walking her cat.
We’d love to keep you updated about the latest Stories and Voices.
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