We had the good fortune of connecting with Ahnist and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ahnist, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk in my mind is a delicate necessity. Song ideas or live events come up all the time that range in success. The only true guarantee from them is experience. Ultimately, that risk of gaining experience influences me to commit. I use the word delicate because risk forces moments in the dark, so to speak. Be it performing to a crowd accustomed to a different music genre or traveling several states on a paper thin budget to promote your music.
Taking risks has more often than not played a beneficial role in my life and career. The risk of moving to California was a major moment in my life. Having visited in the past, I knew chasing a career in music & entertainment was more feasible than back home in Florida. The reality though was I’d be moving away from everything I was familiar with. Years of help from family and friends, that risk has been infinitely worth the trials.
In terms of my career, risk has presented itself with organizing events from scratch, investing in equipment when funds had to be stretched, and more recently with touring for the first time. Each of these examples and more have shown me what’s possible when you adhere to taking a chance. You never really fail. You learn more and continue to adapt.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I rap and perform under the name ‘Ahnist’ (pronounced honest). Originally from Orlando, Florida and residing in Los Angeles, both cultures are intertwined in my work. A mesh of off-kilter and melodic wordplay, while aiming for movie themed visuals sets me in a solid niche.
Persistence has been the biggest key to where I am today and continually. Seeking out shows to perform at, saving up for equipment to record, shoot photos, videos, etc, and building up rapport with like-minded people.
Absolutely not easy. Every version of doubt, stagnation, school-work-life imbalance, what have you, has occurred. Between these moments though, the lucky encounters or well received songs have happened. To me, they are just as important to the process. As written by Ryan Holiday, the obstacle is the way.
It would mean the world if the world knew my brand and story as someone striving to leave a kind mark
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First and foremost is Hollywood. Up and down the blocks. Weaving around through the neighborhoods, by the sign, over to Amoeba Records and down over towards Fairfax to stroll around Melrose. Next day out towards Venice Beach for the mingling cultures there near the sand. Hike it there to Santa Monica and up towards Malibu on the PCH. Mandatory stop to In-N-Out for a few Double-Doubles. Day 3 is downtown L.A. Santee Alley for the fashion, then Grand Central Market for a unique lunch. The 4th day is reserved for any and all sport – Staples Center in the day and Dodger Stadium at night. The fifth day would be an all around trip through the San Fernando Valley – Reseda, Van Nuys, Burbank, you name it. Can’t go wrong with some baked goods at Porto’s.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My brother & Actor, Rene Moran. Perseverance defined.
The book ‘Think & Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. Recommended by my brother many years ago and sparked my light.
Rapper and friend, Reggie Rare. Responsible for many of my beneficial risks these last few years.
Reggie Rare Simri Hernandez Nicole Delgado Devereaux Clark Orange County Public Schools