We had the good fortune of connecting with Darryl Keith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darryl, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
“QUITTERs NEVER PROsPER…” That took a lot of self-work (still working through it to this day and It’s a daily fight but there’s so much more to do!) I just don’t voluntarily choose the latter…I would let myself and a lot of people down, but most importantly: myself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I call myself a MULTIDIsCIPLINARY ARTIsT because I’m aware that expression has no limit. Being a dancer for 10+ years and exploring new mediums that have been on the inside of me for a while these past 2 years has given me a new outlook on life and I’ve gotten to see what truly matters to me: protection, justice, personal peace, staying grateful and experience in g a great life. You truly know NOTHING AT ALL! That opportunity for me to keep learning is beautiful to me. I’ve always kept that child-like sense of inspiration. KIDs wanna do everything! It’s when we get older that they try to pigeon-hole your identity and tell you to stick to one thing…I don’t conform to that because not everybody is built that way. I’m mostly excited for my evolution as a human being (FIRsT) & artist as time goes by. I see myself changing right before my very eyes. Exploring what my true purpose is, keeping my mind/heart open (more than ever before), new avenues to express my creativity. I’m just hungry for more out of life and that’s something I’ve lost in the past and have recently regained through internal work on myself. One thing I came to know about myself is that I was trying to find my story…still. I’ve felt like an oddball most of my life. But, as I matured, naturally, I learned to accept myself, my experiences and, I gotta say, its been a long journey, to say the least. There’s insecurities that I’ve battled and conquered which I’m highly grateful for. Dealing with mental and spiritual battles everyday…man it’s been a crazy journey. 2020 and First half of 2021 really tested me and showed me areas where improvement was imperative. But I’m thankful that I got to face my sELF. We’re still re-programming and it’s only necessary. I apredicate these moments in life whether they be of joy, pain, loss, self-realization and even moments where I’m shown how much courage I actually have…I aim to express that through whatever medium possible. That’s why I think it’s important to learn empathy for others and to only be your true self with folk, whether they believe that or not. You gotta believe it for YOURsELF or else you’re living a lie…Enjoy the PROCEss. Everything in life is a process…Everything. The end goal is already written, but as I grow through life, I fall deeper and deeper in love with the overall experience that leads to that said need goal. I think what makes separates me from other artists is I can pull from anyone I’m inspired by without feeling like a carbon copy. Whether that be through movement or visual expression, there’s always a way to make it YOURs. One thing that has helped me keep intimidation at bay is a reminder to myself that just because someone else has created something doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try my hand at it. I will approach it with panache and in a peculiar way. How I see the color blue will be totally different from how you see blue, you feel me? That’s the beauty of expression and perspectives. I want the world to know that you gotta sTAY PECULIAR (in this case, peculiar is being used in a positive light)…you don’t have to force it. Let it be organic and the right ones will flock to you. I’ve had moments where I’ve tried to be something I’m not and it just didn’t feel right. We are PECULIAR ON PURPOsE…if you’re naturally loud, be LOUD about it. If you’re cool, calm and collected and have a subtle approach to life, embody that! People know when you’re faking the funk so just stick to your original self. “AsPTAWEIs.” (ap•twī) (At sOME Point, The Art Will Explain Itself)
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well I definitely gotta shoutout “EL Cocinero”, Leimert Park and Vurger Guys. I love Mexican Food, sOUL FOOD, Asian Food and BURGERs. Plant based, of course…so I would definitely bring them to a place with those options stated haha.. I’ll just make a smoothie for ‘em. Word around town is my smoothies’ are some of the best in the world (exaggerating, but all you need is some sea moss) . We gotta go to the viewpoints…I love a nice view man, a hit every time. All this is a huge maybe because of covid now…it’s crazy because part of you is hesitant and the other part is like “Wait!this is what I know…” DOWNTOWN LA is another one… Learned so many lessons on my walks out there. Check out Amboy, California or Angeles Crest Highway if you like open roads and mountains. Yeah I still got a lot of exploring to do haha….haven’t been here long.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I don’t have a shoutout at this time. (Don’t add the first sentence, it won’t let me delete it…)
sHEEsH…TOOO MANY TO NAME…so many influential pieces to my journey. Of course my parents have been a constant source of love and support. I’m grateful for that. I know so many people without parental figures in their life and I don’t take it for granted. My family support is always appreciated…I love that I also have friends around me who inspire me to reach new heights simply by just being that example. It’s important for me to have individuals in my circle. I motivate myself but It’s an extra boost when you have people in your life to talk goals and dreams with. I love that about my life. Women have been inspiring me lately a lot too. Of course there’s great men that I admire and learn from, but with women being at the forefront, it’s inspiring and I’m glad they’re getting their long overdue respect. Lastly, shoutout to the BOOK OF sELF MAsTERY by Jakal El-Malik…that’s been pretty influential in my current day to day practices. Taking better care of myself has been top priority and I am grateful for it. All glory to God forreal man.
Instagram: @thisisdarrylkeith @tooo.flatout @asptaweis
Youtube: “Darryl Keith”
All pieces/graphics designed by myself and T(OOO) FLAT OUT DEsIGN. Photography Credits: Tadario Watkins