We had the good fortune of connecting with Kianah Jay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kianah, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
Lately, my mantra is “Unexpected income and pleasure continuously flow to me”. Income and pleasure can easily be replaced with whatever it is we’re trying to cultivate. By using the term “unexpected”, I make a manifestation while defaulting to the whim of the universe without expectation. I allow it to work with me and for me without demanding from it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I define my practice as multi-disciplinary until a better term emerges. Driven to physically, emotionally, and mentally “transcend”, I examine culture and aim to embody that which begs to travel from the collective psyche into the measurable realm. A cocktail of slave and indigenous blood runs through my veins. And process. Deeply committed to a range of materials, collaborators, and experiences, my work celebrates togetherness, blackness, brownness, and primal femininity. Informed by decolonial mindset, I create in direct opposition to uniformity, purity, exploitation, rigidity, and domination. Originally a dancer, I blends my intuitive body knowledge with explosive color palettes, indigenous sounds, and historical context to create visual and auditory work. The challenges are plenty, as are the solutions. Essentially, I’m here to live as my most authentic self and to support you living as yours. I’m best known as TwoLips, my musical brainchild. I release music under the same name, taking the stages of Southern California, New Mexico, New York, Berlin, Paris, and Poland. My distinct aesthetic and style can be seen in music videos, most notably for G-Eazy, Logic, and Marshmallow. I’m a co-founder of the LA-based FrienZone collective and a member of the international Palace Collective. I identify as a musician, rapper, dancer, choreographer, aerialist, and actress. My pride is in my community. The pendulum insists we ask for more.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend was coming to visit, we’d likely spend most of the time in my studio or back yard painting, making art, and doing aerial silks. It’s hard for me to leave my process and I tend to attract people who operate the same way. I can’t remember the last time I was excited about something happening in the city, but we all know why that is.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I dedicate my shoutout to the original inhabitants of the land I currently occupy, along with the original inhabitants of wherever the readers are. In a radical act of being present, I’ve begun the practice of regularly regarding nonhuman relatives and original inhabitants in a desperate plea to be in relation. To allow them to shape me and not the other way around. As an indigenous woman, I am made to think about occupation each day. In therapeutic opposition, I actively engage in acknowledgment of history and land.
Victoria Craven Jess Joy Shaandiin Tome