We had the good fortune of connecting with Semone Watson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Semone, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve always had an edge to me that felt like it needed to be compartmentalized through experiences growing up in my family and the people I surrounded myself with at school. The routine of assimilating and going with the status quo was something I always felt myself grate against even if it did help me “fit in” in a lot of ways. I felt like I always stood out, but was usually very awkward and uncomfortable with that. Now with my lastest transition into modeling, I’m finding more ways to express my soul and ideas in unapologetic ways. I want to tell compelling stories through art. I want to engage with the world through my image and voice, and be myself fully in a lot of the spaces I enter with no remorse, no shrinking. My emotionality has been looked at as a sort of detriment to my success in this world, but I personally feel it’s the most human and relatable thing about me. Art has always been an avenue of release for built-up emotions, and at this point in my life, I want there to be free-flowing energy through my being.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My story is unique in that I’m first-generation Ghanaian-American with Jamaican ancestry, the line that I straddle with the intersection of my American identity makes me the multi-faceted person I am. I went to school for Social Work as a way to understand “why people are the way they are” and actually know how to help that. Coming from this perspective helps me see that a lot of things people project onto you are their own issues plaguing them; and while it can be upsetting, having the understanding and agency to move in ways that suit you is salient to not letting the noise keep you down. I worked in spaces where real conversations and connections is nearly non-existent because of professionalism and code-switching. My art exists to connect and cultivate a conversation. I’m gernally a soft being and so when I’ve always found myself in places that made me feel like I really didn’t belong there, particularly at concerts where most of the audience was non-black or in the office, I really felt it. In recent years. as the zeitgeist on social justice issues has become more commonplace, there is still a wealth of work that needs to be done to with being absolutely real about the histories of the world. I’m finding my voice in that regard, but these are issues that are close to my identity and everyday life, I have a right to share them as much as my perspective should be heard.

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.
I’m very much in love with the LA-Long Beach area. We’d definitely go for a hike at the Getty View Trail and get something to eat at Veggie Grill on Sunset Blvd. When nightlife comes back, I’d take them to this cute cocktail bar called Tenants of the Trees, its got an indoor and outdoor section that transitions seamlessly for a vibe that suits everyone. In Long Beach, we’d visit my favorite plant-based fast food place, Plant Power. They have the BEST peanut butter oat milk shakes. Then, we’d probably drive to a nearby beach for a casual walk, and to take in the sunshine. More locally to me in OC, we’d have to visit my fave beach Crystal Cove and have a picnic. Finally, definitely lunch at my fave lil coffee shop, The Den, at the Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would absolutely shout out my boyfriend of nearly 5 years, a fellow artist by the name of Swim. Soul. He has been the biggest cheerleader and chief researcher for all the ideas and endeavors I’ve thought about doing or have pursued. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his constant support and pep talks. My aunt Michelle also had a very large influence on my affinity for British pop and alternative and fashion tastes, visiting her in my home city of New York always gave me a burst of inspiration and culture I would carry with me in my day-to-day. I would also like to thank the genuine support of people who believe in my vision and goals, and honestly those that doubt them, too. It’s all motivational.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/long_live_life/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/longlivelife_

Youtube: https://youtu.be/xJlBS-YXduY

Other: Youtube link is the music video for my single “Til Infinity” with Swim Soul Additionally, I have an ongoing fundraiser to attend Coco Rocha Model Camp this year, in pursuit of furthering my modeling expertise. Here’s the link on GoFundMe: gf.me/u/znwqqt

Image Credits
Cover Photo credits: Zachary Wright, Angela Solouki, and Zack Bass

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.