We had the good fortune of connecting with T’ai Sekyere-Harte and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi T’ai, why did you pursue a creative career?
I started working at 17 years old. I’ve worked in Amazon warehouses, in Walmart stocking shelves, and even got my SORA and worked as security officer. At every single one of those jobs I felt like a robot, I mean a robot could do what I was doing, stocking shelves and moving boxes doesn’t require much expertise. I was never one for mundane tasks, I quit all of my jobs and spent the summer of 2018 broke and roaming nature reserves searching for something I’d do for free but could end up being paid for it. One day I had truly realized just how much work I had put into my body purely for my own satisfaction. It was then I decided to start modeling and utilizing the body I have sculpted. I have always been a fan of the arts, but never thought of myself as a body of work, so I just want to give a special shoutout to Olumide, Kwame, and Lovesbond for implanting the idea modeling into my head in 2017. Since then I have also found a passion Olympic Weightlifting to not only stay in model shape but to feed the athlete inside of me as well. Almost two years in the sport and I’ve already broken the top 200 rankings barrier in the U.S. Together, I hope to excel in the (fitness) commercial and print modeling industry and use my weightlifting ability to become an established model/athlete.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a scholar in the fields of race, religion, and history I have gravitated towards the writer and activist James Baldwin. It was Baldwin’s speech titled, “Artist’s Struggle for Integrity,” that led me to understand humanity is nothing without the arts. STEM fields of study are necessary for sustaining humanity but the arts are why we live. I wanted to play my part in society and utilize my talents in the arts, hopeful that in the brief moment someone is watching my work, any thought of emotional suffering is postponed. Every day I work sculpting my body and improving my Olympic Weightlifting form so when I get the magazine cover I give a kid a goal they can pursue or when I lift hundreds of pounds on stage people can get lost in the complexity and technicality of my art form.

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?
From noon til tomorrow’s dawn, we start with brunch in Soho where we drink, eat and catch up on the intricacies of life too important to be shared over the phone. Afterwards, the Brooklyn Museum and MOMA will fill the rest of hours containing daylight, the right art piece usually becomes a talking point for hours on end. When the moonlight hits, any Brooklyn nightclub embracing the beauty of Afro beats, house music, or bachata (or Jazz club depending on the mood) will be our next stop. Lastly, the night would end with more drinks in a calmer space as we discuss what we have planned for our futures.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Nana Yaa & Baba Harte, My parents principles have made me the man I am today. My mother smothers me with love and my father instilled the importance of ambition, they are the pathos and logos to my existence and I’d be nothing without them.

The Vaughn family,
Whenever I needed an escape, they were my safe space. Because of them, I carry on in life knowing I can power through risky circumstances without the fear of starting from the bottom again.

Tia, Zuri, Ciana, Zara,
My baby sisters, my reasons for persevering through the unthinkable. I don’t spend much time at home, but I hope one day they’ll understand why I work so hard.

Lovesbond Sterling,
In all my days I never thought I’d come across someone who relates to nearly all of my life experiences, in addition to having similar life goals and passions. Bond has shown me the importance of artistic expression and continues to push me to attack every day with full swagger.

Yulmy Giron,
My love, my crutches when I fall, my sound board when I’m anxious, my comforter when I’m sad, my water when I’m thirsty. Because of Yulmy I understand there is no struggle when love is present.

Website: http://newarkrhythms.org/themes/rhythm3/religion-counter-culture-and-rebellion

Instagram: taiharte

Other: Tik Tok: Taiharte

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