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

Hi Ulato, why did you pursue a creative career?
Have you ever experienced a moment where you couldn’t find the words, sound or movement to accurately express yourself? Well, I found myself in this predicament quite often growing up, however I also realized that somewhere out there in the world there was an artist, a creative, another person who had spent time figuring out that feeling, that moment I had experienced, and put it in their art. Whether a painting, script, poem, song or dance, I found that whatever I hadn’t yet the life experience to articulate was wrapped up delicately and vulnerably in the art of someone who had come before me. As I grew older I realized that in order to help someone else, someone who may have the challenge I did, I could dive into my experiences, share the experiences of others, and most importantly inspire someone else to do the same through my art. What could be better than constantly exploring the ways in which you feel, the many ways you can express yourself? Getting paid to do it? Maybe. The only thing that’s come close is seeing or hearing your art land and connect, seeing someone know that they can, because of your creativity, giving someone hope through art. That’s why I decided to make a career out of it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My homeland is known for our art, particularly where music is concerned. Our culture is known for it’s mellow and easy going nature, it’s a very irie mentality. Maneuvering a transition from the Caribbean to Europe and North America has definitely been a challenge. What I’ve found is that a commitment to nuance and authenticity go far. I’ve also developed a love for the many ways art can evolve. The way in which speech and movement are related are extremely nuanced and before you realize that your mouth is dancing as you speak, you have to appreciate the subtly of it and how on film it can cause even the shortest attention span to focus. I want the world to know that I’m an incomprehensibly unique amalgamation of culture, experience and knowledge and that I bring those things with me into every collaboration. I may not use the many accents that make my voice unique at the same time, but I promise you each one influences how my thoughts are shared. The world is growing smaller and I found that learning how to be a better global citizen allowed greater freedom in sharing stories, performing on stage and setting a strong foundation of culture for my characters and movement architecture to stand on.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So I enjoy running the amazing topography we have here in California, so I’d definitely say we’d need to run a trail in Malibu, to catch views, get lost in nature and challenge the breath. I’m eating at Janga by Derrick in Culver City and making my way to My Two Cents on any given occasion. We’d have to make sure we touch one of the many Afrolituations that happen whether at the Savoy in Inglewood or a special location and if Toasted Life has an event I’m definitely making sure we make time for it. If it’s a summer time visit and LA Carnival is upon us wi haffi link up wid Winery Mas for the vibes and bacchanal . Outside of that I’d say I always enjoy grabbing some street tacos after 9 pm and maybe even do some work to make a collaboration happen to bring them on set to get a taste of the creative side of things and only if they really wanted to touch the Warner Brothers Lot or Fox Studios Lot for a tour (I’m always down to get acquainted with potential work spaces). Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Grandparents Beryl & Bancroft, mother Karen, and brother Olatunde. To my family as a whole and the many institutions that have invited, inspired and invested in my talents.

Website: www.ulatosam.com

Instagram: Youlatoe – https://www.instagram.com/youlatoe/?hl=en

Twitter: Youlato – https://twitter.com/youlatoe?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Youlatoe/

Other: https://kinrgy.com/guides/ulato

Image Credits

The Photographers:
Milla Kuhto
Anthony Hadley Jr.
Habeeb Mukasa
Hunter So
Corey Waldron
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