Chatting with the woman behind the camera
“When I was younger we always had photo albums and cameras around the house. Specifically we had this old Polaroid camera that I wish I still had, but rip I don’t know what happened to it. I was really interested in it. All my younger pictures like when I was in kindergarten and what not were taken with it. I always wanted to use it. Fast forward to probably like middle school I always used to look at the old photo books that my grandma would keep. She had her life all documented. She had my mom’s life documented. I don’t know something about looking at pictures was just always cool to me. I would literally sit in the basement for hours just looking at the photo books just imagining like what was going on at that time, during those moments. The interest really just started from being around it when I was younger.”
How do you come up with the concepts of your shoots?
“It’s really… it’s random. Like I recently just did a shoot with this girl Tacha and I just saw her on Instagram and I really liked her hair and I thought we could do a shoot together. Sometimes people come to me with their creative ideas. Sometimes I’ll be watching something. My recent shoot, for Pineapple Express, for my headbands I had an Allen Iverson concept. One, he is one of my favorite players. I used to have his jersey when I was younger. I had braids like him. Like he is the GOAT. He doesn’t take anyone’s shit. He’s an amazing player, and he’s just lit. So, I was watching his documentary the other day and I seen all the magazines that he was on the cover of. Something that he always did was wear a headband. I was like that’s how I wanna market the headband, with an Allen Iverson type of vibe. Paco had already bought from me before and I thought he was attractive and would be a great fit for a model. So, I hit em up. To my surprise he comes to the shoot and is tatted. Basically he fit the exact look that I needed. So, my concepts… I draw inspiration from everywhere and anything.”
Who’s your favorite person to work with?
“My favorite person to shoot with is someone who is confident in themselves and just exudes that. When you are confident in yourself that shines through the picture. You look confident. You look better. I love working with people who have that confidence and know how to work their body, know how to move their body, and just know what to do. I also like working with people who’ve never shot before and I can bring that out of them. But, my favorite type of person to work with is someone who knows their body, is comfortable with it, and is confident.”
How do you feel about your success so far?
“I feel like I’ve come a long way and I want to do so much more. The future scares and excites me. There are days I beat myself up about not being where I want to be but I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s not my time yet. I talk to myself a lot. Reassurance wise, for my sanity. I know that we’re all on paths and I have to keep following mine to the best of my abilities. It’s to the point I’ve become really tunnel vision to anything that isn’t progressing me.”
What’s a normal day like for you?
“A normal day, what is that? Everyday truly varies for me. I live through my phone calendar and social media. On the weekends I’m working at a portrait studio but during the week it’s a toss-up either I’m shooting, sleeping, editing or planning. Planning for my next release or planning for pineapple express. My notes in my phone are a mess. My mind is always racing so I’m constantly writing ideas down.”
What’s the story behind Pineapple Express and how’d you design the logo?
“Pineapple Express, there are a couple different things for that. The smallest reason: Pineapple Express used to be my favorite movie. I love that movie it’s so funny. It’s so cute.
Pineapples are one of my favorite fruits. I don’t like a lot of fruits. Like I’ve had bad experiences with fruit like bananas.
The other reasons are my hairstyle. Ever since I went natural that’s been the main hairstyle I wear. I big chopped myself. Basically I transitioned until I could see more natural hair than I could see my straight permed hair. So, when I cut my hair I cut it based off where the curls were and it was kinda lopsided so I started wearing my hair in a pineapple. My friends at the time would make fun of me and call me ‘pineapple head’ and it stuck because that was me. So, that, the movie, that being my favorite fruit, and what else?
Oh yea, and what a pineapple stands for. When you look at a pineapple on the outside they’re really prickly. You wouldn’t wanna immediately touch a pineapple cus of the way they look which is standoffish. Not standoffish… but they just look like an introverted fruit. On the inside pineapples are sweet and that’s how I feel like I am as a person. I’m pretty guarded. I don’t really take too much shit from people. I don’t like to let people get the chance to hurt me. On the inside I’m a pretty sweet person. Anyone who knows me knows I wold do anything, go above and beyond for them, like I love people. That’s how I feel I connect with the pineaplle, the fruit itself.
My logo, man my logo… I know that was God because it just happened so randomly. I ended up wanting a logo for the longest time and like people would present me with stuff and it just wasn’t clicking. But, I needed a flyer for Pineapple Express Philly. Steez from 800, he’s a designer, he made the flyer. On the flyer was the shattered pineapple that I use now for my logo. All credit goes to Steez on the logo. He had put that on the flyer and I just bought it from him, bought the actual logo. After I saw it I was just blown away and it was everything I wanted it to be basically. It’s like he just saw what I wanted in my mind and just made it happen so all shouts out to him.”
How’d you meet your boyfriend?
“How did I meet him? Twitter,*laughs* he slid in my dm’s. I remember when he followed me. He had randomly followed me and I followed back. If I see that you’re doing something or you’re a creative I’ll follow you back. Apparently we were supposed to be both vending an event and he was like messaging me before the event basically like ‘oh yea can’t wait to meet you’ just simple small talk. But I ended up not going to the event because it was like a picnic type of event. No, it was a BBQ but I was like an hour away and I knew it was gonna rain that day. It ended up pouring down raining and everyone at that BBQ got rained out. So, two reasons I’m glad I didn’t go. Fast forward, I was just on Twitter one day whining *laughs*. I was like I just wanna go on a date. This was when I was super single over the summer. Like very very single. I’m used to being whined and dined so it was a while of me not messing with anyone. I was expressing that on Twitter and he instantly dm’d me. I remember getting the message. I was at the gas station and I looked at my phone and he was like ‘I wanna take you out’ and I was just like ‘okay what’s good?’ We met up and we got food. Then we went to this cliff and we instantly hit it off. Not even in a sexual sense did we hit it off. Just like the convo was great. We had nonstop convo from the time we were there till it was over. It really just slowly blossomed after that.
Honestly if it wasn’t for Nick like between getting stuff started with Pineapple Express. When I was dead broke he gave me the money I needed to get the windbreakers cus he knew how much it meant to me and how bad I wanted to start selling them. If it wasn’t for him Pineapple Express Philly wouldn’t have happened. Bascially the person I collab with, I can’t remember her twitter, just hit me up like ‘oh yea, you wanna do a show out Philly?’ and I was like yea sure that would be cool. I didn’t know where to stay or how to get out there. Nick and I had been texting for a while and I just hit him up about it. He’s like ‘I’ll cop an Airbnb.’ Mind you we only knew each other for like maybe two or three weeks at this time. Him doing that was so amazing to me. That was the first time we had sex and it was amazing.”
There’s a stigma surrounding dating artists. They say it comes with a lot of mental and emotional baggage. Does your relationship live up to the tale?
“One, I wanna marry him. I don’t think I would go back to dating anybody that wasn’t in my field. I’ve done that before and it’s boring. I actually like him because I love his drive. We both brainstorm ideas for both of our brands. I help him with stuff, he helps me with stuff. We both give each other ideas, like great ideas. I feel like it just keeps things fresh. We’ll both spend days going on errands like getting tee’s for him, and making tee’s, me getting headbands. That’s what we do on a regular is he’s not at work. If he has some time off and we’re not just chilling, we’re handling things for our brands together and that’s fun to us. I like doing that with him. That versus the normal relationship with someone who isn’t doing anything is just boring.”
Her boyfriend is the genius behind Ninth Life.
What’s your sex life like, are you vanilla or adventurous?
“I think I’m pretty adventurous and our sex life is pretty great. It’s funny because that was kinda the deal breaker for me. I asked him to send me a dick pic. I had to be sure because if it was small I couldn’t do it. So, he send me that joint and I was like ‘wow, it’s lit.’ Things are great. I’m not really afraid to do much of anything. We have this really strong chemistry for each other. It’s great. It’s really sensual. He enjoys it. and I do too. I’m the type of person… like I like doing other little things outside of the bedroom to make that anticipation. I’ll send him random twerk videos just to build that anticipation for later. Whatever I can do to keep things interesting, keep the hype, and keep that energy up. It’s great. I’m happy. I’ve been happy since the first time and I’m still not disappointed.”
Is there anything else you want them to know?
“I want people to know I just want everybody to win. I want everybody to stop hating on each other. I know people say it’s not possible to work together but it’s like why not? Why isn’t it possible? Just do it. I want people to stop complaining and making excuses and trying to down the next person. Instead of doing that lift the next person up. I really try to separate myself from negativity cus it’s not good for you. It’s not progressive. People can get so much further if they just work together, build people up, and spread positivity. I want people to just spread more love and be better people. Just take a look at yourself… if people would start evaluating themselves. It’s even to the point with me like I’ll tell myself sometimes like ‘mind your business.’ Sometimes I’ll be on Twitter or something and I’ll see something and I’ll have a thought about it but I’m just like ‘you know what, mind your business, that has nothing to do with you.’ I feel like if people just started reevaluating themselves, looking at themselves. Not reevaluating but just looking at themselves then they could realize what they’re doing wrong and how they could have a better effect on society because it’s nothing wrong with saying there’s a problem with something you’re doing and fixing it… I used to be a very negative person. I know when I get big someone is gonna find like my old old tweets cus I know there’s hella negative stuff there and I wish I could delete them but until then I just strive for as much positivity as possible cus karma’s real.”