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The Murder of Tyre Nichols – Institutionalized Racism Hits Home

Artistic Collage of various images of Tyre Nichols by graphic designer John-Paul Moore of JP Designs Art
"Justice For Tyre"
Artwork by John-Paul Moore of JP Designs Art

I ran to grab a bottle of water while I had a few minutes in between patients, and I walked into the lounge to find Rodney King’s daughter, Lora Dene King, giving an interview about her thoughts on the (at the time) soon to be released footage of Tyre Nichols’ arrest and beating. I stopped dead in my tracks. I had to listen. Ms. King was only 7 when her father was brutally beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers, and yesterday she stated that “the only difference between now and then is hashtags and clearer videos.” My mind started racing.

In an instant, I realized the complexity of what I was watching.

  • The media was building up the hype for the release of the footage like it was the next Black Panther movie,
  • Tyre’s family was pleading with the community not to react violently in response to the heinous crime which would soon be witnessed,
  • The response by the Memphis Police Department and District Attorney concerning the consequences for the officers was SWIFT in comparison to other cases,
  • The officers involved were black men,
  • and there is yet another defenseless human being killed at the hands of the police.
Photo of the five officers charged in the murder of Tyre Nichols
Five Officers from the “Scorpion Unit” are charged with the murder of Tyre Nichols.
Image courtesy of NBC News

The five police officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr., were part of the Scorpion Unit – an acronym for “Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods”. Ironic? The unit was created in 2021 to patrol areas of high crime in the city. Less than 80 yards away from his home, handcuffed, physically restrained, and yelling for his mom, how, exactly, was Tyre involved in “high crime”?

In his article for Forbes magazine, Shaun Harper shared how civil rights attorney Ben Crump told the story of another unarmed Black man who was terrorized in Memphis five days prior to the Nichols beating. “That same Scorpion Unit confronted him while he was in this car going to get pizza and he said that they used all kind of profanity against him, they threw him on the ground [asking], ‘where are the drugs, where are the weapons’… and put a gun to his head.” According to Crump, after somehow surviving that potentially deadly ordeal alive, the man repeatedly called the Memphis police department’s internal affairs unit to report what had happened to him. They were unresponsive; there was no accountability for the officers’ gross misconduct. “If they would have responded to him, we might not be here today,” Crump maintained.

So now, we must address the elephant in the room. The five officers involved in this beating, and subsequent murder, were black men. I have to inject a family question at this point… and it’s simply two words. HOW, SWAY??

I’ll tell you how. The American Psychological Association defines Institutionalized Racism as the differential treatment of individuals on the basis of their racial group by religious organizations, governments, businesses, the media, educational institutions, and other large social entities… [including] legal statutes that restrict the civil liberties of the members of specific racial categories. In my doctoral studies on leadership, one of the keystones embedded in an organization is the mindset of its leaders. This mindset, through policies, standard operating procedures, rewards, and punishment, is what serves to create the culture of an organization. THIS is how, black cops can don the coat of the oppressor and become the very thing they claim to fight against. When the very culture of the police environment marginalizes the value of “black” life, it doesn’t matter what the officers look like. Having power isn’t inherently evil… how you use it just shows who you are.

Tyre Nichols wearing a plaid button up shirt, smiling in front of a colorful backdrop.
Tyre Nichols
Photo Courtesy of Yahoo News

Shortly before I walked into that news broadcast, I came across a video on TikTok where Alexus Grace was discussing how her professor tackled a question regarding Dr. Martin Luther King. One of the things that stuck with me the most was when she quoted her professor as saying, “If you don’t know your formative narrative, you will adopt someone else’s story where the heroes look like them and the villain looks like you.” Humanity is being lied to every day, regardless of what side of the coin you tend to fall on. Propaganda is part and parcel of oppression! Programming is inherent in propaganda. When you see, hear, and feel something enough, it becomes a part of you. And this is how black cops can beat a defenseless man to death. They adopted the narrative of what the villain looks like. It didn’t matter that he was handcuffed. They ascertained that physical restraint was necessary. As was tasing him. And spraying him multiple times in the face with pepper spray. And punching him in the face so hard his head rocked while being held by other officers. And kicking him in the face and body while he lay on the ground. But, in all fairness… They did warn him that they would “baton the fuck out of [him]” if he didn’t give them his hands… even though the officers were holding them.

There has been an outpouring of support for Tyre and his family from the general public, as well as an outcry of pain from black men. In a conversation with Timothy Cross, a musician and author from Dallas, his thoughts on the matter were gut-wrenching. “It’s a sad state of affairs. I no longer feel like I belong here. We get hatred and disdain from everywhere… Women hate us, corporate hates us, cops want to kill us. Nobody likes us, not even black men…My heart is broken.” Artists and creatives have used their craft as a kind of catharsis, a way to tell the story and share their own grief. One such artist is John-Paul Moore of JP Designs Art who recently shared his piece called, simply, “Justice For Tyre”.


Artistic Collage of various images of Tyre Nichols by graphic designer John-Paul Moore of JP Designs Art
“Justice For Tyre”
Artwork by John-Paul Moore of JP Designs Art

Tyre should still be here today loving his son, mother and family. Although I didn’t know Tyre, this is how I want to remember him. I wish I could unsee the video. My heart breaks for his family and the community of Memphis. My prayers of comfort, strength, peace, justice and change go out to his family. I pray this tribute brings them some comfort and light during these dark days.

Rest in heaven Tyre.

Healing from this, like other incidents of police violence, will take time. Time, patience, love, empathy, and compassion. But the first step is actually to discuss those hard points. Those difficult questions. And address the elephant in the room.

The “devil” isn’t always “white”. Sometimes, the devil looks like you.

Who Will Protect the Black Man?


Now that the footage from Tyre Nichols’ traffic stop has been released, we see a narrative that is rarely in the forefront of the media. The Black policeman (in this case several of them) mistreating the black man. We see Black men killing other Black men through gang activity or minor disputes so frequently that it’s almost numbing. But the Black policeman hurting the Black man? The one who vowed to protect and serve? This touches a layer of sadness I never knew I could feel.

With all of the headlines revolving around the White policeman and the black man one would think we have had enough. Now we see not one but five Black policemen mistreating and ultimately beating to death a man who looks like them. Even if there was a crime committed that required this amount of force (force meaning the amount of people), is the brutality necessary?

If not the officers who look like him…who’s going to protect the Black man? Love him? Nurture him? Care for him? For those who think…he’s a man, he can protect himself. Have you seen how the world treats him? Belittles him? Emasculates him? Hurts him? Doesn’t allow him the space to feel his emotions? I have spoken with many Black men specifically from America who have expressed feeling they don’t have a safe space in the place that they live, the places they work nor in confidence with the people they are surrounded by.

Imagine how scary it must be to feel consistently like you are in danger for simply living your life. Are you the enemy or the friend? Lover or confidante? Hater or degrader? Look closely and don’t try to disillusion yourself into thinking you’re not a part of the problem.

The Black man is a phenomenal being by design alone. His resilience, his strength, his endurance. He deserves the space to be able to grow to his full potential. Don’t kick him while he’s down. He’s dealing with enough by simply existing.

As a mother with a Black male child, I cannot conceive what this means for my son, a literal part of me, and the world he will have to endure. There are Black men in my life that I love, admire, aspire to see succeed and to think that the world historically doesn’t see them like I do hurts my heart.

I will be moving forward acting on the ways I can help the Black man feel loved and appreciated, desired and celebrated within my capability. What will you do?

To the family of Tyre Nichols, my condolences. I can not conceive all of the things you and your loved ones may be feeling right now. Stay strong. Justice will be served.

A special thank you to Janelle Thompson for inspiring me to write this.

A special thank you to the Black men in my life for allowing me to be your safe space.

And another special thank you to Lucas Gouvêa, Joey Nicotra, Julian Myles, Tamarcus Brown, Prince Akachi, Larry George II, and Terricks Noah for providing the imagery for my piece.

Scarf Magic!


Start… and leave the rest to God! Lol

Seriously, though… I’ve been asked by many, on many occasions, to show how I wrap my hair. Friends, family, even associates and strangers have reached out. My answer is always the same sentiment. I really have no particular method that I follow. Well, one of my sisters sent a great video of her wrapped locs and it hit me… I do have a major key for my process, “Wrap LAST”!

It’s important to have my base established before I pick up a wrap, for my body or my hair. If you’ve ever been around me long enough, you’ll notice that I’ll wrap myself in anything that is large enough and will present well. A scarf, a blanket, a frayed piece of fabric… even a pair of pantyhose, if they’ll sit properly. With that in mind, I think it’s important to have my body in the light that I desire to see it. That means having a minimum standard to present yourself is an integral step in the process. Clothing simply accentuates and features (or not) what is already there. For me, that looks like having my makeup done and/or my skin moisturized and ready for the world😊. After I’ve done most or all of the grooming needed, then I begin to wrap and lay my fabric to my liking for the day. Sometimes it takes starting over and even changing to a different piece because it’s not falling in a way that is flattering; that’s ok. Some days will be better than others, just do your best.

Over the years, I’ve found that it’s not how I wrap my hair that makes it appealing, it’s how I WEAR it. And that’s with confidence… unapologetically.

Here are a few simple wraps from Ab K. to check out! How To: 3 Easy Headwrap Styles Let me know how they work out for ya!

Anesthesia is just as safe when given by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist or a Physician Anesthesiologist

CRNAs - the original anesthesia experts. National CRNA week is January 23 - 28, 2023

CRNAs: The Original Anesthesia Experts. Established 1863.

Late last year, a malpractice lawsuit made nationwide headlines. The case involved a Dallas man who had undergone orthopedic surgery to repair a fracture sustained during a fall. During his surgery, it was reported that the patient had a hypoxic episode (a period where a low level of oxygen was perfusing the brain due to low blood pressure), resulting in a brain injury called encephalopathy. There were many factors involved in the development of the injury; however, when the Dallas jury awarded in excess of $21MM to a patient’s family, the plaintiff’s lawyer was quoted as saying that CRNAs “may have a nursing degree and an extra year of training.” This statement is false, and as a practicing CRNA, I have chosen to write this editorial to set the record straight.

Experts you trust, Care you count on. A CRNA is holding the hand of a child preparing for surgery.
CRNAs work in all practice settings, including military and rural

Anesthesia, like many medical specialties, had a rough beginning. Methods were crude, morbidity aggravated, and mortality was high. Initially, anesthetizing patients was relegated to medical students, nurses, and even orderlies. Over time, however, the task was given to nurses[a]

As surgical techniques improved and the demand for anesthesia increased, surgeons believed anesthesia to be a “mixed blessing” because patients were aware of the existence of pain-free surgery, but anesthesia was associated with high mortality, and there was a shortage of qualified anesthetists [b][c][d][e]. Thus, the job fell to anyone who was willing and available: mostly medical students and less senior physicians. However, most physicians were not interested in a position they considered to be subordinate and were more eager to learn the skills and techniques of the surgeon. Surgeons, on the other hand, were eager to find well-educated and intelligent professionals to fill the role of anesthetist. Unable to convince enough other physicians to undertake the administration of anesthesia, surgeons turned to graduate nurses to fill this role. [a]

Catherine S. Lawrence (1820-1904) has been identified as the first nurse to administer anesthesia, which occurred during the Civil War, 1861 to 1865 [a]and countless others have come behind her. There are currently 130 accredited Nurse Anesthesia programs and nearly 59,000 practicing CRNAs in the United States. They can practice as a part of an Anesthesia Care Team (ACT) comprised of Anesthesiologists and CRNAs working together, and in many states, they practice independently – either as the sole provider or with a team of other CRNAs – without the supervision of a Physician Anesthesiologist. In fact, this is the case in most rural hospitals (~80%), where CRNAs are the sole anesthesia provider; and in the military, they are the primary providers to our service-men and -women.

Research confirms that care provided by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologists (CRNAs) is just as safe as when that care is delivered by a Physician Anesthesiologist (MDAs). [f] [g] In fact, “An analysis of Medicare data for 1999–2005 finds no evidence that opting out of the oversight requirement resulted in increased inpatient deaths or complications.” [h]

Many people who have undergone anesthesia had it delivered by a CRNA! Even in this day and age, a vast number of people assume we are Physician Anesthesiologists. So, I will leave you with the facts about CRNAs in hopes that you will better understand who those wonderful souls are that watch over you while you sleep: [i]

  • It takes a minimum of 7-8.5 calendar years of education and experience to prepare a CRNA.
  • Nurse anesthesia programs range from 24-51 months, depending on university requirements. Programs include clinical settings and experiences. Graduates of nurse anesthesia programs have an average of 9,369 hours of clinical experience, including 733 hours during their baccalaureate nursing program, 6,032 hours as a critical care registered nurse, and 2,604 hours during their nurse anesthesia program.
  • In 2001, CMS changed the federal physician supervision rule for nurse anesthetists to allow state governors to opt out of this facility reimbursement requirement. To date, 22 states and Guam have opted out of the federal physician supervision requirement, including Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, Michigan, and Arkansas. Additional states do not have supervision requirements in state law and are eligible to opt out should the governors elect to do so.
  • In March 2020, CMS temporarily suspended the supervision requirements for CRNAs to increase the capacity of the U.S. healthcare delivery system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several governors also removed many barriers to CRNA practice during this crisis. According to a January 2021 CMS report, CRNAs were among the top 20 specialties that served the most beneficiaries in non-telehealth care between March 2020 and June 2020—the height of the COVID-19 public health emergency.   Anesthesia unicorn
  • Before they can become CRNAs, graduates of nurse anesthesia educational programs must pass the National Certification Examination.
  • Effective January 1, 2022, all students matriculating into an accredited program must be enrolled in a doctoral program. As of January 1, 2025, all students graduating from an accredited program must be awarded a doctoral degree.

It is truly an honor for us to serve our communities in this capacity. It is my hope that these facts have increased your awareness into those eyes you’re looking into as you drift off to sleep. Sweet dreams!


The last face you see before you go to sleep. CRNA is holding anesthesia mask above patient.Sincerely,

Your Favorite Bartender 😉



L I S T E N to Others


Self-discipline can be a very attractive trait to observe.

If you’re not actually interested in hearing someone else speak or respond, avoid initiating questions and conversation that suggest that. It’s very likely that they notice that you don’t actually listen to them. So, just talk… they’ll probably insert themselves where they think they fit; no prompts necessary.

Just a thought.

Mary Flora Bell: The ‘child’ killer


When we think of serial killers, we usually dream up an older man, perhaps with the tell tell “killer glasses”. Usually preying on women and children. We often think of middle aged men with crazy fetishes and god complexes. Well, at least I do. But how often do we imagine children to be the killers themselves. Mary Flora Bell has kicked our ideas of what a killer should be, to the curb and has unlocked a new fear, a child monster. At just ten years old, Mary Flora bell committed her first murder.

Born May 26 1957 in Corbridge, Northumberland England to a well known prostitute named “Betty” who often left Mary in the care of her sometimes present, sometimes un-present “father”. Though Mary’s biological father was unknown, she spent most of her life believing him to be William “Billy” Bell. A violent alcoholic and habitual criminal. Throughout her young childhood, Mary suffered frequent injuries while in the care of her parents. And her Mother, despite the many allegations of neglect and abuse, refused to give up her custody. It was later said that she used Mary for her BDSM clients as she (Betty) was a dominatrix, and she often allowed her clients to sexually abuse Mary in Sado/Masochistic sessions.

During her early years in school, Mary exhibited violent behavior, often attacking and attempting to strangle the other children, causing all but her future accomplice, the young Norma Joyce Bell (no relation), to alienate her.
In early May of 1968 after a young boy was seen bleeding a confused, wandering the streets, Mary Bells true nature began to uncover. The boy informed authorities that while playing with both Norma and Mary, he had been violently pushed by Mary form the roof of an old air raid shelter. Approx. 7ft to the ground, not even he next day, police were informed that Mary and Norma had attempted to strangle 3 more children later that evening. After being questioned by the police, both girls vehemently denied any responsibility in the incident with the young boy, claiming that had simply found him after he had fallen and had left to find help. However in the matter of the strangling of the other children, while Mary continued to feign ignorance in the matter, Norma, now becoming afraid of Mary herself admitted that Mary had indeed attempted to “throttle” each of the girls. Saying, “Mary went to one of the girls and said, ‘What happens if you choke someone; do they die?’ Then Mary put both hands ’round the girls throat and squeezed. The girl started to go purple. I told Mary to stop, but she wouldn’t. Then she put her hands around Pauline’s throat and she started to go purple as well…another girl, Susan Cornish, came up and Mary did the same thing to her.”

Though after taking the girls statements, the police let the girls go due to their age proving in just a few short years to be a terrible, terrible mistake.

May 25 1968, it’s the day before Mary’s 11th birthday, and Mary spent the morning claiming her first victim. In the upstairs bedroom of a rundown home, Mary claimed the life of four year old Martin Brown in her favorite grotesque fashion, strangling. The boy’s lifeless body was discovered by neighborhood children playing in the house that afternoon.

The little girl actually showed up to the scene of the crime, in true killer fashion as CPR was attempted on Brown’s body. Only to be shooed out by the devastated adults. Mary made her way to Martin’s aunts house and casually informed her that her nephew had had an accident, stating that she thinks it’s Martin but can’t tell because he was covered in blood.

Mary and Norma spent her birthday, the following day breaking into a nursery and vandalizing it. Mary actually left a series of notes admitting the murder and taunting police but the notes, clearly written by children, were dismissed as nothing but a sad prank.

Two days later, Mary showing her growing sick psychotic tendencies, actually went to the mother of Martin Brown asking if she could see him, when his mother replied that he had passed away, her chilling response? “Oh, I know he’s dead; I want to see him in his coffin.”

July 31 1968, the body of 3 year old Brian Howe was found lodged between two concrete bricks by a search party attempting to locate the boy, who had been missing for hours. He had not only been strangled, but he had also been stabbed numerous times (presumably with the pair of scissors found a few feet away from his body), his hair had been crudely cut from his head, and his genitals had been mutilated. This time though the coroner was able to determine that the killer had to be another child due to the small amount of force used in the otherwise brutal attack.

An investigation was launched after the discovery of Brian Howe’s body, with investigators interviewing children all over the area. Both Mary Bell and Norma were interviewed, and initially were let go, but after a second round of interviews, Mary incriminated herself after trying to blame the murder on an unidentified 8 year old boy, stating that she saw him trying to cut off a cats tail with the scissors but was unable to due to the scissors being broken, the broken scissors being a detail only the killer would know.

Norma, unable to hold this secret for long, ended up straight up confessing her involvement to a detective. She explained how Mary had killed Brian by strangling him. Norma stated that while they were playing, Mary “seemed to go all funny” pushing him to the ground while strangling him. She had then turned to Norma and said, “my hands are getting thick, take over.” After which Norma ran away leaving Mary alone with the poor boy.

A full forensic examination placed both Norma and Mary at the scene of the murder, confirming Norma’s story. Both girls were charged with the murder of Brian Howe and underwent a psychological evaluation. Norma’s results showing that she suffered from learning disabilities and was (for lack of a better word) “slow” and submissive. Mary on the other hand was an intelligent and cunning character who suffered from psychopathic personality disorder Due to the girls age, the trial, lasting nine days was heavily publicized, the media releasing the photos and names of both girls. Both girls denied their involvement placing the blame on the other girl. Though the media pointed out Mary’s lack of empathy, heavily focusing on her psychopathy and her ability and high probability to commit more murders in the future. Norma was acquitted of the charges while Mary was charged with manslaughter of both the boys, the judge stating that Mary was dangerous and she posed a very grave risk to other children. She was sentenced to be held at Her Majesty’s pleasure a much needed indefinite sentence for the young Mary Bell.

After having served almost 12 years in custody, Mary Bell was released back into society in 1980, at the age of 23, her whereabouts are currently unknown.


Sites Sourced:

The Mary Bell Case



Mary Bell: The 11-Year-Old Serial Killer


“Texas Longhorn” by Mylon Avery


For more photography, any quesions or special requests, Visit The Website!

Making A Home

Copyright: IAEA Imagebank Photo Credit: Dean Calma/IAEA

As the cliché saying goes, “Life is what you make it”, and I tend to believe that’s true!

Many, I’ll even venture to say MOST, things in the home are there to lend to the aesthetic that the dwellers present are looking to create. What does that mean??? Simple – you can have, OR NOT HAVE, whatever you want in your home!

How you introduce people to and engage that reality is totally up to you. How do we know there is validity in this idea?

Well… CULTURES! They are the very first things that come to mind, when I start to open my perspective. Let’s look at the dining experience, for example. In some cultures, it is customary to be fully dressed (shoes included) in a chair, at a dining table, with multiple place settings, silverware, glasses, and courses! In others, you may find near the opposite – shoes removed, as you dine at a table setting, barely above the floor, upon which you are seated, sharing a meal from the same dishes with your hands! Can you imagine what a home swap might FEEL like? DIFFERENT is my best guess!

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Let’s take it a step further… think about the myriad of emotions and thoughts that may be conveyed to someone else, who may not have had that experience. In that interaction, the person sharing has the power to potentially shape the opinion of the listener. Was the experience positive or negative? Did they have nothing? Were they uncivilized or improper? Rich? Poor?

Wealth has so much to do with perceived value… or dare I say, everything to do with it. Consider the varying things that can make one “wealthy”:

  • Knowledge/Information/Education
  • Currency
  • Natural resources
  • … and the list goes on.

These things all have something in common. They only matter where they have (are given) value!

I’m gonna stop here with this one before I run away with myself. I will leave you with this…

While your tax bracket can absolutely change your experiences, your perception is the leading lady that defines them.

The People Declare Independence


Saturday, December 17, 2022, marked a new beginning for free and independent nation, The Xi-Amaru Republic. 

After countless appeals to their former nation, The Aboriginal Republic of North America (ARNA), and petitioning Chief Amaru Namaa Taga Xi-Ali Muhammad, to no avail, the nation has moved to establish their own independence; absolving all allegiances and ties, including connections, to The Indigenous Political Authority (IPA).

While this motion should come as no surprise to ARNA and IPA, it is a history-making new dawn for those Aboriginal Indigenous people disenfranchised by a nation that should have been exemplary, in thought and action, of a “home”.

Despite the necessity to separate as its own entity, The Xi-Amaru Republic Independence Day was, by no means, a day of sorrow and discontent. It was a day of LIBERATION, CELEBRATION, and UNITY! 

When asked to share their experiences, words such as “powerful” and “unifying” were used. One member even expressed, “I thought it was a very well executed event…something to feel proud about.” Each account kept a consistent spirit of gladness, and an optimistic outlook on the annus mirabilis to come. 

A Republic based on providing for the collective interests of our people; we are on the precipice of creating something great!

-AnkhSatetAmun Xi-Amaru NabiSentAmun 


  • Xi-Amaru Republic Declaration of Independence
  • 2023 Merriam-Webster, Inc.


Choppin’ it up: Joshua Stephfon


It’s that time again; another artist from El Paso, Texas and this “Choppin’ it Up” session is with Joshua Stephfon. I met Joshua while attending a show at a local venue named “LoveBuzz”. I was there with some friends showing support for someone they knew that was performing. So show starts and K Scott (another “Choppin’ it Up” interviewee) is performing; he has his photographer taking pictures, you know, doing his thing. Then all of a sudden, his photographer grabs a mic and begins to sing, I was kinda in shock, it was totally unexpected. The photographer that grabbed the mic and performed with K Scott was you guessed it…. Joshua Stephfon.

Where are you from Joshua?

Memphis, Tennesse.

How did you end up here in El Paso?

The military.

What first got you into music? 

Music has always been in my life. My family was in church a lot and I started falling in love with instruments, more than anything. Not only that, my mom introduced me to all kinds of music. May seem like a cliche answer, but growing up was hard. The environment was not like most, and music was all we had a lot of the time.

Who/What inspired you to make music?

I didn’t start making music until late high school. Only my family and the people at church knew I could sing, but somehow the word got around. People around school, the girls of course lol, would always try to get me to sing. So, I think just people encouraging me to not sleep on my gift inspired me to take it a step further and actually try to write something of my own.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Typically, I love making R&B music, so I would say its for the heart and soul. Although I’m talented enough to do multiple genres, I seem to always get back to R&B. I love making music with meaning, and connecting to others with my feelings and ideas.

What is your creative process like?

My creative process, I would say, is unstable. Reason why I say that is because I have so many ways that I create. Most artist may have to be around music to create, but music is floating in my head all the time. Maybe I should say it’s an “on-the-go” style of creating.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Honestly, I’m not looking forward to collaborating with anyone. I’m building my catalog and focusing on me. Now if I see an artist and they have a vibe that I like, then I guess I’ll bend my own rules for that. Although I may not be working with anyone right now besides the talented K. Scott, I do support others and wish them the best.

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

Hmm, that is a great question. I love performing, so it could be anyone, honestly. I just want to be on stage. I want to be heard. I want people to feel me and my energy!

What is one message you would give to your fans?

I would tell them that I love them more than anything! I would tell them to never give up on their dreams or themselves. The people around you aren’t going to see what you see or feel the way you do about your craft ,so FUCK THEM; and I mean that in the most disrespectful way as possible. #DONTSLEEP

What is the most useless talent you have?

Lmao I’ve been thinking about this question too long. I don’t feel any talent is useless. Why? Because there is someone out there that can’t do some of the things that we may see as useless or simple.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

I don’t know where I would be in life, if I never stepped out on that ledge and started creating. Maybe doing fashion or something. I’ve always been in love with putting clothes together. Didn’t have a budget, at all, for clothes growing up, but I think I put what I had together very nicely.

Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?

I’ve performed in a lot of different places. Weddings, small bars, etc. Don’t have a least favorite, or anything like that, because they all gave me something different.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

I feel as if it has opened it up for a lot of people to be noticed. One thing I don’t like is the clout. There can be a great artist and an average artist, and all the attention will be on the one who has the most followers. So is it the music that we are judging, or what is it?

What is your favorite song to perform?

I would say “Cant Get You Off” or “Waiting”, at the moment. Everyone that hears those definitely feel where I’m coming from.

Do you have something you do besides music?

I do a lot of things. Just limiting yourself to one thing isn’t a bad thing, but I personally don’t like it. I customize shoes, clothes, and many other things. You can find my work on instagram @customstephfon. I’m also working on and planning for my clothing line/brand that I hope to be releasing a couple pieces from, here soon.      

Dope! I will be in contact about customizing some Uptowns soon. Are you on social media at all? Where can people find your music?

Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook all @JoshuaStephfon and music on all streaming platforms.  

Ok cool Joshua thank you for your time truly appreciate the opportunity to chop it up with you man. #Staygrinding #Stayworking