YouTube Vlogger, Shikaina Jacob.
1. How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as casual and comfortable however my clothing has to fit and fall in the right places. It still has to look put together. This summer I've been really into vintage high-waited shorts and crisp white crop tops or button down shirts with gold accents. My parents were missionaries so growing up we didn't really have a budget for clothes. My mom however had a fabulous beauty queen upbringing and would not compromise. She learned how to sew thus we were never short of beautiful clothing. It taught me that all you need to look good is creativity and a little skill. I don't really follow clothing trends, instead I tailor my own clothes and mainly shop at thrift stores. I wear my clothes, they don't wear me.
2. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about two things. Social justice and music. I hope that does not sound cliche but both grip me. It has a lot to do with my missionary upbringing. Standing up for the marginalized was something my family faced on a daily basis and of course the wonderful dose of gospel music that every Sunday school brat gets. I see one as an inspiration and the other as a means.
3. How did you get involved with music and who are your influences.
I got involved with music first through singing in church. I was just a kid who loved singing but then I was thrust into performing competitively and voice lessons. It broke my spirit a little bit. I went to a very competitive performing arts high school in New York City. We were doing performances in Carnegie Hall and having workshops with professional choirs and the New York City Opera. The experiences were so good and so great I felt like I had to measure up at all cost. The result was a burned out sixteen year old. When I was 19 I discovered Motown and Gospel Music. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Al Green. I felt like it brought my soul back from the dead to a time when sang for singing's sake. It didn't matter anymore if I had the best technique or if I could reach the highest note. I wanted to make music that communicated to people. I won't deny though that getting that vocal technique down has helped with my artistry. The way I see it now, it was part of paying my dues. Even though most audacious art will be humbled because inevitably it is something shared with others.
4. Favorite place that you have traveled?
I loved the middle east. I went to Israel in January for a humanitarian trip to the West Bank. We were in a desert city called Jericho. Everything my eye beheld was stunning. The colors and hues of the dessert were so beautiful. The culture was so rich because it was so ancient. More than that however I fell in love with the people and was inspired by how they persevered through conflict. I realized that on both sides at the end of the day everyone wanted to get back the safety of their homes with their family. I wish they all knew the other side just wanted peace.
5. Favorite pastime?
A solo album listening session. I'll pick an album from an artist I like, make myself a meal and listen to the full record from start to finish. I love listening to how the different songs are strung together. I especially love albums that have a continuity in them like Marina and The Diamond's "Electra Heart". She's telling a story through the selection of songs. My favorite thematically is Lupe Fiasco's "The Cool."
6. What is something about you that people wouldn't expect?
So many things... haha... My life like everyone else is a duality, especially because I have a deep connection to my faith and yet I'm hedonistic. I don't believe they conflict but I find on one hand people are surprised I know my theology and on the other they can't believe I have a tattoo.
7. What/who inspires you?
Beyonce. Need I say more.
8. What stereotypes about the Black community do you wish you could destroy?
Statistically black women are the most educated in America, and yet they are labelled as "rachet & ghetto." I have so much respect for black women. I cannot wait to see the day that they are appreciated not for having curves or being exotic, but for their beauty and their many accomplishments that today are overlooked.
9. Anything else?
Favorite Quote: "Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods, so let us celebrate the struggle." -Stevie Wonder
Shameless Promotion: Follow my journey as I forge my way to creating a record. I'll take you guys through the process of song/writting, producing, and everything in between.