YOUNG JEFE  

noun || yəNG ˈhefā

MIIGHTY is a content curator based in New York City.

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MIIGHTY

YJ: What’s your current hustle?

M: My current hustle? I'd have to say: telling timely and relevant stories through social content. I live to create imagery that stops you in your tracks, forces you to double tap, and encourages you to want to know more about the product or idea. My biggest focus at the moment is telling those stories through the fashion lens, with a focus always on elevating the level of taste.

YJ: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?

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M: Yes and no! I was always the child drawing, taking pictures, recording video…making up stories and trying to bring them to life. There was no way specifically that I could’ve told you I’d have a career programming content for social. Those tools just didn't exist yet. I spent time in the world of technology, product and beauty before finding my way to fashion. I think things naturally progressed along the path they were supposed to. I think they’re still progressing. I’ve dabbled in so many different things. I think the future is just now starting to take shape.

YJ: When did you realize you could succeed in your (current) respective field?

M: In 2013 I moved to New York with an iPhone, a backpack, and a small suitcase of belongings. I  took a photo that I was incredibly proud of and got a feature in a small photo publication I submitted to often by the name of @streeetdreamsmag. It came out in the 007 issue. It wasn’t a large feature, it didn’t take up a full spread, but I was published — in print. I was so excited about it, I bought three copies of the physical magazine.

YJ: What do you think is unique about your creative process? 

M: The lens with which I see the world is uniquely my own. I think my process is unique in the way I tell stories, the way I think through ideas. 

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Everything starts on paper initially. Ideas start through a drawing, a list, a rough map of where I want to go. The next step is the content, the story. How are we rolling it out? Is it a film, an animation, photography, or a combination of media? What are we trying to convey and what is the best use of media to achieve that goal? I feel my lens is also unique because my perspective is fairly unique. I’ve been told my personal work is “very black.” No matter where I’ve moved in my career, I find educated men of color to be the minority. I’m usually the only person in a room that has my specific list of experiences to pull from.

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YJ: How do you "practice" your craft? 

M: I practice by doing — every single day. I guess they say there’s a 10,000 hour rule right? When I first moved to New York and started to take photos I had very little experience behind the lens. I worked on it everyday. My phone came with me everywhere until I had the money for better equipment. My camera came with me everywhere once I had one. For a good portion of my early time in New York I worked the night shift. My lunch break was 3 o’clock in the morning. I remember very specifically walking up and down 5th Avenue working on my lighting. You’ve got to find time to practice your craft, even if it means losing a couple of hours of sleep. 

YJ: What would you say to someone who may think that their talent is not an ideal career path? 

M: My advice is always: don’t listen to your parents, and if there’s something you love — figure out how to make it work for you. I think you can eat off anything these days if you can figure out how to market that set of skills. 

YJ: What’s been your favorite collaborative project thus far? And why? 

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M: My favorite project this year was my collaboration with RONG on his Vapormax Hybrid sneaker. A good friend of mine is a wizard when it comes to custom made anything. He created a custom, more utilitarian version of a popular Nike sneaker. Together, we shot the shoe frame by frame and created a short video animation showcasing all of his different modifications that paired with a video for his shoe release. It was fun to walk through the creative process. It’s been even more fun to see actual Nike projects drop since with very similar visuals and branding to our own. It’s a good feeling to know your head is in the right place when leaders in your industry create the same things.

YJ: What are you still looking to achieve?

M: Honestly, my next big focus is trying to bring black male creatives together for collaborative projects. This really stemmed from my frustration with the industry and what I feel is a lack of representation. I feel like black women, and women of color in general do an excellent job of supporting each other, telling stories and making their voice heard. I also feel like there are a lot of spaces today specifically created by women for women, which is beautiful. I wish the same spaces existed for black men. 

For more of Miighty, follow him here.

Edited by: Tyler Johnson