Amanda Spann and Sheena Allen
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Drink Up: Black Female Tech Developers Create New Adult Beverage Mobile App, “Alchomy”

Amanda Spann and Sheena Allen are adding new meaning to how we hold our liquor.

Tracking their digital footprints through apps like Blerdology and PicSlit, mobile tech developers Amanda Spann and Sheena Allen never considered that their journey in the tech world would lead them to their latest development, Alchomy.

The innovative, location-based mobile creation is a drink discovery community in which users can share, save, and recommend adult beverages. From cocktails, to Mai Tais, to cognacs, the Alchomy mobile app keeps you in the mix by curating your personal tastes by location with access to over 16,000 drink recipes.

As it continues buzzing through mobile app stores, Spann and Allen are embracing the unprecedented creation while navigating the technology world as black, female entrepreneurs and developers. VIBE tapped into a conversation with the two ladies on the app’s development, minority presence in mobile technology, and how they're keeping bottoms up.

 

VIBE: What motivated you to tap into the tech world?
Sheena Allen: I started doing mobile apps in 2011 while I was a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi. I got involved in technology from a random idea. My major in school was actually psychology, and had no interest in doing anything technical at all.
Amanda Spann: I had always had this underlying interest in technology, but didn’t go to school for it. I majored in communications and fashion. When I started off doing public relations in the fashion and entertainment realm, I worked with several different entertainment entities. At the time, I felt a little insecure about entering the tech world because I didn’t know coding. But after speaking to a few people, I learned that there were plenty of opportunities in technology outside of being a developer. I thought about how to segue way out of entertainment and focus on technology public relations. After working on that, I was introduced to different opportunities and started tapping into the social enterprise. The rest is kind of history.

Are there any black techies that paved the way for you to launch your career in the technology realm?
AS: One person who really gave me the push in the right direction was my dad. He works in technology and encouraged me to get rid of the fear of not being competent and as qualified as my counterparts. Another person would be Lindsey Holmes, who is not really a developer but works in the tech space as a well-respected consultant. She gave me that push toward entrepreneurship. I remember her telling me that she made that leap a couple years ago and never looked back.
SA: When I started out, no. I’m from Mississippi, so tech was a foreign idea to me. Once I got into it, the first to inspire me was Kimberly Bryant. She runs Black Girl Code, and has always been a huge influence because what she has done in the tech world is amazing. After that, there was also a mentor I met along the way who helped me along my way.

For Alchomy, why adult beverages? What piqued your interest for this instead of food or restaurants?
AS: When I originally conceptualized it, I was traveling a lot for work. When that job ended, I started thinking about how easy it was to just pick a quick spot to grab something to eat, but it wasn’t always so easy to find a great place for drinks. Drinks have always just been an interest of mine as well as learning more about the cocktail market. I don’t have a background in bartending or any type of expert in the market, so I really wanted to work on making my palette a little bit more sophisticated. When I researched whether this was really worth doing, I started seeing how many people really have an interest in drinks. Actually, about 87% of Americans drink. So, there I saw that the market was picking up and the quintessential, average question is, “Where are we having drinks today?” Everyone can relate to that, so I grabbed the opportunity there to create something interesting and innovative. The food space is not completely saturated, but it’s already been done so many times. No one is doing drinks in the way that we are.
SA: For me, it was the fact that I had already done apps and most of them have been photo-based with the exception of one, which was finance-based. When Amanda approached me with this idea, I appreciated that it was different. It was definitely a different category. There’s always people who are asking where they want to go for drinks, and I loved this idea when she pitched it to me.

Before Alchomy, you ladies co-founded other apps like Blerdology and PicSlit. What did you take from your experience with those mobile platforms into the development of this new app?
SA: Everything I had done before Alchomy was trial-and-error. Everything I did, I learned on my own. I spent time in Silicon Valley and in Texas, so I was really just learning and experiencing how the technology world works. Before, I didn’t really know the ins and outs. All the mistakes I’ve made from the brainstorming, to the whiteboarding, to knowing what Apple will accept and reject all contributed into making Alchomy the best that we could.
AS: It was just a huge jump from going from publicist to founder. This was a lot more all-inclusive. Being a founder of an app versus a publicist for one such as Blerdology, you literally have to know everything. I really was dependent on Sheena and our other two partners and learning about their areas of expertise. It took a lot of time to sit down with each of them and say, ‘Hey, can you show me more about XYZ.’ Then, just navigating the process and learning to stay ahead of the curve so that they can do their jobs efficiently. The biggest takeaway from dealing with other apps before this one would be learning how to work on your business and in your business at the same time. It is a challenge projecting where you want to move forward. Also, you can’t get too far ahead of yourself. You can’t put the promotions before the product, and as a publicist for the previous apps, that was innate for me. It takes time to build something that people will actually use and that’s what we are in the process of doing now.

Now, as an established black developer, were there any major challenges you faced trying to break into the tech world?
SA: I’m guesstimating this number, but I believe there are only about three percent black female founders for tech companies. I believe there’s about one percent who ever get funded over $250 thousand for them—it’s somewhere around those numbers. You come in as a minority, and anytime you’re the minority it’s a challenge. I look at it as a gift and a curse because you are the minority. It takes more to break in and people might look at you funny. One person takes one step and you might have to take 10. But the gift is that once they do look at you, if you’re doing it right you’re giving them something to look at.
AS: I cosign [Sheena’s point]. There’s so many articles and information about lack of diversity in certain industries. Especially with being a black woman in technology, there’s oftentimes this unique perspective of an African-American mindset, how we produce products, and how we consume them. I definitely think we’re at an advantage. The challenge would be building a network. People gravitate toward helping people that not necessarily look like them, but people that feel familiar to them. There’s opportunity for us, and I think we just have to figure out how to connect the dots to be on the same page as these investors. There’s a lot of research now about that process to help mitigate that system and navigate through more seamlessly.

What are your thoughts on other mobile apps geared solely toward the black community like SoulSwipe for example? Do you believe they’re progressive or faulty and divisive?
AS: Personally, I love SoulSwipe! I think it can be a catch-22. There’s definitely a need for those communities because you want to foster a good place for people to feel comfortable. I know a lot of my friends really enjoy it beause it cuts out some of the clutter from othr dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and other apps like that if you’re looking for a black partner. There’s a different feel and atmosphere on an app like that. I don’t believe it’s divisive; anyone can use the app, it’s just geared toward a specific market and I don’t anything wrong with that. I mean there’s plenty of apps that are created that don’t really have the black audience in mind, and we still use them. I don’t see why we can’t make one that does have that audience in mind and be of value as well.

How do you stay above the competition?
SA: The biggest thing that sets us apart is our content and the strategies we use. It’s much different than an app you can just go in and find a recipe for. That’s just an option and a feature of Alchomy. We offer much more than just the basics.
AS: We are a lot more open to the dynamics of those who like drinks and entertainment versus just one or the other. With other apps in our space, they’re very narrow and focus on just one segment of drinking. They may focus just on going out on the town or recipes. When you think of who most people are as people, it changes. The same person you are winding down after work on Tuesday is not the same person you are turning up on Saturday. Our mobile platform accommodates both. Also, we wanted to make a recommendation engine that could curate your content by your tastes and location. When you go out, you want to know what places have what you like—anywhere in the world. We didn’t want to just feed people something based on what’s popular to other people. Take Yelp for example, which does reviews. There’s a big difference between a review and a recommendation. A review is either a person really likes or hates something. But, there’s no consideration for people who may be considering that particular venue and what experience it may have been trying to give that the person may not have understood. We want something that’s more customized, customer-rich, and taste-based.

Lastly, are there any major changes or developments coming up for Alchomy users?
AS: We can’t release too much, but there’s a couple new cool features coming this summer. We will be having our Android launch during that time, too, since the app is only available to iPhone users. Definitely be on the lookout for that!

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Carmen Mandato

Lil Kim Talks '9' Album, Biggie And Rick Ross Comparisons, And Celebrates City Girls' JT's Freedom

This past July, Lil Kim canceled two interviews, citing that the outlets wouldn’t “put respect on my name” and “wanted to be messy.” But the rap legend known as Queen Bee has had plenty of blessings this year. At a dinner honoring their friend Notorious B.I.G.’s birthday on May 21, she and Lil Cease reconciled their strained relationship after not seeing each other in person for 13 years. In September, she received the I Am Hip Hop Icon Award at the 2019 BET Hip-Hop Awards and gave a nostalgic performance with surprise appearances by Junior M.A.F.I.A., Musiq Soulchild and O.T. Genasis.

The year’s worth of positivity culminated with the release of 9, Lil Kim’s long-awaited fifth studio album that pairs her raunchy, street-oriented bars her fans love with guest appearances by Rick Ross, City Girls and Rich The Kid. While Kim has released several mixtapes over the past decade, 9 is her first studio album since 2005’s The Naked Truth, which she released days within beginning a prison bid. And her fans were patiently waiting: the day of the release of 9, Lil Kim was trending nationwide on Twitter.

In a conversation with VIBE, Lil Kim speaks about her new album, weighs in on comparisons between Biggie and Rick Ross, and rejoices the City Girls’ JT newfound freedom.

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VIBE: Your last official album was The Naked Truth, and you had a lot to say on that album because of what you were dealing with. What made you decide to make a new album now?

Lil Kim: Why not? I’m a beast, I love music. Why not? I love music, I’m good at what I do, and my fans want it. As long as my fans want it, I’m going to keep giving it to them and doing what I want to do.

Your fans definitely want it. You were trending worldwide today on Twitter when the album dropped. What’s it like to see the interest that high so far into your career?

It’s amazing. Not only was I trending, but I was number one in so many different countries. Number one, number two. Number 16 on all genres since last night, before the album even officially dropped.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

You guys are doing EXCELLENT! 🙌🏾 Beehive don’t let the devil deter you from the greatness that is happening and the history that is being made. Ya’ll keep going because there’s so much history to be made and we’re just getting started. ❤️ We outside fr, the streets have spoken 🔥 #9️⃣

A post shared by Lil' Kim (@lilkimthequeenbee) on Oct 21, 2019 at 5:52pm PDT

The album sounds current, but it still sounds like you. Was there a dedicated effort to make it sound current and like what's already out there?

It was actually a dedicated effort to do what I wanted to do. To be the classic Kim I am, and be in the now and to be in the future.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “Pray For Me.” How did that come together?

That’s one of my favorite songs, too. I wrote that song right in my kitchen. I thought about it when I was going through a lot of things. I’m a very spiritual person, I’m big on energy and spirit. The energy I was feeling when I heard that beat, that’s where I wanted to release the energy and the things I was going through in that song. The song came like that, we didn’t add that in the beat in there. So I felt like the beat was laid out for me. I already saw Rick Ross, and I already saw Musiq Soulchild, and I saw myself setting the song up.

A lot of people, I believe including Diddy, have said that Ross reminds them of Biggie. Do you agree with those comparisons?

I think he has some similarities, yeah. You can tell that Biggie’s influence is there, and that’s amazing. There will never be another BIG, period. But I don’t think necessarily that Ross is trying to be BIG or anything like that. I think that he just has big love for BIG, and he has a lot of similarities, and I love it. His style is super dope. I’ve always loved him, and I think he expressed that from the moment he came out.

Another favorite is “Auto Blanco.” On that record you said, “BIG and Pac be alive if you niggas ain’t gas shit up. If I knew who did it, I’d personally wrap their caskets up.” It’s been a while, but are you still actively mourning?”

All the time I’m mourning his death. All the time. But as far as trying to go to the end of the world to find out who did it, no, I just let God work that out. Because sooner or later, everything from the dark will come out. But at this point, all I can do is live for him.

Tell me about the significance behind the number nine as this album's title.

Nine is my spiritual awakening number. There were nine members in Junior Mafia, my baby was born June 9, Biggie passed on March 9. It is 2019. My birthday is 7/11, seven plus two is nine. When you get a spiritual awakening, you have to act on that moment. And there you have it… Something that’s a spiritual awakening can’t be negative. With every rise, every level you go to, with every win when God is working on your life, the devil’s gonna come. But nine is all positive.

The Naked Truth is an angry record, and you had plenty of reason to be upset. After you got out, how did you get to the point where you were able to grapple with what happened and move forward with your life?

Because it wasn’t what people thought. I met some of my best friends inside. I got a lot of rest the first two weeks, I was tired because I was working. I learned a lot. It was like going to a very, very, very, very bad boarding school. (laughs) I learned a lot, and I got to get closer to God. It wasn’t as bad inside as it was when I came home, the things I had to go through, to be honest with you. I had worse times outside of prison than I did in prison. I had to go through some really really dark, deep things.

JT of City Girls just got out of prison, and you had them on your album on the song "I Found You." Do you have any advice for JT?

I haven’t spoken to her yet, but we’re trying to set up a call so I can talk to her. That’s my girl, I’m so happy that she’s home. I know that feeling. Ain’t nothing like your freedom. I love that girl, I love them, I love Miami…I think everybody who just comes home renewed with how they move and live at that point, because you’re free. You use your own discrepancy. Everybody has their own different climb that they’re going to.

At the Biggie dinner, you were reunited with Cease. What has it been like to have that relationship mended?

It’s a beautiful thing. As you can see, nothing but greatness and beautiful things have come out of that. Look at the BET [Hip-Hop] Awards! That shit was fucking nostalgic! That shit was fucking amazing. Junior M.A.F.I.A. came out and the crowd went nuts. Sometimes when people realize things they have done and they apologize sincerely, that is worth more than gold. That’s a family member. Family fucks up, that’s it. We do that in our family and relationship. But when it’s family, especially for someone like Biggie, we have to come together and we have to let Biggie live the way he’s supposed to. That was my way of mending his broken heart.

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For Us By Us: 8 Things To Know About The Black News Channel

A network for us by us is heading to a television near you. The Black News Channel, a network dedicated to quality news and original content for African-Americans, will see the light of day next month.

BNC has been over a decade in the making thanks to J.C. Watts, the former Oklahoma congressman who wanted to create a platform similar to CNN with only news and insight by people of color. Networks like BET and TVOne have respectfully released similar programming in the past with BET Nightly News and News One Now hosted by Roland Martin, but this new network plans to run on a 24-hour news cycle while tying in programs that will benefit teens, women, and HBCUs.

It was recently announced that Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan made up a large part of the investment pool, with many wondering just how the network will be run. Khan has reportedly voted for President Donald Trump but has continuously slammed his tenure as commander-in-chief.

According to BNC's website, their mission statement is "to provide intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to its African-American audience." They also hope to "preserve a proud black American heritage" and inspire viewers with uplifting and spiritual content daily.

The network will launch across over 30 million households on Friday, Nov. 15. In the meantime, here's everything you should know about the Black News Channel.

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1. The BNC Was Co-Founded by J.C. Watts, A Former Athlete Turned Republican Congressman

Watts has worn many hats in his life with most of them existing in the business space. Some of his endeavors include a public affairs consulting company as well as director seats at companies like retail giant Dillard's, CSX Corporation and ITC Holdings.

Before jumping into the business world, Watts played college football for the Oklahoma Sooners and later, the Canadian Football League. After becoming a Baptist minister in the early '90s, he ran for Congress and served four terms.

During that time, Watts worked alongside Capitol Hill with former Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush. During the late '90s, he was elected to the chair of the House Republican Conference. He also co-founded the Coalition for AIDS Relief in Africa and helped develop legislation with Congressman John Lewis to establish the Smithsonian Museum of African American history.

The idea for BNC came in 2004 with the intent to provide quality news and original programming to African-American households. "The Black news channel is culturally specific to the African-American community," he told The Street earlier this month.

"You've got 200 plus stations on any cable system. We are the one location that you can come and find out about wellness culture, current affairs as it relates to African-American communities." He also stressed the need to provide a safe space for black wellness earlier this year on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club.

2. The BNC Was Almost Based On FAMU's Campus

Before setting up shop in Tallassee, Florida, Watts was interested in filming on the campus but decided against it. Instead, the network will work closely with Ann Kimbrough in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University and other Historical Black Colleges & Universities across the country.

3. It Will Serve Over 30 Million Households

BNC will operate as a 24/7 news channel and will launch to an estimated 33 million households. A reported 23 million are satellite owners while the other 10 million are from cable TV households in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. A studio was also built this year for the network in New Orleans.

In the early stages of the network, the company created "on-air programming trials" that served 8 million people. The project helped the company with the type of content they wanted to create and the content viewers wanted to see.

4. Religion And Faith Might Play A Role In Programming

Under the site's goals for the Black News Channel, the company notes how they've built strong relationships with African-American figures from the clergy, media, and politics. While it isn't known just how faith will play into BNC's ideology, there seems to be something there.

5. One of Their Biggest Investors Has A Fickle Relationship With President Donald Trump

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants Black News Channel to reflect the views of African-Americans but critics aren't thrilled about his political ties. Khan reportedly voted for Trump and donated $1 million to his inauguration. During an interview at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit this month, Khan explained his appreciation for Trump's economic retort but a distaste for his social policies around immigration, religion and civil rights.

Khan was one of the first NFL owners to famously lock arms with players in solidarity for Colin Kaepernick who was slammed for kneeling during the National Anthem. “Those were human causes that [the players] brought a lot of attention to," he said.

"And since then, the league has done a lot. We’d need a special program with you to go through all the stuff. And the players have done a lot. That was the time for talk and symbolism; since then, it’s been time for action. And there’s been a lot of action. Local communities, prison reform, a lot of those things that impact not only minorities but other people.”

But when it comes to his investment in BNC, Khan wants to change the narrative in media about black lifestyles. “I believe there is an undeniable calling for everything the Black News Channel will deliver to African-American television audiences, who have historically been underserved, in an era where networks have otherwise successfully targeted news to specific demographic groups and interests,” Khan told WJCT, adding, “My decision to invest is an easy one, because we get to answer that call.”

6. Original Programming Will Cater To Black Women and Teens

An estimated 12 hours will be dedicated to the news while the rest will focus on content dedicated to women and teens. Other programs will also shed light on alternative sports like MMA, Muay Thai and the NBA on a global level.

Some standout program synopses include:

Being a Woman

This daily one-hour hosted talk show is dedicated to topics of interest to women of all ages. Show topics will range from childbirth to caring for elderly parents, business to politics, and entertainment to hair care. No topic is too big or too small for this woman-to-woman discussion. The show host will select distinguished women from the vast array of academic experts and alumnae professionals associated with our Historical Black Colleges & Universities to co-host each day’s program.

Getting Ready With Jane: Today's Teen

In this show, family therapist Jane Marks gets real with teens and speaks a language they can understand. With more than forty years of experience helping families and young people in crisis, Marks offers helpful and timely advice to young African Americans about coping in today’s world. This one-hour weekly program is family-friendly and offers a message of hope. Today’s Teen Talk series is definitely “must see TV.”

My Money

This daily half-hour business show will examine best practices for wisely making and managing your money, as well as news and information about what is happening in the financial markets at home and around the world. This format will include a host and financial experts as studio guests.

7. HBCU's Will Have A Great Influence On The Black News Channel

BNC's relationship with Historical Black Colleges & Universities will run deep. Not only will aspiring journalists have an opportunity to work at the network but they will also have exposure to media training and state of the art production.

The series Living Social at HBCUs will also explore life on HBCU campuses and the intersection of education and cultural development.

8. Larry Elder Will More Than Likely Ruffle Feathers

Everyone loves a wildcard and BNC has found one in Larry Elder. The radio staple and attorney has over 25 years in the industry from news programs on NBC and ABC News & Talk. He also starred as a judge on Moral Court, an early production by TMZ creator Harvey Levin in 2001.

Elder's views have been seen as conservative but he reportedly identifies as a Libertarian. After walking away from the news show sector, Elder made his way to digital radio and podcasting where he's led conversations on topics like "Unwed Fathers" in the NBA, education, and criticism of the early presidential candidates of the 2020 election. He's also a frequent user of the #HillaryUnhinged hashtag that criticizes the former presidential candidate.

Larry Elder NEW Video: Why Won't The 'Woke' @NBA Take On The 800lb Elephant On The Court--UNWED FATHERS?!?https://t.co/Tbtqmcz25c#FathersMatter pic.twitter.com/I8oOAOcKIx

— Larry Elder (@larryelder) October 21, 2019

School Choice, Pt. 2

Larry Elder VIDEO: Black and Hispanic Democrats WANT Choice in Education--White Democrats DO NOT!https://t.co/ghQQMNS4iV#SchoolVouchers

— Larry Elder (@larryelder) October 20, 2019

A program hasn't been shared on BNC's website but Elder is listed as a "Show Host/Commentator." We're sure many will tune in to hear about today's culture from his perspective.

Learn more about the Black News Channel here.

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Josias Valdez

SAINt JHN Brings Unwavering Confidence To New York's Experimental Rap Sound

SAINt JHN’s amalgamation of primal energy and eager mosh pits at Rolling Loud are unmatched. A hazy sunset would’ve been a fitting pairing for his rage session, but his early set at New York’s Citi Field Saturday (Oct. 12) gets the job done. While a few curious eyes from VIP are studying the vibes, the trenches are full of fans screaming lyrics to “5,000 Singles,” "94 Bentley” and “Trap” (feat. Lill Baby)—all standouts from his sophomore project, Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs.

The diverse crowd isn’t a surprise to the Brooklyn artist. JHN’s musical ancestry has allowed his vines to branch out to artists like Usher, dvsn and Beyonce; all artists he’s earned co-writer credits for respectively. But then there are those who discovered him through Fortnite or his work on “Brown Skin Girl.” No matter how Ghetto Lenny crossed fans' path, he’s grateful listeners are making the pit stop.

“It's better than anything I could ask for, that’s what I wanted,” he tells VIBE. “I just wanted people to hear the sounds and fall in love and not overthink it. You get a 12-year-old and you'll get a 55-year-old standing next to each other in the audience. They’re from different eras of music but they’ll feel the same way.”

JHN calls his presence at New York’s first Rolling Loud “good timing” in light of his appearances across the traveling festival’s Miami, L.A. and Bay Area staples. But the moment feels kismet since JHN is one of the few surviving New York performers who were able to hit the stage.

Just 24 hours before the festival kicked off, fellow rising Brooklyn acts like Casanova, Sheff G, 22Gz, and Pop Smoke as well as Bronx rapper Don Q were banned at the request of the NYPD because of their alleged affiliations to recent “acts of violence” citywide. While fellow NYC natives like A$AP Rocky, Desiigner, Jim Jones and Fat Joe took the stage, JHN was one of the few acts to represent New York’s new sound.

“Those artists come from the places I come from,” he said of the ban. “In instances like this, you have to separate the art from the incident. Clearly these artists come from different pasts—they talk about it in their music. But the point of the music is to transition out of that.” Many of the artists like Cassanova and Don Q spoke out against the NYPD’s influence in the festival.

"I’m at war with my past and the scars that they still leave on me every day," Casanova said on Instagram. "I will continue to fight against biases and advocate for those facing this same issue."

“You have to give them the opportunity to tell their stories or you further entrap them,” JHN adds about the group of rappers. “They end up stuck in the same positions they’re trying to escape by making a concrete wall around their history.”

JHN’s history is a mix of the power of attraction and community. His early years comprised of creating the building blocks of his label GØDD COMPLEXx and his fashion line Christian Sex Club. While making his dreams a reality, the grind led him to genuine friendships with future superstars like Jidenna, Skrillex and Ski Mask The Slump God. Last year, JHN released his debut album Collection One paired with head-bashing shows across the country.

Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs takes his sound to the next level with melodic punches on tracks like “I Can Fvcking Tell” and the Lenny Kravitz-assisted “Borders.” With punk and rap flowing effortlessly from JHN, the artist can only attest his glowing confidence to the game of life.

“My journey is where I'm at right? It's the monopoly board of my life, and I'm making my rounds,” he says. Being confident grows every year. So me saying "too lit to be humble" [On “5,000 Singles”] that just means I'm not gonna call it nothing else, I'm just gonna tell what it is. This is who I am, fuck with it. If you don't like it, you can turn left. You can turn around if you want, but this is happening.”

On his collaboration with Lenny Kravitz, JHN looks back with a big smile and several words. “Iconic, outrageous, Ignorant. Three o'clock in the morning of Paris,” he says. “Checkered floors. Space. Leather fixtures, Dark rooms. Lenny Kravitz. SAINt JHN. My nigga, I can tell you anything. I can tell you it smelled like cigars, whiskey, rum, and the Bahamas because in my mind, all that shit happened.”

But in all seriousness, the moment was an indication for JHN that his journey in music is paved with golden intentions.

“It was reinforcement,” he says. “The first time I worked with Usher, I learned that I belonged in the room. You know the first time you get invited into a room you have never been in and you almost feel like you lied your way in? The second time, you don't feel like you lied your way in.”

JHN's IGNORANt FOREVER Tour kicks off Nov. 11 in Miami with stops in Toronto, Los Angeles and New York. See the dates here.

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