30 to Watch in 2019
The year is coming to an end and as 2019 is getting ready to serve us up a fresh new batch of creatives, we wanted to spotlight 30 people we think are creating a new narrative for what it means to be African in America. These individuals stand out in their respective fields and create content and exhibit storytelling skills that are moving a generation forward. You should pay attention if you aren’t already.
Ebun Olaloye – Owner/Founder – Live Breathe Futbol
Building a Futbol Fashion brand from the ground up is no small task. Ebun has taken LBF from the streets of Philly to work with Adidas, Sporting Kansas City and more to also segway into personal projects with FedEx and Starbucks. More than just a one-dimensional creative Ebun, is on track to build something great with his work.
Theo Martins – Musician / Good Posture / Cereal & Such
Theo honed his skills as a musician early in his career but has evolved into a well round storyteller sharing his life experiences through his IG stories/Snapchat series called “The Theo Show” In his growth, he has created a brand good posture, modeled, and opened up a Cereal Bar in LA. Theo has taken his humble beginnings in Rhode Island and jumped into the LA sea with no signs of sinking.
Stewart Cornelius – Client Partner at Twitter
A New York native, Stewart has played a role in cultivating the digital world that we will in. Working at Hulu and Twitter, Stewart has played a role in shaping how we consume media and also had a hand in developing #blackbirds on Twitter.
Allen Aderotoye – oL -New York
It may seem light but oL New York is heavy though. creating a clothing brand on his own Aderotoye has created his own lane and continues to thrive in the concrete jungle that is New York. You may see his products in the most random places, and of course with celebrities.
Josef Adamu – Creative Director/ Founder Sunday School
Your favorite muses’ favorite muse. Josef has put in the work! He continues to stand out and tell a dynamic story through visuals! With his unique use of color and creativity, we are looking to see what he does next.
Amarachi Nwosu – Content Creator – Creative Photographer
Globetrotter extraordinaire! Amarachi has taken the internet by storm using her voice to tell the dynamic story of being black in different spaces. From photographer to film to style, she is connecting the dots and really becoming the plug!
Adeshola Makinde – Photographer / Complete VII
Sharing his truths through photos and fashion Adeshola uses black and white shades masterfully in his work. From shooting your favorite artist on stage to give you clothing that speaks truth to current events Makinde is some that we can all admire through his work.
Prince Aday – Stylist / Rome and Tale
More than the titles above Prince Aday is a connector. Putting the pieces together to get your vision out on these internet streets. Some who have taken on a difficult task of jewelry, he is definitely a force.
VanJess – Musicians
Build a solid foundation is what Vanjess is doing. Taking their YouTube fame and turning it into something real. their music is growing right with them. We will see a lot more of this twin duo in 2019.
Ike Slimster – Visual Artist
Ike has taken his art to new heights, from art shows to working with eBay. His work has an Afrofuturism feel but heavily steeped in culture. stepping out of the norms of traditional professions he is someone who will take over 2019.
Asiyami Gold – Content Creator / Photographer / Designer
Asiyami is visual storyteller bae. She either on some exotic island bringing color to life or creating her own line of clothing that you will instantly fall in love with. in the true essence of using your gifts and taking a leap of faith Asiyami’s story is one to love and be inspired by.
Tunde Balogun – A&R LVRN
Curating the likes of 6lack, Rory, and DRAM to name a few Tunde is taking the ownership back in the music game. Most recently dropping a shoe with Reekbok, he can only surprise us more in 2019!
Kazeem Famuyide – Co-founder Dusse’ Palooza
Kazeem is really someone who has been working in these streets! From an editor at The source to creating his own online publication, The Stashed to now a writer for the WWE! And that’s just his day job activities. Kazeem has also helped cultivate a well know party series now know as Dusse’Palooza (formerly HennyPalooza) Going to where they were celebrated and not just tolerated Dusse’Palooza is taken the nation by storm with their parties!
CHEICK GUEYE– Chck STUDIO – Fashion Designer Lifestyle Brand
The “behind the scenes” man to the core Cheick is casually dropping heat with his clothing line. Consistent in reinventing what he is doing Cheick is gifted in his execution of clothing and storytelling with his looks on Instagram.
Desmond Owusu – Weallwegot / Fattigerworkshop
Pushing culture forward, in reality, is what Desmond is doing! From clothing to books and more Desmond is inspiring the youth to know their worth and value everything about themselves!
Karen Okonkwo – Tonl
Representation is important! Karen has taken the stock photographer game to a new level. Even in the young stage of her business, she is already being recognized by the likes of Forbes for showing the imagery matters and different ethnic groups want to be recognized in the arena of stock images.
Uche Aguh – Director / Videographer
Acting on his inspirations, Uche is a storyteller with action. He is currently finishing up a movie he has produced and directed entitled The House Invictus. With the magnitude of Nollywood, we can only imagine the impact of films by Africans taking over America!
Bryan Sona – Photographer
Capturing more than just artists. Bryan is taking a moment and giving a mood and feeling with his photography. He is a multi-talented visual storyteller.
Nneoma Okorie – NnesCorner – Internet Personality
Nneoma is the multi-talented beauty, hair, lifestyle creative that you love to watch. From skits to an online beauty store Nneoma is using her gifts to the max. You either watch her on Snapchat or saw her on BKCHAT NEW YORK, Nneoma is someone we will see on our screens more and more!
Emmanuel Ajomale – MannyWellz – Music Artist
With his standout project SoulFro, Manny Wellz has forced us to pay attention. Going on tour domestically with Jidenna helps but Manny has created a nice lane for himself with soulful tracks like Wrong Place and Watermelon, we are only waiting to see more of his work next year!
Evelyn Ngugi – Evelyn from the internets- Story Teller / Youtuber
Your favorite internet cousin, Evelyn. From Beyonce sharing her video during a concert to working with Adobe and Audible Evelyn “keeps it real” on every internet street. Never lying about the hard work of being a creative but also sharing her story so well that you have to support! Following Evelyn’s journey will give you the inspiration you need to keep moving forward!
Jacquelyn Lonje Olayiwola Oyeshola Bolayemi Aina – Jackie Aina – Beauty Vlogger/ Influencer
Jacquelyn is your beat face, dope highlight, Queen. With her honesty in the beauty industry collecting wypipo tears Jackie’s story of growth and perseverance has been something to watch. From recently married to a new crib to just overall hustle. you can watch and be motivated to get your coin sis!
Zim Ugochukwu – Founder of Travel Noire
Zim has made traveling a little easier and culturally friendly for people of color. Providing experiences and giving the inside scoop on how to travel and work abroad, Zim building Travel Noire from the ground up has been something to watch. With a new chapter after TN being acquired by Blavity we are seeing Zim come into a new being in her purpose in life!
Lilly Workneh – EIC of Blavity and Shadow & Act
From HuffPost to Blavity Workneh is using her voice in multiple ways. Listed as one of Forbes 30 under 30 Workneh is a force that you don’t want to miss.
Temi Coker – Photographer
Temi’s work has taken the internet by storm. Using his talents to be a visual storyteller and create a new narrative as a creative. Temi has taken his photography and graphic/ Illustration skills to the next level. Earlier this year, became an Adobe Creative Resident and we should get a lot more work from him next year!
Marian Mereba – Music Artist
The East African queen Marian is gearing up to have a big 2019. Most recently dropping Black Truck produced by 9thwonder and working 6lack, we can only expect her to be in her bag and give us an awesome project this year!
Tunji Ige – Musician
Tunji has already made his mark in 2018 with a Grammy nomination and more! with tracks like pounds, we can only expect to hear more from Tunji on the track and helping your fav’s produce hits in 2019!
Paakow Essandoh – Mizizi
Paakow has made everyone in the African fashion game step up! After having a big 2018 with his Marvel Studios Wakanda baseball Jersey collab, and we can only expect more of these big moves to continue this year!
Anifa Mvuemba – Hanifa
Ladies, Anifa has got you covered if you need a mean look for any occasion and don’t worry she has shoes to coordinate. With her physical store opening next year, Anifa is really out here working!
Tobi Lou – Musician
With “break out” song, Troop, Tobi Lou is surely growing into a bigger artist with his work. if you haven’t check out the video for Troop. With the notoriety of this song we are looking for more in 2019, he won’t disappoint of course!