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Tech for the Culture

Young Paris, PJ Morton & more talk tech

Recently the Bridge sat down with Young Paris, PJ Morton, G. Garvin, Karen Civil and more to find out how tech helps each do what they do while representing #fortheculture.


Here’s what they told us.


Young Paris, Recording Artist and Songwriter

As one of Afrobeat’s most visible stars, Young Paris is on a mission to celebrate African culture within pop culture. To that end, he created the hashtag campaign #MelaninMonday as part of his global, digital Melanin Movement. The campaign’s goal is to promote positive images of people of the diaspora through engaging content and visuals. “The launch of Melanin taught me that we can actually cultivate our ideas and share our influence as being people of color and actually digitally get people involved,” he says.


PJ Morton, Songwriter and Producer

PJ Morton is known for writing hits and playing for some of today’s top acts in pop and R&B, and has gold statues to show for it. These days, however, he is focusing on his own work, delivering his brand of musical “Gumbo” via a recently launched world tour.  Morton cites technology as a tool that enables him to write and produce without being tied to one location or device.  “If I can't get to my laptop, I can start it on my phone, start the idea on my phone. Connect it to my laptop and continue the idea …”


G. Garvin, Author and Television Host

Acclaimed author and chef extraordinaire, G. Garvin has made a career out of his love of food.  His culinary skills have had him not only cook for a roster of celebrities, but also open top restaurants, host popular television shows, and write several cookbooks.  His recipe for success is built on the flexibility of technology, and he relies on his mobile phone to manage his businesses. “It is not just a vessel for talking to people,” explains Garvin. “My calendar, my trips are scheduled, my alerts, my alarms, whether I'm checking on my foundation, my production company, my consulting company, anything that I need to manage in my world, it's all at the palm of my hand.”


“… we can actually cultivate our ideas and share our influence as being people of color and actually digitally get people involved.”—Young Paris. 


Karen Civil, Media Maven and Author

Best-selling author and media savant, Karen Civil knows all about the power of a strong digital strategy to take brands and talent to another level.  While working to amplify the influence of some of today’s top hip-hop artists, she’s become quite the celebrity herself. When asked how she uses technology to grow her Live Civil brand, she praises social media and the insights it provides.  “I use social media to effectively build my brand by figuring out who my audience was, how to engage with them,” she says.


Angela Rye, Advocate and Political Strategist

A self-proclaimed “political nerd”, Angela Rye has made it her life’s work to confront issues impacting the black community. What excites her about advances in technology, she says—social media, in particular—is the democratization of access to information. “Technology has changed how people tell and share their stories,” Rye says. “People who ordinarily couldn't afford a platform now have one. I think that's been good.” Rye also finds hope in the way social connects like-minded people across the globe for the greater, common good. “In a world where you can feel constantly attacked, social makes it so you don't feel so isolated and alone.”


Gelila Mesfin, Artist and Digital Painter

Digital artist Gelila Mesfin recently hit the news after her work was incorporated into the work of another artist without her permission. The incident spotlighted the need for dialog around inspiration and intellectual property in the digital space. Yet, even as she actively participates in that discussion, Mesfin is still focused on pushing her own creative process forward—and relying on tech to help her do so. To work through ideas and create pieces on the go,  for example, she relies on a collage maker and pic editor app. “I can use it anywhere,” she says. “When I'm school, I use it. When I'm in a cafe, I use it  … usually on my phone.”


How are you using tech #fortheculture? Let us know with #TheBridgeATT 


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