I’m not one that’s really into YouTube or watching other people’s lives too heavily, but when I came across a video from Jazmyne Drakeford aka “Blvck Nostalgia” last year, I was hooked! Blvck Nostalgia’s YouTube channel consists of her speaking on different social issues that relate to the Black community, along with a few videos centered around fashion, beauty, and her life. It was all too refreshing to see another young Black woman with the same views as myself. A year later of watching her videos and I’m now interviewing her! Check out this exclusive interview with Blvck Nostalgia.
What was the defining moment(s) that made you want to start a
YouTube channel and speak out on the injustices POC have to face?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been extremely vocal, opinionated, and aware of the world around me. Anytime I came across something I found to be wrong or unfair, I spoke up. Throughout middle school and all the way to college, my friends and I would get together and talk about the various issues going on in the world and within the Black community. However, in 2014, I took some time off of college which left me more or less alone while my friends were still in the midst of their studies. I was left with countless thoughts and opinions with no one to share and discuss them with, so I took it to the internet, more specifically to YouTube. YouTube allowed me the platform and ability to not only share my thoughts, but express my creativity and technical ability as well.
I find myself always getting into it with ignorant people
about racial issues haha. How do you deal with all the ignorant
comments and reactions from your videos?
Negative commentary is a given when you publicize your thoughts and opinions, regardless of the topic, but of course with race and politics being such a hot topic, i’ve opened myself up to a different level of racism and criticism that i may have never experienced without YouTube. However, the purpose of my videos are to educate and build, so any comments that don’t hold the purpose of actually trying to learn about these issues and help fix them aren’t worth my time and energy. I simply ignore them (but i do sometimes screenshot them and post them elsewhere to showcase the mindset of those who do choose to comment negative things)
How has life changed for you since moving from California to New York?
I’ve found a whole new level of individuality that i couldn’t even imagine having while living back at home in Oakland. New York has helped me find a different level of creativity that may have otherwise remained dormant if not for taking this big step and choosing to pursue my passion full-time.
What is your end goal in life? What do you aspire to accomplish?
Power and influence. Hopefully that doesn’t make me sound like Donald Trump or anything! But my goal is to challenge people’s way of thinking, not with the intention to force my views on them, but to encourage them to rethink everything they've been made to believe. A lot of what we believe has been subliminally forced on us through media and I want to encourage people to open their minds and look at the world through a different perspective. And the reason I say power is because with power comes the ability to create opportunities for my people. The end result of all that I’m working for, is I want to someday own my own television network and media platform.
Tell me more about your brand "Aggravated Youth". How did that come to be?
Naturally, YouTubers and influencers use merchandise as a way to help promote themselves and their brand, however, I didn’t want to simply create products with my channel name on it but rather something that represents all that my channel stands for. Through t-shirts. hoodies, hats, pillows, and more, my customers, subscribers, and supporters are expressing love for their culture and their community. Aggravated Youth, which is in the midst of growing into something much bigger than just apparel, is for the culture. It’s for the people.
What was it like meeting SZA?!
It was breathtaking. I’ve met other [celebrities] before but I’ve never gushed the way I did with her. Her music truly resonates with me so it felt like i was meeting my kindred spirit. Then meeting her for a second time and her remembering me (or so she claimed lol) was just so warming.
Beyoncé or Rihanna?
- Oh definitely Rihanna. I love Beyoncé and you cannot deny her talent and her impact on not just the culture, but music as a whole, but Rihanna’s style constantly captures my attention. Her fashion sense so unique and out of this world and she really seems like someone I’d like to chill with.
Interview conducted by Maya Clark