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Model Glue: Lashaia Artis

We talk to model and artist Lashaia Artis about fashion inspirations, spirit animals, and upcoming projects.


In our latest Model Glue we catch up with our lovely store model, artist Lashaia Artis, to get to know the inspiration behind her unmistakable style, her choice of spirit animal and what upcoming projects she's got going on. See what Lashaia had to say below.

You got style. How would you describe it in 3 words or less? Do you have a style icon?

I would describe my style as majestic, royal, and urban. Art is my only style icon.

Tell us a story from your childhood. Is there one story that your parents or siblings tell that encapsulates what you were like as a kid?

My mom couldn't tame the inner artist. While I was growing up from 5 years old I would drape sheets around my body and make turbans for my head. Also, going to kindergarten my mom would let me do my hair with too many hair clips — like 10 of them — and put on any crazy outfit I wanted.

What's your favorite item of clothing?

My favorite item of clothing is the sexy, sensual, sassy, sacred, sophisticated DRESS. I dress like I always have somewhere to go so I can go places in life. They say dress for the job you want, I want to be a queen so I only wear dresses<3

If you had your own perfume - let's just say you bottled your body odor - what would you name it?

If I had my own perfume it would be called APIIM. Reignapiim is my brand name APIIM means All Power Is In Me. For my perfume it would stand for All Presence Is In Me, giving the wearer an aura of divinity and always being fully present in every situation <3

Name your spirit animal.

After a long thought process my spirit animal is a cheetah: a royal cheetah. I'm known for my efficiency amongst my close friends. I do everything fast and I get a lot done!

What are you working on right now - got any cool projects going on?

I am working on a lot of projects but the main one is painting my abstract digipixelism collection. When I reach the right amount of paintings (size and variety) I will release them in a gallery or my own art show, after I have the paintings sold and branded I will be using the prints for dresses :)

Previously on Model Glue: Gbenga Akinnagbe

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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