Cameos: Soleil Summer, Vivian Medithi, and Meowzai
Light up your life with style tips, dreamscapes, beauty advice, and more from Soleil Summer, Vivian Medithi, and Meowzai
Maybe you’re crawling out of a three-day weekend or simply in a summer slump, blinking into the sun like someone out of Plato’s cave, unsure of your surroundings and unsteady on your feet. Well, now would be a good time to check in with yourself: where are you going, what are you dreaming about, and what the heck are you going to wear? It’s okay if you don’t want to think too hard, we asked our July Cameos – Soleil, Meowzai, and Vivian – the same, so let their insights light your way.
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? I was born and raised in the county of Dade, 305 ’til I die, etc etc. Now I live in Oakland.
Whats your signature style? Dark and minimal. My Ray Ban Clubmasters are a staple because I need them to see. Is “fake deep” a style?
What’s your beauty and grooming routine like? Any essential beauty and skincare products? I don’t keep a strict routine but I do shave my head somewhat regularly. Essentials include olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter and tea tree oil, black soap, and St. Ives lotion.
Favorite item of clothing in your closet? This really nice silk-ish bishop-sleeved button up (button down?) shirt. Also got these really big linen-esque pants the other day at Goodwill. They look like a floor length skirt. They have pockets.
Favorite snack? Funyuns and lightly salted almonds.
What’s your favorite song to get you going or cheer you up? “Life Has Its Trials” by Dorothy Ashby. Don’t need to say much, just listen to it.
What’s your guilty pleasure? See: fav snack.
How do you stay cool in the summer? Stay hydrated. Stay inside. Wear sunglasses regardless of time and place.
What are you dreaming about these days? Liberation in all of its manifestations. Also, a super normie middle class life. (¯_(ツ)_/¯)
What do you want to do more of this year? Ask for help!!! I'm terrible at asking for help when I need it and often suffer the consequences. Asking questions, period. My curiosity was lost along the way somewhere and I wanna pick it back up. I’d like to take some classes somewhere on something. I need to be more realistic about what I am and am not capable of doing. I want to invest in my community more. General self improvement things.
Any people or projects you wanna hype? Fresh Air Gang (Kc, Jasmine, William, Reek, and myself), Yetunde Olagbaju, Nico González-Medina, Ashley Nicole De Leon, Medar De La Cruz, Grace Lynn, Ify Chiejina, Angel Garcia, Floss Editions (run by Meg and Aaron), Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh, Kevin Demery-Raien and all of their affiliates which you can easily find by creeping through their Instagram pages for a little bit.
Some cool spaces in Oakland include Solespace, EM Wolfman, Qulture Collective, Betti Ono, 310, Naming Gallery, Athen B., Sgraffito, Eastside Arts Alliance . . . I could go on.
There are countless other people, spaces, and projects that I haven’t included; If you really want a full list, you can @ me anywhere.
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? I grew up in Duluth, GA – this suburb 30 minutes northeast of Atlanta. Back when I was a kid climbing trees and digging in the mud, it was this super religious, borderline rural, white dominated town. But in the early 2000s, there was a sudden influx of Korean immigrants (and other communities too, but majority Korean) – it was awesome and I met my bffls then! Best part is that it never stopped and now Duluth is this lil K-town with 24 hour KBBQ, saunas, and coffee and pastry shops everywhere. Anyway, I recently moved back to my parents’ (woo lifelong debt and no job!) after six years in Boston and I’m living it up (HA).
What’s your signature style? My style is all over the place (mall goth, 2000s Britney Spears, chic shit, etc), but I like subtle accents (aka wing tips and pointed eye makeup), all white looks, sporty looks, and dressing for comfort like you're about to take a nap!
What’s your beauty and grooming routine like? Any essential beauty and skincare products? Face: wash with a homemade coconut oil, sugar, brown sugar, coffee scrub (or just coconut oil)– be sure to soak a small towel in hot water, steam your face, then wipe off the oil, tone with diluted apple cider vinegar, and then apply a nice, thin layer of Pacifica Ultra CC Cream (gotta have that SPF!).
Hair: don’t brush it, let it flow and tangle away~
Beauty: I only wear makeup when I go out to dance, but essentials are white liquid eyeliner and liquid to matte lipstick (my collection ranges from NYX, Colourpop, Pretty Zombie Cosmetics, and Jeffrey Star; cruelty free make up is a MUST)
Favorite item of clothing in your closet? My XL, limited run, blue font NEVER LOG OFF shirt from #FEELINGS (s/o Ben Aqua!). I've worn it so many times the letters are fading and there is a gross, Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast sandwich stain on it. TT
What’s your favorite song to get you going or cheer you up? I don’t know about a specific track, but I listen to a lot of mixes and HOJO's NXC K-pop mix is everything I need in life.
Guilty pleasure? SOUTHERN SWEET-ASS TEA.
How do you stay cool in the summer? Hydrate with ice cold La Croix!
What are you dreaming about these days? A world where black and brown bodies can live freely and not in fear of violence.
What do you want to do more of this year? Go hiking with my cats, actually use my drawing tablet to draw queer comics, produce and DJ all the weird sounds that have been locked away in my head.
Any people or projects you wanna hype? Gotta hype my own night, SUPPORT GROUP! We're a QTPOC centric dance night in ATL. We just had our first night not long ago with DJ Haram, Precolumbian, and Fannie. Basically AGYN, NO EYES, and I wanted a kickass night where we could dance with qt bbz to banging club noise without fear of some douchebro grabbing your ass, someone assuming your gender, or some other fuckery, all while making sure the event is accessible for as many people as possible! Other peeps to hype: AbduAli, omg I recently saw him perform for Southern Fried Queer Pride and I wish you were there; liltantrum, club queen I’m DYING to see live – someone book her for a US tour; Isashah Pereira the otaku tattoo artist who did my Digimon tattoo; Væpors (not related to vaporwave), musical genius and my mentor in life; MSG, powerlifting champion DJ; Kilbourne, hardstyle and bmore angel – you gotta check out the Sourland EP; CyberSonicLA, a FREE and very FUN night in LA and also releases fire tunes; Panch, what else I gotta say about this dude; hunnid jaws, traveling sprite who I miss a lot; moistbreezy, a sparkling, singing goddess; QUALIATIK, a multimedia mastermind (literally a force to be reckoned with); and HOP BOX, the best dog loving friend you could have.
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? I grew up in Iowa for most of my childhood, with a brief two year stint in Chennai, India in high school. Now I live and go to school in Iowa City, which is very cyclical because it's also where I was born.
What’s your signature style? My style has evolved parallel to my sense of self. A lot of my outfits now are very inspired by Tyler, the Creator and Young Thug, and I definitely go for health goth apparel. I think confidence and comfort are the most critical factors for me, as well as incorporating more androgyny and distinctive pieces into looks. I think in today's culture it's very easy to get caught up in brands and branding, but no one really cares if you're wearing Versace if you don't style it right.
I think now your personal style is even more integrated into your brand through social media, which is cool if you think your style and aesthetics are good, but I also think a lot of people are insecure in their style and aesthetic because they're scared of what other people think, which contributes to a lot of people's anxieties about social media.
Essential beauty and skincare products? My essential skincare product is probably the various Sephora face masks I've tried over the past few months. Exfoliating is incredibly satisfying.
What’s one trend you're over? I don't have a particular trend that's really annoying me now because I think people should do what makes them happy! My life became much more peaceful when I started minding my own business. But I will say that I don't like trend-following that's just copying. Actually I hate that it's trendy to be a hater now. Having negative energy in your life is ultra-draining, I can't imagine actively wasting my time and energy disliking something.
What’s missing from culture right now? I think one thing that's missing from culture right now is a respect for the arts. Specifically within an American context, the defunding of arts programs in public schools is very sad and disheartening to see. The arts should not be only for the wealthy. I also think there should be more respect for local and lesser-known artists. Pay five dollars for someone's zine at a farmer's market, give that Soundcloud rapper in your mentions a listen. It's wild that people create something out of nothing and are willing to share that with the world, and I think art as a whole needs more respect.
How do you stay cool in the summer? I stay cool in the summer by cutting the sleeves off my shirts. I think I did roughly half my closet over the course of a month. The ventilation you get with a muscle tee is next level, upper echelon.
What are you dreaming about these days? I don't remember most of my dreams but I had a day this past month where everything felt very surreal? That was a strange reversal, feeling like I was dreaming while I was awake. I've always been bad at lucid dreaming because I can't figure out when I'm dreaming most of the time. I recently had one about a mass shooter that was like a thriller and when I died I woke up. My subconscious is very turbulent and intensive, shoutout to my Scorpio moon.
What do you want to do more of this year? This year I want to win more. Academically for sure, but I think more importantly, artistically and emotionally. Every time I look back on where I was a year ago, or even a few months ago, I feel like I've grown a lot as a person and as an artist. Winning more really means practicing more, so it's more studying, more drawing, more self-reflection.