Tag Archives: think

Stranger 96/100 – Jay

100 Strangers - JayStranger 96/100 – Jay

“You’re the only person that can be responsible for your own happiness.”

Meet Jay.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “I would say that, at the end of the day, you’re the only person that can be responsible for your own happiness. Everybody goes through their respective struggles, but what makes the difference is how you choose to handle that… how you choose to get back up again. And the moment that you decide that you can’t get up again is where you’ve lost.”

Nice… did you practice for this? “No. {laughs}”

What is your biggest challenge right now”? “My biggest challenge is… finding a dream that’s worth working for. I moved out here for work… in this treadmill of work here… providing value for somebody else. And the things I want to do for myself, my dreams, have gotten lost by the wayside. The passion I used to have when I was younger is gone because of this work. So, now I’m trying to save. I’m trying to get some studio time… I do music. I’m trying to pursue that dream and put it at the forefront of my life rather than having it on the back burner.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “I would want to be a semi-successful musician and model.”

What kind of music do you make? “I began my music career as a jazz musician. I play drums, guitar, bass and piano. In college I took to producing, mixing, mastering, rapping… I’ve always sang, but years of smoking have caught up to me, so I’m not as great a singer as I used to be or as I could have been. But I do still rap, so what I create is kind of an alternative hip-hop. I don’t really fit into any given genre because I don’t want to tell the same stories. I mean talking about money is cool, you know, if you have it, but I’d rather talk abut things that are real and that I’ve experienced.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “I’d probably put in really big letters ‘Think’. It’s not a lot to go off of, so any meaning that you draw from it is purely internal.”

Technical Notes: I had taken some photos using a reflector before we stepped into the doorway for the interview. During the interview, I noticed how amazing the light and shadow s looked on Jay’s face. I asked him if I could take another shot, and this is the result with no lights or modifiers.

Stranger 80/100 – CJ

100 Strangers - CJStranger 80/100 – CJ

“Don’t let society dictate or mold you…”

Meet CJ.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Stay original. Stay true to who you really are. Don’t let society dictate or mold you in any other way.”

Have you always thought that way? “I say it’s 50/50. I’ve always felt that way in some odd sense, but I stay true to who I am and have the outlook of positivity.”

Does it come easy to you? “Not always, no, because the world has a very big impact on the ways you think and see things and interpret, so you have to be able to project it better than you may have taken it in as.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “A lack of knowledge… lack of knowledge of other cultures, other histories. Just to find the truth of all… of all life, of self and just unity and humanity.”

Is that possible? “You know we laugh about it and we joke and these day and times it seems it’s far fetched, it truly does. But…”

Maybe we’re getting there… “I believe we’re there, but it needs to be a more of a unification. You know, we need to come together more so than what we have. For certain reasons and situations and look past the outer aspects of it all and look for the inner aspects of it all. We can get there. I believe we can get there.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “Married to my fiancé, financially stable, and on an island somewhere… and just seeing the betterment of humanity… seeing the world more coming together and equality. Ten years is a long time… you may not think, but a lot can change in ten years.”

Oh yeah. A lot can change in a month…. “It’s true. Good point. {laughs}”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Think.”

Technical Notes: We were in a well-lit, open plaza, and I used a reflector to light up CJ’s face.