At the beginning of our interview, I asked Jamar why he chose not to have an artist name and I was unprepared for his answer. He said,
“I want to make myself as human as possible.”
That sounds super simple, but it really made me think. Now that we live in a world where we can put a mask on everything about ourselves, it’s sometimes hard to find things that are organic in nature. We can create Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts with names and phrases we associate with, but there is something very intimate in using your own name. It opens a level of transparency that we so often search for when we try to make connections. I have a very unique name so I definitely understand the significance of a meaningful name. It’s a central part of my identity and much of what I do stems from the uniqueness of my name. But to hear Jamar say that, I had to reconsider how there are stories in a name. There’s a connection to be made in any encounter by simply using your name.
Immediately after, I had tapped into a completely different mindset for the interview. We talked about where he finds inspiration for his art, how to deliver messages through what he creates and the role of technology in his work. But in the end, we talked about Jamar’s plans to be a part of an organization built on the foundation of mentorship; encouraging the next generation of “gentlemen” to be grounded in areas that men of color are often underrepresented. Music and the arts were something we in Generation X were able to fully embrace and develop because it was taught in our schools. But this generation might miss all of the potential and benefits as through the years classes and arts programs have been pulled from curriculum. I believe with his dedication to the arts and the community he will help create an environment that fosters creativity in youth at a time when the arts are being cut. It’s not just an elective. They are means of communication and expression often times overlooked.
Be sure to check out this weeks show featuring Jamar on the X is for Xcellent show at 8:30pm on Thursday, June 9th. And if you miss it be sure to click below to check out the full length interview.