Mae Oxum, the
Good Morning Legends!
If you haven’t heard of him already, I would like to introduce you to Kewalnam Christ. When he first contacted me on twitter to maybe collaborate on something special I wasn’t really sure of what to expect and I definitely didn’t expect to be as enthralled with his work as I am now.
I’m an avid reader and have been for most of my life, but I’ve never read anything like Kewalnam’s writing. TheBlackBook took me for surprise because from the very beginning it was a visual masterpiece while being only composed of words. In the excerpt that I was sent I got a sense of sensual independence from Mae, one of the main characters, and I love that aspect of her ever complex personality.
After reading the excerpt I immediately knew that I had to find out about the author behind the words so this is where our interview comes in. I believe Kewalnam is as complex as his characters but i’ll let you come to that conclusion on your own..check out our interview below!
1 // Please introduce yourself..
KC: My name is Kewalnam Christ, I am a 23 year old author, born in Toronto raised in Brooklyn. I belong to a group of creatives known as BLKKK KINGS, and I am the future of literature.
2 // how did you become involved with BLKKK KINGS?
KC: It is a group started by myself and a few friends of mine. Dharam, Von, Chris, Tah, Pj, Marcii, Jah, and Bria. We are a family, a group of creatives with teeth.
3 // Describe your writing process..
KC: My writing process is kind of chaotic, I have a french film playing, music playing, books open, tabs and tabs of articles, and at least three joints rolled for rotation. I meditate at least fifteen minutes before, channeling the knowledge of our infinite universe, and then I begin.
4 // Your bio mentions “Mr. Christ sees words as sounds, and creates every book like an album.” How has this unique gift influenced your writing style?
KC: Man it’s everything to me. I have a medium a lot of writers don’t they think sitting in a classroom is going to give them a “talent” for writing, but it wont’ You know I fell in love with music before I fell in love with literature. I fell in love with sounds and the textures and tones it would set. And then through that I fell for literature, I started writing books at 16 and at first they sucked!! Because I tried writing the way I was taught, verses the way I felt. I feared my medium at first because it was different from others, people didn’t get it, they asked me to dumb my literature down, and shit. It wasn’t until I embraced my genius, that I became a writer, and now I can confidently say, that I’m the future of literature, my voice, the way I attack a chapter is more polarizing than my colleagues.
5 // Do you have any strange writing habits that you habitually practice ( like writing backwards, upside down, etc )?
KC: Yeah, some chapters start off as raps, before they are converted to an actual chapter format, it’s fun that way.
6 // What drew you to writing rather than another form of artistic expression?
KC: Simple I can’t rap, All jokes aside, I love creating stories, the ability to cultivate entire worlds, and relationships at the flick of imagination is powerful to me. Also because our ancestors were killed for even having a page in their hands. I think we have forgotten the importance of literature through the years, we have forgotten the importance of education, in the race for status and success.
7 // If you had to identify with a literary character from a novel you’ve read ( or heard about ) who would it be and why?
KC: Hmm that’s a good question, I’m not sure if I’ve ever completely identified with a character. The closets would have to be “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison. You know it was a powerful statement and addressed black social issues and our relationship with Marxism. It’s a great book, if you haven’t read it, you should.
8 // What do you consider to be your highest achievement thus far in your writing career?
KC: I was invited to Forbes 30under30 conference, also compared to legends Alesiter Crowely and Austin Spare. But that’s just small shit, I’m ready for more.
9 // How do you deal with criticism from others?
KC: I’m okay with it, we ALL need help, NO ONE has all the answers or talent. I practice humility in that sense, but I’m also careful of who I accept criticism from, some people are just negative, and others well others have no answers at all.
10 // Where did the idea or inspiration come from for theblackbook?
KC: I started working on theblackbook in 2012, but revisited it late 2014. The inspiration behind it, is the current imbalance we are in as Male and Female energies. That imbalance is what causes Racism, and sexism, which is one of our biggest problems as a people at this moment.
11 // Did you plan the plot from start to finish or was it developed as the story went along?
KC: I always had the sound of the plot in mind, but it developed after I spent more time internalizing it, as of right now we have a complete plot, that is sure to shake a few souls.
12 // The main characters, Mae and Yasiin are so complex and profound in their own right. Are they inspired by people in your own life or are they completely made up?
KC: Mae & Yasiin are based off of a lot of close people in my life and at the same time based off of everyone living. Mae is an amalgam of women, who I hold close in my life, her name comes from a very close person to me, her attitudes come from my mother, my lady, my sisters, and female friends. I actually had a focus group who I spoke with before working on this project, of beautiful, black women. And I asked them how they would like to be portrayed in literature, I asked them to share their experiences just growing up as a woman of color, and that’s how I came up with “Mae”. Mae is for my black queens, she represents you. Yasiin on the other hand, and I have no problem saying this, is based off of me, in a few ways, as well as a few men I have come in contact with. Of course I have to add a little imagination but the trick is to weave reality and imagination so beautifully, that its hard to tell the difference.
13 // If there was a movie adaptation of theblackbook who would you choose to play Mae and Yasiin?
KC: All my novels will have a film adaptation and honestly, I don’t want to pick anyone who we have already seen, of course I’ll make a compromise on a lead role, for the sake of spreading the message and getting it out there, but I’m more interested in our young indie actors who have raw talent. Like Trae Harris from Newlyweeds, I would want her to play Mae. She is beautiful, she is refreshing, her style is infectious, and she can ACT. So that’s who I would want other than that, I would keep the options open to young raw talent.
14 // Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
KC: Married and in the process of adopting my first child. Being signed under Roc Nation as their first author. Owning my own publishing house, with at least one genius young author to showcase. Working on two films, and two novels I already have in mind.
15 // Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
KC: Find your medium, don’t write what they want you to, write what you feel. What your gut dares you to take a risk on, dream bigger than your circumstance, think bigger than just you, and then when you’ve done that. That’s when you’ve created something worthwhile, something classic.
Thanks so much to Kewalnam for taking the time to interview with me!
Christ @IAMKEWALNAM about his latest project #theblackbook, a tragic love story that reveals the plight of african-americans in society. Dark, intriguing, introspective, and a tone of a lifetime.
Child-X & Kewalnam Christ
February 17, 2015 — 09:00PM
1. When were you called to
A: I started writing at the age of 3, my mother would make me read her the mail, letters from school,
2. Why did you choose this type of medium for expression? How does it differ than anything else you've tried?
A: Do you really choose yourself? Do you really choose to be who you are? Or do you grow to accept it? I’m not sure if I ever choose to be a writer, probably in my ethereal existence before I incarnated in this lifetime. But I believe that I AM literature, you know? There’s no separation, and because I learned that, because I’ve accepted that, my literature has evolved to a new level. That’s where we find our true talents, in the acceptance of who we are. Now that I identify words as sounds and visuals, I write through those polarities creating stories from frequencies and visuals. That’s what makes me unique, I’m not your average author, I hear words differently, they process differently surging through my mind. There are producers who see sounds as colors. I’m the author, who sees and hears
3. Describe your writing ability with one name.
4. Red pill or blue pill? How do you feel about this realm?
A: First off, red pill always. And my feelings about this realm… sigh … let me start here, I believe that a lot of our problems in this realm are caused out of the imbalance in our male and female energies. We have males who deny the feminine energy in themselves, in-turn suppressing it in others, oppression against our women, etc... When that happens the female energy responds becoming more aggressive, and erratic and that’s where we are today. And this imbalance isn’t restricted to gender, these energies are alive in everything and everyone living. This understanding could be applied to our current stand with racism in this country. There’s this genuine love for our culture that white America has, and hates, so much that they try to find any possible way of suppressing it externally. But your love for it seeps through your veins, we see it in your mannerisms, in how you dress yourself, how you assert yourself… White America your zipper is down. But to play devil’s advocate, if you let me…
You know people argue that white America copies our culture, but do they really? Cause I don’t remember Street shit and rachetivity being “ours”. So what are they copying? What are they imitating? And where are they getting these images from? It comes from that love for something you don’t understand, and you hate yourself for it. But you can’t deny your love for it, so you're stuck, you don’t know why you hate it, you just feel separated from something you actually have a love for. You know, I think it’s ignorant for us in 2015 to preach this, “Fuck Whitey” mentality to our generation and younger, we're regressing as a person by doing that. And I understand the emotional place we're at, in light of the destruction brought to our people. But here is my unpopular opinion, how can we expect others to have a respect for our lives when we don’t? How many times did Twitter activist get together when gang shootouts took the lives of babies, women, men. Where was the activism, for our black women, who face partner violence, and state violence. They are beaten at the hands of our black men, before a white officer puts his hands on her, yet we’re quiet? We are one people, one beautiful being, Gods incarnated in the physical to understand a human experience, not just Blacks, or Asians, ALL PEOPLE. I don’t care about race, I’m aware of the factor it plays, but I don’t care for it.
My goal as a writer is to objectively document the current state of our realm, along with the freedom of imagination and deliver a product that details the polarity were in. So everyday I sit and face my Mac, before I begin writing, I’m faced with the same burning question, you started off with. Red Pill or Blue?
5. What's a common theme or symbol you find yourself attracted to heavily? Why do you think you keep returning to that, is there any subconscious meaning behind it?
A: I’m attracted to anything that evolves us as a people, so all my art revolves around that, love is the center of my attention.
6. What are at least three influences for "The Black Book"?
A: American Psycho,Yeezus, and Lars Von Trier films.
7. Give me 10 abstract bullet points that represent you. It can be an equation, a picture, a hieroglyph. Anything.
A: The things that influence me vary from Hip-hop, Spirit science, The Roc-A-Fella era to our ethereal connection to the cosmos, Quantum physics, Sacred geometry, Love, women, Sex, fabrics.
8. What's one thing you want everyone to know, a poem you wrote, a concept that has been burning your brain, as if it were the last message you had here on earth?
A: I love you.