We had the good fortune of connecting with Akili Nkosi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Akili, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I knew that I wanted to provide photographic services for people, and that if I start even with a $20 photoshoot- which I did the first summer I bought my first camera- I could learn how to work the camera and how people want their photographs taken. Once I got the idea to established “happyassblackboi” as an LLC I knew that the possibilities can be endless as long as I plan out my goals.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is me and I am art; we all are. Growing up I’ve found myself moving around a lot, so every time I moved whether it was to another state or another school I found a hobby or something that I invested loads of time in and loved to share the experience with others. I was first introduced into sports which I was really good at, and in the early 2000s there were just too many songs out that I couldn’t help but dance to.

By the time I reached high school, I took interest in cheer, dance teams, acting classes, comedy classes, theater, and film, and by the end of high school I found photography.

To be honest, I could say that being where I am was very easy; all I had to do was put my mind and heart and body fully into my craft and be able to experience said craft with others. It’s almost like I don’t mind the challenges I’ve faced because those are the things I create for; to overcome and conquer.

Because I’ve moved around a lot, my experiences in certain places in the world could have felt short lived or dreadfully long, or even just right. Adversaties are meant to be overcome so I learned to always keep things pushing or take a breath when push comes to shove. I tell myself that feelings are temporary, especially the negative ones, so I make enormous room for positivity.

I want the world to know that I love creating an experience for not just myself but anyone who gives me the time to. I want my brand to enlighten at least one of the senses in the human body.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s Los Angeles, so we could go literally anywhere! We would go to the beach and catch the sun waves. We would go to any city and check out their thrift stores like Out of the Closet in Hollywood and/or St. Vincent de Paul in downtown-ish Los Angeles. We would go to a ramen spot and grab ice cream in beautifully artsy Melrose. The huge Del Amo mall in Torrance, California. I honestly love how abundant Los Angeles is and its treasures.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could honestly thank this entire earth for its gifts. From Toni Morrison books to Cassandra Clare books for giving me an imagination from a perspective only I can see; Inner-city Arts to USC Hybrid high to Hollywood High School for allowing me to find beauty and life in art and academia alike; and my family and friends for inspiring and supporting me every single day. I will never forget when I had traveled to San Francisco for a tour of my current college a receptionist who checked me into a hotel room told me “If you can change yourself, you can change the world.”

Website: Www.Happyassblackboi.com

Instagram: Instagram.com/happyassblackboi

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/akili-nkosi

Twitter: Twitter.com/uhkeylee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/akili.nkosi

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCHyIMmMyKg1jSmlWT9vNt5g

Image Credits
Jen Garcia Zoe Law Summer Houston

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.