Category Archives: Afro Punk

Hanging out with Straight Line Stitch


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Life is often unpredictable. It can be to our advantage or disadvantage as we venture into its adventures. I am still in awe of this year’s Afro Punk this past weekend.  Not only I photographed two amazing events, but the relationships I built are memorable. I met a CEO and the lead singer of a band I admire in a single weekend. Its a blessing to go with your gut and let life/God/fate take the wheel, hopefully for the best. I am going to share you a story which is going to start another series in my blog to add to “Memory Lane”, “Celebrities I met”. Later on, I will share of my experiences meeting celebs including Stan Lee, The Roots, and Juelz Santana, some of the most humble people I have met. Let’s start with Straight Line Stitch. After my fan-girl self photographed their performance and got an exclusive SLS guitar pick, the band mentioned after their show they will be hanging out with the public for a bit. I rarely see a band willing to hang out with the public after a show. Nonetheless, I know that they can not stay for long since they have tours and stuff. I spent over 90 minutes looking for the band. I actually wanted an autograph. I stocked up on Vitamin-water and Granola Bars since I lost some energy.

Luckily for me, one of the security guards in black suits was a good friend of mine. I asked if Straight Line Stitch left and he told me that they mostly likely did since he saw most of them packing their stuff into the van. I was glad to ran into my friend because the manager of the band had just passed me. I remembered him because he was the one that gave me the SLS guitar pick. I left my friend and rushed to catch up with him. I got his attention by mentioning that I was huge fan of the band and wanted to meet them. He agreed and I walked alongside him. He told me that some of them were getting their gear into the van  in order to hit the road. At the time, I did not see the lead singer. However, I did ran into the drummer of the band and another metal band called “Blessthefall”. The drummer was SLS was very humble and chill. He actually signed one of his drumsticks and gave it to me. The manager gave me another cool guitar pick, bringing my total to two. As I talked to the drummer and his experiences,  I learned he has been playing the drums since he was 3 years old and played for 27 years. Suddenly,Janelle Monae rushed inside the media check-in station. I took a picture of her by mistake and I was the only photographer their at the time. I am still thinking whether to publish the picture or not.

After the crowd waiting to get into the festival wildly cheered, I actually realized that I have quite a winning picture. I showed the pic to the drummer and recommended that I should give it to the press or something. I also realized that the lead singer was in the van too. I boldly walked over to the passenger side of the van and met Alexis of SLS. Again, I was blown away of how humble and kind she was, despite the killer metal vocals she possesses. Not only metal bands are scary, lol. I went inside of the van and hanged out with her and the manager. They have a long road ahead of them because they are on tour from Tennessee. I learned alot about Tennesse and more about the band in person, such as their backgrounds, band life, and other details. I asked Alexis for an autograph and I was so happy to tell her in person how Straight Line Stitch was the main reason I came out to Afro Punk. She was really humbled to hear my story as she saw my DSLR around my neck, complementing my Afro Punk press badges. I told her that I was a photographer and asked to see some of my pics. I gave her my camera to view the pics and she was actually quite impressed. Not only the pics were good but she was surprised that I got great pics of her face showing.

She  never met a photographer that actually can get good pics of her face showing because her long hair is often in the way from all that headbanging. She asked if she can post some of the pics of the band so I can get photo credit. I had a surreal moment; I am sitting inside the van of the band I came out to see and now they asked to post my pics on their site and for me to get credit. This is beyond my expectation of Afro Punk, this is heaven! I definitely agreed to it and hope that some of my pics are of good use for the band’s promotion. Unfortunately, I had to run to photograph Janelle Monae’s performance. I gave Alexis my card and exchange contact information to ensure she will get a hold of the pics. I gave her a big hug before I rushed off.  I rushed off to the last Afro Punk performance with three details in my head: 1) I exchanged contact information with a band I listen to 2) I gave Alexis a big hug 3) They love the pics!  I may not got the best pics of Janelle Monae at Afro Punk, but I never forget the experience of hanging out with Straight Line Stitch and the relationships built. Not to mention, the cool text message she sent me about how nice meeting each other and the pics! Once again Afro Punk, you never ceased to amaze me! Take care folks.