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Musiq Scene: LiKWUiD

LiKWUiD sitting in stairwell

(Photo courtesy of WFSU DC)

I think what I have done is claimed the space and pushed it forward as much as I can in relationship to who I am and how I live my life. – Mickalene Thomas

Hip Hop Fusion music artist, DJ, songwriter, music curator and educator, LiKWUiD (Stylez), born Faybeo’n LaShanna A. Mickens, is committed to using her gift of song to empower the portrayal of women in the entertainment industry. LiKWUiD has performed nationally and internationally from Photoville to The Apollo Theater. As an avid lover of music, LiKWUiD’s style of djing is based around blending beats together as one tapestry of sound. As a songwriter, her film credits include placements with HBO Latino Films, IFC Films, Oxygen, MTV and several indie projects.

LiKWUiD is fully committed to combining Hip Hop and education. The College of Charleston (BA) and St. John’s University (MBA) graduate has performed, presented workshops, lectures and participated on panels at academic spaces such as Columbia University, BAM, the Eleanor Roosevelt School for Girls, the Hip Hop Culture Center, Uptown Vinyl Supreme, Flocabulary, Comic Con, and more.

She is currently a Music Curator and a resident DJ at Silvana in Harlem. LiKWUiD will be releasing her new album self-titled album with collaborative group EllaMaeFlossie in conjunction with Red Distribution, a division of Sony Music, in early 2019.

How long have you been creating your art?
Since I was 8 years old.

Where are you from? How does that influence your art?
I’m from Columbia, SC. Gullah/Geechie culture is a huge influence on my current project

What are you currently working on or recently finished?
EllaMaeFlossie album and visual storybook

What is your inspiration? What drives you?
I’m driven by the need to encourage other women and young girls that, with faith, they can do anything that they put their minds to.

Why is music important to the queer community?
Music is the language of all people, especially those that are queer.

What do you hope to achieve as an artist?
I hope to create lasting music, experiences, and words that inspire people for generations…and long after I’m gone.

How would you describe your experience in the music industry?
My experience in the music industry has been bitter sweet but very educational. As a queer black woman, I have had my fair share of closed doors and open windows.

Did music play an integral role in your coming out? If yes, how so?
I think that my music played some role in me coming out, but truly it was the love for my partner that made me come out of the “closet.”

Given challenges facing our country and community, in your opinion, what is most needed for the queer community now? How can the music scene advance that goal?
I think this is an important time to be vocal and present. This is a time where everyone is speaking out on what they believe, so to sit silent is detrimental to your own character, but also for those that don’t have a voice. America sucks, but there are other places that suck worse, so we have to continue to speak out for people in Saudi Arabia, France Yemen, Uganda, etc.

Top 3 Major Influences:
Langston Hughes, Lauryn Hill, and Freddie Mercury…before the movie!

Finish: Art is….LIFE

Anything else you want us to know?
You are wonderful, you rock, your voice is power; and continue to fvck sh!t up.

You can find LiKWUiD and other queer artists at the Womxn Fuck Shit Up Festival (WFSU) on April 20, in Washington, D.C.

Ashley See
Ashley See
Ashley See is the organizer for Womxn Fuck Shit Up DC, as well as a labor activist and music fanatic hailing from the cornfields of Ohio. For the past ten years, Ashley has lived in the DC metro area splitting her time between the labor movement, sports and “dogmom” responsibilities. She’s the first lesbian Asian-American president of the Labor Heritage Foundation and can often be spotted singing in the DC Labor Chorus or playing softball with the Chesapeake and Potomac LGBTQ Softball League.