2 minutes with… Andre Gray, CCO at Annex88

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Where you grew up and where you live now.

Grew up in San Francisco, going to Lycée Français. Live in Bed-Stuy.

How you realized you were creative.

It wasn’t really an achievement as such. Outside of this industry, creativity comes from a lack of resources. There are things you want to do. You have to figure out how to make them possible. Creatively.

A person you creatively idolized at first.

Pharrel, Thierry Henry, Kobe, Jerry Rice, Marc Jacobs.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

In high school, I wrote an article about how deciding whether or not to have dreads was a life or death decision, because of the state of things in San Francisco at the time. It wasn’t really meant to be received, more as an outlet to process how I felt about what should be a very flippant and very culturally grounded decision as a first-generation Guyanese American. It was posted on Salon.com, which was a crazy form of validation. Like “people care about the same things I work on…”

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Tremaine Emory. From my perspective, he uses branded platforms to tell stories to help in the process of generational healing. This is the peak.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast that you recently found inspiring.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I read it for the first time a long time ago. But it’s still inspiring. Everytime.

Your favorite fictional character.

Axel Foley—Eddie Murphy of Beverly Hills Cop. Probably my favorite movie of all time.

Someone or something worth following on social media.

@resmaamenakem and read her book, MY GRANDMOTHER’S HANDS. He talks about the generational transmission of racial trauma and how we recognize what we have bodily inherited and how we do the work to let it go.

How Covid-19 has changed your life, personally or professionally.

Covid-19 has brought us to a collective shutdown of attention, which was necessary to collectively recognize the true state of the world from a racial perspective. It changed everything. For all of us.

One of your favorite creative projects you’ve ever worked on.

With Adidas, we sent a shoe to the International Space Station. It was quite special.

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