Join Forces | Couch Sessions with Shaquille
Together with Nike, we celebrate 40 years of Air Force 1 by highlighting five creative, independent women that paved the way for the next wave of creatives. We asked them how today's community of diverse, hardworking and like-minded women uplifts each other and how the AF1 holds them down. How do they work smartly, think differently, and join forces to build a collective future? Because icons aren’t made on their own.
Scroll down to find out where Shaquille Shaniqua Joy will take Force in the next 40 years to achieve the goals she has set for the future.
Being a moderator, creative producer, and storyteller, you talk to many creatives about their sources of inspiration, their path to true passion, and making space for themselves within their field. To what extent do you take advice and inspiration from these individuals?
I really get inspired by all the talented and dedicated people around me. A lot of people have fascinations, and I always thought I didn't have that. But I realized that I am fascinated by people with fascinations. That’s why I want to stay in conversation with them to learn from their embodied experiences and knowledge. I almost see it as a personal case study, especially in formats that I created, such as my radio show and Living Room Session.
Are there any specific pieces of advice that stuck with you?
What I often get reminded of is to not be scared to say no. By that, I mean that I am very conscious of my choices. I don’t want to do something just so that I can say that I did it. It’s important to me to think of my intentions and goals with everything I do.
Do you feel you have changed as a person within your work because of the conversations you have had with all these individuals?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve changed, but I have definitely developed a lot. Because of my job, I’m surrounded by so much talent and so many people that are inspiring and unique in their own ways. I kind of soak up something from all of them. Being surrounded by so many different people with different perspectives and views made me more open-minded and more understanding. It just gives me a bigger worldview in a way. I’m really grateful for that. My goal generally in life, is to always develop and never stand still in that. No matter how old I am.
You haven’t always lived in Amsterdam. You chose to come back here because it felt like your chosen home.
Did the creative community in Amsterdam play any role in this?
I've always felt welcomed and accepted in Amsterdam. I think that I move through different communities which are all connected in some way since this city is quite small, and I like that. This summer, I have been connecting with a lot of creative women around me who all do such amazing things. It's so motivating to see how we support each other on different levels and try to show up for whatever it is we all do. That has been and still is very encouraging to see.
In what way would you like to commit yourself to making it easier for creatives to move around in the industry they work in, now and in the future?
Obviously, my individual growth is important to me, but I also want to grow collectively and see all the people around me flourish and achieve the things they want and deserve. So, whenever I have the chance, I include the people around me. I feel grateful that there are people in the same sector as me who have been really welcoming to me. They saw something in me, encouraged me to continue, attended my programs and gave me advice, which inspires me to do the same.
Text: Flore de Man | Photographer: Kwabena Sekyi Appiah-nti | Gaffer: Vincent Houtman | Stylist: Esmeralda Schipper-Zijp | Styling Assistent: Melanie Butter | Make-Up & Hair: Kato Fierkens & Alexander van der Heide | Talent: Shaquille Shaniqua Joy