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Am I Allowed to Like Anything?
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Am I Allowed to Like Anything?

Author: Darian Symoné Harvin

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I started ‘Am I Allowed to Like Anything’ because I wanted to create a space for people to feel good about shouting out the stuff in culture they’re into, during a time when it’s easier to riff about the things we hate. I talk to guests about their work, their lives, and how they maintain their optimism in this world. #AIATLA is a capsule podcast. There will be 100 episodes.
69 Episodes
Writer and digital anthropologist Alex Wolf joins me for her second time on #AIATLA (she first came on three years ago!). Since then, she left the company she started to become an artist. She catches me up on the process of publishing her first book, 'Resonate,' and first short documentary, #ATTN4$, pronounced "attention for sale." The essence of our conversation is how we manage our love/hate relationship with the internet, and maybe, how you can too.  Alex's first episode (wouldn't hurt to listen to both) +1 SEGMENT: - Alan Watts (January 6, 1915 — November 16, 1973) - Beauty YouTuber and image activist Jackie Aina - Summerella and jstlbby a.k.a Amber Wagner Follow Alex on Twitter! @alexwolfco | IG! @alexwolf Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian Big thanks to Anchor Studios in NYC.
Founder of the gender fluid skincare brand Menos Mas, Annya Santana, joins me to talk about her wellness journey; growing up as the middle child of a family who emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the Bronx, high school days (bullying, acne, acting school), blossoming into who she is today, and repping for her community in the wellness space. +1 SEGMENT [family edition]: Being proud of our brothers Taking a chance and talking to people we used to be too shy to reach out to (and how to approach doing that) Follow Annya on IG! @annyasantana  | @menos.mas!  Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian Big thanks to Red Bull Studios in NYC.
After a long break, #AIATLA is back — and writer Jasmine Sanders joins me. She writes for Jezebel and her work appears in the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, Catapult and New York Magazine. Jasmine talks to me about her to desire to continue writing stories that illuminate and broaden how Black people are portrayed in media, how she continues to grow as a writer and the beauty aesthetics she admired while growing up.  +1 SEGMENT: - Late night trips to Sephora  - Tata Harper resurfacing mask - Linen in the summer (both to wear and sleep on) Follow Jasmine on Twitter! @JasMoneyRecords Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian
Brooke DeVard, host of the Naked Beauty podcast, joins me! Brooke is a marketing and strategy specialist formerly of Viacom and now Instagram. She’s had an amazing career in media two far, including working in London, where she met her now husband. We talk about her life growing up on the Upper East Side of NYC, married life, our approaches to beauty and if it’s possible to have a soft spot for Soundcloud rappers. +1 SEGMENT: - My House on VICELAND and what the drag scene teaches us about beauty - Soundcloud rappers - SHHHOWERCAP Here's how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA: Follow Brooke on Twitter + IG! @brookedevard | Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian Footnotes:
On this episode, I sat down with Los Angeles Times reporter Tre’vell Anderson to talk about his work covering Black and LGBTQ Hollywood, growing up an military brat, and our current skincare faves. +1 SEGMENT: - Cardi B + Amara Le Negra - My Jade Roller. FIGHT ME. And you can sign up to receive my newsletter on what skincare routine here: Here's how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA: Follow Natalie on Twitter! @trevellanderson | IG! @rayzhon Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian Footnotes:
Natalie James (also known as NJinLA) is a Los Angeles native who I met when I moved to the city. She’s a creative producer & music, travel and food writer. She's a radio host on NTS, DJ and is just getting started in A&R. We talk about her journey through therapy, how she got thrown into DJing, and growing up Mexican American, in a working class family in LA. +1 SEGMENT: — Amanda of @idealblackfemale on IG — Erin Christovale (@erinzulie), Assistant Curator at the Hammer Museum & Co-curator of #MadeinLA2018 — City Girls, latest album: PERIOD. — Road trips <3 Here's how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA: Follow Natalie on Twitter + IG! @NJinLA Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian Footnotes:
Political strategist Symone Sanders is optimistic because most of the time, she has no choice but to be. She’s the former National Press Secretary of Bernie Sanders, and right now, she’s the youngest commentator on cable TV. We have a frank conversation about the past two years of her life, ageism, lux beaches and her beauty routines. +1 SEGMENT: — Lux beaches and being your full, bougie self The Ritz Carlton Here's how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA: Follow Symone on Twitter + IG! @symonedsanders Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian Footnotes:
When I came across Somali-Swedish R&B singer Cherrie's breakout song 163 För Evigt, I needed to find a way to have her on my podcast. We talk about being a Black girl growing up in Finland and Sweden, how she and other artists in Sweden are putting R&B and rap on their music charts, and her upcoming album, which features two songs in English. +1 SEGMENT: — The Swedish creative collective Trans94 — City High (including a "What Would You Do?" rendition... featuring Cherrie + Darian) Here's how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA: Follow Cherrie on Twitter! @Chxrrie | IG! @chvrrie Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG! @darian Footnotes:
Live from SXSW in Austin, I interview film director and writer Sama'an Ashrawi about life growing up in Texas as a first generation Palestinian-American, working with some of Hip Hop’s legends, and the glory of velour suits. Follow Sama'an on Twitter! @SamaanAshrawi| IG! @sam3an Follow Darian on Twitter! @dariansymone | IG: @darian Here's how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA: #AIATLA on iTunes: +1 SEGMENT: — Being comfortable with your Milly Rock — The glory of velour suits. — Passover, filmed on stage at the Steppenwolf in Chicago, film directed by Spike Lee, stage directed Danya Taymor, and written by Antoinette Nwandu. Footnotes:
Writer Lakin Starling joins me to talk about life growing in the neo-soul capital, some of her proudest work at The FADER and the sacred space she's creating during her own interviews. And! We talk about what we're using on our faces these days, (because #skincare) before I found out about The Ordinary founder's problematic and exhausting behavior: +1 SEGMENT: — Imani - psychic, card reader, astrologist in LA. IG: @thehoodhealer. She does tree readings at Simply Wholesome on Tuesdays! Newsletters! Shout out to: — Olivia Craighead from The FADER — Elamin + BuzzFeed News Curation team with newsletter Here's how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA: Follow Lakin on Twitter: @lakinimani | IG: @_lakinimani Follow Darian on Twitter @dariansymone | IG: @darian Footnotes:
Culture writer Ira Madison III blesses the show. He's at the Daily Beasts and hosts his own podcast, Keep It. We talk about the soaps he grew up watching, and dig into our favorite people, television and songs of 2017. Follow Ira on IG: @kingirairaira | Twitter: @ira Follow Darian on IG: @darian | Twitter: @dariansymone Find out how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA! Sudio headphones 15% discount for all #AIATLA listeners! +1 SEGMENT - Former President Barack Obama - Messy Omarosa stories - Soap & Glory lip plumping gloss Sign up for the #AIATLA newsletter! Footnotes:
Founder of Spiked Spin and spin instructor Briana Owens graces the podcast to talk about how her mission goes beyond wanting to help people feel good or empower them, but creating a space for people who are left out of the very experience boutique fitness scene — people of color. We talk about how Spiked Spin is more broadly a lifestyle brand and how hip hop cycling classes are only the beginning, different levels of friendship, and why we are really into this idea of being the best versions of ourselves than anything else. Find out how you can contribute to the making of #AIATLA! Sudio headphones 15% discount! +1 SEGMENT Mom + Entrepreneur Mel White | The Dissect podcast (highly recommend!) Footnotes: Follow Darian on IG: @darian | Twitter: @dariansymone Follow Briana on Twitter + IG: @spikedspin |
Author Bernice McFadden, whose novel "Book of Harlan" was recently optioned as a film and filmmaker Numa Perrier, who is working on a film and book based on her life titled "Jezebel" join me at Well-Read Black Girl's first festival in Brooklyn! We talk about why it seems more Black novels are being turned into films and how social media is keeping this Hollywood "moment" we're in around longer. We also touch on being a part of the creative process of a film based off your book, and why it can be okay to not have total control. Follow Darian on IG: @darian | Twitter: @dariansymone Bernice on Twitter: @queenazsa Numa on Twitter: @missnuma + @missnuma Footnotes: Newsletter:
Artist and teacher André Singleton is in the studio! He’s the co-founder of Very Black — a project founded in unapologetic Black love and solidarity — and we talk about his life as an Afro-digital immigrant, his journey battling cancer, trips to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and what it means to be “very black." Follow André on IG: @theveryblackproject | Twitter: @vryblk Follow Darian on IG: @darian | Twitter: @dariansymone +1 SEGMENT The Bay Area The Pocket app as an archiving tool @AllRightsAintReserved on Instagram Footnotes:
New York Times culture writer Sopan Deb joins me to talk about the intersection of politics and culture, covering Donald Trump on the campaign trial and how his stand up comedy fits (or doesn't) into his work as a journalist. +1 SEGMENT For right now being the best time for theatre, in a long time Jessica Williams and her new movie 'The Incredible Jessica James' on Netflix More #AIATLA episodes: Newsletter:
Melissa Kimble is the founder of #blkcreatives, a platform known for their explosive Twitter chats that helps young, Black creatives work through their goals, insecurities and wins. I talk to Melissa about her upbringing, big moments of growth for #blkcreatives, her time at Ebony magazine and what she’s focusing on right now. +1 SEGMENT Drew of Chicago's clothing Summer BBQs Brown Girls Web Series (That HBO is now developing) Follow Melissa on Twitter & IG: @Melissa_Kimble | - Follow Darian on IG: @darian | Twitter: @dariansymone Footnotes:
This week, Yaya Mazurkevich Nuñez joins me. We talk about the drastic life changes that came with moving to the Bronx after a life in the Dominican Republic, her days in NYC’s nightlife and working the door at clubs downtown, her job now as an experiential producer at the agency Translation, how she feels about people, and why she’s taking back her hours in the salon. +1 SEGMENT - “I’ve been going through a big journey of self acceptance and taking back my time.” - Service and giving back; shout out to Beauty For Freedom and the Precious Dreams Foundation Follow Yaya on Twitter & IG: @ogyayaa Follow Darian on IG: @darian | Twitter: @dariansymone RSVP to #AIATLA's first live show on Thursday, June 29th: Footnotes:
This week Transformation Expert and Self Love Specialist Chenoa Maxwell joins me. Chenoa discusses her transition from both acting (she's well know for her leading role in "Hav Plenty" and in "Girlfriends"!) and photography, growing up at an early age, and why she continues to defy people's expectations of her. **I want to flag that we talk about suicide and abuse in this episode for anyone who has a hard time listening to these subjects. +1 SEGMENT The 8 App Naomi Campbell's Instagram LIVE sessions Footnotes: Follow Chenoa on IG + Twitter: @chenoamaxwell | Follow Darian on IG: @darian | Twitter: @dariansymone
Vanity Fair Hollywood Writer Yohana Desta joins me! I reached out to Yohana after wanting to know more about her work as a writer in NYC covering Hollywood. We talk about the films she’s seen recently that really hit a nerve with her, her music writing aspirations and how nice it feels when the internet revives good moments. Twitter: @yohanadesta | IG: @ydesta +1 SEGMENT Joe Biden’s college campaign against sexual assault That 2014 picture of Rihanna + Lupita Nyong'o and how the internet can revive a moment Footnotes:
Novelist, journalist and co-host of the podcast “Hey, Sis” Nicole Blades is here with me! Nicole and I talk about some of the cultural moments she remembers when coming up in the media industry. She’s getting ready to release her next book, 'Have You Met Nora?’ — the story of a woman who is mixed race but passes as white — so I ask her about her writing process and how she chooses the stories she wants to tackle. We also talk about 'Big Little Lies' and telling adult women stories (no spoilers!). Twitter: @NicoleBlades | IG: @nicole_blades +1 SEGMENT Whatever Happened To Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins HBO's Big Little Lies Chance The Rapper Footnotes:
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