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KilahNailedThat Interview: Beginnings, Working w/ Cardi B, What’s Next + More

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With the rise of social media, came the change of our status quo. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and others are essential in today’s world for practically any business to succeed, no matter how big or small. Additionally, as social media grew in popularity, so did the number of young, independent business people in a variety of industries, such as music, fashion, art, cosmetics, you name it.

Having said that, today we’re here to highlight Akilah Milan, a growing, young CEO in the field of nail technicians. She is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, with her own office for her brand, KilahNailedThat, that she launched in April 2021. Since then she has been flourishing tremendously.

Below is an exclusive 4shoMagazine interview with Akilah; she speaks on her beginnings, choosing the career path as a nail tech, working with Cardi B, and where she sees herself in ten years.

Check it out in full below! Then I suggest you ladies reading, to book your next appointment with Akilah — and as for you guys– you now know where to take wifey for her nails!

What made you pursue the nail technician industry, aside from say, hair, etc.?

Akilah: “It dates back all the way to my childhood. My fondest memories as a kid was the time I spent at the nail spa with my mother. I was instantly so fascinated with the nail art. So much so, my grandmother bought me a set of pedicure tools one Christmas and it was everything for me. I was painting everyone’s nails .. even my father’s [haha].

I also always gravitated towards art, so from high school on, my life was filled with a lot of drawing and painting. So looking back, I was always preparing myself for a career as a nail technician in some way.

When did you start to realize this was the right career path for you?

Akilah: “The pandemic for sure. Ironically enough, it really helped me launch my career. As all non-essential businesses, including nail salons, were shut down and with more time on my hands, I began watching Instagram reels and YouTube videos. My first thought was that I could do this. Then I made a list of all the supplies I’d need and ordered them from Amazon. I began practicing on myself and close family members. I came a long way from my first set [haha].

“Although I was really bad at first, I continued practicing and with time I improved greatly. My passion for nails brings me a sense of calm and peace, which is why I decided to launch my own brand instead of continuing to work at Wing Stop and Primark. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, even though I was a little apprehensive at first.”

You have definitely come a long way! You recently worked with Cardi B. How did it feel?

Akilah: “Working with Cardi B was such a blessing. It is an opportunity that I will forever be grateful [for]. I appreciate Cardi B for giving an upcoming Nail Tech like myself the chance to shine. This experience showed me that I should always be true to myself and never give up on myself, even when others doubted me and my talent. Cardi was so fun to be around, and being called back for a second time was the icing on the cake.”

Where do you see KilahNailedThat in 10 years?

Akilah: “I’m setting very high standards for myself. I expect to be a high-profile, celebrity nail tech.. and a [very] successful business owner. To the point where I expand to [at least] five full-service luxury nail salons. I also want to teach what I know so by then I will have obtained my state accreditation. Aside from training, I also want to provide employment [of course] as well as start-up capital for those who want to start their own business.”

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Designer Spotlight: @_ThePlanes tells us what ‘The Ave’ is all about

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Nigel Jemott is a Virginia-based graphic artist and streetwear designer behind The Ave, a clothing brand that captures his creative spirit. Here’s his sitdown with 4ShoMag that covers the history of the brand, where it’s going, and more. 

When did you get into streetwear? 

I’ve always been into streetwear. I believe it’s a huge part of our culture. I had created designs for a couple of things back in 2013 while I was on active duty in Korea. I designed my units’ softball jerseys as well as the color scheme and style for the basketball jerseys. I stopped drawing and designing for a few years and got back into it when I moved back to Virginia in 2016.

What’s your history as a creative like? 

I’ve been creating and into art since I was a kid. My dad’s side of the family are all creatives in some fashion. My cousin is an art historian, my dad has been drawing and creating pinatas for as long as I can remember, my brother is an artist as well.  

Describe The Ave to me.

The best way I can put it…The Ave is my art brand, it’s not limited to clothing. It’s my work as a whole, drawings, designs, clothes, anything I can create.

What’s the history behind it? Where did the idea come from? 

I’ve had one name before I ended up with The Ave and that was “AndrettiArt”. I saw other artists have names for themselves and names for their art brand and I wanted something like that. The original name in my opinion was terrible, the representation was as well. I expected that because it was a one man show, it still is honestly but I do have some unofficial folks that I bounce ideas off of today. 

So I mentioned I picked back up in 2016, that’s when I started doing shirts and apparel. The idea for that came to mind one day while I was looking through my closet for something to wear just to run to the store. I pulled out the Jordan Taxi 12 shirt that was released in 2013 in conjunction with the sneakers. The shirt said “Hailed from the streets” and I thought “man this is CORNY I can create something better than this!”. From there I started thinking of things I could put on a shirt that’s simple and still looks good. The name “The Ave” comes from the street I grew up on, which actually isn’t an avenue at all. My childhood friends, many of whom I’m still close with today, coined the nickname and I decided to make it the name of my art brand.

What does The Ave represent to you?

The Ave represents family, the backstory behind the name has family written all over it. It’s a part of me and everyone else that hung with us out on the block or even outside of it. 

What brands inspire what you create for The Ave?

Jordan and Nike mainly. I wasn’t a fan of how some of their shirts became lazily designed. You’re just buying the name on the shirt and it doesn’t really look that great. I have a lot of inspiration outside of clothing brands. Janice Sung is a huge inspiration for me, her work is amazing and it keeps me motivated because creating anything takes a lot out of you especially when you have other obligations.

What’s your approach to creating for The Ave?

I go through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and whenever I find a concept I like I start putting stuff together, take notes, sketch etc. Music plays a huge role as well, that’s honestly the first thing I do. I have an entire playlist that basically helps me get into a creative space.

How do you see the brand evolving? 

I want to have a studio, like Ave Studios. Art, clothes, anything creative that I can get my hands on, I want to do. I’d love to see my brand in local stores, I’d love to possibly collab with some of my favorite artists to get an Ave shirt on them and expand.

What’s coming next for The Ave?

I have a big drop in the Spring/Summer: shirts, canvas, prints, and hoodies. I’m also open to collaboration as long as it makes sense. Please follow me on my socials (Twitter: @_ThePlanes, IG: JayAndretti24) to see all the updates that I post on them.

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SZA’S ‘SOS’ DEBUTS AT NO. 1 ON THE BILLBOARD 200 – DOMINATES CHARTS WORLDWIDE!

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Top Dawg Entertainment’s Grammy award-winning recording artist SZA debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the release of her major label sophomore album SOS (TDE/RCA). RIAA-certified Gold upon release, SOS marks SZA’s first ever No. 1 album debut on the Billboard 200, Top R&B Albums, Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and Artist 100 charts this week. Globally, SOS debuts in the top 5 in Canada (No. 1), Netherlands (No. 1), New Zealand (No. 1), Australia (No. 2), UK (No.2), Ireland (No. 2), Norway (No. 3), Denmark (No. 3), Sweden (No. 4), and Switzerland (No. 4).

Instantly and universally met with acclaim, the long-awaited SOS has been streamed over 400 million times in the US since its release on December 9, resulting in the second largest streaming week for a female artist, third largest among all albums in 2022. Several tracks dominated song charts and playlists across digital service providers, with standout tracks “Kill Bill” and “Nobody Gets Me” landing at No. 3 and No. 10 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 chart (21 songs in total on the chart), and No. 5 and No. 12 on the Billboard Global 200 chart (22 songs in total on the chart), respectively. “Kill Bill” is SZA’s first No. 1 Global hit on the Spotify and Apple Music charts and peaked at No. 2 on the YouTube Trending Music chart.

Simultaneously, “Shirt” is currently the No. 3 Greatest Gainer at radio, approaching top 10 on both the Rhythm and Urban Mainstream charts. The official video for “Nobody Gets Me,” peaked at #4 on the YouTube Trending chart with nearly 4 million views to date. SZA was the first artist ever to be a part of the YouTube Previews Campaign that provides 15-30 second song clips used to build early momentum on Shorts before a song releases.

Commending the album’s brilliant blend of musical genres, Variety describes SOS as “…cinematic in its scope and tone as it ripples with elements of folk, jazz, pop and ambient electronica and brings in undertones of even surf, trap, grunge and AOR rock…” Consequence of Sound states, “Like Ctrl, what’s incredible about SOS is the pure range of genre and musical palette. The tracks range from pure R&B and ’90s pop to pop-punk and soft rock. There is no obvious musical style that spans the record; the theme lies in her vocal prowess, the daringness of her vision, and her lyrical frankness in that she feels too much, all the time.”

In addition to the release of SOS, SZA partnered with Sony for their LinkBuds S earbuds + 360 Reality Audio and Postmates’ holiday campaign “Better Than Santa,” which gave back to individuals nationwide.

To cap off SZA’s recent successes, every date of her first-ever arena tour sold out instantly. “The SOS North American Tour” kicks off on February 21 at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH making stops across North America in Chicago, Toronto, New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Vancouver, and more before wrapping up in Los Angeles, CA, at the Kia Forum on March 22. For more information about the tour, visit szasos.com.

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Jason Warrior Is Not Letting Up

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NBC’s The Voice, The Four, Sunday Best, and American Idol all have one thing in common. Care to guess? Jason Warrior! Jason is one of the star talents that can be seen on a variety of national television shows.

The American national performer started his journey in Season 11 of The Voice, a reality streaming program on NBC, in which he was a member of Team Blake.  Born and raised in Chicago, Jason is not afraid of putting it all out on the stage, and in return fans love most for it.  Along with The Voice, Jason also appeared on Season 1 of The Four, Season 9 of Sunday Best, and Season 9 of American Idol.

Despite receiving unfair treatment, Jason did not let opinions and negativity make him doubt his talent.  His latest single, “Love on You”, possess’s visuals with a fire heat signature of passion as he performs. 

Jason’s music is living proof that controversies and viral videos are short-lived and it is the effort and talent that has consequence.  His viral video of The Four, where he’s seen calling out Megan Trainor, a famous singer and judge of The Four, for her unjust behavior earned him a certain notoriety that caused an unfortunate backlash.  Jason Warrior has learned from his experiences on these television programs, using the critiques to continuously evolve.  Despite being involved in a few controversies on television, Jason’s hustle did not cease.  With an enormous total of 72.5k followers on Instagram and 68.2k subscribers on YouTube, Jason is a luminary in his city.

If music is an art, Jason is a Michaelangelo. If music is creativity, Jason is a Jimi Hendrix.  Jason doesn’t set limits on himself and believes it ridiculous to keep himself in one place when he can reach a variety of groups at anytime. 

Follow @iamjasonwarrior on Instagram! 

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