Culture Interviews

ToD Feature: A$iahMae of IllVibe|TheTribe & For The Scribes

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It’s a known fact that there is power in a group of women and 24-year old South Carolina resident AsiahMae, stylised as A$iahMae, is leading and co-creating with her fellow friends to run platforms, IllVibe | TheTribe and For The Scribes. Both are creative platforms for writers to go and express their art and feel safe with other like-minded individuals and read what others are feeling. Below A$iah goes into detail about the origins of IV and FTS, what events are next for the collective, her favorite indie artists at the moment and more.
ToD: Where did you begin your start with writing and when did it become a passion?
A$: I actually started writing when I was 4, because I loved to sing and tell stories and I needed a way to get them out of my head. I feel like it’s always been a passion, but I wrote a book the summer before 5th grade and that’s the first time I remember really feeling like a writer. 
ToD: How did you get involved with co-founding both For The Scribes and IllVibe | TheTribe? What is it like being a driving force behind these outlets?
A$: For The Scribes came about because Willie (my co-creator) and I were both in a creative rut, where we wanted to get back into blogging but neither of us was sure how to go about it. Our tribe kept suggesting that we do a blog together and we mused over it until the August #blkcreatives chat lit a fire in us. We knew that we needed to create this space for not only ourselves but for others like us-September 29th we launched our site and it’s been great ever since.
IllVibe | TheTribe has been 5 years in the making. Sabrina, Samira and I met the first few months of art school and within months we created a similar outlet within our group of friends, but it didn’t pan out. Late last year Samira brought the idea back up to the two of us with an old art project of hers and we all felt the time was right, and the need for this space was necessary. We really took our time developing our mission because we wanted it to be something we loved too. Between IV and FTS, it’s been amazing carving out my space in this generation and creating these much needed platforms with some of my best friends.
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ToD: How are they different outlets yet overlap?
A$: Both sites are for creatives and they both appeal to the inner workings of artists opposed to surface level knowledge about them. For The Scribes is more emotional for me because it’s so specific. We’re a platform for writers of color, but being that it’s run by two black queer creators, we have a lot of support from that community which sets us apart from other outlets as a safe space for people to write and love as they are. IllVibe on the other hand is definitely broader in platform and in vision, so we get to be more creative and build. I need them both equally though, they’re like the two halves that keep me sane.
ToD: What are some upcoming events you have planned for TheTribe and what have events been like in the past? 
A$: We have a lot going on surprisingly (lol). We just launched in March and already have so much love and support so that’s been dope. We just had our first event called “The Fake Race” with a non-profit that we work for, H1gher Learning. It was a great turn out and we’ve gotten tons of interest in it so we’re looking forward to helping that expand. Right now, we’ve gone down on our interview postings so we can focus on really diving into these proposals from the community as well as our own ideas we want to implement as a part of our brand.
ToD: What is your favorite piece you have written so far and why?
A$: I have to say a piece I wrote for FTS last year on my birthday called “This is 24”. It was just really personal and showed my growth. I also have a poem called “Psalms on Saturday”-the title poem to my first chapbook. It’s the most honest I’ve ever been in a poem and for people who know my poetry, that’s saying a lot.
ToD: Who are your favorite indie artists at the moment?
A$: Hmmmm…visually I’m a big Fart.pdf fan, Geoff J. Kim, Fletcher Williams III, Ayanna Mabry, Akujixxv, Makeda Lewis & Carissaho. They’re all very different and touch my spirit in different ways. I’m also really into writers and poets so my co-creator Willie, who just released his first book, Carl Lewers, ErynAmelism, Q. Gibson, Ashanti Marshall, Myles E. Johnson and Atlas Selasi. Musically, I’m big on our indie scene in SC right now because there is so much talent and I’m here for it. I’m all for Contour, Teiji Mack, Neicy Blues, Ronnasia, 803 The Clique, Oxyxmoron, Benny Starr & Matt Monday. On an outside scale, Masego & Traphouse Jazz, Dave B, NAO, Gallant, Kyle Dion, JunglePussy, Kari Faux, Brik.liam, The Social Experiment and Zeroni.
ToD: What are some ways that you give back to the community other than providing dope indie content?
A$: Both of these platforms are still fairly new, so we haven’t gotten into the philanthropic parts of our missions just yet, but they’re in motion. We’re trying to provide the youth with creative outlets and mentors to help them on their journeys, as well as provide resources for fellow creatives.
ToD: What is next creatively for you?
A$: Aside from the sites, I’m an artist first, so my personal passion is really popping right now. I’m working on revamping my skin care line this summer & dropping my chapbook in the fall. Those are both really important to me. My skincare work helped me through my depression and poetry constantly saves me, so it’s time to stop, move them off the back burner and release them out to the world. I went to school for film so I plan on jumping back into my field soon for our own projects and for others; right now I’m just reacquainting myself with technique. Plus, I’m always working on music but mostly for myself. I’m doing a lot, and taking my time with it. It’s wonderful.
A$iah wants to leave everyone with these words: Keep creating with and supporting each other, we all we got. Quit playing it small, you’re the only thing standing in your way. Stay true to you, no matter what you do and if you ever need me, for anything, hit me up on Twitter. I’m always willing to help any way that I can, if your spirit is genuine.               ❤
If you would like to submit your writing to For The Scribes send email submissions to info@forthescribes.com. Follow FTS on Twitter. Follow IllVibe on Twitter.
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A$iahMae

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