From Tumblr to The Twilight Zone: Meet Artist and Curator Anajah Hamilton
This is Nice to Meet You, for all your need-to-know information on the need-to-get-to-know new voices in pop culture. Think of it as a blind date, if the date were cooler than anyone you’ll probably ever go out with. Allow us to break the ice; we promise you’ll fall in love.
Anajah Hamilton is a child of the internet, making friends on Tumblr and uploading music to SoundCloud. But in her spare time, the singer, model, and dancer, is finding solace in the past, falling asleep to episodes of The Twilight Zone and growing up on a steady diet of Turner Classic Movies. Hamilton has appeared in campaigns for brands like Parade and Pacsun, a collaboratrion with Nike Air Max 97s, and has been making music for years. She’s also been curating for Art Hoe Collective since its inception, and helped jump start their microgrant initiative for Black and marginalized artists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s Hamilton on everything from her magazine fetish to her favorite designer.
On Soundcloud: I’ve been on SoundCloud since I was a teenager, just scrolling and playing every single song that I found. When I was younger I would always say, “I want to upload my music on there someday.” I’m still happy that SoundCloud is around and that it’s allowed me to upload my music on there when I didn’t know how to distribute music or get my songs out to the world.
On her role models: I look up to a lot of women and people that made it possible for me to be myself, but as of lately I’ve been really inspired by Donna Summer. I love disco music and those decades where black women were allowed to be glamourous, feminine, and have fun through music, culture, and entertainment. It’s rare to see that throughout history but it was very exemplified in the ’60s and ’70s.
On curating for Art Hoe Collective: I’ve been a curator with Art Hoe Collective since my friends Jam and Mars started it many moons ago. We all met on Tumblr and had a lot of time on our hands to express ourselves and congregate online via iMessage to discuss how we could use the internet for our own benefit.
On dancing alone: Very therapeutic. I’ve always loved to dance, take classes, and perform, but as I got older, I felt more self conscious because my body started to change and grow and I no longer felt like a dancer. But being an adult now, I find it silly to limit myself because of how I see myself and my body. I want to only do things based on how joyous it makes me feel, and if I enjoy it, anything anyone else thinks shouldn’t hinder what I do. Contemporary and modern dance is so freeing, so why shouldn’t I feel free when I do it?
On her bedtime rituals: After doing my skincare, my bedtime ritual usually consists of opening my window to feel the cool night air, and playing The Twilight Zone until I fall asleep.
On her ultimate fantasy buy: Anything from Mowalola. I think everything she creates is genius and so futuristic. I constantly visualize myself wearing her pieces and the day I get my hands on something I know I’m going to melt.
On her guilty pleasures: Chocolate chip cookies and Golden Girls. I started watching that show when I was 3 with my Great Grandmother, NaNa, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I think I’m most like Dorothy than any other character. I have a Golden Girls calendar, character breakdown book, cook book, and shirts! I hope my collection will grow!
On the state of her bookshelf: Full. I have a lot of music books, Apartmento magazines, and a ton of vintage and retro magazines too. Every time I travel, I try to go to an antique shop and find a book or magazine to add to my shelf. I’m currently reading Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life, by one of my favorite Jazz artists, Wynton Marsalis.
On her hometown: Very boring. Everyone, growing up, was into all of the same things, entertainment and fashion-wise, and I was dead-set on being my own person, always. I would stay home and watch Turner Classic Movies all day. I felt like the internet, television, and thrift shops were my own little time machine and I was always going somewhere.
On her most memorable gig: My first time singing in New York. The show was horrible, but all my good friends came and made me feel really good about it.
On her most iconic moment: Being born (Thanks Mommy!)