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Fall 2018

THE PLAY ISSUE Evelyn from The Internets Bad Gyal DJ Ella Ella Dottie

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34 EVELYN You wish she was your IRL cousin but Internet cousin is just as good. Evelyn from the Internets gives us some insight on her year of yes and how it has taught her to be present on and offline. Photo by: Jackson Montgomery Schwartz


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TABLE OF CONTENTS X 10. work hard. Play Hard

31. On the Side of Worldwide Angels

In our first issue we focused on the stories of six women who worked hard to make a name for themselves. Transitioning to this issue, we wanted to keep that same energy. Leslie, Sheila, and Hayley are working full-time, and playing non-stop. Meet these playful babes and find out what they are up to in their lives. Try and keep up.

Bad Gyal recently finished her North American tour in September. If you happen to miss her show then, no worries. Nicholas Lindayag will take you on a journey of what’s like to be on the side of a Worldwide Angel.

18. Breaking the taboo MaryJae Smoke shop is located in one of the most liberal cities in Texas. Even though Austin’s laid back personality is inviting, why does it sometimes feel like every sub-culture found here lacks diversity? MaryJae smoke culture decided to solve that dilemma. Providing a safe space for all the curious to explore, this women/queer owned smoke shop is the answer to it all.

26. Business Gods Laughter is the best medicine? Man really is dogs best friend? Confused by these questions that shouldn’t be questions? Look to Business Gods for the answers.

46. press play Sticking very close to the theme, some of our contributors created a small curated “play” list. Press play is our little suggestions of podcasts, TV shows, and music that we think you as the readers would love to see or hear. Enjoy!

50. i’m straight and coming out. Located in a small one bedroom apartment, smack dab in the Midwest is an illustrator tucked away in his selfmade studio AKA his old closet. Stepping into the closet isn’t his way of coming out straight. It’s his sanctuary to create detailed comics and illustrations that tackle tough subjects, like growing up in the south and being surrounded by toxic masculinity. His comic, Gulf Machismo, is the soft punch towards dismantling the fragility of the patriarchy.


EDITOR Natalie Stevens


Dathan Denton Nicholas Lindayag Natalie Stevens Monica Valenzuela

ILLUSTRATORS Cristin Cornal AJ Haener


Nathan Gibbs James Montero Edgar Ramirez Jackson Montgomery Scwartz



Ciara Birley Torquil Dewar Shelley Lai Phillip Odom October Custom Publishing


Evelyn from the Internets is our cover girl for PLAY. Her cover photo shoot and makeup was done by Jackson Montgomery Schwartz. You can found her interview on PG. 36.



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THIS IS THE PLAY ISSUE Following the release of our first issue, I very much needed to take a break. I needed time to recover from the deadlines and the chaos that is running an independent magazine. But I didn’t really do that. I went straight into the next magazine. Hoping to release it a month after our first issue, “Play” was suppose to be a summer follow up. Working on the magazine and creating something forcefully was not holding true to the theme of the next issue. “Play” was going to be about learning to take time for yourself and enjoy what life has to offer. Instead of doing that, I was making to-do lists, eating only protein bars and not sleeping. I wasn’t taking time for myself. I wasn’t caring for myself. I was being a hypocrite. So, I stopped making deadlines and I stopped pushing for a summer issue. I started asking for help. I wanted to do everything myself and it wasn’t helping me. I reached out to friends and people who I thought would move the magazine further to what I originally had envisioned. When I stopped making unrealistic goals of what the magazine SHOULD be is when the magazine started to become exactly what it needed to be. I work hard to create something that other people can relate to but working hard is just half of the equation. I took time off. I went to Miami. I relaxed. I gave myself the rest I needed without feeling as if I was wasting my time. The reason why I’m so proud of this issue is because it is the direct result of learning that taking time for yourself is just as important as working hard for yourself. This “no sleep till I’m dead” mentality only breeds groups of doer’s on the verge of breakdowns. I’ve had too many breakdowns to count. I’d much rather just take a break.


Monica Valenzuela Founder


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Monica Valenzuela, Natalie Stevens and Ciara Birley attending the Hopeless Lingerie release party at Laced with Romance in Austin, TX. Photo by Jackson Montgomery Schwartz decussate x fall ‘18


work hard hard work play hard hard play 10

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three ladies that can play hard, work hard and then some. Meet your new social media girl crushes.

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DJ Ella Ella performing at Brown State Of Mind’s “The Green Room” at Cheerup Charlie’s. Photo by Levi Thompson.


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“ YOU’LL NEVER GO TO ONE OF MY DJ SETS AND HEAR AN R. KELLY SONG. NOT EVEN THE REMIX TO IGNITION.” “I know what it’s like to go to a club or a party and feel like this place isn’t for me: I don’t want people to ever feel that way when I spin.” Leslie Lozano, AKA DJ Ella Ella, has created a dynamic safe space for people of color. Her sounds range from reggaeton and dancehall to classic 90s hip hop and R&B. Her sets are always upbeat, dance-worthy and inclusive. “I have people come up to me after a set and tell me how much they appreciated my song choices, they thank me for making them feel comfortable, and I love to hear that.” Hailing from the valley and making her way to Austin four years ago, DJ Ella Ella noticed the lack of diversity within the dance community. Going to clubs and hearing DJs play Taylor Swift, she knew she had to bring more to the table. Completely self-taught, and with only a year of experience, DJ Ella Ella can be seen and heard playing all over Austin. “I remember my first time playing at an event, it was horrible! No one seemed to notice but, I definitely did. I didn’t play much after that. I was scared to do another event, but luckily, with a lot of convincing by friends, I stopped playing sets in my room and started playing in the real world.” Working full time while also filling up her schedule with events, there’s no stopping this new-age Spinderella. “I love playing music and I love getting better at it. I want to keep doing it. I want to do it all. I even want to produce music, too.” You can keep up with all of DJ Ella Ella’s events on her Instagram, @soyellaella, or you can visit her website,

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Sheila in Bali at The Exile


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“ Being outdoors is cheaper than a therapist, and it’s refreshing being able to escape the daily grind.” If you judged Sheila based off a quick glance of her Instagram, you would probably say “ the fun, adventurous type.” If you looked further, you would probably fall in love, or worse, become Internet-obsessed. The best part of Sheila’s Instagram is that what you see isn’t what you get. What you get is so much better. Sheila is the definition of “Work Hard, Play Hard.” “To me, every minute counts, whether it’s working my ass off, cleaning my home, running errands, and or having fun! Sometimes after I work my full 13-hour shift, I’ll go out for a fuckin’ beer, because I deserve it, and I’ll do my eight-to-five and 6-to-11 shifts all over again as long as it takes me places.” Working full time as dental higenist while also having her own brows and lashes business, Sheila is full of energy and determination. “I’m very lucky, my boss is super lenient, so I can call off certain days/weeks at a time and make my own schedule because of my own business so that helps when I travel to places!” She’s living true to the saying you make time for the things you want. If you want to fall in love with Sheila and all of her travels, you can follow her on Instagram at @mreowww.

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Hayley recording in her studio apartment. Photo taken by Phillip Odom.


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“ PLAYING MUSIC IS MY RECHARGE.” You’ve heard of “manic-pixie dream girl”, now it’s time for “ferret witch reverb bitch” and “midwestern dream BBQ goddess-queen”. Haley is a North Dakota native and found her way to Austin four years ago to get away from the cold and to play her music in a city full of movers and shakers. “I always thought music was the coolest thing. At age five, I wanted to be a drummer. At seven, I took my first guitar lesson. A couple years later, I got my first drum set. It wasn’t until I was around 16 that I started writing and recording original music.” Under the stage name Dottie, Haley creates a dreamy shoegaze sound that transports you to another time and place. “Dottie has always been my solo alter ego. It was the name of a very sweet and inspiring woman in my life who passed away. It is my way of honoring her.” You can tell by her most recent tracks that Haley has worked hard on honing in on her sound. “When I was 16, a friend introduced me to Slowdive. I have been obsessed with them and shoegaze since then. I use a lot of the same equipment and effects that Slowdive originally used. I added a few modern touches and that’s the Dottie sound!” When Haley isn’t tucked away in her small cozy apartment creating new music, she can be seen slinging BBQ, and, from time to time, indulging in a little self-care.“I enjoy baths, selling vintage clothing, ferrets, and eating until it hurts.” Discover Dottie’s alluring new sound at You can also follow her on all social media at @thenameisdottie.

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By: Natalie Stevens Photography by: Edgar Ramirez

Austin, Texas, has long been associated with hippy weed culture, but much of that world remains uncomfortable and largely inaccessible to marginalized folks. Think of your neighborhood head shop, and what do you see? Likely, older white dudes with a hard-on for “artisan” glass that looks like an acid trip, and who might stare you down when you try to ask any innocent questions about smoking weed. Now, imagine visiting those head shops as a young queer person of color, and trying to gain up the courage to purchase your first pipe, but having no idea where to start. Weed culture often makes those of us who are uninformed feel silly or embarrassed when we ask questions or show our inexperience.

MaryJae Smoke Culture jumped into the head shop scene just over a year ago, and they specifically chose to cater to anyone who feels slighted by the old social norms around smoking. The shop’s namesake and founder, Jae, shares her story via the MaryJae website. “Jae’s father, Larry Graham, is the inspiration behind MaryJae.” While he fought against cirrhosis of


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the liver and prostate cancer, the website says, “[marijuana] culture “prolonged his life, it brought Jae and her dad closer together, and it made their last days together sweeter.” Jae and her partner founded MaryJae Smoke Culture to share their love and knowledge for the marijuana-using community, and to create a safe space for people of color, queer people, and anyone who might feel marginalized by Austin’s stereotypical “hippy” scene. They also take care to carefully source their products from safe, high-quality, and often organic vendors. A visit to MaryJae Smoke Culture can prove fun for anyone. They do have the classic head shop artisan glass (I recently spotted a ramen bowl pipe that was absolutely delightful), but their inventory boasts something for smokers and non-smokers alike. Most of my friends opt for their CBD oils and edibles, and others go for the organic rolling papers. You can check out the shop on South Lamar next to a slew of other local vendors and eateries, and you can follow them on Instagram at @maryjaesmokeculture.

Jae Graham at MaryJae Smoke shop in Austin, TX. Photo Taken by Edgar Ramirez

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Business Gods By: Natalie Stevens Photography courtesy of: Business Dogs


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Conceived by the sketch troupe Wet Couch over the first three months of 2018, Business Gods is a light-hearted critique of American business culture. Frustrated with both terrible bosses and the state of the economy, the show explores disillusionment with jobs, power structures, and the religion of money. Wet Couch examines everything from the excessive greed of CEOs like Jeff Bezos to the absurdities of Silicon Valley startup culture. Over the course of 60 minutes the show meditates on the frustrations many Americans face living in a word where we’re overworked and undervalued.

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The Wet Couch troupe delivered big with “Business Gods’’ this summer at the Fallout Theater downtown, keeping the half-drunken audience pealing with laughter over millennial self-referential dialogues and the ever-funny well placed poop joke or two. The audience was treated with more than just a live comedy show, though. Pre-recorded videos played between skits, showing a mockumentary about a wily entrepreneur who rents out his raucous pack of “dogs” (actually three people in full business suits acting like dogs). Our self-proclaimed “nice guy” boss leashed up his three employees in hot pink collars and strutted them across downtown among unsuspecting Austinites. Passersby were encouraged to tell the dogs “sit” and “stay”, and to whack them on the nose when they tried to eat trash and sniffed butts for too long. These videos never quite reached exhibitionist kink, but instead kept the audience in the realm of absolute lunacy, with confession room takes and behind the scenes of the strange rent-a-humanwho-is-playing-a-dog startup. The live skits leaned more on the ludicrousness of everyday life under tech billionaires and corporate overlords. Lines about millennials killing whole industries, and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos as pseudo-beneficiary capitalists interspersed the show. 28

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The show’s two monologues stood out as true live performance must-see moments. An infomercial guilt tripped the audience to “save our future” by donating to the children of the Congo who mine precious metals that make our coveted tech products, ironically so that they can buy more gas masks and child-sized shovels. Peak energy arrived when Kelty sprinted into the second monologue, giving a “TED Talk” about business acumen. They fully channeled sweaty scam TV preacher vibes by leading the entire audience in a recurring chant: “Get your nut!”. Likely none of us expected to hear that so often and so passionate outside of PornHub. The final skit featured two children knelt in prayer, reciting the Lord’s Prayer rewritten to pay homage to “Our Dollar, Lord of money”. Thank you to the show for celebrating the Business Gods, who continue to fight for the tax-evading, labor-manipulating, sociopathic rich, and kick the poor (but really for helping us laugh a little in the face of such human atrocities). See more of Kelty and the Wet Couch comedy troupe at the Fallout Theater,, and like @WetCouchComedy on Facebook to keep tabs on the troupe’s next events.

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Bad Gyal by Samuel Ibram


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On the Side of Worldwide Angels x Bad Gyal Catalan’s finest dancehall-reggaeton gyal visits Austin for her USA & Canada Tour. Pull up to the narrated club where Bad Gyal and her fans make moments etched in riddum. By: Nic Lindayag Photography by: Nate Gibbs & Samuel Ibram decussate x fall ‘18


The night starts with my homegirl and I entering the backseat of an Uber. The seats were covered by a Navajo-patterned blanket, and the smell of car freshner masked the beer breath I had from pre-gaming. We had a small chat about how I had this old homie (who dated my ex) who would be in Austin for the weekend. I had this strange feeling I’d run into him. Old homie gets a canned response from me “Sorry I’m going to be out of town.”, as a reply to a DM asking if I wanted to kick it. You see--this night is already special. I haven’t hung out with homegirl one on one before, but we connected via appreciation for an artist we grew obsessive over. Bad Gyal. AKA Worldwide Angel. AKA Alba Farelo. My obsession began when I first heard “Fiebre”, produced by King DouDou, off Farelo’s 2016 release, Slow Wine. The dancehall beat with crystalline and bubbly synths had me. The mesmerizing high-pitch auto tune verse and chorus worked perfectly with the beat that was originally released with no vocals. Around that time, there wasn’t a mixtape I’d listen to that didn’t feature a remix to this smash-hit as well as many others. My favorite, “Mercadona”, is produced by Fakeguido. I’m a real sucker for dancehall drops with layered, stabbing, wide subs following an arpeggio infused intro. Her latest 2018 release, Worldwide Angel, certainly lives up to the “worldwide” claims. The collaboration with artists from around the world include Jam City, Night Slugs protégé who produced for artists such as Kelela and Rosie Lowe; Dubbel Dutch, club-dancehall master who produced for one of dancehall’s finest, Popcaan; D33J, one of Wedidit’s mains who produced for Tory Lanez and Lil Yachty;

Florentino, a UK-Columbian rythmician; Paul Marmota, one of NAAFI’s contributors to their historic rise; and many more. “Internationally” touts lyrics “Yo grabo en mi casa, sueno internationally” about Farelo’s busy life recording new music from her home, but dreaming internationally. She was also too busy to interview with us, something we can totally imagine during her US & Canada tour. Scrolling through her Instagram, one can gather why her popularity is noticed by trendy teens, the LGBTQIA+ community, and clubgoers. Each photo screams Internet-popular accompanied by sex-positive poses in luxury brands. Her style is easily noticed and inspiring to many. Look a bit further, and you’ll find articles mentioning her iconic performance in assless chaps. With such an iconic presence so early in her career, one can imagine that there are some tough critics as well. Farelo, who was born in Vilassar de Mar, Spain, uniquely developed a sound labeled as trap, dancehall, and reggaeton. She sings a blend of Catalan, Spanish and English. This is where the question arises: where is the line between cultural appreciation and appropriation? Dancehall, originating in Jamaica in the late 1970s; reggaeton, which developed in Puerto Rico in the late 1990s; and Farelo, a lighter-skinned artist coming from a background that can be critiqued as privilege (relative to the deep roots of reggaeton and dancehall). Let’s not get stuck questioning whether Bad Gyal’s authenticity relies solely on her seeming disconnection to the cultural past. If you dissect music and feel offended by a particular artist’s contribution to cultural appropriation enough--you might find yourself listening to absolutely nothing in 2018. Instead, how does her music make you feel? What meaning does it have to you?

“how does her music make you feel?” 32

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Photo by Nathan Gibbs

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Tonight - This club will be narrated par moi. (10:30-11:30 PM) We get to the club and it’s dead. At the door, the bouncer argues with club-goers about the price. Homegirl was tired of waiting and offers to pay the difference for the young siblings. We chatted a bit. It turns out the older brother and younger sister are big fans of Bad Gyal. Us, too. Homegirl and I grab a drink joined by the big brother, who offers to buy homegirl a drink (which she declines but regrets later). We figure we should grab our drinks and check out the courtyard. In the northwest corner, the siblings sit on a bench on their phones. We find a rando to bum a cigarette from, and wait while finishing our drinks. We grab another drink and decide we should hit the dance floor and listen to the opening DJ. A wide variety of reggaeton, dancehall, FDM, club, and hip-hop keeps us moving. A few more groups start trickling in, joining us on the dance floor albeit, separated in pods. (11:30-12:00 AM) By this time, homegirl and I are ready to take a break outside before Bad Gyal hits the stage. The courtyard is now packed with a diverse group of individuals. For most shows, I usually see a common theme of niche groups, but Farelo has found her way into everyone’s Spotify playlist. I can’t help but wonder if the Worldwide Angel’s collaboration from all corners has led to this mixed cocktail of fans drunk on her sound. Feeling good, I run into some old friends and catch up. Lo and behold, what do I spy in the corner of my eye-old homie is here tonight. Time to get over it. I decided to grab another drink and face my fears. Homeboy notices me pull up and stands to give me a hug. We hash our shit out and he introduces me to his crew while I do the same. (12:00-1:00 AM) It’s finally time. Her DJ is all set up and the lights dim low with a magenta hue, accompanied by a backdrop of colorful visuals. There’s still a bit of background music playing for a now crowded dance floor, when suddenly--it stops. The audience becomes quiet for a split second when Farelo makes the stage. The crowd can be heard cheering her on. No assless chaps, but she’s sporting a long, flowy, nude sheer top paired 34

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with short-torn jean shorts and all-white Nike Air Force 1s. The audience reacted very positively to her performance. It’s hard not to dance with her and to find someone in the club not dancing. Farelo isn’t afraid to move her body to her music. During “Tu Moto,” she can be seen gyrating her hips while seductively moving her hand down her torso and lower. As “Despacio” was performed, cheers filled the room as she bent over and twerked facing the audience. She paused for a moment while still speaking in autotune. Farelo shares intimately with her fans that she hasn’t had the best day. Thanks to us, that’s all changed. She flips her hair, holds up her drink, then takes a sip during “Internationally”. I toast my drink up and do the same while singing along. At some point, Farelo stepped off the stage and joined the audience during “Tra”. They open a circle for her to dance in, surrounding her like a superstar. She dances and holds the mic up for fans to sing along. All the while illuminated by several flash cameras recording this epic moment. She ends the set with “Fiebre,” giving the audience everything she’s got. Each verse is sung slightly out of breath, but she’s still hitting mostly every note. Her forehead glistens with sweat and she goes all in for a proper send off. Still speaking in auto-tune, she thanks fans and the room fills with applause, whistling, and cheering. She still has a few more shows for her tour, but I hope Austin gave her something good to remember. (Next day) I’m hungover but still grinning from last night. Eventually I leave my place to grab a bite to eat. The restaurant I’m at has an over crowded bulletin board. I spot a flyer for the show with a picture of Farelo fronted by “Bad Gyal” in elegant and pink 3D type. I carefully steal it away from the board and slowly remove the adhesive. Now, slightly wrinkled with some print pulled off by the adhesive, I take it home with my soup. Feeling serendipitous, I decided to frame the flyer in memory of a special night and mesmerizing performance by Bad Gyal.

Photo by Nathan Gibbs decussate x fall ‘18



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YOUR FAVORITE INTERNET COUSIN By: Monica Valenzuela Photography by: Jackson Montgomery

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Evelyn from the Internets hasn’t always been Evelyn from the Internets. In the very dawn of You Tube Evelyn’s username was something a little different: Spicyeve. The name Spicyeve originated from her AOL instant messenger handle and then found its way to her newly-acquired You Tube account. Spicyeve was a fun juevenile nickname, but it didn’t really convey the type of personality that Evelyn wanted to put out to the world. “During that time on You Tube people were using their government names and I didn’t want the CIA coming for me, so I wanted to change it up to something pretty simple. I just chose Evelyn from the Internets because thats exactly what I was doing. I was being myself on the Internet.” If you don’t know who Evelyn from the Internets is, then you probably don’t like funny people or you didn’t see Beyoncé live in concert in 2016. Just a quick refresher, 2016 was a big year for Beyoncé. Her much awaited album Lemonade dropped at the end of April and she had announced her iconic Formation World Tour. Lemonade was nothing short of perfect, and the only thing greater than the album itself was people reacting to it. Type into the You Tube search bar “lemonade album review” and you’ll find 1) a pretentious white man, 2) the biggest Beyoncé stans I’ve ever seen, and 3) Evelyn. Evelyn’s review of Lemonade is the only review of an album you’ll ever need because it’s the most accurate. She starts with “Beyoncé… what are you going to say at my funeral now that you have killed me”, and what follows in the rest of the video is comparison after comparison, metaphor after metaphor of the abum Lemonade and the culmination of everything great and true in black culture. “Beyoncé was giving me waiting-to-exhale meets their-eyes-were-watching-god.”, “She was giving me Iyanla-fix my-life, but with better boobs, better advice, and ACTUALLY fixing lives”, Then there is my personal favorite, “She called James Blake out of whatever forest in Narnia he resides in to give you British Aaron Neville teas.” The video is beyond hilarious but seems to be fitting in the best way possible. Lemonade was a whole movement and everyone, including Evelyn, was responding to it.


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On May 8, 2016, Evelyn was at her parents’ house in Fort Worth, Texas. She was visiting for Mother’s Day when she got a notification from her friend who was attending a Beyoncé concert. After a few seconds she starts to realize what she was actually seeing, her Lemonade video review was being shown on the giant screen at the Formation tour. The audio of the video is echoing in a huge stadium while people are clapping and screaming at her desciptions of the album. Even though it’s just a small clip it projects so much power. The clip comes to an end, and across Evelyns face the words “stay mad” are shown in a bold font. As soon as it registers, Evelyn becomes overwhelmed and runs out of her parent’s house screaming and running down the street. With over 160,000 subscribers on You Tube and over 12 million views on her channel alone, it’s safe to say that her Internet cousins are loyal to her brand. Evelyn’s channel is best described as authentic black girl magic. Evelyn’s personality is warm and inviting. Her abilty to be naturally funny makes her videos bingeable. She talks about the human experience from her point of view. Being the first generation of Kenyan parents in America, growing up in the South, and learning to navigate life as a creative in 2018 seems like an oddly specific experience, but she wouldn’t want it any other way. She is doing something that most modern content creators steer away from, she has gained a following just by being herself. Having Beyoncé as a viewer is just the cherry on top of it all.

I met with Evelyn on a Saturday afternoon at a local coffee shop in North Austin. It was a surprisingly cool day, something we are not used to in late September. It was the official first day of fall, and it felt comfortable enough to sit on the patio for a chat while drinking soy chai tea lattes. I was really excited to meet with Evelyn for many reasons: I had been following her for sometime on social media and she had been my number one option for our cover story. She had been traveling for some time and had recently gotten back from New York.

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MONICA: What were you up to in New York? EVELYN: I was there for Texture on the Runway. In the past I’ve usually gone with my previous job but this time around I was just invited as a content creator, so it was nice to kind of sit back and enjoy the event without having to work the whole time.

M: What is Texture on the Runway, is it a part of New York Fashion Week? E: It runs during New York Fashion Week. Its main focus is hair and how it relates to fashion. It’s interesting to see because there are some insane hairstyles that I’m not sure how they manage to do. It’s very impressive. M: You’ve been traveling on and off this whole year. What other places have you gone to? E: Earlier this year I visited Kenya for about a month. Then I went to Nigeria to join my friend in this social media conference. I went to Atlanta for a little fun trip, I went to see Desus and Mero who are my little dose of problematic. Another great trip was Cleveland, Ohio, where I got to see Beyoncé perform OTRII. The best part was that Parkwood Entertainment flew me out and, it was right before my birthday so it was kind of amazing. M: What! That’s crazy, did you party with Beyoncé and then have to sign an NDA? E: Naw. Or maybe I did and I just can’t tell you about it. M: I respect that. Is it nice being back home? Are you from Austin originally? E: No, I grew up in Louisiana. Then moved to Ft. Worth Dallas area when I was twelve. Then made my way to Austin when I started college at UT in 2008. M: What did you originally go to school for? E: I actually pursued journalism. I wanted to be the next Anthony Bourdain or Lisa Ling. I like writing. But I guessed if I told my parents I wanted to go to school for journalism then they would be less disappointed instead of me saying I want to get a degree in writing. I probably just should’ve done RTF, because I knew very early on I wanted to create shows, videos, or write for both. M: So how did you get into making videos for You Tube? And when did you start? E: I started early on like 2008-2009. Well, I just started using it to make friends and just put my thoughts out there. I


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“A BIG THING I’VE LEARNED THIS YEAR IS THAT BEING AN ADULT IS JUST FINDING OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND WHAT DOESN’T.” , always made videos in some way. Even before You Tube, my brother and I would make our own videos that we would burn onto DVDs. I remember us doing a fake cooking show, I would prop up the camera on a cabinet and pretend we were live and there was a studio audience. It’s definitely embarrassing now that I can think back but I’ve always enjoyed creating videos. You Tube was just a natural transition. M: When you started You Tube back in 2008-2009, did you ever think you would still be doing it now, ten years later? E: In some way, yes. I knew I would still be making videos in some capacity, I never thought I would be creating them this frequently. M: In one of your most recent videos, “3 ways to get your creative juices flowing”, you mention that the reason certain TV shows are so popular is because they create a conversation worth discussing and allow our imagination to run wild. What are some TV shows that you are watching right now that are inspiring you to allow the creative juices to flow? E: I just started the new season of BoJack Horseman, and I love it. They have such great stories and amazing characters. The thought that the writers put into each episode is inspiring and allows me to think outside the box. Another good show is Insecure. Loving the new season for sure. What I love most about Insecure is that you get really invested into certain characters that you end up becoming obsessed with them, in a way. My friends and I will have a watch party and then discuss the episode afterwards and some of us will die for our character if we have to. M: What team are you on for this season? Team Issa or team Lawrence?

E: I’m team Everyone Needs a Therapist because they are making all the wrong decisions. Also, the new guy from Houston. He is very nice to look at. M: Haha, I agree I’m a huge fan of Nanceford. M: It seems like you’ve done a lot of amazing things this year. It’s crazy to think that we are entering the last quarter of 2018, so how can you sum up 2018 so far? E: 2018 has been the year of doing things I never thought I’d do before. Saying yes more and sticking to choices I have made like quitting my job and taking what I like to call my sabbatical year. M: Choosing to leave a job is tough no matter which way you look at it. How did you get to that conclusion of finally leaving? E: Well I officially left my job the end of December, right around the holidays. Giving my boss my two weeks’ notice was probably not the best Christmas gift. According to a timeline in my head, I knew around August 2017 I wanted to leave my job but, according to my diary at home, I wanted to quit my job somewhere in 2016. I loved my job and I enjoyed creating videos and working in the department I was in. But I knew early on that I was climbing the ladder really quickly, and that eventually the only other job that I would apply for would be my bosses job, and I didn’t want that. So once I got all the way to the top, I knew I was ready for something more. M: What was it like to make that transition from working full time to being funemployed? decussate x fall ‘18


E: I’m not going to lie, it was pretty tough. All of January, I was in Kenya visiting my family and just taking a break from it all. But I’m inherently the type of person who wants to do 17,000 things and think I’m going to do them all. I’m always about the next move and how I’m going to do it. I had it in my head for some reason that I was gonna come back home and start growing basil in my backyard. I don’t know why. I obviously never did that. To be very honest it took me a long time to unlearn all the things that working in a corporate environment teaches you. I had to teach myself that work isn’t tied to productivity. It wasn’t until late spring that I started realizing that. M: I like that, “work isn’t always tied to productivity”. What are some other things that you’ve learned along the way since leaving your job last year? E: I’ve discovered the importance of showing up. I don’t doubt myself when someone wants me to be a part of something. I had this realization when talking to a friend of mine. A few years back, I had an offer to write for a TV show, and at that time I remember thinking, “I dont write for TV, why would they ask me to do this?” I ended up turning it down. But as I was telling this story to a friend of mine, they just said, “So you didn’t believe them? You thought they lied to you? Why would you think they would lie to you?” and then my brain exploded. Haha, it never crossed my mind that people would be interested in things outside of my channel, that I can have opportunites outside of what I’m currently doing. I recently went to an event for PBS, and everyone there was a PBS affiliate. I was the only one not a part of PBS, but in that I had an advantage. I ended up learning a lot about broadcasting and journalism, and just tons information I would’ve never known unless I would’ve been invited. I think that every decision I make is important for myself and it doesn’t hurt to yes. Ultimately, a big thing I’ve learned this year is that being an adult is just finding out what works for you and what doesnt. M: That’s a great realization to have and I feel like I need to realize that, too. It seems like discovering that has helped you tons in your career. I see you everywhere! You seem to get all of these opportunities because of your content. You’re 42

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very relatable and family-friendly, did you mean to go that direction? Did you have any set intentions for your content? E: The only intention I had was to not curse. Being family-friendly is just a bonus. It’s also great for advertisers. I personally think cursing or being profane isn’t funny. I feel like true comedy exists without all that. I feel like when you curse, it’s because you don’t have anything funny to say. And as for being relatable, I hope that I am because most of my content is me seeing things out in the world and translating them into my perspective. I think being specific is also important. I dont think anyone benefits from casting a wide net in comedy. Thats how you get unfunny Instragram comedians. M: RIGHT! Haha I want to through away my phone when I see bad comedy on Instagram. E: Girl, don’t we all. M: I love talking about your work. You seem to be busy most of the time. But are there times when you just want to log off and get away? How do you unwind and recharge? E: I think it is important to say that I’m Evelyn from the Internets, not Evelyn always on the Internet, haha. I love to log off. I try and do it as often as I can. And when I do, I end up cooking. I love cooking. Cooking is my favorite recharger. Also, now that I’m funemployed cooking is my only option. I don’t like to go out too much especially if I don’t have to. When I want to have a good time, it usually is me finding a good concert that I can dance too. Austin doesn’t have the best dance options. It’s like a drink-beer-and-drink-more beer type of city, and I’m not into that. So, finding a good concert or show where I can just let it all out is my idea of a good time. M: What is the best concert you’ve been to? E: Wow. Yeah, that’s an embarrassing story. So, I saw James Blake here in Austin, and it was a beautiful experience in real time. I’ve heard of people getting emotional at shows, but I was on an entirely different level. I wasnt just shedding a tear, I had full on streams-running-down my-face-type-crying. At one point, one of my friends tried to look my way,

and I just yelled, “DON’T LOOK AT ME, NOT IN THIS MOMENT.” It was visually powerful. He was this shadow on stage playing the piano— all he had was this one purple light hitting the side of his gorgeous British face. Of course, I couldnt sing along because I can never understand his words, but it sounded beautiful. M: Haha! You’ve once called him the British Aaron Neville. E: Yes, exactly! Like what are you saying! I need subtitles! M: So, we’ve talked about what you’ve done in 2018 and what you wanted to accomplish this year, so what do you have for the upcoming year? E: I try not to talk about what I’m doing. I like for it to be a surprise. I enjoy doing that, because sometimes certain projects will come out around the same time, and I end up being everywhere all at once which is nice to see. There is this quote I see all over social media, and I might make it my own If I can’t find the origins of its owner, but it’s “booked and unbothered.” That’s my mood for 2019.

I check my phone and realize that we’ve been talking for a while, and I have a barrage of messages because I’m late to an early dinner. We both decide to end the interview there. Before we leave, Evelyn asks to take a boomerang. She puts her to-do list on her Insta story every day, it helps her be more accountable. I think it’s genius and if I wasn’t so scatter-brained I would probably steal this idea. The boomerang is of us clinking our almost-empty chai teas with full smiles. She puts a check mark next to the words “meeting complete”. Later that day, I head back home and open up You Tube and do a little research on Evelyn before I start to write. In

order to dig further, I decide to see what her audience thinks of her. I go to the treacherous place of the Internt that is You Tube comments. I start to smile, because what I see is suprising. Maybe I’m watching the wrong videos or maybe it finally hit me what type of effect Evelyn seems to have on her viewers. All I see are positive and uplifting comments, each person telling Evelyn how much they appreciate her videos and how it impacts their lives. Evelyn likes to refer to her viewers as her Internet cousins. As I’m going through each comment I start to understand why she calls them that. These comments remind me of playful critiques and real conversations you would have with your family members. Watching her videos kind of feels like home. decussate x fall ‘18



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decussate x fall ‘18


press play The days are becoming shorter and that means more time being distracted by the glowing light of our screens. Instead of wasting time figuring out what to play on your ipad or laptop, the Decussate family is one step ahead of you. We gathered round and curated a collection of podcasts TV shows, movies, and music that we think you would love.


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podcasts Evelyn from the Internets, recommends the podcast How I Bulit This... “I watch a lot of videos on how people make things or showing the process of their craft. This podcast is the audio equivalent. It’s one of my favorites right now. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic NPR type content.”

Creative Director, Monica Valenzuela, recommends Spooked Podcast... “I love spooky stuff year round but it’s nice to listen to this near halloween time. It’s edited very well and the scary stories are told from first hand experience. It’s a nice podcast to listen to if you’re a beleiver or even if you’re not.”

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television Photographer, Edgar Ramirez, recommends Netflix’s original animated series, Hilda... “I’m a fan of the animation and the overall message it has. It’s lighthearted but still has something to learn from the characters and the adventures they go on and on!”

Editor, Natalie Stevens, recommends Hereditary... “My favorite scary movie of the year so far is Hereditary. Many horror movie purists criticized its scares as being derivative, but I absolutely loved the aspect of family trauma it included. I even cried at a dinner-table argument!”


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music Writer, Nicholas Lindayag Recommends Oklou’s track “They Can’t Hear Me” “I’m obsessed with the R&B and pop feels coming out of her sound. Obsessed with Avril23 a few years back but never realized that was her alias until recently. It really made sense that when I heard They Can’t Hear Me that I was drawn to the same atmospheric presence.”

DJ Ella Ella recommends Beyonce’s Unreleased cover of Arianna Grandes song R.E.M... “I can’t stop listening to this song. I’ve had it on repeat since it came out. I love Arianna’s version, but the Queen really brought something more to it”

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I’m Straight and I’m Coming Out By: Dathan Denton Photography by James Montero


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You’ve heard the saying that everything is bigger in Texas? While that may not always be the case, it certainly is when it comes to their churches, their oil fields, and the pockets of disgruntled or disenchanted youth, looking for community and understanding. From the hazy thicket of Southeast Texas, Andrew Haener began his life’s endeavor, cartooning. Young, naïve, and attending private Protestant school, he wielded the weapons of his craft: a dull and tooth-marked pencil, a mostly empty ball point pen, and dyadic crayons to communicate and express his insights and celebrations of youth. He would often render 2D dinosaurs, his house, and some eclectic original characters, and as AJ grew older, he buried himself in sketchbooks, mapping his mind in panels, outlines, text bubbles, and sound effects. Whether it’s depicting the pains of boyhood in the South or expressing conflict with his religious roots, cartooning became a way to satirize the expectations placed on Haener as a young man from the Gulf Coast. Nowadays, this quirky illustrator can be found ink-stained and buried deep within his modified closet-studio. It’s there between his zip-up jackets, Jawbreaker t-shirts, and his only pair of black pants, that he jots down observations and comparisons between then and now. Using his introspective prowess and lots of coffee, he compiles his experiences of softness, alienation, and being vulnerable mentally or physically to emphasize how natural those experiences and feelings are. These emotions are typically what drive people out of the closet, but in Haener’s case, he delves deeper into one, sorting through dirty laundry to bridge stories and experiences shared by himself or his peers. As playful as it is honest, Haener delivers a narrative of toxic rolemodeling and masculinity in his more recent cartoon “Gulf Machismo”. By using a soft, thoughtful, and admiring narrator, he mocks the ideal of machismo and how people are raised to view assertion, violence, and dominance as something to respect or commend rather than object to. It’s in this way that Haener invites others to share their experiences of self-consciousness, alienation, or uncertainty, because we’ve all been in that closet before. We just have to come out together.


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decussate x fall ‘18



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decussate x fall ‘18



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Fall 2018

Profile for DECUSSATE

Decussate. Issue Two. Play.  

Decussate. Issue Two. Play.