Creative Space with Jennifer Logue

Yusuf Muhammad of Veteran Freshman On Managing Desi Banks and Creating For a Living

January 29, 2023 Jennifer Logue
Yusuf Muhammad of Veteran Freshman On Managing Desi Banks and Creating For a Living
Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
More Info
Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
Yusuf Muhammad of Veteran Freshman On Managing Desi Banks and Creating For a Living
Jan 29, 2023
Jennifer Logue

On today’s episode of Creative Space, we have the pleasure of chatting with Yusuf Muhammad of Veteran Freshman—an entrepreneur, event curator and talent buyer who’s worked around the globe on music festivals, branded experiences and more. He’s also an artist manager and currently manages the super talented comedian and actor, Desi Banks

Yuie’s creative journey is so organic and as he tells his story, he drops a ton of valuable wisdom on how to create a life doing what you love. From  developing his Veteran Freshman brand to managing talent like Distortedd, Christian "King" Combs, JIDENNA, and Desi Banks, Yuie’s work is fueled by a passion for creating joy and memorable experiences for others.

For more on Yuie, visit: instagram.com/yusufyuie.

To sign up for the weekly Creative Space newsletter, visit:
eepurl.com/h8SJ9b.

To become a patron of the Creative Space Podcast, visit:
https://bit.ly/3ECD2Kr.


SHOW NOTES:

0:00—Introduction

1:00—How we first met

2:41—Growing up in Philly in the early 90s

5:10—The “control alt delete” to life

8:19—Yuie’s early passions: electronics and filmmaking

10:54—Going to the Art Institute of Philadelphia for film at 14

12:24—Yuie’s favorite filmmakers

13:45—Networking at the Student Affairs office 

18:00—How becoming an RA led to his first event

20:10—Buying the first Canon TS1

24:56—”My career in concerts started with one event getting shut down.” 

26:50—Coming up with the name Veteran Freshman

28:17—Yuie on the organic flow of creativity and success

31:33—The road to artist management

37:41—Being a manager should be a partnership with the artist

39:30—Managers are not miracle workers

41:00—Yuie’s definition of creativity

45:48—The things that you enjoy doing can be your life

47:50—A no just means I have to find a different yes

48:53—Being a jack of all trades as long as it’s fun

50:50—A lesson from Christian "King" Combs

54:09—Yuie on working with Desi Banks

55:45—Events and creativity

58:59—Teaching his children how to create for a living

1:02:00—Yuie’s greatest challenge so far 

1:06:00—The importance of giving ourselves grace

1:07:00—Yuie’s advice for aspiring creators

1:13:00—Before social media, who were you comparing yourself to? 

1:15:00—What’s next for Yuie



Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

On today’s episode of Creative Space, we have the pleasure of chatting with Yusuf Muhammad of Veteran Freshman—an entrepreneur, event curator and talent buyer who’s worked around the globe on music festivals, branded experiences and more. He’s also an artist manager and currently manages the super talented comedian and actor, Desi Banks

Yuie’s creative journey is so organic and as he tells his story, he drops a ton of valuable wisdom on how to create a life doing what you love. From  developing his Veteran Freshman brand to managing talent like Distortedd, Christian "King" Combs, JIDENNA, and Desi Banks, Yuie’s work is fueled by a passion for creating joy and memorable experiences for others.

For more on Yuie, visit: instagram.com/yusufyuie.

To sign up for the weekly Creative Space newsletter, visit:
eepurl.com/h8SJ9b.

To become a patron of the Creative Space Podcast, visit:
https://bit.ly/3ECD2Kr.


SHOW NOTES:

0:00—Introduction

1:00—How we first met

2:41—Growing up in Philly in the early 90s

5:10—The “control alt delete” to life

8:19—Yuie’s early passions: electronics and filmmaking

10:54—Going to the Art Institute of Philadelphia for film at 14

12:24—Yuie’s favorite filmmakers

13:45—Networking at the Student Affairs office 

18:00—How becoming an RA led to his first event

20:10—Buying the first Canon TS1

24:56—”My career in concerts started with one event getting shut down.” 

26:50—Coming up with the name Veteran Freshman

28:17—Yuie on the organic flow of creativity and success

31:33—The road to artist management

37:41—Being a manager should be a partnership with the artist

39:30—Managers are not miracle workers

41:00—Yuie’s definition of creativity

45:48—The things that you enjoy doing can be your life

47:50—A no just means I have to find a different yes

48:53—Being a jack of all trades as long as it’s fun

50:50—A lesson from Christian "King" Combs

54:09—Yuie on working with Desi Banks

55:45—Events and creativity

58:59—Teaching his children how to create for a living

1:02:00—Yuie’s greatest challenge so far 

1:06:00—The importance of giving ourselves grace

1:07:00—Yuie’s advice for aspiring creators

1:13:00—Before social media, who were you comparing yourself to? 

1:15:00—What’s next for Yuie



Jennifer Logue:

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of creative space, a Podcast where we explore, learn and grow and creativity together. I'm your host Jennifer Logue. And today, we have the pleasure of chatting with Yusuf Mohammed, aka Veteran Freshman, an entrepreneur, event curator, talent buyer and manager who's worked around the globe, on music, festivals, branded experiences, and much, much more. He's also an artist manager, and currently manages the super talented comedian and actor Desi banks. Welcome to Creative Space. YUI.

Yusuf Muhammad:

Man, thank you for having me. Thank you for having me. Really excited to be here.

Jennifer Logue:

Oh, my gosh. It's an honor to have you on this show. And yeah, I'm thinking back. How did we first meet? Was it rockin Philly TV back in the day?

Yusuf Muhammad:

Yeah, yeah. You talking about one at a time? I mean, this was probably close to almost 10 years ago. Most likely. Oh, my gosh, we're talking. Yeah, we're talking 20. Probably that 2013 2014 2015 time. Maybe even Lord earlier. But yeah, I believe that's how we met. I believe you were doing journalism in Philadelphia, I was doing a lot of different events. I don't know if someone connected us. I'm not sure if you came to one of my events. But I do remember that once we did connect, we were connected. I do remember that. Like it was it was instant, you know, we were connected. And that was it. We were friends.

Jennifer Logue:

Yeah. Because you were always putting on events in Philly. And, you know, just making an impact on the city. And it was a pleasure to write about. And, you know,

Yusuf Muhammad:

I appreciate it. I told you I kept a lot of the those writings, they still are bare, you know, keepsakes of mines, i, i It reminds me of a time that I didn't realize when you know, it's so much time really does fly. So it helps to have those reminders of some of the things that you've done, and some of the places you've been and, you know, some of the some of the impact that you've had. And I'm extremely appreciative of a lot of things that I was able to do in Philly. So I used to tell people all the time that, you know, Philly was Philly was school, and the world was my graduation years. And so I was able to kind of graduate into the world, but Philly was definitely my school.

Jennifer Logue:

For people who aren't familiar with you and your work. Let's go way back. Yeah, let's go. Um, I know where you're from originally. But for everyone else listening. Where are you from originally.

Yusuf Muhammad:

So I'm originally born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was raised in southwest Philadelphia. And I also have family ties all over Philly, so West Philly, and North Philly. But where I was really spent the initial kind of younger years of my life was in southwest Philadelphia. My mother was from New York, my father was from Philadelphia. And my mother, she she did do a good job of giving me the balance of New York and Philly, you know, as I was growing up, but a large majority of my time was spent in Philadelphia, and learning and experiencing Philly in the 80s and 90s. That was my that was my upbringing. And it was, it was great. It was a different city. It was a different time. You know, it was I, you know, I used to grow up. You don't really know where you're from. It's like, there's a there's a point where you become conscious of where you're from, right? But I remember watching like, this Tom Hanks movie when I was like a kid. And I was like, that looks like Philadelphia. It looks like downtown Philly. And I remember watching like Rocky. Like, wait, that looks like Philly. And then I think I was watching. I even think they may have filmed some of them. There was a film that Eddie Murphy I think it was called trading place. Oh, I love that movie that they did with elfia as well. So growing up, you know, I I knew that I was from somewhere that you know, especially because I would see it on my TV screen to see it in movies, you know? And, and that was a it was you know, when I as I grew up and I was watching you know, the BTS and I was watching you know the M TVs and I was just watching the kind of world of music I realized very quickly that Philly held a special place there when there was a lot of I always would see Philadelphia Philadelphia was a place that artists We're coming to. So yeah, it was an interesting, very, very interesting upbringing. But yep, that's, that's where I grew up. I grew up in southwest Philly.

Jennifer Logue:

Cool. What did you want to be as a kid? Do you remember?

Yusuf Muhammad:

So as a kid, I think, you know, I think we may have spoken as in the past, but you know, I had a very interesting childhood, specifically from an educational perspective, like I was, you know, I was, uh, you know, dare I say, I was, I was a pretty advanced kid. And so, I was in the first grade, I think I, you know, I think they went to go put me in, like preschool and kindergarten, but I was, like, surpass that. So I went directly into like, first grade at like, five, first grade, gosh, in first grade. And it wasn't because I was like, you know, I'm just like, the super, like, intelligent person, I think it was more so that I know how to. I'm a formula driven purchasing formulas have always been something that have driven me to my formulas and systems. And I think once you realize, when you understand formulas and systems just in life in general, it just makes navigating that much easier. That's all it is. It's just, it's the control all the neat delete to life. You know, I mean, it's the, it's the shift into to life. It's, it's

Jennifer Logue:

Wow, you're blowing my mind right now. Like the first grade.

Yusuf Muhammad:

So from when I was a kid, yeah, that was just my thing. I was just a system person. It was, you know, I remember that one of the earliest videos of me, like home home recordings of me. They get, you know, they used to give us like, you know, plates booze, and I removed the screen door. I don't know how but I took the screen door, like off the thing and my camera, my dad's on video. He's like, Ah, interesting. He's like, are you gonna put it? And I basically like, I was like, as a kid, I like retrace my steps, and was able to put the door back the, you know, the the bottom of the doorbell. I was probably like, I had to be like five or six years old. But very early, my dad recognized that it was like, and so education wise. I think that's part of the question you asked me, but education wise, I started off, you know, very, very young. and work my way up. And you know, eventually, you know, the story goes that I went to college at a at 14 years old.

Jennifer Logue:

Wow. I didn't know that about you.

Yusuf Muhammad:

Yeah, it's crazy. I just found, I just found the certificate for it. And I had been looking for it for a very long time. Because, you know, you tell people that sometimes they believe you sometimes Yeah, okay. Right. But yeah, I actually just found this certificate. And you look at the date, and you look at it, and it's like you said as the youngest honoree to like inter college, like 14 years. Incredible. Signed by the senator at the time. So yeah.

Jennifer Logue:

And you went to the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Yes.

Yusuf Muhammad:

So I was saying that that's what I'm talking about education. There you go. Reminded me. I was saying I wanted to say like, when I was younger, originally, I wanted to be an electronic engineering. And, and I, I was able to, I think it's part of the reason why I was able to, like, use social media so well, when it first came around, and like, get this large following. And like, you know, I just knew how to use it in a different way is because I literally watched the internet be born. Like, literally, like, I remember, when, see, like, DVDs, like when those first the first ones, like when they first I remember us being at like a, we were at like a party. And this guy was like, I have this new thing. It's called a DVD. And he's like that, you know, he puts it into like this player, and everybody was like, surrounding the TV. But I remember that moment. Um, but I remember when, like, you know, when I remember when Wi Fi was just, you know, being used. I remember when social media I was on Facebook way before most of my peers. Yeah, because I was 14 years old.

Jennifer Logue:

Incredible.

Yusuf Muhammad:

So Facebook was only for college kids at a certain time. So I was on a lot of these things very, very early. So my first love was in two electronics. That was my first love. My first love was the road of electronics. I wanted to do anything in that space. And as life kind of kept going forward. My second my second love, which became kind of like one of my more passions, and I'm still very passionate about it was films and filmmaking. I believe that the ability to just Take an idea or concept and turn it into a movie, or cinema, or a story was just really, really intriguing to me. And from very young, I remember I would always watch like the making of I love watching the scenes of how films were made. I don't think a lot of kids today don't know that, that used to be a part of the rollout for the movie was that they would show you the behind the scenes on Entertainment Tonight and weekly, like they would do these interviews, maybe on set, and they'd be interviewing the actors and they'd be like, this movie comes out, you know, at the end of the year, but we're over here, you know, there's explosions going on, you know, back in the back, you know, and I was captivated by that. I just loved everything about, you know, the behind the scenes, again, formulas, you know, and strategy and how you build it out. You know, it was intriguing to me. So, yeah, I ended up I was I remember, like it was yesterday, I was in my apartment. At the time, I was working at a place called Penn Children's Center. I was a I was a I was a assistant, I was an assistant. Like teacher, as an assistant teacher, teacher, like tutor there. And I saw a commercial on television that said, you know, do you want to be a filmmaker? You know, do you want to make movies, you should go to the Art Institute of Philadelphia, I'd never heard of the Art Institute ever. And being as you know, as, as determined as I was at that age, I still don't know. But being as determined as I was that age, I just called the number. And I was like, hey, you know, I would like to go to college, you know? And she was like, Okay, well, you know, have you been before? And I was like, Yeah, I went to community. So this woman that I ended up speaking to, I mean, talked about just the universe, but that person that I ended up speaking to, she ended up literally just helping me throughout the whole process. Wow, helped me yeah, she was from that first conversation on the phone. She was like, I'm gonna help you get into the school. And she helped me get into school. And it was it was great. And then from there, it just my life changed. Yeah,

Jennifer Logue:

who your biggest film inspirations.

Yusuf Muhammad:

So some of my biggest film inspirations off the top is in Spike Lee, for sure. So somebody whom from very, very young, I watched all of his films, studied his films. I believe his name is Wes Anderson. I wanted to say his name is Wes Anderson, just because of his extremely unique style of storytelling has just always been incredibly unique to me. And I feel like he makes funny movies for intelligent people. Like he makes movies that like anybody, no matter what you find funny he makes he makes films that speak to everybody. So big fan of Wes Anderson. I'm sorry, my daughter just walked in on me as we were talking. I try my best after it. You know, I thought I could find some, some actual free time to do this. But it's just yeah, fortunately, it's not working out as good as I wanted it to. But you can battle with me, hopefully even better with me.

Jennifer Logue:

That's a slice of life. It's a slice of life of a beautiful life. So yes, you know, yes.

Yusuf Muhammad:

Which is great, though. Like I had a lot of time to myself. So now I have now I have to say I get to share it with these blessings. So it's awesome.

Jennifer Logue:

So how did you transition to the you to the events side of entertainment from film? And you're doing photography to I think,

Yusuf Muhammad:

yes. So all right, I can tell the story. I'll try not to be too long winded. So I am at the Art Institute. Very quickly, I realized that there was a couple of things that all happened at one time. So I get to the Art Institute. And one thing that my dad used to always tell me was that when you go somewhere, he used to say make friends with all the older people. That was a that was a intentional goal was that if you go somewhere, the don't try to impress the people that are your age, they have no power. impress the people who who actually have power and can actually help you as you are motivated. And as you have ideas and people that are your age, they'll come as you continue to extend. Don't pursue that he used to always I don't know why, but that was his thing. He's like, Don't pursue that pursue pursue wisdom. Basically, that was the lesson that my dad, you know, instilled in me and I would say my dad like he definitely that was something he put in me easy to say make friends with everybody who was older, you know, they are the ones that are going to be able to actually look at Help for you. So I was very intentional about that. I was friends with the financial aid department. I was friends with the counselors, I was friends with the president of the school. And it was very simple. I would, before I would go to my classes, in the morning, I had, like, set up a route that I would take, I would walk through the school, I would walk them to financial aid area, I would say Hello, good morning. I hope you have a good day to day. Oh, it's so good to see you, man. I hope you hope you're good. Man, I hope your kids are great. Man. I hope everything's fine with you. It was like, you know, I was basically saying I was like, you know, how would you you know, how's your kids? Then I'll walk through the student affairs area, I say hello to the young lady who was like a security secretary person, I'd say hello to security. I'd go in and say what's up to the President? Hey, President, you know, great, great seeing you, man. You know, I appreciate the know you the FBI, and I just keep moving. doing that over and over and over again. Eventually, they recognize me they're like, Who is this kid like that just keeps his walk? And he's always asking us questions. And he's always very jovial. And he's always asking us how our day is. So one day, you know, just from doing that, I asked the woman who was working at the desk, she's always coming here and talk to her and I was a new student. So they wanted to like be nice and help me. I just asked, I say, you know, do you all ever need help here? Let me know if you do? And she said, Yeah, we do. And she said, What do you do now? I said, Well, I currently have another part time job. And we're, you know, with kids. I said, But you know, you know, just let me know if you ever need help. So she said, Well, you know, you should come work in the office. I said, Really? She said, Yeah, come work in the office. So I ended up working at the Student Affairs Office part time. So now I have the part time job of Student Affairs, I have a part time job off site at the University of Penn at this pinch ocean center. sitting at that desk, was the best networking tool that I can add met, everybody met all the cool kids, I met all these top leads of Otter, all of the organizations, I met all the any any of the donors that will come and meet with the President, when he would come in, they would have to say, hey, you sent and I say, Hey, how are you? And I'm like, my name is Yousef. And he's like, Oh, nice to meet you. And I'm like, Well, what are you doing? And I'm like, Oh, why Oh, my God, I'm here to make a donor donation to the school Great meeting you. And I would just meet all these different people besides the fact that I was also in film school. So a lot of film directors and film people would come into this to come into the office, I would just meet them all the time. So I began networking that way. And eventually I met the person, they recommended me to be an RA. Okay, so I said, Okay, well shoot, cool. I will be an RA. I didn't know what an RA was. But again, I worked with kids already. So I was like, this is just working with grown kids. So, so I, I ended up leaving Penn children and I ended up having a part time job and a student affairs, I'm still going to school. And I'm an RA now, one of the things about being an RA was that they said you had to create one of the one of the rules was that you had to create three events, oh, events per quarter for your, for your, for your students. And I immediately, I don't know why. But I was like, instead of me creating the events for them, why don't I just go create the events that they want? So I called a meeting. And at the meeting, they started telling me to type of events that they wanted. And I say, oh, okay, cool. I got that. That's easy. That's great. Okay, cool. I can do that. But I couldn't figure out my third event. My third event, I cannot figure out my third event had to be something that brought the community together. So I was like, huh, so one thing as an RA you had to do was you had to do your rounds, and you would go your rounds, you go to every apartment, just to make sure that they were you know, not doing crazy stuff. Even though I was the most lean array of all time, like of all time, I did not, I never told him. It's like, I used to tell them, like don't make me do my job. They said, That's what I used to say to them. So trying to wrap the story up, but, um, but it's it's just a unique way that I fell into this world. So all of this is simultaneous that at the same time that I'm doing this community event and I'm doing my rounds, and I walk into every dorm. I'm seeing art pieces that are phenomenal. I'm seeing stuff. I'm seeing art, I'm seeing fashion designs, and I'm like, Who made this who did this? And they're like I did and I'm like, where are you? Are you like, like, What is this for? Like, are you selling it and they're like, this is a project I just got bored one day and I just painted this mural and I'm like, yeah. So I took that information with me. Okay, that's one part of it. The other part of it well I was, I'm in film school. And when you're in film school, usually you have to rent your equipment. But I got to the point where I was like, You know what, I cannot keep renting my equipment, I have to own a camera, I'm gonna have to get a camera. So at the same time, it just so happened that technology is meeting me in school at the same time, and the first DSLR camera dropped, which was called, yes, it was like a Canon TS one. The DSLR. It allowed you to shoot at high resolutions, you can only shoot for a short amount of time. But it allows you to kind of do these like one minute clips, and like the best high resolution anyone had ever seen before. And at that same time, I'm doing Ra, I ended up getting my own camera from a friend of mines, he loaned me some bread and shots to shouts to IQ, I kill helped me get my first camera, I get my first camera, and I'm using this ra job to pay off this camera. So then I'm like, Okay, I need to get money. So I just find myself to like live. So I said, Well, why don't I start doing freelance with this camera. So I started doing freelance, filming, and photography for artists. And some of these artists are like big artists. Now, the time wow, they were not at the time. They were just dope buzzing artists from their cities. But I went on Facebook, and I put up there and I told them, I said, Listen, I will film you for free. If you just give me the access. So they would give me the access, I will go film for free, I would then take that film work, bring it back to school, get an A then you know. So all of these things are all happening at once all these things are happening a meeting different artists, music artists, and people in the film photography world. I'm getting access, I'm getting relationships to the school, I'm connecting with my students, I have to do events. And one day, I'm in my dorm room. And I come up with this event called whose art is this anyway, whose art is this anyway, was the first ever event I ever curated. The rules to the event was this how I promoted it was everything at the event no matter what the event, no matter what it was, no matter what medium it was, you could only price it from $1 to$20. The reason why I did that was I knew that it would sell somebody's going to buy it whenever we went out. And what I would tell them what is you set the price, one to go. So somebody comes up to you and they ask you how much it is, you now have to negotiate with them. Almost like a bartering style to be able to sell your artwork. And you have to talk to them. First event we did, it was actually pretty successful. There was about 300 people that came and it was a mixture of everything. It was a mixture of art. It was a mixture of music, it was a mixture of a DJ, you had poetry, it was any medium that went under the term art. I actually still have the poster somewhere. I wish I could find it, I would pull it up and show you but it's a hilarious, amazing. It's like my first ever event. So the second one was huge. The second one, after the success of the first one word started getting around. There's this art show that's being thrown at the Art Institute downtown. And at that point, I'd had a lot of relationships, I was just connecting with people I was telling on different organizations in my school. And 650 people showed up. And I was like, whoa, I'm like, okay, like this is a lot of people. And it was actually you know what, let me circle let me go back. Memory mix you pat a little bit. It might have been 150 for the first event 350 for the second event, not 653 50 for the second event, but this is where the kicker is. This is where this is the reason why I got that a 650 number. For the second event, like 350 people came but like 650 people RSVP Oh, this was the time back in back when Facebook when people RSVP and they were actually going yeah.

Jennifer Logue:

I remember those days.

Yusuf Muhammad:

And maybe they were actually going you know and so, um, for the third one, there was like 2000 RSVPs Oh, wow. And the school was concerned because they were like, there's going to be like 650 people here like that's way too many strangers that you're bringing to the school right like this has started off as a school event and now this is something that like people are coming to so they shut my weight my shut my vent down. Thanks. Got my bed down? Oh, no. It was no, I had to. I had. I had everybody. I was devastated. And so my career in concert started from one Facebook post out of my anger, that my event got shut down, right due to politics. That's what I use. I use the word politics, right? Because, you know, I was just a student, I didn't have any control over the venue space, I didn't have any control over, you know, who attended who didn't attend. I went on Facebook, and I said, my school just shut down my art show. I was expecting, like, 2000 people. And I'm like, Man, this is like messed up. I said, I need to have an own my own space for my own events. A guy responded to that thread. And he said, there's a spot called the Blockly. Wow, that I am friends with. There's the guy named Chris over there that I'm really friends with. You should let me introduce you to them. He said, I've heard about the art show, you should let me introduce you to them. And that was my career from there. From that moment, that moment of the universe coming together. of me being an RA, of me going to school for filming photo of me meeting the specific people that I've met during that time in Philadelphia, who are all superstars. I mean, these guys are all over the industry all over the world right now. That was the launch of veteran freshmen. And my career. I remember. Once I got the venue, my goal was to throw a birthday concert. That was my goal. I had knew all these different people. I was meeting all these different artists throughout the year. And I wanted to throw a birthday concert. And I was like, What can I name it? And this is, again, me being this kind of like very, like militant kind of, you know, kid named it, I came up with veteran freshmen. And the goal was to basically say, because I felt like, people were treating me as a freshman, but I used to say I have veteran relationships. So I was like, I'm a veteran freshman. Like, imagine that, you know, the person that is a veteran, you know, you know how to do this, but you're in freshman circumstances. I see. That was the whole idea was that, you know, I was like, I want to showcase veteran talent that people know, but they might be a fresh face to you. And that is literally how veteran freshmen was born. I called all my friends. I said, Yeah, I got this great name, freshman veteran. And you're like, I don't know. I was like, What is freshman veteran? I was explaining. I'm like, Yeah, you know, it's freshmen. But they were like, and then I just was like, Well, what about veteran freshmen? And they were like, ah, that's, that's like, that's it? It sticks.

Jennifer Logue:

No, has a nice ring to it.

Yusuf Muhammad:

That was how my career started. So sorry for that very long winded answer. But that is how my career.

Jennifer Logue:

No, it's so fascinating to hear your story. Like, the way things happened, everything was so organic.

Yusuf Muhammad:

Yes, I am big on, I paid attention to a making B happen, that makes C happen, that makes B happen, that makes e happen. That makes F happen. That makes G that makes H I pay attention to that. And I think more people should pay attention to that. It allows you to appreciate the moment, but know that this moment is only going to lead you to something else coming next.

Unknown:

Yes,

Yusuf Muhammad:

you're so excited for what this could lead to that no matter what happens within this moment. It's already a success. Because that next moment, it's only going to lead to something next, it's either going to lead to you never doing it again. Are you doing it better? Are you doing it in a different way or a different light. And so that was a lesson that I started learning very young and I used to you know, being a promoter is it is it's like, I'm trying to figure out what you can describe it as I imagine, I imagine you are it's the longest it's it's it's an it's a it's an everlasting checklist. Right? Mixed with the reality that anything can happen and that you can lose it all. And there's so many factors that can lead to that that have nothing to do with you. There's the right before the door opens generous. where there's been shows where there were two people standing outside. And the show ended up selling out. And then there's been shows where there's a line outside, and the show ended up taking a loss. And then there are shows where it's sold out. But a water main breaks and the entire show is canceled. And

Jennifer Logue:

oh my gosh, and you just got to roll with the punches and just go through it. So

Yusuf Muhammad:

many stories of just, you have to roll with the punches. You have to roll with the punches. I was at one show. And it was an accident. It was in Atlanta. The show was happening. Everything was going good. The venue, the club was one of these older clubs and ornament from the ceiling fell down, hit the performer and head. Oh, what she was oh, he was okay. Oh, she was, Oh, God.

Jennifer Logue:

I thought he was

Unknown:

like, Oh my gosh, the next time I go on stage will be like, No,

Yusuf Muhammad:

this show was over. He was fine. He flew off the stage a couple of feet. But you know, he was fine. He was he kept performing. That was hilarious that he kept rapping. Even on the ground. He's still rapping

Jennifer Logue:

mark of a professional. Oh my God,

Yusuf Muhammad:

just professional dancing.

Jennifer Logue:

So what led you then to artists management? Yes. You you initially were managing distorted. Lee visual artist? Yeah. Then you manage a few artists after that.

Yusuf Muhammad:

After that, yes. Let's do it. Artists management was something that I used to run away from vietnamese Viet Minh. I used to run away from it, we're just gonna use that word. Yeah, sometimes you got to use a really intelligent word, but you lips don't work with me all the time. But for anyone who's listening to it, I ran far away. So I ran far away from from artists management for a very long time, because I just didn't want to be solely responsible for the advancement of someone else's career, I felt like that was just not the way that it should work. I you know, and a lot of times a lot of the, the A lot of it's telling you is so crazy. Because I'm not going to say her name. But there's one artist who's buzzin. She's huge. Now, she's huge and filthy. And at that time, she used to ask for you to manage her, but I just was not ready. I was not ready to be a manager at the time, you know, and I was, I really did feel like, you know, management is something that you should do. You know, when you when you're able to, you know, when you when you know how you know, it's something that you should do when you're when you're confident in your abilities. It's just not something that you take for light because it really is another person's career. So Anya distorted and I refer to as Ania, because that's how I met her as on Friday, she was distorted. I was throwing a camera on concert. And at the time used to sell tickets by hand, you would, you would literally get a group of stalking tickets. And you would put it on Facebook, you would say hey, you can either buy tickets online, or you can meet up with me, and I'll sell you tickets. Oh, cool as the promoter. So I sold a bunch of tickets that week, we were trying to get together. But we finally found a day, she pulls up on me. And she's like, um, you know, she wanted to get two tickets to camera. So but it just so happened, that we shut up a conversation, like we already knew of each other, but kind of struck up a conversation. And she's like, Yo, I'm gonna be fan of yours. I'm like, Yeah, I'm a big fan of yours. Like, you know, tell me about, you know, kind of tell me about yourself. She's like, Oh, well, you know, I'm an artist. My name is distorted. I might want to steal. I'm like you. I feel like I've heard about your work. I've seen your merch. She's like, where she's like, well, you know, you should definitely check me out. She's like, you know, currently I work with, she also worked with kids. So she's there. I work with kids. And that's the word she said, Yes. She said, My art is a little, you know, a little freaky. So she's like, I can't really, you know, I don't really show it to the kids. She's like, because it's a very unique style of art. She's like, but it's very creative. And I feel like it go places and I say, Oh, good. I said, Well, you know, it's really, really dope. And it was great meeting you. And she said, yeah, it was really good meeting you. And she said, you know, the only thing I'm really missing right now, is I really need like, you know, I really need like a manager. And I'm like, Oh, well, you know, good luck with that. I hope you hope you find the manager. You know, God bless you. You know, so we do the camera on show camera and show was great. She was there. But then I kept seeing her. Like she can chew and she would continue. We kept seeing each other at places and every time I saw her, she would tell me you need to manage. You should be my manager. She's like, Why do you like why don't you just manage manager and I'm like, I don't want to be a manager. I'm like, Look, I you know, I appreciate that you think I am, but I'm a promoter, like, you know, I don't manage. She said, No, I really believe that you could manage me. So she would, she would just constantly like telling me that she would text me she would see me at party, she would send messages to other people. She was very, like, adamant that she felt like I could be her manager. So one day, in like a fit of like, frustration, I was like, you know, what, could you just come meet me, I was like, come downtown today, you can come down today, come downtown and meet me. And I said, we will talk about partnership. I said, I don't I can't be a manager. I said, but I can be your business partner. So she came down. And that day, I feel like we met for like nine hours. By the time she left that meeting, we had the entire year planned out of everything we wanted to do with each other. And we went off, we started doing art shows we started doing March, her following started growing and getting bigger and bigger and bigger, incredible. We started doing shows we put together because I was in concert where I put together art show for us, I said, Listen, let's do an art show. That's part art show, but also a concert. So we used to do these things called Art parties, where we would go from city to city, and whoever was the popping artists from there, they would come and perform on her art show. So you got the music community, you got the art community, these shows are blowing up. And we did like a 12 city tour, you know, it's just ended her is just an independent kind of artists. And it was great. And it went very, very well. You know, we did a lot of phenomenal things together. We're still in touch, we still have you know, great friendships, even the the manager that she has now is a friend of mines. He's someone that, you know, once I stepped down as her management, he ended up kind of stepping in. And I don't say that in a in a negative way. I just say that. And like, that's a beautiful thing. And you know, if if, if you you believe in the talent so much that even once you get to a point where you feel like you can't take them to that next level, you automatically say absolutely, to whoever else, like wants to step up and work with that talent. Oh, for sure. And I handed everything over, you know, I mean, I didn't hold anything back any connections, relationships, anything he asked for any data, I handed right over because I wanted to still see or become a success between distorted and going into music, I did manage a few music talents, but they were like hearing, they were hitting misses. And that's another thing like a lot of managers, you know, we have hit or misses you have you know, before you get that, that one client, you know, perfect, I use a perfect example. You know, DoDEA cats current manager, at one point was a co manager with me for Krishna combs. And which is tough son, you know why I ended up managing, I ended up managing puff son, and so long story how I ended up getting that job. But once I ended up getting that gig, that guy who is now currently those accounts manager, at one point was supposed to be my co manager, we both kind of left that situation, and we moved on to you know, our next situations, but now he's managing dosha cat, you know what I'm saying. And so and I say that, as as a as an amazing, you know, that's an amazing, amazing accomplishment that you can go as you kind of keep moving forward. So sometimes when it doesn't work out, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a negative, it just means that you know, you two weren't able to create together and you just have to move on to the next, you know, the next thing, usually when you see people falling out with their management, and it's like really negative. A lot of times they didn't really start with the purest intentions, you know, I'm saying. And I think you do have that relationship that does start with real intentions of partnership, not this idea that I'm your boss, or that you're my boss, but more so this idea that, you know, you take what you do well, and I take what I do well, and let's just do that together. And let's just see what happens.

Jennifer Logue:

Even your initial approach to distort it, making it a partnership, like just coming to the table with that in mind. I mean, I think that just set a foundation for success. And because the collaboration, it's it's it's a creative collaboration at the end of the day,

Yusuf Muhammad:

man, managers are not miracle workers. You know, that's something I used to always tell people we're not and I really believe that lead managers are not miracle workers like we can't create a create out of thin air you know, we need to know the things that you like in order to bring the things that you'd like to you know, we need to we need to know the things that you want to do in order to be able to go out and hunt for those things and bring them back to you. But it has to be a partnership. And and yet you know from there, I ended up going into music. I you know worked with puff and I ended up you know managing Christian combs for two years I was a part of his man management team, which was a crazy, crazy experience. I then ended up going over to Jim when a team and managing in well being on the management team for Jidenna. And I was, you know, his day to day manager as well. And then the pandemic hit, so I left music. And now I'm in comedy.

Jennifer Logue:

Yeah, and we're gonna talk about that a little

Yusuf Muhammad:

more, sir. Fast forward. Oh,

Jennifer Logue:

no, no, no, it's fine. Now you're managing does the banks who's hilarious and so talented. Oh, my God. It's

Yusuf Muhammad:

funny guy. Really funny guy.

Jennifer Logue:

I mean, I, I actually started following him because you were sharing his stuff. I'm just like, Oh, my God. He's so funny. And so talented. So I'm a big fan. Yeah. Thank you for sharing his work. Absolutely. But this is creative space. And yes, I love asking this question of everyone. Because everyone has a different perspective on creativity. But how do you define creativity?

Yusuf Muhammad:

How I've described it probably over the last 10 years is that I tell people that your purpose is like a tree, your purpose is a tree. So your purpose is your center. your passions are the leaves and the branches that come from that tree. Right? Each leaf that hits the ground allows you to be able to create something from that, right. It's almost like you're feeding the earth, you're feeding the soil. And so Creativity to me has been something that it's actually interesting that you say that because this is the first time in my life that I've actually wanted to teach this. Yeah, wanting to teach this ability to be able to create for a living, yes, I am under the genuine belief and I don't mean this to be like too deep or anything. But I genuinely believe that if you go back in time, your social capital was based off of what you enjoy doing and what you love doing. The Butcher whole family was butchers and they enjoyed preparing and being butchers, the the the the sewers, there was a school of that this was something that they would teach the children, their daughters, their sons, the grandsons, there was a family of that the fishers, they went in they fish, the people who wrote the books and subscribers. That's what they did. And that was their rent, for being on Earth. Their rent for being here was what they enjoy doing. Right? What they enjoy creating. Well, mine, personally, is joy. I enjoy creating joy for others, I enjoy creating spaces where people can have memorable moments and memorable experiences. That is my payment. My payment is that five to 10 years later, I still get messages, I still get emails, I still get people to stop me ministry telling me, I met my wife at your party. Oh, that was the best concert I ever went to know it's a blessing to be able to, to be able to touch so many people and to be able to spread joy and to be able to have people you know, give me so many a lot of the memories that they pull from our from shows that they went to or seeing artists for the first time or, you know, like I said people telling me they met their wife at my events or you know, people lifelong friendships, you know, that I even have from concerts and music events. And you know, music is something that genuinely brings people together probably more than anything else on the planet, as well as creativity. And so one of the things that I like to just tell people is the idea of doubt is disregarding or disrespecting you like the only reason Okay? In order to doubt yourself, you have to already know what you want to do, but you don't believe that you can do it. But but the root of doubt is that you know what you want to do. That's the root. You can't have doubt without knowing what you the only reason why you doubt yourself is you're telling yourself that you can't do it.

Jennifer Logue:

It's because you do know what you want to do.

Yusuf Muhammad:

You know what you want to do? You know you want to write that book, but you read

Jennifer Logue:

like you can I just read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Highly recommend. Yeah, someone just recommended this to me shout out to Sam Jones. Basically he has this concept called Creative resistance. And it's you know, he describes it as like that barrier between us actually doing the thing we're supposed to be doing, like, procrastination, doubt, fear, all those things. It's creative resistance,

Yusuf Muhammad:

sorry, that's my dog.

Jennifer Logue:

But all these inward things, the excuses, we make doubt anything that keeps us from doing what we're supposed to be doing. And he even believes that manifests into, like, mental health issues. And, you know, I know and I don't create,

Yusuf Muhammad:

Oh, absolutely. And it's, it's, it's, I try my best to, like, be as calm as I can. about it. But it's something that I'm very passionate about, because, you know, it's, it's, your blessings are yours for a reason, the things that you enjoy doing very much can be your life. Sorry about that, very much can be your life. And you know, I haven't worked a nine to five, since I was 23 years old, 2030 Wow, was the last time that I worked, you know, kind of a standard nine to five, my nine to five now is just creating my nine to five now is just, you know, coming up with an idea, creating the system or the avenues to success. And then, as long as I follow these systems that I've learned, you know, through different processes, through my wins, and through my losses, and my lessons, I'm sorry, not losses, my wins and my lessons. I've now gotten to a space where a lot of these things are automatic. So I say, you know, creativity, to me is a life source. And it's something that that is true capitalism, true capitalism is creativity, you know, not not money, not, you know, your true payment is being able to do the things that you want to create into this world. And putting them out there and just doing them and trying everything, you know, trying everything that you can, and not, you know, not to get deep, but that to me, that is how you capitalize off of your existence here. That's how you capitalize off the blessing of of you know, being in this time that you're in is that is to create something so even this, you know, even us having this conversation, you know, taking it from a concept of wherever you were before the first episode, and now we're sitting here having this conversation.

Jennifer Logue:

Yes, it's the act of creation. Like, if I'm called to do something, I have to do it. Even if I don't know where it's gonna go. One person might hear this, and it might change their perspective completely. You want to encourage them to make something we just don't know how we fit into the grander scheme of things.

Yusuf Muhammad:

So absolutely. So it's important. Yeah,

Jennifer Logue:

I just found it's easier to just go go with it. Yeah, you know,

Yusuf Muhammad:

again, the root of doubt, is that you already know what you want to do. Yeah. So remove the doubt, because you already know that you want to do it down is just down is just, you know, I always always say a no just means I have to find a different Yes.

Jennifer Logue:

Ah, I love that.

Yusuf Muhammad:

That's all it means. One person has no just means I have to find a different Yes.

Jennifer Logue:

On my wall. I'm gonna have a quote. Well, from these interviews, all the wisdom, that's awesome.

Yusuf Muhammad:

There's a yes out there. You just have to find it. There's a yes. You know, one one No, just means you have to find that other. Yes. So that is, you know, to me, that's, you know, creativity is, you know, again, you, you are the tree you are the root, you know, and those different leaves and branches that you that you build out. That's how you create and find those different branches. You know, don't feel like you just have to be a one stop shop, you know, do all the different things that you want to do and it's lifetime.

Jennifer Logue:

Yeah, that's something else we'll touch on to it. We don't let's bring it up. Now. A conversation I've been having a lot lately with some of my artists friends, is like, you know, let's say you're an actor and a musician. From a manager perspective, being a jack of all trades, master of none. Like do you think there's truth to that? But is it possible to like enjoy your creativity, enjoy your career and do it at a high level, even if you have these different outlets.

Yusuf Muhammad:

I used to say, I am a jack of all trades, as long as it's fun. As long as you're having fun, you should do it. Why talk yourself out of something that is fun. It's fun if you enjoy doing it and it's fine. Then do it. You know it's interesting. Jack of all trades, master of none, for some reason does not apply to celebrities. Interests, interesting. Celebrities can do all types of random stuff that they have no qualifications for once.

Jennifer Logue:

We've learned that I won't get political and

Yusuf Muhammad:

why? So ever? You're just known by a lot of people. So because a lot of people know them, they just say, Hey, I am going to start a worker company and people are like, where are you getting your order from them even asked, don't even ask me to get the order. Put your name on it, you have to work. Yep, you don't I mean, and so if that if that rule applies to them, then it applies to us as well, that you can do every and anything that you want. There's no rules, anywhere, anyone who's telling you that you can't do something as somebody that should not be around you. One of the greatest lessons I ever got was something I still say to this day. I was in I want to say we were in Arizona. And I was with pomp son, tell the story, sometimes the most hilarious story. And he was doing something he was doing something that was very, like, Puff Daddy, she was doing something that was very, like, making progress. You're doing something very Christian, where he can be free. And I said to him, I said, Yo, man, come on, man, we can't do this. And he pulled me to the side. And he like, grabbed like the front of my shirt. And he was like, stop speaking and can't stop speaking you can you can stop speaking you can we can do whatever we want to do. And I say oh, okay, he's like, now, if there's repercussions from that cool, but don't tell me that, like don't even talk to me in Canada. You know, we always can try. This is a young 90 year old kid teaching me this, you know, oh. And that was a great lesson that I got from him whenever that day and I and I keep it with me. I don't speak in cane anymore. There's no such thing as can't,

Jennifer Logue:

I'm not speaking in Canada anymore, either. And I'm learning it and can't wait.

Yusuf Muhammad:

It's a language that you don't want to speak it. And you just you just said that's a language that you don't even want to speak. You just leave it alone, you know, there's no rules to language, there's no rules to this. You can make up language literally people don't understand this. There's different dialects, you know, you go to the south, there's a certain way that they speak, you go to the West Coast, there's a certain way to speak. You go to Norway, there's a certain way that they speak everyone has their own form of slang. What is your slang what type of speech where you speak into your life and speak over your life, you know. And so speaking in can't speak in what you don't think you can do speaking what you've seen other people fail that, you know, and you apply that to yourself, those are things that you have to remove from your, you know, remove it, remove it from your spirit, remove it from your mind, and just stop speaking at it and speaking can and speaking will and speaking try, you know, at least try. And even if you, you know, there's some things, it's funny that I said that now I want to teach this. In 2016, I did an event called curator class. Okay. Now, almost 18 years later, I'm finally at the spacebar. I'm like, I want to actually teach this. So I reached out to like somebody University and stuff like this something that I really want to teach. Yeah, but it's my older self speaking to my newer stuff. I did it back in the day, I tried it once I was like, Man, I put it down. But because I did it, I have the entire blueprint on how to do it now. Yes. And I was able to just go back, pull it right back up, and start it. So that's another thing. Also, don't be afraid to later on in life, start something that you might not have been able to do earlier in life. You know, don't think that because it failed in 2003 or 2013, that it can't work in 2023.

Jennifer Logue:

That's true. So you can always pick up the project again.

Yusuf Muhammad:

That's something that I've learned to deal with. And I enjoy that probably even more, because it's like almost like your old self is guiding your new self. So it's pretty cool.

Jennifer Logue:

That is a great perspective to have. It's not just because you close a chapter doesn't mean you can't pick it back up again. Absolutely. And you've come at it with more wisdom

Yusuf Muhammad:

100%. And no more can't talk. So you can you can pull it off

Jennifer Logue:

and get rid of all the cats. Yeah. So how does creativity come into your play into play in your work as an artist, manager and an advance

Yusuf Muhammad:

and management, especially working with a comedian, and an actor. This has allowed me to tap back into my love film, my love of directing my love of coming up with creative ideas and skits and sketches and my love of structure, my love of you know, free creativity, to be able to go into any space to be able to go into this room that you're in right there and turn that into a scene, you know, whether it's whether it's action, whether it's comedy, whether it's romance, you know, to be able to take that room and tell a story with it is incredible and blessing that, you know, with him that we have is it's a partnership, you know, he allows me to bring to him the things that I enjoy doing. And vice versa, the things that he enjoys doing, he puts on my plate to help him kind of navigate. And so that's how we work. And we're going on our third year, and it's really been a blessing, you know, working with him. And I'm really happy that you know, whether we continue to work together or not. And I say that with all my clients, because you never know, that our relationships are built off of just wanting to see each other win. Oh, yeah. And that is the ethos of like, that's the, that's the, that's the core of how we work together. On the event side, it's the creativity, there's endless the pandemic, really kind of shocked the system, because it was the first time since 2012, that I couldn't do an event. And I couldn't bring people together, that I couldn't. Um, it was Devis. I mean, it was devastating. It was I took it all the time, like, in my life, my life's passion is bringing people together, I'm like, I can't, you know, when you insert culture, you remove color. And, and in this country, specifically, not again, not getting to be because it's a creativity talk, but you're taught that, you know, certain people, you can't hang out with certain people that, you know, they have this culture, or they have that culture. And the thing is, is that when you when you bring coaches together, you know, in a positive way, and you allow people to to, to see that and be a part of that and have fun with that, on all mediums. It removes that it removes all of that type of energy. Yeah. And that's what I enjoyed doing. That was probably the more of the reason why, you know, the work that I did in Philadelphia was so impactful to me, was that I knew that I used to always, you know, it was more than just coming in just coming to a show or concert is that I really wanted you to have an experience, you know, I used to leave, and I still do it, you know, after the show, I would stand at the door. And I would thank people for coming. And they didn't know who I was, I used to think it was just some random guy saying hey, you know, say you don't save Have a good night. Thank you so much. I appreciate you for coming. I still do that even now with Desi whenever I'm gonna roll with him. I stand at the door. And I thank him for coming. Hey, thank you so much, because they have no idea who I am just a random guy, some Thank you. But it's because I really appreciate being able to be a part of those spaces that bring people together. So in the events, real, you know, the concert world, the comedy world, if you notice that medium, that medium is joy. And that medium for me is bringing people together as long as those two things are there, where there's going to be joyful energy. You know, whether it's laughter, whether it's people singing their favorite songs, nothing better to me than seeing a dad with his daughter and the dad is literally singing at the top of his lungs. We have that moment. Nothing better to me than seeing a room full of you know, black brown. You know why? Anybody? All types of people of different nationalities, different cultures in one room? laughing their hearts out. lack that that joke, doesn't have any race on it. That joke is just a joke, because life is hilarious. Life is. No. So those are the things that I enjoy being part of. So I put creativity in everything I do. Even my children, you know, my daughter was a ladyboy yesterday. Oh, she want to get a cute, my son. We do something called hip hop class where he'll come in in the morning, and I will curate the different music videos that I want him to watch. I'll let him watch everything from Janet Jackson to Paula Abdul to MC Hammer to you know Tupac to Biggie to the Isley Brothers to Marvin Gaye to The Beatles to we just got we just got to Led Zeppelin i I gave him my top 10 Led Zeppelin songs and they were in here my son's going like this. So you creativity, I feel like you know, that's what I want to teach my children. I want to be able to teach them how to create for living, not work for a living. How to create for a living, whatever you enjoy doing whatever you appreciate whatever you enjoy, turn that into your life. Let that be your social currency in this world.

Jennifer Logue:

It's a mindset. Absolutely. mindset shifts. You know, I think there's generational Um, traditions of working a certain way, you know, and, you know, some of us break out of that. Absolutely. And change, change the narrative for your family for future generations, you know.

Yusuf Muhammad:

And I hope that with all of the incredible things that I've been able to do in my life, I mean, one day I said, I was like, you know, if I've ever did a podcast, I would it will be, it will be a crazy stories podcast, because no one will believe some of the things I've seen no one, no one would believe some of the rooms that I've been in. But that's the joy of being a creative is because the celebrity of it all doesn't doesn't impact you as much as as much as the reality of it all that Wow. Just because I am doing what I love. I'm in this room right now. Yeah, that is the celebrity. That is what you celebrate. You know, it's not necessarily the people, you know, I think that's why I've been able to work and be trusted by and have really good strong relationships with a lot of the like, quote, unquote, celebrities or people that I've worked with, and and I've known is because of that is because, you know, as much as I'm in that world, I'm out of it. And I stay grounded, and it's not fake, like I can, I'm okay with being in the room and only having $100 in my pocket, I'm totally fine. Because guess what, I'm going to eat all this free rich food in here and enjoy it. Oh my gosh, I'm gonna take a couple of kegs home and put that in my Uber. I have no shame, okay, I'm gonna take my water bottle, fill it up with somebody rich wine and say, like, I am, you know, with love, you know, but But I say that to say like, I don't have that. There's the celebration to me, is you know, is the creativity celebration to me is seeing people win and then being able to put people on and connect other folks. And, and just that joy, you know, that's really important to me. So, you know, thinking about getting back into music management. It's something that it's above that's been in me, you know, I still love music. And it's something that I've been thinking about getting back into, and I and I have a talent, I have somebody that I have my eye on, I have a young lady actually shoot, it'll be my first time, kind of going back and managing a young lady. But there's a young lady that I have my eye on. And she's really talented. And I'm excited to see what we can do together.

Jennifer Logue:

Oh, that's exciting. Oh my gosh, don't get me when you're ready to announce. So what's the greatest challenge you faced in your career so far?

Yusuf Muhammad:

I have an associate's degree in parenthood more only a few years in, not at my bachelor's degree among my doctorate and by my masters anything, but the one thing that has been the most challenging now, for me, currently is time management. And Balanced has been the most challenging thing for me. I'm sure it's something that a lot of parents go through. And a lot of parents experience, especially when you're like, at the prime of your career, you know, you don't, and we lost those two years in the pandemic. So it's like, which we're kind of still going through so. So I, you kind of go into hyperdrive, because you don't want to you don't feel like you want to lose it again. Right. So finding that balance has probably been the most challenging thing for me as a parent of being able to find, you know, just just that balance of time just to be able to spend time with them. I miss them. As soon as I leave the door, as soon as I walk in the door, I miss them, I'm only thinking about them. When I'm on the plane, you know, you don't have Wi Fi. And all I'm doing is looking at them from babies to now, every single time I can't, like people caught me on the plane and have been like, they like you know, I've had federal dads be like, you know, I do this thing that you know, scrolling, you know, I mean, because you just missed them so much. So that's that's what it's been as far as being a parent as far as just being like a creative probably one of the most challenging things that I've ran into right now. Is um ah yeah, it goes back to time wandering to do everything. Just wanting to do wanting to, there's at this point in my life, there's so many things that I want to do. It's just having the time to actually be able to execute and pull them off. Yes, when I hear you there, I looked at my goal list. It's funny, I put my goal list of every year. And I put my goal out of stuff this year was like 15 things on there, I'm like, come on, you're like, of course, I tried to do all of them and like the first five days of the year, and then I'm looking at today's date, it's the 16th day of the year, it's like calm down. 300 more days, there's no reason to rush, there's no reason to rush. So that's kind of where I'm at now. But I'm at a place where, you know, I said, this year is my Jordan year, I'm not rushing the shot, I'm taking my time with it. I don't care if it's only two seconds left on the clock. I know my skill level, I know who I am, I know the championships that I've had, I know the rings that I've had, and I know I can be in the Hall of Fame, you know, my own Hall of Fame. So there's no, there's no rush on taking that shot, I can take my time, I can dribble up to court, and I can get into the right position, have the right timing and be able to execute sorry, and be able to execute. And that's kind of just where I'm at now, I'm at that space. So, you know, challenges are more so, you know, they're like,

Jennifer Logue:

self imposed, with, like, having all the tools and stuff.

Yusuf Muhammad:

I think I think something that, you know, a lot of us have to do better of is just giving ourselves grace. Yes. Oh, it froze a little bit. Sorry. But giving ourselves grace, I think is probably one of the key things that I think a lot of us need to do. And especially as creatives, I think it's probably the core, and it's really, really important for us to do is just take a breather, since I'm calm down, you know, realize that, you know, you got this, you know, even if you don't got it today, or tomorrow, and you'll be fine. And we we live under different rules than the majority of other people do, you know, bills or bills, they're going to always be there, you know, but when you when you when you put stresses and things on to it, you really realize every time and it just doesn't, it just doesn't work. It doesn't just, it doesn't help it, you know, so I think giving yourself that grace, you know, Grace will always lead to coins, you know, it'll always lead to success. So I think that that's, you know, I think that's the challenge. The challenge is finding, finding, you know, making sure that you give yourself more grace, and finding that finding that time to balance the time.

Jennifer Logue:

Yeah, just like saying in peace no matter what's going on around you. Absolutely. You know. So what advice do you have for aspiring creators? Who want to make a living out of those who want to create for a living?

Yusuf Muhammad:

Three part three part answer to that question. So the first, the first thing I'm going to say, is, go into your phone, right? Or, and I want you to take from A to Z on your phone, take it take a day or two and write down different people that you know what they do and where you know them from. On paper, I want you to be able to see and look at the network that you have. Just look at your network, right. The second thing that I want you to do is I want you to write down your goals, no matter how big they are, no matter how small they are, write your goals down, and you can write them down in keyword form. Keyword form, for me is always the best pretty create because it doesn't force you to flush out all of your creativity at once. Right? It allows you to be able to just say, I want to paint, you don't have to talk about what you want to paint, you just want to paint so you put down paint, I want to ride bikes, okay, just write down, I want to ride bikes, you know, you went down in the keyword form. And then the third thing I want you to do is I don't want you to take time to really look at your network, look at the things that you want to do. And go have fun, and go create. Cool a lot of times 99% of the time, a lot of the answers to the things that we want to do I already write there, there are already things that we know. There are already people that were no there are already things that are in our universe. They're already places that we've been there already experiences that we've had, and sometimes we need to see it in order to be able to move on it. Google is your best friend YouTube university does exist YouTube university does exist. Free education does exist. It's right out there. There's information is there. We live in a time now. Where Do anything you want to do if right now I wanted to learn how to make a light bulb, I can go on YouTube type in how to make the light bulb, and I can go make light bulbs. And there's no reason why I can't. There's no reason why that I should I shouldn't. There's no reason why you shouldn't. It should be a goal of yours. So push yourself. Not even push yourself, to walk yourself into your success. It should be a goal of yours. To to to, and I know you're probably picking up my toddler yelling and screaming in the background.

Jennifer Logue:

Oh, no, I don't hear anything. No, you're fine. But

Yusuf Muhammad:

I don't know what the listeners are willing. But, but that's having kids.

Unknown:

Lice of life. Yes, yes.

Yusuf Muhammad:

And it is a blessing. You know, I think sometimes children is like this negative thing. No, it's not, it really is a blessing you, even your tone. Your tone may sometimes be in frustration, but it's only because as adults, you know, for some reason, we get to a point where we feel like we stop learning. And you're you've always learned, you know, you never stopped being a children of a child of knowledge, you never stopped that. And that's the thing I want to teach my kids is that, you know, we label it as you know, child toddler teenage adult, and we stop at adult is it as if that's it, that's the last stage and as any of us that are adults know, you continue to learn. So that's another thing I want to tell us creatives, like, you know, as I kind of like, you know, in that kind of three part is never just again, never be afraid to learn, you know, never be afraid to learn, never be afraid to continue to be a child of your creativity. And continue to, you know, to try new things. Your creativity is like a, it's like a well, you know, and the more that you pull from it, the more you'll be able to survive, the more you'll be able to create, you know, you'll be happy, you're going to be happy, you know, you'll be able to give yourself that nourishment. So continue to go into your well, you know, don't don't up sometimes you're gonna go into high for a couple days, that's cool. We'll get back out and keep and keep digging, you know. So that would be my advice to all creatives is, you know, do not stop creating, you know, continue to follow your purpose and create from your passions, and you will always see success. As long as you're doing it. You're successful.

Jennifer Logue:

Yes, that is so true.

Yusuf Muhammad:

redefine what success means to you. That's something we have to do we have to redefine it. Success is what you say it is not what anybody else does.

Jennifer Logue:

Yes, exactly. Setting your own goal, setting your own parameters for what success is.

Yusuf Muhammad:

Success, success. I remember for me, I used to be at the venue and I'd be celebrating and be like, Yo, there was only 25 people here today. And I'm like, that's amazing. 25 people left their house. Yes. To come to some concert that I'm putting together. You know, I'm saying dice to make me so happy. So I think we have to redefine what success is. You know, I appreciate social media. But the thing is before social media, what were you comparing yourself to?

Jennifer Logue:

Yes, that is so true up. It can be hard. Do you see everyone's highlight reel, you know, but you don't see all the sacrifice. You know, you don't see me the missus, you know, celebrating. I don't want to say failure. I want to say lessons. Like you said, I like what you said earlier, you have wins and you have lessons,

Yusuf Muhammad:

that's it wins and lessons wins the lesson. Social media, I believe was a good tool. But it did it hiding that, you know, it had eaten a lot of people's ability to not realize that. Again, like you said, you're only seeing that you're all you're seeing is their highlight reel. Most people aren't showing you the losses, most people aren't showing you the things that they're not doing. They're only showing you the result, they're not really always showing you the work. So I always tell people, you know, before ancient 2009 You know, you didn't compare yourself to someone that you saw, you did it because you enjoy doing it. And the people in your circle knew about it and they supported it and they loved it because of that. So continue to do that, you know as creatives don't psych yourself into believing that someone else's success has to be yours. Let your success be your own, and continue to pour into that. Every success story that you've heard. They all had to every podcast had to start from episode one. If you notice, most of the most successful podcasts unless they are a they were already a celebrity. They are in the ones now. They got like these crazy backs. They're like an episode 300 something Yes, yeah. 200 something 500 Maybe

Jennifer Logue:

more. Yeah,

Yusuf Muhammad:

maybe more than that. Yes. Didn't add one mm. it. Okay, so don't just assume that you know, outside of like I said, just being a celebrity, you have to start at one, there had to be the first McDonald's, there had to be the first Wendy's there had to be you have to start at one. So start at your one, you know, start at your one and make your way up to your franchise

Jennifer Logue:

and enjoy the process as you're going along. You know? Absolutely. And just doing these interviews for me is so fulfilling, because I'm learning a lot. And I know if I'm learning, people listening, I'm going to be learning, someone's gonna appreciate it, and it's gonna help them. So,

Yusuf Muhammad:

yeah, but I hope so. I mean, yeah, I hope that hope it wasn't too long winded, you know, I wanted to make sure that I spoke in detail. So I

Jennifer Logue:

know, it was all valuable information. So no, it was great. And I do have one more question, though. What's next for you? YUI. I love your hashtag up, stay busy. So

Yusuf Muhammad:

next for me up, stay busy. So next for me is by the time this probably airs, I will have my third child

Jennifer Logue:

congratulate.

Yusuf Muhammad:

Thank you. So you know, this will be something I play back to my son. He's here. But maybe maybe Leo is on the way. Continued success with Desi banks is a big thing. That's something I'm really, really excited about is, is continuing to work with him continuing in the festival and events world, I created a festival virtually called advocate fests during the pandemic, pretty successful. And I do want to, I want to bring that to life, I want to burn it to a physical entity. So that's something that I want to do. I do want to get to creating where shows where I live, which is in Las Vegas, I used to back in the day, and I want to kind of really get back into doing that. And then I think lastly is you know, like I said, I want to teach this, this is something that I want to teach, I feel like people need to know that you you can also work, you know, working a nine to five is great, because it'll be your first investor. Yeah, but, but, and in and also, we live in a world where you just have to pay your bills, you have to make sure that you're taking care of but outside of that your passions and your purpose can be things that can lead you to successes that you've never even imagined. And I want to be able to teach that to creatives. And so if I can hopefully put together this curriculum, I've never done it before. But I'm going on youtube University to find out how cool but put together this curriculum. I want to teach this to people I want to teach this character class, I want to teach people how to do everything that we talked about, you know, in this interview today, and yeah, I think those are the next things for me, you know, just continuing to do cool things work with great talent. I do want to you know, do some of the things I want to do my management kind of career that I want to continue to work on. And and yeah, those are those are some of the big things but yeah, I have some some really dope blessings coming with Desi banks this year. And I'm really excited for those to come to fruition and and really excited to meet my little guy, my newest little guy to try, you know,

Jennifer Logue:

little Leo. Oh my gosh, so many.

Yusuf Muhammad:

He's gonna have a lot of fun with John and Zelaya, his, his, his older brother and sister and I'm excited too. Excited to see you.

Jennifer Logue:

Thanks. Thank you so much for taking the time to appear on creative space for dropping all this knowledge. And yeah, this is such a great episode. And for more on UE, you can follow him on Instagram at use of YUI which I'll link down below in the show notes. And thank you so much for tuning in and growing in creativity with us. I'd love to know what you thought of today's episode. What you found most interesting what you found most helpful. You can reach out to me on social media at Jennifer Logue or leave review for creative space on Apple podcasts so more people can discover it. I appreciate you so much for being here in the beginning stages of this. My name is Jennifer Logue and thanks for listening to this episode of creative space. Until next time,

Introduction
How we first met
Growing up in Philly in the early 90s
The “control alt delete” to life
Yuie’s early passions: electronics and filmmaking
Going to the Art Institute of Philadelphia for film at 14
Yuie’s favorite filmmakers
Networking at the Student Affairs office
How becoming an RA led to his first event
Buying his first camera: the Canon TS1
”My career in concerts started with one event getting shut down.”
Coming up with the name Veteran Freshman
Yuie on the organic flow of creativity and success
The road to artist management
Being a manager should be a partnership with the artist
Managers are not miracle workers
Yuie’s definition of creativity
The things that you enjoy doing can be your life
A no just means I have to find a different yes
Being a jack of all trades as long as it’s fun
A lesson from Christian "King" Combs
Yuie on working with Desi Banks
Events and creativity
Teaching his children how to create for a living
Yuie’s greatest challenge so far
The importance of giving ourselves grace
Yuie’s advice for aspiring creators
Before social media, who were you comparing yourself to?
What's next for Yuie?