Manila Folders

November 12, 2017

Take Off Your Cool

To reiterate the words of Joshua Bennett, the spoken word artist who kicks off the first verse of Sartorial Sounds, “There is beauty here.” In 2011, Street Etiquette brought together seven artists to collaborate on a song to celebrate our innate and diverse artistic talents.

“Sartorial Sounds integrates both music and style, two elements embedded in every culture past and present. We think it’s important to remember that everyone is an artist in their own right. And it’s the life experiences we encounter that provoke what we splash on our own blank canvas. We assembled seven individuals to partake in this editorial. The finished product incorporates their individual talents such as spoken word, rapping, singing and tap.” —Street Etiquette

This song came to me at a very timely part of my life. It marked the beginning of an embrace of vulnerability and attempting to not only accept myself but take pride in my individuality. Around this time I felt like I constantly struggled with my identity. What this song came to represent for me was the question of “Who am I?” To answer that question, I found myself asking: What represents me? What resonates with me? What do I stand for? What will I fight for? What am I ashamed of? What am I deprived of? What do I love?

Having recently moved to New York, I find myself asking that very same question. Who am I? Moving to the city has been exhilarating, but at the same time, no one warns you of how insecure it can make you. How it can make you feel like you don’t fit in anywhere. How it can both energize you and leave you feeling empty.

So here I am revisiting this song. Asking myself these questions all over again.


The video below gives a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the song.