The Power Siblings: Imani Shani + A. WaL
By: Jasmine Stewart
Ms. Stewart sits down with the magazine’s creators: Imani Shani and A. WaL.
Get Far: Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Imani: I’m a talented down to earth girl from San Francisco trying to make my dream become my reality.
A. WaL: I’m a maker, a creator I love to bring ideas to life. Once the ideas are brought to life i like to develop them into more than I or we even originally believed they could be. Besides that I’m the first child from my mother and father, I’m a brother, I’m a student a teacher a king.
Get Far: What’s the purpose of Get Far?
A. WaL: To provide a platform for people in black culture whose stories may have went unnoticed. We want to keep you updated on what’s new and hot in the culture. Lastly we want to bring creative perspectives to readers, the angles no one was thinking about.
Get Far: Who is the mastermind behind the Magazine?
A. WaL: It was my sister and I equally, I brought the idea to her than she fine-tuned it. So it took both of us to make it happen.
Imani: I’m not going to lie, I believe my brother is the mastermind behind Get Far Magazine. He’s low key a genius
Get Far: Why do a magazine? And why now?
A. WAL: I think The Creator will give you ideas all the time you just have to have an open and willing mind to be able to accept what’s coming your way. If you’re stuck in your comfort zone that’s exactly where you will stay. Your comfort zone is a ball and chain. Society tells you that you just need to go to school, find a job and retire when you’re in your 60’s. That’s ok if that’s what makes you happy but unfortunately the masses are walking around living that life and they’re unhappy. I wasn’t taught entrepreneurship in school I was taught to get a job. Thank God we had parents that stressed and supported entrepreneurship. The idea was a light bulb that came on from The Creator. The Creator is the mastermind behind the magazine. We are the paint brush. So we accepted that, we believed in ourselves, and as a result we saw all the resources we had to make it happen. It wasn’t hard at all. And we did it now because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, you have to take advantage of the time you have. Procrastination is death.
Get Far: How were your writers selected?
A. WaL: It’s funny because everyone on social media has an opinion. You see them all day scrolling down your timeline. So the idea was let’s put some of these thoughts on a platform. The thoughts of people I thought were influential, or had a voice that could be influential. By doing that you empower others because I have to believe in you to accept you as a writer. But it also puts responsibility on the writer to write with a purpose. If you get influential people to move with a purpose you have a renaissance. I spoke to everyone who wanted to write and each of them had a love for pop culture and acknowledging the contributions that black people were putting forth. That was that.
Get Far: What kind of culture have you tried to create with your staff and writers?
A. WaL: Family oriented, that’s the only environment I can work in. We care about each other, ask each other how are days are going. We try to build an environment where it doesn’t feel like work. It starts with respect and we all respect each other.
Get Far: Why will this magazine be successful?
A. WaL: It doesn’t have a choice. We’re going to make this the biggest magazine on the planet. Hard work, dedication and innovation. This was the creator’s plan so it can’t fail we just have to keep working hard to continue developing it.
Get Far: What was your relationship like growing up and how has it evolved?
Imani: Ameer used to get on my nerves and we would literally beat each other up daily. I think something just clicked for us at the same time. We all we got. We share the same blood, he is everything to me. Back then, I never thought I would’ve been thanking God for my big brother. Now, I can’t imagine life without him by my side. He’s taught me so much, we’ve seen so much together.
A. WaL: We use to fight all the time. I think that’s natural. But there has always been unconditional love between us she’s always been my best friend. I think you just grow to appreciate each other so much more. That’s what has I just appreciate her and her support. I’m her biggest fan, I really think she’s a great person who has a lot to contribute to the world. She’s a queen and a boss wrapped in one.
Get Far: Is doing business with your family important to you personally? And is doing business with family something you push to others?
Imani: It’s great doing business with family when you’re not afraid to disagree sometimes, there’s no filters. It’s an open book.
A. WaL: Absolutely! This is going be a magazine that can be passed down from generation to generation. It’s important because sometimes people don’t think they have support and its right in front of them. You’re family are some of your biggest supporters those are people you should do business with if possible.
Get Far: Are there any worries as far as working together? Egos? Competitive Attitudes?
A. WaL: Not at all we want to see each other win.
Imani: We all are wearing the same jersey, we are on the same team.
Get Far: Could either of you see yourself achieving your personal goals without one another?
A. WaL: No, she’s my biggest inspiration. And my biggest support system
Imani: Heck no, I’d probably be at a local Mc Donald’s somewhere without him. No shade to anyone that works at Mc Donald’s, but Ameer has always inspired me to think bigger and to take chances.
Get Far: When you aren’t working together, what are you doing?
Imani: I love researching the body and all types of natural remedies. There’s so many ingredients in what these store sell us today, I’d rather make my own medicine, body wash, shampoo etc.
A. WaL: Reading, strategizing and working on my music. I got plenty of ideas to get out this is just the beginning.
Get Far: What drew you to music modeling? What drew you to modeling?
Imani: My dad got me signed with my first agency when I was 14! I was stoked but very self-conscious at the time. He helped me get out of my comfort zone, modeling and acting is a very quick fix for that. I enjoyed it, I started appreciating myself more.
A. WaL: Music is in my DNA my dad directed music videos and my mom and grandparents loved all types of music so I grew up listening to everything. Studying every genre that drew my interest then I started really writing at 18. I’ve been serious about it ever since.
Get Far: Does Hip Hop need A.WaL? Does the modeling world need Imani Shani? And what do each of you bring creatively to each one of those art forms.
A. WaL: I think every form of art needs genuinely creative people, people that want to bring something new and honest. So absolutely I think Hip Hop needs me. And I need it.
Imani: Definitely. Hip hop definitely needs Ameer, he is the last of a dying breed. What this generation considers hip hop now days is saddening. They don’t know what it is. Ameer is a genius like I said and he has his own flow most definitely, but I think of old school hip hop when I listen to my brother because he’s actually talking about something. Besides getting booty & smoking cookies. I want to encourage girls out there that were like me when I was younger. Modeling can be a selfish industry, not many models think of how they can positively impact other people.
Get Far: Where can we find some music and a modeling portfolio from the both of you?
A. WaL: On my website www.iamawal.com
Get Far: If nothing else, what do you want people to take away from your work (magazine, music, modeling ETC)?
A. WaL: It will be great quality, great perspective and great creativity brought to the table with everything i put my time into.
Get Far: I know you’ve just begun but what’s next for the magazine? What’s the future vision?
A. WaL: Print. Physical copies everywhere. That’s all you get everything else you got to wait and see.
Get Far: If someone is interested in writing how can they get in contact?
A. WaL: GetFarMagazine@gmail.com