Keneni D. Derga was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. With his family, he fled to America in 1993 with only the clothes on their back. They made Philadelphia the city of brotherly love their new home. Keneni is an artist. He writes stories, poetry, illustrates, and creates music. We have conducted an interview with him.
What kind of stories have you written, in which genre?
I have written stories about young kids who train with metaphysical energies. Most of which is anime inspired. It fun to craft worlds, and place problems in them for my characters to solve. The genre I would classify my writing in is science fiction and fantasy. I am currently writing a story about angels and demons. It is very spiritual. It pulls on themes from the Bible, and Qu'ran. It's fun writing. It is something I picked up in high-school, and never gave up. I don't consider myself an author. I'm just an artist that happens to write.
Is it different from writing poetry, or creating music?
Writing stories is a little different than writing poetry, and music. However, there is one similarity; structure. When you write a story there is a beginning middle, and end. With music, it is exactly the same. The same goes for poetry.
How is your creative process like?
My creative process requires a lot of motivation. Most days I don't want to create. I am full of doubt, and apprehension. As if what I end up creating won't be good enough. I had to kill those thoughts during my sessions. To break down my creative process I'll say this: I get reference notes I've collected. Notes on imagery, themes, concepts, and ideas. I place them on my desk and read them. Once I have an idea that sits well with me I begin illustrating or writing. Most of my creative process involves music somehow. I enjoy playing soft, easy, and slow music as background noise. It helps me get into the right mindset.
What does true art means to you?
True art is hard to define. Art can be anything. It can be a garden. It can be the arrangement of a room by a teenager. However, "true" art, in the sense that truth is involved, is art that shakes up the status quo. True art is what Basuqiat did. True art is what Charles Bukowski did. True is to take a truth while using a lie, which is the medium. The lie is the art because art itself is to take something, and twisting it, only to reveal what's behind the curtains. Which feedback about your mix-tape have you receive that is the most constructive so far?
The best feedback I've received is that I have an "ambitious sound". That means a lot to me.
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