There are three faces of Siyaka Taylor-Lewis: the photographer, the artist, and the activist. Is there anything this man can’t do? Taylor-Lewis, who hails straight from Washington Heights, is perhaps the wisest and most talented sophomore here on campus. When Siyaka is not taking photos, he’s making music, and when he’s not making music, he’s mentoring others on how to be a better photographer. This guy is always active, and rest is not part of his equation for success. It is pivotal to understand the three aspects of Siyaka because we can gain a greater appreciation for him as a person.
I start with Siyaka as the photographer. This guy has built a name for himself -- his portfolio contains images of J. Cole, 21 Savage, and even Travis Scott. He just doesn’t take photos like any other photographers; his photos capture the moment and places a person in that scene. You can imagine yourself at a concert with J. Cole performing “Immortal or Neighbors" over and over again. Siyaka’s photos will help you relive that moment everyday, just with a simple glance. He is always trying to capture the deeper meaning of the photo as well.
“I guess the purpose of life is reaching greatness.”
This first line was cold off his newest song, "Push," which he dropped two weeks ago. Taylor-Lewis understands that his time of success will come, but he knows that it will take time. He illustrates his grind to success later in the song, following that statement with, “They must be from another planet, how they shape-shift.” Pure genius! He knows the only way to the top is to not care what anyone thinks and continue to produce music. I hear, brotha.
Taylor-Lewis is not afraid to speak on the social issues that occur today. It is blatantly obvious in his photos and his freestyle “The World.” In his documentary Black + Male Post Obama at MIST Harlem, he believes that by stating underlying issues he is raising the awareness of individuals. People like Siyaka are going to make a change and he has my support fully. I believe this is the most important face of Taylor-Lewis that a lot of people don’t realize, and it might be the greatest one.
Now, you can’t tell me Siyaka isn’t great. He has many different roles that each make one identity. How many people you know can do that? Check out his other tracks on SoundCloud.
Tune in to Kickin It w. D.J. A.O. Fridays at 5 p.m. for more dope content, and if you miss the show, we're on SoundCloud as well.