Name: Andrew  

Hometown: North Carolina, USA 

Work: Market Analyst and Photographer 


Q: What brought you to Japan? 

A: I’ve been in Japan for about 7 and a half years. I originally came here to get the language under my belt after the study bug bit me during a year-long study abroad experience. Before I knew it I was completely enveloped. 


Q: How has living in a different country changed your life?  

A: I would say it’s changed me wholly and also not at all, which is a very annoying answer. I grew up relatively sheltered, so more than anything I wanted tools in my toolbox, real-world experience in the bank, and something to talk about to make me less boring. I became a man here, I’ve experienced my highest highs and my lowest lows, but I’m more or less the same doe-eyed 20 year old that showed up here all those years ago, just minus the physique. 


Q: What advice do you have for Black youth and creatives? 

A: My advice for Black youth is figure out your options, and once your ducks are in a row take the plunge. When you do, surrender yourself to the experience. Think less and just do. You may find everything you’re looking for, you may be disappointed, you may be a maniac like me and be 8 years on into your rabbit hole finding new things and meeting new people that excite and inspire you along the way. You won’t know until you go. And for creatives, very early in my photography and content creation career I learned two important lessons, and that is: one, no one cares, and two, none of it matters. I admit, that comes off as extremely nihilistic and pessimistic, but to me those are the two most freeing sentiments I’ve ever heard. I may be alone here, but that’s my ethos to creating. People don’t know what they want from you until you give it to them. If you’re ever on the fence about posting something, putting your work on display, pitching your business concept, holding a listening experience for your music, just think, “who cares?” and do it.