With the rise of so many independent creatives starting their own businesses, Quirktastic wanted to chat with Wize Grazette of The Indie Creative Network aka a smart man doing the Lord’s work.
If you’re unfamiliar with his platform, this is how Wize describes The Indie Creative Network’s mission:
The Indie Creative Network effortlessly provides a space for people to plug in to POC culture. ICN.DJ is a digital media platform created to highlight People of Color in digital media spaces. As a leader in digital media services, ICN.DJ is dedicated to the advancement of POC in spaces including: podcasts, web series, documentaries and feature films.
Q: Thanks for joining me, Wize! For those who are new here, give me ICN’s elevator pitch.
Wize: Certainly! Simply put ICN was designed to improve and advance people of color in media.
Q: I’m so glad I get to talk to someone who’s doing lots of work for people of color. How has your mission grown or changed since ICN’s inception?
Wize: The mission hasn’t changed at all however, I’m more anchored in my mission now than I’ve ever been before. As a creative my brain is everywhere. ICN holds my ship at bay and allows me to control my creative thoughts and endeavors. We started as a podcast network with 7 podcasts. Currently we’re at 22 podcasts spanning the globe in London, South Africa, and Mumbai just to name a few places.
Q: With the rise of creative platforms, how does ICN maintain its individuality? What sets ICN apart from any other platform?
Wize: Hmm I’ve never been asked this before so give me a second…This may sound cliche but it all lies in my story. I’ve been a creative all my life. I became a published author at 9 years old. This is just what I do. ICN is a product of taking my my creativity and bottling up enough of it to share with others.
Q: *clicks pen* I’m just sitting here taking notes and soaking up all of this knowledge. Can you tell me a little more about #TheTribePod movement you have featured on Twitter?
Wize: #TheTribePod is a Slack community that provides a safe space for podcasters to talk shop and assist other podcasters. It’s a resource for those who are new to podcasting and need help getting started. Podcasting has been around for about 11 years now and there’s a lack of go-to resources to guide people through the basics. That’s why #TheTribePod is here. #TheTribePod connects listeners to their favorite podcast hosts on our network as well, boosting the community aspect of the group.
Q: The ICN team is working hard to push the podcast community forward. Respect! Real quick give me a few of your favorite representations of POC in media.
Wize: Oh I can give you a ton. I recently got rid of cable, so I do all of my tv watching on Netflix and Hulu. My favorite shows right now are Viceland’s The Therapist, HBO’s Insecure, and OWN’s Queen Sugar. One of my favorite podcasts is Color Out The Box hosted by two millennial, Nigerian Brits. Last but not least, I recently got into Drake. Specifically Views and More Life.
Q: I’m pretty sure you gave our readers a couple of new things to check out! This is my favorite question to ask everyone I interview: list three of your quirks that you don’t mind sharing on the internet.
Wize: Haha okay sure!
1. I fidget a lot. I’m a grown man and I own a fidget spinner. Oddly enough, fidgeting helps me focus.
2. I’m a super perfectionist. I’m supposed to be designing merch for ICN. I gave myself a rule that once I design something I must save it and a cannot change it. Unfortunately I haven’t designed one thing because I know I can’t resist the editing urge.
3. I’m the only extroverted introvert Leo I know.
What are you favorite podcasts these days? What’s your favorite POC media outlet/platform? (I hope we’re somewhere in your top 3!)