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Meet Mikyle Dixon of KyShabazz in West End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mikyle Dixon.

Mikyle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
At a young age, I decided that film would be my life’s purpose. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, by way of Canarsie, I was always encouraged by my family to find success in a career that appeals to me. My father, a Jamaican native and former naval officer, constantly instilled in me the importance of family, health, and charity. As a young child, we would always watch movies together (i.e. Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, etc.), and whenever he was not around, either due to school or work, I would bombard myself in his seemingly never-ending collection of movies. As I matriculated through elementary, middle, and high school, I contemplated various career paths, such as joining the Army, producing music, and even landing a spot in the NBA. However, my love for movies always stuck around. I was a young kid with many goals, and by the time I selected my college, I realized that my calling was in the film industry.

Decision Day would change me forever. I had three completely different options laid out in front of me, three different routes that would absolutely influence how the rest of my life would go. Every day before that May 1st deadline, I was keen on attending St. Johns’ University. It was very close to home and my sister and father attended the school, so I was comfortable with that from the get-go. However, even though I was relatively close to home, I wanted to dorm, but a last-minute conversation with my parents made me realize that paying so much money to stay on campus was not the best financial decision. Eventually, I moved to my second and third options, Morehouse College and Howard University. Going to school that day was almost torturous. Everyone was committing to their futures, but I was stuck. Teachers spoke to me, friends leveled with me, but the decision was ultimately mine to make. So, I weighed my options. I was already more familiar with Georgia than DC, Atlanta was slowly budding into a prominent industry of entertainment, and the alumni of Morehouse (i.e. Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nunn, Brian Tyree Henry, John David Washington, Martin Luther King, etc.) was what drew me to the institution in the first place. So, I chose Da House.

It would be an understatement to say that Morehouse has blessed me in many ways. From the start of my college career to now, I have met so many solid people and created a lot of beautiful and compelling relationships with individuals that I now consider family. Being in school has taught me how to be active in achieving my goals, how to network effectively, and also how to manage and maintain my priorities. Although we were forced to go back home, I have been able to pick up right where I left off at school. I have done a lot of studying as far as storytelling, character building, thematic elements, and so much more, and I can definitely say that I have become a student of the game, honing in on the Tarantinos, Scorsese’s, and Nolan’s of the world and understanding why they are so great at what they do. I also wrote a short story and a play, made two short films, and started producing music again. Given everything that’s going on in the world right now, I am glad that I’ve been able to accomplish so much within a couple months. This is only just the start.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Between the time that I received the opportunity to do this interview to now, it feels like the world has evolved completely within a short amount of time. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Oluwatoyin Salau really set the world ablaze for good reason, and it is about time for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions. Originally, I was planning on telling the story of how I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes seven years ago and/or how the deaths of certain celebrities like Kobe Bryant, John Singleton, and Pop Smoke really affected my outlook on life. However, while those struggles are still present within me, I think another major struggle is understanding how the world views me as a young, black man. It is difficult to believe that in 2020, we are witnessing the biggest racial revolution since the 1960s, all in the midst of a global pandemic.

Every day I wake up, I see the history books writing themselves. I hear questions from the future such as, “What was it like living in 2020?” or “How did that affect you?” Honestly, the year has felt like a season of The Twilight Zone, but I do feel that after we recover from these tumultuous times, the world will be positively reshaped and revamped for future generations. Beyond everything else, I feel that my greatest struggle is simply trying to stay ahead of the game. What’s fresh? What’s appealing? What’s played out? I feel that it is important to constantly ask myself these questions, because of how easy it is to fall into the same clichés and write the same stories. Creating new and unique ideas is my main goal and by the end of my career, I want to be able to say that I started new trends and revolutionized many industries, whether it be in film, television, music, sports, fashion, or anything else that piques my interest along the way.

KyShabazz – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As a budding filmmaker at only 19 years old, my brand right now is solely dedicated to making good content, whether it be films, music videos, video essays, etc. Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of acquiring large budgets, designed sets, or professional actors, so my style right now is very guerilla and spontaneous. It is always a good feeling to bring an idea to fruition, no matter how small. For example, my newest short film (‘A Dirty Room’) was created entirely out of boredom and the simple fact that my room was unnecessarily messy that day. I figured that I could make something out of nothing, and once I finished the last edit, I was proud of what I had made. I definitely do feel that what sets me apart from others is the versatility of what I create. I have a variety of videos, from skits made on Grand Theft Auto with the use of their Rockstar Editor to essays discussing the effects of police brutality or Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest. I am definitely looking forward to creating more films and experimenting with different genres and tones, just as a means of always keeping the content unique. So be on the lookout!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood would have to be the day I graduated from my elementary school, Phyl’s Academy. Nine years ago, I graduated at the top of my class and was given the privilege to deliver a valedictorian speech. I remember being so nervous yet excited, looking at my family in the small crowd and seeing how proud they were. I remember stuttering over some words and struggling to turn the pages because my teacher stapled the papers weirdly. I remember ending the speech and receiving a standing ovation, and overall, it felt great to receive those blessings that day. That graduation really set the foundation for the rest of my academic career. It taught me to always put my best foot forward and achieve the highest honors that I put my mind to. That day also taught me that success is possible no matter how far it may feel. There were many times where I did not want to do homework, complete a project, or got in trouble with my parents for not behaving in school, but at the end of it all, everything paid off. I’ll always carry that day with me, especially the love I received from my teachers, family, peers, and their families. That type of support and appreciation really goes a long way.

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