Black Visions
Archive the Future

A Conversation with TRAKGIRL and Gary Gunn

Written by Lauren Deal & Rodney Curl

On February 28th, Instrument’s Black affinity group IAMBlack joined forces with NO ADTNL to orchestrate a profound discussion, titled Black Visions: Archive the Future, between producer, artist, and creative executive Shakari “TRAKGIRL” L. and esteemed composer Gary Gunn.

This conversation illuminated their personal artistic journeys while underscoring the broader significance of representation and inclusivity in creative industries. As a testament to the resilience and creativity inherent within Black culture, their narratives provided an inspiring call to action for greater diversity within the current artistic landscape.

Specifically in my field, less than 2% of producers identify as Black women. I embrace being an anomaly. I don’t get discouraged by numbers, I focus on me being myself. That’s what we’re doing. We’re essentially building our own world…[It’s] wide open, if you want to come to my island.
Shakari ‘TRAKGIRL’ L.Music Producer & Co-Founder of NO ADTNL

Through their shared experiences and achievements, they emphasized the importance of fostering environments where all voices are heard and celebrated — enriching not only the creative process, but also the cultural fabric of society at large. They also provided a peek into their processes, emphasizing what helps them create through their unique perspectives.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to work on something…[and] there’s no time for mental chatter. If you show up, things tend to happen. I feel like if you write every day and show up to do it, there’s a mystical experience. I’ve lived it for the past decade. Something happens if you keep showing up.

Gary GunnComposer & Music Producer

The conversation ended with a collective resolve to continue archiving the future while honoring the rich tapestry of Black history and heritage. As we look towards what’s next, Gary Gunn provided advice we plan to come back to again and again: “Don’t make decisions out of fear.”

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