ARTIST INTERVIEW ° JIREH SORIANO
For the month of August, The Reef is excited to spotlight PNW b-boy veteran and Falcanna Creative Director – Jireh Soriano. View pics from our recent shoot and read our full interview w/ Soriano below!
1. Could you tell our readers a little bit about what you currently do as well as how you became involved in the breakdancing community?
I am currently Falcanna's Creative Director for about a year now. But as far as my involvement with with the hip-hop community here in the Northwest I started breaking in the beginning of 8th grade. Through years of attending "Jams/Battles" (b-boy events) I've built close relationships with dance competitors as well as promotors which helped me gain the trust of our breaking community.
2. What does breakdancing mean to you?
Self-expression is a big part of why breaking is so important to me. Without words I can communicate with another dancer on the floor while the music plays. It's a sense of meditation for me, it helps me think with my body and spirit as I showcase control, strength and flexibility.
3. How does cannabis play a part in your life and creativity?
I feel like cannabis is still trying to find its place in our world even though it's been around for so long. I can smoke in the morning to wake up, I can smoke in the afternoon to relax and smoke in the evening for a flavorful dinner. I can smoke before a battle and dance without a care, I can smoke before meeting with my friends and be social with more topics to discuss. I can smoke by myself or meet someone that I can share a joint with. Cannabis is made to enhance our senses naturally and it's great for our body to remove the tension we sometimes accumulate.
4. Is there a project you've worked on that you are most proud of (dance events, creative projects or otherwise)?
Yes! I host a local hip-hop appreciation festival called Tradition every November and this year will be the 8th installment. My first few years it made me realized how important the event is in my community. I've been involved with development programs, teaching breakdancing at studios and producing hip-hop workshops such as breaking and graffiti art so I knew the importance of keeping this event alive, it's my way to end a memorable year.
5. What inspires you? Why do you feel compelled to create?
I'm honestly inspired by my friends, my crew members and anything that I see around me that I could do learn from. I create because I'm curious of the possibilities, from hearing a local singer at an open mic to meeting a kid that wants to learn how to break. I love talking to people and learning what makes them tick – so it's not about the tools we have with social media or the best cameras, but that one on one with a person that inspires me.
6. What piece of advice would you offer to other creatives trying to make a living as an artist?
Learn to fail, it'll hurt but imagine the healing process. You will be stronger, smarter and better because you took the risk of trying something different. Most importantly learn how to listen, listen to music, people, listen to nature, listen to the city and of course listen to yourself. The world is communicating with you as you read this Q&A so take notes and execute whatever you feel is your path.