C: Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do?
Y: I’m a 26-year-old Ethiopian from Auckland city. I recently graduated with a degree in Events Management and I run a small events business called Looped that launched in July, 2020. It was designed to capture and cater to the essence of Black culture in New Zealand. During the day, I work at a restaurant called Ada.
C: We’ve known you for a few years, more recently we’ve seen you hosting the Looped events. Can you tell us more about that?
Y: Looped came about as a result of my desire to see a GOOD club night in the city where most importantly Black people, but also other POC and members of the LGBTQ community could party freely and safely to great music. I had been sitting on it for a while but after the first Covid lockdown in 2020, I felt motivated to just get it running so we launched in July once we hit Level 1. We’ve had 7 instalments since then and plan to have many many more and also to expand and build on it.
C: What is your hope for the future of the event?
Y: Without saying too much, I plan on having big things coming up and it won’t just be limited to a club night. I hope more doors open up so that I can be more creative in order to give back to my community and in turn, have more doors open up for others. Collaborations, new spaces, new venues… just stay posted.
C: You just graduated recently, what’s next for you?
Y:I want to travel, get more experience and see what’s out there. I want to collaborate with other events and brands across the world and expand my skill set and knowledge. I hope I can grow in my career and eventually keep finding my purpose beyond just the nightlife.
C: What motivates you?
Y: Art. Family. My community. Fashion. Black excellence. Money is nice, too. And knowing I can smoke shisha after a long day.
C: If you’ve got a free day, what are you doing?
Y: Grabbing a coffee from Hare & The Turtle, seeing my friends and family, online shopping and smoking shisha.
C: What’s your feeling about the Auckland nightlife scene?
Y: I feel like it’s definitely skyrocketed in the last few months with more creative people being ambitious and inclusive with the events they’re throwing. There’s still a lot of work to do but it’s a great start. It’s dope to see every community have a safe space for them and people aren’t scared to start an event as each one caters to a different need. The foundation is definitely there and we are seeing progress, but there’s still a lot to learn, Looped included.
C: Bringing this back to fashion, what does style mean to you?
Y: I think fashion is one of the coolest ways for self expression. Personally, I like to be able to wear clothes that express my personality while also having fun with it. When I think of fashion, I think it’s cool how you can wear a piece of clothing and show a little piece of yourself, even if that’s not how you’re feeling that day. It allows you to have fun and be creative with it. It plays a huge factor in everything that I do.
C: Thanks for doing this, any parting words for us?
Y: Support your local businesses and follow @looped_akl on Instagram.