A Gentleman's Guide

MARCH | 2018

MARCH | 2018 | BLACK, GAY & GIFTED

Bodies of Work

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You’ve probably never heard of Corece before reading this sentence, but we won’t hold it against you. Quiet storms aren’t as surprising if you know they’re brewing which, is why we thought it’d be a good idea to forewarn you. As young as he is (and don’t bother asking him about his age), Corece has and continues to make move after move to ensure that his relevancy is intact.

So what qualifies Corece as being Black, Gay and Gifted? His resume. And while Netflix claims that they don’t go off of resumes, Reignbeaux Lux does.  As a humble son of the Gateway City, Corece has built his resume by working as a videographer, photographer, songwriter, performer, filmmaker, speaker and producer. He has contributed to multiple media outlets, including NPR, BET.com, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

Corece has worked with, known and knows some of Hollywood’s elite. One of his most notable associations has been with A Wrinkle in Time’s director Ava DuVernay.

In recalling his work with Ava The Great, Corece states: “I was her personal and executive assistant for a short period and regardless of the politics of the job my head wasn’t in the game and she could tell”

In further elaboration on his experiences in working with Ava, Coerce shares that he ”learned a lot very fast.“

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“I learned what I knew and what I didn’t know. I saw firsthand how to handle tons of projects in post-production, production and in the development stages at once. I saw that you have to do the work no ifs, ands or buts. Ms. DuVernay was a hard worker and once I left my post there I knew what I had to do-my own art. Two years later I have [a] short film, an album and a few other projects on the back burner.


Corece’s short film is titled “Between Nothing and Something” and features his music, a Vic Mensa cover and has an 8-minute runtime. The project was edited by the creative eye of Jassiel McBride and photography director Fletcher Wolfe. The short, which was written, directed and produced by Corece, is focused on the nuances of

Black male intimacy and is scheduled for release later this year.

“Directing this was one of those magical creative experiences that came together super well. I had a clear vision in my mind, pulled together a willing team of talented people and created this powerful piece of art. It’s my onscreen acting debut as well.”

Another force that has helped to shape Corece has been his relationship with his cousin, author and television personality Keith Boykin. While the two didn’t discover their kinship until Corece was a teen, their relationship since has been a well from which millions of personal experiences and stories have sprung.

Corece, in his description of his relationship with Boykin and on the ways in which he is inspired says,

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“He’s my confidant, my friend and a brilliant mind to have access to. We have mutual trust and admiration for each other as well. Even our disagreements are a learning experience for me.

I’m inspired by him daily, He has accomplished so much in his life that has meant a lot to so many people, including me. We can’t go anywhere without him being stopped…I can’t be mad at because I’ve met so many people just being near him. I’m inspired by his fight to live a life the he, or any of us, weren’t promised and to me that’s still a very revolutionary thing…”

When asked about his music and sound, Corece describes both as being soulful. “I’m full of tenor moans and groans”.  He further describes the sound for his upcoming releases as “hopeful-electro-soul” and finds interest in exploring and exploiting the contradictions of life.

“Knowing right but still doing wrong in order to, hopefully, learn a lesson…is one of those imperfect human things.”

Anyone who calls themselves an artist knows that the title comes with a host of challenges. Corece is no different and identifies that one of his biggest challenges is understanding what it means to be a commodity-to be something that “people pay for” Another challenge that many artists encounter is the pressure to maintain “the look”.  

When asked about how he overcomes this particular obstacle, Corece states that, “My physical self is up for constant scrutiny or rejection more than anything else. Of course another side to that exists. I have tough skin with a soft spot you have to find.  I deal with the no’s and hard stuff well.”

The key for any artist, no matter how established they are, is to collaborate as often as possible. In January Corece and Saedi released a collaborative track titled “As It Gets” and he goes into more detail about the project’s origin

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“Saedi! I say that name with so much love and joy in my heart. You know, what can I say? I’m lucky to have so many dope friends in my life. We’ve seen each other grow over time. It’s funny our first time working together cemented a lifelong brotherhood and creative partnership.”

“We were already a part of a music collective called H.A.N.D.S. but we hadn’t worked together directly. I had a show and my guitarist cancelled at the last minute so I went to Saedi’s lab and was like ‘yo, can we rock the stage together today?’ We both came with ideas on how to accomplish that tall order on the day of the show, but we figured it out and killed it.”

“As it Gets” was a track we were playing around with. He sent me the initial melody and the hook and I stopped by a day later and added my sauce to it, and voila.“

Corece is currently writing and recording in south Florida. He’s completing another project with Saedi, and while he’s unsure of when it’ll be released he was more than excited to announce that he’s got a selection of songs waiting in the rafters for release. Corece’s most recent product is a music and visual project titled “Between Nothing and Something”

Beyond and from behind the camera, Corece has dedicated a substantial amount of his time serving as an influencer of social change. From HIV/AIDS activism to his participation in conversations about transnationalism, race relations and on the ways in which art can be used to engage communities and institutions, Corece has spread himself across the many facids of the SGL community like butter on toast.

Corece continues to selflessly share his expanding bodies of work with the world. Regardless of whether he’s in front of the camera or behind it, creating his own music or collaborating with others-Corece works to give nothing less than his very best. His journey has taken him from St. Louis to Chicago, from Chicago to New York and who the hell knows where he’ll end up after he finishes his work Miami. However, it’s safe to say that no matter where this storm lands, it'll land on its feet and leave plenty of thought provoking creativity in its wake.
 

Jeremy Carter