Our first #RTK feature is GabSoul, DJ, Writer, & Curator hailing from my hometown of New York :) It was a pleasure catching up with her and talking bookish things!! She shares her favorite and most influential reads amongst other literary things. Check out our brief interview below and don’t forget to follow/show GabSoul some love on her social media platforms.
If you could describe yourself in your own words what would you say?
I’m a Divine being, a vessel of Love + Light, a descendant of the Sun. I’m highly intuitive, creative, limitless and passionate AF. I’m a leader, a bridger of gaps. A creator & destroyer. Headstrong, loving, kind (not to be mistaken with “nice”). Empathetic + compassionate. Sweet & spicy. Sarcastic and humorous. Ever-evolving. Sage soul. A boundless artist. A groovy MF.
How do you think people view you?
I promised myself I wouldn’t study that. But I’ve heard things like: wise, inspiring, beautiful spirit, talented, a high vibrational thinker, a leader, a great listener; and if there are any contrast opinions I’m not yet aware of it.
If you could pick the title for your memoir or auto biography what would it be?
Becoming One with Muvva Naycha
What are some books that you feel have influenced the way you see the world today?
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Till The Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma
Raise Your Vibration by Kyle Gray
Four Agreements by Dom Miguel Ruiz
God Help The Child by Toni Morrison
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Hip Hop America by Nelson George
My Voice by Angie Martinez
& a lot of YA literature. Just to name a few :)
Is reading important to you? If so, why?
Reading and writing help me to make sense of the world, and connect to different narratives and new insight. Literature unlocks new worlds and ideas to immerse in. Reading brings me peace and boundless inspiration.
Who is your favorite literary figure? Why?
James Baldwin. I admire how distinct his voice is and how it is asserted through his writing as if he is speaking it to you. He’s thorough, passionate and articulate as a mf, especially regarding the Black American plight and matters of self-identity.
What is your favorite quote?
Sound advice from a mentor: “Don’t recreate the wheel.”
Name a book that you would read over and over again or one that you simply could not put down.
Recently it was “Raise Your Vibration: 111 Practices to Increase Your Spiritual Connection” by Kyle Gray. It contextualizes things I’ve learned along my journey that are necessary for growth, spiritual integration and universal ascension.
A few words on the importance of literacy…
I graduated with a BA in English with initial intent of becoming a high school English teacher. I’ve heard from countless people that English was their least fave subject in school, and it was baffling to me considering I’d learned so much about myself through literature. Lucky for me, investing in my major reintroduced and redefined literacy for me. It’s not just about knowing how to read words; but more so how to digest them, analyze the text, and formulate your own comprehensive perspectives. It was challenging at first because I don’t think I’d ever been taught how to critically think for myself, let alone express my truths without fear. But at the same time it was liberating because I learned to honor my own thoughts and beliefs. Like a mental emancipation.
I started hosting creative writing workshops at my local library as a way of re-introducing the wonders of literacy to the students, despite their training in the school system. Initially, like most writers, it was a challenge for them to let go and let the pen flow. I can definitely relate. I told them on the first day that if you can think, you can write, and allow yourself to be inspired. Reading about stories and subjects that interest me -- and that’s a wide range -- gives me boundless inspiration; and writing has become a mindfulness practice for me, connecting me to my own voice.