Uriah Brown: The Artrepreuneur Who Reflects on his Legacy at DePauw

Senior Uriah Brown does a lot of shopping at ASOS BYRON MASON II

Byron Mason II: We are here with Uriah Brown. Senior. Lambda Sigma Upsilon. Tell me a little bit about your outfit today.

Uriah Brown: So I've been rocking a lot with ASOS, which is an online clothing store that actually goes crazy. [Referring to his shirt] The colors pink, black, white; I just like the fact that they complement each other. And I can wear probably some jeans. I have khakis on right now- khakis on with the black boots. Actually these are my favorite boots. They are, if I can remember, Doc Martens that actually weren't that much. I mean this shirt was about thirty. Pants was about, I’d say fifteen. And the shoes, forty. So a really cheap Fashionova male-type outfit.

BM: Tell me about your hat too.

UB: The hat was ordered off of Amazon. You know you get the ones with the roses; this one was a palm tree and I kind of had it flipped backwards. You know no shade, but kind of just some stylistic attire.

BM: So what’s your process when you’re putting your outfit together?

UB: If I can remember, I used to be a person who always rocked the skinny sweatpants. If you ask anybody, they would always say you know “Uriah, like I never see this man in jeans or rarely see this man in jeans ‘cause he always has a long list of different colored sweatpants.” But, when it comes down to the future Uriah, the now, I've got more accustomed to wearing, or got into the button up. Kind of buttoning it up all the way at the top at the neck. I kind of like the style of it. More of a business casual type fit, on or in certain circumstances, whether it be a banquet or probably even a party. You know, I’m getting ready to get out of here. So like the wardrobe is constantly changing. But when I wake up in the morning, it’s based off of you know, how I feel that specific day.

BM: So what are your kind of moods? What moods do you think that this outfit is?

UB: This is a going out relax type. You know for somebody to come up to you and say “hey that’s a nice shirt” or just “I like the fit.” Like I’ve already got like two compliments from just putting it on. But it’s, to me, this fit is a relaxed, but it’s presentable if that makes sense. Yeah, I mean it’s way different than what I would wear for a banquet. The last banquet I went to I kind of just got into the fedora hats which I think are a great look. And so yeah, that’s what this fit is about.

BM: You mentioned ASOS. What are some other places that you like to shop?

UB: I would say ASOS, Urban Outfitters- lowkey, Old Navy has some great stuff- H&M before they went into that whole thing. I bought a Weekend hoodie from H&M. I’m glad I got it before that whole thing happened. If I buy from H&M it’ll probably be online. (Pssst hahaha) And you’ll probably never know that I got it. I might even just cut off the tag. But those are the majority of the places that I would shop. That’s like four. For shoes, there’s like GOAT app. I’m trying to get my shoe game up. I got the Nike app, and I got the Adidas app. Adidas is kind of my flavor. I just like the style of shoes that they have, although I don’t have any. But I need to get that shoe game up. But those are just a few.

BM: You mentioned the whole thing with H&M. How was that for you? You have this place that you get a lot of your stuff from and then you feel like you can’t buy anything from them.

UB: After that incident, I looked at my closet. I’m like “yo, most of the stuff that I have is H&M. But then I scroll on Instagram and I see the Weekend kind of disown his relationship with H&M. They tweaked honestly. But, if anything, the style of dress that they like to provide for their consumers are still the type of presentable clothes that I like to wear. But if anything, I’ll use H&M as a reference. The majority of the fits that H&M does have, ASOS has them and then they have a lot more. So that’s why a lot of my wardrobe also consists of ASOS as well. So I have an alternative.

BM: I’m not gonna neglect the fact that you’re an artist, photographer, painter. How has your art affected your style?

UB: In terms of art, I’ve labeled myself as an artrepreneur. And that comes with the way I present myself. The way I invest in myself. I like to go away from the norm, right? So whatever the basic thing that people do, I try and go in the other direction, be like “hey, you know I like what y’all doing, but imma see if I can rotate and go another direction with the fits.” And that just goes for art in general as well. I like to be versatile. A lot of people have that same craft and with that craft they kind of produce the same type of material and you can see the similarities in terms of what they create. But as for me, I like to dip and dabble in a whole bunch of other mediums. That way, you know, no one can ever confine me to being this artist that is strictly about one type of dynamic. To whereas they look at me and be like “ok you do all of this other stuff? Then that’s dope.” And then I just kind of combine it together. And if anything it’s just an investment within myself. And if that includes me investing in myself physically, whether it be hitting the gym, I mean the body is art. Performance. Simply listening to music or just kind of doodling. That’s the artrepreneur that I see within myself.

BM: So did that kind of develop from being on campus or is that something that’s kind of been with you from being in Chicago?

UB: I would say a lot of it developed from me being on campus. Because, in terms of where I come from, Chicago will always be home. But I’ll never see it as something that kind of defines me. I define myself. And so with that, I use the fact that I come from a dope city to whereas it’s literally a blueprint for me to work with. But I would say a lot of the developments came from me being here. Stepping outside of my comfort zone when it came down to classes. Especially art classes and just doing what I love.

BM: Speaking of being on campus, there’s been a lot going on this past week. Being a student of color, how do you feel about it?

UB: Within the past week, there’s a lot to think about. The fact that I’m getting ready to graduate and things like this pop up. A lot of people say that us as people of color are the minority, but I would like to say that we’re the priority. Because a lot of us are artists and a lot of us are activists in our own ways. A lot of people want to be activists and I would also say that I’m the same. But I’m not the type of activist to be in the forefront and be like “hey, this is the list of the demands.” I’m not the speaker, I’m the person behind the scenes that likes to make stuff happen. So whether that be liberation through art or simply recording something or making a short film. We have people like Kaleb and Trish who like if you go up to them and ask them like “yo do you feel nervous?” They would say “nah this is something that needs to happen.” So although I’m worried about the stuff that’s been happening, I also have faith with my people of the color community that change is gonna come. Or change will come. Yeah.