Khalil Anthony Peebles

Khalil Anthony Peebles on Having Your Own Imaginative Wardrobe

An interview with Khalil Anthony Peebles, from The Write Stuff series:

Khalil Anthony is a poly-math. A multi-disciplinary artist working within varying mediums and media. His work investigates the relationships between the spirit and space, the black body, sexuality, and society, and the urban experience. Weaving together these artistic intentions through writing, dance and movement, acting, painting, arts-admin, education, and song; his work speaks to a diverse audience and varying communities.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

As of late, I have responded that I am a polymath. It’s easier to define this word than to go into all of the work that I do.

What’s your biggest struggle—work or otherwise?

This is a good question. My biggest struggle is accepting that I won’t get it all done, and I cannot get it right. What I mean by this is that I have many, myriad desires in my life around the work that I want to do. Sometimes I get a bit antsy and think that I have to do it all right now. I’m in a better space in the present moment where I know that today is all I have and I put my entire self into this present moment.

If someone said I want to do what do you do, what advice would you have for them?

I would say, “girl, why?” LOL

No, I would probably ask them what they think I do first. If they responded that they wanted to investigate their talents to the fullest possible extent, then I would say go forth young jedi. Do it all!

Do you consider yourself successful? Why?

I am very successful. Success to me is about loving myself and the work that I do. Loving myself in the work that I do. This happens so much for me that I began to make this my charge in life. I am successful because I love the work that I do and I love myself doing the work.

When you’re sad/grumpy/pissed off, what YouTube video makes you feel better?

I don’t know if it’s a youtube video that makes me feel better, but if I had to choose a youtube video it would probably be something that was meditative and self-helpy. I really love the calming voice of someone telling me to breathe. The reminder to breathe is something that always gets me on track.

Do you have a favorite ancestor? What is his/her story?

This is a great question. I am told that I look like my grandfather, Fred Peebles. I never met him in the flesh because he died when my mother was 2 years old. He, however, is always with me because they say I carry his face. I think he is my favorite because he was pretty complex. There are stories of good times and not so good times with him, but at the end of the stories everyone speaks of Fred Peebles in high regards. He opened his own juke joint in the 50’s and was one of the best dressed in the neighbor. An all around good man, I am told.

Who did you admire when you were 10 years old? What did you want to be?

I loved Tony Dorsett. It’s funny because I am not into sports anymore. I think I loved him because he was short and fast and hard to tackle. I wanted to be like him. I thought why not, everyone loved him and I wanted to be loved as well.

Describe your week in the wilderness. It doesn’t have to be ideal.

My week in the wilderness is naked. I see myself stripped of everything. No clothes, no phone, no computer, no books, just me and the great out doors. Of course, the weather is perfect so I can go clothes-less, and there is enough food and stuff to carry me through the week. I see myself walking and singing and meditating throughout the week. This is a wonderful thought in my mind as I feel empty from the world and allow the wilderness to fill me up.

Would you ever perform a striptease? Describe some of your moves. Feel free to set the mood.

I totally would do this. I probably have, but we are not talking about that. For me, I like red lights. I want to have on a suit at first. I am a great dancer so I see myself isolating my movements as I begin to take my clothes off and move my body a bit faster; more sexier. I have on pants and a shirt, as I have slipped my shoes off. I think teasing is best at this point as I unbutton my shirt, and show off my chest. (I’ve been in the gym again, so I am sure this will make people happy.) I think it’s best to stop here because I am turning myself on a bit. And I’m doing this at work. So.

How much money do you have in your checking account?

I’m not telling you. 1,324,197.30

What’s wrong with society today?

Nothing. I say that because it seems like a cop-out to say anything here and not be involved in fixing it. Maybe, I am wrong for society? Thinking that society is made up of people, and I am a person in this society. If something is wrong with society then something is wrong with me. I go back and forth with this thought.

Are you using any medications? If so, which ones?

No. Marijuana.

What is your fondest memory?

One of my fondest memories is when I was living in Seattle with my mother. We would walk to the phone booth at the end of the block to call my grandmother. One day when I was with my mom at the phone booth and she was speaking with her mom, I remember my mom handing me the phone and placing my little self on the stool. Right when I heard my grandmother’s voice I threw my hands up, chucking the phone, and immediately fell off the stool laughing and smiling. I remember how much we all laughed that day.

How many times do you fall in love each day?

This is the best question. I have stopped counting.

What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?

Space travel + beings being actualized

What is art? Is it necessary? Why?

Art is so many things. It is beyond necessary as it helps to define who and what people are to themselves and to their audiences. Art opens and closes doors, sends messages from far away galaxies, and shakes a shimmy now and again. Art helps me to see myself, naked and clothed, but within my own imaginative wardrobe. There is something tangible and intangible at times with art. It is beyond definable, and belongs to everyone and no one. Art is here and happening baby.

When you have sex, what are some of the things you like to do?

It’s funny, I haven’t had sex in so long I’d just like to have some SEX.

What are you working on right now?

My music and my film making has me very excited right now. I am very interested in seeing my words turn into moving pictures. I am super into my music right now and making it happening all over the world is of the utmost importance to me.

What kind of work would you like to do? Or: what kind of writing do you most admire?

I’m doing the work that I love to do. I work in the arts at a high profiled position. I am making work at a high level of production value and I love what I am making. The writing that I love most, and this changes, is fiction and personal narrative. I enjoy the fact that people place so much of themselves on the page at times and this honesty helps to shed light on me being more honest in the world. It is a cyclical thing for me. What am I doing, reading, watching that makes me see or read myself better?

If there were one thing about the Bay Area that you would change, what would it be?


A night on the town: what does that mean to you?

At this point in my life a night on the town is either super high class or it’s going to 6 bars on 1st Friday and having a blast bar hopping. Either champagne and limo or cigarette smoking, walking around Oakland checking out bars, galleries, and hot boys.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?

People not loving each other.

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