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The Writer Who Moonlights As a DJ

Meet Akili King.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis
Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis

“Model-DJ” may be a cliche, but “writer-DJ” is unexplored territory. So far, the only one I know of is Akili King, a Vogue beauty assistant and writer who DJs on the side (enough to have a bookings agent listed in her Instagram bio). She has been obsessed with beauty since she was a teen in Chicago watching natural-hair tutorials on YouTube and experimenting with products she got at CVS. Now that it’s her full-time job, she tries to highlight people of color, which she didn’t see in magazines growing up. “I was inspired to be part of that change,” she says. “Magazines have a huge influence on our subconscious.” The Cut spoke with her about karaoke, gymnastics, and curry.

What is your most used emoji? 
The heart with the arrow through it. I always use it instead of regular hearts.

If you could spend three months anywhere, where would it be?
I want to go to Bali, but I’ve never been so it’s hard to say I could spend three months there. But from what I know about it, I could spend three months there.

If you could speak to animals, which animals would you want to talk to?
I would talk to bees because I have an outrageous fear of them from being stung in the eye when I was 5. I fell off a tire swing — pretty traumatizing. So I’d love to talk it out with them.

What’s the best album ever made?
I love Al Green’s I’m Still in Love With You. 

What’s your go-to karaoke song? 
I do love karaoke. I would say anything by Destiny’s Child.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? 
Time travel.

If you were a magazine, which magazine would you be?

Jeans or sweats?

What is something your social-media followers don’t know about you? 
I did gymnastics competitively for 13 years.

What do you eat for breakfast?
Matcha with almond milk and honey. I’m a very light breakfast eater. Oatmeal, fruit, matcha.

If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?

If you could eat only three things for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Mangoes, Thai green curry with veggies, and plantains.

If you were a color, which color would you be?
An orangey-peach color.

Photo: Shaniqwa Jarvis

King wears a Kate Spade suit and Etesian earrings.

The Writer Who Moonlights As a DJ