New Outside Voice playlists celebrate designers whose work empowers their communities
Outside Voice, the annotated playlist series from Spotify Advertising highlighting creative people of color, continues with playlists from two designers who lead with authenticity and advocacy.
Spotify’s Creative Studio has already brought listeners 21 installments of the Outside Voice playlist series, and today we add two more to the collection. As before, the series features inspiring music alongside spoken-word annotations from BIPOC creatives—this time with playlists curated by two designers whose vibrant work serves to uplift the underrepresented communities from which they hail.
We spoke to illustrator / graphic designer Sophia Yeshi and fashion designer André White (a.k.a. Monsieur Blanc) about authenticity, the importance of self-confidence, and how to keep pressing forward against societal and creative headwinds.
Sophia Yeshi, illustrator and graphic designer
Sophia Yeshi is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Brooklyn, NY. The kaleidoscopic depictions of diversity and activism found in Yeshi’s work are influenced by her Black and South-Asian backgrounds, as well as the LGBTQ+ community. Seeking to harmonize and celebrate, Yeshi’s designs have graced everything from brand collateral and digital content to product packaging and postal boxes for Be Unstoppable, a prominent UPS campaign.
In her playlist, Yeshi puts the onus on allies of BIPOC people to make space for diversity, but also on outside voices to “figure out what makes (them) stand out” so that they may lead with that in their work. “There are so many interesting and unique voices in the world,” she says. “If more people were to put (themselves) into their work, they would be a lot more successful.”
Monsieur Blanc, fashion designer
André White a.k.a. Monsieur Blanc is a fashion designer and multi-hyphenate creator. He helms Le Grand Heirs, a brand he built as a progressive amalgamation of fashion, art, film, philosophy, and philanthropy. Most recently White founded the C.A.L.M Institute, a nonprofit organization that brings mindfulness techniques and spiritual nourishment to youth in under-resourced neighborhoods across the country.
In his playlist, White details how his refusal to be marginalized and resistance to being defined is a powerful kind of internal reframing that keeps him from dwelling on the negative. “There's a saying that when you worry, you're using your imagination inversely to create the things in your life that you do not want… I would rather use my imagination to manifest the things that I do want. To hope, to dream, to breathe … and to offer all of those things to other people who may not have the tools or the know-how to do that.”