This is D3 The Concrete, bringing you fashion from the street.

In walking my streetwear path, I have been fortunate to have met individuals in real life, as well as on the internet. This gentleman, Joerilla Drums, is one that I have met online. This was a fun interview, simply because I can tell two things: 1) he is a FAN about streetwear (specifically STAPLE Clothing) and 2) he is passionate about the culture of streetwear.

This was a fun interview and I am very happy to share it with you now. As always, please feel free to put it in the comments below!

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(All photos provided by Joerilla Drums.)

Tell us who you are and where you are from?

My name is Joerilla. I was born and raised in Pontiac, Michigan, but moved to Tennessee, around 1990-91, to a country ass town, one red light town, with no streetwear culture at all: Spring Hill. When I first moved, I knew it was gonna be a challenge for me. I tried to continue to play sports, like basketball, but that ended quickly. One time, the day before the [basketball] team picture,  I got a pair of the Jordan 5 OG Metallics. When I wore them in the picture, I had to run laps after that because we were supposed to wear school colors. So, from day one, I was [viewed as] an outsider who didn’t belong because of my outfit choices. I always dressed differently than everyone in school as a “fuck you, I will not conform to the role of our little society!” My style became my stance.
What made you get into streetwear?
All of my influences were my older cousins from Pontiac, Michigan. When I was growing up, street culture was a way to just express myself through clothes and to make people understand that I wasn’t a part of their average culture. From there, it took a life of its own, following on to Tennessee. When I moved [to Spring Hill], all the kids’ fashion was based on the Dr. Dre “Chronic” style. A lot of tight, Dickies outfits. But, to answer your question of what made me get into the street culture, I was researching [while on] visits to Michigan, magazines and finding out about what and what not to wear. Then, from that, I would make my own collaboration to stick out and be me, while staying in my comfort zone of what I was raised on.
I think that you are a fan of STAPLE Clothing, as much, if not MORE than I am a fan of
UNDEFEATED. Please share with us how you came into collecting STAPLE pieces and what inspired you to do so?
I had a couple pieces of the brand and Staple just landed in Nashville in 2012. That same year, I was asked to do an interview with both Jeff Staple (of STAPLE Clothing) and Bun B (one half of UGK, seminal Southern rap group from Port Arthur, TX). On some downtime, during shooting, I would sit and talk with Jeff about anything I could to get to know him better and the ideas of his vision. Fortunately, he dropped some jewels on me about the streetwear game and what I should do and what I wanted to do, and it just clicked. So, I stayed in contact with him over the years and built a good relationship with him. From then on, anytime I saw a piece, I had to have it. I would get old Staple [clothing], feeling like I needed to catch up, new Staple [clothing] anything, but it had to match my style, which is a challenge in itself because not all Staple is made for my taste.
While doing my due diligence, I noticed that you have about 2 – 3 different websites:
JOERILLA.COM // FLOCKWITHUS.COM // WHYSOLESERIOUS.COM – Please inform the audience as to what content they can expect when viewing each site.
Ok, so www.joerilla.com is where I post events I record or that I am apart of, as well as my opinion on those events or things I like in the culture of hip-hop, art, and streetwear. www.flockwithus.com is strictly for the Flock (Staple Clothing’s brand ambassadors’ group): anything that has to do with Staple which means artists, designers or just enthusiasts who share my love for the brand. www.whysoleserious.com was a shoe-only blog, where I would post on only shoes I like or look forward to having myself. I need to spend more time on all three sites a little more but basically, they are just blogs to keep me entertained. [LOL]
Of course, we cannot forget about your epic journey of showing your love for STAPLE with the innovative #365DayOfSTAPLE. Please share with us how you prepared yourself to accomplish this phenomenal feat.
At this point in my life, I was trying to figure out how to grab the attention of the brand without the usual texting, calling, and asking to be a part of them. I’m sure they get those non-stop, all the time. So I came up with a way to do it by myself, on my own terms and if they [couldn’t] care less, then at least I’d be a guy with a crazy collection. Every day, I’d post a piece of my Staple appreciation to my IG for the entire year of 2017, which happened to be Staple’s 20-year anniversary. It wasn’t easy. You’ve got the everyday life [stuff] to deal with: bills, family deaths, bad days, busy days. etc., but this is what I set my mind to doing and I pushed through all that shit and posted non-stop for an entire year. It was a game I played against myself with no rules, just to post. When it was over on January 1st, 2018, it was such an accomplishment to myself that I had known that next time, I’d have to take it farther. No one has ever attempted this before and I don’t think anyone will ever come close. I did it for me and that’s all it mattered, but Staple had noticed and offered me a brand ambassador internship with them. 
Anything coming for the near future?
With 2018 here now, a lot is on the way, now that I got the OK from Jeff Staple to continue to do what I do on the blog. The company is willing to let me pitch ideas for brand ambassador projects. It’s just another step to take in proving that this is where I belong. I have some show treatments I am working on for flockwithus.com; more interviews spotlighting other Staple people in the flock. I was also invited up to the HQ in NYC, so I will be taking that trip soon.
Please share some practical advice with someone who may read this who desires to do what you do currently.
 
In respect of the brand, work hard, be creative, and innovative. Reach out to the other amazing people on the brand’s team first: the owner has a lot to do, so it’s better to let the messages trickle up. Think out of the box. Take your own initiative on the project. Don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas, as crazy as they might sound, just make sure you have some business skills to back it up. Above all else, believe in yourself 100%.
When they had the release for the Nike x Staple “Black Pigeon” Dunks in Nashville, before the final touches of the idea were completed, they had mentioned that a Staple release of any kind would not be successful unless ‘Joerilla’ was in the building. I had been going so hard that they felt it necessary to call me for my OK. If a pigeon is seen my city, two names will come to mind: Staple and Joerilla. 
The most amazing part of all this is that I’m a nobody in the cultural “big picture”: I live in a small country town an hour from Nashville and I have the largest personal collection of the Staple Pigeon brand in the world and never stepped foot in NYC. Let that sink in. I truly believe that is, in some way the path to my destiny. In this time we live in, you can use social media to reach out, connect, make a rapport with whomever.
In Nashville, there is a boutique who carries Staple and they turned their back on me early. The other spot that sells it tends to make you feel like an outcast [while] trying to shop there, so I refuse to shop at those places. I [connected with Staple] without those fucks.
Lesson: don’t let any one get in the way of your plans and dreams.

One Response

  1. Irene delosrios

    In very proud of you primo Joe!
    You are very talented and turned out to be a Gorgeous man ♡ God bless you and keep up the good work and many blessings to your future , love prima nene.

    Reply

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