We had the good fortune of connecting with Kemi “Moon” Balogun and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kemi “Moon”, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
More than anything else I wanted to be free as an adult. Growing up, my parents would always say, “We just want you to be successful, have a comfortable life, and have a better life than what we were able to provide”. I used to be confused because I thought my parents did an amazing job building a life for us, however, I understand that they want to see me take things further than they have in their life.

When I actually sat down and decided to start my first business, I was ready to apply my creative skills and the skills I had soaked up from my parents and their friends (who are business owners, doctors, lawyers, etc.) to this “new digital” world that they didn’t have access to when they were my age.

Freedom was the main thought that drove me to actualize my business;  financial freedom, creative freedom and the freedom to live the life I deserve and not having to be tied to any one thing.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I would characterize myself as a Creative. Writing is my primary medium of creative artistry, however, I also rap and I’m getting back to singing again. I published my first collection of poems on February 22, 2022 called Enter the Mooniverse. It’s a large portion of the poems I wrote between middle school and early college. It’s biographical in a sense; it’s the first volume of my soul story.

I already have my next three book project ideas lined up, one of which will be a narrative story instead of a poetry collection. I also have a music project in the works. My bros Trevante and Isaiah put me in a booth for the first time in 2020 and I’ve been converting poems into songs ever since.

I also have collaborated with Truth Haven to start a spoken word and paint event called Rhythm & Renaissance. This event is about expression of the mind, body and soul. I am the Speaker of the House (Hostess) for this event and we just had our first one on April 1st. It was actually my first time hosting and I loved it! I am excited to create more space for the writers, poets and wordsmiths to share their art. My goal is to have this event every first Friday of the month at Truth Haven located in South Central Phoenix.

I’ve had to live a lot of life ever since I consciously decided to pursue a life of artistry and entrepreneurship. It was during the hard times when everything seemed to be falling apart, that I learned how deeply true my passion for this is. I wrote through the pain and worked harder towards my goals. Now I am starting to see the fruits of my labor.

One thing y’all should know about me is, I am a book to be read. That is why I write. I am Poetry, Jazz, Neo-Soul, Blues, Gospel and Renaissance personified. My art, my creations, my brand and my businesses are all a reflection of my soul journey. I want to be vulnerable and authentic and be true to the growth process.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve notoriously been the homebody friend, however, in later years I’ve found myself being “outside” more. I love downtown PHX and it has grown so much over the years. One of my favorite bars to go to down there is Cornish Pasty Co. The drinks are great and they have affordable drink options. Also, the food & desserts are fire.

Cobra Arcade Bar is also a VIBE. Wednesday nights I believe is when they have R&B Jams Night with DJ Yellawave. Between the R&B vibes, the anime artwork on the walls and throwback arcade games, It’s a fun time for sure.

Apart from those two places, we would be at Truth Haven. They are a community event space that has hosted several events Since their grand opening in February. Between Taco Tuesday, Brunch events, Showcases, and my personal favorite, Spoken Word and Paint events, there is plenty to do there and there’s always great music, dope people and a sense of community there.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

Outside of my family, one person who deserves a truck load of flowers is Ms. Lisa Tye, my mentor. Meeting her was pure kismet. I had connected with her via a networking app and we met up to have an early dinner in 2018. She initially wanted to manage me as an artist/writer. She owned Opulent Vision Management and she was a member of the Grammy Recording Academy LA Chapter. After chatting for some time she asked me if I would like to work with her as her personal assistant. I was elated because she opened my eyes to a whole new world as an entrepreneur and she saw so much more in me than even I had the confidence to believe at the time. She pushed me to grow while basically remapping my business brain.

Sadly, Ms, Lisa passed away in 2020. I honestly kind of spiraled a bit after she passed away, but her spirit and dream is still very much alive today.

I would also love to give flowers to Isaiah Suthers, CEO of Degenerate Genius and Trevante Dean (aka 3Lbs), COO of Degenerate Genius. These two are like big brothers to me. They have for sure been a big part of my artist/entrepreneurial journey since the pandemic started. They asked me where I wanted to see myself in the next couple of years and they have held me to every single one of those tasks from interviewing and writing bios, to recording music, to finally publishing my book. The best part is, I get to pay it forward and do the same for other artists and entrepreneurs because Degenerate Genius was built to do exactly what they did for me, but on a larger scale.
I also want to give Micheal Taylor, CEO of Truth Haven, some love! He and I go waaay back. We went to GCU together and became fast friends. One thing about Micheal, he’s a straight shooter and he will tell it like it is but in the most action oriented and nurturing way. The Degenerate Genius & Truth Haven teams have really been instrumental in my growth and they make me excited for the things we will accomplish together. The icing on the cake is that Myself, Trevante, Isaiah and Micheal all worked with Ms. Lisa. I know she’s watching us and beaming with pride!

Website: https://moonsworks.square.site/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moon.the___/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/basirat-kemi-b-28b173ba/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoonsWorksLLC

Other: https://degenerategenius.com/ https://www.truthhavencommunity.com/

Image Credits
Poetic Soul Sarah Serenity

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