By BRUCE HARDT
True passion is an attribute that is hard to come by in a day and age when the silliest antic can garner Internet fame. Once in a while, one encounters a gem among the dull and unexceptional.
Fernando Aguila Jr., a digital arts student at Pima Community College’s West Campus, provides an example of what happens when you take your passions seriously and turn them into extraordinary works.
Under the hip-hop moniker kAZual da Kid, Aguila has used his growing skills in all manner of arts to build a personal empire in the fields of music, design and photography.
The slogan for his clothing company, OHFISHL Clothing Co., aptly reflects his work ethic and views.
“My little slogan is called ‘some play the game, we make the rules,’” Aguila said. “Just to represent holding yourself to a higher standard, representing yourself to the best of your ability.
Always a fan of music, Aguila began rapping at age 18 when a co-worker invited him to work with a mutual friend. A writer of poetry, Aguila incorporated his skills for writing and love of music to form a musical career spanning mixtapes and an EP, “kAZual Talk.”
“The Old Pueblo has a bad image of what hip-hop is. Here in Tucson, being a border town, there’s a lot of drugs involved,” Aguila said. “The hip-hop movement that I’m with and a part of doesn’t represent that. We represent positivity and trying to make a name for ourselves.”
Aguila has created a publication, 5Twenty Magazine. It goes hand in hand with his love of music, improving Tucson’s outward appearance and providing a positive vibe for those within the local scene.
He hopes to use his label, Late Nite Muzik, to help younger artists release material.
Among the label’s impending releases, Aguila has plans to release a final mixtape and album as his swan songs.
“The music game is a young man’s game,” Aguila said. “I honestly feel I’d like to focus, music-wise, on the few artists I have and on the magazine and my clothing. It’s really hard to balance them all out, along with school.”
His time at PCC has had an immense impact on Aguila. He cited his writing and business classes as giving him the skills needed to succeed.
Of particular note was his time in digital arts classes. Aguila called instructor Dennis Landry an inspiration and thanked him for “having his back.”
“Everything that I’ve learned digital-wise has taken my skills to the next level,” Aguila said. “I didn’t have to take the Web design classes. I wanted to take them because I wanted to learn.”
Among his influences, Aguila credited his wife for always pushing him, actively and inactively. His mother-in-law, whose own entrepreneurial work includes owning a hair salon, also inspired him.
“I’d like to dedicate this to anybody that’s supported me along the way, from teachers to family to friend and local supporters,” he said. “It’s a big movement, my driving force, and I’m just doing my best to not let them down.”
Filed Under: Arts/Entertainment
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