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D&AD New Blood Shift: Meet Ngu

Introducing the Shift New York Class of 2020

I am a NEWARK based video editor & graphic designer but I often refer to myself as a "Swiss Army Creative". In my time working in the creative fields I have played many different roles from artist to producer.

Early in my professional career I developed & managed DIY venues & art galleries in Newark, managing my first venue,Submerged, the fall of 2010.

After a year of developing the space I moved to California to write for the skateboarding magazine “Power Edge”. It was a great experience, my first time living outside of New Jersey. I spent 6 months interviewing skateboarders, creating product reviews & assisting out Editor in Chief.

After what was supposed to be a brief trip home to tie off loose ends, I was given an offer I could not refuse. A good friend gave me the opportunity to develop a skate shop & brand based in Newark N.J. . This would be Newarks first skate shop & it would be Black owned & operated. I couldn’t pass it up.

We opened “The Kanek“ April of 2012. We specialized in carrying small brands, collaborating with artists and producing skateboarding events with The City Of Newark for children of the community. It was a great time where I learned what it took to run a business with very little. We were able to grow the the skate shop from a small space on a back street to a 2000 sq foot loft space.

After my time with The Kanek, I became the director of “The Life Lab” an artist incubator & event space. The Life Lab had a total of 7 resident artists who lived in the space. We would work with the residents to create events & programs that promoted the space & their art alike. This was one of the most important times of my life. In that time I used everything I learned at the previous projects to create something truly special in my city. The Life Lab became a local staple in the underground Art & Rap scene featuring artists such as Mr. Mustart, Jerry Gant & DISTORT . As well as rappers Ab-Soul, Smoke Dza & Chynna Rogers to name a few.

We also were an early home for the growing Jersey Club movement. We frequently collaborated with artists such as, UNIIQU3, DJ Slink , Gianni Lee and many more. The Life Lab was featured in Noisey, The Fader & Resident Advisor. We also honored to host Newark’s first BOILER ROOM.

After the closing of The Life Lab, I decided to focus more on creating art and producing events around the work. Under my artist moniker 6IXTY7EVEN, I began to create art speaking on the Black American experience.

In 2018 I had the opportunity to produce an event featuring my video piece, “City On Fire”, A short film in the form of a “skate video” about race in America through the lens of Newark’s 1967 Riots, for The Newark Museum. The video & event were accompanied by a limited apparel release and a hand made zine expanding on the themes of the video.

While making & showing art, I continued throwing events with my frequent collaborator, Producer & DJ UNIIQU3, under our touring party brand PBNJ.

PBNJ stands for “Philly, Baltimore, & New Jersey” places which are all homes of dance music on the East Coast. The party toured monthly between the 3 states featuring DJ’s & performers from across the region. During our last season, we were asked to produce the closing party for Afro Punk’s 2019 festival as well as Newarks 2nd Boiler Room.

The last 10 years has been a crash course on what it takes to create a movement with limited staff & budget. I had to find creative ways to solve problems, that often entailed with me wearing multiple hats. Having to handle so many varied tasks gave me the opportunity to teach myself new sets of skills I never knew I needed. Between video editing, graphic design, marketing, curating, event planning & managerial skills, everyday was an adventure.

Now I am ready for the next stage of my professional career. My goal is to work with a firm to create dynamic video & graphics for clients, then transition in to a creative direction role.

Our Shifters have been honing their craft, pushing and polishing their work and now they are ready to take their talent further. Explore more:​
Ngu Asongwed
www.nasongwed.com

Ngu Asongwed
Ngu Asongwed

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