Uristocrat’s own Alhaji Sesay sits down with Tayyib Smith of two.one.five magazine to discuss a variety of topics. This is in advance of the two.one.five magazine release party for its highly anticipated annual Sound + Style issue at Silk City on December 1st.
AlSesay: Tell us a little about yourself?
Tayyib: I’m an Influencer, former nightlife Impresario, Social Change Agent, Artist Conduit, Founding Publisher at two.one.five magazine, 215mag.com, my clients call me Little Giant.
AlSesay: Is it true that your beard holds all the creativity?
Tayyib:No not at all, my inspiration for creativity comes from my parents, mentors, peers, environment, friends, and a few muses.
Al: What made you start two.one.five?
Tayyib: The initial idea was my partner Matthew Bacine’s. ?He owned a retail space and found it frustrating that there were no suitable options to reach the local youth with the media options in 2006 locally. I was looking for new career path to get away from the music business, so when he approached me, the timing was perfect.
Al: How many hours go into each issue/publication?
Tayyib: Many man/woman hours – we have 8 full time staff and approximately 20 interns per semester, plus contributors and there never seems to be enough hours in the day..
Al: What is your mission statement?
Tayyib: Our primary purpose in developing two.one.five is to create a space where ethnically diverse social exploration can be realized, allowing Philadelphia to help transcend last-century models while documenting the city’s new 21st-century reality. And to have fun doing it.Our hope is that two.one.five grows increasingly more influential, becoming synonymous with engaging forward-thinking and stylish interlocution, a positive vehicle of influence for natives as well as transplants to the region.
Al: What’s sets two.one.five apart from other magazines?
Tayyib: I would prefer to allow our audiences to make that assessment.
Al:What do you think draws people to two.one.five?
Tayyib: The design, paper stock, photography, good writing, and locally focused stories with national relevance.
Al: What do you and the magazine have planned for the next couple years?
Tayyib: For me personally I will be dedicating more time to the parent company Little Giant Media, which is a more traditional creative agency, relaunching the Philly 360 campaign in our partnership with GPTMC (Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing corporation). I will also be learning, growing and finding ways to increase my creative productivity. For the two.one.five brand, we will continue to do good work, increase our market share, improve our distribution model, and tweak our online presence 215mag.com. So in a couple of years? Lets just say a lot, because a few yrs. ago, my life was completely different and none of this existed.
Al: In the past couple years we have seen a few big magazine fail leading to bankruptcy… What do you think has caused this to occur?
Tayyib: A host of reasons, the high cost of printing, astronomical shipping cost, many publications sacrificed quality for quantity, and market saturation with the same content. I believe for a magazine to flourish and prosper in the future it will have to be a keepsake, reference, or coffee table show piece. Nothing worth having in life comes easy, I think the pressure is there regardless of what you do today, if you are not pressed to succeed in the worst economic climate in 50 yrs., you are NAIVE! Or you inherited so much loot you can’t fuck it up in this lifetime. In my previous career in music the sky was falling everyday, so I’m accustomed to the dome and gloom industry talk. It motivates me in the sense that two novice entrepreneurs with no back ground in publishing are succeeding at producing a top notch quarterly journal, while large corporations are closing the doors of established and trusted periodicals.
Al: What motivates you to keep two.one.five magazine going?
Tayyib: I’m motivated by my love for Philadelphia in general, my family has lived here for four generations, and I am going to be an intricate player in re-forecasting how locals and the world perceive this city.
Al: What other magazines impress you?
Tayyib: Waxpoetics, Interview magazine, The Fader, URB magazine, Wall Paper, Adbusters, Juxtaposed, Swindle, Foundation (support Locals!) The New Yorker, Wired, Rolling Stone (only for the political articles)
Al: Any regrets?
Tayyib: None I would admit to.
Join Tayyib at Silk City on December 1st as two.one.five magazine celebrates the release of its highly anticipated annual Sound + Style issue. Attendees will have the opportunity to have the very first look at the 6th issue, while enjoying copious drink specials from Sailor Jerry, Heineken and Amstel, top-notch entertainment and a variety of door prizes.