My name is Ken Nana. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I live to create and inspire.
Tell us about NANA LIFESTYLE and what it means to you?
When a group of people who share a vision and purpose come together, they have the power to create something more than themselves that has the ability to make an impact on society. Our goal is to bring together creatives (Musicians, Directors, Painters, Photographers, Animators, etc) who not only embody great taste, but also has a positive message and a sense of purpose behind what they do. Being an artist is not just a hobby, or a job; It’s a lifestyle. You eat, sleep, and shit what you are passionate about, and you ignore any road blocks because you are too focused your passion. If you surround yourself with people like this, you will end the conception of work/life balance, and it just becomes LIFE. We don’t do it for the money or credits, we do it because we want to. The money just comes with it, and it all goes right back into funding our passion projects. NANA LIFESTYLE isn’t just a company of creative services, we really do live this shit. Learn more at nanalifestyle.com
What inspires you on a daily basis and what is something that you are constantly trying to communicate to the world?
Have you ever tried to exercise at home but you get easily distracted and don’t push yourself as hard? Then, you go to the gym where everyone around you is there for the same reason and you can feel the energy so you push yourself even harder. That’s the same inspiration I get from my team, my family and surroundings. Constantly surrounding myself with people who are creative, driven, and passionate about their art is what inspires me. Also, every time I travel somewhere new, I get inspired. It’s all about your surroundings and the people you choose to keep close.
One message I’m constantly communicating is that success is a state of mind, not an achievement. If you wake up every morning inspired and you love what you do, you are successful. Always remember WHY you do what you do and everything else will fall into place. Don’t get too caught up in the hustle and be in such a hurry to get rich. Enjoy the journey. Those are the moments you will reminisce about later in life.
What gave you the drive to say, “fuck it!” and start something you’re passionate about?
There was a point in my life where I always wanted to please other people. I cared way too much about what people thought about me and I wanted to be like-able. As soon as I started to say “No” to the things I didn’t want to do is when things started to fall into place. During that time my brother, Sean was going through the same kind of transition. We both broke up with our girls, moved out on our own, and just shifted our energy back into creating. He was in San Diego, and I moved to a small studio in Koreatown by myself. Once I found that inner peace of being able to freely do what I want without any regrets, things really started to shift. So much to the point where Sean decided to move back to LA after being in San Diego for 9 years building a solid career with Apple Inc. Once we were back together on a daily basis, NANA LIFESTYLE was in full effect.
What can you tell us about “Message to Princess” and the concept behind the animated short?
If you grew up in the early 90s like me, chances are you were playing Nintendo NES and watching cartoons with a bowl of cereal with little pieces of Oreos hidden in the milk. I wanted to incorporate a new medium for this video that was inspired by my childhood, so of course, 2D-animation was what made sense. The entire Welcome to Warp Zone! EP is inspired by Super Mario levels in a unique way. Isaac did an amazing job capturing the feel I wanted. The song is a dark song, but the video and sound makes it feel light. Because every dark situation shouldn’t be taken so seriously. There is a positive side to everything and I feel that it is almost making fun of situations like this. I’m so happy I got one of my best friends, Furis, who I’ve known since like 10 years old to rap a verse on it. He hasn’t rapped in a long time because he’s been Directing/Editing tons of music videos for some amazing artists. He’s also a part of the collective. This is special to me. You can download my entire EP for free on our website. (nanalifestyle.com)
If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Mmmmmm deep fried Talapia with some rice. With chili and fish sauce. Thai-style.