Interview with the Seymores – In Conversation with the SC-based Couple
In our current era fighting for all black lives to matter, power couple Nathaniel Cremsom Seymore and Zuri Seymore’s are encouraging, empowering, inspiring others to be their best selves through their creativity and self-care routines. This powerful black couple displays black magic, black love, and black excellence at its best!
The Seymores are a Columbia, SC-based couple who defines black love, black magic, black empowerment, and black excellence through their businesses, artistic endeavors, and self-care routines (yoga & martial arts). Their mission is to encourage others to be light-force energy by exuding love through poetry, music, and movement.
Note: all pictures provided by the subject.
Q- Zuri, Being an influential poet in the black community, what inspired you to lift your pen and inscribe your heart’s words, decorating them into poems and metaphors? What inspired you to showcase your writings to the world?
Z: Poetry found me after all of my visual artwork was damaged in a fire. I began to express my thoughts through poetry at the age of 13. My poetry was cultivated into metaphors and a myriad of other colorful elements-of-poetry. I began to visit open mic sessions and eventually became an emcee. My late father, Barry Wilson inspired me to share my poetry with the world and the late Robbie Hopkins (businessman) encouraged me to collaborate with the City-of-Columbia. Then, at the age of 18, I was introduced to Kim Mitchell of Parks and Recreation. She became my jegna (African word for mentor) and we brainstormed introducing showcases called, “Parallel Worlds” which later became “Zuri’s Parallel Worlds” productions thus the transition from open mic nights to productions.
Q. Zuri, as a woman of color, did you have to overcome any significant obstacles in the publishing and creative industry? What was the most important lesson you’ve learned in your journey of being a poet, a yogi, an actress, and a community activist?
Z: As a woman of color many scholars educated me about being African American in the writing industry. I have had the pleasure to have my work critiqued by scholars of African and Caucasian descent. An African American Professor enlightened me about the prejudices in the writing community toward “pro-black” poetry and discouraged it, however, I am
choosing to speak my truth. Ironically, my editor is a Caucasian man, Al Black who supports my voice which consists of a plethora of writing styles and topics. We are finalizing my first poetry book titled, “Swimming Lessons” to pitch to his publishing company. The most important journey I have learned as a poet is to remain true to my voice and to transform spoken word poetry to page poetry for a book. It has been an exciting journey to release a poetry CD titled, Zuri’s Parallel Worlds, my video, “She” (dedicated to women) an educational DVD titled, Zuri’s Parallel Worlds Meets Screenwriting, and “Zuri’s Live Performance” concert DVD with my husband Nathaniel Seymore and drummer James Robinson. A yogi must always be a student first before an instructor open to endless lessons and growth.
As an actress I have learned I must not accept compromising roles that question my character nor brand of peace, love, and strength. I have spoken up and declined roles that did not represent the power of a melanated woman. I have made tough decisions to walk away after being casted for project(s). If a character is unsettling in my spirit the role will be declined. And as a Community Activist, it has been an honor to spearhead a voter registration drive in collaboration with The Minority Eye Broadcasting & Media Production for the 1-year Anniversary Celebration of “Zuri’s Parallel Worlds” August of 2001 which ran through 2008. The movement transformed to a live band, then poetry workshops for the youth and collegiate level.
Q. Nathaniel, since your first journey into a recording studio to selling over 2,000 copies of your first album worldwide, how did you come to the realization that music is something you’d like to pursue as a career forever? Did you ever have to face any struggles or setbacks from your counterparts and rivals in the competitive music industry?
N: Well, I’ve actually sold way more than 2,000 copies worldwide. That number came from when I personally sold 2,000 plus copies out of a big, black duffle bag when my family and I were living out of a hotel on Broad River Road in Columbia, South Carolina. But to answer your question, I’ve always known. When you love something that much, wouldn’t it be anyone’s dream to do it forever?
Struggles, yeah, I’ve had plenty of those. But with life. I never viewed my musical peers as competition. And if they felt like they were, I would go out of my way to prove them wrong. My people from the Valley and the surrounding Columbia area know what’s up. As far as the industry; people have been trying to control me my entire life. One of the only places, besides Martial Arts, where I get to be completely free is my music. I refuse to give up that freedom to anyone.
Q. Nathaniel, what was the most important lesson you learned in your career as a musician?
N: Hands down; patience. I think every artist can feel that, and I don’t need to say more.
Q: Both of you have a successful career in the field of arts. Both of you also have a successful career in the field of health and fitness. It takes a lot of hard work to make a successful career. But it also takes immense commitment and sacrifices to make your relationship work. What advice would you like to give to the young couples out there? What is the most crucial aspect of a relationship? Is love a contrivance that is meant to last, or does it fade away with time? Why do people give up on each other so easily?
N: Deep questions. You’re trying to go there, huh? Well, the best advice I could give young couples about relationships is to take the time to get to know who they truly are first, before getting into anything serious. That, coupled with unadulterated honesty, is a recipe for success. Contrivance, I love that word. After looking it up, because I had absolutely no idea what it meant, if one were to use its first meaning (the use of skill to bring something about or create something) then I would have to say that love is this, indeed. Let me explain: Love, as we know it, is something that cannot be navigated and is often compared to a roller coaster ride- this just means that it is unpredictable, scary, and exciting all at the same time. However, we all are smart enough to know that roller coasters are constructed by experienced professionals, right. So why does Western science recognize God but not the fact that he/she is the author and creator of all things, including and especially love? So, it stands to reason that, at its core, love is a design that (if observed closely enough) can be mapped and explained through a higher science. This is why faux love can fade easily. We have not learned how to cultivate true love with the ideals given to us from that outside of our culture. So, this crazy, insane idea of love is not one of our own but one that has been beaten into, sold to, and finessed into us for a very long time now.
Z: My advice to young couples is to cultivate a genuine friendship prior to a relationship. Honesty and communication are a must. It is paramount to self-reflect and accepts the truth which truly sets us free. If we dislike a truth about oneself then we may commit to changing it to become a better version of oneself. Avoid assumptions in relationships. Ask fact-finding questions to communicate effectively whether love is a contrivance meant to last, or does it fade away with time will vary from relationship-to-relationship. My wedding vows were expressed genuinely. It is meant to last when couples push through obstacles and permit the challenges to serve as growing pains to strengthen one’s relationship rather than destroy. The bottom line a relationship must have a strong foundation and ours is sturdy in prayer, honesty, and communication. Perhaps people give up because they think it is easier to walk away, when in fact, not fighting is automatically failing. We need to exude warrior mentalities in a world filled with many challenges.
Q. Zuri, tell us more about your plans for Zuriality. With your ever-growing fan base and outreach, do you ever plan on setting up your Zuri’s Parallel Worlds Poetry workshops and Yoga classes internationally?
Z: My plans for Zuriality is to create interactive virtual platforms to reach the masses to heal through yoga and Zuri’s Parallel Worlds Poetry Workshops, etc.. In this digital world, we can instantly connect.
Q. Zuri, can you tell us a little more about your health and fitness routine? How many hours a day do you dedicate to yoga, and what practices do you choose as best for teaching others and for yourself?
Z: My health and fitness routine begins at the table as a vegan capitalizing on plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains for the necessary nutrients. Then, with the mind through a daily meditation practice which leads me to the physical. My preference is to alternate my
cardio and yoga days for balance. For example, my husband and I will go biking, box, do strength training, and jump rope. Sometimes, I run instead of biking. Currently, my daily meditation practice is to sit in lotus for 30-60 minutes and focus on the breath, affirmations, and prayers. My posture yoga practice is also 30-60 minutes every other day.
Q. Nathaniel, what are your plans with the GIIB Music group? Where do you plan on taking this company in the next five years?
N: In the next five years, I see our business growing beyond our wildest dreams. We will have all of our subsidiary businesses up and running profitable ventures that will allocate revenue that will be funded back into melanated communities. In five years, we will have rebuilt Tulsa in our home state of South Carolina which we love dearly.
Q. Nathaniel, can you tell us a little more about your single “Black Magic” and highly anticipated album Tulsa which is set to release in 2020? What kinds of songs can we expect to hear on that album?
N: The Song “Black Magic” was designed around the time of this recent civil unrest and upheaval in the black communities around the world. There was so much negativity directed towards our people, it just became too much for me. So, I made “Black Magic” as a way to inspire the people from where I live to stay diligent in their efforts to retain their identities as a strong and all-talented nation. The fact that people from all over the world and from different cultural backgrounds love the message only speaks to its need. The world acknowledges how we are being treated presently, and in turn, admitting how we’ve been treated for centuries. I was created to tell them the true reason why this is so.
Q. How do your self-care and creativity tie into your relationship? What keeps your relationship intact? Where do you see yourself as a couple, ten years from now?
N: Well, I know that being with someone who cares about themselves was something that was all-important to me. If one cannot love themselves, they will surely fail at loving anyone else properly. So, (and I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings) if you are out of health (not shape, as this is subjective) then you do not love yourself (Wilson, Tripp, & Boland, 2005). Stop that kind of self-talk. You are not happy, it is not easy to get around in your skin, you’re always aching and tired. So, why do you smile and pretend? Someone told you to; that is the reason. And these are the same entities that promote anything that will line their pockets especially people who overeat and end up in need of medical attention. Look at the biggest industries in America: Big Pharma (the pharmaceutical companies and corporations) and the food industry. If you do simple math, it makes sense why they push certain terms, visuals and audios, and sayings into the vernacular of our society. They profit, while our people suffer.
Anyways, I go center sometimes on these subjects as they are extremely close to my heart and purpose. To answer what keeps our relationship intact; it is really just two things: Respect (admire- at least some high quality of your partner or spouse) and Honor (communication and trust). In ten years from now, I see us being ten years worth of better versions. We strive for expansion, not perfection- though my entire team and staff are known perfectionists, including myself. This is why the quality of our brand is on an entirely different level every time we come out with new projects. Our business, like our love, just gets stronger and more pronounced over time.
Z: My self-care for mental stimulation of meditation (breathing techniques), a healthy diet, and exercise tie into our relationship as a lifestyle. We workout and pray together. Communication and honesty keep our relationship intact. In 10 years I see us enriching our children to accept our torch to join our health and wellness lifestyle. I also see us celebrating 7 years of success as business owners of Martial Yoga Flow & Fitness studio. It is our collaborative efforts with a mom and pops cafe of healthy food and drink options such as the life-changing Kangen water.
Q. The impact you are making in the black community is immensely empowering and inspiring. You have touched millions of people’s lives, changing their outlook, making them view life from a healthier and spiritual perspective. Do you believe that if two souls unite, they can bring about a powerful, positive, and meaningful change in the society?
N: Let me focus on this answer. In short, yes. I believe that, if two souls unite, they can bring about a powerful, positive, and meaningful change in society. But specifically, Black society. Our people have been pointedly separated for far too long. It’s to the point that we don’t know how to love each other the way that we should. But through my research, self-experimentations, and life observations, I now know the formula of our ancestors. It is one that we will present to the world through our actions and deeds.
Z: Yes, two souls uniting on a healthy, spiritual perspective may certainly bring about a powerful, positive, and meaningful change through teamwork.
Q. What advice would you like to give to couples pursuing similar career pathways as yourselves?
N: Help each other grow. Do not compete. Know that you are the only two people in the world who can support you the way that is required, and truly cherish that knowledge. And show it, most of all.
Z: Have an open mind and heart. Share creative ideas and actively listen to others. Pray and workout together.
Q. If there’s one thing you could change in this world, what would it be? And why?
N: I would change the mindstate of my people to one that would see them thrive in this life, and not continue to wait for some savior (any savior- I’m not just talking about Jesus) to do it for them in the afterlife. I do this for the yet unborn. I love our children. It is for their future, and no one else’s, that I push so hard for our message to be heard.
Z: Peace on earth, so melanated men, women, and children may leave their dwelling with confidence that there is no more danger for driving, walking, talking, etc. while being black.
Zuri Wilson-Seymore is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. She is a poet, yogi, actress, community activist, sings a little, draws a little, and plays a little guitar. She professionally participated as the South Carolina Poetry Out Loud Coordinator from October 2017 – June 2019. She is the Executive Director & Founder of a cultural arts event called “Zuri’s Parallel Worlds.” Zuri has been writing poetry since the age of 13. More info on Zuri can be found here https://www.zuriality.com/
Nathaniel Seymore, (Music Artist and Martial Artist) known as Cremson, is a successful musical talent who became well known in hip hops underground circuits for his freestyle battling prowess. Cremson always had music to turn to. Selling over 2,000 copies of his first album titled “The Beginning” out of a duffle bag in his home town of Columbia, South Carolina. Cremson has come a long way to prove his talent that grabbed so many ears since his first journey into a recording studio.
Production company Get It In Blood Music Group, LLC (GIIB), Co-Founded by Nathaniel “CREMSON” Seymore and Jonathan Mullins, released Cremson’s debut hit single, “Black Magic,” in 2020.
“Black Magic” single, which is on this highly anticipated album titled Tulsa that will be released by the end of 2020, gives life to a seemingly forgotten practice of altruism. More info on GIIB Music Group can be found here https://www.giibent.c.om/
Eman Khalid is a writer, editor, storyteller, and a journalist. She has been a co-author of more than twenty poetry books. She is a contributing writer to the Women's Republic, the Meraki Magazine, Litlight Magazine, Prosart Literary, Kitaab, StoryHouse UK, and The LATEST. Eman is an English Language and Literature major and she has a deep passion for reading about inspirational women from the past. When she is not writing, you will find her reading poetry, listening to songs, and taking long walks at the beach.
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