Behind The Lens | Nia "l0verebel" Simone / by Hussein Abdullahi

In today’s world we are living in a creative space, where free will and creative energy is at an all-time high for freelancers. The emergence of the sports media market has captured the attention of prominent creative artists. Each artist has a defining story that sparks positive energy into the world; this week's feature will be on Nia Simone. The 24-year old Westchester native has a promising future that lies ahead; she uses her creative eyes to capture defining moments in our culture. This summer, Nia has blazed a unique trail by creating an authentic platform through her dope shots of the top basketball events such as: Dyckman Basketball, Nike’s NY vs. NY and Pro-city NYC. Nia has received notoriety from prominent sports media channels and NBA athletes. During my NYC trip, I had the oppportunity to conduct an interview on the upcoming creative artist as she let me into her world.


1. Can you provide your audience with a brief introduction to l0verebel?

N: l0verebel”, is composed of three parts.

  1.  " I've always seen myself as a rebel because I don’t follow trends. I rebelled against my parents and life’s stereotypes. So l0ve a rebel (l0ve me) basically.
  2.  "l0ve has always been a complex emotion for me. Therefore, I see myself as l0ve’s very own rebel. Sometimes I rebel against those I l0ve and the idea of them/it, but also because my tactics aren’t always as traditional in the way I show it." (it being l0ve)
  3.   "My first digital DSLR camera was a canon t3 rebel so everything coincidentally and ironically plays a part and comes full circle, and the bonus factor of the “O” being a zero is the idea of l0ve being about quality and not quantity."


2. What makes Nia Simone unique from other creatives in NYC?

N: "We all have eyes, but no one has eyes like mine. I’m my own entity therefore no one can capture a photo like me. That’s something I have to remind myself constantly. When I shot the Mets game a couple weeks ago I was obviously happy, but as soon as I saw a few other photographers with the big expensive lens a frown formed out of my smile until positive Nia reminded myself it was no big deal. “They don’t have your eyes”, “they don’t see things like you do”. I walked away with some of the best photos I’ve ever taken in my life that night by simply utilizing what I had, walking around the stadium and being as creative as I can".

They don’t have your eyes, they don’t see things like you do
— Nia Simone
Photo of (@kevindurant)

Photo of (@kevindurant)

3. What are some creative challenges you face in your work?

N: "Respect is the biggest one. Some people don’t take me seriously because I’m a woman, but I’m good at what I do so I try to not let it get to me. I’m way too hard on myself and since I’ve been shooting for so long I’m not always impressed with my work. I’m only in competition with myself."

4. What's in store next for l0verebel?

 N: "I’ve always been interested in concert photography. I l0ve music and I know I’ll be good at capturing performances. It’s the least I could do, adding value to someone’s set, giving artists something back from what they’ve given to me.  I also want to direct films and music videos. There are a lot of artists who put out quality/personable music and sadly, sometimes their visuals don’t showcase that. I’d also enjoy being an artists’ personal photographer. Not for the hype, clout or to be out clubbing, but to show the world another side of who they truly are (A black man/men preferably) because I know I look at them differently. Black men are so beautiful to me; I want to remind the world of how stunning they are."

5. Where do you draw a lot of your creative inspiration from?

N: "Life inspires me. I inspire me. People often ask me that and I always laugh because I’m shooting things that already exist. Only difference between your eyes and mine is that I took the time out to notice it."

Creative Artist: Nia Simone (@l0verebel)

Interviewed by: @twingq