Hey there! I’m Nancy Azcona, poet, production coordinator, The Challenge obsessor, and most relevant, a writer for MixedMag. I’ve written a few personal essays you may or may have not read (Depression in 2020 Hits Different, How to Mourn Alone, The Difficulties of Accepting White Allyship). This series is just a tad different from what I’ve written before. I’ve been somehow blessed to be surrounded by some of the most incredible artists of this age, and I don’t just mean that because they are my friends. The people I interview truly make strides in their careers, but this isn’t only to tell you about their work, it is to explore who they are.
The entertainment industry as a whole was not built for us (BIPOC/LGBTQ). Those of us in it have had to find a way to make it ours. Along the way, we are building ourselves, because we are not our careers, we are human at the base of it all. Beginners Guide is a column where you get to meet some of your new favorite people, someone you can see yourself in, doing what they love, holding true to who they are, in the all-encompassing world of entertainment.
Andre Doughty is a 28-year-old content creator (DJ, Podcast Host/Co-Host, & Twitch Streamer) born and raised in New York. On top of his many endeavors, he is also an adjunct professor at NYIT. Andre found himself watching soap operas at a young age with his grandmother, saying “I want to make that, but not that (soap operas)”. Once college admissions became a topic of discussion in high school, he prepared himself for a career in production by working in school musicals, hoping that it would give him a jumping-off point to eventually go to college and continue creating.
Doughty has always been one to dabble in many things to satiate his creative hunger while being pretty great at everything he touches. So it is to no one’s surprise that when he began exploring music, he did so in stride. During his time in college, he was unable to explore radio as an outlet. Upon graduating he created No Dought Radio in 2016 alongside his sister Jessica Doughty, which is running to this day. On the show he was able to compile some of his favorite hits, with small interjections of his own thoughts/comments. He quickly noticed that it was not sustainable to continue his project as such and needed to “at least know how to blend songs together”. This propelled Andre into his DJing career, where he was able to learn the skills needed to amplify his music project and meet people he would never have met in the first place.
Traditional networking tells us to go to the parties, and the drinks, and the dinners to keep in contact with those aligned with our future, but Andre’s approach is a bit different and significantly more honest. Through contacting friends and friends of friends, Andre has been able to continue mastering his DJ skills, which led him to many collaborations and contacts throughout the years. Andre has worked with collectives/other artists like Sophisticated Delinquency, FunknVibe, Sundae Sauce, Waxx, and Juicebox. These skill sets have also given Andre the tools to create/co-host several podcasts such as The A&M Podcast, The Quarter Note, and Generally Specific. He’s also been invited to DJ virtual sets in the midst of a pandemic, though it is not his main focus right now.
Jack of all trades, Andre used his production skills to start his Twitch stream in the spring of 2019, with a little push from his friend Miles. Reluctant to begin streaming, Andre now has 537 followers, with an average viewership of 20 people, streaming from Tuesday to Thursday 8PM-11PM EST. Andre is considered a variety streamer, aligned to himself, he bounces back and forth between game streaming and community-led streams. Unsure where streaming would take him, if anywhere, Andre was never too attuned to the pulse of Twitch, which makes his streams unique and very community-focused. Not paying too much attention to the weather forecast of popularity has led him to create formats that make sense to him and his viewers. Those who invest time and actual money to Andre, seem to be staying there for his personality and see how he sets himself apart from the crowd. Andre views those who watch him/collaborate with him as people that “he would like to be friends with”.
In June, at the height of the BLM movement, Andre used his stream to raise $1000 for 10 various organizations supporting BIPOC persons. Being a bit more kept to himself, this was the way that felt most appropriate to Andre to give back to his community in a larger sense. Andre strives to be able to continue this monthly, understanding that this may be “a little bit of an ask, especially in a pandemic”. Being aware that his purpose to stream is entertainment and not reliant on monetary value, he wishes to contribute in any way that he can. As of recently, Andre kept true to his goal of wanting to contribute to the community and raised another $1000 with a group of streamers (his sister Jess, @OmarFromQueens, & @SycoCell) to Feeding America.
On top of being an overall content creator, Andre has been an Adjunct Professor at NYIT (mainly in production courses) for the past 5 years. This is something he never expected to do and “kinda just fell into it”.
“A vacancy appeared, someone asked me to fill that vacancy, and I’m still here,” Andre says. Since he is still learning, he is able to bring these unique experiences to his students that may idolize people in higher positions, bringing along this human-level energy to education. Being transparent, and bringing a “freshness & youthfulness” gives kids a perspective we do not see in the average classroom. Being a young Black man achieving many things lends to his student this level of representation that they may have never seen before. He is able to give his students lessons in real time regarding what may be useful in this day and age for production, while “appreciating all aspects of preparation” in the process of it all.
Andre’s path, which continues to expand, shows us that “traditional success” (i.e. the American dream) isn’t the success that may be personally satisfying to everyone. There is this underlying genuineness with Andre that can be so difficult to find in the age of influencers and likes. In a world where spaces for us (BIPOC) are finally being created, as a Black content creator Andre is taking advantage of this time.
“I want to prove a point that whatever it is that I decide to create, me being the Black person that I am, can create great things and by proxy other Black people can (also) create good stuff. I don’t know if I want to be representative of everyone, because there is a diaspora, (and) my experiences aren’t indicative of everyones or representative of everything, but it puts more people on the board that way,” Andre says. Seeing ourselves on the board, in the playing field, is the push many of us need to accomplish the goals that we never thought possible. If you want to keep up with all of Andre’s current works as well as support him, you can follow him on Instagram @NoDought or his Twitch @Neveradought.
About the Author:
Nancy Azcona is a 25 year old Salvadorian/Dominican New Yorker living out in Los Angeles since 2017. Queer and first-gen American, the intersections are truly endless. She has been working in the entertainment industry since 2016 and is currently a Production Coordinator at the digital company SMOSH. Her articles have been featured on Funknvibe’s previous blog platform and her spoken word has been performed at their live events. In her spare time she enjoys taking care of too many plants, working on her imperfect ceramic pieces, watching any and all reality TV shows, and using her voice to tear down systematic oppression.