PHAZE Magazine One Year Anniversary

By Editor-in-Chief, Neah Gray


This month marks a year since I started PHAZE Magazine.

PHAZE has become a very important part of my life and although this magazine is an entity of itself, it is a reflection of my journey as a creative, an artist and ultimately how I express myself. PHAZE is inspired by all of the art and creative people I know, both online and in person. This magazine is an extension of all the artistic mediums I’ve honed in on during some point of my life: photography, design, writing and many others. Since the start, multimedia has always been my goal and I strive to deliver the best content in music & art through various forms, so our audience can experience it as well. Over the past year, PHAZE has expanded and grown into a platform that I am extremely proud of, and my heart is full and excited for all that is to come in the future. I am so happy with all that we’ve accomplished and I couldn’t have done it without my amazing Team, our audience and the creative community amongst us. Being Editor-in-Chief of PHAZE — creating, managing, curating and everything in between— has been a very intense and gratifying experience. To be honest, it still feels like I created PHAZE just a couple of months ago, and to think a year has passed is crazy.

This past year, I have been able to accomplish some of my biggest goals for PHAZE, even when it felt like things would not come together or were somewhat impossible. Before the launch, I knew PHAZE was going to be five things: An online magazine, a print magazine, a radio show, a platform & community for emerging artists in music and art, and finally, something that once I began...I was never giving up on. All these five things are still true.

January 2017, I began brainstorming for PHAZE. Summer 2017, I began building and gathering content for PHAZE from concerts and artists I had captured over the years. August 2017, I finally choose a name for our platform, PHAZE, which was inspired by a Tumblr name I had in high school. August 2017, I found our Team. September 2017, we launched PHAZE with our online magazine. January 2018, we launched our first print magazine. February 2018, we started our first radio show. Summer 2018, we took a short hiatus. September 2018, we’re back again with a second PHAZE of artists, work and content.

However, in September 2018, I also moved to London to study abroad.

Studying abroad in London right now is one of the best experiences of my life. Although I am still managing and working on PHAZE while abroad, it is so surreal to think that as I take this new journey across the world, PHAZE will too. I have been in London for about three weeks, and the rappers, photographers, DJs, stylists and overall creatives I have encountered so far are some of the most genuine and talented people I’ve ever seen. As I experience and connect with other creatives, so will PHAZE. As I dive into the UK-British art world, so will PHAZE. This is all to say that being in London right now has allowed me to see just how global PHAZE can be. Looking at our website and content views, we reach so many people from across the world on a daily — and hourly — basis. This morning alone, people from L.A., Greece, Israel, Russia, Australia, Belgium, Kenya, The Netherlands and Mexico have viewed our content. To me, that is so insane and it motivates me as Editor-in-Chief to continue to work hard and push PHAZE out into the world as much as I can.

PHAZE will always continue to grow, expand and change.

As we celebrate our one year anniversary, I want to take the time to acknowledge that not everything is easy. Being Editor-in-Chief is a very hard and demanding job, and it never stops. Before PHAZE, I had never done anything in the Editorial field, and journalism was something I was just starting. But I knew that just like the people I wanted to feature on PHAZE, I was a passionate and dedicated artist at heart. I have always enjoyed every aspect of being able to create, especially putting time and hard work into something and watching it manifest into everything you wanted it to be. That is exactly what PHAZE has been for me and that is why I enjoy every second of this intense journey.

For every struggling, unmotivated, anxious, self-conscious or doubtful artist out there, I want to tell you that it is okay. It is okay to feel how you feel, but just know that this feeling won’t last forever. Even as Editor-in-Chief, I don’t always know the next step or find solutions right away. While running PHAZE, I have learned to accept trial and error as a natural part of growth. No matter what the situation is, I lead with my heart, positivity and our mission statement. I know that if I stay true to these, things will always work out for the better. Life is not a straight, upward path.  There are always a few bumps, so recognize that and embrace it, and moving forward with whatever you’re doing in life will become a little easier.

This reflection is both a look forward and backwards.

I appreciate everything PHAZE has become. Thank you to the artists who we’ve featured and those who submit to be apart of the PHAZE. Thank you to our followers, readers, and overall audience. No matter if you’re on the magazine or simply support it, thank you for being apart of the PHAZE. Continue to believe in us and everything we want to do for the artistic community around us. My Team and I are dedicated, and we promise the future holds so many great expansions and aspects of PHAZE that we want you to be apart of.

On a final note, I just want to say that when managing PHAZE, I always decided to lead from behind the curtain as a way to make PHAZE stand on its own, separate from who Neah is as a person. But as this reflection has pointed out, that is nearly impossible, and doesn’t leave a lot of room for transparency. So I just want to say that as Editor-in-Chief, I am here and I am just like you. I am an artist, a creative, a student, a young adult, a person in a social media and technology intense world, and a human being and a soul before all those things.

Over the next few months, we will be doing a “Meet the Team” series to introduce ourselves to you all! And with this letter, I’ll start first!

Name: Neah Gray

Position: Editor-in-Chief

Instagram: @neahsoul

Horoscopes: Virgo sun, Capricorn moon, Scorpio rising

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

School: American University

Major: Film & Media Arts

Favorite things to do:

  • Hang out with friends

  • Go to concerts

  • Visit art galleries

  • Read

  • Photograph

  • Film

  • Watch Netflix

  • Sleep

  • Work on PHAZE

Favorite T.V. show: Law and Order SVU

Favorite Food:

  • Thai food (pad thai or drunken noodles)

  • Soul food (mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, ribs)

  • Cheeseburgers

  • I love food so this list can get long..

Cool facts:

  • I worked at BuzzFeed New York this summer as a photography intern for BuzzFeed News’ Art Department

  • I am living in London for the next 3 months

  • I am working for NBC (US) and media company called Mediablaze (UK) this fall!

  • I am super tall; 6’2

  • I am really good at doing hair and often do my own

  • I am half Jamaican

  • I have been doing photography for over 7 years

  • One time, I was at a Lil Yachty concert and I screamed “I love you” and he said “I love you too” #Iconic

Edited by Sydney Hamilton