Special Sections » People Issue 2016

Musical Shapeshifter: Zakiya Harris

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Zakiya Harris is never one to pigeonhole herself into a single project or identity. She's a singer making soulful, experimental pop with Afrofuturist sensibilities, both as a solo artist and as part of her band, Elephantine. She's a cofounder of Oakland's Impact Hub, a co-working space that is home to many of the Town's nonprofits, and a co-founder of Hack the Hood, a nonprofit teaching coding skills to local youth. She's also an author and life coach with a new e-book called Sh8peshift Your Life — so named for the self-help mantra that resonates throughout her music and serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength that lies within each of us.

Harris might look like she has it all, but in an interview with the Express earlier this year, she revealed that she became the successful, multi-tasking boss she is today after overcoming an immensely challenging period in her life five years ago, when her marriage, previous music project, and environmental nonprofit all unraveled at once. By focusing on mindfulness and tapping into her spirituality, she was able to gain the mental strength to rise above these obstacles and come back stronger than ever, she said. And with her empowering music, new book, and vibrant social media presence — where she offers tips on setting intentions, meditation, and working towards mental clarity through self-care — she's inspiring fans to become the best versions of themselves they can be. ZakiyaHarris.com.

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