- The Innovator


Introducing, the innovator. the mastermind. a source of hope and inspiration.

a woman who plans on changing the world. 

1. What led you to create Brainwash? 
A - Brainwash was my response to the current Internet publication climate if you well. I saw a lot of publications putting out content that the editor surprisingly let go pass their desk. everyone was regurgitating the same sort of story which is about the same people, written in the same format by the same types of people and I kind a got bored with that so because of that I decided to publish my own platform and stop complaining about everyone else's.

2. What are some qualities that set Brainwash apart from the other online movements and/ or companies?
A - Brainwash is a super baby — it's only four months old now. I think the biggest point of differentiation between Brainwash and any other digital platform is that it's smart content. It’s content that makes you think or feel something that you might've never felt or thought of before. Brainwash is not a blog. I get offended a little bit when people refer to it as a blog because blog means it's about me. It has nothing to do with me. It's literally a platform for young creatives, particularly those of color, to come and write about culture, art, music, and fashion in a way that answers the question, “Okay but what else? Why do you care? What connections can you make between larger ideas and pop culture references?

3. Where does your inspiration to create come from?
A - It’s funny, this question is not something I would typically think about because creation and creating is something that is so embedded in who I am as a person I almost need to create in order to stay sane.There are so many elements of life that are out of your control and being able to have your hands on something while knowing that what you put in is what you're going to ultimately get out. The ability to sort of create and bring to life ideas that previously only existed inside the confines of your mind is kind of epic. If we were to talk about specific inspirations: WesAnderson, Frida Kahlo, Tyler the Creator, Raf Simons, Ta-Nehisi Coates. People who are unafraid and assert this idea of, “This is who I am and this is what I do and it might not resonate with everyone but that's OK.” I'm not creating because I seek validation from others but because I have to.

4. What would you like to see more of concerning the presence of online realms? 
A - #DoYourResearch is kind of my mantra. When I start looking at these larger online publications it's as if the writers and editors don't care about the content as much as they should. They just want the clicks. I definitely think that lots of the bigger American publications think that if they start putting out "smart content” that they'll lose their readers, thinking that people don't want to read. On the contrary, people are craving things that make them think and I think that it's time that you stop underestimating the intellect of your reader or of your audience. I also believe that your staff writers and editors should reflect the demographic of your readership. It doesn’t make sense that all of the writers that review rap albums are all middle aged white men sitting in cubicles. It makes no sense. There are so many spaces online though with black people having intelligent conversations about culture and music and those spaces definitely need to get some more love. 

I did an article entitled, “What’s your Media Diet?” and I’ve included some of my favorite media to consume and people creating cool stuff. 

5. What has been your biggest accomplishment since the launch of Brainwash?  

A - It's kind of like a crazy trip to even think that Brainwash is something that is only four months old because it is something that I've gotten so much positive feedback on and something that I've wanted to do for years and years. If I'm being 100% honest, the fact that it even exists is an accomplishment in and of itself. I am not the type of person to come up with an idea and next day it's done. I'm super into concepts and ideas but it takes a lot out of me to actually put in the work to make an idea happen and Brainwash was lots and lots of time and effort in, putting myself in uncomfortable spaces to force myself to come up with new ideas and I think that's amazing. If you wanted sort of like a accomplishment in the sort of conventional way I would hundred percent say the feedback I got from the profile I did on Uniiqu3, a Jersey Club DJ, producer, and artist, and her deciding to have me be a part of her Be Unique seminar where I got to meet all of these female DJs and ask them specifically tailored questions and be in a room with all of these creatives of color. I got to exchange information with loads of cool people and ultimately work towards building up the Brainwash community of young, talented creatives of color. After I asked all my questions and the event was over, people were coming up to me and saying how much they enjoyed listening to my questions and how amazing I am and how much they want to work with me and that was epic. 

6. What do hope for others to gather from your platform? 

A - I created Brainwash with one question in mind, “how can we effectively use the Internet without losing our humanity?” What I want the Brainwash reader to take away is that there are spaces online for creatives who want to talk about identity and talk about racism and talk about gender and talk about all of these things that aren't about this reality star who is dating this pop singer and that's cool. There's a space for that. There is space online for intelligent discourse about culture, music, fashion and about all of these things that we consume. There is also space for us to talk about how much we love Drake or strange things people do and have fun at the same time. It is important that we always take a step back and understand what it is we are letting into our minds, our hearts, and how that affects what ultimately comes out. I want Brainwash to be a space for conversation to happen.

7. Any future plans for Brainwash, If so care to share? If not, that's okay too.  

A - So the immediate goal for Brainwash is to build up our readership and our team of writers. I’m super picky about who I let write for the site as I am someone who spends lots of time on pieces. I want others to do the same and feel as connected to the writing as I do. Within the next few months I plan on releasing a Brainwash T-shirt. I’m someone who loves streetwear and band t-shirts. The t-shirt is important to me so I would love to see people wearing the Brainwash t-shirt on their body. I ultimately would like to take Brainwash from the digital space to the real world. I love speaking in front of people and sharing thoughts with other people in person so I would love to have my own Brainwash events, seminars even going to schools and talking about media and it’s impact on our lives and the importance of unplugging. The don dada of dreams would be to, of course, write a book. Every writer says that. But definitely a dream of mine.

                    MEET THE INNOVATOR 

Ayanna Mcneil is the founder and editor in chief of Brainwash — a platform that allows one's mind to explore the likes and dislikes concerning the impact that the internet can have on one's being. 

I encourage everyone to check out Brainwash, it's a really amazing and innovative platform that focuses on culture, music, and art. Particulary, aiming to influence the crowd of people of color, Ayanna is open to creating content that inspires and teaches not only one's mind but to touch one's soul as well.