Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer. After an internship at Ebony, Robyn has gone on to freelance at a variety of places, including ESSENCE and Revolt, in addition to an associate editor gig at Hypebeast.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
Believe it or not, I’ve been documenting culture since I was a child in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida. For me that looked like writing in diaries, engaging with magazines from an early age, and taking notes on sermons of my grandfather and uncle who are both pastors. I also engaged with fashion very early in my childhood and adolescence which intersects with my affinity for music. Hip-hop was played heavily in my home thanks to my dad, but so was soul music (via my mom), these tastes influenced me early via my parents, both New Yorkers, my dad is originally from Jamaica (he moved to New York at seven), my mother is from Great Neck in Long Island.
I began realizing writing professionally could be a career path for me while I was in high school in Orlando. Once I decided to commit to Florida A&M University I’d already visited their campus and been inside the office of the campus magazine, Journey. While I was in school I also wrote culture and music pieces for Journey and another campus publication, The Famuan. I actually wrote profiles on Shaka King and Lena Waithe while I was a student. At FAMU I wrote but I also was in the creative community there, each of my friends were creatives: stylists, photographers, entrepreneurs, etc. Initially, my major in college was magazine writing, but after that program was phased out I became a broadcast journalism student, so I’m a trained multimedia journalist. Many of my classes were either writing courses or classes that centered on the African diaspora, Black studies, and film. This training and my rigorous journalism courses were the starting point for my attraction to culture writing.