Pride Month is here and we’re celebrating equality without exception! We’re raising funds for organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community and showing love in all its beautiful forms.
Today we’re chatting with Kay & Nahli, a London-based couple who are proud to be sharing more about their love with us!
For our #smashtessfam that aren’t familiar with you, tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
Kay: Greetings from London, Smash+Tess Fam! I’m a bit of a geezer really. Working across tech, fashion, music, photography and more recently branching into the podcast world. Nahli and I are starting a podcast called Lez Get It! We will invite guests on to smash apart social norms and get the tea on all the things that we love talking about that the media typically shies away from 😉!
Nahli : Hey Smash+Tess! I’m a London-based music artist and painter. Painting is a new part of my life—I picked up a paintbrush during lockdown for the first time and the rest was history. I now sell my paintings around the world, which is wild to me, I could have never imagined it! I toured with SIGMA as their on-stage vocalist and collaborated with some huge UK artists like Big Narstie and Professor Green. So, it’s quite a lot to juggle, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
Nahli, you are an incredibly talented singer/songwriter and now artist! What inspires and sparks your creativity?
Thanks so much! I find that any emotion can spark my creativity. When I’m happy, I’m motivated as hell, and you can usually tell which paintings/songs I created when I was in a good mental space. There’s usually lots of light colours and brightness. If I dip in my mood, I tend to use much darker colours with harsher strokes and the music always comes out very moody. I am regularly inspired by other people doing well. If I see someone achieving big things, it pushes me harder. I just want to create the best life for myself, my girl and my family.
Kay, you have lived around the world from Sydney to New York and now London! What has been your favourite city to live in and where is your next dream home?
As much as I miss Australia’s beautiful coast lines and the hustle and bustle of a NYC dive bar, there really is no place like home for me! London is such a cultural mash up of opportunity and I love it here. My dream would be to get a beach hut on a remote island in the Maldives or anywhere I can surf and hike!
How do you like to honour and celebrate pride month?
Kay: Pride month for me means celebrating absolutely everybody and anyone, no matter how they identify or who and how they choose to love. It’s about educating, inclusivity, love, equality and margaritas…. Lots of margaritas!!
Nahli: Pride is a very new part of my life. I’d never been in a same sex relationship until I met Kay. She just ticked every single box and I realized that I may have been looking in the wrong places for love. So, I haven’t experienced many Pride celebrations yet! But I’m really excited for it. Everyone in the community seems hugely welcoming and I feel extremely supported. Times are truly changing. I’d never have felt this comfortable about having a relationship with a woman before now. It’s beautiful. She is my favourite thing in the world.
What does your love look like? Feel like? Sound like?
Kay : Our Love looks like the background of one of NAHLI’s paintings! A canvas full of a hundred different colours. Feels like your favourite girl gang and sounds like the most infectious laugh. We’re very lucky.
Nahli: Ok so Kay eats chocolate dipped in tomato pasta sauce. It’s weird!! Our love makes me think of all her weird quirks—it’s a journey of experimenting and learning. She teaches me about myself. I teach her about herself. We heal through each other. I’m a better person when I’m with her. Chocolate dipped in tomato pasta sauce is actually kind of delicious!
What LGBTQI+ organizations do you like to support?
Kay: I think it’s important that we are backing our Black LGBTQIA+ community and more specifically our Black Trans family! We attended the Black Trans Lives Matters rally in the summer last year and it was so incredible.
Nahli: I’m still learning. I’m very interested in learning and supporting people in the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s very important to start giving those people more support and love.
What does equality without exception mean to you?
Kay: Equality without exception means total freedom, safety and opportunity without prejudice.
Nahli: It just fills me with a sense of peace. When the world sees equality, it will become a calmer place for so many. It makes me sick when I hear tragedies of gay people, or trans people, or anyone being attacked for who they are. I think that equality would ease those awful things. I hope for that.
How can brands and public figures better support the LGBTQIA+ community beyond Pride Month?
Kay : Show up and speak up! Educate yourself, pass on useful information, teach your kids (and cranky old elderly relatives) about equality. Include LGBTQIA+ people in everything you do—not to tick a box, but to create a new norm.
Nahli: Remind people that they’re heard, and that they matter. Remind people that this archaic mentality that particularly the older generation have is just a learned pattern. If we can’t change their minds, we can reset the new generation with a bit of work. Giving where we can to support people in whatever negative situation they’re in is also of the highest importance.
We're so grateful to have you in our Smash + Tess community! Where can readers go to learn more about you online?
Kay : Unlike my soon-to-be superstar partner, I’m more BTS so Instagram is the best place to follow our antics and of course listen to our new podcast when it comes out!!
Nahli: My Instagram is @nahlimusic, and I have a separate one for my paintings - @nahlithepainter. I’m also on Youtube and Spotify. Thank you so much Smash + Tess for giving us this space to speak and share our love and support! We are obsessed with crystals and love our patches—they are all over our home!
Thank you to Kay & Nahli for sharing their story with us! If you want to honour Pride Month and give back to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, pick up a limited-edition patch today: LINK TO PATCHES. A portion of the proceeds will be going to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Rainbow Railroad.