I’ve known about Ashton Zala for a while now, and he was on my radar. He’s from the UK.
We caught up and did some Q & A about:
- How he started.
- What motivated him.
- Projects Ashton is focused on.
- The future.
And tons more in this exclusive
There aren’t too many platforms shedding light on black
Let’s get started!
Can you introduce yourself to
Anime Motivation’s audience?
I’m Ash Beardguy aka Ashton Zala, the founder of Black
I’m a Jamaican-British Multidisciplinary Digital Creative and I have been enamored with
I also happen to be Autistic.
What motivated you to start Black
Anime Podcasts in the first place?
The desire to start Black
The first and foremost reason I started it, was because I was genuinely exhausted at how monochromatic the English speaking
The second reason, is because in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, I felt that I could be making better use of my talents as a Black Digital Creative, to build community and platforms where the voices of Black Folks who are marginalized within
Did you focus on podcasts specifically because it’s a growing area for black
anime creators? Or something else?
I focused on podcasts because I love them. They are my favourite audio medium; the talk radio of this digital age and I have a voracious appetite when it comes to consuming them.
From its very inception, I had always designed Black
What are some examples of what you’re doing to bring black
anime fans and creators together?
I’m glad you asked this question! So recently I started the Black
In addition to this, I also regularly use the social media channels for Black
Can you talk about your upcoming Twitter space “Anime Diaspora” and your goals for it?
Anime Diaspora will be a fortnightly Twitter Space and Podcast where myself and a range of guests from across the African Diaspora will discuss the various facets of
It will also serve as the official podcast of Black
The idea for
Not only was the engagement through the roof, with hundreds of folks tuning in, they were also safe spaces for us Black Otaku, free from the anti-black micro-aggressions typically thrown around in wider
In addition to this, what really made them unique, aside from the wonderful discourse that emerged from them, was the fact that they managed to capture an audience of Black Otaku from both sides of the Atlantic and other parts of the African Diaspora.
As for what my goals are with
I would like it to become a place where otaku from all parts of the African Diaspora, can not only engage in thought-provoking discourse about their favourite medium, but do so knowing that they will not have to deal with the poisonous anti-blackness that runs rampant in mainstream
What struggles have you had over the years with your projects, and is it getting easier overtime?
The main struggle I have always had with my numerous projects is keeping them organized, putting out content with regularity and growing their presence over the myriad Social Media Platforms that seem to exist in this ever changing digital age.
I am doing rather well by most people’s metrics and Black
What’s the future of Black
Anime Podcasts, and yourself going forward?
The future of Black
In the short term, I would like to focus on getting the podcast directory up to the magic number of 200 podcasts, establish
How do you feel about the Black
Anime space in general as far as creators, fans, and the industry?
At this moment in time, the Black
For example, in the States, you have folks like Worst Generation Podcast & Blanime Podcast joining together to host the Twitter Space, #AnimeAfterDarkCH, which regularly has industry heavyweights, like Zeno Robinson passing through and participating.
Then you have folks like Neysha (@NeyshaPlays) writing scripts for a PBS Documentary focusing on
On this side of the pond, you have the mandem from Anime Freshmen doing live shows at huge conventions like the London MCM Comic Con.
I feel that Black
As like with a lot of other industries, white creators, cosplayers and influencers receive the majority of the attention from brands and corporations, in comparison to Black and even Asian Creators.
anime series of all time?
This list is constantly changing because there is a lot of dope stuff I tend to just end up discovering by accident, however my Top 3 usually stays the same.
- Welcome to the NHK!
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam
- Sk8 The Infinity
- Code Geass
- Darker Than Black
- FMA Brotherhood
- Cowboy Bebop/Samurai Champloo
Anything else you’d like to share?
You can find Black
You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok: @AshBeardguy.
You can find my podcast, Giant Shooty Robots, at https://giantshootyrobots.com and follow us across social media: @GiantShootyRobo on Twitter and @GiantShootyRobots on Instagram and TikTok.
Thank you for taking the time to interview me!