#BRUTalk: Meet #BRU x Punkdemic: Amazon and Jonny T

PRESS RELEASE: Washington, D.C./Los Angeles
Nicole Kali,
3-12-23, 6:39 PM

Black Rockers United is thrilled to share the coolest news since Militia Vox in Rock of Ages: we have a collaboration with L.A. company Punkdemic!  Nate Oakley, #BRU's founder in Houston, just received his gear. Nicole Kali (me) got theirs on February 10th-mid BHM. We are proud of this movement and being ambassadors for a label by us, for us.

Rock has been part of our lives from a young age. "I'd been listening to it like, off and on. I was more into hip-hop than rock," Nate shared in his spotlight interview. "And then I switched back and forth.

But at the same time, I had people who taught me like rock 'n roll, I was teaching myself. You know, I did a lot of research. I read a lot. And I started collecting Black rock DVD's."

He's also been a percussionist. "I used to be in a punk band when I was 18 years old! And I played the drums."

Nicole Kali gravitates toward the drums and vocals, African much as American. "Miriam Makeba, Prince to Soundgarden, Jimi Hendrix, Rosetta Tharpe, Mos Def," I describe my musical taste.

"Everyone before, the drum and ngoni masters right on down to Memphis Minnie (the original When The Levees Break), Death, Bad Brains and Poly Styrene." (x) Half metal model/musicologist.

So it's time to meet the trailblazing rock-her Amazon and her business partner MC Jonny T, "embracing our differences, breaking down barriers, bringing people together."

NK: Hello there, Punkdemic team! How are you?

Amazon: Hey good morning beautiful! I’m doing great this morning, just multitasking per usual. Jonny and I are just really excited about our plans for the future of Punkdemic.

@punkdemic #hoodie #hoodieseason #pullover #punkdemic #streetwear #skategear #urbanwear #smallbusiness #fashion ♬ Come Here Come Here Com Here - SNC

NK: When did the Punkdemic idea originally come to you?

Amazon: So the Punkdemic idea came to me during the pandemic. All of the venues were shut down here in so-cal, and there were little to no places to get that need for some loud, live music out of your system.

NK: Since we were locked down, was that part of the punk ethos, do it yourself?

Amazon: I noticed that stress levels were high, and folks were feeling the effects of not being able to socialize at a good ole fashioned show and take out some of those aggressions in the pit. It truly was a Punkdemic.

NK: How did you choose these amazing designs and meet your teammate Jonny T?

Amazon: So Punkdemic has developed into a creative outlet for me, but also a way for me to reach out to people who I might not normally be in touch with.

It is still a work in progress, but I’d love for it to be a representation of who I am, and also who we are(black folks) as a whole. I love all different kinds of music, I love all different sorts of people, and I refuse to be put in a box.

I can like what I want, listen to what I want, and be who I want. We all can. So the designs represent that for me.

Jonny T, did you know from the jump that Punkdemic was something special? Amazon must be cool to work with.

Jonny T: I knew there was a uniqueness associated with the intended demographic. Even more unique was this sort of brand headed by a woman of color. The Punkdemic brand and experience is unlike anything I've associated myself with professionally.

Shalana's vision coupled with the calculated steps that continue to be implemented to push the brand and messaging forward is nothing short of extraordinary. I'm very excited for what lies ahead for Punkdemic and our community as a whole.

NK: We remember when this project first crossed our radar. How long have you been in the rock scene and #BRU?

Amazon: Gosh, I’ve been involved in the music scene for many years(I’m older than I look). Rock music and old school funk was what I was raised on. Then one day I stumbled into my first back yard show in my home town…and the rest was history. lol!!!

My first memorable show was when I was about 14 ish and it was Bikini Kill. I saw all of these badass women running around the show, freely being themselves and just flat out kicking ass. (Laughing) I said “yes! I am home!” and the love affair for the scene was truly born.

The name Amazon came to pass because of my height (which is how I got into lots of shows I had no business in lol!!) and also because of my “attitude” there were very few women in the scene at the time that looked like me, and eventually I learned to embrace the name and absolutely love it.

NK: How can the world keep up with Punkdemic and rock your wear?

Amazon: You can see the newest Punkdemic items at our website ( and of course we also have a Facebook and Instagram page. You can also add/follow me on Instagram!

Thanks so much for your support and all the love you’ve shown Punkdemic. We’ll always be a supporter of the BRU family.


Amazon is an extremely hard-working innovator in fashion and alternative music for over 20 years. Punkdemic culminates a vision for expression that defies stereotypes or oppression. Punkdemic's creator has organized many punk/rock shows throughout her career. Amazon brings the deeper meaning to design. Again, she has an official website: Punkdemic, an awesome partner in MC Jonny T and an iconic future!


"MC Jonny T has an official discography that dates back to 2004. He released Square One independently during an era where label deals were still the ultimate goal for rappers...over the years, MC Jonny T has recorded & released songs with Island Def Jam Digital Distribution, Bungalo Records, Universal Music Group, Ingrooves, and Sonorous Records.

He is the co-owner of Rino Media Group (label), JTLR Music (production company) and apparel brands Team Thickies and Punkdemic. MC Jonny T represents greatness through an Adult Contemporary Hip-Hop style. His musical presentation reflects meaningful lyricism, and he is very intentional about his choice of words, eloquence in writing, and recording music."




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