Meet married couple Gregory and Kelly - Gregory is the CEO and owner of The.Wav and Co Founder of AfroHaus. He was born in Tanzania and moved to the United States when he was a child. Kelly is also a Co Founder of The.Wav and AfroHaus. She is originally from Washington DC, and was raised in Connecticut.
How/When did you meet?
K: We met in 2012 in New York City through mutual friends. Greg initially asked me to be his manager. I had never managed anyone before and was working in fashion but I believed in his talent so much, I told him I was committed to learning as much as I could and would be honored to embark on this journey with him.
G: We met while I was working as an indie producer in NYC. She was always helping people and working on her business so I thought she was too busy to work with me. Then one day I asked her to be my manager and she agreed. That's when we started to get closer.
How did you know you had found “the one”?
K: It is such a hard feeling to describe but if I were to try, it’s that he felt like home. I knew that life with him would become the greatest adventure of my life with unexpected twists and turns. I’ve been obsessed with music my whole life and hearing him sing and watching him create was something that spoke to my soul and I knew I wanted to be around him for the rest of my life. As amazing as he is creatively, he has always pushed me to believe in myself and create without fear.
G: I knew I found the one because I just felt like we were a family very early on. I feel like I've known her for my whole life. Because of that I realized that she was my soulmate.
How did the proposal go?
K: We were performing at our first Afrohaus in San Francisco and in the middle of one of our songs, Proposition, right before my verse, he stopped the song and got on one knee! I was SHOCKED and could barely speak and he didn’t hear me say yes at first lol! We were in SF for a press run with Airbnb so there were tons of Airbnb executives in the audience who hadn’t seen us before or been to an Afrohaus show. I was so excited that we were almost done with a successful press run and we had pulled off a sold out Afrohaus show in a new city, I couldn’t even process what was going on! Lol
G: The Proposal was something I had planned for months. I remember freaking out because I thought that I might lose my chance with her. Time was passing by and I didn’t have everything together financially but I prayed and literally begged the most High to allow me to fulfill my plans. God definitely looked out and threw me a couple bands to help me pull it off.
When we got to SF I let my team know how to get in position for the grand proposal. It was lit.
What kind of challenges, if any, have you had to face, and how did that impact the way you love?
K: The first 6 years of our relationship we worked together and we were building two businesses together. Because I started as his manager, before we started dating, we never figured out a healthy way to separate our business from our relationship. It all kind of got mixed together for better sometimes and other times for worse. It wasn’t until last year that we really started developing the tools to separate the two. We started couples therapy and it’s been so amazing for me because I gain so much insight hearing him speak about his experiences and feelings to someone who is completely objective. Other than that, we come from two completely different backgrounds - I am Black American and he is African. Our families and our upbringings are completely different. Through the years, we constantly are learning about our different cultures and how to bring them together so both of us and our families feel represented and honored.
G: I’m African mixed with white American. It was hard for her to understand me because I really didn’t understand myself. She’s a few years older than me so i had a lot of maturing and development to do before we really got in sync. Our families had to learn how to communicate and plan a whole wedding. My family dynamics are really different and she worked really hard to navigate everything with us.
What does the term "Black Love" mean to you? How does it affect how you relate to your partner?
K: Black love means not giving up. It is hard to be Black in this World but to experience true Black love has been incredibly beautiful and rewarding in the easy and fun moments of life. It has been super important for me to recognize that we are both Black people having experiences in a World that can oftentimes be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually difficult. It is next to impossible for those hardships and the effects of them to not carry over into our relationship in some kind of way. So for me, Black love is recognizing that, doing the work, keeping God first in our relationship, having patience, practicing detachment, showing compassion, forgiveness and never giving up on our love.
G: Black Love to me means focusing on our specific type of love. Remaining conscious of our destiny as Black people and shifting the narrative in a way that allows our people to flourish and grow. Black Love is shea butter, and AfroPrint clothing on the way to a packed venue. Black Love is the tenderness and sensitivity shown towards each other. Black Love is the conscious healing from the wounds of our ancestors. Black Love is what AfroHaus is all about.