"My name is George, I'm from Worcester, & I take pictures"
Those were the first words uttered to me by George Annan, better known as 'KoolAidGeorge' when we sat down to talk about work. "I don't say I'm a photographer; I just take pictures" he mentioned, which lead to my questioning how he started down this path:
"Back in 2012, I wasn't taking pics. My friends did it, so I started. We used to go down to the McDonalds'' parking lot & take portraits wondering if we could be on Hypebeast or something"
& now eight years later, George finds himself behind (& in front of) the lens for some of the most influential companies in the world. In 2020 alone, he has become one of the global faces of Converse's AllStar Campaign & photographed the F/W release for Bodega. Of these opportunities, George says "I was always a fan, & the fact that I got to shoot both in Worcester meant a lot to me. I love being able to put on for the city".
2020 also brought about George's work with Side Note Programs, a project that is the part agency, production studio, & creative space. A collaborative initiative between George, Nelson Artavia, Fernando Ponce, & Emanuel Pastor, Side Note Programs provided an avenue for George to work on collaborative video, sharpen his videography work & grow organically with his friends & fellow Worcester State alum.
One of Worcester's biggest cheerleaders, George always expresses his love & affinity for his hometown, stating "the city has allowed me to grow & find myself. My friend group is diverse, eclectic, & made me who I am"
Of course, we couldn't end the interview without the question everyone wanted to know - How'd he get the name 'KoolAidGeorge'? "I love KoolAid, so that was it! I thought it was a simple & funny name & didn't think I'd still be on Instagram so I just picked a name." (For that wondering blue raspberry lemonade is his favorite flavor)
Speed round with KoolAid George:
Che: What is the last good meal I ate, & where from?
George: I had house special fried rice from Dalat, it was good. But bro the first time I had lobster was like a Jimmy Neutron brain blast. Che: Who’s someone that’s pushing/ inspiring you right now?
George: The homies...Casket, Kendrick, Mansa K. I feel like seeing them doing stuff gives me fire. The support system helps us grow
Che: If you created a mixtape featuring five artists, who would be on it?
George: Chief Keef, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboy Carti, Young Nudy, & Future. The whole project produced by Pi'erre Bourne. Chief Keef's Faneto is my favorite track. No matter what mood I'm in, I'm looking for my people, I'm dancing, I'm starting a mosh pit, All that!
Che: If you woke up tomorrow as a fictional character, or with any superpower; who or what would it be?
George: Static Shock, he was mad cool. I also fuck with Spider-man (Miles Morales), but I'm not a fan of his shoes
Che: What's your dream/ unicorn project?
George: I really want to shoot for Nike soccer. I remember seeing ads as a kid & my parents are Ghanian so that be crazy. I want to do something with Tim Weah or CR7 (Cristiano Ronaldo)
Che: Anything exciting you want the people to know? George: Nah, I'm just surviving & maintaining, but stay tuned. Shout to Side Note Programs & the homies back home!
Contact the legend KoolAidGeorge at @koolaidgeorge on Instagram & Twitter