Ise Lyfe is an award recording artist, conceptual artist, justice advocate, professor, and product developer from Oakland, CA- now living in Los Angeles. Additionally, he is one of the leading literary artists in America, with a broad fan base stemming from his appearances on several commercial market platforms. Also, his social and political commentary, which exist in the realms of published works, major network guest commentary, and university lecturing are widely viewed and used as educational tools. Born and raised in the socially historic city of Oakland, CA he now creates and works across the country as an advocate for education reform, arts education, and fair housing. He is the youngest recipient of the John George Social Justice Award and his hometown of Oakland, CA dedicated his birthday as “Ise Lyfe Day” in 2012 as one of the highest honors acknowledging civic service. He was 29 years old when he received this honor. In 2017 he collaborated with superstar actress and activist Zendaya to write and produce 'The Bazics", for the Zendaya App featuring bi-weekly news updates geared towards a 14yr – 30yr old demographic. “The Bazics” delivers 4 minute smartphone and social media friendly news updates covering everything from politics and finance to social justice and environmental awareness.
For his latest conceptual art project, Brighter Than Blight (2013), Lyfe transformed a blighted condemned housing project into a life-sized exhibition and artistic narrative on housing as a human right. From its onset, the project was ambitious and massive- but at completion was hailed as not only unprecedented but also as a stellar success!
n 2012 His famed theater production, Prayers (based on book of the same title) premiered at the Tony Award winning Berkeley Repertory Theater and brings together on one stage Spoken Word, American Folk Spirituals, Classical music, Hip-Hop, and Theater to address American apathy and resilience. It is a powerful collage of thought-provoking, socio-political commentary, blended with a glimpse into the author's coming of age as a man, artist, and advocate for social change.
In 2018 Ise Lyfe and Tech Writer @Google and author, Matt Werner- collaborated to write and produce a futuristic political theater drama that uses today's political sphere and media culture to imagine the trajectory of law, politics, and news media in the not so distant future. Set in the year 2047, Agnus grapples with themes of corporatized media, an elite political sphere, advanced technology, prisons, and the governance of public opinion. Premiering to a full house followed by a stellar run Off-Broadway, Agnus starred - winning performing artist Ise Lyfe, Khalil Kain (Juice, Blue Bloods, CSI), Erik Parillo (Pan Am), Rachel King(Wonder Woman: Into the World), comedian H. Foley (Gotham), and powerhouse cast bringing this high-stakes crime drama to life at Theatre Row, Off-Broadway in New York.
In 2011, alongside Dr. Cornel West, Ise Lyfe led a symposium at Princeton University titled: “What Are We Thinking? : Addressing the Commodification of the Death of Black and Brown Communities.” Here, the hyper commercialization of poverty, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and health disparity was covered- partnered with a written and spoken discourse amongst students about long term sustainable solutions to deprivation.
His core teaching focuses on social literacy; exploring how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us, especially as it relates to social justice and community engagement. His work is grounded in a pedagogy that fosters an environment for students to explore the root causes of poverty and apathy, deconstructing popular narratives charged by prejudice and fear. Ise also was a lead proponent in the writing of the charter and strategy map that led to the establishment of a Department of Race and Equity for the City of Oakland, CA. He holds over a decade of experience in every form of educational institution including Ivy League and public universities, public and private schools K-12, mental health facilities, after-school programming, and social work programming. He presents as a guest lecturer and resident at over 50 universities a year. Past residencies, domestic and abroad, include: University of California, Princeton, Yale, University of Ghana (Accra, Ghana West Africa), and University of East Anglia (Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom). Invited by both student groups and department chairs, his engagements draw thousands of students, galvanizing both discourse and student action towards creating safe and thriving environments for personal and communal growth. He is the Executive Director of Lyfe Productives, a highly retained California based product development firm with a client portfolio that includes Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, The National Fair Housing Alliance, University of California Regents, Comedy Central, and Deloitte. Between work and projects Ise serves as a volunteer consultant for non profit orgs and mentoring groups in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Ise Lyfe is simply a unique and powerful asset to the artistic and human rights world.”
- Seattle Weekly