Nigerian-born Folasade Adeoso is the type of creative entrepreneur who’s hard to define.
The artist and digital designer is also a partner in the Pan-African restaurant Teranga (located inside Harlem’s Africa Center), but you might also recognize her from the Glossier campaign for Perfecting Skin Tint + Stretch Concealer. With her restaurant Teranga in full swing, we found a quick moment to chat with Folasade about her love for biking in New York City, why Kid Cudi motivates her, and what it means to have a life goal of maintaining your body.
I’m definitely a morning person. Although, there are days when I wake up and I’m grumpy so I go back to bed. Of course, there are other days when Noah, my boyfriend, makes me turmeric, lemon, and hot water. That’s how I like to start my day, followed by oatmeal, bananas, and maple syrup.
I want to get better about working out in the morning. In the summer, when the days are longer, I might exercise later in the day, but, in general, I like to do it in the morning so I can get it out of the way. When I work out in the morning, I feel strong, like nothing can ruin my day. Oh, and in the morning, I need it to be high intensity — like cycling or boxing. If I can get a high intensity work out completed in the morning, then I’m on an endorphin high for the rest of the day.
Every morning gives me another chance at this shit. Another chance at life gives me energy. Some days it doesn’t click in right away, but when that moment dawns on me, I’m like, “Wow.”
Music is a must when I’m working out. For me, it’s Kid Cudi. I’m obsessed. When I go for a run and he’s singing and rapping in my ears, it’s like a meditation! I really feel his music and his vibe and it really motivates me to push myself through any mental roadblocks. I can often get stuck in my mind, and when I’m working out with music, specifically with Kid Cudi’s music, I find it easier to break out of my own head. His music helps me push through that.
I also listen to Azealia Banks when I work out. She’s gangsta as fuck! Like “212”, “Fierce”…those songs just energize me. I feel like I’m dancing and running at the same time when I’m listening to Azealia Banks. I’m running, hands up, making gunshots in the air! I don’t care who’s around me. I’m living in Manhattan right now, and there are no black women just running leisurely through Manhattan, so when I’m running to Azealia people are looking at me like, “What the fuck?!” I’ll run a circle up to East 60th, then down to West 60th, a big circle, and people are looking at me like, “Where is this black girl coming from?!” I’m hyped. Whenever there is a stoplight and the music is just right, I dance. I’m pumped. I’m just having so much fun, and it’s all because of the music I’m listening to.
WHEN I GO FOR A RUN AND [KID CUDI’S] SINGING AND RAPPING IN MY EARS, IT’S LIKE A MEDITATION!
I have a life goal of maintaining my body. My body is doing a lot of horse work — it’s a horse, it’s doing all the horsepower, and you have to fuel it with good things all the time, because the moment you stop doing that it will stop functioning, so my fitness goal is a life goal of just maintaining my health. Stretching. Slowing down. Just staying in touch with my body.
Resting doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything, it just means I’m doing low-intensity stuff. I like to clear my mind, go for a walk. I stretch and feel the aches and think about what I want to work on. I ask myself, “Okay, what feels tight? What do I need to work on?”
STRETCHING. SLOWING DOWN. JUST STAYING IN TOUCH WITH MY BODY.
I love to dance. I’m not a professional but I love to dance. For me, that’s another form of exercise. If I go out dancing, I’m dancing my heart out. My heart rate is up, I’m pumping, I get to move around and not give a fuck if anyone vibes with me or not, because I’m still gonna dance! Music and movement are super important to me — whether I’m running, dancing, riding my bike, whatever, I’m always moving. It’s a form of expression for me, it’s like my natural habitat.
If I’m just riding a bike, and not building up a high sweat, it’s okay. I just want to know that my body is functioning so I’m good with a mild sweat. But when I’m doing high intensity sports, I love to sweat. I’m bald right now, so when sweat comes dripping down my head, it’s serious! And I love that feeling because I’m like, “Damn I worked hard!” Sometimes it looks like someone poured a whole bottle of water on my head!
When it’s warm I’ll ride my bike every day, for miles and miles. I don’t take the train anymore if I don’t have to. I really like cycling along the West Side Highway. It goes all the way through The Cloisters, it’s a safe bike path to ride all the way uptown. It’s beautiful on the water too. Sometimes I have to pull over and just take a moment to breathe because it’s so beautiful. Or take a picture of a bird. It’s one of the most beautiful spaces in New York City.
Noah, my boyfriend, keeps me accountable. He is an amazing person when it comes to staying active. He’s always stretching because he’s 6’9″. He’s always bent over, trying to get through doors. When I see him stretch, it’s just a reminder that I need to as well. He also eats so healthy. When we first started dating, it was hard because I always wanted a burger and fries and now he holds me accountable and makes me second guess it. I’ll turn to a burger and fries for emotional satisfaction, not as fuel for my body, not for energy. Those little reminders help me a lot. At first, I was like, “who are you to tell me what to eat?” But then I’m like, “wait, why am I eating this shit?” Having a partner who is really leading by example, and not telling me what to do, helps a lot.
Having a partner who is really leading by example, and not telling me what to do, helps a lot.
Connect with Folasade and check out her art on Instagram @Folasade and @ArtbyFola. If you’re ever in Harlem looking for a bite to eat, Teranga‘s offers African comfort food in both vegetarian and meat-based options.
Video & Photo by Mekdela Maskal