Cool Friends: Rashad Rastam
March 17, 2023
|Meet Rashad, a podcast host, founder of a creative studio, and a musician (he also designs merch, takes fantastic photos, and wheatpastes posters around the city.) Aptly named, his show, “Wear Many Hats,” is a weekly look into some of the coolest creative multi-taskers around. We caught up with Rashad to hear how he got his hands into so many fields, and how he might have more cool friends than us…|
You have many projects between your podcast, your creative design studio, and your music. How did you come to wear so many hats?
My previous creative director I’ve worked with told me I wore many hats after giving the studio 5-panel hats I designed through my creative studio, Dahsar, as gifts. I went home that day not knowing what that meant, so I googled Wear Many Hats and it said it's an idiom. Then I googled, what's an idiom? Then I thought, am I an idiot? True story. I kept the name Wear Many Hats in my back pocket for a long time but didn’t know what I wanted to do with it.
In Philly, people would say I wore many hats when I had to bounce around from being a menswear buyer to curating art shows so I brought that same energy to NYC. Music was what I always wanted to do, from writing lyrics at a young age and playing guitar, but I never told anyone that. Combination of making hats in the studio at the time and writing music for my band, Smog Cutter, in the same space led me to start a podcast.
Listening to music and talk radio growing up in Philadelphia (from KCRW, WKDU, Y100, Q102, to today's NTS) naturally led me to be curious about the podcast medium as well. The podcast is an exploration of collaboration — featuring friends and creatives all over the world, collaborating on a theme song with my Philly homie Zach Sewall (aka Grave Goods), working with my good friends, Nikko Gary and Christian Schwartz, to create posters, merch, and the feel for the podcast. So, when it came to choosing a name for the podcast, looking at my tendency and the featured people, the name Wear Many Hats (WMH) was perfect.
What’s your favorite part about the New York creative community?
You can be creative in any field you choose! I used to work in service, and all my colleagues I became friends with did something outside of service. I once worked at a bakery with Jane Pain and she told me that after work she was going to interview Genesis P-Orridge (RIP) and take 35mm photos of them. I used to work at a coffee shop with Naoko De Oliveira and now she is one of the best florists in NYC with Kabuki.NY.
As an ice breaker, I used to say I never go above 14th street before everyone said that for real. But, I actually always go above 14th street because that's where I am scouting all the walls that need to be wheatpasted for all commercial art ads, fabrics for clothing, and creative production for Dahsar.
What’s inspiring you right now?
All my friends are killing it. I started writing a list but realized I would leave so many people out. (Although, if you check out the Wear Many Hats podcast, available on all platforms and at wearmanyhats.com, you can see over 100 episodes of people that have been on. ;)) Those and counting are my true inspirations.
People ask how I find people to feature on my podcast. They are people I’ve crossed paths with whether it be online, other podcasts, pop-ups, parties, dinners, friends of friends, word of mouth or my travels.
My best ideas come from baths, going to King Spa, upstate NY, Homecoming Coffee, Innercity Raiders, Commercial Type, matcha, Lichen NYC, and the gym. Okay, so I made a list.
@rashadrastam, @dahsar, @wearmanyhatswmh on Instagram
wearmanyhats.com + rashadrastam.com