Aminatou Sow

Aminatou Sow (Photo: Travis Jensen)

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Welcome to KQED Arts’ Women to Watch, a series celebrating 20 local women artists, creatives and makers who are pushing boundaries in 2016. Driven by passion for their own disciplines, from photography to comedy and every other medium in between, these women are true vanguards paving the way in their respective communities.

As one-half of the popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in tech, part-time San Franciscan Aminatou Sow is nothing short of a digital powerhouse. When she’s not talking all things pop culture, politics and feminism with “long-distance bestie” Ann Friedman, she’s developing digital strategies for Google – and making time to see Beyonce in concert sometime in between.

Listen to her reflect on San Francisco, Adnan Syed and the wage gap with the sparkling group at The Cooler podcast, then read below to learn more about what makes Aminatou truly #BayBrilliant.


Where do you live?

Castro, SF even though that terrible app Nextdor calls this neighborhood West Dolores. What a terrible and untrue name. 

Describe yourself in one word?

Kara Swisher, who will one day be our mayor, says I’m ebullient so ebullient is it!

What did you do last night?

My boo made me dinner and I made him watch Age of Adeline, a very important romance fantasy film set in San Francisco. Just kidding that movie is terrible but Michiel Huisman is so bae. 

Aminatou Sow
Aminatou Sow (Photo: Travis Jensen)

What can’t you live without?

My friends

If you could travel any where in the world, where would it be?

I’ve never been to the Maldives and am dying to visit.

Who is your personal hero? Why?

Not particularly big on heroes but I’ve been revisiting Audre Lorde’s work and it’s really speaking to me in a deep and personal way. I’ve also been thinking a lot about Shirley Chisholm who essentially made today’s Democratic party possible. We have the first woman nominee of a major party because of her vision, tenacity and courage. Oh also I love Oprah. Everything I do is to make Oprah proud. 

How did you find your creative voice?

It’s an ongoing process but I think that at the heart of it it’s about knowing your value and your worth. If you can walk in your own truth, listen to your own voice and ignore the pressure of other people’s expectations for your life, you will live your fullest, best and most creative life. 

Aminatou Sow
Aminatou Sow (Photo: Travis Jensen)

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I have seen and love every single episode of King of The Hill.

What do you do when you feel uninspired/blocked/etc?

I drop everything and go for a walk.  I’ll also try to call an old friend and catch up with them. There’s just something about being outside, and listening to someone else that really helps.

What’s your greatest achievement and how has it shaped you?

I don’t think I have one yet!

Coffee or Tea? What kind?  

Mint tea.

What does a perfect day look like for you?

Sleeping in, meeting someone new.

Who are your local inspirations?

Gravel& Gold, Bernal Heights, those perfect days in Dolores Park, Dominique Crenn.

Aminatou Sow
Aminatou Sow (Photo: Travis Jensen)

Favorite meal?

Zuni roast chicken+bread salad.

What upcoming show are you excited about?

Seeing Beyonce AGAIN in September.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Making funnier and more thoughtful things.

If you could live in a book, TV show, movie, play, song or painting what would it be?

I’m the girlfriend Drake fights with in “Child’s Play,” the one that takes his Bugatti to go buy tampons at CVS. God bless that woman wherever she is. 

Curious about who else made the list? Check out the Women to Watch series page, including photo galleries, interviews, and videos.

Do you know a Bay Area artist who is doing amazing things? We want to hear from you! Highlight her efforts using #BayBrilliant.

Women to Watch: Aminatou Sow 28 July,2016Creo Noveno