Named “Cannabis Empressaria” by Forbes and one of the “35 Most Influential Women in Cannabis” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Zoe Wilder is a public relations professional and business consultant orbiting cannabis, psychedelics, entertainment, music, art, wine and spirits. For over 20 years, Wilder has worked with hundreds of clients across a variety of industries to develop and execute inventive promotional content and campaigns that capture the attention of tastemakers and influencers from around the globe.
Zoe Wilder: Empress Of Cannabis Public Relations
Wilder says she has always wanted to change the world. She’s certainly become a driving force of communications in the cannabis industry, variously deemed a “Woman to Watch,” “Queen of Connections,” “The Cannabis Matchmaker,” and hailed as one of the sector’s most powerful tastemakers. Known for her innovative style and unwavering commitment to equity, representation and justice, Wilder has combined all her cultural passions and expertise to create an ecosystem that amplifies artistic expression with far-reaching social impact.
Zoe Wilder's Liquid Culture: Music, Art And Psychedelics
In Spring 2022, Wilder launched Liquid Culture, a community of artists and creators dedicated to preserving and furthering the psychedelic experience. Liquid Culture already has bona fide hits on their hands through the stylings of Nutritious - “Ket,” “First Trip,” and “Sugar Rush” are genuine bops. Meanwhile the musical project Kukuni, helmed by musician and cannabis cultivator Willy Christie, released its debut album this past autumn with the label, pioneering a true psychedelic sound experience. The eponymous album merges the vocals and writing of Christie with the award-winning production of Tony Buchen and powerful drums of U.S. Jazz Ambassador Robby Sinclair.
More recently, Kukuni and Liquid Culture announced the premiere of the group’s first music video and the band WinePool’s EP release, which will take place at a special night of music at Los Angeles’s Oracle Tavern on May 11th. Free to attendees, the event will feature live performances, including Agua, and Leah O’Connor, director of Kukuni’s video, will sell prints from the project. Donations to the nonprofit Indigenous Action, an anti-colonial collective, will be encouraged and accepted at the door.
Also an ambassador of the restorative justice nonprofit Last Prisoner Project and the acclaimed employment training organization Success Centers, Wilder sat down to speak with Honeysuckle about everything that motivates her to provide the amazing inspiration that she does to creatives across many fields. It’s not easy being a muse - but she makes it look effortless!
Zoe Wilder On Her Cannabis Journey, Creative Muses, And Cool Projects
HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: I’ve seen you called a Renaissance woman before…
ZOE WILDER: Ah yes, esteemed cannabis writer and producer Sharon Letts dubbed me that title in our High Times interview.
So break it down for us!
I’m a publicist. In addition to being a PR and communications professional for some of the most notable celebrities, artists and brands in the business, I’m founder of Liquid Culture, a community of artists and creators dedicated to preserving and furthering the psychedelic experience.
Why did you choose PR?
I was born to support artists, visionaries and innovators who inspire and share their stories with the world.
You have a background in the entertainment industry, right?
My parents are artists and musicians. I grew up dancing from the time I could walk — ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, modern to shadow-dancing on stage at festivals like Camp Bisco. When I moved to NYC after college, I dove headfirst into marketing some of my favorite live music acts, heading up street teams, interviewing bands for various magazines. I’ve modeled over the years, too.
You were the muse for vintage fashion brand People of 2morrow’s Fall Fashion ‘22 campaign! How did that come about?
I met People of 2morrow (PO2M) founder Sybil Domond ~10 years ago at her husband Dan’s Williamsburg club Bembe, where my partner, dj/producer Nutritious, and I threw a weekly dance party called the Brooklyn Shakedown. Those parties were off-the-wall fun. Her PO2M boutique just down the street was one of the hottest fashion destinations in NYC. So when they relocated to LA, we reconnected and were inspired to collaborate. I’ve always been a fan of Sybil’s chic curated selections, and was honored when she suggested I be her muse for her fashion preview to promote PO2M’s Pickwick Vintage shows at Row DTLA. I couldn’t think of a better photographer to capture the autumnal equinox vibe than Emily Eizen.
We love the vibe.
Yeah, me too. Sybil’s styling is awe-inspiring — seafoam green, dried flowers, vintage earrings, ruffles, patterns, knits, funky textures, silver statement pieces, bright greens, sheer browns, silks and leathers. We shot in Malibu…it was a moody early evening at the beach, post-surf sunset, and it was giving grounded and earthy vibrations…perfect for Virgo season. Sybil’s like, “I have this vision of you sitting on a chair in the waves as they crash down around you”….Big transformative energy. The vibe was definitely inspired by Mother Earth.
It’s so impressive how you worked cannabis into this photoshoot. How has the plant inspired your journey over the years?
Awareness for the plant and my interest in advocacy both started when I was a young girl growing up in Atlanta. My mother enjoyed cannabis openly and normalized the plant for me. I grew up in the late 70s and 80s, the height of the War on Drugs. In the mid 90s, I attended 420 rallies in Piedmont Park in Atlanta with friends to show support for the movement. In college, I studied Beat Generation literature and counterculture movements spurred by drugs, experimentation, liberation and spirituality. I’ve researched and written about these themes since my youth.
What sparked your entry into the cannabis industry?
By witnessing firsthand how cannabis can improve the quality of life in people who suffer from health issues…. While working for American Thoracic Society, a nonprofit organization responsible for the publication of some of the first favorable peer-reviewed studies on cannabis and lung health, I earned a master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University. There, I studied harm reduction approaches for substance abuse and quickly became disenamored by the way in which our Western society has a tendency to pathologize and overprescribe — personality traits, phases and cycles in our lives, you name it— without looking at ourselves holistically. Turned off by elements of the allopathic system as I watched patients suffering, repeating the same old patterns, stuck in the same old routines, I was inspired to dedicate my life to finding alternative ways for us all to thrive. That’s where entheogens come in.
Speaking of entheogens, you worked on a cool event called Mycologia last summer, right?
Yes, I’m a founding member of the DoubleBlind Magazine team, and it has always been a goal for us to create opportunities for our community to come together. Mycologia was an intimate music and art festival designed for us to commune under the desert sky, bond with fellow psychonauts, dance, play, swim, stargaze, and engage in dialogue about what’s happening in the world of psychedelics and, simply, exist—together. Liquid Culture and talent management / production company The Burgundy supported on booking talent for the weekend, and I was excited to host the New York Times to cover the event.
Congratulations on the launch of Liquid Culture! You’ve accomplished so much in the first year.
Thank you! My partner Nutritious and I love collaborating with and supporting artists. As a longtime music fan with deep roots in the industry, it’s fun to bring new music into the world… like the two albums we dropped recently… Kukuni’s eponymous album can be described as psychedelic, indie, experimental art rock with pop sensibilities. Kukuni wrote a bunch of the material during a six month period of self-imposed isolation, then brought in producer Tony Buchen (John Carroll Kirby, Sam Gendel, Smashing Pumpkins) and drummer Robby Sinclair (Chet Faker, Natasha Bedingfield, Linda Perry) to help take the tracks to the next level. The band performs an amazing live show, too. We had a fun launch party at the Goldfish in LA a few months ago.
And Divinity by Nutritious. Each song on the album is dedicated to a specific, unique entheogenic experience with a purpose to highlight that entheogens are more than just healing medicines. They exist to help us “reclaim our connection to the divine — to our cosmic, infinite, supernatural, g-dlike nature.” Everyone is going bananas for “Ket.” It channels the experience of astral travel provided by dissociative anesthetics like its namesake. But truly, the entire album is a beautiful journey.
We work with visual artists as well. Multimedia artist Emily Eizen created the art for our first two releases. Illustrator Andi Astra of SpookyGirl and digital artist Nick Sette created cool content to promote Divinity across social media…some of that content is still rolling out online. Follow @weareliquidculture on IG to check it all out.
What are some major challenges of working in this space?
As an ambassador for Last Prisoner Project, one of our biggest challenges is freeing everyone in prison for cannabis offenses that are now legal in most states. My colleagues and I at LPP are working hard every day to bring awareness to this situation through intervention, advocacy, and awareness campaigns. We’re blessed to have some really passionate people on board like Jim Belushi, Ricky Williams, Montel Williams, Oteil Burbridge, B Real, Anna Symonds, Fab 5 Freddy, Michael Franti, Bill Maher and Jessica Golich to name a few — but we could always use more support, so please reach out to me to get involved or text FREEDOM to 24365 to learn more.
Want to shout anyone out?
Yes! Ms. Angela White — aka Queen of Cannabis aka Equity for Industry Program Manager at Success Centers in the Bay Area. She develops sustainable career and entrepreneurial paths previously less accessible to communities impacted by inequality and the War on Drugs. She’s such a support to the community, and I’m blessed to be on this journey with her.
And so much love for the Dynasty Electrik Crystal Sound Bath experience on YouTube. Every Friday, sound healers/wonderful humans Jennifer Deveau and Seth Misterka combine original soundscapes with crystal singing bowls, nature sounds and vocals that take you on an inner journey. I can’t say enough amazing things about them, and the cosmic healing they’re sharing with the world.
What’s a cool project you’re excited to share?
An all-new season of GROWING BELUSHI, Jim Belushi’s docuseries on cannabis farming in Oregon, returned to Discovery last month — It’s the best season yet!
Do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to share?
The absolute best advice I can give is: always be respectful of people’s precious time and resources. Be relevant. Know what’s truly important.
Liquid Culture celebrates Kukuni's first music video at Oracle Tavern, 1635 N Spring Street in Los Angeles, on Thursday, May 11, 2023. This event is FREE and any donations benefit Indigenous Action.
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