KENAN JUSKA AND RO AGENTS
PHOTOGRAPHED IN BROOKLYN
BY Skye PARROTT
AS THE NEW YORK TIMES WEEKLY CULT COLUMN “MODERN LOVE” VALIDATES EVERY SUNDAY, LOVE COMES (AND GOES) IN MANY FORMS. IT BREAKS DOWN CULTURES, BIASES AND FEARS, AND SIMPLY BREAKS HEARTS. ITS SINGULAR ENDURING, IMMUTABLE TRAIT IS ITS TRANSFORMATIVE POWER: THE WAY IN WHICH ITS ADVENT — IRRESPECTIVE OF DURATION — CONCLUSIVELY CHANGES AN INDIVIDUAL’S PERSPECTIVE AND, CONSEQUENTLY, HIS OR HER LIFE TRAJECTORY, FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE.
Photographer Ro Agents and DJ Kenan Juska (of Chances with Wolves) are an in-the-flesh example of this truth, the “better” side of it, anyway. The creative couple met in a club (“sort of”) and have since gotten married, had twins and evolved their respective careers to new heights — a triumvirate that substantiates just how metamorphic love can be.
WHAT WORD BEST DESCRIBES YOUR CURRENT EMOTIONAL STATE?
IF YOU COULD LIVE ONE MOMENT OF YOUR CHILDHOOD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Kenan: Not really one moment, but that time in life when I was old enough to walk and talk, but I wasn't in school yet. I remember just hanging out with my mom. In my mind, the house was filled with magic-hour sunlight all day.
Ro: My grandmother lived on a canal in Detroit. It used to freeze in the winter and we would ice skate on it. In the summer, I used to fish there with my dad.
WHAT VALUES DO YOU MOST WANT TO PASS ON TO YOUR KIDS?
Kenan and Ro: Wow, so many. We really want them to understand the importance of empathy and valuing other people, but also want them to explore and pursue their own interests passionately. And it would be cool if they skateboard and ride dirt bikes.
A QUOTE YOU LOVE?
Ro: "You're in this world, you know." - Edith Bouvier Beale
A SONG FROM THE FIRST ALBUM YOU OWNED
YOUR FAVORITE PICTURE OF YOUR PARTNER
A PERFECT SONG
A SONG WITHOUT WORDS
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
Kenan: So many books, so hard to choose. I feel like I have books that were favorites at different times in my life, and for very different reasons, depending on when I read them.
Ro: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR MOST ADMIRABLE VIRTUE?
Kenan: I try to be kind to people.
Ro: I'm super loyal.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CURSE WORD?
Ro: I like motherfucker.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Kenan: Finding weirdo beautiful records.
Ro: That I get to take photos for a living. I also get to work with Kenan, which allows us flexibility to spend a ton of time raising our kids.
WHO HAVE BEEN THE GREATEST TEACHERS IN YOUT LIFE?
Kenan: I had a professor in college named John L. Moore. I learned a lot about making art and about myself from him. We are still in touch. Oh, and Ro. She taught me how to be a good (grown-up) man.
Ro: Mary Ellen Mark.
A GREAT LOVE STORY
A RECENT INSTAGRAM POST
A SUMMER NIGHT SONG
Kenan and Ro:
WHAT WOULD YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF THINK OF YOUR LIFE TODAY?
Kenan: I think 20-year-old me might be confused, but I'd explain things to him and he'd get it.
Ro: 20-year-old Ro wouldn't believe that I all I want to do is get the hell out of New York and have a quiet place to work with a backyard.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING THE AGE YOU ARE NOW?
Kenan: I think I trust myself more than I used to.
Ro: I'm not sure I think about age like that. I actually have a problem understanding what age I am.
WHAT DO YOU STILL LOVE ABOUT NEW YORK?
Kenan: I like that there are certain spaces you can go into that feel pretty much the same as they did when I was a kid. They are mostly common places — pizzerias, bodegas, delis, a handful or restaurants — that still feel like New York to me. Also I get my haircut at Astor Place, which is basically frozen in time.
Ro: Can I say my friends?
A MEAL THAT REMINDS YOU OF A VACATION?
Kenan: Al Pastor Tacos, Queso Fundido and Victoria Beer.
Ro: Caribbean crabcakes.
A PERFECTLY COOL MALE CHARACTER
Kenan & Ro:
A NEW YORK MOMENT
A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR PARTNER
A ROAD TRIP SONG
Any Chances with Wolves episode
WHAT IS THE BEST RISK YOU'VE EVER TAKEN?
Kenan: I'm running the NYC Marathon for the first time in November. Kinda risky?
Ro: Moving to New York.
WHAT IS THE WORST RISK YOU'VE EVER TAKEN?
Kenan and Ro: Almost opening a bar in New York City. Nightmare.
HOW DID YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MEET?
Kenan and Ro: We met in the club (sort of).
WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICED ABOUT YOUR PARTNER?
Kenan: So pretty! Her hair and her lips and her overall good style. I thought she was way cooler than me.
Ro: He seemed a little dismissive of me.
A MOMENT IN THE FIRST MOVIE THAT YOU SAW WITH YOUR PARTNER
Kenan and Ro:
A SONG THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR PARENTS
A PICTURE OF WHERE YOU GREW UP
WHAT WORD WOULD YOUR PARTNER USE TO DESCRIBE YOU?
Kenan: Kind (and frustrating).
HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MOST DIFFERENT?
Kenan: I think I tend to be a little casual about things that are actually really important.
BIGGIE OR TUPAC?
Kenan: Biggie (duh).
Ro: Gram Parsons?
SOPRANOS OR THE WIRE?
Kenan and Ro: The Wire.
WOULD YOU RATHER NEVER PLAY OR PLAY BUT ALWAYS LOSE?
Ro: I'm not scared. Play.
A PICTURE OF A PLACE YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE YOUR PARTNER
A '90s HIP HOP SONG