Joshua Echols, 24, is chief financial officer of Vibestreet Photography and Recording Studios, a rental space near Five Points South that opened this year and hosts a broad range of photo shoots, videography, art shows, meetings, and even served as a site for a local reality show. He recently spoke to the Birmingham Times about the multipurpose location for creatives in the Magic City.
Birmingham Times: What do you like most about Birmingham?
Echols: I like the accessibility Birmingham provides to different areas. I’ve lived in different parts of the city throughout different phases of my young life: Collegeville through elementary school; South Roebuck through middle and high school, and recently Hoover. Living in each of these neighborhoods for some time, I was able to learn a lot of back roads.
If you had someone visit from out of town, what’s the one place you have to take them?
Probably fishing at one of the lakes in or near Birmingham. Fishing is something I recently took up, and I find that some of the lakes provide great views and are relaxing for me. My favorite lake that I have fished at is probably Lake Purdy.
What’s your favorite movie?
Either of the “John Wick” series; I wasn’t much of a movie person until the first one came out. The first “John Wick” had a really good story line: the dude went crazy about someone killing his dog. I’m a guy who watches a movie, and if I’m not interested in the first five minutes, I’m just not going to watch it. “John Wick” started off with action, a man killing people for a dog. I have to respect him.
Who’s your favorite musical artist?
Ask anyone this question about me and they would say Gucci Mane. I’ve been supporting this brother since “Bird Flu Part 2.” At one point in time in my life, I have been listening to this brother speak facts exclusively, but I have recently expanded the artists I listen to.
What’s a food dish you can never get tired of?
Any dish with salmon. I could literally eat salmon all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I think my love of salmon came from the salmon patties my mom used to make for breakfast when I was younger.
What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?
Professionally, I am most passionate about software development. Currently, I am working specifically with web-development technologies but looking to expand to other disciplines soon. Personally, I’m most passionate about making the most sensible financial decisions now so I’m able to work less in the near future.
Who is someone you admire, and why?
Probably not a good answer to the question, but I currently don’t have anyone I admire. Personally, for me, I try to acknowledge what others have done for their own success and the success of the community, but I can’t say I take inspiration from what anyone has done. In short, I like to pave my own way in life.
What are three pet peeves?
Chewing with your mouth open. That’s just so disrespectful. No one wants to hear you smack; that’s, like, unnecessary sound. You can chew with your mouth closed. Squeezing the middle of the toothpaste tube. You’ll miss toothpaste trying to squeeze the middle of the toothpaste tube. Why not start at the bottom and work your way up? Talking to me while I’m playing video games. Don’t talk to me while I’m playing games—I’m in the zone. Usually, when I’m playing games it’s been a long day at work. After a long day at work, I don’t talk to anybody, so I come home, and I play games. And if I have my surround-sound headphones on, do not try to get my attention. It’s not that important. Nothing is more important than my games when I’ve had a long day.
How do you want to be remembered?
I’d want people to remember me as someone who always tried to make others smile. I’m a very social person, mostly asking strangers how their day is going. Anyone I come in contact with, I try to put a smile on their face because you never know what someone is going through.
What do you want to do before you die?
Spear fishing. I watched shows like the “Survivor” series growing up and always thought it was pretty interesting that people could be stranded on an island surrounded by an ocean and still provide food with little tools. I currently go fishing often but have yet to actually get in the water and see what the ocean has to offer.
What publications or websites do you regularly read?
Currently, I don’t have any reading material. I often visit The Verge and TechCrunch [websites]; both kind of give updates on things that relate to technology. I also have Bing set as my homepage, as it gives updates on events that have recently happened.
What would be your personal motto?
“Make it happen, Captain!” I believe that no one can put a ceiling on your personal goals and aspirations—and for that reason I say, “By all means, achieve everything you set out to do! And let no person or thing stand in your way.”
Compiled by Ameera Steward, the Birmingham Times.