Are you interested in entertainment? What about music, movies, and celebrity news? Then you need to be tuning in to the Ks of KBrand podcast.
I sat down with Kim A and Kanyika to discuss their podcast and a little about their journey in media and entertainment.
One-half of Ks of KBrand is Kimberly Redmond. She goes by Kim A, is from Chicago, IL, and attended both Triton College and the Illinois Center for Broadcasting (now Illinois Media School). She is also the founder of the entertainment blog, KBrand University, which made its debut back in 2014.
Kanyika Siame is the other half of Ks of KBrand. She also hails from Chicago, IL, and attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. After pursuing a career in law, she realized her true passion lies in entertainment and media, which led her to join her cousin Kim A in building KBrand University.
Personally, I was easily able to identify with quite a bit of what these young ladies had to say. Take the time to continue reading as I’m sure many of you will be able to as well.
Ks of KBrand
PGawd: KBrand University is an entertainment blog, but other than entertainment, what is the core message you want your audience to receive?
Kim A: I just want people to feel good…I just want them to go after what they want to do, because I feel like so many people do things to make other people happy; instead of making themselves happy...my thing is “do what you do and be happy”.
P: You attended the Illinois Center for Broadcasting (*now, Illinois Media School), some people don’t have the training or background you’ve received. Do you personally think it is important to attend a media or broadcasting school to pursue this career?
Kim A: I’m on the fence about it. I feel like it’s helpful because of the connections you make with people, and for networking…it helps you in the long run. As far as getting the training...you can teach yourself. If you love being on social media…and you love to write and love entertainment…you can talk about that. You don’t have to go to school for that.
P: How do you guys keep the motivation and passion going? Where does your drive come from?
Kim A: I think it’s in me. It’s just in me. If anybody says that they know me; they know that, the only thing I talk about is movies, music, [and] TV. I know everything about that. It’s in me. I don’t have to go look for it; I don’t have to find the passion for it, because it lies within me. I know that’s my calling. It could take 50 years; I’m still going to do it.
Kanyika: For me I think it’s having a genuine like and love for what it is that we’re doing. That’s one thing, just have passion and really like it because it’s not easy. It’s not glamorous…It’s not as fun to be at a concert when you’re there to cover it, versus when you’re there to have fun. When I do feel like we’re hitting a wall, I just remember the vision, and push forward, even when you’re in the thick of it.
P: With all of that being said, do you ever get annoyed if someone asks what your “plan B” is? What if this doesn’t work out?
Kim A: My “plan B” is a way to make my “plan A” work. I’m just going to find a different way. If you go about it the same way you’re going to get the same results. They can ask all they want, (laughing) but it’s going to be the same answer. When you’re passionate about something, you don’t stop.
Kanyika: I lie (laughing), no I’m kidding. I think we’re blessed because we have family that really supports us. My dad is a professor. He wanted me to do something more involving political science, but I had to tell him, it wasn’t going to happen that way…People don’t hop on stuff until its popping. That’s something for people to think about when they’re trying to do something like this. Don’t doubt yourself, it’s not you.
Kim A: Right. Just because you don’t see the support [that] doesn’t mean the right people aren’t watching.
Kanyika: Exactly, it’ll come.
P: What advice do you have for others who are trying to come up in this industry?
Kanyika: Don’t doubt yourself. Keep your eyes on your own plate. Always be A1; always send out your best. Don’t slack, even if everybody around you is. Don’t slack.
Kim A: Know who you are, because you can get lost. If you see somebody else doing something and it’s trending. Just because it’s working for them, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.
P: What would you tell your 18 year old self?
Kanyika: To do what I want to do for myself. I felt a lot of pressure from my parents. I felt like I was living for [other] people.
Kim A: I wish I would’ve started KBrand when I was 18. Stay true to yourself, know who are. Know who your friends are.
Kanyika: That’s another thing I want to say, “you are who you hang around with”. Don’t hang around somebody, who’s not going to push you.
Kim A: …and you can’t be friends with people who want your life.
P: What has been your greatest achievement in the past year for KBrand University/Ks of KBrand?
Kanyika: I think we’re going to say the same thing.
Kim A & Kanyika (in unison): The BMI Awards. (laughing)
Kanyika: We got invited to the BMI Awards the day before it was supposed to happen. We drove the 10 or 11 hours down to Atlanta, slept for 2 hours, got up. Prepped for the red carpet, went to the red carpet, and interviewed a lot of people….We got invited to stay for the show. We stayed for the whole show, went back to the hotel just to check out, and then headed back to Chicago. As soon as we got back I went to work (laughing).
Kim A: It was special for me because I love Toni Braxton. (note: Toni Braxton was being honored at the BMIs.) I prayed about it. I remember filling out media forms “God if it’s meant to be we’re going to cover this.” The next thing you know, the last minute….I saw that email. I said “I have to go.” “Kanyika we have to make a way.” That was definitely an experience.
P: Where do you see Ks of KBrand in the next 5 years?
Kanyika: I see Ks of KBrand having our own radio show; and I see the radio show being really big. I also see us growing the website even more. We’re wishful thinkers; we don’t limit ourselves at all. So I see us having a huge radio [show].
Kim A: I can see that as well. I also see us having live shows in different cities. I also see us having special spots on shows, just to do reviews or something like that, give our opinion. Or even having the podcasts featured on other shows. We have a segment called “Herstory in the Making”. I really want that segment to evolve. It’s getting picked up more…people are gravitating towards it. My initial love was to support women. I wanted to cater to black women.
Kanyika: We want to support black art over all, but especially black women. It’s important because they don’t show us love. I notice that a lot of love that is shown to black women in the media comes from black women. No one else carves out the time to do that for us, and representation is important.
Thanks again to Kanyika and Kim A.! I appreciate you both for stopping through!