Surround yourself with people that inspire and motivate you. The people that you surround yourself with will have a great impact on your life.
As a part of our series about leaders who are using their social media platform to make a significant social impact, we had the pleasure of interviewing Kris Kollins.
Kris Kollins, a singer-songwriter originally from the Washington DC area and now based in Miami, defies genre classifications with his unique blend of alt r&b, pop, funk, psychedelic, and progressive soul. His upcoming single ‘U’ is a soulful and funky pop track that pays tribute to his 1980s influences, while also celebrating the intrinsic value of every person beyond superficial markers such as gender, ethnicity, religion, material possessions, and finances.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My great-grandmother had this piano in her dining room. I was always enamored by it. I remember being a little kid and watching Alicia Keys’s Fallin’ music video and saying I want to be just like her. So, I asked my great-grandmother if she would teach me. She sat me down and introduced me to some of the basics, and ever since that day, I would always sit behind that piano and teach myself by ear and reading, and from there, I became obsessed with music.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
Well, there have been so many, from performing overseas to working with amazing creatives and creating my first batch of songs. Recently, I had the privilege of performing at two Bigo Live Gala events, one in Singapore and the other in London. Social media and Bigo Live, specifically as a broadcasting platform, have been valuable in creating past, present, and future opportunities. I’m excited to keep connecting with my community and fans through this.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’ve been streaming on Bigo Live, and I’ve met so many amazing supporters there. I’ll put it this way: When you’re in a queue to perform in a talent show, ensure you’re fully prepared. In one of the first talents shows I entered, I decided to join and play my piano which hadn’t been tuned in about seven years. So, my voice clashed with the actual chords from the piano and the judges clowned me so hard, but I came back the following week with everything together and a better setup. I received a standing ovation. Perfection is something that’s impossible to obtain, but you can always give your best and never shortchange yourself.
You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Well, two things. One, you must stick with it. All the most successful people I know became successful by what seems like irrational determination. They didn’t stop to think about the dollars per hour they were making following their passion because it was their passion so, eventually, they had a good living and, after that, some of them became well-known legends. But it always starts with a struggle. If you’re worried about failure, this probably isn’t for you because you’ll fail yourself and others many times before this works well for you. It’s like fishing, except it takes longer, and the rewards come over time. You have to be very patient and relentless.
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?
Well, I think we all know how the Internet can get mean-spirited with many negativities out there. When we unite around music, it brings people together in their thoughts and feelings, breaking down many of the borders we make for ourselves. Bigo Live has been instrumental in bringing people together and creating a supportive and positive community around my music. I am incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from various groups on Bigo Live, who have helped me realize my dream of sharing my music with others.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
We’ve all fallen victim to bullying at some point and time in our lives, and I think most have been affected by it, or certainly know someone that has.
Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?
I do what I love because it’s who I am at the core. The fact that my music has touched people’s lives in a way that I didn’t know was possible is very meaningful to me. I hope that through my music and my live streams, I can continue connecting with people and the culture. Livestreaming is especially helpful for musicians and artists to build their brands, reach a wider following, and connect with audiences in real-time. It has allowed me to showcase my talents, connect with my fans, and build a community. Livestreaming has played an important role in helping musicians and artists to reach a wider audience and build their brand.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
If each of us took the time to think before acting or speaking, put ourselves in the shoes of others, and deal with our pain rather than projecting it onto others, it would make a significant difference.
Social media can be used as a force for good or evil, and social media affects our thoughts and feelings far more than we even realize. Often, the viral content is embarrassing or humiliating for the subject of that content. I’m very conscious of this when I create my content, and I want to create and share a space where you can feel at ease. Breathe. Be comfortable within your skin, especially for minority groups who often are overlooked.
What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?
Change is a process I constantly remind myself that people who hurt people are hurting themselves, and I commit not to continue that cycle. If someone says negative things to me, I don’t turn around and do the same. Instead, I plant a seed and offer a different, more positive perspective or response. Change starts with planting a seed.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t allow anyone to tell you what your creativity should look like. Your creativity is the greatest asset that you possess.
- Surround yourself with people that inspire and motivate you. The people that you surround yourself with will have a great impact on your life.
- Not every day is going to be the best day, but if you can find one thing every day that brings you some happiness, you are ahead of many people.
- You don’t have to be who you think people want you to be. It’s being yourself that will set you apart from everyone else. Embrace individuality.
- Today is the best day to start following your passion!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would absolutely want to inspire a movement of self-acceptance. Many of us try to conform to society or cover up what really makes us different from the world because we view it as negative. It’s that uniqueness that sets you apart. It’s that same uniqueness that will eventually provide a path toward happiness and success and, in return, inspire others to embrace their differences. Happiness only starts within. It’s a lifelong process, but when you’re gentle with yourself, you see how that can change the world.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a power lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I’d love to have a power lunch with Timbaland. He’s a visionary, a legend, and one of the GOATS. I want to learn from the best.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can find my songs by searching Kris Kollins on all streaming platforms, and you can find me on all social media platforms as ikriskollins.
This was very meaningful. Thank you so much!
Social Media Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Kris Kollins Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.