My name is Karla, I am 23 years old and my birthplace is the Congo. I've lived in Toronto for about seventeen years.
FF - What were you doing five years ago?
KM - I was fresh out of high school and I took a year off to tour with Drake. It just started with me being a fan and him not having enough online presence so I took it upon myself to start a fan site. So he asked me to come on tour and I already wanted to take a year off because I didn't want to go straight into University, so I took a year off and just hustled hard that year. It was fun! Going from city to city, it's the same show every night but a different crowd and I was eighteen years old and ready to explore the world and it was a really great experience.
FF - What do you do now?
KM - Now I still design, I still do photography on the side, I work on the Remix Project - I am the Creative Arts Programmer here at Remix, and I also DJ.
FF - Tell us about the Remix Project...
KM - the Remix Project is an amazing arts program funded by the government, there’s three streams: the art of business, creative arts and recording arts, so obviously music, visual art and business. So it’s a 9 month program for at risk youth age 16-23. We only accept 15 students in each stream every year, it starts in February and ends in November. We help them accomplish their goals, get internships and jobs and stuff like that. When you’re here you’re surrounded by likeminded people, it’s not often that you’ll get to meet another creative person that has similar values and morals, so it’s really cool to be in a creative space like that.
FF - How did DJing start for you?
KM - I've always loved music and always tried to think of different platforms to share the music that I love, so I was like hey why not start DJing?! I was surrounded by performing artists and DJs and so I reached out to a friend of mine, DJ Romeo, and working at the Remix Project, we have access to DJ equipment (laughs) so I'd stay after work and learn how to use turntables and the mixer and DJ Romeo put me on to the DJ game. I'm still learning, I need to polish my scratching skills but to get a hang of it it took a month and a half just to know how everything works, but for me to be able to perform and be comfortable with that it took me like three or four months.
FF - What's your goal?
KM - My end goal is to have a creative agency, I would love to be able to have my own creative space and staff to provide marketing and branding services. I want that team to design what we need to do for a client, or come up with a marketing campaign, so I want to have my own Hustlegrl universal empire... Right now Hustlegrl lives on the web and Hustlegrl lives on the streets too, but Hustlegrl needs a home! So I would love to have my own creative space.
FF - If your life was a movie, what would be on its soundtrack?
Destiny's Child - Independent Woman Rick Ross - Hustlin'
Eve - Who's that Girl!
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As told to: Olivia Seally / Photos + Video: Olivia Seally