5 Minutes With Kemi Smallz
OluwakemiItariOwatemi, is an OAP at City FM Lagos, popularly known by her radio name KemiSmallz, the ‘radio rat’, is a vibrant woman in her 5 foot frame to be exact. She is in a creative unit called Miscreants Inc. with MTV VJ Ehis and Onos O. KemiSmallz is a social media enthusiast and has a great number of media campaigns and creative shoots under her belt.
What inspired you to becoming a media personality?
I do not have a specific or an exact thing that inspired me to become a media personality, I would say it was a lot of factors. At first it was Wild Child for me at first, I connected with what he does. I started presenting from the age of 7, I used to do Tales Africa, Kiddies Island,and GenerationNext for DAMSA Communications and it used to air on MBI and MITV, and the thrill was in the recognition at school, the traveling and exposure it gave and I lovedhow it felt. I was being me and getting paid to be me, I love my job, and all of these things put together was what gingered me to becoming this media personality.
You are very active on social media and constantly encouraging creativity, what is the drive for you?
I want to do something with a little bit of exposure that I have that would impact other. I want to show people how fun life can be if you can just enjoy the very essence of it. We are living in a world where people do not find happiness in the little things. I feel we have an identity crisis, as Nigerians we want to be other people, we do not want to be themselves or exploring the essence of being themselves and with my social media page I am trying to share with the world the essence of who I am and hoping it makes them do the same. It is a two way street for me as a creative, I want to learn from other creative around the world and also share my art with them.
Your career is on the rise, what do you hope to achieve on your rise to fame?
I have a couple of career goals I want to be able to say I did. I want to impact people, I want people who want to get in to the media business to see that it is possible, you can do it without being another person. I want to explore other option. I want to explore TV, I want to have different types of shows, interview different types of people, and travel to different types of places talk to people there and bring their stories here. Basically, I want to show people that this can be done by just being you and you can do it right. I want to be able to inspire a lot of people on my rise to fame.
Any mentors in the field?
Ryan Seacrest, I feel like I am a part of his story, from interning to presenting, to owning his franchise, toproducing everything on E! The main reason why he is my mentor is because I love radio and even though I want to expand, I still want to keep my essence of being on the radio. Ryan still presents despite all he has, I feel if he can do that then I can as well.
What are your expectations for the media industry in Nigeria?
I see the industry growing to a point where international entertainment brands would come this way to promote their tours, products, services, and what have you. I believe we can do this while promoting Nigerian culture and tradition so my expectations are high for the media industry. I can’t wait to see new people, find new ways to do radio, find ways to do TV. I am excited about what the future is going to bring
Your fashion sense is unique, what would you say is your ‘style’?
My style is a lot of different styles, depending on how I wake up. I grew up with a lot of creativity around me, my dad is an artist so I grew up with a lot of colours and my mum is an interior decorator so there is a lot of art going on my house and I try to put them in my outfit. I like fantasies, Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings and I try out different outfits from different characters. It is bohemian most times, it’s edgy sometimes, its hippy some times. It is a lot of different styles in one person. I wear my outfits, not the other way round.
What is a day like in the life of KemiSmallz?
Quite basic to be honest, I pray, do two episodes of the oldX-Men or Extreme Dinosaurs, something to make me laugh, do my sit ups and squats because I do not want to be small and not have curves. I have a dance routine after that I talk to myself while I get ready, get to the office, I show, I have a great show, and hang out with my colleagues. If I have anything to do that is not radio related, I go home, read or watch something, talk to people I love and sleep.
Name things you cannot live without.
My headphones, I don’t go anywhere without them. Perfume, I just want to smell something sometimes. Coconut oil, I feel like it is an elixir of life. Pepper (atarodo) the hotter, the spicier the better. My movies, they actually educate me.
What has been the peak of your career so far?
It actually came early this year, I won an award for Radio Personality Of the Year of from the MAYA Awards 2016, I was told that I would be winning an award in March as well for Students Choice OAP Of The Year for the Anuca Awards, I also was on the cover of a magazine and now I would be on Guardian Life. It might not seem like a lot, but they make me feel good about myself and where I am headed. It is like a reminder that I am actually doing something right.
Your advice to upcoming creative
Be you!! Be you that is where your creativity comes from, that is the essence of you. Do not change for anyone, constantly feed your soul with stuffs that you love so you can constantly be in that space you draw your creativity from. Try to be a better version of you but still you.
Words you live by.
Happiness is key, make a constant effort to be happy. Try and draw happiness from the little things. Don’t let the little things pass you by.