Interview with Jose Garcia (@sneakerb0ss)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

Ever since I was a little boy in Brooklyn, NYC I grew up around neighborhood influencers who always had all the hype gear and the best or more rarest shoes available. I grew a passion for sneakers at a very young age. My family was poor and my mother did not have the extra funds to spend on Jordan’s for me. My dad left us at a very young age and my mother had 3 children to take care of on her own so it was very hard for me to get shoes that I wanted. As I grew older and got a job I started saving money weekly so that I could buy my first pair of Jays. In 2008 I got my first pair finally.. a pair of Jordan 8 Aquas! This shoe is by far my favorite because of how comfy they are plus it was my first accomplishment in getting a hype shoe.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

The best part about this is, I started meeting new people and others that have struggled just like me to get these hard to get shoes. Most of us ended up creating a network for each other. When I need a pair that I cannot get but it’s a must cop for me I get in touch with my group for assistance. I have also linked up with MLB players and high rollers from Miami that show support to my business and what I do.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

I never gave up, no one should ever give in. Always keep fighting for what is yours and for what you don’t have. I always stay humble but also hungry at the same time. I want to be the best at what I do and I will continue by providing excellent services to my current clients and future ones.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I am grateful to be friends with Elvin Moreno most people know him as DJ Nano or @nanothedj on Instagram. He helped me stay focused and hyped at the same time. Also exposed me to other influencers. He shows nothing but love and support and always helps guide me in the right direction.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I started my online business about a year ago. I have helped donate to those in families in need. I have been part of local events to give back to the kids with school supplies last school season. I always give back to the community.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

I have learned that by helping others you earn friends. Now a day it’s very important for who you know not what you know. I try to help as many people that come across my path. You just never know what may happen in the future.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

I have two Instagram pages “@sneakerb0ss”, “@snkrx.us” twitter: “@SnkrSpply”.

Jose Garcia (@sneakerb0ss)

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As a child, one grows up to have multiple desires for different stuff. Some have an immense love for cars, a few are crazy about clothing, however, a very rare number of people are passionate about shoes. For normal people, shoes are a part of daily wear, worn to protect human feet. But on the other hand, for people who are into buying shoes, it acts as more than just a layer of protection beneath your feet. For them, it is more about style, fashion, and hype.

Jose Garcia, born in Brooklyn, New York City, is someone who possessed a passion for sneakers ever since he could remember. As a little boy, he would be highly impressed by the guys who lived in his neighborhood. A few out of them happened to be influencers who had a collection for the most unique kind of shoes and it is what made Jose, the young boy then, want some for himself. Belonging to a poor family, Jose had little money to spend on luxury items such as shoes. His father passed away when Jose was very young, so his mother alone had to look after her children. Jose had 2 more siblings and all the expenses were bored by his mother at that time so it got even more challenging to put up demand like that before her.

Facing a crisis, Jose managed to step out of it after he got offered a job. He saved money every week so he could spend some extra pounds for himself. It was 2008 when Jose got his hands on the first pair of “Jordan 8 Aquas”, a brand of basketball shoes and the feeling of achievement embarked inside him quickly. It was that moment when Jose decided to start a venture based on shoes. This way he could work passionately and earn a handsome amount of money for a living.

Soon Jose started an online business solely for the selling of branded shoes. The online website by the name “snkrx.us” is rightly a platform where one can place an order to buy their set of the desired shoe. It has only been a year into this business and it already is doing great. The Instagram page alone has up to 11.1k followers which only indicate Jose’s past growth in the business. However, the best part of working in this business for Jose is getting to meet new people who have undergone the same challenges as him and it has made it easier for Jose to ask for assistance from them. These friends along with Jose have formed a network dedicated purely towards assisting through hard times.

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As a businessman now, Jose gets support from big teams like MLB players which is a huge sense of accomplishment for his business. One thing that helps Jose stay focused is the aim of never giving up. His goal is to provide the best services for is clients and their satisfaction is what drives Jose to be the best version of himself.  Jose has had the best company around him that has always supported him throughout his journey and in an interview, he gives credit to his friend Elvin Moreno for making him chase his dreams.

Today, Jose sets an example to those who have a will to dream about starting something of their own. Jose’s business has been excelling ever since it came into action. As a responsible citizen and a human, Jose has been donating huge amounts to those in need. He donates to the community, local school events to earn friends and virtue. Jose mostly gives credit to the difficult past he had to encounter to be at a place where he is today. He inspires many young people to never lose hope and follow their dreams by working tough.

Interview with Brunel Wekho (@wekhomusic)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

This is my little biography:

Brunel Wekho Wanyeme (born 20 May 1989), known professionally as Wekho, is a Congolese-Belgian record producer, DJ, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He primarily produces and writes pop music, but has diversified his genre and musical style, drawing influences from dancehall, reggae, electronic music, and African music.

Wekho grew up in Antwerp, Belgium. He started writing songs at the age of eight and taught himself how to play piano at a very young age by watching pianists and musicians playing in his environment. At the age of 13, he got quickly interested in producing music when he met someone who shared with him music producing software. That’s when he knew he wanted to produce and write music forever. He writes and produces music for several artists and on several projects.

Wekho has released several singles with the Spanish record label Blanco Y Negro and with the Dutch dance label Armada Music. Now he is signed to the Belgian record label CNR Records.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

In 2017, I released “Far Away” and “Break Free”, under the Spanish dance label Blanco Y Negro music. In 2018 I got noticed by the dutch dance label Armada music where I released several singles under the label. Armada is the biggest dance label in the world.

And recently I got signed to a record company in Belgium CNR Records as a producer and artist.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Stay focus, keep on believing in your self no matter what and follow your path.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

One of my biggest successes is the remix that I’ve made for Lost Frequencies and Aloe Blacc on Truth Never Lies Wekho Remix. That’s what really blew me up. And I’ve also worked with talented Belgian producers Lunaman.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I bring goodness to the world through my music. I make people happy, I teach people and I help them to achieve their goals.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

Stay focus is an important quote for me. It tells what no matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing, no matter how I feel, I always have to keep my focus on my goals.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

The readers can follow me on social media by typing my name: Wekho

Here are my social media links:

www.wekhomusic.com

www.instagram.com/wekhomusic

http://www.twitter.com/wekhomusic

Brunel Wekho (@wekhomusic)

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Brunel Wekho, who prefers to go by his surname, is a songwriter, singer, music producer, and musician from Belgium. Music has been his passion ever since he was a young child, and since then, he has come a long way. He has worked with many different labels and artists to produce amazing songs. He specializes in pop, electronic, and reggae music.

Wekho started his musical journey when he was just 8 years old. He has always been an avid storyteller and writer. In school, he was always appreciated for having excellent linguistic skills and being a creative writer. Wekho’s love for writing came from his enjoyment of listening to the lyrics of songs. He would often be found dancing away to the tune of music. One fine day, he decided to combine all his passions to write his first-ever song.

Wekho has since been encouraged by his loved ones to keep exploring the music world. So, he taught himself how to play the piano by watching other pianists at work. His family and friends were amazed at how accomplished he was for such a young boy. He used their amazement as an encouragement to keep pushing and pursuing music.

In his friend group, he was well known for being a music lover. His friends accepted and appreciated his strong passion. At 13-years-old, he met someone who introduced him to producing software. Wekho was very quick to learn and was so excited when he produced his first-ever song. From that moment, he wished to produce and write music forever. His friends and family have supported him in doing this.

Since then, Wekho has come a long way. He has written and produced many songs of his own and has also remixed popular songs with A-list celebrities. In 2017, he began working with the Spanish dance label, Blanco Y Negro Music, and released his songs, “Break Free,” and, “Far Away.” These songs were a huge hit – fans loved the upbeat tempo. Wekho gained a lot of popularity on his social media after this. He always gained a lot of experience of working as a professional in collaboration with others.

Wekho went on to work with many other labels such as Armada Music – a Dutch music label that noticed him in 2018. He released many songs while working under them and was steadily growing his fan base. In 2019, he signed with CNR Records, which is a Belgian record label. He has been working with them to release new music every few months which proves to be very exciting for his fans.

Wekho has worked with other artists to remix their popular songs. These remixes have proven to be a hit. He worked on songs by Chris Brown, MATTN, Paris Hilton, Lost Frequencies, Kevin Lyttle, and many more. These songs are available on Spotify, YouTube, and other streaming sites. He has gained a lot of followers and experience when working on such songs. He is truly happy to be producing a unique sound for his fans every few months.

Currently, the successful artist has over 2.1k followers on Instagram alone. He is also active on other social media platforms such as Twitter, and Facebook. He uses these platforms very wisely to promote his music which he uploads on music streaming websites. Fans like checking his pages to see if there are any updates or new song releases.

Wekho uploads images and stories from his time in the studio, showing his fans how hard he is working on his new songs. He has also uploaded photos from the set of music videos being filmed, documenting each step of the way. Moreover, he also posts about his day to day life spent going out with his friends and family.

Wekho is surely on the path for great success. He is constantly working on his next project to keep his fans happy with him. He enjoys building a bond with them by remaining active online. He is hoping to release new music very soon.

Interview with Omar Nasr (@omarnasrmusic)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

I have studied Pure Mathematics but always had a passion for music. I always dreamt of becoming a true and famous singer with songs hitting the charts and played in places all over the Arab world.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

I used to teach at a university in UAE and students did not believe I was their instructor. They claimed I looked very young and more like a student. When my song was released, they were even more surprised that their somehow-strict Mathematics instructor suddenly released a song hitting the charts and crossing a million views on YouTube.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

The key is to keep discovering new paths that can distinguish your art among other singers with similar paths. Audiences thrive for new music or new styles. Sing what you would love your family and you to hear at the end of the day.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

I owe all that I owe to my parents for believing in my talent, but also for a stranger who believed in my voice and decided to finance my art after my first hit. I am also thankful to my vocal coaches who helped me reach higher ranges and discover new lands within my voice. And a big help came from my best friend AL Aiham who helped me market my songs and accompanied me in each and every step.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I used to sing for elders in the Elderly Care Center in Lebanon on frequent Sundays. We would gather a small band and go play them oldies they know and can sing with us.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

Yes, ‘Who dares, wins’. When I was working as a Math instructor, I had a sufficient salary with a nice life. But it was a monotonic sort of path and I wanted an adventure, a path to my own ‘Personal Legend’. I left Math without even having a clear plan as to how to produce my songs on my own. But soon things got clearer and I found myself releasing my first song. It was a risk, but I took happily it.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

They can search for omarnasrmusic on Instagram and YouTube. They can also find me on Facebook and Anghami under the name ” Omar Nasr”.

Omar Nasr (@omarnasrmusic)

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Omar Nasr is an up and coming singer from the UAE. He has come a long way – starting with his first passion for mathematics and teaching. He has learned a lot over the years from both his career paths. Omar likes to listen to what his followers want from him and hence, he is growing every day. He is a hardworking individual who is constantly trying to be better than the day before.

When Omar was in school, he would have never expected to take on such a career path. He was a studious child with decent grades. His parents encouraged him to study harder and get admission to the best universities around. Being the obedient child that he was, he did not argue with them and complied with their wish.

He studied pure mathematics as he was quite good at it and was fond of it. After graduation, he began teaching the subject at the university level. He was considered to be a strict instructor but was well-respected as he knew the subject very well. However, Omar was not satisfied with his career and wished to pursue music.

Music had always been special to Omar. From an early age, he associated feeling happy with music. As he got older, he would use it to help him cope with tough days. He would often be heard singing along to some of his favorite songs. His close ones were amazed at how good of a voice he had. Sadly, he was never encouraged to pursue it as a career and did not feel the urge to. However, all this changed when realized he was not fulfilled with his teaching job and wished to enter the music industry.

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Omar was nervous and not too sure of himself when releasing his first song. He was aware that he had a good voice but was not sure how the public will respond to his music. Nevertheless, he released his song called, “Mostaheeli,” on YouTube and Anghami – a music streaming platform. His song was a complete hit in the Arab world. He had gained fame almost overnight. People enjoyed the upbeat energy from the song. The song stands at over 1.5 million views on YouTube today.

Given the huge success of his first song, he gained many followers on social media. People were excited to see what he would release next and kept encouraging him. Sometime later, he released the song, “Seeb Nafsak,” which is a fast, electronic tempo song. This was also another big hit for the new singer. People loved his singing and the feeling they got when listening to his songs. Omar is working on releasing even more music soon.

Currently, the successful artist has over 13k followers on Instagram alone. He also makes good use of other social media platforms such as Facebook with 40k followers and YouTube with 400k subscribers. People enjoy regularly checking his pages to see if he has released any new music. He has fans from not only the Arab region but all across the world.

Omar uses the Instagram platform for a variety of reasons. His main content is for the promotion of his latest releases. He regularly shares snippets of his songs, encouraging followers to listen to the full song. Omar uploads posters for his songs every few days. He also shares the progress of his work; recently he posted a photo showing him reaching 1 million streams on Anghami. He uses the highlights feature to post about his live performances, covers, and Q&As with his fans. Additionally, Omar likes to be real with his fans so posts from his day-to-day life too.

He is surely rising through the ranks to become a star in the region. Despite all odds, he has successfully managed to switch his career, shocking everyone, even his students, along the way. He is a hardworking individual and hopes to release new music soon. He hopes he can inspire other upcoming artists to pursue their dreams.

Interview with Warren Basking (@warrenbasking)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

I’ve been singing and writing as long as I can remember. Once, I was in a High School production of Alice In Wonderland, and I played as the March Hare, I knew from that moment that I wanted to be an entertainer. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

My first “album” was a tribute to Todrick Hall, and when it was released I got to know a few of his fan pages, who are super sweet. They had helped me get Todrick’s attention, because I can remember that I was super anxious for him to see it. That was definitely a moment in my life I’ll never forget. 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Stay on your grind! Don’t ever stop. I know there will be some days when it seems like you’re going nowhere or nobody cares to listen to you, but I promise that if you keep going, you’re going to reap what comes from it. 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

I’ve worked with so many producers who are amazingly talented. I am always reaching out to see what people have to offer. I remember working with one producer, his name was Mike Bulgakov. He had helped me with the “One In A Million Remix” and when he sent me the song back, I was just so amazed. Especially the producers from my most recent album “Showtime”. All amazing producers. When it comes to writing, that’s all me. Writing is like a breath of fresh air for me. My escape. Every song that is out there with my name on it, I’ve written. 

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

Being an LGBTQ+ artist, I’m always trying to provide music for my community that speaks to them. Whether someone has low self-esteem or is just having a bad day, I want to make sure that my community knows they are AMAZING, and nobody can tell them otherwise. 

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

“You just can’t let life happen to you, you have to make life happen.” – Idowu Koyenikan. You know, I used to always think if I sang a few songs on video, or danced for some people that one day someone would pick me up and sign me. That was never the case. Though it has worked out that way for a few, it just wasn’t for me. I knew that if this is what I really wanted, my head had to be in the right place, and I had to use my determination to make it happen. So, here I am. 

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

On all social media platforms, my username is the same. It is @warrenbasking. 

Warren Basking (@warrenbasking)

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In the world today, LGBTQ music has expanded throughout the spectrum of popular music. The music released in the past few years have acknowledged and accepted the LGBTQ community. Musicians who have been vocal about them through their music include Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Britney Spears among many others. The LGBT community has a great deal of support in the entertainment industry today, and efforts are still made to ensure their adequate representation in all fields

Among the group of aspiring LGBTQ musicians is Warren Basking. Warren Basking identifies as an LGBTQ Musician. With a very active musical career, Warren continues to grow as a musician ever passing day. Warren is a young and aspiring music writer, who is extremely skillful at composing musical compositions. An exceptional songwriter, Warren writes lyrics that are very well thought of.

Warren Basking had a love for music from a very young age. Singing and songwriting was something Warren actively participated in as a child. Warren’s first experience in production came from working on a play at High School. Warren successfully produced the play, which was based on ‘Alice in Wonderland’. In the play, Warren played the role of ‘March’. The experience gained from the project helped Warren develop a love for performing arts. Warren was sure about working as an entertainer in the future.

Warren Basking was inspired by the American singer, songwriter and director Todrick Hall was. Warren had respected his work immensely and hoped to follow his footsteps. The first alum that Warren Basking released was basically a tribute to Todrick Hall. After the album was released, it was noticed by many of Todrick Hall fans. His fans hugely appreciated Warren’s work, and it became very popular on multiple musical forums. Warren was highly unsure if the music would be noticed by Todrick Hall himself or not. However, dreams do come true. The song had gotten so popular, that it got Todrick Hall’s attention. The success of the album was a major breakthrough in Warren’s career. It was a moment in Warren’s life that will probably be remembered for the longest of times.

However, despite the album’s success, Warren chose to take the album down. Warren believed in being an independent artist. Of the album, Warren’s favorite song was titled ‘One In A Million’. The song is very close to the singer’s heart, and reminds Warren of the reasons behind the pursuit of music. One In A Million is a song that highlights all the love and support Warren has received throughout. Apart from its original version, two other versions were also created of the song: the acoustic version and the remix version.

Warren’s most recent album is titled “Her Majesty”. The album was released in multiple online music platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Sound cloud, YouTube, and iTunes. The album cover features the singer holding a silver crown embellished with maroon stones. The stones seem to be fit for a royal, hence the album name “Her Majesty”. The cover is extremely attractive, with a perfect balance of the colors maroon, white, and silver. The album has over 8 songs, all of which are distinct in their music and composition.

Warren Basking can be followed on all social media platforms as @warrenbasking. Warren has over 14.5 thousand Instagram followers, and actively engages with the followers. Warren’s posts, captions and ideas are loved and appreciated by hundreds of followers. His Instagram profile features the famous American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. Warren loves Mariah Carey’s voice and feels that it has the capacity to touch one’s soul.

Warren Basking is very vocal about LGBTQ rights on Instagram. Additionally, through Instagram posts, Warren educates followers about racism. The singer feels strongly about discrimination with respect to race and color. Just because a person has a different skin color, does not mean one has to fear for his or her lives.

Throughout the singer’s career, Warren has maintained a very serious attitude and worked towards achieving goals tirelessly. Warren advises followers to always pursue their dreams with hard work and dedication, instead of having fear slowing down their progress.

To stay up to date with Warren’s music and endeavor’s, be sure to follow the singer and songwriter on all social media platforms as @warrenbasking.

Interview with Krysten Kinsey (@xoxo_lilmskrys)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

Growing up I was always in the theater/acting/modeling world living in Miami. It was my passion and what I was extremely excited about. I always knew I wanted to be a light in this world and be a creator to uplift people with my gifts. A little further down the road, I became in love with fitness and spirituality. Being able to blend all my passions together while inspiring others has been so fulfilling and life-changing. I love how diverse social media is and how much it has grown! I connect with people all over the world and it’s amazing! I chose this specific career path because it’s what I absolutely love! I want to connect with people worldwide, help others become the best versions of themselves, inspire, and just brightening up people’s lives by being that light for people.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?

It’s most definitely my traveling stories. I love traveling all over! Seeing beautiful parts of the world that I didn’t know even existed is so humbling and makes me so happy. I really can’t even put it into words. Working with different photographers and learning there different styles and techniques is very interested and different. I learn a lot every time I do a shoot. I have worked with a couple of idols of mine and I was screaming on the inside but I kept it professional. That will never get old to me. I love it!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

My first tip is to realize that you can manifest anything you put your mind to. I suggest having a journal and write down all your goals/dreams. Nothing is impossible. Stay consistent. Consistency is key! Don’t overwork your self and become overwhelmed. Remember it’s not a race it’s a lifestyle. I take a “Me” day one to two times a week. Go pamper yourself, relax, get a massage, mani/Pedi, go for a walk, disconnect from work, and connect to earth to keep your headspace calm and balanced. I always start my days off with motivational quotes, positive affirmations, and some inspiring photos or videos to start my day off just right. Even watching a silly YouTube video that will make you laugh is beneficial to start your day off just right.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

I am so grateful for my mom. Who has taken me to cast calls, sets, my theater performances, shows, camps, photoshoots, singing lessons, even cheerleading, and soccer practice? She has been such an amazing mom and backbone. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive person to be by my side through it all. I look up to many different influencers. Katy Hearn is one I look up to so much. I relate to her on so many levels. She is a stunning fitness model and she is also a mommy of two like myself. I have watched how much she has grown and how much she has achieved from just being her self and staying consistent. It’s truly inspiring! Another person I am grateful for is Ralph Smart. I have watched his YouTube channel since 2008 and now we are actually friends. He has really kept me in a good headspace and has taught me so much knowledge it’s incredible how intelligent he is. From having a holistic approach to fear to manifest your reality and the secrets of the universe, he really feeds my soul with his content. I couldn’t be more grateful for finding Ralph on my journey.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

I use my platform and my voice to always spread good vibes and positivity. The world really needs more love. I want to bring people together as much as I can. I don’t want any hate in the world. I wish everyone would come together, be happy, grow together, and learn from each other. I love giving back and connecting with new people. We are all connected at the end of the day. I want the best for everyone and I want to help as many people I can. I will continue to spread kindness and inspiration to make the world a better place.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama. Life is about the journey. One thing I heard that stuck with me is “Don’t take life so seriously.” I wasn’t always a happy go lucky type of kid but as I got older I made that change and it made such a ripple effect into my reality. I am a strong believer in positive, happy people who live longer, happy, healthier lives. So what’s the point in being so serious, grumpy, or negative all the time? I made that change and I did not regret it one bit!

“Fear is stupid.” Marilyn Monroe. I love this quote! I use to be so shy! I was taught fear is false evidence appearing real. I let go and came out of my shell and started turning my dreams into my reality.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

You can follow me on instagram @xoxo_lilmskrys.

Interview with Jose Colmenares Velasco (@joecolmenaresv)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

I became a social media consultant back in 2013. It all started when the company I used to work for, as a sales manager, went out of business. I was devastated and in the financial aspect, I was drowning. I remember that same day that I got the bad news I was on my iPhone, just browsing through it, thinking about my future and how my life was about to change. Pretty much preparing myself to return the new Honda Accord I had just gotten and said good-bye to my dream of finally buying a house. When I got a message from my little brother on WhatsApp. He said, “Hey how come you are still not on Instagram?”. Honestly, the last thing I could care about was some new social media platform, but I was so bored and stressed that I went ahead and created an account. I chose JoecolmenaresV as my username, as most people at work called me Joe instead of Jose. I can say it was love at first sight. I remember checking hashtags to find the funniest memes I had ever seen. I literally spent hours and hours just laughing and taking screenshots of everything I found funny. That night I came across the funniest account of all, the name was Queboleta, a Colombian memes account that at that time already had a little over 100,000 followers which were impressive, considering Instagram was still a new platform and most “big” accounts were far from those numbers. I was amazed by the quality of the content and the engagement it was getting. That’s exactly when I realized this is what I wanted to do: Grow Instagram accounts with funny videos and memes in order to eventually promote different products and services. I was not even sure what it was that I was going to sell, I just knew I would go for it. A few months later I already had two well-known meme accounts that I had grown myself with the help of Eduardo, the owner of Queboleta. I had tried to approach him many different ways which were hard since there were no direct messages at the moment, but one day I did. One thing led to another and we became partners. I named my two accounts Quejeso and Quebolas. This is how I ended up being a social media consultant after working as a sales manager for a carpet cleaning equipment distributor. I thank God every day this happened, I could not imagine my life without Colmenares Digital Corp, which is the name of my social media consulting firm.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

Having built what some people referred to as an “Instagram Empire” by the year 2015, I had made good connections. Famous people would try to get a hold of me to help them promote their newly created IG accounts. One night I ended up being invited to the birthday party of the famous Puerto Rican singer Nicky Jam. I was new to this whole thing of hanging out with famous people and at first, I felt awkward at this party in a night club in Medellin, however after meeting Nicky and shaking hands I realized he was just a regular guy, like everyone else. Interestingly enough Nicky himself told me he was a big fan of my accounts and that he actually followed both of them. I felt really happy that someone like him would even know my accounts. We spent the evening chatting, and the center of our conversation was about him asking for advice on how to grow his social media followers more efficiently. This was an evening I will never forget. I have not talked to Nicky ever again after that night but it was truly very interesting.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Building a social media presence for any business takes a lot of time and effort. Things don’t really happen overnight. Being creative and always trying new things and techniques will make you different. I encourage all new consultants to watch all the videos on Youtube that they can, even pay for some tutorials and classes on sites like Udemy, this will help you gather ideas that eventually can be turned into unique approaches to offer services that will distinguish you. You are likely to fail several times until it happens. You can see it like this, each failure means you are one step closer to success.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

Yes, his name is Eduardo Florez, whom I mentioned earlier, he believed in me from the beginning and saw my potential to even make me his partner. For a variety of reasons we parted ways but we are still close friends and are in constant communication. He now owns the famous memes account Moriderisa with more than 6.5 million followers.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

In the year 2014, I joined a few friends with the idea of creating an Instagram account that would show the world what was really happening in Venezuela, even help Venezuelans abroad and in the country understand the situation. It was a very helpful account in this regard, considering the censorship we have over there, where the media channels that speak the truth are shut down the next day. We opened this account named VenezuelaLucha to keep the World informed and at the same time help those in need. We were in contact with several charities that fed the poor, which sadly represent the majority of Venezuela’s population. Helping this non-for-profit organization and all the people that to this date still benefit from them, is by far the most gratifying feeling one can have as a social media influencer. In the year 2017, VenezuelaLucha already had millions of followers and I was covering myself the protests in Caracas, every day for 8 months, doing all I could to keep people informed, until one day I was threatened by one of the “leaders” of the dictatorship in Venezuela. I would either leave the country or be imprisoned. I really had no choice. With my luggage full of memories and nostalgia, I had to board a plane and leave everything behind.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

I have learned that everything in life is temporary. Good things and bad things can come and go. If you think about it, everything really IS temporary. Point being, when you are struggling, never give up, and understand that maybe your time just hasn’t come yet. The storm will pass and you will see clearer after the rain is gone. It might sound cliche but it is a fact, at least it is for me, and for many people I know. On the other hand, if you are doing great and things just could not be better, always remember who you are, be proud of whom you have become but always with your feet on the ground. Never look at anyone over your shoulder, one day you may need something from this person. Be certain that if you have been kind to people when you are the top, they will help you when you are at the bottom. 

Being born in a middle-class family that taught me great values and do not discriminate, I learned that we are all equal in a way that we all deserve respect, regardless of your financial status, your skin color, race, or religion. We all deserve to have the same rights and most importantly, everyone deserves an opportunity. I could not be prouder of my mom Carmen Velasco and my dad Jose Colmenares (yep, I am really Jose Colmenares Jr). Despite all the obstacles they had in their lives raising me and my brothers, they always made sure we were fed, provided the best education possible, and always guided us in the right direction. If I feel lucky about one thing, that thing is having the family I have, that have always been there for me. 

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

On Instagram: instagram.com/joecolmenaresv and Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/joecolmenaresv