Kyra James

Kyra James, who grew up in Carrot Bay, recently created the video blog “Kickin’ it with Kyra,” on which she posts positive videos about life in the Virgin Islands. The Seventh-day Adventist School alumnus attended H. Lavity Stoutt Community College for a year before transferring to the University of the Virgin Islands, where she graduated in May with a degree in communications.

Kyra James
How did the idea for the vlog come up?

During my undergrad experience, I would host a lot of the events you see on “Kickin’ it with Kyra,” like the games and activities with my college friends off camera. I would say, “Hey guys, what are you doing this weekend? I have this game I want us to play.” So for me now, I can share these ideas with the world. I have met and connected with a lot people that I was never friends with before. I’m very passionate about local talent, so whenever I see someone at home doing their thing, I reach out to them. I say, “Hey, I want us to do something.”

How do you come up with content for your vlog?

I’m always trying to show people there’s different ways to have fun. I’m a Christian — a Seventh-day Adventist — so I had a hymn challenge last year. People sent in covers of their favourite hymns. I have a “Kickin’ it with Positivity” series where it’s all about sending positive messages, especially about self-love, which is very important to me. I also had a “Kickin’ it with Young Bosses” series where I talked to young local professionals. Everything I do is a reflection of what I’m passionate about. “Kickin’ it with Kyra” is literally kicking it with me, and what’s important to me.

Other people often appear on your videos with you. How do you find collaborators?

I often come up with ideas first. Then I think, “Who would be good for this? Who has the creativity for this or the sense of humor for that? Who’s into singing or dancing?” I literally think about personalities based on what I know about the person, and then I’m able to reach out to them. People are almost always willing to participate.

You did an article called “Friends: Who to Kick and Who to Kick It With” on your website. How did you gain the knowledge to give the advice that you present online?

I haven’t officially launched it as yet, but in addition to my vlog, I’m building a website. That specific post was a teaser for the website. I’ll actually have different sections, such as life stuff, university advice and Bible study. That specific post is under life stuff, and life taught me that. I try to think of what people can relate to. Everybody has friends, so that post is something that everyone can read and enjoy.

There is a section on your website called “Bible Stuh-dae.” What is that?

It’s Bible study — it’s different from the regular Bible study. I take my favorite Bible stories and break them down into lessons that young people can relate to. For example, one of the lessons I have is the story of Daniel. I say, “Hey, look. Daniel has fake friends. This is how he overcomes it and this is what you can learn.” I’m writing it in my accent and I’m still quoting the Bible, but it’s something that people who have a negative stigma attached to Bible study will be more open to reading.

What has been the response to your vlog?

I started out on Facebook, so that’s where the fan base is. There are people who share my videos and say that they would love to do something like this. They would even inbox me and tell me, “Hey, next time you’re doing something like this, I want to be a part of it.” That too helps me develop a pool of volunteers. Also, my family and my mom watch my videos, and my mom gives me feedback like “You were talking really fast in this one” or “That video was too short.” I’m able to take pointers from her. As for the website, I’m the admin, so I can see the stats and how many clicks the videos get, and it’s going well. I’ve seen progression.

I hosted my first event this weekend, where I asked the community to come out, and the outcome was good. Events like that show me that people are being blessed by the content, and I like that.  I don’t care about going viral and I’m not obsessed with the views. I’m just happy that 2,000 people could be blessed by this. I’ve had people private-message me and tell me they’re inspired and watching me go after these things motivated them to go after something they’ve always wanted to do.

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Yanika Hodge.