Queen Khamyra is no stranger to the limelight. With her infectious charisma, this actor-model has carved a distinct niche for herself in the bustling world of social media. Boasting a staggering 1.5 million followers on Instagram and a YouTube channel that’s magnetized over 25 million views, Queen’s prowess stretches far beyond the realms of digital screens.
Tracing back her journey to stardom, Queen began gracing the Instagram platform in February 2018 and extended her reign to TikTok by August that same year. Her content, infused with humor, wit, and seamless lip-syncs, resonated with viewers, catapulting her to instant fame. By 2018, she had firmly positioned herself as a social media celebrity, a status further cemented when she launched her YouTube channel, ‘Queen Khamyra’, on May 21, 2018. Among her widely viewed videos are playful pranks and candid Q&As.
But here’s the crown jewel: At the tender age of 15, Queen Khamyra clinched a spot on the coveted 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 List. Her ascendancy in the social media domain swiftly opened doors to the glamorous world of fashion. She’s sashayed down the runway for esteemed brands like Angel Joi and Love Pink Corp and even bagged a stellar representation deal with ‘Young Socialites Clothier’ for the iconic ‘New York Fashion Week’ in 2019.
Amidst her whirlwind of engagements and growing fame, we were fortunate enough to steal a moment with Khamyra. We sat down for an intimate chat just before she took the stage at VidCon Baltimore, eager to delve deeper into the life of this rising star.
Queen Khamyra’s Royal Vision: ‘Put A Crown On It’ Takes The Social Media Throne
Getting into modeling
“I was around ten or eleven when I took my first steps in modeling,” she shared with a chuckle. “It wasn’t my idea, really. My mom, perhaps wanting a change from the boisterous world of my brothers, decided I should embrace the elegant world of modeling.”
Though modeling was her introduction to the spotlight, the runway wasn’t where Queen intended to limit herself. Fresh off her experiences, particularly her jaunt at the New York Fashion Week, she delved into the world of social media. “Modeling was one thing, but sharing those moments, those behind-the-scenes snippets? That became my new passion,” she quipped.
However, life has its unique way of springing surprises. For Khamyra, that surprise came in the form of a TikTok challenge – the ‘Zoom Challenge’. What started as a fun activity morphed into a sensation. “It just… took off, like wildfire!” she exclaimed. “Soon, I had people from all over, even places like Africa, joining in, sharing, following. It was exhilarating!”
With this momentum, Khamyraventured onto YouTube, a platform she believed would allow a deeper dive into her life. Among the myriad of stories she shared, one stood out – a heartfelt call to her father after nearly a decade. “That video hit millions of views,” she remarked, a touch of surprise still evident in her voice. “But beyond the numbers, it was the outpouring of shared stories, of empathy, that truly moved me. It made me realize the power of shared experiences.”
She paused for a moment before adding, “You see, it wasn’t about the fame or the followers. It was about the connections, the stories, the realization that we’re not alone in our journeys. And if my platforms can reassure even one person of that fact, then I believe I’ve truly made a mark.”
As content creators strive to carve their niche, Khamyra believes it’s her authentic self that sets her content apart. “It’s really about being genuine,” she began, her voice brimming with conviction. “In an era where it’s easy to don a persona, I’ve chosen to be myself. The ‘me’ you see online is the ‘me’ you’d find at home, bickering with my brothers or laughing at a private joke.”
There’s a certain allure to authenticity in today’s digital age. While the internet is awash with crafted personalities and meticulously curated images, Khamyra stands as a breath of fresh air. “Sure, there are creators who, perhaps, feel the need to put on an act,” she mused. “But for me, every time I hit ‘record’ on any platform, be it Instagram or elsewhere, I ensure it’s the real me that’s facing the camera.”
Yet, it isn’t just authenticity that’s the secret sauce to Khamyra’s growing digital prominence. Delving deeper into her content strategy, she highlighted relatability as another cornerstone. “I craft content that echoes the myriad emotions and situations people experience daily. It’s not just about showcasing a glamorous life but about weaving tales that resonate, stories that mirror real-life situations.”
Pushing for Growth as a Facebook Watch Creator
It was the conception of her Facebook Watch show, “Tea with the Queen”, that pushed her boundaries the most. “Imagine transitioning from the spontaneity of phone recording to the orchestrated world of a reality show,” Khamyra began, the enthusiasm palpable in her voice. “It felt like I was diving into uncharted waters, especially when we added elements reminiscent of iconic shows like Oprah’s or Wendy Williams’, where I’d dive deep, play engaging games, and bring out the true essence of my guests.”
But “Tea with the Queen” wasn’t just about stepping into the role of a host. Khamyra donned another hat, a significant one at that – the executive producer. “Taking charge of my own show was monumental for me. It was no longer just about facing the camera; it was about understanding the myriad elements that coalesce behind it,” she explained.
And with this new role came its unique challenges. From trading her smartphone’s intimate lens for robust, professional cameras, to engaging with an entire production crew and managing an expansive set, every facet was new. Every moment, a learning experience. “It was different, a tad overwhelming, but in that difference lay my growth,” she reflected.
Yet, it’s the trials faced during the filming of “Tea with the Queen” that Khamyra credits for her profound evolution. Those intense weeks of production, she believes, fortified her skills, honed her creativity, and expanded her perspective on what content creation truly entails. “You could say it was a crash course in the world of professional content creation. And I emerged not just wiser, but more resilient,” she stated with a smile.
Know Your Worth: Golden Advice for Aspiring Content Creators
“Building relationships with brands isn’t just about the excitement of collaborating; it’s about understanding and valuing your contribution,” Khamyra began, emphasizing the significance of self-worth in this equation. “See, there’s a prevalent misconception that brands, particularly high-profile ones, hold all the cards. But in reality, it’s a two-way street.”
Drawing from her own experiences, she highlighted a tendency she observed: “It’s not uncommon for brands to ‘lowball’ creators based on superficial parameters, like their geographical location. Living in Atlanta, for instance, shouldn’t equate to earning less than someone in L.A. Each creator brings a unique value, irrespective of their zip code.”
Addressing a vital touchpoint in brand negotiations, she shed light on the importance of counter-offering: “When a brand presents an offer, it’s not the end of the conversation; it’s the beginning. If you believe their offer doesn’t reflect your worth, step up. Suggest an amount you deem fair. The worst-case scenario? They might renegotiate, or perhaps, decline. But that’s alright.”
Khamyra then touched on a pitfall many creators often find themselves in: the allure of big brand names. “Sure, collaborating with a renowned brand can be tempting. But remember, it shouldn’t come at the cost of underselling yourself,” she advised. “Sometimes, turning down an unfair deal with a ‘big brand’ can be more empowering than accepting one.”
Wrapping up her insights, Khamyra left creators with a thought to ponder: “In the grand dance of brand partnerships, don’t let the dazzle of opportunities make you forget your rhythm. Your worth isn’t just about numbers, but about the unique perspective and value you bring to the table.”
“I believe one of the paramount challenges is deciphering what we’re genuinely worth,” Khamyra muses. “It’s disheartening when these major companies come forward with offers that undervalue our input. It makes you question, ‘Is this what I’m truly worth to them?'”
Living expenses, as Khamyra points out, don’t dwindle just because a creator’s perceived value might. “Rent, lifestyle choices, just the sheer reality of living in the USA, regardless of the state—it’s all expensive. It’s essential to consider that when analyzing these offers,” she explains. “Beyond our worth as creators, we’re also human beings with bills to pay.”
Reflecting on her personal journey, Khamyra recalls, “Even at 17, I had responsibilities. I acquired a car when I was 15 and with that came bills. It’s imperative to ensure a brand partnership is not only worth my time but beneficial for both my personal brand and my pocket.”
It’s not just about the money, though. For Khamyra, transparency and honesty are key. “Whenever I strike a deal, I’m open about it with my supporters. I’ve always aimed to be genuine with them. They’re the reason I’m in the position I am today.”
However, determining one’s worth isn’t a straightforward task, especially in the creator ecosystem. “It’s exceedingly tough out here. You might think, ‘If they got paid that much, then maybe I should expect around the same.’ But it’s not that simple,” she asserts. “Each creator brings something unique to the table, and there’s no standard rate card to refer to.”
Further emphasizing the nuances of the creator world, she adds, “It’s not as if you’re singing and can say, ‘They got this much for their work, so I should get a similar amount.’ There’s no baseline. We’re a diverse group, offering varied content.”
Favorite Brand Collaboration
While she emphasizes that every brand she has collaborated with has been “absolutely amazing”, her venture with sportswear titan Nike occupies a special place in her heart. “The campaign with Nike was undeniably one of the highlights,” Khamyra reveals with a touch of nostalgia.
This wasn’t just any campaign, though. Nike’s collaboration with ‘Community’ was all about the game of basketball – a theme that resonated deeply with Khamyra. “It was about gearing up, getting your game face on, and really diving into the spirit of basketball,” she elaborates.
What made this collaboration particularly memorable for Khamyra was the authenticity it allowed. “They genuinely let me be me,” she says, her enthusiasm palpable. The collaboration wasn’t solely about flaunting sportswear but about celebrating the essence of the game. “From selecting pieces from Nike’s incredible collection to actually shooting hoops, it felt less like work and more like an exhilarating basketball session,” she recalls.
For Khamyra, this wasn’t just another tick on her collaboration checklist; it was a heartening experience that merged her love for content creation with the adrenaline of basketball, all under the iconic Nike umbrella. It’s collaborations like these that reaffirm why she loves what she does.
Placing a Crown On Top of it All
One of the things near and dear to Khamyra is her own business ventures. For young Khamyra, affectionately dubbed “Queen”, the idea of royalty was not a mere childhood whimsy but a deep-rooted belief. In 2016, when she embarked on her YouTube journey, she coined the phrase “Putta Crown On It”, which has since become more than just a catchy slogan—it’s a mantra, a brand, and a mission.
“When I say ‘Putta Crown On It’, it’s more than just words. It’s a sentiment. It’s the essence of who I am,” Khamyra shared, reflecting on her journey from a young YouTuber to an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with. “Every girl, every individual, is a queen, a king. We all deserve crowns.”
This belief, steeped in inclusivity and empowerment, quickly resonated with her fans. Whether they recognized her as the ‘Putta Crown On It’ girl or by her signature ‘Queen Khamyra’, her message was clear: everyone is royalty.
Building on this momentum, Queen Khamyra transformed her catchphrase into a full-fledged clothing brand. “The core philosophy behind my brand is simple. Everyone is royal. We’re all on an even playing field. I don’t consider myself above anyone else and vice versa, except God,” she emphasized.
But her journey as a businesswoman doesn’t stop at just creating a brand. She’s constantly adapting, evolving, and listening to her community. Currently, she’s revamping her clothing line to cater to a younger demographic, ensuring that her brand remains fresh, vibrant, and accessible to everyone.
“Whether you’re male, female, young, or old, ‘Putta Crown On It’ is for everyone. My vision is for the world to wear and embody this mantra,” she passionately concluded. And with that royal decree, it’s evident that Queen Khamyra’s reign in the entrepreneurial realm is just beginning.
Vidcon Baltimore 2023
Khamyra’s enthusiasm is palpable as she recounts her debut at Vidcon in Baltimore. While she hasn’t had the chance to attend the Vidcon events in Anaheim, California, her anticipation for the Baltimore edition is charged with excitement. “I’m eagerly looking forward to meeting new supporters,” she says. “After posting the flyer for the event, I was amazed to discover how many followers I have in Baltimore and its neighboring cities like New York and Chicago. The response has been overwhelming.”
The event boasts an array of panels that Khamyra is thrilled to be a part of. From the humorously titled “Okay, Boomer” to the reflective “Skin like Pearls: Life How I Live”, she’s geared up to share her insights. “There’s a particular mom-daughter duo on a panel that I’m eager to interact with,” she shares, her excitement evident.
For Khamyra, Vidcon isn’t just about panels and discussions; it promises to be an overall exhilarating experience. “Vidcon always offers a unique blend of fun and learning. The parties promise to be electrifying, and the camaraderie with the Vidcon team is something I look forward to. They’re always there, ready to assist and ensure that you have the best experience,” she comments.
Of all the panels, a few are set to stand out. One is on mental health – a subject Khamyra holds close to her heart, especially in the context of her identity as a black woman. “There are experiences and challenges that many shy away from discussing. Addressing mental health is crucial,” she emphasizes. Another panel that resonates with her is on fashion. “My journey began with modeling, trying outfits, and gracing runways. Fashion has been a part of my life since my early years,” Khamyra recalls.
She’s equally enthusiastic about an interactive session she’ll be a part of, where attendees can ask questions, engage in games, and enjoy an immersive experience. “Those attending Vidcon are in for a treat. It promises to be more than just an event; it will be a show, a spectacle I believe they’ll thoroughly enjoy,” Khamyra says with a bright smile.
Golden Nuggets for Aspiring Content Creators
“First and foremost,” she begins, “it’s essential to be true to yourself. Authenticity resonates, and people gravitate towards genuine content.” In the vast world of social media, she emphasizes that consistency is king. “Whether you’re on the path to become a doctor, a content creator, or any other profession, the key is to keep at it,” she advises. “Consistency not only ensures you stay relevant but also helps in refining and mastering your craft.”
Dreaming big is a significant part of Khamyra’s journey. “There are times I feel maybe I’m setting my sights too high, thinking my dreams might be too ambitious. But today, standing where I am, realizing some of those dreams, I can confidently say – never limit your dreams. No dream is too grand if you have the passion and determination to chase it.”
For Khamyra, spiritual grounding plays a pivotal role. “Regardless of who or what you believe in, keep that faith central to your journey. It provides a solid anchor,” she shares. She stresses the importance of humility in one’s journey. “No matter the heights you’re aiming for, remember to stay grounded. Never see yourself above others and always tread with grace and humility.”
Where the future leads for Queen Khamyra
Queen Khamyra’s effervescence isn’t just reserved for her conferences and current ventures; she’s got her eyes on the horizon and big dreams in her heart. At the core of her aspirations is the rejuvenation of her business, ‘Putta Crown On It’. She’s excitedly working on crafting new designs for the brand, sharing that it remains an essential part of her vision.
Every Friday, around 5 p.m., her audience tunes into her streams on platforms like Twitch, TikTok, and YouTube, captivated by her magnetic presence. But Khamyra isn’t one to rest on her laurels. “I’ve been considering launching a podcast segment within my streams,” she reveals. “Imagine bringing in guests, engaging in lively discussions, and diving deeper into topics. It’s been playing on my mind.”
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Khamyra’s ambitions soar beyond the digital world. “It’s been a dream, perhaps even a calling,” she confesses. “Earning recognition, like the Streamy Awards or something significant on YouTube, is on my wish list. Such accolades not only validate your work but also push you to dream bigger.”
And dream big, she does. While Khamyra has dabbled in acting, her aspiration is to delve deeper into the craft. “I’ve always visualized myself in a Disney or Nickelodeon production while I’m still in this youthful phase. But why stop there? Movies, TV shows, perhaps even leading my own series – it’s all on my radar,” she shares, her eyes lighting up at the possibilities.
With her unwavering determination and a world full of opportunities, it seems like Queen Khamyra is on a direct path to making all her dreams come true. And with her track record, there’s little doubt she’ll achieve just that.