Find your Flow with Korty: The People’s Storyteller
Leading up to this interview with Korty EO, a world class Youtube creator, creative and filmmaker I found myself scouring the inter webs to revisit some of my favorite content . Between her hilarious YT series Love and Lies that reflect the state of Gen- Z’s romantic economy and the insanely candid interviews with the hottest stars in West Africa (Rema, Black Sheriff and more) – you would think Korty, the creative would get lost amongst all the stimulating content.
However with each 40-50 minute video what becomes abundantly clear is Korty’s storytelling is so unique to her brand of personal charm that no matter how spicy the content, Korty’s messaging of staying authentic never lets up. iMullar decided to catch up with this 20 something post her Victoria Secret film debut on the trials and tribulations of committing to creativity, sleep patterns and the importance of having a solid team behind you.
IMULLAR: Why is Korty so good at expressing herself? Were you always expressive when you were young? Do you feel like you had the ability to express yourself when you were a child?
KORTY: I think I was never publicly expressive, but to myself, in my head, in my art, I was extremely expressive and I used to express myself to God as well. So I was very expressive, but just more internally. And over the years, I found ways to because I was shy, so I found ways to kind of break out of that and be more expressive to the world in some way. It still started off as being internally expressive because my videos used to be just me in my house or in my room.
“There was no audience, there was nothing. So it was still very internal. But obviously when it gets out to the world, it becomes external. And I think that kind of helped me be more confident in expressing myself, to express myself and my art to a more public audience.”
IMULLAR: It sounds like you took a lot of time thinking, looking at the world and seeing what it means to you and your craft. I feel like you started a kind of wave. I don’t want to say that you started it. I feel like you started a wave of Vlogging and filmmaking that was very real and no frills. You are doing this with your phone. You are doing this with your friends. Here is your community and what is happening within it me and my community trying to world around us. How did you get to that point?
KORTY: I think my videos started to pick up during pandemic, actually towards the ending. Honestly, I’m bad with dates, but I think around that period and I don’t think that I started a wave. I think that I just kind of built my own unique style. People have been vlogging since before I was born, and people have been telling stories and doing all these things. And I have people who also inspired me, who I used to watch, I liked their video style, I liked their film style. And I wouldn’t up and say, oh, I created this thing, that I would rather say I found a very unique voice in a unique style that people respond to.
IMULLAR: Do you consider yourself a journalist or would you call yourself a storyteller?
KORTY: I’ll say I’m a bit of both. Yeah, I’m a storyteller by default, like naturally. And I’m a journalist by societal conditioning. Yeah. No, I did not start off as a writer. I started off as a designer. So, yeah, content creation, basically like a graphic designer, actually. Writing is still not something I enjoy doing. I’m happy when I see people try to say, oh, I want to make videos in Korty’s style. It makes me very happy because it means I’m doing something right. Unfortunately, maybe I need to have a class to teach it or something because it’s still not giving. But yeah, generally I think it feels like a great privilege to tell stories , a humble privilege to have my own way of doing it. So I found something that is kind of my own and can also turn into so many things.
IMULLAR: I feel like you care a lot about people and you care a lot about telling people’s stories. I feel like you reflect society back to itself. Did you set out to be the kind of artist that does that?
KORTY: Yeah, sure. It was not intentional, but I would say over the years it has kind of grown into a responsibility of some sort. And how did it start? Honestly, if I tell you I knew exactly how it started, I’ll be lying. I would say it just started from curiosity and wanting to create stuff for myself. So if I’m being honest, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about society and how this would affect society. “I think as you grow older and as you experience life and as you experience new things, you start to try to understand what your place in the world is and what you want it to be.”
I started to see there’s so many people who benefit so much from these stories I tell, and I think it can do a lot more for the world at large. And it’s kind of, since then, been my duty to tell stories that kind of put my generation and also where I’m from in a new light to shine some hope on what is possible and the beautiful things we’re doing. Yeah. And just have fun with it, to be honest.
IMULLAR: Okay. I feel like that’s a really good answer. I feel like there’s a vulnerability to the way you work and an honesty to the stories you tell. And I think it’s really interesting because usually when the traditional assumption of a content creator or someone who is influential to others. Like people want that influencer’s life, people want what this person has. But you have a very unique way of just showing people that people are just people. We all have our dreams, our hopes, our inspirations. And I really like that. I like the honesty of it.
KORTY: Thank you so much. I do believe it is normal for people to want to have somebody’s life and all that. I don’t think that’s necessarily a great thing because I feel like if everyone’s in their lane, everyone can win in some way. So yeah, what I try to preach is kind of like standing alone and being your own self in a world that doesn’t necessarily allow you to be and express yourself.
IMULLAR: I want to touch on your Victoria’s Secret film. How was that experience? How did it make you feel?
KORTY: It was the first of its kind for me, and I have never worked on a project like this. It was very intense. It was very new. It was also, like a lot of responsibility because the idea was kind of to do a revamp. They’ve kind of been away for four years and this was like a lot of responsibility to make sure that this goes right. And yeah, it was eye opening. I learned a lot. I was able to learn from people who had years of experience. Things I would have had to go to film school for four years I had to learn in nine months.
I’m very proud of the work that we’ve done. I think the story is about freedom for women. It’s not really about bringing Victoria’s Secret back to what they were or even being inclusive. It’s just about showing women around the world who have fought for their freedom and how far it has gotten them in a society that generally doesn’t let you do that. I’m proud of the work we’ve done. And I don’t want to say I want to do more, but I am open to more projects like this because it took the entire year.
IMULLAR: So how do you usually approach projects? Do you sit and analyse the world and you’re like, okay, this is missing from what people are offering out there? Or is it just like, oh, I want to do this and I have someone in my community who’s familiar with this kind of work.
KORTY: For my personal projects, usually it just starts off with a very simple idea. If I don’t sit on it too long, if I sit on it too long, nothing might come out of it. But if I have the idea and I’m able to kind of just go at it and just start working on it, no matter how long it takes, then it usually ends up really good. My process is different for different projects, but I think the basic thing is kind of having an idea and understanding what we want the end product to be and what we want it to do for people. It’s very deep and very sometimes heart wrecking, but it’s intense. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of time, doubts, and just being headstrong about the idea and going at it.
“But the basic thing is that we have the idea. We know what the end result needs to be, and we do everything we can to achieve it.”
IMULLAR: Do brands approach you? Do you approach brands? Most creatives struggle with knowing how to have certain conversations. Like asking for compensation. People don’t know how to really say, this is what I need to get the job done. What has your experience been like from when you started till now?
KORTY: I think the work kind of speaks for itself. So we get people who reach out to us. This is not even like pride or anything, but we don’t do a lot of reaching out. If we do reach out to you, it means we really, genuinely, honestly, truly love you and like you and want to work with you. But I think we’re very focused on making sure the work is good enough to stand on its own and survive on its own and actually provide for us in our sleep.
It is not the easiest of things. Now, when you get the deal, there’s now the conflict of the artist and the market. So you have to kind of sell your soul a little bit to make sure that you are doing right by the company, by the brand, but also still make sure a piece of you is in the work, which is kind of like a balance.That is also why we don’t just work with any brand, because we have to know that the brand understands what my own brand represents. And it’s like a fine blend, but yeah, generally, I think that’s like the trickiest part, but it’s also one of the most profitable parts.
IMULLAR: How do you then deal with impostor syndrome? Doubting yourself ?
I naturally would doubt myself. But again, I have to remember that as much as this is good for me, it’s also a privilege that this brand gets to work with me Because I know that they saw something and if they didn’t see something, they wouldn’t approach me if they didn’t want me on the project. So they also know what they saw, they know what they wanted. And it was just my duty to execute that and tell that story properly. Everybody was sweet, everybody was very considerate. And that’s something I appreciated about this project. So it was easy. If I’m being honest. The hardest part was now telling their story, right? Making sure what I’m sharing about each person was true enough.
IMULLAR: It sounds like you’re really driven by the people around you as well.
KORTY: To be honest, everyone I’m working with right now, I’ve known for a couple of years. Jim has been my friend for almost seven years now. I have my sister. The other people who are kind of new are people that I am in some way grooming or have been watching their growth and their talent. Yeah. Everybody I work with, I’m a fan of. That’s kind of why I have them around, because they push me to do better in some way.
IMULLAR: What else does Korty want to show to the world? What is next? You need a Netlfix show forreal.
KORTY: We started planning workshops where we train girls for editing and filmmaking. Still very early stages of it. But yeah, I really want to share what I have learnt with people. I was just saying that I want Flow with Korty on other platforms. I don’t know where yet, but we’re working on it to be like a full mini documentary, a big docuseries and just kind of make it bigger and better than it is right now. But outside of that I’m also working on an event for December in Nigeria that I want everybody to come for. So you all must come out and support!
IMULLAR: Amazing. So I always end my interviews with this: what do you have to say to those after you? The young person who has seen your work, who’s seen what you’ve been able to do, what would you say to someone who’s trying to become something?
KORTY: I would say put in the work, put in the strategies, put in the thoughts. But sometimes you need to just sleep and then go to work.
IMULLAR: I think right now, everybody wants to do something. Everybody wants to be something. And I think one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten was to just do it. Don’t want it. Don’t desire it. Just do it. So I think that makes sense.
KORTY: I feel like a lot of people right now feel like there’s not enough. There’s this scarcity mentality that there’s only so little, but there’s enough for everybody if you figure out what is meant for you and stick to it.
Watch the Victoria Secret Film here and follow Korty EO for more realness.
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