The beautiful King Kellz blessed London with her presence last week, when she flew in from Brooklyn,New York for her Birthday turn up hosted by ColdLust! The vibe was great as were the people – too many jokes!
London definitely came through for her and showed her love amongst other things…
If you didn’t know already, Kellz is a mother of one, a certified cosmetologist, personal trainer and entertainer, who started out by making videos on YouTube with her housemate 7 years ago. Most recently she has been featured in The Same Difference documentary Produced & Directed by Nneka Onuorah.
We were lucky enough to get to speak with her the morning after the night before!
It must feel like a lifetime ago now but you started out on YouTube making videos with your homie Miami. How did that come about and would you ever consider doing videos again?
When Neyo came out with the song Miss Independent back when MySpace was still a big deal and a lot of people were naming themselves Miss Independent on MySpace. I actually knew some of them personally and I was like, which part of you is so independent that you’re entitled enough to staple that to your name? Everyone was naming themselves it. So I thought, if there are people I know naming themselves that who I know aren’t independent, I can only imagine all these other people. So I got frustrated enough about it and decide to make video, to voice my opinion on it.
Miami and I were roommates at the time. I went into the living room to set up the camera, she asked me what I was doing and I told her “I’m about to make a video, but since you’re out here asking questions, how ‘bout you get on camera with me”. *laughs*
There was no blue print, no plan, we just winged it. We made one video and it got a big response so we made another and another. We did that for 2 years.
I’ve been telling myself ever since last September that I want to start making videos again. They are more than likely gonna be alone, but people are entertained by what I say, so I‘d like to get back into it – I plan to.
How long ago did you start entertaining and how did you get in to it?
I’ve been a dancer from a young age, like even from kindergarten, you know when the kids have their little ceremonies and little dances? My steps were very fluid as if I’d taken classes, people would ask my grandmother if I took dance classes. My mother was a dancer, so I inherited it from her.
I uploaded a video on YouTube for an old friend’s birthday party, where I dressed up and impersonated Ciara and did the Promise routine (I knew it like the back of my hand). That video got a lot of hits and somebody presented it to promoter in DC who was the head of all the stud dancers. I went to DC and saw a show- it was the first time I’d seen anything like that.
The promoter watched it and said “Oh no, she has to dance at my club!” I was like “No! what do you mean” and she said “What do you mean no, you’re gonna do it!” I was like “I am?” *laughing*. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years now, since March 2010.
Did you get nervous back then, do you still get nervous before you go on?
Yeah I did and I still do. It’s a good thing that you still get nervous after all this time, because it means you’re not bored with it, you know? It gives you that edge that you need.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
I like to make sure that I don’t eat too much on the day of a show so I don’t have a pot belly. I need my abs to be there *chuckles* I try to work out a little bit before the show – not too much so I’m not too tired and wasting my energy, but that’s pretty much it. Oh, and the usual oil yourself with the baby oil and all that good stuff.
Has anyone ever disrespected you whilst performing and how do you manage those situations?
Well like last night *laughs* that right there, how the girl just came out. It happens here and there. That was kind of extreme with the biting and stuff. Usually they’ll have security at the club and they’ll just come and scoop the person up. I’ve had girls try to put their finger in me, like actually reach down in my pants. That’s another thing, I don’t drink I don’t smoke none of that, I never have in my life, never tasted any type of alcohol, never smoked a cigarette, weed any pills – I’m totally sober so that helps significantly because I’m always aware of my surroundings, so I’m able to control it on my own if not, security comes. It can get a little extra.
Wow, it must feel like you’re being treated like an object?
Like a piece of meat? Yeah, and I don’t necessarily carry myself that way. At the end of the day I’m putting on a fantasy, I’m putting on a show so no, you can’t just come and try to do something sexual toward me thinking I’m gonna like it because in fact I don’t. I’m not like that. That’s not my thing.
Is there anything people assume about you as a dancer that’s a complete falsehood?
Yeah they assume I’m not aggressive, because of how I look. So a lot of the places I get booked obviously they’re promoting me as a stud dancer. But then people are looking at the photos of me – I look feminine, I don’t look rough enough. So they don’t know what to think of me. Then I put on a show and they see me picking up women, I’m flipping them over and they’re like “Oh! I didn’t think she was that way” because of the hair and how I look.
That’s why I label The Misconception, because it is a big one. If you’re just looking at me, I don’t speak, if I don’t move you have this mindset that I’m this. Then you hear my voice and see my mannerisms and they’re like “Oh! She’s not what I thought she would be”.
How do you deal with the popularity? Has it been a steady progression or somewhat instant and how do you deal with that?
I’ve dealt with the progression for the most part, the only time it was shocking to me was when I first started with YouTube. I just had an opinion and decided to speak on it and people loved it. It just came out of nowhere, all of it – the dancing, YouTube, everything just came like it was meant to be. I never said “Oh, I wanna be a celesbian one day and get booked” *laughs* My only goal ever in life was to travel around the World. I didn’t know how I was gonna do it, but I knew I wanted to do it before I die.
How does social media help and hinder you?
Social media for me is a plus because I use it for promoting and my whereabouts, like where I’m gonna be or if I want to put my abs on deck for the day *laughs* So for the most part I just post body, show promo and every now and then I’ll throw my daughter on there. You’re never gonna see relationships on my social media, you’re never gonna see how much money I’m making. I’m a very private person so a lot of times I don’t wanna post and feel Like I wanna go on a hiatus but I feel forced to post because you have things coming up, you want people to know where you’re gonna be. But I’m not a daily poster, I just can’t – I get tired of seeing myself *laughs* so you’ll get tired of seeing me too. And I have enough pictures up! I look the same. I looked like I looked last week, it’s still me *laughs* but yeah, it’s pressure to post, pressure to keep it lively and keep yourself relevant. But I handle it and it works.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into performing on the scene?
I get that question a lot, people inbox me and DM me asking me for advice on how they can get started. I don’t know, I feel like they think I had something handed to me, like I didn’t work for it. But that goes with most aspects in life, no matter what type of business you’re in, hair or makeup, music, whatever – if somebody sees you shining in some type of way they feel like you’re the key.
The secret is hard work. The best thing to do is to promote yourself, don’t ever wait for a hand out, don’t ever wait for someone to come and sell you. You’re the best at doing that, you know yourself the best. Find ways to keep yourself relevant but without looking like a cookie cut of something else. Find your own way, find your own niche.
Which out of the Cosmetology, Personal Training and Entertaining do you get the most enjoyment out of and why?
Honestly, all of it, because I’m passionate about all 3. When you love what you do, it never feels like work. I love the process of it all, I love watching people’s bodies change and their eating habits. I love making someone beautiful, like my hair clients have alopecia or undergoing chemotherapy. So their self-esteem is already non-existent at this point, they feel low and unattractive. So for me to be able to give that back to them, it’s amazing to be a part of that process. And then there’s the dancing. The sexual part of it, giving a fantasy, making girls feel a way. Sometimes a girl hasn’t felt sexy at all in life until I give them that, like they realize that they can reach in and bring that part of them out.
Your daughter Autumn is 14 years old this year and from the outside looking in you have a genuinely close and loving relationship with her. How do you maintain that with all the work and traveling you have to do?
It’s like anyone else that has a 9-5 job. When you’re at work are you with your kid all day? No, you’re at work. Luckily for me, I’m not gone all day long. Most of my work is based on the internet, or my clients are scheduled in a certain way that I can have a lot of online clients in the house. I’m there all week and gone on the weekend, so there’s nothing to balance really. I see her every day of the week. If I have a show it will always fall on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, so she’ll go and stay with a family member. But other than that I’m there. I take her to school I pick her up, we do homework, it’s a regular life. I do wish I could do stuff with her on the weekends when I’m away but I’m not away forever. But this way works out better because she doesn’t come home to an empty house. It’s not a struggle.
Over the past year or so you’ve starred in and been involved with getting the message out about The Same Difference documentary. Can you tell us what it’s about and how you connected with Nneka Onuorah?
She actually emailed me and said she had been watching me for some time. She’s affiliated with big television networks like BET and Viacom. Basically she could relate to the way I was because she wore hair extensions as well and she would get a little bit of heat for it but not much because of the way she is. She was just inspired that I wasn’t willing to conform to what people wanted me to be. Like having a low haircut – I’ve done that already, I’ve had dreads – it wasn’t me. I like to look like that every now and then but hair is my thing, I do hair, I’m somebody’s mother. I’ve always been myself, she’s watched me be myself all these years and never conform to any of these labels. So with that in mind she felt like I would be a great advocate for the film, to tell my story and hopefully inspire someone else to continue to be themselves and not conform to what someone else wants them to be.
The filming process was great, it was a long time coming and now we’re reaching new heights with it going all over the World to different countries and cities.
Will it come to the UK?
Yes, it’s in the works.
Growing up in Brooklyn, what was it like for you being out in the area you lived in?
I came out late, I didn’t come out in Brooklyn, I had to physically move away so I could get comfortable within my own skin. Once I did come out my Grandmother said she knew that already, so in my head I’m like “Bruh! I could’ve come out a long time ago!”
I’ve always been a Tomboy and I remember crying a lot when I was younger, because my family would try and force me to wear things I
didn’t want to wear. But they knew, that’s why.
I remember being 11 years old playing outside and maybe pretending to go to the bathroom. I went in the house and I put on the Playboy channel. There were these 2 girls selling lemonade and they started kissing and I remember in my head saying “Kiss her again, kiss her again” at 11.
Before Catfish came about, I was a Catfisher. That’s when it started getting real. I started talking to girls on AOL when instant messenger was popular. I made up a whole name and went and stole this dudes pictures that I was like ok, he’s cute, I’ll be him – Mykell, so that’s where Kellz came from, that’s a whole story *laughing*
I started talking to this girl, we had been talking for 6 months, the whole time she thought I was a boy. I had a boyfriend at the time and I even told him about it. I found myself falling in love with her but I found a way to cut her off cause I’m thinking what are these feelings I’m having? So I told her the truth. She was devastated said that she couldn’t do this, and then the next day she calls me up and says “I’ve changed my mind, I wanna meet you”
I started spending more time with her less with him, we broke up and he was in his feelings. Now I’m like I think I’m ready to do that thing, you know, that thing *laughs* I booked the hotel room, set it up, but I backed out, I was afraid and she was like “I’ll do it to you” and I’m thinking No! That would mean I’m really gay but if I do it to you it won’t make me gay – my mindset, still in denial *laughing* But then her period came and I was saved by the bell so we didn’t get down to the real thing. But when the time finally came, I was all in and I was good at it *laughs* I was like this is my calling, I thought I was gonna be bad at it but apparently this is the life!
All of that from my Catfishing days up to now has helped me become who I am.
What advice would you give anyone about coming out and pursuing their dreams?
Always be yourself, never hinder yourself for anybody else, never box yourself in. We’re all meant to be something, we all have a skill or a talent. If you try and push that to the wayside you’re limiting yourself.
When I came out it was tough. The last boyfriend I had actually outed me to my Grandmother, so didn’t get the pleasure of telling her myself. For a while she didn’t want me coming around dressed the way I did. I had one outfit of tight jeans and t-shirt that I would wear to hers. Then I told her “No, the day I come to the door and you turn me away, you won’t have to worry about seeing me again, I won’t come back.” And she took that in and changed her tune.
You have to put your foot down and stand your ground. People will adjust and if they don’t, you only have to live for you.
What’s next for you? Do you have anything in the pipeline, confirmed that you’d like your fans to know about?
I have no plans really, everything that I’ve been a part of so far has been random and it’s worked. I don’t know what’s next for me but I have ideas and everything I put my mind to, I make it happen. I do want a sex toy line with my name, with toys for us (lesbians). I want to get in to porn, but writing porn. I don’t want to be on camera! There are different types of gay people and we have all types of sex so I want to cover it all. Real porn for everyone who is a part of the LGBT+ community.
It was a pleasure meeting King Kellz. A very personable individual who is an open book. I’m certain the read was worth it because this is her truth. The fact that people came through from the US to the UK for her birthday to watch her perform, shows that Kellz’s following is testament to her hard work and determination to succeed and build a life for her and her daughter. If you take nothing away from this, at least take just being yourself, work hard, keep it consistent, don’t post your worst behavior on social media because you never know, your next opportunity maybe watching you. Just look at how far it’s got her.
Keep up to date with King Kellz on social media:
For bookings – BOOKKELLZ@GMAIL.COM