Kerry-Ann ‘Chiney K’ Collins : Nothing coincidental about overwhelming success

Sade Gardner

May 1, 2022

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SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

Chiney K’s visibility has increased over the past two years, and it’s by no means coincidental.

She attributes her continued success to consistency, self-belief and being herself. These factors have engendered a supportive community whose votes have made her the Flair Distinguished Social Media Personality of the Year.

“It’s a really great, humbling feeling that I could win an award for actually being myself and delivering great quality content that a lot of people look forward to for laughs to brighten their day,” Chiney K told Flair. “To be recognised is a great accomplishment and something I truly appreciate, especially the fact that it’s a public vote, so I just know Team Chiney K and my supporters are very strong.”

Other nominees in the category were Juliet ‘Julie Mango’ Bodley, Tami Chin Mitchell, Kalilah Reynolds and Tricia ‘ZJ Sparks’ Spence.

Many Jamaicans were first introduced to the coloured hair beaut on the viral The Social House reality show in 2021, where she copped the $1-million prize, but her story in entertainment started several years ago.

Given the name Kerry-Ann Collins, her digital footprint in media traces back to 2012 when she uploaded skits, reviews and behind-the-scenes footage from events on her YouTube channel.

Though she always wanted to do something “fun” in media and entertainment, she shared, “That was just me posting for posting sake. I wasn’t really fully immersed in social media, and back then, social media wasn’t what it is now. I didn’t fully understand how YouTube worked dem time deh.”

While studying business management and marketing (music) at the William Paterson University in New Jersey, she received the opportunity to have a morning show on Jersey’s Roadblock Radio. After doing research for a more fulfilling academic experience, the media baby discovered a degree programme in media studies and happily switched her major.

“I have footage of me documenting my college journey, and it’s so frightful to see now,” she said. “I wish I could hug that person because I was so doubtful. I knew what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t see it though I was doing my best. I’m so happy I documented it because looking back at it now, it is so crazy to see the things I have accomplished since then and what I hope to continue to accomplish.”

She’s contemplating when to release her own Jeen-Yuhs, so to speak, which also captured her move to Los Angeles, where she pursued a minor in film studies at the California State University, Northridge. While the general public sees her accolades, it was copious rejections from job applications to media entities like Disney that inspired her to create her own platform and the popular On My Mind series.

“I asked my sister to take out a Best Buy credit card for me, and I bought a Canon 60D camera, but I didn’t know how to work it,” she said.

With some tips from her audio teacher and her own trial and error, she figured it out and started shooting and editing her own content. Her work grew a following in the United States, and she would also come to Jamaica for content. She ultimately caught the attention of Skkan Media, who was the first to pay her for her services. She admitted being nervous about the gig and asking what was required of her.

“They said, ‘Just be yourself’, and I said, ‘I can get paid from being myself?’… Bring it on.”
From there came opportunities like covering Reggae Sumfest and being a contestant on The Social House. She also collaborated with the marketing team of Netflix’s Money Heist, is a fashion ambassador for brands like Shein, and has her own weekday radio show on Fyah 105, all while operating her own haircare and beauty company, Joli Faire.

“Back then, I wanted to be on radio; I was looking for it. Now, I wasn’t looking for it, but it was presented to me. Sometimes you feel like you want it now; maybe now is not the right time. Looking back at the opportunity I wanted back then, I was not ready for it because I now know so much more; I’m so much more experienced in everything. I feel like timing is everything. Even if a door closes when you really want it, that’s okay; just find another way to get there… You will eventually find it, and it will be presented to you, but yuh haffi put in the work.”

Her work continues as she intends to make Joli Faire a lifestyle brand with a bigger presence locally and worldwide. She’s not through with the US yet and wants to return to Miami or LA to take “Team Chiney K” and Jamaica to the international market. As for personal goals, she hopes to start a family, build a home and be happy and healthy.

sade.gardner@gleanerjm.com

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Sade Gardner

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