Kathia Lynne is taking over NYC after she had to leave hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico
Is it just me or did it seem like mercury was in retrograde for the ENTIRE year of 2017?!
Between the political circus thatâ€™s going on in the White House right now to the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the Pandoraâ€™s box it opened, not to mention Mother Nature being one hell of a bitch â€” it’s no wonder we all escape to the fantasy world that is social media.
But oh wait, that soon might be taken away too due to net neutrality being repealed, so really weâ€™re taking Lâ€™s all over the place this year.
Probably one of the biggest things that affected me and those in my life was Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico last September. Due to the devastation it caused, thousands of Puerto Ricans made the difficult decision to move away from their island in order to keep building their lives.
Recent New York transplant Kathia Lynne was one of those who unfortunately lost everything due to Maria. She has begun reconstructing her musical career in the concrete jungle. I got the chance to catch up with the artist where she opened up to me about her current projects and future plans and we even got on a deeper level talking about social media and her personal battles with the ivory tower of cyberspace and how it can be hard to face at times. Like a true Boricua, sheâ€™s still doinâ€™ the damn thing.
Read our interview with Kathia below to see how she vibrates higher no matter the wavelength.
Social media… for or against?
Iâ€™m pro-social-media. Social media plays a big part in sharing the things you wonâ€™t see on TV, or hear on the radio. It helps us share information the government doesnâ€™t want to put out. For example, with the Puerto Rico chaos, the only way we could learn about the actual crisis going on in PR was because of fellow Puerto Ricans speaking out on their social media [to show people] what the press wouldnâ€™t cover. It has become a way of being heard.
It has also become a big platform for us artists to spread our content and reach masses. But like every good has its bad,Â social media can also be deceiving, toxic and even dangerous. Sadly, we are the generation raising a generation of people living behind their avatars. Anything can be said, anything can be written and it can be painful.
Do you think appearances are almost as important as talent in todayâ€™s industry?
Talent is a gift, appearance is a luxury. No luxury can outshine a talent that lights from within.
But there is also beauty in taking care of yourself.
Have you ever felt like your talent has been overshadowed because of your looks? Do you ever feel like youâ€™re not being taken seriously?
I donâ€™t feel like my talent has been overshadowed by my looks. I am free to feel and look beautiful. Itâ€™s how I desire to carry myself and I donâ€™t need to change it to be taken seriously.
I have a strong attitude and a stronger one when it comes to my work. I know what I want and how I want it.
Iâ€™m educated in what I do.
â€œIâ€™m investedâ€ on myÂ knowledge. And your opinion of my looks wonâ€™t dim what Iâ€™ll put on the table.
Have you ever been a victim of cyber bullying?
Yes. In social media and before social media. I was a heavy girl and Iâ€™m still thick. People have always thought that calling me out for it will stop me from doing what I do. Bringing me down so constantly only made me stronger. Honestly I canâ€™t be shaken anymore. Iâ€™ve accepted who I am and what I give. Iâ€™m on a higher level, spiritually and mentally.
But also, I have to remind myself this is the life that I chose, and Iâ€™ll be out there doing things youâ€™ll need to talk about, so if you canâ€™t attack my work, youâ€™ll attack my body. And Iâ€™m okay with that. Says more of the the personâ€™s priorities than of my body and youâ€™ll see that later reflected on my work. Iâ€™ve always been about making ugly things beautiful. And Iâ€™ll make it beautiful.
Do you find that its more men or women doing the bullying?
Sadly but true, women.
How do you handle the negative comments?
Iâ€™ve dealt with it since my first magazine cover at 16 years old.
Since then Iâ€™ve learned a few things:
You can be the one on the cover or you can be the one on the comments.
Iâ€™m not shaken by anyoneâ€™s negative comments.
Wish pure love and soft peace upon the ones whoâ€™ve been unkind to you and KEEP MOVING FORWARD. Wave down at those salty bitches with grace.
Iâ€™m busy, Iâ€™m working, Iâ€™m creating, Iâ€™m studying, Iâ€™m working with amazing artists, Iâ€™m doing my thing, Iâ€™m taking care of my family, Iâ€™m taking care of myself, Iâ€™m busy planning who am I gonna be ten years from now. I donâ€™t need that type of energy. Thereâ€™s nothing in it for me to indulge in because Iâ€™m not aiming for drama not gossip, Iâ€™m aiming for success.
What would your message be to people battling bullies on the daily?
Love yourself. Be kind when the world is hard. All that you put out will come back to you. Work on yourself, plan ahead. Itâ€™s a phase, it wonâ€™t last forever. Stay strong. It all shall pass.
Bullying makes you feel down even more when youâ€™re young. But you can feed off the hate and turn it into something beautiful. People who bring you down are too busy threatening with hate while you can do the opposite and bloom. Believe in you, acknowledge that youâ€™re valuable, and soon theyâ€™ll believe it too. Itâ€™s ok to be different, weird, the outcast, the one who stands out. Embrace it.
Social media plays a huge role in launching and sustaining peopleâ€™s careers. How do you think the repeal of net neutrality would affect this?
The whole situation is just absurd. Little by little they keep depriving us [of] our democracy. Censoring us. I donâ€™t know the changes weâ€™ll have to go through, but thatâ€™s what we are, artists and we innovate and change. And even though itâ€™s fucked up I believe weâ€™ll stay here. No money or giant businesses can make us stop doing what we do. Weâ€™ll find a way.
If the repeal on net neutrality indeed does go through and our social resources are limited, what other ways would you go about promoting yourself as an artist?
Remember times when youâ€™d share your favorite cassette or song to your best friend cause the song was bomb? No. Cause we were born a different generation.
But my way of seeing it is a take back in time. More listening parties please? I think it can be a good thing to have all your friends together and make parties to promote your music. Even more here in New York. The word spreads fast. Like I had my first show here in Soho a few weeks ago. It was packed and after that I got so many messages and love.
Itâ€™ll be a more intimate exchanging of art, more personal and human. Itâ€™s cool to have the internet persona and whatever but itâ€™s cooler when you get to see artist in person and talk and share knowledge. I donâ€™t know. Iâ€™m trying to stay positive towards all these situations and changes cause you never know what the world has for you. So I always remember this verse:Â â€œGrant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.â€
Are there any female artists out right now that you look up to?
Yes. Singer Sevdaliza, photographer Nadia Lee, designer Daisy Donohoe, singer Kali Uchis…Â I really respect them. They are different and unafraid to be so. You can identify yourself with certain artists, Iâ€™d say I can relate with a little of each.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2018?
Iâ€™d like to accomplish stability. Both mentally and physically. I feel like 2017 was a year to lose a lot. Maybe so I could be a better version of myself?
I lost prized possessions, my beautiful home (because of the hurricane) and a little bit of myself with it all. So, here I am, gathering my strengths, poems, songs and self which is all I have left to start anew. And if it all works out, Iâ€™ll release my EP finally. *praying hands emoji*
Photography:Â Steph Segarra @stephsegarra