I am woman enough to admit that I live vicariously through her. She broadcasts on her blog various moments of her life, thoughts and crushes. I know if I can’t resist entering Va$htie’s world daily, there’s fly femmes and fellas everywhere getting their daily fix too. Va$htie Kola’s appealing life is a result of her multitasking and determination to always be herself. With a brief stint in the corporate world, Va$htie worked as a liaison between mainstream and what’s cool, lending her ideas to Def Jam. She soon realized that her creativity was being choked, so she left and chased her dreams of directing music videos. Signed to Box Fresh Pictures, Va$htie’s laced videos for Kanye West (“Us Placers” independently!), Solange (“T.O.N.Y.”), Kid Cudi (“Heaven At Night”) and Jadakiss ft. Faith Evans (“Letter to B.I.G.)—just to name drop a little.
In addition to calling all the shots on video shoots, she has her own clothing line—Violette—which defines Va$htie’s dynamic personal style. You’ll see her in combat boots, a Chanel bag, T-shirt and floral print—a constant contradiction, but it just works. So, in turn, Va$htie set out to make that same look work for other women. Everything Va$htie puts her hands on doesn’t turn into gold, it just benefits people. Plain and simple. Another Va$htie venture that benefits people—her party series Open and 1992. Together with Q-tip, Va$htie throws a NYC party without all the NYC hoity toity, “you can’t get in” red tape. Oh Va$htie, you make life a little sweeter for everyone. Is there anything you can’t do? Yes, there is. Va$htie can’t Tweet. I guess 140 characters or less up-to-the-minute updates would be a little much for Va$htie’s fan club to handle; it’s just TMI for Va$htie. I caught up with the downtown sweetheart and she opened up about all the hats she wears, Twitter and her career.
Let’s start from the beginning. You grew up in Albany and decided to move into the city to pursue directing. Was that something you always wanted to do?
Yeah, since I was really little. I was into movies and then I got super into music videos with MTV was playing music videos. When I was around 11 or 12, that’s when I decided that I really wanted to direct. That was the path I decided I wanted to take.
That’s not something a lot of kids that age think about. That’s cool that you fell in love with directing so early. Did you just know?
Yeah for the most part. I grew up with a fine arts background. I was always drawing and painting. I knew I wanted to do something in art, but at that age, I was reading magazines and immersing myself in all different cultures—skate, hip hop, etc. I love visuals and music, so it was a perfect package. It interested me and I wanted to be able to create those same visuals. It’s odd because growing up where I did with the kind of family I had, I don’t even know how that got nurtured.
Did they support you in your decision to move to NYC?
My family—it’s a weird situation. I wasn’t really close to them at all. I have an older brother and sister and my dad left when I was 14, so it was just me and my mom. I mentioned to her that I wanted to go to college and it was like, “Good luck with that because I can’t help you.” [laughs] I was also really rebellious, so it wasn’t entirely their fault that we weren’t close. The summer before I left, I mentioned to my mom that I was going to school in New York. I think because I’ve been so rebellious and independent, I think they knew I could handle myself in New York.
I was reading your bio and it detailed the many hats you wear. Let’s go through them and see if you can explain why these labels are good descriptors of who you are.
The first one is director, and it’s also the most obvious…
Other than being in a lot of student debt for going to school for directing, [laughs] that’s what I am by trade. It pays my bills. I’ve gained a lot of recognition from directing.
I have been doing parties in New York City for about four or five years now. It started out of boredom. In New York City—I’m sure you know—there are lots of party promoters that are paid to bring people to the club and have attractive girls sitting at their tables. That definition doesn’t suit me because I started a party…to have a place where our friends could come, feel comfortable and not feel judged—that whole, “what are you wearing,” “you’re not cute enough, you can’t come in.” It was more creating a mood for people to feel open. Through that party—with only music from the late 80’s, early 90’s—I started another party with Q-tip at Santos…They have the same feeling. There is no dress code. We don’t play anything from the radio. It’s kind of a cool place to hang out, connect and feel good.
Those are the main parties you produce—1992 and The Open?
Yes. Those are the only ones I do. I’m just kind of chilling on that. Being in New York, you wear a lot of hats and people get confused. [laughs] Some people know me as, “Oh you do that party!” or, “I’ve seen that video that you did…” A lot of people don’t know the things that I do. Part of being a New Yorker is wearing a million hats. It’s a part of the hustle, but also contributing to the city. So many people here just do so many different things, whether to pay the bill or just for fun—but just to be a part of the city.
Another title…Style Maven.
That’s a weird title because a friend of mine gave it to me. [laughs] I don’t know. I mean, I guess I have been pretty carefree my entire life as far as style goes. I haven’t focused on following trends. I do what I want to do and because I’m so confident in what I wear, I think it comes off as me having expertise in that area. I don’t particularly think I do. I think I get attention for wearing things most people wouldn’t wear.
Lady of Leisure. What’s that about?
**read the rest of the LONG interview HERE**