Krystal is used to being in front of the camera. As a presenter and personality, that is her bread and butter, but when she arrives at the studio on a cold but sunny day in late February, Krystal will be photographed for what will be her first editorial feature shoot for BAD Concept.
Krystal brings her usual bubbly and upbeat vibe to the shoot and gets along easily with the entire team. When we’re finished shooting, Krystal and I head to a McDonalds nearby to get food and do the interview. My first question to Krystal is how are you? “I feel I’ve been good because everything is kind of in alignment, so everything I was working towards is now happening so now–before I was like just going kind of every which way, now I’m just very relaxed in everything that I do.” There is an air of ease around Krystal, the type that comes when the seeds you have sown are beginning to bloom and you can relax knowing your career investments are beginning to pay off in a big way. 
At just 21-years-old, Krystal has already been working in the industry for 5 years, beginning at the tender age of 16. They say on average it takes 10 years to really establish yourself and at her current age, Krystal is half way there. 
Knit skirt / @niamhemilyfoster
Knit skirt / @niamhemilyfoster
Earrings / @shiwangi_periwal, Ring / @mikobanksjewellery
Earrings / @shiwangi_periwal, Ring / @mikobanksjewellery
This impressive feat is usually possible for those who are blessed to know what they want to do in life from a very young age, something that is true for Krystal “It sounds a bit stuck up, but I honestly feel like they say certain people were born to do things, I definitely feel like I was born to do it. Just the way sometimes things align themselves, it’s mad. It’s so crazy, I’m thinking "rah” this shouldn’t be happening the way it is.”  When this is the case, the path that follows is often led by instinct, nerve, a touch of serendipity and a refusal to give up “there’s no plan B. Legit, it’s either do or die type vibe.” 
Krystal’s diverse background includes Indian, Jamaican and Guyanese heritage, as well as having extended family from all over the world, “I have like Latinas, some people who are Polynesian and things like that, there’s a lot of different cultures.” So, it follows that the industry she found herself drawn to involves meeting and connecting with a range of people, a skill that is as natural as breathing to her “my parents are very chatty people so I was naturally just going to be a chatty person.” Krystal’s outgoing and dramatic way of being is one thing that has gotten her to where she is today; bolstered by networking at parties and events where Krystal challenged herself to talk to people and make friends. ​​​​​​​
Networking is a necessary part of the job as a creative freelancer and something that is very scary and hard for a lot of people. For Krystal, the most difficult and most important part of networking comes after the initial meeting; the follow up, “it’s the maintaining the relationship that can be difficult. In the beginning, when I was younger I didn’t really know how to do that but then, as I started getting older I was thinking ‘okay, what are some things I can find in common with people to kind of keep a conversation going’, and again the more people you know, the more mutuals you have, the more you’re seeing them so you’re just building that relationship up naturally and organically.”
Blue appliqué dress / @zhaoyi_official
Blue appliqué dress / @zhaoyi_official
A significant transition period for Krystal came at a time when she had just left secondary school to do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in film at Global Academy, followed by an apprenticeship at Global, “ it’s like BRIT school but for TV, radio, film and audio.” Her core group of friends were following their own paths and Krystal found herself wanting more creative people in her life to which networking would be the key. Krystal credits her motivation to put herself out there and meet people to a friend she attended a music gig with, “he knew everybody in the room. Everyone was like ‘oh hey hey hey hey hey’, and I didn’t know anyone and so I feel like in that moment I was like, one day I really want to go into a room and not have to introduce myself all over again so to speak, and I just know people so that if I do go out by myself it won’t be awkward or anything like that.”
One thing Krystal is known for is her hair. About two years ago, as evidenced on her YouTube channel, Krystal decided that she wanted to have an identifiable thing and that thing would be her signature blonde finger waves adorned with gems, branding herself “Krystal with the crystals.” This rebrand extended to Krystal’s sartorial style which is Y2K inspired and was the main inspiration for the editorial styling with girly and fun being key words on the mood board.
“How I kind of used to say it back in the day is, when you see a short bob and glasses you think Anna Wintour. When you see a ponytail you think Ariana Grande. When people see finger waves I want them to think Krystal.” 
For the last few years, Krystal has cut her teeth working in radio, doing social media management and content creation as well as presenting self-produced and commissioned shows distributed online. Navigating these notoriously hard industries has not been easy, contrary to how it may appear, there are many challenges, the hardest of which Krystal says is getting over the numbers game, “I thought by now I would have a lot more [followers] because I said to myself I want to have 10K by at least 20-years-old, I’m only at 3.” Krystal has learnt that numbers don’t completely dictate how well you do in the industry, “just because your videos don’t necessarily get loads of views from the public, doesn’t mean that industry people aren’t watching you.” However, it’s easy to forget when your job is heavily reliant on the immersive rabbit hole that is social media “sometimes it gets to me and I’m thinking ah, nobody fucks with me but that’s not true, because when I meet people they’re like ‘oh I like your stuff’ so it’s like okay, numbers don’t mean anything and if you’re always chasing numbers then you’re never going to be happy realistically.”
Red look / @_xinyuzhao, Rings / @mikobanksjewellery
The social media landscape is evolving concurrently for better and for worse at a rapid pace. Whilst on one hand the industry is opening up to allow different types of people with smaller followings to thrive and access opportunities that were reserved for people with a minimum of 10K followers just a few years ago, it has simultaneously created a bubble of go-to favourites who are called upon for the big jobs. Really, this is the way it’s always been in traditional TV and media but as a result the room for progression for up and coming presenters and creators is very small and very competitive, “It’s like if there’s a gig that’s going to come up, it’s always going to be the same people.” 
Despite the industry cracking open its doors for people with smaller followings, numbers are still vital to predicting a return on investment–why take a chance on a lesser known presenter or creator when more established presenters and creators pretty much guarantee a certain number of eyeballs?
“Some people are really big assholes, and will be like ‘we’ve been in this industry since like the 80s, this is how it’s done.’ It’s like, okay but it’s 2020 now, let’s move on, why can we not change it? Why can’t we do it this way?”

Earrings & bracelet cuff / @retrochicitaly

In a stroke of serendipity, whilst Krystal was managing the social media channels for MYCOMEUP World, a new media platform and talent agency, she had a conversation with founder Leonard Sekyonda on a walk home that changed her trajectory, “I said to him social media is not what I want to do, it’s just like a side job that you know pays for my stuff, as of right now, but I really want to be a presenter.” After showing Sekyonda the pitch for her show DUSK2DAWN, Sekyonda agreed to support and host Krystal’s show on MYCOMEUP TV which produces TV shows for social media. 
Next week, the second episode of DUSK2DAWN will be released featuring Klaudia Fior, and if it’s anything like the first one, it’s sure to be a juicy and entertaining watch. 
As the stars are aligning for Krystal, my final question is what does she dream of next? “I want to be like hosting the BRITS, I want to go to the MET Gala, I want to be on billboards and posters–kind of what Liza Koshy does. She’s probably the most accurate. Liza Koshy, Maya Jama and Nella Rose, what those girls do, is exactly what I want to do.”

Creative direction, production and interview: Terna Jogo @shooter_terns 
Photographer: Celense @celenseuk
Styling: Despina Chatzidakis @deschatz
Makeup: Charli Avery @charliaverymakeup
Hair artist: Kreszend Sackey @kreszendsackey 
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