Bored at home during the covid19 lockdown in March, 25-year-old Kayla Bostic took to social media for entertainment.
Bostic told WMN, “I started in quarantine. I was bored and then I did a TikTok video. The reaction from everyone has made me keep doing it. I usually laugh at them but I see the comments and the satisfaction from others make me keep doing them.”
Now, what was just a hobby is evolving into a business where her creativity and her education are teaming up. WMN met with Bostic at the St Joseph studio of radio and television personality Errol Fabien, her godfather, where she was shooting a TikTok video. The latest video she recorded for her TikTok followers, which she also posts on other social media platforms, was a remake of the music video for US stars Ashanti and Ja Rule’s Mesmerize.
And in case you think the name Bostic sounds familiar, yes, Kayla Bostic is related to soca artiste Onika Bostic who died in a car crash in December, 2004.
Bostic, who holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing, is working closely with Jules Sobion, CEO of Caesar’s Army and 2017 emerging entrepreneur of the year winner, to merge her hobby with her studies. With just four months under her belt as a TikTok user, Bostic knows the task ahead will not be easy, but with the support of family and friends, she wants to be the content creator that businesses will want to partner with.
“Right now I am in the planning stages of launching my own marketing company with my friend. I am also monetising the TikTok videos by doing commercials. I have done for three companies so far; all of them are small companies that I met on Instagram.
"I don’t know anyone who is making money off of the app but to help me along I have hooked up with Sobion who is assisting me. He is the major person guiding me right now."
She added that apart from doing product placement in her videos she wants to tailor fit her videos to the client’s product using trending topics as well as non-trending topics for longevity. Two of her recent videos went viral with one, in which she impersonated dancehall artistes Bennie Man and Bounty Killa, getting well over 200,000 views. The video she used was part of a quarantine Instagram battle between Beenie Man and Bounty Killa, one of the Verzuz online battles in which entertainers "battle" each other with their top 20 songs.
She admitted, "To tell you the truth, I don't get as much forward on TikTok as I do on other platforms but I love the creativity that the app allows, for example the ability to lip sync. It allows me to be creative and expressive and make whatever you put out your own, even when using other people's material like this Ashanti video. You are still able to remain trending, that is why I love the app."
While putting smiles on people's faces is enough, with over 100,000 video views, Bostic aims to turn the clicks into cheques. Some videos take as little as 15 minutes while others last up to an hour. The video WMN witnessed took close to two hours to record what will be become a one-minute TikTok video. Bostic's friend Miguel Edwards made his debut on the video.
The youngest of five children, Bostic said her family supports and encourages her to create more content. When he is not being pranked by her and one of her sisters, her father is her cameraman. Her sister is the makeup artist and her mother is her distributor. Her support base was evident the day of the video shoot, with five of her friends showing up, assisting with directing, make-up and giving constructive criticism. Bostic took it all in stride with a smile on her face.
Once a “promo girl” who advertised for Shell on weekends, Bostic dreamt of opening her own marketing company along the traditional lines of brand marketing through physical outreach. She laughed when she remembered that she did not learn about social media advertising during her four years at university; she graduated in 2018 from the UWI Mona campus in Jamaica. She plana to get a master's degree and has given herself at least another five years to begin, but she hasn't yet decided in what field.
She told WMN, “I had no idea that I would have been doing this, especially since when I started it, it was because I was bored. I really enjoy doing it, especially when people are laughing and if this can be money making venture, then why not. At the end of the day I want people to be able to enjoy my content.”
With nothing except her iPhone 11, Bostic said she plans to get equipment to produce her videos, butin the meantime, she's got Fabien's support and technical assistance, and his studio.