Korty is the fastest growing YouTuber in Nigeria who started as a model with a budding career in Lagos. She hails from Ibadan, where she got her degree in Computer science. She loves to call herself a filmmaker though she hasn’t gotten the badge yet.
At the moment, she produces three shows on her YouTube channel. The first is a series where she just talks about herself, her experiences and feelings. Her second show is called “Flow with Korty”, a show where she talks to Celebrities and gets them to share their processes, the way they navigate life and how it relates to their work. Those two shows are a source of inspiration to many, however, for someone who inspires and influences many people, that isn’t what she set out to do when she started. This brings us to her last and most recent show “Love/Lies”, where she brings two people together and tries to match-make them. This show is just for fun and vibes because, like many other people in Lagos and Nigeria at large, Korty is preternatural.
For Korty, Youtube is a training ground, which is why she is constantly learning, practising, and putting out her work. We had a conversation with the fastest growing YouTuber in Nigeria and here is how it went;
Yellowlyfe Mag: What is your creative process like?
Korty: Um… I don’t know, really. My YouTube is kind of like different things at different times, so I don’t have a one size fits all kind of process of creating. Sometimes it’s just random, I’m watching a movie and something pops up in my head while other times it’s other people I’m working with. So, I don’t really have a creative process per se. Whatever comes, if I feel like it’s going to be cool, I run it. The only thing is that I don’t really know which ideas are good or bad. I just do it and I know that, “Oh, I have done this before, and it was trash, I’m never doing it again. Or I have done this and it was nice, so I will do more of it”.
Yellowlyfe Mag: How do you select the people in your videos?
Korty: I don’t know. I just scroll through my Instagram and stay on my explore page for a while and I lookout for people that seem like they might have sense. Some people say yes, while others say No.
Yellowlyfe Mag: People say No?
Korty: Lol… She said, “people say no”. Of course they do. To be fair, I don’t get a lot but I have gotten some Nos, even on Twitter. I also have a list of people I want to work with, so as I’m scrolling, I will just include someone in my list for future reference. I can reach out to this person but that’s for my show, say Love or Lies or something. However Flow is mostly Celebrities, though I’m trying not to focus on celebrities alone but it’s mostly celebrities for now.
YellowLyfe Mag: How do you get them to be so comfortable with you in your interviews?
Korty: Umm.. I don’t know. I just talk to them and they talk back and I just allow them and I listen and learn. I go there to learn and I have actually learnt a lot. I don’t really ask them generic shit cause I know a lot of celebrities have a lot of interviews and they get asked a lot of questions, so I’m not going there to ask, “what’s the motivation behind your career?” I’m trying to talk to you like a human being, it’s just gist most times and they enjoy it because it doesn’t feel like it’s a scripted interview, though I have bullet points as a guide.
YellowLyfe Mag: The first time you featured a celebrity, what was it like?
Korty: Blaqbones and I have worked together before. I used to work at Zikoko and some other companies and I used to organize shoots. So that’s how I met Blaqbones and some other guys. I was very young then and they were also still growing in their careers. It was kind of easy to convince them to come for the show, since we had worked together before. I just reached out to him and he was interested. Also, I already had an episode before his, so I was able to show him an example of what it would be like. So obviously, it’s wiser for me to reach out to people I already have access to and at the time, I didn’t have anything to really show but now for other celebrities, once they see some of the videos, they are interested.
YellowLyfe Mag: Have you ever gotten tired of film-making?
Korty: I don’t think I have started film-making. I haven’t started, so it would be stupid to get tired. Film-making is very broad and I have not explored that much. There are so many movie parts, that’s why people go to school for film-making. I think what I’m doing is trying to learn all these different parts so that I would have an idea of how everything works, not so I can become a master at all of them but so that I know how it works. I’m still in a deep underground learning phase, so I’m not tired. I get exhausted because I’m not a very strong person physically, I get sick now and then, so I usually have to pause and rest but I haven’t gotten to the point where I can be tired. I’m still learning except I get tired of learning, now that’s a different ball game entirely. I’m learning and I’m making mistakes, so I know what to do and what not to do. Also, I can’t afford film school right now, so I’m learning this way. That’s why I say a lot of times that people can call me a YouTuber but at the end of the day, I know that I’m not just a YouTuber because what I’m mostly doing is practising and putting the result of my practice on YouTube. In another year or two, my YouTube would still be running but I might not be the one running it.
YellowLyfe Mag: Have you made any mistakes during this learning stage that you felt you shouldn’t have made?
Korty: Yes, I have, a lot of times. Until the beginning of this year, I was doing everything myself, however now I have teams for different shows. It’s still a small crew though, maybe two people on one show and three people on another but before I used to do everything myself, so when I finish a video, nobody really reviews it for me. I used to notice some silly mistakes and I would be so angry at myself. However, it is good because it would be in my memory to not make that mistake again. My videos are still not there, they are alright but I feel like the reason why people think my videos are kind of good is because they are still looking at me as a YouTuber. If you compare me with people who are on top and have big shows, I’m nowhere near that. However, based on the standards of being a YouTuber, I’m doing alright but that’s not my goal.
YellowLyfe Mag: Do you look up to any filmmaker?
Korty: I like Ava Du Vernay, she made “When They See Us”. A lot of people don’t want to see it because it would make them cry but it’s interesting to see. She’s a very good storyteller but that’s not all. She also makes you feel like you are experiencing what the actors are experiencing. So I really like that.
YellowLyfe Mag: How long does it take you to create one of your YouTube videos?
Korty: Hm….When I just started, I would film somebody on Friday and I would be done with the videos in a week, because I want to post on Saturday but now I’m trying to feel a bit more involved and spend time editing and also not edit all my videos myself so I don’t die. Right now, I’m not just filming and editing. I’m filming and editing but there are also a lot of things that I’m learning to do like this meeting for example. You know, do something outside of filming and editing, so it probably takes longer now because I do it slower now, so max two weeks.
YellowLyfe Mag: What’s the longest time you spent on a video?
Korty: About a month but that was because I was very occupied during that period and I was doing the video very slowly.
YellowLyfe Mag: Asides, being occupied with other stuff, have you ever been stuck working in a video?
Korty: Um.. yeah, a lot of times. It happens to me a lot.
YellowLyfe Mag: What gets you stuck?
Korty: Um… the way I film and edit is very… I guess people who are established filmmakers would call it “dumb” but it’s very different. There’s really no way to explain it except you watch me. It’s stupid because I have, Um… When I’m filming, I don’t go there with a plan, I go with bullet points, and a shortlist of how I want it to go. I don’t have a pattern that kind of flows, so I get home and I’m like, ” oh shit, what’s the story I’m trying to tell here?”. Then I start trying to mix and match but ideally you shouldn’t do that, you should have your story when you are filming. It would be a lot easier. Most of my work is in my editing, so it’s very stressful but the stress I have imposed on myself.
YellowLyfe Mag: The video you were stuck on, how or when did you figure it out?
Korty: Um… Uh, well what really happens and I think it happens to a lot of creative people is that you start something and it feels very difficult and it starts out feeling like, “Shit, I’m not going to make any progress” and then in between it kind of gets easy and you are like, “Hmm…Okay”. Then in the middle, you are like, “Shit, what am I doing?” I don’t know what this thing is but somehow you finish and you like it or not but most times, I like my videos. I didn’t always like them but I’m liking them now. So that’s really what happens, I don’t really know when the breaking point is but I just know that towards the end I always feel better. I’m very big on trusting the process, so even if I’m doing it and I’m doing nonsense, I would continue doing it because I feel like it would come. After all, there’s always a story to tell. That’s the thing for me, even if the story is stupid, there’s still a story to tell.
YellowLyfe Mag: You said you didn’t like your videos. Why?
Korty: Yes, I did. I think the only reason I even like them now is because of my camera quality. It’s better than when I first started but I didn’t used to like them, I thought they were.. I don’t know, I couldn’t watch them sha.
YellowLyfe Mag: Are you one of those people who don’t like to watch themselves or listen to themselves talk after recording?
Korty: Yeah, I’m one of those people but I have to because I have to edit the video but now I’m learning to do that. I used to be like that a lot but there’s no time for all that right now, so we have to watch and move on to the next one.
YellowLyfe Mag: Aside from filmmaking, what else do you do?
Korty: Um…I just bought a piano so I’m going to start learning how to play. Ideally, I never used to do anything, I just work but now I’m trying to pick up new hobbies, and read shit. I’m not that much of a reader but I started reading this book and we will see if I can read it to the end. The chances are very low though. I watch cartoons a lot and now I’m adding piano to the list of things I do. I also play Tetris a lot.
YellowLyfe Mag: Why did you quit modelling?
Korty: They were not paying me well enough and I just wasn’t enjoying it. I don’t think models are very rich except for the very established ones. I would like a career that can make me a billionaire. Also, I don’t wear heels, I don’t enjoy it but I started wearing heels when I started modelling. I’m not a full-time model at the moment but I would still model though if I find something that would interest me enough.
YellowLyfe Mag: Tell us about your experience while you were trying to get wizkid to be on your show
Korty: Um… I don’t know. I didn’t have a particular reason, I just thought it would be cool. Everything I experienced was in the video, it was very unfiltered. Also, I think I’m generally tired of talking about it because I have suddenly become the girl who was looking for wizkid, meanwhile, I’m not even that…. It’s not even that deep. I just thought it would be a cool video to make. I think Nigerians Or people generally think one-dimensionally, it could have been anything that I was trying to achieve, wizkid was just my subject.
YellowLyfe Mag: At what point did you realize that you wanted to focus on YouTube?
Korty: When I decided to quit my job. So I have been trying to start a YouTube channel for a minute but I didn’t have a camera and I’m not one of those people who believe in starting with what you have. I believe in planning while you can and working towards getting what you need while starting. Everyone advised me to start with my phone but I didn’t want to because like I said, I wasn’t trying to be a YouTuber. I didn’t even know being a YouTuber was a thing until I got on YouTube. When I started, it was because I wanted my videos to live somewhere that wasn’t Instagram. You couldn’t post long videos on Instagram, nobody has that time but I noticed that YouTube was longer, it had 30 mins, 1 hr duration. Everywhere I was working, I was kind of making videos so I was like, if I’m doing this one and I’m doing it well, why can’t I do it for myself? I was very good at my job and I used to get promoted, so I knew I could do it. So I decided to do it and I did it when I was ready. I still wouldn’t have started if I hadn’t gotten a camera. If I didn’t have a camera by now, I still wouldn’t start. So it was my priority to get a camera, which I did, though the quality was not great, I was sha happy to have a camera. For some people, starting with what you have is great but I just personally don’t think it works for me because my work right now is still average. Though, I understand that it might not be average compared to what’s out there. however, i didn’t want to be average, that’s why i didn’t start with my phone. I was also trying to learn about cameras as well, I’m still learning though. I’m not there yet.
YellowLyfe Mag: Flow with korty and Love or Lies are two different shows, tell us about them
Korty: Flow was the show I started with. The entire idea was to see how people navigate life and do their shit. It’s just basically how people live their lives and how it relates to their work. How are you a successful person? So that was my aim when I first started. For me, I like that show, I have fun and learn a lot and I think they also learn a lot from me but I learn more from them. I like to see how people live their lives and see if they can do something nice to my life because I’m a very curious person. Outside of those two shows, there are my normal videos which I’m even considering adding more shows to it. I noticed that with Flow and my normal videos, people started to say, “Oh, you are inspiring me” and I don’t like it because I do not set out to inspire anybody, I just want to tell stories about people’s lives and tell stories about my life. I don’t have a problem with inspiring people though, it’s very humbling for me but in some sense, it comes with some responsibility because it means that people see me as this person that is setting standards and if I do anything less than the standard they have prepared in their head, I have fucked up. I also just didn’t want people to see me like I’m perfect because I’m not a very normal person. The day it comes out that this babe actually has some craze, I don’t want it to come as a shock to anybody because I feel that people see me as an almost well “put together” person which I’m not. I can be calm but I’m not very upright. I thought about that deeply and I don’t want my entire YouTube to be based on inspiration.
With Love/ Lies, Amy Okoli reached out to me asking us to do something together. The guy in the video reached out to me around the same time saying, “Hey, I’m in Nigeria, let’s do something together”. So I just thought that since both of them want to do something together, let me bring up an idda for them. So I did it and people liked it and I just said that, “this is an idea o, this is a show”. That part is just fun and laughs, people watch it and move on. Nobody is really getting inspired by anything. I also noticed a lot more younger people, 16/17 yr olds coming to the page. They have always been on my page because they like me but now, they feel connected to something that’s not people trying to make it in life. Some people are not bothered about that, they just want to be comfortable in life and have fun, not everybody wants to be Micheal Jackson. Some people just want to be okay, so that’s why I started love or lies and it’s been going well so far.
YellowLyfe Mag: What would your advice be for an upcoming filmmaker or an upcoming YouTuber?
Korty: I can’t advise an upcoming filmmaker because I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m still learning the ropes but for YouTube, I think I understand a bit. I guess for a start it would be like just… Um… Let me think, well just know what you want to do on youtube before you start because YouTube is very competitive and there are many categories. So you can start today as a travel blogger and you see another video of someone cooking and you like it and you say let me try it. Then you move away and people who like your page because you are a travel blogger, would not come to your page anymore. Know what you want to be about and stick to it for as long as you enjoy it. I knew what I wanted to be about but it’s just not a YouTube category and I’m doing that and sticking to it. When you start, be as consistent as you can because you are on youtube and there are so many things there.
YellowLyfe Mag: What should we expect from you in the future?
Korty: Uh.. Only God knows that one o. I am even asking him what I should expect from him because I don’t know what’s going on right now, so let’s just continue looking up to him. I don’t know mehn, I don’t really know how to talk about things that I’m working on until I have put them out.
YellowLyfe Mag: What’s your favourite quote?
Korty: I don’t know if I have a favourite quote. Something I say often, that’s something I would have to ask my friends. I say, “God dey” a lot but since black sherif’s song, if I do anything bad, I would just say, “Who never fuck up?”