Kirsten Collins: It's Not What You Do, It's Who You Are
Photos by Andrew Gallivan
“When you know who you are nothing else matters," says Canadian-born, LA-based singer/songwriter Kirsten Collins. Having been named a 2017 Innovator by The Wall Street Journal boasting a social network of over 2 million followers with brand endorsements from the likes of Mars Candy, Youtube, and MTV, among others, it's wildly rare to meet a hollywood influencer as down to earth and genuinely kind spirited as Kirsten.
“They put headphones on the belly when I was in there, and I came out singing. I sang my first song at 18 months, wrote my first song at six, and performed in front of a couple thousand people at five.”
After 24 years of exploring a multitude of different sounds and genres, Kirsten has now established her own unique sound calling it “Kirstenism” - an urban pop style she's rolling out through her artist project this year, releasing a new single each month. She first released "Grown Men Cry," followed by "Rainbows," and "Bad" this summer with a new track on its way Aug 10.
“I’ve been waiting to put out original music for 24 years, and it’s just one of the most perfect moments in life right now, where music is music and it's just out there, and if you like it, you like it, and if you don’t, you don’t. Building content is really valid, so I decided to put out what I’ve been working hard on for the past seven years in the studio. I want to release some of these gems that I love and push them forward every month to share the music with my fans. It’s just kind of a growth period and a journey where they can engage with me throughout the process."
Kirsten overflows with liveliness and positivity; spreading light to each person she encounters and performs in front of. She has a fresh perspective on social media that shines through her presence on various platforms - including newer apps like Holonis, with whom she is brand representative.
It is so often that we are dragged into the toxicity of comparison when engaging in social media, sometimes without even realizing it. Kirsten emphasizes the importance of being authentic and real on social media while standing on your ground and purpose.
“I always try to be very organic in myself, even when I’m having a bad day I think that the biggest inspiration to somebody is being real and being able to resonate with them wherever they are - so I just try to be myself. I try to be very authentic. If I’m in a bad mood I’ll share it in a positive way, like how can I help switch the narrative so that it’s not so negative, but it's still real? It’s a lot of effort but it’s enjoyable to me because you build a family, and I think that’s the coolest part about it. When you utilize social media properly it can be intimate and you can form friendships around the world. When you view it with the right perspective and don’t take it to heart like “oh my gosh my picture didn’t get these numbers," which we all do at times, it becomes such a beautiful gift. So I try to keep that attitude in mind. Think about if you were walking down the street, smiled at someone, and it changed their day - social media has the power to do the same thing.”
As Kirsten eloquently describes her hectic life as a performer and influencer - singing, acting, modeling, guest appearances, etc - I asked her what keeps her grounded during the tough times. I wanted to know how she continues to exude such positivity even during the not-so-glamorous moments in her life.
“Well first off I scream, sometimes i'll cry, but then I realize that purpose is one of the best things that can keep you grounded. Even if you don’t know the bigger purpose of life, just knowing why you do something is the foundation of anything. So every time I’ve wanted to quit or I’ve thrown something out or I’m like hey this is sucky or I’m not good enough or built in my own insecurities, I’ve had to remind myself of “who am I?” and that this is bigger than just myself, and it's not always about MY timing and MY things that I want. I heard this cool quote that really keeps me going, “It’s not what you do but it’s who you are” and when you know who you are nothing else matters. I could be picking up garbage, and if my purpose still exists then it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, so that’s what keeps me going in the tough times. I get to do what I love so I can’t complain too much- but it’s been a very long road.”
Be sure to check out Kirsten’s newest single Sugar Pop Cocaine on August 10.