The Vixen Q&A: Vashtie Kola (Pg. 3)

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Vibe / October 21, 2010

Yeah because it’s not a t-shirt then. It’s an undershirt. 
Exactly. I don’t care how skinny you are. You should wear a shirt that fits you [laughs]. Harem pants. I wish that they worked for me. They don’t work for me. [Laughs] I guess it’s a matter of if it works for you, but I really think that the harem pant might be the one to go because it doesn’t work for that many people. I would also say get rid of the alternative to what it is that you’re trying to wear. I’ve been wearing motorcycle boots for  a good six years now. they’re the Frye motorcycle boots. I just realized that Uggs makes an alternative. They make an Ugg in the silhouette of my Frye motorcycle boots. If you’re aiming to dress like a certain someone or wear a certain style, don’t get the alternative version. And I don’t mean don’t get the cost-effective version, I’m saying get exactly what it is you want to wear. So, I guess getting rid of bootleg items.

Ha! What about some key items every girl should own? 
You should have a great, black cocktail dress— something that’s really classic that you can wear in 10 years with anything. You can pair it up with chunky, gun-metal necklaces or you can wear pearls. Something that can work around the trends. I think a really well-made pair of denim jeans. I wouldn’t say too much of a distress because those aren’t really classic or timeless, but just a really sturdy pair. I know that sometimes denim is really expensive, but i think that if the cut and the quality of the denim is great, it’s a must-have. I would also say a really good handbag. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that will get you through the day. Something that’s really attractive and easy and not too clunky is necessary. I would say to invest in one signature jewelry piece. Spend the money on something whether it’s a necklace, a pair of earrings, a cuff or a cocktail ring. Spend a little extra money of at least having one signature piece. something that you feel like you could pass down to your future daughter or gay son [laughs]. Because I think that in our age everything is cheap and accessible which I absolutely love, but I realize that the jewelry that my mother had that she passed onto me, or my grandmother, those are things that have lasted the test of time.

You’re definitely a jack-of-all-trades. How does it feel to be running your own shit as a female?
Um, it’s weird because I don’t think about it. I’m so used to being around boys and doing things that boys are mostly known for. Growing up I skateboarded and I was like the only girl with my friends. So I think from that level, I’m kind of used to it. I’m really amazed. I take a look around and I’m like, ‘Whoa. I’m really doing this.’ I think half of me is used to it because I’m not always in the moment, but the other half of me is like, ‘Wow.’ My upbringing has been to work hard and do what you do very well. I don’t think of it in a sense of ‘Oh, look at me.’ I just think that I’ve always been a weird art kid, so I’m not tuned into the exterior.  

So what do you think every girl should know before getting into the entertainment industry? 
Every girl should be prepared to be shot down, to be made fun of, to be called names. You should be championing yourself because if they’re not on your team, they’re against you. You just have to hold it down. I think that naturally women, all of us, are guilty of wanting to please people. I don’t know what that is—having to be pleasant and not being a bitch. I don’t know what it is in our culture that we’re taught to be very polite. You just need to be aware that if you’re coming to the table with something, there’s no room for anybody else to put you down. You don’t have to tip-toe around what it is that you want and can do. There are times now still where I’ll be in a meeting at record label talking about a video concept that I wrote, and when the executive in the office who hasn’t met me sees me, he asks, ‘Are you modeling in the video?’ So, you have to be prepared for it. It’s having a sense of humor about yourself.

Right. What are your thoughts on another female boss—Nicki Minaj? 
 I don’t really know much about Nicki Minaj, but what I do understand of her— if that’s who she and that’s how she wants to express herself then I think there’s more than enough room for everyone to be represented. As someone who has indirectly become a kind of role model for young women, once I realized that, it changed a lot of how I maneuver. Whether it’s on my blog, whether it’s what I’m tweeting, whether it’s what I say in interviews, I realize there are younger generations of people who are listening to me and who are highly impressionable, and there you have to have a lot of care about the situation. For me personally, I think that every artist should feel open to be who they are, but it’s important to show our side of being intelligent and being just as powerful as men. I really respect Nicki Minaj. She puts on this thing of being a Barbie doll, and the history of Barbie has been so controversial because it’s been a such a very unattainable standard of a female. Also, Nicki has these characters and dresses very girly, but when she opens her mouth she can take on a male emcee. She can hold her own. 

Agree. What is your hardest experience in the industry as a female?
I think that I’m used to dealing with hardships and it kinda just comes with it. I think in any area, I would probably have as many issues as I have now. I think the gender issue has always been an issue and being taken seriously. I kind of take it for what it is. One of hardest things to deal with, realistically, has been when I was a kid and decided that I wanted to direct music videos. The world of music was such a different place. And I think now as an adult, the music industry is changing greatly, the world of music videos doesn’t even exist anymore on TV, it mainly exists on the Internet. So I think working around those changes has been the biggest challenge because it’s not what I’ve known it to be and elected it to be.