When I began my digital content journey, I was introduced to a whole new world of creative, entrepreneurial Black women and I couldn’t be more inspired. These are women who found things they loved like natural hair, black culture, self-love, cooking, etc. What resonates most with me is how they have created platforms and other mediums to express that love on a wide scale. I’m filled with so much pride to be apart of that community I affectionately describe as my creative sisterhood. I’ve played with the idea for years of creating an interview series highlighting the women I work with as well as those that inspire me. Finally, I stopped overthinking, made a few follow-ups, compiled a list of women that would be featured in the series and one of the first women I thought of was Kristina Spicer!
Kristina Spicer is a journalist based in Los Angeles, California and the creator of her very own media outlet, The Other Side. What I admire most is her aim to highlight the lives of people we admire while focusing on the positive, rather than salacious gossip or click bait. So when we connected on Instagram, we had a phone meeting (hit it off instantly!) and we came up with a game plan for me to interview Kristina for our collab. I knew it would be the perfect way to kick off my series and I hope you enjoy getting to know Kristina as much as I did because she is truly a gem! Read more here and welcome to the first article in my series, My Creative Sisterhood!
Keisha Marie: Tell me about yourself? What’s your elevator speech?
Kristina Spicer: Hello! My name is Kristina Spicer and I am a TV Host/Producer. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but I left home to attend Howard University. During my senior year I received a job at a digital news outlet. I ended up working there post-grad, which kept me in Washington, DC for a little over five years. Recently, I’ve moved back to LA and I can’t believe I ever left. It’s really the best place ever! In my career so far, I have interviewed people from the likes of Angela Bassett, Tom Hanks, Erykah Badu, John Cena and I loved every minute of it. I am so passionate about telling people’s stories that it led me to create my own media outlet, The Other Side.
KM: You are a proud Howard alumna and I love that! Share a bit about your HBCU experience and what role that played in your approach to journalism.
KS: Howard University is everything to me. If I could go back and relive a year of undergrad, I would do it! When you graduate Howard you are hit with the reality that you will never be in that type of environment again, so I cherish all of my memories. The Mecca played such a huge role in who I am today. It gave me a deeper understanding, passion, and love for my culture. It gave me lifelong friends. It gave me a better understanding of who I am.
My major was broadcast journalism and I became a reporter for WHBC - Howard’s Student Run Radio station. I started all of this as soon as I got to Howard, freshman year, that’s when I interviewed Meagan Good. I had no prior experience whatsoever. I’m pretty sure I was nervous, but it was the most exhilarating thing for me. That was the fuel to my fire and I just kept going.
And because I am black and went to Howard, I feel a duty to not just be a part of this industry but to make a difference. Often times black people are depicted in a negative light in the media, and I want to at least contribute to changing that. That is what I implement with my brand.
KM: When we met you mentioned recently moving back to L.A., what was your biggest apprehension about the move and what steps did you take to push through?
KS: Long story short, I did not believe I was ready or it was my time to move back to LA yet. My plans included still being in Washington, D.C. for at least one more year. But if you believe in God or a higher power then you already know that our time means nothing.
I was scared because I didn’t think I gained enough skills to be a part of the “Hollywood” journalists just yet. But I started to feel disturbingly uncomfortable in Washington, D.C. and I am a firm believer in following your intuition and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t really have a plan but I trusted God and now here we are; an Erykah Badu, Angela Bassett, and John Cena interview later.
KM: In a world where gossip and shade are ruling in media, especially social media, how do you plan to “Be that positive voice for everyone” while telling positive stories but still keep your audience engaged?
KS: Wow. What a question! I was just talking to my friends about this and my response was…
When someone tells me how much they love The Other Side and its mission, it makes me unbelievably happy. That keeps me going even more!
KM: I loooove your response girl. I felt that, you can definitely deliver quality and timely content to the world while staying true to your message. And I love the connection between K.Dot and J.Cole insert praise hands*.
Okay back to original question…I see that you have interviewed some heavy hitters like Angela Bassett, Tom Hanks and Erykah Badu, who would you say was your favorite interview? Most challenging? Most fun?
KS: Erykah Badu was my favorite interview by far and then Omarion is a good runner up. I don’t know what it is about Ms. Badu but she just has such good energy and she made the interview so fun! She told me she could read my mind and “knew” that I wasn’t wearing any panties!! That was a moment for me.
Omarion was my first ever one-on-one on camera interview. I felt like Omarion and I were talking like we were friends, that’s how comfortable he made the interview. I love “celebrities” who have that persona rather than the stuck up one. Sometimes I wonder how such amazing opportunities were handed to me like this, but then it just reminds me that I am living in my purpose. After that interview I was so hungry for more.
KM: Congratulations on your recent red carpet interview experience! I can only imagine how exciting it was! How did you prepare for this opportunity? What was the most memorable part of the event?
KS: The most memorable part was when I first walked in to find my spot on the carpet and it said “The Other Side (Kristina Spicer)”. Like what? How did this happen?? My first red carpet was on Paramount Studios Lot! God is real!
This event was a partnership between the film “Instant Family” and Kidsave, a foster care organization. So to prepare I had to watch the film to think of questions for the Director and actors. Then I had to research everything about Kidsave so that I knew what to ask the CEO. It was a really special event and I’m happy that The Other Side got to be a part of it.
KM: As I read your story and got to see your work, I was impressed by your composure and confidence on screen! It’s clear you are doing what you love and you thrive at it! What is your biggest advice to someone pursuing a career in journalism?
KS: Do not get into this business if you can’t handle rejection. We all know rejection is a part of life, but especially journalism. It’s part of the game. Do not give up when you hear more no’s than yes’s. Welcome it and use it to make you go even harder. When you do, you will see more doors start to open for you.
KM: Any final thoughts?
The Other Side is going to be your new go to media outlet because it brings you real, inspiring content from red carpets, studios, on the streets, all over!
Make sure you are subscribed to The Other Side on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheOtherSidewithKS , check out the website: www.theotheersidewithks.com ,and follow me on Instagram @kristina.spicer .
A Few Bullet Questions
What’s the most impactful book you’ve read in the last year?
KS: “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero (I’m not a big re-reader of books, but I would re-read that book often. I recommend it to everyone.)
KM: What is on your “to read” list?
KS: I actually have a few. I’m late on reading “Becoming Michelle Obama”, but that’s next. I want to read “Black Privilege” by Charlamagne Tha God and “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I live for a good self-help, motivational book.
KM: Favorite productivity tool? (i.e. planner, app on phone, sticky notes)
KS: Journal, planner, Evernote on all devices (When I started daily journaling it changed my life. Each morning I write what I’m thinking, what I’m grateful for, and my intentions/affirmations for the day. I’m naturally a positive personal, but this put me over the top.
KM: Trap songs to work to? Work out to?
KS: Right now it’s Going Bad by Meek Mill everywhere!! In the car, at home, and working out. When I’m working I’m listening to a podcast when I can.
KM: Natural hair tip?
KS: Girl. My natural hair is braided up right now because it was hard work for me to always have it look good and be on point. So my natural hair tip is have patience because it’s a process. And if you don’t have patience or get too busy like I did, protective styles are your best friend!
I want to thank Kristina again for allowing me to interview her in my kick-off article for “My Creative Sisterhood” series. Kristina is Black Girl Magic personified, her work ethic is amazing and I cannot wait to see what she has in store. Happy Friday Ya’ll. Be sure to stay connected with Kristina on her website The Other Side with KS and on Instagram @kristina.spicer, and Twitter: @kristinaaspicer.