Working a 9-to-5 job by no means appeared to get the very best out of Kevin Calixte, and he’d be the primary to confess that.
“I typically say, ‘I am a extremely good employer, however a extremely unhealthy worker,'” Calixte mentioned.
“I attempted. I’ve had a number of jobs, and at one level, I had to select, ‘you recognize what? I’ve my digicam. I might go attempt to make documentaries … Or go attempt to begin my very own enterprise.'”
He is used that digicam up to now to shoot music movies for native artists in addition to interviews.
In recent times, nevertheless, Calixte has established himself as a premier on-line character inside Montreal’s Black neighborhood, by creating and internet hosting a weekly on-line program referred to as The Keke Present.
The present is broadcast dwell on Fb, and has gained sufficient of an viewers to warrant a deal to additionally air it on Natyf TV, a neighborhood tv station obtainable Bell and Videotron.
It options panel discussions on points related to Black communities, options Black artists as musical company, and is nearly solely sponsored by native Black companies.
“I at all times needed to make use of my platform to speak about issues that I used to be experiencing with others [in the community], so meaning profiling, racism, entrepreneurship,” he mentioned.
“The Keke Present isn’t just a present, it isn’t only a panel dialogue, it is actually grow to be a neighborhood… So we have type of discovered a while for ourselves, to speak amongst ourselves, just like the saying goes, ‘For Us, By Us’.”
The success did not come immediately. He had already tried constructing an internet site in hopes of dwell streaming content material, but it surely did not go effectively, and he parked the thought. As soon as Fb made dwell broadcasting on its platform potential, it did not take lengthy for Calixte to place issues again in movement.
“I at all times had debates on my [Facebook] wall, individuals needed to have discussions, so why would not I convey an idea with individuals interacting, and I’ve a subject, I’ve a visitor?” he mentioned.
“Sooner or later, I requested individuals [on my social media account], ‘tonight, if I am going dwell to speak about this, are you guys down?’ and I received about 200 likes, loads of messages, and earlier than I even began speaking, there have been 650 individuals related. I used to be like, ‘we have one thing right here.'”
Calixte says he prides himself on having uncooked, natural conversations throughout the present. For him, probably the most gratifying a part of the present’s four-year-run has been the belief he is been capable of construct with many individuals locally.
Final fall, he produced one of many present’s most notable episodes. It featured a dialogue with kin of Ariel Kouakou, a younger Montreal boy who has but to be discovered after disappearing practically three years in the past.
With Kouakou’s case not garnering as a lot consideration in media, Calixte felt it was time to examine in with the household.
“Folks, once they have subjects, they’re going to convey it to me as if I am some journalist,” Calixte mentioned. “They do not essentially look forward to [mainstream] tv, radio or newspapers.”
The pandemic has slowed down manufacturing, however Calixte has stored busy by co-hosting a podcast referred to as Rapolitik, which options interviews with native hip hop artists. The Keke Present will be again this spring, higher than ever, he mentioned, with out straying from what’s gotten it so far.
“I typically say The Keke Present is a mirror, it isn’t make-up,” he mentioned. “Lots of people need to look good once they go on reveals, however on The Keke Present, you’ll be able to look good, you’ll be able to look unhealthy, however at the very least we’re having actual moments.”
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