He writes. He blogs. He does on-camera celebrity interviews. He’s got enviable social media connectivity. What better representative of this multimedia age than HipHopWired Senior Editor and SUNY Purchase journalism alum Kazeem Famuyide (Class of 2010).
Kaz, as he’s known to his friends and 10,000 plus Twitter followers, was back on campus yesterday explaining the realities of the real world of journalism to the students of my Multimedia Tools class, and soaking up the Purchase scene, which he seemed glad to revisit.
Kaz started interning at The Source while in his junior year at Purchase and got his big break by getting to know Canadian-born entertainer Drake when the star was relatively unknown in music circles. Kaz brought Drake to Purchase to perform for Culture Shock and wrote The Source’s first article on the newbie musician. When Drake made it big, Kaz reaped the rewards of that early friendship with the ultimate prize in celebrity journalism: access.
That’s a formula Kaz says he’s repeatedly parlayed into success, landing a full-time job at The Source and then moving to HipHopWired. His Tumblr, which he calls his “digital resume,” is full of videos of him on camera interviewing rappers at the BET Hip Hop Awards.
He had some good advice for the students, urging them all to push for internships to get a foot in the door: “The best thing I can tell you about your internship is to overwork yourself,” said Kaz, who started a blog while at Purchase which helped get the attention of The Source editors.
And to “invest in yourself” by developing a personal brand and harnessing the promotional power of social media. Kaz has over 2,000 friends on Facebook, 10,385 followers on Twitter, a Tumblr, a Google+, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts, to name a few. His social media motto is: the more the better.
In his spare time, he manages to run a new magazine: Rhymes & Dimes, just to keep his hand in with old-fashioned print.
When wild boy rapper Machine Gun Kelly performed at a Microsoft store last year and jumped up on the display table of pricey computers to the dismay of the manager and the amusement of fans, Kaz videoed it with his iPhone, slung it on YouTube and watched it go viral.
It’s a work hard, play hard life for this son of Staten Island. And he’s clearly having fun working what he calls “literally a dream job.”
Kaz was good enough to toss some credit for his success back at the journalism program, touting the importance of the journalism fundamentals he’d learned. (Yes, he even said he was glad to know AP Style.) To that, he’s added his own professional savvy, surviving and adapting to the digital age.
It was great to see @RealLifeKaz in the flesh again and back among the bricks. This is one young journalist to keep an eye on and to follow.