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Inside Influence: One On One With Lenay

I spoke to social media influencer, singer-songwriter and former MTV host Lenay about her journey and her best advice

Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what is something about you that the many people who follow you don’t know?
Lenay: I have a piercing on my leg. Well, actually it’s a scar from when I was a baby in Africa and had Boils, but now it looks like two tiny holes and you can stick an earring through it. I figured that out once.

Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?
Lenay: When I was little, I wanted to be a Spanish teacher, but I ended up hosting Red Bull shows instead, and then my own show on MTV called, “10 on Top”. Afterwards, I started a Spanish YouTube channel. As for the music, ever since the beginning – before Red Bull – I’ve written songs, but I never released them until now.

Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? How do you do decide who to work with?
Lenay: I like to work with people who are creative, have great ideas, good energy, and good vibes! I love working with all types of people, even if they are crabby.

Adam:
What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?
Lenay: Be consistent! I am not the best at this, but I understand that it is one of the most important things.

Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the influencer world and life as an influencer?
Lenay: I’m not sure. I don’t know a lot of the rumors or stereotypes.

Adam:
What has being an influencer taught you about branding and marketing?
Lenay: It has taught me so much! Everything I learned about and heard of at MTV are things that I see up close with YouTube. It’s insane. For example, I used to pitch shows at MTV, and get feedback on what shows would work/not work and why. The process of coming up with YouTube video ideas is very similar to coming up with TV show ideas. In both cases, usually people want to see something they are already familiar with, with just a slight twist.

Adam:
What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Lenay: Experimenting with lights, dark rooms, and shutter speeds on cameras! It makes for the coolest photos and light streaks. Many of my photoshoots have light streaks, and the music video for “You Feel Like Home” on YouTube is actually photos of myself with light streaks around that I did in Minnesota. I think that enjoying little things, like lights and photography, are a small example of a hobby that has turned into a big part of my art and brand so far!

Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and how do you pay it forward?
Lenay: My parents! One day I want to pay off their house! I need to get my car fixed first though. The brakes have been squeaking lately, lol.
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