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Freshman Spotlight

Fresh Encounters: Kyla Wyllie

If you're searching for a knowledgeable and effervescent human alternative to the music-analyzing app Shazam, Kyla Wyllie is the girl to call. As an Academy freshman with a boundless love for music, Wyllie has made it her goal in life to empower future artists. In a world where so many artistic voices are lost in the noise, Kyla hopes to use her talents to create safe spaces in the music and arts industries. 

What does being at the Academy mean to you?

Being at the Academy, as cheesy as it may sound, really means everything to me. The first time I came across the program, I knew this was the place I would become the best possible version of myself! To me, being at the Academy means having a built-in family of insanely talented people, exploring aspects of my passions I would have never considered, and taking the first steps towards disrupting an industry.

What is something about the way the world works that bothers you? How would you disrupt it?

One thing that bothers me quite a bit is the way the world tends to treat young independent artists and creatives. My number one pet peeve is when someone discredits your work based on age or assumptions, I know so many wonderfully talented people that don’t get the recognition they deserve! Not only that, but it tends to be a lot harder for young creatives to get their voices out, to actually be heard. I really want to try and change that, because young people's work and voices are valid. There are so many perspectives we haven’t heard, purely because no one knows to listen.

What are three goals you have for this year?

My three goals are to absorb as much as I possibly can from my classes and classmates, have more adventures, and take more photos! I always have my point and shoot on me for the best possible photo-opts.

Who is the most impressive famous person alive today? Why?

Personally, I've always been a fan of Patti Smith. She's done everything and has conquered so much. I'd love to have a fraction of the vision and determination that woman has. Hopefully one day.

Let's say you were miraculously provided $1,000,000 in seed funding tomorrow, what would you create?

I'd create a non-profit artists collective and community outreach program. Just imagine a warehouse that's easy and accessible to anyone wanting to throw events, art shows, concerts, or even just a project workspace. A place where artists can come and host solo shows, where we can do workshops and fundraisers and work on expanding the arts community within Los Angeles. This past summer my friend V and I threw a charity event called Art Prom in Downtown LA. We raised just over $1,000 for a small outreach group called Gurls Aide that works with LA Family Housing to bring art therapy to local homeless shelters. Over 300 people showed up, all dressed in however they interpreted the theme. We had over 20 displaying artists, vendors, live music. Everybody felt welcomed and we were able to make an impact in an area we’re passionate about. I'd just love to be able to keep doing that! It wouldn't just be a venue, but a whole team that can adapt to countless ideas and events. That seems like a dream.

If you could ask advice from any historical figure, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Stephen Hawking. I'm not too sure what I would ask but I just genuinely feel like he would open my mind up to so much more than I can comprehend. I'd like to know about how to absorb as much information as possible in the time that I have here. There are so many things to learn about and such little time to do it. I would ask what the best way is to make the most of every second.

Describe one thing most people don't know about you?

One aspect of myself that I find really important is my love of music! I could (and sometimes do) sit and talk about it for hours. If you're ever down to listen and hang out, don't be afraid to reach out! I brought around 160 vinyl records to my dorm this year, so this is a real offer.

What is one thing your parents taught you that you'd like to share?

My father taught me to never fall asleep with a cherry pie in your back pocket...actually more relevant than one might initially think.

What will your future self accomplish?

I'm hoping my future self will make a name in the music industry and art world. I'd love to work in booking, management or promotion. I want to make safe spaces in the arts scene where people feel like they can be their purest self, or maybe figure out who they want to be. I want whatever I do to make people blissfully happy and content with themselves. Hopefully, at least on a small scale, I can help people get to where they want to be in life.


What are the essential things you always keep in your backpack?

My point and shoot, most definitely. I always keep a small film camera in my bag because you really never know when the next adventure is going to happen. I like to be prepared!

Favorite app or website?

I really love the website for What Youth, it's this surf and skate magazine from Huntington Beach I believe. Their content is honestly something I spend hours going through. It makes me want to photograph and explore more. Also, this might be fairly explanatory, but Spotify of course. If I had to be best friends with an app, this would be it. I believe that Spotify should be a valid form of social media, you can tell a lot about a person by the music they listen to!

If you could be best friends with one fictional character who would it be?

Oh shoot that's a hard question, I've honestly thought about this a lot but I'm drawing blanks! Maybe the friend group from Victorious? Middle school me would be absolutely ecstatic if that could happen.

Thus far, what is your favorite place to hang out in or around campus?

My favorite places to hang out are the reflecting pool in front of Birnkrant and this small fountain area behind Doheny Library. My friends and I really love to go skate around those areas at night or around sunset. Sometimes I'll sit on the reflecting pool and do homework. I always have the best conversations there.

Any cool projects you're currently working on?

I run an international music and culture magazine! Our Instagram is @purenowhere and our website is purenowhere.com, we throw events, publish content, and a ton of other good stuff :)

Thank you, Kyla!