Krystel Diola, owner of Behind The Front, social theorist, music-loving, and multi-passionate creative, evokes deep conversations within seconds of meeting her. Fervent yet laid-back, a conversation with Krystel can jump from discussing the intersection between authenticity and creativity to wanting a cold refreshing beer.

Krystel, tell me about yourself. 

I'm in the music industry working as a DJ, events and have done many things in music over the last 10 years. I'm hyper curious about how everything is connected and what that truly means for me and my meaning-making system.

Describe what you were like as a child.  

I actually asked my parents about this just to hear their version. I spent a lot of time in my head but was very curious and watched people especially body behaviour as a child. I would ask a question and wouldn't think the answer was right or wouldn't be satisfied with the answer always thinking there was more, curious if it was the truth or not. My mum said I was always a kind girl and sweet, but could definitely throw a tantrum! I loved to talk to people and analyse what people had to say and still to this day, nothing has changed. Also was obsessed with music. Definitely that hasn't changed!

How have your values evolved from younger Krystel to the Krystel I'm speaking with today?   

My values have always been the same thanks to my parents and how they brought us up, I just didn't appreciate it until much older. I'm a firm believer in the values of-love, truth, honesty, respect and kindness. Accepting that my parents only knew how to love the way they were raised to love but they continuously showed up.

The Krystel now is more interested in how these truths and values intersect in societal values especially with communities on the fringe of mainstream ideologies vs mainstream western ideologies.

Talk about what the intersection of authenticity and creativity means to you.  

Authenticity is a word I'm not a fan of as I feel that word-much like many words-has been commodified to fit a particular framework that reflects one position of privilege in society. Authenticity is tradition, culture, visibility and evolution of self. Freedom and self-actualisation is the result of authenticity and creativity as they intersect, constantly evolving-at least for me. Some of the music I create (that still lives in my hard drive) is not what people expect of me, but that's a pure example of authentic output from a really genuine space of creating. And this feeling is so freeing.

Why is authenticity powerful?  

Being real is something we are truly born with, then external influences as we grow from a child to an adult either impacts our authentic self. We're all born weird and curious about the world around us. This evolves over time and changes as our society and our own values change in tandem. How you were raised, your influences, social circles, geography, technological changes, social movements... Everything is connected and impacts authenticity.

Authenticity is empowering. Whatever that means for you, it's for you to find out. It's not just one thing that empowers us in this world, it's an intersection of many things at allow us to come into our own to form an authentic self. Even if only you recognise it, to be you is empowering. I'm forever learning and still evolving. I don't have the answers. But this is my truth, and kindness kicks ass too!

TALENT: Krystel Diola @justdiola
DIRECTOR/DP: James Campbell @james_cambo
PHOTOGRAPHER: Jake Terrey @jaketerrey
PHOTOGRAPHER ASSISTANT: Luke Schuetrumpf @lukeschuetrumpf
DIGI: Nick Shaw @knickshaw
CAMERA 2: Ady Neshoda @adyneshoda
FILM EDITORS: James Campbell & Ady Neshoda @james_cambo & @adyneshoda
SOUND: Oliver Dibley @oliverdibley
STYLISTS: Emma Kalfus & Karla Clarke @karla_clarke , @emma_kalfus
HAIR: Madison Voloshin @ Assembly agency @badisonv
BEAUTY: Stoj @ The Artist Group @stoj_makeupartist

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