We first ran into Keona at the very first KNOTFEST in So Cal’s San Manuel Amphitheater in 2014… and so much has transpired for Keona that we just had to catch up…
KEONA what say you??
I think it was Knotfest 2014! I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long…then again the last 2 years feel like they haven’t even existed, but still! It’s been a fun ride so far and I’m happy to be considered a part of the Dirtbag family.
I started school at Emerson College in Boston in 2019 and am on schedule to graduate in 2023. I’m in the Business of Creative Enterprises (BCE) undergraduate program, so I’m basically studying entertainment business with a focus on the music industry. As of right now, I’m learning a bit about several different industries like theatre, film, fashion, and more so it’s been really interesting so far!
I chose this path instead of studying music because I figured that business knowledge can cross into other fields so it would help me be versatile. On top of that, I have some background on the technical side as well as the artist side so this major would allow me to be a well-rounded artist stepping into a diverse industry. I also figured that if I can’t make it as an artist, I want to help others rise up! We’re all in this journey together.
Last year, I was honored to be chosen as an ambassador for the inaugural PRS Pulse Artist class! That’s been pretty fun and I’ve been able to showcase my tricked-out PRS, which is the newest to my guitar collection.
(I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say exactly how that came about but I’ll tell you anyway…. ) so rock n roll…
Getting together with PRS has roots back to when I was a winner for The Music Experience’s 30 Seconds to Shred contest in 2017 and met Squiggy, the man in charge who some may recognize from Loudwire’s Gear Factor. He got us in contact with the director of artist relations, Bev, to set me up to get fitted with a guitar at their Hollywood showroom. We were supposed to get contacted again afterward to finish the deal, but life happened. (dbj – can’t let all the secrets out of the bag. just know it’s awesomeness that we covered up) Fast-forward to the 2020 Winter NAMM and we wanted to give Bev a calendar to thank her for supporting me over the years and she noticed I had a Kiesel instead of a PRS in my photo. She wanted to change that and we continued where we left off a few years before and I got a guitar delivered! Being asked to be a Pulse Artist was just the natural next step in that adventure I guess.
If you asked little Ki, she would have never ever thought she’d be a calendar girl, but in 2019, I was asked by Tara Low from Guitar Girl Magazine if I would like to be featured in their 2020 calendar alongside other guitarists I’ve looked up to over the years like Courtney Cox and Nikki Stringfield! I was rocking November with my 7-string Kiesel Aries (Esco represent!) back then. I flew out to LA from Boston not too long after the fall semester had started to do a photoshoot with the amazing Jack Lue before flying to San Francisco to see S&M2…it was a busy weekend, to say the least!
All in all, I’ve met some really cool people in my life that have opened my doors to new opportunities and connections, and I am forever grateful for their constant love and support.
Your last question was a real brain-scratcher. If I ran Dirtbag for 33 seconds, I would hope that I was a speed demon who could also control time so I could whip together a Dirtbag festival in record time! In all seriousness, though, with that amount of time, I would try to promote as many smaller, up-and-coming bands as fast as my tiny fingers could type through the Dirtbag pages.
I’ve been trying to get back into posting on Instagram, so check out the short videos of me jamming along to some of my favorite tunes @keonakryptid!
MEGA THANKS Keona!!