Surrounded by music and young talent, it’s no wonder that Instagram have tapped Henrie Kwushue when it came to deciding who to judge the music subculture for their new 21 Under 21 campaign. Sourcing talent from across the UK, Henrie a DJ, Presenter, Radio Host and Content Creator with KISS FM, No Signal Radio and formerly Reprezent Radio as well as the queen of Instagram Reels, so was no stranger to navigating the feature when it came to making her four picks.
“I see my Reels as my own little alternative universe,” Henrie explains, “in the same way that Marvel has their multiverse. I see myself as those hundred different Spider-Mans; the Henrie that’s funny, the Henrie that DJs, the Henrie that presents. I see my Reels as the place for the things that I can’t do a main feed post on, I chuck it on there and hope someone can relate.”
Launched in August 2020, Reels has given creators a much larger audience when it comes to sharing their content and when shortlisting for her category Henrie found that there was no shortage of talent to pick from.
But as for her own personal favourite creators using Reels outside of her 21 Under 21 picks, at the moment Henrie loves, “@faceinthenews, she’s one of the best people to show how you can transition from posting on just Instagram to using Reels to elevate your CV. There’s no better way to showcase your talent than a short 30 second video – you can’t get bored in 30 seconds.”
This project has continued to showcase Henrie’s own talents as an inspiration to young people wanting to get involved in the music industry and inspiring many Black girls in particular. Being called an ‘inspiration’ isn’t something Henrie takes lightly and upon reflecting upon her own journey into the industry recognises that, “It’s such a big word, inspiration. But if there are any young Black girls that have seen the work that I do and see me enjoying life, and are thinking ‘I want to do that, I want to be that and because I’ve seen Henrie do that, maybe I can too’. It makes me super grateful and happy because diversity in all industries but especially the creative ones is so important. There’s enough room for everyone.”
And who are the women paving the way and inspiring Henrie outside of the Instagram space, “Sian Anderson, is a big one for me. There’s not one thing she doesn’t do in this industry. She was also a big part of my own journey, she gave me my first gig.” If she could open for anyone on tour, who would she choose, we ask: “Definitely Rihanna, I love that babe. It’s Rihanna every single time. Over here [in the UK] it would have to be all the RnB or Rap girls, Miraa May, Shaybo, Ivorian Doll, Tiana Major9.”
The 21 Under 21 and their lead creators will all be showcased in a one-off digital zine put together by GUAP, check it out online here. Images were taken by 19 year old photographer Shenell Kennedy. Henrie Kwushue’s final picks are Podcaster Jeanette @jeanettend, Dancer @unklekwamz, DJ @kwamzorginal_ and Podcaster and Presenter @_itsjadebrown.