Over lockdown, the New York-born, London-based DJ, radio host, and filmmaker Krystal Lake has blown up on TikTok, and for good reason. Amid the last year of worldwide protests for racial justice, a vital US presidential election and endless pressure on young people’s mental health, her videos delivered timely lessons focused on POC, LGBTQ+ people, women and mental health issues.
Billed as “lessons that school doesn’t teach you”, Krystal Lake’s TikToks range from explainers on electoral politics, to an LGBTQ+ lesson on Frank Ocean’s career and a potted history of the word “Black”. Offline, meanwhile, Krystal Lake doubles as Ashnikko’s official DJ and host of Far Out With Krystal Lake on Soho Radio.
Having grown a young and active audience of almost 400,000 TikTok followers, she’s also teaming up with the video sharing app to spread her message through education panels, with plans for her own production house on the horizon. “My inspiration is Spike Lee and Issa Rae, who brought viewers in through TV and movies,” she says, adding that her work aims to adapt their message for a younger generation.
Text Thom Waite