A tall, bubbly blonde whose presence alone can stun a room; Emily Kretzer is an effortless entertainer who might look like she walked right out of the set of Lalaland, yet the moment you start a conversation, you’ll know she vibrates light-years away from the LA stereotype. A Long Island native who moved out West to pursue modeling, but never really felt like she could fit in, her bio says “I get paid to be a human hanger, but I have a lot to say.” Scrolling through her Twitter feed, you get a witty commentary on pop culture and the music scene, and true tales of growing into her womanhood thousand miles away from home. Allowing herself, unlike a lot of her peers on social media, to be open, vulnerable and to fuck up, she is inspiring because she’s constantly on the grind – a very New York-y a state of mind that inspired her new podcast & female collective that’s launching Thursday, “Girls On Tha Grind.” Emily speaks her mind and lives loud, but never at the expense of others: she always, and proudly, remains kind and loving. Her new platform will allow herself and the women she surrounds herself with to explore various themes from authenticity in LA to entrepreneurship to fuck bois. We fell in love with this beautiful young gal who is not afraid to use her voice in this latest pictorial by Atisha Paulson.
LF: At what moment in your life did you discover you were a creative being?
EK: I’ve probably been creative since I was just a tiny little bean in my mom’s uterus. I pretty much came out of the womb painting, dancing and singing. My parents were really instrumental in helping me explore every area of the arts. I was a ballerina, a pianist, a musical theater kid, a photographer. I started learning basic HTML and CSS from sites like Neopets and later on MySpace. There was no real “a-ha!” moment for me, rather I think I just always knew in my soul that I was someone who needs artistic expression like I need air to breathe.
LF: How long have you been in LA? What kind of relationship do you have with the city?
EK: I’ve been in Los Angeles for two years now, and before that I was living down in Orange County for four years while I was in college. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with the city. In my heart I’m an East Coaster, but I live for the sunshine and love LA for its close proximity to the beach. I appreciate LA so much more when I take the time to explore everything it has to offer. Flea markets, farmer’s markets, art galleries and concerts are some of my favorite weekend activities here, but I definitely have a long list of local landmarks that I’ve yet to visit.
LF: Tell us about how your all-female collective came about.
EK: I saw a need for an outlet that puts a spotlight on female creatives and entrepreneurs but also contributes to underprivileged and/or artistic female communities in some way. I’m surrounded by so many amazing and hardworking women all the time; at work, in my friendships, in my family. I felt it was really time to honor those women – both the ones that I know personally as well as the ones I’ve yet to meet. In this way, Girls On Tha Grind really just manifested itself. Right now the site is in beta, but once it’s finished it will function as a home to our web store and our video podcast. I consider myself an intersectional feminist, so I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t using “girl power” to push my own agenda without bringing awareness to the struggles and fights of women from all walks of life. I’m starting to pre-sale hats at the end of this month, and a percentage of those profits will be donated to Planned Parenthood. I’d also love to get involved with other organizations like Girls Who Code, etc. There are so many amazing non-profits doing incredible things for women that I want to highlight. We have a couple of events coming up in April and I plan to launch our podcast around then. There’s a lot of moving parts right now, but ideally I see Girls On Tha Grind as being a source of light and inspiration for all people who identify as female.
LF: What gets you out of bed every morning?
EK: I struggle a lot with being productive when I’m not booked on a job or have a project I’m working on. On days off, I get up and go on a morning walk through my neighborhood and grab tea before heading to yoga. That usually centers me and helps put me in the right head space to get some work done.
LF: What are you most excited about right now?
EK: The FYF lineup that was just released (Frank Ocean!!! Missy Elliott!!! Nine Inch Nails!!! My HEART!!!), starting post-production for a mini doc I directed and hosted on my dear friend Ro Ransom, and my first event with Girls On Tha Grind on April 6th!
LF: Have you ever been camera shy?
EK: Never. As soon as I could talk I started directing my parents to film me with their camcorder. I’ve always been a bit of a camera ham.
LF: Name 5 artists or bands currently in your rotation.
EK: Syd, Drake, Solange, Real Estate, Steve Lacy, The xx, 6lack, Thundercat. That’s 8!! There’s just so much good music floating around in the world. All of the aforementioned artists have new or relatively new projects out and they’re all worth a listen (or several).
LF: What is the last poem or book you read that made a lasting impression on you?
EK: My friend Lina Abascal’s zine A Headache From Crying, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, and Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch.
LF: What advice can you give to someone looking to lead a healthier, happier, and more productive life?
EK: Practice yoga, meditate, and drink lots of water. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Above all else, take care of your own heart. The biggest misconception about happiness and self-love is that once we “achieve” it, we don’t have to continually work for it everyday. It’s a lifelong job and an important one. The only person holding you back from happiness is yourself, and the only thing holding you back from productivity is fear. Once we let go of our fears and hesitations, we can start to excel in all areas of our lives.
LF: Your favorite quote to live by is:
EK: “I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” – Kurt Vonnegut
LF: How FAST do you live?
EK: I cruise at a pretty fast pace, but I always stop to smell the roses ?