( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Sh’Kia Shares Her Story Ahead of Her Upcoming Series Kold x Windy
ENSPIRE Contributor: Chante` Wiltz
Emerging into the entertainment and stage industries has proved to be a difficult feat for most. It takes a committed yet well-balanced individual to stand through the series of trials and hardships being thrown at the newcomers. Sh’Kia Agustin is an American actress, writer, producer, and singer who is living proof that hard work and aspiration will pay off regardless of the number of times a roadblock is encountered. Sh’Kia had a very well-rounded childhood despite her being a quiet child. She embarked in screenwriting, music through band and choir, and acting on her own accord. Her raw talent and childhood experiences have allowed her to secure a role as Shonda on the CW’s Black Lightning, and her newest role as Malika ‘Kold’ Wise in AMC and We TV’s Kold x Windy.
Kold x Windy is an 8-episode dramatic series that follows the rising female hip-hop drill star Malika Wise. Throughout the series, Malika goes by the stage name of ‘Kold’ as she traverses through Chicago’s south side attempting to create a better life for her and her son. Yet as her life onstage furthers, things of her past resurface and begins to threaten everything she worked so hard to create. As the pressure increases, Malika must choose which path to take. Will she be able to leave the past in the past in order to save her family and music career?
Similar to her character, Malika, Sh’Kia continues to show the world who exactly she is throughout all of her works. ENSPIRE reached out to Mrs. Sh’Kia to hear about her story.
What’s your story? What experiences have made you who you are today?
I’m the only child between my mom, from Rochester, NY, and my dad, from Jamaica. My parents split when I was very young, and I was raised mostly by my mom and grandmother, spending some weekends and summers with my dad. I grew up in a small-town Oakland, FL. Kinda reminds me of P Valley’s Chucalissa but with dirt roads, orange groves, and generations of aunties, uncles, and cousins all living in the same town. It was a very small, tight-knit community. My grandmother was a very loyal and very active member of the local church. Growing up, I was very shy and quiet, but she thought I was talented. She caught my obsession with Beyonce, and Aaliyah pushed me to sing in the choir. I was so afraid, but I auditioned and got in. I fell in love with performing. The goosebumps I’d get hearing the choir while sharing the stage with them, or the butterflies I’d feel before doing a solo. I loved it. The coolest part about Oakland is that Disney was 20 mins away. My mom worked there for a while, and we were Disney movie fanatics. I played the flute in middle and high school bands, marched in the marching band, and got a scholarship to study music at Florida Atlantic University. While studying at FAU, I decided I would commit to being an artist. Being an artist was this childhood dream that I wasn’t sure could or would ever come true. I just knew that expressing myself artistically gave me the chance to express myself in so many ways. And that was freeing to me. And my family and friends were always affirming me, which gave me the courage to truly be an artist – something you really need to pursue an artistic life.
What was the spark that made you start writing?
In college, I was the president of BSU, and it was a tradition to put on a play for Black History Month. During my final year, we chose to co-write an original play. We put together a writing team, wrote “The Makings of a Man: Penis Monologues,” hosted auditions, and rehearsals, and performed it for the entire student body. I fell in love with the process of writing that play. For the first time, I sat in the audience, watching people perform words I’d written. It was a life-changing experience. When it was over, I remember how sad and anxious I felt. I was itching to do it again. I’ve been writing ever since.
Other than writing, acting has become another major part of your life. Would you say your writing has contributed to your desire to take on acting roles?
Yes, it has. Writing was always a therapeutic process for me, so I loved telling stories but never saw myself in them. I always thought I’d be a singer-songwriter, producer, or musician because I was on a music track, mostly. So, singing is what inspired me to strongly consider acting. In college, my LS recommended me to a stageplay director who was looking for a singer to perform a song during the show. I thought it was random, but I auditioned for it and got the part. I was so dedicated. Attended rehearsals. Practiced like crazy! I truly love performing and was just excited to get to do that. I was only supposed to sing one song but ended the run with three solos and a monologue. After doing that play, I realized that I’d have to incorporate my love for writing if I wanted the joy and experience of acting more often, which is the dream for me, really!
Before emerging into the industry, what was life like for you?
Pretty much the same. Since childhood, I naturally gravitated to creative spaces and people. I spent a lot of time creating and collaborating with others, and often collaborate on independent projects with my husband/creative partner. I did a corporate finance job for a bit until it became too difficult to juggle both, and as a freelance hairstylist, a skill that still comes in handy.
Being a Boss woman in our current society, what would you say was the most challenging part of breaking into the industry?
I think the most challenging part is maintaining your values and a healthy mindset through the highs and lows of this industry. After graduating college, I realized that this wasn’t just a dream anymore. It was a career. I was starting a business. And it can take a long time to make a living. It can take a long time before someone tells you, “yes.” I didn’t come from money, so I have to work, and at the same time I want to do work I’m proud of. I have to be healthy, honest, consistent, disciplined and vulnerable, and on… That’s alot! So honestly, I try not to focus on “breaking in” I just try to focus on the work. And when I’m not working, I try to truly live and love my life.
Looking back, would you change the way you went about your life in order to get to where you are currently?
I was going to say that I wish I weren’t so shy as a kid. I was very quiet, and it held me back from truly expressing myself when I was younger. But the amazing part about life is I’ve been able to witness myself evolve. I’m more confident now than when I was a kid, and that evolution inspires me. Sure, I wish life were easier at times. Things could always be easier. But everything I’ve been through, and everything I’ve learned, has contributed to who and where I am right now. And I’m still growing and learning, which is hopefully preparing me for who I need to be tomorrow. No one’s journey will ever be perfect or the same, and I truly love the life I’m creating for myself. I get to be an artist – my actual dream job, and I have the love and support of the people who matter most to me.
The series’ first episode aired on WeTv November 1st. Be on the lookout for future episodes on WeTv as well as Sha’Kia’s future project through her socials linked below.
LinkTree: Sh’Kia | Twitter, Instagram | Linktree