I had the pleasure of interviewing Chantel Christie for the blog. I think she is an awesome role model for our teen writers. Chantel Christie is the daughter of NBA’s, Douglas Christie. Presently Chantel is set to co-star in a new reality television show, “The Real Teens of Hollywood,” which follows the lives of six multi-talented teens living in Hollywood. The show aims at showing the ups and downs, struggles and accomplishments the teens face in “making it” in the entertainment industry.
Still in high school and Chantel “Chani” Christie is already a bestselling author, award winning recording artist, producer, actress and model and yet she still finds time to act as the United States Youth Ambassador for HIV/AIDS Awareness, The YMCA Youth Spokesperson and she established her own foundation in 2008, CHANIGIRL. Through CHANIGIRL, Chantel has donated a large sum of money that has bought food, housing and clothing for impoverished youth around the world.
Upon writing her bestselling debut novel, “I Want to Live: A Teenagers Guide to Finding Self Love” she began working on “A Girl Has to Look Good! A beauty, fashion, and lifestyle Guide.” After Chani’s debut album, “My Dream” (2008) sold out twice she is hard-at-work on her second album set to drop Valentine’s Day 2011. In both Chantel’s music and writing she seeks to enlighten other teens to dream big and follow their dreams whatever they may be. She strives to demonstrate that as long as you believe in yourself, have faith in yourself and have a positive attitude, anything can be accomplished.
One of the reasons I was so excited to talk with Chani is because she has her brand and message in many different areas, which I so admire. She has also created a fantastic brand at such a young age. She was actually 13 when she started to record her first album! She was not shy about asking parents for help and says that one piece of advice she would give to teenagers is that “your parents are right 99 percent of the time.” This is a great message because we all need to remember we are never too advanced to ask for help and often times, our parents are our biggest fans!
Chani, like many young entrepreneurs and artists was told by many people that she was too young to make it. She advises other young teens to just build the right support system and keep trying–no one can do it alone. I also asked Chani what it was like for her having famous parents and making her own name and trying to make friends. She said that you really have to be careful who you spend time with and shared a lesson that is important for all of us–“let go of dead friend weight.” This is a topic that is extremely important especially in the digital age where the mentality seems to be the more friends the better. For young leaders be sure to surround yourself with positive supportive friends and family.
One of Chani’s favorite things to do is book signings. She says that this is where she is able to really connect with people and she sees young girls look up to her like she looks up to her role models like Tyra Banks. Most importantly, she stresses that with anything, you get a lot of ‘nos’ before you get one ‘yes,’ so just keep trying.
Her next album is due out on Valentines Day, so stay tuned! Check out her website at ChantelChristie.com.