We had the good fortune of connecting with Karlos Cobham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karlos, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I spent time reflecting on the needs of the world while I was pursuing my BFA and came to the realisation that the youth need more positive content. The world of music, television and entertainment on a whole seemed to be presenting more negative than positive material to the youth and as a young person I thought this was concerning and that I had a role to play to be a changing agent in this regard.
I remember having to make a choice between pursuing the Olympics or ministry, arts and entertainment. I decided that touching lives through ministry and the arts was more meaningful to me than training to receive a medal. This too can inspire but I just thought the other route would be more challenging and meaningful.
After making this decision I used to sit down during my free time and vision cast and day by day wrote what I saw. The name Quest came to mind but I wanted to be different and branded it as KWEST but pronounced as quest. It started off as KWEST Productions. KWEST is also an acronym and its mission is to use the arts and discipleship to create globally a Kingdom awareness in the lives of people, through Kingdom thinking, Worship in spirit and truth, Excellence, Spiritual prosperity and Total trust in God.
We are now rebranded as KWEST International Inc. – A 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization in Barbados and the USA, serving faith-based and corporate lifestyle networks and brands, collaborating with affiliates and organizations specifically working for and with youth, and collaborating with musical and creative artists to ensure they have access and the necessary tools they need to succeed. KWEST International offers within the professional music, film, and faith-based marketplace the following services: Product & Packaging Artistic Design, Direction & Layout (CDs, Book Cover); Audio & Visual Production, Mixing and Mastering (short-form, long-form, and theatrical); Web Design; Logos; Brand Development, and Social Media Development and Maintenance.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I thoroughly enjoy and am very passionate about the creative arts. Though my niche is music, I have an appreciation for each field of the arts including but not limited to film, theatre, design, photography, dance and aesthetics on a whole.
As it relates to what sets me apart from others, I just try my best to be me and in the process, create unique products. I believe the greatest trap one can find themselves in is comparison, so I just try to distance myself from that by being unique. There’s no one in the world that can do it like you, so embrace that.
I think I am most proud of not being swayed by culture or perspectives and being true to oneself is a major key to establish a sense of identity.
Without identity, we lose the opportunity to embrace uniqueness and discovery of one’s self.
I still have a long way to go based on the vision God has given me but what got me to where I am today is my faith in God, a determination to never give up and connecting with key people who helped steer me in the right or better direction. Life’s journey is not a bed of roses, especially pursuing the creative arts, but whenever things got tough, I tried to remember why I started and that’s why purpose is very important. A pursuit without a purpose will cause anyone to run out of steam. The vision just kept me going. The why kept me going, the desire to positively impact my community and the world kept me going. Know your why and you’ll never stop.
That’s how I overcome challenges, remembering the mission and vision, remembering the why.
This has taught me to stay true to myself and focus on the purpose no matter what. I find most people just pursue things because of money and then feel unfulfilled. My belief is that money follows vision, so just stay true to the vision and being you and that will follow whilst maintaining a sense of fulfilment.
I’ve learnt along the way that everyone isn’t meant to stay on your journey. There’s a season and reason for everyone in your life, so keep your eyes open and ask God to help you discern how to navigate relationships. Some are for the long haul, some are there for a season but always be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of someone’s life.
I want the world to know that KWEST International is here to touch the world positively – whether it be through our online billboard monitoring station KWEST Radio, available for free global download in the google play, apple and amazon stores for Alexa Devices, upcoming movies, annual event in Barbados U.I.A.E. (United International Arts Expo), KWEST Clothing’s Stay Lit T-Shirts, KWEST Records music and soon, KWEST Network.
We On a KWEST!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d take my friends visiting Barbados to Oistins, Champers, the beach, on an Island Safari, Harrison’s Cave, Farley Hill and a nice home cooked Sunday meal with the family to name a few.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout my family, amazing daughter, youth who I have had the privilege to serve, my hometown Barbados, team members, KWESTERS and those who have mentored and given guidance such as Dj Nicholas, Paul Wright III, Regina Showers Gordon, Jennifer Sealy, Harclyde Walcott, Cicely Spencer-Cross, Allison Sealy-Smith, Tereza Barta, Luke Walton, Jackie Sheppard, Mark Blaney, Ty Manns, Uziel Colon, Vonzel Washington, Chuck Johnson, Q Parker, Dr. Mateen Diop, Larry Cobb III, Calvin Spann III, Mark Green, Heather Beverly Esq. and Mark A. Jones.