KYLA WYLLIE: CREATOR OF PURE NOWHERE MAGAZINE

“All I wanted was to feel like I had a voice that could impact people in some way” says Kyla Wyllie, as she spends her days overseeing and maintaining a magazine containing artist interviews, concert coverage, and passion pieces. Running Pure Nowhere magazine, an online music and culture collective with 200,000 readers from Australia to Vietnam, Kyla has much to balance. Recently becoming a partner of Adolescent Content, a creative agency with 88.5K Instagram followers, Pure Nowhere is ever-expanding and all-encompassing. And, Kyla’s only 18.

Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 21.43.41Taken from Kyla’s Instagram

Growing up on the same street where Almost Famous was filmed, Kyla embodies the characters’ bold aspirations and desires for freedom, still becoming dazed by all the busyness. “I always wanted to be Penny Lane, but in my heart I know I’m William Miller through and through,” she playfully admits, comparing herself to the driven, teenage music journalist that works tirelessly to become involved in the scene. As she celebrates the magazine’s third anniversary this month, Kyla reflects on the start of it all. “I can’t even tell you how many times I pulled all nighters from random bouts of motivation, only to convince myself for the next month that it was just another crazy dream that wouldn’t happen.”

The magazine’s style reflects Kyla’s overall opinion on life, in which “There has never been one cookie-cutter way of living.” Recent articles cover topics including advice for creative blocks, weekly news rewinds, and the New York City Women’s March. Accompanying these are more personal, introspective segments such as the multimedia series “Letters to a Lost Friend; remnants of past loves and things that once felt permanent.” The description continues, “This space is built around nostalgia and misplaced love; the people and moments we shared our entire beings with that are no longer a present part of our life.” For those who read the magazine, the notions of youth and expression are emitted.

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 03.56.09.pngFrom purenowhere.com

Kyla crafted up the idea for Pure Nowhere as she sat in her bedroom with walls covered in concert tickets and setlists, dried flowers, and homemade collages snipped from Rolling Stone magazine. Seeking to escape the pressing feeling she describes as “not being able to speak loud enough over all the background noise,” she suspected that others shared similar difficulties. Kyla has been conflicted with these feelings of restlessness from a young age, battling ongoing anxiety and depression. Coupled with the difficulty of maintaining friends due to moving often, she was left in a state of physical and mental isolation. “It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin,” she confesses. “I was always that kid who sat inside and read books all day, and I just wanted to be able to communicate in the same manner. I had so much to say, but absolutely no idea how to say it.” Kyla yearned for an outlet for herself and others that have mutual discomforts. “For when you feel like no physical place is home” displays the website, reaching out to a global audience of like-minded individuals.

Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 21.57.14.pngCollaged illustration from Kyla’s journal 

Always interested in music, as she mentions her collection of “about 104 records,” Kyla pinpoints a local concert she attended years ago in her hometown of San Diego, California as a turning point in her life. “I just remember being in the crowd and seeing all these people that were wholeheartedly themselves, and I wanted to be a part of that too.” Craving to capture and share small moments like that, Kyla wanted to share her voice while highlighting other creatives who go underrepresented. Her surroundings allowed her to become emerged in the life she sought after, as she remarks “The energy in California is just my favorite thing, there’s never a lack of inspiration or diversity. I can’t imagine growing up anywhere else.”

While her journey has been saturated with moments of bliss and excitement, complications have piled up as well, especially due to her young age. “Being a woman in music is hard enough, but being a freshman in high school at the time too… it can be really closed off,” she admits. From the numerous comments invalidating the works she produces to times where she had to explain to unamused publicists that she was not old enough to attend the shows she was supposed to cover, barriers have emerged. However, she has learned to use those obstructions in her favor, stating “I’m so stubborn that when someone tells me I can’t do something I almost always do everything in my power to make it happen. Not being taken seriously from the beginning just taught me that I have to work harder for what I want.”

These pessimistic attitudes have been matched by her own family as well, creating even more provoking complications. “Don’t get me wrong I love them very much,” she forewarns, “but I always felt just a little out of place. The things I would talk about or was interested in, would always be met with a little confusion, I don’t think they fully started taking the magazine seriously until we started getting much bigger. Sometimes I’m not too sure if they do now.” Yet even upon dissent, Kyla remains respectful and analyzational of others views. When criticized by her family, she concludes “It’s all a growing process, I know it’s not really a conventional thing i’m doing, so sometimes it’s hard to understand.”

Rarely waiting around for things to happen, Kyla has continuously took initiative to meet her goals as a creative, especially finding support from others that are in the same position. Larson Rogers, Music Review Editor of Pure Nowhere Magazine recalls “Kyla actually found me online and asked if I wanted to contribute.” While forming bonds with those that work with her, Kyla is able to simultaneously focus on the logistical aspects and motivate others to express their goals. “She’s really taught me a lot about running a magazine in a professional way, I had no idea beforehand how any of it really worked. She gave me the opportunity to curate an art show/concert to fundraise for the magazine, which is something I never would’ve had the chance to do before meeting her,” Rogers thankfully recollects.

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 04.09.38.pngFrom Pure Nowhere’s Halloween Art Show 

Contributors of all art forms are grateful for Kyla’s openness and encouragement in terms of content creation. New York and Miami based film photographer Carianne Older remarks “Kyla is such a beautiful soul. She allows me to cover anything and everything I want,” reminiscing on her featured articles ranging from photo series to summer playlists. While speaking with a stranger outside of a concert venue, University of Washington student Brooke Kaufman was recommended Pure Nowhere. Upon research, she was immediately impressed with the broadness of subject-matter and visual appearance covered, stating “The blog is a world entirely of its own.” When Larson Rogers first inspected the magazine, she appraised it for similar purposes. “I was attracted to the magazine because it wasn’t just a music magazine; they focus on art and culture too which is something I haven’t seen a lot of magazines do. I really wanted to work with something that combined all of those things,” says Rogers. Kyla herself is content with the ever-changing nature of the magazine, reflecting “Over the past three years we’ve evolved into so many different forms, through so many different people, ideas, and mission statements. But I guess that’s part of what makes it so beautiful, right? You outgrow things that stay the same, so if Pure Nowhere is constantly evolving, then it’ll live on for as long as we let it.”

The constant support from others paired with surreal, reaffirming moments assist Kyla in maintaining a positive mindset for herself and the future of Pure Nowhere. International photography company Lomography featured Kyla in their magazine as part of their Women’s Month series, highlighting her achievements and struggles as a female artist. “I’m one of those people where every week brings some new ‘I made it’ moment,” Kyla states. Just within the past year, Pure Nowhere has been granted press passes for notable artists like Paramore and Arctic Monkeys, and even events as large as Primavera Sound, a music festival in Barcelona that attracted 220,000 attendees in 2018, according to Catalan News. While these impressive features certainly excite her, Kyla seeks to validate the work of all artists, whether they are highly acclaimed or just starting out. “I don’t think there’s much difference between the goals of the interviews; we strive to show people a side of the artist they don’t see from the stage. I have a really strong love for each artist we feature,” she shares.

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 04.16.02.pngKyla’s bedroom wall

Soon to be attending the Iovine and Young Academy at USC for a bachelor of science in Arts, Technology and Business Innovation, Kyla is confident that striking, grandiose developments will be made in her personal skills and in the magazine. With an acceptance rate of a mere 8%, according to USC’s website, Kyla will be studying among a selective group of imaginative pioneers to earn this specific degree, tailored to each individual student’s goals and assets. Here in central Los Angeles she will learn how to run her own company, met with a plethora of tools and connections. “Trust me I will be taking full advantage of every second,” she eagerly promises.

As she prepares for the next step, Kyla will continue creating and monitoring content for the site’s 200,000 readers. However, success doesn’t lie in numbers for her; Kyla’s greatest pride lies in the intangible and unmeasurable results of her work. “I could list off our statistics or personal achievements, which I am very proud of, but that’s not really what it’s about,” she says. Instead, she idolizes the friendships built with the artists she covers, the stories that others share with her, and the sense of community she has at her fingertips; something she has fought endlessly to foster. In the future, she seeks to specify plans for marketing, publishing, and financial goals. But primarily, her true aspirations are much simpler. “I think the ultimate goal is to be able to avoid the typical 9-5 job for as long as possible honestly,” Kyla admits. “I don’t really want to ever live rich, I’d rather have something small I can leave behind for the next adventure. Traveling around, making art, documenting friends and youth and freedom. I think that’s the ultimate goal- making people feel something.”

Screen Shot 2019-04-28 at 21.59.05.pngFrom Kyla’s Instagram

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