Kharmony Fortune Empowers Aspiring Creatives & Actors to "Pursue Unlimited Possibilities"
Kharmony Fortune, the CEO/founder of Unlimited Possibilities Music and Talent Agency, has a life motto that ties in with the company’s moniker: “Be empowered to pursue unlimited possibilities.”
And the Bronx native, now Los Angeles resident, sets out to receive and bestow the blessings that come with empowerment.
As one of the country’s youngest Black female CEOs of a successful talent agency, Fortune has used her treasure chest of knowledge in music and showbiz to help others. “I've been a home for a lot of clients, a lot of actors, who were looking to get their start in the business. We help develop them, and we help package them. I've been responsible for creating wealth for thousands of people. I’m so excited that this is my story,” Fortune says. In a matter of eight years, she’s had clients from her roster star in the hit show Insecure and another land a Grammy award for their role in Beyoncé’s concert film Homecoming.
In addition to assisting others in reaching their dreams, Fortune has been checking goals off her list. This year, she debuted as director of the TikTok digital series The Mels. The show, which debuted this October, stars DèLon Shaw (Family Reunion), Keturah Gregg (Insecure), Anisa Washington, and Novi Brown (Sistas). The premise of the sci-fi dramedy follows the journeys of three young girls navigating their first day at a performing arts conservatory – but nothing is what it seems.
“The inspiration for the show was really from the girls. I've experienced different things that they told me about what they do within their day-to-day lives, how they are feeling even as a brown skin girl in the entertainment business, and how they had their own observations,” Fortune states. “They expressed to me that they don't really see themselves represented on TV. It’s really rare that you see three chocolate brown, beautiful leads on a show, especially in their age group. So, that was the inspiration for the show.” While the series is currently independently financed, Fortune is in discussion with executives to get the show to network. She adds, “Once we get a budget in the studio, the show is going to be next level. As of now, we are taking up space, and we are so unapologetic about it, and I'm just so excited that the show is spreading, the word is spreading, and people are really enjoying the content.”
In conversation, Fortune shares her journey and impetus for unlocking the key to limitless opportunities.
You were raised by a single mom and lived in South Bronx. I’m sure that no doubt came with its challenges. How do you feel like that's encouraged you to pursue your goals?
I strongly feel that being raised in New York City, especially in the South Bronx in the ‘90s, to a mom who was a recovering addict, and being a latchkey kid, learning how to be independent – that all has a lot to do with how I pursue my career and how I live my life. It taught me to be resilient no matter what's around me, no matter how difficult the task might be, that I need to still stay strong and persevere through whatever comes my way.
It showed me what I didn't want in my future. It gave me an extra sense of motivation to have better and to strive for more, not that my parents or my grandparents didn't strive for better. Their better was better than their experience. My grandmother grew up in Alabama, when there was segregation. So, her better was to just get a college education and to have a nice stable apartment. So, that was what her goal was, but you have to continue to elevate. So, I saw what she was able to accomplish, and I recreated it for myself.
You touched on some solid points. Resilience is an excellent quality to have. It’s great to see you pursuing something that has elevated you. In line with that, tell me about Unlimited Possibilities Music & Talent Agency. When did you start it, and what is the mission?
So, I started the agency in 2013. I was already living in L.A. for a couple of years. Initially, it was just to manage music artists, producers, and songwriters because that's my background. Then, the more I expanded outside just the music side, and being in Hollywood, I was around a lot of actors. I kept hearing it’s so difficult to get a manager or agent, and I knew all these talented people. So, I've always been business-minded. So, I knew if there was an opening for something, then that's the perfect opportunity for me to create something, and so that's what I did.
Since 2013, over the last eight years, I've maximized my potential with my company. We've expanded from everything from having the first queer division in Hollywood to authentically represent LGBTQIA+ talent to now having our production studios. Nowadays, I like to keep it small because I like having that personal relationship with my clients. I'm also a human being. I have dreams and goals. I'm so glad that I kind of sifted and sorted through the people who were just there with their hands out. Rather than now, I feel like I have a team of people on my roster as well as my coworkers that are bringing things to the table because that ultimately is important. It's not just what I bring, I know what I bring, but it's also what we bring as a community that will help elevate everybody’s lives in the long run.
Absolutely. With something where you all have the same vision in mind, it's essential to have your circle close anyway. Your agency has clients on Insecure, right?
I had two clients that were on Insecure season one. So, we're the Insecure original family. It’s so funny to see how the show has evolved even since season five now because when we first got the breakdown, it was just a pilot. You’re really taking a leap of faith in this unknown project. It feels like such an honor just to have been a part of the show in that way.
That's so cool. So, tell me about what goes into casting for these amazing projects. Also, how did you get the opportunity with Beyoncé’s Homecoming?
So, we have our roster, and we submit our clients based on what breakdowns say. So, it's not necessarily casting. It's like we pitch our clients to casting to let them know, ‘Hey, we have the best person for you. Can you see them?’ They audition, and they get booked.
We had two clients that that were on Homecoming, which was amazing because even though you didn’t know from reading the description that it was going to actually go on to be this amazing film. I have one client who was a musician that went on to win a Grammy. I have their Grammy framed. Then, I have one client that was also a dancer as part of that whole production. You and I both know Homecoming is one for the books, right? So, I was so excited to just be that close. I love Beyoncé.
That’s excellent. I'm so excited to see someone in your position doing all these great things and really setting the bar for the next generation too. So what’s on the horizon? What legacy would you like to leave behind?
On the horizon are unlimited possibilities. I have so many things in store, everything from other TV and film projects. I have a huge heart for foster care children. I raised two boys myself as a foster mother. So, I also have a nonprofit called Kore, which stands for “keep one room empty,” to help encourage young people to become foster parents so we can eliminate how many children are in the foster system.
You asked earlier about the motto of my company, and my life motto is to be empowered to pursue unlimited possibilities. So, it's all about empowerment. There's no limit to what any of us can do, and I like to be that example in everything that I do. So, there's nothing too small for me to learn. There's nothing too big that's out of my reach. If I want it, it’s already mine. If every day I wake up and I have joy, I have my health. I have love, passion, and all this amazing creativity that I could see used in so many different ways, then I win.