Today, I spoke with Funky Dineva to find out more about the man behind this unique character and what he has in store for the future. The social media maven and reality television personality has had the internet buzzing since late last year after releasing the viral video series called “My Hair Is Layed, and hasn’t looked back since.
How did you come up with the name, Funky Dineva?
You know, one day I was just sitting and I started rambling and honestly, it was the first thing that came out of my mouth. There was no rhyme or reason. I don’t know how I came up with that name.
Is Funky Dineva just a character or are the two of you essentially the same person?
So, I have to be honest and say…she’s not that much different from my brand of humor. In my every day walk, am I that flamboyant? Of course not. I’m an everyday kind of guy. Funky Dineva is a character, and she’d be my female alter ego, I’d say.
So, she stemmed from a part of your own inner-flamboyant personality?
Exactly. And some real life experiences. Much of what I draw upon for that character is just real life energy and real life circumstances surrounding who I am.
What are some of those real life experiences?
You know, like the first 10 videos or so, before I really got into reviewing television shows or whatnot, are all 99% factual occurrences in my life. I went to jail. Me and my boyfriend broke up. My car got repo’d. I mean, all of those videos that were really established online are 100% factual occurrences in my life. The only thing that’s different are the names of the people that I used.
What started your My Hair is Layed series on youtube?
I was playing around in the basement one December. I found a wig that I had worn the previous October for Halloween. I put it on and I was using my phone as a mirror and I just started saying, “Yes, honey. Yes, b****. My hair is layed, honey”. I was just playing around. I don’t even know where the phrase “my hair is layed” even came from. I was just playing around. I called one of my friends from college and I said “I want to text you this movie I just did. It’s hilarious.” Long story short, the file was too big for text, so I ended uploading it to my youtube channel, and he ended up posting it on facebook. And it kind of took off from there. That’s really how it happened. I was pissed at him. Like “Oh my god. Why the hell would you do that? That was so not cool.”
What were you doing before all of this happened?
I was a corporate accountant for eight years.
Did you enjoy that?
No. I hated every f***ing minute of it.
Who most inspires you, TV personality or otherwise?
You know, up until this point, I can’t really say there was any huge inspiration. Just recently, I started to be understanding that there are two women right now in the media that I really kind of look up to and want to model my career after. One: Wendy Williams. Solely because she was able to go from being the shock jock who really built her brand on exposing people to this very demure, well-respected talk-show host, go-to kind of person when you want the gossip. And I really admire the power that her brand has. The second person, believe it or not, is NeNe Leakes. I compare myself to NeNe Leakes in the sense that NeNe took a whole lot of nothing and made a whole lot of something out of it. She’s got that Kardashian thing going on where you’re a celebrity, but we don’t know why. You don’t have a real talent, but we’re paying you all this money to be places. I just really admire the fact that she has ingenuity to look at her situation and just make the most out of it. I really look up to her for that.
Would you consider NeNe one of your favorite reality TV personalities?
It depends on which season you ask. She’s gotten back into my good graces. Last season, I couldn’t stand her. Overall, when Housewives first started and she came on, I was like, “I love this b****. I don’t know who she is, but I love her.”
Speaking of Real Housewives, you were also involved with Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta. How did that come about?
When that show came on, people didn’t know what to expect. I was one of the ones who saw the preview and was like “this is going to be garbage. This is crap. No one knows these people.” But something in that show got my attention, and I started reviewing each episode on my online blog. And believe it or not, the VH1 producer for the reunion reached out to me and wanted to license several clips of my videos to use on the show. I called my manager at the time, Candy. Candy called our agent, who happened to know the producer. The called me back and said that they had one better. How about you come to the reunion? So, they sent me to the reunion and I got the link-up with the people at VH1. At which point they asked, “Do you want to show your face at the reunion? Do you want to have a speaking role?” To “We want you to interview the cast backstage. We want you to host the web series after the reunion.” I also had the opportunity after developing some relationships to appear again on the Dirty Little Secrets special that aired right before Christmas and is to date my largest television role. It’s just because of a continual relationship that I think we’ll see a whole lot of Funky Dineva in Love and Hip Hop, both in New York and Atlanta. It’s just all these chain of events that are just like fate, or destiny.
Which do you prefer: Love and Hip Hop or the Real Housewives?
If I am being forced to give an answer, I’d say Real Housewives. I love them both. It’s almost like comparing apples to oranges with the two. They’re totally different things.
Who do you think is the most ratchet reality television celebrity?
You want to know what’s funny? Believe it or not, I don’t watch as much reality TV as people probably think I do. I only watch like one or two Housewives, Love and Hip Hop. Who’s the most ratchet? Hmm…I don’t know. I would probably have to say, and I don’t watch this show, that ratchet goes to some of those chicks from the Bad Girls Club. I don’t even watch that show because I just can’t bring myself to watch it. I can’t get into a show where people audition under the guise that they are going to fight people. But, ratchet? Actually, New York is ratchet.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you want to be doing?
I’ve always had dreams, and I think I still want to do this, of owning a club or a bar. It’s a passion. If I want to get out of reality, I want to throw a party and own a nightclub or a bar. Maybe one day, we’ll have a Funky Dineva Bar and Grille or something.
What can we expect to see from Funky Dineva in 2013?
A lot of television and a lot of radio. A goal for 2013 is just to expand the brand and get it out there. We’ve got a youtube cult following, Hip Hop, and people can kind of follow that for now. But I’m trying to follow that NeNe Leakes path where people now know her independent of Housewives. It’s really just branding. I want a talk show. I want something similar to Wendy Williams. I don’t know why I feel like 2013 is this place for that.