Multi-hyphenated talent Khadeen Ellis is a mother, wife, actress, podcaster, and entrepreneur. After several years of taking the stage with her leading men, she’s now stepping into a new role, where she’s the main act. With the recent launch of her YouTube channel, Ok Kay Kay, Khadeen is proving you can have it all.
Their family vlog, The Ellises, which features Khadeen, her husband Devale, and their three boys, launched them into the public eye. Not only does it showcase their comedic chops, but it also offers an inside look into the millennial married couple. Since launching, several of their videos have gone viral, and together they’ve built a community of well over a million followers. This was the catalyst for them to become full-time content creators, allowing them to use their platform to secure their podcast, Dead Ass, with Devale & Khadeen which is in its second season and advance their acting careers. And it paid off! Khadeen booked her first feature role this year, and Devale has a recurring role on Tyler Perry’s Sistas on BET.
If you’re thinking about working with your partner, they are proof that it can work. “Devale is my biggest cheerleader and my biggest critic. Together we’ve developed a tough skin where we can be completely transparent in every facet of our lives.” And if you’re struggling to find balance, you’re not alone. “The downside is that he doesn’t know when to clock out. Our work ethics are different. It helps that we’re in the same field. There’s mutual respect for understanding what goes into the craft, which is ultimately our saving grace.”
But with so much success, why now? “I was able to partner with a good friend of mine to produce content. The Ellises is mostly from Devale’s point of view. He would share his opinion on topics, and women would ask for my thoughts and feelings. For a while, I struggled with keeping up with his platform because if he put something out there, then I would have to give a rebuttal to what he said. When I decided to do this channel, I knew this would be my voice. Naturally, I love to entertain, but I also want [Ok Kay Kay] to be a channel that women can relate to.”
She added, “I’m hoping that regardless of who’s watching, women can say: ‘Wow, I didn’t think of this in this way,’ ‘I don’t feel alone,’ or ‘Girl, you hit the nail on the head. This launch means it’s going to help someone.”
Switching in and out of a Caribbean accent, Khadeen’s West Indian culture has a significant influence on how she communicates. She shared that growing up in a Caribbean household, you’re either one of three things: a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. While she didn’t follow those “traditional” paths, she did get her education, which was equally important to her family. Khadeen holds a bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism and has a master’s in Speech Communications and Performance Studies from Hofstra University.