About Kari Jay
Takarra “Kari Jay” Johnson is a proud Pan Afrikan Sista from Sacramento, CA who loves influencing change through education, hip hop, travel, and spoken word poetry. She is a scholar of African, African American, American Studies, and Education.
Kari first became involved in the advancement of her global community in 2013 when she discovered her Ghanaian ancestry. She studied abroad in Ghana, West Afrika for the first time with the UC Davis Study Abroad under the direction of Dr. Moradewun Adejunmobi in 2016. Kari went on to travel to Ghana seven more times, with high hopes of spreading love, education, and revolutionary unity. Takarra co-founded the West2West Movement with Tia Williams, shaping the goal to bridge the gap between the Afrikan people born in the Western Hemisphere and our home in West Afrika. She met Killmatic Agyare there, starting a career in Afro music that would last the rest of her life. All Kari Jay Music has so far been produced and engineered by Killmatic.
Kari Jay's released her debut projects, “KARI” & “SACRED vol. 1-3” released as an independent recording artist. As an orator and poet, Takarra has won countless oratorical and poetry competitions in California, Chicago, and Atlanta since the young age of 14 years old. In fact, Kari Jay is the youngest poet in Sacramento history to be crowned the Mahogany Urban Poetry Queen of the Mic. Kari was the opening artist for AFROCHELLA 2019 in Ghana and since then has become a Ghana Representative for California and New Orleans. She has opened for legendary acts like Fiveology and legends Nikki Giovanni, Common, and Sista Souljah.
Kari Jay met Khalid Hafiz, a seasoned producer of music and music festivals when she was hired by Greer Goff Mendy to do hair and makeup for the Tekrema Dance Ensemble in New Orleans in 2021. She was inspired to ask him about his profession after observing him for a few days, and a production intern was instantly formed in her heart. Since then, Kari has worked as a production expert for other festivals in New Orleans, including the Jazz & Heritage Festival, Fried Chicken Festival, Essence Fest, and many others.
Inspired by Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, and Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Takarra believes the time for justice is always now and works to incite action within the community. Her philosophy is: “Every day is an opportunity to be greater, more focused, and more determined for the people; it’s always for the people”.