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Far From Average: Founder Matt Kyazze On Growing His Creative & Talent Management Agency

FFA Founder Matt Kyazze has built a dynamic creative and artist management agency that has worked with artists like Saint Jhn and Murda Beatz. He’s also worked to create opportunities for BIPOC youth in Ottawa as the creative director of YAACAN.

Matt Kyazze is the founder of Far From Average Management, a digital creative agency in Ottawa that works with entertainers and small businesses to provide marketing and media solutions. Matt and his partners are driven to showcase Ottawa in the same creative, dynamic, and vibrant spotlight that cities like Toronto and New York do so well, something that seems to be lacking in the Capital.

“Me and my best friend at the time, Ryan McDonald, wanted to create a platform where we could positively promote the city of Ottawa. A lot of people call Ottawa boring, but we have a different love for it.”

Matt started Far From Average in 2018, but was inspired by the world of digital media in his early years. Matt, who moved back to Ottawa when he was 4 years old, attended St. Francis Xavier Highschool, and it was here that he first discovered his passion for digital media and marketing.

“St. FX school was literally the school of the future at the time and really shaped my passions. I thank my tech teacher Mr. Scott for pushing the school to get us the right tools for classes. This had a huge impact on the technology we use in the present time. By giving us access to cameras for photo/video, 3D printers and even a recording studio, back in 2009-2013, we were preparing for the work we do today.”

While Matt was first introduced to the industry in high school, his affinity for changing the game is hereditary. His late grandfather, a minister in Uganda, was a social activist who fought for justice in the 60s as a member of the New Ugandan Cabinet. “He inspired me to run for Co-President during High School and who knows what the future holds, maybe I’ll get involved in politics after I reach my current goals.”

In 2018, Matt started his first venture, FFA, an agency that focused on social media, guerrilla marketing, and media production services for Ottawa businesses. He has since grown his team to include producers, marketers, photographers, videographers, and project managers.
“If you are an artist, entertainer or even a restaurant, we can help you create any content that you would want to see on your social media pages with the bonus of creating a roll out plan for you as well.” Says Kyazze, “We provide the best quality to our clients and want them to get the best exposure to back it up.”

Not only is FFA a creative agency for media production, but also provides services for artist management and has worked with a long list of clients that includes Saint Jhn, Murda Beatz, Walshy Fire, Mick Jenkins, and Al Harrington. The brand also has a popular clothing line in Ottawa.

Though COVID19 has created many challenges in all three of those industries, Matt has been able to successfully pivot his brand, and is poised to continue bringing the city together as it begins to open up once again. “In the beginning stages of COVID19 it was hard to come out with new content, when no one really knew too much about the virus yet. We had to cancel many events and prior engagements like live shows, pop ups and photoshoots. We learned during this pandemic that we had to be able to adapt. Zoom became our go-to platform to talk to our clients to still find a way to make their visions come true. The energy FFA gives out is normally something most people would like to see and reciprocate in person. However with online video conferencing tools, we made it work and adjusted our approach to B2B marketing.”

Outside of FFA, Matt is the new creative director of Young Africans and Canadians Acting Now, YAACAN, a charity that aims to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people by driving sustainable solutions to long-term global development problems.

“We collaborate with local communities, skilled professionals and youth to create, implement, and monitor sustainable development projects. Our mission is to build self-reliant and empowered communities by establishing sustainable development projects that address issues related to poverty, education and environmental concerns.

“Currently, my involvement with YAACAN gives me the ability to help children in Congo. Over 40% of the population there are under the age of fifteen. We plan to build a program to connect our community here in Ottawa with the kids of Congo and other parts of Africa.

My love for charity and philanthropy grew once I started to collaborate with CASCO, a charity run by the Telfer students from the University of Ottawa. After creating our event “Ball Out for CHEO” with CASCO and the FFA team, I wanted to continue to help as many people as possible. I met Mira, the founder of YAACAN, through a customer who became a good friend of mine. I asked him if he knew any companies that helped young black entrepreneurs and he suggested I meet Mira and see what she had put together. Mira told me what her goals were and the vision they had for the future. From there I was sold, I just had to dive in and be a part of the amazing work we are now doing.”

To learn more about YAACAN and its initiatives, you can visit
https://www.yaacan.org/.

“Our brand new website was remade by the Capital 1 team during the Digital For Good program where they help Canadian Charities redesign their websites. You can also follow our Instagram page @y.a.a.c.a.n.”

You can also follow FFA @hashtagffa on Instagram and check out their website to see our Spring/Summer 2021 FFA Apparel Line:
https://www.hashtagffa.ca/.

Photography by Sean Sisk

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