Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Sadé Sanchez

Media mogul in the making, Sadé Sanchez. Photograph provided by Sadé Sanchez.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is content creator, creative consultant and journalist, Sadé Sanchez. The New Jersey native is makes up half of the budding podcast, The Lyrical Fix and creator of monthly open mic showcase Check It!. Get to know Sadé and her professional journey below.

You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?

“My mother and sister read to me a lot when I was younger and it formed a passion for writing short stories and poems. Then one day I didn’t want to just make up stories, I wanted to tell stories. I started writing about life experiences; mainly about my siblings and friends falling in love, their break ups, my father passing, and what we went through. 

I always knew in some capacity that I wanted to be involved with music and with artists I just never knew which route to take. Until I saw the movie, Brown Sugar. The movie sparked my interest in Artist Development, but it seemed easier to take the journalism route. 

While that movie is a love story between two people, it is a love story about Hip Hop. I refer to it in my Ode To Hip Hop. While I listen to other genres, I’m Hip Hop at the core. I can write, I like journal why not just do music journalism.” 

How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?

“I was a double major in English and Journalism during my brief stint at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. I took an elective, Music Journalism 101, and it opened my mind to ‘you know what I can actually do this’. My professor was a writer for a few magazines and blogs based out of the village in New York. He had interviews with Quest Love and a few other musicians and artists in the music business. He pushed me to interview the executive director, Daniel Gallant, at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a place that I hold dear to my heart. From that point, I went on to start my own blog – Audio Fixation.” 

Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?

“Building Audio Fixation was tough. 2DopeBoyz and Pigeon and Planes, amongst a few, were blogs I lived by and I would studied. While the blog didn’t take off, I made Audio Fixation my brand. The website stands as my portfolio, my Linktree.

During winter break in 2014, I took a public speaking class to work on giving myself a voice. There I met a producer from the radio station on campus. He asked me to be a guest on one of his shows. While it was tough for me to be able to censor myself, it was amazing to just sit there and talk about music. Then a few months later I got into “The Joe Budden Podcast“ (‘I’ll Name This Podcast Later’ at the time) and it made me think back to the radio show, ‘I can do that. I may not have the money for equipment but eventually I want to do that’. Years later, The Lyrical Fix came to fruition.

My main goal has always been to highlight and build a platform for artists. From the blog and my open mic series Check It!, to The Lyrical Fix Podcast and landing a job at We Are Jersey Magazine – it’s always been about the artists. I do prefer to be behind the scenes, but the podcast allows me to use my voice and feature artists with a therapeutic bonus added. Check It! will eventually lead to Jersey’s version of B.B. King’s / Nuyorican for underground artists, to be somewhere they got their start.

I know that being a creative is not easy and my mission is simply to help. Whether it be developing artists, highlighting them, or providing a stage and a mic, I just want to help get that art out in anyway I can.

Audience? It’s a broad audience. I want to cover a lot of ground. To be precise I would say creatives and music lovers. Millennials, in regard to generation. I do wish to get more casual fans. To educate them about the business, how tough it is to be a creative, and help them support their creative friends. Also, put them on to artists they never heard of.

The podcast is where my co-host Kid Pro and I get to reach out and highlight artists from around the country so it’s cool to have my Jersey audience catch on to an artist from Detroit, Baltimore, LA and vice versa.” 

So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?

“My proudest personal moment happens to not be in media, per se. My proudest moment in my career so far happens to be many little moments surrounding Check It!

I’ve been able to, unexpectedly, create a family of artists. It’s bringing them together that does it for me. Being in these rooms with them while they’re creating, whether solo or together, has been a blessing. Getting exclusives is a welcomed bonus but the fact that they met and networked at my show is a blessing. I provided that platform that got them together. Check It! has become more of a home than just a platform for some. My One Man Band, Droovy, has been getting gigs from other platforms from being the highlight of Check It! and it’s a beautiful thing. That’s success to me.” 

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field?

“While it is a cliche, I’ll say it anyway – never give up. Consistency and perseverance are so important in this industry. No matter your path or title, this industry will gobble you up if you let it. Even the underground can be vicious. It’s about making those hard decisions, sacrificing, working hard all while knowing your worth and standing your ground. People will try to throw dirt on your name – believe me, I know – but if you’re in it to win it… then win it. “

Stay connected with Sadé Sanchez by connecting with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For the latest episode of The Lyrical Fix podcast click HERE or to follow the podcast’s official Instagram.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!

Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Yaba Tuffour

Media mogul in the making, Yaba Tuffour. Photo provided by Yaba Tuffour.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is filmmaker, multimedia artist, writer, director, and podcast host, Yaba Tuffour. Learn more about Yaba’s journey below.

You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?

“I’ve always been a very artsy person. Growing up I was always surrounded by art. My father played the upright bass and drew a bit. My mother is an anthropologist so she would always have African sculptures and would tell me stories about our ancestors. Because of this I would spend hours drawing or creating homemade movies with my friends. I thought I was going to go into acting, but as I auditioned more I quickly realized it is more political than it is about your talent. So I shifted gears and took more of a ‘behind the scenes’ approach to film making. My drawings turned into digital graphic designs and my interest and dedication to film making and graphic design took off from there.”

How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?

“I got started off in graphic design by creating advertisement flyers for clubs I was in while in college. I went to American University (AU) where I studied Film & Media Arts with minors in Business Administration and Studio Art. I was the outreach chair for the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and would primarily serve as liaison between BSA and other multicultural clubs. As such I created flyers to promote different club events with sponsors. I would go to the school library to use photoshop and illustrator, because at that time I couldn’t afford the program on my computer. With time I became better and got offers to create logos, event flyers, and posters.

I got started in film by accidentally walking into the wrong office for a job interview. The president of the BSA told me about an on-campus job that would film campus events like prominent guest speakers, Student Government elections, and just general news on campus. I had very limited film experience prior to the interview with the exception of a few student projects I made in class. So I was a bit nervous and didn’t really know if I was qualified, but growing-up wanting to be an actor for so long really paid off during this time, because I wasn’t going to let anybody see me shook. I walked into an office (the wrong office) and confidently announced I was here for an interview. Coincidentally they were actually looking for someone to hire, they just didn’t expect anybody so soon. Matt Fredericks took it in strides and interviewed me on the spot. I showed him my reel and told him that I’m comfortable working on Adobe programs and that I’m a very quick learner. He seemed impressed because he offered me the job on the spot. A few minutes after talking through the details of the job Rowshawn Z. walks into the office and is surprised to see me. Matt told Rowshawn she did a really good job because he didn’t expect to hire anybody so quickly, Rowshawn was shocked too and confessed that she didn’t send me here for the job and doesn’t know who I am. The conversation quickly turned into a game of clue as we tried to figure out where my real interview was and how we went for about an hour without figuring it out sooner. Once everything was cleared up Matt still offered me a job and fortunate for me I was able to reschedule my original interview and was offered that job as well. It was my first bidding war so I was really feeling myself. I ended up working with Matt at the University Communications and Marketing department as a Video Production Specialist / Office Assistant. From this job I worked with an amazing team and learned a butt load of practical film knowledge and in 2013 I was awarded an Emmy Honor for our video JFK:Building Peace for All Time. Over time I made more short films, music videos, and a few event promo videos. Recently have been accepted into the DGA Trainee Program in New York. In this program I’m training to be an assistant director and have worked on projects such as Law & Order: SVU and a new Tracey Oliver Project – currently untitled.”

Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?

“I built my platforms on the basis of showcasing life from my perspective as a multimedia artist, filmmaker, podcaster, and writer/director. I don’t mindfully dedicate a lot of time to my platform because I currently have a love hate relationship with social media. I love how accessible my work is to people and I greatly appreciate the feedback I’m given but sometimes as an artistic person I get very overwhelmed and intimidated by other’s work. Because of this I’ve really shifted my goal in social media to be a visual portfolio to represent the lessons I’ve learned in my projects. For example if you look at the beginning of my IG (FilmFrik) you will see Marvelous, a short film about finding happiness when everything seems to be conspiring against you. Then you’ll see Color Me, an artistic video and photo series dedicated to skin color. Recently I’ve been working on the You Go Gurl Podcast, a podcast I co-host that focuses on kitchen table talk conversations about life, news, and experiences of black women and men.”

So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?

“My proudest personal media moment has to be my photo series at Afropunk and Curlfest. I have been working on Tender Head, a short film about a tender headed black girl finding her black girl magic through her hair. I took my camera to Afropunk and Curlfest about a year ago and interviewed people on their favorite hairstyles, their worst hair-stories, and other general questions about their relationship between themselves and their hair. I was able to meet a lot of different people and got some great stories from strangers. It really motivates me to continue to tell this story and to tell it properly because it is the through-line of every black girl.”

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field?

“If I was to give any advice to mediapreneurs I would say embrace failure and be bold. I’ve spoken a bit about how social media can become overwhelming and intimidating to artists, and I think that’s the part that I hear a lot of artistic people struggle with. They struggle with executing their ideas because they overthink the technicalities, worry about how it will be perceived, or generally have a lack of confidence in their abilities. When I start to see myself get into that frame of mind I have to tell myself, ‘fuck ‘em.’ There’s always going to be a troll and there will always be an excuse not to do something, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Whether your attempt is great or not you will inevitably learn from the experience. I’ve made so much crap work and have almost given up because I thought I should be better by now, but that’s the amazing thing about the media industry. There is so much appreciation and support for different styles and techniques regardless of skill level. The film with horrible lighting or ‘cheap’ production value might be hated by a few but loved by many. Failure is not always as bad as you think it is, but you have to be bold to find out.”

Connect with Yaba Tuffour on Instagram to keep up with her. To learn more about her short film Tender Head, check out its official Instagram page. To view the latest episodes of the You Go Gurl podcast, click HERE.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!

Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Dana Belfleur

Media mogul in the making, Dana Belfleur. Photo provided by Dana Belfleur.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is the co-host of the Rants and Revelations podcast, Dana Belfleur. Learn more about Dana’s journey below.

You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?

“Contrary to many of my peers in the industry, I’ve never considered myself creative or expressive. I’ve always thought I was a black and white person– one who thrives off logic as opposed to creativity. Digital media, specifically YouTube and podcasts, piqued my interest because they can be used as educational tools to provide truth and knowledge. I can tell my story in a nontraditional format and connect with my viewers and listeners to encourage them to conquer their own challenges.”

How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?

“Interestingly enough, in elementary school and high school, I was part of the media team. I served as the student morning news anchor and in high school was also able to produce, write some news pieces and worked the teleprompter. I enjoyed doing that so much, I applied to Florida State University to study broadcast journalism. However, that was my back up plan because my heart was set on Spelman College. Once I got into Spelman, I chose a different major then started my YouTube channel less than a year after graduation.”

Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?

“I now have a podcast called Rants and Revelations with my best friend from highschool, Michelle Benjamin. We decided to work on this project together because it was a fun outlet to share our stories. What started as a passion project, now has a detailed 3 year plan to target Black, millennial women who are in different stages of their lives. Whether single or married, a mother or forever the rich aunt, corporate professional or entrepreneur– we believe we all have a story. More importantly, we know we can achieve our individual goals with a strong support system, even if it is a virtual one (ours is the RandRTribe). Our podcast is called Rants and Revelations because we get to have funny, genuine conversations that allow us to grow, evolve and learn (hence the Rants). And we get to reflect on lessons learned so that we are able to achieve our best selves (hence the Revelations). Our top goal is to encourage our listeners to evolve right along with us.”

So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?

“My proudest media moment, hands down, has been starting Rants and Revelations. Getting it off the ground was hard work and putting ourselves out there was even harder  However, the response and support we’ve gotten so far shows me we are doing exactly what we’re called to do: help women learn, laugh and evolve– together. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes us; hopefully, it’s on a screen near you!”

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field?

“First, you have to figure out exactly what your end goal is. Once you’ve decided that, come up with a game plan on how to accomplish this goal. Put together a list of mentors who’s done it and take tips from their paths. Once you’ve set your mind to it and you’ve created your plan, like Nike, just do it! It is intimidating to come into this field if you feel like you don’t have enough experience or the right pedigree but when you’re walking in your purpose, everything is aligned and it works out. Be committed to your own success, have the self discipline to work hard, and as you grow in your career always thank those who helped you get to where you are and make room to pay it forward for those who are up and coming.”

Connect with Dana Belfleur on Instagram to keep up with her. Follow Rants and Revelations on Instagram. To view the latest of Rants and Revelations, visit https://anchor.fm/rants-and-revelations.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!