Miss Diddy is the president of the marketing agency The Brand Group LA. She is a lifestyle specialist, brand expert, event producer, and a lover of God. The Brand Group LA is a full service agency specializing in tailor-making a star, venue, or event with the most innovative and effective media tools. She has worked with clients such as Jason Derulo, Baron Davis, Terrence J, Russell Simmons and Aja Brown. Miss Diddy herself has been featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, Essence, Revolt, Complex and Rolling Out.
Through this one-on-one interview with branding powerhouse Miss Diddy and L.A. STYLE Magazine publisher Tricia Love, we take a closer look on how she stepped out of the box and into her purpose.
Tricia Love: What would you say to entrepreneurs who have maybe been in business a while or are trying to break into the business?
Miss Diddy: I mean, breaking into the entertainment business, you need to make sure that you’re good at something in entertainment. It can’t just be because you want to be a part of the glitz and glamour, because that’s not how you succeed. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
I have a great friend name Dallas Martin who is one of the VP’s in A&R at Atlantic records and before this is all over will be one of the greatest executives we’ve ever witnessed. He has signed and A&R’d some of the biggest artist in music and our favorites such as Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, The Great Nipsey Hussle and more; some of the greatest people we see–and I know. He has done so much work to get to that level. But I think people look at his life and think it’s a lifestyle thing, right? But there’s so much sacrifice, and there’s so much work that has to be put in, to even (a) succeed, (b) to stay succeeding and (c) if you care about being on top, to stay on top.
So, anybody wanting to break into this field, I believe that you should study who came before you and pay attention to their work. Don’t look at just the glitz and the glamour. Also, there’s a level of consistency that you have to have in order to be successful. There’s a level of commitment. There’s a level of sacrifice. There’s a level of mental toughness, because there are decisions that you have to make that affect everybody around you, and if you make the wrong decision, you can sink a whole ship. There’s a lot of pressure.
Tricia Love: In regards to the current times and COVID, can you share with us maybe a nugget of wisdom in regards to pivoting for your clients?
Miss Diddy: What has always been an approach for me, and I think even more so now, is saving money. I think people aren’t taught to save money. Minorities in particular don’t have it growing up. So, when we get it, we spend it. Don’t just spend it. It’s not there to just spend. Don’t buy things just to make yourself feel good.
Also, allow yourself to feel and go through whatever it is that you’re feeling. The best thing we could ever do is be creative. The wisdom is the wealth up in your brain. It’s in your mind. It’s in your ideas. It’s in your thoughts. So, if you nurture your thoughts and if you actually exercise them, then you can figure out your next step.
“We have to continuously remind each other that we’re kings and queens. We’re beautiful people. Black and Brown people are beautiful. People are strong. We’re capable, we’re able, we’re creative.”-Miss Diddy
Tricia Love: Is your work rooted in your faith or any type of light that motivates you to know your worth?
Miss Diddy: All of my confidence roots to God, because I’m only here to do his work. I’m not here to do anything other than that–and the minute that I lose sight of that, I’m not going to have it.
A pandemic came, and I didn’t see any financial change or strife, because I serve a kingdom: I serve His kingdom. So, once you get aligned with God, and really focus on what His word is for your life, then there’s protection there. It doesn’t mean you won’t go through things because, of course, I’ve gone through things that would take people out; but those are things that I had to go through for the next level.
Also, I’m a Black woman, right? We’ve been stripped down our whole lives. We’re taught in American history that our history started when we became slaves. That’s not true; we were kings and queens. But then, as soon as we’re becoming successful again, they put drugs and guns in our community. So, when people think about understanding their worth, it goes so much deeper than just, “Hey girl, you need to know your worth.” No, it’s systemic. It’s a generational thing that you have to really be aware of. We have to continuously remind each other that we’re kings and queens. We’re beautiful people. Black and Brown people are beautiful. People are strong. We’re capable. We’re able. We’re creative.
Tricia Love: Absolutely. What do you hope will continue to happen in regards to this movement?
Miss Diddy: I think that’s an incredible question. I think it’s each one of us understanding that if we’re still here, it is to be responsible to the movement and this time in our lives, and to continuously be bold about it.
My God-Father, who’s 70, his is name is Leo Nocentelli and he’s a huge music icon from New Orleans, he’s the lead guitarist for the Funk band “The Meters”. And he calls me one night, and says, “I’m in the latter part of my years of life. I believe that this is the generation that will see this through.” For him to say that, you have to continue, and to continue to make people believe in it.
We’re going to see change. It just made me understand how important this moment is to speak up, to be bold, to be brave, to believe in God, to believe in our people; and to do everything in our power to carry it out. All the deals we make and all the moves we make and all the partnerships we do and any business deals, they have to have a greater understanding of the time we’re in.
Tricia Love: Is there a particular project your currently working on that you would like to highlight?
Miss Diddy: I’m excited about partnering with the United Nations for the “Save Our Future” campaign. It’s all educational-based and aims to really encourage the youth and suppport them through what they’re going through in this new wave of education. It’s a new normal that they now have to adjust to when it wasn’t their fault—and it wasn’t anyone’s fault—[but] now we have kids that are trying to figure out how to learn. It’s just tough. It’s tough for the parents, too.
Tricia Love: What would you say to others to help keep their focus on the future?
Miss Diddy: I believe if we get back to teaching our kids about God, it’s going to help them understand their purpose. You can’t understand your purpose in life without being in tune with God. Because, whatever our purpose is in life, it is solely what He put us on this earth to do. So, we have to seek it from Him. If our kids understand God earlier on, then it’ll help them stay on that path.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I lived in Inglewood and then my mother moved to Compton when I was young and I spent my teenage years there. I was fortunate to have friends that became family, I believe it takes a village to raise a child. As I got older and moved into my career there were really great people who took me under their wings like Kenny Burns and more; that’s how I was able to spread my wings with the start of my entertainment career.
I also think we should try to introduce travel to them, because traveling opened my mind: Seeing outside of my community, just understanding other people and all of those things.
Tricia Love: That’s powerful. Those things are so important to keep hope alive. Then their imagination is unlimited.
Miss Diddy: One hundred percent. People need hope. Hope is what keeps people alive.
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