WIMC Connect Feature Artists and Innovators - Jully Black
Published: 06 January 2023
Q: Your core team (founders, site ops, marketing, ticket) are all female or gender minorities - what unique benefits and perhaps learnings have you found with this dynamic?
A: We truly operate in an “Each One, Teach One” environment. A black woman’s lived experience is very different than a white woman's lived experience and an indigenous, two-spirit persons' lived experience. Our team is beautifully made up of all the aforementioned and I find we are more courageously vulnerable, and ready to slay systemic Goliath's as a result. No win is too small to celebrate especially as we all know what it’s like to be denied a fair chance to enter the ring.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
A: I’m most proud of living up to my late mother Agatha’s wisdom to focus on who I needed to become to have an impact on and for the culture rather than what I was capable of doing. It's twenty-nine years later and I’m still happily becoming 'truly Jully'.
"A career is what you are paid for, a calling is what you are made for.” -Jully Black
Q: Can you tell us about one woman or non-binary champion who has influenced your career and how?
A: Rhianna is a huge inspiration. She represents what the triumphant immigrant story could look like. The way she’s turned FENTI into activism is BOSS. She’s earned the right to call her own shots in business and isn’t afraid to bet on love!
As a first-generation black Canadian woman born to Jamaican parents, Rhianna gives me hope that as long as you have life and passion you have time to actualize your highest, truest dreams!
Q: What is one thing you’ve learned about business, people, or yourself, during your career thus far?
A: Value vs. Currency is a real thing! Some of the most incredible career shifting opportunities I’ve experienced had little to no money attached, but rather forged lifelong valuable and loyal relationships that to this day are paying massive dividends!
Q: Can you give an example of a challenge have you faced in your career that you feel were more so based on gender? How did you overcome this?
A: This one is touchy because I have yet to be booked on my own headlining tour across Canada even with all the decades of success and radically remaining relevant.
I’ve never called the race card throughout my career because as a pioneer you want to make sure you preserve to make it easier for the next generation. As a black female artist, I’ve been stereotyped as a “rapper”, for example, and denied slots on folk festivals, etc. I’m still overcoming this as we speak. Becoming a TV personality so Canada and the world can get to know me was strategic. What’s keeps me sleeping at night is my mother’s wisdom of “What’s for you will not miss you.”
Q: What tip(s) do you have for fellow songwriters for successful co-writing / collaborating?
A: Check your ego at the door and if your co-writer has an ego find a window to have a "stomach ache” and get the hell up outta there! LOL! If it’s not fun, I’m not about it. Co-writing for my own projects must be with someone I know, and I can trust because it’s basically a therapy session. LOL!
Q: If you had one wish for equity change in music in Canada, what would it be?
A: More qualified, black female, LGBTQ, non-binary, gender non-conforming executives to be at the table, in positions of power, and more funding to be made available for their organizations.
Q: What can we expect to see coming in 2023 for you? What are you most excited about?
A: In 2023 I am “Being” more than “Doing.” I’m excited to look back on December 31st, 2023, and say DAYUMMM, this year was epic!