My first recollection of a best friend was this kid named Joshua (I can’t remember his surname for the life of me). I was maybe 5 or 6, but I remember Joshua was from a middle-class family. To give context, I schooled in a pretty elite primary school, and typically, in each classroom, you would have sons and daughters of the wealthiest people around.
However, in a class which had some super-rich kids, Joshua was the boy everyone wanted to be friends with. Even at such a young age, Joshua was by far the most popular kid in school, the coolest kid around. We all wanted to talk like him, look like him, we wanted to be him.
He didn’t have fancy toys or fancy shoes, but he had something that made him very endearing. looking back at it now, it’s safe to say he had influence.
Fast forward some 18 years later and I’m in an interview for a marketing communications intern. The interviewee seems slightly nervous, and to help ease her nerves, we ask what we thought was a pretty straightforward question: Who’s an influencer? She replies, “My Father.”
Her reply stuns everybody in the room and some of us even chuckle at her response. Obviously, her father did not have a million followers on social media, nor was he a world-renowned entertainer, so how could he possibly be an influencer, right?
The idea of influence and influencer in the context of marketing communications is typically someone who has the power to cause an effect on others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. After all, influencer marketing exists solely to help brands convert customers and it is the reason why reports suggest that businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
However, as marketing communications people, we can sometimes forget that influence in its purest form isn’t only what we see on social media. It’s not just the likes, retweets, or comments. And you really can’t blame us for a somewhat skewed perspective, especially with as high as 67% of marketing communications professionals constantly engaging with influencers for content promotion.
This kind of relationship between brands, marketing professionals and influencers can sometimes stereotype the definition of what influence is or should be.
BHM’s Global day of Influence, which kicks off on November 22, 2020, could be the first step in helping us recognise that in our own little way, we have the power to cause the change that we hope to see in the world, we all are, in our little ways, influencers.
You may have 10 followers, 20, or even no follower. Heck, you may not even be on social media, but as long as you’ve got a voice, and you’ve got people who listen, then maybe you just are more influential than you think.
In the 18 years between my first “influencer” experience and my epiphany during that strange interview, the world changed, the internet evolved and we were blessed (and cursed) with social media. However, with a day dedicated to reminding us of our individual and collective influence, maybe we are on a verge of witnessing a new, and much-needed translation to the word “influence”.
Billboard has named Cardi B their Woman Of The Year.
For the feature, the award-winning singer and rapper sat down for a Skype interview with Billboard‘s hip-hop editor about her sex-positive anthem “WAP,” her business acumen and feelings on politics. During the interview, she spoke about the importance of understanding your worth and a figure and brand.
Read excerpts from the interview below:
On her current relationship with social media
I’m always gonna love social media because I came up from social media. If it wasn’t for me showing my personality on social media, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I would probably be a stripper owning a laundromat because that’s what I wanted to do when I was a stripper. If I didn’t voice my feelings, I would probably be one crazy bitch on drugs. I don’t do drugs; I smoke a little cigarette here and there, drink a little wine and Hennessy in the club, but those drugs I don’t do.
But social media is becoming a very toxic place nowadays. There’s a lot of race-baiting. People will say the nastiest things just so they can have a top comment. The comments weren’t like this back in 2013.
She also spoke about what it was like to see that her song “WAP” being played outside of the White House after Joe Biden’s projected win was announced. She said:
I just feel like it was such a big victory for me and for Megan. I’m so used to listening to raunchy female rap music since I was a little girl — Trina, Khia, Lil’ Kim, Jacki-O, Foxy [Brown]. “WAP,” to me, was just a regular raunchy female rap song, but it caused so much controversy. So many Republicans — not just any Republicans that got an Instagram following, but a lot of Republicans that got blue checks [on Twitter] and millions of followers, [like Ben] Shapiro, Candace Owens, Tomi Lahren — were talking so much crap about “WAP.” So it was just a victory for me seeing people celebrating Biden’s win with my and Megan’s song. Power of the pussy, ya heard?!
On how she intends to approach social media as her daughter Kulture gets older:
I’m a little scared that she gets to read nasty comments, but I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to control it. I heard about a celebrity who gives their kid life coaching on how to love themselves and not let people break them. Hopefully, I can do the same thing.
My kid is really sassy — I can tell she’s gonna be a personality. I always want her to know that she’s beautiful. She knows what type of person I am, and when she gets older, clearly she’s gonna hear me expressing myself because we live in the same damn house. I just want her to know: I might be a little crazy, but I have a good heart and I love her. I want her to be confident always. Don’t let one comment break you and make you feel like you’re not that girl. You that girl.
On being referred to as an activist:
I don’t know if I’m an activist. I’m a Libra — we are the justice sign. I like fairness, and I have compassion toward everybody. This is the type of person that I’ve always been. When I was a stripper, I posted the same shit that I post now. I was doing marches in Harlem. But I don’t want people to think, “Oh, she’s an activist.” There’s people out here that really go off and beyond, like a Tamika [Mallory] or Shaun King, who go out of their way to really help. I feel like those are activists. I don’t want to take away from what they are. I just want to be a person with a platform that believes in good.
On how she defines happiness for herself in 2020:
I’m not gonna front — this has been a bad year due to work. You can’t do shows and you gotta wait on deals. But I’m really happy because I have spent so much time with my family. I feel like I haven’t laughed like I have in 2020. My daughter is so funny, and I’m with her every single day. That’s what brings me happiness.
There was a point where I felt so much pressure to put out music that I couldn’t really focus much. It’s like when you get home at the end of the day and you’re like, “Oh, shit. I got homework to do.” It felt like I had incomplete homework. When I put out “WAP,” it was a big relief. I’m not gonna front, I’ve been really happy. I gained weight — that’s how happy I am.
An insider in the entertainment industry, Uche Maduagwu, has let the cat out of the bag on Tiwa Savage and her former boss Don Jazzy.
In a monitored post on his Instagram page the former actor but now turned Instagram blogger, Uche disclosed the woes in Tiwa Savage’s career at the moment stems from her abrupt departure from the Mavin Records music label which is owned by Don Jazzy.
He added, had her recent album, ‘Celia’ being worked on by Mavin Records, she would have gotten a Grammy nomination like Burna Boy’s ‘Twice as tall’ album. He told her to humble herself because her incessant attacks on journalists who give her true reviews on her business should rather be taken in good fate.
“Dear Tiwa, learn to appreciate and respect all #journalist whether they give positive or not so pleasant reviews on your #music album even #twiceastall that is the biggest music album in #naija today still get some not so #good reviews, so let us wear the spiritual humility garment of #yemialade because the truth is bitter. Tiwa would have gotten a #grammy nomination if she had remained with #mavin and #donjazzy because she is super talented, #celia is over hyped and to say its struggling is being modest or could it be because you no longer hang out with #starboy you allegedly said your son has made more money than a hardworking journalist who told you the gospel truth aunty abeg how much did you have before teebillz discover and helped your career?🤷