GRINDING: Lola Smalls

1. Name/Alias:
Hadiyah Daché. My name on myspace is L$D so everyone calls me that or Lola Smalls or just Lola.

2.Where are you from/ Where do you currently live?:
I am from a place we call Nairobi but it’s recognized on the map as East Palo Alto, CA currently residing in East Atlanta, GA shawty.

3. Where did/do you go to school and your major?:
I am currently in my last year at Clark Atlanta University (GO Panthers!) and I major in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Public Relations Management.

4. What is your Grind?:
My hustle is creativity. From that I do public relations, advertising, marketing and a lot of writing. I currently represent/ work in collaboration with a telecommunication company based here in Atlanta, GA and in Nigeria, Too $hort and the Up All Nite Music Group, LLC; Lifeforce Jazz; Music Artists Mic Terror, Grip Plyaz and Shala; Clothiers 21st Century Maroon Colony (21MC), Plush .357 and Fli Pelican; The Movement Worldwide; Visual Artist Tanekeya Word and Statement Creative; Art Papers Magazine and a few others who haven’t made agreements yet so they won’t be mentioned.

5. How did you get into what your doing now?:
I got into what I’m doing now by being an underpaid or unpaid intern at several PR agencies. I noticed at my internships there was a heavy focus on writing but all the writing I did that was acceptable was bland and nothing about the press kits or materials that were created for the clients stood out. Most PR agencies I had interned for were ones where nearly everyone on staff lacked creative skills but had excellent writing skills. That would have been good for the industry 10-15 years ago but now? I’d much rather talk to someone than read a bunch of buzz words so I think it’s very important to make everything stand out. Plus, I was tired of being bored and I figured that I should probably get paid something for it since I was trying to pay for school anyway.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?:
I thought I would grow up to tour with Alvin Ailey. I was very serious dancer for a good 14 years of my life. Towards the end of high school I thought I’d grow up to be a younger female version of Dr. Cornell West.

7. What are some contributing factors that shaped the life you live now?:
Growing up in a multi-cultural neighborhood, going to church when I didn’t want to and being below poverty poor got me to where I am now. I take nothing for granted and have become way too patient as a result of that. Also, I always took my education way too seriously (I was the kid crying over a B) which is paying off now, but when I was younger everyone thought I was obsessed with perfection for no reason. I actually always had plans of attending grad school and I thought those grades would matter too.

8. Any specific people that mentored or helped guide you to your current path?:
Definitely. My decision to go into communications came from my high school Senior English teacher, Mr. Bramfitt. He thought I was an amazing writer. Unfortunately I had already spent enough time with Stanford University students to know I definitely would NOT be an English major. He was the first person to actually encourage me to go into Communications. He said, “You can do absolutely anything with a degree in Communications and.” He had majored in Speech and Theatre in college so he used himself as my proof. I researched it. He was right. I was sold. So thank you Mr. Bramfitt. My mother helped a lot by supporting everything I did. Also, my mentor Ayodele Ankoanda-Kinchen and all the other Nairobiites were and still are a big help.

9. What motivates you?:
At this very moment in life my main motivation is the $50K+ I’m going to have to pay back in a year. So I’m trying to be as un-broke as possible. I go above and beyond to keep my bills paid and then some.

10. Your favorite author and why?:
I have many but the one that stands out is Ayi Kwei Armah. His work has a lot to do with African and African-American complexes which I see in people every day.

11. What are 3 goals you want to achieve within the next year?:
Graduate, Move back to the Bay and Make everyone else in the public relations world very nervous

12. 1 person that continuously inspires you and why?:
There is no way possible that solely one person continuously inspires me. I’m inspired by a lot of different people and things. Mainly things.

13. 3 Indie brands you LOVE to rock?:
Plush .357, 21 Maroon Colony (21MC) and Imaginary Foundation.

14. What annoys you the most?:
Mis-spelled words, blocked calls and event (or party) planners that call themselves PR professionals.

15. Your best quality?:
Altruism and Loyalty

NEED TO CONTACT LOLA SMALLS E-MAIL HER AT lola@lolasmalls.com AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK HER BLOG http://lolasmalls.blogspot.com/

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New Feature: GRINDING

This is something that I’ve been thinking up for a while now…I’m always curious to know who the people are behind the scenes, the ones that Grind it out and don’t get the due recognition or fame like others…And not solely because they are whack or even necessarily new to the game, but maybe because they’re are so many people doing their thing that only a handful get the recognition they deserve…So I present to you GRINDING, showcasing the folks that are the glue,freshness,always-evolving people that make this Independent Scene what it is… I hope these people inspire you, motivate and even teach you a thing or two because I know they’ve done so for me, Enjoy!