Blog Post #3: Artistry, Community, and Opportunity

On every college campus there are students who separate themselves from the crowd. With passion and hustle, many students balance their lifestyles between being full-time students and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, these types of students are typically overlooked. Bigger events and established names tend to receive more promotion and attention, so word of mouth (online or offline) is a huge, underrated help.

Originally, this piece was intended to be in an online publication and hard copy magazine. I’m going to refer to the organization’s name as ‘Anonymous’ for a few reasons since:

  • They were wrong for not including my work as promised
  • I rather keep the peace than ‘expose’
  • I already addressed my issues with the Anonymous people/organization I had the issue with

When a thousand copies have already been printed, there’s nothing you can do. I was sad but I knew I couldn’t waste time complaining. Instead, I accepted the incident as a learning lesson and I’m grateful to have the platform I have now. Featured on this page are two (former) full-time students who I met and hope to work with in the future. Young professionals will always be story worthy, no matter the publication or platform, and it was a pleasure to get to know these two individuals on a personal and business level. Want to shoutout your favorite business or brand? Feel free to leave a reply!


Eddie Hayes is the Founder and CEO of Underscore, a company based on three main pillars: Artistry, community, and opportunity. Created in 2017, Underscore is a creative network with a “Creative Advancement Initiative” and professionals can sign up for free. Whether you’re interested in the arts, entertainment, beauty, or fashion, this initiative provides creatives with access to resources, including casting calls, vending and booking/hiring opportunities, and connections to paying clients, media outlets, and organizations.


On a Facebook status posted on Nov. 12th, 2019, Hayes wrote: “I’m gonna turn this industry from a Who You Know industry to a Who You Are industry,” and if this isn’t ‘bold’ I don’t know what is! As a follower of his, I really appreciate how he’s unafraid of expressing his thoughts and engaging in conversations about culture, human behavior, and sacrifice. Connect on Instagram: @Eddiexhayes and @Underscore.ave


ARIA, a 21-year-old music artist based in Washington, DC, accomplished one of his music career goals at the end of 2019: reach one million Spotify streams on “Bleu Chanel.” When he teamed up with SKIO Music (a music company) to announce a remix contest, he received 400+ submissions, and as a music artist myself, that is #goals! ARIA is supported globally by a cumulative 2,000+ listeners located in Germany and Brazil (statistics from Spotify). He has been writing and recording since seven-years old and he produces beats and mixes songs, too.

With an earned third front page feature on SoundCloud, ARIA’s network continues to expand and the self-proclaimed ‘blue-haired corpse’ can be found on all streaming platforms. He recently released a single with Lady Ocean called, To The Face and my favorite lyrics of his were @ 1:24: “You might catch me out the District but I still ain’t ’bout to slip.” ARIA is a quiet leader who speaks less and does more. Looking for an artist to add to your playlist or collaborate with? Connect on Instagram: @ariaraps


I hope this post inspires my readers to consider: How can we collaborate with the people in our reach and on our timelines, the future CEOs and superstars of this world? Whether you have a podcast, publication, or a different type of platform, instead of solely focusing on mainstream news, don’t forget about the people next to you.

To all of the Black owned businesses worldwide, I salute! To all of the young and fly professionals and creatives worldwide, I salute! There’s a privilege that comes with using our voices, so let’s not be silent for too long.

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