'Get Your Life' With Diandra Marie
Meet Diandra Marie. A kick-ass media personality that is making her mark in the entertainment industry. Whether she is interviewing Grammy nominated artists, covering LGBT expos, or working on one of her four web shows, Diandra is an unstoppable force-- and shes just getting started! Check out our exclusive interview as she discusses her creative influences, discovering self-care, and sound advice for both dating and making money moves.
Javonne Crumby: You are a media personality and have worked with some heavy hitters in the entertainment game like Sway Calloway! How did that come about?
Diandra Marie: I was an intern at SiriusXM during my senior year of college. My first semester, I was working on the LGBT station OutQ and found out that Sway In The Morning on Shade45 was also a part of the internship program. So, I pulled a “shoot your shot,” and applied for the position. I had the opportunity to work with the team even after my internship ended and it was one of the best professional and fun experiences I’ve had! You can literally learn from every single person that works on the show because they’ve been in the industry and are willing to share their insight. I don’t see them nearly as often as I used to, but they’re still just as accessible and supportive.
JC: You’ve interviewed many up and coming artists and entertainers. What has been your most memorable interview to date?
DM: The first one that stands out is when I interviewed Grammy nominated writer, Gizzle. It sticks out to me because she had a wall up for the first few minutes of the interview. I didn’t blame her, there a quite a few people who interview artists and have a hidden agenda. I think once she realized I was genuinely on her side, she warmed up and by the end, she gave me a hug.
JC: If you could interview any person (dead or alive) who would you choose and why?
DM: I honestly can’t answer that question with one person. There are so many people who I would love to sit down and get to know. Even in my everyday life. I love getting to know new people and their experiences because that’s one way I get to expand my view of the world. Now that I’m done being a party pooper, I would LOVE to interview Viola Davis, Barack & Michelle Obama, Oprah, Drake, Shonda Rhimes, Sway, Chance The Rapper, Issa Rae, Cardi B...and this is why I couldn’t give you one name.
JC: In your web show You’re Gonna Regret This you work with your friend Rolonda Larae discussing current issues, pop culture and lessons learned. How did you two link up?
DM: I’ve known Ro for about 15 years now. We met doing musical theater and developed a friendship. She’s like a sister to me and I’m happy that I can work with her to create our show because it’s fun. How we are on camera is us in real life (give or take a lot of outrageous comments).
JC: Who are your biggest creative influences?
DM: This is also one of those questions where my list would seem to never end, but I would definitely have to say Shonda Rhimes, Oprah, Issa Rae, Viola Davis, Ellen Degeneres, and Lena Waithe, to name (more than) a few.
JC: In one of your recent videos for Get Your Life you give advice for dating women. One of those tips included asking women out in person instead of online. What tips do you have for a shy person who may be intimidated to do so?
DM: Asking someone out in person is always scary, but I say you kind of have to go for it. Even if you’re not being completely obvious that you’re trying to get her number, you have to muster up some confidence to have a casual conversation. Cell phones and the internet make it easy to hide behind a wall, but there’s something to be said about the person that has confidence (and courage) to approach a woman in person.
JC: You seem to put a lot of thought in how you dress and you wear your style with confidence! When did you come into your fashion sense?
DM: Ha, well I appreciate that! I’ve been interested in bowties and ties ever since I was in high school, but it wasn’t a part of my everyday style. It wasn’t until my senior year in college that I really started honing in on the bowties and blazers. Since I was broke, I learned how to make my own bowties and just evolved from there!
JC: You posted an Instagram story of your “self-care day” and you started off saying you weren’t sure how to do it. Why do you think that is?
DM: Because I have a dream I want a reality! I can be a true workaholic, especially because I have a 9-5 job and make time for my brand. As my ideas get bigger, the amount of time I have to myself and for myself gets put on the back burner. It got to a point where I wasn’t eating a lot and didn’t hang out with my friends much. I was chasing my dream, but didn’t want to enjoy the journey. Now, I make sure that I’m good first and enjoy life because if I’m not good, my brand will suffer.
JC: If we were on a road trip and I passed you the aux, which Cardi B song are you playing first?
DM: You know I’m BLASTING Bodak Yellow! That was the song that literally took her career to the next level, so I’m celebrating her success while jamming like “I’m the hottest in the street, know you probably heard of me”. Now if you want throwback Cardi, I would play Lit Thot from her first mixtape.
JC: What is the hardest part about the creative process for you? How do you overcome it?
DM: The hardest part would be remaining positive and seeing it through. It’s very hard for me to create anything when I’m around negative energy or in a funk myself. We live in a world where a lot of people are fueled by negativity, so it can be hard for me to shake that sometimes. Being that I have a full time job outside of my brand, it can also be SUPER difficult to bring my ideas to life the way I see it in my head. To overcome it, I pray to God for peace of mind and His strength to keep up with the workload I set for myself. Once I can refocus and align myself with what I want to create, that becomes my focus and I start taking the steps to create the vision I see in my head.
JC: What advice do you have for people trying to pursue their dreams?
DM: DO NOT QUIT! I feel like your purpose is yours alone and you have to make it a priority in your life if you want to accomplish your goals. Making your dreams come true is NEVER easy. There’s going to be plenty of rejection and self doubt, but you have to push through. If you love what you do, you’ll keep at it. Don’t worry about “failing” because that’s what leads to a breakthrough or good idea (if you want it to). I’ve had plenty of ideas that didn’t work out, but those experiences shed light on better ways to move forward with my brand. The successful people you see have been in the same place we are, they just kept going after their dreams until their time came. You’re going to take your fair share of “Ls,” but like Big Sean said, "tonight I BOUNCE BACK." By the way, let’s add Big Sean to the list of people I want to interview (my list never ends, I promise).
JC: Do you have any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
DM: Aside from the usual schedule of my web shows, I have created a mini series for Women’s History Month, titled #Pow[h]er. I interview four women who are working and are successful in male dominated industries. A new interview will be posted every Wednesday in March beginning March 7th at 8pm. This is my first mini-series and installment of weekly interviews, so I’m super excited (and tired) to be creating something a little different than what I’m used to on a regular basis.