I was smitten at an early age with arts and entertainment. I had and still have a few family members who were either locally or nationally famous through sports, education, the ministry and in the music industry.

I can remember as early as middle school watching my cousins play basketball in high school and college, and then some of them professionally. My brother became a famous pastor and is now a president of a Historically Black College & University. Later on, I found out we are distant cousins of opera legend Leontyne Price, which really intrigued me and piqued my interest in the arts and entertainment world.

I started getting involved in talent shows at school and in the community. I sang in the choir at church and then started rapping by the time I was in high school and was also a backup dancer in those talent shows. My high school boyfriend was a DJ and he taught me how to spin records. Then we were in various groups and performed in talent shows my cousin would organize and promote at school, rec centers and nightclubs.

Once I moved to Atlanta, I partnered with two other women and opened a hair salon and things took off! It seemed like people were always coming to our salon to ask us to tell others about their ventures or events. We started getting invited to many events with celebrities.

My cousin, formerly an artist and writer for Motown Records, started his own entertainment company and moved to Atlanta. He made me his A &R rep and Vice President. We started going to different industry events with VIP passes and with the notoriety we’d gained, I was getting contacted about various up-and-coming artists.

My son was a teenager by then and took interest in producing and creating beats for the artists I was working with. It became a family affair when my little cousin, now famous Grammy-nominated rapper, Joyner Lucas, joined the team. I was always present for events, studio sessions and any showcases.

I went to a celebrity hairstylist to get my hair done for a showcase we were invited to. The stylist, Dawn, aka Dawnie Metro (First Lady Entertainment LLC), later became a close friend and business partner when she was building her entertainment company. She is from Jamaica and introduced me to a whole new world of entertainment and promotions. I met several Reggae artists through her who became friends.

Once social media entered the picture, I took my work to another level. I began encouraging and inspiring artists, and becoming popular as a promoter and influencer. Anytime anyone had anything good going on, they’d hit me up! I coined the name of the business way back in 2005 when I was setting up my PayPal business account so it was easy to just start doing business as and making some coins while having a good time and networking with celebrities and anyone who needed an event promoted. By 2012, my partner and I were the go-to for events marketing and promotions along with catering and cosmetology services. We eventually leased a building from her brother and hosted many of our own events and promoted them.

Now that I’m back in Massachusetts, I plan to build my empire one promotion at a time and help make people’s events pop while keeping them under budget. I love supporting and building my community! I’ve been doing it for free for my family and some close friends recently. Now that I’m learning the digital side of promotions, I’m ready to take this business as far as I can go, make some money and have fun doing it! That’s my story!

— Stacey J Coles a.k.a. Irie Daughter

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