Today we’d like to introduce you to Symone Daniels.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Symone. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be in entertainment. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted to have a career that fused my love for music with my love for entertainment. As a kid, I could not wait to get home to watch AJ and Free count down the hottest videos on 106 & Park. Not only did they use their platform to allow the hottest celebrities from the music and film industry to showcase their work, but they also used the video count down show to promote social causes, such as voting. It birthed the idea that I could use my platform to help push the culture forward.
I thought I would be in front of the camera, but when I was attending Willowrdige High School I accidentally fell in love with writing. I was given the assignment to do a character analysis for a project and I ended up making the highest grade. From then, my English teacher started nurturing this untapped talent I possessed, and she encouraged me to join the National English Society with a few other students who believed in me so much that they voted me as the president.
Two people who have been supportive of me are my parents, Judy and Anthony Daniels. While I was in school chasing my dreams, my mother pretty much funded my entire life, which is a blessing because being broke is another type of struggle in itself. My dad supported me by reading over my stories before I turned them in and offering his suggestions. My dad is smart, so I trust his opinions.
Another person who believed in me was Mike Cap. When Cap found out I was going to be attending Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas as a fashion major, he called me on Oovoo to convince me that I belonged at Texas Southern University in the journalism program. He even helped me with my dealings with the financial aid office and my schedule for the School of Communications.
One of the greatest lessons I learned was to create my lane by using my talents which birthed my blog “Syppin With Symone.” Here, I cover local entertainment events and interview people who are making a difference in the community. My blog set the foundation work and helped me break into the entertainment industry. Fast forward to now, my bylines include The Jasmine Brand, Karen Civil’s Live Civil Brand and currently The Source Magazine. I have interviewed celebrities such as Redman, LisaRaye McCoy, and Benny Boom, and Tiffany “I Love New York” Pollard.
I’m currently working on a Master’s in Digital Communications and I’m one-third of The Syppin’FWRD Radio Show with Damion, Cousin Tone and our producer, Asia, which airs on KTSU2.com every Friday from 5-6 pm.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Has it been a smooth road? Not by a long shot. I remember graduating from Texas Southern University in 2016 with my bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and crying because I did not have a job in my field. I felt like a failure. I remember praying to God that if he wanted me to be in media then he needed to show me a sign because I was lost. The next morning, I woke up with a message from Latorria Lemon, Publicist, and owner of Lemon-Lime Light Media. She watched an interview that I did with a classmate and she invited me to cover a red carpet with songstress Leela James and Majic 102.1’s KJ Smooth. I was so nervous because I had never been on a red carpet and I won’t lie, it was a little intense! When I ready to edit my story, I realized that I looked awkward on camera, but I could jazz up my story with my writing style. Latorria is another person who has believed in me when I didn’t. She has provided me so many opportunities for me and others to perfect our craft.
Writing comes naturally to me, so I felt really good about sharing it. After receiving so much positive feedback, I felt confirmed. I strongly believe that your current work should open doors for you. With that being said, I faced another challenge, becoming a writer for a major entertainment brand. I studied broadcast journalism before the rise of the digital age so, I was trained to use the inverted pyramid. I was never taught how to pitch or even how to write a proper headline. I don’t have a mentor, so I learned through Google, really studying other writer’s work and of course trail and error. The advice I would give women who are starting in their journey is to pray, do the work, and keep going. I was working for Sephora and CBS Radio, now known as Entercom Commutations while trying to balance a social life and become a digital reporter. I would leave work and take off early just to cover events. I took so many L’s but when I landed my first digital reporter job with The Jasmine Brand it was worth it.
Another piece of advice I would offer to women is, your journey is your journey. With social media, it’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. There have been times when I’ve watched my friends get promotions on their jobs. I’m always excited for them but at the same time, I would question God and ask him when is it going to be my turn? However, what I’ve learned is that God will bless me on his time and just because he is blessing others in a way that looks good to you, you don’t know what obstacles they’ve faced getting there.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Syppin With Symone and The Source Magazine – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
For The Source Magazine, I report trending stories, with some of them going viral. One of my favorite things to do is go to The Source’s Facebook and Twitter page and read the comments. I love seeing people agree and disagree with my take on the story. The negative comments help me by challenging me to see things from a different perspective. Another thing that I do for The Source is to conduct interviews with people in the music and entertainment industry. I love the process of researching and coming up with questions for the interview. I love being prepared. There have been some interviews I’ve conducted that have had certain follow-up questions come naturally which I love because my interview style is conversational. For Syppin With Symone, I conduct interviews with local people who are doing things in the community. I believe in spotlighting those who are making a difference. I also cover a lot of red-carpet events. Syppin With Symone was based around me going out a lot and just talking to people. I’ve covered events such as The Boss Life Ball, KTSU’s Bruch & Praise Edition with Kurt Carr, and The Houston Auto Show. When I report any story or interview, it is always my hope that the reader leaves a little bit more informed than they came.
Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
One barrier I think women in leadership roles face is speaking up. I think this stems from the fear of being rejected or from the fear of them feeling like they aren’t good enough. I remember when I was working in the radio industry. I had an idea I thought would be perfect for an event we were doing. Instead of talking to my boss beforehand and giving her my idea, I waited into the event was over. When I told her, she told me that she loved my idea and she wished I would have spoken up. She then advised me to always speak up even if my idea isn’t approved, at least I brought to someone’s attention.
- Website: Syppinwithsymone.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: sdanimedia
- Facebook: Symone Daniels
- Twitter: brownsugar0502
Pics are courtesy of Symone Daniels