Jessica James: Vivacious, Vogue, and definitely a Vibe

Musician, model and personal trainer Jessica James is a hidden gem around the Upstate to some. Those that know her, have seen her perform or have been trained by her know she has a generational talent, a first class personality and one of the best vibes around. I could write about how talented and beautiful she is but that is apparent from simply viewing a performance or video. I actually have gotten to know her and got to sit down and dive more deeply into what shaped and molded her.

Jessica started singing in church when she was only 3 years old. James sang solos, and was also a part of the children’s choir. She started writing songs at 7 years old and even put together a Christian girl group at church.

Jessica’s first official gig was in San Jose, Costa Rica. A church was hosting a huge conference and invited her to sing at only 14 years of age.

Her favorite place she’s performed to date has been the JLDA Gala held at the Greenville Convention Center. James had rehearsed with a full production of dancers for three months to prepare for this fun show. This was her first time having to dance a full choreography and sing at the same time.

Jessica’s inspirations are her mom and brother. She grew up watching her mother work hard to provide for them and keep a roof over their heads. No matter how challenging things got, James’s mom always found a way to make sure her and her siblings were taken care of. Jessica’s brother is an inspiration because of his fearlessness. He has not been ever afraid to take risks nor try new things and stand up for what he feels is right. His boldness and confidence is such an inspiration.

Jessica’s musical inspiration growing up was Whitney Houston. James always admired how effortlessly and beautifully she sang. Jessica became musically inspired by Beyonce as a teenager. James still respects her dedication to her craft and her work ethic.

Thus far, James’s favorite artist she’s performed with is another independent artist by the name JJ Dae. They performed together at her debut concert and she had a blast. Jessica would love to perform with artists like H.E.R, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Drake, Kehlani, and John Legend, just to name a few.

The pandemic has affected Jessica’s gigs, traveling, and it has slowed down a lot of plans. However, it also gave James an opportunity to learn even more about herself as an artist, to get more creative, and to be more intentional with her craft.

Jessica’s goals as an artist are to make music that transcends generational, demographical, and chronological barriers. She says sharing her gift with the world is an opportunity to connect and relate to others by letting them know they’re not alone. James also looks forward to creating several platinum albums and being a Grammy award winning artist. Jessica’s modeling is a form a self expression and goes hand in hand with her being an artist. She finds it to be fun and freeing. Therefore, Jessica doesn’t pressure herself much in that area but would love to grace the cover of Vogue magazine one day.

Jessica James can be found on social media by the handles: Instagram: @jessicajamesmusic, Facebook: Jessica James Music, Youtube: Jessica James Music, and on her website: www.jessicajamesmusic.com

I would definitely say to follow, like, and share this talented lady. You can see the sparkle in her eyes and smile when she performs. She puts her heart and soul in her performances and her daily interactions. I’m confident she will go far and definitely receive all of the accolades and recognition she deserves.

Find those that will complete you, not finish you.

This isn’t a Mortal Kombat reference either.

This is the time of rediscovery. Reuniting with friends and family alike. Some people will be the same. Others will draw closer. Then there will be those that you lose connection with and it cannot be fixed. They will not complete you.

These folks serve a purpose in your life but only temporarily. You need folks that will fill a certain void for you. You probably don’t have a traveling buddy, venting or sports friend anymore. You need these types of people in your existence.

The main thing is not to allow someone that you think has your best interest in mind finish you as a person. This means being extremely toxic, a bully or making you conform into something that isn’t you.

Despite what your social needs are, one should never remain where the vibe isn’t right nor around friends that don’t understand your personal situations. It’s harder as adults with work, projects, family and the like. You need those people that will be flexible, challenge you and are easygoing. Don’t put a price on your peace because some people seem cool, have all the connections or has that awesome beach house. The person with the small living room and no TV may be better for you.

This is geared towards those like myself without time to waste. When you sense the vibe and connection is off, know these folks aren’t completing you. They served their purpose and now it’s time for you to discover yours with someone else.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Always Day 1: being able to accept criticism and keep it moving

Amazon’s business model is based on innovation, change and it always being “Day 1.”

This means that regardless of how well things are going, you aren’t afraid to start from scratch or over for sustained success. What is working now may not work in 5 years or less.

Take a lesson fellow business owners and friends.

Jeff Bezos may be heavily scrutinized and criticized. Look at what he’s built and how often many order from Amazon. Prime Week is coming and I’m sure your cart is already “primed” and ready.

Basically criticism and feedback will come your way, even when you don’t ask for it. Don’t shy from it, be open, listen and discrete. You are still in control of your business and destiny. Do not take things personally if someone makes a kind, constructive suggestion.

If you don’t want to grow and like where your business is, that’s fine. It’s not a good idea then to ask for suggestions or to get mad at someone for reasons such as that. You may not know that person’s background. They may have an MBA. They may have a quiet background job as an accountant or marketing consultant. If they have experience and have been there, you may want to listen and take heed.

It is truly always Day 1 in the business world. It may not be for you, but it is for Amazon and other businesses. You may then question why your business isn’t growing or you have the same customers/clientele. Berry Gordy realized this as well at the height of Motown’s success. He had a great following in the Black community. He wanted a great following throughout the world. He made proper adjustments, used his experience working with Ford, and made that happen! You can as well.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Being at peace

There’s nothing like true peace. Absolutely nothing.

I still mourn, have struggles and doubts. There are few better feelings than knowing where you stand, being confident in yourself and knowing you found a good crowd and avoided a bad one.

I truly believe the Good Lord will guide your steps if you allow Him to do so. Your circle needs to be praying for you, uplifting and celebrating you. If you are treated less than royalty, fall back. It won’t be easy, but you must do it.

This is “Fall Back and Fall Out” season. Don’t be a groupie, troll nor bully. Find your place admist reuniting with friends and family. Slowly turn and run from toxic behaviors.

I know I’m sleeping good tonight because I have a clean conscience and treat people fairly and just.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

Book Review: Walking Through The Fire

I just finished an awesome Christian and teenage coming of age story. This was Walking Through The Fire by first time and local author Bonita Hullender. She is a devout Christian, dedicated wife, mother, grandma and retired nurse. She knocked this attempt out of the park and has this definitely movie worthy.

Hullender carefully placed her Southern charm and innuendos, along with her experiences in nursing, raising teenagers and being around the church and Christian setting to set an aweome story. Addison (the protagonist) was brought to life and many of the characters were well developed. You read the book for Addison’s development and progression and you stay for the growth of others, including her own mother.

This book is great for teenagers, Christians, and anyone needing inspiration while facing adversity. Hullender was nearly flawless in capturing all of these points. She didn’t deviate from her personal experiences and shaped the story that she knew and others wanted to see and hear.

Graduation season is here and this is definitely a good buy for any teenager or any person period. Look for Walking Through The Fire on Amazon and order your copy now!

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #walkingthroughthefire

My love language

I have a specific way of showing folks I love them and not just by telling them.

My love language is sending you money for lunch just because. Also, sharing and caring in many different ways. It may be a random phone call, text or message. It may be listening to you vent when I know good and well I need to wake up early in the morning. It could be giving you a hug. It’s showing up to your events and milestones. It’s supporting your business or cause. It’s making sure you’re never forgotten nor left out.

I definitely want everyone to know how much I love them. It’s definitely a show and tell type of deal.

What’s your love language?

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

Lab rats!

I’ve been called many many names. Now I’m fully vaccinated from COVID-19, add lab rat to that list.

It seems certain groups of anti-vaxxers, many being conservatives, have taken to calling those that get the vaccine lab rats, commies, etc.

Let me remind you all that you are no better. You are being cruel, foul bullies and need to stop it now.

I think it’s ironic that you are the people that have been complaining for over a year about the government controlling your lives and calling professionals like Dr. Fauci a socialist fraud.

First of, since when do you allow elected officials, many of whom are white privileged boomers, dictate your health and wellness decisions? Secondly, why is someone that wishes to get vaccinated any of your business? Finally, some of you claim to be good folks and Christians. Would Jesus Christ demonize folks for this choice? I don’t think so and neither should you.

This pandemic has definitely brought out the worst in folks and shown me who I would rather not associate with a lot or at all. So yes I’m fully vaccinated. Yes I’m a lab rat. I’m also informed, compassionate, have common sense and don’t allow any government nor media to control me. I also don’t bully others because it isn’t cool.

I will end this by saying “as you were,..”

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

The real influence of words and branding.

There is definitely a lot of power in words. The power is intensified when a celebrity uses it or gets behind it.

You’re seeing a lot of folks using “expeditiously” so much just because of TI. And this word has been around for so long. Same with swagger and many other words. I can already tell that when a word or phrase gets popular, I seek out the celebrity that made it popular.

Folks drink Hennessy and call it a fine whiskey because of Snoop Dogg and Nas. Nikes weren’t worn widespread until Michael Jordan released his shoes. Name recognition is one of the keys to getting a product or phrase notoriety. It doesn’t have to be a great product either. People look up to and admire others. Sometimes a celebrity will do or say something unintentionally and then it catches on.

I just like for folks to be individuals and be themselves. Outside of the Lord and your parents, your biggest motivation should be yourself. You should ask yourself who is saying these words and why? What show/movie did that quote come from? Ask yourself why and then look deep inside yourself. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with that person and no cause for judgment is necessary. It’s a thinking point is all.

Social media has fueled this fire. It determines oftentimes who should be praised and who shouldn’t when folks can’t make up their mind.

Think about this next time you’re talking to someone or typing a text or message. Look at the words you’re using, the language and why. It may tell a lot about yourself or very little

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes

Being corrected

Many of us do not like to be corrected. More of us hate to be called out. Few really hate to be wrong.

We are all wrong at some point and need correction and guidance through our life. If you aren’t getting that, someone doesn’t truly value your feelings. This is not up for debate.

I saw on social media where my cousin’s son was cutting up in public. He’s only 3 and typically a good child. He has been acting out as of late. Therefore she took him into the ladies room and “corrected” him. You definitely have to teach a child young and have those tough conversations and moments. This makes them a strong and more respectful adult.

The world does change and as you learn, you will make more mistakes. If you aren’t properly corrected or if your behavior isn’t addressed, then it will continue to happen. I try to be even keeled with folks: praising them but also giving them sage wisdom and advice so I’m not leading them wrong. In short, sometimes you deserve a pat on the back. Other times you deserve a pat somewhere else.

I recently called out some heinous behavior I experienced. I passively called out the person but I focused on the behavior. I have found that’s one of the best places to start; the behavior and how to correct it. The person may not receive it well so you have to address it appropriately.

Let us all be coachable and correctable. This allows us to be better people and better friends, spouses, parents and coworkers.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine

We’re Gonna Wait

This is never easy for even the most patient person.

I am trying to get my weight down, fix stuff around my home, get my mom the medical help she needs, and get some work documents improve.

I just have to remember what I heard my Aunt Margaret say. We’re going wait.

Sometimes that’s all we do is wait.

You do all you can far as putting in the effort, making the phone calls, having the proper documentation. It’s not always going to be instant.

Think of this way also. You’re waiting on a meal such as a juicy steak or a lasagna to cook. That’s now a fast process and it will take time. That’s when patience is a virtue.

The Good Lord has a timetable for things and knows what we can handle. We have to trust in Him and know he already has it worked out. We simply have to do the best we can do.

Until then, we don’t give up and we simply wait.

#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes