by Karl Nelson II, Intern Media
“What do you do for a living?”
That’s a question that Dabriel Fulton was recently asked.
How did she respond?
She responded like the amazing soul she is.
“I make dreams come true. I inspire, uplift….I know my purpose in life, and once you know your purpose you can help others unveil theirs! The key to my success is, I am not greedy. I love helping us all succeed.”
Coming from a CEO, that’s a very powerful statement and it speaks to why Dabriel is where she is today. It speaks to why her platform, The Mic Is Open, has been around since 2011 and is better than ever in 2016.
Allow me to breakdown what was said in Dabriel’s quote.
“I make dreams come true.” Dabriel wants others to experience what she’s experiencing right now; dreams becoming reality. She’s doing everything in her power to see that happen for other people.
She’s created a platform that’s specifically geared towards emerging artists who are in need of a stage to showcase their talents, which further speaks to Dabriel’s desire to help other people see their “dreams come true.”
“I inspire, uplift….” Not only does Dabriel inspire those who take part in The Mic Is Open, but she inspires the other creatives like myself who are also emerging in the midst of dreams and aspirations.
To see a young and educated black woman from my hometown of Baltimore creating her own lane and placing a focus on helping others attain success, it doesn’t get anymore inspirational and uplifting than that.
Dabriel says she knows her “purpose in life.” For a lot of people, it takes them decades to find out what their purpose is in this life. Individuals like Dabriel and myself feel that God has blessed us with knowing our purposes at a young age.
That being said, it’s one thing to know your purpose and it’s another thing to have the courage to walk in that purpose. Dabriel has that courage.
When she started performing at open mic nights in college, she might not have known that one day she’d be called upon to get on a stage in front of large crowds and host events geared towards providing others with much needed exposure, but she’s accepted that task fearlessly and in turn, she’s inspiring others to walk in their purpose as well.
“The key to my success is, I am not greedy….” There are individuals and platforms that value money more than they value people and their experiences. That’s what makes Dabriel’s platform so pure though. Greed isn’t an issue.
Dabriel would much rather someone come and attend her event, have a great time and walk away inspired. She’d rather an artist come and perform at The Mic Is Open and be able to focus on their performance, not the amount of money it costs to perform.
Dabriel ends her answer by saying “I love helping us all succeed.” There are people out there who will step on anybody’s throat to get to the top. However, I’ve never felt that stepping on people to achieve success is the right answer in life.
Just like famous comedian, Kevin Hart, has alluded to in the past, there’s no reason why we can’t all shine together. It’s true. If people spent more time trying to work through their challenges to achieve success and if they came together with others and spent less time hating on one another, we would all be able to experience success together.
Dabriel wants us all to experience success together and I promise you that when you meet her in person, you’ll feel that she genuinely wants to see others happy in their lives and careers just as much as she is today.
Checkout our exclusive interview below and hear directly from Dabriel as she tells me about her recent interview with famous Rapper French Montana for Elle Magazine, her collaboration with Lyft, Saturday’s edition of The Mic Is Open, and more!
Q. How excited are you for this Saturday?
A. I’m super excited. Just gearing up and getting things ready. You know I’m a one woman show, so there’s a lot of pressure on me. New people are even hearing about The Mic Is Open. They’re messaging me on social media, sending me emails, just trying to reach me.
Q. The last time we were together, you were gearing up for another The Mic Is Open in New York City. What went well with that one?
A. With the last event, what went well was I was able to have the venue for that entire day opposed to just being given a certain amount of hours. The event prior to that one, everyone wasn’t able to get in. I did make proper movements for the next one though. I booked a larger venue that was more spacious. The only thing with that is I wanted to have the event at the same place again, but they were like “Oh no. You have to rent it out for the entire month,” which was crazy. The venue alone is over $2,000 and then you have a $2,000 deposit. Things just add up.
Q. Did the event sell out last time?
A. Yes it did, which was awesome. I’m looking forward to that happening again. I’m definitely looking forward to taking the show on the road too. I’ve really only had the showcase in Baltimore and New York. My next venture will be LA.
Q. After having a successful turnout, when you go back to the drawing board to get ready for the next The Mic Is Open, what are some of the things you’re saying to yourself in terms of what you want to accomplish the next time around?
A. My last event, I spent $8,000. So, the plan is to spend less and do more, if that’s possible. Get more sponsors. Get more people. Get more A&R’s to come out. Just become bigger and better, but also smarter. I need to make smarter moves. So, that’s where I’m at with The Mic Is Open this time around.
Starting off, I didn’t have a budget and that’s very important. You have to create a budget so you know what you’re working with. And if you’re financing things for yourself, you definitely have to set some parameters for yourself and for your event.
Q. Are there any specific qualities you look for when you receive submissions from artists? If so, what are some of those qualities?
A. I have requirements. When people submit, I want to see previous or past performances. I want to see stage presence. I want to have a link to your music or your poetry. I want to give artists multiple opportunities for me to be able to listen.
I more so listen to the lyrics rather than the delivery.
Q. Last time we spoke, you told me you were going to take a little break to gear up for some other ventures. Did you actually take a break and if you did, what were some of the things you accomplished and learned about yourself during that time?
A. I know I said I was, but I didn’t haha. I didn’t get a chance to. Once you do one show, you’re like okay what can I do to make the next one better. Elle magazine had asked me if I would be able to do an interview with French Montana.
I was like cool. I figured that would be a way to plug The Mic Is Open. So, we did this interview called Rap Therapy. It’s going to be in the magazine as well as on their website in the days or weeks to come.
You always have to keep working and grinding until you reach where you want to be. I’m five years into it, but I still haven’t reached even half of what I want to accomplish.
But long story short, nothing happens over night. I feel as though if I work hard, even harder than I’m working now and just keep pressing forward, I’ll be able to achieve some of the bigger goals I have for myself.
Q. Can you talk about your collaboration with Lyft, what it entails and how it came about?
A. Well, I’m always on my phone and checking emails. An email popped up from someone that appeared to be a manager from Lyft. The person told me they had been following what I’ve been doing and that they thought it was awesome.
They told me they wanted to provide me with their services and partner up. I emailed them back and the next thing you know, we have a partnership. Lyft sent us the logos and our own promo codes. I was super excited because having events in New York City, it’s either the train or cab. Parking is really scarce. Especially, because I’m having this event in Chelsea. There is no parking.
So, this gives you the opportunity to get to and from your destination and if you want to have some drinks, you can have some and not be worried about it.
Q. Is this going to be an ongoing partnership?
A. They actually want to do something even bigger in the future. That’s in the works as well, so I’m looking forward to that.
Q. Are you thinking about plans for expansion or are you more so focused on just continuously perfecting what’s going on right now and making sure that you’re selling these events out time and time again?
A. I don’t really focus on selling out. I just focus on providing a quality experience for the artists and all the guests who attend. So, when I plan a show, I’m thinking “Okay. How much would I want to pay to get in the show? What does the show have to offer? Will there be drinks? What does this ticket include?”
Although you’re always going to have expansion in the back of your head, my focus is on perfecting this one particular event so that I know A, B and C are the moves for each event. That way, I can follow the same protocol when I get to places like LA and Japan.
We all see the bigger picture, but we have to perfect the smaller picture first to get to the next step.
Q. When Saturday is concluded and people are out of the venue, what are you hoping that they leave with?
A. I want people to leave with an experience. I want you to come to my experience. I want them to leave saying they “had a great time and was able to interact” with certain people. I want them to say, “Dabriel was really down to earth.”
Their impression of me really matters to me. A lot of people say they don’t care what others think, but I care because I want you to have a lasting impression. I want you to feel good about the environment. I want you to feel good about the host, which is me. I want you to feel good about the artist.
The Mic Is Open is a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent. It’s a safe place. When you’re here, you feel loved, you feel excited, you feel welcomed. It’s not a competition. People who are emailing me are like “So, how much do I have to pay to perform?”
It’s not that kind of show. You don’t have to pay to perform. I never want someone to have to pay to showcase their talent. That’s just not what we do over here.
It was great interviewing you for a second time now. I wish you the best tomorrow with another edition of The Mic Is Open. I know you’ll be great. Thanks for having the courage to be an inspiration to the world and for being a bridge builder for the emerging artists out there today. God is truly working in your life and it’s good to see you embrace the purpose He’s given you. If you only knew how your story impacts my life….You will always be apart of the Intern Media family.
Karl Nelson II, Founder of Intern Media