#MANAGEMENTMONDAY INTERVIEW: BROOKE HOLLADAY (NO MERCY GLOBAL FOUNDER)
Hey Brooke! Thanks for agreeing to be apart of ‘The Female Hustler’, I can’t wait to hear your story so far!
You are originally from St Louis, what was it like growing up there and is that where your journey in the music industry began?
Yes I’m from STL! Growing up in St Louis for me was a pretty diverse life! I grew up in the Nation of Islam which was a strict lifestyle but yet with my granny raising me in the hood I was able to get around some of her strict rules, I was a little fast, one minute I’m in tap and Jazz class the next I’m selling drugs in the hood at my God sister’s house. I was very cultured but a little hustler at a young age! My grandfather was a famous Jazz musician so I was introduced to music early and my mother was a radio personality! So I had music and the industry all around me.
You are now based in Atlanta, when did you move there and what made you decide to make that move?
Yes I’m based in ATL! I moved to Atlanta in 2009 with Debra Antney whose Waka Flocka’s mother for the first month! She said that she could manage the group June 5th I was in from ST Louis! We was looking for an opportunity for the group and Deb had just blown Nicki Minaj & Gucci Mane up so I gave her a call and we drove down for the meeting then the next week we was living with her and signed.
Was it difficult adjusting to living / building a career in Atlanta compared to St Louis?
It was very difficult living in Atlanta compared to STL because we was royalty in STL and we all had our own nice houses there, but the living arrangements were very different in ATL so it was the ultimate sacrifice! Adjusting to the night life was easy because we fitted right in, we were fly, we attracted the same dope people we would back home! We ran around with the top promoters in Atlanta but it was a struggle making money, that was the only issue because we was really dedicated to our music so we couldn’t get a job.
What made you decide to get into the music industry and what was your first role within it?
Lil Kim’s music is when I fell in love with Hip Hop and I wanted a piece of it so I started rapping and I took my word play and delivery serious and I joined a group.
Your Cousin Tiffany Foxx is also your artist that you manage, what made you two decide to work so closely together and is it ever challenging working with family or do you think it works better?
Well Tiff and I was in a group together, things got crazy with Deb so we was going our separate ways and everybody wanted Tiffany to go solo out of the three girls in the group anyway and she basically knew I was dope behind the scenes because I ultimately did everything for us anyway so we was like if she go solo I’ll manage her! It’s not hard for us as family, it’s better it’s us against them! Them is whoever not us.
The legendary Queen Bee, Lil Kim took Tiffany under her wing as her artist and they have featured on a couple of tracks together how did the two of them come to work together?
Yes the legendary Lil Kim co-signed Tiffany! Kim’s brother (Chris Bo Jones) was flirting with me at Lil Kim’s concert in STL, mind you we already met Lil Kim before when we sent her a Rolls Royce phantom and a chef to show her we respected her as the Queen Bee in our city so she remembered that but her brother made it official! He called me when he and Kim was in Atlanta, we came over to the house they was staying at and Kim came down in the basement heard Tiffany’s song Jay Z and the rest was history or should I say Herstory! She said “Tiff that’s you spitting like that?” and we partnered up that week! Thanks to Chris, he and I never really hit it off in terms of dating but we became business partners.
Was artist management something you always saw yourself getting into?
I never thought about being a manager but my personality since a kid was connecting the dots and taking on people’s problems as well as being a good listener and the best negotiator! So the transition was easy as I already was managing things, my ex of 10 years said “your calling is management B” lol he said “you negotiate about making a sandwich for me shit!” Lol it was so easy!
What has been your proudest achievement as a manager so far?
My greatest high was partnering up with my female rap idol Lil Kim I couldn’t believe that I did that! That was huge.
You also manage Swift, another very talented artist famous for his hit single ‘Pull Up’, how did working with him come about?
Yes I manage Swift! Chubbie Baby and I worked on a few things, that’s my brother we fight, we argue but he came and got me for Swift and said “here is your first signed to a label act!” He said “Brooke I believe in you, you can be the next Sylvia Rhone” the rest was history or should I say Herstory.
For those not familiar with Swift what can they expect from his sound and what has he got coming up?
Swift is very dope and well- rounded, he does every type of genre of music! He went to the school of arts; he is really coming with R&B and Hip Hop.
You recently launched your artist booking agency, No Mercy Global, tell us a bit about that and the services you provide / clients you currently have.
Yes I went through a pretty dark time in my life last year and I was watching Queen of the South and she told her protégée that you can’t show No Mercy to men in this industry because they will take you for weak! That stuck with me!
So I’m dating this guy that came around in this very dark moment and on our first date we’re furniture shopping for him but, I spent the whole time on the phone booking artists! He didn’t find it rude, he actually liked it and every day we spent together it was the same thing, me on my phone booking, negotiating and one day after 6months of that he said “B you need your own office and you need to start a booking agency! You need to take it to the next level, let people pull up on you and take it seriously” next he said “I got you, go find the office” and the rest was history/ or should I say Herstory. I asked him should I call it Mini Mogul or NoMercy and he said “No motherfucking Mercy that’s powerful B”!
As for as clients I can book anybody if they available!
What challenges did you face launching a new company whilst juggling managing two artists?
The challenges I juggled are focusing on me real quick to even get in the mode of sitting down, going there but I’m all over the place, I pay rent for an office I’m barley at because I’m moving around! But I’m getting a team to focus on all the areas of the company and my artists.
For anybody wanting to start their own company what advise would you give them?
Make sure it’s your passion, be business savvy and make sure you study what you are into.
Are there any other artists on your radar you would love to work with?
I want to work with the Goat Jay Z and I will work with him not sure how but I will so you remember I told you that!
You call yourself the 'mini mogul’ how did that name come about?
Mini Mogul came from my long-time friend Johnnie Cabell he said “Brooke I’m Big Deal and you Lil Big Deal” and then he said “you like the Mini mogul they don’t see you coming you 4"11 and don’t pose as a threat”.
The music industry is still a very male dominated industry, what advice would you give to any young females coming up that aim to get to high position within the music business?
Yes the industry will forever be male dominated so you have to keep your legs closed! No man in the industry can ever say he slept with me, not one! I pride myself on that! That’s why they respect me! They try though all the time and it has caused some bad vibes and has taken me longer because I will not sell my soul.
As you know the site is called 'The Female Hustler’ which we definitely see you as! What is your definition of a 'female hustler’ ?
My definition of a female hustler is one that bares humility and does what it takes to eat without compromising her integrity! I’m always able to sleep at night with my decisions.
Finally let us know what you have coming up that people should look out for and any key events / shows your artists have that people should go check out!
I’m building my own label, I’m also excited about Tiffany Foxx’s overseas tour and taking NoMercy Global to the next level! What I’m happy about most I can’t speak on but it was inspired from watching The Defiant Ones so you have to stay tuned!
Make sure you follow Brooke on IG: @brookedabrand
NoMercy Global: @nomercyglobal
Follower her artists too: @1tiffanyfoxx / @swift