Joy Young is beauty and brains personified.
Inspired to pursue a career in entertainment by BET’s 106-n-Park, the story of this self-proclaimed country girl from Louisiana speaks volumes about having faith and staying true to yourself.
As the Southeast Promotion Director at Roc Nation, she currently oversees 42 stations across three main radio formats: urban radio, rhythmic radio, and urban AC. It’s rare for a Black woman to be in this position, but Joy’s grace and grit got her there.
During our third installment of Culture Capital, a conversation celebrating the impact and influence of black creatives, we learned more about Joy’s journey.
She shared so many gems, but here are five takeaways:
Bet on yourself EVERY. DAMN. TIME
When Joy was studying broadcast journalism at Southern University, she fell in love with promotions and marketing. She started a promo company with her two best friends, where they elevated the awareness of local college parties.
The events caught the eye of Trill Entertainment, the label that housed her hometown heroes such as Boosie and Webbie. When Joy got the opportunity, she wasn’t afraid to shoot her shot with their manager, Courtney Scott. This lead to a contract with the label and her promo company.
“I’ve always been entrepreneur-savvy. We studied LLC’s, learned how to start a company, made t-shirts and hired other women — we took it seriously.”
That hustle paid off because Joy became an intern at Trill Entertainment, and was eventually hired on as a Marketing Assistant. While there, she met the National Promotions Director for Atlantic Records who told her they needed a promo campaign for B.O.B.
“I had no idea what to do, but I used my instincts from working promotion projects to help me think of what they’d want to do.”
From interviews to campus media to retail meetups – she put the pieces of the puzzle together that landed her an internship with Atlantic Records.
Even early on in her career, Joy always betted on herself and believed in her ability to figure it out.
Integrity is everything
It was in her trajectory to move to Atlanta, the Culture Capital, but it wasn’t short of challenges. During her first stint in the city, she worked unfulfilling jobs to make ends meet and occasionally slept in her car so she didn’t overstay crashing with friends.
When times got really tough, someone encouraged her to take advantage of what the ATL is known for and strip to make some extra cash. Joy knew that was not a part of God’s plan for her life.
“If that’s what it comes down to, this isn’t for me. I was prepared to let it go,” says Joy. “You don’t have to compromise your morals, values, and beliefs to get where you’re trying to go.”
Faith moves never fail you
While struggling in Atlanta, one of Joy’s mentors called her with a word from God. She pushed her to quit her job, dump her boyfriend and move back home to Louisiana for six months until God restored her to where she needed to be. Joy didn’t hesitate to make that faith move.
“I’ve always been the type of person to leap out on faith. I don’t ask questions — I just do it and see what happens.”
In this season, Joy grew her relationship with God and got baptized. She spent that time growing spiritually by fasting and praying. She regularly worshipped in church and learned about God in Bible study.
During the last month, she got a call from her mentor about an opportunity at Arrow Records, Creflo Dollar and Pastor Taffi Dollar’s gospel label where they signed Kim Burrell & Ann Nesby. They extended an offer the day that she interviewed, and her boss even got her the same car that was repossessed when she faced hard times in Atlanta months ago
Taking time for that spiritual foundation propelled Joy’s career and shaped who she has become.
Build and maintain relationships by adding value
Joy has been blessed with many different mentors that have helped elevate her career. They put her name in the hat for opportunities, such as roles at Atlantic Records and Wondaland, Janelle Monet’s record label. But the value-add is always mutual.
“Mentorship is a give-and-take. A lot of time, you’re looking for mentorship with your hand out, but you’re not prepared to give at the same time. We seek mentors to pour into us, but what are we giving them in return? The quickest way to get a mentor is to ask what you can do for them.
Trust the process
“When I got to Wondaland, I saw everyone with their natural hair and being themselves. They were all spiritually grounded. I started pulling back the layers where I had to fight for my position. I felt valuable there.”
It’s evident that every step of Joy’s career was ordained by God. Throughout her journey, she embraced what she was receiving at that moment as it prepared her for the next. Being obedient during her six month season back in Louisiana gave her the spiritual foundation she needed and helped her appreciate environments like Wondaland.
“Be present in the space you’re in — you’re thinking about the future and it isn’t here yet. You need to think about what you need to do at that moment to get you to where you want to be, or just make it through another day.”
Joy is such a light to the world — make sure you follow her on Instagram @jcouturepr!