Today we’d like to introduce you to Gregory (Hym or CEO) James.
Hi Gregory (Hym or CEO), please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Where should I begin? (I’ll keep it as brief as possible) Business is my first love & everything that falls under, including marketing, music, fashion, etc. I remember being a small kid seeing my godmother, a marketing specialist at Disney World, coming up w/ marketing strategies or being out & about and calling the offices because posters and flyers weren’t correct. Business etiquette & mannerism go hand & in hand, and my parents installed that in me from birth. With my being a military brat, I was able to take in multiple cultures and adapt to multiple people, which helps me in business today. I was always online as a kid researching new music & was always the kid at school that heard music before everyone. I always had a different sense of music vs. my peers. It was something about every genre, whether it was trap hip hop, 80’s hip hop, r&b, jazz, country, or anything. Just as long as the music gave me a certain feeling, I was always intrigued. As humans, we have different emotions, and I understood the different music that goes with each feeling. Another talent that helps…… Ok, it’s too much already. I worked hard my whole life, ensuring I took everything in. Started a videography brand in 2009, ultraviolet studios; they know about it. I remember being 13 and getting picked up from school, going around the way shooting videos for $10 off the flip camera. Yadda yadda, Went to college for marketing at Morgan State University (my right hand Zipz gave me the name CEO) but was never on campus(graduated 4 years in 2017. It was easy), was in dc w/ Briscoe shooting concerts & photoshoots (as UV) w/ Makuti or at Towson with the custom t-shirt stand w/ Damon. But got out of there, but while in there, teamed up w/ my guy Tre & we made the biggest A&R brand DmvMusicPlug as kids. I started management in college, and got artists on shows of the likes of NBA young boy, Rico nasty, glizzy, ugly god, etc. I was getting Livenation contracts at 20, ask Jimmy. Shout out to the Fillmore. Had my first show in 2018 at Fillmore with Fattrel & Lil Nei. At the same time, I got a gig at core under my mentor Gunz, one of the hardest (RIP), which is where I met my partner Darius (y’all call him Cho) with XOA lifestyle. We clicked immediately & went crazy. We, in 2018-2019 now. I get a Management job at Stadium, a top nightclub in dc. I’m just turning 24, & I’m getting the connections of everyone’s managers with bookings and rubbings elbows with everyone I need to—using every skill I’ve ever had to endure business-wise. 2020, boom Covid. XOA is still pumping; start going even more crazy. I’m expanding the marketing and creative direction past the horizon w/ help from my partner. The hardest clothes make it easy. We opened up our stores during Covid taking a risk, at the pentagon city mall. Making sure that every release, grand opening, and everything is aesthetically & energy-wise, raising the bar. All while maintaining the biggest music blog, DMVMUSICPLUG, with 200k followers, verified & staying in motion, and keeping up with marketing projects & productions. 2021 come around time to pop out the concerts. Shout out BRO, and we bust out Coi Leray, babyface ray, & Icewear Vezzo in 3 months. All while coming through XOA, ask them. I am still building my knowledge on everything because you can never stop learning. My dream position was to be in Livenation or be as big as Livenation; we fast forward to 2022, and I got the phone call. & As a lead consultant at Livenation urban, I’m taking full advantage & making sure I’m putting everything from life into this next chapter. Separate from LNU, I’ve been appointed to lead my first festival via Ms. Elle and we’re about to have the biggest festival September 24th! I’m extremely excited & I want to see you there. Will be my biggest project summer 2k22. 2 major record labels just appointed me lead marketing for the DMV area too, that’s cool.” I don’t think I forgot anyone. Shout out to Tee. She is a monster and helps with nightlife a lot. Phatcat got me my first concert. Still not everything. I’m an insanely hard worker who knows what he wants and will let nothing interfere with that. I’m working for the unspoken, for the overlooked. I know how to be in many people’s shoes and want to gain the influence to speak for them. I want to bring common sense back & let you know when to Sp…… ; Nah that’s too much. Just know I’m out here and destined/working for the greater good, not just for myself. It’s bigger than me, it may even be bigger than what I want for the world, but I’m going to do it and open it to whoever wants to do it with me—going to get done regardless.
I’m the hardest walking
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
Definitely hasn’t been smooth. Coming across people you thought you trusted but did not live up to expectations. Or working super hard yet being overlooked. It used to get to me until I saw that being mad was wasting time. That stuff doesn’t bother me anymore, and I keep pushing no matter the situation. The same amount of time you take complaining is taking away from productivity. You get rich at 42. You could’ve been rich at 30 if you had used your time wisely. Every second of life counts. I understand how Kanye felt when he was the hardest, and everyone knew but was like, “Nah.” Ain’t nothing to get around that. You control that.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I mean co-owner and marketing director of XOA Lifestyle. Best apparel you’re going to see. Short for Xtra Ordinaire Apparel. We have 2 stores at pentagon city mall (men’s store & women’s and kid’s store). I need to send voyage some stuff. Co-owner of Xtra Selfie Xzibit. Selfie museum at Pentagon City Mall. 45 different backgrounds 7 different rooms. Co-owner of DmvMusicPlug. A&R and Marketing company. 200k+ followers via Twitter, verified. Anything music-related, we master. Livenation Urban Consultant. I specialize in marketing, social media, as well as festival production. With production, I have Unstoppable Productions as well w/ Cho in which we do cinema & portraits. The list goes on, from concerts to management to consulting for others. I get it done. Mr. Get It Done on God
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was born in Columbia, SC & was raised in Wedgefield. And got to the DMV when I was 13, where I Grew up. High school & beyond. I was a country boy, to tell you the truth. Always was outgoing. At 11, I was “managing” my jerking crew getting features from Cali. I was different and sometimes misunderstood but always respected. I always hung with everyone from the smart kids, to the cool kids, to the whatever. I could relate to everyone, and I respected everyone. I started on my football teams, but I wasn’t the best, so maybe I was always forced to understand that balance. With me being this business-savvy country boy that can do anything he puts his mind to, my personality was indescribable. You never knew what you were going to get.
- It cost nothing to support from me personally. Need consulting? Hit me
- Website: Xoalifestyle.com
- Instagram: InvisibleTats
- Twitter: InvisibleTats
- Youtube: XtraTv
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