We had the good fortune of connecting with Joella and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joella, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m from New Jersey and I come from a family of givers, so this question is interesting to me even on my personal journey as a creative business owner. I am the literal descendant of William Still, the Father of the Underground Railroad. My grandparents will literally give you the clothes off their back if you need it. I’ve seen them give people cars, money for school, for food, or just for personal growth and development. Same with my mother. I’ve watched her give, even when she didn’t necessarily have it to give. This is what I grew up around – selfless people who believed in pouring into their communities. Multiple people in my family own businesses and have done so with integrity, and used profits to help build up the communities in which they live. So for me, it’s really important that I continue this legacy, especially because so many people have poured into me – my family, my friends, my community. I believe in reaching back and pulling people up with me, so I embody that in my actions by consistently pouring into Black women with my finances, with my words, with my knowledge and network, and by developing community programs for marginalized groups, including the elderly, BIPOC students, as well as the differently-abled.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud of the fact that despite any doubts, I followed my dream. Following your dream is in my opinion one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. This costs time and money and requires a lot of sacrifices. I watched my friends go on vacations regularly and while I would have loved to go, I really had to stay focused on my goals. That’s really not an easy thing to do, especially when you’re venturing into an area that the people around you have no experience in, and therefore can’t help or guide you in any way. Being an artist, you can’t just apply to jobs online like most professions. You really have to hustle and not only find opportunities, but most of the time you have to create them, not knowing what will come from it. You really have to believe in yourself and be resilient when you’re doing something that most people could never do, because it can feel very lonely. Particularly when you’re a woman, a Black woman at that (the most unprotected group in the world) in an industry where misogyny, sexism, and rape culture are prevalent. I’ve experience severe depression and suicidal thoughts because of the challenges I’ve faced, particularly with sexual assault. There is no HR of the music industry, so it’s pretty much the wild wild west. And having to navigate that alone while you’re just trying to do the thing that you love, is really really hurtful and I wouldn’t wish these experiences on anyone. But this is why I go so hard to protect women at all costs and this is why the EP I’m currently working on is extremely disruptive because it addresses all of these things. It addresses the homophobia, misogyny, the hypocritical and entitled behavior of men, sexism, and all of the things I’ve really been wanting to get off my chest as a Black woman maneuvering through the world. Black women are in a space where we are finally being heard, and my new project definitely forces you to finally listen.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting, I won’t even lie, we are going to Disneyland first. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a Disney kid. I went to Disney World basically every year of my life so I just have to do it. Space Mountain is first on the list! We would definitely do Runyon Canyon and that’s only because I literally still haven’t done it yet! We would definitely do The Dime, a great little bar where you can just enjoy yourself and not worry about being judged. We would definitely get on a yacht and just sail around and enjoy the day, hit up at least one beach and definitely at least one pop up museum. The biggest thing for her trip would be food honestly. I don’t think anyone eats more than I do. So Sweet Chick, Orleans & York, Nobu, The Boiling Crab (I love seafood), anything in Koreatown for some Korean BBQ and anything else my stomach tells me we need. LA has really dope day parties, so that’s also something that would be on the itinerary. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people that I have to thank for my success. The church community that I grew up in continues to be my biggest supporters. They constantly pour into me by sending words of encouragement, purchasing my merch, etc. And of course my friends and family are always there for me emotionally, financially, and physically – they constantly remind me of my light even when I can’t see it. I am such an example of how the community comes together to raise a child and I’m so thankful that I was blessed to experience this. I literally would not be in Los Angeles would it not be for this entire community of people coming together to lift me up.

Website: www.Joellasworld.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/joellasworld

Twitter: www.twitter.com/joellasworld

Facebook: www.facebook.com/joellasworld

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/msjoelladeville

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.