OMG...SHEisDOPE: Marleisse Stephens
Q&A with Marleisse
Q: Your name is so original. Where does it come from?
A: My mom got my name from a coworker while she was pregnant with me. The spelling is Dutch but apparently it's origin is Hebrew and is a combination of Mary and Lisa.
Q: What has been the biggest lesson you've learned in life so far?
A: There's so many, but one of the biggest lessons I've learned was that femininity is power. I work in a field that is dominated by men and subsequently many women in the industry choose to adopt masculine ways of interacting and communicating. I am so girly to a fault and often wondered if that would be crux but I chose to just be myself and find power and confidence in my femininity though it's often framed as a weak/subordinate trait and I owe much of my success to that. I think the bigger lesson is just to be your authentic self in any situation because that will be your best weapon because nobody else has it.
Q: What is it like working for Def Jam and the best experience you've had thus far?
A: Before I came to Def Jam I was told by my mentor that it would be one of the biggest opportunities for learning and that after one year I could work anywhere and two years later that's more than true, to say the least.
Q: Which music artists should we be looking out for?
A: Amir Obe and 6lack are two artists i'm really excited to hear more from.
Q: Since you're living in NYC, what do you prefer pizza or Chinese food?
A:Definitely pizza, all day. Me, cheese and pasta sauce have a love affair.
Q: What's the best advice you've ever received?
A: Before I moved to NYC I was so scared and so nervous. I was moving away from my Mom, my friends and the life in Atlanta that I had become so comfortable in for so long. I shared my plans with an old boss of mine and he told me, "just go, you can always come back." It was such a simple statement but it really released all the fear and permanency from just going for it.
Q: What advice would you give 21-year-old Marleisse?
A: I would tell 21-year-old Marleisse that it's not that serious and it's never too late.
Q:What fashion trends are you into right now?
A: I really love shearling coats for winter and lingerie as outdoor clothing. I'm also very appreciative of the Black Girl Magic Gods and Beyonce for bringing cornrows back into pop culture in an even bigger way.
Marleisse Stephens is nothing less than dope for several reasons and SHEisDOPE is honored to introduce her to the world. It's common to look up to Michelle Obama and Beyonce as a young woman, but there are so many women making waves that are in your classroom or on your block. Guess what? Marleisse is definitely one of them.
She was born in Canada, but you can say the streets of Atlanta raised her. Marleisse graduated from Georgia State University which births so many talented people. And when she wasn't slaying the campus in the latest trends, you could find her volunteering with various organizations.
Currently, Marleisse is on the Digital Marketing team for Def Jam Records and it's her job to make the artists' visions come alive.
Some of the most recent projects she's worked on are Big Sean's I Decided which releases on Feb. 3. Also, Jeezy's Trap or Die 3 which premiered as a number one album and one of XXL's Freshmen, Desiigner.