Too often, our generation seeks praise before the work is done. At what point did recognition take precedent over accomplishment? Somewhere at the intersection of social media and culture, we got lost in the sauce and forgot what it meant to play your position and put points on the board until your work speaks loud enough to demand respect. The consequence for that violation of prioritization is a generation of creatives high on approval from strangers, and lacking enough clarity to understand that there is more value in being respected by the right people than being known by everyone for no reason.
Certain people within this culture of ours know how to move like water. To be a force without being overwhelming, unless the gravitational pull of excellence demands that they make their presence known. Europe Angelique fits the mold like a specially-made key to the door of pop culture. A manager and PR specialist by trade, Europe has played an instrumental role in jump-starting the careers of artists we celebrate daily, while introducing the next crop of superstars. It was Europe who co-managed SZA in her early stages, leading to her infamous TDE signing.
When MadeInTYO set the world on fire with "Uber Everywhere," Europe put together his NYC debut concert. As new artists like Donmonique and Maliibu Miitch set the internet on fire with microphone prowess to match their viral videos and singles, Europe was there carefully placing them on the platforms we know and respect. Now, Maliibuu Miitch is getting shout-outs from Nicki Minaj while Donmonique ping-pongs between shutting down stages and being the face of major brand campaigns.
Europe has played an instrumental role in incubating rising talent, and introducing them to the world in the right way, at the perfect time. Her recipe is a cocktail of intention, fluidity, and collaborative spirit that leaves her poised to be one of those people who can change your life. Like we always do at this time, let's analyze the makings of Europe's managerial approach and how it can apply to your professional pursuits.
Create The Opportunity
Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Europe was in a situation where her drive didn't quite match what her surroundings had to offer. Instead of being a victim of circumstance, she became the catalyst of her own good fortune.
"The summer I was going into 9th grade, I started trying to get internships. I went on Myspace and found the most poppin' people in the city, and would send them messages trying to be an intern. Some people actually brought me on to help with certain events, and that was my foot in the door. I ended up assisting Coco & Breezy for four years when I got to college. That's how I got access to New York for events like Fashion Week, and built relationships."
The allure of entertainment hubs like Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, and more is that of endless opportunity. One can literally make a life-changing connection in a matter of minutes. Folks living outside of those prime destinations are left with nothing more than ambition. The crème naturally rises to the top because those who really desire to thrive are forced to become the masters of their own fate.
Be Like Water
There will always be a moment in your professional journey where you've got to go with the current. No matter how unclear you may be about the direction, sometimes the universe pulls you along to the exact destination you're made for. Over-planning can be the death of fruitful opportunity. As much as we'd all like to control things, sometimes it's best to let go and have faith that you can handle the next chapter on the horizon.
Working with Coco and Breezy led to Europe's transition into PR and management. A colleague she'd met during her journey working with the eyewear designers asked if Europe was interested in starting a PR company together. At the time she didn't know anything about developing press releases, getting song placements, and other skills necessary for the job. In fact, she was still attending school in Atlanta and hadn't even moved to New York yet. Still, she took the opportunity which meant moving to New York full-time with no concrete income in place.
"I relocated to New York because I felt like it was something I always wanted to do. Atlanta is always going to be there. I had to make myself do it."
Remain A Student
Europe moved to New York as an entrepreneur. She had her own company along with a few clients under her belt, but still submitted herself to the process of being employed to pick up necessary skills. This is a key move. It's important to know that even when you're capable of being a star player, there's nothing wrong with practice.
"I had my own company, but I'm a strong believer in working other places to pick up the right tools and learn what you need to do to run your own company. After interning at 'Fader' and doing publicity in fashion, I was Jessica Rosenblum's assistant. After that, I worked at Cinematic Music Group as a project manager, planning events for Dipset and Pro Era."
Once Europe finished learning on someone else's dime, she took that expertise and went full throttle as an entrepreneur. When you're young and fully aware of your potential, the mixture of youthful pride and naivety can lead to a miscalculation of readiness. This world is cut-throat, and promising to deliver on a level you haven't quite learned to execute on can kill your career before it even starts. People respect consistent delivery, not overwhelming potential. If you're going to make the leap toward entrepreneurship, be like Europe. Don't jump without a parachute if you don't have to.
Collaborate On the Foundation of Mutual Respect
As a manager, Europe has to balance multiple personalities and expectations. It's not easy to deal with the range of emotions from a roster of clients depending on you to make their dreams come true. Her answer to this is to create a family-like relationship with her clients. It presents a collaborative energy based on mutual respect. She trusts them, and they trust her. Blending that collaborative approach with work experience from other companies has made for a winning formula.
"I always kept a notebook of what I did each day. From small to large details I kept a record of everything I did, and I applied it to my own company."
Real winners understand the value of calculated movements, timing, intuitiveness, and balance. You've got to know when it's time to put your foot on the gas and create your ideal circumstance. Beyond that, you absolutely must have a firm grasp on when it's time to move on from one opportunity to the next, as to not delay your own calling. Lastly, it's imperative to establish working relationships based on respect and trust. Europe Angelique is proof that a firm foundation built on these principles can make for a beautiful home in the neighborhood of entertainment.