Interviewed by Ross Guity aka R.G. Major
“Mara” A Media Maven Doing Well For Herself
North Carolina native Shamara McCoy, aka ‘Mara The Hip-Hop Socialite,‘ wears many hats in the world of Entertainment Media and is beyond driven to make a big impact nationwide. 2012 is shaping up to be a very proactive year for Mara, as she goes into detail with us at Urbanbuzzmag.com “Where Key Players Speak!”
UBM: How did you initially get involved in the Entertainment Media industry?
Mara: Well before any of this, I earned a law degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. I always excelled in school, and law school was a natural progression for me after graduating from NC A&T State University because I’m an avid reader and writer. In my parents’ eyes, it was the next logical step, but I wasn’t exactly sure being an attorney was a good fit for me. Anyway, I’ve always been obsessed with celebrity news and gossip, but I never thought I could make a career out of it until I relocated to NYC. Here, the possibilities are endless! The year I spent practicing law right after I moved here confirmed the law field wasn’t for me. By then, I’d built up the nerve to do me and not be as concerned about everyone’s expectations of me. I got my foot in the door of the entertainment industry by working for music industry executive Theo Brown, who at the time was the National Director of Promotions at Interscope Records. I began writing about my experiences interacting with the artists who were signed to the label. It just kind of took off from there, particularly after I started my website, TheHipHopSocialite.com. If I could do it all over again, I would have jump-started this adventure I’m living years ago by majoring in journalism in college.
UBM: Who would you say influenced you into having interest in Entertainment Media?
Mara: It was a thing more than a person. I’ve been a fan of In Touch Weekly for years. The first time I picked up a copy, I was hooked! I was already a fanatic of celebrity news and gossip, but discovering In Touch planted the seed for what I’m doing now.
UBM: Break down for us the different ventures you presently have going on.
Mara: I co-host of Street Disciplez Radio, which is arguably the most publicized radio show that broadcasts on the internet. The show is also co-hosted by celebrity publicist Toy Jones with emcee turned music journalist, Ei8ht, as host. Street Disciplez Radio has been featured on many popular urban and mainstream media outlets. Past guests include Think Like a Man actress Meagan Good, Natalie Nunn, Bobby Brown, Scarface, Def Jam executive Sha Money XL, actor Ving Rhames, Tashera Simmons, French Montana, Capone and Noreaga, Consequence, west coast hip-hop legend Too $hort, and many others. I serve as Managing Editor of Cherry On Top online webzine a lifestyle/entertainment webzine from Cherry Martinez of NYC’s Power 105.1 FM. In the last six months alone, we’ve feature everything you want to know about sex and relationships but are afraid to ask. We are creating our own lane in an industry over saturated by urban blogs. I pen a column, “The Adventures of the Hip-Hop Socialite,” for One-Ten Magazine, which is slated to go national by the summer with the help of Black Men’s Magazine publisher, John Blassingame. The column details my experiences in the industry and features details on the hottest events and excerpts from some of my celebrity interviews. I recently joined Toy Box PR as a publicist specializing in online media. Toy Box PR has over 10 years of professional, classy and successful experience working with producers, actors, singers, rappers and writers. Along with all that, at some point in the next month or so, I will begin doing 60-second gossip/celebrity news segments for a radio station back home in North Carolina.
UBM: Are you enjoying what you’re doing with each endeavor?
Mara: Yes, I am living my dream, and as hectic as it can get juggling everything, living your dream is never a bad thing.
UBM: Which A-list celebrities would you love to interview that are the most intriguing in your mind?
Mara: I would love to interview The Help actress Viola Davis. She is so talented, graceful and classy! Will Smith…how he was able to transition from rapping about how “Parents Just Don’t Understand” to being one of the highest paid and most recognizable movie stars in the world is simply amazing to me. Also, Idris Elba, Dezel Washington and Brad Pitt…because it’s Idris Elba, Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt!
UBM: What’s the best advice you can give to an intelligent young lady who has future aspirations to become her own boss in whatever her passion is to be?
Mara: Remain steadfast in your goals and aspirations because there are going to be a lot of people along the way who are going to try to sway you. Seek out opportunities as early as possible to gain experience in the field where your passion lies. And as my mother taught me, keep your faith in God; through Him, all things are possible.
UBM: How can our readers connect with you via the internet?
Mara: Facebook.com/hiphopsocialite and Twitter.com/hiphopsocialite (although I’m not an avid Twitter user)
UBM: What makes you a ‘key player’ to be reckoned with in the world of Entertainment Media?
Mara: I think what makes me a ‘key player’ to be reckoned with in the world of entertainment media can be found in my track record. I sometimes joke with people that I specialize in making headlines. Whether it’s an interview that I did personally, like my controversial 2011 interview with former Diddy Dirty Money member Kalenna Harper about the difficulties of being dark skinned in the industry. An interview on my radio show, like our interview in November with Queens born emcee Consequence, which made headlines everywhere or an interview I’ve prepped one of my writers for in my capacity as managing editor. I do a pretty good job of getting the information that people want to know and read about their favorite celebrities. I’m also very hard working and driven and people like that will always be ‘key players‘, no matter their chosen fields.
UBM: Well Mara, you are a key player who has spoken loudly! Congratulations and I wish you all the best of success with everything you’re doing.
Mara: Thanks so much! I would like to also thank everyone back home in Wilmington, NC, particularly my immediate family and my Rockhill family.