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

Hi Sterling, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“It’s better to be a master of one rather than a jack-of-all-trades”

I disagree with this because I believe you can be a master of more than one skill—you just need to put the time in it to do so. I feel it’s viewed as an indictment on your character and discipline to have multiple interests (it’s been less of an indictment in recent years because of how accessible technology and learnings are). There’s the misconception having divided interests will inevitably cause you to short-change at least one of those interests. What matters at the end of the day is execution. If the execution is there, then master as many interests as you like. Just learn to master time management in the process so you’re nurturing all of your passions, which is a skill within itself.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It took a long time for me to get to this place because I, like all lovers of hip-hop journalism, was applying to the Complexs, Rolling Stones, and FADERs of the world to no avail. It was disheartening, but God had bigger plans for me. He wanted me to start my own platform dedicated to intertwining both Christianity and pop culture. After several weeks of prayer wrestling, I conceded and went full steam ahead.

I’m approaching the four- and five-year anniversaries of BABL and Sterling News respectively and boy, has it been a journey to this point. There were times of imposter syndrome, self-doubt, depression, triumphs, failures, and pivots, but we’re still here at the end of the day. My advice to all creatives looking to building their platforms from scratch, please realize it’s a marathon process, not a sprint. And PLEASE don’t compare yourself to other platforms, especially nationally renowned ones. Most of them have teams dedicated to producing their content and managing their platforms. Please don’t burn yourself out trying to keep up with The Joneses. I encourage you to study what other platforms are doing, but it stops there. Comparison is the thief of joy. I’ve learned the hard way and it’s still an everyday battle for me.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Richmond is chockfull of culture, art, and food. Below is a list of places and events I’d recommend checking out:

– First Fridays (Blackwell and Jackson Ward area specifically)
– Art of Noise (DJ showcase)
– RVA Rap Elite (Richmond, Va. hip-hop showcase)
– Richmond Jazz and Music Festival (multi-genre music festival with local and internationally renowned acts)
– Afrikana Film Festival (Black film festival)
– Wax Buildup (vinyl-only dance party)

– Gelati Celesti (ice cream parlor)
– Beauvine Burger Concept (burger joint)
– Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint
– Mama J’s (soul food restaurant)
– Soul Taco (taco restaurant)
– Village Cafe (American cuisine restaurant)
– Tarrant’s Cafe (American cuisine restaurant)
– The Boathouse (seafood restaurant)
– Cobra Burger

– Black History Museum
– Belle Isle
– Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
– Art/Mural Walk
– The National
– Broadberry
– The Camel

– Michell C. Clark
– Radio B
– AGM Imperial
– The Cheats Movement
– Music Heals RVA
– Ricky Parker
– Noah-O
– Faith
– J. Maclin
– Kelli Lemon
– DJ Lonnie B
– Skillz
– Mecca Williams
– Enjoli Moon
– Mutant Academy
– Kidz At Play
– The Creative Summer Company
– Antonio Knoxx
– Barrett Miller

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out Michell C. Clark. Ironically enough, we grew up in the same town, but we weren’t close coming up. But in college, I became privy to Michell’s large digital presence. At the time, his eclectic music blog, Artistic Manifesto (which is now defunct), had a strong following and proved to me you can build community through your passions. Since then, he’s notched several brand partnerships, he’s been featured in some of the world’s most prominent business and culture publications, he’s made several top creatives lists, he’s a published author, he’s an amazing father and husband, and the list goes on. He’s shown me you can carve out your destiny by pursuing things you love. I thank him for trailblazing a path for Black and Brown creatives like myself hoping to one day become full-time entrepreneurs. Thank you Michell for putting the battery in my back to let this Black boy dream.

Website: https://linktr.ee/sterlingiles

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sterlingiles/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sterling-giles-08a40457/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sterlingiles

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta 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.