noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Originally from Boston with a Jamaican heritage and currently a resident of New York City, Marcus John has easily become a noticeable name. A #YoungJefe, as I'm sure you all know by now, does not have just one career trajectory— they have and excel in many. Marcus' creativity flows into styling top celebrities, directing a nonprofit organizations and creative directing TOTEM, a pop-alternative R&B artist + others. His "high risk high reward" motto is one we should all start living by!
TA: What's your current hustle?
MJ: I am currently involved with many things. I am the CEO and Executive Director for an amazing nonprofit organization by the name of StraightForward Scoliosis Foundation, where we improve the quality of life of individuals affected by Scoliosis through preventative care, education and empowerment. I sit on the advisory board for the wonderful Glam4Good Foundation, where we provide life-changing educational experiences and confidence-bolstering fashion and beauty initiatives to enhance the lives of everyday heroes and people in need. I am the Creative Director for an extremely talented Pop-Alternative/R&B artist by the name of TOTEM, along with being the Fashion Director for a very well-known Japanese pop songwriter/singer by the name of Michico Kura. And on my free time, I'm working on creating a botanical garden pop-up.
TA: What is the difference between your 9-5 and your 5-grind?
MJ: The difference is I have no 9-5, so I have to be very organized and disciplined. I absolutely love what I do so it's just a matter of me prioritizing my time and activities correctly so that things don't overlap. The only case I encounter problems are when I'm having to be two places at once like when my artists has to perform in a specific state/country, while having to physically be at another location for one of my nonprofits — that's when things can get a bit tricky.
TA: What has the response been (from your peers) to either your 9-5 or 5-grind?
MJ: My peers always think I'm either too risky or simply insane (lol). But like I always say, "high risk high reward." I try to always put myself in positions where I'm truly able to enrich a person/peoples lives with my creativity and work, and that's what keeps me motivated. I believe when I give it leaves me full, not empty.
TA: Who gave you the most memorable career advice? How has that aided you in you day-to-day?
MJ: My sister. "You just gotta dustle!" (Double hustle). Meaning that working hard on its own won't cut it. You have to learn how to work smart most importantly. Strategy is everything. Always Chess, never Checkers.
TA: What has been your favorite "project," so far? Why?
MJ: Definitely starting my StraightForward Scoliosis Foundation nonprofit. I love to help and instill confidence within others, and this allows me to do so globally.
TA: What is your dream collaboration (or with who, where, etc.)?
MJ: My dream collaboration is probably with American Express.
TA: When your first direct deposit hit, what did you buy?
MJ: It may seem boring to some, but I honestly invested that money back into myself and within my companies. Like they say, you have to "pay to play", and I'm trying to play in the MAJORS!
TA: What do you listen to on your way to work? Music (if so, who?), Podcast? Motivational clips?
MJ: Depends on what's going on. If I'm thinking/strategizing then Beethoven, if I'm creating then Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek or Gary V, if I'm just physically working (like on set or something) then Future or some turnup/trap music.
TA: If you could steal anyone's musical/artistic/visionary talent, who would it be? Why?
MJ: Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela. They saw the future of a beautiful and peaceful world for everyone, and if you've been keeping up with the news as of late you would know it's needed everywhere right now- in every country.
TA: Who are 3 "must-follows" on Instagram? That aid to you day-to-day inspiration/career path.
MJ: 1) @_Nitch, 2) @ThinkGrowProsper and 3) Artbasel
TA: In 3 words, what would you tell your 16-year-old self?
MJ: "Find your purpose."
For more of Marcus John, follow him: here!