Name: Syreeta Gates
Brand Affiliation: CARTER Magazine, History MEETS Hip-Hop, The SWT Life, Just BE Cause
Job Title: Culture Creator
UP: Syreeta thanks for sitting down with UP for this exclusive. In a world where it is a constant challenge to distinguish oneself from the competition, how do you label yourself?
SG: I’d say I’m a Culture Creator, Editor, and Founder. But I don’t like labels “We don’t stay in boxes we make our own shapes” SCG
UP: Good answer. Being that you’re influential in various realms, what drove you to hold your current titles?
SG: For The SWT Life & Just BE Cause what drove me is the power of young people finding their voice, passions & purpose and creating dope projects around them. For CARTER Magazine and History MEETS Hip-Hop, it allowed me to have a voice.
UP: So many people underestimate the influence a young voice can really have, we’re glad you know the value of getting yours heard. Would you say that college was necessary to get where you are?
SG: I went straight to college out of high school and then I dropped out a year later, I then went back when I knew what I wanted to go to school for; then realized I had to create my own lane & degree that’s why my major is Urban Youth Culture. So all that I had experienced while I wasn’t in school (POLO Fashion Business School, Ministers of Culture Program, working with various organizations Team Revolution, Life Camp, Public Allies, StartingBloc) is what gave me the clarity to be intentional when I decided to return.
UP: So you weren’t playing when you said you’re creating your own lane, huh? What can our readers do to progress on their own career paths at this very moment?
SG: I say, contact the person that you think is a boss in the field you want to be in and ask if you can intern or work with them for free. Then tell them what you can offer. Win! Win!! Win!!!
UP: Can’t be young and driven and fear failure or rejection. In the midst of all this grinding, where do you find inspiration?
SG: A few weeks ago one of the young people I’ve been rocking with for years; Shapri did a cypher in honor of Notorious BIG. I just sat back and watched, it was an amazing feeling. We did it baby *Biggie Voice*
UP: What are some obstacles or challenges that you’re met with on the daily?
SG: Being patient, knowing when things are out of my hands and accepting that
UP: As the cliché goes patience is a virtue, but it’s real. Timing is everything. Syreeta, you’ve been dropping some gems for our readers, what’s the best advice you’ve received recently?
SG: Just chill, everything will work out EXACTLY when it’s suppose to (That’s a great reminder for us especially when we want everything NOW).
UP: Looking back can you tell us about your most memorable accomplishment thus far?
SG: Oprah winked at me at the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Awards!
UP: For our bookworms and folks looking for inspiration, what’s the most influential book you’ve read?
SG: The Tipping Point, it’s just the illest book ever. TRUST!
UP: How do U Define Success?
SG: I don’t, I like re-imagining what success is as I move and shake in the world. And acknowledge when I’m doing my thing by what opportunities or challenges are coming my way.
UP: And before we go, what’s a quote that you live by?
“Nobody built like you, you design yourself” - Jay Z
“We are not merely inheritors of a culture but its makers” – Robin DG Kelley
Thanks a million, be sure to check out www.syreetagates.com to stay up to date with everything SCG and remember, U Define Success.