George Chapman Jr. (THF ‘09)
Please describe your role.
I am the creative lead for hip-hop and r&b catalog marketing at Sony Music/CMG. I lead creative ideation in all content marketing efforts for our various artists marketing campaigns.
What do you enjoy most about your company?
What I enjoy most about my job is how often I’m stretched to think outside of my creative comfort zone as I’m often forced to tailor creative to specific artists and their needs. One minute I could be working on a brief for Whitney Houston and the next minute I can be pulled in to ideate on 21 Savage. So the range of creative muscles I’m forced to use can sometimes be intimidating but so rewarding.
In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
I think I’ve always been a story teller. I connect to the how and why of people in my everyday life. And so it was a no brainer that journalism led me to content creation in a way that allows me to lean into my natural curiosities while exploring the worlds and lives of people I only get to connect to in this way.
How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?
My affiliation with the T-Howard Foundation has helped me greatly. It’s given me a network of other creative black professionals to tap into for those moments in your career where you need a boost or an edge to advance to that next level. Whether it be a contact or a conversation. The resource is always available.
What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?
My ability to talk! Haha. I talk to everyone I see. I tell them what I want to do. What I like. What my interests are. People can’t help you if they don’t know what you need. I also just think being someone who has always been honest with myself about what I like to do has helped me to not burn out. I enjoy it. So through the frustrating moments I can persevere because the end result is so fulfilling for me.
If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?
If I was entering the field today, I would say learn the technical skills early. Become proficient in the programs and software that will allow you to tell those stories. The creative juices will always flow, its what you do with them that counts. Also, please, please, please. Try everything. Explore the field at every level so that you have a better idea of what you enjoy and where you might flourish. There are so many avenues to venture down, so explore them all!
In one sentence please describe what work/life balance means to you.
GO OUTSIDE. GO TO A PLAY. LIVE LIFE. LEARN TO SKATEBOARD. Honestly, that is going to help you do your job better. Your individual experiences that you bring to your job informs your insight. And that’s your pocket. That’s your power. Your perspective. Nobody else has it. Lean into it.
Use one word to describe how you practice self-care.
NO. Say no. The sooner you can learn it, the better off you’ll be. It’s a complete sentence. It’s powerful. It protects you.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? How does this show up in your working habits?
I’m definitely an early bird. It’s amazing how clear my thoughts are in the morning. I seem to have this stream of consciousness at around the 6 o’clock hour. Right before the sun comes up. It’s quiet. It’s calm. I pull out my notebook and I let my mind go.