Imani Jenkins profiles fellow Mass Comm student Naja Cannon about her vision and goals.
By Imani Jenkins
Naja Cannon is a beautiful, strong black woman and the definition of a young entrepreneur. Cannon, a Senior Mass Communication major at Five Towns College, is also the Head Boss in charge of a radio show called, “Hip Hop Galore,” that she started when she was a freshman on WFTU Radio. Her successful brand has only continued to grow, and most recently, Cannon began an internship at POWER 105.1 FM in New York City.
Cannon is from South Jamaica, Queens, New York, where hip hop played a prevalent part in her life. Although she is not a rapper, Five Towns College gave her the opportunity to take advantage of her moment to shine. Her idea was to create a platform by interviewing up and coming artists who could promote and bring recognition to their work.
How does a young college student manage a brand such as Hip Hop Galore? Well, Cannon had help from her FTC teammates, student James Merchant and former student, Joe Tejada. In the beginning, Cannon would search for artists she liked and contact them via email or mutual friends. Once people started noticing her work, they would reach out to her and pitch her suggestions of possible talent to interview.
As an entrepreneur, there will always be pros and cons. Cannon says, “You always feel your best when everything is going great, but no one likes to talk about the cons of it all. It’s very hard being a young entrepreneur, especially since I’m still in college. There are going to be some things that go wrong, but you have to be able to find fast solutions. Number one, you have to take responsibility for what happens, no matter how hard the situation may be.”
Taking responsibility for anything is hard, but Naja Cannon stays on her “P’s and Q’s.” What motivates her the most is her family and friends. Let’s not forget she has come too far to quit now! At one point in time, Naja did lose interest, but she brought herself back to the drawing board to remind herself of why she started Hip Hop Galore. Cannon says, “I want people to feel like they just came to the littest event of their life! I want them amped up and ready for the next event. I know once I’m done with one event, I’m already excited for the next one.”
Hip Hop Galore interviews Lil Karma (Courtesy: Naja Cannon)
One of the key attributes to being an entrepreneur is keeping yourself in places that will continue to push you. Naja does that by making her presence known at networking events and meetings that will help her grow as an individual and a brand. Her passion runs so deep that she’s comfortable with being uncomfortable. Some of her biggest goals in life are to own an office studio on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, to create the biggest music festival in the world by Hip Hop Galore, and to have a mini-documentary series that explores the lives of both upcoming and established artists. This lovely lady has many things in store for her future and will stop at nothing to keep herself out of a box.