The fourth addition to my Blogger’s Rundown is Malika Muhammad, founder of The Industry Blogger. I had a joyous time meeting this bright young woman. While taking the time to get to know her, I’ve learn how much drive she has to become a well renown journalist in the very near future. At our little meeting, we discussed her interest in writing a print based blog, her goals within the next 5 years, who’s her inspiration, and what local artists she supports in Baltimore. I also learned we share lots of common interest. I can’t tell you how cool it is to meet another person who shares that same passion as me. I get excited about it. Ha-Ha! Both of us are inspired journalist seeking to go far with our blogs. I know that if Malika keeps striving while doing what she does best, she’ll absolutely reach her dreams. I look forward to doing some collaboration with her in the future.
Doc: Tell us the story behind your blog, The Industry Blogger?
Malika: So it all started last year, July of 2013. So I’m really new at this. I looked at the Baltimore scene and was like, “It’s so many talented people out here.” But nobody would know that because we all have this stereotype of Baltimore artists or people in Baltimore, period. I was like, “I’ma be the one who lets everybody know that we’re not just talking about weed or being in the hood.” I want people to know that we can actually play instruments and put together well-formed lyrics, something that’s with a message. I met a whole bunch of bloggers on the way. So I realized I wasn’t alone in this. After that, I was like, “Oh, man!” (Laughs)
Malika: But then I thought it was a great thing. I’ll just unite with them and we can bring Baltimore up together. It’s better to do it with a team anyway.
Doc: Alright, that’s cool. So where did you get your name from?
Malika: I did so much brainstorming. I thought of doing something simple because I was thinking about it too much because I had a cupcake business, too. So I was thinking of some names for that, also.
Doc: You still have that?
Malika: Umm, it’s like on the side. (Laughs)
Malika: If someone wants cupcakes, I’ll say, “I’ll make em for you,” but not really. (Laughs) But for the Industry Blogger, I was listening to Kendrick Lamar. You know the song where he’s like, “I’m effing the industry hard?” (Referring to Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe)
Doc: Yeah, I know what song you talking about.
Malika: I was listening to that. I just love that word. I like the word Industry. It’s powerful to me. Then I chose to name my blog Industry Blogger. When I put it together, I wanted it to happen fast. But I’ve been brainstorming for months before July for my blog. But I just needed a name so I decided the Industry Blogger and I would market myself with it. That’s how it came about.
Doc: Oh, wow. Would you consider your blog kind of like a print journalistic type of blog? Because I know of multiple blogs that have video or just post a song? What would you consider yours to be?
Malika: I want to say it’s a mixture. But I mainly want it to be print journalism. I don’t want people to say that I’m just a blogger. I think people lose credibility being label as that because they may think they can blog about anything like they gossip. I don’t want to be labeled as a gossiper. I want everything I post to be truthful and honest. So I would say it is more print journalistic.
Doc: I agree with you. That’s how I want people to view my blog. A lot of people do think of bloggers as gossipers. Is there anyone that you draw inspiration from, like a famous reporter?
Malika: Yes, first it was Sherrie Johnson. She was on ABC2 News. She’s been promoted doing other things now. But that’s on a local basis. Karen Civil is another one. She’s like the main person I look up to. I’m always on her page. I just love her. I’m always on her Instagram or her website trying to see her next move. I’m not trying to mimic everything that she’s doing. I’m just really inspired by her because she meditates. She’s spiritual. She’s a woman. That’s why I want to be kind of different from her. I want to angle myself off her but not so much as people saying that’s another Karen Civil.
Doc: Right! She’s like a model to you. You want to do your own twist. Originality! So I read your blog about supporting Baltimore artist and I loved what you said about it. You know as far as people supporting people, and it inspired me to write a blog myself.
Malika: Oh really? Thank you. I’ll have to check that out. (Laughs)
Doc: Yeah. (Laughs) You talked about artist that lacked originality and they’re always copying other people who are already in the Industry. Would you say that there’s at least five artists here you would support?
Malika: Yup. I definitely would say Chris Bivins. He’s from Howard County. I like Jayverse. I put him on my blog. Umm, Solution. He’s with Teamwage. He just went solo. Blizz. I don’t know. I have so many people. (Laughs) I like Gillateen and Lonnie Moore. I should have named him (Lonnie) after Solutions.
Doc: Oh! That’s good that you’ve named five. Are you open to collaborating with other bloggers in the DMV/Baltimore region?
Malika: I am. I didn’t think of that at first. Remember, I thought I was the only one because I didn’t see it at first. But of course, I must didn’t do enough research then. But I do. We can write together or umm…
Doc: Guest blog on each other’s posts.
Malika: Right! I would love to do that. I actually quoted something about that for people to submit articles to my page. If you’re smart, everyone knows that takes more work off of you.
Doc: Exactly! So do you know anybody in particular that you would want to write for? Any local blog sites?
Malika: Umm, the only two blogs that I’ve become really acquainted with is TruDat and Vivid Visions. So we can do something together. That would be cool. But I haven’t research many bloggers. I just had seen Ryan tweet bloggers. So that helped me a lot.
Doc: Yeah, I know! That helped me out, too.
Malika: (Laughs) I was like, “Okay, I’ll look at all of these.” But those two. If I could do all of them, I would. I think that’s the problem. We need to keep supporting each other and stop being against each other. At the end, we are all competitors. But still.
Doc: But still, it would help each other out.
Malika: We’ll all be getting our name out there.
Doc: Exactly! What would you like for your blog to be remembered as?
Malika: Hmm, that’s a great question. I just want people to see that for me I wanted to start at the base of hip-hop. I want people to know that it’s not just on the surface, where we’re just posting videos or links to music. I want people to get in deeper into it. I want them to experience what hip-hop actually is. I don’t want people to say that I’m just a blogger that blogs about music because I like it. You have to actually be hip-hop. You have to study it.
Doc: Like actually go to the events; support the people who you’re posting about.
Malika: Yeah, I definitely want to be seen as a person who supports local music, someone who’ll tell you the history of it on the spot. I just want to be known as someone who’s really in tuned with the culture all together.
Doc: So where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Malika: Awe man that question. (Laughs)
Malika: Five years from now, I would still want to do this blog. I want it to be bigger than what it is now. I want it to lead to bigger opportunities. So if that means leading to being a personality on TV or radio, and I’ve actually tried radio before…
Doc: Did you like it?
Malika: It was okay. (Laughs)
Malika: I would say I like TV better. People think that’s odd. But I like TV better. I would like to do radio, TV, and writing in the future. I want to be a person who’s multifaceted. I want to do a little bit of everything. I want my own business. In five years, I don’t want to be working for anyone but myself. I’m just putting that out there.
Doc: Okay, I get you. So do you take submissions from hip-hop artist?
Malika: Yes, I do. That’s how I get most of my content. I’ll post my email on one of my social media sites or I have them submit on my submissions page on my actual blog. I’ll take anything, mixtapes, songs, if you want a bio written. I do it. Some people even text me because I put my number out there all the time or some will email me. All of that is on my blog.
Doc: But you prefer people to submit on your form on the site?
Malika: Yes, because it’s much easier. It’s better organized.
Doc: So they’ll just go to your website and they’ll submit.
Doc: Okay, that’s it. That was the last question. Thank you for being a part of this.
Malika: Thank you.
To read articles by Malika Muhammad, visit her blog site at theindustryblogger.com.