Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Mitchell.
Tracy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all started in 2016. I was 21 living in Fredericksburg, Virginia. After my classes at the community college, I would go to my boyfriend at the times house. I would just play music while he’d play video games. I was really excited for Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo” to come out. It was winter. He downloaded the project for me illegally and we listened that entire day. I remember he passed me his Beats headphones and I was locked in. When I listened, my brain just switched and I literally felt a tingle in my fingers like I need to pick up a pencil and write! I need to write what I am feeling, what I am thinking at this exact moment. All of a sudden, I wasn’t just listening to the music, my brain was breaking down the beat, cover art, vocals, and the track order. Noticing its cohesiveness. Looking back at this moment, I guess that’s what it’s like when God calls on you. I took the headphones off and my soul craved to write. I remember my Cousin passed a few days later and the night after the funeral, I had my computer in the hotel room and I began to research and build a home for these thoughts and feelings. I discovered the program WordPress and my life changed from that moment. WordPress became my life.
I found a program I can write and publish articles to the world by just one click. I was shaking every time I posted an article to my twitter account. Asked family members to look over it before I post. I was so scared people would make fun of me. Growing up, I was that kid that would raise her hand and the teacher and students would make feel like I asked a stupid question. It was the same feeling. I feared that attention or light being put on me. I failed just about everything during my younger days. I was telling myself I wasn’t good enough. I was not worthy. My voice does not matter. In my hometown Fredericksburg, VA its common for people to make fun of you when you do something different. I thought all these things before I hit that tweet button. By the grace of God, I said: “f*ck it!” That day I opened the door to a new life. I got accepted to Old Dominion University, I left that longtime relationship, and I was now publishing my stories. Then I began to get writer’s block. I was writing so much music news I hit writer’s block so fast. I was in the kitchen and you know how I said, “I felt a tingle in my fingers” when I was listening to Kanye’s album? Well, that happened again.
This time, God was telling me to start covering the local music scene. I did not know anyone, so I took it to Twitter and told people to tag musicians. My twitter was never the same! I was like, wow, all of these people! I never had this much people coming to me for something in my life. Looking back now, I know what I did. I was doing something no one else was doing! For that entire summer, I traveled all of Virginia covering shows, writing stories on the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) music scene. Man, I burned a lot of gas in my cars. I interviewed, took video recaps, and even hosted. People were always around me. Everyone wanted to be my friend. With all, that attention came drama. I was working with a few people with my site and they made a complete fool out of me. They pulled the rug under my feet and I fell so bad. I was crying in my dorm room to my mom, my sister, and dad. I was telling them how I feel like I lost everything. I hit rock bottom for the first time in my life. The next morning something came over me. I transferred that anger and sadness into motivation. I got up and I hustled. I have not been the same person since. I did what I had to do. That was God again. I made a new site and I started to take what I was doing more seriously. I even built a resume and changed my name from TracyTheBlogger to my real name Tracy Star Mitchell.
In November 2016, I was hired as a staff writer for New York City’s RESPECT. Magazine. I went from this local blogger to a published journalist. Coincidentally a copy of that Magazine with my favorite rapper J. Cole on the cover was gifted to me by my father and it sat next to my bed for a year. I gifted that magazine in 2012 and it sat next to my bed everyday. I had no idea that company would be my future. I still have that magazine today. It’s like a trophy to me. It was all God and the universe leading me to my purpose. RESPECT. Magazine opened so many doors for me. All of a sudden, I was covering the biggest festivals in the country for free, interviewing stars I grew up watching on TV, being a news source for people, and hitting red carpets. I even had a full story on Complex magazine at 21. Complex! I got a paycheck from Complex. They paid me for that Migos article. RESPECT. never paid me, so that was huge. I was successful but broke. I needed to continue to live my dream but I needed to get paid. I had a lot of artists asking me to be their publicist. I didn’t know what that was but someone told me I could make a lot of money. Long story short, I used all those connections I made writing at RESPECT to launch PR By Tracy. I now have every major music publication at my fingertips. I help independent artists get placed on major platforms!
Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely not! So many challenges. The wins have been smooth and consistent but I have had a lot of people try to break me down and I’ve had plenty of battles. I’ve had people use me. People make a fool out of me. I almost lost my mom. I almost gave up on my life and wanted to take myself. I’ve been there! But that’s where that “Female Boss” mentality I have now comes from. I have elevated to a boss and a trailblazer. You can’t tell me nothing. There is nothing I cannot do. This world does not scare me. If you bleed the same color, I bleed you do not put fear in my heart. Honestly, I’ve been a trailblazer my entire life but I was getting beaten up so bad by the world it all placed a blindfold on me. See, I know now that when empty people see you go for your dreams and win, they are angry. Because it is not them, their friends, or that popular girl down the street, they are mad it’s you. People will hate you when they want your mind. They ask, “Why does she have it and I don’t?”
These are things I understand now and I preach this on my social media everyday. I understand that it is so hard to identify who wants to be around you for YOU and not what your life consists of. There is beauty in the struggle, though. I am a boss and when I say that I don’t mean I’m rich and I run sh*t. I mean, I own my destiny, I have faith, and I make it my duty to motivate others to do the same. I preach to others to stay true to themselves and believe. Stay strong! From my workouts on my IG story, my YouTube vlogs, to my journey itself. I am proof you just have to believe and stay focused! Your path has been created for you before you were born. Love your path, trust your path, follow your path. It is yours and no one else’s! Additionally, when God calls on you for your purpose, listen! The world is yours for the taking. That is the beauty of life.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a hip-hop music journalist that is the founder of a media agency called PR By Tracy. Above all else, I am an influencer. Through PR By Tracy, my main focus and passion is getting independent artists heard. Not signed. I heard! PR By Tracy is me sharing the wealth and knowledge I’ve gained throughout my journalism career with recording artists. I get them on blogs, magazines, radio, interview platforms, and it grows daily! I am the middleman yet a leader! I call myself the 5’2″ media machine. If you need a publicist, I am the one! If you simply just want someone to speak to about your journey and craft, I am the one. When you need media, I will deliver! I am so proud of how everything came together. Being a music journalist and looking out for independent artists has got me to where I am today! I am proud of PR By Tracy because it’s like the top of the mountain. I can finally bring opportunity to those that don’t know where to go! My focus of motivating talents is what sets me apart from others. Aside from just being my client, I will push you to go hard and shoot for the stars! I am a shoulder to lean on and an ear that is always ready to listen. I am a guide.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I am a leader of the digital media industry. Social media is the strongest tool for any brand! Within the next 5-10 years, nothing can go left uncovered or undocumented. I truly do see the future in PR By Tracy because not only am I getting artists placed but I truly want to dominate the event world and get everybody the best press they can receive. This is what’s important! Going out there and looking for the story, then publishing it for the world to see. The masses need to know what is happening!
- Website: tracymitchellva.com
- Phone: 4043019440
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/tracymitchellva
- Twitter: twitter.com/tracymitchellva
Headshots / Instagram: @unannounced
Work Shots / Instagram: @sadboimedia
Animation / Instagram: @india.nk.jpeg