For years, Aaliyah lived a life of trying not to be seen as this was something she was taught. But, this social butterfly has spread her beautiful delicate wings, trying day by day to unlearn the social norms she was taught to be true.

Aaliyah Amari James was born in Westmorland, at the age of eight she moved to Montego Bay so when asked where she is from her first response is Montego Bay. At first glance through her Instagram handle you would immediately label her as the life of the party; which she can be but deep down she is a socially awkward 23-year-old who grew up believing that the beautiful light that she resonates must be hidden because if shone too brightly will offend the world.

Aaliyah always showed signs of greatness, growing up in a two-parent household she was taught from a young age how to handle money. She would be given a certain amount every month by her parents and she had to make that work for everything she needed for the month, bus fare, lunch, and school projects; this was where her love and passion for marketing was birthed. She described herself as “the girl” who everyone knew to go between classes for a snack. Her quick thinking and easy-going personality made her a great saleswoman.

Because of her persuasive and charming nature and the love she had for selling, she was able to cop a job selling jewellery for someone she thought had her best interest at heart. She admitted that even though she enjoyed this thoroughly she didn’t realize that she was being exploited because she wasn’t making any money from this venture.  She kept at it because she felt good doing it and she liked it a lot. Her aunt (her mom’s friend) who had a hair parlour at the back of her parent’s house said she use to run to the road, bag juice in hand, shouting “bag juice, bag juice.” This for her was the earliest sign of her road to what she now does and love… marketing.

One of the interesting things about her is that she is good at reading people and that is why she knew marketing was the best fit for her. Her shy and awkward nature did not stop her from venturing out to the land of YouTube, Aaliyah has a YouTube channel (@Am6ri) where she publishes restaurant review videos. She visits restaurants, the popular and the not so popular ones, with her friends, eat then she does a review for her YouTube subscribers. For someone who describes herself as shy and who has social anxiety, you would think that this was something that would be too hard for her, once again she is defying the odds. She relates that once she is speaking to a camera, she is comfortable. And with encouragement from the people around her, she has gained the attention of over 200 subscribers and countless views on her content.

Speaking of people, she attributes her success to her dad and her friends. She stated that her dad is the most encouraging one in her family but her friends are the ones that really has her back, “they say you can’t choose family, but who is they?” “And why can’t I?” She has a strong village that keeps her grounded.  In her friendship circle, she is the one who is willing to have a good time, she prides herself in being that one who you can always count on and that friend, who, when things are not going as planned, she can tell you which crystals to use, the one who will put the cards on the table and help you to figure your past, present and future. Let us call her the ‘gypsy of her friendship circle’.

As with anyone who is passionate about life and what it has to offer, Aaliyah has a cause that she feels needs to be addressed. She feels the patriarchy in our society is unfortunate, she views the unequal opportunity between men and women as one that is disheartening and distasteful. While she understands that some jobs are more suitable for men she believes it is still taking a lot of opportunities from women thus making it an uneven playing field which automatically puts the males in a better position to excel. While she has not done anything yet to help shift this paradigm, she is working to make herself more marketable. She stated that starting her YouTube channel was her best career move while this would be her second time trotting the road of YouTube. She says that this time around she hopes to use it to propel her marketing career and wants to know what it will take for her to get monetized in today’s climate as a marketer/YouTuber

This social butterfly has big dreams and is spreading her wings far and wide, making a big mark on the digital space. In five years she hopes to be travelling with a remote job that will allow her to spread her beautiful wings all over the globe. Most of all, she hopes to be completely and deniable happy. She is finally putting out the content she wants and companies are finally recognizing her as the asset she is. She wants to be on the lips of everyone, she wants people to know her name, Aaliyah James.