DJ Amari, former lover of Gully Bop, takes on new business venture
Dancehall artiste and video blogger DJ Amari Mona Lisa is on the leading edge of a new movement of social media influencers who are revolutionising the way corporate companies and brands market to possible customers.
Since emerging on the dancehall scene as the lover of the semi-toothless dancehall artiste Gully Bop, she was able to finesse that popularity into a new career as a video blogger and social media influencer.
She recently inked a deal as a social media influencer for a small West Indian-owned company, Style Eyes Optical.
"This is a female black-owned company located in New York and this is just one of the brands I represent as I am getting offers from various companies including shoes, makeup and clothing. This is a real way that Jamaicans can use their personality and their popularity to create an income for themselves, I am living proof of that," she said.
DJ Amari Mona Lisa has 14 pages on Facebook and two major groups with over 200,000 followers. She has almost 100,000 followers on Instagram. Amari is known for the single, 'Black Hypocrisy', released on her own Phantom Fireworks Record label Incorporated, and 'Car Crash' featuring Gully Bop.
"My company, Phantom Fireworks is also now an official brand collaborator, at one time, semi-famous bloggers making some extra cash on the side, but now, this is a real career path and more Jamaicans need to get into it," she said.
According to reports, 72 percent of major brands say they are dedicating a sizable portion of their marketing budgets to influencers — people with a strong relationship to an audience who can heavily sway decisions like purchasing habits.
"She is famous, she has a following and she wanted to support a black business so she is a beautiful woman who needed glasses, so we have a full exam room so she is our brand ambassador," Marjie Toney, owner of Style Eyes Optical, said. "It is a real funky store that carries a lot of different prescription glass brands, located on Flatbush Avenue which is a huge waste of the Caribbean. We're having a Labour Day parade coming up, a melting pot, so it works for us having her as our brand ambassador."
Insiders believe that fashion bloggers and gym instructors are the next steps in advertising as they connect with people more deeply than a page in a magazine and can, therefore, sway potential customers.