West Coast influencer Shirley Ju has been on the rise as an emerging hip-hop journalist and now she will pilot her new YouTube series, “Shirley’s Temple”, premiering this Thursday (Jan 28).
The Sunnyvale, Calif. native currently resides in Los Angeles. She is a veteran journalist, on-camera host, and A&R with 11 years of experience in the industry. Shirley first fell in love with hip-hop in the 8th grade, specifically with the release of the 2002 LP, The Eminem Show and the rest was history.
The new show “Shirley’s Temple” will be live on her own Youtube channel on Thursday and pushed out via Instagram and Twitter. The goal of the new series is to connect, uplift, and inspire, given her knack for telling an artist’s story.
One West: Where you from and how’d you first fall in love with hip-hop?
Shirley J: I’m from Sunnyvale, California near the Bay Area. I fell in love with hip-hop when Eminem’s The Eminem Show came out. I remember putting on my headphones & blocking out all the bullshit from my parents! I grew up in a traditional Asian household & was a bit of a rebel lmao. Eminem saved my life.
One West: Who are your role model/influences?
Shirley J.: My biggest influences are anybody who’s worked their ass off to get to where they are today. Anyone who’s driven, motivated, and on a journey to do better than yesterday.
One West: The landscape of hip-hop is changing from a traditional to digital medium, how important is growth?
Shirley J.: Growth is extremely important. Even me today, I can be so resistant to social media! The older I get, the less I want to be on my phone but I’m realizing its importance. Even something as small as being active on Facebook can play a huge role in your brand!
One West: What’s your biggest accomplishment you feel you’ve accomplished thus far?
Shirley J.: I interviewed Lil Baby for Variety & Lil Wayne, the best rapper alive.
One West: What’s your best interview memory?
Shirley J.: I enjoyed speaking with French Montana when “Unforgettable” hit 1 billion streams but to be honest, every interview with an artist I love and whose music I listen to means the world! I got to interview Roddy Ricch the day he was nominated for a Grammy, which meant a lot especially with “Racks In The Middle” featuring the late Nipsey Hussle. Also, my interview with Boosie on Baller Alert got picked up by every major publication.
One West: You have a podcast, “Shirley’s Temple” releasing on Thursday, what’s the inspiration and background?
Shirley J.: After nearly a decade of interviewing artists & grinding my ass off, finally decided it’s time to start my show! This is an incredibly long time coming. I’m sick of having to pitch to editors at various publications in hopes of convincing them to greenlight an article or interview. Being my boss & calling my shots means everything. There will be an emphasis on mental health, which I truly believe is missing in the music industry.
One West: What’s your biggest motivation?
Shirley J.: It used to be money, always chasing the bag. More recently I’ve realized inner peace and happiness is much more of a goal than anything monetary.
One West: How important is mental health in hip-hop, sports, and entertainment?
Shirley J.: Mental health is extremely important! I can’t stress it enough. As someone who struggles with depression, anxiety, addiction, mental health, and self-care is everything. We need to be more active and vocal when it comes to our struggles and help others get resources to get help when they need it.
One West: How do you measure success in the music industry?
Shirley: Success isn’t what you see on social media, that’s for sure! I used to always chase the neverending career goals. Once I got a new position, I was already looking for the next best thing. This will tear you down. It’s important to live in the moment & appreciate what you do have. On that note, if you work hard, things will come eventually. My biggest strength to date is my unwavering work ethic, dedication, and passion.
One West: What can we expect from you this year?
Shirley J.: Excited to launch my new show Shirley’s Temple! Trying to figure out this damn Youtube algorithm at the moment but once I do, it’s a wrap hahaha. Thanks so much to everyone who’s tuning in to any of my interviews! It means the world to know even one person is listening/reading.
Subscribe and stay connected with Shirley on Shirley’s Temple here.