It’s hard enough to be a sister and friend but try adding entertainment manager to the mix! R&B Diva Syleena’s sister/manager and bestie, Dr. Syleecia Thompson shares first-hand what this dynamic duo have been up to and what projects are simmering to pop next!
Syleena’s manager and sister, Dr. Syleecia Thompson shares what it’s like to REALLY manage a diva!
Syleecia on Managing Her Famous Sis
Sometimes the lines of being a MANAGER and a SISTER can be blurred and it’s difficult but all the hard work is so worth it. I can so relate to Brandy’s mom and at one point Mary J.’s sister was managing her as well. In these family/manager roles, you’re not only a manager, you’re a family member and you always want to see your family do well, no matter what.
When I see Syleena struggle, and we all struggle in life at times, I take it personally. Not only do I worry for her because she is my sister and I love her but if I don’t work, my nephews don’t eat! So that double dynamic even pushes me harder! The hardest part is really separating yourself as a sister.
I can remember times when Syleena was a little sharp with me and I would think, “is she talking to ME like THAT? I am going to tell MA!!”
That’s when Syleena and I came up with the “hat” system.
When we are deep in discussion, you can find me saying…. “Let me put my MANAGER hat on" or “Let me put my SISTER hat on.” Syleena is quick to say, “Let me put my SISTER hat on" or "my SINGER hat on.”
This has really helped us keep focused in our daily discussions and push through any issues.
I’ve been every single type of manager for my sister from Business Manager (in 2002) to Road Manager and everything in between. I’m now her Entertainment Manager and I oversee all aspects of Syleena and her brand. She just got a new assistant and I joke and tell her that I will call her assistant to schedule time to speak with her. LOL!!!!!
Syleecia on Lessons from Dad
My background is in corporate America and I am also a professor. I want to be clear that I’m not just some “family member” who is managing her. I am an educated and accomplished business woman who is managing her. I think people walk away with the wrong impression sometimes. My company DYG Management Group is a full service entertainment, music management and consulting organization. Founded in 2005, DYG Management Group successfully operates in New York City, Atlanta and Chicago.
Music and all the business that comes with it comes naturally to me and my sisters (Syleena, Me and Sylette) from our dad, Syl Johnson (musician/producer). Don’t let his eighth grade education fool you! Our father is a student and teacher of music. He knows the industry, the good and the bad. Our dad is self-taught in a lot of things and so smart when it comes to music, copyright law, contracts and management. All that I know about music publishing, clearance and the business, I’ve learned from him! He is tough and critical but that is just his way. He’s not going to change now! He is so smart and so right about stuff when it comes to music. He is incredible!
Syleecia on her Management Philosophy
I am a firm believer that people should produce multiple streams of income. Artists must create a “business model” which includes various aspects of earning revenue. Music is a great industry but it’s very different these days. My job is to help Syleena build her brand. I am working hard to cultivate it, develop it and make it strong.
Syleecia on Syleena’s New Projects
Syleena is working hard on various projects. Some of the projects are in the beginning stages and some are in the final phases. She has a new R&B trio group named LAKESHORE made up of 2 men and 1 woman. They were her background singers and she decided to turn them into a Super Group! They are awesome! Check out LAKESHORE here.
Due to an overwhelming request from her fans, you can now wear Syleena’s favorite sayings otherwise known as "syleena-isms! Her t-shirts line is based on some of her funny catch phrases that she has said on the show [R&B Divas].
Syleena is also working on a new album, hair/health/food products and a fitness DVDs for mothers.
Lastly, she is also performing. You can catch her at Blues Alley in Washington, DC December 21 and December 22 at 8 PM and 10 PM.
Syleecia on Her R&B Divas Experience
Being a part of R&B Divas was amazing! Both of our lives changed dramatically for the better. The few episodes I was in, people actually recognize me on the street and ask about all the ladies, especially Keke, and inquire about when it’s coming back. They miss the show already!
Syleena and I are proud of how we were portrayed on the show. Syleena is REALLY a comedian. She has a funny personality and that was really her on the show. As for me, I curse a lot in real life but had to edit my tongue for the cameras. Other than that, it was very authentic.
Syleecia on the Holidays with Syleena
Syleena thinks she can cook so Thanksgiving will probably be at her house. It’s always a great time with every one together. There will definitely be a lot of music, singing, food and fun.
Thanks to all the fans and all the support! 2012 was amazing and 2013 is already on full speed ahead!