Mississippi Link Profile: Local promoter breaks barriers in the industry

January 8, 2020 in News

By Othor Cain,

Editor,

Singleton

Singleton

A native son or, in this case a native daughter, is knocking down doors and making Mississippi a must stop for national artists and entertainment.

For 30 years, Yolanda Singleton, owner of Xperience Jxn, has been carving out her niche in a male-dominated entertainment industry and this year she experienced one of her biggest shows ever.

The annual Soulabration which this year featured Calvin Richardson, Tucka, TK Soul, Big Pokey and Yayo, drew nearly six thousand people. “This was our largest ever, I feel as if we are making strides,” Singleton said. “I think we are finally telling the world that a woman can do this.”

Singleton, 50, is a Callaway High School graduate who attended Tougaloo College and finished at Hinds Community College, where she received her associate’s degree in nursing in 1989. Singleton has done additional course work in the area of business and real estate at Jackson State University. “I’m a nurse by trade and did that full time for a number of years, but this is all that I’m doing now,” she shared. “In order to do this right, you have to be dedicated, focused and committed.”

When she returned to Jackson after living in Georgia, she quickly realized there was a void of events and family outings. “I knew that I could bridge this gap,” she said. “I was determined to do it based on my previous work.”

The road to a sold-out show has not always been easy

“At first I wasn’t taken seriously by the men in this business,” Singleton shared. “I had to prove that I had negotiating skills and that I could solve problems.” Not only did she prove she had the “juice” to get it done, she’s breaking barriers while doing it.

Often times, people overlook Mississippi while touring. “Jackson is unique in the sense that we are perfectly positioned between three major highways and while these artists are going to other “major” cities, my goal is to get them to stop in Jackson. To accomplish this goal, Singleton has partnered with other promoters within a 3-6 hour radius of Jackson, including Birmingham and Mobile, Ala., and Macon, Ga. “I think this is an opportunity to open doors to larger venues and attract more quality entertainment,” Singleton shared.

Helping others grow is a goal

Singleton says that her desire to bring quality entertainment to the city, serve and invest in the African-American culture, and have a lasting economic impact in Jackson is fueled by her father and her core team of 12. “My goal has always been to do shows that my father would feel comfortable attending…this thing is bigger than me,” she said. “I think I have the best team in the world, we jell like glue.”

By bringing in larger events, she hopes to draw people to hotels, restaurants, stores and other businesses in the area. “It’s about growth and reinvestment,” she added. “On the day of the show, we employ nearly 200 people, that speaks to a community coming together.”

The name of her business derives from a three-fold perspective; her love for the capital city, the experience she’s gained in the industry and the excitement of all facets of entertainment.

Singleton wants to be a driving force that inspires other women in Mississippi to enter the promotional and technical sides of the live-entertainment industry, working not only as ushers but as audio engineers, lighting technicians and all other facets of the field. “Like you Othor, I love mentoring and in this field we need female mentors,” she said. “I’m like a mother-hen…but I’m here.”

You can stay connected to all of Xperience Jxn events via Facebook and Instagram.