The days of publicists being in the shadows while their clients conduct business is no longer. Millennial publicists such as Derrian Perry are combining youth and experience to make connections, partnerships and money.
A Houston native, Derrian Perry, aka Phreshy, focuses on the brands of growing millennials. Through his I AM PHRESHY BRAND, Perry has worked with an exceptional list of millennials which include Kway and Lala, J Mulan, and even Cardi B. The South may be hospitable, but Perry is aggressive in giving millennials a platform to stand on.
How did your upbringing prepare you for your career in entertainment?
Growing up, I was always creative. I was a different child. Having gone through so much, so young, I didn’t really like people. I didn’t trust them. My connection through the world was art. Ironically, my father’s side of the family was [involved] in the Houston sports and music scene. My father was an OG working for Rap a Lot Records. My interest in entertainment was inherited.
You wear many hats in the entertainment industry. As the founder of your own public relations and branding company, I AM PHRESHY BRAND, what would make you want to collaborate with an individual, brand or company?
Wow, great question. I’m interested in originality and hunger. One of the biggest obstacles that keep dreamers from being great is dreaming someone else’s dream. With social media, that’s becoming so easy too. People think they want something until the work is presented to them. When it’s your dream, you’re hungry and you’ll do almost anything to make your dreams come true. Those are my favorite types of collaborations. I like people who want their plate full and don’t complain. They just get to the table and eat. We can all dream and eat together if we’re truly hungry for ourselves.
You are surrounded by talented millennials. You’re the PR director for JMulan who’s one of the top brand managers in entertainment. You’re also the publicist for comedic duo Kway and Lala, and you’re involved in Cardi B’s career. How are millennial’s leading the new wave of business and entertainment?
As far as JMulan goes, she’s a culture genius. We fight like brother and sister but we’re an unstoppable force together. She was one of the first people to trust me with her PR. I remember her telling me, I’m going to Vegas and I need it to be big. We ended up taking over the Palms and she walked the Billboard magazine red carpet. At that moment, I discovered my capabilities.
Kway and Lala, are my loves. Never have I met two individuals who are so connected with social media. Outside of that, they’re extremely talented. They allow me to be creative with deals, marketing and PR. We have amazing things happening with them soon.
With Cardi B, I play a minor role compared to my boss, Patientce Foster of Cream PR. I assist her in some of the major opportunities for Cardi. One of the biggest things I’ve done for Cardi was the Maxim party for Super Bowl 2018.
It’s very important for me to work with the millennials who shape culture. That’s what I built my brand around. They’re the future leaders of our world. They keep the creativity and culture alive. I have the obligation of pushing them to the forefront.
What aspects would make you not want to take on a client?
Drama. I hate drama. Outside of that, them not knowing who they are. It’s very difficult to plan a campaign around someone constantly embedded in drama and not being aware of who they are. I also try to stay away from the [I want to be famous] types. My job is not to make people famous. I take famous people and keep them famous.
What do branding and PR look like in 2018?
In 2018, branding and PR look very nontraditional. We’re in a day and age where you must think outside the box. I’m that publicist. My pitch is different, so my clients’ wins are as well. I’m in the business of creating magnificent moments. I want to be remembered not by just the moments, but the amount of work and tenacity I put in to make these moments happen.