Jewel Wicker is a freelance entertainment and culture reporter from Atlanta, Georgia—a place central to what she does. Much of her writing focuses on the city and the many stories within it, with bylines in publications such as GQ, Billboard, NBC News, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, and more.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
I knew I wanted to work in music when I was a teenager. But, initially, I didn't know what this would actually look like. Originally, I considered becoming a music manager but by the time I was a junior in high school I'd started a music blog to share my thoughts about the music and concerts I regularly attended. By college, I'd built up enough of a following to ask publicists for press tickets. I remember attending Solange's show at Masquerade in Atlanta during her TRUE era and capturing photos of her dancing alongside surprise guest Janelle Monae.
I'd never considered music journalism prior to college, but I knew I wanted to hone the skills I was developing through writing online and having a webshow. Eventually, I switched my college major from music management to broadcast journalism and joined the student newspaper. After college, I worked as a staff reporter for a paper in central Pennsylvania before returning to my hometown to work for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was a frustration with the lack of resources and growth I felt I'd be able to accomplish as a young staff writer that encouraged me to eventually try my hand at freelancing. That was six and a half years ago.