Bradlie “Jelie” Jones (BA ’19) started rapping at 8 years old. At 16, she started performing at Denver music venues. At 19, she started her own sound production company. By age 26, she hopes to be selling out venues the size of the Pepsi Center.
Not only does she have a rap career that’s gaining momentum, but the full-time recording arts student – who will graduate in a matter of days – has been building her own sound production company. And after a year and half in business, it’s already turning a profit, she said.
Jones designs and builds synthesizer drums from scratch, something not a lot of people know how to do. To further monetize her skills – and to spread her art form – she produces online tutorials and gives private lessons in sound wave manipulation and synthetic drum building.
She acquired business and marketing skills through coursework and mentorship in the College of Arts & Media (CAM). In her music business classes, she studied artist management and the inner workings of the music industry, gaining in-person meetings with promoters and event managers. She learned practical entrepreneur skills, like how to craft a press release and find a fairly-priced videographer.
“I’m grateful to the teachers here,” Jones said. “They taught me the business side of being an artist.”
I wish that I could have a wish granted
For all of the times no one could understand it
I am no doctor, Music was an option so I opted
My mom is my biggest fan like autographs and backstage passes
My dad’s why I started it’s in my genes without the pocket
– lyrics from “Empress” by Jelie
Plans for reaching her dreams:
- Get her bachelor’s degree in recording arts on May 18.
- Use the profit she’s making from her sound production business to continue performing.
- Leverage meaningful connections in Denver’s music and art communities.
- “Stay true to myself.”