Shift Meets: Jada Puliga, the young entrepreneur behind Prophet Magazine

London is bursting at the seams with creative talent yet one of the biggest challenges remains finding an opportunity to stand out amongst the masses – and the algorithm isn’t always on your side.

Shift sits down with Jada Puliga, founder and creative director behind Prophet Magazine, the start-up print publication that aims to collate the city’s top 100 undiscovered creative talents in one physical directory.

We hear about what it takes to be a 22-year-old in pursuit of a demanding creative project and how she is untangling her vision for 2024.

In what Puliga describes as a “natural evolution of the process,” the founder has shifted the focus to championing mainly black creatives, using the platform to promote undiscovered black talent, applying her vast industry network to propel the Prophet community forward in various areas of the arts.

When asked to describe Prophet in her own words, you can see the young entrepreneur isn’t ready to put the project in a box “It’s something, and it’s growing,” she says, keeping her cards close to her chest. And growing it is; what started as an opportunity to step outside of her comfort zone and prove (to herself) that she could do something great, Puliga quickly understood Prophet’s potential for success. “There is room for someone genuinely interested in uplifting talent because they’re good, rather than for clout,” she observes. The magazine, which is still in its pre-launch phase, is unique because it not only looks to shine a light on the abundance of creative talent in London, but it also acts as a bridge for the catalogue of creatives within the Prophet community to discover and connect with other people of mutual interest.

Puliga draws a comparison between Prophet and household favourite, the Yellow Pages for their similar functionality and “ability to guide a nation.” “It has a major permanence to it,” she says, “and that’s something I’d like to recreate.” In its prime, the Yellow Pages was an essential resource for finding local business services. Prophet looks to emulate the same model but for creative talent, putting people in contact with creatives in their vicinity to collaborate and gain inspiration from, “it’s a beautiful idea to bring back the physicality of something, to be able to run your finger down a page to look for something, especially in such a noisy digital space.” 

In the run-up to the official magazine launch, Puliga has been taking advantage of building an online and social media presence through regular content with industry leaders and changemakers. You can find interviews with the likes of London-based artist Slawn, who carries a huge cult-like following for his street art style approach to painting on canvas, while indie-rock singer Bakar and visual artist TJ Sawyerr are among other familiar faces to have been featured on Prophet’s social media, sharing insights about their process.

In the short time since its insurgence, the Prophet audience has rapidly grown and in recognising the power of community to further strengthen the project, Puliga recently introduced music events to her arsenal, “culture is key,” she affirms, and what better way to bring people together than around shared love for sound. She is pioneering her way through the creative space by bringing together communities of artists, designers, and musicians to genuinely uplift undiscovered talent while holding an intentional space for creatives to find and collaborate with one another in a decentralised way.

But what it takes to be a founder and the main brain power behind a magazine start-up is time and dedication, “it’s waking up every day and feeling motivated, and that only comes when you truly love what you’re doing.” Puliga honours the use of a checklist for remaining consistent, “I’m so big on a to-do list,” she shares, but she also talks about the power of a ‘to-done list’, which is a list of achievements from each day and her way of holding herself accountable.

While being sure to give credit to the various contributors who have worked behind the scenes on Prophet to date (shout out to Dan, Kit and Beth who have worked closely with Jada to bring each sub-project to life), when I ask what day-to-day looks like for the founder she talks about how varied her role is, “I essentially am the core team.” With oversight over every creative decision, Puliga is finely tuning every part of the magazine’s process, from conducting the interviews in and of themselves to selecting the social media content, attending networking events and designing the website and branding. 

The trailer ‘Don’t be like Sully,’ featuring musician Brian Nasty and directed by Puliga herself, is a visual benchmark for what we can expect from the founder’s vision moving forward. Be sure to keep an eye on the @prophetmagazine Instagram to follow this young creative’s journey.

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