Corporate support a 'big deal' for Julie Mango
Social media star embraces Reggae Sumfest role
Juliet ‘Julie Mango’ Bodley (Photo via Instagram)

Juliet ‘Julie Mango’ Bodley is still in awe of what she has accomplished. Awe-inspiring for the popular social media personality is not particularly her shot to fame, but more so the fact that her success has been in spite of her struggle with an issue that is still considered taboo in Jamaica.

Bodley has been very open about her struggles with mental health, and is oftentimes taken aback by how she has been embraced by corporate Jamaica.

"That awe feeling will never truly go away and what makes me even more in awe most times is that corporate Jamaica still wants to work with me knowing that I have been so open about my mental health path.

“I think that is a big step in moving forward as a nation around this issue because if corporate (Jamaica) is willing to work with someone who they know used to be suicidal, if they are willing to bet their brand on me and what I can produce, it shows Jamaica is evolving and that's a big deal,” Bodley told OBSERVER ONLINE.

Indeed, with close to 200,000 followers across Instagram and Twitter combined, the loveable figure has been a formidable force on the local entertainment scene. And, so great is her pull on social media that corporate entities have been clamoring to forge partnerships with the comedian.

Today, not only is Julie Mango an ambassador for the Jamaica 60th Independence celebrations but she is also one of the leading social media personalities tasked with promoting Reggae Sumfest 2022.

Bodley said she was particularly overjoyed when the Reggae Sumfest team reached out to her. Describing herself as a lover of reggae and dancehall music, she said the proposal was 'right up her alley' and so she did not hesitate to get on board.

"Yuh know say me did frighten when Sumfest reach me. Mi did well, well frighten," she said in between laughs as she recalled the exact moment she was asked to be a social media ambassador for what is dubbed the 'greatest reggae show on Earth'.

"It was a feeling of exhilaration and just pure awesomeness because it was right up my alley. I love reggae and dancehall music, conscious, uplifting music. It just represents the best of Jamaica and I love being a part of anything that showcases the very best of our culture," she said.

Highlighting her duties as social media ambassador, Julie Mango said she gets excited to create content for the upcoming event. For her, she just wants to use her talent to show the world that there's a reason why Reggae Sumfest is the reputed best show of its kind.

"I am just required to create a buzz around the event. To create excitement, to spread the news that it's happening this year and who will be a part of it. I will do that by virtue of two commercials and I really just want to show that this is a festival of coming together," she said.

"Not only is it a show where you get to see some of your favourite dancehall and reggae artistes live on stage but it’s also an event where people come to forget about war, forget about crime, forget about their problems and just have a good time."

Bodley hit the ground running. The first commercial she produced for social media about Reggae Sumfest was retweeted some 327 times. The comedian said she wanted to use the ad to not only introduce some of the artistes on this year's Sumfest lineup but to also showcase what makes them unique and worth watching.

"For the first commercial, I wanted to make sure to paint dancehall in a positive light because there are so many positive messages coming out of the music that doesn't get highlighted enough. So what I did was channel the personalities of the various artistes who would be performing," she said. "So for Spice, I chose the song I did because I wanted to show her perseverance. I have been listening to Spice since 2003 and one of the consistent message in any of her music is perseverance. She persevered against all odds.

“Alkaline is confident and self-confidence is a good thing and we shouldn't shun from it. Then we have Aidonia saying 'couple rubber bands, make we stock dem', meaning financial. Then there is Ding Dong and LaaLee with the dance moves, the feel good vibes, the celebration of dancehall and just the coming together and having fun part,” she continued.

For Bodley, in addition to performances from Spice and Beres Hammond, she is most looking forward to the tribute to producer extraordinaire, Dave Kelly.

"When I was in my 20s and late teens, Dave Kelly's riddims were just running the place and so I am no stranger to his music and the tribute to him is well deserved. So I am looking forward to seeing how Cham, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, all of them, are going to come together and just make an awesome tribute. Me know say it ago shell dung the place," she told OBSERVER ONLINE.

BY SHEREITA GRIZZLE

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