The Power is Now

How Grammy-Nominated Artist JoiStaRR Scaled Her Brand With Luxury Real Estate – Forbes

There’s been a lot of buzz around the real estate industry ever since the prices of houses started skyrocketing during the pandemic. However, that’s not the only thing to note about the industry. Between the pandemic and the projected recession occurring in the near future, the influx of real estate agents has also increased. With real estate offering flexible schedules and hefty royalties, the industry has attracted many individuals, from burned-out health care workers to parents looking to earn an extra income. Even artists started looking into the benefits of becoming an agent, especially with tours canceled and Hollywood pausing filming. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 156,000 people joined their ranks in 2021 and 2020 combined—nearly 60% more than in the previous two years.

Joi Campbell, widely known through the music and entertainment industry as JoiStaRR for her songwriting, is an example of how up-and-coming artists can create different verticals to grow their brands. After a projected two-month tour opening for Kanye West turned into a multi-year hiatus, she realized she had to expand her reach and focused her attention on real estate. Although she is recognized for her work behind the scenes as a songwriter for the likes of everyone from Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown, over the past couple of years, especially during the pandemic, she’s made a name for herself at Nest Seekers as one of their top luxury real estate concierges. In addition, her resume includes acting, and her first single, Love Story, was released in February.

“I tiptoed into it [real estate] because I had only been talking about music,” Campbell expresses. “I thought no one would understand; no one cares. It was a fear of mine to really crossover or to reveal who I really am. Because I was in fear of that, I didn’t know how to talk about it on social media, which is very important. To have a business, you have to connect with people so they know what you want to do. And it was very hard for me to do that. So I would do it just behind the scenes and through word of mouth because of that fear. Just here recently, as I’ve grown and with this new company, Nest Seekers, it’s connected to what I do as an entertainer. It made me feel more comfortable to talk about it.”

Campbell’s singing career began in the church choir. As her talent developed, she started writing songs. Witnessing her brother, Warryn Campbell’s, success as an artist and record producer, she wanted to follow in his footsteps. However, she was studying to become a doctor. She realized during the orientation of her medical program that she wanted to pursue a career in music.


She had the opportunity to perform as a background singer for West. At one point, she asked him if she could be a permanent fixture as a background vocalist. West told Campbell that if he agreed, he would be holding her back because he acknowledged her talent. So, he did invite her to join him on the Fame Kills tour co-headlining with Lady Gaga. However, it was canceled after public controversy regarding West’s interruption of Taylor Swift’s Best Female Video speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Campbell quickly found herself at a crossroads.

“Bouncing back when that didn’t happen was interesting because it was like, ‘Ok, what exactly is happening?’” she states. “For me, it was business. Typically, most artists look at being an artist as ‘I want to be a star. I want the world to love me.’ I wanted the business. I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, my business as JoiStaRR is at a screeching halt. What do I do?’ I had to find my passion. I didn’t want to do anything that made me feel like I was losing it all. I prayed for a situation or something that was a passion for me that I could jump into. I wanted to feel the same exact way I felt about music. And that was real estate.”

Campbell lived in fear at the beginning of her real estate journey. Questioning whether or not it was suitable for her, she knew that she couldn’t stay in that state for long, or else she’d become business paralyzed. But, taking it one step at a time, she realized how being in this space would help her as an entrepreneur.

Gradually, as she became more comfortable sharing that her brand expanded into real estate, she also had the motivation to release her first single and continue working on her album. Additionally, she added to her acting credits by starring in Strive, playing a role opposite Danny Glover.

As Campbell continues to pivot in her career, she focuses on the following essential steps:

  • Let your passion and vision drive your actions. Your career should be something that you wake up excited about every morning.
  • Limit outside discussions about your plans; don’t let others’ opinions persuade you in one direction or another.
  • Tune into your spiritual guidance to help you make difficult and risky decisions.

“I’ve learned to stand up for myself at the moment I need to, and to stand for what I believe in and to not go with the flow,” Campbell concludes. “In business, especially, I am in two huge worlds that are very much boys’ games. So as a woman, it’s taught me to hone in on that, and be that leader and not care if it looks like I’m being something other than the beautiful queen.”



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