Intern Turned CEO: Darius Bradley Introduces Us to the Power of the Assistant

Darius Bradley, Founder, and CEO of Gatekeepers Agency joined us for an interview to discuss his journey from assistantship to entrepreneurship. A former assistant to the likes of Saycon Sengbloh, Gbenga Akinnagbe, and Rotimi Akinosh. Darius now is the leader of Gatekeepers Agency, Home of the Assistant, responsible for matching businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs across a wide variety of industries with the specialized assistants they need. Darius brings his unique experience as an assistant in the music and entertainment industries and his motto “No Excuses. Create Solutions” to Gatekeepers to help train assistants, facilitate relationships, and create innovative solutions in the assistantship space.


In this interview, Darius sheds light on his former life as an assistant, his transition to entrepreneur and CEO, and the future for Gatekeepers Agency.


Can you take us through [the first part of] your impressive journey from intern to CEO?


I started in the music industry in 2009. I was an intern at [New York] Hot 97 and did that for about 6 months. About a year later, I saw this artist whose name was Rotimi, when he was in Chicago. When I saw him I [thought] “he’s going to be a star”, but at the time I reached out and the manager didn’t really get back to me so I figured my experience was lacking. That’s when I decided to intern at Warner Bros Records and Atlantic Records over the following year. Later on, Rotimi posting online that he was looking for area reps, and I responded.


Next thing you know I was on his team and from that point on I became an assistant.


What is one of the most memorable moments or proudest achievement that you’ve had working in the industry?


My most memorable was back in 2015. We were really working hard, we had just got on to Power. Then we successfully finished the second season and had an amazing premiere party. It was our first big premiere, it was exciting, and it was in New York City. That whole day it was raining, it was pretty bad, and I was doing my job making sure everything was ready for Rotimi to come on the red carpet and do his thing. We got to perform with 50 Cent that night. Then out of nowhere, they were like “Hey Darius! How you would you like to go to London?”, since Rotimi was going to open for 50 Cent in July. I was like “Wait! What?” My heart just dropped because I [thought] “Wait, I get to go international now?” So that moment going overseas to London, role managing that spot date, going to Wimbledon, at the same time taking a tour, and getting to see my artists on stage with 50 Cent. It was like the artist that you grew up watching and bought all his CDs. You finally get to see that moment in front of 15,000 people and then going backstage and handling the bookings.


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