Q&A with Abigail Rowe
She represents a new wave of professionals within the marketing industry that guides brand communications, tethers music to culture and corporate, and help to shape the future of a generation of emerging creatives. In addition to Abigail Rowe’s role of being the connective tissue between her clients and the world — through her company PR Rowe and collaborations — her passion, meticulousness and independence make it so that she helps both rising and established brands put their best ‘pitch’ forward in a way that is changing the face of public relations.
“I didn’t think I would end up branching out to do my own thing,” Rowe tells The Gleaner. “I actually studied journalism in university, but while seeking out an internship during [my] second year, I landed in an advertising agency, was exposed to marketing, project management, social media, and took an interest in the umbrella. The two fields go hand in hand nonetheless.”
It was during her time at Market Me, where she worked for three years, that her press agent skills were honed. Rowe gradually transitioned into entertainment and music relations by way of In.Digg.Nation Collective, managed by her friend Jamila Pinto. She also worked under the wings of Solid Agency’s Sharon Burke and has worked with the likes of Koffee, Nigerian star Patoranking, Jesse Royal, Rebelution, Delicious Vinyl Island (for the portfolios of Runkus, Royal Blu, Yaadcore, Amanyea, and Blvk H3ro), ZAC JONE$, and Naomi Cowan, and a number of corporate entities.
What’s a day in the life of Abigail Rowe like?
Well, thanks to my slightly impulsive nature, plus the friends and associates I have, my days can vary from a random trip to the countryside to a quiet day at home. However, my days lately have seen me waking up at 7 a.m.-ish and reading the papers on my phone, scrolling through Twitter, answering emails, and then actually getting up around 9 a.m.-ish to get dressed to go to a café to put in a full day’s work. My favourite has been Ragamuffin Café on Lady Musgrave Road. I like to end my days with a little solo chill session to unwind, wherever my spirit takes me, or just go home and boot up Netflix.
If you were a superhero, who would it be, and why do you think you embody this superhero’s character?
I’d say Black Widow. She doesn’t have superhuman strength, but she’s always been able to hold her own, and I definitely think I embody her to some extent. She’s smart, charming, confident, very layered (personality-wise) and alluring. Ha ha, yes, that sounds like me!
List some things you love and hate about your job.
Things I love: I get to meet so many interesting people who have put me on to new experiences, I get to be part of propelling an artiste’s career, I get to help shape and tell inspiring stories, I like being part of the overall enrichment of Jamaica’s music industry. Being in PR helps to build character; we face rejection a lot, and it helps you to learn how to pivot and just develop more of a thick skin.
Things I don’t like (because I wouldn’t say I hate them): Public relations in music and entertainment especially, is very unforgiving. You have to be ‘on’ at all times, and that can sometimes get tiring. It is often not clearly understood what our profession is, so there is a lot of misunderstandings surrounding it, and it is often difficult to equate a satisfiable ‘value’ to the press you’ve gotten for your clients.
What do the words strength, love, and beauty mean to you?
Lately, strength to me has [meant] that I need to accept my flaws, allow myself to go through the motions and know when to ask for help. Love has to start from within in order to radiate outwardly, and beauty will always be [more than] skin-deep.
Describe your personal style?
Hmm, my style is very dependent on my mood, but in general, I think my style is a hodgepodge of comfort, sexy and little ‘bougie’. I’m that girl that’s gonna come a little dressed up to kick back if I feel like it.
We see you wearing your natural hair. Do you believe hair is symbolic, and how important is it for you to wear your natural hair?
I have always been of the view that (black) women should feel empowered, regardless of the style they decide to rock. They don’t need to be viewed as denying their Afrocentrism because they want to switch it up and wear a weave here or a wig there. And for me, wearing my hair natural wasn’t done intentionally to symbolise anything, but I’m glad people see me rocking it and can feel empowered to do the same.