A native of Palo Alto, CA, James Andrews has been passionate about culture, marketing, and advertising for a long time. He became a record executive in his twenties and over the past couple of decades has built and sold two companies. His newsletter, SoulPurpose, was featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2000.
In 2017, he founded Authenticated Ventures, an agency of “seasoned leaders who understand the power of storytelling and ideas combined with sound business strategy.” From Authenticated Ventures, he launched The Authenticated, “a marketplace community of companies, ideas and hustlers.”
Then, in 2020, he took The Authenticated to Clubhouse. As one of Clubhouse’s most-followed personalities with a following of 1.7 million, it’s not hard to see that James has cracked the code to the Clubhouse attention market. He hosts multiple events per week and rooms are often packed with hundreds to thousands of listeners. Now, he’s joining forces with other Clubhouse power-creators to help other people and companies build their brands.
“The Audio Collective is a hybrid, sort of live audio creator, community production house ambassador group, and we’re helping individuals and organizations expand their impact on and off of clubhouse,” James said. “Essentially, we’re one of the first dedicated studio and creator initiatives in the live interactive audio space. And we’re partnering with other clubhouse creators, agencies, brands, and studios, to really build engaging interactive audio events. And what’s really special is the founding members of the collective are literally some of the earliest creators on the clubhouse platform.”
The founding members of Audio Collective include Lupe Fiasco (50.2k followers), Kat Cole (1.2M followers), Julie Wenah (2.3M followers), and several other early Clubhouse adopters who’ve built substantial audiences.
“We began having conversations kind of internally on how we could collaborate more meaningfully and work together and make the most of this platform and the seeds were planted for the collective,” James said. “Our hopes are to onboard brands and creators who are looking to create an impact in this emerging audio space.”
This new partnership is an extension of Clubhouse’s Creator Pilot Program. When asked about the impact of Black and brown creators on the platform, James elaborated:
“This platform would not be where it is, if it wasn’t for the contributions of Black and brown creators — Black and brown and female creators. The Audio Collective is probably, you know, 40% made up of Black founding members. It’s really diverse. I think we bring the creativity, we are the sauce, we are the straw. So our approach to it is a little different. We have the freedom to just be like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna build this business differently.’ And we’re going to build this business centering Black and brown folks.”
Editorial Note: This interview has been edited for clarity.