John Speaks: An Interview with John Dabla

John Dabla is an entertainment journalist and entrepreneur in Minneapolis, MN. He is also the owner of

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. What was your childhood like?
I’m just a young man born and raised in Bronx, NYC. I’m currently living in Minnesota, making power moves and staying true to myself while making my dreams live! My childhood, was, looking back at it now, and with things in today’s generation — I would say typical? I mean, I came from a single-parent household, no father figure in the house-which resulted in many issues in my life as a kid. Today, I reflect and think about how life could’ve been with my father around- but it’s all good. I accept my reality and truly understand it with a new perspective.  

When did you discover you wanted to become a writer?
I knew at a very young age, probably since 2nd grade. I wrote stories, poems, anything that came to mind honestly. I have a way with words and I’m very quick on my feet and with a very slick mouth. You can trust and believe that. I aced all my papers in high school and college, currently in the process of writing my own memoir. Writing is just a beautiful way of expression and I’m obsessed with it.

What did the book “The Secret” do to help boost your career?
The self-help book “The Secret” definitely me find my true vision and calling with JohnSpeaks, yes, I’m still figuring that all out, I know way more now and doing it on an individual self help rather than referring to the book. The book truly helped me understand that in order to survive in this field of work, I must understand and accept being told “NO”. Growing up and entering into the entertainment industry of my position, I always believed that I would get a “YES” on all my inquiries and that wasn’t the case. I also learned that it’s very stressful only if you allow it to be- I know how to make this job fun and yet always been on top of my game.

What is the goal of “Urban Empowerment” for youth?
“Urban Empowerment For Youth”, is still in the works-it has been for quite some time. I don’t have anything major setup with it, but with God’s timing and patience, it will happen. I can promise you that. What I can say is that my vision for the group is that it’ll be a mentor ship program for young men and women in areas such as relationships, family, workshops, seminars, etc. all while being interactive. There’s so much with it, just can’t say too much because everything isn’t in stone and in process.

What is your friendship like with Marques Houston?
Marques is definitely a big brother. He’s always been supportive of me and always kept it real. We communicate occasionally, with our busy schedules it’s always hard to keep in touch. But he’s a cool dude. I appreciate him for being himself always.

Have you ever interviewed Phaedra Parks from RHOA? If so, what was it like?
I never interviewed Phaedra. However, I have built relationships with some of the cast members (Kandi, Porsha, NeNe, Cynthia) from the show. They have been supportive of my journey and JohnSpeaks since day one, primarily Cynthia. Out of all the ladies, we have a strong and genuine friendship outside of the show. She’s been featured on my website about 2 times, I mean, it’s just real. It’s very rare that it would turn out to be that way, because some people see the ladies on the show and pin that’s how they are in real life. But it’s all about getting to know them outside of a reality show and seeing who they truly are, that’s what I’ve done, and that’s what’s kept my friendship super strong and grounded as it has been with Cynthia over the course of 4 years.

What relationships do you have with the stars of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta?
My relationship with some of the cast members of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta are very social-media build. If that makes sense? It’s not like, we text or call each other on the phone and communicate like we’re best friends or anything. It’s very mutual through the power of social media. However, Rasheeda, Mimi, Erica D., and Tammy, have been true supporters and have checked out my website and stuff.

What is your role as editorial writer for
My role as an editorial writer, is that I am writing my recaps about Real Housewives of Atlanta, articles that pertain to Porsha Williams and her fan base and audience. I’m reviewing articles and editing them as they are sent to me. I’ve never been an editorial writer for anyone or a website before, this is definitely really new to me and I’m actually enjoying the experience and look forward to the many adventures that’ll come about.

Are you ever overwhelmed by the status of people that you interview?
In the beginning, I was very surprised by the status of the people I interviewed on JohnSpeaks. I honestly just didn’t know what it all meant at the time, I had many emotions running through my mind. After doing this for almost 6 years, I am not surprised. I’m truly humbled and blessed. This whole journey has been wonderful and truly outstanding. I don’t regret any moment of it one bit.

What has been the biggest obstacle for you so far in your career?
I think I had many obstacles while running JohnSpeaks. One of the biggest ones that I was facing and I’m still facing now but I have a handle of it, was definitely staying in the rat race. That was difficult by all means. I entered this and was thrown into a pack of wolves! I had to learn how JohnSpeaks was going to be completed different than  TheYBF, Hip Hop Weekly, Sister2Sister Magazine, etc. You know? How was I going to stand out? What about JohnSpeaks would make people visit my site and WANT to come back? I struggled with all of that and definitely hit a road block. After all these years, I have learned how to network, brand myself and JohnSpeaks, allow many doors of opportunities come to me and not be thirsty for them, research the entertainment industry and news. I did everything and here I am today!

Who is next on your list of people to interview?
I’ve been doing interviews for years, and I am surprised myself at who is next on my list. Last year, I was continuing to always post who’s interview is next. But towards the end and beginning of this year, I told myself that I will just let it all say its piece and surprise the world. I am doing just that! As far as now, I can’t say…But just know that I have a list alright, trust and believe me! People eyes are about to be bugged with the interviews they’ll be reading. Just stay tuned for it.

What motivates you?
The thirsty crabs motivate me to the fullest! They will do ANYTHING just to be seen, known or heard. They continue to work for FREE & I love it! [Laughs]. But seriously, I am motivated by myself to be 100% with you. I have always been driven, always on the move and continuing to accomplish many jobs that SO many people wish they could accomplish! It used to be where other people motivated me, other journalists, etc. But nope, my mindset has truly changed on that. I am my own motivator, I make my own decisions and live by my own rules. I don’t let anything or anyone validate me and my success.

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
What people don’t know is that I am truly a humble and down to earth person. I have been told so many times that I’ve become “Hollywood” with my success. That’s absolutely not true. The people who truly know me outside of JohnSpeaks know that I’m never too egotistic nor do I brag about my success. I am one to let it speak for itself at all times. I think because with social media and just everything this industry comes with, people tend to quick pin that because of what they see. Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and have their perspectives- and I get it. BUT, I just don’t understand why pin that on me. But hey, it is what it is. I am always true to myself and have been since day one. Why switch up now or get all extra? For who and for what? It’s just not in my nature to do so. I am John and will always be John, entertainment journalist or not.

You recently interviewed Gavin Houston. Did you have the opportunity to meet Tyler Perry?
Gavin is such a wonderful and humble man. It was truly an amazing opportunity to interview him. I actually haven’t met Tyler Perry yet, I have been to The Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. I do know that I will definitely meet him one day. Tyler is just The Man! You know? He’s super talented and fantastic at what he does, the opportunity to work with him or interview him would be surreal. I’m just continuing to count my blessings and know that I’ll work with him one day.

At 22 yrs old you have completed twenty two plus successful interviews. What’s next for John Dabla?
I honestly don’t know what’s next for me. I’m always on the move and putting in true work and succeeding at everything that I do. I’m in the process of working on 4 interviews, I’m booked for several interviews to discuss JohnSpeaks, I’m just super busy-especially around late February and throughout March is my busiest season. So many doors of opportunities continue to open up for me and I’m forever grateful for that. Another thing is, I always have one foot out and one foot in doing JohnSpeaks. It’s a blessing and a curse to be completely honest with you. I just continue to strive and remain true to myself.  

Lastly, how can you be contacted for business?
To contact me about being featured, interviewed, etc on JohnSpeaks , you can reach me on or fill out a inquiry contact form by going to  or reach me by email at

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