Q: What is your title, what do you do?
A: I am an A&R at UMG, specifically working for Steven Victor, the EVP of Def Jam Records, which means I scout new talent to sign to Def Jam and then develop signed talent to produce and deliver projects. In my free time, I interview artists for publications like Complex and XXL.
Q: How did you get into the business you are in today?
A: I’ve been interested in the music industry since I was 15 when a record producer spoke for a small group of us at my high school. He set me up with my first internship that summer, and I had a handful of other internships and jobs after that, all building on one another. I spent some time at Complex, HOT 97, and 300 Entertainment. In June of this year, I chance-met Steven Victor outside of a concert venue, and he invited me to his office the following day, where he hired me on the spot.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced & overcame?
A: There are a lot of negative stereotypes about the music industry, the hip-hop space specifically, and a lot of them are, sadly, true. People can be incredibly shady, ethics aren’t always enforced when making deals, and discrimination against women is very real. Maintaining a positive sense of self and refusing to conform to this industry’s moral standards has been a huge challenge.
Q: What is your work motto?
A: My work motto changes depending on what motivates me most at any given time, but right now it’s “If you want something done, get it done.” It’s simple, and many would say it’s easier said than done, but with most goals, if you want to accomplish them, you’ll have every resource you need when the time is right.
Q: What is the best advice to give someone trying to be a music journalist / A&R?
A: The best advice I’d give to someone who’s pursuing this line of work is to focus every aspect of your life toward it. This sort of job takes a major cut off your social life, family time, your health and your sleep, so make sure you’re willing to make those sacrifices. You can party and take vacations later – if you want to be good at this, it takes serious time and emotional commitments.
Q: What would you want to tell your 15-year-old self?
A: I’d tell my 15-year-old self to focus more on what was in front of me. When I was in high school, I spent more time trying to figure out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do than I did living the life I already had. I also would have told myself to spend more time in church and learn more about God.
Q: What does Girl Power mean to you?
A: Girl power to me is recognizing and firmly believing that, as a woman, you carry a divine and powerful energy that’s capable of achievements and influence beyond your wildest imagination.
Q: Anything else you want to say?
A: With anything you do, any goal you’re pursuing, and dream you’re chasing, the MOST important thing to remember is who you are. People, environments, jobs, etc. have ways of straying us away from our true senses of self, which can be extremely detrimental to productivity and mental clarity. It’s so important to take time to cultivate a positive sense of self-worth in everything that you do.
And that’s this week’s, Wonderful Woman!
Thank you, Caitlin, for being YOU & inspiring others with your talents.