Women In Music

Women in Music 2018: Six Emerging Executives Shaping Music's Future

Edith Bo, Massah David & Miatta David Johnson, Dawn Olejar, Alicia Karlin & Brittany Schaffer
Courtesy Photos

Clockwise from top left: Edith Bo, Massah David & Miatta David Johnson, Dawn Olejar, Alicia Karlin & Brittany Schaffer

Six emerging executives whose achievements and innovation are shaping music’s future.

Co-founder/CEO, Arketek

Bo co-founded the management/A&R consulting firm with producer-engineer Stan Greene after four years at Roc Nation, where she worked primarily as a manager. Her focus is developing fresh talent, and Arketek’s current roster of artists, producers and writers includes Saint Bodhi and The Cold Seas. Says Bo: “You’ll find your audience. Just get through the nos.”

Founders, MVD

This sibling duo, who hail from Liberia, have created major music-industry FOMO with the imaginative events they have produced -- most notably, working with Kanye West to throw listening parties for his flurry of 2018 G.O.O.D. Music releases, including one on a Wyoming ranch. “We look at each event as an opportunity to take people on a journey,” says Massah.

VP talent, Madison House Presents

Karlin, a nominee for Billboard’s inaugural Chip Hooper Award for young professionals at the 2018 Live Music Awards, has curated the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, Mich., to sellout crowds since 2014, and in July began overseeing the talent booking and marketing for the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del.

Executive vp, Verve Label Group

Olejar, who joined Verve in late 2017, played a key role in the signing of Late Show With Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste and was involved in the posthumous 2018 release of John Coltrane’s Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, which peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard 200 -- the late jazz legend’s best showing on the all-genre chart.

Head of artist and label marketing, Nashville; Spotify

In January, Schaffer left Loeb & Loeb for Spotify’s Nashville operation, eager to execute a number of outside-the-box ideas she had discussed with clients during the seven years she practiced law. Her first big project: unveiling Spotify’s Hot Country playlist through crop circles and cryptic Instagram posts by Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Bryan. The playlist now boasts over 5 million followers.

2018 Billboard Women in Music

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 8 issue of Billboard.