POWER MOVE: An integrated family approach that combines management of producers, writers and performers into hit records and tours.
THE RUNDOWN: “Actions speak louder than words” might be Roc Nation’s business philosophy, considering the company’s silence until it has something real that’s ready to be announced. “We have things we’re working on for this year and next,” Jay Brown says. “But we wait until the time is right to put it out there and talk about it.” For example, to reveal its first major 2013 move — signing Timbaland to its management roster — Roc Nation posted a photo of the award-winning producer/artist in a recording studio with company founder Jay-Z and the caption: “We would like to welcome Timbaland to the Roc Nation family!”
And “family” is exactly how Brown refers to the company, which is becoming a formidable force in the arenas of management (handling acts Rihanna, Wale and Melanie Fiona; producers Stargate and No ID; and writers Andrea Martin and Makeba Riddick), label releases (including work by Jay-Z, J. Cole, Calvin Harris and Rita Ora), as well as music publishing (signing songwriter Philip Lawrence and producer Ben Harrison).
“Building relationships while doing what you love to do — that’s happiness and power,” Brown says. “We’re a family here, and we’ll do everything to support this family.” Joining the management side in 2012 were artists Meek Mill, M.I.A. and Shakira, with Rihanna ringing in another banner year as 2012’s Unapologetic picked up where 2011’s Talk That Talk left off. As for 2013, Brown only mentions that Jay-Z’s Made in America festival will return.
“We’re true entrepreneurs, creating things we love to do,” he says. “The challenge is to keep thinking outside the box, which is something you have to continue to do to survive.”
jay Brown photo by Joe Schmelzer