Pulse Music Group president and head of creative Maria Egan is departing the publisher to pursue a new opportunity, the company officially announced Monday (June 8). Her replacement will be Ashley Calhoun, who has been promoted to senior vp/head of creative.
“I have enjoyed an amazing seven years at PULSE and I’m so proud of the world-class roster and team that we built,” said Egan in a statement. “I wish Ashley all the best for her new role—no one could be better to take the reins of the A&R team, and I will be cheering on the company for its continued success.”
During her time at Pulse, Egan led the publisher’s move into Latin music and played a key role in partnerships with Nas’ Mass Appeal and Marc Anthony’s Magnus Media. In 2018, she co-founded REBOOT, a female-lead music business education and empowerment initiative that hosts workshops, panels and master classes for women songwriters and producers. She has been named to multiple Billboard power lists, including 40 Under 40 in 2017 and Women In Music in 2018.
“Maria has made incredible contributions to PULSE during her time as President/Head of Creative—she has helped us to build an A&R team that is second to none and she leaves behind a legacy of hits, accolades, and empowered creative executives that has helped to shape the PULSE story,” added Cutler and Abraham. “We wish Maria all success in her new endeavor.”
In her new position, Calhoun will lead Pulse’s A&R team and oversee its creative strategy for a roster that includes Ty Dolla $ign, YBN Cordae, OG Parker, James Blake, Bonnie McKee and El-P. During her tenure, she has signed a number of top-charting songwriters and producers, including Starrah — who was named ASCAP’s Pop Songwriter of the year in 2018 — and OZ, who recently topped Billboard’s Hot 100 Producers and Hot 100 Songwriters charts simultaneously for his work on tracks including Drake’s “Toosie Slide,” Future’s “Life Is Good” feat. Drake and Travis Scott’s “Highest in the Room,” all of which he co-wrote and co-produced. Calhoun’s most recent signing, Kehlani, just topped Billboard’s Top R&B Albums Chart and reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with her latest album, It Was Good Until It Wasn’t.
“Ashley has consistently proven that she is a remarkable A&R executive adept at curating globally impactful music,” said Cutler and Abraham. “She has the ear for talent, an authentic connection to our songwriters, and the right instincts and industry relationships. PULSE was built by songwriters for the modern songwriter culture and, with Ashley at the helm of our creative team, we know that PULSE will continue to be a world class incubator for culturally relevant songs. We are thrilled to recognize all of Ashley’s achievements at PULSE with this well-deserved promotion.”
Billboard included Calhoun on its A&R Power Players List in 2016 and named her one of the industry’s “rising stars” in 2018. She joined Pulse in 2015 as senior director of A&R and was promoted to vp in 2017. She previously worked as creative director at Rondor Music Publishing.
“PULSE provides a sanctuary for clients at all stages of their careers, from young songwriters to the biggest names in music,” added Calhoun. “Our young, driven and diverse A&R team is attracting the most cutting-edge, globally revered creators—I think the music community sees how determined we are to create career-defining moments for our writers and how successful PULSE has been at landing those big opportunities. I’m thankful to Scott and Josh for this promotion and look forward to more big things ahead as we continue building the best A&R team in the business.”