4 Minutes With: Joi Brown

Joi Brown

Photo by: Andrew Fennell

It was inevitable.

We’ve spoken to many insightful professionals spanning across, music, entertainment and media. Now, we’re going to feature them. We’re excited to start what will be a steady flow of original content and profiles with culture creator, philanthropist, mother and passionate music executive; Joi Brown, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Brand Partnerships at Atlantic Records.

How did you come to start at Atlantic Records?

I worked for Undeas Records. The indie label was distributed by Atlantic Records at that time. I was the project manager for Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Cease at the time. I had to interact with Atlantic Records daily as we worked to put out music on Lil’ Kim. After a while, Undeas closed its doors. I had formed a working relationship with Craig Kallman. He was looking to hire someone in marketing at Atlantic Records and gave Lance “UN” Rivera a call to locate me. The rest is history.

Name two people whom have been critical to your career?

There are so many people that I owe my career but since I have to select two, I’d say Ronnie Johnson and Julie Greenwald.

Ronnie Johnson ( rest in peace) had an significant impact on my career. He was a nurturer and allowed me to “be me” in an industry where it’s easy to lose oneself. Ronnie ran our black music department when I started at Atlantic Records. I had to transition from an “indie way of moving” to learning to work at a major label. Let’s just say, I learned to become a team player and Ronnie was the best at leading his team. He knew how to give constructive criticism from a place of love and respect. He inspired me to be ambitious in this industry.

Julie Greenwald was one woman in the industry that I always wanted to work with ironically. When she came to Atlantic from Def Jam, I was very excited to finally work with woman, and to learn from her experience. She is such an inspiration as a mother, wife, leader of Atlantic Records. She’s passionate about music and is a die-hard marketer. She is a no-nonsense, tough love type of leader that keeps you on your toes. I respect that because it’s important to stay challenged and push oneself. The best part about working with her outside of her having an open door policy is that she allows you to be vulnerable enough to take risks with your ideas. If you can think it, make it happen!

What are you working on right now that excites you?

We have a slew of new signings that are incredible so are so very different from one another. From Hayley Kiyoko, Kehlani, Lizzo, Kiiara, Sir The Baptist, DLOW to artists that are making major noise like Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, K.Michelle, Melanie Martinez, Charlie Puth and JoJo just to name a few. My plate is pretty full seeking opportunities for all the artists on our roster.

What challenges have you faced? Any attributed to you being a woman and African American?

There are always challenges in everything. I don’t look it as a challenge but an obstacle to overcome. I am constantly learning and there is always something changing the way you go about the business. I try my best to stay up to speed on what’s going on in my industry.

Special thank you to Mike Hamilton.

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