Today, I’m profiling another powerful women in the recording industry.
Meet Danielle Lott, the Urban Regional Promotion Manager of the Mid-Atlantic & North Carolina at Republic Records/Universal Records. Which means, she represents clients like Lorde, Taylor Swift, Drake, Lil’ Wayne, and Nicki Minaj! (just to drop a few small names)!
I love it when Danielle Lott comes in the office for her music meetings. She lights up the room with her smile and she’s very approachable; not something you can say about many people in the record industry.
These positions are lead by males in most companies and when you come across a woman who works in this field, you’re expecting someone who’s either ditsy-dumb or a b*tch if I can be blunt. Not Danielle!
Oh, she’s about her business so don’t get it twisted! However-comma, you can’t help but lend her your ear and time to hear what and who she’s pushing at the time.
The music you hear on the radio, internet, and satellite come from record companies and representatives who travel across the country, meeting with program and music directors, convincing them to give their artist a shot at some radio time.
When you hear these local cats brag and boast about radio not showing them love, it’s not that at all! These artists aren’t doing it right!
Pay attention and learn!
Where are you from?
I’m from Philly but I grew up in South Jersey for a while as well. I’ve lived in LA, FL, and NY as well and I attended Howard University and I have lived in the DC/Maryland area for over 14 years. I love it here.
How long have you been in the record industry?
I grew up around the music industry because both of my parents were in the business but I have been in the industry for close to 20 years. My Dad had me working records for him @ WHUR when I was in college. So I got my feet wet then.
What is your professional title and what does that stand for?
I am the Urban Regional Promotion Manager of the Mid-Atlantic & North Carolina @ Republic Records/Universal Records.
Is this a difficult job? Why?
No, it’s not difficult. I am super passionate about music and I am doing what I love, so this career is a blessing for me. It can be a bit challenging at times. Especially when trying to break a new artist or a new single at radio but challenges are good. They keep me on my toes.
What genre of music do you like to listen to the most and why?
Hmmmm…That’s hard because I listen to EVERYTHING…Jazz, R&B, Reggae, Pop, 80’s, Hip Hop, Alternative, etc. I guess it depends on the day and my mood. I would say I probably listen to Classic Hip-hop and R&B the most because the music just feels so good!
What is your LET IT GO song? (one that you would absolutely lose your mind listening to)
Man…that is so hard!!! I love so many songs!!! Well if I have to narrow it down, I have a few…Michael Jackson “I Can’t Help It”, Stevie Wonder “As”, Slick Rick “Mona Lisa” and A Tribe Called Quest “Scenario”.
You’ve met lot of celebrities, was there ever a time you had an uncomfortable encounter where it went terribly wrong? Describe.
Nothing major. Most have been great. I have had a couple artists (currently no longer on the label) who have been ridiculously late or felt like they shouldn’t have to do radio but that’s few and far between.
Who was the best celebrity encounter and why? Michael Jackson!!! Why?? Well, because he was nice, friendly, talented and because he’s MICHAEL JACKSON!!!! I loved him and still do! I think my 2nd to Michael was Stevie Wonder. He’s very nice…he’s a Music God. (bows down)
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
The biggest misconception is that I am arrogant & unapproachable. I try to be humble and to treat everyone as I would like to be treated. My Dad instilled that in me at a young age.
What is the hardest part of your job?
I really honestly don’t think there is anything “hard” per se. It’s more let’s say…challenging. I’m rough on myself sometimes because I want to get all of the songs that we are promoting in rotation on all of my radio stations. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it does not.
Is it hard to convince radio stations to play your label’s record?
Once again, not hard but can be challenging. It depends on the artist & the single to be honest …for the most part Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj are not usually difficult as whole but I have had some Nicki or Lil Wayne records that I have really had buckle down and work. Just because it’s a big artist doesn’t mean that it’s an automatic hit either. I have to stay persistent and to keep supplying my programmers with new stats & info. I do that with any single we are working though… new artist or established artist.
Why is it difficult for local artists to get signed? What are they missing?
I think there are some talented artists out there and some just average artists. You have to really be dedicated to putting the work in to be successful and you have to have tough skin.
Have you ever been approached on the street from someone who wanted to be signed?
Yes. I get artists who want to be signed pretty often. I try to be as honest and helpful as possible. I’m not an A&R… I’m in Radio promotion but I try to give helpful advice.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Best advice is to always maintain my integrity and my character, to treat everyone like I want to be treated and to ALWAYS do my best.
Best artist and worst artist you ever had to represent and why?
I honestly can’t think of any that I didn’t like representing. I had the honor of working with the legendary O’Jays on a project…they were amazing & so professional. Melanie Fiona is a favorite as well. Drake is very sweet.
What’s the biggest misconception about women in your line of work?
The biggest misconception is that we are not as intelligent or powerful as our male counterparts. That couldn’t be further than the truth. There are so many strong women in the music industry and in radio that I look up to.
Where do you see urban music in the next 10-15 years?
Hmmm…I’m hoping the quality/content of music as a whole gets better. There is some really great quality music out there now but there is definitely some subpar music as well. I guess that has always been the case though.
Who do you think is the most underappreciated artist out there right now?
Common, Melanie Fiona, Raphael Saadiq, Raheem Devaughn, The Roots, Jazmine Sullivan. They are all so amazingly talented and don’t always get recognized to the degree that they should.
What you really don’t know about me is….. (fill in the blank)
I do not take myself too serious…I like to laugh, have fun and really enjoy life. I’m adventurous…I like to try new things. My friend Sherri and I have a bucket list where we try new things all the time.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be that I made a positive contribution to the music industry & that I helped others.
Biggest regret is…. (fill in the blank)
This isn’t anything major. I don’t have many regrets. But one is that I didn’t learn to DJ when I was younger…I lovvvve music. I know it’s never too late so that is on my “things to do” list.
ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SCARES THE BA-JESUS out of you! “I Can’t”
How can people reach out to you?
Facebook: Danielle Lott
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER/IG @JustKiKiBrown
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