The past few months has been such a dynamic time for this industry that it was a challenge to keep up with all the executive moves for women on this year’s report. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has accelerated change, disrupting business models and personal lives. Still, the women on Variety‘s Power of Women impact list have found ways to innovate, and many are hopeful for the future.
Among the women in music who are not just surviving, but thriving, in 2020 are executives from Interscope Geffen A&R, Capitol Music Group, Caroline, Universal Music Enterprises and Warner Chappell Music Publishing, as well as managers, agents, film music aficionados and tech innovators.
See the full list here.
The women of Capitol Music Group
- Britney Davis, VP of artist relations, marketing & special projects, Capitol Music Group
- Cindy James, head of commercial marketing, Caroline Music
Davis arrived at Capitol Music Group shortly after Lil Baby signed there three years ago and worked on his double-platinum album, “My Turn,” as well as his powerful single “The Bigger Picture,” released after the killing of George Floyd, with proceeds partially benefitting Black Lives Matter. “He is a true storyteller,” she says of the artist. “He was speaking purely as a Black man of 25 — it was so emotional and raw and authentic.” As head of commercial marketing, James strives to build connections and create repeat listens. Beyond the reign of Lil Baby, who held the top album spot for five consecutive weeks, she’s pleased with the performances of singer-songwriter Clairo and Texas band Surfaces, two acts she’s been developing over the past year. During the second quarter, with lockdown measures in place, “paid subscription revenues grew significantly faster than they did in the first quarter,” James says of streaming services. “So that’s really encouraging.”
EVP of product development & marketing, Universal Music Enterprises
Universal Music Group
As U.S. head of A&R and marketing for the catalog division of the world’s largest music company, Gowen works with music’s top acts day in, day out. “In the past year there’s been projects from Bob Marley, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon and Cat Stevens, and U2 and Elton John are coming up,” she says. “I’m very lucky.” In the streaming age, the sky’s the limit for catalog sales: “Now, it’s really about finding the story around a catalog,” says the Los Angeles-based U.K. transplant, who started her career at Virgin Records in London. Listening hasn’t dipped with so many people stuck at home. “In fact, it’s thriving.”
Karpman won her first primetime Emmy for music in the documentary series “Why We Hate” in September and found ways to record orchestral film scores remotely during the pandemic, culminating in an operatic sequence for HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.” Next up: Marvel’s animated “What If?” series for Disney Plus. The co-founder of the Alliance for Women Film Composers is also the first female music governor in the Motion Picture Academy. “When you do advocacy