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Meet Claudia Rezir of Capitol / Motown Records in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claudia Rezir, a rising Music Executive, Brooklyn Native and newbie to the Los Angeles community.

Claudia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got my first internship in college after getting fired from a waitress job that I had only for three months. Not that I wanted to be a waitress or cared for that job, but it was in this moment I knew that I had to finally “bet on myself”. I applied for an internship at Hot 97 (the #1 hip hop station in NYC at the time) and immediately got a call back for an interview. It had to be God looking out because the Internship coordinator was an alumni of Brooklyn College – the same college I was currently attending at that time. From there, it was ON! I interned at Hot 97 for six months (2013) and every week the “Label Heads” would come in and play music for the DJ’s and in the midst of their meetings they would send us interns out to go pick up pizza and that is where I met two radio department executives (Sam Crespo & Ron Stewart) from Atlantic Records who were very fond of me from early on and showed nothing but love. When my internship with Hot 97 ended, I slid right into another Radio internship at Atlantic records (2013) and fast forward a year later (2014) the SVP of Marketing (Shari Bryant) needed a new assistant after promoting her current assistant and that’s when they sought me to interview. Needless to say, I bodied that interview and that is when I began my full-time music business career journey. I was a marketing executive assistant for two years (2014 – 2016) working on projects like Wale – The Album About Nothing + K. Michelle – Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart + Meek Mill Dreams Worth More Than Money + Meek Mill Wins & Losses + Wiz Khalifa Blacc Hollywood etc…. I literally landed my dream job during college!

I am no stranger to working for what I want and not stopping till I get it. I worked at Atlantic Records for a total of 3 years before leaving to go work with Steve Stoute (2016) (a genius might I add) who was starting this secret music company (United Masters). I was like one of the first 20 employees to have started there. Working with Stoute was amazing. He’s smart, sharp, witty and demanding. After a year of doing that, I was ready to transition into something different but still under the umbrella of Hip Hop. That’s where I met Todd Moscowitz (2017). Todd is another genius. In 2016, he founded his indie label “Alamo Records” and his business was simple. Hire the youth, sign the youth and keep the voice and culture of his company young and thriving. I worked on some great projects at Alamo (03 Greedo + Comethazine + Gucci Mane’s 1017 Label)… Alamo was a great time! All of the employees there were 30 or under and the environment was youthful. A year later, (2018) I was approached by former colleagues of mine who I met through my time at a previous label and through the grace of God, an opportunity for me to move to Los Angeles presented itself. I could not turn it down. Fast forward a year and a half later, I am now working with the legendary Motown Records within the Capitol Records Hollywood tower on projects like City Girls, Lil Yachty for one of the industries most talented Record Labels, Quality Control Music!

Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. Life is not designed that way. If everything was always smooth, peachy and roses – we would never learn how to move through adversity and come out strong. We’d never learn how to sharpen our skills. We’d never get better.

Some of the struggles along the way were:

Finding my voice. In my line of work, there are a lot of older people dictating what they “think” (emphasis on think) the young people do/feel/act/behave, etc… There’ve been many days where I had to dig deep and take endless leaps of faith to speak up and voice my opinion and often voice what I know to be facts. If you want to know what the youth is thinking/feeling/saying/doing – why not ask the YOUTH. Simple math right?

Another struggle: Learning how to move in a room full of “suits”. While working in music may appear to be fun, creative, relaxed. There is still an entire corporate entity investing in the business/lifestyle we call “Hip Hop”. I often find myself having to find strategic ways to explain to department heads, CFO’s, budget approvers, etc.. why XYZ amount of money will be a good investment for XYZ end result. Not all the time does a cultural impact or movement or experience quantify into specific numeric results. It can be difficult sometimes explaining or trying to convince culture to people whose language is only analytical or data-driven. I’ve always leaned heavily on the side of the spectrum that speaks creative/culture/experience/vibe/energy and it took me some time to learn how to play “corporate”. I’m still learning it till this day.

Something I’ve learned along the way: Not all the time does talent equate to good business investment. There are alot of talented artists in the world. But not every talented artist is a good business investment. Working in both sides of the music business (creative + corporate) has definitely developed my discernment for finding talent and finding good business investments. I learned very quickly that while the business of music is music – at the end of the day, it’s still business. And no one wants to do bad business or lose money in business.

Another major lesson learned along the way: Have confidence + Dress the part + foster relationships. If I had to summarize most of my career experience into three things, it would be to be confident in what I know, dress for success and to foster good relationships. Confidence is a non-negotiable working in this business. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. If you don’t speak with confidence, nobody will believe you. If you don’t show up like you BELONG here, you will not get let in. Confidence is a non-negotiable working in the music business. Dressing the part is also a big deal. We work in a creative business. The business of music is still music. Music is a form of creative expression. Whether you are a music executive, photographer, director, graphic designer – whatever – we are all ARTISTS. And to be an artist is to be a creative. LOOK THE PART. Before you speak, you will be looked at. Your exterior should be a reflection of your soul. And if you’re in the business of music, your soul MUST be creative.

Fostering relationships is another major key I learned very early in this game. Everybody knows everybody. And this 6 degrees of separation becomes smaller and smaller as you climb higher and higher in your career. Every opportunity I’ve been afforded on my journey happened because someone liked me enough to recommend me or liked me enough to give me a chance. People liking me and seeing something in me is one of the many reasons why I was able to land my dream job while in college. I still thinking about how crazy that is till this day.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I currently work at Capitol / Motown Records as a Marketing Director/Product Manager. My job duties are boundless. I am literally responsible for everything. I have to know the answer to everything. I have to make sure the creative assets (Photos/Videos/Artwork/ Music) look great and are on brand for the artist. I have to make sure all the surrounding departments (Radio/Publicity/Digital/Touring etc…) know what’s going on with the artist. I have to find ways to create cohesive themes across the artist music/content/social and the story surrounding that artist/project cycle can be understood amongst the different label departments, amongst industry supporters and most importantly to fans.

The scale of responsibility can go from 1 to 100. On any given day, I can be doing things like planning a photo/video shoot, planning a pop-up event, planning an album cover + album tracklisting reveal + emailing hundreds of people daily to update them on what’s to come on said artists. And I do this for about 4-6 artists at any given time.

I am most proud of how much I still love doing what I do. There’s ALOT of logistical planning that goes into all the glamorous things you see on social media/TV/magazine articles etc… Not all the time is the process fun, glamourous or even compelling. But somehow, I still am in love with this journey. I’ve learned so many skills doing what I do and it is very important to me that I become sharper and sharper and more creative as I grow within this career.

What sets me apart from other executives is definitely my level of care. I care ALOT. The young, creative, Pisces in me cares deeply about my artists, their art forms, how to preserve their art forms and most importantly this CULTURE. I am hip hop. I was raised in hip hop. I contribute to it. I personally chose a line of work that allows me to preserve it. How much I care about music, hip hop culture and hip hop artists is unmatched.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Coming from Brooklyn, NY — what I love MOST about Los Angeles is how well I live. I grew up POOR. I am from the BOTTOM. I grew up so poor, my family was on welfare/food stamps/financial aid. ALL THAT. We didn’t have nothing for so long. So to be able to be surviving on my own in Los Angeles is a blessing to me. I live so well out here. My building has a pool, gym, parking spot, laundry. It’s insane that I live this way. I could never live like this back home in Flatbush.

What I least enjoy about Los Angeles is the lack of Caribbean food choices. LA has tacos/sushi/ramen in abundance. It’s insane how many of those restaurants are all over. The Caribbean food options are so slim out here. I literally crave Jamaican/Haitian food all the time and I can never find a spot that tastes as good as back home.

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