These music industry greats have ripped open the doors of the industry and continue to inspire generations to come! Let their success inspire you to shoot for the stars and to create the reality YOU want to live. Here are some badass women in music you should absolutely know about…
Women Music Biz Professionals You Should Know About in 2023
Golnar Khosrowshahi – Founder & President of Reservoir Media Management
Golnar Khosrowshahi is the founder and CEO of independent music rights company Reservoir. Founded by Khosrowshahi in 2007, Reservoir now controls over 130,000 song copyrights and 26,000 master recordings. Her roles prior to founding Reservoir included Global Brand Manager at Havas Advertising division, Euro RSCG. She has also previously worked for companies such as Philips Electronics and MCI Telecommunications.
Ms. Khosrowshahi serves on the audit and finance committee of The Bishop Strachan School, Canada’s oldest independent day and boarding school for girls, as Board Chair of Silkroad, a musical collective founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, and as a director on the board of the National Music Publishers Association, a trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners.
Alexandra Patsavas – Head of Music, Netflix
As a pioneer of the field, Alexandra Patsavas launched Chop Shop Music Group in 1998 and went on to supervise over 100 projects and produce dozens of soundtracks for such films as the “Twilight” franchise, “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and TV series “The OC,” “Mad Men,” “Gossip Girl,” “Scandal,” “Riverdale,” “Supernatural” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” among many others.
Not only that, she has been nominated three times for the Grammy Award for “Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media”. In addition to her work in this realm, she served as chairperson of the Board of Directors of MusiCares following 10 years as an officer and board member. Embedded in the industry, Patsavas has paved the way for many others. She is the epitome of passionate hard work and a deep understanding of what it takes to make it to the top of the game and stay there, inspiring young women to do the same.
Lachi – Recording Artist, GRAMMY Advocacy Committee & Disability Inclusion Advocate
As a blind award-winning creative artist and community leader, Lachi has dedicated her platform, career and craft to amplifying disability culture, promoting inclusion, highlighting intersectionality and advocating for accessibility.
Named a “dedicated foot soldier for disability pride” by Forbes for her vibrant yet passionate advocacy, Lachi has made a name for herself as the go-to disability culture voice in the music industry and beyond. Billboard, New York Times, Essence, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety found Lachi to be the sole voice building community for this cultural shift, and has highlighted her efforts in 2022. Lachi has gone on to hold discussions and think-tanks on disability inclusion with The Whire House Office of Public Engagement, the Kennedy Center, the National Endowment of the Arts, and has held keynotes on disability awareness and etiquette at national firms and organizations such as Target, Heinz.org, BMI and Adweek.
Lachi also sits on the NORA Project Leadership Council, and is Founder and President of RAMPD, a coalition of accredited Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities. As Co-Chair of New York’s GRAMMY Advocacy Committee, Lachi has led meetings with Congressional members and has helped implement new aggressive local initiatives to engage Community Boards within New York City.
Rachel Levy – EVP Film Music at Universal Pictures
Currently Sr. VP. for Universal Pictures, Rachel Levy has spent the last 14 years working in film music. Her most recent projects for the studio include Best Man Holiday, Identity Thief and Furious 6 and Despicable Me 2. Additional Universal credits include Oblivion, Contraband, Safe House, The Bourne Identity, Dr. Seuss’: The Lorax, Snow White & The Hunstman, and so much more.
Ana Martínez – Senior Label & Artist Relations at Amazon Music, Global Latin Music team
Ana Martínez has 18 years of experience in the music business, and is currently the Senior Artist & Label Relations for the Global Latin team at Amazon Music. Before this, she had the Marketing Director role at Universal Music México (previously there, Marketing Subdirector for Latin repertoire, and International Label Manager for international labels such as Interscope, Polydor, Mercury and EDM acts) developing 360º marketing strategies to achieve music sales (physical/digital/stream), as well as for booking and management.
She also has experience on live photography for musicians, writing for music business magazines, concert production, management (for local artists), and marketing strategies for local and international acts, and is passionate about emerging music acts development and for music business marketing. Not only that, she also gives conferences, courses and seminars to help educate the leaders of tomorrow.
Carianne Marshall – Co-Chair & COO at Warner Chappell Music
Carianne Marshall began her music industry career at Los Angeles-based VOX Productions, where she did live music production, while managing and booking local bands. In 1996, Marshall joined Elektra Entertainment Group, working in Marketing & College Radio Promotion. She worked in the Film/Television Music division of DreamWorks Music Publishing from 2000 to 2003, followed by another three-year stint as Director of Motion Picture and Television Music for Universal Music Publishing Group from 2003 to 2006.
Prior to joining Warner/Chappell, Carianne Marshall was Partner, Head of Creative Services, and Head of Creative Licensing at independent music publisher SONGS. She joined SONGS in 2006, helping build a roster of over 300 songwriters, including Lorde, The Weeknd, Diplo, DJ Mustard, and many others. Marshall served as the company’s executive leader on the West Coast, consistently posting double-digit revenue growth, while overseeing a creative licensing staff responsible for placing compositions by SONGS’ writers in film, television, commercials, video games, and other visual media. She was also responsible for developing and nurturing the company’s non-top 40 roster.
Phylicia Fant – Head of Music Industry Partnerships at Amazon Music
Phylicia Fant just recently joined Amazon Music after three years as head of urban music at Sony Music’s Columbia Records, where she worked closely with such artists as Lil Nas X, the Kid Laroi, Polo G, 24KGoldn, Joey Bada$$, Lil TJay, and Chloe X Halle. Previously, she spent seven years at Warner Bros. Records, where she rose to senior VP of media & strategic development and worked closely with Prince, Andra Day, Jason Derulo, Gary Clark Jr., Drake’s OVO Sound, Gucci Mane, Saweetie and many others.
She began her professional career at Motown Records, followed by Universal Music Group. Fant also is founder and CEO of the public relations and lifestyle-marketing firm the Purple Agency, which she launched in 2008. The company has worked with Swizz Beatz, Daniel Caesar and Luis Fonsi as well as Coca-Cola, BET, HBO, Hennessy and Red Bull, among many others.
Over the years she has won the NAASC NY chapter “Rising Star Award,” the Los Angeles NAASC chapter “Sister’s Awards Alumnae Honoree,” the HBCU Power Award, named a 2021 Empowered Women campaign honoree, appeared on on Variety’s Hitmakers list and our Power of Women/ Los Angeles lists as well as the 2019 Billboard Music’s New Power Generation: 25 Top Innovators List and its R&B/Hip‐ Hop Power Players and Women in Music Top Executives Lists.
Molly Neuman – President of Songtrust
Upon Molly Neuman gaining her new role within the company, Songtrust writes, “Since joining Songtrust in 2017 as Global Head of Business Development, Neuman has played a key role in developing much of the company’s significant growth, leading the global business development, sales, and marketing teams. During Molly’s tenure, Songtrust has posted record-setting metrics for the business, including triple-digit growth with more than 2 million songs under its management from more than 300,000 songwriters.”
Her experience spans nearly three decades. As a champion for independent artists, she’s learned from her countless roles in the industry how to navigate the field with dedication and compassion. Before she dove into the business side of things, she got her start as the drummer for the iconic Riot Grrrl band, Bratmobile.
Cherie Hu – Founder & Publisher of Water and Music
Cherie Hu is an award-winning journalist, researcher and entrepreneur who has been covering the nexus of music, technology and business for over five years. She runs Water & Music, an independent newsletter and paid membership community dedicated to unpacking the fine print of innovation in the music business. Cherie is also a seasoned freelance writer with bylines in Billboard, Forbes, NPR Music, Columbia Journalism Review, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Music Business Worldwide, Variety, DJ Mag and many other publications.
Not only that, but she’s spoken as an expert commentator on CNBC, CGTN America and SiriusXM Volume; as a guest lecturer at institutions like Harvard University, New York University, Northeastern University and Berklee Valencia; and as a moderator, panelist or keynoter at over 30 conferences around the world.
Portia Sabin – Kill Rock Stars and Music Biz Association
As president of independent record label, Kill Rock Stars, and newly appointed president of the Music Business Association, Portia Sabin has been an influential thought leader in the industry for years. In her various roles, she has constantly had her finger on the pulse of the most pressing issues our industry faces, striving to improve the landscape for future generations to come.
From leading the creation of the A2IM Libera Awards to starting a podcast to educate musicians and more, Portia has been a strong advocate for the music business from the start. Her popular music business podcast “The Future of What”, works hard to raise awareness of the deep-seeded issues of this business and promotes diversity and inclusion in local communities.
These powerful women take no shit, they’re committed to their goals, and let nothing hold them back! From adversity to industry highs and lows, these music business badasses have seen it all. Going forward, they continue to pave the way for future entrepreneurs, music industry writers, directors, executives and more for generations to come. 💫