Monica, Mona Scott-Young, Phillana Williams Honored
In a music industry where men tend to dominate the executive positions and radio airwaves, an evening was set aside in New York City Wednesday night (Nov. 9) to honor three established women whose careers are a blueprint for success.
ASCAP Rhythm & Soul celebrated the accomplished moves made by R&B songstress Monica, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Motown Phillana Williams and veteran manager and executive Mona Scott-Young for its 3rd Annual Women Behind the Music Series.
“I really, really appreciate the fact they thought of me after so many years in the music business,” Monica tells The BoomBox of the honor. “There’s so many different people that they could be honoring and talking about and thinking about. But for people to get a chance to see the women that make things happen behind the scenes… that’s incredible. A lot of times people don’t know what it takes to make it happen for us as artists.”
Watch Monica’s ‘Until It’s Gone’
The event, moderated by ASCAP Rhythm & Soul VP of Membership Nicole George and which featured a performance by Roc Nation recording artist Bridget Kelly, was personally important to Phillana Williams, who began her climb to the top of the executive ladder by working in radio and originally serving as a member of a hip-hop and R&B group.
“There’s a lot of women in the game that are doing amazing things behind the scenes,” Williams shares. “It’s very inspirational to aspiring executives, women producers, artists, songwriters to see women who’ve done it.”
Before her gig at Motown, Williams scored a job at L.A. Reid’s LaFace Records, where she oversaw the career of singer Pink, who had more of an R&B edge then with her debut LP, ‘Can’t Take Me Home.’
“The type of artist that she was and the strategy that we took to break her, her first week she sold 30,000 units, and at the time 30,000 wasn’t a lot,” she explains. “But she continued… week after week, to sell 30,000. So I think after like that 20th week of her selling 30,000, I was like, ‘I made it. She’s a huge star.’ I was her marketing point-person, her product manager. The creativity and vision she had was partnered with me. We came up with a vision that we took across the globe.”
Mona Scott-Young, owner of Monami Entertainment, as well as former co-owner of Violator Entertainment, which oversaw the careers of Missy Elliott, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes, appreciated ASCAP’s stand to recognize the movers and shakers outside of the spotlight.
“It’s special to get something from ASCAP becaue this isn’t necessarily dedicated to the folks behind the scenes, who are promoting or are managing or are working on the business side,” she reveals. “Usually ASCAP reserves their honors for the people who are actually making the music. So it’s great to be acknowledged as part of the process and it’s wonderful to be amongst the other people who are being honored as well. I’m a huge Monica fan. We’ve worked with her over the years. Missy just actually [produced] the song that she’s got out now ['Anything (to Find You)'], which is an incredible record.”
To cap off the night, Bridget Kelly sparkled in her performance, when she showcased a cover of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’ to celebrate the women honored, and eased into a song off her forthcoming Roc Nation LP, titled ‘In the Morning.’
Watch ‘Female Songwriters Share Their Artist Wish List’