KEYNOTE & PANELIST
Kawan "KP" Prather
i AM other
Beware of the Gold Rush
Kawan Prather a.k.a. “KP The Great” has certainly assumed many roles throughout his legendary career in the entertainment industry.
He stands out as an A&R legend, esteemed executive, established producer, soundtrack curator, headlining DJ, and GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter. However, this multitalented visionary sums up his persona in the most appropriate (and super) of terms…
“I feel like Professor Charles Xavier,” he smiles “I see mutants and the greatness that they possess. I want to create an X-Men-type of school where I can help guide talented mutants to realizing their full potential and achieving massive success.”
Personally hired by L.A. as Vice President of A&R at LaFace Records in 1996, KP went on to A&R a string of seminal classics for the RIAA diamond-selling, six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning OutKast, including ATLiens, Aquemini, Stankonia, and Big Boi and Dre Present…OutKast. Concurrently, he oversaw the breakout of P!nk and Usher in between launching his own Ghet-O-Vision imprint and signing future “King of the South” Tip “T.I.” Harris and YoungBloodz. Transitioning from LaFace/Arista to Senior VP of A&R at Columbia Records in 2001, his hot streak continued as he signed John Legend and fostered the R&B crooner’s explosion with the release of “Ordinary People” in 2004 for the icon’s major label debut Get Lifted.
INDIE PIONEER & LEADER OF THE GAME
EMPIRE was founded in 2010 by CEO, Ghazi Shami, a music technology graduate of San Francisco State University and the former Director of Urban Music at INgrooves. In operating the company, Shami was joined by Nima Etminan, an MBA graduate in Media Management from Hamburg Media School. Etminan, co-founder of the hip hop platform DubCNN.com, worked to expand the mission and services, and as of 2011 was handling Marketing and A&R. Etminan now serves as Vice President of Operations and A&R.
EMPIRE has a joint venture with Atlantic Records for certain artists on the EMPIRE roster.
In 2015 and 2016 EMPIRE saw tremendous success at radio DJ Luke Nasty’s single “Might Be” charting at #5 on Urban Mainstream Radio, Fat Joe & Remy Ma’s hip hop anthem, "All the Way Up" charting at #5 on both Rhythmic and Urban radio charts and Colonel Loud’s “California” charting at #8 on Urban Mainstream radio.
In 2018, it was announced that record producer and label executive L.A. Reid founded a new label Hitco Entertainment, which will be distributed by Empire
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MUSIC CURATOR @ PANDORA
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COURTNEY STEWART @ RIGHT HAND MANAGEMENT
Take it to the Next Level
Courtney Stewart is one of the music industry’s rising young minds. Having worked in the business for over 12 years, the Atlanta native has built an impressive resume of clients and accreditations. In 2005, Stewart’s career took flight while managing R&B artist Bobby Valentino (also known as Bobby V). Under Stewart’s management, Bobby V landed his first #1 record “Slow Down”. The track became one of the biggest R&B songs on the 2005 Billboard charts, which attributed to the success of Bobby V’s self-titled debut album, which sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Stewart is responsible for the success of one of 2017’s biggest breakout stars, Khalid. The critically acclaimed 21 year-old singer-songwriter’s debut album American Teen is certified Platinum, his first single “Location” is certified Triple Platinum, and his current single “Young Dumb & Broke” is certified Platinum by the RIAA. The success over the past year has led to Stewart’s inclusion in Billboard Magazine’s 2017 Top 40 Under 40 Power Players in Music.