Erika Montes, former Global Vice President for Artist & Label Relations at SoundCloud, has been named President at Rostrum Records.

Montes’ appointment at Rostrum means that she is exiting SoundCloud after six years with the online audio distribution platform.

In her new role at Rostrum, Montes will lead Rostrum’s growth strategy and oversee frontline label operations, according to a release on Wednesday (January 25).

She will report directly to Rostrum founder Benjy Grinberg, who will transition to the new role of CEO. Montes’ appointment marks the first time in the label’s history that the president position will be occupied by anyone other than Grinberg.

Commenting on the appointment, Grinberg, said: “I’m so excited to welcome such a smart, passionate and creative executive like Erika to the Rostrum family.”

Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records: “Erika’s incredible track record of identifying and supporting the careers of some of the most influential musicians aligns perfectly with Rostrum’s approach to developing long-term success for artists” says Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records:

The scope of Montes’ job also involves working closely with artists, managers, and distribution and brand partners in developing partnerships and opportunities.

In her previous role at SoundCloud, Montes led artist and label relations.

According to the announcement, Montes helped SoundCloud launch a multi-phased program called “First On SoundCloud” last year, through which the platform invests in nine emerging artists across genres.

Prior to SoundCloud, Montes held roles at Fuse Networks, LoveLive, and Island IDef Jam, helping launch the careers of artists like Rihanna, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Fall Out Boy, and Ne-Yo, among others.

“I’m thrilled to join Rostrum Records and work alongside Benjy, a visionary full of passion for music and deep expertise in building and growing artist careers,” said Montes. 

“I look forward to combining our talents and continuing that tradition as I build out the next 20 years for Rostrum and our artists to solidify our role as the leading independent label,” she added.

Los Angeles-based Rostrum was founded by Grinberg in 2003 while he was working at Arista Records, a record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment. The company says it takes an artist-centric approach to developing talent.

Its roster includes DC The Don, Problem, Rich The Kid, Alé Araya, Lou Phelps, My Favorite Color, and Brevin Kim. Rostrum is known for discovering rappers Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller.

Hip-hop and R&B website VIBE named Rostrum among the The Top 5 Hip-Hop Record Labels to Watch in 2012.


Article by, MANDY DA.UGDUG, January, 2023/Music Business WORLDWIDE


OSAGIEO SARENZ Promoted To Director Of African Operations

Osagie Osarenz has been promoted to Director of African Operations at artist and label services company ONErpm.

Osarenz joined ONErpm in 2020, when the company opened an office in Lagos, Nigeria, under the direction of Martin Price, Head of Global Expansion for ONErpm.

Now, as Director of African Operations, Osarenz will lead the opening of five new ONErpm offices, in Accra, Ghana; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Nairobi, Kenya; Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Since ONErpm opened its Lagos office, the company says it has seen success with local artists such as 1da Banton, Bella Shmurda, Zlatan, and Reminisce.

Executives joining the newly-expanded ONErpm team in Africa include Almah Salum as Country Lead for Tanzania, based in Dar es Salaam, and George Avakian as Country Lead for South Africa, in Johannesburg.

Based in Nairobi, Bilha Ngaruiya has been named Country Lead for Kenya, alongside Mutuma Vincent as Marketing Lead.

Meanwhile, Florence Delali Kpeglo also takes on the role of Country Lead for Ghana in Accra, while in Abidjan, Afi Cakpo is the Lead for Francophone Africa.

ONErpm says that collectively, the Africa-based team has been busy “signing incredible new talent”, including Ghanaian duo DopeNation and Shado Chris in Cote D’Ivoire.

Artists Ish Kevin and Kenny Sol have also signed to the company in Rwanda, while in Tanzania, Gospel singer Rose Muhando, Goodluck Gozbert, G Nako and the duo Mabantu have all joined ONErpm.

Osagie Osarenz: “Our value add in each market is eminent.

Article: Music Business Worldwide: JUNE 14, 2022 By Jack Needham

”Money Moves” Who’$ Making The Moves? Rihanna: The Forbes’ Billionaire’s Club Member!

Rihanna Files Trademark For Fenty Hair

                             Rihanna is estimated to have a fortune of $1.7 billion

Rihanna told us all along she was calling the shots. Out there, collecting money from all manner of … people.

Now it turns out the singer, actress and cosmetics and lingerie mogul is a billionaire.

Not only that, she’s become “the wealthiest female musician in the world and second to Oprah as the richest female entertainer,” according to Forbes.

The publication, which has been crunching the numbers behind the Barbadian star’s empire, estimates her net worth at a whopping $1.7 billion.

Watch how singer Rihanna responds to her look-alike | Music – Gulf News

Rihanna is The 21st Century’s Most Influential Musician

Surprisingly, the vast majority of it has nothing to do with her record-breaking hits. In fact, most of it — approximately $1.4 billion — has been accumulated one lipstick, mascara tube and blush brush at a time. She’s raked in oodles of cash from her Fenty Beauty makeup line launched in 2017 in a 50-50 partnership with luxury brand LVMH.

The brand bucked traditional cosmetic industry standards when it was first unveiled and drew praise for the daring step of including 40 shades of foundation that would provide coverage from deep skin tones to albino skin, and anyone in between. The strategy sparked a movement to be more inclusive within the industry.

Forbes says the rest of Rihanna’s fortune stems from her stake in Savage x Fenty, her lingerie company. That is estimated at $270 million. There’s also Fenty Skin, which debuted last year, and, of course, the revenue that comes from her steady stream of global hits as well as her acting career.

Bad Girl Riri fans have been delighting in the news of her mega-wealth, including some of her musical peers.

Nikki Minaj congratulated her with what could be a rap lyric: “a BILLI-ON here, a BILLI-ON there- Little Bajan bih w/ green [eyes] – dat bag is a different size,” Minaj wrote in an Instagram post.

It’s been more than five years since Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, released an album. And it seems no one, not even her record label, knows when R9, her rumored and long-awaited reggae album will drop.

For now, fans will have to make due with a new line of products. Last week, Rihanna told her Twitter followers to prepare for Fenty Parfum.



Article written by Vanessa Romo for NPR; August, 2021: