Atlanta has enjoyed some progressive monikers to describe its entertainment scene like “Black Hollywood,” “Dirty South” and even “musical hotbed.” Atlanta-native and music executive Shanti Das has been instrumental in maintaining the southern city’s flair and finesse that has produced R&B artists Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton, Vivian Green, Erykah Badu and hip-hop’s GoodieMOB and Outkast, playing a pivotal role in the rap duo’s phenomenal success.
A panelist at this publication’s Female Success Factor business and empowerment seminar during National Women’s History Month, Das is the co-producer of ATL Live on the Park, which is enjoying its second season. The musical showcase of old school, new school and emerging artists like American Idol’s Anoop Desai, Andre Harrell’s new group, Hamilton Park, and R&B singer Noel Gourdin is in full swing.
A music industry veteran and former executive for powerhouse labels Arista, Columbia, Universal Motown and Sony Urban Music, Das has launched her own business, Press Reset Entertainment.
She shares, “My life now is devoted to helping others achieve their dreams, providing the downtrodden a hand up, mentoring those who need support, assisting artists and businesses that strive to expand in the music industry and opening the door to educational opportunities that make a difference.”
Das offers tips for women in the industry. “I think it’s important for women to bring their A game. Your male counterparts are privy to certain information that you are not … There’s still ‘good ol’ boy’ clubs within a lot of these companies. You must know all of the facts and understand the marketplace. Be prepared for everything. It’s important for women to not let your emotions show. When I am mentoring young women, I tell them to always have that poker face.”
The male-female income disparity remains unchanged. Men continue to earn more than women. Das, who is also the author of The Hip-Hop Professional: A Woman’s Guide to Climbing the Ladder of Success in the Entertainment Business, offers a solution.
“Have a good attorney and ask for the right salary,” she explains. “If you know your value and what you bring to the company, you have to ask for it because they are not going to give it to you.” –yvette caslin