Cannon Kent keeps her eyes on the prize. And by that we mean selling records. The southeast promotions manager for Atlantic Records has marketed some of the industry’s finest artists like Flo-Rida, T.I., Trey Songz, Lupe Fiasco and many more.
“In my position, I promote artists on the label’s urban side. I am currently working with Musiq who has a new CD [MusiqInTheMagiq] that’s just mwah!-mwah! Estelle has a new project coming up. I have a new group that’s coming out, Hamilton Park; they’re like the new millennium Jodeci. I have even worked with Jay-Z, who is not on Atlantic Records, but we handled the radio promotions for his last project, Blueprint 3,” Kent shares with excitement in her voice.
Innovation and creativity are essential. “I came up with a promotion for Trey Songz, a Tweet and Greet, when he was on the ‘Blueprint 3’ tour with Jay-Z. We partnered with radio stations and told all of the fans to follow Trey and the radio on Twitter in order to find out the date, location and time where Trey would make an appearance. Trey showed up and there were over 200 people in line in one market. He signed all of the CDs. It was pretty awesome,” Kent vaunts.
A native of Detroit, Kent got her start in the entertainment industry doing a host of interns. “I interned at WSB, Channel 2, here, in Atlanta and I did DJ Record Pool. I got my start professionally in radio while in Detroit, WHTD. I produced the morning show, then I became a co-host and had my own show on Saturdays,” she says.
“Internships are essential. They are the only way I can see foresee anyone breaking into this type of business. When I was an intern, I was like a sponge soaking up all of the knowledge. If you can find someone who has the time to walk you though things, step-by-step, that knowledge is greater than anything that you can read in a book,” says Kent.
Kent is no-nonsense and believes it’s important to keep it 100 percent professional. She advises young ladies who are trying to find their niche in the industry. “A lot of young girls here in Atlanta say they are ‘a publicist’ or ‘a model.’ There are a lot of pretenders; there is no reason to pretend. If you really want to be in the industry, get active and engaged. I love music and entertainment, so I live it. Before we signed Wiz Khalifa, I was familiar with his music. If there is something going on in Atlanta that is worthy, I will be there. I am not waiting to hear someone else’s assessment; I am always thinking up creative ways to market my artists. At the end of the day, all my boss cares about is if I am prepared to do my job and can sell records. It’s important for women to use their brains, and that information is more important than wearing a pair of booty shorts,” she says. –yvette caslin