Name L. Camille Hackney
Company Atlantic Records/ Warner Music Group
Role Title EVP of Brand Partnerships & Commercial Licensing / Head of Global Brand Partnerships Council at Warner Music Group
Headquarters New York City
How did you get started in the music business?
My first job was at East/West Records working for the head of the label Sylvia Rhone. Coming out of business school, it was difficult to get a job in the entertainment business. The only companies that recruited on campus were big banks and consulting firms. There were an intrepid few of us who were willing to forge a different path to find a job in entertainment. While in business school, I had met someone who knew someone who helped me get in touch with Sylvia. I received my employment offer for the job of Director of Business Development at East/West Records the morning of my graduation. Relationships are everything in the music business.
How did you come to be at Atlantic?
Several mergers later and by a willingness to take on new challenges and by enjoying what I do.
Name three people whom have been critical to your career?
Sylvia Rhone, Lyor Cohen and Julie Greenwald. I must include an honorable mention to my older brother Lawrence who sparked my love of 70s and 80s rock music.
What does the Atlantic brand stand for?
Atlantic stands for amazing artistry. From Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Led Zeppelin, to Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe, and Paolo Nutini. We have a great legacy of artists who defined genres, and a current roster of those who are continuing in that tradition.
How do the Atlantic values impact upon the way the company operates?
The artists come first. We advise, guide and support them along their journey but ultimately they make the decisions about their careers.
Is there a particular area of talent that you are seeking to add to the company?
I would love to work with an artist like Rita Ora. Brands love her and she seems to have a great sense of style and self.
Tell me about the last year you’ve had personally and professionally?
Personally, I have three kids under seven! Plus a husband, and I live between Soho and Woodstock, NY. I’m up at 6:30am every week day, and in bed just before 1am (when I’m lucky). My days are packed. Lots of meetings, conference calls, dinners, shows, international travel. And in between that, closing deals for our artists and the label.
What challenges have you faced?
Artists can be capricious, and that can be tough to explain to brand and agency executives. My worst days are when an artist/manager has agreed to a deal but then days later decides that they do not want to do it after all. Effective communication is paramount with artists and managers but in some cases, an artist's mercurial nature takes over and that’s when the challenge begins.
On a personal note, work/ life balance is a constant challenge. It is a little easier now that my kids are in school. My nights are usually not my own, and so I would generally try and spend time with them in the mornings. Both the support from Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman at Atlantic and having a strong team around me has been critical to achieving that elusive balance. There should be more women in high level executive positions in the music business, particularly in A&R where there are currently so few. So perhaps the conversation that we need to have is how do we structurally support that work/life balance?
Looking into the future, what excites you most about Atlantic’s potential?
The intersection of technology and music still fascinates me. In the past 15+ years, I have witnessed so much change in how music is distributed and consumed.
It is exciting to be a part of the evolution and helping to define new ways to expose people to new music.
How would you describe the culture at Atlantic?
Creative, collaborative and a team-based culture.
What sort of person thrives at Atlantic?
Bright, honest, creative, hard-working people who know how to work in a group environment. Rogues, narcissists and assholes need not apply.
How do you celebrate?
With a great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (preferably French).
And/or I buy myself a new bag or a pair of shoes. Sometimes all three!
In what ways can people be more socially responsible for the health of our music industry community?
For those of us who are fortunate enough to have a career in the business, we need to give back. Music entertains, but it also heals. We need to find more ways to heal each other.
Tell me about something you learned the hard way?
You cannot teach someone a sense of self. They have to figure it out on their own.
*Photograph by Isaac Rosenthal
Shot on location at Space4shoots http://space4shoots.com/blog/