Raised in Southern California, Olivia Shalhoup, now bi-coastal marketing director, exercises her creativity on the West Coast and the hustle and bustle of the East Coast between Los Angeles and Brooklyn.
An early believer in the power of social media for artists, Olivia is currently the digital manager of Trippie Redd, Kidd Lee and Igwe Aka, among others. She began her journey in the music industry as an intern at Carpark Records in Washington, DC, working with artists like Toro y Moi and Cloud Nothings. She cemented her passion for hip-hop music by working with artists like Pusha T and Nipsey Hussle at the nonprofit HipHop Caucus founded by Jay-Z and Diddy.
Olivia honed her talents at Jarjour Co, a subsidiary of Maverick Management, where she started as an A&R intern and quickly discovered her strength in creative marketing and social media. Olivia is now a digital leader with artists from all over the world.
She is also the founder and director of Amethyst Collab, home to the music industry’s first all-female digital panel series, where she moderates panels with leading women from all segments of the music industry.
We caught up with Olivia for our Liner Notes series to learn more about her musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work that she’s proud and admired.
Olivia, tell us …
Where you grew up and where you live now.
I grew up in Southern California and now live in Brooklyn.
Your first musical memory.
Dancing to “Stuntin ‘Like My Daddy” by Lil Wayne with my sister, my mom and my uncle in his apartment in New York.
Your first concert.
Lil Wayne, of course. Back in the days of “Free Weezy” I was definitely too young to attend this gig, but it solidified my love for hip-hop forever.
Your favorite bands / musicians.
BeyoncÃ©, of course, I love her work ethic and creative direction. Then Pop Smoke â he really rocked the table and put Brooklyn drill mainstream. He had so much potential and versatility, as we saw in his posthumous album.
How do you get your music these days.
I pay great attention to marketing deployments. I constantly research which artists have the most innovative and creative marketing, both for my own sake and for my Rollout Roundup on Substack marketing review column. I generally find music to be an afterthought for me now.
Your favorite place to see a concert.
The Santa Ana Observatory, California. What good memories there.
Your favorite music video.
Music videos were my first love. When I was younger my dream job was making music videos. My favorite music video is BeyoncÃ©’s “Brown Skin Girl”. Creative direction, attention to detail, co-stars. It’s a monumental video that brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw it.
Your favorite music-focused TV show and / or podcast.
I love Empire. I think it comes from loving Glee as a kid.
A recent project that you are proud of.
I am really very proud of Rollout Roundup. I launched an unreleased column on my own platform that criticizes the marketing deployments of popular artists. I’m proud of the research and honesty I put into this column, and I’m proud that we had over 10,000 unique readers in less than a week without any inorganic advertising, sponsorship, or promotion of any. so.
Someone else’s project that you admired recently.
Lil Nas X’s “Montero” released. This man knows how to get and hold people’s attention. And when it comes to marketing, I like a good controversy.
How musicians should approach working with brands.
Behind every brand partnership should be real passion. If an artist likes to smoke weed, they need to partner with a brand of cannabis. If an artist loves shoes, team up with Nike. Don’t just do what’s hot in the moment, but put energy into researching brands of all sizes that you really align with. The target audience will always sense when something inauthentic is provided to them.
How should brands approach working with musicians.
With your homework done! Go see an artist who knows their story, what they like and what they don’t like, so they don’t offer them something completely out of their wheelhouse.
What music can do that nothing else can.
Make yourself feel something new while simultaneously validating what you are already feeling.
What you would do if you weren’t in the music business.