In our latest roundup, we present eight rising professionals from various parts of the biz whose dedication and effort make their superiors look good. 

This week's entrants will also find their faces in our most recent mag—a mortifying experience they can lament over gluten-free beer and their crypto portfolios.

Melissa Newhart 
Executive, Music Brand Partnerships, UTA

When fashion brands pivoted from IRL shows to digital content amid COVID-19, Newhart teamed Ms. Lauryn Hill and Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh and musical director Benji B for an original score promoting LV Spring/Summer 2021. Most recently, she paired Tierra Whack with e.l.f. for the artist’s first beauty endorsement, a collab that benefitted Women’s Way of Philadelphia, Whack’s hometown (the vocalist even served as creative director for the campaign video featuring her “Walk the Beat”). As for Newhart’s hometown, she’s from Scranton, Pa., site of The Office. Everybody stay calm!

Derrick Aroh
SVP A&R, RCA Records

Aroh played a role in Childish Gambino’s Grammy wins for “This Is America”—the first rap record to score ROTY and SOTY trophies; KAYTRANADA’s status as the first Black artist to win the Grammy for Best Electronic Album (Bubba); and Latto becoming the first female rapper from Atlanta to go platinum, with “Bitch From da Souf.” Up next: new albums from KAYTRANADA, Latto, Kevin Abstract and BROCKHAMPTON. Aroh can name every NBA champion from 1979 to 2021 in under a minute. It took us a minute to write this sentence.

Gabi Serafine
Sr. Director, Human Resources, APG

In one of the most rewarding acts of her career, Serafine launched APG’s mental-health program in 2020 to provide the company’s artists, writers and employees with therapy resources and other avenues of support. She’s now working on APG’s people culture and strategy for 2022 as well as its executive-leadership and philanthropic efforts. A Penn State alum, the Philly native, whose first album was Will Smith’s Big Willie Style, can recognize a sample in the first 10 seconds of a song, but we bet she didn’t see us coming. 

George Yarboi
Director, Urban Marketing, Virgin Music Label and Artist Services

Back when he was a Marketing Coordinator at UME in the early 2010s, Yarboi randomly met TDE’s Top Dawg at the office and showed him his “crazy” packaging idea for GZA’s Liquid Swords. Fast forward to today and Yarboi’s working on projects for TDE artists like REASON and Kal Banx. Also in his portfolio: Internet Money, QC’s Lakeyah (new Gansta Grillz mixtape), Love Records, Kawhi Leonard Presents: Culture Jam Vol. 1… An accomplished cook, he says, “My shrimp tacos are the stuff dreams are made of.” Sadly, we wouldn’t know.

Marlee Ehrlich

Director, Artist Marketing, 10K Projects

After more than a year without live music (and only six months into her tenure at 10K), Ehrlich was beyond thrilled to see 2,500 fans at Surfaces’ June album-release show in Austin screaming the lyrics of songs that had been released a mere 20 hours before. She’s also pumped about forthcoming music from COIN, Damien Styles and POORSTACY. In sartorial news, the Harvard-educated Ehrlich owns 10 vintage Jimmy Buffet tees, which officially makes her a Parrothead. We’ve been called “chucklehead”—on account of our good sense of humor.

Jamie Graves
Director, Digital Marketing & Streaming, Monument

For Graves, it doesn’t get much better than seeing Walker Hayes blow up on the DSPs; “Fancy Like” has resided in the upper reaches of the country streaming charts for six weeks on its way to radio. In addition to boosting Hayes, who will next unveil a remix and new material, this digital dynamo is helping bring Monument artists Caitlyn Smith, Tigirlily, Teddy Robb, Alex Hall and Brandon Ratcliff to a wider audience. Graves ran his first marathon in Berlin. Alas, he could not outrun his appearance here.

Rosie Foster-Smith
GM, Pulse Management

In December 2020 Foster-Smith booked Belgian DJ Netsky’s arena tour of New Zealand—the only country hosting live music at the time—and moved 60k+ tickets. Quarterback of the newly formed Pulse Management, she also works with actress/singer Olivia Holt and producer Cirkut (The Weeknd, Maroon 5, Ava Max). Foster-Smith sports a teapot tattoo, a hallmark of her English origins. Specifically, she’s from Newcastle. We’d be chuffed to serve her a spot of tea, though we couldn’t blame her if all she had for us was a lump of coal.

Imowo “Veli Brand” Udo-Utun
Artist Manager, Sounds Music Group; Concert Producer, Veli Brand

As an artist manager, Udo-Utun relished being part of StaySolidRocky’s 2020 double-platinum “Party Girl” and this summer’s “Tell Em,” shaping up to be Cochise’s first solo gold record. He’s also working on projects with Capella Grey, BFB Da Packman and 3 Breezy. As a concert producer, Udo-Utun brought DaBaby, Rod Wave, Rico Nasty, iann dior and Lil Tjay to Philadelphia for their first headlining concerts there, under the auspices of his Philly-based Veli Brand. Some say he’s the best basketball player in the biz. We know it ain’t us.


Dynamic duos (12/7a)
I.B. Bad on music's biggest comeback (12/7a)
It's De-Lovely. (12/7a)
We salute the winner and still champ. (12/7a)
It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas. (12/6a)

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