HITS Daily Double


In our latest roundup of Noisemakers, we present a fresh batch of rising professionals from different parts of the biz whose dedication and effort make their superiors look good.

This week’s entrants will find their faces in our recent mag—which make a great substitute for paper towels.

Jermi Thomas

Senior Director, A&R, Island Records

Along with working on new music from Jessie Reyez—whom he signed to a pub deal and brought to Island— Thomas is wrapping up projects for Skip Marley and Toni Braxton. He was fortunate enough to oversee creative on Marley’s collab with H.E.R. for “Slow Down,” which made Marley the first Jamaican-born artist to top the Adult R&B Songs chart. When he’s not cooking in the studio, Jermi takes pride being the executive chef in his own kitchen. On his plate at the moment are developing acts Souly Had, Gwen Bunn and Jac Ross.

Laurie LaMartina

Director, Promotion, Def Jam

During her five years at Def Jam, LaMartina has had the pleasure of being part of multiple Pop #1s, from Alessia Cara’s debut, “Here,” to Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” and most recently, Justin Bieber’s “Intentions.” She’s also proud to be a member of Def Jam Forward, the label’s newly formed task force. As if her gig didn’t grant her enough backstage access, Laurie had no shame “straight up” paying for her first ever official meet-and-greet last August in Las Vegas with Paula Abdul—better late than never.

Rima Tahini

Director of A&R, Mavin Global

Tahini’s unique career trajectory, which includes experience in the energy and finance industries, currently finds her developing talent for Mavin Global, Africa’s largest indigenous label. Rima and her family were forced to leave war-torn Sierra Leone during her childhood; growing up in various countries, she was able to learn four different languages by the age of seven. After graduating from Brandeis, she landed at Kupanda Capital, where she’s now a Senior Adviser. The firm eventually became a major investor in Mavin, connecting Rima to her dual role today.

Mark Hill

Head of Urban, Create Music Group

It’s been a banner year for Hill and the indie label/distro hub. The young exec has been the driving force behind 6ix9ine’s return, culminating in a milestone #1 in “TROLLZ” for the team. He also played a role in the development of rising rapper YNW Melly in the early stages of the young rapper’s career. At the moment, Mark is working with breaking Texas artists Tay Money—whose single “Bussin” went viral at TikTok—and Sauce Walka, whose label, The Sauce Factory, is one of Create’s numerous indie-label partners.

Khorey Washington

Manager of Content, Def Jam

Washington oversees Def Jam’s social-media accounts, including the label’s biz-leading Instagram account, with 1.2m followers. She took action last month to kickstart the label’s task force, Def Jam Forward, which is committed to promoting and demanding respect, freedom and equal opportunity for black lives inside and outside the company. Her Internet-savvy skills go beyond the ’Gram, as she went viral with her love of Nicki Minaj—never underestimate the Barbz. Although no trips to Wyoming are likely this year, Khorey loves a Kanye West listening party.

Perry Symonds

Head of Brand Partnerships, TMWRK

Working with extremely clever artists at TMWRK, Symonds is bound to have some fun. During the pandemic, she and TMWRK focused on adding charitable components to their events—they’ve donated over $1m to various charities, including MusiCares and Feeding America. For Diplo and Dillon Francis’ #CincoAtHome livestream, partner Corona donated $500k to the Restaurant Employee Fund while 1m viewers partied along at home. From launching the Amazon Echo’s debut Super Bowl commercial to being one of the kids singing on RHCP’s “Aeroplane,” Perry has done it all in the biz.

Ari Gelaw

A&R Manager, UMPG

Gelaw certainly didn’t miss at the end of last year, when the fast-rising creative signed ascending rap star DaBaby to a pub deal—his smash “ROCKSTAR” is about to cap off a month as the biggest song in the U.S. She’s also inked platinum producers SpeakerBangerz (Rod Wave’s “Heart on Ice”) and Earl on the Beat (City Girls’ “Act Up”). Ari is also inspiring young female creatives; she’s connected UMPG with Sound Thinking NYC to create a mentorship program for girls in high school with hopes of producing/writing.

Ramon Alvarez-Smikle

Sr. Director, Digital & Content Marketing, Interscope

Guiding the digital strategy for some of his favorite artists, including J Cole, Juice WRLD, Playboi Carti and benny blanco, Alvarez-Smikle has plenty to celebrate—and strategize—at the ’Scope. From Dreamville’s exciting Revenge of the Dreamers: III digital-invitation rollout, to Trevor Daniel’s viral hit “Falling” exploding at TikTok, the digital game never ends. We imagine last week was extra busy with 6LACK, Lil Durk and Trevor’s new Selena collab, but at least Ramon’s able to soak it all in with some 600° Hot Sauce courtesy of LVRN.