HITS Daily Double


The latest edition of Rainmakers will be in your hot little hands very soon. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at a few of the subjects. We're told these bite-sized bits pair nicely with leftover Christmas cookies. (Click on the cover for a larger view.)

RCA COO John Fleckenstein began his career with internships at Columbia and Ruffhouse and soon landed an assistant’s gig in the international department at Arista. He also served at Jive and saw a great deal more of the world while leading Sony’s international team. Since arriving at the Peter Edge-led House of Nipper, he’s been instrumental in the success of such acts as Doja Cat, Khalid, SZA and Steve Lacy, to name a few. “I worked my way up from the bottom,” Fleck says. “And working my way up taught me the business inside and out.”

A street-team originator who’s worked with many of the top execs and artists in the biz, Lionel Ridenour has been a trailblazer in R&B and hip-hop promotion. He’s the CEO of Anchor Promotions, the nation’s only Black-owned label services/promo company. Before he properly entered the biz, Ridenour helped a friend work a single and quickly discovered his superpower. “We didn’t know that people got paid to put records on the radio and that this was actually a job,” he recalls. Since then, he and his Anchor team have proven indispensable in helping both major and indie projects gain traction at Black music formats.

“When I started, I wanted to know everything,” says UMPG’s Lillia Parsa. “I went into every A&R’s office with a notepad and said, ‘Who do you need help on? Who are the writers, who are the producers who don’t have much going on? How can I help them?’” It was this relentlessly inquisitive nature that helped fuel her meteoric rise to SVP A&R at the Jody Gerson-helmed pubco. Since then, her roster of writers—including hitmakers Nija Charles and the “dream team” of Blake Slatkin and Omer Fedi—has scored multiple Top 10 hits and Grammy nominations.

Stay tuned for more noteworthy excerpts from these biz-hitter profiles.