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In the Industry: Black Music Executive Nicolle Johnson

Nicolle Johnson of NJ Music Clearance

Although Black music appreciation month has come and gone doesn't mean we can't continue to amplify the sounds of music. African American Music month was officially established in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. Celebrated in June, the commemoration marks a month-long celebration for a community of African American music legends and their influence on every facet of American History. Black music industry leaders weren't always highlighted or celebrated within America. However, today, as things evolve, we continue to learn more about what it's like being Black in America and how Black music culture has revolutionized all walks of life.

Nicolle Johnson, a Black female music executive in the industry for more than fifteen years, has seen her fair share of good and bad times. She is a music clearance consultant whose career started as a temporary employee. Hustling to get her foot in the door, she worked every job she could land to have an opportunity to obtain the position she wanted as a music executive. After being overlooked and underrepresented, Nicolle turned her struggles into triumph. She now owns NJ Music Clearance, clearing music for television, websites, movies, and commercials. She has worked with some of the largest corporations in film and music.

Although Nicolle works as a music executive behind the scenes, she is no stranger in front of the camera. She played pro football for the Los Angeles Temptations from 2009 to 2012, a lingerie football league. Nicolle is also the wife of former NFL Player Curtis Johnson.

Over the past year, Nicolle has been clearing music for a podcast starring Dave Chappelle, Talib Kweli, and Yasiin Bey called Midnight Miracle. She also completed a series: From Cradle to Stage, including artists Pharrell Williams and Randy Carlisle. She recently cleared music for Colin in Black and White and Jeen-Yuhs on Netflix.

When she is not working on business projects, Nicolle builds a mentorship program to help educate people of color who want to enter the music industry. She says getting your foot in the door is the hardest part of obtaining a career in film or music. Nicolle wants to help people get their foot in the door by creating opportunities that pave the way for minorities to obtain gainful employment in the music industry. The educators working alongside Nicolle within the Diversity in Sync mentorship program are individuals from various levels of music.

Nicolle said, "There aren't a lot of women of color in the industry. It's not just in music clearance; it's music executives, period. It is a male-dominated industry. After relocating to South Florida, Nicolle has the opportunity to help shape the music culture. She said, "Moving from California to Florida has been eye-opening for me. The diverse music culture in Miami is a breath of fresh air. With that are new opportunities to narrow the gap for people of color in the music industry".

Nicolle intends to elevate the position of minorities within the music industry by educating, hiring, and collaborating with more minority artists, business owners, and music students attending HBCUs. People of color will continue to thrive in the music and film industry, but we must recognize their contributions.


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