How She Went From Assistant To New Media Boss

Karen Civil

In the entertainment game it’s all about who you know. Combine fruitful relationships with influential people with hard work and you have a recipe for certain success. Music industry insider Karen Civil knows this first hand.

Beginning her career as a young assistant to popular DJ and on-air personality Funkmaster Flex in the early aughts, Civil found herself working as an A&R administrator for Cam’Ron and Jim Jones‘ Diplomats collective. Her experience on the label and radio side of the business introduced her to number of new talents who’d eventually become hip-hop’s current class of marquee names.

Civil launched her blog, karencivil.com, in 2008 with hopes of exposing the world to the new talent she was coming across, offering news and her take on music business goings-on. Civil was one of the first supporters of artists like Drake, Wale, and J. Cole forming relationships with them when they were at the ground. When those artists became superstars, Civil was granted unprecedented access to them and often got the scoop on their doings before other outlets. In fact, Civil formed such a close relationship with Drake and Lil Wayne’s Young Money camp that when Wayne was locked up in 2010 she and her partner Karla Moy created WeezyThanxYou.com for Young Money so that fans could still interact with Wayne while he was locked up.

Civil has parlayed her web presence into a position at BEATS by Dre as a social media manager, and her power moves have even earned her a spot on Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list alongside Tyler Perry, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

With friends in high places and a reach that stretched far past that of the average music blogger Karen Civil is our pick for Most Connected.

The Urban Daily: You’re extremely well connected, respected and well liked, what’s the secret to maintaining that balance?

Karen Civil: I pride myself on being someone who wants to see the best out of people and uplift the culture. When an artist wins, I feel like a sense of achievement for myself… Honesty will always be the best policy, my intentions are always to see people rise to the top.

TUD: Talk about creating and executing social media strategy for big brands like YMCB and Beats, what are the challenges?

KC: Being a woman can be difficult, people may not take you as serious as a male counterpart, but I just deal with it.

TUD: Your career trajectory has taken you from radio to labels to working with a product brand, what’s your true passion though? Where do you want to go with all of this?

KC: I want to run a media/marketing company, help artist develop and maintain relationships with their core fanbase while driving social engagement. I just launched Always Civil Enterprise, that’s my baby. I’ve signed Mary J. [Blige], Young Jeezy, Funkmaster Flex, Pusha T, and Juelz Santana in a short few months.

TUD: You’re very ambitious. How do you measure success personally?

KC: For me, I’ll know I’m successful when my mom is able to quit her job and the people around me [family, close friends] are OK financially… ’til then its a consistent grind to achieve those things.

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