(AllHipHop Features) Since joining ASCAP in 2008, Nicole George-Middleton and her team have nurtured and signed some of the music industry’s top talent to ASCAP, including Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Mike WiLL Made-It and Fetty Wap, while increasing the organization’s Rhythm & Soul market share. She has recently been part of a senior initiative exploring ways that ASCAP Membership can best serve its members. George-Middleton created ASCAP’s Women Behind the Music series, Grammy nominees event, was honored by Billboard as a top Woman in Music in 2011 and was named one of The Network Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2013. She previously held positions at Jive Records and the Middleton Law Group, and received her J.D. at Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. After distinguishing herself as a tremendously talented leader and executive, George-Middleton was recently named Senior Vice President, Membership where her role was expanded to oversee the Symphonic and Concert team.
AllHipHop got a few moments of Mrs. George-Middleton’s time to talk about how she cultivates the many relationships within the music industry and growing in her role with ASCAP.
AllHipHop: Explain what your job entails:
Nicole George-Middleton: ASCAP is a professional performance rights organization comprised of 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. We make giving and obtaining permission to perform music simple for both the creators and users of music. As Senior Vice President of Membership, I have many responsibilities, but my main responsibility is to cultivate and maintain relationships with ASCAP’s members and to support them at whatever level they’re at in their songwriting careers. My team and I are also responsible for identifying and recruiting new talent to add to ASCAP’s repertory.
AllHipHop: What’s the most enjoyable part of the job and your duties:
Nicole George-Middleton: I have an amazing staff who is super talented and creative. I enjoy working alongside them everyday to support and advocate for our songwriters.
AllHipHop: What is the hardest part:
Nicole George-Middleton: The hardest part of my job is managing expectations.
AllHipHop: Who inspired you to become a leader or boss?
Nicole George-Middleton: There are many people in my life who inspire(d) me, however, my mom was my first example of a true leader. She balanced home and work life and made it seem so easy. Now that I’m a mom, I know first-hand how challenging it was for her, at times. She still inspires me.
AllHipHop: How do you balance work and personal life?
Nicole George-Middleton: In addition to being an executive, I’m also a wife and mom. All of these things require lots of attention and can be demanding, so staying organized is key. I make “to-do” lists for everything and I maintain both a work and home calendar.
AllHipHop: Please provide what it means to you to be a powerful woman and a boss in the urban music and hip-hop industry.
Nicole George-Middleton: It’s flattering to be referred to as a powerful woman and a boss in this industry and it’s something that I don’t take lightly. There are lots of people who have invested in me to help me get to where I am today, and as a result, I have a responsibility to do the very best job that I can. I also have a responsibility to my children to take the opportunities afforded to me and create the strongest legacy possible for them. Lastly, I believe when you’re in a position to give back and create opportunities for other people, you have to, so I make it a point to mentor or just lend an ear to young people who aspire to work in the music industry, whenever I can. I wholeheartedly believe in the saying “to whom much is given much is required”.