About Title 9 Productions
With offices in Los Angeles and New York, Title 9 Productions is an entertainment company focused on traditional artist development, full service management, content publishing, music and television production, and consulting. We are equipped and available to develop and manage clients in every aspect of their career from stage presence to corporate partnerships.
Madame Noire "She's The Boss" Exclusive Interview:CLICK TO VIEW
Born in Oakland, CA and now residing in Los Angeles, Carmen Murray is the CEO and Founder of Title 9 Productions, Inc. Carmen possesses a strong mission to empower women and cast a wide net across the entertainment industry. With her business savvy prowess, she has become one of the most sought after executives in the industry. Most recently, Carmen was honored as a 2011 Billboard Women in Music nominee. "I'm a bit of a renaissance woman," says Carmen. "A purpose driven dreamer."
Title 9 Productions is an entertainment company focused on traditional artist development, full service management, content publishing, music and television production, and consulting. The name Title 9 was inspired by the U.S. bill supporting young women's right to an equal education and scholarship opportunities for excellence in sports. Carmen says, "At the start of my company, I was stepping into a position and playing in a field that not many women were in. Not only was the Title IX bill passed in the year I was born, but it also represented my spirit and pure determination to use those odds in my favor."
Carmen is the vessel behind two-time GRAMMY award winner Melanie Fiona, who she discovered, developed, and introduced to the U.S. from Canada. Title 9's roster also includes award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Andrea Martin, who has penned hits for En Vogue, SWV, Toni Braxton, Monica, Leona Lewis, Mary J. Blige, and Kanye West, multi-platinum recording artist and two-time GRAMMY award winner LeToya Luckett, GRAMMY award-winning singer-songwriter and producer Angela Hunte and soon to be released edgy Pop singer-songwriter Doxi Jones, and Bono channeling singer-songwriter Bryan Ellis.
Carmen is also starting the Title 9 Foundation whose mission is "to encourage women to see themselves in positions of power." Title 9 will utilize the entertainment industry as a platform to help women of all ages focus on self-empowerment through a number of different avenues.
"I'm charging my artists with the responsibility to give back. I'm in music to help people realize their goals of becoming successful musicians but in turn using their celebrity status in order to drive their fans and masses to help others. The stage is a platform to draw everyone's attention to each of their individual charities and our foundation work. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to be part of the current that positively affects people's lives," expresses Carmen. She will be known for inspiring her artists to tap into their true gifts without conforming or compromising their talents and her dedication to philanthropy.
With deals aligned with Universal Republic Records, Roc Nation, and Rondor Publishing, Title 9 continues to focus on developing a vast array of true talent.
Building a company from the ground and raising two children at the same time is a very challenging undertaking, and Carmen credits her Title 9 family Michael Michel, Diallobe Johnson, and Melantha Hodge for her ability to balance both. She says, "We build together, we see the world together, and we show up for one another." Naming her company Title 9 has now come full circle for Carmen. Her son and daughter have been offered full scholarships by some of the most prestigious colleges for both their academic excellence and athletic abilities.
Michael MichelAn impenetrable singing voice should shake you to your core, leaving an undeniable, lasting impression. When looking for fresh talent, this sentiment is law to A&R guru Michael Michel. "I look for truth," he details. "When someone opens their mouth, there is a truth and essence that must be raw and pure. I love things that feel unique and powerful."
Hailing from Israel, with an orthodox Jewish background, Michel's music career backdrop began through an internship, while attending Yeshiva University, at Island Records for the office of Chris Blackwell, the musical visionary responsible for discovering everyone from U2, Bob Marley and Grace Jones.
The gravitation toward A&R came naturally for Michel, who straight after graduation found himself hired to work under renowned producer Stanley Brown's wing at the newly formed Island Black Music. He was soon working on projects for The Isley Brothers, Dru Hill, Kelly Price, and Karen Clark Sheard.
Building an instrumental relationship with Motown Records president Kedar Massenburg, Michael went to work with Massenburg as an A&R after leaving Island Def Jam. While with Kedar, Michel worked on Motown's most influential projects from The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, to newer artists including Damian and Stephen Marley, Bebe Winans, Brian Mcknight, Donnie amongst others.
"If you grow up listening to legends and icons you have to make it your purpose to find and develop future greats to give back to the world. If you don't do that then it just becomes a job. That's not what it's about." With this mindset, Michel went independent to start developing artists of his own. "When you're in a corporation for a while, it's like a machine," he says. "You get stifled by the lack of creativity. Every move you make has to go through eight check points in order to come to fruition." It was around this time that associate and friend Carmen Murray proposed a partnership and TITLE 9 Productions was birthed.
As the Co-CEO of TITLE 9, one of the first orders of business was for Michel to become familiar with R&B singer Melanie Fiona. "Melanie comes from a Caribbean background and reggae / soul is my first love in life, so we connected right away." After Michel brought Fiona and the now TITLE 9's award winning songwriter Andrea Martin together, "it was magic, we recorded 'It Kills Me' only on our 2nd session," he recalls. Soon after several offers, they brokered a deal with Steve Rifkind at SRC / Universal Motown. "He comes from the school of passionate gut driven record executives and is not just a numbers guy, that's why we chose to sign with him" says Michel. Since then Melanie Fiona is a 2 time Grammy winner. Currently TITLE 9 is about to release 2 of there new artists through Universal as well; future pop diva Doxi Jones and singer / songwriter Bryan Ellis.
With deals aligned with Universal Republic, Roc Nation, and Rondor Music Publishing, TITLE 9, composed of Michel, Carmen Murray and Diallobe Johnson, continues to focus on developing a large spectrum of acts in the Pop, R&B, and Soul genres. "Carmen, Diallobe and I exemplify equality because we all come from different backgrounds, but we are together for a common goal. Music is fun and it heals, we feel strongly about making that kind of impact in the world."
Diallobe JohnsonBranding and lifestyle marketing guru, Diallobe Johnson's central goal for Title 9 Productions, co-managed by Carmen Murray and Michael Michel, is "to expose the world to great music".
Inspired by past work with a vast range of artists from Beyoncé to Rob Zombie, Johnson says, "I continue to be affected by music in such a way because I know the power of it. If songs just stay in the studio or on somebody's computer then it just doesn't have the impact on the world that it could."
Johnson's knack for strategizing began to materialize in the '90s while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. While attending San Francisco State University as a business major, Johnson also honed in on A&R and music marketing. "Prior to going to college I was drawn to the music world, it was my passion. College showed me how music and business were interrelated."
After graduating, Johnson received a job offer at Universal Music where he began to work in Marketing and Artist Development. During this period he spearheaded projects for the labels under the Universal brand including Interscope, Verve, and Hollywood Records. When Universal merged with Polygram, Johnson began working with labels like Island/Def Jam and artists such as Jay-Z and Ludacris.
Soon Johnson transitioned into National Director of Lifestyle Marketing and Alternative Sales at Interscope Records, dealing mainly with rock/pop acts such as Rob Zombie, U2, No Doubt, Sting, Keane, Black Eyed Peas, and Dashboard Confessional. "I learned how to develop not just at a regional level, but at a national level," he recalls. "I began recognizing the tenacity and habits of certain fans and how each market can be unique in different cities, regions, and countries."
He later decided to make a transition to product manager at Interscope to work closer with the artists and worked on projects for Pharrell, Robin Thicke and Mary J. Blige before joining the Music World team as the VP of Sales and Special Marketing. "Matthew Knowles was starting a label and most of his existing staff had primarily management experience so I was involved in management activities for Beyonce' plus doing everything related to the label: sales, marketing, production, and even accounting," recalls Johnson. "I found myself in a leadership role there. It was there that I learned how to run a label."
It was around this time that Johnson reconnected with longtime friend Carmen Murray who discussed her idea of a partnership at Title 9 Productions. "She wanted me to hear this artist she discovered, Melanie Fiona," he recalls. "I heard her and I thought she was one of the most amazing artists I'd heard in a long time and I wanted to help. Then Carmen asked me to be a partner with she and Michael Michel and we've been at it ever since." They had a deal with Steve Rifkind at Universal Motown.
With deals aligned with Universal Motown, Roc Nation and Rondor Publishing, Title 9 continues to focus on developing a large spectrum of acts in the pop, R&B, and alternative genres including upcoming artists Doxi Jones and Bryan Ellis.
Johnson also continues to develop partnerships with brands and major corporations and says Title 9's in-house partnership between himself, Murray, and Michel allows for "ownership of certain properties". Adds Johnson, "The process starts with Michael's passion of music - his work ethic is unrivaled. He'll stay in the studio not sleeping or eating for days. Carmen is our creative visionary. She lives and breathes it. We are three individual people with certain honed strengths that act as a collective. We are able to put all our skills and talents in one pot and make it great."
Melantha HodgeIt is hard to imagine an individual who has had more passion for working within the music industry than Melantha Hodge. Her culturally diverse upbringing is expressed in everything she touches. Furthermore, embracing diversity is one of the main factors of her success as a businesswoman and as a key player in the success of entertainment companies and their respective artists.
Her passion and interest for music and its business aspects were founded in the classroom. Melantha received her educational background from Syracuse University, where she graduated with a double major in Marketing and Finance and a minor in Music Industry Studies. A natural go-getter, the clever scholar took advantage of the many opportunities available to students such as internships and participation in relevant events. While in college, Melantha lost her father to medical complications, an event that devastated her; nonetheless, provided her with the strength and courage to succeed in order to honor his memory. During her college years, the eclectic young woman worked her way up from Research Director to Music Director at the local radio Station WJPZ (Z89). In addition, Melantha was an on–air disc jockey during "The Slammin' 7 @ 7" primetime slot and the "Danger Zone" mix show. She also served as an influential member of the student-run record label, Marshall Street Records. Furthermore, Melantha interned at MBK Entertainment home of artists including the multi-Grammy Award winner, Alicia Keys.
Upon graduation, Melantha sought to search for the best opportunity. She moved to New York City in search of adventure and to pursue her dreamed career. Her journey began as a temp agent at ASCAP, which shortly led her to the Executive Assistant position for Chris Brown Entertainment and The Tina Davis Company. Melantha's passion and work ethic contributed in a major way to Chris Brown's success in becoming a superstar. Such experience proved to be a pivoting point both personally and professionally as she learned tremendously, met amazing people, and walked away with immeasurable memories and experience.
After parting ways with the Chris Brown team, she was introduced to the music industry veteran Shanti Das, who soon after became her mentor. Melantha's motivated and proactive attitude gave Shanti all the right reasons to extend her an invitation to work in the Marketing Department at Universal Motown Records. A dream come true, Melantha poured her heart and creative mind into working on projects involving the marketing campaign of artists including Akon, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Ashanti, Busta Rhymes, Melanie Fiona, Kid Cudi, Shontelle, Kat DeLuna, and many more.
Melantha has taken full advantage of every opportunity and experience she has encountered. Whether working personally with an artist management team or at the corporate level via a record label, she has gained tremendous knowledge and first-hand proficiency on the subject. The exceptional woman continues to navigate her way through the music business as a prototype of thriving determination and continuous success. Currently, Melantha is part of the TITLE 9 Productions team, which is home to artists such as the two-time Grammy Award winner Melanie Fiona and singer/songwriters Doxi Jones, Bryan Ellis, and Andrea Martin. She serves as Operations/Marketing Manager in which she is involved in a vast array of areas and the daily functions of artist projects and the company as a whole. Melantha is proud to be apart of the Title 9 team because it's a place where "true talent prevails".