If you’ve paid attention to DJ Khaled’s snapchat account, you may have seen the Major Key ambassador reference Catherine Brewton from BMI. Brewton held Khaled’s newborn son, Ashad Khaled and has been enamored by the innocense of Ashad just like everyone else.
Well, now that we recognized Brewton from Khaled’s snapchat, how many actually know who is she is and what she does?
Brewton, BMI’s Writer/Publisher Relations VP has an extensive resume. Brewton, a native of Charlotte, NC, grew up listening to the sounds of Aretha Franklin and Al Green and turned her love for music into a career.
After stops working at the Grammy’s, Brewton has been with BMI, the global leader in music rights management since 1997 and been instrumental in expanding performing rights deals with hip hop, r&b and gospel acts, publishers and songwriters like Kanye West, Rodney Jerkins, the Neptunes, Kirk Franklin, The Game, and Cash Money.
Catherine Brewton caught up with Respect Magazine and shared her journey and her major keys to success.
RESPECT MAG: In a recent interview, you stated that you’ve been in the music game since you were 12 years old, how did you get your start?
Brewton: I was an executive in finance. I worked in GE out of school, so I was not a music girl. I grew up in the church and had the opportunity to be blessed to come out of school and to go to work in a Fortune 500 Company. Through the progression of my life, I was solicited to work for the Grammys and then ended up working for the Grammys, and then opening the Atlanta office and subsequently doing the same for BMI, so I’ve been blessed. A lot of it has been has been that I’ve been very much committed to whatever I’m doing and I want to be the best in whatever I’m doing.
RESPECT MAG: Your journey began in 1996 when you worked the Grammys, which means you’ve been around music during the Golden Era. How has music evolved since you’re start and do you think we’ll ever see an age like that again?
Brewton: I believe that music is cyclical. It continues to evolve. Will we ever see that run again? I’m optimistic. I feel like there’s always a next Michael, Michael had his run, but there will always be another Wayne—when I saw another Wayne I mean someone who embodies the same type of power and realness that they have, so absolutely. But that was just the era of complete greatness.
RESPECT MAG: Your ability to sign people to BMI publishing deals has been well documented. How do you personally evaluate talent? How do you know if someone has that ‘It’ factor?
Brewton: When you hear a song and you hear them sing, and you hear a production. I met Rodney Jerkins when he was 17; I was involved with the Neptunes when they were first on the scene. I was in it from the early days. I signed Drake when it was mayhem, Nicki I signed, Wayne and Cash Money and all of those guys—Wayne was 14 when I signed him. So, I wouldn’t say it’s because I’m so brilliant, I just know that God has given me a gift, my gift is to see things early and to get on early.
Check Out Brewton In BMI’s How I Wrote My First Song Promo
RESPECT MAG: Kirk Franklin and Rodney Jerkins are huge connectors that bridge the gap between hip hop, r&b and gospel. Being that you work with all three of those genres and grew up in the church, how seamless was it for Kirk and Rodney to intertwine with both cultures?
Brewton: Those are my brothers. I think it was about their passion and their understanding that music is about love. Whether you agree or not, it’s still about whether you believe in whatever the message is, you embrace it. If that’s not for you, turn it off—it’s that simple. But I believe that creativity has to be expressed in every form or fashion and there’s something for everybody. Gospel music is my first love. No question about it.
RESPECT MAG: What advice do you give those who may not want to be in front of the camera and in the studio and perform BUT wants to do what you do?
Brewton: Be committed to the cause. When God gives you a purpose and when you really understand what your God-given talents are, you operate in that space. Sometimes people chase things that are not for them. What I understood early on is that I was anxious for nothing. I had much prayer time and said: Lord order my steps, when you give me that platform you will be able to trust me to do the right thing. Kids need to understand that hard work is one facet of it, but what is your God-given purpose? Once your purpose is really laid out, everything else falls into place.