364 days after “Blackout Tuesday” — during which the music industry took a pause to protest police violence against the black community and consider its social justice policies and efforts in the wake of George Floyd’s murder — Motown Records has named Jamila Thomas, a co-founder of #TheShowMustBePaused, as vice president of artist marketing. #TheShowMustBePaused played a pivotal role in establishing Blackout Tuesday and leading the industry to reassess its policies and pledge millions of dollars to social justice causes.
According to the announcement, in this role, Thomas will oversee marketing strategies and campaigns across Motown’s roster of artists and partners. In addition, she will serve as a thought leader for the label and lead marketing initiatives for Motown’s newly relaunched historic spoken word imprint, Black Forum. Thomas will also continue her work as co-founder of the global initiative #TheShowMustBePaused.
Ethiopia Habtemariam, Chairman and CEO of Motown said in making the announcement, “Jamila is a proven and passionate advocate for artists and an incredibly talented marketer who operates from a place of true passion for music, culture and community. Motown is home to some of the most prolific and impactful voices of our time, including those of our artists, partners and executives, and we’re excited to welcome her to our team.”
Brian Nolan, EVP Motown and Motown Marketing, said, “Throughout her career, Jamila has demonstrated her understanding and ability to build and execute campaigns that help artists connect with fans around the world. She has incredible instincts and vision as a marketer, and I’m thrilled to welcome her to Motown’s marketing team.”
Jamila Thomas said, “Music has always inspired me and Motown has not only provided the soundtrack to some of the greatest, and most defining, moments in music history, but it has also launched the careers of some of music’s most iconic and impactful artists, songwriters and entrepreneurs spanning more than six decades. It’s an incredible honor to join this legendary label and the forward-thinking leadership that continues to redefine and impact culture around the world. I want to thank Ethiopia and Brian for the opportunity to be part of this team that helps write the next chapter of Motown’s legacy.”
Most recently, Thomas served as Senior Director of Marketing at Atlantic Records, where she worked on campaigns for artists including Ugly God, Pardison Fontaine, PNB Rock, DRAM and Don Q, among others. Prior to Atlantic, Thomas was Head of Marketing at Asylum Records.
Today’s announcement marks a return to Universal Music Group for Thomas, where her previous work at Def Jam included her role in the album campaigns for Jhene Aiko’s “Sailing Soul(s),” Pusha T’s “My Name Is My Name” and Big Sean’s “Hall of Fame,” among others, before joining Cash Money Records. At Cash Money, Thomas helped navigate breaking acts including Jacquees, while working on campaigns for superstar artists such as Drake and Nicki Minaj.