Naima Cochrane is an award-winning music industry veteran, journalist, and leading voice in Black music and culture who specializes in putting Black culture in context. Naima spent more than 20 years in the entertainment industry, from culture- shifting labels Bad Boy and Arista Records to legacy majors Columbia and Epic
Records. She worked with mold-breaking acts including Beyoncé, John Legend, and Tyler, the Creator as a marketing executive; and continued her work with EGOT Legend, then later Oscar-nominated, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony award-winning actress and singer Cynthia Erivo, as management. In 2017, Naima created #MusicSermon, a curated storytelling series on Twitter about pre-blog era Soul and Hip-Hop. The series was a viral hit, with Sunday “services”often drawing engagement from Ava Duvernay, Lin Manuel Miranda, Missy Elliot, and a host of others. #MusicSermon transitioned Naima into journalism, and since 2018 she
and/or her work have been featured in/on outlets including Billboard, Essence, and the NY Times. In 2021, she was a contributing essayist for the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. Because of her unique experience as both an industry insider and journalist, she’s a sought-after researcher for her specialty in highlighting connections between past and present. Naima has worked with partners including Spotify, LeBron
James SpringHill Company, and Sirius XM/Pandora on special and/or scripted projects, including Sirius/Pandora’s Webby-award winning All Music is Black Music podcast. Naima keeps one foot on the business side of the entertainment industry through consulting and was a marketing lead for Empire’s Clio Award-winning 2021 re-release campaign for late singer Aaliyah’s catalog. Naima is a founding board member of the Black Music Action Coalition, an advocacy organization of music managers and lawyers formed in the wake of George
Floyd’s tragic murder in 2020 to address systemic racism within the music business and beyond. In 2021, she authored the organization’s inaugural Music Industry Action Report Card. This first-of-its-kind public accounting assigned music companies a grade for their work reinvesting in the executives, artists, and communities who drive the most popular genre in the world. While home in NYC, Naima watches too much TV, weaves riveting threads as a Twitter raconteur, and teaches herself how to DJ. You can sometimes find her in the snack aisle of grocery stores dancing to 80s and 90s R&B.