We’re continuing our Wednesday Wisdom series with Reservoir SVP of Creative and Business Development Faith Newman. Faith has been at Reservoir since 2011 and is responsible for signing 2 Chainz, Phantogram, WatchTheDuck, Joey Bada$$, Statik Selektah, and SOS to the roster in addition to helping the company acquire the Philly Groove Records and Allan Felder catalogs. Click through for insight from Faith on how the role of the music publisher has changed and what keeps her passionate about her job.
How has the role of the music publisher changed since you first started in the industry, specifically in the Creative area?
How do you find the unique, inherent value of each song or writer that you add to the Reservoir catalog?
Why do you think songwriters and songwriters’ estates feel comfortable working with Reservoir?
I think writers like working with Reservoir because we really and truly, passionately love our music. We have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for the works of our writers.
Preserving the legacies of our older catalogs is very important. It’s a big responsibility as a publisher, and we take it seriously. In a way, preserving a writer’s legacy is the reason that you make these deals—to keep the legends alive and maybe even grow them. I love the educational aspect of preserving a catalog. When I talk to someone about a songwriter who was less known than their peers back in the day but equally prolific, people respond because they enjoy learning about the creator of a song that they’ve already loved for years. Knowing about a song’s creator and their body of work adds a new dimension of appreciation to the music you love.
It’s gratifying to work with older, sometimes somewhat forgotten catalogs because we have the resources to find new places to share great music that’s fallen out of the spotlight. It’s rewarding to find opportunities to promote a song in an unexpected way.
What keeps you passionate about your job?
You’re known for your love of hip-hop. What other genres are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about so many genres of music. I’d have to say that my sweet spot is soul music.
Who are your all-time favorite songwriters?
My favorite songwriters of all time are Gamble, Huff, & Bell.
What is your favorite song?
One of my favorite songs is “Summer Madness” by Kool & The Gang. It’s a beautiful instrumental. It speaks to you without any words at all. And it’s my ringtone!