Def Jam's new Senior VP, A&R: Shakir Stewart -- by DJ Ty, December 2006
The only executive to successfully make the transition from music publisher to becoming one of the most gifted and highly valued Senior Vice President, A&R's in the music industry.
Shakir Stewart was born in Oakland, California and realized very early that the music "business" was his destiny. In 1989, Shakir worked the neighborhood music scene as a club promoter. Recognizing that his flair for marketing and promoting had limitless potential, Shakir enrolled in Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Georgia and in 1996, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
During his years at Morehouse, Shakir became known in the then, budding, "dirty south", as a concert promoter; promoting for top notch talents like Luke, Scarface, Nas, Too Short to name a few. Immediately after graduating, he incorporated the art of negotiating into his marketing & promotions arsenal, partnered with a few acquaintances and started a promotions company. The company's success led to the opening of a just as successful recording studio, Noontime Music. It wasn't long before Shakir Stewart found himself forming a joint venture with Epic records.
His accomplishments at such an early age caught the attention of Hitco Music Publishing, signing Shakir as their Creative Director. It was during his time at Hitco, that Shakir's A&R talents were unearthed, as then President of Arista and Hitco's owner, Antonio "L.A." Reid offered him an A&R consultant position with LaFace Records, of which he was the CEO.
After a triumphant run at Hitco, Shakir resigned and was hired as Vice President of A&R at Island Def Jam Music Group. And in October 2006, after only eighteen months onboard, Shakir Stewart was promoted to Senior Vice President, A&R, Island Def Jam Music Group, by Chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group, Antonio "L.A." Reid, and President of Island Def Jam, Shawn Carter, B.K.A, Jay-Z.
To his credit, Mr. Stewart is responsible for signing such talent as R&B sensation Ciara, rap stars Rick Ross and Young Jeezy, publishing the successive no# 1 hits in Billboard's Hot 100 Chart as Destiny Child's "Survivor", Outkast's "The Way You Move", both Beyonce's "Crazy in Love", and "Baby Boy" and assembling and organizing Usher's massive hit "Yeah" on the twelve time platinum album Confessions.