The global music industry is massive. In just the year 2016, music sales were equal to $17.2 billion. It is clearly not an area where people who are in the habit of slacking off can survive. Most of the leadership roles are filled by men, but there is an occasional female who has proven that she can work as hard as the men can, and one of them is Desiree Perez. Although women are making advances in this industry, Des Perez and others like her wish that it could happen sooner.
Des Perez is in the middle of a circle that includes the industry’s most successful people. Any time anyone talks about Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, the topic of the conversation always turns toward Des Perez. That makes sense because Des has been helping Jay-Z expand his enterprise for the last 22 years. Carter’s company is a huge conglomerate that encompasses concert tour management, music production and talent development, and Des Perez has been in control of handling everything at the same time that she ensures that shareholders receive their profits.
A big part of the reason that Jay-Z has been able to move from being a rapper to a businessman is because of Des. Backroom negotiations are a breeze for Ms. Perez, but she doesn’t have any problems when she is in the boardroom either. Des has played a part in several Jay-Z companies, including ROC Nation, SC Enterprises and many others. Along with her husband Juan Perez, Des is involved in the Hova Circle of Influence, a collective of individuals who are influencing the entertainment and music industries.
Insiders say that Des is the key to Jay-Z’s ability to make important decisions in his business and negotiate in high-pressure situations. Her greatest assets are her determination, magnetism and her fearless way of taking on business challenges that would be profitable. It’s no surprise that Jay-Z has kept her around for as long as he has.
Des Perez has proven that she has what it takes to succeed in business because she has helped her clients realize fantastic returns on their investments. She is the reason that Samsung promoted Rihanna’s Anti tour for $25 million. As a result of this deal, Rihanna was seen as someone who had tremendous monetary pull and is a first-rate performer. Since powerful women tend to stick together, Des is now a member of Rihanna’s inner circle. As Rihanna continues in her career as a performer, Des will be by her side providing her with business and financial advice that will take her to bigger and better places.
Negotiating with Live Nation
When ROC Nation went into negotiations with Live Nation in 2008 for a $150 million deal, Des was right at the forefront. As Chief Operating Officer of ROC Nation, Des took a meeting with Sir Lucian Grainge of Universal Music to discuss a partnership when the previous deal was set to expire. Any partnership between these two people would be highly influential in the industry, but Live Nation and Jay-Z have only renewed their previous arrangement for the next ten years. Since Des was a part of these negotiations, everyone involved with ROC Nation will benefit from the agreement.
Established in 2008, ROC Nation is now among the most significant entertainment companies in the world. The company helps recording artists, producers and songwriters with several issues in the music industry, such as concert and tour production, music publishing, brand management and artist management. ROC Nation also works with experts in technology, management and fashion to further its clients’ careers. Some of the people represented by ROC Nation include Rihanna, J. Cole, Meek Mill, Shakira and Big Sean, and these stars are lucky to have Des in their corner when it comes time to negotiate a contract.
Jay-Z is also an avid sports fan, so it is understandable that he would want to expand his business with ROC Nation Sports. When he became a partner of an NBA team, he offered his talent management services to athletes. Juan Perez is at the head of ROC Nation Sports, and Des participates in contract negotiations and management for sports stars as well. Some of the athletes on ROC Nation Sports’ roster are Ndamukong Suh, Dez Bryant, Geno Smith, CC Sabathia, Yoenis Cespedes, Robinson Cano, Andre Ward and Miguel Cotto. Sports contracts are particularly hard to negotiate, but not for Des. She has a reputation for being someone who cannot be won over easily, and the head honchos in the industry know it. This benefits her clients immensely.
Women in Entertainment
What Des Perez has done is truly awesome. It hasn’t been easy for women to get a foot in the door of the entertainment industry, but she has done it. To outsiders, it looks like these people are living glamorous lives with a ton of money all around them. The fans never see the hard work that every successful star has had to endure because they are being shown a version of events that makes everything look rosy.
Fans are never introduced to the people who guide an artist’s performances and their concert tours. Those involved in the business side of the artist’s career aren’t visible, and Des Perez is one of those people who have been a part of making business decisions on behalf of today’s top artists. While stars like Rihanna receive love from her fans, those behind the scenes are never thanked for putting together a great show. Des has lived this reality her entire career, and it doesn’t bother her at all.
It hasn’t been easy for Des, but she has come through the storm much smarter and stronger than she was when she started. She has spent years in the presence of the biggest names in the industry, but she doesn’t consider herself to be a celebrity. The face of ROC Nation is Jay-Z, but Des Perez is the heart. She is reliable and benevolent, but when she needs to be, she is astute and tenacious when she is speaking for ROC Nation and her other businesses.
About Desiree Perez
Desiree Perez has been the Chief Operating Officer of ROC Nation since 2009. As a member of the team at ROC Nation, Des is involved in several areas in the business, including management, publishing and labeling operations. Along with taking part in Samsung’s deal with Rihanna, she also negotiated the Beyonce Formation stadium.
Desiree is also a producer. In 2014, she produced “On the Run Tour: Beyonce and Jay Z.” She also produced “Change: The LifeParticle Effect” in 2013.
Follow Desiree on Instagram @des.perez to see what she’s up to!