UNUM: What do you feel has made you the woman you are today?
CL: My mom always said, since I was little, that I had determination and an outlook like no child she had come across. When she would punish me, I would tell her when I’m rich and if you try to come to my mansion, I am going to sic my dogs on you at the gates. So, I have always known that my journey would take me to that type of success. Having a mother that tells you that you can do anything is the most precious gift. I graduated with my MPA (Master’s in Public Administration) and left that field to pursue a music career; and she never once said, “Why would you to this?” or “How could you leave a sure thing for a chance?” Nope, she said “Ok, what do you need to do to make this happen?” The support from my mom gave me Red Bull wings to fly.
UNUM: What are some of the big moments that have changed your path to driv you to where you are now?
CL: I come from a very musical background. My dad is a musician and audio engineer, and I’m related to the late James Brown on my dad’s side. Also, on my mom’s side, we have had family that have been successful soca artists from the islands. Meeting my husband was the biggest thing that changed my path. I met him and after speaking, found out he was a producer. I mentioned I used to write songs and wanted to get back into it, so he invited me to the studio. He told me “You have light about you like Oprah. An aura that glows around you; you can do great things.” (I remember thinking this dude [is] just trying to woo me.) Although we never wrote a song together, he asked me to run the business. At first I resisted, but he believed in me and now we are here.
UNUM: What inspired you to start working in the music industry and beginning your own music production company?
CL: The biggest moment that changed my path was listening to the catalog one day before we got the commercial space … I watched my now husband play genre after genre, then he sat back and said “… I don’t think there is anything we can’t make.” At that moment I knew what I had to do to let the world know the unlimited talents of Brook Brovaz.
UNUM: Can you tell us more about your experiences as a successful woman in the music industry? What are some obstacles/challenges you have faced?
CL: Being a successful woman in this industry, the hardest thing to deal with is sexism. I am always tested: men have tried to lie and say they owned my company; tried to take credit for records I A&R; taken credit for performances I put together … I even met a guy that knew my company well, but told me I wasn’t the owner. When you’re not dealing with the power trips, you’re dealing with those that want to sleep with you as if it’s a part of the contract (laughter). As a successful woman, you must correct people more, people will challenge you more, try to undermine you all the time. I don’t get emotional, I just state the facts: this is what it is. If you want to make this happen, you must go through me … there is no one to over step that. Once people see that they can’t walk over you, they will fall in line.
UNUM: You mentioned it’s important for women in music and entertainment to understand the business. Can you tell us why you say that?
CL: It is so important for women to understand the business – especially as the talent – because so many female artists fall [into] the damsel-in-distress syndrome. [They] need a man with a high position to take care of business for them or save/elevate their position and success. This behavior creates a standard on how female artists are handled in these male-dominated positions. Lastly, if you don’t know the business, you won’t know if your representative is doing a good job.
UNUM: Can you tell us more about your experience with being an entrepreneur? How do you find your own balance?
CL: As a leading entrepreneur, you will know sacrifice well; it will literally become your best friend for a while. If you don’t have a partner that understands that, it can break your relationship. I personally married my client and business partner, so it is a lot more manageable – but still not easy. Just because you spend hours working together, that doesn’t count as quality time. As a serial entrepreneur, I have endless tasks and high priority assignments, and as a mother and wife I must find balance. There will be a time where you break even, when the sacrifices aren’t needed, and you can dedicate more time to other things. The way to do that is to set goals and stick to [them]: At $50,000 a month, I will hire someone and enjoy life more; I will sacrifice x, y, z for a year and a year only. A lot of the time, we set goals, but we keep moving the finish line and become obsessive. That isn’t success. The only way to be successful is to find balance.
UNUM: We need more women in the music industry, so what are your words of wisdom or inspiration for other women who are starting or want to get involved?
CL: We need more women in leading roles to balance and represent the strengths and brilliance we possess, balance the music industry playing fields and to reduce sexism. Know your strengths and your weaknesses, find out what your passion is … what you’re good at, and learn everything you need to about your position. Do not leave any room to come across [to others] as unprepared or incompetent. Lastly and most important: Make it your own – there is no one right way to do something. Know the goal and engineer a plan unique to your creativity and experience to execute. You will always be successful once you define what success is to you. It is a gift to be a woman: we possess a power that is unmatched; we bring life, nourishment, clarity and support. There are no limits to where our natural gifts can take us. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box, to let your voice be heard and to live fearlessly.
Upcoming mogul Cloé Luv has accomplished a great deal on the course of her journey. With a B.S. in Legal Studies, MPA & MBA, Cloé Luv’s academic expertise kept her ahead of the class and ahead of her time. With her keen sense to detail, leadership skills and business savviness, Cloé Luv implements an industry structure essential to Brook Brovaz evolution as CEO! A music production company, recording studios, non-for profit, Beauty, clothing, tech company, several clients and investors later, Cloé has taken the role as the leading lady very seriously and she is nowhere next to finish. She heads Brook Brovaz, C’est Moi Cosmetics, New Life Consultants, Lmsm Technologies, Cloe Luv LLC, Women with Voices, Mirco Moguls and Clean Up Nice Nyc and Special Clothes.
This interview has been edited for clarity