Jocelyn Cooper is an entrepreneur, innovator, history maker, and nurturer of the creative process and a savvy business executive. A 25-year veteran of the music business, Cooper has turned a life-long love of music into a golden road filled with career successes. As former Head of A&R at Universal Records and Senior Vice President/Special Assistant to the Chairman (Doug Morris) of the Universal Music Group, Cooper was the chief architect of Universal Record’s musical identity. She was instrumental in securing a number of high profile production deals and artists for Universal - Cash Money (Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Nicki Minaj and Drake), Nelly, Three Doors Down and hit soundtracks including “American Pie 1 & 2,” “Kings of Comedy” and “Baby Boy.”
Prior to her stint at Universal, Cooper spent four years building the successful music publishing company – Midnight Songs – a co-venture with Mercury Records and Polygram Music Publishing (now administered by Universal Music Publishing). And in the process, making her the first and only African-American woman to run a major publishing company. While at the helm of Midnight, Cooper signed the Grammy Award winning soul singer/song writer/ producer D’Angelo to a publishing deal – being the first to introduce the exceptionally talented musician to the music world. In addition to D’Angelo, Angie Stone, Brian McKnight and Rafael Saadiq rounded out midnight’s roster of singer songwriters. Also, in keeping with the philosophy of giving back and as a graduate of a historically black college (Hampton University), Cooper initiated and co-sponsored with Mercury Records, a hip-hop tour of African American colleges, which included seminars, introducing students of color to the various opportunities that exist in the music business other than as a performer.
Cooper honed her natural ability as a spotter of superior talent at Warner Chappell Music Publishing, where she was a creative executive from 1989 – 1993. During her tenure at Warner Chappell, Cooper signed The Untouchables (Mary J. Blidge, Heavy D.,
Mariah Carey), and Bernard Bell (Michael Jackson, Guy, Keith Sweat) some of the hottest writers and producers of the early 90’s. It was her ability to identify new musical trends and spotting the talent that creates it, which led Doug Morris’ bringing her aboard at Universal and continues to make her a much in demand executive.
Jocelyn ran Hitco Music Publishing founded by Antonio “LA” Reid in 1996. Among many highlights Hitco’s Beyonce Knowles was the first African American woman and the second woman ever to win ASCAP’s Pop “Songwriter of the Year” award in 2001 and Sean Garrett was named Billboards #1 Hot 100 Songwriter of the year Pop with 12 charting singles in 2006. With and emphasis on quality vs. quantity Hitco flourished under Jocelyn’s leadership. Cooper is now a partner in AFROPUNK LLC a media, marketing and events company that has web community with over 4,000,000 visitors monthly. AFROPUNK is the number one destination for alternative Black culture and celebrates that community with annual AFROPUNK festivals in Brooklyn, Atlanta, London and Paris.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where she still resides, this dedicated executive also strives to keep her life balanced. Keeping a balance means maintaining close ties to her family, friends and community. Cooper is actively involved in various organizations, including, The Prospect Park Alliance, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Women in Music. A love of music, a love of family and a commitment to continuing to explore herself, Cooper continues to expand her boundaries and in the process, creating opportunities for others and making sure the public at large gets to hear the very best that the music world has to offer.