"Diva is a female version of a hustla..." - Beyoncé, "Diva"
Ever since Beyoncé sashayed into our musical lives with group members Destiny’s Child in 1997, we’ve been blown away by her voice, her beauty, and her larger-than-life performances. Among her electrifying talent, the grammy-collecting singer-songwriter-actress-producer-director has launched companies and is an investor and partner in a few other businesses. In other words, she is one smart diva. Beyoncé's knack for entrepreneurship motivated us to start the Do You Know series, which highlights musicians who have lucrative businesses or side hustles. Our hope is to inspire artists through the spirit of business, and we think Beyonce is a great artist to help us launch this series.
When running a business, at times there are many setbacks before actual successes. After House of Dereon had been put on hiatus, Beyonce moved on to a bigger better venture: an entertainment and management company. In 2008, Beyonce founded Parkwood Entertainment. The New York-based company (reports state that the enterprise is moving to Los Angeles) has created a host of successful projects, such as films like Cadillac Records and Obsessed; albums such as 4, and surprise visual albums, Beyoncé and Lemonade. Oh, and don't forget the string of tours, L'Oréal and Pepsi endorsements, and various perfume launches.
Most recently, she signed 3 acts to her label. Additionally, this daring diva made another smart move: In October 2014, she partnered with British-based fashion company Topshop to form Parkwood Topshop Athletic Ltd. - i.e. Ivy Park.
"I started my own company when I decided to manage myself,” she shared during a private screening of “Beyonce” in 2013. “It was important that I didn't go to some big management company, I felt like I wanted to follow the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire, and show other women when you get to this point in your career you don't have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success—you do it yourself.”
Investments and partnerships are huge for Bey. It's not ironic that she mentioned “drinking watermelon” on her "Drunk In Love" track. She recently invested in a company called WTRMLN WTR. A hydrating watermelon beverage that is chock full of electrolytes and antioxidants.
Bloomberg.com quoted her as saying “I invested in WTRMLN WTR because it’s the future of clean, natural hydration; as partners, we share a simple mission to deliver accessible wellness to the world,” she said in a statement. “This is more than an investment in a brand, it’s an investment in female leaders, fitness, American farmers, and the health of people and our planet.”
To add one more layer to her boss tactics, she also partnered with her husband, Jay-Z, to launch the music service, Tidal, which gained thousands of new subscribers after the "Lemonade" release.
We’ve also learned via Complex that Parkwood Entertainment has invested $150,000 in another tech venture - Sidestep. Sidestep gives fans access to concert merchandise, experiences, and exclusive items. They have the option pick up their merch at the show or get it delivered to their doorstep.
Beyonce learned about the tech company after her Formation Tour merchandise sold out with the company’s support.
Queen Bee has a very smart, solid team behind her to help her make very profitable, strategic decisions. After being in the business for almost 20 years, creating a path for herself and other musicians is a smart way to go. Aspiring musicians take note. Find creative ways to seek innovative ways to create a forum for your music without relying on a major label.