The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center: Primary Wave Marketing & Management Coordinator, Maytav Koter
Growing up in Israel, Maytav Koter moved across the globe at the age of eight after her father took a job in the United States.
Music was always a passion, and at the age of 17 Koter moved to New York City to study the business. An extremely diligent worker, she held six different internships during her years in school, including a stint working under the COO of Atlantic Records, Julie Greenwald.
These experiences led Koter to the position she holds today; Marketing & Management Coordinator at Primary Wave — one of the largest independent music marketing, talent management and music publishing companies in the country.
We’re thrilled to spotlight Maytav Koter in today’s Front and Center. For more on Primary Wave, visit www.primarywave.com.
WiMN: Tell us about your upbringing in Israel. How did you become interested in the music business?
MK: Being originally from Israel and having spent my childhood there has truly shaped who I am. When people realize I moved to the States at the age of eight, they generally believe I’m more or less detached from that culture but it’s completely not the case. I speak Hebrew fluently and have extended family and my closest, dearest friends there. I appreciate where I am today because of where I came from, it’s the closest place to my heart.
Throughout middle and junior high school, I was pretty much the nerd with not many friends. I found writing a way to express myself, so I started writing lyrics and exploring melodies in my head. I carefully kept this to myself until some friends found out I was working on music at a local studio after school every Wednesday.
Long story short, at the end of high school I had to decide whether to volunteer for the Israeli army or move to New York to pursue a career. At age 17 I moved to the big city where I began school and in conjunction starting interning at music companies. I did six internships, one of which I worked for Julie Greenwald at Atlantic and absolutely fell in love with the business. I was a hustler and felt that the music business was where I needed to be.
WiMN: What brought you to the states?
MK: My parents’ dream was always for my siblings and I to be educated in the States. My father got a great job offer and at the age of eight I didn’t have a choice but to be taken away from the amazing childhood I was living. I didn’t know much back then, and thought we were going on a long trip. Now I have duel citizenship, a career I love, and opportunities and experiences I would have never imagined. I can only thank my parents for the very thing I once cried about.
WiMN: What was it like to work under Julie Greenwald of Atlantic Records? What lessons did you learn?
MK: It was one of the best experiences. Watching and observing her do her thing was an incredible experience for me both personally and professionally. Her energy was contagious. Julie is fearless. She’s a fighter. She will knock down all the doors for her artists. I was so moved and inspired by her passion. It made me a believer. And moreover, her role as a powerful women in this business made me realize this is where I needed to be. There aren’t enough of us raising our hand. I’ve risen both.
I learned to be fearless. To put myself out there and not be afraid to ask questions. I also learned to be a better listener.
WiMN: What is your typical work day like at Primary Wave?
MK: Every day is different. I work closely with the CMO as his right hand which consists of many responsibilities as he oversees all of marketing and talent management. I’m in constant communication with our artists’ managers on day-to-day matters, I coordinate our marketing initiatives and all label releases, and also assist the creative/A&R team in scouting new talent on the publishing side. After work, you can find me in the Lower East Side seeing a new band.
WiMN: Do you play an instrument or write music? If so, tell us about a current project.
MK: Used to play the flute, wish I still knew how. I still write here and there, but nothing to tell about.
WiMN: Who are some of your female heroes in the industry – artists or otherwise?
MK: Well, Julie of course. She’s one I really look up to. I recently got to know Jennifer Justice who is as badass as it gets. Her story is fascinating to me. She’s a big supporter of women empowerment and educating the next generation. Growing up my mom’s favorite artists were Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Their classics still make me cry. Oh, and my mother was obsessed with Cher. She’d turn off my Britney jams for her female-anthem Cher songs.
WiMN: Can you share your experience as a woman in the industry? Have there been any challenges?
MK: I’ve had an amazing experience so far, it’s really what you make of it. You can have your day-to-day tasks and be done there. Or, you can hustle hard, learn everything about the business and be everywhere, meet everyone, introduce yourself, and be the absolute best at what you do – because after all is said and done, your hard work is what people will respect you for.
WiMN: What is some advice you’d offer to a young woman pursuing a career in the industry?
MK: Be a student of the business. Learn everything, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself, be professional about it. If something or someone spurs your interest, reach out, raise your hand and ask how you can help. Surround yourself with those who inspire you.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten is that it’s okay to fail, and you should and will fail. And once you do, you will get back up and do it so much better.
Lastly, stay humble.