Malcolm Manswell, Founder/CEO of IPO Group, discusses his experience with rapper Yo Gotti & Atlantic Records

Written by: Alexandria Jordan – June 25th, 2020 8:36pm pst

Not only is June the beginning of Summer, it’s also Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” month, which Black Hollywood Live will be highlighting Black Owned Businesses. 

In a recent interview on BHL’s Conversations, Malcolm Manswell, Founder/CEO of IPO Group, discusses how his experience in the music industry led him to start his own record label and entertainment agency. He also gives advice to aspiring artists, as well as giving props to Yo Gotti as one of the few artists that has looked out and never held back resources.


IPO Group, which stands for Initial Public Offering is an entertainment agency, record label, and management firm- all in one. Created as a pun on the stock market, IPO Group invests and believes in artists and their ideas before they are presented and offered to the public. Using the mantra “price went up”, they invest before the artist gets big. Manswell describes this process as an artist going from private to public, saying “if you believe in the entertainer before they go public, you’ll benefit from believing early”.

Credit: youtube

Previously, working as Head of Marketing at CMG The Label and Marketing Manager at Atlantic Records, Manswell gained a plethora of experience and knowledge in the music industry. This is what led him to start IPO Group. Manswell expressed, “Unfortunately, we only have like one black CEO in all of the music industry, which I think needs to change. I want to see more Black executives, like myself, push forward more actual unity.” 

With the Black Lives Matter movement, hopefully there will be a change in Black executive leadership. Manswell says, “I prefer to have a real change and I think it’s a conversation that needs to be had. Black executives, in general, are just not helping each other like they could. I’ve always been the one to help and send an email on my behalf like, ‘hey, you should check this person out’. If I hear about a job, I’ll say, ‘this person needs to be in this job’. I’ll reach out and send an email. It’s simple stuff that’s not happening much within our community.” Reflecting on his past experiences, Manswell describes Yo Gotti as, “one of the few people who believed early on.”  

For anyone trying to break into the music industry, Manswell says, “doing research has been my saving grace. It’s about your willingness- what are you willing to do? Figuring out who is responsible for what and going to them. You have a laptop so you have access. Research!”

With all the shifts and trends in the music industry, some artists may find it difficult to catch the attention of record labels. While every exec is different, Manswell says he looks for originality and artists who are passionate about their craft. “You have to be unique in different ways. Why should people care about your music above anyone else’s?”  He continued, “the story line is huge for us.”

Not only is Manswell passionate about the entertainment agency, he has also directed his attention to launching SneakHeat, which is a shoe trading site. Listed in Complex’s Top 25 Sneaker Company, SneakHeat, allows people to buy, trade, and sell shoes online. This company idea came about because at the time there was no safe way to buy, sell, and trade shoes online. He suggests, “take a problem in the industry and solve it. And then present it in a way where either you are the all-encompassing person who can solve the problem or you come up with a solution to solve the problem or you present it to a company on how they can solve the problem.”

Make sure to check out IPO Group and Sneakheat 

If you love Malcolm Manswell, Yo Gotti, or CMG The Label, share this article with a friend. Tune in daily to Black Hollywood Live for the latest news and info on pop culture and entertainment!

About The Author:

Alexandria Jordan is an on-air host and red carpet correspondent with AfterBuzz TV and Black Hollywood Live. She is passionate about all things entertainment and loves connecting with people who share similar interests.

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