Article by J.D. Thrasher
Driving in a November rain, Karen Civil is desperately trying to find her destination. Civil has a meeting with ASAP Rocky who is in Los Angeles for a studio session. To make matters worse she is in the middle of a phone interview with JENESIS Magazine.
But Civil, a well-known music industry insider, can handle it. She owns Karencivil.com and is the social media manager for Beats by Dre and Lil Wayne. She also runs Livingcivil.com and plans to publish a book about positive living next year.
However, it was an internship with Funkmaster Flex that was the turning point in her early career efforts. “At that internship, nothing was too big or too small,” said Civil who interned while she was a student at Union County College.
By the time she graduated, her aggressive work ethic was noticed and she was offered a job with Funk Master Flex. The job proved fruitful. Civil, being interested in music was able to be around musicians and others involved in the music industry. “I’ve always had a love for music,” Civil said.
This love for music translates to a sincere love for the people who create music. Civil lovingly refers to Lil Wayne and Young Chris as her brothers. On Karencivil.com, visitors can see rappers making goofy expressions and posing with Karen Civil. It is a sight that’s rarely seen, but the rappers are willing to do it for Civil.
“Oh yeah, let’s have fun. Everyone sees rappers as serious,” said Civil, who launched the site to give an inside view of the music industry. “I look to music and the Internet for my imagination,” said Civil.
Even as an intern, Civil saw the importance of social media outlets like Facebook and MySpace and began to develop ideas for Funkmaster Flex. “At the time Flex didn’t really get the gist of social media,” said Civil, who has since assisted Flex in launching Inflexwetrust.com.
Deciding that it was best to move on from her internship to develop her talents, Civil went on to work with Dipset member Duke Da God. She eventually became an A&R at Diplomat Records. She met more people, and developed good relationships with them, eventually launching KarenCivil.com.
One of her first interviews was with Drake. “He opened up and told me things,” Civil said. Drake talked with her about music and shows. Civil said she remembers when Drake, the superstar that he is now, had difficulties scheduling meetings with record labels.
“I feel like I built a friendship with these people. Most blogs wait until people get hot to give them coverage,” said Civil who credits her early relationships with today’s biggest stars as her success. Admittedly, she says there are bumps in the road, and without positive thinking, it is easy for a person’s goals to be derailed. That is why she launched Livingcivil.com.
“My goal is to help people coming up who want to be in industry,” Civil said. “There are those down moments, like when you want an internship and you’re not getting a call back.”
The site includes inspirational quotes, and details charitable projects like Timberland planting trees in Civil’s homeland of Haiti in her honor.
Positive thinking and positive relationships is what Karen Civil bases her life off of. “Life is important to me. This is something you’ll never get again and you have to cherish it.”