Latinx Female is the Music Industry’s Secret Weapon


( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Karla Ortiz is a Marketing Expert that is Changing the Game for Women in Music

ENSPIRE Contributor: Leanna Florez

For decades, women have been struggling to break into the music production industry. Fortunately, more and more opportunities are being created for women to succeed in positions originally dominated by men. Karla Ortiz is a shining example of a Latinx woman whose determination and talent allow her career to blossom. 

Founder of Monark entertainment and former digital marketing executive at Universal Music Group, Karla Ortiz smashes barriers. Her skill in high-level strategy, creative direction, online streaming, and digital marketing make her the face behind some of the music industry’s biggest moments. The Rock’s historic rap debut on TechN9ne’s “Face Off” track and The Voice alumni Sophia Bromberg’s eco-focused TikTok initiative can all be credited to her digital marketing brilliance. 

Ortiz’s Groundbreaking Career

Throughout her career, Ortiz has worked with music artists and producers of all genres. Her marketing skills were used to aid 16-time Grammy-winning producer David Foster on his major tours. She served as the marketing arm for K-pop super label 88 Rising and their acclaimed artists like Joji and BIBI. Recently in 2022, the Los Angeles College of Music appointed Ortiz as a professor of the Music Business Department. There, she teaches students about digital distribution, music marketing, and more. 

However, despite her success, she faces many challenges in this industry. Being a Latinx woman in a white male-dominated field leads many to look down on her. “I’ve had meetings and experiences where folks assume I don’t know much about the industry or our core business, thinking my specialty is only Latin music,” she says.

She even described instances of executives telling her to branch out of the Latin demographic, ignoring their own directives for her to stay in that demographic. But regardless of genre, Ortiz proves her ability to find and market artists. 

When working with an artist, she’s “looking for a genuine vested interest in their music career, quality music, content, and accountability to take on the tasks they handle in the release cycle.” Artists should be interested in not just their music, but all the marketing aspects that will help to get their name and content circulating. Ortiz suggests YouTube and TikTok as premier digital marketing platforms that reward artists for maintaining a steady cadence.

The free platforms are a cost-effective way for artists to raise their voices, social media presence, and musical content. In the digital marketing world, her advice is, “If it doesn’t cost you money, it will cost you time. Choose wisely and get to work!” 

If she can do it, so can you!

Getting to work is exactly what Ortiz does in order to reach the positions she has. Though it leads some to doubt her skill, her ethnicity gives her a unique perspective that aids her in her various roles. Speaking Spanish and English allows her to understand the various markets in different areas of the world and analyze consumption trends in each of them. Knowing the digital platforms that each audience is attracted to help her and her artists authentically communicate with them.

For this reason, she encourages more Latinx women to get involved in the music industry. “I would encourage them to never let go of or ignore where they come from, and their rich identity,” she says. “You can balance your unique culture and language while tending to the other priorities and target markets.” 

Karla Ortiz and her work are proof that breaking the traditional barriers in the music industry is possible. 

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