Milton says: “I’ve always been an Artist Development guy, particularly since my days at Arista Records. I’ve always analysed trends in the market, and what I am seeing today is the rise of the Independents in the gospel music market. It was a blessing for me to partner with Felicia Day, the CEO of Ndamix Music Group and Executive Producer of Ndamix Entertainment Network, who are doing some amazing things in the Indie gospel space. Our first collaboration was What’s New In Gospel Vol 1, which is approaching 200,000 streams at the time of writing.” In 2020, Ndamix Entertainment will launch a 24/7 digital television entertainment network. The network will create a platform for independent music artists, musicians, authors, and poets to broadcast their talents for digital streaming or video on demand.
He has been called ‘Dean of The New Breed’ because of his commitment to support, develop and open new opportunities for independent artists. Currently, he represents MNRK Entertainment and other major suppliers, as well as a cadre of Indie artists from London, Africa, the Caribbean, and the States.
Milton’s career began as an on-air announcer at Howard University’s WHUR-FM. In 1976, he landed his first record company job as Regional Merchandising Coordinator for United Artists Records. Within a year, he was the Pop Music Promotion Manager in New York City – the USA’s largest music market. While at UA, Milton broke key pop singles, including Kenny Rogers’ mega-hit ‘The Gambler’, for which he was rewarded an RIAA quadruple-platinum award for ‘crossing over’ the song to Black radio formats.
Milton Allen earned a solid reputation as a consummate promoter, who had a special rapport with a wide array of talented artists. Milton soon landed the position of Director of Artist Development, Black Music for Arista Records. He represented an impressive roster of artists, including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Phyllis Hyman, Ray Parker Jr, Kenny G, Kashif, Gil Scott Heron, GQ, The Jeff Lorber Fusion, and GRP Records. There, he helped guide the careers of Arista artists from the product’s creative inception of the music, through to the recording and marketing processes. As a product manager, Milton worked with every department in the company, and developed a close working relationship with music industry legend and label President, Clive Davis.
In 1988, Milton became General Manager of Gospo Centric East – the East coast office of the number one gospel record company in America. He helped redefine Gospo Centric’s International distribution and marketing efforts to garner triple-digit increases in sales volume overseas. Along with Sr VP, Vernice Watson, Milton crafted a distribution system through independent Christian music distributors in Europe, Africa, Brazil, South Korea, and Japan. Watson and Allen also coordinated self-liquidating promotional tours in Europe.
In 2002, Allen and Watson launched The Artist Company International Distribution, representing major Christian Independents overseas. In 2015, Allen launched Global Music Link, representing eOne Nashville, eOne New York, SRG-ILS, and other major Christian and mainstream suppliers, as well as a host of independents from the UK, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Australia. In 2018, he organised a four-country Africa tour with Todd Dulaney, which resulted in the Live Recording ‘To Africa with Love (Live).’
In 2020, Allen launched All Access Africa, Ltd (London) – a platform and distribution system designed specifically to give Independents a level playing field in Africa with the major acts, by offering guaranteed placement and marketing support. The growth continues. Allen says: “I have never felt this positive about potential market growth for Christian Indie artists in territories and stages around the world.”
Ben Harrell, Global Music Link Editorial Team – Ben is the founder of Ambitions of a Writer, and the creator of Billboard and Bookings 101. Find out more at BenjHarrell.com
Written by: Ben Harrell