Women In The Room

Home / Women In The Room

WOMEN in the ROOM How Hip Hop Became Mainstream
with Faith Newman, Angelique Miles, Sophia Chang, Kim Osario & Thembisa Mshaka

You think you know the History of Hip-Hop? If you can’t name at least 10 women
executives who were critical to the movement and magic that is called Hip Hop, you really don’t know Hip Hop.
The Women in the Room: How Hip-Hop Became Mainstream is an eight-episode docu-series that tells the stories of the female executives who were critical catalysts for hip-hop’s success and introduction to the world. And now they are here Live for a personal panel .
The Panel will feature the women who made strides in hip hop.  Hear the stories about the women’s role in opening the downtown NYC nightlife scene as well as stories about their role in making unknown artists into household names.

Photo of Wendy Credle who will be moderating the Women In The Room Panel Newark Internation Film Festival

Wendy R. Credle, Esq.
Spanda Coaching
Credle & Associates, PLLC
Wen-Pie Productions

Featured on NBC News, Aspire Network’s nationally televised series, “Exhale”, and the new WEtv reality tv series, “Money Power Respect”, Wendy is recognized as a major player in the entertainment business.  As a serial entrepreneur, she is the CEO and founder of her own entertainment law firm, executive coaching company, and television production company.

Over the course of her twenty-eight year career in the music industry as an A&R executive, and later as an attorney, Wendy has worked with and represented several chart topping, Grammy award-winning artists including Ne-Yo, Chrisette Michele, Anthony Hamilton, Mario Winans, Chris Brown, Lil Mo, BBD, Rakim, Raven Symone, and Stephanie Mills.

While raising her twenty-one year old son, Gianni, Wendy has also spent half of her life on a spiritual path traveling throughout India and attending extended meditation retreats at her Guru’s ashram in the Catskills.

Wendy received her J.D. from Fordham Law School and her B.S. from the University of Michigan. She is an active philanthropist and works closely with charities that finance education and uplift women and children all over the world.


Faith Newman


Faith Newman serves as Reservoir’s Senior Vice President of A&R and Catalog Development, spearheading the company’s pursuit of new catalogs and talent. Faith’s expertise has led to Reservoir’s signing of Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz, alt-electronic duo Phantogram, Brooklyn hip-hop artist Joey Bada$$, electronic soul trio WatchTheDuck, and the acquisition of the historic Philadelphia soul record label, Philly Groove Records, and its sister publishing catalog, Nickel Shoe Music. Faith got her start in the music industry in 1987, when she was hired among the first five employees at Def Jam Recordings. She went on to create the administrative foundation of Def Jam, including, notably, its Artists & Repertoire and Publishing divisions. By 1989, she was Vice President of Artists & Repertoire, guiding the careers of hip-hop icons like Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, and LL Cool J. In 1991, Faith moved to Columbia Records to head its new urban music division, where she signed respected hip-hop artist Nas to his first record deal, co-executive producing his critically acclaimed debut, Illmatic. Following Columbia Records, Faith took roles at Jive Records and Mariah Carey’s MonarC Entertainment before moving to Verse Music Group, a music publishing company specializing in the acquisition of historic music catalogs. Faith served as Verse’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, where her efforts led to a multi-million dollar purchase agreement with a private equity firm in 2010. Her endeavors also led to Verse’s acquisition of the Salsoul Records and West End Records catalogs, along with their affiliated publishing companies, as well as the catalog of 1960s pop songwriter Linda Laurie. Faith holds a degree in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She now lives in Harlem, New York City, and continues to devote her professional life to pursuing, curating, and developing historic talent and catalogs.
Complex Magazine named Faith one of the Top 25 Hip Hop A&R people of all time. Among others she has been featured in the Wall St. Journal, USA Today, the NY Post, and on NPR. She can also be seen in the critically acclaimed film “Time is Illmatic”

Sophia Chang
Sophia Chang is a music business matriarch who worked with Paul Simon and managed ODB, RZA, GZA, Q Tip, A Tribe Called Quest, Raphael Saadiq, and D’Angelo. Her record company experience includes marketing at Atlantic, A&R at Jive, and in 2014 she headed A&R Admin and Operations at Universal. In 1995 Sophia left the music business to manage her then partner’s USA Shaolin Temple and have two children. During her time in fashion she produced runway shows for Vivienne Tam and“Project Runway All Stars.” She was also an account executive at digital agency Sarkissian Mason. She sold a screenplay which she sold to HBO and has developed other film and TV properties. Most recently she has joined the business development team at MedMen where she will build authentic partnerships between talent and cannabis.
Thembisa S. Mshaka is a 5-time Telly Award winner and Promax/BDA Gold Award-winning writer who has served in the entertainment industry for over 18 years, spanning the areas of touring, management, magazine publishing, recorded music and technology, advertising, music supervision for film, voice over, and television. As Senior Copywriter at Sony Music, and 2-time NARM Award winner, her campaigns contributed to the sale of more than 150 million albums for artists including Lauryn Hill, Will Smith, Beyonce, Wyclef Jean, NaS, Maxwell, George Michael, Wu-Tang Clan, Bow Wow, Jill Scott and Babyface. The former GAVIN rap editor has also written for Honey,essence.comLAUNCH.com, and served as contributing editor for The Hotness.com and BLAZE Magazine. She contributed to anthology Sometimes Rhythm: Sometimes Blues edited by Taigi Smith and 25 Hip-Hop Icons, an academic reference volume published by Greenwood Press. Thembisa is currently the Copy Director for BET Networks.
Kim_OsorioKim Osorio, who holds a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School and a Bachelors of Arts in Fine Arts from Fordham University, has devoted over twenty years of her career in the hip-hop industry. Mostly recognized as the Source’s first female Editor In Chief, she devoted 7 years at the hip hop magazine when it was in its prime, before spending six years at BET. Today, she works primarily in television, for networks such as VH1, BET, Bravo and WeTV. She has written and produced for shows such as Love and Hip Hop, Black Ink, and Hip Hop Honors. Last year, she launched her own Three Little Mouths production company, and is currently serving as a Co-Executive Producer on an upcoming series for the WeTV network and a pilot for VH1.
In September 2008, she released her personal memoir, entitled Straight From The Source: An Expose From The Former Editor In Chief of the Hip Hop Bible, to officially set the record straight. Widely known for filing one of the biggest lawsuits in the history of hip-hop, Kim Osorio sued the Source Magazine in 2006 and was victorious.
In addition to writing, Osorio also lectures at Universities and schools across the country. She has been featured as an expert in hip-hop on many documentaries and television shows.


Over the course of over a twenty-year career in the music business, Angelique Miles has distinguished herself as a creative executive of unusual range and skill and has, along the way, helped to shape the careers of some of the most significant R&B and Pop songwriters and recording artists in contemporary music.  Through a series of high-profile positions at some of the world’s biggest and most prestigious music publishing companies (Warner/Chappell Music, EMI Music Publishing, and Universal Music Publishing respectively), Miles has proven herself to be an adept judge of talent and a committed, result-oriented team player.

A New Yorker by birth and temperament, Miles has adroitly navigated her way through a volatile, shifting business environment with the singular class and professionalism that has come to define her.  Whether signing a new Hip-Hop artist, collaborating with an R&B legend, or working with a catalogue of classic songs, Angelique has relied on her top-notch administrative and interpersonal skills, a killer set of ears and intuitive sense of style and timing, and the results have been stellar.

“My role is to serve the song, the artist or the project,” she explained.   “Whether it’s an obscure old recording from the 80s or a young singer who is in need of development and direction, my approach is always to synthesize ideas that are unexpected but organic.”

The diverse list of artists and writers who have directly benefited from Miles’ creative direction and/or who she has signed to major publishing deals reads like a Who’s Who of contemporary Urban music and includes some of the biggest recording artists/writers/producers of the last twenty years: Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Ghostface, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Anthony Hamilton, Rodney Jerkins, Pharrell Williams, Lil’ Kim, Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis, and Busta Rhymes, just to name but a few.

Her love of music began as a child, when Angelique found herself drawn to the record collection of her Uncle.  “He had the most amazing taste and I would spend hours listening to all of the classic Soul and Funk records of the period.  I would read the liner notes like a novel and spend hour after hour listening.  I was first exposed to everything from Earth, Wind & Fire to Parliament/Funkadelic in that formative period, and that music really gave me the foundation that I built on.”

Through her company, ACM Entertainment LLC, Miles has consulted on various projects and events with FOX Audience Strategy, and has been a music supervisor on various projects for Bobbcat Productions (The Battle-ESPN2) and the Shadow League (currently music supervisor on two documentary films-the story of the suicides of two music industry executives, Christ Lighty and Shakir Stewart).  Angelique is also a go to person for song clearances for MBK Entertainment, Sony Music and independent film producers and directors.

Angelique’s philosophy about the work she does is clearly rooted in her own passion.  “I pride myself in being able to communicate well with a diverse group of people,” she elaborates.  “At the end of the day, I am a music lover, and I’ve been fortunate in my career because nurturing talent is a wonderful responsibility as well as a privilege.   For me, in the end it comes down to the song.”

tonya_pendletonWriter TONYA PENDLETON has snowboarded with Ja Rule, sang background for Will Smith and shared helicopter rides with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs – all the while, exploring the joy and tumult of Black music, its architects and aficionados with uncommon fervor and insight. An in-demand entertainment journalist for over a decade, Pendleton has penned provocative articles for some of the country’s top-selling magazines and newspapers, including The Source, Vibe, XXL, Essence, One World, Honey, the Washington Post and Philadelphia Daily News. Her intuitive mix of reportage, analysis and commentary have lead to appearances on Much Music, MSNBC and Court TV, along with featured spots on VH-1’s “Ultimate Albums” and “Behind the Music” specials. She’s also contributed to Slam, ESPN and Brand Jordan magazines, plus appeared on ESPN Classic’s “Sportscentury.”

Aside from her forays in print and television, Tonya’s also a veteran of web journalism, having served as senior music editor of BET.com, the largest African-American Internet website, for three years. She also conducts interviews for America Online, writes guest columns for The Crusade and enjoys helping and mentoring younger writers. The latter’s been a passion of Pendleton’s since she served as editor of Philadelphia Daily News’ “Fresh Ink” youth section, guiding a team of over 75 high-school students in its creation before becoming music editor of the groundbreaking publication YSB, the now-defunct forerunner to today’s ultra-popular teen-themed entertainment ‘zines.

A film buff, basketball fanatic and proud, active aunt, Pendleton resides in Philadelphia.