32 Executive Vice President, A & R – Sony Urban; President – Ghet-O-Vision, New York City
Some people are born to dance, others are born to sing, and still others are born to produce. Kawan KP Prather, executive vice president, Artist & Repertoire, at Sony Urban and founder-president of the street-wise label Ghet-O-Vision, exemplifies all three.
Prather started out in Atlanta as a deejay for a local outfit called Parental Advisory, eventually teaming up with members of the heretofore unknown groups Outkast and Goodie Mob. Calling themselves Dungeon Family, the union broadened Prather’s horizon as a performer and enabled him to establish relationships with Pebbles and L.A. Reid of LaFace Records, relationships that led to his career as an A&R executive and record producer.
Throughout his early twenties, Prather toured with PA, performing with the likes of A Tribe Called Quest and The Fugees, while taking on whatever projects he could to hone his skills as a producer. His big break came when he paired R&B heartthrob Usher with hip-hop producer Jermaine Dupri, creating the widely successful album My Way. Preparing to release his final album with PA, My Life, Your Entertainment, Prather simultaneously negotiated his partnership with LaFace, becoming director of A&R, then moving up the ranks to vice president. Recognizing the commercial viability of ghetto music, he pioneered Ghet-O-Vision, a welcome break from the R&B that dominated LaFace’s roster. With the emergence of the rap group Youngbloodz, the chart-topping release of the Shaft soundtrack and more artists on the way, Ghet-O-Vision gained momentum.
Prather and his label later moved to Columbia Records, where he inked a deal with Outkast for their label Aquemini, and worked on Bow Wow’s album Unleashed. Although Columbia would remain the distributor of Ghet-O-Vision, 2005 marked another monumental change for Prather when he joined Sony BMG as executive vice president. In this role, Prather is developing some of the company’s most talented artists, including Beyoncé, Tiffany Evans and gospel singer Kim Burrell. One of the most valuable lessons he has learned in his climb to success is a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.