Beyoncé’s father, Mathew Knowles, is an author, professor, public speaker, entrepreneur, music executive, artist manager and founder of Music World Entertainment. Based out of Houston, Music World Entertainment is celebrating over 25 years as one of the world’s leading music and entertainment conglomerates, with record sales exceeding $450 million worldwide, with artists Chaka Khan, Earth Wind & Fire, The O’Jays, Destiny’s Child, Solange and Beyoncé, just to name a few. Knowles is widely recognized in the entertainment industry for his approach to developing and promoting award-winning artists. Through Music World Entertainment and Artist Management, he has served as executive producer for more than 100 award-winning, platinum and gold albums in multiple genres, including pop, R&B, gospel, dance and country, as well as soundtracks and special-themed project.
I spoke with Mathew about launching Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child to international fame, the latest trends in music marketing and some exciting new projects he has in the works.
Jackie Huba: Congratulations on all of your success in your extensive career in music and entertainment. Let’s go back to the beginning. Talk about your strategies in launching Destiny’s Child.
Mathew Knowles: When we came into the industry, it was girl groups. It was SWV. There was Xscape. There was TLC. There was En Vogue. There was real girl‑group competition, but what set us aside was my former wife, Tina, did an incredible job in creating the image of Destiny’s Child. Most of the groups back then were wearing baggy pants and boots. We came with glamour and glitz. Beyoncé did an incredible job of differentiating the sound of Destiny’s Child in her songs. When you hear Destiny’s Child, you know it based on the harmonies and the melodies.
There is music strategy but also branding as well. [Based on my time at AT&T, Xerox, Phillips and Johnson & Johnson,] it gave me a different view of the music industry than even the music industry had. We came in with a different concept of building a brand. What could we do to make Destiny’s Child distinctive from their image, their sound, the name? We were about branding, not just the music. I came in with branding and endorsements. That was foreign at the time. No one was really doing that. We had brand partners [such as] L’Oreal, Nintendo, American Express. Also, our biggest relationship was with Walmart.