According 2 Hip-Hop has connected with Sharde’ Simpson and Ciara Reed, music industry veterans who have united as founding partners for Simpson & Reed, PLLC. Simpson and Reed is a boutique law firm specializing in music, film, and entertainment law.
Reed is a revered music attorney with a decade of experience in music law. Throughout her career, she has led joint ventures, endorsements, license agreements, artist management deals, and more.
Simpson is not only a founder of Simpson & Reed, PLLC, she is also the VP of Operations at DreamChasers, Meek Mill’s record label with Roc Nation. At Dreamchasers, Simpson oversees full-label operations, including talent acquisition and marketing tactics.
When A2HH ask Sharde’ Simpson how the partnership between herself and Ciara Reed came to be she replied; “I had essentially started out as associates at a law firm, and we were working together and became friends, then I ended up parting ways. A few years after being at that law firm, I started getting a ton of referrals for clients and then she was doing the same. And so we decided that we’d partner and make it official.
A2HH: What got you into the music industry?
Ciara Reed: Once entertainment is in your blood, like it stays there. I did acting as a kid and I realized that I didn’t want to be on the acting side. I wanted to help people in this space. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to help where I saw people were getting taken advantage of. Unfortunately that happens a lot in this industry.
Sharde’ Simpson: I got my start at Island Def Jam Music Group in New York. So I was an intern first and I interned in the strategic marketing department. And then while I was there, I would just go to all of the departments and ask them if they needed help with different things. While I was there Jay Z was actually running the label. I believe the A&R side of things and I became close with Tyran Smith, most people know him as TyTy. So I ended up graduating from college a year early and asked if they needed help and I sat with the guys and they basically took me on as an assistant. So my first job in the music industry was as an executive assistant for Roc Nation. I went to Columbia University for undergrad and then I went to Fordham Law School. So I’m a New Yorker through and through. I’m from Brooklyn.
A2HH: When did you fall in love with Hip-Hop?
Sharde’ Simpson: For me, it was with my mom. So my mom was a big Jay Z, Tupac, & Biggie fan. I remember we would stay in Atlanta and Stone Mountain, Georgia during the Summer. We would drive from New York City to Atlanta and when we would drive down there. My Mom would have her CDs that she would leave in the house so they couldn’t get scratched, and then she’d have a second set for the car. I remember hearing Biggie all the time, and definitely Jay all the time. I was so young, I was probably like, I don’t know, fifth grade, sixth grade, maybe listening to stuff I probably shouldn’t have been listening to.
Ciara Reed: My mom wanted to kill my brother, but like I grew up in a small town. We went to like these super early commutes because I live literally in the sticks and he would drive us to school. He would be blasting like Tupac and Biggie. So I was like middle school age, possibly even younger than that. My mom was like, Noooooo!!!!!. As kids I was like, this is the jam and Tupac is a poet. Through and through.
Sharde & Ciara continue on to speak on a variety of topics pertaining to the music business such as artist monetization, 360 deals, owning your masters, and more.
Checkout the full interview below: