The Puerto Rican marketer, manager and promoter on having Don Omar as a mentor and growing Ivy Queen
By Leila Cobo
Sonia Clavell is a rarity: She is a female manager in the world of reggaetón, and her key client is a female reggaetón artist, another rarity. That the artist is Ivy Queen, known as the “Queen” of reggaetón, and the first female artist to foray successfully in the genre — makes Clavell’s career all the more fascinating.
As the president of Clavell Marketing, Clavell, a Puerto Rican native, brings to the table years of experience in the genre, where she worked doing everything from public relations and promotions, to marketing, label management and concert promotions, working with a wide range of artists that includes from Don Omar to Natti Natasha (during a stint in Pina Records).
Clavell, who has been working with Ivy Queen for the past two years, spoke to Latin Hitmaker — the Billboard podcast — about her storied career, her management and life philosophy and the challenges of women in reggaetón.
Listen to the full episode here:
Some nuggets from the conversation:
On Don Omar: He was key in my career. He believed in me. He was my mentor and I say it everywhere: He was the first one who said, ‘You should open your own company, and I’ll help you.’”
On Managing Ivy Queen: We are two strong-willed women, two intelligent, women, two warriors. I don’t see my self as Ivy’s manager. I’m her friend, her partner, I’m the person who presents her opportunities, who says this is my vision, you decide. The message behind these efforts is, if as women we come together, we support each other, we can achieve whatever we want.
On the Importance of Teamwork: The word “team” is a favorite of Clavell’s. “There is nothing in this world that you can say, ‘I did it alone.’ Even having a child requires two people. I’m not the one who gets onstage to perform. I’m not the one recording at all hours. We are a team.
On Going from Street Vendor to Executive: Clavell sold candy in stoplights in Puerto Rico as a teen to make extra cash. Now, she runs a company. “It doesn’t matter how complicated your circumstances are, it’s a question of will and how you see yourself. Beyond the money and the position, I can proudly say I’m an independent person, that my mother is proud of me, and that I’ve done things the right way.”
Clavell is the second female executive interviewed for this second season of Latin Hitmaker, the podcast that tells the stories behind the executives who drive Latin music’s biggest stars and hits. The season will continue through the month of October.
You can find all Latin Hitmaker episodes on Spotify or on most podcast platforms.