Steve Stoute is Founder and CEO of the brand development and marketing firm Translation, and author of The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy. Previously, he worked in the music industry as an American record executive and artist manager.
From 1990 to 1999, Stoute was an executive at several labels in the music industry. At Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Stoute served as President of the Urban Music division and executive vice president. Stoute has also produced several major motion picture soundtracks. Prior to joining Interscope, Stoute was president of Urban Music for Sony Music Entertainment, where he played an instrumental role in launching the music careers of Lil Jaxe, Will Smith and Nas. Stoute was also former manager to Nas and Mary J. Blige.
Advertising & Marketing Executive
Stoute is the Founder and CEO of Translation, a marketing firm with clients that include State Farm, McDonald's, and Anheuser-Busch InBev. Translation approach to advertising is managing ‘cultural’ nuances to allow consumers to know the difference between marketing communications intended to relate to them versus those that intend to ‘sell to them.'
In 2009 the American Advertising Federation inducted Stoute into their Advertising Hall of Achievement, the industry's premier award for outstanding advertising professionals age 40 and under. In 2010, Steve was recognized as “Innovator of the Year” at the ADCOLOR awards ceremony, an initiative launched by the ADCOLOR Industry Coalition, to promote increased diversity in the advertising, marketing and media industries. In 2013, Stoute was named "Executive of the Year" by Ad Age, the leading publication for the advertising and marketing industries. Most recently, Fast Company (magazine) named Stoute one of the "Most Creative People in Business."
In 2005, Stoute became the Managing Director and CEO of Carol's Daughter, a line of natural hair and body care products created by Lisa Price in Brooklyn, NY. He formed a board of investors including Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Jimmy Iovine, Tommy Mottola, and Thalía and a bevy of spokeswomen for the line include Mary J. Blige, Solange Knowles, Cassie Ventura, Selita Ebanks, Kim Fields, and Jada Pinkett Smith. His leadership has enabled the company to grow and has brought partnerships such as Disney's "The Princess & The Frog" via a collection of hair and body products for children and HSN via an exclusive fragrance launch with Mary J. Blige. Today he serves as the brand's Lead Investor & Chairman.
He has appeared in the HBO series and book “The Black List Project,” featuring interviews and portraits with leading African American figures on being black in America. He was also chosen as one of four extraordinary Americans featured in Target’s national multi-cultural campaign in honor of Black History Month.
Steve Stoute released his first book The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy on September 8, 2011 (Gotham Books). In the book, Stoute draws from his diverse background in the music industry and brand marketing to chronicle how an upstart art form – street poetry set to beats – came to define urban culture as the new . Stoute's understanding of how hip-hop morphed into mainstream culture enabled him to relate to a new generation of thinking.
In February 2014, the book was made into a four-part VH1 Rock Doc, “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop.” In April 2014, the book was released as an audiobook narrated by Kerry Washington.
Steve has been the keynote or featured speaker at many notable events including the International Consumer Electronics Show, the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), Fast Company Innovation Uncensored, and AAF’s ADMERICA. He also appeared on the main stage at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with Sean Combs in 2013, and again with Kanye West and Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz in 2014.
Steve Stoute is involved in a variety of civic causes. In 2008, he joined forces with Mary J. Blige to co-found the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), whose mission is to educate, and empower women through scholarships, grants and career development opportunities. In 2009 they opened their first facility, the Mary J. Blige Center for Women in Yonkers, New York.
In addition, Steve has also played a key role in the development of minority recruitment campaigns for both the Fire Department of the City of New York and the New York City Police Department. Stoute received a 2004 Humanitarian Award from the FDNY for his work on their “Heroes Wanted” campaign. In 2003, he served as the co-chairman of the New York City Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit program offering minority children an opportunity to experience life outside the confines of the inner city.
Steve was born on June 26, 1970 in Queens, New York.