Kim Smith Dockery credits the golden rule with her longevity in music By Christal Jordan
When asked for her most rewarding experience in music it take Kim Dockery Smith awhile to find just one. She credits her first job working with Teddy Riley over twenty-five years ago as that aha moment for her, but there have been many milestones along the way that she believes has confirmed that she is following her passion and purpose. Kim’s passion for the creation of music and her desire to act as an advocate for creators has made her one of the executives that artists from a variety of musical inclinations desire to have on their team.
Since her time with Teddy Riley, the face and the mechanics of the industry have changed tremendously. Kim credits her ability to adapt and evolve to her longevity, especially as it relates to overseeing projects. “Overseeing several hip-hop projects in today’s music industry can be challenging, especially if the artist and team are not intentional about maintaining accurate records of session files and producers' info. Alternatively in today’s times there is so much information that can be accessed online, so Google, YouTube, and social media have definitely been a life saver when researching unfamiliar producer and artist contacts.”
Challenges aside, Kim has learned to manage passion for advocacy with reality and it’s resulted in a respect from both the artists she works with and also her peer executives. “It has not always been easy but whenever I’m faced with adversity, I’ve been blessed with the fortitude to overcome those challenges. That being said the hardest lesson for me to understand was that not all artists will be successful even though they may be undeniably talented. Sylvia Rhone once told me to never get attached to the artists” The are those special artists who are loyal but there are also those who shift with the change in the wind. The executive I am today, does not have any patience for nonsense or for situations that are a waste of my time.
Her most important rule of thumb during her twenty-five-year tenure in the business is to treat others as she would want to be treated. “This business is very transitional. Someone could be an intern today and could be a top executive tomorrow. I’ve always been the type to remain humble and to treat everyone as my equal. That rule has served me well because there are people,
I’ve given advice to who have later become peers or even higher execs I end up interacting with. Mainly it’s just about being a good person. Good people shine through no matter what industry you are in. I’ve always known if I keep God first, the rest will work itself out.