Neil Levine

A veteran executive of the entertainment industry with an eye firmly fixed on the digital future, Neil Levine has been at the cutting edge of entertainment innovation since the early days of hip-hop. A content creator, curator, educator, manager and marketer, Levine is firmly positioned in the digital business and has developed into an expert in the streaming and digital business. Known for his media savvy, sharp eye for new talent, and market insight, Levine has been discovering, developing, and distributing world class music and media for more than 30 years.

A native New Yorker, Levine graduated from the Berklee College of Music. His first job was in a NYC record distribution warehouse where he talked his way into the sales department. Within a year, he had become the distributor’s top sales representative and the go-to guy for knowing what was hot in music and where it was being sold.

He continued that combination of insider know-how and marketing techniques throughout his varied career.  Levine has created marketing companies, record labels, and publishing companies.  He has held positions at TVT Records as SVP Artist Development/Marketing, launching the careers of the multi-platform artists Lil’ Jon & The Eastside Boyz; ran the worldwide operations for Rykodisc, headed Sony Music Entertainment’s artist development division Battery Records as well as SVP of A&R for RCA/Jive. He also launched an artist development division at EMI Music, Imperial Records where he signed Fat Joe, and ran the worldwide urban business for Capitol Records.  Neil has worked with a who’s who of artists including Jay-Z, Wu Tang Clan, Ice Cube, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Usher, A Tribe Called Quest and the list goes on and on.

In 1994, he founded Penalty Recordings, a music and entertainment company that oversaw the success of artists like Noreaga (NORE and Drink Champs), Capone-N- Noreaga, Lord Finesse, The Beatnuts, and Crooked Lettaz (David Banner). Relaunching the company in 2014 in partnership with Sony Music and Sony RED with artists including Trina, Joell Ortiz, Statik Selektah, Levine has steered Penalty through multiple periods of industry disruption.

Now in 2023, Levine has joined the newly launched Miami based label, Mistar Entertainment as label manager, heading up operations and marketing. Mistar’s flagship artist is the newly relaunched superstar group Menudo. Levine’s is also an adjunct professor teaching music business at both NYU Steinhardt and Marymount Manhattan College. He is an advisory board member for the Universal Hip Hop Museum as well serving on their Artist Relations Committee. Levine also is co-host of his own podcast, Penalty Office – Music Business 101.