Formerly one of the Senior Director’s of A&R for Jive Records, Dave Lighty is directly responsible for helping shape the sound of popular music. With over 19 years of urban music experience, Lighty has seen firsthand how hip-hop has morphed into the most marketable genre of pop music. His experience ranges from consultation work to management duties for esteemed companies such as Violator and Def Jam Records where, in the late ‘90s, Lighty worked closely with one of the most talented rosters in rap history. Such longevity is proof of Lighty’s ingenuity to turn the music he grew up loving into a successful career.
Growing up in the Bronx in the ‘80s, Dave Lighty was raised in every aspect of the burgeoning hip-hop culture. As a teen he moved to Maryland where he would eventually enlist in the military. After leaving the service, Dave found himself straying from his original plan to go to college and falling victim to the pitfalls of the street. At the time his older brother Chris Lighty was living in New York City where he founded the hugely successful Violator Management. In 1994, Chris and his associate Lyor Cohen advised Dave to move to New York to pursue a career in the music industry.
After two years of trading off roadie and assistant duties for Violator artists like Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest and Mobb Deep, Lyor Cohen, the former president of Def Jam Records, hired Dave in 1996. He was eventually made the Manager of A&R where he was responsible for collaborating with artists like LL Cool J and Foxy Brown. During his two year tenure at Def Jam, Lighty served as the beat coordinator for LL’s platinum-selling Mr. Smith album and compiled the hits for EPMD’s Out of Business and the five-disc Def Jam Greatest Hits.
Recognizing the work he put in over at Def Jam, in 1998, Lighty was hired to continue Jive’s success in the urban market as the Director of their A&R department. As one of the first major labels to release hip-hop music with old-school acts like Schooly-D, Boogie Down Productions and The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff, Jive had always held a competitive slot in the mainstream. After being on board for a year, Lighty won a vicious bidding war for North Carolina rapper Petey Pablo. With platinum success, and multiple hit songs, Petey Pablo has proved to be one of Jive’s biggest stars.
This is just one of the many artist Lighty has worked with in the in his tenure with Jive Records. Along with recruiting artists for Violator Management Lighty has had a very postive track history.
Using his personal network of industry tastemakers, Lighty is constantly on a quest to find the next big thing, his knack for recognizing star quality in his mind is something that comes along with confidence, charisma, talent and a solid work ethic for all you inspiring artists. With his production company Odlight, Lighty continues to consult talent into the mainstream market. Being able to enrich hip-hop is absolutely essential to him. Through his hard work and dedication, David Lighty has already proven he is committed to improving the culture that has served as both his inspiration and life’s work.
Adding to his work in the entertainment business Lighty is now venturing into film, studying digital film production at the Art Institute combining the know how of the film industry along with his music experience we look forward to see what he has planned in the future with his production company Odlight.