Richardine Bartee is a New York City-based designer, writer and publicist. She grew up in the digital frontier where false promises of exposure and unpaid internships lead you to the land of nowhere. Emerging from MySpace to blogging to creatively directing the budding landscape is how she became the content alchemist. This multi-layered vision for artists is what led her to create GRUNGECAKE, a magazine for indie artists. Having a platform like GRUNGECAKE allows Richardine to be in touch with the emerging sound and with journalists, designers, and filmmakers. This tight-knit group keeps her tied to her roots. With 3 million views a month, GC continues to bring obscure artists into the mainstream. The platform also works with your favourite labels to break major acts to audiophiles alike.
Rich’s innate tenacity has forged relationships with brands like New Balance, Google, and The Big Three major record labels: Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. As a publicist, her synergetic work ethic moves mountains. She commits so much of herself to projects that it forces musicians to believe in themselves. An agent for transformation, Richardine, meets artists where they’re at and gently pulls them to their potential. She has a penchant for finding the story and hero, in each soul, she touches. This type of nurturing and mentoring cannot be swayed or bought; it must be felt.
Known to leverage her access for others, most recently, Richardine utilized her relationship with the Recording Academy to secure content by Laycon, Oxlade, and others for Grammy.com. The stage has since evolved from the Lower Eastside to Lagos. This mission to bridge the gap between the Americas, Africa, and other continents has been covered by The Guardian and Vanguard. Her cultural activism has led her to spearhead campaigns for Davido’s ‘A Good Time’ tour and just recently becoming Head of Publicity for Ghanaian superstar D-Black in the US. Raw and unshaken, Richardine continues to blaze a path for others to follow. We mere mortals are just catching up with her vision.
In February 2022, Richardine Bartee was awarded BEFFTA’s Woman of the Year Award to recognize her endless efforts to help musicians across the globe evolve.
We had the exciting opportunity of sitting down with the beautiful Richardine Bartee to discuss her longstanding career and what’s next for her and Grungecake.
Outside of business and entrepreneurship, who is Richardine Bartee?
Outside of business and entrepreneurship, I am a quiet person. I can be in the house with you; you wouldn’t know I’m there. I am a thinker and planner, so when we are in the same space and you can’t hear me, that’s what I’m doing. I love God, my family, my fiancé, traveling the world, the arts, and learning about various cultures.
How did you get your start in the media industry?
Sixteen years ago, I created opportunities for myself as a young person. If I am honest, I didn’t have a book to go by or a place or a person to guide me or give me a shot. I took chances on myself and gave others opportunities through what I was building. Having mentors and earning friends in the industry came later, and I love that it happened that way.
You have been able to sustain a career through the many changes of social media and media in general, what has been the key to navigating new platforms and staying consistent?
I love what I’ve done. I love what I am doing. I think it’s a large part of remaining consistent. It’s what fuels and empowers me to wake up every day and find/create new ways to get my messaging across. It’s a never-ending process, and with the help of technology, I have reached millions of people through my social media profiles, my website, and the campaigns I’ve managed for several incredibly talented and famous artists.
Tell us about your brand Grungecake.
GRUNGECAKE has been the start, or the genesis, of a lot of people’s careers, including mine. Through the platform, we’ve created and assisted with artists’ campaigns, represented some of the world’s best talents, and consulted. There’s so much more that we can’t tell, but out of respect for the artists and the culture, we’ll remain tight-lipped.
What has been your sole mission through your brand?
GRUNGECAKE’s sole mission is to tell the stories of obscure and established entities and to shine a light on what we believe is recognition for their hard work, consistency, and uniqueness.
How can artists get involved?
Artists from all disciplines can email us at https://grungecake.com/contact and start by introducing yourselves, explaining why you’re competitive, and what you plan to add to the thriving music business.
What is next for you and your brand?
We will continue to promote hardworking competitive talents from the continent of Africa and the rest of the diaspora. The world has shown its finally ready to receive, experience, and buy into what African artists, at large, have to offer.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
My definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles is someone with a beautiful exterior and robust mind—who isn’t afraid to get the work done.