Mark Pitts- Bystorm Entertainment CEO: Despite the elevated profile that he’s earned working closely with the likes of Usher, Chris Brown, Nas and Biggie, Mark’s grounded nature makes him an easy man to find. On league nights, he’s with his brother rolling strikes; late night, he’s in the studio developing artists; in first class, he’s the guy who’s glued to the latest issue of Décor; and on weekends, Mark’s at home, bringing his passion from the boardroom to the living room.
As an undergrad at Howard University, Mark discovered his knack for liberal artistry. But while his Renaissance capacities flourished in his new environment, he faced the proverbial jack-of-too-many-trades conundrum.
Soon after college Mark was introduced to now long-time friend Sean “Diddy” Combs. “When I met with Puffy, he said, ‘We’re not homeboys in this meeting, this is business,’ and it was right there that I realized what side I wanted to be on.” The meeting decided the path of Mark’s career and cast him on his destined course behind the curtains of the music business.
The years following his link with Combs are studded with accomplishment, as Mark went on to co-found Bad Boy Records, manage Biggie to success, and ultimately branch off to start his own powerhouse, Bystorm Entertainment, in 1994. Since then, he’s guided groups and artists including TLC, Usher, Chris Brown, Cee-Lo and Faith Evans and Ciara to acclaim, but, more importantly, he’s done so with grace and honor.
Besides connecting with artists on a human level, he’s become known as the rare smooth talker with nothing to hide. In Mark’s case, nice guys finish first; his reputation led to L.A. Reid tapping him as Sr. Vice President of A&R for Arista Records in 2000.
“I looked at going to work with L.A. as going back to school,” Mark says. “L.A. had a great ear – I had to be on the inside to get the education that I needed and wanted.”
In 2011, people can expect Mark to use his presidential status to drive his stake further in the business, as he is currently the President of Urban Music for the Zomba Label group
“Nothing about my work ethic will change,” Mark says. “I still speak from the heart, I still respect the game, and I’m still in the studio until four or five in the morning most nights. Deep down, I’m in it for the music, and I don’t want that to change. That’s what got me here.”