It’s a Woman’s Woman’s Woman’s World at Marto’s Twelve Music Group in Atlanta, Georgia. From recording to publishing to managing artists, her sprawling operation has incubated some of the biggest names in music — and is home to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music label. Marto’s success in a male-dominated entertainment world is remarkable, and she’s proud to be among a small number of Arab-Americans at the top her field.
Dina Marto is one of music’s fastest rising entrepreneurs, having shattered gender and ethnic glass ceilings during her tenure at Island Def Jam and as an independent music executive. Named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” list at just 27, Dina’s Arab-American roots make her an anomaly in a male-dominated arena, where women of her background have seen rare success. Now, the owner and operator of Atlanta-based Twelve Studios, established in 2012, she’s built one of the South’s most sought-after creative environments to produce Billboard shattering hits. In 2015, Dina received a Proclamation from the City of Atlanta and it was announced that Twelve Studios is Maybach Music Group’s new headquarters by label owner Rick Ross. She also has a formal role as counselor to the music mogul and MMG.
Her relationship with Ross was established during her time as the right-hand to the late Shakir Stewart, then executive vice-president of Def Jam Music Group. Dina’s career was blown wide open when former Island Def Jam Chairman, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, saw Dina’s potential as an executive at only 20. Reid asked her to work alongside Stewart at the label’s Atlanta office, where she was groomed by him and served as A&R coordinator for albums by Young Jeezy, Nas, Rick Ross, Janet Jackson, and LL Cool J throughout a six-year period.
After the sudden passing of Stewart, who served as her mentor, Dina struck out on her own and founded Twelve Studios, Twelve Music Productions, and 7th Level Projects as a way to develop domestic and international talent and secure their futures through major record and publishing deals. Today, she manages a hand-selected group of talent, including Def Jam vocalist Brenda Mada of Belgium, musician and songwriter Ink of Vintage Nation, and rapper Hefna Gwap of East Palo Alto. She also consults emerging and established artists and is the product manger for superstar T.I. and his label, Grand Hustle. Dina works closely with super producer Polow da Don, who made Twelve Studios his creative home, along with Epic Records and Empire Distribution. Dina continues to solidify her status as a dual-threat, aiming to launch new talent while providing the premiere environment to bring their musical potential to life.
Dina was born in Amman, Jordan and grew up in Marietta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Oglethorpe University. She actively serves the community through her philanthropic endeavors, focused on inspiring youth, women, and raising awareness about mental health.