Shanti Das ’93
Shanti “Shoestring” Das ’93 is an accomplished music industry and marketing executive, consultant, mentor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author. She is also the founder/CEO of Press Reset Entertainment, an Atlanta-based firm launched in 2009 that serves as an entertainment concierge service, providing independent marketing and strategy for music acts, artist development, talent booking for private and corporate events, brand influencer marketing, and special event assistance.
An Atlanta native, Das’ path to success began as a Syracuse University. Majoring in television, radio and film at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, she immersed herself in many of the offerings on campus.
“I was heavily involved in radio and anything remotely connected to the music industry. I was an on-air disc jockey and assistant promotions director at Z-89, producer and talent on Z-89’s Saturday Night Hip-Hop Show, and entertainment writer for The Happenings newsletter,” Das says. “All of those experiences gave me an advantage with networking to acquire music industry contacts while in college.”
SU’s distance from home helped Das too, teaching her to be responsible, independent, and hardworking. She earned numerous awards, scholarships, and honors before graduating in 1993. Most important, Das was grateful for SU’s diversity of people and perspectives.
“I’m so glad I attended Syracuse University. I grew up in a mostly African-American community, and I was eager to meet people of other nationalities,” she says. “I learned to appreciate everyone’s uniqueness from a cultural and social perspective. That was priceless for me.”
Das’ appreciation for uniqueness translated well to the music business and promoting various artists. Upon graduation, LaFace Records hired her as its national director of promotions, where she worked closely with label founders Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “LA” Reid. Das was instrumental in developing innovative promotional campaigns for Outkast, Goodie Mob, Usher, TLC, and Toni Braxton, among others.
Following the sale of the LaFace label to BMG in 2000, Das went on to work for Arista Records, Columbia Records, and Universal Motown records. She advanced from intern to executive vice president over an 18-year period. During her career Das has handled high-profile marketing campaigns and product management for artists like Jermaine Dupri, Jagged Edge, Bow Wow, Prince, Vivian Green, Lyfe, Omarion, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Stevie Wonder, and many others.
“I attribute my professional success to the work ethic that I established at Syracuse,” Das says. “Most of my peers and professors were very serious about studying and succeeding. I made it a point to work very hard while in school, because I saw everyone else living up to this standard of excellence.”
Das has applied this same standard to her philanthropic endeavors, and her professional success has afforded her the opportunity to influence many people across all walks of life. In 2009 she founded the non‐profit organization, May We Rest In Peace, to serve the poverty-stricken people of Detroit who can’t afford burial services for loved ones. The organization has helped nearly 30 families since its inception and plans to add services to more urban inner cities in the coming months.
Most recently, Das established “No Reservations Needed,” a monthly feeding of the homeless with the Atlanta Mission. She also volunteers with Susan Taylor’s National CARES Mentoring Movement, which led her to become a mentor for Sisters of Today and Tomorrow, an Atlanta‐based non‐profit.
Das is a proud supporter of SU too. In addition to mentoring students at SU and various colleges across the country, she served on the Newhouse School’s Advisory Board for three years. She remains actively involved in local efforts through the SU Alumni Club of Atlanta.
“It’s our duty as alumni to support the overall efforts of the University and our individual colleges. I had the honor of graduating from the Newhouse School, and I want to help the students there now and in years to come,” she says. “I was one of those young students who received scholarship assistance, and I may not have made it without the generous support of so many who came before me.”
Das is author of two books: The Hip‐Hop Professional 2.0 and The 1-2-3s of Networking.