Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now. The music business is a grind. Industry heavyweight Shawn “Tubby” Holiday is the master of it. Holiday got his start in 2000, as a member of Bad Boy Records’ street team and has been climbing the ladder ever since. The Brooklyn native held gigs as SVP of A&R at RCA Records, SVP of Urban A&R at Interscope Records and, most recently, as the co-head of Columbia Records Music. Over the years, Tubby worked with artists such as 50 Cent, T.I., Lil Nas X, Pharrell Williams, 24kGoldn and many more. After eight years at Columbia, Shawn recently joined forces with famed music moguls Irving and Jeffrey Azoff and will be leading the launch of a new record label and publishing branch under The Azoff Company. Tubby’s also managing Roddy Ricch under the Azoff’s Full Stop Management. The industry vet talks about the importance of perseverance, what makes a hit record and qualities to look for when signing an artist.