President and Co-Founder • Digiwaxx Media • New York City • Age: 30
When Corey Llewellyn co-founded Digi-waxx Media with Andrew Edgar in 1998, new-media technology had yet to sweep the music industry. Today, Digiwaxx is a global leader in digital-music promotion and marketing. Llewellyn fell in love with the music industry at 16, during a high- school internship at Epic Records. Since then, he has learned all the aspects of the industry and worries that artists are still shortchanged financially and denied ownership of their music by the contracts they sign. “Digiwaxx was not created solely as a means to make money, but to level the playing field so that artists could compete with the major labels, to give them the freedom to shop their music around and basically cut out the middleman,” Llewellyn says. “We want to help them control their own destiny.”
Llewellyn briefly attended New York City Technical College and Borough of Manhattan Community College, but considers the education he learned on the job as significant as a college degree. “Not having a college degree doesn’t define or limit me,” Llewellyn says. “I’ve been successful as an executive and an entrepreneur.” His most important life lessons — hard work and perseverance — came from his Jamaican-born parents, Karl and Aldith Llewellyn, who told him countless stories of their struggles in the United States. Every hardship, every experience made his late father’s company, Llewellyn Electric, a success, Llewellyn says. “My dad taught me about being independent and doing what you want with your life. He was a role model,” he says.
If he had time and money, Llewellyn would open charter schools across the country to re-educate minority children. His eagerness to better his community is parallel to the man whose quote Llewellyn considers a motivational phrase: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” Martin Luther King Jr.